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Soupygirltwitting

So Close, But Yet So Far

Have finally finished the knitting portion of the Traveling Sweater.  Holy Moses has that taken a long time.  I can’t tell you how many hours of two by two ribbing and short rows have already gone into that thing.  Considering it was a Mother’s Day gift last year and I’m only now to this point–it’s a lot of hours.  Of course I also took detours to knit two stockings, read two Connie Willis books and teach the Sparkle Girl how to make jazz hands.  All important projects in their own right.

So here is where we find ourselves today:

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I’m a little annoyed that there is SO MUCH yarn left over.  Sure some will get used up in sewing the darn thing together, but not even close to using that much.  Maybe I’ll make a belt to go with it?  Or a little sweater for the Sparkle Girl?  When there is this much left on a $30 skein of yarn you darn well want to use it all up.  It will be fun to see how it does after blocking.  Chances are very, very good that I’ll have to take it into the store for help sewing it up.  Not my strong suit anyway and the directions are already making my head spin.  Of course, it’s always easier when I have the actual item in front of me to help visualize what I’m trying to do.  We’ll see.

I’ve converted another knitter.  Seriously, where’s my toaster?  I should have won SOMETHING by now for all the people who’ve taken up the sticks because of me.  This warrants a sternly worded letter to someone.  Maybe Barbara Walker?  Welcome to the fiber fold Steve.  Happy Knitting.  I can’t wait to see all the yummy projects you’re going to cook up.

Thanksgiving

We have so much for which we are thankful this year.  We have a home and are not in danger of losing it.  We can pay our heating bill.  We have food to eat and warm clothes.  We have cars that run well and can put gas in them.  More than these basics that far too many people in our midst don’t have, we are so thankful for so many other things too.  I’m married to a man who is perfectly suited to me.  He challenges and compliments me in very important ways.  We have FUN together and laugh every day.  After three years of marriage and four years together we feel comfortable and fresh all at once.  We have a gorgeously amazing daughter.  She makes me laugh every day too.  She’s smart, tenacious, funny, has such a fun little personality.  I’m so honored that I get to watch this little creature grow into an amazing woman and get to shape who she will be in the world.

All too often we forget to say our gratitude prayers and start to chug along taking our lives for granted until something grabs our attention.  Until something snaps us back into the alarming reality of how fragile it all can be.  This happened last month when a local family experienced a tragedy that I’m still trying to wrap my head around.  The dad was walking home from the store with his son (who was around the Sparkle Girl’s age) in a stroller.  As they were in the crosswalk an elderly man hit the gas instead of the brakes on his car and ran into them and another young man.  The men were hurt but ok.  The child died the next day at the hospital.  My heart breaks for everyone in the situation.  How do you live the rest of your days knowing that your mistake caused such unspeakable damage?  How do you go on having lost the most precious thing in your life?  This family is still reeling from this disaster.  A friend of mine whose son is one of H’s favorite playmates is a friend of this family.  She’s still reeling too. Knowing this brings it still closer to home.  I’m so glad I haven’t heard anyone say that they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.  I really hate that expression.  It implies that the injured person was out of place.  That they were someplace they shouldn’t be.  These people were in their own neighborhood in a crosswalk.  It was exactly where they should be.  I’m sure everyone involved will be rehashing that day over and over…what tiny change could have altered the course of events?   But really, all you can do is go about your daily life.

Thinking about it makes me squeeze my own girl tight.  It helps me to be patient when she’s getting in touch with her inner Charlie Sheen and tearing the place apart.  It helps me relish those adorable toddler kisses and hugs.  It helps me stop to listen to her absurd chatter. It helps me walk slowly with her as she investigates every tiny crack in the sidewalk, leaf, bird, squirrel and blade of grass.  It helps me stop what I’m doing and dance with the girl as she discos to Latin Pop. It helps me find strength when she has thrown herself on the ground in Hulk-like rage because I wouldn’t give her cookies for breakfast.  It helps me stay present in this moment instead of thinking about what’s for dinner, or the errands I need to run, or the million other thoughts that crowd my brain in a given day.  I get to watch my little girl grow up to be an amazing woman.  I get to shape who she will be in this world.  I’m so very, very thankful for that.

The Ring

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So this is the main ring in the Traveling Sweater.  The open ends are joined and the sleeves set into the hole.  The top outside edge is the outer edge of the collar.  The outside bottom edge is the the bottom edge of the back of the sweater.

It’s very exciting to have this part finished!

Ramping Up Again

Ok, the break was nice while it lasted.  Hooray for new and returning clients.  Hooray for knitting projects.  Boo for only 24 hours in a day and only about 5 of them when I’m awake and Sparkle girl is asleep.

Hooray for a home schooled teenager who can babysit during the day.  Her story is a good example of what’s wrong in public education today (there’s plenty that’s right, but this is nuts).  The neighborhood where she lives sends its kids to the ghetto high school.  The high school that no parent with a conscience will send their kids to.  Her older sister goes to a better school across town.  She tried to get into that school and was on the waiting list.  The alternative was to home school online and try again next year. She only JUST FOUND OUT that she didn’t get into the school she wanted.  She doesn’t have her books for the semester yet.  We are only three weeks away from Thanksgiving break!  This is a level of insanity that I can’t comprehend.  Luckily she has parents who care and she’ll get caught up.  But what about those kids who don’t have a lot of support at home?  No wonder the graduation rate for our local public schools is abysmal.

Ok, done ranting.

So need to finish another stocking for my friend.  It was on hold while I made some progress on the traveling sweater.  I do want to wear it this winter after all.  The sweater is made in three pieces.  One big one that looks like a big ring (I’ll post a pic tomorrow) and two sleeves that get inserted into the ring.  I finally finished the big ring.  The sleeves should knit up much more quickly and I’ll do that once I’m done with the stocking.  I also have about the last 25% of a pair of booties to finish up.

These are all projects that require a good amount of attention and the absence of inquisitive little grabby hands.  Thus the babysitter.  I’m also looking into a cooperative preschool.  This is completely volunteer operated and has been so for 30 years.  Another reason why I love my town.  The girlie would go three days, one of which I would volunteer.  I go for an observation next week.  Fingers crossed.  A big plus is that one of the other mom’s in our play group is joining so we’ll already have friends there.  This would free up 8 hours each week to do things like get a hair cut, write, knit, nap (maybe that’s my novel instead of Eat, Pray, Love).  Sigh.  I get all dreamy just thinking about it.

Ok.  Enough writing about writing.  I should actually get some of it accomplished.

Winding Down-ish

The last two months have been super-busy.  I over committed myself in a big way with personal projects as well as with professional ones.  The good news is that I got it all done, on time (mostly).

First up:  Super Secret Knitting Project.  My friend’s partner commissioned Christmas stockings for both of them um, way back last January.  The stocking for my friend was his birthday present and therefore super secret.  I’ve had the yarn picked out for months but just couldn’t hit on the right pattern.  My first choice didn’t work out and never hit on the perfect substitute.  At the last minute I got it—I used a sock pattern and made it with stocking dimensions.  It turned out super-cute and he loves it.  Now I need to make the companion and do it in time for Holiday Decorating.  This one was made with one skein of Noro variegated sock yarn in purples and greens. I knit it together with one skein of Lornaloft sport in green and Debbie Bliss cashmerino in purple.  The green is a little darker than it looks in this pic.  The second stocking will use the same green but a Noro with turquoise and greens as well as a LornaLoft sport turquoise. I’m taking a quick break to make some progress on the Traveling Sweater but it will get done soon.
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I also volunteered to help my MIL and her sister create a photobook for Sparky’s grandma’s 95th birthday.  We used pictures from throughout her life and made a book on Shutterfly.  It was a smashing success and a lot of fun to do.   But it did contribute to the overall nuttiness of the past couple of months.

I also just returned from visiting my mom and sister in Arizona.  We stayed with my sister because my mom has too many fragile breakable things that would drive Little Miss Grabby Hands wild with crazy desire to grab and possibly smash/break/throw.  She did however find some great toys for her, including a Little People playhouse that was a big hit.  So much of a big hit that we boxed it up and brought it home with us.  Sparkle Girl got to meet her 12 year old cousin who wasn’t quite sure what to do with her.  But he figured it out and they were very cute together.

Traveling alone with a toddler is not for the faint of heart, but we made it through.  We bought a ticket for her and it was worth every penny. Thanks so much to our friends who loaned us car seat management tools.  One was an awesome idea (it turns the car seat into a stroller) but wasn’t compatible with our seat.  The thing that turned the car seat into a back pack was perfect.  So I had H in the stroller, the car seat on my back, the diaper bag and a backpack full of toddler amusements and tantrum diversions.  One really good idea was to get a big sheet of stickers and a pad of paper.  She loved it.  Crayons, new books, snacks, walking up and down the aisles…. all came in handy.  Luckily she fell asleep on the way home.  The fantastic flight steward on our Southwest Airlines flight comped me a glass of wine while she was asleep!  Mike you ROCK!

We had a lot of fun with everyone and I’m so glad they got to see H as a fun sparkly busy toddler.  Board games, a trip to the zoo, the pool, special time with her Auntie, lots of food. We turned around the day after we returned to head up north to my in-laws for H’s Great Grandma’s birthday party.  Another super fun time with family.

So my big projects have finally wrapped up.  There are a couple more coming down the pike but there’s a rest period for now.  All this activity and getting back into the groove probably contributed to the incident from this morning.

Once a month or so we have moments that I call “Mommy is an asshole”.  This is different from the much more frequent moments where “Mommy is a dingbat”.  Those are the times where I forget to bring her water bottle or forget to refill her diaper bag or get her down for a nap too late or don’t realize she’s outgrown her shoes until she keeps pulling them off at the park.  This morning falls into the first category.  We have a gate we put at the top of the stairs when she’s running around while I’m getting ready.  I usually drag something heavy to put in front of it so that she doesn’t move it and fall down the stairs.  This morning I forgot the crucial second step.  I was brushing my teeth and heard the horrible sound of a little body falling down the stairs and a gate falling after her.  She wasn’t hurt badly, just a carpet burn on her forehead.  But I felt soooooooooo bad.  She’s been cranky the rest of the day but she’s moving just fine and doesn’t really seem to have any bruises.

I gave her some Tylenol after she hit her head again, thinking she probably had one king hell of a headache.  About half an hour later she was asking for help and pointing to the kitchen.  I couldn’t figure out what she wanted so set her down on the counter thinking she wanted one of the snacks up there.  She grabbed the Tylenol bottle and put it in my hand giving me the sign for “more”.  Wow.  This kid is smart and assertive in getting her needs met.  While we were waiting for it to kick in she kept grabbing the bottle and handing it to me crying because I wouldn’t give her any more.   Poor baby.

In amongst the chaos and busyness we headed out to a pumpkin patch on Sauvie Island.  So much fun!  H had a caramel apple, went on a hayride, saw some chickens and tried to join a private party (fish gotta swim after all…people, kids, cake… it took an enormous amount of effort to keep her away).
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H has also started carrying around a handbag or three every time we leave the house.  It’s really cute.  Right now she’s always got a handbag and turns everything into a cell phone.  She will use anything as a phone… talking and nodding to the kitty or whatever is on the other line.  She chatters non-stop in full sentences.  She hugs and kisses her stuffed animals.  She hugs and kisses us.  Such a really, really fun time in her life.  I’m so fortunate to be home with her to enjoy every minute of it.

Now to take advantage of this break in the chaos and rest up for the craziness of the holidays!  Happy Halloween and enjoy the Fall!!

Impossibility

So I’m wondering why my life seems to look like this equation lately:

time in the day / to do list = more hours than there are in the day

Technically when you divide something it gets SMALLER not LARGER.

To be fair, we lost a week when a vicious stomach virus decimated the family one at a time.  If we all had it at once it would have been horrific, but only for about 48 hours.  As it happened it was awful for a good week.

In better news, weaning is going well.  Surprisingly well.  I eliminated the morning one by not bringing her into bed with me.  We toddler-proofed (enough anyway) the upstairs and I just block off the top of the stairs and let her run around while I get ready.  She doesn’t ask for it and we just avoid the subject.  What’s funny is that I decided to take a shower with her in the bathroom.  She managed to get into a box of maxi-pads and started throwing them into the shower with me.  Gah!  So I stripped her down and pulled her in and let her hang out with me in the shower.  On the down side I won’t get to shower alone for another couple of years.  On the plus side I’ll get to shower more than once or twice a week now.

We eliminated the post-nap nursing by me just telling her no.  The first couple of days she got very upset.  But I offered her cow’s milk and she drank it (!).  She seems to like the alternative of cuddling on the couch with a snack.  She still asks for it, but isn’t as adamant about it.   That just leaves midnight and 5 am.  Oi.

The Sparkle Girl is also starting to eat meat.  Tuna sandwiches and meatloaf of all things.  I made my white trash meatloaf (made with bbq sauce and stove top stuffing) and she ate it up.  Funny.

OK.  Back to the to-do list.  sigh….

Welcome to the Toddler-hood

An update on the Fred Meyer fiasco photo shoot.  They used her in the group shot after all.  But I think they photo-shopped her in.  It’s a darn cute photo but a miracle they got even a shot to insert. What’s funny is that I saw that outfit at the store today and contemplated buying it. The headband is funny, I never put that kind of stuff on her.

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Summer is winding down and we’re starting to get our Pacific Northwest weather again.  Time to get out the layers and rain boots.  I found an adorable pair of rain boots for the sparkle girl.  Right now she’s just carrying them around the house but soon she’ll come to love them.

I’ve found a few good bargains from consignment stores.  One store I vowed never to return to because of an incident that happened a while ago.  It was last summer when I was still doing cloth diapers.  I found a Fuzzy Buns diaper there in her size and it had an insert in it marked for $8.  That’s a bargain if it actually came with the insert so I took up to the counter with the rest of the items I was buying.  The very pregnant gal behind the counter said “Oh, I meant to grab that earlier but we got busy.”  She then TAKES IT FROM ME and puts it behind the counter.  Um, I’m pretty certain that if it’s on the sales floor then it’s FOR SALE.  It’s not my fault she didn’t grab it.  I was pretty steamed and told everyone I knew about it.  And I didn’t go back there for well over a year.  But I decided to get over it and checked it out again this week.  Found an adorable sweater dress, sweater and a Tea brand hoodie vest.  Today I found a very cute fleecy top with a sweet owl on it and a pink tutu skirt at Goodwill.  But I really must stop shopping for her… we’re already loaded up from things bought last year a size up and things my mom has found as well as the great hand-me-downs.

She’ll get to wear her summer tops once again when we go visit my Mom and Sister in Arizona next month.  We were set to go last week but we both ended up with a wicked cold.  Ugh.  A snotty cranky baby on an airplane–no thank you.  But I’m really looking forward to the trip–it won’t be nearly so hot in October as in September and it’ll be nice and rainy here so I’ll actually enjoy the warmer weather.

The girl is turning into a typical toddler.  She’s learning how to climb… up the slide, onto the couch, everywhere she shouldn’t be.  We start Gym Dandies class tomorrow through the local Parks and Rec department.  She should love it.  I’m also hearing the word “NO” a lot.  From both her mouth and mine.  The difference is that I mean “No, for the love of God stopit stopit stopit” when I say it.  She means everything from “Gimme that” to “What’s going on?”to “Hell NO”.  She says it all day long. “No No No No”.  When I hand her a jar of bubbles that she’s been trying to get.  When I try to give her a snack.  When I am putting her in the car.  When she’s just standing there and nobody is doing anything.

The other class we’re doing is a movement class that she adores.  Giant smile on her face every time.  The other moms and kids in the class are really cool too.  The best part is the free dance around the room time.  She shows us her chicken wing dance and it’s adorable.  What’s fantastic is that she incorporates new stuff into her routine.  Sparky had a Salsa dance for fitness dvd and she started doing fancy footwork after watching it with him.  At the state fair we watched girls doing hip hop dancing and she’s started adding a few of those moves too.  Not much gets by this one.

Toddlers’ brains are constantly working so fast that it’s amazing we don’t see smoke wafting out of their ears.

 

We were all babies once

It has been too hot and I’ve been too busy with other projects to knit. So I’m writing about something that has been rattling around in my head lately.

Watching The Sparkle Girl develop her personality, acquire language and skills, and generally begin the process of becoming the person she will eventually be in this world, it makes me think about other people as babies.  Some people you just can’t imagine what they were like.  Others were pretty much the same as babies as they are adults.

My grandmother, for whom the Sparkle Girl was named, is one of those people you just can’t fathom as an infant, child or teenager for that matter.  It’s like she came into the world at 40 years old. She was an amazing and wonderful woman in so many ways.  Born in 1901 before so many mundane things we take for granted became widely available—-  movies, cars, telephones…  these were all available then, but not in the way they were just 20 years later.  She died in 1996 at the age of 95.  She was a complicated mix of prim Victorian and modern woman.  We called her “Grandmother”–not Granny, Grandma, Nana, or any other variant.  She went by “Harriet”–not Hattie or Harry or other nickname.  She really wasn’t sure what to do with us when we were very little and usually gave us savings bonds for special occasions.  An extremely practical and pragmatic lady. But she wore shorts while gardening well into her 80’s.  She was vital and active–mentally sharp up to the very end.   But what would she have been like as a child?  I just can’t imagine her as a carefree, uninhibited little bundle of chaos as all toddlers naturally are.

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There are clues though.  This is a photo of her as an infant.  I see little bits of my girl in there.  The tips of the ears that point out (like my father’s too), the inquisitive stare,  the dainty hand…   I can see that she was very intelligent, taking everything in, watching and observing.  I wound up with some of my grandparents’ books–my Grandfather’s Esperanto dictionaries, his McGuffey Reader, and Grandmother’s Eugene-Field Reader.  This is a cool old book with some gorgeous illustrations mixed with some less amazing ones.  She was given this book as a present in 1906 by a cousin.

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I love the handwriting…so stylized.  I also wonder who Helen was (I can’t even read the last name).  The funny thing about this book is that it has been scribbled in.  I find it so incredibly hard to picture Grandmother as a child taking a colored pencil or crayon to a book.  The very thought of it makes me laugh.  Part of me thinks it must have been my father or his sister who defiled it so.  Maybe it was Helen?  Whoever it was really didn’t like this little dog.

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Whomever did it was also learning how to read.  Several pages have phrases underlined in red, some words circled.  It’s extremely charming to imagine a small Victorian child sitting down with this book and a pencil trying to suss out the poems and stories. It’s also funny to see how much children’s literature has changed over the years. I just don’t think you’d see a modern book speculating about whether a toy soldier could fire a gun. You also probably wouldn’t see a toy with a bayonet on it.

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It makes me wonder what I’ll be like as an old lady. Will people see the sparks of my inner toddler or will people wonder at the fact that I was ever an infant? What will my darling girl be like as an adult? What pieces of her childhood can I preserve to capture these amazing moments of her development? I know I won’t keep everything (unlike my own mother who kept every single one of my baby clothes), but I should keep those iconic and special things that capture the essence of this bright, funny and gorgeous child.

Teeth

It’s an amazing act of evolution or creation (or whatever your belief is on this subject, not to be debated here thank you) that human babies are born with really bendy heads so that they can fit through the birth canal.  According to Dr. Harvey Karp (Happiest Baby on the Block) they are really born undercooked so that we can get those heads out.  He maintains  that the first three months of a baby’s life should be considered the fourth trimester while they get developed to the point that other animal’s babies are at birth.  The upshot of this is that newborn heads are not big enough to accommodate teeth.  That means they have to grow teeth when they are painfully aware of the whole process.

I remember when my wisdom teeth were coming in sometime in my twenties.  They were all coming in at once.  I could feel their tips for a while and then they’d recede back up into my gums.  It was all kinds of painful.  They were pushing my other teeth forward, which created lots of pressure in the front of my mouth and made my whole face hurt.  Knowing this, I can only speculate on how horrible the Sparkle Girl must feel now that she’s growing a mouthful of teeth.

For the longest time she had six teeth: four up and two down.  It was an adorable look…those sweet little bottom teeth in that giant smile.  In the past six weeks or so she’s grown four more: two more flanking those adorable bottom teeth and two molars.   One molar came through on the upper gum and one on the bottom on opposite sides of her mouth.

The past two weeks she’s been growing four more: the other two molars and the bottom canines.  When she opens her mouth to cry (which is astonishingly often these days) her gums are big and red and swollen just waiting to erupt.  It hurts just to look at it.  She’s miserable.  When I touch her head it is blazing hot.  She’s chewing on everything.  Meals are futile–who wants to chew when it creates such horrible pain?  She’s emotionally unstable… laughing one minute, inconsolable crying the next, and unfettered shrieking the next.

Unfortunately, this event coincides with my initial attempts at weaning.  Last week we were doing great.  She’d ask to nurse (”Pleeeeeee”) and I say “no” and try to redirect her to a snack or a book or something. We were down to three times a day–morning, after nap and before bed.  That was working well until all this teething business erupted.  She doesn’t want to eat so she’s hungry and wants to nurse more.  She’s emotionally unstable and needs the reassurance of a familiar and comforting ritual.  My gentle “no” is met with a full on meltdown.

This all means that I’m not bringing my A game lately.  I met some friends at Oaks Park the other morning.  This is a local amusement park that has pre-schooler only hours a couple of mornings a week.  It’s super fun!  H whined and crabbed the whole way to the park.  I get there and get the jogging stroller assembled (have to remove the wheels to get it into my trunk) get everything set up and realize she had pooped.  No problem, I thought, we’ll get her changed and meet our friends.  Turns out she was playing in the diaper bag and removed the smaller bag with the diapers and wipes.  AAAAARRRGH! I had to pack everything back up and put her back in the car.  H was FURIOUS at being put back in.  We had to find a grocery store nearby, which was a health food store.  They just had the hippie diapers that don’t work as well and are more expensive.  It was a mess all the way around.

Wednesday she had a photo shoot for an upcoming grocery store ad.  When I saw her assigned time slot I just knew it was a doomed venture.  She naps from noonish to two-ish most days.  Her time slot was 1:45–right smack in the middle of naptime.  We had movement class was at 10:30 so I figured we’d do that and go to lunch and then she’d sleep in the car and I’d drive around until her appointment.  Sounds like a good plan, right?  Alas.  The great thing was running into my friend and her daughter who had been out of town all month while we were at lunch.  But she hardly ate and was crabby the whole time (H not my friend) so we took off.  She * did * not * sleep*.  Maybe for about 15 minutes, which is not nearly enough time.  We get there and spend half an hour in the waiting room.  These times are not absolute.  They are shooting a lot of kids all day and it depends on how everything goes.  There are toys and other kids and parents waiting too, so it’s not a horrible thing—unless your kid is pushing through 5 teeth and hasn’t napped or eaten.  H was a total champ through the whole waiting around process.  The stylist came back and got us, handed her the outfit and led us to the photo area.  It was a group shot with three other kids.  H kept wanting to run off and explore everything.  She did fine until one hyperactive little git got too excited and bumped her in the face.  That was it.  It was all over at that point.  SHRIEKING like it was the end of the world.  She was pulled out of the shot and I finally managed to get her calmed down somewhat.  They decide to shoot just her.  Total disaster.  She kept running toward me and crying…even when they found a dog for her to play with.  They just couldn’t get a shot and we called it a day.  There’s an outside possibility that they got a usable photo from the beginning, but I’ll be shocked and amazed if they did.  This is why they shoot two kids for every shot they need.  In case one has a meltdown, or looks weird in the outfit, or just isn’t quite right.  I heard crying while I was in the waiting room so it is possible they didn’t get either of them.  She’ll still get paid, but I feel bad and just should have pulled her from the shoot at the beginning.

Needless to say, this has been a tough week.  It is abundantly clear to me why some moms drink.  By about 4 o’clock I’m ready for a cocktail and a massage.  The other day it was soooooooo tempting to put her in her bed, let her holler, pour a glass of wine and watch bad TV.  I ultimately resisted, but I had to dig deep for the willpower.  I don’t know how those women who put their toddlers to bed at 9 or 1o do it.  We’ve actually bumped up her bedtime to 6:30 and she goes right down.  Dealing with the chaotic crankiness for all that time would truly send me over the edge.

This is just temporary and already today is much better than the rest of the week has been.  She’ll grow those teeth and her whole look will change.  She’ll be able to eat a wider variety of foods and we’ll be good until she starts to lose them in about three or four years.  In the mean time she’s learning how to manage her emotions and tell me what she needs.  These are all good things.  Today she took a three and half hour nap!!!  See, it’s already looking up~

The sweater continues and an artist is born

The traveling sweater continues.  All that 2×2 ribbing is a little hypnotizing and I put it down for a little while.  I’m almost through the first of four giant skeins.    Here you can see the original size and how much it made (nice bonus of Mt. Hood in the background).

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You’ll notice how it curves, a nice trick achieved by short rows.  This is half of this piece, which is essentially the collar, the fronts and the bottom portion of the back.  The arms are worked separately and inset into the hole in the center.  It’ll make sense later.

I took a break to work on some booties.  They need ties and I’d hate to tell you how long they’ve needed ties.  Maybe I’ll suck it up and finish them off this weekend. Special thanks to Big Pinky Poodle for helping me model these. There is a Little Pinky Poodle too and H loves to carry them both around (usually with a little Hello Kitty clutched in one of her hands).

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In keeping with many, many generations of artistic and crafty women, The Sparkle Girl has started exhibiting a certain DIY aesthetic around the house. Mostly with crayons–washable thank God. Last night I caught her coloring on the wall so took the crayons away from her. Of course she found them and when I saw her again she was holding the brown one up to the wall looking at me and laughing. That’s when I put them away in a very high spot and put her to bed. This is her first mural. I’m so proud.

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The artist hard at work (I love these pajamas! Hanna Anderssen is the best):

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A few weeks ago H climbed out of her bed. Alarmed doesn’t even come close to explaining the emotions involved with that discovery. e lowered the mattress as far as it can possibly go and haven’t had a repeat incident. Sparky found her asleep on the pile of blankets next to her bed. This is the same pile of blankets that she usually drags into bed with her one at a time through the crib slats. We often go upstairs to find her buried under a big pile of blankets. Her other trick is to throw her mermaid and anything else she can get her hands on over the edge. It’s so funny to see her do this. She likes watching them drop.

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Can you find the toddler in this picture? Notice the basket that holds the blankets where we found her asleep. Notice the blanket halfway pulled through the slats and the mermaid on the floor.