12.28.2011

Making Things Again And Again And Again And Again...

You should probably know that when I like making something - I mean really like making something - I make it over and over and over again.

Case in point - itty, bitty sweater dresses.  Yeah, there are a couple of those laying around the house.

And dresses and tunics made based on Anna Maria Horner's Museum Tunic instructions.  Yeah, there are quite a few of those thrown around the house too.

And now you can add Sucky Thumb Mitts to that list because I've made yet another pair for O, although this time I made them with some leftover Debbie Bliss cashmerino (oh, how I love using up left over yarn). 


Again, I made the cuff and stockinette stitch portions a bit longer to add more coverage for the wrist and to fit her hand better.  And again I knit them on size 3 DPNs. 

And again I love them. 

Dare I say that they are the perfect little gloves for my kung fu master?


Or my zombie child?


Or for doing the chicken dance?


Yes, I dare say it.

12.27.2011

Christmas Recap in 5 Seconds or Less

Christmas Eve spent at the great-grandparent's house.



Where O was able to spend time with her favorite family member.


Christmas day spent at our house.


A morning full of opening presents and an afternoon full of spending time together.


The day after Christmas I spent in bed, after being so rudely woken up by the stomach bug that's been going around our house.  Needless to say, I was out of commission for the rest of the day.

Much love to my little munchkin who was an absolute angel for the whole day and to my husband who apparently makes an awesome nurse.

12.24.2011

Happy Holidays

A very happy holiday from our family to yours.


May your new year be filled with much health and happiness.

12.21.2011

Bad Mommy

Good mommy - in healthier, happier times

Well, it appears that we've been operating in survival mode around here lately.  Two weeks ago O came down with her first case of pink eye, which was fine except that trying to figure out who's going to stay home with the sick kiddo is a bit of a nightmare when you have two parents who work outside the home.  Then this Sunday we woke up in the middle of the night to a screaming child covered in throw-up (don't worry - no pictures were taken).  And while I was staying home with O on Monday, Ben came home sick in the middle of the day and proceeded to spend the entire day in bed.  Oh, and did I mention that it looks like O's pink eye is now back again for round two?

So between Ben and O being sick and my exhaustion at being woken up several times a night by an unhappy toddler, there has been some less than stellar parenting going on here.  Take Monday night when I turned to Ben and said "crap, I forgot to brush her teeth" and Ben responded by saying "Shhh, quiet.  She might hear you and want to brush her teeth."  That's right - we were afraid that our child would actually want to brush her teeth and then we would have to get out of bed to help her.  That's right.  We're awesome parents.

12.16.2011

Progress

This, my friends, is what progress looks like.

From this...


To this...


And from this...


To this...

24 weeks....wa-hoo!
Hello clean room!  Good-bye waist line!

12.14.2011

The Joys of Parenthood

I realize that there are many great joys in parenthood, but dressing your child up in ridiculous outfits and taking pictures of her has to be one of the greatest.


Yep, definitely one of the greatest.

12.12.2011

Project Done - Approximately One Year Later Than Planned

Of all the things that I discuss on this blog, probably last on the list is any sort of home renovation/decoration project because honestly, my house is a disaster area.  Truly.

But every once in a while we manage to finish a project (even if it's a year late).  And this just happens to be one of those times.

Now I will say, that this project pales in comparison to the home renovation projects that you see on other amazing blogs, but for us, this took a lot of effort, so I'm going to gloat all the same.

But now let's get to the fun part, right?  The before and after pics.

Here's the before.  Nasty yellow walls and original cabinets in all their glory.

Floor decorations compliments of our child


And just to give you a little perspective - look how teeny-tiny O was back when we started (uh, that's embarrassing!)


And the after pics.  With a little fresh paint on the walls and the cabinets.  And some  new little knobs too.

Please ignore the overflowing dish rack and whatever random crap
is on the counter.  

And look!  I sewed a teeny-tiny curtain!


If I were rich and motivated, oh, how I would love new counter tops.  But considering that I am neither, I think that this is just going to have to do for the time being.

12.08.2011

I Heart Fingerless Gloves

Oh, knitting, I've missed you so.

You're warm.  You're portable.  And when the project is small, you're done in no time flat.

I've been yearning to pick up the knitting needles again over the last couple of months but every time I contemplate starting something I get sidetracked by some detail.

Hmmm, I need to find a pattern.
Do I even have the right yarn?
Where the hell did I put all my needles?

But it appears that this past weekend the stars were aligned and I had all three things - a pattern, the yarn, and the needles.


The pattern is the Sucky Thumbs Mitts patterns by Marianne Cant and I definitely give it two thumbs up.  It was super easy and super fast.  And really, what more could a girl ask for? 


But the best part about these gloves?  They keep you warm but they also keep you with 10 fully functioning fingers.  You'd think they'd be a hit with the kiddo, right?

Wrong.

It was yet another incident of "get these off of me!"

Fortunately it was nothing that a little bribery in the form of a trip to the zoo couldn't handle.  Well, that and some cheddar bunnies.  Those cheesy little suckers solve all sorts of problems.


Pattern: Sucky Thumb Mitts by Marianne Cant
Alterations:  I knit the cuff and the stockinette sections a bit longer so that they would cover more of her wrist and hand
Yarn: less than one skein of Cascade 220
Needles: Size 3 DPNs

And in case you needed photographic proof of our love of fingerless gloves, please see our family's winter handwear of choice.

12.05.2011

Kicking My Feet Up


December is here and crafting for the holidays appears to be in full swing, which leads me to what I'm making for the holidays this year - absolutely nothing.

No quilts.  No clothes.  No food.  No cards.

Nothing.  Nada.  Zip.  Zilch.

And it's all because, really, I just don't feel like it.

I despise making anything under a deadline and my belief is that if starting something now is going to make me into a stressed out, crazy woman down the line, then I say "forget it."  Everything I make I want made with as much love and joy and patience as possible and staying up until three in the morning the night before to get something done just does not bring out those qualities in me.  It's far more likely  that my projects would be filled with annoyance and loathing and that's really not what I want to give people for the holidays.

And so this year I'm kicking my feet up and buying things made by other people for the loved ones in my life.  And you know what?  I am completely at peace with my decision.

12.04.2011

The Holidays

I'll be honest, I've always loved the holidays.

I love cheesy Christmas carols.

I love twinkling Christmas lights.

I love receiving holiday cards (although somehow I never get around to sending any out.  This year, however, will be different!).

And so is it any wonder that I have a child who has been obsessed with Christmas since around October.
Nearly every day she asks if it's Christmas yet.  And she wants to listen to Christmas music.  And go see the two houses in our neighborhood who have already put up their Christmas lights.

And if it seemed like I couldn't possibly love the holidays more, well, apparently I was wrong because having a little one around who is ridiculously excited for all things holidays makes me love them one hundred times more.


And so this year we wasted no time in picking out and putting up a Christmas tree.  And there is a distinct smell of nature emanating from our wreathe.  And I made gingerbread cookies for the first time in probably a decade.


Ah, it's good to be around spirited little people.

12.02.2011

Dear Santa


Dear Santa,
Thanks so much for giving me a candy cane.  As a show of my appreciation, I only picked my nose in approximately half of our pictures this year.

Love,
O

11.30.2011

Pipers Anonymous

I swear, if Pipers Anonymous existed I would sign up today. 

I can't stop adding piping to things! 

And, as always, I have a few things to say about this.

First of all, I'd like to blame this project, which I'm pretty sure is the gateway drug to obsessive piping.

Second of all, I'd like to blame these pants for looking so darn cute.  I made a pair of Oliver and S Sailboat Pants a couple months ago but they looked no where near as adorable as these little suckers and I definitely blame the lack of piping.  And once these pants got stuck in my head, I couldn't get them out of my head and I figured that a new pair of Sailboat Pants would be the perfect project for a traditional Thanksgiving Day debut (after all, I can only torture my child so much by putting her in summer dresses when it's thirty degrees outside).


So I dug into my fabric stash and pulled out some uncut corduroy that I had originally purchased to make yet another Colette Ginger skirt.  But considering that I won't have a waist line for many, many months I figured that this fabric could use a new project.  The piping is just store bought piping and the little buttons are from my button stash.  I'll have you know that after the buttonhole debacle on my last pair of sailor pants, three of the buttonholes on this pair of pants are perfect.  And the fourth buttonhole?  Well, it's got some issues, but don't we all.


I sewed up a size 2T again but added some length to the leg to make them more of pant length and therefore more appropriate for the impending winter.  Truth be told, I probably could have added another inch or two, but we'll call it good for now.  Other than that, I just followed the instructions, which were lovely (as usual).

* Oh, and continuing with last year's tradition, I don't have a picture of O wearing her Thanksgiving debut outfit.  One, because I'm lazy.  And two, because they are currently covered in cranberry sauce.  So there.

11.28.2011

Being vs. Doing


While it may seem that clearing this house of clutter has taken over my life, I'd like to assure you that we are not spending every waking moment going through closets and drawers and cabinets and bookshelves.  If this was my pregnancy with O, I would no doubt be doing just that.  That was the pregnancy that I spent every spare moment scraping popcorn off of our ceiling and painting trim - don't ask me why.  But this time it's different.  Because this time I'd like to think that I'm a wee bit smarter (not a lot smarter, mind you - just a wee bit).  This time I know the chaos that will no doubt accompany this little baby into our world.  And I know that our lives as we currently know them will be turned on their heads for a period of time.  And so I'm making a conscious effort to appreciate the family that I currently have and the life that we currently have together and in an attempt to do just that we've been doing all those things that will most likely get temporarily moved to the wayside once our new little one is here. 

We've gone out to eat together (probably more than our wallets should have allowed). 

We've spent days lounging around the house and enjoying each other's company. 

We've laid in bed laughing and giggling about the most ridiculous things. 

And every once in a while when O yells from her room at night "can I come lay in your bed for a little bit?" I've surprised her by answering "yes" and we've let her fall asleep next to us.

And so amidst all the chaos it's good to be reminded that the next four months are far more about "being" than "doing."

11.27.2011

What I've Learned This Weekend

That if you can eat dinner leftovers for breakfast, then it's certainly okay to eat breakfast for dinner.

Baked french toast stuffed with walnuts, strawberries, and bananas.
Topped with a ridiculous amount of whipped cream of course.

11.23.2011

To Be Thankful

Is is just me or do I look like a cray woman in this picture?

While I certainly try to be thankful throughout the year, there's nothing like a day with the word "thanks" in it to remind you to stop, breathe, and appreciate all that you have.

To give thanks for my family, who inevitably make me laugh, even when I'm having the most miserable of days.
To give thanks for my child "on the outside," who reminds me daily that wonders can be seen in things both large and small.
To give thanks for my child "on the inside," who reminds me of her presence with little thumps throughout the day.  Oh, how I've missed those little thumps.
To give thanks for my husband, who has truly been a fantastic partner throughout our relationship.

But let's not forget all those silly things that make me incredibly happy as well.


These little knobs on our new desk (oh, how I love cute little knobs).
This granola (thank you, Cory, for introducing me to the wonders of Heidi Swanson).
Our new bookshelves (already filled to the brim with crap, because that's how we roll, people).
Couch cushions that were recently vacuumed by my husband (who came up with this idea all on his own).
And four consecutive days off of work.  Yahoo!

11.21.2011

A Very Un-Holidayish Holiday Dress

With a sister with two little girls living fairy close by, O has been the fortunate recipients of hand-me-down holiday dresses from her cousins for the past two years.  Seriously - we've have velvet and satin dresses galore.  But this year we seem to be missing one in her size and while we don't plan on doing formal Santa pictures, I was thinking that it would be nice to have a special dress for the holidays.

Unfortunately, after reading this post I was a bit scared off of velvet (if Sascha - who obviously kicks much sewing butt - thinks that velvet is the devil, then I'm pretty sure that it would kill me) and when I went to a local fabric store no other holiday-ish or Christmas-ish fabrics were really working for me.  So in the end I just went with a cotton print which probably does not fall into the holiday category, but we're going to make it work people.


The pattern is the Oliver and S bubble dress (that I got for 40 percent off several months ago - woot, woot!) and I ended up sewing a size 2T.  I was contemplating sewing a size 3T as she's kind of in the middle of sizes right now and I was thinking that it would fit her for longer, but now that I know that another little girl will be wearing her hand-me-down handmade clothes someday I feel a little less obsessive about making them last for as long as possible.

For the record - yes, I do brush my child's hair.  Occasionally.

The fabric is Floral Tile Orchid by Robert Kauffman and the lining is just a lovely, lightweight batiste.


But my favorite part about this dress - the piping.  Is anybody else obsessed with piping?  My piping skills certainly leave something to be desired but Oh My Gosh, I want piping on everything!


The good news about this dress?  The second I finished it, O asked if it was her for and did the cutest little happy dance when I told her that it was.

The not-so-good new about this dress?  When I told her that she was going to wear it today, she threw a total tantrum.  Apparently, she is so over this dress.  Awesome.

11.20.2011

Progress, Question Mark...


You wouldn't know it from this picture, but this, my friends, is what progress looks like around here.  Two weeks ago these three bookshelves were filled to the brim with books, cameras, papers, supplies and even an odd cooking utensil or two.  And now they are nearly empty (or at least a lot emptier than they were).

Many things have been given away, many things have been thrown away, but if I'm being completely honest the vast majority of things have just been moved to other parts of our house.  I'm okay with that though.  Things are slowly but surely getting done here.

(In the interest of full disclosure though don't be too impressed with our efforts around here.  Look at what our floor looks like.  My momma would be so proud).

11.15.2011

Please Don't Judge - I Swear I'm A Good Person

Photographic proof that I am a disgusting, nasty, sentimental hoarder.


Yes, my friends, that would be my child's broken off umbilical cord that's been saved in her room for the past two and a half years.

11.14.2011

This Weekend...

...my little sister left to move Pakistan to begin a new job and the next step in her life.

Of course, I made her take all sorts of obnoxious pictures with us before she left (Sarah, you didn't think you'd get away from us that easily did you?)

There were many pictures of her snuggling with O.


And many pictures of her making faces at our mom.


There were many pictures of me pretending to strangle her as she refused to smile for anymore pictures.


And I should probably explain that my dad firmly believes that any family goodbye is not official until he's made me cry about it.  So there are pictures of that too.


Don't worry - while I may look utterly pathetic in this picture, I assure you that it was more of a hysterical laugh/cry.

Safe travels, Sarah.  We can't wait to have you back.

11.08.2011

Girl Power


Deep in a conversation with O yesterday she happened to mention that "daddy is the boss."

"Oh yeah?"  I asked her.  "Why's that?"

"Because he's a man," she replied.

To which I thought "Oh hell no!"  That is not the kind of house we run around here and that is certainly not the kind of message that I want passed on to any little girl.  Honestly, I don't know how she came up with this conclusion considering that Ben and I share just about every job in this house and usually work things out in a pretty fair and even manner.

All I know, that there's going to be a whole lot more "girl power" going on around here in the near future.
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