Monday, July 28, 2014

What I *%$#ed Up

Since my Twitter followers are all dying to know, I am sure, what exactly it is that I %#*@ed up on Saturday:

[ The tweet in question ]
Jack- I'm afraid I'll fuck it up, I'm gonna fuck it all up
Joe- No you'll be fine go away
*2 minutes later*
Jack- I fucked it all up. Twice.

here is what I *%$@ed up on Saturday.



And that's all I have to say about that.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Meet Baby

This baby.

Hi, Baby.

The baby from the Waldorf toys catalog that comes up in Google when one searches for "Waldorf Toys Catalog." The one featured on the cover of the catalog, clutched by a gorgeous be-sweatered Waldorf child prancing through a gorgeous bokeh'ed Waldorf meadow. The kind of baby doll that children in catalogs and blog photos croon sweet nothings to, play-nurse alongside Mama with her newborn, the one they cradle in organic toy baby slings, feed handcarved wooden food to, and sing to sleep in miniature cradles in softly-lit pastel playrooms.*

Well, our baby's favorite activity is spitting on the floor.

A lot.

And getting in trouble for it.

And then spitting on the floor some more.

And also pooping and peeing on the floor.

And leaping from tall places onto the floor.

And encouraging others to leap from tall places onto the floor.

And palling around with the stuffed rabbit, whom we all know is a bad influence.

Spitting outside, at least.

Learning the correct place to potty from someone who's been there.

Having a blast.

Our baby is a gas.

And we love him.


* I ain't knockin' the life. I have that-life envy, a little bit, sometimes. Really. It's pretty. It just ain't us.

Friday, July 18, 2014

DIY Toddler Calendar

The major weekly rhythm in Apple's life is Papa Home vs. Papa At Work. This question is often the first thing out of Apple's mouth upon waking in the morning. One morning I grabbed Apple's markers and a big piece of paper and made a seven-day calendar and taped on little squares saying "Papa home" in the spaces for Friday through Sunday,* and made some more for important events like going to the library, etc. After several weeks of use, though, the little paper squares were looking pretty ragged. So I sat down and did the thing properly.

DIY Toddler Calendar
Apple's calendar does not typically say "Apple's" Calendar.

Tools and Materials I Used:

  • posterboard ($1.49 for a 2-pack at my grocery store; used only one)
  • laminator and lamination pockets (used about 40 cents worth of pockets)
  • velcro stickers (used about $4 worth of the $15 box)
  • markers
  • scissors
  • ruler
  • measuring tape
  • pencil
  • photo cutter
  • tape 

So the calendar cost about $6 to make. I think it's quite handsome, despite the failings of my penmanship.

The box of velco stickers are notably absent from this photo,
since they were hiding from Apple in my desk.

I cut the poster board down to 22 inches across and 13 inches tall. Each calendar space is 3 inches wide and 5 inches tall. The event tags are 2.5 inches wide by 2 inches tall. These sizes accommodate two events per day.

I sketched the calendar outline with pencil and overlined it in marker. I actually used my 24" x 6" quilter's rule for sketching, it was lovely. Labels for the days of the week and a big "[Apple's] Calendar" across the top in a poor showing of This is a sample of my very best handwriting.** "Loops" stickers above each day of the week and two of them in each calendar space, 3.5 cm in from the top and from the bottom. (I prefer working in metric, but my measuring tools are usually uncooperative.)

On some remaining posterboard I penciled a grid of 2" x 2.5" spaces and filled them in with Apple-y events. Also one that says "today" with a little arrow pointing down. Then I ran that through the laminator, sliced 'em up, and rounded off the corners. Those laminated corners are sharp.***

Apple's life outside the home, summed up in a dozen little tiles.
And a full week's worth of "papa home"'s for that one time a year it happens.

Then a "hooks" sticker for the back of each tag.

Hooks on tags and loops on posterboard means the
calendar isn't all sharp and jaggy to the touch.
Unless you neglected to round off your tag corners, that is.

Since we obviously don't use all the tiles at once, I made a pocket for storing them. I folded a piece of posterboard up almost in half, then drew in the sides of the top half to pooch it out into a pocket. Then I taped the heck out of it so it would stay that way, and taped it to the wall.

I used a gumband later to stack all the Papa Homes together so I don't root through them each week unnecessarily. 

handy access to tiles means calendar will actually get used

Including, of course, use by Apple who apparently thinks his weeks aren't busy enough.

Apple delights in referring to his calendar, in reading it- accurately or otherwise- to Joe over supper while we talk about the day, in repeating back the names of the days of the week with us. It's an important piece of his making sense of the world right now. It gives him reference for a very big piece of information he needs each day, and it gets me off the hook in the mornings for "Papa home? Papa brrrrrmmm?" so I can get in the last bite of my oatmeal.


* In the summer, Joe works four ten-hour days and takes off Friday. The long weekends are great, even if Monday through Thursday are a little tough sometimes.

** Flashbacks to endless strings of "S's" on my report card for penmanship. Unsatisfactory, Satisfactory, Outstanding. S after S after S. Got one O once. Then back to S's. Teacher, why don't you love me?****

*** It was worth the flashbacks to my awful grade-school art class in which there were TWO art lessons- 1) painting clothespins like people and panthers, the school mascot, and 2) rounding the corners off of construction paper and pasting them together. (Really that's all we did for six years.)****

**** Yes, school may have given me issue upon issue.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

An Open Letter to Raspberry Brambles

Dear Raspberry Brambles,

 It seems to me that 1) basing your seed propagation on animals eating your fruit, and 2) having a gajillion thorns, are evolutionary strategies at odds with each other. Perhaps you could reconsider the whole jaggers thing?


 - Jack

P.S. This note is penned in the memory of the blood I had this morning which I no longer have.