Saturday, September 29, 2007



Here is the second FO for the week. Not bad. They turned out well. My mattress stitching through the ribbing (under the standed cuff) got messed up on the first one, so the seam is a little wonky, despite pulling out 2/3 of the seam and redoing it. For the second one, I got out clothes pins to hold the sides together as I seamed it. Much better results. A wasn't exactly thrilled. She started to complain about them and cut her off at the pass. I told her I would be very disappointed if she didn't wear them with a pretty smile on her face. So she smiled. I bet she'll rip them off the minute I drop her at ballet class. But that is fine with me. They will keep her warm from house to car to ballet school. Watch, we'll have an incredibly warm winter and she'll never even wear them. At least I got photos.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007




Here is the sock cat for my niece's first birthday. I would definitely make this from a child's sock instead of an adult sock next time. He is bigger and longer than the book version and he doesn't really have the cuteness of the book version. I think he's got a slightly evil look, but my sister said my niece was dragging him around the house today. I guess he isn't that scary.



Here is legwarmer #1. Leg warmer #2 is on the needles. I haven't sewn it up because I was willy-nilly on my decreases. I watched tv while knitting and I didn't exactly follow the pattern. I have been keeping the first one by my side and just measuring up against it as I knit so that I make them the same.

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Sunday, September 23, 2007


Baby B is such a cute kid. He sleeps with his paci still. He's taken to calling it his 'ni-ni', like 'night-night' but he hasn't mastered the 't' sound yet. He is way different than his brother & sister. They would wake up and either climb out(A) or scream(J) until you got them up. B just sits and plays. Eventually he will start calling out for one of us to get him, but some days he will play in bed for 45 minutes. If you try to get him up too soon, he refuses to get out. He won't get up until he is done playing.

I can hear him in his room playing his favorite game right now.

When he wakes up, he lays all his animals down on their little pillow. Bear, puppy, bug, angel baby, bunny bear and whoever else is in there that day. Usually we have a host of friends just for his ni-ni game. After all animals are laid on the pillow, he passes out blankies (cloth diapers, again there are tons in the bed), gives one his ni-ni and covers them with a blanket. He hushes them and sings a lullaby or reads to them. And then his favorite part of all. He stands at the end of the crib, bounces a couple of times and does a belly dive on top of them all, giggling away. And then it's just rinse and repeat.

He is such a boy!

Weekend winding up

We've had a good weekend so far. Friends over on Friday. Two winning soccer games on Saturday morning. One birthday party full of bounce house fun and finally dinner with ILs.

Today we've got mass, blood drive and the baby cousin bday party. After that I have tons of mundane household tasks to take care of. Laundry, change bed sheets, make menu for week. If I get those tasks done, maybe grocery shop. Plus, I need to finish up the work I didn't finish on Friday. Ugh. Why did I go back to work??? Oh, yeah. Money.

No knitting this weekend but I did start making my present for baby K. DH still thinks that I will be the dreaded Aunt S who makes homemade gifts. But I think my kitty cat will be adorable. Yesterday I bought a new pair of socks, buttons & stuffing. I sewed all the pieces last night and today I have to stuff and put it all together. Now the party is at 12:00. I have to work at the blood drive and then donate, so I will be late. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the blood drive is slow so I will have time to finish Little Kitty up before the party. Otherwise, she'll have to get her present later. That isn't a bad idea. Their parties are notoriously overwhelming in all aspects of bday parties. Too many people, too many presents, too much craziness. But not too much cake, there can never be too much cake!

I'll have to take pics of Kitty and other WIP and post this week.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Wednesday Sept 19

Nothing new or exciting to write about. No funny kid story or humorous circumstances to relate.

DH and I just celebrated 9 years of marriage with Mexican food and a single scoop of our favorite ice cream at Braums (peanut butter cup for me, chocolate almond for DH.) We actual talked for the whole meal with very little of the conversation focusing on the children. That is an accomplishment. It was a nice evening.

I look forward to the next 9 years and more.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Crazy, Crazy Fall

We're headed into that time of year. I think Sept-Dec is crazy busy. Our calendar is already starting to fill up.

I think this year is going to be especially hectic. We now have 2 soccer players in the household. J's first practice is tomorrow and his first game is on Saturday. I was hoping that we'd have a good schedule and not too many overlapping games. Instead we got the opposite. There are 2 weekend where A&J don't have games at the same time. I guess we'll have to take turns going to each of their games and make sure we have parental attendence equity. I think DH is more concerned about who is taking B. I think we'll have to flip coins on that one. The worse part is that A has 3 or 4 games starting at 8am. It is hard enough getting her up for school on the weekdays, so why in the world would they schedule games at that time.

Soccer is just the start. We've got college football (which takes most Sat afternoons), Oktoberfest (school party), Autumnfest (another school thing), Walking with Dinosaurs show, Halloween, Thanksgiving, B's bday, Jamaica, Christmas, J's bday. And then all the various things in between.

I'm looking forward to January already.

Safi Hat

I made this using leftover yarn from my Marakesh bag. The pattern was in the Rowan Cotton Rope Collection, same as Marakesh. I messed up the pattern. It was 4 rows and I accidently repeated rows 3&4 after the first 4 rows. I liked it okay so I just followed that pattern instead. I only had one skein so I made it a little shorter and gave to the A to wear. She's excited to add it to her dress up collection.

I finished this up in the last two days. Since my little bit of knitting time went to the hat, I've made no progress on tw. I haven't touched it since Saturday. Tonight is Dad's Club. Once kids are put to bed and I've run 3 miles, then I can knit in peace. Let's hope the first two tasks don't take too long!
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Dark Chocolate-Almond Cake review


from Coffee Cakes from Chronicle Books

Results: This was a moist, mousse like cake. It was very rich and chocolate-y. I liked it. Dh liked it. He likes a small chocolate dessert without icing, so it fit the bill. A liked it alot but she didn't eat her whole piece because 'the chocolate got to be too much.' J said it was 'Delish!' B ate it and screamed for more. In fact he climbed on the counter today, poked a hole in the saran wrap covering the cake and started to feast on it a handful at a time. I told DH that you have to worry when he is too quiet! I think it would have been better with the small scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. Something cold and creamy to balance out the rich dense chocolate flavor. Maybe next time. A said that I should have left out the ground almonds. I thought they added a nice texture to the cake.
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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Tuesday September 11

Tomorrow is DH's bday. Since tomorrow night is Dad's Club (and he can't miss Dad's club, free Mexican food & a keg of beer), we're celebrating tonight.

DH requested steak dinner at home. I told him he was in charge of the steaks. I'll handle the rest.

I've made the dark chocolate almond cake recipe that he said sounded really good. I'm pretty impressed with myself. I made the cake and while it was baking, I cleaned the kitchen. Next I have to make twice baked potatoes. Plus I need to come up with another vegetable or salad. I'm thinking salad because it is easiest and I have some tomatoes from the garden.

I need to get potatoes made this afternoon because I'm taking J to the doctor after school. His allegies/cough/congestion/etc is turning nasty. His current medication isn't working and I'm afraid he'll get and/or has a sinus infection.

Baby is making a mess somewhere. I hear little things dropping on the floor. I must go take care of it before it gets worse.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Baked Risotto with Spinach & Shrimp

from Dallas Morning News

Recipe: Saute onion, red pepper & garlic. Add 2 cans of chicken stock, bring to boil. Add frozen chopped spinach & asparagus. Add spices (salt, white pepper, sage & nutmeg.) Bring to boil again. Put risotto and shrimp in casserole sprayed with cooking spray. Pour stock mixture over. Stir to combine ingredients. Bake at 400 for 45 minutes.

Changes: I left out the asparagus. I didn't have any. It also suggested to stir it when there were about 10 minutes to go to make sure any rice at the top wasn't too crunchy. I added some parmesan cheese on top after stirring. What is risotto without a little parm??

Results: Yummy. Delicious. It was still creamy like a traditional risotto but so much easier to make. DH went to watch football at a friend's house all afternoon/evening. I took advantage of the time to make a dish that I've been wanting to try. It was good. This one I will definitely make again. I gave A a bite. She didn't care for it at all, but she was eating strawberry yogurt at the time. I think that influenced the flavor of it. DH came home and decided to try a bite and half of the container of leftovers, so I think he approves also. See what he's missing out by banning the recipe experiment????

TW progress pics

I managed to find some time to work on my touring wrap this weekend.

This one I liked because you can see the lace detail.
I tried to get a picture that showed it true color, but it is cloudy and rainy outside and I am not a great photographer. I wish I were but this will have to do.
I'm not sure how many repeats I've done, but it is now the length of my hand span (from thumb to pinky if that makes sense.)
I uploaded small pics this time. I think I like the medium one better. Next time.
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Friday, September 7, 2007

Transitioning to 2nd Grade

A did well in K & 1st. No problems adjusting, no big issues with the change.

But 2nd grade is different. We've been having screaming, crying, "I don't care if I get good grades, I can't do this" meltdowns. And of course, any suggestions from me are met with looks like I've grown horns and have become evil incarnate.

She had a religion test yesterday. It's a Catholic school for those who don't know. Wed night she had to memorize the days that God created the earth. She was so mad. Mostly because it didn't make sense to her. On the first day, God created heaven and earth, dark and light. It wasn't until later that he created the sun, moon and stars. She couldn't get past the problem that if God created dark & light on the first day, why weren't the sun & stars there with the dark and light. The sun provides light to the earth, why wasn't it there when God created light. Then she had a problem with the day where god created all the land animals including man. How could he have created all the land animals including man if dinosaurs lived before man.

Wow, she had some valid points. I had no idea how to explain to a 7 year old that the bible doesn't necessarily have to read literally, it can be interpreted. Especially when she is suppose to memorize what the bible says word for word in order to pass the test.

So I took the easy way out. I told her 'Just memorize this sheet and ask your teacher these questions in class.' I'm a total wimp!!!

That didn't go over too well, because I discovered that she didn't know how to memorize things. I guess what she has learned before was easy enough that she didn't have to really try to remember the information. I told her to write them all down 5 times. That would make it stick with me. Well, we had a repeat of the 'teeth baring, you're horrible for even suggestion such a thing, door slamming so the whole house shook' episode.

Then we had to have a discussion on how to handle our anger & frustration over schoolwork and not take it out on the mother & the door. After her cooling off period I sent DH in to try his hand at helping her. Luckily, he figured it out with her. He told her to read each line, turn the paper over and try to repeat it aloud. It did the trick. 30 minutes later she could recite the information word for word.

She still questioned the order of things in the bible and evolution but we'll deal with that later. Seriously, I think I need to take a refresher course of some sort to handle these situations later. I tried taking a course at church last year, but it was much more about spirituality and prayer life. They need to offer a repeat doctrine class for all of us who forgot what we were taught in our 17 years of Catholic education.

Back to work

I'm not sure how I like this having a job thing. The summer and not working was so nice. I could sleep in a little. I could knit when the children weren't killing each other.

Now, I know this job is an ideal situation. I can work from home (like I am right now! hee, I'm really working not blogging) and it's only a few hours a week. But this, if life were perfect I would have a large steady income stream that came without any effort from me. I really should buy a lottery ticket someday. Then maybe that dream will come true.

So far the job isn't difficult except that I don't know what I'm doing exactly. The ramping up period is hard for me. I have high expectations of myself and I don't like floundering. I will learn and get over this, but it is hard for me.

But the downsides to working:

I'm hardly knitting at all. That is sad for me. I did get 6 rows done on tw last night. Without a single row needing to be redone. That is quite an accomplishment. I think I've figured out my problems. I'm a thrower and sometimes when I do a yo, I miss the throw. The yarn doesn't actually make it around the needle. If I don't pay attention, I happily knit on until the end of the row. Then I get the dreadful count and recount of sts equal to 96 instead of 97 and I have to start backing up again!!!! So I was careful last night and didn't miss a single one. I need to take a progress picture.

I'm having trouble fitting in all the stuff I was doing before. Trips to the library. I have to go this weekend before our books are overdue. Grocery and meal planning. Well, I haven't really fallen behind on that because of work. C really killed that one for me with the "please make normal food for awhile" thing. The thrill of making new recipes is gone. Laundry. I've really gotten out of my laundry schedule. I'm getting down the the dregs of my clothes. At least I'm home today and I should be able to take advantage of it.

But speaking of work. I should get back to it. I have to go figure out a new query and add a column to a table and figure out which table I need to add it to and then find all instances of the reporting and adjust. At least I actually know what I have to do, now I just have to go figure it all out.

Baby is stuck in the high chair. I should go let him out of jail.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Cowboy Beans Results

Recipe: pinto beans, onion, garlic, ham hocks, water. Cook in slow cooker 8-9 hours on low. Add tomatoes, green chiles, salt, cilantro. Cook for 15 minutes longer. Refrigerate over night. Next day, reheat and serve.

Changes: The recipe called for 1 lb beans. My DH is a bean lover so I made 2 lbs. I checked the beans after 10 hours and they weren't even close to being done. I cooked them longer. After 2 more hours, still not done. At that point it was close to 10 pm. I decided just to keep them cooking overnight. I woke up at 4:30 and they were definitely done. I added the extra ingredients and let them cook maybe 10 minutes, put them in the fridge and went back to bed.

Results: DH loved them, definitely a keeper recipe. Other people at the football party said they liked them too. I wonder if I was suppose to cook them on high for 8-9 hours instead of on low. They were still quite crunchy after 10 hours. The end results were good.

Ravelry anticipation

I started using google calendar. I still have my sbc yahoo calendar that contains my life, but since I had a google account, I thought I would check out the calendar. I became enthralled with the multiple calendars inside google calendar. I created a calendar for me, one for A, one for J and one for C. Each event shows up in a different color according to the person to which it belongs. Nice.

I was so enthusiatic, C decided that he wanted access to it. So he opened his own gmail account & calendar. I shared my calendar with him and we were all happy and content knowing exactly what everyone in the family was doing each month in color.

Until C starts paging through the months. He gets to October and says "Ravelry, what's Ravelry?" I used excel forecasting option to figure out when I should get my invite to Ravelry. My projected date is Oct 25. I put it on my calendar.

Oh, he got such a huge laugh out of that. I had put my expected invitation to a knitting website on my calendar. He thinks I'm such an old lady and becoming obsessive about knitting.

But I got the last laugh. He went to the high school football game with his friend Marc last night. I guess when he got to Marc's house, his wife Rebecca asked what I had been up to. He says she's knitting. Now Rebecca owns her own marketing business, she's very up to date, fashion conscious and works with a couple of gay guys who are very trendy. She's always dressed in coordinated outfits purchased less than 5 years ago and gets her hair cut more than twice a year. She is very, very different than me. And Rebecca says, I tried to knit. She was going to join a SnB group but never got the hang of it and gave up. Now C thinks that knitting is a cool and hip thing to do. Maybe he won't give me such a hard time when I ignore him due to tw.

And an even better bonus, she gave her needles, yarn & her SnB book. Now I don't have to wait on the SnB book at the library. I have the pattern for the wristbands. But they are made with a merino wool. I'm going to have to find a cotton substitute.

Death by Toe

This is not for the weak of stomach or faint of heart. Just so you're warned.

Last night I ran on the treadmill. It was late when I started, after 9 pm. I just wanted to get it done.

A few steps into it, I felt something strange in my shoe, like my sock had rolled by big toe. I wiggled my toe around a little, eventually it went away. I didn't think much more about it.

Until, I took off my shoe. There was stuff at the end of my toe. After a little inspection I think we determined it was the remains of a baby gecko. I'm so sad. I love baby geckos and I squashed it to death with my big toe. Gross. There's something wrong with my shoes. That is the second dead insect since I've gotten them. Last month it was a cricket strangled in the laces.