Sunday, May 31, 2009

Birthday Party

Saturday was the big pirate birthday party. After several weeks of planning and many hours of prepping, it was two really fun hours.

Since it was a pirate party, the invitations were, of course, treasure maps.
Each one was rolled up and hand delivered. We considered putting them into bottles and sealing then up with a cork and wax for authenticity, but since we only had beer bottles I feared that it may be a little uncouth for a 3 year old's birthday party.
We went on a scavenger hunt for our pirate swag. Here is picture of the birthday boy all decked out in full pirate mode. I think that the mustaches really made the difference!


Finally, there was of course cake.
Since I'm not really supposed to be leaving the house, I ordered the cake by phone, meaning that I couldn't pick out a pirate themed picture. I figured I would just go with black and yellow balloons (black and yellow being pirate colors in my mind). As a warning, black icing is the devils confection. It will stain ANYTHING including lips, teeth, fingers, noses and probably the dining room carpet. Further, it passes, unaltered, through the digestive tract of a 3 year old. Make of that what you will.

My goal for the week was to make it through the birthday party without going into labor....so mission accomplished there. My new goal is to make it to my 10 am doctor's appointment on Wednesday. Wish me luck!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Three Years ago Today

Dear Ryan,

Three years ago, on this day, you entered my life. After nearly 3 months on bed rest your delivery was quick and relatively painless. You entered the world with so little fanfare that I was worried that you may not be alright. I was assured that though you were a month early, you were perfectly fine.




Before long, I wondered how life had progressed for so long without you. You were your brother's antithesis - quiet and easygoing.



So much so that I worried that you would be eclipsed by your an overbearing older sibling. I was soon disabused of that notion.



Over the past three years you have grown up far too fast, learning something new and exciting nearly every day. Every day you make me laugh and I feel lucky that I get to spend my time with you.



Every night we end the day the same way. I say "I love you baby" and you say "I love you mommy". You may be three now and a big boy, but I still love you baby.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Dear Naysayer

You said that it would never happen. You chuckled each time I extracted their striped half finished corpse from my basmati rice/knitting bag. You said that my number 2 double point needles would be forever entwined by their woolen grasp. (Okay you didn't say the last thing because you don't know what double points are and you don't know that they come in size 2). I relish say this....YOU WERE WRONG. HA!!! I'm going to say it again....You Were Wrong. I oh so rarely get to say that! Indeed...here they are - the Seashore Socks. Cast on in August 0f 2007. Finally completed in May of 2009.




Okay, so they don't fit as well as I had hoped. The pattern isn't as stretchy as I would like, the feet are too long and the legs on the left one is a little too narrow, but they are done. You gotta give me that.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Monday, May 25, 2009

Of knitting and exhaustion

I have totally gotten behind in my knitting. It's not that I don't want to knit, it's more that by the time I get everyone showered, dressed, snacked, read to and tucked in I'm so exhausted that I can barely raise my arms to flick on the TV with the remote let alone repeatedly move my arms around to knit.

I have two projects currently on my needles. The first is a big (gigantic...huge) scarf with sleeves. It is based on the Juliana pattern from Berroco. I am using Needful Yarns Cara Mia that I bought in a bag lot sale from Elann.com. The first picture is the Juliana in all it's glory, the second is a close up of the drop stitch detail.




The second project that I am working on has been on needles for almost two years....yes, it's a bit of a long term project. They are however coming to a close. I bought the yarn for these socks on vacation in Virginia Beach two years ago and they have been slowly progressing since.


Both of these projects are technically coming to an end, and I need to start thinking about what I'm going to start next. I'm currently trying not to purchase any new yarn....it's not that I don't love yarn or even that I have "too much" yarn. I have about two average sized boxes of yarn, which I think is probably not much of a stash (or at least that's what my LYS owner tells me.) It's just that having that much yarn around doesn't really mesh with my minimalist lifestyle. So I'm trying to knit up the stash.

My next project will likely use this yarn:


I'm hoping to duplicate this scarf that Amita wore on Numb3rs a few weeks ago.

The thing is, that I'm not all that skilled at crochet and I don't have a pattern to follow. I'm going to try to wing it....we'll see how it goes.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Opening Day

Tomorrow is a big day around the house. For most people it is just Memorial Day Weekend, but for us, it's opening day at the pool. Here is a quick retrospective of our favorite summertime diversion.
2003


2004



2005

2006


2007


2008



Thursday, May 21, 2009

Random Thursday

Here is a random listing of things that happened to us this week.


We loaded up the drying line for the first time. The drying line in fab in so many ways. For starters, our dryer makes an incredibly annoying grinding sound when it dry the clothes. The drying line is much quieter. The cloths come back in smelling of sunshine and summer. And finally, it means that my husband (who is in charge of washing and drying laundry) can only do one load a day so that I (who am in charge of folding and putting away) am not inundated with 7 loads in one night.
It also comes with a handy, clothes pin holding, helper.


Our strawberries finally ripened enough to eat. We have been waiting for these for weeks. Supermarket strawberries pale in comparison.


Last, but not least, we bought a new car! So far I love love love it! Granted, I have only driven it around the block once, but it is wonderful.

Note: This is not the actual car, we don't have that sort of view from our driveway.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Keeping your sanity

I have pretty much exhausted my wealth of knowledge regarding bed rest. I will leave you with just a few tip for maintaining your sanity.

Develop a routine. During my first stint on bed rest I developed a fairly rigid schedule. My hubby and son would leave the house around 9am. At that point I would look into the cooler that my husband had kindly filled for me and select a mid-morning snack. I would NEVER EVER look at what he had packed for lunch. As pathetic as it may sound I didn't want to ruin the surprise. It gave me something to look forward to. I would also save reading my favorite blogs until the afternoon. Again, a little something to anticipate. Don't do all the fun stuff in the morning - it's going to be a long day.

Don't sleep. I know that you're in bed and you may be a little tired, what with growing a whole new human being inside of your body and all, but try to resist the urge to sleep all day. An hour long nap in the morning is one thing, but a full on snooze fest is just going to mess up your internal clock. Sleeping all day will result in not sleeping at night and there is nothing worse than sitting in bed next to your snoring husband.

Don't be afraid to have guests. If your girlfriends had planned to throw you a baby shower don't let bed rest derail your party plans. Suggest that they may want to relocate the shower to your house. You may even be able to get them to do a little vacuuming.

Don't be afraid to use your caller ID. The corollary to the above statement is that if you DON'T want to deal with someone just don't. Not everyone is conducive to your mental health. Some people and just plain annoying. Obviously, you're going to need to take calls from your doctor and your husband - regardless of how annoying they are, but everyone else is up to you.


Top 5 Reasons why Bed Rest Doesn't Totally Suck

5. Time to bone up on priceless parenting advice from Super Nanny, John and Kate, Kelly Ripa and Dr. Phil.

4. May be the last time you read a book with a human as the main character in the next 5 years.

3. No need to buy expensive maternity cloths since you can just lounge around in your sweat pants and husband's t-shirts.

2. Elevated feet reduces unsightly ankle swelling.

1. Gives your husband valuable practice in packing lunches. A skill he should be encouraged to utilize in 5 years when junior starts school.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Flex Your Creative Muscles

You can't go to the gym and work out, but you can still keep at least a few muscles in shape. Today I will discuss getting a little creative while minding your doctor's orders to stay in bed.

You have probably thought about taking up or working on a hobby in the past, but you've been too busy or just haven't gotten around to it. Well, no better time than the present! Depending on what your dream hobby is you may be able to make good use of your time in bed to improve you skills. Not every hobby is bed rest friendly, of course. If you have always dreamed of taking up cabinetry, soap making or gardening you may need to modify your expectations. On the other hand, if you are interested in knitting, crochet, drawing or scrapbooking or something similar you may be in luck.

Knitting/Crochet - If you don't know how to knit or crochet there are tons of books and web sites that will help you get started.
Lion Brand Yarn - Learn to Crochet
Lion Brand Yarn - Lean to Knit
If you already know how to knit and crochet you can easily access tons of free or inexpensive patterns online.
Ravelry
Knitting Pattern Central
Crochet Pattern Central
You will also need yarn and needles and other accessories. If you already have a favorite yarn store you can probably call and ask them to pull some of your favorite yarn for someone to pick up later. You can probably even pay for it using a credit card so your husband doesn't know how much you have spent. (If you are new to yarn crafts you will soon find that it is not the frugal habit that you were lead to believe that it was.) If your local yarn store doesn't carry the yarn you are looking for you you don't have a local yarn store there are dozens of places to buy yarn online.
Elann.com - they carry their own brand of yarn as well as discontinued yarns at about 50% off what you pay regularly
Jimmy Bean's Wool - If you are looking for a specific yarn you can probably find it here. This isn't necessarily a discount yarn site, but they will likely have exactly what you are looking for.
KnitPicks - Another shop with it's own brand of yarn. These yarns are really beautiful and affordable. They also carry a nice selection of knitting needles.


Maybe you are leaning more toward scrapbooking. Unfortunately, you will probably have to defer your dreams of actual paper scrapbooking since reclining and precision cutting may not go hand in hand. You can however try digital scrapbooking. Digital scrapbooking is essentially using graphical software to doctor up your digital photos to look like regular scrapbook pages. I personally prefer digital scrapbooking because I just don't have the space to store hundreds of sheets of paper and ribbons and other scrappy stuff. That and I am not physically able to cut anything in a straight line. Digital scrapping also has the advantage of the UNDO button.
There are several sites dedicated to digital scrapbooking, but I think that this one is the best.
Scrapbook-Bytes - this site has lots of members with some really amazing scrapbook pages. There are also a bunch of tutorials as well as a guide for beginners.
One of the big decisions that you will need to make is which software to choose. You can spend anything from $700 on Photoshop to absolutely nothing on GIMP and Artweaver.

These are my two favorite bed rest compatible hobbies. You could also try your hand at writing the next great American novel or consider taking up beading or needlepoint. Anything you can think of will likely have lots of information online and you can likely buy your supplies and have them delivered right to your front door.

I'm sure that I have forgotten some creative endeavors - leave a comment with your favorite bed ridden craft!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Mayonnaise Cake

I present to you the recipe for one of my favorite cakes - the Mayonnaise Cake. Okay....now stay with me here. I realize that at first glance this seems a bit unappealing, but if you have ever made homemade mayonnaise you know that it is really just eggs and oil mixed together. From what I understand, back during the war when things like eggs and butter were rationed mayonnaise cake was a good way to make a cake without using up these precious commodities. For us, the mayonnaise cake is not only delicious, but a good way to use up all the free mayonnaise we got using our Wegman's coupons.

What you will need:

The Dry Ingredients -
1 1/2 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt


The Yummy Ingredients -
1/2 cup (2 oz) dutch process cocoa
2 oz semisweet chocolate, finely chopped


1 cup HOT coffee

The Other Ingredients -
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


The Optional Ingredients -
1 adorable assistant

  1. Whisk all the dry ingredients together.
  2. Add the hot coffee to the cocoa and chocolate. Mix it around until the chocolate melts.
  3. Mix together the Other Ingredients.
  4. Stir the Yummy ingredient mixture into the Other ingredient mixture.
  5. Stir everything into the dry ingredients.
  6. Pour everything into an 8 x 8 pan that you have greased or sprayed with Pam or something.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 - 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Cool in the pan for about 2 hours, or as long as you can stand it.

At this point your cake is done. This cake can be dressed up or down in any way you like. 3-year-old assistants like theirs with Easter sprinkles.