Thursday, August 31, 2006

Three Things Thursday

(1) I checked out The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant from the library yesterday. I started it last night, and it is very good. I don't think I'll get much done today besides finishing it.

(2) Yesterday the kids were fighting. Today she is reading books to him. I found them sitting in a beanbag reading an I Spy book, her reading the words and then letting him find the pictures. Charming.

(3) I still get my best ideas in the shower.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Standing on the edge

So I've been knitting and knitting my shawl, and it is becoming clear to me: I either should have used bigger needles or I'm going to need alot more yarn. I am seriously thinking about ripping it all out and starting over. Forgetting the shawl and knitting a poncho instead, on bigger needles. I think I need to sleep on it. . . .

An Open Letter

Dear Lady in the Bread Isle,

I am writing to let you know that I saw you snicker at me as I tried to quietly discipline my children yesterday. I am hoping it was a "Ha ha, I've been there and I'm so glad it's over" kind of snicker and not a "Ha ha, your kids are brats and now your life will be miserable". Since I don't know you, I'm willing to give you the benefit of the doubt.

I also want you to know that I did not beat them when we got home. In fact, the punishment I handed down was manditory play together time - no fighting allowed. I calmed myself down by doing some angry knitting. I did not swear and I did not drink. I just wanted you to know that.

Finally, I hope my fighting children did not ruin your lovely grocery shopping experience. I am quite certain that it was the screaming infant that did that. Now that mom needs some help.

Sincerely yours,
Mother of Two

(Special thanks to Michelle for reminding me what fun an open letter is to write on your blog.)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Random Musings

One week until school starts down here. I am really looking forward to the schedule again. This summer seems like we've been all over the place.

I really should not eat garlic infused olive oil. (L, J, and S - you know what I'm talking about.)

Laughter is good medicine.

I'm still crazy about knitting. This has been the longest craft craze in my life. I think this is the one that will stick. I can see me knitting for years and years.

Yesterday, in the craft store, Sally sniffed the yarn. (I didn't buy anything, in case you were wondering.)

We had Thai food on Saturday, and I swear that I can still smell it on Samuel.

Samuel will eat anything off of Daddy's plate. I can make him a plate of the exact same food, and he won't eat it, but if Daddy has it on his plate, then it must be good.

I'm trying to not get involved in any new shows for the fall, but all the Thursday night ones are looking good to me.

"Hoot" is a great little movie. So is "Aquamarine".

When I tried to rent a movie this past weekend, I was unable to do it. It seems to me that there are way too many horror movies coming out. I hate horror movies. Even the pictures on the covers scare me.

"The Wedding Date" is a fun movie to watch. I love the line: "If I never met you, I'd still miss you." I made Stuart watch that scene twice.

I recently watched the episode of Sex&TheCity where the girls are having drinks and talking about "The Way We Were" while Mr. Big is having an engagement party at the Plaza. It's my favorite scene of all. Three of the girls love the movie, and one has never seen it ("It's a chick movie") so the three are describing the last scene and singing together. "Can it be that it was all so simple then? Or has time rewritten every line? If we had the chance to do it all again, would we? Could we? Memories . . . . " I think I like it so much because of the depth of their friendship and their shared love of the movie. They are singing in a bar and they don't care who hears them and they just get carried away with the moment. I always want friends like that in my life.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Sleeping With Bread Monday

The Burned Bread - Actually, I can't blog about the things that grieved me this week. I don't want to trivialize those things by thinking up some petty annoyances so I have something to blog about, so let's just say there are things that are weighing heavily on my heart, and leave it at that.

The Fragrant Bread - My husband. He's a wonderful man. In my role as a stay-at-home-mom, he has never once made me feel like I have an insignificant job or that I sit around eating bonbons all day long. Also, he has never begrudged me any new interest or hobby I take a fancy to. He loves me and supports me. When I told him yesterday of a new direction I want to take with my life, he just smiled at me like he knew it all along and was waiting for me to catch up. It's actually something that fills me with equal parts excitement and fear, but he was all confidence and certainty. I'm blessed to have him as my husband.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Weak in the Knees

We were shopping this week and Sally wanted a new jump rope. I said no - it was this plastic beaded thing that would break in a minute. I told her she could use mine (which is heavy rope) or we could make her one. Samuel's little light bulb went on over his head and he turned to me and said,

"Hey Mom, maybe you could knit one!"

He's almost perfect, that little boy. I love him.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Favorite Fotos Friday

Feeding the fish down in Newport Coast
(thanks again, Cyndee!)

floating flowers
(i love these things)

baby blanket

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Three Things Thursday

(1) Brown sugar sold in plastic ziplock bags is the greatest idea. Those boxes with the wax paper are awful. I love ziplock bags.

(2) I hate it when people use the sugar spoon to stir their coffee (or tea). It's the sugar spoon. It's for sugar only.

(3) I have an unhealthy fear of sticking my hand in the garbage disposal when it is running. I have an inner monolouge, "Don't stick your hand in there, it's on, don't stick your hand in there . . . . " Nothing has happened in my life to create such an unusual fear. (Nothing that I know of . . . . )

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Work In Progress

Well, I just can't help myself. I know this is my third post today, but I wanted to show my dear knitting fan AmberJ what the yarn overs on my shawl look like. See those little holes at the right edge? That's what the yarn overs do for you. It also increases your stitches so your knitting gets a nice triangle shape.

Here's some of my favorite sources for knitting stuff I don't know how to do:

Wikipedia - see here.
About - excellent knitting section here, with an abbreviation chart and a stitch library and free patterns.
Creative Knitting magazine - you can get a free copy, and I think that the patterns are a good mix of beginning and intermediate skills.


My favorite radio station, KZLA, has switched from country to R&B. My friend has a great post here, and she links to an aritcle from the LATimes. It's sad and depressing, to tell you the truth. Basically, they decided that people who listen to country music have enough money to buy ipods and satellite radio, and people who listen to R&B don't, so they switched formats to attract a bigger audience. To make more money. From people they deemed unlikely to spend money.

Thanks alot, KZLA. I'm deleting you off of my presets today. So now I'll be listening to the Christian station (what's that number again?) or cd's with 80's music. Either that or I'll have to figure out how to use Stuart's ipod. (yeah right. I still don't know how to use that blue tooth thing he got for me.)

Still More Pics

I took so many pictures last week. I think I made up for not posting in digital images! I have to share this one: This is Samuel helping himself to the cheese. He ate it like a huge candy bar, just taking big bites out of the brick of cheese. After I took these pictures, I quickly put the cheese away and made him drink a lot of water. Then I went out and bought bread with extra fiber . . . .

This is the goodbye picture when my parents left. We really had a fun time together, right up until the end when Samuel burst into tears and clung to my dad. It was a bittersweet moment, and luckily the neighbor's cat came over for a visit, or else I would have had to restrain Samuel because he would have chased their car down the street.

Finally, we haven't had a knitting picture in awhile. This is me knitting at the beach. The project is a cute baby blanket for one of my husband's co-workers, and I got the idea from Kay and yes, it's a pattern for a dishrag, but I thought, that would make a really cute little baby blanket. Knit up in cotton, of course. So I made it a little bigger, changed some of the knit 2 togethers to knit 3 togethers, and voila! A baby blanket. Finished pictures later this week and, just for you, AmberJ, work in progress pics on the shawl. I love it, and it is very easy. (Note to AmberJ: If you are interested in what I am doing, I cast on three stitches and then did my first row in K1, yo, K1, yo, K1. The even rows are all purled straight across, and then on each knit row, I start with K1, yo, and then end with yo, K1. It makes a border of eyelets, and eventually a triangle shape starts to appear. I got the idea from Stephanie's new book, Knitting Rules.)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Monday, August 21, 2006

Pancake Breakfast

For those of you who know why I am posting pictures of my kids eating pancakes on Saturday morning . . . . .

. . . I miss you and wish we were eating pancakes together.

Pictures? Where are they?

I have hundreds of pictures to post today (actually, I have 101, but I was going to post just seven or eight of them) and blogger is giving me fits and not working right. Aaaarrrr! So, in lieu of the pictures, I'll open the week with:

Sleeping With Bread Mondays

The Stale Stuff: The weekend was surreal. I had strange dreams that stayed with me during the day, and I felt like I was in a fog. Then, the kids and I headed out to the beach for our church's last beach pit, only to find a handful of people and no pit, no fire. We hung out for awhile, letting the kids get all sandy and run around, then came home.

The Fresh Stuff: I went to the beach using a route I have never used and I did not get lost once. Not one time! Perhaps my getting lost curse is lifting. (Or perhaps I have tipped the scales by buying a map and stashing it in my car.) After we got home last night, we made some homemade chocolate ice cream. Yum. If you are lucky enough to be in our lifegroup, you may get some tonight! My parents were here this week, and we had a great time together. (Pictures to come . . maybe) Finally, I cast on for a top I was going to knit for me, and after only four rows it is painfully clear that (a) my gauge is way off and this top will fit me only if I gain about twenty pounds, and (b) this cotton yarn is maybe not the best choice for the pattern. I was saddened, but I quickly put it to the side and grabbed the lovely green/blue yarn that Sally and I scored at the craft store sale and cast on for a shawl for me. That's right - a shawl. (Gauge doesn't matter too much, so I figure it's a safe bet.) It's going to be a thick warmWutheringHeights type wrap. As I was happily knitting away, watching several episodes of Psych (my new favorite show), I fell in love with wool. It's a wool blend, but still. It's lovely. It's soft, it's stretchy, the stitches are uniform, and I'm knitting super duper fast. (Fast for me, that is.)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Three Things Thursday

(1) The San Diego Zoo is quite hilly. Quite.

(2) This zoo is famous for it's pandas, but I have only seen them once, despite visiting the zoo at least three times in the last four years. The line to see them is always so so so long, and the one time we waited, it was quite disappointing. They just sat with their backs to us.

(3) My two favorite animals at the zoo are the elephants (probably due to my love of the movie Dumbo) and the hippos. The hippos were magnificent this week. We watched them for almost fifteen minutes.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Blog Break

Sorry, kids, you're going to have to go without the cute stories and deep thoughts for a few days, as we are in Sally's-Birthday-Extravaganza this week. We're going to the San Diego Zoo tomorrow, so I'm pretty sure I'll be too tired to post anything. But when I do, zoo pictures! :)

Friday, August 11, 2006

Favorite Fotos Friday

We had a full day yesterday celebrating Sally's birthday. We decided to go with the "Do Lots Of Fun Stuff" this year instead of a party. (I don't like the big birthday party every year thing.) Anyway, we started the day with presents and breakfast at IHOP. Then the kids and I went down to see the tide pools at Laguna Beach. Despite getting lost (I always seem to get lost) and forgetting a change of clothes for Samuel (he always gets all wet and comes home half dressed), we had a nice time there. It was foggy, which I love at the beach.
We came home, went for a swim, had some quiet time/nap time (during which I was the only one who fell asleep), and then went to Daddy's softball game to cheer him on.
Happy Birthday, Sally!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Happy Birthday, Sally!

She's seven today. Pictures and stories tommorrow.

Happy Birthday, dear daughter. I love you to pieces.

Three Things Thursday

Three Reasons Why Moms Should Knit

(1) Waiting - I have done more waiting as a mother than at any other time in my life. At the doctor, at school, at the park, at soccer practice. Even at home, waiting for my daughter to finish her writing homework is so much more awful than I ever thought it could be. But, waiting with a little knitting project in my hands? It's like a gift, more time to knit, and suddenly I'm a patient person! Now I rarely leave the house without a small knitting project. It gives me something to do, and it's also a great conversation starter. (Remind me to tell you about the man at the car dealership that chatted me up about knitting. It's a funny story.*)

(2) Stress - Every job is stressful, but when motherhood gets stressful, you want to (a) wring the neck of your offspring or (b) smack your child upside their head or (c) head to the kitchen to eat the rest of their birthday cake standing over the sink. All these bad choices can be avoided with a little knitting in your hands. "Angry knitting" helps your hands do something good while your head and heart calm down. Also, it's hard to be mad at your kid when you are knitting them the darn cutest hat ever made. I also read somewhere that knitting is just as relaxing as yoga, which is comforting to those of us who have ever tried to do yoga with a toddler in the house. (Hint: it's not relaxing at all.)

(3) Accomplishment - Motherhood is a frustrating job. You clean the house, and the kids mess it up again. You do some laundry, and next week (or tomorrow) you have to do it again. You can work all day long, and at the end of the day, your house will look exactly the same as it did when you started. But when you knit all day long, at the end of the day you have something to show for it. A fun scarf, a cute hat, a new purse - the possibilities are endless. I've tried lots of hobbies, and knitting is much better than baking since you can't eat yarn (at least you shouldn't).

*So I'm at the car dealership, experimenting knitting mitered squares with some very ugly bright orange yarn, when this big guy in a Big Dog t-shirt and jeans says to me from across the showroom - "OH, you brought your knitting! What a great idea! I forgot mine. What are you making?" Kay, didn't know if he was serious or teasing me, but he was serious. He told me he was into making felted hats, and everyone wants them because they turn out so wonderful, and if I want to see one I should just take myself down to the yarn shop at First and Main and check it out because one is on display. He finished by telling me if his friend was taking too long, he'd come out and borrow some of my yarn.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Another Fun Quiz

You Belong in Rome

You're a big city girl with a small town heart

Which is why you're attracted to the romance of Rome

Strolling down picture perfect streets, cappuccino in hand

And gorgeous Italian men - could life get any better?

Conversations with Samuel

Samuel: "Mommy, is this my rich?"
Me: "What?"
Samuel: (points under his arm) "Is this my rich?"
Me: "No, this is your wrist." (points to my wrist) "That is your armpit."
Samuel: "Oh." (pauses) "My armpit hurts."

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Knit Bit: More Hats

Here's the hat I finished for Sally. It's like the hat for my niece, but it's purple with a pink stripe. If I had to do it over, I'd make the stripe higher and make the whole thing longer.

Here's my first charity project, a tiny baby hat, for the Caps for the Capitol project. (Link on the sidebar if you are interested in details.) It's darling. (Thanks to Sally's doll for modeling it for me.)

Here's my new yarn. Sally and I scored the blue/green yarn (on the left) at the Tall Mouse (craft store) sale this Saturday - we also scored some free t-shirts.

The blue, tan, and brown yarns (on the right) are my first wool purchase (yeah sheep!) and I will use them to make Samuel a hat, and then hopefully there will be enough to make a hat for a friend who loves the hats. See the grey yarn in the middle? It's sock yarn. It's sock yarn that I will use to knit up some socks. I've never knit socks before, and I'm a little scared. I just look at that yarn and think, yes, one day I will be ready to knit you. Those lovelies will be for my dear husband, who is most supportive of me (even suggesting that Sally and I get to the big craft sale early so as to not miss the good stuff) and who is way too hot for me to ever knit him a sweater or a scarf.

The wool and the sock yarn were purchased at an internet store - KnitPicks - and when they got here, the kids were enchanted. Anything that comes in a package is cause for wonder. Anyway, I smelled the yarn, because I've heard that wool has a distinct, earthy smell that people love. My kids decided that they too must smell the yarn. They each took a sniff and announced that yes, that is good yarn.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Sleeping With Bread

My friend Mary has an excellent post here on her new meme, Sleeping With Bread Mondays. This appeals to me in many ways. First, when I can't sleep, I find something to sleep with - usually a book (last night was Pride & Prejudice), the Bible, or my cell phone. Second, I love the good memes. Third, I want to be more reflective so that I can model this better for my children. So, here we go! (Instead of good/bad, alive/drained, loved/not loved, I'm picking bread words. Got to give it that mommychew touch!)

Yummy: Last night, while the kids were watching a Daffy Duck movie, I watched Pride & Prejudice (the most recent one) and did some knitting. The music of that movie is just wonderful, and I felt so peaceful and happy. I gotta say, I'm more than surprised that I have not lost the knitting bug and lunped all my projects into a heap in the corner of my closet. No, just the opposite has happened - now I'm finding ways of taking them with me, and I'm finding places to knit outside my house. The park is excellent, and so is soccer practice. Just the thought of taking those waiting periods, the "killing time" hours of life, and filling them up with knitting fills me with joy. Thanks again, Mom, for teaching me to knit.

Moldy: My daughter's room is my top parenting problem. It is a mess. She feels powerless to clean it because she simply has too much stuff. I am trying to find the balance between letting her be herself and have her own space and having a clean enough room that I can get in there and put her clothes in the closet. I told her she has ten days to get it in control or I will take over. My way involves putting all the "stuff" into a large box. She must then sort it into Keep, Give Away, and Trash. She cannot keep what is in the Keep box until the other two boxes are full. She hates this, as you can imagine. I just want everything to have a place in her room so she can tidy it up easier. She just wants to keep everything. I want to teach her responsibility and generosity, but without breaking her spirit and without squashing her personality. This is proving to me a most difficult thing for me, and it just drains me, but I keep at it because I know this to be true: I need to get this one right.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Favorite Foto Friday

This week, my favorite foto is on someone else's blog. Today, my friends, I give you:

knitters with knitting tattoos (scroll down to see their picture)
(their blogs are here and here)

All I can say is, if my current knitting posting has scared you, you haven't seen nothing yet. I'm mildly flirting with the knitting craft, if you want to know the truth. There are some seriously hard core knitters out there, and if I ever move to Texas, I'm totally stalking the yarn stores hoping to meet them.

A knitting tattoo. What a wonderful world we live in!

.gif question

yes, it is 1:28 am. i am totally awake and messing around on the computer instead of laying in bed and trying unsuccessfully to sleep. i'll pay for this tomorrow, i'm sure of it. meantime, does anyone know how to get a .gif file up on the sidebar? my knowledge of html is not that extensive. i like the sites where they say, "hey, bloggers, paste this code on your template, kay?" thanks, html gurus out there. i'm going to try that sleeping thing again now.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Three Things Thursday

Summer Memories

(1) When I was in junior high, my sister and I had one great summer that I will never forget. It was great because we did the same thing every day. We would get up, hang out, read or play a game, and wait. At noon, we would watch The Twilight Zone and eat balony sandwiches and pringles. At 12:30, we would have a jello pudding pop. (Why did they stop making those? They were the best.) At 1:00, we would swim. It was the same every day. I can't watch The Twilight Zone without thinking, "A balony sandwich would sure hit the spot right now."

(2) When I was in high school, we went on a camping trip to Lake Havasu, where my parents now live. This was the worst camping trip ever. Ever. It was hot, and in the middle of the night, none of us could sleep. Our tent was like a sauna. We decided to go for a swim. The water was not even refreshing becasue the lake was too hot. When we got out, the dry desert air sucked the water off of our skin in sixty seconds flat. I remember thinking my parents were crazy to want to live in an oven, and made a mental note to never visit them in July.

(3) When I was in college, I spent one summer in Norway on a missions trip. As with most short term missions, I learned more about myself and my faith than I thought possible. I did things I did not know I had the courage to do, and I met lots and lots of people. Riding on the train in Belguim gave me the greatest sense of freedom that I have ever felt in my life. Whenever I hear the song, "Shine Jesus Shine", I think of that summer.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Knit Bit: A Hat

My niece is turning one soon, and I made her a little hat. Now, I know that I am spoiling the surprise for her mommy and daddy, but consider reading this the unwrapping of her gift, and voila! Happy Birthday, Baby K! Auntie Sheila will be sending this little hat your way very soon:
I love it. I only hope it fits. I made it using Samuel's head as a model, figuring that since he's three, and she's turning one, it would be close. It's knitted with 100% cotton, so there is a little stretch in there if she needs it. Thanks to the Yarn Harlot for inspiration and pattern instructions. Next up: A hat for Sally - purple with a pink stripe. But before I go, a view from the top:
I got the decreases right! Yippee! (For you non-knitters, the decreases are those little lines coming out from the center of the hat. If you do it wrong, then they aren't lines. Lines = good.)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Potty Train Update

I am happy to report that the potty training is going quite well, despite my total lack of participation in the matter. Perhaps that is why it is going so well. Samuel is now going in the big potty - I threw the small potty chair away, because he kept trying to clean it out himself - and he is able to go mostly by himself. He's still in pullups most of the time, but we did have a few days of underwear last week and he kept them dry. I'm actually fine with this stage - the days he wears underwear, I put an extra pair of pants and a pullup in my bag just in case. Also, I'm so not ready for the wetting the bed stage.

Thanks, Grandma and Grandpa, for the puppy print toilet paper and the flushable wipes! They are very fun and useful! Love, Samuel