Five.

Audrey turned five yesterday. It was a day filled with fun. She helped me bake the cake. She decorated the cake by herself. She requested a chocolate heart cake with chocolate frosting and M&Ms.

Her dinner request was hot dogs with red peppers and strawberries. She put the strawberries on her hot dog. John and I thought it was gross, but she ate the whole thing that way. She is a kid who knows what she wants and goes after it.

The only thing she wanted for her birthday was a lasso. Both kids are currently obsessed with Sheriff Callie, and she has a lasso. Today we spent several hours roping a bull. Well, it was our version of a bull, which is a baseball tee in a wash tub.

She is a really great kid. She is kind. She is creative. She is smart. She is active. She is funny. If I could bottle her spirit and keep her this joyful forever I would. The past five years have flown. I fear next week I’ll be sitting down to write a post about her turning ten. Please tell me how to slow down time.

Thursday Thoughts

It was a beautiful day today, so after swim lessons we headed to the park.

The kids played for an hour before I decided I should probably think about feeding them lunch. We needed a few groceries, so we swung by Aldi to pick them up. As it was Aldi, I found something random that had to come home with me. Today it was a succulent in a sugar skull.

After a backyard picnic and some play time we headed up to Ankeny to see my niece and nephew run in a cross country meet. Audrey loved cheering on her cousins. She brought pom poms along and was ready to shout encouragement. After the race Audrey and Elliot were ready to hug Ellie and tell her congratulations. I love it when the kids get to spend time with their cousins. I also like getting to spend time with my sister.

While at the cross country meet I realized that we have spent too much time in the woods this summer. At one point Elliot walked over to pee on this tree. In the middle of the meet. Next to a busy road. I now need to get him to understand that peeing on a tree in the woods is OK, but peeing on a tree in the middle of a community college campus surrounded by hundreds of people is not OK. John and I are always commenting that Elliot acts like a drunk college kid, and I suppose this is just another example of that.

It was a beautiful fall day. I did not accomplish enough, but I’m OK with that. I did get some blocking done, and hope to show off The Weekender as soon as it is dry.

Another Busy Day

After my busy day with the kids on Thursday I was ready some down time. After a slow Friday I was ready to go again.

Friday night my cousin and I headed downtown to see Shawn Colvin and Mary Chapin Carpenter perform at a beautiful theater. We expected them to perform opportunity with bands, but we were happily surprised. It was two wonderful singers on stage with acoustic guitars singing their hits and songs from their favorite singer songwriters. I was blown away by their performance. One of my favorite moments is when they sang the Backstreet Boys song I Want It That Way and made it sound soulful and heartfelt. I will never thing of that song the same way again. If they are coming to your town I highly recommend you check the show out.

Saturday morning started with the Optimism Walk for the American Parkinson Disease Association. I was on a team with my friend Sarah and her daughters. Sarah lost her mother to Parkinson Disease earlier this year, and I was proud to be a member of Team Bananas walking in honor of Nancy.

After the walk John and I loaded up the stroller and dropped the kids off at his parent’s house. The two of us headed to the 60th birthday party of a friend and then walked to our neighborhood downtown to have a late lunch or early dinner (it was around 3, so I’m not sure what meal you would call it). Our usual spot wasn’t open yet, so we ate at a bar we usually don’t visit. The decor was unusual. I had never seen so many black velvet paintings. The walls were covered with them.

We have grown fond of eating really early and walking to the restaurant. Getting a nice meal in and a walk is always a good thing.

We walked back to get the kids in time for their dinner and bedtime. After they fell asleep Ivy came over for some knitting, wine, and cheese. She is almost done with her Find Your Fade and I’m plugging away on sleeve island. She brought me a present, a mug that is perfect for me.

It was a great day. I walked over 20,000 steps, which is probably why I slept until after 8 this morning (it was glorious). Today I need to be productive, and I fear knitting on sleeves is not the kind of productive I need to be.

I hope you are having a great weekend too.

Busy Day

This morning I woke up to a text from a good friend saying he needed to reschedule our dinner tonight. It was a relief. Not because I don’t want to see him, but because I knew I would be exhausted by the end of the day. And I am. It’s all my fault, I’m the one who over-scheduled the day.

We started with swim lessons this morning. Elliot complains about having to go to swim lessons from the time he puts his suit on to the time he’s in the water. Once he is in the water he is happy. Audrey is always happy to be at swim lessons, she loves the pool.

After swim lessons I dropped the kids at the Learn and Play center so I could workout on the track. I have been working out outside all summer, but if we are at the Y for swim lessons anyway I’m going to take advantage of it.

After my workout we headed to Costco. This served two purposes: we got dog food and I didn’t have to cook the kids lunch.

After a dash through Costco and a quick stop to have a hot dog or pizza we headed to the zoo for their Zoo Tots class. Today the kids learned about grassland animals, specifically animals native to Iowa. They had a wonderful time doing a craft, making a snack, meeting a ferret, and playing a game. After the class we went to see a few of our favorite animals.

We headed home from the zoo, stopping to run an errand on the way. I’m now ready for bed and it isn’t even bedtime for the kids yet. We didn’t stop all day, and now I’m too tired to knit. Who knew that a day full of fun could be so exhausting?

WIP Wednesday

Happy Wednesday! We’ve had a busy week around here, but that hasn’t kept me from knitting. I got some waiting room knitting in today on my sock. I hope to make a lot of progress on it this week. I’m ready to wear these socks, so I really need to finish them.

The Weekender is flying off my needles. I’m not sure if it is because it is knit with size 9 (5.5 mm) needles, it is all I want to knit, or because I know I need to knit like the wind if I’m going to make it out of my yarn diet hole before the end of the year. I’m really enjoying knitting this sweater. I should bind off the shoulders tonight and start the arms tomorrow. I should be able to finish the sweater easily by Thanksgiving.

10 inches of positive ease makes the sweater look like a square.

If you have been thinking about knitting The Weekender I highly recommend you cast on. Like every other Andrea Mowry pattern there are some design elements to keep it from being tedious. If you finish The Weekender before Thanksgiving send me a message on Instagram or Ravelry with your mailing address and I’ll send you a project bag.

Are you obsessively knitting anything?

Thank you, Kathy!

Last week Kathy asked for knitting tips on her blog. She said the best tip would win a prize, and by gosh by golly that was me.

My tip was: When starting to knit in the round I knit the first stitch with the working yarn and the tail from the cast on. It makes the join snugger and you don’t have an obvious join for the first few rows.

For my tip Kathy sent me a wonderful surprise: a skein of gorgeous yarn from Lorna’s Laces shop in Chicago (which I’m totally going to visit the next time I’m there) and a shawl pin. I think I’m going to use the yarn for a brioche cowl, because even though I said I wasn’t going to knit brioche again I actually do want to knit it again. The shawl pin will get a lot of use this fall, especially because the sticks on my current shawl pins are too wide and start to pop out while I’m wearing them.

Thank you for the wonderful surprise, Kathy. I am so happy to be a part of this great blog community.