back home in all our glory

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Version 2

Version 2

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Texas was fun. It was a quick trip and we wished we could have stayed longer. The kids did pretty well on the flight over. They were preoccupied with our iPads (something they never get to play with otherwise) and all the terrible treats I had stored away in my bag…potato chips and swedish fish, anyone?

The majority of the photos were taken on our first morning in Houston. Gabe, his father, and his grandfather walked the kids around the horse pasture and let them climb over the farm equipment. Sam loved the tractor but Eddie was more interested in the garden hose attachment that she found underneath the tractor. Afterwards, Gary, Gabe’s father, took the kids for a ride on the riding lawnmower while the rest of us watched. The older gentlemen with the dog is Gabe’s grandfather, Howard. He is a WWII vet and such a sweet man. He and Sam really hit it off with one another and spent a lot of time together during our visit.

The farm has a man made pond stocked with fish and Sam, Gary and Gabe spent the rest of the morning trying to catch a fish, with no luck. That afternoon, we were visited by six step-sisters and one half-sister, plus husbands, significant others, and children. It was loud, chaotic and so much fun.

By the time we boarded our return flight for Washington a few days later, I think the kids were beyond exhausted. Sam was okay on the flight back. He was a little fussy but nothing we couldn’t handle. Eddie, on the other hand, acted like the devil incarnate. It was horrible. Non-stop temper tantrums, for four hours. The flight attendants were offering to hold her and when that didn’t work, they brought me a free vodka soda, which I thought was both funny (because obviously it wasn’t my imagination that Eddie was being a complete hellion) and sad (because I’m seven months pregnant and couldn’t drink it.) She spent the last two hours of the flight crying and whining in Gabe’s lap and after the plane landed, Gabe turned to me and said, “We are never, ever flying with children again.” There was an explicative or two in his statement that I am choosing to omit but I’m sure you can use your imagination and fill in the blanks.

We arrived home at 10:00pm than night and fell into bed. 36 hours later both kids had developed a high fever and runny noses and so we skipped all of our extra curricular activities and stayed home for the remainder of the week. While I felt badly for the children, it was nice to have an excuse to stay at the house and finish the unpacking and laundry.

Knitting was nonexistent this week. I didn’t knit a single stitch during our trip or for the next three days after we returned home. I am totally okay with that. After our trip I needed something mind numbing. While the kids were sniffling and napping on my lap, I spent my time curled on the couch with them reading a trashy romance novel.  (gasp!) 

I apologize for nothing.

I spent most of today finishing my hat and catching up on all my usual blogs. Its been fun. Like Netflix binging, but better. Looking forward to seeing what everyone’s been up to. I’ve missed you all!

Side note: thank you to everyone who offered suggestions for gender-neutral baby knits. My Ravelry queue doth over floweth. I can’t wait to cast on my first baby knit. 

spring shots

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Today I had a long list of things to do during the kids’ nap: laundry, dishes, dinner, sweep, organize the garage, vacuum out the car. The usual. Instead, I grabbed my camera and headed outside to look for early signs of spring and feel the sun on my face. It was sunny and fifty degrees out. I didn’t even need to wear a sweater. No way was I going to let a day like that go to waste. I didn’t spend much time out outside. But it was just enough to feel refreshed, rejuvenated and dare I say a little lighter on my feet (which doesn’t happen very often when you’re almost six and a half months pregnant.)

I blocked my shawl. I was going to take these lovely blocking photos with the perfect lighting and show them off to all of you…except the shawl was too large for my mother’s blocking board, and I had to use two towels on the floor instead. The lighting was horrible in the room, I couldn’t seem to get my measurements right (I’ve never blocked on a towel before) and Eddie kept trying to stomp on it every time I turned around. I’ll make it up to you all by producing some good modeling photos once it’s dry.

Now that the shawl is finished, I am back to working on My Cup of Tea socks. While I am very pleased with the pattern I must confess my enthusiasm for knitting on size 1 needles is waning. And I’m not even done with the first sock. I will probably power through these socks and then make a personal rule never to knit on needles less than size 3 again. But the socks are so precious. I can’t wait to wear them.

After I’m done with my socks I might start tackling a few sweet baby knits. Does anyone have any suggestions for gender neutral baby patterns?

Happy Monday, everybody.

Belated Yarn Along (and other things)

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I missed the Yarn Along with Ginny and Keep Calm and Craft On with Nicole yesterday. As usual, our house came down with the plague last week. I thought I was going to be spared but sure enough I was the last one to catch it and I was a miserable coughing and sneezing mess on the couch for four days straight. Luckily my parents were able to drive Sam to his gymnastics class and Gabe did his part by bringing take-out food home every night after work. I just despise being sick. I couldn’t even knit because my eyes kept watering and my head was pounding. Yes, it was that bad.

But…I’m better now and back to my old self. Which means knitting. Lots of knitting. I am working on my test knit (Wellington Worksock Shawl) by Sam Lamb and I hope to have it blocked by this weekend. I am having second thoughts about my color choices. I thought the cream body of the shawl would contrast nicely (but not too starkly) with the mustard colored border and the blue accent stripe, but now I think perhaps I should have chosen the blue as the border color and the mustard as the accent stripe. We shall see. It’s only ten or fifteen rows that I would have to rip out if I don’t like it but I would like to avoid ripping anything out as much as possible.

It’s been raining non-stop here for the past three days and I am looking forward to the sunny days that have appeared in our ten day forecast. Green shoots from my strawberry plants are starting to poke out from amongst the brown dead leaves of last year’s plants and I want to take some time this weekend to clear out the dead parts so the new growth can thrive and (hopefully) produce lots of strawberries this summer! My garlic shoots have sprouted and a few of my herbs, like my mint and chives are slowly starting to grow as the days become longer and a few degrees warmer.

I can’t believe how quickly this winter season has flown by. Gabe and I were talking about how surreal it is that we’re already planning our new orchard and determining the location of our new raised beds. I swear I just put my garden to bed last week! Pretty soon I’ll be in full gardening mode…right around the time our new baby arrives. I have a feeling that our garden won’t receive as much attention as it did last year. That’s okay. I’m going to take it one day at a time and do what I can. It might not be the garden I want but it will be better than nothing.

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