Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The comment on hair barrettes

On Friday, I did a flippant little post about my daughter's hair barrettes. I got several helpful comments (thank you for those) and one not-so-helpful comment. Here's a quote from an anonymous commenter:
I can't believe you CHOOSE to think about the hair clip. She's not a doll!
Not only is it petty in the wide-world context of war and famine and all difficulties that even north-americans face beyond the suburban middle-class...it's also just petty on a personal level: what do you want this little person to be preoccupied with as she grows - her appearance?

Well. Let me address this.

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee is an author and blogger that I admire. She once wrote that blogs were like virtual living rooms. I agree. It's very much like the moms, lesbians, photographers, scrapbookers, knitters and other people who regularly visit this blog are sitting around my living room, drinking coffee (and sometimes wine) and chatting about our lives.

Sometimes these chats are deep and meaningful. Sometimes these chats are about the mundane like how the cat has hairballs, the color and consistency of our kids poop, how much sleep we are getting and our current weather conditions. All of these big things and all of these little things make up my life.

And my life is beautiful.

You don't diminish any part of that beauty with your rudeness.

And just as if you were in my living room with the rest of my guests and you stood up and told me that I was petty, I wouldn't expect any of my guests or blog visitors to stand up and defend me. I would probably say,
  • "Wow, the subject of hair barrettes really hit a nerve for you, didn't it? Did a parent torture you with them as a child?" or
  • "Wow, you have some strong feelings about this. Tell me more." or
  • "Are you aware that that was a rude statement?" or
  • "That is so unlike you to have an outburst like that. You must be in a lot of pain". or
  • "Jeez, who pissed in your Wheaties this morning?" or
  • "Don't let the door hit you on your way out."

    One of those. Depending on what kind of mood I was in. Then we might have a very interesting conversation, perhaps with some reasonable debating. But to quote Amy, a Pearl McFee commenter, to call someone petty sounds like, "You're ugly and your mom dresses you funny". There's just no art in it'.

    And for those of you who come for a daily dose of Kylie, here are some pictures of her playing at the park.

  • Monday, December 29, 2008

    One Word

    On Friday, the snow had melted just enough for us to get out. And what a relief it was! Saturday we took down the Christmas tree and Sunday I sat down to think about my One Word for 2009.

    I first read about the One Little Word project on Ali Edwards blog. The intention is to pick a single word for the year instead of a bunch of New Year resolutions and goals. For 2008 my word was create.

    When I blogged on January 1 2008 I wrote,
    I want to create healthy meals for my family.
    I want to create learning opportunities for Kylie.
    I want to create playful days and funny days; loving days and peaceful days.
    I want to create beautiful photos and scrapbook pages.
    I could go on and on but you get the point.

    In taking stock of the year, I can see that I did all of these things.
    Kylie is healthy, happy, loving, learning like crazy and having fun.
    Karen and I have a wonderful relationship that gets deeper each year.
    I made healthy meals but not as many new menu items as I wanted.
    I started running Sept. 15th and ran 4-6 times a week, 2-3 miles each time for a total of 157 miles by Dec 15.
    I dropped a few pounds and a size (not as much as I wanted but I'll take it).
    And of course, there was the creation of thousands of photos and 137 scrapbook pages documenting our lives.

    Overall, I'm pleased. The word CREATE has seeped deep into the marrow of my bones.

    For 2009, I've picked the word CHOOSE..

    And just like create, I'm sure this word's meaning for me will evolve over time.

    For right now, I'll simply say:
    I choose to be attentive to our family's budget,
    I choose to be more constant in upkeep of our home (like I really need to caulk our crown moldings and clean up our gas grill and cut back the rose bushes, stuff like that).
    I choose to play, play, play with Kylie.
    I choose to keep running.
    I choose to learn some Spanish.
    I choose to learn more about my camera, more about Photoshop and continue with my scrapbooking.
    And I choose to keep on creating.

    Suddenly, becoming more intentional about what I choose to do with my time, attention, energy and resources has never looked more important or more liberating and fun.

    If you would like to play along with the One Word Project, I'd love to read what your one word will be.
    You can find a list of words here.
    Read more about the One Word Project here and here.

    "A single word can be a powerful thing. It can be the ripple in the pond that changes everything. It can be sharp and biting or rich and soft and slow." Ali Edwards.

    Friday, December 26, 2008

    Help with hair

    Because of all the snow, we've not been able to take Kylie for a haircut. And she has really needed one. She has been pushing the hair out of her eyes for weeks now. Today I thought I would try some barrettes to hold back the side bangs. Some days she'll tolerate barrettes; other days she pulls them right out.

    I have to admit that I don't know the proper way to put in a barrette like this. Do you know how? It seems to me that the hair would stay clipped better if I push the barrette from her hairline up towards the top of her hair. But then it also seems that the flower part of the barrette should be on top instead of on bottom.

    I know that there is an economic crisis and world hunger, ect. And I feel pretty shallow blogging about this.

    But I would really like to know. I've googled it and I can't find the answer. So can you help me out?

    Wait. Here's a close-up.

    And is it just me, or is Kylie looking really grown-up toddler ALL OF A SUDDEN. How did this happen?

    Thursday, December 25, 2008

    Merry Christmas

    More Christmas pictures--click here.

    Wednesday, December 24, 2008

    Christmas Eve

    We let Kylie open her presents from Karen and I today.

    You can see the more pictures if you click here.

    Here are some of our favorites:

    The biggest hit of the day was this cell phone. She's carried it around all afternoon.

    Kylie loves to help me clean. Some of you may remember her affinity for Clorox wipes. . So we got her a cleaning kit with brooms, a mop, pretend spray bottles and such. This photo cracks me up.

    Happy Holidays Everyone!

    Tuesday, December 23, 2008

    Sugar fiends and the Christmas tree

    You know what makes being housebound with a toddler for days on end tolerable? (You'd think it would be alcohol don't ya?) Nope, it's sugar. Lots and lots of sugar for the Mommies.

    I'm proud to say that my stocked freezer and pantry have held out pretty well during these two weeks of snow storms. It wasn't essential that I walk to the grocery store today. We would have gotten by just fine without the trip.

    But I was raring for an adventure so off I went!

    I had the following on my list: milk, bread, bananas, soup, broth, carrots and onions (so I could make a roast on Christmas).

    What also came home with me was: frozen biscuits, crescent rolls, toaster pastries, sausage, chocolate chip cookie dough, pop tarts, sugar and oats (so I could make our traditional chocolate drop cookies) and two Hershey bars.

    Yep, I love sugar.

    I didn't even mind that my pack weighed around 40 pounds. And I didn't mind that I also carried two canvas bags.

    I gladly walked the mile to the store and the mile back. All for the love of sugar.

    In addition to walking to the grocery store, I did something else I hadn't thought I would ever do. I put away Kylie's puzzles. She has around ten Melissa and Doug puzzles scattered throughout the house. I've noticed that she hasn't played with them for weeks. So to make room for the new Christmas presents, I stored all her puzzles in a bin. I'll probably get them back out in a month or two and they will seem brand new to her. I've heard of parent rotating toys. I just never thought we would have enough toys to do it.

    Another surprise has been how wonderful Kylie has been with the Christmas tree. She loves it! She is so gentle with the ornaments. She touches all the ones she can reach several times a day. When we first put the tree up, I had very few ornaments within her reach. But as the weeks went by, I found myself moving the ornaments down so that she could enjoy them. Here are a few pictures of Kylie enjoying the tree.

    My mom sent a few of my favorite childhood Christmas ornaments to me for Kylie to enjoy. This is one of my favorites--A Miss Piggy angel. Kylie likes it too.

    She thinks the angels and fairies are so beautiful.

    Happy Holidays everyone!

    Monday, December 22, 2008

    Pegboards and pages

    As it continued to snow ALL DAY, kiddo got the hang of fitting pegboard pieces together and made several monster towers. It was fun to photograph her with these bright colors.

    These expressions crack me up.

    Kylie is telling me that she had to reach "UP HIGH!"


    She's very proud of her work.

    On to scrapbook pages:

    I usually don't jump ahead too much in my scrapbooking. (I still haven't completed my Halloween pages). But I've been feeling housebound with the snow and our colds. When I look back over December, I can see how very little I've been out of the house. I wanted to create a page to reflect that.

    This was the hardest picture to scrapbook. I made many attempts over several days that ended up in the trash. Finally, with a few key flourishes, it all came together. Now I love it!

    Catching up on that baby milestone book.

    Wish me luck-- I may be walking to the grocery store tomorrow. Yikes!

    Snow, hats and horses

    Yes, I'm another Portland blogger who is posting snow pictures. This is the thrilling view of our back porch. I can't help but say, "Holy Crap" to myself each time I look out our back windows.

    You know you are particularly snow bound when you take 30 pictures of frozen roses and rose hips.

    For any of you interested, there are more snow pictures of my neighborhood here.

    Let me brighten up this post a bit with these two pictures of Kylie who is wearing another hand-knit hat around the house (I promise my house isn't that cold) and is playing with her Little Ponies.

    I can't tell you how stupidly happy it makes me to see her actually wearing something I knit!

    I have lots of scrapbook pages to share with you--hopefully tomorrow.

    Friday, December 19, 2008

    Hat Love

    Kylie and I were feeling well enough after lunch to brave a trip to the mall. She has fallen in love with the "Finding Nemo" movie and I wanted to get her a Nemo toy. One the way home, Kylie kept saying "hat, hat".

    So when we got home, I put this hat on her. She was so happy! She had her hat and she had her Nemo; she was a tickled little girl.

    She loved pulling the hat off and putting it back on all by herself. I like the flapper girl look she's got here.

    I thought this look was particuarly innovative.

    My darling Kylie has a style all her own.

    By the way, I knit this hat last November for Kylie. You can find a free knitting pattern for it here.

    Thursday, December 18, 2008

    Just three things

    1. I left out something important from Kylie's 20 month update---she can now say her name! She drops the "l" so it sounds like "Ky-ee". Too sweet.

    2. Yesterday, I offered to drag Kylie around on a sheet on our hardwood floors. Before she wanted to get on her sheet, she wanted her purse, then her phone, then her sunglasses and then her pink poodle toy. Then she was ready to go. Yeesh! I don't know which was more disturbing. The fact that my little starlet wanted all these things or that I have all the things in my house.

    3. This was a picture I shot earlier this month. Before we were ALL stricken with this cold.

    Wednesday, December 17, 2008

    20 month update

    Yeah, yes and yep- we’re hearing a lot of these words from you. You are really starting to comprehend what we are saying to you. You can intelligently answer our questions, usually with a yeah. You can ask for things you want like “sit” (when you want us to sit down) and “off” when you want to take off your socks and “big bubble”. You can even ask for things you want to eat- "Cheese please!” and “apples!”

    Here are some other new words and phrases we’ve heard this month: shirt, pants, bra, socks, purse, brush, diaper, wet, dry, dirty, up high, here you go, big, bling on, boo-boo, crying, people, all gone, please, thank you, morning, I sit, push, toss, bounce, bus, truck, plane, barn, sunshine, sausage, noodle, zebra, penguin, teacher and Santa Claus.

    You have some new, fun ways to play. You love to walk around with a bucket on your head. You like to tuck a stuffed animal under a bowl and then knock on the bowl. Then you lift the bowl, laugh and hug your animal. You love to have us shine flashlights against the wall. You like to dance in the light as we sing funny songs. You enjoy handing us hand puppets (always two) and watching the puppets talk to one another. You like to move dollhouse furniture out of the house and into various groupings on a nearby table or floor. This month at Gymobree you learned to bounce on the mats and do a log roll, walk in a circle for ring around the rosy and toss a ball.

    You’ve started to enjoy some art projects. You like to rub paint on your hands and pat them on paper. You like to study all the different crayons in a box and all the pictures in a coloring book. You will lightly color using usually a yellow or orange crayon. You ask to play with play-doh at least once a day. And you like to put stickers (always two) on your hands.

    Eat, Sleep and Wear
    There are some days where I wonder how you manage to have so much energy on so little food. We really saw a decrease in your appetite this month, which caused your Mommy to worry all month long. Fruits and vegetables are still your favorite foods along with cheese and other dairy products. You still go to sleep every night at 6pm and nap for an hour around 10am. This month you started wearing 24 month or 2T shirts and 18 month pants.

    Dearest Kylie, we are so proud of your accomplishments. We love you completely.

    Tuesday, December 16, 2008

    Purse for a hat

    As I write this, it is a bitter 20 degrees outside, effectively freezing the snow and ice that fell yesterday. Our heater is working overtime to keep our home warm. And our darling Kylie is sleeping restlessly due to a cold.

    For the past few days, Karen's Mom has been visiting with us.

    She brought a suitcase full of wonderful, hand-me-down books and movies from her other grandchildren/Kylie's cousins. There were also a few stuffed animals and three child-sized purses.

    Well, you can see that Kylie was quite taken with them. And she has decided that one of the purses makes a fantastic hat.

    Kylie puts various things in her purses and carries them around the house. They are getting lots of playtime with her. But nothing compares to how she loves this purse hat.

    It sort of reminds me of a vintage chinese hat. Is this delightful or what?

    Sunday, December 14, 2008

    Snow bunny

    We had several inches of snow today. We bundled Kylie up and let her play in our backyard. She loved picking up the snow and slapping her hands together. And she had to have a couple of tastes of it. Of course, it was another photo frenzy.

    These were shot right before I took her in. You can see where it started blowing snow hard enough to stick to her coat.

    Such fun and memorable moments seeing my baby play in the snow. I couldn't help but think about last year when it snowed on Christmas Day. We had to hold her up so she could see outside. What a difference a year makes!