Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Tale of Two Hats

I'm starting to realize that hats may be my favorite thing to make.  They're stylish, fun, and quick off the needles.

I finished this hat a while ago, but just gave it to the recipient on Friday night.  My friend Michael requested a hat that he could wear while running, warm with a hole in the back for his ponytail.  He's currently training for a marathon, and it's been chilly the past couple of weeks so I wanted to get it to him ASAP.  It came out perfectly.   AND I had the wool in my yarn stash so no shopping outside of my home required.

Next, a sun hat for my friend Heather's baby.  Maddie is a Florida baby, so you know that she needs a wardrobe of cute sun hats!  :)  This was an extremely quick knit, coming together in about a day and a half.  Had I had a few hours together to just sit and knit, I probably could have knocked it out in an afternoon.  It's made of washable cotton, and the more you wash it the softer it gets.  So niece may need one, too!

Next up:  a few more hats for Stitches from the Heart for my June shipment (I'm up to 24 right now, and a blanket too)  I have another friend expecting a baby in July and I've picked out the sweetest baby sweater pattern:

This will be done in white cotton and I haven't decided on buttons just yet.    (Design is "Kaitlyn" by Lenore Hopkins)

Also:  I am almost finished with the body of MY sweater, the Spring Cardigan.  My goal is to finish before the Webs Tent Sale on May 19th, so I can pick out buttons from Webs' fantastic collection.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Repeat Offender

I had a chance to go out with my friend Tracy last night, while Brian stayed home with the kiddos.  (Thank goodness for girlfriends and old movies!)  When I got home around 11, Brian seemed perplexed.  When I asked how the kids had been, he told me about Sean's new habit:  to repeat everything over and over.  Sentences, repeat!

This morning, we dropped off Hubby's car for repairs (long, frustrating, crappy story, nevermind.)  When we came home, I discovered that Joey had jumped up on the windowsill to peek out of the curtains at the passers-by.  I'm pretty sure that Joey was a cat in a previous life, he certainly acts like one sometimes.  So, in his usual "jump" to the window, he knocked over my knitting lamp.  My knitting lamp that clips to the windowsill, and has an expensive specialty bulb that's a pain in the butt to replace.  Luckily the lamp was fine.  I sighed, looking at the dog and said "Oh, Joe-Joe, what did you do while we were out?"  Sean points and said "Joe-Joe did it!  Lamp!"  And for the next hour he kept repeating it like a broken record:  "Joe-Joe Did it!  Lamp!  Mommy??  Joe-Joe did it!  LAMP!!!"

Later on we're in the children's room at the library.  I'm picking out books, and Will is playing with the computer.  Brian's corraling Sean from running all over the place, and all Seanie wants to do is jump out from behind bookcases and yell "Surprise!!!"  Or run up to Mommy and yell Suprise, Mommy!  He's chock full of energy for someone who hasn't had much of a nap today.  He's kind of like my iPod, set to repeat.

It is the cutest, most annoying thing.  However, as Brian admits now, it's pretty hilarious.  Now that there's someone else to hear it and laugh about it together.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

(Not so) Wordless Wednesday: Genuine Bliss

Flipping thru some photos on our computer, I found this gem:  Brian holding Will for the first time at the hospital shortly after he was born. (October, 2006)  Look at that proud smile, despite being up 40+ hours with me, that is one beamin' Daddy!  This will forever be one of my favorite photos of our family history.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Northern Lights Spectacular

The nightly news takes my breath away often, usually because of horrible tragedies.  In all honestly, that's why I stopped watching a long time ago.  But tonight I paused briefly on the News at 10, and I'm so glad that I did.  There was a video  of the Northern Lights, in Minnesota.  Just a glimpse and I was completely awestruck.  I can't even imagine what it would be like to see that in person.

In fact, I think that just made my bucket list.  To see the Northern Lights, up close and personal.  I think that's as close as one can get to Heaven without their feet leaving the ground.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Time for Some Movies

I think that it's high time to start working on # 49 of my Day Zero List:

49.  Watch 5 movies from the American Film Institute’s Top 100 list
I realized today that I actually have TWO movie-related items, this one and to watch "5 Classic Movies."  I suppose in a way, completing #49 would complete the "classic movies" item as well.  But that would be cheating, so there will be 5 classic movies as well.  I adore movies, I just don't take the time to watch them.  Instead, at night I will sit and watch crap TV or reruns of something that I have seen a hundred times in order to have something on in the background while I knit.  Rubbish, I say.  Is there some sort of law that says I can't stop a movie halfway through and finish it the next night?  No, I didn't think so.

So here are the five movies from the AFI's Top 100 list that I have chosen for viewing:

1.  The Godfather (1972)
2.  Citizen Kane (1941)
3.  Annie Hall (1977)
4.  Cabaret  (1972)
5.  One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest  (1975)

I couldn't really tell you what made me decide to pick these five movies out of a list.  Well, I read the summaries of several and these five intrigued me.  I also asked my father for advice, since he's a movie buff.  He absolutely insisted that I had to watch The Godfather, since it's one of his favorites.  He actually was shocked that I hadn't seen it yet!  
We'd cancelled our DVD program with Netflix a while ago, since we hadn't been watching the discs, opting to stick with the streaming version over the Wii.  No classics over the Wii streaming though, and the library didn't have any of the movies on the list.  (Surprising, that's the first time the library's let me down.)  So I've gone and upgraded our plan again to start sending one disc at a time.  By random choice, Citizen Kane is on it's way!

Friday, April 20, 2012

A Cheerful Stack

One of the many nice things about knitting little things for charity is that they have a tendency to pile up.  Right now this pile is sitting on the desk, three baby hats and  a pair of mittens.  I smile every time that I come into the room, they're an instant mood-brightener.  I let them pile up over there until they're threatening to take over that side of the desk, and then they get sorted in the closet bins.  That, and I make these mostly from scraps left over from other projects.  The pink, white and yellow ombre is from a baby sweater that I just finished.   The green is from a baby blanket that was stripes of purple, green and white.  And the purple hat and pair of mittens on the bottom were leftovers from several things, including a baby sleep sack and a cabled hat for myself.

I love knitting for charity, it gives me such joy.  And with that joy, I am happy to announce that I have completed NINETY baby hats that have been donated to Stitches from the Heart.  (well, not all at once.  I did fifty to commemorate Sean's first birthday, and that took the better part of a year.)  The mittens are a little service project that I whipped up, to see how many pairs of mittens that I could come up with in a year's time.  (tally as of today:  21)  It just gives me that thrilled feeling, that I'm making the world a warmer place for babies and kids.  

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: "Hey, Good Lookin'!"

Sean, age 2.  (or 27 months, whichever you prefer.)  As always, Joey works his way into the photo, too.  (Joey:  Age 10 years.)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Shaping Up

I've been working on this sweater for a little while now, and last night was the A-ha! moment.  The moment where it's not looking like a pile of knitted rows and actually starting to look like a sweater!  I started shaping the waist last night and it's looking good.   This is a easy, straightforward pattern that I am really enjoying.

Another thing that I'm enjoying right now:  startitis.  I've started a baby sweater for a baby's first birthday in November.  Also on the needles:  a floppy brimmed sunhat for my best friend's baby down in Florida.  (A Florida baby needs sunhats, even though I know she got some for her shower she can always use more!)  AND the 21st pair of mittens for Knit for Boston.  I guess I've been pretty busy lately.  :)  Truth be told, I'm also trying to use up some yarn in my stash so that I can make room for new stash next month.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday the 13th

On tap for this Friday the 13th:

-Started tours of the new building for potential residents yesterday.  It's kind of fun taking people through a brand new building, showing them where they're going to live.  Oohs and aahs over closet space and the "brand spanking newness" of everything.    Two more tours today.

-My poor Sean has a bug.  Nothing serious, just a fever that doesn't seem to want to go away.  Hubby and I took turns staying home yesterday, he went to work in the morning and I went in the afternoon.  Today he is getting some "Nana and Papa time" and hopefully will be on the way to his normal self.  Poor kid.  :(

-Dinner with an old friend that I haven't seen in a few years.  I'm really excited!  Topped off with a spa reservation tomorrow for a massage and facial.  Ahhhh.....if Sean felt better this would be the perfect start of the weekend.

-Last but not least:  babies, babies everywhere!  There's a new bumper crop of babies to knit for in the upcoming months, three of my friends are due in 2012. Goodness, I love knitting for babies.  I've got patterns and yarn to peruse, people!    Still working on that shopping list for the upcoming Tent Sale at Webs next month, and it's growing.  :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


I usually pride myself on my memory.  Lately though, "the old gray mare, she 'aint what she used to be."

Forgot my phone at work the other night.  I didn't even bother going back to get it.  It kind of was a freeing feeling in a way, not responding to every beep and chirp.  And yesterday, I grabbed my bank deposit slips, intending to stop there after an appointment at the new place for furniture.  (I love my office furniture order.  Not the furniture itself, but the ORDER.  Just one more step closer....19 days from today I'll hopefully be sitting at a desk, signing leases!!)  Anyway, after the appointment I drove to the bank.  Guess who left the deposits on her desk back at the other office?  And even better:  I forgot that this Monday is a holiday in Massachusetts, it's Patriot's Day.  Or "Marathon Monday" as some people call it.  That's right, people get to stay home because of the Boston Marathon.  I have fond memories of watching the marathon come through Framingham with my family, getting up early with my dad and handing out orange slices to the runners as they pass thru downtown.  But I haven't done that since I was a little girl....and totally forgot that it's this Monday.  So now I have more work for myself, calling and cancelling a bunch of appointments.  Sheesh.  If it wasn't for the fact that there's no school or daycare, I'd probably just head into work to save myself the trouble.  But Hubby doesn't have the day off (sorry dear) so I am needed at home to spend the day with the kiddos.

I know that this is a sign of doing too much, but right now there's nothing I can do to stop doing as much as I am doing.  And as April wears along, it's only going to get worse.  But at least there's an end in sight!  A light at the end of the tunnel, and I'm pretty sure that it's not the train.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Alternate Plans

Totally neglected housework today.  No bathrooms got cleaned, laundry done or cleaning the family room.  Instead, I:

-allowed the boys to fingerpaint in the kitchen

-took Will to the library, to pick up more books by Mo Willems.  He's loving the "Pigeon" series.  And truth be told, I'm loving them too.

-perused "Angry Birds" patterns on Ravelry for my obsessed son.  Not sure I'm actually going to cast on something "Angry Birds" but do have to admit, having Will wax poetic about the "Black Bird" hat that his friend Patrick has that his Nonni made him, I'm intrigued.  Especially when he said that he and Patrick could have puppet shows with their heads if he had an Angry Birds hat.

-made tentative plans for sushi with an old friend that I haven't seen in a few years.

-chided Sean for getting into my jewelry box, throwing toys, turning lights on and off and developing selective hearing.  The "terrible twos" are alive and well in this house.

-Also got cuddles, hugs and kisses from the same Sean.  Two year olds are also very sweet.

-watched "Princess and the Frog" with the kids.  what a great Disney movie, I really enjoyed it.  It wasn't the typical "damsel in distress" kind of movie that gets saved by the Prince.

-Finally, I knitted.  I knit a lot today.  In fact, I'm on the fourth skein of yarn for my Spring Cardigan.  And now that I've turned a corner, I'm really enjoying the pattern.  here is my progress so far, it doesn't look like much but trust me, it is!

Later on will be a bit of work....baths for the kids, cleanup after dinner, and whatever else life throws our way.  Today though, was a pretty good day.  It's good to toss off your chore list once in a while.

Friday, April 6, 2012

A Long Week

Oh, I don't think I've been so happy to see a Friday for awhile!  It's been one of "those weeks" and I know a lot of other people out there are letting out a collective sigh of relief.  The week after traveling on a weekend (PA last weekend) is always tough.  Even though Hubby and I went by ourselves this time, getting back on Sunday and the hustle n bustle of weekend chores cram-jammed into a few hours plus unpacking is a downer to say the least.

In this week:

- I had a really big eviction case yesterday.  And although the outcome isn't perfect, I still emerge victorious.  I'm also hoping that it's the last time I see the inside of the courthouse for some time.   And on that note...24 days to go til April 30th!

-Will's preschool lost his jacket.  Poor kid has been wearing a sweatshirt to school in the mornings.  Nobody seems to have any idea where it may be, and I'm irritated but it's not worth getting upset about.  It was last year's jacket and getting  tight.  So this weekend will bring a new jacket for him.  I'm hoping to brave the library and Target with both kids tomorrow...wish me luck!  :)

Plus, it's Easter weekend!  Dinner will be at my Mom and Dad's, and we have a fabulous Easter egg hunt planned in their backyard.  Of course, this means that there's eggs to stuff (we're not dyeing eggs til next year...too messy  and chaotic at age 2.  That's a lesson I learned with the first son!)  and some errands tomorrow.

Happy Easter to Everyone  :)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Confessions of a Pinterest Junkie

I'll say it, loud and proud:  I love Pinterest!

I  had heard about Pinterest a while ago, and I resisted at first.  Friends that started using it first started saying how addictive the site was.  Then, when I first joined I didn't really understand the concept of it, but basically it's this:  Pinterest is a website that you look at things like recipes, clothing, decoration and style articles, etc.  When you like something you "pin it"  (i.e. save) to your boards.  You can pin pretty much anything.  For example, I am a sucker for recipes, I have them broken into categories.  (Breakfast ideas, favorite recipes and sweets)  I also have categories for cleaning ideas, things to do with the kids, knitting and yarn (of course) one for outdoor stuff and yet another for holiday ideas.  It sure beats filling up the bookmarks on my computer!  Everything is on one website and I can view it anywhere.

I don't just want to "pin" stuff blindly anymore, though.  In my quest to conquer clutter (both online as well as in real life)  I want to start *doing* some of these things.  So in the spirit of doing what I pin, next week's menu is going to feature two recipes from Pinterest.  That seems like a pretty good place to start.

Monday, April 2, 2012

What you talking about, Seanie?

At Sean's 2 year physical, the doctor expressed some concern that he wasn't saying many two-word sentences. Not overly concerned, mind you....but concerned.  He said that unless he was in because he was sick, he wouldn't see him again until his 3year visit, and 3 is the cutoff for early intervention.  So he said for us to be vigilant and to call him if we thought that his speech wasn't progressing.

I'm happy to say that I think we'll be OK, because Sean seems to have a lot more to say.  New words in the past month:  awesome, nummies (gummy snacks) and today's "oopsie Daisy!"  I asked him last night what he wanted for dessert and he said "Thomas nummies, Mommy!"  I was so happy, I let him carry around the box.  He is very much a second child, and his older brother talks a lot for him.  Slowly though, he's learning to speak his mind.

Another thing:  we all want our kids to progress.  Still, when they stop saying words the wrong way and go to the right pronounciation, sometimes it's just sad!  I'm going to miss him calling trains "Chi Chi's."  :)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Day Zero Check-In

I've been at my Day Zero list for about four months now. am I doing??

As of today, there are 3 items completed, and 3 items partially completed.  I've totally bombed on the whole "flossing my teeth for a month" thing twice now.  It might've been nice to say I was doing it at my next appointment and not be lying, for a change!  We've changed banks (no more fees!) and I think I just heard my passport expire.  But what's going to be my next item?  I've considered a bunch of them, like cleaning out the ol' closet or watching some classic movies.

Hmmmm.  I'm not going to be at my current job much longer.  As a matter of fact, it's looking like I will permanently be at my new place by the end of April.  Being a bit of a cynic, I'm not breaking out the champagne just yet.  HOWEVER, I have set forth plans to celebrate the end of that chapter with a spa day for myself.  :)  Also, the window of opportunity to eat at a Spanish restaurant and speak no English while there, the opportunity for that will be much better over the next 30 days as there is a nice place down the street from work.  I have sweater patterns picked for my family members, and two of them even have yarn assigned from my almighty stash.  I've visited one local yarn shop, and even though I went to a gorgeous yarn shop yesterday that I had never been to, it's in New Hope PA, and not at all local.  So I'd say overall, I'm doing rather well.

What was I doing in New Hope, you say?  Brian's younger brother got married over the weekend, and we went down for the wedding, sans children.  (They had a nice weekend with quality Nana time)  The wedding was gorgeous, the new Mr. and Mrs. were absolutely smashing and it was one of the prettiest weddings I had ever seen.  No pics though, so you'll just have to take my word for it.  :)