Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Having a ball!

I started composing this post on Monday, but haven't been able to steal enough time away to finish writing and post it. Have you guessed yet? That's right! Stephen's parental leave came to an end after six wonderful weeks with the new family. Off to work he went bright and early Monday morning leaving me outnumbered by the boys for the very first time...

...and really it wasn't so bad at all. The boys were both on their best behaviour. They even napped together leaving me with a few hours to myself in the afternoons. I should have been napping too, but cooked an laundered instead. I tried to do some knitting but my WIPs don't lend themselves well to times alone with the wee ones. There's the anniversary sweater which frankly has me bored to tears (well not really, but you know what I mean) and the knitted ball from Fiona McTague's Knitted Toys which I started on the weekend while watching the worst sequel ever made, the kind that is so awful you just can't tear yourself away.

I should have been finished knitting this by now except that I decided to 'improve' on the pattern by knitting it in intarsia rather than the knitting the wedges separately and then sewing them together. I thought the intarsia would make neater joins (which it did) but it's probably not the best idea to knit a tiny colourful (read: attractive to kids) project with 6 balls of tangled yarn attached to it while you are home alone with a busy toddler and a hungry newborn! No wonder it's still on the needles ;0)

As for the boys, I was really nervous about how I would manage on my own. And while it's been trying and exhausting (I've been falling asleep on the couch after dinner), it's also been fun and enjoyable. Julian is such a sweet boy and is really a lot of fun to be around. And Logan is just beginning to be more aware of his surroundings which is really a lot of fun too. Except for an intense visit to the fence showroom, they've both been super good for mummy this week even if they didn't let me knit much of anything really ;0)

Plus it's been wondrous outside in these parts and we've been taking advantage and getting plenty of fresh air an sunshine which is great...except for Julian's swollen eye. Turns out the poor little guy is allergic to leaf mold and since we've been raking every chance we get (as has our entire neighbourhood) he doesn't stand a chance! His eye's been swollen for 3 days now and still seems to be getting worse and the medicine the doctor prescribed doesn't seem to help. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it'll magically get better tomorrow so we don't have to spend the weekend at the pediatric clinic again...

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

On this very same day...

...three years ago, Stephen and I vowed to love and honour each other forever.

We were married on a rainy morning in the chapel where Stephen was baptised. The youth choir that Stephen had sang with since he was just a lad sang for the occasion. It was very solemn. And beautiful. And meaningful. We exchanged vows and rings and gave each other communion. And when it was all done, we walked back down the aisle hand in hand to the choir singing the Beatle's anthem, 'love, love, love.' It was perfect!

Then it was off to the community centre nearby for a cocktail and five course lunch. We found the caterer through the local wedding show. We were trying to keep the wedding to a budget and were weary of all the glossy flyers we had picked up. There were a few photocopied menus we picked up somewhere and figured this is one we might be able to afford. And it was. Except it was delightful! The caterer was so sweet and kind...and genuinely excited and happy for us. She loved to do weddings and really went all out. We knew she would do a good job but were totally wowed when we walked in to the reception and saw all the first courses laid out. It was an asparagus and lemon feuillete and on each plate was a beautiful violet orchid. The plate looked like something right out of and epicurean magazine. Like I said, she was amazing. And everyone still talks about the wonderful potage crecy, the veal and of course the chocolate cake with marzipan fondant. Mmmmm.

We also hired a brass band to set the tone. We wanted an easy jazzy sound while we all munched and chatted with our guests. No dancing here...well just one for the bride and groom to the classic 'fly me to the moon.' The band leader was our former high school music teacher who we had tracked down for the occasion. They were great! The whole thing was so us. It was sophisticated and elegant, yet easy and simple.

In fact, we did a lot of the work ourselves from the invitations to the centrepieces (cream roses in clear glass vases with green glass votive holders and river rocks strewn casually about), to the cd 'seating cards' which doubled as favours (picture below). I even made my own and the bridesmaids bouquets before leaving for church! It was really nice to be involved so intimately with the little details. It's where the love is, you know ;0)

The best part though was that we felt so connected to each other and to our community. Everyone was so eager to help and lend a hand. And we let them. The whole thing was over by dinner time and Stephen and I got to go to our new home together. We got the house and moved in together at the same time as the wedding so really home is the only place we wanted to be.*

And we lived happily ever after...;0)

Our house

Wait, what's that you ask? What about the anniversary sweater? Well I didn't quite finish it in time for Stephen to wear during our actual cotton anniversary year which ended on April 16th. I've got the front and back as well as two-thirds of one sleeve done but didn't quite make it.

We'll pretend it is knit from leather (the traditional third anniversary gift) and I'll gift it to him this year for sure ;0)

* We joke around that we honeymooned at the home depot. It's one of those jokes that's funny because it's true! So this week, we reminisced by taking care of our house, doing some painting and door fixing and putting up blinds...well, let's just say we spent a lot of time at the home depot ;0)

Monday, April 09, 2007

Happy Easter!

We had a busy, but really sweet holiday weekend ;0) I finished knitting and felting Julian's Easter basket (though he has yet to use it since we haven't had our egg hunt yet...) and Logan's stuffed goose in the wee hours on Saturday night and I'm really happy with how they both turned out.

I felted an old Gap sweater which I haven't been able to fit into for years and used it to make the most adorable mother goose stuffie from Simmy's pattern. I used Peruvian Highland wool and this pattern for the basket though I omitted the applied i-cord (should have done it in retrospect ;0) and made 4 i-cords for a 4 strand braid handle instead. It was my first fancy braid and I think it it sooo neat. I used these directions which were nice and straightforward. Here's a view of the basket's handle.

I spent a lot more time than I thought fiddling with the basket though and didn't get around to making the toss bunnies I had planned to go with it. Oh well, next year! I didn't have time to knit a special Easter sweater for my Lolocopter, but it turns out the one I knit when I was pregnant fit just perfectly and I found perfect pants to wear with it from Julin's hand me downs. It was just meant to be ;0) The sweater is alpaca and I was really happy that it didn't seem to bother him one bit. Yay! He looked very handsome in it too and totally distracted the parishioners at church!

We hadn't been to church since Logan was born so no one had seen him yet and were eager to meet him. I handed him over to a family friend during the gospel who had so kindly offered to hold him "if he got too heavy for me *wink *wink" so I humoured her. She has four grown kids of her own and I figured she'd return the favour someday when my kids are grown and she's showing off her future grandkids! I enjoy seeing how people just melt in a baby's presence. I like to think that you can see people for who they really are in the presence of babies. And most people are beautiful. And sweet.

Julian (seen here modelling the cable ribbed sweater with hood I knit for the occasion - see my last post for details) hadn't seen me hand over the baby and when he realised I wasn't holding his baby brother anymore he got a genuinely worried expression on his face and asked very clearly "where's Lolo?" We were all impressed at his sentence and of course his concern for his brother. He's been really terrific. I'm just so proud of him ;0)

Here he is playing with the egg buggies while grandma was putting the finishing touches on a yummy spread. There was ham (my very favourite!) and all the fixings and then afterward we picked out the eggs that hadn't been damaged in the egg cart race and held egg battles in which you take turns hitting your hard boiled egg against others' to see who's is strongest. Julian missed the point of that one though and "smushed" his instead. Cute...but messy ;0)

At one point, Dada put Lolo tummy down on a blanket to show grandpa how strong the little one is getting. We don't often give the baby tummy time and I guess Julian has never seen him on his tummy so he came running over to tell us "he's up-si-down!!!" To cute! Here's the loveliness that ensued...

We had a really nice afternoon and then today the festivities continued with a visit to my sister's house for a late lunch. More ham and beans. Yum! And she was generous with the leftovers too! I'm totally having ham and eggs tomorrow morning.

The perfect end to a perfect holiday weekend ;0)

Thursday, April 05, 2007

"Hey look, places!"

But first, the knitting! I knit up the front, back and sleeves of my Jubilee Bubilee's Easter sweater in record time on the weekend and was feeling really good about my lofty goals. But then it seems I wasted away the entire week just seaming and seaming and seaming and knitting up the band around the hood and weaving in ends. Oh, and seaming some more. I always underestimate how long it takes to "finish" a project. But now, it's done. And I love it ;0)

Pattern: Cable and rib hooded sweater
Source: Debbie Bliss' Baby Knits Book
Yarn: Rowan All Seasons Cotton in 'cookie', 8 balls
Neeles: Size 5 & 6

You'll have to wait until after Easter to see my little guy wearing it though since its a present! As for Lolo, it turns out he already has a mommy knit sweater in waiting perfect for Easter which means I have two crafting days left until Sunday to make to make a felted Easter basket (inspired by this one) and some felted toss bunnies (inspired by these) for Julian and a stuffed goose (like this one) for my little Lemondrop.
And now for the story behind the post title: we got out this week! Yay! While Julian went on a play date with grandma and grandpa on Tuesday, Dada, Lolo and I went to the movies! Movies for Mommies that is ;0) It was my first time and i was pleasantly surprised. There must have been 30 babies there and most were fast asleep throughout the whole thing (incluing Lolo) and the rest were really well behaved. By the way, if you ever wondered what the indoor parking at the movie theatre is like at 10 am on a Tuesday morning, wonder no more. That's our car. All alone. It was quite surreal actually.

And then yesterday was a big day for Julian too: dada took for his very first haircut! Truth is he's been needing it for a while now, but we just hadn't gotten around to making an appointment at the tot salon. But we did yesterday. Now I didn't witness the momentous occasion first hand, but dada documented it for me.

The place was great with superfly chairs for little ones, TV sets with cartoons, colourful capes, and great-with-kids staff. Julian even came home with a 'special paper' which he was very proud to show me. It is a first haircut certificate complete with a little lock of his baby curls attached to the corner. It was a really nice surprise that I'll be really happy to show his future dates one day, heehee!


Sunday, April 01, 2007

Stash flashing!

Well today is the 3rd annual 'Flash your stash' day and in it's honour, I let out some of the stash to play. I celebrated the occasion with my favourite sock yarn especially dyed by me by the delightful jcasa. I had always wanted Kool Aid yarn but didn't have the guts to try Jen gathered some berry flavours and dyed this merino sock yarn for me. I have yet to find a deserving pattern so it is still unknit. Thought I keep it in a ziploc to maintain the integrity of it's Kool-Aidy aroma and enjoy a berry whiff every chance I get ;0) And yes, I totally lit candles atop my very favourite yarn. What? Yarn is self-extinguishing! Plus I supervised very closely!

Up next, eight balls of Elann's baby cashmere batter and six balls of berry pink Baby Silk (also from Elann...I heart that place!) frosting whipping up in the kitchen. Getting hungry yet?

And then, because I am watching my yarn figure, a little mixed green salad. Two shades of green from Hanne Falkenberg's Diva 8 kit (which I would like to destash -the kit including pattern - for $100 including shipping...let me know if you are interested! -- PENDING), some Peruvian Highland Wool in 'peridot' and a few balls of Elann Baby Silk also in 'peridot.'

Up next is all my beatnik yarn. All purchased in the last few months. All grey. All uninspiring! That's actually a colour photo, folks! Blah, eh? What can I say? All this Rowan ASC, Debbie Bliss Cotton Cashmere and Elann Devon was on sale ;0)

For those days when socks are just what the knitting doctor ordered...a medicine cabinet full of sock yarn. Mostly Sock it to Me from Elann and various lovelies from Knit Picks.

Some Rowan Wool in 'heath' (my favouritest yarn ever!) jamming up a baritone. Yup, we have a baritone! Bet you didn't know that about me, did you? I, of course, don't play the baritone. Neither does anyone I know. But I have one. One of the many many many weird things I discovered when my husband I moved in together. He's got lots of strange things but considering the amount of yarn I've got hiding under the bed...well I guess a baritone isn't that weird. I mean he does play the french horn. Though we don't have one of those. Just a baritone. Julian gets quite a kick out of it though. We take it out to toot at least once a week. Who knows, maybe Jujube will be some baritone maestro (is there such a thing?) someday. Right now though, he can't quite reach the mouthpiece ;0)

A sinkful of blue leftover from last year's flash your stash day. I did use up some of it for the menorah pillow this holiday season, but other than that. I'm still stashing all this blue ;0)

And this sirdar cotton too ;0) One of these days it'll become something cute. Perhaps trellis for Lolo?

Did you flash your stash today?