July Favorites 2008

July Favorites 2008, originally uploaded by gonzomama.


Little Man

A couple weeks ago I posted about our freebie fun weekend and the building project at the home improvement store. Well, we went again and while we had fun, the toy was pretty lame-o. It was a miniature tetherball game. I found it to be an odd choice, but this boy likes banging with a hammer so it was not a lost cause (and he got creative and used the hammer for a bat and turned it into a baseball toy). I think we got a bum set because the pole part didn't fit quite right but as we were leaving we noticed that most everyone else's seemed fine. So needless to say, this could be part of a routine. Besides those little hammers are so cute in those little pudgy fingers and the safety goggles! loads of fun even at home!


Badge (necklace) of Honor

This past Friday morning the boy and I were in the office and I was going through some of my reads. Henry decided to join me and sit on my lap. I was reading Mackville Road and at the bottom of the post Henry could see this which prompted him to say "i want that" with an emphatic point of his finger. So we were inspired and I grabbed what was readily available (which wasn't much). A random grab of yarn leftovers in varying colors, some wooden beads, and by luck a button with large holes.
I got it started for him by stringing two beads and let him take over.

He enjoyed this maybe even more than I did! A few times the yarn fell out of the needle and I had to fix it, but other than that (and tying up the ends) he did this on his own. I'm sure he could tell how proud I was, but more importantly I think he was pleased with himself. Plus, it kept him busy for quite some time (extra bonus).

I thought he would boastfully wear this piece of art all day long. But after about 2 minutes he came to me with it and said "mama" and handed it to me. So now I have been proudly wearing it since.


The Second Attempt Socks!

Yes! That is the plural of sock. I have two! A pair! That I made! Now I just have to hang in there and wait several months before I actually have need to wear them (unless I crank up the a/c and that's not gonna happen).

So here are the specs.
I (along with Diane, aka Mackville Road) used the Basic Sock Recipe by Yarn Harlot. This pattern was great and fairly quick (I am a slow knitter). Basic is the key word here. Simple ribbing (which I shortened by half an inch) followed by a tube of stockinette, then the heel (my favorite), followed by more stockinette and then finally the toe decreases. Easy peasy. Thank goodness.
I used two skeins of Koigu KPPPM colorway p128 (at least I think that's it) using size one needles. Have I said that I love Koigu? I love Koigu. I never tire of looking at the colors they offer.

I do believe had it not been for Diane knitting these along with me, I would not have finished this soon. I seriously surprised myself when the second sock was actually completed. I was also elated. For some reason socks have been a challenge to me. Part of it is knowing that I will have to knit the same thing twice. My attention span is a bit of an issue. And I think my failed attempt at the Jaywalker was a bit discouraging. But I have overcome! (thanks, Diane)

Also, I enjoyed myself at the "photoshoot". The pictures aren't as vivid as I would like, but the heck with it. For your enjoyment, please imagine me in my tent of a maternity suit (although really I love it) slathered in a 30 spf sunblock, wearing my socks on the pool deck. Yeah, I got a few looks, but that's okay. I can make socks.



You Are An INTP

The Thinker

You are analytical and logical - and on a quest to learn everything you can.

Smart and complex, you always love a new intellectual challenge.

Your biggest pet peeve is people who slow you down with trivial chit chat.

A quiet maverick, you tend to ignore rules and authority whenever you feel like it.

In love, you are an easy person to fall for. But not an easy person to stay in love with.

Although you are quite flexible, you often come off as aloof or argumentative.

At work, you are both a logical and creative thinker. You are great at solving problems.

You would make an excellent mathematician, programmer, or professor.

How you see yourself: Creative, fair, and tough-minded

When other people don't get you, they see you as: arrogant, cold, and robotic

i'd say that is somewhat accurate. but not entirely. how about you?


photo friday.6

well, i didn't take the photo this week. but! i did get it developed this week (it's from our Chattanooga trip back in May). this one was sort of hard to choose. i had 4 (see, it is my favorite #) that i wanted to share but you can click over to flickr and see those under my film set if interested.


hello, goodbye

i just wanted to pop in and say hello! i have things to share but not a lot of time to do it. things have been a little crazy around here and when they aren't crazy i'm crazy tired.
our a/c went out on a day when the temp was 97 degrees and i'm not counting humidity.
i've had a seriously cranky toddler to contend with.
one day we (me and the boy) somehow took 4 hour nap!!!! (no longer cranky)
we had a play date (i really don't like that term, i need to stop using it)
and i've been working. so, there you have it. my reason for neglecting my posts.

i do however have some socks to share, but i don't want to rush that so you will see them next week!


3 may be the magic number

but 4 is my favorite. So I just wanted to share this video which I came across via girl in the green dress. It's full of good things - muppets, penguins, the number 4 and Feist.

Now, I have to go shower because Matt and I are going out to dinner (Greek food, yum) with grown-ups tonight. Woooooohoooo!



Mama blue's


Nothing too serious. I just have this mama battle in my head lately. I'm having to let go of one baby and make room for another. The letting go part is where I am struggling. Henry is growing so quickly and I know when his sibling arrives it will make him seem that much older and bigger. He's growing more independent everyday and that can be hard to swallow at times.

For instance, we went swimming a few days ago at a friends house (yes, of course I forgot my camera). In the past he has despised wearing his floaties (water wings, what have you), but even more so dislikes being held in the water. He wants to swim on his own. So, I forced the floaties onto his arms, which took a couple of minutes, then put him in the water. Then the hard part. I let go. And you know what? He LOVED it! Right away he figured out how to raise his arms so his head would go under and lower them so his head would come back up. Next he swam over to the steps, got out and hauled you know what to the deep end and with absolutely no fear or hesitation jumped in. Thank goodness he liked it because the look on his face when he came up out of the water made me laugh so hard it took me a few seconds to get to him. And that was our afternoon. Him jumping into the deep end and swimming back to the stairs in the shallow end. Repeat (about 8 more times). Maybe this shouldn't have been a difficult thing for me but it was. He looks so little swimming on his own like that. Also, the fact that he has no fear puts the fear in me. Now I'm afraid of him hitting his head on the side of the pool when he jumps. I guess those kinds of worries will always be with me.

I try not to worry about him too much, but I do. While I love watching him gain that independence he so badly wants, I worry about the bumps and scrapes (and not just the physical ones) he'll get while on that path. At the same time I don't want him to be afraid of those things either. I want him to be strong and confident and hopefully not sense or see the agonizing concern on my face when he attempts things for the first time. Is it possible the arrival of a new baby will occupy many of those worrisome thoughts for a while and give my boy some of the space he needs? That could be a good thing for the two of us.

Its definitely an internal tug of war for me. Fortunately, he still likes to hold my hand on occasion.


Unexpected (freebie) Saturday

We had a few nice surprises this weekend. We didn't have any plans (which is the norm). Our big plans for Saturday were to go buy a couple of filters for the A/C (much needed) and then a run to the grocery store (also much needed). When we got to Lowe's we saw a bunch of tables set up outside and lots of kids wearing aprons and safety goggles hammering away at some little project. I thought "how fun, won't that be good to do with Henry someday?". Well, I guess someday was Saturday. We walked up and were invited to participate in building a wooden race car. Just sign a waiver and you get the materials, apron and goggles (all FREE!), just return the hammers to the basket when you are done please. Oh, and he got a little badge to be sewn on the apron! Henry was really into it, just a hammerin' away. Of course he wanted the big hammer and not the child size hammer, but they both worked so no big deal. Of course me, being on the hormonal roller coaster that I'm on, kept getting teary and silently swearing at myself for not bringing the camera. What is wrong with me? Of course I should bring my camera to the home improvement store and grocery store! The opportunities that I could miss!

I realize the discovery of this little workshop is not that exciting and probably not so new to many people, but I was thrilled. I think we will do this every few Saturdays. It took 30 minutes out of our morning, we all worked together, he got a free wooden toy and he helped build it. Henry was so proud of his car. And I was so proud of him.

Then on Sunday when it was a bit stormy out Henry got to make use of the project again and paint it. A twofer!

The other unexpected perk to our Saturday was finding out the Lovell Sisters were putting on a free concert in a park near our house. It didn't start until the boy's bedtime, but we thought we'd give it a shot. We loaded up a couple of chairs, some knitting, and the camera and headed out. The concert was on the square where my favorite local coffee shop, The Serene Bean and my LYS, The Whole Nine Yarns are located. We arrived early to get decent parking, which we did and so I could pop into the coffee shop for a diet root beer, which I did. There was a bounce house set up in the park, so Matt took Henry and from what I hear he held his own pretty well. Matt also said it was probably a good thing I wasn't there to see it. I agree. There was also free face painting (we passed on this), balloon animals (the boy got a dog) and water available. We did splurge on some Kettle corn though.
I wish I could tell you more about the concert. What I did hear was great. But, we had the unexpected luck of sitting behind another couple with a 2.5 yr old little girl that Henry made quick friends with, so most of our evening was spent chatting and wrangling toddlers. I pity the people around us. Our new friends were so nice to let us invade their space though. Henry was quite comfortable with them in a hurry. As a matter of fact, some people they knew came up to chat with them and seeing that their little girl was hanging out with us, asked how we all knew each other. At that point we hadn't gotten much beyond hello! (Did I mention this little girl was a-d-o-r-a-b-l-e!) So, while we missed much of the concert, we all made new friends to some great background music.

It turned out to be a pretty darn good Saturday for not having any plans and the naps that followed on Sunday were pretty sweet too.


The Big, The Bad, The Beautiful (if I do say so myself)

Well, it is finally done. The Big, Bad Baby Blanket. And it's a beauty. I am really, really happy with the way it turned out. This has to be one of my favorite baby blanket patterns. Not that I have done many, but it is so simple and shows off the yarn so nicely. I am proud of myself for having finished this before the Peanut arrives too. I'm having a difficult time getting a decent picture of it though. I messed around with my camera a lot while we were out of town and now I've screwed up some of the settings. So this is the best of what I've got. I'm sure more of this blanket will show itself once the little babe has arrived (11 more weeks!).
The pattern is the Big, Bad Baby Blanket from Stitch n' Bitch. I used 8 skeins of Koigu KPPPM colorway p103 (green), size 9 needles. The finished measurements are approximately 32" x 33".

Towards the end I thought I was going to run out of yarn, so I bought another skein. Turns out I had just enough to finish the blanket without the extra skein, so now I am making little bitty baby socks to match & most likely a pair for Henry. I finished the first sock on our first day back in Illinois.

Now for some other knitting updates. I am just about half way through with my Noro project and I have begun the second of what I am calling my Second Attempt Socks. The second one seems to be coming along at a much quicker pace. It may be because I had to buy new needles (I lost a couple in Illinois) and I bought shorter ones than the ones I was using previously. I hope to have both of these projects finished by the first of August. I'm not holding my breath though.

Also, I got a few goodies while in Illinois. Since I am determined not to be a sock knitter, Matt picked out some sock yarn for his pair of socks (that I will apparently be knitting). I decided it is only fair for everyone in the Lewis household to have a pair of hand-knit socks, then after that we'll see. Maybe a pair a year (for me).

Matt's dad and stepmom (Chris) have a llama farm. Chris is a spinner and a knitter and she gave me this skein of black 100% alpaca. She said try it out and see what I come with and then she can send me more. It's the darkest, prettiest black I've ever seen even though the picture is terrible. We have too much dog hair floating around here for me to knit anything a solid black, but I will keeping my eyes open for a good pattern to incorporate this into.


photo friday.4 (with guest photographer)

This is the first photo friday with a guest photographer - Henry. He snapped these shots while we were visiting in Illinois and the one of Matt turned out to be one of my favorite pictures from the trip. He took several good pictures actually, so I can't just pick one. My camera is kind of heavy for him, so I love how everyone has to bend over to fit in the frame.
That is Matt's brother Rick in the bottom photo. We hadn't seen him since last year because he's been in Afghanistan. We're so glad he's home safe.


Visiting Home

Visiting Home, originally uploaded by gonzomama.

I feel like we just packed a full summer into one week. We made the rounds visiting all the grandparents on Matt's side and other family and friends. We went boating, caught lightning bugs, stayed up way too late, had fish fry's, and spent quite a bit of time in the car. We missed naps or took short ones, ate too much junk, swam in the lake, did a little fishing (they weren't biting), and played lots and lots of t-ball (beginning at about 7 a.m. every morning). We got spoiled by grandma, teased by brothers, and kissed by the sun. The breeze was almost always perfect, the green lawns were envious, and the country roads were relaxing. We all got to be a part of Matt's little brother George's wedding in which he married my favorite SIL Jessica. The newlyweds spent the day grinning ear to ear and it was an honor to be a part of their day. It was good to be 'home'.


Prep work

Prep work, originally uploaded by gonzomama.

Well, friends, we are soon on our way back to Illinois for the youngest BIL's wedding this weekend. Sure to be a great time. A little hectic mixed with some much needed R & R. I have a feeling this will be the last time we fly anywhere for quite a while. After this the boy is no longer flying for free and I do not enjoy packing for air travel (I tend to over-pack). I'm also a bit chicken to make the 10 hour drive with the boy, too.
I expect I will be gone for the next week or so, but will pop in to say hello if I get the opportunity. I look forward to sharing an FO or two on my return. Until then . . .

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