Thursday, June 30, 2011

Water Fun

I promised Will a trip through the sprinkler one night this week.  So after dinner, the boys and I headed out to introduce Sean to the wonders of water play in his own backyard. 

First, the garden:  I think that the boys got more water than the veggies.

And then the sprinkler!  Will loves it so much, it was difficult to get photos of him enjoying it, since he couldn't keep still and ran through the spray.  Sean preferred to sit next to the sprinkler and touch the water, giggling every time it sprayed him. 

What a fun activity!  And do you know what?  The boys were happy to share a bath afterwards so that they could continue the water fun and splash the bathroom and their Mom.

Happy Summer!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Words, Words, Words!

For awhile now, Sean's been speaking.  Most of it is indecipherable, but he clearly understands what we say, especially when it involves words like "Let's change your diaper!" or "Would you like some more banana?"  However, I had a conversation with my little man the other day.  I asked "How are you, buddy?" and he replied "Good!!"  and I said, "you sure?"  And he gave me an excited "Uh-huh, Mama!"  He's clearly got a lot to say, but suffers from second-child syndrome, whereas his big brother does most of his talking for him.  I've had to ask Will a few times recently, "Let Sean talk."  Once in a while he'll get a word in, "Mmmm good!" "Thanks." and once, "Blueberry."  And his favorite... "more!" 

And this boy...he can't wait for his turn to go to school!!  There's a lot of construction going on in our area, so the detour this morning led me to decide that Will was getting dropped off at school first for a change.  I scooped Sean up in the driveway and we all went into the school.  Once inside, one kid yelled "There's a baby!!" and we were surrounded by kids, all marveling at "Will's twin."  Yes it's true, they do look very much alike!  Sean beelined for the foam blocks, chattering away, leaving the director of the school to amazement as to how fast he is.  He sure is...once he sets his sights on something, he's off and running! 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Twenty Percent

This is what twenty percent of a sweater looks like:

I kind of wish I had one of those dress forms made out of an old t-shirt and duct tape like Julie over at Knitting at Large.  It would be my precise measurements and I could see how this puppy is fitting as I go along instead of the "big reveal" at the end.  I know that I saw a class online showing how to do them, but why pay the money when you can find the directions online?  Yeah, I likely will not take the time to do this, but it's cool.  Especially the one dress form model that used "fireworks" printed duct tape!

Since I apparently have the attention span on a gnat, I started two new projects recently.  One is a lace scarf for myself.  It's not a cold weather scarf per se, as it is laceweight yarn (practically thread) more of a pretty autumn accessory.  No time limit on this one.  My knitting group is also having a beach swap, so I'm working on a cotton beachbag.  And I still have a sock on the needles, I haven't forgotten about my first (to-be-completed) sock!  However, I am very much wishing I'd done a gauge swatch, 'cause the sock is knitted loosely and no longer going to fit me.  So now they will be a gift dad!

What's on your needles these days?

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Transformation's Complete

Do you suppose "old" is contagious?  When I worked in elderly housing I had a joke with my administrative assistant that it was indeed contagious. 

My husband calls me an "old soul."  I'm not exactly sure what that means sometimes, but it sounds innocuous enough.  First of all, my name is Virginia.  Raise your hand if you've ever met a Virginia that wasn't old.   Liar!  :)   Don't get me wrong....I love my name.  I didn't always; at one point in my life I wished that I was a Jennifer or a Jessica.  Anything that made me fit in.  Now it is professional sounding and I'm named for my grandmother, who I lost too soon. 

Second of all, all this knitting doesn't win any points in the youth department.  Would-be scoffers like to tell me that knitting is for grandmas in rocking chairs.  Sure, it is.  But if I tell them that the youngest person in my knitting group is in her early twenties, and that it is "in fashion" and "hip to knit" usually all they hear is "Knitting Group" and "hip."  Yup...using a word like "hip" is racking up the points...not showing my age at all!  Let's try this:  knitting is the new yoga!!

Then, this morning as I was dropping off the kids at daycare and heading to a doctor's appointment before work, I caught myself putting on lipstick.  I rarely wear lipstick, usually because I'm kissing the boys or eating or something like that.  But putting lipstick on to go to the doctor?  Tres geriatric. 

And the biggest one of all--a couple of weeks ago my friend Patrick was posting on Facebook about a big fire that was taking place in a city about thirty miles north of us.  When I asked him the next week at knitting group (yes, he knits.  And crochets.  Gorgeous things, too)  how he knew about it while it was happening, he said that he has an app on his phone that works as a police and fire scanner.  I thought this was really intriguing!  There's many nights while my husband is at school and the kids are in bed and I'm knitting in front of the TV and there's absolutely nothing on. Might be cool to listen to the scanner to what's going down in the Woo.....wait a minute.  I've had tenants that sit and craft and listen to the scanner.  And then they would call ME to tell me what was going on in town.  Geez......all I'd need to do is start carrying splenda packets in my purse and ......WAIT! 

Apparently, my transformation is complete.  I am an eighty-year old woman, trapped in a thirty-something's body.   Please direct me to the closest early bird special, and they'd better have decaf coffee.  And I'm telling you up front....I fully intend on wrapping up my cookies in a napkin and taking them home for a late-night snack.  And by late....I mean 7PM.  Damn.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

What We All "Need"

Here's a fun little time-waster!  Type your first name into Google and the word "needs."  The results are entertaining.

"Ginny needs a loving home."
Well, doesn't everyone?  I have a loving home.  Perhaps there's a Ginny out there that still needs one.  I hope that she finds it.

"Ginny NEEDS to wear a bikini!"
No.  No I don't.  And you can't make me.

"Ginny needs a break and so do we."
Yes!  Thank you!  You are speaking my language.  :)

"Ginny needs to die." 
Wow.  I don't even know you.  That hurts.

"Ginny needs to leave that monkey alone!"
OK, you told me.  I'll do it!  Soon as he finishes my laundry.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Thank the Baker, Will Ya?

Thanks to hubby, I left work yesterday with brownies on the brain.  (We'd been chatting on Google Talk and were both starving, he mentioned he found day-old brownies in the cafeteria, blahblahblah)

So, on the way home with the boys I stopped at the grocery store under the guise of picking up a rotisserie chicken for dinner. After picking up the chicken (and some cornbread, suggested by Will) I made a beeline for the bakery section.  I was delighted to find an 8-pack of chocolatey goodness.  Will was very excited and wanted to bake the brownies the SECOND we got home so that they'd be ready for our dessert.  I explained that they were already cooked.  This took a minute to process, I guess he hadn't realized that you can "buy" brownies.  Then he rushed over to the bakery counter and yelled, "Hey!  Thanks for baking the brownies.  Now my mom can give them to us tonight instead of making us wait til tomorrow!" 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Wait Your Turn!

Standing in line at the bank in the grocery store.  Forty-five minutes before it's time to get the boys.  There is one family in front of me, a man, woman and their two kids, ages approx 6 and 2.  The bank counter is very busy, and the woman in front of me is clearly tired of waiting.  She obviously knows the teller, Roman, and starts yelling to him.  "Roman!!!!  You'd better help me, man!"  He glances up, acknowledges her with a nod, and goes back to helping the gentleman at the counter.  "Roman, man, they never got my affidavit!  So all those charges went through to my account.  And account is overdrafted by $237.00!!!"  Still a look, accompanied by a nod.  A line is forming behind me, and I look at my watch to discover that fifteen minutes have gone by.  

The woman, obviously disgusted with having to wait and not going to take it anymore, raises her voice.  "ROMAN!!!!!  I know where you live.  You'd better help me or I'm going to take your TV out of your car and take those nice rims off your wheels, man.  You've got a pretty sweet ride.  I know where your house is, so you'd better help me!"  This obviously gets the teller's attention.  He finishes the transaction he's working on, the man steps aside with the kids and she starts to transact her business.  The conversation that lasts another fifteen minutes, both in Spanish and English, leads me to believe that she was a good friend of Roman, and he is now helping her with her problem, offering to draw up papers and bring them to her later.  My eyes are nearly bursting out of my head, and everyone behind me is starting to murmur disgustedly.  I am tempted to just leave and make my work deposit the next day but dammit, I am going to finish this and not let that woman win.  Finally, she leaves.  Roman, nonplussed, doesn't say a word about the wait, just takes my rent checks and deposit slips and runs them through, sending me off my merry way.  No time for picking up a few things as planned, I've got twenty minutes to get two kids in two different places.  Sigh.

Three things that I have learned from this particular exchange:

1.  I now know way more about this woman's business than I should or care to know.

2.  Someone obviously hasn't seen the "Yo Gabba Gabba" episode about waiting your turn.  My kids are more patient than this squeaky wheel screaming for oil.  And what is she teaching those two kids of hers?  Push, push, push till you get what you want, no matter how much you embarrass yourself.  

3.  As a comparison, minus the "friendly" threats from this woman, the "squeaky wheel" mentality is what I deal with on a daily basis.  If I am on the phone, oftentimes a tenant is standing at my door, staring at me through the window.  If I let them in, they stand there with their arms crossed, kind of like a preschooler on the other side of the bathroom door at home.  If I am interviewing someone, someone else will try to barge in and tell me all about the problem with their neighbor and their loud music/all-night fighting/attitude problem.  Though patient, I am nobody's pushover.  I've perfected my hand up, steely glance and "Just a minute." 

I guess being a mom has trained me to be a better manager! 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Two "Babies" Sleeping

Lately Will gives us a really hard time about going to bed.  He says that he doesn't want to sleep alone, and that he doesn't want just stuffed animals that he talks to and they don't talk back.  Usually he calms down some and one of us is able to send him back to his bed.  Finally he'll be exhausted enough to just sleep, but will often wake up at 2AM to come and wake us up.  Many times I'm too tired to fight and don't want to wake up any more than I already have and tell him to get a pillow and blanket to bunk on our floor.  Which is usually what he was trying to get in the first place!

This wreaks havoc on this working mama, and the working papa too.  Tonight he threw an especially big fit, and I, being the only adult home at the time, came up with the brilliant idea of putting him in with his brother.  Sean was already in dreamland, having missed a nap today he fell asleep as soon as I shut the door behind me.  I told Will that if he woke up Sean, I was going to be angry and he was going back to his room.  He made a solemn promise that he would not wake him up.

I just peeked in on them and the two of them are fast asleep:  Sean in his crib and Will on top of a Toy Story sleeping bag on the floor.  It is so sweet and adorable, my two "babies" sleeping in the same room.

It's not a forever solution, but it worked for me tonight.  I'd take a picture, if I didn't worry about waking them up!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Slowly, Progress.

Babysteps.  Knitting a sweater doesn't happen overnight.  

I had to frog my first attempt, because I counted the cast-on stitches wrong.  I was disheartened to find that I missed it by only one, but I'm not going to make a huge mistake in the beginning, and then make a bigger one by ignoring it and plugging forward.   It's better to pull it all out two rows in, instead of twenty.

So I re-cast, and it took.  This is the humble beginnings, the ribbed hem and just a wee bit of the body.  

It's already beautiful.

Old Friends

A bunch of old HS friends get together on a rainy Saturday afternoon for lunch at hanging out at Bertucci's.  Four people head back to my house for coffee and cookies.  (mmm....cookies.)  We then realized that we didn't get any pics of our group at Bertucci's and decide better late than not at all!

Everyone piles on the couch, just like we used to at Kari's house!

First Will does a drive-by mugging for the camera with his pirate ship.

More or less the photo that we were going for.  That's a pirate ship in Ro's lap, and Joey loved Beth so much that he wanted to go home with her!  (Lady, I love you!  Take me with you....they don't pay me any attention here!)

Will, Toby, and Joey coming in.  Silliness all around  :)

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Brian's taking an intensive 6-week class for his Master's Degree, and this is week three.  So I've been picking up the boys on Tuesday and Thursday nights.  It's quite a feat, considering I get out of work at five and both boys need to be picked up by 5:30.  Tonight's pickup was quite rainy...when I got to Will's school the sky just OPENED up and sheets of water ran down over me and my white and pink sweater.  With last week's tornadoes in Massachusetts, every time there's a thunderstorm Will gets anxious that another tornado is coming.  It's going to be a long summer....I wasn't crazy about driving in it tonight but I put on my game face and we made it a fun race to the car.

 By the time we got home I was already sick of being wet.  To shake off a bit of the "scaredies" I offered up dinner picnic-style in the living room, picnic blanket on the carpet and all.  And to sweeten the deal, there was a new "Phineas and Ferb" DVD waiting for us.  I love that show on the Disney Channel, perhaps almost as much as Will does.  It's educational, it's entertaining and there's LOTS of little adult asides that go right over the kids' heads.  (Like when the boys parody every cop/detective TV show in one of their episodes.  The CSI Miami reference was the funniest one!)  Both kids went to bed happy and had a good time, forgetting about the thunder, lightning and buckets o' rain.  And neither child put up a fight and just went to sleep with no trouble.

That's what I call a perfect night.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Baggin' It

Finished Object:  The Christine Bag!

This was my first choice as my first cabled project.  But after trying it a few times in two different yarns, I realized that at the time, I didn't know how to count.  So I gave up.  Now, apparently I DO know how to count, 'cause here she is!

This is a birthday gift for a friend, who requested a bag for a birthday gift.  I chose the color (amethyst) 'cause I know she's a purple-lover just like me.  The original pattern has the bag with a big, floppy bow.  My friend is NOT a floppy bow-kind of gal.  So there's no bow, and that is that!

Eventually, I am going to make one of these for myself.  In fuchsia.  And yes, I already have the yarn in the house.  And I may or may not be a floppy bow-kind of gal, we'll just have to see.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Snuggles with Daddy

This poor buddy is pushing like four more teeth.  Refusing to nap in his crib, Sean found the only comfy place in the house for him to close his eyes and get some rest.

On Daddy.  While watching the Stanley Cup Finals.  Hockey + Daddy's Chest=LOVE

Friday, June 3, 2011

A Discovery Day

Last Saturday, Hubby suggested we go out on an adventure, and take the kids out to a museum to get out of the house.  We ended up at the Children's Discovery Museums in Acton, MA.  What a fantastic place for kids!  
It's divided up into two houses that serve as the museums...the Children's Museum and the Science Museum.  At first I balked at the price of the tickets:  $10.50 each.  Including Sean.  But this was an adventure, and we'd already driven there.  And I am happy to report that Sean definitely got his money's worth on his ticket!  This was the coolest museum for kids their age.  

Sean was absolutely obsessed with their water table.  He loved splashing it with the toy nets, and laughing as he got Mom wet.  I dragged him away a couple of times so that we could go and see other exhibits, but he kept toddling back.  Definitely the favorite of the day.

Treehouse Will!  Will's favorite was the Jungle Room, with this Treehouse that had a slide as well.  Our little monkey sure loved climbing around!

Sean playing with magnetic blocks in the Baby Room.  This room was just for the babes, with mirrors on the ceiling, "indestructable books," a pile of soft dress-up clothes and these blocks.  One of his favorite things to do at home is to re-arrange what big magnets he can reach on the fridge, so these were a huge hit!

Daddy and Sean in a rowboat in the Ocean Room.  Pirate Will looks on, searching for treasure.

Why yes, that is Mommy, teaching Will how to use a hammer in the Science Museum.  We also got to use a C-clamp, a hand drill, screwdriver and level.  Sexy goggles, no?  Only after this photo was taken did they tell me that there were adult goggles on the top that were more attractive.  Ah well, makes for a funny picture.  And remember--safety first!

All in all, it was a wonderful day.  In between museums we had a delicious pizza lunch at Not Your Average Joe's, and Hubby treated me to a surprise trip to a fantastic yarn shop in the area.  He even kept the sleepy boys in the car while I went and browsed.  Will's been talking about this museum non-stop since our trip there.  We can't wait to take them there again someday.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

So Many Projects, So Little Time.....

Last weekend, I did the gage swatch for my sweater and it came out like this:

I know.  You, reader, are just as excited as I am.  :)

Then, I abandoned the sweater measurement-taking and winding of yarn.  Instead, I picked up "The Christine Bag." don't practice knitting a sweater by knitting a bag?  Weird.

Naahhhhhh......I picked this cute cabled bag to whip up as a birthday present for a good friend.  I'm using Lamb's Pride Bulky, colorway Amethyst.  It's going to be gorgeous when finished, though I am going to need some help when it comes to lining the bag.  The knitting's all finished as of tonight, all that's left to do is attaching wood handles and the liner.  Perfect for this friend's end-of-June birthday!  Deadline met...whoo hoo!

Speaking of deadlines, I'm driving myself a little crazy here.  It's not right that I'm feeling the Christmas burn.  I have so, so, SO many things that I want to make!  Not to mention now I know of not two, but three babies to knit for that are making their big debut this Fall!  :)  My head is spinning.  I am finishing up on a charity project in the next two weeks though...I have some more pink baby hats and a couple of blankets for Stitches from the Heart.  (It was really about demolishing the pink skein of yarn.   I made six hats out of it and STILL had yarn left.)

I should mention that as of tonight, I have knit 5.23 miles this year.  MILES.  That is about the distance from my house to my job.  If I let all the yarn I've gone through since 1/1/11 trail continuously in one line out of the back of my car, I could drive to work and make it into the parking lot with the yarn still flowing.  The total for the year last year was just over five miles.  What's the total going to be on 12/31/11?

I am definitely curious, and can't wait to find out.

"There's No Place Like Home"

Last night was scary.

Massachusetts was hit by a few tornados, some funnel clouds were seen in the city that I work in.  (and live next to)  The western part of the state was especially affected, and Central MA as well.  There was hail.  There were terrifying thunderstorms, with lightning that was frightfully beautiful.  I'd never seen anything like it and I hope we don't again anytime soon.  We had the TV on the news at all times, with a basket to grab by the basement door should we, the boys and Joey the Dog have to head downstairs to seek shelter.  Thankfully it didn't come to that, as we kept a watchful eye on the television, and all of the tornado touch-down activity was either west or south of us.  The activity did worry the boys, and the thunder woke up Sean a couple of times.  Will spent the night on our floor, which made me feel better, having him close by.

I never thought I'd see something like that in Massachusetts, what little I did "see" on TV.  I can't imagine living in 'Tornado Alley" and have the potential for that to be a regular occurrence. 

Springfield and Brimfield MA, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Inquiring Minds

For today's post, I have three questions...

1.  Why is it that we complain all winter long about the incessant piles of snow and cold temps...and then crow about the first heat wave of the year?  Human nature is a funny, funny thing.

2.  How in the hell did my family of four accumulate so much stuff!!??  I'm currently going through piles in my house and doing the seasonal clothing switch for all four of us.  (this process, because of work and school and everything else, takes about a week and the living arrangements get so badly piled with stuff that it is one miserable week.)

3.  I just finished Tina Fey's new book "Bossypants."  If you're a Tina Fey fan like me, you will like her even more after reading it.  If you're not a fan, well, you will be by the end of the book.  Especially if you are a working mom.  Or if you like to laugh.

4.  Yeah, I just realized that the last one wasn't a question.  I guess the last question could be...."Have you seen my mind?  :)"