Royal Obsession

I’m a quirky character, if you haven’t already figured that out.

I crochet, for one thing, which seems normal when you follow like 500 like-minded Instagram accounts, but in real life, my partner in crime Bailey is one of the few people I know who knits/crochets on the reg. I do have a friend who does cross stitch, but if we’re going to be a fiber arts snob, that is not the same thing (seriously. It’s not.).

But anyway, there’s more about me that is a little eccentric. I don’t like most fruit. I also have a strong opinion that dessert should not have fruit in it, but if you want to get super technical, I do like Swedish fish and lemon-flavored starbursts (Yes, the lemon ones. You’re now wondering if I’m a sociopath, I get it.).

I don’t care for riding bikes, not one bit, as I believe I’m better off with both feet touching the ground.

I can’t stand being late, but we’ve already examined that psychological problem in detail.

And…

I’m obsessed with the Royal Family.

It likely stems from the fantasies of being a princess that many little girls grew up with. Or that because I grew up on a farm in the heart of the U.S. versus in a CASTLE, that I’m so fascinated by a life so different than my own.

Either way, obsessed.

Remember when Will and Kate tied the knot? I convinced my friend Monica it would be a good idea to get up at 3am and watch the wedding on the treadmills at the gym. I had the nuptials streaming with my headphones in at work. And then I proceeded to watch coverage of it from the time I got home that night until I went to bed. Literally 5-6 hours of replaying things that I had already watched. Obsessed.

When Harry and Meghan got married? Same thing, but I had a kid, so I tried to convince him the horses on their carriage were fun to watch so I could maximize my news coverage instead of changing to Saturday morning cartoons.

I actually looked up flights to England to get in on the pre-wedding hype. Seriously.

Flights were cheap, lodging was the bigger issue. If you were curious.

I binge watched The Crown, and watched every documentary on the family that Netflix has to offer. Queen Elizabeth is the epitome of boss bitch and I love her for it. Her elegance? Perfection. Her steadfast rule? Legendary. The perfected side eye of disapproval?

YASSSS QUEEN.

So, as you can imagine, waiting around for Harry’s royal spawn has started to get very exciting.

Girl or boy? Will it have red hair? Meghan’s smile? Harry’s care free personality? How many names will they get? SO MANY THINGS TO WONDER ABOUT.

Not a blanket for Harry and Meghan, but a baby blanket nonetheless. They’ve likely got a million already made for them in silk and cashmere, so I’ll just continue making mine for charity and call it a day. 😊

The moral of the story is if I seem distracted this month, this is one of the reasons why.

And for real, Netflix, when do we get a release date for The Crown’s third season?

-Amy

Apocalytic Crochet

I often joke about how, if the apocalypse happens, crochet is the one useful skill that will allow me to stay in one of the tribes/gangs that will likely form as chaos reigns. 

People have to stay clothed and warm, right? So as long as there’s a JoAnn’s or Micheal’s to loot, things should be pretty dandy for my family. 

I also make pretty sweet photo books online, in case the apocalypse (or my post-apocalyptic group of people I’m recruited into) requires an official historian. 

What else? What else? 

Is that it? 

Perhaps. But I feel pretty confident with those two things. 

It feels like I’ve been working on this blanket forever. It’s not even a slow pattern- I’m just being slow.

Sure, I will very much depend on others for everything. Like food. I am a pretty miserable cook for the most part and I’m terrible at trying to figure out the ripeness of an avocado. 

And I’ll definitely look to others to help carry my things when we decide it’s time to pick up and move elsewhere. My back isn’t what it used to be and I’ve never been known to travel light. 

I have no sense of direction, nor am I good at remembering how to get anywhere without a GPS, so once all the phone batteries are dead, I’m not going to be a great guide. 

To be fair, even with the GPS I’m mediocre at best. 

But like I said earlier, I’m sure the fiber arts will save me from being totally abandoned by everyone else. 

Heading up north for a hunting trip? Let me just make you an oversized wool blanket for your journey (the weight of it also provides a calming effect). 

Heading south for the winter? Here’s a nice double crochet wrap- a perfect loose stitch for a cool summer night by the campfire. 

Looking to create some camaraderie with the troops? Matching crocheted head and wrist bands in your tribe colors! 

Expecting a baby but all of the baby stores have been raided and burned down? Custom knitted blankets and pillowcases by yours truly!

Now I just have to learn how to spin my own yarn for when all the craft stores are emptied and destroyed… 

What will your post apocalyptic skill be? 

-Amy

More Old Lady Musings

My partner in crime posted last week about how she went out for St. Patrick’s Day, but felt a little old. 

I had a good laugh with her because we happened to go out on that Sunday for drinks, but it just randomly happened to be the day my mother-in-law could watch Henry for a few hours. And we chose an extremely non-irish bar so we could keep away from the crowds. 
We don’t like sharing space with strangers. Or new people. 
I’m not really sure why we even bothered going out at all. Because afterwards, we complained about the bar tab and how we should have just had a few drinks at home. 
Which is how I know I’m old. 

Or should I know I’m old because of my hobbies?

I also know I’m old because I get my annual skin screening and had an in-depth conversation with the doctor about Retin-A. 
We’re well past the “make sure you wear sunscreen and moisturize” days and have entered the “Retin-A will need to be used soon to maintain where you’re at and maybe you want to consider lasering off those red spots you’ve developed over the last year?”.
And in related news, my knees have cracked since I was pregnant and I’m also starting physical therapy for lower back pain due to slight arthritis in my lumbar area. ARTHRITIS.    
It’s always been fun to joke about being an old lady trapped in a young person’s body, but at what point do I become an old lady trapped in an old lady’s body? (also known as “just old”). 
To be honest, I’m not really sure the point of this post other than just me having a desire to complain about the inevitable destruction of my youth. 
Ironic, given I’ve watched more cartoons in the last year than I have in the previous decade. 
But that’s ok. With the getting older comes other things. Like having an adult beverage whenever I want. Or skipping making my bed. Or not doing the laundry because I’d prefer to zone out on Netflix after a long day. 

Or crocheting, because, you know…

I guess it’s just a little bit of give and take. 
And I’ll take the option where I can have prosecco with brunch any time over having to stick with milk or juice.

It’s Hard Out There for a Toddler

On a typical day, my husband has already picked up Henry from daycare well before I get home. So when I walk in the door, the dog comes running and I can hear a “mama!!!” from somewhere inside the house. I get about 20 seconds to lose the work bag and winter coat before Henry rams into me at full speed for a big hug.

He’s a good hugger. Not a cuddler. But his hugs are pretty top notch. 

Henry is not at all impressed with his mother’s talents. Nor does he care I was working hard to get this done for a new best friend he hasn’t met yet.

However, the other night was a little different. The same exclamation of “mama!” happened and I walked around the corner to see him climbing the stairs to get to me. He got to the top. Stood up. Looked at me. And started to cry. And then proceeded to slowly cry walk toward me until he just collapsed into my arms. 
It’s amazing how much that can hurt one’s heart.
My husband said he had been having fun literally until that exact moment. This has happened a few times, in various ways, so I tried not to overthink it. And I had obviously googled it in the past. #helicoptermom
From what various discussion boards and mommy sites, it seems kids sometimes do the same things adults do. After working hard to keep himself together all day, following rules and being surrounded by other kids, coming home and being exhausted and within an hour of bedtime… we were all finally there and Henry felt like it was as safe time to just let loose. 

Done! I’ve become obsessed with less traditional colors being used for baby blankets.

I feel ya, bro. 
I really do. I wish I could say it gets easier. But that seems like a lie. Because I definitely have those days where I come home upset or exhausted from a deadline that has made me physically sick. Even though I love my job, it’s fair to still require a place where I feel comfortable enough to decompress and not get judged for it. 
It’s also one of the reasons why my husband can tell the difference between my normal resting knit face and my “OMG do not even think of coming near me or looking in my general direction” knit face. He gets me. 
Henry clearly doesn’t knit/crochet due to the lack of required dexterity at this point in his life, but he and I still share a few things that make us feel better after a long day: 
1. a good hug
2. a long bath
3. a good story
4. snacks on snacks on snacks
And when he turns 21, perhaps he can add wine to that list. 

I know I have.
What’s your go-to after a long day? 

-Amy

Wisconsin Weekend

As previously mentioned, my family was planning for a weekend getaway. 

In Wisconsin, actually. Sheboygan, to be more specific. 

Sheboygan is fun to say.

Shu-boy-gun. 

See? Fun. 

Anyway, it was a trip for the grand kids and mostly revolved around an indoor water park. Because there are not many desirable outdoor activities during winter months in Wisconsin. 

I think you can ski. But unlike my counterpart on this blog, I refuse to even entertain the idea of a hobby like that. 

My feet are better on solid ground. And if not on solid ground, they much prefer floating around a lazy river about 20x in a row with an excited but overwhelmed child chilling in my lap. 

He probably peed in the pool/on me. We’re not going to think about it. 

Anyway, when traveling, it’s always important to have packed correctly. And that includes the right amount of yarn and a good project to keep busy, even if there are only a few opportunities to work on it. That includes time spent in the car. 

My husband is the superior driver, there’s no argument about that, and so I happily keep myself busy and take very seriously my one job of turning on Google maps when we’re close to getting off the highway. 

Important stuff. 

It’s also great to have around for when my child chooses to forgo sleep because he’s not comfortable in a new environment and ends up in bed with us (kicking me in the back throughout the night) and then refuses to sleep past 5:30 am. 

It’d also be nice to have during middle of the day naps, but If we’re being honest, I ended up taking a nap at that time. Because 5:30 am. And tired crochet can be extremely consequential. I’ve yanked out rows upon rows before for simple oversights and it’s always a sad occurrence. 

Anyway, I started a blanket for friends due with their second in June, but probably won’t finish it anytime soon because it’s still a good size to take on the next road trip we have planned in April. 

My focus this month has been mostly on keeping up with my NICU blankets goal for the year. However, my son woke up calling for (i.e. demanding) someone to come wipe his boogers last night. So I suspect I’ll also have to put that away until we have a virus-free household again (rules are rules when it comes to charity guidelines, right?). 

Wisconsin has the best souvenirs!

All this means I’ll be focusing on getting a few other “almost done” projects completed and out the door because my collection of works in progress is starting to get a little overwhelming. And I still haven’t convinced my husband that a craft room is a valid reason for needing to move into a bigger house. 

Sigh. 

– Amy

Shut In

We have fun out of town plans with family this weekend. It’s something we’re all looking forward to. A day off of work. A weekend away from the routine. A fun new thing to do in the middle of the winter doldrums.

But you know what’s also fun? It’s the thing I did last weekend.

NEVER LEAVING THE HOUSE THE ENTIRE WEEKEND.

Ok, I did leave ONCE because I had to pick up some swim diapers (not for me, obvi) from Target for this coming weekend. Other than that? We convinced people to come to us. Which was great for a super windy, below freezing couple of days.

So much yarn. So many episodes of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

And when my husband had people over on Sunday?

Peace out, buds, I’m going to stow myself away in our guest bedroom and just enjoy some peace and quiet until the kiddo’s naptime is over.

And if you’re curious, this is my list of essentials to basically live in a cave for 2 solid days and be ok with it:

1. Stockpile pizza delivery coupons.

2. Acquire wine during the week.

3. When letting the dog out in the backyard, take a deep breath of outside air to remind yourself what fresh air is, but also to reinforce the idea that it is way too cold for this nonsense and quickly go back inside.

Yeah. That’s about it.

Until it gets warmer, this is likely to be my routine for every other remaining week of below freezing temps.

And that is lovely.

-Amy

Punctuality is a Virtue

I like to be punctual.

Screw that. I like to be ridiculously early to things.

And if it requires driving somewhere with traffic being a factor? I will knock on your door 10 minutes early and exclaim, “I’m so sorry I’m early!” when I’ve already spent 10 minutes sitting in my car in front of your house like a creep.

Being late causes extremely large amount of discomfort. It’s always been that way. It’s a thing with me.

This chevron blanket gave me huge anxiety because it’s for some very close friends and I’ve never done chevron before and wanted it to be perfect. That did not happen because I seem to have issues counting. Math is hard.

I jokingly blame my dad. A regular staple in my childhood was being told we were going to leave for something at, say, 4:30. My parents would be sitting in the car, already backed out of our garage and impatiently waiting at 4:15. Honking.

As you can imagine, this has affected many aspects of everyday life. Remember the movie “Superbad”? It was hilarious, right?

NO. I HATED that movie because the majority of the plot was based around getting to a party and they kept getting more and more delayed. They were soooo late for that stupid party.

I could not handle it.

Easily the worst part of making any blanket with more than one color. I’ve started weaving in and securing with a tiny knot because I live in constant fear of being judged if my blanket starts to unravel.

There’s also a Friends episode where they’re all supposed to go to a dinner and the only person ready and trying to get everyone out the door was Ross. No one else seemed to be bothered that they were never going to get there on time. It was terribly rude.

I simply cannot.

But I recognize my problem and am actively trying to overcome it. My husband, for example, will only leave then house at the exact time needed to get us there within a minute of when we’re supposed to arrive. What caused me to have an unnecessary heart attack every time we would leave the house is now starting to dwindle to maybe only a few chest pains here and there.

Baby steps.

And if anything, if we end up late, I can always blame my husband.

The scape goat makes me feel better.

And it’s finished! I have to say, thisis one of my favorite blankets I’ve done. I also have to say, I won’t be doing another one like this any time soon.

So what about the rest of you? Any weird ticks that have just become a part of who you are?

I also can only open the microwave after it’s done, or on a number that ends in 0 or 5. Oh, the oatmeal is going to explode out of the bowl if I don’t open it with 13 seconds left? Too bad. Let’s watch it tidal wave over the top and I’ll open it when the timer gets to 10 seconds when it’s clearly too late.

I’m a mess.

-Amy

Link to pattern used is here.

In the Middle of the Night

My husband would probably agree with the statement that, at times, I am somewhat overanxious about the mundane. This is probably one of the reasons why I’ve adapted to knitting and crochet – it’s good for my wellbeing

Quiet mornings are so necessary for my sanity.

But that still doesn’t stop the overly ridiculous thoughts from creeping in. And of course they don’t bother to come knocking until around 2am. 

As a bit of a study, I’ve been keeping track of the things keeping me up. Here are a few of the more obnoxious things: 

1. On a night we were scheduled to get a large amount of wet snow (5+ inches), I was awake and heard a few random creaks, leading me to believe that perhaps the heavy snow was going to cave in the roof of our house or garage. Who do you even call for such things? I tried to figure it out on my own. Right then. I still don’t know the answer.

2. Not being able to get my dog’s teeth cleaned on a regular basis. The vet says weekly cleanings at a minimum and here I am calling it a win if I can get one or two swipes in before she starts to growl and kick. My dog is too young to start losing teeth and I don’t particularly care to budget for extensive cleaning sessions. Panic ensued.

3. The teeny tiny zit I saw on my son’s face is somehow actually Hand Foot Mouth and neither Kyle or myself can afford to take off work the next day, let alone the rest of the week, and OMG WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO. (This is a regularly occurring situation, but the particular ailment varies. As a side note, we’ve rarely had an issue figuring something like this out.) 

4. Did we lock the back door? Surely it’s locked. I was the last to let Polly in and of course I always lock it. But did I? Should I go check? Or is it a waste of time because if a burglar is going to show up at our house, they’re likely inside already. I wonder if the dog will actually react if she hears something with us here. *Turns on monitor to make sure the child has not been kidnapped.* Did I just hear something? Maybe I should wake up Kyle to go check.  (Side note: Never wake your husband to do this. He won’t.)

5. (On a night in a week where I was getting quite a few tension headaches) What if my headaches are something worse than just stress? What if I have a serious eye issue? Omg, I have noticed my one eye is worse than the other. What other symptoms do I have? Do I have double vision? Like, I can see my hand right now… but maybe I’m seeing two? I don’t know… is that two?!?! Am I seeing two right now? OH NO I USE MY EYES FOR EVERYTHING WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?? 

Each time I presented such worries to my husband the next day, he just looked at me like he was having the hardest time physically stopping his eyes from rolling. 

In other news, Kyle now brushes Polly’s teeth. So at least I can stop worrying about that one…

– Amy

Chiberia

It’s here.

That time of year. You know… when the temps dip below 0 throughout the entire week. When you question every decision you’ve made about living in this frozen tundra you call home…. or is that just me?

Barf.

My husband, of course, spent the earlier part of the week in Colorado on a ski trip- playing in the snow. The rest of us stayed here. Suffering through all the snow. And cold air.

I’m not bitter. Just freakin’ cold.

My mom came to visit until Tuesday, which was great because I never turn down a set of extra hands. Two-year-olds are exhausting. But it was just me and the kiddo up against the record-setting lows coming our way Tuesday night.

What do I do if the water pipes freeze? What if the heat goes out? At what point do I worry because there is ice INSIDE of the windows? Can our dog even pee in temps this low? Or does it just freeze as it comes out?

All questions I didn’t have the answer to. Everything is seemingly fine (fingers crossed), but I’ll still stand by the decision to double up my child’s pajamas these last two nights when it dipped down to -22 and -24.

Helicopter mom strikes again.

Luckily, working from home is an option. But if we’re being honest, that just makes me even more stir crazy.

Stuck inside for over 36 hours and I’m stuck weaving in ends. My sanity is about to crack.

Anyway, we’re at Thursday morning and have been told by this afternoon things will just be “normal Chicago cold”. So that’s something to look forward to, I guess?

How’s everyone doing out there? Frozen? Sleeping through the whole thing? Scheduling trips to warmer climates at this very moment?

If you have a strategy to keep kids not from going crazy being inside for so long, HIT ME UP. Please and thank you.

-Amy

Meet the Maker – Bailey edition

Hello friends! The other half of our blog/insta has done her meet the maker post earlier this week, so in efforts to copy her fun facts, I thought I would share a little bit about myself:

I’m Bailey and I live in Boston with the hubs – I’ve been here ~5.5 years now – Whew.  I used to live in Illinois (grew up in a small town, moved to Chicago after college and lived there for 3 years).  I have been knitting for ~3 years and have been crocheting for 2.  I taught myself to crochet on YouTube – it’s much less intimidating than knitting, in my opinion – either way, they both complete me, and keep me sane.

Few fun facts:

  • I grew up in a town of ~30k people and couldn’t wait to get out – After living the city for almost 9 years, I can now say that I appreciate the small-town lifestyle.  I wish it didn’t take me so long.
  • I read 100 books/year for 2 years in a row.  My favorite book is The Nightingale – WW2 historical fiction novels are my weakness.
  • I think Maui is the most beautiful place in the world – I still have a lot to see, but Maui will always be my favorite trip, Italy is my #2. 

Maui ❤️

  • Hygge – I strive for it every day (see below)

Hygge on point

  • If I could only bring 5 things with me on a deserted island, one of them would be Chapstick.  I cannot live without it – I’m an addict, and therefore, their perfect customer.
  • If I ever go missing in a store, I can most likely be found in the blanket section (per above pic, I can never have enough).
  • I love furniture stores and have been scoping out the perfect la-z-boy for my future woman-cave.  I want a rocking one with arm rest compartments for my knits, and snacks.
  • I once watched Shawshank Redemption on repeat for 8-hours straight because I couldn’t find the remote – and I was okay with that – I’m that lazy.
  • I used to love embroidery, sewing and cross stitch when I was younger, I need to pick that back up again.

We would love to hear more about you in the comments!