Thursday, July 10, 2008

I was going to whine, but.....

I have to say, this has been "a week," if you know what I mean. Todd left for the week on Monday so I've been single parenting this week. Actually, it's not all that bad; since we homeschool I'm with the kids all the time anyway, and the girls can feed themselves if need be and can be pretty independent. I hadn't realized how much I depend on our few minutes of adult conversation in the evenings.

Sunday the Snort came down with some kind of bug. He started throwing up on Sunday, and then got a fever that went as high as 103 F. We ended up taking him to the doctor today, because his fever had gone away but now it seems to be creeping back, and he's still throwing up.

I am SO tired of being puked on.

And today, he had some lovely diarrhea. I went to swim team practice with baby poo on my shirt, which I happily discovered while I was sitting there. Ick.

You know what, though? He's fine, just has a virus - no pneumonia or anything else dire. He was not the baby being put into the ambulance we saw when we arrived at our pediatrician's office today. I am not permanently a single parent - Todd will be home tomorrow. We are fed, clothed, and sheltered.

I'm still a little crabby about all the yakking going on at my house, but I am mostly thankful that my family is safe and whole.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

WIP Wednesday

I started knitting my first pair of socks! I'm so excited. The yarn is Touché by Berroco, in Iris (cw 7933), and I love it! It's not only purple, it's very soft. I'm using the Beginner Socks #9728 pattern from Knitting Pure and Simple. What's nice about it is that it uses worsted weight yarn and larger needles, which makes my first pair of socks go much more quickly than regular socks on those tiny needles. Heh. I am definitely an "instant gratification" knitter, so I'm delighted to see how quickly my first sock is knitting up. The very nice woman at Loops and Links in DePere, WI showed me this pattern and said that it's great for beginners. I'm particularly pleased at how easy it is to follow, because I'm pretty much teaching myself how to knit socks!

And, here is a picture of Schmooey's sweater!

I found the free pattern on Lion Brand's website, except when I saw originally looked at it, it showed "boy colors" in the picture and showed a baby on his tummy. When I went back to find it again, it showed "girly colors" and a baby sitting up. Weird, eh? I was a bit confused and wasn't sure I had the same pattern. Anyway, I'm using Cotton Fleece yarn by Brown Sheep Company in Putty (cw 105), Teddy Bear (cw 025), and Wild Sage (cw 029). It's a cotton/wool yarn, and has a really nice texture. I started it on needles that are a little too large, so I'm going to re-start it on the right size. (I made a swatch and everything. It's a long story.) I really like the colors though, and I think it will be a wonderful sweater for most of the year in NC.

I had originally chosen a gray color instead of the green, but when I got back to Jessie's house and looked at it, I didn't care for it. The gray was a discontinued color and was a great price, hence my reason for choosing it, but it just wasn't working for me. I do love the green though.

Perhaps next week I will have made more progress on my cross-stitch piece for Schmooey's room. I will try to remember to put a picture of that on here.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Ponies, Trotting and Crops

Tonight, I had the privilege of taking the girls to their pony class. Todd left this afternoon for Boxboro, MA for the week, so I am the only transportation available.

The girls told me earlier today that they needed riding gloves. Emma needed them in case she rode Vogue, a pony with a knack for pulling on the reins. Apparently, it's not good to have slippery hands when your pony is trying to pull the reins away from you. Also, Abbie was "told by her instructor that she has slippery hands." They were also quite sure that they needed crops, too, but I envisioned large amounts of money for those so we weren't planning on getting them.

We headed off early so that we could get to the M&M Tack Shop before they closed. We found some lovely riding gloves in an attractive shade of pink. Emma had hoped for the purple ones, but they were out of her size, so she settled for pink. Lo and behold, they had crops - pink and purple, no less - for under $10, so I let them each get a crop too. They were delighted! The Snort got a hold of one of them and said that they make good chew toys, too, so they are multi-functional! (We did have to discuss once we got home that the crops are NOT meant to be used on people or dogs. I'm sure you can figure out why we needed to have that discussion, so I won't elaborate.)

Tonight, Abbie rode Vogue, who is a pretty little pony. See? (This picture is from a previous lesson. My camera informed me that its batteries were dead when I tried to use it at pony lessons tonight.)

She needed her crop for Vogue, as the pony did not feel inclined to trot without a fair amount of encouragement. The instructor asked if she could use Emma's crop, since Emma didn't need it and hers was in the ring already, but Emma was adamant that she did NOT want Abbie to use her crop. So, the instructor came over to me and got Abbie's. Also, I noticed that although Abbie was riding Vogue, the pulling pony, she was not wearing her new riding gloves. You can see that I was feeling pleased that we'd made the extra effort to get to the tack shop, can't you?

Emma rode Bobby, who we thought was an Appaloosa, but in fact, turned out to be an Indian pony. I don't know what that means, exactly, but there you go. Here is a picture of her on Bobby, from a previous lesson:

Can you tell these pictures were not taken in July in North Carolina? They'd have been dead from heat exhaustion!

Bobby was in fine form tonight, and trotted both willingly and speedily. As a result, Emma did not get to use her brand new (purple!) crop, and she was quite disappointed. She was sniffling and sad through the whole lesson, but she kept going, and did very well with the riding. Their instructor (whose name escapes me because it was not their normal person) said that she was sorry to make Emma sad, and would have liked to give her the crop, but that Bobby would have run away with her. I am of the "get over it" variety of parent, so I assured her that it was all good.

Anyhoo, it was a pretty cool lesson, I thought, because the instructor laid out three poles for the girls to lead their ponies over. They also had to steer around orange cones before and after the series of poles. I'm sure there is a word for this type of activity, but I don't know what it is. They tried it first at a walk, and then at a trot, and then switched directions and did it again at a trot. I was impressed with how well they did! This was the first time I've seen them do anything like this, and it required them to pay close attention to their steering. They are not known for paying close attention to their steering, and often you will see a "pony party" in the middle of the ring when they need to turn around or ride a circle for spacing or what have you. They did well with the exercise, though, and only once did I see Emma veer off in the wrong direction a little bit.

They've certainly come a long way since last fall when they started pony lessons! Miss Laura, their regular instructor, said that if the class does a good job with their lessons, they may be cantering by the end of the summer block. Big stuff, that!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Scmooeyful Updates

My (not so) tiny boy has been busy this week! He's officially 10 months old. He's now pulled himself up to stand at least 3 times all on his own. Check it out - he's very proud of himself!

Yesterday afternoon, for the first time, he pushed himself up to sit from his tummy. Today, Emma found him sitting up in his crib after his nap, and asked me if I'd laid him down when I put him to bed. She found him sitting up. I'm not sure how she thought he'd slept for two hours like that. Hee.

While he is not officially crawling, he does seem to be able to levitate. He can move himself several feet across a room without seeming to do so at all. I can be right next to him and not see him move. It's bizarre.

Last week, the girls went to Vacation Bible School at Peace Presbyterian Church, at the invitation of our very good friends, the Huffstedtlers. That's where Abbie went to preschool when she was 4, and we LOVED it. We will send the Snort there if we're still living here when he's old enough to go. I don't have any indication that we won't be living here, you know, I'm just hopeful that someday we will be living closer to family. But I digress. The reason I brought up Bible school is that I have the cutest picture of the Snort with his good friend Jack (of Huffstedtler fame), discovering grass together. Neither of them were particularly sure they liked it.

And really, for cuteness' sake, you must check out these pictures of the Snort and his fabulous 'do:

A couple of nights, he got these wacky curls going and they were just adorable! I think it fluffs up like that when I use hooded towels. I'm hopeful that his hair will come in curly. There are definitely waves happening! Isn't he just the cutest?

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Back From The Land Of Cheese

I got to spend last weekend in Wisconsin with my sister and her family, celebrating my niece Norah's birthday, my brother-in-law Kevin's birthday, my sister-in-law Jennifer's birthday, and most importantly, the baptism of Jessica & Kevin's twins, Joshua and Ashlyn. I flew up last Saturday morning, bright and early. Actually, it was so early that it wasn't even bright yet, but hey, it got me to Green Bay with most of the day left to play!

I have to tell you, if you must travel with a baby, the Snort is the one to take. He was an angel. He slept on all our flights, and entertained himself in the airport with:

A firewire cable, courtesy of his daddy! His favorite thing to do is get it behind his teeth and slide it back and forth. It's pretty funny.

We had a birthday party that was mostly for Norah, who turned 2, but there were presents and cake for Kevin and Jen, too. Norah liked the vacuum cleaner (with dust buster, even!) that we sent to her.

The Snort ate his first Dorito at the birthday party. I am not sure he liked it.

My mom and I did not let him eat a Dorito on purpose, by the way. We'd watched him try to grab one, and thought we'd moved far enough over that he couldn't reach the bowl. We were wrong.

The baptism was lovely. It was a special day! Kevin's parents, his brother, my parents, my grandmother, my brother and his family, and the Snort and I were all able to come. I didn't think much of it, because I wouldn't have missed it, but we had people come in from Florida, North Carolina, Illinois and Michigan - just goes to show that there are lots of people who love my sister and her beautiful family. Here is a picture of the whole gang:

Both twins were very good, and no one cried. I liked that the pastors carried the babies through the congregation so that everyone could see them. Here is Kevin with Joshy:

And here is Jessie with Ashlyn:

These pictures are not from the baptism. They were all dressed up so nicely - Kevin even wore a tie! These are candid, tired parent shots. Somehow I don't have any of the babies in their baptism finery.

Sunday afternoon we had a baptism party, which was lovely. Kevin's parents and brother left on Sunday. My parents stayed until Monday afternoon, so that Jessie and I could sneak out to a yarn shop. I got yarn for socks for me and a sweater for Schmooey, so I'm excited about that. The socks are going pretty well so far!

I did get the twins' afghans done, at 11pm the night before I left, of course. Here they are:

No close-up of the knitting, because it's not very pretty, but the afghans are soft and cuddly and will hopefully be useful. I know I love the afghan like these that our dear friend, Mary Robertson, made for the Snort. It's warm, yet it breathes, so it keeps him warm but he doesn't get too hot. And it's washable!

After everyone else left, I got to hang out with my wonderful sister and her four beautiful children (who, by the way, are all under the age of 4). She is amazing. I don't know how she maintains her sanity. I realized that it had been a long time since I'd been around toddler drama! I wouldn't have missed it, though. I hadn't seen Faithy and Norah since last summer, and it was my first time meeting the twins.

It was hard to come back to North Carolina, knowing that there would be no sister waiting for me, and also knowing that summer has hit full on here and it would be HOT. Actually, though, I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of humidity when I got home. Yesterday and today have been beautiful!