Sunday, October 28, 2007

Not a lot of knitting, but some good reading

I've been back in reading mode recently and have read three decent books in a row. It's been a while since that's happened. Mainly because I get my books from the library when I'm with Little Man who is either pulling everything in reach off the shelves or ready to get back to the children's section. So I'm usually just grabbing random books based on their cover or title without even glancing at the description. Doesn't always work out so well. But recently, we've been having some good luck. Anyway, three enjoyable books--so I thought I'd take a moment and write a quick blurb about each.

The first was Babyville by Jane Green. I was a little sad when I realized it was set in London because sometimes all the British lingo annoys me, but it didn't end up bothering me at all in this one. Despite the title, this book is a lot more about women, mainly single women, than about babies. I found it entertaining and relate-able. It was a bit unrealistic at times, but I enjoy suspending disbelief and enjoying a little extra happiness. It's definitely a "fluff" book which I was in the mood for so very enjoyable.

The second book I read was The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. This one was definitely not fluff. It's a memoir. Let me tell you, Jeannette Walls had a very interesting, but not a very easy life. A little disturbing at times, but very well written. The chapters are pretty short and they make you want to just keep reading and reading and reading.

The third book was more fluff--The Cubicle Next Door by Siri L. Mitchell. It's about a blogger. It's the first book I've ever read about a blogger. She's a bit of an oddball, but somehow that made me relate to her even more (well, because I'm a bit of a strange one myself). The guy in the novel is a military guy and even though he doesn't fit the description, I kept picturing him as The Rock. Irrelevant, but somehow it humored me throughout the novel. Anyway, a great little fluffy romance with some food for thought built in for good measure. Very nice read. Again, I couldn't put it down because I'm sucker for romance and I wanted a happy ending.

Anyway, I'm always looking for a good book so if anyone has any suggestions, please pass them on. Happy day, everyone! Hope it's a good one.

Friday, October 26, 2007

I do still knit

I've been a bit of a slacker knitter and blogger recently, but wanted to share one of my recent knits. I wanted to knit little pumpkin hats for my newest nephew and nieces since they are too small for costumes this Halloween. Anyway, I have yet to meet them so I wasn't sure exactly what size to make the hats. So I made up my own preemie pumpkin hat pattern, made three of them and mailed them off to Virginia without taking a picture--oops!
But I just got these pics from my sister-in-law, Shelley.
I think I may have made the hats a touch too small, but they look pretty cute anyway.

Reed, Mary and Madeline

I think they really like them.

Happy almost Halloween, everyone!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Top Ten Tuesday: Remembering Edition

As many of you remember, September 11, 2001 was a Tuesday and September 11th fell on a Tuesday again this year. Oblivious to it, I totally ignored it on the actual anniversary. In fact, it seems all of the blogs I read ignored it this year except this one which happens to be written by an Australian. Interesting, huh? Or maybe sad is a better word? I don't know. I felt kind of bad about it. To be honest, I don't really think about September 11th much. Luckily for me, I didn't really know anyone who died that day. One student I graduated from college with died in NYC. I knew him by name and face, but I didn't REALLY know him. Unfortunately, many many many people were not as lucky as me. They lost their lives on September 11th. They lost their dads, their moms, their sons, their daughters, their brothers and sisters, their husbands or wives. They lost their friends. I can't imagine. Truly, I can't imagine. Anyway, this is a little belated, but it's a topic I was thinking about during my hiatus back in September and I was thinking about it again today so I thought, "why not?". Today's Top Ten Tuesday topic is

Top Ten Things I Remember About September 11, 2001

10. I was at work. I was a Director of Education at a Sylvan Learning Center at the time.

9. It was a busy day because we were all supposed to leave the next day to go to Baltimore for the Sylvan annual conference (the first time for most of us to attend.) We were excited because we wanted to go to the Cheesecake Factory while we were there.

8. My co-worker's husband called and told her she had to listen to the radio because a plane had run into a building in New York. I remember thinking, "Who does this man think he is telling his wife what she HAS to do?".

7. At first, they weren't sure what was going on. There was talk that it was just a small plane that does tours of that area of New York.

6. Then the second plane hit and everyone was freaking out. We didn't have a tv, but everyone kept watching it on the internet.

5. I couldn't take it all in so I just went back to work. I pretended it wasn't happening. I just went on making lesson plans and getting materials ready for instruction that night.

4. My in-laws and husband kept calling because they were worried about me flying the next day. Needless to say this fear was unfounded as all flights were canceled.

3. At one point, there was a suspicious plane coming towards Cleveland. More panic. The plane rerouted and later crashed. It was United 93.

2. Somewhere in all this chaos, the Pentagon was hit. I remember being worried because although I knew some people in NYC, I knew a LOT in the DC area. Everyone wondered when the horrible chaos was going to stop.

1. We decided to stay open for instruction that night (even though a lot of students canceled) because we wanted to keep some sort of normalcy in the lives of our students. Which is ironic because at the time it seemed like life would never be normal again.

But here it is, 6 years later, and life seems very normal. So normal that most of us rarely think about September 11th and all that happened that day. Most of us don't think about all those innocent people who died or who lost loved ones. I admit, I'm usually one of those people. But I'm trying to be better. So just a little post to remember all of those lives so personally affected that day. My heart goes out to you all.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Good News

Thanks, everyone, for your thoughts and prayers. Reed is coming home from the hospital tomorrow. It did end up being viral meningitis. As far as I know, all is now well. Just wanted to pass on the good news.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Prayer Request

Hey everyone. Just a quick request for prayers if you have a few extra moments. Reed (my almost three week-old nephew) is in the hospital. The bad news--it's meningitis. The good news--they think it's viral which is apparently the good kind. Anyway, if you have a moment, please pray for Reed and his family (John and Shelley, big brother Joe, and sisters Mary and Madeline).

Reed, Mary and Madeline

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Top Ten Tuesday: Excuses Edition

I can't seem to get anything done these days. So this week's Top Ten Tuesday topic is

Top Ten Reasons I'm Not __________ ing
(Fill in the blank with any verb and it's probably true.)

10. I'm tired.

9. The Indians are in the play-offs.

8. The Indians are actually playing well (for the most part) and thus I'm even more tempted to stay up.

7. Brian is still unemployed.

6. Brian's been "working" from home (unpaid, but still working a lot) and has been on the phone and the computer a lot.

5. Little Man has been waking up early.

4. Little Man has been taking short naps.

3. Little Man has strep.

2. I might have strep.

1. Did I mention I'm tired?

The only thing I have been able to keep up with (sort of) is this, started by Erin of Pepperknit. See my pictures here if you want. Hope you all are doing well. Happy living life to its fullest! I'll be catching up soon.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Little Man: Park Edition

Little Man has not had a good week. His sleep schedule has been all wonky. He's been waking up really early (sometime between 5 and 6AM) each morning, then passing out in the car before lunch, and then taking a maximum of an hour long afternoon nap. So then he's exhausted and wants to go to bed early and then gets up early, etc. Not fun for me or him! But today he seems to finally be back on track. Let's see. He's about to hit the one hour mark for his nap. Hopefully he'll sleep for at least two. Anyway, for some Friday fun I'm posting some pictures from the park about a week ago. I've been meaning to share, but hadn't slowed down with the no napping/early rising that's been going on. Hope you enjoy Little Man and his park antics.

That was one big hill he climbed. I was so proud! Hope you all have a great weekend. Happy knitting and otherwise relaxing!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Top Ten Tuesday: Hat Edition

As it's been in the 80s for the last week, I've been less than inspired to work on Little Man's sweaters or to start a sweater for I've been knitting a lot of hats. I love to knit hats--especially children's hats. So I was inspired to make this week's Top Ten Tuesday topic

Top Ten Reasons I Love to Knit Hats

10. Hats don't use a lot of yarn. In fact, they're a great way to use up partial skeins leftover from larger projects.

9. Hats make great baby gifts. (They are easy to mail, too).

Ribbon Hat from Itty-Bitty Hats by Susan B. Anderson

8. Size and fit are not such a huge issue with hats. If the hat doesn't fit its intended recipient, the child will either grow into it or it will fit a younger baby who is bound to come along sooner or later.
7. You can sell hats inexpensively. And moms of young children are more likely to buy something that isn't a huge investment. I sold enough twizzle hats last winter to buy my husband's Christmas present with the money I earned.

Some preemie size hats for the triplets. Free pattern here. Pink hat is two strands (one pink, one white) of Paton Beehive Baby. White hat is one strand Caron Simply Soft in Coconut.

6. When knitting hats, you can have fun playing around with different color combinations.

5. Even people who are somewhat conservative will wear a fun hat.

Hats for little boys in my life. Pattern (Cable and Rib Hat) from the 2006 Knit Pattern a Day calendar. I just deleted one repeat of the cable to make the hats childsize.

4. Once you've knit a few hats, they're an easy way to try to create your own pattern. If they don't work out, you haven't committed too much time or yarn to it.

3. Hats are a great way to try a new technique without committing to a large project (in case you don't like the technique). My first stranded work, doublepoint needle work, i-cords, magic 8 cast-on, and many more techniques were all done on hats.

Some hats I knit for Little Man: cabled preemie hat from the 2006 Knit Pattern a Day Calendar; twizzle hat (part of Little Man's clown costume), Helloyarn's Topdown Bonnet, Fair Isle Tassel Hat from Zoe Mellor's Adorable Knits for Tiny Tots.

2. Hats are fast to knit. Sometimes you just need a quick FO.

1. Hats are FUN to knit.

Preemie Pumpkin Hat (my design). Still playing with the design. Halloween gifts for the triplets.

Hope everyone is having a great week. If you've never knit a hat, I hope this will inspire you to try one. Off to knit more preemie size hats for my wee nephew and nieces. They are all home from the hospital now and off to a great start in life. I'm so proud of my brother and sister-in-law for making three such lovely and healthy babies!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Where to Begin...

Well, lots has happened in life since I took my blogging hiatus so I'm going to try to do a quick recap.

Little Man and I spent a few days in Virginia visiting family. We came home for a week and had a dead modem for most of it. Then Brian, Little Man and I went to Portland, OR for 5 days to visit with more family (including my adorable new nephew Oscar).

While I was in Virginia, Brian quit his job at the brewery. It's a long story with lots of crazy, twisted details, but let's just say that he did not agree with the way the business was being run and felt that it was best for us if he left the situation. It's not ideal (no paycheck and all), but it should be for the best in the long run--if we don't go broke in the meantime.

On the day we were traveling to Oregon, my brother and his wife had their triplets. (see previous post for more details.)

We had lots of fun in Oregon, but didn't get a lot of rest. Little Man was thrown by the time change and the crazy social calendar. His eating and sleeping were way off and naps were short and sporadic. He tended to wake up between 4 and 5 AM each morning so we were all a bit tired. However, we had tons of fun with our family and Little Man LOVED his cousin Oscar. He got so excited every time he saw him. He was also a big fan of their dog Hazel. So despite the tiredness and the rainy weather, we had lots of fun.

I haven't blogged, read blogs, or done much phonics workbook work recently, but I have done some knitting. I did a set of hats for a friend's three children (a newborn girl, a 2 year-old girl, and a 7 year-old son). I made some hats for Little Man and his Virginia cousins. I also finished another Wallaby and most of Little Man's sheep costume sweater.

Anyway, I'm really behind on my work and my house is a mess and I'm still tired from traveling, so what do I get this Ravelry invite! So I'm now on Ravelry (Haley327), but it will be a while before my projects and what not are there. Crazy. Like I really need something else on my plate--but I just can't resist.

I think that's everything major to tell for now. Hope you are all doing well and that I get to catch up on reading your blogs soon.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Top Ten Tuesday: Triplets Edition

Yes, you read that right: Triplets Edition. They have arrived. Just got back in town, but had to share so I thought I'd do it in a Top Ten Tuesday post. So this week's Top Ten Tuesday topic is

Top Ten Things You Need To Know About My Brother's Triplets

(quite a mouthful, isn't it?)

10. Back in April, my brother (John) and his wife (Shelley) found out that their second child was actually triplets. They already have a little boy, Joseph, who turned two in June.

9. It was a bit of a shocker as they didn't do any kind of fertility. It was all natural. Crazy, huh? Very rare. Very exciting.

8. In June, they found out they were having two girls and a boy.

7. Shelley made it all the way to 31 weeks before she had to go on bed rest.

6. This past Thursday, September 27, 2007, at 35 1/2 weeks, the triplets were born! Reed, Mary and Madeline--welcome!

Shelley with Reed, Madeline and Mary.

5. They are all healthy and doing great. No respirators! No ventilators!

4. They all weighed over 4 lbs! Very impressive for triplets. Shelley delivered over 13 lbs of baby. You go, girl!


3. At this point, at less than a week old, only one of the little ones (Mary) is still in the isolet. The other two are controlling their body temperature all on their own and doing well.


2. Reed is eating totally on his own and Madeline and Mary are only using the feeding tubes to top them off when they don't eat well. Isn't that awesome!


1. Reed went home already today (that is unheard of in preemie/triplets--to go home in less than a week). Madeline will probably go home either Wednesday or Thursday. Wow! You go, little babies!

I haven't had a chance to go see the triplets myself, but I got these pics from my family. We were in Oregon to meet my nephew (my husband's sister's first child) who got baptized this weekend. We will head to Virginia to meet the triplets in person in the next few weeks. If you want to know more, check out the triplet website.

I hope you all are doing well. I have so much to tell you, but it will have to wait for another day. I've been up for way too long and I'm exhausted. Catch up with you soon!