Category Archives: kids

Right now I am….

Enjoying…

  • The 10 inches of snow we received in Minneapolis this weekend.
  • Watching my neighbors get their snow legs back .(People! Little taps folks. Never rev your tires as you will most   certainly get stuck and need to recruit people to push you out.)
  • The four people I saw biking in the city this morning, including the Skeptic and Spinner. My man obviously enjoys a challenge.
  • My parents, who officially reached full retired parent status today by calling me to give me the road report in Burnsville. They crack me up and I am lucky to have them. 🙂

 

 

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Decorating and celebrating….

  • Our free range Christmas tree, which looks a cross between A Charlie Brown tree and something you might see in a hundred year old Christmas scene. This tree has soul and I love it!
  • We are using The Truth is in The Tinsel for Advent this year and we really enjoy the simplicity and ease of the projects.
  • We are also trying a Jesse Tree this year. I love the ornaments and the message that come with this PDF.
  • By the time I am on my third kid I should know better than to leave a four year old alone with glitter.

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Knitting….

  • Christmas gifts that I wish I could share with you
  • Too many Christmas gifts. Not sure I will make it this year!
  • Baby girl items because I have a brand new beautiful niece who is one week old today!

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Filed under celebrations, crafting with kids, family, knitting

My Friend Goo!!*

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We are in the middle of a goop obsession here. If you have kids, I’m sure they brought a blob of this stuff home with a recipe from science at some point in their lives.

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Basically, you make a 50/50 mix of glue (good glue does make a difference, we us Elmer’s) and water. We use about a 1 Tbls. of each. Add a few drops of food coloring and stir well. Then, mix a cup of water with 1 t. of Borax. Add one tsp. of the borax/water mixture into the glue/water mixture at a time and watch it turn into a fun slimy glob! You may need to add a few tsp. of the water/borax mixture to get it to firm up enough. Stir fast!

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The more you play with it, the firmer it will become. The boys will play with it for hours. Their favorite trick is to see how far they can let it hang down from the top staircase. It’s gotten amazingly long.

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My only warnings with this stuff:

1. Make a different color for each kid. If they are like mine, they will try to add their brother’s goo to theirs when he is not looking!

2. This stuff is an enemy of fabric. (I’ve thrown out a pair of underwear after they decided to sit on it to flattern it out). If it does get stuck on fabric, scrub it out with a brush, don’t throw it in the washer. If it goes through the washer and dryer you’ll end of with a permanent hard glob.

3. No matter how much they beg, always wait until you have had at least one cup of coffee before you agree to make some. I’ve been talked into doing this at 6:30 in the morning before and always regret it. Plus my coffee gets cold.

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On the fiber front, are you ready for this? SPINNING!!

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I have been sucked in by the Tour de Fleece bug again, and decided to finally try spinning up mohair locks. What I’ve decided so far is I really hate mohair locks. This yarn is a MESS and I’m hoping that by plying it with silk thread it might be passable.

 

Any tricks? I tried spinning it along with some plain merino top, but it is not looking like the cute curly mohair that I that I was looking for.

*If you are Sonic Youth fan, you can thank me for planting that song in your head all day!!

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Filed under crafting with kids, kids, spinning

A little something…..

I have finally come up with a summer calendar that actually works for us! (Pics of that to some soon….). Thursday I have designated as “project day.” While we will  be doing lots of “projects” this summer, I wanted to set aside some time each week to try something that might take up the entire afternoon. So yesterday we tackled our first project! Using Issue Seven of Alphabet Glue as inspiration, we made mini books and pouches to go with them.

To make the books, we cut paper to three inch squares using an exacto knife and my cutting mat. The boys made covers for each book, and then we sewed them together on the sewing machine. (I use a regular size 90 needle for that, then keep it separate marked “paper” for use again.) Once the binding is sewn on, we cuts strips of duct tape from the super cool duct tape sheets we found at JoAnns last week. Place the tape over the sewn binding and suddenly you have some very official looking little books!*

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(Yes, the title of this book is indeed “Dead Knight.” Can’t wait to see the story of that one!)

Next, we hit the sewing machine. I wanted to keep this very simple, so we basically sewed together two rectangles, added a velcro closure inside and sewed on some twill tape for a handle. We marked their names on the handles in permanent marker as to not mix up.

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Next, it was writing time! Knittykid says we should make a hundred books. Math Boy outright refused to join us, saying he absolutely hated making books and preferred to stay up in his room reading what is apparently a hilarious kids’ series called Nathan Abercrombie, Accidental Zombie. I’m trying to find projects everyone loves, but with a 3, 6, and 9 year old that’s just not always gonna happen. Next week we need to find something goopy and scientific, I think!

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What big kids’ project have you done lately?

*Loving the shots of my very ugly dining room table? The downside is, it’s butt ugly. The upside is that the boys can do whatever they want on it, and I could care less if it gets covered in glitter and glue. Hmmm….that might actually be an improvement!

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Filed under books, crafting with kids, kids

Switch

Notice anything different?

(Sticking to my mission to boost my readers’ self-esteem, all photos remain untidied and untouched…)
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Yep. My sewing room has now been relocated, down into the main traffic area into the sunroom. I knew it was time, and honestly I didn’t mind moving downstairs all that much. Math Boy took my workroom and got his desperately needed OWN SPACE. Spinner moved out of our bedroom and in with Knittykid , and  boatload of toys moved up into their bedrooms. I thought I would miss that one special room that is all mine, but honestly I don’t. I found that it was kind of becoming a shrine of sorts. I would go in, tidy my stuff, make some plans, admire the fabric and yarn and…not really accomplish all that much.

Now my stuff is right when I usually am. So I can try to do a little bit here, a little bit there. It’s keeping things fresh in my mind and ready to go. I’m doing more. The only big downside is my things are spread out: fiber in the bedroom, yarn and fabric still on a shelf and the closet in Math Boy’s room, books and more fabric down in the sunroom. The boys are not getting into it quite as much as I thought they would, although there has been one major case of abuse, one that nearly had me calling in the authorities. The victim??
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Poor lady. Spinner has been going through a great naughty phase lately. The “What Will Happen if I Do This Even Though I Know it is BAD?” phase that is really fun with three year olds. Remember Math Boy’s antics? And how nice and quiet it was when Knittykid was three? Well, Spinner is taking after his oldest brother. His experiments include:

What will happen if I smash mama’s favorite flower pot on the sidewalk?

What will happen if I throw water all over the living room?

What will happen if I drop a large rubbermaid tub over the stairwell onto my brother?

What will happen if I climb the curtains?

And yes…What will happen if I cut the string on mama’s spinning wheel, tip it over and drag it around the house screaming?

He’s lucky the spinning wheel police don’t exist, and if they did they probably would not arrest a three year old anyway. So my poor spinning wheel might need to live in the much more peaceful bedroom, rather than next to the piano where she is victim to much torture and grief.

Despite that, it’s a good move. A slight cure to my previously mentioned ennui. I’m trying to dive right into some real work, and not worry too much if I only get to do it for five minutes. The big thing is getting back to actually trying to make something, and let the focus come back when it’s time. Iron some fabric. KNit a swatch. Trace a pattern. A little bit of meandering might be just fine right now.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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Filed under home, kids

Because…

Every fairy should be well fed.
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Hope your summer has been beautiful!

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Filed under family, kids, outside

Eight

I’m not quite sure how these years went by so fast, but my Math Boy, my not-so-little anymore man turned eight this week.

I feel like this is the year that we’ve truly moved into new territory. I can look at him and start to see a vision of who he might be in five, ten years. I look into those beautiful brown eyes and see real glimpses of who he might become. It’s amazing to be at this point, to see where he might be headed, to watch his interests emerge, to watch him learn and grow in a way that is so different from watching him when he was younger. There is a young man emerging here.

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And we love who we see….a little boy who feels things so deeply and imagines so much. A young man who one minute is deep into his Pokemon card collection and the next minute too engrossed in D’Aulaires Book of Greek Myths to bother eating dinner. He’s my reader, my thinker, full of fire and ideas and spirit. And he teaches us something every single day.

We love you, my dear! Happy birthday!!

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Filed under celebrations, family, kids

Puddle Season

Don’t you know a toddler who needs a new hat?
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A nice cotton hat that is just enough to keep the ears warm?

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Something bright and Springy to keep you focused on those tulips which are sure to be popping out at soon as the last piles of snow melt? (Yes, we still have some big piles!)

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Something for jumping in puddles? Something you could go grab just two skeins for and cast on right now?

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Go for it. All you need are two skeins of Mission Falls Cotton and a child to wear it.

I just put the pattern up:  Springtime Sprouts. No test knitting or tech knitting done here, no sir! This is pattern writing at it’s finest: at my parents’ dining room table while trying to keep three little boys somewhat in tow. But hey, I even made a chart!! So please, give it a whirl and tell me what you think. Any mistakes? Something not quite clear? A different yarn that worked well?

And if you’re for some reason not on Ravelry, leave a comment with your e-mail address and I will send you the PDF.

Hope you enjoy!

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Filed under hats, kids, knitting, pattern

Every boy in Minnesota…

…needs one of these:
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It’s a balaclava, officially the Gusseted Helmet Pattern by Ellen M. Silva. The only mod I made was to knit the head one inch shorter before the decreases. If knitting it again I’d make the neck an inch or so shorter; you can see it’s curling up on him.

I finished this in early October when we were having a bit of  a fall heat wave. He loved so much he wore it to school, even though it was 75F by the afternoon. It’s in his favorite colors, John Deere colors of course. Not only is it very practical for these harsh winters, but it doubles as spy gear, which is extremely important when you are seven. He would not let me get a full on view on the whole project (“I am a spy, mom”) but he did want to show off his second favorite thing, which is the fact that he’s flying through these Harry Potter novels faster than I devoured Little House when I was the same age.  He’s actually on book seven now, and I’m trying to catch up to him with book six (my plans after this post). All I know, is I’m just dying about those brown eyes looking out at me…..

Now if only it would snow. We’re so ready.

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Filed under finished objects, hats, kids, knitting

Guess who’s two??

My goodness, I’ve been MIA so long WordPress forgot who I was. Sad, so sad. I want to keep this blog a priority but it keeps slipping down to the bottom.

But exciting news makes me post tonight, because we celebrated Spinner’s second birthday this weekend. So shocking that my baby is two, still my baby but such a little boy now.  My spunky little one, the boy who can hold his own with his two big brothers. The boy who doesn’t hold back one little bit, who tells us exactly what he thinks in whatever way he can. The little boy who is all smiles and laughter and love, who adores his mama and won’t let anyone else near her when he wants to be on her lap. My little one, who will happily swing all day long, who loves to stare at the full moon with me before going to bed. Such an amazing little person. He melts my heart every single day.

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We had a beautiful birthday. The rest of us have Spring birthdays and are always stuck inside while Minnesota is buried under the spring meltdown. Such a treat to be able to celebrate outside! And such a happy day full of family and friends!

In final randomness:

  • The t-shirt contest is not forgotten. I’ll be going through them this weekend while the Skeptic is at work. Bwaahaha!!!
  • I’m seriously tweaked about Bloglines little announcement. Guess I’ll have to give Google some more control over my life. But I hate Google Reader.
  • I think this post at Shivaya Naturals was well put and sums up exactly how I feel, so I don’t have to write it.
  • I really still knit. And I have stuff to show you, I just need to take pictures. I am however, in recovery from some serious knitting ennui. Impossible, you say, but true!!
  • A nice article about looking towards simplicity.

Thanks for sticking around despite my absence!

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Filed under celebrations, family, kids

What’s a mother to do?

Ninety degrees, no breeze and humidity so think you could cut the air with a knife. The house full of the plasterers/painters which means you and the boys can’t be there, relaxing and enjoying the two wimpy window air conditioners that try to cool your little house. Your choice? Drag them all off to the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, of course.

A brilliant move, at first. The newly reopened visitor center was cool and full of interesting stuff. Happy boys watched birds at the the feeders outside the window, checking out the exhibits and asking a million questions. Should we go for a hike? YES!!

We started off okay. We checked out a backpack full of goodies and picked a shady trail. We enjoyed the view, and set off into the woods.

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And then what shall forever be known as the Great Compass Battle of 2010 broke out. The boys were hot, tired and the mosquitoes had found us. Their mama was dragging them off into the woods and now it was discovered that there was only ONE very awesome thermometer/compass in the backpack. And it had a clip to hang it on your belt loop. If you know boys, you know that there is nothing better than something that can be clipped onto your belt loop. And that is how just two minutes later this peaceful hike turned into bloodcurdling shrieks in the middle of the forest.

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Math Boy gave in right away, realizing it just wasn’t worth it and went to look for snakes. Knittykid and Spinner fought to the bitter end when I was finally able to convince Knittykid that there was no possible way his little brother would ever give in (he is almost two, after all, and he bites) He tramped off in a huff. We made it another 50 yards or so and at that point I realized this was not the day and wisely convinced them to head back for and early lunch.

We ate and headed back into the city to play with friends and nap in a shady park. Reminder for the day to myself: don’t push it mama! Not every adventure will be an idyllic outing and that’s okay. No sense in forcing what’s not meant to happen. Enjoy the little moments and move on to something else. Your day will be the better for it!

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Filed under kids, outside