Monday, February 28, 2011

My favorite part of motherhood

Potty training. Actually, possibly my least favorite part of motherhood.

N started wearing underwear during his waking hours on Friday. It's been a rough 4 days. He's had some successes including staying dry at the dentist today. He even peed in the potty there (twice). Once prompted by me and once on his own "I need to pee." That was very exciting.

Unfortunately, that was followed by a puddle of pee on my floor this evening. And then there's the total lack of poop going in the potty. Yes, a big fat zero poops in the potty in four days. Luckily, he's not doing the holding thing. Just pooping in his underwear (good times) or in his diaper during nap time (could be worse.)

N gets rewarded with a giant jelly bean if he pees in the potty and will get 3 if he ever poops in the potty. J also gets a jelly bean if N pees in the potty. This helps him to encourage N in his potty efforts. My favorite moment from yesterday was when N was peeing in the potty and told me "I'm peeing in the potty because J likes jelly beans." Too cute!

Anyway, I was talking to N tonight about school tomorrow. I told him he'd have to wear a diaper to school tomorrow. I told him once he was peeing AND pooping in the potty, he could wear his big boy underwear to school. He told me "that would be awesome." It was so adorable. Now THAT is my favorite part of motherhood--those little moments where you think I can't believe I helped create something so adorable.

Motherhood. Ain't it grand?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Math of Motherhood

2 pees in the potty PLUS 2 pees in underpants PLUS 3 requests for a diaper PLUS 1 little boy who is scared to poop in the potty EQUALS not the most successful day of potty training.

Oh well. He still looks really cute in his little tiny underpants.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Create...a healthier me

In my attempt to change my lifestyle and create a healthier me, I am trying to work out.

Today was Day 3 of using our treadmill. Yes, we own a treadmill. It's really B's as he's the only one who has ever used it on a regular basis.

I've done a pre-programmed 30 minute routine on the treadmill for the last three days. I did Program 1 (the easiest) for the first two days and Program 2 today. Program 2 kicked my butt. I am SO out of shape. I made it through the 30 minutes, but I was sweating a ton and way tired by the end. Pathetic, but true. I even jogged a bit when it went up to a whopping 4 mph.

Yes, I think this is reinforcing my need to workout more. Let's hope my knees don't start protesting. More importantly, let's hope I can do this regularly for more than a week or two.

Still trying to eat healthier and have started using Relish to plan meals. They are bit more complicated than my usual meals, but it's nice to plan them out in advance and try new things.

Here are pics of a few I've tried:
Robust Vegetable Soup with Cheddar Dill Biscuits (those biscuits were GOOD)

Pasta Fresco (cheese tortellini, prosciutto, Parmesan cheese, spinach, garlic, pine nuts)

Tangy Garden Salad (tomato, red onion, fresh Italian parsley, balsamic vinaigrette, lemon juice)

Other meals have included Lemon-Garlic Kebabs with Gorgonzola Dipping Sauce and Bistro French Fries with Parsley and Golden Fish Sticks. I picked the fish sticks for the boys, but neither of them would try them.

Of course, J hasn't tried any of these, but N has eaten and enjoyed a few.

So that's the "healthier me" for now. Will try to keep posting here in order to keep myself accountable and on track. Wish me luck!

Of course, since I started working out, my house is getting less and less clean. Must figure out a better way to fit it all in.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Finished: Coraline for Isla

Before J was born, I knit him a sweet little white cabled raglan cardigan. In fact, it's the one pictured in the header of this blog. Anyway, it's just a nice simple lightweight cardigan and both my boys wore it a lot. When my sister-in-law was pregnant with my youngest niece Isla, I decided to pass the sweater on to her since both J and N had outgrown it. She LOVED it and Isla also wore it a lot.

She's since outgrown it, and since I am the only knitter in her life, I decided to knit Isla a new little white cardigan. I had some white 4 ply yarn in my stash that was almost identical to the yarn I used for the original white cardigan--so I decided I would use that. Next, I had to find the right pattern.

After searching around on Ravelry for a while, I kept coming back to Coraline by Ysolda Teague. It's actually an adult cardigan pattern, but it had been adapted to a toddler size before (using a heavier yarn). Despite the math involved, I decided to attempt to knit a toddler size Coraline using my 4 ply yarn.

I got Isla's measurements and then looked at patterns online to get an idea for the amount of ease most people used for toddler sweaters. I ended up adding a few inches to all measurements in hopes that Isla will be able to wear this sweater through next winter. Hopefully I didn't get too ambitious and make it TOO big. We will see. I don't have Isla here to try it on.

Anyway, I think it turned out pretty well. What do you think?

I loved all the thoughtful touches in Ysolda's pattern. I LOVE the smocking pattern,

the i-cord around the sleeves,

and the folded hem at the bottom of the sweater.

After all my math work and decision making, I was so excited to cast on that I forgot to do the provisional cast on. When it was time to join my hem, I just picked up stitches along my cast on and knit them together with the active stitches and it worked out just fine.

Ysolda's pattern calls for slipped stitches that cause the sides of the cardigan to gently roll in. I wanted a cardigan that my niece could wear all the way closed if she wanted, so I picked up stitches along the edges and added an i-cord using the i-cord bind off method that is used around the neck in the pattern. My edging is not as neat as I would like, but I think it turned out okay.

For the buttons, I used the recommended sewn button loops. These were kind of a pain to get right, but I think they also turned out fine. It took me several days to do them which was kind of crazy. I kept changing my mind about placement and it was hard to get the size just right.

Anyway, I hope this sweet little sweater will fit my sweet little Isla and that she will get to wear it lots.

Pattern: Coraline by Ysolda Teague
Yarn: 3 skeins of Bernat Baby (Fingering Weight/ 100% "Gentle Soft" Acrylic/ 50g/ 1.75 oz/ 286 yards)
Needles: Size 3 (24" circular and doublepoints)
Gauge: 8 st = 1 inch; 10 rows = 1 inch
Size: Toddler (approximately 24" chest)
Mods: Sizing, added i-cord along side edges.
On Ravelry, here.

Caps for Good

Finished three little caps to mail in for Caps For Good. They will be accepting donations postmarked through February 28, 2011. It's not too late to make a few yourself. I made all three of these from one partial skein in my stash. Here's a link to my original post for more info.

Happy Creating for Good, everyone!

Pattern: Caps for Good free knitted hat pattern
Yarn: Less than one skein of Plymouth Encore from my stash (Worsted Weight washable Acrylic/Wool Blend)
Needles: Size 10 doublepoints
Gauge: 4 st per inch
Mods: Knit in the round instead of flat. Only real change, all Purl rows became Knit rows.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My sweethearts

On Valentine's I took a few pics of the boys and thought I'd share since I hadn't posted any good ones here for a bit. They're such silly little guys. They make my heart happy.

And for bonus smiles, here's a pick of N after his shower the other night. He decided to show off his legs in this stellar outfit:Nothing says stylish like trucks, a diaper and some pink heels.

Create...a happy animal lover

J has been on an animal kick for a long time. He LOVES going to the zoo. He LOVES reading books about animals. He LOVES watching animal shows on TV. He LOVES his Playmobil zoo he got for Christmas.

So a few months ago I bought some animal fabric to make him a new bedspread. His current one was a Sesame Street one my sister made him when he was two. We redecorated his room with paintings of animals that he and I painted shortly thereafter. But I never got around to making the bedspread since that's when we started getting the house ready to sell since we were moving. I didn't want to have the mess of a sewing project so I put it away for after the move.

Well, now that the move isn't happening, I decided to make that bedspread. The fabric J picked was out of stock everywhere except the one place I originally found it so I only had 2 1/4 yards to work with. I found a coordinating stripe and made this simple little bedspread:

I would have loved to had enough animal print for the sham, but I think the stripes work okay.

The backing is zebra print fleece--really soft and cuddly.

Pepper had to check it out right away during my photo shoot.

I didn't get a chance to get a picture of J when he first saw it, but he was really excited about it. He said he LOVED it.

Sweet dreams had by all. What do you think?

Calling All Knitters: Create for Good

Despite all the life chaos, I am still knitting. I am almost finished with my niece's Coraline. I just need to make the button loops. Will hopefully get those done tonight or tomorrow night so I can post some pictures.

I was about to cast on for Tang, a lovely turtleneck sweater for me, in the lovely yarn my mom bought me for Christmas, when I got a post from my friend Natalie about Caps for Good.

Caps for Good is a program that saves the lives of newborn babies in the developing world by giving them knitted or crocheted hats. Or as it says on their website:

"The Caps for Good grassroots initiative will be running from September 2010 through February, 2011 encouraging citizens of all ages to participate by making a cap and advocating and fundraising to provide newborn care in developing countries.

At the end of the program, caps will be distributed to pregnant women and new moms and their babies in Save the Children's programs in Asia, Africa and Latin America."

Anyway, I decided to knit up this quick little hat to send in.

The website is great. It has an action kit complete with two really simple patterns (one knit, one crochet), a tag to attach to your hat and a letter to President Obama about the program that you are asked to send in with your hat.

If you want to participate, go to their website and check it out. It's really simple. I followed the suggested pattern (except I knit it in the round instead of flat) and it was SO quick to knit. Size 10 needles, worsted weight yarn from my stash, and a gauge of 4 st to an inch make very quick knitting.

To help this cause, I am asking that all my knitting/crocheting friends take a night or two and make one or two or three of these little hats to pass on to a baby in need.

What a fun and simple way to Create for good!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Wow. What a Difference a Week Makes.

Three weeks ago we put our house on the market.

Less than a week later, we had an offer on the house. A bit of a ridiculously low offer, but an offer all the same.

A week later, after some negotiating back and forth, we had a more appealing offer that we verbally accepted.

A day or two after that, life got extra crazy. B spoke to his former boss and got an offer to return to his former job.

So now, a week after we thought we had sold our house, our house is no longer on the market. Not because it is sold, but because we are not selling it. We are not selling it, because we are not moving. It's been a week of serious discussions and a lot of soul-searching. We reevaluated our plans and inspected our dreams and truly thought about what matters and we decided that this was the best move for our family. The move NOT to move that is.

B thought that the fact that the job in Houston was at a brewery was enough, but it wasn't. I thought that the fact the job could possibly one day bring us close to family was enough, but it wasn't.

B returned to his former job today. He's happy to be there.

I am working to keep our house clean and organized and show worthy while also making it practical and livable. I LOVE having it so clean and neat.

I'm moving ahead with life here instead of planning a new life in Houston.

I think we're both a little bit in shock over the decision, but also excited about it. Besides its distance from family, we love it here. We have great friends and live in a great neighborhood.

So that's the news. More to come on this I'm sure as I finish processing it all. Happy Monday, everyone.