Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Flash the Stash 2010

There's a thread going around on Ravelry that encourages you to take a photo of your yarn stash.  Here's mine:  it covers my entire dining room table.

Compared to some of the others that I've seen, this is nothing!  What can I say, I love yarn!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Back to the Future!

Movies with my dad....that was a big part of my childhood.  My dad is a movie nut, he's seen just about all of them (or at least it seems that way.) 

In the summer that I was eight years old, a little movie about time travel came out.  My dad took both me and my brother to see it on the big screen, and we instantly fell in love with it.  It turned out to be the big blockbuster of the year, and today, that movie turns 25 years old.  There was even a reunion of some of the cast members on the Today show this morning.

  Happy Birthday, "Back to the Future!!"   And with that....that movie is TWENTY-FIVE years old??  Man do I feel old!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Told You It Wouldn't Be Long...

I witnessed first-hand Sean taking his first shot at Will today.  And it was freakin' hilarious.

I was putting both of the boys in the car this morning, getting ready to bring them to daycare.  I let Will crawl in first, and then walked around to put Sean in his carseat.  (Will gets buckled in on my second pass around, to the driver's seat)  I put Sean in the seat as usual.  Now, there is a baby mirror for him to gaze into as I am driving, and it also helps me, with the use of my rearview mirror, to see him while I am driving.  He LOVES his mirror, thinks it's the coolest thing in the car.  He sees the "other baby" and giggles, and I say "who's that handsome boy?" 

This time, Will asked to see "the handsome boy in the mirror."  I acquiesced, and Will got out of his seat and stuck his head in front of the mirror to catch a glimpse of Sean looking at himself.  Suddenly, Sean decided that he didn't like his big brother playing with that other baby.  So he gave him what-for:  "NI-NI-NI-NI-NI-NI!!!"  Whack!  He slapped at Will.  Translation:  "Hey, that's MINE!  Get out of the way!"  WHACK!

Welcome to the beginning of that "brotherly love."  Will also found it hilarious, and told everyone we came across this morning about it.  How long do you think that will continue?  I'm taking bets that he won't think it's so cute before long....

Sunday, October 24, 2010

First Haircut!

We took the boys for haircuts today, Sean's first! Sean has actually needed one for quite awhile but I'd promised Will that I'd wait until he needed one again.

It went really well ....Sean was content to watch Will show how it's done! When it was his turn he didn't even cry. What a good boy!
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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Will's Fourth Birthday!

Happy Fourth Birthday to our Boy!

We love you more than words can say, Pal.

Love always,

Mommy, Daddy and Sean

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

For Me, By Me

It's a chilly day here in central massachusetts, And I got to wear my scarf that I made for the first time. It feels so good knowing that I made this for me!

Self portrait: For once,I look a picture and not instantly notice right on that I desperately need a haircut or some other flaw. Just happy. And proud!
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Sunday, October 17, 2010


Lately Will has really been interested in drawing and coloring, whether it be coloring books with his favorite characters or a huge pad of paper that Nana brought him from her work.  However, we've had the talk many times about how crayons and markers belong on paper and NOT on the wall, doors, couch, etc.

I guess we should have been a little more specific.  Or at least, satisfied with the fact that he chose himself to draw on instead of his little brother.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Down at Fraggle Rock

A friend posted on Facebook about a new TV channel....The HUB.  It claims to have "television for kids and their families."  What they really should be calling it is a trip down Memory Lane!  For one thing, it has Fraggle Rock.  I can remember watching Gobo and Uncle Traveling Matt and the gang when HBO was still a separate box on top of your TV.  (Showing my age here....proudly)  We introduced Will to the Fraggles and they were an instant hit.  He doesn't usually ask for them by name though, instead saying "Can I watch that show you watched as a kid??" 

At night, it's a fun trip for my generation, with Doogie Howser, Family Ties and my personal favorite, "The Wonder Years."  Man, they don't make TV shows like these anymore! 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Original "Brown Dog"

On October 10th, my parent's chocolate labrador, Jerry, crossed the rainbow bridge. 

My parents got Ben and Jerry from a breeder a few months after our beloved labrador retriever, Ralph, passed away.  Since they both worked full-time and Ralph had been on his own and lonely during the day, they opted to get two puppies so that they could keep each other company.  Since ice cream is the favorite sweet treat of the house, they went with "Ben and Jerry" for names, despite Jerry being a girl.  From day one, these two overtook the house like a hurricane! 

I was away at college when the Dynamic Duo moved into the house, and they immediately claimed my first-floor bedroom as their own.  When I came home for Christmas Break, they thought I had a lot of nerve trying to sleep in "their" pink bed.  They indicated early-on that there would be no compromise with the pink bed, that if I was going to sleep in it then they were going to sleep in there with me.  Which presented a problem....have you ever tried to share a twin bed with 100lbs of Labrador?  Cannot be done, my friend, especially since Jerry always insisted that she wanted to put her head on the pillow, too.  No "foot of the bed" for this dog!

Jerry was a sweet, loving soul, with just a "little" touch of crazy.  As a puppy, if you looked her in the eye she would jump on you and ply with her little needle teeth.  We quickly learned that she was terrified of thunderstorms; once she got locked in the upstairs bathroom mid-storm and tried to chew through the door to escape.  My brother would oftentimes put her in his bedroom closet during a storm, where she wasn't as affected, and lay down on the floor with her to keep her calm.  She would not respond to calling her name, and would certainly *not* do any tricks for treats.  In her younger days, she would try to escape the house at every angle, not really having somewhere to go but just wanting to prove that she could do it and take off before you could grab her.  Even as recently as a month ago, she got out of my parent's cottage out the front door and stood in the front yard, proud of herself.

  It was difficult to take her anywhere without being restrained, as she always wanted to "climb up front and drive."  She enjoyed her stuffed toys, especially her pink "purse," and wasn't satisfied with a toy until it was "de-squeaked."  She also was possessive with her toys, often refusing to share with Benny and kicking his butt if he dared take one without her permission.  She was relentless in her pursuits of happiness; she would bang on the door if she was outside and we were inside, eating a pizza.  Once or twice, she even jumped off the deck and into the backyard.  We learned to not talk to her from the yard if she was on the deck, because she'd get tired of listening and jump just to be with you.  More than once, she made a snack out of my parent's Adirondack chairs from LL Bean.  My dad actually made a template for replacement arms since the two of them loved chewing on them so much.   

She thought the world of my brother, and my brother thought the world of her.  We used to joke that Brian would take Jerry to his prom, but of course he didn't.  However, no one let her in on the joke and she sulked on his bed on prom night.  She loved my father fiercely; I believe that he was her most favorite human of all.  Dad would play with her for hours, and pet her until she was satisfied.  (Which was never...she always wanted more)  They even had their own game of Hide and Seek, and she really would go looking for him!  If he wasn't paying her enough attention, she would give his elbow a little "nip" as if to say "Pay attention to me!"  Yes, this dog certainly had her own agenda right to the end of her days, choosing to pass away at home, surrounded by her family, and Ben and my dog, Joey.  She went on her own terms, not making anyone have to make the decision for her. 

Rest in Peace, Geraldine-Beauty Queen.  We will love you and miss you, always. 

Perserverance takes Patience (that I May or May Not Have)

I've been working on this shawl for almost a month now, and I'm crawling out of my skin because of it!  I'm so used to smaller projects that don't take a lot of time, like hats or mitts.  I can dash off a baby hat in one night, two tops.  That's why the baby hats that I'm working on are good for instant gratification, while this marathon-of-a-shawl indicates perseverance and steadfastness.

I love the yarn, it's Lion Brand LB Collection Baby Alpaca.  This is the first time I've worked with alpaca, and it's very soft, warm and cozy and drapes beautifully.   This baby will eventually be made of ten skeins of yarn!!  I'm *almost* to the third skein.  I was lamenting that it was taking time for it to come together at Knitting Meetup last Wednesday and I remarked that it would probably come together better if I didn't cheat on it constantly.  Someone said "You cheat when knitting that?  Tell me, how do you do it??"  I had to laugh, because when I say "cheat" I mean I'm led astray by other flirtatious knitting projects.  She thought I meant that I had found a way to knit it faster.  Which got us to thinking:  wouldn't it be neat (albeit creepy) to have a knitting elf while you slept?  You leave your scarf/shawl/bag/mittens-in progress on your coffee table and go to bed, then get up to find that there's another inch or so of progress?  That would be a real find for when you're burning the midnight oil, furiously knitting towards a swap deadline.  Or asking for a handmade gift back as soon as the recipient opens it, so that you can finish it?  Yes, I'm guilty of that one. 

Man, I hope I can have this one done by Christmas.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Autumn in New York

Brian and I celebrated our ten-year anniversary with a weekend trip to New York City.  Now I can say that I've been there!  Well, other than driving through to get to Philly, or dropping off my brother-in-law when he lived in Queens.

We stayed at a very swank hotel, in a posh room on the 37th floor.  Woah...that"s quite an elevator ride.   We dined at "Maze" which is a Gordon Ramsay restaurant.  (see Blue Plate Special for details) and then trotted down Broadway to see "Promises, Promises", a new musical with Sean Hayes and Kristin Chenoweth.  WOW!!  What a great show.  The part of C.C. Baxter was practically written with Sean Hayes in mind, he was very funny!  I always knew that he could sing, since he did a little singing as "Jack" on "Will and Grace."  He's beyond talented though, and I look forward to seeing him in something again sometime. 

After the show we were too tired to go with our original idea of going out somewhere for dessert.  We opted instead to stop in a little eatery and bring home an oreo brownie and some German Chocolate Cake to our room.  After dessert it was about midnight so we passed out and slept like the dead until NINE AM.  That never happens with children in the house!  We ventured for breakfast at an Irish restaurant across the street, and upon checking out of the hotel, we ventured to find the Lion Brand Yarn Studio.    This is an attestment to just how much my husband loves me....he not only took me yarn shopping while on our anniversary trip, he stuck it out through Manhattan traffic to do so!  The yarn shop was delightful and I brought home a bag of goodies for projects that I am working on in the near future. 

After fighting some MORE Manhattan traffic, we were on our way home to our munchkins.  But not until we stopped for dinner at a restaurant from our dating days...Paul's Pasta in Groton, CT.  Anyone who's ever been there KNOWS how awesome it is!  What a great way to sum up ten years....going back to a restaurant that we frequented in the days that it all began.

All in all, it was a fabulous weekend with just the two of us.  Happy Anniversary, Honey!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Ten Years of Wedded Bliss

A College Chick and a Navy Guy, a chance meeting in a seedy dance club one Thursday night in downtown Providence, RI. 

That fated night has led to many things.  Deployments and joyful reunions. A dropped transmission while searching for an engagement ring.  A "surprise" proposal Graduation weekend.  Our own personal game of "Survivor" while stationed in New Hampshire.  Settling down and purchasing our first home.  Later on, being blessed with two beautiful boys.  Combining our strengths and weaknesses and making a good team.  Lots of Laughter, Lots of Memories, Lots of Love.

I can't believe it's been ten years.  Happy Anniversary, My Love, My Best Friend. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Despite My Best Efforts...

....I can't seem to be on time anywhere!  It doesn't matter what time I get up to get ready for work, something is bound to get in the way of getting out the door on time.   If I arose at 5am something would happen and I *still* would be hustling the family out of the house precisely when I'm supposed to be at work.  This morning the Big Kid didn't want to get out of bed.  His exact words were, "Come and get me after you put on your makeup, Mommy.  I'm too sleepy to get up."  The Little One however, is always ready and raring to go!  He stands up in his crib and stares at the door, making adorable noises and blowing raspberries.  I always leave my own breakfast as the absolute last thing, and usually end up scarfing it like someone is going to take it away from me. 

Luckily, I know that I'm not alone.  In talking to some of my knitting friends who are also working Mommies, we ALL do it.  We all tap dance through the morning routine, packing lunches, convincing kids that their allergy cough is NOT enough to stay home, that the dog doesn't actually need to eat that leftover cereal, cursing the fact that the baby who is now mobile only wants to crawl UNDER the crib and then cry about it while you're looking for your other shoe.  Thank goodness it isn't just me! 

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A Burlesque Show

Know what makes for a fun, interesting Moms' Night Out?  Drinks and a burlesque show.  OH YEAH.....a burlesque show!

I headed out with a group of Mama friends last night to an old hotel that has an actual speakeasy.  It was a 21+ show, where women flirt on stage,  dance and disrobe.  It wasn't like being out at a stripclub or anything, it was more artistic and vintage.   There were a lot of women there in kind of the same way we were, a bunch of ladies out on the town and having a good time.   And I've got to say, I've never been to anything like that before but it was intriguing!  Women of all different ages, sizes, walks of life.  Some more dressed than others.  The thing that blew me away was the confidence of all of these women.  If I was up there swaying and shimmying, I'd have my eyes on the ground and barely be moving.  One woman in particular danced onstage three or four times.  Now, she was not a small woman, but she moved like she owned the place.   The closing number was a fast "mambo-y" number, with the girl dressed in balloons that she popped.  The energy in the place was amazing!  And the running commentary from the friends that I was with made it that much more fun! 

I'm kind of a straight-laced girl.  But every once in a while it feels good to step out of myself and go a little wild.  This night out with the girls was the perfect way to do that.

Can You Take Our Picture, Mommy??

It's all right here--Brotherly Love!  Every morning, the first thing that Will wants to do is play with Sean.  When Sean cries, Will brings over his beloved Brown Doggie to cheer him up.  He's also appointed himself as Sean's Protector.  When I chided Sean last week for trying to eat the dog's food (to him it looks like Cheerios, so it MUST be fair game!) Will yelled at me, "Mommy, don't yell "no" at Baby Sean, you're scaring him!"  Earlier in the week we were driving to a restaurant and Sean was crying to beat the band in the car.  Will touched his hand and said "Don't cry Sean.  You hear that?  Mommy and Daddy are taking us to Chili's!"   If Will laughs at something that Sean is doing, Sean grins and keeps doing it.  (that "something" is boxing the dog....which Joey faithfully accepts and I break it up as soon as I can.)  Yesterday while I was browsing Ravelry for mitten patterns Will asked if he could hold his brother.  I obliged and as soon as Sean was in his lap Will said, "Mommy, can you take our picture?"  Of course I will, Buddy.  :)

I know that the days are coming when the boys will get on each other's nerves and resort to fighting.  And I'm pretty sure that those days aren't as far away as one might think!  But for now, this snuggly love that they have for each other, I revel in it.