Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Driver's Seat

Avery is getting rear molars and it's making for some peak whining let me tell you. She seems to spend her days paging through a pile of books and peeing on various non-toilets and then sometimes on toilets, but usually pooping on toilets. Oh yeah, and she's been ripping the pages of library books again, to the point that I'm out of packing tape. I send a great big long sigh her way and have banned her from being alone in her room with anything but a board book during her "nap." And, might I mention that getting that child out the door in the morning when it's time to take Jooge to school tests my patience to the max? I read in "Your Two Year Old" that when a kid is two and a half there are often so many battles between parent and child in just one day that it's worthwhile to bring in some back up. Mind you, I have a very sweet and endearing and smart two and a half year old on my hands but wow. I need to learn that whatever I DON'T want her to do, I must phrase it as a "Do." For example, "Hey, color on the walls! That'd be great!" For sure she would rebel and our walls would remain marker free.

Speaking of parenthood as the challenge incarnate, I saw Dan in Real Life and loved it. It's like Little Miss Sunshine meets The Family Stone. Great soundtrack, too. It made me think about my girls turning into teenagers. Gulp! Also, we saw Into the Wild. What a story. I thought about it a long time afterwards. Nature is a truly unbeatable force, all of us vulnerable in its grip. Speaking of which, it's been a year since the James Kim tragedy which I followed so closely last year. If the reminder of that isn't a good dose of perspective, I do not know what is.

Jooge is asleep so I must go and cut her nails, as it is the only time nail cutting is allowed between she and I and they are getting rather dagger-like.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Love Lives of the Preschool Set

Jooge is crazy about a new male schoolmate, we'll call him, "J." She told me she likes him because he has curly hair like her, twenty teeth like her, and he can stand on one foot, like her. He came over the other day and she was BEYOND pumped. It sent her into a frenzy actually, and she put on her princess dress and princess music and asked him dance to with her. Cha! He sat in the chair and loved it but hated it, you could tell. Another day we were going to school and carpooling with J and she was telling him about how she likes to wear her hair in braids. He was such a good sport, responding with, "So it doesn't get in your face?"

Tonight we are babysitting another of her friends who is a boy, we'll call him, "T". He's her original main squeeze. Though they are in her room tucked into her bed they are nowhere near sleeping, so when his parents pick him up he will be wide awake. But I'm not even trying to fight it. Instead, I'm listening to their priceless conversation.

Him: "I told you you could marry me."
Her: "I'm not going to marry you, I'm going to marry...(other boy she's into)
Him: "How 'bout you marry both of us, please?"

Him: "So, are you going to marry me?"
Her: "No, I'm going to marry both of you."
Him: "But I'm so good, first marry me, then marry...."

It soon turned into expressions of love.
Him: "I love you with my belly and my whole body,"
Her: "I love you with my eyelashes."
Him: "I love you with my voice."
Her: "I feel so good now!"
Him: "Me too, now let's go to sleep."


The 'ole hubs pulled out my kind of humor last weekend and hit me with it hard. He had been growing a beard over his week-long vacation. I love facial hair on guys, and he looked very cute with his. So I came home from running errands and the kids came running outside to meet me, shouting something about there being a "musician" in the house.(I later learned they meant magician). I'm bringing stuff in from the car, putting it away, half paying attention when suddenly my husband uses his announcing voice and bursts forth from behind a door, sporting his former beard shaved into a NEW shape......a "Franz Josef" beard. (This illustration is later found on the computer screen....)I haven't laughed so hard in awhile. We contemplated doing an "Olde Tyme" Christmas portrait but that would have required velvet outfits, so instead we just laughed a lot.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Grateful and Thankful

My brother Ryan did this picture when he was but a wee lad. (He supposes he was a first or second grader). It hangs in the bathroom at home, calls out, "Here's a family." It is the original bunch from which I came: my dad, mom, my brother Ry, me, and my brother Andy. Some of us are smiling, some of us are serious. One of us is smoking a pipe. I just love it. It is us.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Here sits my finished felted tote. Yay! It was so exciting to take it out of the washing machine this morning and see how it had transformed. I'm really happy with it.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Being a Knit-Wit

Last year I took a felted tote class at Joann's. It lasted a few weeks and in the course of those I barely got anything started let alone finished. I'd imagined it to be one of those classes where you emerge, knitted tote in hand.

Not so.

For me, it was a frustrating experience because though I knew how to knit, I had definitely never constructed anything. That and I knit continental style, so whenever my teacher would show me something I was confused, because she did NOT knit continental style. She was a really sweet and patient woman, and an excellent teacher. But I couldn't even make an I-chord. It was slow going, lemmie tell ya and for me that's really hard because I don't like to be new at stuff and struggle and mess up. The other class member was GUNG. HO. about knitting and each week she'd come to class miles ahead of me, which was fine, but I wished I'd progressed further before I was set free.

So I finished the class and brought my just barely started knitted tote home on my round needles, which I'd just learned to use. I had my directions and I knew I had to knit a few more rows before doing something new but at some point along the way me and my tightly knitting self really mucked it all up to the point that I could NOT knit any further. When you knit in the round your knitting slides onto the little transparent connector "wires" when it's not being knit and somehow due to my terrible tension I really tightened that part and so you couldn't really even slide it on the needles. That and I'd bought needles that were too short so everything was bunched up all funny. All in all, my knitted tote didn't seem to be headed anywhere. It sat in my knitting bag forgotten.

Then a friend of mine, a fellow preschool mom friend and her daughter came over for a play date and she brought her knitting, because she was knitting a tote too. She was SO patient, worked on my knitting, took it home and fought the good fight, and brought it back to me the next day all better and ready to go again. She had to loosen it somehow so it would slide along the needles. She had to fix a few dropped stitches too. I tell you, everyone needs a good Knit Doctor and dag nabbit if I haven't located mine.

Since then I've been going great guns on my tote and it's getting somewhere! I'm really enjoying it. I've made some changes in my knitting, like actually writing down each row so I don't forget whether I knit or purl it. I am also keeping it loose, very loose. It's hard to abandon the white knuckle way I used to do it, but now I am able to slide my knitting along the needles and that is a good thing. I also bought longer needles so that my work is actually not bunched up on them. It's amazing how a year later a forgotten project can gain momentum again.

I'll show you how it turns out when I finish it.......