Monday, December 17, 2007

Remember Kouros?

The other day my niece Emily greeted me at her dance class with, "I had a dream about Kouros last night!"
"You did?" I replied.

"Uh huh, and he stapled all my stuffed kitties to the sofa. And a bottle of shampoo."

This is why I don't bring him over to their house. Bad cat.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

On taking time for myself

I went to a knitting group on Wednesday night!



I had knit all of 2 rounds on Enid since my girl Blue arrived, but I jumped back in the saddle again.




I had a BLAST!




See, it's hard to get time to do things for yourself when you have an infant. I'm not one of those women who will only spend money on her children. I'll always need a few treats and toys. And I'm not a martyr, either. I know I need to do certain things for myself or else I'll be unpleasant. But time is short when babies are small. I love my girl with all my heart, and I love doing things with her and for her. Time can fly so fast in this stage that days can pass without my leaving the house. I've realized that even while I'm not feeling any neglect, I still need some time for myself.






I have to make an effort to notice when it's time for me, because I'm so busy with my girl and I enjoy her so much. But I did give it a try this week. It was so much fun! I'm going to have to do it more often! A happy Mom makes for a happy baby... and a happy Daddy.

Little Blue Eyes turns 3 months old tomorrow!

Monday, October 22, 2007

A month and 6 weeks

Hi! Remember me? I've had a bit of a hiatus. Actually, I was going to take a week or so off to move, and then catch up again, but I blinked and suddenly I've been back in Minnesota for 3 weeks. What's even more crazy is that our little Blue is already 6 weeks old! And for continuing to come here even though I've given you zilch for a month, you get a cute baby picture...



She looks very solemn here, but in her everyday life, she's been smiling and cooing and generally adorable. She's met all of her cousins, all of her Aunts and Uncles except for the Sleepy-Voiced Sister (who's having a baby in April!!!) and her husband, all of her Grandparents and 4 of her 6 Great-Grandparents.
She's growing like a weed, and I'm just trying to enjoy it all. She's already outgrown her newborn clothes- you know, the clothes she's been wearing since she was born? The only clothes I've known her in? Yeah, it was oddly sad when I realized she wouldn't be wearing those things anymore. I'm not one to try to hold kids back, but I got a little lump in my throat when I realized how much she'd grown and changed. But mostly, I'm fiercely proud of how she's thriving.

As for other endeavors in my life, there haven't been any. I've mostly tried to get us settled in our temporary home and been on call to feed the girl. I haven't knitted a stitch (you were right, Jenny), painted or sketched. I have been taking pictures, though, as most new parents do, so it's giving me a creative outlet for the time being. Maybe I can get a job in photography...
I'm really trying to get online and update more often, but our computer in the basement isn't hooked up to the internet, and there are a number of people wanting to use the family computer around here. I'll do my best, though, because I miss all my imaginary friends!
Speaking of imaginary friends, I just picked up Crazy Aunt Purl's book! SO EXCITED! I haven't read any blogs since Blue was born, and this is like a little taste of my former life.
Must go- Blue needs to eat. It's been wonderful staying with SVH's family, because there are so many people who want to hold the baby. But I'm still the only one who can feed her...

Monday, September 24, 2007

This Mommy Gig

Man, is it tough! I'm exhausted! But then, it's worth it for this little face...


My girl Blue is a beautiful child, if I do say so myself. She's also gassy. We're working hard to get her to latch properly so she doesn't click and draw in extra air while she nurses. Fortunately, in the 2 short weeks of her life, her digestive system has begun to catch up and learn to process the gas better. Now she grunts and windmills those arms and makes MANY very un-ladylike sounds to get rid of it, but at least she doesn't scream all night because of it. She also smiles a lot to herself in her sleep because of it, and I know it's not a smile with all the meaning behind your typical smile, but it's still the prettiest thing I've ever seen.

Since we're totally sleep deprived and still trying to figure the girl out, of course we're moving to MN on Saturday. Yes. We are insane. The packing has been going ok- mostly because we did a lot while I was still pregnant. My friend Nicole came over yesterday and was the little Packing Nazi that I knew she'd be. She got a lot of my kitchen loaded up. Carl did tons of packing, too. I did one box while Miss Blue had a brief nap.

We also had our going away party yesterday. Just a note for any of you thinking of doing this- try not to move from someplace you've lived for 8 years where you've made fantastic friends while you're post-partum. It'll cut down on the tears. This week of saying goodbye is not easy, but the party helped us feel like we were getting on with it. I'll be glad when we're all safely loaded into my in-laws' basement. Then it'll all be done and we can take a moment to recover before job hunting and house/apartment hunting in the Twin Cities. Yay!

So, I may not be around much in the next week or so. I'm sure you understand. I'm making all my big life changes at once. Thank you all for your lovely notes about our girl. We're crazy about her- even at 4 am.

Oh, indulge me! Just one more!

Friday, September 14, 2007

At long last...

Here she is!














This is the first picture of my girl Blue, only minutes old. Of course that isn't her real name, but we're not going to put that out over the whole internets... you understand.
Here are the vitals:
Date of birth: Sunday, September 9, 2007 at 2:32 am
Weight: 7 lbs 15 oz
Length: 21 inches

And she's absolutely perfect. We're crazy in love.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

I'm home. No baby, despite 9 hours of pitocin and contractions. We'll try again this weekend.

At this point, it's becoming really funny. Almost.

Actually, we're fine, just a little frustrated. It obviously wasn't time. The baby is still very active and healthy, and that's the most important thing. Keep your fingers crossed for Saturday!

Maybe I'll post more fake labor pictures.

P.S. No knitting coasters with an IV in my wrist. Bummer.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

With a little help from pitocin...

Hi, going to be induced tomorrow morning. I have done just about everything I can to try to get this baby to come naturally, but it's not working, so I took today off to hydrate and rest up for the athletics tomorrow.

I'm on my 3rd coaster, by the way. If I get around to it, I'll post pictures of the different fabric produced by the two sizes of needles. Ta ta!

This was me in pretend labor last Friday... is it just me or does it look like I'm picking a serious wedgie?

Saturday, September 01, 2007

The "When Will I Go Into Labor?" Coaster #1


Pattern: It's So Mod from Knitty Gritty
Yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in Putty
Needle: Knit Picks Options Circular US 8

Super simple! I'm going to try the next on a US 7 to see if I prefer a denser fabric. I wonder how many I'll have before I have the baby...

Another near miss

Yesterday after my appointment with the doctor, she sent me to labor and delivery because I was having contractions (although not painful ones), I was about halfway effaced, dilating, and the child was definitely in position. I was monitored, I walked for an hour, they checked me and sent me home.

So disappointing.

It's going to happen soon, and they all expect me to go on my own this weekend. But man, to be in the room (where, incidentally, I left my toothbrush... I know, there for all of two hours and I managed to leave my toothbrush... my teeth just felt gross) and thinking this might be it and then to realize it isn't kind of sucks. I got to eat, though, so that's always good. And I slept like a log last night, so that's good, too.

Today? Mission: Labor.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Just like my library books...

I'm overdue. But here's a fun due date picture anyway... big old low-slung belly and all.
Hopefully the next picture I post I'll be HOLDING the baby...

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Thwarted

So my first try to get labor going- take all the trash out to the dumpsters at work. It was all on a cart, so I wasn't making multiple trips or anything. Of course, two lovely helpful people came out of the greenhouse (glass houses means they can see you, damn it) to lift it all into the dumpster for me. I explained that I'm due today and I really WANT to go into labor, but there was no stopping them and their generous, helpful spirits.
Oh, bless their meddling little hearts.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Kouros Meets Chicken

Chicken is one of our landlord's cats. She's been living at their other place for the past couple of years, so Kouros has been the only cat at this residence. Now, Stan is back with 3 cats and Kouros had an encounter with Chicken at the screen door. I think it was the first time he's been close to another cat since we got him 2 1/2 years ago. He got himself all revved up to a yowl and then hissed! We've never heard him hiss before.

The funny thing is, Chicken is 20 years old. She's the Grand Dame of cats, moving slowly and not being phased by much. Kouros stopped hissing and yowling... he still had to prove himself with a couple of loud meows, at which she didn't even blink. After a while she left the screen door and settled herself down in the corner on the porch, and Kouros stood guard.


He's such an intimidating guard cat

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

No baby yet

Hello Loves.

My due date is quickly approaching (Thursday, to be exact) and I am still great with child. I was hoping perhaps the contractions I had last night might be the beginning of REAL labor, but alas, they were not. They were just a tease... but they did get me to put the last couple things in the suitcase for the hospital! I think we're ready to go.

I've been tired and rather warm. I find myself often sucked into my Ravelry page, adding in all my completed knitting projects. To find them all, I was going back through my entries here, and I found myself missing the art I used to do before I was so tired and pregnant and trying to get ready for the baby/ find a job/move to MN/pack up my apartment. I miss painting so badly I can barely stand it! I have wanted to see colors blend the way they do on a palette and a canvas since March and I've just not had that divine pleasure. I can almost taste it. That is one thing I so look forward to doing again. I know I won't have the time or the energy for a while, but to know that if I got the chance, I could without worrying that I was going to poison my little one. OH, such bliss.

If I have the energy, I'll be trying to pull my creative life back together again once we've moved. I'm really hoping that whatever job I end up doing will be moving me more toward a creative career. I mean, if it means keeping a roof over our heads and food in our tummies, I can work in science again, but I'm trying to take this new start as a chance to make a bigger change in direction. I'll keep you posted on that one. Maybe I'll be able to have an art project on the blog similar to the one I did last year in September... only it'll be limited by the length of a nap. Sometimes it's good to abandon your perfectionism and churn out the work. It won't happen until after we move (October 1, baby!), but I'm hoping it'll be on the horizon soon after.

Ah, the workday has ended, and I can go home. I want this child really get in touch with gravity. Think downward thoughts for me, won't you?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Another member for the Tippers*

I was planning on posting again yesterday because I eventually got over my cookie fix freak-out. I felt like MAYBE I'd made SVH out to be the bad guy... although he doesn't deny he DID take the cookies. He also said that they were absolutely half-gone, no matter what I say.

However, as we were finishing up at work, Carl (SVH) suddenly shouted that he'd cut his thumb badly with a pair of pruners. It still makes me a little bit sick to remember the feeling of hearing that. My stomach dropped. I threw him a huge wad of paper towels, and said, "Hospital?" He said, "Yes. Go." I ran and grabbed my keys and we left everything as it was and took off for the ER. He's very calm and collected, and despite the fact that I felt that icky sicky feeling in my gut, it definitely kept me calm, too. Calm enough to kind of chuckle in the car that it's probably unusual that a woman as pregnant as me running into the hospital ISN'T the one in need of care.

It turns out he didn't hit any bone, but he did cut off a pretty big chunk- the diameter of the tip of my thumb for certain. It hurt and it throbs now, and he got a tetanus booster along with getting patched up with some surgical foam, but he's fine, I'm fine, we're fine, everyone's fine here. How are you?

The ER can be a disturbing place. A little toddler came in, cradled by her mother with lots of blood on her face, which was so upsetting, but then they came out after getting her cleaned up and it turned out she had just tripped and bonked her head in just the right way... it would only need a couple of stitches, and she was fine. Still, scary. I can't believe I was pre-med once upon a time. I've gotten soft since my college days of shadowing doctors.

Such a day. We had been at the hospital earlier in the day for my weekly appointment, and I'm pleased to report the head is down, and the weight of the baby's head is starting to work it's magic on my birthin' machinery. It's good to know that this child will eventually be born. Last time I was in, I was told everything was closed for business. So we're getting very comfortable with the hospital grounds. I'm sure we'll be quite ready when the baby comes.

*"The Tippers" is what my father-in-law and sister-in-law (not the Sleepy-Voiced Sister who visited us at Thanksgiving) call themselves because of their penchant for cutting themselves much as Carl did yesterday. It's a common event over the holidays, when my father-in-law spends a lot of time in the wood shop. The first time it happened when I was there, I was a little surprised that the Monopoly game continued, with louder music and more drinks once he was on his way to the hospital, but now I know that they all have the drill down so well that there's nothing left to do but reminisce about all the other times it's happened. Anyway, I think SVH is a member of the club now.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Cookies

I've been pretty good throughout this pregnancy. But today, I just felt tired and crabby and I really wanted dessert after lunch. Like a lot. So my wonderful Sleepy-Voiced Husband took me to the grocery store, where I purchased some Keebler Fudge Shoppe cookies (the wafer kind) and a Twix bar.

Good for me? No. But, you know, good for me? Oh, my, yes.

I ate the Twix bar in about 2 minutes flat. SVH had started on the cookies and left them on my desk. Bad idea, homeslice. I started eating them. I didn't finish the cookies. I didn't even come close. They weren't even half gone yet (he might say they were, but he exaggerates these things- OH YES YOU DO! YOU KNOW IT!). But when SVH came over to get more cookies, I believe his comment was something along the lines of, "Holy Shit!"

And then...

He picked up the box of cookies and took them to HIS desk (we were in our office... the one we share with 6 other people)! And he said, "I'm going to save you from yourself." To which my internal response was, "Who is going to save YOU from me, though?" Really. I said I was carb-loading for labor. He said it was all sugar. I told him to shut up. I told him I was going to go back to work (we're working in different areas today, which is probably a good thing) before I punched him.

I don't think I've ever had such a snarling stray cat protecting my food kind of response before. It was bizarre. He's been fantastic throughout all this pregnancy... well, so have I, since I understood his humor about the whole thing... but, man, a line was crossed. He took cookies away from me.

He told me I could have more at break (3pm Eastern Standard Time), but still. It was so wrong. He knows that right now my greatest fantasy involves me, the bulk candy section of the grocery store, and a movie while lying in bed without anyone else around so I can pig out on the sweets that I have been CRAVING so madly and NO ONE CAN TAKE MY COOKIES! DAMN IT! I have a big baby in my belly and I'm hungry and I move awkwardly and I've been pregnant for like 3 years and if I want to eat myself silly just once, because it wouldn't take long because there's no room in there anyway but at least I'd have the satisfaction of having done it, then it's my prerogative! Sometimes you need to sample one of every candy bar in the cashier's line or eat an entire box of cookies or enough salt water taffy to declare yourself another sea.

Dude, I need to stop thinking about the cookies.

Monday, August 13, 2007

*hiccup*

This poor baby gets the hiccups every time I eat now. I'm watching my belly jump slightly every couple of seconds. It's always just after I've eaten. The first couple of times I noticed it, it was after I'd had either a sugary soda, or worse yet, a sugary caffeinated soda. But I just ate a greek salad and drank water, and these are definitely hiccups. I used to get them a lot when I was little, but it was usually after I had an uncontrollable laughing fit. Like mother, like child, I guess.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Ravelry revelry

Everybody's talked about it, everybody's heard about it, blah blah blah... but I really enjoy Ravelry! I got on it last week, and while I've been utter crap at getting my finished objects and yarn and other things up there for viewing, I'm enjoying the browsing! People make wonderful things! And it's all in one place! Definitely lots of fun. It hasn't gone totally public yet, but it will once they get onto the new servers.

Just in case you haven't heard about it, it's a knit and crochet community. It's also an organizational site for all your fibery stuff. There is a chart to inventory your needles, a place to keep track of all your yarn, a place to post pictures of all your finished objects and a place to queue up the projects you have yet to start. You can also look at everyone else's projects and yarns, and find out about all the substitutions and changes others have made to whatever project you're considering. Sometimes I think I could use a site like that for my life. But then I'd probably spend so much time getting everything entered into it, my life would probably stop, and then it would be useless.

I'm actually spending very little time on Ravelry, but I like that I can look up a pattern I'm considering and see all sorts of finished versions. I also like that I can enter a yarn and see what others have made using that same yarn. Excellent tool, all the way around.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Home Stretch

We're closing in... 36 weeks!


The belly has begun to drop and the maternity clothes aren't as roomy anymore. I've been very very lucky throughout this pregnancy, but I have to say, I'm looking forward to not being pregnant anymore. I dreamed the other night that I was not pregnant, and man, I moved SO easily. It was kind of disappointing to wake up and try to spring out of bed, only to feel more like a manatee out of water.

Gotta run! The parents and a couple of siblings are going to be here tonight, and I have maybe 17 pounds of cat hair to sweep up. Kiss kiss!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

The lessons learned in college

It's going to be near 100F here today with ridiculous humidity... and I work in greenhouses. Not exclusively in greenhouses... there is also the head house, which is a giant cinder block cavern (brick oven) with a garage door to be opened and several exhaust fans to keep it marginally cooler. It gets you out of the sun, but it's still warm. We're getting all of our greenhouse work done ASAP to stay the heck out of there for the afternoon. And I've always got my heavenly, air-conditioned cubicle in which to take refuge.

I didn't wake up to go to the bathroom in the night until 5am. At least I don't think I did. I'm not always that lucid when I get up and sometimes I get in there and fall asleep again. Carl has mentioned a few 15 minute 2am bathroom trips before. Sometimes I might be eating ice cream in the kitchen during that time, but usually it's that I've fallen asleep in the john. I'm not proud.

Anyhoo, I think that means I'm not quite hydrated enough. It's been hot, and I've been drinking water, but pregnant women are always at a deficit anyway, and it's really easy to become dehydrated. I'm trying to drink a lot of water, but there isn't a whole lot of extra room in there these days. I eat a big meal and the child tries to crawl around to the back in search of more space. Seriously- I see kicks coming out my right side.

My plan right now is to take those dangerous, legendary drinking games and play them with water. I'm trying to do the power hour* or century club* or whatever variation you know and play it with water. Not measured shots- sips/drinks/glugs/whatever. Apparently my youngest sister has proven herself several times during the power hour, but I myself was never one to hold the booze all that well. Maybe I'll do better with water.

Wow. Life has really changed, hasn't it? This might officially make me a grown up.

* You take a shot of beer every minute for either an hour in the case of the power hour or 100 minutes in the case of the century club. Either way, you're drinking an incredible quantity of beer in a very short time (i.e. 10 beers in less than 2 hours in the case of the century club). I recommend not playing them in their original form.

Friday, July 27, 2007

A friend from work who was due a month before me had her baby this morning!

Soon, soon....

Have a delightful Friday!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Let's do the time warp again...

Sorry about the time lapse... I found that post I put up yesterday nearly completed but had never published it. The past 2 weeks have been something of a blur.
Here's the overview:
  • Started birth classes on the 7th. Only have one more next week, but I'll probably sign on for the breastfeeding classes after that.
  • Decided that the final week before La Cage production that my counterpart could be the one in charge and I would not spend much time at the theatre.
  • One painter was hauled off in the ambulance with heat exhaustion.
  • One painter never showed up to paint.
  • Used about a day and a half of leave (that I was really planning for maternity leave) to go work on the set, since we were short-handed.
  • Thought the whole show would be a disaster.
  • Was pleasantly surprised on opening night when everything went well and everything looked good. All in all, I feel good about the show and what I did on it. Pictures another time.
  • Carl got sick on the 10th and was out of work until the 17th. So far, no virus for Mama.
  • Began packing up books and art supplies and other things that we won't be using until after we move.
  • Made room in my dresser for several baby drawers- it's going to be a temporary changing table until after we move.
  • Finished a swatch for a lace scarf that I wanted to use for the delicious Schaefer Helene I got, and decided I don't think I like it. Pictures another time.
  • Went to the dentist- realized I really cannot lie flat any longer. As I lay there, I felt the baby's weight begin to move onto my diaphragm. Not easy to breathe that way.
  • Got another delicious maternity massage on Saturday. If I'm ever asked for a single piece of advice to give another pregnant woman, it will be to get a couple of massages in the final months. Eternal bliss.
That's about all I can think of at the moment. There was a lot of stress there with that last week of production, but all's well that ends well. Now, I'm getting ready for the baby and getting ready to get the hell out of this tiny apartment and this town! I'm so excited to finally get to meet this child. Just over 5 weeks 'til the due date!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Baby Shower

Three of my loveliest friends had a baby shower for us on the 6th of July. They decorated with balloons and flowers and the colors were blue and pink (as well as the standard yellow and green), since we were so uncooperative as to not find out the sex of our baby. We had a wonderful turnout and the weather was cool and breezy. Sometimes you think about all the terrible things in the world and it's scary to think of having babies... but then people show such generosity and kindness and you realize having babies is a wonderful idea.
Here's the most adorable Daddy-to-be. I love that sweet expression on his face. He's going to be an amazing father.
And heeeeeeeere's Mama! Pay no attention to that bruise on my arm- the 17 pound bottle of Herbal Essences conditioner and gravity won in a contest held (against me) in the bathtub a week or so ago. One of the great things about working in agriculture is all the fresh produce people brought from the fields to the shower! We had lovely fresh strawberries and the most exquisite yellow cherries I've ever tasted. I've forgotten the variety. People brought delicious food and Molly made a cake that was to die for, full of honey and buttercream and decorated with marzipan bees.

We were overwhelmed with the sweet and generous gifts. There were several hand-knitted gifts, lots of soft little onesies in various sizes, blankets and diapers, bibs and burpcloths, Dr. Seuss books and toys, and possibly my favorite- a Teddy fish. It's a stuffed spawning salmon, all plush and cuddly. My child will be the weird one in the black Rebel Without a Cause onesie snuggling its stuffed fish. We also got plenty of money to buy some of the bigger things, like the essential carseat and stroller and all the other stuff a baby needs.

It was all so nice that I've almost forgiven Nicole for using the codename "Jabba the Mom" to refer to me in the planning stages.

By the way, here's a sneak peak at the art piece I'm working on for the La Cage set. I figure two gay men who own a drag club would have such a piece, don't you? More pictures as time goes on!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Hey- quick note- still here, still busy, still very round. I'll be catching up in the next day or so, I hope! 'Til then, have a happy 4th of July to my friends in the U.S. and have a great day to everyone else.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Crazy Busy at 30 Weeks

Happy Birthday to my Gabby girl! She's 8 years old today. She was born 5 days before my wedding, and now she's a great big kid who reads books and plays soccer and has an amazing sense of comedic timing. I can hardly believe she's grown so much. I have a cousin who is 8 years older than me, and she was my rockstar growing up. I thought she was the coolest, and I wanted to be just like her. I'm sure my child will look up to my Godchild in the same way.

I am currently working like crazy on a poster for my boss to take to a meeting in early July, putting together our baby registry (how many freakin' kinds of carseat are there, anyway?!), and getting sketches done and buying paint for my crew on the musical this summer. We're going for an impressionist look, which is difficult to translate to a full size (25'x40') stage drop. Our individual brush strokes are going to be done with 9" rollers. I've done more preliminary sketches for this show than I have for any show in the past, and I now have 2 approved. TWO! That's it! It's been a challenge this year. Here's the first sketch I got approved-
It's the backstage area of the nightclub. Yes, I do appreciate the irony of painting a full stage backdrop of a backstage to hang in front of a backstage. The real backstage is painted flat black, though, precisely so it won't be visible. The painters are under strict orders not to allow the brick wall to slide downward on the stage right side. I'm blaming it on the belly getting in the way of my arm.

I'm doing none of the drop painting this year. It's good because I shouldn't be around that much paint for that much time anyway. It's also tough because I can't help get all these drops done to be hung in 10 days. I always hate not being able to pull my weight, even though I'm doing exactly what I signed up for- designing but no painting.

Speaking of my weight, we're officially retiring the belly picture outfit...... in favor of real maternity shirts. Much better. More when some of the crazy dies down!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Surprise Ultrasound

Here I thought we were done, and then we found out on Tuesday that we were going to get to see the baby again!
Still a little Thumbsucker!

And we got to see some cute 3D pictures. In real time, we got to watch the baby move... it moves just like a baby. I know that's to be expected, but it's still inside and little and stuff! So cute- we watched the tongue moving, and the mouth opening and closing, and lots of kicking and fidgeting.

I'm pretty sure the child has my nose.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Catching up with what I've been doing

I finished the baby socks quite a while ago, but I kept blogging from work (over break, of course, Big Brother) and the pictures were on my computer at home. So here they are, in all their purpleness. They haven't been washed and blocked yet... or wait, has the right one (the first one) been washed? I can't remember now, but hopefully the slightly tighter leg in the second one (on the left) will loosen up. Please?

Franklin blogged recently about the guilty-feeling mother with whom he discussed knitting on the train one morning. She felt bad because she doesn't knit and her kids are clothed in all store-bought clothing. I have done the opposite. The only baby garments I have right now are those I've made. These socks are joined by the two sweaters I've knit: this one from last summer; and my citrus stripe sweater to which I haven't attached the sleeves yet because it keeps looking terrible. I think I might need to rip back a bit on the sleeves because they're too large at the top for the armholes or something. I'm getting a really thick join and I don't like the way it looks at all.

Anyway, the two sweaters and the wool socks aren't going to cut it for a baby born in late August or early September. I need to get my act together and get ready for this child! We've been trying to move, and we still are, but the job search is painfully slow. We've decided we're going to give ourselves until July 1. If we don't know that we're moving by then, then we're probably not moving until after the baby is born. We'll continue the job hunting, but we'll move into a different mode. We'll then be available by October 1, and we'll make plans to move then no matter what. We'll keep socking away savings, and we'll job hunt THERE. It's kind of hard to get many serious options when you're applying from across the country. We'll also then focus on getting our too-small apartment ready for the new arrival, which will combine well with packing, since we're going to need to make some freaking space!

I'm feeling better knowing that we have a plan (or a plan for a plan). I really want to start feathering my nest, registering for adorable little onesies and buying diapers and wipes and stuff. We haven't wanted to start all of that and then haul it all across the country a month later, but we're getting close now, and it's time to get ready.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The one where I brag about my husband

Today, I officially start my third trimester. And the high for Friday is supposed to be near 90F. I am so pumped.

Every week we have lunch with my favorite person, Nicole. She's been my classmate (only she's about to finsh her PhD- sucker!!), study partner, angry kickboxing pal, shoulder-to-cry-on and great friend for the past 6 years. It's going to be sad when we all jump ship and move on to the next thing, but we love them (her husband is the one who wanted to try on my Mom's Jaywalker... just the one...) and we'll keep in touch with them, I know. The thing is, she's busy, and sometimes stuff in the lab is unpredictable, and also maybe she can be a little forgetful, so we email every week to check that she's available for lunch.

Today, my internets hated me and my computer froze up so I had Carl email Nicole. This was his message:

Wednesday comes from the Germanic Woden's day. Woden is the same as the Norse god Odin. Also, I was wondering if you will be joining us for lunch today.

Is there any wonder why I love him? Just imagine that being read out loud, in a sleepy voice, kind of like Joel from MST3k. He makes me laugh like no one else. That, and I'm easily amused right now because I don't get enough blood to my brain anymore. Love y'all!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Banana Sammiches!!!

Just over something or other viral that felt an awful lot like strep throat. Also, just started production on the summer musical and I've been busily pimping myself with new and improved resumes and applications online. I've been busy, and I just haven't been so chatty.

That is, until now.

I just read Evil Science Chick's latest on banana sammiches. I hope that link works, but I can't check because The Man thinks that's an adult site and therefore not able to be viewed on my computer (hence the reason I never get to comment- sorry ESC! I read every post and laugh!). Damn Watchdog Software. I can still get all her posts via bloglines, so I'm not sure what it protects me or my coworkers from, but I digress. She was discussing the proper condiments on a banana sandwich. Her husband puts mayo on his. I THOUGHT MY FAMILY WAS THE ONLY ONE! I love love LOVE banana and mayonaise sandwiches! And then I remembered- she's in Georgia (and I think her hubby is from the south?). My mother is from Georgia, and that is who introduced me to the lovely, almost sweet and sour flavor of the banana-mayo sammich (I've got to stop saying sammich- last week I actually ordered a portobello "sammich" in a restaurant). Personally, I think it has to be REAL mayo, not light and definitely not miracle whip.

I haven't had one in years. Probably because my Sleepy-Voiced Husband thinks that mayonaise, specifically commercial mayo, is the most repulsive disgusting thing in the world. I may have mentioned that I like to eat banana-mayo sandwiches in the past, but I think if he actually SAW me eat one it might cause a serious rift in our relationship. I bought bananas for the week he was gone, but I ended up eating them in my cereal. Too many bananas in one day can plug you up, and since that's already one of the common side effects of being pg, I didn't go for more than one in a day.

Still, I've been thinking about them a lot lately. Toasted bread, mayo, lovely firm banana... perhaps I'll have to eat one stealthily so I don't totally gross out the SVH. By the way, thanks ESC, for the banana slicing tip. My mom always sliced them into rounds and slippage was a problem. Cutting the banana length-wise makes much more sense. SVH would probably have helped me come up with that same idea (he's of German descent, you know), if I only could admit my deep dark craving...

Thursday, May 24, 2007

It ain't over 'til the fat lady putts

Oh my brothers and sisters, I played golf yesterday after work. We walked. We only made it through about 6 holes because we're terribly slow (I play with a few beginners) and because, with all my extra blood, the mosquitoes thought I was a tasty burger.

I've played golf since I was a little kid; my Mother was born in Augusta, GA- it was a requirement! I'm not all that good. In fact, I'm downright rusty compared to my high school golf team days, but I have some clubs and some enthusiastic friends, so I usually get out a handful of times per summer.

I may have overdone it a bit. I'm exhausted today. I opened the warehouse-sized garage door in our headhouse just now and had to sit down and catch my breath. I know the cute parasite puts a strain on my system, but I was careful to play and walk at a slower pace (we usually let anyone behind us play through- we're painfully slow), and to stay well hydrated. It was a gorgeous afternoon and it felt good to get out and do something summery. But this new body of mine takes a lot of getting used to. Just like I have learned I have to begin yoga breathing when approaching a flight of stairs, I'll figure out how much I can do and then work accordingly. It's hard to realize my limitations, but I don't really have a choice.

I gotta tell you, though, that extra 20 pounds has given me more power! My belly acts as a counterbalance, so I was getting more distance on most of my shots. There are bizarre compensations.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Seduced by the Dark Side

I am hearing the siren call of the crochet. Seriously, I am. I'm bravely fighting the persistent whisper of the loom, and so far the sewing and the spinning haven't beckoned to me, but the fact that I taught myself to crochet back in high school and I already have some hooks lying around is making it so much easier to consider.

The reason, first and foremost, is the Babette Blanket that everyone and her blog are working on these days. I'd been thinking about blankets, and the prospect of knitting a blanket seemed a bit slow. I remember crochet as being a little quicker. Plus, when you see this and this, how can you resist? It's positively Klimtian!

Then, while perusing the new Crochet Queen Thread at the Lime and Violet message boards, I followed a thread to the Stitch Diva Crochet Tutorials and discovered Tunisian Crochet! I must have it! I love love LOVE the fabric it makes! It's like weaving, knitting and crochet all in one. I'm infatuated with the pattern of it, especially with the multiple colors. I just want to stare at the fabric. I'm totally thrilled by it.

Do I really need another hobby? The knitting is slow enough, and I want to make everything in the world. I still haven't learned batik. I'm still fighting the weaving impulse. I have a full time job, an art career to launch and a baby on the way. I still have to move across the country and find another full time job. I'm lacking focus these days. But those pictures are so inspiring, aren't they?

Of course I'm going to play with crochet. I'll probably even pick up a Tunisian Crochet hook and learn it. Because I've learned when I'm making things I find exciting, I'm inspired to make even more things. The more I do, the more I do. As long as the creative juices are flowing, it's good.

By the way, is there a wealthy person out there who'd like to be my benefactor? I can make you all manner of crazy things. Your castle would have tapestries and tiles, paintings and warm blankets, murals and mosaics, and your body would be draped in lovely garments and handmade jewelry. You just have to, you know, support me (and my family) financially. Any takers?

Friday, May 18, 2007

More on beauty (and moron beauty?)

I didn't read this entry properly on Monday, so I'm directing you there a bit late. Jane Brocket, who authors the lovely blog Yarnstorm, wrote a bit about beauty, youth obsession and knitting. I love her blog- she takes such gorgeous photos where she uses color to it's utmost advantage. I imagine walking through her kitchen is a magnificent sensory overload, with the delicious cakes she makes and the colors she uses to frost and decorate them, and the plates and linens she sets them out on. It's a short post and well put.

Then, you need to simply scroll through her previous entries and swim in all the amazing color.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

P.S.

The sleepy-voiced husband just got off the phone with his best friend from home. He's so happy. I love to see him like that.

Twenty-four

It's a week late, since I'm already 25 weeks, but I'm only just now getting around to posting. We took this picture on Mother's Day.
The tummy sleeve is doing it's job. There would be a lot of bare belly in this shot without it!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Yoga stress

I've been coordinating yoga classes at work once a week. See, I'm at an experiment station, which are great places to do ag research, but you don't have the advantage of being on campus with the rest of the university programs. The station has an agreement with a local college for Academic employees (grad students, post-docs, faculty) to use their facilities and fitness programs free of charge. Once I left grad school, I no longer had access to the yoga classes that I had been taking since 2003. A couple of summers ago, a clever post-doc got permission and a location so the teachers we had at the college could teach summer classes on our premises. It seemed this past year that there was enough interest from non-academic staff to keep the classes going over the winter.

Right now, these classes are one of the most stressful things in my life!

The teachers get a set fee, regardless of how many students show up and how much those students pay. The instructors get paid up front, which means they get paid through me, and then I collect money from everyone else. I have not made any money off these classes. I have paid for my attendace myself- whatever they pay, I pay, too. And now? I'm about $50 in the hole. Excellent.

The academic staff who normally take the classes for free were supposed to start showing up this month, since the college doesn't hold classes over the summer. But they haven't. And, of course, now they don't want to pay the full 4-week session fee when it's half over. I don't blame them, I guess. But I think the policy of a standard fee and paying up front, whether you show or not is pretty much the norm, right? I'm just annoyed. I had to raise the prices per 4 week session (which, incidentally, is still obnoxiously inexpensive. Anyone else out there getting 4 yoga classes for $25? From a fully certified teacher?), and I still can't manage to get myself out of the hole.

I realize this is a lame problem, and I feel like a whiny little wimp. I had a hard time getting to the point where I could say you pay the full fee or you don't. I'm always wanting to make exceptions, and I'd love to be able to offer a per class drop-in fee. But I don't have the wiggle room in my own finances to be waiting around for money to trickle in. I feel like I'm turning people away with this draconian payment plan (which it really isn't). If I were more flexible (which got me into this situation) I could probably get further out of the hole.

What really bothers me is that this situation reminds me that I'm not a natural business woman. I'm concerned about this, because being independently employed in various artistic pursuits one day will mean I need to figure this stuff out. I need to be able to represent myself well and be confident in charging whatever it is I charge. I hate feeling cheated and I hate feeling taken advantage of. But I'm not always very good at standing up when it comes to money. My inclination is always to undervalue my talents and services, at least financially. I don't know why. Perhaps that's why I've had financial problems in my life. I have a dysfunctional relationship with money. Maybe I need to read more Suze Orman so she can give me the courage to be wealthy or whatever. Plbbbbbbbbbt.

-------------------------------------------------------
I've thought about my issue more since my browser froze and didn't let me publish right away.

I'm contemplating the following:
  1. Charging a 1/2 month fee for those people who want to start late (even though they were notified at the beginning of the session and it was for their own personal reasons they did not attend) to recoup more of my losses.
  2. Handing off the reigns to someone else. If no one else will take it over, then we simply won't have yoga this summer.
  3. Recommending to the next person to charge a fixed fee for the sessions and to hang on to any extra money for the lean winter months when attendance is spotty rather than refunding any extra, as was done last summer.
  4. Educating myself on the business of art so I don't run into these issues when it's my livelihood at stake in the future.

Does that sound like a good plan? Does anyone have any suggestions?

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Slippery Slope

I'm sliding. Oh baby.

I decided to join the chumfest at my favorite pushers of yarn pr0n, Lime and Violet's new shop. I have always ALWAYS wanted to support indie dyers, but I just never had the cash. So I decided I would try to snare this lovely skein of hand-dyed sock yarn that was going to be on sale at their first ever store update. It had purple and yellow, which are the colors I've been using to knit for our baby as of late, so they make me smile a lot. I cleared it with the CFO of our household (SVH has been in charge of our finances, and I'm so happy. It's been so good for us. He has patience. I am impulsive. Yin and Yang.) and managed to snare 480 yds of Reg Barclay. I'm not a Trekkie, but I managed to catch that this series was named after characters from the various series. I think. But isn't it pretty? And more than that, I supported not only my favorite podcast, but an indie artist. I felt really really good. Such a splurge! Such indulgence!

Today, on my walk I went to our LYS to pick up another skein of the orange Encore to finish my baby sweater. That was all I was going to buy, unless something lovely on the clearance rack caught my eye. Do I even need to tell you what happened? How about a picture instead?

It's Schaefer Helene in the perfect Susan colors! It's 50/50 silk and wool! It's like lipstick- smooth and in my favorite colors. I am in such mad love with this skein. I live about 20 miles from where Schaefer Yarns are made. None of the stores I go to can keep this stuff in stock. And this was on CLEARANCE! It was 50% off! Cue the Hallelujah chorus! It was hidden under some other stuff, but I found it and it is mine and I am totally in love with it. In fact, I think this is the yarn I had a crush on last year (only it wasn't in these perfect colors). I'm telling you, it was fate.

But now that is twice IN ONE WEEK that I have bought yarn. Specifically yarn that I didn't need for a project (that 5$ Encore doesn't count) AND is definitely luxury yarn. I've never been a stasher, but here I am with a bunch of yarn I bought just because it was pretty. I'd say it was nesting, but other than the Encore, none of this is for the baby. It's for me me me.

Speaking of knitting for the baby, I finished this sock and it's so cute I could just die. It's so wee! It is Dale Baby Ull leftover from the square I knitted for Miss Violet's afghan last fall. The pattern is Baby Keep Your Socks On by the multi-talented Amy Boogie. It needs a mate, but it won't take too long.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Ah, the creative urge is taking over again. I'm feeling more like myself. I'm even feeling motivated! I've found myself scouring motivational creativity sites and reading the blogs of prolific artists to keep myself going during the drudgery of the work day. Ideas are flowing. It feels good.

One of my ideas is to use this daily planner that my grandma couldn't bear to get rid of, despite the fact that it was April and the year was already 1/4 over. I brought it home so she didn't have to think about it anymore and decided this should be my first foray into book altering/creative journaling. It's a nice solid book, it has big pages, a bookmark AND a lovely gold edging on the pages. It's mighty impressive. Oh, and that bit of pink? My belly. Can't seem to keep it out of the way.

Has anyone reading this done this kind of thing before? I'm assuming I need to use gesso or something like it to prep the pages. Let me know if you have some suggestions. I'll also check out the myriad of altered book instructional pages out there. Somebody has to have some non-toxic ways to prep pages. It might be a fun chance to try some new things, like I did during my September 2006 Art Project. I won Claudine Hellmuth's Collage Discovery Workshop: Beyond the Basics from the CraftSanity podcast last fall, and I want to go through and try some of the techniques.

I might also dig out the Artist's Way again, to keep me in the right frame of mind. I followed it pretty faithfully for most of the weeks I did it, but there was a point where I stopped. I think it would be a completely different experience now.

Oh, yeah. Here's a picture of my current (and soon-to-be retired) apron at work. I'm laughing because SVH was so frustrated with me. I kept talking during the previous 3 shots so I looked like an idiot. Maybe the kid is right.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Sleepless in Geneva

I woke up in the middle of the night on Saturday night and couldn't get back to sleep for the worrying. You know that feeling? I used to have it a lot worse. When I was still in grad school or in the process of leaving, I had such problems being able to get back to sleep when I woke up. I've had very little trouble with it since I a) left school, b) got a little pharmaceutical help with the anxiety and c) started my new life as a host organism to a really cute parasite (see photo). In fact, I'm sleeping more than I have since I was a child. So this inability to get back to sleep was unusual.

I was worrying a little about the summer show that I'm doing, but that's relatively minor. It has actually begun to make me feel creative again, and getting my sketch pads and pastels out has lit that creative fire that I've been missing for the past few months.

I was worrying more about where we're headed. I've been blathering on for a year now about how I want to move back to MN. I mean, excuse the expression, but shit or get off the pot, right? You can only whine about something so long. But there are a lot of factors. I was feeling guilty for being slow about job hunting. We're really far away, and I feel like that's been a liability thus far. Also, I'm getting closer and closer to needing to take time off, and I feel like that makes it less and less likely that I'll be able to get a job. I know that it is illegal for me to be discriminated against because of my "condition," but at the same time, it does limit some of the jobs for which I might apply. I could look for a summer appointment in some sort of greenhouse or nursery, but I'm not really up to a lot of the physical requirements of these jobs. The summer camp gardening teaching positions I've looked at need a guarantee that you can finish out the term, which usually ends about a week before my due date. It probably won't be a problem, but what if I get put on bed rest? Can I honestly apply for that job when the job description clearly states "Applicants must seriously consider their ability to complete the entire appointment."

Or am I just making excuses? While the camp ones sound kind of fun, I don't really want to be in science anymore. Another thing I've been whining about for a year. I'm looking for a job to get us back. To give me benefits so I can have a baby without having to pay exhorbitant health insurance premiums through Cobra for too long. I need to suck it up, and in my head, I'm mostly ok with getting a job to get us moved. It's temporary. It isn't very motivating, though.

I'm also concerned about money. Who isn't? It's always a factor. We're in big time debt repayment mode. We're making progress and we don't want to interrupt it. Right now, I'm wondering if it's best for us to use our savings so I can take a longer maternity leave (or any maternity leave, depending on my employment situation?), or do we use it for a downpayment so we can have a place to live when we move, or will it be necessary for other things I'm not even thinking of? Or do we need it to cover living expenses when we move if we don't have jobs. It's not a bottomless account. In fact, I can see the bottom quite clearly! [Fortunately, moving expenses are covered- thank God for eager parents who want their next grandchild to live in the same state!]

These are the things I was sitting there at 5 am thinking through and feeling scared. The one thing that is certain in my life right now is that the baby is coming at the end of the summer, regardless of what else is going on. Finally, my cat came over, curled up near me, and purred. I'm an extroverted person, and I've had great success with talk therapy, so I started talking. To my cat. And he sat there, looking at me the whole time and purring. Almost made me cry. But what was the most useful to me was hearing things said out loud (even though I was whispering because SVH was asleep in the next room). I said, "In 2 years, our financial situation is going to look so different! We'll be in so much better shape, we'll be able to afford more house, and live a bit more comfortably. I might not even need to work full time!"

And I began to contemplate staying in our little 1 bedroom apartment with the litterbox in the closet and the annoying lack of space while adding a baby to the mix. And I contemplated staying in my current job, which really offers very little in the way of advancement. And Carl staying in his current job, which offers absolutely nothing in the way of advancement. And I thought of how bored we are with our work. And I thought about continuing to live in a town I don't like, working in a job that doesn't interest me, living in a too small apartment (or heaven forbid moving to yet ANOTHER temporary home) and dealing with a husband who is even more unhappy with it all than I am. I said to my purring, furry shrink, "But the answer isn't to stay here."

Rarely in my life has settling for the known ever gotten me where I wanted to go. Staying here would only keep us, at best, in the same situation and going at the same pace we are currently going. There is no possible chance to make progress. By staying here, aside from being unhappy, we could be missing out on so many opportunities. Out of fear. We'd still need more space. So if we're going to move, we might as well make the big move. I'm a pretty adventurous girl. I'm willing to take risks. You should play cards with me. This is no time to get cold feet. Not when we're about to bring another person into our family. There are certain conditions we need that simply are not available here and now. Period.

The cat decided he didn't want to snuggle with me once I laid down to go back to sleep on the couch. In fact, he looked quite put out that I moved him from his spot. The magic spell had been broken. But I felt so much better. I still have that scared little voice in the back of my mind. I still have this fear that I should somehow become the uberstable mother and make all decisions based on absolute security. But I know moving on is the right thing to do. Even though I'm slow about it. Even though it might be scary and tough. And I've not had any trouble sleeping since.

Friday, May 04, 2007

An Ode to Caffeine

Hi! How are you? You're looking lovely today! Have you been exercising? You've got such a healthy glow about you. Really, you look sensational. Hi!

I'm drinking my first cup of caffeinated coffee since January! HIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!

It's so lovely. It's so good. Just this morning, I was telling the Sleepy-Voiced Husband, "You know, I miss the intelligence that comes with drinking coffee." It's that feeling of clarity and alertness. I don't miss the caffeine addiction- oh, trust me, I was a huge junkie- but I love that burst of, "Ah yes, I understand both quantum physics AND how to work doorknobs now that I've had my fix. I am unstoppable!"

This morning, leaving for work, I needed to grab a spoon and a knife for my lunch. At break, SVH asked if I had a knife. I said, "Why yes, I do!" I reached into my bag and pulled out a fork. Yes, people, I grabbed the wrong utensil. Forks are useful for eating things, especially things like salad and cake, but they are not so good for cutting bagels and spreading peanut butter. This is what happens without coffee. And also maybe when a lot of your blood flow is diverted from your brain to your belly. Just saying.

My downside is that I talk CONSTANTLY when I'm on a real caffeine high. I stopped my coworker, Deb, to tell her I had saved her a piece of cake, and I talked to her, rapid-fire, for 20 minutes! It can be funny. It can also be twitchy and jittery and a little bit scary and you may wonder if I don't need to breathe anymore or something because I'm not really stopping to take a breath and shouldn't I also blink sometimes? Such joy, though. SUCH JOY!!!!!!

I want to paint cups of coffee for coffee shop decor. I think I could put such love and adoration for the coffee into these works, business would TRIPLE! Actually, I think I promised Dave from Chub Creek a painting once upon a time, and I wanted it to involve coffee. I really should get on that, because Dave is great. You know, funny podcast, good music, all that. Really, I love everyone right now. Wow. I don't think there's much hope in my staying off of caffeine (and coffee, specifically. COFFEE!) once the baby is born. I enjoy it far too much.

Real quick, because this coffee high will end sometime and I may not get here tomorrow, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOMORROW, JENNY! She's my knitting friend in Minnesota, and she doesn't like birthdays, but I LOVE them and I also have had some coffee so I'm saying HAPPY BIRTHDAY, you little Cinco de Mayo Baby, you!

Monday, April 30, 2007

An Inconvenient Truth

My Sleepy-Voiced Husband is home, safe and sound, and all is right with the world once again. Except that I have gained 15 pounds of awkward weight in the belly that makes me ungainly and maybe a little bit slow when trying to sweep under the benches in the greenhouse. That might be why SVH swept 2 of the greenhouses in the time it took me to sweep one.

Yesterday, I saw An Inconvenient Truth, finally. Is it wrong that I have a geek crush on Al Gore now? I thought the documentary was well made; I appreciated the way they juxtaposed his life with his talk about Global Warming. I just admire that he has taken his "catastrophic event" and moved through it gracefully and is now making his life's work about preventing other catastrophic events. I'm not a climatologist, but his information looked scientifically sound to me. I've been reading and hearing these same things for years in journal articles for classes. Thank whatever-higher-power-you-choose that the recent trend of pretending Global Warming just isn't happening or is some vengeful, leftist propaganda plot seems to be on the downswing.

So, if you haven't seen it, go! There's a nice update in the special features in which Gore discusses what has happened since the 2005 talk. The website is helpful, too. It's such an important topic, please take the time to see it.

Friday, April 27, 2007

The best laid plans, blah blah blah...

Remember on Saturday, when I talked about all the things I was going to get done this week? I have not done ANY more of it than I had last time I posted. Plus, one of my little mattress fixes came undone. Sigh. It seems that just the regular daily stuff plus 9 hours at work is all this little Mama can handle.

I guess there was Tuesday... Kouros woke me up twice in the night, vomiting up his food. I had also found a bolt lodged in my tire on my way home from yoga Monday night (too late to do anything about it that day). So Tuesday morning, on the way to work to quick tell my coworker that I was running to the mechanic, the clicking of the bolt on the pavement stopped... and the tire was flat a block later when I pulled into work. Fortunately, the lovely mechanic came, plugged the hole and made everything all better for about what I'd have to spend to get free Amazon shipping. Kouros got in to see the vet Tuesday after work (he was still leaving piles of regurgitated food when I got home) and it turns out all he needed was some hairball treatment. All's well that ends well. It was more than the daily grind, but none of it was stuff I could cross off my little list.

The things I have been doing, like cooking for myself, keeping the house clean, taking care of my kitty, have been good. I can feel good knowing that my priorities are in order. I know I need to find a job in MN if I want to move. I know I need to get rid of some of the crap in our house so that we don't have to move it across the country again. I know I need to get the set sketches done for our summer musical. I've been an all-nighter, push myself to the limit kind of woman in my past, but right now, it just can't be that way. I'm not going to risk my or my child's health for a job, a theatre group or anything else.

It's hard for me to realize that I can't do everything all the time. I may love the goal of simplifying, may find solace in things like yoga and meditation, but I still have that bit of myself that wants to go full speed all the time and rack up a dizzying list of accomplishments while having the clarity of a simple lifestyle. I may never lose that desire, but I've found that some of the limitations pregnancy has placed on me have been good for me. I'm so fortunate to have the luxury of being able to slow down some during this time; I don't have to work two jobs, and I don't have ailing relatives or small children who need constant care. I can whittle down the demands on my time without dire consequences. Perhaps this week hasn't been the loss I was originally thinking it was.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Hey Hermano!

Have you ever tried to do futon mattress repair? Especially when you have no idea what you're doing? My advice is get a really long needle. My needle is only about 3" long (I so didn't want to go out of town for one stinking needle), and it has been PAINFUL on my poor fingers. I repaired 3 little puckery-quilty-things and it took me about 3 (or maybe 4) episodes of Arrested Development. On DVD. So no commercials, but that's still over an hour. I'd like to blame Kouros, and while he did try to chew through some of the excess cord I was using, it wasn't really a problem. Carl has the camera for the week, so I have no ability to document the fascinating progress (and for this, you should be grateful).

I did get the dishes and the grocery shopping done. I also swept the apartment and did a load of laundry. Home is liveable. I was pretty tired this weekend so I didn't get as far as I'd have liked. I have yoga after work today, and between that and just the normal daily stuff, I won't make myself do any extras today. I need to get some good sleeping done.

Speaking of Arrested Development, any fans out there? That show is absolutely brilliant! I was disappointed when it got canceled, but it was on during a busy time for me, so I wasn't really able to watch it regularly. That is totally the key to this show. You need to see them all so you can catch all the call-backs to jokes in previous episodes. ["Brother" in English, Italian, Spanish and French gets lots of mileage] This show lends itself SO well to DVD because you can watch them all in a short period and catch jokes. You can also pause it and see all the jokes put into newspaper clippings, webpages and other printed material shown on-screen. I think this show has become my all-time favorite. It may be dethroning The Office (in all its incarnations) and News Radio as my favorite of all time. If you haven't see Arrested Development and you like those other shows? Do yourself a favor and rent season 1, PRONTO! That was me speaking Italian. Ciao, Fratello!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Good intentions...

It is so BEAUTIFUL outside today! I've got the windows open to air the winter out of this poor apartment. There's a loverly breeze blowing through and I'm just so happy that FINALLY spring is here. In the past 48 hours, every daffodil in town has exploded. This winter was so long, and even though there was still a small pile of snow left on the edge of a parking lot I saw earlier, I'm pretty confident in saying that's the end of that for another year. Please, please don't let me jinx it by saying that!

So I've got some time to myself in the next week, and I've decided there are some tasks that need doing. Some of them relate to moving (job applications, getting rid of unwanted possessions so I don't have to move them across the country), some of them relate to improving current living conditions (decluttering, cleaning) and some of them are things I just haven't gotten around to doing (mend the hole in that sweater, send a package, sketches for summer sets). I've been working on a list, and trying to figure out how to get these things divided up over the next 10 days or so.

Today, I need to finish the massive pile of dishes I started last night. If there were one task I could never have to do again in my life? Dishes. Hands down. I'll wash windows, I'll mop floors, I'll clean toilets. I despise doing the dishes. Next place we live? Dishwasher. Definitely. That's a deal breaker.

I also need to pick up groceries so the bambino/a and I are well nourished, which means more lists. I need lists. My mind is to jumbled and cluttered and swirled, so without lists, I flit from thing to thing and never complete a single task.

Finally, that bad cat that lives in my house has pulled out the quilting in our futon mattress. I know, we should have gotten a cover immediately, but we didn't, and he has managed to pull the cords out that help the mattress keep from slumping. I've got the mattress lying flat so I can start to get it back into shape. I bought some cord and long needles, so once I beat the stuffing back to where it belongs, I'll replace the ties Kouros ripped out. Little brat.

.....

So after I wrote that, I talked to my Dad for an hour, and got invited to dinner at a friend's. Perhaps that will be added to my to-do list for tonight and tomorrow? Shit, I'm already falling behind. Why aren't you people keeping me on track?

Friday, April 20, 2007

Thump, thump

There's a lot of sad and disturbing stuff in the news these days. So I've been mostly avoiding it. For the time being, I've been trying to make sure the person I'm building to contribute to the world has as healthy and happy a start as I can give. A stressed out Mama won't be any help. I've been focused inward a lot more, which has been rewarding, because I've started feeling the baby moving around in the past day or so. No wonder Cari called her child Thumper while still in the womb- that's exactly what it feels like. I can't wait to be able to feel it from the outside, so SVH can enjoy it, too. He's been known to hold the cat like a baby in preparation for impending fatherhood.

In other news, I've got a lot of stuff that needs to get done soon, so over the next week or so, I may be using y'all as my to-do list police. Sometimes, you just need people to be looking over your shoulder, keeping you on task. I'll try to include cute cat pictures in there regularly to keep things from getting too dull round here.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Visual DNA

This little thing was fun. It was fairly descriptive, in the vague way these personality test things can be. More importantly, when you're choosing your little things "about me," the pictures are really gorgeous. It made me want chocolate and a vacation.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Like mother, like child

We had an ultrasound on Thursday, and it looks like we've got a little thumb-sucker!

I sucked my thumb for years. I guess this one takes after me.














I felt inspired and started a little baby sweater in happy citrus colors to counter the dismal weather. It'll be cute for a boy or a girl- we decided not to learn the sex of the baby. We're just really, really excited!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Twenty Weeks

Here's that latest belly shot... not quite 4 weeks after this one:
I wore the same outfit on purpose so you could compare. This blue shirt doesn't cover as much as it used to. Thank goodness for the tummy sleeve. I'm long waisted as it is, so my shirts were always just long enough. The moment I started to show, I was showing skin, too. I also didn't bother with the makeup today, because I was running behind this morning. Pregnancy has not been kind to my complexion.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Easter Trip

I meant to leave a note on Thursday but didn't get to it. I spent the weekend in NJ at my grandparents' house with my parents, sister and brother. They had new video of my nephew, too! Got to see the first bath, which was so damn cute I could barely stand it. It was wonderful to see them. They took lots of video and still pictures of me and my big old belly (I'll post one here soon), which made me feel so good! I was kind of fun to be fussed over. My sister Cat kept talking to my belly, willing it to be a girl so she could buy lots of dresses this time.

It was also sad, because I don't think Grandpa will be around much longer. Usually when we go there he is grumpy and unpleasant. This time he was docile and kind of out of it. He's weaker than I've ever seen him, and he got sick on Sunday. He was put on some antibiotics, so I hope he's doing better today. Still, I don't think he plans to be around much longer. He smiled at my belly a lot and laughed at the antics of SVH and my siblings (we have SO much fun together!), but he seemed rather detached. I'm worried about my Grandma, because she's holding on to him with white knuckles, bound and determined to keep him alive, and once he goes, I think she's going to be a little lost. So strange. A few years ago they seemed to be waiting each other out, just barely able to stand each other.

Well, that's it. I'll post pictures soon. Now, I need to get to work. Kiss kiss!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

I should have known

At lunch yesterday, I was trying to get into the refrigerator, but I was having difficulties. See, SVH had 3 pairs of shoes on the little mat in front of the outside door, and they got pushed in front of the fridge door. I started laughing and asked if he had any more shoes he could put there. He went into the living room, got another pair of sneakers and tossed them at my feet. "There."

I managed to get over the pile and into the fridge (our door opens on the wrong side and I've never gotten around to switching it). Suddenly I hear THUNK, THUNK, THUD! against the door. He said, "There, that's all of them from the closet, too." Kouros was a little freaked out.

He said he hopes our baby gets his sense of the sublime.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

*Sniff*

We got this postcard in the mail yesterday. We gave our godchild, Gabby, a book of watercolor postcards for Christmas. We addressed the first one to ourselves so she could paint it and send it to us.


Sunday, April 01, 2007

Fred and George

I love that the Weasley Twins's birthday is April 1st. I don't know if that was specifically mentioned in the books or if I got it off of JK Rowling's website. Anyway, happy birthday, Fred and George. I wish I had left school in the same flamboyant manner they did.

Finally, I got new batteries for the camera, and I have a picture of the gifty Fetchings. I think this yarn (Baruffa Maratona) is a slightly lighter worsted weight, so they came out wee. I added a second twist at the knuckles because they were so short. It's ok, Nicole is wee, too. They fit her perfectly. The weather up here is taking a turn for the shitty this week, too, so they may still be of use to her yet this season.

Earlier today, Carl was sitting at the computer and said, "Did you see the huge chunk of bread on our window sill?" Well, I could see the window sill, and there was no bread on it whatsoever. He said, "On the outside!" And sure enough...

I had no idea how it got up there- we're on the second floor and it's a sheer drop to the ground. I didn't hear anyone chucking bread at our windows last night. I did hear some drunk college kids staggering back to campus, and Carl heard some big rowdiness across the street when a party broke up, but it was all voices at a distance.

Then, an hour or two later, a fat squirrel ran along the sill, retrieved his bread, and scampered back across the street on the telephone line. Unfortunately, I wasn't quick enough with the camera. And Kouros wasn't quick enough, either.

P.S. I totally forgot that yesterday was my 1 year blog birthday! I had been looking forward to it, and then it completely slipped past me. Anyway, thanks for listening for all this time!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Did anyone find an extra 7 days?

I lost a week. I'm not sure where it went. I kept thinking that I had just posted, but it's been a week. It hasn't even been a particularly busy week. I did a lot of job searching and research into continuing health insurance coverage after leaving a job, but that wasn't all consuming. I don't know what the hell happened.

I did finish my second gift fetching. Of course I don't have my camera with me, and I brought them to work because I thought I'd be having lunch with the recipient this week. Perhaps I will 1) bring the fetching home tonight, 2) get new batteries for my camera and 3) take a photo to share. I think I might have added a stitch or two to the picot bind off, because mine is very toothy-looking.

I have also found a place to get rid of the red heart and the acrylic I tried to teach myself to knit and crochet with in high school. I'm donating it to the Knittas! Should you have some yarn you want to get rid of, they said they're always happy to receive new yarn for their tagging missions. Just click on contact and send them a note. They'll get in touch and tell you where to send stuff. I love their knitted graffiti, and I love that they take acrylic yarn! That's one more box I don't have to move halfway across the country.

P.S. I did check the orange conditioner bottle- the nudist sport is volleyball. I think April left that in the comments last time, but I wanted to let you all know that I was thinking of you in the grocery store, and I checked so I could share the knowledge.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Amusements

We have this shampoo and conditioner, and I can't remember which kind it is (maybe herbal essences or something?) , but it amuses me to no end. For each kind of shampoo and conditioner, such as extra body, or moisturizing or what have you, they have trivia questions. The answer to the shampoo is on the conditioner and vice versa. What tickles me so is that we have two different "styles" of shampoo and conditioner right now, so the questions and answers don't match up. This is the one I read every morning and smile to myself:

Q: What is the most popular sport played in nudist colonies?

A: Yourself.

It just brightens my day. Next time I'm in the grocery store, I'll have to pick up the orange colored conditioner and see what the actual most popular sport played in nudist colonies is, even though it can't be any better than my answer.

I'm also amused by the fact that the first time I typed nudist, I spelled it nudest. Like it's a competition.

Other amusements include the fact that my belly suddenly popped this week. By Wednesday, my belly had gotten all taut. My navel hasn't started to stick out, but it's become perfectly round. When I was first gaining weight and it was all soft, my belly button had gone all deep and horizontal. Now, I can suddenly get to spots in there than I never have before. It's the cleanest my navel has been in 32 years!

We have a friend coming up to visit from DC. I emailed his wife a month ago to tell her about my "condition" and I don't think she's checked her email since. Or maybe it's been shut down since she's graduated. Anyhoo, it should be funny to see how Clint reacts. I've had several people at work eyeing me, not wanting to ask, but still pretty suspicious. We'll have to see how word travels, eh?

Well, I have to go eradicate some spider mites. Don't worry, I'm only spraying soap on them. I don't do anything stronger than that right now. Not while I'm a host organism myself.