Thursday, January 29, 2015

Candy Dots, Coming Soon!

Remember when I mentioned that one of my New Year's Resolutions was to publish some of my own knitting and crochet patterns? Well, I wanted to give you a sneak peak of one I've been working on for some time.  
 

Inspired by the classic candy, I designed a cheerful baby blanket that's easy to make and so much fun to own! Done in almost all single crochet, the pattern will include full pictorial instructions. Stay tuned, it's almost done. I can't wait until it's out in the world!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Lulu, Lately

 
Lucille Jones has made some major changes these days. I think age 1 is suiting her! The holidays have past and we're back to our routine, but things with the girls are definitely different! After getting four teeth and a bad cold, Lulu's sleep patterns went from bad to worse. Then, we got a plan together and we're on the upswing, I guess for now. By that, I mean we've had a few nights of better rest (a few in a year, so that's really a few) but we're happy with whatever we can get!
 

Lulu's hair is a source of great joy to me. Penny spent her babyhood bald, and Lulu's is the cutest shortest little 'do. It goes from proper bedhead to a cute pageboy, to a genuine mullet. I like to stay tuned to the latest :).


The eating. Oh gad, the eating. We've had so little interest in any of it. Then out of the blue, a love of cheese. I'll take it! There's a slight sampling of other things, but also a lot of rubbing food on the floor and shaking her head "no" at all the options. I bet she's learned this from her sister :(.





She's such a sweet girl, this Lulu. Penny has definitely noticed that Lulu is growing up. If you call Lulu a baby, her sister will say, "Lulu is not a baby! She's a WOBBLER now". It's true, she is a "Wobbler" at daycare - laughing and painting and walking and falling and having a great time with her best friends Calvin and Dennis, among others. Now she walks more than she crawls, and she reacts to everything, most of all her sister. She has so many expressions - her critical eyebrows, her angry determination, and her cheeky, coy grin. I like to watch them all, and I do. She's such a fun baby...I mean WOBBLER.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Monkey See, Monkey Do



I made a sock monkey sweater for Penny (Ravelry link HERE). It's a size 4, so she's not ready for it quite yet. In the meantime, I'm making one for Lulu. Then I'll have Monkey See and Monkey Do. Two monkeys, probably jumping on my bed :). 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Handknit Holiday, 2015

I finished a few hand knits for the girls before the holidays, just in time for a cold snap here in Portland right before New Year. We seem to be in a sweet spot with the handmade gifts. Lulu can't express an opinion either way, and Penny comments constantly while they're in progress: "For me, mama?". Since she knows they're for her, she's ecstatic to put them on once they're finished. For her two most recent sweaters, I was able to find coordinating dresses in just the right colors.


I've been wanting to make this sweater for so long, and the pattern lived up to my anticipation (Ravelry link here). Fun and quick to make, I'm loving the pullovers right now for their ease of no buttons. I'm loving the worsted weight yarn for it's warmth, and superwash makes it even easier.


I love a baby in a knitted dress around the holidays. Remember Penny's Christmas dress two years agoLulu's dress (Ravelry link) was also super easy, and I did the colorwork by using one ball of multi-colored yarn and "abbreviating" the color changes by cutting out some of the solid runs, making it change color a bit faster. It's a really cute shell to a onesy and some tights that certainly keeps her toasty but is short enough not to hinder her stepping. 


Penny has been requesting a purple sweater for ages, and there's so few shades of purple that I like. She tells me that her favorite colors are purple and green, so when I saw this dress on clearance and was able to match the yarn, I finally cast on for a sweater I've liked for a while (Ravelry link).



She's wearing it today, her first day of preschool. Preschool! She's not even 3 yet, but they've moved her up to be with friends in a new and exciting environment. She couldn't be prouder (nor could we) and, as she's indicating above, her future looks pretty bright, even if we're all still  figuring out which way is up :).



Did you make any New Year's Resolutions? Almost all of mine are craft-related. They include starting that quilt that I've been meaning to make for a while (and by that I mean years) now, to redo the girls' rooms to be bright and cheerful, and to publish some original patterns, both new and old.

Other than that, I feel life will happen, and I'll resolve to meet these happenings as best I can.
You?

Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas, 2014

I hope you had a lovely Christmas! Ours was really great. There were houseguests and hubbub, and two things arrived: Santa, and new teeth. Both caused a lot of distress. On Christmas Eve, we made it out to a lovely walkable street with lots of lights and a festive atmosphere.





Penny had asked for Nana and "Dindad" to come for the holidays, and they arrived just in time for Lulu's birthday.It sure was nice to have them. After seeing the lights, we had a quiet Christmas, apart from squealing Lulu who is getting four top teeth at one time. My one year-old is finally getting more teeth. It's a Christmas miracle :)!


We talked about Santa coming. Penny took lots of photos, just like me. She seemed uneasy. We left a cookie for him, and a carrot for the reindeer. She wasn't happy. Every time we said "Santa" she would give a high pitched whine of "I don't WANT Santa," and when we told her he'd be coming when she was asleep and that she wouldn't see him, it made her even more uneasy. Intruders!


She woke up three times Christmas Eve night, not out of excitement or anticipation but pure anxiety. She didn't mention Santa, but I knew she woke up thinking about him and wanting her mama. Eventually, on Christmas morning, she found the gifts and then Christmas started to look a bit more traditional.


There were presents from near and far, and of course there were boxes, which also charmed them (especially when paired with a good game of peekaboo).


It was a Christmas so different from last year, when we had no friends or family around, when we had just brought a newborn home from the hospital. I remember singing 'Silent Night' to them before bedtime. It was very dark, and sweet, and personal. This year was filled with parties and laughter, fun and family. It was a really festive Christmas season, even if Santa himself didn't bring much joy, everyone around us did. 


Happy 2015 to you! Thanks for stopping here. I hope you'll do so in the new year, as well.

Monday, December 22, 2014

You Are 1

Lucille Alice Jones turned 1 this past week. Her grandparents are in town from England, so we had a small get-together on Friday, her actual birthday, and then hosted a Birthday-Party-Holiday-Party-Open-House-Extravaganza on Sunday. It was a festive few days perfect for a social little babe who went from infant to toddler in one quick second.


For the afternoon party, she and her sister got to wear their Christmas dresses (sent from the East Cast at different times, thanks Mom!) a bit early.


Penny got to eat cupcakes one night, and cake another. Add in her chocolate advent calendar and this 2 year-old really has had Christmas come early. I have no idea why she chose not to use a fork for the cake; usually she's so intent on staying clean! It really reminded me of this classic Brady Bunch episode.


So many friends, new and old, stopped by. It was so much fun. Lulu took a power nap in the middle of the party, and friends who had a look around our new(ish) home got to see the birthday girl sleeping (with her little ruffly bum up in the air- so cute!) in her crib as part of the tour :). 


She was soon back in action, getting passed from lap to lap.




On Friday, her real birthday, we opened some gifts. Well, Penny opened the gifts for Lulu, which she really enjoyed. She played with the gifts too, but that's only to be expected. Lulu doesn't mind, and it sure makes the fact that it's Lulu's birthday, a bit easier for her sister.


There's so much I could say about Lucille Jones as she turns 1. I could write about how she's hardly cried the entire year, about how she's gone from a really relaxed baby, to a busy toddler who wants nothing but to be surrounded by playmates. I could tell you how different this baby has been from her sister: how social, how fun-loving, how daring. I could tell you the hard parts: the ongoing feeding and sleeping issues that are in no way severe, but have made for an incredibly tired 12 months 

Mostly, on the occasion of her turning 1, I feel an excitement about the future with Lulu. I loved baby Lulu (and boy, wasn't she cute) but I can't wait to see her personality develop even more. I can't wait to see who's in there, what she might say to us, and how she might move through the world. We have our hunches about Lulu, but I think she might surprise us all. You can watch her face for just a few minutes, and see that she's got a lot up her sleeve. We can't wait to see what that is.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Winter Park Visit

It's not often that we can visit the park these days. It's always so wet, and cold. But on a rare day when things were dry, we got there before the sun dropped so early. I bundled them up in coats and hats. The took their furry friends and off we went.



 





 



We came home to play in the basement. 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Oh Christmas Tree, 2014

Was it really a year ago that we were here, when Lulu was still in my 'tummy' and Penny paddled around in a long knitted dress, picking up rocks on the trail? We are now a family of four, and we came to find a tree that had been growing for a whole year, just for us. We came to see our children look suspiciously at farm animals too, of course.


Penny brought "Pink Baby" and showed her the variety of trees we had to choose from.


Lulu surveyed the territory, and did an impression of her sister we had described from not last year, but two years ago now, looking at a tiny tree with her daddy.


When we implied that Lulu's tree was too small, Penny went to find a suitable one. Here she's telling me she which one she likes (that would be the huge one, in the back).


Instead, Mr. Jones picked our tree. We are opting for a tabletop model again this year, with Lulu doing her "gravity tests" daily. I think small trees are just as festive.


We tried a group photo before the nice man with the flatbed drove away with our new houseguest to shake and wrap her up. This is the closest we got (at least the vintage ski slope dress is making its appearance nicely).


The few family traditions we have rear their head on these occasions. As you can see from last year and the year previous, we've got a thing for putting the baby on the roof of the car with the tree, once they're all ready to haul away.


We spent the rest of the afternoon decorating. What's striking about this year is that Penny is starting to understand some ideas of Christmas. As well, it's our first Christmas in our new home, so decorating it felt really warm, fun, and especially festive.


The results have been great. The girls are dazzled by the lights when we put it on each evening. Penny stops to stare at it - stops still, which is saying something when you're two - and says in her sweetest voice, "Look at THIS, Mama." I just look at her, looking at this. I could watch her forever.



Perhaps my favorite moment came when Mr. Jones brought the cut tree inside the house. Penny was amazed. We had just cut down a tree and brought it inside the house. It must be amazing to be two. To wake up each day and think anything at all might happen. A tree with lights may one day come to live inside your home for a time they call Christmas.


It all must be delightful, if not confusing. This may be one of my very favorite pictures of Penny, ever. Her expression captures all of it.



Lulu was so excited by all of it, she started walking. 
More on that soon.
Hope your holidays are coming together nicely!