Tuesday, May 30, 2006

sweat and sweaters

Hey folks...I trust all in the US had a fine holiday weekend. Now it's time to be screwed up all week because we all feel like it's Monday instead of Tuesday. Fun!

I haven't checked out the national weather situation (and I do, because I love the weather channel and I am lame), so I don't know what ya'll are experiencing right now, but it is pushing 90 here and Hub did not get out the air conditioner yesterday to cool the living room. Suffice it to say it's getting a bit sticky in here. I don't think I'll be working on this until at least this evening when it either cools down a little or I get Hub to haul the A/C unit in from the shed:

Wee baby sweater. Pattern: Knitting Pure and Simple neck-down cardigan. Size: 12 months. Yarn: Encore worsted weight in a pretty green, recycled from a sweater I completed for myself and then ripped because it didn't fit right. This yarn has a lot of history and has been recycled into at least 2 baby gifts now, which delights me because I had a ton of it and didn't want another sweater for myself made from it. Anyhoozle, it needs sleevage, obviously, and I'm on my way, but it's probably too warm to do it today. Also, excuse the curliness. It needs a good block as well. And adorable buttons...which is always cool 'cause it means we have to go shopping. Huzzah!

No shopping today though. I have no car because Hub's brand new car is back at the dealer for repair. We have awful luck with cars lately, people. I mean, if you've been reading here for any length of time, you know all about it. This time he had a loose bolt in the suspension (that sounds kind of bad, no? Freaks me out, anyway...) so it was making a horrible knocking, dragging, grinding noise. It was repaired this morning but he took my car to work. I am hoping we can go get his back tonight or early tomorrow. If we did have the car you can bet we'd be high-tailing it to the beach today. Because I can't even find Daughter's little blow-up pool. I would probably keel over trying to inflate it anyway.

So I was thinking of sewing instead, but I don't know what to do with my kid. She is way too interested in every dangerous item in our house to let her play solo on the floor. I can't take my eye off her for a second or she is pulling a cord, sticking her fingers into the baseboard heat radiator thingys, eating dust/crumbs/dead bugs (no we are not dirty but she finds that kind of crap anyway), army crawling full-bore toward the dog's dishes, and just generally finding trouble. I guess we could do the playpen thing for a little while, but now that she's so mobile she gets really frustrated. Do any of you have one of those portable fence-like play-yard things? Is it any better than a regular pack 'n play? Is your child happy playing in there? I don't think I'd get the $200+ model, but I know you can get a similar item for around $80. We are considering it to pen our kid in...er, keep her from hurting herself, that is.

If I don't sew or do something otherwise productive, I'm afraid I'll sit in front of my computer and get in trouble one way or another myself. Yikes, can't afford that!

Enjoy your Tuesday, all! Stay cool...

Monday, May 29, 2006


Happy Memorial Day! Or something...is that right to say? Happy Memorial Day? Well, it's a holiday so I'm happy. There.

I have been rather absent due to our first official baby illness. Daughter's fever held for a couple of days and just when I was going to take her to the doctor on Friday, it finally broke. She is fine now but just about gave up eating anything over the few days she was sick. This would be ok if she were a robust and chubby baby, but she is definitely not so I was quite worried. She would only drink diluted juice and pick at the foods I offered. She seems to be slowly coming back around to consumption of actual meals, but it's been slow going. In addition her sleep patterns have been all over the place since Tuesday or Wednesday of last week, which means mine have been as well. Let me tell you, overtired and sick babies really rock the house. Awesome.

But the good news is it's 86 sunshiney degrees today (and was yesterday as well), Daughter is feeling better, my allergies are calming down at last, and we're looking forward to enjoying our holiday as a family.

There hasn't been much crafting (see aforementioned exhaustion) but I've knit a little in the evenings. I'm trying to get a baby gift made for a girlfriend who is due any second, and I started no less than 5 sweaters for the kid (including the blue cabled one I showed a few days ago, in which I dropped a stitch during a cable somewhere and did not have the stamina to find and fix it...the whole thing has been ripped and thrown in a corner). Yeah, me and my knitting have not been getting along. The sweater is coming along now and I should have some progress to show tomorrow. If my child will go back to taking naps on some sort of schedule again, I'm also looking forward to sewing up a bunch more dresses for her this week. We'll need them as it's forecast to be in the 80s for awhile...

Thursday, May 25, 2006


I have nothing coherent today...Daughter spiked a fever last night so we did not get as much sleep as we would like around here. She actually slept pretty well but we were worried about her so kept getting up to check on her. Poor kid. She seems much better today but is still a little boogery and warm, and her play wasn't as active as usual this morning - it's probably a little virus or something. I'll be keeping an eye on her today...and probably dozing off here and there.

Have a good Thursday, all.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

sewing and rambling

Hang onto your hats, friends...I actually sewed something. I know, it's amazing. Behold:

wee tiny baby dress front

wee tiny baby dress back

cheap and easy pattern

Yesterday Daughter and I drove out to the nearest Super Mart de Wal, which is about 20-30 minutes away straight through farm country. It's a beautiful, calming drive for me, and it always amazes me that so much empty blank space exists so close to suburbia. I mean, we drove on a 65 mph highway through this gorgeous land, so it's not like it's untouched, but it's still a sight to see.

Anyway, we drove out there so I could get a few groceries and some other Walmart-y stuff I needed, and for the change of scenery. Plus I have to add that this particular Walmart is SO nice compared to every other one I've ever seen. It's actually clean and well-stocked and the people who work there are nice. Wha-? Weird. Well worth the long drive & wasted gas.

So we strolled through the craft section, which I cannot help but do, and stumbled upon the "Easy stitch 'n save" patterns by McCall's. These patterns are THE BEST. They cost something like $1.50 or maybe $2.00, and are for only one basic outfit, but they are extremely simple and fast to sew. My kind of project, bay-bee! Especially for Daughter. I'm not putting eleventy-billion hours of tedious sewing into a little cotton dress that will be chucked in the washing machine over and over again. The little dress above is from pattern # M5079, view A. It's made from about 1/2 or 2/3 yard of batik fabric I bought from the end of a bolt when I was working at my old job. The pattern only gives the amount of fabric needed for the dress, ruffled pants, and hat, so I'm guessing at how much I really used. The dress is self-lined (awesome!) which eliminates all but the most basic finishing. All I had to do was slip-stitch 3 seams closed. In fact, the most time-consuming part of this dress was the prep - pinning and cutting the pattern and pinning the dress and lining together. It was a breeze and I'll be making about a zillion more. Side note: there are supposed to be 2 buttons sewn on to hold the back closed, but I am apparently dumb and made the buttonholes about 1mm too small for the buttons I had picked out. So I'll be scrounging and/or shopping for two different buttons before I can declare the dress finished. Dur.

On a different front, thanks for the commiseration re: house issues. Hub and I keep hashing it out and trying to decide if we want to take out a small-ish home improvement loan to fix some stuff up or what. We'll be asking around for opinions and working through the decisions. Just 'cause we were into totally wasting gas yesterday, we went for a ride after dinner (in search of an ice cream stand) and ended up heading waaaaaaaayyyyy out along the lake shore (Erie) until we stumbled upon Evangola State Park. It's such a gorgeous place...I didn't have my camera but you can see pictures here if you want. It's one of those places where you can park and take advantage of everything from picnic areas to swingsets to basketball courts to the beach. We were going to walk around a little but the wind off the lake was very cold and we only had the umbrella stroller.

We drove back right along the lake and were fascinated by what we found. It turns out the park was only 11 miles from our house. As we drove we saw the most amazing lake houses - everything from gigantic mansions with ivy-covered iron gates and stone walls to little shacks built two and three deep. There were parks and several areas for beach access, and through the trees and houses you could always glimpse the lake. The last thing we stumbled upon was Frank Lloyd Wright's Graycliff, which is totally under our noses. (It was the summer home of the Darwin Martin family, whose winter home was also built by FLW and is located in the city of Buffalo.) We knew this was nearby, but never realized just how close.

What I am trying to say, I suppose, is that there is a lot of special beauty right here where we live, and even though our house gives us fits we should probably learn to enjoy what we have. No, there isn't a Target or Walmart very nearby, and I feel like I have to drive forever to get anywhere, but that's also part of what's cool about it.

Monday, May 22, 2006

And now back to our regularly scheduled blog

Hi! Hello there! Remember me? I knit! And sew! No, really, I don't just whine about my life, I do actual hobbies as well. Heaven knows even I am tired of hearing about my health situation, so let's chat about something more fun, shall we?

As predicted, I ditched Secret Garden in favor of starting something else. This will become "Sam" from a Mission Falls book, though I don't know which one. I don't even have a picture from the pattern or anything to show you what it will look like. Sorry! You'll just have to watch this space...

Anyway, this is being knit from Patons Classic Merino in the denim colorway on my beloved wooden needles from the folks at Peace Fleece. I believe they are US 7s. Sorry for the crappy picture, but the predicted sunshine has yet to appear today. In fact, as an aside, it's only in the 40s here today. It sucks! But it should be 80 by the weekend so I'll bear through. The cooler weather and rain do help my allergies.

Here is part of the reason why Secret Garden is being ignored and Sam isn't too far along. This is my generic 60-stitches-on-size-2-needles sock using the Lorna's Laces my mom gave me. I was feeling antsy to knit something brainless...plus I'll probably be able to take these to the hospital to knit on whilst I a) wait for surgery and b) recover from same. Though general anesthesia is not kind to me, so these may just languish by my bedside while I barf. Whatever, in any case I'll be prepared. Oh, and the colorway? Sand ridge. Very pretty.

Not much fun stuff got done over the weekend - just work. Hub hates lawn & garden work with the fiery passion of a thousand suns, so I have to take advantage when he is willing and able to help me. Saturday we (he) mowed and trimmed, I raked and swept and hosed, and we worked together on tilling the front bed and planting a few things. Whoever originally planted there was on some serious crack because they put two hosta, a rhododendron, and some sort of prickly, spiny berry shrub all within about 18" of one another. Oh, and a sad little fir-like shrub behind it all. The rest of the bed? Empty. Well, it had weeds.

So last summer I ripped out the prickly thing (it was half-dead anyway), moved the rhododendron waaaaayyyyyyy over, and planted lots of marigolds so there would be some color. Hey, I had a newborn, it was a start. This year we moved the pathetic fir-like shrub to the backyard, tilled the hell out of the soil, added lots of topsoil, and planted two more hosta. I'm waiting on flowers because I started my seed trays a little late this year. I would take a photo but it's freezing out there. Plus there are men putting a fence around the neighbors' pool right now and I don't want to head out there and be taking dorky garden pictures in front of them. Because I'm sure they really care. And anyway, it still needs some sort of edging and some mulch. So maybe I'll take a picture when it's all done.

On a somewhat related note, I think we've changed our minds about selling the house right now. We kind of hate our house and where it's located, but frankly, it would pretty much wipe out our finances to move. I'm not 100% sure this is our final decision, but Hub has at least asked our realtor (who is his H.S. buddy, as I may have mentioned) to wait on the listing for now. We're just thinking with me being pregnant w/ some slight complications, me having surgery, and me already having responsibility for an almost-toddler, as well as Hub working on a degree and spending mad crazy hours on work projects...well, this might not be the best time to try selling. Plus the money thing. We'd be mega-broke when the dust settled. I think we're going to set a goal of having $X in the bank before we try moving again. Don't ask me how we're going to get to $X...we haven't quite figured that out yet. Rob a bank, perhaps?

The thing is, we're unhappy about our house for mostly cosmetic reasons - they are legitimate reasons to be sure, but they mostly speak to our embarrassment about having people over. Hub and I both come from very nice homes that our parents built, so we are spoiled. We bought this house because it was in our price range and it had all the appliances (which were only about 5 years old). But the porch is an uneven, patched up concrete disaster, the kitchen ceiling is...uh...semi-sagging in a few places, the coat closet is unbelievably gross, and there are many unfinished areas where someone just quit and didn't put up trim or whatever. Plus the boiler room looks like something from a horror movie set. Ugh. We are desperately trying to decide what to do...try fixing stuff up ourselves with some money from savings? Take out a home-improvement loan and call in the pros? Do nothing, just sit on the house till we can afford something better?

We're just not sure if our problem is that we're spoiled, or that this house is really bad. I guess it could be a bit of both. I don't know - at 30, should we be accepting of where we are in life, or should we be struggling so everything looks better? Part of me says we're young, it's ok, we have student loans, car payments, etc., so we have to stay here because we can afford it. But I don't know how long that applies. When I'm 40 do I still want to be saying that?

Aaaaannnnd there I go again, complaining about my life. Sorry!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Ye Olde Blogge, indeed

"Ye Olde Blogge" would be a most excellent blog name, if I do say so myself. Teresa, go for it! Would love to hear more about your little darling in blog form...

For those interested, my lovely surgery will involve several mere mortals putting me to sleep, cutting a slit in the skin at the base of my throat, and cutting out my entire thyroid gland. Mmmmmmmmmmm! Doesn't that sound terrific? My surgeon - a diminutive asian man - was kind enough to let me know he could potentially ruin my voice during the operation. Hooray! Gosh, the news keeps getting better and better for me these days. He was kind of funny though...my husband asked him how big the incision will be and he said, "I can make big. People like big car, big house..." har har har. (It's funnier if you can imagine an asian accent.)

Overall the doctors don't seem worried about the whole thing. Unfortunately I won't know who the anesthesiologist is until I get to the hospital, so I won't have much chance to ask a lot of questions. But I talked to a friend who's an anesthesiologist at another hospital and she gave me the scoop. It doesn't sound fantastic, but it doesn't sound too bad either. She has worked with my surgeon and says he is excellent.

So anyway, I'm sorry if I'm a drag. I didn't mean to start this blog so it could be a bummer. It's just that all this stuff has come up out of nowhere and it's my life right now. Everything else is on hold. I am trying hard to stay positive, and being with my goofy little girl really helps on a daily basis, but sometimes I get a little down. Today I had no drive to get up off the couch, so it was hard to get anything done. I almost engaged in a little internet retail therapy, but I held myself back.

One bathroom did get cleaned, the utility room is now organized and clean as well (we have no basement so that room is the total catch-all), and the laundry is almost all done. I've pulled everything out of my closet that I'm not really wearing right now so it will look bigger and more spacious. The family room looks like a bomb went off in it because that's where everything is landing right now. But we will be ready to show on Monday.

Thanks for your continued support, all. Your comments mean a lot, and I am reading you as well for my daily procrastination. I'm sure things will work out as they are meant to; please just bear with me through this stressful time.

For your amusement, here are the words my daughter now says on a regular basis: Ella (our dog's name), dog, duck, hand, dada, what's that?, grandma, grandpa, count, and one. She also has 4 teeth and brushes them with her Elmo toothbrush morning and night. And she blows kisses - cutest thing ever. She can also point to her head, nose, teeth, belly, and toes.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

insane in the membrane

insane in the brain!

(bwahaha...now you all have that annoying song in your head! right? please say it isn't just me...)

Sorry for being woefully absent from ye olde blogge. Found out today that surgery is in exactly 4 weeks (June 14) and am freaking out just a little bit inside my little head. Husband who is normally pillar of strength also freaking out over pregnant wife going through difficult time. Would never admit to this but I know my husband...

Much to do. Brain melting.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

"There's a lot more to being a woman than being a mother, but there's a hell of a lot more to being a mother than most people suspect." (Roseann Barr)

Happy Mother's Day, ladies. Kick the kids out, make some tea, read a book, sew, knit, take a nap. Above all, enjoy!

Friday, May 12, 2006


I haven't shared this yet, partially because my overloaded brain can't take it, but we are putting our house back up for sale in a week. Stupid, I know, but we really want to move and be closer to our families so we can have help with two babes. It won't be so bad - our realtor is my husband's good friend from high school, so he's cool and understanding of our situation(s). And once the house is straightened up, we'll just have to maintain a certain level of cleanliness.

That cleanliness is what I'm working toward this week. Specifically, I am working on packing up all my crafting stuff (sniff) and sorting out the 3 or 4 projects I want to keep out for the summer. The rest will be socked away in bins...accessible if need be, but out of sight. So far I have 3 sundresses for Daughter, quilt fabric for baby #2, the work project I'm trying to finish, and the sweater I'm making for my girlfriend's new son. Well, also Secret Garden but that's so close to being done I don't count it.

This is a rather painful process and I'd best get back to it. At least it's an indoor project - my allergies are still too bad to go outside anyway. I'll be back later or tomorrow with something more interesting...

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

**warning - spoiler ahead!**

Well sports fans, the news is good today! The baby is looking great and...

...it's another girl! Woo-hoo! Though I would certainly have been thrilled with a boy, having a second baby of the same gender is going to be a lot easier on me. We can re-use everything - especially all the gorgeous handknits. And I can make more pink and purple stuff! Now the only problem is a name. Daughter has her name because it was the one and only girl name Hub and I could agree on. I don't know how we're going to do it again.

The doctor we saw today is a neonatologist and an expert in the field. He is like a really neat grandpa and I loved him instantly. He said he can say with 99% certainty that we have a perfect baby and he also was able to explain my bleeding problem to me in terms that I can totally understand. For anyone interested:

Apparently what I had is called a subchorionic bleed. I can't find anything good to link to for that, but from what the doctor said it's a bleed that happens between the amniotic sac and the uterine wall. During my sono today he showed me where you could see a lacy looking area, indicating an "old bleed" that is now clotting. Unfortunately he had no real explanation for why it happens. It appears to be a small area where perhaps the placenta has not completely attached. In my case, there is no evidence of placental abruption or tear, so no harm should come to me or the babe. He said I will just experience bleeding and spotting until the blood is gone, which could take weeks or months or whatever. There's no way to tell. Yuck. The good news is that bed rest is unnecessary, and I can maintain my daily routine (oh good, I can cook and clean). I am also allowed to lift and hold and cuddle Daughter, which is all I really care about.

Tomorrow, endocrinologist. Once again, stay tuned.

(Also maybe some knitting content...)

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

dream a little dream

This morning:

Me: Oh man, I had this awful dream that the dog peed and pooped all over the house!

Hub: That's an anxiety dream if I ever heard one.

I have an 18-week sonogram tomorrow (I think this will be like, number 5 or 6?), and then an endocrinologist appointment on Thursday. I'll probably be told that I have to have surgery post haste, so all that stuff is very likely what's making me anxious. On the bright side, we just might be able to get some gender info tomorrow. Our daughter was a little prude in utero and kept her legs crossed every time we had a sono, so we didn't know for sure that she was a girl until the night before she was born (a long story I might tell another time). So I guess I shouldn't get too excited as that may happen again.

Stay tuned.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Sowing my Secret Garden

We're nearing the finish line...Secret Garden shall soon become an F.O.

Houston, we have a sweater. Well, almost.

Closeup of the pattern. The color is more accurate in the first photo.

Look, I even made sleeves! What can I say? I spoil my kid.

Depending on final fit, this may be my favorite knit so far for Daughter. I'm not wild about the color I chose (Knitpicks Wool of the Andes in Fern), but the yarn itself is incredibly soft and nice to work with. I haven't had any problems with pilling or splitting on this project, and the whole sweater is costing something like $12. Can't beat that for handmade and 100% wool! It's almost dry, so hopefully I'll be seaming it this weekend and starting on the button bands and collar. That's my least favorite step in the process, so it'll be a challenge to avoid casting on for my next project instead (an adorable cabled cardigan in Patons Classic Merino for my friend's 3rd son, due in less than a month - yikes!)...which brings up a question. Am I being a rotten friend by making a baby sweater (toddler, actually, as I'm planning to make the 24 month size so the kid can wear it more than once) in 100% wool? It will require hand washing, and I'm wondering if that's a mean thing to do to a parent. Does anyone have experience with machine washing PCM in cold water on gentle? It felts like mad, so I doubt even a cold wash is a good idea. Thoughts?

Thursday, May 04, 2006


A package came in the mail today:

what could it be?

maybe we should try shaking it

here Mom, check these out...I'm very involved in the Food Network right now

oh my gosh! delicious Koigu socks!

look at the beautiful cables!

I don't mean to have a bad attitude or anything, but a small part of me was sure I'd get stiffed on this Sockapaloooza thing. I was really just hoping I'd get a pair, and this pair? Unbelievable! They were knit by Anita of Knits, Purls, and Curls in between homework assignments. And people, they are Koigu. I immediately put these on and my feet said, "aaaahhhhhhhhh..."

I love them! Thank you, Anita!

I'll most definitely be signing up for Sockapalooza 4.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


When Daughter was born one year and two weeks ago, her sugar level was something like 35, and it should have been more like 100. They had to keep testing her and working to get that number up, so among other things this meant she had her heels pricked about eleventy billion times over the course of the 2.5 days following her birth. When I saw her teeny purple and red and blue bruised and battered heels I cried. I thought it was the saddest thing ever.


Watching her have blood drawn from her little teeny arm today while she sobbed was, in fact, the saddest thing ever.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

76 and sunny

Well, here's a news flash! I read the Claritin box at the drug store today, and it does not say anything about not taking it because of thyroid problems! I will be asking my OB about it forthwith. Sure, it costs almost a buck per pill, but it would be worth it. I hate to take any pills at all, but I'm scared I'm going to get addicted to nose spray and either scratch my eyes out or give myself pink eye. I have only suffered from springtime allergies in adulthood (started toward the end of college when they would mow the lawns outside our dorm at like 6:30 a.m.), and this is my worst year ever. Does pregnancy exacerbate the problem? Anyone? Bueller?

Daughter and I ran all over creation today doing errands. My sockapaloooza socks are winging their way to California right now. And if I owe you a package, it has been mailed. I'm all caught up. Hooray! It's so great to feel normal and healthy and be able to do stuff.

I should push on and start my flower and herb seeds so I'll actually have something to put in the front landscaping. I should also plow through the rather large pile of bills and paperwork that I think is growing roots on the kitchen counter. But, ummmm...I think I'm going to eat some ice cream and watch Oprah. Teri Hatcher is on today, and what's up with her face? Botox? Face lift? And what does she weigh, like 80 lbs.? She just looks weird.

Monday, May 01, 2006

death by pollen

People, I can't breathe.

No, this isn't a metaphor or anything. I literally cannot breathe. My sinuses seem to be permanently swollen. I feel like there are sandbags in my head. I fear that I will harm myself soon as I cannot stop rubbing and scratching at my eyes. They're red and swollen (well, the eyelids anyway), and I look like I belong in a scary, scary movie. My whole face itches. My throat even itches. On the inside. Gaaaahhh.

Can you die from allergies? Because I may be the next casualty.

eta: I would SO take a pill, except that I have thyroid disease too. If you check your allergy med boxes, they all say "do not take if you have thyroid disease..." Waaaaahhh! So it's nose spray and eye drops (which don't do anything)...oh, and ice cream for the itchy throat. Luckily the baby likes ice cream.