Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A Question for You Parents Out There

I've been thinking about something lately and I thought i'd poll my audience on the topic. So please, think about this and post a comment with your answer.

What is/was the most difficult personal adjustment for you to make after entering mommyhood? (Or daddyhood for you guys.)

I'll post my answer as a comment to get you all started ...

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


I finally finished the Christmas Scarf and sent it on it's way to PA. (nice shadow, huh?) And even though it hasn't arrived yet, I'm going to blow it's cover by posting it here. I just can't help myself. I've been working on that thing for about eight months. (obviously not very often in that time, otherwise it would have been done long before now.) I was so happy to finally finish it but almost sad to see it go. I used some gorgeous alpaca yarn that I got from elann. My only regret is that I didn't show it to Brett before I mailed it off. He saw it in progress but never got to wrap himself in the fuzzy softness that is alpaca. And since we live in Florida I doubt I will ever make him one. Oh well ...

Tiki helped model it for some pics before I left for the post office.

And now that i've finished the never-ending-scarf I'm on to my next project .... yoga socks. Even though I said I wasn't going to let myself start anything new until I finished the scarf, I veered from the plan a bit and started the yoga socks last week. And probably just for that reason, about two inches into the socks I realized two things ... 1.) the pattern is wrong and 2.) i picked up an extra stitch somewhere. So I frogged it (ripped it out for you non-knitters ... get it? rip-it, rip-it) and started over again. I made some adjustments to the pattern and started over again. I was able to make some progress last night and i'm now about three inches into it. I'm using some hand-dyed purple sock yarn I bought on eBay last year when I decided I wanted to learn how to knit socks.

This picture didn't turn out very well at all but it's what i've got for now. And to answer some questions, the questionnaire below is for a secret pal gift exchange for knitters, Secret Pal 10. You have to knit and you have to have a blog. How it works is that your secret pal looks on your blog for your questionnaire so they know what kind of things you like. Then when you receive your package(s) you post pictures on your blog so they know you got it. It lasts for three months and you may get small packages throughout or one big one at the end. Depends on your secret pal. You, in turn, do the same for your secret pal. And then everyone reveals themselves at the end. There is an associated blog and you can nominate your pal for being the best if you so desire. Pretty cool, huh? I thought so. I've seen stuff about it online for a while now and I recently met someone at a Stitch'N'Bitch, Lorena, who participated in Secret Pal 9 and enjoyed it so much that she's doing it again. And it just so happens that sign-ups are going on now so I thought I would join in. They send out secret pal info by March 15th but you have to post the questionnaire to your blog by the end of February. So that, my friends, is the reason you all got to read it. Now you can all say "ah, now I understand" and go about your day. :-)

Baby News

Our friends Wrenda & Justin came over last night with thier little boy, Gavin. I just couldn't resist taking a chubby baby picture. I'll have to show this to them when they are graduating high school. :) While they were here we got a call from our mutual friends Cody & Holly saying that Holly was in labor and that they were on thier way to the hospital. We had just talked about how it had to be any day now and Wrenda and I both decided that we thought they were going to have a girl. (I seem to have started a wave of friends not finding out in advance what the sex of thier baby is b/c of what happened when Houston was born.) Well Wrenda called this morning and said they had a baby girl at 6am. We still have some discrepancy on the name though, it's either Emma Lee or Emily. She was eight pounds, not sure if that's exact though and twenty inches long. I can't wait to see her! I think it's time for me to pass on some of my little girl clothes i've been holding on to for three years now. (For those of you who don't know, I was told after an ultrasound while preggo with Houston that he was a girl ... found out otherwise when he was born.) I thought I was going to have more babies but i'm feeling more and more like that's not the case. I even feel ready to get rid of baby things, boy clothes that both boys have grown out of and even my maternity clothes. So I think Emma Lee/Emily is going to have some brand new baby girl clothes headed her way. They've been packed away in the shed since a few days after Houston was born. Even if we do end up having another baby the chances of said baby being anything other than another Crews man is highly, highly unlikely ... if not impossible. Just the way things go around here ...

And while we're on the baby news topic, Wrenda made some really gorgeous diaper bags that she is going to sell. She has a post about them on her blog. Click here to see it. I saw one that she made for Holly using some beautiful green and brown fabrics. It was awesome. If anyone is interested (have any baby showers to attend?) please let me know and I can send you her contact info.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Secret Pal 10 Questionnaire

Here is my questionnaire for my secret pal:

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I love anything soft, especially alpaca. I’m very entertained by self-striping and self-patterning sock yarn.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
I made a rolling needle case for my straight needles. I would like a small case for my dpn’s that I can carry around in my knitting bag. My circulars are just sort of floating around, they don’t have a home.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I bought a couple of books and taught myself to knit about a year ago. Then I took a sock knitting class back in September. I would call my self an advanced beginner. I can knit a sock so I’m not totally a novice but I don’t know that I’d call myself intermediate quite yet.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Yes I do. I have a Wists List on my blog. See it scrolling happily along to the right of this post?

5. What's your favorite scent?
Hmmm .. anything earthy. Love Jasmine and Nag Champa. Don’t like rose.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Absolutely. I love those dark chocolate bars with the fruit and nuts in them.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
Mostly just knitting these days but also tie-dye, sewing, making stepping stones for the yard, and I’m always trying to come up with my own new recipes for a cookbook I plan to write one day. I don’t spin but I plan to learn sometime after my kids get a little older.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s?
I love music. I’ve been getting into Jazz lately. I love music with good instrumentation like Sister Hazel, Dave Matthews Band, Lenny Kravitz, etc. I enjoy mainstream stuff but also like acoustic guitar, classical crossover, drum beats, middle eastern dance, bluegrass and pretty much anything I can groove to. And I always like female singers like Alanis, Tori, Jewel, Melissa, etc. Yes I can play MP3s on my computer, my stereo and in my car.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
Deep purples, blues and greens and earthy colors. I don’t like pastels or neon and I really don’t like yellow.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I live with my hubby, our two boys, Houston (2 yrs) and Brody (8 mos), four dogs and a cat.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
I live in Florida so I don’t get to wear them often but I do enjoy fun scarves and hats. I would really like to knit myself a lace stole.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Socks, socks, baby hats for friends, socks, stuffed animals, and more socks.

13. What are you knitting right now?
Socks for one of my sons, yoga socks for me, and baby socks and hat set for a baby shower.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
Most definitely do. And as for patterns, books, and needles (and even yarn as long as it hasn’t been used and frogged a bunch of times) I would prefer for them to be second-hand/used if possible. (browse this blog for recent posts about compacting if you are curious as to why)

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
Don’t have a preference between circular and straight. I like bamboo but I’ve recently discovered that I prefer size one dpns in metal rather than bamboo … although it may just be that I don’t like the ones that I have with the yarn that I’m using.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
Nope. Don’t even know what a swift is.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
Hmmm … a baby blanket I started when I was pregnant with Houston who is now 2-1/2 years old. It’s a girly blanket as I was told I was having a girl. Houston, however, was born very much a boy. I planned to finish it for a baby shower gift at some point but that hasn’t happened yet.

18. What is your favorite holiday?
Fourth of July. Fun, food and fireworks on or near the water surrounded by friends and family and no pressure to give the right gift. Of course I may be biased because it’s also the day before my birthday.

19. Is there anything that you collect?
Refridgerator magnets and toothpick holders.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I really want the Sensational Knitted Socks book and Special Knits by Debbie Bliss. I don’t have a subscription to any knitting magazines but wouldn’t mind a subscription to Interweave Knits. I’d also like to try some Crystal Palace bamboo dpns and I’m always up for trying new sock yarn. I would really like to try some Summer Breaze Cool sock yarn by On Line, especially color #787 or #793. I would also like to try Jitterbug by Colinette.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
I really want to learn all the ways to knit a sock … different heels, toe up, etc.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Yes. Not a very experienced one but a sock knitter none-the-less. My foot is 10 inches long, and 9 inches around the middle of my foot. I wear a size 8 shoe.

23. When is your birthday?
July 5th

Friday, February 23, 2007

Brussel Sprouts

I know it's not the right time to plant brussel sprouts but I found these at Home Depot a couple of days ago and couldn't resist trying them in the earth box. I love brussel sprouts and I have never been successful at growing them in our garden. Unfortunately for these once beautiful little plants, about five minutes after I got home I found them strewn across the back yard thanks to Tater, one of our labs. After muttering a few words I will not repeat here I salvaged what I could and planted them. Several of them are beat up pretty bad and i'm not sure they'll recover but I had to give them a chance.

Brody was not too happy about the broken brussel sprouts either.

Family Photo Shoot

Brothers ... aren't they cute?

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Honeymoon Pics

Oh what I wouldn't give to go back on a cruise to Mexico, Key West and Belize! Key West seems kind of funny since we live in Florida but we lived in Texas when we got married so we were happy to see Florida again.


Four years ago today (and eight years total, which I can hardly believe). Aren't we just the cutest? And a busy four years it has been. On our first anni I was pregnant. On the second I was nursing a baby who wasn't even eating any solid food yet. On the third anni I was pregnant again. And now on the fourth I am nursing a baby, however, he is eating plenty of solid food so please, for the love of God, bring on a bottle of wine!!! :-P

In four years i've gone from a full-time working aerospace engineer (in mission control, no less) to full-time work-at-home super mom of two precious little boys. Wow ... how things change!

From left to right: my cousin Lindsay (the one we visited last weekend), Cari (friend from high school and also best friend and roommate through most of college), Rachel (aka Dr. Dinero, one of my bestest friends ever who now has a PhD in psychology, i'm so proud of her, and is getting married in July herself and i will be in her wedding too), Ashton (Steve's daughter), me and Brett (obviously), Brian (Brett's brother), Steve (Brett's cousin) and Tommy (my brother)

And just for the amusement value I have to throw in a picture of the parents. Those of you who don't know my family very well may be a little confused by this. Note that only two of the people in this photo belong to Brett ... his mom and his dad. All the others are my "parents" ... well except for Stew, the Brit on the right. He was my mom's boyfriend but is no longer around. And for the sake of not upsetting any of them who will probably be reading this blog I will not explain any further. They are all my parents and I love them all (sometimes more than others, he he), no matter what label is attached.

And here is Patsy, Brett's mom and my dearly missed mother-in-law. We lost her to cancer nine months after this picture was taken. She was so beautiful that day, even without hair, and she was so happy. We were already engaged but decided to speed up our wedding date to make sure she was there and could be involved. I'm so glad that we did because things changed drastically not too long after this.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

We Have Tomatoes!

Well almost... we have tomato plants anyway. I planted two grape tomato plants .... yummy! I planned to plant lettuce (romaine and iceburg) in the other earth box but I couldn't find seedlings so I have to sprout some seeds. Also, to my surprise when I opened the box of earth boxes for the first time I found that we are the proud owners of three earth boxes, not two like I thought. So today I get to go back to Lowe's/HomeDepot or somewhere like that and find something else to plant. It really is sad that we have just opened these things since my dad got them for us for Christmas in '05. In our defense, it has been a busy couple of years around here having babies and all. ;-)

Step 1: Unpacking the earth boxes.

Step 2: Fill with potting mix. I'm experimenting here a little bit in using the potting mix from Brett's nursery instead of buying potting soil. It may drain a little too well but I had to at least try it since we have a huge mound of it out in the nursery.

Step 3: Place line of granular fertilizer. I used some organic fertilizer that Miracle Grow now sells. I couldn't find the organic fertilizer that I usually use and I can't remember the name of it. I used to buy it at Lowes but all they had was this Miracle Grow.

Step 4: Place cover over earth box.

Step 5: Cut slits in cover and plant your plants.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Little Break & Projects for the Week

Every time I get a little break from everyday life I find new inspiration. I've needed a break for a while and I finally got one this past weekend. We stayed with my cousin Lindsay in Ft. Myers this weekend and then went to a family reunion in Venice on Sunday. My cousin is a very artsy person and as usual, being around her for a couple of days has inspired me to get moving on some artsy projects of my own. She has a very interesting mosaic on the wall in her kitchen which gave me some ideas. She also has lots of color on the walls which was also inspiring. Interesting choices of course but i wouldn't expect anything less from her. Project #1: Paint the door and window frames in the kitchen brick red.

This weekend was the Edison Festival in Ft. Myers so we had plenty to keep us entertained. We went to a parade on saturday evening (longest parade i've ever seen) and when we got back to Lindsay's house we heard a band playing nearby. It only took us about ten seconds after we stepped out of the car to realize that is was our favorite band, Sister Hazel. We couldn't believe it! So we sat outside in Lindsay's awesome back yard and listed to our favorite band playing live while enjoying a frosty beverage or two. How cool was that!?!?!

Houston had a great time too. Lindsay's roommate Aaron has some drums and Houston loves drums. I got a really cute video of the two of them banging away together. I'm going to try to figure out how to put video on blogger later tonight. It's just too cute not to share. Houston also found a new dance partner in Lindsay. He loves to dance. The two of them danced a little on friday night to some great jazzy tunes and then he kept asking her to dance for the rest of the weekend. I'm really loving how into music Houston appears to be. Being a musician myself I am really super happy about that. We plan to encourage it every chance we get. I'm really looking forward to him being old enough to take music lessons. He loves to sing, dance and play the drums. It is actually quite surprising how good he is at playing the drums already. I wish we lived somewhere a little more cultured and artsy. Guess we'll just have to keep going down to Gainesville for that kind of thing.

Lindsay seems to be running a bit of a hippie commune in her house. (dude, i could totally live there) They buy lots of fresh produce from the local farmer's market, they recycle, they compost ... did I mention the occasional drum circle? This inspired project #2: Finally plant our earth boxes. I haven't figured out what to plant yet though. We have two earth boxes so I'm looking for two planting ideas. I'm not sure if I can plant spring vegetables yet with the weather we've had lately. The earth boxes will probably be up on the deck though so I could easily cover them up if it gets too cold. I would like to plant brussel sprouts but I think those are a winter crop. I'll have to consult my Edible Landscape book. And Brett promised me on the way home last night that we will have a spring garden again this year. Finally! I don't think we've had one since I was pregnant with Houston.

I went to a yarn store while we were in Ft. Myers and bought some more sock yarn. I know, I know, I really don't need any more yarn. What can I say? It's become an addiction. And not very Compact but I have a visa gift card from Christmas that was for knitting stuff so that's how i'm justifying it.

We went to a Faso family reunion (my dad's mom's family) on Sunday in Venice. It was great to see a bunch of family that I haven't seen in many, many years. I'll post more about that later including some pictures. Right now I have two fussy little boys on my hands that need lunch.

Bouncing Email

Apparently my email was bouncing while I was away this weekend. Not sure why but it's fixed now.

We had a great weekend. Lots of fun and family. I'll post more about it later when Brody isn't sitting in my lap crying his poor little head off. I've got lots of pictures to share.

Friday, February 16, 2007


Okay, this blogger thing is driving me crazy. The Valentine's Fondue post below is going to drive me batty. I can't get rid of the spaces. I'm blaming the "new blogger" since they made me switch just before those posts. I know it's a little detail and you can see all the stuff just the same but i'm an engineer ... i'm a details person. I must have edited and reposted that thing at least ten times now. Ugh!

Sorry, had to vent.

Hey! Just noticed my neat little text color button is back. Yay!!!!!!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

This picture cracks me up ...

Valentine's Fondue

We had fondue for Valentine's Day. It was really yummy. We decided to skip the main course and just have appetizers and dessert. We had cheese fondue and chocolate fondue and way too much stuff to dip with. I always go overboard with the fondue.

Don't ask me why there is a graphing calculator on the kitchen table with our fondue. We're dorks, apparently.

Mmmmm ... cheese fondue.

Naptime Pics

Brody and Marzbar catching a nap.

Brett and Marzbar sleeping. If you look closely you can see the chiquita banana sticker that Houston put on Brett's forhead.

Houston and Marzbar taking a nap. I'm beginning to think the couch belongs to Marz and he just lets us use it once in a while. :-P

Some Pics

Here's Brody with his Pappy Tom the day after Papa and Miss Nancy's wedding.

And here are Brody and Houston trying out one of the new dog beds. These things are great and way less expensive than a regular dog bed. It's called a Coolaroo.

Marzbar says "cheese".

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Yoga Socks

I think I found my next sock project. Once i'm done knitting last years Christmas gifts of course ... in my spare time ... ha ha ha ha ha ha ... what is that anyway? I have kids therefore I have no spare time. I did manage to make some progress on the never-ending-started-last-july gift this past weekend. It should be done soon and then I can reveal it to you and send it off to its new snowy home while doing the happy dance and promising never to commit to knitting something that long ever again. Or at least until the memories of this particular item fade. :-)

Click here: Yoga Socks

Comments & New Blogger

So i've been wondering why nobody seems to leave me comments anymore. Turns out somehow (i'm blaming cyber-gnomes) the emails from blogger telling me I had a comment to moderate were being sent directly to my trash folder. This probably happened during the fury of spam comments I had to sort through forcing me to enable word verification and to junk about 100 comments instead of sorting through the trash to look for anything good.

Blogger just forced me to move my blog over to the "new blogger" (whatever) and now it's easier to see when I have comments waiting. (i don't have to go looking) So I have found one reason to like the new blogger among my several reasons not to. For one, notice my profile is gone? All that crafty talk of tie-dye, knitting, sewing, etc? It's gone. It's a long story but for now i'll just say that Blogger tricked me. Or maybe it was the cyber-gnomes again. Those pesky little nomes! So until I find the time and patience to deal with the issue (it's a long story having to do with three separate blogs now falling under one login), i'll be profiless. (um, is that a word? is now i suppose. hey it's my blog isn't it?)

And why, oh why, do I no longer have the ability to change my text color with a click of the mouse? I know, I know, I can html it ... but I DON'T WANT TO! I want my nifty little icon back that brings up that nifty little color chart! NOW!! :-(

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

For All You Knitters ...

I soooooooooooo want the "yarn whisperer" t-shirt. Knitterly Stuff

Monday, February 12, 2007

A Good Sunday

Well I finally made it to the Stitch 'N Bitch in Gainesville yesterday. My accupuncturist told me about it months ago and I wish I had gone sooner. Those ladies are awesome. I'm not usually comfortable in new social settings but I really needed a break from Lake City life, even if just for a couple of hours, so off I went. And don't get me wrong, I love my kids, but they have been a handful and a half lately and I feel like i've been a single parent for a couple of weeks now as Brett has been working his tail off. So Brett came home from work yesterday (yes i know it was sunday) for a few hours so I could go knit. I could definitely get used to having a sunday afternoon outing to Gainesville every week sans babies. I listened to a book on CD on the way there and back which i'm really enjoying. I'm listening to The Secret Life of Bees. (Thanks for the recommendation Heidi) And while I would rather read than listen, the kids just aren't up for allowing me to have my nose in a book much lately and the chick that is reading this book to me is very entertaining.

I've recently discovered a way to get some peace in the afternoon. I've been borrowing books on CD from the library and every afternoon around naptime I load the boys up in the Pathfinder, load a book on CD into the disc changer, and off we go driving around for an hour or so. There are a lot of great back country roads around here that offer some great scenery. And you never know what you're going to come across as far as wildlife and livestock goes. I've seen ostriches and zebras even. Craziness.

Well speaking of Gainesville, we're headed that way today for Brody's eight month check-up so I better go get us all ready.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

More Pics

The wedding was a bit of a zoo as Frankie & Nancy had their kids and spouses and grandkids standing up with them. One spouse was passing out, Houston kept trying to talk to Papa while he was trying to get married and Brody cooing along happily. There were 3 two-year-olds up there and for some reason mine was the only one that couldn't stand still and quietly watch Papa and Miss Nancy get married.
We went to a Japanese Steakhouse after the wedding. I really enjoyed it but Houston was being crazy (go figure) and it was driving Brett crazy. You can (well maybe not, but i can) just see the wild look on his face in this picture. In Houston's defense he was hungry and thirsty and we had the waitress from h-e-doublehockeysticks. It took at least thirty minutes to get a drink. We were there for a long time and surprisingly enough Brody sat next to me in a high chair and didn't fuss even one time. He was truly entertained by everything going on and he was really digging the food. He kept reaching over and grabbing handfuls of rice off Houston's plate and shoving it quickly in his mouth before anyone could take it away.

Papa & Miss Nancy's Wedding

In other news ...

I did this online test to see how old I really am. ( Pretty interesting, I must say. My calendar age is 30.6 (shhh .. don't tell anyone) but my real age is 27.8. Not too shabby. I for one, would like to still believe I am 25 but the stress i've been under lately is not helping me with that. (more on this topic in a later post, if i ever get to it ... as i sit here for the 7th straight morning in a row of just me and the boys with Brody screaming and Houston climbing the walls) Here are the things that are making me younger:

Daily vitamin, Limited or no secondhand smoke exposure, No medication use, Happy marriage, Healthy resting heart rate, Flossing habits, Folic acid intake, Breast cancer history, No drinking and driving, Safe driving speeds, Vehicle size, Good oral hygiene, Safety belt or airbag usage, Ex-smoker, Low red meat intake (more like none), Ideal blood pressure, Diverse diet, No ovarian cancer in family, Good Omega-3 intake, Calcium intake, Vitamin E intake, Vitamin C intake, Flexibility routine

And here are the things that are making me older:
Lack of daily breakfast, Low unsaturated fat, Workout schedule (i'm sure they mean lack of), Have cholesterol level measured, Potassium levels, Low grain intake (surprising), Low vegetable intake (also surprising), Strength training level, Cell phone use, High BMI (lovely), Low fruit servings

Interesting stuff. Good encouragement to get back to the gym. Which I would love to do if 1.) my kids ever get well enough for me to bring them during childwatch hours or 2.) my husband would stop working so late every night so that he could watch them or 3.) we get back on our schedule of him being home by a certain time on mondays and wednesdays so that i can make it to the gym before it closes. #2 would be great but i'll settle for #1 or #3. preferably #3 because the childwatch hours are not the greatest. It's hard for me to make it to the morning hours when I have to get us all ready to go and I haven't had enough sleep because I worked late the night before. And the afternoon hours are such that Houston is going to fall asleep in the car before we get there and there are no beds in the childwatch area. Ideally I would like to do yoga every day. However, it's extremely difficult, if not impossible, to do any form of yoga with a 2-year-old crawling all over you and an 8-month-old screaming because you are not holding him. It is also extremely difficult to do yoga while holding said 8-month-old. And if said 2-year-old is not climbing all over me he is surely up to something. Having to say "Houston stop it" or "Houston, no" or "Houston, get out of there" every two minutes while trying to do yoga is also not a good plan. Trust me ... i've tried it. It's times like these when I really need some excercise that I wish we lived in a neighborhood that we could walk around. I swear I would walk every single day. One of these days I would love to find one of those convertable bike trailer things. The kind that holds two kids and can either be attached to your bike like a trailer or have a handle and work like a stroller. Unfortunatley, I didn't include one of those in our new budget. I did however, add it to our wish list which you can see scrolling happily along on the right-hand-side of this blog. Pretty cool stuff. You can create one at

Thursday, February 08, 2007