Saturday, September 28, 2013

Family Apple Picking Day

It wouldn't be fall without some apple picking!

We tried a new orchard this year.  Still love the old place but it's ridiculously busy there on Saturdays and this one was just over the line in the next town.  And this one not only had apples n' pumpkins (which I had no more cash for, maybe another time) there was a KID'S FESTIVAL going on!  "train" rides, rock climbing, a big slide, a petting!

 Playing checkers...they loved stacking the big pieces. little hams.  Well, my cow and my horse, anyway!

 Sean getting ready to ride the "Moo-Choo" train.  Looked like fun!

 Will is all smiles.

 Me and my boys for our annual AppleFest Picture.  

 Who's that goofball with the apple eyes?

 These two have "Now do something silly!" down pat.

The Angry Birds shirts were a hit today...every little kid we encountered would point and exclaim "Red Bird!  Angry Bird!"

Brotherly love.  These two are growing up way too fast.  

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Big E!

31.  Attend a state fair(9/21/13)

if you want to get technical, I went to six states' fair.  The Big E is held in West Springfield, MA, for two weeks at the end of the summer to the beginning of the fall.  It represents all of New England:  Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode island.  It's HUGE! 

I hadn't been in about 12-13 years and the kids of course had never been.  We got there still in the morning but there were plenty of people there already.  It was about a half-mile walk to the main gate and there was plenty of prime people-watching.  We saw cows and chickens and pigs, demonstrations of floor cleaners, pet a donkey, a duck and some wily goats in the petting zoo, and took a trip down a wild slide on burlap bags.  Will got to ride a pony!   We giggled over "Deep-fried Jelly beans" and "deep-fried butter balls."  Butter, really??  We were stymied by "Deep-Fried Kool-Aid but were happy to polish off a plate of fried dough. We went under the crafts tent and we tried to look in all of the houses on "Avenue of the States."  By then there was a little drizzly rain so everyone had the same idea that we had:  head indoors!  Since it was just sprinkling, we headed to the Midway to ride some rides.  Sean begged to go on the Ferris Wheel (that kid has no fear of heights) and I would've been glad to take him but he didn't make the height requirement.  So Daddy and I each took a kid and agreed to meet up at the photo booth later.  However....before "later" came it began to rain.  Big sheets of sideways rain, huge drops and Sean and I got drenched.  At first I wasn't pleased but that allowed me to cross this item off the list:

28.  let the boys splash and play in puddles(9/21/13

Sean was thrilled to stomp in every puddle that he could get to!  I hope his sneakers dry out.  

Soaked and two tired kiddos later, we decided to call it a day.  As we were walking out, wouldn't you know it...the sun started to shine and warm everyone up.  I, however, took off my shoes and soaking wet socks for the ride home.  

It was a fun day and I'm glad we went.  Maybe we can try it again in a couple of years.  

Thursday, September 19, 2013

No Interventions, Yet

Reason #2,988 of why my husband rocks.  Not only did he install the shelves while I was at Knit Meetup last night, he didn't give me any flak about how much yarn I have.  Nope...the only comment he made was "Honey, you have enough to open your own small yarn shop."  But he doesn't really bat an eyelash over it.  He's used to it.  We've been together a long time and he's quite supportive of my yarn habit.  It's one of the many reasons why I'm glad that we've been together fifteen years.    A friend of mine recently got out of a relationship and started dating someone new.  She really likes the guy and he sounds great.  He even offered to take her to a yarn shop when they were out one day...and she said no thanks.  At first I was like "You said what??"  But she had a good point:  You don't reveal that much "crazy" at the beginning of a relationship!  :)

I'm with the Yarn Harlot on this concept of "stash."  I used to feel a bit guilty about it and well, now I don't.  I'm particularly proud of it, I could sit in here for hours and sort thru the bins, coming up with ideas.  If I was a painter, you'd expect brushes and paint.  A musician, sheet music and instruments.  I'm a knitter.  I have a crapload of yarn.  AND I knit twelve miles last year, and ten miles the year before that.  Not going to break the record this year, I'm just under seven miles.  I'm a big knitting geek, figuring all that out.  :)    Every one of those bins on the top shelf are full.  And so are the bags, the drawers, etc.  It's been a long time coming, in creating this kind of stash.  And truthfully, I really like it.  Very much.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Little Baby Socks

Over the weekend we tackled our next two projects...organization, and finally getting back to the unpacking!   We've been "Unpacking" since we moved in....but there's still boxes lurking around.  The office and family room are terrible for both unpacking and organization.  That's another weekend all by itself.   The boys' bedroom was pretty bad and seemed like a natural starting place.  A trip to Home Depot and $140 later, Brian was ready to install a closet organizer.  And when I came back from shopping at Walmart alone (bliss I tell you....a real mini-vacation) the job was done and things were (mostly) put away.  The best part about this closet organizer is that with a couple more wall mounts, Brian can use the leftovers and put some shelves in the craft room closet as well.  Hear that?  That's the sound of WIN WIN!  :)

I started to go through the pile of "what to do with this stuff??" things.  Random toys, an orphaned boot, and a big shopping bag of socks.  Just socks. I remember towards the end of packing up Edgemere, it was panic time.  And instead of going through some of the clothes I just started bagging up crap and throwing it in boxes, in true "That's 'Future Crafty Mama's Problem."  Well, Future Crafty Mama has arrived as present Crafty Mama, and this is a lot of crap to go through.  I thought for a minute about chucking the bag of socks, but that seemed wasteful.  I mean, a lot of them no longer fit the boys but what if there was something good in there?  What's that Chinese proverb about looking in the pot before you give it away?

So I salvaged one pair of socks that my mom knit Sean.  Handknits don't get given away to just anyone if they don't no no. Later on I found two pairs of itty-bitty blue baby socks in the master bathroom.  (Don't ask me how they got there.  I don't know.)

I cannot bear to get rid of these socks.    Hubby and I decided some time ago that we're not having any more children.  This is it.  We've looked around the dining room table and everyone that's "supposed" to be here, is here.  People ask me "How do you know?"  You just do.  I go to other people's baby showers and ooh and aah, but don't get a hankering to have another.  When I get a chance to hold a baby and smell their head for that fresh, just-shampooed baby smell, I relish it.  But it doesn't leave me wanting like it used to.  And when I get to knit for a baby, I'm over the moon!  Especially if it's a girl--being a mom of two boys will do that to you.

My boys are bigger now.  I've got one that's almost seven.  Seven!  I love talking about Harry Potter with him and making jokes and big plans.  He's creative in ways that I'm not and sensitive and smart.  My little one will be four in January.  That REALLY blows my mind.  He's sweet and full of mischief, and hugs and kisses too.  They're all I've ever needed and I am so proud to be their Mom.

Still....those baby socks.  Those sweet little baby reminders.  Their new home is my jewelry box, that feels like where they belong.  I don't want to part with them, they remind me that these big boys were babies once and fit in those little socks and refused to keep them on.      

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Snakeskin--oh my!

Ok.  I'm cool with the fact that I must live in harmony with animals.

I understand that I need to co-exist with creepies, too.  Like spiders.  And as long as they stay outside, I leave them alone to do their thing.  They come inside and all bets are off!  (Though if I'm being totally honest....I call Hubby in to deal with them.  Bugs aren't my bag, baby.)

I've been doing a favor for the next door neighbor this week, watching his son in the morning before school and taking him and Will to the bus stop.  This morning we came down the stairs and "Jack" pointed out a molted snakeskin.  I thought he was making it up and said to myself "Nah....that's a tree root."

IT MOST CERTAINLY WAS NOT A TREE ROOT.  It was a 12-inch long molted snakeskin.  (No I did not measure it, I "eyeballed" it and that's what I'm coming up with.)    Seriously?  I know that it's most likely a harmless garter snake.  But yuck!!!!! ( Dude....we have woods in the back of the house!  Go back there to change your skin.  Could you please not toss your "laundry" next to my stairs?  I pick up enough dirty laundry, Mr. Snake.)  But again, being perfectly honest...there is no way in hell that I am picking it up.  I think you know who's going to end up with that job.  (Hubby...have I told you lately how much I love you?)

So there you go.  I now know that there's a snake living under my front stairs.  At least, that's where I THINK he is, and not knowing for sure is probably the worst part.  You can bet I'll never forget to close the garage door again, that is for damn sure.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Two Kids in School

Little guy started preschool today.  My how time flies!  It felt strange to be packing up a bag and a lunch for him.   We visited last week and he was a bit nervous, making sure that we were "just there to say hi, right?"  Daddy dropped him off this morning and I'm told that Sean handled it like a champ.  Right away he found some kids to play with, and there were no tears when Daddy left for work.  He knows that I'm picking him up, and I'm excited to hear how it went!

I don't know how or why my phone camera does this, but I think it's pretty cool.  I got Will to join in on some fun photos and it turns them into an animated GIF.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

A Little Showcase

So you already know that we moved this summer.  So let's see what else I was up to....knit-wise of course.  :)

 Hitchhiker.  My friend Maureen and I started this as a knit-a-long.  I call this "The Project I didn't mean to make" because I wasn't looking to cast on something else at the time!  But she fell in love with some Malabrigo sock yarn and well, when I saw the pattern I needed to make one, too.

 You may remember some time ago that I made a Virginia Shawl for myself in a dark pink/magenta colorway.  Well, my mother's middle name is Virginia, so I felt that she needed one, too.  I fell in love with this burnt orange colorway at the tent sale at Webs in May.  That happens to be one of her favorite colors.

 A razor shell lace scarf, for Will's afterschool and summer teacher, Miss Tripp.  This yarn was leftovers from a cowl a few years ago.  The pattern is from "One Skein Wonders."  I may go back and make another one for me someday.

Another "thing" that I jumped in and cast on.  I rarely buy knitting pattern books, I "test drive" them at the library instead.  This came out of "60 more baby knits," which is relatively new.  It was love at first sight....I ordered a copy on Amazon before I was even halfway through this sweet moss stitch cap.  This one is going to go to Stitches from the Heart in December.   

 Dishcloths!  Lately I'm a bit obsessed with them, and can't seem to make it out of Walmart without buying some more cotton to make more!  They will make great little Christmas pressies with a bottle of Meyer dish soap.  

Baby sweater and matching cap for my friend Jenny, who had her daughter S. on August 16th,.  I am pretty proud of how this turned out!

Lastly, I started a pair of adult-sized socks for little ol' me.  I haven't worked on them recently, as there's no deadline.

So what's next?  There's always something!  I've got a cowl for a Christmas gift and another for a birthday gift, a sweater for a little boy turning ONE this winter, and some things for my immediate family.  Also, I'm going to try something I've never done:  knitting a few things on commission.  I was approached twice in one day, for a brimmed hat and a toddler sweater.  Why not give it a shot?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Newness of it All

It's been a crazy week, with trying to get a routine down.  Even though we've been living here 2.5 months now, it all feels new again.  Will almost missed the bus yesterday, but luckily ran like heck to get there and the bus driver waited for him.  :)  I miss having the bus stop directly across the street from my house.  But, if he does miss the bus the school is at mile .75 of my 2.6 mile commute.  Not that I'm rooting for that, mind you.  He seems to be enjoying school for the most part.  He's back to being super-tired at night, and now there's a new thing called homework.  No arguments yet.

Next week we'll have something else new:  Seanie is starting preschool.  Can you believe it's that time already????  I certainly can't.  He will go two days per week, and tomorrow I am taking him there to check out the place.  Oh, I do hope it goes well!

How about one more new thing...  We've replaced the screamy dishwasher!  Hubby just finished hooking up the new one.  It only took three trips to Home Depot.  Any homeowner knows that at least two trips is customary.  

So we're off and running....without much time to get used to the "new" again.  We're getting there, though.  In the next few weeks we're bound to find a groove.  That's the hope, anyway.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Playing on the Lake

This past Labor Day weekend allowed me to cross one thing off the Day Zero List:

30.  go kayaking(8/31/13)

I honestly don't know why I haven't really tried this before!  My parents have a small cottage in Connecticut on a lake.  They love kayaking and have I believe four of them.  We went down to visit this weekend and I took out the smallest one.  At first it seemed hard but once my Dad adjusted the leg rails for my height, it was easier.  I went out at least three times, enjoying the movement on the lake, seeing turtles sunning themselves on top of the mud piles in the water.  As soon as the kayak would go by they'd all dive, then poke their heads up to see if I was gone.  

The boys love the water as well.  Brian took Will with him in a kayak, and I took Sean.  Sean smiled the whole time, and put his head on my chest and said "I love this.  And I love you, Mommy."  

Plus, Brian got to realize one of his goals this weekend, he rented a stand-up paddleboard.  It's kind of like kayaking but you stand up on a big surfboard-like contraption.  He did really well, only falling in the lake once.  Everyone else in the family except for me and Dad gave it a try as well.  I don't have very good balance on dry land, let alone a paddleboard.  My brother was like a natural, and my mother got the hang of it as well.  

It was a great weekend for water play, despite the drizzly rain and sometimes fog.  I can't wait to do it again!