Friday, November 30, 2007

I'm out of control!!!

I am a wife. I am a mother. I am a crafter. I am high on oxytocin. These things combined with -36 degree Celsius windchills this week gave me an uncontrollable desire to make my family warm. Richard walks to work. He needed a scarf that was warmer than the ones we had in the house. Now, I do own a couple of fairly sizeable bales of yarn, but time was of the essence. What is a crafty woman to do? I dove into my fabric stash and found a very large scrap of heavy, double thick fleece. In less than 10 minutes my sweetie had a cozy scarf to block the chill.

Next on the list? A way to keep mittens together and close to little hands. Cords are considered a strangulation hazard and would be frowned upon at Emmett's preschool. Mitten clips seemed like a dandy solution, but none were to be found in any local stores. No worries. A quick trip to the fabric store and 20 minutes on my Grandma's sewing machine gave me 4 mitten clips. The kids can't stand them, but I am stubborn and they will get used to them!

The clips consist of around 6 inches of elastic sewed securely to suspender clasps. The close ups show how I sewed them in place. I am sure if you find some pretty suspenders in the second hand shop this would be a great way to recycle them!.

Now, I know what you are thinking. "What about you, Jen?" "What have you done for yourself to keep warm?" Thanks for asking. Emmett's therapist told me about a wonderful creation called a London Fog she had at a local coffee shop. She reproduces it at home and I hope she won't mind if I share her secret.

Find your largest coffee mug (I think mine holds 16 oz if filled to the brim) In the bottom of it place 1 teaspoon of sugar and around an ounce of coffee cream . Add a splash of vanilla extract and stir. Fill the mug with strong brewed Earl Grey Tea. Wrap your hands around the mug and enjoy.

Our therapist uses vanilla coffee syrup she bought at the coffee shop instead of sugar and vanilla, but I didn't have any so this was my way of improvising. If you have the time and inclination you could also scald and whip milk instead of using cream for the real Fancy Coffee Shop effect.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A post about knitting!? (.....and a question for the parents out there.)

I'm as surprised as you are. How can I, mother of three very young children possibly find time to knit?? Well, a few things have recently happened:

  • Matthew is sleeping longer and longer at night, leaving me much more energetic during the day.
  • Matthew is three months old now--he is happy for short periods of time in his bouncy chair or under his baby gym.
  • Charlotte still naps.
  • Emmett is happy to play computer games or watch a video while Charlotte naps.
  • I turn a blind eye to the dirty dishes and laundry that needs folding.
A recent cold snap has left me eager to get the needles and yarn out again. What have I been up to? Thanks for asking!
A hat for Richard--knit in Lion Brand Wool-ease Thick and Quick on biggish dpns (don't ask me what size, I don't know!) cast on 60 stitches, knit in k2p2 rib until "big enough" (this isn't brain surgery) decrease for the crown and cast off. Have a happy husband with warm ears.This is a Top Secret Christmas gift. It is Noro Kureyon. It is very scratchy to knit with, but it redeems itself by entertaining me with gorgeous colours. The Thing is very easy and fast to knit. I may make another.
This is a garter-stitch triangle shawl in Fleece Artist Goldielocks. It is in a black hole right now. Every second row I increase by 4 stitches so I feel like I knit and knit and knit but see no discernable progress. I am in love with the colour changes and the yarn is soft and squooshy and a delight to knit with. That is the only reason I persevere with this. That, and I'm cold and I want to wear it!.

Subject change:

Any experienced parents out there have advice for me on how to discourage Charlotte to ask for things in a plaintive whiny voice that pierces my brain?

Click on any picture to enlarge and delight in the yarny goodness.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A song for the Mommies in the room.

I don't know if I should laugh or cry. Maybe a bit of both. I do know I have a bit of a crush on this guy now.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

It's craft time!!

Next week begins the season of Advent in my church and many others. We start to get ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. To kick things off we threw a party at church for my Sunday School students today. We made Advent Wreaths they could take home and share with their families. Want to see how we did it?

We started out by cutting lengths of berry garland and wiring them into wreaths (small grapevine wreaths would work well too) We then had the kids sculpt "candles" out of Sculpey clay--three in purple, one in pink, and one in white. While the candles baked, the kids decorated their wreaths with various shiny things we provided for them. Glue dots were used in quantity!! After the candles came out of the oven we stuck circles of velcro to them and the wreaths. Gold beads were glued to the top of the candles with gold glitter glue for flames. To stabilize the white candle at the center of the wreath we attached it to self-adhesive foam snowflakes we found at the local Giant Craft Store. The children now have safe Advent wreaths they can use in their homes through the Christmas season!For more information on Advent and the colours of the candles and the order we light them in, go here. Here is another place to look too.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Quiz time!

Guess what Matthew and I have?? (I am not going to post a picture of the parts of me that match his purple face!)
Do you think I should cancel the kid's portrait session tomorrow??

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Feels so good.

Life feels so crazy lately. I am busy running a playgroup and Sunday School (and getting busier with Advent and Christmas coming up) Emmett is busy with school and therapy, Charlotte is busy doing all of the things 2-1/2 year olds do and Matthew is busy growing. Matthew has grown so much people raise their eyebrows when I tell them how old he is. (is 15 pounds big for a 2 month old?)

Anyway, today I got to be busy doing something really fun: shopping with someone else's money. I love shopping. One could call it a hobby of mine. My Sunday School is collecting donations and diapers to give to our local food bank for Christmas. A very generous member of our congregation gave us a very generous donation. My co-teacher and I headed out to spend it. We ended up with two shopping carts full of diapers, baby formula and baby food.

I can hardly wait to deliver it to the food bank!!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Hi Grandma.

My Mom is working nights are some pictures to brighten up her shift.

4 generations

More smiley

There isn't really anything new to report--I could wonder out loud why Char is daytime potty trained but the boy in the house who is twice her age is not, but that is boring.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Too good not to share.

I had some delicious muffins at my Grandma's last week. Check out my food blog for the recipe. You won't be sorry.

Grandma Jean's Date-Orange Muffins

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Cut from the same cloth.

Richard helped me go through some old pictures to burn on CDs. This of course resulted in a sweet trip down memory lane. I didn't realize how much our kids look alike until I started looking at baby pictures.......