Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Just Keep Crafting

"I just checkin' it...for cracks.  I checkin' it for cracks, Mommy.  You can't use it with cracks, gotta be safe!"

I started a Find Your Fade shawl so I could use up some of what I had dyed waaaaaay back in 2012 when I thought I'd like to try my hand at selling yarn.  Knitting is going so well, that I set it aside so that I could whip up a Geranium dress for A.  Procrastination is both my name and my game, friends! W and V usually take a long afternoon nap, so I'm hoping to get the dress finished during that time.  Unfortunately, that's also when I'd typically clean the house, or at least entertain the idea of cleaning the house, hehehe!

What are you working on?

Shared with Frontier Dreams and GSheller

Monday, February 27, 2017

Quality Time

On Saturday Chris took V out for some quality "daddy-daughter time".

Taking her out for the day gave me some quality time with W, and it wasn't until they were gone that I took one look at him and realized I had no clue what to do with him.  Recovering from a chest cold wasn't helping either, as it severely limited where we could go and the rapidly plummeting temperatures combined with hard rains further narrowed the possibilities.  I had no clue what to do with him because since he was born I've had little to no time with him on his own.  How sad is that?

He decided that he'd like to go out to lunch at a local sports bar/restaurant that we frequent.  They have a big fish tank in the front and W loves being able to watch the fish.  Sitting down to lunch with him made me realize just how grown 4 really is.  We had an actual conversation, he told me stories and jokes and asked me questions about things that had piqued his curiosity.  We discussed his peanut allergy and how that means he can't have desserts like other kids can.  He watched some of an old hockey game, and wandered off to say hello to "Mr. Tod", a taxidermy fox they have sitting over a fireplace.

When he was done licking the sauce off his wings (because why would we eat them?) he asked to go to the yarn store.  Mama can certainly do that! It was jam-packed; they must have had some kind of knit along going on.  W was in his glory, surrounded by a bunch of women he could show off and for whom he could be silly.  Mercifully, they didn't mind his antics (or at least they said they didn't) and we made it out of there only with yarn we "needed".

By the time we returned home Chris and V were back, and I was a bit disappointed that W's and my time together was at an end.

I've often thought about traveling with him, just the two of us, and I used to think it was just an excuse for me to be able to satisfy my wanderlust.  Now I think that desire was indicative of a need to spend some real time with my son, and share with him something that I love.  When we'll go and where we'll go remains to be seen, but in the mean time I'm going to be making a bigger effort to have one on one time with W.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Photo Dump, Chit Chat, Lenten Preparations

 Sorry for all the baby A pics, but I just cannot get enough of that face! (or her sweet baby mohawk).  Her "Welcome to the Flock" sweater was my absolute favorite knit I made for her, and these are the only pictures I have of her in it.  By the way, if you need a truly newborn sized knit, this is the pattern! She's wearing the smallest size, knit to gauge, and in these photos I had to wrestle her into it because at about 9 1/2 pounds, it fit her like a sausage in a skin.  
 I really wish I had given A to Chris to hold, because this would have made the perfect Christmas card.  W, in all of his W-ness, is standing at the front, yelling at me to quit taking pictures, because we're at the zoo, not a picture-taking place.  He's is such a grumpy old man! These are all from Christmas Eve, which we traditionally spend at the zoo.
 I can't get over how eternally grumpy this kid is.  When he's in a good mood, he's the sweetest, silliest monkey in the world, but when he's not...well...if he's miserable, everyone better be miserable with him.
I've said in the past, that if I had known just how tough of a kid W was going to be, I'd have probably attempted to space our kids out a bit.  I'm so glad that I didn't know because it would have robbed me and this world of such sweet, easy-going, affectionate individual.  
Not Christmas Eve, just a 60 degree February day.  Buds on the magnolia and laundry on the line.

Three in a week, guys, three in a week! If I keep this up I may even develop a habit and this blog might just be read by someone other than myself.

At this point I'm fairly certain that 2 of our 3 kids have flu.  I'm trying to keep W and A well rested and well hydrated.  V, being the feral one, has gotten away with a head cold, thanks in part to all the dirt she eats.  (At least that is what I'm going to credit it to).

Whatever it is they have, it couldn't have come at a better time.  Lent started a week early in this house.  Last Saturday, W, being W, thought he'd take the stance that he needn't clean up any of his messes because I'd do it for him.  Chris told him that if he didn't start picking up his messes that I'd take away all the toys.  So I did.  Chris took the kids out to wash the car and I emptied the house of almost all the toys.  W was left with 5 hot wheels cars, and a barrel of monkeys.  V fared better, she was left with her dollhouse and the wooden animals she uses to play with it, as well as her rocking unicorn, and her babies Lila and Willow.  They still have some "collective" toys; a few pine cones and shells, a couple play silks, their silk streamers, and some Lincoln logs that I forgot about because they were hiding behind the massive dollhouse.  A didn't have to give up anything, but then again she only has a bell, a purple bunny, a sailboat, and a pig.
Ordinarily this change would have been met with a lot of resistance, but since everyone is sick they tolerated it well.  W even thanked me because his room is no longer a mess! He was a bit worried as to where everything had gone, but I reassured him that it was still here and he'd get (most of) it back after Easter.  Our kids don't really have much stuff to begin with, but they're reaching the age of small parts without the discipline and self restraint to only get out what is needed, so things were getting pretty hairy around here.

Speaking of Lent, I'm starting to do some meal planning and freezer cooking.  Typically, I meal plan 3 months at a time but since I completely forgot about Lent, I had to go back and re-do the month of March.  I gave thought to giving up meat entirely for Lent, but then I remembered our cow in the basement.
One thing I have been struggling with is what to give up.  There aren't many "vices" I have; I rarely drink, shop, or gamble.  I don't really want to give up food, simply because I'm going to be undergoing a massive diet overhaul during Lent anyway, so giving up sweets is rather hollow when you can't eat gluten or sugar to begin with.  On the other hand, I have decided to take up a couple things during the Lenten season, namely reading a book a week that pertains to the faith and accomplishing at least 1 good task each day.  Are you planning on taking anything up for Lent?

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Just Keep Crafting

I keep starting this post every week, but every week I find myself with nothing to write about.  It's been hard, I've been wallowing.  When I finally did get up the gumption to start knitting again I cast on an Owlette for V in a thick, red wool, only for us to start having 65 degree days in February.  We live in Pennsylvania, so it's not quite what we're used to in terms of late winter weather.  I am struggling with whether or not I should just finish the thing; there is the very real chance we could get walloped with snow in March and April, but if we don't, the red color is not flattering at all on A, so I would probably never put her in it.  It is helping me retrain myself in how to knit, so maybe I'll keep on with it.

I cast on a Loop shawl with some Sockenwolle and what I believe is some Mountain Colors Bearfoot.  My goal is to complete 6 shawls this year for our MOPs Swap in the fall.  I don't know if it'll happen though since I also wanted to start knitting myself some socks.  So many plans, so little time!

I'm re-reading my catechism; 16 years away from the Church, it seemed like a good place to start! I did finally finish The Plantagenets, which I loved.  I'm not sure what I want to move onto though.  I feel like I need to re-read some of my parenting books since A is starting to move into a stage of more awareness and eventually mobility.  On the other hand, I've got so much else I'd like to read and an Amazon wishlist that is 250 books long.  Maybe a book on minimalism, just for irony's sake? 

Shared with Frontier Dreams and GSheller

Monday, February 20, 2017

O Where, O Where Has My Little Blog Gone?

I think for Lent I should take UP blogging.

The past few weeks have been exhausting and everything has suffered for it.

We were blessed by Chris moving onto a new job in the company - one with a career path! But, it meant an extra 20 or so miles on top of the 40+ he was already driving (one way, mind you) so almost immediately grown-up bedtime moved to about 8:30-9pm.  It still hasn't ceased to amuse me that the longer commute time gets him home an hour earlier than when he was working closer to home!
Grown-up bedtime being moved necessitated a move for kiddo bedtime, which is now 7:30.  This hasn't really affected the kids; V is generally a good sleeper and W is still the terrible sleeper he has always been.  The difference now, is that instead of W crawling into our bed at 4 am and being somewhat welcome because we weren't up until 6 or 6:30, W is crawling into bed at 4 and Chris is now waking up for 4:30.  On top of that, A has been waking up to nurse, so W's 4 am intrusions are most unwelcome right now.  Basically everyone but V is running on fumes.

A is having serious issues in the weight gain department - leading me to desperately figure out some happy(?) medium between nursing, pumped milk, and formula supplementation.  I've been so blessed that I've been able to nurse her so long (the older two were FTT babies) but she's gotten down right lazy.  Now I'm trying to figure out the best way to wean her onto a bottle for the majority of her feeds without compromising her ability or desire to nurse a couple times a day.

Then I finally decided that my years of living with depression, anxiety, weight gain, and general discomfort were enough, I was going to see a doctor! Truthfully, my hair falling out drove me to it more than anything else.  I had soooooo much bloodwork ran, specifically looking at my thyroid and at the possibility of celiac.  Neither of those would surprise me, but my money is on a celiac diagnosis.  We'll see.  

In the midst of all of this the kiddos got sick with a pretty terrible respiratory virus.  All three sound like long term smokers when they cough, especially poor V.  I've found myself quietly admonishing her to cut it down to half a pack a day; my sick sense of humor being what gets us through these days.  True to form, if V hears me, she just giggles at me because she sees me laughing.  She's such a happy girl, even when she's sick.  

All of this is what has been going on these past 4 weeks or so.  On the bright side of things, I've got a bunch of seed catalogs on their way here which means (hopefully!) some garden-related posts coming up.  Maybe I'll get a couple chickens just to mess with Chris.  We shall see!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Big Snow

This was taken 2 days before the snow, when it was nearly 70 degrees outside.  It seems we have a new friend.  I've been calling it 'Bandit'.

It finally happened! Last night we got snow, our first real snow of the year, in my opinion anyway.  The kids were thrilled and even baby A got to experience it.  There's nothing funnier than a young child in a snowsuit.  V kept taking 2 steps and then falling over, unable to get up.  She'd just lay there, making snow angels for a while, giggling and trying to catch snowflakes on her tongue before shouting for help.  W is much more down to business when it comes to snow (surprise, surprise!) first things first, he collects snow for ice cream.  Then he uses his giant excavator to make a path to walk to the patio gate.  Only then can he really enjoy himself, usually by telling V all of the "snow rules".  Once he's certain she knows them all he moves on to babysitting me, making sure that I'm keeping baby A warm enough and reminding me that she probably shouldn't be sat on the ground in the snow (which she wasn't!).

We came inside and the cupboards being rather bare, we baked muffins for lunch.  Coconut blueberry oat muffins, to be exact and they were delicious! I've been trying to involve the kids in my many homemaking tasks more often.  I know they're more than capable, and I don't really mind having the help, but I just can't quite get over the fact that things go so much faster if I do it myself.  Faster and cleaner.  I'm getting better about it though.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Sundays with Grammy

Sundays often end up "Grammy" days.  We drive the 45 minutes to Chris' mom's house and wile away the hours drinking coffee, discussing whatever comes to mind, and letting the kids spread out and go a bit crazy.  They've got about 50x more toys at Grammy's house than at home and most of them are from when daddy was little, so they're all the kinds of toys I'd probably never buy! Ninja Turtles, Pound Puppies, an old Fisher-Price kitchen full of McDonalds food! This weekend we brought out all the Ghostbusters toys.  W was in heaven!

Retrieving the Ghostbusters took us down to the shed, so I occupied V and W in the field while Grammy and Chris dug out the toys.  We don't spend much time in the field, and no time in the woods out there because her property is a major thruway for bears, so the quick run through the field was a big treat for W and V.  Of course V did manage to run straight through a jaggerbush and get a branch of it up the leg of her sweatpants, because if it was going to happen to anyone - it'd be her.  This is the same child who could be sitting perfectly still in the center of a chair, and still fall out of it.  There is a reason we didn't call her Grace.