Saturday, April 28, 2007

A sock problem...

There is a sock monster in my house. It does not live in the dryer, as some might think. No, mine wanders the house, nose in the air, scenting the newly discarded sock. In a house with 3 children, there is a bevy of choices. Baby sock? Small, chewy, sweet bouquet. They go down in seconds. Perhaps a little more substantial? Ahhh we have a choice of wet and extra sandy from Liam, and the barely worn, under the couch for a day coming off of Brandon (he's a barefooter like his momma). These take a little more time, and require a good hiding place. It is suspected that this monster may have dared to gnaw through a technical running sock. Perhaps the smell of the great outdoors mingled with salt and sweat were just too much to bear. But I see them all in the end. Outside, on the grass, as I remove the sock monster's waste from our yard. Meet Charlie, the sock monster.

Why is this important, you might ask? I have been bitten by the sock knitting bug. Yes. Me, the ultimate barefoot mistress, is now obsessed with knitting socks. I'll just wait until your done laughing at the irony of the situation. Needless to say, my newly burgeoning love of socks has me eyeing this monster with some trepidation.

I cannot get enough of the socks. And what's worse, I'm knitting them for myself. I know, I know. You might think that someone who can barely keep a shoe on their foot for longer than an hour, and less than 30 seconds inside my house, would think of knitting for someone else. Yah. I'm thinking of it. While I knit my own socks.

The first pair I knit, I gave to mother. While I am certain that she appreciates the work that went into them, I am afraid that she will not wear them, simply because I made them. I am with the Yarn Harlot on this one though...I want you to wear them. The greatest compliment I could recieve from someone is that whatever I made for them is in complete ruin because it was used/worn so much. Then I know that I did a good job. I want my things loved. So, having noticed that after a couple of weeks my mother had not put on her new pair of socks yet (they were still on the kitchen counter where my mother put them after I gave them to her), I decided that the next pair would be for me. They were fun to knit, and when I put them on, I actually kept my shoes on the whole day, they were so silky smooth, I never wanted to take them off. Now they are hiding in my "delicate/hand wash" clothes pile, waiting for the day that I become so inspired as to clean them. This should happen soon. It's been a few weeks now. I'll post a picture of them once they are dry (and on my feet) once again.

For those who don't know, I am happily enrolled in the Pick Up Sitcks Sock Club, and recieving new sock yarn and a pattern each month. This is the coolest thing ever. It's like getting a birthday present every month! I am like a child as the end of a month approaches, and I begin to anticipate "the package." I wait, looking out the kitchen window, front door open, listening for the sound of the mail truck down the street. I can hear it coming 2 or 3 doors down now. Finally, the day arrives, the package is here! I shall knit another pair of socks! Currently on the sticks I have a sock that I am knitting using the lovely and simple sock recipe shown by the Harlot on her Knitty Gritty episode a couple of weeks back. Due to other knitting (little pocket monsters which have escaped under the bed) I have been a little behind on knitting these socks. So completely unexpected - but still joyfully recieved! - came the April yarn and pattern from Pick up Sticks! Isn't it beautiful?

Each pattern and yarn is made specially for the club. But there is a problem this time. I REALLY don't like the pattern they sent. The pattern that the yarn came with was for a toe-up anklet, which sounds like a lot of fun. It's just the funky pattern stitch over the instep that I don't like. So, after I got over myself trying to decide how to design a better sock (cough) and a quick search of the web, I settled down to these. Which do you think, One, Two, or Three? Any thoughts from the Peanut Gallery?

Thursday, April 26, 2007

What time is it again?

Today Brandon was at school at 8am sharp. Good you might think? No. School starts at 7:40am. Sharp. For reasons which I cannot quite explain, I seem unable to get my three children dressed, fed, shoed, and out the door by 7:30. Perhaps it is related to the fact that every time I turn around another flat surface has been covered by papers, toys, boxes, and dog toys. Perhaps not. There is definitely some sort of force for chaos that lives in my home. I am afraid to venture a guess as to who or what that might be. Let us just say that it has a vicious sense of humour. Like when I spent a whole week looking for the USB cable that would connect my camera to my computer, and then woke up one morning to find it IN THE MIDDLE of my bedroom floor. Definitely vicious.

So today I begin my FlyLady routine building adventure once again, and attempt to exorcise chaos from my home. I was talking with my sister yesterday - a born organized being, very rare and strange - and we were talking about organized homes. I mentioned that at my home in Duarte I was able to implement the Flylady strategy, and keep it going for a bit, but that as soon as I moved into my grandparents home (with the general idea that I would be caring for my grandfather in addition to my own little brood) it all seemed to fall apart. Danae thoughtfully pointed out that I had added 60 years of my grandparents clutter and stuff to my own 10 years of accumulation. Hmmmm. She might have a point there. The hardest part of living in the home that was once my grandparents is that it is hard for me move things, or get rid of anything. But I must. There is simply too much for me to deal with. So I begin the Super Fling Boogie today! I will likely find that most of the junk is mine anyway. So, to all who sneer at me today, I say "Bring it on!" Laundry folding duel anyone?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Bunk Beds, Monsters, an Sushi Tacos? OH MY!

Yes, you read that right. Sushi Tacos. Brandon is on his way to becoming a cutting edge chef a la George Duran from Ham on the Street, by mixing and combining every day foods in new and, ummm, interesting ways. He has an enormous amount of fun giving me a couple of ingredients that he would like me to incorporate into dinner that night. After seeing my blog, he now wants me to post his "Recipe of the Week". Stay tuned. I have no idea what might be next.

As for the rest of my life, I have been so busy that I have hardly had a chance to check my email. Last Wednesday bunk beds were delivered to my home in 7 different boxes. Seven. I stood there, looking at them stuffed into my boys little bedroom, and wondered where my genie bottle had gotten to. Come Sunday, my genie appeared in the form of my family. Yay! My mother, father, and sister came up to help, and with Javier leading the charge, we got these bad boys up in a little over two hours. Aren't they wonderful? (Be warned, this might be the only time we see the beds actually made) We ordered them from Simply Bunk Beds online. While there was some trepidation about having bought a major furniture item online, without having seen it, we plunged in headfirst, and hoped for the best. At the moment, I feel like we missed all the big rocks, and I hope for smooth sailing from here.

Being thoughtful and prudent parents, we decided that Brandon should be on the top bunk, and that Liam should be on the bottom bunk. This seemed a safe and practical decision. Easy, right? Not. Brandon does NOT like change. He want's everything to stay the same. Always just as he has known it. Moving to a bunk bed was a difficult decision for him, much less sleeping way up in the air. We convinced him that it would be cool to sleep on the top, and bribed him a little with the addition of his very own book light. That way he could stay up and read for half an hour after Liam goes to bed. (By the way, anyone know where I can find one that clips to the rail?). He liked this idea. So we got him up there.

Now Liam, Mr. Adventure himself, was gung ho for the top bunk. Which made Javier think that maybe bungie jumping from the top bunk was not the best use of this new addition to our home. But how could we make the bottom bunk sound cool, without losing the ground that we gained in getting Brandon on the top? We build a fort. Top sheets finally have a purpose in my house! They made the perfect walls for Liam's fort, and Brandon got to go inside. Now if we can only convince the baby not to climb the ladder....I haven't got any ideas here. At an incredibly precocious 22 months, there is nothing that Maia would rather be doing than going up and down that ladder, and watching Daddy have a heart attack, worrying about her falling down and breaking a leg, in addition to the 10 stitches she had on her forehead in February. I'll have to post about that another time...

So, we have a new bed in the boys room, and the toddler bed that has been Liam's for the last few years, is now Maia's. Now all I have to do is clear the ton of junk out of the third bedroom so that Maia can finally have her own space. Maybe I'll manage this sometime after Brandon's birthday, which is coming up next week. Maybe.

And, of course, with a new bed, there must be monsters... And these have moved in already! I knit them from this wonderful pattern found at Knitty. They are actually one of the reasons that I am so busy. The Preschool that Liam goes to is a Co-op, which means that there is a lot of parent involvement. One of the things that we are required to do is donate a handmade item for the yearly Carnival, which is their major fund raiser each year. So these cute little pocket monsters are destined for the craft booth. Once I get a few more made. They were due on Monday, but time had escaped me once again, and now I find myself knitting frantically, trying to get these done while my lovely socks sulk at me inside my go-knit pouch. I don't dare say it too loud, but I am really enjoying knitting up these little creatures. I am finding that I can get the knitting done in about 2-3 hours, something new is happening every few rows, and it is just plain fun watching the shape come together. Once I get the bottom seamed on, I just need to sew on eyes and things. I still need to sew the sachets for the inside...hopefully that won't take too long though. I think I shall go cast on for the next little monster. I need to do a few that will stay here as well - each of my babies has requested their very own pocket monster. Sooo cool to knit things that they really want!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

A Night Interrupted...

This could be the title for my life for about the past 7 years. I don't think that I have had an uninterrupted nights sleep since Brandon, my oldest, was born. There is always something... help going to the potty, night light on, music on, music off, there's a monster in my closet, and when they are babies, the night time feedings. Even Charlie the Dog gets in on the fun occassionally and cries to go outside at 3am!

Well, last night it was Liam. I hear a little cry from the bathroom calling for Momma to help at nearly midnight. I have only one do you manage to miss, when you have a pull-up for insurance? This I don't know. Maybe it is some sort of male child super power. Perhaps they give each other lessons in the pre-school yard. Maybe I'm just too tired to think rationally at 12am. One way or the other, there I am, changing sheets, again, in the middle of the night. It's a Mom's life.

Liam, my intrepid 4 year old wonder child is gearing up for Kindergarten in the fall. He is very excited about the prospect of going to a the "Big Boy School" where his older brother goes. Sierra Madre Elementary School has been good to us so far, and I it really tickles me that I went to this school, as did my father. We are generational there. It's a cool kind of status, I think. My only complaint is that they are not consistent with the times of year that they register for Kindergarten. When I registered Brandon it all began in March. This year, the first week of April comes around, and I turn in the paperwork to discover that they have been accepting registrations since December, and I will likely only have the choice of the afternoon Kindergarten. This could not be more awful in my opinion. Here I am, dreaming of the time that I can drop off both of my boys, take my little girl to pre-school, and actually have 1 whole hour where no one needs anything from me. It sounded of heaven. And yet, because I chose to assume I knew when registration began, (my wonderful husband would have something to say about the word ass-u-me) It looks like it will be yet another year. Will I ever learn not to procrastinate? I shall just have to add it to the list of things to do in my life. Anyone got a pencil and paper?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Witness all who come here, as I succumb to the fantastical temptations of the cyberverse. I shall BLOG!

Why, you might ask? I am still working on that one myself. Perhaps it is because I am enjoying checking in on friends who are far away, or whom I don't get a chance to converse with much, and this somehow helps me to feel more connected to their lives. And so I think that perhaps there are those in my life who would also enjoy checking in on me and my life in a similar manner. Or perhaps I just harbor a secret wish to be like the fabulous Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, the Yarn Harlot herself, the mega-diva of the knitting bloggers. Nah... that sounds like too much work. Stephanie is wonder woman, as far as I am concerned. Not only is she the mother of 3 teenage daughters, with a loving and helpful husband, but she is an author, knitter extroidinaire, lives a full life filled with interesting and engaging moments which she shares with a blog reading community of thousands. I could only hope.

My life is somewhat mundane, filled with my wonderful husband, Javier, and 3 children as well. My beautiful boys, Brandon (6) and Liam (4), and my gorgeous little girl, Maia (almost 2). Also under my roof reside Charlie the dog, Missy and Bob-Cat the cats, Poppy the parakeet, and Fish, who is, well, a fish. A beta fish. Lovely, but a little boring in my book. There will surely be copious posts about these people, as they are my everyday joy and life. I stay home to care for these voracious beings, and give of my life and soul each day, and each day I am filled up again by their love and laughter. That my husband Javier, spends his precious time each weekday making the money that makes our lives possible fills me with awe and admiration. I will never find a way to adequately express my appreciation for all the work that he does for us. Maybe I should try cleaning the house every once in a while...

I knit, I write, I cook and clean, I make music whenever I am able, I wipe noses and bottoms on a daily basis and on a good day, they are not using ME as the tissue; I try to remember to do the dishes and the laundry.

So welcome to my world! It is a bit disorganized, full of life and mess, music and knitting. Leave me a line if you drop on by!