Archive for 2010


Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

Ronin was given this crown from Whole Foods. It has tomatoes on it and for four days she wore it constantly and was the tomato queen.

Then, it was sadly left in the trunk of the car for the duration of the four hottest days of the year nestled up with a pair of soiled undies and pants (accidents happen..). Basically, when I opened the car after a week, I seriously thought an animal had crawled up our tailpipe and somehow wedged itself up in our trunk to die, decompose, and rot foully. I’m telling you the stench was unbearable. When I finally figured out the source of the godawful smell, I was incredulous (after all, isn’t urine supposed to be sterile or something?). I soaked all articles of clothing + the tote bag they were in for HOURS in enzyme stain remover solution and then took them to the laundrymat for a serious washing. They still aren’t quite right after all that but they are mostly back to normal.

I tossed the Tomato Crown.

And I made her a new one.

Ronin is a big fan of the skirt-over-pants look.

Ronin models this year’s Tour de Fat t-shirt.

I thought I’d include one more shot that cracks me up.

Ronin likes to make salad in the salad spinner. Here she’s tossed together a bright end-of-summer mix of puzzle pieces, stuffed skunk, and underwear. She will eventually add a lime squeezer, the cover to a Curious George sticker album, plastic zoo animals, four pirate figurines, wheels from a toy car, two dirty socks, and Nigel.

Nigel makes everything taste just right.

When was the last time I talked about poop?

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

[Our child would be the one who is naked.]

We have potty trained babies around these parts! It’s been almost three weeks and it’s a wonderful thing, I tell ya. One day she deigned to pee on a board in the backyard and after a day or two, we were able to coax her inside to try it in the toilet. Now she often uses indoor plumbing.

It’s not all fun and games though, there’s that little thing about how they may be able to pee in the right place at the right time but they don’t quite get the wiping part. In fact, it’s downright foolish to leave her in there with a roll of toilet paper anywhere in reach (or sight, since she’ll shriek if she can’t get at it). Usually she’ll unroll it all over the floor and rip it to shreds, poking little bits in one at a time. Once she dropped the entire roll into the bowl. Now, if she refuses to let me stand guard, I take it with me. There are often loud vocal protests but I am unmoved by such demonstrations.

About a week ago I noticed that her hairbrush (which often lives on the back of the tank) looked weird. It had bits of paper molded into the bristles in a strange way. Almost as if someone had, say, stuck it in the toilet bowl with a bunch of toilet paper (and whatever else…). No, I thought, she wouldn’t do that. But then I asked her what was up with the hairbrush and sure enough, she happily told me she cleaned the toilet with it. The brush is still sitting on the back of the tank; I’m just not sure what to do with it. She never let me use it on her hair anyway.

She’s a little weird about preschool peeing though; she’ll probably be one of those kids who can’t poop unless seated upon her own toilet. I hear it’s not uncommon. Last time I picked her up, she had evidently held it all day long and by the time I got there, she was visibly uncomfortable. We took her in and she went at last, a lot; she even wanted me to hold her hand as she sat there (this is unusual: at home, she usually boots me out—probably hoping I’ll forget to take the toilet paper with me when I go). I guess now we know that she can hold it. Next time she says she has to go when we are on the road, we’ll be all, nope, sorry kid, you will just have to hold it until we get to California.

[We got her this US map puzzle at a garage sale and it’s her favorite thing these days; we put it together at least once a day. She has most of the states memorized and usually can put about 3/4 of the thing together on her own—when she’s paying attention, that is.]

Rainy Portland

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

Here in Portland, we have had cold rainy Spring weather up until July 3rd. I kid not. It went from the upper 50s to the 90s in 48 hours and I’m still kind of working out the kinks in my brain. Our lawn is still totally lush and green and requiring frequent mowing. Last year this time? It was a matted-down dead prickly sea of brown (except for the dandelions, those bastards are unstoppable); we spent last year’s 4th of July sitting in the shade with our feet in a kiddie pool. Our garden this year is going strong, except for the tomatoes, which we planted a bit early and who got utterly pommeled by some nasty hailstorms and then finished off with an extra six weeks of winter. I seriously doubt any of them will bear fruit by next freeze. It’s pretty much tragic since the only thing I really care about, vegetable garden-wise, is a really good tomato.

We went for a couple of hikes up in the gorge in the past couple of weeks. It was wet and rainy and Ronin was crabby since she didn’t nap but we had fun. Everything was very green and drippy.

The snails were out in force and we had educational moments every 30 feet or so along the way. Ronin was pretty interested in watching them sit there poking their antennae in and out; it was slow going for a while.

Well, she did nap after all, for a short while. Everyone was happier afterward.

We had mentioned to her that maybe we could go see the big fish and we’ve learned that once she gets something fixed in the brain, if that thing does not come to pass, there will be a massive shrieking meltdown. So we went to the hatchery and watched some enormous sturgeon swim around for a while.

This fish is like 800 pounds and ~12 feet long. I will think about this every time I go swimming in any large river for the rest of my life.

In addition to the underwater viewing window, we can feed little brown trout-snacks to a raging pondful of massive rainbow trout. This is a big toddler pleaser. I like them too but mostly I kind of wish I could have one to take home for dinner.

Another outing had us wandering through the cottonwoods near Smith Bybee lake. Ronin liked walking on the fallen beaver logs. Those crazy animals can chew down a tree that is over a foot in diameter. How the hell? (And why?)

At the end of the walk is a little observation building with a handful of little windows at various heights that look out over onto the marsh. The idea is, presumably, to observe nature without disturbing the nervy little ducks. They even have windows low enough for Ronin to peek through but she’s not a quiet observer. We didn’t see any ducks.

We did see some of these.

The lake is higher than normal and the metal walkway out to the observation building was flooded. Ronin thought this was great. It was all we could do to keep her from completely stripping off her jacket and shirt and diaper (it wasn’t warm and the water was super cold).


Unfortunately, Ronin walked right off the edge of the grate in the split second that Joshua looked away from her and she fell in the lake up to her neck. This bent her right out of shape and we immediately had to strip her of her sodden jacket/shirt/diaper. The tragedy of the moment was swept away finally when we discovered this teensy little green frog. Ronin really liked this frog and we sat and watched him quake in fear for quite some time.

I carried Ronin all the way back to the car hugged in my sweatshirt to keep her warm. Little monkey.

Much Misc

Monday, July 12th, 2010

Ronin is getting tall! A real little girl these days. We actually started her in a local preschool two days a week. We felt like she would really enjoy the activities and different stuff, and the other kids to play with. Plus, she could definitely use some socializing. She’s not always going to hang with two protective hovering satellites that intuit her every move and desire. She seemed to really enjoy it the first couple of times and even napped (!) but the second week, we had tears when we dropped her off and cries that she didn’t want to go. Once we left though, we got calls from the teacher to tell us that as soon as we left, she cooled down and was pretty much fine and happy. Unfortunately (for the teacher, less so for Ronin), she stopped napping. She hasn’t napped now for a few weeks (except once when we essentially “forced” her to by bouncing her like we did when she was a baby). The no nap means that by the time we come to pick her up, she is completely wiped and falls asleep in the car or on the bike seat on the ride home. Thussly refreshed, she is absolute hell to get down for the night.

Actually, she’s been hell to get down for a good while now. I’ve felt so miserable about it that I have refrained from bitching here online about it, and in so doing, have not been posting anything at all. It just made me so upset, I could only come out with negative things to say about her and the sleep situation. But, things seem to be getting a little better; she went down without any fuss at all tonight.

I just cut her hair for the first time yesterday (nothing daring, just a respectable bob). She has never let us brush her hair with a hairbrush and so I follow her around waiting for any moment when she is otherwise occupied with something—eating or playing with bathtoys; on occasion, I’ve snuck into her room and done this while she slept—and I pry carefully at the dense dreadlocks that have formed at the back of her head. (Ronin, in addition to being a serial brush-hater, is a major hair-twirler when confused or tired or just lost in thought.) She of course hates this and says: “Mama! Are you getting out the rats? DON’T DO THAT!” And runs away from me. The shorter hair seems to keep the rats at bay, and I got rid of a couple of the more tenacious of the bunch in the process.

[Ronin looking cute in her hat. I haven’t gotten any pics of the new ‘do yet. Next time.]

One historic issue we’ve dealt with since forever has been the non-eating thing. Curiously, as she gets older, she is getting less picky about the consumption of food. Everything I have ever heard about toddlers and food has been to the contrary so it is with great trepidation that I watch her suddenly deign to touch green vegetables, nibble on a lettuce leaf say. I’ve heard of people who would never let their toddler eat pizza but seriously, we rejoiced when Ronin actually ate a bite and didn’t spit it out. She’s getting less picky about fruit too and will, on occasion, eat things that we did not have to pantomime picking off the bush or tree for her (though she still won’t touch raspberries once we are more than five feet from the bush they came off of).

One of the outfits Ronin picked out: David Bowie shirt over Tahitian dancer girl outfit with green tiered skirt. She’s big into layering and will emerge from her room with three t-shirts over a dress with a skirt on top, pants underneath, and two different socks on. I think she is practicing to be a bag lady when she grows up.

Potty training is in full force hereabouts. We introduced a potty right around when she turned two when I was all gung-ho on the whole deal. She seemed to be aware of the various bodily functions and very curious about the potty aparatus and potty-themed storybooks and the like. Potty #1 was a raging success for about 35 minutes and now that we own three, any hope of reliving those first moments have all but been shattered. She uses none of her potties, naturally, and on the rare occasions we have managed to coax her out of a diaper, she has shown a preference for the step-board that we use to get in and out of the garden shed. Today was uncharacteristically sucessful however, she peed twice next to trees at two different parks and once on the step-board. I’m trying not to get my hopes up too high.

Ronin models potty#2 for us. It can be a lot of fun and used for many different things, observe:

You see how she’s combined her newfound enthusiasm for food with her interest in the potty? It’s moments like these that make a mama proud.

I’m the featured seller on Etsy!

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

cheyenne weil

Probably most of you know that I’ve been selling my jewelry through Etsy and now I got picked as a ‘featured seller!’ It’s pretty damned exciting; I’m on the front page, they posted an interview, and I’ve been getting a zillion emails and messages asking about my jewelry, custom pieces, and just notes saying nice things about me and my work. It’s made my day.

One more thing – I should mention also that I got a couple of great write-ups on other blogs in the past few weeks: Emerald Green Weddings in Seattle, and earthfriendlywedding blog!

Cheyenne Weil, Joshua Coxwell