Thursday, June 23, 2011

Happy Birthday, Baby!

Well, I'm not sure how it happened, but my baby turned ONE!! 

And, in honor of this milestone, a personalized shirt was DEFINITELY in order!!

I was deep into the throws of a "personalized shirt tutorial" when I began confusing even myself.  I made the shirt prior to the conception of Creative Momnesia, and therefore had no pictures of the process.  I'll make sure to take pictures next time (which means another personalized item in the works!  woohoo!) and do a tutorial then. 

Happy Birthday, Baby! 

U2 Madness and Very Well-Behaved Boys

Last night, DH and I embarked on an adventure that had been 8 months in the making. He got us tickets to the U2 concert in Baltimore--when we still lived in Baltimore and had no plans of moving. Getting to M&T Bank Stadium would have been as simple as hopping on the light rail just down the street from our house and walking a couple of blocks to the stadium. Well, now that we live in Virginia, we would have to fight traffic on the D.C. Beltway and find child care for the boys that would, for the first time ever, require someone other than DH or myself to put the boys to bed. We were very lucky in that DH's brother would be visiting us and happily offered to take care of the boys so we could enjoy the show.

Knowing full well what traffic is like on the Beltway, we left the house at 3pm in order to give up plenty of time to get to Baltimore for the show, which started at 7pm. We were planning to get to Baltimore around 5 or 5:30, grab dinner and get to the stadium in time for the opening act. Sounds like a good plan, right? Well, no... We were absolutely ill-prepared for the circus that was the U2 concert. Traffic was GOD-AWFUL. We literally crawled on the beltway. I'm fairly certain that I could have walked faster... And we thought life would improve once we got on 95. Not the case. So we decided to get on 295. That sucked too. I monitored traffic  on my phone, and although Google Maps indicated that the roads were jammed, there was no incident or accident to speak of. Only when we were about a mile outside of Baltimore did we realize that all this traffic was BECAUSE OF THE CONCERT!

Once we managed to park the car, for the bargain basement price of $30 (!!!), and get to the stadium, it really started to sink in. There were 80,000 people in attendance. I don't think I've been in any one location with so many people... It was absolutely incredible... We had an amazing time, not only because U2 is phenomenal and is probably the only band in the world that is still capable of filling an entire stadium, but because our little boys, who we left with their uncle, were fast asleep--no drama, no tears--just sleeping sweetly in their little beds.

Both of the boys were in absolute hysterics when we left the house, but five minutes after we left, my BIL texted to let us know that their tears had stopped. Phew! And he sent us updates: playing with trains, wrestling, making puzzles, eating dinner, having a bath, storytime... And finally, sleep. DH and I are always nervous about pushing the boys to go out of their routine, and I think so much of that is because establishing and maintaining that routine has done so much to preserve our own sanity over the past two and a half years. Every time we've had to change things up, they've done marvelously. Whether it was transitioning them from cribs to toddler beds or going on a 9 hour road trip to Myrtle Beach, they've worked it out--sometimes better than DH and me!

So, lesson learned? We should encourage the boys to expand their boundaries, and we shouldn't be afraid to push them. I absolutely don't consider myself a helicopter mom--in fact, I'm much more attuned to the "Free-Range Kids" school of child-rearing, but there's definitely a part of my brain that loves the consistency and predictability of the boys' various routines... However, I want my boys to grow up self-assured and independent, to be aware of the consequences of their actions and to take responsibility for the things that they do. And I know that they can't grow into that unless I come to terms with the fact that they're not little babies anymore. I should practice what I preach since I'm always telling them that they're not babies--that they're big boys now and have to do big boy things (like sharing!). Easier said than done, right? As I'm sure The Caffeinated Mommy will attest, having celebrated her younger son's first birthday, we mommies often want our babies to stay babies... But, I keep reminding myself, what I think is best for me isn't necessarily what's best for little big boys.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Go the F*#k to Sleep! (NSFW!)

If you haven't already heard of this totally inappropriate, NSFW adult bedtime story, you've got to check it out. Written by Adam Mansbach in response to the frustrating evenings spent with his then 2-year old daughter, this absolutely hilarious story is narrated by none other than Samuel L. Jackson. Please note that there is quite a bit of profanity in this video and it's NSFW! If you're now sufficiently's the link! Hope you enjoy as much as DH and I did! ;-)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Short-Lived Excitement

The excitement of getting my craft on this weekend was short-lived... Not only did I have to frog the PSP cozy TWICE because I made significant mistakes (probably due to the fact that I try to knit while preoccupied with the boys), but Charlie walked into the office for no apparent reason and knocked over the the letter frame, tearing the wooden letter right off the background paper. :-/

Weekend Crafting Adventure!

This past weekend has been an absolute whirlwind of activity. That always seems to be the case on the weekends when DH is around! It's like having another kid in the house--the energy level increases exponentially when Daddy's home, which makes for fun times for the boys, but absolute exhaustion for Mommy. And the boys have figured out, after sleeping in toddler beds for about a month now, that they can actually get out of those beds when they wake up in the morning. So my little guys have been running to our room, cackling with glee! It's pretty damn cute. ;-) Except for when Charlie wakes up at 5:30am and runs screaming in our bedroom. That's not a good way to wake up.

This morning was pretty nice though--we just got the boys a new rug for their room from Ikea. We don't allow them to have toys in their bedroom--just the two stuffed animals they sleep with and ONE car/train/book for each little boy. Since the bedroom is where they go for time out, we need to make sure that it remains a place that's no fun. Anyway, last night, all they wanted to take was a car--of course--but they didn't stay up playing, thankfully. When they got up this morning, they came to our room to make sure we were there (!), but went back to their room to play with their cars on the new rug. It was wonderful to get a just a smidge more sleep--especially since DH and I were  both up late. He was watching "Breaking Bad," and I was working on his PSP cozy, which, by the way, is kicking my ass...

DH decided that he would like the greek letter omega, which is a symbol for the God of War game series,  rather than a pirate. I am, as a ninja, of course happy about this change of events. ;-) But this meant that I needed to make a new knitting chart for the omega pattern since I couldn't find one that already existed that worked with the number of stitches on the front panel of the cozy. Making this chart took all of Saturday evening. Well, that's not entirely true because I worked on some other craftiness Saturday night--to be discussed later... But it took a really long time--much longer than I had anticipated. If you're interested in charting your own intarsia patterns, this website is indispensable. There are other sites that help you map out images onto a knitting chart, but this helped me visualize the pattern according to the number of stitches I had and the specific gauge of my work.

Also, because I'm working the intarsia pattern in the round, I needed to teach myself a new technique. I'm all for learning new stuff, especially when it comes to knitting or crocheting, but I think next time, I'm going to leave learning to already established patterns--not when I'm trying to write a new pattern myself!

So after ripping out rows, going back, untangling myself from the web of bobbins and yarn, I think I've got things under control. now, I just need it to be naptime so I can get back to the knitting! ;-)

In other crafting news, I produced yet another CraftFail. I saw a beautiful framed monogram made of buttons, and when I was at Michael's there were some wooden letters on clearance. There happened to be both a C and an L, so I thought I would change things up and glue the buttons onto the letter to give it a 3-D effect. Well, this is what came out of that experiment. Note: I got really annoyed with how it looked and tore off a few buttons so it looks even crappier than it did. But not by much! Seriously...

So I needed to think of something else since I bought all these supplies... And it's a sin to waste... I can use the buttons for something else, but really--what am I going to do with these wooden letters? It's not like I have enough to do the boys' entire names. Plus, I have frames to use. Using some scrapbooking paper that I had leftover from when I made the boys' thank you cards about two and a half years ago, this is what I came up with.  Because the length of the frame is greater than the 12"x12" scrapbook paper, I had to overlap two sheets, but it's not very noticeable at all, and I think that once it's hanging on the wall, no one will be able to tell.

I have to do Lincoln's, but because the "L" has stupid buttons glued all over it, I need to find some time to heat it up and take the buttons off. Maybe this afternoon while the boys are napping... But should I work on Lincoln's frame or should I work on my ever-increasing in difficulty PSP cozy? Decision, decisions...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Attack of the Werewolf

Last night, the weather outside was absolutely wonderful. With the boys in bed and DH out of town on business, I opened the windows and enjoyed the fresh air while I worked on the pirate psp cozy. I actually hate air conditioning, and if it were up to me, the windows would be open all the time. However, since we moved into the townhouse, it hasn't been easy to do just that. The windows in this place are quite long and come down to about 6 inches above the floor. With two year olds running around the house, it's just dangerous to have the windows open. Plus, DH loves air conditioning. If it were up to him, he'd turn the thermostat down to 64 degrees, which to me is downright insane. Plus, with Charlie being allergic to just about everything outdoors, it's better for the little guy to have filtered air running through the house.

So last night was a real treat for me. As I was getting ready to go to bed, I heard a strange noise outside. I looked out the window, and with a bright, round moon shining down on the backyard, I could clearly see that the tree just beyond our fence was shaking fiercely. As I watched and listened more closely, I heard the pitiful whimpering of a small animal and the loud growling of a predator as it ripped its prey to shreds. I was mortified. It's not like I live out in the countryside. I'm in a massive townhouse complex just off the intersection of two major roads. What wild animal could be lurking in the shadows of brick and concrete???

The only logical conclusion was that this was obviously a werewolf. It sure looked like a full moon outside.
And as soon as the werewolf was finished with his appetizer, it would be coming after its main course. I hurriedly rushed through the house and closed all the windows because the flimsy screen between me and the creature of the night was clearly no match for the werewolf's supernatural powers. But clearly, the glass windowpane would provide the necessary barrier. Then, I quickly made sure that all the doors were locked because I didn't know with 100% certainty whether or not werewolves were capable of opening doors. I switched on the alarm, turned off all the lights--didn't want to attract any more attention to myself--and crawled into bed. I strained my ears to listen for any more signs of the werewolf... And I'm not sure how long I laid there and listened to the night... But at some point, I fell asleep and woke up to the sounds of my boys calling for me to come get them.

This morning, in a ridiculous attempt to validate my perfectly rational conclusions from last night, I checked the internet to see if it had actually been a full moon last night. Unfortunately for me, it's a full moon tonight, but as this scientifically accurate image shows, it apparently doesn't need to be a full moon... I can say with certainty that my windows will remain closed tonight.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Cobadopters, Va-lella, & Mother of the Year

Oh, the world of 3 year old speak.  I love it.  This morning, before eating breakfast, G had to get his audience all situated.  In front of him, in the center of the table, sat his "cobadopter", his "top-in-the-hat", as well as his "lightening a-queen".  For those to don't speak Garrett, "cobadopter" would be helicopter; "top-in-the-hat" would be Sir Topenhat from the Thomas series, and "lightening a-queen, is, of course, Lightening McQueen from Cars.  He hasn't even seen the moving Cars (why?  I don't know since he loves all things cars and racing) but since his buddies have one, it became great incentive to poop in the potty. 

That's right, blogworld, I bribe my child.  And by golly, it works. 

After the oatmeal, we moved on to Va-lella yogurt.  "Va-lella" is one of those words that's just too cute to correct.  I hope he says it va-lella when he's 12.  Or at least 4.

JuliaStitches and I just returned from a lovely morning at the park.  The boys had fun, Garrett made a new friend.  Her name is Girl.  He hasn't stopped talking about her since she left a few minutes before we did.  I think he could have been falling in love.  Don't know if she would compare to his "Kelly" (his imaginary'll hear a lot about her from me), but "Girl" was a pretty close second.  Anyway, I always amazes me when in public places how utterly oblivious parents can be.  Or maybe it's selective oblivion. 

There was a mother there, with at least 3 children.  2 of whom were completely out of control.  The 3rd was quite well behaved.  Granted, he was no more than 3 months old.  But the older 2?  Crazy.  Mother of the Year was entirely too busy chatting it up with various other mothers to pay any amount of attention to her children.  Now, I'm totally not a "cobadopter" mom - hovering over the boys - but I do know (most of the time) where they are and roughly what they're doing.  JuliaStitches and I had a wonderful conversation, all the while keeping track of all 3 big boys.  Mother of the Year? Not so much.  Not only did she bounce from mother to mother having in depth conversations, but majority of the time she stood with her back to the playground and to her boys.  Which is why, after another mother got my attention asking if it was G (which, thankfully for him it wasn't!) I had to go tell her that her child was running around the playground, hitting other kids with a stick.  A stick which was easily 3 feet long and 1.5" diameter.

He joined us at our picnic table (which was fine) and proceeded to touch every item he could reach, and even grabbed the plastic wrap and dumped JuliaStitches' sandwich on the ground.  And all Mom of the Year did was continually say, "S, no touch."  Seriously?  Your child is THREE YEARS OLD!  Get some control, give your children a little attention, as well as a few boundaries.  Your current discipline methods (or lack thereof) are obviously not working.

I thought it when I was teaching, and I still should totally have to pass a test and get a license before procreating.

Pirate Update

I had two options for making DH's pirate themed psp cozy. One was to make a skull in color (intarsia knitting) such as this one:

And the other option was to make a textured image in the same color like this image, although using the excellent skull pattern chart that I made a couple of nights ago:

I decided to try the second one out first. It would definitely be subtle, which is much More DH's style anyway. So, I got started, using a DK weight yarn and size 4 needles. I cast on 44 stitches according to the gauge swatch and got to work. Rather than knitting the stitches on the pattern, I purled them. And the result? A total disaster...

Maybe it's because I used black yarn that the contrast is very difficult to see... Or maybe it's because the "image" is far too small, but I would call this a total CraftFail:

It pretty just looks like I made a mistake... :-p so I suppose it's time to frog this and try the other option!

- Posted from my iPad

Monday, June 13, 2011

Adventures at the DMV

The DMV is an interesting place. You walk in the doors, and you're immediately surrounded by all of America--both in number and in diversity. Everyone needs either an ID or a driver's license, so it's really one of the few places you can go to see every walk of life. However, apparently the DMV has never encountered children, particularly two rambunctious little boys. And this is probably because every other parent in the world is smart enough to not bring their kids to a place that might actually be the first level of hell.

But DH and I had been putting this off for quite some time, and because his flight this morning for a business trip was cancelled, and he was put on a later flight, we had some free time that we weren't expecting. So off to the DMV to become official residents of the state of Virginia. The line to get our ticket number wasn't so bad. The boys, for the most part, were behaving themselves, and I was chit chatting with an enormously pregnant woman behind me who was telling me how grateful she is to be having a daughter this time around because she already has one boy, and he's all the boy she can handle. :-/

Once we got through that line, the boys both needed to pee, and DH and I needed to fill out paperwork. Since DH's handwriting requires a professional cryptographer to decode, he took the boys to the bathroom and I filled out the forms. Once my brood came out of the bathroom, there were three empty seats, and as we walked toward them, a man came up to the seats as well. He saw me with my kids, but sat down anyway. What?!? However, the dirty look I gave him was apparently enough to make him get up. Score one for The Mom Look!

Since we had no idea how long our wait would be, we gave the boys our phones, hoping this would keep them occupied. Instead of drawing, Charlie thought it would be fun to stand on his chair and drop my phone on the floor. As it hit the hard tile floor, the case came off in two pieces, and the battery plate also came off. So there was my phone on the floor behind his chair in four pieces. And what did the people do who were sitting in the row of chair behind us??? Absolutely nothing. Not only did I have to shimmy my way out of my row of chairs, but I had to excuse my way through another row, pick up the pieces of my phone and make my way back to my seat. All the while, no one said or did anything. Just stared. I was actually pretty taken aback that no one even offered to help. Reminds me of being on the subway during rush hour and people not getting up and offering their seat to elderly people or pregnant women.

Anyway, the boys pretty much lost their minds in the DMV. Here's photographic proof of Lincoln going off the deep end:

Then, Lincoln took control of my phone and was absolutely delighted with the camera function:
Clearly, a career as a professional photographer is not in his future. Once the boys were bored with our phones, they began doing all kinds of strange things. Very loudly. While Charlie laughed hysterically as he tried to tear DH's nose off his face, Lincoln belted out his version of the ABCs on the top of his lungs. Our attempts to corral them were utter failures. Since we figured that our numbers had to be called soon, we got up from our seats to walk around the tiny and crowded room for a bit. Lincoln managed to weasel his little hand out of mine and made a run for it. Straight into one of the boards that are set up to provide a white background for DMV photos. Charlie thought this was hilarious and followed suit. As he zipped past me and I took off after him, the security guard walked past and told me that there was no running. No shit! I thought I'd brought my restless children to the playground! Not long after DH and I picked them up and refused to let them down, our numbers were called. I held onto 30 lbs of squirmy 2 year old boy for as long as I could, all the while trying to prevent him from pushing buttons and playing with everything within arm's reach at the counter. Finally, I had to put him down in order to get my photo taken. As soon as the little boy's feet touched the ground, he ran up to the white background and punched it, nearly knocking the damn thing over. :-/

The woman behind the counter was good-natured and sympathized with me as she recalled how utterly insane her own son was at this age... I got out of there as quickly as possible, leaving DH with the other whirling dervish. I put Lincoln in the car and drove around the parking lot 6 times before DH finished up.

So moral of the story? Don't take your kids to the DMV. They will actually lose their minds, and not only will you be embarrassed that your children have caused a scene in a very public place, but you will probably feel like dropping your kids off at the nearest police station and making a mad dash for it.

Glee, Toxic Chemicals, and Pirates Galore!

For my first post on Creative Momnesia, I have to admit that I'm slightly distracted by the television... DH and I are watching Glee. ^-^ Heehee... I've seen every episode, but I'm trying to get DH to love it as well, and I think he likes it. Love is a strong word. He does like musical theater--one of the very few things we were able to afford, or rather we scrimped and saved for while we were grad students in England was to see Phantom of the Opera in London's West End. It was magical... But my preference for musical theater tends to be silly (think Hairspray), and DH's is much more serious (Les Mis). He does however really enjoy Sue Sylvester. ;-)

Anyway, when the boys were napping today, I went on a power shopping trip to Target, Wegman's, and the nail salon where I got a LONG awaited pedicure. My feet are soooo soft now. Well, at Target, I picked up a jar of sterling silver jewelry cleaner. I've never used it before, and I have several pairs of earrings that have basically turned black. I never really thought about it before because I have about a billion pairs of earrings, so the ones that had turned... I just stopped wearing them... But in the last couple of years, my earring holes have become quite sensitive to non-sterling silver and gold. Well, once the boys went to bed tonight, I grabbed some earrings and took off the seal to this jar of magical sterling silver cleaner. I read the directions--seemed easy enough. All I had to do was dip the earrings into the solution for 10 seconds. It was amazing. I was so impressed that I didn't even notice the stench of rotten eggs that filled the kitchen--until DH came downstairs and was like, "what the hell is that smell?"

Well, I cleaned several pairs of earrings, completely fascinated by how sparkly and shiny these previously black and crusty pieces of jewelry became. Then I looked down at the label. And in tiny, little, barely legible says "This product contains a chemical known to the state of California to cause cancer." Hmm... And I looked inside the jar and floating in this magical clear liquid were these little white particles. Just what does this solution do??? But then I looked at my virtually brand new earrings... And I figured... I have never, nor will I ever, live in the state of California. So I think I'm good.

Ugh... How can it already be midnight? I keep getting distracted by all the singing and dancing so this posting is literally taking foInstead on to the pirate! Instead of casting on and starting my Glee knit project, I'm making DH a cozy for his psp, and mapping out the chart for the pirate pattern that he wants on it... That took the better part of this evening. Here is my incredibly well-drawn chart:
It was drawn on my iPad, so it's actually kind of terrible... But pretty cool that I drew it on the iPad, right? Anyway, I'm kind of disappointed that DH wanted a pirate symbol rather than a ninja, although it comes as no surprise as DH is definitely more of a pirate. Which is quite unfortunate because I'm a ninja, and pirates and ninjas are natural enemies.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Welcome to Creative Momnesia!  We hope you enjoy your time here and come back often!

I think it is only appropriate that our first blog entry showcase some of the cute sh!t we have each made.  I think I can speak for JuliaStitches when I say that these are, by far, our BEST creations to date: