I had sincerely hoped to get another post out last week detailing some of the benefits we've seen since Abigail started therapy last month, but then real life got in the way. The entire family caught a stomach bug two weeks ago, but poor Matt and Eleanor had an awful resurgence last week that left Eleanor with bleeding diaper rash that took an entire week to wipe out. Then Eleanor had a strange reaction to a few bug bites, but the triage nurse at the pediatrician's office kept assuring me things sounded fine. Finally I took her up to Urgent Care, where a doctor informed me that her mosquito bites had become infected. As if that wasn't enough, I had a follow up appointment with my kidney doctor and learned that I have another kidney stone. It's too big to pass but too small to be causing any problems. After I have this baby, I can look forward to another shockwave treatment. In the meantime, I've been passing little baby stones (in fact, I'm passing one right now as I type this post), which are less than comfortable. I am currently bribing the children for time to blog by playing the Frozen soundtrack and letting them eat crackers in the living room. I'm planning a movie bribe later this afternoon if the stone I'm passing right now becomes too painful to parent through.
So this week, I have planned a post with Abigail updates and the final "10 Things" post, which will be about Matt. If today's post is too boring for you (it will be about crafts), then I hope this week will bring more exciting things. Although I promise lots of pictures today.
My favorite craft to do is crocheting. My favorite thing to crochet are afghans.
It probably goes without saying that I have too many. And I've made a few new ones since these photos were taken in Sep 2013. So when Matt and I celebrated our first Christmas together, I decided to crochet each person/couple in his family a blanket each year. So Christmas 2008, I made his oldest brother and his wife a blanket. Almost every year since, either a sibling or a group of nieces and nephews has gotten a handmade blanket from me. This year, I will finish my tradition. The last sibling and newest nephew will receive their afghans.
Normally I prefer to feel the yarn and see the colors in person before buying it, but I've been finding lately that craft stores' yarn supplies are getting lamer and lamer, so this time I ordered the yarn online. It felt like Christmas for me when the big box of fabulous yarns arrived.
I normally make most of the presents and begin making plans in July. But as I'm due on Thanksgiving, we're going to buy most gifts this year. Instead, I'm just making a few and I started the crafting in July. Don't worry, none of the people related to the gifts have any interest in my blog. There is a 0% chance this post will spoil any surprises.
I completely fell in love with the first afghan I made, which looks and feels like a cozy sweater with chunky, washable wool yarn. (I bought the yarn from Knitting Warehouse, which I found had the best prices for the type I wanted).
I loved it so much, I decided I'm going to make myself a blanket in this yarn at my mother-in-law's annual crafting weekend in October. (More on that in October). The yarn is so yummy that I used the leftovers to make slipcovers for our couch throw pillows. Our cream-colored pillows looked great on our old, green couch, but bland on our new, white couch. Now our delicious pillows are perfect for winter!
The next item on my agenda was a baby boy blanket, for which I really wanted to use one of my favorite baby yarns. Making niece and nephew blankets is getting trickier and trickier. I have nine now, and I want each kid to have his or her own pattern and color palette. But it's a fun challenge to tackle.
In the past, we've always had everyone give all the kids their own gift, but as I'm pregnant with #12, we decided to mix it up and have kids draw each other's names. This means I won't be doing any epic projects in which I need to make all the kids something awesome. (Remember the hand painted saint dolls I made last year? Everyone's reactions made the work totally worth it). My afghans have always fallen outside of the secret santa name draws.
Now, because I must always be crafting, I decided to take on a few new challenges and tackle a project I have been wanting to do for years: handmade fair isle knit Christmas stockings. Finished versions look something like this:
I've knitted some complex things before, including socks. And I've knitted things very similar to the fair isle style. But I've never knitted fair isle socks before. I found this awesome free pattern to make mini fair isle stockings. So I'll be practicing by making decorations for the next little while, and see if it's a challenge I want to take on this year.
Well, I guess it's time to return to these hooligans, who long ago decided that Mommy should be done on the computer: