Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Things I am already Forgetting

The way you both...

} Say weird stuff: like 'he fall down' or 'do it now' or 'b-b-ball'
} Pour stuff : a cup and a cup are the greatest of toys
} Build stuff : mainly lego walls
} Hoard and run as if we cannot catch you
} Play hide and seek with your blankies, the curtains, the kitchen island, each other
} Give a cheesy grin on request (Owen)
} Pretend: you demand to take care of Mama, lay her down and put her blanket on then snuggle her
} Glare indignantly when corrected : how could you both inherit your Daddy's silent and deadly look (shudder)?
} Show empathy : give each other hugs and kisses and bring something to each other when upset (thought we would never see it).

I feel like Alice in the Looking Glass and Time feels like it is flying away.
There is no way to slow you down except when we lay with you before bedtime with your milk. I watch you grow and want to freeze the moments, turn them into palpable memories that I can hold and hug later.

That is why I take your picture.

Mama loves you, my precious and heart breakingly beautiful boys. So very very much.
Apple "Picking"
Thank you for ever and ever, whoever you are that gave them to me. Thank you.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

24mm 1.4 = Love

This is going to be an unbelievably picture heavy post, just so you know. I am so totally freaking excited today because I picked up my first piece of rented equipment for our camera and in the first hour I have already gone a bit batty with it.
24mm: I love you

I think I mentioned earlier that our Canon lens went on the fritz again, it is currently in Irvine being serviced for the fourth time. I now feel almost naked when I do not have working camera equipment and have been borrowing everyone and anyone's digital SLR in the last few days. I like them, but none were my camera with my feel and my knowledge. Add to this the fact that we are going to the Sierras this week and I started to feel a little panicky.

I remembered a post over at Shutter Sisters regarding camera lens rental, it is something Tim and I have been wanting to do as we contemplate investing in another lens. So I called up our local Samys Camera to inquire, we hopped over to try a few out and settled on this one. I picked it up this morning and made it a weekly rental so as to have proper time with it. And I have yet to put it down.

I have fallen in love with it. It is like our 50mm's big brother (or sister). A bit heavier, much more pricey, but with a aperture capability of 1.4 and the ease of using my own body, well, it is making me feel like singing. I see now how comfortable I had become with our 50mm fixed, using what we could get in the shot but limited by certain aspects.
Toys still life
The wide angle lens is both challenging and fun, I plan on playing more and hoping my computer's almost full hard drive can take the new load.

Here is the P's sitting for me this morning, one month before their 39th wedding anniversary.
My dad looks so mischievous, my mom so happy to be in her garden.

And on a last note, we have Shalom (rav), finished, awaiting weaving of ends and light blocking and a button. And a model.
And we have the simplest of knits, the Fingerless Mitts from Weekend Knitting.(rav)
A Christmas request and so easy to make, it literally takes about one hour of knitting per mitt, if that. In Malabrigo, you better bet this is the best quick gift ever. I foresee many of these cranking out in the next few weeks.

Okay, going to get back to the other mitt and more photo processing. I mentioned to a blog friend that I might put up a post on how Tim and I shoot with our camera, is there anyone who would be interested in that? I am no expert, and all I know is via Tim and books, but I have some pretty specific ways that I shoot and would love to share them if anyone would care to read 'em. Let me know. And happy turkey day. You can say I am very thankful to know I will catch it all on film.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Things I am Loving

:: Method baby lotion from Target.
My Faves
I found this stuff quite a few months ago and decided to try it. It is reasonable priced for an 'green' product and I absolutely love the smell. It smells like marshmallows. There is nothing better than wanting to eat your delicious child even more because of their lotion. I also use it for hair control. Hear me out. I checked out the label on hair detangeler and it had many many ingredients that I did not truly recognize. But being the lotion aficionado I am, I noted the first few were similar to lotion. So now I put a dab in my palm, add some tap water and smooth it through their hair. It works wonders, is one less bottle, and they smell even more like marshmallows. Heaven.

:: Homemade Apple 'Chunky' Sauce.
My Faves
The boys love the Big and Chunky Applesauce from Trader Joe's and I have to admit it tastes delicious. I once again went into label reading mode, mainly because of the exorbitant cost of the single jar (3 bucks and change) and found it is made from apples and apple juice. My stove top experimenting led to a very similar tasting apple 'sauce' Here are a few tips if you want to try yourself :

+ I use a cheese slicer to peel the apples and a melon baller to core them. It goes super fast and leaves more apple to cook.

+ Throw all the sliced apples in a heavy bottomed pot, add a cup or so of good apple juice and bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer for a long time (think 40-50 minutes) until apples are really soft and juice is reduced.

+ Feed hungry children this snack in lieu of other maybe not so good for you sweets. They boys devour it and point to the stove top if I tell them we are out. I swear, Mason told me to "DO your job!" the other day. Cheeky little lad, eh?

:: My Fake Le Creuset from IKEA.
My Faves
This was a gift from Tim last Christmas (Yes, I bought it and then gave it to myself. That is how we roll). I recently realized the genius of this cooking tool. It makes everything taste better. I have tried stews and soups, pasta sauces and deep fried items. They are amazing. I think it has something to do with the weight of the thing. It weighs as much as one of my sons. I almost killed my foot the other day when I was retrieving it from the cabinet and backed up on a Lego and crumpled to the ground from the pain and dropped the lid two inches from my big toe. I swear I almost threw up imagining it making contact. Ugh. But, digression aside, food tastes great, flavors stay intact and unmuddied, it cleans up brilliantly and cost about 55 dollars. Go to IKEA now, sorry Le Creuset, I would get you if I could. Until then, IKEA it is.
(Right now I have a dinner experiment going consisting of pork tenderloin, onions, apples and carrots, a dash of soy sauce and vinegar and salt and pepper. Smells divine, but I will let you know how it tastes. I am think potato latkes to go along. I know, I know, not exactly kosher, but sounds delicious.)

Those are a few of my latest loves. Other than knitting and the boys, you know. They seem to all have some bargain component. Must be the 'impending' recession. How about you, loving anything that is easy and cheap lately? Let me know.

And Shalom? Needs the ending border and it is done. Woot for a sweater in 5 days. I will have it ready for the Thanksgiving celebrations. So excited.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Shoulda' Coulda'

What I should be doing =

:: Making an effort to clean up the laundry draped on every part of our room...dirty pile? clean pile? giveaway? Who knows anymore.
:: Packing (or at least planning to pack) for our trip to the Sierras which will likely require some snow gear, which we do not have for the boys. Hmmm.
:: Figuring out how we will cook Thanksgiving turkey without a working oven. Sweet. I think I just decided on ham.
:: Paying bills. And making the money to pay them.

What I am doing =

:: Dreaming about a new lens for the camera and wishing Canon did not make such a deal out of the 50 fixed 1.4, because anything better will cost us more than a mortgage payment.
:: Playing with the new sketches from Jon and wondering if I can deliver these in time for some Christmas stitching
Xmas Stitches preview
(sneak peek)
:: Knitting this,
Can't stop knitting it
and knitting and knitting and knitting (thanks for the line, PeeWee)
:: Watching this and listening to this. The first will make you pee your pants, the second might make you cry. Um. little warning on the vid, there is a bit of cheek in it, but it is all in fun, not dirty all all.
:: Typing this (badly I might add, due to a continued lack of viable sleep).

What I shall do =

:: Go knit, clean and then sleep . I hope.
:: And maybe watch and listen one more time.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Friday Finishing : Some Stuff

You might think in light of the last post I have backed down on the crafting. Apparently, I am amped enough to stay on track with some of the knitting and a few other endeavors. I have enjoyed some parts of the accomplishing but I might be a little too lacking of sleep to properly present them.

I had a bit of fun and a bit of frustration with this jam. It is made from the plums from our backyard, they were chopped up and frozen as it was too hot mid summer to even entertain the idea of jam making.
Making Jam
I pulled the fruit out a few days ago and then had to make the stuff as I would have hated to waste so much wonderful fruit. It was a relatively easy process (my first solo canning) but I am a tad worried about the results.
Jam Jars
I know I need to wait to see if the jars totally set, right now they are so pretty but a bit loose looking. This is jam my Mama made for years when we were growing up and the smell and the taste brought back such good memories. One of my brothers was home while I was making the jam and he could not stop licking a spoon as we taste tested.
Jam : Plum
So, crossing fingers and hoping that the 6 huge Mason jars and a few small gifty ones gel up and are ready to be eaten sooner than later.

I made a hat too. I think I am calling it the Failed Fair Isle (Rav).
'Failed' Fair Isle
I tried the pattern from Brooklyntweed, but after the first motif I just could not feel the pattern. I also knew I would not have enough on the Main color to finish. So, it became a striped hat with a nice little pattern in the middle. It is really soft and warm due to a nice lined hem of baby alpaca. And it is modeled by my brother, home from college.
Fair Isle
He looks so grown up and he has only been gone since September. They grow so fast. It is a Christmas gift so another check on the list.

And I have no pictures (yet) of my last sewing attempt. I tried to sew up a little Thanksgiving quilty thing and it is okay but unphotographed (and possibly should stay that way). I had a really rough time with machine embroidery on some felt letters. I think I like it, but I will pass judgment later when I am a little sharper. Instead I will leave you with a picture of something I found myself accident.

This is the Shalom (Rav) cardigan. Not seeing much here yet, but I think it is going to work. I substitutued a stash yarn.
Shalom Started
I figured out the numbers and so far it seems like it is going to fit. I should not be knitting this but I cannot seem to stop. I think it is really fast so maybe I can stick with it and get it done and then start a few other Christmas gifts.
Shalom Started

Black is really hard to photograph. With a broken (well, jammed, no pun intended) lens. Have to send the lens in again, just in time for the holiday. Arg.

I am a looking forward to next week and the holidays. We are heading up to the Sierras and there may be some snow. So holiday appropriate and a welcome change from the balmy and unusually dry/windy days. Hope you weekend ushers in a great start to your holiday.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

And the saga continues.

Here at the Yatez house we have had one challenging time when it comes to teething. Mason has been teething since he was 4 months old and he does not do it gracefully. It has ushered in some of the worst periods, from prolonged night wakings to biting. So, you can imagine my relief when I watched as his unusually sharp and large canines finally pushed their way through and filled in his cute smile. And I sighed a breath of relief as I now would have some respite from this long saga of teething. I mean, what else was there but the two year molars and well, he is only 18 months.

I think you can see where this is going. The other day I noticed he was getting really agitated and drooly and would not relinquish his dot for the life of me or him or any other thing in the room. So, I did a quick swipe. He has always been okay with my fingers in his mouth as long as I am giving the look that says, "absolutely no biting" and well, what did I find...on the bottom right side the tell tale swelling indicating he was going to get something there. The thing is, he started teething his first molars the day he turned one. And it took 4 months for them to finish. Four, people. So, I sit here, alternately shuddering at the thought of the next 6 months (the kid seems to take things literally so I anticipate it will take the 6 months to get them in, just so he does not violate the 2 year molar rule) and then just feeling resigned to getting it over with. I mean, once they are in there is nothing else to push through and we can get on the the real business of behavioral disturbances, mainly the terrible twos. Yippee.
Melting Mace

You have to understand, the Mace when teething is such a volatile and mercurial child. I love him, but everything about him is amplified. He is not inconsolable and does not cling, but he is frustrated and more aggressive, he sleeps terribly and looks like he is going on nightly benders at the neighborhood dive bar. He pushes me to the point where I feel really fragile as a Mama. The thought of all this happening while trying to do holiday travel and juggle holiday obligations and, oh yeah, take care of his twin brother, well, daunting right now.
Icees for teething
Icees for teething. At least the weather is obliging and staying in the 80s. Happy holidays.

Owen is teething too, but he takes it much more in stride. I can tell he is hurting, but it does not phase him overly much as long as he gets his Hyland tablets (which he is currently obsessed with trying to eat at every opportunity)(BTW: per Hyland it takes a few bottles to give any adverse side effects...but still keep them out of reach of prying fingers)(it was only a few in the bottom that time, okay? I am a good mama, I swear).
Watching Stan

Well, gonna go now, I have been listening to him complain for the last 45 minutes of his very short very disturbed nap. You know, the only one he takes since they are down to one nap. You know the one that helps me reset in order to do all the things required from 2 until 11 or god know when because I have not been sleeping because he has not been sleeping. I know, cry me a river....we all go through it. I just wish I would have had a few more months of my non-teething Mason. I do like him so.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Renewed via Song

This weekend held two very wonderful events for us. We saw two artists perform, one named Stan the Man and one named Mason Jennings. Both men hold a very special place in my heart. Let’s start with Stan.

We met Stan last year at the annual Pilgrim Place Festival.
Stan the Man
He provides some of the entertainment for the kids and we instantly fell in love. The Pilgrim Place is a section of Claremont where missionaries retire. They are an interesting and diverse group of individual and I have always been intrigued by the organization. Anyway, when we took the boys last year they were too young to truly appreciate Stan, but he provided Tim and I with some great laughs. He was having a bit of trouble with recalling the proper lyrics, but it was all in good fun. This year we saw him again. I have to say, it seems like Stan was losing a bit more of his grasp on the silly little songs we all sing. He can still play a mean guitar but the lyrics to the monkey song went something like this…
"3 Little monkeys swinging in the tree, along came Mr. Alligator, can’t catch me, along came Mr Crocodile quiet as can be. Snap.’
What I loved is every kid and parent there sang along with his version without a qualm or correction.

So, I requested our favorite from last year and earned myself a dirty look (I think Stan is not so into the request thing’ but he obliged and played/sang the song “Don’t put your finger up your nose”.
Here are the full lyrics and a link to a video because I love this song. It shall be a mainstay go to in this house, especially with two little boys. And Stan, well, he sang it without a missed word or note. We love Stan.
Stan the Man

Don’t put your finger up your nose, cause your nose knows that’s not where it goes.
You can sniffle, you can sneeze, but I am asking you please,
Don’t put your finger up your nose.

Don’t stick your finger in your ear cause your ear will find it hard to hear,
You can pull it, you can tug it, but please do not plug it,
Don’t stick your finger in your ear.

Don’t stick your finger in you eye, now that it not something you should try,
You an blink it but I do not think it
Would be good to put your finger in your eye.

Don’t put your finger down your throat cause I think that would make you choke,
Then up would come your dinner and you’ll start to look much thinner,
So don’t put your finger down your throat.

Then last night we saw Mason Jennings. It was and always is transformative to listen to this man, especially in person. His music creates a space in me, sacred and reverent to the power of the sung word, the poetry of his music makes me feel wonderful. He seems to blend qualities of some of the best folk singers out there (read Dylan) with his own special feel for God and love and beauty and awe. Give this a view if you have a moment, it is his newest song, inspired by his recent travels around the world to view firsthand what we have done to some of the most pristine places. We all stood rapt and frozen when he played this live but I think the little video conveys almost as much.

When I first had the boys, I found song lyrics ran through my head more than thoughts. I could not hold cohesive thoughts together for long, but I am a champ at letting songs run in the brain on loop, especially when not doing well. There was one song that I literally ‘heard’ in there for months.

It was Mason’s song “Be Here Now”.
The lyrics sounded so different then, the line “Sun comes up and we start again’ made me cringe and cry thinking of the fact that every feeding/changing/picking up/putting down would be repeated again and again, seemingly for eternity (in my mind back then). There were times I wanted to scream when the familiar lyrics would start their cycle through my head.
Golden glow
Last night he closed with the same song and I was dancing and laughing and hugging Tim as I sang along. Because now that song means something so different. Back then it was a demand, that I stay present and acknowledge how much I loved those boys even as I felt unable to function. Last night it was a prayer of rejoice and thanks that I have the privilege of waking to another day filled with their presence. Even though I knew there would be more night waking and teething. That Mace would not sleep through, that I would be really tired today, well, I could not wait for the sun so as to take those boys a play and romp.
Festival Day

I hope you have some time and try to give the songs a listen at some point, they are all so awesome.

And for all you lovelies that left comments with such nice things to say….you made this woman’s Monday morning shine almost as bright as her boys do. Thanks so much, friends. You make me feel loved and lovely.

And just so I remember always...

Be here now, the only place to be
Or just sit there dreaming of how life would be
If we were somewhere better
Somewhere far away from all our worries,
Well, here we are.

You are the love of my life

Be here now, no other place to be
All the doubts that linger, just set them free
And let good things happen,
Let the future come into each moment
Like a rising son

You are the love of my life

Sun comes up and we start again
Sun comes up and we start again
Sun comes up and we start again

Its all new today, all we have to say is
Be here now.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Alter Ego

In the last 72 hours I have developed an alter ego. And I kinda like her a lot. She is a lot sexier than me, and she feels really good about herself. She looks less messy, more business. She has an amazing amount of unbounded energy and is able to do more than three things at once without screwing them up. She gets by on a few hours of sleep a day and does not freak out about it. She feels really confidant about her abilities, her Mama'ing, her doing. And she likes how she looks.
Alter Ego

Who would have thought a hair straightener on a Friday night would have such an effect? Though she may have to retire after she attends this tonight. It does not seem feasible to keep her around for too long...especially since her hair has not been washed for a few days.
Alter Ego
But that flat iron, well, it is on order, just so she can come back sometime soon and make me feel a little less Me and a lot more Her.

Any good ideas for a name for her?
Alter Ego

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday Finishing : Herringbone for Him

This whole Finished for Friday thing is keeping me on track with Christmas knitting. It is as if the goal to have something to show on Friday helps me slog through the rougher points of a project. As much as I love knitting, there are times when a pattern pick just does not flow the way I want it to. That is the case with my Fair Isle hat pictured in the last post...not finished, but getting there. I am running out of main color yarn and had such a hard time with the actual pattern that I switched things up a bit and resorted to knitting stripes after completing one motif. We will see about end results, I am vacillating between love and mild angst at the thought of making it a gift. But, moving on to the finished project.

This is the Herringbone for Him.
Herringbone for Him
Who says a man can't wear a cowl? I really love the stitch pattern but had forgotten how hard it is on the hands. There is a lot of purling in this one and that is rarely something I embrace. But I have to say the finish is really worth it. I find I love scarf knitting but do not really embrace the whole length part of it. There are only so many times you can repeat the pattern and be into it, you know? So, this is a great solution for that.
Herringbone for Him
I found the pattern on Rav and the deets are there. I used a nice and soft tweedy yarn and love the effect the little flecks have on the overall appearance. And I think it suits the intended recipient perfectly.

So, not much else to show. I did post about a nice little board I made to keep myself honest in this Christmas gifting endeavor.
Keeping me honest
All the little boxes are things waiting to be made. There are a few more checked off, but I still have a considerable amount to make. Let's hope I do not hit a slump, huh? And I have to share this, hoping to have these little guys made up for some special little ones. Can you say, OMG, cutest thing ever? Wee Wonderfuls is about the most wonderfulest place ever.

And I just like this picture. I do not get in pictures enough. Here is a self portrait, messy mascara and all.
I'm gonna go clean up now.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Power of the List

The power of the list. There is a list over at Mighty Girl, one of my favorite click-to-get-through-quickly sites, (that girl does not mince words. Unlike me) It inspired me to start a few different practices.. I picked up a ridiculous package of paper products and it contained a pad for each month. I have taken to writing a weekly list on Sunday, just jotting a few things to accomplish each day, a few reminders re:work and play, and then on the back side a few recipe plans for dinner that week. People, it works like magic. I do everything on the list. Granted, I only write four to five things for each day, but they all happen. I am telling, you the Power of the List is extraordinary.
Keeping me honest
The satisfaction is pretty powerful too, the crossing out makes me feel like Superwoman.

I have always been a bit obsessed with paper and buttons and calenders. I use a chalk board at bedside to track the date (sometimes the month) and this new board to keep track of Christmas gifting.
Cork board
My mom found the old cork board at a yard sale for 60 cents and I recovered it with a swatch of my cherished Heather Ross fabric, then whipped out a few of the cutest covered buttons, aesthetically pleasing and very helpful in keeping track of progress. Problem is I love the buttons so much I keep adding projects on to the the board. Just as an excuse to make more buttons Ack, stop.
Button joy

And one last list. I wrote this up for the year 32 and I can say I have actually done a few of the things written there even though I only reviewed it a few weeks ago. I love that by writing it and putting it into the sphere of being, well, it just came to be. I think number 24 is a bit ambitious but it might actually happen before my next birthday. I really want to make it back to Holland soon to see my Opa, to let him see the boys, his first great grandchildren. He is too fragile to travel here, though there is a possibility he will make one more trip. I just think it would be really cool to bring the little ones to one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen. Not cool, the ten hour plane ride. But we will conquer that when the time comes.

1. Make the Easy Lap Quilt from Angry Chicken's book using my Heather Ross fabric swatch.
2. Lose the 10 pounds I gained post-partum. Yep, gained. Starting WW on Monday with the sister, no time like the present
3. Do at least one headstand a day to receive the benefits of yogic inversions.
4. Travel with the boys to the place where we made them. Canada, that is, eh?
5. Snowboard on a fresh powder day on the slopes of Mammoth. So close I can taste it
6. Take very deep breathes when needing to renew my spirits.
7. Reinstate long daily walks with the boys.
8. Bring my reusable grocery bags to the store at least 95% of the time, and if I do not, insist on carrying items out without bags.
9. Help out another mama-of-multiples the way so many other mamas have helped me.
10. Use some yarn stash for unique and simple gifts for family/friends.
11. Stop thinking I can do it all, stop trying to justify not being able to.
12. Get a real haircut.
13. Eat more green food, try to get fresh juices into my daily regimen.
14. Assist Tim in making matching furniture for our bedroom.
15. Knit this sweater despite the fact that I live in a climate that will afford little wear.
16. Move to a climate where I can wear it (maybe). (The move, I mean).
17. Buy pants that fit correctly and get them tailored to the correct length if they do not.
18. Learn how to properly use my mother's my sewing machine.
19. Clean the floors of the house more often.
20. Write to my friends in NY and Ireland.
21. Start and finish reading a book.
22. Retain some information from said book after the completion of reading.
23. Go to Church to renew that feeling I once had as a child... that feeling of awe.
24. Visit my Opa in Holland with my husband and children.
25. Let go of wrecked nap times when they occur.
26. Send my parents on an all-expenses paid weekend away...or at least pay for their gas when they drive to see my other siblings. Well, I did let them go away, even though I did not pay for it.
27. Shoot the boys in a studio setting with black and white real film. Getting the SLR might strike this one.
29. Stop watching inane TV.
30. Maybe just stop watching TV altogether. Except Pushing Daisies and The Office.
31. Raise beautiful baby boys.
32. Kiss my love every single day and thank the Source for my life as it is and as it can be.

33 is to take the photo of the turkey like I said I would. Let's see the power of the list in action, huh?

And here is a gratuitous knitting shot because I love to knit. Even if it is crazy to start yet another fair isle (when it was supposed to be just a simple stripe) hat for Christmas gifting.
Green Light Special
This is the Brooklyntweed's, I have started calling it the Green Light Special.
Fair Isle Fun
Want to join in the list fun? Go grab your paper (no Crackberries, folks, strike is not nearly as fun as crossing it out) and jot down a few things you need to do and one you want to do. And watch the magic happen.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Turkey Stitch Pattern : Free!

Sorry folks, this was a big fat fail....give me a day to get a picture and then I will just upload that and you can have that instead of this confusing little thing called pdf sharing. Oh, and if anyone has tips on how to do this right or can direct me to a tutorial that will, throw me a bone.


Um, confession, I really have no idea what I am doing, but I made a little pdf for you to use if you would like to stitch up your own Thanksgiving shirt.


Here he is: Mr Gobble I think he is only there for a few days, as I am trying out Adobe's pdf thingy. So get him while you can. And let me know if this is working. I question the fact that I am a graduate of an esteemed East Coast college (well, NYU, not terribly esteemed, but terrible expensive), but clueless as to the things like pdf publishing and the like.

And reminder, this is Jon's work and he is awesome to let me share. Please use it for your own use and let others know... we are planning on some cute Christmas designs, think abominable snowman and working elves...have a great time stitching!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Eighteen (and a half) Months

You might be wondering what happened to my twins boys with all the frenzied crafting round here lately. No, I did not drop them off at the nearest Church day care and forget to pick them up. They are here, as crazy and active as ever before, discovering new things and teaching me on a daily basis. We are in that odd place of pre-verbal communication, one part gestures, one part somewhat intelligible speech and three parts screaming. Yeah, I know that does not add up correctly, but whatever. I am amused and fascinated by their language acquisition and totally understand what other Mamas were talking about when they wrote of their children's verbal explosions.
Apple "Picking"
Though for the most part they are still rambling little monkeys with screeches and Mason's odd French-like phrases, the weirdest words pop out of nowhere. Owen repeated the phrase 'the third grade' when talking to my brother the other day, Mason said 'sign language' after Elmo tried to teach them some signs (guess that boat has sailed) and both came up with pretty impressive versions of trick or treat. They picked it up Halloween night after our incessant repetition at the houses, their versions differ greatly but crack us up because they say it and then drop something (a toy, etc. ) into some receptacle they are the candy givers.
Post Candy
Owen says basket ball (b-b-ball) and turtle (daturrl), Mason likes imperatives like "do it' 'I do it' 'This way' and possibly 'I do it this way right now', but that is with heavy interpretation on my part.

Their individual expression is astonishing, the imprint of their physicality so unique. Owen has such a deliberate way of moving, but then he can clown it up. I must have really impressed Halloween on them because O has taken to hunching down the hall way in a crouch, growling. Yeah, he also is in his own personal training for the strong man (sic Baby) competition. This is a daily activity.
new hobby
Mason traipses about, always a little off kilter, on the edge of control. He loves to run but probably shouldn't. He also take fake falls that result in some pretty real injuries. I am hoping he sees the connection between these two things soon.
Apple "Picking"

It is not all happiness and light though, there is plenty of screaming going on, the toddler impatience is an issue I am struggling with and occasionally snapping on. The time change has not truly helped matters much, the hour before nap and bed time are some of the worst I have seen yet. Owen has perfected the 'limp body' technique (like a 28 pound noodle, that one) and the indignant stare. Mason prefers the 'throw self backward without regards for head safety' and his scream is the perfect combination of nails-to-chalkboard-shard-glass-sharp note that literally makes me shudder. All not fun, but manageable as long as I remind myself to breathe and occ. just leave them with Tim if needed (thanks, honey, you are a good good man).
Apple "Picking"

So, how does all the crafting come into play. I should totally not write this down...I won't...let us just say I find myself with a 2 sometimes 3 hour chunk of time mid day and I do not use it for chores. I do craft with them awake too. I show them materials (anything non-breakable, soft and not terribly expensive) and let them sift (actually throw and wrestle) with the bits. Bins can always be re-organized, fabric re-folded, straight pins removed form fingers (just kidding...kinda). It catches their attention and introduces them to Me, to what their Mama loves.
I want creating to be an intrinsic part of our lives, so this is what I am trying.

This past month (and change) saw a few first haircuts,
With Gramma Mona
an awesome visit from Grandma Mona who has not seen them since this fit on Mason's ankle.
Mason's Ankle Band And even though the boys have not seen her but the one time, when she got off the plane and we saw her, they instantly went to her and knew she was family. It made my heart feel so wonderful to watch them with her. She read to them, played with them, watched their antics at the park, laughed and giggled and rolled around and even got to do all the Halloween fun with us. And we now have vowed that Halloween is her holiday and she will be here from now on. Yippee.

It saw fun Halloween tricks and Fall activities including our recent apple picking trip, a golden afternoon hike another afternoon. The next few months will probably see even more activities including a planned trip to the cabin, Thanksgiving at the beach, more festivals, and of course, a Santa picture trip. Hard to believe I even included the last item. When did it come to be almost Christmas again? I cannot wait to celebrate the holiday season, with you two, my boys.
Apple "Picking"

And you know, well, that this Mama, she loves you. So very much.