Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wrapping Up April

My goodness, it was seriously just yesterday that I had Amy strapped into this infant helmet and balanced on the front of my bike. (That carrier is awesome, by the way.)

We had a happy Easter weekend with lots of pretty eggs, fun surprises (of the $1 bin variety), chocolate, flowers, and two cute kids who were very well behaved for a loong church service in a hot sanctuary.

In a burst of motivation I finally executed an idea I had for adding some color to a large blank wall in our dining area and simultaneously making a place to display some more of Amy's artwork. SO pleased with how it worked out. And that top row - all the paper towels from our egg-dyeing.

And lastly, I made some time for sewing and completed this little project:

My mom gave me a big knitting needle roll that she had made way back, and while I love it, I don't have many straight knitting needles (I prefer circular when I do knit, and I usually don't - crochet hooks are my weapon of choice)... so I had the idea to cut off the portion of this roll that was useful for my tools, and rebind the edge. I wish I had a picture of the whole thing, but this is what I finished up with:

The white binding is the original edge, the red binding I made out of some fabric also from my mom. It simply makes me happy. Nostalgia and usefulness all rolled up in a nice little bundle. I can't think of a better kind of project.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


I mentioned this afghan a few weeks ago as being next up in the UFO demolition list. And finally, I am making progress. I finished the last baby blanket (for now) at the beginning of the month (picture of it here). This funky diagonal stripe is a welcome change of pace. It is only double crochet, but I'm enchanted by this pattern that turns it all on a corner. The purple is making me a little nervous, as I really like the blue/cream/red/brown together... but I'm hoping it will call come together once all the whole thing is finished. I'm also debating about whether I want the stripe color sequence to be a mirror image from the center, or to continue in sequence. Decisions, decisions...

Oh, and most importantly - I decided that I am going to give this one to our very dear friends and neighbors who are moving away in just three weeks. I had planned to make a quilt, but that is quite hard to find the time for, and I was thinking about the colors of this afghan and how I really don't need another blanket in this house and how my friend Tara loves reds and blues, and, well, it suddenly all made sense. So nothing like a deadline to light a fire under my you-know-what and to force me to make some progress on a big project like this.

And speaking of progress, I uploaded these pictures tonight (taken today) and was amazed at what a grown-up little boy I found!

He'll be eleven months old this week. Eleven. Which of course means his birthday is right around the corner. Has it really been a year already? Oh my goodness.

I'll be posting some more pictures over on facebook, for those of you who are in to that sort of thing. And then I had better go spend some time with that afghan before the evening slips away.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Beach Time

The beach is becoming a frequent late-afternoon haunt on these lovely spring days. We only go when Don is home, which makes it seem like a special kind of outing, and it is often just the change of scenery we all need during that tricky time before dinner, when everyone has otherwise run out of good ideas.

Lots of sand means space to crawl and play with relatively little mischief to get into. Very good news for a little boy who seems to delight in causing Mommy to say "No!!" (don't eat the catfood, spill the water, climb the stairs, etc). But here he's turning out to be quite good at entertaining himself.

This big girl can stay amused for a good long while, just tossing rocks into the water (or sand backwards towards the camera, as the case may be).

And the extra bonus to our weekday beach afternoons is the free airshow courtesy of the US Navy. If we're really lucky we might have to stop halfway through the drive to let a jet taxi in front of us. Three years (to the day) that we've lived here, and that hasn't gotten old. Today's excitement - a blimp!

So for 45 minutes or so we all sit happily and watch the water or explore this quiet stretch of shore. Don and I might even exchange two or three uninterrupted sentences. It is a lovely time indeed.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Amy's World

Yes, this is a repeat picture, and yes, it is the crusts of Amy's sandwich. I took this picture in the first place because Amy finished her lunch, arranged her leftovers like this, and explained that all those crusts were "children sitting in a circle around the librarian listening to a story." You can't make this stuff up, but she does. This girl personifies everything, from the squirrel in the front yard to tiny little bugs to completely inanimate objects.

This morning, a week or so after the crust picture, Amy is finishing off her waffles at breakfast - they are the 4-mini-eggo kind, which we don't usually get, and she asked why they were all stuck together. I thought myself on the top of my game when I replied, "because they are too little to go in the toaster all by themselves, so they hold hands."

Amy very patiently explained, "But Mommy, waffles aren't people, they don't have hands."

I can't win.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Untold Stories

(Mother's Day 2009 - or maybe the night before - Amy age 18 months).

Last night I finally took the time to unload all the pictures from my cell phone onto the computer. This produced a lovely little time capsule of 100 or so pictures from the last two years, mostly from moments or outings that are otherwise unrecorded. I've been feeling nostalgic these last several days, so I thought a bit of a trip down memory lane might be nice here. (And yes, these are mostly of Amy; since William has been on the scene I've been a bit more on top of the phone-computer-blog process and those stories have already been told.)

(November 6, 2009) Amy's second birthday - I took her out for a pancake breakfast at IHOP. I remember being freshly over morning sickness and had pumpkin pancakes that were sooo good. Amy made (and still is) a wonderful dining companion.

(December 2009) This was our most recent airplane trip. For a period of time up till then Amy and I were fairly frequent flyers.

(January 2010) A Valentine's cookie at Panera Bread, on our way home from visiting friends in Virginia.

(June 2010) This was one of the first occasions that Amy happily wore sandals. She was a die-hard socks and sneakers girl for what seemed like forever.

(August 2010) Coast Guard Day picnic with my favorite Coastie and a 10-week-old William.

(September 2010) Both cats frequented the high chair whenever possible - here Ollie caught was caught in the act.

(October 2010) On this day William had his 4-month well-baby checkup, complete with shots and bloodwork, and I had my blood drawn as well. Amy was along for all of it and was the only one of the three of us not having some procedure done, yet she was the one leaving the office with a balloon, lollipop, and Mickey Mouse ears - with stickers to boot.

Praying mantis on the stroller - inside. I actually thought this was pretty cool (October 2010).

And lastly a jump ahead to mere days ago:

(April 2011) My boy at the beach, toes in the sand and eyes on the airplanes.

When Don and I bought these cell phones (we have the same model) it was under duress; we both wanted just a phone. Phone. Period. But, turns out that even two years ago you couldn't get a cell phone that only makes and receives calls. So we got the simplest things we could find and don't use half the features, but I will confess that having a camera on hand almost wherever we go is priceless. These grainy pictures capture some precious moments that would otherwise slip through the cracks in memory, crowded out by other more thoroughly-photographed occasions.

I suppose that equals one check mark in the "Technology is Good" column.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The View From Here

As Amy said to our friend as we left her house tonight, "Happy April!"