March 29, 2013

Frozen Great Lake Hat.

So since Spring straight up refuses to come to Cleveland how about I finally post about my Frozen Great Lakes Hat?

Frozen Lake Erie from Edgewater Park
The yarn is Destination Yarn Letter (my own handdyed) in the colorway Frozen Great Lake.  I've blogged about my inspiration for this colorway before but I can pretty much sum it up in this one of my dad's Lake Erie photographs:

Frozen Lake Erie
Beautiful.  Although I am SO sick of our lake looking like that.  But it makes for pretty yarn:

Frozen Great Lake

And an even prettier hat:
Ripple Hat knit out of Destination Yarn colorway Frozen Great Lake
It took one skein of yarn with a tiny bit left over.  My skeins are typical 100 gram skeins so that's alot of sockyarn for a hat.  Worth it, though:

Ripple Hat knit out of Destination Yarn colorway Frozen Great Lake

The pattern is Ripple from Knit and Tonic.  I loved the pattern - hers are always well written - but I DO NOT love that you can't buy the PDF through Ravelry.  I have to actually keep track of where I save the file.  Boo to that.  However I love the whole Ripple concept used for a yarn based on water:

Frozen Lake Erie from Edgewater Park
I was trying so hard to get a picture of me in the hat with the frozen lake in the background...
Frozen Lake Erie from Edgewater Park
That didn't make me look like a crazy person.
It just makes sense to me.  I do like aligning patterns with yarn names, though.  It's kindof a thing.

Frozen Lake Erie from Edgewater Park
The yarn matches the water!  Which ripples like the pattern!  I CAN'T HANDLE THE COORDINATION!
As far as where to acquire this lovely yarn - Destination Yarn the Etsy site has been shut down for awhile now.  I apologize for that.  But!  I'm currently dying towards Knitters Fantasy next weekend.  So if you're going to be there I'll have this and lots of other beautiful colorways with me.  Hopefully after next weekend I"ll get Etsy back in action.

Ripple Hat knit out of Destination Yarn colorway Frozen Great Lake
Overall I'm really thrilled with this hat.  It's stylishly slouchy, the ripples break up the variegation in the yarn in a super pleasing way, and I tend to get compliments on it wherever I go.  A total knitting win!

Ripple Hat knit out of Destination Yarn colorway Frozen Great Lake

Less of a win has been this weather.  Last year we were already going to the beach.  Seriously.  Monday I took the attitude of Fine.  If it's going to insist on snowing we're going to at least enjoy it:

If it's going to still be winter we may as well enjoy it! #snowday #snow #handknit #hat

 By Thurs. I was more of the attitude of I don't care if it's cold we WILL be outside:

They seem to be missing a crucial element... Except that they were pretending it was a boat so...
Today I gave up on spring and took them to the Cleveland Aquarium:


Our passes expire at the end of the month so I wanted to squeeze in one last visit.  Of course since it's Good Friday EVERYONE had off and EVERYONE was there.  It was crazy crowded.  And can I just... well... I hate to judge other parents but there was a couple there with 2 kids who were obviously older than both of mine blocking the way with a giant double stroller.  Um?  Really?  It's a small space with not much walking and your kids can't handle that?  Not to mention there are two parents - that's one for each kid.  But you need to contain them in a stroller?  And I get it... there are kids with special needs and sometimes that's not always apparent and you never know what a family is dealing with and you should NEVER judge because you just don't know and blah blah blah....

The Lion fish is not pleased with my judging.
Meanwhile I'm 7.5 months pregnant waddling through the place by myself with my 2 and no stroller of any kind.  And it was no big deal because SHOCK!  My kids actually listen to me.  A friend of mine told me that this third kid has pushed me over the edge and I no longer have any tolerance or patience for anyone else's nonsense.  I'm afraid that it's true.  Meh.

March 28, 2013

Kid Updates and some Random.

So it feels weird to post about all that's going on in my life when so many families are having their rights questioned in court.  But I feel useless blogging about it when so many other people have said what I feel better than I ever could (go read this post.  I'll wait.)  So before I get to my nonsense I'll just let the Golden Girls explain how I feel:


So anyways I feel the need to talk about how all 3 of my kids (starting to get used to saying that) have been doing.  I might get a little braggy.  But considering how upset our lives have been lately I'm just super proud of these guys....

#1:  I went to my daughter's first ever teacher conference - my first teacher conference ever as a parent.  Kindof a big milestone!  Let's hope the rest of them from here on out go as well as this first one because she is doing great.  To sum up, and I quote, "she is a very smart girl and a great listener."  They do a kindergarten assessment test (she still has over a year before kindergarten actually starts) and she rocked it.  Knows the letters and numbers and shapes and such.  But I already knew that.  The things that are more important to me at this point are things like:

She follows complicated directions well.  She plays well with others.  She transitions well. She handles changes in routine well.  She is a good listener.  She is a smart kid with a real willingness to learn. 

I am SO proud of her!  And I'm thinking (hoping) that all of the above is a solid foundation for when school is more than just the alphabet and playing "stand up kitties" (I don't even know but she tells me it's her favorite game so...)

Crafts are also still her favorite game.
#2:  The dude got a haircut.  Yes.  I know that that is not nearly as exciting as a wonderful preschool report card BUT!  Look at how grown up he looks:

Yup.  The bait and switch happened.  Somehow the baby dude has been replaced by this KID.  With sentences!  And logic!  And opinions!  And such a sense of humor.  He tells jokes now.  Seriously.  For example today we were leaving the family room so I asked him "Ready to go get your sister?"  He usually responds by saying goodbye to all of the toys "BYE CAR! BYE CHOO CHOO!  BYE GROWL!"  Which, adorable.  But today he got a gleam in his eye, gave me a big smile, and said "BATH TIME!" Then dissolved into a fit of giggles.  Because obvs it is not BATH TIME so saying it is is hilarity.  I'm thinking this sense of humor will serve him well as a middle child...


#3:  I had my 29 week (!) doctor appointment yesterday and all is well.  I passed the dreaded Glucose Test without being thrown into a Migraine of Doom.  Which means all of the scary tests are done with.  At this point the baby just needs to grow.  The only thing left to worry about is labor.  Which the doctor has warned me repeatedly will go alarmingly fast.  But we live 10 min from the hospital so.... yeah still pretty scared about that factor.

Since I didn't have another picture of #3 here's one of the other two dancing at the Slovenian Fish Fry:

Siblings dancing together to a polka band at the Slovenian Fish Fry.
It was funtimes but I'm glad we got out of there before the random lady took off her shirt and threw her bra at the polka band.  Uh huh.  Then she proceeded to dance around wearing nothing but a scarf as a shirt.  Yeah.  That happened.  I.... There are no words.  But my friend took a video!  You're welecome.

March 22, 2013

Saving Money with Simply Right Diapers.

So after 4 years of this parenting thing I've pretty much tried every type of diaper out there.  I have OPINIONS on all of them.  From the name brands through the cheapest of the cheaper options I've probably tried it.  And the main thing I've learned is that even if a brand is cheaper it's not worth it if it leaks or worse causes my kid to have insane diaper rash.  Been there, done that, not messing around with that nonsense anymore.

However!  I'll do pretty much anything to not spend any more money on diapers than I absolutely have to - including having my family and friends mail me coupons.  Yeah.  I'm that guy.  So when I heard that switching from brand name diapers and wipes to SIMPLY RIGHT™ Baby Care products would save us $392 per year I was IN.

I received a pack of SIMPLY RIGHT™ diapers in size 3 to see how they did on my always in motion almost 2 year old.


The diapers are thin enough not to get in his way and the stretchy side panels and back elastic moved with him.  And believe me he is always moving...

I have to say - I was very pleasantly surprised by these diapers.  My kid has pretty sensitive skin so I was worried a cheaper brand to leave him with diaper rash.  Not the case at all.  He had no issues whatsoever with these.  

The wipes were also pretty fantastic.  They are thick, quilted, and hypoallergenic.  So I didn't have to use a ton of them with every change.  Using less wipes = spending less monies.  I like it.

High stepping over his sister's pony tea party.
 The Dude's favorite feature is that they have ANIMALS on them.

Yay for adorable, functional, and cheaper diapers!  So tell me... how would you spend the saved $392?  I'm dreaming of some new non-maternity clothes....

The dude is dreaming of MORE CARS.
For a FREE sample of SIMPLY RIGHT™ diapers or wipes, visit today!
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of SIMPLY RIGHT™ Baby Care Products.  As always all opinions, photographs, and adorable children are my own.

March 21, 2013

Cleveland Saint Patrick's Day Parade!

So!  This past weekend was my kid's 4th birthday.

Throwback thurs: this tiny one is going to be 4 on Sun! #tbt #newborn
This tiny one is now a 4 year old.
I wanted to make it really special considering how crazy and upset our worlds have been lately with the renovation going on.  We actually spent the first half of the weekend reorganizing our house.  Now that things are a bit further along the Giant Pile Of Ikea can live in the basement.  PROGRESS.

We still celebrated all of the March birthdays at my parents' house, though:

Family PartyFamily Party

Yeah my parents' have 6 (soon to be 7) kids/grand-kids.  3 of which celebrate March birthdays.  It just makes sense to combine celebrations:

Family Party
Pictured:  2 of the 3 March birthdays

Then on Sunday, her actual birthday, she woke up to some simple decorations:

4th Birthday4th Birthday

Not as all out as last year but every bit as thrilling.  Especially thrilling?  Giving gifts to a 4 year old:

OMG IT's TWILIGHT SPARKLE!!!!  BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!!!!!!! #four #birthday #mlp #mylittlepony
Then we got all dressed up in our green for the parade - well except for the girl.  She wanted nothing to do with that.  It's her birthday and she was NOT going to be one of the sea of green.  Noted.

4th Birthday
Also noted:  green makes me look really pregnant.
As much as we wanted to go to the parade again we had no desire to ever go through the insanity that was last year ever again.  EVER.  So we left WAY early and ate lunch on the east side. Then we drove back into downtown from the east well before the parade started.  We parked in the lot across from the Galleria so we'd have quick and easy access to the shoreway once the parade was over.  It was a good strategy.  We had a great view and never encountered too much traffic at all.  SO DIFFERENT FROM LAST YEAR!  On to the pics:

Cleveland St. Patrick's Day Parade
 Let's get this show on the road already!+

Cleveland St. Patrick's Day Parade
The start of the parade.
The kids LOVED the parade.  Were totally into it and thrilled by every little thing. 

Cleveland St. Patrick's Day Parade
Cleveland St. Patrick's Day Parade
I feel that Matt should use this for his profile picture for everywhere from now on.
Some random highlights...

Cleveland St. Patrick's Day Parade

Cleveland St. Patrick's Day Parade
My brother's Alma Mater representing

Cleveland St Patrick's Day Parade
Photographic proof that I was actually at this event (as the one that usually takes the pictures it is rare to see one with me in it.)
Cleveland St. Patrick's Day Parade
The required pipe and drum band.  I still don't get the appeal of bagpipes.  Too much Italian in my blood.
Cleveland St. Patrick's Day Parade
Santa totally makes sense in a St. Patrick's Day Parade.
Cleveland St. Patrick's Day Parade
THEY PAINTED THE HORSES TOENAILS GREEN!!!!!!!  You have no idea how thrilling this was.
Cleveland St. Patrick's Day Parade
Some Irish Dancers.
Cleveland St. Patrick's Day Parade
And my kid trying to join the parade.  Naturally.
As much fun as we were having the kids (really all of us) hit the wall on the cold somewhere around the hour mark.  We called it and headed for the car before the parade was completely over.  The key to any fun family activity is knowing when you've hit the limit.

Cleveland St. Patrick's Day Parade
All in all it was a super fun day / weekend.  I think my girl had a fantastic 4th birthday!  Oh and I haven't even mentioned her friends' party yet.  7 little kids at my house!  I think I'll save that insanity for another post...

Oh and if you want really awesome pictures of the parade check out this post by Adam Gercak. He was on a firetruck and took some fantastic photos of the crowd.  I'm behind the red light in this one but you can kindof see Matt. Pretty awesome perspective.
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