Friday, April 29, 2011

That Sweet Little Sweater

Back in October while in New York for my wedding anniversary, I sweet-talked Hubby into going to the Lion Brand Yarn Studio with me.  Being my first-ever trip to NYC at the ripe old age of 33, I had no idea when I would be back so I really wanted to go!

I chose a sweater pattern for Sean, and had a difficult time picking yarn for it.  Grey?  Blue?  Black?  Paprika to be exact.  It just jumped out at me....and I must admit, I do like burnt orange.  So four skeins in my bag....and I threw the yarn into the stash and kind of forgot about it. 

When I finally started the sweater, I was amazed at how quickly it knit up.  I started it on a Wednesday night at my Knitting Meetup, half an hour before closing time.  I would have had it finished in time for the meetup the following Wednesday, but that annoying thing called Real Life got in the way!  I finished it on Easter Sunday at my parents house, it was part of an amazing feat where I finished three works-in-progress in less than a 24 hour period!  (the sweater, a scarf for my friend Michael and a charity hat, what a miracle!)  I got these really great orange wooden buttons too, they have a "distressed" look and coordinate perfectly.   I made one modification to the pattern; opting for a collar instead of the hood.  (P.S. it only took two of the four skeins.  But I've learned that lesson before, I'd rather have too much of the yarn-in-progress than not enough!!)

I know of more than a few babies being born this year, and as soon as I find out the sex of one of them, I am going to make one more baby sweater.  Then it's time:  I have picked out a sweater pattern for ME.  I am hoping to find the yarn that I will need at Webs tent sale next month.  The pattern is Ditto, by Berocco Design Team.    Say it with me...I think I can, I think I can!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Easter :)

Another great Easter has come and gone.  It was a beautiful, gorgeous sunny day, perfect for an easter egg hunt in Nana and Papa's backyard.  Sean slept through the whole thing, so we re-created a little hunt for him later.

Nana made a ham dinner, which we all enjoyed!  Nobody enjoyed it quite as much as Sean turns out that he prefers ham to dessert!   (Which is his loss, as dessert was adorable Peep cupcakes and easter sugar cookie cutouts decorated as eggs, bunnies and chicks.)   Or as my Dad pointed out, "Why don't we just put the whole ham in front of him since it's what he wants?"  We didn't of course...because he would obviously pull it down onto his tray. 

The boys were spoiled by EVERYONE.  Easter baskets from daycare, beach pails and plastic eggs from us, a really cool gardening basket from Aunt Nancy, baskets and stuffed animals from Auntie Kim and Uncle Brian, and personalized baskets from Nana and Papa.  The basket from Kim and Brian had a stuffed dog in there wearing bunny ears, Will has claimed her and named her "Cuteflower" and added her to his entourage. 

Both kids absolutely sacked out in the car on the way home and Will didn't even want a bedtime story or lullabies from Mom....just "bed, please!"

Happy Easter, everyone!  Hope yours was as wonderful as ours and that you were surrounded with friends and family.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Summer's Coming....Sometime

Don't worry, Joe-Joe, it will be warm enough soon to get outside and enjoy it!  You will see Nana and Papa's dock soon enough.

For now, though, your sunshine naps at the back door are going to have to do.

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Trip to the Candy Store

While out and about enjoying the mall and Build-A-Bear yesterday, we crossed paths with a Sephora store.

If you don't know, Sephora sells probably every fancy brand of makeup, including their own line.  Not to mention fancypants fragrances and some higher-end hair products.

As a former (but still at times) beauty junkie, I was intoxicated by the mere sight of it.  I said to my husband, "I'm almost out of eye makeup remover.  I'm going in there to get some."  He said OK, he was just going to do some loops with the boys while I found my stuff.  And that is how I found myself in "the candy store" sans children.

"BK" (before kids) Crafty Mama would've spent a hundred bucks in there without blinking an eyelash.  She would have gotten the aforementioned eye makeup remover, taken the time to ooh and aah over the makeup brush bouquets, sampled the lipsticks, squealed with delight over the mineral makeup and tried out a smoky eye makeover for her beautiful brown eyes.

Post Child Crafty Mama:  well first of all, my hairstyle was post-windstorm and held out of my face with my sunglasses.  I had on jeans, rubber-soled brown "comfy" shoes from Land's End and a brown and pink t-shirt from a family vacation to the Outer Banks three years ago.  (which I feel the need to mention, hasn't fit until recently.  So that's something to be happy about!)  I should also mention that I didn't have on a droplet of makeup.  That is because on weekends I don't wear makeup!  During the week is one thing, but on weekends, what you see is what you get.  Anyway, I stepped into the Cosmetics Mecca and found my eye makeup remover.  Expensive stuff.  I took one look at the line, put the bottle down and walked out.  Brian gave me a strange look when I sauntered up to him and the boys, without a bag.  He nodded in understanding though, when I gestured towards the store and said "No way was I waiting in that line!"  

Later on we were in JC Penney, picking out a white dress shirt for Brian to wear to a wedding, when I was delighted to discover that JC Penney has a mini-Sephora in their store!  I found what I was looking for and then checked out quickly.  My cashier was a man in his late twenties, who made his black Sephora smock look like haute couture and had the most beautiful smooth, hydrated, flawless skin I have EVER seen, on a man or a woman.    It was all I could do not to take his hands in mine and beg "What is your secret????"  Purchase rung up, I proudly informed Hubby that I had saved six bucks by buying Sephora-brand eye makeup remover instead of my usual brand.  I was genuinely excited about it, too.  JC Penney was the cap to our day, and after a trip to the bathroom for the big kid, we were all in the car, comfy and happy and headed home.  Another fun day, spent together with my family.

Sometimes I look in the mirror and I don't recognize my "mom" self.  But I wouldn't trade her for all the manicures and makeovers in the world.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A New Dog Friend

I am sure that Older Will may probably be embarrassed later about this....but since I'm his Mom, I'll take the heat later.

We made a very special trip to Build-A-Bear today!  We had promised Will that once he was potty-trained, we would take him to make a new friend there.  And today was the day!  He has been in underwear all week at school AND at home!  I'm so very thrilled that he has reached this milestone!

Ladies and Gents---meet SuperDog!  He is Will's new sidekick and he absolutely adores him.  I love him too, he's an adorably fluffy pup and I'm thrilled for him to join us.

Friday, April 15, 2011

"It Spoke to Me"

Lately, I've been in a wee bit of a rut, knitting-wise. 

Sure, I've worked on some stuff. 

I finished my silver lace shawl for Tracy and Michael's wedding on 4/30. 

I made a baby blanket for Stitches from the Heart, the same charity that I donated all of the baby hats to.  It ended up being a bigger project than I was looking for at the time....but I think it came out quite nicely.

I knit and sewed up (mostly, almost there!) a cardigan sweater for Sean.  I've got one seam left, and then just getting some buttons and knitting the hood.  Though I'm not completely sold on the hood just yet.  (This sweater is going to be a whole 'nother blog post when it's done. )

And I've got another charity project in the works, I'm calling it "Mitten Mayhem,"  and they'll likely be donated to Knit for Boston.   I started back in January, and I've got four pairs already.  Every single pair is so far crafted from bits and pieces of other projects that I've completed.  I'm trying to bust down the stash a bit before the big trip to Webs next month! yes, I've knitted.  But I haven't had that all-emcompassing, "Oh My God....I have GOT to make that!  I can't wait to see what this looks like!  And wow, this yarn is so soft!"  feeling.

Until the other day, I was browsing The Yarnista, and she featured a shawl that she had made with her yarn that she hand-dyes, Three Irish Girls Yarn.   The name of the shawl is  The Virginia.  Yes!!!  It is the prettiest lace shawl, not too foufy and simply gorgeous.  And with a name like that.....I feel that I am destined to make it.  For myself!  A Virginia wearing "The Virginia."   

So I guess the next question the stash, or check out Three Irish Girls!  Ok, ok, HUBBY, I'll shop the stash.  :)  Actually, I have something already in mind.  But I have Three Irish Girls on bookmark for sure.

Sometimes projects really do speak to you...instead of you finding them they find you.  This is certainly my next project.  I can't wait!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

That Sweet Sound

I sat down to eat breakfast this morning, like I do every morning.  Or eat it over the sink, whatever.  The boys are both in the family room, and usually it goes like this:  "Mooommmmmm....Sean's messing up my toys/books/imaginary spaceship."  or "Hey!  I was playing with that, Seanie!"   or the latest "You naughty BABY!"   followed by Sean's whimpers because something has just been taken away from him.  This morning, none of that.  This morning they took turns sitting in a rocking chair, passed around some toys, and giggled together.

I love the sound of my two boys playing together.  Music to my ears.  :)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Favorite Moments

I have only two copies of this photo, and it is definitely one of my favorites.  I had a bit of a fit when Will knocked over a glass of water this week on my nightstand and the frame got wet.  Of course, it was right before we were due to leave to drop-off at school and daycare,  and then for me to head to work.  I quickly pulled apart the frame, and let the photo dry on top of my dresser for the day.  And all was good!

While scanning it to ensure not losing it forever, I thought I'd share.  Early 1999.  Brian had just come home from deployment in the Mediterranean, and the winter term had closed.  Such a sweet reunion, after 3.5 months of being apart!  (I used to know the number of days, but that has faded from my mind.)   My friend Lexi took this photo, as well as another one that is one of my favorites.  We look like kids!  Well, we were.  We met at age 21 and were married at the ripe old age of 23/24, respectively.  Definitely young, for today's standards.  

What a long way we've come, huh?  I hope that the original photograph can be present at the celebration of our fiftieth wedding anniversary!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Moving Forward...

It's official.....I have a new job come June!

I'm still going to be working for the same company, but at a different site.  I'm going back to managing an elderly housing complex, which was something I was really good at when I started this job ten years ago.  (Yeah, I know a humble brag when I hear one....but really, I mean it.)  It is a brand new building that is currently being built right now, and the first job I will have is to advertise and market the new site.  Then it'll be processing and interviewing something like 200 hopefuls for thirty spots, and then all of them moving in.  Moving day(s) will be kind of like what moving to college was like back in the day.  Lots of people and things all at once.  I am so excited I can barely contain myself! 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Shimmer, Shimmer

Shimmery Silver Lace Shawl complete!

I made this shawl/wrap for Tracy and Michael's wedding at the end of the month.  And there's time to spare...woohoo!   My dress is gorgeous!  It's teal satin and I am in looove with the color.   I go for my final fitting on Wednesday night.

Now for the technical stuff:  This is a Lion Brand pattern, knit in Vanna's Choice in Platinum.  I saw a demo of this shawl at the Lion Brand Store in New York City last fall and have wanted to make one since.  My first color choice wasn't silver, but jewel (deep purple) or garnet.  But the silver went so nice with the dress....
The lace pattern is a 24-row repeat that was tricky at first, but as soon as you get the first repeat the rest was easy, just time-consuming.

Oh, and please ignore the basket of dog toys, and the trashcan in the background.  I'm terrible when it comes to remembering that stuff, I'm usually just SO EXCITED that I've finished something!

Raising a Comedian

The best quips this weekend, courtesy of Will:

"Mom, how about we play pretend baseball?  You can bat the ball and I'll be the vampire."

And my personal favorite:  when asked what he was doing with his girl dog, Sunshine, he said that he was drying her hair (with a toy drill--points for creativity) and shaving her mustache.  I calmly told him that girls don't have mustaches. He loudly retorted:  "Well Mom, SOME girls do!!"

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Joke's on Us

Thanks Mother Nature...very funny!  Now, please bring back some spring weather.

I'm thankful, like everyone else, that instead of 7-14 inches of white stuff there's like two.  Though I must admit, the coating on the trees is beautiful. 

Single parent this weekend.....Hubby is golfing.  Yeah, golfing!  Where he's going is just raining so they'll be able to play, no problem.  The boys and I are going to enjoy tortillas and chicken and cheese tonight (separated and not like a burrito, right Mommy?  -Will)  and we'll have a fun visit with Nana and Papa tomorrow. 

Happy April, everyone!