Still Squishing Together

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This evening, I was smashed against one end of the couch by my little girls, doing my best to cross-stitch without being able to really move my elbows because I was so squished. Jonny was sitting on the floor, with Mabel between his legs, and he commented, “We have all this space now, but look, we’re all in the same room.” The big boys, the little boys, the girls, and the baby. Maybe a dog? I can’t remember. At our other house all ten of us couldn’t hang out together in one room without feeling really cramped, so cramped we were. Now we can spread out a bit, but usually we don’t. That is the gift of having lived in such close quarters for so long. The little boys have started sleeping in the girls’ room, abandoning theirs to the monsters in their closet. Mabel has stopped sleeping through the night in her crib, opting to sleep with me about half-way through. And before I forget, she also has a new trick: the fake cough. I’ve had a yucky cold and she’s heard me coughing. I guess she’s copying me? Her cough is way cuter than mine.

I got through the short rows on her pink jumper and was getting ready to divide for the legs when I realized my stitch markers were in the wrong places, and hence my short rows. I was pretty bummed about that, but then had this fantastic thought just before falling asleep that night: skip the legs! I knit a garter stitch band, added sleeves, and now Mabel has a cute pink jumper rather than a full sweater suit. I think it’s more practical this way at her age. She’s seriously contemplating crawling and would ruin the knees of knitted pants quickly. Since I finished the pink sweater I went ahead and cast on for a Granny’s Favourite cardigan for her. I’m knitting it with some of my dk wool that I stashed away for just this sweater a few months ago. I can’t remember what I dyed it with–definitely indigo, maybe it was over dock seed? I think so. Anyway, I’m so excited about having a new project on my needles!

Some of you asked to see my cross-stitch project last week. I’ve been working hard to finish up My Sweetpie ABCs, a project I started and shared here as a stitch along in early 2015. As a friend accurately commented recently, “You really fell off the wagon with that one, didn’t you?” Yeah, I really did! But I’m making lots of progress now. I’m working on “Q” for quilt and once it’s finished, then I’m done! I’m so excited to get this framed and hung over Mabel’s crib. It will be what I see on the wall in front of me when I am sitting on my bed.

Do you remember that old version of the game, Payday, in my photograph? My Aunt Genie recently sent it to me, one of my very favorite childhood games. My older kids have been playing, and really like it too. Actually, there has been a lot of late night game playing recently. My older boys are getting along so well since we’ve moved. There’s is far less fighting. I can’t tell you how happy that makes me. Exhale. Exhale. Exhale.

p.s. Thanks so much for all the raffle entries!

Celebrating and Settling in

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The other day, I noticed that the light hitting the forest behind our house was looking remarkably beautiful, and I ran for my camera and zoom lens. About that time, Jonny came and grabbed me, saying, “Come on, you’ve got to see this.” He was talking about the same light, of course. We got in the car and drove down the road, just wanting to see all that we could. There was even a double rainbow in the sky. It was pretty amazing. I thought about how grateful I am that our landscape hasn’t changed much with this move.

A friend asked today how we’re doing as far as the move goes. I told her that it feels a little like we’ve been on vacation (though not the relaxing kind) and I’m ready to go home now. Only, we are at home, it just doesn’t feel that way yet. And I really don’t want to go back to living in our other house, I just want to feel at home, you know? That won’t happen overnight, and I know better than to expect it to. We are hanging pictures here and there, and making plans for what we would like to do to make this house better reflect us as a family. Making a place your own takes time.

To answer a question that many of you have, yes, we have room here for our animals! What we don’t have yet is fencing. Fencing will be the chief work of this week and next.

Last week, we celebrated Beatrix’s eighth birthday, our first family celebration in the new house. We came up with a crazy (maybe not so crazy, actually) last minute cake idea: two pans of brownies with a layer of ice cream between, topped with whipped cream and chocolate sauce. Total stomachache, but so good! Reminded me of the Shoney’s hot fudge cake that we oftentimes got on birthday dinners out when I was a kid.

Beatrix was pretty specific about what she wanted for her birthday: mainly this dress, this doll, and this bonnet. To make up for the lack of a homemade birthday dress or sweater (still knitting the first sleeve!) I also bought her and Mabel matching dresses. The lack of enthusiasm when Bea opened that gift was hilarious. I admitted to Jonny that maybe the matching dresses were really a gift for me.

We dipped leaves gathered in our new backyard in beeswax (Beatrix is wearing her original orange Sunday Sweater in that post!), ate more ice cream, and had a wonderful time celebrating. Another week, and it will be Advent, the perfect time of year to keep doing the work of settling in, making this house our home.