Monday, August 27, 2007

Happy 1st Birthday

Oh Delma, you are a whole year old today. Our little baby is nowhere to be seen, in her place is a force to be reckoned with, a fascinating little girl who is learning so much every day that we can practically hear the sizzle and pop of little synapses firing and forming in your brain.

You've always liked taking things out of things, like emptying my bag, pulling tissues or baby wipes out of their containers, taking books off the shelves, etc. But in the past month you've started putting things into things, which provides opportunity for many funny discoveries, like finding a binky in your drawer in the kitchen, finding a stuffed animal in your shape sorting bucket, finding your shoe that you took off and put into a little bin at school, etc. You also like to feed us, putting your little bits of dinner into our mouths, though you don't understand that we need to chew and swallow before you can put more food in. The devil's in the details.

You used to like to play with books, but now you'll actually pay attention while we read you a whole book. When we used to read you books, you were more interested in grabbing them and playing with them and wouldn't usually let us even read a whole page start to finish unless we held on tight to the book to fight off your grabby paws. But now you'll bring a book to us and will pay attention to every page. I could cry now just thinking about it, my daughter someday loving books, spending whole rainy days reading and rereading Judy Blume books and Bridge to Terabithia, or whatever books blow girls' minds these days. There's a whole beautiful amazing world in books and I can't wait for you to discover it. But for now, I'm happy to read you the little Mary Engelbright Mother Goose books over and over, so we can join in with the dog who laughs to see such sport in Hey Diddle Diddle.

You can understand and follow (when you choose to) directions now. You're like some little robot, we have to very carefully give you simple, explicit and short directions, like "Don't put your rabbi puppy in your poop." Because you have a little puppy dog wearing a yarmulke and a tallis and you put him right into the poopy diaper I had just taken off of you. But more often we just tell you to pick things up and put things down and hand us things over and over because we think it's so cute. It's just so cool that you can understand what we're saying to you. I wish you were more interested in trying to speak to us too -- though you're very verbal, you don't really have words yet that you use consistently. I think it's too early to worry about that, though.

You love music so much, and now you dance a little too. You'll rock back and forth, sometimes with your hands up in the air, or you'll do the classic toddler bouncy dance. We don't know where you got the rocking thing, and they don't know at your daycare either. Maybe it's primal, maybe you saw someone do it once, who knows. All I know is we're pleased to have another baby trick that we can make you perform for guests.

Thank you for the best year, baby bunny rabbit. Daddy and I think that raising children is probably like marriage: if you can survive the first year, it's smooth sailing from there on out. :)

Happy Birthday!

Love, Mommy

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Why, China, why?

Here's another wonderfully thoughtful post from one of my heroes.

She has lots of great info about how to avoid toys made in China, links to great stores that carry European toys (like one of our favorites, Oompa Toys), info about toy companies that work in China but have strict oversight policies, and ideas for making toys. I commented on her post, basically asking her to adopt me, but I haven't heard back yet.

Friday, August 10, 2007

OMG Birthday (almost)!!!

During Shabbat service last week Josh became Bar Mitzvah, along with 4 other people who decided to finally become official adults, some more than 40 years behind schedule. Better late than never! It was a wonderful service, a great celebration with friends and family and our congragation, and it's nice to finally be married to a man. His voice might finally change now.

Since we had family in town for this big event, we had an early First Birthday Extravaganza for miss D.

Cupcakes inspired by Martha and this super-crafty maven:

Martha birthday garland (came with pink ribbon which I swapped out for some bright orange instead):

Hanging tissue flowers using Martha's instructions (they sell a kit at Michael's too, but it's cheaper to buy your own supplies). Not great natural light in the living room, but you get the idea:

I've also made a few more pinafores. One for D, one for a gift for a small friend of ours (no picture -- damn!), and another as a commision (!!!) for the lovely Miss Melanoma's wee Scarlet. Again, no picture. But I've asked her to take one and send it to me, so...

But here is Delma's newest, with one side being modeled by D and the other side modeled by a hanger (less cute than D by far, IMHO):

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Swapbot junkie

I just signed up on Swapbot and immediately joined a kajillion swaps. All cute little ones that require little-to-no spending, just crafting and what-not. One where you just write a letter describing how you met your significant other, one where you write a list of 10 favorite things and describe why you love them, one where you make a mix CD. Fun!!! I miss getting fun stuff in the mail, this should be good times man, good times.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

like I need more things to freak out over

Amy Karol is great, and I need to thank her for 2 things:
1. Her amazing book that has rocked my world; and
2. Completely freaking me out about plastic

So, now I have to find plastic baby bottles that are as non-toxic as possible, and stainless steel snack containers, and stainless sippy cups, and glass storage containers for home.

We're already using Envirosax , and though we don't always remember them, and some plasic bags find their way home with us sometimes, we've made big progress there.

We use completely biodegradable garbage bags in the kitchen, and I keep little biodegradable dog-poo bags in the diaper bag to use for Del's dirty gDiapers inserts when we're out and can't flush them or secretly dispose of them. The corn-based kitchen garbage bags are good, but you do have to be careful and not put wet stuff in the garbage or else the bags will start to break down right there in your kitchen. That's happened to us, and it's very annoying to pull the bag out of the container just to have all the contents spill onto the floor. We did that once, and have not made the same mistake since. Luckily we have a spot in the woods that we can actually reach from our deck, where we toss compostable wet stuff, so it's easy to not put that stuff in the garbage. I'm also using lots more dish towels for spills and wiping food off Delma after her meals, and cloth napkins for us, so we don't have many wet paper towels that go into the trash.

Someone in the comments to Amy's post was talking about the trouble with finding alternatives for plastic produce bags. You can't use anything opaque because then cashiers can't see the stickers on them, etc. She found a company in Canada called grassroots that will sell the mesh bags that they put oranges in, so you can use and reuse them yourself. They're still plastic, but at least you're reusing. That made me think of knitting my own smaller version of this cotton net bag to use for little things like fruit. We actually rarely use produce bags. I don't mind putting piles of freely rolling fruit etc into our carriage. But for some things like leafy greens they really need to stay sealed up or else they'll get all wilty in the fridge. I should just start rinsing and reusing produce bags for that.

If I could just find a way to get paid for sitting around and worrying about things like this, life would be perfect!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

dark days

Delma's fever finally broke last night, after 4 days. Josh comes home from his 10-day Euro-adventure tonight. We all go back to work and daycare tomorrow. No rest for the weary. I *almost* feel like an ass for complaining at all, considering that a really bad day for/with Delma still isn't all that bad in the big picture. She has really awful periods, but then just as much time in the day when she's just herself, puttering around and licking things and spinning around on her tushy and hugging her animal friends and climbing on the coffee table and chasing the cats. She is more and more fun every day. Despite being sick and often miserable, this week she started some new tricks:
- Doing "so big"
- Really waving bye-bye (with both hands, all floppy and loosey-goosey) and sometimes saying Bye!
- Putting her binky in my mouth
- Copying me and putting some little stuffed animals and toys on the heads of bigger ones
- Squeezing the foot on her piggy to make it play music and sing

The pig is a big deal. She has had a very complicated relationship with this pig, wanting to hug it and be friends with it, but then getting freaked out when it would be activated and play music and wiggle it's little feet. But once she learned how to do it herself, Delma and the pig managed an unspoken truce. They get along famously now.

She really watches things now and tries to figure out what they do, how they work, etc. You can practically hear the little wheels in her brain spinning to work. This girl has come a long way. I can't belive she used to be half the size of our cats and just grunted and squirmed and we used to look at her and wonder how on earth it could ever get any better than that. It gets better every minute of every day.