May 23, 2009

Not So Easy Crispy Treats

Wanna know how to take the simplest of tasks and turn it on its head? Add baby.

I love having Evie strapped to my torso in her carrier. I love the closeness yet independence (for both of us), although I wish I could see her expressions. Lately, I've been "wearing" Evie around the house, not just while we're out and about (or hiking during camp days).

The trick of the baby wearing is this false sense of independence, or the Look-I-have-access-to-both-my-hands moments. This makes me believe that I can be doing other things, albeit things a bit farther from my chest, like tidying or...

I've been slowly trying to figure out what I can and cannot do while front-loaded with Evie. Move small items from one room to another? Check. Walk around, chasing cats? Check. Vacuum? Ha! That's a trick question, as we Roomba.

So today I tried making rice crispy treats. Yeah, yeah - I know that you're not to cook while baby wearing, but this wasn't really cooking. It was microwaving and stirring. (And I was very careful with anything that might be the slightest bit hot.)

Oh, how this easy treat played me like a fool.

To be honest, I made some poor decisions and wrong turns. My judgment was whack, my timing was off, and my couth was down right missing.

My first, and most obvious mistake, was attempting this while wearing Evie. (No babies were harmed in the making of mashmallowy treats.) Although I have use of both my hands, my reach and visibility are greatly impaired - all I have is peripheral functionality.

My second mistake was the bowl I used. I only have the one microwave-safe bowl, so I was working with what I had. I melted the butter just fine, but the marshmallows were a bit too many for this bowl. As they swelled to gigantic proportions, they also oozed and plopped over the sides of the bowl. Ding! and I find a good portion of this sticky mess on the glass carousel in the microwave and not in the bowl.

I scoop up the stringy gloops as well as I could and move to the next task in this adventure, the rice crispies. Now if the bowl was too small for enlarged marshmallows, can you guess what it's also too small for? If you said a whole box of cereal, you are smarter than I.

Those f'ing tiny bits of cereal go everywhere! In my attempt to control the mess I lose the mixing spoon and start using my hands. Dear doG in heaven, if this didn't make matters forty-hundred times worse!

It's at this point when I call to Matt for help. When he comes into the kitchen and sees me like... Well, go look at the pictures and you can see exactly what Matt saw because the goober ran to get the camera instead of to my aid.

In my defense, if you ask any person how they would get crisped rice and marshmallow mess off of their hands I guarantee you that they'd agree - you can only eat yourself free!

Posted by Nanc at 02:38 PM | Comments (8)

May 12, 2009

Camping Firsts

This past weekend, we snuck away to Oklahoma for a weekend full of firsts. It was our first Mother's Day, Evie's first camping trip, and our first time camping in a cabin.

The outcome? Successful on all fronts. There are pictures and more words inside.

On Friday afternoon, the weather report didn't look good. There was a whole lot of rain in the forecast, and we even hit a little bit of it as we drove up to Turner Falls, Oklahoma.

Turner Falls is only about two hours from Dallas, so we thought that it would be a good first trip for Evie. She did great on the ride, and slept most of the way. We finally got to the park around 8 o'clock and got the key to our cabin.

Nanc and I like camping, but this is the first time that we've ever gotten a cabin, and we didn't know exactly what to expect. The cabins were large and clean. When you're used to sleeping in a tent, everything was a bonus. The cabin had a small kitchen, a bathroom with shower, even heat and A/C.

We got settled in and sat out on the porch for a little while watching the lightning, before letting the sound of the storm put us to sleep. That was the only real rain we saw for the rest of the campout (cabin out?). The rain had the benefit of keeping most everyone else away, so we didn't have to share the park with many other people.

On Saturday (which we deemed as early Mother's Day), we did a bit of hiking, and showed Evie the falls and the ruins of Collins Castle (really). Nanc got a digital picture frame from Evie and me, and we grilled out. We also rediscovered the fun of playing MasterMind, and also brought out our travel Settlers of Catan for a quick round. (Nancy won and is the Queen of Catan, if you must know.)

On Sunday, the trip was over too quickly, but we packed up and got back home.

The normal pictures are over on the right, but if you're feeling brave, and aren't likely to slip into an epileptic seizure, I have some more pictures below. I've been experimenting lately with a 3-D camera that I built, and here are some of the results. Since you probably don't have any 3-D glasses laying around, I made these as "wigglers" that wiggle between the two different viewpoints.

3d pix (wigglers)

Cabin exterior
Castle -another view
Low road
Nancy and Evie
Evie and Nancy
Picnic area
Side of the road
Trading post
Posted by Matty at 09:45 AM | Comments (8)

May 05, 2009

Moving on

We'll go back and talk about those events in the last post sooner or later, but for now I'm moving on.

I love knitting for my baby girl, and I love seeing her in hand knits. Luckily, Evie is still young enough that she doesn't give me much guff about home made clothes. It's a win-win relationship.

I finished knitting this dress for Evie this past weekend, and she wore it to daycare on Monday. It was an easy pattern (Topaz), and only took so much time because I don't have much knitting time. But she looks so cute and she got so many compliments, that I know I'll knit more of these.

I changed up the pattern to knit it in the round, which I found much easier and quicker. This caused a problem with the garter stitch hem rolling up. I'm not certain what the solution for this is, but I'm sure there is one (or eight).

I also changed the yarn and didn't do the colorwork, as shown in the original pattern. I wanted to make this out of cotton so that she could wear this immediately. My choice of cotton, though, was unfortunate.

I had this Araucania Nature Cotton in my stash for a couple years now. (I keep trying to use it for various projects, but it never works out like I hope.) I like the colors, marbled purple hues, and the thick-n-thin texture, and the soft fabric it makes. However, it's also dense and heavy; I think I could prop Evie up in a strong wind with this dress.

And to my own foolishness, I was so eager for Evie to wear this dress that, due to the 80% humidity this weekend, I tossed the washed dress into the dryer for a few minutes. Well, a few minutes too long.

The 6 mo. size, which I expected her to wear this summer, shrunk to more of the 3 mo. size. So she's wearing it now. Huzzah!

I can totally imagine using the sizing and shape of this pattern to knit up a variety of these dresses: changing the yarn/fabric, playing with stitches, and tossing around a few different techniques.

So aside from my lapse in judgement (yarn & dryer), this is a total win.

Pattern: Topaz from knitty

Yarn: Araucania Patagonia Nature Cotton in color 206

Needles: 5.5 mm Addi Turbos

Cast on: March 27

Finished: May 2

Ravelry link

Posted by Nanc at 12:57 PM | Comments (5)