October 2007

Today The Baby is eleven months old. Every day he becomes more and more toddler and less infant. He is so funny and cuddly and we are so blessed to have him.
This is a rare moment of sleep in the car. Before him, I thought all babies has some kind of switch activated by being in a motor vehicle, that made them go to sleep right away. Apparently, this is an Urban Legend. This baby, as rule, does not sleep in the car.

He LOVES music. He dances all the time, to music, to the vacuum cleaner, the blender… whatever he can get :) After nearly a decade, our house is a Raffi house again and we were all surprised by how happy we were to hear it again. We all go about our day singing Baby Beluga. hehhe :)

Another month and he’ll be a year old. Wow.

I was surprised to see this bee in the calendula blossom as it was so cold out today. I took The Baby for a walk in the falling leaves. When we were home again, I went to pick him a flower (he loves the calendula flowers) and saw this guy. He must have been frozen. I left this flower and picked another :)

Our new couch finally came last night. We’ve been without one in the family room for three months. That meant there has been lots of room for the baby to play, but seating was severely limited.. and lying (laying? That verb makes me crazy. I can NEVER remember how it goes no matter how often I look it up. Either way, I don’t mean telling untruths and I don’t mean laying eggs… I mean reclining.) was out of the question. ANYway… it’s finally here and I had forgotten what it looked like so it was like a really great surprise when I saw it and thought, Oh it’s PERFECT! It is something *I* would have chosen! Hehehe.. sometimes you just do what you can, yanno? ;)
Obviously, Max approves of the new couch. And judging by the amount of fur I brushed off it this morning, Smokey approves too. Max got all his shots the other day and felt pretty crappy afterwards, but he is feeling better now and is already terrorising the dog. It’s nice to have everything back to normal :)

Grampa left? … … He’s coming back, right?

Jordan had been waiting for this day for a long, long time. I’ve held him off, forbidden, delayed and otherwise interfered in the ways mothers do.
But it was time. Sunday morning, Jordan counted up the money he had saved from his paper route. And about ninety minutes later, he had turned that cash-moolah into this:

That is one 80gig PlayStation 3, two games, a second controller and some cord thingy.
This is all HIS money. That he earned and saved up. I’m so proud of him. That paper route is a crappy job – not the least because of the way people treat him. People yell at him. People slam the door in his face. And yet, he goes out three times a week, in all weather and carefully delivers the papers. And when people refuse to pay, or snarl at him, or otherwise abuse him, he smiles and says, well, thank you any way and off he goes. And he is very careful with his money. He is a big spender… on the things that matter to him. He spent a lot of money at the fall fair. But he never buys candy or junk from the dollar store.
He was so excited yesterday – he was practically floating. Not only did he finally have that PS3 he’s wanted forever, but this was his biggest purchase ever. He was feelin’ goooooooooood :)

Last week, I finally sewed in the ends and washed the baby blanket I had been working on for MONTHS. Someone bought the kit and had me make it for them. It looked pretty straightforward when I took the assignment. Sure, I had to learn to crochet with two colours and with three colours, but that literally took less than a minute to learn (it is WAY easier than colour knitting).
The pattern was some kind of messed up. I’d bet that in the end, I actually made the whole blanket twice for all the working and reworking I did to try and get gauge. I had no problem getting the “squares” the right width, but I could not even come close to the right height. And the two motifs were very different sizes. I tried everything: different hooks (many, many different hooks), working more tightly, more loosely, verifying that I was using the right stitches… anything I could think of, but in the end, the star “squares” were still significantly taller than the plaid squares. Ugh. Finally, I did my best to fit them together as smoothly as possible and let it go at that. The border, which is actually quite pretty, went a long way to straightening everything out.

Once it was finished and washed (thankfully, the washing softened the yarn – an acrylic – a LOT. I was really worried about the texture of the thing), I took the finished dimensions. Ummm. The pattern says that the final width was 26”. My blanket was almost 39”. I spent a good 5 minutes in a panic trying to figure out where I went wrong. It was only when I went back and did the math that I realised that (once again) the problem wasn’t me – it was the pattern.
According to the pattern, each motif is 8.5” wide. Yes, ok. Mine were. And the blanket is four motifs wide. 8.5 x 4 = 34”. Whaaa?!! Then add the joining rows and the wide border.. umm.. yeah.. about 39” NOT 26”. Geez.
While I was working on this blanket, I was so frustrated and it was taking way too long and I just couldn’t see how it could come together into anything that was remotely ok. But in the end, while this is no work of art, I’m happy with it. I hope the recipient is too.

Also… WOW! Thanks for the great response on the pumpkin hat pattern. Y’all are so kind.

I’ve finally gotten round to adding some projects to Ravelry. Oy. There’s a process. Over there, I’m billijean.

It is October. I haven’t done any really good knitting in a long, long time. I couldn’t take it any more and on Saturday, while at the anniversary party at Spun, I bought some Real! Wool! Yarn! and then on Sunday, I made this:
IMG: Pumpkin hat for a baby.
and it was deeply satisfying.
Can you believe that this is the first thing I have made for The Baby? He likes it as much as any baby likes a hat: not much. But he likes to chew on it and snuggle with it. I’ll take that :)
Pumpkin hats are ubiquitous, but how could I resist? There is A Baby in da house! I didn’t use a pattern – though I’m certain there are dozens of free ones out there – but I wrote down what I did, which I guess is a “pattern” and put it here for your enjoyment :)

IMG: Hand feeding chickadees.
This weekend was Thanksgiving here in the Great White North. We didn’t do Thanksgiving. It isn’t that we’re not Thankful, we’re just busy Dealing with uhh.. stuff. Being vegetarian, the invitations to celebrate holidays with other people don’t exactly come rolling in any way. My brother did invite us to his shindig, but unfortunately, it conflicted with our ONE scheduled event for the weekend: a hockey game. With so much uhh.. stuff to deal with, there was no way I could pull off a meal consisting of more than soup and toast, so no celebration for us. So sad.

But… we’ve got new food for the cats which is supposed to help their digestive issues. And we’ve got cream for the dog’s butt. *ahem* That’s all I’m going to say about that. The chance to spend the three-day weekend movin’ forward was marred by the discovery of pantry moths. ugh. So I spent HOURS on Monday dealing with that (it’s a big pantry).
IMG: Hand feeding nuthatch.
Today, I chucked the to-do list and we went to Jordan’s nature class at the RBG and then stayed for a picnic and to feed the chickadees. This nuthatch was all over that action. lol. for some reason, I found them even cuter than the chickadees. I love their upsidedownness on the tree. The chickadees each handled the chance at some free and easy food differently. Some lingered nearby watching for a long time and then suddenly swooped in to grab some seed as fast as possible before flying away. Others wasted no time in alighting, then spent some time checking out the human before carefully choosing the two best sunflower seeds.

IMG: Hand feeding woodpecker.
But this surprised me so much that I took the photo out of focus!
A WOODPECKER?! I never! Very cool :) I think this made Jordan’s day.

So… the kitchen looks like a dirty-dish delivery truck blew up in there. And my to-do list is sadly undone. But we needed this and it was a great day. But tomorrow… tomorrow is my day. I can feel it! By the end of the day this house and all the people in it will be whipped into shape. Maybe. I’ll settle for no more disgusting emergencies. That would be a good day right there.

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