Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Undies on Head II

Originally uploaded by knights_writes

Yep. That's my daughter, with her brother's underwear (not exactly clean) on her head. Monkey see, monkey do!

Undies on Head I

Originally uploaded by knights_writes

My son, wearing his underwear (clean) on his head. Funny, right? Just wait... it gets better with the next post.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Weaning the Queen

I've been nursing Mae just twice a day (bedtime and morning) since she turned one (about 2 months now). I discontinued the morning feeding earlier this week, which went over okay... she's happy as long as I distract her with breakfast as soon as she gets out of bed.

Tomorrow I'm going to Chicago for a work conference, and I won't be back until Tuesday night... so I think tonight will be her last breastfeeding session.

I'm getting a little teary even as I type that. :)

She's ready, I'm ready, but it's bittersweet. She's probably my last baby, and I will miss the breastfeeding SO much. It has been such a fulfilling and beautiful (and grueling, at times) experience, and I have loved sharing that special bond with both of my kids. My baby is growing up!


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Never Too Late to Say Thank You

I have been meaning to send a shout-out (and post photos) from our really wonderful weekend last week, and even though the NEXT weekend is nearly upon us (yay!) I figure it's never too late to say thank you--to our friends for their cherished company and friendship--and to post a recap, with photos:
Friday night: met up with Dave & Jen and the gals for some Mexican food and a quick visit with Santa. Macy and Nora shared the big guy's lap. Arlo wasn't going anywhere NEAR that weirdo.
Friday night (Part II): Arlo got his kicks by jumping on Ye Olde Marriage Bed.
Saturday night: We had Erika, Sara, Gabe, Olivia, and O's friend Taylor over for dinner and play time. (This is Tay, Mae, and Liv. Oh, and Mae's trusty bag of Honeycomb cereal, to which she was quite attached for a good hour.)

Saturday night, cont'd: A to the R to the L to the O, and Gabe-Fed, kickin' it with the Kashi cookies.

Sunday morning: Skipped church. Piers and Adsila brought their parents over for breakfast and playtime, and Sandie and I had a brief kid-free Christmas-shopping outing. Arlo loaned Piers a muscle shirt and a baseball cap to up the cool ante, and they kicked it some more.

Awesome weekend. Great company. Now let the Christmas crazies commence!

New Pioneer Co-op Holiday Benefit Nets Nearly $15K for United Way

New Pioneer Food Co-op presents a check to the United Way of Johnson County for $14,990.00—the proceeds from a holiday benefit donating 10% of all sales from both New Pioneer Co-op locations on November 22 and 23, 2008. Standing, left to right: New Pioneer staff members Barbara McKenna, Michelle Kilgore, and Sheila Cannon; Mitch Overton, Director of Resource Development, and Christine Scheetz, President and CEO, United Way of Johnson County; Jason Thrasher, Iowa City New Pioneer Store Manager; Jen Knights, New Pioneer Board of Directors; and Genie Maybanks, New Pioneer Customer Service Manager. Front row, kneeling: New Pioneer staff members Clara Sierra, Scott Koepke, and Kim Peterson.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Arlo got a brief mention in Jennifer Hemmingsen's Gazette column, just before the holiday. Thought you might enjoy seeing it--and if I haven't yet told you the story to which Jennifer alludes, please let me know. I'm sure Arlo will disagree with me, but I don't think this story will ever get old.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Monday morning belly laugh

We went over to Joel and Sandie's last night for a simple meal and some play time, and the boys raided the new box of dress-up clothes that Piers & Adsila's grandma had scored at Stuff Etc. during her recent visit with the family.

I could not wait to share this photo of Piers and Arlo hamming it up in their princess finery. Not pictured here: Arlo is also wearing pink slingbacks. Check out my flickr page for more photos.
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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tell your friends!

As a member of the board of directors at New Pioneer Co-op, I am really proud of the United Way benefit (see the attached poster) that the Co-op is doing this weekend.

If you are hosting a Thanksgiving dinner at your home this year, I hope you will think about shopping a little early and shopping at the Co-op.

New Pi is donating 10% OF ALL SALES this Saturday and Sunday to benefit our local United Way chapter.

Even if someone else is doing the cooking in your family this year, consider bringing along a nice bottle of wine or two. Or five. Now would be a great time to buy a case of wine at the Co-op—and remember, there is always a 10% case discount. Stock up this weekend for the whole holiday season!

Please pass this on to as many of your friends and family as possible. I will be bagging groceries for several hours this weekend, and I hope to see many familiar faces! Thank you!

I wasn't even trying to shop for boots

...but this pair of boots practically assaulted me from the web site.
They are practical in the sense that they would be warm and cute and would probably last me for many, many winters, since I'd probably only be able to wear them on the weekends. We'd go sledding! Tromping through the snow! My feet would never get cold!
Therein lies the rub. I'd probably only be able to wear them on the weekends--and I really don't have $150 to spend on recreational footwear. Sounds to me like a great GIFT!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Beary Soft Baby Sweater

I knitted this sweater for the baby-on-the-way due to our friends, Libra and Aaron. Libra is due in December, and we threw a baby shower potluck for the happy couple last weekend. Now that I have gifted the sweater, I can go public with the photo.

The yarn is Andean Silk, from, and it's one of my favorite yarns to work with--and I adore this orange color, though I don't think they carry it anymore. It's 55% superfine alpaca, 23% silk, 22% merino wool. Yum!
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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Cutest New Word

Macy likes to hold various things up to the side of her ear and say "Dohhhhh?" over and over again, as if she's answering the telephone.

I assure you, it takes a LOT of this before it gets old for either one of us.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Cheney in 1994 on Iraq

I never thought I'd say, "Dick Cheney was right about that."

But boy, was he ever.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Regarding my post last week about perverts on the Internet, I will say in flickr's defense that they have the following reminder in their "Community Guidelines" document:

"Don’t forget the children.Take the opportunity to filter your content responsibly. If you would hesitate to show your photos or videos to a child, your mum, or Uncle Bob, that means it needs to be filtered. So, ask yourself that question as you upload your content and moderate accordingly. If you don’t, it’s likely that one of two things will happen. Your account will be reviewed then either moderated or terminated by Flickr staff."

(For the record, I still don't think that photos of my child in his underpants are obscene. Booty is in the eye of the disgusting beholder, I guess.)

They also include this toothless warning:

"Don’t be creepy. You know the guy. Don't be that guy. "

So anyway, here's the rest of my update. I filed a "Report Abuse" complaint and have so far received only system-generated e-mail responses with advice on how to make my photos private or block specific users. I have updated the privacy settings on all "questionable" photos, and have effectively blocked ONE specific user from my account.

One idiot was dumb enough to mark one of my underpants-clad three-year-old as a "favorite" --and I found him because I had received an e-mail alert from flickr (in my yahoo e-mail inbox, which gathers dust from complete lack of use) on the day he did that, months ago. I have blocked and reported that one user (by whom I can prove no actual wrongdoing). It was somewhat satisfying to take this small action--but of course it does nothing to address the other thousands of hits my photos received before I stumbled upon the uptick in traffic.

I have sent another e-mail to flickr urging them to investigate the situation--in case they can discover that some of the users who had frequented my site have also, say, set up a private page for sharing child porn or something like that. I've also suggested making their "Don't forget the children" message more prominent, or even e-mailing a reminder to users.

I am considering, as one of my readers suggested, a call to the Attorney General's office, just to get it on their radar in light of the recent Craig's List news, and see if they would recommend any course of action.

I remain resigned to the fact that I probably cannot take much action in my personal situation, but now I am focused on doing what I can to help people protect themselves and their children from predators--even if it is just lonely sick people looking at pictures on the computer.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Birthday, E!

This is what happens when you try to "get all the kids together" for a photo.

Last night, Erika's inner circle gathered at the Wedge for a casual celebration in honor of her birthday. I'm pretty sure she turned 30.

We're looking forward to the official "family" birthday bash this coming Saturday night!

Friday, November 07, 2008


This one is even better. I actually got goosebumps. Why, oh why, didn't we see these ads on TV this fall?

It Happened to Me

The election may be over, but it's still spreading. And I think it might even be getting worse!

(I love the guy who cries, "I'm SORRY, Mom!")

Thursday, November 06, 2008

A hopeful morning, followed by a horrifying discovery at lunchtime

Yesterday I started out the day feeling like my faith in humankind had been renewed a little. At lunchtime, I was horrified to discover that people--at least on the internet--can still be still pretty awful and disgusting.

If you read this blog, you know that I use the flickr web site to share my photos. And I know many of you do, too. Just recently I added the "flickr stats" tool that they offer--you have to sign up for it but it doesn't cost extra--and yesterday I checked out my photo stats, out of curiosity.

The stats feature tells you which of your photos are most popular, and how many views each has recieved. When I opened this feature, I was suprised to see that my number-one photo had gotten more than 2,000 hits. It was a picture of my three-year-old son, lying on our new wood floor last summer in his underpants. Showing off our home improvement project.

Upon further examination, I found that all of my top photos--dozens of them--are photos of Arlo in his undies or otherwise partially clothed, and the amount of traffic is sickening. I hope I don't have to actually spell out why, because I just can't bear to actually type it. Even writing this post feels dangerous to me now, because I'm afraid that some cyber-sicko is going to stumble upon this post and it will clue him in to the fact that I apparently have a very sexy four-year-old son. (I'm sorry, I think I just threw up in my mouth a little when I typed that.)

Before yesterday, I had already gone to the trouble of restricting access to certain shots of the kiddos--naked babies in the bath tub--but, being the wide-eyed optimist that I am, it didn't occur to me that I should lock down the pictures of my little boy in his Elmo undies, playing with the hose on our driveway. I am now working to sort through all of my flickr photos to lock down any photos that might be alluring to the pervs out there--and let me tell you, it is a grim and sickening task. I would just lock down my whole flickr account--and still might--but I have reasons for wanting to keep some photos public, so I'm trying to be selective.

All I'm saying is, please be careful when you share photos of your kids. Children like to be naked, and they like to play in their "natural" state. It's okay for you to think it's cute (as I do), and for you to take pictures (yep), and even for you to share those pictures with your friends and family (guilty!). But learn from my naivete, and please take care to restrict access to those photos if/when you do upload them.

I don't think there is probably anything I can do about the pedophiles who have probably already downloaded photos of Arlo. I can only take comfort in the fact that he has not actually been harmed by this incident, and that he will never have to know about it. His innocence hasn't been ruined, but in a way, mine has. I can't look at my own child the same way now, knowing that someone (thousands of someones) have looked at him with impure intentions.

To me, that's a crime.

P.S. If you have any ideas for how I might handle this, or somehow take action, please feel free to comment. I plan to contact flickr, but I doubt if they can do anything.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Dawning of a New Day

Dawning of a New Day
Originally uploaded by knights_writes

As if there weren't enough reasons for me to feel good about the election of Barack Obama as our nation's next president, last night's footage of the huge crowd in Chicago's Grant Park took me back to January, when Arlo pretty much called the election.

Do you remember the Obama ads, run by the campaign in the weeks leading up to the caucuses, that showed Obama greeting and speaking in front of large groups of happy people? I know, from my description, they sound just like all the other campaign ads that were running at that time--from all of the hopeful candidates. But every time one of those Obama ads would come on, Arlo would stop whatever he was doing, focus his attention on the TV, and say, quite matter-of-factly, "I want to go there."

Even though many of the other candidates had similarly-styled ads at the time, it was only the Obama ads that elicited this avid response. In fact, the only other ads that Arlo has EVER paid attention to are the commercials FOR ADVENTURELAND that began airing a couple of months later. (He said the same thing.)

Something about Obama really struck a chord with my four-year-old. Without coaching or prompting from us (Honest!), he rarely failed to correctly point out Obama in the newspaper or on TV in the months since Obama earned the nomination... although, between you and me, I'm pretty sure Arlo thinks his name is "Rocco Bomba."

Last night, watching footage of the Obama crowd in Chicago, long after Arlo had gone to bed (well, sort of--more on that later), I couldn't help but think that he would have wanted to go there, too.

This morning an Actual Rainbow lit up the sky on my drive to work, and it felt to me like a promise, just like in the Old Testament. Today feels like the dawning of a new day for this country, and I truly hope that things will improve for ALL of us in the coming years. Arlo saw it coming--did you?

Monday, November 03, 2008

Didja see? Didja see?

New hair color
Originally uploaded by dooce

The Queen of Blogging ( has gone and dyed her hair a reddish brown for fall. And I am not talking about myself. I am merely the Court Jester of Blogging.

Friday, October 24, 2008

For Real This Time

And now, for her next amaaaaazing feat... MACY WALKS, REALLY FOR REAL THIS TIME!

Imagine my surprise when I looked up from dinner preparations to see my daughter ACTUALLY WALKING toward me, unassisted and uncoaxed. Just walking down the hallway as if she'd been doing it (albeit with a distinct Frankenzombie gait) all her life.

It's official. Macy walks.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Macy Walks

Macy took her first steps, unassisted, this weekend--after a lot of practice aided by her walk-behind Pooh. Here's a little video demonstrating her mad (Pooh-assisted) skillz.

The cinematographer (oh yeah, that's me) would also like to apologize to Arlo for being a little testy and impatient with his attempts to get into the shot. Watching it now, several days after the fact, I can see that he was just in need of some attention. My irritation probably came from a dusty old place deep within the subconscious of a second child whose older sister was always hamming it up in the foreground. I'm just sayin.'

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It's Only a Cut 'n Color (But I Like It)

Forgive the washed out cameraphone photo (which, incidentally, I find oddly flattering), but here's the new me.
Yesterday I went to Blaze Color Salon and got this layered 'do and a new hue, a lil' sumpfin to jazz up a tired old mama.
Ted (at least so far) is not a fan. I, however, rather like it. It's like I took the cream out of the coffee, you know? And then added a shot of Kahlua.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Urban nature adventure

Yesterday when I was driving back to work from my lunch break, something caught my eye off to the left of the car. I turned to look, and was amazed to see a red-tailed hawk flying along beside me. Right in the middle of town, on a well-traveled and thoroughly mundane residential road! Seriously, if my window had been open, I could reached out and touched his wing.

Completely enthralled, I continued down the road as this huge bird tracked along the road next to me. Because the hawk and I were traveling at roughly the same speed (probably around 15 m.p.h. by the time I slowed to watch him), it was almost as if he was flying in place, and I could really watch his powerful wings beating the air just outside my driver's-side window.

We traveled in tandem for just about fifteen seconds before the hawk zoomed ahead of me, headed for a tree in the parkway on the left side of the street--and then I saw what he was headed for. A squirrel was poised on the trunk of the tree, flicking its tail, seemingly oblivious to the predator closing in.

Thwack! The hawk made his move, but didn't quite manage to grasp the squirrel in his great talons. The squirrel jumped about three feet (I assume in mighty terror and surprise) straight out from the tree trunk before dropping to the ground and bounding away, and the hawk noiselessly drifted across the roadway ahead of me and swooped up to light on a telephone pole just off to my right. I half expected the hawk to turn his head and start licking himself, the way my cats do when they've pounced on something and not successfully captured it.

I've been so consumed with my To Do lists and activities and worries and tasks lately, it was a treat to connect with nature in such a visceral and unexpected way. It was a much-needed spiritual refresher, and a healthy reminder to appreciate the simple, real things in life--like hunger, and the narrow escape.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Not Photoshopped

McCain in 3rd Presidential Debate
Originally uploaded by stevegarfield

An actual moment in last night's televised debate. Purely for comic relief. And just to prove that I am a Fair and Balanced (har) blogger, I'll give a New Pi Co-op vegan cinnamon roll (trust me, it's currency) to anyone who can find an equally funny and unflattering Obama moment from last night's big show.

P.S. I am laughing so hard.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Boo! (Sigh.)

Some of you know how it has vexed me this year that, upon entering the kitchen door at my mom and dad's house, I have been greeted by George W. Bush's face, smirking at me from atop my parents' 2008 GOP calendar. Sigh.

I guess it's appropriate that Dick Cheney's visage greeted me on this October visit to Mom and Dad's... because what could be more scary than that? It was all I could do to refrain from shrieking with horror.

I love my mom and dad, and they are smart, goodhearted, hardworking people. That's why their political zeal for the right wing is so frustrating and perplexing to me. They (ahem) religiously defend the Right, even while these monsters stand on their backs and piss on their heads... along with a really big percentage of their fellow working-class, well-meaning American peers.

This is not a political blog. It's a personal blog. But this year, politics is personal. Because I love my parents, I feel it is my responsibility to spur on two or more of my fence-sitting or left-leaning pals to VOTE FOR OBAMA and to VOTE NOW. (Why two or more? To cancel out or exceed my parents' votes, which will surely be for the McCain/Palin ticket.)

All of our lives will be better with Obama as president--even the lives of those (like my mom and dad) who fiercely oppose him.
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Monday, October 13, 2008

There is no 'r' in Washington.

I just can't stomach the notion of having a president who pronounces Washington as "Warshington." If I was on the fence politically at this point (though I'm definitely not), I'd rule out McCain for this reason alone.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Brother, can you spare $1,080.85?

I just opened the bill today from Arlo's trip to the emergency room last month. The grand total for three tiny stitches to the surface of a four-year-old's furrowed brow comes to $1,080.85.

Yes, that was one THOUSAND and some-odd dollars and cents. We are fortunate enough to have decent insurance, so we will only pay a small fraction of that total--but still. I can't believe that such a simple (though well done) procedure could cost ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS.

Can you imagine what it must be like to get that ER bill when you don't have medical insurance?

Tens (hundreds?) of thousands of Americans have lost their health insurance benefits (whether due to loss of employment, soaring costs, pre-existing conditions, or a host of other arbitrary reasons) over the past 8 years of the Bush administration, and the economic conditions for the middle- and lower-class continues to worsen even as medical costs skyrocket. This is just one small--but compelling--reason that I'm voting (er, voted, as my absentee ballot went in last week) for Barack Obama. The Obama-Biden plan promises to reduce the cost of insurance for ordinary Americans, and to make it more accessible for a wider number of people. And it will require that all children have health insurance coverage--so that no parent has to decide between emergency medical care and their own financial ruin, and no child will have to bear a scar on his face because his parents could not afford to take him to get stitches.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


First, let me say that I usually buy my coffee at the Co-op, with a preference for locally roasted beans. (Lately I've been partial to the new "Swamp Juice" blend from Cafe del Sol.) I don't typically buy into the whole Starbucks thing, but there I was standing in the coffee aisle at Hy-Vee because I was there and I was out of coffee.

All caveats aside, I think you can probably guess why I chose the Italian roast from among all the other "EXTRA BOLD" blends offered under the Starbucks label. Lookit that purty label, y'all!

I confess, I've always been a sucker for a well-designed label. I do the same thing in the wine aisle. Can't decide between two same-priced bottles of similar wines and my trusty Wine Guy is not on hand for the asking? Even though my choices are eventually determined and tempered by good advice and a scrutinizing palate, I can easily be swayed by a well-designed sticker, a clever name, or, in this case, any and all things scooter-related.

Oh, and the Italian roast? It's aiiight. Plenty strong and bold, bright and not too fussy. Very fuel-efficient. (Wait, is that the label talking again?) It's no Swamp Juice, but I won't be suffering as I brew my way through this bag o' beans.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Good Sport

Originally uploaded by knights_writes

I guess it's a rite of passage, especially (they say) for little boys. Arlo made his first trip to the emergency room on Sunday after losing a fight with the back door at our house. I was coming in from the garage and he was playing behind the door. As I opened the door--ever so slowly and cautiously--he spun around to run down the hall, and ran headlong into the door handle. The result was a small but deepish and rather bloody divot right above his left eye.

We were just about to put the kids down for their naps, so the timing couldn't have been worse. In spite of that--and in spite of the fact that the Mercy ER was busy and we spent TWO HOURS there trying to keep the kiddos entertained and safe--Arlo was a model patient. Yes, he cried when the injury first occurred, and he certainly resisted the hospital trip with the appropriate wailing and thrashing. But once we got there, he was stoic and cooperative, patient and brave. He lay still and silent as they stitched up his forehead--and for her part, Mae was also remarkably agreeable (though squirmy and bored) for a baby who should've been napping instead.

Arlo walked out of there with three stitches and a decidedly boring band-aid. (Shouldn't they keep cool band-aids around the hospital for brave little kids? Come on.)

Knowing Macy's free-wheeling, no-fear attitude, we will surely make a return trip to the ER before she turns four. Because I don't really believe in that "especially for boys" thing I mentioned at the beginning of this post. Between the two of them, Macy is definitely more of a daredevil and a Pusher of Limits. Here's hoping that our future emergencies are as manageable and tolerable as this one turned out to be. Sigh.

Friday, September 19, 2008


Earlier this week, as I was driving my scooter to work and appreciating the gloriously sunny (though a bit on the cool side) autumn morning, I watched a large acorn drop from one of the canopy of ancient oak trees under which I was driving. It fell about a half a block in front of me, and I thought to myself (in a split second, the way that you do when barreling down the road and still paying attention to the moment at hand) how lucky it was that I had "dodged that bullet" hurled from above. In the very next second, though, that darn acorn bounced right back up from the road and nailed me, square in the clavicle.

I was shocked to find that the assault did not result in a bruise. Ow.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Coming soon to a mailbox near you...

...but probably not your mailbox, unless you happen to be the parent of a University of Iowa student.

Arlo and his adorable gal pal, Ava (whose mom and dad also work for the UI Foundation), modeled for us last week for a postcard that we are sending to UI parents in advance of a Telefund campaign wherein actual UI students (not their own though) will be calling to request a gift for the UI. This is one of the photos from that photo shoot, though I'm not sure if it will end up being the final image on the card.

Both kids did such a great job, and held up remarkably well for a good half-hour of photo-snapping, with the parents and photographer (Jill Tobin--yay, Jill!) cheering and coaching from the sidelines. "Hold the phone up to your ear, Arlo!" ... "Now Ava, tell Arlo what kind of animal you want to be!" ... "Arlo won't answer the phoooone!" ... etc., etc.

What fun! I can't wait to see the final postcard, and I'm holding out hope that posting this photo on The Internets will score Arlo a million-dollar modeling contract from the Gap so that I can quit my job and focus on his career. (Ford Models? Are you reading this? Caaaall me, daaarlinks.)

Monday, September 15, 2008


Maybe you've heard this one already...

What do you call a hockey mom who supports abstinence-only sex education?

A hockey grandma!

Thursday, September 11, 2008


It kind of reminds me of the scene in Wizard of Oz when Dorothy walks out of her house after the twister deposits it in Munchkinland.

Once again, I am thrilled with the results, in awe of the artist, and eager for my next appointment.

Next installment will be on October 9th. Yippeeeee!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

New Pics, New Ink

Can you tell I'm busy? I have not had time to write anything here for a while, but I have had time to go to Chicago, attend a wedding, bake a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, attend a birthday party, plan a birthday party, and upload photos.

No, I have not yet found the time to clean my house.

This afternoon I go "under the needle" again for Phase Two of the new tattoo, yay! Coloring commences today, and of course I will post photos ASAP--hopefully tomorrow.

Tomorrow is Arlo's first session of Organized Sports--I signed him up for the City Parks & Rec "Tot Soccer" and hope he enjoys it. Friday we pick up the Bouncy Castle for Saturday's Big Fat Party at our house.

Oh, and one more thing? Ted's truck--our second vehicle--has finally gone belly-up, so we are now scrambling to find another economical vehicle to purchase, before the weather gets too cold for me to keep riding my scooter.

I'm late on submitting a freelance story I've been working on (Gee, I wonder why?) and starting up another freelance writing project for the fall.

I've missed writing for the blog, but I haven't missed much of anything else. Stay tuned for more photos, and (hopefully) more posts in the near future.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Yeah, what she said!

This post could've been written by me today, if only I were braver and had more time to devote to my blog posts (she's a professional, full-time blogger):

Please consider my blog post a second to Dooce's emotion.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Holiday Weekend Recap

I know it's already Wednesday, but by gosh it has been a busy week! Yesterday was Arlo's 4th birthday, and we spent much of last weekend celebrating it... and just enjoying a gorgeous Labor Day weekend.

On Saturday, Erika and I went to the Iowa-Maine football game at Kinnick Stadium with Joel & Sandie. Big thanks to the Ringadingdingdahls for sharing their season tickets with us!

Here I am putting on my best Sport Enthusiast face. What an great day to be in the stadium!

On Sunday night, Kent and Colleen hosted a casual dinner party, wherein they fed us yummy Gulf shrimp (hand-delivered by themselves from their FL vacation) cooked with potatoes, corn, and kielbasa (or not, for the vegetarians among us) and pina coladas.

Grandma & Grandpa Stahlhut (my folks) came to visit, and to partake in some of Ted's delightful home-baked chocolate cake. Arlo suggested that his whipped cream should be pink, with rainbow sprinkles, and we happily obliged:

My parents also came bearing gifts (duh).

Exhibit A: Large foam glider for flying at the park.

Exhibit B: Chainsaw.
Arlo was all about the power tools (or "electricity tools," as he calls them, since we have explained that "power" and electricity" mean the same thing) this year, so he also scored a drill--with changeable bits and all--from E. Yes, he has safety goggles too, and you can bet that he is very conscientious about putting them on when he has Work To Do.
Thanks to everyone who had a hand in making it a really great weekend!
The Knights family is bizzay in September! Tonight we are having our family portrait taken, and this weekend we are off to Chicago for a wedding and a visit with old friends . Arlo starts Tot Soccer next week, and our big Septemberfest bash (Bouncy Castle, people.) is the following weekend (on the 13th). Good thing I've already figured out Halloween costumes for the kids, because otherwise I just wouldn't have the time!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Laughing at someone else's expense. But quietly.

Over the weekend, we attended an outdoor gathering where attendees were invited to participate in a number of Olympic-themed activities on the lawn. The games were designed for kids--there were sack races, an obstacle course, hoops shooting, and the like. Kids earned a sticker for every event they completed.

I acted as "official" photographer for the event, hoping to capture some shots of folks having fun and hanging loose. I camped out for a few minutes by the obstacle course. Kids were asked to hop in and out of some hula hoops laid out on the grass, then jump over a bale of hay, toss a bean bag into a goal, walk with an egg on a spoon, and a few other things.

I watched one young girl stumble through the course, all arms and legs and gumption and not an ounce of coordination. The poor girl was about, I don't know, seven years old? And she fell down on the course more often than the four-year-olds did.

I did not laugh at her. Instead, I cheered her on and let her know she was doing great, all the while racking my brain trying to remember her name, and to which family she belonged. She tried so hard--and was such a good sport, but just doesn't seem to have inherited any athletic ability whatsoever. I suppose her lack of coordination may also be related to a recent growth spurt or something like that.

So why am I blogging about this? It's because I remembered something that had me stifling my laughter (though it was sympathetic and affectionate laughter, I promise!)--and I honestly had to walk away to compose myself.

Her name?


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I love you Mommy

I love you Mommy
Originally uploaded by knights_writes
Is it possible that my little boy has grown this much in just over a year?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Baby Yeti

I finally finished sewing up this darling "Baby Yeti" sweater, and I hope that the intended baby hasn't already outgrown it!

SPOILER ALERT for my cousin, Amy: I am about to pack this up and ship it to the U.K. for little Aidan, who was born in April. I knitted the sweater in a 9-month size, and it seems to be on the bigger side of that--so hopefully he will get some wear out of it this fall/winter. Here's Aidan:

Yes, it's fluffy. Check out the close up pic of the shag pile. (Don't take that the wrong way, you Brits--I mean "shag" like the carpet.) And yes, it has a hood. Yum!

I may just have to get some more of this yarn (Sprinkles baby yarn, ironically from the U.K.) and knit one up for Ms. Macy--the pattern was a breeze and the yarn is really fun to knit with.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Rainbow of Fruit Flavors

Here's a scene from my lunchtime sandwich run downtown: my banana scooter in the foreground, with identical lime and cherry versions in the background.

I like to think they had a sparkling conversation around the bike rack while I was in the Which Wich shop.

And now I'm craving a slushie. You?