25 December 2008

More Honkah

Well, more Honkah, combined with Christmas. All about the equal opportunity. *snicker*

Our "theme" for the fourth night of Hanukkah combined with Christmas eve was family. We made a supper of assorted munchy type snacks and watched a couple of movies (The Santa Clause, The Clone Wars, and another I have forgotten as I was hiding out wrapping presents...if it weren't for the last moment, nothing would ever get done, right?). It was a nice evening snuggled up in the living room in various combinations of people, blankets, and movies over the course of the evening.

Santa arrive sometime overnight and left presents and ate the milk and cookies, so it made for an exciting morning. We had a sausage and egg casserole for brunch, which is a KittyDaddy tradition that we added this year. We were planning on the big traditional Christmas dinner for supper, but everyone was tired and lazy, so we will save our meatballs, lefse, and all for an evening we are all feeling better!

For the fifth night, our "theme" is celebration. I think at bedtime we will have a brief discussion of how different people celebrate the same thing differently. In some ways, Solstice, Christmas, and Hanukkah have more commonalities than differences. At the darkest time of the year, we are all celebrating light: The return of the light, the light of salvation, the miracle of light. It can be a dark and dismal time of year and we can all use a little light and hope! Our family wishes you and yours all the peace of the season, regardless of what you celebrate!

24 December 2008

Third Night of Honkah

Tonight we lit the third candle and celebrated with a bag of chocolate coins (Hannukah gelt). I'm not sure how close we were to the tradition, but we used it to talk a moment about gifts and appreciating how fortunate we are to be able to share things with each other. We also talked briefly about the importance of sharing with those less fortunate that us.

23 December 2008

Second Day of Honkah

Last evening we lit two Hanukkah candles and spent a little time exploring Hanukkah music. I really should have save the Erran Baron Cohen album for today's post, but that would have implied some sort of planning rather than my more typical fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants. We did find a satellite radio station that is playing all Hanukkah music (and other Judaica) for the eight days of the celebration, so we listened during dinner and have it on again this morning.

We have been reading Pearl's Eight Days of Chanukah by Jane Breskin Zalben, which has a story (and activity...no, we aren't that organized) for each night. It has two Hanukkah songs with piano scores (for night four, so NO, we aren't even close to that organized!), so I played them on the piano and we tried singing "Ma'oz Tzur (Rock of Ages)" and "I Have a Little Dreidel." The dreidel song was much more successful and Bug and Bean each took a turn singing it solo and playing their own accompaniment (random notes) on the piano.

22 December 2008

Happy Honkah!

Today is the first day of Hannukah and we lit the first candle last night. Being of strong Google-Fu, I knew that Hannukah started today, but hadn't realized at first that days are not counted midnight to midnight for Jewish celebrations, but rather sundown the evening before to sundown. After getting off the phone with my parents, something had been niggling around in the back of my brain, so I dug around a bit online and found out this little tidbit. As a result, we lit our candles somewhat after sundown, but at least it was before bedtime! We read an English translation of the traditional blessing, lit the candles, and then read a couple of library books about Hanukkah, including a counting book in English, Hebrew, and Yiddish!

Another Hanukkah discovery that just delights the dickens out of me is this album. When we were on our way to our friends' annual Caroling party, they were discussing this album on Fresh Air. For example, I am not sure which tickles me more: that the first song on the album is reggae/klezmer with Yiddish rap or that I know what that means.

16 December 2008

Happy Birthday Bug!

My first baby is six today! And, in case I might have forgotten, he has reminded me about every half an hour ALL. DAY. My smart, cute, funny guy is growing up into such a delightful kid. Although there are still moments that he is a snuggle bug and very much a mama's boy (in the best sense of the term), he is also getting so much more capable, mature, and independent all the time. Yep, I gots me some pretty cool kids!








15 December 2008

Holiday Cheer

As we have been gearing up for the holiday season, Bean suddenly announced her desire to celebrate "Honkah" this year. Finding a book about Hanukkah at the library seemed the logical first step. So we found one (this one...and it was a good choice!) and read it at bedtime. Then, a couple of days later, I get an email illustrating this project and the wheels start turning. Godless Heathen™ though I may be, I know a Learning Opportunity when it looks me in the face. A quick consult to the calendar (Honkah doesn't begin until next Monday) and a trip to JoAnn's later, we are now equipped with this:

A flameless menorah! So we can light the candles every night of Hanukkah and learn a bit about Jewish culture and religion. We will learn how to play dreidel, try some traditionally Jewish foods (matzoh ball soup, latkes, challah bread), and who knows what else.

Bonus Beeb picture:

Trying on Mom's hat and gloves.

A quick note about being a Godless Heathen™: My natural irreverence may or may not imply anything about my private spiritual beliefs as they are just that: private. However, I admit no great fondness for organized religion by and large, while at the same time intend no disrespect to anyone else's beliefs, practices, or affiliations.

12 December 2008

Winter Fun

We had a marvelous day of sledding with our friend K yesterday. Well, up until the last 15 minutes anyway. We went to a nearby state park with a real sledding hill. We had our little plastic saucer and our friend brought a real toboggan (kind of like this) and a Norwegian kick sled. I tied Beeb onto the kick sled and we made laps around the parking lot. It had just enough of an incline that it was possible to kick and cruise the whole length without picking up too much speed. Bug was a maniac on the saucer, while K and Bean rode the toboggan together. As the sun started to set, K offered to trade with me for a couple of runs. You know that little voice in the back of your head that says, "Not a good idea"? Yeah, I ignored it.

Bean and I did one run down and all went well, so I let myself be talked into a second run, even though the little voice became more insistent after discovering that I really didn't have much control over the whole ride. The second run, I was congratulating myself on steering us away from the trees on the edge so we going smack down the middle when I discovered Bug standing in front of us with his sled. We pretty much plowed him down. I would have had a tiny bit more sympathy for him if he hadn't been looking straight at us and laughing about it (right up to the bowled over part). No major injuries at least. Bug was a basket case the whole way home, but I'm pretty sure it was more about cold and wet and a less than ideal ending (I vividly remember doing the same thing on a ski trip when I wasn't much older than him...I cried the whole way down the last run of the day, I was so miserable. Wet and cold and less than ideal conditions...icy snow on the ground and kind of snowing/sleeting so it was hard to see). We all survived though!

And a couple of pictures to share...here is a picture from a week or two ago, just to prove that Bug romps in the snow, too.

This is Bean's bunny that she dressed up in Cabbage Patch Kid clothes:

I thought the bun looked rather Renaissance-ish (am I even close? I am terrible with history eras) and it make me chuckle.

Finally, here's how Beeb puts himself down for a nap. We had been laying down together so he could have nummies and hopefully doze off. Nothin' doin' Mama! So I got up for a minute to deal with the big kids and he reached for the book I had been reading. As I left the room, he was propped up against the pillows reading. When I went back in a few minutes late, this was the scene:

So, I guess I should just toss him on the bed with a book when he is looking nappish...

I have been knitting a lot too, just cranking away on the million mittens and one stealth project, so not much to see here...

11 December 2008


Last Friday, we had our first "real" snow of the year. I drove home from Knit Night in it. Not fun! But the aftermath over the weekend was fun. Beeb got to check out the crazy white stuff...

From 100KC533

He wasn't quite sure what to think, but he was definitely the first one to want to go in! He got one short sled ride on our little backyard hill on my lap and I managed to snap one picture of Bean on the sled before Beeb needed to be up, Up, UP! Like NOW!

From 100KC533

I'm pretty sure that both Beeb and Bean had more clothes than kid. Bug was a sledding fool too, but not while I had free hands. We had another good snow on Tuesday, so there is even more snow now, so we are getting ready to find a REAL sledding hill with our friend this afternoon!

05 December 2008

Shopping Lists II

The punch line to yesterday's post? I finally finished muddling through the list, left it laying on the kitchen counter so no little hands could reach it, planning to head out first thing this morning to the store (you know, before everyone starts getting tired and cranky).

This morning? Not there. Not in the recycling (either in the kitchen or in the garage). Not in any of the indoor trash cans. Not in any of the assorted piles of kid art.

My only other guess is in the big trash can in the garage that goes to the curb. However, Kitty Daddy collects from all the trash cans into the kitchen trash bag, then empties the kitty litter on top before tying the bag and putting it in the garage. *sigh*

The ONLY upside is that tonight is Late Night Knitting. I wonder if the Sow's Ear realizes they will need a fairly brawny bouncer to peel me off my chair and stuff my in the car when they are ready to close...

04 December 2008

Shopping Lists

Man, with a walking, curious Beeb, we are back to full-on crazy (as opposed to normal day-to-day crazy). It has gotten to the point where my most lurid fantasy involve things like sleeping with nobody touching me for even a short while or making a shopping list without "help." The latter fantasy goes something like this: I sit down at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee, my magnetic dry erase board and marker where I list dinners we have all the parts for, my trusty notebook and folder where I keep my old reliable recipes and meal ideas (n.b.: I also have a nice fantasy about getting those all organized, but please, let's be realistic here, okay?), a piece of paper to write the list on, a pen to write the list with, and the other cookbooks on the shelf nearby if I need something new. I flip though my recipes, find an idea for a dinner, write it on the dry erase board, look through the ingredients and write down anything I need to get at the store on the list, jump up and check the cabinets or fridge if I need to check on whether we have something, have a sip of coffee now and then, and so forth.

Well, that's the fantasy. The reality goes a little more like this. Sit down at the table with materials. Watch toddler climb up on table. Scramble to move things out of his reach on the cabinet behind me. Take one thing at a time off the shelf and try to be inspired to cook ANYTHING for dinner EVER. Find a recipe. Pull recipe out of toddler's hands without ripping it. Note an ingredient that we don't have. Start to write it on list. Wrestle pen out of toddler's hands. Fail dismally. Try to write with toddler hanging on to end of pen. Give up and grab another pen while toddler scribbles on list. Get sidetracked by bigger kids with life or death situation (e.g., Mama must see this picture RIGHT NOW or the video finished and the world will end if it isn't shut off or replace by a new dvd RIGHT NOW). Come back into kitchen and discover that toddler has managed to fish dry erase marker off of shelf and is happily scribbling all over the table. Wrestle away marker from said toddler. Go into living room to comfort tragical toddler because Mommy takes away ALL the good toys. Get toddler settled down. Go back in kitchen and try to recapture train of thought. Realize that toddler has made it back up onto the table before my behind even hits the chair. Continue in this vein until my head is ready to explode, throw up and hands and give up.

Next morning, regroup, spread things out on kitchen counter so toddler can't reach anything and try again. Discover that four-year-old has commandeered dry erase board and wiped out all of previous day's effort there. Decide to reconstruct that list from shopping list. Look for shopping list. Rifle through infinite number of piles of drawings and "important papers" that kids have left lying around. Finally discover list in recycle bin. Try to work on list and convince toddler that it's really okay if he leaves one or two things in the cupboards while swooping in and grabbing away breakables or other no-nos. Spend time going back and forth between working on list and trying to shove things back into the cabinets. Have a lie down and cry a little. Throw up hands and go blog about it. Imagine that someday will look back on this and laugh. Remind toddler how lucky it is that he is so stinkin' cute that I'll put up with this.

Wonder what I can create for dinner out of some stale saltines and a limp carrot. Actually, things aren't nearly that dire yet, but at the rate I'm going with this list, we may get there!

03 December 2008

Speaking of Malabrigo...

These have been done for a while as well. Also soft, soft Malabrigo, but worsted this time. I have more of the blue and also some buttery yellow, so I am planning a hat and/or scarf for me. Of course, it always seems that the "for me"s wind up at the bottom of the queue. Details on Rav.


Very warm and cozy, yet I have functional fingers for driving and fumbling keys and using cell phones and ...

02 December 2008

FO: Laminaria

Yeah, well, this one has been done for almost two months! Although I have been pokey in blogging about it, I am just delighted with the finished product!!! The lace patterns just popped with blocking and the Malabrigo laceweight couldn't be softer or squooshier. Even if it didn't look lovely, I could still carry it around as a security blanket. It really is that soft!




Full details on Ravelry...

01 December 2008

FO: Longies for the Beeb

I finished Beeb's Peace Fleece longies! I made them with some room to grow by stopping the stockinette about 1" shy of his inseam length and then put 3" of ribbing for the cuff. The cuff folds up and fits beautifully right now and when his legs get longer he can just have a longer cuff at the bottom!



Not that this little dude needs to be any cuter, but can I say that there is nothing cuter than a wooly baby butt with the skinny little legs sticking out! Actually, the cute little legs are plump and chubbly, but compared to a diaper butt, just about anything looks skinny. Especially with night-night diaper layers on!


Full details on Ravelry!

I have also been cranking away on winter wear for all the kids. One Bean mitten down (except for weaving in ends):


One almost Bug mitten (except for the thumb and weaving in ends):


And next will be one Beeb mitten with the leftover yarn from the longies. Then I can go repeat the sequence, for variety's sake.

27 November 2008

We are Thankful

As we celebrate Thanksgiving, we will be surrounded by our handprint turkeys telling what we are thankful for.

Beeb (I made my best guess for what he's thankful for):


Bug (one turkey says "turkeys," the other says "parents"...I spelled, he wrote)

And mine:

I hope everyone who is celebrating today has a happy Thanksgiving and much to be thankful for!

26 November 2008

Talkin' Turkey

We've been keeping a pretty low profile. Between the capacious diaper butt, the waddling walk, and the little new-walker wings:

I don't want anyone getting any crazy ideas, if ya know what I mean! All he needs is a few tail feathers. Of course, the hiney is all diaper and the breast isn't all that meaty, so I'm afraid there would be disappointment all around. And here's another picture for those who need a fix:

He's saying, "I'm so irresistable, you couldn't possibly resist giving me the shiny camera, could you? Pwetty pwease???"

I have been knitting like crazy lately, alternating between infuriating ribbing (not my favorite...I get even tenser than usual, so I tire quickly) and completely zen stockinette in the round. I am (almost simultaneously) making longies, thumbless mittens, and hat for Beeb out of this:


hat and mittens for Bean out of this:


and hat and mittens for Bug out of this:


A couple of weeks ago, we made a trip out to the Sow's Ear and Bug and Bean each got to pick a skein of superwash wool for their mittens and hats. They have pretty good taste! I am enjoying knitting with the purple stuff and I think I will enjoy the rainbow sherbet one too!

And the "Mother of the Year" committee is having another good snicker on my behalf. On Monday, this is where Beeb went down for his nap:

(to my credit, I did put him in a softer spot with a blankie after I took the picture) and then a couple of hours later as I was heading out to Charity Knitting at the Ear, Ms. Drama Llama was going to pieces, telling me that she wanted me to stay with her. I told her, "You know what? I. don't. care." and headed out to knit (again, to my credit, I liked all the kids again when I got home from knitting).

20 November 2008


So, Mama is in the kitchen making coffee and Bug wanders in and we have the following conversation:

Bug: Hey lady!
Me: Hey kid!
Bug: So, what's your name? My name is [first name], but most people just call me "handsome."
He then says something about being a mailman (which I didn't catch because I am doubled over laughing) and hands me a picture of a spider he has drawn.

Lotsa knitting going on, some FOs that still haven't been posted, but I'll catch y'all up eventually...

16 November 2008

The Four-Year-Old Drama Llama

Bean has declared her fifth year of life as "The Year of the Drama Llama." Just an example: Today, Daddy invited Bug and Bean to join him and walk to the playground of a nearby school. Bean respectfully declines. I point out that winter is coming and we will be spending more time inside and this would be a good chance to run around and get some fresh air. Nope, no way, no how. Fine. She stays home with me and plays while I putter. Some time later Bug and Daddy come home and Bug is reporting on his activities when Bean unhappily declares, "I never get to do anything fun!" and burst into tears. In the process of trying to talk her down, she proceeds to paraphrase (i.e. with drama ramped all the way up) all the suggestions I had given her for going. For example, the above suggestion became something along the lines of winter's coming and we are NEVER going outside again and this playground trip had been the last possible outing EVER.

Gonna be a long year...

09 November 2008


I am happy to report that I made it to knit night, sat next to Molly Bees and the Sow's Ear is still standing! I'm still slow and limpy, but gradually improving. I did however find a surprise when I got home from Knit Night. I left behind my long-haired little baby:

and returned home to my nearly bald toddler:

Yep, Daddy got loose with the clippers again. Clearly, I need to hide the durn things every time I leave the house! However, to Daddy's credit, Bean begged to have her hair shorn as well and he refused. So Kitty Chai has escaped as well.

07 November 2008


So, any idea what happens when a basically clumsy person on the stairs tries to hang up the dog leash, read the mail, and talk to a four-year-old at the same time? I know now. It involves a trip to urgent care, x-rays, crutches, and a couple of days with an elevated foot. Fortunately, nothing was broken or displaced, just beat up all to heck. I also have what feels like some pretty spectacular bruises on my hip (only lower and in back, but "hip" sounds so much more elegant), my elbow and my ear. I also seem to have given my hip/lower back a pretty good wrench on the way down, so thing will be a bit ouchie for a couple of days, but I'm going to live! It's already feeling much better than it did last night and my goal for the day is to be very nice to my bruises so they will be willing to accompany me to knit night tonight.

On the bright side, I have my own personal musician to keep me entertained!

06 November 2008

A Late Jack-O-Lantern

This jaggety toothless jack-o-lantern smile came to us Tuesday at supper. Bug had been wiggling his first loose tooth for a while and during dinner, out it came! He is very proud of his new grin and excited about the new tooth peeking out.

We have been enjoying a spell of unseasonably warm weather (In the 70s! In November!), so we have been outside trying to soak up some warm and sun to tide us over the winter. We spent several hours at the zoo after voting on Tuesday, but I'm afraid our heat wave is coming to an end. Today is rainy and a bit cooler, but the forecast for tomorrow and Saturday is SNOW! Oh well, I can't say I complete object to more time inside and cozy, cuz that means more knitting!

31 October 2008

Halloweenie FOs

Some spooky FOs...

First up, my "sketelon" dishcloth. This was the October entry in the Dish-Cloth-Along. Very cute and very seasonal!


Since most of my knitting peeps are in Ravelry, I'll refer you guys to Ravelry if you want the details and not bother with the links and lists. If you really want to know needle sizes and yarn specs and pattern details and aren't in Ravelry, let me know...

I also finished off Bug and Bean's costumes by finishing a couple of hats:


The poor felted princess hat has been languishing since January after over-felting the first try. I think the princess thinks it was worth the wait:


I also knit a second version of the pumpkin hat. The first one was too big around and not nearly long enough.


I'm much happier with this one and it is easier to navigate than the stem mask that belongs with the pumpkin costume. Plus, they can wear it all winter, too!

And some non-fiber works of art:

First up, the artistes with their complete oeuvre...

Yeah, it's pretty sunny out, the artistes are not at their most photogenic ;o)

Next, Bean's works

Bean provided artistic direction, while our friend K wielded the knife, though on the lower one Bean discovered that she could "drill" out eyes and nose by twisting the knife, so she helped.

Bug's works

He carved them himself, though I did some clean up to connect cuts and get the holes the whole way through.

And finally, a collaboration:

Beeb had this pumpkin to play with while we were working and started some preliminary carving with his teeth. From there, Bean took inspiration and made a full face with her knife. Beeb also took to the job of scooping pumpkin guts back into the jack-o-lanterns after they were carved. Mmmmmm, what texture! And almost as tasty as sand!