Archive for November, 2009

New website

Saturday, November 28th, 2009

We interrupt the usual baby photos and poop stories to brag about my new website. I drew the pretty pictures and Joshua made it all happen. After much trial and setback and extensive persnickety requests from me, it is finally live and I think it looks lovely. I also put together an etsy shop if you are looking for an online shopping experience…

Oh Yeah

Saturday, November 14th, 2009

Michelle was here a few weeks ago and did some shoe shopping. Ronin thought her new boots were about the coolest thing ever.

When I worked in Kharkov, the office next door was a mail order bride agency. They gave me a brochure… This picture reminds me it. So sweet, so Russian, so ready to disco.

The Batbears

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

Last year around halloween, Grandpa Jeff included this little stuffed thing in one of his packages. It was a tiny teddy bear dressed in a “spooky” bat costume, purple with orange wings. Ronin immediately loved it and has been unusually attached to Batbear, as he is called. Batbear has always been Ronin’s choice when we go on outings (partly because we refuse to let her take Nigel out of the house; we are too afraid of what might happen if he were to be lost) and accompanies us on walks, to the park, to the grocery store, etc.

We decided it would be cute to make her a Batbear costume of her own. I figured she would understand what she was dressing as and be really into it.

Here’s Batbear. He’s looking a little scruffy (probably needs a bath; Batbear takes baths with Ronin as well). I used a pair of pajamas to quickly draw a pattern with orange crayon. Ronin was VERY interested in this step. Joshua had to drag her screaming away from me so I could finish my outline; let’s just say it was hastily drawn. Then I cut out the body from purple fleece—also very interested for babies.

Here’s the body sewn together. I ended up having to re-do the arms. After attaching the first one, it was clear that half-assed crayon sketches were not the way to go when it came to armhole and sleeve tailoring. I cut it off and re-designed them raglan style. This was much easier to attach and happened to match the real Batbear better anyway.

The pattern against the costume body. Ronin is helping.

Ronin was pretty excited about the Batbear costume although I’m not sure that she really understood that it was for her initially. She wanted to put it on Batbear (too big) and Nigel (still too big).

I was a little worried about how to deal with the hat part. I knew what I wanted to do but wasn’t sure how to go about making a pattern for a full head thing. Luckily, the random sketch I made worked well enough and I had Ronin’s batbear hat together in no time. There was still some purple felt left over and since Joshua and I had not come up with any ideas for ourselves, I used the rest of it to make us matching Batbear hats.

[Ronin was not impressed with the hat at first but she got used to it and consented to wearing it about 50% of the time.]

We ended up going to McMenamins’ Kennedy School for their annual halloween gig. As expected, it was total freaking chaos and Ronin was mostly bewildered by it but we had fun. Nothing beats being able to chase your kid around trick-or-treating with a pint of Hammerhead in hand. Joshua observed a couple arrive with their amped-up offspring and the moment they crossed the threshold, the wife turned to her husband and told him, “you’re on kids, I’m on beer,” and split.

The big moment came when Ronin had her first chance to trick-or-treat. She was given a package of sour patch kids and immediately asked us to “open open open.” We both thought, foolishly, that maybe she wouldn’t even like them; they are after all super sour at first. Unfortunately for us, she thought they were the best thing ever and after that, she was on a singular mission to eat candy. When given a choice, she will always choose the Snickers.

[By the time we left, she was pretty crazed; she kept wanting to roll around in the mud and wet leaves. I was not keen on this.]

When we got home, our friends Brett and Ernesta and their toddler, Saule (only a couple of months older than Ronin) stopped by as well as our neighbors Cami, Norm, and Clive (who just turned 4). It gave us a taste of just how small our house really is to have three kids and six adults milling around. (We have been considering inviting FOUR kids and their EIGHT parents to Ronin’s second birthday party. We may need something stronger than beer on hand…) All kids were basically going apeshit, with the exception of Saule (who still hasn’t figured out what was in the shiny wrappers), parental units were self-medicating with fermented beverages, and the time was nigh for REAL trick-or-treating.

We tore up the block basically between Ronin Batbear and Clive Turtle (Saule Princess and entourage bowed out early in favor of more healthy nourishment. Hippies). Mostly Ronin was interested in the glowing pumpkins on the porches and Clive was pretty into pushing the doorbells. They gave us candy just to make us leave. We covered one or two blocks and still came back with a decent haul. One house was giving out full-sized Snickers (that’s the real Fun Size); another house was giving out boxes or raisins (totally rejected by Ronin). Another house was lit up like Christmas but they didn’t have anything for trick-or-treaters; they scrounged up some cookies for us. “You guys aren’t weirdos, are you?” shouted Cami from the street. They were weirdos (but the good kind) and we continued on down the block with both kids munching oreos.

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Cheyenne Weil, Joshua Coxwell