Friday, September 28, 2012

I'm sure you will all be relieved to know....

...that my new dance shoes are out for delivery. :)


I love the ability to track packages, I'm a bit neurotic about it. As for why I need new dance shoes, there's a very exciting story that I'll post on Monday. :) I'm sure you're just dying of anticipation.

In other exciting news, my self-patterning snowman sock yarn kit finally shipped! I ordered it back in mid-August, and it was a pre-order, so I knew it would take some time. She said about a month. It's been over a month (not that I'm counting) and I was getting very squirmy about the whole thing. Well happily, my snowmen are on their way from Colorado Springs to me as I type. I'm *dying* to get started on these. Will definitely report back in about this project.

Currently on my needles I have a winter wool cardigan for Anne, and the pair of fall colored anklets that are the replacement for my doomed falling leaves socks. I'm going to get as much done on both of them as I can over the weekend so that I can dive into new projects. It's all very thrilling.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Afternoon obsessions

It's 3 pm. What am I doing?

I just finished working on a document for a presentation I'll give in a few weeks. Thus, I'm obsessively tracking a pair of dance shoes that I ordered that I'd like to practice in this weekend. They started out in Wiles Barre, PA and are now in Philadelphia. That seems backwards to me, but such is the way of things with shipping these days. The tracking page assures me that my shoes are set to be delivered tomorrow, and for its sake, I hope that it's right.

Anyway, I received an email this morning from my friends at Living Faith, that little daily devotional that I have a soft spot for. Over the weekend I'm set to download the new October/November/December issue for my Kindle (also available in print) but I see that they are promoting a new edition just for Advent. 99 Cents for Kindle, what a deal!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Adventures in Henry's room

"Mommy, would you help me set up my army village?"

"Well, sure Sweetie, but only until Daddy needs me to come get Anne from her bath."

"Ok. I'm going to set up the good guys. You can set up the bad guys."


*I frown at the various little army men and start lining them up depending on whether they are standing, kneeling or laying down*

"Um, no Mommy, this guy goes over here."

*CL sees no difference between this and the way I just had him, but whatever*

"Ok Honey."

*resume lining little men up*

"Um, Mommy, no that guy goes like *this*."

Ah ha.

"Actually Mommy, why don't I do this myself?"

The child is just like me. I feel like saying the exact same thing anytime I ask him to do a chore.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Anticipating Advent, and antics in Anne's world

Yesterday when I got home from work, Anne was just awakening from her afternoon nap. Eagerly, I headed upstairs. Is there anything better than the fresh face of your baby/toddler when they first get up from a nap? It's so very kissable.

That is, if your toddler will allow you to kiss her. I knew I was in trouble when I turned on her light to see her face all scrunched up and angry looking. Definitely looked as if she had woken up on the wrong side of the crib. As I headed toward her, she *ran away from me to the other side of her crib.* This is not easy to do in such a small space, but she managed it. When I picked her up, she *kicked* and squirmed. Changing her diaper didn't go much better. I didn't take it personally (she has these "bad afternoon naps" sometimes) but holy smokes.

Shortly thereafter, my mom came over for dinner and got the same treatment. Anne (aka Sassy Pants) refused to let my mom kiss or hold her and THEN was suddenly All About Mommy (naturally, as I was trying to eat) demanding to sit on my lap while I ate and Koala-ing onto me. I really hope this "stage" passes quickly.

In Catholic world, I received a book to review that has me all excited about Advent's approach. I review books for a Catholic journal, and this month they sent me The Little Way of Advent: Meditations in the Spirit of St. Therese of Lisieux by Fr. Gary Caster. I *love* seasonal meditation volumes like this one. I expected this one to be writings of St. Therese to meditate upon each day, but it wasn't like that at all. Instead, the author focuses on St. Therese's devotion to both the infant Jesus and to the Holy Face, and explores how those themes weave their way through the Advent readings (including Sundays in all 3 cycles). Good stuff.

Monday, September 24, 2012

New year of Children't Liturgy, and is there a sock heaven?

This Sunday was the first installment of Children's Liturgy of the Word for the new school year, and the appointed catechist was none other than yours truly. I'll admit to dreading it just a hair, because there had been some challenging weeks leading up to the summer hiatus (Palm Sunday being a "highlight") and I had contemplated resigning from the program in lieu of volunteering for a different ministry.

But alas, here I am, all catechized and about to share with the children again. I prepared my lesson and prayed for the best. And you know, it went well. I had a smaller group (about 10 children) mostly consisting of school aged kids with just 2 squirmy pre-schoolers in the mix. The kids stayed mostly interested (at least the older ones) and I always try to add in interesting and amusing side stories when I can. It was a big relief to have the first week go so well. I'm back on duty in 3 weeks.

In other news, my falling leaves socks are no more. Friday night after dance class, I gleefully pulled them apart and re-balled the yarn. I threw the pattern in the garbage. Emotional gauge based on so much work going out the window?: Total joy. I'm SO relieved to not have to work on them anymore. I cast on for a pair of simple anklets, and life is grand.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Knitting projects gone bad

This hasn't happened in some time, but I'm familiar with this process. It's not pleasant to live through, but we knitters and crocheters all have to do it sometimes.

It goes like this. I'm all excited for a new project. I happily get the yarn and needles or hook out from my stash, along with the pattern. I do a little happy dance. There's nothing quite like the smell and anticipation of new yarn.

I set up my end table with my supplies, and dig in. If I'm being a very good girl, I produce a gauge swatch, although I usually live dangerously rely on previous work as a precise measure of my gauge. I then cast on. Things go well. For a time. Pretty soon, I notice an error.

Now, all crafters make errors. Not all of them take them as personally as I do.  A brave (and sane) crafter can admit that she is not perfect, add or decrease a stitch or what have you to make up for the error, and move on with her life, considering the experience a "design element" that enhances the product's appeal as handmade. Sometimes I can do this. Usually, I can't. It'll just eat away at me, mocking me every time I look at the damn thing. If I feel like I just can't live with it, I'll rip back or start over, making me extremely cranky in the process. If I feel like I can live with it, I'll knit two together and move on, but it will continue to bother me for the lifetime of the project, hence making me cranky anyway. As you can see, this is pretty much a lose/lose.

But on I press, because I just love the looks of the finished object. The picture of it on the pattern, at least. *My* work-in-progress is not really resembling the picture on the pattern but I am determined that I will make it as close a facsimile as possible if it kills me. So I knit on.

Soon, I come to a section in the pattern that I find confusing. I'm a librarian, I'm resourceful, so I go online. I pull up the pattern page on Ravelry, look at the gallery of items that other knitters have made. I read their notes, I take note of any errata. I may even locate the designers web page (stalker) to see if I can glean further information. Then I look at the pattern again while pressing my fingers to my forehead to make my brain work better.

I figure it out. Or, at least I *think* I do. I knit on and it quickly becomes clear that I still have no bloody idea what I'm doing. I may or may not knit backwards so that I can correct the error. But I've figured out the problem, so I'm happy. Now that I got through that problem spot, I'll be able to complete the project.

Until I hit the wall again. There's more frantic Ravelry consultation, more forehead pressing, perhaps an ibuprofen popped. There will almost certainly be swearing. There will be angry stuffing away of my project and firm handling of the yarn.

I HATE the project, but I'm not willing to give up yet. After all the time I've invested, I want my freaking pair of leaf socks. Oops, we've ventured over from the hypothetical into the reality, but there you have it. My leaf socks and I are at an impasse. It's charts confounded me, my center leaf is all jacked up, but STILL I thought I could make it work. I mastered the smaller leaves, and even though the edges of the instep are all loose and wonky, my leaves looked decent. I continued to knit them, slogging away with my cable needle and a bad attitude because I *really* wanted those socks.

Until I hit the heel. The heel, my friends, is my undoing. I've knit many socks, but all from the cuff down. These are from the toe up, and hopefully not all toe-up socks are this awful, but the heel of my falling leaves sock looks like a small testy animal chewed it up and spit it out. It's AWFUL. And STILL I did not abandon the project, because I'm such a glutton for punishment.

Until I rejoined in the round for the leg. I have to then continue the pattern all the way around, and you know what? I HATE THE PATTERN. The thought of cabling another one of those stupid little leaves depresses me and makes me want to break my wood double pointed needles out of spite just so that I have an excuse not to work on them anymore. And this is just sock #1! Casting on for another one of those fiddly toes again?! Navigating the center leaf chart again which took all my concentration and an advanced degree just to figure out the numerous charted symbol combinations?!

UGH. No sir. This is supposed to be *enjoyable* and *relaxing*. My sock is still stuffed intact inside my knitting bag, but I have a feeling that it's going to go to the big yarn pile in the sky this weekend. Clearly, I need a new pattern. I love the yarn, and I want socks made from it, so why torture myself? I should love the socks, not want to dismantle them piece by piece just to see them suffer.

I'm feeling porky about the whole thing. I need a happy knitting project to cleanse my palate. Perhaps crochet, just to switch things up. But the falling leaves are about to fall right back into a yarn ball. So sad for them.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Anne's world: 16 months edition

Anne is just a little firecracker these days and is clearly the most social person in the entire family. She has a sassy little personality in a small body, but everyone knows what's on her mind, let me tell you. Let's flip through a tour of Anne's abilities these days...

Things that Anne can climb:

(1) Every table in the house.

(2) It goes without saying, the stairs, at rapid fire speed.

(3) The walls (if provided with a boost from an accommodating piece of furniture).

She will dance to:

(1) All music on my Workout playlist, and most Middle Eastern music.

(2) The paging "beep beep beep!" on our cordless phone unit.

(3) Her white noise machine "heartbeat" setting.

She is morally opposed to:

(1) Sitting in her high chair to eat.

(2) Laying in a prone position on the changing table.

(3) Keeping socks on her feet.

She will often protest:

(1) Sitting on your lap for any length of time.

(2) Eating the thing that was perfectly palatable to her a few days prior.

(3) Wearing pants.

When angered, she is likely to:

(1) Scream.

(2) Kick.

(3) Slap her toy puppy dog.

This morning I was feeling particularly vulnerable after a long night of Anne wakefulness and refusal to go back to sleep. As I prepared to leave for work, Mike was vacuuming the upstairs, so I popped Anne into her crib with a few toys so she would be safe until Mike finished up. He turned off the vacuum to say goodbye to me. As I leaned into his very welcome hug, I hear him say over my shoulder:

"Anne! Get your leg off of that crib rail!"

Sweet mother of God. She's *already* trying to climb out of her crib?! Anybody know of a good crib roof thing?!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

For the first time in months, last night I...

...used my CROCK POT!

I know that most normal people wouldn't get this excited about using a slow cooker, but what can I say? I love using my crock pot. And I only use it when the weather is cold. It's just not summery to use the crock pot. This is partially because we don't have air conditioning in our kitchen and thus it heats up with just the slightest provocation in the summer. But it just screams "Fall!" to me to use the crock pot. So I busted it out for the first time last night.

I put some chicken in there with carrots in a cream of chicken soup mixture. SO good. The meat gets so tender and the vegetables so soft. Boil some water for pasta, and voila! Instant meal.

I love coming home and smelling the dinner cooking. I love how easy it is to have everything ready before I even leave work. Easy, easy, easy.

And the weather is finally cooperating. We're actually *above* average this month for rainfall. The grass is green again! It feels damp and chilly. Love it.

My new winter hat is nearly done. I'm on the final round of the decreased entrelac rectangles. Query: does anybody know how to graft live stitches onto a selvedge edge? My YouTube searching is only bringing up Kitchener stitch results, which isn't what I need. I think I can finagle something loosely based on Kitchener, but I don't know what the heck I'm doing, so looking for a little guidance. After this, I embark on a pair of mittens, plus start gift knitting!

Mike and I are set to watch a movie tonight after the kids go to bed, and I want to also work on my falling leaf sock. This sock is quite an investment. I've already been working on it for a month, and this is only sock #1. I think I feel a case of Second Sock Syndrome coming on. I don't think socks should take this long, but maybe it's just me and my slow chart reading skills. These better be extra cozy when I'm done with them.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Parent orientation night

So last night I dragged a comb through my hair, added some blusher, and hoped I looked alive enough to head to parent orientation night at Henry's school.

I was running late, and so hustled in right before his teacher started. I had to do the quick loop around the room to find Hank's desk, and then wedge  myself onto his little chair. Right away, I got a good feeling from his teacher. And that's the thing with our experience with this school. At his old school, every time we went there, I left feeling:

"I just...don't know about this."

Whereas here, I always feel:

*happy beam*

It's just so warm and friendly at his new school, and I feel like they place importance on the right things. Catholic values, strong language arts, math, science, and social studies curriculum, and good old-fashioned penmanship. At the other school, there were lots of district policies on everything from nutrition to pretend play that we had to be made aware of and plenty of emphasis on state testing scores. 

Right away in Hank's classroom, I felt happy. Crucifix on the wall, pictures of saints pinned up, it felt very Catholic and nurturing. His teacher was super friendly, very jovial and happy-go-lucky. She's been teaching a long time, although she's new to Hank's school. She had a quick presentation, and then everybody started talking amongst themselves.

Immediately, the mother next to me started chatting with me. I had noticed that she was chatty during the teachers' presentation; definitely a question asker. :) But very nice.

"So. Samantha comes home every day and just talks and talks about Henry."

Ah ha. I knew there was more to Hank's school story than met the eye:

"Hi Honey! How was school today?!"


"What did you do today?"


"Didn't you have..."


So see. Little girls talk to him. This we hear nothing about. Anyway, we continue with the chatty mom:

"Oh yes, she tells me about Henry all the time. She seems to really like it here."

As we were talking, I noticed that little Samantha's desk had a sparkly Barbie pencil case neatly tucked into her desk, whereas Henry's plain plastic one was already broken. Some things are really predictable.

Anyway, I chatted with this mom for a bit more. Turns out they are Presbyterian, not Catholic, but they didn't like her previous public school, and are very happy that they switched. I learned all sorts of interesting details about all this. I think that there are quite a few people around here who are non-Catholic but use the Catholic schools. I'm always interested to learn their story.

Before I left, I checked out Henry's art work up on the wall and signed up for a parent/teacher conference next month. He had an adorable entry into the class project of writing a sentence that begins with "I am special because..." Henry's indicated that he was special "because God made me." An adorable, pious answer. Somehow I'm thinking he didn't come up with this answer all on his own, but it's precious all the same.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Is there a graceful way to describe: "feels like a worn out dish rag?"

Probably not. Unfortunately, Anne is back to actively sprouting teeth and consequently woke each night this weekend. She looks all adorable poured into her sleepers from last winter, but all the same, I'd rather not cavort with her until morning. Just trying to hang in there. There must be an end in sight.

In good news, we have soap in the ladies room again on my floor. Apparently it just takes five attempts to procure said soap. But we'll take it.

I also received my new advent wreath over the weekend. Hank and I unpacked it and he immediately asked if he could keep it in his room. :) How precious is that? He loves seasonal traditions and decor, just like me. But no, we won't be keeping the ceramic wreath and lit candles in Hank's bedroom. I repacked it and it's awaiting it's December 2nd debut.

I have a long week ahead at work and I'm just trying to endure it. Tonight is the parent orientation at Hank's school, and although I'm anxious to meet his teacher, I know that by 7 pm tonight I'm going to look like something the cat dragged in. I'll do my best. But me in my jammies tucked under the covers can't come soon enough, I tell you.

Friday, September 14, 2012

The case of the missing soap

Could it be? I got a normal night of sleep for 2 whole nights in a row?

*cue the choir*

It IS.

Sweet Mother of God, I feel SO MUCH BETTER. It's amazing what a little sleep can do to your psyche.

Anne as well was in good spirits this morning and danced the morning away with her little music machine. I'm really hoping that I have a future dancer on my hands; the costumes, the recitals. *squeals!* I just can't wait for that stuff.

So, when I got to work this morning, I was in good spirits. I'm ordering my new belly dance costume tonight (tough for us to spare the money in our entertainment budget, but I consider it an investment in my happiness, and it's worth it) and I was just feeling chipper. I made myself some tea and got to work on a lesson plan. Shortly after that, I made the subsequent necessary trip to the ladies room on my floor.

Here's where the saga begins. Yes, in the ladies room. I don't know why, but cleaning is a huge, huge problem at the university that I work in. It's just...bad, really bad. Awful, even. On the weekends, things get downright scandalous.

Since Monday, we have had no soap in our ladies room. I waited a day, figuring help was on the way. No soap. So the next time I went down for tea water, I asked our assistant if she would call facilities to alert them to the problem. She furrowed her eyebrows and said that someone had already complained and so she had already placed a request with them. She thought the problem had been solved. Thus, she resolved to contact them about it again right away. Fab.

Another day goes by. No soap.

Now, seriously. I'm not saying we all need to scour our skin off after using the restroom, but warm water and soap is just a basic cleanliness necessity. The warm water is also a problem, since we have those newfangled "improved" sinks with sensors for the water to turn on. And the water is *never* warm. But that's another story entirely. Soap, that's all I ask.

The next day, my office neighbor stopped by to gossip with me about the ladies room situation. She said that our assistant had placed yet another request for soap, and that she thought she would call facilities herself to up the ante. Our walls are paper thin here (I mean, I can bless people when they sneeze; I also know more about their private business than they'd like me to, I'm sure. But hey, they should talk quieter) so I could hear that she in fact called facilities and very sternly explained the situation.

This morning, we both received a message from our wonderful assistant, asking after the soap situation. My tea had kicked in, as I mentioned above, so I headed right off. I used the facilities. Confidently, I strode to the sink, wet my hands, and pressed the soap dispenser.

No soap came out.

For the love of all that is holy, what is going on?! Is it *really* that difficult to replace soap? It's not as if they are telling us that they are out of refills and are working on getting more. They keep telling us that they put soap in, and yet there is no soap.

Either there is a nefarious soap thief in the library or someone is not being truthful. Either way, it's very annoying.

Here's hoping for soap on Monday. But we have a lovely weekend planned, filled with trips to a local cider mill and football viewing. The weather is supposed to be turning crisp again tomorrow and naturally, I can't wait to knit during this transformation.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

You'll be relieved to know...

...that I'm eons less cranky today than I was yesterday. The reason being that I got more than 4 hours of sleep last night. And boy did I need it.

When I left work yesterday (early, I just couldn't take it anymore; I was resorting to glaring poison darts any colleague who prolonged the painful meeting I was at), my head was throbbing and I could barely keep my eyes open. Plus, it was HOT in my car, and you know how I feel about THAT. I wasn't exactly Happy Tiffany at this time yesterday. So it's pleasing that things are different today.

After our disastrous night with Anne the other day, I risked amputation of my index finger to reach into her mouth and assess if any new choppers had come through the gum. On the upper left side, I felt a brand new molar.

*angels sing*

So hopefully we'll get a reprieve for a bit. We really need it.

I was feeling sorry for myself last night, and so curled up on the couch with Mike to watch Best in Show (love that movie) and knit. I'm working on a hat and mittens for myself, and this particular set uses a knitting technique that was previously unfamiliar to me: entrelac.

Entrelac means that you knit rectangles on the bias in such a way that they appear to be woven. It's very pretty, although I think we can all agree that there are many, MANY entrelac patterns out there in which the finished items look bulky and odd. Just do a search on Ravelry and you'll see what I'm talking about. *shudder*

But anyway, my hat and mittens. The hat is coming along nicely, and I'm now decreasing for the crown.The hat is designed to be slouchy, and I'm just hoping that when I'm done the result will be "cute!" and not "her head looks like a giant mushroom!" See bulky concern, supra. Here is the picture from the pattern:

I have the pink colorway, called the "creamsicle" colorway, which pretty much sealed the deal on me purchasing the kit. Who wouldn't love a creamsicle hat and mittens?!

Hopefully it will come out well. The other thing I'm working on is a pair of candy corn slipper socks. My favorite Halloween candy of all time.

Tonight I'm meeting some friends for dinner at a local Mediterranean restaurant and my dance teacher is performing there. Wine, hummus, good friends, and belly dancing, what could be better? Life is good.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I come to you from an exhausted stupor

Today's blog post is going to be even less scintillating than yesterday's edition, I'm sorry to say. Anne cried inconsolably at bedtime last night, proceeded to wake up hysterically at 12:30 am, and stay awake until nearly 3. I barely dragged myself out of bed at 6:30 to get Henry up and ready for school, and myself for work. I just nearly fell asleep at a meeting and looked barely alive on the reference desk this morning.

I think it's time to go home.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

My Advent Wreath Shipped!

It's all very exciting! The nativity advent wreath that I ordered last month finally shipped. It was on back order for quite some time. It's not like I need it imminently or anything, but I was worried that it would remain on back order until well after Advent began, so I'm relieved that it's on it's way.

As for my ability to type anything else today, you've about reached my capacity. Anne is still getting us up very early in the morning and I taught 2 classes this morning, which tends to wipe me out. I'm looking forward to a nice evening of knitting, tea, and Mike.

Oh! Today is Tuesday, which means "Aerial America" is on the Smithsonian Channel tonight. Has anybody else seen this show? They have hour-long profiles of all 50 states, it's fascinating. We're such nerds.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Adventures in Bath & Body Works, and looks like I'm still a parish catechist...

This past Saturday, Henry and I traveled to our local Bath & Body Works for a little Mommy/Son bonding time. As Henry gets older, he wants to do so many things with Mike. You know, "boy stuff." He looks up to his Daddy. But one thing that he really enjoys doing with me is going to Bath & Body Works. He isn't into lotions or body scrubs, which I'm sure is no surprise. He just really likes scented candles and hand soap. He's also a fan of the little anti-bacterial gels they have there. He has a good time going around and smelling everything, and then bringing me the ones he likes for me sample as well. And it makes hand washing following bathroom duties much more pleasant for him if he likes the soap.

So Saturday we went just he and I, so that we could take our time (shopping with Anne, especially in any store that carries items made of glass, is not so fun) and enjoy ourselves. I sniffed all the new fall scented body products while Henry darted around admiring the Halloween scents.

"What's that you have, Honey? Ah, a soap called 'Vampire Blood,' nice."

I ended up getting myself some of the seasonal "Dreamy Vanilla Woods" scent. It's very nice, and I'm picky about my lotion/body spray scents. I do NOT like florals, and I don't like musky scents. I love vanilla, but not all vanillas are created equal. This one is a deeper vanilla, not foody, but very creamy. Anyway, that was a long description for body lotion. In the mean time, Henry had a load of the fall scented anti-bacterial hand sanitizers for me to smell, as well as a slew of candles. The little hand sanitizers were 5 for $5, so we picked out some of those, plus 2 small candles, which were on sale. I also got Wallflowers for both Henry and Anne's rooms. Anne really needs it, what with her diaper pail nearly requiring a gas mask to empty. All of the scents that we chose were fall-themed. :) Pumpkin Cupcake, Orchard Walk, Candy Corn, Vanilla Buttercream. If I want to eat it, I'll buy it. We had a great time.

On Sunday I wanted to take Anne to Mass again, but she was napping, so it was just Henry and I. And I was dwelling on the fact that I really dragged my feet this summer deciding what to do about Children's Liturgy of the Word. You may remember that late last spring, as we finished up the program for the summer, I was toying with discontinuing my participation and perhaps becoming a lector instead. I just didn't feel like I was enjoying it, and it seemed so much like babysitting to me because people tend to send their kids that are really young and can't sit still.

Well. I did think and pray about it over the summer, and I still felt undecided about what to do so I did nothing. Typical. Sunday, as Henry and I sit down in our pew, I open the bulletin to see my name in the list of catechists to be "commissioned" next Sunday in honor of the religious education season beginning again. Uh oh.

I figured that was my sign. Maybe I should continue to participate for another year. That was confirmed today when I received an email from the director of religious education. One of the most dedicated volunteers to the program is away for an entire month, and it's just me and another woman that they have to cover Children's Liturgy of the Word until late October, and they'd like to start the program up again the weekend after next. I couldn't exactly tell her *now* that I don't want to do it this year. If I really felt strongly about it, I should have spoken to her this summer so they could have recruited somebody else.

So, I'm signed up for 2 dates coming up. I don't think God speaks to us using big signs or anything, it's just subtle, everyday stuff. And so I figured this was my nudge. Hopefully, it'll go well this year. If not, then I really need to completely plan out what I want to do instead, and let the program coordinator know right away.

Wish me luck. :)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Football season is upon us, and hence, fall knitting

We're big football fans in our house, so this is yet another aspect of this time of year that I enjoy. While Mike watches football, I usually knit by his side. It's a perfect time to start on winter woolens.

I'm making everybody a new hat this year, and right now I'm on mine and Mike's. I'm also going to make Mike some Steelers socks (he's originally from Pittsburgh) using the toe up 2-at-a-time method (if I can ever figure out how to do that, snort). I have more socks and a pair of mittens also in my short term future.

I hate puffy huge winter coats for the babies (too hard with car seats) and each winter Anne receives a handknit wool sweater that subs for a coat. This year, I'm knitting her the Pinwheel Sweater, pattern available for free from

I have a wool sampler in my stash in blues and greens, so I'm going to use that. It's a perfect stash buster pattern. *feels righteous for not ordering yet more yarn* I also have some knitted and crocheted toys and dolls in my queue and I do have plenty of yarn for some sweaters for myself. I'm going to be busy.

So, I'm excited. I've also got lots of fun belly dancing stuff going on Saturday we're going to take the kids to a local festival. Assuming we aren't falling down exhausted from our long nights with Anne, but that's another story entirely.

Have a great weekend everybody!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Sometimes karma comes back to bite you in the behind...

Yes, I'm still whining about the weather. But you know what happens to people who whine, don't you? Bad things happen to them. Remember how I complained the other day about us not getting enough rain? Do you know what happened THAT VERY DAY?

I packed up my stuff to leave work. I looked out the window. It was pouring.

I was happy. I mean, we need the rain. But then I realized that my umbrella was in my car. Useful place for it, don't you think? But hey, I'm a big girl. A little water won't kill me.

By the time I was finished checking out a book downstairs I could see that this was more than just a casual rain. Cats and dogs were about to appear from the sky. I decided to walk via the above ground passageways so that I could get as close to the parking lot that my car was in as possible without going outside. As I walked, I could see huge puddles forming by the sides of the roads and lots of people wrestling with umbrellas.

When I got to the final door, I didn't hesitate. I mean, what good would it do to stand there and bemoan my fate? It wasn't slowing down anytime soon. Out I went.

In the short time it took me to run out to my car, I got *drenched*. As in, my clothes were soaked to the skin and my hair and face were dripping.

I scrambled into my car real quick-like and laid my drippy bags on the passenger seat. I turned on the car and the defogger. Because, since it is still HOT out, the windows began to fog immediately. I put it on full blast and set off.

Pretty soon, my hands were all sticky from being wet and collecting some kind of dirt from the steering wheel (lovely), and I was sitting awkwardly because I hate that "my clothes are stuck to me" feeling. Halfway home I could feel my hair drying, but I knew this was bad. A glance in the mirror upon arrival at home confirmed it: I looked like a poodle. When my hair gets wet and dries by itself, it waves up and generally acts very irritating. It was all kinked up right at the scalp. Since it was half wet, half dry, when I tried to pull my comb through it it behaved precisely like a rat's nest. Not a pretty sight.

When I got out of the car, I could still feel that icky damp clothes feeling and my hands were even stickier. My hair was a complete lost cause.

I rushed into the house and thought to myself that I shouldn't have been so bad tempered about the weather. We did need the rain but there's no saving the grass here this year.

Next year is another year, I suppose.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Henry's first day of school

"Hi Honey! How was your first day of school?"


"Do you like your new teacher?"


"Is she nice?"


"Are there any new kids in your class?" (nice thing about his Catholic school, the class sizes are small)


"How many?"

"I don't remember."

"Are they girls or boys?"

"I don't remember."

"They're girls, huh?"


"Do you have gym or anything tomorrow?"

"I don't remember."


"Do you like your new classroom?"

*scowl* "Not really. It's on the first floor, Mommy. I like it better on the second floor."

Suddenly, he can say more than 3 words.

"Do you want to buy your lunch tomorrow?"

"No, it's chicken nuggets. I'm holding out for pizza on Thursday."

Ah ha.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A HOT Labor Day, followed by Henry's first day of second grade...

I'm recovering (snort!) from a lovely, but at the same time, challenging Labor Day weekend. Where to begin...

Well, I'll start with the weather. I'll be frank. The weather is starting to really tee me off. It's Labor Day. It's supposed to be COLD. Chilly, I could live with. A slight bite to the air, I would also welcome. I DO NOT WELCOME 90 DEGREE HEAT. I'm sorry, but that is wrong. It doesn't get up to 90 degrees in this area very often (3 times per year on average) in mid-July let alone September! Yesterday was the hottest Labor Day that we've had in 102 years.


I am not a happy camper. And then, in the midst of all this, our drought continues. We have had some rain, but very little, and we're still WAY below average for rainfall. This all means that my seasonal allergies, which are never a walk in the park, were so bad this weekend that I broke down and bought some OTC allergy medication. This may not sound all that revolutionary, but I tell you, for me to actually take allergy medicine is no small feat. I stick it out like a True Allergy Martyr. I don't know why; I'm not expecting to be canonized for navigating my ragweed allergy sans Claritin any time soon. But I'm just so resistant to it if I feel that I can just stick it out. Because some days will be fine. I'll have a not-so-great day, and then it'll go back to being fine again.

But this weekend. I was ready to SAW MY OWN NOSE OFF to stop the agony. There was non-stop itching. There was sneezing. SO MUCH SNEEZING. I'd have to brace myself, because no sir, I wasn't going to sneeze just once. If I feel a sneeze coming, this means that at least a half dozen other sneezes are waiting in the wings (and sneezes, after you've birthed a baby? Well. I'm just going to leave you with the word "leakage" and let you figure out the rest from there. At any rate, it's not very dignified). There was stuffiness and subsequent nose blowing (aren't you so glad that you are reading this?!) that led to my nose being raw by the end of the day Saturday. There was eye watering. There was a general malaise.

And there was lack of sleep. Yes, Anne is back to night waking again. And each time, she is a drooling, fist biting menace in clear distress. She's teething, and she's taking it out on the rest of us.

"Anne! NO BITING!" is a refrain often heard in our home these days. Because she bites HARD. It *hurts*. She bit me on the neck the other day, and it just took my breath away. It leaves a red welt, and then leaves a bruise. She's just not herself these days.

And we're tired. We're all so tired. It's like having a small infant again. She wakes every night, and then stays awake for an hour or two. I had a really hard time getting out of bed for work this morning.

But it was Henry's first day of school, and I was anxious to see him off, since I knew he was nervous about it. He comes out in his little school uniform, and I tell you, he looked *adorable*. He adjusted to having to go back, and was in good spirits this morning. He was looking forward to finding out what days he'll have his "specials" on (gym, art, music, computers). Little cutie.

And this weekend, I even took both children with me to Mass, ALL BY MYSELF. *waits for medal that is so rightly deserved* Anne did pretty well. She fussed a bit during the consecration, so I paced with her off to the side, and we didn't have to actually leave the sanctuary. She was happy to be out of the pew and have some things to look at and touch. When Henry was a toddler, I was attending a parish that had "divided pews," if that makes sense. Each long pew had a divider in the middle, and it was great. I'd position myself at the end opening, and then he could walk between me and the divider, with no chance of escaping. Our current parish is not like this, so Anne has to be in my arms the whole time. Not so fun, but she did well. She's so friendly; she tried to go off with the random woman sitting behind us during the sign of peace. Overall though, it was a success, and if she's awake during the Mass I go to now, I'll take her with me too.

That was my weekend. I'm feeling a bit diminished, but I'm hanging in there.