31 August 2006

My biggest problem right now

...is that there is no way to get all the boxes out of little people's reach. Arrggh. They spread stuff out as fast as I can pick it up! Okay, actually, FASTER than I can pick it up.

For example, today, I took a couple minutes to use the bathroom (yes, we make time for necessities). When I got out, Bug and Bean had gotten ahold of a box of tea bags, taken them all out, unwrapped each of them and spread bags and wrappers around the dining room. So Mom picks those up and hears a *crash*. Into the kitchen, where Bean has once again dumped the cats' water dish, only this time she dumped the cat food into the water first. While I am mopping up water, Bug comes down the steps and says, "Guess who left a sandwich upstairs." So I holler, "Go get your sandwich before Mollie eats it." A few moments later, I hear a growling Mollie and a screaming Bug. She had already gotten the sandwich and got pissy with Bug for trying to take it back. *sigh*

All I can say is Thank Goodness for library DVDs!

Welcome to Camp Chaos!

Well, the great migration is well underway. We spent much of four days hauling stuff from the old apartment to the van and from the van to the new apartment. We got a good chunk of the old apartment cleaned up on Tuesday and the kids and I finished up on yesterday. After cleaning all morning, we came back to the new apartment and the kids watched videos while I worked on putting stuff away. There is progress, and fortunately, there is a three day weekend coming up, so hopefully, things will be better before long...

Today, the kids and I are going to take things easier. I caught up on reading my comics online and we'll probably go to the park or the zoo, since things have been so stressful for all of us. The kids need a break from the craziness and so do I.

25 August 2006


I can't think of anything better than a summer cold...except maybe a summer cold the week one is moving to a new apartment! Bean has been having a significant snotter situation most of the week. Then I started to get a tickly throat the night before last. Then, yesterday, Bug started sneezing like crazy. I am doping up on TheraFlu and trying to get a little extra rest, but tomorrow we start moving!

KittyDaddy's dad is coming tomorrow and we will start hauling stuff in the minivan. Then we have a U-Haul van on Sunday for the bigger stuff (furniture). We have to have our current apartment cleaned and ready to check out by noon on Thursday. Needless to say, I fully expect things to be a big crazy for the next week. Hopefully, thing will be looking up by next Friday!

23 August 2006


So what does a little boy digging in the sand and a little girl eating sand have to do with knitting? EVERYTHING!!!

These two sweetpeas are my biggest knitting barrier most days, but we discovered this week that if we take a mesh laundry bag filled with sand toys to the sand volleyball court at our favorite park, the kids can play happily for a while. But wait, here is the kicker! The sand volleyball court is in the middle of a grassy field, so Momma can kick back under a shady tree with her knitting and still keep an active eye on the kiddos. Of course, they can play happily for quite a while anywhere in the park, but on the playground equipment, I still follow Bean around since she can be a little more ambitious than her skills are up to. Occasionally, I will put my sock bag around my wrist and do a few rounds on a sock. That doesn't always work, because I have to put it away to climb and crawl and keep and eye on Bean sometimes.

Don't get me wrong...I am delighted to follow my kids around the playground as long as they need me to. And it will only be all too soon that they are so independent that I can have LOTS of knitting time. But, it is nice to find a way to do both once and a while...especially since they both love playing in the sand.

As a result, I have made great progress on the shorts to go with the Crumpets dress. I have maybe 10-12 rows of decreasing left to do on the front and then I can kitchener the crotch together, weave in ends, put elastic in the waistband, and then I will be done!

Progress (of sorts)

Well, Bug is completely enamored of his new underpants. We haven't tried every day, but he has been able to keep them dry for several hours at a time, when we change him into a diaper to run errands or nap. However, using the potty is the next hurdle. On days where he has worn them for longer periods, they invariably end up soggy. As soon as I hear the pee-squawk, I rush him to the bathroom to sit a bit, but it's always too late. This morning, he squawked, I rushed him into the bathroom before the undies got wet. We spent a while there and I did hear some tinkling, so we put the undies back on. However, a half an hour later, his undies were once again soaked. We keep trying.

I'm not getting too bent out of shape, because we will be moving and I suspect the stress will add difficulties anyway. The main thing is that he LOVES wearing his underpants! When things get more settled, the new approach will be to put on undies in the morning and he can keep wearing them as long as they stay dry. For now, we have been doing two pairs a day, since I have a strong suspicion that my little strong-willed guy could dig in his heels if we make a big deal about "accidents." So my approach has been "no big deal, but did you notice how it felt? Can you tell me before you pee next time?"

Against my better judgment, he is napping in his underpants right now. At least it is laundry day...

22 August 2006

A Bug's Life

Since getting a new digital camera for my birthday, Bug has been honing the fine art of photography with my old camera. Here are some fine examples of his work. Someday when he has a photo on the cover of National Geographic, you can say you knew him when...

Do ya dig it?

Both yesterday morning and again this morning, we went to play in the sand at "Keys Park." They have a big double court for sand volleyball. I'm sure that it gets traffic on weekends and evenings, but I have never seen anyone there during the day when we are at the park.

Of course, all littles adore digging and playing in the sand...or in the case of Bean, eating sand (we have dubbed her pica girl...loves dirt and sand!). The best thing for a mommy though is that the sand is in the middle of a big field, so I can sit on the grass with a bottle of water and a book or my knitting and still keep both kidlets in full view. In the play areas, I usually follow Bean around, just to make sure she doesn't get in over her depth and I try to get a visual of Bug every few minutes too, which can be challenging with slides and tunnels and other exciting play things.

When we are done, we load the sand toys up in a big, mesh laundry bag, give it a tumble and shake or two to get the sand out, and head home!

21 August 2006

A couple of Finished Objects and other progress...

(insert fanfare here...) The Fire Fighter's Hat is finally done. It has been finished except for tidying up loose ends for just ages. I am such a procrastinator with the very last details of most projects! I also "finished" the two acrylic soakers, in the sense that I decided to chuck the worn out ones and salvage the old i-cords.

The bloomers to go with the Crumpets dress and the scarflet are making slow progress. The bloomers will be a breeze again once I get to the shaping. There is not quite an inch of stockinette in the round left.

Everything else has been treading water, because I got sidetracked on Daddy's clogs. I just *LOVE* this pattern! Very little seaming and they knit up very fast! They still need to be felted, but I am waiting for next week, when I don't have to use a coin-op washing machine!!!! Of course they look huge, but after my experience with the FF helmet, I am a much more confident felter! Once we get moved, I am going to plan out some clogs for Christmas gifts and get the wool ordered.

And, last but not least, I got itchy fingers and started swatching with the organic cotton I got for my birthday. I am planning on starting with a scarf, a la the one in EZ's Knitting without Tears. I want to put some patterns (I'm thinking cables), so it isn't just a mile long tube of stockinette.

Finally, I think I have made up my mind about Bean's shawl/shrug. Since she likes wrapping herself up in her binkit, I think I will make a shawl and, more than likely, will do a smallish Clapotis.

Oh Sheesh!

Things are getting crazy with the upcoming moving looming, so I have been a little hit-and-miss with updates. So we will once again do a Monday update, I guess!

So, not being one to reject sage parenting advice when I see it (part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6...go ahead, read it, I'll wait...), we gave it a try.

The selection wasn't the Incredible Hulk, but (surprise, surprise) Hot Wheels and Hummer. What a cute hiney! Anyway, he has been wearing them off and on and they have stayed dry. Of course, we put diapies on when we leave the house, but he is still doing a fine job! The other good stuff (boo-cha seat, big enough to use the slide at the pool, etc.) that comes with being a big boy is convincing him that he can maybe deal with the less fun stuff!

Other than that, a pretty quiet weekend. We continue to take every opportunity to cook out and to eat fresh corn on the cob and tomatoes and other veggies. Because we are trying to eat more summer produce, we are looking into finding a CSA for next summer.

Just in case this week gets crazy before I have another chance, here is our moving schedule (roughly). The new apartment is available after 11 am on Saturday, 8/26 and we have a U-Haul rented for Sunday into Monday. Kitty Daddy is taking Monday and Tuesday off of work to move and clean and what-not. We should have internet at the new apartment by the end of next week. Kitty Daddy has already made the appointment, I just can't remember when it is!

18 August 2006

Big Boy milestone

As of yesterday, the Bug no longer rides in a car seat. We converted his car seat to a seatbelt positioning booster before setting off to the park! He is very pleased about it and has been talking about his "new" boo-cha seat non-stop! When we decided that he needed to tell daddy about it, he said, "Daddy be so happy and pwoud!" We are all very proud of our big Bug!

Since it was gray and looked like rain, we took the van to "Close Park," so we could make a quick get-away if it started to rain. It did, so we did and picked up a few groceries as long as we were out and about. It was still raining when it was time to go to Farmer's Market, but the corn we got last week was so stinkin' good that we couldn't let a little rain stop us! The market is covered, so it was very pleasant listening to some Celtic music and rain drumming on the roof. We did, however, get soaked on the way home. Neither of the kids had a nap, so everyone was feeling a little cranky and uncooperative. How else can you explain that a little boy who feels absolutely no concern for soaking his clothes and the entire kitchen playing in the sink would get so darn pissy over getting rained on? He stood in the driveway and just screamed because he was so mad about getting wet. Bean on the other hand, loved the rain and didn't want to come in at all!

16 August 2006

How to take a nap

Small dog...check!
Body parts spread in every direction...check!

And folks...we have nappage!!!

Lucky kidlings...mama is doing laundry. I started out with THREE loads of diapers. Yesterday was technically diaper day (they get washed every other day, but one of the neighbors had left stuff in the washer all day), so there were too many for one load in the pail. PLUS, the diapers that were out on the deck for the great wasp adventure on Friday had been sprayed with bug spray, so that load had been sitting in a laundry basket waiting to be re-washed. And, it was a bedding week, so four loads done and I hadn't even started on clothes and towels!

A week and a half left until we start moving. The whole moving process is never fun, but I will be very glad to be in our new apartment, to have our own washing machine again, to have more than one toilet, and to have a little more space for everyone.

Oh, and the resident nudist had decided to be gracious about accepting that she has to wear a diaper to eat or go outside. All other times, the mere suggestion of diapering activities nets a firm "NO" or "DOP," complete with hand gestures, but if I bring a diaper over by the kitchen gate and tell her that she needs a diaper to eat/go outside, she lies down on the floor in front of me and lifts up her legs. When the diaper is on, she pops up and gives me a chipper "Day dew" and gives me meaningful looks until I reply "You're welcome!"

15 August 2006

Catching up (again!)

So sorry that I have gotten behind again! What's the saying? "The faster I go, the behinder I get"?? Plus, I am still figuring out my new camera and transferring pictures.

Last Friday night, one of the nurses on the other Stoughton team had everyone from the two Stoughton teams out to her place for a potluck picnic. We had absolutely fabulous weather. It was even coolish enough after the sun went down that it felt good to be close to the bonfire. The kids had an absolute blast! Both Bug and Bean hooked up with the big kids right away. The big kids were sweet and seemed to enjoy helping out the little ones, and our two little ones would have just followed those big kids to the end of the world!

Kitty Daddy's coworker lives on 5 acres out in the country, so they have a little farm, complete with chickens, ducks, barn cats and kittens (almost stuck one of those in my pocket to smuggle home!), horses, and dogs. It also reconfirmed how wonderful Kitty Daddy's coworkers are now. Even though there have been bumps along the way, we are so much better off than we would have been had he stayed at the VA.

Bean has been streaking more than usual due to some bad diaper rash. We thought that her dairy sensitivity had mostly cleared up, but after having frozen custard two nights in a row, we are right back where we started. Both Bean and I are once again completely off dairy and her hiney is clearing right up. Just about every time I change her diaper, she insists on going into the bathroom and brushing her teeth in the nude. She usually stays in there until she pees on the potty. Note I said "on", not "in." She is definitely getting the bathroom/potty concept, but progress is slow. She has been doing this most mornings, so it is only a matter of time before she gets the part about opening the lid and sitting down.

The weather all weekend was just MAH-velous, so we spent as much time outside as possible, including cooking out multiple times. We are still learning the ins and outs of charcoal. One night we tried soaking hickory chips to get some smoke, but the result was putting out the fire. The burgers got a little smoke taste and there was enough residual heat that they were cooked through, but all-in-all, not one of our finer cookouts.

The beautiful weather had continued into the week and the kids and I walked to "Close Park" to play yesterday morning. Bug met a couple of older boys and had a blast. He is just becoming so social and interested in other people. One of the boys was just taken by Bean. He was so proud of himself when he "taught" her to go down the slide. I didn't have the heart to tell him that she had been going down those very slides since last fall!

Today, Bug request a trip to the zoo. We visited all the usual suspects and had a great time. There was also a zoo person near the polar bear cage that showed us a polar bear skull and foot print and told us what the bears eat. Very interesting!

When Bug holds Bean's hand, he always tells us "I a fweet big brudder"! Too cute!!!

11 August 2006


After going more than 37 years without being stung by a bee, wasp, yellow jacket, etc., I have now been stung THREE times in less than a week. I got stung twice more this morning trying to take the diapers off the clothesline. The diapers are staying out there! The problems was that the kids wanted to come out on the deck with me and I was trying to get them back indoors without getting stung. I'm not sure exactly what they are, but I would guess one of the guys above. I learned that wasp is a general term for a group of stinging critters and the top picture is a hornet (also called a yellow jacket if the yellow color dominates) and the lower picture is a paper wasp. My guess would be paper wasp, but I sure as HECK am not going to try and take a closer look.


We had a marvelous grilled supper last night. We did corn on the cob in the husks and bratwurst on the grill. The corn was from farmer's market and was so sweet and tender. YUMMMM! Unlike the horrible leathery corn on the cob we got from the grocery store a week or so ago! We have three more ears for this weekend and I can't wait!! For dessert, we had actual, honest-to-goodness s'mores. Very yummy, but very messy. It took forever to shampoo the marshmallow out of Bean's hair! We have always had propane grills, but I am quickly becoming a charcoal convert. It's not as easy and convenient, but smells and tastes so much better! With a chimney starter, it really isn't that much more difficult than gas, just a little slower to heat up.

We also found a tiny frog (amphibian, not the knitting kind) by the garage while we were waiting for the grill. He was about 1.5" long. Both kids were fascinated by the little fella, and we tried to keep them a little reined in so we wouldn't traumatize the poor little froggy too much. By the time I had ran in to grab my camera, he had hopped away, so no pics this time!

09 August 2006

Our weekend

Some highlights from our weekend, since the internet was down for a couple of days...

When we got up Saturday morning, we discovered that a big oak tree beside the apartment building had tipped over. Some serious root rot had gotten this big ol' tree. The only strange part was that we have had some pretty significant thunderstorms with winds that took down some big branches and small trees in the area, but this guy stayed up. Then, with no storms at all on Friday night, it fell over. This pic is from the front of the building...

...and this one is from the back. Fortunately, we live on the other end of the building. Our neighbor who lives on this end didn't have anything of his damaged. There was just some minor damage to the gutters and roof. Oh, and the cable sometime Sunday.

Saturday was also National Mustard Day. We went to Mt. Horeb (home of the world famous Mustard Museum. Seriously. We saw it on "Unwrapped" on the Food Network long before we ever moved to Wisconsin) to celebrate. We had free hot dogs with mustard (if you wanted ketchup, it was $10) and played some mustard games and listed to music and sampled mustard. Here the kids are doing "meet and greet" with the French's Mustard Man. Bean gave him several big hugs. Very cute.

Also, you can see the sign for the Mustard Museum over the Mustard Man's shoulder.

The Fashionista showing off her style on Saturday night. She started with full pajamas, but her new skill is taking off shirts, so she is usually topless these days.

We had a pretty quiet Sunday. It was rainy and dreary, so we turned on some tunes and Bean and Bunny took a spin around the dance floor. She holds him by his paws and they spin around the living room to the music. Sometimes, she sings along. Too cute, but the picture doesn't do it justice.

Last, but not least, Bug the photo-journalist. Since I got a new digital camera for my birthday (the old one was only nine years old and used 3.5" floppies), Bug has been playing with my old camera and shooting pictures. I'll get some posted another time!

Birthday fluff

Kitty Daddy got me a gift certificate to a LYS for part of my birthday and I picked up some of this gorgeous, soft Blue Sky Organic Cotton. I'm thinking about a scarf and maybe mittens with big soft cables. I'll have to swatch and think about it. Meanwhile, I just go and cuddle it every once and a while.


I cast on for my tank/shell and got six rows in and discovered a twist, so I had to frog it. The weird thing is that I checked religiously to make sure that it wasn't twisted for the first three or four rows. Then when I finished row 6, it was twisted. I figured I should have been able to find the twist and fix it. Couldn't find it. So either (1) an early twist got past me even though I thought I was checking carefully, (2) it's possible to twist on row 5 or 6 and not be able to see where it happened (which I doubt), or (3) the knitting pixies were messing with me.

Anyway, you can also see my very fancy stitch markers. I put buttons on the paperclips that marked the beginning and half way (the sides).

Internet is back!

After a couple of days with no cable or internet, we're back. So far being 37 hasn't been a good thing. Thursday was my birthday. Friday, the mailbox finally rusted out and fell over (gotta love rentals). Saturday, a big tree fell on our apartment (more on that later). Sunday, our cable went out. Monday, I got stung by a wasp. Yesterday, we got a property tax bill for the house we sold (gotta make some phone calls today...). Just because you ain't paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't watching.

I will try and catch up with our weekend excitement later, if the kids take a good nap...

03 August 2006

Birthday Cake

Working on the base frosting (Mama helped finish spreading it right after this pic).

Schmearing on some colors. I got some aerosol cans, but Bug's fingers weren't strong enough to push the dispenser, so I made a couple of blobs of frosting for him to decorate a la fingerpaint.

Bean was more interested in decorating herself and eating frosting than in anything having to do with the cake.

The finished product!

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today I got the best birthday present a Leo could hope for: a cold front! It is early afternoon and only 81 degrees! AND, the forecast for tonight starts with a 5!! Okay, 59, but still, it's August in the Midwest.

We started the morning with a free birthday Carmel Cooler from the 'Bou and then headed to the park to play for an hour. We have been cooped up inside, trying not to swelter, for too long and needed to run around. Afterwards, grocery shopping. Bug "helped" me pick out my birthday cake. My first choice: "No, one with marshmallow man (Pillsbury dough boy)," my second choice: "No, pink one," so we ended up with Pillsbury strawberry cake. Not a huge sacrifice in not getting to pick my own. I have never met a bad cake, so I'm easy to please. Besides, as Bug said after helping with the cake, "Cake is good for you and it makes your tummy proud." Couldn't have said it better myself.

We are going to frost and decorate after nap time. I am letting Bug and Bean take charge of the decorating, so I'll be sure to get some pictures of both product and process! And maybe the kitchen walls too...I'm guessing something like this. We'll see!

01 August 2006

UFOs, WIPs, and fluff in the mail

The UFO category includes things that are very much almost finished. I am the worst procrastinator in the world when it comes to the last few details of a knitting project. This is the hall of shame. Hopefully, these items will be appearing in a finished item post soon!

  • Acrylic soaker in pink/purple/blue. Soaker is done...I just have to decide whether the old soaker in this color is toast and steal the i-cord or knit a new i-cord
  • Acrylic soaker in blue/green. Also done except i-cord, also have a candidate for the trash bin that I could steal the cord from...
  • Bug's Fire Fighter helmet. I am so stinkin' close. The only thing I have left is to tidy up the loose ends from the embroidery and attaching the patch. Less than a half hour of work if I would just sit down and finish the stupid thing!!!
These are works in progress that are making at least occasional progress.

The first is a pair of bloomers/shorts to go under the Crumpets dress. I am feeling pleased with myself over the waistband. I did a casing for elastic. To do this I used a crochet chain to make a provisional cast on, then knit three rows flat, joined and knit five rounds and then knit the cast-on stitches together with the active stitches, just like in a picot edge. The three flat rows leave an opening in the casing to thread some elastic and I can use the tail to sew up the opening (while also securing the loose end) afterwards.

The second picture is the progress I have made on the fan and feather scarflet I started a couple of weeks ago.

I found Sugar and Cream cotton on sale at Michaels and picked up a half a dozen skeins in anticipation of getting Mason-Dixon Knitting from the library. I have it on hold and I am currently number 44 out of 50 holds, so I'm not holding my breath!

I also got an order from KnitPicks this week. I had been eyeing the Main Line cotton blend for a tank/shell, so I had to bite when they had it for $1.97/skein!!! I have started a gage swatch, but only a few rows so far.

I also ordered some Wool of the Andes to make a pair of Fiber Trends felted clogs for Kitty Daddy. I picked up the pattern at our LYS last week. The clogs will be gray and black. I also got two skeins of red WotA. I am thinking about making another fire fighter's helmet for Bean. Otherwise, a couple of skeins of wool in the stash never hurt anyone. Sorry for the crummy picture. There really is black wool there!

To round out my order (and qualify for free shipping), I got two skeins of Gossamer lace weight yarn. I am going to make Bean a little shrug or shawl to go with the Crumpets dress so she can wear it in cooler weather too.

Still hot...

Only 25 more days until central air. Another exciting day of camping in the living room, trying not to move and watching the temperature creep up in spite of the air conditioning. The cold front is supposed to arrive tomorrow. We definitely need a park day or something outdoorsy if it is cooler Thursday!!!