Thursday, April 17, 2014

For the Love of Trains

On a bright Spring afternoon, Penny Jones and I headed down to the Oregon Rail Heritage Center with my friend Malena and her son, Carson.  They told us we could see trains and take a ride, and boy, it did not disappoint. 

We got there after naptime, and had to run for the train as it was leaving the station. We took our seats on the outdoor car, and I think by not stopping to look at it, Penny didn't wholly process that we were on a real choo choo train.

I tried to explain it, but it wasn't until the 15 minute journey paused and we were able to get off momentarily and look at the train before heading back, that she truly understood. 

And then she got really excited.

On the way home, the loud train sounded "choooo choooo" and Penny burst into hysterical cackling, throwing her head back again and again. What was there to do, but join her?

Eventually, we regained our composure.

After the ride, we headed into the museum to check out their beautiful collection of old diesels.

Penny looked so small next to them. We all did!

We headed out the front door to explore the yellow caboose.

Then we went back inside to play with their toy train set.

We were there past 5 o'clock, when they closed. The volunteers followed us out and Penny cried because it was over, much to their amusement. Once home, her Daddy asked her how she like it and Penny just stood in the front yard, saying "doo doo, doo doo, doo doo" (her words for choo choo) in some sort of trance, for quite some time. Luckily, while we were there, Malena booked Carson a birthday party at the Heritage Center! So we will be going back. It sure was a special mama/daughter date for Penny and me. She's still talking about it, a week later.

Friday, April 11, 2014

People I Love in Things I've Made

Seeing Penny in her birthday dress made me think of all the things I've made recently for loved ones around me. They've been in heavy rotation, as the weather changes and so many different kinds of clothes are needed. Here's a roundup!

Penny in her Spring trousers (she's tall enough now that we don't even cuff them anymore!).

Lulu in her knitted pants (made at the same time as her sister's). How I love these. What baby couldn't use a pair?

Our friends Frank and Peg in their bear hats.

Penny in yet another pair of quick change trousers (made previously here and here and here). These have been invaluable in being reversible. One side is now permanently stained, but they are still useable!

Penny and Lulu in their Big Top Animal Hats. I've developed these hats in three different kinds of animals. I hope to release the knitting pattern very soon!

There has been a big shift around here, as I've started a new (wonderful) part-time job! I'm still hoping to find the time to make things for the people I love. There's a great need, as I know no less than 5 ladies who are expecting babies in the next year. One is even expecting twins! No need to quit making handmade baby things now :).

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Penny at Two Years

Penny Jones turned 2 on Saturday. Unlike last year, the weather was awful. The pouring rain soaked everything outside. So we had the choo choo themed party inside our tiny apartment.  It was packed, and so much fun! It reminded me of parties I would host during college in my tiny New York apartment. Penny had no idea what hit her.  Here she is after her nap, awaiting the guests in her homemade birthday dress.


Friends of all ages attended. This is Elise. She's about 2 months older than Penny and her mom and I met in a mommy group when they were just newborns! It's been so lovely to see her, and so many of her peers, grow and change so much.

There were children bouncing off the furniture and crashing to the floor, playing with Penny's toys and reading her books. Penny kept pulling my arm toward her bedroom. She just wanted some time alone with her mama and her brand new choo choo shed (above).

I finally coerced her to come out and sit at the table where we brought out the cake. Penny jumped into my arms. I think all the attention made her nervous. 


When she saw it was chocolate, she relaxed pretty quickly.

She held up her favorite choo choo at the head of the table while we served cake.

Penny enjoyed both the cake and a cupcake at her own pace. This girl really loves chocolate.

Hours later, when the last guests had left, she put on her rain boots and splashed in some puddles between showers. 

And with that, we now stop counting the months of her age and start counting the years. I've had two whole years of being a mom to this sensitive, strong, loving, hilarious baby girl. The baby is almost gone. Her sister holds that title now! But Penny will always be my baby. She tells me I'm her mama 100 times a day and I couldn't be more proud of that title.

Happy Birthday, Penelope Jones! You are the best.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Age 2

I spoke too soon. The house inspection revealed a lot, and we're not buying that house. Fingers crossed for another one!

In the meantime, we have a birthday party to host for a very special girl turning 2 tomorrow. She's already seen her choo choo birthday dress and she can't wait to wear it.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A Spring Staycation

After a few months of Mr. Jones working 11 hour days, he had a week off.  We had a Staycation! We spent tons of time together and really bonded as a family. Here's a few things we did.

We hit up the Portland parks HARD. The weather generally cooperated, and we all enjoyed getting a bit more sunlight.

Penny even found a friend in the park who loved choo-choos as much as she does.

We went to Storytime at our local library. This is the same Storytime that Penny and I used to go to when she was a baby. Now we're in the older group!

And when we needed to stay close to home, we got out the slide and bubbles in the front yard.

Speaking of home, the biggest thing we did on our Staycation was to purchase a house. Yes, friends, we BOUGHT.A.HOME. This family is moving out of rentals for the first time ever. It will be a chance to really be creative with our living space, with so many perks: our own yard, a place to garden, a dishwasher! Plus, the room we need to spread out just a bit more. I've been pointing at my children and husband one at a time, doing my best Oprah impression, exclaiming, "YOU get a closet, YOU get a closet, YOU get a closet". It's going to be a grand adventure. We can't wait. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Lulu at Three Months

Lucille Jones is three months old this week. She can hardly believe it herself!

She's become so much more aware of everything, even when she can just peek out from underneath her Spring attire. 

She's still so relaxed. She just looks at her parents and her sister with a sort of quizzical bemusement. 

She's a good eater. She always returns a smile. She'll hang out on your lap for as long as you will allow.

She's seen a lot of this town in her carseat. She's always up for coming along for the ride! 

I guess the three month mark is the end of her "newborn" phase. She's now an infant, officially. It's gone by so fast, and been so easy. We love Lulu so much, and can't wait to see her personality continue to develop. She's such a big part of our family!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Shamrock Love

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I'm not of Irish decent, but my babies (all 3) are, a bit! So I dressed Penny in her best greens and off she went to daycare. They had a party and served Lucky Charms and mashed potatoes for snack (ohhhh...daycare)!

Penny came home and had dinner, refusing to take off her hat.

Lucky Irish Penny had a really fun day.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


We're struggling over here with coughs and runny noses.  We're "poorly", as the English say. We're tired and moody, too. 
And yet...

there's something kind of cozy about it all.

If only all four of us could be asleep at the same time!

Monday, March 3, 2014


I finished a sweater.  For MYSELF.  My mom was nice enough to gift me the yarn during a visit to Portland over a year ago and I finally got busy on it during those bleary newborn days. All those hours knitting over my nursing pillow really paid off! I love it. (Ravelry link HERE).

The pattern is Grettir, by Jared Flood. He really knows how to write a pattern. All those short rows really made for a professional fit. This is not the first icelandic cardigan I've made (the first one is HERE, four years ago now), and it surely won't be the last. I went for my usual favorite colors of orange, avocado green, and brown. Originally, I had chosen a muddy brown for the background color and was totally thrown off when it didn't show off the dark brown or orange when I knit them in tandem. So I switched to an off-white, and it made everything pop.

One of the great things about colorwork is that you have a lot of yarn left over for other projects. I'm planning a cute matching dress, for one of my girls, out of my scraps!

This isn't the only Jared Flood pattern I've knit this winter. I also made this hat for Mr. Jones (Ravelry link HERE), out of yarn I had left over from Penny's tree chopping dress. A quick knit, and also a lovely pattern.