Knitting Picture Books

My two favorite hobbies, knitting and reading, are things that I like to share with my kids. While I haven’t taught the kids to knit yet, they both pretend to knit while saying “In. Around. Through. And off.” Considering they are only 2 and 3 I think that is pretty good.

Both kids love to read and being read to. We have a lot of books, but I’m always looking to add to the collection. Some of my favorite books to buy are picture books about knitting.

These books are great for anyone looking for new books for their kids. You don’t need knowledge of knitting to enjoy them. They would also make a great baby shower gift if any of your favorite knitters are expecting.

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This book is about a little girl who finds a magical box of yarn – she can knit and knit and knit and never run out of yarn.  It is a cute story – who wouldn’t want an endless supply of yarn? I love how the knitting is illustrated.

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Everyone in our house loves Ned the Knitting Pirate. It is a fun read, with a rhyming pirate song to enjoy within the story. My only issue with this book is that Ned appears to knit exclusively with boucle yarn, and I just can’t get behind that.

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The Surprise, by Sylvia van Ommen, is one of Audrey’s all time favorite books. It’s a book without words that follows a sheep as she dyes her wool, knits a present, and gives it to her best friend.

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I love reading these books to the kids. We get to talk about the story as well as knitting. Do you have any knitting picture books to recommend? I’m always looking for more books to read.

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Today

I had a hard time coming up with a topic to write about today.

I could write about how Elliot has taken to climbing the learning tower and throwing toys to the floor. Even metal toys. Our floor has new scratches in it.

I could write about how I realized my borrowed digital copy of Trevor Noah’s Born A Crime is due in three days and I really need to finish it. I cannot begin to explain how interesting that book is, so finishing it won’t be a problem if I can find the time.

I could write about how Audrey now says “Mama, I’m sick of you” and “Mommy I don’t like you.” It breaks my heart. I responded to her with words I remember my Mom saying to me, so I sent my mom a text to apologize for being a jerk.

I could write about the cute things that happened today, like Audrey saying maybe we would see R2D2s at the Kansas City Zoo and Elliot attempting to blow bubbles.20180517_170926883889581.jpg

But instead I’ll just show you my finished sock, because I am not up to a long, thoughtful post today.

I messed up the decreases on the toe. It turns out decreasing while pushing kids on the swings doesn’t work as well as I would have hoped. I decreased on rows that I should have decreased on twice on the top of the sock. I decided it worked and I’m not going to tear it out. It’s still comfortable.20180517_19043658301587.jpg

I hope you had a wonderful Thursday.

Camping Recap

As I mentioned yesterday, camping wore me out. Part of that is the lack of sleep. The other part is we spent the entire time on the go. It was such an enjoyable weekend.

The drive down to North East Missouri (in the same area as Mark Twain State Park) took about 4 hours. It went remarkably well. I borrowed my sister’s portable DVD player, so the kids were able to watch Mickey Mouse and Olivia in the car. We stopped at a park about three hours into the drive. Getting them out of the car to play helped all of our moods.

When we got to the campground we unpacked the car and then walked up to the camp store to order pizza.  It was a great way to get the kids familiar with each other again, and a great way to get us out of cooking.

This is the first time the boys have spent much time together. They immediately hit it off and played well together all weekend. It was so much fun to watch.

After dinner we headed back to the camper. The girls and Bryan went for a ride on the golf cart (Kirsten’s husband was there dropping it off and drove them around) while Kirsten and I go the beds ready. Elliot was not up for a ride yet. He liked exploring the golf cart, but he was scared of riding on it.

After the golf cart ride we tried to get the kids to bed. It did not go well. That was the case all weekend. As they get older it will get better. That’s what I’m telling myself.

In the morning we had breakfast at the camper before we loaded up the golf cart and heading out to play.

The first stop is the modern playground. It is a big cube for climbing, with a slide and swing in it. The kids loved exploring it. Eventually it got busy and we headed to a different playground.

The second stop was an older playground, also at the campground. We were the only people there, which the kids (and their mothers) enjoyed. The kids played hard until it started to rain.20180512_0953321026274787.jpg

The campground has a place for kids 1-5 that is basically an indoor area to explore. Sadly most of the toys were broken and it hadn’t been cleaned for what looked like a decade. That being said, it was free and kept the kids busy.  20180512_1021082060642474.jpg

After all of that it was only 11. We decided to have lunch and try for naps. Lunch went well. Naps didn’t. The boys got out of their pack and plays after about 30 minutes and walked out to the living room. We decided to throw in the towel and explore some more.

We headed to the Mark Twain Lake visitors center. It was full of things to do. We checked out a few scenic overlooks. We took a hike. We looked around the visitors center. They had a table with crayons and coloring books for the kids. The employee on duty even handed me a bag with 4 packs of sidewalk chalk and two workbooks for the older girls. He mentioned they will be added a playground next year, so we will be back.

The nice guy at the visitors center then told us the best park to visit at the state park. It was a great park and it is very close to the campsite. There is also a beach close to the park, so hopefully we will try that out later this summer. The kids were so entertained at this park Kirsten and I were able to sit on a bench and actually talk! It was a miracle.

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That night getting the kids to sleep was horrible. At one point I went in to check on the boys because they were being very loud. They had crawled into bed together and were very proud of themselves.

20180512_190013579921131.jpgOn Sunday we got up, attempted to go get pancakes and found the restaurant closed, and drove home. All in all, it was a crazy way to spend Mother’s Day weekend, but it sure was fun.

 

 

Camp Snacks

Tomorrow I’m packing up the kids and driving four hours to camp with my friend Kirsten and her two kids. We will have four kids under four in a camper. We are clearly insane.

Because I imagine it is going to be a crazy weekend I wanted to get some of the work done before we left. I also wanted to make sure we had some healthyish items. I threw together a few things that I think the kids will like to eat. As an added bonus Kirsten and I will like them too. 20180510_195417436169163.jpg

I’m still on my hummus high, so I made some more sun-dried tomato and basil hummus. I sliced up some bell peppers to use for dipping sticks. I am also bringing crackers for the hummus.

For quick snacks and an on the go breakfast I made some peanut butter energy bites. These are basically no bake cookies, so I think the kids will love them.

I am on the e-mail list for volunteer recipe testers for Cooks Illustrated, and just this week they sent out a recipe to test for raw fruit and nut bars. I thought they looked good so we are trying them out this weekend. They have dates, dried cherries, almonds, and cinnamon. They are basically the homemade Lara bars I’ve been making for years, but with smaller bits of almond. I think the kids will like the texture of these better.

Do you have any make ahead snacks you like to take on trips?

Zoo Morning

We are still enjoying beautiful weather here, so the kids and I headed out to the zoo this morning. We should have gone to the grocery store, but I decided it would be better to play at the zoo this morning and have a pizza picnic instead of cooking dinner. It was the right choice.

We have a membership to Blank Park Zoo. It’s a small zoo only 20 minutes from our house. We visit often; it is not unusual for us to go every week. I love that we can visit until the kids are starting to get hungry and tired. It is a great place to spend a morning.

This was the first day this year that we have been at the zoo when it has been warm enough for the giraffes to be outside. It was nice to see them enjoying the sunshine instead of looking depressed in their enclosure.

Both kids wanted to bring their animals into the zoo. Now that I’ve discovered the mitten clip trick having the animals with us is less terrifying.  I ended up being happy that giraffe came with us when Audrey had giraffe look through the fence at the other giraffes.

Other than the giraffes we looked at the rhinos, fed the goats, peeked at the monkeys, and spent a shocking amount of time looking at the people cleaning the sea-lion and seal pool. We spent a little over an hour there, which is a long time for us. It was a great visit, and Audrey is already talking about the things she wants to do the next time we visit.

Spring Day

It was a beautiful day in Des Moines today. It was in the low sixties by 10. That meant a walk to the park was in order.

We have three parks that we like to play at within a twenty-minute walk from our house. There is also a fourth park (the closest to our house, actually), but it doesn’t have much for little kids to play on. Today I let Audrey pick the park. She chose Beaverdale Park. I was pleased with that choice – it is a nice 20 minute walk for us and there are lots of hills on the walk to make me feel like I’m actually getting a workout in.

Today I was struck by how big the kids are getting. Audrey is now climbing on the equipment she was scared of last year. She now prefers big kid swings to toddler swings, even though I barely push her when she is on a big kid swing. She didn’t swing in a toddler swing at the park at all (nor did she in our yard this afternoon).

Her new obsession with big girl swings appeared to be wearing off on Elliot, as he asked to go in a big kid swing too. I am happy to report that he only lasted about 30 seconds before wanting to go in the toddler swing. Occasionally realizes he that he is not three.

It feels like spring might actually be here. The forecast for the next week looks beautiful, so we will hopefully be outside a lot. I need to dig out the sunscreen and summer clothes. I could probably put the winter stuff away, but after the spring we’ve had I’m not quite ready to do that. I’m worried I would jinx the weather and we would have snow again.

Am I the only one that is going to cry if it snows again this spring?