Tuesday, December 23, 2008

two things done!....well, three I guess

Remember the knitted bag?

It's done and ready to be wrapped!

I think the handles are too long. I am going to leave it as is, and take my sharp scissors with me on Christmas day. If the recipient doesn't like them long, I'll cut them off for her.

Next up, Mary's gift! A gnome family that each comes with a blanket and pillow. John's almost done with their wooden beds. He should get them done tonight. (they have light pink mouths, just not showing up very well).

And last but not least, in my spare time (right!) I made these longies for Ellie. It was my first try at dip dyeing! So, before.....
And after!
The cranberry salad, banana bread, and cheesecake are made. The chili is almost done. Turns out that "helping" with the chili actually meant that I was supposed to just make it myself. I still need to make an apple pie tomorrow night, and MAYBE finish Ellie's blanket. I don't have very high hopes for it. It's more of a toddler sized blanket though, and I'll get right back to work on it after Christmas if it isn't done before.

Ellie's sleeping in my lap. It's sucking the life out of me. I'd PAY to take a nap. I'm so exhausted that I don't want to participate in the parties (there's 3 of them starting today). But Mary's awake and I need to put Ellie down and try to get some more stuff done. I'll sleep when I'm dead.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Dear Santa.....send elves!

I need elves. Or more hours in a day. Or not to have 2 kids under the age of three. Or for Christmas to be postponed a few days.

Felted bag--almost done. Just got the guts to stab holes in it for the handle. I knew if I messed it up, I'd be screwed.

Mary's gift--Almost done. Maybe tonight. John's out in the garage working on an additional part to it:).

Ellie's gift--Ugh. Maybe. Thank goodness I got her something off Etsy.

John's gift--Arrived Friday and it turned out great (so glad I didn't try to make it). I really hope he likes it.

Cranberry salad for Christmas Eve is cooling. Need to make banana bread, apple pie and a cheesecake. Oh, and help with the chili for Christmas. Wow, that seems like a lot. I can't believe I made a ham, homemade chicken and noodles, mashed potatoes, cranberry salad, rolls, 2 pies and a cheesecake last year. AND hosted! And couldn't figure out why I was SO FREAKING TIRED. I couldn't believe how tiring and stressful hosting 17 people was. I was just exhausted from it........and then I found out 2 days later I was pregnant:) (although I should have known when the week before I was doing puzzles with Mary and fell asleep at 6:30pm with a puzzle piece in my hand.)

I am hoping to have pics of everything I've made. I may have to do it at night with the flash on as I just don't see having time to do it in the daytime.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Buy handmade.....while you still can?

So, this year I set out give all handmade items for Christmas. Mom got her wrist warmers early, I'm making that felted bag, Ellie got a handmade doll from Etsy, and Mary's getting a family of handmade dolls (if I finish them!). John asked for an apron to wear our in the garage. Instead of buying one at the hardware store, I contacted a friend that sews and asked her to do it. Ellie's giving a handmade toy away in the cousins' gift exchange. Mary's getting a handmade felt cake too. I'm pretty excited about it, because I know each item was made with love, and hopefully gave the maker a bit of extra money that they in turn can use on their family. But what will we do next year?

In August 2008, the Consumer Products Safety Commission passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act which mandates third-party testing for lead and phthalates in all toys. Sounds great, huh? The Act was passed after several recalls in 2007 where toys made in China came back with dangerous lead levels. I'm glad that the US is stepping up testing. I want my girls to be safe. But, in a rush to pass the Act, there were no provisions made for small businesses. So now those toy makers must pay for third party testing on EACH item they make at the expense of approximately $4,000 PER ITEM. So, Ellie's cloth $9 doll? That will be $4,009 next year. Sigh. Mary's beautiful, unfinished wooden kitchen?--$4,300. This legislation truly breaks my heart. Even if these toy makers buy their materials from a "safe" (pre-tested) source, the final safety check is the responsibility of the end toy maker. (Large manufactures will also have to do testing, but since many items are made exactly the same, i.e. 1,000,000 of the same Barbie, the cost per toy will not be that much more.)

For more info, please visit: http://www.handmadetoyalliance.org/Home . And please consider taking a few minutes to write your Congress Person and Senator. There's a link at the bottom for a form letter and also links so you can find the name/address of the representative for your area.

Friday, December 5, 2008


Scrappy pants are all the rage right now in the cloth diapering, wool wearing circles, so Ellie just HAD to have a pair:).

I think these are the coolest longies I've ever made. Plus I can look at them and fondly remember past projects. My headband and scarf from last year, Karen's headband and wrist warmers, another hat I have, a pair of Mary's shorties, a pair of Mary's longies, Julia's scarf from last Christmas, and a pair of longies I knit for Dena's little boy Hamilton (back when he was a little boy:)).

I started working on Mary's gift 2 nights ago. I really need to get going on it. ugh. The only time I can work on it is after she's in bed, and then Ellie's still awake usually. I will get it done though, somehow!

Sesame Street is over, gotta go do some crafts with Mary!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

My long day...and it's only 8pm

What a day! John left at 5:30am to go install some equipment for work. Mary woke at 5:45am and although I put her in bed with me, she didn't go back to sleep. Ellie woke around 6:15 to nurse, so once she was done we all got up.

Here is part of what I did today (too tired to remember it all): cooked breakfast, lunch and dinner. Did my morning kitchen and tidying chores. Folded and put away 2.5 baskets of laundry. Did crafts (twice), had a picnic, built a block tent, and played with Mary's new house. Played with baby dolls WAY too much. Made a really good loaf of banana bread. FINALLY finished knitting Ellie's latest longies. Gave Ellie a bath. Gave Mary a bath (which I hadn't done in 2 months--usually John's job, but really fun to get a chance to do it. Well, not that much fun, John can keep that as his job) washed the entire day's worth of dishes by hand while silently begging Santa for a dishwasher:). Kept the fire in the fireplace going all day long. Got Mary in bed without her crying. Poor Ellie was fussing in the swing, but she managed to make it the 6 minutes it took Mary to fall asleep. Yes, that's right. No nap but only 6 mins for her to fall asleep pretty much every night.

Mary is such a big girl. She knew it was going to be a long day. I asked her if she wanted to nap, but she didn't. I did put her to bed 30 minutes early, although I am not sure she knew it. She went the entire day without a major breakdown, although I did have to bribe her with a sucker so I could cut her nails. She ate pretty well for me, which is often an issue when John's not here. I think that's because I'm trying to hold Ellie and eat while feeding Mary too. Ugh. Mary "helped" me do dishes tonight and there were a TON of them. I finished up one handed while holding her on my hip. Ellie was in her little bouncy seat thingy half asleep.

Speaking of Miss Ellie, she's going to be three months old in just a few hours! Wow. She's such a good baby. She's just starting to "do" things and she's so fun to be around. Saturday she spent most of the day staring at her own feet. She pondered them forever. Now she can grab them, but hasn't put them in her mouth yet. She sucks on her hands all the time. She loves to talk and laugh with me. She LOVES Mary. She can't get enough of watching Mary play. She's such a joy. I just told John the other night that it seems like she's always been here.

Alright, gotta get busy on a few more things before John gets home at 10pm. Long day for him too I suppose.