Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

And, yes, it was still snowing this morning. I do love watching it fall.

We just had a few presents under the Christmas tree this morning, since all the grandparent presents were conveniently stored at the grandparents' home (at Hubby's parents' home) where we were supposed to be. However, Anna sured scored big.

Since she often "borrows" this from friends, we thought it would be best that she had her own.

And this was the gift that I was the most proud of. It started as a somewhat beat-up white rocking horse with dingy yarn hair and tail. Quite the improvement, don't you think? And I'm not just talking about the really cute equestrian. It was too big to take with us if we had traveled, but since we didn't go anywhere, Anna was able to find it under (or next to) the tree, which made me very happy.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Monday, December 22, 2008

(Please Don't) Let it Snow!

I love snow. Really, I do. Even despite dire predictions of friends in Utah that I would soon tire of it (I was from California and therefore only liked snow because it was a novelty), I still love snow. And then this last weekend happened. This is the view from our window as of this morning.

And here is the view of the park from our roof deck.

Over the last few days we have gotten over a half a foot of snow. And it sure is beautiful. There are, however, just a few problems. First, church was canceled (yes, we here in the greater Seattle area are pansies). Second, there are no tire chains to be had, "not even for ready money"(Act I, scene 1). Third, there is not deicing salt to be had. Forth, and by far the worst, we've had to cancel our Christmas travel plans. Yes, that's right. We were planning on spending Christmas with my in-laws, but with deep (ok, ok, we're pansies) snow here and very icy roads there and no chains to be had for our new car, we just can't risk it. I am very disappointed as this was to be the first Christmas we spent with them. However, I am excited to have Christmas on our own, if only because Anna's present was too big to travel with us if we had gone. I can't wait to see her face when she comes into the living room and sees it sitting under the tree. So, I'm a little mad at snow right now. You know, the kind of mad you get with someone you love, where it doesn't change how you feel about them, but you are still angry with what they did. I still love snow. The crunch of booted feet...

... the chill and brightness of the air, the way snow sits on everything that stays still for even a moment, and most of all, the way it falls so gracefully to the ground.

Merry Christmas and may you all travel safetly.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Mange ton gateau!

"Let them eat cake." If that doesn't just sum up the French, I don't know what does. France and anything French is near and dear to my heart ever since I was able to live there as a missionary (I've been home 5 years!). Luckily for me, there are four other sisters in my ward that also served French speaking missions and so we try to get together once a month to indulge in a French menu and speak in French. Today was our Christmas celebration.

My assignment (self-imposed, I must admit) was to make the Buche de Noel, or Yule log cake. And I had a little too much fun.

I found this recipe on and it sounded wonderful. Really, who wouldn't love a nice sponge cake with marzipan cream filling, ganache (basically pure chocolate) frosting, and cute little marzipan mushrooms? While the recipe wasn't all that hard, I did have to make the frosting twice. Word of advice: always use a double boiler for melting chocolate even if the recipe says otherwise! The cake tasted wonderful, even if I did forget to buy flour and ended up making the cake with mostly whole wheat flour. In the end, the cake was a success and I was successful in sending cake home with everyone, "for the husbands" (wink, wink).

Making this cake was very good for me. I love being successful and creating things, whether it be food, knitting, or otherwise. I was giddy when I went to bed last night after finally getting the frosting on and couldn't wait to show the finished product to my friends. President Uchtdorf, of the First Presidency of the LDS church, had it right when he spoke to the Sisters of the church this last October. Creation does bring "deep satisfaction and fullfilment". Creating this cake has certainly made my week, and even perhaps my Christmas season. Well, perhaps not as much as Anna's Christmas present, but I'll post about that once it is finished and Anna has claimed it as hers.

Merry Christmas and don't forget to eat cake!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Musings of an Obsessed Knitter: Knitting and Twilight

When you are obsessed with something, you find your mind inserting it into daily life, your thoughts, and your actions. Take Twilight, for example. I'm not really all that fond of the book (it's the only one of the series I've read), but with all the hype about the movie I've been thinking a lot about the story and one thing that keeps coming to mind is the vampires' amazing reflexes. For example, Edward drives at insane speeds when taking Bella back to Forks from Port Angeles all the while avoiding other cars, trees and not ending up at the bottom of Lake Cresent.

How does this apply to knitting, you may wonder? Well, my mind, which is obsessed with knitting, keeps asking itself what whould happen if vampires knitted. What would happen? I would assume that they would be incredibly fast knitters and never make a mistake no matter how hard the project is. Hopefully, that wouldn't take the joy out of knitting.

Then again, perhaps if a knitter became a vampire, it would become their special talent, like Alice's second sight. I could just see their "bedroom" walls piled high with the largest yarn stash that you have ever seen. There would be piles of knitted afghans, shawls, scarves, sweaters etc lying all over the place. And the hospital in Forks, and every hospital on the Olympic Peninsula, would have more than enough knitted infant hats, chemo hats, receiving blankets, etc.
So, am I crazy or what? Perhaps my current project is just too hypnotic...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Mathias, Wonder Boy

As all newborns do, Mathias has been growing and developing with lightning speed. His smiles are adorable, he is almost starting to laugh, he is starting to sleep more at night, and he nurses well and has a noticable affinity to his thumb.

Mathias is a big boy. He started big and has kept up the pace ever since. At his first doctor visit at a week old, he had gained 12 ounces over his birth weight. And then came his two month visit. Let me state that Mathias is not chubby, despite what his weight may imply, but he weighed in at 15 pounds and 11 ounces. When his pediatrician took a look at him, she thought she was playing it safe by asking if he was four months old. She thought he might be six months! He is just a large little boy. (And no, I don't feed him straight cream.)

As you can see, he has already reached the limits of his bassinet.

We just borrowed another bassinet from a friend so that we don't have to move him to a crib and into Anna's room. I'm just not ready for that!

On another note, Mathias has begun sucking his thumb with a vengence. He sucks his thumb when he is in bed.

He sucks his thumb at play.

I'm still not quite sure how I feel about thumb sucking. I remember vividly the struggle my parents had trying to get one of my brothers to stop and there is always the concern of dental issues. At the same time, what a great self soother. He can never lose a thumb like you can a pacifier!

We are so proud of our little boy.

Monday, December 8, 2008

What to write?

Well, it has been some time since I've posted, but not because of lack of subject matter. I just can't seem to find a time when both kids are asleep and I have nothing better to do. And now that the planets have aligned and my children are asleep, there aren't many dishes in the sink, and I am somehow able to restrain myself from knitting, I can't decide what to write about. Let's see, there's how much I love Picasa (I've always wanted to hyperlink text!), a thumbsucking little boy, Christmas baking, a little boy who is almost 16 pounds at 2 months, a little girl who says "Dude" (still need to get the video for that one), Mathias' blessing, sleeping, long overdue pesto recipes and the list goes on and on.

Perhaps I should just go through the list I just wrote in the order I wrote it? I'll start with Picasa. (If you see something there that you would like to hear about sooner, please let me know and I will do my best.)

A few weeks ago, I went to open Picasa to do some more organizing, or perhaps to indulge one certain narcissist toddler, and was informed that there was an update available. Ok, sure. I always takes updates, even if they do mess up my computer sometimes. But this was no ordinary update. This was the introduction of Picasa 3.

Now, you must keep in mind that I'm a geek. When something new comes along, like a cell phone, camera, or computer program, I start exploring. I love discovering how things work and how to do what I want/need to do. This time was no different. I sucessfully managed to ignore children and Hubby while I checked out all the new buttons. Of course, many of the things that thrill me about the new version were probably there in the old, but I just didn't notice them. Here are some of the things that thrill me:

Albums. I had no idea that I could organize photos and videos into albums. No more scrolling through everything to find a video for my narcissist toddler!

Collages. My desktop will never be the same.

Uploading. Photos are automatically organized into albums and then it tells you how many photos are online. Then I can just press a button and any new photos I add to the album will be added to my web album as well!

Well, I could go on and on, but I won't. There is still more to discover and I do want to get some knitting done before a hungry little boy decides that 16 pounds just isn't enough.