Sunday, May 29, 2011

Friday, May 27, 2011

Fresh Strawberries

My mother-in-law's strawberry patch is going gangbusters right now, and she gave us a container of them when we stopped by this afternoon.


We weren't going to be able to eat them all tonight and they were super-ripe, so I cut them up and froze them to add to my smoothies.


Something struck me when I was slicing up the soft, juicy berries, though -


Don't sliced strawberries look just a little bit naughty?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

WiP It Wednesday

Piper's dress is nigh-finished - all I need is buttons!


Hopefully I can go to Hayes Sewing, our local button mecca, tomorrow afternoon - I am hoping to find some blue flower-shaped buttons to finish this one off. You may have to wait a while for a modelled shot, however - I think this will fit her come autumn/winter.

I'm making progress on Tara's socks, too. This picture is a little blurry, but I think it gives you a better idea of the pattern, Summer Lovin' Socks (Rav link):


Now that the pattern is only on one needle amd the other is plain stockinette, these are zipping along. And keep your fingers crossed - I think I have finally memorized rhe 20 row repeat...

Letting Sleeping Babies Lie


Piper turned 16 weeks yesterday, and since she is coming up on 4 months on June 1st, her daycare teacher approached me about adding rice cereal to her diet.

I'm not ready.

I understanding the timing - most babies here get introduced to powdered cereals around 4 months of age - but I don't think Piper is terribly interested yet. She loves nursing, and already sleeps through the night, so there isn't this impetus to try and 'fill her up' so she will sleep longer. But that isn't what I mean by I'm not ready.

I remember when Willow was this age - I was so eager for her to try the cereal and move onto the next stage of her babyhood. I distinctly remember sitting on my in-laws' living room floor, and spooning the cereal into Willow's mouth, and cracking up at her confused face. She took to cereal quickly, and we were quickly off into the world of baby food.

I think what it is is that I know Piper is my last baby, and in my heart I am just not ready for her to move on to that next step. I love nursing her full-time, and while I know it won't last indefinitely, I do want it to last a bit longer. It's an easy decision right now - and perhaps if she were interested in food other than nursing I would be more conflicted.

So, we will hold off the cereal a bit longer. I'll revisit this in a month or so and see where she is. And in the meantime, just hold my sleeping baby close.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Friday, May 20, 2011

We're Sharks!

Courtesy of Willow's Spring Musical:

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Joy of New Toys

So much for my wordless weekend - I took some cute pictures of Piper this afternoon and had to share them with everyone. We went to Babies R Us this morning, and came home with this mirror toy:


Piper was much enamored of the baby in the mirror - she kept inching forward to give the other baby kisses. Here is Piper looking up from the toy:


And laying down in one of her warm-weather onesies:


And she finally consented to sit in the Bumbo that Asami and Gara gave us - every time I had put her in there before she would start crying - but this time she was in a good mood and sat in it for a good 15 minutes before she started to get fussy.


15 minutes!! I had 15 minutes to do other things, but no... I didn't knit. I used that time to get dinner started in relative peace.

Wordless Weekend


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Bet You Had Smell-o-vision Now!

I have been wanting to bake all week, but between work, prior commitments, and Willow's activities, it just didn't happen. But today - Saturday (I love Saturdays!), my house smelled wonderful.

What did I make?

Cinnamon Bread...


You would not believe how fantastic this smells - like cinnamon rolls without the icing. Trust me when I say it is taking all my willpower to now cut off a piece of this bread - it is for french toast tomorrow morning!

Then I needed to make a dessert for our Saturday dinner at my in-laws' house. Andrew, Willow, and Piper had given me a donut pan for mother's day...

So, I made Baked Apple Cider Donuts - a messy enterprise, but worth it in the end.


I didn't have the apple butter the recipe called for, but I did have pumpkin butter, so I used that instead. Seeing as Andrew, his brother, and his Dad all had two each, I think they were a hit. I did learn two things in making these:

1) Pay attention to not overfilling the donut pan - they expand quickly and if you have overfilled the pan, you just end up with vaguely-donut-shaped blobs.


2) Let the donuts cool a bit on the rack, and then put them on wax or parchment paper to put the glaze on... or else you will be prying the donuts off the cooling rack with a spatula and have a huge sticky mess on the table.


Definitely will be making these again!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

WiP It Wednesday: Oh, Nevermind.

I haven't knit all week. Having a baby will do that to you. I even forgot my knitting when we went down to MDSW this past weekend. How on earth did I forget my knitting bag on a 4+ hour round trip?!?! Baby. I was too worried about getting enough diapers, changes of clothes, the stroller, the baby carrier, bottles of water, etc. into the car - the knitting bag slipped my mind.

Anyway. I have a new knitting bag... and it's kind of unusual:


It's made out of tatami!


I was walking back from another building at work, and I passed the company store - and I caught this nifty bag out of the corner of my eye. It came in a few different sizes (this was the biggest one), and in different shades (either more green or more orange than this one). The price tag said $10 - which I would have gladly paid, but when I went to the cashier, I found out that all the bags were 50% off!

Here's my new knitting bag flirting with my Rock Creek Yarn Twisterino in Granny Smith*:


And playing hide and seek with some unlabeled yarn - I believe it was from the Barefoot Spinner*:


And the bag getting frisky with some Brooks Farm Solo Silk*:


I just realized that none of these pictures really tell you how big the bag is - so here is one last picture for reference:


Now, excuse me while I put my mango drink in the refrigerator to cool down!

(*All yarn from last year's MDSW haul... Teri, now do you see why I am afraid to flash all of my stash?!!)

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Saturday, May 07, 2011

MDSW 2011 Recap

Guess where Piper and I went today!


You don't care about the shy sheepies, do you? You just want to see the yarn! I actually didn't buy a whole lot today. I touched many skeins of soft yarn, but can't say there were many colourways that drew me in.

This was the first yarn I bought - and one of the reasons why is that Creatively Dyed Yarn had an outside stall, so I was able to get in there with the stroller and not have anyone give me dirty looks. I could have spent much more money here, but I wanted to spread my funds around.

This is their Voodoo yarn (100% superwash merino, 150g/350 yards) in 'Head.'


And a close up:


I picked this one because it was a very warm shade with lots of little bits of colour (purple, green, pink, etc.) thrown in.

My second purchase? The Flock Bransonas Hand-painted sock yarn (75% wool/25% nylon, 100g/460 yards)in 'Hallmark.'


And a close up:


I'm not sure if this comes across in the photo, but this yarn is dark green and apple green - with a thread of electric turquoise going through it - very striking.

My third purchase? A similar shade to my second purchase, but a very different feeling yarn: Three Irish Girls Glenhaven Cashmerino Fingering yarn (80% merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon, 3.5oz/370 yards) in 'Rain Rain Go Away!'


And a close up:


For all its blues and greens, this yarn screams feminine to me. I love Three Irish Girls' shades and I really agonized over which shade to pick.

And my fourth, and probably the favourite of the bunch, purchase - Sanguine Gryphon Bugga (70% superwash merino, 20% cashmere, 10% nylon, 4oz/412 yards) in 'The Grouchy Ladybug.'


And a close up:


Honestly, if I hadn't have been drawn to the colour in the first place, the name of the colourway would have done it for me. Have you ever read Eric Carle's book, The Grouchy Ladybug? I read it to Willow a few years ago and it was hilarious - about a ladybug who picks fights with everyone and learns a few lessons along the way.

And Piper? She was an angel. Here she is, trying to decide if she should become a redhead or not:


She slept the entire two-hour drive down to MDSW, and I had her in her stroller for the first hour and a half - until it got too crowded to manuever through the barns. After that, we went back to the car and switched to our Snugli in 'Green Roses' carrier and walked around for another hour and a half. It was much easier to get around with her in the carrier, and she didn't fuss one whit. Walking around with the stroller was challenging - people definitely get pissed at the people with strollers and pull-carts - but I have to say I was 'driving' very conscientiously - and to the lady who gave me the stink eye when she tripped over my stroller... if you hadn't decided to cross in front of me diagonally without looking, you wouldn't have tripped... because I was stationary at the time. Just sayin'.

A big, BIG thank you to my friend Kathy - more than once she stood with Piper in non-crowded areas so I could wade into the throngs and pay for my purchases. I couldn't have done any shopping without her. And thank you to Michelle, Patti, and Julie, who babysat Piper in the music tent so I could get some kettle corn! Yes, I will be paying for that one at Weight Watchers tomorrow, but I enjoyed every bite of it.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

WiP It Wednesday: Tara's Orange Socks


Aren't they pretty? I'm surprised how quickly they are coming along, especially since I am working off a 20 row chart and I am not the most proficient at reading knitting charts.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Piper Fascinated By Flowers


The tree in the previous post is a red bud tree in my father-in-law's front yard. I had never seen a redbud tree before moving to the East Coast, and it amazes me how they bloom off the bark, even before any green leaves show up.

Here are some more pictures of the redbud blooms:



If you look in the blurred background of the above picture, you can see how the trunk sort of looks polka-dotted with bloom clusters. It's a very pretty plant - and I am not sure if the term 'redbud' is a misnomer - every one I have seen has been this purply-pink colour. I know my Mom was interested in getting one for their place on Vancouver Island, but it won't growe there - apparently it is a southern plant, and Delaware is at the northern limits of where it will grow well.