Friday, January 28, 2011

How ever do we get it all done?

What a week!  My intent was to get another post up much earlier in the week but we added so many things into our time that it just couldn't happen!

Oliver's little friend, Maybelle, is with us three or four days a week now.  Her dad, Ike, is on tour with his band, The Wilders, for a few weeks and lucky us gets to hang out with her!  She gets here super early in the morning (7:30) and I am not a morning person.  Sooo, in an effort to keep the whole experience positive and fun, I'm getting up at 6am and exercising.  Yup, me, exercising, at 6am.

I have to say that I love it.  I know.  What on earth is there to love about exercising in the first place, much less at that ungodly hour?  Well, that part isn't so great, but the rest of the day is amazing!  My energy level is way up, my mood is better; I can't think of anything better!

Oh, what am I doing, you ask?  Well a little running/walking on the treadmill and T-Tapp.  My stepmom, Pat, got me into T-tapp and let me tell you, the program is kinda amazing.  After my four initial days, I can already feel my body adjusting itself and holding itself in new ways.  My posture is better, my tummy is pulling in, my lower back feels better.  My chiropractor even noticed the difference in my back after only three days, without me even saying anything!

Today is my first day 'off' from exercising and I still got up early to keep up the sleep reprogramming effort.  As a bonus, I've had time to write this while waiting for Oliver to wake up.  I've also had time to brainstorm some new projects and reflect on some that are in progress.  Could there be another post in my near future?  Check back to find out!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

All Hail the Potty Training Fairy! (And a shout out to wool trainers)

Yes, it's true!  The potty training fairy has been visiting our house this week ALOT!  I don't think I can express just how awesome it is to watch your not-even-two-year-old going potty all by himself, taking it to the bathroom to empty it, and saying peepee potty the whole time.  On a fibers note, my friend Jesse came up with a great system for keeping pee off of the floor while still allowing the sensation of wetness to be present.  Here's how it goes:

1.  Buy the most Awesome underpants (marching through the store shouting "underpants are awesome!!" is optional but highly recommended as it is FUN) and wash them.

2.  Put said underpants on your little potty trainee.

3.  Teach said potty trainee to remove underpants.

4.  Put on a pair of your favorite wool longies or shorties over the underpants.

Now, little one can have an "accident" without your rugs having to bear the brunt of the result.  This is also wonderful for those first trips out of the house with no diaper.

Here's some longies and shorties that I've knit or made out of upcycled sweaters:

sick day and off white super soft longies

reversible shorties I knit out of Noro

My favorite longies last and SOFT!

I should note that our favorite mode these days is to wear socks, shirt, and one of mamma's hats and nothing else.  It's just easier you know!  I'd love to post pics, but that might be a little inappropriate!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Overload Alert!

If anyone had told me a few years ago, while we were trying to get pregnant, how intense and how shattering having a child would be, I don't think I would have believed them.  Now, reading back over that sentence, I see how that could be construed as a negative statement, but it is not intended to be.  How, you ask, can intense shattering be good?  Well, let me try to explain:

Falling in love with Dave was one thing; amazing, over powering, fulfilling, astounding.  Falling in love with my son was that plus a whole other ball of wax.   I could sit and gaze at him for hours and never be bored.  Every movement, glance, tiny gurgle was fascinating and painfully beautiful.  I spent the first few months of his life after birth falling, and falling hard!  And not only was I in love with him, but he looked at me like I was the single most amazing person ever created.  What a humbling, exhilarating experience to be faced with one's own divinity in the eyes of your child.  That's intense.

Oliver, at about 2-3 weeks old

And then came the pain.  The aching, beautiful, shattering pain of watching him grow, experience something new and be amazed by it, trying to do something new and doing it!  Each moment expanding him and expanding me.  Sometimes so much so that I get the sensation of bursting into a firework of a thousand pieces.  It's exhilarating and shattering at the same time.

first airplane ride Nov 09

I suppose in all this love fest a little common light can shine as well.  With all the fireworks and expansion also comes the feeling of being pulled in a thousand directions.  Wanting to do a whole slew of things that now have to come second to a little munchkin the size of Texas.  Of all things, it is perhaps this that is the most challenging.  Not being the number one in your own life is, well, not always fun.  I do find myself wishing for days, weeks, of completely free time to do anything I want.  It doesn't happen much and when it does it is exhilarating!

This past weekend, after a week of teething (parent nightmare!) I was done momming.  Dave, fabulous guy that he is, got home on Saturday and sent me on my merry way.  An entire afternoon all to myself!  Here's the fruits of my ridiculous shopping spree at Joann fabrics:

Oh so many delightful fabrics!!

fabrics for a moleskine cover for Dave
I got a whole ton of supplies for  projects, some of which actually got started and/or finished this weekend:

Then I used the napkin fabric to try piecing some strips (note:1/4 inch seams are not easy!)

Then I got some cotton yarn for a dishcloth swap (on but that's another story) and knit that up:

And then I also started another swap project by cutting out the little pieces of a stuffed rabbit:

This particular pattern can be found here on the if you want to make a little sweet bunny:

My mother would probably say that I was overextending myself, again, but I really love having all these little things happening.  I love having five projects going at once, it makes me feel like I'm multifaceted if that makes any sense.  Plus, it's never boring!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Knitting from a kit: Cheat or Treasure?

I've been knitting for a long time now.  I've knit scarves, hats, sweaters (baby ones, cause they're little), blankets.  I've knit from patterns and designed things of my own.  And in all this time, I've never bought a kit.  This struck me as odd so I got one.  This one from KnitPicks in fact:

Knitpicks had sent me a catalogue and I figured I'd try out their yarn (woah, it's affordable, though not as fun to shop as my LYS) and why not try a pattern at the same time.  So I got the kit.  I'm feeling a little funny about it as I didn't get to really choose my colors (they actually go together).  It almost feels like cheating (should it be this easy to start a project?).

I chose this particular pattern because I've been wanting to try this 'shrug' shape.  I'm not the kind of knitter that can just read a pattern and understand how it will all fit together.  I need the visual piece plus the physical act of completing it to understand a concept.  Then I am able to begin my experimentation when I knit off the cuff and design as I play.

All that aside, I've officially throw caution to the wind, and cast on my first kit project AND my first adult sized sweater!!!

Here's the first inch and 1/2
It is important to note that I did not have to jump into this alone.  With my trusty couch companions along for the ride, I've set sail into new waters!
That's Dot (English bulldog) up close, and Penny curled up so ladylike in the background, oh, and my hubby Dave half
on, half off the couch
I have to say, this is a very easy pattern to knit up so far.  It certainly won't be a super fast knit as one of the yarns is a lace weight, but I can watch movies while knitting so it is actually kinda nice.

Side bar: Ovation had a great two part Dr Zhivago on.  I was knitting and sobbing through it today.  And when I say sobbing, I mean barely able to take a breath, face and shirt wet, sobbing.  Tragic story.  I'll have to read it now, but that's for another day.

Ok, the sweater.  So I now have about six inches knit up, I think I'm going to like it, and I have to say that I'm very pleased with the yarn so far.  It's pleasant to knit with and has a nice hand to it.  Not scratchy and quite soft, but holds its shape nicely.  So far, Knit Picks gets a thumbs up and kit knitting gets an optimistic grin.  I'm holding out on a final decision to see if they actually gave me enough yarn!  Hmmmm, I think it might be time for a few more inches on that sweater and little dream of mollyandollie kits for the etsy site.

Here's a little taste of Oliver too since I feel like he needs to be represented too!

Oliver and Dada on our "hooray for snow!" walk last night

Monday, January 10, 2011

New Year's Intentions (Resolutions) - Revised and Updated

So.  I was quite gungho (sp?) last week when I designed and described my intentions/resolutions for the new year.  Well, it's already time for an update and some much need revision.  So here goes:

1.  Balance.  This one is actually going quite well, and as a result, so well in fact that revisions are necessary as a result.  I've balanced the books, spent time with my hubby, spent time with my son, knit, slept, cleaned, sewn, rested, read, kept the woodstove going, gone for walks...and all without losing my mind!  Not bad for the first week.  The next challenge here is to manage some new project ideas without losing my ability to be with my family and home!

2.  Designing.  So here is where we must revise a little.  Who on earth did I think I was when I decided that a design a week was even remotely possible?  I've never been that prolific, even when I'm being prolific!  SO!  I am hereby revising the plan!  What, giving up, you say?  No, not even close...I'm just making an informed, intelligent decision based on my extensive knowledge of the participant, to change the rules.  Heck, they're my rules.  Each MONTH will be the goal for my design production as a result.  That way, I have time to knit and design the way I work best; off the cuff and as it happens.  I will still have a completed pattern to post, but only one per month.  Ahhh, balance.

3.  Body Care.  Actually, this is going swimmingly!  I re-joined Weight Watchers and started using friend Kimberly's treadmill (check out Kimberly at her blog:  I'm feeling energized, in control, and quite happy at the prospect of shedding a little unnecessary bits of me!

All in all, overall, and all for one, I'm feeling pretty optimistic about the year ahead.  Good people abound, good ideas for doing are being formed, and my family is healthy and happy.  What more could I want except free babysitting?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's Resolutions (Molly Style)

So, I've never been one for resolutions; at least not at the new year.  I prefer to use the phrase "setting an intention".  It sounds so much more powerful when I say that.  I feel like rather than depriving myself of something, I'm choosing to bring something new and better into my life.  "Setting an intention", also seems like it honors the possibility that my focus may need to change or grow as things happen.  It allows flexibility and movement rather than hard rules and fixation.

Skip to New Year's Day 2011 and I'm feeling the motivation.  Feeling the pull of shifting gears and starting fresh.  Feeling the thrill of possibly, actually, maybe, being more of the person I want to be!  But, balance being my current major goal, I need to fit this in with what's realistic, doable, and FUN!  So here goes nothing.  Molly's "intentions" for 2011:

     First and foremost: continue striving for balance between family, self, work, and friends.

     Second: Create!!!!!  To this end, the game will be as follows:

       Each week design one new item.  Be it a hat, gloves, sweater, whatever.  The design must be complete and written by the end of the week.  The actual project need not be totally complete (this to take into account the reality of having an almost 2 year old in the house-ahhhh my first balancing act for the year) but must be complete in its conceptualization. (Anyone want to be a test knitter? let me know!)

     Third though probably not last: Take care of my body.  It deserves it.  Now I can try to find the joy in loving it up to make it stronger, leaner, and better able to keep up with my life!

And that's it. Three major intentions in the making.  I think I'll head off to start the first weeks project!  Beret Hat here I come!

Just for kicks: 

Here's how we ended the year yesterday.  Finishing Oliver's sweater with Oliver in my lap!  whew.

here's the finished project (not a bad way to end the year!)

In it's entirety

The ridiculously cute piggy buttons

And Oliver modeling it!