Friday, September 5, 2014

Random conversation with my four year old

So yesterday I was getting ready for work and Maegwin comes into the bathroom from waking up, looking bleary eyed and with tousled hair.  She looks at me steadily and says "Mommy, we need to do demolition."  I am used to such off the wall comments by this time, but I'm intrigued.  I said "What do you mean, Maegwin?"  She said "That means when you knock down a building so you can build a new one.  You should reuse some of the materials and some new materials to make the building strong."  Aha!  Now I know she has been watching Bob the Builder and man, does she pick things up!  I said "Well, what would we build?"  She doesn't miss a beat.  "A new house.  With double ovens!  And four sinks so we can all wash our hands!  And four bathrooms so we can have privacy while we wash our hands!"

That kid is hilarious!


Friday, August 22, 2014

Three months

Yep, again not a ton of time to write anything.  I went back to work at the end of July and between that and now two children there just isn't time to sit down and put together blog posts.  Fear not though, because there are pictures!

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Joshua is growing very nicely and he's such a laid back and fun little guy.  He hasn't laughed yet but he is full of smiles.

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He and Maegwin look alike, which is to be expected.  I make consistent children.  LOL

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Maegwin just adores him.  We often have to tell her to leave him alone when he is napping because she wants so badly to cuddle him or play with him.  I think once he can sit up she will enjoy him so much.  She is very patient and good with him though and has never been jealous or angry about him.  She does sometimes want me to put him down and play with her when I really can't because he is nursing but otherwise I'm very proud of how she's just adapted right away to him being part of our family.

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I do bite my thumb at you, sir.

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I believe he is around 15 pounds or so right now but no checkup this month so that is purely from using the bathroom scale.  Speaking of bathroom scales, I'm down to needing to lose about 5 pounds to get to my pre-pregnancy weight.  I'd like to lose another 5 on top of that to be back in top form but let's not get hasty.  I'll take just being the weight I was before being pregnant.  Being back at work helps with that because I walk so much going back and forth between our two buildings and going to meetings and going to the mothers' room to pump.  I also take the stairs whenever I can (obviously if I'm walking with someone who prefers the elevator I take that).

Josh has also started the couch to 5k program when I was out on leave still.  He is doing very well with it though we think he may have started running intervals a bit too soon.  He hurt one of his knees so he went back to a previous week's schedule for now.  It is basically a program to build up to running by using intervals of walking and running.  He made a path all around the perimeter of our yard and walks that.  Maegwin loves it and will walk on the trail with him or he can walk on it with Joshua during the day with an eye out for her playing in the yard.  It's been great!

We also had a bit of tragedy in the family.  My stepsister Shelly was killed in a car accident and it was a shock to all of us.  My niece, Chelsea, who is 14 will now be coming up to live in Ohio again.  We hope to see more of her because she is a sweet girl and I can't imagine how hard it must be to lose your mother so young.  It's just such a horrible shame.

I've done a bit of drop spindling and I'm getting better at it.  I need to do more of it.  I had figured out how to spin while I had Joshua in the Ergo but then he decided he didn't like being in the Ergo with me.  I think maybe he is a bit too long for the infant insert but not quite big enough to do the legs around my torso setting without the pad.

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I will definitely get back to it though because I was having a lot of fun spinning up this fiber and I have some pretty stuff I want to be skilled enough to spin well.

I finished a shawl!  The pattern is Ishbel and Joshua was in love with this yarn.  Whenever he was nursing and I was knitting he would grab at it or just stare at it.  I bound off the last stitch and held it out to him and he snatched it and curled his head up on his daddy's chest with it.  So precious!

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Like, you know this is mine, right?

cutie pie sports the shawl

And with the magic of lace, it blocked to fit me.

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I also finished a cardigan/coat for Joshua but it won't fit him til at least the winter.

finished latte baby coat

That's about it.  I'm almost done with a pair of socks for me and I'm working on pullovers for Joshua and Maegwin.  Josh will get a pair of socks when I'm done with mine.  He wants to see what the handknit sock thing is all about and I think they will be great for camping this fall.  I also want to get a shawl done for me for camping.  A nice big one that I can wrap around the kids and I when we are cuddling by the fire and that is in rugged wool so I don't care about it getting smoky and camp-y.

First alarm is going off so I need to wrap this up and get ready for work.  I leave you all with some fun outside.

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Monday, July 14, 2014

2 Month check in

We recently had the two month check up appointment for Joshua and I realized that I didn't blog the week after like I meant to.  Surprise, surprise!  You all forgive me, right?  Even if you don't, it doesn't really matter...you're stuck with me!  Muhaha!  Anywho, here's the latest stats we got at the wee munchkin's appointment.  He's up to 13 pounds 4 ounces, 23.25 inches long and his head circumference is 16 inches.  He is all over the board with percentiles.  I think he's low on weight, high on height and his head has sort of plateaued for now.  The boy charts are pretty different than the girl ones.  Basically it boils down to he gained over 2 pounds since his one month check up and another inch.  Crazy!



He outgrew nearly all of his initial 0-3 month clothing so I packed a lot of that up and sent it home with California family when they were visiting.  That brings me to their visit.  Nice segue, no?

Mom and Laura came for just a few days after visiting family in Kansas.  They brought with them two huge boxes of stuff from there.  Thanks, Therese and Jay!  It was like Christmas!  Games, books, clothes, mini tents, books on tape (and a tape player which Maegwin now knows how to operate!), pretend camping supplies, practice writing dry erase boards-you get the idea.  We need to do another toy culling because our house is pretty tiny and we just don't have capacity for it all.  This is hard though now that I know there is another little who will want to play with it all when he gets a bit bigger.

Maegwin drew pictures and insisted that I take photos of them to send to Grandma from California, her formal title (which Maegwin called her for most of her visit-it made me giggle every time).


There were cuddles.


There was reading of books.


Exploring was done in the yard.



Note the persimmon tree on the ground in the background of this one.  The day before they got here, we had awful storms and we woke up to this being down.  We didn't even know it was damaged at all.  It came down behind the swingset and the trunks around it seem to be fine.  More firewood, though we already have that in spades.

Here's everyone enjoying some time by the swingset.  We tried one day to do a walk, got all suited up and then it started pouring as soon as we left the driveway.  Sadly we missed taking them to the butterfly exhibit.  Our time zones were just too off.  I'm happy to let guests sleep in and relax though.  That is what vacations are all about!

Only one picture with me in it.  Josh doesn't really like it, but hey, I so rarely get pictures of me doing anything that I begin to think when my children look back they will think their dad loves them more.  I'm behind the lens my poppets, fear not.

We had a nice relaxed visit and though it was short, Maegwin got tons of time to hang out with Auntie Laura and Grandma from California which was really all we could ask for.  Joshua hung out as much as a month and a half old can hang out.

Since we've moved to our town, I've wanted to check out the thrift store down the street.  It is only open during the week and I think they have started being open for a few hours on Saturday so the Friday after everyone went home I packed up Joshua and headed over.  Josh and Maegwin went to ComFest at the same time and got glittered up.  The little guy went in the Ergo and I looked around.  I scored a small glass perfume bottle for Maegwin, a big glass jar for me to put my sock yarn scraps in (for my Beekeeper's Quilt), a wooden recipe box, and a pack of citronella candles all for $10.  Sweet!  I definitely see more trips in my future.


I've also been working on a sweater for me which is currently in time out.  I don't like how the buttonholes are written.  I tried to drop down some stitches to fix them and ended up screwing it up somehow and had to rip back multiple rows that represented about two hours of work.  I've decided the stupid button placket is decorative anyway so I'm going without buttonholes and I'll just sew the buttons on top.  Here's the color of the yarn though along with a bit of the sleeve you can see.


I'm pretty sure this little guy is going to have mad knitting skills.  He already grabs onto my knitting needles whenever he's awake and he can toe knit!

I've also worked on my Halloween cross stitch.


I made some more cards.

We had friends over for July 4th and we had an awesome time.  I think technically it was the 3rd but oh well.  The weather was fabulous and we got to be out in the backyard with a fire.  Maegwin ran Mike ragged but he was a good sport.  They caught fireflies, played crocodile, and ran around.  We hung out around the fire and debated and made adult talk.  So nice!

Last week we went camping out at the lake and that was pretty fun.  I sadly forgot my camera so no pictures.  Joshua was the hit of the campsite.  Since we went during the week there were many retired folks out there.  One woman, who was traveling with her husband cross-country, heard him crying and actually came over because she loves babies.  Most people don't go towards a crying baby.  Josh later took him over for a visit and she held him for a bit.  She said she needed her baby fix.  hehe  Apparently all her grandchildren are grown.  A nice family from Tennessee camped next to us our last night there and they had a girl who was four years old with them.  Maegwin made friends, but got to learn all the joys of introverts.  I think that Maegwin's personality just wore her out.  There were several times where she said she wanted to be alone and Maegwin came back to camp and cried and asked when her friend would love her.  I had to explain that some people like to spend time alone and they are shy and need a while to get to know you before they can like you.  I told her this was good practice because there will be many people like that in her life and she needs to learn to adapt the way that she interacts with them.  I used to have this issue all the time but now as an adult can successfully navigate it.  We had a few issues with behavior on this trip but I think part of that was me not being able to interact with her as much.  Joshua had got all his vaccinations at his checkup the day before we went camping and ran a low grade fever.  He also spit up a TON on me.  By the day that Dad came out to visit, I had no clean shirts.  I was wearing my PJ shirt while the others dried in the sun.  Things we learned this trip to remember for the next one:

1. Adapt our food plan to Maegwin's style of eating.  I think part of our issue came from her being hungry.  We planned on three meals a day and she is a grazer.  We also brought no fruit, yogurt, or other munchies which is how she always eats.  Not sure what we were thinking.
2. Review our first aid kit.  There was nothing for bug bites and I got a doozy on my heel our last night there.  It swelled up so much and hurt so badly I had to just lay on the air mattress and elevate it.  Luckily we had the tablet so I read my book for a bit but still.  I wanted to hang out by the campfire with Josh and I didn't get to do that.
3. Just buy one bundle of wood for our first fire, then forage for the rest right away.  The firewood they sell sucks and is smoky.  We can find deadfall quickly and easily and it makes a way better fire that we all enjoy more.
4. Make some busy bag activities for Maegwin to do so if she gets bored she can grab something.  I've found some good ideas on a few blogs I follow so I need to get those made up before we go next time.

Overall though, we had a good time and are so happy we put in the money last year to buy our nice tent and stuff we need to enjoy this summer.  Our goal is to camp at least once each month for the rest of the camp-able time this year.  It's inexpensive and we have fun.  We also can bring the dogs with us which saves on kenneling.  We only spent about $50 for three days and had a really fun time.  It was nice to see Dad also.



That's about all for this update.  I also finished a baby shower gift but I will share it next time.  I don't want to spoil the surprise.  Two more weeks before I'm back at work!  This week I have to go get some clothes.  I don't think my one pair of shorts is going to cut it.

Monday, June 30, 2014

It's about time for a post

So yesterday I attacked a section of the yard that had got completely overgrown with weeds.  We lost multiple trees last year, as those who read the blog well know, and in one area we didn't get the limbs cleared away so we couldn't use the mower.  I bravely went out with the weed whacker while Josh had the baby in the Ergo and dialed it up to 3 and went to town.  Some things to note here:


  1. My arms are not in the shape that they used to be.  Being pregnant and on restrictions of how much weight that I can lift led to serious degradation of my arm muscles.
  2. Our weed whacker packs more of a punch than I was accounting for.
  3. I tend to just focus on a task and go and go til I can't go anymore.
The above factors contributed to my hands not being able to grip anything for the rest of the night and my forearms stinging like the fire of a thousand suns today.  I know it is good exercise for me, but not being able to knit for the rest of the day does not make for a very sane me.  I did a few rows on the baby cardigan for my sister-in-law's baby, just to take the edge off.  The area does look quite a bit better though and luckily for me the battery for the weed whacker was used up and we didn't have the second one charged.  Today we plan to haul away the limbs and then we can do a pass with the riding mower which thankfully does not require arm power.  I need to start doing free weights again...it is shameful how weak my arms are.  LOL!

Overall I am super happy with all the flowers this year.  Our bee balm and cone flower area is filling in very nicely  We had to remove an ash tree there last year and they have nearly surrounded where the stump is.  The geranium there is over two feet across and the lungwort has started cropping up down in the stone wall which is kinda fun.  Josh suggested removing our stone retaining wall but I pointed out that chipmunks live in it and frankly I love watching the little guys.  He agreed this is a good reason to keep the stone wall but we do need to make some repairs.  The people who set it up initially did a crappy job and didn't build a wood framework first or do any kind of planning.  Kind of the story of anything that was done after it was built.  I put some hollyhock seeds in last year and they did almost nothing.  Josh thought they were weeds and didn't believe me that they weren't.  This year, they did this:

Josh's exact words were "I'm sorry I thought those were weeds, babe.  I didn't know they were totally awesome!"  There are plans to put them in other places now.  I thought just the pink ones survived (because I got a mix seed packet) but just over the last two weeks red and a deep magenta have bloomed.  They are lovely English cottage garden style flowers and I adore them.  It is so fun to watch bees crawl in and out of them.  I'm hoping the red ones are fun for the hummingbirds.  We should start seeing lots of them now that our bee balm are blooming.

Another thing I keep meaning to blog about but constantly forget every time is that I signed up for a service to have products delivered to us from The Honest Company.  I think their name is hilarious, but I found them through Zulily and tried their detangler.  I was looking for something a bit more in line with the types of products we like to buy than Johnson & Johnson and I totally fell in love with it.  It smells freaking amazing, like an orange creamsicle, and it works amazingly well on both my and Maegwin's hair.  Having fine hair but a lot of it often means that products weigh my hair down but this stuff doesn't.  We then moved on to trying their combo body wash and shampoo and their conditioner and I love both of those as well.  We do the bundle and I usually get two conditioners and two body washes and their bubble bath each month and that sets us up for personal care products.  So nice to not have to go buy those things, plus whenever we went to Target for cleaning products we inevitably bought other stuff that we didn't really need so I think it saves us money that way as well.  Something else we got that has been a total hit is the dish brush and soap dish combo.  Remember how washing dishes used to be fun?  No?  Just me?  Well this set made me almost love washing dishes again...almost.  It had the unexpected but totally welcome side effect of making Maegwin want to help wash dishes.



Things we have tried that I didn't really care for are the dishwasher detergent (it didn't really do a good job of cleaning dishes-we use Seventh Generation and like it better) and the baby bottom wash (we make our own with olive oil, water, tea tree oil, and baby soap and again like it better).  Your mileage may, of course, vary.

I've also been working at some other hand crafts besides knitting.  We made a garden stone together with both kids' hand prints.  I'd like to do one each year so that I have a path of them as they grow.

Note to self, one month olds do not like having their hands pressed into quick-crete and they will ball their fists up at inopportune moments.  We are just calling it his monster hand.  hehe

I also managed to put together one card during a nap time and snack time combo.
And this wee bit of cross stitch.  This is part of a sampler that counts the days til Christmas.  It will eventually be a pillow and either be part of the Advent swap or be a Christmas decoration for our house.  This little guy is day 13.
I'm trying to do more modular things since my crafting time now has to wrap around the needs of two children but since I'm on leave I'm getting a surprising amount done.  I've been knitting on a top for me that I will share pictures of soon.  I need to get it down to where I can try it on first.

Kids are up so I leave you with these pictures of my little monkeys and I will blog another time about our California family visit which was short but lovely.


Hope you all have a lovely week and are enjoying the summer so far!

Friday, June 6, 2014

One month stats

We had Joshua's one month appointment today and he is growing quite well.  He is now 11 pounds and 22.5 inches long.  While we were at the doctor, Maegwin was using a book flipped open as her laptop and charting his stats on a sticky note.  It was so cute!  She had a pretend consultation call with our doctor and pronounced him healthy.  :)

We got a chance to have Maegwin hold Joshua a bit more and I managed to snap some photos.  He hasn't had much patience until now with being held the way she can manage it so this was nice.


I have been listening to the Knitting Butterflies podcast and got some really good photography tips.  I played with the white balance on my camera and was able to take some really great pictures.  This was with the Tungsten setting which I didn't even know was what it needed to be on for indoor lighting.  It made a huge difference!  I think these look almost like they were taken in daylight but they definitely were not.  The next few below were taken at about 3 am when the little guy decided to wake me up and then have the audacity to zonk back out after nursing.  Cheeky monkey!


I am so happy that Maegwin is doing so well with the addition of her little brother.  She declared to me the other day that "being a big sister feels great!"  I was a little worried since my own sister didn't greet my addition as welcome and from reports from my parents attempted to poison me by feeding me rock salt at a tender age (though I think I was a toddler).  Yep, Missy, I'm lookin' at you!  LOL!  The biggest problem we've had so far is that we need to curb her enthusiasm for wanting to cuddle him.  If she comes upon him napping in his little ZCush sleeping bag (if you have a newborn and don't have one...go look now!  They are awesome) she is struck by his cuteness and insists on kissing and hugging him and snuggling near him which sometimes makes him wake up.  I can't blame her for loving him though.  He's pretty darn irresistible.


He had a pretty bad diaper rash, probably brought on by the antibiotics that I had to take.  We got cream for it today while at the doctor and he is so much improved with just a few applications.  He was bright and cheerful which just makes us feel guilty we didn't take him in sooner but why cry over spilled milk.  We are glad he is better and even more fun.

I have been working mostly on my cross stitch this week which I will share some pictures of soon.  I also knit several hexipuffs for my never ending blanket.  I need to pick a pattern soon to knit for my newly expected nephew due in October.  I want to consult my sister-in-law first to see if there is anything she absolutely wouldn't put on him or any colors she loves/hates or any preferred item she would like me to make.  I'm thinking maybe a blanket and sweater?  I also need to knit something new for my little niece but I don't know what size she is now.  My petite, slow growing child has made me not really aware of the size of children her age or younger.

Hope you are all having a great week!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Nearly one month in and boy are my wings tired!

Hello, gentle readers!  I have a moment's reprieve from the chaos and wanted to let you know that we are all doing just fine.  Baby is growing, knitting is happening, Maegwin is crazy and fun, Josh is enjoying me being home.  I've no idea the state that my house might be in when I go back to work but I think the children and husband will all survive.  hehe  I warn those who are not knitters that this might be a knit heavy post because I haven't put up anything I've made in a while.  First, I shall dispense with the cuteness and those who choose to head off after that can do so with a lighter heart.


Maegwin is absolutely smitten with her little brother.  The problem is more keeping her off of him than getting her to like him.  A good problem to have and I think he will make it.  Humans have survived this long with older boisterous siblings after all.  She does often want to do things with me and always seems to time it when I'm nursing and can't get up.  Then she will say "Just put him on the couch.  He'll be fine."  Yeah, not if I take his milk away, sweetheart.  Now that I am feeling mostly physically recovered (I had a bout of mastitis that knocked me for a loop but thanks to modern medicine and antibiotics I'm fine), I am hoping to start doing walks with everyone each day.  The weather is still gorgeous and not yet super humid so now is the time.

Nearly everyday Maegwin goes out and picks some sort of bouquet of wildflowers from our yard.  We don't spray anything on our yard and we try not to mow the backyard too low.  As a result we have a profusion of wildflowers, bees, and butterflies as well as a host of other creatures.  We even have a hawk who frequents our yard which is pretty fun to see.  Here is just a sampling of the bouquets I've received:


Some other floral goodness in our house-my miltonia orchid has bloomed!  I bought it last year at the orchid sale at the conservatory and had no idea what color it was.  I only knew its type.  It turned out to be my favorite color...yellow!  and it has a pink center!
If you will pardon the sad selfie with lighting behind me (bad Nina, bad!), I am so stinking proud of getting two blooms on this thing at the proper time of year.  I nursed this guy all year and apparently got it back to health.
Also, my African violet is going crazy in the same window.  I repotted it not too long ago and it seems pleased with its new environment.

As mentioned previously, the wee man is doing well.  He has received some additional gifts from my Itty Bitty Knits group and is making use of them all.
He has helped me clean the kitchen.
And even supervised my sock knitting.



It's hard work being a baby in this house!  Oh and he reprised the role of a wizard from Final Fantasy.
I had my first beer in almost a year and it was everything I thought it could be.  Of course it was from the brewery we lived down the street from in Hayward.  Accept no substitute for summer beer-ing!  Note the crazy amount of crafting going on in the background.  Cross stitch, four yarn bowls with projects in them...I call this my nursing anti-boredom station.
Now for the segue to knitting items, I give you Maegwin as an alien.  Pay no attention to the mess behind me and take me to your leader.

If you are still with me, I can only assume that you enjoy a good hand knit and I have some for you!  First off I completed a second pair of socks for Maegwin.  I seem to have discovered the secret sauce for getting them to fit her and she's actually wearing them and asking for more.  I'm trying to make them in colors that also would work for baby Joshua once he is older so that we get more use out of them.  I mean, toddler feet do grow and fast.

These were made with my leftover Chroma from my cardigan that I made just before I got pregnant.  The colorway is Guppy and she really loves them.  They have felted a little bit on the bottom already but I expected that since it is a single ply yarn.  Still, I think they will be warm for winter and they fit well into her hiking boots.

Next up, a pair of vanilla socks for me.  These were done in Blueberry Pie Studios yarn-Cupcake with Sprinkles colorway.  It was my first time using this yarn and I will definitely use it again.  I have enough leftover for socks for Maegwin and maybe a hat for Joshua or mittens for either of them.

Not a great photo, but I had just finished nursing him and couldn't get up.

Finally I just finished a pair of Lilybet socks out of some mystery yarn I bought at Knitters Connection in 2009 on clearance.  It has gold sparkles in it too.  I tried to knit this into no less than four pair of socks and ended up ripping them all out.  Apparently it was waiting to become these beauties.

I love everything about them although I forgot how much longer knitting a patterned sock takes!  I actually knit them in about two weeks but this is the most knitting time that I've had in ages.  I'm glad I finally found a use for this beautiful yarn and the leftovers will probably go into hexipuffs for my Beekeepers Quilt.  Still making those also.  Still a few years from a blanket I think but I'm enjoying making them here and there.

Whew!  So that's it of things that I have finished but for me that is quite a bit.  I'm also working on my Once Upon a Time cross stitch and I'm about to finish up April's square.  I've got May partially done and June's comes out tomorrow.  Can't wait to see what story it is.  Maegwin was looking at it with me last night and naming all of the stories.  As long as somewhere in there we get Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and Beauty and the Beast we will be all good.  Those are her favorites besides Snow White which we already have as January's block.

Hope you all are having a lovely spring so far!