27 December 2006

Christmas Nirvana

For the third year in a row, I have achieved what I like to call Christmas Nirvana. This is what happens when you thoughtfully choose your childrens' gifts, and don't give too few or too many.

There is a fine line when it comes to how many. Too few, and they won't have enough to keep them busy. Too many, and they think they got short-changed because they started feeling entitled to lots of gifts. Plus, they get overwhelmed and don't know what to play with first.

I am afraid that I have reached the turning point with the Frugalboy, though. He's getting old enough that his gifts aren't just toys. They are things like fishing poles and tool boxes so he doesn't have as many things to "play" with on Christmas morning. He's complaining of boredom already, and wants to go shopping to spend the rest of the money from his grandparents.

The girls are completely content playing with their dolls and dress-ups. I carefully gave them complementary gifts so they could play together.

But the days are long and rainy and there's only so long until they get bored.

There's only 6 more days until they go back to school. Not that I'm counting. What I am counting the minutes to is Saturday, when I get to go out without any children and sit and knit and chat with the ladies in my cloth diapering group. Saturday. At 11:00. Did I mention that the kids are staying home?

On the knitting front, on the needles right now I have a Lilac Perdita for my sister's birthday. With cream crochet cotton like in the picture. On another set of needles I have some corn that I gave up on for a Christmas gift because I wasn't getting it done fast enough. I hope to get the bracelet done soon, because her birthday is January 5, and start on some longies for Frugalbaby in the softest merino I've ever felt!

26 December 2006

Back in my younger days, and where NOT to eat

I was much skinnier, and I didn't have any gray hairs. We got married in the Salt Lake City Temple and we were sealed by my grandfather. I honestly don't remember much from the ceremony.

But I do remember that I had arranged for us to stay in a honeymoon "suite" in the Doubletree Hotel that was next to the Delta Center (I don't think it's a Doubletree anymore, though.) Our room was supposed to come with a bottle of complimentary champagne (I asked if we could have soda or something else instead and they agreed) and there were supposed to be chocolate-dipped strawberries, too. We were also supposed to get a free movie in the room, and free breakfast. Well, we never got our soda, our strawberries, and they charged us for the movie, so we decided to cut our losses and didn't even try to get breakfast. I wrote a letter demanding justice and got a reply that they were sorry for the inconvenience. Whatever! Oh, and the hotel was having plumbing trouble, because the jacuzzi tub in our bathroom was full of rust-colored water when we tried to take a bath.

Despite it all, we still managed to do what every engaged couple can't wait to do. (insert wicked grin and wink)

The next day was Christmas Eve, and we spend the night in Idaho Falls at the round hotel that overlooks the river and the Idaho Falls Temple. Much nicer room, and the breakfast was free, and the room was much cheaper, if I recall correctly!

We spent Christmas and the next couple nights at Frugaldad's parents' house and had our first reception. We had reservations at a lodge in Jackson Hole to spend a couple nights. Well, there was this huge snow storm and an avalanche on Jackson Pass. The roads were all closed that direction, so we decided to just head back to Provo early. The next day was New Year's Eve and we decided to head to Southern Utah for a drive through the mountains and we rang in the New Year in a motel in Cedar City. Then we flew to Houston the next day for the reception with my family.

Looking back at the foiled attempt at a honeymoon, our attempt at having some time together on our tenth anniversary just went along with everything else. We arranged for all of the kids to play with their cousins for a few hours while we ran errands and went to lunch. We started at the fabric store (I know what you're thinking. We really go all out for big events like our tenth anniversary) because I needed a couple small piece of rip-stop nylon to repair some tears inflicted by the Frugaldog in two coats. I should have known things were headed south when they were short-handed at the cutting counter. After waiting for what seemed like an eternity, I finally got my two 1/8 yard pieces cut and paid for (sixty-seven cents), and we headed to The Cheesecake Factory for lunch. (I'm not even going to bother linking you to them. You'll see why.) We arrived shortly after 11:20. They told us it would be a 20-40 minute wait. Surprised, we agreed hesitantly, because we didn't really want to go somewhere else. We took our little pager and headed next-door to the mall. We didn't even make it to the doors, however, when our pager buzzed, and we were taken to our table. I thought, but looking back I should have known better, that since we were seated so quickly that lunch would be a breeze. We had never eaten there before, and were a little surprised at how close the tables are to each other. They really have you elbow to elbow with the neighboring table. Our waitress came after not too long and gave us the menu. Which was huge. It is spiral bound and at least 1/4 inch thick. We decided on an appetizer, ordered it, replied that yes, we'd like bread too, and we waited. Then we ordered our lunch.

And we waited.

And we waited.

The people next to us got their food.

And we waited.

The people on the other side of us, who ordered their lunch right before us, got their food.

We mentioned to the waitress that we were still waiting on the appetizer. She said she'd check on it, and then the manager came out and tells us that he just checked and our appetizer would be out shortly.

Which it was.

No sooner had a waiter put down the appetizer, that another one brought our lunch. The lady at the neighboring table, whom we were starting to be close friends with, you know, with the proximity and all, said that we should say something, that the appetizer shouldn't come at the same time as the food. Which we agreed with. Somewhere along the line, someone dropped the ball. Whether it was the waitress or the kitchen, ultimately the waitress should have done something about it. We ate the appetizer while we ate our lunch, but didn't finish it. And didn't box it up to bring it home because we knew it wouldn't reheat well. We thought we should order dessert because after all, we were at The Cheesecake Factory. The waitress asked if we wanted menus again. When she finally brought them like 5 minutes later we were getting really tired of waiting. She left us alone again for a really long time. We decided that we should just skip dessert after seeing how long it took the tables on either side of us to get their cheesecake. We asked for the bill. It came to $38.57. Since we knew we'd be there until dinnertime if we waited for her to process our credit card, we left $4o cash with the bill and got out of there as quick as we could.

I can't decide if it's even worth my time to write a letter in complaint. I know I'll probably end up with a free dinner or something, but I'm not sure I want to even go there again.

Then we wrapped up our hot date with a trip to the grocery store.

The day wasn't a total loss, though, as Frugaldad gave me a gold twisted-rope necklace that he bought when he was in Singapore in September and managed to keep hidden from me.

Marriage certainly isn't always what I expected it to be, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Happy Anniversary Frugaldad, I love you.

23 December 2006

Ten years ago today...

Frugaldad and I got married. I don't think we even imagined that we'd be where we are today. I am not ready for Christmas yet but soon I will come back and post some wedding pictures.

22 December 2006

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Our first significant snowfall this season.

There's nothing like celebrating the first snow with a good bounce on the tramp. (yes, the frame is bent from the tumble across the yard--we plan to buy a new one in the spring)

16 December 2006

Teeny Tiny Bag

Frugalbaby loves to carry around my almost-a-Booga Bag. But she is too short to keep it from dragging on the ground. With the yarn I had leftover, I knit her a tiny replica. (I did the handles differently from the pattern by doing a 3-stitch i-cord instead, and didn't do the flap.) The colors, of course, turned out completely different and I am jealous, because I would love it if my bag looked like this too. I used every last bit of yarn, so there's some frugal knitting for you. Pictures are pre-felting, during blocking (sucker for size comparison), alone after blocking, and with the original bag.

And for my knitting friends who read this--the bag is in stockinette stitch but is bound off with a k2tog bind-off (instructions are in the pattern). The edge doesn't roll at all now that the bag is felted. And the bind-off was really easy, too. (My knitting reference book describes the k2tog bind-off differently but I followed the pattern instructions). My Sophie bag that is done with a basic bind-off still rolls a little, but I did a crocheted bind-off on the second Sophie that I did and it didn't roll as badly. This bind-off is the best so far. The big bag above didn't roll because I did over an inch of seed stitch at the top.

12 December 2006

Sew glad to be finished!

My latest batch of sewing is finished. I did 76 baby wipes, 4 diapers, 4 diaper covers, and 2 waterproof bags. Most are for gifts, but two of the Christmas diaper covers are for Frugalbaby. Sometime I'll tell the story of the lost Christmas diaper. I am also keeping some of the wipes that are mostly white.

The diapers are Poopockets, which are a one-size diaper. I make them with a snappi-friendly fabric on the outside because I hate pins.

The bags are made with Procare from Wazoodle.

The diaper covers are from my own pattern, which fits a lot like a Bummis Super Whisper Wrap.

My size tags come from One Stop Diaper Shop, and I don't know why I ever sewed diapers without them. I put them on covers and pocket diapers.

The wipes are all two layers, one of flannel and one of 80%cotton/20%poly stretch terry. I love these wipes. The blue and pink are intended for diaper wipes, and the white are for hands and faces in the kitchen (with the food print).

edited to add the photo I found from after I cut out the wipes


I may be the last person on earth (besides Frugaldad) to see Napoleon Dynamite. I had baskets upon baskets of laundry to fold yesterday afternoon so I popped in the DVD. We have owned it since it came out on DVD but never watched it. Frankly, I was a little disappointed. I had heard that it was a hilarious movie. I thought it was pretty dumb. Sure, there were a couple funny parts, but I honestly can't even remember what they were. There was so little actual dialogue or plot to the movie. I'm glad I didn't rush out to see it, or rush to watch it. I definitely would have rather watched Martha on the DVR.

11 December 2006

Better late than never

I took this great series of photos last spring and never got a chance to post them. We happened to go to the library for storytime on Arbor Day and they were handing out free tree seedings. So that evening, Frugalgirl2 and Frugaldad went out to the corner of the pasture to plant her tree. There were already 2 trees just like it planted there from the previous Arbor Day, so hopefully in 20 years it is a nice shady corner.

05 December 2006


I finished a soaker over the weekend. It's a Curly Purly soaker and I did those fancy leg ruffles to make it look really girly. It's the Kool-aid dyed Wool of the Andes that I did back here. (though I had intended it as just waistband and cuff yarn, I learned that one skein was enough for an entire soaker).

I've also been sewing. Pictures to come when I finish.

Edited to add: this was a gift, so I have yet to see it modeled on a baby. I couldn't mention that it was a gift until it was given. Maybe Heidi will post pictures sometime next summer when this soaker fits her upcoming arrival.

The Magical Age of Eight

We had a momentous occasion at the Frugal Farm this weekend. I mentioned the Frugalboy's birthday before. On Saturday he was baptized a member of the Church. Everything went well. Frugaldad's parents and all his siblings and their families came for the weekend. I bought the Frugalgirls matching winter dresses. They were adorable. We (the girls and I) sang the opening song at the baptism. Well, the girls mumbled and I cried. Oh well. I shouldn't have said I would sing, and when we were practicing and I couldn't get through the song without tears, I should have known better. I guess they just won't ask me to sing anymore?

Frugaldad and Frugalboy before they headed to the church for the baptism

Frugalbaby won't hold still for a picture yet

04 December 2006