Sunday, March 22, 2009

moving stuff

We got our closing date for the sale of our should be either April 23 or 24. So yesterday I started packing. Uuuuuugggghhh. I did A LOT, and my body now hates me for packing and carrying eleventy thousand books down from the second floor. Along with several bins of fabric, bins and boxes of sewing paraphenalia, bins and bags of Daughter's clothing (from birth to 3 years, oh my word that's a lot of clothing), and so on.

The house is 1.5 stories, so the second floor is really just one large room plus a half bath. The closet in the bath is empty, the closet in the room is empty, and most of our stuff is downstairs, packed and stacked and ready for a dolly to wheel it out. That's my have everything packed and stacked well before "moving day" so as to make things move more quickly. We've all had that sucky move where we're scrambling to pack up the last few things when the truck is already there, yeah? IT BLOWS. So I'm trying to avoid that.

Problem is, we are not living there and it is 45 minutes away, so getting out there and having time to do a lot of packing is challenging. Thank God for my parents, who watch the kids so we can get it done. I'll be heading out Friday, I think, to do the kitchen cabinets. Then again over the weekend to do, oh, I don't know...maybe one of the bedrooms. Luckily we've been moving some of our crap out piecemeal as we need it. So it's not going to be a totally hellish move. Just kind of hellish. As moves generally are.

Oh, I am so tired. There is much to do in the next 30 days or so.

And no, we don't have a new house picked out yet. We're going to hang out and save up a few more dollars for a bit, so we can buy more house and make a better downpayment. It's not the ideal situation, staying with my parents (we feel like losers, even though we're not, thank you very much), but we can really sock away some extra dough this way. We're trying to go from a cheap area to a very expensive area by sneaking in - perhaps a foreclosure or something - so our children can have a better life, basically. The schools where both our parents live are #1 in the area, and with a very bright preschooler and a baby who may or may not require services in the future, we really feel we need the best. So we're trying to shoehorn ourselves into a ritzy suburb even though we're not technically on the same financial footing as most of the residents. In a few years it should be so much better...I'll be able to go back to work, probably part-time, and we'll hammer down our debts. But it's going to be tight for the next 5 years or so.

Still, a better life for the kids. That's my focus and my goal. We have to do it for them, they deserve all we can possibly do for them. But wow, it is stressful and exhausting. I've taken to grinding my teeth...during the day. I can't wait for the time when I can start living my life again, rather than scratching and clawing my way through the days. That time will come, right? Please tell me that time will come.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

hey, i thought this was a knitting blog

Wow, when was the last time I had a picture of some knitting on here? Good heavens. It has been awhile.

I've been pretty much knitting soakers for the Etsy shop, and socks. I'm on a major sock kick (ha! funny!) right now for some reason. Perhaps because I only knit TWO PAIR of adult socks in all of 2008. That's just ridiculous for me. I did knit 3.5 pair of child-size socks for Daughter, but that hardly counts. They are teeny.

This is the most recent pair I finished for her. The yarn was purchased last summer when I first discovered Red Heart's Heart & Sole sock yarn (I went on a bit of a buying spree because, hey, only like $2.50 with a coupon, awesome), and the socks were started when AJ was still in the hospital. I couldn't concentrate on anything more complicated at the time, and still they took months.

Heart & Sole sock yarn, I believe this is the "mellow stripe" colorway.
US size 2 Brittany Birch double pointed needles, two of which inexplicably broke during the knitting of these socks (yes I will be returning them as they are guaranteed).
Cast on 48 stitches, 2X2 rib for the leg, work heel flap, etc, etc, kitchener stitch toe. Couldn't be easier.

And for me:

These are some interesting socks. If by interesting you mean fugly. What a hideous colorway! This is "Lily Pad Multi" Knitpicks Essentials sock yarn, but I have named these my "Pond Scum" socks, because that is what they remind me of. Ugh!

The yarn came as part of a sock sampler that Hubs gave me for Christmas 2007. I thought it was about time I used some of that up! (Perhaps the reason for the sock knitting obsession these days...) Anyway, I would never have picked out this yarn on my own. It's gnarly.

The pattern is from Knitting Vintage Socks - which is not in the room with me so I can't recall the exact pattern name. Gentlemen's socks with lozenge pattern? Could that be it?

Here is a closeup:

I love the pattern. Very textured and it lends some interest to an otherwise boring old sock. I decided it's also time to start working my way through some of the umpteen pattern books I own. How many of you do what I do - just collect the darn books and look through them every once in awhile, but never actually use them to make stuff? How lame! Time to start putting these yarns and patterns to use!

I did modify the pattern a bit, as I will have to do for ALL of the socks in this book. I can't make it work with the tiny needles she recommends. I used a US 2 for these socks, and modified them down to 60 stitches, as I am not a gentleman and do not need 80+ stitches for my socks. They came out very nice and I will wear them, but boy are they ugly.

I've got some other projects in the works, and will try to post about them soon. The problem I have is finding the opportunity to take pictures. I'm definitely knitting...can't stop knitting...if the house were on fire I'd be all, "coming! Just let me finish this row!" But it's tough to blog about it for some reason. Just busy these days, I guess.

Things are going pretty well with the kids and stuff, though, so I'm slowly, slowly easing back into some normal life activities. I'm hoping blogging will come along as well.

Friday, March 06, 2009

feed me, seymour

Ok, so, that's interesting! It turns out NONE of us actually knows how to feed a baby! (joking)

Seriously, though, the comments to my last post were very interesting. And I understand all the people who were scratching their heads and trying to recall what they did when feeding their 6 month-old babies, because that's totally me with Daughter. I know I fed her. I know she liked the food - I managed to write that part down. And I have really sketchy info in the baby book about how she was eating at 8.5 and 10 months...but aside from a few photos of her in the high chair, I have no idea how I started her on solids. So, so frustrating.

And I know I will not do my son any harm by giving him minimal solids now - babies get most of their nutrition from breastmilk or formula for the first year anyway.

There are two things at play here, for me. One is that I subconsciously want to get rid of his g-tube as quickly as possible, and of course I refuse to believe that he might have to keep it for more than a couple of years. Possibly unreasonable, yes, but people, after what I have been through it is pretty reasonable for me to be unreasonable sometimes. I guess I am struggling with rushing him into eating regular foods/meals because I need to prove that he will be able to eat. It's a very tricky and emotional road to navigate when you have a child with a feeding tube, let me tell you.

And the other thing is that I am parenting my son under a medical microscope. He is constantly seeing medical professionals from many disciplines, and while my brain realizes this is totally ridiculous, I live with the constant fear that I will be "yelled at" by one of these doctor-types for doing something wrong.....not necessarily harmful, but somehow not in the best interest of my baby. So, for example, I am sorely tempted to dump one bottle (6 oz, or 144 calories) and replace it with two "food" meals (making up the calories with cereal/milk mix and fruits/veg). I have to believe this is the path Daughter went down - she could not have been nursing a total quantity of 30 ounces per day PLUS eating all the food she consumed. I just don't believe it. But the difference is, when you breastfeed, no one has any clue how much the baby is actually getting. You just have to go by their weight and general appearance and assume you're doing ok. With these infernal bottles and stinking g-tube, I have total accountability. There is no fudging or faking it. If he doesn't gain enough, it is totally on me. Talk about a tricky emotional road. Which is filled with potholes. And speedbumps. And is poorly lit, to boot. Ay-yi-yi.

Oh well, I guess I will continue to do the best I can. What else can I do? I just wish I felt more confident about it.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

and again i am asking for your help

Changing tracks a bit here, I have a very important question for those of you who bottle-fed your children.

I am in a very weird place with trying to transition my son to eating solid foods. He loves the baby cereals and tolerates first foods (fruit and veg), and is just in the preliminary stages of trying a sippy cup. Yee haw.

The problem is, he is a little guy, still (just over 14 lbs at 6 months) and he can't take in the number of ounces of milk/formula recommended PLUS eat the amount of baby foods also recommended for his age. I have a chart that the feeding clinic and the pediatrician told me to follow, but it has my son ingesting 4-5 bottles per day at 6-8 ounces each, PLUS several tablespoons of cereal twice per day PLUS several tablespoons of first foods twice per day. Oh my gosh, he just can't hold all that food. I know he can't because he likes to eat, but turns away from the spoon if he is not hungry.

Now, the problem is that he is bottle fed, and not only that, he is also tube fed. He will drink about 1-2 ounces out of a 6 ounce bottle, then I put the rest through his g-tube. This ensures that he gets all the calories he needs for growth - otherwise he would be a 'failure to thrive' baby because he cannot ingest enough to maintain growth.

So if he were just breastfed on demand like Daughter, I would feed him solids at lunch and dinner, and then nurse him whenever else he fussed or was going down for naps/bed. Unfortunately I can't go that way, even subbing bottles for the nursing part, because he simply won't drink enough to sustain himself. So it's not like I can just wing it and not worry about the calories. I have to because he is essentially force-fed. Ugh.

I know he still needs the majority of his nutrition from milk and formula. However, I also want him to start to experience eating and regular meals with us. I just don't know how to get it all into him, though.

Anyway, all that aside, what I would like to know from the bottle-feeders out there is this: how did you go about starting solids with your children? My son wakes at 7 am, and goes to sleep at 8:30 or so at night, and I just can't figure out how to cram all this eating into the 12-ish hours he is awake during the day (aside from naps of course, which further complicate things).

When you bottle-feed, do you always automatically start the day with a bottle? Or did any of you go right to offering cereal and fruit for breakfast? If your child ate solids well at a meal, when did you then give a bottle? How many ounces of milk or formula were your babies drinking at 6 months? I would appreciate as much information as any of you can recall. Leave a comment or drop me an email (momwhoknits AT yahoo DOT com).

We go to feeding clinic again in 2 weeks, and I'm going to ask them to lay it out for me the way they think it should be done, with specific numbers of ounces and tablespoons and times, etc. I know they'll give me crappy, sketchy information like they always do. I just want to do the best I can for my son and I'm having such a hard time with this.

Any help anyone can offer me will be gratefully accepted. I'm really struggling.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009


Holy &*#$^*&@, the house passed inspection, and not only that, these people want to know how much of our furniture and which appliances we are willing to sell them.


I am so used to having shitty luck that I truly do not know how to handle this. I'm simply blown away. This is really happening. We are being released from the worst decision we have made as a couple and given a chance to move forward. God is good. I don't know what else to say.