Monday, August 24, 2009

Oh, Monkey See......

Well, I finally feel like we are falling into the new rhythm of busy school year combined with The Greatest's new work schedule. There are still a few bugs and kinks to work out, but a new "normal" is emerging. This is good. As I get older I find myself grooving on quiet normal days. It sounds ordinary and boring, and it might be. But trust me, the children find all kinds of new and inventive ways to "mix it up" and keep my on my toes. (Does anyone know how to get crayon out of my lovely new table cloth?)

Sweet Pea no longer fusses as the older children leave for school. Instead she contently waves them "bye-bye" throwing in a few kisses for good measure. She has discovered that life with Mommy is not so bad. There is unfettered access to all the toys, hours of book reading, afternoon swims where no one splashes her, peaceful trips to run errands where she is the center of attention, and even the occasional lunch out. Its not such a bad gig. And despite my best intentions I am beginning to understand why the youngest always ends up so spoiled.

I fear she might be spending just a little too much time alone with me.

Friday, after the older children had left for school, I turned on Dora to keep Sweet Pea company as I attended to a few chores. Sweet Pea usually watches for a bit, joins me in my chores for a bit, wanders back to Dora for a bit. Its all good.

As I unloaded the dishwasher (a favorite chore of Sweet Pea's) her absence was quite noticeable. I peeked around the corner to make sure everything was alright. She was contently sitting on the couch watching Dora WITH MY KNITTING ON HER LAP. I tried not to hyperventilate. The project in question was a shawl with roughly eleventy billion stitches on the needle. I was currently in a middle of short row shaping with picked up stitches, and lots of stitch markers, and did I mention the eleventy billion stitches. If she pulled out the needle, or even dropped a bunch of stitches it would be disastrous. I knew I would never get it back together right and would likely have to start over or abandon the entire project.

Fearfully I crept closer to peek over the back of the couch and assess the damage. I silently prayed that she had simply pulled it onto her lap for warmth. As I drew nearer this is what I saw.


Notice that the needles are in her hand. She was very slowly rubbing them back and forth against one another as she watched TV.


In her little mind she was KNITTING! Knitting as she watched TV, just like Mommy. I'm not sure if I'm proud or embarrassed. My sweet baby girl. Could I love her anymore?

It turns out I could.

She didn't drop any of my stitches.

Friday, August 21, 2009

This Episode of Friday Loving Has Been Pre-Empted

Today was supposed to be a very special episode of Friday Loving brought to you by Sweet Pea. But I fear another momentous occasion has occurred that takes priority over cute pictures of her shoes (and they are oh so cute).

Meaty has had a loose tooth for WEEKS. He wiggles it constantly, worrying it back and forth with his finger or his tongue. Every time we caught him sitting there wiggling his tooth we told him to just pull it out. But Meaty is a fearful child. The thought of pulling his tooth out just sounded painful, no matter how loose the tooth in question might be. So he flatly refused to pull it, preferring to slowly wiggle it to death.

The new tooth began to grow in his mouth, peeking through is gums behind the loose tooth. Still he refused to pull it.

He complained it now hurt to wiggle because the old tooth was hitting the new tooth. Still he refused to pull it.

He proudly declared his loose tooth was so loose it would lay flat in his mouth. And still he refused to pull it.

Last night after bed time he came downstairs for one last drink of water. Again he commented on how loose his tooth was. I asked him if I could wiggle his tooth.

That poor unsuspecting child. He so eagerly scurried over to me, presenting his mouth as large as he could make it so I could see just how wiggly his tooth was.

I gently put my thumb and index finger in his mouth. And in one quick tug, before he could realize my plan, I pulled it.


Being the good knitter I am, I can turn any occasion into a reason to knit. In our house, all baby teeth must be placed in a special bag where the tooth fairy can find them. When Meaty first announced his tooth was loose he was not only excited about the impending visit from the Tooth Fairy, he was also proud that he was finally going to get his very own Tooth Fairy bag. When we went to my yarn cabinet to pick out a yarn he already knew which one he wanted.


Pattern: Mandy's Candy Bag

Yarn: Team Feet Sock Yarn, in That Team Up North

Needles: Size 2 Harmony Circulars

Modification: I used really thin yarn on really small needles. The rest was the same.


So proudly we put the newly freed tooth in the bag where it would patiently sit waiting to be exchanged for cold hard cash. The Tooth Fairy is notoriously unreliable in our home. She often takes a day or two to show up. I think the record is five days. I warned Meaty that since he lost his tooth after bedtime he might not be on the Tooth Fairy's schedule. She might not know he lost his tooth, or if she did she might not have enough money on her to get his tooth. But he felt confident that she would show.


And she did! He woke up this morning, no worse for the wear, having survived his toothy ambush. I on the other hand had an unsettling dream that all his teeth were loose and needed pulled at once. He just sat there with his mouth open wide, all those wiggly white teeth just staring at me *shudder* This is why I let Pork Chop pull her own teeth.

This morning he asked me what the Tooth Fairy did with the teeth. I told him I didn't know. He told me I should "Ask the computer. It knows everything."


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I'd love to update my blog

But I'm entirely too busy with my new toy!


It is insane how happy pretty little cakes of yarn make me.

Although it would be irresponsible of me to leave you with the idea that all these cakes are little. Some are the size of Sweet Pea's head.


(Don't you just love how she's wearing shoes with her diaper? The girl loves her shoes!)

Yarn cakes make her happy.


*sigh* They make me happy too.

I'd love to tell you all about my new toy and how it came to live with me.....but I've got this beautiful hank of yarn that is just begging to be turned into a cake so I can knit a sock.

Better blogging soon....

Saturday, August 08, 2009

And a Beginning

The first day of school has come and gone.

Years from now Bird is going to be all angsty and she's going to look for signs that I just don't love her as much as I love my other children. She will point to the five pictures I took of her first day of school and compare them to the pages and pages of pictures I took of the other children. She will hold this up as proof of my blatant favoritism. She will declare that I didn't love her then and I don't love her now.

The truth is, I didn't take as many pictures because she wouldn't put her hand down and smile.


She will blame me. But the truth is she has no one to blame but herself.

We are getting into the new groove of school. The older children are loving school. Once again Pork Chop feels she has "the BEST teacher EVER!" Meaty has promised to leave the classroom fish alone "when I'm supposed to be learning." And he is well on his way to getting a 100 on his first spelling test. It is so cool, and odd at the same time to see him setting goals for himself at school. He's growing so fast.

But Bird. Oh my Bird. She is my favorite kindergartner EVER!

You send your children to school and imagine them coming home full of stories to tell as you share milk and cookies at the kitchen table after school. The reality of the dream is you ask them how their day went and they say "fine." Any further information about their day must be pull out of them using interrogation skills that would make FBI investigators jealous.

But not my Bird!

She greets me at the kindergarten gate brimming with enthusiastic stories to share. She tells me every detail about her day. She sings me all her songs. She wants to teach me all the games they've played. She LOVES school. And I love her.

The only unhappy member of the family is Sweet Pea.

Each morning she eats breakfast at the table with the older children, just like a big girl. No high chair for her anymore. Then she rushes upstairs with them to get dressed. After she picks out her own clothes and is suitably adorned she toddles to the bathroom to have her hair done, just like a big girl. She is all dressed up and ready to go.

She watches out the window for the carpool to arrive. As the older children rush out the door in a flurry of kisses and backpack she tries to slip past in the chaos. But I see her. And she must stay with me.

Each morning I hold her as she cries and flails and tries to go to school, just like a big girl.

Doesn't she know there'll be time enough for that?

Can't she stay my baby for just a little longer?

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

An End

Today is the last day of Summer.

Yes, I am aware that the calendar dictates that summer actually extends until September 21st. And at 110, the weather outside would suggest that summer is still going strong.

Yet today is still the final day of Summer.

Tomorrow I release my children into the open arms of the public education system. I'm fortunate. I really like our school.

Once again I stand a jumble of emotions. On one side I am so happy for my children and all they'll learn and do. School is exciting and I am excited for them. I'm glad they have a love of learning and I want to encourage that. On the other side I am hesitant to let them go. I long to keep them by my side, safe and sound, always. They are my babies, why won't they stay babies?

But everyday, despite my best efforts, they grow and become their own people, and distance themselves from their parents in tiny immeasurable ways. One day I will wake up and they'll be gone, and I won't know how it happened. All those tiny ways they grow and gain independence add up. And this is as it should be.

But it doesn't mean I have to like it.

As I look back on this summer I will remember it as one happy summer. I'll forget the bickering and the times I wanted to sell them to the circus, or abandon them in Wal-Mart.

I will remember:

-dinners with friends
-grilled everything
-swimming, swimming, and more swimming
-the smell of sunscreen
-Fourth of July
-the miracles of modern medicine
-night swimming past bedtime
-did I mention good friends?

All the truly important things in life: laughter, giggle, sticky kisses, love. They were all present in abundance this summer. I am grateful for the life I have been blessed with.

It was a wonderful summer. I wave it a sad good-bye.

Is it too soon to start counting the days until the next summer?

Monday, August 03, 2009

And some more of the same...

So you might have noticed I seem to be knitting (crocheting, whatever) a lot of hats lately. I am indeed on a hat knitting streak. Which is a little crazy, as the temperatures still hover between 110 and 120 here in the desert. Nobody is wearing a knit hat anytime soon. So why am I knitting all these hats?

It all started with a pregnant lady.

And no, that pregnant lady is not me.

I visit the sweetest lady who was expecting her third child. An impending birth is always an excuse to knit. So I whipped up these cute hats for her baby.


Just two rolled brim hats from Itty Bitty Hats. The pale blue one is newborn size, thin and light, just enough to keep the chill off a newborn's head in the air conditioning. The darker hat is thicker for winter wear. It is 6-12 month size, so I'm hoping they will be able to use it at some point, no matter where her husband ends up being stationed.

These sweet tiny hats got me thinking.

We've lived here for almost three years now and each year winter takes me by surprise. Part of that could be because it doesn't arrive until December, and by that point I'm sure it is never going to come. But it does, in a way, not in a snowy way, but in a put on a jacket and wear a hat kinda way. And each year I find myself digging out the dirty hats from the bottom of the closet that they abused the previous year. By the time I get around to knitting them new hats winter is practically over. I'm not even sure I bothered knitting them new hats last year. (I just checked the archives of my blog. I didn't)

But not this year.

I will be prepared for winter!

I'm knitting their hats now.

That is when the green hats of which we will never speak again happened.

I told Pork Chop that since the green hat wasn't going to work out, I needed her to pick out what kind of hat she would like. I was prepared to go through my patterns with her, maybe spend sometime looking at ravelry patterns with her. She would hem and haw trying to decide just the perfect hat as if her life depended on making the right choice. Then there would be the trip to pick out just the right yarn to go with her hat. It was going to be a big long bonding process.

But the moment I got the words out of my mouth Pork Chop tore out of the room. I watched her, amused, but wondering what on earth she was doing. Did the thought of wearing a hat send her running from the room in horror? She came back clutching my copy of "Charmed Knits" to her chest. She frantically scrambled through the pages until she found just what she wanted.

"This one!" she demanded as she slapped the open book down on the couch beside me.

"In red." she quickly added before I could even begin to formulate a follow-up question.

So Hermione's Cable and Bobble hat it is.

In red.


Pattern: Hermione's Cable and Bobble Hat

Yarn: Don't know, maybe Red Heart? It was worsted.

Needles: Size 6

Modifications: None



That's right. Another fail. I knit this when my head still hurt. I'm gonna blame the fail on that.

I forgot that this is an adult pattern and Pork Chop, as big as she is, still has a child size head. I should have used a dk or sport weight for the yarn. I sighed in pained frustration as I realized I was gonna have to knit those stupid bobbles a second time in a different yarn. But Pork Chop was undaunted. She calmly flipped the brim up a second time and declared herself cute.


as she airily told me "Isn't that the important thing Mom?"

I suppose it is.