Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Swatch-o-rama (and one F.O.)

This is the swatch of my Christmas yarn (Morbido) next to the sweater it will become. The wonky lace is on the right side of the swatch--See? You can't even see it without me pointing it out to you!

This is the back of the finished baby poncho (baby is simulated)

Here is the front (again, thanks to Leslie Bambi for her lovely modelling)

Vintage Mary Maxim

Olympic swatch. The picture does not do the cool cable pattern justice, but trust me, it will look amazing!!! The blue is also a gorgeous colour on Charlotte.

Olympic training.

I cast on and knit a test swatch for Char's Olympic sweater. I can tell this random cable pattern will be just what I need to keep my interest up through the project. I will be making it in some "vintage" Orlon Wintuk acrylic in bright heather blue from my Grandma's stash --the label has no metric on it and touts the yarn as moth-proof and non-allergenic. (Mary Maxim, of course) The yarn is kind of crunchy to work with, but I hope it will soften with washing. The crunchiness of it really makes the cable stand out. I also taught myself to cable without a cable needle with this swatch--this sweater will be surgically attached to me for a couple of weeks, the more streamlining of the work, the better.

I also swatched for a sweater to be made in the yummy yarn Richard bought me for Christmas. I will be making a couple of modifications: I will leave out a lace panel on the front of the sweater because non-knitting friend saw my test swatch with a bit of the lace panel on it and said it just looked like I made a mistake in the work. I knew with the texture of the yarn it didn't look quite right-- she just put it so eloquently. I will also be doing a garter-stitch hem instead of the crochet scallop trim the pattern features. Again, the texture makes its own scallops.

Once I find the invisible cord for the digital camera, I will share pics of my swatches with all of blogland!!

The friend I mentioned above saved my poor boy from a terrible haircut. My Emmett does not like having his hair cut. MIL was the latest person to try giving him a trim. He ended up looking like Fester from the Addam's Family. Cheryl just happens to be a former hairstylist and more recently, a dog groomer. She brought her clippers over and we put Emmett in his booster seat with Baby Einstein on and snacks on the tray and she made him look like a little boy again. I had to hide in the kitchen--it turns out Emmett sits better without me around. I had to laugh because Cheryl was using techniques she used with her dogs to get Emmett used to the clippers (stroking Emm's neck with the clippers on, speaking to him soothingly, distracting with treats) That's ok with me--I was a dog owner before I was a parent and I found the way you train a puppy is strangely similar to training babies and toddlers!!
She has graciously volunteered to cut Emmett's hair until we get brave enough to venture out to a salon again.

Monday, January 30, 2006

My trip in a nutshell.

Here is a synopsis of last week's trip.

Since I would be travelling in very small cars I tried very hard to pack light. I tried so hard that the "listening" part of the baby monitor stayed home while the "hearing" part got packed. I also forgot Emm's bed rail, baby shampoo and night light. I did not even bring pyjamas for myself!!! Emm did very well without the bed rail, and enjoyed the novelty of a night light with an actual bulb at Grandma's house. He figured out how to take it apart the first night we were there. (He has an LED nightlight at home, so there is no bulb)

We had fun, I got to see a couple of friends and look at Mom and Dad's new house.

I did not have fun loading and unloading children into and out of Mom and Dad's two-door car. Carseats and two door cars do not go well together. I hosted a playdate at Mom's house for my friend Tara and her three kids. Mom got home to find four kids running around her house and retreated to the basement to hide with a sleeping Charlotte while we scattered crumbs in the kitchen and toys in the living room. She pronounced the house "trashed" when everyone left. To me, it looked like an ordinary day in my home. Mom does not have a high tolerance for any sort of dirt or disarray in her life.

Mom has a porcelian doll (named Shay) that is about the same size as Char--Char went home with a new outfit straight off the dolly's back. (We left one that Char was growing out of so the doll was not left naked.-- Shay is now wearing very cute embroidered boot-cut Baby Gap jeans)

I watched a lot of TV while we were home. I realized I didn't miss the cable as much as I thought I would. I enjoyed Mythbusters every day, but man, oh, man I forgot how truly brain-rotting daytime TV is! Sorry Oprah, you aren't even that interesting anymore. If Mom and Dad had Teletoon I would have been in seventh heaven--Bromwell High is one show that Richard cannot find online that we both really like. If you have heard of Bromwell High, I hope you won't think any less of me!!!

On the trip home I was such a good mom that I anticipated Emmett throwing up and managed to catch it in a towel Mom had tucked in my diaper bag. MIL did not even flinch. He is doing much better after a few days of pink amoxicillin. He thinks the medicine is quite a treat--I don't have to bribe or wrestle him to take it.

I called and inquired about how changing postitions at work will effect my maternity benefits. It turns out it won't. I will be resigning this week. (Eeeeeeee!!!!)

I am sure I have bored my readers (both of you) to tears. I will try to be more interesting tomorrw!!! (Ok, I will only be interesting if you like more knitting talk.)

Friday, January 27, 2006

So. Very. Tired.

We (Emm, Char and I) are home, safe and sound from my trip Up North. Hubby managed to transform my cluttered but generally clean home into a rotten pig pen in my absence. As soon as I walked in the door last night my nostrils were assalted with the stench of a garbage can that had not been emptied. I took my luggage upstairs and discovered my bedroom smelled like stinky man. I changed the sheets and ignored the giant pile of laundry on his side of the bed. I took out the garbage as hubby washed the dishes (too little too late, hon--I STILL had to put them away this morning)

Char did not sleep while we were away. I had to stay up with her as she cut two new teeth without help. It is catching up with me today. I am surveying the destruction around me and am having a hard time mustering the energy to do much about it. Given the mood I am in, I may just take a garbage bag and toss out anything that is in my way.

I spent my morning at walk-in today. Emm has been fighting a cough off and on for two weeks. Everything came to a head yesterday when he coughed so hard he threw up in the backseat of MIL's car, he then coughed for a few hours late into the night. The poor little monkey has a throat infection.

Ok, I must go find some caffeine and do some work now--I will write about my trip later.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Go Team!

Olympic fever is spreading. Yarn Harlot has over 300 people participating in her knit-along.
I finished my poncho, and my friend really likes it. As soon as I can find the cord to my digital camera, I will be posting pics of my Cabbage Patch Kid modeling it. (Having Char model it would be too dangerous. Nobody wants a baby gift that comes pre-encrusted with cracker-y drool)

I will be working on my poor neglected Banff sweater until Olympic time, I think. My pretty Kureyon yarn will have to wait. Sigh.

I will be heading to up to the Great White North this weekend. My parents do not have internet access. I don't know how I will survive. I will be going into DTs for sure. I guess I will have actual cable-TV to watch as distraction.

Hee Hee, speaking of cable...Our friendly neighbourhood cable company called us up to gently remind us to pull back on our downloading. I guess we are hogging bandwidth by downloading entire seasons of TV shows at a time. They can kiss our shiny butts--we will be switching to DSL as soon as the modem comes in the mail.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Let the games begin!

Since I am a little bit crazy (ok, a lot) I have decided to participate in The Knitting Olympics. In a nutshell, to celebrate the Winter Olympics, Yarn Harlot has decided to challenge her fellow knitters. You must choose something that will challenge you and stretch your abilities as a knitter. You cannot cast on any earlier than the opening ceremonies, and you must be finished (knitted, blocked, assembled) by the time the flame on the Olympic torch is blown out. I am going to make Charlotte the Chaos sweater from knitty. I have made sweaters before. I have cabled before. I have never finished anything except dishcloths in two weeks. I have to decide if the sweater will be dusty pink or light blue (both in my stash).

In other knitting news, stay tuned for pics of a finished baby poncho. I have a mere 1/2 inch to go. Once my kids are fed, bathed and bedded, that sucker is coming off of the needles and being blocked tonight!!!! I am under deadline. I am getting together with the recipient of this poncho Friday.

Monday, January 16, 2006

It's quiz time!!

It's Monday. I had a crazy weekend and feel a little brain-dead and bloated from too many chips with nacho dip and fried ice cream for dessert. (The dip was delicious...a little too delicious. Let's not even talk about the fried ice cream. Hubby outdid himself with that one--even better than the deep-fried oreos!!)

How smart are you??
You Passed 8th Grade Science

Congratulations, you got 7/8 correct!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

What every well-dressed bathroom is wearing.

Have you been looking around your bathroom thinking, "What a dump! I need to spruce things up a bit." Well, thanks to the good people at Mary Maxim and yours truly, Not Jenny, help has arrived!
First things first. Lets take a look at the toilet. Pretty boring, huh? How about some frou frou to smooth out the sharp angles and warm up the seat. You even have a place of honour for a spare roll. The man in your house will appreciate the fact that he has to hold up the seat with one hand while he is trying to take a pee, lest the seat come slamming down mid-operation.
The next thing we need is to keep your spare roll under wraps. Nothing is more unsightly than a naked roll of TP. How about turning it into a snowman??

Start making this holder now. You don't want to be caught without extra rolls available when you have lots of holiday company coming!!!
It is the dead of winter where I am, but all I have to do is look at my watering can TP holder to be transported to a flower-filled springtime meadow with butterflies floating on the breeze.
For the finishing touch, nothing will give your facilities that extra touch of class and sophistication like a monogrammed rug will. Having a plush rug next to the toilet can be a valuable comfort in those times someone is in the throes of morning sickness, food poisoning or a bad "morning after".

Love your bathroom and it will love you.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

On the mend...Really!

I have my old Char back. She is toodling around in her walker, even smiling a bit. She is a little sleepier than usual, and her appetite is not as robust as usual, but we are definitely, most certainly, much better.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Oops, I spoke too soon.

Maybe we are not as far on the mend as I originally thought. It seems that Char has traded vomiting for diarrhea. Ewwww!!! At least diarrhea is less dehydrating than throwing up. My washing machine is having a hard time keeping up with the demand. I feel so bad for Emmett--he is not getting his usual amount of attention since all of my time is consumed with Charlotte and her dirty clothing and sheets. I am taking Char off of dairy for a few days to see if this will calm down her tummy troubles. I don't think it could make things any worse, at the very least.

I feel like I am slowly going crazy. I have been staying away from playgroup, lest we spread this tummy bug around. If a telemarketer calls asking to do a survey, I just might do it at this rate. I am so desperate for outside contact!!!

On the mend.

Well, things are getting back to normal here. By suppertime last night the roses were back in Char's cheeks, and she let us know that the pedialyte was not cutting it for her. We switched to half-strength formula for a while and it stayed down, so late into the evening she was back to regular formula. I am going to cut out solids today, but keep up with the full-strength bottles. Sleep was not great, but much improved over the night before. I am just getting caught up on all of the laundry we went through yesterday. (I had at least one change of clothes, and Char had closer to five changes of clothes and bedding.) She is getting her spunk back.


Emmett was a trooper. He was asleep when Char and I went to the hospital and he was not at all upset to wake up and find my friend, Sarah and her two children here instead of me. He had a lot of fun with them. I think he managed to show them ALL of his toys in the short time I was gone!!

Richard was shocked at the price of pedialyte. I found a recipe on the internet (five ingredients, mostly water)so we never have to shell out the $10 for a bottle of glorified kool-aid again. We'll save it for some wine!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Baby's first trip to the ER

Char didn't stop throwing up this morning. My little sweetie was pale, droopy and not wetting her diapers. Momma went into nurse mode, called hubby to bring home some pedialyte, then called the hospital nurse hotline. The nice nurse on the phone confirmed my fears so off to the hospital we went. Babies who don't pee and throw up for 12 hours get seen very quickly. After just one ounce of pedialyte Char started to perk up. She got REALLY perky after suffering the indignity of having a rectal temp taken. ER nurses love to hear babies scream. If a baby doesn't fight, a nurse really gets worried. Char is now on clear fluids for 24 hours, then diluted formula for another 24. She has actually kept down a bottle of pedialyte, so I am less worried. Here's hoping we all get some rest tonight.

Two hours of sleep.

Fussy, fussy baby throws up on the floor. Throws up in the bassinette. Throws up in the crib.
Thank goodness Mommy just did laundry.
Fussy baby wakes up every two hours.
Fussy baby finally gets to sleep at o445AM.
Daddy jumps ship and goes to work.
Happy toddler wakes up at 0700AM.
Mommy tries to cuddle with happy toddler in bed to steal precious minutes of sleep.
Happy toddler insistant that it is time to get up.
Mommy shuffles down the stairs.
Mommy turns on Baby Einstein.
Mommy puts an extra scoop of coffee in the filter.

Mommy wonders if this is God's way of telling her that the Wal-Mart portrait studio is evile and she must not keep her appointment today.

Mommy really, really hopes Fussy baby will not throw up today.

Monday, January 9, 2006

Flylady, I have failed you.

I have been under flylady's regime less than a week and I am already failing. Her first commandment is to always keep a clean, shiny, empty kitchen sink. I have been trying and trying to go to bed with a shiny empty sink (like she says), but it just isn't happening. Flylady obviously doesn't have a nightowl husband who likes to make midnight meals. I washed my supper dishes and dried out my sink per orders, then I turned my back and hubby was baking. I woke up this morning to a counter and sink littered with dishes. I will not tell my family to store their dishes under the sink in a dishpan like she says. That is just asking for trouble--and a mouldy rotten pan of dishes under my sink.

I think the only solution is to stop cooking and not eat at home. Clearly, that is the only way my sink will remain empty.

I do like the "swish and swipe" the bathroom every morning commandment. My bathroom looks great. My bathroom sink is shiny---is that good enough??

Sunday, January 8, 2006

My kingdom for some shoes.

This past weekend I went on a search for something relatively simple: comfy, cute, slip-on shoes. I scoured the mall plus Sprawl-mart to no avail. There are no cute, comfy slip-on shoes in my city for my 9 1/2 double-A narrow feet. (I used to be triple-A narrow until two pregancies made my feet spread.) Bah! The only thing that came close was a cute pair of athletic-style clogs I found in one store. I will now be stalking that store to see if more come in.

Why do I need comfy shoes? Well, my house has no carpet and two storeys. After a day of hauling kids and laundry up and down stairs, my feet and knees hurt. I want slip-ons so I don't have to mess with laces when I want to go out. You see, I am a picky girl. Shoe salespeople see me coming and wince. I know as soon as I stick my big toe in a shoe if it will work or not. I tell people that. I don't care how cute it looks, I don't want to hear you say, "just break them in". Breaking in only works for Birkenstocks. If only I could afford a new pair of Birkies. I found some grey wool ones with purple embroidery at an American shoe website. Wayyyy out of my price range. But I posted the picture so everyone can covet with me.

Friday, January 6, 2006

Switching gears

Hubby and I have decided that I am going to quit my job and stay home full-time. My nursing license is still active, so I am planning on picking up shifts casually and working at a couple of summer camps (my true nursing love). I am happy and scared at the same time. This will be the first time since high school I will not have regular, out-of-the home employment. Every time I thought of going back to work I would feel sick to my stomach. This is the best thing for us, especially since we will be facing regular speech therapy for Emm in the near future. I need to work with him every day and the best moments for therapy happen out of the blue, in little moments throughout the day.

To this end, I have to switch gears in my mind. I have not been the best at keeping house. I am getting tired of living in a cluttered mess. My new job is wife/mommy. I need to improve my domestic goddess skills. I am going to allow myself to be harassed by flylady for a while to try to get a routine established. I am a dropout of the flylady school, but I am going back. I'm going to shine my sink and make my bed and wear comfy shoes while I am at it!!! (hmmm, must go shopping for cute, yet comfy shoes) I come from a long line of very clean women, I just need to nurture my innate clean freak and let her come out a bit. Just a little bit. As much as I hate making New Year's resolutions, I suppose this will be one. Become a domestic goddess.

In other news...
I have a creeper in my house. I put Char down on my bedroom floor while I put away some laundry. I turned around and she was under the bed!! She will only go backwards, but that is a start, right??
I also seem to have a Baby Einstein junky in my house. One of our BE DVD's became hopelessly scratched. I have been letting Emm play with it. It has been in the tub, and lately it goes to bed with him. Is there a 12-step program for this? His sleepy bottles have been wearing out one-by-one. I suppose it is time for a bottle intervention. I don't even know where to begin. Every time we try to take the sleepy bottle away he screams for hours before falling into an exhausted sleep. There is absolutely no napping without the dang bottle. I feel like such a monster. I also don't feel right about buying baby bottle nipples for a 2 1/2 year old.

Sunday, January 1, 2006

A tale of two parties.

Oh, how I've grown. Yesterday we had invitations to two New Year's parties. The first one was a pot-luck dinner party where kids were invited. Only one couple was childless at the party. Poor them. We tried valiantly to talk about books, movies, music, the world, but kids would keep creeping into the conversation. I am partly to blame. The host of the party sells diapers, and I needed to talk to her about buying some more. Naturally the conversation briefly stayed on diapers as I needed other advice as well. At one point Emmett had a mouthful of food he didn't want so he walked up to me and spit it out in my hand (classy). The childless ones tried to keep a straight face, valiantly. No one else at the table even blinked. The party was tame, we sat around a beautiful antique dining table, eating and talking, beer or wine consumed responsibly. The noise at the party was children's voices, and the cartoon on the TV. We left at bedtime and came home to tuck our little ones in and say hello to MIL, the babysitter. Emmet had to borrow some pants to go home in because he had an "accident".

For the second party we set off across town to a hotel where there were several rooms rented by my brother and a couple of his buddies. We could tell exactly which rooms to go to as soon as we stepped off the elevator. One room was packed with people--guys in baggy jeans and t-shirts and skinny young girls with tight clothes and too much eye makeup. The bathtub was full of ice, a keg and all sorts of hard liquor (except Jagermeister--that was all gone by the time we got there) Someone's pants were hanging over the shower curtain rod drip-drying from being in the pool. The air was blue with smoke (all kinds). The noise level was high. You had to yell to be heard. At midnight a giant (I mean GIANT) joint was passed around. I missed that part. My asthma was getting unhappy with the cigarette smoke in my brother's room. I didn't want to tempt fate. We were tempted to leave when people started daring each other to do keg stands. I didn't want to get blood on my new sweater. We really left when the drunk, stoned people started playing with fireworks indoors. I hear this was just before the puking started. We ended up hanging our coats up outside when we got home.

I was in bed at 2:00AM and then up just before 6:00AM with Charlotte. I'll bet the party was just starting to lose steam as I was getting up to feed the baby.

I'd say I feel my grey hair today, but as of yesterday, I don't have any!!! I had my last haircut with a stylist I've been seeing for more than 8 years. She knows as much about me as my best friend and husband put together. I wish her well in her move, but I am pouty at the same time. I got to the point with her that I could sit down in the chair and let her do whatever she wanted and I knew I would look good. How long will it take to get to that point with someone else???

Happy New Year!!!