Friday, January 30, 2015

Oh, Hey Friday!- Crochet Lust

Friday Friday Friday!

My 5 this week are all about crochet projects and patterns that I'm lusting after. No one asked me to write about these things, I just really dig 'em.

1. LOVEYS- Oh my GOD, loveys. I am lovey obsessed, y'all. I don't even care. This Etsy shop has amazing patterns. There was an elephant that I was definitely planning on making for my pregnant, elephant collecting BFF but it has sold. Hopefully it gets reposted soon! This mouse lovey is on my to-do list for my pregnant sis in-law. This shop is another favorite. I've bought a few patterns including this gnome lovey that I can't wait to make one day.

2. BAGS- A patchwork bag seems amazing. All the colors and shapes and ugh. Need. I love this owl bag and a bunch of other owl bags that I've seen and I feel a desperate need to make them.

3. BLANKETS- I found this just yesterday and oh man, how pretty is this tree of life blanket? SO pretty, right? I also am definitely going to hook up a giant granny square blanket (the type that is just a huge granny square, round after round) in the near future and a white granny stripe blanket with neon stripes.

4. HOUSEHOLD- This gnome doorstop is happening, y'all. Can you tell I have a gnome obsession? (You have no idea, I have a quickly growing collection including some hand painted ones that I made). Rugs are a new crochet obsession. There are so many I want to make. And who can't love crochet pillows, especially when they are penguin shaped?!

5. KIDS- This list could be never ending. Pillows, bags, BABY GROOT, fluffy unicorns (it's so fluffy I'm gonna die!). I'll leave you with that few.

Basically, I need more time to crochet. Unfortunately this weekend won't be giving me that time. Busy bees we are! But in the best possible ways.

Have a beautiful weekend! Blessed be, cupcakes.


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

WIP's Wednesday

Not a lot of works in progress this week. I've had a hard time working up a ton of motivation. Tired and a toddler with a cold and general grumpiness.

I am working on the kiddo blankets though. I started on Al's and did the math for how big I want it to be and when I need it finished (the middle of April) and it worked out to doing about 9 rows a week to stay on track which is less than I anticipated! So I'm doing 9 rows a week and 10 granny squares a week and it's so easy it almost feels impossible. My extreme over preparation for things pays off!

Alice's blanket is still very small and doesn't look much like a blanket yet but it's gorgeousssssss isn't it? The colors! Yum. I had my mind made up that it should be an aqua-ish blue and her favorite color, red, and white but when I put it all together it looked too American flaggy. So I scrapped the white and picked up this lovely goldish color. The colors are all Caron Simply Soft in Mint Blue, Red and Bone and I'm working it up in a larksfoot stitch, which I am deeply in love with. I'm using an H hook (for my own future reference).

I kind of wish I'd made the bone parts a bit wider to add some more neutral in between the bright colors, but I didn't realize I liked that idea until I was well into the blanket and there was just no going back at that point.

I'm still going on with Ollie's blanket, which I call the Weasley blanket. I've pieced together a couple of new rows but no new stuff to report, really. It will be lovely when it's done. Multiple colors, multiple types of yarn and a G hook.

Making blankets is my joy. My happy place. I have a rule that I can only think lovely thoughts when I'm hooking up a blanket. I want my kids to literally be covered in my love when these are done. Every stitch is a happy thought just for them. It is very therapeutic and often gets me out of my grumps because I want to work on them and put the time in and in order to do that I have to have a heart filled with love.

Hopefully there will be more progress soon! Obvious progress! I can't wait for them to be done. I can just imagine how gorgeous they'll be.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Baby Blanket and Loveys

I finished up some stuff recently. Mostly baby stuff. There are so many babies happening in my neck of the woods.

I worked on this blanket for about a week. I love the ripple pattern and I love the colors I chose. Deep Forest and White. They aren't ones that I would usually choose for a blanket but I wanted it to be Jets colors for my friend expecting her first baby in March.

Look at those ripples! Yummy.

I'm putting together a special package and I'm including a lovey for a 2 year old girl. This sunshine lovey is darling, don't you think? Such a happy thing! I love the rainbow blanket. Making giant granny squares makes me happy.

I'm slowly making and filling our house with heart stuff for Valentine's Day. My plan is to eventually make a heart bunting, a door wreath, a wall wreath and a long heart wall hanging. For now I made this cute little thing.

And my TARDIS lovey is finished! Every time I look at it I get the Doctor Who theme song stuck in my head. I ain't even mad.

I really enjoyed making that and I love how it turned out.

I'm still chugging along on kiddo blankets and I have a few special things I need to make. Today I feel pretty exhausted and lacking in motivation so I don't foresee a ton getting done. You gotta have your down days though, right?

Tomorrow is WIP's Wednesday! I can't wait to show what I have going on. Hint- it's not a lot but it is the premiere of photos of Alice's blanket.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Weekend Goodies- Gators!

Oh Monday. Mondays always make me a little blue. The weekend should really be 3 days. Two just isn't enough. But if it were 3 days I'm sure I'd be saying it should be 4 and so on. There's just never enough down time and time home with my boys!

It seems like our weekends have been busier than usual lately. This weekend was no exception. On Saturday we went to a kids jamboree in a town near us. I wish I'd gotten a photo of the place. It was indoors in an arena and there were fair rides and bouncy houses and slides and SO MANY PEOPLE. It was nuts. The lines for rides stretched all the way across the arena. We decided to only wait in line once and each kid picked a thing they wanted to do. They were really amazing and patient though! Not one meltdown.

The main reason we were there was because of the Gator Boys! Ollie is a big fan of the show. Alice has seen it before but she isn't quite so alligator obsessed. And after this weekend I doubt she will ever be. More on that in a minute.

So it started out well enough. They were doing a show. Showing off some turtles and gators and giving some info out on them. We learned about some turtles native to SC, we saw an alligator snapping turtle (which I think is the scariest thing ever to me, imagine accidentally putting a toe down on one of those in the lake) and then they brought out the big gator and we got to learn about it and watch some scary tricks. I kept thinking 'this is the one time they have a horrible accident', haha. We actually saw the show twice because the first time we went up to the bleachers and could not see a damn thing. So we waited an hour and a half for the next one and stood around the enclosure which was MUCH better for viewing. Plus you got to be right up on the action!

Hello Mr. Snapping Turtle!

Why yes, he did just put his hand in a gator's mouth. 
 This was the least scary one.

THIS THING RIGHT HERE. The first time he tried to get into position the gator actually snapped his jaws closed and it was terrifying. They just laughed it off! The life of a gator wrestler.

After the show a dude named Ian brought a little gator around for everyone to make friends with and it was really exciting! I've never touched a gator before, for obvious reasons. The kids were really excited about it. Ollie got a gator hat! He made me print this picture out so he could show his friends at school.

As for Miss Mae. I wanted her to have a photo just like big bro but then... well, the gator got a little too frisky. He shook and smacked her right in the side of the head. It wasn't even a very hard smack, didn't even leave a mark, it just scared her. There were many tears. I kind of love the picture where the gator shook and the look of total distrust that was already on Al's face. Then I explained to her that she's an alligator wrestler now and that means she's super cool and strong and she showed off her muscles. But THAT made Ollie jealous and sad because why can't he be a gator wrestler. Sometimes you just can't win.

After that we went for dinner and bought books and had heart shaped cookies. It was a really nice Saturday.

Yesterday was just going to my parent's and picking up laundry that my Mama graciously washed for us. Not having a washing machine sucks. I also did a ton of cleaning because when I have the boys home to do my bidding I take advantage!

Monday is here again. I think this will be a productive week! I have a lot of crocheting to do and some Etsy listings to add and some cleaning to do around the house. Hoping for lots of sun this week and maybe some warmth! It'll be a good one.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Oh, Hey Friday!- Kid's Books

Friday! Lets get this party started. I'm looking forward to some fun this weekend. It has been such a long, sleepy week for me. Time to wake up and get some stuff done and cut loose.

My 5 this Friday is all about kiddo books. Specifically the first born's favorite chapter books so far. We started reading chapter books about a year ago and we've zoomed through a bunch and have almost completed 2 this month already! Our goal for the year is one a month but we might up it to 2 if we keep going through them so fast.

Ollie likes some fantasticalness so most of his favorites are fantasy based but he does have 1 non-fantasy favorite- Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor.

1. Shiloh is a sweet book about loyalty and kindness. Ollie loves dogs so this book easily plucked at his heartstrings. He got it for Christmas and liked it so much that the day after we finished it we headed to 2nd And Charles and picked up the 2nd and 3rd books. We're reading Shiloh Season now and he seems to be enjoying it just as much as the first one. Side note- reading this book brings out my Southern twang. It's such a nice story.

2. It's always cool when your kid loves something you love and seeing as how I was brought up on Animorphs it's awesome that he is interested in them too. I love this sci-fi kid stuff. It's super fun and interesting and brings about cool conversations like 'what would you morph into if you could morph into anything' or 'if you had to morph and be stuck in one shape forever, what would it be?'.


3. Gooooooosebumps! Another childhood favorite of mine. I think these qualify as Ollie's favorites of them all so far. We've read 4 or 5 and he keeps going back to them. We pick up a couple every time we hit up the used book store. They are fun and sometimes spooky and even the little lady likes to get in on it and gasp and hide her eyes sometimes.
4. Harry Potter- in particular Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, which is the only one we've completed so far. We're about a fifth of the way into The Chamber of Secrets. We read the first book and then watched the movie for the first time as a family and after that the kids were hooked. My little Potterheads, making their nerdy Mama proud. Ollie has watched the first 4 movies (I hate to let him continue since it only gets sadder and sadder) and the kids have taken up playing quidditch on brooms outside with a plush soccer ball. Be still my heart. They also have wizarding duels with 'wands' (aka sticks they find on the ground). Something tells me Mama needs to make them some Potter stuff. I'm hoping we'll finish one or 2 more of the books this year. They are fantastic.

5. Last but not least the Magic Tree House series which I think is one of the most popular chapter book series for little kids. Ollie is reading one on his own. Sniff sniff. My baby, all grown up and reading chapter books by himself. He enjoys them. We've read the first one together and I think maybe I'll also start reading them to little sister because they have some illustrations to keep her happy and she is better at sitting still and listening to stories than he was at that age. 

One day I'll have to put together a post about toddler and preschool books because those are awesome too. I am so happy to have little readers on my hands. Read to your kids! And your friend's kids! And your nieces and nephews! Reading is SO important and it helps them grow up big and smart and imaginative and happy.
Cheers to the freakin' weekend!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Living with Infertility- It All Matters

Some days I have a hard time believing that I deserve to be sad. That's a ridiculous concept, isn't it? One of my Truths of Life is just because someone else may have it worse doesn't mean your problems are insignificant. Which basically means, to me, that my problems should always carry weight. What hurts me should always matter, what brings me sadness always means something. Even if someone else has a worse situation. No one should be allowed to make another person feel that their problems pale in comparison.

And yet when it comes to infertility I fail completely at this. I have such a hard time allowing myself to feel what I feel. There are a lot of reasons for this. It hasn't been kept quiet that quite a few loved ones think us having more children is a bad idea, I think because their own perfect family unit is made up of 2 adults and 2 children. Because of this I don't feel comfortable talking about what we are going through with 99% of the people I love. Squashing my feelings makes me feel like they aren't important.

In a lot of TTC circles, secondary infertility is considered a lesser problem. It isn't as 'important' or 'hard' or 'difficult' as going through infertility from the get go. At least you have kids, right?

There is a lot of weight placed on women struggling with infertility that already have children, especially multiple children, such as myself. We aren't going through as much as that lady who doesn't have any children. We have kids to tuck into bed at night. Why aren't we more grateful for what we have? Why are we so selfish? We shouldn't be greedy. These are things that I have heard. Directed at me and directed at other mother's struggling with secondary infertility.

I'm writing this out because right now I feel like my problems DO matter and I want to see this on a day when I feel like I should be squashing them down and pretending I'm not aching. And maybe someone out there comes across this and is going through the same thing and they realize their problem is important and their hurt deserves to see the daylight too. The more we cram these things down, the worse it gets. The resentment toward others builds, the hurt grows, the problem gets bigger and eventually we explode. It's not healthy for us or our relationships.

No one should ever say that your problem isn't important. Maybe it's not as big as their problem in the grand scheme of things. I understand that I have 2 beautiful, healthy, kind, smart children. Does wanting more children and being sad from my infertility make me appreciate them less? Of course not! Do I need to be reminded to appreciate the kids I have? No, I don't. I also understand that at least I do have my kids and there are plenty of people who long to be parents that don't have children and will never be able to conceive. I understand that this pain might be greater than my own pain. To them. It doesn't make my pain any less real or horrible for me.

All pain is different but it's still pain. And that deserves some grace and some love and some understanding. Not only should we expect it from others but we should give it to ourselves.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

WIPs Wednesday- TARDISness

I don't have much to report this week as far as WIPs go. I'm still working on Ollie's Olaf. I should really try to finish it this week. I started a TARDIS lovey which is just about the cutest dang thing ever.

Currently Ollie's Olaf just looks like some lumps of dough stuck together.

You are getting sleeeeeepy. Very sleeeeepy. Or maybe just kind of diiiiizzy.

The blanket portion of the lovey is currently a WIP. Nearly done!

The TARDIS, which is so cute I can hardly STAND it, is finished. It was a really simple pattern. The hardest part was the 'Police Box' embroidery but even that wasn't too bad. I want to make a few more, one for each kid's room (maybe filled with something heavier to use as a bookend?) and one for our living room or kitchen. I love having little things that we love randomly placed around the house to make us smile. Whimsical.

When I'm done with that spiral blanket portion I'll just plot this squashy TARDIS right in the middle and sew it in place and Tah-dah! A lovey fit for your very own Stormageddon. 
I'm hoping to start Alice's blanket this weekend. I bought the yarn and now I'm just waiting to finish this lovey first. I am also going to finish at least the body parts of Olaf, dagnabbit. I swear I am. And sew the squares for Ollie's blanket together. It's a plan, Stan. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A Sunny Sunday

After weeks of rain and cold and blah it was gorgeous sunny this weekend. It would be criminal not to enjoy a park day. So to the duck pond we went. It's Ollie and Al's favorite park. A long walk, a playground with lots of slides, plenty of ducks and turtles to spot.
I finally got some fairly good photos of the kids on Sunday. Ollie's hair is amazing and he looks like an anime dude and Alice in pigtails is the cutest. 

Bridge love. Sibling love. Brother and sister. Sunshine. This was a nice day.

My gorgeous little love monsters. They fill me up. 

South Carolina is sunny and there are tiny buds on the trees and it's warm. Feels like the beginning of Spring. That tease.

I'm staying busy with crochet and dreaming of the sunny summer ahead and all the fun things to look forward to. Hopefully the sun sticks around for a while.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Oh, Hey Friday! *5 on Frugalness*

Friday Friday Friday! Love it. And this weekend we have a 3 day weekend with both boys. How lovely!

My 5 this week are going to be about frugalness. We are quite good at living frugally. I'm a big fan of buying things but I like a good sale and I like to save money and live below my means. We live on 1 salary so it's important to save where we can and watch our spending.

#1 Yarn- Here's a big one for us! I LOVE yarn. I love buying yarn. I love making big projects that require a lot of yarn. So my frugal money saving tips when buying yarn-
  • Buy On Sale- This one is easy. Wait for the craft store/online shop to have amazing yarn sales and then buy it!
  • Build A Stash- Especially when yarn is on super sale, buy a bunch of different colors so you'll have a variety of things to choose from and it will last you a while.
  • Acrylic Cheapo Yarn For Kids- My rule for making toys for my kids/kids that I know is use the cheap stuff. These goobers are going to drag it through the mud, often literally, so use something durable and don't spend a ton on it.
#2 Food- We don't eat out much and I try to keep 2 rules- Only eat somewhere you really like (no crappy fast food) and buy whatever you want at the grocery store because it's always cheaper than eating out.

#3 Coupons- Whenever I can I will use coupons but I haven't yet gotten to the point of mastering it and I don't NOT buy something because it's not on sale or I don't have a coupon. But they can sometimes save you a big buck on things! One day I'd love to be one of those people that can buy a buggy full of stuff for 15 dollars but for now I am content with saving a few cents when I can.

#4 Kids Clothes- Here's one for anyone with kids- clothes. These little monsters grow out of their stuff lightning fast! Here's what I do to not spend a fortune on their clothes-
  • Buy Gently Used- My favorite place is Once Upon A Child. It's amazing. Gently used clothing, books, toys, baby items like swings and bouncers and strollers. I love love love it. I buy 80% of Al and Ollie's clothes there and almost all of their shoes. I just bought Alice a perfect pair of flats, not a scratch or wear on them, for 3.50!
  • Buy Big- I always buy one size up for them. This might not work for everyone since all kids grow at different rates but it has suited our kids well. I buy their winter and summer wardrobes in one size up so that -fingers crossed- it will fit them for 2 seasons in a row. One size up is big enough to fit for a while but not too big that they look like they are dressed in a tent.
  • Ask For Clothes For Birthdays and Christmas- For Ollie especially I always ask the Grandmas to supply him with a few pairs of khaki pants or collared blue shirts for his school uniform. This is also a great place to ask for socks and underwear. :P

#5 Get Creative- When it comes to entertainment, explore your options. Big vacations aren't in the cards for us for the most part because we have to save for a long time for them. We have to focus on the surrounding areas. We look for free days at museums and other local attractions. For example- Every Sunday is free entry at the SC art museum and they have a special free art class for kids once a month. The first Sunday of every month is 1 dollar admission to the state museum. We also ask for 'experiences' (like going to a museum) or memberships to places (like the zoo) as Christmas gifts. It's a gift that keeps on giving. We have a state park with a beautiful walkabout through the swamp just up the road from us, we have free museums near us, huge beautiful libraries, a 2 dollar cinema with NEW movies, etc. Get creative and find new free/cheap things near you!

Happy Friday! Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

WIPs Wednesday

It's a chilly, gray, blah kind of Wednesday. So much rain and cold this week! We are hoping for snow one day. If it's going to be cold it could at least be pretty and snowy, right?!

I've been keeping busy and keeping warm with my crocheting, as usual. What else would this yarn obsessed girl be up to?

WIPs Wednesday is a collection of all the things I'm working on at the moment. Which are-

Another baby blanket! My friend is expecting a baby in March and is a Jets fan so I'm working on this gorgeous green and white ripple blanket. I'm using the neat ripple pattern from Attic24. I started it off with a chain of 102 and I'm going to keep going until it's about 36 inches long. The colors are Deep Forest and White from Loops and Threads.

Progress on the first born's blanket! I have a bag full of squares which is very exciting and slightly overwhelming when I think about piecing it together. My little chart at the bottom here is to keep me on track to finish this blanket by his birthday in November and I am super ahead of schedule with just over 40 squares! That puts me about 3 weeks ahead. I love the way it is coming together but I have learned in the past year that I really don't like making a ton of squares and sewing them together. This might be my only granny square blanket ever. I'm very excited for the end result though and look forward to giving it to our BFG.

This is Ollie's Valentine's gift in the making. One day, possibly today, all of these pieces will come together to make an Olaf.

I am making a half dozen or so finger puppets to send in to Project 26 of Craft Hope. If you haven't checked them out before then do it! They are amaaaaaaazing. This will be a little bird after I glue the wings on and I'm thinking of making maybe 2 more birds and then 3 fun little monster ones with squiggly arms and antennae, just for fun.

That's what I'm up to! I like to juggle a bunch at once, don't I? It's how I roll. All of these will be done very soon and then the struggle is to find a new project that will keep my fingers entertained!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Living with Infertility - Hoping

I started this year off with my Happiness Project partly because so much of last year sucked for me mentally and emotionally and much of that came from our infertility struggles.

We have been trying to get pregnant for 18 months. That is a long time and it has been hard. In just a few months we'll have a 4 year old. Ollie will turn 8 this year. We won't have a baby by the time either of those things happen. Alice Mae will more than likely be nearing age 5 or be over 5 by the time we have a baby, if we can get pregnant. That isn't an age gap I ever wanted.

I like to be hopeful and see the silver lining. I really try to always have some hope even when the month has beaten me down or my period has shown up unexpectedly. Sometimes though it feels like slapping on a fake smile just so everyone else feels okay. Sometimes I want to cry and yell and kick things and be angry at what seems to be totally unfair. We are amazing parents. The best parents that I know. Our kids want for nothing and most importantly they have 2 loving, happy parents that are crazy in love with them. It gets to be too much some days.

I wish that I could describe how it feels. It is a constant roller coaster, as cliché as that is. In the time that we have been trying to get pregnant I have had so many friends and family also start trying and ALL of them already have babies now or are expecting them in the next few months. We want to be happy for these people but at the same time we are so bitter and sad and jealous. It's a hard mix of things to swallow. And the worst part I think is not really having anywhere to go to. There aren't a lot of people who can understand what it's like. You get the same generic responses to things until you just stop confiding in people. That has been excruciating for me. Not having anyone to go to. Even a lot of infertility groups online are full of not so nice people or women competing to see who has it The Worst. I can't stomach it. So instead I stay quiet and eventually cramming it all down leads to a meltdown.

I am surrounded by pregnant women every day. Close family and friends, most of these pregnancies accidental. I don't mean to sound so bitter but I think it is a natural response for a woman whose ovaries aren't working properly to get upset when she learns of yet another accidental pregnancy. It is hard to not think the universe is laughing at you. Even the pregnancies that were meant to happen are heart breaking. Absolutely shattering.

Hope is a funny thing, you know. It builds you up and also tears you down. I start off a cycle with so much hope and in some ways that leads to so much more upset when there isn't a pregnancy at the end of it. I don't want to stop hoping but I don't want to hope for something that is never going to happen.

For right now I have decided to go back on birth control because I need a break and also as an experiment to see if birth control will wake up my ovaries. I am hopeful. As always. In April we will finally see a specialist. FINALLY. And maybe we will get some real answers. Because the hardest thing is being in limbo. Not knowing. Not being able to move forward in any way. Just stuck. But the closer we get to possible answers the more scared I am. The answers we've been waiting for could be bad.

My go to coping mechanism so far this year has been an infertility journal that I started on January 1st. I never meant to start it. I had a friend make her pregnancy announcement the night before and it led to a slight breakdown on my part. Not having anyone to reach out to I just held it in and made myself sick with jealousy and misery that night. The next night I picked up a new journal I'd planned to use for something else and I scribbled myself a letter-

Dear April,

I'm sorry that you can't get pregnant. I'm sorry that you feel broken and like you have to bottle it up. I'm sorry that you don't have anyone to go to.

But, I love you. Your body is strong. You are strong. You are poetry. You are loved.


Since then when I feel upset or angry or sad or even hopeful, I open it up and I write. I've written more to myself, I've written a letter to Maybe Baby, I've written a list of things that might help fertility. Maybe one day, if we're really lucky, we'll be able to look back at that journal and see how strong we were and how much we fought and we'll be holding our baby in our arms and counting ourselves among those that beat infertility. Maybe. If we stay hopeful. And I plan to for now, even though sometimes it feels like the hope is killing me more than the trying is.

Monday, January 12, 2015

January Makes - So Far

January feels like a whirlwind of yarn makes! I've started and completed several things already and it feels good to be so productive. I give you- this month's makes (so far). Picture heavy post coming up!

The first thing I made was an elephant hat for my dear pregnant friend who has collected elephants for years and plans to have an elephant themed nursery. I used a Repeat Crafter Me earflap hat pattern in size 3-6 months and found a simple little elephant hat pattern online. Eyes are just 10 single crochets in a circle with a little white dash to give it some life.

Birdhouse for Miss Mae's room! My favorite thing I've made in a long time. I found a picture of a crochet birdhouse wall hanging but couldn't find a pattern anywhere so I just winged it! I plan on making another one soon and I will hopefully do a pattern and post it then. I used a small flower pattern from Attic24 and her sun pattern from Bower Bird as well. I just love it and so does Al. She was so excited! I hope it's something she'll keep forever, something that will follow her from home to home as she grows older and moves away.

A fox lovey and a blanket for another pregnant friend. Keeping my resolution to make a blanket for every pregnant friend and family member. I love this lovey, if Maybe Baby ever happens for us I plan to make it one. I bought the pattern on Craftsy over a year ago and the blanket is a granny stripe pattern from Maybe Matilda. I highly recommend it! It's quick to whip up and gorgeous.

TMNT masks! The first born asked me for an orange one and Alice wanted a red one to go with their TMNT walkie talkies (not pictured here because they were being worn and played with, the best thing that I could ever ask for with anything I make them). Husband saw them and was like 'AHHHHHH CAN I HAVE A PURPLE ONE?!' and so I made him a Donatello inspired mask. I used this pattern to make them and even got to kill yarn for the first time! Which is a pretty neat trick, by the way, and easy too.

Last but not least- A red giraffe for Miss Mae. This is a Valentine's Day gift (I am working on Ollie's gift) and one I think she'll love. She has been asking me for a red giraffe for a long time. Red is her favorite color and giraffes are her favorite animal. I'm very excited to give it to her in a month! He turned out gorgeous. This pattern was easy and fast and adorable.

I'm working on a few more things. Maybe there will be a WIPs Wednesday this week. I'm having a fun time. Isn't that what's the most important? Having fun with what you're doing? Enjoying it and loving it. How lucky am I.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Oh, Hey Friday!

It's Friday again! Yay weekend! I love having both of my boys home and the weekend is always very looked forward to by us gals.

This Friday's five will be Things I'm Looking Forward To. So without further ado.

  1. Valentine's Day- I looooove Valentine's Day. I love the hearts and the pinkness and the yummy sweets and chocolates and showering my babes with all of that lovey doveyness. We are planning on an early celebration with our kiddos. The SC State Museum that Sunday before to see their amazing dino exhibit, which both kids will freak over, and then some sort of awesome dessert treat after. I'm making each kid something special and they'll get their usual box of chocolates.
  2. Making Blankets-  Crocheting blankets is easily my favorite thing to crochet. Especially baby blankets. And I have an awful lot to make because there are A LOT of pregnant chicks.
  3. Organizing- I am in the middle of a giant cleaning and organizing movement in our house. I'm throwing stuff out, I'm clearing things out, I'm setting up new ways to keep things where they go. It feels like a fresh start.
  4. Alice Mae's 4th Birthday- Okay, this isn't until April but still. I am looking forward to it! I'm also sad because 4 is so old and she is already getting tall and gangly and losing her baby fat and she looks like a big kid and not a baby and my baaaaaaby where did my baby go. Okay. So I'm kind of dreading it too. I start planning parties early (you have to in this family to get schedules to match up)  and I've been thinking on it this past week. Where and when and what to buy/make her.
  5. Family Road Trip- Saved the best for last! Husband and I agreed a couple of months ago that if/when gas prices dropped below 2 dollars we would plan a road trip. And boom! 1.99 baby. We have a short little road trip planned to North Carolina, we just have to choose a weekend to go. Probably not for another month or 2 but we know there will be a zoo visit and an aquarium visit and I'm excited! This will be our first family vacation EVER. Even though it's only a weekend I think it will be amazing and much needed.

So that's it for Friday! Bring on the weekend! I've got a lot of sitting around and napping to do.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Craft Resolutions

This is my last resolutions post, I swear!

I really wanted to focus on my love crochet this year. It's a huge passion, something that brings me endless joy and it helps my anxiety. But I also want to maybe try something new this year! Or get better at something else.

So behold! My crafting resolutions for 2015:

  1. Finally finally finally finish Oliver's blanket, which I started over a year ago.
  2. Make Alice a blanket.
  3. Crochet a baby blanket for all close friends and family members that get knocked up.
  4. Try a new craft! Maybe this rainbow loom craziness?
  5. Document all crocheted/crafted things with photos. Keep those photos in a separate file on the computer. Try to blog at least once a month about WIPs.
  6. Use my sewing machine more often.
  7. Designate myself a space for craft supplies, organize the hell out of it and make it pretty.
  8. Work on my Etsy shop. Get better at putting myself out there.

This is the year of the sheep, after all. Seems like a good year for some crafty goals!

Monday, January 5, 2015

2015 Happiness Project

Wayyyyy back in May of last year I bought The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and then sometime in December I decided to pick it up and actually read it. And boy am I glad I did.

I decided that the timing was perfect and I would start my own Happiness Project. I basically jumped in and winged it because I hadn't even finished half the book yet. I did finish it yesterday though! Highly recommend.

So, my Happiness Project. Here is the thing- I like to think of myself as happy. Mental illness aside (anxiety and depression, you nasty bitches) I am a grateful, happy, comfortable person. But when I really examine things I realize I am very uneasy a lot of the time and there are so many things I want and need to change.

Here is how my Happiness Project will work- Every month will be a new category to focus on and within that category I will have several resolutions to focus on. Each month will carry on into the next month so I'll be focusing on a new category while trying to also include all previous ones.

For example- The month of January is Body Love. I'll be focusing on health and being appreciative of my body. With my infertility struggles the past 18 months I have been hard on myself and my body. I have been angry at it, resentful of it for not working, bitter about my empty uterus and the limbo of babylessness that I find myself in. It was important to me to start off this new year by focusing on loving my body and caring for it.

My resolutions for January-

  1. Say 'I love you' to yourself.
  2. Eat a rainbow of a diet. Eat more green stuff.
  3. Keep drinking water.
  4. Move.
  5. Go to sleep earlier.
  6. Take time for myself.
How I'm keeping up with my monthly resolutions-

I'm a gold star kind of girl. I like my praise. I am also a visual, list making, chart loving girl. So my perfect resolution solution was- ALL THE CHARTS! I am keeping up with my resolutions by having a monthly chart taped on my wall with each resolution and a space for each day and at the end of the day I check off what I feel was a success.

I also have an exercise chart with monthly goals at the top. This month's goals- stick to 1 challenge for the entire month (my challenge being daily squats, gradually adding to the number of squats every few days) and moving at least 15 minutes a day. When I do these things, I get to add a sticker! It is actually really satisfying and motivating to add those stickers.

This will be how I handle each month because so far it is working for me. It's simple, easy, a constant visual reminder of what I'm trying to achieve. I feel really successful so far. I am definitely failing at going to sleep earlier but I am experiencing a big energy boost from eating lots of greenery and exercising.

I plan to make an end of the month How Did This  Month Go/What's In Store For Next Month post every month to keep up with it all and hold myself accountable.

I really can't say enough how excited I am for this! It's new and fun and I love the idea of having month by month resolutions. I really recommend the book and the whole idea in general.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Oh, Hey Friday! 2015, Baby.

Oh, Hey Friday and Happy 2015! This new year snuck up on me, I've gotta say. Now that it's here, lets get down to biddness.


1. YES PLEASE- Amy Poehler is my spirit guide and I have decided that this year I will say YES more. “Saying “yes” doesn’t mean I don’t know how to say no, and saying “please” doesn’t mean I am waiting for permission.”  Yes to adventures, to road trips, to play dates, to learning something new, to all the things. Bring it on. Lets do this. Yes yes yes.

2. HAPPINESS PROJECT- I'll post more about this next week but I've started my own Happiness Project and I want to stick with it. I need this.

3. READING- I love books and I have so many that were bought and haven't been read yet. I want to take the time for myself and read things that I love more often. Luckily I'm still an excellent reader to my kids! We read all the time. But I'd like to work on reading at least 25 books myself. And my goal with the first born is 1 chapter book per month. I think these are fairly easily attainable goals.

4. EXERCISING- This is part of this month's Happiness Project (move more) but I want to make it a really Big Important goal. I want to learn some new things, enjoy myself when I'm exercising and get healthy. I've made myself a special chart for the month to help me get in the habit and I have some pretty easy goals in mind. Move for at least 15 minutes a day and stick with some sort of exercising challenge, probably something like x amount of squats, crunches, jumping jacks etc each day. I'm all about that gold star so I think having a chart to mark will help me. And it's all about a future baby bump. Motivation!

5. BUDGET-  Important important important. We do well but we could do better. I have specific goals in mind like not eating out very often, having a weekly menu plan, putting money into savings. Budgeting will relieve so much stress in our lives. So why not do it!

I think I'll post every month or 2 about my resolutions and keep up with them. Hold myself accountable. It will also help me with things to write about!

Happy New Year! Lets do this one right. Bring it, 2015. All good things, all good things.