Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Yarn Along

On the Needles: Good grief! I'm still working on the February Baby Sweater. It's going to be March before I finish the thing. Knitting is s-l-o-w going these days. If only I were coordinated enough to knit and nurse simultaneously.

Off the Bookshelf: More poetry! These days I'm reading Denis Johnson and Brett Eugene Ralph. I LOVE Denis Johnson's fiction and have never read his poetry. Poetry is where he got his start, and I can tell. His poems have been blowing me away all week.

I've also been watching lots of Downton Abbey. Netflix added it to their Watch Instantly and now I'm hopelessly addicted. Just started season 2 on PBS. Anyone else watching this?

Don't forget to Check out Ginny's blog to see what others are knitting and reading this week.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Seamus pretends to be Paul McCartney.

Vivian begins to smile and laugh.

Mama gets new vintage glasses.

Kiki falls asleep in his food bowl.

S and I bake Coconut Thumbprint Cookies with Salted Caramel for T for Valentine's Day.

S and T are Wolverine and Cyclops.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Joining Ginny from Small Things this week for another Wednesday Yarn-Along

On the Needles: Finishing up the February Baby Sweater from Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitters Almanac. Hoping I can squeeze in some time between grading my students first papers of the semester and my daily mom-ness to cast off on this baby off by the weekend.

Off the Bookshelf: Somehow I'm finding lots of time to read. Poetry has been my nightly nursing reading (which takes place after S goes to bed); Siblings Without Rivalry is my bathtub reading and John Gardner's On Becoming a Novelist is my bedtime reading. This last book is a classic that I read and re-read often. Even the forward, which was written by Raymond Carver, is fantastic.

Check out Ginny's blog to see what others are knitting and reading this week!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Boy Artist

Ever since S could hold a crayon, T and I have been encouraging him to draw, color and paint, and ever since S could hold a crayon he's been fighting tooth and nail to put it down and just go play. T and I were starting to think he'd never learn to draw a stick figure, let alone write his name. I couldn't figure it out; T has two fine art degrees (one of which is in drawing and sculpture), and I spent most of my childhood on the floor of my bedroom hunched over a paint-by-number or a drawing pad. I always assumed any kid of ours would love art. Instead, our first born seemed to regard it as a punishment anytime I asked him to draw me dinosaur. Occasionally, I'd convince him to draw a creature or two, but these attempts were only successful about once a month. T and I consoled ourselves with the idea that S is more scientifically inclined and is obsessed with nature, and drawing, painting and coloring just weren't all that interesting to him.

But then in the midst of my maternity leave, something clicked with S. We'd been practicing writing his name, a torturous 10 minutes a day for both of us, and as his handwriting improved so too did his competence with a pencil. Before I knew it, S was drawing creatures and dinosaurs all on his own without any provocation from me, and very soon he was coloring in coloring books (something that had always seemed boring to him in the past).

To keep him motivated I ordered some of Dover Press's nature coloring books and a big box of 120 of Crayola's finest crayons, and when they came in the mail it was like Christmas all over again at our house. S spent most of an entire day coloring snakes of the world and prehistoric reptiles.

Since then we've had lots of fun coming up with projects for S. T got out his projector, and S and I traced animals onto watercolor paper. I spent the next day teaching him how mix watercolors and paint. We also spent a day making paper dinosaurs.

The past few weeks have brought numerous drawings and paintings, and even a couple of homemade storybooks. Our house is now full of crayon-scribbled monsters, dinosaurs, cardinals, aardvarks and screech owls, and now some part of every day is devoted to making art and S enjoys every moment of it.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Joining Ginny from Small Things this week for another yarn-along...

On the Needles: I've just started knittingthe February Baby Sweater from Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitter's Almanac. I've wanted to make this sweater for Little Viv since before I knew she was a girl, and since February is upon us...what better time than now. This is the second time I've made this sweater, and I love it just as much this time around. I'm using Kertzer's organic cotton yarn, which I got for a steal at Jimmy Beans Wool.

Off the Bookshelf: Now that I'm on maternity leave and no longer have access to my library's copy of The Knitter's Almanac, I decided to order my own. I was so happy to learn Dover reissued this book (and it's a great price too). I love EZ's writing so much, I'm reading it page for page. She puts so much poetry into her knitting patterns, and I love reading the stories and opinions that precede each project. Plus, her patterns are timeless. I would love to knit up everything in this book.
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