Whatever!

What to muse about today?

December 18 ~ Quick! Catch-up!

My Two Front Teeth!

It feels as if I was just here, writing about Teagan losing her first tooth.  But no, it’s been four months.  To the day.  Crazy.  Teagan has now lost a total of four teeth.  Just in time, too.  She’s already learned the required song.

She lost the other top tooth about two months ago, and we still don’t see any sign of the adult one coming in.  For awhile, the top and bottom were missing and she looked like she had a coin slot in her mouth.  Also, the tooth fairy is out of (affordable) pirate Lego sets to leave.

Her reading skills have leaped forward, she’s almost able to read books – she can read a few of the pages from Fortunately, The Milk – which is a pretty cool book.

Oh, and she’s earned her white belt in Taekwondo.  And her first trophy.

Ashlin is gearing up for Kindergarten.  Already.  She’s started with Raz-Kids, and can identify some of her sight words. Yes, the four-year-old has sight words.  Also, she’s super jealous of her sister and the tooth fairy visits.

Also!  She was brave enough to go up and take a picture with Santa.  She’s not super happy about it, but she did it. Twice. She was super excited when we saw Santa walking on the street after the town’s tree lighting that she couldn’t stay still.  The blur is Ashlin.  Teagan was so full of awe when he stopped to chat with her, you could see the pure amazement and joy on her face.

Talking to Santa

Hoping you all have a happy start to your holiday season!

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December 3, 2014 ~ A Better Day

Better

Better

Today was a better day. Finally.  I think it’s been at least a month since we’ve had 13/14.  We celebrated by taking her out to the dinner of her choice – she chose McDonald’s for the toy and the play place.

I know I don’t write much about Teagan’s troubles in kindergarten.  It makes me uncomfortable to complain about the issues we’ve been having.  What we’ve tried, what worked – if only for a little bit.  Most of what we try doesn’t have much success.  It’s frustrating.  I don’t like failing, failing her.

I know eventually we’ll get it all figured out, but in the meantime, we celebrated our good day.  Our little victory.

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March 19, 2014 ~ Love is Like [Crocheting] Ice Cream

Granny Stripe

This doesn’t exist any more.  I pulled out almost 1,700 yards of afghan worked in granny stripe, balled the yarn, and started over.  Yeah, crazy.  I know.  Somewhere along the way, I stopped liking how the Neapolitan yarn was looking with the granny stripe stitch.  I actually enjoy the stitch, and actually crocheting it.  Something about the stitch and the yarn, and the change of skeins.  I’m not even sure what it was.

So, I hunted for a new pattern to do, a different style.  Something that isn’t all clusters, but still had an interesting stitch combination.  And of course, nothing too intricate, any of the intracacy would be lost in the strawberry/chocolate/vanilla striping of the yarn.  Also, crocheting is usually very relaxing, and most often done at the end of the day when I’m tired.  I don’t count well when I’m tired.

I ended up starting this pattern instead.  I think I’m happy.  It’s been fun so far.

Do-Over

 

 

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October 22, 2013 ~ Time Turner Shawl

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Lace

Before I started the girls hats and mittens (Yes!  There are mittens now!) I knit a lace shawl.  Yes.  A lace shawl.  With really thin yarn.  It had actually started as a crochet shawl, but though I loved the pattern, I wasn’t happy.  I frogged the crochet and swapped over to some knitting needles.  Thanks to Ravelry, I was able to find an easy enough lace pattern.  One that I was capable of doing.

A friend and I started the Time Turner Shawl at just about the same time.  That gave me confidence!  We’d be going through it together, I’d have someone to ask questions of, bemoan the tricky bits.  The beginning was easy enough. once I figured out how to pick up stitches down the side to start the triangle shape.

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Stitch markers and a pink lifeline

I restarted a few times, learned that I needed to use a lifeline and was also incapable of counting to six with any accuracy more than twice.  Stitch markers were a lifesaver.  Every 12 or so stitches, I’d put a new marker.  At the start of every 8 row pattern repeat, I’d place my lifeline.  I would still get lost in the pattern, so a friend suggested writing the piece of pattern I was doing onto an index card. Looking only at that.  This, with the lifeline and stitch markers got me through.

Mostly.

There are still mistakes.  I had to use that lifeline more times than I’d like to admit, but I did it!  All in all, a frustrating, fun, and learning experience.  I couldn’t work on it when I was tired.  Or distracted.  But that was ok, I worked on the Big Button Wrap when I couldn’t think enough to do the shawl.  Working on it start-stop like that, it took almost two months to finish.

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In progress

While doing this I added a few skills and tricks to my bag – slip, slip, knit (SSK) and make 1  (M1), stretchy cast-off.  A bit more of how stitches stack up and work together. I thought, since I was knitting right to left, that I needed to swap my decreases, so anytime I saw SSK or K2tog I would swap them. (I’ve since learned differently.  Go figure).

Anyway, it was great to finally finish this shawl.  But the work wasn’t quite done once it was off the needles.  I still needed to block it.  I pulled out the blocking wire kit, prepped the table while the shawl soaked in the sink.  Then I rolled it in a towel and pushed the water out.  You’re not supposed to let the work stretch out with the weight of the water, or twist it dry.

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On the wires

Getting the shawl onto the wires wasn’t difficult, but was a bit awkward.  Watching the lace open up as I pinned it out on the table was amazing.  And rewarding.  It felt really good to see my work go from nice to airy and beautiful.  I  was really proud of my work.  And maybe took a few too many pictures…

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Lace detail

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Edge detail

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Open lace

I gave this shawl to my god-mother. My aunt.  She couldn’t believe I had done it.  The last time I had seen her, I was only crocheting.  I got a phone call thanking me, and also a lovely card.  She took it with her on her trip to Paris.  I love that my work made her so happy.  That makes me happy, and makes all the effort worth it.

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October 15, 2013 ~ Like a Carousel

Teagan’s Hat

I finished Teagan’s hat today.  Yay! Me!

The yarn was picked out – by Teagan – months ago, before I had the skills to even attempt the hat.  I had fallen in love with this yarn – Adriafil Knitcol – it’s self striping!  I knew I had to find just the right pattern for it.  Thankfully, I found this lovely pattern on Ravelry and knew it would be great for Teagan.  And the yarn.  And it would give me another chance to work on my i-cord.  (For some reason I hadn’t gotten it to work before).

A few days prior, I had worked up a matching scarf using the same theme as the hat – knit a few rows then purl a row.

Scarf

I really don’t have a good picture of it yet – I still need to block it – but I’ll be sure to take some soon!

The hat was fun to knit up.  I needed to modify the pattern a bit to account for the thinner yarn and needles and my daughter’s larger than 3-year-old head.  For some reason, I have a jog, a loose stitch, where I change rounds, but I’ll figure that out soon enough.  She’s not going to notice!

As I was doing the decreases, I got to practice using the double-pointed needles.  They were very awkward feeling the first time I used them.  But this time it was a bit easier.

Shrinking… Shrinking…

I’m really pleased with how it turned out!  I needed to tink out a few rows this morning, to start the decrease rounds a bit earlier.  But the i-cord turned out pretty well, although I need to figure out how to cast off better, this was messier than I’d like.  But for a first success?  Just fine.

When Teagan noticed the hat on the island as she went in to dinner, she squealed!  Grabbed it up, plopped it on her head, and started dancing around the kitchen.  It was not easy getting a picture of her wearing it.  LOL!

Happy girl!

Happy Girl!

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This side?

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Silly girl

Now, to get her mittens done!  I hope I have enough yarn left over!

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August 11, 2013

Beach babiesVacation!  We went on vacation!  To Wildwood, New Jersey, and it was awesome!

We rented a condo for the week with friends of mine from college.  Friends that we haven’t seen in much too, too long.  Her kids were just wonderful with the girls.  It took a little time for Teagan to warm up, a bit longer for Ashlin, but soon enough, there were pig piles and giggles.

Pig pile!

Fast Friends!

The girls loved the beach, and we went just about every single day.  Ashlin was a bit unsure about the surf, but she eventually found her bravery and decided that she would kick the waves!  Teagan also needed just a bit of warming up to the surf too.  Maybe getting slammed by a wave the first day out while trying to build a sand castle put her off a little.  But there were these lovely tidal pools that they romped in.  They had such a great time.  Teagan even found a hermit crab!

One week away wasn’t any where near long enough.  The girls didn’t want to leave the beach, their new friends.  It was nice to spend so much time with my friends too, and their kids.  Who were wonderful with my kids.  And who have grown up so much.  My girls miss K & T.  They have asked if we could have dinner with them.  Soon.  I hope.  Very soon.

Funny face!

Funny face!

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Don’t choke your sister!

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Look! A bird!

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July 24, 2013

double rainbow!

Yesterday, we followed a rainbow home from the store. It started as a double rainbow, but as the rain evaporated, it became one arc.

Teagan said that there was treasure at the end of the rainbow. As the girls pointed at the rainbow we were following, I said that it looked as if the end was over our house.this made the girls very excited. “Drive faster!” Teagan said. “Faster!” Ashlin echoed. “We’re getting closer!” Stu encouraged. “Treasure! I want to find treasure!” Teagan said. Up, up, up the hill we went.

As we turned the final corner to our house, the rainbow moved, and settled to a house or two away from ours. As we get the girls out of their car seats, Teagan asks if we can follow the rainbow so we could get the treasure? No, sweetie, we can’t follow it into someone else’s yard. Maybe next time.

Dejected, the girls allow us to corrale them towards the front door. Stu looks down and asks Teagan if she saw something in the grass. When she looked where he was pointing, she saw a silver coin, a lollipop and a glass gem. Her head nearly exploded. She screamed that the treasure fell as the rainbow moved, the leprechauns dropped it. They both did a happy dance. She claimed the lollipop and the gem, Ashlin got the coin.

Watching them, their joy, I am so glad Stu was such a quick thinker, and had a Big Y coin, the dumdum Teagan earned for being good at naptime, and a bit of glass that Teagan probably swiped from daycare the day before in his pocket to quickly drop in the grass when the girls weren’t paying attention.

They are going to want to chase rainbows for years. So awesome!

End of the rainbow...

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December 27, 2012

#christmas #tree with #presents. Before

Just after Santa arrived

We had an awesome Christmas, with too many presents for babies, too much good food.  And snow.  We had a white Christmas.

Teagan and Ashlin each got to make treats for Santa, and Teagan dictated a note for him.  Ashlin did a great job making her treats, maybe better than Teagan, who just wanted to mix the ingredients all up.

We went out to celebrate LaLa’s birthday, and came back to change into Christmas pj’s, and head to bed, because of course, you need to be asleep or Santa wouldn’t come.  We were hard pressed to get all the presents under the tree, and not all the stocking stuffers fit in the stockings.  Some extra went into peppermint candy bags.

Teagan loved opening her presents, and as many other people’s presents as would let her.  I gave her some of Ashlin’s to open, reinforcing that she was helping her sister, as Ashlin ran out of steam way before her presents ran out.

After a nap, the girls went outside to play in the snow, and Ashlin loved it.  The first thing Teagan did was make a snow angel on the walkway.  I ran to get my phone, but by the time I got back, Ashlin had walked through it.

The girls had a big Christmas, hopefully one that Teagan will remember.  Hopefully one that will leave Ashlin with some warm fuzzy memories too.

#hat!  Yay for #crackers

Goofy Christmas Princess

#rudolph's replacement

Rudolph’s Replacement

On our way home, accidents and traffic forced us to reroute and we drove through Sandy Hook.  It was heartbreaking.  So many memorials, so many tributes.  Luminaries.  Christmas trees.  Signs.  Stuffed animals and flowers.  Such a beautiful town to have such evil happen there.  We ended up going back onto the highway before the road was clear, it was so difficult to see all the tributes.  And then I snuggled my girls when we got home.  I’m so glad they still like to snuggle

snuggles on the sofa

Snuggles on the sofa

PS.  Teagan did get her copy of “The Princess and the Frog.”   Ashlin is doing much, much better, though still isn’t sleeping well.

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October 14, 2012

IMG_5233Blowing Kisses in the Pumpkin PatchIMG_5159IMG_5160IMG_5164IMG_5168
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2012 10 – Apple Picking & Pumpkin Patch, a set on Flickr.

Today we went pumpkin and apple picking. Yay! Thankfully, we met up with some friends, who helped us corral the girls, who were bouncing around like pinballs from pumpkin to pumpkin. Looking at the donkeys, the hay, the ghost pumpkins, the mums.  We were lucky it was such a lovely day, we didn’t need heavy coats or boots.  It was nice to be out in the fall day, without being cold.

Trying to get a nice picture of the two girls by the pumpkins was like trying to herd cats, they both kept going off in different directions, looking somewhere else.  Eventually, with Stu helping along with some fruit chews, I was able to get one or two good ones.

Teagan got to ride on the donkey again, with her friend.  Ashlin was very upset that she was too small to ride the mammoth donkey, but she just wouldn’t have been able to stay on.  Next  year, she’ll get her donkey ride.  This year, she had to be content with a ride in the wagon, surrounded by pumpkins.

We lost one friend as we headed off for the apple picking – nap time! – but we still had a good time. Ashlin was really funny, she could not stop eating apples, she was obsessed. She was toddling around, holding her apple with two hands, taking a bite and saying “apple! Apple!” over and over.  Teagan turned out to be a very good apple picker, once she understood not to pick the ones from the ground, and to check to see if there were blemishes on the ones on the tree before they went into her bag. She ended up picking almost 10 pounds of apples all by herself!

Ashlin did pick one or two, and put them in a bag for later. We were hard pressed to convince her not to eat them right then and there. Teagan also loved eating the apples right from the tree, she’s never really had a whole apple before. Somehow, I’ve always sliced them up for her. I guess it’s time to stop, both girls are more than capable of eating a whole apple.

So, we now have four pumpkins and some twenty pounds of apples. And some good memories of the day.

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July 3, 2012

20120703-225824.jpgMore fireworks tonight!  We had gone to a local show on Friday, had a blast.  Today, it was just us.  We decided that we’d leave to get there just in time for the show.  The girls got to bed a little early, and were woken up about an hour or so later.  Both were very groggy as they were loaded up into the car and off we went.

Teagan was excited, but sleepy.  Ashlin napped most of the way down, though did wake up and sing a little.  There was a bit of trouble parking, but eventually we found a spot, and headed to the beach.  I love watching fireworks on the beach, over the water.  You can also see other towns’ shows, with the ocean in the background, reflecting the bursts back up to the sky.  Unfortunately, you often miss out on the concussive blasts, the bang!, of the displays.  Sometimes I think I am happy having beach beneath my feet, other times, I need the explosion.

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Ashlin pointed at the fireworks for a while while Stu held her.  But soon enough, she got fussy.  I had her for a bit, then put her in the stroller.  Teagan watched the show for a while, then got distracted by the sand, and a couple of Hispanic girls nearby who were throwing sand.  She tried to throw some, but I told her she was not to throw sand.  “But them girls is throwing sand.”  I sounded just like my mother when I replied “Just because someone else is doing something, doesn’t mean you should.”  I followed with a “maybe their mother doesn’t see what they’re doing.”

20120703-225835.jpgThe finale got her attention again.  It was a nice finale, lots of bursts and some lovely, loud explosions.

We loaded up the stroller, then the car, and braved the traffic.  As we crawled along at a hungry caterpillar pace, she asked if we could go see more fireworks.  Tomorrow.  With Guthrie, and Emaline and Eric.  With a picnic and music.  Then go to the beach.  I guess Ashlin and the other moms can go have drinks and stay in air conditioning.  He he he.

Maybe we’ll get to go to another show this year.  Probably not though.  It would be nice.  Maybe we’ll try the same thing Friday, if there’s a show close enough.  Dinner, early bed, wake up and load into the car to get there in the nick of time.

Maybe we’ll get to sit closer.  So we can feel them.

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