New Page for 2014 Books!

I had so much fun doing the WV Reads 150 challenge last year, but I didn’t do a stellar job of keeping track of all of my books. I know there are a few on my list that didn’t get submitted to the “official” group list. So I made a new page tab for keeping track of my reading this year! Follow along with me, let me know what you’re reading!

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2013 Book List

In my last post, I mentioned that I read a truckload of books last year, and I thought folks be interested in what they were. I’m not going to write a review of each one, but if you’d like to know what I thought of any of them, please ask!

Adult Books:
1. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkanan – J.K. Rowling
2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – J.K. Rowling
3. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – J.K. Rowling
4. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince – J.K. Rowling
5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – J.K. Rowling
6. Unorthodox – Deborah Feldman
7. Titanic – Matthew Vollbrecht
8. The Story of My Life – Helen Keller
9. A Modest Proposal – Jonathan Swift
10. Back to Basics – Barbara Frank
11. Bitsy & Boots – Jonathan Joy
12. Things I Learned from Knitting Wether I Wanted to or Not – Stephanie Pearl McPhee
13. The Graveyard Book – Neil Gaiman
14. The God Delusion – Richard Dawkins
15. God is Not Great – Christopher Hitchens
16. Missionary Position – Christopher Hitchens
17. Zlata’s Diary – Zlata Filipovic
18. Forest Friends – Elizabeth Ford
19. Howl’s Moving Castle – Diana Wynne Jones
20. We All Wore Stars – Theo Coster
21. Honey and Hand Grenades – Logan Sheffield
22. The Mystery of the Talking Skull (Three Investigators) – Robert Arthur
23. The Mystery of the Moaning Cave (Three Investigators) – William Arden
24. Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Stolen Diamonds – David A. Adler & Susanna Natti
25. Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
26. Catching Fire – Suzanne Collins
27. Mockingjay – Suzanne Collins
28. Joey Pigza Swallowed The Key – Jack Gantos
29. Summer Falls & Other Stories – Ameila Williams
30. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore – Robin Sloan
31. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty – James Thurber
32. Orphan Train – Christina Baker Kline

Children’s Books:
1. The Wind Blew – Pat. Hutchins
2. We’re All In The Same Boat – Zachary Shapiro & Jack E. Davis
3. The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Stawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear – Don & Audry Wood
4. Knufflebunny – Mo Williams
5. Extra Yarn – Mark Barnett
6. Tortuga in Trouble – Ann Wilfred Paul
7. King Solomon and His Magic Ring – Eli Wiesel
8. Where’s Milo’s Ball? – Mike Austin
9. Milo Armadillo – Jan Fearnley
10. Wild About Books – Judy Sierra & Marc Brown
11. Llama Llama Mad at Momma – Anna Dewdy
12. Llama Llama Holiday Drama – Anna Dewdy
13. Llama Llama Red Pajamas – Anna Dewdy
14. Bunny Days – Tao Nyeu
15. Brave Fire Truck – Melinda Melton Crow
16. If You Give A Dog a Donut – Laura Numeroff
17. Tell Me Something Happy Before I Go To Sleep – Joyce Dunbar & Debi Glioro
18. Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site – Sherri Dusty Rinker & Tom Lichtenstein
19. Steam Train, Dream Train – Sherri Dusty Rinker & Tom Lichtenstein
20. The Ferryboat Ride – Anne Rockwell
21. The Biggest Thing in the Ocean – Kevin Sherry
22. The Prince’s Bedtime – Joann Oppenheimer, Miriam Oppenheimer, & Jim. Broadbent
23. Carrot Soup – John Segal
24. Wolves in the Walls – Neil Gaiman
25. Where’s My Mommy – Carol Roth & Sean Julian

October Updates

The month of October has been completely slammed for me – but mostly in a good way.

Early in the month, our fair city had The Greater Boston Yarn Crawl featuring 15 shops all around Boston. My friend Deborah and I hit up or regular shops as well as a few others, and I got some awesome hand-dyed yarn called Sun Also Rises from Toil And Trouble. All her colorways are inspired by literature, but despite its name, Sun Also Rises reminded me of Ponyo, everybody’s favorite little fishie by the sea.

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Ben and I also did a weekend overnight with Charlie and Alex while their mom & dad went to a wedding in New York. The four of us had a great time! We had a ton of fall fun playing Monster Mini Golf on Saturday and going to the EcoTarium on Sunday.

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In the middle of the month, Charlie and Alex got a brand new bunny they named Bunnysaurus Rex. He’s an English Spot and lop mix, and the boys’ mom and I have been building him an epic house for the living room. It’s 2’x6′ and features an interior with a ramp up to a mid-level shelf and another ramp up to his “rooftop garden.” The top level will have a plug to keep him from escaping when all of his people are out for the day, and a wooden fence to allow him to safely explore the upstairs. Both levels will have padded floors to protect Rex’s feet and the wood will be sealed with high-gloss paint to protect from any errant puddles. Of course it will have all the regular bunny amenities such as his litter box, water bottle, hay trough, hiding boxes, and plenty of toys. I’ll get some photos up of the finished house in the next week or so.

The end of the month is of course, Halloween. Ben and I like Halloween just fine, but for the last few years we’ve both been to swamped to do much about it. And we live in an apartment complex that doesn’t lend itself to trick-or-treating, so we didn’t even buy any candy this year. But after looking at pictures of people making costumes for themselves, their kids, and their pets all day on Facebook and Reddit, I decided our bunnies needed some costumes. At 3pm I broke out some stash yarn size 3 needles, and black scrapbook paper and around 11:00, THIS was the result. I was pretty pleased with myself.

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So in addition to all of this, October featured my usual nannying schedule of one 65-hour week alternating with one 30-hour week, and my regular knitting projects – a hat for Samantha’s Monkey, a. Minion hat and Daniel Tiger’s blue Tigey for various Halloween costumes, and a pair of mitts for my new HH Etsy Shop. And wouldn’t you know it, the Red Sox were in the World Series, and I needed something with which to taunt Ben’s Cardinals-loving brother. Trash-talking ensued, and thus was born a pair of Loser’s Granny Panties, suitable for wearing on one’s head to the winner’s delight.

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So the downside of all this business is that in the past six weeks, two of them have been spent curled up on the couch feeling miserable. This week I realized that it was probably a recurrence of whatever it was last time and went to the doctor. Sure enough, a sinus infection that made my asthma go nuts has resulted in both being sick and being pretty exhausted all month due to not being able to breathe properly. But I got all fixed up with with a whole pack of medicines, and while it’ll take a little while to be fully recovered, I’m well on my way, and that’s good news too.

Charlie’s “Orange Jenny Knitting Socks”

A few weeks ago, Charlie requested a pair of “orange Jenny knitting socks” to go with his “green mommy knitting socks,” and of course, I was only too happy to oblige. They’re made from Crystal Palace Panda Cotton Prints in Red Cinnamon from the “Kid Stuff” pattern in Two At a Time Toe-Up Socks. the pattern includes a formula for making socks to a child’s foot measurement.

Charlie loved them so much that he refused to take them off for two days!

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Meow’s New Sweater

I babysit a four year old girl named Raina, and her favorite thing in the whole world is her stuffed kitty, Meow. Well, Meow was starting to look a little worn in, and we decided the best thing for it was a new sweater! Raina selected her favorite colors: purple and more purple. And she wanted Meow’s sweater to have a big letter R for Raina, so everyone would know that he belongs to her.

I had to take some measurements because Meow’s arms stick directly out of his front, so a regular doll pattern wouldn’t do. I worked out the front and back, and made sure the armscyes are big enough, and then I made a little button flap over the shoulder to make sure the sweater would go over Meow’s sizeable noggin.

Raina has now requested I make another sweater in reverse colors for Meow’s Cousin – the backup stuffed kitty her parents bought in case anything happened to the original – and I’ll start the measuring process over since Meow’s Cousin has a bit more stuffing on his bones.

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Mother’s Day

Last weekend was Mother’s Day, and while I’m still waiting a bit longer to have my own, I made sure to do some projects with the kids I nanny to surprise their moms.

Milo is nearly two, so we made some handprint flowers for Mama.

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And Charlie and Alex made a cake for their mom that says “Happy Mother’s Day” in Hebrew. The kids, the kitchen, and myself were all COVERED in purple frosting and sprinkles, but we had a great time – and I managed to get the kids in bed and the kitchen clean before Mom & Dad came home from date night.

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I completely adore the kids I sit for, but Im looking forward to the day when somebody makes handprint art and sloppy cakes for me too. 😉

Adventure Day With The Boys

Yesterday my partner Ben and I took Charlie and Alex, the boys I babysit, out for the day so their mom and dad can keep packing for their impending move. We started out at 9:30 heading to the New England Aquarium. They’re renovating the central column tank, but we still got to see all the animals – and Im pretty sure we got a better look at Myrtle the Turtle in her temporary home. We checked out the fur seals, the adorable blue penguins, several types of jellyfish, and the (seriously icky) octopus. I have a deep and abiding fear of octopi and their slimy appendages that the boys think is completely hilarious. They wanted to take me to see the octopus and watch me freak out. I managed to hold it together (“She handled it better than I thought she would,” said Alex) but I did encourage us to move along a little faster than I would have for the turtle or penguins.

When the boys tired of the aquarium, we moved about two miles up the road to the Museum of Science. First we watched a 3D movie about dinosaurs, and then enjoyed some snacks. Ben and Alex headed off to play science video games while Charlie and I went to the butterfly house. While we were in line, Charlie made friends with a girl his age named Simone. They took turns comforting one another when the butterflies would startle them, and afterward we held a little caterpillar and fed him a leaf while we learned about how he would turn into a big pretty moth. Then Simone and Charlie decided they wanted to see the dinosaurs together, so off we went! They were adorable together. I gave Simone’s mom my contact information in case the kids needed a play date later.

Finally our little guys were worn out and it was time to head home – but not without a stop at the penny smashing machine and the gift shop. Charlie picked out a toy train, and Alex got a plaster treasure chest from which he’ll have to chisel a piece of fool’s gold. We had pizza for dinner, bath time and story time, and the boys konked right out. It was really a fantastic day.

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