Friday, November 30, 2007

The Final Day


In honor of the last day of Nablopomo (hoorah!), I will answer Lou's question from a few days ago since today is also the last day of Secret Pal 11.
So, what's on my needles?


Christmas gifts. My very nice step-brother is getting to a very sweet woman next July and after that I will have 2 more nieces. Yeah! So, I'm making a hat for my niece and my nephew and both of my soon-to-be nieces. I'm doing solid colors for each of then with a coordinating stripe. My nephew will have a navy blue hat with a light brown stripe, my "new" niece will have a light brown hat with a navy blue stripe, and then a chocolate brown solid with a turquoise stripe and vice versa for my niece and my other "new" niece. I'm using Lamb's Pride Bulky for the first time and I LOVE it! The colors are great, the center pull is easy to find, it has a little halo of mohair, is fairly soft for solid wool, it's warm, and for a $7.50 skein, you can make a whole hat! I basically used the pattern from this book. In fact, if I only could have one pattern book, it would be "The Knitter's Book of Handy Patterns". I always know they'll have something in there for almost any gauge and it will work.


Next year, I'm starting my Christmas knitting in February, ok? Please hold me to it guys. I'm notorious for last minute craziness. My tree is up though!

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

He Just Keeps Getting Better...


Happy Birthday Hubby!

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Purl asks...



Purl asked...

How about your first day with Buttons (both in China and back home)? Wow, that's a whole post in itself for sure. I'm working on that post. What a great question.

A day in your life? No day seems typical, but most days go a little something like this... Usually I wake up with a swift kick from Buttons who has joined our bed sometime between 2am or 7am. There is a shuffling to get ready, Hubby for work and Buttons for school, playgroup or storytime at the library. I'm in heaven if I get a 3 minute shower and am thankful that my leg hair is blonde and grows very slowly. (Hubby often skips a shower so I can get mine.) I usually skip breakfast (I know, I know) and after Buttons has her fill we hurriedly rush out the door for one of the above events.

If Buttons is in school I go shopping, work out or stay home and do housework (or blog) and then pick her up 2 hours later. We sometimes meet friends for lunch or come home, eat lunch, play a little and then it's nap time. I try to do phone calls, computer and housework during this time, but she often wakes up after a short time still needing more sleep and I take her to our bed for a little snuggle and rest. We usually watch a little something after her nap and most of the time the request is for a cooking show.

I'd like to say I make a fabulous dinner every night, but most of the time it's leftovers or I wing it by putting together quick chicken or tofu dishes with a steamed veggie and rice. Hubby comes home and often puts together the meal as well and we eat. Buttons likes a leisurely pace for meals, so they can last a long time before we're ready for little play time which could consist of reading, dancing, or playing a game.

Hubby gives Buttons a bath while I do dishes or catch up on e-mail. We take turns doing the Bedtime Routine. Yes, capitals are important here since Buttons has an elaborate routine that is epic in scale and quite dramatic. That's a whole other post. No, really it is.

I enjoy tucking Buttons in and I look forward to seeing her in the morning, but I do enjoy the quietness once she's finally sawing wood. My best intentions are to do a monster of the house, but I almost always sink into the couch with knitting and a remote. Sometimes I'm even too tired to knit. Gasp! I'm also a little addicted to the computer game "The Sims" so sometimes I play on that a bit. Hubby will sometimes watch TV with me, but he has his own addiction as well. I often fall asleep on the sofa and Hubby drags me up to bed. I sleep and then it begins again.

Favorite books?
I haven't had much concentration for books lately, so I'm feeling rather dry in that area. I did read "Wanting a Daughter, Needing a Son" and I recommend it for anyone who is interested in adopting a child from China or anyone who wants to understand more about it. After reading this book, I felt armed with information to answer some of the really difficult questions about the abandonment of children in China. I have more favorite books, but right now Buttons is up from her nap...

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Give Me a Break


Here's the big problem with Nablopomo:
I haven't been keeping up on reading and commenting to other people's blogs. So, while Buttons is napping today, that's my plan. So I'm "skipping" a day today. (Although technically this is a post.) Oh shush, it is.

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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Walternatives asks... (part 2)



In this month of Nablopomo, I'm so happy to have buds who posted questions for my writer's block. Here are a few more answered...

Walternatives (her blog is password protected) asks

Did you have a pet as a child? I don't remember when my parents brought home our little black and white Toy Poodle, but I was told I named her in baby talk after my favorite drink and in 7th grade I remember my mom coming to pick me up at school and asking me to hold something for her and giving me a little Cairn Terrier puppy (she was given a very popular dog name). I do try to retain a little anonymity and for that reason I don't want to post the names of these pooches from my childhood. Darnit!

In what city were you raised? Hmm, that anonymity thing creeps in here again. However, I'm fine with telling you I was raised in a mid-size city in the "thumb-crook" of Michigan. Unfortunately, my hometown and home state are really hurting from the automotive industry. In fact, Hubby and I have considered buying one of these, but we really want to try and support Michigan. Yes, I know that supporting the Earth is supporting our home state, but you can kinda understand, right? Sometime I will tell a bit more about growing up in my little neighborhood though.

More tomorrow...

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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Walternatives asks...


Thank you guys for your questions! I'll start with walternatives...

What was your all-time favorite birthday celebration? I have one coming up that's a joint party with my hubby that looks like it could be in the running. Friends, food, karaoke and a babysitter on-site for the kiddos.

I loved it one year when I was on a boat with Hubby in Marina Del Rey, California at sunset and I loved that.

I remember a sleepover when I was 10 that rocked as well with a bunch of my classmates and myself on sleeping bags strewn around the living room. We went outside in our pj's to run around, found out who shot JR on Dallas, giggled so much and went to sleep so late. Man, I might have to have a sleepover again sometime.

Christmas present? Ok, this sounds hokey, but I really like giving gifts and being with family. I'm really enjoying watching Buttons at Christmas and it really takes me back to my youth. My mom always made Christmas a special holiday. Yes, she was (and is) awesome with the gifts, but she always made the house festive and all seemed right with the world on Christmas morning.


Hubby and I are working on the traditions that we'll continue with Buttons and hopefully she'll have that same feeling. Did I mention that Hubby is also good at gift giving? I think I need to do a post on how sweet Hubby is. You'll go into a sugar coma, I kid you not.

That's all I have time for today, but I'll be back...

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Friday, November 23, 2007

Commercial Break







Hubby and I were watching "The Scarlet Pimpernel" movie the other night to get us prepared for the play. This made-for-tv version starred Anthony Andrews, Jane Seymour and Sir Ian McKellen and was a hoot to watch. Sink me! There were obvious places where commercials would have been, so we started coming up with ads we knew way back when and placing them. We came up with things like "I'd like to buy the world a Coke", "Everything I think I see becomes a Tootsie Roll to me" and "Ancient Chinese secret" (which makes me wince now) but for the life of me I couldn't remember the Faygo song until I looked them up on the web. Perhaps, you don't know Faygo pop. Yes, I'm from Michigan where Faygo started and according to Wiki, began the use of "pop" instead of soda for fizzy beverages. Haven't tried it? You should start with Rock & Rye. Yummy.

Thanks everyone for your post ideas. I will get to them sometime this weekend. We're a bit busy here getting things in shape for decorating and I want to give those ideas more thoughts than a quick post. Plus, I've just figured out how easy it is to incorporate YouTube in my blog, so you're in trouble now!

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving


This morning we'll be watching parades and getting ready for our trips to friends houses. We're bringing the green bean casserole and a great spicy sweet potato dish. We'll visit 2 friends homes today and we're getting excited. Tomorrow we'll put up our Christmas tree and try to avoid the crowds.

Right now, I'm going to join my family.

(The picture is of Buttons at her first concert at pre-school. Cute pilgrim, huh?)

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Wordless Wednesday


The Bellydancer

Wordless Wednesday

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Another Year Older...

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Dry

Buttons has been helping us with leaves since she was a year old.
Would y'all like to help me with my writer's block?
Do you have any questions you'd like to ask so I have some fodder for a few days?

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Ho! Ho! NO!

Last year, this was the scene when we tried to get Buttons to take a picture with Santa. Crocodile tears I tell you. True terror. Actually he was a lovely Santa (click the pic for Buttons view though). Hubby's brother took this picture as we exited the area very quickly.
This weekend we went to a craft fair where they had Santa in a room with candy and toys for the children. Buttons was brave and looked in the door and then she was done. The lure of toys did not sway her. She stuck to her guns. I'm thinking by the time she's not scared of Santa she'll tell me she's too old for that sort of thing. Perhaps I'll send the picture of me with Santa in our Christmas cards this year.

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Saturday, November 17, 2007

About B.H.'s (Beer Hats and Button Health)


Hubby and I are only 2 years apart (I'm older) and most of the time this doesn't mean anything anymore. (When he was 16 and I was 18, that was a different story.) Every once in a while we learn one of us missed out on some pop culture fad and the other can't believe it. That's right, Hubby had never seen a Bud beer hat and I've not only seen them first hand, I believe my dad may have owned and worn one back in the day. How many of you remember this hat? In looking for pictures of this mythical hat, I stumbled across this site and was amused. (I also ran across this picture. Um, yeah.)

Buttons is fine. The doctor told me it was just a cold and she should be much better by Wednesday. I feel a little dumb having taken her to the doctor, but about 2 years ago we had a little bit of a scare with her and a respiratory infection so I jump the gun a little sometimes. Thanks, Dr. R., for reassuring me without making me feel like an idiot for bringing her into the office. Our pediatrician rocks. Yeah!

We in fact took her to a music event last night which included Renaissance musicians and a belly dancer. She did not want to leave and kept asking all the way home "will the girl with the shaky dress be coming back with the guys with the guitars and the girls with the violins?" When we came home she did a belly dance for us in her mommy jammies. Yeah, she's feeling better.
So am I.

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Friday, November 16, 2007

Sick and Tired


When Buttons was a wee one she would sometimes fall asleep in her high chair and I missed that a little. (In the picture above, she's just over 1 year.) The last time she did it, I didn't know that would be the last time so I could savor it. Well, the creepy crud that's going around has caught her and we've been staying home. On Wednesday she ate most of her lunch and then started doing the eye close / head jerk from yesteryear that told me she was crazy tired. I loved seeing that again, but I knew that I needed to try to get her to bed before she actually fell asleep. I asked her if she wanted anything more to eat.

"No Mama."
"Are you tired?"
"No Mama."
"Are you done eating?"
"I want a pillow."
"At the table?"
"Yes, I want a pillow."

We toddled off to bed right after that with Buttons taking a brief respite on the sofa with a pillow. We're going to the doctor today to get her checked out and make sure it's nothing more than a cold. I don't know if she'll ever do the high chair head bob again, but I definitely savored it this time.

Thanks for all the suggestions from yesterday. I'm going to mull it over as I finish it and I'll show you the results once I'm done!

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Crock Mitts


Thought I'd finally show y'all some knitting progress. I'm doing the alligator mittens from "Stitch @nd B^tch N@tion" in Mauch Chunky colors Kiwi and Strawberry. The mitts are for Buttons (of course) and they're turning out pretty cute. I'm even using yarn from my stash that was given to me for free!

First, you make the green "claw" and then you make the red inside part. There's some blocking I need to do and since it's my first time, I feel like I'm all thumbs. (Yes, bad, bad joke.)

So, I just need to finish the second red mouth part, sew in the french knot teeth, block and put them together. Then I need to figure out what I want to do for the eyes. I think the googly glue- on eyes will come off too easily, so I'm looking for a different option. Any ideas?


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Wordless Wednesday

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Cats vs. Dogs


During her R.E. (religious education) class last Sunday, Buttons and her classmates were asked to decide if they liked cats or dogs better. (I'm not sure the reasoning, but I'll ask next week.) Anyway, Buttons stood on the side for cats and when the teacher asked her what she liked about cats, she simply said "the nature of cats". Huh? Some of the things she says makes me laugh.

Yes, this is our cat Dinah named after Alice's cat in Alice in Wonderland.
Doesn't she look adorable?

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Monday, November 12, 2007

Falling

I love autumn. For me, when the leaves change it's always been magic. Except for living in New England, I believe Pennsylvania is the next best place for leaf watching. There are rolling hills with many trees and the season lasts longer than when I lived in Michigan or Illinois.
Trees that turn completely red are my favorite, but I also love seeing trees with very dark bark with the conrast of bright yellow leaves.
I also really enjoy raking the leaves and so does Buttons. Yes, we made a big pile for her to jump in and throw the leaves up in the air. This was the first year we didn't have to coax her into it, we only had to ask.
The father and daughter bonding moments happen all year around, but this one was in the fall and made my heart grow a bit. Aren't they adorable? Buttons had just received her flu shot that week and they were pretending she was the doctor and Hubby was the patient and he needed a shot.
What's your favorite thing about fall?

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Scarlet Pimpernel


I don't know what part I'm playing yet, but I'm going to be in "The Scarlet Pimpernel" (the musical version). The read through begins today and I'll be 'playing' with some friends from previous shows and some friends who I roped into doing auditions. I'm really excited to be in another show singing again. Thanks for your good vibes. I'll give an update when I know what part I'll be doing. The director did tell me he would like to tip his hat to "Tale of Two Cities" and have a Madame Defarge character knitting at the guillotine, so I may get to knit on stage. How cool would that be?

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

To Do List

I found this blog on my blogger "dashboard" and thought it was interesting. I'm a big list maker and I usually lose the list before I get to check everything off and then find it a month later and realize I finished everything on the list without having to look at it. There is certainly power in the written word.

Remember yesterday when I posted about needing a break from "the whine"? Well, after I wrote that post, Buttons' behavior improved dramatically and we had a virtually time-out free day. I'd like to believe in magic, but I think when you write something down, it finds a new place in your brain, perhaps a "to do" region and you start working toward that goal. Have any of you ever experienced that?

What's the oddest list you've ever made? Hubby and I once made a Christmas list of everything we wanted, no limit and amused ourselves. Yes we had a jacuzzi on the list along with a house with more closet space, but we also had things on it like ending hunger. The big surprise is the big list is not that full which I think means we're pretty happy where we are. Mmm...

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Friday, November 09, 2007

My Ears Are Bleeding


I think Buttons has a bit of a cold and she also has a huge case of the whines. She's been having trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep lately so I know that's a big part of it. I need a bit of whine free sanity, so I'm going to have the mantra "it's just a stage" playing through my head for the rest of the day. If anyone wants to chime in and remind me of that, feel free.

Yes, that's a picture Buttons took with her camera.

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Thursday, November 08, 2007

She's a Rebel...


My birthday is coming soon and Hubby sprang an early gifty on me. Um, I need to go read the manual so I can take some rockin' pictures. Wow! Thanks Hubs! Did I say wow already???!!!

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Please...

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Monday, November 05, 2007

Two Finished Objects!

I was going to title this post "Two UFO's Completed" but neither of these were on the needles too long. I love finishing things. Aaahhh. Still sick, but I had to post something for today and I was aching to blog about something knitty.
I used Mille Colori by Lang to make these easy wristers. The pattern was free with purchase from Kaleidoscope Yarns. I'm thinking about making some of these for Holiday gifts.

Yeah, I suppose you wanted to see the poncho on Buttons, right? Well, the only picture I have of her in it is vertical and due to my issues uploading pictures with Blogger this will have to suffice for now. It's the poncho from The Knit Stitch by Sally Melville. This is Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Denim Twist which came to me via Jan. Jan was in the middle of making a poncho with this yarn for an adult but since I didn't know the pattern and knitting improvisation isn't my strongest point, I frogged it and made a poncho for my girl in her favorite color. She's not too fond of wearing it right now, but it will probably fit her for another 2 years, so hopefully I'll get a few pictures of her wearing it in that time. A quick and satisfying knit indeed.

And now, I shall make some soup for Buttons and I and then we're off for a long nap.

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Sunday, November 04, 2007

Sick

Auditions were ok, but I'm now suddenly sick. So this is my pathetic post today. Goodnight.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Auditioning with Lepidoptera

A while back I posted about my dabbling in theater. Well, tomorrow I'm auditioning for another musical and I'm starting to get a few butterflies. A friend and I are doing a duet for the audition and it feels great, but part of the fun is that nervousness. I can't even tell you what a complete high opening night is. Cross your fingers, but please don't wish me good luck.

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Friday, November 02, 2007

Thanks Again Secret Pal!

It's NaBloPoMo and I want to post everyday in celebration, but I've felt a dry spell lately. Life's been a little busy lately and I need to slow down my mind a bit so I can write. I thought I was done for today and then I get a package at my doorstep. A lovely brown Am@zon.com package from my secret pal Lou. Whee! This is not just blog fodder, but good stuff!


Lou sent two of the things I was most excited about on my wishlist. I had a copy of Kirsty Macoll's Tropical Brainstorm cd but it went all wonky on me and I find I just can't live without it. Kristy Macoll had a wonderful sense of humor and wrote songs that make me smile and laugh out loud as I'm singing them and apparently Lou's a big fan of hers too. I guess listening to her also reminds me to live life to the fullest while you can since her own life was cut short when she died in a boating accident at age 41. I didn't realize until reading the wiki article that she was the songwriter for "They Don't Know" which Tracy Ullman made famous in the '80's and I love that song! I highly recommend this cd.


Lou was also kind enough to send along The Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques by Nancie M. Wiseman. This was a book I had heard great things about, then checked it out of the library and decided that if I hadn't received this book as a gift, I would purchase it for myself. Thank you Lou! You picked great things for me.

By the way, I found out who my secret pal is and I actually think it's kinda fun that way! So, stop by and say hi to Lou at "Enchilada Sunrise" when you have a chance.
Thanks Lou.
You rock!

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Thursday, November 01, 2007

Thankful Thursday

Good golly! Peaceable Imperatrix reminded me on her most recent post that it's national blog month, which means I'm gonna try to post every day until December 1st. I can't guarantee the content, but I will try to blog something every day. Since it's November, the month of Thanksgiving, I thought I would start the Thankful Thursday meme.

I'm thankful for "thank you's", which is part of our bedtime routine. We read books, we sing songs and we give thanks for various things including each other and different parts of our day. We always end with "thank you for friends and family". Who are we thanking? God? The universe? Buddha? We're raising Buttons to be Unitarian Universalist, a "liberal" religion that believes there are many truths. My hope is by educating her in the many possibilities out there, she will be able to have a kind and thankful heart and an openness to accept and embrace the differences of other people along with our shared experiences.

She loves the "thank you's" too. "Thank you for mommy, who's right here and for daddy who's downstairs." "Thank you for curtains and lights." (Right in front of her.) "Thank you for teachers." "Thank you for trees."

Thank you for Buttons.

I'm also thankful for plumpynut.

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