creidylad: (Default)
One or both of the girls sat down at my computer and randomly bought from the iTunes store:

A surprisingly long list of random music )

My first thought is -- I had no idea they could do this much damage as I have it set to prompt me for a password before purchasing music, so I must have left iTunes open on my desktop right after a purchase, and I am never doing that again.

My next thought is -- what a great opportunity to get to know some new music! I know only a handful of these artists remotely, and am eager to hear thoughts on all of them from anyone who has heard of them.

My third thought is -- how on earth did THESE SONGS get selected? I cannot figure out what weird random search resulted in them turning up, or how clicking one led naturally to the next, except by the random association of what people tend to purchase together. I imagine this might be clearer if I understand most of this music at all. Any thoughts on that?
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There are eleven kids in Gwen's class. Four of them were Spider-man this year. Two were red Spider-man, and two were black Spider-man. This included the twins, who were split on the red/black axis.

Gwen, on the other hand, was a pirate. There were many pirates in the Kindergarten Halloween Parade overall, but Gwen was the only girl pirate that we could see.

She's been practicing her "Yo ho ho!" and "Yarrrr!" (both almost impossible for her to say spontaneously.)

Pictures later.
creidylad: (Default)
From last year's teacher, received last night:

Just writing to say good luck tomorrow! I'm sure you're all excited and nervous, but I know it will be great.
Keep in touch.

From this year's teacher, received 20 minutes after the end of class:

Hi Cordelia,
Gwen had a great day. She is such a happy and bubbly child. She enjoyed
playing in the kitchen area and with the flannel board. She is already
naming most of the students in class, including the children she just
met today!
Mary Lou

Gwen is in good hands.

Gwen giving Mary Lou an apple
creidylad: (Default)
A study in what we argue about in this house:

So Gwen and I decided to work on some shrinky dinks today. She loves shrinky dinks -- and I had the idea that we could make characters from a story and then act it out. She loved this idea and got excited when I mentioned the Three Little Pigs, so I outlined the characters/props, and she did the coloring-in. We ended up with: 3 houses, one (purple) big bad wolf dressed in a suit, one overdressed male pig, one very girly female pig, and one pig dressed like a hippie.

When I showed them to Christopher, I noted that the overdressed pig was getting the house made out of straw because he clearly had messed up priorities and had spent his money on clothes, and Girly Pig got the cut wood Victorian because she happened to care more about the cute appearance than substance, and Hippie Pig was getting the brick house because he was really an environmentalist and had therefore engaged in some real long-term thinking.

Christopher was emphatic that Hippie Pig should be living in the straw house, because hippie pig was zen enough to realize everything passes away, even his house of straw, and that it was okay that the Big Bad Wolf was coming to blow the house in.

I said this was ridiculous, that Hippie Pig wasn't about to go creating a house he knew was just going to turn back into a pile of rubble and go into some landfill after the levees broke.

I think we were about to turn into an argument about natural materials when the kids started acting up again and the whole conversation devolved into us giggling about Animal Farm.

Meanwhile, I leave you all with Hippie Pig. That is a headband around his forehead. What do you all think? And yes, feel free to yell at me about Girly Pig and her cute wooden house, but seriously -- someone had to be assigned to the wooden house, and I did try to keep Hippie Pig fairly gender-neutral.

Hippie Pig
creidylad: (Default)
So, I should also write a bit of an update about the girls.

Gwen: Gwen is doing really well. She has her assisted speaking device now (the Vanguard), which is a bit large and clunkly but will soon be replaced by the Vantage -- the same device but smaller and more portable, and is learning how to use it at a steady clip. The other day she wanted pasta soup and found the 'macaroni' icon then went to the abc screen and spelled out S O U O P. Then she hit the button to make it all be said together: Macaroni Soup. She giggled and hit it a few times. I was insanely proud -- I had no idea she knew how to spell soup! (We of course got her pasta soup, pronto!) She's intensely clever, but I worry all the time she's off in here own world too much and is so used to the idea that nobody will understand her abstract thoughts and questions that she's given up on trying to communicate them. For instance, her wonderful uncle, [ profile] zantony, gave her The Giving Tree for the holidays, and we read it together. Afterwards, she was making great eye contact and looked so contemplative, and was slowly and thoughtfully saying a lot of things, half-questions, half-statements. In these I could understand the word 'tree' repeatedly but... that was it. I tried as hard as I could to make supportive and encouraging responses and tried to get her to repeat things to give me a second chance to understand but... she wandered off. Sigh. And the Vanguard ("talk box") is not yet helpful in situations like these as she doesn't yet know how to express complex, abstract thoughts with it. (neither do I for that matter. I worry it really can't be used that way.) She remains very interested in shepherding her little sister -- both for the sake of safety and for the sake of keeping her out of her own toys.

Glory continues to be a wonder -- but this week a very congested and mildly flu-ridden wonder. She has many words -- words for fish and cat and bear and book and apple and eggs and a host of other things. Fish are her favorite thing ever -- so much so that [ profile] ibizar and [ profile] woldkill gave us a 10 gallon tank they weren't using and we now have it stocked with three rosie barbs and 2 tricolor "sharks". Running into Christopher's office to watch the fish antics is more or less Glory's favorite activity apart from chasing her big sister around the house. She's into everything, she loves to be read to, to do her peg puzzles, stack a few simple blocks... a host of things. Her other absolutely favorite thing is music of any kind -- she loves to play her simple percussion instruments, or to hit the music buttons on battery toys and bop around. She walks forwards and backwards and climbs flights of stairs and couches and I am pretty sure would fly if she could sprout wings.

And now... I'm cutting this a bit short, as Mom is about to come over and relieve me so I can take a shower. She's also bringing hot bagels. She really is awesome. I just wish we could talk instead of all the ranting and lectures.

Baby Steps

Sep. 9th, 2006 05:12 pm
creidylad: (Glory Glee)
Gloriana took four steps today. Four. She turned nine months old two days ago. She's been pulling up to standing since before our trip to MO. She's bright and happy and alert and loves music of all kinds. Right now she is beating a tattoo with a spoon against a wipes container. Upon seeing people she likes or trying to initiate contact she will wave one (sometimes two) arms and make a noise like, "Hiiiiiii." I think it is her first word, and she's been saying it a few weeks.

Gwen continues to excel in her big-sister role, though of course she is attention-seeking in some negative ways that have nothing to do with the baby. She is careful with her, and is showing a new emotional attachment.

Two days ago she accidentally bumped the baby, who fell down and started to cry. I said to look at her little sister, and how sad she was because Gwen made her fall down by accident. Gwen became crestfallen, crossed the room, and hugged her. Which cheered her up. And made me swell with pride.

Three weeks of school-less vacation time has left Gwen very much at lose ends, which I expect to get worse next week in California. I'm looking forward to making our routine work once we're back.
creidylad: (Default)
Glory, by Gwen

I didn't even know that Gwen knew how to spell Glory.

Edit: I am pretty sure that is not a penis. It's a toy. And no, I do not mean a toy penis. Just, like, a toy.
creidylad: (Default)
Spring is sprung )

More pictures here.


Mar. 12th, 2006 07:47 pm
creidylad: (Kiss)
I was cooking up pasta . Gwen, as is her wont, ran with me into the kitchen and saw the steam rising as I poured the pasta into the colander. "Hot," she said. ("Hah")

"That's right," Christopher said, bouncing the baby about in his arms. "It's hot steam rising." We've talked to her about steam a few times. One can never be too sure how much she's absorbing.

Then she ran off to her room, and returned a moment later with the empty water container for her humidifier.

She was clearly very proud of herself for putting the steam/humidifier thing together (we'd talked about it before, but again, one can't always be sure what she gets).

She was proud, and so were we.
creidylad: (Default)
Some days I really wonder how to tell people what is up with my life. "I played with Baby all morning, she's still cuter than hell and learning lots. I remain insanely lucky." It doesn't make for a good read.

Ah, but speaking of good reads, I treated myself to a copy of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen this weekend. It was quite good, as [ profile] zantony promised, and I'm looking forward to reading more and to the movie, but I keep wondering, what is Alan Moore's deal with rape plots? They've been in most of his work that I've seen date. I realize not all the main characters in the 'League' are meant to be sympathetic, but some of the stuff in this comic that seemed to be getting passed over as funny (a foray into a 'girl's reform school' type place plucked from Victorian erotica) actually was quite disturbing. BTW, here is a page of awesome footnotes to the whole comic book.

I gave up on reading The Amber Spyglass and loaned it to a friend. I think I am still technically in the middle of Kavalier and Clay.

Just as I'd typed all that, the phone rang. My contractor. He did show, yesterday, got most things done. Promised to return this afternoon to finish the last three... and when I heard his voice on the phone I think I got a little sharp. He was just calling to confirm that he was coming. Phew.

Meanwhile, took another quiz, pursuant to last week's revelation that I am an angel. This one claims I'm nurturing, which I guess is cool, but I don't actually see what it has to do with the angel in question. Also, despite motherhood, my ass is not actually that big.

Which ArchAngel are you most like?

brought to you by Quizilla


Sep. 24th, 2002 07:20 pm
creidylad: (Default)
Thanks all for the good thoughts and wishes following the death of my parents' dog. I spent today with my father in an attempt to keep him from dwelling on everything. That dog was really the center of his life until Baby came along, so I've been attempting to make sure he remembers there's a new center. I think it worked. After hysterical crying on his part on Monday he seemed in much better spirits today. In fact I suspect this will bring about a change in our routine in general, with more time spent up at his house.

Contractors are theoretically due here between 8:30 and 9:00 am tomorrow. Anyone taking odds?
creidylad: (Default)
Gwen just outgrew 6-9 month size. She is just moving into 9-12 month size... so how can it be that her 12-18 sized pygamas are already a little snug? Ah, the jigsaw puzzle that is children's warddrobes...

My mother and I have each selected a heap of clothing for when she grows into 18 month size... everything my mother picked has embroidery and bright colors. Everything I picked is plain and either tan or grey or both. So it goes.

In quite other news, my contractor is virtually AWOL. I don't know when my backsplash is going up, or when my cabinets get glass, or when he's going to put up the microwave spacer or order the new knobs or put in my sink pullout or replace my hallogen lightbulb or clean up the pencil mark...

"Soon" he tells me. I'm still not sorry I went with him, but this had better be done before the end of the month...

Meanwhile, I think I am in denial about the fact that Patrick is coming to visit this weekend. THAT should be interesting.
creidylad: (Default)
Fussy baby problem solved. Put on some flashy music, dance around with exagerrated arm gestures, and the baby is cooing happily, even after I sit down to type, she's gotten interested in her toys again. All she wanted was a Mommy Show. I keep wondering, when she's older, will we dance around the living room together? We've got like this giant wall of tacky bevelled mirrors we're not able to get rid of without damaging the walls, so although not large, this space will be most excellent for a creative little girl to really get her groove on.

Today I was actually thinking of catching up on some of my reflections on visiting my husband's family down in Mississippi early in August. That all happened before I got my livejournal, but I'm still processing it all.

For one thing, let me start with the last part: our 14 year old niece came to visit from Pennsylvania after we got back. When she was last here, she stayed for two weeks and had a psychotic episode. It became obvious she'd been sexually abused at some point in her history. We wanted to keep her, but my father made it clear to us we would not be able to get her help, and that what she really needed was immediate admittance to a hospital-- but that no hospital in NY would take her as she wasn't yet a state resident, and wasn't on our insurance. It was heartbreaking, but we took her back to her mother with promises, from her mother, she'd get help right away.

Well. I'll make a long, painful story short. She didn't get help right away. She did finally have some, but whenever things got stable for her, she was ripped out of the environment. She got bounced a bit between her parents, became sexually active, started smoking...

And here she was coming to visit. She showed up in heavy makeup and teenager's typical failed attempt at fashionable attire, and... she was delightful. She'd become Wicca in recent months, and was interested in reading and learning as much as she could about it. She's already read a great deal. She told me in a world-weary tone she's tired of 'older men' and likes her current boyfriend, who is her own age and 'sweet.' It's hard to put my finger on what's changed... she strikes me now as someone who is comfortable with herself, and happy just to be in the world.

My husband took her and our other niece, the honors student, to see Les Miserables. The other niece (12) unfortunately didn't "get" it. The Wicca niece leaned over and whispered to her, "I think it's about redemption." Turns out she'd been reading Les Mis... in French! I think she got a lot out of the experience of seeing it on Broadway.

And why should Wicca make me so happy as a choice for her? I guess in part because it's a goddess-oriented religion so I'm happy she's breaking into a paradigm where women are valued. But its more than that. Part of me is just rudely pleased to stick it to her bible-thumping father (an at least temporarily reformed drinker/gambler). Partly I think I'm glad she's found a religion that will bring her into an alternate mindset, break her out of the small-town-hicksville outlook a little, have her searching in books and in her soul for meaning instead of in a church. It will challenge her.

It was a pleasure to take her around the city. We in fact took her to a store called Enchantments, which is (I gather) sort of the Wiccan mecca of New York City. Her eyes lit up. I bought her a book and some herbs there, and at Barnes and Nobles we got her a tarot deck with explanatory book. She really got a kick out of the Village, I think, and was articulate about what she was seeing and thinking and why she found it so interesting. I found myself sorry the visit was so short, and looking forward to the next one.


Aug. 28th, 2002 10:07 am
creidylad: (Default)
It's started! My daughter has started to randomly go 'momomomomom.' It began last night. Every time she does it (every other minute) I pop up and go, that's right, MAMMA, me (tapping my chest), I'm MAMMA. Does she get it? Does she like the response? Is this why she keeps repeating herself? I think this is how language begins. What if I'm wrong? What if my daughter is tottering on the brink of being an early talker and somehow I'm not sending her the right signals of encouragement and reinforcement, so she misses her chance, and then doesn't try talking again for months or even years and her whole schedule of brilliance is thrown off thus preventing her from writing her first symphony at age twelve? Will she hate me for it? AEIIIIII!
creidylad: (Default)
Today we were supposed to go to the Ren Faire, Baby and I, but for various reasons that didn't work out, so we had a pleasantly lazy day. Then evening rolled around and in the midst of discussing dinner plans my parents offered that we leave Baby with them and go out, just the two of us. I had enough milk stored up that we could do it... so we did... and it worked! Easy as that. Baby was delighted to be there and delighted when we came to get her at the end, and I got to wear a non-breastfeeding dress for a change. Dinner was utterly delightful, too.

Lest anyone think I have only horrid things to say of my parents...
creidylad: (Default)
Now, a longer note about Tuesday, which was utterly delightful.

The Better Half took Baby and I over to a friend's house on his way to the city, where we hung out all day. Eventually, her husband and mine showed up after work and we made dinner. A fun time was had by all. The babies, born within four days of each other, are developing at roughly the same pace (they both have two lower teeth, even, and are just learning to creep and threatening to crawl). There was one point where they were even linking arms and cooing at us and each other. At other points, they each had their hand on the same toy and seemed to be vaguely psyched about relating that way.

Not to mention how refreshing it is to spend the day with a friend and fellow-mother.

At the same time (you didn't think there'd be a whole post where I didn't mention my parents, right?) I get sick of my mother's constant, and I mean CONSTANT nagging about finding myself a mothering group. I know there is one at the Westchester Jewish Center but... that's not what I want. What I want are a group of AP style mothers with parenting philosophies similar to mine, and that's proving harder to find, though I'm making efforts...
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I created this journal in the hopes that it would get me actually putting my internal monologues into words instead of just running them through in my head over and over again. So far, it's not really working. Let me back up then, and talk about my visit to the Met on Friday.

First of all, I hadn't thought I was going to go. The Costume Institute was running an exhibit on Adrian, a 1930s Hollywood film costumer and 40s-50s haute couture designer, but I'd given up on seeing it as it was closing today (Sunday). I mentioned it in passing to my mother on Thursday, and she suggested that perhaps my father could take me. He expressed reluctance. I said it was no big deal and not to worry about it.

Then comes Friday morning. The phone rings, and it is my father, telling me he is going to pick me up at 10 am and we are going to the museum. Telling, not offering. I try to demur. He gets belligerent. So here I am, off to the city with my father in one of his moods.

All of this is fine, except I should mention my father sort of has hypoglycemia, and when he hasn't eaten or drunk enough, gets cranky as all hell. By the time we hit the city, he was cranky beyond belief, but knew he was hungry, so we stopped to eat (treat on me... ugh that museum restaurant is expensive, but it was yummy). Baby was a total angel through all of this, and Dad was charming at the multitude of waiters who stopped by to ooh and ah over her.

(Let me note as an aside that everyone who coos at your baby wants to tell you about their own baby. Even if their baby is 33 years old right now and a professional teamster, the parents still want to tell you about their first gurgle and how cute their toes were. They never stop being babies.)

Then we saw Adrian. It was fascinating, or at least his stuff for the movies was. His private collections were OK. A friendly queen was ogling the gown made for Greta Garbo in "Queen Christina" with me and we had one of those little New York moments when we're both sharing details and tidbits we both know perfectly well but can't help clucking over in wonder and excitement. ("It was too heavy for her to 'float' in, she could barely move with all those sequins." "Did you know that was $2,000 of sequins in depression-era dollars?" "That's a lot of sparkle!") Then the friendly queen and I made eye contact, and it was all over. Whoops! We both thought, I'm talking to stranger in New York. Better look like I have somewhere important to be and move on.

So I did, I turned around and there's my father, hovering near the exit. I was wearing Gwen in her pouch on my chest, and he's looking irate and unhappy until I tell him I'm done and we can leave.

A brief stopover in Gauguin, then he was sugar-crashing again, so I took him to the cafe and asked for a blondie, realized I didn't need the calories, and asked for a banana instead. So of course he bought me the banana and the blondie, and looked hurt when I didn't want to eat the blondie. He then proceeded to binge on sweets. *Sigh*. That just means the next crash is harder and sooner.

Then we drove home, through a rain storm so thick that at 2pm we couldn't see a thing around us except a few headlights and the misty outlines of the Hudson River beyond the edge of the highway. I suggested perhaps waiting out the storm somewhere where there wasn't three inches of water on the highway, but he was having none of it.

On the whole, it was a pleasant day, despite the moods and nerve-wracking drive.

A note about Adrian's movie creations -- they were brilliant works not just of design but of iconography. Tracy Lord, Kate Hepburn's character from Philadelphia Story, was supposed to have a "brass heart," so her white gown is detailed with brass accents in an amazonian pattern. Subtle. Fashionable. But totally appropriate. Now I want to design movie costumes...


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