Saturday, March 14, 2015

Long time no write!

Wow, has it really been since December?  I have been busy, my wee chickadees!  I started a video podcast to discuss knitting and such.  I know some of you who are readers of the blog don't care about my crafting, but if you do please feel free to check out the first episode.


The kids are doing well and both such a joy.  They are trouble makers together but it is so great to see how much Maegwin loves her little brother.

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They keep us super busy!  I hope all of you are having a lovely spring so far.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Grown-up Christmas sucks! (And a catch up of goings-on)

Hello, gentle readers!  I'm right on schedule for my once a month blogging.  Maegwin is watching Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood and Joshua is hanging out with Daddy so the time is right.  To quickly explain the title, this year for Christmas Josh and I bought ourselves brakes and rotors, removal of the dead ash tree near the house, and slate on the roof!  Very uninteresting, no?  On the bright side our car continues to stop, a tree won't crash on our house and we have more wood for backyard fires, and we are on time with slate maintenance.  I really do love having a slate roof so I can't complain there.  They are cool!  If they are properly maintained it's just $300-$500 a year and then flashings every 30 or so years.  Ours was not the best cared for previously but with our tender ministrations it is on the road to recovery.  Really other than the worst condition slate and the top of the roof flashing it's all great up there.  I know, boring slate roof talk?  This isn't what you all came for!  Bring on the children!

Miss Maegwin had a birthday and is now five years old.  She is quite proud of this fact.  We told her when she was five she could get a real Lego set.  We haven't gone to pick one out yet but probably will next month.  Just too much crazy during the holiday time.  I took my last two days of PTO for the year to make a super long birthday weekend and she got to do whatever she wanted.  We got her a doctor outfit with kit which she had tons of fun with.  Currently she is saying she wants to be a surgeon so she can help our family doctor when she needs to go home to be with her family and so that they can be best friends.  hehe

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She removed a splinter from my hand.  Definitely a risky procedure but I pulled through.

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She then switched to being a dentist and used a circular block as her prophy paste.  I had to hold it while she polished my teeth.  Planck was her assistant but he really just observed.

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Then she did a full costume change and was an explorer.  At one point she combined the two outfits and said she was part of Doctors without Borders.  She said she was an explorer doctor so we told her there really are explorer doctors who help people in places where there aren't doctors.

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The biggest hit of the day was her easel from Grandma and Grandpa in California.  We have since moved it into the dining room because we can already barely move in the living room as it is with all the baby gear plus the Christmas tree.  She paints every day with it.  She has consistently asked to do paints but we always have to set up a whole station and get out the splat mat but now she can do her own paints.  We just have to figure out a brush washing solution but overall it is working out fabulously.

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Per her request we went to Grammy's house for cake and more celebration on the weekend.  She chose to wear this beautiful grey dress that we received from my friend Autumn.  She sewed it for her daughter but it was too small.  I'm so happy that she shared it with us.  It is one of Maegwin's favorites now!

Maegwin helped decorate the giraffe cake that we took to Mom's.

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She's such a goofball!  We love our little Maegwin and it is so fun seeing the person she is becoming.  She is very sweet and precocious and silly.  We had a wonderful birthday weekend together.



I also got to do a photo shoot with the Christmas sweater I finished for Joshua.  We've had the weirdest winter weather ever lately.  It's really more like what the Bay Area used to be before the drought.  No snow and just rain with cold.  I HATE it!  People at work are excited about the dearth of snow but I find it disturbing and un-wintery.  I've been able to wear what I consider a light spring jacket the entire season so far.  It doesn't even have insulation!  But I digress....We had a rather sunny morning and I told Josh we were getting the kids out to take pictures.  It was only 8 am but it called for rain later.

Remember that tree I mentioned that we chopped down?  Perfect photo props!  We especially love this bit of tree because it is two seats together for the kids.

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This picture is hilarious!  He looks so stoic!  I was so happy with the lighting we got for these too since the sun was just rising.

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Joshua loved that he got to explore a lot of nature whilst we took photos.  I just let him crush the grass and leaves.

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This one is one of my favorites.  I love how he is brandishing the leaf.

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Maegwin had fun too.  She played while we were doing that first set then she sat with him and we got some together.  These are the best I think.

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I took a few in the slide as well to mix it up.

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I have to say I am so proud of how these turned out.  I've been listening to a knitting and photography podcast which I've mentioned before called Knitting Butterflies and it has really helped me use my digital camera better.  Check her out because Emily is fabulous!

For the knitters who are so inclined, the sweater is the Anders pullover.  I knit it in conjunction with my friend Autumn who has the blog cottington's so crafty.  She's a sweetie and we had fun comparing notes and encouraging each other to finish.  Hers is adorable as well. Here's the deets:

Yarn: Malabrigo Arroyo in the Fresco y Seco colorway (dark green) and Miss Babs Yummy 3ply in the Frog Belly colorway (light green)

Pattern: Anders by Sorren Kerr

Needles: Size 5, 6, and 7-I had to use tons to get the different gauges between working flat, in the round, and with two colors.  Do your swatches, kids!

For Christmas we went to my mom's house and craziness ensued.  We got some good pictures of me with the kids and Mom with the kids but I realized when we got home that we didn't get any with the four of us.  Next time we are at Mom's we have to remedy this.

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Merry Christmas 2014

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I will have to write more later about the Christmas party at my work.  This post is getting long and it's time for breakfast.  Thank you to everyone for all the wonderful gifts and generosity.  It is so appreciated.  We love and miss you all that we couldn't be with this season.  Have a happy New Year!




Saturday, November 29, 2014

Mastering the fundamentals


Oh, hi!  Joshua here!  Today I wanted to talk to you about the fundamentals of eating solids.  Mommy and Daddy have told me they like to employ the method known as baby-led weaning.  As you can see, I have my trusty food net all loaded and ready to go so let's get started, shall we?

First, reach for your food net and grasp the ring to bring it up to your mouth.


Hang on a second....


Pincering! Pincering!  I'm going to do the pincering!


Maegwin, no!  Can't you see I'm filming here?

What you need to do is pick it up like this and hold it out and use your mouth, baby Josh.  That's right, Bubby.  Do that!


I can't work like this.  Can somebody get her out of here?  Anyone?


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Is this on?  Are we back?

And welcome back!

Now, as I was saying you want to get a good firm grip on the ring portion.  See here I grab the side part.


Too slippery, this is not the place to hold this particular food delivery device.


Once you have the ring, bring it up to your mouth.  Note that the ring itself contains no nourishment.


Gnaw, bring down, and repeat as many times as necessary.


Now, for your smaller foods you'll need to vary your technique.  Here I have some puffs to demonstrate.


Reach out whilst extending your thumb and forefinger for maximum pincer grip.


Make sure not to squeeze the puff too hard or you'll crush it into dust before it reaches your mouth.


Insert the food into your mouth and that is how it's done!


I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.  See you all next time!


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Camping time and the livin' is easy

Whew, ok if blogging with one child was difficult...two makes it well nigh impossible.  I have wanted to, but work has been busy and when I get home I basically nurse Joshua and play a bit with Maegwin and then it's time for bed.  Note the lack of mention of housecleaning?  Yeah, no time for that.  The last few times that Maegwin has dumped out all her toys in the living room though she has put them all back in her baskets so I think we are making real progress.  I'm so proud of her!  On to the fun!

Last month, we went camping again and it was our most successful trip yet.  Our Prius is definitely at full capacity though.  We have the water jug under Maegwin's feet and the area under Joshua's car seat stuffed as well.  I have to have both dogs in the front on the floor at my feet because there is nowhere else to put them.  Hopefully by next spring we can buy the pod to go on top of the car.  Something like that at least.  We basically want to put our chairs and tent into it.  That would free up a lot of space in the trunk for other items.

As soon as we got there, Maegwin found an open dirt area and started giving herself a dirt bath.  "Just like the elephants do, Mommy!"

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Needless to say, she spent most of the trip dirty. I did find some waterless soap to use for a sort of bath which was good.
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Those shoes behind her also WERE new tennis shoes. Yeah, not so much anymore. lol! They did help with hiking later though. Joshua helped keep the tent bags in order while we set up camp and unpacked the car.

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He was so good for it all and had tons of fun just worming around.  I love this shot because it looks like he is posing.  LOL

Ready for my glamour shot, mommy

It was cold in the mornings so we made good use of our knitwear and wooly underthings.  Even the dogs had a fairly good trip.  Last time Planck spent a lot of time coughing but this time his heart murmur didn't seem to bother him.  This red hoodie was from when Maegwin was a baby.  It barely fits Joshua but it worked.  I also knit him a pair of mittens last minute and we used them often.

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Maegwin took charge of her own outfits.  She even buttoned her own shirt!

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Josh made some great fires and great food.  Yep, my California family, that is how we roll out here in Ohio.  Big open fires with no thought whatsoever for sparks or embers.  We throw caution to the wind!  Some of our wood was so wet that we couldn't get it to take.

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I had also just finished my Ishbel shawl which I threw in my bag at the last minute.  I was so glad because as I said, it was chilly!  I also threw in the bunting that Mom knit for Maegwin and it is just the right size for Joshua.  He slept in it both nights and it kept him toasty warm.

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The second day we went on a hike and it was very fun.  The dogs had great stamina all the way through.  I hope I get around as well as Planck if I live to be 100.  Seriously, he's about the equivalent of that and he charged up some stone stairs that were the same height as he is tall.

We found some cool fungus that looked a bit like cauliflower.

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These cool roots went all across the path.  They were neat to see, but definitely obstacles when walking around with dogs and a baby in the Ergo.

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Josh and Maegwin walked out on the rocky bed of the river to explore.  The dogs stayed back with Joshua and I.  I didn't want to trip.

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I caught this picture right before Maegwin plunged her foot into a huge puddle.

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We found some wild black-eyed susans.


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These are some of the kinds of rock formations more prevalent in the gorge, but pets aren't allowed on those trails anymore.

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We explored a bit off the path and found a cool tree that we agreed looks like fairies could live there.

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We also found this cool caterpillar.  A smaller version of this stowed away in our pillow and found its way out onto our bed.  :O  He was safely put out in our bushes though.

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Not sure what happened with the lighting on this photo, but proof that I did indeed hike with everyone.  That's the leashes all twisted around my legs.

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As soon as we got home, Maegwin set to her Duplo building.  This was a berry shooter.  Don't know what that means but she was very specific.  One was supposed to shoot strawberries and one was for raspberries.

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That's about all I have time for this morning!  We are going camping sometime this month for the last one of the season.