Sunday, May 31, 2009

300th post!

I still can't believe it. This is my 300th post on my blog. Crazy!

79 posts in 2007 + 118 posts in 2008 + 99 posts in 2009 = 296? I must have started a few that I never posted. Oh well. I'm still counting this one as my 300th. Woo hoo!

So what have I been blogging about for now 300 posts? Let's see the Label stats:
life = 23 posts
me = 47 posts

little man (J) = 104 posts
little man 2 (N) = 61 posts
motherhood = 26 posts

dogs = 35 posts
husband = 10 posts

family = 37 posts
friends = 12 posts

knitting = 88 posts
WIP = 26 posts
finished = 43 posts

Top Ten Tuesday = 31 posts
Movie Monday = 17 posts
Free Pattern Friday = 5 posts

And here are a few things I'd like to blog about in the future (in no particular order):
funny things my children say (like "gotfor" instead of "forgot")
funny things my children do
funny things my dogs do
funny things my nephews and nieces do
sweet things my husband does (hint, hint)
sweet things my children do
the sweater I am one day going to knit Brian
the lovely cabled sweater I am one day going to knit myself
more of my own knit designs
more knit toys
more knits for my boys
more knitting
lots and lots of knitting
and a little sewing (I see more loveys in my future)
and maybe a little crocheting (those potholders are calling my name)
great friends
great times
lots of firsts for my boys
like kindergarten and soccer games and school dances and dates and love--oh my!
the good, the bad and the ugly (because I know there can't just be good)
my lovely sparkling clean house (one can always dream)
the yummy meals that I cooked (more dreams)
my 10th wedding anniversary
my 25th wedding anniversary
my 50th wedding anniversary
my cousin Christie's 25th wedding anniversary (and hopefully her 50th)
the weddings of my boys, my nephews and nieces
the birth of my grandchildren
the funny tales of puppies present and future
the first knitting done by one (or both) of my boys
the accomplishments of my boys (the little and the big)
my accomplishments (little and big)
my new job that I love (someday I imagine I'll have one again--what will it be?)
ways I am making the world a better place
ways my friends (in "real life" and on blogs) are making the world a better place
moving closer to our family
always being close to my boys no matter where we end up in life
the ways I love my husband more and more every day
the ways I feel so blessed every day
love and laughter
pain and sorrow

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Knitted Photography Props

One of my new friends in the neighborhood is a photographer. She recently asked me to knit her a few photography props. I don't usually take knitting orders because there are so many things I want to knit and I never have enough time to knit them all. However, the items Nancy wanted were quick knits so I decided to do it.

First, I made her this "cocoon" which will be great for little newborns. Although I could have made up a pattern pretty easily, I found this one on etsy and I was so excited by the fact that the designer was giving permission for all uses of her permission (even for making and selling) that I bought it. I love designers with generous spirits. I adapted the pattern by casting on less stitches. The cocoon was really quick and easy to knit.

Pattern: Baby Cocoon by 4asong
Yarn: Lion Homespun (Barley): less than one skein
Needles: Size 15 16" circular
Modifications: Cast on less stitches.

My next project was a "boy hat with ties." I chose to do a very simple version of helloyarn's top down bonnet. I made one for J when he was little and loved it on both him and N.

Boy hat
Pattern: Top Down Bonnet by Helloyarn
Yarn: Bernat Softee Baby (less than one skein)
Needles: Size 3 doublepoints
Size: Child
Modifications: I did not do ears or a face.

My third project for Nancy was a "girly hat with ties." I chose to use Sandi Wiseheart's free pattern Vine Lace Hat. This hat didn't originally have ties, but I just added them by picking up 3 stitches on opposite edges of the hat and knitting i-cord for about 10 1/2 inches. I followed the directions for the 3-6 month size hat, but was worried that it was too small. So then I made a second hat (but knit this one for 4"--instead of 3"--before doing the crown decreases). Overall, this is a fun little lace project and I enjoyed making these hats.

Girly Hat
Pattern: Vine Lace Baby Hat by Sandi Wiseheart
Yarn: Cascade Yarns Pima Tencel (a little more than half a skein per hat--I had to break into a leftover partial skein for part of the second hat)
Needles: Size 4 doublepoints
Size: 3-6 month
Modifications: Larger hat is knit for 4" before decreasing for crown. 3 stitch i-cord added for ties.

I have one project left--an "egg" which is similar to a cocoon, but more egglike. Just need to go find the right yarn.

Nancy is a wonderful photographer so if you're in the Dallas area, you should consider her for your next photo shoot. Check out her website here.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Family Fun in Photos

Sorry for the long blog break, but I've been busy getting ready for my family (my sister, mom, nephew and niece)'s visit and then enjoying hanging out with them. They were only here for 4 days which was way too short, but we squished in lots of fun times (and silliness). Here are a few pics of our fun:

At the Zoo

At the Pool

In the BackyardWe made "white mud" out of toilet paper, ivory soap and water. It was really easy and lots of fun. I highly recommend it.

Anyway, these are just a few pics of all the fun we had. I feel so blessed to have such wonderful family. Can't wait to see them (and the rest of the gang) at the beach in July.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Book List: Sad, but Powerful, Self-Help Does Divorce and a Sue Miller Tale of Two Marriages

Three more library books:

Tomato Girl by Jayne Pupek: This is the heart-breaking tale of 11 year-old Ellie who's dealing with a mother with psychological issues and a father who's having an affair with the "Tomato Girl." It is a powerful story that is worth reading despite the sad events.

Daisy Dooley Does Divorce by Anna Pasternak: This novel tells the story of Daisy, a 39 year-old, recently divorced woman who is childless, jobless and living with her mother. Daisy is a self-proclaimed "self help guru" (aka, she's obsessed with self help books) and this makes for some interesting philosophy sprinkled throughout the novel. This book took me a few chapters to get into and I found parts of it totally unbelievable, but it sucked me in in the end. The hope of a happy ending kept me going.

The Senator's Wife
by Sue Miller: I was a little weary of this one as I've read several Sue Miller books and found them a bit depressing. She's a good writer, but her marriages don't usually end well. Not sure what she has against happy marriages. Anyway, this one is a bit of the same story, but with some happy twists. The Senator's Wife tells the story of Meri, a 37 year-old newlywed who is newly pregnant, and her neighbor, Delia, the seventy-five year-old wife of a famous former senator. It's an interesting tale that revolves around the nontraditional marriage of Delia and her philandering husband. A bit of a slow read and not my favorite, but an interesting story.

Cake Time

I promised cake pictures and here they are. N was really cute. B made the cake. J picked out the icing colors. Enjoy!

Yes, this is how he ended up eating most of the cake. Don't believe me? Check out the movie.

Pretty funny, huh?

Movie Monday: Best Laugh Ever Edition

N has the best laugh EVER. I've never caught it on video when it really did him justice...until now! B and N were playing this game while I vacuumed. It was so cute that I had to stop and record it. Enjoy!

Movie Monday: Redneck Baby Bath Edition

N got a little messy with his mac n' cheese the other night. Pepper helped him out.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Happy Birthday, N!

My baby's not a baby anymore. N turns 1 year today. I still can't believe he's that old already.

He's such a wonderful little guy. Everyone is always commenting on how happy he is. He laughs all the time. I call him "My Sunshine." I love being out with N and watching people smile when they see him. He just has that effect on people. It makes me happy. He makes me happy.

N is a total "no fears" kind of guy. He just crawls and climbs and walks and goes wherever he can. He has no fear of falling or getting too far away. It's a little scary at times, but exciting too to see him being so adventurous.

N loves the playground (climbs up the "rock wall," the stairs and the slide.) He also loves the splashpad and the pool. No fear there either so we have to keep a close eye on him. Our pool has a ledge that is about 6" underwater. N loves to crawl around on it.

N is now a "walker." He walks more than he crawls and easily walks across rooms and all over the house and yard. He's look more confident now and less like a creature from Shaun of the Dead.

N continues to be a good eater. He's done with nursing and formula and bottles and just drinks milk from a sippy cup. N is also finished with baby food and does great with most "real" foods. He loves lunchmeat (especially turkey and ham), peas, banana, pear, cheese, mac n' cheese, grilled cheese and cereal. I can't wait to see what he does with his cake tonight.

N is still a little peanut and I love that about him. He reminds me more of me in that way than J did. He is also still pretty bald looking. He actually has a good amount of hair, but it is so fine and so blond that it is hard to see. It seems to be getting a little thicker so I imagine he'll have more hair one of these days.

I feel so blessed to have my N in my life. Happy Birthday, N!

What a difference a week makes

Oh, what a week...

Tuesday: B celebrated his one year anniversary at work.

Thursday: Zoe lost her battle with cancer. J finished his first year of school.

Friday: B's birthday. N started walking (really walking everywhere). Our niece Isla Corinne was born.

Saturday: B graduated from Cleveland State with his Masters in Industrial Engineering.

Sunday: N's 1st birthday.

That's one crazy week.

Friday, May 15, 2009

What a difference a year makes

A year ago today I was still back in Ohio. My house, our first home and the one both my children would spend the beginning of their lives in, wasn't even on the market yet although I was desperately working to clean out every closet and corner. A year ago today I was only the mother of one. N was thinking about arriving, but decided to hold off for two more days so I could check off one or two more things from my mile long to-do list. A year ago today I was out with my husband, J and my in-laws celebrating B's birthday and the fact that he had gotten a new job. A year ago today B was still mourning the loss of his dream job offer with a large brewery and was still trying to think of himself as anything but a brewer. A year ago today J was only just seeming like a toddler, was miles away from potty-training and never even thought about going to school. A year ago today I had two dogs, Zoe and Pauli, who were sweet and rotten and wonderful and trained to fit our lives. A year ago today I was anxiously awaiting the birth of my second child, the sale of my house, and the total upheaval of the world I knew as we prepared to move almost 20 hours away to the unknown world of Texas. A year ago today I was putting on a brave face, but I was scared--scared of the unknown, scared of moving away from our friends and family, scared of what life might or might not bring.

Now I am a Texan--and sometimes I even feel like one. Now I am the blessed mother of two wonderful boys and one peppy puppy. Now I have a three year old who is potty-trained, who knows letters and numbers, who loves to draw and paint and do 60+ piece puzzles, who just finished his first year of preschool. Now I have a second baby who's not a baby anymore, a little guy who is walking and wonderful, my little sunshine who turns 1 year in 2 days. Now B is celebrating his one year anniversary with Dr. Pepper and another birthday. He still dreams of making beer again, but seems very comfortable in his role as an engineer; at times, I think he even enjoys it. I am still shocked by the loss of Pauli and Zoe, but I feel blessed to have our little Pepper and am happy to know that we have such a good dog to help raise the boys these next few years. Now I have a new home in a wonderful neighborhood where I feel blessed to live because we have made so many friends here. Now I have a new best friend who I can't imagine not having, who I spend more time with than I have any friend ever (except maybe my sister). Now I realize how resilient my family is and how strong I am. Now I realize that no matter what we do or where we go, our world will survive, will grow, will get better and stronger.

What a difference a year makes.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

My first baby...

Zoe lost her battle with cancer today. She was my first baby and she's been a blessing in my life for almost 11 years. She was there for so many important events: graduation, my wedding, moving to Ohio, the birth of both our boys, moving to Texas. I can't imagine having another girl like my Zoe. I feel so lucky to have shared my bed, my pillow and my life with her. I like to think that she and Pauli are up in heaven chasing each other around right now. That's what J has decided and think he might have gotten this one right.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Uh Oh...

I'm back at 1154Lill again and I have a new obsession--The Nikki. Isn't she adorable? Can't really afford one, but a girl can dream. So many fun fabric choices... so little time. Yummy!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Ribbit Ribbit

Here's another little lovey doll I made.

This one is for a friend who just had her second little boy. He's also the recipient of the pinwheel blanket. Anyway, I found out she was doing his room in a frog theme so I decided to make him a little frog lovey. The green side is a REALLY soft furry kind of fabric, kind of like the dotted moxie, but softer. The back side is a fun little animal print I had bought a while back that is also really soft. Since one of the animals is a frog, I decided it would make the perfect backing for my frog lovey. I'm not great at embroidering the faces, but I still think this little guy turned out pretty cute. I hope little Baker will love it!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Lots of Knitting in the Works

I'm back into a knitting frenzy. My "I want to knit" list was getting pretty short and then I suddenly found a bunch of new projects and now I'm back to my usual "I-want-to-knit-more-than-I-will-ever-have-time-for" state. Oh well.

Here's a quick list of current and future projects.

1) Ike-a-saurus (#2 of 3): body finished, need to do legs, scales, spikes and face.

2) Cocoon for a friend to use as a photography prop: Finished!

3) Baby hat #1 (Vine lace hat) for same friend: begun.

4) Baby hat #2 (boy hat--maybe this one): on the brain still.

5) Petal halter for me: swatched--gauge is not perfect so must ponder next steps.

6) Textured Circle Shrug (for Cat)--just ordered yarn (Cotton-Ease in Sand). Join the knitalong here. It's my first official knitalong and I'm pretty excited.

7) This cute little dress (#13905) from a Dalegarn book. This book has tons of cute patterns, but they are all worked on size O, 1, 2 and 3 needles and I am afraid they will take forever--so I've never used the book. But I have a ton of white and pink yarn that would be perfect for these patterns and I found this dress pattern that is SO adorable. So I'm going to make one or two. I'm either doing one smaller one for my newest niece who is due to arrive this Friday or two larger ones for my brother's two 20 month-olds. Probably the first option because of time constraints, but we will see.

Isn't that just the sweetest dress?

That's the knitting news for now. Off to knit a little before bed. Have a good one!

Edited on 5/11/09.