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 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!