Wednesday, December 28, 2005

And the projects just keep on coming....

With pictures no less!

Here's what's been doing the past few days.

I'm still working on the scarf from my $25 hank of bison hair yarn. It's fingering weight and I'm knitting it in a moss stitch using size 6 needles, I've been working a few rows here and there and it's a good 18" long by now - just another 4' to go. The woman I bought it from (and the label instructions)said it's supposed to fluff up like mohair once I put it in the washing machine for a few minutes and then in the dryer for a few minutes more. This is my "knitting in the semi-darkness while I put the boy to sleep project," if the project I just finished is a guide for how long that takes, it will be ready for spring of 2007.
Image hosted by

I tried a new dye using Wilton past food coloring (Christmas Red) and a new method, my crock pot. The first batch of yarn that I did over the summer I hand painted using Kool Aid. While the yarn was still in the pot, I was dissapointed because it looked to be a uniform color, but when I took it out - WOW!
Image hosted by

One half of the skein seems to be a red/orange with a few hints of yellow or the natural cream variagation, the other half is more yellow/organge with a few hints of red. Here's a swatch I knitted up from the red/orange end.
Image hosted by

Drum roll please....I have finally completed a knitting project FOR MYSELF! This is almost unheard of for any craft. John got me a gift card for AC Moore four years ago and I got this beautiful yarn. I ried to turn it into a scarf at least a half-a-dozen times since then. Fourteen months ago, I started knitting myself a scarf - the first real knitting project I ever started. Well, it's finally done - the ends are woven in and everything. It's an acrylic/wool blend knit in moss stitch with a multitude of mistakes, but no one is ever going to get close enough to find them.
Image hosted by

Last but not least - protecting my needles from a marauding 18 month-old:
Image hosted by
(yes, that's a circular on the side there)

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

A rose by any other name...

Would of course smell as sweet, but I'm sure the rose would feel bad if it was referred to as a Satan Blossom.

I've been trying very hard to eliminate double-sided words from my vocabulary when it comes to Michael. I may refer to myself as "weird" or "strange", but at this point in my life I wear them as a badge of honor, that I'm different from everyone else. That said, ten years or so ago, they didn't feel all that good when other's used them as derogatory words. I really didn't fit-in in high school, especially my first two and half years there. There was this one group of boys who made my life a veritable hell. One of their favorite taunts was to say "Skal Gal" (a play on my last name) in this high pitched voice as I walked past them in the hall. Like all nick-names, it stuck - but in my junior and senior years it was used in a completely different way and became a good thing - like my secret name to my friends and those in the theater department - I was the QUEEN of props, I don't know if they've seen the like since.

John still has a tendency to use "weird" or "strange" to describe Michael and my back crawls just a little bit every time I hear him do it. We got Michael this play cell phone a few months ago and John recorded a message saying, "Michael is weird," on it and I made him erase it immediately. He's not the only one who has these slip-ups though. We both refer to Michael as "Stinker-Man" without a thought most of the time, not thinking of the message we are sending him. I've used the word "Slut" to describe Michael's flirting ways a few times in an attempt at wit and have felt immense guilt afterwards.

I just want my boy to be the happiest person he can be and to not find out how much words can hurt from me. Hopefully, he'll be able to escape a good bit of that lesson from others as well.

In which many photos are posted...

Image hosted by
And Godzilla watches over us all

Image hosted by
On the way to Nana's house

Image hosted by
Playing with one of our new toys

Image hosted by
Feeding Dad some fruit

Image hosted by
The day after

Image hosted by

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Not quite sure how to feel yet

I had my follow up GYN appointment for the adenomyosis this afternoon. It's not as good as I hoped for. The adeno is throughout my uterus and not just in my c-section scar. My doc said that with no treatment it won't be long before my pain increases and I start bleeding more. My mind is screaming for me to get pregnant right now, but it's still not quite the right time yet. We really have to get our finances more under control and I want to drop at least another 20 pounds before I get pregnant again. He also told me that a VBAC is pretty much out of the picture because of the state of my uterus. If I got pregnant right away, I'm also at an increased risk of Placental Acreta. The risk is already higher for me because of the c-section that I had with Michael and recovering from a hysterectomy on top of a c-section, a newborn, and a toddler is not something I want to consider.

He gave us three treatment options: (a) do nothing, (b) Lupron, or (c) hysterectomy. Hysterectomy is right out since we want to have at least one more child. Doing nothing will result in the adeno spreading and getting progessively worse causing more pain and increased bleeding. I really think the Lupron is not going to be for me. The drug simulates menopause, which will allow my uterus to heal and the endometrial cells that have run amok there to die, thus firming up the muscle. The problem is that I have an *extensive* history of mental illness, and even low dose birth control makes me crazy, I can't even begin to imagine what a chemically induced menopausal state will do to me. I've decided to get a second opinion on my treatment options from a doc who specializes in maintaining fertility. There has to be another drug tretment option out there that will not result in my being hospitalized or in complete mental misery for six months.

I asked for a copy of the MRI report and found out some other interesting things. While I was pregnant, I was convinced that I had Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction, but my OB blew me off saying it was just on the bad end of normal pregnancy pain and the chiropractor I went to see basically told me not to read stuff on the internet. The MRI report says that I have moderate to severe degeneration of my pubic symphysis, which is a nice validation. This time around, chiropractic treatment throughout my pregnancy is going to be a high priority. The report also revealed that my bone marrow looks like I have anemia. I only found this out from reading the report and am a bit miffed that my GYN didn't even mention it. I'm going to call my PCP this week and see about getting an H&H and a CBC done to confirm and then treat - if I am anemic, just treating it could make a world of difference.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


See how many exclaimation points!

I just spent the past half an hour reading the manual for my mother's group's website to try and fix something only to finally figure out it's something that has to be changed in the code, which I don't have access to (nor do I really want it at this point). Teaching myself PHP script is not high on the priority list right now. This is a complete bitchy, oh woe with me - I'm becoming a pagan and the hell with the secular/religious parts of this month damn it kind of post, so just bear with me.

John has thrown his back out AGAIN! I know it's not his fault (my mantra so I don't throttle him and then reanimate his corpse because he's not allowed to die until the children have graduated high school - yes I said, "children"), but *something* happens at almost every holiday. We've had more than our fair share of back injuries, we've had gout, we've had a broken nose (what was to be our first Valentine's Day when we were dating), we've had a broken toe, and kidney stones. Of course, with the back, it means that he can't do any of the cleaning that I was depending on him to do. It's hard enough trying to divide my attention between what I think I have to do (read: baked goods), what I want to do (decorate), what I need to do (buy/sew presents, mother's group newsletter), and what I *have* to do (care for the boy and make some me time so I don't go insane - more of a danger than one might think).

I can't bake because almost every dish in the kitchen is dirty because John's back has been bothering him for 3 days now and washing dishes makes it worse (but playing playstation apparently does not - and no I don't really mean that to be as bitchy as it sounds, it's just hard some times). It's freaking 3:30 in the morning and I still have to hang up the freaking laundry (yet another John job).

The boy decided he only needed to sleep for an hour this afternoon. We went to the grocery store to get a turkey breast (which has to be cooked tomorrow with the 5 million other things I need to do). The store is 9 blocks away and it's cold, very cold and I really needed another layer on. The boy started screaming after 5 blocks and continued to scream and spray saliva and mucous for the remainder of the walk and most of the grocery store trip. I picked up a bottle of pinot noir on the way home.

I love my husband very, very much - and spent a good ten minutes on the phone with one of my girlfriends telling her so with soppy anectdotes. It's just I'd like a pain/injury free holiday for once, damn it! The only good thing about this is that I can't make the sign to hang from the stroller, "Attractive Lease Rates Available with an Option to Buy!" or the one to pin to John's back.

I have to stop now before I commit any more crimes against punctuation.

"Hello, my name is Jenn and I am an parens-aholic..."

Monday, December 19, 2005

'Cause we need a little Christmas!

It's finally starting to feel like Christmas for me. I still have a ton of work to do, but it's not feeling like a huge burden which is very nice. I had the day off today which was fantastic - I went to Abington to paly Call of Cthulhu and had a great time. It's the first day off I've had in a while. It didn't involve John brow-beating me to leave the house for once and I feel so much better for it. My Christmas shopping is almost done, the decorating is slated for Monday night, and my sewing load is quite manageable. I'm planning on making 5 different kinds of cookies and fudge this year, but am willing to limit it to 2 kinds of cookies and fudge if time gets out of hand. I just feel so human tonight.

Now to dig out my Christmas tape!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Less of me...

I'm am finally down a pants' size!

A Completed Project (but not one that needed to be done)

I found the patterns for these in this month's issue of Knitty. The pattern is called Toasty Pocket Creatures. They are essentially little cozies for a rice sachet to keep your hands warm in the winter. I used a bit of wool that I dyed a few months ago and knocked it out over the course of two evenings. I did some of the finnishing while Michael was up on Thursday and he was not happy - he won't have anything to do with the finnished product because I was paying attention to it and not him. If I'm not carefull, I'll probably set up some lifetime hatred of handcrafts in him.

Image hosted by

All in all, it was a nice break from the stuff that I have to get done by the middle of next week.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Ack! Too many things and too little time!

I have to stop surfing - everytime I get on the computer I find at least 3 more kntting projects that I want to make - and these aren't just the, "Oh, that looks like it would be fun to do," kind of projects - they are the ones that scream, "MAKE ME! Your life and future happiness depend upon it!"

The problem is that with the season, knitting is competing with many, MANY other things right now. Hell, I haven't even spun in the past two days, and that's the new craft obsession du jour.

Well diaper laundry beckons and then I have to get back to work on a project that I haven't been able to touch for a good week. I also have to come up with a character concept for a Call of Cthulhu game that I'm supposed to play in this Sunday and come up with a Christmas list for Michael.

Can I just stop time for a few days to catch up? If I was a Time Lord I could! (oh God, I've said too much)

Monday, December 12, 2005


We have our first bonafide illness - everything that has come before it in the past 18 months (including the nebulizer treatments) was just practice.

Michael started getting sick on Thursday, and I wasn't too happy because this time it went straight for his chest. The runny nose came, that annoying lowgrade fever, then the diarrhea - because we have to have parity, a mess at both ends. Last night he woke up at 1 and was running a 103 temp, then the screaming began. Every time we put him in the crib or even made a motion towards the crib he would start screaming. He's definitely not a cosleeping kind of kid, so that was out. John and I split things up pretty evenly, so both of us managed to get an hour or two of sleep each.

Of course I was supposed to make decorations for a luncheon for my mothers' group today. I sent out an email at 2am saying I was having problems and to see if anyone could help me out. I got through to our peds office at 8:30am and was given an 11am appointment - just enough time for me to trek into town and set up the centerpieces that I made last night. I really have to stop doing this to myself - I had *no* business chasing a bus at 9:30 this morning, I should have been napping with my sick child. At least I didn't try to get the backdrop made last night or walk to the 24 hour drugstore to buy a glue gun - the Jenn of two years ago would have done that.

We took the boy to the doctors (a half-an-hour late thanks to my misplaced devotions) and was told that he had a nasty double ear infection. They gave him motrin in the office, thus ending my reluctance to use it because of that weird ultra-rare allergic reaction. They sent us home with scrips for amoxicillan (now available in a miriad of disgusting flavors as opposed to just "pink" which was the only option when I was a child), ear drops (another joyous thing to administer), and motrin which the pharmacy actually filled to my suprise - of course after I bought some on the way home, John didn't know not to give them the RX. It was a good visit all around, and while the doctor talked about the vaccines he hasn't gotten yet, it was a *very* token mention because there is no way I am going to shoot my very sick and miserable child up with something that's going to make him feel bad, I just got the, "well call when he's better so he can get the shot."

Michael has been sleeping pretty much ever since we got home - and in the most pathetic and heart wrenching ways possible. At one point he was standing up and leaning the top-half of his body on the couch, sound asleep. As tough as my own sleep deprivation is at this point, hearing that plaintive half cry/half scream when he wakes just rips your heart to shreds and spurs you into immediate action.

Sorry this is so incoherent and for the many spelling mistakes- it's been a long day.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

I went to Philcon and all I got was this spindle!

Only I can manage to go to a science fiction convention and come away with knitting supplies. I've been wanting to learn how to spin for the longest time, but the effort of finding the supplies has held me back (as well as the fact that I really don't need to learn another craft). One of the merchants there was selling spindles and offering spinning lessons, so I took her up on it. She gave me the spindle that she was usinging to teach me with and I bought another one and some wool roving so I could make my own yarn.

I spun a bit last night and then plied the yarn I made this morning. Here's the swatch I knitted up:

Ahh, the joys of another craft!

Friday, December 09, 2005

"Make it make sense!"

We were watching an episode of James the Cat on PBS Sprout while giving Michael a nebulizer treatment (the cough is back again). John compared it to Yellow Submarine on a trippiness scale. You just aren't prepared to hear a kangaroo exclaiming "Strewth!" after every other sentence. For some strange reason, all you saw of the eagle were his feet and the bald patch on the top of his head. There were other bizzare happenings as well, but they defy description. John asked me to reach into the television and make the writers explain to us what just happened.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


I have no life.

This morning John and I gleefully watched Elmo get more and more annoyed this morning on Sesame Street. We both confessed that we live for these moments.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

New and more amazing ways to avoid doing what I need to do!

I joined a list serve dedicated to knitting wool soakers last night. I've already posted there 4 times!

I stayed up until 1am trying to finish a soaker and I'm getting ready to start another one.

I have 5 knitting projects in various stages of completion that I've been working on for the past 8 months or so. I also have several crochet projects that haven't been touched in a few years.

Tuesday night I spent a nice hour in Starbucks sketching designs for baby carriers and accessories. I would love to have the time and resources to make 2-3 dressmaker's dummies and 3-4 infant dummies so I could fully test out my designs. I spent at least 30 minutes trying to figure out how to make the joints on the infant dumies and where to add weight to make them realistic while laying in bed last night.

Michael has finally "discovered" my yarn caddy in the livingroom - I'm looking at a good half an hour's work there.

I spent 45 minutes reading knitting links when there is laundry to be done.

Ah well...housework calls.

At rest...