Thursday, August 27, 2009

Diapers and knitting

I've pretty much decided that for our next kids (someday folks, someday) we'll start off using cloth diapers. I do a load of laundry every other day anyway. Might as well. I especially decide this everytime Max gets a bout of diaper rash. With every sniffle, cough, virus, cold, and set of shots, Max gets a diaper rash. Sometimes it's just for a change or two, but this time (and a few previous times) it's been major. Like writhing, screaming on the changing table major.

Yesterday I was at my wits end and ended up putting a cloth diaper (used as a burping cloth around here, I have like three I never packed away) on him and held it on with our usual pampers, slathered him in mylanta and petroleum jelly, let him run around outside without anything on (complete with a strange look from a neighbor), and tried to get him to take a bath. I knew this one was bad because he wouldn't sit down, he would lay down or stand but I couldn't make him sit anywhere, not even in the bathtub.

Last night I even woke him to change him before I went to bed so that he wasn't in the same diaper all night. Today it looks a little better (but not much). He had his shots last Monday so it's been a week and a half. Hopefully by the end of this week we'll be completely back to normal.

Yesterday when he wouldn't sit just lay down, and he woke up very upset from his nap (with another dirty diaper)

Here's a picture that needs an explanation.

Today Max is wearing the most appropriate shirt ever. It says Making Mischief and has Max from Where the Wild Things Are. This is actually one of the few clothing items I've ever bought for Max and he just "had" to have it. Also if you click on the picture to make it bigger you might be able to see the bruise on Max's cheek. He has just been destructive in climbing things and then falling. This one even gave him a bloody nose and there were tears involved. As I was typing this sentence he climbed on top a little box he'd pushed in front of the tv stand and attempted to climb on top the stand. Yep, that's normal for us now.

I've finished two of the three WIPs (works in progress).

Mom's scarf is done- it was by far the hardest knitting project I had done this far. It still needs blocked, but it's done and ends are weaved in.

And Mr Monkey is modeliing the baby VVS blanket finished yesterday. I did great finishing the blanket and then it took forever to get the fringe on. I was supposed to use up all the yarn you see (that was the point in me making the blanket, to get rid of yarn) but I still had some left over so I made a little matching hat too. And I still have some of the yarn left over.

I also started a new project yesterday. The first of the two blankets for Nick and Kara. They don't know what they are having yet, so I chose brown and green for the blankets. One will have a band of brown with green in the middle and the other will be opposite.

I'm loving the seed stitch that makes the border. So quick. The pattern I'm working is the Big Bad Baby Blanket from the SNB book.

Here's the yarn projects I must complete before buying any new yarn....
Shelly's shawl
two big bad baby blankets
Rylee's hat
Max's hat
two more baby hats
mom's hat
baby sweater
hat and scarf set

so i thought it had nine projects, but really i have 12! better get my hooks and needles flying because after that it's a bevy of Christmas projects!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Busy-ness of life

I've not gotten to do the things I should and like to do with the busy-ness of life lately.
But here's some things that are flitting through my mind.

Our back yard looks amazing! Thanks Dad and Adam for their hard work this weekend. Adam is making his inaugural mow tonight (we've been paying a teenager to mow it until now).

I love our new chairs on our porch. They aren't what I want for long term out there, but I've sat a good spell on them each day since we've gotten them.

I'm loving the weather this summer here. Today its sunny, breezy and 73. Couldn't be any better.

If you haven't figured it out by now I had a habit of starting a lot of projects at once and then fizzling between them until they are finished. Goal for the day is to finish Mom's cable scarf and the VVS blanket. They are so close to being finished. That leaves one working project (the shawl) and a bazillion I want to start. In fact I've got so much yarn bought for projects I've put myself on a yarn store ban until I finish all the projects that the yarn is downstairs for. That's 6 unstarted projects people. 6! Two baby blankets, three hats (one adult and two childrens), and a baby sweater.

Here's some picture goodies to enjoy

Max had an ice cream cone, Kudos to Adam for suggesting we give it to him while he was in the bathtub. When he was done we just turned on the water.

I was setting up the camera for family pictures this weekend and caught these shots....

And then the family pictures where everyone is acting nice...

Apparently I didn't get the blue memo.

I'm off to my front porch while it's still nap time with some knitting and iced tea.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I while back my friend Mary Beth brought me some mint from her garden. It was weeks ago. To be honest I totally forgot about it. It got stuck in the back of the fridge and left there, until today. I thought of it there in the fruit crisper and used trusty google to find out what to do with it. Luckily the mint was still ok, it hadn't molded or anything. It still smelled fresh too.

I found these instructions and used the "microwave" method. Anything to cut some time out and who can leave their oven door open? Really? I'd like to try and keep Max away from that one.
It literally took me two minutes to dry all the mint. One minute to get all the leaves off the stem and one minute to dry it. I have them sitting and cooling now in a little plastic container to make sure all the moisture is gone, and then I'll be making some tea. I should have saved some to make tea with while fresh, but I wasn't thinking. But my whole house and especially my hands smell wonderful!

Otherwise, we're getting ready for guests this weekend (are there many weekends where we don't have guests?) and I'm trying to catalogue the books we have using Shelfari. If you are interested, there's also Library Thing and another one that's escaping my mind right now. It will be great to have them all organized. I do quite often say, "Do we have that book already?" I guess that's what happens when there's so many books you have read or want to read. But hmmm, I never have to wonder, "Do I already have that yarn?" I know every yarn I have by heart.

Today I've been watching (in between laundry and drying mint and knitting) Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? Hilarious old Tony Randall movie from the 50's. These types of movies always remind me of my mom. We used to sit and watch these oldies (but grandies!) any time we could. Normally while we were cleaning on a Saturday or on rainy days while she would normally be working on paperwork or one of her projects on the couch. my favorites are still The Greatest Show on Earth and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Well those are my favorites that don't involve Rock Hudson and Doris Day, that is. I think it's the music numbers that hook me. Such a grand and glorious time. Oh and the clothes! I love them.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Lavender- Oh I love Lavender

Lavender is my favorite scent. Basil and clean cotton are right up there, but there's something about lavender that makes me so happy.

So imagine my sheer joy last week when I won my sister in law's contest on her blog for culinary lavender (they went to a real life Lavender Farm!) and I received it the other day. I put it in the kitchen and smelled the little package each time I walked by.

Today I made one of the recipes she included with the packet, it was this recipe for Honey Lavender Biscotti. It really is delicious. I cut some time off the recipe on both bakings, only 20 minutes for the first one and 10 for the second. I also used just a smidge of orange juice instead of zest because I didn't have an orange. It's so good, I just had a couple of pieces dipped in warmed up vanilla coffee from this morning. The biscotti good, the coffee not so much. Max even loved it (dipped in the coffee). Have we talked about how my son loves coffee already? Of course I don't let him really have it, but oh goodness. Already?

(Max signing please asking for more)
I can't wait to try the other recipe Laura sent for Cottage Cheese Herb Bread using some more of the lavender this weekend for when family's in town. YUM!

We are having a serious obsession in our house with Mickey Mouse (affectionately called Hot Dog). The stuffed version is being carried around day and night, the scrap book I'm working on has lovely little finger prints because of it's Disney nature, Tigger (from Pooh) is getting called Hot Dog also because of his likeness to Pluto as far as I can figure, and if the tv is on Max constantly points at it, says "Hot Dog" and signs please, repeat that 4000 times a day and that's what my day is like. Sometimes if the tv is not on, he'll turn it on and repeat the same. I'm so glad he loves something I can at least tolerate. you kno, it's not the wiggles, it's educational, and Disney is something Adam and I both have a love for. And at least it's not the Disney Princesses.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Max's Stats...

Max went for his 15 month checkup today. He weighed 27lb 10oz (86%) and was 32" (76%) tall. This is a weight gain of 3lbs but with a growth of 2". He's quite tall and lean now, if you haven't noticed in the pictures. Clothes that were fitting are a little big again. but his shorts actually look like shorts instead of capri pants.

He got shots again, and he's finally caught up on all his vaccinations. We've had a quiet day and praying he doesn't get a fever and reaction. It's a great day for quiet, it's rainy and dark.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Photo Shoot

Along with our busy Saturday Adam and I took to the back yard with Max to have a little photo shoot. I was organizing some old photos (on the computer) and Adam made mention of us not having done this in a while, so off we went! I even had a few moments to do a little editing of them this afternoon while Adam entertained Max. It so fun and so nice to have a whole completed project.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Ok, so it was more than a "few" but considering I took 271 pictures off the camera, edited them down to 76 and only posted 14 here for you, I'm considering it a "few."

A weekend in photos

We've had a busy weekend-

Friday, we went to a fish fry with friends at a local sportsman club. We ate, had great conversation, and took a walk around the lake.

Max also decided the best place to read is right in this little wagon of his.

This morning we checked out another Farmer's Market (thanks Heidi for the suggestion!) and though we didn't purchase anything, I want to go back again. It was so much fun!

We then walked around Bradley University campus and had lunch, on the way back we were trying to keep Max awake so that he could take his nap when he got home. He was so sleepy, we kept singing songs and tickling him. By the end he would just keep his eyes closed and talk to us or laugh at us, it was so darn cute!

This weekend is also the Washington Arts Festival. We arranged to meet a couple from church there to walk around together and grab dinner, but we didn't know they closed all the booths for the day at 5pm. We were too late! Max and I will just have to venture up there tomorrow afternoon while Adam's playing softball. But they did still have live entertainment and so after dinner we let Max run around the square and entertain everyone with his dancing and spinning.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Catch me if you can!

Doesn't he look innocent? Well I'm here to tell you, he's definitely not!

We seem to be playing catch me if you can alot with Max these days, he runs everywhere! I especially noticed it this week while I was down with a cold. I'd have to heave myself off the couch to remove Max from a situation about fifty thousand times an hour. And he's taken to running away when he knows he's in trouble. If there's ever any question about us being born with sin, just watch a 15 month old boy. There's no way he could have learned this stuff, it's all natural folks.

Today he only took a 20 minute nap. That's definitely not the norm for him, but it made for an interesting afternoon of me trying to get him to nap. I just left him in his crib, and he would alternately cry and talk for 15 minutes at a time, so I knew he wasn't terribly upset, but he never did fall asleep. I eventually got him out and decided to just chill and he almost fell asleep right on the couch, until he realized it and then stood up and started dancing so that he wouldn't zonk out. Goofy child. I just hope it's not a new habit for him. Here he is spaced on the couch watching tv.

I love summer and fall most for the food. I'm gonna admit it, I love food. Luckily, I love food that's good for me too, but I've realized that dieting never works well in my household because I love to cook. I give away as much as I can when I do go on a baking bender, but you always have to taste it before you give it away right?

I always feel weird when people say I'm a good cook or they like something I made because cooking is not something I've done for long. I didn't know how to cook when I got married, but like everything else I do, I picked it up and ran with it. We couldn't afford to eat out our first (and the rest too) year of marriage so I had to learn. Adam doesn't like hamburger helper and that's all I knew how to make. We still occasionally have macaroni and cheese out of the box for dinner, but I'm happy with the repertoire I've built up over the years, and I'm always game to try a new recipe. There's always a frozen pizza in the freezer in case it doesn't turn out.

I have my tried and true recipe books. I always go first to my Better Homes and Gardens book and then after that The Joy of Cooking always makes an appearance, especially if I'm working with an ingredient I've never used before or I want to know something specific. I also do a lot of internet recipe finding.

I guess I always figure that anyone can cook if they can follow directions, but I also know that the best things I make come from trial and error, by knowing how you want it to look, smell, and taste and just giving it a little something else that's not in the recipe. That's what makes it good.

I've been attempting to make Adam eat things he normally wouldn't. He always puts up a fuss, but tries it anyway, and then normally says he doesn't like it. Oh well, I'll keep trying.

So with all the blueberries I've had lately I've been tossing them in just about everything Max and I are eating (I've discovered that although I like strawberries in my salads, I'm not a huge fan of blueberries in them). I briefly mentioned previously a variety of things I've been making with them. Tonight I tried one more. I made muffins from scratch. I'd always used mixes before.
I used my trusty Joy of Cooking basic muffin recipe and doubled it, then split it in half, and made blueberry with half and lemon poppy seed with the other half.

Lemon poppy seed muffins are my favorite. In high school when I went to OSU my senior year I had to take the city bus. I didn't have a car. And the bus schedule never worked out quite right so I would be early for class. The best bus stop stopped right in front of Insomnia the best dark squirrelly local coffee shop there ever was. I would stop in there for a cup and a muffin most mornings. They had the best lemon poppy seed muffins. I've dreamed about those muffins (while pregnant, mind you).

So at any rate tonight I made a lot of muffins. They are good. Not great , but good enough that I can alter the recipe next time I make them to make them better, and they were almost as easy as making a mix, and they didn't take any strange ingredients. Tonight I altered the recipe a little bit. I used half whole wheat flour and half all purpose. I also juiced a whole lemon in the batter. So that would be half a lemon in a regular batch of the batter. I like it because it gives it just a hint of fresh to it but I think it cut the sweetness out a little from the batter and Adam wanted the muffin to be more sweet and sugary. Oh well, we can't win them all.

Most of them are going to work with Adam tomorrow to be passed out to the church secretary and missionaries who are living in the parsonage while on furlogh.

Today Max and I were running errands and we ended up at the Peoria Metro Centre Farmer's Market. That's the biggest one (that I know about) in the area and they are open during the week also. We ended up with some locally grown tomatillos and some potatoes (I love love love fresh potatoes). The tomatillos were a novelty I couldn't pass up because they were in every grocery store in Texas and I hadn't seen them in so long. I'm planning on roasting them and making breakfast burritos for dinner this week sometime.

They look like green tomatoes with a papery skin and they are kinda like tomatoes and chilis mixed together. They have a hint of lemon in them too and are mostly used to make salsa.

Max loves to crawl up the stairs. Sometimes I get sick of carrying him back down and reprimanding him so sometimes we stay up and I close us in my craft room (soon to be Max's big boy room) and turn on the window air conditioner and we play. Max plays with glue sticks (for my hot glue gun -- they are not in the glue gun, they are just sticks of glue), ribbon, yarn, tissue paper, storage tins, pillow forms, fabric, stickers, anything he can get his hands on. He loves that he can actually crawl up on the twin bed himself and loves to get up on it and jump to his heart's content.

And I love it because I've actually be working on a couple of projects. I made a couple of the things you've seen recently, the butterfly shirt sent to Kate in the PNW, and I've been making cards again. They are such an easy project that I can whip one or two out while keeping Max out of trouble.

Then I got a grand idea while up there the other day. SCRAPBOOKING! I loved scrapbooking before we had the munchkin. In fact I have so many supplies that I use for cards and such that I could probably make a million scrabooks with just supplies on hand. I also have more than enough "boy" materials to make Max's scrapbook. The only problem with that is I don't ever print of pictures now. Everytime I think to myself that I should just go ahead and upload like three or four for every month to walmart and just have them printed I get nervous because I've taken literally 4 bazillion pictures since the kid's been born. And I haven't deleted a single one. I don't even hardly have any printed out and put around the house. I just need to do it sometime. Just sit down and spend the day organizing the many cds of pictures I have.

But I do have a started and unfinished scrapbooking project from the Disney trip Adam and I took in 2005. Yes, 2005. August 2005 to be exact, so that's 4 years it's taken me to actually work on this scrapbook again. So then I stress a little less about working on Max's, he's only been alive a year. I'll get to it someday.

I got out the Disney scrapbook and all the stickers, and papers, and stamps, and pictures, and memorabilia, and laid it all out. Really for those of you who scrapbook, you know that getting everything out really takes the longest, that's why I keep putting it off. Everytime I would get it out I'd only have time to do a page or two then I'd have to pick it all back up. But upstairs I can just leave it out on my work table. It's a separate table from where I have my sewing machine, so if I need to I can still sew. I can just leave everything spread out and ready to go as I get a few minutes here and there. I have all the pictures organized by place (this was already done) and I just have to caption as I go. It was a nice trip down memory lane while getting it out. That was our biggest vacation all by ourselves we've ever taken besides our honeymoon. It was a fabulous week, and I had the cutest haircut.

In other crafts, I've been working on and exploring lots of knitting patterns. It's like I've opened the door to a whole new realm that I couldn't even fathom before. But while I'm knitting sometimes I'm still limited with what I can do logistically. I've made a fool out of myself asking silly questions at the local yarn shop. I've discovered that crocheting is really the easiest to design and revise in like altering a pattern to make it a custom fit, or embellishing, or being creative. But knitting it so very delicate and utilitarian at the same time.

I've been working on a crocheted shawl in a soft, bulky yarn. It will be perfect for winter. It's for a friend of the family who is always cold.

And a crocheted baby blanket with an unknown recipient so far. I'm waiting to see who's having what.... I have 3-4 boy colored blankets finished and waiting for babies to warm. I have a lot of boy colored yarn. This blanket is my quick and easy project. It's a well known pattern and my hands just go about it on their own.

And then there's Mom's scarf which is a labor of love. It's not a hard pattern, but it's just having the patience to complete it. Knitting takes so much more patience than crochet, but I love how it's turning out. And it's a lovely ruby color, not the bright orange it appears to be in the badly lit photo.

Well If you've made it to the end of this post, thanks for sticking it out. I always feel like there's so much to talk about when I haven't blogged well in a few days. If I was a good blogger I would break it up and post it on different days, but I'm not that good of a blogger anyway. We've been so busy (besides getting rid of these colds), there's been something for us to do out of the house every day for the past two weeks (or someone over at the house), and Adam has started Thursday visits with members of our church again. Tomorrow we are having girls night/boys night with the youth before they go back to school (the girls are watching movie(s) here at our house) and then Friday we'll be at a sportsman club fish fry with some people from church, and then Saturday and Sunday is the big art festival in town. I can't wait for that.

Monday, August 10, 2009

We've been passing around a cold and I finally have it. So not much has been going on the past two days. A lot of naps, and soup, and staying inside in the air conditioning. But luckily before the cold hit we were enjoying blueberries- just alone, with homemade whipped cream, cobbler, and others that I can't think of right now.

I've been working on a few projects (never just one!) And once I'm feeling better will have photos.

I was informed tonight that a baby blankie I was making needed to be doubled. My brother Nick and his wife Kara are having twins! Oh boy, two new babies for Max to poke and prod. :)