Saturday, August 28, 2010

Sock monkey vs. Pit Bull

This is what happens when blog themes intersect:

Don't try this at home, kids.

Next time you see Mr. Monkey, he will be wearing an eye patch, hobbling around on a wooden leg, and sporting a kerchief. If you listen closely, you will hear him growling, "Argh! Ay, matey!" Maybe I'll make him a sock parrot.

You'll be relieved to hear that Omie did not sustain any serious injuries in this altercation.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Joe's new dance move.

Daft Punk is Joe's special dance music. When I play it, he starts bopping.

Anyway: I'm pretty sure Michael Jackson & co. did this move in the Thriller video. Well, of course, besides the falling down part. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Petting zoo.

Yesterday, I took the afternoon off work and took Joe to the Oakland Zoo. We arrived only two hours before closing, which is not a lot of time in "child time," where you wander slowly from exhibit to exhibit, pointing and talking, and take frequent breaks for toddling around and climbing on park benches. So we didn't even make it to the big animals - the elephants, lions, and giraffes. But Joe was perfectly fine with that. The highlight of his day? Goats. 

Joe absolutely loved the petting zoo, and spent the whole time wandering from goat to goat, excitedly, and then looking around and pointing out other goats, and basically ... he was so happy! Who needs Zebras? I hear they are nasty, unfriendly animals. Whereas goats are nice and tame (when they are not trying to eat your shirt). Some of them were even small and Joe-sized (were they kids? were they a different breed? I couldn't tell you).

Joe takes so much simple joy in being around animals. Now, if we could just convince him to stop yanking on ears and noses and tails (and while we're at it, our faces and hair) ... any suggestions?

My beautiful, exuberant baby boy.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Watch your step, folks. No. Seriously. Don't step on my tomatoes.

Hope for better tomatoes in our future?

Our teeny fig tree is surprisingly productive.

Pickle Patch 2010 a resounding success! Rebecca making pickles!!
I took the plunge and started washing my own diapers. Fun factor = low. Martyrdom factor = very high.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

First ripe tomato of the year!!

A week ago, I noticed that one of our tomato plants was laden with greenish golden red, ripening tomatoes!! Oh joy! Summer! Images of ripe tomatoes sliced with sprigs of basil and fresh buffalo mozzarella, drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, danced before my eyes.

For the next several days, I checked in on the ripest tomato every afternoon, gently squeezing the plump little "Beefsteak" to see whether it was ready yet.

Then, a few days ago, the flesh yielded just so under my fingers. I took the plunge. I picked the first red tomato from the vine.

With much shouting and fanfare, I ran into the house and sliced the tomato, still warm from the sun, open right then. The flesh was luscious and bright, bright red. My mouth watered with anticipation.

I bit down.


Mealy. Flavorless. Styrofoam.

I've had better tomatoes from Safeway. In December.

(Three words: Bay. Area. "Summer.")

Friday, August 13, 2010

More baby pants.

August has been very busy for me. Mostly busy with what I like to call "work work." You know, the work I get paid to do. Last week I flew to Los Angeles, gave a presentation, and wrote a ten page memo. This week, I revised the ten page memo at least a million times, turned it in, researched a ton of random stuff, and went to a really long Planning Commission meeting. 

And Joe's one-year-molars appear to be like the Himalayas - one sharp crag cutting through after another, as far as the eye can see.

Needless to say, not a lot of breadmaking, sprouting, pie-baking, or sleeping going on in these parts lately.

Cute cloth diaper butt.
So don't ask me where I found the time to make orange faux bois pants for Joe. I'm pretty sure I stole the time from my already depleted sleep-account.

But, you see, Joe really needed some fake wood grain pants.  I think these make Joe's legs look like campy 1970s fake orange knotty logs. Oh, they make me so happy.

For this pair, I used the "Huck Finn Pants" pattern from Heather Ross' book Weekend Sewing. There are some serious problems with this pattern. For one thing, the back and front pattern pieces are labeled incorrectly - the back is called the front and vice versa. Also, according to the Fourth Rule of Thermodynamics, it's not possible to top-stitch both the side seams and the inseam of a pair of pants.

So although these are really easy to make, this is probably not a great pattern for a beginner, because it's, um, wrong, and the instructions are, um, bad (I mean this in the nicest possible way). But I worked around the mistakes and the pants turned out great. Next time I will make the butt a little roomier to accommodate Joe's big cloth diapers. I like the wide legs and flood-length. (Joe says: "Perfect for splashing in the dog's water bowl!")

No pants in this (too-dark) shot, but you can see the cute Hebrew alphabet tee that Rebecca got for Joe in Israel.
The fabric is a soft but sturdy cotton twill, and I wish I had bought ten yards of it instead of two. It turns out you can never have too much orange fake wood grain fabric. Who knew?

And here is Joe, modeling his new pants while demonstrating his pull-up abilities (sorry for the blurry photo). Is he a little athlete or what? (Heaven help us, the child can do a pull-up.)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Baby pants.

This used to be a craft blog! (Sort of.) But the problem with craft blogs is that you not only have to blog, but you have to do crafts as well. Sheesh. How do craft bloggers do it? So much work!

Also, sewing is not a very baby-compatible activity, as shown by the following mathematical equation:

Scissors + hot iron + needles + machinery + spirited child = BAD

Hence the garden/cooking/mommy/randomness/almost-no-crafts blog.

But I still love crafts and try to squeeze some sewing in when I can.

I finished my quilt!

And a couple of weeks ago, I made baby pants for Joe's baby friend Jimmy George, using the super simple pants pattern from Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing for Baby. Here is Joe modeling them (and trying to pull the iron down onto his head):

I added a little red cargo pocket on the side, and matching cuffs. There is nothing cuter, or more completely useless, than a baby cargo pocket. I mean, what's the baby going to put in that pocket? His cell phone? His house keys? Not likely. It's just a couple of rectangles of cute.

And here's Joe after I told him that he couldn't play with the hot iron. That forlorn expression is almost enough to get mama to say, "Well ... okay ... you can play with the hot iron. Just this once!" Almost.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Spirited Joe.

 Do you Have a Spirited Child?
  • Is your child more curious than other children his age?
  • Is your child more adventurous than other children his age?
  • Is your child more powerful than other children his age?
  • Is your child more persistent than other children his age?
  • Is your child more sensitive than other children his age?
  • Does your child never sleep?
  • Does your child climb ladders better than children twice his age?
  • Are you more worried about your child seriously hurting your dogs than vice versa?
  • When your child cries so loud the neighbors consider calling child protective services, is it because you didn't let him climb on the kitchen counter and sit on top of the toaster oven while it is in operation?
  • Are you often surprised to find that all of those marks on your child's face are bruises, not dirt?
  • Does your child have bright blue eyes and curly brown hair?
  • Is your child named Joseph Roscoe?
If you answered yes to five or more of the questions above, there is a good chance your child is "spirited" (if you answered yes to all of them, then ... Hey! That's my baby! Give him back!).

It's been a wonderful and spirited fifteen months, my sweet baby boy Joe!

(Quiz loosely paraphrased from Taming the Spirited Child, by Michael Popkin, PhD.)