Loving the handmades

Grandpa Martens made this very cool step stool for Walter. We put it in front of the sink in his bathroom and, all of a sudden, we've got a kid who wants to brush his teeth ALL THE TIME! Thank you Grandpa Martens. We all thank you.
Step stool from Grandpa
Brushing teeth



Walter woke up before I left for work this morning – a rare occurrence these days – so I went in to get some morning snuggles. The first words out of his mouth when he saw me: "Choo-choo!" No snuggles today, Mama. Just get me to those trains!



Santa brought Walter a new train set and it soon became clear that the coffee table in the basement was no longer going to cut it. Walter doesn't exactly have a gentle touch when it comes to his trains. One trip around the table and the tracks would go flying off the side and crashing to the floor, causing Walter to say "Uh-oh!" over and over again until somebody put it all back together – no easy task.

Nate decided to build a train table to solve all of our problems – my hero!
Train table
It's perfect! A nice lip around the edge to prevent the tracks from sliding off and plenty of storage underneath. Walter loves it. He's constantly grabbing my hand and pulling me up the stairs yelling, "Choo-choo!" I'd say he approves.


Mama's hat

And, speaking of leftovers, here's the leftover yarn from Walter's hat:
Me in hat

That little red stripe left me with just enough yarn for a hat of my own.



"Extra" sock yarn is quickly being knit into things that aren't socks:
Coffee sleeve
I just hate to have leftovers lying around...


Happy birthday, Molly!

Our sweet Molly turns 4 today. She's getting so grown up. She's so mild-mannered, and very tolerant of the way Walter shows his love...


Winter weirdness

The world outside is covered in strange, hair-like ice crystals today. I guess this is what happens when fog meets freezing temperatures. I wish every winter day could be this pretty. It takes some of the sting out of the cold.
Ice crystals


We have a winner!

So what if there was only one entry? The sock puppet's name is Phil – after my one-sock-knitting grandma, Phyllis. Thanks, "Anonymous," for your suggestion. It's perfect!


Talking up a storm

Walter's vocabulary is growing every day. It's like a big word explosion around here. He's gained some vocal confidence and is trying new words all the time. My favorite so far – moose. Or as Walter says it, "Mmmmmooooo.......se." I ask him to say it about 50 times a day just 'cause it makes me laugh. He has plenty of reason to say it on his own, too. Every night he requests his moose jammies. (Wouldn't you?)
Moose jammies

Reminder: There are more photos of this charming boy on flickr. Click on any photo to see more.


Sock block

My Grandma Martens was a knitter, and I can remember her knitting one sock, or one mitten, or one baby bootie, and then losing interest and never knitting their mates. So when I finished knitting one sock and then lost interest in the project, I figured it must be hereditary. But the more people I told about my one sock, the more people started confessing! It seems there are many, many knitters and crocheters out there that have made lonely socks, never to meet their matches. Why didn't someone tell me about this phenomenon before I put all that effort into a sock?

I resolved this year to finish up all my unfinished projects, so I couldn't just leave that sock alone. And there was no way I was going to knit it's mate. My solution – a sock puppet:
Sock Puppet
Meet our new friend, um... ok, he doesn't have a name yet. Any suggestions?
Walter loves it and even wanted to try it out himself. A finished project and a happy kid – success!


Decisions, decisions

I'm trying to choose a new knitting project. In the process, I've become the library's most frequent visitor. The folks at the check-out desk are probably referring to me as "that crazy knitting lady." Research
Once I choose a project, I'm headed to the Sow's Ear – a local yarn/coffee shop – to spend my Christmas gift certificate! I'm so excited to get started! If only I could decide...


They're here!

The seed catalogs have arrived! I've already marked too many pages – there's just not enough room in my garden for all the new plants I want to try. I need to come up with a plan... and maybe a few acres in the country...
Garden planning


It's not a "doll" house, it's an "action figure" house

Now, don't get me wrong – we are perfectly happy with Walter playing with a doll house. It's just that the dolls that came with this doll house were a little creepy. So Nate dug out some of his old action figures. I'm not sure if we eliminated the creepiness, but we have turned this doll house into one fun(ny) bachelor pad.
Action Figure House
I imagine these guys are talking about what toppings to get on their pizza.
Action Figure House
And the Emperor is waiting patiently for the fighter pilot to get out of the bathroom.
Action Figure House
I don't think I want to be around for the fight that's going to erupt when it's time to figure out whose turn it is to do the dishes. If Walter knew how much fun Mama was having with his toys during nap time, he'd never sleep.


Happy New Year!

Welcome 2010! I love the start of a new year, list of resolutions in hand. I'm not telling what mine are, for fear of being held accountable, but I am excited about getting started.

Completely unrelated – a photo from this morning that just makes me smile. I hope it does the same for you.
Silly socks
We wish you all a happy, healthy, and (sometimes) silly New Year.