Thursday, January 26, 2012

Creative Misbehavior

Joining Kmama and Emmy with a Proud Mommy Moment.  My 3-year old son is so fiery and fun!

Today he is very upset that I won't let him have a 2nd Popsicle. Hoping to distract him from his big tantrum (which I just ignore, but hate listening too), I sit down and start reading one of his books.  He continues to scream and cry but comes closer and it almost works!  He starts to get interested in the book but then quickly remembers that he is ANGRY about the LACK of a Popsicle.  He looks around for some way to communicate just how upset he is.  He sees the 2 baskets of books next to the reading chair, picks them up and dramatically dumps out all the books, screaming "I DON'T LIKE BOOKS!"  I ignore him and continue reading; he continues to scream and cry.  After a few minutes, he begins to lose steam so I calmly inform him that he needs to put his books away.  He starts throwing them really hard into the baskets, as if he wants to hurt each book.  I tell him he must be more gentle with his books; he wails "I AM TOO TIRED TO PUT BOOKS AWAY!"  I say OK but he will need to take a nap instead, since he is so tired.  More screaming ensues, complete with stamping feet and dramatically throwing himself down on the floor and crying because he hit his head on the hamper basket.  "YOU HURT ME!", he yells.

I see this isn't working so I change tactics and tell him I am going to my room and I will come out once he has put all the books away.  More screaming and crying, followed by sudden quiet.  I can almost hear the brain cells clicking away.  I hear a scraping, sliding noise.  He is pushing his books, one by one, under my door.  Although this is quite a bit more work for him than simply putting them in the baskets, as a battle-of-wills tactic, it is quite brilliant! I must confess I am highly impressed with his creative thinking abilities.  With the books in my room, he can't put them away, now can he?  AND I will be forced to engage with him in order to forge ahead in this battle (or "teaching moment", if you prefer a kinder, gentler phrase).  His craftiness is not yet complete.  He very sweetly tells me he has a present for me.  "Do you like your book present, Mama?"  This is his way of trying to make up without having to give in.  I remind him that he is supposed to put the books in the baskets.  I slide the books back under the door into the hallway.  More quiet.  He runs down the hall to play with his trains but can only hold out a minute or two.  At last, I hear him putting his books away.  I come out of my room with a big smile and ask him if he put all his books away.  He happily says "Yes, come and see."  I do see!  I tell him he did a good job and then I clap for him.  He claps too and smiles with pride.  We hug and then go play with trains.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Yarn Along - Hoodie, Washcloth and Sunset

Joining Ginny's Yarn Along again this week and Work in Progress Wednesday.
This is the hood of the hoodie I am knitting for Joaquin.  He is growing so fast, I need to knit FASTER!  I decided to knit a different contrast pattern and it reminds me of the zigzag on Charlie Brown's shirt, but my husband quickly rose to my defense, claiming it absolutely DOES NOT and is very nice.  What do you think?
Because nearly all books are packed up for the big move this Saturday, this week I am reading the Sunset magazine that arrived in the mail today.  I laughed when I read the cover "Best Places to Live" since we are moving this week.  Too late to move to one of the "best places".  (smile)

I also started on another horse washcloth, this time in a lovely smokey lavender color.  I received so many nice comments about the one I finished last week, it inspired me to knit another one!  Thank you for all the encouraging feedback.  As a "new" knitter, it really made me feel happy.

We are moving into a nice rental home on a farm in Clarksburg, CA.  The farm is planted in grapes and this will be our view from our backyard.  We are very excited about the move and daunted by the amount of work ahead to accomplish it!  Wish me luck!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Rainy Days

It has finally rained!  So welcome (even though it's bad for our store business, as people don't stroll around so much and shop in SF when it rains).

 Definitely time for warm soup in the soup mug that was a gift from my husband because, as he says, he likes my tomatoes!  He's so funny!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Sandman and Yogurt - This Moment and FO

Today, I'm joining SouleMama and Tami's Finished Object

SouleMama's {this moment} - A Friday ritual.  A single photo - not words - capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special, extraorddinary moment.  A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember.

My FO (finished object) is a Sandman I made as a Christmas gift for a baby newphew:

This book inspired me to consider sewing by hand more frequently and I really enjoy it.  It's relaxing and convenient and so much more soothing that using a machine.  The Sandman project is from this beloved book and I'm sorry for the blurry photo but we forgot to take a picture until the present was opened and then only had a cell phone to work with.  The Sandman is a nice gift for a baby or toddler as it is shaped to fit into the crook of their neck at bedtime.  It offers many textures for little fingers to stroke for comfort;  the body is velour, the moon is satin, and the stars are cotton crochet with little bumps and ridges.  It is stuffed with wool so it warms when snuggled.  I used to make these to sell at Waldorf school craft fairs and they were a best seller.  One frantic mother contacted me a few years after I gave one as a baby shower gift.  Her son had worn it down to threads to where she could no longer patch it and she asked me to make another.  I was very touched and pleased to know that my gift was so well loved.  I am thinking of offering a photo tutorial on how to make one (but not provide the pattern as that should really come from the book), if anyone is interested please let me know.  I have so appreciated the tutorials that others have provided and would like to "pay it forward".  

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Yarn Along - Spa Crochet and Knit

Joining Ginny's Yarn Along today, still working on my "spa" gift for my horse trainer.  I finished the 2nd knitted horse wash cloth and crocheted a matching soap saver.  Linking to Mommy Club Wednesday  and Work in Progress Wednesday and Ambassador Crochet too!  So fun!!!!
These were both new patterns for me and I am very happy with the results.  The wash cloths were a good way for me to improve my knit and purl skills.  Although I have been knitting for about a year on a fairly regular basis, I seem to be a bit of a slow learner.  But I am really enjoying the process.  I had a friend's mother offer advice to me as a teenager where she explained that up until recently, she had spent her entire life trying to do MORE.  That she believed if she would just get more organized and work harder, she could somehow get it ALL DONE.  And that what she wished for us, was that we wouldn't make that mistake.  That we would, instead, savor the moments and understand that we can't really ever get it all done.  And that the point isn't to get it all done, the point is to slow down and enjoy each moment.  Sadly, I did not heed her advice and now find myself at the age of 51 knowing that I have more years behind me than ahead of me and wishing, so much, that I had done as she advised.  In the last year, I have learned to do as she advised--and it is making a HUGE difference in everything.  I enjoy my marriage more, my children more, everything I do is so much more enjoyable.  I feel closer to God and more connected to the love that is all around us and in us.  And I have stopped worrying about getting it all done.  Jesus says not to worry.  If I am worrying, I am not in the present moment and the present is really all there is.  And it is surely more than enough for me.

I started crocheting another soap saver and adjusted the pattern to accommodate a larger bar of soap:
And I also started a blue one to match the scrubbie that I made last week:

I think I will make another one for my husband.  We are in the midst of packing up for our move on 1/28 and I find the rhythm of crocheting and knitting helps me to relax.  Perhaps it's not the best use of my time, but I'm doing it anyway.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Introducing our family dog, Pippa!  She is a big fat love.  She would rather snuggle with us than eat, even when she's hungry. 
Her ears are always lop-sided like this.
Joaquin loves to pretend he is a dog, too.  He licks my face and giggles when I make a face and say it's "Yucky!".  The more dramatic my reaction--the better!
See how delighted he is with the mischief he has made?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Yarn Along

Joining Ginny's Yarn Along today with a gift project that is both knit and crochet:

I finished the denin blue Nubbie Scrubbie, which is a quick and easy crochet project.  The knitted wash-cloth with the walking horse is not quite as nicely done as I am still not that good at knitting, even though I've done a lot of projects.  I'm getting better but the improvements are slowly obtained and hard won.  The funny thing is that I enjoy knitting more than crocheting, something about the rhythm of the needles and using both hands more is very relaxing.

I am casting on a companion wash cloth in this pattern.  My plan is to give the 3 as a gift in a little spa box that I crocheted:
I also want to try making a couple of these felted soap cozies (photo from Ravelry):
 I already have the yarn and have always wanted to try felting.  Wish me luck!

I started reading this book and am really happy I chose it:

I was impressed that it had 196 reviews on Amazon!  I am getting a lot out of this so far and am reading, again, the book of John.  Each time I read it, I see something that I didn't before.  I guess that's because the words don't change, but we do. 

This book starts out with a comparison of the images and text that we see in our Christmas cards versus the mood and experiences of the participants in the birth of Jesus.  Since Christmas is just over, it's all fresh in my mind and I felt some pain this year about how far away from a real Christmas experience we had in our home.  I was so inspired by what Ginny's family did and am resolved to create a more relevant experience for my family next year.  The changes have to first come from within me and I think this book is a good start. 

The author asks himself "If Jesus came to reveal God to us, then what do I learn about God from that first Christmas?" and then: "The word associations that come to mind as I ponder that question take me by surprise.  Humble, approachable, underdog, courageous--these hardly seem appropriate words to apply to deity."  I think his discussion that follows is really enlightening, especially when I think of the entire event of Jesus' life.

I am just starting Chapter 3 and would love for some others to join me in reading it and sharing thoughts. Please leave me a comment if you are interested, thanks.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Trains and new plans for 2012

We often go out for breakfast.  A habit we are giving up in preparation for our new lifestyle of frugal, but rich living.  Joaquin loves trains so to keep him amused while we wait for our breakfast, we draw train tracks and a round house on the back of his placemat:

All engines safely asleep in the round house...
We're embarking on a new adventure as a family and will no longer be indulging in many breakfasts in restaurants.  We've decided to move back to my hometown of Clarksburg and get licensed once again in Yolo County as foster parents, hoping to adopt again.  So our plan is for me to stop working when my contract ends in early April.  Plant a huge garden, get a couple of chickens and try to make the store pay for all of our living expenses.   It's through the experiences shared on blogs such as Tonya's, that I feel hopeful and encouraged enough to try this.  Seems like I have wanted financial security my whole life and have never had the discipline to achieve it.  So this is scary but I believe the chance to align daily living with values will be the impetus to make this successful.  Perhaps we will fail, but I can't stop myself from wanting to try. 

Monday, January 2, 2012


My husband and son came with me to the barn where I keep my horse for an appointment with the vet.  I had to make a decision whether or not to have a procedure done on my horse and so wasn't paying any attention whatsoever to my son.  My husband brought the camera and was snapping away:
So there I am talking to the vet and Joaquin is making his own discoveries, of which I am oblivous.

It goes on:

Seeing these photos just made me think about all those moments where I am oblivious to his experiences.  Hmmm.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Ian visited for Christmas and we had a hilarious time trying to take family photos.  Mark shot several with me and Ian and Joaquin, then he set the timer on the camera for a shot with all of us.  But somehow, that wasn't quite what Joaquin wanted.  We all couldn't help but laugh at his dramatic behavior.

As I am falling asleep most nights, I thank God for my family.  I tell him that I feel so lucky and so happy.  I am so blessed to have a loving husband, and happy, healthy 3-year old Joaquin at home.  My 24-year old son, Ian, lives in southern CA and is happy, and finding work on a regular basis doing sound work in the film industry.  My siblings and parents are all doing well and still with me and still love me after all these years.  We have a sweet family dog, Pippa, who adores us. We are all very lucky, and very blessed.