Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Those Skirts I Was Telling You About....

Here are some pictures of our day, featuring the girls' new skirts, and some pretty flowers in our yard.
 I'm so glad I focused this one carefully on the dead weeds in the background rather than on the skirt.

 For this one, Greta said, "Take a picture of me with these babies!" and posed.  She is so cute.

A Very Special Day

So, our little Gretabird is three years old now. Hard to believe!  She had a delightful birthday and a delightful party on Saturday with our families.  We took a trolley ride to get ice cream and flowers and I made carrot soup just like she asked for.  It was a really lovely day.  We were able to find all of her weird gift requests on amazon (even the cockroach! And it was a hit!) and it was just a happy little day spent all together doing things Greta likes.  So nice.

Thanks, Instagram, for the cool pictures.

In other news, I'm in the middle of two projects for Baby which need another skein of yarn, so I started another wool soaker today.  This one will be more newborn sized. I do like knitting for this baby, and I have this feeling of urgency to get all my crafting projects done now before time runs out. Today I made the girls each a new skirt, and oh my gosh, if you had little girls and have not made the free Lazy Days Skirt from Oliver + S (for free on their website) YOU HAVE TO DO IT RIGHT NOW. I am a few years behind on this.... I found out about these skirts from the Soulemama archives (I'm up to Fall 2008)... but I am SO glad I found them.  The pattern is nothing--hardly even a pattern, really--but brilliant.  It's just a full width of fabric with the selvedge kept on, cut at whatever length you want. You make your elastic casing with a folded under edge (actually, I'm lazy about ironing, so I zig-zagged my edge first) then for the bottom you attach a ribbon... but you don't attach it to the bottom hem--you sew it to the wrong side first, then turn it over and sew the top of it like quilt binding, therefore encasing the rough edge inside the ribbon!!  SO SMART!!!!  Because of all these little tricks put together, this skirt seriously took me twenty minutes to make.  So of course, once I made one, I had to make another.  Pictures tonight or tomorrow.  I am so in love with these skirts, I'm afraid my girls will be wearing just an assortment of these for the entire summer. 

And speaking of summer.... it's almost planting time.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Take a Load Off

It's Spring! Once again, my pictures are all over the place and I have no idea where they'll actually end up in the post. BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop So, I'm pregnant.  I know this is not news, at least it's not news to ME... I've known since September.  And I'm happy to be pregnant. REALLY happy, in fact!  But this is the first day that I've really felt PREGNANT. As in, "ugh." Was the second trimester really that short?  I don't know how many weeks I am (I can't seem to keep track this time) but if I'm shooting for a June 13th due date then I have less than three months to go....

So today I didn't even really do that much; just the laundry and dishes and general keeping-of-house.  But I just felt like a whale and my feet hurt and my back hurt and I was sooooo tiiiiirrrreeed all day long it was so whimpy and ridiculous!  When Martin got home I walked down to the knitting store to get myself a second skein of that blue yarn to finish the Pebble Vest but even though I took the tag with me, I somehow managed to get the wrong color.  Grrr. 

So the Pebble Vest is on hold but that's okay because today I realized that I never actually made the hood for the red hoodie I knit for the baby!  So I can hurry up and do that and maybe by then I will have gotten myself the right color of Berroco for the vest.

This Thursday is Greta's birthday. Martin is taking the day off work (it's a nice little gesture he does for the girls, I think, taking a vacation day on their birthdays) and so far we have planned a trolley ride to the flower store and a visit to the library for her to get her very own library card, just like Anja did when she turned three.  She's requested carrot soup and biscuits for dinner, and the rest of the day I think we will just relax and be happy!  I think it's even supposed to start cooling off a little on that day, and then of course be much cooler on Saturday, when we'll have the families over for a little party.

So anyway, as glad as I am to be pregnant, I'll be glad when I'm not anymore.  I forgot how annoying it can be to be so big and round.  And this little baby is a roly poly one... and very STRETCHY.  It seems to just stretch out sometimes--repeatedly. Maybe I'm growing a little yogini, haha.

I'm glad Spring has come early.  I think with the lousy winter it's nice to not have to wait for the little leaf buds and flower blossoms to appear.  We don't have to have that mid-march wondering of "will we EVER see green again?!"  I think it's really nice. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

March Warmness

Spring has arrived early around these parts and I think you'll have a hard time finding any complaints about that.  As I told Anja, sometimes the seasons just show up early, and people enjoy blossoms in March a lot more than snow in October! We are enjoying the blossoms very much.

We are finally all healthy again, which is awesome, and I hope it lasts.  We had a nice St. Patrick's Day (minus the failed corned beef.... yet again) working around the house and enjoying the weekend.  In the evening (when we should've been eating corned beef and weren't) we walked over the bridge for ice cream.  We've only done that three times this spring, but I feel like it's all the time!!  Yikes!  Hopefully that little habit won't be too continuous throughout the summer.  I have to LOSE my winter bear weight... not triple it.

Along with the warm weather comes the natural wardrobe of sundresses for little girls. This Saturday we went to the 4:30 Mass and the girls looked really cute and were so well behaved that I sat there and was thinking such good things about them... Thinking how perfect they were and that probably everyone in the church wished they had children as beautiful and perfect as mine.  Uh-huh.  I'd say it was probably just BEFORE I started giving myself the credit as their mother that I turned around (during the homily) to see Anja perched on the pew with her dress hiked up and her legs spread out in front of her and no underwear.

Yeah. I definitely won the Awesome Mom of the Year award with that one. Please check your pride at the door.

Like everyone else in the world, I've started knitting a Pebble Vest.  This one is for the new baby and it is turning out to be GORGEOUS.  Last weekend when my sister and I were at the consignment sale in Indianapolis, Anja and Martin took a little trip down to the knitting store and bought me a skein of Berroco Blackstone Tweed--a blend of wool, mohair and angora--in a blue color that I NEVER would have chosen myself.  So I didn't really know what to do with it at first, but then I started seeing these Pebble Vests everywhere and I knew that was the perfect project for that yarn (and it should only take 2 skeins.)  It's coming along nicely!  I looooove how it looks and feels.  It will be a perfect fall layer for this new little baby, whether we get a boy or a girl.

Speaking of knitting, I am SO GLAD I put short sleeves on this orange sweater instead of long!  I wear it almost every day.

AND i went to Once Upon a Child this weekend and scored 5 shirts for $13.  Not bad!  Two of them are black--possibly the only black items in my wardrobe now (not including another black maternity shirt that really belongs to my sister.) I never wear black.  So if you see me and I'm wearing black, don't be freaked out--it's just a pregnancy thing.  My all-brown attire will be sure to return in June.

And now it's Monday and I feel the spring cleaning itch coming close to me. Hmm... this could get dangerous.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Ok, I'm having some trouble with my pictures.  I have no idea where they're going to show up in the actual post.... or how big they will be.  But I'm hoping for the best.

So since my last post, it looks as if Spring has sprung! I've been taking some fun Instagram photos on my trusty iPhone and I've finished my orange sweater.  Very exciting!  And I'm so glad I decided to make tiny sleeves instead of long or 3/4 length sleeves because the day after I finished it the weather warmed up and I've gotten to wear it many times in the past few days!

Yeah, the weather.  Um, magnificent!  Our local weatherman has a blog and he really likes history and weather history and he posted something interesting awhile back about the 1820's having about a decade of extremely early and warm springs, (so early that the daffodils in Kentucky bloomed in January!) and long planting seasons.  So they built a cotton gin down in southern Indiana, but after about ten years of long growing seasons the weather snapped back to "normal" and the industry down there failed.  Isn't that sad?  But so interesting.

This Spring seems to be coming about a week early.  Usually the daffodils bloom right at Greta's birthday, which is next week, but I saw many blooming today on our long walk up to my parents' house!  Of course, MY daffodils are still just buds.  Maybe they are holding out for Greta's birthday.

And speaking of walking up to my parents' house today... from where we live the first step to walk anywhere other than right downtown is to come out of the river valley, which includes a really big hill, no matter what route you take.  The hill today about killed me, pushing my two much-larger-than-last-year kids in their stroller and hauling my baby belly behind, as well as being so out of shape it's embarassing.  I kept stopping along the way to "look at the daffodils!"  At every yard I would come to a stop to pant and point out all the different crocus colors (they're all the same.)  I think it's time for me to step up the activity level.

My sister and I went to the bi-annual kids consignment sale last weekend and we each got some real steals.  My kids should be outfitted for the summer, except for if Greta decides she wants a pair of shorts. That thing is the best deal of the year.  I got some cloth diapering supplies, lots of summer shirts and I might've, maybe, possibly gotten just a FEEEEW things for the new baby.  Those tiny little clothes are so irresistable!!

So, the orange sweater.  I'm really, really happy with how it turned out. It's a teenie-weenie bit big.... but I don't think it's so big that it looks horrible.  The buttons were made by my brother-in-law, and I really think they are perfect for this sweater. It's kind of a mix between the Feburary Lady Sweater and the Shalom Cardigan.... kinda, sorta, in a twisted way. It's not as fancy as either of those patterns, but it's what I looked at to get ideas. 

I never thought I'd say this, but I'm actually really enjoying the Time Change this year. Maybe it's because Martin's schedule has him working a little bit later in the evenings, but I'm really enjoying the lasting daylight.  It still confuses my internal clock, but I like the idea of being able to do things in the evening other than eat dinner and go straight to bed. So anyway. I'm glad Spring is here.  I hope it sticks around! It makes me look forward to summer and everything that goes with it.

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Finished Projects!

I can't believe how many projects I've completed over the past few days!  I have not yet actually carried the bag from the last post, but I did haul stuff out to the yard in it the other day when it was so nice and we went out back to play.  It was a nice bag to hang on the back of the patio chair and keep my magazine, camera, phone, etc. contained.  That same day I made a stack of cloth baby wipes.  I figure if I start now using up flannel scraps, I'll have enough wipes to use entirely cloth with the new baby.

Then after all that success, I just couldn't stop myself and I dove into my fabric tub and decided to make some pajamas.  Not without reason... all of my pajama pants are literally worn to threads. 

These pants are the most comfortable, well-fitting pajama pants I've ever WORN, let alone MADE for myself.  (It helped to make the bottom nice and roomy. Sad as that is to say.) I luuuuuuv them.
But once I made myself the pants, I just HAD to make a matching nightgown for Anja. (Greta says she doesn't want any.  Boo.)

 It's very "Felicity" I think... except a little bit short.  She requested the lace around the wrists and neck, and I have to say, she does look a little bit like a china doll in it.  I made it the same way I make their Feast chemises, with the basic elastic neckline and wrists and nice poofy sleeves.  I l-u-v this nightgown more than I l-u-v my pants. And that's two finished projects in two days!

But wait!  There's MORE!!
Late last night I was working on my orange sweater for only a few minutes before I ran out of yarn.  (I'm really hoping I can convince the girls to bundle up--it's cold again today--and walk down to the yarn store this afternoon.)  I took advantage of the knitting urge to finish this wool diaper cover:

 I used a pattern for this and I absolutely love it.  It will eventually have some cotton ribbon through the front the cinch it up a bit.  For the leg holes, the pattern says to pick up 32 stitches and rib, but I was having a hard time picking up that many, so I tried three times and always ended up with itty bitty leg holes.  And in the end, a completely mishapen side. To solve the problem, I knit the ribbed leg holes as separate pieces and sewed them on.  It worked great!  And it totally hides the messed up, stretched-out part!  I will be making more of these, for sure.  Quick and easy and cute, and unlike the two diaper covers I've knit in the past which turned out big enough for ME to wear, this one looks like it will actually fit a baby.

On that nice sunny, warm day earlier this week we saw a couple of signs of spring in our yard and on our walk we saw a few green shoots on one tree!  It looks like this particular daffodil might be in bloom for Greta's birthday, but for the most part, the only thing out of the ground around here are the leaves.  I am hopeful for a bouquet of daffodils on the table for her birthday.
Spring is on the way!

Monday, March 5, 2012

What Is This?

Some time ago, I saw on Soulemama's blog (oh my gosh, do I read anything else?!  I seriously don't even read her blog that often--especially not her current posts!  But it sounds like that's all I do, I know) that she'd made a sling bag.  Actually, from the post I kind of couldn't figure out what it was for awhile--baby sling or bag?--but it turned out it was a bag.  Well, I decided to make one for myself and see how it turned out.  And it turned out.... just as hazy as hers.  What is this thing I made?  Is it a bag? Or is it a baby sling?

After testing it out with Greta it's obvious that it is a bag.  But I couldn't tell by looking.  If I want it to be a baby sling I'll have to do some serious modifications to the shoulder strap.  So I guess I have a new bag!  It was quick to make (and in case you're wondering, no, the floors are not done; I set up my sewing machine at our desk downstairs in the dining room) and it has elastic along the sides to kind of pouch it up a bit, but I might add a button closure as well because it seems like my belongings might just fall right out.  Or I'd at least be an easy victim of a pickpocket.

Today I've had mostly a one-child day as Anja has been playing with her dollhouse in the dining room ALL DAY LONG.  I'm not even joking.  We ate an early lunch and immediately afterward she told me I wasn't invited allowed into the room because she was playing one of her games, and she's been setting up her dollhouse and playing with her fairies and gnomes for the whole entire day.  I'm getting ready to make dinner right now.  I'm kind of amazed at how long she's been in there, completely engrossed in her play.

Here's the other day's Photo A Day challenge picture, which was themed "my neighborhood."  My sister-in-law and I got to take a little trip over to Main Street to the yarn store, and it turned out the girls wanted to come along and they wanted Martin to come too.  I got yarn enough to finish the diaper cover I'd been knitting (yay!) but I'm afraid I messed up the legholes (boo.) We'll see if I can fix them, or if the mistakes end up mattering at all.

Stir Fry tonight!  Yum!!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Birthday Bugs

We all enjoyed round 2 of the stomach bug that's been going around this week.  It started with Martin and Anja, and later that night Greta and I just had a very mild feeling-badness that came on. It seems unfortunate that we spent so much of my brother and sister-in-law's two week visit trying to AVOID that bug, and then at the last minute we finally succumbed. Oh well, over now! 

Last night we had a birthday party for my mom (age is secret) and my gorgeous niece Ronia (age 1!)  Anna made that fabulous chocolate cake in the picture above.  Doesn't it look like the perfect springtime birthday celebration, with the butterfly garland and all the pink flowers?  And I like how that ball of pink yarn in the background looks like an Easter egg.

The visiting relatives are leaving tonight.  Last minute items on the agenda include a trip to the knitting store today with Anna, and I can't wait.  Maybe I'll be able to talk her into a quick jaunt to the fabric store as well--I'm in desperate need of some elastic.  I have so many projects I want to make (go ahead and ask me if my sewing machine is still in a box somewhere or if my floors have been fully painted... yes, and no.) but they all require elastic and I have none.  None! I need to be on the lookout for an elastic whole-saler. 

Here's another picture of Ronia with her little bunny my mom gave her (so cute) and her birthday cupcake. First birthdays are so special. It's like you are not just "the baby" anymore, but one of the gang.  So fun.

So on Instagram (iPhone app, with which Martin and I are COMPLETELY OBSESSED) there's this little thing called Photo A Day, and it starts over every month. You get a list of daily themes... March 1st was "up" and March 2nd was "fruit."  This is our fruit picture:

I call it Clementine Chameleon.  Today is "your neighborhood."  We jumped on board after following RedHerringJeff  (who reads this blog!) through Feburary's Photo A Day and it's a fun little daily activity.

And yeah, in other news of non-productivity, the floors are not fully painted yet, although I have been making slight progress.  Not exactly DAILY, but close enough. Today at the knitting store I will have to show some level of self control and focus my funds on yarn to finish projects (diaper cover, and sweater) instead of getting big ideas for something new.  I am making progress on everything but I currently have four unfinished projects in the works and I'm starting to feel the need to actually complete something.

And today our beloved Auntie Perkalator is coming for a visit!  She has a beautiful new niece.  So she's not actually coming to see US, but she appreciates the comfort of our couch on her visits.

Welcome, meteorological spring!

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