Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Beatniks/Bohemians and Train Conductors

Life with a toddler is a constant stream of fun and discovery. While it's cold out, we have tons of fun inside.The boys dressed themselves up in my scarves, drew pictures, and then I helped them put together a carton-box engine that Jack received as a present on his 1st birthday from relatives.
Beatnik daddy overlooking bohemian artist Jack work
Choo Choo! Out of my way, fools!
My child and my man-child
This engine needs a paint job
I'm never coming out

Guitar Man

My cousin Y is an incredibly talented musician. His guitar is an extension of him and his skills are unlike anyone's I've ever known. So you can imagine my delight when Jack showed intense interest in what my cousin was doing. He watched Y for a while, and then we decided to hand him a little guitar that my dad had laying around. He started imitating Y and the two of them jammed for quite a while.
Jack seems to love music. He gravitates toward musical instruments and his face lights up when he hears a song he likes. Oh, and those dance moves... no one dances quite like him. He gets into a trance and is absolutely gleeful.
Since my hubby and I are avid music fanatics, I can't help but want Jack to have a love of music in his life. I hope he takes up a musical instruments and tries to make music of his own one day. I don't want to push it on him, but if he continues to show an interest in it, I'm going to offer him every opportunity to learn and immerse him in every music experience.
 Baby it's the guitar man...

Monday, December 30, 2013


My parents, sisters, and cousins loaded into three cars on Saturday and we headed over to see the Jolly Holiday Lights together. Jack kept pointing and shouting "woah!"
Where are we going?

Hooray for Cousins

Husband's cousins came over Thursday night. They flew all across the country. We watched old home videos from their childhood, laughed, played Cards Against Humanity, and generally had a great time. It was such a wonderful evening.

Everyone together (minus the kids)
My husband, his sister, and their cousins

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Xmas Eve 2013

We go to my parents' house every Christmas Eve. This year was no different. The ambiance was festive, the food was amazing, the presents exchanged were wonderful. My sister's boyfriend was with us this year, too. Jack got tons of great presents, and he loved them.

The best gift of all

Xmas Day 2013

On Christmas Day, we visited my in-laws. Of course we had to dress up all nice for the occasion. Majka and dido bought Jack a great outfit for this styling' guy. He had to model for mama.
First, he showed off his serious side. Then, he showed his playful side by hiding from the camera.
When we arrived at grandma's, Jack was showing off.
So composed
My little old man
He waited patiently for his cousins to arrive so they could start opening their presents.
Alas, the wait was over and Jack and his cousins opened their presents. They had a great time playing together.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Hand-knitted presents

This year, I made a few presents. Next year, I think I will try to do more. I just have to be disciplined about making stuff year-round, and not just a few weeks before the gift exchange.
For my coworkers, I made tiny sweater ornaments.
For the guys in the family (brothers-in-law, mother-in-law's partner), I made hats. One red and one gold skein made three hats, plus I had some leftovers. A couple of the guys are Iowa State Cyclones fans, so the colors were the appropriate choice. All three were designed by me. For the first one, pattern is available here. The other two are just some improvised stripes.
I think they liked the gifts. I sure hope so, because they will probably get something hand-knitted again next year.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Monkey see - monkey make

A coworker's family member saw a hat on Pinterest and really liked it (and wanted it in all brown, no pom-pom, not as chunky), but didn't know where to find it. A Google image search took me to a Chinese retail website where I could take a closer look. And after some finagling,  I was able to make it as close to the picture and her specification as I could.
The Muse and My Interpretation
I'm rather pretty ecstatic with how it turned out. The pattern is now available on Ravelry. I asked Jack what I should name it, and he just said: "Agani". So that's what we called it. :)

Yay - my first knitting pattern! I've definitely gained confidence in my ability to recreate store-bought stuff by simply looking at it. More patterns will be coming. :)

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

I know I'm a few weeks late with this post, but better late than never. Thanksgiving was a family affair, as always. And Jack glowed in love and attention bestowed upon him. I would sum it all up with a few words: comfortable, warm, fed, happy.

Visiting Santa at Bass Pro Shop
Looking at decorations with Daddy
Riding a cart
Not so happy to see Santa

Hanging out with Cousins
Please don't mind the chocolate covered mouth

Playing  with Grandparents and Aunties
The fam
Grandpa joins in on the fun
What a cool train set
All in all, a wonderful holiday.