Thursday, August 30, 2007

Low key

Michael and I are just going to hang out this morning. I think we may actually go up to Starbucks and then to the park, but nothing more than that. I need to do some serious recharging of my emotional batteries.

Things are going as well as can be expected. Thank you so much for all of the thoughts you've been sending my way.

Monday, August 27, 2007

What an amazing kid

John and I were both marvelling on just how great Michael is. Yes, we have that parental bias going - but we are both constantly amazed and happy to have been blessed with him. He has such joy in him and it can't help bursting through.

Michael did so well with the trip up to my father-in-law's yesterday. I know how hard this wonderful cocktail of emotions is for me to deal with, I can't even begin to comprehend how its affecting him. We did find out that there will be no funeral. We'll just have a wake a few weeks after to celebrate his life. This removes a great deal of pressure from me, knowing that I don't have a formal funeral to deal with. We are just going day by day at this point and I'm planning a solo trip next Saturday. As much as I want to bring Michael with me, it's really too hard on both of us.

Lastly, just a quick reminder on last minute cooking - don't do it. I made chicken franchese (?sp) yesterday morning at 8am and the sauce was sub-par and the fettuccine a little too al dente. Yes, I know it will be appreciated, but I can't help but shudder a tiny bit when I think of it.

Off to try and get another hour's sleep. Can't wait to see the chiro this morning.

Friday, August 24, 2007


My mother-in-law called me this afternoon to tell me that the hospice nurse thinks my father-in-law does not have long. All of those things I thought I came to terms with last weekend are all jumbled up again. Right now I'm turning to survival mode. I have to get John's suit to the cleaner and press his tie. Laundry has to be done. I have a couple of leads for child care for Michael because that is one thing I am not putting all of us through. If John's extended family wants to see him that much they can come on down to South Philly to do it, I am not doing this to myself. The vitriol might be jumping the gun a bit but I already know that I am going to be a mess, especially since I seem to be the go-to person for his family and under the circumstances it's going to be next to impossible for me to say "No".

I tried on a maternity dress that S lent me and it hangs on me all wrong so I ordered a nice top that I can wear with a black knit skirt. I have a dress that I know was too big on me last summer which I may be able to wear in a pinch. The only black shoes I have are my Keen sandals and an old pair of cheap Payless flats, both of which draw they eyes to my oh so lovely cankles. I think I can get away with the Keens if I wear tights - I haven't worn dress shoes in almost three years and have no desire to do so again in the near future.

We are still going up on Sunday - death, estrangement, high heat and humidity - gotta love the combination.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I really should be in bed... (aka will knit for food)

...but instead, I'm messing/obsessing about this.

I got my issue of the fall Interweave Knits and instantly fell in love with this pattern...

I want to make this sweater so badly. I've been wracking my brain for the past few weeks on how I could possibly afford it. Should I use up all of the undyed Peace Fleece I have and hope I could fit 10 skeins in my dye pot? Should I just go out and buy a whole bunch of Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool and again dye it to suit? Or maybe just buy some of KnitPicks cheapest wool.

Then I found the answer.

I've found a co-op for Haindpainted Yarn.

It's still going to cause some havoc with my finances (especially 'cause I can't sell plasma because of the Bean :P), but shaving off more than a bit from my pocket money for next month, I can swing it.

Here are the colors I'm considering:

Tell me what you think.

Off to bed - 'night all!

The much anticipated update on the Bean!

First the belly pics...

14 weeks
14 weeks

17 weeks
17 weeks

I still haven't gained any weight (yay!) and I'm getting a bit of energy back which is fantastic. I still have to watch how much I try to do each day because it's really easy for me to go to far and then there's hell to pay that evening. I've been feeling lots of movement which is very reasuring. I can't remember how I carried with Michael this early, but I checked and my fundus is right below my belly button at this point and my "bump" is up really high (all above my waist, such that it is). My biggest craving right now is citrus, major aversion is sugar.

Adventures in Henna

Left hand

Right Hand


I am planning on getting better quality henna and playing around with different essential oils as mordants to get better results. I also hope to be able to do the next ones right after Michael leaves for school in the morning so I can let it set all day and get deaper colors. The don't look too bad (if I do say so myself), but I know the can be better.

Mini Crafts Update

Believe it or not, I actually have done some knitting in the past month. Here are a few teasers for some of the projects I'm working on.

Koigu BSJ

Sorry folks, a picture of the yarn will have to do for now. The jacket itself is about 90% finished, I just have to finish the blouson sleeves, put on a collar, and weave-in the 5 million ends.

Felting Experiment
I love Noni bag patterns and one of these days I'm going to actually buy some of them. I wanted to make a messenger bag for Michael, especially since I'm knitting so much for the bean, and thought back to a Noni pattern I saw at one of the LYS that I thought was so cool - the Lattice Bag. I had several skeins of Lambs Pride so I decided to wing it. Here are the preliminary results:

Right side (before felting)

after felting

Wrong side (before felting)

after felting

It's just a simple honey comb cable pattern with the cables done in a different color and stranded. I figured stranding would work fine since doing it in intarsia would be a study in frustration. I'm about 2/3 finished on the actual bag, so once I get it done I'll be posting lots of pics and quick and dirty directions.

Other things on the needles (alas no pics).

Cardigan for Merry

This sort of petered out, but I will be picking up on it again soon. I have about 4" done, so I'm about at the half-way point on the body of the sweater before I have to add in the arms.

EZ's Baby Sweater

I'm working up the baby sweater from EZ's Knitter's Almanac in Trekking XXL in the Orange/Teal colorway. I made up my own lace pattern to use rather than the one suggested in the book since way the color moves in this yarn would be lost. I have about 3 more inches to go in the body of the sweater and then I have to do the arms, so it will probably be another week or so before its finished since it's competing with so many other things.

For the near future...

Knitty Keen

I have not had the energy or the time to put much into the shop, but once Michael starts school in September I hope to change that. I have several very cool patterns that will be for sale as well as a nice selection of hand knits and notions that will be going up. I'm hoping to get up some hand painted sock yarns in October.

Essene Market Fall Crafts Festival

With a bit of luck, I'll be participating again this year. I plan on having a better selection of hand knits for sale as well as patterns and the odd hank of yarn.

Soakers and Diapers

I am itching to start the Bean's stash. I'm hoping to get some suede cloth and some flannel in the next week so I can start making diapers. Once my other knitting projects settle a bit I'll start casting on for some soakers and covers.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Took the plunge...

..and the henna is drying on my hands and belly as I type. Perfectionist that I am, I am reluctant to post pics because *I* think my work is a bit on the sloppy side (at least the back on my right hand is), but I know S will hunt me down if I don't post. I'll get the pics up in the morning - can't wait to see how Michael reacts.

John muttered under his breath several times about what a hippie I am. Now I just have to get some patchouli oil and we are set :P

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Why, oh why...

Do I persist in shopping at Wholefoods on an empty stomach? I went in for chai concentrate and maybe some Annie's Cheddar Bunny crackers for Michael. We left with all natural Oreo knock-offs, some to die-for goat's milk goouda, Wholefood's version of Triscuits (because you need crackers to go with the cheese), orange juice (I am honestly out of this and need my fix), brown rice avocado roll (dreaming of postpartum raw tuna), a Jamba Juice smoothie (yucky days call for special treats), and the chai concentrate and bunny crackers I originally went in for.

Frankly, I only spent $23, so it wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been - I have my pregnancy aversions to thank for that.

We did story time this morning and Michael was a dream. I started to get really tired about 11 while he started getting really hyper (my own fault since neither of us ate well this morning). We left shortly after so things didn't get a chance to escalate too badly. We walked over to the Italian Market so we could get some ground beef for meat balls and a loaf of bread from Sarcones. The second we walked into Sarcones he started asking for a cookie and the ladies working the counter kindly obliged. We walked up to South Street to hit Wholefoods and then took the bus home.

I've really got to start watching my language again unless I want Michael to continue to say "Damn-it!" on a regular basis. To give him credit, he does use it for appropriate situations. Hey, it could always be worse.

Lastly, my father-in-law is being discharged from the hospital today to hospice at his home and we are all much relieved that he's getting the care he needs and my mother-in-law is getting some much needed help. I had a very tough time dealing with it over the weekend. My initial response is to drop everything and do whatever I can to help out. The problem is that I have my own mental well-being to consider (surprisingly, I do actually take care of myself from time to time), the baby that I'm growing, my three year-old, my husband and my household. It was very hard for me to realize that there isn't much at all I can do because my plate is way too full as it is. I was able to have a good cry about it on Sunday with my mom and I feel a lot better about things. I am so happy that hospice is involved and that the time he has left with us will be filled with dignity and respect. Assuming all is well, we are planning on taking Michael up on Sunday so they can see him. I know they get such joy from seeing him and that is what I can do to help this process.

Monday, August 20, 2007

The highlight of my week...

are those first 100 or so steps after I get my chiro adjustment. A close second is the ten minutes of massage that he does before begining the adjustments. I love chiropractics.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

And now for something completely different!

Michael used the toilet three times today with minimal coaxing from us! I may be taking him to get some underwear tomorrow.

Blindsided (sort of)

My father-in-law was admited to the hospital on Thursday night and does not seem to be improving. My mother-in-law has realized that she can no longer take care of him by herself and she's started the ball rolling for hospice care.

I still don't know how I feel about all of this. Right now I'm just giving Michael and John lots of hugs and trying to stay positive about the bean.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Conversation on the subway

Michael: Knock, knock
Me: Who's there?
Michael: Castle
Me: Castle who?
Michael: cackle (not unlike what you would expect to follow the words, "I'll get you my pretty!")

You gotta love those first jokes.

Note to self

Please remember that it is a good mile walk one way to Trader Joe's from the subway and no matter how much you need the groceries it's probably not the best of ideas to do this at the end of the day when you spent the morning at the zoo.

Trying to find my way

Between my pregnancy and a combination of developmental milestones on Michael's part, I am having the hardest time keeping my cool with him. He has made so many huge strides forward. His understanding and language have exploded and I can do so many things with him now that I couldn't even imagine just a few months ago. He's also developed several new habits that I've never had to deal with before and it's been very hard to find my sea-legs. The heat and the exhaustion and crabbiness of early pregnancy have not helped matters at all. If I was having a hard time with him we'd just pack up the stroller and walk into town or to the library. This is not an option when its 90 degrees out with heat indexes in the 100's. Throw in the physical limitations of early pregnancy (which thankfully are starting to abate as my body gets adjusted), and our options are really limited. Since I'm still not sleeping well at night, my tolerance for these completely age-appropriate behaviors is very low and it's really hard not to snap. All that snapping accomplishes is the feed-back loop where those behaviors increase while my tolerance steadily decreases and we get to the point where I just want to scream.

He can't understand that I am troubled by the number of braxton-hicks I had this morning and the pubic pain from not seeing the chiro for two weeks and that is why saying that the noise the trolley door makes is silly in the accompanying silly voice every time the trolley stops and asking about the silly noise at least once between each stop for 20 blocks is not something I can deal with right then and there. I am trying so hard to spend some really quality time with him right now since we both really need it, it just feels like I'm ruining it by not coping with him well because of the pregnancy - one of the big reasons for having Mommy & Michael time in the first place.

I've been feeling like all I do recently is complain about him when it's really me who is the problem. It's the feedback loop that's the worst. Minor snapping is one thing, when it jumps to major snapping/raising my voice then it's a problem. I try to break it, but its really hard, especially if it starts at the beginning of an outing. Part of his development now includes remembering the I told him we were going to do X today, so if we don't do X then I have to cope with repeated requests for doing X and sometimes a small meltdown (especially if X involves going to Nana's house), so I'm really in a damned if I do/damned if I don't situation. We go out when I'm not at 100% and run the risk of the feedback loop starting or we stay home and deal with the feedback loop.

I do take the time to apologize to him and explain that I'm not feeling well right now and that's why I'm so short tempered and that we can both try to work together. On other fronts I'm going to try to get a new pillow this weekend so I'm not waking up from shoulder pain and chiro appointments are starting again on Monday (not too soon). After much debate and soul-searching I've also decided to start taking my meds again. Mommy-guilt has been working on me that the Welbutrin I took during my pregnancy with Michael *could* have contributed to his problems so I've been abstaining this time around. Not that I have any concrete evidence for this, just one of the multitude of things that keep me up at night. At least I can tell myself that I was med-free for the majority of the first trimester and that's something.

I really have to nap now, so I'll end my rambling self-flagellation here. More cheerful stuff in the works and the U/S pics of the bean will be up this weekend.