Finished Knit: Leafy Baby Blanket

I took a break from my gigantic Slipstravaganza blanket, well, because I just need one. It’s up to about 900 stitches per round (true story) so it needed a timeout, or rather, I needed a break from the endless slog. I have cast-on-itis, but I have so many projects on the needles in various stages that I have to exercise some self-control.

Meanwhile, my cousin announced an impending new arrival, which, of course, means baby knitting. I broke my self-imposed project limit, because babies knitting doesn’t count. There’s a finite timeline for that kind of project, ya know? So, I narrowed down some patterns on Ravelry with similar attributes and let G-Man pick amongst the final contenders. Here’s what we got:

Pattern: Leafy Baby Blanket available for free on Ravelry.

Yarn: Yarn Bee Soft & Sleek Solids in the Viridecent colorway (I used about 2.75 skeins).

Needles: US 10/5.0mm

Notes and Mods: I totally forgot to start my project page in Ravelry, but I know I CO more stitches because the pattern, as is, comes out narrower than I would like, per other knitters’ project notes. I looked through other projects, and I’m pretty sure I CO at least 130 stitches. As for length, I just kept knitting until I thought I was getting close to the size I wanted, then continued out the current pattern repeat before moving to the final steps. This pattern is both written and charted, fyi. Overall, beautiful, easy pattern, especially for a freebie. I pinned the completed blanket out with my Knit Blockers and aggressively steam blocked it to “kill” the acrylic. Sending this off to my cousin, then it’s back to the blanket of doom.

Le sigh.

MacGyver Meets the Tasmanian Devil

So, Granny and I were talking the other day, and I commented that I can’t wait to move so that I will actually be able to corral Bean with baby gates. As it stands now, the layout of our house and the extra wide doorways in the main living areas make it impossible to keep the littlest Heathen contained. I basically spend my days running laps around the house, starting and stopping projects so that I can chase the booger down or fish her out of the toilet.

Granny laughed manically at this statement, and was basically like, “Have you met your daughter? She’d scale a baby gate in less than two seconds, rip it down and build something out of it.”

Does this look like a kid that can be corralled?

Yep, I think not. If only she would use her powers for good…

It’s Just One More Day Till Friday…Right?

I have been living with the rude awakening that, no matter how fit you WERE, taking a 9-month hiatus from exercise means that you basically start back at square one. When I am not hobbling around like a cartoon character, I’m doing whatever bizarre stretches I can think of to alleviate soreness. The treadmill laughs at me, and I curse it with every step. And Bean cares not. All she cares about is conquering the Little People village and what’s for lunch. In the meantime, we have science fair projects to do and school competitions to prepare for. You know what that means?

That’s right, sister. It’s cocktail time.

Bean Turns One!

Though I’ve been steeped in denial for weeks, and hoping if I ignored it, it would go away, Bean’s first birthday arrived. I’m not ready for her to be a year old. Not one bit. I understand that my alarming level of depression is completely disproportionate to the situation, but even the thought of her first birthday has been enough to send me into tears. Why? Because I swear it was just yesterday that she was this:

And now she is this:

But, despite her pesky tendency to grow up too fast, my Bean is still perfect, just the way she is.


I Should Have Known Better

Than to set Bean next to a pile of clean, folded laundry while I answered the phone. Didn’t I learn my lesson last time?

She abhors anything that is stacked or organized. She must create disarray where she perceives order. She thunders through my house like Godzilla, and the rest of us are the citizens of Tokyo. It’s chaos!

“Hooray! Fold it again! Fold it again!”

“This is the best game EVER!”


If only she would use her powers for good…

Adventures in Homemade Baby Food—Part 2


Back when Bean started solid food, I posted my plan to do the homemade baby food thing. After struggling with two of the pickiest eaters ever born, I hoped that making Bean’s food would help avoid a repeat of the epic toddler food wars. My reasoning was simple: jarred baby food tastes like ass, and if I won’t eat it, why would I expect my kid to choke it down with a smile on her face? Not to mention that fresh food is probably better for her than crud that’s been hibernating on the store shelf for months on end.

Though it is extra work now and then, the homemade baby food plan is a success thus far. Bean will eat anything I put in front of her, and now that she is older, I mostly just feed her whatever we are eating (after a few pulses in the food processer). Last week she plowed through chicken and dumplings, King Ranch Mac and Cheese and fresh pineapple with Greek yogurt. She’s already consumed more fruits and vegetables in five months than her brothers did in their first five years. Maybe, just maybe, I won’t have as theatrical of a battle with her as I do with the rest of my brood.

In my never-ending quest to get less fat, I’m always trying to find the balance with my family and food. I don’t want to be the cliché mom who tries to force her diet onto her family, or drag everyone along on my “get healthier” bandwagon. For that matter, I’m not really into the “diet” concept either; I like to eat and my love of cheese, chocolate and fried anything will never be denied. However, I’ve slowly been tweaking our everyday food choices and preparations in order to find a happy medium between my desire for slightly better nutrition, and their inherent distrust of anything not nugget shaped. I steam or roast veggies, while having a lighter hand with the butter or oil. I stopped buying canned vegetables (with the exception of Le Sueur peas, lest the Heathens riot), and stick with fresh or frozen. Even if it makes me the meanest mom ever, I limit the Heathen’s treats and soda intake, because I want them to learn the concepts of portions and moderation. I’m not opposed to the treats, but they need to realize the difference between a “treat” and everything else they eat.

As for Bean, every time she tries a new food, only to plow through it a light speed, I breathe another sigh of relief. This homemade baby food experiment has been completely worth the effort, and the fact that I’m not blowing money on jar after jar of yucky crap makes my budget a little bit less sad. But then, I open my electric bill and my budget gets suicidal…but that’s another story.


Abnormally Big Heads Require Big Hats

Bean has a big head.

No, seriously, the kid has a ginormous head. When I go for her check-ups, and the doctor runs down the growth chart with me, it goes a little something like this:

“Now, everything looks good…her weight is in the 75th percentile, her height is in the 55th percentile, but don’t be alarmed…her head circumference is in the 99th percentile, but she’s fine, really.” I assure him, every time, that I’m not worried one bit.

She gets it honest; everyone on my dad’s side of the family was cursed with abnormally large heads. They had to special order my graduation cap, if that tells you anything. Unfortunately for my children, I have passed this trait down onto them. G-Man was born via emergency c-section (for the aforementioned reason), and when they delivered him, his poor head was scraped up so bad, it looked like he had been dragged across concrete. When it came time for Bear’s birth, my newer, smarter doctor said in his best Soup Nazi voice, “NO VBAC for YOU!” Thus, Bear was born without the immediate need for antibiotic ointment.

But, I digress. We’re talking about Bean’s noggin. It’s been very cold around here, and after trying to squeeze her melon into her San Francisco hat, I admitted defeat. I knitted her up a new hat (that’s sized for a four year-old), and hopefully it will carry her through the remaining winter months.

She looks skeptical. But, at least she’ll be warm.