Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Well, Blogger must think that I am eloquent and do not need pictures to distract you from my flowery prose because it will not let me up load any pictures... It is so nice to be well thought of.

Anyway, I will save the amateur photography for another day and just give out a couple of happies....

Happy Birthday to Miss M. My Niece is 6 today and I knit her a fabulous little poncho to celebrate. *photo at a later date* We will have dinner and cake at my MIL's and see how close the kids get to seeing the new year. Another bummer about living on the east coast. We used to be able to watch the ball drop in New York at 9 pst, be to bed at a reasonable hour and not feel like we missed anything! Either way, Happy Birthday, Miss M.

Happy Anniversary to Laurie and Dave! 25 years. TWENTY-FIVE YEARS!! Let's give them a round of applause. In these days of selfish indulgence and instant gratification and no-fault divorce, to weather the joys and challenges of a committed relationship and raise two boys at the same time... You Rock! Best wishes for the next 25.

As for the rest of you... Happy New Year!! I hope that 2009 is a blessing to you and your family. I hope that you find comfort and unconditional love in your life. I hope that you have the best year yet. 10...9...8...7..............

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas, Baby!

They tell me that they have been nice this year.
Do they look nice to you?
If I hadn't hurried up to get out the Christmas Cards before we left, this picture would have been in every one. Isn't that typical? Threaten life and limb for a decent picture for the cards and get none, have a random life-size Santa in a hotel lobby and get the cutest picture in years!!
Eldest took about 80 pictures on our trip. Once I sift through them, be prepared for a Scranton travelogue! We had an awesome time. The weather was gnarly on the way there (35mph on I-80 and I was still praying hard) but we made it safely (5.5 hr trip turned a little more than 8 hr.)
INBA said that his birthday weekend was "spectacular."
I guess it is good to be 7.
Merry Christmas to you and yours.
May the joy and peace of the birth of Christ be the ultimate gift for you this season.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Birthday Mayhem

He really IsN't a Baby Anymore!INBA is 7.
We are off to visit trains this weekend to celebrate.
Of course, the weather is supposed to be icky, but would it really be a December Birthday Party if there wasn't a wintery mix and travel advisory to go along with it?
Happy Birthday, Kid! Love ya bunches, wouldn't trade you for the world.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Momma Love

So, we were going to 5pm Mass on Sunday night. We had a busy weekend around the house. I'm pregnant, I'm tired, I thought I was having a moment and feeling like death warmed over, I thought a little make-up might make me feel like less of a zombie.
INBA likes to watch me put on my make-up (which, honestly, doesn't happen much anymore). He even reminded me to put on some eyeliner. *no comments, please :) *
This morning, over breakfast, he says to me, "Mommy, when you wear that blush, you don't look so old."
To which I reply, "Thank you!"
Eldest pipes up, "Maybe you should wear that more often."
"Um, maybe."

Cure for Winter Hands
Some lovely, lanolin rich wool being spun into beautiful singles (soon to be plied) does wonders for some dry winter hands. Unfortunately, like all good things, it doesn't last terribly long. Fortunately, I have quite a bit of that fleece left to spin!! I was trying not to give-in to the siren call of my wheel, seeing how pathetic the Christmas knitting is this year. But I relented last night and I feel so much better about it all. I hope to spin some more this week, too. If it wasn't for all those other things on my to-do list!! Well, if I put it on the list, it needs to get done, too.
Hmm, I may have out-smarted myself!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Busy Holidays

It has been too busy around her to even start to adjust to the season or the impending changes to our family. Too busy to blog, not that I don't think about it...
See, I took a cute picture of a cute hat that I made for a baby girl born in October to a friend of a friend. The first friend gifted me a skein of pink Cascade 220- wishing us a girl before we knew- so I made the hat for her to give. I did a little embroidery, ala cosyknits, with some of the yarn I dyed way back in the summer with friends on the back porch.
My busy-ness is directly related to my inability to not volunteer for things at the boys' school. This includes being PTG president, which means that I get to help, even when I don't particularly want to help. So, Breakfast with Santa, and the soon to be mentioned Santa's Workshop, and the nasty little cold that the boys gave me, and all the usual bits and pieces have made the days become a blur.
I guess, I need to stop...
We put up the tree on Sunday. The boys were going to go to Santa's Workshop at school on Tuesday and they needed to have some place to put their gifts. I couldn't think of any good time this month to put up the tree, so we just put it up, tired or not.
It has become apparent that I make ornaments for the tree nearly every year.
The boys make ornaments, too.
I have made a good bit more.
This is distressing, because I like to make the ornaments. The tree is obviously full.
I should stop.
I could stop, anytime I want.
Right after I finish the list of cute ones that I haven't gotten around to making, yet.
Then, I will stop.

Christmas Knits
Um, not going to happen so much this year. INBA is asking for socks, predictably claiming the latest edition of Knitterly Things Sock Club for himself (hand-dyed semi-solid red sock yarn- called Fireside, very INBA). We'll see how it goes. I am not putting too much pressure on myself. We are, however, going to be taking a road-trip for INBA's 7th birthday. That means 5-6 hours of car knitting each way. Kid socks might be a good option.
We are going to Steamtown in Scranton, PA. You cannot begin to imagine how excited he is. Super-double bonus? The hotel has a pool. Woot!

Oh, and then there is the baby girl to think about.
I am still trying to wrap my mind around a real, live daughter.
And then there is the name issue.
I think it will come down to meeting her and seeing who she is.
In the meantime, Helga is her nickname. The Mister thinks Hildegard would be better, but I cannot remember it when someone asks.
Anna Katherine was always our girl name when we were expecting the boys. This evening I met a 2 week old baby girl named Anna. I keep telling the Mister that it is a really common name right now. Being a Heather born in the '70s, I have a huge issue with any "name of the moment." He thinks it just means that it is a good name.
Feel free to make your suggestions, but don't be offended if we name her Helga. :)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

So, Now We Know

Can you believe it?
I still cannot, really...
It's a girl.
A girl.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Impatiently Paitent

Waiting for Friday...
Not for the usual reasons...
Waiting to see what is in store for us...
Worse than waiting for Christmas...

Thanksgiving will be a quiet one this year. The Mister's sister is not coming to the 'burgh with her family this year. So, it will just be us and the MIL. I am going to make a chicken, which I much prefer to turkey, and the usual sides.
Food doesn't taste right to me. So, I am not going to bother making much of a fuss. I joke that the baby doesn't like the usual comfort foods. But the baby does like milk and cheese and yogurt (which usually don't do much for me) and the baby loves apples. The baby prefers tart and sour, sweet things don't even register as taste. Oh, and the baby really likes beer. I made a loaf of "almost no knead bread" and had 3/4 of a beer left over, so I drank it... ooooooh, that was the best beer ever. Again, usually not much interested in beer.

INBA's class is doing mass tomorrow. He is reading one of the intentions. He is excited because they are going to have "real candles with fire!" Um, yeah.

I have startitis with my knitting, projects in general. Nothing holds my attention for long. My sister has asked for a warm hat that she can wear under her hardhat. My sister is a boilermaker. Seriously. She is working outside, third shift, on the Ohio River. Brr. I had given a hat to my niece, an unoriginal hat, I think, and my sister has been wearing it to work. The cables aren't very comfortable under her hardhat. And it is Malabrigo, so you know how yummy and warm it is. So, she wants a hat of her own. But, I would rather knit baby things... waiting to knit baby things.

So that is all there is to distract me until Friday morning. Then, a look at our babe. Geesh, it is hard to be patient! I don't know how some people wait the whole 9 months to find out...

Saturday, November 08, 2008

November, Already?!?

I did try posting a couple of weeks ago, but The Mister had tinkered with the firewall and it was not allowing me to post. I totally get that the internet is not the safest place to be walking around at night, but I still need to give my pictures to blogger!!
He fixed it, or because it is 10 am on a Saturday, I am allowed out to visit my friends.
HI, FRIENDS!! Anyway, this is what my Anniversary gift looked like. I think it ended up with 5 blooms. Quite lovely. I have a good Mister. He cannot bear to buy me cut flowers anymore. He plants bulbs and annuals in the yard for me... so that I can cut them. The *expletive deleted* chipmunks ate the oriental lily bulbs that he planted last fall and the deer chomped the ones that they missed. I only had 2 that they somehow missed.
That was a tangent.
Anyway, we had amarylis in our yard in Long Beach, CA that bloomed at Christmastime. All colors and stripes (always a good idea to buy the home of a good gardener.) It was quite beautiful in December.
In the month of October, the wool fumes were still making me nauseous, and I became enamoured with other craftiness. Coupled with co-chairing the parish craft fair and these little jems being a "make and take" project, I fell down on the snowman ornaments. My favourite is the regular old coal eyes and mouth with a carrot nose, but the wink amuses me, too.

INBA wanted one that was surprised.

And a dog, of course.
These are super simple and too much fun. I have to close my eyes and walk quickly past the ornament aisle at Michaels, now. I made a dozen. I would like to make more. But if you make some and post the pictures on your blog, then I can have a fix and we will both be happy... Great Idea!!
All you have to do is get some ornaments. I used the flattened ones, but it would work with the regular round ones, too.
Then get some Buffalo Snow. I bought the all irridescent pack, I like sparkles.
Then get some Squiggles fabric paint. They have wonderful points for writing. I used Black and Orange. Again, irridescent, I like sparkles.
First, I drew on the faces with the paint.
If you make a mistake, you can wipe it right off. Try not to do too thick, it takes a lot longer to dry.
Set them aside to dry, overnight and you don't risk smudging.
Second, remove the top of the ornament. While holding over a bowl, stuff pinches of snow into the ornament. It goes everywhere, there is a lot of static involved. I have a wide, shallow plastic bowl that I bought at the dollar store. The bowl caught most all of it. It is super useful in the craft room. I also have one in the kitchen that is great for everything from popcorn to holding the halloween candy. A buck, people. Another tangent, sorry.
Second, part two, fill the ornament one third to one half full. The snow sticks to the inside of the ornament and it only takes a little to make you think snowman. Put the little top back on the ornament.
Third, cut a lenght of 1/4 inch ribbon to be your tie.
Super easy, highly addictive, great little gift for the holidays.

And then there is paint.
These beauties are the round ornaments with 3 colors of acrylic paint dripped in and swirled around. Include a mettalic if you do them.

Blue, white and gold, above.
Red, white and silver, on the left.
I only did the six pack of these guys. You must be patient while swirling the paint around. And, if you use too much it takes weeks for them to dry- there gets to be a puddle in the bottom.

And I haven't even told you about the cute shark pj pants I made for INBA or that I am knitting again!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Hey. Go vote. You still have a little time left. I don't care who you vote for, just vote.

There were 2 people in front of me at my polling place. Usually, there is no one there. I guess that is a big turnout. Of course, it was 11:15am and I was trying to avoid a rush. Poor Mister, he has to go after work... he will be a while, I bet.

So, vote. It is your moment to have a say.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Happy Anniversary, Mister! You lucky duck. I mean, I am the lucky duck.

We had lunch at Luma in Mt. Lebanon. Very nice, if you are looking for good food and nice ambience. It was such a beautiful day, indian summer at its best. It was like that the day we were married, too. Hmmm.

Having been neglectful of so many things, lately, I have misplaced my new camera. I wanted to take some pictures to show you that I am not actually doing nothing creative. So, Trust me :)

Monday, October 06, 2008

Fireworks and Stuff

Pittsburgh is 250 years old. So they had a big fireworks display. This isn't the prettiest video on YouTube, but it gives some of the best sense of all the fire. They launched from something like 12 or 14 places, including the tops of several of the tallest buildings. If you look, you see the Allegheny River going up the center of this video, and if you look even closer, you can see the furthest fireworks are being launched from a barge up the Allegheny, in front of PNC Park (which you definately cannot make out in the video, too dark, but trust me, it is there.) The Mister and I were on the Clemente Bridge behind that barge. This video does no justice to the noise down where we were! Wow. Bang, Bang, Pow!

The ultra Fabulous Laurie babysat the boys on Saturday so that The Mister and I could celebrate our Anniversary (a little early) by going to the POPS concert. I talked the Mister into another subscription :) Hey, we have limited amounts of date nights left before we are cut off and severely limited by a bambino (which is all his fault, if I haven't mentioned it before.) So, we watched Marvin Hamlisch conduct the PSO and Linda Eder sing Judy Garland songs. The concert ended just in time for the Fireworks. We stayed and watched. 30 solid minutes of what the video only shows a smidgen. Quite a night.

I guess I owe Laurie a really great dinner... with lots of vegetables. Thanks again, Laurie!!

Otherwise, still no knitting. But, thanks to Heather, I did just read The Time Traveler's Wife. Wow, great recommendation. An interesting and engaging style of storytelling, to be sure.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Thump, Thump, Thump

How come all of a sudden it feels so different just because they slimed my belly and a thumping noise came out of that little speaker?

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Problem with A Good Book

... is that I have no self control. I lose myself in a great story. I finally read the copy of Water for Elephants that Mrs. H left on my coffee table, um, a good while ago. Really good. Luckily, reading doesn't make me queasy- who knew that knitting ever would?

The Mister is looking forward to reduced energy bills this winter. I am so overheated that he is complaining that he is cold when I have the windows open in the car or the house. I am still wearing sandals because even those shorty anklets keep me too warm. How is that for irony? And rude. What about all these wool sweaters that I have acquired in the last 3 years and the cardigan that may someday be complete? And more rude? ... a belly on fire and Tums that make it not burn but yucky nonetheless. Rude.

Have you guessed, yet? Why I haven't been pregnant in the last 7 years? You thought it was the trauma of having 2 boys 18 months apart? No. I am a cranky pregnant lady. Complain. Complain. Complain.

In the interest of maintaining our friendship, I will try really hard to refrain from giving voice to the tirade in my head. But really, I am not glowing. I am hot and uncomfortable, having an endless hot flash. Somebody bring me a glass of ice water, please?!

I wonder if I have any other good books around here that I meant to read...
Any suggestions?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Hello, Autumn!

It has been a flurry of activity in the Mayhem House.

I think it may be settling down... But it may be the calm before the blizzard.

This is a beautiful picture of a beautiful baby wearing the Rocketry I made last spring. Sweet!!

You may have noticed my new little ticker over in the sidebar... More mayhem is brewing for Chez Mayhem. I am expecting our third child in April. It took 7 years for it to sound like a good idea, again, and the Mister caught me at that exact moment. I won't blame him... but I sure couldn't have done it on my own!

I feel fine, but my creative juice has dried up. I have been knitting and reknitting the left front (last piece) of my Must Have Cardigan for the last 2 1/2 weeks. Most recently, my tape measure was broken and didn't measure correctly, so I started my armhole shaping 3/4" early. And then knit another 4 inches before checking again. Darn tape measure! rip, rip. And you know what? I don't really care. I am that blase' about it. Sad. Very sad.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Local Time

The week has wizzed by. Boys are still excited to go to school, the weather has been beautiful and it is amazing how quickly errands go without anyone in tow.

I should confess, for Rani's sake, that I am a mean mom. My chores get done relatively quickly when all I have to do is clean a bathroom (which I loathe to do), vacuum, mop, tidy. I am mean, because, I make the boys clean up after themselves. I said on Monday night, "you boys aren't going to be here to use all this stuff lying around, clean it up so that I can clean up." And they did and so did I. Not to imply that our house is particularly orderly. I have my issue with "hot spots" of clutter, as the Fly Lady says. But, I find that being mean to the children keeps things manageable. Besides, they have the spare bedroom as their "playroom" which they never play in, but they can put their toys there, which is probably the biggest and only reason that the house is not legos and trains from one end to the other all the time.

And huge bright spot on Mayhem Lane... My neighbors are back!!! My neighbors had moved back to Australia, for good, they said. But I went out for the mail today and THERE THEY WERE!!! And Mr. Neighbor actually said to me, "It is good to be home." WHAT?!?!? If Mr. Neighbor can make peace with living in the 'burgh, maybe I can, too... stranger things have happened... maybe. maybe not. Either way, I am thrilled to have my Neighbors back.

My Must Have Cardigan is cruising along. I think the olympics and the soul-sucking black cardigan took more out of me than I anticipated. My creative juices are quite low, suffering on all fronts. I need to contemplate a recharge... maybe knit night, tomorrow, will give me a boost. I hope.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Back to School

There they go. Off to 3rd and 1st grades.They have been gone for a little more than an hour. My chores are done. I wonder how I will occupy myself until 3?
I will let you know.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Where's my Roses?!

Complete!! I didn't think I had it in me.
Call it a lesson in perseverance, or obsession.
The Ribbi Cardi is complete, with moments to spare!
I inserted the zipper this morning.
My Olympic Accomplishment.
I would like to especially thank Michael Phelps for keeping me up late and wide awake as he accopmplished his own Olympic dreams. And Usain Bolt for making track and field interesting enough to stay up and watch.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Well Received

Here's Pansy modeling the Salsa Cardigan.Lil' Ms. S had a birthday this week. She loves her American Girls. So, I made her a cardi for Kit. The yarn is merino style from KnitPicks. Yum.
Aside from it being her birthday, I really needed a break from the olympic cardi.
I have started my last piece, though. I just don't know if I can get all the finishing done by Sunday. I will try my best. And I am thrilled with the progress, either way. I promise, a black ribbed cardigan would never ever have been even nearly complete in 2 weeks without this extraordinary incentive.
My boys don't go back to school until after Labor Day. Only one more week of summer. We better go make the best of it!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Winter Wooly?I thought these guys were supposed to be brown. And that how much black they have tells how winter will be. This guy was climbing on the side of our house. We saw another one, same coloring, at my MIL's house a week ago.
So, what do you suppose that means? Yellow?

Monday, August 18, 2008

You Won't Believe It!

I do not have photographic evidence, but please believe me when I tell you.


The entire Romney fleece (that I purchased at MdSW) is clean!! Yes, you heard me. It is all CLEAN!

Of course, I still have to card it and I don't really need to mention the spinning. I am so happy! Woot!

Hmm, not much else to report. The Olympic sweater is coming along nicely. Thank goodness for the arbitrary goal. A black ribbed cardigan would not be nearly as complete otherwise! I have one sleeve, the back, the left front and about half the other sleeve done. I am slowing down, though. Oxygen debt? Soul-sucking black yarn? The return of beautiful summer weather? The housework that has already been neglected for a week? *shrug* I don't know what it could be.

Oh, maybe because I spent all day WASHING MY FLEECE!!!! yea!! I did the laundry, too. And grocery shopping and took the kids to the library....

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Balmy Summer

Both of the boys are Cub Scouts, now.

They had the Rain Gutter Regatta last Saturday.

Eldest placed third, INBA won best hull design.

They had a blast, that was the real win.

A Kid's Eye View
I watch my mom take a lot of pictures of yarn, now I do, too.

Here's what INBA saw the other day while we were at Bloomin' Yarns

Olympic Inspired Outdoor Activities

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

ACK!! What is IT?

No, no. Not the one where the squirrel lights the Christmas Tree on fire. Who really thought there was more than one movie with a squirrel tail on fire?

The one where the police come to the door and the one guy thinks that the lady is cute and agrees to check out the attic and the rest as said... It seems like there was a parallel plot thing going on, same story from different perspectives that overlap...

Was it all a dream???

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Who is Washing the Car?

The Mister washed my car.
The boys were supposed to be helping.What the?!?!?!
Getting hosed off was almost as much fun.

In other randomness... what was that movie that had someone looking into the attic and a squirrel jumps down at him and then he chases it into the living room and it catches its tail on fire in the fireplace and then dives under the sofa and the sofa bursts into flames... come on, you know the one I mean...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Hello, Again

A campfire Playing in the creek
And loving it
Thanks for the Hot Cocoa, Mom!
Eldest looks at the Youghiogheny River
I spent an afternoon doing this,
with this.
Six of these bloomed.
I am a Hokie by Association.
And I made a Hokie sweater for the Mister, too.

In case you want to be Hokie, too... That is Regia Silk Color, number 0180.

Summer camp is done, August shouldn't be so hectic. Yes, I am laughing, too. Still, I am an optomist and hope to post more frequently... ok, maybe in September.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


No, Chez Mayhem havsn't fallen off the face of the has just been... Mayhem.

The Mister was out in Idaho this week, so the boys and I were on our own. We managed. But it sure was nice to see the Mister walk in the door just in time for dinner tonight!

Over the 4th we made our 2nd annual camping trip to Ohiopyle. I really like it there. It is a great State Park and it is just so beautiful. Only an hour and a half away, too! You know I like that part! (Not in the typical Pittsburgh way of not wanting to be out of earshot of home, in the way that my body cannot take being cooped up in a car for more than 2 hours or so. *bleepity* shoulder. I am still a wreck from South Carolina.)

I haven't uploaded anything off the camera yet. I did get all the gear washed. It was pretty damp this year... have you ever smelled wet boy after 3 days of mud and river and no bath... stinks everything up, I tell you. We had friends that got a campsite, too. There was a small gang of boys for 2 of the days. Geesh, to be 6, 7, 8, or 9. Does it get any more free than a summer camping trip at that age? I cannot even tell you how much fun they had. Oh, and I didn't even mention the mountain pies! Man, we had a great trip. We need to do that more often.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Bad Blogger

Or, Most of June in One Post.

All the way back on the 8th or so, we went to see a Pirates game... and the Pirates actually beat the Diamondbacks! It was warm and my guys are so handsome and it was a great afternoon.

And then Eldest turned 8.

And this is what we saw for the next week or so.
It was a quiet ride to the beach!

North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. LONG drive from the 'burgh. Plenty of cousins... and critters...



and buried treasure.

I didn't mean to catch this welcome on the aquarium sign... but does it leave anyone else scratching their head?
Because, I don't think you would want to touch this...
Despite the unnecessarily gloomy music, the Ripley's Aquarium did have a fabulous walk thru tank.

On the way home, we visited Virginia Tech so that Daddy could show off his alma mater.

And a trip for the engineer is not complete without taking an opportunity to visit a modern marvel like the New River Gorge Bridge. 800+ feet above the river. At one time the world's largest arch bridge. Yeah, I live with an engineer and probably one, if not two in training.

That little bridge down there was how one used to have to get across the river.

And while I was gone... Vesper Summer Sock Club wound its way thru the South Hills and landed at my door. The green thing is a tape measure. Woot!!

Is that gorgeous or what?

And then, just this Friday... Ms. A was caught red handed kool-aid dying on my back porch.

Isn't it cute how organized she is? We never lost track of which bottle was which.
Oh, and it is the perfect time of year to get dye bottles. I picked up the condiment bottles at the dollar store- 3pk for a buck!! And they are bigger than the ones in the candy making aisle at the craft store.

Here's one fine example of our handi-work... Each kid did a skein of worsted weight. Yes, Ms. A and I are kids, too :) Now the challenge is to think of something fun to make out of each.

That gets us up to date, I think... I can't believe that July is only hours away. The boys are doing a morning camp through the township, some library programs and we have a couple of weekend plans and then it is going to be August! Slow down, Summer!!