Saturday, January 31, 2009

On Resolutions and Goals

I don't usually make New Year Resolutions. If I discover I should be doing something in my life differently, I try to make that change when I notice it, or when it becomes appropriate, not just because the calendar says I need to. For example, I started going to Curves after my O.B. gave me the okay to exercise when James was 6 weeks old. I could have waited until January, with a resolution to "lose weight," but I started in August -- and not to lose weight, but to get healthy and strong.

But even though I don't usually do the whole New Year thing, this year I was thinking about why it's so common for people to fail their resolutions, to lose momentum by February, if not to give up on them altogether. And the best I could come up with is the difference between "resolutions" and "goals." What I mean is something like this --
  • Resolution: to lose weight
  • Goal: to exercise 3 times a week for 30 minutes
  • Resolution: to get organized
  • Goal: to spend 15 minutes per day in one room decluttering
  • Resolution: to save more money
  • Goal: to put away $100 in a savings account each pay

See, resolutions tend to be big, vague, and overwhelming, while goals are small, concrete, and achievable. A person could certainly have a big resolution, but if she doesn't break it down into measureable goals, it's too easy to flounder around and then give up.

For myself, just for fun, I decided at the end of December that my resolution would be "to blog more," with the immediate goal "to post each day in January, except Sundays." Really, I was just curious to see if I could do it. I decided that I would regroup at the end of January to see if I could continue with that goal, or if I should modify it. This is what I learned from this experiment:

  • That I could, indeed, post every day (except Sundays) for a month.
  • That it was tricky -- okay, not possible -- for me to come up with intereresting posts that often.
  • That I enjoy blogging more when I'm not putting myself under pressure to do it.

So for the next month, I'm modifying my goal. I plan to post no less than twice a week for the month of February. That way I'm still accountable to myself to be out there regularly, but I don't have to kill myself coming up with ideas every single day. We'll see what happens this month!

Friday, January 30, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday, 1/30

I've never been so grateful for coffee as I am this morning. I've definitely come down with something.
What is Twitter? I've been through the little "What is Twitter" show they have on their homepage, and I've looked at people's pages, but I just don't get it. It seems to be akin to the status updates on Facebook. Do any of you do this, and what's the difference from Facebook? And what's the appeal, for you?
The Yarn Harlot apparently just started Twittering. And apparently, she follows Wil Wheaton. Who knew?
The hand is still painin' me a bit. I may have to go see the doctor. I really don't want to.
Because of #4, I haven't been knitting as much, and I've actually been watching TV instead of just listening to it and glancing up from time to time. I finally saw a commercial I've heard about a hundred times, and there was a kitty in it, and I never knew -- I love cats. (oy, can you tell I have no brain this morning?)
People, if you buy something you had no intention of buying, but buy it only because it is on sale or you have a coupon, you're not really saving any money.
Jamie is 7 months old today! I can't believe how quickly the time has flown.
I can't believe I was able to put this together this morning. I feel so lousy. Please visit the originator of 7 Quick Takes for a much better post, and links to others who participate in 7 Quick Takes Friday.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The bright side?

I have nothing good to write about today.

You know those lists that say things like, "I am grateful for piles of laundry to do, because it means my family has clothes to wear" and "I am grateful to clean up dishes and a cluttered kitchen because it means I fed a house full of friends" and stuff like that? I usually can talk myself into thinking that way, most of the time. But right now I'm trying to see the bright side of not being able to see the top of my desk. And I just can't see figure out how to be grateful for a headache and sore throat.

So instead of me complaining, please enjoy:

This always cracks me up.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

St. Patrick, Wyandotte Michigan
Parish established 1857, current building built 1870

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Knitting Update

Well, I'm back to knitting, as much as my hand will let me. It's not constantly sore like it was a few days ago, and the only activities that bother it now are washing dishes and knitting. It doesn't hurt to knit, exactly, it just gets a bit achy in the base of the middle and ring fingers, and in my palm just below those fingers after a few rows.

So I stop when it starts to ache, and that seems to be working fine.

Both of my current projects are on fairly small needles. I wonder if I cast on a project in larger yarn on larger needles if that would be more comfortable?

This is the Tangled Yoke Cardigan, so far. I'm almost done with the main body portion. It has a fake seam in it, which I think adds a nice tailored effect while still letting it be knit in one piece. Nice.

Monday, January 26, 2009

I love this

One of the items I brought home from my trip to IKEA was an easel for Rose. I set it up just before dinner and she could barely eat, knowing that a fresh white piece of paper was waiting for her in our family room. As soon as she was done, she asked if she could go draw. She didn't even want dessert! So we let her go, and enjoyed a leisurely cup of decaf with some homemade coffee cake (not mine; there had been a bake sale at church). Jamie had already gone to bed for the night, so it was so very pleasant just to sit at the dinner table and not have to tell anyone to sit back down in her chair for the 983rd time, or to shovel in the vittles while jiggling a crabby baby on my lap. Later, we heard her coming back up from the basement, saying in that delightful sing-song voice, "Come see what I drew-ew!" I was so delighted by this on so many levels. I love that her people have bodies and legs and arms and hands and feet now. I love that Jamie is horizontal, and I love that she gave our cat Nuala a big grin, even though Nuala just runs away everytime she sees Rose. I love that she signed it, and I love the finishing touch of the curliques all the way around the portrait. When I miss my baby girl, these are the kinds of fun big girl things I have to remind myself about.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Sweater quiz

I pretty much agree with the summary... but dude, that photo? Come on.

You Are a Cardigan

You are traditional, old-fashioned, and even a little conservative.

More than anything else, you are a creature of habit. You haven't changed much over the years.

You shy away from flashy ideas, people, fashion, and foods.

You have simple tastes. You go for established quality and longevity every time.

Friday, January 23, 2009

7 Quick Takes, 1/23

I've been awfully weepy this past week. Probably just a combination of hormones and the season, but still tough.

One of my comforts in this cold spell has been to wear my flannel nightgown with a pair of handknit socks and this wrap I knit. It's so Louisa May Alcott/Laura Ingalls Wilder that I want to bake bread or something. Oh wait, I did!

Today I will treat myself to a massage after I play the school Mass. It's something I like to do every other month or so. I'm so grateful I have the time and the extra money to do it.

What is it with cats and paper? Nuala has never been a lap-sitting kitty, but put a piece of paper down and that's where she wants to be. Even if it's on a lap.

Since I read The Green Beauty Guide and learned how the terrible stuff we put on our skin gets into our bodies and into our environment, I've been slowly replacing the old stuff I use up with greener options, and trying some of the easier "recipes" from the book. The first thing I replaced was the kids' shampoo and soap. Then I bought cleanser and moisturizer for myself from Aubrey Organics. Because I'm a cheapskate at heart, I really wanted to finish up my old cleanser and moisturizer. So I used the old stuff in the evening and the new stuff in the morning. Well, the difference in how the Aubrey products smell, and feel going on, and make my face feel throughout the day compared to how the other products do got clearer and clearer over the last couple of weeks, until last night I couldn't take it anymore and I just tossed the old product. The miserly part of me was groaning, but the rest of me is very glad.

James has graduated to Rose's old car seat. And as much of a pain as getting Jamie in a snowsuit and putting him in a regular car seat is, I'm so very happy that Rose has moved up to her booster. It's so much easier than buckling her into a harness, and she loves being a big girl who can use the car's seat belt.

Real Simple magazine's question of the month was "How do you alleviate stress?" and not one, but two of the readers' answers included knitting! There was even a lovely photograph of a basket of red yarn. Nice.

More 7 Quick Takes can be found at Jen's place!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Cutie pie

It's been so cold in our drafty old house this winter. Jamie pretty much just wears sleepers all day, but when we go hang out in the basement, where the family room is, I put a thicker bunting or a baby track suit on over his sleeper.

Yesterday, I wondered if that sweater I knit when I was pregnant would fit him yet. Almost. It's still a bit big. But doesn't he look quite the little man in it?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I profoundly hate to talk or write about politics, so this will probably be the last time.

I didn't vote for Barack Obama. I think he is an amazing, intelligent man, but I disagree with him in one fundamental matter.

That said, I was very, very moved yesterday. I was proud to live in a country that could come so far in just half a century, that, as President Obama said, "...a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath. "

Andy was watching the ceremonies with one of the kindergarten classes. A little boy was leaning on the teacher of the class, watching intently, and at one point piped up in wonder, "He looks like me." Pause. "Hey, I could be president one day!" Andy said he and the teacher just about burst into proud tears.

I also appreciated his call to service and responsibility, that each of us must work and serve.

"What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task."

Yes. Let's do it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Baking bread and an unfortunate hand

I made bread from scratch yesterday! I'd been following Amanda's adventures in bread and this recipe finally made me tell myself, yes, you can at least try this.

There was a point in the dough mixing where I wasn't sure if it was all going to come together right, because I was sifting and mixing and sifting and mixing and it felt like it was taking forever, and I had remembered hearing on Food Network or somewhere that over-mixing would make bread tough and dense, or maybe that was pancakes, anyway, I started to get worried. Then the kneading wasn't going very well, and I was waiting for that lovely, smooth, elastic ball of dough that you always see on the cooking shows, and it just wasn't happening. I thought I'd better quit while I was ahead and let it rise.

That part was so cool! I left this ball of dough in a covered bowl, and went to get Jamie out of his crib (great timing on his part, he woke up from his nap just as I decided I'd better be finished kneading). He sat pleasantly in his high chair as I cleaned up my floury mess, and then we played a while, and after about an hour I peeked in the bowl, and the ball of dough was twice as big! I know this is what is supposed to happen, but to see it actually happen was just too neat. Then I formed it into two loaves (I had halved the recipe) and let them rise in their pans. I think I could have let them rise a bit more, but all in all, I think they were okay. And Amanda? I don't know about that "hollow sound," either. I thumped them, but I couldn't tell.

But, man! When the loaves had cooled and I cut off that first slice of warm bread and put real butter on it and put a bite in my mouth -- well. I will be making bread again. Amanda, thank you for the annotations. I think they made a world of difference.

In other news, I have injured my right hand. Not badly enough that I can't get things done, or type, but knitting is fairly uncomfortable. Uncomfortable enough that I need to take a break from it for a week, then re-evaluate whether I need to see a doctor or not. I was trying to put Rose's old car seat in the trunk, and it slipped out of my hands and fell into the trunk, and it all happened so quick I'm not exactly sure what happened, but I think my fingers got yanked backward by the strap as the seat fell. There was no bruising or swelling, but it's painful when I squeeze my hand into a fist or try to grasp anything firmly, especially in my ring finger and palm just below my ring finger. Anyhow, it hurt right away, as soon as the seat yanked my hand, so I know that's how I hurt it, and not through some repetitive injury issue. That's a bit of a comfort. :/

The bright side is, I've had books piling up because, as much as I love to read, most days I pick up the knitting first when I've got a moment free. These are the books I've currently got in my pile: A Meeting At Corvallis by S. M. Stirling, Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World, The Shop On Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber, and The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs. So I figure I can make my way through at least two of them while my hand is healing.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A wee aran sweater

This is the project I've been working on. "Baby Yours" by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee in STR Mediumweight. It's for my newest Godson, who is due in March. His mom Heather is one of our oldest and dearest friends, and as soon as she asked me to be Gabriel's Godmother, I knew exactly what I wanted to knit for him. The shower was yesterday, and I wanted it to be a surprise. Knowing that Heather occasionally peeks in (Hi, if you're there!), I had to be quiet about this little project as it came together. It was so hard to wait to share this! I'm really pleased with the pattern, the way it was written, and the way it turned out. There's only one little thing I'd change if I could, and I might be able to. When I blocked the pieces, they blocked to measurements exactly. When I blocked the entire sweater after seaming (and what a lot of seaming, ugh! but it was worth it), I didn't have the schematics with me and blocked it too wide and too short. But, I should be able to fix that with another good blocking -- it just means I'll have to ask for it back for a couple of days. Now I've got the bug to knit sweaters for my other two Godsons!

Saturday, January 17, 2009


I spent most of my free time yesterday dealing with this computer. It was running s-o s-l-o-w-l-y. It was so slow that the weekly virus scan, which is set up to run at 4 am Fridays, was still running when I got to the computer at 6:30, and not only that, it had only checked seven files. So I cancelled it and tried to write my blog entry for yesterday, which took more than an hour because it was so link heavy. Each time I opened a new tab to open a page I wanted to link, it took literally a minute or more to open. Frustrating.

I ran Spybot and Disk Cleanup, then realized that a print job I had cancelled the day before was still in the process of deleting. After more than 15 hours. Nothing I did would make this print job go away, so I uninstalled the printer software and reinstalled it. Now everything is running as well as before. Yay! But pretty much every free moment was spent in front of the computer, and not doing anything fun, either. Boo!

The good news? While waiting for scans and uninstalls and installs to run, I finished seaming and weaving in all the ends of the ... whoops, almost spilled the beans! ;)

Friday, January 16, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday, 1/16

With thanks to Jennifer at Conversion Diary for letting us play along!


I bought myself Stephanie Pearl McPhee's Page-A-Day Calendar, Never Not Knitting, just after Christmas. It came with an offer for a free online page-a-day calendar that comes in your e-mail. There were a number of choices, including Cats and Brain Teasers, and I chose 365 New Words a Year. It's been a lot of fun to open the e-mails, scroll down just far enough to see the word, and quiz myself before checking the definition. Then, there's always a link to click for more information on the history and etymology of the word. Yes, I'm a word geek.


Living right across the Detroit River from Canada, I'd come to enjoy CBC Radio 2 for classical music and great programs like Vinyl Cafe. So I'm sad that they seem to have changed formats from nearly all classical to more eclectic. I have nothing against eclectic, but it was nice to have an option in addition to Detroit's WRCJ for classical. At least there's classical in the afternoon, and Vinyl Cafe is still on Saturday mornings.


I made a dastardly treat yesterday. But next time I need to make sure the butter is super soft and mix the ice cream in quicker. It was still pretty yummy (For those of you worried about Jamie, we didn't have it until after he was in bed since he sleeps most of the night, and I only used a splash of rum).


Is it just me, or are people using the phrase "It is what it is" an awful lot lately? I have nothing against the phrase in particular, but I'm getting tired of hearing it.


My little project is almost done (Ravelry link, because I believe the recipient occasionally checks in on this blog). I knit it up in four days, and it's taken me the last three to seam it. I hate seaming, but for this one, it's worth it. All will be revealed on Monday.


Last night I was mulling over ideas for this post as I was putting Jamie to bed, then came downstairs to jot down a list to remind myself this morning. Of course, my mind blanked out before I remembered them all. I was thinking and thinking about the last one, willing it to come back into conscious memory, and then it did! And then I clicked my pen with gusto! And then I realized that I was holding the pen upside down and the ball point was already out! And then I said "OW ow ow ow ow" and forgot what I had remembered.


I know Christmas is over, even for us Catholics, but I had to share one last picture of the season (the plants are fake):

Isn't he the cutest thing?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

One reason I love the internet

I just read Sarah's review of a parenting book by Dr. Ray Guarendi. The book is called You're a Better Parent Than You Think!: A Guide to Common-sense Parenting. The review was a good one, and very timely, as I'm starting to find myself reacting to some of Rose's behaviors with frustration and anger. She and I are a great deal alike, which I know adds to the frustration. I'm hoping that the book will give me some insights into how I can react appropriately to her, or better yet, be proactive in what I do and say to help her act better. Sarah points out that in the text of the book, Dr. Ray uses the term "good sense" rather than "common sense," which I like very much since it seems common sense isn't really all that common!

Anyway, back to why I love the internet. First, the whole concept of blogging as a means of "regular people" sharing information and opinions. Next, as soon as I had read her post, I went to The Library Network for my area, checked to see if it is available, and it is, at a couple of the libraries. I placed a hold on it, and I'll receive an e-mail in a day or two, as soon as it's been delivered to my local library. All within a matter of minutes! I love the internet.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

"Mommy, I want a brother and sister picture. Please?"

With much thanks to Sarah for the idea, because I have no brain today.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Bad Timing

Well, James had his six-month checkup this morning, and as I had expected, he's now too long for his infant carrier/car seat. It's just as well, since the combined weight of him and the carrier has started to be too much. But I love being able to bundle him up into that cozy cocoon while still indoors and the way throwing a blanket over it makes a warm little tent, protecting him from the weather we've been having.

So now, just in time for the most bitter weather of the season -- highs of 8 degrees F (-13 degrees C) later this week -- I must move James into a regular car seat. Poor little kid. At least we've got lots of warm clothes for bundling up, not to mention plenty of knit and crocheted blankies!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Well, it *is* my favorite color

Your Blog Should Be Blue

Your blog is a peaceful, calming force in the blogosphere.

You tend to avoid conflict - you're more likely to share than rant.

From your social causes to cute pet photos, your life is a (mostly) open book.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Update alert

The name will stay. See item #5 here for details.

Fiber Cafe

So, why "Fiber Cafe?"

After Rachel had taught me to knit, and I started to really get into it, I started wishing there was a yarn shop closer to me than downtown Detroit. Now, I love City Knits, and I love Ewe-Nique Knits, up by where Rachel lives, but either way I was going to be in the car for at least an hour getting there and back, not to mention the time spent petting and ogling the yarn. So I spent a lot of time daydreaming about opening a yarn shop in my town. I knew it would never happen, with my non-existent business sense, but it was so fun to imagine "the perfect yarn shop."

First of all, it would be in downtown Wyandotte, because I love our little downtown. Not to mention it would be nearby.

It would be cozy, but not too small. I would carry all my favorite yarns, and have a running "wish list" on the counter so customers could request their favorites, too.

There would be comfy seating, warm lighting, and coffee and tea available around the clock.

I wanted a clever name, and thought "Fiber Cafe" was a cute pun on "Cyber Cafe." Of course, those who knit and those who don't probably have different connotations of fiber. For me, "fiber" = wool or cotton or alpaca, etc. For most of my friends, "fiber" = bran muffins. Come to the Fiber Cafe, have a bran muffin with your coffee! Hee hee.

Anyhow, when Rachel and I started this blog together a couple years ago, we went through a whole list of names, all of which had been taken by other people in Blogger land. The only one which hadn't was the name of my imaginary yarn shop, so we went with that. It was only after we started that I thought to Google "Fiber Cafe," wondering if we had stepped on anyone's toes. I found an alpaca farm, a couple of clubs, and something about fiber optics, but no shops and no other blogs by this name.

The happy ending is that there really is finally a yarn shop here in Wyandotte, yay! It is indeed cozy, there's comfy seating, it's downtown, and while there's not coffee, every Friday night there's a knit night with food for only $5. The name is also a clever one -- "Miles and Miles of Yarn," after the owner, Diana Miles. I'm so glad she's here.

Friday, January 9, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday, 1/9

With thanks to Jen for letting us share the fun. Hers and all the rest can be found here.

It's been really fun to discover new (to me) blogs through the 7 Quick Takes project. A couple of them I've enjoyed enough to follow and add to my sidebar. And I love that many participating bloggers have been kind enough to leave comments. Thank you!
I probably shouldn't put this in writing since, if I do, it'll all change tomorrow, but for the last 5 nights my little James has only awakened once, at 5am, to nurse, then slept again until his normal wake-up time. I'm trying not to get too excited, but it's the first real consistent nighttime sleeping pattern he's had. Also, having had a good night's sleep myself, I don't mind just getting up for the day and getting started, in fact, it's been quite enjoyable to have an extra hour to myself every morning.
Maybe I should use the extra time to start writing in his baby book. He's already 6 months old and I've filled out maybe a page and a half. Ugh.
I have my virus scan to run early Friday mornings. Looks like I'm going to have to change that time now that I'm hoping to actually use the computer at that time. It makes everything run so frustratingly slow.
Speaking of frustrating, my town's marching band (of which I was a member) has been getting pressure to change its name before they go march in the Inaugural Parade later this month. They are the Wyandotte Marching Chiefs, in homage to the Wyandot tribe that once lived here. Now a professor in Wisconsin, who as far as I know has never been here and probably doesn't know much about our town or its history, thinks they need to change the name of the band, and all the uniforms. In two weeks. *sigh* I do want to be sensitive. Can anyone out there give me some gentle insight into how "Chiefs" is disrespectful? I hate to be glib, but it's certainly more respectful than "Fighting Irish!"
Update, 1/10: I got word from a mom of one of the band kids that the Chief of the Wyandotte Nation actually flew in from Oklahoma yesterday, visited with the band, said he was very proud of them and fully endorsed their name. Yeah!
I figured out my Blogger sign-in problem. I had bookmarked the start page instead of the Dashboard page. Once I replaced my bookmark, I didn't have to sign in every time.
I have to replace my kitchen faucet. I don't want to, I don't know when I'm going to have time, but I have to.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I think she likes it.

My darling Rose, modeling her blue hat. It's about time I got around to it. She's had her little blue mittens and scarf for a year and a half (although the scarf is AWOL at the moment, grr). She'd been very patient with me during my pregnancy-induced aversion to knitting and the exhaustion that followed.

I wish the speckling had come out more random, but I think I know why it happened, and when I knit another, I think it'll turn out better. Yes, despite the wicked k3togs, I'm probably going to knit this pattern again. We both like it a lot.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Finishing the hat

Some of you out there will get that title. I really did finish the blue hat last night, then forgot to get a pic of Rose in it before her nap. Tomorrow.

Also, (sings) guess what came today! I balled it up right away and am about to cast on. Sorry, can't tell you what it is yet.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Some actual knitting content

...since this is, after all, a knitblog. Mostly.

I'm working on the Brioche Helmet Hat from Interweave Knits Fall 2005 for Rose. It's such a sweet little hat, and once I finally got going on it, it seemed to fly along. Until last night, but more on that later.

It's knit with two strands of sport or DK weight yarn held together, and you change one of the strands to a different color after an inch or so to get the speckled effect. I wish my speckles were more random, but I think that lighter stripe happened because I was not sure I wanted to change from solid blue. So I threaded a lifeline in case I didn't like the color change and tried a few rows without cutting either strand of dark blue. Brioche stitch is not difficult, but, for me, it was nearly impossible (no, it was impossible) to get the doubled strands back on the needle after frogging a row or two on my first attempts at this hat. I didn't even want to face that fiasco again, so a lifeline was necessary. When I decided I liked the color change, I snipped the unused strand of dark blue and took out the lifeline. Apparently, something about having that other strand attached affected how I held the doubled strands and made the light blue stand out more. You can totally see where I made that change. I've decided I'm fine with it. It's a design element, yeah, that's the ticket.
So last night I made it to the decrease rounds. The pattern tells you to knit 3 together. The 3 stitches it's referring to are a stitch with a yarnover straddling it, a regular stitch, and another stitch with a yarnover straddling it. That's how brioche stitch works. There's a lot of slipped stitches with yarnovers over them, and it makes for a very cushy, thick fabric. Very nice for a warm hat. But the problem is, with these straddling stitches and the fact that the yarn is held doubled, for the k3tog, you have to actually get your needle through and knit 10 strands of yarn. Can you imaging knitting 10 together? It's terrible. It was killing my hands. I ended up having to use a crochet hook to pull the yarn through and replace it on the other needle.
Otherwise, I love this pattern and now that I've figured out the crochet hook trick, I'll be likely to make it again.
Here's another story. I ordered some mediumweight Socks That Rock to make something that I can't share quite yet. I wanted the Narikama colorway, but they sent me the Nyame colorway. It's absolutely gorgeous, but it's not what I wanted. I e-mailed them, and got a very quick response apologizing, letting me know that the Narikama was already in the mail, and telling me I could keep the Nyame! I am so amazed, and excited! Blue Moon Fiber Arts rocks!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Birthday Report

Well, a good time was had by all. Our birthday girl loved her cake, playing and singing and shouting with her cousins, and all her presents.

I was a little worried, though. You see, for a couple of weeks before her birthday, I was feeling wistful about my first baby turning four and really becoming a little girl. Occasionally I'd say something to that effect out loud, and I guess I shouldn't have been surprised when she picked up on it. When am I going to remember that she remembers everything she hears, even when she doesn't act like she's listening?

So in the day or two before her birthday, she started saying, "I don't want to turn four. I want to stay three," almost tearfully. I had to reassure her several times that it was okay to be four, and I had just been being silly. Finally, by the time of the party, she seemed okay. And afterward, as we were taking her up to bed, she said, "Am I four now?" and I said, "Yeah, isn't it great?" and she said, "I think so."

Another funny thing was, she had been saying for the last few weeks that she'd need new shoes and new clothes after her birthday. At first I was really surprised that she'd be that interested in clothes, I thought toys would be more appealing as presents. Then, the more she talked about it, the more I came to realize that she thought she would suddenly be too big for her current shoes and clothes the instant she turned four. What a funny girl!

Her little brother had a good time, too. He is turning into such a "people person." He's a funny, engaging little guy. Not that I'm biased. ;)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

It's hard to believe...

...we have a four-year-old in the house.
Happy Birthday, Rose!

Friday, January 2, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday

With thanks again to Jen, for letting me participate.

I started a hat yesterday. Twice. I have to start it a third time this morning. Here's to hoping it goes better today.
I have to keep a notepad nearby to jot down any thoughts throughout the week that I may use for 7 Quick Takes Friday. My mind seems to go absolutely blank when I sit down in front of the computer to write. The same thing happens on Facebook when I go to fill out my profile information. "Interests? What are my interests? Do I have any?" Ridiculous.
Blogger won't remember me. When I check the remember me box, I still have to enter my e-mail and password the next time I come back to make a post or check my blogs. Google remembers me just fine, so what's wrong with Blogger? If anyone has any insight, please share.
I've been following Flylady for about 3 years now, on and off. Lately it's been off, what with the expected disruptions to our routine that a newborn brought. But now that we're settling into a new normal around the house, I've been re-incorporating some of her ideas back into my housekeeping. I don't follow to the letter, but I can really live with the idea that a little bit of work every day is better than killing yourself cleaning like a crazy woman a couple times a month.
I want to strongly recommend this book: The Green Beauty Guide (here's a good review). Even if you're not heavily into organic buying (I'm not) and even if you just check it out of the library (I did, but I'm going to buy it soon), it has some very important information about how the beauty items you use can affect your health. If you are a parent, I must even more strongly recommend reading it.
Our little downtown bakery closed earlier this fall, and I'm still sad about it. They were so wonderful there, they knew us by name, and their breads were simply beautiful. Someone has since taken over who doesn't even bake, they have all their breads and pastries shipped in. I went in once since this new management and haven't gone back. It smelled like smoke in there, cigarette smoke! and he didn't even know what pumpernickel bread was! I said, "Brown bread, dark brown bread." "This is brown," he said, motioning to the wheat bread. Wheat! Wheat is nothing like pumpernickel and you run a bakery? Argh!
The good news is, we kept in touch with the lovely woman who made the cakes there. We've always gotten Rose's birthday cakes from that bakery, and when we learned they were closing, we made sure we asked Amy for her number. She is going to make Rose a blue cake. Rose has been hoping for a blue cake since right after her last birthday (her favorite color is blue). So it's going to be blue frosting with four white roses and some holly. I'm so glad.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Christmas Past

Since my camera is still at my parents' house, please let me share some images from Christmases past with you.

This is me holding my baby sister Shannon, Christmas 1975. She's very happy with me.

The late great Dermot, enjoying the season. "Where's my dinner?"

Our sweet Rose, almost one year old in this picture. Note the crocheted popcorn in the foreground. We bought it at a craft show one year. I have to learn to do that.

Herself just a year later. Crazy how they grow.

Couldn't leave out our other cat, Nuala, who is most certainly still with us.She lends a great deal to the scene, don't you think?

Hope everyone's New Year is off to a peaceful start! More up-to-date pictures soon, I promise.