Monday, July 30, 2007

And now for something completely knitting...

This market bag is made from yarn my SP10 gave me. It was great to work with and I love the color. The really cool part? I had just enough yarn. You see the thread hanging to the left? That is the only bit of yarn left from this project. Is it just me, or is that crazy? I felt like I should win a knitting award or something. How often does that happen? I was sweating it, thinking of back-up plans, I wasn't sure I would make the bind off and man would it have been annoying to have to undo the bind-off and several rows just to add a bit more yarn. There was enough yarn, but not enough to do just one more row...
Then there's this project. I had used a ball of this yarn plus a little of it from this ball for another project and decided I would try and do a bib for my niece S. with the almost full ball. Once again, what you see in the picture is the entire amount of yarn I had. I realize this is dangerous territory here. It's like Vegas when you're on a winning streak and you're sure the dice you throw is gonna turn for you and then you lose and have to rip out several rows and desperately try to find another ball of the same dye lot or use some other complementary yarn to finish. Ok, I'm mixing metaphors and linking knitting to gambling, but you get the idea. I can quit anytime. I'm not going to gamble on my knitting anymore. I'll make sure I have enough yarn next time. Except I think I have some leftover washcloth yarn I could use for a ballband washcloth pattern. Hmm...
Here's a project whose inspiration came when our friends "rented" baby chicks for a few weeks. Buttons loved the chicks and began walking around with this shoe box and small pie tin pretending there were chicks inside. I had recently purchased some new pom-pom makers and aching to try them, decided to make some chicks with leftover yellow Plymouth Encore yarn. Buttons loved them and her interest in knitting keeps growing, especially after getting this book from the library. It's a really great book about a man who knits and his special friendship with Mrs. Jolley, his knitting buddy on their 45 minute commute to the city.

Happy Knitting!

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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Party Time

When we went to China, we went with 13 other families whom I now refer to collectively as our "China Family". We were thrown together as a family because our paperwork came to our agency around the same time and we all wanted to adopt a child (or two) from China. We did not choose this family, but isn't that how most families come together? Anyway, for the last 2 years, we've had a reunion and it's something I've looked forward to each year. We were thrown together by chance and grew into a family in the span of 2 weeks in China. We met our children together, waited for delayed airplanes together, we've watched each other's children while we were sick and just plain helped one another on the journey of a lifetime.

Yesterday was our fantastic reunion and one of the families hosted at a wonderful old house with a pool that Buttons flipped over. We didn't have everyone there due to distance, vacations and sickness, but we had lots of people, food and good times. I'm certain Buttons jumped in the pool at least 80 times with her mouth and eyes wide open. She played with the other kids and we talked with the adults about milestones. I talked with one of the dads there and we decided that the second year has been much easier than the first. We've all settled in a bit with parenting as there was an easiness yesterday from the group that I hadn't seen before. I helped change a diaper for someone else, someone helped with Buttons in the pool, different parents were helping with the children on the swing set. It truly was a family reunion.

It's very important for us to keep coming back to these people, our China Family, and luckily it seems to be important for them too. Buttons and I like to look at pictures we've downloaded to the computer. If we come across a picture of a girl from our China family, Buttons will often ask "is that me?" and it makes me stop and think. I want her to see other children who have similar features and be able to understand she's not the only child who has almond shaped dark brown eyes and straight dark brown hair. I also want her to see other families like ours and understand while each family is different and special, there are other also similarities we share. This reunion is a joy in so many ways and I look forward to next year!

P.S. Happy Birthday to our niece "S"!!!

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Family Day Anniversary #2

Oh my word, another year has passed since Buttons arrived. I wrote about Family Day last year as well and you may read about it here if you'd like. We are having a friend over today, but last night we went out to the same local Chinese restaurant as last year (tradition!) and had a great time.

When we were in China, especially the first few days, Buttons would only come to me if she were sleeping and then later only if we weren't in the hotel room. That was rough, but even at the time I knew it was better for her to attach to hubby first since he would be going back to work once we were back home while I would have time to form the bond when I stayed home with her. Luckily now, she switches back and forth and we even have a joke about one of us being "chopped liver" at any given time. Last night Buttons wanted to sit on my lap after she ate and she couldn't have been more cuddly. The love at that table last night was big.

Hubby wore his Great Wall shirt, we ate with chopsticks and talked about the day we met Buttons and the things we did in China. We told her she never slept in a crib the whole time we were there and she used to sit so far forward in her stroller we feared she would fall out. (I suppose she sat like that so she wouldn't miss a thing, much like now.)

We told her about the day we met her, and how we woke up very early, had breakfast and watched out of the big hotel windows hoping to catch a glimpse of her. At first sight we knew it was her and we smiled and told Buttons we loved her in Chinese.

We shared with her how in Guangzhou we took a boat ride late at night on the Pearl River and it was still so hot. Then Hubby told Buttons when we went through the tunnels, he would hold her up and she would look at the lights and smile a big toothless smile.

Last night, Buttons really enjoyed the food proclaiming "Chinese food is great". We told her about the reunion party we're going to this weekend to see our "China Family". We explained that most of the children who will be there were born in the same province as her, to which she exclaimed happily "just like me!" She loves the language, food, stories and people of her birth country. She is proud to have been born in China. I am proud to be her mother.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Wordless Wednesday (Hubby photo)

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Monday, July 23, 2007

CSA Bounty

The Maylee Beezir family decided to try out a CSA this year with a local farm. This year was the first time they offered this service as well, so we were taking a chance and the first month was good, but fairly lean. The boxes of food have been supplemented with farm fresh eggs and free quarts of ice cream from the wonderful on-site creamery. As you can see above, we hit the mother load this week. That honeydew that's hiding back there on the left should be front and center. Best melon I've ever had in my life. Ever. Oh my dog was it good. Not much else to say, except if you have the ability to join in on a CSA farm, do it. It's good for you, your community and the world. If your particular farm has a creamery attached, so much the better.

*Thanks S & K for picking up this box of goodies for us while we were on vacation! It was sooo worth the wait!

**Please ignore fugly wallpaper. Someday...

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Favorite Handmade Item

My dishcloth swap is having a contest. We are to post our favorite homemade item and a winner will be chosen randomly. Well, my fave item that I've knit is the sweater for Buttons using a Rowan pattern with Plymouth Wildflower. There are many mistakes, but it was the first sweater I knit for the girl that fit. I was knitting it while I was waiting to go to China and finished it after she came home. There were several people who helped me along the way and that makes it special too.

However, my favorite homemade item is the necklace Buttons made for me using some clay that we baked. It's form is very organic, she had fun making it and we did it with friends. The kicker is every time I wear it I get compliments on it before anyone knows my 2 year old made it!

For the second part of the contest, we're asked to find something from one of the other swappers that we'd like to make. Well, my buddy Marsha made a really good lookin' washcloth using domino knitting and an i-cord border. I'd like to do one of those.

Who knew I'd get so into dishcloths? What, you're not into dishcloths?

Here are 3 reasons to try it:

They go quickly, so you get to finish something in a short amount of time.
You can use a funky pattern and not have to commit to it for a whole sweater.
They make great gifts with or without homemade soap.

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Friday, July 20, 2007

Sometimes We're Proper

I'm a pretty casual person. That being said, I do enjoy the English language (what little of it I still remember with my forgetful brain). Hubby and I try to teach our girl mad language skillz without correcting her. So, lately she's been doing some really fun things like understanding grammar rules and applying them on the exceptions. For instance "I'mn't" means I'm not and "she taked it" means"she took it". She also adds "y" to make things cute like "bowl-y" and "cup-y".

Then there are the times when we know she's been listening to us and I wonder if we talk like the Queen Mum is coming for a visit.

Buttons: Mama, may I fill my cup with these cheerios please?
Me: (Smiling) Yes you may.
Buttons: Thank you mama.

Also, when I'm doing something, she will often ask "May I help you in any way?" Yes, hubby and I say that to each other, but I'm astonished each time that parts her lips.

On our way home from the airport after our vacation I was talking about the fun we had and I told Buttons how well she did on our trip and visiting everyone and she smiled and said "thank you very much mama."

Now please believe me, I want Buttons to be respectful of the people around her and talk nicely to people, but I'm not interested in making her a puppet. In fact, after a car cut us off in a scary way the other day, I heard a scratchy little voice from the backseat say "Hey dude"!

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Thursday, July 19, 2007


Back from vacation. Computer is on the fritz again. Posting this on hubby's work laptop. Hope to be back in the blogging seat soon!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

First Champagne

Remember in The Sound of Music when the children sang "So Long, Farewell" and Liesel asked if she could stay up and taste her first champagne? Well, there was a toast at the wedding and Buttons sat on my lap, dipped her finger in my glass and before I knew what had happened she tasted her first champagne (from her finger). Liesel was 16 going on 17 and Buttons is 2 going on 3. I guess they start earlier these days. The really bad part? I think she liked it. However, that smile could have been because she got away with something.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

First Wedding for Buttons

Last Sunday we attended a wedding for our friends Rick and Dru. They've been together for a long time, but they were finally able to make it legal on a beautiful New Jersey beach on the Atlantic Ocean. They asked Buttons to be the ring bearer and she did it (with a little help). It's hard for a 2 year old to grasp what's happening, but I think she did quite well.
I love this shot of me holding her with her arm around my neck.

This is a shot of Rick and Dru right after the ceremony, which was so beautiful. The sky was blue with those wonderful big puffy white clouds, the sun was shining and the ocean was roaring its wonderful roar. They exchanged beautiful rings with three diamonds in each for past, present and future. The woman who performed the ceremony had a vase and she mixed blue sand for Rick and purple sand for Dru and told us that now that the sand was mixed, there was no way to separate it. They added some sand from the beach to the vase and we all marched on to a lovely reception where Buttons had cake and was quite pleased.
Happy Wedding Rick and Dru!

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Friday, July 06, 2007

Dishcloth Swap Contest

The swap is just beginning, but here's a contest already!

  • Someone who crochets Abby C. at Knitting Ramblings does both.
  • Someone who's never made a dishcloth before Madonna
  • Someone who has been knitting\crocheting for less than 2 years Val D. at Rena's room has only been knitting for less than a year!
  • Someone who has been knitting\crocheting for more than 5 years Pat S. has been knitting for around 48 years!
  • Someone who is from a non-US country Does Texas count? There are a huge number of people in this swap from Texas. Stephanie L. at S-Knitting is in Germany.

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Watermelon Salad

Watermelon Salad

(All ingredients are approximate)
1/2 of a medium watermelon, chopped
4 oranges, peeled and chopped
2 cucumbers, peeled and chopped
2 lemons

Combine watermelon, oranges and cucumbers and squeeze juice of both lemons over the fruits and cukes. Sprinkle with salt and stir. I like the effect of putting it back in the watermelon shell, but you don't have to do that. This recipe comes from a woman named Maria who I used to work with in San Diego. She's originally from Mexico and told me they also add chili powder to this salad and call it pico de gallo. (Not the pico de gallo I'm familiar with, but there you go.) It's a salad that's easy to make, tastes like there's some magic ingredient and is so summer-licious!


Sunday, July 01, 2007

Elephant Poop

As you know from a previous post, we own the book Everyone Poops by Taro Gomi. It's an animated book and while not extremely graphic, it gets the point across that indeed everyone poops. Well, a friend of our has a daughter Buttons' age and owns another book about poop. Graphic pictures of poop. Not images of these sweet (albeit including poo) statues entitled "V W X Yellow Elephant Underwear / H I J Kiddy" part of "Little Boy: The Arts of Japan's Exploding Subculture" by Japanese artist Chinatsu Ban. (Um exploding, as in my girls' diaper today?)
Not even a picture of this apparently poop-themed play area were included.
This was pretty much the picture of elephant poop in the Japanese book about poop at our friends' house. I've learned 2 things. Elephants eat alot of fiber and in my experience there seems to be a significant amount of literature from Japan with a poo theme.

I put my sweet child to bed and say to her "I love you. Good night. Sweet dreams". After that, she will often tell me what she's going to dream about in the night. Giraffes. Hippos. Our cat. Grandma. Tonight? Yeah. "I dream about elephant poop tonight Mama." Sweet dreams indeed.

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