Thursday, October 30, 2008

garden carnage

Here's Joseph trying to finish what Freckles started earlier this week--the near-total destruction of the vegetable garden.  I think there must be lizards or ants living in there, because she was hell bent on tearing the whole thing up.  I caught her at it, yelled a lot, replanted every single plant that still had an in tact root system, and then she tore it up again.  I think what we have left are a few lettuce plants (which are getting a little too old to eat anyway), a little bit of basil and spinach, and maybe some carrots (can't tell yet).

Today I found her sleeping smack in the middle of one of the garden beds.  I hardly had the heart to make her leave it.

We're sitting Halloween out this year.  Joseph's too young to know what's going on, so he won't miss having a costume.  I'm promising myself that next year I'll do something fantastic, costume-wise.  The candy situation is making me resentful because I hate having piles of it lying around the house when I can't have any--I'm allergic (or something, google hasn't been able to diagnose me) to corn, and you can't find much candy that doesn't have corn syrup.  Bleh.  I prefer holidays that are celebrated with baked goods.

Friday, October 24, 2008

this is the best picture you will ever see


Indiana has to visit Joseph's crib after nap time, otherwise he barks. I don't get it.

Joseph's latest accomplishments:
  • when you ask him if he wants to "fly" (get tossed in the air), he crouches and puts his arms out at his side
  • when he sees his cup, he becomes rapturous
  • he dances when he hears music
  • he says mama (and "mamamammamamamamammamama"). Sometimes mama means me, sometimes it just means "somebody had better come love me now."
Typical conversation with Joseph:

Me: let's say hi to dada
Joseph: mama
Joseph: mama
Scott: dada!
Joseph: mama!
Karen: dada!
Joseph: mama!

I love you too, baby.

Monday, October 20, 2008

symmetry is hard

I found a pattern on ravelry for mittens that are knit flat, so I guess I didn't need double pointed needles after all. They knit up very quickly, and it wasn't until I was done with the second one that I realized that its thumb was significantly longer than the first mitten's thumb.  Actually, that's not true--as I was knitting the second one, I had the notion that thumb on the first mitten was too short, so I had better make the thumb on the second mitten longer.  Which makes no sense, I realize:  a pair of mittens, only one of which fits, is no better than no mittens at all.

I do this all the time when I'm making sleeves, hemming pants legs, etc.:  after making the first one, I decide I can do better, so--instead of doing the first one over--I "improve" my technique on the second one and wind up with two totally unmatching hems or whatever.  Stupid.

Anyway, I wound up making a third mitten to match the first one, whose thumb was the right length after all.  And Joseph can pull the mittens off in no time so none of it matters.

Friday, October 17, 2008

roads quilt

Joseph is test driving a quilt I made for a friend's son. It was inspired by one I saw at Wee Wonderfuls.  I mainly used some colorful fabrics I already had and supplemented with a few new fabrics.  Most of the fabrics I used have a lot to look at--cowboys, frogs, farm animals--so the little one will be able to play memory or eye spy with it when he's old enough.  The "road" is gray kona cotton with yellow embroidery floss.

I based the quilt block on drunkard's path but with an added piece to make the roads.  Making the template kept me busy for a few days, but other than that the quilt top came togheher very quickly.  Piecing curves is a lot easier than it looks.

I stitched in the ditch alongside the road pieces but I wasn't satisfied with how it looked, so I echoed that line with more quilting a quarter inch away. It still looked empty, so I quilted circles in the center of every "loop" the road makes.
The backing is a sheet from Target.
I'm pleased with how this came out, and I'm making another one for Joseph, which should be even easier than this one because I have lot of leftover pieces from making this quilt. 

Monday, October 13, 2008


We've all been sick for the last week. After I spent a few days teasing Scott for complaining so much about what I insisted were only "allergies," I came down with the same thing, which yesterday felt like TB but is probably only a bad cold. Happily, when the baby caught it he didn't seem to suffer too badly. Can I chalk that up to the breastfeeding, or is that not how immunities work? I'm in the dark.

Anyway, all I've been doing for the last week is listening to Harry Potter audiobooks and praticing magic loop knitting, which I'm not finding very satisfying. I wanted to make mittens for the baby, but they'll have to wait until I have the technology (double pointed needles).

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

a knitting spree and why is nobody in this house wearing any pants?

I've spent the past week listening to Harry Potter audiobooks (the reader is so amazing that I don't feel like I'm losing anything by not reading the books) and knitting. 

I finally finished this sweater for Joseph.  The pattern is from Debbie Bliss's Simply Baby.  It's a little big, which is something of a relief because I spent so damn long sewing up the seams that I wasn't sure it would still fit him when it was done. 

 I especially like the button closure on the shoulders.  I'm all for anything that makes it easier to dress a toddler who is running in the opposite direction.  This is why Joseph never has pants on in any picture I take of him.  It just isn't worth the trouble of getting them on him, and then you just have to take them off to change his diaper.  Pointless.  If I ever have a girl she's only wearing dresses and socks, period.

I also made this wool diaper cover.  The pattern is the WHW wrap and I finished it in five days, which means that anyone else could probably finish it in a few nights of TV watching.  I made the large size, which turned out to be very huge.  It would easily have fit me, which was not what I was going for, so I felted it a bit  and now it fits Joseph well enough. 

The only thing I'm not thrilled about is the Velcro closure, because all Velcro does is present a challenge to little hands, and the result is a nekkid baby roaming the house.  The solution is to put pants over the diaper cover, but I've already explained why I'm anti-pants.  I should have had the courage to try out how snaps would work, but I was afraid the fabric woudn't stand up to snaps. 

In related anti-pants news, I was watering the garden this afternoon and got attacked by fire ants, so I had to take my pants off hose myself down.  This why we garden in the back yard.  Because me screaming pantsless in the frontyard would have alienated the neighbors even more than our Obama bumper stickers.  Or maybe not.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

fresh air

Lately it's been cool enough here to sit outside, in fact cool enough in the mornings to require sweaters and blankets. So we sweater up (right over our pajamas) and head out into the back yard. I really love that Joseph is old enough now to have fun exploring outside. He plays with sticks, eats some dirt and marvels over the magic that is grass, while I cozy up in a chair with some tea and some knitting. Indiana, defying all expectations, seems fonder of the baby every day, and really is glad to have a playmate his size. Freckles, meanwhile, is more than happy to ignore the rest of us and pee in the vegetable garden, hunt lizards, tear through the lawn with the baby's discarded socks, and just take a nap (thank you, Xanax).

This is so peaceful, mellow, and right. Inside, it can be hard to sit still and enjoy the moment, but outside there is no laundry to fold or dinner to make or anything else to distract me from the present. I've decided that I'm just not going to worry about how dirty or dangerous it might be outside: as long as no choking hazards are in his mouth and he isn't too near anything sharp or poky, the baby is fine. Dirt is fine. Six baths a day are fine, too, because he likes baths also.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

photo magnets and no more sleep

I sent these out instead of proper thank you notes for Joesph's birthday.  I saw the idea on one of the blogs I frequent, but I can't remember whose.  They're card stock circles with a magnet glued on the back (and obviously a clumsily cut out photo on the front).  I'm very thrilled with how they look on my refrigerator, and only hope people don't feel that I'm presumptuous in assuming they want a photo of my son on their fridge too.  They kind of look like campaign buttons, but I like that.

The cardstock circles were from owlbot and they were amazingly cheap and came amazingly fast.  I have lots of leftovers so now I never have to write another thank you note again.