Monday, December 31, 2012

2012... 2013

Today is a very special day!  Yes, it's New Year's Eve, but it's also my baby Dodo's FIFTH birthday.

How did that happen?  Five years.  Already?  It's not real.

We're not having a real celebration until next weekend, but she did get a couple things today.

Crazy Birthday Cake hat (Snappytots pattern)

Panda Bear hat (improvised)

I didn't finish her Dodo hat, but she really didn't care.  I made her some brownies and they got to enjoy some sparkling cider to celebrate her birthday and NYE.  Bill took the girls out for breakfast AND lunch today, so she was definitely spoiled all day long.

I decided to clean up my photos on the computer.  So I thought I'd share some highlights of the year...

 Started off the year by getting to go on my first (and probably only) cruise!

 Bill's Aunt and Grandmother came to visit

Isabelle turned 6 and Bill's mom and her boyfriend came to visit.

 My parents' apartment burned down.

 Our trip to Moro Bay State Park

Olivia turned 8

 The Color Run!

 Our Crazy Christmas Tree

 Snowpocalypse 2012

So... what's up for 2013?

I have an afghan in the planning stages.  I'm learning Tunisian crochet and making up my own pattern as I go along.  Because I have to be complicated like that.  It's going to be a Sock Monkey theme.  I can't wait to get started.  I'm just waiting on my yarn.  I ordered it online because JoAnns had the yarn I needed on sale and I wasn't going to make it to the store in time because of the Snowpocalypse.

I have my half-marathon training going on AND I've started Turbo Jam.  I bought a Fitbit and hope that will help to keep me on track and focused.

I want to use my phone camera less and my real camera more.

I want to just enjoy this year.  Be proud of myself.  Continue with my goals and just make this a great year.

Happy New Year to all of you.  May you make 2013 the best year of your life to date.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

I've got POWER!!

So... how was your Christmas?  Did Santa bring you something nice, or were you naughty this year?  Hmmm?  I got mostly gift cards and cash.  I won't complain.  =)

We went to my parents' for Christmas Day, despite the threat of snow.  We had a good time and the girls were spoiled with a Princess Dream Castle and bows and arrows.  We left there about 5pm, and the snow had already started.  It took us THREE HOURS to get home.  It was awful.  Three hours in the van, driving 20-30 mph for 70 miles... with three over-tired, hyper kids.  Good grief.

We got home and got the kids to bed, just in time for the power to go out.  On the way home, I had noticed several friends posting on facebook about their power going out and I just had a bad, bad feeling about it.  Here in Arkansas, snow usually means massive power outages.  Because it's Arkansas and we don't prepare for this.  Our last White Christmas was probably decades ago, so no one really thought it would happen.  But it happened and shortly after getting the kids in bed... boom, no power.

We woke up chilly with a thick blanket of snow on the ground outside.  We got several inches.  I was supposed to go to work, but the roads were terrible, so I stayed home.  The girls played for about 5 minutes in it before deciding it was much prettier to look at from inside the house.  

So, we sat around all day Wednesday... no power.  I went into work for a few hours today, but came home to... no power.  Luckily, our house is really well insulated, so with that and the gas oven, we were able to keep it from being too uncomfortable inside the house.  The girls were so stir crazy that I was ready to tie them to a chair.  Then, about 8pm tonight, the lights came back on.

Such a relief!

Hopefully the road conditions will improve tomorrow so that Bill will feel safe enough to take the truck and leave me the van and I can get the girls out for a while.  But it's supposed to rain tonight and tomorrow, so I really don't have much hope there.  We'll see...

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Zoe's Zebrunicorn and the Dumpster Tree

The girls are busy coloring in their giant coloring books and I'm relaxing with a cup of coffee before we get ready to go to Grandma and Pawpaw's house.  I thought I'd share the final handmade gift this year... the Zebrunicorn!


I used the same pattern as I did with Olivia's unicorn.  There's really not much more to say about it.  =)

But the tree...

Lord, the tree.

We waited until the last minute to put up a tree.  I made a deal with the girls that they could have the tree if they cleaned up after themselves, and they failed to keep their end of the bargain.  So we waited until this past weekend.  Bill was supposed to come home Saturday night and I'd help him get our artificial tree out of the attic.  He was late, I was tired.  I went to bed.  I woke up at 2:30 am to loud voices.  We had a tree.  Not the one in the attic, though.

Bill cut it down himself.  It was growing at work, in the fence behind the dumpster.

I can't make this stuff up, guys.

Kinda gappy

A little too tall

And thorny

But he was so happy.  I don't really like real trees.  I don't like the smell and they're messy.  But he was happy.  So, we decorated it.

We had to secure it to the wall.... it fell over twice.

Yeah, he went there.  

It's a Charlie Brown Christmas, y'all!

It's not staying up much after Christmas.  Bill didn't even put water in the stand... 

I can hear it now... in 20 years "Isabelle, do you remember the year Daddy brought home that tree from the dumpster at work?"  Making memories....


Merry Christmas, you guys!  From my crazy family to yours!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Hobbes has a girlfriend

I told you that Isabelle wanted me to make a friend for Hobbes.  A girlfriend, to be exact.  I wasn't really excited about making a girl Hobbes, but I think she's pretty cute.

hobbes' girlfriend

I used the same pattern that I used to make Hobbes.  She's a lighter color than Hobbes and I made her smile.  Isabelle says Hobbes looks sad, so I figured his girlfriend should look happier.

hobbes' girlfriend

I still wish I could have made a Calvin... I may still try to at some point... but I'm glad Hobbes has a girlfriend, too.  They make a cute couple.

hobbes' girlfriend

(Boy, Hobbes is looking a little rough.  Eh, it just means he's been loved...)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Rosey Ripple Afghan

I get to cross something off of my 37 List!  I have completed my Rosey Ripple Afghan!

Rosey Ripple

I started this way back in summer as a way to break up the monotony of the Rose Field Throw (which is no where close to being complete).  I am giving it to my Mom for Christmas.  It's only a lap throw... it's about the size of a baby blanket, really.  I didn't make it wide enough to be anything else.  But it would be good to curl up on the couch with a book and keep the tootsies and legs warm... and my mom does that a lot.

Rosey Ripple

I used the Churchmouse Vintage Crocheted Blanket pattern.  It's a paid pattern, but worth it.  I will absolutely use it again.  I've never been a big fan of ripple afghans, but this one won me over.  Every time I worked on it in public, it definitely got attention.

I used Caron Simply Soft in Pistachio, Persimmon, Country Peach, and Off White.

Rosey Ripple

It's very possible that I used a larger hook when I started it than I did finishing it, that or the fact that I was working amigurumi at the end but not at the beginning (my tension is much tighter with ami, so it probably carried over)....  the beginning is a little looser than the end, but it's not incredibly noticeable. I don't think so anyway. 

I think the Rose Field Throw will take much, much longer to finish.  I'm still contemplating just making it a pillow cover.  I have a laundry list of other projects I'm dying to do.  =)  As usual.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Hermoine the Unicorn

I have completed one of the girls' Christmas lovies! 


This is Olivia's unicorn.  I used this pattern.  Bonus... it's a free pattern!


I really loved this pattern, with a few exceptions.  The nose kind of is a little too round for my liking.  One of my favorite things, which is also the other exception (bear with me) is that you attach everything as you go... there is no sewing on of the ears or legs, you crochet them into the head and body as you are making them.  I absolutely love that there is no assembly at the end.  However, it does make it a little awkward to crochet at times.  But it was worth it knowing that nothing could fall off later.  Like Olivia's cat's tail. 

The hair is Red Heart with Love in Fruit Punch.  I'm not a huge fan of variegated yarns, but I really like this one.  I think it was perfect for the hair.   The body is just I Love This Yarn in white and the horn is gold something or other... it's the color of Hobbes' girlfriend.  She just needs to be assembled.  I'm so close!

Zoe's Zebrunicorn is almost finished.... it just needs the mane and tail.  Same pattern.  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

37 Things To Do While 37

Originally, this blog was a 101 things to do in 1001 days blog, but I never finished it.  1001 days is a long time to keep up with a list of things to do.  But hopefully a year isn't.  This is a list of 37 things I want to accomplish before I turn 38 on December 6, 2013.  (There are actually more than 37 things.  I couldn't help myself)

Fitness Related
  • Walk a half-marathon (complete 3/3/13)
  • Walk the River Trail loop
  • Do Turbo Jam (started 12/28/12)
  • MS Walk (5/4/13)
  • Heart Walk (4/20/13)
  • Diabetes Walk (4/13/13)
  • Mud Run (can't do, same day as SWHM)
  • Go to Yogathon
  • Get below 240 (2/22/13)
  • Get below 230 (5/29/13)
  • Get below 220
  • Get below 210
  • Get below 200
  • Climb Pinnacle Mountain
  • Go to the waterfall @ Petit Jean
  • Read "It Starts With Food"   finished 1/4/13... highly recommend, by the way
  • Soaring Wings Half Marathon (registered, it's 10/26/13)
Family Related
  • Family portrait
  • 3 dates with Bill (5/20/13)
  • 3 dates with Olivia
  • 3 dates with Isabelle (6/5/13)
  • 3 dates with Zoe
  • Take pictures of the girls in my wedding dress 
  • Take a picture every month with ME and the girls (January, February, March, April, May - done)
  • Finish my Rose Field throw/pillow
  • Finish my Vintage Ripple throw completed 12/22/12
  • Make another afghan (begun, progress less than slow right now)
  • Make a doily rug
  • Crochet a mandala
  • Finish my green quilt
  • Finish my lantern pod quilt
  • Make a "coloring book" skirt
  • Pay off van
  • Get a new tattoo
  • Get new glasses 
  • Get a pedicure
  • Paint the washer and dryer
  • Make a motivation board
  • See a movie... in a theater... not a kids' movie.

Friday, December 14, 2012

So tired...

Today started at 3 am with a little face in mine asking me if it was time to leave to go have surgery.

Zoe had a tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy, and tubes placed in her ears today.  "The Works" as the doctor called it.  I was a wreck.  Zoe, on the other hand, acted like she was going to Disneyland.  I guess in my efforts to try to not pass on my White Coat Syndrome to my kids, I've created three little monsters who L-O-V-E to go to the doctor.  They actually get jealous when one sister gets to go and they don't. 

The surgery went very well.  And fast.  Between the time we waited to go back into Pre-Op and the time she was in surgery, I only managed to get 1 1/2 rows done on my ripple blanket.  And I wasn't the only hooker in the waiting room.  The lady was fascinated by the pattern of the ripple.  She had only done basic ripples before and was intrigued by the V-stitch ripple.  But anyway...

The doctor said Zoe's adenoids blocked 75% of her airway... and I know her tonsils were almost touching.  This is without her being sick, mind you.  I'm looking forward to quieter nights around here.  She sawed logs like a lumberjack.  He also said we should notice her hearing improving right away, too.  She definitely sounds different without all that junk stuffing up her throat and nose...

We only had to stay in recovery about half an hour.  Zoe did very well, so we were turned loose early.  And she's done pretty well all day.  Much better than I anticipated.  I thought she'd sleep the day away and I'd have to fight her to eat and drink.  But she has been asking for food all day and has gotten mad at me more than once for denying her things like pretzels and pizza.  And she wouldn't sleep.  Even when I gave her the prescription pain meds.  She was so tired, though.  I was practically begging her to just close her eyes because she had finally started getting really whiny and I'm exhausted so I'm having to be very careful not to get snippy.  I had to put her sisters to bed, so I stood her up off of my lap and she literally crumpled to the floor and was out like a light.  I thought surely she was just being dramatic, but no - she was out cold.  One second  awake, the next out.  I really feel like I could do the same right about now, to be honest.  I NEED to work on the girls' Christmas presents and wrap up some presents, but I'm so tired.  I already dozed off crocheting once today, so I'm pretty sure I won't make it 2 rows on the tiger's leg before I do it again.

Monday, December 10, 2012

8 miles

Did I mention that I was terrified of my 8 mile walk this past weekend?  Yeah.  I was.  I remembered when my 4 mile walks turned into 6 mile walks.... and my first 6 miler was simply painful.  Not only did I irritate my peroneal tendon (outside ankle), I felt like my legs were just going to fall off my pelvis the last mile.  So I was really afraid I'd be crawling the last mile or so back to the van, because there aren't too many places on the trails where someone could just come pick me up if I gave out.

But it was fine, really.  I was sore most of today (ankles and knee mostly), but I seem to have worked all the kinks out.  8 miles is a loooooong walk, though.  2 hours and 8 minutes of walking... a 33 oz bottle of water, a Cliff bar, and a bottle of Gatorade.  And lots of music.  I burned approximately 1100 calories (maybe Santa will bring me a Fitbit or something so I can have an accurate number?).  I think I have one more 8 mile, then a drop back down to 4, and another 8 or maybe 2 before I bump up again... to 10 miles.  I'm not quite ready to wrap my head around 10 miles yet.

I plan on actually registering for the half-marathon before the end of the month.  Eek.


I'm making progress on Hobbes' girlfriend and the unicorn and zebrunicorn.  I'm alternating what I work on, depending on my mood.  And while the girls are awake, I'm working on my Rose Field blanket and my Vintage Ripple.  I need to take some pictures of them.  The Rose Field will probably end up just a pillow cover because it is still so small.  Since I'm using the same yarn for both blankets, I just work a row on the ripple, then make a rose.  The ripple is not as wide as I'd like, but I'll deal with it when the time comes.


I had this idea the other day.  I didn't actually hit my 37 lbs before 37, but I liked having that goal.  But I wanted to do something different this year.  I'm going to come up with 37 things to do while I'm 37.  Or 38 things to do before I turn 38.  We'll see if I can come up with that extra thing.  I think so far, I've thought of 24 things.  More thinking is in order.  They're not all fitness related, but quite a few are.  There are some crochet goals and some family goals.  If you have any suggestions, let me know.  =)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Doing the most good...

One of the ladies that I play Pokeno with helps to coordinate bell ringers for the Salvation Army kettles.  She was talking with my sister about it and they decided it would be great if I did it with the girls.  I wasn't so sure at first, it took me a little bit to warm up to the idea.... it's a 2 hour shift and I was pretty sure that there was no way my kids would last 2 hours.  I agreed to it, but I have to admit, I kind of dreaded it a bit.  Sure, they were excited and probably would be all sorts of cute for half an hour, but it was the other 90 minutes I was concerned about.  I probably would have backed out if my sister wasn't at the other entrance with her own kettle.  So I knew I had some back up if things got bad.

It turned out to be an excellent day weather-wise.  We expected rain, but not a drop fell from the sky.  And it was warm enough to not need jackets.  My sister was in short sleeves.  Very warm for December.  So we avoided the "I'm cold and wet" misery potential.  =)


Miss Rhonda made sure each girl had an apron and a bell.  That made 4 bells.  We were probably the loudest kettle most people had to walk by this season.  LOL


Zoe, who hates walking, also is not a fan of standing for extended periods.  But she did very well, as long as I let her sit every so often. 


I finally convinced Olivia to wear her hat.  She begged me to make this hat and refused to wear it until today.


A lot of people just handed their money to the girls to put in the kettle.  That made them so happy.  The girls sang a little - especially Isabelle - danced a little.  They really did a good job. 

About an hour into it, Isabelle started a new dance.... she had to go to the bathroom.  I was not about to send her into the store alone and we couldn't abandon the kettle, so I called for my back up.  My sister had a friend with her, so she was able to leave their kettle and come watch ours while I ran the girls in for a potty break.

The girls definitely started wearing down in the second hour, but they were real troopers.  Towards the end, my sister came down and offered to let them come to her kettle one at a time.  It definitely helped give them that break in the monotony to keep them from just melting down.

Olivia's turn

This was really a great experience.  It went so much better than I could have hoped for.  And I saw so many people break into smiles at seeing the girls.  I know that a lot of people get irritated at bell ringers.  It's noisy and if you don't put something in the kettle, you feel a little guilty.... if my kids didn't enjoy sticking whatever change I can dig up at the time in there, I'd be pretty annoyed most of the time as well.  So I was really touched to see so many people walk by with smiles instead of scowls.  Two different occasions, these big, tough, tattooed guys walked by, saw the girls, and started digging in their pockets for something to put in the kettle.  I loved that.  (Of course, we all know those big tough guys usually have the softest hearts anyway)  I mean, the whole experience was just what Christmas is all about - people smiling, people giving with joy, happy children.  You wouldn't think that standing around ringing a bell for 2 hours would qualify as the highlight of the season, but I really think - unless something spectacular and unforeseen happens - this certainly will be mine.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Another year down...

Yesterday was my birthday.  I turned the big 3-7, which sounds a lot more than 36 for some reason.  I have never really cared much about my age before, but as I creep towards 40, it kind of freaks me out a little bit.

Let me tell you something really pathetic, though.

I dreaded my birthday this year.  The week before my birthday, I was in a terrible funk over it.  I didn't mention it to anyone, because I felt like it was really childish.   It's like once I turned 30, my birthdays became total bummers.  And I felt like this year would be the same... I mean, I'm not an attention whore by any means (I don't think so anyway), but I just wished someone would make a fuss over me.  And I just knew that wouldn't happen.  My husband is notorious for not making a big deal of my birthday (to put it nicely LOL) and after cutting out two of my closest friends, I really figured I'd have a big ol' "Nobody loves me" pity party.  (I told you it was childish)  And I'm not even CLOSE to my 37 lb weight loss goal. I knew weeks ago it wouldn't happen, but it was still a let down.  It took me a few days to come to terms with all of that and I just tried to expect another day like any other and not be disappointed. 

But you know what?  It was an awesome day.

I got a few little presents that were very thoughtful.  I don't expect gifts, and I really don't like gifts for gift-giving's sake, if you know what I mean.  You know, those generic little "I felt like I should get you something, but really don't want to think about it" kind of gifts.  But I genuinely loved everything.

I can never have too many sock monkeys

We called this a voodoo doll, but it might actually be more like a worry doll or something, but whatever you call it, it is seriously awesome.  I'd put it on my keys but I'm afraid it will fall apart.

My first birthday cake from my husband, who knows better than to bring home a whole cake.  It came with a tiny spork.  I think the spork was the best part. I dropped several hints that a metal spork would make an excellent Christmas present.  (Seriously.  I'm not being snarky.  I have a thing for sporks)

Flowers.  Zoe insisted.  And Bill knew I liked these better than the pink roses Zoe picked out.

And to finish off the day, my brother-in-law watched the girls so I could have the night off to go play Pokeno.  My sister made me an apple spice cake with cinnamon cream cheese icing and everyone sang Happy Birthday to me.  I felt a little emotional for a minute.  Because, you know, I expected a day where I'd get maybe a few "Happy Birthdays", ending with me feeling a little lonely and sad.  Instead I felt so much love ALL DAY LONG. 

I never even realized my parents forgot to call me.  Ha!  I am in no way upset about that... they've had a really hectic week - my Mom had back surgery on Monday - so I totally understand.  I just laughed about it when my Dad called me today, because it just was funny to me.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Well, the plan WAS...

I told myself, "Self, let's not make anything for Christmas this year."  I know, ridiculous.  But, as I have said before, I have a precarious balance between working out and crocheting.  Deadlines for crochet projects definitely throw off the balance.  Plus, I doubted my kids would even notice, let alone care if I didn't make them something.


I got Isabelle's Christmas list. 

She wants a friend for Hobbes.

I made Hobbes for her for Christmas last year.

How can I say no?

I got really excited about it at first.  I mean, what would you assume should be Hobbes' friend?

Duh, Calvin.

I started scheming and looking at pictures.  I tried to wrap my brain around how to make his hair.  And Isabelle came by, so I showed her what I was looking at.  "This is Calvin, he's Hobbes' best friend!"  She said, "Oh.  Can he be a girl?"


"What I really want is you to make Hobbes again, in pink.  So he has a girlfriend."


A little bargaining and discussion and we are avoiding a pink Hobbette.

Hobbes is getting a girlfriend

But he IS getting a girlfriend.

Aaaaaaannnnndddd, I just don't feel right making Isabelle something and not her sisters.

Olivia's getting a unicorn.  And Zoe is getting a zebra unicorn, because Santa is going to disappoint her in her request for a pony (a real one, she specified), so maybe getting  the only Zebrunicorn in the world will make up for it.  Zebrunicorn.  I made that up.  You have to pronounce it right... it's not Zeebrunicorn, it's short "e".  Zoe pronounces Zebra like the British... like the name Debra.  I made it up, I make the rules of pronunciation.  OK?  =)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

It only took a couple of years...

I guess about 3 years ago, my Grandpa sold his house and we helped him move into an apartment.  I had this idea that day of photographing his wood carvings and making a nice photo book of them.  My Grandpa lives about an hour away and I'm a slacker, so it took me until this past summer to actually take the photos.  And then it took me until tonight to actually make the photo book. 

I am so excited, though!

I told everyone when I took the pictures that they were getting a copy for Christmas, and that's probably the only thing that got me to actually get the book finished.  And I know my sister reads this (HI CRYSTAL!), so this is her warning that if she wants to at least be surprised by what it looks like, she might not want to click the upcoming link.  (BYE CRYSTAL!)

Here's a link if you want to peruse the book.  And I'm just going to say, I'm not a graphic designer, OK?  I do my best, but I'm sure if you're a little OCD about design, you might not be all that impressed. 

Click here to view this photo book larger
Shutterfly baby photo books are the perfect way to preserve your baby's precious moments.

And just for full disclosure here, while I am really excited to show off the book, I do get to mail a link to my blog to get a $!0 gift certificate for embedding this code. 


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