Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Socks, Socks, and More Socks

I have been on a sock kick lately (with a random hat mixed in).  I am still working on my mom's sweater for Christmas, but it's nearly done.  I hope to complete it next week.  I have been putting it off for several weeks - not sure why since I only have one more sleeve to go.

Here are my recent projects!

Socks for Jack for Christmas.  I used my standard sock pattern for these.  It's such an easy pattern and I am comfortable with it.  

Yarn Credit:  Plymouth Diversity

Colorblock socks - I used my standard sock pattern but the colorblock was my creation.

Yarn Credit:  Berroco

I have been seeing patterns for colorwork and wanted to try it.  After a couple of YouTube videos, it looked easy!  And it was easy.  I just need to adjust my tension so that it's not so tight on the inside when switching colors.

Marching Alpaca hat

Yarn Credit;  Berroco

Another pair of socks.  Just looking at this picture, I realized that I needed to do something different.  I made the socks too small and I am seeing a lot of ladders in my stitches.  I have corrected this issue and knitting is always a learning process.

Yarn Credit:  Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock

Here is another shot of the same sock.  Crazy how the colors look so different in different lights.

After reading online about a sock heel that is supposed to change your life, I wanted to try it.  You make a cardboard form of your foot for measurement.  I knitted my first sock and I LOVED how easy the heel was.  It took less yarn as well so I could make the cuffs of the socks longer.

Well guess what?  It didn't fit!  Turns out that when I made the cardboard form, it was measured wrong.  After some adjusting, I fixed it.  Below is the first finished sock custom for my foot.

Pattern Credit:  Fish Lips Kiss Heel

Yarn Credit:  Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock

Oh look!  Another sock!  Knitted for Cal but it's slightly too big.  I will attribute that to the fact that he was wiggling so much when I took his measurements.

Yarn Credit:  Regia Colorways 

That's it for now.  I will have a picture of my mom's sweater hopefully soon.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


I don't have a whole lot of updates but I thought I would share some recent happenings in our lives.

* The boys had a blast on Halloween.  We went to my in-laws' and ate pizza before heading out to Trick or Treat.  We went to about 12 houses and that was plenty.  Here is my special forces soldier and my Elmo in all their glory:

* I have been trying to finish up my Christmas knitting. For some reason, I am procrastinating this year on finishing my mom's sweater and to make my sister's gift.  I have all the materials but just am NOT motivated.  I will do a post soon about all the things I have whipped up lately.

* Speaking of Christmas, I have been worrying about how I am going to buy all the gifts we need for people.  With money being tight this year and us trying to pay down debt, I have spent many a night worrying.  Yesterday, I followed up with someone who owes me a substantial amount of money and they will be paying me this week!  That has greatly reduced a lot of my stress and worry.  I have a few things tucked away for Christmas already but this will help me buy almost everything else.  

* This will probably sound contradictory in light of my money worries, but Jason and I went away for our anniversary.  It was budgeted and we did it fairly inexpensively.  We rented a condo on the Oregon Coast for $69 a night, which is completely reasonable.  It was very important for us to spend some time together sans kids and we had a really good time.  We slept in (7 am for me, ha!), ate really good food, saw a movie, relaxed and spent time with each other.  In the hustle and bustle of daily life, we often forget to talk to each other and have good conversation.  Date nights are far and few between so this was much needed.  Here are a few pictures:

This was the shot right outside our window.  What a view right?

The view outside our room at low tide

* I applied for a new position at work.  I interviewed several weeks ago but now I am waiting on some further information from my client - the client also has to interview me in order to approve the promotion.  It has been a month and I am getting anxious.  I wish I would hear one way or the other so I can work on looking for another position if necessary.  I don't discuss my job on here hardly ever.  I love my job.  I can't say that enough.  However, my boss is.........not good.  I won't say anything further about that.

That's about it for now.  I am very much looking forward to Thanksgiving next week.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Uncomfortable Topics

My blog has always been pretty light content wise.  I tend not to discuss heavy or controversial topics.  I think this does me a disservice because I have no place to vent.  On that note, I have uncomfortable things to share.

It's been a very rough couple of months in our household.  Between my depression, money and husband issues, it's been hard.  Very hard.

Our past spending and a very large amount of medical bills have been knocking on our door.  So much so that I have been consumed with worry about how I was going to pay them.  Finally, after much discussion with Jason, we decided to bite the bullet and just consolidate them.  My credit is terrible right now, and one other "hit" on my credit report can't hurt right?  Rather than spending $1500 a month - which is more than our mortgage payment and something I simply cannot afford, we have an affordable plan to pay off debt.

The above has been the biggest source of worry for me.  I tend not to share my worry with Jason or anyone really, so I have been internalizing it.  Which guess what?  Leads to anxiety and depression.  I have been in therapy since July and it is helping immensely.  I talk about my problem with low self-esteem, money worries, worrying about being a good parent, and feeling the burden of doing it all.

I have been doing it all and it takes a toll.  Between working 45 hours a week, doing all the housework, school drop offs and pick ups, and cooking, I am spent.  Jason is a stay-at-home dad but he isn't really the cleaning or cooking type.  This needs to change.  I absolutely cannot continue to do it all.  My health is suffering.  The relationship with my children and husband is suffering.  I will be having a talk with him about helping more.  I don't expect miracles or him to move mountains, but it would be really nice if he could clean up a little and perhaps do some of the school drop offs once in a while.

Speaking of Jason, I think he is depressed. He will deny it every time, but something is wrong.  He has been struggling with low testosterone for a couple of years and it's..........not good.  He refuses to see a doctor which is so incredibly frustrating.  He is afraid the doctor is going to tell him he's fat.  Well so what?  Wouldn't you rather have a physical and be uncomfortable for an hour rather than have the worry about dropping dead and leaving your family?  That seems dramatic, but it's true.  Diabetes, heart disease and other problems run in his family.  He has terrible sleep apnea from being overweight which leads to him falling asleep in random places at random times.  He needs help.  I can't force him to go to the doctor (I have tried).  The next step would be to threaten divorce but I am not that type of person. I can't do it.

It's been rough.  It will get better but at the moment, it seems insurmountable.

Sorry for the word vomit.  But I need somewhere I can talk about this.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Knitting Projects

I have been making and finishing tons of projects lately in anticipation of Christmas.  I am more than halfway done and with only 12 weeks or less to complete, I better hurry up!

I have made several of the hat below.  Several meaning 6 and I still have 1 more to make.  This particular hat is for my cousin's daughter.  She requested this hat in a pink and purple blend.  I think I nailed it with the yarn!

Yarn credit:  Malabrigo worsted in Brisa
Pattern credit:  Audrey Hat by Nancy Ricci (modified to fit a smaller size)

I wanted to make myself a cardigan sweater that was big and comfy and would be great for colder weather.  I think I succeeded!  I shopped around for yarn because I didn't want to pay $200 for yarn.  I found some yarn on KnitPicks.  It worked great!  Next time, I am going to splurge and buy more expensive yarn but not until I get to my goal weight.

I look pregnant in the picture.  I assure you I am not.  Just fat folks.

Yarn credit:  KnitPicks Brava worsted in Peacock
Pattern credit:  Effortless Cardigan by Hannah Fettig

I wish this next hat was more clear in regards to the color.  The color is stunning.  The yarn itself was amazing to work with.  Super soft and easy to use.  I find it makes a difference when you use a quality yarn.

Yarn credit:  Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage in Cousteau
Pattern credit:  Spiralini Hat by Jane Tanner

These next hats are Christmas gifts for my nephews.  I hope they like them!

Yarn credit:  KnitPicks Brava Worsted in Black, Grass and Silver
Pattern credit:  Knitted Critters for Kids to Wear by Jean Adel

Isn't this little sock adorable?  Baby socks are so fun because they knit up so fast and use minimal yarn.  I always save my sock yarn and can whip up a pair of wee socks in 2 hours.

Yarn credit:  Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock
Pattern:  Modified and made by me : )

Socks are so much fun to knit.  I don't know what it is about them.  Maybe the yarn I choose just makes me so happy?  Every time I finish a pair of socks, I just marvel at how cool they are.  I could seriously knit just socks for the rest of my life and be happy.

Yarn credit:  Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock in Peridot and Periwinkle
Pattern Credit:  Knitting Socks by Ann Budd

Finally, I am working on a sweater for my mom for Christmas.  I love how it's working up so far.  I keep picking it up and putting it down because I am in the boring part right now.  It's the knitting of the body and you knit continuously for 22 inches.  It gets a little tedious.

The yarn is much more purple than the picture appears.

Yarn credit:  KnitPicks Brava Worsted in Mulberry
Pattern credit:  Neckdown Pullover Tunic by Knitting Pure and Simple

I will post again when I complete a few more projects!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Back To School

It's that time of the year!  Both of my boys are in school this year.  Jack is in his third year with the same teacher, and Cal's first year at pre-school (it's actually called play-school but I digress).

Jack's first day went off without a hitch.  He loves school so he was looking forward to going back.  He attends school Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 12:00 to 2:45.  This was not an ideal time, but we didn't have much to choose from.  It was either that time block or every day in the morning for 2 hours.  This means that Jack doesn't get a nap anymore most days during the week.  We were expecting a disaster situation with no nap, but he surprised us and it's going well.  This also means that the boys don't have "Nana Day" on Friday.  Instead, they go on Thursday after Cal gets out of school.

He is nearly impossible to get pictures of, so this will have to do:

Cal goes to school on Tuesday and Thursday morning from 9:00 to 10:30.  His first week was rough.  He cried a bit at drop off and kept saying "I don't want to go to school".  After the second week, drop off was just fine.

Now Calvin exclaims "I love school!".  He even painted the other day!  He has a fear of getting his hands covered with paint so this is a big step.

Our schedules are still a little crazy but I am sure that once October comes to a close, we will be in the swing of things.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Summer Fun

This summer, I am trying to get out every weekend and do something with the boys.  Usually, it is something free or cheap.  Oaks Park was a splurge for sure, but playgrounds, splash pads and walks in the neighborhood is free.

I have taken the boys berry picking, to numerous playgrounds, splash pads, we have been to Blue Lake Park, on walks, we spend a lot of "nakey" time at home, trips to Nana's, special treats at Dairy Queen, play time at Dizzy Castle, trips to Target and other random stuff.

If all goes well this weekend and both of my kids stay healthy, the plan is to take them to the Oregon State Fair.

Enjoy some of the pictures of our summer time below!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Oaks Park

We have been packing activities in all summer and this weekend was no exception.  Even though Jack was getting over tonsilitis, he had been fever free for 48 hours on Sunday.  We had discount passes to a local amusement park, so we woke up the boys early from nap and headed out.  Neither Jason or I told the boys where we were going so it was extra fun once we pulled into the parking lot and they figured it out.

It was about 80 degrees yesterday and the park is in full sun with some shade from the trees.  Thankfully there was a nice breeze coming in off the river otherwise we would have sweat to death.

The very first ride the boys went on was this motorcycle ride.  Jack was super excited, but you can tell from the picture that Cal was a little hesitant.  After he realized that there was a horn and the bike did wheelies, he warmed up a bit.

The next ride the boys rode was this frog jumper one.  Jack loved it but this picture fully sums up Cal's reaction:  Not sure what to think.

Jack wanted to go on the little roller coaster so I took Cal on some rides more his speed while Jason braved the roller coaster line.  By this time, Cal was starting to really love the rides.  It was so cute when he would come around the ride and see me.  He would wave frantically and yell "Hi Mama!".  

On the carousel.  Hot as blazes.  Don't mind my gross red, sweaty face.  Cal would say "Up.  Down."  every time the horse would move.  So cute.

This is the only roller coaster picture I have.  It's hard to get one when it's moving so fast.  Jason and Cal are in the green car and you can't tell but Jack is hovered down and Jason's arm is around him.  He claims he loved the ride but Jason said he was really unsure with how fast it was moving.

Thank goodness for Jason.  He took the boys on a lot of rides that I just can't do.  I get severe motion sickness and anything that spins is off the table.  Like this hot air balloon ride.  The height doesn't bother me, but those baskets spin.  No thank you.

We took a quick break to get something to eat, hydrate and sit in the shade.  The boys ate a little - I had packed some healthier snacks so I didn't feel as guilty feeding them corn dogs or hot dogs.  Cal barely ate anyways.  It was nice to sit in the shade for a bit.  By the time we were done eating, it was much less sunny out.  It was getting towards dinner time and the sun was moving.  Thank goodness!

We stood in line for the ferris wheel and both boys loved it!  The boys really wanted to ride the train and it just so happen that there was no line.  By this time, the park had slowed down quite a bit, which was really nice.  

This ride was fun for the kids.  Not only did the boats fly up in the air, they jumped!  Cal thought it was just the best.  This was my attempt at getting the kids to say cheese for the camera.

Let me on, let me on!

Here is another ride that I wouldn't do so Jason took the boys.  Of course, they loved it and they rode it twice.

The rides were almost at closing time (they shut down at 7:00) so Jack and Cal played this fishing game and they each won a duck.  Cal saw another game with a Dora the Explorer poster as a prize and he yelled "DORA!".  Jason played some darts and won the Dora poster as well as two others.

After another ride on the carousel, the park was closing so we headed out.  The boys were promised an Icee so we stopped at the store on the way home to pick up an Icee and a couple of snacks.

Miraculously, bed time was a non-struggle.  Probably because the boys were so tired!  They went down a little later than normal and fell right asleep.

I am so glad we had this adventure.  I tried to be flexible, starting with a short nap and with what the kids ate for dinner, what time we ate, and bedtime.  It is pretty rare that we shift from the schedule and the boys really enjoyed themselves.  It is really fun to watch how excited they get over "kid" stuff.  It makes being a parent fun.  I can relive my childhood through them.