Sunday, December 30, 2007


Today was my last day of nursery. I was feeling a bit wistful about it until I actually had to face the kids. After having to break up several fights, stop a lot of toy throwing and toy stealing I was not so wistful. I am going to be teaching eight year olds next year which will be a very nice change. It will be a small class but hopefully they will be very involved. I am quite sure that I will not have to tell them to share toys and wonder who pooped their pants.

Life is getting back to normal now that the holidays are over. My parents were only able to stay for a few days. They had to leave early to avoid driving over the passes in a snow storm. My husband had a lot of time off for the holidays but is returning to work this week. He has New Year's day off but after that it is totally back to the grind. I am going to miss being able to sleep in and have someone around to run interference.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Sweetheart Sweater

I finished the practice version of the sweater that I started for Harry. I used cheap acrylic yarn and it was not fun to use at all. I had to wash my hands after I was done knitting on it. The sweater is so stiff that it can almost stand on it's own. I am glad that I am using nicer yarn for Harry's sweater. I made a mistake in the neck that I may actually do again. I am a bit worried that Harry's giant noggin will not fit through the neck of the sweater and the mistake when coupled with a button hole will make a nice way to ensure that the sweater is usable.

It is kind of hard to see, but I accidentally picked up stitches along the shoulder seam. If I added a button hole in the extra portion I could make extra easement for a giant noggin.

I did not have a newborn baby handy to model so I used my original vintage Cabbage Patch doll.

The pale blue shirt with nobody inside it. With a little help on the arms the sweater can stand up.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas round up

We had a very nice Christmas. My parents arrived Christmas Eve afternoon loaded up with a lot of presents. Evan had a very hard time sleeping because of the excitement (and sugar). He woke up at 10pm and started asking if it was time for breakfast yet.

The boys received more toys than they really needed but also got a ton of books as well. The top two gifts were a giant cement mixer (Evan's current obsession) and a huge firetruck. The award for the Creepiest Yet Strangely Hilarious toy goes to Tickle Me Elmo. My parents bought the newer version which writhes on the floor like a toy that has been possessed by an evil demon. I am not sure if I should sprinkle it with holy water or not. The boys also got a ton of Play Dough, something that I had not really wanted to ever purchase. I know the boys will have fun with it despite my own misgivings.

The top three toys this Christmas. Poor Elmo gets carried around by his eyes and the cement truck has tape on it so that Evan can't put things that can't be removed into the "tummy" of the cement mixer. He almost lost a Matchbox car in there and was ready to add some small farm animals before we stopped him.

Elmo the Possessed writhing on the floor.

Harry is very busy deciding which book to get his grandparents to read to him.

My husband seemed to enjoy the presents he got. For some reason he does not want to wear the hat that I knit for him. I can't understand why.

The Brainmonster. It turned out too small for my husband (I had the feeling that it might). The boys love having me chase them around the house with it as it try to eat their heads.

I had a really nice knitting Christmas. I got some nice yarn, a really neat knitting bag sewn by my sister L and some lovely lavender soaps among other things. I also finished my second sock. I cast on late Sunday night and finished around 2:00 this morning ( I am a night owl). I must say that I am really feeling the wool sock love right now. One of my biggest annoyances with socks is the damp feeling you have after you have been wearing shoes and then you take your shoes off. The properties of wool prevents that from happening.

This is Sari Silk yarn. It is made from bits of snipped ends leftover from the weaving of silk for Saris. Women in Nepal spin it so they can earn extra money for their families. It is such beautiful and unique yarn. I am not sure what I am going to make with it. I am thinking maybe a bag or a scarf.

This is a nice soft Alpaca/acrylic bulky weight yarn. I am thinking that this will become a hat or two (depending who I make the hats for).

This will become a pair of longies and maybe some socks too.

A cunning knitting bag. This is the outside. It is a very cheery blue and yellow.

Here is a closeup of the inside. There are slots for knitting needles to keep them together and off the bottom of the bag.

My toasty warm feet. I am not much of a sock person, but I think that I may be wearing more hand knit wool socks.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas! (and Monday Cuteness)

I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. I can't help but reflect on how much we have been blessed this year. It has been one of the quietest ones ever, Evan has been so healthy and not had any major procedures. We have all the material possessions we need plus a lot of excess. We have a nice house to live in and my husband has a nice steady job that pays well. I hope that next year is just as good (despite the stressful move that I know is coming). This blog has also been a blessing in my life. I have "met" so many great people through it. I hope that you all have a merry Christmas and a very happy new year full of good things.

Evan has been quite the crack up lately. The other night he wanted to take his rather large bull dozer toy to bed with him. It was too big, so I told him that it was going to be sleeping downstairs. I suggested that he park it next to the toy bin where it's "bed" was. He then grabbed a nearby blanket and tucked in the bull dozer. The next day he played nap time with the bulldozer, my husband and I had the hardest time not laughing it was so funny.

Evan is also getting into one of my favorite kid's books. It is called The Monster At The End Of This Book and it had parts where Grover yells in frustration that someone is turning the pages and getting him closer to the end of the book where the scary monster is. Evan will beg me to read it and if I can't read it he will go through it and start yelling loudly at the appropriate placed.

Harry and Evan are starting to get excited for Christmas. They are picking up stuff about Santa (it is rather unavoidable) even though we are trying to stress the religious aspect of the holiday by very much minimizing Santa's role in Christmas. If you ask them what Sanat says you get a very jolly "Ho ho ho" out of them. Evan got a card with Santa and a reindeer in a car on it and he calls the car a "Ho Ho car" although the ho hos tend to run together making it sounds a bit different and rather adult.

Evan has been hearing a lot about baby Jesus because it is his birthday coming up (well in reality it is just when we choose to celebrate it). He was thumbing through a book that I recently bought in Utah that has stories about some of the miracles that Jesus performed. Evan started calling Jesus "Baby Jesus" even though I told him several times that the book was about adult Jesus. Baby Jesus seems to be where it is at these days.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Sock it to me

I knit my first sock ever. I bought a skein of rather pricey yarn and wanted to make something for me with it. I found this sock pattern and decided to practice it with some yarn that I was not all that thrilled with. I started the sock on Wednesday evening and finished a few hours ago. It turned out great and I can't wait to make the second one. The design is called broken garter. This is a thick and cozy sock.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

It is official

Harry is officially two. This Monday he had a temper tantrum in the grocery store. He has also developed this horrid shriek every time he is defied. Harry is becoming a contrary little turd. Sometimes, if you want to give him something nice, he will run away from the item yelling no the entire time. On Wednesday he missed out on a birthday party. We were almost out the door when he randomly started crying and telling me no. My husband was home, so he ended up being left behind while Evan got to have fun with his friends. This may be a long year.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Slower than molasses in January

I really think that something has happened to my Christmas motivation. It seems to have vanished, poof it is gone if it was ever there. I have actually done very little this year when compared to years past. My husband did all the decorating. He set up the tree, put up the lights, put out the Christmas village and put up most of the ornaments. I only rearranged a few of the nativity pieces so that they were "correctly" placed and helped the boys out a tiny bit with ornament placement.

I have never been very good with getting Christmas cards out. This year was pretty dismal as I still have a few that I really think I should send out. I even made the picture appointment a lot later in the year than I normally do, barely making it in before Thanksgiving. At least those picture were a big part of our Christmas gifting so that I had very little actual shopping to do.

I also like to bake things to give out to my friends (yes, I have non internet friends) and medical caregivers. This year I got a huge pass on this because my husband's father got a lot of honey out of his hives. All I had to do was hand out jars of honey that had been put together by my mother-in-law. It was a very appreciated gift, but took so little effort on my part that I am almost ashamed.

All our shopping for the boys was done months ago. We got them one toy each and a bunch of books. The shopping for my husband was done just yesterday. No planning really involved, I just stumbled into some things I hope he will like. I did knit him up something really quick like too but I am not even sure it will fit him.

I think that my biggest accomplishment this Christmas season was knitting that scarf for my husband's sister in Germany. We managed to get the package off early enough in the month that it stands a pretty good chance of getting to her in time. I really need to find my Christmas mojo fast or this will be one of my less memorable holidays.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I am really beginning to regret that I told anyone at church that we were possibly moving this summer. Every week I get several different people asking if we know where we are going yet and it is driving me mad. It is hard enough waiting for orders, but to be constantly reminded that we STILL do not have them is frustrating to the extreme. I should have just kept my fool mouth shut. Please excuse me while I run away screaming.

Update: It gets worse. I just talked to my husband and it is not looking like we will know anything until late February at the earliest. This is just killing me right now.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Little Drummer Boy

We just got home from the marathon ward Christmas party. I am exhausted from wrangling kids all evening and super full from all the food that was there. Evan did about what I expected for his preforming debut. He was last onto the stage because he did not follow the other kids, he was too busy in his own little world to pay attention. Then he spent the rest of the time looking around at all the lights rather than playing the drum. He had to be drug off the stage. He was very interested in the garland that was decorating the stage and would have been there all evening looking at it. Santa called up all the families with little kids in them first so we did not have to wait forever for the boys to get their presents (Matchbox cars that we had bought for them).

Evan jamming away during the practice session.

Evan lost in his own little world during the performance.

The classic two-year-old crying while sitting on Santa's lap picture. Harry was soo tired and ready for bed. Evan was just trying to figure out who this odd person was.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Advice needed

I am making a new pair of longies for Harry. I am planning on making a sweater to match which will have a heart in the center front. I was thinking for the pants I would put a heart on the bum. I am wondering if I could also put red stripes on the legs. I think it could look a little too busy but am torn. Either way I do plan on putting red ribbed cuffs. Let me know what you think about the red stripes.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

More cuteness

My sister uploaded some photos from her wedding and I snagged some really cute ones to share with you.

The boys all decked out in their wedding finery. Note the candle in Harry's hand.

The Groom and Evan eying the dessert, which was a yummy cheese cake.

Evan trying on shoes for the wedding. He decided that he was not going to go for the high heels and stuck with the flats that I packed.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Debt free living

When I came home from out play date this morning there was a message on my answering machine telling me how we could lower out interest rates. Interest rates on what loan? We don't have a house (thank you crazy California house prices) and we just payed off our %0 loan on my car (which was for credit building rather than trying to get an expensive car). If you are wondering how we achieved this watch this video (thanks Karen for helping me find this I have been looking for it for some time now.)

Monday, December 10, 2007

It's check up time

Evan had a very good heart check up today. He was very good for his echo and did not squirm too much. I only had to break out the bribe candy at the very end when he needed to look up so they could see his pulmonary arteries. He was especially impressive with his talking.

We bumped in to Evan's heart surgeon in the parking garage on the way to the hospital. It was neat seeing him again and I was happy that he was able to see how well Evan is doing.

We brought gifts for Evan's cardiologist and the nurse practitioner that works with her. Evan saw me wrapping them and knew what was in them. The second he saw the bags, before I could get a change to give them, he was digging in them to get to out the little spinny light thing that I had put in there. The spinny light things are great for entertaining kids while they are having echos, but they are easily broken. I usually bring a few with me to help them keep fully stocked. I also gave them some of the honey we brought home on Thanksgiving.

Evan's heart is looking just fine. He is still having a persistent pressure gradient, but that is not anything new. It is staying the same, so while his cardiologist is not super thrilled that it is there, there is no reason to do anything about it.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Sunday cuteness

There are a lot of snotty and runny noses at my house. My husband even stayed home from church (lucky guy), Harry and Evan did not get really bad until we got home from church. I am keeping my fingers crossed that this will miss me.

Harry is quite the eater. Any time there is a hint that food might be in the process of being consumed Harry is there demanding his share. Today in church he took it to a new low. In the LDS church the sacrament is passed around the chapel instead of everyone going up to receive it. Harry was turned around and looking at the family in the pew behind us (We always sit in front of a family of three boys so that the noise is contained to one part of the chapel). As they were passing the tray down the row, Harry stood up reached over to the tray and snagged him a piece of bread. Then, when it was our turn, he got mad when I did not give him another piece.

Evan has his six month cardiology check up. Keep your fingers crossed that things are still looking just fine.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Cute picture warning

Warning! These pictures may cause heart palpitations, so if you have a weak heart be careful when viewing.

Here are some pictures of my latest creation just finished this very morning. I stayed up way late last night to get all the knitting done and spent the golden Sesame Street hour weaving in ends. The green is a nice avacody green that I dyed myself. I did not think the green attractive enough to use on it's own , but when paired with the brown it looks awesome.

They are the same size as the brown and blue longies. Origionally they were almost finished shorties, but I decided that the colors would make great stripey longies so I frogged back to where the short rows needed to be added and started over. Next time I am going to use smaller needles to make the leg cuffs, they do not fold over very firmly in their current state. I added in more stitches so that the legs are less legging like and more pants like than the legs on the brown and blue longies. I don't really have a shirt that goes very well with these, so you get to see Harry shirtless. They have not been washed or blocked yet, I wanted to get these pictures taken.

Harry demonstrating the comfortable nature of these pants. As you can see he can move freely in them.

A closeup.

The money shot.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Sucess (so far)

Harry's first night in the bed was a huge success. When the boys wok up in the morning I found Evan sitting next to Harry's bed playing with a small dump truck that had been smuggled into the room somehow. Last night Harry again went down with out a fuss and went right to sleep. This morning both boys were in their beds (Harry was standing on his) chatting and giggling.

It looks like things are going pretty good right now. Our biggest challenge seems to be keeping Evan out of Harry's bed. Last night he was quite upset that he could not sleep in it. He tried to steal it from Harry, but we got to the boys before blood was shed over the super cool bed.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

My baby is growing up

A few nights ago while I was knitting and watching TV with my husband we heard a very loud thunk followed by some crying. Loud thunks never bode well, so I rushed upstairs to see what was the matter. Harry was out of his crib and about to pass out. He had fallen out of his crib probably while attempting a jail break. That incident combined with the accident lecture that I got at the pediatrician's office at Harry's check up pushed us to make the move out of the crib and into something a lot safer if less convenient. Being the cheap people we are he is now sleeping on his crib mattress which is placed on the floor.

Evan was in the only convertible crib and we did not really want to have to get a new toddler bed when we are not sure what the sleeping arrangements will turn out to be when we transfer this summer. My husband was thinking bunk beds but Harry will climb them and Evan can't so they are not safe for either kid. I think I will still keep my eyes out on Craig's list for a cheap toddler bed frame. but the mattress is fine for now. I let the boys go to town on the "new" bed in the hopes that the novelty would wear off by bed time. Harry went right to bed and fell right asleep so I am keeping my fingers crossed that this works out.

The boys piled right on the mattress the second they were allowed back upstairs.

This is a funny action shot. Evan had just been doing Ring around the rosies and was at the "all fall down" part when I snapped this. The pillow is still in the air, how good is my timing?

"Hey homie, just chillin at my brother's crib... mattress"

"Mmmm tasty thumb."

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


I can't figure out what to get my own husband, but apparently I am giving loads of ideas to other people. I just got a call from the friend that I spent yesterday morning with. I had mentioned that my husband really liked My Hero (one of the things on his Christmas list) and that it was a hilarious show. She wanted to confirm the title of the show so that she could look into getting it for her husband too.

My, my, my

Sunday is a day I am not going to forget for some time. We did not even make it to the opening prayer before Evan had to be drug out into the foyer. He was quite pleased with the turn of events until I made him sit still on the couch with his arms folded. That took a lot of the fun factor out of being in the foyer. Harry soon followed sobbing hysterically for reasons only known to him.

Nursery was not too much better. The kids were in a tizzy and even my best behaved girl was making me want to pull my hair out. Evan ended up spending some quality time in a corner and Harry again started sobbing and passing out while I was trying to read a story. Story time is like herding cats in the first place and the loud wails only made it worse.

I am counting down the Sundays until the end of the year. I was told when I was given the calling that I would get to move on at the end of the year. I know that they have found a replacement for me so I know that I am so out of there as promised. I just feel sorry for the Sunbeams teacher. Despite my best efforts to get the kids to be better at sitting still there are a few boys that have eluded my attempts to civilize them. I know that one in particular will be quite a handful (and I am not talking about Evan, he is actually pretty good with the whole sitting down for longer periods of time thing).

After all the churchiness was over with, the only thing that enabled me to stay sane was a nice long nap. My darling husband took care of the majority of dinner and also took care of the kids when they both woke up. Yesterday I got to spend a good part of the morning knitting at a friends house while the boys were playing with her son, which further soothed my ruffled soul.

It is looking like poor Harry is going to be a short little guy unless he shoots up during puberty. He had his two-year-old well check up. His noggin is massive, his weight is nice and average but his height dropped further down on the chart. I had farmed out Evan on my friend in the hopes that his absence would help Harry to be calmer, but Harry did have a few crying fits. Luckily there were no shots involved and the doctor had a book with Elmo in it. Harry has a strange obsession with Elmo and can be distracted by the mere mention of the furry red monster.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

It's Carnival time- Carnival of SAHMs

Welcome to the latest edition of the Carnival of SAHMs. This is my first time hosting it and I am quite impressed with the number and the quality of entires. It is also my first time using the Blog Carnival service and I must say that I am quite impressed. It sure does take a lot of the heavy lifting that is often involved in hosting something like this.

Living By Learning helps us avoid one use toys and gives us a great list of creative things to give to our kids for true creative fun, Avoid One-Use Wonders This Holiday Season!.

Summer shares the joy of a child finally getting a concept, What does that spell?. I love the video, it reminded me of my boys.

Jenny is excited about New Family Member Coming and a bit wistful about another baby of her own someday. She also wonders about Baby Showers and the etiquette behind them.

Dana realizes that sometimes moms throw tantrums too. She also has a fun craft to do with your kids Saturday School: Candy Airplanes.

Julie gives us an idea of what A Typical Day in the Life of a Stay at Home Mom is like. Me? I sit around all day letting the kids run wild. Just kidding! Although reading her day did exhaust me.

Jaimie's son has had Enough.

Terri Holley wonders Is "Selfish" A Bad Word for Moms?

Career Counselor offers us Six Time Management Tips for the Self-Employed During the Holidays. These are great even if you do not work from home.

WorksForMom gets the giggles from The Gift of Trash.

Melissa McCann hopes that her son's rumpled look will be in fashion in Out on the Town - Are dirty faces and bed heads the hottest look for fall? Please? With two busy little boys I sometimes find myself in this very same predicament.

Carole Fogarty introduces to us a way to help teach our children about stillness. The one and only zen gift to give your children.

Melitsa gives a fun play idea for preschoolers Waiting for Preschool play activity.

Tea Party Girl tells us about how she turned a corner of her house into a special place just for her. Have You Made Your Indoor Tea Corner Yet?

Suburban Oblivion shares with us how she took charge and made her birthday a happy one. The Bestest Birthday Cake Ever I am not a huge fan of heavy cake either, so I can sympathize.

Eden (who has a little baby at home, so I am impressed that she is back blogging so soon) shows us that A Healthy Diet Doesn't Have To Be Expensive.

I am sharing with you some of my boy's cute antics in another addition of my weekly Sunday Cuteness

Thanks for reading. I hope that you enjoyed this edition of the Carnival of SAHMs.

Sunday cuteness

We decorated our tree on Monday. They boys had a blast but I was too busy with them to get any pictures, sorry. Last year at a work party my husband acquired a Sponge Bob Squarepants ornament. It is hideous, but it is light plastic so I tolerate it because it is no biggie if the boys break it. The other day I saw Evan by the tree admiring the ornament. He exclaimed "Cheese!" and then put it in his mouth so that he could eat it. I had to explain to him that it was pretend cheese and we do not put pretend cheese in our mouths. Now whenever he sees that ornament he exclaims "Pretend Cheese!" and "No eating."

Evan has been full of cuteness of late. We have been trying to get him to say a prayer. We got one good one (with him repeating what we say) but he has clammed up ever since. Lately he decided that if he says the prayer he will get to eat sooner. The only problem is that his idea of a prayer goes something like this "Hefader (Heavenly Father) Amen!"

Harry is getting to be a bit of a contrary two-year-old. He loves to crawl up on my lap while I am knitting. I have found a fool proof way to get him off my lap so I can knit. All I do is ask him if I can have a kiss. He will take off running and giggling if I tell him I want a kiss. It is actually one of his favorite games to play.

Saturday, December 01, 2007


Mean Mommy (I love that nickname since I am a mean mommy too) tagged me for the 7 random things meme. I have done different versions of this before but decided to have another go at it so that this would not turn into a knitting only blog. I just got my invite to Raverly (my user name is AwesomeMom if you want to add me as your friend) so I am poking around there a lot trying to discover the depths of this super cool website.

  1. I have had my arm up the back end of a cow. I took Animal Science 101 as a Sophomore in college. It was the coolest class ever and it was also my dirtiest class ever.
  2. I was a photographer on my high school's newspaper my Senior year. I was not the newspaper type, but a friend was doing it too. We had a blast and taught the whole yearbook staff how to use the dark room properly. A bunch of my pictures even made it into the yearbook.
  3. I love putting garlic in my cooking. I often put it in even if the recipe does not call for it.
  4. Even though you are not supposed to I clean my ear canal with Q-tips. Waxy ears gross me out.
  5. I like my popcorn with lots of butter on it.
  6. I can't stand dust covers on my books. I take them off and frequently loose them.
  7. I use a Sonicare Elite toothbrush. We got a nice deal on them at Costco and my husband's dentist gave him a rebate to add to the savings. My teeth have never been cleaner. Sometimes I want to use it for longer than the timer is set for.
If you want to be tagged let me know so I can tag you.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

I think that I may be in over my head

I am a member of the enrichment committee, which is a fancy word for me being a person who helps plan activities for the women in my church. We have a monthly meeting to plan activities in the far future and in the nearer future. January was a bit bare, so somehow I ended up being put in charge of starting up a twice a month knitting lesson. I have been thinking a lot about it since I got home and if I want to do this right it will be a bit more time consuming than I had really thought at first (hand outs and what not). I am also starting to feel a bit inadequate about my knitting skills. I don't want to overwhelm the women and I want this to be fun so that they can enjoy knitting as much as I do. Our first project will be cotton washrags, something simple and easy so they can get the hang of knitting and purling.

On the upside, I finally got the scarf done and it may even make it over to Germany in time for Christmas. We also got the photo calenders that I am giving out this year. The boys had a blast looking at the pictures of them. I am so glad that I ordered one for us this year. I also made my first batch of apple butter.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Busy woman

I have been knitting like a mad woman. I am trying to get some Christmas knitting done in short order. I should have started ages ago but well here I am. Here are some pictures of my projects to help keep my blog warm.

Here is a flat shot of the pants that I finished over my Thanksgiving break. The reason that the second leg looks so different from the first is that the yarns came for different dye lots. In my haste to buy the yarn I forgot to check to make sure that both skeins were the same dye lot. I did not think it would be a huge deal since there were so many different colors on the yarn. I failed to take into account that the patterns would be different. I still think that the spiral is pretty neat, I just wish that the legs matched a tiny bit better.

I wish you could feel these. They are made from a wool alpaca blend and are super soft. I finished them just last night and am only waiting for them to dry from their lanolin dunk before you get some action pictures of them on Harry. It was a treat knitting with this yarn and I would love to get my hands on some more.

Here is the scarf that is consuming all my attention at the moment. My husband has a sister that lives in Germany and it is our year to send her a gift. I thought that it would be a nice thing to send and it would also be nice a light to help keep shipping costs down. I love how the yarn is making a nice zig zag pattern. I fell in love with this yarn and bought it with no thought of what I was going to make with it. It reminds me of a raspberry cream from See's candy. I am also going to make some more cotton dish rags and a pair of mittens for both boys. I have a few other possible things I would like to make, but am not going to ruin the surprise.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Gift List

My least favorite question in the whole world is "So what would you like for (insert gift giving occasion)?" I hate being put on the spot like that and can never think of an answer to the question. I have painstakingly compiled a list of gifts for me, my husband and the boys so that all my relatives can read it and quit harassing me already.

The boys
  • I am sure that they would love someone to crochet them a couple of these ultra adorable guinea pigs
  • The boys always love books, books and more books. They might even want a few more books. And there is always the option of getting them more books and more books and more books. Hey, they don't have lead paint on them and they take up a lot less space than most toys.
The Husband (I had to pry these out of him, he is such a hard person to shop for and get a gift list from)
  • Both seasons of My Hero
  • The RM
  • This list would not be complete with out a computer game and Oblivion is the one he has been drooling over for quite some time.
  • He also needs a new watch
  • Yarn is always a nice gift
  • This scarf is the cutest ever! I love the dark green dragon.
  • I hate having to keep digging up my instructions on how to do the Kitchener.
  • I would love it if someone knit up a pair of these for me.
  • A set of pretty stitch markers would also be very handy as I have been using bits of yarn that I keep loosing.
So there you go. I don't want to hear that awful question again until my birthday.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

We are back!

We are back and I got a ton of knitting done while I was gone. I was brave and tried knitting while riding in the car and it worked out. I get car sick pretty easily, so I took some medication as a preventative measure. During the long weekend I managed to mostly finish a second pair of longies, so I was a knitting dynamo. The knitting helped keep me occupied so that I could pretend to be listening to my husband's grandmother. She has dementia, so she repeats stories over and over again.

We hit some black Friday sales. I got Harry some really cute shirts to help replace the ones that he has grown out of. The crowds were not too bad since we went later in the morning.

The boys had a lot of fun at Grandma and Grandpa's house. There was lots of running around and getting into things. Evan started crying after we told him that we were not going back to grandma's house, but that we were going home.

We came home with four large boxes of apples and a lot of honey. I am going to be very busy putting those apples up although they will keep a lot longer than the peaches I took home this summer. There was a box of apples between the boys and they both decided to have a snack on the ride home. Harry was not content with just one apple and took nibbles out of three different ones. It was funny watching him eat them.

Pictures from the trip

Evan was very eager to get a piece of Harry's birthday pie.

Harry blowing out the candles. We had been practicing the whole blowing out of candles and all the practice payed off. Harry managed to blow both candles out.

Harry opening out his presents.

My husband's mother blew up some balloons for the boys to play with. Harry is wearing the pants I had been knitting. I finished them on Wednesday and they fit perfectly so my next pair is going to have some growing room. The leg that I ripped out turned out great and it spiraled nicely.

We went on a hike in the redwoods before we left for home on Saturday. Harry was quite impressed with the trees.

Evan and me in a tree. It was very cold and Evan was shivering. I had forgotten to to pack a hat for Evan poor kid. Luckily the walking warmed him up.

Evan checking out one of the fallen trees.

This is Harry playing in another tree cave. He was a bit chicken to go in at first, but once we carried him in he would not leave.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Happy Turkey Day

We are heading out for our Thanksgiving festivities. We will also be celebrating Harry's second birthday (How on earth did he get so big so quickly?) since this year they are both on the same day. Here are some highlights about Harry: my first post after his birth, his birth story, an important baby milestone, his first blog entry and my extreme enjoyment of this wonderful toddler stage.

Here are some fun links to enjoy while I am gone.

Works For Me Wednesday

This is a tip that I discovered quite by accident. The massive number of pictures I had taken of the boys had clogged up our hard drive. We got an external hard drive that we then transfered all of our picture to. That left our screen saver blank as it was set to show pictures from my My Pictures file. I then decided to search Google images for animal pictures an other kid friendly pictures.

The boys love watching the pictures as they flash by. They have also learned the names of some more exotic animals that do not normally show up in kid's books. Just make sure that you remember the names of all the animals. I put an Ibex in there just for fun and almost forgot what the animal was when it popped up on the screen. Evan also knows the name of all the planets and several different kinds of celestial bodies.

You can check out more hints and tips over at Rocks in my Dryer.

Nature abhors a vacuum, but I love this one: Product Review

I am going to tell you about a super exciting product that will change your life. It will make your kids less whiny. It will do your laundry for you, folding included. It will pick up your house leaving you with lots of time to sit on the couch and eat bon bons (what ever those are). Actually this product is a bit more humble in it's claims.

The Reynolds Handi-vac will not clean your house, but it will help prevent freezer burn and keep your refrigerated foods fresher longer. We shop at Costco which makes our chest freezer a integral part of our food storage. My husband and I had been toying with the idea of getting a vacuum food storage device, but had been put off by the cost of the vacuum sealer, the amount of space the sealer takes up and the cost of the bags. According to the information included with my Handi-vac Reynolds spent years (I can just imagine scores of scientists dressed in lab coats and goggles intently researching this puzzling problem) coming up with a design for this product.

However long it took them to invent this they sure came up with a winner. The starter set is under ten bucks which includes the Handi-vac and three quart bags. You will quickly find that those three bags will only whet your appetite, so I recommend getting more bags when you buy the Handi-vac. The bags are reusable, another thing that the other sealers really can't claim. They are just like regular plastic zipper storage bags, so you can take a portion of the food out and immediately reseal the bag all with out having to cut away part of the bag to reseal it.

The most exciting thing about the Handi-vac is that it is teeny tiny compared to the other sealers. We are able to store ours in the kitchen utensil drawer with no problem. No need to use up any precious counter space. When you are using it you do have to move it around a bit to find the right position to get the air out of the bags. Over all this is one impressive product, one that I would have bought even if I had not been given one to try.

Some less domestically inclined folk may be wondering why I am so excited about removing the air from the bags in which I store my food. Well first off there is nothing cooler than seeing air being sucked out of something. I am a huge fan of space bags too. I guess it is the science nerd in me. Air is the enemy of food. It contains oxygen, which while it is great to breath it is also a very destructive element. If you look below you will see a picture of a pear that is cut up. Normally after a few days in the fridge that pear would be brown and slimy thanks to it's reaction with the air. Remove the air and it stays as nice as the moment it was cut. The same thing goes for freezing. The air in the bag will cause the frozen food to get freezer burn which changes the flavor of the food.

I highly recommend this product. Even if you decide that you hate or that is does not work well for your family you are only out a little bit of money. Go give it a try!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Your opinions requested

I have almost completed my first pair of longies. However I am having issues with the second leg. Apparently I have been more relaxed and the tension for the second leg has not been as tight so the leg is wider than the first one. My question to you is do I go back to the start of the first leg and do it over, or do I just finish and have odd legs?

Here are some pictures to help you decide.

Here is a closeup of the legs.

Here is a picture of the whole project. I am not all that thrilled with how the second leg is looking color wise either. The first leg striped up nicely but the second is just looking funky to me.

Can you see the sort rows? I have a hard time seeing them and I know where to look. This time around I actually read the directions closely, so they are all where they need to be and nicely centered.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sunday cuteness

Oy! This week has been filled with a lot of whining. Harry because of his teeth and Evan..... well I am not entirely sure why he has so many dramatic sobbing fits. Apparently it is very sad and horrible when your own beloved mother wants you to pick up the toys that you have scattered all over the living room.

We have also been fighting vermin in the house. No, I am not calling my kids vermin. We have been having issues with mice. One especially cheeky mouse has been spotted multiple times running around from the kitchen to the closet where the furnace is. That is where we think they are sneaking into the house as it has a ventilation shaft that runs outside. We have managed to trap two cheeky little buggers and are hoping that those two are the only ones that have discovered our house.

Ok now for the cuteness. Both boys love to play on my bed. One of their favorite things to do while on the bed is twirl around while I sing Ring Around the Rosies. They take great joy in collapsing onto the bed, although they generally fall long before I singe the falling part of the song.

Our attempts to nerd up Evan are working. Thanks to Netflix we got out hands on the third season of Dr Who. Evan now asks to watch the Police Box movie. Hee hee!

Check it out!

TeenyManolo is having an awesome contest. The grand prize is a $150 gift certificate to I happen to be a huge fan of Teeny Manolo since Glinda is a long time blog friend of mine. Go check it out, they have a lot of fun stuff there.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Where is the time going?

I can't believe that Thanksgiving is next week. Not only is it Thanksgiving but it is also Harry's birthday. My little boy is going to be two!!! The time is going too fast.

Valerie got the closest with her guess of $280. My total ticket (which includes the fee for traffic school so that my insurance company does not find out about my lead foot) came to a whopping $300! Even though she did not guess the exact amount, I am going to give her a prize any way since I really like her. I am going to make her a set of these.

One of the many reasons I like Valerie so much is that she has started up a support group for parents of kids with heart defects. I wish we lived a little closer so it was easier to attend the meetings. I think it would be neat to meet other heart parents face to face. She has also helped several kids from South America get the surgery that they need to live a long and healthy life. She is one amazing woman!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Oh my!

This fall has turned out to be a heck of a lot more expensive that I had really anticipated and we have not yet even purchased our Christmas presents for family. I just found out today how much my speeding ticket cost. I am lucky that I was not drinking anything a the time or there would have been a spit take.

I have decided to be better with the money than I have of late. I am vowing to not step foot into a craft store for three months. I am also not going to purchase any more yarn until my stash is knitted up. Of course a glaring loophole is that I can enter a yarn store before my three month ban on craft stores is up but I just can't not have a knitting outlet available to me.

The commenter that guesses the exact amount of my speeding ticket will get a small prize.

Works For Me Wednesday

I have been wanting to do this for some time but have always forgotten until it was too late. Well, here I am finally with a tip.

Because of the way Evan holds his left arm (the one affected by his stroke) often the sleeve on that side will look huge on him and cover his hand. I tried rolling it, but it would often come undone and if he was wearing a sweater the sleeve roll would look hugely bulky. One Sunday I saw one of my hair elastics sitting on the floor which gave me an idea. I tied a small knot in it so that it would be tight enough that it would hold but not so tight that it would cut off circulation. I then put it on the sleeve right above the cuff and then folded the cuff over the hair elastic. The sleeve stayed the perfect length all day.

This could be applied any time you need to keep sleeves out of the way like at meal times. It is also helpful when your child has just changed sizes and sleeves are too long.

You can check out more hints and tips over at Rocks in my Dryer.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

More Knitting Talk

Sorry if this blog seems to be turning into a knitting blog, but I want to keep track of the patterns I am trying and what I like or dislike about them. To help some people feel less bored I am including action shots at the end of the post. I don't think there is anything cuter than Harry running around in something that I knit for him.

This time around I decided to try a pattern that cost money. I was confident in my knitting skills and wanted to try some longies for the winter. After a bit of research at Diaper Swappers I found the Sheepy Pants pattern. It came with a lot of glowing recommendations and they were spot on. The pattern came with 20 pages, but that included a ton of different ways to customize your pants (or shorts) and also an appendix that explains and shows pictures of all the terms used in the pattern. It was very easy to use and I am very pleased with how they came out. I did have issues with my short rows but I am giving myself a break on that since it was my first time doing them. They also did not end up in the center of the pants where they should have been, instead I did them to one side where they are not all that useful. My leg gusset turned out great and I am thrilled that I did it so well on my first try.

As an FIY yeah I know they are purple but I wanted to try the pattern out with yarn that I did not really care about. Somehow I had a skien of purple in my stash so I used it up. If I have a reader that has a girl about Harry's size that cloth diapers they are more than welcome to email me if they want it. I don't think that my husband really wants me dressing my son in purple from some odd reason.