Friday, August 28, 2009

week's end

Whew! Finally, the end of a busy week.

Yesterday I took AJ back to the hospital for a swallow study - a barium contrast xray of food actually being eaten - so we could find out if there is anything structurally wrong with his mouth, throat, or esophagus. The speech pathologist administering the test mixed barium with a tiny taste of baby food and I had to try to feed it to AJ.

HA! Try getting a baby to eat a smidgen of puree drowned in barium. Go ahead, try it!

Thankfully he was able to get enough down that it was a good study. We could clearly see the little blob of food go from his lips back to the throat and whoomp! down the hatch. Quite fascinating, really. We could see that there is no structural problem (thank God) but there IS a significant delay in transit time for the food going from his lips to his throat. In other words, he holds it in his mouth too long, and has trouble working it backward efficiently.

I choose to take this as excellent news. This means his problem appears to be oral-motor related and NOT structural, which means (I think) that it is possible he will outgrow it as he gets bigger and stronger. I am making that all up - no doctor has analyzed the test - but it makes sense to me.

We are currently at about 2 tablespoons of food per lunch and dinner feeding, which is a vast improvement from zero food, obviously. Do I wish he was inhaling jar after jar, or eating grilled cheese sandwiches like his sister was at this age? Of course. Definitely. But I'll take these little victories.

Today is a completely free day. No appointments, no therapies, no obligations. My parents are picking Daughter up in a couple hours to take her on an adventure for the day. It will be just me and my little boy, and he takes two nice naps, so for awhile, it will be just me! I'm going to enjoy a nice quiet house, hit the craft store for a couple supplies I need, and spend some time cleaning up and doing some projects.

I took some photos of my central park hoodie being blocked, but they came out all glare-y and yellow, so I need to edit them before posting. That's coming soon, as well as an adorable cabled sweater I'm just finishing up for AJ. I really should put down the needles and endeavor to get more rest, but it's all the therapy I've got...

Oh, and did I mention he's walking around the playpen?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

i'm being eaten by a boa constrictor

Ok, so not a boa constrictor, exactly...but I am pretty sure the month of September is going to swallow me whole. We have a minimum of two medical appointments each week of the month, with 4 - count 'em, 4 - appointments this week, just to finish out August. Wheeeeeee! My car knows the way to the hospital all by itself at this point.

It's not my fault, really. The surgical follow-up appointments have to be made, so if there are any problems they can be addressed (we don't think there are any problems, though).

Both kids have to be seen by our new pediatrician as well patients before they can be seen as sick patients, and with fall/flu season approaching, I thought it best to get that out of the way now. Otherwise I have to drive 45 minutes to get them to the old pediatrician if they get sick - no thanks.

AJ has to have a hearing test at 1 year of age, which is NEXT WEEK OMG WHAT HAPPENED MY BABY IS ONE!!!

AJ also has to have a swallow study (a barium contrast xray) so we can hopefully find out why on earth he can't drink liquids without choking, and why he won't eat more than a few mouthfuls of food.

We ALL have to go to the dentist (Daughter for the 1st time ever, Hubs and I because we blew it off for the past year due to general craziness of life), which was yesterday and today.

Aaaaaand, I have a cavity. See above point re: blowing off regular dental visits for a year. Dammit. So there's another appointment.

Pretty sure there are a couple more in endocrinologist visit for me (thyroid), a life insurance exam for Hubs, etc, etc. The good news is we are dropping one day of therapy for AJ because he is doing so well with gross motor. The bad news is we'll hardly feel that schedule change till October, when we will be able to pause and breathe again.

The other bad news is that we are detecting a barely perceptible weakness on AJ's right side - he favors his left hand and foot, has a much worse time with his right ear (though tubes were reinserted on Friday and he is happy and singing again), and now we've been told he has slight strabismus of the right eye (aka lazy eye). Again, these are barely noticeable to outside observers, but unfortunately the problem is definitely there and that means...more appointments. Now we've been referred to a pediatric opthamologist. I'm waiting on that, though, till his 1-year physical in a few weeks. I want to see what our new pediatrician says before I go making more appointments. The problem may not be bad enough to require patching of the other eye. Let's pray that it isn't, hmmmm? I can't imagine trying to get him to keep a patch on his face.


Busy. But overall things are mostly good. A few bumps in our road, but we are getting used to that and can roll with it much more easily these days.

I have a big bag of knitting wips that are screaming for my attention, and a pile of semi-completed sewing that is equally loud. I want to sit down and finish some stuff, and then blog that stuff because that's fun, but we'll have to see how the next few weeks go. We also want to get to the playground as much as we can (Daughter really gets the short end of the stick during these busy stretches), and enjoy yummy summer farmstand foods, go out for ice cream, and soak in the end of summer.

Right now it's one day - no, make that one hour - at a time. Lots of lists, lots of careful planning. Time for lunch. Let's get through that and then see what happens!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

rug braiding?

Anyone ever tried making braided rugs? There's a kit you can buy - I've only ever seen it offered from Herrschner's - that represents a fairly small investment (probably around $20 after shipping and whatnot). I have so much fabric in relatively small amounts, and I'm so tired of looking at it!

I'm wondering if making braided throw rugs might be a good way to use up some of the old fabrics I've had in stash for years and years. I keep thinking I will make it into quilts, but realistically, after 10 years of hanging on to some of it, I truly don't even want it anymore. I'm bored with my stash, and besides, I don't want all my quilts to look the same. I'd rather go to the fabric store when I have a project in mind and carefully select fabrics. But I definitely don't want to waste what I already have.

So I'm thinking braided rugs. It appeals to my Ma Ingalls sensibilities. Use what you have for what you need, right? Or am I nuts? Anyone tried it? Is it awesome? Does it suck?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

warm, continued

Sure, it's in the high 80s and I just park it in front of the AC and knit on. Winter is coming...

More socks for Daughter.

This is Joann "Sensations" sock yarn; a new style called "Bamboo and Ewe." Knitting it up was simply delightful. It is very, very soft, which may be a lousy feature of sock yarn. It gets lots of wear and rubbing inside of shoes, and I fear it may pill. Time will tell. I bought this colorway (don't know the name and I chucked the label, oops), and solid red, because I have not been able to find a solid, basic red sock yarn anywhere. I think it is priced at $5.99, so with a coupon it's not a bad deal at all.

I started these with 52 stitches on size 2 needles, but after turning the heel, I decreased down to 48 stitches for Daughter's narrow feet. The last pair I made was a bit baggy in the foot.

I started another pair of socks for her immediately, but my hands are tired of tiny needles at the moment. I also cast on for a sweater for AJ, using odds and ends of Paton's Classic Merino. I'm thinking stripes. We'll see what happens...I have so many ideas for sweaters and accessories I want to knit up for both of my children. I am running out of time for some as these kids grow like weeds! I have already missed out on several patterns for Daughter because I simply waited too long and she is too big.

Must. Knit. Faster!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


At our old house we had three giant, mature sugar maples in our yard. They dropped approximately one billion leaves on our grass each autumn. Pretty though they were, I was happy to leave them behind.

Then we bought a house with a giant, mature sugar maple in the backyard.

It's majestic.

We play, eat peanut butter sandwiches, and knit in its shade on 88 degree days.

We sometimes rip the bark off of it. (Hey, Daughter, cut it out!)

And pretty soon it will drop one billion of these all over the grass.

So it goes.

Monday, August 17, 2009

feelin' hot-hot-hot

Ooooh, it is muy caliente here these days...we have finally gotten to the hot part of Buffalo summer. It's a bit later than normal but Mother Nature is making up for her tardiness.

To beat the heat we are not so much turning on the oven or stove. Grilling our protein of the day, and making cold sides to go with.

To that end:

Get out a pretty plate.

Pick a fresh tomato from the vine.

Snip some fresh basil off one of the plants growing outside the back door.

Pick up a ball of fresh mozzarella.

Slice it up. Arrange it all pretty-pretty.

Drizzle some good olive oil on top, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.


Die happy.

Still life with dinner and pretty girl.

Friday, August 14, 2009


August is thoughts are turning to chilly fall days and cold winter nights. They will be here before long. I am hoping to create some warm things from stash for both kids, but I am a complete sucker for pretty new sock yarns.

Socks for Daughter - her little feet are not so little anymore! Daughter and I went out together the other night and browsed A.C. Moore just for fun. She chose this Red Heart sock yarn for herself. It is Heart & Sole, I believe the "berry bliss" colorway. This is fast becoming a favorite sock yarn in our house! I am a bit embarrassed to admit I have purchased probably half the colorways at this point. But with one ball costing so little with a coupon, it is not a bad way to make my children warm woolly socks. They wash and wear awesomely well. I will continue to buy and use this yarn with my coupons till I exhaust all the color choices!

52 stitches on size 2 needles
knit 50 rows 2x2 rib, knit heel flap, turn heel, knit foot to 6.25" total

Easy peasy. Another pair might have found its way onto the needles the minute the ends were sewn into this pair. I'm trying yet another new sock yarn...what? Can't let those craft store coupons go to waste.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

anyone remember this one?

Ahhh, this old chestnut! It's baaaaack...

I love this's so purdy. And it's so OLD. I pieced this dumb thing before Daughter was even conceived, which was 2004, so we're talking 5 years now. I pinned it, got ready to quilt it, then got hit with morning sickness the likes of which I did not know existed. Then I picked it up and put it down a bunch of times, went through several ideas on exactly how I wanted to quilt it, and finally, after packing it around dishes in it's unfinished state for our move, I decided IT WAS TIME.

Really, moving to a new home is an excellent way to goose yourself into finishing stuff. I hauled more ufos to this house than I should have.

So anyway, the quilt! It is quilted! I sucked it up, got out the blue painters tape, and quilted this in a diagonal grid pattern, using every other intersecting seam as my guide. Which makes no sense to you, reading this, but it basically means I made about a 2.5 to 3" grid pattern with the quilting. I wish I knew how to stipple, or could afford to have my quilts professionally quilted, because stippling would have been really nice here. But a grid does the job.

Now it just needs to be bound, washed, and dried, and this pretty, pretty log cabin will go into use. Daughter has asked that it go on her bed. Be still, my heart! Of course, my love, of course.

(More, better quality pictures once it is totally finished...)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Happy birthday, sweet baby. I miss you every day.

(Baby's quilt now hangs over my cedar chest at the end of our bed.)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

sick day

I am sitting here, watching Dr. Phil (laaaaaaaaame!) and working my way through a box of kleenex, listening to my babes cough and toss restlessly as they try to nap.

We are sick. Boo. :(

(Quilt made in 2003 or 2004 using Nancy Halvorsen's "Charms" line...matching pillow in foreground, two coordinating pillowcases and two coordinating valences exist as well.)