Archive for the 'ronin' Category

Lego dogs

Friday, April 16th, 2010

When we were in the Bay Area last month, we visited with Nina and Henrik from Bika, whom we met while anchored in Portobelo, Panama. They sailed Bika (the most adorable Contessa 26 you ever did see) through the Caribbean, up the east coast of the US, into the great lakes, down the Mississippi, over to Rockport, TX, then had the boat trucked to the Bay Area to continue their trip (they started in Norway in 2005). They are currently doing some work on the boat getting her ready to head south down the west coast and eventually across the Pacific. Anyway, they brought a gift for Ronin; it was a box of legos. She loves them and it didn’t take long to expand our collection; Grandpa Jeff bought a big pink box of supposed “girl” legos when he came to visit. One must have many legos. And actually the pink is really pretty.

Ronin’s favorite thing to make are dogs. Sometimes she makes big flatbed trucks to ferry the dogs around.

This one might be a bichon frise, except cuter.

Happy green eco-dog!

Can you see those brown ‘ear’ lego pieces? Well, Ronin has something of a potty humor and often likes to pretend they are dog poops. Making the lego dogs poop brown lego poops can keep her occupied for a good long while.

Super-duper long-necked giraffe dog!

Brown-headed double-collared poodle-dog

This is Otto, our friend Hans’ deaf and blind and dumb (I mean the dog is lacking in brain power; he is definitely not mute) wiener dog. Hans loves that animal better than anything on the entire planet. Ronin likes Otto too but only because he likes to eat poop.

Hmm. This appears to be some sort of shepherd with a pink and red collar.

Legos come in the most awesome colors these days. There is a bright chartreuse green that is really pretty, and we have three shades of pink! The set Nina and Henrik gave us had some lego guys with conventional brown hairdos; however, all hair has been replaced with more interesting pieces, such as this ornate floral headdress.

My spaceship. Flower power!

Joshua’s spaceship.

Hush Little Baby

Saturday, March 6th, 2010

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Ronin is a big fan of these Sylvia Long books. She uses the tune of this one, a non-commercial re-imagining of the classic Hush Little Baby lullaby, to make up her own songs about whatever we’re doing.


Monday, March 1st, 2010

Valentines day in Portland was blah and wet and rainy and gray. We were all feeling a little snarfley anyway so energetic walks in the rain were low on the activity list. We felt somewhat inspired by the pink holiday and decided to make cookies. Ronin’s first cookie baking experience. She was very serious about it and stirred the flour for a long long time. Periodically, she would sample the flour with the tip of her tongue. When she started to spoon it back into the wet measuring cup, we knew it was done.

I used one of our christmas cookie standby recipes (‘christmas logs’) and rolled it out for cookie cutting. I have only made cookie-cutter cookies once before (not counting when I was a kid) and I’m not really sure what recipe you’re supposed to use. I do have have cookie cutters—bugs! Ronin was big into the cutting of the dough and of poking of the fingers into the cutter to eject the dough. It was all I could do to get her to actually taste the dough at first (Ronin is suspicious of all food or food-like substances) but once she got some on her tongue, she was a convert and I had to move fast to keep the dragonflies from being devoured raw.

We didn’t have a frosting decorator squirter thing but we dug out one of the syringes that the hospital sent me home with when Ronin was born (in case I had to do some tricky breastfeeding), loaded it with pink frosting, and that worked quite well. Ronin, curiously, did not need coaxing to taste the frosting. Some things you just know.


Friday, February 26th, 2010

[Female and male cardinal.]

Both Joshua and I left Ronin for the first time ever a couple of weeks ago (well, awake that is); my parents watched her for something like seven hours and how does it go? Apparently she never even asked where we were. She’s going to be a very grateful teenager, I can tell already.

We made the journey to Arizona, which included an hour commute via bus and train and that was just to get to the airport. We had one long flight, a connection in Phoenix and another super short flight. So short that when the pilot got on to welcome us aboard, he said we were already making our descent into Tucson and don’t even think about complimentary beverages. Ronin was amazingly calm and happy the entire flight and airport change. Well, until the last twenty minutes.

My parents live out in the desert south of Tucson. They have two crazy dogs, which fascinate Ronin, but who are sadly not interested in toddlers. Ronin found other diversions, such as rearranging the extensive (and likely ordered in some complicated way) CD collection, opening and dumping out spices, banging on the piano, and digging through small drawers.

Unfortunately, she managed to get sick toward the end of the trip; she had a fever and then developed a cough. A nasty one that triggered her gag reflex and made her barf. We were sort of worried about the plane ride home; my mom flew recently and a family with a sick baby got kicked off her plane in Texas. We dosed her with acetaminophen one hour before boarding.

Twenty minutes before boarding, she ate a bunch of power bar and grapes, which she then barfed up all over herself and Joshua’s shirt. Joshua emerged from the bathrooms with a wet spot the size of a dinner plate on his shirt and I took Ronin to try to clean her up. I ended up stripping her pants off to wash them and spot-cleaning her jacket and shirt. I changed her diaper so at least that was clean and brought her pantsless back to the terminal. She was kind of freaking out too—rolling around on the ground, not letting us pick her up, acting all hyper like she was overtired. Everyone bestowed upon the pantsless toddler who smelled of puke and was acting crazy looks of smiling happiness and goodwill. The flight did not go well.

We tried to keep her in our seat row while people boarded. Soon a 20-something girl stopped at our row, checking and double checking the overhead numbers. We were all “Congratulations! YOU WIN!!!” As she settled up against the window, she told us that she had just spent the past two weeks with her sister and her three small children. We hoped that they were more poorly behaved and vomitous than ours. She spent the next twenty minutes erecting an invisible wall between her seat and ours, stuffed headphones in her ears, and immersed herself in a really odd book where she stayed for the entirety of the flight.

We’re all recovering now from The Cold (except me, whose cold has morphed into a sinus infection. Bonus!). There is a lot of coughing and snot going around still. The other day she woke up crying “Dada, get the boogers OUT!”

Velveteen Rabbit

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

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[Ronin reads Velveteen Rabbit to us.]

Ronin’s newest obsession, aside from asking nonstop constantly all the time “What’s Ronin doing? What’s Mama doing? What’s the kittycat doing? What’s Ronin doing?” She doesn’t actually want to know what she/me/kittycat is doing of course, because she well knows that the she’s pouring milk onto the table/I’m getting her some toast/the kittycat is lying in the grass. It just seems to be the only way to engage in conversation. I expected the “why” questions but she doesn’t seem to be interested in the why, just the what. Anyway, the newest obsession, as I was saying, is reading her books to us. It’s totally adorable although much of what comes out of her mouth to us is total jibberish. I think it’s like when I sing along to, say, Persian pop. I “know” all the words but presumably my “pronunciation” is utter crap; it would be laughable for someone who actually spoke Persian to hear me.

On the sleep/no-nap front, things have gotten better. We discovered that after we had read fifty books to her and sung songs and talked about our day and told stories about Roninfish and she still wasn’t asleep and in fact was more agitated and squirmy than ever, we could pick her up, bounce her and sing Baby Beluga, and she’d pass right out after only a few minutes. This was a wonderful boon to our quality of life.

Of course she does not like to be bounced or sung Baby Beluga to and she struggles and screams the moment we start to cradle her. We feel bad but not as bad as we feel after three plus hours of begging and pleading with her to just lie down and go to sleep.

As far as the nap goes, she appears to have totally forgotten about it. I suppose it’s time to throw them all away for good.

Yesterday she actually went to sleep on her own in her bed while I was reading Frog and Toad. It was great.

Cheyenne Weil, Joshua Coxwell