Archive for January, 2011

Fun Meet

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

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The girls participated for a third time in the “Fun Meet” at our local swim school. They both tried hard and had fun, which is what matters.

That, and it gives us a great excuse to go out to dinner and avoid cooking on a Sunday night.

Thoughtful Gifts

Monday, January 24th, 2011

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I’m stealing a few minutes to write up another quick post from my phone while Sophie’s in ballet class. Can I just say how lovely it is to sit quietly for a bit with nothing to do? I have been walking dogs and cleaning up messes all weekend. I’m so glad the visiting dog is going home today. What a bitch (pun SO intended!)

Meanwhile, I’m all relaxed and happy after my workout this morning. I wore the new workout top I got as a birthday prezzie from my sister-in-law this weekend. It was so exciting to open up a gift that I wasn’t expecting at all, and to find something I needed, and liked in the right size. Every time I wear it I’m going to think of her and smile about my awesome new SIL. Thanks, Jinnie!

PuppyPuppyPuppy!

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

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I have a couple of awesome knitty FOs to share with y’all, and the photos are even waiting on my camera. I’m just posting quickly from my phone now though because I’m kinda busy washing the couch slipcovers, which the visiting dog pooed on; and then I have to shampoo the livingroom rug, which the visiting dog also pooed on. I don’t know what’s up with that as she is supposed to be fully house trained, except she’s very high strung and maybe the stress of being in a house with a puppy as big as she is. Well. She’s going home tomorrow and I can focus on my new baby.

Fred is so awesome! He is extremely fun and sweet, is catching on to potty training so quickly I can hardly believe it. His only “accident” yesterday was when we left him in his kennel for a few hours while we were out. I can hardly believe that he’s figured out how to ring the bells on the back door when he needs to go, but he has.

He’s also starting to sit on command and walking on the leash pretty well. Plus he’s just the cutest little thing ever!

The Coldest Week of The Year…

Friday, January 21st, 2011

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Is not the smartest time to bring home a new puppy and work on potty training. But that’s what we did. World, meet Fred, our newest family member. He is a chocolate lab and is 10 weeks old. He was the most laid back and biggest pup in his litter of eight from a local owner who breeds occasionally but seemingly well.

The girls adore him, but Joe and I are totally in love with the little guy.

Double-Fisting Tamagotchis

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

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Before our trip to Hawaii, I bought the girls each a Tamagotchi (remember those bleeping little virtual pet toys from the 90s?) as one of many activities to keep them busy on the planes and during downtime. They ended up not getting to use them on the plane because of the bleep-bleep noises, which we didn’t want to irritate our fellow passengers over.

Well, they’re still alive and kicking, and this morning I came down to find Julie punching away at both, one in each hand. Struck me as hilarious.

Decadent Pancake Breakfast

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

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Julie wanted pancakes for breakfast, and it sounded good to me. The pancakes themselves are whole wheat with ground flax seed mixed in. I had a carton of whipping cream in the fridge left over from some amazing mac and cheese I made earlier in the week, so we whipped it up. To top the whole mess, I defrosted some blueberries bought in the freezer section and mixed in a little maple syrup.

Oh. My. Gosh. Yum.

Sunday Dinner

Sunday, January 9th, 2011

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Finishing up a big bowl of bun at our favorite Vietnamese restaurant (Pho 79). Julie is exhausted from splashing in the pool at the gym. 

Another weekend is coming to a close all too soon!

New Year, Same Old Monday

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

Today was a non-stop day, as most of my week days are when school is in session. Today more than usual. I’ll give you a random run-down, followed by a quick photo or two following up on an old knit project.

Up at 8:00 – or really a little bit after that as I cuddled Sophie and checked e-mails on my phone for a few minutes after the wake-up chime. I dressed in gym clothes and cajoled the girls into getting dressed before breakfast – a rule on school days and surprisingly there was little to no fight this morning.

Downstairs to make breakfast – old fashioned oatmeal from the microwave (really, there is no need to buy those over-processed packets when the much-less-processed kind cooks up in three minutes!) and some hard boiled eggs that I’d peeled and put into cute egg molds the night before. The kids love hard boiled eggs this way, and they work really well. Go buy some – buy several sets while you’re at it so you can cook up a whole bunch for the week at one time. What will those crazy awesome Japanese people think up next? I also heated up some soup and stuck it in a thermos for Julie’s school lunch while we were at it.

Suddenly it was time for the bus. Only when we got out to the corner, the bus had already come and gone, and I stood there for a few minutes wondering if a) we missed the bus; b) our neighbor who rides the bus was sick this morning and therefore wasn’t riding the bus; or c) maybe there was really one more day of vacation left and Julie didn’t have to go to school at all today wouldn’tthatbenice? It was choice a. We ran back inside, I grabbed my gym bag and we piled into the van.

Julie wanted to go into the school by herself, but I thought I’d better go talk to the attendance lady since she’d left several voice mails on my phone while we were in Hawaii asking about Julie’s unexplained absence (oops, I told the teacher but not the office!)  Good thing I went in and faced the nonplussed-schoolnurse-music because Julie came back to the office moments later fighting tears at being sent back to the office to get a pass from the grumpy attendance lady. I was there to help soothe the nerves and get her back to class for a happy start to the day.

Sophie and I arrived at the gym only 15 minutes late. Down to the childcare for her, drop off my bag in the locker room, race up to the spin studio where I spent the next half hour trying to catch up with my buddies who were there on time and already sweating hard. All last winter, I considered just the 45-minute spin class plenty for a Monday morning workout, but this year my Splasher/Dasher friends have sucked me into an additional part of their routine. A mile on the treadmill followed up by enough sprints around the indoor track to make me want to puke, and then a bunch of push-ups and sit-ups for good measure.

Which put me far enough into my two-hour daily time allotment for the childcare that I would no longer have time for a shower before putting my fresh street clothes on. Ick. Then there was a little mess about getting Sophie to her dance class (also at the gym). It hadn’t been clear to me whether the new session of dance was starting back up today or not, so in my rush to get us all out the door, I’d skipped grabbing her leotard and shoes. I scrambled to get the sign-up form filled out and turned in, then we ran home, got her changed and ran back just in time for class. The lovely lady who puts me through my paces in spinning class also happens to teach Sophie’s dance class, and she does a great job at both.

Whew! Now I had 45 minutes of calm freedom. I ran back downstairs and checked at the front desk for my lost knitting bag (which oddly enough, I had not lost at the gym but had left at my friend’s house two weeks earlier, and which even more oddly, was waiting for me at the gym’s lost and found.) Funny story, but this is going to be long enough so we’ll wait for another day. Then I grabbed a smoothie from the snack bar and found a chair in a quiet corner to flip through magazines in search for nutritious recipes that my family might consider poking at and complaining about, if not actually eating. The plan was to hit the grocery store realquick after the gym.

45 minutes of freedom really doesn’t last that long, but I did manage to find a couple of promising recipes. Sophie was hungry at the end of dance class, though, and the half a PBJ sandwich it took me five minutes to gulp down took her half and hour to nibble. Then we had to find the bathroom, and then we had to make it out to the car at the other end of the very large parking lot because it is the beginning of January and all the gym members who never come to the gym were attempting to fulfill their New Year’s Resolutions. In other words, there was no longer enough time for the grocery store.

We headed home, I dragged in the gym bag, the knitting bag, Sophie’s sippy cup and who knows what other crap, then changed over some laundry (and let me just add here that I am typing this up rather than facing the four or five loads of clean laundry waiting to be folded in the living room). Oops! Suddenly I had less than an hour to hop in the shower and make it out the door for the next thing in the day.

Joe was off today, but was out running his own set of errands this morning, but arrived just as I was getting dressed (the man has a knack for showing up when I’m naked and in a hurry!) I’d gotten the girls’ swimming bag together earlier, so we had a quick hand-off conversation about how he could make the girls’ first class of the new swimming session go smoothly, and then I headed out the door.

By now it was snowing, and I had a good hour’s drive to get to where I was going. So far, this post has been flip and fun, and I think that is because I’m fighting really hard to gloss over the raw feelings I faced this afternoon. One of my beloved neighbor-friends lost her father to a massive heart attack completely unexpectedly last week. I love these neighbors, and I knew the father a bit, as he was very involved with his grandchildren, and we stood in my back yard on several occasions chatting smalltalk while we watched the kids play. He was a wonderful man, and I will miss him. He should have spent many more of those afternoons with us, and I will think of him when I play with those kids in the yards in the summers to come. Plus, I’m hurting on behalf of my friends, whose grief I can barely begin to contemplate.

I made it to the funeral 15 minutes late – I took a couple wrong turns despite the navigation function on my cell phone. I’m going to blame it on a combination of the snow and the crazy “navigation lady” with her less than perfect directions. I’m glad that I went to the funeral, but I needed a treat on the way home and stopped for a chocolate milkshake at Culver’s.

Back at home, the family was waiting for me to make them some dinner. I boiled noodles and heated up spaghetti sauce – and I’m going to admit that I sliced up three hot dogs and put them in the jarred sauce to count for the night’s protein. There were steamed and raw veggies on the table too, at least. I’d ruined my appetite with the milk shake but ate small servings of everything for show. Tonight’s dinner went down with minimal whining and quite a bit of catching up from the day, so I’m calling it a major success.

The kids are in bed, the kitchen is clean, I still need to finish up the laundry and make Julie’s lunch for tomorrow (well, put together some veggie sticks and clean out her thermos so she can have reheated noodles in it.) I see no knitting in my future this evening.

Alright, one of the things I’ve been wanting to do on the blog is to follow-up on some of my past projects to let you know what they’ve been up to since they were knit. Hopefully this will be the first installment of a series. Back in October of 2008 I finished a lovely little purple beaded shawl out of some yarn I spun myself. Here’s the Ravelry link. Here’s a picture of Julie modeling it for me back then, and oh! my! she was so small and cute.

I wore it quite a bit in 2008-2009, and some in the winter of 2009-2010. It still looks quite fresh and new two years later now, but this was its first outing of the winter this year.

I needed a little something to keep my shoulders warm in this lightweight knit dress – I don’t own much really appropriate in the way of funeral clothes, and this simple brown dress was the best I could do after last year’s weight loss.

This shawl wears really well – I don’t think it looks too frumpy or terribly old fashioned – at least not in the knitterly circles (of which this neighbor and many of her friends belong). I keep meaning to knit another of these at some point, and probably some day I will.

Last Gasp

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

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We’re squeezing out every last minute of fun from our extended winter break. Julie has to go back to school tomorrow, but before the party’s entirly over we wanted to go see a movie. Our family had never been to the movies all together before – I’d taken the girls a couple of times, but I’m pretty picky about what we expose them to and movies just aren’t a high priority for us.

The girls seemed to enjoy Tangled, although Sophie was scared and sat in my lap for most of it. I knew most of their little friends might see it, and I wanted them to be able to participate in the Rapunzel talk and play.

Here’s a very dark, very blurry cell phone photo of the girls with our giant tub o’ popcorn. I ate about half of it (urp) and drank my share of the cherry Icee drink.

New Year’s Day

Saturday, January 1st, 2011

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I love our New Year’s Day traditional lunch at Joe’s mom’s house. Korean new year soup Duk Guk is delicious and goes down easy on tummies still upset from the previous night’s excess.

There are tired but happy faces all around this afternoon.