Friday, December 30, 2011

CA trip through Thanksgiving

We packed up the essentials and went to Mom & Kevin's house for a night.  That day both Maegwin and I had fevers so we really weren't very good company.  We spent most of the time on the couch watching Netflix and cuddling under a comforter and we went through a fair bit of wood keeping a fire going so we could stay warm.  I think I also went through roughly three jumbo boxes of tissues.  Maegwin napped a lot and sweated it out on one of Auntie Laura's giant teddy bears.
Maegwin also worked on doing the sticks juggling that Aunt Laura was showing her while we were there. She definitely enjoyed playing with them!

That night I actually sent Josh out to buy a vaporizer because I was having so much trouble breathing. It did help though we steamed out the walls of the room we were in. I'm glad we had it though. We had a rough time and he did a lot of walking around cradling Maegwin and her menagerie of creatures. Of course, the beloved Moo and in this photo some random lamb.
moo and lamb

On Wednesday, we went back to Grandpa's house to make Thanksgiving dinner for him. Josh's sisters came up also and Josh made his first turkey. It turned out great but sadly I didn't get many pictures on this day because I was helping and wrangling Maegwin as well. I baked some of my bread too.
The girls packed everything up into multiple meals and froze it so hopefully we've stocked the freezer for a while. We also got a chance to play Carcassonne with Josie and Matt while both of the kids took crazy long naps. We had such a great time with it. Matt & Josie got it for us for Christmas and we look forward to playing it again. I really enjoy those kinds of games that have a dynamic board that is either built up or changes with each time you play it. We really need to get our board game night up and running again.

Thursday we went over to the other set of grandparents' house and celebrated Thanksgiving as well as all the November and December birthdays. I think October too since Josh's was celebrated. Maegwin enjoyed hanging with all the gals.
She of course was feeling a bit better by this time as I was getting worse. I swear children are like small traveling petri dishes. Maegwin got tons of presents but she didn't quite get it at first I think. She thought we were saying pretzels which she had rather enjoyed on the plane ride out. Each time she'd open something up she'd say "Where are the pretzels?" and look very disappointed. Once I told her with greater enunciation she was much happier.
She got a tea set from her great-grandparents.
Which she happily shared with Aunt Jean and Aunt Wendy's puppy.
She was quite a good hostess.
serving tea
She read with Baby Lily.
She also seemed very fascinated with her clothes. She loves the babies at her daycare whenever she gets to see them.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

One down, one to go

I've got one mitt down and one to go!  I might do this distract you all, please enjoy this lovely picture of Maegwin putting on her jammies by herself.  I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas day tomorrow and to all of my friends and family I can't be with, please know that I miss you and am thinking of every one of you.

Maegwin does it by herself

Friday, December 23, 2011

I'm crazy

Yesterday we went to Maegwin's 2 year check up. She is 35 inches tall, holding strong in the 75th to 90th percentile on height and 25.2 pounds, so 25th percentile in weight. Everything else is fabulous and the doctor said she was advanced on her verbal skills. Yay!

cool hat

After we went, she sacked out in the car for all of 20 minutes to drive home and then flatly refused to nap until 3 pm. By that time I was really ready for her to go to sleep as she became progressively more grouchy. There is something about getting a toddler down for what you know will be a long nap. It makes you ponder crazy things and feel fairly invincible in the fact that you were able to tame such a wild creature into submission. My bright idea? Take something from my More Last Minute Knitted Gifts book and whip it up for Christmas. Simple right? My plan was to turn this yarn into these fingerless gloves. Wagers, anyone?

last minute mitts

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


I see that I have not written a blog post since October and frankly judging from the state of my house I'm not surprised. Work has taken us by the feet, whacked us around a bit, and left us in a state of disarray. Add into that mix two bouts of bronchitis for me (the most recent of which was during my one and only vacation of the year, but I digress) and you have the makings of a crazy couple of months. Maegwin is quite cheery, continues to thrive, and seems largely uneffected by the chaos. They say that disorder is the sign of a brilliant mind so I just chalk it up to us raising her to do magnificent things.

We went to California over the Thanksgiving holiday and on the Friday before we were heading out, both Maegwin and I had stuffy noses and mild coughs. No big deal, thought I, it's just a cold but I'll pack my rescue inhaler just in case. I had just recovered from the first batch of bronchitis, which took a little over a month and was finally back to going to the gym. Our flights took a total of ten hours travel time, with a stop that was not included on our original itinerary in Denver. Be warned, if you don't have to change planes Southwest doesn't consider it a stop and thus doesn't add it. In the Vegas airport Maegwin insisted on walking. We were all the way on the other side. She walked until we got to the A terminal and then started crawling and eventually just sprawled on the floor. She looked as defeated as I felt. I had the bright idea to put her on our roller bag and she rode happily, waving to everyone like a beauty pageant winner. We finally got into Oakland and noticed our car seat was not on the jetway...we had gate checked it so it would be right there for us. No worries, said the flight crew-if you checked it through it went down with the luggage and you'll have to pick it up down there. Ok, we loaded up and headed down with Maegwin in the Ergo. Let me pause to say the baby carrier was probably one of the greatest inventions ever. On to the baggage claim! Out came all our bags and we waited and waited but no car seat. A nice man standing next to us said that car seats come out in the irregular luggage area. We headed over there and saw several men just standing around waiting. We asked them about our car seat. They all looked at each other and said there were no car seats on the flight. I lost it then. Why did we bother to gate check the darn thing if they were going to lose it anyway? I had visions of it sitting on the jetway at the Denver airport in our "unpublished" stop. We started stomping toward the lost baggage office and I happened to glance to the side at a cordened off area. There was the car seat (minus one strap padding)! There was no mistaking the bits of sunshine cereal stuck to it so I knew it was ours. We grabbed it and headed to the rental car place. Everything seemed to go ok until they sent us out to the kiosk to pick our car. It was pouring down rain and dark by this time. The woman was working two counters alone and basically told Josh to go find the mid-size cars in the lot. We had no umbrella and I had on some felt flats that were more like wet wool slippers at this point and a very wet baby in an Ergo. Seriously, Dollar, shame on you! He came back ten or so minutes later and we loaded up and made it to Grandpa's house to settle in.

Maegwin made herself right at home and started stalking "doggy Emma". She loved her instantly and the entire trip as soon as she woke up she asked to find doggy Emma and Grandpa.
We got a rare Maegwin and Mommy photo.
Then we just hung out that evening. It was nice to decompress after the flight and my head was hurting and the cough was getting worse by this point. Oh, I also brought my neti pot and I can't sing its praises enough. I believe without it I would have been at the emergency room because that sinus infection would have gone to bronchitis much sooner.
Maegwin played with Emma's toys and entertained herself as any self-respecting two year old can do.
By the time our two days were done and we switched to Mom and Kevin's house, Maegwin and Grandpa were fast friends.
More on days 3-9 later as I have to go attend a two year old climbing on a coffee table.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Signs of fall

I can't believe it is already October.  Where has the time gone!  We've been so busy the past month or so that I haven't had any time to keep up with blogging.  Josh has been working 60 hour weeks on a pretty regular basis and while I am home, Maegwin is quite demanding of my time.  Certainly not a lot of time to blog.  The only free time is naptime and I use that to try desperately to keep our house back from the brink of unhealthy and to sneak in a tiny bit of knitting time.  I haven't knit anything for myself in a good long while but I have made lots of baby hats.  I'm currently working on a set of little bear hats with earflaps for my friend, Danielle, who is due to have twins any day now.  She's in the hospital on bedrest so they could be here anytime in the next two weeks.  I only have flaps and the brim of one hat done so I need to get cracking.

One of the things we did in September was attend the Wool Gathering.  As every year that I have gone it was full of wonderful things.  This year I have my eye on learning to spin with a drop spindle so I got three different types of wool to learn with-blue faced leicester, merino, and shetland.  I'm excited to see how each behaves differently.  They are all beautiful natural colors and I hope to make some mittens from them for either me or Maegwin when I'm done.  Just need to find a class to go to so I can learn!
Maegwin explored all the different sheep areas:
She told me "You want a sheep?" which means "I want a sheep." We're working on pronouns right now.
She especially loved these little guys with their multiple colors and little horns:
She nicely asked if she could pet the angora bunnies:
And a fiber snob is born!
She loved the alpacas. She kept asking to see the pacas and pet the pacas.
After all that excitement she fell asleep in the Ergo and let Mommy browse the market. So considerate of her! The weather was gorgeous and was very inspiring with just a hint of the fall to come.

The day before the Wool Gathering we drove up to a Cleveland suburb for my friend, Todd's wedding. It was a very long day but we had a good time. I didn't take very many pictures but I did take one of Maegwin on the dance floor. She and the little girl behind her did laps around it for about 30 minutes!

Last weekend we went to a fall festival in the area with my friend Mary and her daughter Emma. We were both pregnant at the same time and the girls are only a few weeks apart. They had a great time.
Maegwin wanted to play in the corn pools.
can I get in, Mommy?
Once she was in she had a great time putting corn in a bucket.
digging in
using hands
All was going well until a rather large 12 year oldish girl got in and nearly kicked Maegwin in the face. She also started loading up the bucket and dumping it on top of her. I had to intervene and I moved her to another pool. She barely fit inside the thing so I'm not sure what she was thinking.
We moved on to the pumpkin patch where Maegwin had to try out all the pumpkins to find the right one. Thanks to the parking attendant for giving me those free tickets so we could get free pumpkins!
The first one was too heavy.
this one is too heavy
I caught her in mid-run to the next one.
not that one
She and Emma were very thorough in their quest.
finding the perfect pumpkin
We decorated our pumpkins which I couldn't get pictures of because I was busy helping. We were covered in marker when we were done though.
I thought this one was great. They look like a dynamic crime fighting team or something.
the mod squad
Maegwin had a great time running away from our best efforts to photograph them together.
and I'm running
Emma was highly amused at her antics.
can't catch me on film!
They played peek-a-book around this wastebasket.
there she is
And squatted down for a chat.
having a sit down
Maegwin zonked out on the way home. We had a great day and presented our decorated pumpkin to Daddy when he got home from work.

On the knitting front, I finished a test knit for my friend Gwen. She plans to offer this pattern as a kit with enough yarn to make the adult size and kids' size of it. They are super cute! Still have to knit up the kids sample for her.
I also finished a Santa hat Christmas ornament which was promptly absconded for Ken. I imagine I'll have to knit another one.
santa ken
I finished this fun little mousie that is part of the Spud and Chloe at the Farm set. I'm working my way through the animals. I have the dog's head and body knit but not sewn together, the mouse, and a chick and egg (but Maegwin has taken them somewhere and I can't find them at the moment). Mom is helping with the piglets but I don't know what her progress is.
I knit a pumpkin hat for a co-worker, Seth, who was having a baby in October. They weren't finding out the sex so I made it more generic. They ended up having a girl about two weeks ago.
I basically have the rest of my knitting time tied up through Christmas. I want to make some stuff for a Christmas swap in the Itty Bitty knitting group on Ravelry, the rest of the farm set, some of the fairies from the holiday Knit Simple issue, four more baby hats, one baby sweater, a stocking for Maegwin, and the kids' test knit for Gwen. Whew, when I write it all out it seems pretty nuts!

Well Einstein woke her up so my free time is over.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

For all fans of Zoolander

Maegwin made her first look.  We call this her Blue Steel.  hehehe

Blue Steel

Sunday, August 21, 2011

knipicks sale and other goings on

Hi Everyone! After a month long absence I'm back for a short catch up session. We've been super busy with work. It seems that we alternate weeks where we work late so the other one is frantically trying to catch up on things. I did manage to get my fair isle mitts done and I'm pleased with how they turned out. Sadly it has been too warm to wear them but far be it from me to hasten summer's departure.
first fair isle mitts
With it being so hot we haven't spent as much time outside as usual, but our garden has certainly done well. We're winding down on cucumbers, the tomatoes seem like some ripen everyday but we have to stay on top of it to get them before they go too far, and the squashes are just starting to be ready for harvest. A few days ago I harvested three butternut and three delicata squash to start curing. Once they are done they should last for about five months, though I doubt it will be that long before we eat them.
I also got three melons though I don't think they were quite ready yet so I'm letting them ripen on the counter for a bit. We started a batch of pickles and they're pickling in the basement for another week before we can them. I'm excited to see how they go. We sort of threw in a bunch of spices and we used some white and some red wine vinegar to get extra flavor.

On the knitting front I've been sneaking things in here and there. My big finished object of late is the baby set for Josie's baby due in September.
I used the Flower Hat and Cardigan pattern by Susan B. Anderson from my Itty Bitty Nursery book. It was fun to knit but the yarn was a bit of a pain just because it was nubby and the nubs sometimes didn't want to pull through so I'd have to do fiddling to get them in the loops properly. It was worth the trouble, but I don't know that I would use the yarn again. It was Queensland Cotton Soft Wave. I did the flowers and vine with Spud & Chloe sweater which is amazing. It is my go to yarn for baby knits now as it is machine washable, super soft, and comes in a huge range of colors.
I'm working on the Spud & Chloe at the Farm set. I've finished one mouse, the body & head of a dog, and an eggshell for a chick. I'm just making a piece here and there between other things. Today I cast on for a baby hat for a shower this week at work. It will be the Cherry-O pattern from Itty Bitty Hats and I'll share as soon as I've finished.  After that I have two bear hats to knit for a set of twin boys due the beginning of November and a pumpkin hat for another boy due in mid-November.  I'll have another to knit for in December due to a friend of mine who had her first son about a week before Maegwin (she said apparently she likes December babies).  I want to do something special for her though and she is having a boy.  I'm thinking of doing the same sweater as above but in blue with a sailboat and maybe have a rope wrapping down around the buttons with a little anchor at the end.  I dunno, I'd have to design it so it will take some time and thought.  Whew, so many babies!

Maegwin has been really getting into summer fruit and we're having a piece or two a day. One in the morning on the car ride to daycare for her breakfast and then one on the way home. Their snacktime is around two so by the time we pick her up at six she is ravenous. It's a nice change from the crackers she was usually snacking on. We also found some soy bites, thanks to my friend Shelly, so we have been incorporating those into our food as well. They are really delicious!

We also rounded out Maegwin's room by adding the papasan chair I had in the nook and buying her a table. She insisted on helping put it together.
She took the screws and put them into all the holes very meticulously.
We asked her if she knew how to do it and she gave us this look like "Yeah, of course this is how you do it."
It was pretty fun to watch her get so excited about it. I put the stools together while she and Daddy worked on the table.
She insisted on using the wrench and trying to screw things in herself.
We had a good time doing it together. Unfortunately she is still too short to get up on the stools herself but I see years of fun in the future with it.
building table
Of course when we were done, we had to do a victory dance.

I've also recently attended the Knitpicks sale at their warehouse. We got there super early because Mom's group heard that last year they let people in early. No such luck this year so we had about an hour and a half to kill. The unfortuate thing was that it was blazing hot at noon and I had no sunscreen. Since I had got in a car with Mom and Aunt Lynn, I didn't have my usual store of useful things that I keep in our car. I had to settle for putting my Sling RePete bag over my head and hoping for the best. I'm sure I looked like an idiot but I didn't get a sunburn so I call it a win. We finally all started lining up and we were the second group in line. We heard that there were only 18 boxes of yarn and the line was back as far as I could see. They also had lots of books and some bags. There was a fabric sale going on as well in a different section of the warehouse. I went straight for the yarn boxes and was surrounded within seconds. They basically cut small holes in the tops of the boxes and many of the skeins had no labels. As you can imagine within minutes of the crazy frantic pawing everything was in tangles. I managed to get a bag of blue wool and some Risata sock yarn which is what I wanted then I got the heck out of there. It was just too crazy for me. I don't understand the mania of shopping like that. I headed to the book area which was much more serene. My strategy for getting people to move was recommending books to them that I saw them with which I already own and could vouch were good. They would then take the book and move on, leaving me with a nice open space to peruse. I think I bought about 20 books at $1 a piece and a few hardcovers at $3 a piece. As I was going up to check out I saw a Namaste Bitty Bag on the $5 table. It just had a broken strap but apparently that was enough to dissuade people from purchasing it. Not me! I regularly get my shoes repaired so I knew I could take it to the tailor and probably fix it for a few dollars. (I was right-I dropped it off subsequently and they are going to fix it for $8). Overall I'm glad I went but probably wouldn't again.