Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Movie Monday: All I Want for Christmas Edition

We had a wonderful Christmas in Virginia with my family. Now we're busy trying to get settled back into life here in Texas--unpacking our bags, undecorating the house, putting away all our new goodies, and cleaning up all the mess that accumulated in the pre-holiday chaos. I have lots of blogging to catch up on--pictures from the holidays, details about knitted and crafted gifts, other life happenings. That will all have to wait for now as the mess that is my house is finally at a point that it is driving me CRAZY! For now, I will just leave you with this little video of N. I guess we didn't really need to buy him anything this Christmas...look at how much fun he had with this wrapping paper!

Happy Monday, everyone!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Holidays!

My mom, J, my sister, my dad, my niece L and my nephew M (being a reindeer)

B and N joined the silly group!

My sister in-law, myself and the grandbabiesThe whole crewMy parents with all their grandbabies.

What a happy holiday it has been for us! Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

7 Months Already!

N turned 7 months yesterday. I can't believe he's that old already. My how time flies. He's growing up so quickly.

N's crawling now. He still prefers to roll, but when it's necessary to get to what he wants, he will crawl--usually four or five "crawls" and then a lunge toward what he wants. It's pretty funny to watch.

N also has 4 teeth now--the two middle ones on the bottom and on the top the tooth to the left of the two middle ones and the tooth to the right of the two middle ones. The middles ones are on their way, but not through yet.

Anyway, here are some pics of my little 7 month old cutie.

He was so proud of himself when he finally got to the nativity sets.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

An adorable knit for a great cause

Anny of anny purls and Jujube and Lolo has created another great pattern for another great cause.

This time she is trying to raise money for MOST's Holiday Adopt a Family Program. As their website explains:
The MOST Adopt A Family program is an annual effort by MOST volunteers and donors to provide assistance to multiple birth families in need.
During the 9 years MOST has conducted this program, Adopt A Family has helped almost 200 families and 1000 children. 100% of donations designated for the MOST Adopt A Family program is given to the families.
Since my brother and his wife have triplets. This cause made me stop and think about the financial burden families with multiples face, especially when their children have medical needs. I realized not every family is as blessed as ours.

The pattern is for an adorable sweater (sizes 3 months-24months) complete with precious pockets and finger puppets. You could add the pockets and finger puppets to any knit project. I think they might be cute on a simple hat. Anyway, you must check them out to see how cute they are. The pattern is FREE with any DONATION to the MOST Holiday Adopt a Family program. Anny's patterns are always very user-friendly and detailed. She has a great eye for detail and her patterns are as adorable as her two children she knits for.

Please at least look at this pattern and if you can't resist it, make a donation to this cause.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Top Ten Tuesday: Numbers Edition

Had to share this adorable "Holy Smore" that my nephew and niece made me. Isn't it great? Reminds me of my neighbors back in Ohio, my smore buddies. Miss you!

It's been a long time since I've done a Top Ten Tuesday. This week I thought I'd do one, but do it a little differently. This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic is
Top Ten Numbers in the Countdown to Christmas

10: The number of gifts I still need to make before Christmas (2 knitted gifts, 1 sewn gift, and 7 crafted gifts).

9: The number of days until Christmas.

8: The number of reindeer ornaments J and I made to give as gifts.

7: The number of books J owns about the Christmas story. (This is a simple and straightforward telling. The pictures in this one are beautiful.)

6: The number of hours sleep I got on Sunday night (not enough).

5: The number of hours sleep I got last night (really not enough).

4: The number of errands I planned to run today while J was at school. (I didn't run any of them because school was closed due to ice.)

3: The number of "boys" in my life who are making this Christmas extra special.

2: The number of flights it will take to get to my family in Virginia for the holidays.

1: The number of reasons for the season that really matters. Thank you, Baby Jesus! (Does anyone else think of this movie when they hear that?)

Happy Holidays, everyone! Off to work on some presents.

Edited 7:27PM

Monday, December 15, 2008

Movie Monday: Holy Hilarity Edition

I almost missed Movie Monday. Oops! The boys have been really hilarious again recently. N thinks that J is just the funniest person ever. The other night at dinner N just started laughing hysterically at J. Of course, J then started hamming it up to keep N laughing. I caught the tail end of it on film. Wish I had it all. Oh well.

Being the Christmas season, we have our nativity set out. J loves it! Last year he was mostly into the animals, but this year he just loves Baby Jesus. I think it's because we have so many books about the story of Christmas. Anyway, on Saturday, J grabbed baby Jesus and a sheep, handed B Mary and Joseph, and started racing around the house. It was a Holy Family Marathon and it was just too funny. This video doesn't do it justice, but you get a little bit of the idea.

Happy Holidays, everyone! Hope yours are filled with love and laughter.

What a Difference a Day Makes!

Yesterday it was in the 70s and sunny. We had a picnic at the park.

Today it was in the 30s. I just went to take the trash out. There's this strange cold, white, crunchy stuff on the driveway (actually, it's a not-so-strange mix of snow and ice). Crazy! Guess I should have put shoes on.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Finally In the Christmas Spirit

It's only midway through December and I'm finally in the Christmas spirit. I thought I might miss it all together this year. For some reason, I've been feeling very "Bah Humbug." Maybe it was the very (to me) unseasonably warm weather. Maybe it was our lack of Christmas tree. Maybe it's the fact that I was so overwhelmed with things to do. Whatever it was, it seems to have passed because I am finally enjoying the fact that Christmas is almost here.

I got my Christmas cards done and in the mail yesterday. I didn't have time to hand-write notes in them this year. I had to resort to a (gasp) typed letter. Oh well. I still managed to get all 125 of them done. If you didn't get one, I apologize but I ran out of cards and pictures and motivation. I had a lot of trouble getting a good picture of both boys smiling and looking at the camera. After taking over 170 pictures, I made myself stop and just use the best of the bunch. Some funny outakes can be seen below:

I've finished knitting 2 Christmas presents and J's Christmas vest. I will blog about them when I have more time (probably after the holidays). I still have 3 gifts to knit, 1 gift to craft and 1 gift to sew. I can do all that in a week, right? Hope so.

We got our Christmas tree yesterday. We just went to Lowe's and got a 6-7 foot Douglas Fir. Since we were so late this year, they were on sale and we got it for all of $17. I guess that's a good thing since it will only be up for around a week. Oh well. B wanted to get a fake one, but I just wasn't ready for that just yet. I love real trees. Our tree looks nice and J had a BLAST decorating it. Here are some pics.

As you can see, J really liked to stick all of the ornaments in one spot. He would carefully hang them so they were on the very tip of the branch. He was REALLY adorable during this process. N didn't care so much just yet.

We also went on a trolley tour of lights in the neighborhood. (Yes, there is a trolley that drives around our neighborhood--crazy, huh?) It was warm, but fun. We convinced our neighborhood friends to go and it was a nice way to spend half and hour.

Today it's in the 70s. We had a picnic lunch at the park. Crazy, Texas weather! But, hey, my friend Sunshine is back and I am loving it!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Counting My Blessings

I've been driving extra cautiously and trying to be extra patient. I've been trying to remember every moment how very blessed I am. I've been wanting to blog all week, but I just couldn't figure out what I wanted to say.

On Monday night, a mom was driving with her three children and was in a car accident. She was taking a left turn and didn't see a car coming and the car was broadsided. She and her two year-old were bruised, but otherwise physically fine. Her eight year-old had major injuries to his leg and has already undergone two major surgeries. Her four year-old was killed.

I just can't imagine. My heart breaks for her. My heart breaks for the entire family. I just can't imagine what they must be going through. I wish I could do something, but I know nothing will take away the pain and anguish they must be feeling.

I tried to do something by making a donation to a bereavement fund set up for the family. I've been saying lots of prayers. I've never met this woman, but I wish I could give her a big hug and hold her tight and tell her that somehow everything is going to be all right.

Why does it take tragedies like this to make us realize how blessed our everyday lives are? Today I am counting my many blessings (two of which are snuggled in their beds right now as I type this). I pray that I will never have to feel the unimaginable pain of losing one of my children. I pray that I will be spared that anguish. I pray that God will hold this mom close and hug her and tell her that somehow everything is going to be all right.

For more info, or if you want to help this family, check here and here.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Dear Sunshine,

Dear Sunshine,
What happened? Did I do something to make you mad? We've been hanging out practically every day since I moved to Texas in June. I thought we'd gotten quite close. I know I really like you. I thought you, Blue Sky and I were like the Three Musketeers, BFF and all that.

So why have you suddenly disappeared? Did I do something to offend you? Were you frightened away by my old acquaintance Gray Sky who seems to have moved here from Ohio? Do you not like our other visitor Windy who seems to have grown bigger and taken up permanent residence here? I don't know if you heard, but we even had a visit from Tornado Warning last night. The boys, Zoe and I spent a half hour huddled in my closet sometime around midnight. It wasn't fun.

Please, my good friend. Come back! I know it's December, but I've been spoiled by our close friendship and I miss you! It's just not the same in Texas without you.

Your friend,

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Can You Tell My Mom's a Knitter?

N modeling some of his mommy-knit items on a chilly morning last week.

My little man's a camel

J is wearing underwear today for the third day in a row. He is so excited. We (I mean, he, but this is as big of a deal to me as it is to him) put underwear on for the first time (if you don't count this time) on Friday during N's morning nap. As soon as N woke up, J ran up to him and said, "N, I'm wearing underwear." It was really adorable. When B got home from work, J proudly announced, "I have Elmo on my bottom" and proceeded to pull down his pants to show his underwear to his daddy. Again, really adorable.

It's only been three days, but J is doing great so far. He hasn't had any accidents (just a little leak when he waited too long once). That's the biggest issue we have right now as he's fine with going 3-4 hours between potty breaks and that makes me nervous so occasionally I have to make him stop and try to use the potty. Apparently, he's a camel and can hold it forever. Anyway, J's still sleeping in a diaper at naptime and bedtime, but that will come with time. I know there will be accidents and that's okay, but I am thrilled with how things are going so far. Go, J!

Look at that cute little guy in his Elmo underwear! Don't worry we didn't sit around pantsless all day. We're even venturing out into the big world beyond with underwear on. So far so good!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A little bit funny looking, but it works

J built this train track yesterday. I was impressed. He did it all on his own. It is a little bit funny looking, but it works.

I kept looking at it because the shape reminded me of something. I couldn't figure it out.

But then I realized, it is shaped like N's head:

Poor N has a crooked head from his Torticollis. Because he preferred to look to one side, whenever he sleeps on his back all the pressure goes on one side of his head. So his head is misshapen. It has actually improved a lot since he started therapy for his neck. In fact, he has graduated from physical therapy because there is no sign of the Torticollis now. Unfortunately, his head is still misshapen. Our next step will be to decide if we want to get him one of these. I'm torn. We will see.

It's funny looking, but it works.

A Crafty Christmas

I am sharing my love of crafts with J and I love it. He really seems to enjoy making things with me. Yesterday we made these adorable reindeer ornaments.

J did the handprints, I cut out the heads and antlers, and then J glued on the eyes, nose, head and tail. I think they turned out really great and we had so much fun making them.

Here are a few bonus pics of J working hard:

Monday, December 1, 2008

Staying Public, but in a More Private Way

Since I moved to Texas, I've met a lot of moms with blogs. None of my friends in Ohio had blogs --that I know of anyway, some people are rather secretive about their blogs. In fact, I used to be one of those people. I never told my friends about my blog. I liked the fact that most of the people who read my blog were people I had never met in real life. I won't call them strangers because some of them have become my friends, long distance ones that I've never met in person, but friends all the same. My blog started as a way to share my knitting with other knitters. I had discovered knitting blogs and I loved to see what other knitters were creating. In my own blog, I soon branched out to include life updates, but knitting was my main focus and goal. When we moved to Texas, I decided to use my blog as a way to update friends and family on our lives, to share pictures of the boys and to even share the occasional video. As I met more moms with blogs, I expanded my blog reading to include more of these "mom blogs" and not just my original knitting/crafting blogs.

Now it seems like a lot of these mom blogs are going private. Now they are "by invitation only." This isn't a big deal. I was invited to continue reading most of them--although I didn't get an invitation to Amie's and I really miss it. She writes one hilarious blog. Amie, if you're out there--can I have an invite? Please?

Anyway, I've been thinking about going private. I, like all moms, don't want any crazies somehow using my blog to track down and steal my adorable children. That would be incredibly awful. But I love that strangers read my blog. I love that anyone out there can come across it and be inspired by a knitting project or laugh at the silly antics of my boys. I love that someone can come across a post and be touched by a Top Ten Tuesday thought or a poignant Photo Friday picture. I don't want to change that. If this was a private blog, I would never have gotten a chance to meet Lydee or Sophanne or Suzanne or Kristin or Cheryl. I would never have experienced the joy of my first readers and their kind comments.

So I have decided to stay public, but in a more private way. I am editing some posts to take out some of the "identifying information." I will be removing a few photos and possibly a whole post or two. I will be editing posts so that my boys are simply identified as "J" and "N" and "B." But I will stay public--so please keep visiting and reading whether you know me in "real life" or not.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Top Ten Tuesday: Thankful Edition (Belated)

It's a bit belated and it's not Tuesday, but I love to think about what I'm thankful for on Thanksgiving so here's a belated Top Ten Tuesday post:

Top Ten Things I am Thankful For

10. Knitting (I find it so rewarding and love that it gives me such peace.)

9. Naptime (When else would I blog?)

8. Our finances (I know that in this crazy economy, we have been relatively unharmed and I am thankful for that.)

7. Our home (I feel so lucky that we are able to live in such an affordable area and that we have a great home to raise our family in.)

6. My job as a stay-at-home mom (I feel so very blessed that I am able to stay home with my children. I know that many moms are not so lucky. Thank you, B!)

5. Our health (Christie's cancer has reminded me how thankful I should be that we are healthy. It is something that I definitely take for granted.)

4. Our great friends (new ones in Texas and old ones in Ohio and elsewhere)

3. Our plentiful and wonderful family (I love that we not only have great parents and siblings, but tons of aunts, uncles and cousins.)

2. Zoe (my baby girl)

1. J, N and B (my boys)

And some pics from our trip to Ohio:

J loved playing with all of B's old toys--especially this Sesame Street Little People set.N had his first taste of ice cream with his grandpa.

Playing Sesame Street Chutes and Ladders (J, B, Uncle M and Grandpa).

Hanging out with our old neighbors.

We also had a great night at my friend Erica's house where I got to see all my "mommy" friends and J got to see all of his buddies. It was so much fun, but I didn't get any good pics. Thanks, Erica, for hosting and organizing a fun night out!

What's Black and Cream and Red All Over?

A dirty skunk with diaper rash? A newspaper printed on recycled paper?

No, my new 1154Lill bag...and I'm in love!

My belated birthday present (bought using birthday money I've been holding on to since March) arrived while we were in Ohio for Thanksgiving. Isn't it adorable?

My Andi bag with Coming Up Daisies, Red Basketweave and Bowtie Weave.

This is the yummy interior: Red Basketweave with Moroccan Tiles inside the pocket!

Thank you, Tara, for introducing me to 1154Lill and for helping me get this wonderful bag!

Christie's Wrap

My cousin Christie had her first round of chemo last Thursday (a week before Thanksgiving). The chemo seemed to go fine, but by Sunday Christie was in a lot of pain. When she went to the doctor on Wednesday with severe stomach and chest pain, the doctor decided to admit her into the hospital. After running a bunch of tests, they found that the chest pain was caused by pneumonia and the stomach pain caused by cancer cells in her lymph nodes that were inflamed in reaction to the chemo. They are treating the pneumonia and plan to change the combination they are using for her chemo. Amazingly, Christie has managed to stay in relatively good spirits despite having to spend Thanksgiving in the hospital. She hopes to head home tomorrow. Prayers are still very much needed and appreciated. If she gets the go ahead, Christie will have her second round of chemo this Thursday.

I finished Christie's wrap sometime the week before I left for our trip to Ohio, but since my internet was stolen by AT&T for a week I didn't get to blog about it. Here are a few pics of me modeling the wrap:

And a bonus photo of Zoe trying to get in on the FO photo shoot:

Wrap Details:
Pattern: Stolen Moments Wrap by Amy M. Swenson
Yarn: 5.25 skeins of SIRDAR big softie (Super Chunky)/ 50g/45m/49yds/51% Wool/ 49% Acrylic
Needles: Size 13 (Pattern recommended 11, Yarn recommended 15)
Finished Size: Approximately 14 inches by 60 inches (I chose not to block)

And if you have any interest in writing a few words of encouragement to Christie, here is a link to her CaringBridge journal. If you read it, you'll see what an amazing person she is.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Unintentional Blogger Break

Sorry for the long break. It was not planned. Last week we were scheduled to get our television service and internet service updated. I was perfectly happy with my old service, but after AT&T called me 6 times a day for 3 weeks and knocked on my door (during naptime) for 3 days in a row, I gave up and asked what they were trying to sell me. Ends up, I could upgrade both services for a little bit less money--so I said yes. When they came to install the new services, they discovered that due to the placement of the cables outside the house they could not do the install. Unfortunately, they had already disconnected my current internet service. So due to the incredibly sensible stream-lined paperwork of AT&T, I couldn't get it reconnected until a week later (when I was already in Ohio visiting relatives). Oh well. Hopefully, it will be reconnected and working smoothly when we return to Texas tonight. Wish me luck. Just thought I'd blog real quickly before we left Ohio just in case. I have TONS to update on so hopefully you'll be hearing from me lots this week. Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Movie Monday: Already? Edition

Today was N's 6 month birthday. I feel bad. It kind of got lost in the shuffle of J's cold which lead into an ear infection which lead to a bad night's sleep for us all, and subsequent trips to the pediatrician, CVS and grouchland.

I can't believe my baby is 6 months old already. I know N will probably be my last baby. (I'd love another, but I think B, my body and fate have decided that two is enough.) So although I want him to grow and learn new things, I'm not ready for N to grow up too fast. So just to spite me, little N is doing everything early--or so it seems. He already has two teeth poking through (bottom ones) and two more just under the surface (top ones). He's already getting up on all fours and trying desperately to crawl.

My happy little peanut!

Can you tell that J had a hand in this ensemble?

Only 6 months old and he's already discovered a love of knitterly things!

And here's N talking to the sofa since it's in his way and he can't roll any further. My favorite part is when he decides to give up and eat his foot instead.

Oh, my N is 6 months old already. Happy Half Birthday, N!