Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sunny Surprises

Sunny Florida:  I got the opportunity to surprise Heather for her baby shower.  It's not often that something is truly a surprise in life, and this one went particularly well.  She and her boyfriend met me at the airport, I just walked up to the car and said "Hey Lady, can I get a ride?!"  She was FLOORED!  She thought it was going to be her brother, so when it turned out to be me she could've been knocked over with a feather.   We had a great extended weekend, with two baby showers, taking the boat out to the Gulf of Mexico, eating, sharing stories from the past and laughing so hard our sides hurt.  It was truly a fantastic, relaxing time.

Well.  The only NON-relaxing part was when I found out that the package of baby things that I had sent the week before hadn't been delivered.  Then it turned out that it had been delivered, but WHERE???  There were a couple of streets with similar names so we did some investigating and left a note at this kind of creepy-looking house.  The next day, I was just settling in for lunch salads with her mom and stepdad when the doorbell rang.  It was a guy...holding my package!  He had gotten my note and brought it over to the correct address.  Turns out his wife was also expecting a baby, and they were getting stuff in the mail too so when they got the box they opened it without looking.  When they opened the box and discovered girly stuff they were like "What the hell?"  They were kind enough to return it, and I won't be spending countless hours knitting things that I had already made and cursing the Post Office.

I came home to a clean house, and not only did the kids behave for Daddy, Daddy had time to move the desk to our new office!  AND set up our new TV stand!  Everything looks great.

Tomorrow it's back to the daily grind.  I'm not looking forward to it, I'm still visualizing the Gulf of Mexico, palm trees and good food and friends who really are family.  But it is good to be home with Brian and my boys!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Knits for Heather's Baby

My friend Heather is expecting a baby in February/March.  And I am knitting up a STORM for her!  It's going to be kind of like the Yarn Harlot's baby pile for her friend.  (If you follow her blog, you know what I am talking about.)  Since I can't do what she did and crank out an item a day towards Heather's due date, I am just working on things as I pick them out. 

Why am I doing this......well, because Heather is my oldest friend.  Honestly, she's like a sister to me.  We used to play house with our Cabbage Patch Kids together, we endured junior high together, graduated from HS together, and guess what...we're still sharing life's ups and downs together!  We have a 27-year old friendship, from second grade to today.  And now it's a long-distance relationship because she moved to Florida last year.  So yes, I am knitting stuff for  a baby that is going to be living in Florida.  It's tough to choose knits for a sunshine baby.  But they ARE out there.  And babies need a little warmth from the air conditioning in the Sunshine State.  Reason #2 for these knits is because I am a sucker when it comes to making things for girls.  I love making girly baby things! 

First up:  the Big Bad Baby Blanket from Stitch n Bitch.  This pattern gave me a hard time last year, and I just knew that I would want to do it again and show it who's boss.  And I did!  Even a wayward glass of Pepsi couldn't get in my way.  The blanket is blue and white because the first ultrasound hinted at Baby being a boy.  But you know what....baby girls can love blue, too!

Next up is a Sleep Sack for the little lady.  I chose pink, white and green acrylics from my stash, because acrylic is easy care for laundry.   I love these colors together, kind of like a candy stripe.  The buttons on the bottom make it so you can change Baby's diaper without taking off the cozy sack.  Ingenious of the patternmaker, no?  :)

And of course, a sweet little baby sweater.  This is the "Threes" Cardigan, which I nicknamed "Three's Company."  Because Baby will make three, although a different "three" than the TV show was all about!  It's purple cotton yarn, which is perfect for a Florida Baby.

Last but not least, a cotton lace hat.

Can't wait to meet you, Miss M!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Wake-Up Call

Nothing good comes out of a morning that had you going to bed late the night before, because you couldn't fall asleep.  Adding a toddler crying outside your bedroom door at 4AM, bringing the toddler back to his bed, only to have his older brother fly into your room a few minutes later and crash the bedroom door against the wall, causing you to jump and strain your neck?  Pure chaos. 

We finally got the Big Kid settled, on our bedroom floor.  When he comes in like that and is scared because of nightmares, there's no successful "putting him back to bed."  I know that this phase won't last forever.  (I'm repeating "This too shall pass" right now at this morning hour, at the ungodly 4AM rush I was likely thinking something along the lines of four letter words)  

No sooner do we have him settled, I hear a little cough.  Brian sighs and says "Who's coughing?"  He was really hoping that it was me, but alas, it was not.  I open the bedroom door and there's Sean, lockedin a staring contest with the door.  This is a losing battle, and I need some more sleep, we all do!  I get his little blankie and bring him back, settling him down on the floor next to his brother.  He bursts into tears and I point to his brother and say "Look!  Bubby is sleeping right next to you."  He glances over and, reassured by the presence of his big brother, puts his fingers in his mouth and falls fast asleep.

Brian and I were like the walking dead today, neither one of us could get out of our own way.  It was definitely a "more than two cups of coffee" kind of morning.  But when I woke up and stepped over two sleeping boys, they looked so precious.  And THAT is what I choose to remember about the whole ordeal.  :)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Here's an Oxymoron for You

#79:  Replace the kitchen trash can with a fancy Simple Human one.

This blog post is brought to you by an oxymoron:  "Wow, that's a really pretty trash can!"

But it is.  I can't help saying it, it's really pretty!  (Yes, I'm aware that I'm posting about a TRASH CAN and am excited about it!)

When looking at photos that I've taken I always can't help but notice the ugly, gross white trash can in the background.  My eye is drawn to it instantly, and I'm always thinking "ugh, I should've moved that thing before I took the picture!"  We've tried re-arranging the kitchen but the spot that it's in is pretty much the only spot it fits.

The new trash can opens with a step of your foot, and you can lock it open.  And the best part of all?  Brushed stainless steel, meaning NO fingerprints.  Will and Sean gave it their best shot when we got it out of the box and it seems to be holding up.  Which is definitely an improvement over the old one.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Little Boy Bed!

As you can see, someone was VERY excited for his "little boy bed!"  Last night was Sean's first night both in a toddler bed and sharing a room with his Bubby.  Will even made a "Welcome Sean!" sign so that Sean would feel at home in his new bed.  (Never mind he can't read....he did enjoy kicking it like crazy.)  

So, how did he sleep?  Eh.....it could have been better.  For one thing, he's not used to having so much freedom.  He must've jumped out of bed and ran around the kitchen about fifty times!  Will came out a few times too, to let us know that Sean had climbed into bed with him.  Both boys didn't go to sleep til about midnight last night, so I see naps in the day today.  I'm really glad that we decided to try this on a weekend.  

Time for some Soup

Working on #71 of the Day Zero List:  Make four different kinds of soup from scratch.

First soup:  Italian Wedding Soup.  Check it out on The Blue Plate Special.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

One Fun Saturday

Saturday....ahhhhhh.  It was a completely chaotic week and I wasn't sorry to have it end.  We all woke up around 8:30am, which is certainly sleeping in!  I am so lucky to have kids that like to sleep.  After a fantastic breakfast of omelettes and potatoes, we were looking for something to do to get out of the house for a bit.  Ikea!!!!

With Sean going into a toddler bed and the boys sharing a room, we'll be finding ourselves with an "extra" room. Look who's getting their office/craft room back!!  And by craft, I just mean yarn stash because under the desk is where it's stored.  We'll send the crib and changing table to the basement for now, take down the Winnie the Pooh border, re-paint the walls a summer sky blue (leftovers from the nursery) and move the desk in there.  Then with the desk out of the family room, we'll be able to turn the whole room into a playroom.  Which is perfect, because that's pretty much what it is already.  Perhaps a little more space can make it so all of these toys are easier to organize.  A Mom can dream, right?  :)

So to Ikea we went, and spent a few hours looking at storage solutions.  We ended up purchasing a new TV stand with lots of storage, and a bookcase.  And all of it was way too big to fit into our car with the boys and their carseats, not to mention the double stroller too.  So it's all being shipped tomorrow.  

After Ikea the boys fell asleep in the car, and Brian suggested that we stop at this place that has cup singles for Keurig machines.  We recently became the owners of a secondhand Keurig, after mulling it over for some time.  Neither of us had ever heard of this place and were pretty intrigued.  As we pulled up in front of the plaza, I went absolutely bonkers.  Not only was there the coffee place, it was next door to a yarn shop!!!!!!  Brian wasn't entirely pleased to stay in the car with the two sleeping princes, but he was a good sport about it.  For his efforts I brought him a cup of coffee, and we got a whole bunch of new coffee cup singles for our Keurig.  The yarn shop was cute, small but lots of gorgeous yarns.  I came out with a couple of skeins to make a cabled winter headband for myself and a hat for Hubby.

I'd defintiely say that our weekend of "Nothing" is certainly off to a good start.  And mine is going to be three days!

Friday, January 13, 2012

A Weekend of "Nothing"

In looking at the calendar last week, we noted that we have nothing going on this weekend.  No birthday parties.  No appointments anywhere.  Just the four of us, no commitments.  As soon as it was mentioned, Brian was quick to get up and write "Nothing!" on both days on the calendar so we could keep it that way.

A weekend of "nothing."  That is so rare.  I'm sure we'll find a lot of "something" to do to fill it.  There will be sleeping late and some laziness in pajamas, and I suppose some laundry.  And I guess we'd like to eat next week so that makes a trip to the grocery store necessary.

But nothing.  I'm looking forward to it!  It's been a long week and we deserve a little "nothing."

Thursday, January 12, 2012

There's Always One More....

Putting up Christmas decorations is exciting.  You're full of anticipation, and excited to see the things that celebrate the holiday.  By the time Christmas is over, you want to take it down because you're a little sick of looking at it and kind of just want your living room back.  It's also a well-known fact that for however much time it took to decorate your house for the holidays, multiply that by two and that's how long it's going to take to get it down and put away.

And in our case, after the holidays are over we always find at least ONE thing that we forgot to take down or put away.  Say hello to this year's item, spotted right before Sean's birthday celebration this past weekend:

A fabric wreath, above the family room TV.  Ah well.  January 8th to find the item is actually not bad, usually it's closer to Valentine's Day.  However, this probably means that there's another thing that I just haven't spotted yet.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Dinner!

It's not often the camera gets turned on Crafty Mama.  Enjoying Hubby's bacon Brussels sprouts after a long day's work.  Mmmmmmm.  (You'll just have to trust me....the Brussels sprouts were there!)  I'm so lucky to be married to a man with many wonderful qualities, one being that he's an incredible cook.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Happy Second Birthday, Sean!

Happy Birthday, Seanie!  Mommy, Daddy and Bubby love you so very much.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Sayanora, Vera

First Day Zero Item Completed:  #20:  Trade In Old, Faded Purse for Something New and Swanky

I'm very picky about purses, and I don't buy them often.  When making my Day Zero List it occurred to me that I haven't purchased a purse since Will was a baby.  The purse on the left is my old purse, it's a black Vera Bradley bag that I didn't buy at all, I won it in a raffle WHEN Will was a baby.  Yes....five years of motherhood and this purse has been everywhere.  It shows it too, the top is faded out, there's dog hair embedded in the zipper that I can't get out and it's just tired-looking.  So when I went to Kohl's today with some returns and found myself with  store credit, I knew just what I was going to do.

Yes, the list item says "swanky new purse."  Swanky means different things to different people.  I'm a classic, "Black Purse in All Season" kind of girl, so branching out into a silver leather bag is pretty big for me.  I actually hemmed and hawed between silver and plum, but silver is more neutral and will go with more.

Also as a side note:  I still had about $20 of store credit after the purchase of said silver bag.  After wandering around the store for about an hour, I didn't see anything that I had to have.  So I went back into the purse section and bought a black purse as well.  It was a great sale, and a new black purse as well was tough to pass up.  Like I said, I'm a "classic black" kind of girl.  Patterns are hard to break!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Bittersweet Day

It's the end of an era and a big day of growing up in this house:  First, Will is going to kindergarten full-time next year!  Second (and sad):  it's the last night of a baby crib in use in our home.

Will was selected in the lottery for full-day kindergarten!  Hubby and I both stalked the online link this afternoon to find out, we were going to start the weekend elated or depressed?  ELATED!!!  Just knowing that come September, that we won't be scrambling to make afternoon kindergarten work with our schedule, that is a real stress-reliever!

It's also a day of sadness, though bittersweet.  The boys have been bunking together in Sean's little room the past few nights, with Sean in the crib and Will in a sleeping bag on the floor.  We'd been trying a little experiment, and it turns out that Will sleeps better when he's not alone.  He never really "took" to his room on the other side of the house, and is much happier with his little brother.  And Sean doesn't seem to need to "cry it out" as much with his "Bubby" in the same room.  But the nursery is tiny with the two of them in it, and Sean really needs to get into a toddler bed.  I was in a bit of denial, that my "baby" is almost two and getting big.  But even I couldn't ignore the inevitable when I saw him practically climb into the crib tonight!  So tomorrow Brian will bring up the "little boy bed" from the basement and we'll start practicing the two of them sleeping in "Bubby's" bigger room.

The crazy thing is, I thought it would be easier with a second child, transitioning them to a bed.  Turns out I'm just as sad and sentimental as the first time.  Surprise!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Lottery Week

It's kind of an exciting week....lottery week!  Today was the housing lottery for my new building.  76 applications, 30 brand-new apartments.  So in other words....30 thrilled people and 46 well, not so thrilled.  46 people chilling on a waiting list.  That means that the initial application period is now over.  Once I get all of these people entered into the computer, it's all about calls, scheduling interviews, schlepping from my current building to the new one, yada yada yada.  (And I thought I didn't like Seinfeld.  Humph!)  As much work as it is going to be, it's gonna be great.  Why?  Because I got a tour of the building today!!  Oh my word, it is a sight.  I feel like *I* played the lottery, and I'm taking home the jackpot.  Everything is brand spanking new, the office is spacious and has built-in cabinets and file drawers, it's in a nice neighborhood, lots of well-lit parking....wow.  I took cabinets and file drawers for granted when I had them, it's been a couple of years and my files have lived out of boxes and a crappy cabinet from Craigslist.  Stuffing all of my tenant files in drawers has been nothing short of mayhem.  "Will Crafty Mama lose a finger while filing today?  Tune in on the Adventures of Crafty Mama!" *

Tomorrow is a lottery of a different kind:  Will's Kindergarten Lottery.  Honestly, I had kind of forgotten all about it, til my husband reminded me.  (that makes me really glad that the paperwork was sent back the day after we received it.  Good call on my part!)    We're  crossing fingers and toes over here, hoping the Big Kid gets into full-day kindergarten next year.  Or that will be another adventure altogether.

*Probably not, since I haven't filed since October, and that was only because there was a power outage.  But this week the entire company's laptop users were left with no computer access, so I did some filing.  Oh the horror!  (shudder)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Fine Line Between Love and Hate

I'm inspired by a post today from a blog that I like to read called The Yarnista.  She writes of things that she simultaneously loves/hates.  So here's mine:

--Fountain Pens.  I love how smoothly that they write.  I hate how much they leak.

--Separate shampoo and conditioner:  love the smoothness and softness of my hair for what is a few extra minutes in the shower.  Hate that it takes precious extra minutes to pull off.  (I guess I can add "highlights" to the same list.  Love the look, hate the upkeep!)

--The TV Show "Criminal Minds."  A lot of cringe-worthy cases and creepy, sadistic storylines.  I don't enjoy scaring the bejezus out of myself.  But I love it, I always want to know whodunnit, and the writing is incredible.  Just make sure to save a half-hour comedy in the DVR queue for afterwards.

--The "Stephanie Plum" novels by Janet Evanovich.  So cheesy.  Cheezy, even.  But cheese is delicious.  The past few have brought disappointment, but I have, have, HAVE to know how it ends.  And more importantly, Morelli or Ranger?  Frankly, I'm a Morelli girl.  Though Ranger has his finer points.  (And yes, I am going to see Katherine Heigl in "One for the Money."  That was the first book and IMHO, the best one of the bunch.  Probably wait for it to come to Redbox.)

--Bedtime.  As in my bedtime.  I hate to see my "quiet time,"  what little there is of it, come to an end.  I fight it, not giving in til I've read the same book page twice or start to make knitting mistakes.  Once I'm there though, I'm happy to be there.

G'Night All!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A Chalky Start

The first day of the year is always a slow, lazy one.  I stay in my pj's until the afternoon, and I putter.  A little knitting, some TV time with the boys, or perhaps even a little "sit and do nothing" time.  But we had to cure some cabin fever and it was pretty nice out for a January day in New England, so we went off to do some shopping.  When we got home, the boys still had some energy to burn.  So hey, why not run around the backyard for a little bit?

And if there's sidewalk chalk too, then that's great.  :)