Monday, August 18, 2014

2014 Knit-Along!

My friend Moe and I do a KAL (knit-along) every year.  We've done shawls for the past two years but this year decided to do something really fun:

"Penny's Santa Hat" from the third season of "The Big Bang Theory."

She and I, along with our significant others, are big fans of TBBT.  And this hat is simply adorable....a two-tailed Santa hat with big pom-poms and some cabling to make it interesting.  

Both of us are casting on tonight in our respective homes.  We'll get a photo together when she visits me this winter sometime.  :)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

For the Sake of Posterity

Hubby had to go to work today for 7AM, meaning that I was on duty for BOTH kids this morning.  Up early, showered and dressed.  Lunches made, kids up and eating breakfast without incident.  Kids were cheerful and compliant; no whining, arguing, fighting about whose turn it is to brush their teeth.  Even managed to start a load of laundry and get it in the dryer before I left, AND load the dishwasher.  Nothing forgotten, no second (or third!) trips into the house for forgotten glasses and snacks, or beloved Weegee the Blanket.  Hugs and kisses all around, drop-offs went well and I got to work at 9:03am.

Am I bragging?  No.  This post is just going to serve as a reminder.  That for all of the mornings that I've had a huge mess to contend with (baby poop, dog vomit) can't-find-my-left-sneaker crises, kids fighting over one looking at the other "funny", missing the bus, etc etc  that these mornings CAN and DO exist!  And that they should be relished whenever they show up, because baby, these are rare.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Monday Rumblings's Monday Again.  Least favorite day of the week.  I stay up late every Sunday, trying to stretch out as much of the weekend as possible, but haven't been successful to stop Monday from coming.  So far, anyway.

Having a movie at work today.  It's a classic:  9 to 5, starring Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda and Dolly Parton.  It's one of the first movies that I remember from when I was a kid.  Not that it's a kid movie...sheesh!  Tomorrow we're having a "beginner painting" class.  The description says that it's even for people who've never painted before.  Wish I didn't have an office full of paperwork to work on, it sounds like fun!

Last week I got to meet up with an old friend for coffee, and give her the sweater that I made for her daughter a few months back.  It was a bear sweater, and so sweet.  She promptly sent me photos of her daughter wearing it and it looks wonderful!  I don't take "commission requests" often and I've never accepted money for something that I made.  Knitting is a hobby for me and I'd hate for it to start feeling like work.  That being said, I really enjoyed this and may make another animal sweater someday!

Started my Christmas Knitting.  Yep....I'm that girl again this year.  It was SO nice to have it all out of the way two weeks before Christmas last year that I want to experience that calm again.  Right now on the needles:  a pair of adorable green cotton baby leggings for a little boy not yet born, a gray hoodie sweater for my oldest and a lace scarf that I'm making for charity.  Oh, and those damned, damned blue socks for myself that I started over a year ago.  I'm insistent on finishing those before starting another pair.

And this weekend....headed to Maine to visit Maureen and Sky.  We're even bringing Joey this time.  Joey loves to travel and he LOVES Maureen and Sky.  Looking forward to a few days away!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Summer's Inevitable End

Three weeks of summer left.  Then it's back to school, back to routine.  Shopping with Will, haircuts, summer homework assignments (that we forgot about) all this week.  Karate camp coming to an end, bedtime enforcement laziness grinding to a halt, etc etc etc.

Is it me, or do summers seem to get shorter as time marches on?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Harry Potter Happiness

In the weeks before our trip, Universal Studios started running ads for their new Harry Potter attraction.  We hadn't made plans to go to Universal, because it was expensive and having been there nine years ago, didn't think they had much to offer then.

But then, there was an hour-long TV special on Diagon Alley, at Universal Studios.  Will and I watched together, amazed.  I said to Brian, "Now I'm dying to go!"  Because he's so wonderful, he said "Not like we're going to Orlando all the time.  Since Sean and I won't get anything out of it, why don't I drop the two of you off one day?"  :)

And so we went!

Hogsmeade, the Magical Village.  We got to try butterbeer here!  It's delicious and tastes like butterscotch.

Trying to pull off a selfie in front of Hogsmeade.  

Look!  It's one of Hagrid's "Monster books."  This was creepy-looking up close and actually growled.

Hogwarts!  The ride "Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey" is inside, and you walk all through Hogwarts to get to it.  We went through some passages that had talking portraits just like in the books.  In one area, the portraits of the four founders of Hogwarts argue with each was incredible.  I had to beg/convince Will to go on the ride with me, it wasn't easy.  Afterwards when I asked what he thought of it, he said " had it's ups and downs.  I liked the quidditch flying but was scared of the dementors."

Bought him his very own wand.  One of the COOLEST features of the Harry Potter Wizarding World is that there were wand prompts everywhere, and they were interactive with the wands.  Standing in front of Honeydukes, if you made a particular movement with your wand arm and repeated the spell written on the ground, a big box of chocolate frogs would open in the window and start ribbitting.

Bertie Botts every flavour beans!  We brought some home and are afraid to try would be too with flavours like earthworm, earwax and ugh....VOMIT.

This is where we picked up the new Hogwarts Express Train and took it to the other side of the park, to Diagon Alley.  Diagon Alley was simply incredible.  You step out onto what looks like the streets of London, and have to go looking for Diagon Alley because obviously there's no signs.  And then suddenly, there you are!  It was absolutely crowded, but you couldn't hear the people in Diagon Alley from the street.  I don't know how they do that!

Weasley's Wizardly Wheezes.

I can't say enough good things about this experience.  I love how Universal Employees really get into it.  We were in a shop and looking at hats and gloves with "Gryffindor" markings and an employee said "Professor Trelawney warned me to expect this....need to restock the gloves!"  I was paying for a Christmas ornament in the same shop and when it came time to sign the receipt the cashier said "Your signature for the Ministry, please."  They did such a great job bringing the pages of the book alive!

p.s.  the only thing I feel that we missed out on was not getting to ride "Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts."  Brian dropped us off really early, soon after the park opened.  We went to the Hogsmeade Side first and by the time we made it to the Diagon Alley side the ride had a 300 minute wait.  Yeah.....that's five hours.  FIVE HOURS.  There's no way a seven year old can stand in a hot line for 5 hours....and I promised no more wild rides after the last one!  There's always next time.  :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Hello, Disney!

We just got back on Saturday from Orlando.  Whew!  I cannot put it all in one post, but in a word, I can tell you that the trip was FANTASTIC.  And after that....I can tell you most of it in pictures.  Day One:  Magic Kingdom

 The boys' first flight was great.  They loved it, especially Sean. 

 Mom and I arriving at the Magic Kingdom.

 My parents and Will on Main Street USA, with a glipse of the Castle in the back.  Sean is currently going through a phase where he doesn't like his picture being taken.

 Everyone told me that it would be hot in July in Orlando, but it wasn't unbearable.  The parks had lots of cooling stations and splash features for kids.  Here's the boys, cooling off.  

Oh, and those great tie-dye shirts that we did?  Yeah......I didn't "cure" them so they stained all over everything.  Bummer!

 Happy Seanie....take him to Disney World and he's happiest playing in a puddle.

More pictures, more posts, COMING UP!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Fourth of July Weekend!

These are all the things that made for a special Fourth weekend.  We tie-dyed shirts (and I'm still washing dye off my fingers, and oddly, two left toes.)  The next picture is of my mom at my SIL's annual family picnic in RI, showing off her homemade pie skills.  (It was just as delicious as it looks here)  The last one is of my boys playing with the BALL that comes out at the picnic each year!  It was the first time that the picnic was held on the fifth of July, due to rain/thunderstorms/Hurricane Arthur.  It was a gorgeous day for it, though.

But the biggest part was finally letting the cat out of the bag to the kids....We're not going to the Cape for vacation as promised....we're going to ORLANDO!!!  At first they were a little skeptical, now they're totally excited!  And making lists and schedules of what we're going to see, Will watching the TV special of "The Making of Diagon Alley" the newest Harry Potter attraction at Universal Studios....etc etc.  We're all so excited!