Monday, December 31, 2007

The day thus far...

Yet another whiny post about pregnancy. This will probably be the model for the next three weeks :(

  • Woke up at 3am and couldn't settle back to sleep, got up and surfed for two hours

  • Tossed and turned in bed for an hour until I passed out at 6am

  • Dragged myself out of bed at 7:30 so John could finish getting ready for work

  • Finally got dressed enough to venture outdoors at 11am. Walked to corner deli to get a few things

  • Got home from deli and realized that the ONE BLOCK I walked had completely wiped me out and unless I am being driven somewhere this is probably the farthest I can expect to go for the next few weeks

  • Succeed in not crying about my physical limitations, make something for Michael and I to eat for lunch

  • Think about sitting on our front steps while I let Michael run up and down our street so I can get some sun but the realize that the front of the house is already in the shade - must do this before 11am

  • Give in and sit in the recliner while we watch Babe and get some much-needed knitting done. At least the swelling in my hands goes down so I can knit comfortably

  • Come upstairs for some computer time and to bitch to the internet about my piddly problems. Hands and feet start to swell again reminding me that I really need to sit with things elevated

  • Stop complaining and head back downstairs to the dreaded recliner and my water bottle

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Hormones and Motherhood - Ho!

last night we watched an episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender called "Tales of Ba Sing Se" which is a series of vignettes focusing on various characters in the show. One of the stories focused on Iroh, and shows him in his normal milieu of a slightly silly old man with subtle hints of his hidden depths. The ending is just beautiful, showing him lighting incense and setting up a picture which turns out to be of his son who died years earlier in the war. You hear him sing a song he sung earlier to stop a child's crying, this time with his own tears of sorrow and remorse. This was one of the last episodes Mako, the voice of Iroh, recorded before he died which makes it especially poignant. The story is exceptionally well done and true to form, I sobbed all the way through it and am in fact fighting to hold back tears just thinking about it.

Just now I escaped upstairs to avoid the sobbing that would accompany a scene in The Incredibles when Holly Hunter's character's plane goes down with the children on board. I remember also tearing up over this scene when John and I saw it in the theater, as well as actually sobbing when Jason Lee's character attempts to kidnap the baby at the very end. It was a similar situation when we went to see Revenge of the Sith - when Palpatine directs Anakin to the Jedi temple, I knew exactly what it meant and I remember just burying my face in John's chest and crying I was so upset.

Before I got pregnant with Michael, there were very few things that touched me like that, and only then if I happened to see it when it was just before my period was due to start. Now that I almost have two children, it's a pretty safe bet that I'll be affected by these types of scenes, animated or otherwise, since it's almost impossible to turn off motherhood even for an few hours at the movies.

Not the most coherent of posts, but it's not been the most coherent of days. At least the contractions have stopped which is the other reason I came upstairs.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

On a happier note...

H stopped by with baby HJ yesterday and a big box of hand-me-down goodness for the Bean. I was so great to be able to finally meet her and HJ was just too precious for words. We had a lovely visit and I am so touched that she made the trip down to see me and deliver the clothes and diapers.

Thank you so much!

Note to self

As much as it sucks (and it does, whoa does it ever, "like a Banshee" as we would say when I was in high school), my body is definitely trying to tell me something. That something is that I need to spend my time sitting around with my feet up or else get a ride to wherever it is that I want to go. Nasty contractions at home are one thing, they are a completely different creature when you are walking through the middle of town with your three year-old in tow.

Man, this sucks balls.

Just an apology since the blog has definitely taken a "I hate being pregnant" turn in recent weeks. I promise my rants will once again branch out and cover other subjects after next month.

It's scary...

Seeing it all written down, and this is just the knitting "to-do" list...


Done:
2 pairs of socks
Orange Malabrigo longies
Red curly-toed booties
Silk/Cashmere nursing pads

In progress
Orange/Teal EZ Feb Sweater (just needs buttons)
Spring EZ Feb Sweater (needs a sleeve, ends woven & buttons)
Koigue BSJ (needs cuffs, ends woven, collar & buttons)
Gnomey (needs ear flaps)

Still to do:
Longies in cascade 220 rusty brown (to go with EZ Feb sweaters)
Bunting in hand-dyed Peace Fleece
at least 3-4 pairs of socks
2-3 soakers (although I have enough covers to do me through the newborn period so this isn't vital)
another Gnomey hat in Malabrigo to match BSJ for coming home outfit
2-3 more pairs of nursing pads

Of course, I'm still finishing up my swap partner's knitting (I'll be washing and blocking tonight), I have at least 5 Christmas presents left to do and a whole bunch of korknisse that have to be done for Tuesday, I have the knitting half-done on a present for another mama's babe to be (which has been radically scaled back), and I have a pair of socks and felted slippers on the needles for myself not to mention the simple knitted bodice I started back in November.


Knitting is being put on hold for the next few hours though as I am going to attempt a trek into town with Michael. Wish me luck and let's pray my pubic bone can handle it because damnit, I'm tired of laying around with my feet up.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Damn you, biologic need to sleep!

I am buried in knitting and I have to get my butt in gear and get ready for the Bean. So much to do, but I have to go a sleep for a bit since I'm only sleeping for 90 minute stretches at night so I'm living in that oh so wonderful sleep-deprivation haze right now. I'm almost finished my DDC swap partner's sweater and then I have to knock out a pair of socks which will be a piece of cake since the gauge is only 6st/inch as opposed to my normal 8. I still have a few Christmas presents left to work on but most of the recipients know the state of affairs and for those who don't the presents are super simple and I'll have them done in time for Tuesday so they can wend their merry way down to Maryland. Then I can start finishing up stuff for the Bean who will be here in a mere 3.5 weeks!

Allright people, I have to get to bed before Michael decides to wake up. C'mon, Bean - mama needs the heartburn to stop so you need to flip and get your head away from my stomach.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Just a quick check-in

We had a very nice, quiet Christmas yesterday. Michael made out like a bandit (as you would expect the only grandchild on my side to do), but it was all the stuff we asked for and I couldn't be happier. He's been having a ball playing with his architectural blocks, the M&D pizza set and his M&D sandwich set. John seems to really like his gifts and I'm very happy with mine. Yarn, people - the husband bought me 3 skeins of sock yarn in very yummy colors (2 of them are the new Noro Kureyon Sock) and my mom bought me 2 40" addi turbo circular needles (2.5mm and 3.25mm) also perfect for making socks.

Michael was an absolute dream yesterday. After he opened his stocking presents we could hear him saying, "Thank you Santa. 'Bye Santa Claus." He thanked everyone who gave him a present yesterday at my parent's house (and this was with no prompting on our parts). He actually sat at the table and ate dinner with us - granted it was just some risotto, but it was a huge improvement from Thanksgiving.

We are just taking it easy today - I'm carrying a lot of fluid so I'm trying like heck to drink as much as humanly possible and stay off my feet. At my last OB appt my B/P was a bit higher than it's been so I got the pre-e/toxemia speech which led directly to the "getting the baby out early" speech. Personally, not that those conditions aren't something to be worried about, I am more inclined to attribute the rise in my diastolic (systolic was only slightly elevated) to the fact I was stressed and overheated. Tomorrow I have an appt with my OB's partner and I have to bring Michael with me without a stroller since I can't manage both on the bus at this point, so I'm definitely already at a disadvantage in terms of stress so anything I can do today to help matters would be great.

I've been sitting here for too long so it's back to elevated feet and fluids for me. I'll post some pics later.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Isn't it amazing

That a good eight hours-worth of knitting can be frogged in a few minutes. The cabled wine bag I was making has, alas, been frogged - there was no way I was going to have enough yarn for it. I have no idea what I'm going to make in it's place. I may just go with a plain one - stripes actually, so I can use up all of my odds and ends of wool. I really want to crawl into a hole and wait for Christmas to be over.

Wish I had the camera moment...

We made quite a sight - my heavily pregnant self, John, and Michael pulling the wagon with our Christmas tree in it most of the way home from the lot. It was so cute how he insisted on doing it and then wanted to stop and "rest" several times. We skirted a meltdown a few times because he really wanted to pull it across the streets as well and then we had the meltdown when we realized that John had to pull it down our street since the sidewalk was a little too narrow for him to negotiate.

I have to say I'm really looking forward to doing this with both of them next year. I'm starting to actually enjoy the season but John and I both seem to be looking ahead for a lot of things. We wouldn't trade Michael and our experiences with him for the world (well maybe a few of his more annoying habits - have to be total honest), but when we are thinking of the Bean it's like we know our family will be complete. "The boys" just seems to roll off our tongues so easily. Life with two still scares the pants off me at times, but for the most part knowing that we'll be a complete family is so comforting and drives those fears away.

Off to finish knitting...

I just feel sick

My favorite place to hang out, the place where I meet my girlfriends, the place I take Michael and myself out for a treat, the place I go to get some alone time has been the scene of a stabbing, at 6pm in the evening no less. I cringe whenever I hear about violent crime happening close to home, but this is too close. Hell, John could have been there picking something up for me. If things had gone the way we were planning last night the whole family could have been there in line.

While not nearly as bad, I feel some of those twinges of violation that I felt when our house was broken into last year. Is nowhere safe anymore. How long is it going to be before a gun is drawn? While we live in the city and some of this is to be expected, how much could we hope to escape in the 'burbs besides the fact that we would have to change our entire lifestyle in order to live there. I'm not going to let fear stop me from going there, but it's going to be a while before I can truly be comfortable there again, especially with the Bean and Michael in tow.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

"Mom, I like you"

This is Michael's new thing to say now. I agree with John that for some reason it seems so much more genuine than "I love you".

Slogging through

Man this pregnancy has been tough. Aside from all the normal pregnancy tiredness and rampaging hormones, the SPD is really wearing me down. I was so happy to be getting chiropractic care this time 'round, and it would be working except for the fact that the Bean is still stubbornly breech. My chiro has been doing a lot of refreshing on the treatment of pregnant women so I'm hoping my next adjustment can get the Bean to turn, if not I'm going for the moxibustion - that's what credit cards are for right?

It's just so disheartening to not be able to walk, and I'm not talking about that having to stop every once and a while and stretch your back kind of thing, but a constant burning pain in your pubic bone every time you move your legs independently. I've found it's contributing so much to my general feelings of malaise - no amount of meds or supplements are going to be a substitute to a brisk walk on a cold day, and I'm missing out on a lot of my favorite weather right now. Of course once the Bean is on the outside the SPD will go away, but then I'll have to deal with the whole recovering from major abdominal surgery thing. I'm hoping the weather at least is cooperative and the chiro care I've been getting will prevent or severely lessen the nerve pain I had postpartum with Michael.

I'm still in a "fake it 'til you make it" mode with Christmas. We are supposed to get our tree tomorrow and I'm wondering if I'll be able to do the seven block walk up there or not since stopping at Starbucks on the way back won't be an option. I did start on my mom's present this morning - a felted, cabled wine bag. It was a lot of fun designing the cables for the bag (any excuse to play with graph paper). I think John is just going to see what his present is and if Michael's socks get made before Christmas they do, if not they'll get finished sometime this coming week. Lastly the sweater for my swap package is coming along nicely, I only have one more sleeve to finish and a few inches left on the body. I'll probably pick that up to work on it later this evening so I can block it on Sunday.

Off to resume knitting...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Prodromal Labor Sucks

I had it for hours tonight. Finally went in to be checked out and of course everything stops the moment I get there. Still closed up tight. Off to bed.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Just some complaining

  • The Bean is still in his favorite position which means that it's *really* hard to walk.

  • Michael insisted on napping with me in our bed this afternoon. This normally would be a great thing since it so rarely happens. It's not that great when he keeps up a steady stream of chatter the entire ninety minutes you are laying there before you snap, "Downstairs. Now."

  • Christmas and swap knitting - these things do not go well with being 8 months pregnant


At least today is the last day of prednisone. We'll probably continue the albuterol for another day or two, but I'm hoping that once the prednisone is out of his system he'll be able to calm down and not be the already active kid hopped up on speed.

Last but not least - I love my hand-knit socks. They are truly the most comfortable things I own. I'm seriously considering dropping all of my other knitting projects and telling people, "Sorry, I was going to knit something for you but I chose to make myself a pair of socks instead. Merry Christmas!"



Finished the first ball of yarn for my swap project and thus am half-done. I am thinking of winding my skein of Colinette Jitterbug tonight and printing out Cookie A's Monkey sock pattern to take with me to the OB's in the morning because damn it I need to start another pair of socks for myself. I even have a free size 2.5mm addi available to cast-on with - fate is telling me something here. I only have the sleeves left to do on my swap project and the ear flaps again for the swap project, so nothing that can't be knocked out in the late afternoon/early evening tomorrow and then blocked and let to dry on Friday then in the mail for Saturday. Of course Friday is going to be spent knitting slippers - I have 2 and a half pairs to finish so I can felt them on Saturday and they can be dry for Christmas. Michael still needs mittens and socks and there are a few little projects I have to get done as well - like my mom, I have no idea what I'm doing for her, probably something felted too.

I'm getting babbly, it's 11pm and I told the husband I would only be going up stairs for a few minutes 40 minutes ago, so I must dash. 'Night all!



collinette

Isn't it too yummy for words?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Go to bed Jenn

And stop reading medical studies late at night. Registering for PubMed was not the smartest move - at least not when you are 8 months pregnant and looking for things to weave into that hair shirt you seem so desperate to wear.

Michael and I are going to take the bus to Trader Joe's in the morning and get several kinds of very yummy cheese to turn into potatoes au gratin for dinner tomorrow night. Then we'll try to make cookies. I guess it's a good thing I didn't gain any weight the first two-thirds of my pregnancy.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Two for Two

We just got home from CHOP ER for Michael. His breathing was getting worse as the day progressed and by the time it was time to do something the ped's office had closed. Frankly, it was for the best. They heard something in his lungs so we had to do a chest X-ray to r/o pneumonia (thankfully negative). They've given him a tentative diagnosis of asthma which really isn't a surprise to me. Every time he's gotten sick over the past several months it's gone straight to his chest and I've found myself doing respiration counts on him as a matter of course when his breathing has gotten bad. I even went so far as to bring up asthma with John on the phone this afternoon, describing the kind I thought Michael might have.

Rather than go the nebulizer route for treatment, they gave us an inhaler and a spacer. I cannot even begin to describe how well this worked. All I have to do is give him two puffs which he takes happily - as opposed to the crying and screaming that would accompany the 15-20 minute breathing treatment (I think - but given past experiences it is almost a definite). Even if I had called earlier in the day and gotten him into the office, there was a good chance we'd have still ended up at the hospital for the X-ray and I'm almost positive they would have just given me the scrip for albuterol for his nebulizer rather than the inhaler, so I'm tired but pleased.

He was absolutely wonderful in the ER. We were in the exam room for almost four hours and he pretty happily stayed on the bed and put up with his vitals being taken and the repeated requests for him to breath so they could hear his lung sounds. I am sure some of this is because it's a pediatric hospital. It's a definite pain for us to get there, but in the end it is completely worth it to be at a place where the staff only works with kids.

Now that he's settled and this is written, I'm off to bed as well. Let's just pray that I can avoid the whole "comes in threes" thing because I have no desire to sit in the ER tomorrow for John, something I've had to do twice during this season in the past and once before while this pregnant so no accidents tomorrow!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Talismans

Last night I was having some contractions. They'd be regular for 30 minutes or so and then taper off for a bit only to start back up after I had settled in a new position. Every time I woke in the night I'd have a couple before I was able to drift back off to sleep. When I woke at 6 to a hefty one and the Bean trying to do what felt like break-dancing in my uterus, it was time to call. John got up with me and I called the doc who of course said to head on in.

I made a few phone calls and then started collecting stuff. Superstitious person that I am, I knew that I had to have at least a half-dozen knitting projects with me and my Game Boy - if I'm prepared for an extended stay then it won't happen. I also knew I had to have a big breakfast and I had to stop at Starbucks for my normal iced Americano since they would likely keep me NPO at the hospital. Nothing quite like drinking an iced coffee while you are trying to breath through a contraction and the baby is going crazy inside.

All of my preparations worked. Things are still sealed up *very* tight and everyone commented on how well the Bean was doing (tons of movement). I only had a few contractions while I was there and they barely registered. My feeling is that this is primarily prodromal - my body is trying to nudge the Bean into a better position. I never felt any Braxton Hicks with Michael, but he was vertex almost the whole time while the Bean still likes to hang out butt-first. My gem of a husband took the rest of the day off so I can just relax and not worry about anything. I'm going to head off now to spend some time with them and get some nice down-time.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Nose to the grindstone

As of Monday morning, the Bean will be here in a mere six weeks! Of course, I have three months-worth of stuff to do and Christmas to boot. Wish me luck, I'm goin' in.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Just popping in...

I keep promising long update posts, but most of my computer time has been spent reading rather than writing, so the blog just falls by the wayside.

Michael has been working on a nasty chest cold. Thankfully, he is getting better so I'm no longer worried about pneumonia, but he's still fighting a fever so that's kept us cooped up quite a bit. Now I just have to wait for me to catch it.

I had an U/S and OB appointment on Wednesday. They figure the Bean is measuring about two weeks ahead and guestimate his weight to be about 5lbs 12oz. This will put him about 9lbs for when the section is scheduled - we'll have to see how close he actually is. They were spot-on with Michael, so my gut is saying the Bean will be on the big side as well. He's still spending a lot of time breech, but he's also spending more time vertex as well. I'm flirting with finding out how to do Moxibustion from my Chiro's wife to see if I can get him to stay vertex. I'm going to give it another week or so and see what happens.

I've been a bit of a hermit this week. Most of it has been the weather. I love the cold, it's the wind that kills me and keeps me in doors. Between that in the beginning of the week and Michael's chest cold the latter-half, I've definitely been a home-body. I'm hoping to get together with my girlfriends and their kids next week so we can take in some of the Christmas stuff in town. So if either of you read this, be ready for a phone call on Monday.

In knitting news, I'm trying to knock out two teddy bears to go to an AIDS orphanage in Botswana as my charitable knitting this season. I've got two legs done, so six more limbs and two bodies to go. Christmas knitting will begin in earnest tomorrow. I don't have many presents to worry about this year, but I want to get cracking on things so I'm not going crazy the week before since I know I don't have the energy to do it.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Just some pics...

I'll update with details later today - the first two are just too cute not to share immediately...

Korknisse

korknisse


St. Nicholas Day Felt Clog
clog2

Green Scaly Socks

scalysocks

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Burning the midnight oil

I just finished felting the clog I made for Michael for St. Nicholas Day and man is it ever cute. I'm also making him a pair of socks to go in it (he has been asking about them since I told him this particular yarn was for socks for him). The one I did up back in October was a bit too snug and the gauge was too tight for the yarn. I went up a needle size and it seems to be doing the trick. Rather than doing my normal short-row heel, I've decided on an afterthought heel - since this is a self striping yarn, I figure it will look nicer and it'll give me a bit more room to accommodate his high instep (wonder where he gets that from?). I'm about an inch into the cuff ribbing, but it's feeling a bit too tight for my taste so I'm probably going to frog back and re-do it on smaller needles. If I have any of the yarn left overs, I'm going to make him a korknisser to go in there as well.

Lots of pics coming soon - I'll probably do a whole update later this week with all the FO's.

Off to bed!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

I suppose it's worth it...

...but I'm still cringing a bit that I am spending $17 to have $40 of groceries delivered to the house. Granted, I am 32 weeks pregnant, the high temp today is maybe going to be 40 degrees with 20-40mph wind gusts, and in the best of weather the shopping trip would take me close to 2 hours with a 1 mile walk each way. When you look at it that way, it doesn't seem too bad, but it's still annoying. I haven't been shopping at this particular store for a while now since it is such a pain for me to drag my pregnant self down there, and considering their prices are better than the closer store(and the reasons listed above) it does work out in the end.

Enough complaining - blueberry pancakes are waiting to be made.



It worked out pretty well - they gave me a $5 off coupon and the groceries got here early enough that I can make us grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch. It's not something I'm going to do every week, but a good order once a month or so is completely worth it.

On a completely different note, I am currently wearing my Green Scaly Socks! Off to eat lunch and finish off the Step Socks.

Monday, December 03, 2007

On the needles today...

Of course I've decided we are going to celebrate St. Nicholas Day a mere three days beforehand, and of course Michael will need his very own felted, curly-toed clog to hold his little treats in. Unfortunately, there really is no way I'll be able to get an actual pattern written in time for it to be of any use to anyone - it's based off of another pattern that I wrote a few years back and there is more that I want to do with it, so next year for sure. I'm hoping to get some stuff posted up on Knitty Keen in the next week - free patterns that I've been sitting on for a while and my BSJ striping template (which I'll cross-post over at Zimmermaniacs as well). The brain, as always, is afire with ideas but the body demands rest and the family demands attention so things will continue to progress slowly but surely. Since John is off on Thursday and I'm finally going to get my hair cut, I'm thinking of settling down with the laptop somewhere that morning and doing all of the pattern writing I've been promising for ages.

Ah well, a clog must be knit!

P.S. - I only have 1/3 a pattern repeat and 10 rounds of single rib to do and I'm DONE the green scaly socks - YAY!



The knitting is done on the clog - all that's left is the felting!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

One more down

There has been no progress on the SKB, but I did manage to finish my first pair of longies for the Bean and I'm hoping to finish one of the two outstanding socks tonight as well.

Maybe I'll get the sweater done for Christmas.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Pumpkin Hat in Action!


Modeled by the exceedingly adorable HJ. Thanks for letting me use the pic!

Must drop everything...

and make this IMMEDIATELY!!!!!!!!!!!



Just surfed the FO's for this at Ravelry and I MUST make one.

Crafts Update

In which we have - count them - TWO finished objects!

Michael's Felted Bag

feltbag4


feltbag5


feltbag6


There is a bit more stitch definition than I would like, but for a completely off-the-cuff project, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. The strap is a belt from a pair of shorts he got this past summer and the lining is some recycled denim from an old pair of jeans. The only thing left to do really is to do a single crochet over the white elastic closure so it blends better with the rest of the bag.

Pumpkin Hat
pumpkin_hat1


pumpkin_hat2

This is an adaptation of Crazy Aunt Purl's Reversible Knit Halloweenie Beanie that I adapted for a newborn. I used Dale of Norway's Baby Ull (superwash wool) for the hat and some superwash fingering-weight for the stem with US size 4 (3.5mm) needles. I started with a CO of 80 sts, worked the 4x4 rib for 8 rounds (about 1 inch) before switching to the k7 p1 pattern. I worked the pattern stitch until the hat measured 5" from the bottom and then started the crown decreases - k6, p2tog etc every other round until only 10 sts remained, broke the yarn and drew it through the stitches and secured it. I did up two corkscrews with the green yarn on size 6 needles and a CO of 15 sts using the instructions from the original pattern and then about 2.5" of 3st I-cord for the stem and secured everything to the crown. It took me an unconscionably long time to complete it (the same for the felted bag), but I can claim the whole pregnancy thing.

NaKnitSweMo
I started this month with such high hopes - but my pregnant body had other ideas. I did finally settle on The Simple Knitted Bodice done up in the HPY Colonia 140 in Persefone that I ordered. Here's what's doing from my Ravelry Project Page:
  • 11/12 - Cast-on last night and just finished my first ball of yarn. Doing the pattern mods for the deeper neckline as per the Stitch Diva Studios website. Counting down the minutes until I can start knitting in the round. Love the yarn - not quite as soft as Malabrigo but definitely softer than Manos, very thick and thin like the Manos though. The color is beautiful - a charcoal gray/black that looks as if it's been overdyed with dark purple.

  • 11/18 - Still wading through endless stockinette. The babe has been sucking up all of my energy, so there hasn't been a ton of progress although there are only 6 more rows to the sleeves. Hope to get pics up tomorrow.

  • 11/21 - Tried it on last night and realized that working the HPY at the required gauge for the pattern was not going to work - the resulting fabric is way too tight and I have a sneaky suspicion that it will hug me in all the wrong places. With a heavy heart, I swatched it on some size 8's and did the math and figured I can use the directions for the XL without having to do a whole bunch of rewrites.


Here was the progress I had made by 11/20...
skb1


...and here is what it looked like on 11/21
skb2


Thankfully, I'm almost back to the same spot I was on 11/20 and the drape of the fabric is so much nicer. I'd love to have this finished by the weekend, and if I wasn't pregnant, I could probably pull it off. We'll see what happens. I only have another 14 rows of stockinette before I can remove the sleeve stitches and then just a bit more before I can start knitting in the round. Once I don't have to purl anymore, it really should fly. Writing long, picture and HTML heavy posts is taking away from precious knitting time, so it's back to work I go. TTFN!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

I figure I may as well come clean...

...and announce that I am having a repeat c-section for the Bean.

I'm not quite sure who I am writing this for - to assuage my own grief over not persuing a vaginal birth, a response to the faceless participants on on-line message boards who seem to have all the answers, or to my unborn son who I want to know that I did the best I could with what I had.

We've put a lot of thought (and tears) into our decision, and yes I do mean "we" since my husband had a part in creating this life and therefore should have some input on how he arrives. The climate for VBAC in this country is very hostile and given that so much of obstetrics as we currently know it has very little to do with evidence-based medicine, it would seem to be a miracle that any VBAC's happen at all.

My first strike is the fact that I am morbidly obese - not just overweight, but the kind of fat that I am damn lucky my care provider hasn't been ordering monthly GTT's and doing any number of the horrific fat-phobic things that do still really happen out there. I count myself lucky that my OB doesn't seem to have a fat-phobic bone in his body, and not dealing with that stress is a very important thing to me. Yes, this is the OB who pushed me into a section with Michael for suspected (and confirmed) macrosomia, but not dreading stepping on that scale every month and praying that I don't get a lecture about weight gain has been worth it. My current weight (only up 16lbs from pre-pregnancy - woo-hoo!), Michael's size at birth, and the fact that this babe seems to be following in his brother's footsteps are enough for a care provider to decide at the last minute to pull the rug out from under me. I've read of many similar situations arising for VBAC moms, and it's something I choose not to expose myself and my family to ('cause like it or not, something this big affects them too).

I could have interviewed a dozen midwives to find one who didn't have a fat-bias, but that segues into my second reason - time. As many of you know, my son is Autistic and I do not have a car. Interviewing care providers takes a lot of time and travel to accomplish - something that I again chose not to put myself or my son through. Yes, I've heard fantastic things about two midwifery practices out there, but both require a good 1-2 hours commuting time to get to their offices and the hospital they both deliver at is also a good 45 minute drive or commute. My current OB and hospital is a 15 minute bus or cab ride. Am I selling myself short for not even looking? Perhaps. Given the amount of life that has happened these past seven months, and it's been a lot, the time and stress involved with tracking down a VBAC is energy that I didn't really have to spend in the first place.

Then there is, what seem to be, the answer to everything birth-related - unassisted child birth. I am very attracted to the to idea of UC and even day-dreamed a bit about it. There are two big obstacles in my way. Firstly, as much as I might desire that lovely UC birth, I know I don't have the faith and trust in my body in order to accomplish it. I've come a very long way in my growth as a woman and mother since Michael was conceived, but I'm still not there yet. I have tremendous admiration for women who are able to take that plunge, but I know that I am not one of them. The second obstacle is my husband's unwavering fear of UC. To many, this would be a non-issue and maybe they are right, but for me it is a deal breaker. I do believe my partner should have some input on how our child comes into this world, not veto power mind, but input. I can't say for sure, not having experienced labor, but my gut says that I would want and need his support at that time. I am confident he could give it to me in a hospital setting, but at home his mind would be forever divided between supporting me and worrying about worst-case scenarios. Birthing in an atmosphere of coerced support is not something I want to experience.

All of that said, Michael's birth was no walk in the park for me. I did have quite a bit of trauma and we've already started discussing these issues with my OB. I've done a lot more reading and I'm also better equipped to stand up for myself this time 'round. We will be presenting a cesarean birth plan with some very specific instructions for the birth itself. I'll also be having an actual consult with anesthesia this time so we can have a good discussion about what type of anesthetic I want and the fact that a resident is to come nowhere near my back with a large needle. I am praying that the chiropractic care I've been getting will prevent that horrible nerve pain I had for three months postpartum with Michael, or at least that the chiro will be able to do something to get rid of it so I don't suffer as long.

The surgery itself is scheduled for first case on a Monday so I don't have to deal with the 2nd shift Friday-night nursing staff who felt it was easier to just leave me in bed than to help me start moving. I will have a breastfeeding kit with me - my Isis pump all clean and ready, one of those extra-long boppy pillows (or more likely one that I've made myself), and a nipple shield in a container of sterile water ready to go if we can't get him to latch even after drawing my nipples out with the pump. I got so much conflicting information from the nurses and the three IBCLC's I saw (oh no, your nipples aren't flat - my ass!). When we went to see an LC one week postpartum, that's when I got confirmation of what I pretty much already knew - I had inverted nipples, and I was finally given a nipple shield which allowed me to nurse my son well for the first time ONE WEEK POST-PARTUM! (still a little angry about that)

There's also going to be none of that waiting for someone to help out thing this time. We'll be sending off a time chart for the first week to family, telling them when we need help and asking for them to fill in the blanks for what works for them. I'm not going to care about nursing in front of visitors of having the babe snuggled up against me as much as possible - there will be plenty of time for them to hold the babe and besides, his older brother could definitely use some more lovin'. I actually have friends who have children of their own - knowing that I have the support and love of those very special women in my life is going to make a world of difference - it's not just going to be the three of us alone this time.

I think that last bit is the most important one. We had a ton of visitors while I was in the hospital, but once we got home we were pretty much on our own. I still have to have "the talk" with my mother about that last bit since I have a lot of unresolved anger about it (don't worry - it'll be happening next week). This birth, while it's almost definitely a surgical one, will be much different than my first. Even if I have all the same pain and even heartbreak that I had with Michael's or a completely new set of issues to cope with, the fact that I am taking ownership of the birth makes a huge difference in my feelings about it. Yes, I've read the statistics and I know how much riskier a repeat surgical birth is than a VBAC. I also know that I'll probably be having another pelvic laparoscopy down the road to remove adhesions if last summer's pelvic-lap was any indication. To others, my reasons for a repeat section my seem selfish and uninformed, but they are my own and, to use what some of the faceless masses consider a cop-out, what is best for me and my family.

I sit here, reading over my missive to the internet, feeling the Bean kick me in the pubic symphysis (which *really* hurts, by the way) and day dream about getting to meet him in eight weeks. I'm sure there will be many upsets and twists and turns, but such be life and for one of the first times in this pregnancy I am truly at peace with my decisions.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

All the Michael you can stand...


Michael asleep with book



felt_bag1



feltbag2



feltbag3




He is truly a three year-old now. We've started the, "Why?" phase. I'll need all the good wishes you can spare - seven months pregnant and incessant "Why's" are not a pretty picture.

Getting ready for the home stretch....

Only eight and a half weeks until we get to meet him...

30weeks

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Saturday, November 10, 2007

I am loved

I had my Mother Blessing this afternoon. It is very hard for me to let others do for me, but when I can manage it it's a truly wonderful feeling to be surrounded by that much love and peace. Thank you.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Wife of the year

My mind is nowhere to be found. I actually just remembered that my eighth wedding anniversary was this past Tuesday. In my defense, I did already make the dinner reservations for next week when we'll actually be celebrating it.

Becoming a hermit is looking better all the time.

John forgot too, so it's not just me.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Pay it Forward

I just found out about this over on the ever lovely Flapjack's blog and thought I'd participate.

From the original blog post over on SnB London:


  • The first three people to leave a comment on the Pay it Forward post here will receive a knitted item from the blogger (in this case me) within 6 months

  • The people who comment then put Pay it Forward on their own blog for three people to comment on and knits those three an item within 6 months

  • Those people then put it on their blog

  • Then the next three put it on theirs

  • You get the idea


Come on and comment - you know you want to...

Funk...

...funk, funkity, funk, funk!

Can you see the pattern? I just have a ton of stuff to do, but my energy level is the pits so much of it is going un-done and gnawing at my brain. Oh, but to have a vertex babe and a car - life would be so much easier.

The whine is over, you may now return to your non-exhausted, spd-free day.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Mini Crafts Update

aka - Damn You, Biological Need for Sleep!

So many things I want to make, but the body is also baking a babe so there is only so much energy to go around...

Mystery Projects
Are progressing. I have to give a huge apology to one of the recipients (you'll find out who soon enough) that I've been sitting on your items for a good week now, but every time I have to time to fiddle with it, something else comes up. The others are taking top priority as they must be finished soon.

NaKnitSweMo
After much consideration, I've decided that my body shape is the one least suited to the styling of the Tilted Duster. I've decided instead to branch out and try 2 different sweaters this month. The first is the Origami Cardi from Interweave Knits. I just cast-on for it using some charcoal gray Caron Simply Soft and have a couple of inches done already. It's not the super yummy bamboo-wool I'd love to be using, but it's nice enough and only cost me $15 for the yarn so I can't complain too much. For my second undertaking, I'll be doing Tubey from Knitty in the HPY I ordered last month. I would love to get the Origami Cardi done for Saturday, but I have come to the realization that I do in fact have other things that need doing this week that are more important. I'm aiming for it to be done for Philcon. I'm hoping to have Tubey done for Christmas.

Baby Knits
Too many other things to finish right now. I'll pick back up after I get the Origami Cardi out of my system.

Socks
Still in the same place as last week, although I'm aiming to have the second Green Scaly Sock done so I can wear them this weekend. I'm going to wear a hand knit that I made myself, darn it.

Felted Messenger Bag
Is just waiting for a lining and a shoulder strap at this point. I'm hoping to get both done tomorrow during nap.

That's about it for now - I'll get pics up eventually. 'night All!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Shopping!


I just got done with a slew of on-line orders. We had to buy Michael a new car seat since he's too tall for our current convertible and not old/mature enough to use a belt-positioning booster. We settled on a Fisher Price Safe Voyage, which is a Britax Marathon in different clothing. Last month I could find them everywhere, now only one place carries it and it's on clearance. Figures - they make a seat that has a high height and weight limit and doesn't cost a small fortune and it gets discontinued. Since it's more than likely that the Bean will follow in his brother's footsteps in terms of size, we'll be getting a Radian 65 come tax-return time. I'm probably going to put Michael in the Radian and the put the Bean in the FP when he outgrows the bucket that S is lending us. I was joking with John the other day that we could have a few more kids and have our self a rugby team - who knew that my Eastern European/Irish stock mixed with his Western European stock would create a race of super men? Now that I've said this, I'm probably guaranteeing that the Bean is going to be very petite (*shush* I can dream).

The next thing on the shopping list splurge is a new pair of shoes for me. Last spring I finally came to the realization that I need to spend money on good shoes for myself, especially since I was averaging a good 10 miles of walking a week back then. I closed my eyes and bought a pair of Keen sandals and man, what a difference they have made. I did have some arch pain the first few weeks I wore them as my feet adjusted to actually having adequate support, it has been heavenly. Even now, my pelvis may feel like it's going to split but my feet could go on all day. The shoes have held up remarkably well and I'm sure I can get at least another half-season's wear out of them.

Of course, now it's starting to get cold and I'm going to need closed shoes pretty soon. I've been vacillating all week about what shoes I want to get. I have large, wide feet and a very high instep. This means finding women's shoes that fit is nearly impossible. In fact when I bought the Keens, I didn't even bother trying on any of the women's styles and went right for men's. I've been searching all week and even though I know spending the money on good shoes is completely worth it, I was still balking at the cost. Most of all, I really want a pair of cute Mary Janes to show off my new hand-knit socks. I talked about my shoe dilemma with K this afternoon and finally decided to just go with the Keen pull-ons. They are not the most feminine of shoes, but I know they work on my feet and switching to something else in the middle of my pregnancy would probably not be a good thing. Once spring comes, I'm thinking of getting a pair of Earth Shoe Mary Janes - K told me that they fit her wide/high-instep feet very nicely although the heels take a bit of getting used to.

The last thing in the shopping extravaganza was a cell phone for John. We've only had one for a year now and while it's not that much of an issue generally, with me being pregnant and a second on the way, we both feel a bit more secure with him having one too. The only thing left is for me to replace my own - something that has to happen soon seeing as the "4" button no longer works. I just have to do some comparison shopping and pick one out that doesn't cost a small fortune - the downfall of hybrid plans, none of those sweet deals on phones apply when you aren't signing a two-year contract.

'evening all - have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

ELO Therapy

I have found that listening to Mr. Blue Sky by Electric Light Orchestra on a continuous loop almost never fails to improve my mood. John left me his i-Pod this morning for just this purpose. After I got Michael on the bus and did my morning surfing, I took myself, some socks and the i-Pod up to Starbucks. I had a lovely cup of coffee and a very yummy bacon avocado wrap. After I finished eating, I lucked out and the comfy chairs became available, so I pulled out the second Green Scaly Sock, turned the volume up on the i-Pod and listed to Mr. Blue Sky for at least half a pattern repeat and then my regular mix until I was done the repeat.

I don't know if it was the music or my regular knitting speed, but I'm pretty impressed that I got 22 rounds of sock done in an hour. Right now I'm about 4 rounds away from starting the gusset and I only have a few rounds left before I start the 2x2 rib on the second Step Sock. By the end of the weekend, I may have two new pairs of socks! Of course, I have no shoes to wear with said socks, but I'm ordering myself another pair of Keen's this weekend so hopefully I'll be able to walk about in my ultra-cool socks. Frankly, I'm trying to get these done so I can use the Colinette Jitterbug I got last weekend. I'm still not sure what it's going to be yet - either Cookie A.'s Monkey or a pattern of my own design.

As per usual, I have a ton of stuff to wade through the next few days so I really have no business even thinking about sock knitting. I'll get some pics up tomorrow for a real Crafts Update. Thanks for reading and TTFN!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Not the most spectacular Halloween

It has just been a day. Michael has been up for several hours a night since last week and trying to sleep with us which is not working at all - John sleeps with a lot of pillows and I'm at that lovely stage in pregnancy where I just can't get comfortable enough to get into the deep sleep I really need. Needless to say, sleep-deprived mama and child are not the best of mixes. If the disturbances in Michael's sleep are still happening by the weekend, we'll be going back to the air mattress in his room again.

We had Michael's "pyjama party" this morning at his preschool - I'm not sure if it's a school policy or a teacher policy that Halloween was not mentioned, but I'm going to find out. The party was a complete disaster from my point of view. The parents arrived at 10am and I figured we were going to go right into the food after the kids played and showed us stuff and what not. No, we did not sit down to eat until after noon - eighteen kids and close to two dozen parents in the classroom. I hit sensory (and heat) overload after just thirty minutes. Michael had a steady stream of small meltdowns and by the time we did get to eat, he wasn't the only crying kid there. We ended up leaving at one so we could catch the direct bus home - after he had downed several Hi-C drink boxes and received two goody bags from classmates (who in their right mind puts pixie sticks in a goody bag for a 3/4 year-old?).

I am definitely going to have a talk with someone about this. I can't speak for other parents, but my kid can't cope with that much sensory input - a class visit would have been nice, all of us crammed in there for two and a half hours before eating was way too much. The food was fine, but I would like to see beverages limited to 100% juice. I am not the most uptight person when it comes to nutrition and firmly believe in the "everything in moderation" rule, but over stimulated three year-old and free access to red-dyed sugar water drink boxes do not a good mix make - trust me when I say that taking them away or finding a way to restrict access to them would not have been pretty. It's going to take days for him to get this out of his system. My mom, who was a preschool/daycare teacher herself for a good 10 years, feels that this was a failing of the teacher, much firmer guidelines need to be in place. I guess my position as classroom representative may come in handy after all.

Since the remainder of the afternoon and evening has been spent in various stages of melt-down or hyperactivity, trick-or-treating is pretty much out of the question. We got his costume on him (flannel, overalls and an engineer's cap) and he wanted it off immediately. We asked him several times if he wanted to go out and each time were told no. It's really for the best - God knows the last thing he needs is more candy. John and I are a bit disappointed, but neither of us can cope with much more at this point. The thing that really sucks about today is I didn't have the energy to make John's pumpkin cake with cream-cheese frosting for his birthday. Ah well, something to look forward to on Friday since I'm sure tomorrow will be spent in recovery.

Sorry to my friends out there - I just don't have the energy to call and bitch about this in person right now. I'll try and talk to you all in the next few days when I'm not quite so exhausted and raw.

Happy Halloween All!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Blahs

It's clammy and wet outside, I'm getting a cold, Michael had a 15 minute meltdown tonight 'cause I would not let him macerate my ice cream with his own spoon (sorry folks, it was my line in the sand), and I got my first *real* taste of the scary potential of life with two (we had S's son all afternoon). I really think it was a combination of weather, recent school upheavals, and probably the fruit gem candy he ate this afternoon that caused all the problems with Michael. I also realized that I have to have a talk about how we phrase inappropriate behavior - "bad" was used as a descriptive several times this afternoon and it made my skin crawl each time I heard it. Granted, internally I was just screaming at him to please for the love of all that is holy stop and listen, but I tried to stay as GD as possible since perpetuating the feedback loop does no one any good. Despite the fact that I could have ended the incident over the ice cream by giving in, I just didn't have it in me at that point. I do have to say I am proud of how I handled the fifteen minutes of screaming - I wanted nothing more than to throw a spoon and scream right back at him, but I kept my cool and calmly explained why I wasn't letting him do this and gave him all the hugs he wanted during the ordeal. He did finally end up sitting in my lap and we shared the last bit of Hagen Daaz. Man, this is going to be the hardest thing I've ever done in my life, but I don't think I'll completely suck at it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Green Scaly Goodness

I stayed up late last night and finished the first of the Green Scaly Socks (a.k.a. my magic-loop, toe-up rewrite of Pomatomus) and they are a thing of beauty.

green_scaly_sock2


green_scaly_sock1


Be sure to click on the pics to see the full-sized pictures - the tiny ones do not do them justice. Yes, I'm a wee bit excited about it.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Green Scaly Socks, Part Deux

Unfortunately, there is a Part the Third as well, but I'm waiting 'til tomorrow to write that one.

Here are the changes thus far...

  • Changed the CO to 32 sts (16 loops using the Turkish or Middle Eastern Cast-On)

  • After the foundation rounds, worked the increases thusly - K2, M1L ~ M1R, K2 (rep for needle 2) until there was a total of 76 sts (38 sts per needle).

  • Began working Pomatomus Chart B, changing the k3togtbl in line one to k2tog for the first time I worked it. There is a 1 st border on either side of the lace chart.

  • Worked Chart B once and then a second time through Row 11

  • Began incorporating heel from Cookie A.'s Beaudelaire sock. Work Row 12 of chart B on needle 1, then on needle 2 K1, M1L, K36, M1R, K1. Work the gusset increases every other round until there are 12 increases (until you hit Chart B Row 12).

  • Work Chart B Row 13 on needle 1, then K48, W&T; then P34, W&T. Work to one stitch before the wrapped st on each row and then W&T until you have 12 wrapped sts on either side and 12 unwrapped sts in the middle. Work one more K row - K11, W&T. P until the first wrapped st, p/u wrap and p it together with the wrapped stitch. Continue until all but one wrapped st has been worked, p/u wrap and place it and the wrapped stitch back on the left needle, p3tog, turn. Sl 1, k until first wrapped st, p/u wrap and k it together with the wrapped st until all but one wrapped st has been worked. P/U wrap and place it and the wrapped st on the left needle and k3togtbl (Cookie calls this a sssk in her pattern). Turn your work. Work one more P row and then on the next K row start working twisted single rib.

  • Continue working short rows, k or p until 1 st before gap and then doing a p2tog or an ssk depending on side you are on until all the gusset sts have been worked, there will be a total of 36 sts on needle 2.

  • Resume working in the round with Chart B Row 14 on needle 1 and the twisted single rib on needle 2 until you have completed Chart B Row 21. On Row 22, K1 and then slip it to needle 2, work chart B row 22, and slip the last st to needle 2. On needle 2, k2tog, follow rib, k2tog - there will be 37 sts on needle 1 and 36 sts on needle 2.

  • Begin working chart A - turning the first k2togtbl to a k3togtbl. Work as many pattern repeats as you want and then change to twisted single rib for the cuff, finish with a sewn bind-off.


If I did not have the feet that I do, this alteration would be perfect for someone with a size 10 wide foot and a high instep. As it is, not only do I have wide feet with a high instep, I also have thick ankles that only get thicker with being pregnant. I can get the sock on my foot, but I'm not happy with the stretching of the lace pattern so I frogged back to the end of the gusset - thankfully I had the presence of mind to put in a life line last night. I decided that I was going to work a few more gusset round to a total of 14 increases. I'm still going to work the w&t's until there are 12-12-12, but I'm only going to work the heel flap short-rows until there are 2 sts unworked on either side - there will be a total of 40 sts on needle 2. I'll finish chart B and then start it again, this time on both needle 1 and needle 2, with twisted rib in between. I'm hoping that this will fit over my foot better and there will be less stress on the lace pattern. I still have my life-line in place, but here's hoping I don't need it and I'll have a lovely finished sock to show off in the morning!

Crafts Update

Much sock knitting has been happening (as well as much frogging and gnashing of teeth). Here's what's doing - the Green Scaly Socks will be getting their own post.

Socks by Numbers

Michael_Sock1

I'm testing out my Socks by Numbers pattern on Michael with some Regia I picked up last week at Tangled Web. I was a little too conservative in my numbers and while the socks fit, they *just* fit, so I'm going to re-work things a bit and start over. I'm hoping to get them done by the end of the weekend.

Step Socks
Step_Socks

Now I just have to get the second one done.

Felted Messenger Bag
I finally did the finishing work on this today and it has been felted. Once it dries, I'll be lining it with some denim salvaged from an old skirt and some webbing for a shoulder strap. Here are the before pics:
Messenger Bag, Unfelted - Open


Messenger Bag, Unfelted - Closed


Mystery Projects
Wouldn't you like to know. There are many and they are progressing nicely.

Snazzy Pants Longies
Just one leg left to go...
SnazzyPants_Longies


Once I get the socks out of my system, I'm going to plow through my WIP's to upgrade them to FO status - not something for the faint of heart.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Michael Fix

It's been far too long - and now he knows how to pose for the camera. Enjoy!


Posed6


Posed7


Posed5


Posed4


Posed3


Posed2


Posed1

Friday, October 19, 2007

I love it when a plan comes together!

Nothing quite like an A-Team reference ;)

I've had an idea burning in my brain for the past 36 hours and I just finished the first prototype which turned out surprisingly well. I've made a few changes and I'm getting ready to cast-on for version 1.1. Of course, I have at least a half-dozen other projects waiting to be finished (one just needs buttons sewn on), but who can work when their brain is on fire? I'm not sure what I'm doing with it yet, so if you want to see pics, email me.

Inspiration calls...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Thou shall not piss off the pregnant woman

For she will write letters full of vitriol and cc everyone she can think of.

Michael has missed school twice this week because the bus hasn't shown up and I've been under the weather enough that taking Septa to drop him off at school is pretty much out of the question. John is calling the program director this afternoon and hopefully something will actually get done. I can appreciate the fact that the school has no control over the bus company, but the fact that no one calls to let us know what the hell is going on and the only way we get the piddly amount of information we do have on the situation is because we call repeatedly is ludicrous. We called three times this morning, the first two we were told that the bus was on it's way, the third time we were told that the bus had been and gone to the school. Why on earth did I have to call the school myself to find out this information after waiting for an extra 30 minutes outside for a bus that wasn't coming?

Preschool is one thing - the fact that Michael has missed two days of therapy this week because of screw-ups is unacceptable. Either fix the f&*(ing problem, or let me know it can't be fixed so I can make other arrangements.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Otaku Outrage

They messed with One Piece. New opening, almost all new American voice actors and new music. At least John was enjoying me yell, "What the F***?!?!" at the TV screen. I finally have the time to devote to watching it again at the start of a new story arc and they change everything on me. grumble, grumble, grumble...



ETA

Yes, I am well aware of the fact that I am probably in the very small minority who liked the first US version better. John got some more enjoyment watching me swear at people under my breath as I was reading a message board thread about the new version. I have to admit I've never read the manga (*gasp* horror of horrors) and the sheer silliness of the show is what drew me in, much the same way I've been sucked into quite a few Dragonball story arcs - you just can't not watch it.

I really liked the opening song - I practically watched it just for that.

I guess this is someone's way of telling me I should go to bed after Naruto on Saturday nights.

John is so going to use this to his advantage - I can here the otaku comments already.

Note to Self - Simple Math

Take heed...

three year-old + silence + not in the same room = trouble

At least now I know how to remove procion dye from carpet, linoleum, walls, and kitchen counters. Thankfully, Michael doesn't seem to mind blue hands - I wonder what the preschool will make of it on Monday.

Absolute Fall

I cannot tell you how happy I am that the weather is finally seasonal. Michael and I went to a few stores yesterday morning a good mile away and I was achy, but not completely wiped as I would be if it were hot and humid out. This morning we are planning on going to one of the local playgrounds where they are having a flea market and then onto another one in the Italian Market afterwards. I know I'll have to stop and sit every once in a while, but the thought of being out all morning in this glorious weather and not needing to recover for several hours afterwards is exhilarating.

Breakfast needs to be eaten and lunches need to be packed - enjoy the day!

P.S. - A Very Happy Birthday to K!!! May you have a wonderful day today!

TTFN!

Friday, October 12, 2007

'tis a pitty...

but I had to frog it, the green scaly sock that is.

I did a short-row heel on the way home from Chestnut Hill yesterday, tried it on and there was no way it was going to fit my foot, so I frogged the heel and prepared to do a heel flap and gusset. After much fudging, since I've never done one before, I finally turned the heel and was happily doing gusset decreases when I realized I should have read a bit further in the directions I was adapting - I was decreasing every round instead of every other round. Since so many little things had been fudged at that point, I decided it was time to make a clean break.

Here are the plans for the next attempt:

  • Start with 14 or 16 sts for the toe so it's a bit more shallow
  • Work increases so there are a total of 72 sts
  • Rearrange stitches so there are 40 on needle 1 (top of foot) and 32 on bottom (sole) so I can avoid the gapping that happens on either side of the stitch pattern and keep things nice and tight
  • I think a heel flap and gusset is still going to be my best bet with my wide feet and high instep. I plan on using at least 32 rows for the heel flap, but am not adverse to making it a bit longer. I also want to look at a few other toe-up heel flap and gusset patterns because I'm not in love with the look of the one I adapted from Sensational Knitted Socks. I'll have to look over some of Cookie A.'s other sock patterns to see if I can find one I like, or otherwise adapt the one she gives in the original pattern.


This is definitely an adventure and I'm learning a lot more about heel construction. I can think my way around a short-row and an afterthought heel with no problems, it will be nice to get some practice in working/designing hell flaps and gussets. I've been doing a little reading about them and many feel that they work best for high-instep/wide feet. Now I do like the fit of my Austermann Step sock and that just has an extra-deep short-row heel, but it's also knit in stockinette so the stretchiness stays uniform. I think the heel flap and gusset is going to work better for me with lace patterns. I frogged the Super Mecha Sock last week because the instep was just too tight and I'm thinking that the structure of a heel flap would alleviate that well.

I just cast-on for a pair of socks for Michael so I can test out my Socks by Numbers pattern for infant/toddler socks. I also have grand plans to get the Toe-up Baby Socks pattern up before the end of the weekend as well. All of this and I have to find time to go to bed earlier since I've been able to figure out that sleep deprivation is a big contributor to my sever lack of patience with my son. We'll just have to wait and see how productive (read: how much housework I can avoid) this weekend.

Lots of pics coming soon - the camera just has to make it upstairs.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Just checking in

I'm off to my OB appointment in a few minutes and then it's on to Chestnut Hill and Tangled Web and Pensey's Spices for a day to myself.

In knitting news, I finished the first of my Step Socks, I'm about half done the instep of mt Green Scaly Socks (a.k.a. toe-up Pomatomus), Michael's felted messenger bag is just waiting to be sewn together and felted, the longies are waiting for the second leg to be done, a few mystery projects are waiting to get on the needles, and so many baby things are waiting to be finished. Man, I have way too many things going right now - it's scary to see everything written out like that. I'm probably taking the Green Scaly Sock with me to work on today and the Austermann Step to make a pair of baby socks if I feel like working on something different (and to finish the pattern). I have pictures of all of these things, it's just a matter of getting them from the camera to the computer now.

I have to dash - breakfast beckons (everything bagel, cream cheese and Jersey tomatoes - mmmm). TTFN!



Someone on the R8 to Fox Chase is now the proud owner of a 4 oz. bag of Penzy's Greek and Northwoods Seasoning blends. Pregnancy brain strikes again. On the otherhand, I turned the heel on the first Green Scaly Sock - let's pray it fits.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

As per usual

Instead of napping, I am blogging.

I thought I'd give a quick update on the socks I started (and frogged) yesterday. Since I had such a horrendous morning, I figured I deserved to be able to cast-on for a pair of cool socks rather than plugging away at the 2x2 ribbing for the cuff of my first Step Sock. I bought a hank of Araucania Multi Ranco fingering wool at Loop last week with the intent of making something for the Bean. Since I have three sweaters in various states of completion right now for the Bean, I figured the Bean has enough for now and I deserved something cool.

I was paging though some of the patterns on Ravelry and came across an adaptation of Cookie A.'s Pomatomus Socks pattern from Knitty turned fingerless gloves. How cool would a kettle-dyed green yarn look as scaly gloves? Of course, then I also got involved in Socktoberfest so I thought green scaly socks would be even better, although I still plan to get another hank to do up the gloves as well - it's that cool.

The pattern as written is for top-down socks which really annoy me, so I started looking for toe-up adaptations. I found one on The Shizzknit that looked promising and set to work. The original pattern is written for a women's size 9 using US 2 (2.75mm) needles. Since I have wide, high-instep, size 10 feet, I decided to try things out with my Addi Turbo 3mm needle. The resulting fabric was a little looser that what I usually do for socks (checked and my gauge was 7.5 sts/inch which would translate to about 7 sts/inch once it's been blocked). I plugged away using the instructions from The Shizzknit until it was time to start the lace pattern and I couldn't wrap my mind around her instructions. The potential problem with this pattern is that the lace pattern isn't rectangular, so there is a separate chart for use on the instep of the sock. It also changes stitch counts in the middle which is another potential stumbling block. Reading over Cookie's instructions, I figured if I changed the k3togtbl on line 1 of chart B to a k2togtbl only for the first time I worked it, I would be fine.

I got through almost two pattern repeats before I realized that I didn't really like the way it was working up on the 3mm needles. I tried it on my foot and it just seemed too loose, and this is my end of the day 5 month pregnant foot too. With a sigh, I frogged it. After I lay down for a bit (which I am going to force myself to do no matter how much I want to go knit right now), I'm going to cast-on again but use my 2.5mm Addis instead and see how that goes. I'm still not sure if I'm going to use a short-row heel or try out a toe-up heel flap and gusset from Sensational Knitted Socks. I'll post pics later on today.

Just wandering about

I did finally make myself get out of the house yesterday afternoon and it was wonderful - three hours listening to the I-pod with the music cranked up and some knitting for myself. I felt so relaxed afterwards and have made yet another pledge to do this weekly since my need for alone time is very high right now. Last night the bean moved up out of my pelvis for a couple of hours - I didn't notice until I walked to the drug store last night and realized that there was no pain. Of course, he's settled back into his favorite spot, but I'm hoping I can get him to shift again. Last night we also scored a recliner. One of my neighbors down the street is moving and they were throwing theirs out. I manhandled it up the block to our house and John and I managed to get it in (after several false starts). I always swore we would never have one, but the thought of dozing in it is very tantalizing and it was free so I can't complain too much.

I have to get myself and Michael dressed so we can hit BJ's and Shoprite for groceries. TTFN!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

"Ain't Pregnancy Grand?"

So saith the husband as I apologized for the umpteenth time for starting to sob in the middle of Superfresh. I woke up in a fairly good mood but Michael was pulling the whole coy, "I'm not going to listen to you 'cause I want to play" thing this morning and I just didn't have it in me to try and play with him to get him dressed so we could get out the door. We went to IHOP for breakfast and things started to go really downhill when we sat down in the booth and I barely fit, something I haven't had to deal with for a good six years. We walked over to a different shopping center and John got new shoes, we got Michael a cute Halloween shirt from Old Navy ("Mummy's Boy"), and then we went to AC Moore. I wanted to try out the two brands of organic cotton they carry so I bought one skein with a 40% off coupon and John bought the other (with a similar coupon). When we got out front and John gave my me change I knew something was up - the clerk told him that it was already on sale which was a load. So I had to go back in, wait in line and demand my 40% off. Once I was back outside, a steady stream of curses left my mouth over the ineptitude of AC Moore cashiers, that my own cashier had no problem ringing up my yarn, why on earth couldn't the other two women grasp this simple concept? We then walked over to Superfresh to get Michael some "green fish" (parmesan flavored goldfish crackers) and myself something to drink. Used the restroom there and of course someone tries to open the door while I'm using it - why on earth don't people knock anymore? Once I got out, my mood had swung the other way and I was blinking back tears while looking for something vaguely appealing to drink and I lost it when John and Michael met up with me.

Ah, the "happy" trimester. God help me, I still have fourteen weeks of this.

P.S. I am going out for a few hours by myself this afternoon, so hopefully it will be a much less moody person posting the crafts update later tonight.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Grumble, Grumble, Grumble

My message board is down again.

What's doing today...

Michael and I are going to swing past Dunkin' Donuts for an oh-so-healthy breakfast, walk to the post office 10 blocks away to pick up my DDC swap package, hopefully hook up with K and Z for Starbucks and the park, and then come home for naps (which I pray happen today 'cause my broken night time sleep demands it).

I'm hoping to finish my first Step Sock, kitchner the crotch on the longies, and start working on the toddler sweater I'm doing for pay which will turn into a long overdue trip to Chestnut Hill later this month.

That is all, I leave you to your Fridays...

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Becoming a Non-Combatant...

in the Battle of Wills.

This morning I told Michael that we were going to walk up and get some coffee then go to the park for a bit. I finally got myself dressed and him completely undressed when he decided he'd much rather make silly noises and run around the living room naked. My back went immediately up and I started to try and harangue him into getting dressed which resulted in more silly noises and those coy "I'm not listening to you," smiles. I asked him several times to get dressed, telling him we needed to if he wanted to go for coffee and the park and finally just gave up. He was happy running around the living room naked, we didn't "need" to go anywhere, and I could get some knitting done. Granted, I'll have to put off my want for coffee and a walk until this evening, but getting us out of the house would have caused so much more negative energy. My only wish is that I could step back and do this more often, but I do the best I can.

In knitting news, I turned the heel on the first Step Sock and am half-done the cuff ribbing. Michael's messenger bag is progressing - I'm almost done all the knitting so I should be able to get it felted on Saturday. I picked up some finishing work for pay that I'm going to start playing with tomorrow so I can get it knocked out over the weekend (and most importantly get paid). This morning I've been working on the Bean's longies - I'm about half-done the body.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Down with SPD?

...yeah, you know me.

The Bean seems to have decided he likes sitting in my pelvis. My already damaged joints on the other hand do not concur. It's amazing how much pressure a 12" long one pound baby can put on your pubic symphysis. I'm starting to do pelvic rocks and tilts more regularly to encourage him to turn vertex because if this is what it feels like with a one pound baby, I don't even want imagine an eight plus pound baby.

Of course this occurs right when my body is starting to actually hold my chiro adjustments. My chiropractor was amazed at how much my pelvis was out of alignment yesterday since I have been doing so well. While he works on pregnant women, he doesn't actually do Webster. His wife who does acupuncture has a technique for turning babies so if the spinning babies stuff doesn't work, I'll check her out.

After all that complaining, it still isn't a patch on what I went through with Michael. It hurts to move my legs independently, but I can still do it. I think I'm going to try sleeping with the body pillow tonight and see if that helps things.

Turn, baby, turn!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Flying Needles (AKA Crafts Update)

Despite playing with Ravelry all weekend, I have managed to get some knitting done - Finished objects, no less! So here goes...

Baby Socks!
These are such fast knits and use so little yarn that I'm sure the Bean will end up with a ton. Sometime soon I'll post the pattern here and on Knitty Keen.

Baby Socks, Orange/Teal
Trekking XXL Orange/Teal

Baby Socks, Spring
Trekking XXL Spring 84


EZ February Sweaters
These have been a lot of fun to knit - it's great to be able to change things up a bit and use different techniques without having to re-write the entire pattern. Once I finish both of them and get buttons sewn, I'll post the true FO pics and specs here and at Zimmermaniacs.

Feb Baby Sweater, Orange/Teal
Trekking XXL Orange/Teal
This is *nearly* finished - just blocked it and all that's left are the buttons

Feb Baby Sweater, Spring
Trekking XXL Spring 84
Just one more sleeve to go!


Socktoberfest 2007
Like I need more excuses to knit. This is something I stumbled across on Ravelry and since I have one sock in progress and I'm quickly becoming addicted to baby sock knitting, I figured I join in the fun.

Step Sock WIP

Step Sock WIP, On Foot
Austermann Step, Moss
Knitty's Universal Toe-up Sock
This is the yarn S got for my birthday that has been languishing on the needles since her baby shower. If anything, I will get it done this month.


Longies!
Here's the first of two pairs of longies I want to make for the Bean. The yarn is courtesy of H and is truly a joy to work with. This particular pair is going to be paired with the Koigu BSJ for the Bean's coming home outfit.

Snazzy Pants Longies
Malabrigo Merino Worsted
Snazzy Pants Longies (Newborn/Small Hybrid)


Messenger Bag
This has to be knocked out by week's end - it's been on the needles for way too long and seeing as it's October and it's supposed to be for Michael for school, I ave to get cracking on it. This is just one of the sides and the pick is actually upside down, the orange bit goes on the bottom of the bag.

Felted Messenger Bag
Lambs Pride Worsted


Thanks for looking!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Yay!

I just checked the wait list and there are only 106 people ahead of me in line for Ravelry. One more thing with which to avoid doing what needs doing.



One great big huge ETA

I'm on!!!!!!


For those who have no idea what this is - it's going to become my new crack. Seriously, I found out I was on and spent an hour playing with it - only got up 'cause my stomach was growling audibly. Came up to go to bed at 10 and am just now (11) tearing myself away from the computer. It's essentially an on-line knitter's notebook - one that I get to share with a whole bunch of other knitters in one handy-dandy spot - patterns and stash galore. Oh how dangerous this is going to be. Actually, once I get my act together, it will be yet another place I can showcase some of my original designs and hopefully sell some of them (once they get written that is).

I have to go to sleep now - 'night all!

I have to go to sleep now.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Not at my best

My patience has been missing these past few days and it becomes very evident in the late afternoon and evening. Michael is still working his way through the cold and par for the course it's settled in his chest with that good (but awful sounding) juicy cough. The second half of his day is filled with whining and multiple meltdowns/tantrums. His sibling-to-be feels like he's in a full lotus position in my pelvis - super low and lots of oh so lovely pubic bone pain. The Bean also spends long stretches kicking various internal organs (my bladder and cervix are his apparent favorites). I do not remember Michael being this active in utero - the Bean starts when I get up in the morning and doesn't stop - even when I wake in the night he's moving around. All of these things added up together do not a peaceful house make. I'm raising my voice way too much which just increases the whining and meltdowns which puts me more on edge, ad infinitum. I just put him down for sleep and from the sound of it he's fallen asleep right away so I have that going for me.

I'm hoping the return of more seasonable weather tomorrow will improve things and maybe some stuff from Spinning Babies will encourage the Bean into a more comfortable position - if anything the pelvic rocks should help with the pubic pain.

Oh, and good thing to know -- I can use water in place of half the milk in my favorite buttermilk pancake recipe. There's nothing quite like mixing everything together and thinking, "Gosh, this looks awfully thick," and then realizing the the recipe you were going from by memory in fact requires two cups of milk all to the background of your three year-old singing the pancake song (which is, unsurprisingly the word "pancake" repeated over and over again, with jaunts into the falsetto every once in a while for added emphasis). John is due home any moment and I am making myself a chai milkshake when he walks in the door.

'night all!

Food for Thought

My post yesterday and some other current events sparked a great conversation with S yesterday about breastfeeding and motherhood. Jenn over at The Lactivist, has written an excellent continuation of the conversation. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Breastfeeding Doesn't Give You The Right to Do Whatever You Want

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Definitely a lazy day

We haven't done much today other than play with cars (Michael) and surf the internet (Mom). Frankly, after the flurry of activity yesterday, I think we both needed the down-time. I let Michael have almost free-reign in the kitchen while I was in the living room and for whatever reason this involved putting some four in the dishwasher with an ice-cream scoop. This evening, I'm going to give him a basin with a *little* bit of water in it an let him scrub the floor while I finish cleaning in there.

Next on the agenda is a nap. Then we'll walk down to the store for orange juice and chicken breasts. Maybe that's what I'll make for dinner tonight - orange flavored chicken.

Tomorrow while he's in school I'm going to finish up my package for my due-date club swap and turn his old, stained and holey crib sheets into cleaning rags - I'm going to cut the jersey into 11" squares and zig-zag two of them together. They would have really come in handy yesterday. Paper towels have a place (albeit still much smaller that I would like to believe), but I'd like to be able to grab a rag to wipe up a mess. Now I'll have some nice ones to use. Now I just have to make sure they actually get back down to the kitchen after being washed - so many of my kitchen towels take up permanent residence in our computer room where the drying racks are because they just never make the trip back downstairs.

I have to help Michael with a truck issue and then we'll go to bed for real.

Breastfeeding Rant

I just posted this in response to a thread about why more women don't seek out help with breastfeeding, especially when it's offered.

For myself, I was afraid that I was going to be told to do things that I just wasn't capable of doing. So many spout off all of the advice without any consideration for where the mom is at the time. In my own case, I was given a laundry list of things to do - including a list of foods to remove from my diet (like garlic - ever try to avoid garlic when you are living on takeout and convenience foods). I was exhausted, depressed, felt like a failure for not being able to do this "natural" thing correctly, and the only physical support I had was my husband. What I needed was someone to talk to me, not just spout all the info that I had already read on KellyMom. And then there's the sentiment that because I was unable to do these things, I was somehow looking for an "excuse" to quit or I was being lazy - which is just so helpful to read when you are going through this. Nothing makes me want to seek out help more than the thought that the person/people I'm seeking help from are talking about me like that on a public message board/blog/or to their friends.

A little bit of empathy can go a long way, as does the reminder that women who are having problems stumble across boards like this all the time and are turned off to even thinking about asking for help. It's no wonder that the ped who nods his/her head, says breastfeeding is hard and goes on to suggest a course of action that will probably result in the end of a nursing relationship is turned to more than the so called advocate that essentially says - of course it's hard but you just have to suck it up because otherwise you are just looking for an excuse to quit and then I can complain about you on a public message board.

Until we can let go of the thought that most women are looking for an excuse to quit because it's too hard, we end up alienating the very people we need so desperately to support. Besides, I think most of us can agree that being a new mom *is* hard, and there is no face lost in doing so - frankly it would go a long ways in stopping the ever present mommy wars if we stopped being catty and just started to support one another.

Monday, September 24, 2007

September Decluttering Goals

Kitchen

  • Shelf above sink - 15 items

  • Recyclables - 10 items



Bedroom
  • Clothes

  • Books

Driving me up a wall

My message board is still down. I admit, I've become rather obsessive about it in the past few weeks, but it's become my "I need to not think about my life" place for a while since I haven't been able to concentrate on novels or my Game Boy/Nintendo DS.

I'm short tempered. Michael is exhibiting entirely age-appropriate behaviors, and I can't get my message board fix. This is not a pretty picture.

I think I'll just try to go to bed early tonight.

Let the Nesting Begin

I transfered a whole bunch of music to the laptop and got to work in the kitchen this afternoon. The stovetop and counters are clean thanks to some Dr. Bronner's and some baking soda. I've never used castille soap for kitchen cleaning before and while it did work, I think I'm going to explore some other options. One thing I do really like is the peppermint smell, so my next cleaning solution (probably water and vinegar) will probably have some peppermint oil and a dash of eucaluptus oil since they are some of my favorite scents. If anyone has other suggestions, please share - I want something I can keep in a spray bottle for quick clean-ups.

I'm taking a bit of a break right now and gracing you with my prescence here since MDC is down. After my break, I'm going to wade back in and stack the dishwasher and dedicate one of the empty waste-paper baskets in the corner of the kitchen for recyclables. We do recycle here but I have no dedicated receptacle in-doors and thus have glass jars stashed all over the kitchen. Doing this should easily add at least a dozen things to my September decluttering goal.

I have to dash since there is a rather disgusting piece on the TV right now about "too posh to push" which infuriates me. TTFN!

ETA - I couldn't find the remote and ended up having to listen to the entire piece. The next segment is almost as disgusting as the previous one. The info they are giving is very good - it's just the format kind of disgusts me, but that's what I get for watching Discovery Health.