Friday, December 26, 2008

364 days

We keep a Christmas Countdown chalkboard in our kitchen during the holidays (in fact it used to be by my desk when I used to work in an office)...there are 364 days until next Christmas! After having a wonderful and plentiful holiday season, we're making some notes for next year. Yes, I am planning things for next year already - while things are fresh in my mind, I can decide what worked, what we kept 'forgetting' (having trips to the store each evening this week was not planned for...we'd like to avoid that next year!). Last year I planned our holiday menus, including baking, in a spreadsheet. Then I listed all the ingredients, compiled the ingredients, then came up with a Christmas Grocery List - then a couple of weeks before the holidays we can look in the cupboards and determine what needs to be purchased and just note it on the list (yes, it's a template). However, last year's "template" and menu didn't account for lil k's dairy/sugar sensitivities that has required some creativity in baking/cooking of late. So we have new items to add to the menu (like the yummy fruit juice concentrate sweetened gingerbread boys/girls) to changing our tortiere recipe, to adjusting menu items for soy milk, goat milk, goat yogurt, goat cheese, etc. So this boxing day we added menu items, changed items, and took a few off that we didn't really need (hot crab dip and herb spread for example). As with any template, it's a living document that will be adjusted for 'entertaining' menu items vs. quiet family menu items.

So, food lists are taken care of, I'm now planning my Christmas knitting for next year. I missed the knitting "frenzy" in December. Although, I must admit, it was nice to not have to pull an 'all-nighter' to knit something to get into the mail and/or miss getting it done in time for Christmas. I figure if I plan now, I can get gifts done for next Christmas, and enjoy myself in the process.

Yes, I am taking requests, with size and colour preferences up until Jan 1st...but I make no promises on all requests being completed

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Merry Christmas

We've been baking, cooking, preparing, shopping, knitting, and singing lots and lots of songs.

Lil k is buzzing with excitement!

Have a wonderful holiday!
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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Week 4 Advent - Human Kingdom

It's a busy week this week - first a shepherd appeared on our table...then an angel...soon to arrive are Mary and Joseph, then finally on Christmas Eve, the baby in the manger...

The three kings are still travelling, and will arrive on the 6th of January...lil k is wondering why it is taking them SOOOOOO long - but they are travelling from far far away...

We have had an abnormal amount of snow - our strata hasn't bothered to follow up with the contractor to clear our sidewalks/driveway/courtyard, so D got stuck in the driveway this morning - lil k and I had to go out and help. Lil k had a cold yesterday which seems to have disappeared, however, I now have it :( Although it is fun to have a white Christmas for the first time in 10 years living here in Victoria, being sick and not having winter boots, and no longer owning a shovel has made this rather tiresome :( But, by the same token, this weather really gets me in the mood to knit nice warm wooly things. I finished lil k's sweater (finally got up the nerve to block, baste and sew the sleeves, AND did the zipper.) I'm not completely happy with the zipper, but when it's on lil k, it looks fine - I'm just going to put in a fleece neck lining so the zipper/wool don't bother his neck - so I'm hoping to get that done today.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Week 3 Advent - Animal Kingdom

Also known as the "Joy" time :)

The nature table has a couple of lambs and some sheeps wool in the stable (which actually I put last week, but read that I should have done it THIS week instead - oh well, I'll know better next year). I have a duck to put on the table tonight, and have to quickly knit a donkey and possibly make a cow. I really need the donkey because as of Sunday, it's the "Human Kingdom" week, and Mary/Joseph will be riding in on the donkey. I also need some shepherds, so maybe I'll make a few more lambs - or just convert the bunnies I have by shortening their ears :)

We also made some lovely origami window stars . We made green and blue tissue paper ones. But, I found this pattern afterwards - maybe we'll try it next year.

With all the snow we've had recently, I desperately needed a hat to cover my ears - so I knit this one up in 2 evenings - it's been great! IMG00044
Now I'm tempted to use the pattern to make some fingerless mitts to match...but alas, I started a scarf for my brother - which may or may not be ready for Christmas - I wasn't planning on doing Christmas knitting this year - but in December, I desperately wanted to make things (after reading Yarn Harlot's blog about her schedule). I think I may take a tip from another knitting friend, and start knitting for NEXT Christmas so I'm not killing myself to do something in just a few days!!! But then, where's the challenge and fun in that :)

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Week 2 of Advent - Plant Kingdom

It's Saturday night and we've now setup the manger for the 2nd week of Advent - the Plant Kingdom in the Waldorf realm.
The manger is in place, some of lil k's wood blocks, some cinnamon sticks, and some uncarded wool for 'straw'.
We'll add some holly and pine over the week to add to the plants, and in all likelihood, lil k's favourite nature table item will end up there - we have no less than a dozen pinecones that he collects on walks and insists on adding to his nature tables...we'll see whether this rates the same :)

Cheers and happy season greetings to everyone!
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Monday, December 01, 2008

Advent has started...

Lil k had attended a Waldorf child care centre from 18months to age 3, so for the past two Christmases, he followed a very exciting 4 week journey through advent. Now we aren't a religious family, but I do love Christmas and have spent years researching old traditions, why we celebrate with trees/lights (more of a pagan thing), why we hang stockings(St. Nicholas), etc. The Waldorf approach is fun. Similar to the church having the 4 Sundays of Advent (Hope, Joy, Love, Peace), the Waldorf advent follows 4 weeks of 'kingdoms' (mineral, plant, animal, human). When following this for little children, the four kingdoms end up on the nature table, and eventually links up to the story of Christmas. Let me explain:

Week one, Mineral - we set up our nature table on top of our buffet with a green tablecloth, a clay dish, and 4 advent candles. For 'mineral', we can add shells, rocks, glass, etc to the dish - my son added those on Sunday evening (First day of Advent).

At the same time, on December 1st, the 3 kings begin their travel to Bethlehem, so we have 3 Kings (bendy dolls I made last night after lil k went to bed - yes, I could have planned this better in advance!!) beginning their travels on the window sill of the upstairs loft bedroom - they will travel around the upper levels of the kitchen cupboards, etc until they arrive on January 6th (on the Nature Table).

Week two, plants, we will add some plants (I'm planning to add holly to the advent 'wreath' where the dish/candles are.) and the wooden manger/stable.
Week three, animals, we will add some little woolen sheep, felt donkey, felt cow and maybe some others (depending upon how much free time I have to make these!!)
Week four, humans, we will add the shepherds, angel, mary/joseph all on different days until December 24th, we'll add the baby :)

Lil k got extremely excited when he saw the 3 kings this morning at I'm glad we are carrying on this tradition he started at his first 'school'.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Holiday countdown

There are only 29 days until Christmas...I've been counting down since 66 days I have a nifty countdown chalkboard that sits in our kitchen and lil k helps me every morning by erasing the number and 'helping' me write the next number. My husband found mine at a local thrift shop, but there are tons of crafting sites showing how to make these. Maybe when lil k gets bigger we'll customize this board and/or I'll get to bring this countdown board back to my office where I used to hang it :)

So, with only 29 days left, I haven't managed to get gifts sorted out - we made lists, discussed things, got price quotes, but have yet to actually go out and buy them!!! I hate shopping this late in the year. I'd rather be done by Oct 31st, and then watch the crowds in late November/December while sitting and drinking a gingerbread latte. Instead I'm going to be out in these crowds Maybe I'd better take some time off work to go shopping next week...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Bread for the soul

I took a mental health day today - didn't really feel like working, was feeling tired and sore from my kinked neck (happened a week ago, still hurts). I did keep in touch with the office, being I spent most of my time on the computer, but I was looking for something "to do" with my time. I was thinking of that great sugar-free apricot delight log they sell at Cobs Bread, and thought I'd try to find a recipe for something similar. My googling travels took me many places, I found some great diabetic recipe sites, that then led me to researching what I might try to make for holiday baking (considering my boy and I should NOT be eating sugar, and I can't fathom Christmas without home-baked cookies). I'm not so sure about the diabetic shortbread cookies, but will give them a try (I found two versions, one of which includes eggs!?!!?).

Anyways, as I was doing a series of searches for recipes, I stumbled across a site that does contests and one such contest was "Waiter there's my bread" leaving people to come up with something in their bread recipe...well, what a gold mine I found - tons of amazing bread recipes, one of which was oatmeal buttermilk that I just HAD to try today. I checked out some other recipes on the site that I may have to return to try, but lo and behold this oatmeal buttermilk recipe led me to instructions on forming the loaf on another site - A Year in Bread
This site was another goldmine...I spent a good part of the afternoon reading last year's posts on bread making from the three authors, and ended up making ANOTHER bread - Italian Rosemary Raisin Bread. Unfortunately, my oatmeal buttermilk bread was too dense (but still yummy), and my rosemary raisin bread was baked a little too long and is too brown (but it's still cooling, so I'm not sure if its affected the taste). I've since figured out I don't let my loaves rise long enough, my house is far too cool for them to truly double in size in 1-2 hours, so I need to put them in a warmer spot for longer. As well, I learned that in forming the loaves, I shouldn't push the dough around so much so as to not lose all the air bubbles...I'm notorious for 're-kneading' my dough when forming, so alas, I'll have to practice again later in the week... once we finish these loaves

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Tumbles and Easter Eggs

Monday I received a phonecall to go pickup lil k from school. He took a tumble and they wanted him checked out. I went into a panic because lil k has taken many tumbles (he's a boy), but to get a phonecall to come get him to go to a doctor to me meant it was SERIOUS.

We arrived to find a joking little boy with a purple and blue goose egg bump on his head which we nicknamed an easter egg. The lil guy had taken his his rubber boots off and put them back on opposite feet and ultimately lost his balance on a step outside. It wasn't serious, it was just a precaution this centre gives to any child - they wanted to be sure there was no concussion to be 'safe'.

So I survived my first phonecall from 'school' for my child's antics...I'm going to be a mess by the time he hits grade school and I get calls about him and his friends attempting to jump from the top of the slide and... (supposedly that's the sort of thing boys do, ugh...) I was hoping to get him skates this year...maybe I'll put it off another year - having sharp blades on the bottoms of his feet don't sound like such a good idea right now...

Thursday, September 04, 2008

another 4 km logged

My new shoes are logging more km again. Did 4km this morning since I was supposed to do that on Sunday and Tuesday, but the little k is now wanting to run with me instead of riding his bike. Unfortunately, 4km for a 3.5yr old is a tad too far for running - but there's no telling a 3.5yr old something like that. He could certainly do it on his bike, but as we learned last week, if we take the bike, momma has to carry the bike when lil k decides he wants to run!

So, running is back on track now that the daddy is back from Toronto. Hopefully more knitting can get done since sister-in-law has reached 34 weeks now, and so the doctor's will let the baby come now (baby was trying to come 2 weeks ago and they managed to stall it!) I have all of 6 washcloths done, and can't find where I put the cashmere yarn for the baby booties I planned to make. I figured I haven't got time to do the baby hat either, so enlisted my friend KnitNat to do it for me (who looks like she might have a nice little business going with making these hats she designed - she ended up selling the pattern to Beehive Wool Shop - and to think I taught her a year ago how to knit after she was vehemently refusing to learn!!!)

We have no idea what sex the baby is, so I'm waiting for the 'news' before I cast on one of the Baby Mine or Baby Yours green.. Personally I'd like to knit the Baby Mine sweater, but it would be too feminine for a boy, even in a blue colour, the baby yours sweater would work for either sex in any colour...

Off to find that cashmere yarn now...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Week one - check

It is said a new habit take 21 days to form. I've now managed 7 days!! WHoohoo! Following week one of

So the new shoes have clocked 8k so far...the lil k has clocked 4k via skuut/running... I've now lost the Olympics as inspiration, so I can only hope I can find clubs/running partners to keep me going! Today felt like I was running through sludge, but with the lil k all excited to "race momma", I could keep going! For him it is fun...I need to keep it that way!

Monday, August 18, 2008

3 years later....

I just bought myself a new pair of running shoes. I got inspired by watching the women's olympic triathlon on Sunday night. So, Monday evening, I bought myself a pair of running shoes. The salesperson almost giggled about my being inspired by the Olympics - but if it inspires me to get healthy, what does it matter?

Tuesday evening, I did my first running session - I'm gearing to do an 8k at the Royal Victoria Marathon - so I have 6 weeks to get ready, and with the bootcamp sessions from the summer, I think this should be no problem. Although, I likely need something to chase. I always hated running, except when I played soccer, I could play a full game and not even care...yesterday's run was with the lil k on his Skuut bike. What a hoot! I didn't even bother to do the run/walk, I just kept playing cat & mouse with the little guy on his bike - he had a blast, so did I, plus I fit in a workout without taking time away from him or my work!

Tonight I did my crosstraining on the Nordic Track while the lil k settled down for bed and listened to the swish swish of my workout and pretending he was driving in the rain with windshield wipers...

I should have realized a long time ago that Balance for me, is saving time by multi-tasking his play with my workouts!!!
Now if only I could find a way to knit while working...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Quick post about lemons and volleyball

I turned lemons into lemonade :) Knowing that I was travelling to Courtenay for a weekend of hubby's beach volleyball refereeing, I took an opportunity to drop off my washed fleece to Qualicum Bay Fibre Works! (this was one bag of 5 that we were processing by hand for the James Bay Child Care Society!) I loked up a number of 'stops' along our route ie goat farms, yarn shops, QBFW... I timed it perfectly to make for a nice little stretch break for the 3yr old and that way hubby couldn't pooh-pooh the idea...Plus being it was going to be a volleyball intense weekend - hubby wasn't going to tell me no!!!

What a cool place! Anna is so friendly and welcoming, she gave us the tour of her process, her machines, and showed us what each machine does! I'm amazed at how these 'ancient' machines can do even today! Although Anna does what one would call 'small batches' it certainly is a productive little operation from my point of view! The carder is the oldest machine and it was just pumping out the most gorgeous white roving into large buckets. These rovings either went to the customer or went through the pin-draft machine to have the fibres more aligned and also take up less space for shipping! I opted to go for the pin drafted stage - save me some space, and since this is all new to me - I figure the more in line the fibres are, the less 'mess' I'll make attempting to spin them for the first time!! The pin drafting machine will also combine fibres, which looked really neat - but not being a spinner (yet), I didn't want to venture a guess at how that turns out.

There is also a spinning machine where she can spin the fibres into yarn/ply the yarns... I was sorely tempted to have this wonderful fleece spun FOR me to knit kilt socks, but decided that I do need to attempt to use my spinning wheel and what better incentive than to have lovely pindrafted fleece to spin at the daycare for the children to fondle before we knit them animals and dolls!?

Anna also introduced us to the animals, including a chicken that lays green eggs!

Now I'm all excited and thinking I should get more fleeces up to Anna and then I CAN get some kilt sock yarn spun up for me!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Norwegian Purl

Trying out a new technique again. I've been very slowly working on the Accordion sweater for lil K, and today decided to try a different purling technique. My knuckles have been sore lately, and it's likely from how I use my finger to "help" the purl when knitting continental. Well, wow, why did I not learn the Norwegian purl before? The yarn stays at the back of the work, so no moving back and forth, and there's no need for me to use my finger(s) to "help" the purl.

Wow...this may just speed along this little sweater!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

I've gone and lost it now!

The little man had another asthma attack this weekend Started out as allergies (we saw the doc on Thursday), then it turned quickly into a respiratory infection and then asthma. We're back on puffers again, antibiotics, and I'm trying to get some supplements to prevent this in future!

According to most recommendations, we really need to get rid of carpets - but being in a rental, and not quite ready to buy just yet (we're waiting out the market decline) - I decided to invest in the best vacuum going. Check with my bro, and he said his dyson does a great job. Being its the first vacuum in Canada to be approved by the Canadian Asthma Society, I had to try it out. Now, being a good little procurement person, I had to do some research before purchasing it. I did check that the pricing was the same across the board (Canadian Tire, FutureShop, The Bay, online at Dyson). So shopping around wasn't getting me anywhere. I also read some reviews. It was funny to read these - check this guy out: I thought, who on earth would get that excited over a vacuum cleaner???

Well, let me tell you - I went to the Bay (Canadian Tire was sold out), and they had a deal on that you get a spring cleaning kit with any Dyson for $0.01 - cool, the value I found out later was more than $100! Anyhow. I had vacuumed the main floor on Tuesday - so thought I'd try my brother's experiment and vacuum the same spot with the Dyson to see what was 'left behind' by my old vacuum. After vacuuming Keiran's bedroom, the hall in front of his door, and the stairs - we had the equivalent to what would have been 1/4 of a vacuum bag in my old vacuum!!!! YIKES! I then tried the attachment to dust his blinds - unbelievably simple and clean - no washing in the bathtub required! I did our bedroom - the flat head actually reached under my bed!! whoohoo, no more moving the bed (which I really can only do about twice a year!)

I did stairs, I did floors, I can't believe I had FUN vacuuming...and I couldn't stop talking about it - just like now, again, I can't say enough about how much I loved this thing...

My new Dyson must have sucked my mind up at the same time as the dust/dirt/dander/catfur...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I was mistaken!

Well, I finished the first Scar sock on Sunday night, then started the second on Monday. I managed to watch the video on the alternate cable cast on technique and realized - oops, I was mistaken! The working yarn, does in fact, move after the stitch is slipped to the left hand needle! My first sock looks like a neat celtic knot kind of thing for the cast on ribbed edge, but once I did the second sock correctly....well, I'll be ripping back that cast on edge of the first sock, then doing a sewn cast off edge for it - hoping against hope that it doesn't look like it was done backwards and will match, kind of, in a way, the properly cast on sock!

Besides that little glitch, I'm loving this pattern, and the lovely yarn!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Alternative techniques

Another pair of socks, another new technique! Today I'm making the SockWarsII sock "Scar"
since I didn't participate in that war, although I really liked the pattern! Have some beautiful Debbie Bliss Baby Cashemerino in a dark pink shade - making them for my pregnant sister-in-law so her feet feel pampered - although in the summer with pregnancy hormones, she likely won't need to wear them until winter!

As with all my socks to date, I'm trying a new technique - this time the Alternate Cable Cast-on (as recommended in the pattern) - looked at the knitting help site for the instructions. Video not working today (need to download something) so just read the instructions. Problem is, the written instructions don't specify when to move the working yarn. I started with the slipknot, knit into it and slip it knitwise onto the left needle, then purl between the two stiches, slip it knitwise onto the left needle, then knit in between the two stitches and so on. It was after about 5 stitches I realized the edge didn't look all that nice, so I moved the working yarn BEFORE slipping the stitch onto the left needle - so instructions would be knit into the space between the last two stitches, move working yarn to front, slip stitch on right needle knitwise onto left needle, purl in space between two stitches, move working yarn to back, slip stitch on right needle knitwise onto left needle, and so on...makes for a nicer edge...I can only hope it it elastic enough for the socks!
Note: unfortunately I can't get a closeup of the cast on edge in focus enough to show the difference - will try again later!

Saturday, May 03, 2008


It was a bit of a rainy, misty day today, but that didn't stop us from going to the annual Mayfest at Sunrise. We had the little man all decked out in muddy buddies, boots, hat, so he was ready for the weather. Strangely enough, his most fun was had in jumping in and out of the puddles in the parking lot (go figure!).

My real intent for going was to 'shop' for waldorf toys and look at the dolls. Due to the weather, the retailers attending this year were inside the school, so I managed to browse around, chat, socialize while the lil man and daddy played outside. I kept dry at least

Sadly, no-one had any wool for sale, although there was roving for spinning and roving for needle felting available for draws. I didn't get a phone call, so I'm assuming I didn't win :(

But from the Island Oak Highschool table I bought myself a lovely watercolour painting by a local artist, Jennifer Lawson. Then from Natural Pod, I bought the most adorable little jar of jam and bottle of milk, for the little man's breakfast table. They had a bunch of felted eggs, bacon, etc but I just couldn't bring myself to buy something I *know* I can make I guess I'm adding ANOTHER new project to my evergrowing list of things to do...

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Daycare dilemma's

For the last month, I've been batting around an article idea on 'what the daycare guides don't tell you'. It's an idea of those additional questions or items to observe when touring a potential child care centre for one's child. Basically, covering off the problems we experienced with lil k's care (or lack thereof) in March of this year. Although there are people that are very happy with the place, it just didn't work with lil k, and so there are questions that I NOW ask, just to avoid the trauma to my little man...

Anyhow, today someone posted a question on (KIV) looking for advice on the pros/cons for each type of child care licencing group. Although I've only had my preciousssss in group licensed and licensed preschool, I have toured/observed others and offered some suggestions (including some of the half-baked ideas for my article). I received a lovely email about the information, and so I'm thinking I may expand a little more on the questions, to-do list for touring, observing and transitioning ones' little person to not only daycare, but to a 'new' centre. With such shortage of child care spaces, I would like to save some people the heartache we experienced. (Don't get me started on the poor parents that are more afraid of losing a full-time child care spot than to complain!!!! Again, another posting on KIV from a concerned father regarding ratios/safety of his daughter, and what should he do because he didn't want to tick off the caregiver and lose his spot!!!!)

I really need to get a business plan for expanding lil k's former centre...

Monday, April 28, 2008

Adjusting the size of socks

I've never been one to adjust something by 'changing needle size' - to me that changes the look of the pattern by making the fabric 'stiffer'. However, I was 'googling' toddler socks, and a blog came up with a pattern, adjusted from a woman's small size by using a thinner yarn and smaller needles. (located halfway down this page). So far, so good, it's 'looking' like it'll fit a size 9 toddler foot!

Afterwards, I *may* make the actual socks in the size the pattern (Wyvern) calls for myself!

Socks in progress photos posted May 3rd

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The many faces of toes...

Although I haven't knit alot of socks (relative to others I know), I have managed to try a different technique each time I knit a pair. My first pair were top down, as were a couple of others, but I've done the 2socks on 2 circular needles (and found it was great for doing felted slippers because it avoided the boredom of doing the 2nd slipper); I've done toe up and this is where I find there are more techniques out there. Now I don't have any issue with grafting toes (a requirement if knitting socks top down), but the toe-up versions intrigue me mainly to be able to use up the WHOLE ball of yarn without 'running out before finishing'.

Anyway, my first 'toe-up' socks were Twinkletoes for my neice's Christmas gift in 2005. It used the provisional cast-on which I found in the techniques page on Knitty. Pretty cool, no holes and the gift was well received.

Next toe-up socks were for me - I wanted to try the Sherman Heel, but I did get somewhat confused and ended up doing Judy's magic cast-on for the toes instead. The toes were great, my heel, a little loose unfortunately. In reading posts on the Sockknitter's Forum I figured I was not pulling my yarn overs enough and/or this was a common issue, but hard to explain what people were doing wrong - basically "practice makes perfect" heels was the advice.

Now we are at today - I received PGR's book "Simple Socks" and although was apprehensive (the instructions for the Sherman socks commented the PGR method was more complicated!). I just completed the toes for some socks for lil k, and it astounds me why people don't just use Judy's Magic Cast-on - all the stitches are there, and you start knitting in the round immediately instead of knitting the cap and picking up stitches :S. Anyhow, I've done the PGR technique for the toes, it was more complicated than necessary (compared to Judy's), BUT the instructions were more clear on what I was doing wrong with my yarnover stitches! I have no holes in these toes and now know why my Sherman Heel socks had loose side stitches. It was how I did the wrap AND how I slipped and purled the stitches (I didn't purl the 3 together from the back left to right!!!)

So long story to say, although there are millions of techniques, one can learn a bit from each one and come up with what works for you! I'm sticking to Judy's toes, but with reminders from PGR on how to do those decreases!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Knit Night Facecloths

We have a biweekly knit night that I started, originally, as a pub night. It was a means for me to show a group of women from the daycare how to knit facecloths for wiping the children's faces. It eventually got moved to a coffee shop (much to my chagrin), but we still are making cloths for the children and that's okay by me.

Although facecloths may be 'boring knitting' to some, it doesn't have to be. It is an easier first time project than a scarf (boredom doesn't set in before you finish on a facecloth). And the first one I teach them is the 'grandmother's favourite' design, so they only knit (no purling), and learn increases by YarnOver and decreases by knitting 2 together. Now a couple have branched off on their own and have done some lovely feather/fan design cloths, and now a much more textured version, etc.

All in all, I think it's an easier way for people to learn, quick gratification, and the daycare can always use donated 'first, second, third projects'

Friday, April 11, 2008

Day 5

My fifth day at home in the afternoon. Although I'm slightly behind on my work because I'm not 'focussed' enough, I'm starting to feel like I'm getting into a groove. Unfortunately I thought I'd work at home during naptime...instead I've discovered Planet Parent on Tues/Thurs on Knowledge Network (I figure I'm still learning this parenting stuff, now that I'm at home maybe they can help me!?), and I've discovered Steven and Chris on CBC. I LOVE THOSE GUYS! They never had good shows like these when I'd be home sick from work! (I hate daytime television)...

I guess I need to figure out how to earn my income in even less hours!!!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Tiggers and Eeyores...

I had a rough day yesterday. It was Day 3 of working part-time, at home mama part-time and although lil man is thoroughly tickled about this turn of events, I'm not so sure about my enthusiasm. I do need to establish a routine, and to work out the kinks in how to balance everything...but I was feeling like a total failure in all aspects of my life (work, home, fun, parenting, etc). At bedtime I started venting to hubby about it all, and he somehow turns on a television show that he thought looked interesting...we both cried and laughed at this show...and in a way, it was a swift kick in the pants for me. I should BE so lucky to be able to spend so much time with my son at this age!

Want to know what it was? It was on ABC, Diane Sawyer "The Last Lecture: A Love Story For Your Life" on ABC Wednesday April 9th, 10pm/9 CST."

We are buying the book, and have yet to watch the YouTube Video of his complete last lecture - but this is certainly a must-see for anyone struggling with negative thoughts about life, people or anything in general..

Hubby's favourite quote was "are you a Tigger or an Eeyore?"
Hubby is definitely a Tigger...

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Daily Rhythm and Rhyme

It's interesting how young children thrive on a rhythm. It gives them a sense of security, as they know what is coming next. I've read a number of parenting books that speak to this, and many daycare "philosophies" that promote it as well. Yet, few daycares that I've toured actually put it to practice. The little man's experience last month was proof of that - their philosophy and history in the community were great. But in actual practice, they couldn't get a rhthym going - they kept changing the pattern because it wasn't working out for one reason or another...unfortunately, the children were acting out because of it. Although they are adaptable (more so than adults), the constant change was hard for them.

Strangely enough, with this new "life-changing" event for me (ie shifting to half-time work, half-time at home mom), *I* feel better with routine. I've been trying to follow the FlyLady principles, but I would always stray away from them eventually - they never really ingrained as habits....however, this week, I'm developing my own routines and it's made my 'transition' easier. It's only day 3 (after a week of the little man being home sick though!), but I think I need the security of a weekly rhthym...

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

What a Relief!

The little man started at his *new* new 'sckool' (preschool) yesterday morning. His transition took all of 15 minutes before he told Daddy to "go now, I have work to do!" He was all smiles and excited when I picked him up at 11:30am, came home to make lunch, had a rest. So, unlike the other 'new sckool' he attended in March, he was well fed, happy, dress appropriately for outside play, went potty...twice, and all in all, his usual happy-go-lucky self. Ahhhh, I can relax more now when he's off to 'sckool'.

On the otherhand, I'm now only able to work M-F 8:15-11:15, and 'possibly' between 1-2:30 depending upon how long he keeps up his naptime! The work thing isn't just about finances, since of course his daycare is a lower cost being only half days, but it's more about ME having that business contact and knowledge. I like what I do for a living, I like my business and clients and projects that I work I've had to cut the time down, and feel sort of torn - I should be happy that I can stay at home with the little man, but at the same time, I miss my "work life".

It's only been two days...who can tell how I'll feel next week!
(we made banana bread together today, we cut vegetables for soup yesterday...what will the little man want to do tomorrow???)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Enabling Behaviour

Friday I took the day off work I went to the Victoria Sewing and Craft Show
and I got some great yarns, some threads for dollmaking, a nifty new thimble which is basically a piece of leather sewn onto a glove finger :), some rosewood dpns, wool needles, a
nd finally a olfa mat for my rotary cutter. See, I have pics - mmmmm, this arauacania yarn is a nice little pet (sitting in my arms)...this picture does NOT do it justice... I want soooo badly to start knitting with it, but I have 7 baby hats to finish sewing up, Keiran's sweater, Keiran's socks, Sarah's very past due Christmas Sweater...

My pass is good for 2 days, so today, being the 2nd day, I'm trying my damnest to figure out why I feel the need to go back. The needle felting workshop was sold out yesterday morning when I arrived, so I'm not after a workshop; I don't need a sewing machine although a serger would be 'nice to have'; I am trying to
stay away from buying more books until I get more space (or get rid of some)....the only reason I can think of going, is to buy more yarn...I didn't manage to buy anything from Indigo Moon Yarns, and there were just sooooo many good things at Fun Knit's booth. I petted the malabrigo lace yarn, but didn't give in to buying all I've done is think about it, how nice and soft, the lovely scarf Shelley was knitting with it....I think I know where I'm going today...

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Nature Tables

On Wednesday, the Victoria Waldorf Society had its monthly craft night and we made a lovely daffodil child - so it became the start of our Nature table.

I don't have a copy of the book that much of this would relate to "The Story of the Root Children", but my 3 yr old
was quite taken with the flower child and enquired where the rest of the root children were. With my limited knowledge of the story, I told him they were still painting their clothes to come out as flowers

So, our nature table evolved over the last few days - first I put a playsilk (koolaid dyed) as background along with the log and pinecone seen above. Then I made a flower child from carded wool; a root child from a felted sweater, and crocheted a root 'baby'.

Finally, I had to start making more flower children, because when spring arrives with the crocuses, tulips, and daffodils, that is the root children with their brightly painted clothing... and then of course Easter comes so we needed as a result, each night this week I've been making items for our nature table...

The little boy's contribution has been in telling me what is missing and he's now added a carrot for the bunnies and easter eggs...

Saturday, February 09, 2008

More Candle Making

I didn't have the camera for Candlemas (last Saturday) when we made our first set of beeswax candles.
So now today (Saturday a week later), we are making some more and surprise, surprise we have a camera!
Here's the canning pot I'm using for my heat, I set a coffee can on the 'jar lifter' since I found putting a coffee can directly on the bottom will tend to tip the can when water bubbles try to 'escape' from under neath it.
Last week I hung the holders on wooden spoons, but didn't like that idea much. So I contrapted something on the ladder -the 'holders' are the tops of hangers based upon instructions I got from
here (
And at the bottom are my finished candles from last week - a little 'lumpy' but for my first try, I'm fine with it - hubby calls them 'corrugated candles'. I think we got some water into the wax accidentally last week, and that's what caused the corrugation.
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Friday, February 08, 2008


On Monday, I had an overwhelming craving for these yummy, soft, chewy ginger cookies that I get from the little piggy bakery down the road from my office. But I was trying to overcome my craving (since I tend to go buy these on a near daily basis).

After getting a disgruntled toddler to bed, I ended up surfing the net to find a recipe to make my own. They were yummy! Not as good as the little piggy version (they have pieces of candied ginger in theirs!).

Anyhow, I'm watching Good Eats (my fave!), and what do ya know, he mentions keeping fish sauce in the fridge for things like pad thai, etc.... He wasn't making Pad Thai, but the mere mention of the word, and boom, craving. Now I don't just 'get' cravings, there are certain foods I crave, and Pad Thai tends to rear its head every couple of months, and will stick around for weeks on end if I don't satisfy it. Generally that means a trip to the Noodle Box (we go to the Fisgard location as it's easier to park!)

Now, I decided to google to see what I could find for possibly making 'something' that would satisfy the craving (knowing that I am NOT going to make authentic Pad Thai, and I have yet to find a grocery store version that doesn't taste like gooey mush). Well, I've found something extremely interesting and will be exploring my options tomorrow...

Wish me luck!

PS. I know there isn't the words Pad Thai on the Noodle Box menu, I order the Spicy Peanut Noodle Box...mmmmm
And yes, I do have other options, but with a toddler, it's easier to do take-out - without toddler, we like the My Thai Cafe - mmmmmm, now I want some red curry...

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Happy Birthday Little Man!

Three years ago today, I had some tummy pains, had a great lunch/chat with a friend, although all I could eat was soup since I knew a little person was on his way (and supposedly once labour is started, you shouldn't eat solid foods - can't recall why exactly, but I did have tea and soup for lunch because of that). Wasn't all that annoying until hubby decided to call me a few times that day to check how far apart contractions were - I really didn't know 'cause I wasn't paying attention. So once I timed them (10 minutes apart at that point), I realized they hurt, kinda, and was not overly pleased with hubby for bringing those 10 minute experiences into the forefront of my attention span! So I chose to ignore them again. Then around 4:30, the water broke, and all hell broke loose then, those little annoying pains that actually did hurt before when I paid attention, ended up REALLY hurting (little did I know that wasn't the painful part!) Now the rest is really a blur, but suffice it to say I had a little person in my arms by 8:35, and I had no idea what I was in for!

After that, I've come to realize that my mother should have had all the birthday wishes/day off each year on Jan 29th instead of me...considering all I did was 'showup' that day... I now think I'll celebrate Feb 7th for me...Happy Birthday Keiran, momma is going to celebrate with a pedicure and massage!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

It's got to be happy hour!

What a day - not including the toddler escapades this morning at 6:10am, and between 7-8am attempting to get ready for work...this has been the major events of my day so far...
1) had a meeting today scheduled for 1pm, received copy of contract (discussion topic for meeting) at 8:24am via email
2) Said document kept crashing word, emailed to find out if there was an issue for anyone else
3) put memory stick into computer, computer shut down immediately
4) restarted computer, supposedly Windows had experienced a critical error - virus definitions updated, scan conducted, outlook took 30 minutes to process because personal folders were not shut down properly, etc....nada, seemed to be fine, although I lost some critical time preparing for meeting.
5) in the midst of all this, zipper on pants broke, found this out when attempting to go to bathroom and pants would not unzip. Said zipper came flying off after repeated attempts to undo it (on a good note, I hadn't waited until the last possible minute to go to the bathroom, so I had my bladder control throughout this process!)
6) had gift card from Christmas in my purse (yippeee), figured I had time to go shopping for new pants before 1pm meeting.
7) tried on 7 pairs of pants, finally decided on a pair - gulp, 15 minutes until I had to be at meeting.
8) got to meeting with 5 minutes to spare, changed pants in bathroom before meeting start.
9) walked back to office in torrential downpour, feet are soaked....should have bought new socks and shoes too I guess...

It's 2:38pm, I think it's time to call it a day!?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

It's a new year...

Okay, so it's been a new year for 10 days already, and this is my first post of the year. Geez, and now I don't know what to say, but that I've been busy and have barely knit in the last 10 days. I've done alot of ravelry surfing, adding more items to my queue. My 'wish list' for knitting is growing larger and larger, and my time for knitting is shrinking and shrinking! However, Knit Nights are starting up again, so I think I'll get to do some more again. Plus, I have a toddler that is choosing sock colours now. I managed to find a crazy sock yarn with all the colours he said he wanted in his I just have to sort out what I want to do in terms of a sock (ie plain or patterned). We'll see, for now I'm supposed to be 8:41pm, because I didn't get things finished during the day Such is the life of self-employment...yes, we have flexible hours, but procrastination sets in due to that flexibility and then our flexibility has us driving into our office after putting the toddler to bed to finish writing a document one should have finished weeks ago!

I guess I'll go work now...