Saturday, December 29, 2007

A Real Beauty

I don't think that I have ever found a vegetable " beautiful." That is, until now. I have never seen Romanesco broccoli before, and when it arrived in our harvest box from Los Poblanos Organics I seriously had no idea what it was. It looks too good to eat! I will be preparing it tomorrow with some shrimp and olive oil--nothing too strong, I want to be able to savor the taste of this beauty!
Yesterday I met a good friend in Santa Fe. We were planning on walking around the plaza, but it was frigid outside with a bitter cold breeze. So, we ended up staying in Borders for an hour and a half time looking at books and drinking coffee. While we were there, i was able to pick up these:I have been really interested in sewing lately--ever since I made those cloth Christmas bags. There is so much I don't know how to do, but I'm very interested in learning. I'll keep you posted on this new fiber adventure!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

I Couldn't Stop Myself

I just had to start the Lady Eleanor Entrelac Stole from Scarf Style (if you're a Ravelry user, there are tons of beautiful examples of this project). The beautiful Noro Silk yarn had been burning a hole in my closet for close to a month now, and I have been a good girl with finishing my Christmas gifts (except for one that I won't talk about just in case I start to feel a bit guilty). This is my first time knitting entrelac-style, and so far I am really enjoying myself. It doesn't need my attention like colorwork, but it's much more interesting than stockinette. I love the way the colors fit into nice little triangles and rectangles. I also love the feel of the yarn--so silky smooth, yet natural and earthy. The colors are beautiful as well--purples, teals, creams, and greys.
I forgot to include a picture earlier of Matthew's stocking, so here it is. It matches his daddy's stocking, except for the name and color. Someday I'll have to make myself one (the dogs, cats and I have store-bought). :)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Matthew's First Christmas

We had such a wonderful Christmas this year. On Christmas Eve my parents, Pat's parents, and my brother came over for a soup supper. We then went to the children's service at our church (there was no way Matthew could handle the midnight service), then my parents and brother came back over and we opened family presents. Of course, Matthew wasn't spoiled at all. :) Santa came on Christmas morning, we visited with Pat's parents, and we went to my parents' house in the afternoon for dinner. Matthew's first Christmas was a time of laughter, family, and of course celebrating the birth of our Savior. It couldn't have been more perfect.

My favorite gift was the camera these pictures were taken with! Yay! Here is another great gift from Santa:
Pat didn't seem to mind too much that his sweater didn't get finished. I'm still working on it, though, and I'm trying not to start anything else before I finish it. I have new projects, complete with yarn, in sight, and I'm trying not to be too tempted. It's so hard!
I hope that everyone had a terrific Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Check, Check, um...

Cloth bags: check
Finished scarf: check
Finished mittens: check
Finished Pat's sweater: um...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Not a Seamstress

Well, I thought I'd take a break from the craziness of this week and update my blog. I do have some crafting news to report, and this time it's not all in the knitting realm (this is both good and bad). I decided this year to make cloth gift bags that can be reused instead of wrapping paper, so on Tuesday I got started on them. I am by no means a seamstress, but I found the endless cutting, pinning, and ironing of little squares and rectangles strangely therapeutic. While working on my second bag I started to really enjoy the almost-instant gratification on having a finished object that I rarely get from knitting (the instant part). Then, my sewing machine started acting up. Again and again and again. The thread would clump, or come out of the needle, or do something that I wouldn't know how to fix. After much cursing and ripping of seams I decided the put the sewing machine away...or I was seriously going to throw it off of the canyon across the street. Luckily things went much more smoothly the next day, and I now have eighteen cute Christmas gift bags. I don't know how i fixed the problem, but at least the sewing machine was working better--and I was working better--the next day.

Matthew's stocking is also just about finished. All I have to do is the last "T" (for MATT) in duplicate stitch. It's red with a white snow flake that was completed intarsia-style. I also want to put in a lining, but if that doesn't happen before Christmas then that's ok. Sadly, I really don't think that Pat's sweater will be finished before Christmas. I hope he still loves me...

I hope that you all have a fabulous Christmas! This pic graced our Christmas cards this year:

Thursday, December 13, 2007

An Excuse (Like I Need One!) to Wear New Mitts

I had my advising meeting this morning at Santa Fe Community College and am signed up for my first course, "Exceptionalities and Placement." It's an online course and will start in January. I am excited for a new educational opportunity. I'm also happy that I worked for a couple of years prior to seeking additional endorsements. Hopefully having spent some time teaching will help me keep perspective and have some experiences to draw from. This will be my first online course, so I hope that I have enough personal willpower/motivation to get everything in on time.

It's been pretty cold here, so the snow from a couple days ago hasn't completely melted away yet. The cold weather gives me the chance to wear these fantastic mitts that I wrote about earlier in the week from my swap partner:
And here is the rest of the contents from her package. I am one lucky swap partner! : )'m on my way to a hot bubble bath, a glass of wine, and a new book (that I'll blog about after I get into it a little more). In closing, here are some WIPs that better be FOs by tomorrow evening if I'm to stay on schedule!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

A New Endeavor

Right now (Tuesday morning) it looks like a winter wonderland outside. We finally got some snow--yippee! I say "finally," because the last couple of weeks the precipitation has been in the form of rain. I've lived in New Mexico for 17 years and never remember it raining in December (and they say global warming is a hoax--ok, I won't get political : ) ). The schools are on a 2-hour delay, but I wouldn't be surprised if they have a snow day. I know Pat would love that (as would I, for his sake)! So, Matthew's sleeping, Pat's shoveling, and I'm working on my blog. Sounds good to me!

Yesterday I was not in a very good mood due to being up most of the night with Matthew, when my package came from my mitts swap partner. It instantly put me in a good mood! Angelika sent me some AMAZING fingerless mitts. I don't have pics yet, but will post them as soon as they're downloaded. I'm wondering if she created her own pattern? She is incredibly talented, and I am fortunate to be on the receiving end of that talent. :) She also sent me a mug with chocolate-drink goodies, a sheep keychain, mini sock ornament, stitch markers, sock yarn, an oven mitt and yummy brownie mix. I have had a very positive experience participating in a swap, and I look forward to doing another one soon.

I also realized yesterday that there are only TWO weeks until Christmas instead of the three I thought there were! Yikes! I have no idea what I was thinking--wishful thinking, I guess. Now I'm a bit panicked because I have a number of knitting projects to complete. I'm mostly worried about Pat's sweater. He's been waiting for over a year for its completion, and I promised him it would be done by Christmas. Here is a little schedule to push myself a little more:
1.) By Friday evening: have WIPS (mittens and scarf) finished
2.) By next Tuesday: have Matthew's stocking complete
3.) By Christmas morn: have Pat's sweater complete.
Now that it's in writing, you need to hold me to it!

For a couple of years now, I've been seriously considering going for an MA and/or certification in special education. Since I have some time now, and need some intellectual stimulation, I've decided to pursue a special education licensure (the only masters programs are two hours away, which would be very difficult to do at this time. The licensure program can be done online). It's 21 credits and through Santa Fe Community College. Hopefully I'll be able to set up an advising program for next week so that I can start a couple of courses in January. I'm very excited for this. I've always been interested in special ed, have had some very positive experiences with the students in special ed (particularly severe needs such as Down Syndrome) who have been in my class, and it would also give me a way to (hopefully) would part-time when just having an elementary licensure wouldn't. So, wish me luck on this new endeavor!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Swap Mitts

My swap partner received her package safe and sound. I did mail it priority, but it still amazes me how quickly it traveled from New Mexico to Georgia. Sure beats the Pony Express! Anyway, here are the mitts and stats:

The mitts came from the spring 2006 edition of IK under the pattern, "Pom-Pom Fingerless Mitts." I've always liked the geometry of the pattern, and I had a lot of fun making them. I used DK Swish from Knit Picks in "cornflower." My gauge was a little too big, so I omitted one of the 12-stitch cable panels. I also made the thumb-hole on the bottom of one of the mitts so that the mitts would be symmetrical (the cable going in opposite directions instead of the same direction as originally found in the pattern).
In other knitting news, yesterday I finished a felted bag for a friend. It turned out a lot bigger than other bags I've made from the same pattern. I even kept it in the washer for a longer amount of time. I wonder if it had anything to do with yarn being black? Now that the bag is done, as well as the mitts, I'm feeling a little more confident about finishing all of my Christmas gifts on time. I started some mittens last night for a very special somebody and am already half-way done with one. I have several stocking patterns here, but love this one for Matthew. I'm pretty sure I'm going to order the pattern. One issue I always have is getting yarn. It's a 45 minute drive to a yarn shop in Santa Fe, and it's just a bigger ordeal now that I have Matthew. It's a little late to order from Knit Picks, especially since my last order took almost two weeks to arrive! Oh well, we'll figure something out.

Speaking (typing) of Matthew, he's on the verge of crawling!!! He is now supporting himself on all fours and rocking back and forth, sometimes pretty vigorously. When he tries to move forward, though, he falls flat on his belly. It doesn't seem to phase him, and he just gets up and tries again. He was six months old yesterday, and he really is growing so quickly. Everyone told me he would, and now I can really see it!

As far as the lonliness issue goes, I'm feeling much better right now. On Monday Pat came home right after work (instead of going to the gym), and I went for a swim. It felt so good! Swimming is one of the few athletic activities I actually ENJOY doing and can do for a while. It was a good workout, and I'm looking forward to going again. I also went to a play group at our church yesterday. Matthew enjoyed getting out and doing something different, and it was really good for me to have some social interaction with other moms. I ran into one of the La Leche League leaders yesterday and she told me, "moms aren't meant to be at home by themselves all day. They were meant to sit around the soup pot together and talk while the little ones play together." Oh, how I wish it were that simple! We're having some friends over Friday evening, so I'm having fun planning for that. I think that I'm just going to have to make a conscious effort to get out of the house and do some things for myself sometimes. It really does make me a happier person and a better mother and wife.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Two Down, Many More to Go!

On Wednesday I finally finished my mitts for the Fingerless Mitts for Fall KAL swap. My swap partner is Angelika, and I sure hope she likes the mitts! I'll be sure to post pictures, along with the details about the pattern, once sue receives her package. I'm excited to receive her package--it's like an early Christmas present, plus I love surprises!
Im feeling a little stressed about the holidays and getting everything knit up in time. Last week I whipped these up for the baby next door:

They're "Mary Jane Booties" from a little knitting brochure I picked up at the grocery store a couple years ago. They probably took me about two hours to do. I used one of my favorite yarns, Debbie Bliss Baby Casherino.

I've been feeling a little lonely lately. I try to get out of the house with Matthew, but this past week has been pretty cold and rainy, so we haven't gone on many walks. I can definately tell a change in my mood/additude when I'm not able to get some fresh air. I love snow, rain, and grey days, but since I've always lived in the southwest I don't think I could handle living somewhere where it snowed or rained a lot. I've never had the opportunity to experience it, but I wouldn't be surprised if I would be one to experience seasonal depression.

I love being home with my son, and I made the decision to do so, but sometimes I really crave some social interaction. I think that it's been especially difficult because I had an extemely social occupation as a teacher. I feel like I've gone from one extreme to the other. My day was also very scheduled as a teacher, and I find myself trying to make some kind of schedule at home. Of course, I don't force that schedule on Matthew, but it helps me to have some kind of plan for the day. I'm been reading the blog, Yarnstorm, lately, and I love how she focuses on the daily small blessings in her life (as many blog do). I'm also interested in her book, The Gentle Art of Domesticity, but it's only sold out of the UK right now.

I thought I'd wrap this post up with a family pic from Thanksgiving:

(I can't wait to get my own camera so that there won't be such a delay on posting pictures!)

Have a fantastic week! :)

Monday, November 26, 2007

I won!

I've been drooling over the Lady Eleanor Stole from Scarf Style for weeks now, but the yarn that I wanted to use (Noro Silk Garden) is so expensive! Well, I looked on ebay and placed a bid for 10 skeins of Silk Garden. Last night I won the yarn! Yay! Basically I'm spending half as much as I would have normally, making the stole MUCH more affordable (ahem, $55 instead of $110)! An added bonus: they carry Scarf Style at the local library. Now I cannot, I repeat, I cannot start this until I finish my Christmas presents!

Friday, November 23, 2007

My Blessing

Right now it is snowing--HARD! We woke up to about three inches, and now there is about six. It has been a relaxing and cozy morning. I always love the day after Thanksgiving. We don't do the "Black Friday" thing, so it's a time of togetherness and down-time around the house. Pat did have to do some shoveling, but we also played with Matthew, watched some football and enjoyed leftover turkey and trimmings together. I've also been able to sneak in some tea-drinking and mitt-knitting. :)

Of course, like many people, I've been reflecting on what I'm thankful for. This year it goes without saying what I'm thankful for--my son. I thought I'd use this post to write about Matthew's birth.

Before I conceived Matthew, I had three miscarraiges. Since I was a healthy woman in my early twenties without any family history of miscarraiges, my OB/GYN was baffled. He sent me to a fertility specialist in Albuquerque who did a number of tests. A couple of weeks later I found out I was pregnant for the fourth time, but not all of the tests had come back. When they finally did, one indicated that I tested positive for a phospholipid antibody. Basically what that meant was that my body was recognizing the embryos as "foreign," therefore cutting off blood supply to them. Since I was already pregnant, the doctor put me on blood-thinners right away. The heparin I was on was injected twice a day--ouch! I was on that for about eleven weeks.

During my 17 week check-up with the perinatologist, we found out that Matthew was a boy. We were delighted (but also would have been delighted with a girl)! The perinatologist also discovered that the umbilical cord only had one artery instead of the usual two (this happens in under 1% of pregnancies). This statistically implied that there was an up to 40% chance of a congenital or genetic disorder such as Down Syndrome. We would love any baby God would bless us with, but did want to be prepared, so we had genetic testing done. Luckily it found that the risk was extremely low for us.

Because of the single artery umbilical cord, I was induced a week early. It was a fairly easy birth (after the epidural!) and that happiest day of my life. Matthew looked perfect. He was, however, having difficulty breathing. That evening he was taken out of my room to pediactrics to be monitored. The following day I was able to change rooms to be closer to him. He was on oxygen and had various heart/breathing monitors hooked up to him. His breathing kept getting worse and I just knew that something was very wrong. He seemed happy and comforted when I held him, but nursing was just too difficult. It was taking all of his strength just to breathe. The next day (Wednesday) the pediatrician inserted an IV into Matthew and told me not to nurse him anymore. That evening he called the NICU at Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque (I delivered at St. Vincent's in Santa Fe) and set up a transport team to take him there.

Pat had gone home to Los Alamos to pack some things to take to ABQ when the transport team arrived, so I was alone when the nurse practitioner in charge of the team told me that they would have to intubate Matthew. She told me that he was working too hard to breathe and that if they didn't intubate him he would stop breathing. I signed the papers, but couldn't watch them do it. A couple days later Brenda (the NP) told me it was one of the most difficult intubations she ever did--Matthew was such a fighter even with a sedative!

Matthew ended up being in the NICU for seven days, and they never did figure out what caused his lungs to have such difficulties. Every day he got stronger, and after four days they took the breathing tube out. It was a very difficult time, but I knew he was in good hands.

So, after my history of miscarraiges, the phospholipid antibody problem, the single-artery umbilical cord, then Matthew spending a week in the NICU, you could understand why I am thankful for every day, every moment, with my son. He is the greatest blessing in my life, and I will forever be grateful and praise God for the privelege of being Matthew's mother.

Here is a picture of Matthew shortly after he was born (ignore me!):
and now:
What a little chunk! :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

IK Winter 2007

In the Winter 2007 edition of Interweave Knits, Amy Singer writes, "On the lighter side, I love blogs for keeping me in touch with what we're knitting and with the daily lives of my friends. The deeper reason: socially acceptable eavesdropping into someone's internal dialogue. What you hear can be rather cool." I couldn't have said it better myself!

Speaking (or typing) of IK Winter 2007 edition, I have to say that it has grown on me. At first I wasn't very excited about any of the patterns except for this. Now, after looking through it numerous times, I'm very interested in knitting this and this someday. I think that Veronik Avery is an impressive designer, and I hope someday to have the patience to knit this (I love how the design is actually little kitty heads!). I wonder if that "someday" will ever come?

Monday, November 19, 2007


My pile of FOs for Christmas gifting is growing, which in return makes me much less anxious with the holiday approaching so quickly. I'm actually trying to make a point not to be too stressed out about it. I believe that Christmas isn't (or at least shouldn't be) about stress and presents, and I especially want to savor every moment of Matthew's first Christmas. Since presents are a standard part of the holiday, however, I'm trying to go the handmade route for my relatives and close friends (see "handmade pledge" at right). This way I know that they will receive something unique and hopefully useful. So far I have completed two pairs of fingerless mitts, a pair of felted mittens, an "airy scarf" from Last Minute Knitted Gifts, and I'm half-way done with Pat's sweater. I'm feeling pretty good about all this, but I still have a ways to go: wool scarf, another airy scarf, gaiter, mittens, and a couple of felted bowls. My priorities are a pair of fingerless mitts for my swap pal and a felted bag for a friend's daughter. Whew! I have my work cut out for me!

On the domestic side of things, I spent the morning making ginger cookies--yum! I love baking when it gets cold outside. I also love making soup--we had tuna cheddar tonight. I don't usually like tuna, but I like this soup. Probably all of the cheesy goodness. Football ended Friday night with a loss in the first round of playoffs. I'm sorry that they lost, but I'm not sorry to have my husband back! I'm looking forward to having Pat come home right after work and spend time with me and Matthew. He's a terrific dad, and Matthew's face lights up when he comes through the door.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I'm in!

Today I received my invitation to join Ravelry! I've checked it out a little bit, but there's a whole lot more to see. I just need some time to really explore the site and all the tools. It looks like it will be great for organizational, social, and inspirational purposes. I've heard so much about it, and I'm excited to be in!

I've been working on Pat's sweater while I've been working on my KnitPicks order to arrive, and it seems like it's been taking for-ev-er (the sweater, not the order). Pat's a pretty big guy, so I've been doing lots of monotonous ribbing lately. I think that I'll need to take a little break after this sleeve and work on something else. I just hope that I have the willpower to pick it back up again and finish it before Christmas.

Matthew and I took a little drive to Santa Fe this morning to see my grandfather and his wife. They split their time between Santa Fe and Chicago (where Ann lived before she and my grandfather married) and will be here for Thanksgiving. It makes me smile seeing Matthew with his great-grandfather. My grandpa and I have always had a really special relationship, and I'm so thankful that I was able to provide him with a great-grandchild. He was the kind of grandpa who would sing me to sleep at night, create treasure hunts in their house/yard, pull candy out of my ear, and take me on walks in the moonlight with me on his shoulders.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Turning Lemons into Lemonade

I have to admit it, I'm a sweater snob. I love nice sweaters, especially of the j.crew variety. Over the years I've built up quite a collection (most have been gifts--we're poor teachers!). Well, at the end of last winter I took about 6 of my prized sweaters to a local dry cleaner. I'm sure you all know where this is heading...basically, most of them were ruined. When I got them home I could barely fit into them, and it looked like someone had started the felting process and took them out of the wash before it was complete. I took them back and complained, and all they could do was try blocking them for me (they didn't even give me a refund)! Now they still don't fit and the seams are stretched to the max. Needless to say, I'm never going to that dry cleaners again. This all reminded me of the Seinfeld where Jerry tries to get the dry-cleaners to admit that they messed up his shirt.

Anyway, I was talking to a friend about this when she said she had seen an article somewhere about turning recycled sweaters into a throw. This piqued my curiosity, so I've already spent some time browing the 'net for examples. I found some good ones here and here. Now I have something to do with my "ruined" sweaters that will enable me to keep them in some shape or form. I'm actually excited about a new, and somewhat different, craft project. This will have to be after Christmas or after I finish all of my Christmas presents, whichever comes first (unfortunately, it's not necessarily finishing the presents!).

Monday, November 12, 2007

Thank you, Bloggers!

Sometimes I spend so much time reading other blogs that I don't have time to update my own. I am intrigued by the knitting projects others are starting and completing, as well as the lives of others in general. There is such a great knitting blog community out there--I love it! I really think that it's helping me keep on track with my own projects. I find that I'm finishing projects more steadily with the anticipation of being able to post it here. I also am inspired by others' work, and inspiration can be contagious.

I am just about finished with my second pair of Fetching for a friend. It feels good to have completed that Christmas present at least! I have a HUGE order from Knit Picks coming, but it probably won't be here until at least Friday. So...I started working on Pat's sweater again. To tell you the truth, I was working on it this time last year! He's a pretty big guy, so it's a size large, it's monotonous work, and it's just not exciting to work on. I must finish it by Christmas, though. It's WAY overdue!

Friday, November 9, 2007

I Love my Mom!

Thanks, Mom, for always being there for me. Thank you for driving over to help me with Matthew when I was too tired. Thank you for being a wonderful grandmother to my son. Thank you for being a terrific model of a mother for me to follow. Thank you for always puting me and Daniel first. Most of all, thank you for your unconditional love and support. I love you, Mom!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Up for Sunrises

This is a sunrise pic taken last week from our front porch. Actually, it's more like a stoop. Not too shabby, eh? I could do without the electric wires, but I'll still enjoy a beautiful sunrise anyday. I thought that a sunrise picture would be appropriate seeing that Matthew has been waking up pretty early. I guess no one warned him about daylight savings time. :) Yesterday morning he was up for the day at 4:00am. This morning, however, we got to sleep in until 6:00-yay! He also spent the whole night in his crib for the first time! I enjoyed not being kicked in the stomach and feeling like a human pacifier all night, but i have to admit that I missed him being in our bed. I do think that he sleeps better in his crib, and I KNOW that Pat and I sleep much better that way! I hope to have special moments when he does sleep with us sometimes. I remember getting up early on the weekends, sneaking into my parents' bed, then watching Saturday-morning cartoons (they had a tv in their room). I have fond memories of those special moments.

I finished Matthew's longies from Little Turtle Knits tonight, and they are SO CUTE! I tried them on him and they looked like little, cozy long-johns. I'm going to order some bright red yarn tonight for his next pair. Which brings me to my Knit Picks order--it's going to be huge! I'm trying to make most of my Christmas gifts this year and am feeling a little overwhelmed. I've picked out some simpler projects and am focusing on my family and close friends. I'm also excited about the choices of gifts/yarns I've made. I'm taking part in a fingerless mitts swap, and I've picked out the yarn and pattern for the mitts I'm making for my swap partner. I'm anxious to get them started, as well as get together other "goodies" to put in her package. This is my first swap, and I'm looking forward to it!

Sunday, November 4, 2007


Here is our little bee! Actually, he is quite a big bee. Thanks, Grandma, for the costume. Hopefully we'll be able to use it for a future little bee. :) Matthew sure has been buzzing around lately, as in he's been experimenting with his vocal chords. He's "blowing raspberries" now, as well as shieking for fun, saying "oooh" and making other interesting noises. Pat and I get a real kick out of it all. He's also been pretty fussy this weekend. I really think that he's teething because he's constantly chewing on his tongue and whatever other object he can put in his mouth. He just wants to nurse ALL of the time, and because of that he's spitting up a lot. Naptime is also a cry-fest when it wasn't before. Poor little guy. I wish I knew how to help him feel better.

In other exciting news, Pat and I finally rearranged our living room yesterday. We have a funky-spaced living room that doesn't leave us many options, but I think that we may have found a better arrangement. It's cozier now and the sofas and chair are facing each other instead of the TV, which I really like. Pat, on the other hand, is still warming up to it. :)

Here are some FOs: Fetching and Wavy Fingerless Mitts from One Skein Wonders (thanks, mom, for being a great hand-model!). I had fun making both, and one is a gift. It always feels good to have completed projects, especially when one is for someone else! I'm about 2/3 of the way done with Matthew's longies, and I'm really anxious to finish them. They already look so cute and cozy! I read some articles on "stripping" clothe diapers, so I think that I'll try that so we can use his diapers again. It's just amazing how many disposables we've already gone through. I don't think that people should feel guilty for using disposables because I know that every situation is different, but I personally do. Plus, I love my clothe diapers and the adorable covers I have for them. Hopefully you won't have to hear me discuss my clothe diaper troubles after this week!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A Trick...

...brought to me by Fetching. I knew that I would be cutting it close with the amount of yarn I bought (one skein), but I ended up being about 12 inches off--in the wrong direction! So, I wasn't able to finish the second mitt last night. :( I took out two rows this morning, so hopefully now I'll be able to finish the thumb. I definately don't like these kinds of tricks!

Matthew is a bee for his first Halloween, and he's already had a couple of opportunities to show off his costume. Last Friday we went to trick or treating on Main Street--small town fun. This morning I took him to the elementary school I worked at for three years to watch the Halloween parade. I enjoyed seeing my colleagues and former students. Of course, Matthew received many compliments. I hope to have pics of him in his costume up by this weekend.

Happy Halloween! :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Updated Pics

Today I finally finished the wavy fingerless mitts from One Skein Wonders. It wasn't a difficult project at all, but I worked on it just a couple of rows at a time while I was nursing. I'm happy to have one more item to put away for a Christmas present. I'm also nearly done with my first pair of Fetching--just four more rows, a bind off, and a thumb to go! That means tomorrow I'll start on Matthew's longies. I'm always excited to start a new project!

Here are some updated pics of Matthew (and one with his dad). Enjoy! :)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Clothe Diapering Woes

I am so frustrated right now with our clothe diapers. I've been using the Mother-ease cloth diapering system for a couple of months now (before that we used prefolds), and everything has been going fine. Then the detergent we used changed to a concentrated formula and all heck broke loose. I used the concentrated formula and put in half of what I normally would, but following that wash Matthew got an awful rash all over his diaper area in places he never had a rash before-poor guy. I switched to disposable and the rash went away. I rinsed the diapers and tried them again. Another rash. We washed the diapers with a different detergent and tried them again. Another rash. I love my clothe diapers and the whole concept of using them, so all of this really frustrates me. Of course, it also makes me upset to see Matthew hurting. Does anyone have any suggestions? (Thanks again, Heidi, for your previous suggestions!)

In knitting news, I have completed two Lucy bags (from my own pattern) for a friend and her daughter, as well as one half of Fetching. I love the simplicity of Fetching and bought yarn for a pair for myself and a pair for a friend for Christmas (but I'm not telling who in case she's reading!). Hopefully I'll finish both pairs in the next couple of days and will be ready for Matthew's longies. He's actually too big for his six month clothes, so he desperately needs new pants anyways!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Snow! PLUS a photo gallery of FOs

I can't believe it! It's finally here! Snow! Can you tell I'm excited? At about 3:00 pm the clouds rolled in from the north. It started with popcorn snow, and now it's a full-blown snow storm outside! Whoopee! I'm sure it won't last long, but I will enjoy it as much as I can while it's here. :)

I also have some promised pics of finished projects:

First, I have the Harvey Kimono from Louisa Harding's Natural Knits for Babies and Moms. I followed the pattern exactly except that I used Knit Picks DK merino in taupe.

Next I have another pattern from Natural Knits: the Oz Vest. I used Knit Picks DK merino as well, but in fern. This one is still a little big for Matthew, so it will be perfect around Christmas.

Here is a VERY handsome young man modeling a sweater (Debbie Bliss pattern) with matching booties (Zoe Mellor pattern) that were started way before he was even born (but the sweater was just competed!) I used Debbie Bliss Cashmerino for both, and they are so soft!

I have also made a couple of "Lucy Bags" from my own pattern (sorry, these are a little blurry). I haven't seen the Lucy Bag pattern, so I'm not sure how the patterns are different, but what I can see by looking at the bags are that mine seem to be a little more like totes.

Last, but certainly not least, is the "Pity Hat for Pat." :)

Whew, I sure have been a knitting fool!

Saturday, October 20, 2007


...or not so much. Here is how closely I followed my little knitting schedule yesterday: I worked on my sock the entire day! Pat took the day off so we could go to Santa Fe to raise some hell about getting Matthew's birth certificate (they told us we'd receive it between 8-12 weeks and he's now 19 weeks old!). We finally got it, but on the certificate it says he was "registered" in the system yesterday. I seriously wonder how long it would take the state to register him if we didn't go in. No wonder people call New Mexico the "land of manana!" Ok, enough about that. Anyway, since the drive to Santa Fe is 45 min each way, I was able to get some good knitting done. Hey, at least the sock is a UFO and not a new project. :)

I have joined my first KAL: Fingerless Mitts for Fall. I have several patterns that I'm excited to try. Plus, it will help me crank out some Christmas gifts. I'm also in love...with this. I'm already planning on placing a yarn order next Friday. I decided on that day because it's the beginning of my credit card cycle. I can just see Pat's eyes rolling when he sees the amount of yarn being purchased on my credit carn statements! Ah well, he has his football videos!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A Windy Day!

Wow, the weather sure has changed here the past couple of days! Today the high was 60 degrees (F), and it was WINDY! I was planning on going to the Farmer's Market to meet a friend and her son, but decided against it once I stepped outside. My friend ended up coming over after she went to the market. While we were drinking tea and entertaining our sons (and watching them entertain themselves), I thought, "this is why I'm so thankful to be at home right now." It was nice to have a relaxing day around the house, especially since yesterday we were busy running errands.

I have so many Works in Progress right now that I've decided to apply some kind of knitting schedule to my day. I know it sounds rigid, but it's what i need to turn my UFOs into FOs! So, during Matt's morning naps I'm going to work on my projects for Pat (fly fishing cross-stich and sweater from a year ago!). In the afternoon I'm going to work on some felted bags I'm making for friends, and the evening (after Matt goes to sleep) is reserved for whatever the heck I want to do! Tonight I picked up some socks I started last spring. This has definately been a case of the dreaded second-sock syndrome. I have to say, however, that I really enjoyed the delicate work of sock-knitting, as well as the soft yarn being worked with my addi turbos (I love using the Cat Bordhi method of two circular needles). I have some sock yarn in my stash, as well as some patterns I'd like to try, so perhaps my evening will turn into "sock time."

Stay tuned for some pics of my finished projects. I've been using my parents camera, and they finally got their new dock for it. The old one was fried after a lightning strike at their house! Yikes!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

You Are Sunrise

You Are Sunrise

You enjoy living a slow, fulfilling life. You enjoy living every moment, no matter how ordinary.
You are a person of reflection and meditation. You start and end every day by looking inward.
Caring and giving, you enjoy making people happy. You're often cooking for friends or buying them gifts.
All in all, you know how to love life for what it is - not for how it should be.

I got this fun quiz idea from the blog, Home Made Originals. I have to be honest: the first time I took the quiz I was "midnight," which I didn't think fit me at all, so I took it again (I actually would love to be Midnight, but just know that I'm not). Sunrise seems more like me, or who I would like to be. I am really trying to live a peaceful, everyday life full of love and joy. I've always been pretty introverted, but at the same time really care for the close friends I do have. I think that the fact that I have a blog is telling about the "reflection" characteristic. Give the quiz a try, and let me know what time of day you are!

Yesterday Pat was complaining about me never making him anything, so I made him a hat that I'll name, "Pity Hat for Pat." It's blue and grey with a little bit of intarsia. He really likes it and says that it'll be perfect for skiing this year. Maybe I'll make one for myself! I also finally finished the Oz Vest! It turned out well, but is pretty big. I'd much rather it be too big than too small, especially since Matthew has been growing so quickly! I'm really going to try to finish piecing together his sweater that I started last spring when I was pregnant. I'm not letting myself start anything else until I've finished that. Let's just see how much willpower I have...

Friday, October 12, 2007


Today we took our walk mid-morning instead of evening. It seems as though something has been going on each evening this week that has gotten in the way of our walks. We may have to move them back to the mornings permanantly. It was a beautiful fall day, which got me thinking of all the ways I am blessed.

Sometimes when Pat gets home I take some time to vent to him about how my day has gone. I get frustrated with Matthew's 30-minute naps, I sit in our living room while nursing and look at our dog-chewed rug wondering when we're going to get a new one. There are always little things to be annoyed, frustrated and disgusted with. On our walk today I started to think about the BIG things and how truly fortunate I am: I have a beautiful son with whom to spend my day with and God has given me to raise on this earth (I had three miscarraiges before Matthew). I have a loving husband who is intelligent, passionate, and has a great sense of humor. My husband is also a wonderful dad! I am fortunate to have family so close: my in-laws live next door and my parents live 15 minutes away. My mom works about two minutes from my house and comes over whenever I need her help. I have a house full of life with two dogs, two cats, and a baby. I have a home and (way to many!) possessions that bring me comfort. I hope to always remember the "big picture" and how God has blessed me.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

FO High

Today I finished the asymmetrical strap bag (aka Lucy Bag) and was even able to felt it while Matthew was taking a nap. Since I used worsted yarn instead of bulky, it is a bit smaller than the first, but still really cute. I think that I'll save it to give as a Christmas present. It's times like these when I REALLY wish I had a working digital camera. I actually have one picked out, but we're waiting for it to go on sale. Anyway, finishing a project was so exciting that I got cracking right away on the Oz Vest. I finished the edgings, and now all I have to do is sew up the sides. Hopefully I'll stay on my "finished objects high" and complete it tomorrow before starting any new projects!

Yesterday Matthew had his four-month check-up, and it went really well. He hardly even cried for his shots! He is now 17 pounds and is in the 85 %ile for weight and 75 %ile for length! It's amazing considering he was only in the 5 %ile after he came home from the hospital. We must be doing something right!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Yarn Festival

Yesterday Pat, Matthew and I drove to the annual Yarn Festival in Taos, New Mexico. On Saturday I said half-jokingly that I really wanted to go, and I was pleasantly surprised when Pat agreed! Taos is about an hour and a half away, so Matthew slept both on the way there and back. It was a beautiful New Mexico-mountain-fall day. The sun was shining, the leaves were starting to turn, and I was surrounded by yarn, my husband, and my son. Who could ask for anything better? I was able to pick up some untreated wool skeins from a company in Colorado as well as some local New Mexico alpaca hand-painted yarn. I don't know what I'll use the yarn for yet, but I'm excited for when I do use it!

While browsing through some blogs, I came across a cloth-diapering knitter who cited a pattern for wool covers. Instead of designing my own, I'm going to be less impressive and buy a couple of patterns from Little Turtle Knits. Perhaps I'll use some of the untreated wool I bought?

I've come to the conclusion that Matthew is just a very slight sleeper during the "light sleep" stage of the sleep cycle and that it's developmental. Even when I'm holding him while he's sleeping I'll watch him go through the cycle, his eyes will move under his eye lids, he'll smile, then frown. Then suddenly his little eyes will pop open! I just don't know what to do besides accepting the fact that naptime may be rough for a while. I have a difficult time letting him "cry it out," but I am letting him spend more and more time entertaining himself. He is such a sweetheart, especially when he's had enough sleep. I just wish I knew how to help him have more sleep!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

I've had a couple of pretty rough days with Matthew and his (not!) sleeping routines, so I haven't been able to get too much done. Yesterday I finally had enough, put him in the car, and drove to a yarn shop in Santa Fe (about 40 min away). I knew that would finally put Matthew to sleep, and it worked like a charm (I know, I know, I can't put him in the car multiple times a day for hours at a time). I picked up one skein of baby cashmerino to finish up one of Matthew's sweaters, and I also picked up the new Interweave Knits. Here are some of my favorite patterns: Placed Cable Aran, Tilted Duster, Luna Dress. There are several others I like as well! Now, where I'm going to get the time to make anything is the question!

Here is a pic of the kimono sweater, minus buttons. I'm now almost finished with the Oz vest. I just need to do the edging, but that involves picking up stitches and I'm really not in the mood right now. Hopefully I'll finish it within the next couple of days.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Family Pics

Here's a pic of Pat, Matthew and I at a wedding a couple of weeks ago. Pat's eyes are closed, but I like that it shows me carrying Matt in his favorite position. Thanks, Rachel, for emailing me the picture!

P.S. I noticed later that I titled this post "Pics," and it shouldn't be titled that with only one picture! So, here's one more to make it grammatically correct. :)

Friday, September 28, 2007

Finally-an FO!

Pat is at a football game tonight in Las Lunes against Belen High School (outside of Albuquerque). My mom just called me and said that we won 35-13! Go Toppers!

Besides cheering for my alma mater this evening (in spirit), I finished the imitation Lucy bag! I have to admit that I'm pretty darn proud of myself. I saw something I liked, then created my own unique pattern based off of a web photo of the bag. I'm also proud of myself for following through and finishing a project! It's actually drying right now on my kitchen counter, and I can't help myself from going in every once in a while and looking at it. It was a lot of fun doing a felting project since you never quite know what you're going to get. I can't wait to get my new yarn/needle order from Knitpicks! Once I get the pics of the bag downloaded I'll do a review, along with stats, on how it all went.

I see more felted bags in my future, but someone someday please remind me of these UFOs: cross-stitch for Pat, sweater for Pat (poor Pat), black socks with duplicate stitch, Oz vest, two baby sweaters that need to be sewn up. Ah, a pretty long list, but hopefully it will be finished soon. I HAVE to get Pat's projects done by Christmas. Since I need a little pressure to get me going, I am puting those on hold until December 1.

Matthew is still having trouble with his naps, and I am coming to the conclusion that it will be a continuous issue for a while at least. It is very frustrating most of the time, but then he'll have a day where he'll sleep for over an hour at one time. I live for those days! I love Matt, but he is in such a better mood after he's had some sleep. Aren't we all?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

A Nice Little Sunday

So Pat, Matthew and I had ourselves a nice little Sunday. When we woke up there was a steady rain outside, which is definitely not the standard in New Mexico. Pat and I had breakfast and drank our coffee while Matthew played in his bouncy chair. Matthew was able to take a little nap this morning, and I took that time to work on my imitation "Lucy Bag." I'd say I'm about half-way done now.

After Matt woke up we drove to Espanola, a town about 25 minutes away, to have lunch and go to Walmart. Now, usually I absolutely HATE going to Walmart, but since I've had Matthew I'm just so excited to get out of the house that even the thought of Walmart sounded exciting! For those of you who haven't had a baby yet, your perspectice certainly changes in ways no one can prepare you for! Matthew was a good boy the whole time and slept on the way home.

We also took a family walk today. The naughty dogs came and now have mud all over the lower half of their bodies. They remind me of the show I saw about hippos on PBS this morning. Did anyone know that the dominant male hippo is called the "beach master?"

I'm on my way through cyberspace to purchase some Options needles from Knitpicks. I've heard mixed reviews on them, so I hope they work out. I love the Addi Turbos I have, but they're just so expensive. I'm sure that I'll purchase some new yarn to go along with the needles. :)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Yesterday evening I didn't do much thinking on our walk--I was so furious at our dog, Buster, that I couldn't think of anything else. I had spent 2+ hours trying to get Matthew to sleep. I finally got him down, he was sleeping for 25 minutes, and that damn dog barked at a bird from INSIDE the house! Of course Matthew woke up, so he didn't sleep longer than 25 minutes at any one time yesterday afternoon. When I told my husband about it he said that I just need to be patient with Buster, that he's just a high-strung dog. Patience-shmatience! Pat doesn't spend HOURS of each day trying to get Matthew to sleep only to be foiled in the end by a dog. Here is a picture of the culprit and Matthew when Matthew was about 5 weeks old (poor little guy was still on oxygen). Here's another picture of our other dog, Boomer, as well.
After I finished the back, I put the Oz vest to the side for a while and started working on my own version of this "Lucy Bag." I like the design of having one short strap and one long, but thought that I could figure out a pattern for it instead of purchasing one. So far I have the bottom and about 1/3 of the sides completed. I'm using bulky-weight yarn and size 11 needles, and I'm thinking that I should have used size 13. Oh well. We'll see how this goes and what I can do (or not do) to make it better next time. Since I'm working in the round it's a great project to work on while watching TV or when I just don't want to (or can't) concentrate too much.
Pat was at a football game in Albuquerque all day, so it was definately a long week for both of us. The Hilltoppers beat Albuquerque High 49-17, so now they're 4-0. GO TOPPERS!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Sleepless Nights...and Days

Unfortunately we've been having a difficult time getting Matthew to sleep during the night as well as take his naps, thus there has not been any blogging for a couple of days. He had been doing fairly well, so we're not too sure about what's going on. Last night he woke up four times, the night before , seven! Because of all this I've been super tired. I have tried to nap when he's napping, but he's been waking up about every 20-30 minutes. It's driving me crazy! He could be going through a growth spurt and needing to eat more often, but I think that the bigger issue is that he's been sleeping in our bed. Since I'm right there next to him he's been snacking through the night instead of having a few larger feedings. We're trying to get him in his bassinet more often, and I may even try to put him down for his nap in his crib. I just can't see it getting much worse than it already is.

I'm still working on the Oz vest, but it's pretty slow going right now. I'm about halfway finished with the back. It's not a difficult pattern, so hopefully I'll be finished be the end of the weekend. The amount of knitting I get done depends on how much Matthew is able to sleep!

I borrowed my mom's digital camera, so hopefully there will be some new pics up soon!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

How Cute are These?!

I'm absolutely in-love-obsessed with these "longies" by Aristocrats. It's actually a wool diaper cover, and it looks perfect for the cold nights ahead. The downside is that one pair is $50, and my husband would not be very happy with me if I spent that much on one diaper cover. So, my plan is to take on a challenge: I'm going to try to knit a pair myself! First, I need to find the right yarn. Or should I use some stash yarn for a prototype? They yarn used for the longies is untreated, and I don't think that it should be difficult to find. I have several other projects in mind right now, but perhaps this could be a "work in progress" during those times when I'm able to concentrate on what I'm doing.

My grandfather and his wife just got home from their trip to Peru, so I'm thinking of visiting them in Santa Fe this week. I also want to stop by the yarn shop near their house. :)

Pat and I went to a wedding and reception for two of my high school friends yesterday afternoon and evening. We took Matthew to the reception, and he was such a good boy! I was extremely proud of him. He didn't cry once, but he did nurse and sleep a little. He also was held A LOT and got to dance with his mom and dad. It made me proud and happy to be with my two guys. ::GRIN::

Friday, September 14, 2007


I just finished the Harvey Kimono (minus the bottons that I need to buy)! I am very proud of myself for finishing the project before Matthew outgrows it. I wish so much that I had a new digital camera, but you can find a picture of what it looks like here. I used a DK merino in tan, and other than that, didn't stray from the pattern at all. I hope that Matthew will be able to wear it for at least a couple months. Now it's on to the Oz vest...

Pat is coaching at a football game right now, so it's been a long day for the two of us. Matthew is a little stinker when it comes to naps, but I'm just as much to blame I'm sure. It took an hour and a half to get him down this morning, and he never really took an afternoon nap. I decided to change his walks to the evening so that he could have a longer morning nap, so I'm guessing that threw off his schedule a little bit. He just seems to have his "witching hour" from about 5-6 pm, so I thought that would be a good time for a walk.

I just got an update from my mom and so far the Hilltoppers are beating Santa Fe High 14-7. There is still one more half to go, but hopefully the Toppers will continue their winning streak. I really miss going to the football games, but since they start right at Matthew's bedtime, there would probably be meltdowns if we went.

I'm enjoying blogging and reading about others near and far, whom I know and not know, out there in this small world of ours.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Farmer's Market

This morning instead of our usual walk we went to the farmer's market. It's not a very big market, but there is still tons of delicious items to choose from. Right now I am eating a cinnamon roll bought there, and I have fresh flowers on the table. What could be better?

I usually buy a quiche each week from a baker vendor, but they're pretty expensive. So, I am contemplating baking my own quiche! I have made one before, but it took a very long time to bake, which is typical at high altitude (we're at about 7,000 feet). I would also like to start baking bread. A couple of years ago I spent a day at my Aunt Nancy's, and she showed me how to make whole-wheat bread. I have made it once since, but I think that I'll try it again. Perhaps this weekend?

Matthew is sleeping right now, but I did everything the experts say not to do: I nursed him to sleep, he's in our bed, and he's on his tummy. When he's on his tummy I do stay upstairs with him and check on him about every 5 minutes. Naptime is still a struggle for us, but he does seem to be getting better. When he was younger he would only sleep when being held, and he seemed to just catnap all day. Now he sleeps either in our bed or his cosleeper (we're trying to go to using the cosleeper exclusively) and can sleep for up to a couple hours. Being a mother is hard work, but it does seem to be getting easier every day. It has always been rewarding, however.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I Can't Stand Picking Up Stitches!

Today I went to my former elementary school (where I went as a student AND taught) for a staff luncheon. It was fun seeing everyone, and it did make me miss teaching, as well as socializing with my colleagues. Of course I brought Matthew, and I was a proud mama showing him off. He was a little crabby, but it was to be expected since we went in the middle of his nap time. I probably won't go back to teaching for a while. It's one of those jobs that ends up being WAY over 40 hours a week. A part time position next year would be ideal, but virtually impossible in the elementary arena (especially since I don't have a special ed license).

I'm making progress on the Harvey Kimono. Tonight I picked up the stitches for the edging, which is something I find very tedious. I always end up ripping it out and starting over! It's very frustrating, but at least it's over for now. Hopefully I'll finish the sweater tomorrow, Friday at the latest.

Tomorrow is farmer's market day here in Los Alamos. I love going and smelling the green chile roasting! Yum! When I went to college in Colorado, even though it's a border state, I missed Northern New Mexico food so much...there's nothing else like it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Christmas already?!

This morning I started thinking about Christmas and the gifts I'd like to make for my loved ones. Much of my inspiration for Christmas gifts this year is coming from One Skein and One Skein Wonders. I know if I try any larger projects, they will never get done (like the sweater I started last fall for my husband)! I'm already thinking headbands, hats and scarves; felted bags and wallets; perhaps even a car-scraper mitt (from One Skein Wonders)? I'm always excited to start something new, but I MUST finish Matthew's sweaters, vest and hat first (before he outgrows them)!

Fall is definately in the air here in the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico. I noticed this morning that some of the Virginia creeper is starting to turn red, some of the trees' leaves are turning yellow, and I never got warm on my walk even though I was wearing long-sleeves and pants. Fall is my favorite time of year, so I can't wait for more of the leaves to change! I have always loved fall, but I think that I love it more now because my husband and I met during the fall. The season brings back many memories of "firsts" with my husband, and we spent many weekends hiking that first fall together. I am also excited to take Matthew on his first hike. We're just waiting for his neck/head control to get a little stronger before putting him in a backpack.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

My First Post!

After months of reading others blogs, I have decided to create my own. I keep an old-fashioned journal to document events in my son's life, but I need an outlet of my own, and I don't want to fill his baby journal with ramblings about myself (I often wonder what he will think when he looks back and reads it). I also need a place to document the plans I have in life--if they're not documented, they might never be finished. You see, I'm a procrastinator in the greatest sense. I love crafts of all sorts, especially knitting, but I don't have many finished projects. I love the act of creating, and perhaps subconsiously I hate to see a project end. I even have a few baby sweaters that my son is going to outgrow if I don't hurry up and finish them! The projects that I do finish are usually gifts, so I don't have much to show for all of my hard work. I hope that by documenting my projects, as well as other goals, I will feel more inspired to finish them. Perhaps I'll also feel more obligated!

Every morning my son and I go for a 45 minute-1 hour long walk. During this time he sleeps (yay!), and I have time for some reflection and day-dreaming, hence the blog's name. I usually think about the next knitting projects I'd like to do, especially what would make a good gift for the loved ones in my life. Recently I also have been thinking about how I'd like to decorate my house, where I'd like to go on vacation, and (now) what I would like to write in my blog. Countless other random thoughts invade my mind as well.

I am currently working on two sweaters for Matthew. One is from the book, Baby Knits for Beginners by Debbie Bliss, and the other is from Natural Knits for Babies and Moms by Louisa Harding. I seriously can't remember the name of the sweater pattern in the Debbie Bliss book because it's been such a long time since I knit the pieces! All I have to do is sew the seams, but I ran out of yarn. Since I'm 45 minutes away from the nearest yarn shop, and I have a 3-month old who is not always cooperative in the car (but most of the time he's a good boy), I have been able to make it down to get the yarn. The sweater I'm working on from Natural Knits is the Harvey Kimono. I just need to finish the second sleeve, sew the seams, and knit the edging. I love the Natural Knits book! My next projects are: Oz Vest and Beanie.

I apologize for the lack of pictures. I really need to get a new digital camera!