Sofia is Five!

The title of this post should really be, Sofia is a bad ass.  It doesn’t matter how old Sofia is, she is ready to dominate the globe tomorrow.

This has been a huge year for Sofia.  She started Pre-K in August.  It took her a few months to warm up to the idea, but she totally loves it now.  She runs to class every morning, is eager to do her homework in the afternoon and has totally excelled at all her early reading and math skills.  She started the year not being able to even identify her letters and numbers.  Now she is just right on the cusp of reading.  Riaz and I are insanely proud of her.

If this year’s little recap video tells you nothing else it has to be that Sofia is freakishly strong.  Like, Hulk strong.  There is nothing Sofia can’t climb, can’t swing on, can’t turn into an obstacle course and can’t totally dominate.  She’s a beast.  I don’t know if she will decide to play an organized sport and I don’t know what that sport she will choose, but whatever she decides to do, she will crush it.

Sofia’s best friends continue to be her brother and sister.  She is friendly with the kids at school but has a bit of aloofness in her.  Her teachers inform me that it took her a good four months to crack a real smile in class.  She’s fearless and dominating but also a total observer, she likes to sit back and watch what is happening before jumping into the mix.  I really love that quality about her.  She is the farthest thing from reckless and the mix of alpha dog with a touch of caution is going to serve her well.

Sofia is the spitting image of her dad and grandma  Since she looks absolutely nothing like me I can say without ego that I think she is one of the most beautiful girls in the world.  Her olive skin, blonde curls and rosebud lips are just the best and I could look at her all day.

Sofia is the perfect middle child.  She’s competitive but not mean or aggressive about it.  She idolizes her brother and is loving to her sister. Sofia is just an all-around awesome human being and we all love her too much.

Happy Birthday Sofia, you are awesome!

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SEVEN!

Aiman is seven!  It doesn’t even seem possible. Aiman is a full-fledged kid now.  He loves Pokemon, playing games on the iPad when he’s not supposed to, running fast, feats of strength and math.  He is still the sweet, sensitive (sorry 17-year old Aiman reading this in the future, but it’s true!), charming, handsome boy he’s always been, but now he’s also reading, losing teeth, doing pretty complicated math, hanging out with his friends, asking me difficult life questions I don’t have the answer to and occasionally being a goofy kid.  He makes us so proud every day.

Aiman has really come into his own this year.  He struggled with reading and writing at the beginning of the school year but sometime after Christmas his teacher says that it was like a switch got flipped and he caught up to all his classmates and then some.  Riaz and I floated out of Aiman’s most recent parent-teacher conference just so happy with the amount of work he had put in and the effort he had shown.  I think the quality I love the most about Aiman is that when he sets his mind to a task he works really hard to achieve it.  It is so awesome to see.

Aiman maintains his deep and abiding love of Mika.  I often find them sitting on the couch, cuddled up, watching whatever is on T.V. and sharing a bowl of grapes.  It is adorable.  Aiman and Sofia’s relationship is more complicated.  They fight often, but are also best friends (though they would never admit it!)  Aiman and Sofia are V.E.R.Y. competitive and if there is anything that Sofia can do better than Aiman it is only a matter of time before he is off practicing whatever that happens to be until he can say that he is the best.  I say the words “it’s not a competition!!!” probably 5 times a day, but it doesn’t matter, everything is a competition to them from who eats dinner faster, to who can get dressed the quickest in the morning, to who  is better on the monkey bars.

We feel so lucky to have Aiman as the oldest sibling.  He’s a hard worker, he’s empathetic, he stands up for his sisters and is just an all-around awesome person.  The girls could not ask for a better big brother and we could not ask for a better son.

Happy Birthday Aiman!  We love you too much!

 

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Christmas Blankets!

I’m only a month late posting about the kids Christmas blankets.  I blame … Christmas, and New Year’s and January blahs.  You know, the usual.  I made Aiman’s blanket in an attempt to learn how to crochet.  I really love how it came out, but some of the joins are already starting to come apart.  I’ve had to do some not so pretty fixes, but its all part of the learning process!  Aiman loves it and that’s what matters most.

Aiman's Blanket

Revelry notes are here.

After I finished I got to work on Sofia’s blanket.  All the joins seem strong, but there is a bit of wonkiness due to some of my squares not being the exact same size.  But who notices wonkiness when wrapped up in a blanket anyway!  I love the cheerful brightness of this blanket.  It suits Sofia perfectly.

Sofia's Blanket

Ravelry notes here.

Finally, Mika’s blanket which was just simple granny stripes, but is still probably my favorite.  It’s not particularly exciting to crochet, but the effect is adorable, warm and squishy.  Mika loves it.

Mika's Blanket

Ravelry notes here.

Since Christmas I’ve been working on my New Year’s resolution to myself to actually make something that is for me.  I know, I know .. I’m selfish knitter.  I’m making Jared Flood’s Girasole, which is actually quite an easy knit and is so beautiful.  I’m using wool Riaz got me for my birthday from the lovely people at Woolfolk.  I’m using Tynd 01 and it’s crazy beautiful and so soft.  I highly recommend.

Girasole(Taking decent pictures of in-process circular shawls with LOTS of lifelines is not an easy task!)

I’ve had to rip back my work a few times due to a wandering mind, but it really couldn’t be an easier knit.  I am excited for the finished product!

Finally, I’ve joined my first ever crochet along.  This Vibrant Vintage CAL (which is kind of a mouthful) is fun.  I decided to do it primarily because I really love the insane border on this blanket.  We’re only on week two which means I’ve made 4 squares.  Not quite blog-picture worthy yet!

So, I guess that’s it!  This was a monster update on the crafting front.  To appease the fans of my crazy kids, here you go:

The Kids

Joining up with the Yarn Along.

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A Quick Update

I was getting into a pretty good blogging habit there for awhile, but then things at work got real busy and my brain decided to stop functioning during off hours.  Riaz is going to the U.K. for a week in October for the Rugby World Cup and even though I am going to be a 24-hour a day single parent for little while I CAN’T WAIT!  I need a break from work y’all.

Instead of thinking, I’ve been crocheting my face off.  Aiman’s granny square blanket is almost done but I ran out of the yarn I need so am in a holding pattern while I wait for UPS.  I got started on Sofia’s simple granny stripe blanket and even though its super basic, I really love it.

Granny Stripes

Somewhere along the way I decided that this blanket’s personality suits Mika better than Sofia and decided to switch owners.  I’m going to make a slightly less busy variation of this for Sofia and I think she will love it.  With how quickly the granny stripes are coming I think I will definitely be able to get all three blankets done by Christmas.

On a completely unrelated note, Sofia was drawing a picture of her family for school last night and said, “mom, this one is you, it has a big head.”  I only cried myself to sleep a little last night.

Joining up with Yarn Along.

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Mika is Two!

Mika’s personality has really started to shine through this year and her goofy, stubborn, klutzy, happy little nature is just so darn loveable.  Part of me feels like Mika was just born.  I remember with perfect clarity holding her little body against mine after she was born while she screamed her face off for a good twenty minutes.  But another part of me has a hard time remembering what life was like before she came along.  She fits so perfectly into our little family.  She really is a remarkable little human and I can’t wait to see what next year brings.

Mika is a total goof ball – she’s funny, playful and adorable.  She can tell when we’re making jokes and laughs hysterically at just the right moment.  She loves to chase Aiman and Sofia around the house, but is also super independent and will happily play alone when given the chance (which isn’t often!)  Mika’s independent streak is legendary and completely terrifying.  Unlike Aiman who always wants to know where I am, Mika will just take off, whether there is a parent with her or not.  She’s always trying to escape the park or the house or the car or any other thing that is attempting to contain her.  Mika keeps us on our toes and our blood pressure elevated!

Mika desperately wants to be able to do everything that Aiman and Sofia can do but is so adorably ill-equipped to keep up.  Even at an early age Aiman and Sofia were incredibly sporty and coordinated, Mika is …. extremely adorable and smart.  Mika has a difficult time navigating around obstacles and walls and like, her feet.  She trips over herself constantly and spatial awareness is not her strong suit.  But what she lacks in raw talent she makes up for in gusto.  She doesn’t let a skinned knee or a nasty fall stop her, she is always on the go and ready to play.  She is such a determined spunky little person, I know she is going to be able to handle whatever life throws at her.

Mika is definitely a love-bug.  The girl loves to snuggle and kiss (just ask any little toddler boy at the park!) and when she goes to bed at night she likes to have her arms wrapped around my neck and lets out little protests when I get up to leave even if she is sound asleep.   When I come home from work, she runs towards me shouting “mom, mom, mommy, MOMMY!” in such a happy little voice it just erases whatever stress I had through the day.  At night she holds only my leg and walks around the house with me while I change clothes and get dinner.  She is easily the happiest two year old I’ve ever met.

Aiman and Sofia absolutely adore Mika.  They both try to carry her around and make her laugh and were thrilled when we moved Mika’s bed into their room.  They are awesome at being her siblings and she is awesome at being the baby of the family.

Mika is bright, loving, cute and just all-around wonderful.  We all love her too much.

Happy Birthday Mika Jane!

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A Finished Knit!

I took a year and a half to knit, then another 6 months to buy appropriate blocking pins and then another 2 months to actually block this wrap.  But IT’S DONE!  IT. IS. DONE!  I love it though I do wish it was just slightly longer.  I think it will stretch out some as it gets worn so I’m not going to lose any sleep over it and in any event I couldn’t possibly knit another repeat, it would almost definitely kill me.

Blocking

I used the gold colored Silver Label Mulberry silk yarn from Tanis Fiber Arts which is expensive and absolutely divine, and this pattern which can be a bit boring at times but delivers a lovely effect.

Wrap

This little baby is headed to my mother-in-law. She saw it in process when we visited Australia Christmas before last (eep!) and I am so excited to actually get to send her the finished product.  This is by far the largest project I have ever completed and I’m not lying when I say I may shed a happy tear when it finds its new home!

Ravelry notes here if you are interested (they basically just say use a lifeline.  USE A LIFELINE!)

Besides blocking and ogling my finished wrap, I’ve been plugging away at Aiman’s granny square blanket.  The vast difference between the lacy wrap and the bulky granny squares is not lost on me, but variety is the spice of life!  I’m still obsessed with making a circle blanket for Sofia and have been eyeing cheap yarn that won’t make my index finger feel like the Sahara Desert, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

I’ve started a bit of an assembly line with Aiman’s blanket — doing just one color at a time and it has made the whole process go so much faster.  I’ve got 17 squares to go, and then I need to sew them all together, crochet an edge and weave in the ends.  I think I’m looking at maybe another 3 weeks or so to get this done.  I can’t wait to see the little guy’s face when I give it to him!

That’s it on the crafting front.  Linking up with the Yarn Along.

 

 

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Plastic-Less!

Riaz watched some documentary a few weeks back that has rendered him terrified of plastic in our food supply.  Since the documentary was narrated by Sean Penn I am certain that it is part true, part crazy-town, but de-plasticifying our lives as much as possible is probably not such a bad thing.  When I look around our kitchen I see a lot of plastic and I like the idea of living cleaner and helping out the environment a little so I am on board with Riaz’s mission.   (Now if I could only figure out how to keep recycling bins in our 2×2 foot kitchen!

We’re starting slow because I don’t have a huge amount of disposable income to replace all of our single-use disposable plastic stuff, which is ironic, but we’re going to try to swap a few things out every month until we are down to the plastic we just can’t get rid of.  We’ve already made a few changes that we’re pretty happy about so this is the start of yet another on-going series entitled Kristina’s Reviews of Stuff Not Made of Plastic.  It’s a working title.

First, I will point you to this website which I think is a little bit expensive, but has a fairly exhaustive list of regular household goods that have been de-plasticed.  I’ve been finding stuff on that site and then do a bit of comparison shopping on Amazon.

We’ve been using a Pyrex set very similar to this for a little over a year for all our leftovers and my work lunches.  The lids are plastic, but we all make sacrifices.  We like these so much we bought a second set.  And I’m considering buying a few more of the larger ones so that I can stop using freezer bags for all my pre-made freezer food.  But then I will have to buy a bigger freezer so … we may have to hold off on that one.  I can’t say enough good stuff about these Pyrex dishes, they are extremely sturdy and relatively reasonably priced (we bought ours at Costco).  I’ve gotten all my co-workers onto these as well so our office fridge looks like a Pyrex convention.

The next switch we made was to buy glass containers for our flours and sugar.  Flour and sugar generally come in paper containers, but I was having to decant them into plastic bags because of our (shudder) cockroach problem (shudder again!)  I bought these super cheap glass jars at The Container Store.  The wide mouths are perfect and they are fairly sturdy.  My only complaint is that the sizes aren’t exactly right.  The largest size is too big for a five pound bag of sugar, but the next size down is slightly to small so I end up with just a little bit of sugar that doesn’t fit in the jar.  Similarly a five pound bag of flour is slightly more than will fit in the largest gallon size, so I end up with just a little bit of flour left over.  If I had more space I would just buy the largest size for the sugar and then find another option for the flour, but instead I just live with what I have and keep the remaining bits of flour and sugar in their paper bags stuffed inside a plastic bag (because cockroaches!)  I do really really like these jars though, they’ve got square sides so they are space savers and they do seem to keep my flour and sugars fresh.

I’m now on a mission to find spill-proof cups and take-away water bottles for the kids.  It is much harder than you would think!  The tops!  The tops are always made of plastic.  I’ll keep you posted.

 

Posted in Hippies, Plastic Free Living | 1 Comment