Thursday, November 30, 2006

Just One of Many Opinions

I came across this post at AlphaMom about breastfeeding in public today. It's very funny, check it out for the links if nothing else. Since there is virtually nothing crafty that I can talk about here due to several *SECRET* projects, I thought I would share my opinion on breastfeeding, in public and in general.

First off, I breastfed both of the Munchkins, the first for almost a year and the second for a little over six months. I think they are both much healthier little girls now than they would have been if they had started on formula right off the bat. The doctor, nurses, and WIC office all were pro-breastfeeding when I was pregnant, and all had plenty of literature to support it. I was very easily convinced, and knew long before Munchkin #1 was born that I would try my hardest to breastfeed, and if it didn't work out, we'd go to the bottle.

The first few days were very hard. The little one had a lot of trouble latching on, and I was a very nervous new mom. By the end of that first week, I was in tears on an hourly basis because I couldn't get the baby to eat. My ex called his sister, because she was the only person he knew who had breastfed, and she calmed me down tremendously. Once I was calm, the baby latched on with no trouble. From that day on, I breastfed. And I loved it. Not only was my little girl getting the best nutrition on the planet, but it was a great time to bond and be close to her. Breastfeeding Munchkin #2 was automatic, and I never had any trouble with her eating.

I guess it's pretty obvious that I'm a strong advocate for breastfeeding, so I feel for the woman kicked off the plane for refusing to cover up. It IS her right to feed her baby, and if nothing is showing, why is this so offensive? I can see asking her to cover up if she was flashing people. But if you're all the way in the back and no one can see you? I say, breastfeed away. There is nothing wrong with breastfeeding in public as long as you are discreet and considerate of others. I signed the petition at MomsRising for this issue, and I think it's worth everyone checking out. Let's tell Congress and everyone else that we support breastfeeding mothers and their babies.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Here We Go!

Thanksgiving dinner came off without a hitch. Unfortunately, I was so busy cooking and hanging out with my family that I forgot to take any pictures! I could be showing off some fabulous turkey or scrumptious pumpkin pie here, but I did not even pick up my camera Thursday, not once. Oh well, everyone's belly got full, and we all had a good time together, so that's what matters.

I've noticed that a lot of bloggers out there took advantage of the holiday weekend to work on some crafty projects, but I did just the opposite. I pretty much ignored everything I've been working on in favor of cooking, cleaning, and laying around the rest of the time. Now that the weekend is over, however, I'm jumping headfirst into all the crafty things that I need to finish (or start, for that matter) for Christmas. I have a lot of stuff to make, still, and a little shopping to do, too. I'm hoping that if I really hit it hard for the next two weeks, I can take a little stress out of the last few days leading up to the holiday. That's the plan, anyway. Let the two week sweatshop begin!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Turkey Day

I'll be spending the whole day with family. To all who celebrate,
Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Gettin' Geared Up

I know I said that I wasn't going to even think about Thanksgiving until today, but let's be realistic. You can't get everything ready the day before. So I've been doing a little prepping behind the scenes here. I did all but a small bit of the grocery shopping, including a 22-lb turkey. Start big, right? Here's the menu I have planned:
  • Turkey
  • Stuffing
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Gravy
  • Corn on the Cob
  • Green Beans
  • Brocolli, Cheese, and Rice Bake
  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Rolls
  • Pumpkin Pie for dessert

I still have to shop for a couple of things, and I may decide to add more things to the menu. I know I left out some of the traditional stuff, like sweet potato pie and cranberry sauce, but I'm trying to keep things simple and easy. This will be the first time I've actually been in charge of cooking the big family meal, so I don't want to screw it up. Simple and easy will definitely be the way to go. Less stressful!

I'm going to get a head start tonight, and make everything I can then. That way I can just pop some things in the oven to reheat, making things even simpler. Oooh, I better get to it. Happy Turkey Day, everyone!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Mystery Christmas Project #2

You'll remember that a while back I posted a hint for my Mystery Christmas Project #1. Well, here is the hint for MCP #2.

Pay attention, because I'm planning a contest towards the beginning of the year, and it will involve all of the MCPs and the hints that go with them.

Here's a preview of the pj pants I'm making the Munchkins for Christmas. This pair is for Munchkin #2, and they are almost done. Yay! I figured out how to make a pair of pants! Now that I think I have this figured out, you may not be able to keep me away from the sewing machine.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Hats (and Sweater Help Needed!)

Well, inspections are finally over. The head of our apartments and the people from HUD came on Friday and checked the place over top to bottom. As far as I know, I passed with flying colors. Whew! Maybe things will be a little more normal around here now.

Christmas preparations are well under way, and I've realized that even though I started early this year, I still have so much to do! (Please don't mention that Thanksgiving is Thursday, and that I'm having like, 15 people for dinner here that night. Please don't ask, "Amanda, honey, shouldn't you be worried about Thanksgiving preparations before Christmas preparations?" I will think about Thanksgiving on Wednesday and figure it out then, OK?) I think I might be getting a teensy bit stressed about the holidays. I always manage to get everything done, so maybe I should just relax and let things flow a little more this season, it might just make the holidays a little more enjoyable for me.

In crafty news, I finished the hat that I started Monday, and made another.

Project Specs

Snowborder Skullies
Pattern: Snowboarder Skullies by Catherine Lindsay. I've had this pattern bookmarked for a long time, and I finally decided to try it out. Both of my hats are the dude version.
Yarn: Bernat Softee Chunky in 40713 Circus and 39742 Hot Blue.
Impressions: Like the yarn, like the pattern. These hats work up super quick and would be great for gifts or charity donations. I made the blue one with a size I hook and the vareigated one with a size J hook. I wanted the blue one to be a tad bit smaller, and it is. The fabric is also much denser, tighter, and less stretchy than that of the hat made with the J hook. I'm still not sure whether I like that or not. I'm going to keep the blue hat (because it fits me well, he he) and the vareigated one has a secret destination.

I've started ripping apart the sweater, but I'm having my doubts about using it as recycled yarn. I know the pic is crappy, but look closely. The edges are very frayed and threadbare where I ripped the sleeve seams apart. I'm afraid this will make the yarn have frayed spots every so far along, and I don't want that. So now I'm thinking about tossing the whole mess into the washing machine, felting it, and then cutting it apart. I could sew cell phone cozies out of the pieces, or something like that. I think the cables would be really cute felted, and I don't even know how to knit cables, so I can't unravel them and then knit them again. Yes, I think felting before unraveling is going to be the way to go here. What do you think? Anybody have any more ideas on what I can do with this cut-up sweater now? I should think these kinds of things out more thoroughly before I start attacking with the scissors from now on.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


I almost finished a whole hat out of the Softee Chunkee last night. A whole hat! I really like this yarn, it's thick so it works up quick, and it's really soft even though it's acrylic. Pretty cheap too, and y'all know I love cheap. I can see myself making a ton of these hats for Christmas presents and charity projects, and maybe a couple for myself to wear to work. I'll take pictures of this first hat tomorrow, when there is more daylight. Hopefully it won't be so dreary and rainy here like it has been. Dreary does not make for good photos.

I haven't started unraveling the grey sweater. I'm not really sure where to start. I don't want to just cut it into pieces, because I want to get as much recycled yarn from it as possible. Maybe taking apart the seams would be a good start?

For now the munchkins and I are headed off to a birthday dinner for one of their friends. Very small, low-key. I'll probably get to work on the hat for a bit while the kids play, and the bonus is that I don't have to cook. Happy Birthday, Korbin!

Monday, November 13, 2006

What's Up For Today

The munchkins and I have been laying about the apartment all day, trying not to make things messy. Little Munchkin is sick, with a nasty sounding cough and sniffles but no fever. I still plan on crafting today, but it might have to wait until after the girls are in bed. I took advantage of the good afternoon light in my kitchen to take this pic.

These are what I plan on working with tonight. I picked up the Softee Chunkee for a hat for Christmas presents, and I bought the sweater last year at a yard sale for a dollar. It's Hollister brand, 100% wool, and too small for me. I'm going to unravel it and felt a purse from it, I think.

I promised to tell y'all about the idea I've been brewing, so here it is: My boyfriend's mother and I are planning a really cool (I think) crafting party to be held the first or second week of December. We're ordering crafty kits and supplies from a bulk-sale company, and inviting a ton of women and girls to come over and craft Christmas presents for super cheap. We're planning on charging around $5 per person to come in and craft away, and then the guests can take home what they've made to give away as Christmas presents. It's kind of like a Home and Garden party with a crafty twist. What do y'all think of our idea?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Woot, Woot!

It's done! Yay!!!! Finished up all the crappy cleaning jobs this afternoon. Bring on the inspection, boys! (You'll have to excuse me. I think that all the cleaning fumes I've been shut in the house with all day might be going to my head. I may not make much sense here.) Everything is done, and now all I have to do is wait around for the next two weeks to see if my place is randomly inspected.

All the cleaning really sucked, but in the end it was totally worth it. First off, the apartment looks GREAT. It hasn't been this deeply clean for a long time, and it's oh so tidy. We'll see how long it stays that way after the munchkins get back from their dad's in the morning. And it smells great in here, too, like PineSol and strawberry cheesecake-scented candles.

I finally get to relax now, and I have the whole day off tomorrow, so the munchkins and I will just be lazing around the house. Maybe I'll even get to craft a little bit, I have some things I want to wrap up and also some projects in mind to start. Tomorrow I also plan to tell you about an idea that's still brewing in my head tonight. All I will say now is that it involves a party and it's crafty. I'm just so glad all the inspection prep is over!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Inspection Central

I got my notice yesterday for yearly apartment inspections. Woo hoo. (Note the sarcasm, please). That means that I have until Monday to get the apartment clean, check the smoke detectors, replace the heat duct filters, etc. And I have to keep it clean all the way until the 22nd, because inspections are random, and can happen anytime between the 13th and the 22nd. I got all prepared and had everything looking great for inspections last year, even though we had just moved in. And they never showed up. I guess I was randomly not picked. I'm still going to be prepared this year, though, because I expect that the "higher-ups" will be here to check on the place at some point. That means I have 5 days of solid cleaning ahead. So you may not hear much from me for the next couple of days. I'll try to check in as much as I can. For now, I'm off to get ready for inspections!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

This Could Not Have Happened Sooner

Something that will go down in the history of my generation happened today, and I'm not talking about mid-term elections here. Britney Spears has finally filed for divorce from that loser-skank-leech Kevin Federline. Yay! Britney Spears is close to my age, and I liked her before she got messed up with the mess. I lost interest in Britney while she was with K-Fed. But I have to say, she's lookin' great, and now she's losing the excess baggage. She was smart enough to have a prenup, something a lot of other young stars haven't been smart enough to do. You gotta hand it to her, she's getting her sh** together, with two young babies, and that's sexy. Go Britney, go Britney!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Socktoberfest Wrap-Up

(It took me forever to getting around to this post. I think I may have been putting it off subconciously. Or maybe I really just didn't have the time or patience for Blogger.)

First off, THANK YOU to Lolly for hosting such a great web event. Tutorials, socks, interviews, socks, pictures, tons of links, and socks! Lolly put so much time and effort into this, and I hope she enjoyed it as much as we all did. I have learned so much about knitting and crocheting socks, even though I didn't finish one pair. :( The Flickr gallery for Socktoberfest is amazing, and if you haven't checked it out, you really should. What a month!

I may not have finished my first socks, but I really did make good progress on them. I finished the toe and foot of sock one and the toe and most of the foot of sock two by the last day of October. See?

This is my first pair of adult crocheted socks ever, and I'm just kinda winging it, so I need more yarn to finish them, there is not much left of the two balls I started with. (I have big feet.) I'm going as far as the rest of the foot on sock 2, and then they will go into the UFO's bin until I get more yarn to finish them. My new goal is to have them done in time for Socktoberfest 2007!

The best thing about Socktoberfest has been the enormous inspiration I have taken from all the tutorials and pictures. Since Socktoberfest began, I've been practicing away at knitting on DPN's, something I had never done before. I'm getting the hang of it, maybe. I really want to knit my next pair of socks, and I'm planning on buying extra yarn this time. I'd like to have a pair of hand-knit socks and a pair of crocheted socks by Socktoberfest next year. Think I can do it? I DO!

P. S. Check out my pics at the all new Yahoo! Photos. I think it is similar to Flickr's layout (which I still haven't downloaded). I updated my albums at Yahoo! after the switch so there are lots of new pics there.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Better in Beta?

Ok, so I've switched. The good news is, I've managed to add a couple of photos to the post for Serafina and the Symphony Scarf. The bad news is that I can't upload photos at all right now. So my wrap-up for Socktoberfest will have to wait at least one more day.
I'm not sure if I like this new beta version of Blogger or not. It will definitely take some time to adjust to, and I plan on playing with all the new little features just to test them out. So if things start to look weird around here, let me know, I'll try and fix whatever quirks come up. I have very high hopes for this, I really don't want to switch to another server. Crossing my fingers!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Fed Up

That's it. I've had it. Blogger sucks. But I don't want to switch over to a whole different domain yet, so I'm switching to the Beta version of Blogger to see if that makes anything better. If I disappear, it's not my fault. See ya in Beta, y'all!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Organization, Schmorganization

I have lots of things that I want to post about, so I'm going to break them down into bits and post about everything over the next few days. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed right now (it could be the sugar rush), so I'm trying to get my thoughts together in the most organized way possible. Organization is a tricky little booger for me. My brain and my ability to collect junk both function much more quickly than my organizational skills. Therefore, jumbled thoughts and one hell of a still-messy closet. OK, that's enough rambling, let's get on with it. (See what I mean?)

Project Specs

Serafina Shawl
Pattern: The Serafina's Shawl by Doni
Yarn: JoAnn's Sensations Rainbow Boucle in the light blue colorway. I really like this yarn, it's soft and makes beautiful waves of color. It is very difficult to frog, though. The yarn comes in a huge ball and you can't beat the price.
Impressions: I saw many of these around the Net, most made from the same yarn as mine, and I just knew I had to do one, too. I love everything about this shawl, absolutely everything. I can't stop raving about it and showing it off. Unfortunately, it will be leaving me in about 2 months, say, around Christmas, maybe? I definitely see more in my future. Love it, love it, love it.

{Insert pic 2 of Serafina}

Project Specs

Symphony Scarf

Pattern: None. It's very simple double crochet with a few rows of single crochet spaced out even to break the scarf up a bit. I used the fringe from Sue's post here.
Yarn: Red Heart Symphony in Lt. Green. It's not the easiest yarn to work with, but it is oh so soft.
Impressions: I think this turned out to be a very pretty scarf. My fringe doesn't look as good as Sue's, but I know that the person getting it for Christmas will just love it, it's her favorite color.

That's it for tonight, guys. Blogger is being a pain in my arse, as usually, so I'll update this post tomorrow with pics. Also, for tomorrow's post, I'll show you how far I made it on my Socktoberfest socks. Til then, happy hookin'!