Saturday, May 17, 2008

Trying Again

I've been working on a post in my head for a while now. There's a lot going on, and in times like this, I usually resort to bullet point lists. But for ONE TIME ONLY (ha!), I'm going to resort to long, drawn-out narrative...


I got a part-time job.

(Simple enough.)

I started crocheting.

(Umm, okay.)

The Lion is walking, about a month and a half before Slim did.

(Good news.)

I bought yarn in Akron.

(First in a while?)

And we got a bike trailer to take the kiddos behind us biking.

(Are you kidding me?? You don't bike!)

Yeah, so that's the good news.

(What narrative are we working from here? Random points drawn from your head on a rushed Saturday morning?)


Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Life: The Original Ninja Duck

(Sung to the theme of "Spiderman")

Ninja Duck,
Ninja Duck,
He's a little, tiny Ninja Duck.

Here comes the Ninja Duck.

Maybe if I knew how the Ninja Duck had infiltrated my bathroom, the rest of my life would make sense.


But I doubt it.

This blog went a little dark right around the time my old computer died. A lot has happened since then. Sad things and happy things. I'll try to catch you up on all of it, and I'll try to move on.

RIP Mia, my sweetest, the best dog ever

If I gave you the Girl Scout promise that I would try to blog more frequently, I would probably be lying, and then I wouldn't be a very good Girl Scout, would I?

(Insert obligatory child photo here)

Monday, February 18, 2008

Things I Don't Want to Forget

1. The Lion's first word was "Uh-oh." Said as he dropped Cheerios on the floor and looked over at me to get my reaction.

2. The Lion crawled up the stairs for the first time last week. I caught him halfway up before I got out of the bathroom.

3. The Lion got a big fat lip and bled everywhere from falling off a folded-up futon on the floor. Only about 6 inches, but when you land face first with your one top tooth digging into your lip...well, at least he recovered quickly.

4. Slim's potty training is going spectacularly...awful. Most days there is at least one "discussion" involving me screaming, "Sit on the potty!" and him saying, "No sit on potty NOW!"

5. Slim always says the words, "NOW!" and "NEVER!" very emphatically, but not usually together. He does say them A LOT.

6. The Lion wants me to hold him almost exclusively right now, and never fails to lose it when passed to anyone else. He regains composure so quickly when I take him back that he looks like a different child.

7. If it is possible, Mia has become even more tolerant of the kids. She will even hold still for hugs, and lets them crawl up and hold her feet.

8. The Lion crawls WAY faster than Slim ever did, and he crawls "correctly" as opposed to Slim sticking one foot down and the other knee down in his half walk/crawl. The Lion can really move when he wants to. He looks like a little tank.

9. Both of them love chicken nuggets and yogurt. The Lion wants whatever Slim is eating.

10. The Lion wants everything that Slim has, usually when he has it. The noise level in the house has amped up -- didn't think that was possible -- as they sit in their room together and shout at each other over the GeoTrax trains.

11. On the good side, they also play together now. Usually Slim has the train and is pushing it, and The Lion has some of Slim's cars and is sticking them on the tracks too. It works -- for about 10 minutes, and then it's back to the screaming.

12. I've tried to minimize my screaming, and have taken some time-outs for bad language. Thus Slim is down to only one goddamnit a day. This is an accomplishment, and I'm proud that modeling good behavior works.

13. The Lion sometimes bangs his head on the floor or into his brother when he gets frustrated. I'm trying not to let that worry me. He shows no other signs of autistic behavior, but of course, I am a hypochondriac on behalf of my kids.

14. Speaking of non-autistic behavior, The Lion points a lot. Yesterday with the Cap'n, the Cap'n asked Slim where the moon was, and both boys pointed at it.

15. Slim knows the smallest planet (Pluto, shh, don't tell him about the whole "not a real planet" thing), the red planet (Mars), the biggest planet (Jupiter) and his favorite, the one with rings (Saturn). I might add that we make a trip to the Air and Space Museum probably once a week.

16. My children watch too much TV, though, and for that I feel like a horrible mother.

17. There are lots of things that make me feel like a horrible mother. Including my recent job search, and my recurrent fantasies of commuting (gee, I have an exciting life).

18. I asked Slim if he would miss me if I was gone, and he said he would. And that makes me the worst mother of all.

I'm probably not going to be blogging for a little while. I'm not really knitting, or doing much else. I'm hoping to get my groove back, and when I do, I'll be back around.


Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Same Ol', Same Ol'

So I applied for a job at a yarn store. But I didn't get it.

That was the knitty k-news.

Back to the ol' grindstone.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A Preview Post

So I finally found the camera card reader (again. And, yes, I would lose my head if it wasn't attached.), and I am going to try to blog up some more pictures.

In the meantime, I have to ask, if anyone knows some cool mitten patterns, I would appreciate the link. The Cap'n has challenged me to shod (? hand?) the boys some mittens, and I'm thinking it would be a quick project for the car ride to NC this weekend.

I'm turning the heel of the first Noro sock, and still cranking on Slim's sweater. Why didn't anyone tell me 2x2 ribbing was so boring??

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Tomorrow is Today

Does this look like the face of a kid who is going to be putting in his school applications next week?

'Cause it is.

We just had a hectic but stimulating morning checking out three more open houses for 3-year-old programs to start in the fall. We've been to 5 schools so far and have 3 more to see.

Getting into the "right" school is a loaded phrase. On the one hand, you don't want to put so much pressure on a 3-year-old or feel like his entire future (and his brother's, based on sibling preference) is determined (good elementary, good middle school, right college, etc.) by this one decision.

On the other hand, with the state of DC public schools, there is just no way to leave his education in the hands of "authorities" or have a laissez faire attitude. It just won't work here.

But pressure isn't the right word for it, either. Slim has such an attitude about life, and about school, that he isn't feeling the pressure. If I knew for certain that because of his personality, he wasn't ready for it at 3-years-old, we wouldn't even be considering it.

But today, when the 4-year-old class passed through the hallway where we were sitting, Slim just got up and followed them into their classroom to take part. On every tour in every school, he's had to be dragged, kicking and screaming, away from the classrooms.

I'd say he's ready.

Am I ready to let my little baby go?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Crazy Knitty Knews

Wild doin's are afoot...

But I am currently mooching off someone else's wireless signal in the neighborhood since our internet is down. For the second time in about a month, ahem, Comcast. So I better keep it fast.

Firstly -- I love me some Noro Kureyon sock yarn. I think it's one of those things people will absolutely hate (a little bit scratchy, strangely spun) or will absolutely love (ooh, purdy colors...). I'm simple (in the head), and I love the color changes. I'm doing a plain toe-up stockinette foot, with maybe a little ribbing in the leg. It's colorway s164, and I found it at Brooklyn General when we were up visiting the Cap'n's family.

Secondlike -- I am holding up one of my Knitty KNew Years resolutions to meet more yarny people and make friends. Last week we had our inaugural Yarn MoTHs meetings on the Hill, and I think we're going to make it a regular weekly thing. It was kid-friendly, and even if I didn't get more than one stitch done (true!), it was great!

Okay, the rest will have to wait until later, since the wireless is fading fast.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Sick Puppies

Two nights ago, Slim called out for me early in the evening after I thought I had him and the Lion down. Just as I was standing outside of his door, he stopped.

"Good," I thought.

So when the Cap'n walked into check on the boys before we went to sleep (a nightly ritual), imagine our surprise at finding Slim and his bed completely covered in puke.

Fun times.

Then yesterday and today, the Lion blew out four diapers, each time needing a bath.

Now the Cap'n and I are feeling the 24-hour bug.

Ugh. More when less is happening.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Uncounted Sweaters

Technically, my baby sweater count is a little off.

There is Baby Sweater Version 0.0, which was the Baby Kimono from Mason-Dixon Knitting. This partially accounts for my utter distaste for seaming. (Awww...check out the Baby Lion adorableness...)

Then there is Baby Sweater -- the Girly Version. This is actually the first time I used EZ's easy yoke sweater formula. I figured the smallest version would give me good practice for turning this into an adult-sized sweater.

The yarn is Artyarns Supermerino in colorway 112. I originally picked up these three skeins at Stitch DC to make a pair of socks for my mom. But they never got made and the longer the yarn sat in my stash, the pinker it looked. I am not actually a huge fan of pink, so it just dropped farther into the stash.

HOWEVER: I love this yarn! It turned out to have all these beautiful purples, burgundies and golds in it, and nothing pooled at all. It didn't turn out to be as girly as I thought it would. It knit up very fast and beautifully.

I ended up modifying the pattern to make a slight v-neck, but since I wasn't thinking I only did it flat in stockinette, which rolled. So I picked up some stitches and made a sideways ribbing. It's a little funky (translation: it's not just the shadows in the above picture), but I think it worked.

I cast on for it the day after finding out a couple of our good friends from Raleigh who we had lost touch with had moved to DC and had a baby. So of course baby Clover had to have a knitted goodie for winter! I knit into this sweater all of my hopes for knitting back together our friendship and re-establishing our ties. And I finished it in less than a week. Truly a satisfying knit.

Random Kid Pic:

Anyway, it's time to start the bath and bed routine, so I had better sign off.

Hey, great trend, huh? Three posts in three days. Yay me!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Knitting? Are You Kidding?

I know. You have to go have a laydown now that I have actually posted about actual knitting.

Go on. I'll wait.

(hmmm...gotta find my US8 dpns. The kid is growing and the sweater isn't...)

Okay, ready?

So, it has appeared on the blog, but improperly noted: Baby Sweater Uno.

It is Stripz, a Minnowknits pattern started way back before the Great Blogging Hiatus of Summer '07. I bought the Manos Cotton Stria from Springwater Fiber back in December '05, just after I learned how to knit.

It was going to be a sweater for Slim, but it marinated in the stash for so long, I was worried I wouldn't have enough yarn for the 2-year-old size. (I probably would have. Especially since I didn't end up making the hat.)

(ETA: The above awesome hat was made by KnittinSis after a Mosaic Knitting class she took. Slim has a companion hat that also needs a blog post. They are truly adorable. Perhaps she should get a B.L.O.G. so she herself can share her knit projects??? hint.hint.)

I made some modifications to the sweater pattern, including knitting the sleeves in the round. I didn't quite make it long enough, but it's okay. I found some cute as a button (ha!ha!) train buttons, and I'm pleased with how this turned out, except for one, small, important detail:

It's handwash.

AAAAUUUGGGHH. I think there is still some smushed banana in the sleeve that the SOAK hasn't removed.

When I bought the pattern, newbie that I was, I didn't know anything about substituting, and I went blindly with the recommended yarn. Handwash yarn for a toddler sweater is a little nutty if you ask me.

HOWEVER, apparently not nutty enough for me to avoid repeating in Baby Sweater Dos:

Pardon the crappy flash photo, but I am both proud and embarrassed by Baby Sweater Dos, made out of (handwash, drat!) Patons Classic Wool in green and army camo.

The pros:
1. I made it from Elizabeth Zimmermann's "Knitting Without Tears" recipe for a basic raglan sweater. I felt like a capital "K" Knitter working the details out by myself based on her very sensible recipe of gauge and percentages.
2. Despite the yarn being handwash-only, the stitch definition is great and it is not pilling as much as I thought it would. Plus, what beats a sweater made out of $10 worth of yarn?
3. When I first read about EZ's raglan sweater, the idea for this two-color pullover popped into my head and would not leave. When the going got rough (see the cons), I did not give up the vision and I made it work. Whoo-hoo, Determination!
4. The kid wears it. But not the one pictured above.

The cons:
1. That two-color raglan pullover idea I had? Yeah, in the round? Let's dissect that a bit: Does the wiseass in the back know what exactly happens to the sleeve yarn when you get done knitting a row of the sleeve in the round? Let's just put it this way, it doesn't work. And yes, it took me actually knitting it to figure that out. So I cursed a little (or a lot), and worked it out. I split the front and back and knit them flat, finished the arms separately and then seamed them together. And it worked!!
2. I didn't decrease down as much as I wish I would have, so it's more of a boatneck than a crewneck. But since my kids have big heads, it's all good.
3. Apparently, I either cannot (did not?!) measure or the kid is growing faster than I can knit. Since Baby Sweater Uno was made for the Lion, this one was supposed to fit Slim. Actually, I blame his father. He's got the Cap'n's freakishly long arms.

But that's the benefit of having two:

Baby Sweater Tres is on the needles. It's out a 50% yak, 50% merino yarn I picked up at the 2006 Stitches East convention from Schoolhouse Products. I'm trying another in the round, in a 2x2 rib.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Oy. And I Mean That.

I am going to just throw up some kid pictures on this here blog so that at least a post gets created this first month of the year.

There's plenty o' knittin' too, but who knows when I'll get time to blog it. Maybe I can make it my goal to get on here at least once a week. I am not one of those hardy Blog 365 souls, and frankly, I think they're a bunch of loons.

Takes all kinds, I suppose.

Anywho, childrens:

Trying to find a picture of Slim that is not blurry is a challenge. And this one just so perfectly captures the Lion in mid-roar, I couldn't not share it.

And yes, we gave up clothes for the New Year. We just throw the children in the laundry when they get dirty. Any questions?

Want to know something funny that has happened to both the Cap'n and I? I accidentally dressed the Lion in one of Slim's onesie shirts (24mos-sized) and found that it fits the Lion perfectly around, but is too long in the arms. The Cap'n has put one of the Lion's onesies (12mos-sized) and found that it fits Slim around, but is too short in the arms and crotch.



But what is even more exciting is that they are now sleeping in the SAME BEDROOM, and that makes for a much easier night for momma. Our neighbor gave us a toddler bed that Slim now uses, and the Lion has moved into the crib and out of the co-sleeper. Yay!

The Lion really wants to walk around by himself and crawls throughout the house. However, his very favorite place to be is next to his big brother, playing with his Hot Wheels. Who knew a $.97 toy could be so valuable? But the way that they scream at each other over one, apparently they are!

So anyway, I just realized I do have pictures of some handknits, so if the Blogging Muse is still singing tomorrow, I'll post those. I need to make a list of the FOs that the blog has not yet seen.

Merrily we go along.