Thursday, August 21, 2014

Dining Room--Before

Now that I have time to do more than nurse babies and change diapers (our twins just turned nine months old!!), I've been itching to do something about our dining room. Itching. So I hope this "before" will soon be an after--or at least an "in progress."


You may recall that this room is a rather shocking shade of pink. It has a beautiful picture window--the only window that lets you see straight into the house from the road--and in the evening when we're eating dinner the pink literally glows out into the dusk. Neighbors can't help but slow down and gawk at us while they drive by.


We've had paint chips sitting on the desk for a while now, and we've decided to ask Keith's dad to bring us the wallpaper remover next time we see him. So we're hoping to get started on this very soon--if not this weekend, then the next. Ideally, I would like to have everything done by the end of September so we can have friends over for a Michaelmas goose. :)


I imagine that the layout will stay the same for now. It's very bits-and-pieces; furniture that doesn't have a home anywhere else lives in here. Someday I'd like to get a used buffet or china cabinet and refinish it. After we paint, I'm hoping to hang some sort of shelving for my teacups, and put a little more thought into what goes on the walls and where.


Keith really dislikes our chandeliers (we also have one in the living room), so we're going to be taking this one down and replacing it with a drum-shade pendant. Eventually we'll replace the sconces too, or else just get rid of them. And then there's this switch plate. 



It's pretty, but very ... feminine, for a house full of boys. ;) And it really doesn't go with the wallpaper at all ... bronze with pink?

Eventually I think we also need to do something more substantial about the windows, but I'm not sure what. We like the natural light and truthfully, I'm not that concerned about privacy since we live on a very quiet street. But they just look kind of under-dressed, don't they? Or am I overanalyzing? The curtains are from Ikea--inexpensive and very pretty.


Michael has his own little corner. :) Both chairs are cracked from adult men sitting on them, but he doesn't seem to mind!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Knitting for Autumn


I've been on a real leaf-making kick, but yesterday I decided to switch gears and knit up a Milo vest for Dominic. This tweedy blue is quite lovely--it's called Seasalter. Gregory shall get a rust-colored vest ("Cardinal"), and Michael an asparagus green (aptly, "Asparagus"). (I am hoping there is enough green leftover to knit a leaf for his blanket, of course. :) ) All my boys shall have vests to layer in when the weather takes a turn towards cold.

And just some light reading for now. My "to-read" list keeps getting longer and longer, books that I must either buy or find at the library (probably in e-book form as our local library doesn't have a good adult selection at all ... I miss our old library very much). But then I remembered I had this book sitting in the stack on the end table. I am enjoying it.

Linking up with Ginny!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Knitting, crawling, leaves

Taking a break from scrubbing the kitchen floor to blog! It's been bugging me for a looong time, and we're having out-of-town company this weekend which finally gave me enough incentive to tackle it. :) 

This week is the Steel Valley Yarn Crawl. Do you remember those leaves I was knitting, and how I ran out of scraps for them? I decided that the yarn crawl would be a perfect time to buy yarn for Michael's leaf blanket--one skein at each store and I should be set for a while. 



What I didn't count on was how hard it is to build a color palette as you go ... especially if your first five colors came together randomly. Luckily fellow knitters are always ready with opinions about color. :) Here is the palette so far ... what do you think? 


About the green yarn on the far left ... I'm not sure if I want to use it for the blanket, or a Milo vest for one of the boys. It's a (non-super-wash) blend of merino, alpaca, and silk, which is not exactly the best for a blanket on a little boy's bed. 

I am thinking I want one more shade of blue--perhaps a little richer and deeper--maybe a brown, and then several more shades of green. 


Babies like to yarn crawl too! Taken by a friend. :)
(The baby that actually CAN crawl was there too, but he wasn't allowed on the floor. Except that one time I let him on the floor and he ate a tag and forced me to buy the skein of yarn it belonged to. Horrors.)

I'm a bit disappointed that I won't be able to make it to one of the stores. It's over an hour away, and a weekend daytrip is out because of our guest. Sigh. :( Maybe next year!

Linking up with Ginny.

Friday, August 1, 2014

What They Said (2)

A bit late, but I am finally getting around to linking up over at Rosie's blog!

Michael comes up with some gems, but I usually forget to write them down. And when I do write them down I forget to link them up. :-P So a few of these are a bit old. 


(While eating mango on the deck without a shirt on, looking down at his belly)

"Are you chubby?" 


(Talking about our trip to the National Aviary)

Me: Did you like seeing the penguins, Michael?
Michael: Yeah!
Me: Do you want to do that again sometime?
Michael: Swim in the water with the penguins! 



(After he'd just woken up from a nap)

Me: Michael, I think Dominic is talking to you. 
Michael, frowning: Dominic take a NAP. 

Wrong side of the crib ... 

They usually all get along. :)

(Shaking around a burp cloth, to the tune of "Shake Your Booty") 

"Wipe wipe wipe, wipe wipe wipe, wipe the spit up! "

Not gonna say who he learned that tune from. ;)



(Looking at a picture of a yak) 

"He says, 'Yakkity yak! Don't talk back!'" 



(After I got dressed for church and changed out of a purple nightgown)

"Mama wear purple pj dress. Mama wear purple pj dress! *bursts into tears*

Still not sure why he was so adamant I wear my pajamas to Mass!



(While Michael was looking out the front door)

Michael: Who's here?
Me: Is someone here Michael? Who do you see outside?
Michael: I see ... Grandma! 
Me: What is Grandma doing out there?
Michael: Holding a chainsaw! And cutting down trees! 

Pretty sure that's never happened, haha.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Michael-Mama Time

Mornings are slow around here. A month or two ago I spent mornings doing housework; but I've found that if I spend this time simply being with my boys, they are much more pleasant the rest of the day. And now that the twins are napping more regularly (YAY), we get at least a little bit of time every morning when it's just me and my big boy.

At first he didn't really get it. I would tell him I was putting the babies upstairs for a nap and he got all upset. But sometime last week I told him it was time for the babies to go to sleep, and then it would be "Michael-Mama time." He thought about this for a second. I watched as he processed it and then decided, "Huh ... I like that idea!"

Now when I come down from putting Gregory to bed, I'm greeted by a little voice waiting on the stairs saying, "It's Michael-Mama time!"

Usually he just wants me to build stuff with his blocks. Or watch him build stuff with his blocks. (He loves his blocks. They are what he plays with 50% of the time.) Other times we'll read or draw. Often I have to make him a "nest" out of pillows and blankets so he can be a Michael-bird.

And then some days we make popovers and eat them with lots of butter while this song plays on repeat, per Michael's request.

Often I'll take a shower during this time, or fold some laundry. But I never touch the computer. It really makes a huge difference if I stay away from it until Michael's nap. He knows my attention is all his. And we're both happier people because of it.

Michael loves the wallpaper in his room.



When in doubt ... hexipuff!


Still reading The Body of This by Andrew McNabb. The stories here are short and quite intense. I think I'm going to take this book slowly. (Although I imagine I'd devour it if I had a long stretch of time to devote it proper attention.)

So I am looking for another book to read at the same time. On my Kindle I have A Mother's Rule of Life and The Nesting Place; which should I read?

I ran out of yarn for my leaves from last week. I'm still in a somewhat scattered place and not ready to settle down to a real project. So instead I have turned to puffs. Now I am addicted again. And in no danger of running out of yarn anytime soon, as you can see from the above picture ... all fingering scraps go into the shoebox. And I have quite a few mini-skeins I traded for last year as well.  


These 14 are all from the past week or so. Last night I actually found myself knitting puffs in my sleep. :-P (Not literally, just in my head.) The one on the needles is #129. And if you are wondering what that many puffs looks like .... 


...the answer is surprisingly small. If I ever want this thing to cover an actual bed I have a looong ways to go. But I'm pretty sure I have enough yarn. Heh.

(I'm going to pretend that Sophie the giraffe is in this picture for size comparison and not because there are toys all over my living room floor. ;) )

Linking up with Ginny.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Blogging against the odds (yarn along)

Why is it that I can (generally) do the dishes, fold the laundry, scrub a toilet, and the kids are fine ... but when I try to take pictures for my blog the babies start screaming at me with desperate expressions and Michael starts crying to hold the yarn, the camera, the knitting needles, all that I am working with? Sigh.

Oh well. Hopefully this post will get finished eventually.

It feels like forever since I've done a yarn along. Knitting has been scarce around here. I've been itching the past week to pick up a real project but nothing in my queue seems imminent, for whatever reason. So I've been doing a few odds and ends here and there ... some hexipuffs, some leaves. 


The leaf pattern is from the Family Tree Afghan. I figured I would knit it over time out of scraps from projects knit for Michael. Then when he's grown and moves out he can have it. The blue is from his baby blanket, the orangish-brown from his Milo vest, the light and emerald greens from a sweater my mom knit him. But then I started knitting these dark green leaves from leftovers from a pair of fingerless gloves for Keith. So ... perhaps the plan is changing? We'll see. I'm not certain the dark green looks good with the other colors. 

I've also considered using the leftovers from the twins' Milos (the two balls in the picture, although the blue doesn't seem to fit in, does it?). And there is a yarn crawl next month. I think it would be kind of neat to buy a skein of yarn at each store and use it in this afghan. Then Michael can have it for his big boy bed.


I may not have been knitting, but I have certainly been reading! I finished Kristin Lavransdatter two days ago. What an experience, to finally emerge from the world you've been immersed in for more than 1000 pages. I would like to write about it here ... but the reality is I probably won't have the time. So I will just have to say here that it is excellent beyond my expectations. It is, obviously, quite a commitment to pick up and read; but it's time well spent. 

Linking up with Ginny and her yarn along.