Friday, May 29, 2009

Furoshiki throwdown, part two

Ha! My hon-tsusumi (two book carry wrap) took me only two minutes and seven seconds! I had two books set aside to use before I started time, and I also spread out my sarong and folded back one edge to get a more approximate square before I started timing myself.

I think I have to learn all of the wraps and carriers that this book has. Cause I'm always toting a lot of watermelons. Well, no. But I do tote a lot of other stuff.

All right. Let the throwdown begin.

furoshiki throwdown

Can you say "furoshiki" three times fast?
I can't. But I'm going to try to do Or slow, depending on how agile I am.

Let me start at the beginning.

I am kind of stoked on the "Daring Book for Girls" series. It's a series now, because the Double-Daring Book for Girls has just come out. I gave the first one to my neice for Christmas two years ago, and when she read the back, which announced that it was a "no-boys-allowed" adventure, she turned to my dad, who was reaching for the book, and said, "Hey, Grandpa! It's no boys allowed!"

Anyway, I have the chance to participate in a fun interactive book shower for the authors, in which I challenge my blog readers (and I have a few of you in mind) to a Daring Activity Throwdown. Basically, I read up on one of the book's activities, and time my attempt. Then, you all try to beat my time. And you post comments lamenting how I beat you so handily.

So this is where the furoshiki comes in.

Furoshiki is a Japanese craft that involves wrapping things up (groceries, gifts, watermelons) in a large square cloth. It's not only a fun and useful skill, but also reduces consumption: you can always cart those pesky watermelons away without having to ask for a single-use plastic bag. The Double-Daring book has a variety of wraps to learn.

But I hereby select one for my throwdown: the Hon-tsusumi (two books carry wrap). I mean, it makes sense, right? Me, learning how to make my own on-the-fly book carrier?
And you readers in my audience? You need to participate! You know you have been waiting, just waiting for a way to tote more books with you. Aunt Barb, Megan V., HeLaFo, Michelle, women of WMU...I'm counting on you.

Okay. Here's the illustration that came in the book, along with instructions:

This works best with a larger (42-inch) furoshiki. Spread the furoshiki, and place one book on the left corner, and one on the right. Fold the left and right edges over the books and then flip the books over until their edges meet in the center.
Lift the top and bottom corners and cross them in the middle. Then, flip the two books again so that they fold up together with the crossed fabric inbetween them. Stand them up on end so that the crossed fabric is on top. Then twist the fabric and tie the ends in a knot to create a carrying handle.

Ready, set, Go!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

like mother...

If you know me, you know I like order. When I was little, I made little labels for the spines of my books and sorted them by subject and author. I kind of get a kick out of culling unused clothes out of our closet so we won't get over-cluttered. Dyami can't find the colander every so often because I have a new "system". And yes, I kind of like making all of the numbers match up (inflow! outflow!) on our budget.

So should it really surprise me that Lucy is just a

Scenes from a Budding Neatnik

Scene one: We invite two lovely (and slightly older) girls over to play. They get into three boxes of toys in the kitchen: plastic food, wooden fruit, and buttons/shells. They (gasp!) mix them up! It takes a while to convince Lucy that Everything will Be All Right.

Scene two: After a weekend of finishing a last minute gift, I leave my sewing machine, a few tools and some notions on the dining room table. At breakfast, Lucy blinks, looks over at me, and says, "Mama, sewing things kind of a mess. You clean up!"
I do not clean them up. At dinner tonight, I got admonished. Again.

Scene three: On our walk home from the park, Lucy notices a decorative arrangement of river stones and gravel along someone's yard. Dark river stones are placed in ovals around tree trunks. Lighter crushed gravel fills the rest of the space.
We have to bargain for a while. I finally convince her that yes, the nice people with the messy yard do have people to sort out the stones.
I just hope they get on it, because we walk past that house nearly every day.

In an attempt to forestall this neat compulsion, I have decided to let things get a little messier around here. Like: I won't fold and roll the undies before I put them in the drawer. I won't sort salad forks and dinner forks within the little silverware compartment.
Plus--the sewing stuff? It's staying on the table. For now.
See how well we're doing?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

the bladder, it is tiny

Could someone please just install bathrooms every fifty feet, please? Because that's about how long I have to walk before I need one.
There's a reason for this: in our first (and last!) ultrasound, the technician mentioned that our baby girl's* feet were positioned right on my bladder. "So you might be noticing that," he said.
Ahem. Yes. Because also, the pregnancy? It makes me unnaturally thirsty.

Recently, I've been taking Lucy to a park that's about a ten minute walk from our house. It's a sneaky way for me to get exercise, since she's getting a bit old for the "isn't it fun to have momma push you around the neighborhood?" thing. The park is just past our local jr. high and the playing fields attached to it.
The park also has no bathrooms.

This is how the walk goes:
  1. Use the bathroom before leaving the house. Then drink water, because of unnatural thirst. Then use the bathroom again, just in case.
  2. Cross the street. Do not think about water. Do not think about water.
  3. Pretend you don't have to pee. Because it has been what--20 seconds?
  4. Walk downhill. Approach Jr. High.
  5. Gate open! Walk in and look for restroom!
  6. Get lost.
  7. Find restroom. Locked.
  8. Hurry towards playing fields. Two portapotties. Ugh. But beggars can't be choosers.
  9. Plug nose. Use available facilities.
  10. Walk away from playing fields with spring in step.
  11. Get 100 feet away. Do not think about water.
  12. Pretend you don't have to pee. Because it has been what--20 seconds?
  13. Arrive at park with full bladder.
Sigh. So yes, friendly neighborhood ultrasound tech. Now that you mentioned it, I have noticed a certain lack of capacity, bladder-wise.

*See how I sneak in these announcements? Yes, two girls.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

whatdidyousay? No, really?

On the plane home on a solo trip to Michigan, I sat next to a very lovely woman, Lisa, and her three-year-old.
We chatted for a minute or two--she was one of those happy gregarious people that makes it easy to carry on small talk for the duration of a flight--and then she pointed to my belly. "When are you due?"
"Oh, Novemberish," I said.
She turned to her daughter. "See, Chloe? She's got a baby in her belly."
Her daughter looked at my midriff, then up at her mom, her eyes wide.
"She's going to have a little baby." Lisa said. "Just like you were in my belly once."

Then Lisa pointed at her chest. Well, actually, at her nipples. "And she's going to have titty milk, Chloe! Just like mama did!" Then she pointed at my chest. "Lots of titty milk for her baby!"

I opened my mouth, then closed it. Because really, after that, what could I say?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

night of the living...everything

First it was Elmo. I think Dyami started it.

Dyami as Elmo: "Hey, Lucy! Elmo wants you to take a bath!"

Lucy jumped up and ran to the bathtub. Which meant I didn't mind keeping up the Elmo voice on my own while she got clean.

Then it was the puppets my aunt made Lucy for Christmas. Three adorable felt puppets, complete with attitudes (the giraffe, Giraffy, sports pipe-cleaner glasses) that I'd kind of like to burn now. Because of the weeks of activities that needed one of the three amigos to narrate. Freddy Frog reads a story! Henrietta Hippo dances to The Killers! Giraffy supervises puzzle time!

But now it's like the gremlins have been loosed on my house. Because it's not just the obvious candidates for animation. Now it's anything and everything. My shoes. My hand. My finger. My newly pedicured toes. The car. The pretend hammer (ie chapstick). The stick-turned-horse. Each must accompany us on our journey through the day, complete with high- or low-pitched voice, witty reparte, and endless replies to questions like, "So, Hammer! How is your day out? Where is your mommy?"

Oh--yes. I forgot. Each and every object also has a mommy and daddy that must be provided with more voices, more replies, more banter.

It's gotten to where I want to run far, far away every time Lucy picks up a new--whatever--and says, in a hopeful voice, "Spoon? You talk?"

No, Lucy. The spoon does not talk. The spoon is sleeping. Along with (yes) its mommy and daddy.

Also, your mommy. She has gone to sleep, too. Because of the large dose of Valium she just ingested. Hopefully she will sleep for the (how many more??) weeks it takes to move on to a different obsession.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Lucy's greatest hits

Lucy's songwriting has really increased of late. Some of them are inspired by other works:
"One little two little fing-gers...One little two little fing-gers...One little two little fing-gers...."
but there are also some originals, like:
"Tuba. Tu-ba! Tuba tuba tuba tuba!"
And her current choreographed number,
"Watch out! For Busytown! Watch out, for Busytown!" To which she puts on her elf hat and runs around the living room in circles.
We asked her why, exactly, you have to watch out for Busytown.
"Cause it all filled with little furniture," she said. "Trip over it."
Ahh! That's so much clearer now.

so what do normal people text about?

So my old-person's texting helper on my cell phone does not include the words "snotty" or "snot" or "runny" in the dictionary.
Apparently, I'm not their target demographic. Who knew?

Monday, May 4, 2009

More munchausen

From a few days ago: Lucy put Elmo's head into the waffle iron. Don't worry, it wasn't on or anything. But I'm a little worried that she'll start going at him with scissors or something.

the news from around here.

So this would probably be better for Lucy to share. Lucy?

"Mama has a baby in she's belly."

So there you go. Straight from the big sister's mouth.

Q: When is the due date?
A: Who the heck knows? At this point, probably early November. Or earlier! I'm guessing we'll notice if it's earlier.

Q: How are you feeling?
A: Can't complain. Not too bad on the gagging front, and no puke. Since I'm out of the first trimester, I think we're out of the woods. Of course, I sleep like 10 hours at night and still need a nap, but otherwise...

Q: Does it feel different this time?
A: Yes and no. I've got about the same amount of symptoms, which I'm very thankful for. But I also kind of wish (this time) that I could just sort of hide the pregnancy until after the baby was born. Like in the antebellum times. Don't know why I feel shy.
Which begs the question: why announce this on the blog? Well, I figure I won't post unless I mention this slightly important fact about our life right now.

So there you go. Thanks for helping on this post, Lucy.
"Thanks for mine help."
Yes. Exactly.