For our family the holiday season isn't complete without a sighting of Santa on the Firetruck. This was Miss M's first experience with it but it surely won't be her last. Here it is for all our friends who are celebrating Christmas this weekend.
Dec 23, 2011
For our family the holiday season isn't complete without a sighting of Santa on the Firetruck. This was Miss M's first experience with it but it surely won't be her last. Here it is for all our friends who are celebrating Christmas this weekend.
Dec 22, 2011
Dec 21, 2011
Dec 20, 2011
I still can't wrap my head around the idea that Christmas and Hanukkah are here already. It seems like just yesterday that I was planning for my summer - last summer. Now the holidays are here and I'm getting reminders of stuff I must do to get ready for next summer. Ugh! First things first. I need to get through the holidays and all that goes with them. Here's a list of stuff I need to do before the weekend.
1. Knit - I didn't discuss gift knitting this year because I didn't plan on any but.... they asked.
2. Wrap - I did most of the wrapping already but there is still a little bit left.
3. Plan - this should be a great weekend for family time. I think that my girls are as excited about it as I am. That means I need to come up with great ideas for what to do..
4. Shop - I still need a few things. Not much thankfully, just one or two.
5. Cook - clearly we need to eat latkes. Bruce suggested chili too. Yum!
6. Go to the library - maybe I'll have time to read a little bit.
7. Set up the menorahs - we have new ones this year!
8. Go food shopping - if I'm going to cook then this is a must.
9. Take out the ice cream maker - peppermint ice cream anyone?
10. Check the movie times - movies on Christmas? Oh yes!
Dec 19, 2011
We were at a family event this weekend. It was lovely. Lot's of people I haven't seen in years. Good food and a lovely setting.
Truthfully though, I could've been wearing sweats in a hole in the wall diner. My grandparents were there which is a gift in itself. Look at how happy my girl was to be dancing with her Zayde. They were dancing to My Girl. How perfect is that?
My siblings were there with their spouses and kids. It's been years since we've all been together and my brother hadn't even met Miss M yet. There was lot's of baby passing going on.
It's enough to wear anyone out. Miss M was fortunate to find a cozy spot for a quick nap during the party.
Dec 15, 2011
This hat really isn't that difficult. It's mostly knit with a few strategic purl and seed stitch sections. What makes it interesting is the color changes. They also make the finish work ugly. Tons of ends to weave in.
Then there is the icing on this cake - the marley topper. Here is a closeup of the marly bits. Suprisingly, these were pretty easy to make. They look fiddly but they're not. They do add to the number of ends that need to woven in though. Ugh - weaving in ends.
The hat may look just a little bit different in this picture (where she is being held by a friend of DQ). That's because this was taken after it went through the washer and dryer. It seems to have softened the look of it. The yarn is less shiny and crisp.
I really love the way it came out. Totally worth the effort.
Dec 14, 2011
I was struggling with a way to describe this week and I came up with "notable". It's the best I can do because this week has been really full of peaks and valleys. First, the valley. Stinkette was really sick and missed 4 days of school. For the second time in her life she had a stomache ailment that was so serious that it required attention at an ER. Today, after IV fluids, anti-nausea meds and lots of rest, she is back in school. I am so relieved.
The same day that Stinkette was getting treated at the ER, DQ was taking her road test.... and she passed! I can say it without freaking out because, due to funky rules here, she won't be legal to go anywhere without parental supervision until March. I can and will worry or then.
Another event that is notable in a really positive way is that last night Miss M had her first solid food. If you can call puréed sweet potatoes solid. We decided to start solids on the spur of the moment because she really seemed to want it. She was watching us all eat very intently and grabbed at anything within reach. It went like this:
On second thought, I'm really not so sure about this.
That's what all the fuss was about? So disappointed.
And yes, she is wearing her Halloween outfit there. Why not? It still fits and the sweet potatoes don't show on the orange shirt.
Posted by hillary at 10:31 AM
Dec 8, 2011
Like many people, my Rav queue is amazingly long. There are so many designers and books and magazines... so many sources for more new and fabulous patterns. Because of all the possibilities it's always a little surprising when I find myself favoriting multiple patters from he same source. Maybe it's a sign. I should probably go get that book right away.
Often I do but then they sit because, like my queue, my collection of books is way too big for me to ever get to all the stuff within them that I'd like to. So I didn't get Susan B Anderson's Itty-Bitty Hats right away. Then came Marissa, a sweet baby without much hair. Let the hat knitting begin. I want to make them all.
I started with one that my husband chose called the Inca Snowflake. It started off really well. Noro Kureyon is always a fun knit and happily there weren't many ends to weave in when I was finished. The only negative was that it was a little bit big. Even more so after I blocked it.
Then came the finishing stuff. Lot's and lot's of finishing stuff. Embroidered snowflakes, crocheted edging and a pom-pom. I visited so many stores looking for just the right yarn. White but not too bright. Just the right degree of imperfect. The crocheting was easy but the embroidery was challenging. It's really not my thing but it can't be the Inca Snowflake hat without snowflakes. Right?
And then I started working on the lining. Stinkette and I chose purple and I really think it worked well. I am proud to say that I hand sewed the whole lining myself and I doesn't look bad at all.
Lots of finishing on this sucker! I'm not sure that I would've chosen it if I'd read through the pattern and realized just how much effort it would take but, I'm happy with the results. On this hat, everything just came together well. Even the accidents worked out ok. Like DQ put it through the wash with the rest of Miss M's clothes but it didn't shrink and the Noro is a bit softer now. Additionally, installing he lining made the ear flaps lay flat so it no longer links like my baby is going to fly away.
I'm definitely calling this a win.
Dec 6, 2011
At least there is lots of other fun stuff to enjoy about the holidays. Here are ten of my favorite holiday traditions.
- Eat Latkes - Yum! Even if your house does smell like latkes for the next week they're still so good and so worth making
- Decorate - l really love it when the house looks festive. For us, it starts with all the brightly covered gifts that we stack up on top of the entertainment center. A bowl of dreidls and gelt here, some window art there and presto!
- Light Candles - this year it will be extra fun because we have 2 new menorahs
- Eat Chinese Food - I don't know why but Jews eat Chinese food on Christmas. Just check you're local Chinese food joint if you don't believe me.
- Play games - Oh dreidl, dreidl, dreidl
- Party - Holiday parties are awesome. They're best with friends and some family but office parties can be good too.
- Holiday music - I'm not talking about the kind they play in the stores. I much prefer the irreverent spins that people like Adam Sandler put on it.
- Making cookies - my girls have always loved to bake and holiday cookies are an excellent excuse. My favorite part is decorating them.
- Watching parades - I am a sucker for them. There is something about the bands, the floats, and, let's face it... having a perfect reason to start the morning very slowly relaxing on the couch.
- Giving gifts - getting gifts is lovely too but I much prefer giving them. Really! There is something about finding exactly the right thing
and seeing the surprise and excitement on the recipients face that is just so gratifying
Dec 5, 2011
Today would have been my dads 69th birthday. I am reminded daily of all the really good stuff that he's missing but now more than ever. I am busy with so many things and I know that he would be really excited by all of them. It seems like every day Bruce, the girls and I are imagining his reaction to stuff. The election antics, the construction updates, the baby milestones, the Bat Mitzvah prep. All of it. And I know that he'd be only too happy to take credit for DQ's academic accolades. It makes me wish that he was still here.
Speaking of DQ, it was her birthday on Saturday and she celebrated it in style with a few close friends. I couldn't pull together a Sweet 16 party (brain is already overloaded) so I came up with an idea that I thought was a winner. I got tickets for Lindsey and 4 friends to go see Jersey Boys at the National Theatre. Then, because I had neither the time or the space in my car to ferry the 5 of them downtown, I got a car service to take them to the show and back. This may have been one of my best ideas ever. Very little cleaning or prep required and the girls had a blast. Teenage girls chauffered to and from a show in Washington DC on a Saturday night in a big, black, suv. Win! And for me too because I felt confident that they were safe. Letting go is soooo hard. Most importantly the show was really good (amazing according to the girls) and they had a blast. I'm sure my girl will always remember her Sweet 16.
The weirdest part for me was seeing 2 of her 4 friends arrive - driving themselves. I tell you, it was so weird. Seeing the collection of cars in front of the house, including the one that DQ will be driving in a few short months, made the fact that they're growing up so clear. Thank goodness I have Miss M at home for many years to come. Can you imagine what a basket case I'll be when she turns 16?
Dec 2, 2011
It's been a little while since I posted a picture of Miss M and what better occasion than to note her reaching the 5 month mark.
This was actually taken while we were away for Thanksgiving. It's kind of a funny face that she's making here but that's something we'll just have to get used to. I think it'll be quite a while before I get a really good posed shot of her because these days, if her eyes are open then she's moving. It should make it really interesting to get pictures of her modeling her new hats.
Dec 1, 2011
I have to say, it's way to easy to take blog breaks these days. I seems like any time things get busy at home the first thing to get squeezed out of my schedule is the blog. It's a shame too because Thanksgiving is very bloggable. The travel, the food, the stuff we're thankful for. Rather than doing a full recap or posting all the stuff I didn't post last week I can just say that we had a fabulous Thanksgiving. Truly wonderful. We saw lot's of family and friends, ate plenty of good food and even the travel was way better than expected. Shockingly so. Try 4.5 hours of drive time from DC to NY on the day before Thanksgiving. I told you it was shocking.
Anyway, now it's December and I expect more of the same. Crazy of all kinds. We'll travel a bit to see some family. We'll be super busy just about every weekend. And we'll hopefully have a good time. I promose that there are finished knits coming too. Really. A bunch of them.
Posted by hillary at 9:21 AM
Nov 17, 2011
Today is a huge day for DQ. Huge! Monumental! Her school play opens tonight and it's a bigger deal than ever. It got a front page write up in the Arts section of the Washington Post last weekend and tonight a local news broadcast will be there to report on it. Why all the fuss? It's the world premiere of a play by a Ken Ludwig, a Tony nominated broadway playright. All kinds of folks will be attending and the shows are nearly sold out. Pretty stressful if you're running the house and making sure that att the seating goes smoothly.
Fortunately my girl is up to the task. I think that the stress of running the house pales in comparison to the incredible pressure she's been under for the past few weeks to get the sets painted because she was the crew chief for the paint crew.
Then again, she's also feeling pretty good today anyway because after the play (and the talk back with the playright that follows it) she and a bunch of friends are off to see the midnight showing of Breaking Dawn, the latest in the Twilight Saga.
Like any real Twi-Hard she'll be decked out in Twilight inspired gear. A t-shirt and the Eclipse socks of course and a new addition - her just finished Bella's Mitts.
There's not much to say about these that hasn't been said before. The pattern was clear and not terribly difficult except for cabling with that chunky yarn. That's not much fun. The only thing to beware of is that just off the needles these really didn't look great. They needed a soaking and stuffing to get in shape. Now that they're dry they look really good and I'm sure that DQ would wear them even if they didn't because they are still Bella's Mitts after all and besides, it's cold out there!
Nov 15, 2011
It's as if Carole was looking over my shoulder as I shopped this past weekend. How else could she know that I had cranberries on the brain (and in my shopping cart)?
So what will I be making with the cranberries? I have no idea but they were calling my name none-the-less. I look forward to getting lots of ideas from other blogs today so that I can cook this weekend. Yum! Here are Ten ways to Use Fresh Cranberries that I can think of.
1. Apple-Cranberry Crumble - I went searching my archives for a picture of cranberries and look what I found! The picture above is from December 2007. I think I need to find this recipe again right now.
2. Cranberry Compote - I have a recipe with cinnamon sticks and ginger that is fabulous. I should locate that one too.
3. Stuffing - I suspect that cranberries would be good in this too. Especially since I use apples in mine. Apples & cranberries are almost always a win.
4. Applesauce - continuing the theme.
5. Apple pie - have I exhausted the apples and cranberries link yet?
6. Sorbet - I bet this would be great.
7. Decorations - they keep their good looks for quite a while. Maybe in a bowl of a contrasting color.
8. Zucchini Bread - I know that dried cranberries are good in there - why not fresh?
9. Sauce - why not?
10. String them and hang them
Nov 14, 2011
The pace of knitting around my house has picked up quite a bit lately.
Miss M is playing more on her own and that has freed up my hands to knit a bit. It's not quite at the level that it used to be at but I definitely feel inspired and my focus is returning and, lo and behold, stuff is getting finished. Yay. That's a good thing because the pace of yarn entering the house for those very inspiring projects has picked up quite a bit too. Ooops!
And books, I can't forget that I've added a book or 2 to my collection. One was the Knitters Book of Socks which I can't wait to dive into but the socks will have to wait a little while. Right now I have a baby with very little hair and winter is coming. Enter Itty Bitty Hats by Susan B Anderson which is a book that I had looked at for quite a while but never needed. Now that I have a baby in my house again itty bitty hats were required. She's still got the first one I made for her but I know how things disappear when small people are involved so it's just a matter of time before we get her ready to go one morning and there is no hat for her sweet head. Better to be proactive about these things and have a stash. Fortunately, there are lot's of hats calling my name and hats are such easy, quick projects.
The first hat from this book is one that Bruce liked. It's the Inca Snowflake, a cute hat with ear flaps and a bit of embroidery which sets of Noro Kureyon perfectly. It never fails to amaze me how different this yarn looks knit up versus in the skein.
I took this picture of the hat last week. Now the knitting is done and the embellishment can begin. Last weekend I got some fleece for the lining and chose some yarn for the embriodery. Who knew it would be so hard to find just the right white. I needed something white but not too white and not too perfect because the Noro is kind of rustic. I think I got it right but time will tell.
Nov 11, 2011
Brrrr... it's cold out there today. The true fall weather has been slowly creeping up on us and now it seems to finally be upon us for real.
Did you know that Thanksgiving is only two weeks away? Is it me or was it particularly stealthy this year?
Have a great weekend.
Nov 8, 2011
More proof that I'm getting back to normal. Not only did I remember to bring my camera to the Halloween party a few weeks ago but I managed to use it to annoy my daughters too This picture is a perfect example. I sat and sat watching balloons float up into the sky and tried to get just the right shot. This isn't exactly what I hoped for but it worked well enough. That and my girls patience with their camera wielding mom was shot.
It's Tuesday again and this week we're thinking about Ten Things You Do To Care For Yourself When You Have A Cold. Whew that's a long title. It's a timely one too. Now that I have a child in daycare again I'm reminded of one of the joys of that arrangement - the constant colds. Ugh! Marissa's got one yet again. Here we go...
1. Buy yarn - no known health benefits but it makes me feel better. That's got to be a good thing.
3. Drink tea - it makes my throat feel so much better
4. Eat comfort foods - it's all about stuff that makes me feel better.
5. Watch movies - it really depends if I'm at home or at work and how bad my cold is. Sometimes when I feel really lousy I can't concentrate on a book but a movie works.
6. Knit - again, it's a mental health thing.
7. Stay off the phone - my colds are usually accompanied by a post nasal drip which leads to losing my voice. Less talk is a good thing.
8. Dress in layers - stay warm.
9. Take warm showers - mmmmm makes me feel so much better.
Nov 4, 2011
Today would be an excellent time to post pictures from Wednesday night's National Honor Society inductions. I totally would have if I had any. Unfortunately the ceremony was beyond lame and I was one among many parents in the audience waiting for a photo op that never came. None of us really needed pictures of the principal or the board speeking. We wanted shots of our kids getting certificates! Epic fail for the school.
Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on your point of view) the Occupiers are still there for our amusement and they've created a bit of art.
Some is a bit more pointed than others.
I should note that there are well over 3 dozen tents in the park now and I have very mixed feelings. On one hand I get their point and I find it quite interesting to watch the developments in the park. On the other hand, they are making a wicked mess of the park which is really sad because earlier this year the park got a very expensive overhaul that included new concrete and sod. Much of the grass is dead now. I miss the days of people picnicking and chilling out during their lunch hour in the park.
Nov 3, 2011
If you have a daughter of a certain age then I'm sure you know what the title of this post refers to. I bet there are even a few adults looking forward to Breaking Dawn part 1. I'm not among them but I get it. Really, I do. I may not think the films are moviemaking at it's finest but to each his (or her) own.
The movie opening has inspired in DQ a renewed interest in my knitting. Specifically, she wants me to make a pair of Bella's Mitts for her. I had mentioned it ages ago and even bought the yarn but then it sat, and sat, and sat. Now my daughter is so hot to have a pair of these mitts to wear to the midnight showing that she enlisted a knitter friend of mine to split the task with me. That was the last straw! Out came the needles and I've been snagging knitting time whenever I can.
I will finish them (by myself) In time if it kills me. My knitter friend is a lovely person but there are some things you just need to do yourself.
Nov 2, 2011
Last weekend we did something we haven't done in years. We went to the neighborhood Halloween party. Boy has it changed. It's gotten so much bigger and there are food vendors there now. It was fun for all of us. The girls and I ate, played games, and looked at all the cool costumes.
Tuba Guy was there in costume. He's become quite the local celebrity.
We all took turns pushing Marissa in her stroller and carrying her. Carrying was the better choice for showing off her wings. She was Tinkerbelle.
DQ went with us too. Bruce was going to accompany his girls but threw his back out (needed to stay home and watch football) at the last minute. We had plenty of fun without him. See below.
That is pie that you see all over her face. It was apparently up her nose too. That's the price you pay for beating your mother in a pie eating contest. So. Much. Fun.
Posted by hillary at 9:00 AM
Nov 1, 2011
I'm still waiting for DQ to turn our pie pumpkins into pumpkin bread but Stinkette and I couldn't let the holiday slip by without making jack-o-lanterns so we went and got 2 bigger pumpkins for that purpose and carved them on Sunday. Stink used one of the templates provided with the pumpkin carving tools to create a spooky tableau with a crow. I shamelessly ganked an idea from another blog and featured Miss M's hands in my creation.
Here are all three of our girls last night. A zombie, a vampire, and a sweet baby girl. Miss M had a costume this year too but I'll share that tomorrow.
Oct 31, 2011
My weekend got off to rocky start with a Friday that I'd rather forget which is why there was no post. Blame insurance adjusters, the unhelpful woman at the collision shop, a bad lunch and a busy day at work that kept me a little late. Sadly, Friday was also my birthday. The saving grace was a smily baby and a ton of lovely birthday messages. Moving on.
Better that we should celebrate Miss M's 4 month birthday. She's the one who got the great report at her check up on Thursday and she got a toy to celebrate. Yay for toys!
I tried to get a good (not blurry) picture of Miss M enjoying her new toy but she was having too much fun. She has suddenly realized that all the stuff we put in front of her can go IN THE MOUTH and OMG is that the best thing ever! Not only does her saucer have new stuff to shove in her mouth.... she can see us when she's standing up in it and spin herself around to follow our movement. Is there anything better than that?
It's good that we had a lot inside to keep us entertained because it snowed by us on Saturday. Such a crazy thing! DQ had the Homecoming dance that night and, like many girls, had to revise her outfit to include a winter coat to cover her pretty dress.
On the positive side, the early snow offered great photo opportunities. You don't often see snow on the fall leaves. They were really pretty.
So much more to say about the weekend and I even have pictures of some of it.
Oct 27, 2011
There are very few things that are true for everyone, everywhere but I suspect that the feeling of accomplishment you get from crossing things off your "to do" list is one of them. It seems like the longer the list - the better it feels. My list is about as long as it's ever been so this week has been really good. I've been going through my list and crossing off things that had been lingering - making phone calls and appointments, planting, organizing, straightening and dyeing!
The last time I showed you this yarn it was pristine white, wound up on cones, waiting for my attention. Due to rain, a super busy schedule, and fear this yarn was still undyed until last weekend. That's when I finally decided to suck it up and dye that yarn because it can't become kippot until it's dyed.
I really don't know what I was so afraid of. Yes, dyeing linen is different from dyeing wool but it wasn't hard. In some ways it was actually easier. No need for piping hot water. Even better, linen isn't going to felt! It's one of the few fibers that LIKES to be beaten up.
So I spent my weekend dyeing three skeins of linen in colors that Stinkette and I agreed on. Most of it is purple (seen in the foreground) and the rest is a sky blue (seen in the background). Truly the most onerous part of dyeing the yarn was rinsing it. Now it's dyed, rinsed, and dried. I just have to turn it into yark cakes and away we go. Yay!
It feels really good.
Oct 24, 2011
This picture actually captures one moment in a great day for our girl. She had a few really good hits and made a few really good plays. Add a little sunshine and temperatures that were just this side of cold and it was a great afternoon. A great weekend in general. I watched my girls do great stuff (all of them) and even got a few things on my to do list done. Yay! Sadly that didn't include grocery shopping but food shopping isn't nearly as enjoyable as the stuff I did do.
Posted by hillary at 9:26 AM
Oct 21, 2011
This is what I saw when I arrived at work yesterday. Apparently the folks in the park got creative over night. The park police were not amused. They took it down super fast.
That got me thinking that there is a lot to look at in the park. It's not just tents. So I'm sharing some of the stuff that I found amusing. Whether you agree or disagree with them, they sure are interesting to watch.
Occupy McPherson Square has an identity.
A new twist on the DC license plates.
What would Ghandi think of all this?
And, finally, this is for Carole. Yes, they have a library here too.
Oct 20, 2011
These pictures were taken at the Sugarloaf Crafts Fair last weekend. DQ and I took Miss M and the three of us had a great time. The weather was fabulous - sunny with just the right amount of crispness in the air. We shopped and relaxed and had a great time together.
Everywhere we went people commented on Miss M's hat. The pattern came with the yarn and it's pretty basic. It called for a crocheted flower but that seemed like a bit much. I did think it needed something though, so I made a little pom pom. Perfect! DQ was wondering if a single pom pom should be called a "pom" instead. A cheerleader she knows swears this is correct.
Anyway, the most important thing about the hat (aside from the cuteness) is that it stays on. It can't keep her warm if it's not on her head. It does get in my sweet baby's eyes occasionally but I can fix the by turning up the brim.
I hope you don't mind the extra pictures. It's so hard to choose.