Friday, September 30, 2011

I love him

 

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, please leave a link in the comments to your moment.  

 

SouleMama

 

 

stagger

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Books

books

 

We love books.  The kids love books.  And we have lots of them.  We may not have a lot of "collections" or clothes or shoes, but we have a lot of books in a small house.  This makes storing them a bit of a dilemma.  For the kids, we have the book slings, but the rest were on a shelf where they couldn't reach them.  This just wouldn't do; I would much rather they have to ask me to get a toy down then to get books down.  Husband and I want to instill a love of learning and reading, so obviously being able to reach their books would help with that.

This was one of the crates that my mom just happened to have (she has random things like that, which is really kind of awesome).  Some wheels were put on the bottom by either Husband or my Father-in-law.  I'm not sure which as I was in another room when they were put on.  As much as I do, I don't really do power tools.  I've never felt incredibly comfortable with them, which is a shame because Husband really isn't a DIY type and kind of groans any time I say I have an idea.  

books

 

After the wheels were put on and it was cleaned out (I got the honor of doing that), we filled it with books.  Daughter was super excited to help with that part.  I think she'd forgotten that she had some of those books.  For a couple of days it was in the toy room, but then we discovered that it fit perfectly in a corner of the living room and covered the cord for the record player (bonus!).  We missed having books in the living room (even if I didn't miss trying to get them to clean up the books in the living room).

 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

WIP* Wednesday

Tea leaves

 

It's yet another Tiny Tea Leaves sweater.  This time in Quince & Co.'s Lark in the color Peacoat. I had alreadly had some from another project so I just ordered more, which resulted in 2 different dye lots.  To make them blend I have been alternating the two balls of yarn every two rows.  This color matches Daughter's school uniform perfectly, so if she wants to wear a sweater to school she will have no choice but to wear this.  Also, she slept with the yarn so I'm thinking it fits her "softness" criteria.  But who knows?  5 is such a fickle age.

Sorry about the lack of a post yesterday.  I've been ill and Husband was going to guest post for me, but instead he got to see just how busy a 2 year old can be in the morning.  And just how much needs to get done during nap time.  Kudos to him for staying home and helping out so that I could recover.

 

 

*work in progress 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Since Friday

my helper Books Bribe

Monkey bars

 

  • We canned another bushel of tomatoes, splitting it into ketchup and diced.  We still need to do at least another bushel, possibly two.  Good thing we have such a good helper.
  • Checked out some cook books/preservation books at the library.  Three out of the foor will go on my wish list.
  • Received my bribe for the spider socks (a set of interchangeable needles).
  • Went to Oktoberfest at Daughter's school, where there was a playground.  Husband was a little tall for the monkey bars, but that didn't stop him.  
  • Went to a flea market where I picked up an old school mason jar and a couple of records.  
  • Got some old crates out of my mom's garage (that will be another post).
  • Had to turn on the furnace because it's just too cold.
  • Had the in-laws down before my mother-in-law moves to California and for my father-in-law's birthday.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Hello, Kitty.

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, please leave a link in the comments to your moment.  

SouleMama

 

 

 

shoes

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Late

P95

It's been a rough few days with cranky kids, cranky Husband, and lots of laundry and dishes which can make for a cranky Mom. I think we're going to take it easy today and maybe finish up the laundry in time for there to be another load tomorrow (seriously, does the clothes secretly multiply when you're not looking?).

Maybe when the kids are napping I'll read those cook books I borrowed from the library (Urban Pantry - which I've already made 2 very good recipes out of - and Preserving Food at Home). And that reminds me that my book that was on hold came in. I do love the library (although when I was in high school it was terrible for research - and that shows my age).

I hope you enjoy your day as best you can.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

It's a lot when you see it all together

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My sister says I have enough food for a food shortage, but I say I need a bigger freezer.  I still need to do more tomatoes (diced), applesauce, pumpkin butter, and possibly cubed pumpkin.  I need to check and see if that's still safe to can with a water bath.  I've heard they're a delicious side dish with any meal though.

Next year I need to do make more pickles because they're amazing and we've already eaten 3 jars.  Oops.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Last camping of the season

family

cart ride

hot dogs

elf hats

feet

canoe

It was full of:

  • good views straight from the campsite
  • cart rides (we had a very secluded, gorgeous walk in site and the park was nice enough to have carts so you didn't have to carry everything)
  • hot dogs over the fire (and smores)
  • hand knits (Daughter chose to double up her hand knits for even more warmth)
  • sticking our feet in the lake (again, from the campsite!)
  • canoe rides

 

 

We're crossing off that Fall List.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Judgement

I sometimes feel like there aren't any nice people in the world.  That we're all just so busy we forget that we live in a society that should help take care of it's members instead of judging them and deeming their decisions to be wrong or worse than the ones you might make.  What right do we think we have to believe that all of the decisions we make are the right ones?  It seems a bit egotistical to me.  hat

I have no right to tell my friends that don't cloth diaper that they should.  I am not in their situation; I don't know all the details of why they made that decision.  Until I can switch bodies with them, like in Freaky Friday, and then go back in time and be in their exact place, I won't know why they made that decision.  Just like nobody will truly know why I chose cloth, or why I'm choosing not to have more kids, no matter how much I would love to snuggle with a newborn right now.  

And I think sometimes the internet can bring out the worst in people.  Because you don't have to see how your actions can make other people feel; there doesn't need to be any empathy there at all and we're free to bully and try to push our opinions as facts on other people without truly considering what we're doing.  It's all so easy to tell a stranger they're doing it all wrong without thinking that perhaps for them, it's right. 

We're also so quick to take our own situation and apply it to everybody.  Our decisions are a culmination of our situation at the time and all of our life experiences leading up to that moment. Even if somebody is in the exact same situation as you are, chances are they haven't had the same life experiences and may come to a different decision.  That doesn't make their decision wrong; it's just different.  And perhaps if people had more empathy and listened to each other, I mean really listen - not just I'll be quiet but I'm really thinking about all the things I have to do today in my head, then maybe we could start to understand that perhaps our decisions aren't any better than anybody else's.  That just because it's right for us; perhaps it's not right for somebody else.  And maybe we could stop bullying each other on the internet.  It's one thing to believe firmly in your beliefs; it's quite another to think that your beliefs are better than anybody elses.

It might also do us well to remember that very few people want to be around others who are going to judge them.  

 

 

 

A disclaimer: this post has come from a culmination of being judged most of my life and some comments/blog posts I've read lately.  It's not about any one person in particular and should not be treated as such.

 

 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Untitled

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, please leave a link in the comments to your moment.  

SouleMama

 

Good for the soul

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mud Season (Sweater #12)

mud season

It got cold out, so it's a good thing I finished this.  I refuse to turn the heat on quite yet so I'm covering us all in wool so we're nice and warm.  Our house was built in 1940 as a summer home; which is great when it's summer.  It stays exceptionally cool and those first hot days we can get away without the air conditioning.  It's a bit of a curse in the winter and that is when I wish they'd put in more windows so the sun could warm the house.  We'll get around to it one day, but there are more important things than windows right now (like that new furnace).

mud season raglan sleeve

I contemplated putting long sleeves on this, but ultimately I decided it would be more versatile as a short sleeved sweater.  There's enough ease to wear a long sleeve shirt under it if I decide there needs to be more warmth.  The Cascade Eco Wool was awesome to work with.  I'd used it before on the bedroom mats and Son's sweater vest, but this was the first time working with such a large amount of it.  I'm really happy with it and not only is eco friendly, but it's affordable.  I only needed 2 skeins for this sweater and I have some left over.  I think an owl hat is in order.

mud season collar

I'm sorry the photos aren't the best.  I'm not a professional (nor have I ever claimed to be) and I haven't quite figured out the best place/way to photograph an adult sweater.  Any tips would be appreciated, just don't put down my photos too much.  They're the best I could do at the moment.

 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

WIP Wednesday

Starting another sweater

I've started another sock yarn sweater in size 4.  It's just such a nice light weight layering sweater that I couldn't help but make one for Son.  I cast on for the newborn size and added stitches evenly in the fourth row to bring the stitches up to the size 4.  The yarn is a luscious pima cotton/silk blend called Lyndon Hill.  I bought it on close out and I'm glad I did.  

This is the only thing I have on the needles right now, so if you're keeping track that means the Mud Sweater is finished.  It's drying right now; I just haven't gotten photos yet.  

WIP Wednesday

Starting another sweater

I've started another sock yarn sweater in size 4.  It's just such a nice light weight layering sweater that I couldn't help but make one for Son.  I cast on for the newborn size and added stitches evenly in the fourth row to bring the stitches up to the size 4.  The yarn is a luscious pima cotton/silk blend called Lyndon Hill.  I bought it on close out and I'm glad I did.  

This is the only thing I have on the needles right now, so if you're keeping track that means the Mud Sweater is finished.  It's drying right now; I just haven't gotten photos yet.  

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Raspberries!

Raspberries

 

Raspberry picking

 

Raspberry picking

 

raspberry feet

 

A couple of weeks ago we went raspberry picking.  None of us had gone before; I was actually warned against going with the kids because the raspberry plants have spikes.  I'm so glad I didn't heed their warning since both of the kids did really well.  Naturally, Son ate more than he put in the basket, but Daughter and I made up for his eating.  I did have to bribe Daughter with some apple donuts so that she would fill her basket (she had to have her own small basket which the lady that helped us thought was adorable).  With my sister's help she did eventually fill it and altogether we got over 10 pounds of berries.  The majority are now in jars in my freezer.  I won't let anyone eat the frozen ones until there are no longer fresh ones at the farm stand.  I'm mean like that.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Crossing off the list

Balloon rally

 

This past weekend we took the kids to the Balloon Rally.  It was the 25th year it has been going on (I have not been going that long) and we knew about it because it's held at the college where Husband and I met (and we both attended classes).  We only went once when we were at college and I don't think either of us could have imagined then that we'd be going back with two kids.  Ever.  At the time we didn't even imagine kids in our future.

There were approximately 28 balloons and at least 22 of them had been there for the last 25 years.  I think that's pretty amazing considering I'm not sure I've done anything more than 2 years in a row.  

 

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Daughter loved watching them all come in and land in the field.  She's never seen so many hot air balloons at one time, let alone so close up.   She was awestruck and all she could really say was "there's another one!  there's another one!"   That picnic blanket came in really handy since no one thought to bring chairs.  

 

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This one missed the field and ended up flying right over us and the rest of the spectators.  Oops.

 

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All of the balloons have landed, but only about half of them were on the field.  Quite a few landed in the parking lot across the street or a field behind us.  They ended up moving those in and reinflating them.

 

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This is how Son spent most of his time.  He was very tired and overwhelmed - later he moved to my arms.  Since this doesn't happen as much anymore we take all we can get and don't complain.  He did turn around later for the balloon glow and really enjoyed it.

 

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After they've all landed you are able to walk in between all the balloons.  Son was busy cuddling in my arms, but Husband took Daughter out there.  She enjoyed it until they all lit up at once and then Husband had to carry her back.  This is one of my favorite shots.

 

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Here are all the balloons lit up.  There's a zebra one that Daughter really liked because on the back of it was a tail (which you can see in one of the above photos).  You can kind of see the face in this photo.  Daughter was also enjoying pointing out all the patterns on the balloons since she's learning about patterns in school right now.  

 

 

 

Our fall list is here.

Friday, September 9, 2011

sneakers and pants weather

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, please leave a link in the comments to your moment.  SouleMama

 

Sneakers

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The real reason we love Cloth

Diapers

 

I know that one day my children will figure out that I have no clue what I'm doing and most times just pull the majority of my solutions out of nowhere.  I only hope that, like myself, they don't figure this out until they have children of their own.  Occasionally, there's a happy accident that leads us into something that works.  I put cloth diapers in this list. 

Daughter was in disposables most of her diapering life.  We didn't enjoy it, but when she came home from the hospital we tried cloth to find that she woke up every hour.  We found this out the hard way and I believe I got about one hour of sleep that night.  Needless to say, we put her back in disposables.  When she was about 2 I discovered gDiapers which made me feel a little better about the environmental impact disposables have.  When Son came along we decided to just go with the gDiapers.

Then they started leaking.  A lot.  I don't know why they leaked all the time with him but we were washing the outer gpants at least once a day.  So at that point I thought why not go to cloth since I'm already doing the extra laundry?  Turns out we love cloth*.  We still use disposables at night otherwise he wakes up crying in the middle of the night because of a wet diaper.  We found that out the hard way, but during the day the cloth is really nice.  It's not the saving of money I love, or even that I think they're more environmentally friendly; it's that I don't have to worry about how many diapers are left.  There's never a moment where we have to run to the store because we didn't realize there was only one diaper left and ohmygodwemustgettherenow!  

Diapers

 

Also, I really like the way they look hanging out on the line.  All those colors.  It's really the little things in life that give me the most pleasure.

 

 

*I will never judge anyone for not using cloth or gDiapers.  Like any parental decision every family must choose what is best for them.  For those that care, we chose Bum Genius.  We also have a flip diaper wrap, a gDiaper, and a couple of Thirsties wraps.  The wraps come in super handy when we travel so that we can use the biodegradable, disposable gDiaper inserts.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Picnic Blanket

picnic blanket

 

When it was still warm out this summer I made us a picnic blanket.  It was my first time doing anything remotely quilt like and I can now say that basting a blanket no longer scares me.  I chose the safety pin method since I had them on hand, just like everything in this blanket.  It did not cost me a cent to make which is awesome.  I think all of the fabric except the backing has shown up in other projects on this blog.  

 

picnic blanket

 

I bought the backing for this back in the spring at the beginning of garage sale season.  For a while we had it on our bed as a lightweight blanket and it was great, but a little itchy.  I had no other plans for it and thought it would be perfect for this (once I decided I would make it).  The pattern came from Handmade Home, which is seriously one of my favorite books ever.  The only thing I would do different (if I ever do another) is in the sewing.  It's made of 10 different rectangles and the pattern calls for you to put the top five and bottom five together, then sew the middle seam together.  I would sew a two pieces together (one top rectangle, one bottom) and then sew another two together and then put those four together so you could line up the center (long) seam nicely.  The four corners of my rectangles don't always match up and I think it would have helped a lot.  Instead of doing the binding on the outside (because I didn't have enough binding), I left the backing about an inch longer, folded it in and then folded it over the edge of the blanket.  I sewed the backing to the front by hand because I thought it would look better, or I'm a masochist.

 

Picnic blanket

 

However, I did have enough binding to make some ties.  And that is perhaps the best thing about this blanket, that it rolls up nice and tidy like.  We can just leave it in the car and have a picnic anytime the mood hits us.  

 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fall List

Short hair

Daughter (with her new short hair - she's wearing the scarf because she's not used to her neck being cold) walked outside this morning and claimed that it smelled different.  I informed her that smell is fall coming.  It amazes me how much kids tune into and stay in the moment.  It also inspires me to do the same.  I dare say that I'm learning as much from my kids as they're learning from me (but that's another post for another day).  When we were standing at the bus stop we decided that we should make a fall list.  This can be added to or deleted at any time as we are flexible around this house.  I don't think she'll give up the pumpkin patch though, no matter how many pumpkins are growing in the compost.

  • corn maze
  • pumpkin patch (Daughter)
  • make pumpkin butter
  • freeze lots of pumpkin puree
  • camp just one more time
  • balloon rally
  • octoberfest
  • trick or treating (Daughter has had their costumes picked out for a year.)
  • parade with cousins
  • friday night outdoor movie at the park
  • bike rides
  • more walks in the park to see the leaves change color
  • see long lost relatives (okay, they're not really lost they just live far away)
  • make pumpkins spice latte because I am too cheap for Starbucks
  • can a bushel (or two) of tomatoes
  • make and can pickled green tomatoes
  • make my own applesauce (first time for that)
  • make one more batch of salsa
  • make two more batches of sauce

Monday, September 5, 2011

The final swim

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The weather warmed up at the end of last week and we were able to get one more swim in.  My children are complete opposites in the water (along with most everything else).  Daughter loves the idea of it, but doesn't trust herself enough in the water.  If she doesn't have her floaty (as she calls it) she freaks out and then tries to grab my neck which does not make for easy breathing on my part.  Son is content to float all day and splash around not caring if he gets soaked or if he's near me (he's always within arms reach, he just doesn't always realize it).  

 

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There was a time when I used to hate summer.  The warm weather, the bees, the spiders, and all those other bugs made it my least favorite time of year.  Fall is still probably my favorite season, but I've learned to appreciate all those other seasons too, summer included.  

 

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That being said, I am officially ready for it to be fall now and have started planning our fall list of things to do.  So far it's just a corn maze, apple picking, and pumpkin butter on it.  Daughter has requested we go pumpkin picking, but judging from the amount of pumpkins coming out of the old compost pile we may not need to.  

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Happy Labor Day to all those celebrating it.  May you get to spend some extra time with people you love and not labor too much.  

Friday, September 2, 2011

Raspberry Picking

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, please leave a link in the comments to your moment.  SouleMama


Raspberry

 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

knitting in the past

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The second scarf I made - it was a huge improvement on the first.

 

I sometimes run out of blogging ideas.  Life can sometimes seem like it's the same, get Daughter off to school, clean, blog, try to create, clean some more, waste some time online, get Daughter off the bus, feed lunch, break up fights, try to enjoy my children, enjoy their nap with preserving of food or creating, end of nap time (sometimes way too early), break up fights until Husband comes home, dinner, bedtime routine (which can take an hour), quiet time, exhaustion.  Next day, rinse and repeat.  So I asked on twitter what people would like to see me blog about and apparently only one person reads this blog as I only got one serious answer.  So, I will be answering that one awesome reader (she truly is awesome and we need to get a farm together soon).  

 

What started you knitting? What wld you be doing now if you didn't have kids?

 

I'm going to stick with the knitting question because honestly I have no clue what I would be doing if I didn't have kids.  Which is odd coming from someone who never planned on having kids.  You'd think I would have had a plan for my life, but you would be wrong.

 

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I learned how to purl - this scarf is still used by its owner

 

The short answer, I was bored.  So very bored.  We had just moved to Chicago from the town we went to college at.  In the college town, I had a job, I cross stitched, sewed, and dabbled in embroidery.  I also had friends.  When we moved, I had no job, two friends and needed to do something new.  Knitting was starting to make a big come back and I thought my mom could teach me.  I was wrong on that one.  When I asked her I was told "I tried to teach you when you were 10."  The subject was dropped and I went out and bought the Stitch 'n Bitch book.  Everything I know about knitting I taught myself.

 

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I don't know what happened to this little dude.

 

I thought about joining a Stitch 'n Bitch group but always chickened out when it came to going.  In real life, I'm quite shy and although I think my knitting is good, I'm always a little fearful that someone's going to tell me I'm doing it all wrong.  As you can tell from these photos, my knitting and photography skills have done nothing but improve in the last 7 years.  And although my knitting has never been perfect (I hide mistakes well), it has always been high quality as some of the items I knit then are still going strong.

 

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first sock - I just had to get rid of them about a month ago due to a hole