Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Knitting adorableness

Last month I began knitting a pair of wool pants for the little guy. I intended to use it as a diaper cover, but wouldn't you know it, he was mostly out of diapers by the time I finished. Fortunately, they make adorable pants anyway.

This was my first foray into making clothing (other than hats and mitts). It was so much simpler than I expected, I'm kicking myself for putting it off so long!

I learned a few new techniques in the process, most notably short rows (I was a short row virgin before beginning this project) and provisional cast on. Fun stuff!


The Details

Pattern: Adorabubble Baby Britches (Ravelry; Etsy)
Yarn: Lion Brand 100% Wool in midnight blue
Needles: 4.5mm and 4.0mm
Mods and Specs: Custom sizing; enclosed i-cord drawstring waist, seed stitch cuffs.
Began: Feb 17, 2009
Finished: Mar 11, 2009

Current project - my first pair of socks!

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Ah, Spring

How I love thee.

It's the time of year where some people are out in shorts and sandals while others are still huddled inside parkas and winter boots. Me, I'm somewhere in the middle - still sticking to longer skirts, but I couldn't resist slipping out the sandals in place of the winter boots today. Ah, happy feet. I detest socks.

When my husband makes fun of me, I just remind him that Jesus wore sandals. Hence, I am more godly than he. *pats self on back*

I love the smell of spring - that warm and wonderful fresh spring smell. (Or is it the smell of melting dog poo and rotten leaves? Either way, I love it.)

I can feel my spirits rising already. The warm sun, the growing patches of grass, the warm breeze, the longer days, the warmer temperatures, the lack of biting cold, the warmth, the lack of snow, oh yes, and the warmth. Mostly the warmth. And the long walks where you come home feeling refreshed instead of wanting to die from the cold.

On the other hand, at least winters here aren't as bad as they were in northern Manitoba where I grew up. I haven't forgotten those -50C days that froze your nostrils and eyelids shut and left icicles on the men's mustaches. Woohoooo, those were the days. Is it any wonder I have such an aversion to winter?

Then again, the snow forts we built were pretty awesome.

Still - spring, glorious spring, is here at last, and I am one happy lady because of it.

Wouldn't it figure that next week the little guy and I are headed back to northern Manitoba - still firmly in the throes of winter - to visit my family? Ah well, goodbye sandals. I shall see you again when I return.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Recommended Reading: For the wee ones

So far, our son is as much a bookaholic as both his parents are (he didn't have a chance, really). I thought I'd share some of our favourites.

One of our favourite favourites - both mine and my son's - is Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers. The illustrations are delightful, as is the rhyming verse. And I can't help it - I'm automatically partial to any child's book that lists breastfeeding and babywearing alongside bottle feeding and strollers.

Our very first favourite - the first book that my son "learned" (knew what actions were coming up next) - was Baby Cakes by Karma Wilson. We both still enjoy this sweet little interactive book.

Another old favourite of ours is George and the Dragon by Chris Wormell. This is one of those books that is just plain fun to read.

Our most recent favourite discoveries are I Love You Through and Through by Bernadette Shustak and How Do I Love You by Marion Bauer. Both books are adorably illustrated by Caroline Church. My son requests both of these over and over.

We're just getting really interested in the I Spy books here, so that's been something fun and interactive to do lately.

Although I'm not a huge Sandra Boynton fan, we do love Snuggle Puppy. Such a sweet book.

We're not always fussy, though. We do love almost anything by Dr. Seuss!

We're big fans of Richard Scarry here as well, but by far our favourite ones are Cars and Trucks and Things that Go and What Do People Do All Day. These books will keep my son entertained for nearly an hour at a time, so full of entertaining illustrations. Incidently, these were my husband's childhood favourites as well!

Speaking of classics, who doesn't love We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen? Or Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Bill Martin Jr (and illustrated by the infamous Eric Carle)? Or Love You Forever by Robert Munsch?

Ah, who are we kidding. We love anything by Robert Munsch!

If you weren't fortunate enough to grow up with Chicken Soup with Rice by Maurice Sendak, please, do yourself a favour and buy this book of monthly poems! In March the wind blows down the door and spills my soup upon the floor. It laps it up and roars for more. Blowing once, blowing twice, blowing chicken soup with rice.

Another of my husband's childhood favourites is Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel by Virginia Burton. This is a very cute book.

Then there's Jan Brett - surely I don't need to say more? We particularly enjoy The Mitten, along with our newest Jan Brett favourite, Noah's Ark (thank you Trace for pointing out this particular gem!).

Another new discovery is Karen Kingsbury's Let Me Hold You Longer, a sweet book about remembering our children's lasts as they grow. My husband, however, thinks the book is just plain depressing. I prefer to describe it as "bittersweet" - as growing up always is.

Naturally, not a single home library would be complete without at least one set of Mother Goose nursery rhymes - our Mother Goose book of choice is illustrated by Scott Gustafson. I could not possibly rave over these beautiful enchanting illustrations enough. Our next purchase will be his Classic Fairy Tales.

Max Lucado's Wemmick books are among our favourites as well, particularly You Are Mine. Although these books are too long for my son to sit through yet, he loves the illustrations and requests them often anyway. For now I just paraphrase the important messages in each.

Speaking of important messages, we do have a couple other favourite Christian children's books - I Love You This Much by Lynn Hodges, I'd be Your Hero by Kathryn O'Brien, and God Loves You by Kathleen Long Bostrom. The last one is part of the Little Blessings series, illustrated by Elena Kucharik, artist of the Care Bears. I love her illustrations, but more than that, I love finding a series of Christian children's books that aren't either really bad, really "off" theologically, or watered down to the point where the message itself is lost. I have a very hard time finding good Christian children's books, so this series is definitely one I appreciate.

On the topic of good content (thought not from a Christian viewpoint here), I do appreciate the level of information in Dinosaur ABC by Roger Priddy - not enough to make it boring, but enough for it to be a book that grows with kids. Right now my son loves the pictures of dinosaurs (and hearing me try to pronounce the names - good thing it comes with pronunciation keys!), but as he grows there is more detailed information there for him to dig into. Likewise with Priddy's Monster Machines book - great for toddlers who like pictures of trucks, great for little kids who want to know more details about them.

One of the nicest set of gift books we've received is Why I love my Mummy and Why I Love my Daddy by Daniel Howarth. Another wonderful illustrator and very sweet books.

Well! I'm sure I have more favourites, but that's more than enough for now. I'm always very excited to find a new children's book that is really good, and I look forward to having our options grow along with him!

What are some of your favourites?

Adventures in nursing a toddler

Yesterday, at my son's insistence, I breastfed a dinosaur. And then I had to nurse his car, too.

Definitely a new experience for me.

Today he discovered, for the first time, that he too has nipples. So he tugged them a couple times, signed "milk", then pointed to his chest.

I laughed myself silly while trying to convince him that he couldn't get milk out of those.

This kid's a riot.