Let’s pretend I didn’t fall off the face of the blog, shall we? Excellent.
Excuse the post title, Game of Thrones fans – I’m currently buried deep in book 5 of the Song of Ice and Fire, and slightly distraught that I’m going to have to wait years (years!) for books 6 and 7 to be published. I should have waited longer to start reading the series, but it’s too late now. And yes, winter is coming. So winter knitting is on the needles.
Pea has been the recipient of my last two knitting projects. His sweater is finally finished (“green with sprinkles”).
He was having so much fun playing with a friend that he didn’t notice he lost his mittens on a 39-degree afternoon. How his fingers lasted for 2 hours without them I don’t know – little boys must have built-in furnaces. I knit him some new mittens with leftover wool that are so cute, I think I’m going to make some for myself.
I also knit myself a vest that I have worn at least 15 of the 30 days it’s been off my needles. It’s not perfect – I’d change the pattern a bit if I knit it again – but it keeps me warm around the house without the bulk of a thick sweater, and it has a shawl collar that’s almost like wearing a scarf. Sadly, there is no photographic evidence of it’s existence. Another day, perhaps.
And solely because Tea gets jealous when his brother is on the blog and he’s not, here’s the boys in their Halloween costumes. Grandma Cookie sewed the wizard costume and I made the beard. (I also modeled it for my FB friends – it’s quite fetching.)
As for life outside of knitting, it’s been pretty wonderful and full, which is probably why I haven’t found time to record any of it here. Maybe I’ll eventually get around to it and just backdate it – it’s nice to look back here to see a snapshot of our year. We’ve settled into our new home in Madison and the neighborhood feels like an actual community. We had great neighbors in Milton but we didn’t know very many people. I hope we can continue to stay connected as the weather changes and people are outside less, because, well, see the post title. ;)
Each week, kindergartners in Tea’s class received a small token to represent a book they read. They squirreled these away in “book treasure boxes” they kept at home. Now that the year is nearly over, Tea’s box is bursting with little trinkets that remind him of many of the wonderful books he’s enjoyed hearing at school. The students brought the treasure boxes back to school today and dressed as pirates to celebrate all of the great stories they read this year in a pirate-themed literary party.
I made Tea a pirate shirt with a freezer paper stencil. (I can’t believe the last time I did this, Tea was still living in Thailand.) It turned out awesome if I do say so myself. He also insisted that pirates wear gold nail polish and don’t bathe or brush their teeth. I caved on the nail polish, but I pushed him through the shower this morning and made sure he stuck a toothbrush in his mouth. Pirates who live with their moms still have to scrub behind their ears.
Tea requested a moon cake and a space theme for his birthday party this year.
The cake was the easiest one we’ve done yet, but as my mom pointed out, it’s a good thing she found an astronaut to stick on top. Without it, I’m not sure anyone would know the cake wasn’t just a grey circle.
I organized absolutely no activities this year. Tea invited 2 friends over to play and they mostly ran around the backyard playing things like lion tag. Not familiar with lion tag? Me neither, but it’s loud, and it looks something like this:
The kids ate cake, although one pouty party-goer declined to join the group.
I guess I lied because there was one planned activity. Tea and Kyle built a rocket together and planned for it’s first flight at the party. We’d intended to walk to a nearby park with more open space, but between the lack of wind and the attendance of a crabby girl who we could barely coax to come out of the house, let alone to walk 3 blocks (joy!), we decided to attempt a launch from the back yard instead. We estimated that, based on the very slight breeze, the rocket might drift a smidgen north and only places it was likely to get stuck were the surrounding roofs. We hoped the neighbors would let us climb up for a rescue if needed.
The launch was picture perfect, with Tea manning the ignition.
The landing, not so much. As the rocket floated down beneath it’s parachute, Kyle realized it was heading further away than expected. He ran towards the street to alert passing cars that they were in danger of being hit during re-entry. Tragically, the rocket didn’t quite make it to the road. It landed right over an electrical wire, and there it hung. Someone at the party remarked it was like ladder golf, rocket edition. If so, that landing must be worth 500 points at least.
Not expecting a response, Kyle called the energy company to request a rescue. Incredibly, a bucket truck arrived 30 minutes later and the hero of the party retrieved the rocket with gloved hands and a huge grin. He refused to accept a piece of birthday cake, but I think he enjoyed the look on the faces of the party-goes. Nothing tops a bucket truck at a 6-year-old’s birthday party!
We’ve learned our lesson – next time we are launching from a wide open field. But ultimately, that party will be hard to beat.
I don’t have many pictures from the last 6 months. Time has slipped away from us as we’ve been preoccupied with finding a new house to live in. Here are a few highlights I managed to capture.
Pea hopped on a two-wheeled bike for the first time a few weeks ago and took off. He’s very proud, and so are we.
Tea is also rarely happier than when he’s cruising on his bike.
Tea was distraught when spring pictures came home from school. ”Mom!! I was not there! I was not in front of a river at school!” Since when did spring pictures become a thing, anyway? Seems like they’re trying to squeeze another dollar from me, so I declined to order them (hence my copyright infringement). I much prefer to remember Tea as he dressed on ”dress like your favorite Disney character day.” He was the Beast (as in, Beauty & the), and in a sea of princesses, he was a major hit. We’ve done some more geocaching, including at Magnolia Bluff county park, which had a beautiful hiking trail. It wasn’t a fast hike, since Tea was determined to examine everything with his magnifying glass.
Tea has taken to costume design and has brought home knight, ninja, and Darth Vader suits he constructs during free time at school. He wants to design costumes “for all my friends for Halloween”. Looks like he’s starting with his brother. Put your order in now.
Pea’s newest skill is winking one eye and then the other repeatedly. For hours.
The beautiful picture above was taken while waiting for the Kindergartners to take the stage for their music concert.
Tea has become an amazing reader and leaves me very sweet notes around the house.
I have no pictures of all the houses we dragged the boys through as we searched Madison real estate, but they were fairly good sports and we found a home. More on that when it’s ours and I can get pictures – only 9 days!
Instead of making excuses, I’ll pretend I haven’t neglected my blog and just jump back into it. Tea is SIX and proud of it. He put on the pipecleaner crown he made himself at school, and gleefully decorated cupcakes for his class this morning. He skipped the whole way to school and handed out handfuls of dandelions to crossing guards and passersby. I love this kid. Happy Birthday, Sweetheart. Six is going to be a great year!
The boys were a little jealous of all the baby knitting I did this fall and have been asking when they get another sweater. I know this desire for handknits can’t last forever so I am trying to knit more for them before they decide it’s embarrassing.
Tea picked out the pattern and then I asked him to choose the yarn. He’d originally asked for yarn that was “pink or purple” and I was worried because I really hated the thought of staring at a project the color of neon bubblegum for hours. But thankfully, he decided on a tweed that he called, “Berry-colored with sprinkles” and it suits him, I think. I worked on it for most of January. I sized it to fit him next year, thinking it’d take me that long to finish it, but I had it on and off my needles in less than a month. (Raveled here.) That’s a record for me for such a large project. That also means the sleeves are way too long for him. He didn’t mind that I had to tuck them up and fold over the cuffs to take pictures, and although I asked if we could put it away until next winter, he’s already worn it to school twice.
I loved the texture of the pattern, but it was a very time-consuming stitch.
As a bonus, I had leftover yarn so I knit myself a hat the next day (Raveled here). It was a fun, fast project to let my brain rest after the finicky sweater pattern.
The yarn for Pea’s sweater arrived this week and I have a rough idea of what I’ll knit for him. He chose a pattern that doesn’t come in his size, so I’m using it as more of an inspiration. Together with a customizable raglan pattern and my stitch dictionary, I hope to make something similar to what he liked. Getting the yarn on the needles, especially without a set pattern to follow, is the hardest part. Maybe this weekend.
I am sad and I don’t really feel like blogging, but I sometimes feel better if I make myself write, so here I am.
Tomorrow, my little sister and her beautiful family are flying to New Zealand where my brother-in-law will be a resident in veterinary medicine at Massey University in Palmerston North. They lived in Madison. We hope to be moving to Madison very soon. It bums me out to no end that, on the eve of our arrival in their neighborhood, they sold their home and are moving nearly as far away as humanly possible. I can’t help but think this is payback for some mild childhood torture I may have inflicted on her.
So as they packed and purged their household, I absolutely did not build a lovely apartment in my basement where they all shall live under lock and key. But I may have considered it.
Yesterday we said goodbye, although I don’t think I actually said anything at all because I was just trying not to cry as we hugged our way out the door. Since tears don’t impede typing, I can now tell you, Meredith and Ewan, that I wish you the very best as you set out on wonderful new adventures. I will miss you all very, very much.