Monday, October 26, 2009

I LOVE computers . . . really. Or maybe its just Vista . . .

Hello, all! Just a quick note to say that my computer has melted down. Or at least Vista has. I haven't been able to get online since Wed or Thurs. Since I do all my youth group contacting and live a large part of my social life online, you can imagine that this has made me quite grumpy. I finally gave up trying to fix it myself, since I was down to just a complete system restore, and I didn't want to lose all my data. So I took it into the shop, where they can copy my data and THEN do a complete system restore if they need to, and I won't need to lose 3 yrs of photos plus all my lovely online tutorials I've downloaded from I-don't-remember-where.

The computer mechanic said he should get to my Lappy on Wed or Thursday, so I'll be ofline until then.

Which is sad because I finished the cutest baby quilt (not for me yet) and I've been doing some interesting reading and thinking about work and leisure and parenting. But it will mean I'll actually get most of my sewing and baby prep done in the next week, since I won't have anything else to do.

Also, if you haven't seen the Brothers Bloom, it is well worth your time. Great film out on DVD. I loved it. Great characters, clever plot and visuals, beautiful costumes and cinematography, and about conn artists. Even if you wouldn't usually like "Jill movies", you might like this one.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Our favorite toys at the moment

Unlike Andrew, who mostly played with chunks of wood at this age, Aaron really likes toys. Mainly his brother's toys, of course. And since he has really good fine motor skills for his age, he will happily play with Andrew's toys for big chunks of the day. His favorite at the moment are the playmobil knights. He can't quite do all the pieces himself, yet, but he has finally got to the point where he can put their swords and shields in their hands by himself. He loves these guys.

The other big new thing is that he can put the little leggos together. Lego has been a bone of contention between the boys for quite a while. Last year for Christmas, Andrew got a starter set of little legos, and Aaron got a starter set of Duplos. Aaron categorically refused to play with his Duplos, and instead spent huge amounts of energy destroying and disrupting Andrew's fun with his "big boy" legos. This has meant that the Legos have had to stay in Andrew's room, and all the Lego creations have stayed high up on Andrew's shelves.

Fortunately, the times are changing. Andrew was making a giant army of Transformers the other day:

As you can see, we have a pretty random assortment of lego. This is because a lot of it is the odds and ends left over from my lego sets. My mom kept them, used them for all her babysitting kids for years, and recently passed them on to me. Some of them are 30 years old, so although they still work, they don't stay together as well as "fresher" lego, and there are not longer complete sets of anything. I think the lack of proper sets is great because it means the odd pieces can be used for virtually anything.

Aaron, meanwhile, happily put together his one Autobot over and over again.

While he can get the pieces on well enough, he can't push hard enough yet for them to stay. He doesn't really care, though. He is still "playing" with the legos and with his brother.

Killing the Hydra

After a week of snow, we finally got a thaw on Friday afternoon! This meant that Saturday morning I sent the kids out to play. We were going to go to the park, but I sent them out first while I did my hair and got ready. By the time I got out there they were occupied in the yard, so I let them be.

Our library has brought in this cool set of graphic novels based on myths and legends. One of Andrew's favorites is the tasks of Hercules. He loves the part with the Hyrda -- for those of you whose Greek mythology is a bit rusty, the Hydra is a 7 headed beast, who grows two new heads every time you cut one off. Hercules figures out that to kill it, you have to burn the stumps of the neck before the new heads can grown. Anyway, so he decided that our peony bush was a hydra.

He and Aaron spent a good 45 minutes playing with the peony. First they attacked the branches with sticks, then they pulled all the leaves off. Finally I told them to go and get the wagon and clear all the leaves out of the garden and into the wheelbarrow.

One thing I love about having two boys this age is the imitation. Almost all day, when Andrew is home, Aaron follows in his footsteps, doing whatever "Ander" is doing. It is so wonderful to watch the admiration he has for his big brother, and so cute to see them trooping along together through the house, the park and the neighbourhood.

Now, if only I could find a way to get them to tidy up their toys so easily . . .

New wrap!

It should be obvious that every new baby needs their own new baby carrier. With Aaron, I found that I was not really fond of the pouch sling I was using, so I got a new, stretchy pouch sling instead or the canvas one I had started with.

For this baby, I decided that it was time to try a wrap. I love my sling, but every since I fractured my shoulder, I've found that I can only use the sling on my right shoulder for so long before it starts hurting. And that as baby gets bigger, I get a lot of tightness in my left hip from carrying the baby on that one hip so much. So I decided to get a wrap carrier for this new baby.

I got this one on etsy from Raspbery Baby . The price was good, and it looks like it is going to work out just fine. A lot cheaper than a Moby wrap, I tell you. I haven't checked out the instructional DVD yet. I guess I should do that soon. But then, if I don't get around to it before the baby comes, its not as if I won't have any way to carry him or her. I do have a few other carriers:

Monday, October 12, 2009

Working on my very own quilt

This one is just for me. The star blocks are made from assorted new fabrics, some of them lovely things I've been given in swaps, plus the remainder of my Pop Garden collection. Right now I've framed them with some Kona Snow, and I'm going to do another frame with the Tina Givens' chandalier fabric (I've been saving the yellow forever). I'm just trying to decide which colour of frame to match with which colour of block.

I think I like the brown/red and green/yellow combination better at the moment.

I am also playing with whether to do a thick white border or a thinner white border or a wonky white border.

I know I probably could have done different photos for each thing I was thinking of doing, but the thought of getting up and down off the floor that many times -- two hours after Thanksgiving dinner when I'm this pregnant -- was just not appealing, so I just did a few blocks in every different style I was thinking of doing. Whatever I do will be sashed in white, rather than in dirty beige carpet, which I think will improve the look a lot, too.

So, y'all, what do you think?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Still Snowing . . .

I know, this is starting to sound like a weather blog. But I'm Canadian; not much else happens in our peace loving country. Its either complain about the coalition government still not getting anything done, or complain about the weather. I choose the weather.
And really, when you're getting this kind of snow on Oct. 11, I think you have the right to get excited. We are going into our third day of snow on the ground and scraping windshields around here. The boys are pretty excited, and despite their lack of winter clothes (trying to find some used MEC jackets rather than shell out the money for new ones), are enjoying the new precipitation.

Here they are clearing away the snow. This is the third winter when those red snow shovels have been the toy of choice around here. Best $10 I ever spent, I tell you.

I had to convince them to clear off the walkway, rather than the grass (I suppose since they play mostly on the grass, it would make sense to them to clear it first), but once I did the walkway got cleared pretty fast. I suppose there was almost enough snow to make a snowman, but I didn't feel like hauling my 33 week pregnant body out there and rolling snowballs, so I left them to their own devices. They decided to make:

a snow pile. The pile is about twice this big now. I think they're hoping it will be big enough to make a snow fort soon.

Cloth Wipes

This is my latest baby-related project (other than laundry). My wash cloths and wipes have gradually disappeared over time. I'm not sure where they've gone, but I've barely got enough to use for Aaron (who is still in diapers), never mind for another baby. So I took three old receiving blankets that were really too thin to be proper blankets anymore and cut them into 16ths. Then I followed the instructions in Handmade Home , and simply put the wrong sides together in pairs and zig-zag stitched them together.

I have 19 out of 24 done so far (each receiving blanket made 8 wipes). I cut these during an episode of Season 5 of Project Runway, and stitched them in the basement while the boys were playing. For the first part they were wrestling and playing "Three Stooges" (where they chase each other around going "woo woo woo woo woo nuk nuk nuk nuk"). Andrew was getting too aggressive, however (unfortunately the 3 Stooges are not very good role models) so I had to shut down that game. After a few moments of quiet, I discovered he had done this:

The wall and his brother also got decorated. I just reminded myself that he knows its washable, and that it was bound to happen eventually.

Friday, October 09, 2009


Yes, that's right. We had our first snow yesterday. This required an early morning foray into the first snow . . .

Until Aaron found out it was cold and went running back in.
Later in the day we went for a walk and a stick hunt. I don't know why the trees seem to be shedding branches as well as leaves this time of year, but there are sticks everywhere:

Since we don't have winter coats and boots that fit yet, we had to make due with lots of layers, which looked ridiculously cute. As you can see, Aaron was checking out the mud puddles, as always.

Unrelated, but this was our other antic yesterday. Our library recently got this set of cool graphic novel versions of old myths, and one of them is Hercules. This is Andrew's hercules costume. Complete with cape, sword, shield and . . . lion's skin. Yes, indeed. A lionskin sweater vest. Who knew. I'm not sure when Hercules started wearing a superhero mask, though.

Saturday, October 03, 2009


I know I should be working on something baby related, or something that someone is paying me to do, but I haven't been. I just needed a quick, brainless project. And I thought it might be nice for Aaron to stop wiping his hands on Dave's shirt.

Also, Andrew is really fussy about sauces,and if he doesn't like a sauce that is on his meat, he will meticulously wipe every piece of meat off on his shirt before he eats it. I hate using paper towel because it seems to be such a waste of trees and money when we can just use tea towels and face cloths and now, cloth napkins.

Because our kitchen drawers are all full, I made this little bag to hang on our kitty hooks. It is loosely based off the tote bag pattern (again) from Bend the Rules Sewing.