Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Cinnamon Rolls

A few years ago it became a tradition to have cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning. This year we had them for Christmas Eve, and I tried a new recipe thinking it might be better than the one I've used previously. That was a mistake. They turned out hard and crusty and blah. 

To make a long story short, I have returned to my tried and true recipe and probably won't go back. 


You can find my favorite gluten-free recipe here. I suggest skipping the saran wrap that the author uses and just roll the dough out on parchment paper, liberally dusted with tapioca-flour. Also, sprinkle more tapioca flour on the dough and roll out as usual. It worked better than ever, even when I messed with saran wrap and all that.


Edited to add: I found my orchid tag!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Currently 1.27.2017

Currently in my days I am...

Reading: 
"Where'd You Go, Bernadette?"  and "The Year of Living Danishly".  
It has been a while since I've read in bed before falling asleep. Mostly because I have a very small person in my life and usually I just want sleep, as much as possible at night. But recently, I have been reading in bed and it's been so good. I'm still not getting much sleep though, as this little person likes to be fed numerous times a night.*

Loving: 
The new living room arrangement my sister helped me come up with. Previously, we had the couch against the wall under our world map and there was a huge open expanse out in front. I've been craving "hygge" these last few weeks and my living room simply was not hygge. But it is now! I did the "pinterest" thing and moved the couch to the middle of the room to create some coziness and a smaller living room. Much improved in my mind. 
          I'm also quite excited that my before-mentioned sister is crocheting me a round rug to put in the back corner near the piano, for kiddos and toys. Yay! I think it will look extra cozy. And, no, I don't crochet. Are you surprised? I knit, but do not crochet. 

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It still looks like a huge open space in this picture, but it's not. 
I was trying the pano option on my phone to get a w i d e landscape type of picture.

Dreaming: 
*Of sleeping through the night again one day. I realized that I'm not exactly trying to sleep-train Lincoln, but rather night-wean him. So I'm slowly decreasing the nursing sessions by one minute over the course of many days. We're already down by 2 minutes just this past week, so it may be slow, but I'm okay with that.

Wishing: 
I could find the tag that came with the orchid I bought a couple years ago. Ha, I know, this seems so insignificant! But I kept the tag specifically so I would know what kind of orchid I have in order to properly care for it. The time has come for it to be re-potted, and knowing for sure if it's a Phalaenopsis or not, would be quite helpful.

Thinking About: 

Wool! And sheep. And ducks. And chickens. For some reason I have the homestead bug right now and I truly wish I had a sheep. Mainly because I've been knitting a lot more recently and after switching from a lovely wool/silk blend yarn to acrylic (to use up some in my stash) I've realized how lovely natural fibers are. 



Listening To: 
The Bible on audio. I'm trying this as something new, to see how I like it. So many times I read the same scriptures to myself, using the same Bible I had when I was 10, and it sounds the same as it always has. For variety, I want to hear it being spoken aloud and in a different method than I'm accustomed to. 

Watching: 
My little children grow up right before my eyes. Natasha wanted to know how many more days it was till her April birthday a couple weeks ago, and at the time we counted, it was 105. 105 more days till she turns 7. She is learning so much these days; multiplication, html and coding on Khan Academy, how to properly form cursive "h's" and reading up a storm. She devours all the new library books in one day and finished "Pippi Longstocking" in about 4 evenings. 


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Since when can I stay in the car, while my little girl dashes 
out in the unseasonably warm weather to slip a letter in the post box?

Lincoln is crawling on all fours now versus his previous "seal" method of getting around. He is also pulling himself up to stand, and thinking he's big stuff. Sometimes I just look at him and tears come to my eyes. He won't be a baby for long and I want to bottle up every little bit of these days.


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Trying: 
To stay with my New Year's Goal of taking a picture a week with Natasha and Lincoln. It's basically the same goal I had last year, but with a twist: Using the film camera this time. It will be such fun to have 52 pictures on film of the year 2017, if I can keep it up. 

So, what are you reading, dreaming, or thinking about these days? Feel free to share!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Quiet January Days

Just some pictures with few words for this update. 










Raveled here

My sister-in-law requested a baby bonnet for their new baby girl (who is supposed to arrive SOON!) and I happily obliged. This was a new pattern, and a really fun one I found on Ravelry, called, "Cloud Bonnet".

Friday, December 16, 2016

Lincoln's First Sweater

My typical souvenir when in another country is yarn. So this past fall when in Canada, I bought yarn made in Canada (which isn't THAT common...they don't raise a lot of sheep up there) and began a sweater for my son. This would not only be his first sweater, but my first time knitting a sweater. It turned out pretty nicely, and I love it. I must admit I'm not a fan of the manner in which the sleeves are set in. I think it looks a little 1990's boxy shoulder-pad-ish. So next time I'm doing a raglan sleeve style. 

Raveled here


The buttons are from my Dad's baby clothes, circa 1952, and they were perfect for this shoulder closure. 


I'm now having a hard time wrapping my brain around the fact that it is the middle of December and Christmas is basically a week away. And instead of devoting my time to Christmas cards like I ought to be, I find myself updating the blog. Why?! Oh yes. I know. I started to look for pictures of Lincoln to include in the Christmas cards, came across the sweater pictures, realized I hadn't blogged about it, and...here I am. 

So if I don't get back here before Christmas, I wish you a very merry one. :)

Monday, October 17, 2016

My Unexpected Favorite Baby Accessory

This is a post in which I talk about odds and ends, but  mostly revolving around pacifier clips. It might seem strange, but I'm really finding out how useful these little things are.

So to start off, the pacifier clips themselves. My sister-in-law gifted us with two braided leather ones from Ryan and Rose and even had one specially engraved with Lincoln's initials. I love the "manly" leather style and color. And nope, this is not a sponsored post for Ryan and Rose. :) I've just found these clips to be so handy for various little things.
 


Pacifier clips are mostly for pacifiers, of course. Lincoln hasn't taken the pacifier willingly very often, since he is actually a thumb sucker, but it has come in handy for soothing when I'm there to hold it in and he's not in a thumb-sucking mood yet. This Natursutten pacifier came from the same shop as the clips and I am particularly fond of how natural it is.

Toys though are where I think a pacifier clip is incredibly nice. Lincoln can't hold onto anything very long before he unknowingly opens his little fingers and down goes the toy. But if I have it clipped onto his clothes, it can't fall the to the floor to get dirty or for us to play the unending pick-up game. Also, I can clip these to the top edge of the diaper bag and they don't get lost in the great depths of the bag. 





This little hedgehog was such fun to make. It was constructed in many snatches of time here and there at the sewing machine, but I did get it done before we left for Canada. (Priorities you know, when packing to leave the country for a month.) Using the pacifier clip, I can clip it to Lincoln's carseat hood shade and he can watch it swing around while we travel. Little "Hedgie", as Natasha and I have come to calling him, came from a library book called "How to Make Stuffed Animals", and believe me, I'm making some of the other little animals when I get back to a sewing machine. They are adorable and so small, they only take scraps of fabric.



I love the woodland theme for little boys and if I had a nursery to decorate, I have a feeling it would be woodsy themed- with a cute mobile similar to this one. One of my other sister-in-laws gave us this swaddle blanket at the baby shower she hosted and I just love it. So my little hedgehog seems to fit right in. 

Aww, wasn't he little at 5 days old?


The other toy I have attached to the pacifier clips are these Bunny Ear Teething Rings I made back before Lincoln arrived, with wooden rings from Etsy. The hardest part about making them was selecting coordinating fabric for my sets of three. :) Again, another scrap busting project. 





 I even made some for some friends who were expecting around the same time I was:



If I make any more, I would do a couple hand stitches to secure the two "bunny ears" to each other at the base of the "ears" so the fabric won't work itself off the ring. That has happened once with Lincoln's gumming away at one, so I need to fix that.


Well, it's our last day here in Canada and we're going on one last sight-seeing outing in Old Quebec this afternoon. I'm tidying our AirBnB house, packing our belongings and getting things ready to be tucked back into our Audi for the drive home. We are planning to see Niagara Falls from the Canadian side on our way back to the States so that will be fun.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Thoughts on a Thursday

Today is a rare and special day. Daniel took Natasha on a whale watching adventure and they won't be home till evening. Since Lincoln is too young to go out on the boat and all, it's just me and this babe today at home.


On my mind are a lot of random little things that I thought I'd share.

  • Knitting. Oh my goodness, am I obsessed with Ravelry and all the new patterns I'm finding. My sister-in-law asked if someone could knit a baby bonnet styled similar to one of these for her new baby coming in February and little did she know what she started. I want to knit ALL the bonnets for ALL the babies, including my own. So if I know you and you're expecting, you now have a good idea of the baby gift you're getting. That is, if I can knit fast enough. But before I start baby bonnets, I'm working on a sweater for my little man with these beautiful colours.




  • Postpartum hair loss. It's real, folks. Maybe it's just that I have long hair to begin with, but wow. It seems like a LOT is coming out. How long does this last?! 
  • Roasted butternut squash in our AirBnB's convection oven is SO good. I roast it sprinkled with cinnamon, drizzled with honey and a good amount of butter and it's like candy.
  • When I'm up with Lincoln at night and he's nursing, I find that's the best time for me to pray. I did a lot of it when he was a newborn, but as he gradually slept longer and I wasn't up as much, it slacked off. We're back at it again and I'm grateful for the almost subconscious sleepy state of mind at 12:30, 3:00 and 5:00 a.m. when I can turn my thoughts to Christ. I can take all the little and big things that are a part of my life and my loved ones lives to him in prayer and know that he cares.
  • My life is not always rosy and Pinterest-worthy. I want you all to know that. One of the main ones right now is Natasha and her issues with "uncomfortable" clothing. She only wants to wear what she deems comfortable, and it's a rough, rough day when that item, i.e. her dotted skirt, are in the wash. I had no idea when I gave birth to a girl that their emotions can be so haywire and strong even at such young ages. Oh my. I am quite open to suggestions if anyone has any tips on teaching little girls to stay in control of these very real, but over-the-top outbursts.
The favorite new skirt, made from the "Frothy Skirt" pattern, with fabric I bought in Paris 3 years ago.
  • Fall in Canada is amazing. I'm in love. The maple trees here seem to be a different red than at home. It's probably my imagination, but they are SO vibrant. I don't think I know the right words to describe the colors I've seen. Maybe I should consult Sherwin Williams' paint swatch selection for names. They're maroon and scarlet and crimson and wine and all so stunning.
So, I leave you with another smiley picture of a drooling baby, who just woke up from his morning nap. On our to-do list this afternoon is a bike ride to the river to sit in the sun and knit or read. We'll see if I can get to the bike path without getting lost since I don't have Daniel to lead the way. The knitting and reading may not happen in reality, but it's a lovely thought, aye?




Monday, October 3, 2016

Knitting for Babies and Babies Sleeping


First off, knitting. 

Last winter I actually knitted something for my yet-to-arrive baby. I chose a simple vintage pixie cap from the library's copy of "Vintage Knits for Modern Babies". It was easy aside from having some confusing instructions on how to attach the neck strap. I had to use pictures from other knitter's projects in Ravelry to figure out how to sew it on, but after that it went together well. I would make the neck strap longer next time as it seems a wee bit snug on little man's neck, but I have a feeling that's only because of his double chin and chunk. :) Natasha and I call him our little "gnome baby". 

 Sometimes getting decent pictures of babies is a little tricky


When I realized we would be in Canada for fall and it would only be increasingly chillier during our month stay, I decided mittens would be next. I found a good pattern in our library's copy of "What to Knit When You're Expecting," but I'm not expecting. :) Thankfully, my baby is here already.                       These came together easily as well. My only complaint is I wish I had about a 5 in. long circular needle for knitting in the round for projects like this. My double points are just too long or something, and end up flopping all over the place. 

    
I really like the encased elastic in the wristband on these to keep them on little hands. We do have a slight problem though since Lincoln likes to suck his thumb. How does one suck thumb with mittens on? 


It's possible, but not ideal.

     
It's so fun to have memories all over the globe with yarn. I purchased this possum/merino wool blend in New Zealand two years ago, knitted it while in Canada, and the mittens will be worn in the States and elsewhere I hope. :)

I still haven't visited a yarn store here in Quebec, but when I do, I'm on the search for some suitable sweater yarn for Lincoln. For some reason I really want to knit a baby sweater and it's so handy since I have a baby to wear it once it's done. :) Since I can't travel with my sewing machine, I knit when in other countries and it seems to work well. Usually we end up watching Top Gear or another similar type of show on Netflix in the evenings and I knit away.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Now for the sleeping topic. Anyone have any experience with the 4th month growth spurt babies go through and how it effects their sleep habits? Lincoln was sleeping through the night or only waking up once to nurse until three days ago. It totally switched and now he's up about 3 times a night, every 2-3 hours. I do not remember this with baby Natasha! Is there anything I should or could be doing to help him sleep better again at night?