Gender Identity

Last night, the family was in a odd configuration in which the boy was in the bathroom, on the toilet, with the door closed and the rest of us were sitting outside. You know that seems to happen sometimes?  Anyway, a conversation ensued which went like this:

Girl: I girl, you (pointing to Eric) boy, mommy girl!

Eric: What about your brother?

Girl: Ummm…boy!

Me: What makes someone a boy or a girl?

Girl: ‘Cause! Just ’cause!

Boy (from inside the bathroom): Hey, girl, let me tell you.  I’m a boy because I have a penis and you’re a girl because you don’t.

Girl: I have penis, too!

Me (yelling through the door): She says she has a penis, too.

Boy (not missing a beat): Well, then, she’s a boy.

Glad that’s been cleared up.

Cuteness explosion

I know I just put up a picture like this on Facebook, but I can’t resist another one.  I love the girl’s sense of style!! This is what happens when you ask her to say, “cheese.”

I knit the legwarmers over the summer and she’s just started to take a liking to them. Made out of a self-striping sock yarn, super easy and fun. Everyone with older girls told me that there’s more outfit craziness to come–I can’t wait to see what she puts together.

Cold Day

Today DPS cancelled school because it was going to be zero degrees. There was a lot of whining about the school closures on Facebook, especially from people who grew up in Wisconson and such, where they only close schools if the Packers lose and everyone is too depressed to do anything. Me personally, I’m happy to keep my kids out of weather that causes frostbite in 5 minutes.

On snow days, Eric usually stays home with the kids because his college closes as well. This time, they stayed open so I took off my 2nd day of work ever. When I don’t work, other people have to do the work I would have done, so I felt a lot of guilt about not going in, even though it’s not particularly busy right now. Then I felt guilty for feeling guilty about work and not putting my kids first. Do mommies get a guilt break, ever?

During the day so far, I think the girl has averaged about one time out per half hour because she screams when she doesn’t get what she wants. Screams. My ears hurt. I began to wish that school had just stayed open, frostbite be damned, because I just couldn’t take the screaming anymore. I know, I know, I’m terrible.

That all being said, we’ve done some fun crafty things and in some ways it’s been nice to be holed up with them, warm and cozy.

We started by making a paper snowflake garland. I had to look up how to do this, having forgotten from my childhood. It was so much fun! The boy loved doing this, and so did I. The girl did a few but got bored pretty quickly and found other pursuits.

Watching the snowflakes unfold was the most fun part!


Turned into these!

Then we took some dental floss and clear tape and made a garland to hang in front of our fireplace. I think it looks just lovely–you can click to enlarge. (Full disclosure–prior to this picture, I took off of the mantelpiece: An entire deck of Uno, packing tape, 2 pairs of scissors, twine, a small stuffed animal, an old glass of water and and a knitting book.  It doesn’t really look that tidy all the time)

Then we started baking and made some cookies. The girl got sent to rewash her hands about every FIVE MINUTES because she kept licking them. I can’t attest that all cookies are 100% germ free. The baking has to kill most of them, right?

I chose thumbprint cookies thinking that there were a lot of steps they could participate in. Both kids had a lot of fun sifting flour and watching the mixer. They got a bit bored with making the dough into balls, but loved rolling them in coconut and finally thumbprinting. So, so tasty.

It is now, gratefully, naptime.

Now all I need to do is come up with some ideas for the afternoon….

Fixing Nemo

[Let me start by saying that I had  a clever idea for this blog post comparing my quest of the perfect Nemo hat to that of Ahab and Moby Dick.  It was funny.  Then, I mentioned this to Eric, who proceeded to tear it apart bit by bit until it was unusable.  Something about how Ishmael isn’t Ahab and how Ahab hated Moby Dick for eating his leg and how nothing really fit and I really don’t care because every time I’ve tried to read Moby Dick all I can think about is how I’m wasting precious minutes of my life being bored out of my mind, but still, it ruined my analogy and I didn’t want to get mocked by other intellectuals so instead you are left with this:]

The girl hates hats.  The girl loves “Finding Nemo.” It is cold in Colorado, and one needs a hat for the winter.  I thought, why not make her a Nemo hat?

While I was making it, she seemed pretty excited–it’s pretty fast and only took me a few days.

Once I added the eyes, though, she backed away slowly, fear in her eyes.  I got the boy to model it:

Pattern: Fish Hat: Dead or Alive

Yarns: Loops and Threads Impeccable Worsted

I guess it might be a little freaky to see friendly little Nemo eating your head. And before someone starts, I know that it’s not an exact replica but it’s close enough for a 2 year old’s hat.

So after much discussion, we figured out that the big felted eyes were scaring her.  She insisted on a change to “puh puh buttons,” or “purple buttons.” Her favorite color is purple.  So we dug up a few buttons from a sewing kit that the boy has, and he insisted on sewing them on himself.





After that, it must have been slightly less scary, because she agreed to put it on for a little bit.

Then she wore it to the store, where it kept falling off her head and I realized it was too big, even though I’d sized it down for her head.  I added a messy looking but functional dart in the back, figuring it would be hidden by the floppy tail.


And did she love it then?

No. She completely and fully rejects the Nemo hat.  Won’t wear it.

The boy likes it, though, and will wear it.  With one request–“Mom, can we put the big eyes back on again?”



New Year and Holiday Wrap Up

Happy New Year!

Holidays were so, so fun this year.  We did our usual tradition of pierogies and started a new tradition: skiing on Christmas day.  There was no one on the mountain, the weather was beautiful, and we came home to open presents in the evening.  The boy had his first day on the mountain ever!  At the end of the day, he said, “I couldn’t stop or turn but I loved going down the mountain really fast!”  Sapana, as always, flew out for the holiday and it was so wonderful to have her here.  While she has no current plans to leave New York, I’d like to take this opportunity to point out that Denver is a fabulous place to live.

I love that the kids are old enough now to really enjoy things.  I know there’s some of you out there that are real baby people, but I’m a bigger fan of the walking/talking set.  It’s just so great to see both of them excited to decorate the tree, open presents and participate in the marathon pierogie making.

Oh! The doll! The knitted doll went over very well, and, as I suspected, was promptly named, “Baby.”  The girl received a set of baby accessories from her other aunt and was pushing her around in the stroller and putting her to sleep in the pack and play.

We also watched a few movies over Christmas, with varying reviews.  First up, “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World”–I loved it, Eric hated it, Sapana just thought it was weird.  “Get Him to the Greek”–we were expecting a “Hangover”-like comedy, and instead just got awful awful awfulness.  Three thumbs down.  “Black Swan”–creepy and scary.  Three trembling thumbs up.  And finally, an old favorite, “The Big Lebowski.”  Sapana and I were so tired we fell asleep halfway into our white russians and were only awakened by Eric’s guffaws throughout the film.  One thumb up, two lame movie snoozers.

And to finish, a wrap up of the year’s knitting and a slideshow of the holidays.  I hope everyone had a great month, and here’s looking forward to 2011!


The girl LOVES dolls.  The girl has a few dolls, all of whom are called “Baby.” They’re all on the smaller side, except for an old Cabbage Patch Kid that used to be mine growing up.  (Her name is Colette Kate and she’s from Scotland, in case you were wondering.)  The babies use the toilet, eat, get their diapers changed, and when they are asleep the girl runs around the house shushing everyone so they don’t wake up.  We’ve actually had to leave the room not to disturb the babies.  While that may sound like we’re being pushed around by a two year old, you’ve clearly never seen the girl’s insistent side.

Still she didn’t have a soft cuddly doll to play with, so I thought I’d knit one for her for Christmas.  The other part of this is that I wanted her to have  a little doll that looked like her with tan skin and blond hair and they simply don’t exist for purchase.  American Girl comes close but I wasn’t going to buy her a $90 doll.

Look! She even has toes!

Here’s a closer picture of her hair, which I made using a light tan color and a butterscotch yellow twisted together so it looks as if there’s highlights.

Pattern: Baby Doll Set

Yarn: Takhi Cotton Classic (doll and hair), Knitpicks Felici self striping (dress), Lion Brand Cotton Ease (underwear)

The tricky thing about knitted gifts for kids is that you have to prepare yourself for the very very likely chance that they will refuse to wear or play with whatever you’ve spent so much time and care making and throw it aside for whatever battery-powered toy shows up under the tree courtesy of Santa, who then gets all the credit for the cool toy.

I hope she loves her new baby–I’ll report back after Christmas and let you know if she does.


Eric had had a tradition of watching “The Last Waltz,” The Band’s last concert, on Thanksgiving and chose to resurrect it this year.

We watched it downstairs with the boy.  The girl had long since fallen asleep in our bed in her monkey-print fleece footie  jammies.  After the second interview segment in which band members talked about their lives in the 60s (think sex, drugs, rock and roll) we skipped the spoken bits and went straight to the musical performances.

The boy loved watching Van Morrison high kick around the stage in a sparkly purple jumpsuit.  He got a bit tired after that and laid down with his head in my lap.

Then The Band started to sing “Forever Young,” and, looking down at my bigger-than-I-thought-possible son, I realized that I’m not really all that young anymore.

(May God Bless and keep you always, may your wishes all come true)

The lyrics have a poignancy when you’re a parent.

(May you always do for others and let others do for you)

It’s the wishes I think every parent would have for their child.

(May you build a ladder to the stars and climb on every rung)

I looked down at the 5 year old nearly asleep in my lap, and think about all the love he brings to my life.

(May you grow up to be righteous, may you grow up to be true.)

I think of  how he wants to be a “scientist and learn everything about everything.”

(May you always know the truth and see the lights surrounding you.)

How the girl loves to touch noses, and insists on “Cheers!” and glass clinking at every meal.

(May you always be courageous, stand upright and be strong)

How proud the boy was of himself at not crying when he got his latest shots.

(May your hands always be busy, may your feet always be swift)

The mayhem on a daily basis as the kids run from the “zoo” to the “toy store,” both populated with stuffed animals.

(May you have a strong foundation when the wind of changes shift)

How the girl would scoot over to me when I went to bed and touch foreheads with me as we slept.

(May your heart always be joyful and may your song always be sung)

She wakes up with a big smile in the morning, looks at the sunrise and excitedly chirps, “Wainbow, Mommy, Wainbow!”

(May you stay forever young.)

May they both stay forever young.

May I never forget how much I have to be thankful for.

More Good Hair Days

It had been a decidedly un-cute morning.

First came the refusal to poop in the toilet, followed by an enthusiastic pooping in the underwear.

Then came the screaming fit because the “zeeba skut” (or “zebra skirt” for those of us with good enunciation) was dirty and could not be worn.

Then the tantrum because I hadn’t put enough “puh-puh pinkows” (or “purple sprinkles”) on her oatmeal.

But then she seemed to calm down and said, “Do pigtaows mommy? Teggie?” (Do pigtails mommy? Steggie?)

You may remember the ponyhawk, popularized by Sanjaya and worn well by the boy in this earlier post.  The girl calls this her “Steggie” hair because then she looks like a stegosaurus.  Of course, I obliged.


And thus was cuteness restored.