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Monday, August 15, 2011
Matt and Emmett bought me a Kindle for my birthday. I wasn't exactly a Kindle fan before or at least I really didn't think I wanted one. The idea of reading a book on a screen, without the heft of the book in your hand and turning the pages, just really didn't appeal. I'm one of those people.
Like my iTouch, it's something every new mom should have. It's much easier to pick up than a book (especially since I'm currently reading Game of Thrones and it's 700+ pages thick) when Emmett's taking a snooze in my arms.
Even though I'd already paid £9 for a paperback copy, I had to buy Game of Thrones for the Kindle. It's taking me forever to get through it and not because I'm not interested. I've read more of it in the past couple of days than I have in a week.
Back to the Kindle. The screen is gorgeous. When I opened it, I assumed the screen saver (like the one above of Virginia) was actually something that would peel off with the sticky screen protector - nope.
This, though, is what sold me...
I can email PDFs to a special Kindle address and, like magic, they'll appear the next time I turn it on! That means rather than keeping track of paper patterns and keeping them away from little hands that like to crumple and a mouth that likes to chew, I can keep my current project on the Kindle. Awe-some. That's the Bunny Nuggets pattern but Rebecca Danger, by the way. I haven't checked to see if you can add notes to a PDF but that's on my list of things to investigate in the user's manual. If not, I'll still have to keep a notebook to write down where I am which is a bit of a pain but easier to keep away from Emmett than pieces of paper.
Anyway, I love it and have been trolling Etsy and Folksy for a sleeve. I really need to see if my sewing machine works here because it's going to kill me to buy one when I could make one myself.
I'll end with a little gratuitous Emmett. He's wickedly fussy - damned teething - at the moment so I really need to close up and get some dinner in the little fellow because eating always soothes the savage beast!
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
I've actually been doing a bit of crocheting recently. It's simple and mindless but that's what I need since it gets picked up and put down several times a day.
It's a racetrack rug (Ravelry Link) for Emmett's first birthday. I'm pretty damned proud of myself because I had the feeling when I started it that there was no way I could stick with it. Five thousand plus single crochets later and I'm halfway through the road with only the one row of loopy grass and two green rows to go after that!
I'm also going to crochet a couple of cars to go with it using the Steve the Car (Ravelry Link) pattern, minus the buttons for eyes and hubcaps. I think he'll be old enough to play with it at one year old. If not, it'll keep!
I started it at knit group during my very last minute trip to Ohio last month. Last minute as in "bought a ticket on Thursday, left on Friday". It was expensive and stupid but things were bad and I needed to go. Travelling alone with Emmett wasn't as hard as I expected it to be but I can say I will never, ever fly through O'Hare again. That was a nightmare. NIGHT. MARE.
Unfortunately, I managed to leave without downloading Dad's photos and I used his camera for the most part since I didn't travel with the laptop and couldn't download from my camera to his laptop without buying an SD card reader. I did end up with photos from our trip to the Columbus Zoo, though.
This kid loves to eat and he really enjoyed his first Dippin Dots experience!
This is my favorite part of going to the zoo - feeding the lorikeets.
He really enjoyed playing on a blanket in Granny and Paw Paw's backyard. He can't go five minutes without climbing into Mommy's lap when I'm around but since I was inside, he played on his own for over an hour!
I miss the sleeveless weather. Here it's the end of July and most days I'm in jeans and a jacket. I know it's in the nineties in Ohio and that's not ideal but I'd gladly trade temperatures for a least a day or two.
We took Emmett to the beach at the end of last month...in sweatershirts and long pants. He loved it, though.
The Ohio trip did help with the depression and homesickness...for a bit. England and I are having a hard time learning to love one another. I'm trying, though. Each day is a little battle - thank goodness for my blue-eyed men.
I'll end this ridiculously long, Emmett photo filled update with a bit of book. My friend Delly sent me a link to this article about the Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones books. I watched the first couple of episiodes of the series based on the first book but even though I really enjoyed it, I couldn't keep up. Babies do that. I wasn't sure I would really enjoy the books, though - I was afraid thay might be...too sci-fi fantasy to put it simply. When I read the words "historical fiction" in the article, though, I was sold and walked into town immediately to buy it. I'm a mere (the first book is over 700 pages, after all) two hundred pages in and already look forward to picking it up every time I have to put it down. I find the characters a little unweildy and have to consult the appendix every once in awhile but I'm really enjoying it and am thinking about taking advantage of Waterstones 3 for 2 sale to get the next three in the series....
Thursday, June 30, 2011
While I was on a last minute trip to Ohio (more on that another day), my friend Kim did something really neat and rather ambitious on her blog - she matched her friends to saints. Over twenty of them. That's a lot of work!
I was lucky enough to have been given Raymond, Mothers of Infants which was especially apropos as Emmett and I travelled solo to the states and it was really a challenge to my motherhood. A good challenge and one that wasn't as tough as I thought it would be (it helps that I gave birth to an angel) but a challenge never the less.
Kim is really amazing and I wanted to return this favor in kind. And I tried. I looked at lists of saints by name and by subject and nothing really encompassed everything that she stands for.
So I made one up.
Kim's saint is Saint Hyer...
Saint of the Cowboy Boot
I chose this saint not just because Kim loves her boots (and was even married in a pair) but because there really is a bit of her in a good pair of boots. For one thing, she's as colorful and quirky as the really unique kind - like the ones above that she mentioned on her blog some time ago. The past year and more has been difficult (to say the very, very least) but she remains sturdy, standing as tall as she possibly could in these circumstances. And, to continue this little bit of cheesiness, she's reliable. Always there with a comment or a quick email that just brightens your day - seemingly when I need it the most.
I'm very fortunate to have met her all those years ago when her love of handsome celebrities (another thing she's really good at: posting eye candy on her blog) led her to put together the Knitter's Hunk competition. We may not have met up before I left for the UK but I think a night in Nashville for some music and unending chatter will happen some day, I really do.
P.S. Kim, I did an extensive search for a photo of Hugh Laurie in cowboy boots - alas, I couldn't find one. :)
Thursday, May 12, 2011
I'm a Croc fan. My pregnant feet loved them and they are about all I've worn for the past year.
This is my latest pair, bought for me by my Dad while we were in Ohio. My mom and dad both love them, too, and we tried a pair on Emmett but he's a bit too small. He can have his first pair next trip. And when he does he needs one of the cool new 3-D Jibbitz like this one.
I've never been one for charms on my Crocs but when I found this little squirrel, I had to have him. While Dad was paying, I was going to the car to get a cooler outfit for Emmett but Mom told me later that he also bought a squirrel for himself and one for Emmett...and he choked up a little bit. He does that a lot now and has since he turned fifty but still - it's really sweet. He also bought E a crazy Croc toy that's a shoe with arms and legs since he's too small for his own pair. It's creepy but kinda cute.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Before we left for New Orleans and Ohio, I crocheted Emmett a little bucket hat.
I thought this pattern was so cute, I had it planned before he was even born and had Mom bring the Sugar and Cream yarn for it when she came to meet him for the first time.
My husband has a big head. Literally. It runs in his family and it terrified me a little while I was pregnant. Emmett's big noggin wasn't the reason that I had to have an emergency c-section (he was actually turned the wrong way and wouldn't budge), thankfully, but it is pretty big. I started with the infant circumference and it was way too small so I continued on with the toddler size. Nope. I had to use the children's size to make the top and then finish it with the infact size. Poor kid. His dad can't really wear hats (although I don't think he would if he could) and forget about the paper crowns that come in the Christmas crackers. My child is doomed.
But he looks pretty cute in his bucket hat!
Rav link - Bucket Hat.
Monday, May 9, 2011
Ginny gave me a great book recommendation last week.
I'd never heard of The Hunger Games and I'll admit I was a little leary - young adult fantasy/sci-fi isn't really my thing - but I trust her recommendations without question and went out with Little E to buy the first book. I promptly devoured it in two days, bought the rest of the trilogy and ate the second one up in three or four days. These days I really, really, really have to like a book to take the time to read it and forgo the million other things I need to be doing while Emmett's napping so that really says something about these books. And, surprise, surprise, they're making the first book into a movie. Not sure how I feel about that.
I was happy to see that Christopher Pike books are back. Alhtough I just checked his Wikipedia page and I guess he's never really stopped writing. I loved those first few books. Gimme a Kiss sticks out in my mind even though I can't really remember anything about it. I should check the charity shops when we're looking for Emmett books because I wouldn't mind reading one of his books again.
These are the books that aren't quite good enough to glue me to the couch or that I haven't even started. I've been reading Major Pettigrew's Last Stand since just after Emmett was born and I'm closer to finished with it than not but just couldn't bring myself to pick it back up. I've also read bits of Guilty Pleasures, Any Human Heart, Burning Bright, and Behind the Scenes at the Museum.The last two I've not really read enough of to form any opinion but someday I'll give them another try.
Any Human Heart was made into a miniseries here with JIm Broadbent and I really wanted to watch it but it was on during Emmett's first month and every time I'd play the first episode on the BBC iPlayer, I'd fall asleep. Granted, it was usually late at night while I was sleeping on the couch because this was before we could get Emmett to sleep in his cradle. I've read another of Boyd's books and like the way he writes so I'll actually read it some day.
Gulity Pleasures is the first in a trashy vampire hunter series I read about on Ravelry. I have the second book as well and while they're a little too trashy for me and I feel a bit like I've been dumped into the middle of the series rather than the beginning, I'll probably read them.
I just bought Room and Great House and have read a few chapters of Room. As a girl in my knit group said, it's a bit too real. It might get put away for along time. Until Emmett's a teenager or something. I listened to History of Love by Nicole Krauss a couple of years ago and loved it. It was rich and interesting - one of those books that makes your whole body feel full after reading it. I haven't really heard anything about Great House but they were buy one get one half price (but actually ended up being buy one get one for some reason) and I was feeling splurgy so I thought I'd give it a chance.
Oh and I'm one story away from finishing the short story book - I should take a Hunger Games break and finish that off....
So that's what I'm reading/not reading when I get the chance. How about you - what are you reading?
Saturday, May 7, 2011
My favorite project in the My Space, My Time class that I took over the past few months was the pinch pot piggy project.
I haven't played with clay since high school and had forgotten how much fun it is! His a very imperfect little piggy but it was pretty amazing to see him come out of that ball of clay. I especially like the tiny little tilt of his head.
His trotters are pretty cute, too.
Some made them into tiny banks but I thought a little figurine for Emmett's room would be nice.
I really enjoyed the class and wish I had more time to do more creative things. While the class was on, Mondays were a guaranteed great day - getting to play with paints and clay and things and talk to grown ups just made the rest of the day easier to get through. Thankfully, a few of us are still getting together for coffee and I've met with a couple at play group as well.
Now if I just had room for a kiln somewhere in this house....
Monday, April 25, 2011
Vacations with babies are not really vacations.
I learned that on my trip to the states last week. If anything, it's the complete opposite as it's just that much harder to get ready for the day when you're either in a hotel or somewhere that's not your own home. I forgot something every single time we left the house - sometimes they were almost crucial things ("almost" because I never forgot food or nappies)
Regardless, we saw lots of family and Emmett met lots of people that love him very much. My parents packed in several months of grandparenting in two weeks. I cried a lot - felt stretched thin, tired and more homesick than I do when I'm away from home. I laughed a lot, too, and caught up on places and things to eat that I missed. One week in New Orleans for my brother's wedding, though, meant only one week in Dayton and that was just not enough time so I missed out on a lot of people and things. I'll be back soon, though. Emmett is a good traveler and both Matt and myself feel really good about my flying back alone with Little E in a few months. I hope that works out but I've already looked at tickets and it's just painful how expensive they are in the summer.
I started this post nine days ago! Ridiculous. Why I didn't just post it as is, I have no idea.
Anyway, this is Emmett looking uber cool in his sunnies.
This is us at Jackson Square.
And this is some cool graffiti I happened to catch. It was hidden behind a shutter.
It's Easter Monday here in England which means another day off. Between Easter, bank holidays and the royal wedding, there are more holidays than work days this week. Alas, not for Matt. He had to work so Emmett and I headed off to the St. George Festival on our own this morning. Here he is with his little flag, fresh from a bottle break...
I cannot believe he's going to be six months old on Friday. It doesn't seem possible that he was ever anything but what he is now - the memory of him as a tiny baby is already so distant. I kiss him and tell him I love him a hundred times a day and I mean it more each and every time. I'm so lucky to have such a wonderful family.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
I don't know why I thought having an hour or so once a week to "work" would, well, work. I can't take an hour for myself. Not when there is always laundry to be hung, washing up to do and a million other things. Last Sunday morning I took twenty minutes to go upstairs to bed with a cup of hot chocolate to read a few pages of a book but the need to do something else brought me back down.
Thankfully, we're heading to New Orleans and then on to Dayton in less than a week. I've never really needed a vacation but now I know exactly what those words mean.
Warmer weather, good food, family...fantastic.
And maybe I'll even a chance to blog - who knows?
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
The other day I asked Matt if he wouldn't mind if I "went to work" once or twice a week. I wanted at least an hour where I could go into the conservatory, sit at the table and blog without interruption - as if I weren't in the house at all. I'm not actually in the conservatory because right now it's as far as the folded laundry gets so the table is covered with piles of clothes (although Emmett's always gets carried upstairs and put away - his room stays tidiest as well) and I'm really only blogging because Emmett's napping on Matt. Still, it seemed like a good opportunity.
On Monday I started a class called My Space, My Time for mothers with post natal depression. Considering that I struggled with depression before I was pregnant, I wasn't surprised when it smacked me in the face a few months after Emmett was born. On top of it all, I'm horribly homesick - so much so that going to visit any of Matt's family really got me down. Then a little over a week ago my papaw died and it absolutely broke my heart that I couldn't be there. I'm happy with the things we said when I saw him last summer and when we last spoke on the phone but not being able to be there to say goodbye...I still cry at least once a day.
Even after one class I felt better. It's a small group that gets together over an art project and coffee, tea or hot chocolate and cakes to talk..or not talk. It's the art project part that got me interested. I really, really miss being creative. During this class we painted little boxes.
I know this photo is terrible - sorry. I wanted to take one earlier when the sun was still out but things don't work that way anymore.
I actually stuck the stickers from my sticker stash on the yellow one when I got home because I ran out of time in class. They're far from perfect but it felt to good to make something. Next week we're making little pigs out of clay - I'm really looking forward to that even though I'll be in the states when they'll be glazing them. We're also going to paint tote bags, a mug, a frame...and make a couple of other things I can't remember. Simple projects but immensely rewarding. It's a great way for me to meet other moms/mums, too. I'd run into one of them at the doctor's office and at the library so we kind of already "knew" each other but this meant we finally got to talk a bit which was nice.
For the first class Matt was at home and could stay with Little E but he'll be at work next Monday so I'll have to bring him and put him in their daycare for the hour and a half. I'm super nervous about that but they have three carers and there are only eight or nine of us in the group and we're one door down so they'll bring him in if he starts fussing. I've never left him with anyone but Matt so this will really be something for me. I'm ready to try, though.
And now for a little gratuitous Emmett. This little man is my world. No matter how bad I feel, I can always find a smile for him.
He amazes me with something new every day. He's using his hands a lot more now and can hold his little head up like a champ. He lights up when either of us walks into the room which is crazy rewarding. My favorite thing he does is sing himself to sleep on my shoulder. I sang him to sleep myself many nights (singing "The Pie Song" from Waitress which we played for him in the womb in hopes that he would recognise it and I think he does) and I really think his little cooing noises are his version and a real comfort. That's when I can tell he's really tired.
I mentioned it earlier but our latest news in that we're heading to Ohio next month! Actually we're going to New Orleans for a few days first for my brother's wedding and then driving (with a five month old!) fifteen hours to Ohio. I can't wait for Emmett to meet the rest of his American family. I also can't wait to eat at a million places and browse Target and Kohls for hours (I miss Target and Kohls more than any other stores in the US)! And knit group - I can't wait to stop by the Sunday night knit group. A million things I'd like to do - hopefully we'll have time to do at least a few of them!
For now, though, it's quitting time. Glad to be back.
Monday, February 14, 2011
I'd love to get back to blogging but it seems that all free moments are filled with other things - housework, a quick email or even two or three minutes of shutting off my brain and staring into space.
I miss everyone and hope you're all having a beautiful Valentine's Day!
Saturday, January 1, 2011
My friend Kim is taking on an awesome project, 52 Weeks, 52 Letters, for 2011. It appealed to me immediately - I love collecting stationary and writing letters and before I'd even finished reading the post I was mentally compiling a list of potential friends and family that I could write to and had even come up with a couple of teachers that really deserve long overdue thank you letters.
After talking to Matt about it, though, reality struck. I can't commit to that. Not this year. But he came up with an alternative that I'm even more excited about. Believe it or not, the hardest part would be getting to the post office considering that 99.99% of my letters would be going overseas and would need to be weighed. Matt's suggestion was to write letters to Emmett and I can't wait to get started! Sure, some weeks might just be a little postcard with something special that he did that week or just to say how much I love him but I look forward to writing real letters as well. He may never feel the need to read them (but I hope that he does) but I know I'd enjoy looking at them over the years.
And if I were to write him a letter now I'd talk about this:
He's taking a nap on the couch and keeps crossing his little feet - so cute!
This post is my attempt to continue to talk about my life since Emmett is my life right now as some of you suggested in my last post (thank you!) while keeping it a little crafty as well (I think letter writing is craftly, anyway).
And I think I'm going to take advantage of this nap and get a little crafty with some crochet!
Happy New Year, everyone!