November 29, 2009

what is it?

Can you guess what this is?

Is it,

(a) an eye patch?

(b) a mask to protect against the swine flu?

(c) a coin purse?

(above photos courtesy of Finn)


(d) MY VERY FIRST EVER KNITTING PROJECT??????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you guessed (d), then



Yesterday while celebrating Thanksgiving with John's clan, my sister-n-law Kristin taught me how to knit.

She was so very patient.

I was so very awkard and clumsy, fumbling with the knots and needles.

It was a smidge harder than I thought!

But I had so much fun.

As soon as I got home, I raced off to Micheals for some yarn and knitting needles, before my new skill totally evaporated.

While there, a very sweet n' experienced knitting gal convinced me to get the bamboo needles. She said they were superior.

I bought them because they were pretty and would match all of my yarn.

Back at home, I fumbled once again. How to do that slip knot again? Am I casting* this on correctly? *Yes, I learned a fancy new word:)

I am in the process of trying to knit myself a small-ish scarf.

It looks like a green flag of surrender.

I realize my knots are not even at all. But I am not about to give up just yet!

I have no plans to become a mad knitter, but so far it is very fun and relaxing.

Now, if I can just figure out how to make my knots more uniform...

November 25, 2009

the middles

Ollie is my little puppy dog.

He frequently comes up behind me and starts scratching and pawing at my back, trying to get up to where I am. He constantly wants to be with me.

And I just love every minute of it. Which is why I do not get much done these days.

I always scoop him right up and he just melts in my arms. When I whisper "love you, love you", in his ear, he whispers it right back at me.

His little personality is really starting to develop.

I don't understand how someone can be such a tornado and a calm quiet soul at the same time. But he is.

On the one hand, he can play so quietly and nicely with his little cars, trucks and trains for hours(ok, maybe not hours, but extended periods of time).

And he is just sweet as pie to his mama.

He is so gentle with cats and dogs it is surprising.

And I often find him softly patting Twain's peach fuzz hair. Twain and Ollie somehow know they were meant for each other. After I feed Twain at night, Ollie crawls into bed with us...Twain leans his head back to gaze half drunk into Ollie's eyes. The 2 then quietly stare at each other and grab each other's hands. It's just amazing to see them so in love.

But on the other hand, Ollie can be such a storm cloud.

He gets easily frustrated when his trains fall apart.

And right now we are having a fit of devastation because his green helium balloon from last night went flat.
He keeps handing me the balloon saying "up", but the balloon is DONE. It is down on the ground, not up in the air. Such a cruel fate for the balloon. And Ollie just does not understand why I can't fix it.

And he also gets upset when he can't communicate what he wants. He has a 70-word vocabulary(roughly)and some 2 or 3 word sentences-- we all clap wildy for him when he uses sentences. And he is steadily improving his talking skills every day.

And his nonverbal skills are hilarious. He definitely knows what he wants. He will come up behind John or me and shove us toward the fridge. The he grabs a sippy cup and then shoves the cup in our hands...and stands at the fridge, half laughing, half crying.

I find that I have an enormous amount of patience when trying to teach Ollie. I know he is trying...he intently studies our mouths and tries to get the words out perfectly. And sometimes, he just does not have the confidence and so he just whispers the word. I think it is precious. He is making a lot of progress and I feel honored to be the mom for the job. Even when I have to repeat the same word 10 times before he is bold enough to try it himself.

Ollie and Finn get along really well. Calvin and Ollie are still easily threatened by each other. Ollie wants to do whatever his older brothers are doing.

In this case, he wants to stand on the step ladder. And grab Calvin's stick.

Which he succeeded in doing.

Which did not go over too well with Calvin.



And more drama.

All this over a stick.

There was one day though, when I caught them happily playing trains together in their room for an hour. It was everything I had ever hoped and dreamed for the two of them together.
I just know that one day, they will stop being so threatened by each other and will learn to love each other unconditionally. Regardless of who gets the stick.

Oh how I love these middle children of mine! I have much to learn from them.

November 19, 2009

girls and their boots

A week or 2 ago, I decided it was high time to buy a pair of boots.

The last time I bought a pair of boots was around 8 or 9 years ago. So, my taste in boots is a bit unrefined, to say the least.

I just assumed that I could run to the nearest store and pick up a pair of boots like I was picking up a loaf of bread of something.


This is me laughing hysterically, at how clueless I was.

I think in the course of one week, I must have exhausted every single shoe store I can think of. I even hit up TJ Max and Ross.

There must be a mathematical equation that determines the outcome of your boot purchase:
x(leg length) + y(torso length) - z(foot diameter) - radius of leg + boot color + boot length + toe elongation / pi= "the pair" of boots

And even though I did not know exactly what type of boot I was looking for, I quickly learned a few things:
  • I love a distressed brown finish
  • Round toes make me feel stubby
  • Pointed toes...well they look good but hurt my toes
  • A slightly elongated point that is not overly pointy would be perfect but does not exist
  • I need a heel to give me some height. Not too tall and skinny or I'll tip over, but not too fat that I appear to have a clunky horse hoof.
  • Slouchy boots are cute, but make me feel like Tina Turner
  • I would love a boot that hit just an inch or two below my knee.
  • It's hard to find a pair of boots that fits snug around the top.
  • You will get the stink-eye from other girls who wanted to try on that same boot.
  • Everyone in the world wears a size 7.
  • Heaven help the person that gets in the way of a girl and her boots if she should ever find "the pair".
And after reading my list of requirements I can see why.

Needless to say, I did not have much luck.

I brought home 4 different pairs of boots and thought they would all be fine, but most got the X from sister Jessica, John and Finn. Yes, even Finn had an opinion.

I ended up keeping one pair of boots. They are not even that spectacular and even failed the boot test on 2 separate accounts: the toe is a bit too round and the top part of the boot is not tall enough.
They were from Kohls and were on sale for $40. For now they are fine.

But if I should ever be in need of a pair of boots again, I think I shall have better luck online. Any suggestions?

November 15, 2009

it's the little things...

...that make the piles of laundry feel less insurmountable.

I just love getting notes from my little Romeo.

And I also love how I am holding Twain in this photo...and how Ollie's hair is sticking up. The similarity to our family is uncanny!

November 8, 2009

Can it be?

Is it possible that Twain is already 6 months old?


In the words of Talia, "If you need me, I'll be in the bedroom sobbing hysterically into a teeny-tiny little onesie".

Ha, Talia, you kill me:)

Well, what a difference a month makes. Last time I reported, Twain was the perfect little peach of a baby doll.

And's be kind and say he is teething.

Teething quite ferociously I might add. Making him exponentially more fussy than he used to be. Poor thing is gnawing on everything in sight.

Now, he is clingy.
And cries a lot.

The other night at Target, he was crying so persistently, that any ability for me to make a decision was thrown right out the window. He just wanted me to hold him.

We are giving him highlands teething tablets. Which seem to be helping. Or so I tell myself, to preserve my sanity:)

Don't get me wrong. There are many, many times when he is happy.

And there are even many times when he happily plays on the floor.

Twain at 6 months:

You are more fiercely determined than any of your brothers. You will stop at NOTHING to grab the object you desire.

You are sitting, for the most part, though you are wobbly at times.

You are a rolling machine and even tried to get to your knees a few times.

When you are not crying, you seem very excited about something. You adore your brothers and are determined to keep up with them.

When did you turn into such a wild little thing?

You are crazy about your mama, and do a lock-down stare at her anytime someone else is holding you. You just gotta keep her in your sight at all times.

I love you Twain...You certainly are keeping this mama on her toes!

November 4, 2009

They've created a monster!

You all know how I love beanies.


Inspired by my crafty friend


Advised by my talented seamstress-of-a-sister Jessica,

the two of them have created a monster--they taught me how to make beanies!

Someone stop me! You may never see the fuzzy head of my baby ever again! Or quite possibly, I may OD on beanies altogether, and never want to see one again. Only time shall tell.

I made a pattern on butcher paper and hurried off to get some fabric.

My first beanie had some issues. It was fine as long as you did not roll it up to give it a cuff. If you rolled it up, the seams stuck out. Yuck.

But I really wanted a cuff. The problem plagued my wee brain all through the night, as I tossed and turned in bed. I was feeling very insulted that I could not figure this problem out.

A phone call to my sister in the morning solved the problem. She is so smart. Thanks Jess ...and Becca, for giving me the idea!

The green beanie actually ended up being a gift for Lorie's dearest little Benjamin King.

I was happy to be able to make a matching green beanie, because the beanie I bought him a few weeks ago did not match the onesie as well.

And here is the blanket I made to go with the onesie and beanie.

The houndstooth and marled grey fabrics are made of wool

And here is the set all together.