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Snow on New Years Eve? in Southern California? Yup!
We visited with the Dearest's side of the family today....he comes from a rather large Irish Catholic clan (he's #9 of 10 kids). When they get together, it is always a loud, fun and exhausting day. There were easily 30 adults at the party, at least six or seven teens and a whole passel of little kids.
Little Man and Monkey Boy loved playing with all their cousins. It's interesting to watch the older kids showing the young ones how to play....
As the child of divorced parents, I spent most of my teen and early adult years celebrating two Christmases: my mom would do Christmas Eve and we'd have Christmas day with my dad. Things got hecka more complicated when the Dearest and I got married- I remember one year we were at my Mom's on C.Eve till midnight, then up at 9am to go to my Dad's, then we hit the In-Law's house at 2pm. It was all a bit much.
Once we had kids, we tried scaling things back. We still did C. Eve at my mom's and at least one Christmas Day celebration with family. One year we did my Dad's house, the next year we went to the In-Laws'. But as Little Man got older (and we added Monkey Boy to the mix), it got harder and harder for us to make it out of the house on Christmas Day. The kids really didn't want to leave their new toys behind to be dragged to someone else's house for a turkey dinner.
So we decided that we'd still to Christmas Eve with my mom and we'd spend Christmas Day at our home, making our own traditions as a family. The Dearest's parents are very understanding of this and don't expect us to make it on Christmas Day (tho we will be attending a huge family gathering later this week involving all the out-laws....probably 30-40 people).
My Dad, on the other hand, is another matter. His health is getting progressively worse and he hasn't had a driver's license in at least 5 yrs. We always make the effort to include him in our Christmas Day, but he often pulls his passive-aggressive act and refuses to play along. Some years we can talk him into attending and some years he begs off. When he does attend, it involves the Dearest going to pick him up & drop him off....a trip of nearly an hour each way. Bless the Dearest- he never complains about my crazy relatives!
All of this is a long-winded explanation of why I have so many photos to share. So here goes:
We had a visit from "Santa" (aka our neighbor Frank). All of the neighborhood kids were gathered at one home and Santa rang the doorbell....
Wendy over at Knit & Tonic has a cool pattern for kids called the "Drive-Thru" sweater. The pattern says it's a quick & easy knit- something that's great for kids because they grow so fast. I really liked the intarsia-ish yoke because it's not too girly but still provides some fun color. So I bought the pattern and the yarn and after about a week of knitting, produced this:
I am feeling ever so much better.
Not 100% yet, but today is a vast improvement over yesterday. The Dearest said he knew I was feeling bad yesterday when I called him around noon and begged him to come home early.
I've been taking it easy today....the only thing I really had to do was carpool the kids to school. That wasn't too bad, and I was able to rest most of the day. Unfortunately the house has really suffered- I shudder every time I go down to the kitchen. Sometimes I don't know what's worse- being sick or having to clean up the mess after I've been sick? I'm putting off the big cleanup till tomorrow.
Plus there's still the issue of Christmas gifts to make. I have three more tote bags to throw together for the neighborhood kids. I'm hoping to make those tomorrow night when I have a little more energy. Other than that, my Christmas shopping is done. Tho I will have to hit the local big-box store on Friday for last minute supplies (I don't even want to go near that place Saturday or Sunday). Maybe I'll be recovered enough by then to brave the crowds.
And thank you for all the get well wishes I got thru comments and emails....I thinkthat good energy has definitely helped me get better faster.
Posted by shizzknits at 10:22 PM
teeth hurt from sinus pressure
monkey boy has croup - woke me up at 1am (right after i fell asleep in little man's room) with that lovely croupy cough. spent 20 minutes in the steamy bathroom and put him back to bed with the humidfier on high
woke up at 7:30am and spent the entire morning on the couch while the small men watched massive amounts of tv
slept fitfully to the tune of Lazy Town and Maisy
woke up at 11am, realizing that little man has lunch bunch today and needed a lunch so he could leave at 11am
crammed together a lunch and took little man to the neighbors while wearing my pjs
monkey boy followed behind wearing one shoe and his footie pjs
spent another hour & half sleeping while monkey boy watched Polar Express
gave mb crackers & choco milk for lunch
just put mb down and realized i have so. much. to. do. and no energy to do it
going back to bed
wake me up with i'm well.
Posted by shizzknits at 1:32 PM
Have you been to visit Kiddley yet? I've been subscribed to the feed for months now and am always inspired by their crafting projects. December has been filled with one great crafty idea after another.
When I saw these 'dolls', I knew the small men would enjoy making some. I printed them out, two to a sheet, and put out some cut up scraps of Christmas themed paper, yarn, glitter glue and markers. Little Man spent quite some time cutting and gluing pieces of paper to his 'doll'- he had to get the 'clothes' to fit just right. Monkey Boy was more interested in eating the glue sticks & using his scissors to cut little flaps of paper, but the project held their attention for over an hour. Here are LM's finished ornaments:
Posted by shizzknits at 1:32 PM
Well, my bread machine failed me today. The loaf of bread it produced was shaped like a bowling ball and just as dense. Not so much toothsome as toothbreaking! I think the machine waaay over kneaded the dough so it didn't rise much.
I was so disappointed with the outcome that I went online and found a recipe for Crusty White Bread and started another loaf right away. I used my Kitchenaid stand mixer instead of the bread machine to do the dough. After rising and being baked,the bread turned out perfectly:
-cool Fall days and foggy nights
-Wendy's Drive Thru pattern (I'll post photos of the WIP later)
-the sound of laughter as the small men chase each other through the hallway
-finishing my Christmas shopping online (now all I have to do is sit back and wait for the packages to roll in...much better than fighting the crowds)
-Trader Joe's fish sticks & homemade tartar sauce
-how the Dearest bathes the small men every night so I can clean up the kitchen and get some 'me' time
Ahoy! Intrepid Yarn Aboard2 explorers Lewis and Clark showed up at my doorstep yesterday, bearing many goodies from the wonderful Margene at Zeneedle. There were so many goodies that I can't believe the box actually shut! So here is the haul-
Monkey Boy found a jar of chocolate milk mix....
Posted by shizzknits at 8:39 AM
*rant starts here* (skip to the bottom if you just want to see cute photos)
I'm a member of a professional photographer's board online and logged on a few days ago to discover that someone on Flickr was stealing images and claiming them as hers. A bunch of photogs had had their work stolen- imagine how shocked I was to find my photos among them.
I know other bloggers have had similar problems with people stealing images or material from their blogs or off of Flickr. This isn't the first time something like this has happened to me, either. In the past I've found my images on a person's 'professional portrait photography' site- she was also claiming my work as hers. When I emailed the so-called pro photog about the images, they suddenly disappeared from her website (tho she never replied to me).
But this time my images were stolen off of Flickr and someone else completely different was linking to photos here on my blog, claiming the photos as their own. I made these two discoveries within a few hours of each other, so I'm pretty pissed about the whole thing.
The Flickr problem has already been taken care of. As far as I know, the person who was linking directly to images on my blog has stopped doing it. But that won't stop anyone else from doing the same stuff.
People who link to my images or my blog while crediting me as the author of said images/material are fine with me. It's the losers who post my work and credit themselves that piss me off.
I'm still not sure what I will do in the long run about this problem. The obvious solution is to watermark all my images with my info....though that means a few seconds extra of editing before posting photos. Just not sure if the extra time spent watermarking will offset the annoyance factor of the image thieves. I know a particularly determined person can easily remove a watermark, but it does take *them* some extra time to do as well. It usually discourages the casual copyright thief though. This is something I'll have to think about over the next couple of days...just don't be surprised to see watermarked images from here on out.
Now, onto cute photos-
We had the neighborhood kids over for a Gingerbread House Raising....
Posted by shizzknits at 10:38 AM
Blogger that is.
It seems that everyone and their dog is upgrading to Blogger Beta. Beta is supposed to give you some cool features like the ability to tag/categorize your posts, more control over commenting, etc.. I've been wanting to switch because I really wanted to be able to tag posts and also get email addys for people who comment to my blog. I like to reply to comments, but Blogger doesn't require email addys & a lot of readers who comment don't leave their email. So there's no way for me to reply to them....or it takes a bit of digging (figuring out if they have a blog and a way to contact them on the blog). The problem with upgrading to Beta is that you have to wait for Blogger to allow you to switch- you can't just do it yourself. Up to now, I haven't had the offer to switch.
But today I logged on to post my Saturday Sky photo and my Blogger Dashboard says I can upgrade. Woot! Off I go to upgrade and ......
"Your blog is too large to update at this time. We are working on a way to upgrade larger blogs (with 1000 or more posts). Please be patient."
Well phooey on you-y, Blogger!
I guess I'll just have to make do with 'old' Blogger till they figure out how to get big blogs to upgrade. (And I never realized I had so many posts!)
Posted by shizzknits at 10:27 PM
taken at about 4pm yesterday. It had been a pretty warm day and I had the screen door open to take the trash out. Suddenly a big gust of wind came up and these dark clouds came in. The air filled with tiny little seed puffs from the canyon- it almost looked like it was snowing. Within 10 minutes the temperature had dropped ten degrees and I went from wearing a t-shirt to needing a sweater.
Posted by shizzknits at 4:43 PM
-hot matzo ball soup (I pretty much follow this method, but I add egg noddles for the small men)
-hearing Monkey Boy say "yummmeee" when he eats his soup
-getting to carpool pickup at the preschool early enough to catch a glimpse of Little Man on the playground. Love to watch how he plays and interacts with the other kids when I'm not around. So funny!
-Disneyland in December- we visited on Monday and it was wonderful. Lines were mellow enough for us to try two new rides with the small men. The weather was lovely (cool and sunny). And there are enough lights, ornaments and tinsel spread around to decorate a small country.
I have been following the Kim family's ordeal since Saturday and was so relieved when Kati and her girls were found. Unfortunately, this being real life, there is no happy ending. My heart fell when I saw the breaking news on Yahoo: James' body had been found around 1pm this afternoon.
Please spare a thought or prayer for the Kim family. There is a craft-related fundraising in the works here, if you 'd like to donate. And the official family page here.
And take the time to hug your sweet ones- all of them big and little.
Posted by shizzknits at 8:43 PM
Little Man has been asking me many times over the past few days: "mommy, how many days till Christmas?". Every time, I have to go show him the calendar we have on the kitchen wall and count the days with him.
Consulting the all-knowing Googlegod about 'advent calendar' took me to gorgeous blog, Allsorts , and her version of an Advent Calendar. So cute! I thought that would be a perfect way for Little Man to keep track of the days. But then I realized that it was already the 4th of December and if I tried to make something that involved, it wouldn't be done till next December.
Eventually I found my way over to Anna Maria's blog where she gives a wonderful tute on making a felt circle garland. I combined Anna's idea with the concept of an advent calendar and came up with this:
"They" say is takes 30 days to make an activity become a habit. That is, after doing the same thing for 30 days, it become a habit and it will stick with you for the long run.
I think I have a habit and it's called NaBloPoMo-itis. Symptoms? Constantly thinking of things to blog about (like in the grocery store yesterday, when the checker wouldn't. stop. talking. I kept thinking this conversation would make the funniest blog post. Of course as soon as I left the store I'd forgotten what the heck he kept talking to me about.) The biggest symptom is the urge to blog on a daily basis. It's not a horribly disfiguring disease, but it can be annoying nonetheless. I'm hoping to be recovered soon. :)
On another note- I'm one of the YarnAboard2 participants and evidently there have been mucho problemos with the swappers this round. Each person receives a box with goodies in it in the mail. You have seven days to pack the box with different goodies and pass it along to the next person on the list. The first round of YA went wonderfully and I hade a great time.
The second round grew so large that the hostess Amanda had to send out multiple boxes. At first it was all going well, but in the past month several of the boxes have been hijacked. In other words they were received by the swappers, but never passed on. So the swappers got their yarny goodies but the next people on the list got nothing.
Now, I know that Life sometimes gets in the way of things like swaps. Totally understandable. If you have something going on that's eating up all your energy, it's hard to get into the spirit of swapping. But how hard would it be to spend 30 seconds emailing the swap hostess and telling her you can't participate as planned. And how about sending the box on instead of keeping it? Because keeping it means you're a thief IMO.
I feel so bad for Amanda- her patience has got to be wearing thin. One of the swappers in question has hijacked TWO boxes. Awful. I'm of the opinion that we should have a public blog where bad faith swappers can be posted....that way if you are running a swap you'll know who to watch out for.
And of course if you visit the blog(s) of the Bad Swappers in question, they have either stopped posting completely or cowardly enabled comment moderation so no one else can see how much bad karma they're setting themselves up for.
I'm a big believer in 'what comes around goes around' (credit my Buddhist granny)....I'm sure there's some really nasty knittery karma headed to those Bad Swappers. Just so.
Posted by shizzknits at 8:31 AM
Posted by shizzknits at 8:49 AM