Thursday, January 29, 2009

My little buddy is modeling my latest knitting creation. This is the Anthropologie-inspired scarflet. The pattern is available on Ravelry. I love Ravelry! I could lose hours wandering through there.
I had enough yarn left over to make SouleMama's favorite hat, too. It's a gift, and I'm pretty sure she doesn't read my blog, but you never know, so I won't disclose the recipient until after it's given.

Toaster oven s'mores. We love it! Except for cleaning up the chocolatey-marshmallow-y faces after...it's amazing how much mess can be created.


Monday, January 26, 2009

Keeping busy

Sorry for the period of silence. I had a feeling that as soon as I proposed a bloggy giveaway for my 250th post that I would disappear for a while--you know, putting off that post until I could actually create said item for the giveaway.

But at that pace, it'll be months before I post again! So I'm going to keep on posting on my semi-regular schedule and just do the giveaway whenever I get around to it. Anyone want to take bets on when that will be?

In between sessions of working outside in the freezing cold at Girl Scout cookie booths, I've been keeping busy.

These are going to be for the kids for Valentines. It's a heart garland from Stitched in Time by Alicia Paulson. Maybe one day I'll tell you about the disastrous time I'm having with my new fabric paint...it's bleeding all over the place, so this project is going to take me longer that anticipated.
Last week I made a loaf of Vermont Cheddar Bread (from that wonderful Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes book). I set it down on the kitchen island, and the sunlight just poured through the windows all but demanding that I take a picture!
If you squint, you can just see some steam curling up from the top left.
I've been knitting, too! I won a giveaway of some yarn from Leslie at a friend to knit with, and I made some Maine Morning Mitts. Leslie is an amazing knitter--I aspire to knit as proficiently and beautifully as she does!


And here is my sweater that I've been laboring over. It's very slow going, mostly because I keep starting other things. Honestly, after restarting it twice, I'm just hesitant to work on it like crazy because I'm afraid I'll screw up again! I can only restart the same project so many times.

It's still January, so maybe by March I'll be done--there's still plenty of cold weather in March and April.
The weather people are claiming that snow may fall here tomorrow...I'm keeping my fingers crossed. It would be nice to have another week off from dance class. I haven't seen any predictions for accumulation yet. It's just as well.
I hope that you can stay warm and snuggly wherever you are today!


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Maintenance

Today was Maintenance Day for me. That means today was my annual (or, in this case of this year, first time in about 14 months) trip to the GYN. Such fun. It went much more smoothly than last year (tears were shed, if you remember--never take two kids with you to the GYN if you can help it). We were out by 9:05, so props to me for showing up early!

I was thinking about this visit and how I'm at a different stage of life--I used to go to the GYN for the pill prescription, then I was there monthly for a few years; now I go mostly to get the mammogram prescription. Such fun.

After I dropped Bobby at school this afternoon, I figured I might as well get it all over with (since the local mammography place takes walk-ins) and stopped in for the Squeeze-O-Matic. Ouch. Some day they'll come up with a corresponding test for men and their testicles.

I even went ahead and made my GYN appointment for next year--as in 2010!

I get my hair cut and highlighted on Saturday, so then I'll be all good to go for at least six weeks to a year, depending on the body part.

Now, I've noticed that I'm coming close to a big post milestone. Since I only have about five things I should be working on, let's watch me complicate my life. I'll be working on a giveaway for my 250th post. Since two of my kids keep coming inside to tattle on each other, I may be giving one of them away...only kidding. Guess Bobby wasn't paying attention to that MLK/Conflict Resolution paper he brought home from school today.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Quietly


I haven't seen the weather forecasts in the last couple of days, but I'm pretty sure they weren't calling for snowfall most of today. We had a little snow last night--no biggie, they were saying there was a chance of a passing snow shower. But late this morning, it began to snow. Small flakes. And an hour later, those flakes turned huge. Bits of cotton candy floating to the ground.



By two-thirty, I figured I'd best start shoveling. Caitlin had a playdate over, and I wanted the mom to be able to get to the front door without soaking her feet. And after the playdate left at three, all three of my kids suited up and headed out to slide down our "hill." Finally.


There are maybe three inches on the ground, but the grass is covered and it does look like Winter Wonderland. Dance class was cancelled for this afternoon, and the kids had hot chocolate and popcorn after they came in to dry off and warm up.

Not bad for a day off from school.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Crank the heat!

It's cold outside! But nobody told the dog, so he continued to wake me two or three times in the night so he could go out to pee and sniff the wind. Ugh!

We're staying in as much as possible. I've been going a little crazy with the library's online reservation system. I'm sure there's a librarian cursing my name as she (or he--there are some guys who work at my local library) pulls my long list of books. As soon as most of them are ready, I'll be heading back up there to pick them up. I'm also contemplating a stop at my favorite yarn shop--why finish a project when I can keep starting new ones? Really, the choosing of the yarn is so exciting, isn't it? All that promise of a new project...

What else? This is a three day weekend, and if it's not too obscenely cold by Sunday, we may actually take advantage of the fact that we live a couple of hours away from the Poconos and attempt some sort of skiing or snowtubing. From my quick research, there is one mountain just north of Allentown (sort of a Poconos South, if you will) that allows kids 36" and taller to go tubing. Some other places have a 6 years/42" restriction that we just don't meet yet... I think tubing would be a fun introduction to winter outdoor fun; plus then we don't have to get bogged down in ski rental and lessons, etc. And I'm so sure that nobody else in the eastern PA/NJ/NY region will have this idea! Ha! If nothing else, it will get us out of the house, and we can just sip some hot chocolate and watch the snow, right?

There's the optimism! Enjoy your holiday weekend!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Fits and Starts

I"m noticing that I am not alone in irregular posting in this new year. Like many other mamas out there, I'm getting bogged down in the day-to-day (i.e. laundry) and not really having much to say...or show, for that matter.

My adorable quilt that I worked on last week is giving me fits. Actually, it's my sewing machine. For some reason, free-motion quilting isn't happening. Needles are breaking, f-bombs are being set off...so I'm setting it aside for now.

In the meantime, there's plenty to work on.

For this month's Sew Connected block, Tracy sent all sorts of wonderful shiny fabrics. I decided to let the fabrics speak to me...and I'm not sure that they were speaking English. This is what I came up with. It's not where I was originally going and I'm on the fence about it. Let's just say I'll be making an additional block out of what I have left. (Plus I'm just plain worn out from mixing up my metaphors!)

Birthday parties are starting back up--Caroline has two this month. I started with a long-sleeved t-shirt from Target, a fat quarter of floral fabric, and this butterfly silhouette (plus a few things in my stash).
This is my least favorite part of the process--I'm considering hand-stitching the next one...
And a little while later, you have a cute t-shirt, a matching headband and a coordinating bag to put it all in! Happy Ninth Birthday to our neighbor friend!

Poor Rob is getting on a plane later this afternoon to go to Chicago, of all places. Chicago is between blizzards today, so he's super-excited about this trip! To add insult to injury, this is the annual meeting that for the last three years took place in Naples, Florida. I guess we'll just be thankful he still has a job that sends him on business trips!






Thursday, January 8, 2009

Winsome

adj 1: generally pleasing and engaging often because of a childlike charm and innocence 2: cheerful or lighthearted

We got one of those word-of-the-day calendars for Christmas. Rob wanted to expand the kids' vocabulary, but I find that today's word applies quite nicely to my new quilt top.

This is my version of Amanda Jean's Flea Market Fancy quilt. Mine is smaller--I'm sticking to lap size or smaller for now. And the sashing is the only fabric that I purchased for this quilt--the rest is from my stash. I've decided that stash-building is not good for me. I get too distracted--my brain starts racing with all sorts of projects. Better for me to get through one project before I go buying fabric for two more.

Today I should have the back pieced and the whole thing sandwiched. I'm finding that my wrists and forearms are very sore this week, so I'm trying to slow down. It has to be from knitting, but I haven't been going all crazy knitting (not like before Christmas). Anyway, I hope a couple days off the needles will do the trick.

Tonight I will raise my glass to all you fellow college football widows out there. It's the last freaking bowl game of the season!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A slow start

We slept in almost every day during Christmas break, and now it's biting me in the ass. On Monday night, I thought I set the alarm for 6:45. Rob had to go to one of his far-away offices on Tuesday, so he needed to be up early.

And when we woke up Tuesday morning at 7:14...

well, it's never nice when the first word of your day is "s#%t!"

This morning the alarm did go off at 6:45, so Rob was able to get out on time.

The kids have a two-hour delay because some of the rain froze on the roads last night.

Rob forgot that they could sleep in, so he rousted them out of bed before he left.

Thanks, honey!

At least they're playing nicely now and not bugging me to let them play Mario Kart. Caitlin has already treated us to a tantrum--much like the three she threw after school yesterday. There's a girl who sorely needed to sleep in today.

The funny thing is, I was expecting Caroline to be the one who had the most trouble getting back into the swing of things, since historically this has been true. I guess I missed the secret passing-of-the-torch ceremony. I do think they have secret meetings where they decide who's gonna act up when...

In about an hour and a half, I'll be driving them over to school, and then my day can begin.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Happy New Year!

A couple of days ago, I knew that this morning was going to be challenging. That's because a couple of days ago I rolled out of bed at, oh, nine o'clock! Nine o'clock! And I wasn't sick or hung over; I hadn't stayed up until three in the morning. I call last week "the week I became an Evans." They do like their sleep.

So we set the alarm for seven this morning. Rob must have gotten up before it went off. I did not wake up until Rob was out of the shower. At 7:25. Time to make the pancakes.

The girls did a good job of getting ready for school pretty quickly. They're usually more agreeable when pancakes are on the table. And now they're at school and I'm still in my pajamas. Did I mention how much I enjoyed this Christmas break?

This Christmas break was actually very nice. We seemed to slow down the pace considerably, and everyone seemed pretty happy with it. Even Rob, who hates to stay at home, managed to do so for a couple of days. The kids really had fun playing with him. It was nice not to be in a hurry to get anywhere. Yesterday was the only day where I found myself thinking "it's time for them to be back in school." Only one day! Pretty awesome!

Now, the challenge is to try to maintain some feeling of that relaxation as we return to routine. I haven't made any New Year's Resolutions or goals...I always seem to have a growing list of things I want to try.

Here's a little stack of Christmas books:
I'm so glad I finally have my own copy of KnitSpeak. Now I can return the library's copy--I have had that book checked out almost continuously since about September. I've made one recipe from Apples for Jam (broccoli soup). And I've already got plans to make a couple of the things featured in Stitched in Time. That little book, Mitten Strings for God, is a wonderful collection of thoughts on how to slow down and enjoy the "dailiness" of a mama's life.
Back in the quilting saddle already! This is a stash-buster, sort of. The little squares in the middle are from a fabric swap I participated in over the fall. I had to wait until after Christmas to start this.

And this is a big-ass cone of yarn! Those Mason-Dixon girls are just full of ideas and sources for cheap yarn. This will hopefully turn out to be a cute baby gift. Rob's cousin is supposed to deliver on Thursday...and Caitlin's teacher is due in March, so I had a legitimate need for a big-ass cone of yarn, you see.

I love Homegoods. That store always has lots of chickens for your home decor. I've decided that if I can't have actual live chickens in my back yard, I'm going to fill my home with the ceramic variety. This little lady came home with me yesterday. She's very happy by the fireplace, but she'd like some friends...


Don't judge me! I bought a couple of these before Christmas for the girls, and then I decided that it was also a good idea for me. Our bath towels are really big and heavy and I nearly snap my neck when I try to wrap my hair in a towel. I'm gonna be awesome.

Now I'm off for my second cup of coffee, then maybe a little sewing before I shower and break in the Turbie Twist.