Wednesday, December 24, 2008

In the mail...

So lately, the mailman has been bringing lots of Christmas cards. We've heard from people that we only hear from this time of year and people we see every few days. I also sent cards to people we only hear from once a year and people we see all the time. Today, there was nothing...

Except this:
Well, I didn't order anything. So I opened it.
OOH! A Present!
From my secret pal. And it says Merry Christmas!
What? You didn't really think I would wait until tomorrow, did you?
Thank you, Secret Pal! Now the trick is to wait until the 1st to start reading it!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Knitty Scrooge

I don't Christmas knit, but why is it that the closer it gets to Christmas, the more I think of things that would be perfect for people? I don't think of things to knit for my kids or my husband. Instead I think of how perfect this item would be for that random person I never see. Or how cute my cousin would look in that pattern. That is why I do not Christmas knit. If I knit that really cute hat for one random relative, then I'd have to do one for all of the random relatives. Knitting overload! But sometimes I wish I was a faster knitter. Then maybe I could be a Christmas knitter. By the way, do you think it's too late to order some Mmmmalibrigo worsted and knit Hokiehubby a hat for Christmas?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

SP 13 question

Am I doing any holiday knitting?

Nope. Not one thing. Nada. Nil. Zip. Zero.

I'm just not ready for the pressure. Also, I'm a selfish knitter. I've only given away some washcloths, a couple of garter stitch scarves, 3 baby blankets and a baby layette.
I have a couple of in-laws who would like to receive hand-knits, but they want big things like sweaters and beaded lace stoles. I'm afraid that knitting for Christmas would set a precedent that would require me to knit for more people and I'm just not ready for that. I don't do well with deadlines, as evidences by the fact that my very first sock swap partner received her socks over a year late (sorry about that!). Sadly, none of my swaps have made it out on time, but SP 13 will be a change for me! You'll be getting your package before the end, honest!

In the meantime, I'm plugging away on my malibrigo nutkins. I frogged the short row heel and replaced it with a heel flap. Normally I don't mind the challenge of a new technique, but I really need these to be happy socks, and they weren't until I frogged. Knitting is to be a stress reducer, not inducer! When it's not fun, I don't want to do it. Back to some household chores so I can knit again!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Here's a dull post for you

Today's ToDo List: aka How I'm Trying to Get It Together So I Can Find My Mind
-take dinner out of freezer
-eat breakfast/take vitamins/drink more COFFEE!
-get ready for hokiekiddos to get up-drink and breakfast
-Bible study
-Melaleuca order
-straighten kitchen after Hokiehubby made dinner for kids last night and left it a mess again (I did more than straighten: it looks really good in there)
-throw out 15 things (I'm not sure how many things I threw out, but it's a lot)
-call Victory House to schedule a pickup for the stuff that is too good to throw away
-get together stuff for Victory House pickup
-clean bathrooms (not too bad, just need maintenance)
-at least one load of laundry
-gather paperwork for worldchangers program
-apply for YMCA Open Doors
-decide who the kids are shopping for at Frosty's Shop
-put timer on computer so I stop sitting here wasting time.
-frog short row heel and do a heel flap like I know I like

I'll let you know if I find my mind in all this mess.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Any entry is better than no entry, right? Maybe?


Okay, so I was on a roll for a while there, blogging very frequently. Not so much lately. We went to Pennsylvania the 5th-7th to see Thomas the Tank Engine. He comes to the Strasburg Rail Road 3 times a year: June, September, and one weekend in December. We've always gone on a weekday in September because we've never had to worry about missing school. It's wonderful then. The December event was lovely, but I much prefer Lancaster County on the weekdays when there is a Thomas event. Hokiehubby's mother, sister and two boys, aunt, and very pregnant cousin and her boy came from Pittsburgh to spend the weekend with us.

We visited the town of Hershey on Friday and picked up about 8 pounds of kisses. We took the factory tour ride and got to make gears full of kisses. The making was free, the gears were not. Saturday was our Thomas ride. A little tip to save stress: don't forget your tickets at home! For some reason, will-call was not available when I ordered our tickets. I always use will-call so I don't have to worry about tickets when packing. It all worked out okay, and we were all safely aboard when Thomas departed the station at 10:45. That evening, we drove out to BFE to visit the Christmas Village. It would have been very lovely if my cousin hadn't been 38 weeks pregnant and ready to pop! A story for another day, perhaps. Sunday, we had lunch with our Pa family and sent them west while we headed southeast to home. Hokiehubby had picked up a brochure in the hotel for a little railroad that I can't even remember the name of. It was only about 15 minutes from where we were, and we could be there in time to catch a ride with Santa Claus before coming home. It was a fun little trip for the four of us.

Since then, I have just been in a funk. I don't know what exactly is going on. I know I love Christmas for all the beauty everywhere and the time we spend with our families. I really don't like the gift thing. I feel like there is too much focus on spending money on people, and stuff shouldn't matter so much! I hate combining all this material crap with the birth of Jesus the Christchild. That's where the focus should be, and now that I am responsible for two small souls I just can't seem to get excited about gift-giving. Another separate issue is I think I'm coming down with a baby bug. Everywhere around me are women who have just burst or who will burst soon. I am still wishy washy on expanding our family, especially right now with our hokiehouse being so small and the money not exactly overflowing. But, it wasn't really the "right time" with either of the other hokiekiddos, so why am I so concerned about timing? I think a bigger issue at this point is that if we have one more, we will want to have another one to make things even. We have two beautiful and healthy children and I am always a high-risk pregnancy, so why risk it?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Plink!

There's a special kind of music that happens in the kitchen. You take a giant pot and fill it with water. Then you wait for it to boil. Soon, you fill little glass jars with something yummy. You place the jars into the pot to boil for a little while. When you take them out of the pot, you set them on the counter to cool. That's when the magic music starts.

Plink.........plink........plink..plink......plink.....plink.

The magic music is short. If you aren't listening, you won't hear it. It's the wonderful sound of little jars of applebutter sealing on the counter as they cool. You know you did it right. Those little jars of yummy-ness will be ready for Christmas presents.


PS: when I grow up and become a real blogger, I will have my camera on hand to take wonderfully artistic pictures of the musical instruments.

Monday, December 1, 2008

And I Promptly Lost It

The mojo is gone. I went into denial. I started thinking that the Hokiesock was a little big. I said, nah. It's fine. Yeah. It wasn't. It was just large enough that it would have slipped right on down into my shoes. Frogged.

On the plus side, I wound my Malabrigo. I hope to start new socks tomorrow after I get some other things taken care of. I'm hoping the loss of mojo is simply from the gorgeous Malabrigo staring me in the face.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Found it!

My mojo came back today. We went to my great aunt and uncle's house for our annual fruitcake dancing. Okay, so it's really just making fruitcake. When Hokieboy was a teeny thing, the Saturday after Thanksgiving we went and made fruitcake. We wanted to put his hands in the batter so we could say he helped, but my aunt *insisted* that we put his feet in the bowl. So, fruitcake dancing was born. Hokiegirl joined in the tradition when she was born. Now they are a little old for the feet to be cute, but we still get them to stir the batter.

Back to the mojo. Fruitcake takes a long time to make and bake. We were at that house from 10am to 7pm. I wisely brought my Hokie socks to work on during the annual Commonwealth Cup game. Yay! Much knitting was accomplished! Yay! University of Virginia: 14, Virginia Tech: 17. The Hokies will make their next appearance in Tampa next week for the ACC title game. Woohoo!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Knitting on hold...

I have lost my knitting mojo. Nothing is exciting anymore. I have been spending entirely too much time on facebook and websudoku. I dream in numbers and grids. I try to find really interesting things to put as my "what are you doing?" headline.

Thankfully, Hokiehubby hauled our butts out of the house yesterday. We went to Hampton for the Air and Space Center. It was pretty cool, but the kids still enjoy the Living Museum or the Children's Museum more. They are still a little young for appreciating all the cool planes. Some of the hands-on exhibits were malfunctioning. They did fine, though. I think as long as they can look at things and run around they are happy.

I have stalled out a little on housework. I had hoped to clean off the front porch the other day so we could decorate for Christmas, but it hasn't happened yet. I need to make dinner for a friend who had a baby and I'm making soup for tonight.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Who's your knitter?

Not me, not today, apparently. However, I am on FIRE! I have completely cleaned not one but both of my bathrooms. I hate cleaning bathrooms; I think we all know why. But today, they are clean. Really clean. Also today, I made a loaf of bread to go with my applebutter! Yay! I have just shy of 8 cups of applebutter. I was really hoping to can it to take to my MOPS group, but I'm not going to have enough for everyone. Maybe I'll take some to share at brunch and package a jar with some other goodies as a raffle basket... that's actually a decent idea.

Applebutter:
6 pounds of granny smith apples, peeled/cored/sliced
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 Tbls cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves

Make apples into applesauce by simply microwaving until mushy.
Put everything into the crockpot on low overnight.
Blend until smooth.
All done. You can process it in your canner, or it will keep for a month in the icebox, indefinitely in the freezer.
This makes a nice tart applebutter. Use more white sugar (up to 2 cups) for sweeter applebutter.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Adventure in the Kitchen, Part 1

I'm making applebutter! I'll let you know how it goes, but right now it smells soooooo good.

Maybe I should bake some bread to go with it...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

That's what little boys are made of

I went to Yarn for Supper last night for an evening of adult-ness. It was very nice. Uninterrupted thought processes ensued. Knitting occurred. Coffee was consumed. Then I reached into my jacket pocket for my wrist warmers.

I found a frog and a spider. Can you tell I have kids?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I suck at knitting

I just haven't been able to get my head in the game. Maybe it's the yarn (STC Bamboo). Maybe it's the project (scarf). Maybe it's the pattern (cat's paw lace). Maybe it's the recipient (my sister, Cat). I just don't know.

I think I'll go fondle my new Malabrigo sock in Caribeno and try to feel inspired.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Secret Pal 13

I'm a little late getting this up, but such is me.

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? I keep being drawn to Schaefer's Anne, but probably because that was the yarn for my 2nd pair of socks, and they were a wonderful experience.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? Sadly, whatever I have on hand. Right now, DPNs are all together in DPN tubes, my new KP Options (yay!) are hanging out in the bag they came in, and my straights (which I rarely use any more) are in a bin in the closet. I'd like to get binder or case, similar to the one Knit Picks sells for the options, but I need a bargain! Some other knitters I know have a binder fromBass Pro Shops that seems to work well.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? In 2002, I learned how to knit at a class at the YMCA in Blacsburg, VA. Hokiehubby was fighting wildfires out in Utah and California and I needed something fun to do.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? I did, but I haven't managed it lately.

5. What's your favorite scent? Oh, I really don't have one. Herbals, perhaps.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? I do have a bit of a sweet tooth, but I try not to indulge often. When I do, I like dark chocolate or cookies and cream ice cream.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin? I have a mild interest in scrapbooking, but I suck at printing pictures. Ah, spinning. Maybe someday, but I can't afford it.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) I listen to Christian mostly (KLOVE on the radio), but I like popular stuff (top 40? Do they still call it that?), country, bluegrass like Alison Krauss and Nickel Creek. If I had a gaming system, I would own Rock Band and sing it all night long! I have an iPod.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand? Blues and greens, reds and purples. I like my colors saturated, I'm not into pastels.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? I am married and have two preschoolers (boy and girl). I have a dog and a cat.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? I would if it were cold enough.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? I like socks and lace, but I'm feeling the need to do another sweater (I recently finished my first! Central Park Hoodie!).

13. What are you knitting right now? A scarf for my sister out of bamboo, and trying to cast on some socks.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? Of course!

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? Circs-just got my nickel-plated Knit Picks Options. I mostly use wooden for my socks, I like my Britany Birch.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? No, I have a knitter friend down the street with a set, but maybe someday.

17. How old is your oldest UFO? Baby blanket from when I was pregant the first time, in 2003/04.

18. What is your favorite holiday? What winter holiday do you observe? I love Christmas, but not because of the presents, because of Baby Jesus.

19. Is there anything that you collect? Not so much. Unless yarn counts. I really should try that whole yarn diet thing and knit from stash. Nah.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? Nothing I'm dying for, but I'd like to have the Harlot's calendar. I try not to think to hard on the other stuff cuz I don't knit very fast and I'm afraid I'll end up with an unruly stash. I have a small house.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? Two color knitting. I've been meaning to try the Endpaper Mitts or some other mitten.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? I am. I'm a size 8 1/2US. 8 1/2 inches around the ball, 9 inches heel to big toe.

23. When is your birthday? February 24

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID? ptownhokie

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Scenes from Psycho

There they were, just sitting there. The Hokiekiddos were watching the Snowman, eyes fixed on the screen in awe and wonder. I slipped away. I needed to take care of some business. I go into the bathroom and sit for a few minutes. All is still quiet. I know the movie is not very long, but I figure I have enough time for a shower. I turn on the water. I listen from the bathroom to judge how much of the movie is left. They're flying now. Okay, so I have enough time to shower and then the movie will be over. It's all good. I step into the shower. Oh, the hot water feels so good! There is nothing like a shower to...
"Get out of the bathroom, please."
"I want a dookie!" Hokiegirl demands.
"I just want to take my shower. I'll be done in a little bit."
"Uhhh!" She tries to close the door repeatedly. It's a tough door to close.
"Mama, I'm firsty." It's Hokieboy this time.
"Please just let me take a shower!"
"But I'm firsty!"
"There's nothing I can do right now; I'm in the shower."
"Uhh!"
Did I misjudge the length of the movie? No, it was still on when I got out of the shower. Kids really have a knack for knowing the best times to be annoying.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Just another dreary day

Today is Friday, and we have no events scheduled. I did finally get some sweats on rather than stay in my nightgown all day. I'm starting to doubt the feasibility of keeping both children out of school and homeschooling. It's not that I think I can't do it. I can. Hokieboy can. He is so smart. He taught himself how to write his name. I swear I had nothing to do with it. Sadly. Anyway, I just wonder if I can handle having both kids home. Hokieboy can only go to MOPS this year and next and same thing for CBS. Family will start talking about school when summer comes and I think he wants to go. Dunno how to explain that his school will be our house. Hokiegirl will be giving up naps soon. Everyday it gets harder to convince her she needs one. And I have zero motivation to do anything lately.

Started the cat scarf for my sister. The yarn is STC Bamboo and it is super drapy. It's very soft and lovely, but I'm not sure lace is what it wants to be. Oh well, I'll keep on with it and see what I think later. After finishing my Central Park Hoodie, I've had kind of a block. Nothing I knit satisfies. Just more motivation issues, I guess.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

It was a dark and stormy day

Today was Bible study day. I was up at 6 to get showered and dressed and make lunches. I was able to check my email before getting the kids dressed and into the car at 730. Traffic was really odd this morning, with lots of accidents from the Beach to Ptown, but none on my way out, thankfully. We had a shorter-than-normal wait to get into the tunnel (only about 10 minutes) and then smooth sailing out to Lynnhaven. So we pull into the parking lot, I shut the engine down, and it starts raining. Hard. Seriously?? Oh well.

It was a good morning. Of our little ones that usually cry, only one did and only for a few minutes. That was nice, especially since we were short staffed. Our nursery worker's son in law lost his battle with cancer earlier this week, and one of our teachers was in a bad car accident last week. She had to be cut from her car and had surgery to repair a broken hip socket. She is okay, tired and doing physical therapy. Hokieboy misses her.

It was raining pretty steadily all the way home, which made driving a little tense. We made it safely. Now I just hope that the truck doesn't leak like it usually does. Last time we got a steady rain, it got into the steering column and the horn kept honking randomly. That was fun. Sure. So if you're driving around Ptown and hear a horn honking that won't stop, it's mine. Sorry.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A MOPS Mom Rambles

I am utterly exhausted. Just for today, I hope. We had MOPS this morning and it went well. I love MOPS and all that it stands for. I'm enjoying being Coordinator. But sometimes, I feel like others are simply going through the motions. I think maybe I try too hard. I do too much on my own. Maybe I just need to rely on my steering team more and ask them for help. I just want everyone to come to MOPS and have a good time, but not have to worry about the behind the scenes stuff. So, I show up every Tuesday and help with set up. Then I come in early on Wednesday to finish any details and whatever. Of course, I am the last member out each week, followed only by the mentor moms who finish the dishes without my kiddos running around like chickens. So, this Thanksgiving, I am thankful that there is only one MOPS meeting this month, and it's over.

The Monster Caramel Apples were a hit, though.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

In and Out

5:45am: awoke to the sounds of many cars parking in front of my house to vote.

7am: lines around the block.

8:45am: left for normal Tuesday activities; long lines still there.

2pm: walked to church to vote.

2:07pm: walked home.

The walk to and from the church took longer than the entire voting process.

Monday, October 13, 2008

I'm so not good at writing regularly. Sigh.

So I'm still plugging away on my Central Park Hoodie. Thankfully the knitting is done, but there is much seaming remaining. I'm not real happy with the button band on one side, so I may be tearing it out and starting over. I'm going to seam first so that all I will have left is the new band. In the meantime, I finished a little baby hat to go with the BSJ for Hokiehubby's cousin this weekend. I also managed to find buttons that I think will work. The BSJ was hanging out alone at home when I managed to get out to find buttons. I haven't had a chance to try them out. My Hokiejays were frogged, as the yarn wasn't striping the way I was hoping. Oh well.

I have been busy. I am a children's teacher for a Bible study, so I must plan those lessons as well as keep up with my own study. I'm also the coordinator for the daytime MOPS group. That is one of the most challenging things I've done recently. I knew it would be, and I'm still wondering why God laid it on my heart. I imagine I'll find out someday.

Hokieboy has speech on Monday mornings now. It's going really well. His teacher started the "s" sound with him today. He has gotten the hang of "f" and it is time to add another sound.

We will be going to Erie this weekend and on to Pittsburgh Sunday. Nobody up there knows we are coming, so shhh! Baby shower and graduation party on Saturday, and Presque Isle on Sunday. Hokiehubby wants a bit of a replay of last weekend when we rode bikes for 25 miles in two days. I don't ride bikes, or exercise, so 25 miles is a really freakin' big deal for me. So we will go to Presque Isle and try again. Fun.

It's my anniversary with Hokiehubby! Seven years of wedded hokie bliss! I still love you, and I don't itch at all.

Monday, September 15, 2008

What I did on my summer vacation...

We went home. No, it's not really home, but it's where HokieHubby and I always feel most at home. Driving back to Bburg is always so nice. We like to stop at Cowlings BBQ for lunch on the way out. Good stuff. Hokieboy loves him some bbq. There is just something about Virginia once I am west of Farmville on 460. It's like the cares of my normal life melt away and I actually become more like myself. Blacksburg is the one place that was mine. I have my memories there.
We had to hit this place for lunch. I insisted on getting the Mac and Cheese for at least one Hokiekiddo. I never let the kids get mac and cheese when we are out because it's usually crap. Not here.
Hokiehubby got to go home, too. BFD157 rides again, this time with little firefighters in training.

These fantastic statues are all over town, thank heavens! Before we left I told Hokieboy we were going to see where the HokieBird lives. He gasps, "the HokieBird! I LOVE the HokieBird! I'm going to give him a hug and a kiss!" Of course we were there in time for move-in Saturday and there was not a live Bird to be seen. HokieBoy was very excited to find this one at Station 2.


If you did not know, Virginia has a fantastic state park system. This is HokieGirl showing off a caterpillar at Butterfly Kapers at Douthat State Park. This was the second year that my mom rented a cabin for a week for all of us. We had a fantastic time, and only left the park twice on the two days that it was raining, or rather pouring. This year the kids did all of the Kapers programs. Unfortunately, the remnants of Fay came through on Tuesday and did not leave until Thursday so it was too cold to be at the beach too much this year. We visited the C&O Historical Society one day, and my mom and I took a mineral bath at Jefferson Pools the next. OH MY I need me one of those nearby!

So, I'm thinking at the moment that it is much too late (too early??) to continue this entry. If you are just DYING to know what happened next, I'm sorry. I wasn't able to sleep so I came down to piddle and decided to write. More later... and maybe even some knitting updates!



Tuesday, August 19, 2008

catching up on photos and clearing up a little confusion...

This is the package my wonderful secret pal sent me.
It was full of very lovely stuff. There is a lovely keychain of a sweater in progress that instantly found its home with my keys, some samples of wool wash, a pretty green stitch marker, size 0 harmony dpns, a knitting journal, dpn wip tubes, highlighter tape, and the new Harlot book (awesome, by the way). The yarn is some very lovely Dream in Color smooshy and Scout's yarn custom dyed in orange and maroon just for me, ptown hokie. Thank you so much! You are awesome! I love getting your comments and emails!

This odd little mass above became this lovely sweater below:
It is NOT for a child of mine. My two little ones are too big for this. I am not expecting anytime in the foreseeable future. It will be for HokieHubby's cousin's baby, due Christmas Eve. This is Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby Surprise Jacket. I'm waiting to find out what gender the baby will be so I can buy buttons for it. Mom-to-be feels like baby will be a girl, so I'm hoping that is true. The sweater has a lot of blue in it, but possibly a bit too much purple for a boy. If it is a boy, I will add a blue edge around the neckline and blue buttons.

This is the package I received last month for the A Few of My Favorite Things Swap: an assortment of teas (delicious), chocolates (again, delicious), lavender soap (loving it currently: I think it repels mosquitos), candles, notecards, stitch markers in a box, yarn and needles. Thank you for a lovely package, Shannon!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Baby Surprise

Good news on the knitting front: my Ravelympics Baby Surprise Jacket is all knitted up! Right now it is a floppy piece of fabric waiting to be photographed and then seamed. Once that is done, I will be going out to buy buttons. We're not sure of the sex of the baby just yet, so maybe the more economical thing to do would be to sew it up and wait to buy buttons. The jacket so far is beautiful. I'm using Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in Confetti, which is white, light blue, darker blue, purple, and pink. It's probably best suited for a girl, but I think a newborn boy could wear it fine. I'm going to use the buttons to hopefully clarify gender. I used one skein and part of the second, so I'd like to do a hat and booties to match.

So, doesn't it figure that the day I get up early, the kids sleep late? Usually they wake me up around 6:30. So I get up at 6 and they are just now waking up at 7:45. I really need to get up early more often.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

trying to medal in Baby Dressage

In keeping with current events, here's the Olympic-themed SP12 question of the week:

Which Olympic event would best describe your knitting/knitting style?

Gymnastics Team

Lace=balance beam: this event requires massive amounts of concentration and I cannot take my eyes off of the apparatus.

Socks=floor exercise: this is the event that goes everywhere, to all the corners of the earth. It tends to be the one that has the most energy and moves/shaping.

Sweater=uneven bars: this is a new addition to my routine. It has highs and lows, simple stockinette turns and cable twists and releases. It is an in-depth exercise, involving many castons/mounts for each piece of the sweater and castoffs/dismounts. Gotta stick the landing: the seaming is the last part that leaves an impression with the audience.

Wee Tiny Prayer socks=vault: quick and dirty and full of prayers.

(Can you tell what I watched last night?)

Speaking of the Olympics and knitting, I am working on a baby surprise jacket for the Ravelympics. I'm doing pretty well, too! I hope to finish it before we leave for camping next Friday. I don't want to seam it on the road without my internet! My traveling project will probably be the Central Park Hoodie I started before the Olympics. I've finished the back and sworn not to knit more on it until after the BSJ. We'll see how that goes!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

My pal is better than your pal!

First of all, thank you so so so much to my secret pal! You are spoiling me already! I took pictures, but Hokiehubby has the good laptop that makes pictures easy to upload. Let me just tell you that I have been properly spoiled. I can't decide what gift is my favorite! You'll just have to wait until I can post the pictures to find out!

OTN: Central Park Hoodie. I started this guy on the first of the month. I'm so excited, as this is my first sweater! It's speeding along; I'm on the armholes on back. Of course, the size 10 needles probably help, and the fact that I'm really enjoying the yarn (Knit Picks Wool of the Andes.) I was a little nervous about Knit Picks yarn, as I haven't enjoyed the sock yarn I've tried. This stuff feels good to work with.

Catching up on SP12 questions:
In many communities, "the fair" is a great place to visit and spendtime with your family. It's also where many have entered one productor another (jams, cakes, even knitting)...Have you ever entered your knitting (or anything else) in the fair?Would you ever consider it?

=I don't even know where there is a fair nearby. I've never entered a fair, but I might some day! When my husband's aunt saw my MS3, she suggested that I sell it. How do you sell something like that??? I worked so hard on it for months. It was my first lace, and it's full of mistakes. I'm very attached to it. Of course, my mother in law told me that she is going to be incredibly excited to open her Christmas present this year.

What is your favorite supper for a hot summer evening? For added flavor, post a photo or recipe link.

=I don't know that I have a favorite supper. If things are really rough around here and I don't want to cook, I would be happy with a bowl of cereal and maybe ice cream after the kiddos go to sleep. Hokiehubby and Hokiettes don't aways go for that. So they get hot dogs and mac and cheese. My latest experiment is once a month cooking. Now there is always something in the freezer that has minimal prep: thaw and heat and eat!

My MOPS year has begun. We had our first steering meeting yesterday and it went well. I'm still nervous about being Coordinator, but I know it will be fine in the end.

More later, when I can post pictures!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

to sleep or not to sleep...

My freakish need for sleep is officially cutting into my knitting time. Again.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

So whose fault was it?

The facts:
-There was marker all over the bedspread.
-There were three markers (with and without caps) in Hokiefriend's bedroom that had originally been downstairs, accessible in a child's desk.
-The boys had been allowed free reign of the house while us mommies hung out in the living room.
-The boys had been told they were not to have crayons all over the house, due to last weeks "writing on the walls" incident.
-The boys had been told markers were for the dry erase board only.
-Hokieboy is 4years and one month old; Hokiefriend will be 4 next month.
-Hokiemama (me) is 30; Hokiefriend's Mommy is 28.

Observations:
-Markers were accessible at all times to curious preschoolers.
-The boys were never told the markers needed to stay downstairs.
-The boys were not supervised upstairs.
-The boys average 4 years old.
-The mommies average 29 years old.
-When confronted, each boy said the other one did it.

Conclusions:
-The boys probably knew they were not supposed to draw on the bed, but it cannot be determined for sure.
-The boys have impulse control issues; they are 4.
-The mommies did not draw on their additional 25 years of life experience to make some simple decisions that could have prevented the situation (ounce of prevention v. pound of cure, HELLO!)

Verdict:
-Boys: Guilty of succumbing to typical impulses affecting young children.
-Mommies: Guilty of stupidly allowing children with access to destructive materials to run amok unsupervised in a home with items that the mommies do not want destroyed.

Sentence:
-Boys: immediate suspension of coloring privileges until further notice; three strikes rule in effect: one more coloring offense and boys will not be allowed to play together indefinitely.
-Hokiemama: embarassment at seeming lack of control of Hokieboy's actions; awkwardness of not agreeing with Hokiefriend's Mommy's method of punishment; possible participation in replacement of destroyed comforter.
-Hokiefriend's Mommy: find a way to remove dry erase marker from comforter; failing stain removal, possible replacement of comforter; other ramifications unknown to this entry.

Conclusion:
Keep all markers out of reach of children unless supervised.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Markers and Crayons and 4 Year Old Boys

Who did it?

Last week Hokieboy went to a friend's house to play. They had a lovely time with their notebooks and crayons looking for clues ala Blue. They were searching for the monster that lives under Hokiefriend's Mommy's bed. Blissfully unaware of any danger, we mommies helped the boys clean up when it was time to go home.

The phone rang at 9:45pm. "Do you have a minute?" asks Hokiefriend's Mommy.

This didn't sound good. Turns out there was crayon all over Hokiefriend's walls, and when confronted, Hokiefriend told his mommy that Hokieboy did it. Being a nice friend, Mommy was not blaming Hokieboy entirely, but Hokiefriend had never done this before.

So Hokieboy and I talked. He said Hokiefriend said it was okay.

It was determined between Mommy and me that the boys would no longer be allowed to use crayons without supervision.

Fast forward one week to today. We are back at Hokiefriend's house. The boys have been told that the crayons are off limits. The mommies help clean up so we can go home.

The phone rings. "Do you have a minute?"

AGAIN??? You've got to be kidding me! This time it's dry erase marker all over Mommy's brand new comforter and pillow cases. Dry erase is permanent on fabric.

What am I supposed to do? It's been too long since the incident for a timeout and the evidence is not available for me to show Hokieboy as a reminder. So, crayons, markers, and other drawing implements are off limits until further notice and if it happens again he will not be allowed at Hokiefriend's house. Grr.

Monday, July 7, 2008

melancholy me

Still plugging away on MS3. I'm about 15 rows from finishing clue 4. I've been keeping tabs on Jessica's progress on hers. She finished knitting and needs to get some new pins so she can block it. I made her promise I can come and help. I've never blocked anything, but I hear it's knitter's crack, especially with lace. Magical. We'll see! I'm excited about it.

I've made dozens of wee tiny socks, and now it is time to move on. I need a new portable project. Nothing's catching my eye right now, though. Sigh. I want something new, but funds are perpetually low. So, I must go stash diving. Well, jumping anyway, since the pool is shallow and I wouldn't want to break my neck.

And that brings me to... SP12's question #4. It's all about stash again.

1) What yarn (that you don't have/haven't used) would make your stash "complete"? Is stash ever complete? Considering the aforementioned depth of my stash and my limited experience/budget, there are many many yarns out there that I've never knit with. I've heard wonderful things about malibrigo, noro and other pricey yarns. I'd like to try some of the new cotton blends, provided they aren't too splitty. I've also had my eye on fearlessfiber's sock yarns.

2) What yarn do you never want to be without? I hope to one day knit with something I would mourn over if I could never have it again.

I'm wondering if my partner from my last swap has received her goodies. I still haven't received mine, but they are supposed to be on their way.

I just remembered I have some Anne lurking in my stash... off I go to find a pattern!

Monday, June 30, 2008

random bra discussion

Two posts in one day... it's a twofer!

So at YFB the other day, we talked about bras and sizing and whatnot. I mentioned how (horror of horrors) the bras I wear are pre-Hokieboy. This means that they are over 4 years old. I actually have owned a couple of other bras, but pregnancy, nursing, weight loss, another pregnancy, and more nursing all mean lots of change. Over the past 4 1/2 years, I spent 15 months pregnant and 24 months nursing. I never thought of it that way. Anyway, that's a lot of mileage on the girls. So the reason for this post is: my old standby, daily use bra broke today. The underwire snapped and poked me in my boobage. I only have one other that I alternate with. So, you will be happy to know that I must make the time to go bra shopping in the immediate future. Or pull out nursing bras, and that's just not a happy option. Good thing it's payday.

It's summer!

I have big tomatoes. Huge. No clue what variety I planted, but they are huge. The first red one came almost two weeks ago. Now I just have huge, beautiful green ones. So in honor of the green-ness of these fresh tomatoes, I fried them. Smoked up the whole downstairs. Yum. If I had been thinking, I would have taken pictures to immortalize them, they were that good.

Also in honor of summer, Hokiehubby managed to get ahold of 8 cantelopes for $2. Sugar. Very ripe. He used 2 at the fire station. We gave 2 to my mom and I took one to a friend. The four of us managed to consume one at dinner last night, and this morning I had to refrigerate the last 2. The kitchen is so warm and the melons ended up with soft spots overnight. This is a bummer. I'm not a huge fan of refrigerated fruit. I prefer it closer to (cool) room temperature. I think it's sweeter and closer to its natural taste.

MS3 is about halfway through clue 4. Clue 4 was a double clue and I'm about to start the second set of charts. I'm loving the way it's coming out, but I'm not sure what to do with it once it's done. I'll want to show it off, but how? Sigh.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I didn't want to leave

I'm back from the woods of western Virginia. We went camping in Douthat State Park, one of my favorite places to be. I love the tons of stuff they have to do. We swam in the lake, fished (caught nothing, but several future fishers will be happy that we fed the fish nice fat worms), hiked lightly, and cooked over a campfire. Hokiehubby loves camping, being an Eagle Scout and all. He bought a new camp kitchen and tent especially for this trip and the many that are apparently in my future. It's all good, or so I keep telling myself. Once our bank account recovers I will be much happier.

This was the trip I almost dreaded. A couple of months ago, we sat down together and looked at the calendar. I don't like to sweat, so I wanted to get the camping over with before the heat of summer. So, we picked the first weekend of summer, knowing that if we didn't put it on the calendar another summer would pass by with no camping. Then I suggested with invite my inlaws, as in Mom and Dad. That was fine. Then Mom invited her sister, who decided she would want to bring down her grandson (10). Then Mom thought she'd better invite my sister-in-law and her family (boyfriend and 3 boys: 7,7, and 5). Then she thought her brother would like to come with his daughter (10). Then her sister thought she'd bring her granddaughter (4). So, four people became six, and then became 16. So much for my relaxing bonding time with my in-laws. All in all, though, it wasn't too bad. There were some tense moments, but there always are when you are trying to organize that many people. Ironically, I went the whole time bugspray free. It wasn't until we were home and unloading that we needed the stuff.

SP12 question week 2: As a kid, what did you look forward to most about summer vacation/break/holiday?
I always looked forward to the last weekend of summer: Labor Day weekend around here. We went camping every year to a family reunion. It was my favorite thing to do all summer. Unfortunately it meant school was about to start.

SP12 question week 3:
What would you consider the perfect amount of stash?
I'm not sure how to answer this question. I guess the perfect stash would have enough yarn that you could always cast on a new project. I wouldn't want too much at one time because I would forget what I have. Or I'd be too overwhelmed with choices to cast on anything! I like having a project in mind for each skein in my stash, which, by the way, is pretty small.

Friday, June 13, 2008

It was hotter than Hades...

...and I thought we would melt. On Monday, we had a brownout for about 15 minutes followed by a blackout for over an hour. Little Bit was sleeping upstairs. I'm not sure how as that is the hottest place to be with no air. Little Man was with me in the living room playing trains. This was in the afternoon around 3, the hottest point of the day. I thought we would be going out to the Rat's Place for pizza and to run around in air conditioning for a while, but the power came back on before it got too miserable. So I made chicken fried rice. I was bummed about cooking, but then I generally am when hubby is on shift.

I suppose I should just be thankful the power held on Sunday. Sunday was the hottest (102, I think) and the day of my first Pampered Chef demonstration. That went really well! I made it a mystery host event and sales were pretty good. The stuff really does sell itself. Now I need to find one more person to host a catalog show so I can reach a goal of 4 shows in my first 30 days. That person gets a free gift and I get a significant bonus. Any takers? ;)

Things have cooled off significantly, to the point of being almost pleasant. Of course that cooling off bit really means dropping back into the mid- to upper- eighties. But lower humidity! Hopefully this is not an indication that the summer, when it actually arrives next weekend, will be unbearable.

My SP hostess wants to know my favorite summer drink. Now I love me a good frozen margarita anytime of year; however, I just made a new drink this weekend: Triple Citrus Mojitos. It involves oranges, lemons, limes, and mint, and a syrup made from the zest and the mint, and rum. Of course, I must be careful with rum, as it is my nemesis. (There was an incident at a party in college involving a drink of mostly rum and a little orange juice and an emergency room. We'll leave it there.)

I was working on these very lovely wee tiny prayer socks for my MOPS group. I managed to get around 2 dozen of these little guys. Did I get a picture? Nope. Not of one. I guess that's what happens when you stay up until 3am trying to get them all done before you leave the house at 8. Dagnabit.

A Few of My Favorite Things

Dear Karolion,



I had a hard time keeping to the budget on this swap. I really wanted you to have an awesome package, but $15 doesn't go far these days! Please enjoy these items!

-Seashell stickers: The beach is one of my favorite places to take my kids- cheap entertainment! I especially love it in the off-season. We are very fortunate to live very close to the ocean.

-Sudoku: Before ravelry, this was how I wasted time.

-Kite: Nothing beats watching a child's eyes light up when they see a kite flying!

-Oreos: My favorite cookie!

-Bottlecaps: One of my favorite treats when trick-or-treating!

-Hershey's Goodnight Hugs: I like to relax with a hot beverage any time of day.

-Pampered Chef Nylon Scraper: I recently became a Pampered Chef Consultant. This little tool is soooo useful. I use one to clean pretty much any surface in my kitchen, including glass bakeware, my glass cooktop stove, and my sink. I've heard of people using them for cleaning showers and tubs and scraping wallpaper.

-Peaches and Cream: A dishcloth makes a great portable, useful, and cheap project. Socks are generally my favorite to take with me, but my favorite sock yarns are out of the budget here!

-Knit Picks Shimmer: My favorite project that I have a love/hate relationship with lately is lace, Mystery Stole 3, to be exact.

-Wee Tiny Prayer Sock: I could not knit you socks, but here is a wee tiny one to let you know that I was thinking of you.

-Finally, a bag to carry it all in- I'm addicted to bags. I'm always searching for the perfect bag for a particular need (knitting socks, diaper bag, beach bag).



These are a few of my favorite things, and I hope you enjoy them!



Sincerely,
ptownhokie

Monday, June 2, 2008

Secret Pal 12 questionaire

I thought I should go ahead and post my answers. It's a little late tonight, and I'm distracted by the Lost season finale (yay, DVR!), but better something than nothing! I'll have to review this again later and make sure it makes sense!

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? I like pretty much any fibers, but I'm not a big fan of 100% cotton. I'd like to try some cotton blends sometime.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? I have a lovely (ha) pencil box for dpns and hooks and doodads, and my full length needles are in a craft bin buried in my closet. I prefer dpns and circulars.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? I've been knitting and crocheting for about 5 years and consider myself somewhere between beginner and advanced.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? Amazon but it's fairly new. I didn't know you could have one until this questionaire!

5. What's your favorite scent? lavender-vanilla, honeysuckle

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? dark chocolate

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin? I would like to scrapbook and sew, but I have no space in my home for such things! Knitting is nice and portable! I'm happy enough with knitting for now, bu I may spin in the future.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) I listen to Christian music (KLOVE on the radio) and country and the popular mainstream type stuff. I like to be able to understand the lyrics.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand? I went to Virginia Tech so orange and maroon are the best color combination around! I love the blue family.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? I am married with a 2 year old and a 4 year old. I have a dog and a cat.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? I would if I had them. I do have scarves.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? Lately I've been enjoying socks because they are portable and relatively quick.

13. What are you knitting right now? wee tiny socks, MS3 (aka Swan Lake), about to cast on Blue Moon Fiber Arts funky sock monkey

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? of course, who doesn't?

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? circular bamboo

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? no, but I'd like to.

17. How old is your oldest UFO? 4 years?

18. What is your favorite holiday? Easter

19. Is there anything that you collect? dust :)

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? I do not have any subscriptions.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? I'm sure there are but it's late tonight to be thinking about it.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? Yes and I wear US 8 1/2 shoes, pretty average.

23. When is your birthday? February 24th

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID? ptownhokie

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Swaps and such

Well, a while back I decided that I would only participate in one swap at a time, to keep costs and time commitments down. The idea was: no swap until the previous swap was knitted, boxed, and sent away. I broke my rule. I did the Hogwarts Sock Swap 2 back in September/October, and neither one of us finished our socks on time. Life just does what it wants, without our permission. So I finished those socks and decided that even though the swap wasn't complete I could go ahead and do another. I did a prayer sock swap on Ravelry. That went better. My partner sent my socks right on time. They are beautiful! They are a little too long, but I'll just wear them around here. I was a couple of weeks behind on mine, but the girl I sent to (in Belgium!!) was very understanding. The plan was working fine, until a girl I know invited me to join A Few Of My Favorite Things over on ravelry. Then I noticed SecretPal 12 was up. So, I'm signed up for 2 at the same time. Neither one requires knitting a complete project; they are more putting nice packages together. And, AFOMFT is only a month and a $15 commitment so it will be done soon. The other is over 3 months. So anyway, there will only be a little overlap by the time signups for sp12 are done. Rationalization or reality avoidance: you decide.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

fevers, socks, and cooking

We went to Pittsburgh earlier this month. It was a pretty nice visit. Unfortunately, hokieboy came down with something. We got to the Burgh Thursday evening and Friday morning he was burning up. He didn't whine or cry or anything; he just sat there, and didn't want to eat or drink. We went to Erie for Mother's Day (which is a whole other story) and he swam at the hotel for a long while, but he went to bed really early. Around 4 in the morning, he wakes us up saying he's hungry and he wants something to eat. Well, of course there is nothing. I didn't have any snacks in the hotel room. So I go out looking for a vending machine. Nothing near the front desk. I find the elevator and there is a soda machine and an ice machine. I take the elevator down one flight and pray there is a snack machine. Oh, hallelujah! So I buy pretzels and poptarts and cookies, all in the hopes that my little furnace will eat something! (This ordeal has taken at least 10 minutes of me wandering around barefoot in my pjs at 4 something in the morning in a hotel.) I make it back to my room and find that hokieboy has managed to wake his hokiesister, who is now thinking it's morning, even though she has only been asleep for 4 1/2 hours. I get him to come into the bathroom so hokiehubby can turn the lights out and convince the little girl to sleep. I offer up my goods. This is what my almost 4 yo says to me:

"No, thanks, I'm good. Daddy got me this." He shows me the cup of Sprite in his hands.

Happy Mother's Day to me. And thanks for wandering around at 4 something in the morning looking for food.

We made it home safely and unremarkably. Then, on Sunday evening, just under a week after hokieboy got over his fever, hokiegirl wakes up in the middle of the night burning up. Joy.

The worst part of sick children is that I can't go anywhere. I don't want to expose anyone else's little darlings if my own are contagious. So, we canceled our plans with friends. I need to see a chiropractor, but I can't make the appointment without someone to watch my kids. All my nearby people have kids. But it's all good because the chiropractor is open late and my mom is coming over tomorrow to watch the kids for me.

Knitting: I'm almost done with clue 3 on MS3. I really enjoy it while I'm doing it, but it doesn't grow very fast. I'm also making wee tiny prayer socks for my MOPS group's last meeting. This was inspired by the prayer sock swap I was doing on ravelry. Nothing else to say about that, as my laptop died with the pictures on it and my camera battery is dead so no new pictures. I got my ravelry order: a fuschia tshirt, a Bob pin, and a cute little cotton fiber bag.

Pampered Chef: all the paperwork is done and I am a consultant! My kit should be in soon! Know anyone who would like to host a show? There are incentives for hosts of shows that I close within my first 30 days!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Waking up to new adventures

Mystery Stole 3 is out of hibernation! I picked it up again after some encouragement from Jess <pixieroseknits.blogspot.com>. I'm liking it much more as I'm 2/3 of the way through clue 2. I can actually read my lace and I'm able to follow the chart much better. I finished my sock swap and sent them off last week. I'm feeling pretty good about knitting right now. I do need to decide what I'm taking to Pittsburgh with me Thursday. I doubt I'll get much done on MS3 simply because when I'm visiting with people is not the best time for lace. So I'll need to cast o some socks. I have some beautiful yarn just waiting for me in my stash. (Stash sounds so wordly: my stash is like 4 skeins.)

I have a new venture beginning very soon. I'm going to be a Pampered Chef Consultant! Yay! I've been thinking for some time about doing something to earn play money for this family. Maybe this way I won't feel so bad for taking the kids out to eat. Anyway, if anyone needs a consultant, I'm here! I should be ready to go later this month and I'm looking for people to host parties. I get a bonus if I turn in 4 parties within my first 30 days. So exciting! I hosted a party yesterday and have my first 2 parties booked already! I need 2 more before June 15th. Pampered Chef also does wedding showers. I can't wait to see how that goes!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Let sleeping dogs lie

Today began with a ring. At 7:15 my phone rings. I ignore it, thinking if I answer it the person on the other end would probably drop dead from the growl in my voice. It doesn't work. My cell phone rings. Loudly. Somebody had better be injured, because my kids are sleeping in today, therefore so am I.

I think I grumbled something like, "hello?"

It's Paul asking me for a huge favor. "Can you go downstairs and find the map (that I did not treat like the important document that it is and casually left on the dining room table that is now covered with clean clothes)? The GPS did not take me to the right place."

More grumbling from me as I stumble as quietly as I can down the stairs that complain loudly. They are almost 100 years old, afterall; you'd complain, too. I reach the dining room and hear from the room above me the pitter patter of little feet.

"I NEED TO GO PEE-PEE! I NEED TO GO PEE-PEE!!" yells my soon-to-be-4 year old.

I stumble back up the stairs to let him out of his room, vainly hoping he hasn't woken his sister.

He has.

I stumble back downstairs to the phone that I had left. Rather than look under the piles of clean clothes (hey, it's a flat surface that the kids aren't likely to pull the clothes off of), I check the floor first.

There it is. The only piece of paper on the floor. If he had looked, he would have found it.

At this point, I need to go pee-pee myself. So I take the phone and the map with me.

"Where are you?" I growl.

"At the power plant."

Guess where he's supposed to be?

The training center is part of the power plant complex.

So this afternoon, I decided to go to the post office after my 2yo woke up from her nap. Being the brilliant woman that I am, I decide to save the environment (and my money) by walking the half mile to the post office. It's been raining off and on all day, but not hard. We begin our journey, one kid walking with me and one kid in the stroller, two umbrellas in hand. One block from the post office, we see big flash of lightning followed shortly by big crack of thunder. It hasn't done that all day! Just rain!

So we moved as quickly to the post office as a 4yo's legs can carry him. (I finally got my prayer socks sent to Brussels.) Turns out that was the only talking from the storm, besides some little rumbles. After our post office business is done, we begin our little trip home. It's sprinkling, then it rains. We stop to try to adjust the stroller umbrella. It falls to the side. We go to the next tree and try again. As we start walking it falls again. This continues all the way home. Finally we make it home.

I love the cool spring weather. I love April showers. I love having my windows open. Unfortunately, these things do not always go together. It's so humid that my house is stuffy. So I try to open more windows. That works for a little while, until I'm told that it is now raining in our house. It's been an interesting day, and it's not over yet.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Yarn for Supper sure tastes good!

I took a time out last night. Paul got home from work and disappeared. After an hour I went out to find him. I didn't know how bad I was feeling until he asked me if I was okay. I just started crying. I needed to get away. So I asked if he would be okay if I ran away for a bit.

I went to Yarn for Supper at Panera Bread. That was the fastest three hours I've enjoyed in a long time. I love love LOVE my children and my husband, but I needed to be without them for a little while. I just sat there and ate dinner and knitted. I had a whole day away last Saturday, but it was a leadership training. Totally different. Light conversations and good food can't be beat. So, I'm making a new commitment to myself to take time out more often. I'll be a better mom.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

She's a Walker now...

My baby sister got married today. It was a lovely party at Redwing. The bride and groom made their vows on the bridge in the Japanese Garden. The party was at the shelter nearest the playground for the enjoyment of my children. A grand time was had by all.

And I missed the ceremony. Before the ceremony began, my great-aunts were complaining about being cold and wondering if there was coffee. Looking at the time, Paul and I figured we could run up to Starbucks and be back with a box of coffee in 20 minutes, tops. So we leave the kids with my uncle and head out: the shop was maybe a mile away. We get there and ask for our coffee and pay. The girls seems excited to serve us. They find the box and then puzzle out how to put it together. Then they begin brewing the coffee. The box is almost full, when suddenly the bottom literally falls out. Coffee everywhere. So they decide they must call the manager to find out how to put the box together.

We wait. I call my cousin to find out what's going on. The wedding ceremony is over. Apparently, they thought everyone was there, so they began a tad early. Six minutes.

In the meantime, the girls at the coffee shop are having no luck. The new box is not going together. The coffee maker is not brewing actual coffee anymore. They can't get the pump on the pot to work. We tell them thanks, but we want our money back now so we can go. They offer us free coffee to make up for it. We make the decision that we might as well stay, since we've missed the ceremony anyway. Fifteen minutes later, we leave the store with 16 tall cups of coffee and creamers and sugars.

I missed the ceremony, but the coffee was free.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My willful (new) two-year-old

My daughter is two. It's official. Her birthday was yesterday, and now I can say for certain she is in the terrible twos. It's not that she is a bad child. On the contrary, she and her brother are perhaps the sweetest things on earth, randomly spouting "I love you" and running up to everyone they know with great big smiles and hugs. She is just extremely willful. She does what she wants to do, no matter how many times I tell her no. She climbs all over the furniture, tugs on my curtains, rips pages out of books, tosses toys everywhere, wriggles under the safety gate, and strips down nekkid whenever she can. She raises her head when you say her name and gives you a look that says, "go ahead and put me in time out; when it's over I'm doing this again."

All the animals at the zoo, and she plops down to play in the gravel. Two.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

ginger tea and toast

In response to my sad, devastating discovery that coffee does indeed exascerbate my relux, I bought some ginger root. I thought, "hey, coffee is bad and tea is supposed to be not good, but ginger is great for settling stomachs! I'll make ginger tea!" Well, I'm not really a fan of ginger usually. And ginger tea is not for me (it's not my cup of tea, you see?) It's really too spicy, even with some honey. I guess I could drink it if I needed to settle my stomach, but not every morning instead of coffee. So, back to square one. I've got cozy chamomile today, so we'll see how that goes. I do love the smell of the ginger tea, so I've got it simmering away on the stove rigt now: yesterday's remains with some more water on top.

My husband and I have been making bread with the bread machine for the past couple of months. We finally found a method that turns out some really decent stuff! But now I'm thinking we would be better off making a smaller loaf more frequently so we can be sure to consume it before it becomes a bread brick.

On the knitting side of things, I have a deadline looming for my prayer swap socks. I should be spending more time on them, and less time on the computer, especially because they must find their way overseas...

Friday, February 29, 2008

Apparently, I'm diseased.

I have acid reflux disease. I've been hoping it was something else, like maybe the world's longest and only non-contagious stomach flu. This has been going on since July (hmm, the month my father-in-law's office caught fire and a giant tree limb crushed my kitchen...) I finally saw a doctor two weeks ago and got medicated. It didn't seem to be working, so when I forgot it on Wednesday I learned it apparently is working. I thought I was going to die most of the day. So yesterday, I decided to cut out just coffee and chocolate to see if those were triggers for me, but I still took my pill. No reflux. CRAP!!! No coffee, chocolate, or pizza! It's not like I have to have those foods to live, but they can be so enjoyable. I also learned from a friend who is also professionally medicated for this that her main trigger is tea, and with summertime coming that makes me very sad. I love me some sweet tea. So this morning, instead of coffee, I brewed some ginger root tea and sweetened it with honey. I'm hoping that the natural stomach settling properties of ginger will keep me from refluxing too much and that the hot drink will be an ample substitute for morning coffee. The kids were up at six, so in another couple of hours I'll be wanting some caffeine.

Happy Leapday!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Thirty is the new twenty

Happy birthday to me
Happy birthday to me
Happy birthday dear me
Happy birthday to me!

Yesterday was my birthday and as it was Sunday, I avoided the internet. Turns out, becoming thirty was pretty anti-climatic. My husband sang happy birthday to me when he got home from work. Then we went to church. Then, we met my family at the Bier Garden http://www.biergarden.com/ (the website kind of sucks but the food and beer is awesome). We enjoyed a leisurely meal, followed by presents for me: dark chocolate espresso beans (for when I need a buzz tending to my preschoolers) and some yummy smelly stuff (the healing garden's organics fig & lavender lotion and body mist) from my sister, Grants (50 bucks) each from Mama, Daddy, and Nana (that's three wishes GRANT-ed!!), thirty bucks from Papaw, Kohl's gift card from Larry, Yankee Candle electrics, and 20 bucks and a reusable bag from the Kilgore clan. Hubby said I would get my gift from him after the kids went to bed, but then he fell asleep. Too bad for him! Personally, I'd rather have something a little more lasting than a roll in the hay for my thirtieth birthday, anyway. Guess maybe I should have given him a list or something.

I frogged my prayer socks. I just wasn't feeling the love from the socks themselves. I was trying toe-up for the first time, and I think it's a little bit against the purpose of prayer socks to be dreading working on them. The yarn is beautiful so I'm just going to do something simple. Simple will show off the colors of the yarn and allow me to focus on the praying part of the socks.

No other knitting right now, because I only have a month to finish these. I'll probably work on the sheep blanket that has been hibernating for some time now. I put too much time and energy into it before and it would be a shame for it to never be finished.

So I've never really participated in Lenten fasting, but I really felt led to try it this year. I didn't feel like there was any food that would lead me into a closer walk with the Lord, so I opted for activity fasting. On Sundays, I am avoiding the computer and the internet (except for a quick 15 minutes in the evening if there are plans for Monday that involve emails or message boards). Instead, I use the extra time to read my Bible, work on CBS, or spend time with my family. Also, I have an evening game addiction: I play computer solitaire or do crosswords once I get up to bed. Instead, I read the Bible or a Christian book. I would like to fast food sometime in the future. For me personally, there is no one food item that I feel fasting it would bring me closer to the Lord. If I fast food, it would probably be a meal. I have come to understand that not all Christian practices are for any one person at all times. At this time in my life (mom of two active preschoolers), I am not feeling led to fast food. I imagine it is because fasting involves a certain amount of preparation and time. It can lead to weakness in the body from lack of energy. I need all that energy. Someday, I hope I can fast for a period, whether a day or longer.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Keeper of the Keys

I seem to be a little chatty lately.

What will I do when my children are a touch older and I can no longer control them and their little worlds? As they grow up, they will be able to make their own decisions and I will have no say, or at least less say. For example, soon they will be too big for baby gates. They will be able to open them on their own (the boy already can). Then, I will not be able to keep them in their room while I catch a few extra winks. They will wake up and go downstairs on their own. Everything in the house will be fair game. They will be able to get to all the snacks/candy that I currently hide from them.

Suddenly there will be more battles of the will than just the "I want more juice" battles. It will be "I want ice cream/candy/chocolate/soda/everything-else-that-you-and-daddy-keep-for-yourselves" battles. Bedtime will no longer be the simple read/pray/sing/tuck; it will become "I'm not ready to go yet."

I will have to have more rational responses than just, "because I said so" or "because I'm the Mama." I will have to be more responsible about what I bring into the house. I will have to be more creative with my hiding places.

Parenting will be harder as they grow older, not easier with experience. As if it's not hard already. They will develop more personality, not less. And that's a good thing, right? I don't want to raise little robots who always do exactly what they are told without question. I want them to grow up to be free-thinking adults who can function independently of me, or anyone else.

I love my children. I love them so much that the thought of being without them makes me ill. It's just I never got to thinking about them as 6 year olds or 12 year olds or 16 year olds. I've been thinking about myself (and other people I knew) at various ages. I suddenly have a new appreciation for my own parents. I was not a horrible child. I didn't get into much trouble. But I know what is out there. I just know that good intentions from parents do not stop children from making poor choices. My life could have turned out very differently if I had made any one decision differently. That is what is the most frightening thing of all. One thing. One choice. One misstep. I don't want my children to face the same chances/dangers I did, but how else would they grow?

He said it would be done way before Thanksgiving

He lied.

~The Timeline~
July 28th, 2007: the ginormous tree limb falls, punching a hole in the roof over the kitchen sink
July 30th, 2007: clean-up begins
October 18th, 2007: demolition/rebuilding begins

November 28th, 2007: contractors complete the main portion of the rebuilding
December 7th, 2007: cabinets ordered
January 17th, 2008: cabinets arrive and upper cabinets installed (by husband and me)
January 28th, 2008: friend finally available to assist with lower cabinets (more complicated than uppers as some must be cut on bottoms to account for sloping floor)
February 9th, 2008: today

My kitchen is still not done. It has been over six months. We have not ordered the countertop. My husband would like to redo the floor. He wants to have the floor heated, as the kitchen is not heated (we have radiators for heat and no central air and the kitchen was an add-on). We still have to have the final inspection. At least I'm not doing dishes in the bathroom sink anymore. We went from having 3 cabinets to 14. It's amazing. I'm still not sure how to set it all up. I'm getting there, though.

Friday, February 8, 2008

To the grey hairs on my head:

I know you are there. I'm not stupid. Just because you don't show yourselves often doesn't mean you aren't there. I also know how lucky I am. I will be 30 this month and I can count on one hand the number of you I have found in my lifetime (one of whom was when I was 15: what's up with that??). I would just like to ask that you show yourselves when we are at home. It's annoying to walk into a friend's bathroom and have you standing straight up (well, curly up anyway) and announcing my age. Granted, it is more effective if others see you before I do. You know that you will be plucked as soon as I see you, at least until you complete your plan of outnumbering the brown hairs. So, should I give in now? Should I succomb to your conspiracy with VO5 and Garnier and replace my natural color (which I like just fine, thank you very much) with something from a bottle? Should I leave the world of maintenance-free hair (I'm a wash-and-go girl) and join the ranks of women who are constantly checking for that dye line to avoid showing their grey? And why exactly do you choose to reveal your plan so close to my birthday? Is it because I wasn't dreading 30? Am I supposed to be upset at the approach of a new decade? I just kinda looked at it as, "wow, 30, a new first digit." Now it's like a body alarm is going off: 30 years. Time for a tune up or something.