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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Zoo Pals

I think of mentioned before on this blog Frog's ability to memorize huge chunks of any dialogue he has seen on tv or videos or listened to on the radio. He'll come up to me sometimes and ask to watch certain things by reciting almost the whole thing. For example, this happened yesterday...

Frog: Watch "Hello, my flower. I'm stuffed up and so congested. I've returned my flower, a changed bee"?

Me: You want to watch the bee commercial?

Frog: Watch "Hello, my flower. I'm stuffed up and so congested. I've returned my flower, a changed bee"?

Me: Just a minute.

There is no way he is going to be able to watch this commercial on demand so I try and distract him. A few minutes later...

Frog: Watch "Oink Oink Zoo Pals. Buzz Buzz Zoo Pals"?

Me: Just a minute. going to my room to have a quick lie down.

A few weeks ago I got the Frog referred to the public school system for their early development program. They evaluate him and see if he qualifies for service like free preschool and in home visits from professionals. I got him referred because of his behavioral issues (hitting, MAJOR tantrums, etc...). After a few visits with the people at LPS, it turns out that he qualifies for services because his communication is at the level of a 20 month old (he just turned 3). He's also showing some signs of autism spectrum disorder (his good memorization skills, his mania for counting things, control issues). The good news: he has a lot of skills that point otherwise (extremely social, good eye contact, pretend play). We aren't going to do the testing for autism for at least 6 months to see if the in home visits will improve his communication skills. They also say that this could be a big factor in why he gets so darn angry at the drop of a hat. I'm willing to try anything!

These past couple of days I have been so proud of him. We went to the Y yesterday and he didn't try to run away out into the parking lot (the first time, EVER!). He stayed with me the whole time and was calm. He didn't flop out, cry, or do anything else that resembled a tantrum. I was so excited. Then, when we were leaving...it was the same thing! He was the vision of calm. I'm so pleased that I decided to take advantage of the 70 degree weather today and we're going to make a trip to the Omaha Zoo. Yep, I'm taking both kids to the zoo by myself. I may regret it later but I can't help but think that he's going to be good. Wish me luck!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

The Life of a Champion

I wore my shawl to church this morning. For such daintly lace, it sure was hot! I couldn't wear it the whole day because I was sweating in church. Plus, I didn't want Big Apple to spit pretzels all over it.
The medal ceremony was beautiful.

I tried to take Wendy's advice and not mess up the words to the national anthem. I decided to smile and look happy. And, of course, take a bite out of the medal. Why do they do this? Oh well.

I love being an Olympic champion. I love it so much that I've refused to take off my medal.




Sugar Daddy doesn't even question any more why I have him take these pictures. What a good husband!

The shawl is going to "retire" for a few months until she makes her glorious return at the Lancaster County Fair. If I don't win first place, the judges must be on crack.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Wonders Never Cease

I'm done. Not only that, I'm amazed. Here is the Snowdrop Shawl straight off the needles.
And here she is right after a little washing and a zillion pins. This is a queen size bed.

I was a little taken aback by the beauty. I can't believe I made this. In 15 days. It truly was a challenge and I deserve that medal! But, I didn't do it alone. I've got to thank my Sugar Daddy. Without him, the kids would have been starving and wallowing around in trash these past few weeks. I think he knows that I am extremely grateful for his support of my "dream" and I'm going to be repaying him for it dearly. I already promised not to knit another stitch until the Olympics are over. I know that's only 1 more day...but that's a big deal for me and he knows it.

Here's a closeup. Try not to cry.


I used 100% baby alpaca (Perlita brand) color 2105. A skein is 437 yds. This shawl took about 880 yards. Good thing I bought that third skein or I would have been in a big mess! I loved the yarn, the pattern, the joy of blocking, and I'm sure I'll love the finished product!

Beer on the Wall

I've got 220 more rows of the Snowdrop to go....
220 more rows to go...
don't drop a stitch or I'll become a *ahem*
219 more rows of the Snowdrop to go!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Speed Dining

1. No time to eat with hands. I am now resorting to being "fed" by my trainer.

2. Greasy hair. No time to shower.

3. No makeup. Not even my brand new eyeshadow!

4. Cramping in my left arm. Feel the burn.

5. Three days left. Note to self: go and buy some Depends undergarments. Cannot waste any more time on the toilet.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Olympic Update

Thanks for all of the great comments and your votes. Because of the encouragement I felt that I could do it. That was before I had to pick up 436 STITCHES around the shawl and begin to knit them. It's going to be a long 4 days. I hope I can make it!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Dreaming of Gold

Just a little over a week ago, I started with some yarn and a dream.
I'm a day behind schedule but this is what I have now.

I can't believe how beautiful it looks...even before blocking. The pattern says that if I like it the way it is, I don't have to add the border. I do like it the way it is. All it needs is a good blocking to be done. But, I also have 5 days left to finish it. What do you think? Let your voice be heard.

What's next for the Snowdrop Shawl?
Block me. I'm already good enough for the gold.
Add my lacy border! You've got 5 days left you coward.
Free polls from Pollhost.com

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Hansel and Gretel

We have all homemade computers here at Casa Nelson. My husband is a computer geek and just will not have anything that you can buy at a store (except his laptop courtesy of the University). Needless to say, my computer acts up sometimes and he comes to the rescue. Lately, my fan has been really loud. Like airplane engine loud. His solution? Take off the case. Now I have a quiet computer but it is open for all sorts of stuff to get put in there. Doesn't he know I blog with kids hanging off of me?

I wasn't paying attention earlier and Big Apple snuck around to the computer and put a piece of bread in there. It looked like it was still intact. I pulled it out and found more pieces of bread underneath. I think I got them all. Add a little butter and maybe my computer troubles will be over for good!

Cop Out

Is it just me? After watching the skeleton and the luge on tv, the blobsled seems like no big deal. I mean these people have all that fiberglass around them to break their falls. The skeleton and the luge are just man against the ice. The bobsled is a cop out for the cowards.*



*I really don't believe that the people that bobsled are cowards. You wouldn't catch me doing that...for sure!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Knock Knock

From the kid that brought you the infamous "WEEDEATER" joke, comes the next installment of funny.

Knock knock.

Who's there?

Zoom.

Zoom who?

Zoom did you expect?

ha ha ha ha ha

Thursday, February 16, 2006

My Inner Martha

I just finished reading this book by Martha Stewart. It was an interesting read...especially for me as I'm trying to find something for me to do to earn money. It was kind of "self-promoting", a lot of talk about Kmart, her new magazines and tv shows, etc... I was hoping for a little more practical advice. Here are some of the things I learned from the book:

1. Have sensible passion. Basically, you can ruin a passion by making it your business. Be realistic about your skills and what exactly you are willing to do for the sake of your business.

2. Invest in your skills. Take the time to invest in yourself and what you want to do. For example, if I want to start designing knit wear I should be doing the sorts of things that will help me fulfill that goal like take design classes or become a TKGA Master knitter.

3. If you're Martha Stewart, being in prison isn't all bad. She got to give talks about being a successful businesswoman and help the other inmates with their goals. Also, if you have a house like Martha Stewart, being on house arrest is a Good Thing.

4. She liked the poncho.

5. Martha's mantra is "Make it Beautiful".

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

I Heart Ted Ligety

Who saw it last night? Did you watch Ted Ligety win the gold in the combined? Did you? Sugar Daddy was washing dishes when Ligety did his first slalom run. Thank goodness for DVR so we could watch it over and over. He was SO FAST! I love the Olympics. I can't get enough of it. All last night I couldn't stop saying "Ligety ligety ligety ligety ligety". Try it. You'll like it.

I'm having an Olympic size problem for tomorrow night. I can only tape two shows at once and there are 3 that I consider "must-see" tv....Survivor, Dancing With the Stars, and the Olympics. I don't know what to do. I think they Olympics may have to wait an hour. At least I'll be able to see the re-caps later.

Two posts in one day. Frog is watching Sesame Street and Big Apple is dangling from the computer chair. She truly is my little Sunny Baudelaire (from the Lemony Snicket books). We've got the teeth marks in the furniture to prove it.

Meant to Be

I think a lot of adoptive parents feel the same way about how their children were "meant to be" a part of their family. I have just another example of why Frog was definitely meant to be my son. He came up to me yesterday with a DVD in his hand.

Frog: More? More Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?

Me: You want to watch Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?

Frog: Mmm hmm. singing Chitty bang bang chitty chitty bang bang....chitty chitty bang bang we love you!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

My 2 Cents

I spent the last 2 hours pushing a stroller filled with 2 cute toddlers in search of 2 cent stamps. The post office is down the street from my house. I should mention a street with hills. Steep ones (for Nebraska, at least). Although, the worst part of the whole trip was trying to get back up my driveway with the stroller. I'm still sweating. This saves me from making the trip to the Y today (although an hour on the treadmill there would have been so much easier). On the way to the post office we stopped at Burger King. As soon as we went in the doors, Frog started singing the "I'm Lovin' It" song (close enough...french fries="I'm lovin' it" no matter where we get them). They had chicken tenders (and fries) while I had a salad. I wasn't doing this to be "good" or anything. I just haven't been able to eat fast food hamburgers since the infamous food poisoning incident of 2005 (darn you, Council Bluffs Wendy's). I wasn't expecting it to be very good. Well, either going up the hill made me crazy or it was actually a decent salad. Yum. I would even get it again!
We left Burger King and had a nice downhill walk to the Post Office. A very busy career-woman didn't open the door for me and my mammoth stroller. But, a nice older woman came up right after and helped me in. Mission accomplished: 2 cent stamps.
On the way back we stopped at the grocery store. I needed some supplies for our Valentine's Day dinner (calzones...how romantic). While we were in there a guy in a wheelchair was telling me how cute my kids are (which I could NEVER deny) and his shoe fell off. I tried to help him put his shoe back on but I was such a clod. He had a brace on his foot and I couldn't get it in the shoe no matter how hard I tried. I finally got it most of the way on and he pushed it in the rest of the way. There's my semi-good deed for today.
The walk home was pretty uneventful. Big Apple fell asleep. Frog was the picture of calm (very rare). I was tired. But, we made it. Oh...and I looked super fabulous in sweats and eyeshadow (I wore a shirt, too).

Monday, February 13, 2006

Just kidding about that no blogging thing

I've realized that blogging and knitting don't really interfere with one another at my house. I can blog one-handed. I don't recommend it, but it's possible. I can also blog with kids climbing on me. The same can not be said for knitting...especially a lacy shawl. So, I will continue to blog. I can't let down the 4 people that read my blog, you know.

I learned something new on Saturday. I know how to put on eyeshadow! Can you believe it. One short afternoon with some friends and a Mary Kay lady (also a friend) and I have now entered the world of eye makeup. I ordered some. I decided on the colors Fig (the dual pack) and Spun Silk. I will get them in 2 weeks or so. Most of you know that I'm impatient. I was feeling pretty good about my eyeshadowing skills so I decided to buy a couple of other colors from my local Wal-mart just to get me started. Lucky for me, Almay has 3 colors chosen based on your eye color. Fabulous! I don't even have to come up with 3 colors on my own to match. I am soooo fashion forward. I don't know what to do with myself!

Back to blogging with children...while I wrote this blog my kids:
1. Turned on the paper shredder.
2. Frog pushed Big Apple into the closet.
3. Big Apple dangled from the computer desk and then rubbed snot in my pants.
4. Frog got "banished" from the computer room and is now banging his head against the door saying, "I bonked my head!". Well, duh!
5. Made me feel guilty for blogging about my awesome make up skills instead of making them play-doh and playing pat-a-cake.
Gotta go.

Blogging Break

I'm afraid I won't be blogging much during the Olympics. I'm using all of my "free" time to knit the Snowdrop Shawl. Maybe when I get a little bit caught up with my Olympic knitting schedule, I'll be able to blog again. I have a feeling that the final result (the shawl and my impending GOLD MEDAL) will be worth it!

Friday, February 10, 2006

February Socks

I finished my February pair of socks just in time for me to start on my Olympic knitting. These socks are for my sister, Lisa (aka "loser" in the comments).

Pattern: Child's First Socks from Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks.
Yarn: Fortissima Socka
Some thoughts: I would definitely use this yarn again. I really enjoyed working with it. The pattern was also great. I thought it would tie me down to the book, but the shell pattern was really easy to memorize. It was very intuitive and I could knit on these "mindlessly" even though it looks complicated. I hope Lisa likes them!
Here's a pic of Big Apple. I was in the bathroom and when I came out, Frog had given her a lollipop! She was so cute with it that I let her keep it.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Citius, Altius, Fortius

I'm ready for The Knitting Olympics to begin tomorrow.

I've got my team, Team Deseret.

I've got my pattern, The Snowdrop Shawl, by the Yarn Harlot herself.

I've got my yarn, a lovely laceweight Alpaca in red.

My needles are ready.

Let the countdown begin!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Most Expensive Swingset

Here's a picture of the swingset we bought last night. It was really expensive but we know that the kids will love it.

I'm going to love it, too because it comes with a HOUSE! We went to look again at the house we considered our "2nd" choice (because it was smaller) and we made an offer that night because we knew they were going to get another offer from a different family. We couldn't afford to wait. About an hour after finishing all of the paperwork, we heard back that we got it!

It's not as "cute" or "charming" as the country house on the outside. But, there's a lot to be said for the inside. It's a deceptively big multi-level with 4 bedrooms.


Here are some of the highlights. This is a deck comnig off of the master bedroom. SD said he'd install a fireman's pole for me to get down in a hurry. :) The backyard is great and the basement is a walkout. You can kind of see the edge of the patio in this picture.

The first thing when you come in the house is the dining room.
Then, the kitchen...that I fell in love with immediately. It has a gas range in an island and a double oven! Sugar Daddy appreciates the dishwasher. We haven't had one since 2000-2001. He deserves it!
The floor plan is really open and here is what leads off the kitchen. And the view from up there?


I'm not posting any pics of the bedrooms. The previous owners have 4 kids (2 boys, 2 girls) so the bedrooms are already decorated accordingly. Nice. Here is a picture of the basement. The plasma TV was negotiable but we declined. Oh well. SD got his wood burning stove.

I'm really pleased and so is Sugar Daddy. We had a hard time sleeping last night. I thought about how we got this house instead of the Victorian we loved and what lessons we possibly learned from that experience.

1. We knew the process of making an offer. That made it less scary when our realtor told us we needed to act quickly on this one.

2. We would have to do more work on the house in the country that frankly, a young professor trying to get tenure just doesn't have the time for (or a SAHM of 2 busy toddlers, for that matter).

3. If we didn't already have the Victorian house in mind, I probably never would have attended the open house for this one. It didn't have the kind of "curb appeal" I was looking for, but I went anyway because it is just 5 blocks away from where we live now.

4. We were prepared to close on the Victorian on Feb 28th and possibly break our lease. Now, we don't have to. This family doesn't want to move until mid-April and that is EXACTLY when we want to move.

5. I don't really have a number five, but you know how I am about lists making it to at least five. So, there you have it. We had quite the adventure yesterday and bought the most expensive swingset we could.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Christmas All Year Long

We're quickly approaching Valentine's Day. That particular holiday has never been much of a big deal to me. I don't expect candy, flowers, and an evening out. My Sugar Daddy usually shows me how much he loves me every day. He changes diapers, loads and unloads the car, he ALWAYS does the dishes, and he pats my butt at regular intervals (you know, to let me know I've still "got it"). What a guy. For this Valentine's Day I only want one thing. I think it's time we take down the Christmas tree.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Fat Lady Sings

No country house for us. The other people had 3 days to find financing and they did. Bummer. I guess we'll be city folk for a while.

Choose Your Socks!

Lisa,

For some reason I've been making socks. Not pairs of socks. Just socks. I haven't been able to get to the second sock. So, you have two to choose from. Whichever one you choose to be yours, I'll start making today. So, which one?

1. This sock is made with Koigu merino. It's really soft. It has a scalloped edge on the cuff and is really comfortable to wear.
2. This sock has a really cute shell pattern that you can't really see in my crappy pictures. The color is the perfect OU crimson. It has a shorter cuff than the other ones. It's not as soft as the merino but I bet they will hold up better when you wear them.

And now, for the side by side comparison. Well, for some reason blogger isn't letting me put any more pictures on right now. This will have to do. Try to decide soon because I need to finish the second sock before Friday.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Kindred Spirit

Several months ago I started attending a local knitting group, Lincoln Knitters. We meet at a local coffee shop two times a month. The very first time I went, there was just one other knitter that was able to attend that day. Patsy. She was a woman in her late 60's but we found we had so much in common. I felt grateful that we were the only two there. We were able to get to know each other better. We talked about work, families, and of course, knitting. Her grandaughter is the same age as my own Big Apple (and was also adopted). When I came home that day I told my husband that I had a great time and made a new friend.

A couple of weeks ago, I sent her an email to invite her to movie night at my church. I was surprised when I didn't get a response because she has always been so good about replying. I figured that she was out of town or something. The next week, I found out that she had a heart attack. Her reply was something like, "Sorry. I had a heart attack that day. I'm okay. I'll see you at the next knitting group.". Today is our next meetup. Her obituary was in today's paper. She passed away on Wednesday. I'm so shocked. We were planning a trip to Omaha to go to some yarn shops this month. I was supposed to see her today. I'm going to try and arrange for a babysitter so I can go to her funeral on Monday. Even though I only knew her for a while, we really were kindred spirits. I'll miss you, Patsy!

Friday, February 03, 2006

Search Engine Fun

Here's one of the latest searches that brought someone to my site.

How to ask my sugar daddy for an allowance

I'm glad that I'm able to help so many different types of people through my blog.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

I Aint Afraid of No Ghosts!

Last night I was sitting in my car in the parking lot of the realtor's office (we made on offer on the house in the country), and the Ghostbusters song came on the radio. Is it possible for anyone to hear this song and NOT turn up the radio? Or, is it just me?

Think back. Did you have a Fisher Price record player? We did. We also owned the 45rpm record of Ray Parker Jr.'s hit, Ghostbusters. This wasn't the first song that my sister and I would make up dances to, but this one was memorable. Can you hear the song in your head? Think of that opening bass line. Just think what six and eight yr. old girls could do with the choreography. Let me tell you, we were good. It's amazing that one of us is not a superstar this very day. Maybe the Frog did come by his dancing skill from my tender nurturing and not nature like I previously suspected.

Remember Star Search? My sister and I would play Star Search and make our parents judge us. Somehow we always won an equal number of categories. Lisa (my sister) would almost always win the dancing. She's got "flair". Colonel Hathi's March. Jive Talkin'. Those were the days.

What songs make you turn up the radio every time they come on?