Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Happy Birthday Nicholas

Happy Birthday Nicholas

This year went so fast. Before you were born I was expecting your first year to be something I just needed to get through. I have truly enjoyed the past year. It helped that you slept when you needed to and that Andrew was here to keep us company during the day. Now that you are crawling and thinking about walking, we don't snuggle as much, but you still fall asleep in my arms sometimes and I think about how lucky I am to be your mother. You are such as sweet little one, freely giving your smiles and hugs to me. I am looking forward to your next year.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Busy = Bullet Point Post

There has been a lot going on this weekend. I have more to do tonight, so here is a quick bullet point post so I don't get behind on the blogging.

- We still haven't found out if the Jeep is totaled or not.
- We did buy a new vehicle
- It is a '80 Jeep CJ7

- It is kind of like a Wrangler (it has a hard top that can be removed)
- Tim plans to drive the car to work for 6-12 months if possible
- The CJ7 was purchased using insurance funds from the front end collision last July. - This means we can put away some of the money from the rear end collision (when we get it) and start saving for a future car.
- We hope to keep the "new" Jeep and fix it up and be able to pull it out on nice days to ride around with the top off.
- Worst case, we have to sell it - the guy we bought it from was getting tons of calls so it probably won't be too tough.
- Both children will be in car seats (not a car seat and a booster) when riding with the top off. Tim is also thinking about installing 5-point harnesses in the back seat.
- I spend most of the weekend working on drywall in Nick's bedroom.

The room after plaster was removed. We have had drywall and a single coat of joint compound up for awhile.

This is what it looks like now.

- Yes, Tim installed the pocket door.

- My arms are really sore (I think most of it is from mudding the ceiling).
- I need to sand and touch up a few places, but most of the mudding is done.
- Andrew spent Saturday night and much of Sunday at Grandma Kathy's.
- That greatly increased the amount of work accomplished.
- Andrew now has a mattress for the top bunk. (We didn't buy one before because he doesn't need one - it is mostly to make the room look nicer - the bunk beds were cheaper than the single we liked and Andrew thought bunk beds would be fun and maybe he can share with Nicholas some day.)
- Andrew's room is looking really nice.
- I still need to make pillow shams and curtains for the french doors and we need to sand the floor.
- Then Andrew's room is done.
- I think he has the nicest room in the house right now.
- I will post pictures when I finish sewing stuff for the room.
- Nicholas figured out when to wave and is waving good bye to anything, especially cute was when he waved to Tim this morning when Tim left for work.
- I found a great deal on Plan toys so we will be set for Christmas and birthday gifts with nice wooden toys.
- I love finding good deals on stuff.
- I keep messing up the Mystery Socks cause I keep trying to knit a few stitches and then set it down again and I forget which row I'm on.

- I started some Thujas to work on instead.

- I don't like fickr - I have had a free account for almost a month and already have my limit of pictures.
- I love my Picasa account. I have had their free account for a year and still have lots of room and can organize pictures into more than just 2 folders and upload lots of pictures.
- Unfortunately, Ravelry is linked to flickr.
- I want to add more pictures, but I don't want give flickr money when I like my Picasa account and Ravelry will be allowing photos from other sources eventually.
- My projects and stash on Ravelry might be pretty boring for a while.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

All Done

I have good news and bad news today.

First the bad news - I think the Jeep might be all done. Tim was rear-ended in the Jeep on his way to work this morning. It isn't too bad since he wasn't hurt, it wasn't his fault, he has a loaner Mustang to drive for 10 days courtesy of the other driver's insurance. Tim said the Jeep didn't look too bad, but it wouldn't start again. I'm glad we didn't bother to get the front end fixed. I don't know if it will be totaled or not (the adjuster will look at it tomorrow) but we were really thinking of replacing the Jeep with something smaller for Tim to drive to work now that we have the wagon. We just didn't really want to try to sell the Jeep. So, I spent pretty all of preschool driving and then picked Tim up in Minnetonka this evening. Also, this weekend was supposed to be spent working on Nick's room and will probably be spent looking at cars again. Uck.

Good news - Andrew's Tiger hat is all done. He thinks it is pretty cool. The hat is very soft and should be pretty warm since it is stranded. I used this pattern and a size six needle for a 20 inch diameter. I do still need to wash it before the weather gets too cold.


I finally got around to taking pictures of the Nick Socks. Today was a good day for wool socks (I wore a pair of mine too).

They look kind of funny when they aren't being worn, but they stay on.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I don't think Nicholas is a baby anymore

Nicholas is increasingly mobile. First it was crawling. He got good at that quickly and loved being able to get toys, bug his big brother, etc. Then it was standing. If there was something a bit off the ground, he uses it to get onto his feet. He doesn't usually know how to get back down, but that doesn't stop him from trying. Today it was the walker. We tried this once before, but it keep rolling away from him. Today he could do it. He walked back and forth along the length of our house. I helped him if he got stuck on something, but by the end of the day, he was managing that if he wasn't too stuck. I don't think it will be long until he is walking by himself. He can already walk pretty well just holding on to one of our hands. He is also getting better at communicating. He can say his version of "all done" and also sign it and "meh" for more and he has a sign for that too. He wanted a drink tonight so he pointed at me while I was drinking and complained. He smacks his lips when he wants to eat or nurse. He also understands a lot of what we say. I was cleaning out the coat closet last week and putting shoes back in. I was sitting by the closet, Nick was sitting next to me, and on the other side of him was Andrew's sandal. I said, "Nick could you give me Andrew's sandal" and pointed to it. He saw where I was pointing and went and picked up the sandal and brought it most of the way to me. I was pretty shocked by that. I didn't actually expect him to understand, mostly I was just talking to him. It is amazing how fast kids learn and change.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Time flies when you're having fun

The kids got to bed a little earlier tonight so I sat down with my Malabrigo and the Tiger Hat pattern and the next thing I knew it was already 10pm. I'm about a third of the way done. Andrew is going to love this hat.

I finished seaming the last clog and felted them all this morning. I tossed all eight clogs into a zippered pillowcase and put the pillowcase in the wash on hot with a couple towels. I only had to restart the washer once (the time near the washer was spent wisely folding clothes) and once all the clothes were folded I checked the clogs to find that they were already felted.

All Done!

So, yesterday I said I would talk about talk about spinning. I purchased a fiber sampler from Hello Yarn this past spring. I finished spinning the superwash merino singles and the plan is to try navajo plying it. I purchased corridale roving in two different colorways at the last Shepherd's Harvest. I spun up the red and yellow dyed roving and plan to navajo ply it after practicing on the merino.

Yep, the bobbin is a bit full.

When we went to the state fair I stopped in the cabin at Heritage Square. I spoke to the woman who was spinning/knitting/doing needlework (not all at the same time). She mentioned that she had been spinning for 20 years. I went away thinking about what and where I might be spinning 18 years from now. Then I went home and tried spinning the denim cotton roving sample from the fiber sampler. At first it didn't go too well. Then I grabbed the carders I bought at the Creative Fibers sale (they are finer ones to go with the ones I got for mother's day). Spinning the cotton I carded was much easier than spinning from the roving. After that bit was spun I tried spinning the cotton from the fold. That went pretty well too. So, after I used the bit I pulled off I tried spinning from the roving again. It actually spun pretty easily. I think that spinning the fluffier preps. first helped with getting used to the short fiber. I thought it was pretty cool that I spun cotton. It was one fiber that I was very apprehensive to try. We will have to see how it goes when I start spinning the rest of the cotton up.

Sunday, September 09, 2007


There are lots of projects going on around here. I'm more excited about some than others, especially some of the house projects. We have done a lot of structural and mechanical things in the last years and visually our house hasn't seemed to change much. Now we are finally getting some of the cosmetic things done and I really enjoy seeing the difference.

Knitting Projects:

First a warning - I am going to be doing a bunch of gift knitting in the next couple months. I will not say who anything is for though. So, if you see something that I make that is a gift, who knows. It might be for you, it might not. I'm not telling. I do however, want to have some blog fodder other than the kids and the house projects.

Mystery Stole 3
-The mystery stole is kind of stalled. I wasn't sure for a while if I was going to knit the asymmetrical design or make the other half and join it in the middle. I have finally decided that I am going to just knit it as written. I like things to be symmetrical, but I'm also pretty picky, so knitting something different for once probably won't kill me.

Mystery Socks
-I have knit both socks at the same time so they are both done to the final clue, the turning of the heel. I partly want to just continue on until where I would usually start the toe, but I have plenty of other projects to keep me busy so I haven't. I am knitting these out of Maisy from Crystal Palace. I found this yarn this summer at Clickety Sticks and hadn't seen it on any blog or heard about it anywhere so I wanted to try it. It is made from corn and has elastic in it. It knits up pretty nice.

It might be a blanket
-I started knitting the Patons Divine that I received at the Knit Out last February. Andrew loves fluffy, fuzzy yarn and I though he might like a knit blanket that isn't a baby blanket. I thought I would knit up three strips from the three colors and seam them together. Just garter stitch since the yarn would hide any stitch pattern and the yarn is a pain to knit, hence the It might be a blanket.

Bauhaus Fair Isle
-I have one pattern repeat knit so far. I like the fabric that is forming and I like colorwork. This is not getting worked on much since I am on a gift knitting kick and this is not a gift. This pattern was shown to Tim quite a few times before actually purchasing the yarn and starting the knitting. When I was going to buy the yarn I looked at Knit Picks to see if they had colors that would be similar enough to use their less expensive yarn. They didn't at the time, but recently came out with a bunch of heathered yarns and now I could easily find all the colors I need for the sweater. Of course, now that I already started it in Heilo. Oh well.

The Mountain of Clogs
-A whole mess of felted clogs for Christmas gifts. I can actually make a pair in 2-3 days (which is mostly knitting after the kids go to bed at night). I have three pairs done and almost have the forth done. I might need to knit another pair, but will have to wait and see. I am very proud of myself for having them almost done and it only being the beginning of September. I love wearing my felted clogs (I'm wearing them right now).

two of the four pairs

I was going to mention my spinning and house projects too, but I think those will just have to wait for later this week. I want to get some other things done tonight and I don't have pictures of the other things anyway.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Last of Free Day of Summer

Next week we return to five days of two different preschools and swimming lessons. Although Andrew loves school (when asked how his day was yesterday he responded, "wonderful and amazing") I don't really enjoy all the driving (especially since the formally happy to ride Nick has turned into Mr. Screech in the car) and trying to get something (naps or projects) done around pick up and drop off times. I do like the change in weather to something a bit cooler though. I'm also looking forward to the apple orchard, pumpkin carving, holiday baking, etc.

Since we had one last free day I decided we should do something special. I stalked the library for the Museum Adventure Pass to the MN Zoo. We haven't been there in a couple years and I really though Andrew would like going there and I figured that with school having started last week there wouldn't be many people there. We do go to Como since we live so close, but the MN Zoo is so very different. Although the day started off cool and cloudy, it quickly turned into beautiful blue skies and comfortable temps. We got to the zoo about 30 minutes after it opened, looked at Discovery Bay for a few minutes and then headed to the dolphin show. Andrew loved the dolphins, Nick not so much. My usually brave and adventurous little guy didn't like it when the dolphins jumped or went to the front of the tank. Although, he didn't mind seeing the dolphins when we were just standing by the side of the tank. After the show we went back to Discovery Bay and checked out the tide pools and other places. Nicholas was getting ready to sleep at that point so (after seeing how nice the weather had gotten) I suggested we go walk outside. Nick was out by the time we were about a quarter of the way around.

Andrew looking at the camels

I don't know if it was the change in weather from a few days of hot weather to suddenly having a cool day or if it was because we were there earlier in the day, but the animals were all active and easy to see.

That was a huge change from my memories of walking around the trail in the past. There is also a playground near one end of the trail so Andrew played for a bit there while Nicholas napped. Andrew (in true Andrew fashion) decided to pretend to be a prairie dog and instead of playing on the equipment he dug holes in the sand and barked like a prairie dog.

We finished off the trail and headed inside to the Tropics Trail. This trail was redone about 10-15 years ago and is nice, but the highlight for the kids was the coral reef exhibit.

Andrew liked the calm and Nick loved that he could see all the fish and they would swim right in front of him. He also liked the pink flamingos since he had a really good view of them.

Next was lunch and then we finished up with the Minnesota Trail. I did this one last because I was remembering the damp concrete tanks of lake fish and a few outdoor exhibits that were hard to see. This trail has been completely remodeled though. It has a Northwoods theme and is set up to have natural exhibits for the animals that have viewing areas into things like the coyote den (where we saw a little one sleeping) and little things that emboss animal shapes onto paper that you can do as you come to the animal on the trail. One of the coolest things to see was the bald eagle sitting on a branch near the trail. I wish the batteries hadn't died on my camera and I could have gotten a few shots of the trail.

Nick was obviously tired by the time we left since he fell asleep on the way home and then took a long nap once he was home in his bed. I think we all had a good time though.

We also decided to head to a park this evening. There is a park near where Tim used to work in Roseville that is pretty much unknown. There is a parking lot behind a bunch of warehouse type businesses. This parking lot is in front of a soccer field and a softball diamond. There is a trail off the side of the lot that leads to an area with a little picnic shelter and two play areas. This is the perfect park for us where there is plenty of room to run around and it is a quiet little area great for evening play. And no, I'm not going to mention the name of the park, I want to keep it a little secret.

Tomorrow I will try to talk a little about knitting projects and some spinning, but for tonight I just wanted to enjoy my day a bit longer.

You can see a few more pictures in the web album if you click on any of the pictures.

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