Polar Vortex Sanity

On Tuesday the kids spent the day with their grandparents. John’s parents are in town and are wonderfully active in the kids lives. It was nice to have the day alone to run errands.

There is one downside to kids spending the day with the grandparents – the rebound day. The kids are jerks for a day while they return to their normal routine. Normally that isn’t an issue, we get to the Y in the morning to play and head to the library or run errands after nap.  If I keep them busy they don’t have time to whine. That wasn’t an option yesterday, when it was so cold it wasn’t safe to leave the house.

I knew when I dropped the kids off at John’s parents that I was going to be stuck inside with the kids for at least the next day. I decided desperate times call for desperate measures and headed to the best used kids clothing shop in town. I wasn’t there for clothing (although I picked up plenty of that while I was there too), I was there for the toys.

The kids both love playing with trains, and I figured I could find a few things to keep them busy and happy.

I picked up two Chuggington DVDs. To be honest, Elliot likes Thomas more than Chuggington, but I find Chuggington much more entertaining, so that is what I grabbed. For $7.50 I knew an hour of our afternoon would be spent quietly watching Wilson, Brewster, and Koko.20190129_1253339156189037722863986.jpg

I bought a bag labelled “wooden trucks” for $3 because it looked like there were trains and steamrollers in the bag.  I was thrilled when I took them all out and realized how many great things were in the bag. Two fire trucks that work on train tracks? A coal car? This bag was a find! 20190129_125307372028915116665781.jpgI splurged and bought a $9 train set because it looked like the tracks were compatible with ours, and John and I had just talked about how more tracks would be a good idea. 20190129_1254402761611533544886417.jpg

On Tuesday, when tucking Audrey in, she asked what we were doing the next day. I told her we would be stuck at home because of the weather, but I had a few presents to make the day special. I meant to say surprises. I know that telling a four-year-old about presents at bed time is a pretty silly thing to do. She I should wrap the presents. I told her I probably wasn’t going to wrap the surprises. She said I should wrap the presents in Mickey paper. We have Mickey paper in the basement. Little kids take a long time to unwrap presents. I decided I could fill more of the day if I wrapped everything up.20190129_1940232258677396229103897.jpg

Before John went to work I had him give him the kids the train tracks. I didn’t want to get all of the credit for the amazing present filled day. 20190130_080013.jpg

The kids played with the train while I made breakfast. We had a special Polar Vortex breakfast of cinnamon rolls. I really threw all of my rules about healthy eating out the window yesterday. I’m glad I did.20190130_0908491080547745430193338.jpg

After breakfast I let them each open one present an hour until they were gone. Because of naps, that worked out to be a present every hour they were awake until dinner. They were really happy.

There were a few hours there where I really questioned the present every hour thing. My kids are too young to really understand the concept of time, so they were constantly asking when they would get another present. It was still worth it, because Audrey kept saying it was like Christmas or her birthday. She was so happy.

They spent the day playing with trains. 20190130_1518065517078184032299551.jpgAnd the afternoon we watched a new Chuggington. The whole time Elliot was never far from the red train from the new train set. He is convinced it is James from Thomas.

Audrey does not think it is James, and told me that the red train doesn’t have a face, so it isn’t really James. I said I agreed with her and she said in a disgusted tone “Why did you even think it was from Sodor?” So the day was great, and I found out my daughter thinks I’m an idiot for not knowing that a plain red train is not from the Island of Sodor, home of Thomas the Tank Engine.20190130_1633142754530273106048696.jpg

I will do this again, ideally when they have a better understanding of time, but before they understand that I just spent $20 buying used toys to wrap up to make our day better.

We were stuck at home today, but the trains kept us busy. Tomorrow it will be a balmy 23 degrees. That sounds much better than the -24 we had yesterday.

Christmas

I hope you had a Merry Christmas. If you celebrate I hope all of your Christmas wishes came true. If you don’t celebrate I hope you enjoyed a quiet day at home alone drinking tea and watching movies (that is what I would do).

We were busy. The kids are still recovering from such a big change in their schedules. So am I, actually. We spent the Sunday before Christmas to Christmas at noon at my parents. After that we headed to John’s parents house for the night. They live in Des Moines, so we were able to spend Christmas night in our own house.

We went to church on Christmas Eve. The kids were actually good, thanks to the fancy coloring books I picked up in a panic an hour before mass when I realized I forgot to pack their quiet toys. Shockingly we remembered to take a family picture after church.

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Elliot wore his Harvey cardigan.

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The kids got what they asked Santa for. For Audrey that was an alarm clock and a stuffed unicorn. Santa brought her the unicorn of her dreams (and my nightmares). Kathleen made Audrey a unicorn horn, so she has taken to wearing the unicorn horn and carrying her unicorn around with her.

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Elliot never had a straight answer for what he wanted. He asked for “nothing” when he was feeling especially scared of Santa. He also asked for red presents. He got a red tractor. He is a big fan of tractors. He loved showing it to my Dad.signal-2018-12-25-083356701356889241158006.jpg

I didn’t take many pictures this year (most in this post were taken by Kathleen). I think that is because I was too busy shoving fudge into my mouth. I’m sad Christmas is over, but I’m delighted to have the treats out of my house.

Now on to the New Year. Where does the time go?

 

Peace Project 2018

I finished my Peace Project 2018 Cowl earlier today. I was pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable the pattern was to knit.

I made a few changes to the pattern. I used DK weight instead of sport weight, because that is what I had in my stash.  didn’t adjust the needle size to accommodate for the thicker yarn, I prefer a dense cowl for Iowa winters. I only did 5 repeats of the small triangles, because I was making this for Audrey and little kids have little necks. I did not do an i cord bind off because the cowl is so dense I thought it would look weird, and also I just didn’t want to do it.

Audrey likes it and wanted to wear it when we went to look at Christmas lights tonight. Now to find a project to knit for my mother-in-law that takes less than a week to knit….

WIP Wednesday: 48/52

Happy Wednesday! Good news on the sweater front: the buttons don’t look as bad when the sweater is on. That is great news, as I have reached my limit for button sewing for the year. 

I finished the first Up All Night sock in the Elliot colorway. I think I’ll get a lot of use out of this pair (when I eventually finish them, probably months from now).

I took the advice from your comments, and started candy cane socks. I love how fast self striping yarn works up. The socks are looking a little more Waldo than peppermint, but that is fine with me.

I also started the Project Peace 2018 cowl. Project Peace runs until December 21, ending on World-Wide Knit for Peace Day. I love the idea of the project. I don’t love the pattern. It just isn’t something I want to wear. The pattern calls for sport weight, but I’m knitting it with DK from my stash without any adjustments. I didn’t do a gauge swatch – it’s a cowl, what is the worst that will happen?

I’m thinking about casting on a bulky weight hat. I’m meeting my brother at the Kansas City Zoo this weekend. I think that if he will hang out at the zoo with me when it is below freezing he deserves a hat. Just because he deserves one might not be enough to get me working on it however, it all depends on how the rest of the week goes.

Have a great week! I hope you are productive!

Button Trouble

I finished Elliot’s sweater a couple of days ago. I waited patiently for the buttons to arrive. I found the perfect buttons from GloriaPatre Spin N Knit. The buttons were shipped off soon after I placed the order, I just had to wait for shipping from Canada.

Today was the day! The buttons arrived and I sewed them on. The timing was ideal, as I’m taking the kids to get their pictures taken tomorrow.

There’s only one problem.

Now that the buttons are here I realize that they are too small. I made an emergency run to JoAnn’s tonight. I left disappointed when I was not able to find toggle buttons that worked with the sweater. 

I just ordered longer buttons from GloriaPatre Spin N Knit. I hope they are here before Christmas, as I would like Elliot to have a Christmas sweater with the right size of buttons. 

As for photos tomorrow, I’m going to go with the too small buttons. I think it should stay shut, and it will look nice with what Audrey is wearing.

Do you have a button resource that you recommend?

Elf Hats

It’s amazing how much knitting a person can get done when they are watching the Hawkeye game.20181111_0845223324469343946049205.jpgThe elf hats were nice and quick, and now I’m back to knitting with natural fibers. I’m about to cast on a hat because I lost my Gretel Tam again. I am going to start a Sitka Spruce hat from Tin Can Knits as soon as I sit down to knit again. Hopefully I don’t lose or felt this hat.