Saturday, January 31, 2009

10 of 365

1. Birthday parties at the zoo when the weather is PERFECT!

2. A hubby that's picking up Mexican food so I don't have to cook.

3. Confirmation that Baby Girl and I are going to Disney World next month with a long-lost high school friend and her little girl.

4. Temporal thermometers

5. Learning how to knit socks from the toe up. No need for grafting!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Grace in Small Things 9 of 365

1. Finding some great Mardi Gras sock yarn! I want a pair of funky socks to wear in the parade. I know no one will see them, but they will make me happy!

2. Chicken Apple Walnut Salad and French Onion Soup from Applebees

3. Finding fun Valentine's stuff to send to some friends.

4. Beer helmets...yeah, I know, totally cheesy, but see #1

5. Learning how to turn on the grill

Grace in Small Things 8 of 365

1. Steak, Potatoes and Corn

2. Impressing Hubby with my entry in a yarn contest. He's hard to impress with such things.

3. Baby Girl's fever lasting less than 24 hours.

4. Letter Factory and Math Circus

5. On-line friends who make you smile even though you've never been in the same room with them.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Vanna's Choice Contest

Okay, so I told you guys that I was working on my entry for the Vanna's Choice yarn contest. Well, I got it done today and here are the pictures of it:

I'm really proud of the result. It's kind of heavy for a baby blanket, I would have preferred to use a lighter weight yarn, but was limited by the rules of the contest.


So, I'm not sure if I'm happy or sad today. I think it's a little of both and I'll tell you why. My big brother is here to visit. (That's happy) He is one of my bestest friends and he's about to start working for Hubby's company. I know I haven't given a whole lot of details about the company, but it involves boats and Big Brother is going to be working as a deck hand and hopefully within the next 6 months to year working his way up to captain. Captains make pretty good money! He's going to be working shifts that are 28 days long and then off for two weeks. So, when he's going offshore, he will come over here and stay a night before and after his shift. On other exciting Big Bro news, he also has gotten back together with his ex-girlfriend whom the whole family loves. She's really smart and laid-back (perfect for Big Bro). Not to say she doesn't have some issues, we all do, but we really think they are great for one another and are happy to see them back together. This means that Big Bro will be moving from our hometown in Northwest Florida down to Miami to be with her. That's a little sad for me and my parents. It's the farthest away from him I will have ever lived!

In preparation for his move (he has to do it in the two week spans in between his shifts), he has begun packing. Here come the real sad part. Several years back, Big Bro was with a different girl and they were expecting a baby. I made him a couple of baby sweaters, socks and blankets for the baby shower. Then at eight months, they lost the baby. Their relationship didn't survive (a long story, but a good thing). Anyhow, he's been holding on to those baby gifts this whole time and now that he's moving, he doesn't really have a place to keep them. So he brought them to me. It's sad for me to look at those things I made for a little girl who didn't get to know how much she was loved even before we knew her. I told Big Bro I would keep them, but they are still his for when he and his girlfriend (soon to be fiance) need them.

Now comes the question...should they have a baby, do I give him/her the items or is it weird considering they were made for a half-sister that died? Would it be better if I just made something new? Or should I give them the original gifts with something new, too?

Okay, I'm worrying way in advance. Big Bro and his love are not expecting and may not be for a while, but these are the things I'm thinking about today.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Grace in Small Things - 7 of 365

1. Devilled eggs

2. My brother now working for my husband's company, which means he will stay with us at least two nights every month or so.

3. The package I received from Blue Moon Rockin' Sock club!

4. Big hugs from a little girl.

5. The possibility of going on a trip to Disney World next month with a friend I haven't seen in 15 years.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Have I mentioned that I'm a military kid?

I know many of you out there are very opposed to how our former president used the military and the wars we are currently engaged in. I hope you can separate your feeling for President Bush from those you may have for the military and recognize how important a strong military has been for the successful evolution of our country and the freedoms we enjoy because of the sacrifices made by those who choose to serve. So, when I saw this license plate cover today, it made me smile.

I grew up next to one of the largest air force bases in the country. I grew very accustomed to the sounds of the fighter wing out training and bombs dropping out on the reservation. Sonic booms rattled our windows on a pretty regular basis. We always knew when something was up in the world because the air traffic increased. I loved living near the base. On weekends I would drive out to the flight line and watch the planes take off and land. Anyhow, my point is, I miss the sound of jet engines and the knowledge that our pilots and all of our military personnel were working hard to keep us safe and free.

Have a good day and if you get the chance, say thank you to an airman, soldier, sailor or marine. They deserve it.

Grace in Small Things - 6 of 365

I've decided to be a visual person today...
1. Silly Hubby!
2. Baby Girl wearing a dress that I made for her!

3. The ABC Blanket that I finally finished!

4. Our Dr. Suess tree! Yes, it's fake, but it's funky and fun and makes me smile!

5. My new Harmony Wood Sock Needles!

Monday Jan, 26 - Grace in Small Things 5 of 365

Okay, I think I may be too flaky to do one of these daily entry things, but I will play catch-up again today.

#1 - Being able to do my hour of cardio without feeling as though I'm going to die.

#2 - Seeing my elderly friend at the gym today that I hadn't seen in two weeks and was worried about.

#3 - The amazing imagination of my daughter and how she can turn my treadmill into "Rocket" from Little Einsteins.

#4 - A hubby who agrees to let me take Baby Girl to Disneyworld even though it makes him a little sad to miss out on it.

#5 - My Snoogle pillow.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Now I know my ABC's!

I've had a pretty good last few days. First of all, I finally finished the ABC blanket that I've been working on. It took a long time, since it required embroidery and a great deal of finishing. Neither of which are high on my list of favorite things to do. One thing that did make the blanket rather fun was that Baby Girl has been learning her letters and as I got each block done she would look at me and tell me what the letter was and what it's phonetic sound was. She's only two and knows all of them. She can't sing the alphabet song yet, but really, which is more important?

Almost immediately after finishing that afghan, I got started on my entry for this contest that the Lion Brand yarn company is sponsoring for their Vanna's Choice yarn line. The grand prize is $1000 and a trip to Hollywood to meet Ms. Vanna White herself. I'm doing an Aran-style baby blanket with the Vanna's Baby yarn. It's a worsted weight acrylic yarn, but is a bit softer than say a Red Heart yarn. I'm loving the blanket so far (I'm about halfway done), but given a choice, I would probably prefer to use a sport-weight yarn for this project. I'm doing it in a crochet for expediency sake. I know some of you out there are shaking your heads at the fact that I'm using an acrylic yarn, but I tend to do that with crochet. It takes up a lot more yarn than knitting does, so it could get really expensive to make blankets with the really great yarns that I have grown to adore with my knitting.
On a bit of a bummer note, I had my weekly weigh-in at the gym this week and I have lost not a single pound in the past 10 days! Boo! I was a bit naughty this past week, but I was hoping that I would at least have dropped one pound. I'm still doing really well with my working out. Three days a week whether I want to or not! I guess I just need to watch what I eat a bit more and I'll get where I need to be...right? God I miss the days when I could out-eat the offensive linemen at Tulane and still not gain a pound!

Grace in Small Things - 3 and 4 of 365

Okay, so I didn't even turn on my computer this weekend, so I'm having to play catch-up on my Grace in Small Things entries.

Saturday, Jan 24

#1 - Finding not one, but two beautiful ball gowns
#2 - A night out, without baby girl, with a wonderful girlfriend
#3 - A hubby who leaves me schmoopy messages with Baby Girl telling me how much they love me.
#4 - No Rules Saturday - a day off from the healthy eating of the week!
#5 - Curbside Take-Away from Outback

Sunday, Jan 25

#1 - My Mom and Dad who came to visit for a night before heading off on a cruise
#2 - The super-cute re-usable shopping bags they have at the Disney Store right now. They will be perfect for knitting projects!
#3 - The New Orleans aquarium and how much Baby Girl loves it.
#4 - Haagen-Daaz Caramel ice cream - yes, I know it's not Saturday, but it was just too tempting!
#5 - Getting started on my entry for the Lion Brand Yarn, Vanna's Choice contest nearly halfway finished. It needs to be done by the 31st, wish me luck!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Grace in Small Things 2 of 365

#1 - Making it through my workout even though I wanted to stop about 20 minutes into it.

#2 - Finishing the stupid afghan

#3 - Another perfect day in New Orleans!

#4 - - check out the Jan 13. picture

#5 - Going shopping for a new ball gown this afternoon!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Grace in Small Things 1 of 365

One of my dear friends brought this to my attention so I think I'll try and spend the next year being more positive!

#1 - Morning cuddles and cartoons with Baby Girl.

#2 - 68 degree weather in January with no humidity.

#3 - Mardi Gras beads.

#4 - When Hubby comes home early from work.

#5 - Being nearly finished with an afghan that has taken far too long. Pictures to come later!

#6 - I know, this one isn't technically mine, but that my friend wasn't canned today, so she doesn't have to stress as much about our upcoming vacation!

Friday, January 16, 2009


I ordered my new knitting needles today! Although I decided that I would only weigh myself weekly on Mondays (to keep myself from weighing every day and obsessing), my workout partner was running a bit late today, so I decided to check. Woo hoo! Five pounds! My jeans are fitting much better and I'm feeling really good about myself. Course, I'm also craving pizza and caramel (no, not at the same time, I'm dieting, not pregnant), but I can handle that. I've been letting myself have Saturday for treats. Keeps me sane.

So, time to set up the next prize, right? So, here it is. It's probably a bit bigger than my milestone rewards should be, but I really want them and have for a while, so rather than just go out and buy them, they have become a carrot on a stick.

Also, on the news front. Baby Girl has gotten into one of the better pre-schools in the area! It's not nearly so hard to get kids into school down here as it is in cities like New York, but it is kinda important because you're set up for your kid to move directly into the upper school. She'll start in the fall, but is on the waiting list to start earlier should a space open up. What in the world would I do with all the free time that would free up?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Losing it!

It's interesting, when I find something that has been lost, I immediately discover some other thing that I have lost. And it drives me nuts, I'll keep looking for the thing that I've lost until it drives me to distraction. I'll even dream about finding the item and then wake up the next morning expecting to find it there (which of course never actually happens).

So, two days ago I finally found the 100 stamps that I lost right before I had to mail my Christmas cards. About half an hour after that I went to get the incredibly generous savings bond that my folks gave Baby Girl for Christmas to put into the safe and lo and behold, it wasn't anywhere to be found. I'm hoping and praying that it did not get thrown out when I was cleaning my craft room for my brother to stay in this past weekend. But I suspect it is with the notepad that I also wrote my list for Thank You notes on, and I can't find that either. Errrg!!! Keep you fingers crossed for me that I find it!

On a brighter note, I'm going to a Mardi Gras ball in a couple of weeks, which should be pretty fun. It's one of the smaller krewes that doesn't actually parade anymore, but it's a chance to get dressed up in a ball gown and dance the night away. The big krewes have their balls at either the Superdome or the Convention Center and they will bring the entire parade into the ball. So you have a couple of thousand people in black ties and ball gowns lined up next to the barricades screaming for beads just like anyone else on the street. They also bring in great bands and there is PLENTY of alcohol to go around. I'm not sure what to expect as far as this one. I do know that I REALLY want a new dress for the occasion and am trying to figure out a way to justify it. I have a dress already that I wore to another event, but I saw some really pretty ones at the mall yesterday....
So, here's a picture of me from the Endymion ball a few years ago!

Monday, January 12, 2009

New Knitting / Crochet Projects!

Okay, so I've been a bit neglectful of my blog again, but I have been busy! Aside from all the normal things that go along with being a wife and mom (you know, housework, laundry and making sure people are actually fed), my parents and brother came to visit and any free time I've had has been spent with my first love, yarn. I've been getting a lot done since getting back from Lake Tahoe. I finished up the pair of socks I started on during the holidays and made a matching hat to go with them. The hat turned out a bit small for me. I know it's intended to be more of a beanie-type thing, but it really resembles a yarmulke more than I am comfortable with, so I think I will pass it on to Baby Girl for her dress up box. She loves hats and boas at the moment! I'm hoping the boa phase will pass, I've been cleaning up feathers for days!

I also cranked out a pair of socks for Hubby. I can't believe how excited he was about them! Usually he is not so crazy about my addiction, however he did enjoy getting some handknits for himself. Maybe he's started to pick up on the fact that when someone gives you a gift like that, it's truly a giant hug that you can wear! He calls them his Dr. Suess socks because of the stripes. Little does he know, I consider these stripes pretty darn subtle!

After the socks, I decided to do a little stash-busting and made a hat for one of my dear blog-buddies (hopefully I get this shipped before she catches up on reading this, but if not...act surprised!), I had enough yarn left to make another had for my best friend from high school who moved to Louisville for dental school and seems to be constantly cold lately. Sorry you two now have identical hats, but since it's unlikely that you will be hanging out together anytime soon, I don't think I have to stress too much about you showing up looking like Twinkies!

Now, I am trying to finish up on a UFO from a couple of months ago. Once the blocks are done, I will cross-stitch the alphabet onto them. Actually, I've kinda cheated ahead, because even though I have four more blocks to work, I've already started some of the embroidery. I just got really sick of the afghan stitch for right now. After that, it's on to my favorite task...Finishing. Ugh! Fortunately, it's just a whipstitch seam, so it shouldn't be too bad, but I keep picking projects that require more finishing that I care for. I guess I'm just a glutton for punishment. Notice that Hubby took advantage of one more chance to show off his new socks!
Well, I guess I'd better sign off for now, today is a busy day. I have to hit the gym (I'll get an official weigh-in there). I think I'm pretty close to getting my DPN's that I mentioned before! I have my next reward picked out for the ten pound mark, but I think I might be jinxing myself if I announce it too soon! Then I'm off to the school we've selected for Baby Girl to turn in her application. Ooh, I hope she gets in for this session. She's definitely needing more stimulation that she's getting at home. Mommy-time is great, but she wants to be around other kids! We're only planning on doing three days a week, but it will be so strange to have baby-free time! Whatever will I do with myself!

Later in the day....
Errg! Just back from the gym, only four pounds lost! No knitting needles this week! Boo.

Friday, January 2, 2009

White Christmas!

Okay, so I'm finally getting around to posting about our wonderful trip to Lake Tahoe for Christmas. Why Tahoe you ask? Well, it's only the most beautiful place I can think of! Plus, we've determined that every third Christmas, we are going to travel for the holiday, so why not start here?

We originally were going to stay at the same hotel we usually stay at out there, the Cal-Neva. It's where we stayed when Hubby (then boyfriend) took me four years ago to get engaged. We also returned there three years ago to get married, so as you can guess, the place has some pretty special feelings from us. But, this time we were bringing back Baby Girl and we kinda thought maybe having a bit more space for her to run around in was in order. Plus, we didn't want to have to eat out every single meal out there, or schlep through a casino any time we wanted to go anywhere. Mind you, I like casinos, but they're not exactly kid-friendly kinds of places!

So, about three weeks before we were scheduled to leave, Hubby and I decided to rent a house. Pickings were a little slim, given that most people planning such a vacation actually plan it in advance, but we managed to find a house on the North shore that we really liked.
When we got to Tahoe, there was plenty of snow on the ground and about an hour after we got over the mountains from Reno, a new storm got kicked up. But we made it to the rental office and then to the house with no problems. Which for us is a pretty good thing! Hubby and I get along really well, but when we travel, sometimes our Type A personalities conflict. Not this time though! I think we're getting better at reading one another and picking which things to assert our preferences on and which ones to just let go. Anyhow, after we got to the house, I headed off to the grocery store to provision-up for the week. I've never really driven in the snow and was a bit nervous about the prospect, but after a little bit of trouble (I couldn't get the car turned around and wasn't confident enough to back the whole way down the long driveway) I did really well and by the end of the week felt just fine driving in the white stuff.
We (meaning I) cooked most of our meals during the week. At first, I was convinced that was going to be a bad thing (who wants to do housework on their vacation, after all) but it really did turn out to be the best thing. It took about half an hour to get Baby Girl ready each time we wanted to head out of the house, so usually, we did our venturing out in the morning and mid-day, came home for her nap, and by the time dinner rolled around, I was usually pretty cozy and not wanting to deal with the hassle of getting myself dressed, let alone wrestling with a two-year-old!
The first morning we were there, we released Baby Girl out onto the back porch of the house to play in the snow there. She had a great time. We were a little concerned about whether or not she would like it, given she is a very southern child and has never experienced such a thing, but we shouldn't have worried about it because I think kids are just hard-wired to love the stuff. We also went over to the Cal-Neva to pick up an FTD delivery that had been made there. Apparently, I had forgotten to tell my mom about the change of venue! Then we headed up the mountain to the Northstar ski resort. We weren't planning on skiing, but I had heard there was a knit shop up there, so I was going hunting. Well, the store wasn't there, but we did find a really great pizza place for lunch.
The next day we went to my favorite breakfast place in the whole wide world, The Log Cabin in Kings Beach, California! I had a heaping plate of Texas-style French toast with bacon. Oh good lord, I think that I gained five pounds with that meal alone, but it was worth every ounce! Then we went in search of sledding for Baby Girl. We had found an ad for Soda Springs and it sounded great. Tubing with a magic carpet lift, so you wouldn't have to hike up the hill every time you wanted to make a run and a special playground for kids with a tube carosel and smaller hill with a magic carpet where you could also tube or introduce your kid to skiing or snow-boarding. Well, we drove all the way up there (about 45 minutes) only to discover that kids under 44 inches couldn't tube, not even with their parents. That wasn't anywhere in the literature. Also, both magic carpets, the big one that we couldn't use anyway because Baby Girl wasn't tall enough and the little one at their little kids' area, weren't working. So, although we were disspointed, we shelled out the money to take Baby Girl over to the play area, not realizing that it was a quarter mile hike through the snow even to get over there. Once we got there was when we learned that the magic carpet and the tube carosel weren't working. Ergh! We weren't happy, but made the best of it and got plenty of exercise climbing up the small hill (I use the term hill loosely) and letting Baby Girl tube down. She loved it, so that improved our outlook. And after about an hour, they did get the carosel fixed, so she rode that for about half an hour! Loved it! Kicked a screaming fit when we decided it was time to go!
That afternoon we hired a babysitter and managed to go have a little Mom and Dad fun on some snow-mobiles. So. Much. Fun. I got to be the first sled behind the guide which meant that I got to go the fastest of the entire group. I loved it and we had some great views of the lake and surrounding mountains. I'm usually a fairly conservative person as far as motorcycles or even driving fast, but seriously, smow-mobiles are cool!
The rest of the week consisted of another afternoon of sledding (this time at a hill on the side of the road), a drive all the way around the lake and even a dog-sledding ride. The dog-sled was actually really cool and I don't care what the animal activists say, those dogs loved it! Anytime the musher told them to stop and rest, they were turned around looking at him begging to run again! Baby Girl had a lot of fun, too. She was leaned forward the entire time, cheering on the "puppies"! The only drawback was the pooping. The dogs are pretty impressive in that they can poop on the run, however, it didn't smell very good when they did it! Oh well, it was still a great time and a unique experience!

Christmas morning was probably my favorite. We woke up in the morning to find that over a foot of snow had fallen overnight and nearly another foot fell during the day. We stayed in our pjs most of the day and had a really great time. Santa left our "real" presents at home for us, but did drop by Tahoe to fill our stockings. Baby Girl got a ton of little toys like matchbox cars and other things that were in the stocking stuffer section of Target. Hubby got some chocolate and a t-shirt and a small photo of a watercolor painting of Tahoe that should get to us sometime this week. And I got a really pretty amethyst pendant. I'm a February baby, so Santa can never go wrong bringing me amethyst.
The day after Christmas came and it was time to go home. I was really bummed about having to leave, but all good things must come to an end, right? Our travel went really smooth (thank god for portable DVD players) and we got home without any trouble.
Oh, I forgot to mention that we did go out to dinner one night while we were there. We went to Lanza's in Kings Beach and it was terrrific! It's really a family and local kind of a place. I had the veal marsala and it was so amazingly delicious! We also ordered lobster bisque from Garwoods one night to pick up and eat at the house. Really good place, we've eaten there a few times on various trips, we just didn't feel like bringing Baby Girl in there this time, hence the take-out.
Oh, and another thing...the yarn shop in Northstar was there, but it had gone out of business apprently. I learned this fact when I found the Lake Tahoe Yarn Company. The owner was really nice and I picked up some dpns and some yarn to make socks for Hubby!