28 August 2010

Reprise of The Old Man Pants

For my long term readers, you may remember The Old Man Pants from Sylvia's early days.  I found them back last week.  You can probably do a simple search on my blog to learn the origins of the name given these pants but here it is in a nutshell:  I put these pants on Sylvia when she still only weighed about seven pounds.  They were enormous on her.  I had them pulled up nearly under her arms and when I brought out the camera she gave me this look of absolute terror as if to say, "Oh, no, Mama!  No!  First, you humiliate me by putting me in these atrociously huge pants and NOW you want to take my picture to memorialize this?!"

As you can see, I found them at an appropriate age/weight for Veda and she just looks so stinkin' cute in them.

It is finally time to introduce the newest member of our family.  I received a phone call from a friend in June about a little parrot named Duncan who needed a home within the next couple of days.  Well, she caught me at the right time.  The Friday before I had been at our little, itty bitty library.  Our library is so small that I can go in and look at nearly any shelf and see several books that Dave and I have donated.  I had been looking at cooking books and right next to them were the animal books (just in case you get desperate one evening and desire to cook your pet, I guess).  And there I saw three of the parrot books we had donated after we had to rehome Chloe last year.  I left the library feeling saddened and teary-eyed.  Fast forward three days and I am being asked to invite another bird into our home.  Of course I said yes.

Duncan, a masked face lovebird, is about six years old.  He is very handsome and has adjusted to his new family very well.  He already knows how to tease the cats mercilessly and Sylvia has begun to "help" me take care of him everyday.  Welcome, Duncan!

And to add to the whole bird thing, I have been spending a lot of time feeding our outdoor birds.  [Between my bird watching, passion for knitting, massive cardigan collection, love of mysteries (and most all other books) as well as for dramas such as Murder She Wrote and old films and television I am pretty much an old person just waiting for her body to catch up with her.]  I have even begun to take pictures of some of my outdoor feathered friends:

I got a couple of shots of a pair of Blue Jays earlier today as well.  I don't particularly care for these bully birds but they are still quite attractive.  We also get a lot of woodpeckers at these feeders.  I have to time things just right to get a picture of them, though.

Just my beautiful girls hanging out together.  They remained quite friendly to one another until Daddy got home.  When Daddy began to pay attention to Lovebug (after having spent time greeting the Pumpkin) Sylvia began to show her green monster again and attempted to shove her sister right off the couch!  Lovebug was saved and the Pumpkin was given a reminder that Daddy loves them both.  (And to be gentle to the baby.)

Okay.  I know.  This is an atrocious picture of me in my jammies with no make up.  Ignore that part.  Instead please observe that my eldest daughter is sitting with me and looking at . . .
A Knit Picks catalog!  Goodness, I love this girl.

22 August 2010

Sylvia Runs Away and the Solution to World Hunger

So, I am back.  And this time I have more pictures than I ever have had before.  After the shame I felt with my last post realizing how few pictures I had taken over the course of two months, I quickly whipped out my camera and tried to make up for lost time.  I think I may have nearly succeeded.  The Little Pumpkin was frequently more than willing to help, as she would walk around the house and suddenly turn to pose (see above).

Speaking of the Pumpkin, this girl continues to make me smile and laugh every single day.  I didn't know a person could evoke that from me so regularly.  Her favorite song is "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" and she even manages to do some of the hand motions:
She is also totally smitten with Sesame Street right now.  Thanks to my mother-in-law we do have a decent Sesame Street video collection, so I am not watching the same dvd every evening before bedtime.  But, so many of those same video clips are used again and again and again in that show . . .   It reminded me of why I decided I "outgrew" Sesame Street when I was four; I was sick of the redundancy.

Sylvia continues to mimic nearly everything I do.  From "spreading" hand lotion on her little hands to feeding her dolls and animals:
She also vacuums.  There is a story to this little toy vacuum (see below).  Sylvia has always loved my big, real vacuum and has tried to help me clean the carpets several times (as has been seen in a previous post).  Dave's mom found this cute little toy vacuum at a consignment shop and I assumed it would be perfect and would free me with not having to vacuum only at night (after Sylvia is in bed and can no longer offer her assistance).  I was wrong.  She was terrified of this toy.  She can handle the ear pounding roar and the powerful suction and immense size of the real thing but the toy that offers only a tiny hum and no suction proved to be too much.  After much coaxing and prodding she still wouldn't budge.  I finally put the toy on top of the shelves in her play area a day last week, thinking maybe we could try again in a few months.  The very next day I began to vacuum a small area of the rug and the Pumpkin began to whine and complain and point to that only-hours-before-terrifying-vacuum.  I retrieved it and the results can be seen here:
Meanwhile, our Lovebug is on the rapid move!  It is to the point that I have to really weigh my options:  Do I go tearing after the toddler holding onto all the cash our family has as she makes a beeline for her diaper pail, knowing full well that while I am chasing her the infant is probably putting herself in a potentially dangerous position in the other room?  Or do I rescue the infant but watch our grocery money go into a pile of poop?  Don't believe me?  These are two locations I found Veda the other day within a twenty minute window of time:
Sure, she's smiling.  She always smiles when I come running to her rescue, but I think it's because she already likes the thrill of making her mother panic with worry.  Good gravy, please don't tell me we have a snowboarder or mile-high tight rope walker in our midst.
Veda is, quite obviously, pretty stinkin' cute.  Her sister has begun to notice this and the green monster of jealously has been rearing its ugly head.  Sylvia has two ways to deal with the competing cuteness of her sister.  The first approach is the scare-her-with-too-much-love tactic:
When this fails, the second approach is simply to pack up and move out:
 Auf Wiedersehen!  But just when I think I have gotten rid of her and my life has become slightly easier with fewer crumbs to pick up and fewer toys scattered about my living room and a fifty percent decrease in dirty diapers I see this:
Maybe she'll get further down the driveway next time.

So, what have I been doing other than my ever present vigil over my children?  Why, knitting, of course!  (Well, and cleaning and cooking and doing church work and organizing our crap to host a garage sale this past week and a few other odds and ends here and there.)   Last night I even finished my first Christmas present for the year.  It still needs to be blocked but it's completely knit already.

It was recently Dave's folks' 35th wedding anniversary.  I made them these washcloths.  I know this seems a rather odd item to give a couple for a wedding anniversary, but here's the thing:  I saw the colourway this yarn had to offer and these three colors simply popped out as being my mother and father-in-law.  I am not entirely sure why.  I think the orange is because MIL is fun and loud and a joy to have around.  The blue is my FIL, more reserved and loves to be lost in a deep sea of books and writing.  And the green reminds me of some of my favorite time spent with them.  Summers.  For some reason when I think of going to their house it conjures memories and feelings of sitting in their cool house with the windows open and a gentle summer ray of sun shining through.  I think of reading and talking and taking walks with Dave down his old street.  I think of cracker dinners and laughing.

As the yarn is a cotton-linen blend, washcloths were the perfect creation.  I do not particularly enjoy knitting with a cotton-linen yarn but I simply adore the end product.  Linen is a fabulous fiber that gets softer and softer with each additional wash.  And cotton is a naturally soft and gentle fiber on its own.  The combination of the two is truly something glorious.  Just like my in-laws.

Oh!  Here's a zucchini Dave brought home from work.  It came from a colleague's garden and it could feed an entire village in China.
Until next time!

08 August 2010

So Much Going On!

There has been a lot going on around our house, and yet, I have taken very few pictures these last couple of months.  It seems that I have even been too busy to use the camera!

I have joined a couple of committees at church and they have kept me very busy.  We rearranged our house so that the playroom is in the dining room and the sun room (formerly used as the playroom) is now the study.  This was done in part so that a totally kid-proof zone could be established (so that important paperwork, like bills, could not be manhandled by a certain toddler), but also so that I have an area where I can "go to work."  Several evenings after Sylvia goes to bed, I retreat to the study and begin my hours of volunteer work for the church (as well as various other things I am involved with).  I actually really enjoy this at is gives me something other than "mommyhood" in my life.

This was Sylvia when she was sick a few weeks ago.  The poor thing was very ill and suffered with a fever for several days.  I set her up in this green chair and here she remained.  This poor girl was so sick that when the yellow sippy on the chair spilled all its water on the chair and her outfit, she merely whimpered and repositioned herself so that the water spill was not directly underneath her.  I felt so badly for my baby!

Speaking of illness, the flu is making its way through our house right now.  Thus far Dave had it and was out of work two days as a result and I had it this weekend.  I truly hope it ends there and the girls are spared.  I hate how icky it made me feel and I can't imagine how uncomfortable the girls would be.

A couple of weeks ago Dave took a few days off for vacation.  One day during that time we took the girls to Dave's cousin's house in the middle of the state to see newborn goats.  These twin cuties were only six days old.
 Adorable, huh?

And these two cousins just keep getting cuter and cuter!  Here they are each sporting their favorite toys:  "Big Bruce" and "Big Elmer."  They each have smaller versions of this same toy and both have taken a fondness to them, so when I found the larger version I just knew they had to have them.

Veda (and Daxton) are now six months old.  At Veda's wellness check she came out all aces.  She is still quite itty bitty, weighing in at only about 13 1/2 lbs. (10th percentile), but she was exactly 26" and this puts her closer to the 50th percentile.

Here is a "comparison" shot of Lovebug and Dax.  At Dax's 6 month wellness check he weighed 19 pounds and was 27 3/4"!
In the end, though, these two are just such sweet babies and they are very lucky to have one another.  Cousins your own age is always so nice.

This is how we found Orva sleeping a night last week on our way to bed.  She was in the middle of the living room in this position.  She made us laugh and I just had to run and grab my camera.  I guess one can assume she feels very safe and secure in our house!

I know there is so much more that I could fill you in on, but with no pictures to help remind me of what has been going on I quickly forget.  This is one of the "tragedies" of motherhood, I am afraid.