Thursday, December 18, 2008

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

We got our Christmas tree last Sunday, a whole family deal. The kids and I spent last Friday rearranging the furniture in the living room and sprucing up the house in preparation for the bringing out of the box o'Christmas stuff. Andy put up the lights, the kids decorated and I hung the few fragile "mom only" decorations.

Ever since the tree has gone up, Landon has been obsessed. He spends at least 1/2 of his day camped out right next to it, staring at it, trying not to touch the ornaments (usually failing at that one, but they are kid friendly at his level). He's also insisted on us making a "spot" for him each night at the base of the tree with blankets and pillows. It's here that we've read our bedtime stories, sang songs, and eventually fallen asleep.

I can't quite explain how peaceful it is to fall asleep with a kid tucked under your arm looking at soft lights in the dark. I get why he finds it so magical. Heck, if it brings me that much emotion at my age, imagine what all of that at 3, so unjaded and inexperienced, must be like.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Pictures of Winter

Yes, I know that it will not officially be winter for another few days. Just try telling that to the snow that has steadily been piling up since 10am this morning, or the bitter cold 9 degrees last night.

I managed to get another memory stick for the camera, so here are pics of last night and tonight, celebrating and embracing the cold.

A soup and bread combo to die for...

A very proud chef (and he had every right, best dinner for a cold night)

Cookies for D's school Holiday Party tomorrow (60 molasses cookies in total). All except that giant one at the end. That one was mine!

Boys on their way to the park to enjoy the snow (while mom and A baked and D did homework)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A New Group

Last night brought me back to high school all over again. The nerves of meeting up with people that I had never seen before hit like a ton of bricks! I recently found a local group of knitters that meet weekly and was invited to join them. I jumped at the chance to get out of the house on a regular basis and do something that I enjoy so much. Plus, the added value of meeting new people (good for me, no matter how painful at first) and having multiple live knitting resources, made it a done deal.

What I found was a very fun, welcoming group of women who I think I will really enjoy chatting with as often as I can! The nerves dissipated as the evening went on and by the time I left I was sure that I would be back for more. So that is something new and exciting (and just for me)!

As far as progress goes, I've finished up two more projects and can breathe a sigh of relief over having them done. However, I've still got several more to go. As we get closer to the holidays, I'll be posting less details about them as their intended recipients might very well be reading.

The kids are great, we just got D's report card and she is doing well! Christmas break is right around the corner and she is really excited about that. I think that we are planning on getting a tree this coming Saturday, and I found my camera cord. So new pics to come soon.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Same Old Same Old

Nothing new to report really. Things have been their usual nutty and wonderful way around here this past week. I have found my groove again with knitting and been hitting it full stride for the past few days. Been able to finish up that first pair of socks for she who cannot be named, finished a hat that started out for the man but ended up too small and will be a Christmas present for the L boy.

I need new knitting needles to complete two of my projects (and more in the future) so that needs to happen fast. I'm almost done with A's hat for Christmas and I am really pleased with how the yarn is working up. After that is done, I only have about 4.5 more projects to complete. Easy peasy right?! (gulp) At least there are days left in the teens. Going to try to knock out a project every other day and work on an additional one in between (if that makes any sense).

Oh, on a sad front. The wee ones shoved the camera memory card wayyyyy far in to the computer (my fault for leaving it within arms reach totally). So I have to dig out the cord that will let me load directly from my camera's internal memory before I can post any more pics. I hope to have that found today so that we can get some new ones up.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A Blog Neglected (Thanksgiving and a birthday)

Whoa it's been a while. To say that we've been busy would be an understatement. We took on the oh so very long drive to and from Houston, TX for Thanksgiving and made the round trip plus visit in just over a week. It was an awesome time, we visited with my mother in-law's family who lives down there and had a week-long party with 16 of us in total. The anticipation of the trip is always huge, especially since we don't live minutes away from them any more and we know it's an every other year thing. There is always game playing, lots of people (and dogs this year) for the kids to play with, and good grown-up conversation for the husband and I.

This year his cousin and cousin's wife hosted in their new house which was great! It was definitely a new spin on the holiday (usually hosted at his other aunt's house) and I think everyone really had a good time. Along with the mass of people there were 4 dogs which meant that the kids were in heaven. L made a new best friend with Hank the Weimaraner who also became the personal guard dog for Miss A. It was really too cute to watch.

Here are a few pics from the dinner, including me carving my feast of Tofurky. Miss A really liked it too which made me happy, and it was an awesome and huge meal for everyone. D made green beans wrapped in bacon and set the table, both were a hit!

Additionally, yesterday was my (gulp) 29th birthday. Just one year away from being completely out of my 20's, a thought that scares and intrigues me all at the same time. My mother in-law joked that this would be the age I forever say that I am and I like that idea! Hubby took me out yarn shopping (oh the yarn goodness) and then to dinner and a movie. We saw Twilight which was eh, just okay. The lead vampire was worth watching for hotness factor alone, but it was clearly geared more towards the teen crowd. That said, having a date night where we did not have to worry about the kids, and watching ANY movie, was completely awesome.

Christmas projects are coming along nicely despite not knitting one bit during our trip. More soon!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

hitting the wall

I have hit a wall with my desire and want to knit. I am all knit out right now and it sucks because I have so much planned for the holidays around it! I haven't done a dang thing more on that sock. Never finished the first one (which means there is one more in that pair alone) but am just a few inches from the toe. L's sweater is still sitting on the needles exactly where it has been for the past week too.

Part of the problem is that I am just plain old tired in the evenings right now. So if the kids are all asleep by 8:30 or 9, I am not very likely to stay awake and knit until midnight or later like I have been doing. The other problem is just lack of motivation. I seem to hit this rut every time I come close to finishing a project. I can have something completely knitted and not seam it for MONTHS! What is that about? It wasn't even a week ago that I was in love with knitting these socks, and now, nothing...

So, tonight instead of knitting, I am writing and catching up on my blog reading. L is still awake watching trucks and trains on TV with dad, so that is the other reason. If I dare knit instead of pay attention to him 100% he will climb on my lap, under my knitting and talk non stop. Sheesh!

There, now I've gotten out my knitting confession and hopefully that will cure it all. Maybe I will wake up tomorrow with a new sense of purpose and dedication to my projects. But probably not.

Friday, November 14, 2008

A letter for A on her birthday

My dearest Princess P. I cannot believe that we are already a year in to your awesome and sweet life. It was one year ago, almost to the minute, that our midwife told dad and I that we could come in to the hospital. Words cannot describe how excited we were to meet you. An hour later my water broke and we were in active labor, and then almost 5 hours after that you came in to our world. Our dark haired, mellow, sweet and chunky little girl.

Watching you grow and come in to your own little personality over the past year has been a blessing in so many ways. You remind me to smile, laugh and be happy on a daily basis. Your constant joy at small things around you reminds me to pay attention to those around me. From your first smiles at daddy, to the way you love to cuddle in our arms and now give hugs and kisses, each moment with you is treasured.

You are the light of all of our lives. D and L love you so much too, it's apparent in their daily desire to be with you, play with you and love you. You are such a smart, loving and wonderful little girl and I cannot wait to see what this next year will bring for you and our family.

Love you tons,

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Knitting Therapy

I've made a real effort lately to knit in the evenings once the kids are settled down for bed. It is currently serving two purposes... First, it relaxes me and is time where I can sit and do something that I enjoy. That alone is important. However, right now it also means that I am working on Christmas presents nightly, which given the amount of projects I've taken on in my head, is a very good and very important thing as we are mid November now.

Knitting helps me on many levels, it nourishes my creative side, it helps me become more patient (as all knitters know, you can't rush). I'll be the first to admit though that I get stuck doing repeat projects. Once I figure out how to knit something (longies, soaker, hat, scarves, etc) I tend to knit only those for a while. So my goal with Christmas is to branch out while I am making gifts. It's been really fun so far. I am more than 1/2 way done with L's sweater and should have it wrapped up by mid next week. I am a tad bit nervous that despite my gauging and measuring it will be small, but I have to keep knitting.

The other project that I am having an absolute blast with are these super easy socks. I won't say who they are for, heaven knows who all my addy has been passed around too and well, I don't want to ruin the surprise. But really, I was scared as heck to start them. It's honestly like knitting with toothpicks these needles are so tiny! The yarn is dreamy though, it's a self striping "Regia 4-ply wool Crazy Colors" in beautiful pinks, oranges, purples and reds. How's that for a mouth full?

Here is a sneak peak. Took these right before I started up again tonight and I am now done working the heel completely and starting the decreases! If I have it in me, I might be able to finish this one (still have the other to go) tonight!

I also feel the need to scream that my baby will be one in a matter of hours! I am not ready for that, I could have waited and made a birthday post (which will happen tomorrow) but I just really want her to stay little.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Here Lies Papa Smurf

So this morning I was busy nursing Miss A down for what I hoped would be her morning nap. L was supposed to be quietly watching Kung Fu Panda in our room, which he likes to do first thing in the morning. Alas, he appeared at the baby gate complaining of sticky hands and body. I got about two feet away from him and could smell the toothpaste. It was all over his hands, stomach and legs and I honestly thought that was the worst of it. Oh no, ha, how could I think such a naive thing? I walked in to our bedroom to find what can only be described as a smurf homicide. Gobs and gobs of neon blue toothpaste all over our sheets, pillows and duvet.

These pics are post "clean up/scraping", I should have snapped a few of him in his blue suite as well, but wasn't thinking about blogging at the time. I really should have known better. We lost an entire can of hairspray to the bathroom floor last week when he was going potty. These three year olds, man, I am so underprepared. The mass destruction that they cause in a nanosecond is mind blowing. The crazy thing is, this isn't toothpaste that we would normally have. Oh no, I gave in to the begging and pleading in Target for "Einstein" toothpaste to match his new "Einstein" toothbrush. Had he made this mess with his normal, undyed toothpaste we would still have a yucky mess on our hands, but I wouldn't be near as pretty!

Now we are off to do laundry, and pray that it comes out of my favorite sheets.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Super Awesome Longies

A package arrived yesterday that I had been excited over for a while. My dear friend Amanda agreed to crochet up some longies for Miss A and all she needed was for me to provide the yarn. She had these done really quickly (we both started a pair at the same time, mine still have a leg to go) and sent them off assuming that they would be way too big. I won't lie, when I took them out of the package I thought, "no way, maybe in another few months." Oh boy was I wrong! She has a little room to grow, but they absolutely fit her now.

So I proudly present A in strawberry lemonade by Amanda. She's wearing a very trim SwaddleBee diaper so there is a bit more room up top. When she wears her bigger ones she fills it out completely!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The mother of all nights

I know, I haven't even posted Halloween pics and what not, but election day is here, now and current and so I must focus on that. Cute kid pics to follow tomorrow, I promise. This post should have come earlier in the day, when I could still yell "Get out to the polls!" Honestly, I just want people to vote. I am not going to tell you who to vote for, even though I have my own very strong opinions. Never been one to push my beliefs on others though, what is most important is getting out and acting for what you personally feel is right. I am a firm believer in the statement that if you don't vote, you don't get to complain for the next 4 years, no matter what...

With that said....

I have never been so excited and hopeful. I may not sleep at all tonight!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

She's Walking

Yes, Miss A is walking. It's official. She beat out her big brother and sister by several months. Neither of them walked until they were 14/15 months and she is walking at 11 months! We were at my parents house last weekend and she loved pushing around a walker thing that we found in their basement. Practically ran with it. But nothing more than a step or two without a hand or something else to hold.

On the 25th (when I originally started this post) I was on the floor with her in their room and the next thing I knew she was coming at me. She walked several feet to me all on her own. I will try to get live footage to post soon but here is a pic of her last weekend, multi-tasking with an apple and her walker.

So, I apologize for the serious delay in updates! I feel like I've neglected my poor fledgling blog because of lifes insanities but I promise I'll be better. I hope I'll have some pictures soon of a pumpkin patch that we went to with some awesome friends, and maybe some vido of A walking.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

no knitting allowed

Last night I had the rare but awesome chance to get out of the house all on my own, take a train downtown Chicago, and get paid good money to talk with other moms about a new ad campaign. The thought of getting out and venturing down there alone made me giddy. I might even arrive a few minutes early and get to knit.

Andy saw me packing up my knitting and promptly declared "no knitting allowed on the train. It will make you look vulnerable!" Now, I get that it's something that a lot of people associate with little old ladies in a shop, but I really didn't see the issue. I grew up here, I took the train on my own all of the time when I was much younger and much more naive. I was actually a bit put off that he was giving me so little credit as to be able to spot someone scoping me out or acting shady.

I knitted on the train and loved it. I was much more aware of my surroundings than more than half of the trains occupants, who were wearing iPods. Plus, honestly, if it really came down to it my circulars would act as a nice weapon. What it really boils down to though is that I still try to find the good in people, in humanity. We are faced with so many ugly and horrid things on a daily basis that it is often hard to keep faith that people are good. But they are, we are.

Once my camera recharges I'll post pics of the progress I am making. Currently working on L's sweater for Christmas using this pattern and Cascade 220 (my new fav wool yarn).

Sunday, October 5, 2008

First pigtails

This is going to be short. The children are um, well, behaving like heathens tonight and the man has relatives in town so he is out and about with the adults (lucky man).

Presenting (especially for Julie) PIGTAILS!!!!

and then the after result because she actually kept them in all day long. I love the fuzz.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Oh How I Love the Fall

Fall is absolutely one of my favorite times of year. Don't get me wrong about summer, but I absolutely love the cool fall breezes, the smell of the air, and the food! When I went to the store last night they had organic fall squash on sale for dirt cheap so I could not resist. For lunch today I made baked acorn squash with Earth Balance and brown sugar. Mmmmm.

While I was sure L would love it (he didn't), A ate almost an entire half on her own (along with some banana pieces) and loved every bite. Her top two teeth have broken through the gums and I am excited about what new foods she'll be able to handle better since she wants what ever I am eating.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Government Woes

I am not sure what to think about the bailout bill not passing. A huge part of me is relieved, as I cringe at the thought of us borrowing more money from China and becoming more indebted to them as a nation. On the other hand, it scares the heck out of me to hear that just minutes after the vote was read the Dow dropped almost 800 points, a record drop. What are we doing as a country a nation that is supposed to lead and set example for the rest of the world? That seems like a pipe dream now. Don't get me wrong, I haven't given up on our country. Just the people that run it and a lot of the people in it.

I worry that I put too much hope in our next president. Will he be able to get our country back on the path to a healthy economy and world relations? We've strayed so far from those things as a nation. I worry what life will be like for my kids as they grow. Once upon a time a worry like that would have sounded silly, today it just sounds like reality. I know a lot of moms who share those fears and thoughts. God help us.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Fall Harvest (and a new blog)

I realized at some point last week that good fall apple picking would soon be coming to an end, and that we hadn't been yet! That was a sad realization, one that I knew needed to be remedied quickly if we wanted any good apples. Learned out lesson last year and waited until early October only to find many orchards were completely picked out.

I found a most awesome family owned place just about 30 minutes from us called Heinz Orchard. My husband had a few things that he had to get done today, so the three kids and I decided to trek off on our own. What was I thinking?! No, honestly it was all good and fine and lots of fun. L of course had to pee within minutes of arrival and there were no bathrooms or port-o-pottys around. But that was our only crisis miraculously. This place was as basic as it could get, a little table where they took your cash and gave you a bag. Honestly I'll go again and again, it's totally worth it if you are in the area. No gimmicks that will cost you a fortune and leave your kids begging for even more rides, just good old fashioned apple picking fun.

L and D had a blast trying to work the apple picking sticks (the long things with the bag and loop at the end to get the really high up ones), A sat in the stroller and munched on tiny apple bits that I broke off for her and I supervised and picked a few. The time flew far too quickly and we left with a peck of apples that included Golden Delicious, a lunchbox favorite at our house, and Empire for all my baking needs. I also found that they had a few pear trees on the property that they were more than happy to have picked so we got a half peck of pears as well!

L tends to enjoy his apples all the way down to the seeds and D ate her fair share as well. No worries though, I think we'll have enough to last for at least a week!