May 18, 2012

baby boy burp cloths.

The cousin we're visiting in NY had a baby boy last Friday--his name is Lucas. He was a month early! We initially thought we may not be going due to the circumstances, but Lucas' mom says she really wants us to still come. So, we're excited to go and visit and be helpful to the new mama! I made her a few burp cloths with this cool orange fabric... R said it made him think of playing cards, and that made me like it all the more.

I made three burp cloths total, with two just being cotton, and one having terry cloth on one side.

Nice and thin, yet still absorbent! I stitched them inside-out, then pulled them through a small opening I left, and top-stitched all three so the fabric is extra snug.

I bundled them up with a little ribbon I made with scrap fabric... fun. This is something I'd definitely like to make again for any new moms-to-be on my radar. :)

May 16, 2012

cozy travel blankie.

We're planning a trip to NY soon, and I've been scouring blogs for advice for traveling with babies...  {Above: Liv and I made a good old fashioned countdown garland for our trip...we've been taking a loop off everyday.} This is the first time we've been on a plane as a family! Should be interesting. My girls tend to surprise me--they're more flexible than I tend to think they will be, and I'm hoping that's the case this time around too. Fingers crossed.

I've been talking with Liv about flying on an airplane--she loves to point them out in the sky if we're outside--and how fun it will be. I'm trying to keep things simple and pack light... but one thing that isn't light is Liv's faaaavorite blanket. It's huge, and blue, and warm--a classic no-sew flannel blanket, made by one of Raul's co-workers wives when Livvy was born. She doesn't carry it around with her during the day a la Linus, but if it's not in her bed when she sleeps, it's freakout time.  I've been kind of dreading her dragging this around with her on our trip as it could easily fill her seat by itself...

So I thought I'd make her a travel one. I'm trying to speed up the bonding process by talking about it, cuddling her with it when we read books, and of course, it's right by the blue one now when she sleeps. I'm thinking that as long as she has something to cuddle, she'll be good to go.

I found these instructions on how to make one of these blankets, and just made it significantly smaller. Mine is not nearly as neat and tidy as Barb's--but she's a grandma making this for her grandbabies, not a hurried mom who's looking for a quick and easy solution. ;) When I'm a grandma, I will love how just-so my projects will be I'm sure! Right now, it's a special feat if they're finished at all...

25" x 30" of fabric--I cut 5" long, 1" wide strips to tie together.
Liv picked out the fabric herself with just a wee help from me

Nat helped me out, keeping me in line with her green spoon...

20 x 25" finished size

Anyhoo, Liv's blanket turned out cute and snuggable, which little sis Natalie proved before we took it up to Liv:

So if Liv doesn't take to it, I have another little someone in line who just might. {OR, I can just use these pictures as proof it's a hot commodity... ;) I'm awful!}

May 14, 2012

tangy like grapefruit.

I bought this yarn a couple of weeks ago. After I stopped oogling it, I finally started to make something:

The start of a cowl, which I'm super excited about. I wanted to learn a new stitch, so I'm trying a chevron lace pattern, which you can find here.  The zig-zags are going to be vertical instead of horizontal, which bums me out a little... but since I didn't want to knit the cowl in the round, I'll be seaming the shortest sides together. Seemed easiest to me as I'm not following a pattern! And, if it's just not working as a cowl for whatever reason, I can easily keep it as a scarf & just add some fringe.

I've really been liking coral colors lately--this one is "grapefruit," which I'll admit is part of the reason why I chose it. It's like paint colors. The name just makes them seem better, right? That's how we ended up painting our old office a light baby blue... the hubs liked the name Ghost Ship. {I was glad when we re-painted it when Natalie was born. Now it's a light tan: Sesame.} :)

May 9, 2012

Remembering is important.

I'm going to think about taking my mom to tea at the Brown Palace this Mother's Day. What a blessing and a total nudge from the Lord that was...

I had been nursing Natalie upstairs one night before Christmas, and I was trying to think of something special to give my mom. I was looking at the books in her room (we haven't moved any from the built-ins R built years ago), and my eye stopped on a small book given to me called "Invitation to Tea." I thought it would be fun to host a little tea at my house for my mom as her Christmas gift... there are lots of recipes and cute ideas in that book. But then I felt the need to think grander. Well, you say "grand," and the Brown Palace pops into my mind. It had been years since my mom had really gotten out to experience anything, been downtown, or seen anything beautiful... and I knew they decorated their lobby gorgeously for the holidays, which is where one has tea. I talked to Raul about it, and he agreed it would be a very special Christmas gift. 

I had fun making a little invitation for her (the flipside says "You're Invited"):

She opened it and giddiness followed. I love that.

We went on January 4th, at 11am, and it was beautiful. We got there early, so we strolled around... went up to the second floor and looked down in the lobby. She refused to let me carry her oxygen for her, but somehow I snuck it on my shoulder anyway. That's how it usually worked with us. {Now, when I see somebody with oxygen, my heart goes out to them and I am tempted to carry their tank, too--maybe I'll have an opportunity to one of these days. I can say that living beside my mom with her illness softened my heart in ways I'm still discovering... helping with even the seemingly little things in life often mean more than you ever think they would, and the oxygen stuff is one way I will be soft forever.} We oohed and ahhed over the vintage furniture, Christmas garlands and bulbs, and the fancy schmancy bathroom. 

Mom & I before we left

Looking down into the lobby at the Brown Palace from the second floor

What a ceiling!

A pianist played the whole time we were there, and he looked just like Carl from UP.  Loved that, with his big black-rimmed glasses. He played music from musicals and old movies. Mom and I kept trying to name the song, or the movie, before the other could--she beat me! I had no idea she knew her showtunes--we never watched these together when I was growing up, and I never heard her mention that she liked them, or at least knew them. I was impressed.

"Carl," our pianist

They served us 3-tiers of scones, sandwiches, and wee little desserts, and we had a bottomless teapot of this amazing chai tea--they placed a lovely, but heavy, silver strainer that sat on our cups. We each also had our own silver teapots--I had to lift mom's for her for refills, they were so heavy.  She refilled her cup a lot, so I got my workout in! We even enjoyed a kir royale--black currant liquor mixed with sparkling white wine--a first for us both, as we waited for the tea fare.

Kir royales, with berries: yum

It was all so beautiful and relaxed and enjoyable.  She looked so snuggly and lovely in her green sweater--I think my favorite sweater of hers, ever.  Do you have favorite clothes your mom wears? Why are they your favorite? I loved clothes that made me want to hug my mom, especially the last few years. Most of what she owned was like that... knit, soft, warm colors... I think I liked the green sweater because it brought out her eyes.

It means so much to remember this day we shared because we might not have had it: I had originally made the reservations for January 15th, but something in my gut told me to make them sooner, if possible. Originally, the 15th was all they had available. But that sour pang whispered in my spirit, "You may not have enough time..." so I called right before making her little invitaton, and they said they had an opening on the 4th. One month and a few days later, she was gone. I told Raul later that him urging me to take her there after I had mentioned it was the best gift he'd given me. I still feel an insane amount of gratitude to him for letting me love on my mom through tea and scones that day.

She had said to me then, "This will be a good memory for you." She said it with such resolve, no tears, just... this is how it is, and I'm glad.  Can't only a mom say things like that in such a situation? I know she shed many tears, but the fact that she overrode those to speak good things to me clearly and with joy is something I hope I can do for my girls. Again I say, leave it to a mom to do that... Anyway, me taking her there was just as much for me as it was for her, I guess. She was right; it's one of my favorite memories of us, now. I look forward to snuggling her in heaven and saying, "Remember when?"

I love you, mom, and miss you so much, every single day. The sadness would overtake me if it wasn't for the good times, so praise God for that. {Then again...the sadness wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the good times, so... it is good to miss things, because that means there was love!}

May 6, 2012

on the avengers.

Okay, so I need to state for the record that I love love love action movies. But you know this.  Or, if you know me, you should. :) I enjoy all sorts of movies, but I'm totally the cheering type, and I love to cheer for good, boo evil, and watch how it all goes down inbetween.

I've always loved action, but I'm new to the superhero genre. My hubs is to blame for starting that interest when we went to see IronMan in 2008. Robert Downey Jr. was just so charming and unavoidibly likeable, I was sold. Plus, seeing how much fun Raul was having watching it made me enjoy it too. (Now that I think about it, when R grows his goatee, it's eerily similar to Tony Stark's... hmm, coincidence? I think not.)

Anyway, since then, I've anticipated most of the action hero movies that have come out, and most of them have been pretty good. (Oh wait, don't see the Expendables. Wow. Worst movie ever. And I mean evvveeerrrrr. Let's upgrade that to a capital E.) Captain America was great, Thor surprisingly was enjoyable... But I was excited to see the Avengers purely so I could see how Ironman played with others. Am I nerding you out yet? Cause I'm totally nerding myself out. (A friend asked me once to explain The Simarillion to her, as I said I was reading it, and I totally burst out laughing after a few minutes due to how geeky I sounded, which was totally mirrored in her expression... priceless.)

Back to the topic at hand: this movie is SO fun, has SO much action, and is a pure blockbuster; I've heard it may reach the billion $ range? (!) Joss Whedon (the director) rocks this movie. Here's an official review, if you're interested.  If you liked Ironman, you'll love this one. Take your man out on a date and cheer for the good guys together. It's an easy bonding experience he'll appreciate...and whether you want to admit or not, I bet you will too. ;) Geeking out over. For now.