Thursday, November 19, 2015

Knitting ~ my first finish

There is a list that I made for myself for winter makes for Liam.  After looking at his closet and between hand me down and gifts, a few essential items were needed for this colder season.  The first up was a beanie.  He had outgrown all of his other beanies and it was time for a new one.  I have been wanting to learn how to knit for such a long time, and it's so funny how this little guy has pushed me out of my someday mentality into a more proactive right now state of mind.  Children. They make you brave I tell you.

I decided on tincanknits's barley pattern on my first project.  This site is wonderful to learn from for a lot of their beginning projects have tutorials on how to go about doing step by steps portions of the pattern. was also an amazing resource in learning.  Now I'm hooked and most of those free moments go to adding rows.  Knitting is wonderfully portable I'm finding so it actually goes with me everywhere and a few stitches here and there are added throughout the course of a day.

Are you wondering why I don't have any pictures of Liam wearing his new hand knit beanie?  Well... apparently this little boy doesn't like it on his head (Insert weeping emoticon).  I've tried everything - even on really windy blustery days, as soon as I whip it out of the bag he goes crying and running the other way.  Oh well.  Ross tells me to make him one and then he will model beanie wearing for Liam in the hopes of inspiring our little boy to keep his mama knit hat on.  A beanie for Ross is next on the list!

Currently on the needles though is a scarf for my dad.  Once again the pattern is from tincanknits and it is actually perfect for practicing those beginning stitches.  That stripe of knit stitches keeps it so very interesting.  My dad comes in a weeks time and I'm crossing my fingers that this present will be ready for him by then.  He celebrated his birthday a week ago and it has been on my heart to create a little handmade for him, and to also have our own little birthday celebratory dinner for him during his short visit.  My dad... such a special man in my eyes.  He is the one who taught me how to appreciate handmade presents and cards you see, and I would so much love to gift him with something that has so many wishes and good thoughts knit into it with every stitch.

November is here and it is almost over.  Can you imagine that next week is Thanksgiving? Oh my where is the time going!

Happy Thursday everyone.


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Finding Center

Sometimes when everything feels like it's out of my reach, there are a few things that help me find my center.

::setting the table::

::spending a moment to think of someone else and to say a prayer for them::

::baking something special to celebrate a hard day completed and learned from::

::a breath::

One moment, one breath, one life.

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" ~ Mary Oliver 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

A Good Day

There is a new little sou chef in the kitchen! Keeping with the momentum of having Liam in the kitchen, we made graham crackers together yesterday.  Monday is usually baking day for this little mama, but yesterday a baking project was chosen with the intention of inviting this little guy in to help me.

Liam's first picture, taken with my little Cannon PowerShot while we rolled out the dough. Future blogger perhaps? 

Catherine McCord's book Weelicious had the perfect graham cracker recipe for us to do together.  There is no egg in this cracker, which was really good because I saw Liam eating the dough several times. But oh it was so much work  fun helping him to use the rolling pin, cut out the cookies and place them on the sheet.

I love that picture above! He is checking out his pictures on my old camera all the while sporting a flour mustache!

While they were baking I set up a play dough station for him so that he could practice what we had just learned.  His little rolling pin is new to his little basket of kitchen things,  a yard sale find for a dollar.  Don't you just love those?

I don't know what made me do it, but I was so inspired from this experience with him... watching him touch the dough with his hands, watching him concentrate on a task with such amazing focus, it didn't feel complete to set up a quilt on the floor and have our regular floor picnic.  So I loaded a tray with snacks and we headed outside to the lanai, or porch.  And sitting there, watching him eat the fruits of his labor with the birds singing and the wind blowing our hair around us just made sense. It felt really really right. Eating outside, is a really big thing for this mama that tends to cower inside in fear of those dreadful tropical mosquitoes! But they stayed away so that we could enjoy ourselves.  We looked for geckos but they were being shy.  The birds came for a visit on the trees outside and Liam laughed as he watched them glide. We counted four trucks and three cars during our little alfresco snack time, in of course Hawaiian and English.  And we enjoyed the sun and the wind and the discovery of a broom.  This mama was inspired to put some love into this unused little corner of our home and went inside dreaming of a container garden space to grow flowers, a table and chairs for when Liam is older and we can really have lunch or perhaps afternoon tea.  

Afterwards Liam helped me with the Monday chores, (well Tuesday actually, but all that baking and flour play really messed up the floors) of vacuuming and mopping. We vacuumed the house together and then he rode in the sling while I mopped.  Doing things with Liam seemed to take three times as long, but the experience that he got out of it was so worth it.  Not only did he fully engage in an activity, but he helped me take care of our home, and I think that lesson has so many layers of meanings that we can explore.

The nap that he had in the afternoon was wonderful.  It was one of those tired but happy naps.  A nap that felt earned by this mama.  Isn't it wonderful when our children are tired because of all the experiencing that they have just had?  Nothing makes me happier.

And his little sleep was so deep that I got some prepping in to continue a WIP that has long needed attention.

Looking back it was a good day.  A very good day if I must say so myself.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Thoughts on play

Is it November already? Oh my how October seems to have come and went! Can you imagine that there are only two more months to the year? Lately my thoughts have been turning to activities that Liam and I can do together.  Especially in the kitchen.  Not only to help him learn, but to also control the type of mess work he has going on in the kitchen while I am cooking or baking.  One morning, I was making these muffins again (I think I've made them every week since I discovered them!) and this time I was going to add mashed banana.  So I had Liam mash the bananas for me.  We had a blast, him and I - mashing bananas. Who knew that mashing fruit into a pulp could be so therapeutic! It's a stress reliever I tell you.  

After we finished mashing, I washed off the masher and gave it to him so that I could get the muffins mixed and into the oven. When I looked up from my work, you know what I found him doing?  You guessed it... 

Mashing his little crochet fruit in a mixing bowl in his play area.  He had just applied what we had done in the kitchen to his play.  I have read that children imitate real life in their play in books, but to see it in real life - amazing! I think I stared at him a bit awestruck for a moment before snapping to my senses and running to get my camera like a good little blogger to shoot pictures of this occurrence.  Please excuse the picture of his back, once I started snapping pictures of his face he got distracted.

You know how he applied a skill from real life to imitate in play? Well, the same went vise versa.  Liam here is spooning one crochet apple from one bowl to the other.  We had never introduced a spoon during meal times, but lately he has been reaching for one.  This morning I gave it to him and was blown away as he used his spoon to pick up food and put it into his mouth.  Food. Spoon. Mouth.  All in that order. Mind blowing! He taught himself how to use a spoon by playing with small objects and a spoon.  Looking back, I do recall him spooning those little crochet apples into his mouth and later chasing him to pry it out, but it never really amazed me until he did it with real food during breakfast.

A child's play... so much learning about the world and their part in it takes place through play.  That realization really has me contemplating the meaningful work that I can give him and the play stations that I create for him.

I know this stuff must be old news to veteran parents like yourself but to a newbie like me, I am learning so much.  And it is so amazing to see and such a blessing to be a part of it all with him.

I added a dish rag to his kitchen toys.  I've been thinking about teaching him how to dry his own dish lately.  I thought I would start off with play drying. Or perhaps real life drying.  Apparently it doesn't matter because there is such a wonderful overlap!

Cheers everyone!