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When I read Amanda‘s post, I had tears in my eyes. She captured something so true about parenting and expressed it so beautifully. I thought, “she’s so right, it goes so quickly and time with them is so precious”.

Then I woke up. I woke up to Lizzie screaming. Screaming at my husband because she wanted a whole bagel, not half. 6:30 in the morning and I am faced with a whiny, screaming 6 year old who is hacked off because she wants a whole bagel upfront. She will have none of this, “you get half now and if you finish that you can have another half” business. Nope. “I WANT A WHOLE BAGEL!!!”

OK, whole bagel it is. I wasn’t the least bit annoyed when I walked back with my blessed cup of coffee to find this.

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Nope, not annoyed one bit.

Once the banshee was on the bus, I crawled back into bed to find this.

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All better.

Finally finished my leaf lace shawl

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and blocked it.

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Overall, I am very pleased with it. I can see several mistakes, but it was my first lace project of that size, so it is pretty exciting to have it completed and ready to wear. I interrupted pre-bed book time to show off my shawl and Joshua said, “Mommy, you look beautiful in that”.

Thanks, buddy.  I needed that.

I am a complainer. I have always been a complainer. When I was a kid my aunts bought me a t-shirt that said, “Monku, Monku, Monku” which basically translates to “complain, complain, complain” from Japanese slang. I wore that shirt a lot.

Lately, I’ve been trying to cut down on the monku and replace it with some gratitude. For instance, I am grateful that my family has been relatively healthy this winter (that thumping you hear is me knocking on all the wood in our house). When I think about my friends who haven’t been able to hold their newborn very much because she is in an oxygen tent, I am grateful that Sarah was healthy and able to come home with us right away.

I’m not complaining, but…

School was out on Monday for President’s Day, so all three kids were home. Brad, however, was not. The kids were also home on Friday, so by Monday the novelty of being home had worn off. I had the greatest of intentions for the day, with ideas of baking together, playing games and making crafts. We were out of flour, sugar and butter and I couldn’t muster the energy for games, so out came the paper and scissors. Truth be told, paper and scissors are always out in our house, but this time it was a little less free form than usual. We made the bird garland I’d seen posted on Kiddley in December. I figured, we’ll make it with floral paper, so it will be a spring garland. Leave it to my children to start a theological debate over the meaning of the garland. The top of the template page said “Holiday Garland Template”, so Lizzie decided that it was a garland of doves to remind us of Jesus’s baptism (Baptism of the Lord Sunday is not the most commonly celebrated holiday, but, whatever). Joshua, on the other hand, determined that it was representative of the dove that flew from the Noah’s Ark to find dry land. Ok, it is true that I am employed as the education director of a church, but sometimes my Jesus freak children are a bit much for me. “Jesus!!” “No, Noah!!” “Jesus!” “Noah!” I am grateful my children are so passionate about their faith???

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Fingerless Mittens, originally uploaded by rouxhauser.

I’ve recently finished a couple projects that I had left to languish at the bottom of my knitting basket. I finished Sarah’s second sock, but have yet to track down some elastic thread to help them stay on better. I also knit the second of a pair of fingerless mittens. These are knit with Cherry Tree Hill Supersock (colorway: Serengeti) and mohair held together. They are so soft and warm, but I will forever be reminded of my laziness when I wear them. You see, the first one I knit was rather tight and used kfb for the increase rather than the prescribed M1. My gauge was much better the second time around and I actually followed the directions for the thumb gusset. Needless to say, the difference is noticeable. I keep thinking I could rip out the first one and reknit it, but I’m just not feeling that industrious. Laziness is a bitch.

Muppet Feet, originally uploaded by rouxhauser.

I felted a pair of slippers the other day and I couldn’t stop giggling when I pulled them out of the washing machine. Muppet feet. They remind me of Muppet feet. I realize it is pretty rare to see Muppet feet, but can’t you just imagine these peds on Cookie Monster, Grover or maybe, Herry Monster? They are fuzzy and blue, not to mention warm.

No actual Muppets were harmed in the production of these slippers.

Just finished a pair of socks for my mom’s birthday present. I didn’t remember that she’d been wanting a pair until last week when she mentioned it to me again. She was commenting on the “cold” weather they were experiencing in Memphis. Meanwhile, here in Minnesota, I ventured out to the yarn shop in the subzero temps on Sunday after church and picked up some Dream in Color handpainted merino superwash wool in “In Vino Veritas”. This lovely worsted weight yarn made for a quick and enjoyable knit. The pattern is from Sensational Knitted Socks. Less than 72 hours for a pair of socks has got to be a personal best. It certainly helps that the recepient wears a size 6 1/2. If I mail them out tomorrow via priority mail, there’s a small chance my mom will have them on her birthday. She may even have a day or two left of the cold in which to appreciate them.

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The handknit goods are getting plenty of use around here these days. With daily highs struggling to reach 0 F, it has been an unfortunate week to be walking my son to his new school. Two blocks has never felt so far away! The other night I was listening to Brad read the kids a Little House book and I couldn’t stop thinking, “how did they survive this kind of cold?” Yikes.

Monday morning some friends dropped their daughter off to play. The house was its usual state of disarray, but I could have cried when they walked into the kitchen. How embarrassing. Dishes piled up, food out on the counter, clutter everywhere. Once Brad tamed the dishes, I took on the sink. I probably could have used a haz-mat suit given the state of things, but a pair of rubber gloves was all I had. I didn’t care to notice how long it took me, but I did spend some quality time scrubbing and scouring the sink and its environs. It was a thing of beauty, at least for the minute and a half before Joshua came and dumped dirty dishes into the sink. *sigh*

After that, I spent a lot of time lingering by the sink, washes dishes and wiping down around the sink each time it was used. Maybe for some people this sounds normal. I took it to extremes and then burned out soon there after. This is why I loath housework. It is so fleeting, as to feel futile. As soon as the dishes are all clean, dried and put away, it is time for another meal. As soon as I sweep and mop, someone comes in with snowy boots or sandy shoes. Is my name Sisyphus? That’s why I spend more time crafting and less time cleaning. Crafts show progress and feel productive. With a small amount of time invested, Lizzie has a new dress to wear. For a little more time invested, Brad has a new hat to wear. I guess I’m just not cut out for keeping a clean and organized house. Oh well, the house may be a disaster, but I’m happy to knit you some slippers to keep your feet warm while you visit.

I finished up a couple of projects this week:

Lizzie’s skirt

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There was really no need to rush given the fact that the high will not be above 0 F for the next several days. Maybe dreams of spring will help us get through the next week or so.

Joshua’s PJ pants

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He started asking for Tigger pajamas and I just couldn’t say no. It is so refreshing to have him interested in something other than pirates or Bat-Man, I wanted to encourage it.

A little gnome hat:

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I also finished the hat I started in church last Sunday.

I made an attempt at a zippered bag from this tutorial. It’s not pretty, but I think I’ve figured it out and can be more precise next time. Now that I have made one, I think I’ll be making many, many more.