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Missing Kitty

Today was a beautiful day, so although I didn’t think I had time to run, I decided to go anyway. I felt unbelievably sluggish, which surprised me because usually a sunny day in February is rejuvenating. In truth, I left without finishing my first cup of coffee. I blame that and not the fact that I’m out of shape.

So while I ran, my phone whistled to let me know I had a text. Not wanting to miss a thing, I had to stop and quickly check it out. It was my dentist, confirming my appointment for later this morning. It’s only the sixth text I’ve received to confirm this appointment, so I’m really glad I stopped to check.

But the really big excitement is the kitty that appeared in our front yard overnight. We don’t know where she came from, but the look on her face tells us she isn’t friendly. We’re doing our best not to approach her, but the kids really want to pick her up.

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Running Thoughts

I love the flattering self portraits I can take with my iPhone.

I love the flattering self portraits I can take with my iPhone.

I went running today for the first time in weeks. I thought I’d be training for a half marathon right now, but it just isn’t working out the way I’d planned. Instead, I’m just going to try to get out and run more than once a month. Is it doable? I think so.

Today began with a frustrating search for a hat and gloves. I used to have several, but my four girls have done a fantastic job of scattering them all around the North Hills. It isn’t enough to lose their own. They must then move on to mine. Grrr. I posted a picture of what I ended up wearing today. It’s no surprise that the serious runner who was going to join me this morning needed a break today. Actually, she did need a break today, but this getup would’ve also been a good excuse not to join me!

I did get ogled by an old man sitting in his car. That was something.

It was an icy run, and by the time I got home I really had to pee. (I always make sure to drink plenty of coffee before I run in the morning. Gives me energy.) I struggled with my house key, which was securely placed in a zippered pocket in the back on my running pants. A really narrow, long pocket. I nearly ripped my pants off on the front porch just so I could get my stupid key out. Thankfully, that was not necessary, and my very effective potty dance held me off until I was able to unlock the door.

Whew! Maybe less coffee next time?

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Using up scraps

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Yesterday was a sick day at home with my youngest. I had planned on a glorious day of shopping and errands while the twins were at an extended preschool day, but that all changed before we even left the house in the morning. Instead of wallowing in the disappointment of being stuck at home (for too long), I used the time at home to work on a project I’ve been wanting to tackle for some time. Washable sandwich wraps! Exciting, no?

I used scraps of PUL fabric and crazy-strong velcro left over from my days of cloth diapering. (I had taken a clumsy stab at making my own diaper covers back in the hazy days of twin babies.) Some of the fabric was double-sided cloth, but the best colors were only cloth on one side. Because I don’t think PUL fabric is known to be food safe, I sewed on another scrap of fabric to cover the plastic side. The best part was that when I got frustrated with my sewing machine, which happens often, I had a cozy 4-year-old love bug ready to give me some snuggles. That afternoon, the girls were all really excited to use the wraps in their lunches, I used up a lot of scrap material, and now we can use fewer plastic bags. Success!

Please note, I used a friend’s sandwich wrap as my template and adjusted it to fit my taste. I won’t bother to post a pattern here because it wasn’t really my own design. You can find many great patterns and tutorials online, though.

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Heartfelt love for daddy

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This year for Valentine’s Day, the girls and I continued a tradition of giving my husband a jar of Hershey’s Kisses to keep on his desk at work. At first glance, it doesn’t seem like much, but it’s a definite treasure. Each kiss is taped to a small love note from one of us, so every time he unwraps a candy, he gets a priceless message too. The idea originally came from an old issue of Family Fun magazine, but I was unable to find it on their website.

It’s a fun project that we work on throughout the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day. In addition to notes declaring love and decorated with hearts, we also have notes that tell him what makes him special, things they’ve enjoyed doing with him, activities they are looking forward to, and even a drawing or two. It’s a nice snapshot of where the girls are each year, and the notes are fun to look back on. This year, even the youngest girls were able to write quite a few of their own without my taking dictation. They are growing and changing so quickly! It’s nice to have some messages from them to capture a bit of what they’re thinking.

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A little Valentine love

Here’s a little treat I crocheted for my four girls for Valentine’s Day. It’s a great way to use up scrap yarn, and a good excuse for using those novelty yarns that sometimes end up a knotted mess in the bottom20120209-022424.jpg of your stash! The little baskets work up quickly, so you can easily make a few in an evening. Please note, this is my first written pattern. Let me know if you have any questions or find a mistake and I will try to help. As soon as I figure out how to link with Ravelry.com, I will also post the pattern there.

Little Love Baskets

I used Lion Brand Baby Wool and a size F hook, but you could experiment with various yarns and hook sizes.

Begin with an adjustable ring, and make 6 sc in the ring.
Round 2: 2 sc in each stitch (12 sts)
Round 3: (sc in next stitch, 2 sc in next stitch) 6 times (18 sts)
Round 4: (sc in next 2 sts, 2 sc in next stitch) 6 times (24 sts)
Round 5: (sc in next 3 sts, 2 sc in next stitch) 6 times (30 sts)
Round 6: sc in back loop only of each st (30 sts)
Rounds 7-13: sc in each st, then tie off and weave in the ends

Round 14: sc in each st, using any contrasting or novelty yarn.
Tie off and weave in the ends. Fill baskets with treats and enjoy!

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Decade of babies

My first baby turned 10 last month. A decade of parenthood filled with extreme joy, lunacy, learning, and change. Every year brought its own challenges and triumphs. Whether it was one of those nerve-wracking first outings with one newborn, or trips to the zoo with double strollers, harnesses and Baby Bjorns, each took so much effort! I hardly remember 2007, when the twins were tiny newborns, but I do know there were continuous feedings, a great deal of amazement, many appointments, and a lot of crying and praying. We’ve gone from mountains of diapers to piles of homework. From nursing babies to concocting dinners that all six of us will eat. From controlling every facet of our children’s environment to keeping up with what happens while they’re out of our sight. They are all becoming smart, beautiful young girls…and all so completely different. Now our older two are in elementary school, and those tiny babies have grown up overnight and will enter Kindergarten in the fall. Where does that leave me? That’s what I’m trying to figure out. But for now, I’m blessed to fill my days with my little ones. Trying to treasure all I can while also transitioning to what I’m only assuming will be a phase that’s busier, more nerve-wracking, and if possible, even more wonderful than before.