Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Playing catch up

Hello! Long time no post! I am finally starting to catch up with life. A little. I have been completely swamped with work, this summer was busy, busy. So, so, so many weddings. It's been great, the business is really growing but it's been an adjustment. Most nights I'm up until about 1 am trying to get work done while everyone is asleep. Needless to say there hasn't been much progress made on any knitting at all.

I do think I'm finally starting to get on top of things though. ::crossing fingers:: I'm pretty much caught back up on the photography end of things. Now I've just got to maintain that while I get the business/financial end caught back up. So much to do! I did manage to get all of my clients entered into a new accounting software so it's much easier to keep track of all the different account balances and all the details. We're also in the process of moving to a bigger business space which is exciting, although lots of work.

Perhaps one of the most exciting developments of the summer was the construction of a large wood device whose sole purpose is to permanently block access to the enormous planter of dirt in the house. Although my two year old boy is disappointed that he can no longer use his earth moving toys for actual earth moving inside the house, the parents are delighted.

I'm also making some progress in the organization of the entire home. Slowly, but it's being made. During the insanity of the summer wedding season everything pretty much ground to a halt while I was working on all the photography stuff so the house spiraled out of control. Which I can't stand. So, I'm trying to implement better routines so I can at the very least stay on top of things. This summer I barely kept my head above water by only keeping up with the laundry and dishes. So not my idea of a clean and tidy house. I do struggle with the kids rooms though. I want them spotless. Heck, I want the whole house spotless. But I struggle with knowing I should have them do it themselves so they learn how to clean their room and also the consequences of their actions. Unfortunately I find myself doing a quick pick up in the morning after they're at school which completely defeats the whole consequences thing. Oh but how I love walking through the whole house when everything has been put away. ::sigh:: I'm trying to work on this by helping them clean up at night so that they can learn what is expected/how to do it, while satisfying my need of getting it done how I want it.

Spiritually I am so far behind on my bible reading it is not even funny. Or possible to catch up. I read through the entire bible every year for four years in a row. I love it. However, with the start of this business I've fallen hopelessly behind and feel awful about it. I thought about taking a Bible Study class at church this fall but didn't sign up. It was being held on a morning when all three of my kids are in school. For the first time since before my oldest daughter was born (8 years ago) I have two mornings all to myself and I selfishly decided to keep it that way. I've got to do something though so I'm going to work on getting my quiet time back.

Which leads me to realize that virtually all my struggles in life go back to not being a morning person. I have all these things that I could get done and my day/life would go so much better if I just got up early and did them: quiet time, working out, cleaning. I am so so so not a morning person. Staying up to 1? Not a problem. Getting up at 6? Virtually impossible. I've got to work on it though.

I'm looking forward to getting to the point where I'll have some free time in the evenings back so I can relax and knit or do whatever. Instead of always working. Speaking of knitting, I have my next project ready to go, just need to find the time. I've ordered the yarn and pattern for the Sweet Mary Jane Cardigan to make for my mom for Christmas. With it being September already it's looking like this probably won't be done in time. Maybe for next Christmas...

Well, that's my little catch up for now. Hopefully now that things are a little less crazy and the kids are back in school I'll be able to post more frequently. And get some knitting done!

Friday, April 21, 2006

let's make a deal...

Confession: right now I should be scrawling prices on pieces of masking tape and affixing them to mountains of junk that will be in my garage sale tomorrow. What am I doing instead? Sipping a berries & cream Dr. Pepper (note: it's brand new and pretty tasty) and cruising the internet. I have massive piles of stuff that need to leave my home forever so I had that moment of temporary insanity where I mentioned to my uber organized best friend that we should have another garage sale. She thought this was a great idea. So she did all of her spring cleaning, cleaned out every closet and room, sorted, priced and neatly stacked her garage sale items. I am still staring at the same boxes overflowing with toys and shoes from the night I first tossed the idea out. I am quite convinced that she doesn't sleep or is really a feminized Stepford-bot of some kind.

I think it might be almost more entertaining to not price any of the stuff, mix up some margaritas and just throw the crap in the middle of the drive-way. Watch people wrestle over my diaper genie and fisher-price piano. This is definitely the last garage sale for a while. It is so much easier to just haul it all to the Goodwill or DAV. I don't make any money that way but it takes way, way less time and effort.

Have I mentioned that I really don't want to do this? ::sigh:: Can't wait until the sale is over. You may wonder why I dread it so much. We live in the perfect garage sale location. I have never advertised or put up any signs or banners. All we ever do is haul things onto the driveway and people swarm. Our street becomes packed and there are nearly wrecks on the major street bordering my house because of the traffic to my place. And then there is the negotiating. Ugh.

I suppose I should be psyching myself up. But it's just more work. I'm so not looking forward to it. Better go find my masking tape and marker. And my happy face. I'm off to battle the garage sale beast.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Home, dirty home

My family and I are fortunate to live in a very large if slightly eccentric home. This home belonged to my husband's grandfather and has seen almost every member of his family live here at one time or another. This home was built somewhere in the 40s or 50s and has some very unique design features. It has a very open floor plan with a large kitchen as well as a pretty darn big living room which are both wonderful features. Some of the more "unique" design features to this home are the geometric, wood trillis which divides the entryway from the dining room, the linoleum in the kitchen which features ships with sails and windmills (all in the ever stylish and current shade of harvest gold) and the bathroom which looks like something out of a high-end vegas suite from the 60s. This bathroom doesn't have sheetrocked walls. Instead it is covered in some kind of thick plastic like substance that comes in large sheets. The lower portion is black while the top portion is the same black but is flecked with pink, peach and white paint splatters. Except for the one wall which has green plastic sheeting. I guess they ran out of black for that one. Or maybe it's a "design feature." This bathroom has generated more comments than any other room of the house. My friend's little daughter saw it for the first time and was in awe. "Wow mommy, this is like a hotel bathroom!" I'm not sure where they have been staying while on vacation since I haven't seen a hotel bathroom like this except on early James Bond films.

The other rooms feature windows of non-standard sizes which are off of the ground in non-standard measurements. The walls are sheetrock with about 1/2" of plaster over it. When my husband was attempting to do some computer networking and needed to drop a cable down a wall through the attic (before wireless networks were readily available) our friend came over to help. They drilled the hole in the attic and tried to drop the cable down. Only it wouldn't go. It was stopped. Why? Because the builder but cross beams between each stud all the way down. And I can't forget to mention the mysterious Light Switch to Nowhere. We don't care when the kids play with that one. We let them flip it to their little hearts content. They could be turning lights on and off somewhere in China for all we know.

But perhaps the single most frustrating design feature of this house are the built in planters. These are large limestone planters filled with dirt, inside the house. Yes, inside the house. When I first laid eyes on these planters while dating my husband I thought they were quaint. After we were married and I moved in I even tried to use them. I went to the nursery and bought some cute little flowers, brought them home and planted them. They really did look cute--that day. Then the next day I went to check on them and the little flowers had all turned their pretty little heads straight to the window and the sunshine that steamed in. Which looked cute if you were outside of the house looking in at them. Which of course no one can do since there is a huge flowerbed on the other side of the window. So I had all these cute flowers that no one could really see. But that wasn't so bad. At least we had cute flowers growing in the house! How cute! How Martha Stewart!

Until the aphids came. I noticed these tiny little bugs all over the plants. Ewww. Sprays didn't work and just made the house stink. People would walk into our home and were instantly assaulted by the smell of insecticide. Then they would see the strange little anti-social flowers who wouldn't even dignify my hard work to keep them alive by even looking at me. After the aphids returned again, I caved. I pulled up the plants and tossed them. This left me with the dirt. It didn't look great but there wasn't much else to do with it. We joked about it but grew accustomed to it. Eventually we had children. Now the planters are no longer jokes. They are evil design features placed here by an obviously childless architect. Every child has each, at their own time, discovered the dirt planter and delighted in playing with it. They throw the dirt on the ground, they sprinkle it on the piano, they bury things in it. They eventually learn that playing in the dirt inside the house is not allowed. The first two children (both girls I might add) would occassionally make a mess but for the most part were very careful and tried to leave it alone.

Now we have our son. He is almost two. Living in a home with a large planter filled with dirt must be his equivelent to a college age boy at the playboy mansion. If there were a tiny milk and cookie pub for the male toddlers to frequent I'm sure he'd be there everyday bragging about his dirt playland.

And really, I can't blame him. I'm sure it's a huge temptation and great fun. I'm just getting completely worn out with all the dirt and the vacumming. We've racked our brain trying to figure out how to fix this problem. We've looked for tile to tile in the middle of the planter but nothing matches. Let me describe it. It is probably around eight feet long and about three feet tall. The front is limestone and each end meets up with a wall. It's about two and half (or so) feet wide and has windows that run the length of it. The top of the planter is marble and has an opening of somewhere around 6-10" by about 7 feet which is where the dirt is.

My best guess is that the marble needs to be removed with crowbars (some of it is in bad shape) and then the dirt would be removed, the surface prepared and then we could tile the whole thing over in something nice and put some throw pillows up there. Of course this all takes time and money, both of which are in short supply. At this point I think I'm going to get a really big, ugly piece of plywood and lay it over the hole to keep the munchkins out of it.

Until then it's just me and vacum.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

A little adventure

Yesterday I did something I don't think I've done since college. Or maybe ever. I went on a little adventure--by myself.

My in-laws took care of our three darling children while my husband and I went out of town. He had a tournament to go to in Topeka and I had, get this, NOTHING TO DO. Seriously. Nothing to do. Several hours of empty time stretched out ahead of me. Oh the possibilities! He asked me what I was going to do. Hmmmm. No idea. This is very unlike me. Amy of the "We Must Plan Everything" had no plan. Well, I take it back. I planned on not hanging out at the bowling alley with him and his team mates. That was definitely part of the non-plan.

I decided my nails were looking pretty sad and in need of a manicure so I grabbed the phone book and looked up a nail salon. Kissed the hubby good-bye and took off for the salon. Only there wasn't a salon. There was urban blight and bars on windows. Not my idea of a girly afternoon out. So I turned the truck around and headed back to the safe side of town. I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm all for some adventure but blocks of bail bondsmen, pawn shops and seedy bars is more adventure than I'll ever be wanting.

So, back to square one. I go to gas station and buy a map and decide I'll drive into Topeka and find a shopping center. And then I remember, The Yarn Barn! I had heard about that little store and it was in Lawrence, not too far from where I was. So, I grabbed a Dr. Pepper and set off on my own little adventure to Lawrence and the rumored yarn heaven that is The Yarn Barn.

It was a beautiful afternoon, a rare Kansas day of a light breeze, vivid blue skies, perfect temperature and no humidity. The drive to Lawrence was scenic and lovely. It was marred only by my realization that I hadn't grabbed one of my cameras to take with me. In our rush to pack five bags for five different people and grab all of the necessities (Did we get her Night Night (translation: her special blankie), what about Carson's pillow? Did you pack enough diapers? etc.) I had not grabbed my camera bag. And I was so sad about this. Especially when I drove past the quaint cemetary on the hill with the tall, ornate headstones. I so wish I had remembered the camera. But I suppose if I had I would have made that into work and maybe not have completely relaxed to do nothing as I ended up doing.

I drove into Lawrence and stopped at the visitor center and asked for directions to the Yarn Barn. Drove over and was shocked at the amount of traffic and people out shopping. I hadn't been to Lawrence in years and had never been in that area of the town before. It was so cute! So many shops to visit and hundreds of people walking up and down the sidewalks shopping and socializing. Who knew? Took a while to find a parking space but I managed to find one a block away from the main drag and went back.

At this point I have to confess. I have never spent much time with just me. As a kid I always had my sister around. As a teenager and early adult I always had friends with me. I'm a bit social and always think anything I want to do will be more fun with friends. I admit, part of me has always been a little scared of doing things on my own. I felt like I needed friends with me. If I didn't know anyone who would I talk to? What if no one talked to me? What if I was all alone? Over the past year I've been doing more things on my own. And I like it. It's not scary like I thought it would be. It's peaceful and calming. Don't get me wrong, I love my family. I love my crazy kids and my sweet husband. But sometimes it's nice to be by myself and not have anyone need one single thing from me for an hour.

I browsed through the shops. Looked at toys for upcoming birthdays. Smiled at baby furnishings wistful that I would never need to shop for them again but relieved all at the same time. Admired hand made jewelry and artful blown glass sculptures. I went in the stores I wanted to see and stayed as long as I wanted to stay. I didn't feel rushed, I went at my own pace.

And then there was the Yarn Barn. How is it possible that such a small town can have such a fabulous yarn store? My own town is hundreds of thousands of people larger and our yarn store is a fraction of the size. I had the best time taking in all of the colors and textures. There was just so much to see. I spent a fair amount of time just looking at it all. I almost bought some yarn to make something for my sister. She now lives in Seattle and I was so tempted to by the beautiful hand-dyed $30 skein of red silk that was called "Ruby Red Slippers" but I resisted temptation and put it back. All told I think I spent under $4 for my afternoon shopping but the experience was worth far more than that.

On the way back I saw a sign for an apple orchard and stopped on a whim. They had fresh apple cider donuts and cold apple cider. I picked up the little treat and headed back to town. Normally I want to stop at those little places but my husband doesn't. And I can't say I blame him. If we stopped everywhere I wanted to we probably wouldn't get very far.

I drove back to my husband listening to jazz and realizing that I'm starting to discover more about myself this year--who I am, what makes me happy. I'm a bit more introspective now that I'm in my 30s. I'm surprised at how I feel about things that I thought would make me feel fulfilled. After all, I had planned it all out. The 30s feel like I'm finding the glove that fits and putting it on and getting comfortable. Not picking out the one that I want to fit and trying to squeeze it on.

I like jazz and chocolate and stretching my creative muscles. I enjoy driving to a new place and trying new things. I get frustrated when I get interrupted doing anything--I like to start and finish things all at once. I love my family with all my heart, but I'm a better wife and mother when I take a little time alone. And that was time well spent.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

time flies...

Wow! Can't believe it's been so long since I've posted. Time seems to just go a little faster every year.

Things have been busy as usual. My calf is doing ok. I've been off crutches for a while but it gets tired quickly and has been hurting a little more than usual since yesterday. My sister recently hurt her back and her chiropractor recommended pilates to help her strengthen her back. I thought I'd look into it for myself and ended up signing up to take classes here at the local pilates studio. I've only had one class so far and I am really enjoying it. I've also renewed my effort to lead a healthier lifestyle, lose weight and get in shape. It's going to be hard work but it's something I need to do.

On to knitting! I started knitting a teddy bear for my son's birthday and it has gone fairly well. I now have it all knitted and just need to assemble the knitted/stuffed parts. I had to set it aside temporarily though while I started a baby blanket for a friend's shower. I saw a post on another blog about the pinwheel baby blanket and wanted to give it a try. It is now going well and I'm making good progress on it. Unforunately I don't have time for pictures today but will get some up soon on these works in progress.

Oh, and I did get a fun new knitting tool! Went out and bought the Needlemaster set which I *love*! It's awesome and so fast to knit with. I used my 40% off coupon at Michael's to get it and am so glad I made the investment in it.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Things I've learned this week:

How to use the OnStar phone in my SUV.

I will never be able to knit those $^@# mittens.

I can knit the matching scarf in two days.

When I'm confined to my living room chair.

The exact snap and feeling of ripping a muscle in your calf. While shooting a wedding. Two hours from home. Two hours from the end of the shoot.

That the emergency room has thankfully revamped itself and it no longer takes 4+ hours to receive emergency treatment (although it did take 5 hours to get there from the time of injury).

That there isn't much you can do to treat a torn calf muscle other than some anti-inflamatories, pain meds and rest.

That a one year old boy can figure out in a day that you can't chase him. So he laughs and runs away. Over and over.

That it is nearly impossible and certainly dangerous to try to drive with a torn calf muscle. Two hours from home.

Thank God for cruise control.

That I can try to get caught up on a little knitting and correspondence.

That my husband loves me and will take care of me, the kids, the house and my business in addition to his own job. What a man :-)

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Ode to a fountain pen...

Yay me! Finally figured out how to put some fancy buttons for my webrings and links. Check out the sidebar. Guess my miniscule bit of knowledge about html paid off a little. And I even managed to move the links to sidebar all on my very own. :-)

Had a college flashback today. My daughter attended a birthday party at the bowling alley at Wichita State University. It was neat to walk around and see all the changes and how some things are still exactly the same. I walked around the bookstore looking at all the sweatshirts, hats, keychains and stuffed WuShocks. While browsing through the children's WSU merchandise I found an extremely cute tiny little baseball hat for my extremely cute tiny son. He now looks like quite the little man.

And in other exciting news I nearly jumped up and down when I found my favorite pens. In college I always bought these disposable fountain pens at the bookstore on campus to take all of my notes in class. They write so smoothly, the ink just flows out. I can remember taking notes in class and watching the ink spread out on the paper feathering ever so slightly away from the penstroke I had just made. Believe me, at times watching the ink was much more interesting than paying attention to the lectures. I loved these pens but couldn't find them anywhere after I graduated from college. And then today, ten years later, I was reunited with my beloved fountain pen. Evidently that's the only place in Wichita that sells them, and believe me I've looked. Everywhere. Even when on vacation if I'm in a stationary aisle in a store I look. I've looked online for them but somehow never found them there either. So at least now I know where to get them. Yes, that's the exciting life ten years after graduating from college. You find fountain pens exciting.

I took my son's counted cross stitch Christmas stocking with me to work on but didn't end up being able to work on it. I'm going to try the cable cast-on tonight for the mittens. I'm feeling a little more in the knitting mood with the downright frigid weather that we're having. Time to get dinner in the oven: roasted chicken with red potatoes and steamed veggies. Yum...

Thursday, February 16, 2006

A hat, a bunny and yarn, oh my!

Here they are: real, color photos!

Yes, I've finally managed to take a few quick pics of my knitting projects. First I have a long overdue Thank You! to Amy. I won a little trivia contest on her blog and she graciously sent me a big box full of yarn.

Yay! Let's open the box and see what's inside!

Look at all the beautiful yarn! So excited! Thank you Amy! Most knitting blogs catch a cat in the background of their yarn, not mine. That's my son's feet speeding past in the corner of the picture. Some of you may be wondering who the cute little bunny is. On the front page of Amy's blog I noticed a cute little bunny in the picture. I recognized that bunny, my daughter had the same one. Then I read the very touching and sad Saga of Bunny. When the yarn came I thought I could pay homage to their Bunny with a little photoshoot featuring our Bunny. Amy & Emma, I hope you enjoy knowing that your yarn is now being watched over by another bunny :-)

I haven't been accomplishing as much knitting as I would like. Been busy with the business and kids. But, I do have some pictures! That itself is progress if you ask me. Here is the Sunshine Hat (really known as the Child's Bulky Knit Rolled Brim Hat):

Here are the little crocheted flowers that I need to sew on:

Now here's what's been holding me up:

My first mitten. It looks great. Except, when I went to seam up the side I realized that my daughter would never be able to squeeze her cute little hand into it. The cast-on edge is way too tight. So, now I'm going to have to frog the whole thing and start over. I'm going to try a cable cast-on and see if it will work better. So that's where I'm at. I was making some fabulous progress until I hit that snag. So I sat it aside for a while but I'm ready to jump back into it and complete it. Hopefully it will work!

Sunday, January 29, 2006

House hunting....

Again, I have no pictures. Well that's not true exactly. I have hundreds of pictures. Thousands of pictures. But they are pictures of brides and grooms, boquets and rings, flower girls and bestmen. They have nothing to do with knitting. I've been so busy with work that I haven't had a chance to take some knitting pictures. This busyness has guilted me into not posting because I keep promising to post pictures and haven't gotten it done. Not to mention the thank you notes. Oh the guilt.

Not only have I been busy with the business, I've been busy with house hunting. I always thought I'd be EXCITED! HAPPY! to go house hunting. Because when you dream of a new house it's always perfect. It has the perfect layout, the perfect number of bedrooms, the perfect neighbors, the perfect street name (yes I'm that much of a dork), the perfect trees, the perfect location. In reality (or realty ha! ha!)there's always a strike against it somewhere. And if I think it's perfect, or at least a possibility, I can guarantee you that my husband doesn't agree. We're looking for a house closer to my daughter's school with more room than what we've got now. Oh the stress. We can't seem to agree on anything.

We were looking at houses today when a real estate agent practically attacked me for taking pictures of a home we were in. And let me clarify this--there wasn't a stick of furniture in it. Just room after room of tacky wall-paper borders. And really that's a subject worthy of an entire blog entry of it's own--wall paper borders and their assault on home decorating. Anyway, I was shocked at how rude she was. She went on and on about how it wasn't proper or accepted to take photos of homes that are for sale. People could have expensive pieces of art or children there. Again, no furniture, no art, no kids in this house. She asked me how I would like it if I had an open house and people took pictures. I told her that would be great, because the object is to *sell the house*. If that necessitates pictures, go for it. Anyone with a few brain cells bumping around would *remove the valuables* before the open house. And likewise with the kids. I was astounded. She thought that was a way to attract buyers? Unbelieveable. Now she's e-mailing us trying to sell a house to us. I have half a mind to send her on a never-ending search for the perfect home for us. First time I've been treated like a criminal for taking pictures. Whatever...

And it's January so that means that we're on a rotation basis with the illness. Sabrina started first with it, then my son, then Sabrina again, then my older daughter, then my husband and now I think I'm getting a touch of it. We've rescheduled my daughter's fourth birthday party two times. I'm crossing my fingers I can get the family healthy by Saturday for the birthday party. Can't bear to think of rescheduling again.

And knitting? ha ha ha. I took it with me to sewing night with my two girlfriends but we just spent our sewing time racking up an embarassing large tab of appetizers and margaritas. But that was some money seriously well spent, we hadn't had a girls night in quite a while. And it's hard to think about knitting mittens when we're having 50 & 60 degree days. My pear trees have started to bud out already which just can't be a good thing. Maybe we can find that perfect house before the trees all get burned with a freeze...

Oh, someone had asked my opinion on the Sony N1. I tried to respond but the e-mail didn't go through. I've not personally looked at that model but I've had good luck with Sony digital cameras. I've had one and my parents have had two. They're good little cameras. I shoot with Canon digital SLRs now (which I *adore*) and have a Nikon for film. Have fun camera shopping!

Friday, January 13, 2006

no pictures yet, but I've made some progress...

Wow has it been a busy couple of weeks. My refrierator is positively bare and I just haven't had enough time to even make it to the grocery story. Business at the photography studio is really picking up. It's so exciting! I'm completely booked with weddings for June and have many more booked throughout the year. Yesterday I even booked one for 2007! Yay! The growth of the studio has allowed me to finally give my notice at my part-time cake decorating job. I've enjoyed the work there but have just been stretched too thing with the family, photography and cake decorating. Whew, it'll be nice to just focus (ha ha) on the photography now.

On the knitting front it's been a bit of a challenge. I finished the sunshine hat, just need to crochet a few flowers for it. But, the instructions (crochet) are a teeny bit confusing so i'm going to have to sit down with my mom and work on them. The hat did turn out quite cute if I do say so myself. Again, pictures will be coming soon. Our DVD burner died so I can't delete the wedding pictures I took last week from my cf card until I have a back-up dvd burned. Ya'll probably think I've completely made up all this photography business with this blog being completely devoid of pictures. I'm hoping to get some up soon. Did I tell ya that my sweet husband helped me make my own double pointed needles for the hat? Couldn't find any the right size in town and the ones I could find online were going to be $9 plus shipping. So went to the hardware store and bought the right size dowel rod for $0.85. Sweet.

I have started my first mitten to match the sunshine hat. I made a guage swatch but it was too big, went down a needle size and it was still too big. After looking at my swatch I decided I was knitting too loosely and tried it again, finally got guage. Began the mitten and it is going well so far. I've been learning a new technique with each thing I knit and this time I'm learning how to make slanting increases. Really enjoying it and I'll post some pics soon. Seriously. Otherwise I'll be forced to break out my kids crayolas and scan my sad little drawings in. And really, who wants to see that? I can promise you, you really don't.

And BTW, what on earth is this Dancing with the Stars? This summer my sister was in town from Seattle and we had each thought this was a joke. I mean we seriously thought it was a spoof commercial when we saw it for the first time. I'm watching some of it now and it's interesting. I enjoy seeing the dancing but it seems kind of campy. I can already see them talking about this on VH1 in ten years when they do the "I love the 00s". Well thank heavens they just told Lisa Rinna she could stay, I thought she might start bawling any minute on camera.

Welcome to those of you who have taken the time to stop by my blog! I'm new to all of this and really enjoying it. Now that the holidays are over hopefully I'll be able to post more. Well, let me make that after my daughter's birthday is over. Her birthday is Monday, she'll be four. It's gone by so fast! We went through quite a bit to have her so at the time I thouht her birthday was a fine time of year. I quickly learned though that it's not such a hot time. At two weeks old she was sick with a winter bug. And every birthday since then has been a challenge planning her party. I get so caught up with Christmas it's hard to remember how quickly her birthday will be there afterwards. We finally got her party planned and the invitations out only for her to wake up with a stomach bug today :-( So, her party will be postponed until next week. Maybe I can have her hat ready for her by then.

Real color photos coming soon...

Monday, January 02, 2006

Frajjjeeelllayy, it must be Italian! No dear I think it says "Fragile."

To quote my family's favorite Christmas movie:

"I won, I won, I won!"

No, no, it's not a major award but it is a fantabously cool prize. YARN! Many thanks to Amy for creating this contest. I had the closest guess to the number of items she finished this year. I guessed 30 and she completed 29. I think she should win some kind of reward for completing so many projects!

I wasn't as close on the number of skeins in her stash though, Susan won that one. Congrats Susan!

And hey, yay me again. I just figured out how to put links in my posts!

In other knitting news I made more progress on the sunshine hat today. I had happily knitted the first 20 rows per the instructions and decided to give my cute little hat a test fit on little daughter. It was too small. I go back and check in directions. I had bought the suggested size yarn and needles. Knitted my guage block and my size was off. Went back to the LYS bought smaller needles and knitted a new guage block which was spot on. Carefully followed the instructions and knit my 20 happy rows. I read the pattern again and see that it indicates this will yield a hat to fit an 18-19" head. Measured my girl's head and it's 20". Bummer.

I then frogged the entire thing did some knitting math (boo! hiss!) and now have a hat that looks cuter than hat 1.0. Currently said daughter is sleeping soundly in her bed so I must wait until tomorrow morning to test it on her cute little (or not so little as it is) mellon. Hopefully sunshine hat 2.0 will be a perfect fit.

And by this time I'm sure no one believes that I'm a photographer as I have the saddest text only blog out there. Honestly, I have a camera, I do! Not only that but people pay me to take pictures of themselves! Seriously! I promise that one day soon I will have happy little pictures on this page. This is just may way to build the excitement. Knitting drama. Yeah baby, knitting drama...

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year!

2006! Wow does time fly. I was at the grocery store yesterday (yes, due to a busy schedule and poor planning I had the misfortune of being in Wal-Mart on New Year's Eve! Brilliant move, eh?) and as I was putting things in the cart I was remembering all the excitement and panic over Y2K. Hard to believe that was six years ago already.

We took the kids over to my parents last night and hung out a bit at their annual New Year's Eve party. They have a group of friends that they always get together with and rotate the party year to year to a different couple's house. Last night was my parents turn. We visited with them and snacked on some yummy food. The kids loved it because there were other kids to play and raise cain with. We're good friends with the son of one of the couples and he was there with three of his children. His children are older and more self-sufficient. Mine--not so much. They were pretty ramped up with the party atmosphere and so we spent most of our time watching them and keeping them from:

A. Breaking things
B. Hurting themselves
C. Hurting others
D. Ruining carpet, furniture, wallpaper, etc.

After a couple of hours of this we decided to throw in the towel and go home. Don't get me wrong, my children aren't little monsters. They're just 7, 3 & 1 with lots of excitement for the party, friends to play with and parents who can get distracted from time to time trying to carry on a conversation. They were pretty darn good for the most part it's just that we weren't able to really relax and enjoy things, plus the little one was getting sleepy.

So, off to home we went. We dodged the swerving cars and made it home in one piece. The girls celebrated the New Year early by popping the confetti champagne bottles on the porch and yelling "Happy New Year!" We let them stay up to watch the ball drop but neither one made it. We woke them up to watch the key moment and then they stumbled to their own bed. Of course that was only 11:00 our time so we flipped over and saw that Fox News was covering the ball dropping in Manhattan, Kansas (known around here as "The Little Apple")! My husband is a K-State alum so that was pretty cool to see.

While the girls were asleep on the couch I spent the time laughing until I was crying reading Crazy Aunt Purl's website. Love reading her entries, definitely my new favorite site. My husband thought I'd been swigging champagne behind his back. Do you ever read or see something funny and try to tell someone else about it? Except you completely ruin the story because you can't keep a straight face? And before you get to the punch like you start giggling and laughing? No? Just me? Well that was pretty much how every snippet of her site went that I shared with him. He just smiled and nodded his head like an adult does with a goofy kid who always tries to make up his own, better punch line to a joke. "Hey, hey, why did the chicken cross the road? Because he was a doody head! Ha! Ha! Ha!" Yeah, that was the same reaction I got. And since I can barely figure out how to post on my own blog let alone turn her name above into a magical link to her site I'll just type it out by hand since I'm just that lame: Go, read, laugh, repeat.

After wiping the tears off my face, cleaning my glasses and blowing my nose a dozen times I actually did some knitting! Not only that I managed to do something New! And! Exciting! I began knitting in the round! For my first time! Although let me clarify that the only time last night my *husband* laughed until he cried was when he watched me trying to figure out how the hell I managed to turn the cast on row into a joined circular shape. I turned to my trusty lap top and did a quick search and found instructions! with pictures! Exactly what my non-engineering little brain needed. With the handy pictures I managed to join the knitting and get going on the sunshine hat. I now have 10 rows done and will be picking it back up after this entry. Only now I'm concerned about how I'm knitting it. I read something on Aunt Purl's site about if you don't hold your needles a certain way you actually end up knitting it inside out or some such thing. I'm just going to keep forging ahead though. It's going pretty quick and easy (which is usually a sign I've made a horrible mistake) so if I do screw it up I don't mind frogging and starting over.

Sorry no pictures of the progress. I let my photography/business partner borrow my CF card to shoot some weddings this weekend.

Have a great 2006!