Friday, September 30

Weekly Weigh In #6

Today's weigh in was a good one! I'm on a roll and I feel so motivated! Being accountable to others really helps. I don't want to come here and say that I did crappy so I stay on track.

Last Saturday night we had our monthly dinner night with our friends. We all bring a part of the meal. There is always lots of eating, lots of drinking and lots of fun. I decided not to leave my choices for the night up to chance. I was responsible for the dessert and I found a wonderful recipe for an Upside Down Plum Torte from Weight Watchers. (3 points per generous serving!) I also decided to bring an appetizer so I would have something that I knew would be "diet" friendly. I brought a huge vegetable tray with a low fat/low cal dip. (There are never enough veggies at these dinners anyway) I found out ahead of time that the main dish would be pasta so I figured out points and serving sizes before we went. I went with a plan.

In the past, I would have had the bread, the heavy appetizers, lots of cocktails, a large serving of pasta and some sort of a rich gooey and very fattening dessert. I would have had too much to eat, too much to drink and felt terrible for it the next day.

This time I ate exactly what I wanted (and what I planned for). I was full but not stuffed. I had a great time and felt good about my choices. I even had 2 glasses of wine and a shot of amaretto in my coffee - and that was plenty, really.

So at today's weigh in, I was down another 2.2 pounds! I am just over half way to my goal. I was hoping to be back at my goal weight by my birthday in December but at the rate I am going, I could be there well before that! Of course we are also entering in to the most difficult months of the year to lose weight - October, November, December or (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Birthday, Christmas)

I think need to make a plan.

Thursday, September 29

International Mail

In the last few days I've gone to mailbox (twice!) to find little packages from far away places. I love surprises in the mail and I love looking at those international postmarks. (Makes for some fun Geography lessons for the boys too)

The first package came from Canada. Not too far away but international, none the less.


My dear, sweet friend Jamie sent a little "congratulations on your new job" gift. She made some lovely stitch markers and a row counter for me.


One has a little charm with a moon and a star. Jamie has a quote on her blog that says"Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars." Another has a charm that says "Follow your Dreams". There is also a little round stitch marker that will be perfect for socks. Then there is the row counter/stitch marker. I usually use a scrap of paper that ends up getting lost. Now I don't have to keep going back to count my rows. She's very clever.

Thank you Jamie!

The second package came all the way from Israel. Edmund found that very fascinating.


My Sockpal-2-za socks came. They were made for me by Orli. These were her first pair of socks. She did a wonderful job! I would never have guessed that they are her first. The socks are very soft and comfortable. They are a lovely shade of rose with a hint of sheen to them. I must find out what yarn she used.


Orli also sent along two pairs of store bought socks. She was worried about her own not living up to expectations. No need to worry, though. All three pairs will get plenty of wear. (the Pooh socks will be a hit with the children at work, too!)

Thank you so much Orli!

Wednesday, September 28

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The Good:


My new bathroom cleaner. This is the Method brand sold by Target. I like the fresh minty smell. I like that I could take a bath after cleaning the tub with out worrying about lingering chemical residue. I like that the build up of soap scum and ring around the tub is gone with minimal scrubbing effort on my part. (That is particularly good right now as I am weak with sickness - nothing serious, just bad allergies and possibly a cold. Draining though)

The Bad:


My towel bar. It is being pulled away from the wall by little boys who feel they must tug on the towel while drying their hands. I need to get out the handy home improvement reference book and figure out how best to fix this. (And then figure out how to prevent it from happening again) Perhaps now would be a good time to paint the bathroom, too......

The Ugly:

I'll spare you a photo of this one. Trust me, you'll thank me for it.

My bathroom after 3 boys. We have a one bathroom house. We also apparently have 3 little boys with no sense of direction. I'll spare you the gory details but let's just say that the floor in my bathroom was NASTY! Thanks to "The Good", however, you could (almost) eat off it. Not that I would want to.

Tuesday, September 27

Bob the Builder


Exciting things are happening in our neighborhood! The house across the street is doing lots of work and the big trucks get to park beside our house. (ignore the large expanse of brown that should be my yard! It's been so very dry here)

Topher had a great time watching Bob the Builder come to life. The men were very nice and very friendly in a grandfatherly sort of a way. When Topher waved, they waved back. When they were finishing up, they came and talked to Topher about what they were doing. They let him come up and see the trucks, touch them and even climb up in them and pretend to operate them! What a thrill for a little boy!


Monday, September 26

Weekly Weigh In #5

Friday was my weekly Weight Watcher's meeting. I lost 1.4 pounds and received my 5 pound award. I love little prizes!

I've been doing a great job changing my eating habits. I'm making wise choices when it comes to food and I'm watching my portion sizes. Several times last week I was tested and I am really proud of the decisions I made.

Now I need to make exercise a regular part of my every day routine. Jamie and Claudia are doing an awesome job with that and I am feeling inspired. I really need to tighten up the belly (3 babies in 3 1/2 years did a number on my muscle tone!) and my fanny needs a little lift. Do you have any suggestions? Tell me what works for you.

Lost in (Cyber) Space

Several blog posts were written last week yet none are here. It seems I was having some sort of trouble with my internet connection. My posts never made it to the blog. I could get email but not send any. I couldn't open at least 75% of the web pages that I tried to connect to and those that did open wouldn't show any pictures. Very frustrating! (and so much time wasted!)

I put my own personal computer guru (Chris) on the job this weekend. All is right in my cyber-world again! Stay tuned for some new (and exciting?) blog posts!

Saturday, September 17

About Me - SP6

It's time for another round of Secret Pals. Here is my questionnaire for Secret Pal 6. I've already heard from my spoiler and I can't wait to get to know her a little more. I've also been browsing through my spoilee's blog and I'm looking forward to getting to know her too.

Let the games begin!

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you?
I think I do prefer natural fibers for the most part. However, there is a place in my life for acrylics too.

2. Do you spin? Crochet?
No to both. I've tried to crochet. I found it stressful. Maybe I just needed a better teacher, I don't know. I tried to learn to spin on a drop spindle (teaching myself) but it didn't work. I don't seem to have the right supplies.

3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.)
cats and cigarette smoke is about it. Don't send me any yarn spun from a kitten that smokes and I should be ok! ha ha

4. How long have you been knitting?
I've been knitting almost a year. I started right about Thanksgiving of 2004. I don't really feel like a beginner though. I'm not afraid of any patterns and I will willingly dive in to any project feet first. It's a learning experience.

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Yes I do. I think it is here.

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
I love roses and lavender. I also like citrus - clean and fresh sort of scents. I'm not fond of overly sweet smells though.

7. Do you have a sweet tooth?
A little bit. I kind of prefer cake to candy, though. I am a big fan of peanut butter and peanut buttery things. I also really like salty snacks like popcorn and pretzels and sour things like lemon drops (and Margaritas!). Right now I am on a mission to drop a few pounds, though.

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?
Oh I love DIY! I love to do little crafts and projects and the boys love to do it right along with me. I enjoy sewing, baking and gardening (although my yard would suggest otherwise right now!)

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
My computer does play MP3s and I have an iPod that I like to listen to. I have a wide range in musical tastes. I particularly enjoy jazz, country, and disco! Ha! See, I told you my tastes were varied. I also really like to listen to audio books on my iPod. I have a couple of mixed CD's that were given to me (one by my sister and one by my SP5) that I really enjoy. It's fun to experience someone else's musical tastes.

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?
I love the color red! Love it, love it, love it! I've also been attracted to "mauve" colors lately. You know - like black raspberry ice cream. I like to decorate with yellow - it's bright, cheerful and sunny - but I don't really like to wear it.

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
Family situation? Yep got one! I have been married to Chris for 12 years. I have 3 boys that keep me very busy. Edmund is 8 1/2 and just started 3rd grade, Charles is 6 1/2 and is now in 1st grade, and Topher (short for Christopher) will be 5 this month and in his last year of pre-school. We also have 2 hermit crabs, a toad, and an alarmingly big goldfish. (not to mention all those dust bunnies that I am thinking of naming)

12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know)
You know, I hate this question! Hmm life dreams... Well really I think that I want to be the best mom that I can for my boys. I want to raise them to be good, up-standing young men. I want to be a loving and supportive wife and I want to be a loyal friend. Other than that -and a chance to drive a zamboni - I don't know.

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
I don't really know. There are so many yarns I've yet to try. There are so many yarns I've never seen in person!

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I don't like anything scratchy. Other than that, I don't really know. Oh, I'm not too crazy about chunky yarns mostly because I prefer smaller needles (US7's and below)

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?
I guess I would say socks and lace. Socks are so much fun and easy to take along. Lace is kind of amazing to me. It looks like nothing and then suddenly its a beautiful and complicated looking piece!

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
I think that would be the same as #15, really. Socks and Lace. I love them! Mittens too.

17. What are you knitting right now?
Socks and lace! ha! Seriously though, I am working on a lace shawl - the Pacific Northwest Shawl. I've got several socks going, too. I've got a few things in the planning stages but I'm trying really hard not to have too many projects going at once.

18. What do you think about ponchos?
I've seen some that I've thought were just horrible and I've seen some that are quite lovely. I guess it just depends on the style and person wearing it. I have one that I love.

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?
I use both. I like both. Right now I knit socks on DPN's (I like the shorter ones so I don't have a lot of extra needle getting in my way) and I like knitting them that way because they are so easy to slip in to my purse. I've been toying with learning to do them two at a time on the circulars, though. You know, avoid the whole "second sock syndrome" and all that.

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
No real preference. I have a mix of different needles - most of which were my grandmother's and I use them all.

21. Are you a sock knitter?
I am. I really enjoy knitting socks. Lots of fun! I want to try knitting some argyle socks (though Chris tells me are out of style)

22. How did you learn to knit?
Mostly from Debbie Stoller's Stitch 'N Bitch Knitters Handbook with a little clarification from internet videos.

23. How old is your oldest UFO?
I started a sweater in the early Spring and then set it aside. I'll finish it this Winter.

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?
My favorite animal is a hedgehog. My favorite animated characters are Pepe le Pew and Peter Pan. Maybe Snoopy too. I love that he drinks root beer and he does that little dance!

25. What is your favorite holiday?
I love the Christmas season. The whole spirit of the season is really special to me - spending time with family and friends, children getting excited, hot chocolate, gingerbread and fireplaces, the glow of the lights and the candles, the quiet hush of snow - you know. My birthday also falls right at Christmas (Dec 22) and I think it just adds to the fun of the season.

I also think that Halloween is fun. I love pumpkins and scarecrows, apple cider, falling leaves, the kids and their costumes! Fall is probably my favorite time of year, too.

26. Is there anything that you collect?
I collect teacups and vintage handkerchiefs. Especially those that have images of states or travel things on them. I also collect silver spoons especially the souvenir spoons. (not the ones with the enameled medallions though. The kind that are just silver). I also collect charms. I have a charm bracelet - the old kind with the little dangly charms. It's very special to me. There is a lot that I could say that I collect. I think I have a lot of stuff in my house!

27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I don't have an subscriptions. I do enjoy Interweave Knits, though. I really don't have much experience with any others.

28. Any books out there you are dying to get your hands on?
I'd really like a good basic knitting reference book. I have The Knitter's book of Finishing Techniques by Nancie Wiseman which I find helpful. However, I don't have an all encompassing go-to reference book.

I'd also like one of the Yarn Harlot's books.

29. Any patterns you have been coveting, but haven't bought for one reason or another??
I have fallen in love with this pattern. I didn't think I was a shrug person until I saw Alison's. I want to make it in a sort of mauve color.

I also saw some sock patterns once for socks to wear with clogs. They had cables and stuff on the heel so they look good with your backless shoes.

30. What are your foot measurements, and what kind of socks do you like?
I wear about a 6 1/2 shoe. My foot is approximately 9 inches from heel to toe. It is 8 inches around at the ankle and 8 1/2 inches at the instep. I would love any socks that some one took the time to knit for me.

*If you want to know a little more about me, you can read my previous "About Me" post here. There are also little bits and pieces of me in my side bar and here. Anything else, just ask!

Friday, September 16

Weekly Weigh In #4

After last week's disappointing weigh in, I buckled down and got serious. It paid off. This week's weigh in showed nearly a 2 pound loss! (1.8 to be exact) Needless to say, I was very pleased.

This week's meeting was about dealing with cravings and urges. It was a good meeting and a very apropos. I don't have a lot of cravings lately but I do get those urges. You know those urges - you go to the movies and you "need" a popcorn, you go for coffee and you "just have to have" a bit of cake too, you are out doing errands and you think the drive thru would be a quick solution to lunch. Oh those little urges - they can be so dangerous!

My weak moments lately are usually when I am at the market. The smells from the bakery reel me right in. The bread, the cakes, the pastries! Not good. Not good at all. One of the stores that I frequent also has a Dunkin Donuts in the bakery section. Not only do I have the breads and cakes calling to me, but I also have the fresh coffee and donuts too. Ugh!

Do I need it? No. Am I particularly hungry? Nope. Do I really want it? You bet!

Today our leader gave us a little mantra to repeat in our heads at those times when we are feeling the pull of the urges.

How will I feel if I eat it?
How will I feel if I don't eat it?
How will I look if I eat it?
How will I look if I don't eat it?

Simple? Yes - but effective. It is a little like the mantra I tell my boys to repeat when they get frustrated - "Stop, Breathe and Think". When those goodies call to me, I need to stop, breathe and think - and then walk away.

This week's goal - resist the urges! (and do the Ab exercises in today's hand out) What about you? How do you battle the cravings and urges?

Thursday, September 15

Cub Scouts


September is here, and with it comes the start of school and a new year of Cub Scouts! This year I have 2 boys in Scouts. Edmund is entering his Bear (3rd) year and Charles is entering his Tiger (1st) year. What fun!

Cub-Scouts-Emily-EdmundTonight was our first Pack meeting of the year. The boys were thrilled to see some of their old friends from their old school. Edmund was awarded a few badges that he earned over the Summer. Charles was excited and a little nervous about the whole evening.

And me? I was busy, that's for sure. I had a few people to talk to and some awards to hand out. I'm entering my 3rd year as a Cub Scout Leader for Edmund's Den. I've also offered to assist with Charles' Den - as needed.

Tuesday, September 13

New Opportunities

One night late last week I got a very unexpected phone call. The director of Topher's preschool called to let me know that one of her teachers left rather suddenly for a corporate job. Why did she call to tell me this? She wanted to know if I would be interested in taking the job! I was not currently looking for a job so it was quite a surprise! I've known her since Edmund was in preschool. All three boys have been in her school, I've been in the classroom on occasion and I've helped out with many field trips. She likes my "style" and thinks I would be an asset to the school. I had 24 hours to make a very BIG decision. (school had just started and she needed to fill the position FAST!)

I thought long and hard on this. I weighed the pros and cons. I called my mother.

I took the job!

I am teaching 2 afternoons a week. My class is made up of 9 (including Topher!) 4ish year olds. This is kind of a "kindergarden prep" class. These kids all go to the normal 3 day preschool program and this is kind of like bonus. There are 2 teachers in the class (thank goodness!)

Topher is so excited and very proud. He tells everyone he sees that his mom is a teacher - his teacher! He has his "own" class on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings and then we have "our" class on Tuesday and Friday afternoons. We get to pack a lunchbox on Fridays. So far, he has no problems with me being there, either. He does his thing and lets me do mine. He is not jealous of the other children who want to sit on my lap or hold my hand during circle time.

I started last Friday (sort of a "training day") and today was my first "official" day. I had so much fun! I'm going to like this job - it's just my thing!

Last week was also a big week for Chris. He started a new job! (September must be the month of change)

Instead of just working for a high-end graphic arts photo retouching studio, he is running a high-end graphic photo retouching studio. He's sort of gone in to partnership with someone and together they are going to build THE company for the top photographers to go to. It's very exciting, somewhat stressful and, right now, it means we see a little less of him. Good things are happening, though!

Monday, September 12

Secret Pal 5


Secret Pal 5 is wrapping up and with that means a final gift from my spoiler and the reveal.

I was very excited to see a package stuffed in to my mailbox today. Rain was my spoiler and she sent some lovely things! The package was decidedly girly which is wonderful since I am over run with boys here!

She sent 3 skeins of Noro Kureyon in color 102. I've never seen this yarn in person but I've admired it on the 'net. The colors are amazing and I can't wait to come up with a special project for it! (the suggestion box is open, by the way)

She also sent 3 different packages of knitting note cards and some fun little recipe cards (which for some reason slid behind the note cards and therefor didn't make it in to the picture.) I can't wait to write some notes!

I'll be writing those notes with my new pen! That flower in the front is actually a pen. It's so pretty and the boys are sure not to steal it from me!

There is also a bottle of body lotion and bath salts in a rose scent. My favorite! I can't wait for a nice relaxing soak in the tub....Ahhh....

Finally, there are a lovely little pair of earrings. I put them on as soon as I finished taking pictures. They look a little like Rose quartz but I am not sure. I'm not good at identifying rocks. Whatever they are, I love them.

My Secret Pal was very sweet. She wrote a note saying that she really wanted to find me some Koigu (something that I have been dying to try) but she was unable to find any locally. Thanks for thought! I'm so excited to try the Noro, though!

Thank you, Rain! I can't wait to check out your blog.

And who have I been spoiling? Well with the craziness of my summer, I decided to send one big package at the end instead of several smaller ones through out. It doesn't look like it is quite in her hands yet so that reveal will have to wait.

Saturday, September 10

Home Depot


We took the boys to Home Depot for their Kids Workshop. The boys love going to these. They get to use tools, make a lot of noise and build something cool.

This month they made key boxes. Since we don't have enough keys to fill 3 boxes (with 6 hooks each!) they boys decided they will use them to hang their treasures. Clever boys!


Friday, September 9

Weekly Weigh In #3

I did not have a great weigh in today but the meeting was a good one. I gained 4/10ths of a pound. I expected it though so at least it didn't come as a big surprise. I was not good about journalling my food this past week and obviously it caught up with me.

This is a new week and a new chance to do it the right way. This week I vow to journal everything and drink more water!

Wednesday, September 7

First Day of Pre-School


All three boys are now back in school! Topher started his last year of preschool today. He'll be in school 3 mornings a week for 2.5 hours at a time. He's so excited to see his teachers and his friends again!

The chaos is slowly subsiding.

Monday, September 5

Meeting Neighbors

We've been in this house for a few months now (6 I think) and we've only met the neighbors on either side of us in passing.

Yesterday we were relaxing and hanging out. Very uneventful. The kids went out to ride their bikes and when Charles, Topher and I came in, Edmund stayed out a little longer. After a little bit, I went out to check on him. I saw him 3 houses sitting on the side walk with his bike tipped over. He was talking to a woman.

There were several cars parked on the street so I thought maybe he fell and hit a car. He fell but was just checking to make sure his bike was ok. The woman (Mary) came out to see if he was ok. She walked towards me when she saw me coming.

She and her husband were having a little party in their backyard and she invited us to come join them.

We had such a nice time! Mary has a son the same age as Topher. Topher is thrilled to have a new friend! Another neighbor was there who has 3 kids. The youngest (a son) is Charles' age and was in his preschool class. They've been sitting together on the bus since we moved here. The middle (a daughter) is in Edmund's class this year and the oldest is only 2 years older and loves to play baseball as much as Edmund does. (The rest of the kids that were there were teens but they were nieces and nephews of Mary's and don't live in town - so no potential babysitters. bummer)

I'm glad Edmund fell of his bike!! (He wasn't hurt. Not even a scratch)

Friday, September 2

Weekly Weigh In #2

Just a quick check in...

I had my weigh in at Weight Watchers today. I lost 8/10ths of a pound. Not bad! I didn't get much exercise in but this is a new week so we'll see what I can do.