June 9th, 2012
Photo a Day – June 6 – Hat: One of my favorite books to read out loud.
Photo a Day – June 7 – Drink: Our cat Lily (the black one—the cat in the photo above is Katy) is over 16 years old. She’s in the very early stages of renal failure, but overall still quite healthy for such an elderly cat. We know this, because we’ve taken her to the vet several times in the past year to see if there are any physical reasons why she keeps peeing on every blanket and towel and piece of laundry that gets left on the floor, not to mention all our rugs. What we’ve been told, repeatedly, is that there aren’t any physical reasons. It’s behavioral. Also, she’s high-strung, so here, give her this Prozac. (Yes, really. Our cat is on Prozac. For the third time in her life, bless her anxious little heart.) Oh well. At least she mostly pees on things we can throw in the washing machine.
One of the things that is helpful for cats having problems with their kidneys is to make sure they drink lots of fresh water. Hence, the new fancy-pants cat drinking fountain. Both the cats seem to love it. And Elliora has developed a fun new habit of seeing what items she can sneak into the bubbling water without me noticing.
Photo a Day – June 8 – Six o’clock: I’m pretty good at making chocolate-chip cookies. But when I read Stella’s suggestions for making better chocolate-chip cookies, I definitely learned a thing or five. I incorporated suggestions 2, 4, 5, 9 and 10 into this batch, and the results were delicious. And pretty to look at, too!
Like everyone else with a smartphone and an Instagram account, I don’t use my DSLR camera much these days. Partly because it’s big and clunky to carry around all the time, and partly because I’m very, very behind on doing anything with my photos. I have almost two months’ worth of photos—including our trip to Omaha, Annalie’s birthday, my mom and Aurora’s visit to DC, a couple of friends’ birthday parties—waiting to be edited and uploaded to Flickr. I’m reluctant to add any more to that pile, so I take photos with my phone instead, and Instagram them.
I rolled my eyes at all the Instagram/Hipstamatic people for a long time, but I totally get it now. It’s so easy and immediately gratifying! I can upload photos to Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook with just a few clicks! My only complaint is that there isn’t a way to upload photos from Instagram on Android (even though there is on iPhone) to Flickr. So I tend to forget about Flickr.
I’ve been remembering to upload my June Photo a Day shots to Flickr, but I have not kept up with the other ones, which is why I just bombed Flickr with a couple dozen photos today. Wanna see them? Keep reading.
This is what it looks like when Annalie voluntarily cleans her room, all by herself. She even cleaned off the top of her dresser! She dumped out all her dresser drawers and completely reorganized them, setting aside some outgrown clothes for Elliora and some to send to Bug. This has happened not once but twice since her birthday. So far, I love eight.
Elliora surprised us at dinner the other day when she picked up her fork and ate her rice with it instead of her hands.
One of a few self-portraits Elliora has taken with my phone lately. She’s pretty good! Think she should join 7 Days? (Just kidding.) And E’s first time eating (and loving) corn on the cob. Pinky raised, like a proper lady.
I love this drawing of our house that Annalie did. It’s fairly accurate, right down to the gel gems in the big picture window. Katy hasn’t been up on our roof lately, though.
Isn’t this tree pretty? This chestnut tree is the bane of my backyard. I call it Smelly McStinktree. Right at the time of year when the weather is the most gorgeous and we want to be outside on the deck all day, the chestnut trees blossom and smell so sickly sweet that I want to gag every time I catch a whiff. In the fall, the prickly chestnuts fall all over our backyard, like little landmines waiting to trip you up and make you twist your ankle. Sigh.
I squint in disapproval at your stink, tree.
Roasted broccoli thief.
Elliora ate lunch at the little table with Annalie for the first time the other day. She was pretty excited about it. And Annalie was pretty excited about the arrival of the next Avatar: The Last Airbender comic.
I’m a sucker for big-sky shots, especially with lots of clouds.
We were out on the deck the other day, playing in the pool, when it suddenly started raining. Elliora was a bit freaked out, so Annalie just scooped her into her lap, wrapped them both up in a towel, and quietly reassured her. I think I’m still Elliora’s favorite person, just barely, but once we’re done breastfeeding I’m pretty sure Annalie is going to tie with Daddy for the top spot.
Artist at work! Elliora seems to have finally figured out how to scribble, and she likes doing it. A lot.
We had dinner at a new restaurant tonight, a little hole-in-the-wall Chinese place that specializes in healthy food. (There are big signs in the window proclaiming that they only cook with fresh vegetables and never use MSG.) Everything we tried was delicious, and the owner was super friendly. Elliora, as usual, ate the spicy tofu from Troy’s soup, rice, broccoli, chicken, onion, and lo mein noodles. The big surprise of the meal was when Miss “Just Egg Drop Soup And Steamed Rice For Me, Thanks” said, “Hey Mom, do you mind if I try some of your chicken lo mein? It looks good.” She ate about half of it before she was done, exclaiming over how delicious it was. And then we got to see a pretty sunset on our way home. It was a nice way to start the weekend.
May 3rd, 2012
How is it possible that I haven’t blogged any crocheting since October!? Oh, wait…I guess I did blog about some cup sleeves and crocheted golden snitches back at the end of February. But still! The lack of blogging about it certainly does not indicate a lack of crocheting. Let me show you.
This rainbow blanket is one of the most recent things I’ve crocheted, and I love it. It’s probably one of my favorite things I’ve ever crocheted. It was made it for my friend Joanna‘s sweet baby boy, but Elliora tried claiming it as her own. First she came over and plopped down on the blanket when I was trying to take photos. (That was only two months ago. Now she runs if I point a camera at her; forget her voluntarily inserting herself in a photo she wasn’t asked to pose for in the first place.)
Then she stood, gathered the blanket into her arms, and walked off with it. She climbed into the blue chair still holding the blanket, and hugged it, grinning at me, daring me to take it away from her. The goober.
A photo of the rainbow blanket before Elliora tried staking her claim.
Have I told you all about the sky blanket I’m crocheting? You might have seen the sky scarf on Pinterest. I liked the idea, but decided I wanted a blanket, and went with my trademark spiral squares instead of stripes. I started just after the first of the year. Each day, I look at the sky around noon (or whenever I remember; or unless it rains or snows anytime that day, in which case the day’s square is sparkly gray or sparkly white), and that evening I spend about 20 minutes crocheting one three-inch square out of the appropriate color yarn and then attach it to the blanket. I’ll end up with 360 squares arranged in 20 rows of 18, and maybe a six-round border for the last six days of the year, which will make a decent-size blanket in shades of blue, gray, and white. It’s a totally different color scheme than my usual palette of brights. I’m surprised by how much I like it and look forward to cuddling under it at the end of the year.
My sister-in-law Dana sent me this bag for my birthday. I love it.
These two little nine-patch blankets were made for our friends Lynette and Med’s twin girls.
I didn’t notice till after I’d started working on the purple one that the colors were very Mardi Gras. Good thing Lynette and Med appreciate (and throw!) a good party.
This photo was actually my Day 6 photo from 7 Days this past December. (You know, that 7 Days week I never finished blogging about because (1) it was Christmas, and (2) I got sick on Christmas Eve. Sigh.) Summer complimented a similar coffee-cup sleeve in Mandy’s Day 2 photo, so I offered to make her one.
Queta, another 7-Dayer, complimented the same coffee-cup sleeve. I made one for her too. (Apparently, all it takes is a compliment and I’m falling all over myself to make you stuff.)
Erin peeking over the blanket I crocheted for Indira Jane.
Two-month-old Indy, sleeping under her blanket. She’s EIGHT months old now, and I have not seen her since this picture was taken. That’s so sad. Once we’re back on the west coast, I think I’m gonna be visiting Oregon a lot more often. How else are Elliora and Indy going to become best friends?
Last but not least, some yarnballs! I’ve made a bunch of crocheted balls for my friend Rebekah’s kids over the years. Her husband Jason loves them (balls you can play with relatively safely IN THE HOUSE) and periodically puts in an order for more. Not long ago I made these three for them. And I just remembered, I need to make them a few more! I should add that to my crafting queue…
Mystery yarnballs! For the life of me, I cannot remember who I made these for. Was it more balls for Bekah’s kids? Did I make these for Jen‘s Preston? Did I perhaps make them for you? I honestly can’t recall.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get cracking on about three baby blankets, including one for a baby who is already several months old and another one for Sonja‘s baby who will be born any minute now. (ANY MINUTE, Sonja. I’m sure of it.)
What kinds of crafty things have you been doing lately?
*I have never actually crocheted any ketchup. But now I kind of want to.
February 27th, 2012
We very much enjoyed the long weekend last week. Did you? We didn’t do anything special, just relaxed, tried to catch up on housework and errands, all that stuff. Then on Tuesday, Troy turned 42. His birthday was rather meh, since he had to work late (as usual) and we didn’t get to have a birthday dinner. I made coffee cake in mugs, at his request, and we ate those while he opened a few presents after he got home from work. Then we did baths and put the girls to bed. Not exciting, but not a bad day.
Thursday afternoon, we had the house cleaned which was utterly wonderful. We decided it’s worth it to us to pay for a professional housecleaning about once a month. It makes such a difference and is worth every penny, and every movie we don’t see in a theater and every coffee we don’t buy at Starbucks.
Thursday evening, we picked up our friend Rebekah and her kids at the airport. They were flying back from visiting family, and since one of the kids had an appointment with her eye doctor just up the road from us (they live in the same small Southern Maryland town we used to live in, which often means going to D.C. for specialists) they stayed the night at our house! Bek said she couldn’t believe it took them two years before they finally got to stay the night with us. We’ve tried several times before but illness or weather or something always messed with our plans. Annalie was over the moon to have her friends stay the night.
Friday morning we enjoyed our friends’ company. The kids took advantage of the mild weather and played outside. After lunch Bekah and her kids headed home. Since it was raining, and I was in a good mood and Annalie was a little sad to say good-bye to her friends, we stopped at the bakery for cookies. That evening, it took Troy almost two hours to get home from work thanks to horrible traffic. I spent those two hours feeding the kids and getting them ready for bed, silently reciting to myself the list of reasons I am thankful that we aren’t leaving D.C. till August. If I remind myself often enough, think I’ll start to believe it?
I think I mentioned before that Elliora’s sleep habits had become atrocious since we were in Omaha. She was teething something fierce when we first got there, and being in a different place and a different bed was not okay with her. She spent about an hour or two in the middle of the night EVERY SINGLE NIGHT we were in Omaha and Texas, all 25 nights, letting us know how upset she was about it all. It was stressful and exhausting and it got so I dreaded nighttime. In Texas things were a little better because Troy was there to help out, but she was still awake and mad in the middle of the night. It suuuuuucked.
We thought things would improve sleep-wise when we got home, but they didn’t, not really. And nothing we tried helped—not back-patting, not singing, not cuddling, not nursing, not sitting in the room with her. After a few nights, we realized we were going to have to leave the room and let her cry. When she woke up in the middle of the night, we checked on her and reassured her and then gritted our teeth and left her alone. We’d go in and check on her every few minutes, but only stay a minute or two and then leave again. The first night, she cried for about an hour before going back to sleep. The second night it took about a half-hour. Every night since then, if she’s awakened, she’s gone back to sleep within a few minutes.
I’ll be honest: it’s a relief that she’s not up crying for hours anymore. I still hate listening to her cry knowing she’s in the room by herself, even for a few minutes, even though her crying is clearly pissed-off, not scared. For heaven’s sake, when we ask Elliora to pick up her applesauce pouch and take it to the trash can in the kitchen and throw it away, she does it. If she can follow three-step directions, I know that she understands us when we tell her that it’s nighttime, time to lie down, time to close her eyes and go to sleep. She’s 15 months old, not 15 weeks. Knowing all of that still doesn’t make the crying any easier to listen to, but I’ll live. It’s easier to live with guilt when you’re well-rested, apparently.
Free pattern for crocheted golden snitches. Thanks, Deborah!
You know that whole do what you love philosophy that I talk about from time to time? Apparently right now I love crocheting and cooking meals and taking photos and watching Downton Abbey with Troy more than I love blogging. I do miss blogging, though. I write posts in my head all the time. I look forward to having the time to actually type those posts out again someday, and then actually edit and Flickr photos on the same day I take them so they’re not three weeks old by the time I post them. Sigh.
How did it get to be almost March already? How is 2012 treating you all so far?