Wednesday, December 31, 2008
That said, this time of year does provide a little incentive for some projects because of the days off. Even with travel to see family, I have more consecutive days off than usual. My office is closed from Christmas Eve to New Year's Day, so I feel like I should take advantage of the time to jump start the organization that our house needs.
Hopefully, all of the presents will have found a home by the time we go to bed tonight. I'm about 60% done, but the dining room table is still half full. All of Heather's new clothes are in the dryer and most of the toys have been unpacked. I just need to distribute them to different rooms and make sure that we have enough bins that everything can be put away when we want to straighten up and not trip over duplos and plastic forks and blocks.
The main task is dealing with my stuff. The general house stuff is in pretty good shape. We aren't always good at putting everything away when we're done with it, and there are some cabinets and drawers that could use a spring cleaning, but the big issue for me is my stuff. The stuff in the dressing room, my clothes and the stuff in my room/office. I need to go through it, toss what I can, store what I don't regularly need and organize the things I want access to. The hope is that my current room could become emptied by half so there is some space for the baby. My space and/or Heather's room will eventually move up to the third floor, but not until the front room is patched up and finished. We're hoping to do that this spring with the help of the grandfathers, but I want to have back-up plans in case the changes to the grandfather's employment status prevents the work from happening. But in the end, we can make a decision on where things go and that room can't be cleaned well until I deal with my stuff. And it has been hard enough to get to it with one child, if I don't deal with it now that room is destined to stay like that for years!
The other goal is to improve the meal planning and grocery shopping process each week. Adding some recipes to my rotation, making time to plan once a week and making some meals in advance to freeze will be added gradually to my existing responsibilities. We aren't eating badly now, but it could be better planned and more interesting.
Well, I'm off to fold some laundry and start dealing with my stuff while Heather naps. :-)
(Once I get access to the picture archive again there will be knitting photos to share of presents and my two main current projects)
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
This mobile text message is brought to you by AT&T
Monday, December 22, 2008
- I'm thrilled that the holiday cards went into the mailbox this morning! It was absolutely fabulous to print the address labels with the computer and I just wish I would have done it all earlier. Starting on Friday after work and finishing on Sunday night at 10:30 meant that I spent almost all of my free moments this weekend doing the cards, and I only wrote a sentence or two on each one. So it wasn't really *that* time consuming, but it was a lot for one weekend.
- I also finished the presents for the daycare teachers. I finished the primary knitting on Friday night and had to wash, block, embroider and photograph this weekend. I gave an extra one of the mug cozies to one of my coworkers in a secret santa exchange on Friday and she was using it this morning, so I expect them to be a hit. :-)
- I wrapped all of the presents that aren't pictures, which basically took the entire length of Heather's nap on Saturday.
- We went to the grocery store, and we have boring dinner food for the next couple of nights, an orange for Heather's stocking, christmas eve dinner food and christmas morning food.
- I did cast on Amelia after I finished the embroidery on the mug cozies. I had to make sure I had something to knit on the bus today and tomorrow! :-) Pictures as soon as I have more than a couple inches of knitting done.
Left to do - print and wrap pictures, assemble Heather's big present, and clean up the house!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
I still haven't gotten to the christmas cards, but since I figured out the label thing I'm not to stressed about that. It's still going to take some time this weekend, but it's manageable. And everything else left to do for christmas feels pretty manageable, too.
Hopefully I'll get caught up on my knitting photography and project posting over the holidays. And we shall see if I'm inspired to finish some works in progress or start new things or both when I get some free time again!
Hope you all have an easy Friday and a lovely weekend!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
"Mommy's on a bus."
Correct and appropriately timed!
ETA: This mobile text message was screwed up for you the first time by AT&T
Monday, December 15, 2008
1 - It was a pretty low key weekend. Heather woke up under the weather on Friday morning. R and I took shifts staying home with her, and she really didn't get back to herself until about half an hour before bedtime on Sunday night. She wasn't totally miserable...just irritable, tired and without much of an appetite. But she was drinking well and she did eat a bit. I think it was most concerning for us because she usually bounces back after a long nap and/or a good night's sleep...which she had on friday, saturday and sunday...but it wasn't until dinnertime on Sunday that she started being her silly self again.
While we were definitely sad to lose out on a weekend with fun Heather, we're happy that she's recovered and didn't get sick for more of the week when we're both very busy at work. (And our fingers are crossed that daycare won't call this afternoon.)
As always happens whenever Heather is sick, my heart really goes out to parents who deal with chronic or regular illnesses in their children. Despite the crud that has been brought home from daycare, in general we've been really lucky and Heather seems to have inherited the relatively strong immune system of her parents. And we're blessed that she is so healthy in general. Knowing the stress that loomed over me all weekend waiting for her to feel better for a relatively minor condition, it's difficult to imagine dealing with that on a regular basis.
2 - I can't even describe to you how incredible it is to hear Heather talk each day. There are still certainly words and phrases that we don't understand, but it seems like there is so much that we do it is just amazing. Maybe if I had a notebook tied around my neck I could record it all, but even then I doubt it. There are lots of times that she will repeat most of a sentence that we've just said (she used to repeat just the last word or two). Some recent examples of sentences she's come up with on her own:
"Nora looking Heather's Christmas (KIH-MAS) tree"
"Money in Heather's piggy bank"
"Come here Stewart"
"Nana Bapa coming soon" (Nana and Bapa are my parents)
"There is Heather's garbage truck" (replace garbage truck with the noun of your choice)
"Daddy walking snow"
3 - Current favorite activities:
- Watching the garbage truck go by on Monday mornings. If we get up early enough we can see it go in front of the house and in the alley behind.
- Putting money in her piggy bank
- Playing with play-doh
- Using her blocks to make a house for Elmo (he is the only figure special enough for this privilege
- Walking in the snow
- Eating Mac'n'Cheese
- Examining the ornaments and lights on the Christmas tree
- Singing her ABCs, she also likes it when daddy and mommy sing it to her or with her
4 - Christmas
I've purchased everything for Christmas but one secret santa gift and the stamps for the christmas cards. I even bought wrapping paper this weekend and all of Heather's stocking stuffers. We'll be keeping the UPS man and the staff at Mailsmart busy this week as everything I ordered online rolls in. I think we're done decorating, although R might put lights up in one or two more windows. But the trees are decorated, the banister is decorated, the mantle is decorated and I came up with a system for displaying christmas cards that I like better than last year. I'm ready for the christmas bins to leave the dining room. :-)
Trying to print address labels is proving to be a bigger challenge than I anticipated, but I'm going to keep trying to figure it out because it seems like less of a hassle than address 130+ cards by hand. I still have hope that I'll get them mailed by Monday...
I think I'm feeling the same way this year that I felt last year. I'm so excited about Heather's presents that I'm not even really thinking about what I might get. Few family members asked what I wanted, so I suppose I'll be getting things from my amazon list and gift cards. But honestly, that's fine with me. Other than some springy maternity clothes, I really don't feel like I need much. I'm still feeling overwhelmed by the stuff I already have, so I don't want a lot more. :-)
I haven't figured out the timing yet (Christmas Eve or before?), but R and I do need to go through Heather's toys and remove (read: hide on the 3rd floor) some of the stuff that she's getting too old for or that she doesn't play with much anymore. With new stuff coming in, we need to make room in the three primary toy areas.
(ETA - No offense to Open Office, but I took a few minutes to try to make labels in Microsoft Office and I had no trouble figuring it out. So except for the 4-5 addresses that need to be confirmed, my labels are ready to print now - yay!)
5 - Knitting
4 of the 5 teacher gifts are done minus blocking and embroidery, and I think I'm going to make two more for friend gifts since they're so fast and useful...and maybe one for me, too. :-)
The swatch for Amelia is done and washed. I'm debating between size 2 and size 4 needles. Based on the pre-blocking measurements, I'm either getting 24 or 26 stitches to 4 inches...so since I have to do math either way (the pattern is for 20 stitches to 4 inches) I might as well decide which fabric I like better. I think I'm leaning toward the size 2. I know it sounds crazy, but I'm a super loose knitter and I'd rather knit an extra few hundred or thousand stitches and get a sweater I love than be stingy and get a sweater that is just so-so...and I tend to prefer a more structured fabric. But I haven't studied the washed and blocked swatch yet or done any math, so the decision is subject to change. (I probably won't give myself permission to go back to this until the teacher gifts and christmas cards are done...)
6 - Facebook
I've been sucked in. My knitting group decided that we should use facebook to plan our events so that no one has to be saddled with sending out evites and we can chat between events without filling up everyone's email boxes. Plus, people can come and go as they please instead of having one person responsible for keeping the email list.
Pro - I've caught up with some college friends that I've been meaning to be better about communicating with.
Con - It's just one more thing to make my "internet life" more time consuming.
Given these two thoughts, I'm mostly limiting myself to communication. I'm keeping most of my picture posting on flickr, I'm keeping knitting content on ravelry, I'm keeping most of my thoughts and comments here, and I'm just using facebook for chatting with people that I really want to chat with. In other words, I'm not going to friend everyone I've ever met. No offense to anyone, but I have no desire to maximize my friends to the point that it is hard to keep up with the people I really want to read about.
7 - The Muppet Movie
Heather and I watched about half of the movie yesterday after her nap. She seemed to enjoy most of it. She got impatient during the Doc Hopper scenes (can't blame her), she liked the froggys (Kermit and Robin) and she liked it when Fozzie said "Wakka wakka wakka". :-) That scene could have lasted longer in her opinion.
I was also pleased to discover that I still know all the words to "The Rainbow Connection". :-) Not bad considering that it's been almost 10 years since I graduated from college.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
So except for fixing the lights already stranded on the banister (half of them are out now), I am done decorating for christmas - yay! There are still lots of household chores to do, but it feels good to get one checked off the list instead of spending 8-11pm on the computer, and being annoyed with myself for not being productive and for staying up too late.
I cast on a gauge swatch for Amelia this morning on the bus. Just a quick break between daycare teacher presents. I'm 90% sure that I need to go down a few needle sizes and math is going to be required to substitute this yarn. But I think it will totally be worth it, and it will make for some great holiday car travel knitting!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
The best (?) part is that I don't have to wait until after the pregnancy to make and wear it because it only buttons at the chest. If only I could go home and cast on my gauge swatch RIGHT NOW.
Meet my new friend Amelia.
Thursday, December 04, 2008
I like the feeling of finishing something. And my current focus is on baby hats (however many I can get out of my skein of yarn) for savethechildren.org, which are sure to give me more finishing satisfaction in the next few days.
I'm once again feeling like I simultaneously have startitis and finishitis, so I'm trying to focus on the finishitis to clear the nearly-complete and small holiday knitting projects from my queue, and then I can cast on a bunch of projects for me and Heather, and return to Babette. This is the plan, at least. As I was finishing the fair isle sweater over the last few days, I started picturing one for Heather. So that, and a sweater for me out of whatever yarn strikes me the most when I go stash diving are definitely at the top of the list.
The only true holiday knitting I need to do is a series of gifts for Heather's teachers. I'm going to knit coffee cup cozies for them and embroider Heather's symbol on them. (Sure, it will be another child's symbol next year, but embroidering flowers on them makes more sense than putting her name on them.) I might also include a starbucks card or a few packets of hot cocoa. TBD based on what I can find when I go shopping for the mugs. :-)
If I'm in the mood for some small knitting, I might also start making some tree ornaments and I have a vague notion about a knitted advent calendar and tree skirt (inspired by a friend). But those are only ideas for if and when the mood strikes and not anything I *have* to do this year. I'd also like to do some festive knitted stockings eventually, since we have 6 mantles in our house and only enough stuff to decorate one or two of them.
As usual, what actually gets knitted will depend on the amount of time I have available to plan at the moment when I can start a new project...and how much of Heather's sleeping time I spend doing the chores that I really should be doing instead of knitting!
Monday, December 01, 2008
Heather is a fan of the Christmas tree again this year, although she's been similarly enthralled by the ladder, too. Hopefully I'll get to the ornaments soon and we can get that out of the way.
I'm working on my address list now for Christmas cards, so if you don't think we have your current address, you should email it to me asap! I can't wait to get those finished. I don't want another December where they hang over my head all month. Or another trip to see family when I have to bring them with me to finish...
Sunday, November 30, 2008
The next weekend my parents came to visit, and we decided to take the opportunity to visit the Children's Museum. It was a big hit with all of us. We started upstairs in the waterplay area.
Playing in the water pipe area.
Putting water from the pond into the watermill.
Putting water from the pond into another cup. (Despite her serious look, she was having a great time. She was just concentrating hard!)
Looking for the next toy to play with. She tried out a number of different boats and would have been happy with more sailboats.
When we moved down to the infant/toddler play floor Heather enjoyed the trains.
And she liked watching the fishes like she does at school.
It was a lovely day at the museum capped off by lunch and a quick visit with The Boss' mommy in the art studio where she was teaching knitting.
Last weekend, we finally got to do what we've been waiting to do for a long time. We got to have our first playdate and dinner with Karla! The girls were a little wary at first, but after some play time with the parents and a yummy dinner, it was time for some dancing!
And then it was time to play with Play-doh.
We haven't had a ton of snow yet, but there has been a little here and there. Enough to break our Heather's new winter coat and order her a snowsuit (not pictured) which is a little big but will keep her nice a warm when we go out to play in the snow to burn off toddler energy.
This weekend we had a nice Thanksgiving and mini-vacation. After watching some of the Macy's parade, we headed to R's parents' house for Thanksgiving. The house was more full of canines than usual since SIL and BIL both brought their young chihuahuas and SIL brought her terrier, too. The smaller chihuahua crawled on Heather's lap and made her giggle.
Friday we enjoyed a slow morning and Heather took a long nap, so I worked on cleaning up the house. Despite Heather's short nap on Saturday, I manged to get enough done that R could put the tree up that evening.
Today we attended little EJ's first birthday party. It was a lovely fiesta, although it took Heather a little while to understand that those newly unwrapped presents weren't hers. :-)
Maine Wedding and New England trip
We took our first plane flight with Heather up to Boston and then drove up to Maine for the wedding of a special friend who I've known since kindergarten. Heather loved the plane rides and did really well considering that most of her naps were during long car rides from place to place. (She refused to nap on the plane because it was just too interesting.)
Heather got to wear her Halloween costume to the rehearsal dinner.
The view from our hotel room.
The wedding was lovely. Daddy and mommy chose a seat at the back of the crowd and each took a turn letting Heather stretch her legs. She did well but didn't really understand why we needed to stay seated.
Between the ceremony and the reception, the wedding party went to the beach for group pictures, so our family took the opportunity to walk on the sand. Yes, the sand was cold. But the breeze was mild and the sun was out.
Beautiful shawls made by the bride herself.
The flower girls thought that Heather was adorable. Who can blame them?
Once she finished eating, all Heather wanted to do was dance!
The next day we traveled to visit friends in western Massachusetts. We didn't take too many pictures while we were visiting, but we did get one with Keeno the bunny.
Before heading back to Boston to fly home, I got a little over an hour to shop at mecca...
While mommy was shopping, Heather and daddy were browsing at a toy store. Cookie Monster came home with them since fire trucks aren't very cuddly.
Waiting to fly home...
The following week had two notable occurances. First, R and Heather and I went to my first pre-natal appointment. :-) That's right. Heather will be a big sister in May 2009. We're just at the end of the first trimester, and other than being tired mommy is feeling well.
Also, I went to a baby shower for a friend. She's due in december and I was delighted by how much she liked the baby sweater, bib and washcloth I made for her little one. :-)
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I really need to go to bed at 10, so when I started I had 11 minutes to write this...and now I have 8. :-)
A few tidbits:
- Anytime Heather sees cheese in any form, she says "Mac'n' cheese?" Macaroni and Cheese used to be called "Cheese", so I guess she's evolved.
- Heather and I went to target tonight and see really seemed to enjoy trying on shoes. I think daddy is worried.
- Heather loves the garbage truck. On monday we were lucky enough to see it twice. Once from the front window and once from the back window. We couldn't do anything until it was out of view. Every truck is now a garbage truck.
- Her current favorite book is a Moose book that she calls the "soose" book. But once we say Moose, she says it with an "M".
As I mentioned earlier, I lost some yarn and needles in the house. I've been looking for it since Saturday and finally found it last night. Progress is finally being made again on the toddler sweater that's been sitting for a while.
Before I found the yarn and needles I got bored on the bus with my socks and started using the sock yarn to make an iPod cozy.
Time up! more soon...
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Our conversations and Heather's responses to the ads convinced us that there would be an ideal ticket to run if a party wanted to attract the toddler vote.
Heather smiles everytime she says "bama" and "nunu". Politically, an Obama/Sununu ticket is probably unthinkable, but it would certainly make for some adorable political ads. (I don't know that it would sway any voters, but it would certainly make members of both parties smile.)
I was hoping to do a long weekend wrap-up tonight, but after doing some catching up and picture proofing, it is already almost 10pm and I'm tired. I will try to get to it soon while everything is fresh in my mind, but it is going to be a busy week at work, so I'm not making any promising.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Onto the subjects of this post. Thomas, as in Thomas the Tank Engine, is a new Heather favorite. A few weeks ago, she was being restless about watching Sesame Street but she really wanted a "vid-yo", so I decided to try something different. She has liked trains for a while, so we gave Thomas & Friends a try. Not only does she never request that we fast-forward during the train show, she also knew Thomas' name from the first time we watched it. I have to assume that she learned his name at school, because up until R bought the Thomas toothpaste last weekend, there was no evidence of him in our house. (Having Thomas toothpaste has made her excited about brushing her teeth again - we'll take it.)
The other two concepts she's learned recently are garbage and laundry. She knows that discarded items go in the garbage and dirty clothes go in the laundry. The only confusion she has is that sometimes we clean up with disposable wipes and sometimes we clean up with cotton washcloths. So I explain that the wipes go in the garbage and the washcloths go in the laundry.
R and I are both happy that Heather is gated from the garbage can, so she can't make her own decisions about what items are garbage...
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
A few notes about the Babette blanket. I'm using 10 colors of Cascade 220 that have nothing to do with the 15 colors of DK weight yarn in the original. I didn't want to plan the blanket out, but I wanted a fairly even distribution of color, too.
The blanket is made up of crochet squares in a variety of sizes. Let's call them A, B, C, D, E, and F. They build on each other, so A has 2 rows, B has 4 rows, C has 6 rows, etc. There are 126 squares total.
So to get a somewhat even distribution, I made 12 or 13 size A square in each color to get my 126 total base squares. Then I set aside the 50 squares (5 in each color) that didn't need to get any bigger. (If I was smart I would have started weaving in the ends on these at this point. But I'm not that smart.)
So then I took my 76 squares and assigned them to my ten colors to turn them into B squares. 4 of the colors got added to 7 squares each and 6 of the colors got added to 8 squares each. (4x7=28 and 6x8=48, 28+48=76) I distributed them so that no B square is the same as any other B square. The goal again is a pretty fair distribution of color and somewhat equivalent use of yarn (though that part will fall apart as the squares get bigger).
I have 3 B squares yet to finish. When that is done, I will choose 49 of the B squares to be "finished" and the rest will go on to get bigger. There are 16 C squares, 7 D squares, 2 E squares and 2 F squares. That means I need to make 27 C squares, so each color will be used 2 or 3 times for the next round. Then I'll need 11 D squares, so each color but one will get used once and one color will get used twice.
For the E and F squares, I'm really just going to get to decide which colors I want to finish those off with and probably which color I have the most remaining yardage of. I don't know whether I'll need to buy yarn to finish the squares, but I am 100% sure that I'll need to buy yarn for the border. Color to be determined once I have the squares blocked and sewn together.
I haven't starting attaching any squares yet because I want to lay the whole thing out before I start putting it together. I need to be able to balance the color and try different options.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Gosh I can't wait to meet that little girl...and I know that doesn't even compare to how her parents feel about finally getting her home.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Monday, October 06, 2008
(I suppose if I used something like twitter, this is the kind of thing that I would post there. But I have no desire to add yet *another* web thing to my already too busy web life.)
Saturday, October 04, 2008
After dinner we loitered outside for a few minutes because they have some raised curbs around the planters that Heather likes to walk on. (She likes to walk on any raised curb, wall, stone, etc - its a highlight of several of our regular neighborhood jaunts.)
I was waiting to see if she was done walking the wall, and R was looking at something on his iPhone, and the next thing we know Heather starts saying "I keem, I keem, I keem" and pointing at the ice cream shop.
Guess we have to be careful where we hang out from now on. ;-)
On an unrelated note, I think it is awesome that The Yarn Harlot coined a new word that is credited in the New York Times. Unsurprisingly proof of her abilities to appeal to a large audience, not just an audience of knitters. I also think it is cool that Mr. Kinnear called her the Michael Jordan of knitters on national TV, but I think it stinks that he assumes that all knitters are female...
Friday, October 03, 2008
1 - Next time I make a sweater for myself I need to make sure that I make the shoulders narrower. It is kind of astounding that it took me so many sweaters to figure it out, but something about shoulder width was mentioned on one of the podcasts I listen to, and something in my head finally clicked. I have narrow shoulders. Even store bought sweaters tend to fall off my shoulders. Before, I was thinking that I just need to make the shoulder seams wider, but really it is that the distance from shoulder to shoulder should be smaller. I'm wearing Ivy today, and the shoulder seam is at least 1" past my shoulder bone on both sides.
This doesn't mean that Ivy and my new cardi aren't wearable, but it is a little annoying that the shoulders feel like they want to fall off from time to time, and now I can't wait to fix that issue on my next time out.
2 - Speaking of my new cardigan, it still isn't done. The button band needs to be reknitted and I need to find buttons that aren't as heavy. Babette and gift knitting have been taking precedence at the moment, but I think I'll probably get back to it soon since chilly weather is upon us. The cotton summer bombshell top is on hold indefinitely.
3 - Babette is going well. All of the 126 2-row squares are done and I have about 1/4 of the 76 4-row squares done. I may start blocking the 50 2-row squares that don't get anything added to them this weekend. We'll see.
4 - I'm tired. I traveled for work earlier this week and put extra time in before we left. I went to bed earlier than usual last night, and I feel better today, but I'm still praying that Heather will let us sleep in tomorrow morning.
5 - I'm not finished reading the Mason Dixon knitting book yet, and the Yarn Harlot's book arrived yesterday. It would be so nice if these publishers would space out the releases a little bit! Maybe I can try reading and knitting again and see if it annoys me less.
6 - Heather is going to be sad when it is too cold to go to the playground. We've already had a few evenings that were too chilly, but R and I are hopeful that we can go this weekend. In addition to the swings and slide, she loves climbing on the different levels, crawling through tunnels and asking to do things that are really too big for her. She also likes drinking from the water fountain.
7 - Have I mentioned that I'm going to get to go to Webs next month? I have got to figure out what my strategy is going to be...
8 - It is lovely to have a membership and live near the zoo so you can decide to go on a whim on Saturday morning.
9 - Baby tigers are cute.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
When they sing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" at daycare they "twinkle" with their hands by opening and closing their fingers. So whenever she sees a picture of a star, she starts doing the hand motion and sings "twinkle twinkle twinkle twinkle..." in essentially the correct tune.
For "Baa Baa Black Sheep" they slap their hands on their thighs, so thigh slapping means that Heather wants us to sing. And when she sings it, she sings the tune (same as twinkle) and "baa baa baa baa baa baa baa..."
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
So let's start with some Heather things.
1 - She's started requesting trips to the playground and requesting videos (vid-yos). The playground is getting to be more fun as she is doing more climbing and it is not just about the swing and the slide anymore, although she still loves both of them. When it comes to videos, we can get away with showing Sesame Street instead of always watching videos of Heather, but if she doesn't like the SS segment that is on, she's say "No no no no" until I fast forward to something else. Her current favorite character is Big Bird and Oscar got the "No no no" treatment last night. (Have I mentioned how much I LOVE On Demand?!?! Lifesaver.)
2 - She says Hi and Bye bye to Nora and Stewart ("tew-ar") when she sees them. She sometimes still tries to run up and pet them, but many times now she's just happy to stand and wave at them. I think she knows that they'll run under the bed if she tries to go up to them. She's very gentle, so I hope that someday they'll give her a real chance to get closer to them.
3 - Spoon ("poon") is one of my current favorite words. She also says airplane and helicopter when she hears one overhead. Noodles and blanket are adorable, too.
4 - We're trying to add "please" to Heather's vocabulary. Totally adorable and irresistible when she says it. Even when she says "mama nurse please" at 5am. :-/
5 - I think she's being a bit more of an adventurous eater again. I hope this means that the teething symptoms for the last incisor are over. It's not that she wasn't eating, but there were just things she had stopped eating and things she wouldn't even try. I don't know that she'll stop being picky, but I was excited that she shared my brunch wrap with me on Sunday for the first time in months.
I'm positive that there are other things, but they aren't coming to me and this text window has been open all day...I will think of more as soon as I step away from the computer I'm sure...
Not too much to say about yarn at the moment. Two of my projects are secret presents for blog-readers, Babette continues and I haven't gotten back to my cardigan yet. I did rewash and block it. We'll see if it stays stretched out, if I need to redo the button band or what I will do to fix it.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
2 - She's still shy for hellos, but the hand wave is more reliable even if she won't speak.
3 - "Boo boo" and "band aid" (ban-aye) are two of my favorite words (despite the implications).
4 - Her word for pacifier is "bye-doe" (?) and she knows how to say "nurse". Both of these words are simultaneously good and bad in the eyes of a mom wondering if and when we should wean from both. (I'm more concerned about the former).
5 - She can say Stewart and Nora now. As well as knowing how to say kitty "ki-teh" and meow.
6 - I think one of my favorite routines is when R and Heather get home first. When I turn up our street, they start walking toward me, and Heather is just giddy with happiness to see me. If she could really run flat out she would. Awesome.
7 - One of her favorite activities is removing all of the contents of my purse and taking everything out of my wallet that she can get out of it. She mostly just looks at things and then hands them to me. Sometimes this is good entertainment at a restaurant.
I'm sure that there are more, but this is all I've come up with while my email window has been open this afternoon.
I've been meaning to post about our vacation, but quite honestly dear readers, I've been more interested in doing other things since we got back and I didn't even bring my laptop with me while we were gone. I read some email on my phone and borrowed my mom's computer once to browse the internet, but that was it. And once we were home I spent so long reading everyone else's stuff that I didn't have the energy to respond to anything. Pathetic, I know.
Thankfully, R has posted a summary of our time off. I'll try to add more details from my perspective and I will definitely post about my yarn exploits on vacation, but I'm not there yet.
Part of the delay is that we are moving our photo galleries to flickr. So far I've just been posting and grouping pictures, and I plan to go back to add more captions and tags. But I'm using this opportunity to go back through our whole server of pictures and pick up things that I always meant to post and never did. I started about the time I started knitting and am moving ahead in time. Once I get to the present I'll go back in time to grab the pictures of my pre-2004 set designs. Not everything we're posting is public, so if you want to see it all you should become my contact. (I've linked to a few of you, but that's something I'll spend more time on when I get more pictures uploaded. Also, some of you may have me as a contact under my pre-ravelry userid which I forgot about when I created the one for ravelry. Oops)
My basic black cardigan and crocheted mitts are finished. Babette is going well. The fair isle sweater might need to be restarted (I seem to be avoiding that one at the moment) and I desparately need to take some photos of my projects in their current state.
I'm wearing my basic black cardigan at work today. I'm a little sad that the A/C is making me chilly despite the fact that I'm wearing a 50% wool cardigan, but I'm mostly happy with it. I have a little concern that the buttons I chose are too heavy, but I won't remove them unless/until I can find a suitable replacement.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
I've decided to learn for a couple of reasons. 1 - It involves yarn. 'Nuff said. 2 - I've seen patterns in crochet that I like and I think that the properties of crochet make them better suited to these projects than trying to "redo" them in knit stitches. 3 - I think having a better understanding of crochet will help me better execute crocheted edgings and crocheted seams, as well as understanding how they can be modified to suit my tastes.
I don't really think that I going to come away from this with a stronger desire to crochet than knit, because in general I prefer knit stockinette fabric over many of the crochet fabrics I've seen. But there are crochet fabrics I like, and I think there is great promise in understanding a myriad of ways to play with yarn and use it to its best advantage!
For those interested, I'm making the ladylike lace gloves from The Happy Hooker and the Babette Blanket from Interweave Crochet. I still need more yarn for Babette, but I couldn't resist making the first few squares from some Cascade 220 in the stash...
Friday, August 22, 2008
Heather is having a language explosion. She still things that we don't understand, but there seem to be new words that we do understand about every day and it is very often that she's repeating the things that we say. "I know", "okay", "there we go", "I'm ready", etc. She will also repeat the last word of our sentence, anticipate words in books that we have read often and just generally surprising us with new words. The best example I can think of is that I repeated the word "tunnel" for Heather a few times while we were at the zoo. She likes walking under it and she repeated it back to me. The surprise was that she said it again a few days later when she and R were driving under an overpass!
Things have definitely calmed down at work. There is still work, but it isn't as hectic as it was. A nice change. I need to find my planning design mojo again. It's just been a long time and I need to relocate my...confidence...I guess. It's a bit hard to describe.
I also have simultaneous urges to finish everything I have on the needles and start about six more projects. I'm hoping for the time to feed my startitis and finishitis while we're on vacation. I've also got a crochet project or two in my sights. Most of the things I really want to make don't seem like beginning projects, so I'll be sure to do a couple of smaller things first.
We've got a playdate tomorrow and I've got a knitting get together on Sunday, so I should go get some sleep...
Thursday, August 14, 2008
She was delightful and chatty when the pediatrician was talking with us at the desk, but whenever he or the nurse wanted to touch her / weigh her / measure her she pitched a fit. I think she cried more for the exam than she did for the shots. Silly girl.
We didn't really have any questions, so it was mostly a nice chat about how well she's doing and the pediatrician was really impressed with how many words she has. :-) Oh, and no more shots until she's 4 - yay!
ETA: I forgot. Even after just spending 10 mostly shy minutes with Heather, the doctor could tell that she has an independent personality.
Gee. I wonder where that came from...
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
I've alluded to the podcasts that I listen to a few times and I've been meaning to do a post about them for a while. They've become kind of an obsessive part of my daily commute and I only wish that I can the kind of job that would allow me to listen to them at work, too. But I find that there is too much competition between trying to listen to the talking and the thinking I have to do for my job.
I've listed the podcasts that I'm really committed to in the sidebar of my blog. If you want to give one a try, I would listen to a current episode and see what you think. If you like it, you can subscribe via iTunes or another program (I know there are others, but I'm not familiar with them since I use iTunes) and go back and listen from the beginning. In some cases this will give you hours of entertainment and for some of the newer ones it won't take you long to catch up.
I listen to podcasts for a few reasons. 1 - There are some great interviews with knitting designers and knitting celebrities that you can't find anywhere else. I seriously stalk iTunes for any podcast where the Yarn Harlot is interviewed. 2 - Discussion of patterns and yarns that I haven't heard of before. This is kind of like finding patterns and yarns in ravelry, except that I don't have to be staring at a computer screen. 3 - Getting to listen to other people talk about knitting. Maybe if there were more TV shows about knitting I wouldn't need the podcasts, but there is just something nice about infusing my brain with yarn related dialogue. 4 - News and reviews. Magazines and blogs are fine ways to here what is "new" in the knitting world, but podcasts are much more immediate than magazines and I can't read blogs (easily) while knitting or commuting.
Cast On was my first, and probably still my favorite knitting podcast. Brenda's voice is lovely, she produces a very professional program, she has themes for each series of 10-12 episodes and I just like listening to her stories. But once I caught up on all of the old episodes I had to find some new options since Brenda is currently producing her show only 1-2 times a month.
I posted on Ravelry in the Brenda Dayne Fan Club forum for suggestions on other podcasts to listen to. I knew that I would be hard pressed to find another podcaster as professional as Brenda, but I thought that getting the opinions of fellow fans would get me going in the right direction. (There are lots of knitting podcasts out there now!)
My next podcasts were Stash and Burn, the Knit Picks Podcast and Sticks & String. All three were enjoyable and it took a few months to go back and listen to all of the back episodes since they had all been around for over a year. Stash and Burn is kind of like hanging out with two knitting friends who are as obsessive about yarn as I am. They are both a little more obsessive about the size of their stash than I am, but I really enjoy listening to them chat and they've had some nice interview shows, too. I was a little concerned about the Knit Picks Podcast being too commercial, since it is run by a yarn company, but it is really much more about Kelly and good technique advice. There is certainly some mention of their yarn and new products. But other than the lengthy discussion of their new sock blanks I haven't felt and commercial pressure at all. Kelly and I can be very different knitters (that much garter stitch would make me want to poke my eyes out), but I really like her book reviews and we both like knitting lace. And I think the advantage of being "in the business" is that she gets some really interesting people on to interview on the show. Sticks & String didn't click with me at first, but it only took a few episodes for David to get in a groove and for me to get hooked. David's style is probably the one that most closely matches Brenda Dayne's, but being a male knitter in Australia, he has some interesting points of view to bring to the table. I also really appreciate his fearlessness and his clear agreement with me that colorwork in knitting looks harder than it is, so there is no reason to be scared of new techniques. David also had a great set of interviews in his last series and I'm looking forward to more.
Newer podcasts that I've enjoyed include Craft, Rock, Live with Vickie Howell and YKnit. Vickie's show is less specifically about knitting and more about crafting in general. I get the impression that she is more herself on the podcast (no influence from TV producers) and she's had some interesting interviews. She's just started her second series and I plan to keep listening. YKnit is produced more sporadically and seems to be very focused on interviews and events. It is really well produced and the hosts are two male knitters in California. Sometimes the humor is a little immature, but it is a fun show and probably better for an afternoon commute than a morning bus ride.
My primary non-knitting podcasts are the Tuned In podcast, hosted by the local paper's TV critic and the two podcasts of the American Theatre Wing. The TV critic likes a lot of the same shows that I do, so I always enjoy getting the inside scoop and opinions on my favorite (sometimes obscure shows). And the ATW shows have great interviews, but they tend to be my fill-in podcasts when I get caught up on knitting shows.
I'm currently catching up on Ready, Set, Knit, which is the podcast of WEBS yarn store. It's certainly the most commercial of the bunch, and I sometimes skip the knit-alongs or lists of their newest closeouts, but I enjoy the format and they have some good interviews. When I do listen to the knit-along sections I have picked up some good knitting tips, so it just depends what they're working on.
Once I get caught up on my current shows, I plan to give the following podcasts a try:
Knitcast (this one is out of production, so I only have the archives to listen to)
Its a Purl, Man
I owe all of the podcast craziness to Amy at knitty.com. She mentioned the Cast On podcast in her blog, and I checked it out, and the rest is history. :-)
(I'm a bad wife and I don't have R's podcast listed in the sidebar. This is because I'm a really bad wife and I haven't listened to them even though I am subscribed. As soon as I stop being a bad wife, I'll put up a link.)
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Other new words:
Jellies (for jellyfish)
Helicopter (okay, you probably wouldn't recognize this one, but she tries really hard and it is clear from context that she is identifying the right object and trying to say a 4 syllable word)
Tunnel (new word last night from our trip to the zoo)
(ETA: I knew I was forgetting a few. Cheese, Lulu (her bear), Shhhh (when she sees an animal or someone sleeping), shoe, thank you, Pooh, Eeyore and Kanga. I'm sure there are more. These are all the ones I remembered this evening and I'm quickly realizing that there is no way to easily document them all.)
Since she's repeating what we say, we've started repeating what she is saying and adding "please" at the end. We will see if that works.
We learned this weekend that we have to beware of taking advantage of her somewhat flexible schedule. We were invited to a picnic for R's boss that fell right in the middle of Heather's nap. I was convinced that taking an unnapped toddler out was a bad idea, so we put her down at the earliest possible naptime and crossed our fingers. When I went to wake her after 90 minutes she was stirring (I think she was between sleep cycles) and woke up easily. She was pleasant and happy at the picnic for a couple of hours, until the point that she wasn't anymore. :-) She went down easily for a second nap and I felt (foolishly) like we had dodged a bullet. Hmrph.
She slept for nearly 2 1/2 hours (!) and woke up in a horrible mood. So bad that I was convinced she was ill and took her temperature (normal). I think we actually made her more annoyed by asking her lots of questions and try to make her happy. After about half an hour she finally adjusted and then the three of us had a lovely couple of hours together. We read books, had a "pizza picnic" in the living room, and watched some Heather videos on the big TV.
Her late nap meant a late, difficult bedtime and a fussy night. We all survived and she seemed to be back to normal last night, but we should certainly avoid dividing up Heather's nap in the future.
Friday, August 08, 2008
Thursday, August 07, 2008
I'm not really sure what to tell you beyond the usual "what's going on" kind of update. I'm a little better rested than I was after my deadline 2 weeks ago, but I could still use a little extra sleep. The house is currently driving me crazy. There are still things from camping that aren't unpacked, there are areas in need of real cleaning and it's just in one of those states where there are lots of little things to do. I think the biggest tasks are tackled (mail, laundry, dishes) for the most part, but I really thought that 2 weekends at home would have us in a better position. Although I've been tired and unmotivated to do housework in the evenings, so I suppose I can only expect so much from a few hours each day on the weekend. :-)
At this point I just want to get the house back to a non-stressful place before our anniversary trip so I won't need to spend any of our at home vacation days doing mundane cleaning tasks. (But I might do more enjoyable things like cleaning out my room or doing a little painting.)
My knitting for the past few weeks has been purely selfish. (This is going to hurt me soon since I have several things to make as gifts for October and December). The basic black cardigan is going well. I had to rip back a few times to deal with some pooling issues, but those were easy to take care and I'm halfway up the last major piece. I think by the weekend I will be blocking, sewing and maybe knitting the button band.
I also started a top-down raglan for myself out of a cotton blend when the wool-hemp of the cardigan was becoming a bit hard to deal with in the summer humidity. I also was feeling like I really wanted a new summer top. I think this will be good travel and evening knitting for our trip, for the times that the gift knitting is too fiddly. It may or may not be done for summer, but it will be a good fall layer.
Heather continues to be lots of fun and she is adding 2-word phrases to her vocabulary. They are mostly "Hi ____", "Uh-oh ____", "Bye bye ___" and "Night night ___". She is also sometimes sounds like she says "thank you" and she is doing a lot of repeating. When we say the names of her classmates, she smiles and repeats them back. And many times she'll repeat a new word for an animal or object or color. Totally adorable. She is pretty good at answering yes and no questions reliably, but we have noticed that if she doesn't understand the question, her default answer seems to be "yeah".
She still seems to act initially shy around others. Some of it seems like a little act, but it is adorable and it doesn't take her long to move past the shyness.
Oh, and the poor thing got my hair. Fine, straight and not a lot of it. As you saw in the camping pictures, there is enough of it to put up in pigtails now, but just barely. I still have my fingers crossed that some of the paternal hair genes will kick in before too long, but I'm not counting on it!
Thursday, July 31, 2008
I warmed up some olive oil and sauteed a handful of pine nuts in it. Then I added in a can of diced tomatoes until it began to simmer. I put in some garlic powder, oregano, pepper and salt and let it all simmer for a few minutes. Then I added a (drained) can of cannelini beans and some parmesan cheese. I realized a little late that I had some green beans I meant to use. Next time I'll cut them up and put them in with the tomatoes. This time I added them in and put the lid on while it all simmered together. I served it over pasta. Yum!
Saturday, July 26, 2008
We decided to try the long hike up to the water tower, and the way up went very well.
But once we were up on the water tower, Heather wasn't all that impressed by the view and was getting restless.
So we had a little snack in the grass while Tom and Rachel finished their water tower experience.
It did start to rain a little as we were leaving, but luckily it stopped so we could get all the way back to camp. Being well rested meant that she didn't need to fuss in order to fall asleep for a nap.
Unfortunately, the real rain didn't start until after Heather woke up from her nap, so our beach plans had to be scrapped in favor of books and toys in the tent. Once it stopped we decided to drive to a nearby diner for dinner and ice cream.
On our last morning, Heather was ready for more excitement with her friend Robby.
She even held still long enough for pigtails and didn't immediately pull them out. (A new milestone)
For our last morning, we checked out a different beach. We had it to ourselves for much of the time we were there.
This beach had a playground, too. At this one, the seesaw was the biggest hit.
Before we left, it was time for a little snack.
It took long enough to have breakfast, get ready for the beach and enjoy the beach, that it was naptime on our way back to camp. R and I used the opportunity to start packing up camp and make a fire for lunch. Once she was up, we had lunch and finished packing. And we pulled out of camp within minutes of the checkout time.
We stopped at the ILs on the way home, too. Aunt Tara's dog Jake joined us in the pool.
More time on the towel, too.
She fell asleep in the car on the ride home and had a little trouble staying asleep, but we all got to bed eventually.
I'd say it was a very successful camping trip and fun was had by all!