Monday, August 30, 2010

A Knit A Week

A Matched Set
Scarf Pattern: Paddington Neck Warmer
Fingerless Mitts Pattern: 75 Yard Malabrigo Mitts
Yarn: JDMS Handspun Merino in the Secret Garden colorway
(Color is truest in the 2nd photo!)
I know I say this every time, but Jill's yarn is always amazing!!
So soft, gorgeous colors, and absolutely wonderful to work with.

Friday, August 27, 2010

A Book A Week

Lest you think I forgot, here is my pick for the week. Although, actually it's an entire series of books that I absolutely love (my kids do too!). We call them the dinosaur books. The authors are Jane Yolen and Mark Teague and there are many titles to choose from, even board books--yay! One of my favorites is the one pictured.

Why do I love them, well where to start? The dinosaurs are drawn life-sized as compared to their human parents. That's right, they have human parents--that's enough to read it right there wouldn't you agree?! :) And the illustrations are pretty sweet (with the actual name of the dinosaur hidden in the picture, so you can tell your kids when they ask).

I love how the books are set up: How does a dinosaur go to bed, the doctor, play with his friends. . . does he pout, scream, etc. The authors focus and mention nearly all of the negative bedtime, doctor, etc. issues your child may have and then the beauty of it, half way through each book says, "NOOO a dinosaur doesn't." And then the focus switches to the positive, the dinosaurs obey the first time, do their chores without complaint, say please and thank you, and make good choices. I cannot tell you how much I love this! In fact, I reference these books quite often when I can sense a battle of wills is in the offing . . . "Is that what a little dinosaur would do?", I'll ask, "Let's go find the book and remember what he does."

Anyway, find these books. Read them to your little dinosaurs. You won't be disappointed.

Ages 1 and up to ?? (Princess #2 who is 8 will still listen to them and Princess #1, who is 10, thinks they are fun to read to her sibs.) The Prince and Princess #3 love them {over and over and over again please}!!

Monday, August 23, 2010


I've thought a lot lately about posting more details about what we've been going through these past few years in regards to Princess #3, but I never have been able to. It's too raw. It's too now. It's too . . . much. I've alluded to issues that she struggles with, but have never felt right about saying much, simply because I had no answers or any hope of finding answers.

However, when I was going through our vacation photos this one jumped out at me. She is wearing a swimsuit. She is happy. She is wearing a swimsuit and she's happy. Amazing. A year ago, this would have never happened. This is the first summer in a long time that she has voluntarily donned a suit and had fun while wearing it. And that is progress my friends.

At this point, reading this, you might be thinking big deal. And you would be right. It is.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Fun at the Coast

Beautiful Arcadia Beach
The three amigas

The Ocean Girls
Ocean Boy munchin' a yummy bite of sand.
The King coaching Princess #3 on her first time wave jumping.

We took a family vacation this past week. Our first in probably 5 years. Yep, last one was when Princess #3 was itty bitty. We stayed at an amazing little house that was perfect for our family and just a short hop to a multitude of beaches.

The Prince wasn't quite so sure about the whole ocean thing and that wet sand that sucked his little toadies down, was definitely not for him at first crack. However, by the end of the week, he embraced his new title to the fullest: Ocean Boy!! Even though he was literally shaking with chills from the cold water, he screamed his little head off whenever it was time to leave the water.

Princess #3 wasn't so sure either. Especially when her first trip to the beach she managed to soak herself head to toe by stepping in a sink hole! But she managed to try again and ended up loving every bit of her first "real" trip to the ocean (last time she was snuggled in the sling). She even discovered a whole sand dollar--she was so excited that it wasn't a quarter or a half-dollar!!

Princess #2 and Princess #1 were old pros and had a great time playing in the waves!! In fact, a little too much fun--they were freaking me out with their fearlessness!! They loved exploring the rocks for agates, Princess #1 found 2, and scouring the beach for other treasures!

In all, it was a great time away. We needed a fun trip!! And now with fall activities gearing up or looming in the near future it was perfect timing.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Almost Wordless Wednesday

The Prince loves to push things.
Especially a stroller full of his sisters' "goo goo gaa gaa's".
{His word for babies.}

Friday, August 13, 2010

Overheard From the Family Room

Princess #3: Maaaamaaaa, Princess #2 just stuck her tongue out at me!!!!!

Princess #2: I did not. I was just licking my chops!

Guess I better feed her.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Overheard After Yet Another Squabble

Princess #3: What are you going to do now?

Princess #2: Play with Barbies and NOT talk to Princess #1.

A Book A Week

"A Little Princess" by Frances Hodgson Burnett is my all time favorite children's novel, but only if the illustrations were done by Tasha Tudor. This is the chapter book that I remember reading the most when I was a girl. We had this old hardcover version (probably an old library cast-off) with Ms. Tudor's illustrations. It was beautiful. I could read it over and over without ever tiring of it, poring over the pictures endlessly, and always feeling anxious for the characters. {Of course, maybe part of why I loved this so much as a child was that the heroine and I share the same first name!}

Regardless, this is a classic in my mind. The heroine goes from riches to rags to riches again, and does her best despite the terrible curves that life throws her. She befriends the helpless and lives in her imagination, I love it. I love how the author makes Miss Crewe human. You feel as if she really lived, and could quite possibly {if you were lucky enough}, meet her one day.

So here's my advice, for what it's worth. Skip the various movies. Read this one out loud to your kids, but only the Tasha Tudor edition, trust me on that, and you'll {I hope} find yourself sucked into the book as well as your sweet children.

In my opinion, this one would interest ages 5 and up for listening to, 8 and up for reading for themselves.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Overheard At Rest Time

Princess #3: Mama's feeling better.

Princess #2: How do you know?

Princess #3: I saw her knitting.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

A Book A Week

I love Diane Goode books. Her artwork is fun and tells a story within the written story (usually)-which is fun for us bigger folks, who read and read and read again the Royals' favorites! I am sure that her name will pop up again a time or two.

This story is about Jack who would like to take his Mama out for a picnic to the
"perfect spot". Well, it doesn't quite work out as he has planned, but he and his Mama make the most of it. I don't want to give away too much, because the ending is an awfully sweet surprise for little ones who don't catch the subtleties in her illustrations.

This one isn't too wordy, so I think ages 2 and up would enjoy this one. The older the child, the more they will notice in the pictures, which makes it fun to read aloud to multiple ages.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Overheard From the Bathroom

Queen {post-wiping}: Okay, you're all set, clean as a whistle.

Princess #3: Mama, whistles really aren't very clean you know. You put them in your mouth and then blow. That makes mouth germs in them which aren't clean. You should say, "Clean as washed hands."

Queen {biting back a sigh}: Okay, you're all set, clean as washed hands.

I guess she does have a point. {grin}

Monday, August 02, 2010

A Knit A Week

A new fall sweater for the Prince.
Pattern: Intrepid from Spring/Summer 2010 Interweave Knits Magazine (Ravelry link)
Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash Quattro (a bit over 2 skeins--be looking for a matching hat soon)
Verdict: A bit boxier than I wanted, but I think this will be a great, dressier alternative to a sweatshirt. Very quick knit, with adorable results.