After a couple of months hiatus from playing with blocks (which made Santa decide not to get him any more blocks for Christmas…mistake!) Monster has once again decided that building with blocks is fun. In between Christmas and New Year’s we took him to the Cathedral of Learning with P’s family. He LOVED it and has been drawing and building the “cathedrill” ever since.

Not content to just draw and build it, he also wants to know more about it – such as how it was built, who built it, what kind of stone it’s made out of, etc. Since I happened to go to school there for engineering, I knew a bit about how it was built (I should have known who built it, but I forgot and had to look it up…bad alumna…). I was glad to see that my memory served me right and Wikipedia sort of agreed that the Cathedral was built from the top down (this statement is challenged/contradicted on the Wikipedia page) so now of course I’m curious and will have to see if I can track down a more official source on it’s history.  I recognize that he’s only 2 and will likely forget everything I tell him about it, but now I’m interested now too and if nothing else I think he’ll really enjoy seeing pictures of it in construction.

Lest you think Monster’s developing a love affair with Gothic architecture (which I suppose could be true), I feel obligated to inform you that his favorite part of the cathedral is the spinning doors, followed by “all the steps.”



7 Quick Takes – Vol II

What better way to catch up on the posts I meant to write this week than by participating in Quick Takes?

— 1 —

First off, if you are so inclined could you please say a prayer of healing from my uncle? He underwent surgery for a perforated bowel on Christmas Eve and is still in the hospital dealing with complications. Recently, he’s been suffering from internal bleeding, which had the doctors flummoxed for a while. They finally think they’ve discovered the source and corrected it. We’re all praying (and hoping) they did so my uncle can finally start healing and get home.

— 2 —

We recently found out that P passed his Fundamentals of Engineering exam that he took way back in October. Once he graduates in May he’ll officially be an ‘Engineer in Training.’ It’s kind of a big deal!

— 3 —

I recently discovered that Monster can sight-read “depot” and possibly “home”. He saw the words “Restaurant Depot” together and said “Look Mommy it’s Home Depot but without the home.”

Since most of my attempts to teach him the alphabet are met with disdain I don’t know if I should be proud or embarrassed by this. Clearly we spend way too much time at Home Depot…

— 4 —

Monster seems to be off his Curious George kick and has transferred his previous love of George to Transformers (thanks to P). The other day he asked me to sing the Transformers song. I was unawares there was more to the theme song than “Transformers: Robots in Disguise.” Once I finished singing that Monster demanded I sing the rest of the song. Confused I started humming the theme song which annoyed Monster immensely “No Mommy, that’s not right! You have to sing the WHOLE SONG! Just like Daddy does. Sing the whole song, damnit!”

It took all my willpower to reprimand him for saying “damnit” instead of laughing.

Such an innocent face

Such an innocent face

— 5 —

And in case you’re wondering (I know you’re not), Monster did not learn the above curse word from either P or I. He did, however, learn it from someone very near and dear, whose identity shall not be revealed to protect the guilty from further embarrassment. Let’s just say Monster knows how to use it appropriately in a sentence and it’s hysterical every time he says it. But I can’t laugh, ever. Ah, the trials of parenting toddlers. 😉

— 6 —

I recently had an appointment with a woman who does Ortho-Bionomy to see if she could help with the diastsis recti (aka Mummy Tummy) I developed after Monster’s birth. I went in with low expectations, but she really helped! Of course, I need to stick with a regular workout routine to fully fix it, but my stomach looks SO MUCH better. I wish I wouldn’t have waited so long to see her. Anyway – Ortho-Bionomy is pretty amazing and can help with many muscle issues! I’m totally sold on it now.

— 7 —

As a result of #6 above – I’ve been looking into the Barre workout as my new form of regular exercise. I’m thinking I’ll probably just start with a DVD Barre video for schedule/budgetary reasons. Can anyone recommend a Barre workout video?

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Yarn Along – Vol. II


If you compare this week’s and last week’s photos it doesn’t look like I’ve gotten very far with the sock, but I actually ripped it out twice and redid it. Once shortly after taking last week’s photo, when it suddenly struck me that I was making the wrong sized sock. I ripped it out again when I was about to start the heel and realized I missed the instruction to decrease the number of stitches when I went from ribbed to stockinette. I know I could have only ripped out up to the ribbing, but I was annoyed and just took it all apart…

Still chugging away at Orthodoxy. It’s good, but I find I can only read a chapter or two at a time before I need a break so I’ve also added A Deadly Yarn into the mix.

Now head on over to Small Things and see what Ginny and the others are making this week!

Yarn Along – Vol. I


I can’t remember exactly how it came about, but back in November Monster asked me to knit him a pair of socks “right now, please”. I found a pattern and quickly realized I owned zero sock weight yarn. After explaining that I didn’t have the right yarn Monster said “I’m sorry you can’t make me socks right now.” He continued to say that everyday for a week until we finally went and bought sock weight yarn. And then he stopped asking about them at all.

I had high hopes of finishing these socks long before Christmas and yet, here it is mid-January and I’m just getting started. When looking at patterns I neglected to realize that in addition to not owning any sock yarn I also didn’t own any double-pointed or circular needles in the proper size. Since I’m lazy I decided to instead find a sock pattern that works with plain old knitting needles. I’m following this pattern although they’ll be stripe-less since this is my first attempt at socks and I’m boring.

I just started reading Orthodoxy by G. K. Chesterton. I’ve only read his Father Brown mystery series before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. So far it’s not as intimidating as I expected but we’ll see if I still feel that way in a couple of chapters. 🙂

Linking up with Ginny’s Yarn Along. If you’ve got time you should definitely check out some of the splendid creations others far more talented than me are crafting.

2014 Reading List

I’ve realized that over the past couple years, I’ve put reading on the back burner. Or, more accurately, I’ve replaced reading books with reading blogs and internet articles. So, one of my “goals” for 2014 is to read more books. I figured the best way to achieve this goal is to make a reading list, so without further ado, here’s my list (in no particular order):

It’s not a long list, but if I manage to read them all this year I’ll be happy!

What are you reading this year? Any recommendations?


A couple of months ago, we started making a weekly trip to one of our local libraries – mostly because this library in particular had a train table in the kid’s section that Monster enjoys playing with. This weekly trip has become a staple in our schedule. Every week on the appointed day, we gather any material that needs to be returned in the “library bag” then head out after dinner. As is standard with Monster, he seems to have lost interest with the train table – our last few visits he’s only given it a cursory glance played with it a few minutes, then he’s off. He loves picking out a few new books to read every week. What he enjoys even more though is doing the weekly “walk-in” craft and chatting up the librarians.

Thankfully, the librarians don’t seem to mind our little chatterbox. One of the librarians has even told us on multiple occasions that it’s a “joy to see us every week”, so I guess that officially makes us regulars. I think she’s just a very kind soul though because she told us that again this week not 10 minutes after Monster made quite the ruckus while playing/choosing books in the children’s section.

These weekly trips have also got P and I reading more too (since we’re already there we might as well check out some books for us too, right?). I’ve finally come to grips with the fact that I need to stop checking out books every week because the majority of the books I’m interested in I can’t get through in a week. After several weeks and multiple renewals I’ve finally finished “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” and just got an e-mail that “Orthodoxy” is ready for me to pick-up. Of course this heavier reading is liberally peppered with quick, fun reads as well. I’ve never been one to just be reading one book at a time.

For Monster, we’ve been reading a lot of books staring animals lately. His current favorites are the “Scaredy Squirrel” series. He’s been loving them and they’ve really added another dimension to Monster’s pretend play, which has been growing by leaps and bounds lately as it is. Seriously though, he loves these books! Each one contains a list of things Scaredy is afraid of, after a couple of readings Monster has the lists memorized and HAS to “read” the list himself – it’s hysterical and precious all rolled together.

What have you been reading lately? Any recommendation to add to my growing pile of books? Or any recommendations for a 2.5 year old boy?

Unrelated, obligatory post photo of Monster

Unrelated, obligatory post photo of Monster

Snow Dust

Winter has most decidedly arrived here in our little corner of the world. We’ve had snow and cold temperatures on and off since November but we actually had days in the 60’s in December, which is unusual for our neck of the woods. However, with the tundra-like arrival of cold this week, I think it’s safe to say we won’t be seeing 60’s on the thermometer again until spring.

The last couple weeks we’ve had a few mild snowstorms. Last year Monster LOVED shoveling the snow so this year we got him a snow shovel that is just his size. He’s really enjoying his new shovel and loves making “snow dust.”  He has actually cried on several occasions when the driveway has been cleared and he’s had to go inside (if only this enthusiasm for snow clearing will last though his teen years…)