Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Ho, Ho, Ho!

Dianne is just plain awesome. We got more good pictures that I can figure out what to do with. Thanks, Dianne! Nobody would know the boys were crying more than they were smiling during the shoot. It was the promise of ice cream after the photos, along with a cookie with lunch for three days straight, that finally got them to tolerate the camera. For a few seconds, at least.
Now it's off to the printer's this week, and I'll actually have Christmas cards done and sent before Christmas this year! I don't think that's happened since kids!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Take 4... or is it 5? 58???

I've no real reason for not posting on my blog in almost FOUR MONTHS, none really. Other than life. So here we go again with another attempt to keeping this thing up. We'll see. More later.

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Saturday, July 29, 2006

my cards

Originally uploaded by binkwaffle.
Brad's designing the website right now, but I want to make my cards visible somewhere. So here they are for the moment. Just click on the image at the right, and you'll be taken to the rest of the cards at Flickr.com. If anyone is interested in them before the site's up, by all means let me know.

All of the cards can be tweaked, customized, etc., even the colors of the envelopes. I used envelopes from Paper Source, an awesome paper company in Chicago, so I'm "limited" to their colors; but because they have awesome colors, I'm okay with the limitations. If anyone knows of any other companies with cool envelopes, let me know and I'll see if we can add them and their colors.

Building a cart and site for a customized thing like a baby announcement isn't as easy as setting one up to sell "regular" products where you just have to type in your quantity and then check out. Especially when you web developer has a day job. And evening jobs like taking out the trash, putting little boys to bed, and so on. But Brad's awesome and has been pulling some late nighters and staying late after work to get binkwaffle.com going. So hopefully we'll have something soon. Until then, email me for more information on any of the cards you see here and like.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Ahhh, Tranquil Summer.

I think that I'd be okay with summer if it was shorter and not nearly as hot as it is here. Maybe. Someone said yesterday, "Isn't this weather wonderful? It's not so hot!" (as usual) Hmmm. So very relative, that sentence. Wonderful compared to 3 weeks from now when Tulsa becomes a literal oven, yes. Wonderful compared to 363 days a year in just about anywhere north of here? Not hardly.

I'm so very much a cold weather lover. The concept of summer's great, but it never seems to work out the way it's appearing in my head.

Take, for instance, the Country Time Lemonade commercials of old. The kids run to the end of the dock, jump into the lake and swim, and Mom brings them a huge honkin' pitcher of lemonade. Serene, relaxing, just what summer's all about. Throw in a handful of fireflies and a croaking toad or chirping cricket...

Yeah, now picture it the way it really is. The kids scream at Mom until they break down her resistance to the mess and possible dangers of swimming in the back yard (be it a pool or a lake, the mess is similar), add in the loss of time working on something important in the house because Mom has to be present at the dock for safety reasons. Mom gives in, the kids tear through the house for 15 minutes, yelling that they can't find their swimsuits, which Mom finds in 15 seconds for each child. Towels are hunted down, inflatables are found and pumped up (with Dad's air compressor in the garage, which they don't leave the way they found it), and the kids are yelled at by Mom to "stop! You forgot the sunscreen. Come back up to the house!" After the sunscreen, they hurtle toward the bathwather -- referred to as a lake in cooler seasons -- and jump off the deck into the fish-, snake-, and turtle-infested muddiness, shifting midair to avoid falling onto the branch that's fallen off of the big oak tree the night before and is now floating in the murky waters.

Mom ignores all the "Mom, I'm thirsty" whines for a while before trudging back up to the house to make Twenty Lemon Lemonade. Hauling a tray full of glasses and a glass pitcher (Glass? A new improved version should really more wisely show Mom with a sippy cup or two, or maybe a Solo plastic cup stack and a Thermos.) back down the hill, Mom stubs her toe on a toy left in the yard and is glad the kids are too far from her to hear her reaction. Cursing the grass that's getting too tall again and wondering if she's bought that refill string for the weedeater that died on her last week, she finally plunks the glasses down on the ant- and dust-covered picnic table. After the kids drink their lemonade, they swim a while, then the family hikes back up the hill, Mom schlepping a load of dishes and two loads of towels to wash after bedtime. Oh, and there's a bottle of Calamine lotion to rub onto everyone because they forgot Off with the sunscreen. Looks like the fireflies aren't the only bugs out in the summer. Huh.

Yeah, I know you could say the same thing for the fall or the winter, but at least I'd be able to breathe, I wouldn't be sweating, and I could watch the boys in the back yard with my door flung wide open without fear of air conditioning the whole neighborhood and owing the power company my firstborn. Gimme snow instead, please!

Of course, the summer photo ops are awesome! Nikon D50/70, I'm saving up for you. And I'll never look back after I get you, I promise!

Monday, June 05, 2006

What if my kids turn out normal???

No, seriously. What if they do? I've come to the realization that I actually want my boys to be a little different. Maybe it's the artist or the musician in me. Maybe it's something altogether separate. But I don't want my boys to end up being the totally clean cut, short haired, preppy, khaki-wearing kids. Now I have my limits, such as Goth or effeminate looks, but want a mohawk? Go for it. Blue hair? Can I help yo do it? Aside from the ones that indicate or are used for things that we don't believe in as a family, piercings are fine. Not for my four year old, but my teenager someday would be fine.

I suppose I'd prefer that it be a somewhat temporary thing, that they not have gaping holes in their earlobes after having those plugs in them for a while. And a 30 year old with the skater look is different than a highschooler. But even then, if they're in professions that allow for those differences, (not the holes. Please, boys, no apparent body altering things like that) such as music, art, or anything else that's accepting of that style by that point in the future, then it's okay.

Life's too short to worry about things that just don't matter, like my preteen wanting to dye his hair green for school spirit day. Or just because.
I began to think about this when we considered cutting the boys' hair for the summer so that they'd be cooler. Their hair's on the longer side, no longer than most of the kids in the ads these days, and we finally decided we just couldn't part with the look. That's when it hit me that someday we might have to give them buzz cuts or something else short if they don't follow in our artsy music-world mindsets. Military looking buzz cuts, okay. But typical kid-gets-his-ears-lowered cuts? Yikes. What if that's what they want someday??

I am evidently a pretty laid back wife, too. Brad told me the other day, "Thanks for letting me be myself and not telling me that I can't do certain things." I try to remind Brad of that fact as often as I can. Brownie points. Among all of our friends, only one other friend would allow her husband to get an earring, and he's not really in a position to do it right now with his job. Most of Brad's friends can't get motorcycles or get tatoos (He hasn't done either but wants to do both. At least the motorcycle.) We watched the season finale of Scrubs last night and Carla wouldn't let Turk do certain things because she was pregnant and couldn't do them, so he couldn't either. Okay, while I certainly have influence on what Brad does most of the time, I don't allow and disallow things, either. He's not my child; he's my husband, my equal, my partner. What business of mine is it if he wants an earring? Do I consult him on a new haircut? Well, yes, bad example. But you get my point. How is it that husbands are not "allowed" to do certain things when they really want to do them? Would an earring really hurt anyone? It would most likely fizzle within a matter of weeks or months, anyway. I could understand "Honey, I really just don't like them. But you're a grownup and can do what you want. Just know what my preference is." But "Hey, honey, can I get a tatoo?" "No way! Out of the question!" What's that about??

So I hope I get to stand out with our boys. Personally, I dress to blend in; maybe there's an issue there to be resolved. Maybe I'm living through them and the ability to help them be different! Hmm. A thought to ponder.

While I'm dyeing their hair blue.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Almost done!

Hmm. I think I got the wrong color of zipper. Whatcha think? LOL I emailed zipperstop.com the picture and asked them to help me pick a better color this time. Oh, well. At least Madison loves aqua. She'll just have to get another sweater from her aunt Holly sometime down the road with the bright, bold zipper above. Not to mention the fact that I'm not sure how long this sweater is going to fit her. They come to visit in a week and a half, so I'll see then. I've been trying it on the boys to see how it fits on them. My poor boys! Notice that the sweater has a zillion-stitch steek in it that has yet to be cut. It's my first steek, so I followed someone's recommendation to do several stitches. Now I'm not sure why, since it's not like I'm going to cut it down the middle. With the applied I-cord already on there, I'm still going to have to cut along the edge, so I'm just going to chop off 4 of the 6 stitches anyway. Oh, well. We'll see how it goes.
ANYWAY, my poor boys have tried on the sweater with the hood still stuck together! One freaked out that his face was covered up, the other thought it was quite fun. Boys. So, I'll hopefully get a better colored zipper Monday or so, and I'll take a crack at sewing it in. Sometimes I'm not sure if I'm adventurous or foolhardy. Both?

Friday, March 24, 2006

Spring Break's of the devil!

Okay, not really. But a mom can pretty quickly get used to her preschoolers going to school a few hours a day, 3 days a week. Really used to it. Same for the boys, who'd much rather be at school with their friends and teachers than with boring old Mom.

I've really got to write more often. Yikes. Okay, my new pledge for the spring. Spring Break's officially over today, Daddy's home all weekend, the boys go back to school Monday, and I'll have more than 30 seconds a day to sit down at the computer again. Yahoo! I'll break out the camera this weekend and get some shots of my latest projects.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

My current projects

I'm eagerly awaiting the Uruguayan merino I'm using for my niece's cardigan, so I'm killing time with projects I'm not really that into. I started the chevron scarf for my sister's birthday, coming up in April, but it's SO slow going that I'm already losing my patience. And it's a scarf! I've got quite a way to go! It's the fact that I can't just knit away without looking that bothers me the most. With 3 separate strands of yarn (I think 2 plies each) all rolled together, it's hard to keep up with so many parts when doing things like K2tog and ktf&b. But I got new needles today that are pointier, so they're making it go a tad more quickly. A tad.

The striped atrocity is Aric's. He has growing pains, I guess, in his legs off and on, and I put him to bed with a hot water bottle. But it always makes me nervous to do it since I just wrap a towel around it or stick it into a pillow case. How to make it hot enough to last a while, yet cool enough to not burn a child who's asleep and oblivious to what's touching his legs? So we decided to make a cover. He picked out my favorite yarn, of course. It's the Malabrigo/handpaintedyarn.com merino worsted that I used on one of my very first knitting projects. I have to admit having tried to pull what the Yarn Harlot tried in one of her stories. I tried to talk him into the "crap yarn." He didn't fall for it any more than Steph's daughter did. Oh, well. He picked the yarn colors. I'm not liking the coral-ish stripes at all, but hey, it's his hot water bottle cover. (It's the leftover yarn from my hourglass sweater below) Gotta let the 4 year old start making his own decisions when his life's not on the line. Wow, that's hard to sit back and let a child make his own choices!

I can't wait to get started on my aqua merino! It's the merino from Uruguay that's identical to Malabrigo's, only half the price now that Malbrigo's skyrocketed. I used it on my Hourglass Sweater and love it. Her colors are so pretty, too. Both companies have their own set of gorgeous colors. And Sandra's so sweet and helpful. Of course, if you pay standard shipping, your needles you bought from Hong Kong will arrive before the yarn, even though the yarn was shipped a full week and a half before them. Huh? Is it traveling through Uruguay by burro?
I'm doing a steek, a hood, and cables on this sweater, all things I've never done before. Logic would say to take the rest of that HG sweater yarn and start swatching, since they're identical. But have I done that yet? Of course not. Maybe I'll go do that now. Or maybe I'll go finish the Yarn Harlot book, which is absolutely hilarious! Even non-knitters would find this book funny. Well, at least non-knitting crafters.
Off to swatch! Or read. Hey, I wonder if her book's on tape yet!

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Red Rover, Red Rover, send Winter right over!

What's wrong with this picture? It's February 28, it's pushing 80 degrees, and the boys are eating ice cream cones on the swingset in their shorts. They only have long sleeved shirts on because we just got back from Walmart and it was cooler when we left the house earlier. They're burning up in the long sleeves.

Where's my winter??? I have to admit that when I smell the fresh air in the morning or get to leave the windows open, I like it. However, I also love snow, and I got VERY little of it this year. Or last. And with 8 month summers around here, where the air's too stagnant to breathe, and you break out into a sweat the second you get out of the shower, even in air conditioning, I need my winter! Aric picked up on something I'd been saying too often, evidently, when he said out of the blue, "I hate summer!" Amen, kiddo! I told Mom that I really think I'd like living in Iceland. It doesn't really get any colder than here, there's more snow and fewer idiots on the road who freak out at the mysterious white stuff that falls from the sky every single winter, and the summers don't get much higher than the 60s. Yeah, I could do it. And all that sundown stuff would be great for knitting! Of course, getting my boys to go to bed when the sun's still up might be a challenge, but there are ways around that. A few room darkening shades, and I'm good to go. Oh, and modern technology is amazing there. The main road around the island has sensors under it, and they can tell what the road conditions are like! On the TV, they show you what the road is like that day. How cool is that?? All our Dept. of Transportation does is freak out, wait until the snowstorm is over, THEN go out and dump some sand on it, their plows a good 6 inches off the ground. I kid you not, the last time it snowed, we drove behind a snowplow/sand truck (yes, sand. Don't get me started on that. No salt around here. We like to make the snow dirty and then slip and slide on the sand once the snow's gone and the roads are dry. Really safe.) and couldn't tell where he'd been on the highway, his plow was so high. Obviously we knew because we were behind him, but there was no difference in the snow levels in the different lanes. None. I wonder how many of my tax dollars paid him that day to do nada.

So, while I'm excitedly planning on getting a tanning bed membership and drinking SlimFast, I'm also already sad about the leaving (if it was ever really here) of winter. I'm more in the mood for seed catalogs than Christmas planning, but I'm NOT looking forward to the inferno we in Tulsa call summer. Especially when the boys are home from school, and wimpy Mom makes them stay inside all day because it's so hot and suffocating outside. Summer is supposed to be the time of year that you're never inside! Well, until they come and stick a pool in my back yard, it ain't happening.
But at least it's a dry heat. Well, dryish.

Monday, February 27, 2006

If I were an Olympic Sport....

You Are Curling

What you lack in athleticism, you make up for in concentration.

And while curling isn't much more of a sport than bowling, you *can* win a gold medal for it!

Okay, anyone who knows me knows that I do NOTHING athletic if I can help it. I technically don't mind athletic things as far as the work involved, getting hot and sweaty, etc., if everything lines up just right first. You know, things like drive, finding a sport I actually enjoy, finding time, finding a sitter, having the right clothes so I don't feel like a cow while I'm huffing and puffing with all the size 0 athletes in the room, etc. Therefore, it doesn't happen often. Every week starts out with (and sometimes ends with) "Okay, starting tomorrow: salads. And walking around the park (6 houses away from us) no matter how cold/hot it is outside." Then another week goes by. Occasionally I'll get one of the two things accomplished, but salad's only so helpful once you wash it down with a 32 oz. Coke.
So I'm not surprised by the outcome of this test. I wish I'd gotten to see the curling events. We got rid of our cable for a few months so we could get some other financial things taken care of, and it happened right before the Olympics. Dangit. There's just something frustrating about watching the NBC highlights on a TV with bad reception that makes you long for the digital cable you just relinquished and makes you turn off the TV and start your own countdown to the Montreal Olympics, by which time you'll finally have cable back again and can watch any number of sports channels and see the sports you want to see. And of course WHEN you want to see them, thanks to your DVR.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Back in the saddle again....

I guess I need to change the name of my blog, since I don't just knit. I started scrapbooking again this week after almost a year's hiatus. Ouch. That's what happens when your already-precious time is suddenly consumed with a new hobby like knitting. Time to taper off and do some of both.

My parents are visiting next week, so I'm feverishly finishing up my mom's Grandmother's Calendar that she usually gets each Christmas (hanging my head in shame) and my dad's retirement album (he retired 1.5 years ago). Time to get those darn monkeys off my back!

So off I got o journal some more for Dad's album. A glutton for punishment, I used the military alphabet (he retired from the Air Force) that he and I used to send each other letters in. So that means 26 pages of content! Aah! What was I thinking? Oh, well. It's pretty impressive, being so detailed. Never mind that it's YEARS late! Hey, he's still retired, isn't he? :-)