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After finishing Mr. Greenjeans, a project that took longer than I expected, I was looking for a quick knit.  With an eye toward spring, I found a pattern and picked up some yarn.  The pattern is Girl’s Cap Sleeve Spring Shirt (available here).  Knit with Fantasy Naturale.  The pattern is simple, clever and quick.  From yarn purchase to bind off was less than a week.


There are several ways I can envision playing around with the pattern to add decorative elements, but for this time around I knit it as written.  Well, almost.  Since I had a fair amount of yarn left of the second skein, but not really enough to do much else with, I made it a bit longer.  Per Sarah‘s recommendation, I added a few increases to give it more of an a-line shape.  I plan to make a pair of bloomers to go with it in later spring and summer.  For now, she’ll wear it over a long-sleeve shirt and pants.  It may be spring according to the calendar, but we are in Minnesota, after all.




The birthday girl requested a yoga mat and she wasn’t disappointed. Unfortunately, the other two were VERY disappointed. Disappointed that they did not get a yoga mat and that their sister was not planning to share. The morning after was ushered in with yet more strife over the yoga mat. Yes, I am very happy that you are so enthusiastic about yoga. Now, please stop trying to kill each other over the mat.

In a somewhat atypical move, I went and bought another one. I foolishly thought that it would help. It looked promising at first. Joshua was willing to give Sarah a turn or make room on the mat to share with her. Lizzie was less willing. Joshua then started to freak about how unfair it all was that he was sharing but Lizzie wasn’t. Sigh.

Sunday night, a friend of Lizzie’s stopped by to bring her a birthday present. Did you guess? It was a yoga mat! Same brand and color even. Brad and I unilaterally decided that we should keep the yoga mat and redistribute the wealth. Fortunately, Lizzie saw the wisdom in that plan.

Lizzie and Joshua are both in yoga club at school this month. They asked if they could take their mats to school. With a vision of Joshua unfurling his mat in the bus or some equally obnoxious situation, I decided they each needed a bag for their mats. I was trying to figure out the math in my head (never a good thing) for a tube shape. Before my brain started to ache too much, I remembered seeing a pattern in Simple Sewing. Lotta saves the day!


Whipped these up in about an hour total. I did end up making a run out to the store for the cord and cord stop, but the fabric was from my stash. I had visions of using cuter fabric, but the utilitarian fabric seems to make more sense given the fact that they will be dragged around by grade schoolers.

Maybe I should take up yoga and make a cute bag for myself. I can borrow Sarah’s mat. I’m sure she won’t mind sharing. 🙂

Although Sarah is none too shy about asserting her two-ness, she is by nature pretty sweet and funny.  The rapid expansion of her vocabulary and her budding sense of humor help make her immensely fun to be around, much of the time.  I can’t count the number of times a day Brad or I will turn to the other and say, “Man, she is so funny!”

Sometimes when we stop to appreciate something funny she has said or done, I recall a vague impression of Lizzie at the same age.  Like a soft whisper in my ear.  Lizzie was equally funny and sweet, but my memories of that time are cloudy, at best.


When Lizzie was 2 1/2, I was engulfed in a thick fog of antepartum depression.  Instead of appreciating the sweet gestures and funny comments, I was busy thinking of how to get out of this parenting gig.  As soon as the baby is born, I thought, I’ll run away.  I was fully convinced that Brad and the kids would be better off without me around.

Fortunately, I was able to join a support group for women suffering depression and anxiety during pregnancy.  The support of those women and the midwife and social worker who facilitated the group was a godsend.  They helped carry me through to Joshua’s birth and during a “reunion” meeting, they recognized the continuing struggle of postpartum depression and urged me to consider meds, in addition to the talk therapy I had already started.  Sadly, the support group is no longer facilitated through the clinic, due to budget cuts and lack of grant money.  (You probably don’t want to get me started on that topic.)

Sarah is a gift to me for so many reasons, but she has helped me recall sweet moments from an otherwise bitter time in my life.  For that, baby girl, I am very, very grateful.


Brad and I are both avid readers and we wanted the same to be true for our kids.  Aside from the first couple days in the hospital, I can’t remember a day that we didn’t read to Lizzie.

reading a little Dr. Seuss at 5 days old

reading a little Dr. Seuss at 5 days old

Be careful what you wish for.  At age nine, Lizzie is rarely seen without a book in her hands.  In fact, we often have to yell at cajole her into putting the book down long enough to do her chores or pretty much anything else.


Lizzie-lu, you are one creative, imaginative and highly informed kid.  Must be all that reading.


Happy belated birthday!

It’s hard being a kid with an over-grown social conscience.

J:  “I want those shoes with the check marks on them.  Can we go to Wal-Mart and get some?”

Mean Mommy:  “Honey, we don’t shop at Wal-Mart.”

J:  “Why not?  Because they don’t pay their workers enough money?”

Mean Mommy:  “Pretty much.”

L (from the other room):  “The shoes with the check marks are Nike.  I bet they don’t pay their workers enough either.”