Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Yarn Along- knitting for baby

 I need to find some buttons and the sweater for the new baby will be done! 
I made a 6-12 months size according to the pattern, but I used smaller needles since they made my swatch closer to the called for gauge.

The color of the yarn is called copper. The first picture is more accurate in that respect, though I wanted to get a close-up of the cables and the i-cord bind off. The bind off made an especially nice finished edge.

I am still reading Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh. So far, I really am enjoying it.

Today I got some very good news, which I needed after the bad news of yesterday. An ultrasound revealed that the placenta has moved far enough away from the cervix that I no longer need to worry about a c-section! Praise God!

The bad news? We discovered a chronic leak in the wall of our house that has rotted the wood almost completely away. The repair will be costly.

The insulting news? Somehow, the doctors failed to notice that I was now 41, not 40. Apparently, that makes a big difference in my care from now until I deliver the baby. I will now be going in twice weekly for non-stress tests. My chart even got a new color code. Bright red. It just screams, "Watch out! Old pregnant lady!" Sheesh!

Go visit Ginny, our host. You'll be glad you did.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

New Colors

What can spark a child's imagination and desire to color a picture more than a fresh, new box of crayons? 

Not much, I tell you.

 Since the kids were itching to start the new school year yesterday, I went to pick up new supplies at the store. It was like Christmas as they peered in the bags, squealing and laughing with delight.

 This is Jack's drawing of my dad's pontoon boat.
He drew it for Sophie.

Anna chose to draw herself and two friends picking strawberries.

I hope you have a happy, colorful day!

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Lake

 This morning as I sip my coffee to the whir of the washing machine that will be running all day, I am recalling the past week at the lake with my family. It was mostly good, with a touch of not so good, which really is what I am thinking about today. How life, and the routines of it, can change in an instant.

 This was no glamorous Better Homes and Gardens showcase home, which is why I felt at home the moment I walked in the door. It was cozy and we could relax. I didn't think I could relax with my children being so close to the water, but I was wrong. Every morning I snuck up the wooden stairs to the tiny little kitchen tucked away in a corner and started the coffee. Then, I just sat and admired the beauty before me. The calm of the water, the call of the animals to one another, the green that was everywhere. 

 The days were long and lazy. There was no routine other than doing just what we felt like. We fished from the dock, we tootled around in the paddleboat, we skied and tubed behind my dad's boat, (well I watched everyone else).

 We called my 100 year old grandmother one morning to see if she wanted to join us for the day, since it is only 30 minutes from her house. She sounded confused. Her speech wasn't quite right. My mother went to check on her and took her to the doctor. They think she suffered a small stroke. I think they are right. She will require much more help now, and she has been quite independent for the last century. It will be a big change for all of us.

 This brings back memories. My dad teaching me to cast a line into the water. He patiently worked with all the grandkids, baiting and rebaiting their lines and trying to stay clear of the wild casts into the lake.

 Those hands stayed busy.

 Jack's little feet cooling off. The kids loved swimming by the dock, but I stuck to sticking my feet in and snapping photographs.


 The precarious path from the dock to the shore.

 One should always twirl an umbrella. It just makes one happy.

 They were still far out and I zoomed in. I have no idea what was capturing their attention.

 I think this captures the mood of the week. 

 Who doesn't love a campfire and s'mores?

 We took many walks along the narrow little roads of the neighborhood. There were updated homes and run down homes and everything in between.

 The cousins being cousins.

 One of my favorite finds on our walks. It sums up perfectly the laid back feeling.

 More scenery from the walk.

After our dinner each night, we would gather around the table and play games and talk and laugh. The dinners were simple, no need to stay long in the kitchen, and clean up was minimal with paper plates. Food tastes better when it is shared with those you love. 

Good-bye lake, we had a good vacation!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Yarning Along on a Friday Morning

Like I said in my last post, I could not access my blog all week. So I am playing catch up this morning instead of doing all the things I need to be doing. This will not take long, I promise.

 I learned to crochet before I learned how to knit. But in the last three years, I have almost exclusively been knitting. Somehow, I saw this crocheted owl on Ravelry one day and knew I wanted to make him.

 It is my first thing I have made for the new baby. I cast on this sweater yesterday, in a 6-12 month size, since he most likely won't need it till then.

 The books are the start of my summer reading. I will be taking both of these with me on our upcoming trip to the lake. Yes, my kids will be entirely to close to the water, so I am not sure how much reading will actually happen. Notice the broken needle. Therese stepped on it. A new one is on its way, so the dish towel I am making will have to sit until the new needle arrives.

May you all have a lovely weekend and Happy Father's Day to all dads!

Hop on over to Ginny's, our lovely host, to see more books and knits!

Sunday Afternoon

For some reason, I haven't been able to get onto blogger all week. I had Sophie switch my browser and amazingly, here I am typing! 

These pictures are from Sunday afternoon, in Norfolk. The event was called Opsail 2012. It was a gathering of tall ships and a craft fair all in one. 

 The kids really liked seeing all the ships. Me? I appreciate their beauty, but I have an irrational fear of the water and my kids being near it. I was nervous and that is putting it mildly. The minute we were off the docks and back on dry land I felt much better.

 Each big kid was assigned to a little kid. Olivia is doing a great job of keeping her brother safe.

 I did let them loose to play with the ship's wheel, since it was in the center of the ship and the possibility of them falling in the water seemed slightly less likely.

 No one is really looking at the camera, except Olivia who is taking a picture of me taking a picture of her.

 Can you see the angst and worry in my crinkled brow?
I am thinking "Just snap the picture and get me on solid ground already!"

 Ahhh! This is more my cup of tea. Learning how to make a rope the old-fashioned way.

 Free souvenirs! What could be better than that?

After a nice chat with the flag maker and another amusing conversation with Blackbeard the Pirate, we stopped for dinner at a mom and pop Italian restaurant. We have only been there a handful of times, but this night they greeted us with hugs and smiles, and when Therese got restless, they took her back to the kitchen so we could finish our dinner. Then we literally drove off into the sunset. It was a good day.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

This and That

First of all, I am feeling old because Olivia, who is not my oldest child, turned 17 on Friday! How can that be? It seems like yesterday she was this fiesty little toddler, who taught me that I had much to learn about parenting. Her reply when I asked her why she colored on the walls when she was only supposed to color on paper? "It's wallpaper." Her solution to not wanting bangs? Cut them off at the scalp. Now she stands much taller than her mother, getting ready to begin her senior year of high school. I am proud of the young lady she has become.

So. I was feeling like I had this no-dairy cooking down to a science. Then I tried to make some desserts recently. Complete failures. One of them I suspect was a misprint in the cookbook. There is no way that 2 cups of liquid ingredients and 2 1/4 cups dry ingredients is going to produce a thick dough that can be rolled out and sliced into bar cookies. Then I tried to make a dairy-free key lime pie for Olivia's birthday. I found a recipe to make sweetened condensed almond milk. It never did thicken up to the consistency of store bought condensed milk, so I added some arrowroot powder to try and thicken it. It still never set when I baked the pie. We had what could be described as key lime milkshakes. Tasty, but not what I was going for.

I have to say that the kindness of friends and some good deals on Craigslist have made my diaper and clothing worries disappear! I now have plenty of diapers for Therese and the new baby. I also have summer outfits for this little guy. The name? We still haven't decided on his name, but we have a list, and that is something. We reconfigured the crib into a toddler bed for Therese. She keeps falling out, even with the bed rails. She may not be quite ready for a big girl bed. That's fine, since I have a feeling this little guy will be bunking in with us in the portable crib for a while anyway.

The pregnancy calendar I have on my ipod told me today that I may see a return of fatigue. Really? That would explain the need to collapse on the sofa for 20 minutes in the afternoon almost every day. Also returning? Emotional ups and downs. Tony confirmed that this is also true.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Photo of the Day

Thank you to my friend Selena who is a much better photographer than me.

At this particular moment, I was trying desperately to see over the rather tall man in front of me.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Morning Glory

I want to thank everyone who has been praying for little Therese. She is doing ever so much better this morning. The only down side being that no one told me that steroids could turn my sweet girl into a hysterical, tantrum throwing evil twin at the drop of a hat. I have been assured by the pediatrician that this too shall pass in a few days.

This last week has felt like such a test of my faith. I really feel like God is telling me to be more humble. I know this is something I struggle with, thinking I can do it all. I need to surrender my pride and let God (and sometimes other people) handle things. Another thing about being humble. I find myself all too often looking down on how someone else does things, thinking my way superior. I immediately ask God to take this from my heart as soon as I think it, but still, I think it. I wish I didn't.

I also wish I was good at quoting verses from the Bible. I know there is one to go with the next part of the story. Yesterday, as I backed out of the driveway on my way to Mass by myself, (Tony agreed to go with all the kids later), I splash of violet-blue caught my eye. Months ago, the kids planted moonflower and morning glory seeds out by the mailbox. Since then, they have been neglected, only getting rainwater and nothing else. I was amazed to see a big, beautiful bloom on this tiny vine. It made me realize that through all those dark moments of the weekend, that God's glory was still there, though hidden. But with the dawn comes rejoicing. That little flower reminded me that God is there through it all and that His goodness will shine through.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

A Prayer Request

Please pray for my sweet little Therese who was diagnosed with moderate to severe croup this afternoon. When I got her to the ER her fever was over 104 and she was having trouble breathing. They gave her steroids to help ease the swelling in her airway and for now they let us come home. If she has any trouble breathing tonight, we are to return immediately.