Friday, February 24, 2012


Today was simply a nice, happy day, and I'd like to share with you some pretty pictures I took earlier in the week. That is all.

Calla lilies from my husband, tulips from my grandparents.

One of the rare occasions that I've actually gotten the lighting right AND managed to keep the camera still for some macro shots.

My Christmas amaryllis is blooming right now too, by the way. It is pretty around here.

Hope it is pretty where you are, too. Happy weekend, one and all.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Little Boy Blue

Since being a mom of two kids under age five is all about keeping it fair, I simply must write a post all about William as a complement to Amy's post of a few days ago.

My little boy has quite recently become rather obsessed with the color blue. Perhaps because it is the only color he can pronounce, or perhaps because it simply appeals to him. Whatever the reason, he seeks out the blue rubber duck, the blue crayon, the blue blocks, and even all the blue items in his wardrobe.

Little Boy Blue starts out his day quite consistently - after breakfast, he goes over to the sunny living room window and plays with his cars and trucks and beloved school bus. All by himself, for five or ten minutes, every single morning. It is one of my favorite moments of the day.

Little Boy Blue can almost manage on the big tricycle. He needs his little legs to grow about one more inch to totally keep his feet on the pedals, but it doesn't stop him from trying.

Little Boy Blue loves our fish, and loves to help feed the fish whenever he gets the chance. He is also pretty darn sweet with all the cats.

Little Boy Blue loves his blanket (which he calls his "buddy") and his furry stuffed puppy. He also loves to carry around whatever his small object of the day might be - an acorn, a key, some odd bit of toy, etc.

Little Boy Blue scored himself an awesome pair of (blue) rainboots just the other day, and it turned out to be fantastic timing. We have not had any rain here in many, many weeks. We finally got some decent precipitation over the last 48 hours, and now we have this in our backyard:

It will soak in; I'm not worried. All that matters is that the skies parted this afternoon and we all donned our boots and spent a lovely thirty minutes out back getting really, really wet. Well, I should say, the girls stayed perfectly dry, but Little Boy Blue... well...

... I think he had the most fun of all. I love him so.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Be Our Guest

Mondays are usually power-days for me, but this week has started off a little directionless. Mostly because the house is, broadly speaking, pretty much done. There are certainly plenty of little projects that need attention (that I am avoiding for one reason or another), and always room to build on and improve what I've done so far, but this week's must-do list is surprisingly short. So for now I thought I'd give you a little tour of our guest room. It is a bit spartan, but I wanted it that way so guests would have plenty of room for their own things, and since this is such an "extra" room for us, I don't want to invest a whole lot in it, just in case we have to contract our space again in the next house.

This bed was, until very recently, our master bed. But some princess-and-the-pea (me) complained mightily about needing a new mattress, so this whole set-up was shuffled on down to the guest room. Our whole scheme here is to encourage people to visit us by offering very comfortable quarters. Especially since our old house had zero guest quarters.

Adam's dresser looks really nice in here, and having it slightly out of the way keeps me from filling up its drawers with "miscellaneous" stuff.

A special thanks goes out to Ollie, for his help with this photo shoot, managing to appear in full-wash-position in every shot.

This is why, until guests actually arrive, I keep the whole bed covered with a sheet.

The cats think this room is great, and I hope all human guests will, too.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Happiness Is...

... a full cookie jar. Of these, made with this. Only I didn't make them jumbo - just regular cookie size, so it is perfectly acceptable to eat 3 or 4 or 5 in a day... right? And I must say: organic butter tastes SO much better than the regular stuff. I have turned into a complete cookie snob. I actually threw out half a box of store-made "bakery" cookies that were, honestly, terrible. My 2012 goal: to become a homemade-snob about more of the things we eat everyday. Secondary goal: find a better word than "snob" to describe what I'm going for here... any thoughts?

Anyway, where was I?

Happiness is... a little bag for Amy's dance shoes (!). Whipped up in less than 45 minutes this afternoon by yours truly. With fabric and ribbon already on-hand. And I performed the how-to-sew-a-lined-bag mental cartwheel without having to look at a pattern. Go me.

Happiness is pulling off both these things on back-to-back days. I might just be on a roll!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

All About Amy

It's been awhile since my girl got a post all to herself, and today is a good day for it. She was all smiles after her very first dance/gymnastics class today and I am SO proud of her. Just a few short months ago Amy was quick to declare "but I'm shy!" and hide behind me whenever she so much as saw another child approaching her at the playground. Since moving in to our new house Amy has found herself in a neighborhood of playmates just her size, and she has really come out of her shell. In particular she has made friends with the little girl who lives just behind us, who is exactly Amy's age, and happens to take dance class at The Little Gym. I took Amy last week to see what the place was like and she was sold. We spent a lovely ten days in anticipation of her first class, and it lived up to both of our expectations.

I didn't want to take too many pictures and give away to the other moms just what a big deal this was for me, too - this was pretty much Amy's first "away-from-Mommy" experience, besides times spent with family or friends. She's never been in daycare or preschool or other programs, so I am tremendously pleased with how well she did on her own and how much she fully participated in all the tap, ballet, and gymnastics skills they practiced. She talked about it for the rest of the day.

In other Amy news, she about <this> close to reading on her own. She has most of her books memorized of course, but even with new ones she is able to recognize some words and now reads aloud one word at a time, carefully trying to decipher what each may be based on the letter sounds and the pictures for context. She's not quite there, but I can't get over how she has leaped ahead in this area, literally in a matter of days. I think she'll be going to preschool knowing how to read. Wow.

Of course, for as much as she amazes me, she can also really wear me out - particularly with a string of questioning in the car, after a looong, tiring morning, that goes something like this:

"Mommy, do horses live in Africa?" ...
"Mommy, how do you get out of a traffic jam?" ...
"Mommy, how will that truck fit under that bridge up there?" ...

Etc. Or, tonight's bath-time gem, said with a tone of waning sisterly-patience: "William, poke your own belly button."

These days Amy would be happy to draw you an elaborate picture of any of the following: 1) Star Wars 2) What She Did That Day or 3) What She Did When She Was a Baby. Or a picture of the neighbors. Or their pets.

She has a bike now, a real one, and she can really pedal it. Also something she couldn't do just a few months ago. She goes down slides, she rolls down hills, she lets go of my hand.

All those "baby" milestones are exciting, but I am finding all these complex developmental growth spurts to be more fun and interesting than anything we have experienced yet.

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Yarn Monster, Completed

Well, I'm so happy that this afghan is DONE that I am staying up past my bedtime (ha!) to report about it. The Yarn Monster has been completed as of tonight. This is a gift for our good friends who have been here visiting us this week. Nothing like working right up to the last minute, I say! They leave in the morning, hence my settling for late-night yucky-flashy pictures to document its completion. I started this afghan two years ago, but only to try out the pattern, then picked it up in earnest about a year ago, and intended it as a going-away present for these same friends. Then it turned into a housewarming gift the first time we went to visit them. Then it still wasn't done so I thought surely I could make it a Christmas present. Didn't even make that deadline...

To quote Winnie the Pooh in his newest movie "It lagged a bit in the middle." Since this pattern is worked diagonally, the rows went really fast at the beginning and I figured the whole thing would fly by. But obviously, with each row increasing in length toward the middle (hypotenuse) the going got really, really slow for awhile. With my usual summer crocheting hiatus, time kinda kept slipping by before I got moving again. And at last, the rows got shorter and shorter again as I neared the opposite corner and I picked up momentum in the last couple of months.

I love it when a project is finished! It ended up topping six feet long, and it is square, so it is pretty darn big.

Tara loves it, as I hoped she would.

Now I just have to go find a box or bag or something for her to bring it home in... and figure out what I'm going to work on next!