Saturday, March 28, 2009

Twilight

So, I think I am the last person on earth who had not seen this movie. Until today. Wow, I want my two hours back! The only thought that went through my head the whole movie was, "Wow, can you imagine how much knitting I could get done if I didn't sleep? Why don't any of the Cullens knit?" Pathetic, huh?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Yarn, Beautiful Yarn!

It's been a really good fiber week for me. First off, I got my March sock kit from Robyn's Nest. I love the pretty purple yarn and am really looking forward to working with it! If you haven't checked out Robyn's site, you definitely should, she's got some great stuff and she designs the socks for the club herself.
Then, on Wednesday, I got my much-anticipated order from Knit Picks arrived. I had a request for some close ups of my hoard, so here goes:

This is Knit Picks Essentials for the Fern Sweater from Mason Dixon Knitting.

The Sangria Socktail kit.

Spring/Summer Kettle Dyed Sock kits. I accidentally ordered two, but I think I'm happy about that, I like the colors.

Fall/Winter Sock kits
Warm Palette Fingering Yarn Sampler

Laptop Bag Kit
Then last night, I got a wonderfully fun package from my dear friend, Lara, who is a fantastic knitter. I love my new slippers! How freaking cute are they!
And , finally, today I got my second kit from the Rockin' Sock Club! I love the colors!

So, lest you think that all I have been doing is hoarding yarn and not knitting, I'll try tonight to get some pictures of my recent projects.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Damn Yard Work!

I have poison ivy.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Joy! Rapture!

This came in the mail today!
What does it have in it?
I'm so freakin' happy!

I should be napping...

but I really want to post pictures of my lovely yard that I did massive amounts of work in on Monday!
First off, I am not an outdoor-work kind of a girl. I never work in the yard (much to Hubby's consternation), but he knew what he was getting when he married me, so he can just deal with it! Anyhow, this past weekend, in an effort to make him happy (he's had a really crappy past couple of months at work) I agreed to help him out in the yard weeding and re-mulching our flower beds. They were looking a bit rough after the winter and if you have any familiarity with how quickly weeds grow in a swampy region, you can kind of imagine how overgrown they were getting now that springtime has sprung in Louisiana. I really wish I had thought to take some "before" pictures, but I had no idea how involved this process was going to become.
So, over the weekend we got the front beds done. We raked out all of the old mulch and leaves to clear the way for weeding (it's much easier to weed when all the other crap is out of the way). I did most of that part while Wes reburied the wires for our outdoor lighting and he followed my work by mulching the beds. We were so proud of ourselves and how nice things were looking!


Anyhow, Wes left on Monday morning for a business trip and I decided that as a surprise for him, I would clean out the back flower bed, weed it and have it ready for him to mulch when he got home. But first I needed to run down to his office to bring some stuff for them to bring out to my brother. I decided while I was down there (it's a 40 minute drive each way) I had better do something to make it worth the time, so I popped in to a nursery down there. What an amazing selection they had! I'm not a plant person. I have no idea what you're supposed to plant and when, but I did see a whole bunch of things that were pretty and flowery and I decided that maybe I would work on sprucing the back yard up a bit. Uh huh....I ended up filling up my car (not a small car, a Tahoe) with plants! I was a little intimidated by the level of work I had just set up for myself, but what the heck, right? So, I headed home and started cleaning out the flower bed. I filled THREE huge refuse bags with the stuff I raked and weeded out of there and while I was working, my Mom-in-Law came over to help look out for Lilly-Bean while I worked.

First I moved a couple of plants from where the landscaper put them last year because for some crazy reason. If you look in the back of this photo, you can see two really tall plants, one of them (the one on the right) started out in the front of the bed and really looked odd. I also moved a couple of the iris plants to make room for the two xanadu plants that are in the front of the bed now. I also added the impatiens to add a bit of color to the setup. I know the variegated ginger in the center looks pretty bad right now, the couple of freezes we got this winter really reaked havoc on our yard. They will come back this spring though and look great in a couple of months.


Next, I moved on to the back sitting area. I love this part of our yard. This section used to be a crazy, overgrown mess that you couldn't even go near. So, last year we hired a landscaper to come in and create this sitting area. They made the patio area with paving stones and baby mondo grass in between them and put in two of the big urns filled with flowers. A few weeks after they did that, I added three more urns. None of these survived the winter, nor were they meant to. So, when I got started, the patio was crazy with weeds and the urns were really bad with dead plants sticking out of dirt. This is what it looks like now!


I love it! I think this afternoon, if it's not raining, I'll take Lilly out there to play and sit and have a glass of wine in my pretty new garden.


The next project I had for myself was an ugly little strip next to my driveway that we have never done anything with. It's always just been an area of dirt and weeds that we've kind of neglected. Anyhow, before Wes left for his trip, he created a little bed there and told me to go buy something and plant it. Sure, whatever you say, honey! Well, I think I rose to the occasion and I decided that I wanted it to have a bunch of irises. The only problem was that it's too late in the season to plant bulbs, so I decided that I would just throw something in there until the fall when I could put in what I really want. I picked up a bunch of little verbena plants that the lady at the nursery told me would spread out really quickly and give off some really pretty purple flowers through the whole summer.

Then I mulched around them. It looked a lot better than when I started, but I wasn't sure how much Wes would like it.

After, Lilly's nap, I brought her over to her grandparent's house with the intention of having some "mommy time" without her and relax for a bit. I had done a lot of work! For some reason, I decided to head over to Home Depot. I needed some more mulch for the back bed, which wasn't done. Really, after all the work I had done, I wanted it to be completely done when Hubby got home so I could show it off in it's best light and really reap the accolades. Well, by the time I got in the car to head home I had: 5 bags of mulch, 2 bags of topsoil, four encore azaleas, eight potted irises (the solution to my bulb problem!), and two hydrangeas to replace the ones that froze in my front bed over the winter. I really wasn't planning on doing any more work that afternoon, I'd even taken my shower already, but something was driving me, so I dove right back and continued the efforts. Here's what the side garden looks like:

Aren't the irises beautiful! I love them.

After that, I tore three azaleas out of my front bed that were looking a bit sickly and put four new ones back in:

And finally, put in the two new hydrangeas. You will notice in the picture that the two sickly ones are still there, but they are still showing signs of life and I want to give them a shot at recovery and I would love it if that area had a huge bushy cluster of hydrangeas.

Oh wait, that wasn't the final thing, I also mulched the back bed. I can't believe how much I managed to do out there in one day! Wes better be duly impressed and grateful when he gets home! :-) Of course, he's going to expect me to keep doing this in the future and I'm not really certain how I feel about that, it will, after all, take up perfectly good knitting time!

The Pitfalls of Planning

I had it all planned out last night. Hubby is out of town for work and I was going to put Lilly-Bean down for the night, then spend an hour or so online, catching up on reading your blogs and filling you in on my adventures in gardening from Monday, then spend a little while on a new jigsaw puzzle and then knit for a little while before going to bed at a decent hour. (Wow, reading that I realize that I have become a senior citizen a little earlier than I expected to!) Apparently, life doesn't like when you try and corral it into something so mundane or comforting as a plan so I got to do none of those things last night!

Bean had a bit of a fever all day yesterday. Not really a big deal, kids get fevers all the time. You just keep an eye on them, give them some Tylenol and keep them hydrated while waiting for other symptoms to show up to let you know what you're dealing with, right? So, that's how we proceeded with the day. We stayed home, which bugged Bean, since she had really been looking forward to going to the "Li-berry" for storytime and to play with her little friends. I don't know how many times she reminded me yesterday that the "Li-berry" was open. She was pretty cranky most of the day, but it was tempered by the fact that I let her watch a bunch of DVR'd episodes of Playhouse Disney shows. We also had really great cuddles all day, which is kinda my favorite side effect from her not feeling well.

Anyhow, around 5:00 last night, we were curled up on my bed and she was obviously not feeling very well. She asked if she could sleep in my bed that night and started rubbing her back around where her kidneys are located. She knows that the only time she's ever gotten to share my bed is when she was REALLY sick, so that worried me, but her rubbing her back is what really got me. I'm a little gun-shy when it comes to her kidneys, the urologist told us that if she has a breakthrough infection while she's still on prophylactic antibiotics we will likely have to proceed with a surgical correction to her urinary tract problems rather than waiting for the issue to resolve itself. So, I called her doctor's answering service to set up an appointment to get her checked out this morning. The answering service patched me through to the on-call nurse, who after listening to Bean's symptoms, forwarded me to the on-call pediatrician. He concurred with my assessment that it was likely another UTI and recommended that we go to the ER rather than wait until morning when she would likely be even more uncomfortable. So, after packing up a bag of snacks, toys and some yarn for me, off we went to the hospital. Fun stuff, no?

Once we were at the hospital, the waiting game began. It was around 8:00 when we got there and I knew it wouldn't be a quick process. The only time I really got annoyed was after we had seen the triage nurse, I noticed another little girl and her mother, who had come in after us, were already back in the examination area. I know, you're thinking that perhaps this little girl was in more serious condition than my child and perhaps she was, but where my little one was lying listless in her stroller, the other little one was bouncing all over the waiting room, playing and having a great time with no outward signs of anything being wrong with her. She was seen and released before we even got called back for an exam. Hmm, wonder who they knew at the hospital?

Once we got back to the exam area (around 9:45), things were a bit better. I hate being in the waiting room with everyone else who is suffering from god-knows-what-that-might-be-contagious. Fortunately, the nurse and the pediatric resident came into our room at the same time, so I only had to go through my observations of Lilly-Bean once. He did a brief examination and then we waited for the nurses to come back to do a urine collection (catheter). That went as well as could be expected. In other words, pretty darn miserable. Lilly cried and told them it hurt, which absolutely broke my heart. And, since she hadn't had much to drink in a couple of hours, they had a hard time getting enough of a sample. But they finally did and we went back to waiting. I got Lilly as comfortable as I could on the bed with her blankie and sat back with my yarn to wait for the results of the labwork. About the time she drifted off to sleep, the nurse poked her head back in the room to let us know that the attending physician was hoping we wouldn't mind going back out to the waiting room until the lab sent the results. After seeing the look on my face when dealing with the prospect of waking up my sleeping baby, she smiled and let me know that she would tell him we needed to stay right where we were. I like that nurse!

Finally close to midnight, we got the lab results. There were no signs of infection and the doctor had no real idea of why Bean was running a fever. That's not terribly uncommon with kids and often the cause is viral even if the obvious symptoms haven't arrived yet. So, I was a little put off by the fact that, without knowing the cause of her fever, the doctor prescribed a fairly potent, broad-spectrum antibiotic. I worry that sometimes doctors feel pressured by their patients to "do something" and prescribe medication that may not be necessary when common sense would suggest taking a wait-and-see course of action to find out if the medication is actually warranted.

So, this morning, Lilly-Bean seems to be feeling much better, the fever is much lower (although she won't let me near her with the thermometer) and she has more energy than she did yesterday. I spoke with her pediatrician who agreed that we should hold off on giving her the antibiotics that were prescribed in the ER until we get the results of the additional culture that the lab is running. I do love our pediatrician. She is much more conservative when it comes to doling out medicine and has no problem telling a parent that sometimes the body is better able to take care of itself rather than give a kid medicine that doesn't do anything other than calm a worried parent's nerves.

Needless to say, I am very tired today. We finally got home at close to 1:00am and although Bean slept well past her normal waking time, it still wasn't enough! Maybe later today I'll get the energy to post about my beautiful garden, but for now, I'm going to cuddle up on the couch with my little girl, watch Mickey Mouse and relax!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Grace in Small Things - 33 of 365

1. Making back to the gym, although I didn't really want to go and didn't do my complete workout. At least I dragged my butt over there!

2. A beautiful sunshine-y day!

3. Wes staying home from work. He is working, but at least he's here!

4. Really yummy chicken quesadillas made with chicken left over from last night's yummy dinner.

5. Casting on a new project!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Grace in Small Things - 32 of 365

1. The ability to walk away from GiST for a little while, but still finding joy in my daily existence. Also, knowing I can return to GiST and it will be as comfortable as walking into a good friend's kitchen.

2. My daughter's love of tiaras. I bought some to toss from the Mardi Gras float but they never got thrown and she adores them. I think I may wear one today!

3. Finding out that a friend I have been missing terribly, is missing me too. And deciding that I will go visit her in June! Now to tell Hubby....

4. Getting to the end of a knitting project that I've been fighting, only about 14 more rows and I can cast on a new project! I need to learn how to work two socks at the same time, this second-sock-syndrome is a killer!

5. Going for a ride around the neighborhood on our "family bike" that seats four! It's like a big tricycle with two front seats for the parents and a bench on the back that can seat two kids (yes, it has seatbelts for the kids!).

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Eating crow...

Have you ever chewed a customer service/billing agent a new one over the phone and realized five minutes after you got off the phone that it was, in fact, not they who were wrong, but you? What are the chances, if I call this company back, that I would get hold of the correct person and be able to apologize. Especially since the issue was one of accounting and I tried, arrogantly, to throw the weight of my Masters of Accounting around....I'm a schmuck!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Apology

Sorry about the whiny post yesterday. In truth, I really have no reason to be cranky right now. Yes, the weather is still crappy, but usually I don't mind a rainy day, gives me a good excuse to stay cuddled up in the house. Must be hormones, guys have it so good. You never see a man succumbing to the influences of too much or too little estrogen!


I love that my comments so far have not focused on the fact that I was being a little baby yesterday, but instead noticed the shopping aspect of the post. I did order some really fun stuff:


(Warning: Knit Picks plug!)


1. I got the yarn to make this kid's jacket that is featured in the Mason Dixon Knits second book. One thing I love about Knit Picks is that the yarn for this project only came to around $25, if I were to go to my favorite yarn shop here it would've cost a lot more.

2. I got two different sock sampler kits, spring/summer and fall/winter which each come with enough yarn to make six different pairs of socks and patterns. The last thing I really need is more sock yarn, but don't they look delicious?

3. Speaking of not needing any more sock yarn, I also got this sock yarn sampler. They have it in a few different color groups, but I love reds so I went with this one. I like that it's a "cocktail" of sock yarn and it gives you 12 different leg patterns, several heels and instructions for working from the top-down or toe-up.

4. I got this kit to make a cover for my laptop. I think it will look a lot nicer when I leave the computer out in the living room and I hate putting it in the briefcase looking thing that I have right now. I got it in red, because my 'puter is red. They also have it in blue, which looked really pretty, but it wouldn't have matched. I really want to try a project with steeks and this one only cost $13.99! Bonus!

5. Finally I got this sampler kit because it was really pretty and I haven't worked much with color like this. If I can actually pull this off, I will be really proud of myself!

Other than that, I got a few more dpns and some wood cabling needles to match my new harmony wood needles that I got a while ago. Yes, I went completely overboard, but I guess there are worse things I could be buying (drugs, alcohol, cigarettes) I mean, think of all the money I'm saving my husband by not being a drunken smoker, he should be more than happy to fund this yarn habit of mine!

I have decided that, with the exception of Stitches in April, I will not be buying any more supplies for six months. That means no more trips to Michael's or Hobby Lobby. No going into Garden District Needleworks "just to look". Seriously, me claiming that I'm going into a store like that just to look is like a guy claiming he only reads Playboy for the articles. It's lies, all lies! So, now that I've laid all this out, I expect you all to rip me a new one if I show up bragging about any new acquisitions, okay? I need your help, people!

So, now I'm off to tidy my house before I even let myself touch my needles today. I think maybe having the house in order will help my mindset immensely. Also, I have a couple of little projects that I've been meaning to get done that I'm determined to do. I owe my friend a CD of the pictures from our recent trip, need to post those same pictures to FB, print out and frame some family pics for our upstairs hallway and type up the pattern for my Vanna's Choice contest entry to send to another friend that I promised it to. I don't think I even made the finals, since they did not request the pattern from me. I'm a little disappointed because I was really proud of the result, but at least I have a pretty blankie to give to someone, right?

Okay, I'm off to try and be a useful member of my household today. Wish me luck!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Addiction rears it's ugly head...

I really need to stay away from the Knit Picks website when I'm in a little bit of an off mood. Some people comfort eat, I hoard yarn as you may recall. I'm not really sure why I'm cranky tonight, I had a good day, beginning with breakfast with Wes and Lilly, followed by lunch with two of my girlfriends and a really great little restaurant and sushi for dinner. Yet still, I'm grumpy and have had little to no patience with Wes even though he's done nothing wrong today. Hmmm, it's either the crappy weather or hormones...

Oh well, so the result of my cranky was one heck of a large order at Knit Picks! I think I'm going to have to ground myself for a while (with the exception of my trip to Atlanta with Lara!). I'm off to work on some socks for a little while!

GiST - 30 of 365

1. Finally making it back to posting on Grace in Small Things!

2. A fantastic lunch with my girlfriends.

3. Arts and crafts with Hubby and Baby Girl!

4. Sushi

5. Making it back to the gym this week

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Prodigal Blogger has Returned!




As was pointed out to me several times on my trip this past week, I haven't blogged at all lately. No Grace in Small Things even. I don't know what's been up, but I just haven't really felt like writing. Nothing has been wrong, just not overly motivated either.




So, as I said, I've been traveling this past week. And I have to begin this post by raving about what an amazing husband I have. We all know how guys are when they are home alone. They make messes, order too much pizza and generally live like bachelors until their wives come home, right? Not my boy! I got home yesterday and the house looked even better than it did when I left. The kitchen was clean (not a dish in the sink), the house had been vacuumed, and to top it all off, he had MOPPED the floors. Seriously, are you turned on yet?! I'm telling you, I think he's just about the sexiest thing on the face of the planet right now! And no, you cannot borrow him, he's mine! All mine!





Where have I been you might ask? Well, for those of you who may not have heard, I've been to the Happiest Place on Earth! A.K.A. Disney World! I know there are some out there who believe the Disney corporation is the root of all evil, but I am not one of them and if you are, well, you should stop reading my blog because I am a complete Disney-phile.





The trip this time really just kind of fell into my lap. I've been itching to go, but know that Hubby (who is not nearly as much of a Disney-lover as I am) hasn't had a great deal of free time lately and probably wouldn't want to go anytime soon. So, when one of my friends on Facebook asked me if I wanted to go with her, I jumped on the chance. What's really amazing about this invitation is I have not seen Sam in 16 years (since the night we graduated high school)! Talk about a leap of faith on both our parts, we decided to meet in our home town and drive the 6 hours down to Orlando with our two little girls (Lilly aka Baby Girl age 2, and Kate age 3). I must admit, I was kinda worried about how such a long drive was going to go with someone that truly, I didn't know very well. I shouldn't have worried, we gabbed the whole time and the drive really flew by!






After we got checked in to our hotel, we headed off to the Magic Kingdom! I don't know who was more excited, us or the girls. When we got near the castle, Mickey and his crew were doing their stage show. I usually skip over these productions, not really my thing, but Lilly took one look and said, "Mama, it's MICKEY!!!!" Oh my god! She really got it! I'll admit it, I teared up at that point. It was so thrilling to see my little girl really believing in the characters. Everything was so real for her. I really do believe that the people who wait until their kids are older to take them to Disney for the first time are missing out on that moment.






We spent most of that evening wandering around Fantasy Land, riding the Small World ride, Peter Pan and Winnie-the-Pooh. We also stood in line for the girls to meet Pooh and Tigger. It was a long line and really starting to get cold out, but seeing how excited they were to meet the characters made the wait worth it. We also learned that night that my little girl is not quite ready for fireworks. She hid her little head in my lap and didn't look up until after the show was long over. We weren't even technically watching the show, but the noise was enough to get her. Oh well, maybe next trip!





On our second morning we headed over to the Animal Kingdom. I really love that park! We started off with the Kilamanjaro safari, but it was pretty chilly out, so a lot of the animals were no-shows. We still had a great time at the park though. Sam is as big a roller-coaster junkie as I am, so we took turns hopping through the single rider line at Expedition Everest and got to ride it a couple of times. I love the single rider line, you can get through in a fraction of the time if you don't mind being separated from your party. Animal Kingdom is definitely not a full-day park, so after seeing the Lion King show and meeting several of the characters with the girls, we headed back to the hotel with the girls for a nap before making our way over to Hollywood Studios. Lilly was so funny when we went for naptime, she fought it just as long as she could and I ended up hiding behind one of the beds so she wouldn't realize I was there.




Hollywood Studios is another park that really doesn't take the whole day to visit. They have added some new stuff, so maybe on our next trip, I'll spend a bit more time and check it out, but for this trip our priority was hitting the Tower of Terror (Sam's favorite ride) and the Rockin' Roller Coaster (one of mine). We also saw the Little Mermaid show, which Lilly loved! At the end when Ariel and Prince Eric hugged, she announced (loudly) "they're Married!" I didn't even know she understood the concept! It was still really cold that night, so we hit one of the stores to pick up some sweatshirts for the little ones. They ended up wearing them for the rest of the trip.




On Tuesday we hit my all time favorite park, EPCOT! We hit a few of the rides at the front of the park before heading back to the World Showcase. It's so nice just walking around back there, hitting the stores and, oh yeah, having a drink or two as you walk around! On past trips, we've taken up the "drinking around the world" challenge, but I was a good girl this time and only had two. Had to be responsible for the girl, ya know! We didn't stay the full day at EPCOT either, which was kinda disappointing to me, I usually stay until the bitter end, but it was what was best for the girls. They were pretty tired, so we went back to the hotel, had some dinner and then back to the room. The food at the hotel was pretty darn good. I would definitely recommend if you go, to take advantage of the meal plan, it was definitely worth it and I felt like they were practically throwing food at us! The one we chose included two meals and two snacks per day. Each meal included a dessert, and by the end of the trip, we were pretty sick of dessert. That's unheard of for me! We also had a ton of the snacks left over, so we hit one of the bakeries and brought home a bunch of the yummy, Mickey Mouse-shaped rice krispie treats that they sell. I love those bad boys.




Wednesday we were back at the Magic Kingdom. After a breakfast of ice cream sundaes, we had a lot of fun hitting the rides, but in the afternoon, decided to split up. I wanted to hit a few more rides with Lilly and Sam wanted to take Kate over to Hollywood Studios to meet some more of the characters. I took Lilly over to the Pirates of the Carribean ride, not really sure of how she would like it. She LOVED it! I also took her on the Haunted Mansion ride, the Teacups and the Barnstormer (which is the kids roller coaster). She loved it all! My girl knows no fear! I hope she keeps that, but I know she may go through a timid phase sometime in the future. We headed back to the hotel that evening to meet up with Sam and Kate so we could get some dinner at Downtown Disney. Unfortunately, Lilly was really tired and decided to pitch a royal hissy fit on the bus. I was trying to hold her and manage the stroller at the same time, which wasn't working very well. Fortunately there was a lovely couple behind me who took control of the stroller so I could calm her down. Not even five minutes later, the little one was out and I had a great visit with the nice people behind me. Turns out they were staying three doors down from us and after I got the little one put down for a nap, she turned up at my door with a lovely glass of wine. How nice was that!




That night we headed out for dinner at Downtown Disney. This time it was Sam's turn to have an unhappy child. Kate was so tired and in a royal mood, so they had to cut dinner short and head back to the hotel. We stayed and finished our meal, did a tiny bit of shopping and headed back to the hotel. Kate was in a much better mood when we got there, but poor Sam looked a bit frazzled. I could definitely feel her pain!




Our last day was also spent at Magic Kingdom. I really could spend days there! Fortunately, Sam is like-minded, because I can't get Wes to go for more than a day. We hit the rides again (Lilly was desperate to see the Pirates and Ghosts again) then we had to bid the parks a sad goodbye (okay, sad for me and Sam, the girls were ready to go) and headed home. Ever since we've gotten back, Lilly asks me on a daily basis when can she see the ghosts again. I think I've convinced Wes to head back in October! Yay!




So, as you can see, I've decided to drop the nicknames for my family. I couldn't really justify using them for my husband and kid if I wasn't going to use them for our friends and it was going to get difficult coming up with nicknames for everyone. So, hopefully now I will get back into the swing of things with blogging, it's taken me several days to complete this post. I've been a bit distracted since I've gotten back with sock knitting. I'll get some pics up in the next day or so.