30 March 2007

That's Great-great!

I just found out that my grandma (my dad's mom), who has five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren (and one on the way) has now added a great-great-grandchild to the list! In spite of how young my kidlings are, it sounds wild, but I am a "mature" mama (one of my high school classmates is grandma to a little guy a couple of months younger than Bean. It's actually her step-daughter's baby, but her step-daughter is only a year older than her older daughter. Didja follow that? Don't sweat it, it's parenthetical...) and my oldest cousin is ten years older than I am and had her family in her twenties, so it's not like it's generations of babies having babies or anything. Besides, Grandma is hardly a spring chicken at 92 years of age...she has indeed earned the title of great-great-grandmother!

The chili lunch at Kitty Daddy's office was very yummy. And the Ho? Oh for the love of all things woolly, heavenly!!! And it turns out that Ho for breakfast wasn't an issue. In my defense, we shared with KD's coworkers and there were admiring kidlings who wanted seconds (and thirds). Let's see, whose birthday is next? Would it be wrong of me to make one for my mom's birthday on Sunday? Does it make a difference that she lives about 2000 miles away?

29 March 2007

We shall call her the "Laughing Ho"

Well, actually, in polite company we will be calling her a Snickers Trifle. But she will always be a Laughing Ho to me! This is Daddy's birthday cake (or "happy cake" as Bean calls them). It loosely follows Ms. K's Ho recipe. First just let me say...the chocolate cake recipe rocks. Ms. K is a genius. Really. Send her yarn. Lots of it. Anyway, now for my version. I did use Ms. K's cake recipe (obviously), but I declined getting it drunk. I debated this long and hard. Really, the amount of alcohol in a serving wouldn't be enough to get baby-to-be drunk, but I had to balance that with the fact that pregnancy hormones might lead to an ugly incident with me face down in the remaining Ho, leading to a completely empty bowl. Since discretion is the better part of valor, we chose to take the high road. Instead of Heath Bars, I changed to Kitty Daddy's favorite candy bar: Snickers. So the layers ended up going like this: cake lumps, fudge sauce, caramel sauce, peanuts, cool whip, repeat twice. End with a chopped up Snickers bar. I took the quick and easy route with the fudge sauce (I do have a very yummy recipe for some though), the caramel sauce, and the whipped cream.

We will be heading out shortly, Ho in hand, to join Kitty Daddy at work for lunch with his co-workers. We'll let you know how the Ho goes over!

28 March 2007

My sweet Bug

This morning as Bug and I were waking up--we were still in jammies and only barely starting to move and Bean was still out cold--he looks at me and says, "You are a very nice mommy to me." He ponders for a couple more minutes and then announces, "You have very long feet and very long arms and I love you."

A bit on the cryptic side, but sweet none-the-less. Besides, having someone appreciate my long feet can't hurt. As it is, all my handknit socks have really short cuffs unless I get a third ball of sock yarn because of the endless instep.

We are back to more typical Wisconsin spring weather after several unseasonably warm days. On Sunday, Madison set a new record high of 77°F and on Monday a new record of 79°F. Monday, the kids and I spent over an hour at "Keys Park" before getting some groceries. Once we got home and put the groceries away, we spent another hour or more in the back yard. Oh man, all of us were WAY overdue for some fresh air and sunshine! Yesterday was gray and cooler (in the low 60's) and today looks to be about the same. Some rain today wouldn't surprise me either!

Last weekend wasn't particularly exciting. On Saturday, we went to a CSA open house sponsored by MACSAC. We have been thinking about joining a CSA and they had presentations about CSAs and many of the participating CSAs had table set up with information. We picked up a bunch of brochures. I think this would be a really good way for us to eat better, but the shares are paid up front for the entire season (so kind of pricey all at once) and I'm not convinced that the rest of the family would be as committed to lots of good fresh veggies as mama is. On Sunday, we decided to lie low and give our colds a chance to bet better. We had planned on going to see the lamb birthing barn at A-Z farms. Sunday was the last chance this year, so we will have to wait until next year, but I think we could probably run out to Susan's Fiber Shop during the week and at least see some little lambs.

27 March 2007


For the kids, spinning means twirling around in circles until they get dizzy and fall down, which is a current favorite activity. Since just watching them do it makes me dizzy, I'll stick to this kind of spinning:
These are the three hanks I have finished from the cheap wool I got at Susan's Fiber Shop. The top two are the older ones and the bottom one is the more recent one with the much thinner singles. Although consistancy is still not a strong point, I do like the finer weight yarn. I still have a little of the fiber left, so I will probably get one more hank out of it, though it is mostly black and brown left.

In addition to be thinner, I was also able to finally do some drafting while the spindle was actually spinning. Up to now I have been all about "park and draft," which means spinning the spindle to overtwist the yarn and then holding on to the spindle with my legs or feet so I can concentrate on drafting the fiber. Then the extra twist can travel up into the newly drafted area, until I run out of extra twist and repeat the process. The problem I have with drafting while the spindle is actually spinning is an appalling lack of coordination. I start the spindle spinning, but by the time I get my hands where they need to be on the fiber and manage to try and do some drafting, the spindle is done spinning. Maybe someday I will be able to spin like the big kids.

Once I get the last of this fiber spun, I would really like to get an ounce or two of different kinds of fiber just to see how they feel and how they spin up. I am completely drooling over the "Almost Solid Sampler Pack" (at the top of the page), which has superwash, wool blend, corriedale, merino, and blue faced leicester. More likely, I will probably wait until we have a chance to go back to Rainbow Fleece Farm (where I got my spindle) and just get a couple ounces each of a few kinds.

25 March 2007

Finished Objects

Okay, so I'm totally cheating on this picture. This is the same picture of the first one that I already posted, but, you know what? The second one looks almost precisely like the first and I finished these about three weeks ago and have been wearing them and I think they are in the laundry pile right now and I want to get these posted as a FO and just move on.

Yarn: Regia Sock Yarn
Needles: KnitPicks circular needles, size 1
Pattern: Basic sock on the fly. The leg and instep is k3p1 rib. The sole is stockinette and the heel is an afterthought heel (or peasant heel) so the stripes stay symmetrical.
Verdict: I have done a basic heel flap, a short row heel, and this kind of peasant heel with self striping yarn and this is the one that makes me happy! My favorite heel in general is short row, but not with self-striping yarn.

Instant gratification project:

Yarn: Paton's Soy Wool Stripes
Needles: KnitPicks options needles, size 5 and 7; Addi Turbo circular size 2 (I didn't have a size 3 circular!)
Pattern: Curly Purly Free Soaker with rolled cuffs
Verdict: Love, love, love the yarn...very soft and fuzzy and I love the colors and subtle changes! I also like the pleated waist in the pattern, though we will have to see how it works on an actual hiney! This one is newborn, and even though my gage was a little tighter than the pattern specified, it is stretchy enough that it stretches to the dimension in the pattern. I will probably make the next one size small. Unless the wee one comes early, I'm not expecting newborn to fit for very long (Bean was about 9½ lbs, Bug was smaller, but nearly a month early!)

23 March 2007

Lots of pictures!!

I finally got around to the intellectually challenging task of transferring my photo memory disk to the computer, so I finally got caught up on pictures. First are the seedlings we planted on the 15th. We got the little peat disks that absorb water and bloat up and then you plant the seeds. Here is Bug watching the disks expand.

We planted three kinds of seeds. There are actually tomato seeds in the bowl. They were white and looked kind of like little eggs.

Here are the seedlings this morning. There are four pods of each seed kind. The basil came up in just a couple of days, the tomatoes have been popping up over the last couple of days, and the jalapeƱos are just getting ready to pop up.

Last weekend we went to the Kids Expo at the Alliant Energy Center. They had lots of stuff for kids to do and also lots of exhibitors of children's classes and services. Bug was absolutely entranced by the Cat in the Hat.

Both kids really enjoyed the baby animal petting zoo. Here is a baby camel...

and a calf.

Bug participated in the tractor pull. They pull sleds that get heavier the farther you go.

Bug had some trouble making the pedals go forward all the time. He kind of thought that he just needed to crank them and either forward or back should do it. They unhooked the sled and he just drove the tractor the rest of the way. He got a ribbon for participating that he is very proud of.

The kids also jumped around on a bouncy thing, ran around on some things that had been set up by a gymnastic school, watched some juggling and dance demonstration and climbed around and checked out other stuff. It was pretty crowded and kept getting worse the longer we stayed, so if we go next year, I think we want to get there right when it opens to avoid having to wait in such long lines.

22 March 2007

We all hab codes!

Next time I complain that we don't do enough together as a family, please slap me. Kitty Daddy thoughtfully brought home a lovely little cold bug from a coworker and it didn't leave anyone out. Kitty Daddy stayed home and slept yesterday and the kids and I have been sniffling and sneezing and carrying on as well. While colds always make me crabby, right now my only line of defense is Tylenol and hot water with lemon and honey. Everybody else gets the good drugs. Pbbbllltttt!

Last night, we rented the new James Bond movie Casino Royale. Since I have never been a big fan of change, I was appropriately skeptical of Daniel Craig being the new James Bond. However, by the end, Bean had learned the word "hottie," so I think we will be okay. Eva Green played Vesper Lynd, the Bond Babe for this movie. As the plot was unfolding, Bug kept asking what the "mommy" was doing and I explained what I could (at an age appropriate level). At one point, he turns to me and announces, "I think you're a better mommy than her." Dude, I scored higher than a Bond Babe.

My Paton's SWS is turning into a newborn-sized soaker. I have gotten as far as the split for legs and decided that I need to get another skein so I can get the back to match the front and the leg cuffs to match each other. I absolutely adore the subtle color changes and LOVE the beautiful shades and would probably go nuts if things weren't symmetric. However, the stripe sequence is so long that the 80g skein only has two repeats and I have made it completely through one repeat so far, so I need another skein to start the back at the same place in the repeat. I will have plenty of yarn for a second soaker (and maybe a third).

Our seeds are finally sprouting. I wasn't sure if they would ever come out since it turned to cold and rainy immediately after we planted them. I will try and get some pictures this afternoon and post all the gardening photos tomorrow.

19 March 2007


Well, I guess a sunshiny Monday is the best antidote for a cranky Friday! Plus it is pleasantly warm (around 50°F), so the kid and I walked over to "close park." Still a little muddy, but otherwise just what we needed. The kids got to run around and slide and swing and I got to sit on a quiet park bench and knit. I finally finished the gage swatch for my next purse project sock. Unfortunately, now I can't find the pattern, so (1) I have no idea if I made gage and (2) I couldn't start the sock even if I did. The plan was to make these socks:

from the new Interweave Knits using KnitPicks Gloss yarn (Merino/silk blend) in black. The swatch is really quite yummy and soft and I want to get going!!!

I have looked in all the logical places (several times now) and even many illogical places, too. It HAS to be here, unless I did something totally inane like return it to the library with the week's books or left it somewhere it got shuffled in with newspapers and tossed in the recycling. In deference to Ms. K, I know it isn't on the safe in the garage because (1) we don't own a safe and (2) even if we did, we don't have a garage to put it in. I know that the one thing that will guarantee that it turns up is to buy a new copy. I'm not there yet, but in the next couple of days I will have to decided whether I want two copies or zero copies.

16 March 2007

Cranky Friday

Today, Mommy is wearing the cranky pants. I would venture a guess that it has something to do with the whole spring fever thing I talked about yesterday. After we did our Friday library trip, we were driving away and got behind a car that had two license plates: one from Wisconsin, the other from Monaco. My theories for are:

  • The car owner used to live in Monaco and had the car shipped and wanted to keep the plates on because he thinks it makes him somehow superior to mere mortal Wisconsin residents.
  • The car came from Monaco and the new owner kept the old plates on because he thought it would make him look like he was from Monaco and that makes him somehow superior to mere mortal Wisconsin residents.
  • He stole the plates from someone from Monaco because he thought it would make him look like he was from Monaco and that makes him somehow superior to mere mortal Wisconsin residents.
If anyone can come up with a good reason for having two plates that doesn't involve someone trying to look better than everyone else, please tell me in the comments. Maybe there is an innocent explanation that won't piss me off.

After following the car from Monaco, we ran into Jo-Ann's. I couldn't find a needle the right size to mend my one pair of jeans that still fits my (rapidly disappearing) waist. I think I can get a couple more weeks out of them if they leg doesn't fall off at the knee. After maneuvering two little ones through the store to find the needle, we had our purchases together and headed to the check out: a thing of sewing needles, a $0.50 bag of plastic easter eggs selected for bribery purposes, and one other item (we shall not speak of the skein of Paton's Soy Wool Stripes that threw itself at me. I figured the little hussy would make a scene if I rejected it, so did the only thing I could. *sigh*). After the items were rung up, the checker asked for my zip code. Umm...I could tell you the zip code of every place I have lived up until now (57401, 64772, 97080, 52242, 52246), but could not for the life of me come up with the current one. I knew the last two digits (which should be sufficient to differentiate it from all the other zips in the Madison area, but the clerk just gave me a blank look), when finally a lady in line shouted it out for me. Unfortunately, she looked extremely ticked off, like this was some sinister plot I had cooked up to make her wait in line longer than she should have. I thought people who shopped in craft stores were supposed to be friendly. Maybe that's just in yarn stores.

I think I have figured out a solution for the sock that is a slow starter and the Bean sweater that keeps making eyes at me. I'll do what any mature, intelligent adult would do. I'll cast on the Paton's SWS.

15 March 2007

Waiting for spring

Ugh. After getting up into the 60's on Tuesday, we are back in the low 30's again. We did get our seeds planted, but it wasn't as good of a photo-op as I had hoped. Mostly, I was trying to keep Bean from eating the seeds rather than taking pictures. I got a couple, but will wait to post them until we have some sprouts in (hopefully) a couple more days.

Knitting is still slow. Bean's sweater and I regard each other solemnly on a regular basis, but I just can't bring myself to do the tape measure and math thing. *sigh* The bright side of it is that I have been spinning. I am still working on the cheap-o black, white, and rust roving. I have done two hanks of two-ply (about 40 yards total). This spindleful is coming out as a lot thinner single, which pleases me more than it should. No consistency with the first two hanks, but this roving has been earmarked for experimentation. I almost have the spindle full and ready to ply. I am debating whether to do two-ply like I have been or take advantage of the thinner singles and try out Navajo plying to get a three-ply yarn.

And, finally, a cute conversation with Bean. The scene: Mama is in the living room and Bean toddles in after her nap...

Bean: Mah-eee poop!
[so we go upstairs to investigate and I pick it up]
Bean: Mommy pit poop!
Mommy: Yes, I picked up the poop.
Bean: Poop potty!
Mommy: Yes, I put Mollie's poop in the potty.
Bean: Goo dob mommy!
Mommy: [trying not to fall on the floor laughing] Why, thank you!
One of the funniest part that just can't be captured in text is the way Bean pronounces "poop" The vowel sound she makes just doesn't exist in the English language, so you'll just have to take my word for it that it is the cutest thing EVER! The other funniest part is just how earnest and serious she is when she is conversing.

12 March 2007

Random blogginess

Inspired by the Harlot's completely random blog today, I thought I would follow suit. Especially since this pretty much maxes out today's mental capacity anyway.

1. If you see on the news that a Wisconsin couple has been arrested and charged with counterfeiting pee, that would be us. Kitty Daddy and I have been taking turns sneaking in to the bathroom, dumping the potty chair and replacing the pee with about a half inch of water. The bucket is red, so color isn't an issue. So far, Bug hasn't noticed that we have been tampering with his "best friend."

2. Spring seems to have arrived (though I still would never rule out another blizzard before all is said and done). We have had several days in the high 40's and today even made it into the 50's! We have big bare patches all over in the back yard and the snow mountains in front are only a couple of inches high.

3. Knitting is happening, but sporadically. I finished my purse socks last Monday (I promise to get a FO post up soon!) and have started swatching for the next pair and I have been mostly staring at Bean's sweater. Although it is mindless stockinette for a while, I wanted to put stripes in, but that means getting out a tape measure, finding row gage, and doing some fiddly math stuff to try and get the sleeves and body stripes to meet up correctly (it's a raglan sweater). Again, not too bad, but really beyond current capacity.

4. Quick Bean 101 lesson. First, vocabulary: byeee (bite), dam (sandwich), you (you or your); Second, grammar: Subject and auxiliary verbs are optional, modifying pronouns go after the noun they modify; Third, a translation exercise: Translate "(I want a) bite (of) your sandwich." Make sure to say each word with enthusiasm. Solution below*.

5. Bonus Bean vocabulary: These are "whale crackers."

6. Tomorrow is for gardening. The kids and I went to Home Depot and bought a little mini-greenhouse with twelve peat pellets for starting seedlings, as well as a packet of tomato seeds, a packet of jalapeno seeds, and a packet of basil seeds. With any luck, we will be transplanting to containers once the weather is likely to stay nice. I will be taking pictures and blogging about said adventure soon. All I can say is that I sure hope one of them has a greener thumb than I do.

7. I need to find a way to average out jeans for Bug and Bean. Bean, with diaper, has an extremely size 3T tushie, but short little 2T legs (and even those could have cuffs). On the other hand, Bug with his newly undied butt, can barely manage to keep 4T from falling down, but would probably do even better in 3T, but needs 5T to keep from looking like a sales representative from FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program.

*Exercise solution: Byee! Dam! You! (repeat until sandwich is gone)

10 March 2007


Quote from Bug: "But I love my pee. He's my be-e-e-est friend!" Somewhere along the line Saturday, Bug decided that he no longer wants to part company with his pee. I thought he was just being finicky about public toilets, but he wouldn't let me flush it away after he used the "little potty" at home once we FINALLY got home. I sure hope this phase passes quickly!

We went to a bike show this morning that was not really what we were expecting and VERY crowded, but enjoyed checking it out. Bug fell head over heels in love with a little bike just his size in a lovely, truly masculine lavender. He decided that the one just like it, but smaller and in hot pink would be Bean's. All I can say is that I am amazed that we got out of there with neither new bikes nor a colossal tantrum.

07 March 2007

An up-to-now secret WIP...

I have had a project "on the needles" for a while now, but haven't been widely advertising the fact. There have been a couple of similar project that have wound up (non-voluntarily) in the frog pond, so we didn't want to advertise too soon! We are about 1/3 of the way done and expect to bind off and weave in ends sometime mid-September. Here is a progress photo as of yesterday and here is a picture from three weeks ago. Based on how previous projects like this have turned out, I'm guessing it will be pretty cute!

01 March 2007

Dinner time humor

We had breakfast for supper...scrambled eggs, sausage, and potatoes. Since I used up my two frying pans with the sausages and the eggs, I decided to do the potatoes in my wok. After putting them in, I realized that they were Potatoes O'Brien...which just didn't seem right in a wok. As a result, we decided to rename them Potatoes Keiko O'Brien.

Okay, going to go and beat my inner geek back into submission...

Lying low

We have been having a very quiet week. I think my cold is nearly gone, but I'm still feeling kind of wiped out from it, so we have stuck pretty close to home. Miss Bean has had a snuffy nose for several days and Bug seems to be working on the same bug too. He was in rare form on Tuesday. He couldn't settle down for anything and was driving Bean and I crazy! No chance for a nap for anyone when he was going strong. Then yesterday, he wasn't feeling good and was cuddly and clingy all day. That certainly explains the craziness on Tuesday! He has gotten two good nights sleep and a long nap yesterday and seems to be back to his old self a bit.

I am finally starting to feel the love for Bean's sweater. After seven rounds of 504 stitches, a decrease round and about 15 or so rounds of the regular size, I am finally pretty sure that I don't have a twist. I have also discovered a nifty trick: Knitting in ends. Since weaving in ends is the absolute bane of my existence, I was tickled to discover this. nona gives very clear instructions and the technique is absolutely slick! Anyway, stockinette in the round is about the extent of my mental abilities right now, so a sweater body is just about perfect!

My black, white, red, and gray socks continue to languish with only a half a toe and a heel to go. Since they are my purse project, they are neglected when we don't go anywhere! I can usually count on a few rounds at the library on Friday, but the public schools weren't in session so the library was absolutely swamped and I couldn't even sit and relax while the kids did their thing.

The only other excitement was that Kitty Daddy brought home some spring M&Ms and in addition to the normal "m," there were some with chickies, bunnies, and SHEEPIES! Combining knitting and chocolate is genius!