Sunday, June 28, 2009

GF's Guide to Child Care

Taken directly from an email sent to his brother regarding the new babies.
In my experience the best thing to do is start them out with something soft for playing. Stick a rope bone in A's mouth and give a little tug - just not too hard, and he should start tugging back. Don't worry if he growls -- that's normal and is indicative of play.

You can also easily distract them from any wrongdoing with a soft felt toy which you would also stick in the mouth.

Remember though, it's important to establish dominance. If you play tug of war with a soft bone, you must ensure that he never successfully takes it from you. When you take it from him (this will get harder to do without hurting him as he gets older so remember to be very careful) make him wait still for it, preferably in a sitting position.

Other ways of establishing dominance include playing with his hands and feet and pinning him to the ground. But never hard and never for any longer than necessary! Don't suffocate him, just make sure he knows who is boss.

When B soils her diaper, don't rub her nose in it - you must catch her in the act. A simple firm but quiet "no", and then pick her up and place her in the yard -- don't worry, her bladder is very small. She will go again within seconds but this time in a proper location. Make sure to praise her when she does so!
I just wanted to share. That's my man, y'all! :-)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The weekend that ends in an almost done pair of socks, a finished quilt top, some green tomatoes, and two happy dogs.

For the last week, I've been working on a pair of socks for my sister-in-law's mother. When we all figured out that SIL would be going on bedrest at some point during her pregnancy, I made her a pair of socks. The idea was to send some warm fuzzies her way, and make her smile a little when she wore them. She was wearing them when her mother came to visit her in the hospital, and her mother, Darling Woman, got "jealous". She wanted a pair, too! A pair of the same socks. "No problem," I said, "I have more of that yarn, so I'll have those done for you when you come back up for the birth!" I had planned on working on them this week anyway, because SIL was operating on an "any time now" sort of schedule...then her water broke last Sunday, throwing everyone's plans into disarray. Ah well, that's the way it goes. I started the socks on Monday, hoping to churn them out in the week DW was up here. But I got busy in other ways. And my hands got tired. And I got fumble fingered and started having trouble. And my fingertips were turning a little purple from the dye in the yarn. So I put them aside. They are nearly done, and will probably finish up this week. A better picture with a description coming soon.

Because I can't function if I'm not busy, I jumped into that quilting project I haven't touched in a month. I bought the fabric and it's been sitting in a bag on my piano. Because I didn't feel like pressing it. Yesterday, following the quilt-along instructions, I pressed it and cut it into strips. The strips got stitched together and became groups of strips. I cut the groups into squares. Then I decided to save some of the fun for tomorrow. For reasons unrelated, I was awake until 2:30a, and then BMcB woke me at 6:30a. And again at 7:30a. Brat. I gave up on sleep at the second wakening, got up, and started sewing. The squares turned into rows of squares, and the rows of squares became a quilt top. A pretty large quilt top. I'm currently debating options for backing and whether I should send it to a long arm quilter or try my hand at free motion machine quilting. To be honest? It's very large and I'm a little daunted, so I'll probably choose option 2, just to say I did. Then I'll make another one (because I already want to), and send that one away.

When I took this picture, I was standing in front of GF's little vegetable garden. He built it a few weeks ago, and the plants that BMcB hasn't trammeled or relieved of their root systems are doing quite well. Of course, we can't be certain what some of the plants are because she ripped out all the little plastic markers. Brat. ANYWAY, while choosing angles for my quilt pictures, I looked down and noticed the little green tomatoes that were beginning to show themselves. I love tomatoes, so I'm really excited about this.

BMcB update: it's been a little while since I gave an actual update about her. She's fine. She's doubled in size since we got her, but is still very small (she started at just over 8 pounds and now weighs in at 15.5). Completely bonded to Otto, she gets mad if he isn't wherever she is (we really thought she'd bond with Maxine, but she doesn't want a mommy dog). She's still learning the rules, and still likes to buck the system. But she's getting there. She's getting her grown-up teeth. This is very important because we give our dogs Nylabones to chew. She's been chewing on the puppy version. She likes those, but has wanted nothing more than to chew on the adult ones that are littering the floor for the other dogs. For awhile, we tried keeping them put away (which meant the other dogs went crazy because they couldn't chew). Then we tried getting the other dogs to chew them out of her reach (clearly we overestimated their intelligence and ability to reason). Then we just told her she couldn't have them. Repeatedly and over and over again. (Please understand that the others couldn't chew on her puppy bones, either. It was a fair situation, I promise.) Today, I decided to relieve us all of this irritation. Most of her chewing teeth are now the adult version, and she is no longer supposed to chew the puppy version. So we gave her the puppy starter bone, which is the same material as the adult bones in a smaller size. She eschewed the starter bone in favor of Otto's much larger bone.

And the 83-pound Otto took the puppy sized bone.

They are both very happy now.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Oh, baby babies...

I mentioned a while back that my sister in law was having twins. I would like to take a moment to gleefully announce their arrival yesterday. Mother and babies are doing well, Pappa is over the moon. Always pretty energetic, his step has become downright jaunty (well, it was before he realized how all-fired tired he was).

GF and I picked up his mother and drove up to see them. Born at 35 weeks, they are small. Not as small as we expected, but still quite small. They are perfect little tiny people with astonishingly large feet. It's kind of ridiculous. Little head, little hands, little chests, little tummies, little wrinkly knees, great big ol' ski feet.

I'm completely smitten, and look forward to driving back today to stare at their disproportionately large feet some more.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The turtles are coming!!!

GF has a plan for world domination. It is, in fact, the grand dream of every knitter, and it took a knitter's husband to think of it. If you're a knitter, you've probably heard the joke about how knitters can take over the world.* Sadly, none of us have actually been able to come up with a comprehensive plan for world domination. My darling GF has an idea and believes that vast armies of teeny tiny knitted turtles are required. He is convinced they can take over the world. How precisely? I don't know. It is not for me to question the genius of the man. It is for me simply to do whatever I can to support him in his endeavors. So I knit him a tiny little turtle, using the Tiny Turtle pattern by Raynor Gellatly.**

I finished the knitting portion last night but technically didn't finish him until today because I didn't have any stuffing. This morning, I went and picked up some stuffing and stitched him together. I remained skeptical as to the efficacy of tiny knitted turtles for world domination, but his immense cuteness convinced me that he needed a little friend...

...and then there were two. I believe the power of the turtle army may be in their ability to convince knitters to augment their numbers. I say this because, as soon as I completed number 2, I cast on another...

...and now there are three. I would say that I'm done and GF's army of tiny turtles will never advance beyond a trio; but, that would be a lie. He'll get more of them. Because they don't cost much in time or materials. Because they keep my mind off of the chocolate stash. Because they please him immensely.

And, if we're being honest with each other, because they're just so gosh-darned cute. ***

* Step 1: Collect lots of yarn
Step 2: ???
Step 3: Make buckets of money/ world domination!!

** I realized that I neglected to put anything in these pictures to give these little guys scale. They're just under 3 inches long and about an inch tall. They're quite teeny.

*** GF would like to add "And because they're gonna take over the world!!!"