Sunday, March 29, 2015

Spring Break Recap

Oh, it has been a lovely week here. A and W's school had spring break this past week, so we had a wonderful reprieve from the hurry-up-get-in-the-car twice or thrice daily routine, and for the most part had a very low-key week. I'm not much of a cruise director when it comes to my kids' free time. Adventures and outings are great, but I try to avoid the expectation of external entertainment. Sometimes this makes me feel like a pretty lame mom, but mostly I think we are striking a good balance, and this week sorta highlighted that; the pace felt good. Let's take a stroll through the highlights, shall we? 

Lest it all seem rosy, I should mention that last Friday afternoon found me at the doctor's office with a miserable Caroline, who was quickly diagnosed with pneumonia. Score one for the fact that she still loves nursing, because that was her only comfort and I think what saved her from dehydration as she wouldn't drink or eat otherwise for a day or so. But, she bounced back extremely quickly on antibiotics, and was good as new by the end of the weekend. 

Saturday morning - I had a headache and didn't feel great but C was better and Don insisted I stick with my plan to go out by myself for a bit in the morning as my birthday treat. I'm glad I did, because I had a lovely, quiet time drooling though this yarn shop 

and skimming through some of the cute antique stores downtown. Very enjoyable morning. 

Sunday, my 32nd birthday! Don went to church but the rest of us had a calm quiet day at home. I tidied up my sewing room and baked a cake. The kids were super sweet. It was a perfect birthday. 

Monday started like this - no wonder I always wake up with a kink in my neck, I was somewhere on that pillow mere moments before I took this picture: 

We had a rocking good time in Walmart buying a cartful of groceries, one transformer and one Barbie, spending quarters on the coin machines at the exit, and capping it all off with McDonald's for lunch. Quite the day. I took tons of pictures of C putting Lego helmets on her toes, as I mentioned in my last post. 

Tuesday, a home day. We spent a long time outside, and watched this snail making good speed across the patio: 

Wednesday: quick outting to the post office and Joann Fabrics so I could get thread for my latest quilting project. Otherwise, there was knitting, and much Transformer playing. 

Thursday: another day at home, except for a quick trip out to pick up D from work. I made pumpkin bars and had a proper tea party with the big kids. 

Oh, and there was this moment: 

Friday, our big out-on-the-town adventure day. To cap off a fun week, we treated ourselves to a loaded day. I took the kiddos pottery painting, we went to the art museum, out to lunch, and to a vintage-y toy store. The kids loved being in "the city" and all three were so happy and well-behaved and enthusiastic the whole time, it was such fun. 

Field-trip points awarded to Mommy. 

Saturday, another home day, Daddy got back from a brief business trip, and we had a Harry Potter movie night. Amy wanted her hair curly, so we tried rag curls for the first time. Cute! 

And today, Palm Sunday. We all went to church, Amy happily sporting her curls...

and in the afternoon we enjoyed another nice springy day. I finished cleaning out the greenhouse and got a whole bunch of seeds started. It was such a lovely, relaxing time. I don't know quite what to make of the growing season here - it is still rather chilly overnight, but everything is growing and blooming so I guess it is time to get things started. I'm grateful for this shabby little potting shed greenhouse; it's not much to look at but is just the right amount of space, and frankly a little dream come true. Good for the soul. 

Aaaaand now it is back to school tomorrow. Bittersweet, as I had such fun having everyone home all day long, but also welcome, as we all do well on our regular schedule. And there are just 11 weeks left, with about half of those being 4 day weeks for one reason or the other. We've got this. 

Thanks for joining me on my little recap of all the ordinary, special moments of this past week. It was one to treasure. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Little Things

C is such a funny girl. She has so many collections of little things these days, almost none of which are actually toys, and most of which could be considered choking hazards. Showing here are her favorite treasures: little plastic flossers lifted from the upstairs bathroom, a set of dice, about a dozen squishy silicone pencil grippers in bright, glittery colors, and best of all, Lego helmets. You might not know it, but Lego helmets fit perfectly on 8 out of 10 baby toes - she could show you. She also loves the necklaces that William and Amy made for her. 

She's such a dear girl, and goes about her little activities with such seriousness and such joy. We do love her so. 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Off the Needles

I've been a busy girl lately, with all manner of daily child-rearing tasks of course, a dash of spring cleaning thrown in, some furious rainy-weekend sewing, and in precious spare moments, lots and lots of knitting. Here's what I have to show for myself: 

A skein of cotton given to me by a friend, in the most beautiful green, worked up in the moss stitch. I suppose it is a hand towel, but really it is too soft and lovely to be terribly effective as a towel. Anyway, I relished working on it because it made me think of my friend, and the color so exactly matches the shade of the grass in our yard right now, so lush after the mild PNW winter. Can you see the major error in my stitching? Oops. It was good practice. 

Next, last weekend's big push to finish a languishing project was successful, and I quilted and finished these shams for the large pillows on the daybed. 

I was worried that they would be too big and fit awkwardly, but after a nice shrink in the wash they are just right. I used about half of the strips from a jelly roll, the name of the collection is escaping me at the moment... But the other half is going to be a baby quilt for a friend's first, and I'll try to come up with the designer and pattern name when I get around to posting about that. 

Lastly, for now, another one of the little sweater vests, this time two sizes larger, and using a skein of some abysmally cheap, no-name yarn from my stash. I'm so pleased with how it turned out! 

Caroline helped me pick the buttons...

And then graciously tried it on for me, but had places to go and things to do, so all I have is blurry pictures of her in it. 

She got tons of compliments later that morning at preschool pickup, which I admit made me feel pretty good, especially since this sweater was done in under a week, and cost about $2. 

The stash busting continues! I'm already about 3" into a similar vest for Amy. Time to go pick that up and happily knit away the remainder of the evening with a Don and a movie. Back soon! 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Freshening Up Spaces

Ever since making these curtains for the living room I've been on a slow quest to freshen up our living room and make it feel (for the first time in our marriage) like a truly "decorated" and adult space. Hard when we keep moving, and with kids and toys and all the things that present a challenge to a serene and cohesive space. But, I think I am now pretty much there. 

My little yellow table is looking sweet and bright in front of the window, and the kids have been finding it useful. There was some transformers play, as well as some Hogwarts homework. 


The Hogwarts homework just slayed me; I can't help but share: 

There was a similar page devoted to transfiguration- this girl is well rounded in her studies. 

Anyway, here's the other half of the room: 

The mantle I fixed up after Christmas, using my favorite collection of blue glass bottles, some fake dogwood stems from Joann's, wreaths I made from blackberry vine growing wild on our hedges, and a cute lamp from Ross. The print over the piano was purchased, also at Ross, just last week and was exactly what this room has needed. I absolutely adore it. Previously there was a smaller painting above the piano and matching lamps and the whole thing looked kind of fuddy-duddy. Inspired by the new print, I hauled out the box of framed photos that so far hadn't made it to the walls in this house, and went about making a little gallery wall out of our black-and-white grandparent wedding pictures. That's us in the middle. And the bottom left frame is still awaiting a picture, just place holding for now. And don't you love the feet sprouting from the couch? 

So that's that. It gives me such a pleasant feeling to have this room looking a bit more spiffy than it was. 

I'll sign off with an awfully cute picture of my favorite snuggle bunny:  Have a lovely Wednesday, folks! 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Not Perfect

I'm feeling a little under-blogged and topics are piling up, but since that magical time block just to write and catch up is not any more likely to appear in this week than it did in the last, I will jump right in with my most recently completed quilt. This one a baby blanket for an expecting friend. However, it sadly did not pass quality control, even after a redo attempt. Since I am quite tired of this particular project, I'm calling it done, and it is already in Caroline's crib. 

The piecing on this one went very well, and of course I adore the fabrics. It was the backing that did me in. I sprung for some fancy cotton sherpa I had seen all over other people's darling projects, but I forgot my personal rule of quilting: turned quilts just never work out. 

No matter how carefully I stitched, it was all bubbly and stretchy in all the wrong places. 

And while it is fine and certainly cute, I am too much of a perfectionist to send this off into the world as an example of my work. So it is back to the drawing board for my dear friend! Plan and sew another quilt? Oh darn, if I must.