Thursday, October 16, 2008

Back in the Saddle

What a whirlwind of weeks. After my last post, I prepared to head out for my "Finally People Can Safely Label Me As Certifiable" road trip. It was around 740 miles one way and we played this song a lot. This very much provided the perfect theme song to our trip.

Our first stop was in Louisville, Kentucky to visit my brother and his family. Much fun was had by all. The big day was spent at the pumpkin farm where I had to do some fancy illusion tricks to get my son to forget about his very large pumpkin and opt for a small gourd instead. Ava, as usual, loved everything.

Second stop was in Nashville, Tennessee to visit my brother-in-law and his wife. How cool of an aunt and uncle are they? My kids arrived there to presents and playing and lots of fun. Ava started crawling at my brother's house and perfected her technique here. She also perfected her pulling up and cruising technique. (Oh well, no time like the present, right?)

We spent some wonderful play time at the dragon park where the kids got to stretch their legs and run around and play. For October, this afternoon was very warm and Chandler requested to have his shirt off - which I granted.

Third stop was to an undisclosed location south of Nashville to visit friend, Jackamo and her family. Jack and I have been friends since college and haven't seen each other in three years. She's NEVER met my kids! Sad, I know. This was the main point of my whole road trip. We always email each other and sometimes will call to chat, and our conversations always ended in a You really need to come and visit me, on both sides, knowing that was an empty request but asking it anyway to show our affection for each other and the desire to see each other again.

Jack and I had a conversation like this in September and I thought about it and had a sort of awakening. Why not go visit? My husband was about to embark on a ten day quest to find the big one on October 1st, my kids were still in diapers but on a very easy schedule (i.e. good naps and no bathroom stops). Well, Chandler is in the midst of potty training but only demands to be changed if he goes #2. So ... why not?

It was so good to hang out with Jack and her family. They were very gracious and the best hosts. I enjoyed MANY cups of tea as Jack is an excellent tea brewer and has a lot of fun teas that don't necessarily come from the grocery store aisle next to the instant coffee. (See her recommendations on the sidebar of this blog.) Of course, each cup of tea was accompanied by a shortbread or carb-y/sugar-y concoction of some sort. VERY yummy.

The kiddos were off-schedule and tired and cranky sometimes, but were SUPER troopers for being ages one and two. It was so much fun just to pack up and go. I have always had an "I Can Do" attitude which has sort of gotten me into trouble in the past (note to self: never assume - especially when using the parental car). I never want to just say "I wish I could" and never actually do. So, when I felt that I was in a good spot ... I did. I definitely don't want to say years from now, that I wish I visited my friends more often.

Finally, we traveled back up to Lexington, Kentucky to stay the night with my other brother and his wife in their new home. They've only been married two weeks and are still trying to settle into their new home and they were the most gracious hosts. They picked up an extra box of crackers (I had finally run out on our journey) set up an extra pack and play and had everything ready for us.

By this time, we were exhausted but Chandler still had tons of fun in the park and he is totally in love with Aunt Katie so time with her was the best. He, Kyle and Katie spent Saturday morning at the local park while Ava and I ate and re-packed the car for our final leg home.

We finally made it after 7 days of traveling and we had so much fun. There was a lot of excitement when we finally pulled in our driveway and Ava squealed at the sight of Daddy and touched his nose.

I would do it again. Not any time soon but I would do it again for the fun, the experience and to keep my friendships going. Does that inspire you? Shall I quote that NIKE commercial that won't go away? Okay, I won't.

I did do some knitting while I was at Jackamo's house believe it or not. While we caught up in the evenings, I made two of these washcloths for her boys. I'm telling you, if you haven't tried them, you really should. They are so easy to whip out after you get the hang of the loop stitch and so cute as a gift. So yes, some crafting was still going on. Jackamo is an expert a this apron and hopefully she'll post an official picture of it someday.

Whew! I came home to the arrival of my new Knit Picks Shine Worsted yarn - a whole bag of it! I am now finishing up an earflap hat for Channy and will start on some sweaters for the kids after that. Will keep you posted.

In the meantime...

Stay on the path.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Okay, No Mid-Week Lift

It was really weird this week. There are lots of good stories out there, but I'm just looking for a laugh; a lift. Not anything too heavy or preachy, you know? Anyway, I came across a headline that made me laugh ... until I read the story. A man in Peru tried to go through the airport security with 100 birds. Isn't that funny? Can you just imagine a little old man trailing along a bunch of bird cages behind him wondering why on earth people are giving him such a hard time about some birds? Well, that story didn't turn out that way. Let's just say he was more of a smuggler and some of the birdies didn't make it. Ugh.

So, it's no longer mid-week but as the weekend approaches, here are some fun jokes to share with your kids:

What do you call a deer with no eyes?
No ideer.

Why do gorillas have big fingers?
Because they have large nostrils.

Why do cows wear bells?
Because their horns don't work.

Why do hummingbirds hum?
Because they can't remember the words.

Why do birds fly south for the winter?
Because it's too far to walk.

What do you call a boomerang that doesn't work?
A stick.

If you're Canadian in the kitchen and American in the living room, what are you in the bathroom?
(This is a favorite of my nephew's! Of course, his aunt taught him that one.)

Sigh. Sorry people.

On the knitting front, I decided to try and make a yellow and orange hat for my son, Chandler, and that really didn't work out! The weight of the yarn was too small (it said sport weight but was closer to fingering it turns out) and it ended up looking more like a prison cap than a cute, striped hat. Soooo, I'm thinking of turning that into some fun socks for Chandler and Ava.

I am ordering some more of that super-yummy yarn, KnitPicks Shine worsted weight. It is hands down the best value and the prettiest yarn I've found. I still buy from my lys once in a while but I can't get over the prettiness of the Shine Sport and Shine Worsted. Love it. I'm thinking of making a couple of BETTER winter hats and a sweater or two. Better limber up those fingers!

And now, I had better get moving. I am preparing to go on a MASSIVE road trip with my two little ones tomorrow. This should be interesting ... but also fun! We plan on visiting friends and family. Happy days! Unfortunately, I'll be driving so I can't knit during the trip. Argh. When will they come out with auto-pilot? Work on that, Detroit!

Stay on the path...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday

I actually have another Wednesday tip to share although it's definitely not earth-shattering. However, I really hope this may give one or two of you an ah-ha moment and it will definitely help free up space in your pantry.

With my carb-loving toddlers, I find that my cupboards are full of half-eaten, half-empty boxes of crackers, pretzels, cereal and grahams. I went out and bought a couple of packs of raisins (some yogurt covered) or you could add non-carb things like small M&Ms or dried fruit.

I dumped all of my open boxes of cereals, grahams, crackers and snacks into an oversize, plastic zipper bag along with my raisins and shook it all around. Voila! Mommy's super, extra-special trail mix. My babies love this mix as it is always changing (depending upon what I have on hand) and they can pick out what interests them one at a time when I dole this out to them in small snack-size baggies or cups. It's especially great on long trips when you need a snack and you don't want to bring a ton of boxes or bags. Just bring along one BIG bag of trail mix!

Now that I made more space in my cupboards, I can put the rest of my groceries away.

On the path...