Sunday, February 24, 2013

This last little bit

I've been making. I'm still on this one looooong scarf that is taking me forever, because it's boring to make, and I'm only on step one of it. It'll be very pretty - it's alpaca from New Zealand when my mom went over there. It's looking like it will be a scarf for next fall, though, at the rate I'm going. Besides that, I'm making the CUTEST thing for Tate - I don't want to put it up now just in case she sees this page. It's for her birthday, so it will be revealed soon. Adorableness.

For instant gratification, I made another coaster for my desk. The first one I made is getting rather gross with coffee stains. So there is this one! It's actually a smaller version of a granny square but so springy and pretty! Funny how something so small can make me smile.

Smith's school had a fundraiser recently, going out to dinner and then ice skating. The three of us went - it was fun, but I realized after 30 minutes I was unnecessary on the rink (Smith is a good skater and Tate only needs about 15 minutes to warm up), and if I stayed out there, I ran the very real risk of getting skated on/over by one of the 2,368 middle schoolers on the rink. Man was it crowded, and nobody was paying attention to themselves, middle school-style. Smith and Tate had a ball. Gotta love the Principal, too, who was out there the whole time! He's a great man, really involved. 

Headed up to Rhode Island last week - my MIL had some major foot surgery. It's funny, though - it really was a major surgery, but it was outpatient! Crazy. This was my seat on the train - it was really nice to take a quiet train ride up the coast. Pretty views, quiet little nook.

And the beautiful Rhode Island - I went out shopping for about an hour one day, the town has some great little shops. And the water is so beautiful. What a beautiful place.

Lastly, TOMORROW is my beautiful niece's birthday, so I packed up a box of girl scout cookies, Starbucks gift card, silly things like chapstick and Muppets bandaids, face mask, etc, AND, I blew up 19 balloons (what she is turning!) and put money in each balloon! It turned out really cute, and she loved opening it up and it looking all festive. I found the idea on Pinterest - I actually DID something I pinned! haha.

That's the latest - today is a soccer day, and I am looking forward to hanging with the family and Spud to assimilate back into Virginia life!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Puppy Facebook

We walked to our red bridge park today, the kids and Spud and I. As we walked there, Spud peed on one of his standard bushes. Not noteworthy on its own, but as we walked back home, Spud stopped to check on this particular bush. Tate said, "He's smelling his own pee!" Smith said, "I think it's like Facebook - Spud is seeing if anyone left a comment." Then he elaborated - another dog sniffing would be a "like" and another dog adding his scent would be a comment. As we went along, Spud added some of his scent to another dog's area - the dog was just in front of us. Smith said, "Spud just left a comment!"

Friday, February 8, 2013

Valentine's? CHECK!

Over the years, we've made and purchased Valentine cards. Smith went through a particularly lengthy dinosaur and Thomas the Tank period, so those were of course, purchased. Tate, princesses. This year, Smith is too old to do Valentines - when do they stop that? 3rd? 4th? But Tate is at that sweet spot - not only wanting to make them, but actually being HELPFUL while doing so! She wanted to make monsters, similar to a Daisy swap she made over the summer. I think they turned out cute!

As for my own Valentine's, I made myself a hat! I have a favorite crocheted hat I bought up in NYC a couple years ago, and I knew then that I could make something similar, but hadn't gotten around to it. So now I did! I made it in oatmeal with a heathered purple sock-weight yarn as the edging and "rose". I may add a couple green leaves - not sure about that yet. Tate wants one now, too, a blue hat with yellow flower. I modified this pattern - I ended up using a smaller weight yarn, and in wool instead of cotton, so I had to add some hdc's along the way.

And finally, a sweet little heart bookmark!

In other news, the kids had a 2 hour delay today (seems we're destined to have delays instead of the GOOD stuff), but Rhode Island is supposed to be covered in the white stuff. Grammy is looking to get about 2 FEET of snow! Crazy!! I hope they all get to keep power - that would be decidedly not fun, to lose power in the winter. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Well loved

I had three favorite toys when going to my grandmom's house as a child. She had this set of plastic dinosaurs from, probably, the 50s, that were my Uncle Gary's. He was born in 1952, so they were that plus what, 6? They even had names on the bottom - names like Brontosaurus, and a name I can't remember for a dinosaur that looked like a Dimetrodon. Old names, names that changed since the late 50's. I loved them.

I also loved Rig-a-Jig - this great Lego-esque game with plastic flat pieces and red tubes to connect them. And another toy that was like Lincoln Logs, but different. I used to make houses with the logs and then have the dinosaurs crash into them and destroy Abraham Lincoln's house.

Anyway, I was just helping my grandmom clean out a closet the other day, and she wanted to go through the toys. The dinosaurs are at my mom's house, but she still had the logs and Rig-a-Jig at her house, and she wanted me to take them home, or do whatever I wanted with them. So I did, and I have left them on the coffee table for several days now, and every single day after school, the kids go directly to them. Every day. I know that won't last forever, but how neat is that, they were my Uncle Gary's, and now my kids are using them!

It was really cool going through my grandmom's closet - she also has a small old suitcase of felt puppets she's made - the flat kind that you put your hand in; an owl, George and Martha Washington, jester, monkey, etc. They are beautifully made and so colorful. She wasn't ready to give them to us, but if she does, I plan on hanging them - they are just so wonderful to look at, and have so much personality.

She also gave us about 8 phones. Tate was mystified with the rotary dial golden yellow phone - it's in her room and she practices dialing our home number. She gets this beleaguered attitude when she has to dial the 9s and 0s, just like we did pre-push buttons! Remember that? Most of the phones were old cordless phones, and not anything anyone needs or wants, but David took a look at them all the same. 

We did all this after a lunch at Cheesecake Factory, and a viewing of old photos of hers. I love looking through her albums. There will be a page of her and my granddad when they were first married on one page, with NYC as a backdrop (they honeymooned there), and the next page will be a picture of me, age 10. So fun to look through, and Tate enjoys seeing all the people in the pictures, too.

Feeling nostalgic, reminiscent, etc. Seeing and playing with these old toys makes me remember what we did at my other grandmom's house, too - she had a "smoker" - one of those nutcracker looking things that you could light, and it looked like he was smoking. We also had a special routine when I spent the night at her house. For dinner, we had Steak-Ums and gooey, melted provolone cheese on a sub roll, and she had an old kimino from Okinawa (she was stationed there for her work for years) and crocheted slippers in the pocket that were just for me. The next morning, we'd sit on her balcony and drink hot cocoa in our robes. 

I have always understood how lucky I was, growing up with two sets of grandmom's 15 minutes away. Smith and Tate are fortunate to have one set of grandparents able to come and see their soccer games, host them for overnights, etc. Their other grammy lives in New England, but comes and stays with us, in our house, for around a week each time (several times a year) and knows them as well. Really knows them. They, too, are so lucky to grow up with their grandparents, full of love for them, full of hope for their future, and full of traditions and future memories.

Graham cracker & Nutella Love

This cold, cold weather makes me want to BAKE and CRAFT! I had to pop into work today (normally a work-from-home day) but all the way home, I was dreaming of this wonderful homemade nutella type recipe. I read something about how Nutella's first (and most) ingredient is sugar - this one makes it with hazelnuts, honey, and cocoa. That's it. I added a bit more honey and vanilla extract, too, to make it a little smoother. Yum.

And what is good as the nutella delivery system? Graham crackers! I've wanted to try making my own for some time. See, I'm sorta getting into an organic/whole foods thing right now...not that refined flour is exactly a whole foods, but I know exactly what is in these. Besides, the house smells DELICIOUS.

Next up, VALENTINE'S!!!