Friday, December 29, 2006

Getting more real

Mom just told me that they got their funds for the house so closing could happen soon. I told her to let the current owners know so they can start making arrangements. They still have to get the mold treated and the wiring straightened out and the final inspection. Plus 10 days to move, but at least there is light at the end of the tunnel. I'm very excited, can't wait! Poor G1 is still dealing with some feelings of sadness and/or loss in regard to the move. He says he'll miss his friends (I will too, sniff), they will be too far away to visit very often (true), he'll miss this house (the only one he remembers), it's so nice and big... the other house has a lot of doors (I think meaning that it's not the open floor plan that he's used to). I kind of think that the sooner we can get settled in the new house, the better it'll be for all of us. Wish I had more time to pack (more time during the day, not between now and when we move), maybe I'll be able to do some packing this weekend, I hope I hope.

Almost Cruisin'

Eli is pulling up on things now and I will find him standing up in his crib, holding on to the side rail when he wakes up from his naps. His balance is getting better and better.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Aha! I knew it!

Another tooth showed it's face today and I'm glad that Eli's wakefulness has a reason. He actually slept in till 8:30 this morning which was mighty nice. Hope he'll do that again tomorrow.

Happy Boxing Day

When I lived in Malawi, Boxing Day was the day when we'd "box" up our leftovers or small gifts to give our help, and any other locals who provided a service to us. It was usually soap and toothpaste and practical things like that. Anyway, I regress... I am now over the Christmas hump and I'm still all in one piece, lol.

Sunday, we went to the pediatric ward at the hospital around noon and gave out gifts to the few kiddos who were there, also left a few more in the kids ER for the ones who might come through later.

Then we came home and we all cleaned house a bit, the kids cleaned in their room too so I could wrap presents. In the evening the kids and I acted out the Christmas story as read from the Bible by DH. We also sang a bunch of Christmas carols which was fun. Then we opened presents (well, the kids did anyway). We actually ended up with more than I thought. I forgot that DH had brought some dollar store toys home awhile back so I got them out of hiding and wrapped those (Dora dominos, a Dora velcro bullseye game, a plastic doll, some trucks, several stocking stuffers, and whatever I came up with the other day). I didn't get the quilt or finger puppets done in time so they will have to wait a little longer. They had fun playing with their toys till it was time for bed. Gigi played with her tea set with her ceramic doll. Then it was bedtime and mommy got to stay up till after 1 a.m. again working on Gigi's quilt.

Yesterday, after getting up, we did some more cleaning before my parents got here. After they got here, I started an apple pie and my rolls in the bread maker. While we were waiting for lunch, we worked on a puzzle. For lunch we had roti, vegetarian "conch" stew on rice, rolls (they were't done till everyone was done eating tho :(, green salad, and green bean salad (diced tomatoes, chopped small cooked fresh green beans, chopped boiled eggs, mayo & garlic salt to taste...yummo!). Very non-traditional, but very good! We waited on the dessert for a couple of hours to give our tummies time to digest. After lunch, we let the kids open their presents from Grandma and Grandpa. I know I'll probably forget something, but here's what I remember: a coloring book and large box of crayons each (these are for the older two unless I specify), a Russian hat for G1, matryoshka / nesting dolls for Gigi, a Leappad Word Wammer game for both of them, a firetruck and train that track a dark line on paper (a black crayon or magic marker line works), a quilt for Gigi and a box of real Legos (not Duplos) for G1. Eli got a graduated shape stacker toy (with the rings getting smaller as they go up), and a baby Leappad. After this, DH & I sat down with Dad so he could show me some things for the contract work I'm doing for him. Then a little before M&D left to go back home, our new neighbors came over with gifts for the older 2. I had never met the wife so it was really nice to chat with them for a little bit. They were really nice. I'm going to make some banana bread today or pumpkin bread to take over there as a thank you. I'll have the kids make a card too.

Eli started babbling "da da" yesterday so that was his gift to his dad. He also let me sleep in till 8:30 this morning so that was his gift to me :) He's doing much better so I think maybe it was just teething (he did get snuffy too) and hopefully he's past the bad part for whatever tooth is trying to come in.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

House Update

Mom's glad that they did a home inspection because the inspector found mold under the house which the current owners will have treated. Also there was a problem with the ground wires to the outlets so an electrician will have to come out and get that fixed as well. There is only sub-flooring under the carpet. If it had been hard wood, we'd probably have ripped up the carpet. Oh well... Also, Mom asked about their piano and they said that if their son didn't want it or have room for it, they'd be open to selling it. We can hope :) G1 is getting so good on the piano and I really want him to have one available to him at the new house.

Christmas Eve

I can't believe it's already going to be Christmas tomorrow. I'm not ready, waaaaah! I stayed up late last night knitting finger puppets for the older 2, got about 4 done. Well, mostly, I still need to add hair and faces. I'm hoping I can do that this afternoon during "quiet time" and I'll have to get the wrapping done then too. I guess it's going to be a craft kit for G1, a ceramic doll (for Gigi's dresser), a couple of other odds and ends from the thrift store, and the finger puppets. Plus G1 and Gigi will be exchanging dollar store gifts that I helped them get for each other. I hope it will be enough. This afternoon we're going to go to a local hospital and take presents for the kids who will be stuck in the hospital at Christmas. Tomorrow my folks will come down and bring more presents and I'll also hopefully have a quilt sewed up for Galena by then. Kinda tips the scales in her favor tho... hmm, maybe I'll save the puppets and quilt for tomorrow and we can open the other ones tonight. I feel kinda rotten because I didn't even have time to make anything for DH or my mom & dad. My intentions were to have a passel of finger puppets, a collection of nice knitted food, some sweaters, hats and scarfs for their Pooh bears, ... a scarf (Flora) for my mom, maybe some slippers for my dad, a manly scarf for DH... If I didn't have to work every spare moment, I would have been able to do it I think. Oh well, I just hope the older folk will understand. For DH (whose birthday is coming up in another couple of weeks or so), I might be able to knock out a scarf and I also have a couple of gift cards that I can use to buy some necessities like underwear/undershirts, socks, dress shirts, nice ties... I thought I'd wait for another week or so to let the holiday shopping/returning die down a bit before doing that.

The Wakey Monster

I think we have a "wakey monster" loose in our house. His job is to keep Eli awake as much at night as possible and ruin mom & dad's chances for a decent night's sleep. Yawn, yawn and loooonngg drawn-out yawn. He used to let me sleep in till 8 or 8:30 (before the time change), but since then, seems to want to wake up before the sun does. If I get to bed early enough it's not a huge problem, but last night (er, this morning), it was 1:30 a.m. And then he didn't want to sleep in his crib, he would wake up and cry every time I put him in his crib after nursing him. So I let him sleep in bed with us which worked a little better, but then I was more accessible. He's either trying to "up" my milk supply or his sniffles that he seems to have developed in the last day or so are interfering with his sleep. Ugh! I hope whatever it is decides to vamoose soon so I can get some better sleep again soon.

Saturday, December 16, 2006


These are the physical pull up type rather than the disposable diaper type and they are being performed by Eli. He's also getting up on his knees, rocking back and forth so will be crawling soon. What a guy!

Friday, December 15, 2006

A Blue Christmas

I'm having such a hard time getting into the Christmas mood this year. I have the spirit and desire, but time and energy are another thing altogether. With 2 kids messing things up faster than I can clean and one baby crawling around (me going one step ahead making sure there isn't anything on the floor he could choke on...), I'm not getting a whole lot done. Plus I've started packing and the place is quite frankly a mess. I really want to find room for the tree... I really almost wish we could be in the new house for Christmas. We could put the tree in the living room (or family room for that matter) in front of the window, we'd have enough room... Oh well. I did get the mantle decorated and the kids put a bunch of plastic balls on our ficus tree, lol. I'm really hoping that I can get to it sometime this weekend or next week when DH will be home.

The House Story

It's really a pitiful story and yet is full of hope too. DH owns/runs/manages (with the help of 1 part-time employee, well, not counting me) a fitness franchise almost 2 hours north of where we are currently living. He's been in business for himself for 3 years and we're still not breaking even. In his defense, there was gradual growth and it was paying for itself for a few months prior to Hurricaine Katrina hitting. Then gas prices spiked and our membership started dropping. We haven't had an income aside from $400 a month that DH was able to pay me for awhile (I work part time handling the deposits). Last year I started doing some contract data entry work part-time from home which paid a little better, but still not enough to make ends meet. We've used up our savings, cashed in all our profitable stocks and bonds (we'd lose money after commission on any we still have), cashed in our retirement, racked up massive credit card bills, till finally we got a foreclosure notice and chose to avoid that with bankruptcy. Not a fun thing, but we really want to try to make the club work, we just need more time/a new start... yada yada. We've prayed and prayed about it and know we have lots of people praying for us. We feel that God is leading us to leave our house and probably to move closer to the club so I can help out more and so that we can be together more as a family. DH has been staying up there during the week so we only see him on the weekends. It's tough being an only parent during the week to 3 very active/needy (one nursing and in diapers) kiddos and trying to find time to fit in 3 or 4 hours of work a day. So we were going to have to see if we could find something in the $300-$500 a month range, but even that was going to be pushing our limits (after taxes, utilities, insurance...). Then my parents said they wanted to look for investment property up in that area and they'd let us live in it rent-free until we can get back on our feet or start making payments. My mom got on the ball right away and her realtor neighbor helped her find an older (40 years old) brick home about 10 minutes away from the club (hallelujah!!!), 3 minutes away from our bank (where I'd be making the deposits), 4 minutes from Wal-Mart (appologies to those who HATE Wal-Mart, but that's all we can('t) afford right now), very close to a library, maybe 10 minutes from my best friend, 15 minutes away from my brother and his wife (and the mall), a few minutes from the interstate... The house is on 2+ acres of land and even tho it doesn't have a basement like our current house, it has an extra room and both a living room and a den (which our house doesn't have) so it may actually have more room (at least more rooms). It comes with a pool (yee-haw, and it's fenced in), a treehouse, riding mower, some other tools and pool equipment and a long paved driveway. I am just so jazzed and almost can't wait for closing so we can start to move our things in. It'll be a cinch for DH to take boxes every time he goes up to work (till we finally get moved in for real). There are so many good things about moving up there, but we will really really really miss our church family down here. I wish we could transplant our favorites up there. I think that'll be the hardest part. It's not like we're going where we know no one, but it's still going to be sad. And it'll take time to build up new friendships... I just hope we can find a church that has a good kids program. I think our church down here does pretty well, but not all churches are like that. DH is going on the home inspection today, wish I could be there, but I really didn't want to have to spend the day up there and also didn't want to have to drive so far just to see the house so pics will have to do for now. As soon as my parents close, I'm hoping DH can go get exact dimensions of the rooms and what-not so I can draft up a more accurate floor plan. I'm so goofy about that sort of thing, I love to imagine where I'm going to put things, how things are going to look...

Swirl Ball

I made this knit ball for Eli for Christmas and thought I'd include how I "followed" (ahem, changed) the directions:

I use two different colored needles of the same size so I know which side I’m on, I had a green needle in my left hand when I was on the right side when I made this ball. Much easier than trying to keep track of what row you’re on. I didn’t bother with markers once I got the hang of the pattern.

Right side noted with + and wrong side with –.

Instructions for One Section:

For first section Row 1: Loosely cast on 30 stitches, turn.

For remaining sections Row 1: Knit next 4 stitches thru short row turn loop

and loop of next stitch (to close gap from short row turn from previous row), k
6, k next 16 short row stitches as before, k 5 (–) , turn.

For this next section, once I got started, I just knit till I got to the SRS
and knew that was my last stitch, then made a SRT and started the next row.

Row 2: + k 10, do a short row turn (SRT; yarn forward, slip next stitch purlwise, yarn back, move stitch back to left needle purlwise, turn)

Row 3: k 6, SRT

Row 4: + k 6, k into short row stitch from previous row (SRS), SRT

Row 5: k 7, k SRS, SRT

Row 6: + k 8, k SRS, SRT

Row 7: k 9, k SRS, SRT

Row 8: + k 10, k SRS, SRT

Row 9: k 11, k SRS, SRT

Row 10: + k 12, k SRS, SRT

Row 11: k 14 (to end of row)

Row 12: + k 14, SRS, SRT

Row 13: k 9, SRT (6 stitches left on left hand/wrong side needle)

Row 14: k 9, SRS, SRT

Row 15: k 9, SRT (7 stitches)

Continue on like this, knitting up to and including the SRS, then performing an SRT on right sides, knitting to 2 stitches from previous SRS, then performing an SRT on the stitch just before the previous SRS, working your way across the row till there are 15 stitches on your right side needle (5 stitches after you’ve knit the 9+SRS for that row).

For this section, k to two stitches before the SRS from the row before, SRS, SRT, do this on the Right Sides and Wrong Sides.

Row 32: + k 15, SRT

Row 33: k 13, SRS, SRT

Row 34: + k 12, SRS, SRT

Row 35: k 11, SRS, SRT

Row 36: + k 10, SRS, SRT

Row 37: k 9, SRS, SRT

Row 38: + k 8, SRS, SRT

Row 39: k 7, SRS, SRT

Row 40: + k 6, SRS, SRT

Row 41: k 5, SRS, SRT

Row 42: + k 10 > turn.

Change colors.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Our New House

I'll add the gory details later, but for now I want to post a pic of the floor plan (Note: Since I originally posted this, I have a slightly more accurate floor plan here.

It's very rough, based on a pencil sketch that my mom made. I haven't seen the house yet, but I do have some pics:

Crocodile Tears

Eli is starting to cry real tears now. And when he giggles, he sounds so much like his older brother and sister, it's uncanny. He's only 7 months old!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Kiss kiss

Eli has started making kissing noises. It's really cute. Of course I can't seem to make him do it against my cheek, but it's a start.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Roll over, roll over, part II

Eli rolled over back to belly, for the first time (that I know of) yesterday. He's getting very good about twisting himself in my lap to be facing the way he wants. He has the military crawl down pat and will have the crawling thing mastered in the next few days. He loves to stand while holding on to something and tonight had a toy baseball bat (about 8" long) and was deliberately hitting something with it and grinning ear to ear every time he did (totally knew what he was doing). It's so cool to see the things that are happening with his development. Seems like there is something new every day.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Tooth Chart

I'll just keep track of Eli's teeth here so that my notes won't be all scattered about.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

More Eli Milestones

2nd tooth, top right 11/15/06

Turning around in a circle on the floor 11/20/06

Saying Mama 11/20/06

Perfecting the military crawl/almost crawling 11/24/06

Pocket Ballerina

A little girl from Gigi's Sabbath School class had a birthday last week and we went to her party at an inflatable jumping place. I didn't have anything to take for a gift so I started knitting some Little Dudes. The problem is that I forgot to bring hair color (I was making them in the car on the way to the party) so I couldn't finish them in time (also my older 2 have since played "I spy" with them and have forgotten where they hid them, grr). I told the mom I was sorry but that I was making something. So I came home and made a couple more little dudes, then started on a Pocket Ballerina. I had some trouble with some of the directions, they really need to be revamped (I totally went with different hair, loopy crochet hair), but got her finished last night at around 12:30. Yawn. I think she's cute, hope Alyana thinks so too :)

(closeup of face)

Friday, November 10, 2006

Sleeping beauty and G1s Show and Tell

Daddy told Gigi to go clean in her room and things got really quiet. Here's why. I guess she was pretty tired because she didn't want to wake up when I went in there around 6. She's the type that will do just about anything but clean so I guess she chose the lesser of the two evils.
G1 came running up the steps this afternoon and very excitedly showed us the piece of bark that he found that looks like a glove. He took it with him to Sabbath School today to show the other kids. If he didn't I was going to take it with me to show my (Gigi & Eli's) class (lol).

I've got the Blu's ... finished!

The 2nd pic shows how I ended up doing the stitching. I did a dashed line, then when I got to the end, I turned around and filled in the blanks.

I had all the pocket and fly stitching done when I discovered that I had it all turned around. The back pockets were sewed on the front and the front pockets were sewed on the part of the jeans where I had added some short rows to add to the rise. So, snip-snip , I had to do it again. They are very soft (due to the 20% nylon content in the yarn) and kind of light-weight so not for night-time, but nice day-time longies. I think I'll make some more out of this yarn (actually I know I will), but I think I'll do Aubrey Doodlepants next time. I could still add some faux stitching if I feel like it to make them seem more jean-y. Pros about this pattern: attention to detail, looks very much like little jeans, Cons: no crotch gusset, no short rows (I didn't make enough either), no give in the seam stitching. All in all I'm glad I made them, I think they are really snazzy :)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

1st Tooth

Eli's 1st tooth finally popped thru today (lower, right, central incisor) I have born the brunt of it's razor sharp newness too, much to my chagrin, but I'm hoping he'll get the message (not to bite me) super-quick and it won't last too long. He's also sitting up so well. Just last weekend he could only sit for maybe 1 minute unassisted without toppling over. Closer to this last weekend, he started sitting for longer periods of time and now he can sit for 10 minutes or longer, just playing by himself. He's also moving around a lot more, not crawling just yet, but he reaches for me more if I'm near enough to him. He also loves to stand. It won't be too long before he'll be pulling up on things and trying to crawl.

I just love it how babies learn how to do things so quickly and Eli is just constantly amazing me, but he has no idea just how amazing he really is. He doesn't have an overinflated sense of his own accomplishments. What a guy!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Blu progress

Here's the right leg as far as I have it done. I didn't have a lighter color of yarn for the cuff so I did mine all the same color. They will still look like jeans with all the stitching when I am done. This is the part where you have to drop one stitch and unravel it all the way down, then pick up the stitch ladders by 1 and by 2 back up to create a faux outside seam. I did that part with a crochet hook, peace of cake :)

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Crochet doily charts

I doodled these a few years ago and just found them and scanned them in. I know I have a bunch more somewhere, but no clue where. Anyway, for what it's worth, here they are.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Little jeans for my little guy

Well, I finally scored a sweater, the yarn of which will make terrific Blu jeans (maybe even 2 or 3 :). It's an American Eagle Outfitters sweater, a really nice blend of 80% wool, 20% nylon. I hope that much nylon won't be a problem. I don't plan for them to be nighttime longies so I think they will be fine. The resulting yarn is very soft, they will be so nice and comfy! The color is a dark blue with lighter blue/gray specks which gives it a nice denim appearance. I know it looks almost black here, but it's more of a blue in real life. Here are the pics of the sweater and then after it's reincarnation (at least till it's reincarnated into longies :).

This is as many balls of yarn that I was able to roll tonight. I have one more sleeve to go so probably 2 more balls.

Here is my improvised nostepinde (in my case a 18" length or so of 1/2"-3/4" PVC pipe). It actually worked really nicely and I think I was able to wrap more balls than I would have been able to otherwise. Also, I was able to wrap them flat on top and bottoms so they will stack nicely (for what it's worth, lol).

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

New teeth create such drama

It would be on the night that DH asks me to keep Eli quiet (or as much as possible) as he has to get up at 5 in the a.m. that Eli choses to cut his first tooth. It started with him being very vocal and not wanting to go to sleep. Then the last few times he's woken up he's been downright desperate and crazy acting. He doesn't have a fever or anything like that, but I think I could see a little redness in his gum where the tooth is coming in. I don't have any Hyland's teething tablets, but I do have some Bach's rescue remedy and some Belladona homeopathic so I will try those if it's extreme the next time he wakes up. I ended up moving into the living room so DH can get the sleep he needs. It's cold so I have a nice fire going, that bit's kinda nice.

On a side note (equally important tho), Eli sat up by himself for at least a minute today. He was on the floor and DH got him started, but he didn't waver for the longest time. I think we'll probably see more of that in the near future.

Monday, October 23, 2006

I feel like a new woman

I have been running on too little sleep lately so today, DH gave me one of the greatest gifts possible, about 4 hours of a nap! For the first time in a looooooooonnnnng time I didn't wake up feeling drugged. I had forgotten what it felt like to be rested. I feel infinitely better! Thanks hon!

I learn new things every day

I recently learned what spinning swifts are for and then today learned about Nostepinne, Scandinavian yarn ball winders. I just recently learned how to wrap a center-pull ball, but the I bet a Nostepinne would make them look purt-near perfect. I am trying to figure out how to make one since I can't buy one. Someone mentioned you could use a fat marker which I do have so next time I need to wind some yarn, I'm going to try this. Ah, just found a gal who used a plastic part from a Play-Doh set as a Nostepinne and turned out a lovely ball, see, it can be done, lol.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Fantastic finger puppets

I was searching for knitted finger puppet patterns and came across these cuties. Boy, do I wish I could knit like this! (or rather wish I had patterns).

Friday, October 20, 2006

Ok, now I'm done... really.

I ended up cutting off the old waist band and the next two rows where I made all the increases, put it back on circs and knitted up to the waistband, then hand stitched the last row down to the inside of the pants. I left a little hole where I could add the elastic. Now I just need to put them on Eli and see how tight the elastic needs to be.

Eli has been very vocal when he nurses over the last day or two. He makes growling, grunting noises, almost like he's trying to poop, but he doesn't. I'm wondering if he might be a little constipated or if he's reacting to the dairy in my diet. Last night we had what I feel to be successes. When I went to bed around 1 a.m., I went to change Eli's diaper and it was only slightly damp so I took and peed him in the shower which he did right away and without complaint. Then when he woke up again around 7 a.m. I checked it again and it was a little wetter, but still not soaked so I took him again and he went almost immediately and again without complaint. So that was very encouraging to me. I hope we can keep that up in the nights to come. That would be very nice. It would be awesome if he could get to the place where he could stay dry (with potty trips) all night.

Eli's getting really good about sitting on his little potty, his balance is getting much better. He is starting to grab things and reach out for things. He wants the phones, remotes, anything he shouldn't have, lol. He spits up a lot and I'm a little worried that he has acid reflux. He doesn't spit up much if at all at night time tho.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


I guess it's par for the course that the pants won't even go above Eli's chunky thighs. Sigh. I guess that means I'll have no choice but to rip out the waistband and do that over. At least it won't be too much, but I was really hoping I was DONE.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Cargo ... done.

Whew, finally... thought this day would never get here. But, I'm done with the pants. I think the legs are too long and I really don't like how the grafting came out, also not so sure about the short rows, but do you think I'm going to take them apart and do it over again? Not on your life. I think I might do this pattern again [or a variation on it anyway], but next time, I'll do it from the top down, no kitchnering (well, the gusset, but not the legs anyway) and it'll just be easier for me. I'll have to hand sew the cuff seams, but that really doesn't bother me. I'll probably do the waistband bigger next time too, I cast on 80, then increased to 100 in the first 2 rows after I closed the waistband and I think it made the waistband a little too snug and also I don't like the puckering. So I'll just cast on 100 (or whatever number gets me gauge) on smaller needles, then go up in size, rather than increasing stitches. I'll have to try the new dipe and the pants on Eli tomorrow and see if they fit.

Prefold 2 Fitted

I just learned how to turn prefold diapers into fitted diapers (more Daddy friendly) and I'm excited to try my first one. I don't have any snap tape (yet) and don't want to do velcro, so I'm just going to make them without and keep using them with Snappis for now. I'd seen other directions on how to do it at, but I am too chicken to cut up any of my prefolds yet. Then I saw this way to do them, but it still seemed too simplistic to me for some reason. Finally one of the newbie CDers on the Yahoo group BTLdiapering shared her way of doing them (also doesn't require cutting like the 2nd option) and I think this one or some variation of the theme will be what I'll go with.

Well, I'm done and I decided to go with a mixture of the last two ways. Since Eli is not pooping in his diapers, I really don't need a super gusset like the 3rd way, but I also like the folded over front and elastic in the back of the 3rd one so ... here's what I came up with:

Here is the inside view of the diaper upside down. I left the middle part of the inside/front open so I can stuff an insert in there under the side flaps.