rewards of parenting

One of the things I find most rewarding about parenting is watching my children enjoy things that I enjoyed in my own childhood. Yesterday, my younger son and I went to see the local middle school’s production of Annie. It was really good and he fell in love with the songs and asked me to put them on his iPod. I flashed back to my own childhood and my cassette tape of the Annie soundtrack which I am pretty sure I listened to until it fell to pieces. I can’t actually remember if I ever got to see the play but I know I saw the movie in the 80s and liked it almost as much as I loved that tape.

Today, my older son had his friends over to play Dungeons and Dragons. That has become a regular occurrence. They play after school once a week but recently they have also started coming here once a week for a few hours. I didn’t play much actual D&D but I used to play RPGs in high school and college. We would play our games in a marathon in my friend Jeff’s basement, and we were older so there were smoke (not for me) and coffee (yes for me) breaks. It’s nice to see this group of kids that I’ve known since they were kindergarteners as high school students doing something so much like what I did in high school. They even sometimes play board games and let me play too.


NaBloPoMo Day 5: all kid, no knitting

It has come to my attention that some people don’t know what NaBloPoMo stands for. It is short for National Blog Posting Month. It was started by Eden Kennedy at Fussy um, a few years ago. It’s an offshoot of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). There’s also NaNoSweMo which is National Sweater Knitting Month. Don’t ask me why that’s not NaSweKniMo. I tried to do that one a couple of years ago and didn’t quite make it. That sweater was finished by the following February, though, for Stitches. That’s pretty good, right? (You don’t have to say right, I know it’s not impressive.)

I have not knit at all today. I’m not actually sure I knit at all yesterday either. I had some data entry to do for one of my part-time jobs, I did classroom hours in my younger son’s room, I did grocery shopping, I helped my older son get packed for three nights away at Science Camp (SOB! My baby!), I attended an info session for a charter school opening in the area. Lots of kid stuff. Not much me stuff.

Come to think of it, I could use a little knitting right now so this is all you get today.

NaBloPoMo Day 12: let’s not talk about the sock

I wasn’t sure what size needles I used to cast on for the wedge sock, but they “seemed” right.

Lesson 1: don’t go by how things “seem” in knitting.

They were not right. They are 2.5mm, or US size 1.5. Sounds small, right? Not small enough. I was getting 7 sts/in when I needed to be getting 8. Plus, the stitches were big and open, which is not good for a sock that is supposed to hug your foot. I ripped back and cast-on again with size 2.25 mm, or US size 1. Let’s hope that works better.

Now let’s not talk about the sock anymore.

N, my older son, had a day off from school for a Staff Development Day and it wasn’t my work day at S’s preschool so I decided to take them on a field trip to the California Academy of the Sciences. We bought a membership there in April and I feel like it’s not worth buying unless we use it. It was a fun day, in spite of it being more crowded there than I expected.

We saw Moon Jellies.

moon jellies

And, of course, visited the living roof.

the living roof

You certainly can’t argue with the view up there.

the missing month

It's been a month since I posted! A big month too, the end of school is always a busy time. Here's what I've been up to. We went to the Maker Faire and saw cool stuff like this dragon.

We  went on a camping trip with lots of cool rocks.

And I spent a bunch of time helping some friends of ours pack up their house and sell their stuff to move onto a boat. In the process I inherited many pounds (20?) of organic white flour, about half as much whole wheat pastry flour, some hard red whole wheat flour, oat flour, yeast and vital wheat gluten. My friend Victoria also loaned me her copies of Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a Day and Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. One of the reasons she was giving the ingredients to me is that half of her family is gluten-free now. So on Monday when I had her daughter over to play instead of watching them pack I also mixed a batch of the olive oil dough so that Victoria could at least eat some. I then made it into a foccacia with onion and olives on top. I didn't get a picture of it but here is the less beautiful version I made the next day, with Stefan's help. (He was "patting" with all of his weight so it got a bit squished and lumpy.)

It was delicious, though.

Tonight for dinner I used the other half of the dough and made two sausage strombolis (recipe also from the Artisan Bread cookbook). Again, not beautiful but really delicious.

Niels liked the bread but not the stromboli. I'm going to try it with pizza sauce instead of diced tomato and cut up meatballs instead of sausages. Niels only likes chicken apple sausage and didn't approve of the sweet Italian sausage. The nice thing is, if I make two I can make one Niels-friendly and one for the rest of us.

There has been some knitting too. My Rill is ready for the sleeves to be attached, so I need to knit those. I want to block the body first and make sure it's not going to grow too much and that the edges will work out. I also knitted a quick baby blanket for Stefan's baby doll, which I tried to get him to name Saskia. (It's supposed to follow the layout of the Moderne Log Cabin blanket but I kind of messed up.)

Saskia is the girl's name I have had picked out since about 1999. I love that name but since I am not having any more babies I figured the babydoll could have it. It didn't stick, though, Stefan calls her Saskie (and another doll Saska) so I guess it's close.

elder god for the younger son

I got out my copy of Creepy Cute Crochet to look for instructions on how to make the general body shape I wanted for the Mystery Animal. Stefan had other ideas, though. Stefan said he wanted "the green guy", otherwise known as Cthulhu. Luckily, he's a lot more friendly looking in a small crochet version.

Obviously, he needs eyes. I didn't have the right sized safety eyes so I figured I'd find something after he was finished. Unfortunately, I'm having trouble embroidering them on. I might take a page from Janice's book and get some felt.

The part that amuses me about all of this is that Cthulu (yes, without the second H) was Erik's screen name on the MUD where we met so I feel connected to that name. Stefan still calls this "that green guy" though, which is super cute. Also, he doesn't seem at all bothered by That Green Guy's lack of eyes.

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This morning I went and helped to set up the Textiles portion of the kids' art show at City Hall. We hung two of the quilts from the banister and I think it looks really cool.

quilts at the art showquilts at the art show

The other two hung on the panels with the other various projects that we did. That worked out well, I think, because the two on the panels are the ones with more quilting on them, which would be hard to see if they were up high.

quilts at the art showquilts at the art showvarious textiles mediavarious textiles media

I love the way we hang up the dyed silk circles. It's like stained glass.

This afternoon I went over to Purlescence to get something and I must have had sewing on the brain because I came home with a sewing book.

Then I made this:

Which Stefan liked.

Then I went to JoAnn and bought some more fabric to make one for Niels' friend who is having a birthday this weekend as well as a reversible tote for myself. I guess I'm officially sewing stuff now. We'll see if it sticks this time or if I send the sewing machine back to Mom and forget about it until next fall.

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