Friday, November 30, 2007

Christmas Photos

I dressed the puppies up tonight in their Christmas photo outfits. Lucas is growing so fast that his barely fit, and won't be wearable by next week. Mid photo shoot, we took a dinner break before trying session two of photos. Elleigh's button velcro closure wouldn't close anymore from her kibble bulge after she ate. Michael was the assistant puppy positioner. It was worth it though! Out of the one or two hundred photos snapped, we have the one photo we needed for our Christmas card. Thought I might share a photo of the kids at about the time they were saying they'd had enough. What troopers!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Lucas is a handsome little guy and he is growing so fast. If he really puts his mind to it, he can now jump onto the couch himself. However, he is not even attempting the stairs to go up to the second floor, so we carry him to bed like a baby. He's sleeping through the night, mostly because he is exhausting himself by running around and playing so hard with Elleigh May all evening. He's been a trooper with the start of the cold weather and still going outside to do his potty. He wasn't too impressed when the light rain we got at home tonight, just after the sun wentdown, that froze suddenly to the deck. So he ran out to pee and slid across the deck and off the stairs. Poor little guy! He and Elleigh are fun to watch when they are snuggling and having quiet time. Elleigh is very patient with him and sometimes it even seems like they are whispering things back and forth to one another.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

fleece stuffed mitten in progress

I am participating in my fellow knitter Gina's Month of Mittens event. There is a link on my side bar this month to her blog's webpage with the details on it. And of course, I always have the Sleepy Eyes Knits link on my page. The goal was to make as many mittens in the month of November as possible, but I have only started one mitten project so far. I may not have it finished by the end of the month either. But wanted to post a photo to show off how much of the fleece stuffed mitten I have done so far. They are intended for myself so I can wear them walking from the parking garage all the way into my office at work. They will be thick and warm. I think most people use a contrasting yarn and fleece color so there are flecks in the stockinette stitching from the insertd fleece, but I chose to use the same color for each. You can read more about the details on this project on its project page on

Saturday, November 24, 2007

sock needle basket

I went to Robin's today, and sat beside Nancy, and weaved another basket. It's a small one that I think it going to be a new sock needle basket for me. I used a solid wood bottom so that there are no small holes for the needles to slip through. I had a good time catching up with Nancy and Robin, and I always enjoy how relatively quickly a basket project finishes up in a few hours. On some warmer afternoon, I will go outside and stain the basket. I put a tea light next to the basket for scale.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Lemon Grass

Michael and I took a break from wedding planning today for lunch at the Lemon Grass Restaurant in Moultonboro, New Hampshire. It's Asian cuisine complete with a sake bar and sushi, and we are very glad we stumbled upon it. There was a brochure for Mike Love's Lemon Grass Restaurant and Sake Bar at the bakery where we were picking out our wedding cake today, Love Bites. They make most of the desserts for the restaurant. Michael and I shared Crispy Lemon Grass Calamari for an appetizer with Saigon Slaw. We seem to be fried calamari connoisseurs since we try it most places where we go out to dinner. This calamari was served with three sauces: sweet & sour, wasabi mayo, and a citrus soy sauce. I had the Phat Thai for my entree, which was the best I have ever had and full of peanut flavor. And Michael had the Sesame Crusted Rare Ahi Tuna. He got some interesting pickled veggies with his tuna: beets, cucumbers and cabbage. Very enjoyable and a nice atmosphere. I particularly liked the assortment of small bowls, plates and cups they had for all of the different entrees. And the kitchen is open to view from all of the tables so there's something to watch. It seems like the restaurant is newly set-up or renovated. I can't wait to try it again. Maybe when we head back to the area for our wedding weekend in March, we can plan to stop in again. Check out the restaurant's website.

Love Bites!!

Michael and I went to Love Bites, a bakery in Moultonboro, New Hampshire this morning. It was a beautiful ride up route 109. Love Bites was once owned by Donna Love, who is a well known pastry chef in the area, but she sold the bakery to Darcy Remillard. Darcy now continues the Love Bites business out of the commercial bakery in the basement of her home. They had just finished up on the Thanksgiving pie rush. I had sent Darcy a few photos and an e-mail description of my vision of the perfect wedding cake to which she responded that it was very doable. After tasting fondant and a hazelnut cookie, we decided this was the place to order our wedding cake from. And most impressive, Michael made a key decision on cake filling and was very concerned over depth of flavor and whether one filling would be strong enough to stand up to the others. Darcy was impressed also with his level of participation. And Darcy and Mike discussed songs by Def Leppard and Judas Priest that have Love Bites in the lyrics. We left a deposit and took away a tasty cranberry square, a bacon flavored dog bone for the kids, hazelnut cookies, and a sample of the cake we ordered. I won't give too many details here, as many of my blog readers will end up at the wedding and I don't want to spoil the surprise. But I will divulge that it is not a Diabetic-friendly cake and it will be very decadent.

3 months and 2 weeks left to get everything else in order for the wedding...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

The past several years, Michael and I spent the actual Thanksgiving Day with his family. But this year, we packed up Lucas and Elleigh and drove to Vermont. Vermont trips are always whirlwind trips because I try to do so much in the little time that I have. I don't get back home often enough it seems.

Lucas and Elleigh slept entwined with each other on both the ride over and back. This was the first time Lucas got to meet his Grandparents on the Doaner side, and his cousins: Brandi and Angus.

I took a tour of Grandma's house, and the work my brother and an electrician have done on getting the house in shape to be rented. My brother is hoping to be able to move in before Christmas with his family.

Brandi's birthday is in early December, so I usually bring up her birthday gifts around Thanksgiving time. This year, she got a new assortment of books and a little cash.

Angus was in high energy mode on Thursday, so it was hard to get him to sit still long enough to photograph his new missing front teeth.

We had turkey and all the fixings: potato, gravy, coleslaw, deviled eggs, stuffing, squash, and rolls. This year's forgotten item was the yams. There's always something that never makes the table in every house.

Brandi, Angus, Mom and I sat down with the felted ball kit I got on my Grand View Knitting Retreat weekend. We wrapped yarn and used roving to make fluffy balls, and then stuffed them inside old nylons and put them in the washer for one cycle. It was quick and fun, and now we have four felted Christmas ball ornaments. I think next time, I would use more traditional Christmas colors. The fancy ornament hangers came from Target.

Michael helped my Dad open their new computer up and get it hitched up to the printer. Mom and Dad were working on my old hand-me-down Gateway that must be 10 years old at the very least. They were getting to the point where they could run errands between mouse clicks because the computer was so slow. They are now running on Windows Vista and Dad can't believe how fast his fantasy football website loads up.

Mom and I had little pieces of mince meat pie and maple pecan pie before it was time to pack up the dogs and drive back to New Hampshire in the pouring rain.

Lucas and Elleigh shared a small can of Thanksgiving Dinner dog food made by Merrick when we got them back home. Mmmm!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Our First Snow

It began snowing this morning right around the time we were leaving for work. This took me totally by surprise. I don't remember hearing that it was going to snow in southern NH on the news. I was in good company because none of my coworkers seemed to be expecting snow either. I haven't even put my winter car kit in my car yet and I left for work today without a hat and gloves. Looks like we ended up with 2 inches of settled wet snow.

As shocked as I was about the snow, the puppies were not pleased to go out and go potty in the snow this evening. It was Lucas' first snow. He was a trooper and did his business, but it was clear his feet were cold and he didn't want to linger too long.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Exhausted Puppies

It has been a long weekend for the furry babies. Elleigh has been a good big sister and played with her new baby brother. She isn't interested in sharing her food, and I don't blame her. So we strongly encourage each baby to eat out of their own bowls. But Elleigh is sharing her toys and seems to like playing tug with Lucas. She also has been trying to sneak the tiny puppy toys of Lucas and we have to stop her from chewing through them. Elleigh is also a trooper about going outside for potty every time Lucas goes out. Lucas and Mommy enjoy the company even if she doesn't have to go to the bathroom herself. Lucas attended his first puppy obedience class today. He as the smallest kid in his class, which was disappointing because we hoped that there would be another small dog puppy he could play with. Instead, there was Calvin (springer spaniel), Bubba (Bulldog) and Rosa (a curly water spaniel.) Lucas sat most of the class patiently beside me and looked as if he was already a well behaved pooch while his classmates barked, jumped around, and tripped over their big puppy feet. I think Lucas may have been tired in class today so I don't expect he will be so perfect next class session. Lucas is still able to make it through the night with just one potty break somewhere between 3-5:30 am. He seems to be going through a growth spurt right now. It's amazing how much he has grown in just the week that we've had him. While watching the NASCAR final race of the season tonight, Elleigh and Lucas tried to share the same exact space right in the corner of the sofa beside Daddy while he played on the computer. It wasn't that long ago that Elleigh use to lay on top of Austin and they'd sleep together. Elleigh has definitely taken on the big dog role now that she is on the bottom of the dog pile.

Friday, November 16, 2007

wedding dress

My wedding dress has arrived and is now being stored in the house! My experiment in ordering a dress direct from China seems to be working out for me so far. I found a tiny package on the deck this afternoon, and originally thought it was the T-shirt I had ordered from But, it turned out to be my wedding dress. It took me by surprise since it was about a week earlier than I expected. I ordered the dress on October 24th and thought it would actually arrive after Thanksgiving. Imagine me trying to put this dress on while keeping two puppies away from it. All the fabric and fluff was very exciting for Elleigh and Lucas. It will obviously need to be steamed since it was packed in such a small bundle, but otherwise, I am impressed at how close the dress comes to the right size and length just by sending my measurements via an e-mail half way around the world. I also asked for the sleeves to be altered a bit from the photo I saw on-line and even that request was accommodated. I guess I can stop worrying about some big wedding dress issue for the big day. I can't go into too much detail on the dress at this point since I think Michael does actually read my blog occasionally.

Lucas' First Puppy Pediatrician Appointment

Lucas had his first well puppy appointment at Russell Animal Hospital this afternoon. All of the staff at the hospital ogled over Lucas and came out of the other patient care rooms just to see him. Lucas seemed to be tired from his ride into Concord, so he just hung out in my arms and sucked up all of the attention. Dr. Clark thought that Lucas looked healthy and was just fine. She used extra tiny needles for Lucas' vaccinations. But he hated most of all the kennel cough vaccination that was dripped into his nose. He weighed 5 pounds and 2.5 ounces. They looked up Elleigh's records and she weighed 3 pounds and 9 ounces at the same age. Lucas got a trip to PetSmart for a new sweater, a tag for his collar, and a trio of puppy bones to chew since he was such a good boy at the vet's office. Again, he was so tired he let me just carry him around the store. Unfortunately, the spot between Lucas' shoulder blades where they gave him his shots has gotten sore this evening, so we have to be really careful when picking him up or touching him so he doesn't cry. He's sleeping on the couch right now with Michael. This seems to make him feel better.

Rub-a-Dub-Dub, 2 Dogs in a Tub

Every parent has the naked kids in the tub photos, so here is our photo of Lucas and Elleigh naked (they have their collars off) and in the tub. I'd like to say that they were enjoying their tub, but they really aren't that happy about it. They tolerate the necessary evil. I love the Lavender and Mint Buddy Wash soap that I have been using on Elleigh since she was a baby. It's great dog shampoo, rinses out easily, and leaves the puppies soft and smelling nice.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Growing So Fast

Lucas is growing so fast! When I got home tonight, it seemed like he had gotten bigger just during the work day. And as of tonight, Lucas can now get himself up the two steps at the side of the house when he goes out to potty. He's definitely getting more coordination when playing with Elleigh and seems to be giving her more of a run for her money already. And he is gaining speed when he runs through the house, mostly chasing Elleigh. And the baby sleeps through most of the night; we can get a good 6 hour stretch of sleep out of him without a potty break. Lucas worked on sitting on command on Tuesday night, and did very well with that. He seems to like standing up on his back legs, so we've been labeling this as "up" and trying to make that a command for him as well. He doesn't like the sausage doggy treats I have, but I broke up some tiny pieces of chicken breast and Lucas was very happy to work on tricks for that treat. I offered him a tiny piece Triscuit tonight, but he apparently doesn't like fiber. He's still bouncing and bounding across the floor with puppy exuberance. Elleigh is more inclined now to let him snuggle up right next to her. But he still can't make it up on the couch by himself, so that is Elleigh's safe haven when she's had enough of the puppy. Luke is still a snuggler, especially at bedtime. And he is starting a puppy training and socialization class on Sunday.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Elleigh Loves Lucas

We knew Elleigh wouldn't be able to keep up with the cold shoulder act for very long. She was "caught" snuggling with the puppy on the couch tonight. They fell asleep after exhausting themselves running from one end of the house to the other playing tag, keep away and tug.

Prepare Yourself For Cuteness Overload

I had to stop at Target on the way home from work tonight to run an errand. And in the cheap bins near the front of the store, I found this x-small black down vest made for doggies for $2.50. And on the back of the jacket, it has a skull in a Santa hat with the work "naughty." How cute is that? And Lucas seems to like it. He gets cold quickly, so I am sure he likes the warmth. He liked the vest so much that he even seemed a little sassy in that jacket running around tonight and rolling around on the couch. I have no idea if he will even be able to wear it at Christmas time. But he can fit in it right now, though it is a little big. But for $2.50, it was worth just the laugh this one night. I probably should have tried to crop out his hoohoo from that photo.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

More on Lukeigh...

We have been calling Lucas several names, so he hasn't quite figured out whether he should be responding to Luke, Lucas, or Lukeigh. We will work on being more consistent. But today, Lucas and Elleigh played tug and keep away. Elleigh is taking advantage of the fact that Lucas can't get himself up on the couch yet, or up and down the stairs either. Michael showed his boy how to use the remote as they lounged on the couch today. Lucas continues to be snuggly and we are hopeful he will sleep through most of the night again tonight.

Late last night, we gave Lucas his first tubby and his first nail clipping. He also got a brand new brown and turquoise collar, and he's borrowing his sister's puppy leash until we can find him something a little more masculine.

Introducing Lucas Austin....

Michael and I got up in the wee hours of the morning and took a road trip to Pennsylvania to pick up our new baby boy yesterday, Lucas Austin. Lucas was born September 2nd, 2007, so he is 10 weeks old. Lucas came right up to introduce himself to Michael and he seems to like to stand on his back legs. Lucas did a really good job on the drive home, in fact, he slept most of the 9 hours. And so far, we have had potty only in the appropriate potty places. Yippee! He's affectionate and curious. Oh, and he is a Boston Terrier, but he is more of a brindle than Elleigh's more traditional black and white. He seems to like Elleigh, but Elleigh has mixed feelings. Elleigh enjoys playing with him, but she has had to be clear with him that she is not interested in nursing him no matter how hungry he thinks he is. And we have to be careful about spreading the love equally to both Elleigh and Lucas. There's definitely a pathetic look on Elleigh's face when Lucas is being handled and she is not. Luckily, Elleigh is not beyond inserting herself. You can be assured that there will be a ton of baby photos to come.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Laceigh Hat

I finished my Laceigh Hat tonight at the Bricchi's house! I started this project at Grand view. It's been a while since I have actually completed a project, though, I always seem to be starting a project. This hat is done just in time for the cold weather coming. I used Knit Picks Andean Treasure baby alpaca yarn. I need to write down what I actually did. Once on paper, I think that will make me an official knitware designer. You can read more about this hat project on my ravelry page by clicking on the ravelry link on my sidebar to the right. Did I mention that ravelry is the greatest new knitting website!?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Grand View

I finally got to go to Grand View for what has turned out to be the last annual ManchVegas at Grand View knitting retreat. Unfortunately, the Grand View accommodations and yarn shop did not meet my expectations. Donna and I had technical difficulties with the bed and the toilet in our room. And the yarn shop didn't have anything new and exciting that I just couldn't resist. In fact, I ended up buying a felting project kit more out of obligation than anything else. Let me mention some of my favorite highlights, or possibly they were low lights. I really enjoyed the tequila balls that Lora whipped up and brought on the retreat. (That's Lora and I in the photo above.) The balls spent quite a bit of time on our end of the table and I frequented the container a lot on Friday night, and I think for breakfast/brunch on Saturday. Check out Caroline's blog for a great photo of Lora in a cotton knit hat. Lora shared the recipe with me, so I can reproduce them again some time. Yahoo! It will be a long time before I lose the image of the free-spirited Amanda hanging out in her undies and boots for most of Saturday night. And I learned way more about some people than I probably ever really wanted to know via some drinking games. Though, I think I had an unfair advantage since I was drinking water while others were not. I did have a nice wine assortment on Friday night. I worked on my reversible green cabled scarf that I started last winter for myself, the infamous laptop sleeve, and I started a heathered purple lace hat that will probably be for me this winter. I didn't finish any projects though. And what about Bob!?

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Beloved Austin

Michael and I took Austin to be put to sleep late this afternoon. Since being diagnosed with his brain tumor in August, Austin had done pretty well with medication. He had a few seizures and had a slow decline in coordination and sight, but seemed to be enjoying life right up until this last week. He had one 24 hour period where he had two seizures earlier in the week, and by the end of the week Austin had very poor coordination and could no longer be left alone. He needed assistance walking around, going up and down the stairs, and it became clear that he may no longer be enjoying his life. It was a very sad thing to do, but we feel a little relieved that Austin isn't suffering now. We are hoping that Austin is already racing around doggy heaven with little Bradeigh.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Grand View Knitting Retreat

This whole season is out of control at work, more than the normal out of control. So if I can just finish up a few things this morning at work, I will be off to Grand View with Donna this afternoon. Though I am having trouble disengaging from work and all things wedding this morning, I know I will have a great time just knitting a whole weekend away with a wild bunch of women. I need to pack some knitting projects to work on, but also leave time to start new projects. We will be staying in an inn with a knitting store, so I will buy more knitting projects inevitably. And oh, I need to contact Donna to find out where we are actually going to rendezvous.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Invitations Have Arrived

You may have heard my squeals of delight all the way at your house when I opened the box that was delivered at the house today by FedEx. The wedding invitation kit from Paper Source has arrived! Paper Source gets an A+ for presentation too. Not only is the invitation kit just as pretty as expected, but the company wraps all of the shipments up like they are gold. The invitation components were wrapped in tissue paper and tied up with ribbon. And even my invoice copy came in its own bright blue envelop. Very nice touches! I can't wait to put these invitations together now. I have to figure out if the cherry blossom response cards from the other company actually match the Paper Source invitations.

Jacinda's dress shopping

Nancy, Jacinda and I went to Marry & Tux in Nashua tonight after work. Marry & Tux has later hours on some evenings so working girls can actually make it on a week night to do some shopping. And they also seem to have some larger sized dresses in stock so girls with assets can actually get a good idea of how certain dresses will fit. Kudos to Marry & Tux! Jacinda took several dresses into the dressing room, but once she tried on the second style, she knew that was the one she wanted and didn't bother to try any more on. It's a beautiful dress and it looks beautiful on Jacinda. And it is from the DaVinci bridal collection, which offered more pinks than some other lines. The pink Jacinda is getting is called fuchsia, but it is much more of a real pink color than actual purple toned fuchsia. It will match well with the color scheme I have in mind. I am excited about this gown. Jacinda ordered her dress and it should arrive in February.

We celebrated our shopping success with dinner at CR Sparks in Bedford.

And Nancy is ordering her dress tomorrow from a bridal shop in Laconia.