January 23, 2013

Red Fish Blue Fish Hat.

So!  Remember the super cute fair-isle hat I knit for my daughter when she was a toddler?  Here's the post on it.  Yeah I loved it so much that I decided to do the same thing for my son.  So somewhere about 11 weeks ago according to my instagram feed I drafted out this:

Designing a hat for my dude. #fish #knit #knitting #hat #chart
See back then one of the dude's only clear words was FISH!  So clearly he needed a fish hat.  It started growing pretty quickly:

This is the only hat I have that fits my son and isn't a pink hand me down from his sister. MUST KNIT FASTER. #knit #hat #fairisle #wool #knittingFish!!! #knit #knitting #fairisle #colorwork #hat #wool
And then... disaster:

Red fish blue fish!  But the blue fish don't really show up well against the gray. Debating ripping back... Thoughts? #knit #knitting #wool #hat #handknit #fairisle #colorwork
Well not really disaster.  But I didn't like how the blue fish looked against the gray.  So I ripped out and started over.  And then I screwed something up.  And then a few months went by... and suddenly it was January, the temperature was set to drop by a lot, and the only hat that I had that fit him that wasn't a pink hand me down wasn't even close to finished.


Honestly all it took was one night at my Thursday night knitting group and it was done.  I just never have that uninterrupted time anymore to really crank stuff out.  It's good it's the only project I planned on working on b/c this amount of ends to tuck in would have been the end of me:

So. Many. Ends. #knit #knitting #wool
But!  Victory was mine!

VICTORY IS MINE!!!! #knit #knitting #wool #hat #fairisle #stranded #handknithat #fish

And oh.  OH THE CUTE:

Fish Hat!

 I cannot handle the cute:

Fish Hat!

 So.  So much cute:

Fish Hat!
By the end I had abandoned the chart and was just winging it.  I love how the top came out, though.  The waves swirl around to the top.  So, so happy with how it came out!
He got to wear it for the first time on an impromptu trip to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo b/c it was sunny outside and not *as* cold as the day before:

Fish Hat!

I'm not going to lie.  I love the zoo.  Almost as much as my kids do.

Fish Hat!
My kids in their handknit hats checking out the lions.  The girl is wearing her Kitty Hat blogged here.

And if you go in the winter you get to see crazy things like this:
Lions spooning. Really. The one has her arm around the other one!  @clemetzoo #zoo #lion #happyincle
Lions spooning.  Seriously.  The one has her arm around the other one.
Apparently lions are just like house cats.  They might hate each other but when it gets cold out?  They'll cuddle for warmth no matter what.

Fish Hat!

The best part of this hat?  The dude loves it.  He points to his head and says HAT asking me to put it on.  And he says FISH when he sees it.  And he could not be more adorable in it:

Fish Hat!
Seriously this is my favorite picture ever.
Yay for kids in handknits!  Oh and if you want more hat details my Ravelry page on it is here.

January 19, 2013

The Dude in the Middle.

So!  Over the last week I have inadvertantly done a little feature post on 2 of my kids.  And somehow my poor Dude got left out.  Believe me it wasn't for lack of awesome:
IMG_9907 copy

So I thought I'd remedy that problem and give a little update on my little man.  He is in that incredibly amazing and oh so much fun sweet spot of toddlerhood.  Where everything is New! and Fun! And Interesting! 

Random dude smile. #kids
Building a snowman w our friends.
What is happening with this SNOW stuff?
He is growing up quickly.  Every day he gains more confidence in himself.  He's also rapidly approaching the two's but right now his tantrums are more oh-isn't-that-cute and less wondering-the-maximum-age-you-can-leave-your-kid-at-a-firestation.  Basically everything he does is insanely cute right now:

Get this jersey offa me I want to be a Browns fan! #heh #browns #steelers
And the words!  Every day there are new words. Today he learned ELEPHANT.  Although it's more ELF-ANT I'll take it.  He is so proud of his words.  And when he knows something he'll point it out over, and over again with such enthusiasm.  BIRDIE!  BIRDIE!!!  GROWL!  TRUCK! SHARK! MOON! THAT!

He doesn't quite put sentences together yet.  More like associates words.  HI DOT! BYE DADDY! MORE ME WAFFLE.  UP ME.  CAR VROOM!  I think my favorite sentence has to be SHOES CAR GO!  Which translates to "Lady get these shoes on me, get me out to the car, and let's GO!"

Slam dunk!!! #
He still loves the water and I'm certain that if it was warm the beach would most definitely be his jam.  But sadly it's winter so his only water entertainment is the BATH! We end up bathing the kids almost every night just because he loves it so much:

Getting the dog to drink bath water is the most fun thing ever.
But his favorite thing of all is CHOO-CHOO!  The dude is obsessed with trains.  And turning anything that he can into a train by lining up like items in row.  He does this with his cars, his sister's nailpolish, bowls from the kitchen, etc. etc.  But the best are his train sets:

Day 8: Something that starts w T:  A train. Obvs. Great for both ponies and dinosaurs! #siblings #happy #choochoo  #fmsphotoaday #latergram

Kid will play with his various trains for hours.

He also has quite the sense of humor.  He's constantly hamming it up for a laugh.  He'll balance his JUICE cup somewhere random and point it out to me like it's the funniest thing in the world. Or he'll put something on his head and claim it's a HAT before dissolving into a fit of laughter.  But the best was when he put a pacifier in front of the sleeping dog so it looked like she was using it.  Seriously hilarious gag.  And he was so proud of his joke!

Whatever I'm about to do with this GROWL is going to be hilarious.
He also recently discovered that tormenting his sister is incredibly amusing.  Ever wonder when that develops in siblings?  Yeah the answer is right around 21 months.  He'll take one of her toys and run with it held over his head laughing hilariously.  Or he'll chase her around acting like he's going to throw a ball at her.  I half-heartedly try to stop it... but it's kindof payback for her being the boss of him for so long.  Aaaah siblings.

He's still incredibly affectionate and snuggly.  If we're out somewhere he'll run over to me and give me a random hug and then go back to his play.  I love it.  And any time he sees Belle anywhere he calls her MOMMY.  I'm never correcting that.

He's my buddy.  My little man.  My dude.
IMG_0002 copy

January 18, 2013

$100 Pottery Barn Gift Card Giveaway!

So who likes Pottery Barn?  Wait.  Let me start again.
So in an attempt to get this blog back on the roll that it was on before I disappeared into the early pregnancy sickness I took out a couple of ads on other blogs this month.  I'm especially excited about my ad on Vintage Sunshine.  Not only is her blog fantastic (and I think will have similar readers to mine) but her sponsers pooled together to give away something really awesome.
A $100 giftcard to Pottery Barn.
I know with all of the post-holidays redecorating we're doing it would be super useful!  It's a simple rafflecopter giveaway which means that if you're already following me on twitter or instagram or facebook you don't really need to do much to enter.  Just click through the rafflecopter below.  Yay for fabulous prizes!


January 16, 2013


So!  This week my daughter had her first ever homework assignment.  And she was So! Excited!  Really.  See every week in preschool there is a Letter of the Week.  And every week one lucky kid gets to take home the mystery box and the letter.  They get to decorate the letter and put something into the mystery box. This week was her week.  And her letter was M. It's crazy fun.  No, really.  Check it out:

We ditched her brother with grandma and went to the craft store by ourselves for supplies.  Which in and of itself was an awesome adventure.  Craft store with mommy!  No will power zone of stickers and paint!  Yay!

She picked out a piece of scrapbook paper with a map on it to cover the M with.  Then a whole bunch of different stickers.  Monkeys!  And music notes!  And Unicorns!  Wait... what?  Because Unicorns are Magic!  No arguing with that logic.


Then we picked out something super special to put in the box.  Her clues are as follows:

It has BIG antlers.

It has 4 legs.

It lives in the woods.

She's been practicing saying these clues in a clear, loud voice for days now.  She has them memorized.  And is happy to quiz anyone who comes across her path.  Figure it out yet?  It's a...


As opposed to all of the creatures who have BIG antlers and 2 legs.  I ... again I can't argue with the logic.

Then she decided that she HAD to bring Mini Muffins into school to complete the M theme.  This is not really part of the assignment.  But far be it for me to dissuade someone from going above and beyond on the schoolwork.  AHEM.  So we emailed her teacher and asked if it would be OK.  Obviously, it was.

Making Marvelous Mini Muffins for M day at school.

She started calling the MAGNIFICENT MINI MUFFINS but decided that was a bit much.  Once again the logic is not flawed.

Neither are the delicious, delicious muffins.
So right now she's at school presenting her M things.  And I'm honestly kindof dying a little bit.  I'd love to see this all in action.  But the point is for me NOT to be there.  For her to do this little presentation on her own.  I know that but seriously hearing her clues is about the cutest thing ever.  And I am just bursting with pride over the whole dumb thing.  Yes.  It's M words.  It's not rocket science.  But seeing her excited about school, excited about doing well, excited to go the extra step in her work.... It's pretty awesome.

January 15, 2013

All the Baby News.

So!  Yesterday was our Big ultrasound. The one where they check and measure and observe everything to make sure your kid is ok.

Baby #3 Ultrasound
This might be the cutest and yet also the most creepy ultrasound picture I've seen.
 Our kid is OK.

Well all the doctor will say is that "there are no markers for x or y or z" because of the legal ramifications of actually giving a patient information but!  No markers for anything is a very, very good sign.

The baby is 11oz.  Which means that they are measuring exactly to my due date of June 10.  Which is more of a relief than I can even say considering that over the last couple months of sick I've lost a bunch of weight.  Pretty scary since I'm supposed to be in the second trimester growth spurt.  But! My body is doing what it's supposed to do - sacrificing itself for the kid.  I'm fine with that.  And now that I'm eating (and keeping things down) again I'm sure that things will normalize quickly.

Baby #3 Ultrasound
This one, however, is just creepy.
My placenta is in the front.  Another big, BIG relief for a couple of reasons.  No sleepless nights over placenta praevia like there was with my son. And it's location explains the lack of movement.  See I've been feeling this kid move since about 10 weeks.  Insanely early, I know.  Then, recently, the movement has decreased by ALOT.  Alarming.  Crazy-making alarming.  Until you realize that the placenta has grown to the point that it's now blocking me from feeling much of the movement:

Baby #3 Ultrasound
It also provides a nice place for the baby to hide from that pesky ultrasound tool.
The kid was moving around like crazy in the ultrasound.  Seriously.  Any time the tech got close to getting a measurement that she needed this kid started squirming.  It was highly entertaining.

Baby #3 Ultrasound
Blurry profile shot.  Did you expect any of Matt's children NOT to be fidgety?  Because really, now.
Our daughter came with us to the ultrasound - she basically begged us to be allowed to come - which was pretty cool.  For the first five minutes. And then her 3.5 year old attention span kicked in and she and was kindof a pain.  But! it's nice that she's interested in the baby and I want to encourage that as much as possible.  She's been showing off the ultrasound pictures to everyone who will listen to her which is pretty adorable.
Baby #3 Ultrasound
The classic profile shot.
So that's all the news!  I can't tell you how relieved and happy I am to be past this.  With all of this sick going around I think I've been alot more worried about this baby than I was admitting.  So to see this little person moving around and reacting and healthy!  It was pretty awesome.

Oh yeah.  No.  We did not find out.  Because it doesn't matter.  At all.  I hasn't mattered with any of our kids.  The goal here isn't to collect a matching set or to get an heir and a spare (seriously even the Brits don't care which pieces parts their heirs have anymore).  We just want to have a big, happy, healthy family.  So we thought it would be fun to do it completely differently this time and not find out at all.

Clearly from the reaction we have gotten so far this annoys alot of people.  But! I've learned by now that our parenting decisions aren't going to please everyone.  And that people are going to be dicks and not respect our opinions no matter what.  So we are doing what we always do.  What's best for our family.

Baby #3 Ultrasound
I'm going to be the best surprise ever!
We do have a sealed envelope with the gender in it in case we change our mind.  Or if we want to do any of the crazy gender reveal nonsense that has become the trend since we started having kids.  But I doubt we'll open in.  This is our bonus kid.  Our go big or go home baby.  We're thrilled no matter what the gender.

Although according to our daughter the pictures are of a baby girl with dark hair.  So there's that.

January 13, 2013

MagiQuest at Great Wolf Lodge.

So yesterday I was invited to bring my family to the opening of MagiQuest at Great Wolf Lodge in Sandusky, Ohio.
MagiQuest at Great Wolf Lodge

I'd never been to a Great Wolf Lodge or a MagiQuest before so I had no idea what to expect.  In fact the only experience I've ever had with either is the MagiQuest in Myrtle Beach.  We didn't go in but it looked pretty cool from the outside:

MagiQuest at Broadway at the Beach in Myrtle Beach.
So the first thing you need when going on a MagiQuest adventure is a wand and a Book of Wisdom:

MagiQuest at Great Wolf Lodge

We picked up and activated our wands and were on our way:

MagiQuest at Great Wolf Lodge
After I convinced my daughter that she did not, in fact, need another princess dress.
Then it was on to the training video which helped us figure out what we were supposed to be doing.  We were extremely clueless so this helped ALOT:

MagiQuest at Great Wolf Lodge
Kids watching the video and figuring out their wands.
The way the game works is that you sign in with the ???? where you receive a quest. 
MagiQuest at Great Wolf Lodge MagiQuest at Great Wolf Lodge

A quest consists of collecting different objects by waving your wand at them.  Once you have all of the objects you go to a finishing point and something cool happens before you are awarded your rune.  The objects are spread throughout 4 levels of the hotel and the Book of Wisdom helps you find which level your object is on.  It's pretty basic game play and a whole lot of fun:

MagiQuest at Great Wolf Lodge

Our first quest was to find all of the crystals.  Something that our daughter was REALLY into.  Because when you wave the wand at the crystals they light up! 

Hunting for crystals at #magiquest kids are loving this! #imatgreatwolflodge
Once we had collected all of the crystals we went to the Lady in the Leaves and she did a whole thing for us before awarding us a rune for our efforts. Very exciting.
MagiQuest at Great Wolf Lodge
We tried another quest but by then the kids were pretty done.  So we took a break and hung out in the Cub Club for a little while before dinner:

MagiQuest at Great Wolf Lodge

The boy didn't really get the whole quest thing but he had a ball activating all of the objects.  Treasure chests open!  Paintings talk!  Stars light up!  Dude was waving his wand at EVERYTHING by the end of the night trying to make stuff happen.
MagiQuest at Great Wolf Lodge

 He didn't even want to put it down for dinner:

MagiQuest at Great Wolf Lodge
My only negative about the MagiQuest experience was that occasionally my wand didn't work.  Which was quite frustrating.  If I had longer to play I probably would have asked someone about it but since the kids' wands worked just fine it didn't really bother me.

After dinner we were able to complete the Animal Rune quest which ended with a Pixie talking to us.  Something my daughter loved.  Then we were all set to head home when the lovely Jenn of Five Dollar Shake let us know that there was a storytime in the lobby at 8.  We definitely wanted to see what that was all about!  So we killed a little bit of time at the arcade:

MagiQuest at Great Wolf Lodge
I LOVE ski ball.  Seriously.  Showing off my ski ball skills to my kids was crazy fun. They thought I was a God for like 2 minutes.
And then had an ice cream snack:

MagiQuest at Great Wolf Lodge
And put the kids in their jammies for story time with the group.  It wasn't just story time, though.  It was a full on animation show:

MagiQuest at Great Wolf Lodge
And then a story.

MagiQuest at Great Wolf Lodge
Perfect for ending a day.  I can see how this would be a great bedtime transition for kids staying at the lodge.  No fits about leaving the fun activities b/c STORYTIME!  We weren't staying so afterwards we loaded up the kids and headed home.  It's only an hour drive which isn't that big of a deal at all.

MagiQuest at Great Wolf Lodge
Ready for bed.
Overall we had a great time.  The MagiQuest was a little over our kids heads but they still had a a lot of fun waving their wands and activating all of the different objects.  I could see this game being crazy fun for someone a little bit older staying at the lodge for a while. 

MagiQuest at Great Wolf Lodge
The Great Wolf Lodge itself is pretty great, too.  First of all I have to mention that nothing was ridiculously overpriced at all.  Usually in situations like this - captive audience - things seem to be marked up to a crazy amount.  But everything here was reasonable and affordable.  Very refreshing to see!  The kids were also into the various animals and decorations throughout:

MagiQuest at Great Wolf Lodge
WOLF! ARF! WOLF! ARF!  wash, rinse, repeat all day.
MagiQuest at Great Wolf Lodge
And there are enough activities that in an afternoon we hardly scratched the surface.  I was there to check out the MagiQuest so we didn't go into the main attraction.  The water park:

MagiQuest at Great Wolf Lodge
It looks SO much fun, though.  The kids enjoyed just watching the activity:

MagiQuest at Great Wolf Lodge
We will absolutely be making a trip back at some point to experience the water and the rest of what the lodge has to offer!

MagiQuest at Great Wolf Lodge

I received MagiQuest wands and dinner in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are as always my own.
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