Birthday Girl

Naia's 10th birthday was today but the partying started last Friday. As soon as she got out of school and we'd dried off from the pouring rain, we made popcorn, turned on the fireplace, grabbed our blankies and put 'Wizard of Oz' on the teevee. Naia had never seen Oz before; I'd quoted from it a couple of times recently and she had absolutely no idea what I was talking about. Now she does. And she's almost as big a fan of the yellow brick road as I am.

Saturday, Naia had a sleep-over pizza party at her mom's house with three of her closest buddies. Sunday, her dad took her shopping for clothes and then I helped her make her favorite chocolate chip cake (and let her lick both beaters and the bowl; hey, it was her birthday.)

Tonight, Naia chose to go to bobbin lace class with me, rather than stay home and watch teevee or play Club Penguin. I think she really likes this lace stuff - and she's good at it. She picked it up much faster than I, or my friends, did when we first started. Naia's finished her second fish (the yellow and red one on the right below) and has started her first snake.
And she's bugging me to get her a "real" bobbin lace pillow - with a drawer, thank you very much. Shhhhh, don't tell her - it's a secret - but PopPop has agreed to make her one this week. Can't wait to see her reaction!



Marie brought Leanne over for her first visit with the cousins today. Naia and Leia had gone to the hospital to see Leanne just after she was born, but because they aren't siblings, they weren't allowed into the NICU*.

Leia was thrilled with tiny Leanne.
And Naia thought she was pretty cool too. Even Uncle Gary got into the act, holding Leanne while entertaining Leia. What a change from 4 1/2 years ago when Addison was born and Gary wouldn't even touch her, much less hold her.

Leanne has only one cap that fits her tiny head - the one they put on her in the hospital - so mom appealed to grandma for more hats. And grandma complied -
although the ones made so far are still much too big. But that's the nice thing about babies. They grow fast. I'm betting these fit her before the month is out.

*They sat in the cafeteria instead, where Leia demonstrated the fine art of eating spaghetti.


Butt Coaster

My first thought on seeing this was "really? The world needs a crocheted butt coaster??" And the pattern is being published by a major yarn company. One that is obviously still mired in the '70s. Chalk up another one for the "what where they thinking" files.


Friday's Child

Introducing Leanne Elizabeth, born Friday, February 18, at 6:53 pm, weighing 7.4 pounds and 20 1/4" long.

Looks like she got her mom's long feet.

Isn't she beautiful? Mom, dad and baby are all doing well and should be released from the hospital tomorrow morning. Leanne brings our grandchild count to 6; 4 girls and 2 boys.

Monday's child is fair of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace,
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go,
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child works hard for his living,
And the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.


Meet Alex

Me, speaking casually, last weekend: "You know, it might be about time to start looking for a new car."

Two dealerships later, look what followed us home:
Alex* is a 2011 Chev Equinox, V-6, with seat warmers and a backing camera. I thought I wanted a red car until I saw this one - it was love at first sight. Alex was the advertised 'special' for President's Day weekend so we got a very nice deal.

And buying a new car? Not a fast project. We got there at 1 - without having lunch first, bad mistake - and got off the lot at 4:30. And drove straight to McDonalds. Soooo hungry. But very happy too.

Not going to miss our old Trailblazer even a little bit.

* Everyone names their cars, right??


Thar She Blows!

Courtesy of a Christmas gift from Breanne and Garrett, hubby and I went whale watching today. Technically, I suppose we should call it dolphin watching - or wave watching - or lots of pelican watching - since we saw nary a whale. One of our fellow passengers said they saw a tail fin, but I think that was a fluke of their imagination. (That's a whale of a joke. Are you blubbering with laughter? I just krill myself sometimes.)

We took the Islander out of Ventura Harbor at 9:30 this morning.
Having been whaling before, we grabbed seats inside where it was warm and out of the wind while everyone else headed for the open decks upstairs and on the bow. Thanks to the windows all around the cabin, we had great wind-free views while our captain motored out to the islands and we sipped our hot chocolate.
It's blue whale season and several have been spotted near the Channel Islands over the past few days, but today was either a whale holiday or they were sleeping in. We didn't see a single spout or fluke.

But the weather was great, with blue skies and lots of wispy white clouds; perfect for viewing the Anacapa Light Station,
Arch Rock, and the sea lion rookery on Santa Barbara Island. (Sorry for the distance shot; when the boat pulled in closer, everyone crowded to that side of the boat and it was impossible to get close enough to the rail to get pictures.)

Hubby and I agree that the best part of the day was the dolphins.

click on any picture to make it bigger

Literally hundreds of Common Dolphin surrounded the boat as we rounded Santa Barbara Island, jumping, chasing, and surfing the boat's wake.
The water was roiling with dolphins everywhere you looked. Our captain said that for every one you see on the surface, there are 7 - 10 more dolphins underwater. It was a fantastic show that just went on and on.
Even though we didn't see the whales we went for, it was still a great day. Very peaceful, beautiful and relaxing. Thanks very much, Bre and G!


Family Heirloom

Years (and years) ago, Vickie painted this sweet little step-stool as a gift to me. It's been well loved and saw a lot of use when my kids were growing up but for the last few years, it's been more of a decorative item.

Until this week, when Leia discovered it.
She uses it all around the house, but especially in the kitchen where it's perfect for searching the counter-tops for num-nums. Just the right size for a little girl to practice her independence. Thanks again, Auntie Vickie.

Elizabeth loves to swing so high,
Bearleigh chases a butterfly,
Daisy weaves a flower chain,
Three little dolls a friendship gain.

Running, jumping or pulling a cart,
these three dolls are never apart.
The secret, you guessed it,
Lives in their heart.


Knitting Progress

Despite the lack of recent evidence, knitting has been happening. I'm holding to my New Year's goal (not resolution!) to do less crochet and more of everything else fibery - and this month, that means knitting.

I've started the border on the never-ending Pi Shawl - my first ever knit-on border*.
Why didn't someone tell me how easy that is?? The Kid Silk Haze is a bit slippery but the actual knitting is a breeze. I was even able to rip back to a dropped stitch and continue on - another first. Before this I would've had to rip all the way back to the beginning and start over. Progress! Our Lady of the Dirty Face decided to help me take photos today. I love the frog pose (above) and the glamor shot (below). Also on the needles is a Baby Surprise Jacket for soon-to-arrive Leanne Elizabeth. Verrrrrry soon to arrive. I started the jacket during the Super Bowl but ripped it out that same night and started over. So much happier with it now. The yarn is some I picked up at Pearl's on the 75% off table and the contrast color - a snowy white - came from the same place.

Leia helped me with this photo too. So very, very helpful.

A colorful, inexpensive little gift that needs to be finished very, very soon. Leanne's official due date is this Tuesday (4 days). First babies are usually late, but . . . . . I've got to knit faster.

*There's 576 stitches in the last round of the shawl. For the border, I need to knit 16 stitches into each one of those 576 stitches. That's 9216 stitches. Nine THOUSAND. I've gotta stop calculating this stuff.


Time Flies

Can't believe it's been a week since I posted. Things are still busy around here with caring for the little girls. When I have a few minutes to myself, I've chosen to craft or read rather than work on the computer. A few projects are nearing completion, so I should have some new pictures soon. Until then, how about a pic of three of my favorite peeps?

Last Saturday's trip to Long Beach Aquarium.
Need to finish processing the rest of the pix.

Oh! And grandbaby #6 is due to make her appearance any time now. Official due date is February 15 - but when has a first baby ever been on time? Something else to look forward to!


Horse Girl

A friend of mine invited Naia to come visit her horses. Naia was excited, to put it mildly - that's all she's talked about since the invitation was extended two weeks ago.
Getting to know AJ

Naia has never ridden before and was a little intimidated by the size of 30-year-old AJ. She was not at all sure she really wanted to get up on his back when the time came.
Terri was very patient and wonderful. She soon had Naia up and riding around the rink (almost) on her own. Of Terri's three horses, AJ is the most gentle and the only one Naia was allowed to ride. She still got lots of petting time and kisses from Hollywood - and he's the one that stole her heart. If she was anywhere near him, his head was over the fence and he was angling for scratches or smooches. Such a love bug! Naia also got to lead Annie, the smallest and friskiest of the bunch, around the yard with a rope and halter. It was pretty funny (and heart warming) to see this kid who was scared to touch AJ when we first got there, being the boss of Annie who outweighed her by at least a thousand pounds. And what do you say when it's time to go? Why, "thank you", of course. And "I don't want to leave!"
I love the 'conversation' AJ and Naia are having.

And "when can I come back??"
And finally, "Thank YOU, Terri!!!" From both of us.


Big Girl Now

Over the weekend, Leia graduated from her high chair to a big girl chair at the table. Needless to say, she is very pleased with herself. She was also pleased she got to eat breakfast picnic-style on the floor with her big sister. Anything Naia does, Leia thinks is golden. And Naia still likes having baby sis trailing her around. Bet that changes when Naia hits her teen years.