23 January 2011

Knitting for Better-update

It's been 20 days since the kick off of Knitting for Better and I just wanted to give a little update on our progress. I have made 6 hats, Kaarin made one hat and is working on another and a different friend, Michelle has made one and is starting on another as well! So right now we have 8 hats toward our goal of 20. And thanks to the generosity of family members (my mom and my sister) I have $30 to put toward yarn for more hats! I'm going to finish up the one I have on my needles tonight or tomorrow and then go get some more yarn! I think I may have to extend the deadline just to make it through all the yarn I can buy! Thank you so much for all your generosity!

Also if your interested I am having our first Knit Night this Tuesday night, my house, from 7pm until we get too tired. Come learn to knit, hang out or knit if you already know how! 

Northern California Vacation

Last week we took our "first" family road trip. It was only sort of our first because we've driven to Arizona a couple times since we've had Mr. Smiley, but this was our first trip with more distance than that. My grandparents live in Menlo Park, CA and T-Bone's sister lives in Sacramento so our plan was to see them both. We drove up half way on Monday and then spent the night at a pretty dumpy hotel in Arroyo Grande, CA. I really liked the little town but the hotel wasn't what we hoped for. It reeked of cigarette smoke--even though it was a non-smoking room--and our bed creaked! Mr. Smiley has a hard time sleeping in his port-a-crib and he didn't disappoint this time. I'm not sure how much sleep we got that night only to be woken up at 5:00 in the morning. Big Sister got woken up too so we got an early start on the second leg of the drive!

We made it to Menlo Park at around noon and had a good visit with my Grandparents.
Me, the kids and Grandpa

Mr. Smiley and Grandma


Giving high 5's as we were leaving

and fist pumps


Later that night we drove to Sacramento area to stay with T-Bone's sister. We stayed there three days and went to the Train Museum, Fairy Tale Town and took a walk through one of the nature areas. The kids had a great time while were were there, but our mornings came way too early. Mr. Smiley slept in our room and woke up every morning at 5:30 after waking up once or twice at night. We planned on staying Friday night and driving home on Saturday but we couldn't bear one more night of non-sleep so we drive home Friday afternoon. We got home at 10pm and Big Sister went right to sleep, but Mr. Smiley had just woken up so we let him stay up for an hour. He must have been seriously sleep deprived because he slept in until 10 the next morning.



This train was so big each of it's wheels was 6 feet tall!

It was sad when they got eaten by a hippo drinking fountain

There was a little girl who lived in a crooked house








Driving Cinderella's carriage




A Night Away....but Not Really

Last week we we were able to take a little vacation away from home--but not too far. My Dad and his wife had a condo in Oceanside for the week so we spend one night there. My sister's boys came to spend the night too and although it was a rough night between Mr. Smiley waking up and the boys waking up it was fun to be there. The weather was gorgeous! 74 and clear; it doesn't get much better than that. We took an early morning walk along the beach, sun bathed, flew a kite and just relaxed. It was wonderful!
The sunset as we got there on Friday night from the balcony



On the Oceanside Pier











12 January 2011

Conan!

Back when Conan was on the Tonight Show, T-Bone was thrilled. He loves Conan O'Brien. He really wanted to see him but of course his stint on that show didn't last very long. As soon as T-Bone found out Conan was going to have his own show and that it was going to be filmed in L.A. again he swore he would go.

He requested tickets and in December we went to a taping of Conan! We went with our friends the Whitings and because of fantastic traffic we got there super early. We were the 21st group to check in. They do it really nice there where you check in and then they tell you to just be back to the studio by a certain time to get in line. SO much better than sitting outside a building waiting for hours--like when I went to the Price is Right. So we got our tickets and then went to have some lunch. I won't bore you with the details, but we barely made it back in time! It was pretty nerve-wracking.

But we made it in and we were in the third or fourth row from the bottom! It was pretty exciting being so close. And even more exciting was when we were on TV! Here's the clip:

When he sat down I looked in his bucket and I think it was about $15 bucks! Too funny!

Afterwards, we went to this fantastic burger place, The Fix Burger, that our friends new about.  The Rodeo Burger (bacon, onion rings, bbq sauce, mayo and cheddar) was to die for!  I wish I had thought to take a picture of it. Wow, heaven.

So all in all it was a great day!





11 January 2011

I bought a friend

Meet my new friend Guinevere. I bought her a couple weeks ago. Since I've been spending so much time on my couch knitting and crocheting I thought I should buy someone who can keep me company instead of having real friends. 
She helps me take pictures of all my things.


 Especially hats



But not socks of course.



However, sometimes I use real people

I made all these plus 4 military hats and two others like that light greenish one since Christmas. Obsessed much? 


Today, While the Sun Shines

Today, while the sun shines, work with a will;
Today all your duties with patience fulfill.
Today while the birds sing, harbor no care; 
Call life a good gift; call the world fair.
Today, today, work with a will;
Today, today, your duties fulfill.
Today, today, work while you may; 
Prepare for tomorrow by working today.

The sun is actually shining today and there is some warmth in the air. I have this song stuck in my head. I have no complaints though. It's a good reminder. I need to work. I have been doing A LOT of knitting and crocheting recently. Neither of those things are inherently bad--in fact I'm knitting for a good cause--but I have realized something: That's pretty much all I do. Sure I clean my house when it needs it and go grocery shopping and cook dinner for my family but there are other things that I can do with my day. I'm just barely doing the minimum. That's not to say I'm swearing off knitting and crocheting. Hardly. I don't think I could function without my newest obsession but I find myself thinking less and less about other things that I need to do around the home.

I have a goal to make videos of the kids' lives. We have thousands of pictures that don't really get looked at and it would be fun to be able to make videos each year of them. I know Big Sister would especially love to watch one of herself. But instead of heading to the computer when Mr. Smiley is taking a nap or after they go to bed, I squat my ever increasing bum down on the couch to knit my latest project. Because I sit SO much my bootie is bigger and my abs are non-existent. To give myself some credit I usually listen to the scriptures or whatever book I'm currently reading as well so it's not all for vain.

But I guess I'm kind of bumming myself out lately because I really have things to say on my blog, but I get distracted by yarn and forget all about them. In fact if it wasn't for my iPhone I probably wouldn't read much email or blogs because I hardly ever sit down at the computer. Make no mistake, I'm not apologizing for not blogging--I hate it when people do that, it is for me after all--I just want my brain back. I think I may have knitted so much my brain has gone soft. It is very relaxing.

So this morning I got out of bed at 6:45 pulled my dusty yoga mat out from under the couch and I did some sit ups and stretches before I started my day. I figured that would be a good place to start to do something new. I also don't like New Years resolutions so I'm going to try to have a new personal improvement goal each month. This month I'm working on laying off my kids (thanks to the advice of Julie.) I'm going to let Big Sister be more of a kid; she needs that. I'm also going to strengthen my abs so I don't become a slouch every time I sit down. The month is almost half over so we'll see how I do.

I'm going to work while I can.


08 January 2011

What do your kids watch?

Big Sister is 6. Right now she is watching Dora instant streaming on Netflix. Words cannot begin to describe how much I despise that show. Why do they all yell? Drives me nuts. It bugs me also that she loves it so much. The thing is though that I'm not sure it would bug me so much if she was younger. I kind of think she's too old to be watching Dora. Am I crazy?

But here's the other thing....I have no idea what 6 year old girls watch on TV. We don't have cable and so all the shows she watches are either a DVD that we have or instant streaming on Netflix. What do your kids watch? Are they still watching Dora when they're 6? I also don't want her watching a lot of the other shows that they have on TV today though either. They just seem so grown up. She's kind of in the middle between the preschool shows and the older kid shows.

Well, I'm off to browse the Children & Family category to try to find more age appropriate shows for Big Sister. Any suggestions would be great!

03 January 2011

Knitting For Better

I've been doing a lot of knitting and crocheting lately. I'm even going to list some things on my etsy store pretty soon and hopefully make a little money doing something I love. It's been very fun and relaxing knitting hats and socks and scarves. I made a lot of Christmas gifts and used my knitting powers for good.  However lately I've been thinking I really want to use my knitting powers for better.

I wanted to do this so much I prayed for it. I asked Heavenly Father to help me find a way I could use my talents to help other people. So a few days later I was looking at my local yarn shop' website, Yarning for You, and they had a link for Charity Knitting projects. The project is called Project Keep Our Troops Warm by making knitted beanies for our military. It's perfect! So I've come up with a plan. I want to gather as many knitted beanies as I can by February 28th to deliver to YFY for our soldiers.

Who's with me? If you know how to knit and live close just call me or email me (flipflopmamablog at gmail dot com) and you can drop off your hats. Here's the pattern they want you to use. If you know how to knit and don't live close, then email me and I'll send you my address and you can send me your hats.

If you don't know how to knit, live close and want to learn I'm going to have a tutorial night (and possibly a Saturday morning as well) sometime in the month of January. I'm still trying to nail down a good night--I'll post it when I decide. We'll quickly learn the basics of knitting hats.  You will need to bring your own yarn and needles though which can be picked up pretty cheap at Michael's or JoAnn. If you don't know how to knit and don't live close and still want to help there are tons of videos online that can teach you. My personal preference is knittinghelp.com. Very clear instructions and videos. I've turned to that website many a time-just the other day actually when I was finishing my socks. Once you get the hang of the basic stitches a hat like this can take 3-4 hours. 

If you want to help but don't know how to knit and don't want to learn then please consider donating money for the cost of yarn. A average size skein of yarn runs about $4.00 and can make one hat with some left over.

What better way to start the new year than with a service project? I very strongly support those men and women in the armed forces that keep us safe and I'm glad to find a way to give a little back. Even if it's not much at least we can keep their heads warm.

I want to try to get 20 hats made! I made this one over the weekend so the count is at 1!  Let me know if you want to help!