Friday, April 27, 2007

Happiness is...

...having a freezer full of meals for the next three weeks so I don't have to obsess about what to make for dinner in the weeks working up to closing on our house and our trip to Rome. All we'll need from the grocery store for the next three weeks is fresh fruits and dairy products.

...being able to cook said meals without 6 little hands involved (not that I don't enjoy cooking with them, but today I was in a Soulemama frame of mind).

...the smell (and taste...had to make sure it was turning out well) of homemade bolognese. unplanned afternoon nap that lasted into the evening.

...finding time to knit a whole two rows on a baby sock.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Not much to say...

It's been all about the new house around here lately. There has been pretty much no knitting or crafting to speak of (not that I haven't been obsessing about it...believe me, I have), and our current home is quite the wreck. I might need a life raft to escape the laundry pile that has grown downstairs.

It's only a couple more weeks until we actually take possession, and I'm told that's when the fun really starts. I keep thinking of it as an opportunity to further declutter and purge...hubby maybe not as much.

Spring is all about new beginnings. Speaking of's a shot of one of the trees in our yard this time of year. It's just starting to pop now, but this picture is from last spring, I'm thinking. I always wanted a place with flowering trees, and this one has a flowering crab, a weeping cherry, and a dogwood.

I'm feeling the need to get a list going so I can start crossing things off...then maybe I'll feel like I'm getting somewhere.

Monday, April 23, 2007

My little ray of sunshine

Weather here has been B-E-A-yootiful (I watched bits and pieces of Bruce Almighty last night). The boys and I spent ALL day outside working. I managed to weed all the front beds, cut down all the old stuff that I didn't get cut down last fall, re-edged the front bed, put all the mulch that had spilled onto the driveway back, put new mulch down in a few spots until I ran out of it, sprayed for weeds (which normally I wouldn't do...but since this house will be selling...and I have another house to keep up with, there will be no time to pull weeds this summer), and mowed the front and back lawns. I'm actually not as sore as I thought I'd be what with all that effort. And...considering that the sun was out in full force yesterday, I'm not sunburned (yes, mom...I put on my sunblock)...well...all except this one swath on my lower back where my tank top (yeah, baby, I actually wore a TANK TOP yesterday - and sweated in it!) was riding up and I didn't notice. Hubby noticed it once it was too late.

Today, we're going to go get more mulch and do more outside, since it's supposed to storm this afternoon and then turn cooler and wet for the rest of the week. Then I can work inside.

Baby girl is now 3 1/2 months old, give or take, and for the most part, she's a quiet little thing. She occasionally will "chat" up a storm when she sees something she's really interested in (which lately has been grown men....gonna have to have a sit down with her about that), but I haven't been able to really get her to laugh (smile yes, laugh no) - until today. For some reason last night after I got out of the shower, she was really chatty. When she coos, she stretches her arms out and works her legs at the same time. Sort of a full body workout. So hubby was holding her; I was talking to her. Something I said struck her as particularly funny, and she actually giggled. I laughed because I thought it was funny, managed to get her to giggle several more times before she started to get bored/tired. There is something about the sound of a baby giggling that just makes me melt. Can't get enough of that sound. I'm hoping to catch it on video soon.

The baby is also getting into the swing of the dinnertime routine with the boys. I sat next to Jonah at the table last night. Corinna was sitting on the same side of me as Jonah, and he was close enough to her that each time she stretchedout her arm, she'd get a hold of his shirt and give it a good pull. Finally, he says to me in a disgusted voice, "Mom...would you tell Corinna to quit pulling on me?" And so it begins...

Jonah put himself down for an early morning I'd best be getting things done! Happy Monday!

Yay! I won something!

I entered a contest on another Jess's blog about who the fella was that did the voiceovers for Dukes of Hazzard. And since I have been subjected to the Dukes a multitude of times since being with my hubby (I really didn't watch them much as a kid, even though I kinda grew up with them...loved me some Luke Duke) I knew the answer.

Yay! Thanks Jess!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Movin' on up...

Ok...that little thing I've been hinting around about? That I didn't want to put in black and white? Well...I'm ready now that closing is only a few weeks away. We're moving. We bought a house. Squeee!!

This is such a bittersweet thing, despite the excited tone above. This means a few things. Liam won't be at the Waldorf school next year, as we can't afford both house payment and tuition for two children. Jonah, however, will start there next year and will stay until he starts first grade. So at least we will stay a part of the school community that we've come to cherish over the last three years. I am so sad that Liam won't be able to continue on there, but the community we're moving to has some of the best schools in the state. I will likely try to continue to do some things at home with him to keep that Waldorf spirit alive, though.

We will be leaving wonderful neighbors behind. Our neighbors to the west have a daughter who is the same age as our youngest son, and she is very fond of "her boys." We all get along swimmingly (literally...they have an in-ground pool) and enjoy getting together to play cards or around holidays (whenever there's a good excuse to have a cookout or party). The folks that live on the corner two doors west are also wonderful people who are quite entertaining, and their youngest daughter, who is older than Liam, still enjoys playing with the younger kids. Our neighbor to the north is a retired corrections officer, and he's not only entertainment, but an all around nice guy. To the east is a sweet lady who has grown children our age who still live at home and are frequently a nuisance, but she is as nice as the day is long, and she adores our kids. Two doors to the east is a lovely older widower to whom Jonah has taken a shining (I think that street runs both ways). This guy is retired and doesn't have much to keep him busy, so he has the most meticulously kept yard, and his dog is the best walked on the block. He really enjoys hanging out on his porch, watching the kids play, and the kids love to hang out on Mr. T.'s porch and chat with him while they pet his dog. I think he enjoys them as much as they enjoy him.

We will also be saying goodbye to the home we've known for the past 9 years. That's almost a third of my life. This is the only place that my hubby and I have known as a married couple. There is a lot of history here. Having my friend come and live with us for 6 weeks...Hubby getting his masters...The birth of our oldest. My sister spending a summer here. Transcription school. Doula and childbirth education training. Going back to do some postbac work. Talk of med school and finishing the MCAT. Our two youngest have actually been born in this house, and that alone is enough to make this house sentimental.

Our new house does need some work. We have 2 full baths now, which with children is almost a must, anymore. The new place has one and a half, which will be fine until all five of us are trying to get ready at the same time in the morning to get off to school and work. So we are hoping to add on another bath before we move in. There is painting to be done...floors to refinish...a kitchen to rearrange/remodel (depending on fundage), electric to update. Overall, though, this house is in a great neighborhood in a good location for hubby's commute (though it will take a fair bit longer to get J-rock to school), and will be more room than what we have now. I will have a dedicated dining room, rather than having a common living/dining room. Each child will be able to have their own bedroom (though I'm thinking of doubling the boys up for now, and the baby will stay with us for quite a while longer...which means I will have a craft room for a while!). We have a "living" room and a "family" room. I'm thinking the living room may be where I teach classes from in the future. The yard is lovely...near 3/4 of an acre for the kids to romp in. Our drive has an adjustable basketball hoop, so I'm foreseeing many a game of one-on-one with the kids in the future. We will have a front porch, so I can hang out and listen to the sounds of summer. I'm thinking a hanging swing or a glider would be perfect for this spot. Our back yard also has a lovely deck where I imagine we will probably do much grilling and hopefully socializing.

Each time we visit the house, it starts to feel more and more like home to me. I'm so ready to get in and start putting our touches in it to get it to really feel like "our" house.'s that for news?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Pretty in pink

My MIL received a package the other day from her sister (so my aunt-in-law) who lives down south. We rarely get to see her or the rest of my MILs side of the family, but when we do, they are so sweet to us. My MIL knew that it was something handmade for the baby and she couldn't resist opening it up. She called to tell me that she'd gotten it and that she'd give it to me when I saw her next (which lately...we've been seeing each other a fair bit...hopefully details as to why soon), but she filled me in on how cute it was.

I was not to be disappointed. Inside the now unwrapped box was a beautiful pink hand-crocheted dress. Around the collar are sweet little picots. The yarn has a lovely sheen to it, and it's amazingly soft. Little pearlescent pink buttons close the front.I thought at first that it would be way too big for baby girl to wear, but I couldn't stand it any more tonight and tried it on her. If I fold up the cuffs, she should be able to wear it now. It will look amazingly cute with the leggings I made and with a onesie underneath.

Big brother helped her pose for the shots, as standing does the dress the most justice. So cute, aren't they?

Liam asks before this shot, "Can I show her my silly face?"

Thanks Aunt T.!!

Sweet britches

So I finally got the leggin's seamed up today. Here they are after sewing:

And below they are on Miss C. She is a strong little thing. For some reason, she just loves to stand up. She would rather stand than sit. Her muscles are getting so strong from all the being upright that she's not too terribly unstable when she is sitting up. Her biggest problem is that she tries to straighten her legs and back to stand while she's sitting, which of course, results in her flopping over one way or the other.

The dress is one of the little numbers that I found at the thrift store. She needs to wear it a couple of times soon, as she's growing out of 3-6 mos. clothes. I would love to take this dress and try to reproduce it in a larger size.

The leggings still have a bit of give in them. She'll outgrow the footies before anything else. I love this pattern so much that I'll probably make another pair, but the next pair I make may be sans footies.

I swiped an I-cord drawstring from another pair of longies that I'd made, as I don't have any ribbon to thread through the waist...and these pants needed something to draw them in.

Pattern: Cashmere leggings from Simple Knits for Cherished Babies by Erika Knight
Yarn: Lamb's Pride Cotton Fleece in color Cotton Ball
Needles: Size 5 and 4 circulars.
Modifications: I really didn't make any modifications to the pattern other than to substitute yarn. There was a mistake in the pattern that I found when making the foot, but I couldn't find errata on the web anywhere. I managed to figure it out on my own. I used mattress stitch to go up the side and leg seams and whipstitched the bottoms of the soles. The only thing this pattern could maybe use is some holes at the ankles to lace a ribbon through in order to keep the footies on better. This was a really fast knit that could have been done weeks ago had I actually sat down on consecutive days to work. Had the auction not happened, I would have had these done already. I would definitely knit these again, though I might try knitting the legs and feet in the round next time.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Pat a tat

So last weekend was Knitter's Fantasy. Andi, the leader of our knit 'n' sip group, another member Evelyn, and I drove out to Warren at what felt like the fanny crack of dawn (I got up at 5 am...on purpose. I would only do that for crafting these days). Thank goodness for Diet Coke. Once we finally got there, no thanks to my lousy excuse for navigating, it was like arriving in stitching heaven. What fun! An entire day filled with fibery goodness. There were several yarn shops represented along with some other local yarn distributors. There was yarn made from alpaca and cashmere. There were patterns and notions. It was almost more than someone on a yarn diet could bear. Had to fight the urge to go on a binge. Classes were scheduled throughout the day on a variety of skills from knitting to crochet to felting and even needle tatting.

I hadn't registered for any classes ahead of time, so many of them were closed when we arrived in the morning. I decided to register for the needle tatting class. The lady that taught the class was a sweet grandmotherly woman who had written the book we were using. Tatting is a craft that became popular in the Victorian era. During those times, they used a shuttle to create the lacy rings. Needle tatting became popular during this century, and is easier to do than shuttle tatting. I picked it up pretty easily, and was instantly addicted! Using a 5" needle and crochet cotton, this is what I managed to do during class:
I spent the rest of the morning after class wandering from booth to booth fondling all the fibers and resisting the urge to expand my stash. I did, however, pick up a new pattern, which hopefully I can finish before Rome.

This afternoon, I pulled out the leggings for the baby and got them ready for blocking. Tomorrow...on to seaming....and hopefully a model shot!

Sunday, April 15, 2007


So much going on and not much time to blog. I have a million things to talk about and I'm just too tired to write them tonight (that and it's hard to type one-handed while holding a babe in the dark). Just wanted you all to know I was thinking of you and missing our mostly one-sided chats...more tomorrow perhaps?

Friday, April 06, 2007

Is it Good Friday or April Fool's?

I think hubby actually had to clean the snow off my car this morning before playing musical cars. I knew that we were getting some snow last night after watching it fly through the light of the lamppost before bed last night.

I was not, however, expecting this much snow. The trees, I am sure, are likely confused. There are buds on many of the trees, and many of the flowering trees had small blooms starting to open on them earlier this week.

Spring is a time for change and rebirth. There is much going on here, much of which I'm not ready to blog about yet, for fear of jinxing it.

There has been some knitting, which hopefully I will be able to post some pictures of later today or tomorrow. If I'm going to be stuck inside, at least I have plenty to keep me occupied.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Old Man Winter strikes again!

Really, snow in April is not uncommon in Northeast Ohio. If you live around here, you become accustomed to that early spring snowstorm that snarls traffic and gives the newly risen greens frostbite. I only wonder what happens to all the frogs that I've heard singing at night in the ponds around here lately.

So to whet your warm weather appetites, I offer seeds of yesterday's sun and blooming bulbs. By the time it's nice enough to get outside again, they will probably be frostbitten and done blooming. I'm really hoping that this cold snap doesn't trash the lovely blooms on the flowering trees and forsythia bushes too much. I've pretty much figured that they will do in my tulips, though.

We spent much of the afternoon driving around, and I noticed that the weeping willows have leaves as do many of the bushes along the roadside. This seems really early to me, like it should be at least another couple of weeks yet before this should happen, but I have no way to really mark the date...other than surfing back through my own blog archives. See? My blog is useful for something other than taking up bandwidth. When I go back to last year this time, it seems the spring bloom is only about a week or two earlier than last year.

It was not long after this time last year that we found out that we were expecting another baby. Sweet cheeks turned three months old today, and I can't believe how fast time seems to be marching (at double time) forward. Little Miss C. now can grab onto things she's interested in (like the kitties if they get close enough), and she loves to ooh and ahh at anything or anyone that catches her eye, particularly the baby in the mirror. If I put her down on the floor, she tries to roll to one side.

Aren't I just a cute little ducky in my jammies?

Here, kitty kitty...(note the tail in the left of the frame...she was intent on grabbing)

Monday, April 02, 2007

Yarn Harlot

Apparently knitters are the biggest users of blogs on the planet. How cool is that? Yes...we will rule the world. Muwahahaha! Another observation I have personally noted: many of the knitters who have blogs also tend to be involved in some aspect of creative writing (yeah, I'm an exception to that in a big way). My favorite bloggers also tend to be involved in book writing in some fashion. Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, also known as the Yarn Harlot, had some interesting musings about knitters and muggles (non-knitters) in general to offer up when she came to Joseph-Beth Booksellers on Saturday.

She's making the rounds at the moment on a tour to promote her new book "Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off: The Yarn Harlot's Guide to the Land of Knitting." Baby girl and I made the trek up to see Stephanie before the auction festivities on Saturday and were not to be disappointed. I was a bit taken aback by how many people showed up (silly knitter....I should have known). There were close to 100 people there. I arrived right about the time she was supposed to start speaking, and not only were there no seats left, but people were lined up into the aisles and up on the balcony. Muggles came in and looked shocked that there was someone up there talking about knitting...and there were so many others who were actually listening! There was knitting going on everywhere. Stephanie showed up to cheers and applause in her lovely Bohus sweater (which she hasn't even posted photos of on her own blog yet and, oy, the yellows so cannot be captured properly on nearly glows, it's so pretty.). We were on the periphery of the crowd and really could not even see Stephanie, but we heard her well.

Not only was Stephanie funny, she was so well spoken and completely down to earth. When it came time for book signing, she made the proclamation that pregnant women, women with babies, and those who were handicapped could sneak to the front of the line. Yay for the free pass, Corinna! I had brought knitting with me, with the hopes of whipping it out and telling her all about it, and telling her how much I love that she's so pro breastfeeding, etc., etc., but when I got up to the front of the line...I got all red and hot and nervous and only managed to pull out my sock in progress and ask sheepishly if I could take a picture of her with it. I actually got to hold her sock in progress (the one that she takes with her on her tours...and the one that has and will pass through the hands of many other talented and more worthy knitters on its way to completion) and got a picture of us together. I couldn't even manage to tell her that I've read her blog for two years now and how much I enjoy her writing. I did, however, manage to find a lone copy of "At Knit's End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much" (hmm...sound like anyone we know?) and had her sign it, since the bookstore completely sold out of her current book before I got there. Corinna was awake for much of the talk, but slept through the signing part, and Stephanie remarked that she was sure to be a knitter (you betcha!). I had really hoped to hang out longer, but that was not to be, as I needed to haul my fanny off to J*ann's to get stuff to complete the nature table scene and pick up hubby so we could get to the auction.

Stephanie, me, and baby makes three. Well...except the lady in the background also snapping a photo. And yeah, my stylist cut my hair too short on Thursday. It'll grow. But look...I'm wearing jewelry. And though you can't see my feet, I actually had on a skirt and wedge heels. Stylin', I was. Corinna made quite the little koala-type accessory herself.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

So done.

The auction is now but a blurry memory, and I can finally heave a big fat sigh of relief. After one all night crafting session and another night until 2 am in a push before the auction deadline, here are the results of my effort.

Six root children (which you all have seen before), six flower children, two adult felt bunnies, one felt baby bunnie (yeah, so I switch my -y to an -ie...what of it?), Two adult felt sheep with woolie bodies, and one little lambie.

Many thanks to my mother-in-law who helped sew the bodies of the root children and helped with the kiddos and also to my friend K. who also helped with sewing the bodies of the root children. It took me up to the very last minute to finish everything up. Something I'd like to not repeat again in the future.

I finished off the nature table scene by purchasing a yard of yellow/green dupioni silk (so pretty!!) that I didn't get a chance to photograph and a flat basket. I lined the basket with the silk and arranged all the dolls and felt animals in the basket along with the Mother Nature from our nature table. I snipped flowers from our front yard (crocuses, daffodils, hyacinths, and snowdrops) and arranged them so the flower children were holding them in their little pipe-cleaner arms. Voila! Again, somebody thump me for not getting a picture of it.

The Mother Love blanket that I knitted a strip for auctioned for $650. Not bad! The nature table scene with the dolls and things sold for $120. The felt bowls went for something like $20 or $30. All in all a pretty good showing. I probably should have listed the price for the nature table scene at $200. I think it might have auctioned for closer to that if I'd done that, but I'm never good at deciding true value on the items I make.

Hubby thought that I might be all crafted out by now. Um yeah, no. I think that is an insatiable urge. My crafting priorities might shift a little back to knitting, but I've got plenty of crafting fire left in me. Just no more staying up to the wee hours for a while, 'k?