Sunday, March 29, 2009

good karma?

I must have done something good. That's the only explanation, really, for the shower of good fortune that came my way this week.

On Thursday, I picked up the kids from school and came home to find a package. (Is there anything more exciting than an unexpected package?) Inside was a lovely belated birthday present from Amy. Look!

That's Paca Peds alpaca blend sock yarn, and a project bag she sewed herself. Squee, handmade gifts! It's gorgeous, right? Look at that color; I think it might be glowing. Seriously, look again.

I was so happy my children must have feared for my sanity. I kept saying, "People from the internet are so nice!" To which Sam dryly replied, "Well, Mom, not all of them."

And! Later that same day, J came home with another unexpected present - a Wii fit! It is seriously fun, even if it tells me my "Wii fit age" is 17 years older than my actual age, because my balance is so bad. I kick ass at the hula hoops, though.

And! The next day, J and I had planned a hooky day together. I arranged for Jane to go to her daycare an extra day, and J took the day off from work. It was so nice. We didn't plan anything big; there's not too much you can do when you've only got until early afternoon. We just stayed home and hung out. He also took me out for Indian food, which was especially nice, as he doesn't even really like Indian food.

And! Amy's gift was particularly fortuitous because I finished a pair of socks this week! Socks are my keep-in-my-purse knitting, so it takes me a while to finish a pair. I think these might be my new favorites.

They're quite simple, two-row striping socks. I had this Ty-Dy sock yarn with nice long color repeats, and I was inspired by that Noro scarf that's all over the place, so I just knit from both ends of the ball. I like that they are fraternal twins, and I don't even mind that spot where both ends were green for a long time. Bonus - there's easily enough left for another pair of socks.

And! Yesterday was freaking gorgeous outside! Okay, that probably has nothing to do with my karma, and actually I was at work most of the day, but spring is always good news.
And! Reese made me a fantastic picture.

With a note. :)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Q & A with the kids

I’ve been meaning to post about Sam’s birthday party all week (and into this week, too, come to think of it.) Because important things like birthday parties require blog posts, right? Well, a week’s worth of stuff has gotten in the way, and though I’ve guiltily looked at this blog every day (I’ve got it as my homepage), I haven’t written anything. Let’s just say the party was a lot of fun. For Sam. For me, it was a lot of hey guys we need to stay over here in our yard put down that stick no that’s the neighbor’s yard watch out for the little ones holy crap they devoured the entire cake SERIOUSLY THAT IS NOT OUR YARD. But, you know, fun too.

Anyway, there’s nothing like a completely adorable post to make you want to blog again. I loved this interview Amy did with her boys, and I immediately got the kids together to see just what might come out of their mouths. Mostly I asked Sam and Reese, but Jane answered when she had something to say. For context: Jane is nearly three, Reese is eight, and Sam just turned eleven.

1. What does your mom always say to you?
S: Come and give me a kiss.
R: Put away your stuff.
J: I love you.

2. What makes mom happy?
S: Kissing her.
R: Kisses.
J: Thank you.

3. What makes mom sad?
S: Us fighting.
R: Dad cursing.

4. What does your mom do that makes you laugh?
S: A lot of things.
R: Acts like a weirdo.

5. What was your mom like as a child?
S: She watched movies with her friends and her sister.
R: She acted like a weirdo and did chores.

6. How old is your mom?
S: Are you 30 or 29?
R: 30.
J: 3.

(I think Sam was just trying to be nice.)

7. How tall is your mom?
S: I think you’re about 5ft 2in.
R: No, 5ft 4in.

J: Big.
(FYI - I'm 5'6". They were pretty close.)

8. What is her favorite thing to do?
S: Tell us to go do chores. Or knit.
R: Blog.
J: Play with me.

9. What does your mom do when you’re not around?
S: Posts on twitter, works, and buys food.
R: Probably teaches kids.
J: Lost.

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?
S: Knitting.
R: Acting like a movie star.

11. What is your mom really good at?
S: Teaching or knitting.
R: Knitting! And being a weirdo.
(Here he added, “I’m sorry, am I using weirdo too much?”)
J: Jane.

12. What is your mom NOT very good at?
S: Being cool. (Hey!)
R: Playing Wii baseball. (Okay, he's got me there.)

13. What does your mom do for her job?
S: Works at Sylvan. She’s almost the boss.
R: Teaches at Sylvan.

14. What is your mom’s favorite food?
S: Chocolate.
R: Anything that Dad cooks.
J: Dinner.

15. What makes you proud of your mom?
S: That she’s my mom.
R: Because you act like a weirdo.

(Yes, Reese, you're using weirdo too much.)

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?
S: The girlfriend that people fight to marry.
R: Popeye.

17. What do you and your mom like to do together?
S: Play games and do crafts and science experiments.
R: Play games.
J: Fart.

(I think Jane was trying to make her brothers laugh here. It worked.)

18. How are you and your mom the same?
S: We both think the same thing a lot of the time.
R: We’re both weirdos.

(Sam's right on this one - we are very much on the same wavelength, he and I.)

19. How are you and your mom different?
S: I like rock and alternative music, and you like folk and podcasts.
R: I like Legos and you don’t.

20. How do you know your mom loves you?
S: She always tells me to come here and give her a kiss.
R: She wants to kiss me all the time.

21. Where is your mom’s favorite place to go?
S: Anywhere as long as the kids are there.
R: Sylvan. No, home!

22. Where is your mom’s LEAST favorite place to go?
S: Dropping us off to school and then going to work.
R: The market.

This was a lot of fun to do, and I think the boys enjoyed it too. The main thing I learned? They are apparently hitting the age where kisses from your mom are Not Cool. Could ya tell?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Murphy's law

If you are baking a cake at 10:00 the night before the birthday party, you will drop an eggshell in the running stand mixer and watch, horrified, as it is swept up into the batter.

At least I had enough eggs to start over. But let me tell you, I was really tempted to pretend I didn't see it.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

stuff that's going on

Hell of a title, eh?

  • Yesterday was Sam's 11th birthday - happy birthday a day late, kid! He's got a party planned for Sunday, so we didn't do too much yesterday. Just a cake. And at this year's party? No green slime.

  • We've started composting, again. Scratch that - I've started composting again, as J is vehemently opposed to the whole thing. I can't really blame him. Composting and I have had an on-again, off-again relationship, governed largely by my inability to bring the stuff outside regularly. I won't go into gory detail, but there have been flies involved. But this time will be different, honest. After all, we do have that garden to plant. Most of the seeds have started sprouting, and the kids are charmingly excited.

  • Jane is in full-on toddler independence mode. She needs to do everything herself. I know it's important and all, but it does nothing for my nerves, watching her butter her toast or put on her jacket or set the table so s l o w l y. I'm frazzled, but proud. And also a little sad - babies can't butter toast or put on jackets or set tables, you know?

  • I've been enjoying Project Spectrum so far. The color associated with the first theme, north, is green. I just happened to be working on something green, happily enough:

That's Reese's sweater, and it's very green! (Reese does not do subdued colors. Or subdued anything, come to think of it.) It's grown a bit since I took those, but it's just a lot of stockinette, so I haven't photographed it again. I have photographed some other things for the green theme, though, just playing around with the camera, really. If you haven't seen the flickr group for PS4, you should check it out. There are some gorgeous "green" photos there.

  • Cute kid picture, just for fun.

  • Oh, and have I mentioned how happy I am to have a President that understands the value of science?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

project spectrum: north

This year's Project Spectrum theme is Cardinal Directions. I've never done Project Spectrum before, but it seems like a terrific KAL. There's a lot of enthusiasm and participation, and the participants are all so talented, posting gorgeous photos of gorgeous projects. So it inspires me to "up my game," if you will. Also, it's flexible and open to interpretation, which makes it both fun and a good fit. So in I go.

The first theme is North. If I step outside my door and look north, this is what I see:

Looks pretty apropos of "north" right now. The frozen north. But that's not what north makes me think of.

When I think of north, I think of "up north." As in, camping. We rarely refer to the place where we go every year as New York, Schroon Lake, Pottersville, or Eagle Point. It's "up north."
We'll have to try this recipe up north this year.
I hope the weather up north isn't too rainy.
This tie-dyed shirt? Reese got it in one of the hippie shops up north. (There are a lot of those in Lake George.)

I was never a camper until I became part of J's family, but I've grown quite fond of up north. This time of year, I bet it's beautiful.

photo of upstate NY in winter courtesy of