Tuesday, September 28, 2010

First Day of Preschool

first day of preschool 2009

first day of preschool 2010

I die.

Monday, September 27, 2010

I Made it Monday: Sideways-Knit Hat

this is a horrid picture, but we've been sick all weekend.

I discovered another reason I've been knitting more than anything else this month. It's usually something you can walk away from and easily pick up again. That's ideal when you have a baby that's sniffly and must be held, by Mommy and only Mommy at all times, and a three year old that wants as much attention as the baby is getting. Add to that the fact that it was premiere week last week, and if I was going to be sitting and watching entirely too much TV, I might as well keep my hands and brain a little busy.

I saw a hat like this on a very stylish woman's blog and loved the sideways knit. A little google-research led me to this pattern, which is the Sideways Grande Hat from Boutique Knits, which I found at the library. It's easy to knit up, and left me bemoaning my allergies to animal fibers a little (the pattern in the book used an alpaca yarn that was so pretty), but I think it is stil pretty cute in this cotton blend. WBH isn't so sure about it on me, but I see this pattern being used for gifts in the future.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday Inspiration

At one time I was going through some challenges, and one of my daughters came home from school and put another item on my necessary list. I said, “I don’t feel like I’m contributing what I should or what I could,” and she said, “You could smile. Mother, you could smile.” I thought, “That is a great service.” Smiling took on added meaning for me. Being happy around my family and other people was necessary.

Julie Beck

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Cookie Friday: Saucepan Brownies

I started cookie friday a few years ago as a way of celebrating the weekend finally arriving. I fell out of the habit, but I'm tryin to restart the tradition. These are some of my favorites.
I really need to work on my food photos. blah!

Saucepan Brownies

2/3 c flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
a pinch salt
1/2 c. sugar
2Tbs margarine or butter
2 Tbs water
1 bag of chocolate chips (the cheap imitation stuff seems to work the best here, surprisingly)
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract (try others. Almond is awesome).
Other brownie fixin's, as desired.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Mix flour, soda , and salt in a small bowl. Mix eggs and vanilla in separate small bowl. Melt butter, sugar, water and half of the chocolate chips in sauce pan over low heat until boiling, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Add remaining chocolate chips, flour mixture, egg mixture and any fixin's you like. Bake in a greased pan for 40 minutes, or until the brownies start to pull away from the edges.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Isn't it About Time?

our latest family photo, taken at an a-town game. we crushed them, by the way.

In the first few weeks of Rotten's life, it felt like time was holding still for us. It was a wonderful time, having WBH at home, Stinky loving and adoring his new little brother, enjoying allf the changes and challenges together. Like all good things, it came to an end- WBH had to return to work, Stinky will be returning to his preschool routine this week, and life's unavoidably hectic pace has resumed.

It's the little responsibilities, the frequent interruptions, the things that make life what it is. I know we can't expect to maintain the family time we get during the summers or the freedom that comes with it. Eventually, real life comes knocking again and we have to rejoin the rest of the human race.

I'm trying to find ways to reclaim our family time, and considering what robs us of it. Where do you draw the line between what is necessary and what isn't?

Monday, September 20, 2010

I Made it: Baby Booties, with knitting pattern

I don't know if this happens to anyone else, but when the seasons change, so do the things I want to craft. During fall and winter, I find myself knitting a lot more. When we knew that Rotten was coming, I whipped up some of these baby booties. They're still a little big, but they'll fit when it's colder. You can change the sizeof the bootie by changing the needle size.

I created the pattern myself. It's super simple, and once you get going, you can whip these up in the time it takes to watch a movie or two.

Knit bootie pattern:

On size 2 needles, cast on 44 stitches.

Rows 1-24: Knit in garter stitch
Row 25: Bind off 11 stitches, knit to end
Row 26: Bind off 11 stitches, knit to end.
Row 27-36: Knit in garter stitch
Row 37: knit two together to end. (ending with 11 stitches)
Row 38: Knit two together, knit one (ending with 6 stitches)
bind off, leaving long tail.
repeat for second bootie
Fold in half (it will be in the shape of a sock) and stitch long straight edge on side halfway down, turn inside out, stitch together to the top. Using tail, stitch around the toe area, turn inside out again and stitch to top. fold top half down, like a sock. Weave in the ends. Repeat for second bootie. All done!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday Inspiration

No matter what circumstances you sisters experience, your influence can be marvelously far-reaching. I believe some of you have a tendency to underestimate your profound capacity for blessing the lives of others. More often than not, it is not on the stage with some public pronouncement but in your example of righteousness and the countless gentle acts of love and kindness done so willingly, so often on a one-to-one basis.

James E. Faust,

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Stinky, Rotten Boys.

"Great name, I know. But it's not the worst. Parents believe that a hideous name will frighten off gnomes and trolls." - Hiccup, How to Train Your Dragon

My mother ran a home daycare for over twenty years. I helped her with this through some of high school and college. Our favorite kids in the daycare were usually described by the phrase "good and rotten." Good, because they were usually obedient, loving, and easy to be around, but rotten enough to be spunky and fun.

Colin has a habit of faking me out with his sleep at night. He's been kind of colicky lately, and will fall asleep for just a few moments to wake up yelling at me all over again. The other night he stopped as soon as I picked him up and made a contented cooing sound. "Oh, you're rotten," I sighed at him. It fit. So here on the blog, I'll be calling him Rotten.

Stinky wasn't a colicky baby, but he loved, loved, loved his binkies. When he was little, I'd pace with him, chanting "Stinky binky boy, stinky binky boy." Eventually, it became just "Stinky" - sometimes stinkopotamus or stinkasaurus rex - and it suits him in the same "good and rotten" way that Rotten suits his brother.

So, those arethere are the origins of Stinky and Rotten. Maybe the names won't frighten off gnomes and trolls, but I like them just the same.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Greatest Discovery

Listening to music while doing play dough, drawing, or playing with toys is something Stinky really enjoys. While looking for new music to for him, I rediscovered this song that made me cry like a baby. It's The Greatest Discovery by Elton John and Bernie Taupin
Peering out of tiny eyes
The grubby hands that gripped the rail
Wiped the window clean of frost
As the morning air laid on the latch

A whistle awakened someone there
Next door to the nursery just down the hall
A strange new sound you never heard before
A strange new sound that makes boys explore

Tread neat so small those little feet
Amid the morning his small heart beats
So much excitement yesterday
That must be rewarded must be displayed
Large hands lift him through the air
Excited eyes contain him there
The eyes of those he loves and knows
But what's this extra bed just here
His puzzled head tipped to one side
Amazement swims in those bright green eyes
Glancing down upon this thing
That make strange sounds, strange sounds that sing

In those silent happy seconds
That surround the sound of this event
A parent smile is made in moments
They have made for you a friend

And all you ever learned from them
Until you grew much older
Did not compare with when they said
This is your brand new brother
This is your brand new brother
This is your brand new brother

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sunday Inspiration

"Strange is our situation here upon earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to a divine purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: That we are here for the sake of others...for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy. Many times a day, I realize how much my outer and inner life is built upon the labors of people, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received.”

Albert Einstein

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Back to School

I don't really like September much. After a fun and eventful summer, it's hard to adjust to WBH returning to school, for all of us. It can be nice to get back into our routines, but I feel pouty and a little bit melancholy without him here. Stinky asks for him in the mornings, and says "aw, man" when I tell him his dad is back at work.

Yesterday, I survived my first day alone with the two boys. It wasn't too shabby- I got laundry running and dishes swapped. A good friend came over needing to talk and turned out to be a wonderful distraction from my sulky attitude. Stinky and I baked Paula Deen's no-flour peanut butter cookies. I made two dinners- the second, to make up for the one I burned in the crock pot while chatting.

Today, I showered, brushed my teeth and fed the boys. We're watching too much TV, and for now, I'm letting that be okay. This new baby has brought with him a lot of riddles for me to solve. How do I take care of the boys and watch for the dog digging holes in the yard? Can I go to the bathroom or brush my teeth and prevent Stinky's aggressive affection from harming Colin? How do I make sure Stinky doesn't feel put aside or less important when many of Colin's needs have to be met immediately? Where do I find the energy to accomplish anything? I know the answers to the questions will present themselves, and we'll get it worked out, but any insight would be appreciated.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sunday Inspiration

It is actually easier to motivate someone to do something difficult than something easy. That’s because the status quo is uninspiring. Our spirits crave to progress, and if we aren’t moving forward, we’re not happy.

Sheri Dew