Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Hey There Seattle Bloggers

I know you guys are all dying to meet me. And here is your opportunity!

And well if you don't want to meet me, Sunny for Sunny in Seattle and Katie from Taking the Statistical Bullet will be there, and they are way cooler and funnier than me! Hope to see you guys there!!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I'm Dreaming of a White...Thanksgiving

Panic has ensued Seattle because not only has it snowed in our city of hills and few snow tires but it isn't even Thanksgiving yet for the love of God. And by snowed in I mean 5 inches at my house. Snow prior to Turkey Day hasn't happened in 25 years. Oh and predicting the weather around here is sort of like trying to get rich by winning the lottery. Luckily I figured out that their prediction of .25" of snow was inaccurate in time to get out of the city before everybody else. I have many friends who spent until the wee hours of the morning commuting home. Today is a snow day because not only are the roads bad but everybody needs a mental health break from that traffic jam. We are certainly enjoying the break at my house!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

October 2008

October 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


So yeah, it's been a few weeks. I'm sorry. Because I know my readership has been refreshing every few seconds just aching for an update from me.

Oh...what's that? You've haven't even noticed that I've been gone? And you don't think a couple people with my blog in their Google Reader counts as "readership"? Yeah, yeah, I get the point.

Anyhow, much has been happening at my house these days. Jeramy went hunting, which meant a week of being a single mom. On the plus side the house was much cleaner when I got home each day because my MIL would take those messy kids to her house after they woke up. On the negative side, a two year old and six month old do not provide for very stimulating conversation. Unless you enjoy discussing the merits of Elmo. In which case you would find out discussions enthralling.

Then this happened:
Just a couple days early (and after an early labor that stretched out over three days) my niece Lily Marie arrived. She was just a petite thing at just 6 lbs 5 oz and 18.5" long. The delivery went smoothly, and I have to admit it was pretty amazing to witness and Jaime handled labor like a champ. Lily has been growing like a weed since then. I think her lowest weight was 6 lbs 2 oz and she is now 7 lbs 3 oz. I'm such a proud auntie!

The day after Lily's arrival Hayden turned 6 months old. Half a year. Seriously. She remains the worlds sweetest baby even if chewing on your finger and pulling your hair are her favorite activities. She also seems to have forgotten how to suck her thumb, and cries out hourly for me to come and reinsert her pacifier each night. Sleep in one hour increments is not quite as satisfying, but this is far better than actually having to feed her at some point during the night. That would require much more than walking down the hall in back in a zombie like state. She has mastered rolling from back to front, but is not very good from front to back. At least she is getting more and more content with tummy time because the whole flipping her back over every 15 seconds thing was getting old. She can sit up, but she is not nearly as steady at Jillian at the same age. She tends to fling herself backwards and seems much more pre-occupied with standing than sitting.

And just in case anybody worried that Lily got a knitted blanket but Hayden did not, never fear. It may have taken me many, many months to complete it but here is pictoral proof that this blanket does exist.
She loves Sophie the Giraffe given to her by Aunt Jaime

Then there was Halloween. Jillian was a Monkey (very appropriate) and Hayden a Lady Bug, and hot damn if they weren't the cutest Trick-or-treaters ever. Well at least Jillian was with her "tank yous" and "bye byes". Hayden was passed out in the stroller. The best part was that...finally...after a two decade hiatus...Jeramy and I got to go begging door to door for candy once again. Only this time we had an adorable set of girls as bait. Our house is in a rural area, so we drove a couple miles down the road to a fancy neighbor hood with houses several times the price of ours where many of the homes were all decked out in Halloween decor. These folks handed out the good candy (no tootsie rolls and crap as Jeramy said) and some even had full sized candy. And maybe...just maybe...we had a few items from Jillian's take that evening. We wouldn't want her too jacked up on sugar after all. Man oh man, are we responsible parents with our priorities entirely in order.

Don't they look bored?

After fattening them up with candy (well Jillian at least as I've heard that giving babies Reeses and Milky Ways if frowned upon) we took them both in for their 2 year and 6 month check-ups. Both were pronounced healthy specimens of children and both screamed mightily upon receiving their shots. As suspected, Hayden is gaining on Jillian in terms of weight and I'm a little nervous that she may overtake her at some point defeating the entire purpose of hand-me-downs. Here are the official stats:

Height: 34.25" (50th)
Weight: 27 lbs 4 oz (65th)
Head: 20.5" (100th)

Height: 27" (80th)
Weight: 19 lbs 3 oz (95th)
Head: 18" (100th)

My doctor is feeling a little reassured by the fact that both of my children appear to have enormous heads (thanks to their Daddy). As for the weight Hayden is a fatty, but I find it a little hard to believe that Jillian's weight is in the 65th percentile. She seems a little on the small side to me in comparison with other kids her age.

In Jillian related news, she has recently taken to hiding from us. She isn't very good at it, I'm afraid as she always chooses the same spot behind the ottoman. And some body part is always sticking out for us to see. I try to play along though and say "where's Jillian???".

She has taken a little more notice of her little sister lately, and often times tries to physically insert herself between me and the baby when she sits on my lap. Hayden certain notices Jillian and finds her very interesting even if she does steal all the toys and call everything "mine". I'm looking forward to the day the girls can play happily together. Okay, okay...I would just settle for play together.

There is more to share as we head into the holidays. I've been learning to knit two socks at one time saving me from "second sock syndrome". And I've been learning how to cut our grocery budget in half as part of Operation Learn How to Live on one Income. So look forward some posts on knitting and savings!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The other weekend we went to a local park to meet up with our photographer Keren Fenton who always does a fabulous job taking pictures of our family. Yesterday my CD of pictures arrived in the mail. I was a little nervous to take a look at the results from our session, because Jillian was quite the pill. In fact, this picture highlights her attitude for the better part of the hour:

Please note I'm wearing my "grin and bear it" expression.

I love that Keren included that photo for me. She my know of my love for pictures of my eldest daughter crying.

However her talent never ceases to amaze me, and she captured some downright beautiful shots. I love the girls bright hand knit sweaters and big blue eyes in combination with the warm fall colors. And even if Jillian can't be caught with a smile on her face, her sister wins photogenic baby of the year.

And yes, I knit the sweaters myself! I made them last winter/spring. I posted about Jillian's here but never wrote about Hayden's sweater. They are the Helena pattern from Knitty and they were such fun to knit up. I used Duets yarn, dyed by my friend Angi. I made one for each girl with hopes that they would fit in the fall, and luckily it worked out! I was worried that Hayden's would be too big, but then she turned out to be a big girl! You can find them here and here on Ravelry.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Dream Catcher Blanket

This is also posted over at The Terrible Knitters of Kent, which is a new knitting blog started by gals in my knitting group.

When my sister told me that she had gotten a positive pregnancy test my first thought was "Woohoo, I'm gonna be an aunt!!!" My second thought was "What am I going to knit?"

Once she found out the baby was a girl, I set out to find the perfect project for sweet Lily. I was determined to be realistic about the amount of time I had available for a project...I did have two girls under two to attend to. But then I saw the Dream Catcher blanket pattern by Susan Anderson on Ravelry and my ideals of simple were tossed aside for time consuming yet adorable.

Well if I couldn't achieve realistic, I figured that I could at least make the project affordable. So I ordered some Knit Picks Swish (worsted superwash merino wool) in darker jeweled tones. When the box arrived, I opened it full of anticipation...but then disappointment consumed me. The colors were darker and more muted than I expected. Too make matters worse, I had just seen a picture of the Pottery Barn Brooke bedding Jaime had chosen. Comparing such beautiful spring colors to the dreary tones in the box just depressed me. I decided right then to screw affordable; so I loaded Hayden up in the car and headed to the local yarn shop.

At the yarn store I found exactly the yarn called for in the pattern, Spud and Chloe Sweater (superwash wool/cotton blend) and fell in love. Seeking to match Jaime's bedding choice, I picked the watermelon, splash, grass, pollen and firefly colorways...two skeins as the one skein called for in the pattern seemed completely inadequate (which turned out to be correct as about 1.5 skeins of each color was required).

Infatuated with my yarn selection, I headed home where I discovered that my choices exactly matched what was called for in the pattern. Hmmmm...that isn't exactly creative. So I decided to spice my pattern up by coming up with an arrangement that incorporated all seven different squares in all of the different colors rather than just making each pattern in one color. Plus I decide to stretch myself with a crochet border. Oh yeah. I really know how to live life on the edge.

I found that the one advantage of the project is that squares are portable. I worked on them during a couple road trips we had for weddings. I worked on them during a break in the middle of a motorcycle trip. I even managed to get a little done in my vanpool as the van tends to be emptier during the summer time (other riders don't want my elbows in their sides). Don't get me wrong...25 squares do seem to take forever. And I wasn't very happy when, four squares in, I lost my outline of how all these squares were supposed to come together and had to figure it out again from scratch. I also wasn't too thrilled to have to re-do my first blackberry square (the most difficult but prettiest pattern) when I realized that casting on the 32 stitches called for made it too big because of all the increases involved (28 worked for me). But somehow by the end of August, I managed to achieve this:


After washing and blocking, the fun part began: seaming. Oh God, I thought it was never going to end. Each night after girls were in bed I'd sit down at the dining room table and stitched squares together. It was tedious and not at all conducive to any sort of fun activity like T.V. watching due to how the table and television are positioned.

The only thing I could find to break up the monotony was contemplating all of the border possibilities. I had bought this book of crocheted borders, and although it looks like something straight from 1985 it is really quite good and very comprehensive. Each border includes a schematic sketch, which I found incredibly helpful as I am primarily a knitter. Crochet stitches aren't complicated, but I find interpreting the patterns to be completely frustrating.

And finally the blanket was stitched together. And a weekend later the border was done. And by the day before the baby shower it was done blocking. Ahhh...sweet success.

Probably the best part of all was the smile on my sister's face when she opened her present. I can't wait for Lily to arrive (soon, I hope!) and try her new blanket out.

Friday, October 8, 2010

*Sigh*...She's Two

My Jillian turned two yesterday. I'm admittedly a little sad but excited all at once. It seemed like just yesterday she was this:

And now she is this:

It is hard to get a picture of her face these days as she is always on the move. Running and jumping. Saying no. Giving hugs and kisses. Greeting me in the evenings with "Hi Mama!" Biting her tongue when she concentrates like I do. Entertaining her little sister. Saying "Tank you". Putting her socks in her shoes after she takes them off. Stripping all her clothes off and jumping on the trampoline outside. Drinking out of a cup without a lid. Not eating your own food but then insisting on having a "bite" of whatever daddy or I eat. Insisting on filling Cujo's bowl with food whether he needs it or not. Reading books. Watching Elmo. Cuddling.

Life is such an adventure with you Jillian. I am privileged to be called your mom for the past two years.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Monday, September 27, 2010

5 Months

Dear Hayden,

You are just shy of a half a year old, and it is amazing how much you have grown. As I lug you around this house I think back of that tiny newborn I held just months ago. You are well over twice that size now, and really gaining on your older sister. If she doesn't watch out, she'll be wearing your hand-me-downs someday soon!

You learned how to get that pesky arm out of your way and roll over from back to front on Saturday. The problem, it seems, is that you do not much care for being on your belly but have forgotten how to roll from front to back. Pretty soon though you will discover that tummy time has its advantages in terms of ease of movement, and then my life of leisure will evaporate. Mobility has its downsides, I'm telling you. Listen to your mommy on this one.

You also don't care much for sitting these days. Whether in my lap or in the bumbo, you arch your back wanting to stand up. You enjoy the jumperoo quite a lot although you are not as much of a jumper in comparison to your sister. The toys are nice though. And if you are really lucky, Jillian will come over and "help" you jump. That is always good for a few laughs.

You are quite ticklish around your neck. Oh and you have discovered your voice from adorable coos to wild screams. It is a little difficult to tell if you are happy or sad sometimes. You help us figure it out eventually though!

My dear Hayden, you really are the sweetest baby. I would keep you like this always if I could.



Friday, September 24, 2010

Baby Shower

Last weekend, my sister's friend Lauren and I got to throw her baby shower. I think that I was more excited to throw a shower for somebody else than I was for my own! It was a very relaxed and fun shower, and I think that everybody had a good time. Only a month left until Lily's due date...so hard to believe!

Lauren, Jaime and I

The diaper cake I constructed after watching YouTube videos. The shoes, while completely impractical for a newborn, are crazy cute.

The coconut cake Lauren ordered from Whole Foods. It is, perhaps, the best cake ever! I saved WW points all week for this cake.

Lily's first Seahawks clothes! Now if only we could forget about last week's game...

A cousins onesie for Lily. Jillian and Hayden wore their matching shirts to the shower. I have a dream of getting a picture of all three of them in their shirts. Uh yeah, we'll see how well that goes!

I ordered the most adorable piggy bank from AndrewandElla Designs off etsy.com. It was hand painted to match the bedding set Jaime chose. On the other side it says Lily. I got the customized piggy bank idea from my friend Jenny who got one for Hayden. Jillian has one on order to, as she broke the cheap one we got her from Target. *sigh*

The blanket I knitted for Lily also to match her room. It is the Dreamcatcher pattern by Susan B. Anderson. I'll try to remember to do a post just on making this blanket, because it really deserves one.

Jillian made friends during the shower. Here she and Peyton are bouncing on the ottoman. I love the look on my grandmother's face in the background.

Great Grandma Gene and Hayden

There is one seriously cute baby bump. Compare this to the size she was just a few months back.

Jaime with her friends Jamie, Allison, Jeana and Lauren. These girls have been friends since high school!

Jaime and her practice baby. Of course using Hayden (aka the easiest baby on earth) for practice is entirely misleading.

Oh and thanks Jeramy for deciding to pick up that external flash on a whim when buying my portrait lens. It makes for awesome indoor pics!