Friday, January 30, 2015

Spinning Plates

I laughed when I unearthed this week's to-do list this afternoon, buried as it was under the evidence of a week full of projects. I couldn't cross off a single thing. 

Don has been away at a school all week, meaning I have been in full plate-spinning mode, doing my best to keep everyone fed, schooled, and reasonably entertained, all by myself. On top of that I've been on a spree of self-imposed projects around the house. It's all been fun, but just to account for my exhaustion, humor me while I go through the highlights.  

This week: 

I put new sheets on our bed.  Flannel. Very lovely, though I felt like a fool making that change on the day that happened to top out near 70 degrees. But winter is not over yet. 

We finished the second quarter of school. Halfway, yippee! Amy read aloud a bit at the school's Mission Fair today and I was surprised by her rather good public speaking skills. I'm also considering adding an additional morning per week of school for William, as they have some openings now, but I really can't decide which way to go on that. 

We continued swimming lessons, and W accomplished jumping into the deep end and swimming forward and turning into a back float. He's awesome! Caroline continues to like the water, and gets all excited if we talk about Pool or Swimming or she catches sight of the swimsuit bag. 

We took an honorary snow day on Tuesday. Amy had had a feverish night (as she always does when coming down with a cold) and William was sniffly, so we just all stayed home. It ended up being a delightful day since everyone was feeling mostly fine. We did lots of art projects and even made playdoh. Why have I not done that before now? The smell of homemade playdoh took me zooming back to my own childhood. 

I read a whole book! With lots of pictures, but still, go me. It is called the Nesting Place and gave me a lot of good inspiration to freshen up some decorating choices around here. I even whipped up some new curtains for the living room, having not really admitted to myself how much I disliked the ones that were there when we moved in. I also switched the mantle decor, finally moving on from the display which I had pointedly declared "not that Christmasy". It was Christmasy. It is better now. 

I pulled fabric for a new quilt, and made a nice pile of fabric to give away. I cut some pieces for yet another quilt, but it wasn't quite working so it's has been sidelined. These and about 5 other projects are strewn about my sewing room in a lovely creative mess. Need to get serious at some point. 

I did NOT sit at my desk, which means I did not start on the taxes like I had hoped to this week, or deal with a million other paper-pusher tasks that are in need of doing. Urg. 

I made no less than 3 trips to walmart with the younger two...geez. But it always fits, after we drop Amy at school. William loves to look at the toys, I can grab some groceries, and Caroline finds it fairly entertaining to see if she can pitch things out of the cart faster than I can put them in. So it's a win-win. The only pathetic part is that we are there at nearly the same time each day (and a lovely time it is, as we have the store to ourselves), and pass by the staff's morning meeting, which always ends with the same little song/cheer pep-talk thing... and now it's stuck my head. 

We played outside a lot, and I've begun some preliminary thinking about what might go in that big garden this spring. 

I've neglected my knitting, resting on my laurels of the completed projects I shared the other day. Time to fix that oversight and get cozy with some yarn and the tele. Thanks for helping me think through the week. There was more I assure you, but I think you get the idea. Wishing you a happy weekend! 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Three and Four

Sorry if the project posts get boring, but I'm on such a rare roll, and sharing/organizing my creative plans here helps so much with keeping that roll going. So, briefly, I present: 

Finished vest! Would link to the pattern but I'm posting from my phone and not cool enough to know how to do that from here. But it was super quick and easy. You've probably seen this yarn before, it was a huge skein and has already been made into two hats, this vest, and I still have some left. Size 10 needles. Zip zip. Too bad it turned out a touch small for C, but was terribly fun for practice anyway. I think I'll just hang it on the wall or something and make it again a size bigger. I didn't even go out to buy buttons for it, and found these two silly turtles in my button box! Score. 

I followed up that project with this one: 

A misfit skein of yarn tried to be a hat, and a cowl (twice) but failed so eventually I just crocheted round and round and now it is a basket. Shown holding another misfit project, which I will tell more about whenever I get around to posting about those quilting projects in the queue. 

Next up, must finish the socks or know the reason why. Stay tuned! 

Saturday, January 24, 2015


Caroline and I had the most wonderful time this past Thursday. Her mood was so delightful all day that at the end it seemed like a really satisfying day, though I don't think I got much of anything done.  A and W were both at school in the morning, and C and I spent nearly the whole time in the kitchen. I tidied up, and she played ON the small yellow table that recently re-entered the kitchen after being sequestered in the garage to make room for the Christmas tree. 

First there was a snack on the windowsill... 

Then she got down to take all the seltzer cans out of their box and put each onto the table, then one by one she lined them up on the windowsill... 

And then she got really excited about stacking them up - she did three high all by herself! 

Babies are so marvelous, because the purest joy is found in the most simple accomplishments. 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

15 for 2015

So, thanks to a good friend who got me all inspired for some new year's knitting, I am on a serious roll in the crafty world right now. I've been sorting out my stashes of both fabric and yarn, but let's just talk about yarn for this post. 

First off, to the tune of Let It Go, please, here is all the yarn I will not be using, and actually took straight to Goodwill: 

Orphaned skeins that were either from a project already completed, or things too annoying to work with, or just uninspired. Bye bye. 

Next, the most expensive yarn in my collection: some Plymouth Baby Alpaca bought a couple years ago for $15...gasp! I never buy expensive yarn, and I've been feeling guilty about it just sitting on my shelf, as soft and lovely as it is. So I grabbed a big hook and found a simple pattern and ta-da! One project done:

Dorky picture, not the right sweater. Moving on.  

Another quick one to finish, because it was actually mostly done, was this funny little yarn-wrapped mobile made from embroidery hoops. An idea I fell in love with from a magazine. Kinda weird, but it used leftover yarn and appeals to my love of colors. 

Numbers 3 and 4 are in progress currently.  I started knitting a pair of socks before I was expecting Amy... Um, 8 years ago.  I had completed most of one sock, but it was a little off and it was out of my head for the longest time.  No longer! I ripped out what I didn't like and reknit it correctly and finished one whole sock and started on the next. 

I have another 2 skeins of this same lovely yarn in another color, so I'm hoping to work through that, too, maybe trying another style. But I need to finish one pair first. That project moved to the back burner when my friend showed me a cute and really simple pattern for a sweater vest, similar in style to the blue sweater I made for Amy's birthday. I called in another yarn on hand and now that one is almost done... Much farther than this picture, actually, but it gives the idea. 

And this is what the rest of my on-hand yarn looks like, to go with the list of projects above: 

This list seems like a reasonable goal for the year, given that at some time I'll get distracted and lose my momentum.  Or maybe I won't and I'll keep plowing through like I've been doing (which has been so wonderful!) and maybe even earn the purchase of some brand-new, really nice yarn. But for now I'm trying to hold fast to my New Year's intention to work through as much as I can of my supplies on hand. Stay tuned for a similar run-down on some quilting and sewing goals next time! Happy weekend! 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Three Quick Takes

A, the toothless wonder. Thank goodness she insists on pulling her own teeth when they are ready. Today was number 5. I don't have the stomach for it. She also read the entire first Harry Potter book herself, and we watched the movie tonight to celebrate. 

W, my baking buddy. We finished all the Christmas cookies, so yesterday we made a round of chocolate chip. He is sporting the apron I made him for Christmas. 

C, who absolutely loves playing outside, no matter how wet it is. Making these waterproof pants from LL Bean the best money I've spent yet this season. 

Okay, one more: 

This cuteness didn't last long. I spent most of the (brief) trip through the grocery store listening to, "Mommy, Caroline is squashing me!" Yup, number three is the one who won't sit still in the shopping cart. 

Happy weekend, folks!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Why We Don't Do Afterschool Activities

Because quite often the most important thing you can do after school is dump your backpack in the house and spend the next hour outside pretending you are a bridesmaid in a Harry Potter wedding, while majestically humming Christmas carols. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


William has a bit of a robot obsession lately. 

Drawing and wanting to write his own stories has been big lately, too, with one common theme to his work. 

Best of all was his summary, "Mommy, I know two words that start with W!  William and WOBOT!" 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Year's Day

2015 started with me in bed extra long with a late-sleeping snuggler: 

Then there was the new calendar, and some memories recalled from the cover alone:

A new hat (helix knitting!) 

A dash outside after breakfast to "play in the frost".  My poor winter-deprived kids think this is like playing in the snow, complete with yelps of joy, "Mommy, it frosted!!" 

Cold as it was, the "frosting" didn't last long in the beautiful sunshine. 

Clear January days are among my favorite. Took a picture of the blue sky just to revel in it: 

Yoda even made an appearance: 

And so begins a new year! Speaking of Yoda, I hear her now. Best be off!