Friday, December 31, 2010

my moment

following soulemama.com blog, here is my moment, our final moment of 2010. new years isn't a big deal around here, just a reminder to change the year when i write it.

but with this year, my hopes are to find more patience, look at things in a more positive way, hold onto these moments in my heart a little longer, and be more gentle with my husband. i am most looking forward to our little baby girl and all that she will bring. lets remember to laugh with nothing holding us back!
                

Thursday, December 30, 2010

fisherman pullover sweater for river...and other knitting stuff

 i really enjoyed making this sweater for my son, even though i had a bit of trouble understanding parts of the pattern. however, that is very likely my fault since this was only the 2nd sweater i had knit. i bought the pattern here on ravelry and when i had a question, i was able to actually email veera, the creator.
 i like the simplicity of the sweater, and even though the neckline is large, and not one of my favorites, it is part of what makes this unique. i bought the yarn on the road of our 5 week roadtrip, moving from california to colorado. when i had a question, i enjoyed stopping at whatever local yarn shop i was near to get help. i used wool and it is very warm. i believe i knit him the 4-5 year old sweater since he is a big boy, and though it is a bit too large on him, at least i know he will grow into it and be able to use it this winter. (my last sweater i knit him was too small and he wore it about a month) it is somewhat of a fast knit, and i plan on making more for him and his sister. i think the total cost was around$5 or $6 for the pattern.
 on another note, one of my favoritie christmas gifts is this needle set. i saw it in my local knitting store and told my hubby that i would love it for christmas and he remembered! he actually bought this one online for about$90 to $100. i was in need of yet more needles, which drives me nuts cuz they cost $8 each and i never seem to have the size i need for my next project. now, i will have nearly any needle i need, just have to purchase dpn's along the way.
the plastic length cords for the circular needles are in a pocket in the back that screw into each needle. it really cuts down on the need to purchase other needles. i love my bamboo needles so this was perfect for me. it folds up into a little pocket with velcro which is great for traveling. you all probably already know about this, but i am really stoked to have my own!
                 
this is the wooly yarn i will be using on my next project when i finish up a sweater for myself (soon to be posted). i love the color and got it on sale which is always a bonus! i will be making diaper covers for the kissaluv cloth diapers our baby girl will be wearing when she arrives in april. i will make a few newborn and small sizes. i have been collecting patterns on ravelry and will begin with this one and then try this one as well. i'm a sucker for free patterns. does anyone else find knitting and sewing to be incredibly expensive? the yarn, the needles, then the patterns? happy crafting to you!
                 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

latkes

i have been meaning to post about our latkes we have been making, but keep forgetting and no time at all to take photos of them in our kitchen. they get eaten up too fast and they are so much better right off the stove! however, if you are looking for a good latke recipe, i used this recipe that i found on the web. i think it is important to learn about other cultures and their traditions, and i definitely want my son to experience this. food is a great way to excite kids into learning as well. we have made these a few times this month and read books about hanukkah. my favorite dipping sauce is a little mayo blended with red, spicy japanese sauce called
sriracha hot chili sauce. you can find it in most grocery stores in the japanese or ethnic food section. delicious!

chocolate peanut butter balls

i have memories of my mom sitting on a stool by the stove every christmas season, making countless balls smothered in chocolate. these treats are very similar to peanut butter cups, and almost identical ingredients, but i think they are better, especially since you can pop them in your mouth. here is the recipe...

- 1 pound box of powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 1 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 2 tsp. milk
*cream together. form into balls and freeze for 20 minutes. dip into melted chocolate using double broiler. makes about 65 balls.

                            
this is what the mixture should look like. if it is a bit too dry, add a very small amount of milk. if it is too watery, add some powdered sugar.
when you roll the balls, they should be easy to roll and hold their shape. if not, add some powdered sugar. i like to make mine on the smaller size to keep the proportions of chocolate to peanut butter somewhat even...larger than a marble but smaller than a gumball.
 yum, wish i could eat them off the page! once you have all the dough rolled (placed on wax paper), put them in the freezer for about 20 minutes to make them hard for the melted chocolate that is the next step. grab some chocolate and warm it up in a double broiler. i grew up with my mom using semi-sweet chocolate, but i have been using milk chocolate and i like it so much better. if you love dark chocolate, that would be a good choice as well.
next, melt the chocolate until it is smooth than remove it from the double broiler. if it starts getting difficult to roll the balls, just put it back on the stove. it is much easier to use when it is warm. i find it is easier to place 2 or 3 balls in the chocolate then roll them around to get them covered. i then use a toothpick to pick up the ball and a spoon or other toothpick to remove any excess chocolate. i put them back on the plate that is covered with wax paper and put them in the fridge to store.
these are so so so good! they get eaten up so fast. notice how many are in the pictures as just peanut butter balls and how few are left on this plate covered in chocolate. i think i waited a day to photo this last step and had to hurry before they were all eaten! onto making my 3rd batch this month! also, a really good gift to make for neighbors. i hope you all enjoy. let me know if you make this and how you like them! merry christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

goodbye cloth diapers....for now

my almost-3-year-old is potty trained! it is quite a time for celebration. i do believe that using cloth diapers 95% of his life, has a lot to do with him understanding his bodily functions. unfortunately, cloth diapers didn't wick away moisture as well as gel filled disposables, so when he was younger, he would often get a red diaper rash from the amonia in his urine. therefore, he was naked quite a lot, especially since we were living in sunny california.

right before he turned 2 he started flooding his diapers. his little body learned to hold it for a longer period of time so when he would pee, his diapers couldn't contain all that liquid at once. a couple of times doing this, he refused to pee in his diapers anymore. he is a boy, and its easier for them to see their pee stream and pee outside so this helped as well. we also showed him how to stradle the toilet facing the toilet so the pee all made it in the toilet.

so since he was 2, he only used a diaper at nap, bedtime, or when he needed to poop. he only had 2 accidents that i remember with pooping in his pants and it grossed him out so much that i think he paid more attention, realizing he wasn't wearing diapers anymore. i thought the poop in the toilet training would come sooner, but it took another 11 months. i must admit, we did use rewards for the poop. our child has never had candy until now. we started with getting him to toot on the toilet and accidently, he pooped a few times in the toilet. it took him quite a few months to embrace it, but just this week, he poops in a little potty from the store and gets to choose 2 m&m's or a lollipop. we will eventually remove these rewards, but for now, we are enjoying a diaper free life. he holds it when he naps and most nights at bedtime. woohoo....
diaper free for now, because i am 6 months pregnant and know we will have another few years ahead of us using diapers. the nice thing though is we don't have to go out a purchase any diapers! we used kissaluvs for river when he was a newbie and up to size 2 i think.
we also used blue penguin diapers from size 2 to 3 or so...here is a photo. i liked them, but he still got the diaper rash because of the cotton on the inside...just a few leaks as well. we plan on using them again for baby #2.

after blue penguin diapers, i purchased fuzzi bunz and must say, they work the best. i highly recommend using the bamboo inserts. they do a really good job soaking up urine and are easy to stuff. my hesitation with fuzzi bunz was that they use fleece on the inside, and i really wanted cotton against my baby's body. but, they have worked the best for him...no doubt.
if anyone has questions about cloth diapering, please email me or leave a comment. i have tried plenty of different soaps, storage or dirty diapers, and quite a few different types of diapers as you can see above. cloth diapering is a huge area to learn about, with so many different types to choose from. i love knowing my son spent very little time in disposable diapers for his future and his health. they are so much more expensive than cloth diapering and really, all you are adding to your week is about 2 loads of laundry (depending on how many you purchase) and a little bit of folding.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

big boy bed

my son is 2 3/4 and still sleeping in a hand-me-down crib in his bedroom. my husband and i have been cherishing the ease with getting him to sleep at night because we know it is about to get a bit more challenging.
i didn't have the heart to do the cry it out method, so river didn't sleep through the night, every night, until he was 18 months old. he then would fight going to sleep for a month or so at a time. he goes down eagerly these days, getting cozy under blankets and in his usual sleeping position. he is a very cautious child which is why he never learned to crawl out of his crib.

i am 6 months pregnant with his little sister, so we knew it was time for the transition into his own bed.
this is a picture of his first night, asleep in his bed. the first two naps and two bedtimes were so easy, we couldn't believe it. a few days into it, he has learned he can get out and jump around his room during nap, so we end up putting him back in his crib where he rests for a bit then calls for me. i think the crib has to go, so all of us really commit to this. i am not sure how nap time will happen from here on out. i am really sad too, because i know i will need it once our second little one comes. but for now, when he does pass out in his bed, it is the cutest thing ever!

Friday, December 17, 2010

a moment

following soulemama.com .... {this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

cutting down our own christmas tree


last year, we purchased a tree and planted it in a pot, hoping it would grow with our family and we could use it year after year. the post is here. with our move to colorado, and our little tree sitting in storage for 6 weeks, then on a balcony with not enough sun, our little tree passed away. we were bummed, to say the least, that our plan for re-using and watching our little tree grow didn't work out. however, rather than purchasing a tree from home depot or the corporate grocery store, we decided to buy a $10 permit in winter park, co (much more affordable on our budget) and go to a designated wooded area to choose our tree. as you can see in the pictures, we also found a sledding hill and messed around for a bit.
        
 it was quite an excursion, even though we didn't have to go far. our 2 1/2 year old struggled a bit in the hip deep snow for him, but he had fun as well. we chose a modest tree and it took all of 1 minute for my hubby to cut it down.
after dragging it back to the truck, we ate the lunch my honey packed for us, which was pretty nice after being cold in the shade of the trees on our little hike. it was so much fun, and i thought i would feel more guilty about cutting down a living tree, but it really isn't any different than buying one that was cut down at the store, plus we got to create a really great memory.  
 we also love our tree just a little bit more. my husband, who could care less if we get a christmas tree, agrees that this one has a little bit more heart to it.
                          
happy holidays to you and your families!