Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

Life is a bit hectic right now, but I hope to post something of substance soon. In the meantime, please enjoy the pics of adventures with play-dough and Buttons in her chicken costume. Yes, she does the chicken dance and yes, I fall on the floor laughing every time!

"making rainbow, Mama"

Here she is praying to the parent gods to take this thing off of her. (She has since warmed to the idea of her poultry outfit.)

What are you going to be for Halloween?

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Nightmares and Snuggles

"If you were my baby bat, I would soar with you below the stars and hold you close when the nights flying is done." -Fran Hodgkins*

Oh Buttons, when you scream out "Mama" in the middle of the night, I feel such a strong need to hold you in my arms and tell you everything will be all right. The thing that really amazes me? It works. I pick you up from your crib and hold you and immediately, you release your tension. You snuggle with me and go back to sleep almost instantly. It's like my arms are your safe haven and when you are in them, you can rest. I sit in the rocker with you and my troubles melt away like your nightmares. Your arms hug my neck without your knowledge and you and I become the only people in the world. You are my safe haven too. I wish you sweet dreams, but I'll be there in case of nightmares, snuggle ready.

*If You Were My Baby: A Wildlife Lullaby by Fran Hodgkins, illustrated by Laura J. Bryant

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Congratulations Team Salsa!

I've been keeping up with "Do They Have Salsa in China" for quite some time. They are over in China right now meeting their daughters (twins!) Marie and Rose. Check out the first family picture here. Yeah!

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Sunday, October 22, 2006


Just a few pics from our trip to Pittsburgh. We caught up with some friends of ours and had a great time. If you're ever there with a small child, you owe it to yourself to go to the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh. More on this later. My eyes are closing. However, before I sleep, THANK YOU SECRET PAL for the great e-card (seriously funny) and the e-mail to let me know you've received something that could be for ME!!!

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Rub My Baby's Back Behind

To cut the low-brow humor of this post, here's a sweet pic of Buttons visiting a local farm where she had an entire conversation with some goats. The girl loves goats!

Warning: Post about poop coming your way. Buttons is getting good at the potty, but sometimes she seems to need a little help. One day after sitting with her for a good 15 minutes, I asked her if I could rub her back. Although I didn't really think it would help, I thought what the hey? Apparently, I found her magic poop spot cause things started happening. I think my hubby thought I was nuts the first time I told him to try it. The magic rub has helped on a number of occasions, including last night. Hubby and I were getting Buttons ready for bed and I told him to give it a go and it happened again. I started singing "Genie in a Bottle" and he started singing the title of this post to "...Baby One More Time". Buttons, hubby and I are all crowded into this tiny bathroom and we're singing bad teen pop songs about pooping. We laughed and I said to hubby "you know this will be a post and your song will be the title". So there you have it.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

October 17th

She officially turned two today. She can run. She can dance. She can talk. She can make jokes. She can hug. She can color. She can be insistent on swimming solo. She can say no thanks. She can put on her shoes. She can enjoy the moment. She can blow out the candles.

Happy Birthday Buttons!

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Sunday, October 15, 2006

Still More Questions for SP9!

More SP9 questions and I'm sorry the answers are so long. I'm very indecisive when it comes to absolutes.

Actor - Big fan of Robert De Niro, but Johnny Depp is becoming a fave.
Actress - Meryl Streep
Animal - Cats and Dogs
Band - Oh, so hard to choose. I keep thinking of 80's bands like U2, The Police and R.E.M.
Book - Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi
Bubble Bath - I mostly do shower gel with a lavender, lemon or mint scent.
Candy - Good quality truffles (especially Belgian) can't be beat, but Mallow Cups could be my fave and they're hard to find.
Color - Clothing: lavender, fuschia and dark royal blue. Home Decor: Sage green, red, butter yellow. (I like a rainbow of colors really.)
Drink- Naturally flavored soda water. Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz are my fave wines.
Flower - Calla Lilly
Food - Ok, a lunchbox from Bread & Cie and onto Balboa Park to eat it with my family
Lip Balm -Bath & Body Works Mentha Lip Balm Stick by C.O. Bigelow
Lotion - Aveeno Intense Relief Hand Cream for dry hands. Origins Ginger Souffle for everything else.
Movie - Too many... Amelie, Bridget Jones' Diary, any Coen Brothers movie (Raising Arizona, Fargo)
Place- San Diego
Song - "Power of Two" by the Indigo Girls (plus a zillion more)
TV Show - Lost and Nip/Tuck are a couple I really like
Yarn- I really enjoy Mission Falls cotton and almost any Colinette yarn. (Not a huge fan of chenille even though theirs is the best.) Pretty much any decent quality soft wool has my vote.
Vacation Spot - San Diego, Belgium (Antwerp, Brugge, Ghent), southern Spain

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More Questions Answered for SP9

SP9 officially starts today and my host Shelby asked us to answer a few questions about ourselves on our blog. Consider yourself tagged if you want to be and then let us know in the comments to come and read your blog!

1. Where is your favorite knitting spot? I enjoy knitting on our sofa in front of our TV for Netflix movie watching.

2. If you suddenly could never knit again (shudder) - what would you do instead? I used to do cross-stitch and I still do some scrapbooking and I enjoy photography as well. However, you can't take my knitting away!

3. If you could travel anywhere in the world - where would you go and why? I've always wanted to visit Ireland. I guess I have this little fantasy about going and staying at a B&B in a little town, meeting the towns folk in a pub with a pint of Guiness. I also want to go back to China perhaps to adopt again, but most definitely to take Buttons back to her birth country. It is an amazing place.

4. When you were little - What did you want to do "when you grew up?" Are you doing it? I wanted to be a teacher or a psychologist. I need to finish a degree to do either of those things and get a full time job. I have taught and counseled in other ways and it's something I still want to pursue.

5. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Tie! Moose Tracks...vanilla ice cream with chunks of chocolate and little peanut butter cups. Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey...banana flavored ice cream with excellent chocolate chunks.

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Saturday, October 14, 2006

The Cow Says Twoo

Buttons celebrated her 2nd birthday today with 7 of her buddies and 11 of our buddies. Our friend Jan made this cake (YUM), our friend Marsha took pictures after our camera ran out of batteries, our friend Beth brought juice boxes and offered the services of her camera as well. It takes a village to throw a birthday party. We have such wonderful friends.

We had the party at a local creamery/farm and we had a blast! The kids visited with cows, ducks, sheep, pigs and chickens. We went on a hayride to pick out our "perfect pumpkin", and then came back for snacks, drinks, cake and ice cream sundaes. Buttons would want to tell you about the singing as well. She loves the "Happy Birthday" song and afterwards she even blew out her candle! We all clapped and she was so happy. This year we had practiced the song and blowing out the candle in advance and it worked.
At the end of the party, everyone pitched in to help clean up and said their goodbyes. We packed our stuff, loaded the car, watched the cows and ran around in a field of grass with the cloudless blue sky stretched out above us. Buttons, Baba and Mama laughing, running, falling and flying. All the rushing of the day floating away with just the three of us. I enjoy parties, but that may have been my favorite part of the day.

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Heart Melting

Out of the blue she says to me...

"Mama, love you much."

Then she hugs me.

What more could you want in life?

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Chili Cook-Off and Secret Pal

Ok, I would much rather give you a picture of Buttons from our local chili cook-off, but you'll have to settle for a pot of chili instead. I'm not a professional blogger and I can't seem to figure out how to turn my photos the right way sometimes. Oh well, the chili looks good, right?

The cook-off was fun and the day couldn't have been better. A slightly cool fall day with the sun beaming down, a flurry of people enjoying themselves, a band playing and all the chili you could eat.

Hubby helped out in one of the booths while Buttons and I strolled along the main street. Buttons took it all in and loved it. She danced to the big band as they played selections from "Chicago", she pointed out every dog she saw (there were many) and she enjoyed one of her favorite foods. Not chili, silly. ICE CREAM! Hubby joined us and we strolled some more and I was loving life.

This is a fairly small town, but I saw at least 3 adoptive families. In fact the picture I wanted to post was of Buttons and A., her new friend who was born in the Guangdong province of China 9 years ago. Buttons shrieked for joy playing hide and seek with A. Isn't it great how kids can just make friends like that (snap fingers)? It's a great gift. Speaking of new friends...

Secret Pal Update
I received my secret pal info for SP9 and promptly sent an e-mail to my spoilee. I won't say too much about him/her, so if she/he reads this, they won't figure out it's him/her.

I also received several e-mails from my spoiler. She sounds really fun and we've already sent e-mail back and forth a few times. She seems to share my love of music and I think she's kinda sassy. Rock on Secret Pal!

In other news, my hubby and I celebrated our 19 year dating anniversary yesterday. I'm the luckiest woman on the planet to be with this guy! (I'm also younger than you might think since we started dating very early.)

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Monday, October 09, 2006

Dude, where's my #@%!$ ?

Ok. I'll admit it. I'm a recovering "swear driver". People with cars do stupid things. In times past when other people did stupid things in their cars, I would air my grievances in a very non-creative way. Not to their faces, but in the safety of my car I would blow off steam. Smart? No. Childish? Absolutely. I tried many times to stop and my hubby even bought this book for me to ponder. What finally stopped this craziness? See above photo.

I knew it would be impossible for me not to have some outlet for my angst, so I tried to come up with something. "Dude" was my answer. I could call someone a dude when they cut me off, hitched a ride on my bumper, or took my parking space. While dude is not the most attractive word, at least if Buttons repeated it I would get weird stares instead of angry, "what kind of mutha are you" stares. The other bonus of dude? It reminds me of Jeff Spicoli and how can you stay mad when you're using a term used by a pot-smoking surfer?

My plan was foolproof. "Dude, that is not cool to pass in front of me and then stop." "Dude, where am I supposed to go?" "Could you get over Dude, so I can get on the highway? I mean you have all the room in the world in the lane next to you." "Duuuuude!" Well, I did keep my voice down and it did make me keep the comments short. Mostly.

Well, I'm in the car the other day and there is a dude who not only needs a "dude" utterance, but also a laying of the horn. Well, I hear a little voice from the backseat say "No dudes, mama. No dudes." Foolproof maybe. Buttons? No fool.

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Sunday, October 08, 2006

Three Plus One

Some pictures for you until I have time to post actual paragraphs.

My finished afghan square.

My nearly finished Christmas stocking.

Button's sweater that needs to be put together.
(Thanks P. for all of your help on this one!)

A Peruvian hand-knit sweater I found at a local "outgrown" sale for $10!


Sunday, October 01, 2006

SP9 Questionnaire

Well, SP9 is officially on its way to starting. I signed up a little while ago to be a Secret Pal and also to have a Secret Pal and we're all brought together by knitting. So, I need to post once a week until January about knitting and I have to make sure my secret pal can find this questionnaire on my blog. I will also publicly thank my secret pal for any packages I recieve and provide y'all with pictures on my blog.

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? I love soft wools, alpaca and cotton mixes along with many other fibers. Acrylic is not my favorite, but I have used it before.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? I have a cloth case from Lantern Moon for my straight needles and I have a zippered storage case for my circulars. My DPNs can be found in both.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? I have been knitting for approximately 3 years. I would say I'm somewhere in the intermediate range.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? I do have an Amazon wishlist and would be happy to provide it to you upon request, Secret Pal.

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products, etc.) I generally go for scents like sage, cinnamon, vanilla, lemon, coconut. If it's a sweet scent, it needs to have a little punch to it, such as Sage Citrus by Yankee Candle. Flowery and pine-like scents don't appeal to me. I'm a bit of a smell-o-holic.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? Um, is chocolate a candy or it's own food group? I love chocolate and I might walk through fire for real Belgian chocolate. However, a good Hershey bar is very satisfying.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin? I don't spin and I'm not sure it's something I really want to get into right now. I do some scrapbooking and I'm looking for crafts to start doing with my daughter. She can't wait to knit, but I think 2 is a little early to start.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) Oh, music, music, music! Yes, I am MP3 capable. I really love world music especially (but not limited to) African and Cuban music. I'm always looking for Chinese music as well. My taste varies, but I like anything from Erasure to Joan Armatrading, REM to Ella Fitzgerald, Abba to Indigo Girls, The Beatles to the Doors, movie soundtracks to Broadway soundtracks. I'm not too into country, although I think Patsy Cline is a goddess and rap ain't my thang although there have been some songs that I enjoy. I enjoy classical and opera, but unfortunately not very knowledgeable about either.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand? I tend to stick to cool colors like blues, greens, purples and pinks for my wardrobe. I also like most reds as well. Although I enjoy them, extreme muted tones never look good on me (not that my knitting is all about me) but I would be willing to try them. I guess I'd say nothing too over the top for me like bright orange or super uggo green. The main floor of my home is done in butter yellow with sage green and has a little bit of red thrown in for good measure. My bedroom is a deep shade of lavender.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? My family consists of my sweet hubby, my dear daughter "Buttons" and our grey fluffy cat "Dee Dee".

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? Yes!

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? Gosh, it depends on the day. I have enjoyed scarves, but that gets old. I really like hats and handbags for a quick project and for longer projects, I enjoy making things for my girl. (Sweaters, hats and a Christmas stocking so far).

13. What are you knitting right now? I'm weaving in the ends of Button's stocking and then I'm going to finish a number of projects like an afghan square for charity, a felted hat, a sleeveless top for me, two sets of mittens and on and on...

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? Yes, please!

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? I like the versatility of circular, however, the Lantern Moon straight needles make me a bit weak in the knees. I love my set of Denise Needles, but in general bamboo are my favorite. I have recently purchased my first Addi Turbos (Size 9, 16") and really enjoyed working with them.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? No, but I hope to in the future.

17. How old is your oldest UFO? 2 Years?

18. What is your favorite holiday? I love the fall, but Christmas is my favorite holiday.

19. Is there anything that you collect? Besides dust? I'm trying my darndest to live more simply and failing miserably. That being said, I can't seem to have enough knitting pattern books.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? I'm very interested in "Teaching Yourself Visually: Knitting" and "Teaching Yourself Visually: Crocheting" since I am a very visual learner and I have found these books have the best pictures. I'm also very interested in the Sally Melville books "The Knit Stitch" and "The Purl Stitch". For needles, see # 15. I love so many yarns, it's hard to say. I need to find a pattern and some needles for my new Opal Prisma sock yarn since it will be my very first time knitting socks. I've always been interested in "Interweave Knits", but I don't have any subscriptions to any knitting mags.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? I'd like to make a moebius scarf.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? I have 'finished' my first Christmas stocking. I think that makes me a pre-sock knitter. I don't know my foot measurements, but I wear around a size 7 1/2 shoe.

23. When is your birthday? (mm/dd) I'd rather not give my exact birthdate, but it's very close to Thanksgiving in November.

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