Friday, February 29, 2008

It's Friday!!!!

Well, another week has come & gone. I can't believe how quickly they seem to go... at least from the perspective of Friday.

It's funny how on Monday (every Monday) all I see is yet another insanely busy week stretching out... endlessly... before me.

By Wednesday I am ready to tear out my hair or run off to a Buddhist Monastery just to get some peace and rest.

And by Friday? I'm convinced that there has been a rip or fold in the space-time continuum & I have slipped through an entire week without actually experiencing each day that I know must have been part of that week.

Where does the time go?

It's the same thing with Tyson. He came out of his room this morning, and I swear I almost didn't recognize him. Who is this tall, skinny five year old who will be starting kindergarten in another few months (sniff)? Didn't I just bring my little butterball of a Tyson home from the hospital yesterday?

I did manage to get a few things done over the week. I met a lot of deadlines for work... thanks to some insanely late nights in my office (writing reports & graphing data until 11:30 pm). And I got all nesting-instinct last night & deep cleaned the first floor of the house at 10:30. It was really odd. I had sat down to check my email after Tyson went to bed, and noticed that the maternity countdown on my google home page was reporting that we had only 30 days until our due date. I thought about what that meant:

Since my doctor has already informed me that he will not let me go one minute more than a week past my due date, this means that some time in the next THIRTY-SEVEN days we will be bringing this baby home. And he will be outside of my uterus. And he will need a place to sleep, and we will need nursing supplies, and we will need a baby monitor, and I will be exhausted & in some amount of pain, and he will need clothes, and my house will be full of people who want to visit our new arrival.

All of a sudden, I was overcome with the knowledge that under no circumstances could I bring a baby into this house unless every bit of clutter was put away, every upholstered surface was vacuumed till it was threadbare, and every hard surface of my house was dusted/washed/disinfected. I was driven by some insanity that I cannot explain. Matt came home from tennis at 11:00 and found me, all wild-eyed and seriously neurotic-looking... up to my armpits in vacuum cleaner parts, dust rags and Lysol. I think he was actually frightened for a moment.

He attempted to stop me in the middle of my cleaning frenzy, but wisely let me finish after I threatened him with a do-it-yourself colon cleansing using the corner tool of my vacuum cleaner. He was able to (very skillfully) persuade me just to finish the first floor and call it a night. I caved & was in bed not too long after. What can I say? He reminded me that I will have a rainy day to clean on Sunday. And he bribed me with a glass of chocolate milk and the promise of a back massage.

Oh, in knitting news, I finished another pair of baby socks. These are not for Sweet Pea. They are for one of Matt's team members at work. His wife is due just 6 days before me. I don't have pictures yet, because I'm thinking of trying a "companion project" over the weekend to match. The socks are really cute; the colorway really lends itself to itty bitty boy socks.

And, since we all know I can't have nothing on the needles, I went ahead & cast on for a new knit. I'm making the Elefante toy for Tyson. Okay, I'm going to try to make the toy for Tyson. I've never knit a toy before, so we'll have to see how it works out.

Check back in a couple of days. I'll be posting photos of the new baby socks, my progress on Elefante, and maybe even a gratuitous baby-belly shot (since I've had a few requests, and it is quite the vision to behold at this point)!

Monday, February 25, 2008


You know, knitting is such a great form of therapy. In my house, Matt & Tyson know that a knitting mommy is a happy mommy. With the stress of trying to get everything ready for Sweet Pea's arrival, on top of working 50 hours a week, finishing the basement, and keeping up with all of the other everyday responsibilities... I've managed to find some time for a little knitting therapy. I've been cranking out the baby knits like crazy over the last few days, and although it's meant that some things haven't gotten done, I think that's okay.

I knitted this little hat for Sweet Pea over the weekend:

Pattern: My own.

Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Superchunky

Needles: Size 10 circs, though I knitted it flat & seamed it.

Notes: Although I'm not crazy about having the seam in the hat, this was the easiest pattern I could figure out. Now that I know where my decreases go, I will attempt to knit the next one in the round. Oh, and this was, by far, my fastest knit ever. I started it on Friday night & finished it Saturday morning!

I chose this yarn for the hat because it was navy blue, already in my stash, and coordinated perfectly with my last FO:

The colors look a little off in the photo, but in real life, the blues match perfectly.

And, with all this Knitting Therapy going on lately, I found myself in need of another kind of therapy: Shopping Therapy. I needed stash enhancements.

First up, I purchased some yarn for another blanket for Sweet Pea. I had the multi-colored yarn ("Haway") in my stash already. It was some clearanced novelty yarn that I found not long after discovering I was pregnant. I don't usually buy novelty yarn, but this had, "Make me into a baby knit!" written all over it!

The problem was that I didn't have any yarn to knit with it. So, on Saturday I bought some Patons Astra (acrylic) in white, hot green and hot blue. Again, I usually don't buy acrylic, but I want to be able to throw this blanket into the washer & dryer & not worry about how it might hold up. The yarn is soft, the colors are perfect for my little boy, and in this case, I will avoid being a yarn snob.

I'm sorry to say that I haven't done much knitting for Tyson in the last few months. Between Christmas knits & baby knits, I just haven't found the time. He hasn't seemed to notice, but late last week, he started looking at my knitting and asking, "Is that for me Mommy?"

He's also started to notice a few neat looking items appearing in our house... for the baby, and has made some comments about them. Now, I have to brag on my boy, because he NEVER asks for anything. I could take him on a three hour tour of Toys-R-Us and he wouldn't ask me to buy him a thing. He also hasn't said anything to indicate that he's feeling lost in all the commotion of construction and baby preparation, but I'm beginning to suspect that he is feeling a little lost in the shuffle. I know this could only get worse if we don't head it off now, so I've made sure to spend some extra time playing with him this weekend, and I promised him a new knit.

I bought this: ...some Davos-Mouline (?) in the brightest blue I could find. It's a wool-acrylic blend & I must admit that I found it in the sale basket. But it is absolutely his favorite color of blue, it's amazingly soft, and it will be perfect for this:I asked Ty what he wanted, and he said he wanted a new "sleepy friend" (stuffed animal suitable to be a napping companion at preschool). I found a few patterns, and he chose this elephant. It's adorable! This will be my first attempt to knit a toy, so I hope it goes well!

I also bought a couple more balls of the Oh My! in pale yellow. I ran out two weeks ago and had to stop knitting Sweet Pea's Log Cabin blanket. I'm pretty sure I have enough to finish it now.
Well, that's all for now. Have a great day!

Friday, February 22, 2008

It's not what you think....

You might look at these pictures:

...and think to yourself, "What a nice little snow fall. " I cannot tell you how inaccurate your thought would be, though. You see, this is NOT SNOW. It's sleet. Yup. What you have there is about 2 inches of stinging, pelt-you-in-the-head sleet. With a bit of freezing rain mixed in here & there. It sucks. We can't play in it & the roads have been so bad that we've been stuck in the house until it's all cleared.

So, what did we do with our "snow [ice] days (x 2)?" Today I'm catching up on some paperwork & household stuff. Yesterday, we turned this on:

...and did a little work in the basement. I. hate. drywall. sanding.

So, later I did a little of this: And I finished these:
Pattern Details:

  • Pattern: My own. It's just your basic sock, but itty-bitty.
  • Yarn: Yarntini; you might recognize this from a pair I did a while back. I had some left over.
  • Needles: Size 1 circulars.
  • Notes: I started these around the 9th, when I ran out of one of my colors for Sweet Pea's Blanket. These were a pretty fast knit (since they're so small) and I was really much too excited about putting them in the baby's dresser.

Now, I don't know if it was the snow or my nesting instinct going into overdrive, but I got all domestic yesterday. I did some spinning, I did some knitting... and I spent a good part of the day in the kitchen. I reorganized & cleaned out a few cabinets, and I made this: This is "Completely-From-Scratch Chicken & Rice Soup." When I say "from scratch," I mean it. I used my own homemade chicken stock and homegrown carrots. I put it all together just before lunch & let everything simmer together in the crock pot for about 5 hours. It made about 14 servings, so I was able to freeze a bunch for the weeks right after the baby is born. And since I started with whole chicken breasts (plus bones & skin) I also got about 10 more cups of homemade chicken stock (for the next time I make a chicken soup).

And since every homemade winter meal needs a homemade winter dessert, I also made this apple crisp:

It was really yummy!!!

We hope to finish the last of the mudding & sanding in the basement this weekend so that we can paint & lay the flooring next weekend. I will be so glad to be rid of the drywall dust. I'm really getting tired of having white, gritty hair, grit in my teeth, all over the dogs, the furniture... my tissue even turns white & gritty when I blow my nose!!!!! We are almost done with this, the worst part of the process. Yay!!!!

And on a closing note, I have to brag on my super-sweet husband. A few nights ago, I was seriously jonesin' for a McDonald's fish sandwich. It was 11:00 at night. Matt was already in his jammies. Despite all of this, he very happily submitted to the cliche that was my pregnancy craving, and go out into the cold dark night to bring me this: Isn't he awesome?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Thar She BLows!!!!!

Ugh. I am no longer "cute pregnant." I have passed those proportions and have moved on to "beached whale" proportions. I resemble a turtle on its back whenever I try to get out of bed. I can no longer sit comfortably in many chairs because my belly constantly encroaches on my lap, preventing my legs from bending at the proper angle. I can barely tie my shoes, even my maternity clothes are getting snug and my bladder has apparently shrunk to the size of a snow pea. I haven't slept in months or eaten a "meal" in weeks.

And I still have five. weeks. left. (at least).

I saw the doctor yesterday. He says everything looks good. The baby appears to be head-down. The baby also appears to be big. This is not a huge surprised, since Tyson weighed in at 8 pounds, 14 ounces... two weeks before his due date. Hopefully I am not carrying "Gigantor the Freakishly Hugemongous Baby." The doc doesn't think so. I go back for a visit again in two weeks, and at that time we might get a better idea of how much time we have left. (You know, if the cervix is having a party, then we might have a little less time; if it's still closed up tight then we'll have a little longer.) Either way, the doctor has advised me to be ready for the baby to arrive in two weeks. Um, okay. I'll do my best, but there is still so much to be done.

I don't have any real knitting content to report right now. I've hardly had any time for knitting lately. (Can't you tell? I've been a little crabby lately and am beginning to develop a twitch in my left eye... I am in desperate need of some knitting therapy.)

Unfortunately, preparing for the little guy (who still remains nameless) is taking up all of my time. I have to catch up on paperwork and then prepare data sheets and client profiles for the music therapists who will sub for me while I'm on leave. We are desperately trying to finish the Big Basement Remodel. Currently, we are in the middle of the dry wall putty & sanding phase. It sucks. Matt & I have never done drywall mudding before, so we are really slow at applying it. And sanding is so tedious. Matt finished up the second coat of mud last night; hopefully we can start sanding it tomorrow. We'll have one, maybe two more coats to apply & sand.... and then we still have to paint and lay flooring before we can move the office out of the baby's room and the baby's furniture out of the garage. I've also bee trying to find Tyson's old stuff (clothes, toys, etc) that we packed up & saved. All that stuff has to be washed, dried & put away. I have to finish organizing the phone call & email list, gather the appropriate insurance forms and pack my bag for the hospital.

Add all of this to the everyday stuff that we mothers do (cooking, cleaning, helping with homework & piano practice, showering, brushing our teeth, etc.) and I'm completely overwhelmed. I'm busy from the time I get up in the morning until it's time for me to go to bed at night. Knitting hasn't seemed to fit into most days lately.

When I have found time for my WIPs, I've been mostly working on a pair of baby socks. It's a new knit. I ran out of yarn for Sweet Pea's Blanket & couldn't stand not having something to work on, so I cast on for these little socks. They're just a basic sock pattern, but itty bitty.

Sweet Pea's blanket is coming along as well (okay, it was until I ran out of yellow yarn...) though I'm not sure it'll be finished before the baby arrives. I also still have to assemble the last of the Christmas knits. It's the flock of felted birds that I haven't taken photos of yet. Right now it just looks like some fiber carnage anyway... just some felted bodies, tails & wings, all waiting patiently to be sewn together & shipped to??????

Well, that's about it for tonight. I hope to have the new baby socks completed this weekend, & I'll post photos after that. Happy Knitting!

Friday, February 8, 2008


I should warn you that there is no knitting content in this post. It is about something entirely different that is confusing and upsetting and tragic... and something I just have to write about.

If you keep up with the national news on the big 24 hour networks (CNN, MSNBC), you might have heard about a tragic and shocking even that occurred in Kirkwood, Missouri last night.

Here is a link to the news coverage.

In a nutshell, a disgruntled Kirkwood citizen shot a local police officer outside of a restaurant, took the officer's sidearm, ran the block or so to the Kirkwood City Hall, entered a routine planning & zoning committee meeting, and opened fire. He shot 6 people there before police got there & stopped him (with what I'm sure amounted to a large amount of their own firepower). Of the people who were shot, only two survived. A reporter was shot in the hand and will make a full recovery (at least physically). The Kirkwood mayor sustained two gunshot wounds to the head and is still listed in critical condition. When it was all said and done, 2 people were injured, 2 police officers were killed, 3 council members were killed, and the gunman was killed.

The gunman apparently was a pretty nice guy, except that he seems to have been a bit of a trouble maker at those meetings (frequently disrupting them) and had apparently racked up quite a few fines & tickets for minor infractions of parking laws and business ordinances from the city of Kirkwood. Last year he was removed from a meeting by police because he was too disruptive, and he ended up bringing a lawsuit against the city for infringement of his 1st amendment rights. The judge very recently ruled that his rights were not violated... and so he went to the meeting and murdered a bunch of good people.

Here's the thing about Kirkwood: it's a great city. It's actually just a few miles from my home. I frequently shop the craft stores there; we go there every Independence Day to watch the fireworks; I have served several families who live there. It is a lovely small town with some beautiful old buildings, a train station (that still has a lot of that old fashioned charm), a farmer's market, and a nice little storefront section with a few interesting shops. My heart goes out to the people of Kirkwood, because despite the fact that they make up such a nice community, they have just had a really rough couple of years.

They have some race-relations issues that really came to the forefront when Sgt. McEntee was gunned down in his patrol car in 2005. The gunman was only recently sentenced for his crime.

Then, just over a year ago, the "Missouri Miracle" happened. Two boys who had been abducted were found in the apartment of their kidnapper. It was called a miracle because one of the boys had been missing for several days and the other had been missing since 2002. It was a wonderful miracle that both of these boys were found... but it was tragic that they had been abducted in the first place, and shocking to the community that they had been held all of that time in their quiet town.

And then the insanity of last night's events hit... and I just have to ask: Why?

I know that this is a silly question. I know the answer already. There is no answer. This was clearly a man who had some undiagnosed mental problems. How else does someone go from being the annoying trouble maker at meetings to being the lone gunman who single handedly brought an entire community to its knees? There was no way to know this would happen, and so there was no way to prevent it from happening.

Bad things happen. Bad people happen. The best we can do is pray that God will help us pick up the pieces and find the courage to keep going. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone in the commnity who was affected by this senseless tragedy. I pray that God will give each and every one of them the strength and comfort and courage to pick up their pieces and keep on going.

The thing I keep thinking about is that each one of those people in that room just thought they were going to a meeting. They thought they would get off work, eat dinner with their families, go and do their civic duty, and be home in time for Leno. But that's not what happened. Some of them will never be home in time for Leno. Their husbands and wives and children will never have dinner with them again. Some of the people in the room escaped physical injury, but they will never be the same again. They will carry the memories of that horrifying event with them for the rest of their lives. That has forever changed them.

We can't know what the next week or day or hour or minute will bring. It may bring joy... or it may bring tragedy. So please, when you see your children or your spouse or significant other tonight... whenever you see or talk to the people you love, please give them a hug. Tell them you love them. You don't know what will happen in the next moment... and this may be your last chance.

Thursday, February 7, 2008


Is there anything worse than being 33 weeks pregnant & being sick while NOT being able to take off work? It seems I have caught the Creepin' Crud. It started on Sunday & is just now beginning to pass... sort of.

I have not let this stuff slow me down too much. I've been dragging myself through my daily therapy sessions, then coming home and going straight to bed (or to the couch with my big fluffy blanket). What have I been doing whilst on the couch? Not sleeping. (Who could sleep with this awful cough?) I've bee knitting. And spinning. And felting. Oh my!

I have no pictures today because, well, that would just take too much effort, but here's what I've done lately:

  • Finished stitching & felting the body parts for 5 birds.
  • Knitted several additional blocks onto Sweet Pea's blanket... I think it's actually getting bigger! (... the baby and the blanket)
  • Started, frogged, started, frogged and started a baby sock. I couldn't find a pattern I liked, so I'm winging it. I actually got to just past the gusset decreases (yay!) when I discovered that I had dropped a stitch in the heel turn (boo!) and ended up having to rip all the way back to the leg (Double-Boo!). I got caught back up last night & am now cruising through the foot. (Wouldn't it be great if everyone's feet were so small???)
  • Finished spinning about half of the bag of roving that's been collecting dust for the longest time. I'm definitely beginning to get the rhythm down, but I think my twist is way too tight. And with the end in sight I'm getting a little jumpy about the whole plying thing... we'll see how it goes.
  • Dragged myself to the fabric store to scout some sewing patterns for baby clothes & nursery items. Decided not to buy any materials as we currently have no baby to dress, no nursery to organize/decorate, and no time to haul out the sewing machine anyway. These projects may have to wait until maternity leave to get done.
...And that's about it. Work is keeping me busy... as is the Big Basement Remodel (which has hit a snag with Matt working late hours and my being sick...). We're starting to get really excited, though. We have only seven (that's 7, SEVEN, seven, seven) weeks until our due date! In another 3 or 4 weeks, I'll be completely freaking out about everything that we have to do and buy to get ready.. but for now I'm content to sit on my couch & knit. And sniffle. And cough.

How long is this cold going to last anyway?