Sunday, December 31, 2006

Maybe a little S.E.X. (stash enhancement) will con this baby out....

So we're officially less than a week from the due date, and to our midwife's surprise baby girl has not arrived yet. I've already dilated enough to be considered in early labor, and I've been having contractions on and off, but none of it seems to go anywhere (not that I'm really all that surprised). I was hoping for a December 30 birthday, since it seems to be an auspicious birthday, but that wasn't to be. Despite the fact that I know she'll come when she's ready, I am getting a little anxious to finally meet this little girl.

Sex is supposed to help get labor going, so yesterday, I went down to the local yarn shop and got me some (a Stash Enhancement eXpedition), and I have to say, I left feeling quite satisfied, though not in labor. I went by myself, so I fondled and sniffed the yarn for a good long time (the sales associates were really wondering, I'm sure) before I finally picked a couple of items and checked out. I was given a gift certificate for Christmas from the in-laws (they know the way to this girl's heart), and I had enough receipts saved up for an additional 25% off, so when I saw this kit and snuggled with the knit up sample in the store...had to have...and yes, I've already cast on:

I've wanted some Malabrigo (a sinfully soft kettle dyed 100% merino wool) for a while, ever since first rubbing my first hank over 6 months ago (their colors are so lovely), but the price was a little prohibitive at that time...that and it would be a sad thing for something so yummy to sit in the stash with no project. I joked that baby girl mentioned that she wouldn't come out until her binkie was done. Actually, I thought if I started something for her, it would be the sure way to get her to come out.

My real purpose for going to the LYS was actually to scope out sock yarns. I got hubby a new Shuffle for Christmas to use when he works out. He has searched high and low for a protective cover or case for it to keep sweat out of it (the man sweats more than any human should), as he's afraid the sweat would kill it (and he's probably right). Unfortunately, no one makes an athletic cover for the shuffle (yet, I'm sure). I offered to knit it a wool cosy, since wool will hold up to 30% of it's weight in water before feeling damp. Plus, if the Shuffle got dropped, a wool cover would provide a little bit of shock protection.

I was hoping for some solid near 100% wool sock yarns in solid neutral colors, but was coming up empty handed. I did, however find a hank of Colinette Jitterbug 100% merino superwash yarn in a lovely colorway that wasn't too feminine or gaudy (I can actually hardly wait to make a pair of socks out of it!). I'm thinking that future sock yarn purchases will likely be of the internet variety since the LYS's selection is limited.

So I set to making the cosy. I cast on 12 stitches using a crochet cast on and size 0 needles. I knit a row then purled back across these stitches and then undid my provisional cast on putting those stitches on another needle (which gave 24 stitches knit in the round) then continued to knit in the round until the cosy was as long as the inside top of the backside clip. I left half the stitches on the needles and went back and forth on the other half of the stitches until this side was as long as the shuffle when slightly stretched. Then I turned the stitches so the wrong sides would meet (I wasn't sure how to short row back the other direction without tapering it) and on each end of the row, I picked up a side stitch and did a knit or purl 2 together. I skipped doing a knit 2 together where the microphone jack is to leave a hole to plug those in. Once I was back to where the other live stitches were, I cast off around all of them, making a circular opening. The Shuffle then slides in the opening, and the clip remains out so hubby can still clip the device to his jersey or pants. All the openings for the switches and the wheel are then covered and hopefully protected from sweat.

Click on the images for larger views....

And a view from the top of the world just for fun:

Hope everyone has a Happy New Year!!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Ho, Ho, Holy Cow...where has the time gone????

So here it is, already two days post Christmas, which means the New Year is only a hiccough away! Yikes!

The holiday was merry met by all. We opened gifts here on Christmas morning, and I managed to snap a couple of pictures when my camera felt like cooperating (oh, so want a new one, but can't afford what I want. Boo hoo!). Hubby had made a full spread of waffles, bacon, and scrambledy eggs that we grown-ups enjoyed before the festivities, but the boys couldn't seem to eat more than a few bites with all the excitement of the prospect of opening presents. Dining took place on the hand-crafted quilted placemats gifted to me by my best buddy (Hi Lisa!! They were them!! Might bug you to make me more!)

See this bite, Liam? I'm not really gonna eat it...I'm just gonna look at it a while.

I managed to get one picture of Liam with his marble run before my camera took a dump for a while.

Liam: Oooh...can I play it, can I play it? Jonah: Is it my turn yet?

Neely spent the entire time we opened presents obsessing over the ticking egg timer of Liam's that I confiscated and put up on the bookshelf. When she couldn't figure out how to get it down, she decided to make herself a fixture in the tree. She hadn't messed with the tree since we put it up around Thanksgiving, but for some reason, Christmas morning seemed the perfect time to start climbing it.

The rest of the present opening was pretty uneventful, and the boys both seemed pleased at their haul. Jonah immediately went to work pounding wooden nails into his workbench, and Liam was excited about his Spy Gear.

We then headed up to the in-laws to celebrate the holiday, and a wonderful meal of ham, cheesy potatoes, stuffing (gotta have the stuffin....turkey or not...), baked pineapple, and 24-hour fruit salad. Yum. Present opening commenced promptly after lunch, and the boys helped by playing Santa this year.

Everyone seemed to enjoy their gifts, and the boys made out with loads of new books, Legos, and other goodies. Auntie M. probably had the best enjoyed gift of all....a three-drawered organizing cart loaded up with art and craft goodies (she is the art teacher after all!), which the boys promptly dove into. One of the boys in particular already has quite the artistic flair...

Each stroke demanded a similar working of the was all I could do to keep from falling off my chair, until he performed this little move:

I'm amazed we managed to get him upstairs and into the bath without turning MIL's entire house black, but we did. The water was a murky gray within seconds, considering he probably used half of the tube's worth of paint to cover his arms.

This was probably one of the most enjoyable holidays I've had in a while, and I'm not sure what to attribute it to. Partly the fact that we were done with the shopping, etc., relatively early in the game, but I think a great deal had to do with the enjoyment of seeing it all through the boys' eyes. They really enjoyed themselves, and I think the rest of us really did because of it. Maybe I was also a bit more relaxed this year for some reason, and I didn't obsess about the small stuff (and neither did anyone else, which I think just added to the chill atmosphere).

The only thing that would have made the holiday perfect would have been to also have shared it with my family in the next state over, but until they figure out that teleportation thing, doing both places in one holiday is not going to happen.

So now we move quickly on to the prospect of the new year...and a new member of our family. The tree is down (amazing how much more room there is in the living room without a tree in it!)...but there are still things to do before I feel ready for this little girl to make her appearance, so I'd best be off for some slumber.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Eve 2006

So we got a late start this morning on things that needed to be done today. With the boys out of the house, we got the much needed Christmas wrapping completed. Around 5:3o p.m., with only 30 minutes to W*lmart close (and believe me, they weren't going to let you forget that you only had 30 minutes....they started counting down and announced pretty much every 3 minutes the exact time and how long you had left to shop before they closed. No pressure or anything...not like you didn't know that you'd procrastinated till the last possible moments), we made a stop in for a last minute gift for one of the boys after deciding that the pile looked a little lopsided toward the other. Christmas morning crisis averted.

We went to hubby's parents, dined with the family that was in town, and picked up the boys to bring them home for a party at the neighbors, and so they could be home for Christmas morning. The boys were really ready for bed before we even left from the in-laws, but we managed to get over to the neighbor's house with promises that we wouldn't stay long (we had gifts to exchange and knew that they also had gifts for our two). Liam, who is typically Mr. Social and loves going to the neighbors, suddenly got very reserved when we got next door. I barely had a chance to get my coat off, and he turned to me, clinging to my leg and said with big eyes welling with tears, "I'm nervous....Can we go home?" Now, the house was a bit full with the neighbors' relatives and our neighbors from two doors down, but Liam knows all of them fairly well, since we've partied there before on many occasions. So I ask why the nerves. "Because I don't know these people." Which, of course, he knew every one in the room.

Jonah was already off upstairs playing with L., the neighbors' daughter, and the other kids who were there, so I told Liam he could go home once hubby arrived. This was only supposed to take a few minutes, as he'd gone home to wrap a couple of gifts. So we sat on the couch and waited while Liam buried his head in my hip and whined about how he really wanted to go home. So I told him to go play upstairs with his brother and the other children and as soon as hubby came, which would only be a few minutes, he could go home. I figured the minute he got upstairs, he would get into playing and forget all about whatever this sudden shyness was all about. "But I'm feeling apprehensive," he says. Oh, really? Only my 6-year-old would use that as an excuse for why he doesn't want to go play with the other kids. After another 20 minutes of continuous looping on the "I want to go home" recording, I stood Liam up and pretty much dragged him upstairs to play. Once I got him up there and threw him in the mix, he finally started to settle in. It's amazing what a little fatigue will do to a little guy's brain. Another 10 minutes later he came down and politely asked for a snack and a drink, another sign that all was well.

Not long after, we opened gifts, and as soon as the boys had opened theirs and had a chance to see L. open hers, we got the boys gathered, and hubby took them home to bed. Nary a struggle to be had about going to bed tonight either. Sometimes I wish Santa could come every night, just so it would be this easy....but who the heck can afford that?

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Only one more night till Santa comes!

We're all caught up in the hub-bub that is the pre-Christmas rush. Presents to wrap, more baking to be done, lots of visiting with folks who are in town. Not many pictures being taken (fickle camera!), but good times are being had.

The contraction machine has been doing its nightly tune up (having one now, thanks...) in prep for baby girl to make her appearance. She and I have had many one-sided discussions (you know how it is with kids) about how nice it would be for her to wait until after Christmas...and how maybe she could let mommy sleep a little more at night. So far, so good.

And since there is no photographic fun tonight, I leave you with this little gem:

Liam: Ow....Jonah! You have static 'lectricity! You gave me an electric shot!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Oh, the beautiful innocence of children

Liam seems to be really taking notice lately in how we human beings come in all different shapes, sizes, and colors. While Daddy was watching an episode of "Little People, Big World" (which, by the way, we really enjoy...they are so fun-loving and adventurous, and I particularly enjoy watching how the mom on the show handles their four kids and the energetic husband and the farm and teaching...all while having to deal with the challenges of being little) on TLC the other night as they got ready for bed, Liam was curious about what it meant to be a little person. The characters on the show were attending the Little People of America Conference, so in the particular scene, all the people were little, and with it being on TV, there was no real way to tell that they were not of average height. Liam was having some difficulty with this. "What's it mean to be a little person? They look like they are the same height as you and mommy." Oh, the power of TV. Cliff: "No Liam...most of them are about the same height as you, and they'll never get any taller, but they are grown-ups like me and mommy." Liam pondered the concept and then pretty much left it at that.

Last night another revelation...funny how Cliff seems to be fielding these lately...
Liam: "Dad...does playing sports make your skin darker?"
Cliff: *surprised at the question* "No...why?"
Liam: "Because all those football players out there seem to have darker skin. And a lot of the guys who play basketball have darker skin."
Cliff: " are other players out there with lighter skin, too."

What I keep hoping is that he will realize that these are all just different flavors of what we humans happen to be....that we are all just one beautiful family, no matter what we look like on the outside. As a mother, I so want to shield him from untruths that he will hear from others, to keep him from having preconceived notions about any particular trait, but instead to see us all as being the same on the inside, though we might be different on the outside and that diversity is really an advantageous thing.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

All sleep, all the time

All things here seem to be revolving around when I'm going to get my next nap (Is it time yet? No? Ptthpppbbbbbbb!). I feel like a bear who's being kept from hibernation. After posting last night, I headed to bed (around midnight my time). Before climbing into bed, I patted a soundly sleeping Liam good night and went to do the same for Jonah. His twin bed is sidecar-ed to our bed since he still likes to climb into our bed for a midnight snuggle, so that should have been an easy proposition. Pat, Jonah. He sometimes will climb up into Liam's bed (Liam has his own loft bed, and all the beds are in the upstairs bedroom to give the boys optimal play space downstairs and keep them close in the night...I loves having my babes near me in the night), so I did a double check there. Again, no Jonah. So I turned on the closet light which gave just enough light to see without blinding everyone. Jonah had scrunched himself up in a fetal position and was sleeping sideways on his pillow, using it as a mini-mattress. Satisfied that I knew where he was and that he wasn't going to tumble anywhere, I covered him up and climbed into my bed.

Some time around ridiculously early this morning (before 5 am), hubby's alarm went off. I, of course, needing to do the middle of the night third trimester bathroom run, scooted off the end of the bed to head downstairs. Hubby starts laughing out loud. "Honey...did you see who's on my side of the bed?" The dog sleeps on the floor between the wall and hubby's side of the bed. So I peeked over to see what funny thing the dog might be doing. The dog was sprawled in his usual manner, lying flat on his side with all four legs straight out. No biggie. Snuggled up next to the dog on the floor, however, was our little man, fast asleep. Apparently, he'd gotten out of his bed which is snugged up to my side of the bed and looped around to Daddy's side for a snuggle, not so rare an occurrence. When sleeping Daddy didn't respond to his requests for a cuddly, he must have gotten tired of waiting and just laid down with the dog. I should have gotten it on camera, but by the time I got back upstairs, hubby had already moved the little guy into our bed. Next time, I swear I'll get it on camera.

A little gem

Liam reading the ingredients for chocolate chip cookies to Cliff: "It says we need 2 sticks insulted (unsalted) butter."

Cliff: "Are you going to insult the butter or shall I?"

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Things have been a bit foggy here at the bunnie hutch. I came down with a urinary tract infection, and as per usual did not know it until I found myself writhing in bed last weekend with flank pain and feeling rather crummy. The antibiotic that I'm taking, while approved for use during pregnancy, has a warning on the label about causing drowsiness, and though did I read this when I first got the prescription....the reality of it didn't sink in until I was driving home this morning from dropping the big guy off at school and thinking that if I didn't get home quickly and fade into bed that I would surely fall asleep at the wheel. Not good. Naptime commenced by 10 am and lasted until 12:30. Jonah came and snuggled into bed with me and napped right alongside. Pure bliss.

Here I'd been blaming the sleepiness I've been feeling the past few days on the amount of crap I've tried to cram into a short amount of time, all the while doing it carrying around an extra 40+ pounds of weight. Sort of like strapping my 3-year-old to my back and carrying him around 24 hours a day. No wonder I get winded going up a flight of stairs. Only a couple more days to go of the antibiotic, so hopefully I can manage to get through the next couple of days relatively unscathed.

There has also been cleaning and reorganizing (ooh, big surprise...not that I ever seem to make any progress), teaching, a visit by the carpet cleaner, and a visit by our prenatal/birth photographer.

I decided to splurge on having prenatal pictures done this time, since I really couldn't think of what I would do with another plaster belly cast floating around and I actually feel very attractive (in a very round earth mother sort of way) this pregnancy in a way I didn't with the boys. The belly cast I have from being pregnant with Jonah never did get decorated. Really should remedy that some time. I'm thinking that we got some really great shots, and I can hardly wait to see the proofs.

We hit the official 37-week full term mark this weekend, and then we'll start week 38. Each night we've been moving the baby Jesus down the Advent ladder toward his walnut manger, and with our due date being so close to Christmas, it's a lot like counting down to this baby coming (not to mention the fact that she seems to be sitting lower and lower in my pelvis on a daily basis). I'm starting to get a bit nervous with the anticipation of it all...but at the same time anxious to complete this part of the journey and move on to the next.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Snow daze

Wednesday night into Thursday morning, we were supposed to get hit with all kinds of lake effect snow and blustery winds into the 40 mph range. This was mostly significant because we're not really part of the snow belt, but occasionally, we do get hit if the wind comes off the lake just right. The weather folks were all atwitter and really gloom and dooming about how much we could get overnight and through Thursday. Estimates of a foot or more were being thrown around.

So Thursday morning came, and upon looking out the window at the mere dusting we had gotten overnight, the kids were a bit disappointed that there would be no snow day. I think hubby was too. So off to school Liam went and off to work went hubby. The snow did indeed continue to fall all day, and it was really windy, but the rate at which the white stuff was accumulating wasn't so terrifying. Hubby called and said that there were spots where the traffic was pretty bad, and that he might just do a few things at work and come home to avoid the rush hour insanity. By the time he came home in the afternoon, we'd picked up maybe an additional inch of snow. Not bad, really.

Sometime overnight into Friday, the snow machine turned on, and we somehow picked up an additional 4 or so inches. When we woke up yesterday, it was a true winter wonderland with everything covered in a nice blanket of snow. Liam happily went off to play "snowboarder" in the meadow, while the little guy stayed here with me. It wasn't long before he decided that he really wanted to go outside. So I bundled him up, snowpants and all, and he headed out to the front yard. "Can I make faces in the snow?" he asked. I nodded, and he proceeded to flop on the ground and make arm-only snow angels. I managed to snap a couple of pictures of him before he came inside with his poor little face all red and wet from snow.

View of our backyard

Jonah inspects his snow angel

Jonah makes another snow angel

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Well, that didn't take long...

So I finished up NaBloPoMo on Thursday after only missing a couple of days of posting (better than I thought I'd do!), and already, I've missed a couple of days of posting. Really, it wasn't my fault. Friday, we had that front roll through along with winds in the 40 mph range, and sometime during the day, our cable modem decided to take a dump. Because of the weather, we assumed that it was the cable company's problem and that it would be fixed. The weekend rolled through with no return of online service (which meant no posting), and finally yesterday I made the call to the company to see what the problem might be. Turns out our 10-year-old modem had finally given up the ghost.

After exchanging it today, I was certain that we still we be having the same problem, yet as soon as I plugged the new modem in, I was up and running. Hoorah! Whatever did we do before the days of the internet, and in our case, cable modems with continuous internet connection? I was going to do some online Christmas shopping and pay some bills, but I couldn't do that until today, as I didn't have access. Well...I could have paid my bills, but it would have required more effort than it does now. Hi! Me Lazy? Yup.

So this weekend was a pretty laid back kind of weekend with my BIL and SIL in town. There was much food consumed and some Christmas shopping completed. I have one of my two kiddos nearly shopped for, and the other will be an easy hop over to HearthSong for a few things. I have ideas for everyone else on my list, so hopefully I can finish it all up this week. Less stress before the holiday.

Today, the boys and I also did some more holiday crafting. We sorted and started gluing foam snowmen together from a kit, and after the boys went to bed, I finally got around to doing one of my Advent projects that I'd hoped to have finished before this past weekend. Oh well...better late than never.

These are pictures of the completed Advent calendar. I used skinny wooden supports to project the gold cardstock ladder away from the blue cardstock background. I glued the gold rungs to the supports on background and then glued on the gold side rails. Then I fashioned a baby Jesus out of rose-colored beeswax and made his body skinny enough that he can slip between the rungs. There is one rung for each day of Advent (which officially started this past Sunday), and each evening, the baby descends down the ladder one rung. By Christmas Eve, the baby will be on the bottom rung, and on Christmas Day, he moves to the golden walnut manger filled with sheep's wool. Each night, the boys will take turns sticking another star on the blue background, so there will also be a full, starry sky by Christmas.

I'm really in the mood to keep on crafting, but if I don't go to bed some time soon, I'll really be dragging wagon tomorrow. Must. Resist. Urge. And. Put. Glue. Gun. Down. Slowly back away....

Thursday, November 30, 2006

The 411 I promised details and pictures from last night's surprise shower at my friend's apartment.

So...last school year I got to hanging out with a group of students from a couple of my classes who were part of the BS/MD program at one of the local colleges. They were all really fun to hang out with, and despite the 10 year age difference, they really let me feel like one of the girls. They also padded my ego by telling me I didn't look a day over 23. Nice. By the end of the school year, we were all prepping for the MCAT together and studying for finals. After the excitement of the year was over, most of them went on to the MD part of the program at medical school, and some of them stayed behind to complete another year of undergrad. I, of course, being pregnant, decided that spending thousands of dollars on classes that I didn't need to get into medical school all the while being heavy pregnant was a bad idea, so we sort of started to lose touch with each other as I wasn't on campus anymore.

When I started teaching for the test prep place I ended up back on campus a couple of nights a week, so we called each other and got together a few times for dessert. There were 3 girls that I hung out with pretty consistently, and this past week, we were going to try to get all of us together after I finished up class. So, to K's apartment we go...and it turned out to be a surprise baby shower. I had no clue that they were planning this, and even upon entering the apartment, I still had no idea what was going on. "Nice decorations...Who had a party?" I say. "It's your baby shower, silly," I was told. Light bulb finally goes on. Awww.....

G. (who is the epitome of what my MIL would love her granddaughter to look like, all curly red- haired and beautiful), me, K., and J. clockwise from left) -- my girls

It was just the four of us hanging out, chatting, gorging on the great snacks that K provided (even better than sex doesn't get much better than that!), and the girls each had picked up some cute things for the new baby, so there were gifts to open.

Flannel and fleece blankies and cute baby clothes for the baby

When we were all in class together last semester, we had a great time. There was always fun and silliness, and everyone in the group had a great sense of humor. Last night was no exception, and by the end we were hamming it up with the camera and laughing hysterically.

G. pretends to be catching while K. gives her best "what do we do now," and I show what happens on TV when women are in labor.

I had a great time and left feeling full and very flattered. I miss having the gals to hang out with, and I realize the longer I'm away from campus that I really need to make an effort to hang out with girl friends and do things.

In other news, my two have been battling one virus or another (more like passing it back and forth) since the weather started to turn in October, and now we have a case of pink eye resulting from being seriously nasally congested. Poor Jonah woke this morning looking like he'd gone on a binge and hadn't slept in a week. His poor little eyes were all swollen and bloodshot. So today was spent in the doc's office getting drops for them, as I know how contagious pink eye can be, and I'd rather contain that little bug if I can.

Don't I look sad? Surely this deserves a Frosty...or chocolate? Oh, wait...I've already had some. More, please?

Also, tomorrow marks December 1 and the end of NaBloPoMo, and I actually only missed a couple of days over this month. Not too bad for me, I'd say...and I'd like to try to keep up the consistent posting if I can...We'll see how long it lasts!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


The girls I hung out with at KSU last year surprised me tonight with an impromptu baby shower. Needless to say, I just arrived home and need to go to bed if I want to have any hope of getting up to get the boy to school in the morning...more about it tomorrow (and maybe some pictures?)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Show me you're nuts, and I'll show you mine

I know it's a little past Halloween, but last night's teaching was a lot of trick and a little treat. I didn't feel all that comfortable with the material and apologized all over myself for not knowing it like I should, but the students were all really patient with me, and we got through the rough patches together. They're a really great bunch. I should be prepping for tomorrow night's class right now, but I needed some other therapy first.

The craft machine is running full tilt here at the Bunnie hutch. I've got so many things I want to make, that I'm having a hard time showing some project monogamy, and I fear I will end up disappointing myself in the end when they don't all get finished...and even more so for the projects I didn't even get to start. Only so many hours in the day, though.

But here's a sampling of what I've got workin' at the moment:

Little (okay...not so little; he is 20-something after all) BIL asked me over Thanksgiving weekend if I could craft a hat to match a pair of knit gloves he picked up. I was flattered, of course, that someone would think enough of my knitting to request an item. Those are my favorite kind of things to make. Despite the Statue of Liberty look of progress I've got going on, I realized that I made a juxtaposition of a couple of the cables, and at this point I need to decide whether to leave it as is or frog back and fix it. I'm actually leaning toward fixing it, just because I will know the boo-boo is there, and that will drive me nuts. Hi! Perfectionist, much? The yarn is Lopi (100% wool single ply), which I do enjoy, and the pattern is from One Skein.

Proof that I'm nuts!

I know I mentioned that I'd been painting walnut halves in preparation for an Advent ribbon for the boys. I still need to go get more walnuts to split and paint (only a few days left before Advent, so I better get cookin' on that!), but I've got enough to do at least one ribbon. Since there are two halves of the walnut glued to the ribbon, I'm also debating putting the same small gift on each side, which would save me from making another if I run out of time. I also need to get the little things to put in the walnuts. There were some great ideas here that I'm likely going to try.

Now that the Advent circle at school has been done, I officially cleared the nature table of the fall elements and have put a plain blue silk (oh, how I love this blue silk. Can I have more....please??) in its place until this weekend, when I'll add some stones or something. The following week I'll add some plants (though I found this pretty little pine branch on the forest floor during our nature walk today, and I'm itching to put it up),
the next week will be animals, and finally will be the addition of the players in the Christmas Story.

This afternoon the boys and I went for a nature walk after our siesta. The weather is going to be nice for one more day, and then we're into the yucky stuff. Which type of yucky stuff remains to be seen depending on how this weather system tracks, but we could be in for a pile of the white stuff if it tracks just right. Otherwise, my momma (Hi Mom! Love you! Sorry 'bout the snow!) is going to get it all.

Anyway, I digress. So we went for a nature walk late in the afternoon near dusk (which these days is like 5 pm. Ick.), and I took along a basket for gathering things. We collected lots of nice, straight twigs to use for building a stable (Mary's gotta have someplace to have the baby, right?) based on a picture I saw in The Nature Corner. Liam is actually pretty excited about this project, as I pulled out the little hacksaws we have for trimming the branches all down to a similar size, and he was all over helping do that. It's more like construction and less like crafting to him, I suppose.

Now to find the time to pull it all together....Oh...and sleep, because it is approaching winter, and the need to hibernate is going to be coming on strong.

Monday, November 27, 2006

An early Advent

Liam's school had their Advent Spiral this morning. I have never stayed for the ceremony before, mostly because the youngest does not do well with that whole sit still and be quiet thing. So this morning, we decided to give it a shot and hang around. It truly was beautiful to watch.

The parents entered the gym first to sit in chairs near the exit, and it was dark except for sparse candles lit on a few tables surrounding a spiral path made from pine branches. Star symbols were laid out on the floor along the spiral at regular intervals. At the center of the spiral was another small table with a candle lit. The children entered the room and sat in chairs across from the spiral. One by one, they were led to a table to get an unlit candle and then through the spiral to the center. There they lit the candle from the already lit one and then proceeded back through the spiral. The child would place their candle on one of the stars as they headed back out. As each child proceeded through the spiral, the light grew. All the while, a few of the moms and the music teacher sang songs related to Advent. Surprisingly, the youngest was quiet and managed to talk in only a whisper while he watched the other children move through the spiral.

It is going to be time to start changing our nature table to reflect the change in the season now that the spiral is done...though Advent doesn't truly begin until this coming Sunday. For now, I just need to get through today (I have to teach tonight, and I'm not completely comfortable with the material yet) and Wednesday (again with the teaching, but an easier topic). The rest of the week should be a cakewalk.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

How late can you call it Indian Summer?

Yeah, I really got nothing done today...and I don't have much to post about. Why? Because I'm totally disoriented by the weather. Today was near 70...yes, 70 degrees...near CLEVELAND. OHIO. IN. NOVEMBER. Part of me wants to say how wrong that is. But then I'd have to smack myself for saying it because it's been soooooo enjoyable. I opened the windows today and aired the house out while we put the decorations on the tree (such a juxtaposition!!). Earlier this evening, the boys went out and played, and I was out chatting with the neighbors in shorts and flip-flops. We grilled fresh salmon OUTSIDE for dinner and didn't freeze. Only a few more days of this until the bottom falls out, though. By midweek, the temps are gonna drop, and then that S word has been mentioned by our fair weather forecasters. Maybe lots of it. Blech. One of these days I'm gonna get wise and be like a migratory bird. Or a butterfly. Monarchs migrate to Mexico for the winter. Yeah...I could do that. Margaritas...sun...guacamole. I'm so there.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Thanksgiving leftovers

I realized that I really didn't blog about how lovely the Thanksgiving holiday was. The kids decided on Wednesday that they wanted to spend the night with hubby's parents, which allowed us to sleep in on Thanksgiving (aahhhh!). We strolled over to their house in the early afternoon, and I started a loaf of bread (that wasn't ready to eat until after dinner, but oh well) and then made the stuffing. Hubby's uncle and aunt (the grandparents of the boy that I posted about earlier this month) came for dinner (which was spectacular, by the way), as they had coughs and couldn't be with their grandkids for the holiday because of the pending chemotherapy for JT. Hubby's great aunt was also there, which was nice, as we only see her a few times a year. My hubby's youngest bro and his wife also came for stuffing and dessert. The only thing missing was his other brother and sister-in-law, but they were with her family out of state (and hopefully having a grand time too). I brought the camera to document the entire occasion and managed to forget about wanting to do that until dessert. By this time, Liam was ready to leave the table (Super Mario beckons, after all), which is painfully obvious in this picture.

Liam to himself: "Please let this whole photo-taking thing be done so I can go play more video games!"

Jonah was hiding in the picture in front of his auntie and next to his grandma, busy eating cool whip with no hands. He looked like Santa by the time he was finished. It's a rare thing for so many of the Browns to be around the table at once, so I thought it would be nice to catch it for posterity.

Now that the Thanksgiving holiday is over, how quickly it becomes but a distant memory as the Christmas season is ushered in. It certainly doesn't feel like the end of November here for some reason. The weather, for one, is more early October-like. Temps today were in the low 60s, and there has been plenty of sun to go around (good for us solar-powered types). Sadly, I haven't been taking advantage as much as I'd really like. Seems like there may be a couple more days of this loveliness before King Winter reminds us that he's right on our doorstep.

The neighbors all took advantage of the balmy temps to set up their Christmas lawn decor. I figured the Scrooges over at this house wouldn't have any decorations or even the tree up for a while yet. Somehow, however, the Christmas bug bit me today, and the picture below is the result. This year, we at least have room in the front room to put the tree. We've really had no where to put the tree previous to my decluttering and reorganizing sessions.

The tree is reflected in our front window, which desperately needs a new set of blinds due to losing a wrestling match with our cats not long after we moved here. Someday before we move out we might actually get that done. I think I put enough lights on it. One of these days I'll also figure out how to get our tree (artificial but not pre-lit) wrapped densely with lights without all the wires showing (must have LOTS of lights). The boys are excited about the prospect of putting on the ornaments in the morning. It will be interesting to see how this goes this year. Last year, when Jonah put ornaments on the tree, they all ended up in one spot.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Braving the Black

After today, I think I could easily create a list of 100 reasons NOT to shop on the day after Thanksgiving. But I'm too tired from shopping to do that. Yeah, I'm nuts.

So I went through yesterday's Sunday-thickness paper and pulled out all the flyers, curious to see what all the hubbub about "doorbusters" sales and things was all about. I've been on the hunt for a memory foam mattress pad for the last couple of months now, and I keep waiting for them to go on sale (they're expensive, I think!) so I can snatch one in the hopes of getting a decent night's sleep these next few weeks. Most of the sales ended at 11 am, which, by the time I was looking at the papers, I'd have had to show up at the stores naked and unshowered if I wanted to get in on the savings. Probably not something the other shoppers would be interested in seeing.

K*hl's was actually having their sale till 1 pm, and they had a few things that were pretty fairly particular, the mattress pad I was looking for. So I hit the showers (shopping no-no number one taken care of....) and got dressed (see, I can be civilized) to head up to the local store. I figured the one up the street from us wouldn't be all that busy, as it's not near the mall, and it's kind of on the outskirts of the next town over. Oh, how wrong I was.

When I hit the parking lot, I had to park in the back 40 and then hike a quarter mile to the door. Once inside, I noticed there was actually an employee directing traffic at the registers, and the line leading up to the check-out stretched around 3 sides of the perimeter of the store. As I walked past those waiting in line, I kept thinking to myself, "Do I really want to wait in this line? Is 60% off worth it for this thing?" Once I got to the bedding section and found what I was looking for, and there were only two of them left, I decided that perhaps it was worth it. I'd actually forgotten just how long the line really was by the time I grabbed the box and heaved myself to the waiting line. I actually waited for about 30 minutes to pay for my item, but I did get a pretty nice discount, and I even got a $10 coupon toward my next purchase in the next week (which might actually happen, as they've got some other things I was hoping to gift to others on sale). They were forced to extend their early bird hours an additional two hours due to the large crowd that showed up.

All in all, I did walk away with a deal, but I don't think I'll be doing that again unless I do my homework ahead of time and make sure I know exactly what I'm getting and for whom, and it better be really, really discounted, 'cause that was a zoo. As if I weren't dumb enough going in the first store, can you believe I actually went two other places just to browse, since this children were at Grandma's? Total insanity. This pregnancy thing is really affecting my brain, I think.

Happy Black Friday! Hope everyone found good deals!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Being Thankful

So on Thanksgiving, the idea is to give thanks for the things you are grateful for. This year my horn of plenty seems to be overflowing. I have a fantastic family, both here at home and back in Indiana who supports me no matter what hare-brained idea I come up with and how deep I get myself. I have a handsome, supportive, domesticated husband who treats me like a queen. I have two beautiful, healthy, intelligent children who fill my day with love and laughter and a third bundle of joy on the way. We have food on our table, warm clothes on our backs, and many comfort items that many others do without. I have two capable hands with which I can craft useful (or not :)) things to bring joy to others. I have my own health, and for the most part, I feel every bit of 18 years old. My list goes on and on.

So what are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Big Belly Wednesday

I'm 33 1/2 weeks today (so anywhere from 4-6 weeks to go, since I seem to go before my due date), and I can hardly believe how quickly this last bit of time is going, likely because of all the things we have coming up in the next month.

I haven't posted pictures in a while, so I thought I'd show how I've grown since I posted pictures last month.

I have no belly button anymore. I used to hope I would get an outie, but I don't think that is going to happen. My belly button must have been too deep for that to happen. So far, I have no new stretch marks (knock on wood), as my old ones seem to be taking care of helping my belly stretch nicely. Believe me....I've got plenty. These pictures are nice in that they don't really show my old stretch marks very well.

I have to say that I'm really starting to get excited about the prospect of meeting this little girl and seeing what she looks like, but I think I can wait until after Christmas for that to happen.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Counting down...two days to turkey!

The boys are eagerly awaiting the Thanksgiving feast. Stuffing is on everyone's brain (apparently, I make some decent sausage stuffing, thanks to helping Mom make it yearly), and turkey seems to work its way into many a conversation. Nearly equal to that in the boys' minds is the prospect of Mario Cart, though. While I'm looking forward to giving thanks for all our blessings, today, I was thinking chillier thoughts with the upcoming holiday season.

Monday is the Advent Circle at Liam's school, which means that they will be changing over their nature tables to the Advent season. Liam will be participating in the lighting of the candle in the circle this year, and I wanted our nature table to reflect what is going on at school. So this year, I'm thinking we may actually follow the Advent season by doing some crafty type things. I know, big surprise, right? It's important to me, though, that if we're going to celebrate Christmas, I want the children to understand the season's true meaning. And it's not the Almighty Dollar and Santa.

So as I get the crafts put together for the table, I'll post pictures so everyone can see what we've been up to. The blue silk has been purchased, as have a few other things for Advent decorations. There will likely be some dollmaking...because, as we all know, that seems to be my obsession lately.

Monday, November 20, 2006

He's hot...and he cooks too!

When I met my hubby, he was a pretty typical bachelor type. He was a frat boy (though not the prototypical PCU type...the type that frat boys are supposed to be...cute, ambitious, intelligent and generous to a fault), and the extent of his interest in cooking included macaroni and cheese and the occasional fried egg.

When we moved in together, we assumed somewhat typical domestic roles. I did the cooking. He watched the football. Neither of us cleaned, but when we did, I did the detail work and he did the spot cleaning and putting things away.

Then came marriage...and not too much changed. Then came kids. Somehow the man I love got all mushy and went domestic on me. Somewhere in his psyche there was a switch that flipped, and he has turned, over the course of time since we've had children, into a domestic god. He changes diapers. He puts children to bed. Somewhere in there, we decided that I should go to medical school, and he decided that he needed to cook more so they could subsist on something other than boiled pasta and veggies with butter and parmesan cheese while I was in school.

He became quite adventurous, first starting with breakfast. There were homemade waffles, buttermilk pancakes, french toast, scrambled eggs (and not the kind that you could bounce off the floor and have hit the ceiling, either, but good the good cheesy kind) and other breakfast treats. He mastered these with ease and moved on to dinner fare. I think he realized that cooking really is nothing more than a little chemistry and math...something that an engineer might not have too much trouble getting a grip on. He cooks more than I do these days, which really is pretty sad considering I'm the one who's home more than he is.

So tomorrow is his Turkey Day feast at work, where they will deep fry a turkey (I'm so jealous!) and gorge on potluck goodies. He needed to bring a dessert, so he decided he would bring chocolate chip cookies. Now dear hubby could easily have gone down to the Acme and grabbed a box of cookies from their bakery, put them in a Tupperware from home, and pretended like he made them, but not now that he's Mr. Domestic. He came home from work, asked me if we had the goods to make them (which we actually did), and he and the boys put together a batch of HOMEMADE FROM SCRATCH chocolate chip cookies this evening. Wish that I'd been home to get the pictures, but I wasn't. I came home from our birthNETWORK meeting to the scent of fresh baked, still warm cookies cooling on the counter. I, being the Queen of Roundness, could not resist, and they were wonderful (not that I had any doubts about his possible cookie-making prowess). Hats off to the man. Yeah, I know...this one's a keeper.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Rite of passage

I've officially crossed the 100 post mark thanks to NaBloPoMo! At this point, there should be some kind of ticker tape or balloons or strippers or something. Hell, I haven't even got any pictures from today to show at all. Sad, ain't it?

Here I thought I left my camera at home....but I actually had it with me all afternoon at the Children's Festival. So, no pictures.

After having to get up at 5 am, today didn't start out so red hot, as there were some issues at the test I was proctoring, but once I got to the festival, it all ironed itself out. It seems that the festival was a pretty big success, but since I was manning the handwork table, I didn't get to see any of it. A few of the dolls sold (and someone I know bought the one with the braids, which makes me really happy) as did some of the wool angels I made. The gal who coordinates the school store bought the rest of my wool angels and the other small terry doll, and asked if I could make more. She was also interested in the doll that had sold and wanted to chat about it next week. So I might be able to make some things to sell in the school store. Yippee! I get to help the school (and us) while doing something I enjoy. What's not to like?

The boys arrived with hubby's parents about the same time we did, and they did get to do a few things before heading out to get Jonah a nap. They enjoyed a puppet show, the enchanted wishing boat, and the balloon elf. I didn't get to hear everything they did, as it was busy at our table. One of my friends from school even came with her friend, so they had the opportunity to see our "hippy" school. It was a pleasant surprise to see them, and I think they were impressed.

It feels good to be home now, and I'm planning on taking tomorrow to catch up on things. I'm so behind in everything else at the moment. I think sleep is the first place I'm going to start.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Counting down the hours

By this time tomorrow, the Children's Festival will be all but a memory. Bad girl me, I didn't post yesterday, as I was knee deep in dollmaking (again and still...). Tonight I dropped off what I did get finished for the table tomorrow.

Here's what I got finished:

Two large terrycloth teething dolls (the large white ones on top has a bell sewn inside the cap so it cute!), two small terrycloth teething dolls (the blue and mint on the bottom left), Three pouch dolls (two pink, one blue), one doll with arms (the yellow one with the brown hair) and one with arms and legs (the one with the blonde braids). I still have a blue pouch doll that just needs the head sewn on and a large white terry teether that needs a head made and sewn in (I might keep that one for our baby), so we'll see if I can get that finished tomorrow. I'm thinking I may just make some more wool angels instead, as I know those will definitely sell.

All the dolls in the picture were made following Waldorf doll-making instructions found in Kinder Dolls. None of the dolls have faces, as they will likely appeal to the preschool and younger set, who need to be able to use their imagination to decide what emotions the doll is displaying. The dolls without limbs will appeal most to toddlers and babies. There's a whole philosophy on the features that should be present in dolls for particular age groups, but at the moment, I'm too darn tired to 'splain it, Lucy. The dolls are all small (I've made larger ones before, and I didn't have time to make anything larger than these), about 5 1/2 inches for the dolls with hair.

I'm hoping they all sell tomorrow, but even if they don't, the gal who runs the school store told me that she would love to sell my dolls in the school store, which surprised and pleased me no end. Even if they did come back home, I do have some other new homes in mind for them.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Drive-by posting

This is what happens when you wait until nearly midnight and you really want to be in bed, but you know that you made a commitment to post every day.

Hi! Bye!

Not much exciting to write about today, anyway. I'm still up to my neck in dollmaking and crafting for the Children's Festival. I hope to have photos, though I can almost promise they will be of ill quality, since I haven't seen the sun in days, and apparently, it's not scheduled to make an appearance for a while. Did I mention how much I need the sun to function? I'm really thinking of getting one of those visor thingies like what Joel wore in Northern Exposure during the time when the sun doesn't come up. Seriously.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Feeling the time crunch

Only a few more days until the Children's Festival at the school, and I'm nowhere near ready. Ugh. I finished a couple more things today, but I still have so much more in progress and other things that I have yet to start. To top it off, it looks like I'll be teaching tomorrow night, so that eats up my evening completely. Everything really needs to be done by Friday night, as setup is first thing Saturday morning. I have to be in Warren early, so I won't have time to get too much done. So Thursday is crunch day. Might have to employ some babysitting help...oh, and the house has gone to the dogs....and the cats....and the kids....and the dishes! Yipe!

Maybe I'll have time to grab some pictures tomorrow of more of the things that I have managed to complete. We'll see!

Monday, November 13, 2006

FO sure!

Yesterday I posted about a project I was working on but had yet to show pictures for. Now that it's done, I'm ready to reveal the results. There is one more part of this 3-piece ensemble that I have yet to do (a pair of longies in the natural color, I think), but I'm not really into waiting until that's done to show you all the photos.

Without further ado, here they are:

Ruby (left) models the hat, while Magnus (right) models the Raglan Sweater the top pic is a little, well....creepy. Considering that I have no true life models to wear these items, I thought the dolls made the next best choice. None of the dolls in this house wear clothes, normally, so this photo shoot was something different for them. All the dolls in this house also look like they need their mommies (well, daddies in this case) to give them a firm scrubbing, but they seemed do the trick for tonight. The hat is adapted from a free pattern available at Little Turtle Knits. I have made the tie-top hat, and it was totally cute, but I like the plain snug-fitted hat better on newborns. Both hat and sweater were knit with Mission Falls 1824 Wool (lurve, lurve, lurve it!), which is a 100% merino superwash (a must for baby knits that will get lots of wear, I hope) and is so soft and plush when knit up. The hat used just under half a skein of natural, and the sweater took 2 1/3 skeins of basil color. The color is closest in hue to the top picture. At almost $7.00 a 85-yard skein, it's not inexpensive yarn, though, so I reserve it for special knits or for knits that will be close to sensitive skin. I used size 8 needles (dpns for the hat and circulars for the sweater, though it was knit flat and seamed...but I bet I could modify the pattern easily to totally knit it in the round) for both projects.

The sweater pattern is the Raglan Sweater from Debbie Bliss's the baby knits book, which I also love. I'm sorta in love with Debbie Bliss in general (all except that most of her books are lacking in the schematic drawing department which occasionally makes construction a challenge), as her patterns are very classic, simple, and fun. Most of the patterns from this book call for "aran" weight yarn (gauge of 18 st and 24 rows), which is what most of my stash is, so it makes for an easy choice when I get a bug to make a gift for someone's baby.

I did not alter the pattern in any way, and I made the smallest size for this sweater (0-3 mos). I think it is actually pretty spot on for size when comparing it to some of the other newborn gear that I have laying around. Debbie's patterns also tend to be a bit on the roomy size, and I was afraid this might be the same, but not so.

I would definitely make this one again, and there's another sweater from the same book that I'd like to do for baby girl if I get the chance before she arrives. Both hat and sweater were cast on yesterday, and I finished seaming the sweater just a little while ago, so they are super fast projects. Oh, how I love instant gratification!

These two items are for a friend's baby who is due the same day mine is, and I hope she likes them. I think they turned out pretty well.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

It's too early yet

Today was a cold, gray and dreary day. I soooo dislike these kind of days. I used to call them big fuzzy sock days, because all I want to do when it's like this is put on a pair of warm socks, crawl under the covers and veg in front of the tube all day. I'm solar powered. I need to see sunshine to function.

After running all day yesterday and not getting much sleep the night before (our little girl is a middle of the night gymnast), I was bad today and didn't get anything done. I had a shower that I should have gone to, but I couldn't get up the energy to even shower and get out of the house. (But look at me...up into the wee hours again when I should be in bed. But it's quiet. And this won't last long.)

Instead, I spent much needed time with the family, stoking up the stove and doing what I really love...knitting.

I've got progress on a project to show, but not until it's finished, which won't be long since I started today and am already halfway there. I have startitis so bad. Too many things I want to start...too many other projects in various stages of incomplete. I know I'm not the only one out there who does this, so that is at least a small comfort.

This week promises to be a busy one, so let's see if I can manage the daily posts throughout!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

It's getting hot in here

There is nothing like a rip-roarin' fire when the weather is damp and cold. Hubby and FIL went up to the grandparent's farm in PA yesterday and brought back a truckload of wood from a dead, fallen tree today. I could hardly contain my enthusiasm to start burning it! After the boys were in bed, I got a fire going in the wood-burning stove downstairs, and we lounged around for the rest of the evening. Bliss. I have the tendency to want to micro-manage the fire, though. We have a thermometer on the flue that lets you know what the optimal burning temperature is, and I tend to get a little obsessive about keeping the temperature in a certain range. So every once in a while, when I noticed that the temp on the thermometer was starting to fluctuate, I'd get in there and stoke things up a bit. Hubby finds it all quite amusing. Big, round woman squatted in front of the stove poking at it. Very primeval. And that's just how I like it.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Further evidence that I'm a crazy cat lady with too much time on my hands...

These two actually were napping quite nicely snuggled next to each other in the sun coming through the screen door. Which prompted me to want to get the camera and catch it in the memory. Not two seconds after I pick up the camera, this is what I witness:

Another quote

Building on last night's Quote of the day...Jonah says to me in BJ's when I tell him to get in the cart, "You're not the boss of us." Apparently, he wasn't listening to his brother last night. "Ok," I say. "Who is the boss, then?" Jonah replies, "Liam is."

I'm official!

My name actually got listed on the NaBloPoMo page! How 'bout that? I really need to pay attention to my sidebar and update stuff there. So...official button forthcoming!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Quote of the Day

Liam to Jonah when Jonah asks him if he can eat a granola bar (30 seconds after I told him no, as dinner was on the stove cooking), "I'm not the boss of you. Your mother is." Oh, really?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Blowing up not far from the gate

We're only a week into Nablopomo, and already, I've been a bad girl and missed posting a day. Good thing I'm not an official participant. It would be disappointing to miss out on goodies just because I couldn't think up anything to post yesterday.

Actually, I probably could have come up with something, but after everything I had going on during the day yesterday, by the time it came time to blog...I was spent and elected to crawl into bed and watch election returns. Ain't I just thrilling?

So, while today was busy too, and I just got home from teaching and am again fairly spent, I am biting the proverbial bullet and putting up a post for your reading pleasure (ha!).

Apparently I must be a fair teacher, as some of my students on learning that tonight would be my last class with them (some of the class will be staying with me, and some will split off in preparation for a later test date) asked me nicely to teach the rest of their series. Awww....this despite the fact that I ran over tonight by 30 minutes. Patient bunch they are...

Oh...the hat I was wearing the other day? Not a hat. She's gonna be a felted bowl...if I can get around to making some mates and putting them through the wash. Really.

So today the little guy and I worked on some wet-in-wet watercolor painting. Now, this is the first time I have ever done this particular technique, and I have to say that we definitely need to work on our technique (and I on my mixing). After completing the painting process, I realized that I'd been painting on the wrong side of the watercolor paper. Oops. My boy, however, had it correct.

Jonah had the most fun wiping off the watercolors with paper towels and then putting more watercolor on. His first picture actually was pretty great, but I didn't get a chance to get a picture before he sprayed it with the water bottle and wiped it off.

They do this technique in the Waldorf school, and the result is very soft, flowing colors. The younger children work with one, then two, finally graduating to the three primary colors in an effort to get used to filling the page with color and then learning how the colors dance together. We worked with red and blue today (Jonah's choice), and the results were fun.

Here's a sample:

This was actually one of the ones that I did...on the wrong side of the paper. I'm curious to know what it might have looked like had I done it on the proper side of the paper. I also think that I needed to have more paint and less water in my mix. One of these days, I'll get around to taking a wet-in-wet class at Liam's school which they offer from time to time in their Adult Education series. Whatever the result, it was a good time.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Thoughts for JT

My husband's first cousin's son JT has a genetic disease known as NEMO. He is getting ready to undergo chemotherapy in preparation for a bone marrow transplant at the end of next month. I've been thinking a lot about this little guy lately, partly because of what he's about to go through, but also because he is only a month older than my own little guy, and mine seems to be growing so much lately, both physically and socially. Really puts things into perspective and makes me grateful every day that I have healthy children. I can't imagine how difficult it is for this family to endure what they have had to on a daily basis, yet they keep plugging on, and they have such a great attitude about the whole situation.

I'm thinking of doing something special for the little JT as the holidays approach, but I'm not sure what yet. Got a few ideas rolling around the old noggin, but I might ask my kiddos about what they think we could do together for him.

Go read. Don't tell me that you don't feel like hugging your healthy ones a little tighter afterward.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

It's a bird, it's a, it's an FO! Well...almost...

When last we left our heroine, she was debating the perils of to knit or not to knit. What end did she meet? Was there knitting that was frogged? Well...I went to bed, that's what I did. Smart thing, I'm sure, though I could have done without the night full of nightmares.

Not to disappoint, however, I did knit some today (though not nearly as much as I might have liked). I whipped out a quick little thing this afternoon after diving headlong into a mess of laundry that had been piling up. Once the laundry was well in hand, I picked up the size 15's and some bulky Reynolds Lopi and put this together (sorry for the blurry photo, but it is night here):

Nice hat, you say? I say wrong, Bucko! Well, if it that isn't a lid on my head...then what is it, you ask? Again, my faithful will have to wait and see...further transformation shall ensue, though this is the style hat I think hubby is looking for. Might have to duplicate it for his head, perhaps with further styling, like maybe a cable or rib or two thrown in. Oh, and in gray, of course. Can't have too much color, you know.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Is there such a thing as too tired to knit?

My husband has asked me this question on more than one occasion...and when I'm sick he will ask if there's such a thing as too sick to knit. The latter, I am certain of. The former, not so sure. I will say that I'm pretty tired considering the 9 hours of sleep in two days I've got going on (which might seem like not too bad to some folks for but someone like two days I'd much rather be working on at least 16-20 hours total sleep). I'm stressed out at the moment and feeling the need to knit...but at the same time, I'm afraid if I cast on it will be a recipe for disaster. Maybe what I should do is go down and work on the bag of frog pond stuff that needs ripping, as that's probably what I'd end up doing anyway if I tried to cast on for anything.

What will our heroine do? Stay tuned...

Friday, November 03, 2006

A boy and his grandpa

Oooh...look...two posts in one day. How productive am I?

I actually meant to post this yesterday, but I'm mid purge (aren't I always lately?) in the bedroom (last room to really give the old heave-ho to), so I never got around to it yesterday.

When I married my husband, I also gained a second family. His parents and siblings (and now their spouses!) are such warm, wonderful, loving people, and they embraced me right away. I am so blessed to have been so welcomed and that they are such good people (no scary MIL stories here!). When my oldest was born, hubby and I had all of our parents (except my dad, who was present in spirit) there for the birth. My sweet FIL stayed in the family waiting room that was attached to the birthing room for as long as he could, until I started to get vocal, and then he headed down the hall, where it was a little less stressful (and likely much quieter). He was right back in there, though, after Liam was born and was one of the first folks to hold the little guy.

By the time my second was born, my FIL had taken a consulting job in another state, and wasn't in town much. He was greatly missed by everyone, and when the job finally ended, we were glad to have him home. Not long after he came home, I started a semester of full time classes, and hubby and I couldn't work our schedules out so that one of us could be home when the other was working/in school some of the time. My FIL stepped up to the plate and offered to help keep an eye on the kids.

I will admit, at first I was a bit nervous about the whole proposition. Not so much for the sake of my children, because I knew they loved their grandpa and would be happy to spend time with him, but for my poor FIL, because I wasn't sure he understood the depth of what he was about to get into. Particularly since my youngest was not yet potty trained. Which meant diaper changes. This also meant he would have to put the youngest down for a nap in the afternoon, which was not always the easiest, along with the added responsibility of picking up the oldest from school a couple of days. I figured it would all end up being a lot more of a hassle and stress than he might be willing to put up with. I should have known better, considering what a kind-hearted and generous person he is and what a great dad his son (my hubby) has turned out to be.

Of course, things went swimmingly. The boys loved spending time with grandpa, particularly the youngest. They would play trains and cars. They would snuggle and nap together. They would work in the yard. They would take walks. My oldest was mostly content to watch his favorite afternoon TV and play a little computer, and while he did play with Grandpa, he never seemed to get into it as much as the little guy.

Once I found out I was pregnant at the end of last semester, I knew I probably wouldn't go back this semester (particularly since I'm done with all the coursework I need to apply to med school), which meant that we no longer needed Grandpa to watch the boys, as I would be home. Now that fall has circled back around again and school is back in session, I've noticed that my FIL is missing his time with the boys. I've also definitely noticed that he and Jonah share a special bond.

So yesterday, my FIL called up and asked if Jonah could come out and play. He'd planned a day for the two of them to spend together, with lunch at one of Jonah's favorite spots and a trip to buy birdseed to feed the birds, all topped off with an overnighter. When I asked Jonah if he would like to go play with Grandpa, he couldn't get dressed fast enough. He kept going to the door and opening it to see if Grandpa was here yet. When Grandpa arrived, Jonah hopped out the door and down the steps excited as could be. My FIL always greeted him as per usual with "Hey, my man!" and he scooped Jonah up for a big bear hug. I can't help but smile just thinking about it. They just lit up in each other's presence.

It's the kind of thing I had hoped that the boys would have with my dad, were he still here, but I'm so glad that they have an opportunity to get to know my FIL in this way.

Socks of Doom!!

Just in time for Halloween (yes, I'm late in posting about it!), here lies Dear Bunnie, who met a death by lovely multicolor socks in wool.

They are warm, fit perfectly, and have flecks of yellow, green, orange, blue, and purple among the primary red. I love them. Death came all the way from the UK along with a square of organic chocolate laced with orange and herbs. Can I just say YUM! Jonah and I shared it and enjoyed.

The pair of socks that I finally completed are on their way to Columbus (by snail mail) to kill my target.

I knit them using a superwash wool/nylon blend, so hopefully they will wear well. I tried them on just to make sure I got the size right, and they seemed to fit pretty well. Hopefully my target likes them. They turned out to be pretty much identical without my having to snip out any additional yarn, which is nice. The skein I bought was big enough that I have enough left for another pair of socks. I'm thinking a pair of toe-ups in a similar pattern maybe for Liam, since he has yet to get his pair of socks. So now I am officially done with Sock Wars. It was a lot of fun, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat. I really need to get in on more of these swap type knit-a-longs, as they motivate me to finish my projects.

More knitting and crafty type things to be posted about imminently...what with the Children's Festival coming and all!

Thursday, November 02, 2006


As autumn seems to be a time of reflection as the days grow shorter and the nights longer, I've been thinking a lot about why I keep this blog. I've been reading blogs for longer than I've been keeping my own, and part of what motivated me to start one is the cathartic feeling that writing can provide. I have never considered myself much of a writer, particularly after comparing my abilities with others out in blogland that I read regularly. Many of these fine ladies are published and stuff. I'm not sure that necessarily makes anyone more of a writer than someone who is not, but it sure helps. Writing here has given me a chance to clear my head on more than one occasion, and even if no one else reads it, the process of putting things out into space sometimes helps to make it more concrete.

I started this blog partly to keep the family informed on the goings on of myself and the kidlets and as a creative outlet for the handwork that I so enjoy. My hubby can only stand me showing him something I've made and "isn't it great how I did these short rows?" so many times before he loses his mind. Through reading other mama's blogs, I've gotten inspired to do things that I might not otherwise do, and let me tell ya...peer pressure sometimes rocks. There are many talented, creative mamas who really do it all well and right.

So, to jump on the bandwagon, (since I'm such a lemming!) I've decided to join NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month), in which I resolve to post every day this month. I might have to post twice today to make up for not posting yesterday (when I was actually finding out about this little adventure). So Blog ON!!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Happy Halloween, early

We've already had Trick-or-Treat twice, and it isn't even officially Halloween yet. Last week was the Halloween Festival at Liam's school. We've all been sick since last week, so I didn't get a chance until the day of the Festival to put Liam's costume together. Liam went through a gamut of costume possibilities before finally settling on a Viking. Not sure where that came from, but he was certain that was what he wanted to be.

So I wracked my brain to come up with ideas on how to pull it off, as I couldn't find any boy-sized costumes in the stores. I did manage to find a hat, though it was adult sized. Down to the local craft shop I went in search of fur and leather cord, and this is the result:

Jonah reprised "Wilbert" the Lion as worn by Liam for two (I think?) Halloweens. I had planned to make him a matching Viking outfit, but time ran out before I could manage.

A majorly nasty weather system is on its way through our area, so the forecast for today was to be in the 30s with rain/snow mix. I really figured that TOT would be out for tonight, and the two bags of candy I bought would completely go to waste (well...I would eat it, which would be bad). We had the gamut today. It rained heavily yesterday through this morning. The wind picked up and was in the 20-30+ mph range. The rain let up and then we had periodic showers. Then it thundered...and hailed. Then it snowed. Finally...just in time for the 6 pm kickoff, the weather broke, and the rain/snow/hail mix stopped. There was even a break in the clouds for a bit. The wind, however, did not stop, but that certainly did not deter the kids. I think we had a record-breaking turnout here. We went through all but 3 snack-size candy bars. The boys and I made the rounds of the big block, and both boys came away with full bags of candy. There was still time after we arrived home to hand out to more TOT'ers, and I think Liam enjoyed that just as much as going door to door.

Here's the boys in their costumes with the wind blowing back poor "Wilbert's" mane:

Yep...them horns sure do fit that expression. Look for him in a Capital One commercial coming soon!