Archive for January, 2010


Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Recently we decided to take Ronin and go drive off into the wild blue muddy yonder in search of some farm animals. Horses or alpacas or something. Ronin likes these kinds of things.

After it took us a million years to get out of Portland due to some missed freeway on-ramps, we found ourselves up some windy road in the gorge. We had to drive a surprisingly long distance before we spotted our first cow. Then we couldn’t stop and admire said cow because the road was narrow and there was no shoulder. We finally found a place to pull out and look at cows and were shocked to discover that some kind of mean evil wind was blowing up in the gorge. It was hard to walk, and it was instantly freezing. We walked 30 feet, mooed at the cows, checked out that awesome little bird of prey, then all but ran back to the car and drove back home.

[Moooooo moooo moooo. Mama what’s the cow doing? Cows say moooo.]

Edited to add: Ronin has since named the bird “Post” and the cows “Honey” and “Whiteface.” We say hello to them every morning.

No nap.

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

[Nigel and Batbear go joyriding in the shopping cart.]

If Ronin disliked sleeping before, it is nothing compared to how she feels about sleep now. She ignores, fears, hates, and tries her damnedest to avoid sleep and her loathsome bed. In the past week she has napped twice out of sheer exhaustion and she has been taking upwards of 3+ hours per night to get down. The last hour or so is always a total screaming hysterical meltdown. It’s totally awful and I’ve been meaning to post something more interesting than the horror that is her sleep habits lately, but the scattered handful of brain cells that have managed to survive this beastly past week are too depressed to write blog posts.

The sad part is that we brought it on ourselves. We ‘broke’ the nap (her pacifier). We had hoped that she would slowly let go of her need for the nap but it seems that she has been getting more and more dependent upon it. The entire household would come to a standstill if we couldn’t find it when it was bedtime, she’d get all agitated and amped up trying to find it and it would take a million years to get her down, etc. Plus, she developed this nasty rash around her mouth where the nap touches.

We felt just taking it away from her was too harsh so we cut a hole in the end of it. We went to bed as usual and she popped her nap in her mouth, gave it a couple of sucks, and then pulled it out to inspect. She was utterly perplexed and we had a hard time trying not to laugh at her obvious confusion. We told her that it seemed to have broken and she told us to fix it. Then she wanted to get some tape to fix it. We taped it up and she held it for a while and we told the story of the little Ronin-fish who had a nap once when she was a little baby but then she got older and turned two and the nap broke and it was time to try to sleep without the nap but it was okay because she didn’t need it anymore, etc. And she seemed okay with it really. She was a little upset right at first when we said we couldn’t fix it (though we tried with tape) but she didn’t cry specifically for the nap after that. We put it under her pillow; she takes it out every once and a while and adjusts the tape, then puts it back.

The problem is that she doesn’t know how to sleep without it. Now that the nap is no more, what little interest she had in sleeping vanished. She just can’t figure out how to go to sleep without passing out from exhaustion, usually after screaming herself hoarse. It’s awful and I can’t figure out if we should get her another pacifier or if at this point, she’ll never revert to the far better sleep situation we had previously. It’s funny too because if you had told me then that our sleep situation was ‘far better’ than some other possible sleep situation, I would have laughed incredulously. Or killed myself.

[Toddler whose life is ruined because her cruel cruel parents broke her nap.]

WordPress Etsy Widget

Monday, January 18th, 2010

You may have noticed the new Etsy thumbnail display in the sidebar. I coded this up last week because Cheyenne wasn’t happy with Etsy Mini. The issue was that there wasn’t an easy way to adjust the background colors and other styling elements because Etsy Mini embeds an iframe or flash object. While poking around for a solution I discovered that Etsy has a public API so I went ahead and signed up as a developer and created this simple plugin for WordPress. It has more or less the same layout as Etsy Mini but it inherits css styles from the sidebar and it’s possible to customize it in your theme’s css file by using the ‘etsy’ class.

It’s free and licensed under GPL so go ahead and install it on your own wordpress site. Download it from and if you have trouble leave a comment here and I’ll try to help.

Here is a screenshot of the admin interface.

The term ‘Etsy’ is a trademark of Etsy, Inc.  This application uses the Etsy API but is not endorsed or certified by Etsy, Inc.

Bird ornaments

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Some of the bird ornaments I made for our tree (and for little christmas gifts). The black and white one was a pattern I got online. I doctored the original pattern to add interfacing to prevent stuffing lumps and I reinforced the tail. Essentially I turned a reasonably quick and easy pattern into a royal pain in the ass. My specialty!

All the other felt birds were ideas I ripped from making random google image searches. I made them out of wool felt and embroidery floss. I haven’t really ever embroidered before but there are a lot of online tutorials.

I took Ronin’s mobile apart temporarily to add raindrops to the tree.

I felt compelled to make a mustache ornament since they are ALL the rage this year. Mustaches, not specifically mustache ornaments, but I imagine they are out there.

Ronin loved the birds. I made several of the stuffed fabric ones and put them on the lower branches. Ronin had a field day rearranging them each morning.

Coffee and naps

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

[Ronin napping*** with her friends. Clockwise from upper left we have Muddy, Bones, Bunny, Punk Rock Girl, Batbear, Ronin of course, Nigel, and Chess.]

Earlier this evening, Ronin managed to get a hold of an old coffee can that still had some coffee bean crumbs. These she merrily dug out and shoved up her nose as far as she could, an alarming habit she has with things that smell interesting (rosemary, pine needles, and oregano are repeat offenders). We picked out what we could but she spent the entirety of dinner sneezing and digging around up there with her finger. During the soup course she managed to eject one of the bigger chunks and we idly wondered how much of the stuff she managed to actually snort down and ingest. I suppose we got our answer around 7ish when she quite suddenly started literally bouncing off the walls. Her cheeks got all flushed and even though she missed her nap (which means she should have passed out dead around 6:30), she spent the next couple of hours running in circles in her bedroom, climbing onto the furniture and jumping off, ferrying her stuffed animals busily from one part of the house to another, etc. We were mildly alarmed but happy that at least she was in a good mood. We just kept asking her if she wanted to go to bed (to which she’d immediately reply “Nope”) until finally there was hesitation in her reply and Joshua seized the opportunity to put her in her bed. He told her the Billy Goats Gruff story (a favorite; it’s the library’s fault) and she was out after only a few minutes. No more coffee for Ronin.

*** NOT today’s nap.

Cheyenne Weil, Joshua Coxwell