The Anatomy of a Knitting Project

July 28th, 2011

I decided I needed a new project. Emmie’s main teacher is leaving her daycare so I thought I’d make a scarf or something for her. So, I pulled out all my knitting books and magazines that I thought would work. About 6-7 books and magazines. I flipped through each of them until I found this:


The Cache Boeur bergamo. I longed to make this but not for her teacher. I moved on. I kept looking and looking and finally came back to it. It’s so pretty. She’s not leaving for a month. I have plenty of time to make this and something else for her.

I found a dark purple ribbon yarn that was knitted into most of a top. I had run out of yarn but left it all together waiting for yarn that would never come. I ripped it out and knit a swatch. Too skinny and too drapey.

I found a thicker light purple (yes, my stash is mostly purple and blue and yellow for some reason) merino that I had been saving for a sweater and started up. Perfect gauge. Looked pretty good…but it did not want to be a sweater. If I’m completely honest with myself, I don’t like wearing chunky knits. So often, though, I am not honest with myself. This only took about 1.5 inches of knitting before I ripped that out, too.

And now I am knitting this:


I knit Cozy several years ago for my grandmother and loved it.

That is what it takes for me to start a project. I always rip out at least twice (I’ve ripped this Cozy out twice already) and I usually change my mind halfway through every project. Because it has to be perfect.

Knitting Hacks

July 19th, 2011

There’s a website called Parent Hacks. I love it so much. One of my recent favorites: VapoRub under your nose to protect you from bad smells like stomach flu cleanup.

So here’s a knitting hack: I was casting on for a new project and I needed some stitch markers. My knitting kit was waaayyyy over on the other end of the love seat so I used my wedding rings. Then, on the way back, I plucked them off and replaced them on my finger. And I never had to get up.

What are your favorite knitting hacks? Or any hacks?

Happy Birthday, Baby Emmie!

June 17th, 2011

My baby turns one today. She is still such a baby. She says “Mamamamamama” but I don’t think she knows what it means. She still fits in her infant car seat, although it’s getting close. She has 1.75 teeth. Of course, she will always be my baby (I, the older sister, am still my mother’s baby) but she’s also so big: she was standing, leaning against me and suddenly let go and threw her hand up in the air as if to say “Ta Da!”. She drinks almost no bottles now – just one in the morning and evening and sippy cups during the day. She loves to read books and turn the pages. Whenever she hears Paul Simon, she starts bobbing up and down and waving her little fist (thumb out like a hitchhiker).

I haven’t been taking many pictures of her lately because I don’t want to step away from her long enough to pick up the camera. I just want to drink in her dark blue eyes, the curve of her cheek and her sweet little voice. Whenever I grab the camera, I get 3-4 shots and then she sees it and the moment is lost. The pictures are important but so is a little cuddle and some squeals.

Baby Sign Language Adventures

June 9th, 2011

Emmie has been learning sign language for a while now from the day care and us. She knows more and milk. What’s funny is that I can never be sure if she’s signing or doing something else. When she does ‘more’, it looks like clapping with only her fingers touching and when she signs ‘milk’ it looks like she’s trying to grab for something. Lately she has decided not to use ‘more’ at all and just screams at me and then waves when I ask if she wants more.

I do love it, though because it helps me figure out why she’s crying. She doesn’t say any real words yet but she understands a lot.

One quick note, I’ve been trying to figure out how to do comments. If someone comments, should I comment back on the same post or email them directly? I’m thinking I should comment on the post and then email the particular person my comment.

Eating Healthy?

May 5th, 2011

I’ve been cooking a lot more lately since Emmie has started eating solid foods. She pretty much eats what we eat except it’s cut up into tiny pieces and she uses her hands exclusively. Lately she has accepted the occasional spoon but for the most part she wants to do it herself. Because of all this cooking, I’ve been trying to figure what is healthy. This is not as easy as I thought it would be. It’s also compounded by the fact that I am feeding a baby who needs extra calories and a husband who is trying to lose weight. Add to that the fact that I want to cook from scratch and use as many organics as I can and it’s no wonder my head hurts. I’ve made a very delicious pasta cheese bake and a chicken pot pie but I’m not sure if they’re really all that healthy and they’re definitely not low fat. They were completely from scratch (except the pasta) and mostly organic, though, which I’m pretty proud of.

I actually like cooking but I hate to meal plan so I just end up making the same easy things over and over again. Breakfast is eggs or pancakes with fruit and cheese, lunch is shells and cheese and mixed veggies, dinner is chicken and potatoes and mixed veggies. I like these things but there isn’t much going on with them and I’m still not convinced they’re the best for us. I don’t like to commit to one particular food philosophy because they all seem to be missing something important. I thought about getting a subscription to one of those services that plans the meals for me but I’m not sure I would actually follow it, especially since Emmie only eats at home 4 days a week (she falls asleep on the trip home from daycare on the other 3 days). I’ve asked Olinga to make a meal plan but I’m not sure that will ever happen, either.

I do have 2 things that I have made work and love: breakfast burritos and homemade broth. Both came from the Simple Dollar. Whenever I make scrambled eggs for a meal, I make a few extra and afterwards I put them together with salami and cheese in tortillas and put them in the freezer. In the morning, I grab one and by the time I get to work it’s mostly thawed. I just heat it up in the microwave for 1.5 minutes wrapped in a paper towel (turning it over halfway through). I would like to make them more healthy by adding beans or tomatoes but haven’t yet.

For the homemade broth, I just save all the ends and extras that I have when I chop up veggies (or have to throw away old ones) or chicken and put them in a gallon ziplock in the freezer. When the bag is full, I empty it into the crockpot and fill it with enough water to cover. After several hours, I have broth. I just strain out the spent scraps. I usually freeze some and put some in the fridge. I like doing it this way because I never use an entire container of broth and the organic is so expensive.

I don’t have any conclusions. I just want to give Emmie a good start in eating while maintaining my own weight and enjoying myself in the process.

I love you more each morning

March 28th, 2011

Lately I’ve been a little grumpy and tired and feel the need for a break so I’d like to remind myself why I’m doing all this. Why I clean up the toys and cook meals and buy expensive shoes.

It’s for this and this, and most of all, this

(I can’t embed pictures from Shutterfly in by blog)

Every morning Emmie wakes up a little cranky but after about five minutes (and some nursing) she is all smiles and squeals. She wiggles on the changing table and tries to get away from me while I put on her coat. She stares at people on the bus on the way to daycare and on the way home. I love using the baby pack because I get to have her so close to me for that time. We share body heat and I cover her little feet with the edges of my coat. When we arrive she immediately wants down to crawl and explore and find new things to put in her mouth. Before I leave, though, she makes sure we get a little nursing session to hold her over (and me, too) until I come back.

Those cheeks, those eyes, that hair, they make my heart beat and my eyes water.

I love you, baby girl.

Teeny Tiny Shoes

March 21st, 2011

I have bought 7 pairs of shoes in the past 3 weeks. This may seem like a lot, but only 3 pairs were for me (which still seems like a lot). Yes, I bought 4 pairs of baby shoes* and I still need more. Emmie has very long, very narrow feet. Her socks are too short and baggy. I think the only reason her current shoes stay on is that the extra sock fabric is filling in the space where her feet should be. I may have to knit her a large number of socks in the near future to fit into her narrow shoes. The thing is, narrow baby shoes cost about $40 a pair and she will most likely grow out of them within 3-6 months. Since it’s really one of the only clothing expenses we’ve had so far, I shouldn’t complain so much but my inner cheapskate is horrified. The 3 pairs that I bought for myself were under $25 each and I plan to wear them for years.

She does come by her big feet honorably: both of her Aunties and her Oma Carla have size 10 feet and her Grammy Linda is a 9.5 AA. Not to mention her Daddy’s size 13’s. Her Grampa Dave has size 11 and I have size 7.5 but neither of us is tall enough to justify them. We won’t know if she’ll be tall for years, but I think her feet will always be large.

*baby shoes are necessary so that she doesn’t slip when she tries to stand up.

New Year’s Checkup – March-ish

March 18th, 2011

I expected to change my resolutions through the year but I figured I would change them because I conquered them. That is not the case. I have found that I conquered one, am still working on another and the other two are just not applicable anymore. So, here it goes:

  • Work on my skin: So, my skin is pretty awesome. It’s looking better and better. I’m not sure what else I can do except continue with the olive oil. I still have to put a little on after my shower, too but that’s not a big deal. I declare this complete!
  • Get my teeth in shape: Not going great. I am flossing about 3 times a week and brush at night about 5 days a week (every morning, too) but they still don’t feel great. Also, I have some stains and can’t use teeth whitening until I’m done nursing. I bought a new toothbrush head for my Phillips and it’s too soft (it’s a Target brand one). I think I’ll try using Olinga’s water pick and see if that cleans them better.
  • Eat more on the weekends: Let’s rename this Eating Better.
    • On the weekends and days off, I’ve been eating with Emmie and that’s been nice so I want to institute family dinner at least once a week. Olinga has said that if I give him 2 hours notice, he will make sure he’s hungry. The problem is that we have different tastes in food. I’ll try have something he likes but I may end up making him a sandwich. The important thing is that we eat together, not the same thing.
    • I would also like to eat more vegetables. I am severely lacking in this area. Getting a fajita burrito at Chipotle instead of a regular one is not enough. For a while I was making a little spinach, feta and garlic side dish that was delicious but I would only use up half a bag of spinach before it would go bad.
    • I have 2 more goals in mind for when the farmers market season opens and when I’m done lugging baby milk and baby food around every day.
  • Exercise sometimes: I’m going to rename this Get healthier. I realized that the reason I have been failing so much on this goal is that I am sick 5 out of every 7 days. I have a cold and cough right now. Having a child in daycare is really beating down my (already fragile) immune system. Exercise would probably help that but it’s hard to exercise when you can’t breath. I’m going to keep trying but this may not go. I’m also going to try to rest more and to get out more on the weekends, even if it is just to Target. This, plus eating more vegetables, might help me be healthier longer, which will let me exercise, which will help me be healthier….etc.

I have 3 blog drafts in my head and on paper (computer?) so hopefully it will start picking up around here.

New Year’s Checkup

January 25th, 2011

I thought I’d try a monthly check but I’m going to be very busy next week so I’ll do it early this time.

  • Work on my skin: I have been using olive oil to clean like it says here (via Lacey). My skin feels awesome but has a few issues.
    • It’s still a little red. I don’t want to use my rosacea cream because it has all that bad stuff in it and that’s the whole point. I may get a minerals powder or something but I would have to reapply all day and that is annoying.
    • It’s very dry when I get out of the shower. For now, I just put more olive oil on it. That seems ok.
    • I have all these weird white things coming off my skin when it’s dry after I a shower. I’m not sure what it is. Dry skin? Old, dead skin? Do I need a facial? This is why I went to the oil to begin with.
  • Get my teeth in shape: This is hit or miss. I’ll do it for a few days and then stop. I don’t have a good way to remind myself before I’m exhausted.
  • Eat more on the weekends: You know, I haven’t really be all that starving on the weekends. I do eat a lot during the week but on the weekends I eat like a normal person. I think this one is ok. I am definitely making sure I am eating when I need to.
  • Exercise sometimes: I have used the Wii Fit 3-4 times this year and went on 0 walks with my husband. I have been willing but he’s been busy. Of course, if you count errand runs, then 1.

So, I think not too too bad. I am making progress, I think, but I could step it up a little bit. I did notice that all these goals are things that regular adults do in their normal lives without thinking but doesn’t everyone have a few grown-up things that they just can’t do?

My attempt at humor

January 6th, 2011

One of the things I struggle with in having a blog is what sorts of things to write about. I don’t like to post things about other people without asking so most of my posts are about myself and to me, they’re boring. My favorite blogs are the funny mommy ones that have silly stories of things they did or happened to them. I feel like I’m funny in person (or at least, people laugh at/with me a lot) but my writing not so much. Part of it is trying to keep some sort of sophisticated image but that’s all out the window as soon as people meet me. So here it goes:

This morning I sneezed on my daughter’s face.

I take her in the front pack to daycare on the bus most mornings. We are quite a picture, I’m sure. I have her on the front under my giant purple coat and her backpack on my back. We take up 2 seats. This morning I had her all bundled in her red snow suit in the pack and I was opening the closet to get my coat and I sneezed. Now, if you know me, I don’t sneeze little. I sneeze more like my father every year. A big, wet whoosh. Also, when I sneeze, my head automatically tilts down. Right into the smiling face of my little girl. She smirked and blinked at me. Apparently she didn’t mind. I wiped off her face and we went on our way to the bus. I feel bad, but she is the little stinker who got me sick in the first place.