Sunday, December 28, 2008

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Book Review: Knit Two

This is the sequel to Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs. My step-daughter gave this to me Christmas morning (I didn't even know she had written a sequel!!) and I finished it last night. What does that tell you?

I really, really, really liked this book. It's set five years after Friday Night Knitting Club ends. Dakota is 18 and a freshman in college, Lucie is a successful video director, her sweet baby is a rambunctious five year old, Anita and Marty are still together, Dan is finally back in NYC with Darwin - her dissertation is finished and she's now a Women's Studies professor, and so much more but I don't want to give anything away. I could not put this book down.

My only complaint? One of the books plots ends a little too neatly for me. That's all.

Monday, December 22, 2008

In the Nick of Time?

It's done.

Now my husband just has to Express Mail it to Pennsylvania today. But it is done. And before Christmas at that.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Pause

I know that I promised to blog every day during the month of December. However, Tuesday night my world came crashing down around me. I really don't want to go into details. Suffice it to say that I need a moment to myself.

Monday, December 8, 2008

NOT a Morning Bear

Bear is not a morning Bear. Not in any sense of the word. She routinely pulls the blankets and/or pillows over her head in the morning and groans, "Not yet!" or "Snuggle with me!" It would be funny if it didn't take 45 minutes to get her out of bed in the morning. Or after nap time. Or anytime she falls asleep.

Which leads me to today's check up with the pediatrician. She fell asleep on the way there which meant we had to wake her up. It wasn't pretty.

We checked in, took off her coat, and then it was out turn. (Since when do doctors run AHEAD of schedule?!) The poor thing had virtually no transition time. She definitely didn't have her requisite 45 minutes. So we dragged her into the exam room, literally, and stripped her down to her big girl underpants. She sat on the floor kicking me. So I moved to the other side of the room. So she crawled next to me and continued to kick me.

The pediatrician came in and I won't go into deep detail. I think these two comments can pretty much sum up our visit... "Most children need one minute per year old for a time-out but she may need two minutes per year. " And perhaps the more telling comment, "The best preparation I ever had for this job was the high school wrestling team."

Now, don't get me wrong, I love Bear's pediatrician. He is warm, caring, and not the least bit condescending. Not even when I asked him if Bear's post-nap-sweaty-folded-in-half-ear could become permanent. Or when I insisted, at five days old, that she was YELLOW. Clearly she was YELLOW, couldn't he see that? So he ordered stat labs on a Friday afternoon to calm my crazy first time mom self. But today, I felt like the worst mother in the world.

My three year old was literally on the floor, writhing about, screaming, throwing a text book temper tantrum and I was absolutely powerless. There was NOTHING I could do to calm the storm or make it stop. I simply had to wait it out, something the doctor did not have time to do. (She eventually did calm down and even participated in her eye exam. And then she told the nurse that she was "NOT NICE!" when she gave Bear her flu shot.)

And then the best part. We had to tell him that, guess what! We're expecting again. You know, since we've obviously totally screwed up with this one we're going to try again. We can't do any worse right?

I'm sure every parent goes through this. (Tell me every parent goes through this... right?) But I still feel like a complete failure.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Perspective

This morning, looking out the kitchen window...

Me & Andrew: Ugh! Are you kidding me? Gross.

Bear: NO!!!!!!!!!!!! It's Nowing!!!!!!!!!!! Yeah! YAHOO!!! I want to make nomen!!! I can't wait to make noflakes!! MOMMY!!! LOOK OUT THE WINDOW!!! IT'S NOWING!!!! DADDY LOOK!!!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Sick

As anyone who has ever lived with me will attest to, I am the worst sick person on this planet.

I am achy, tired, my nose is leaking, and my face hurts. I hate being sick. And to make it even worse - I can't take anything, except Tylenol. I might as well take Skittles - they taste better and have essentially the same effect.

Sleep is virtually impossible since I can barely breathe sitting straight up. (See why I'm a bad sick person? Can you hear the whine?)

I hate being sick.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Conference

The nice thing about spending all day at a conference, besides not actually being at work, is that I got to finish the left front piece of the Ballerina Wrap. Oh, and learning. That too. (Actually the conference was really interesting, and I did learn a lot - the kntting piece was a bonus.)

The nice thing about blogging every day - I have to actually get some knitting done. :-)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Two Hours

of my life that I will never get back.

Room by Bear



Room by Mommy.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Commissioned

Anyone who knits has invariably been asked, "Can you make me a (fill in the blank)?" My knee-jerk response has always been, "I can teach you." But now I find myself with two projects that are mine solely due to my big mouth.

The first I acquired this summer and have done an entire gauge swatch for thus far. It's for a woman I work with. She bought the yarn on vacation despite the fact that she has never knit a stitch in her life. Also despite the fact that she had to beg, plead, and bribe the pattern out of the woman who owned the yarn shop. (Apparently the pattern is the creation of said owner and it wasn't for sale, trade, or ransom.) What's stopping me? Besides the fact that I am a schizophrenic knitter who can't seem to focus? There's no picture. I don't know if what I'm making is right. It's infuriating.

The second belongs to Andrew's aunt. (I couldn't really say no now could I?) She actually knit the pieces but has asked me to finish it - including weaving in all the loose ends and seeming the whole thing. Again, this pattern doesn't come with a picture, but at least I have more of an idea of what it's supposed to look like. This one has a time limit though. It's a Christmas present and has to be mailed to Pennsylvania first so I really should finish it before the end of this week.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

This IS a knitting blog right?


It is. A sorely neglected knitting blog but that is what is it. So I'm going to make it up to my blog. This month I am going to post every single day. OK, so I cheated a bit by backdating that last post - but really every single day in December. Even Christmas. And New Year's Eve.

And to start, some actual knitting content.

I didn't finish the two little sweaters I started for Bear for Sara's wedding (big surprise). But I paid good money for the Baby Cashmerino for the Ballerina Wrap and traded away seven balls of Berocco Air for the Cashmerino Aran to make the Molly Bolero. So by gone I am going to finish them both.

I'm actually making good progress on the Ballerina Wrap.

`
OK, now I am off to troll the blogs of all my bloggy friends that I have been neglecting lately. See you tomorrow!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Confidence

The other day Bear was playing dress up - she was wearing her poofy Cinderella dress and her green with big yellow polka dots Dorothy the Dinosaur hat. While sifting through her dress up box she found a little hand mirror I had given her. Opening up the mirror, she looked up at me and said, "Let me see how beautiful I look." After a quick glance in the mirror she slammed it shut and announced, "Yup."

Sunday, November 23, 2008

First Dance

Andrew and I got married six years ago on top of a mountain in New Hampshire. Everyone who asks will hear the same response... it was the best decision of my life. We saved ourselves thousands of dollars and had the wedding of our dreams.

Whenever my friends are in the wee weeks before the big day, stressing out about the final seating plan and dealing with last minute glitches they always turn to me and say, I should have done what you did. I always laugh.

There's only one thing I have ever regretted. Andrew and I never got our first dance. We never got to dance to our song, just us. Of course, we've danced together to that song at every wedding we've been to for the past six years. Our close friends always make sure that "our song" is on the absolute must play list. We simply harass the DJ at acquaintance's weddings. :-)

Last night, Sara changed that. After all the traditional wedding dances Sara got up in front of the room and started with something along the lines of "When my good friend Megan got married on top of mountain six years ago..." I didn't hear the rest. What I did hear was the opening chords of True Companion by Marc Cohen.

Andrew and I finally had our first dance. I'm crying just writing about it.



Thank you.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Back in the Saddle

OK ladies, I think that the puke fest is finally over. I am still exhausted but a lot of that is my own fault. Wednesday night was Sara's bachelorette party in New York City. We took the train in from New Haven, CT to Grand Central Station and hit all the touristy spots (Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall, Bloomingdale's) and a really cute little bar before finally having dinner at 11:00pm at Planet Hollywood. Yes, we were still in NYC at 11pm. We ended up taking the 2am train out of Grand Central back to New Haven. I walked in my front door at 7:15 Thursday morning, took a shower and went to work. So I'm not 19 anymore, and I was a disaster at work all day. Whatever. NYC was a blast and totally worth it!

I got about 16 rows done on the shrug that Bear was supposed to wear tonight for the wedding. Mmmmh, only about, I don't know, two hundred rows short of an actual shrug. The wedding IS indoors.

So tonight is the wedding. I can't wait. I am so excited to see Bear be the flower girl and I am SOOO happy for Sara. I can't believe this day is actually here. My dress is super cute. From Motherhood Maternity and a whole size smaller than I thought I needed. (I tried on the bigger size and the sales girl was like, oooooh, see how big this is, try on the smaller one. Yahoo.)

So now for some pictures... you didn't expect a two-week hiatus with no pictures did you?


The chandelier at the train station in New Haven, CT.
Times Square, NYC
Our collection, I had the Diet Coke.

Dinner music.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Knitting Weekend

This weekend, Slater Mill held a Knitting Weekend with Norah Gaughan and Annie Modesitt to celebrate the opening of the new education center and community guild studios. I was able to attend the wine and cheese reception Friday night (sans the wine) and I took a lace knitting class with Annie Modesitt this morning.

First off, the setting is perfect. Slater Mill, the birthplace of American textile manufacturing - could there be a more fitting location? The upstairs portion of the museum has been redone, with wide oak (well, wood, I'm not a tree expert or anything but it looked like oak to me) floor boards, glass panels with glass doors separating portions of the studio, and beautiful paned windows that look out onto the river and can open to let in the sound of the slight waterfall. Even the grounds are gorgeous, and that's pretty hard to do in downtown Pawtucket.

The wine and cheese reception was hysterical. Norah and Annie are like a comedy duo - they had the entire crowd laughing for most of the night. They also hung around and graciously signed books afterwards. Since I already have a signed copy of Knitting Nature (I met Norah Gaughan about two years ago at Yarnia in Woonsocket, RI) I got Annie Modesitt's book Cheaper than Therapy.

The class today was amazing, even though I was admonished for talking several times (ah, reminds me of my school days). She spoke about lace as if it were normal. We practiced with DK weight yarn so it was easy to see the pattern develop after only a few rows. (So I realize even more now why black mohair was a really poor first choice for lace knitting.) I left having learned a few tricks and feeling confident that I could successfully knit lace - even if it isn't going to be a black sparkly Seascape right off the bat.

Next Tuesday night (the 18th) will be the official opening of the Jenks Education Center and the Community Guild Studios with the ribbon cutting ceremony at 6:30pm. If you're within driving distance, I would highly encourage you to attend.

So here are some pictures from the grounds... I didn't take any during class (I was in enough trouble as it was.)


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Why haven't I been knitting (or blogging) lately?

A) It's hard to knit and puke at the same time.

B) I can't keep a secret.

C) All of the above.

If you guessed C - you're right!!! (If you haven't figured it out yet, we're having a baby!) Sometime towards the end of June, Bear will have a new brother or sister to terrorize. We can't wait!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Princess Party

So Bear will be three next week - can you believe it?!? On one hand, I feel like I gave birth yesterday. On the other, she is so incredibly grown up. She says the funniest things, especially when she is talking back (with attitude). Andrew and I find ourselves laughing hysterically on a daily basis, though we try to wait until she leaves the room, discipline being totally undermined by hysterical laughter and all.

Yesterday we had her third birthday extravaganza party, hosted at her gymnastics school. I convinced two of the nurses that I work with that it would be FUN to dress up like princesses and come play with three-year-olds on their day off. Amazingly, they actually showed up. Bear was a little afraid of them at first, but that wore off quickly, and soon she was bellowing for the princesses to follow her all over the gym.

The party was a big hit with kids and adults alike. Really, what's not to like about trampolines and soft mats? A friend of mine made a Cinderella cake which was amazing. Bear seemed a little confused about it, but she remembered how to blow out the candles!

She got about a gazillion presents - she didn't even open them, she was too busy playing with Cinderella and Snow White, so I opened them and tried to get her to at least look at them and acknowledged the people that gave them to her.

Andrew and I got her the Little Tykes Kid Tough Digital Camera. (And her Sissy gave her a photo printer - yes, my three year old got a digital camera and a photo printer for her birthday.) She uses Andrews old cell phone to take pictures all the time, so we knew the camera would be a hit. Well, today the weather was gorgeous, so we went for a bike ride on the (almost connected) bike path. Bear started her photography career with some actually, not so bad, pictures.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Ingenious!

I knew the minute I started winding that first hank of yarn the other night that I was definitely going to need a swift. The back of a kitchen chair is useful in a number of ways, doll prison, for example, but as yarn swift, the back of my kitchen chairs failed miserably.

Of course, I knew the hubby wasn't going to approve that particular "yarn" purchase. My first response was to buy it anyway google "how to make your own yarn swift" and then attach the instructions to an email to my dad along with a message that read somewhere along the lines of Plllllleeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaassssssssseeeeeeee build this for me. But then I found this tutorial. Saving my dad hours of time and me hours of negotiating that I really will clean my room this weekend if he would just make me a swift.

A trip to Target later I am up and running with my own Tinkertoy swift.


It works like a dream, and by changing the length of the arms (orange sticks in this picture) it is fully adjustable. Even I, the engineering school drop out, was able to put it together in mere minutes.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Secret Pal 12

I received my SP12 package yesterday from my still unknown swap partner. (She forgot to reveal her secret super-hero identity but we're working on that!) She had emailed me a while back explaining why my package was going to be delayed - but let me tell you, it was well worth the wait!






The box was chock full of fun. 16 hanks of yarn - including 10 of that boucle you see there (Knitting Fever Noro in Katorea), 2 hanks of beautiful purple wool (Briggs Little Atlantic in Mulberry), and 4 balls of DGB Confetti sock yarn (2 in a brown mix and 2 in a gray mix). Plus candy, a toddler poncho pattern, a sock blocker key chain kit, two beautiful bright washcloths (seen only in the top picture when they were still in the box because Bear instantly scooped them up as blankets for her babies), a journal, note cards, Sour Patch Kids, Sour Cherries, a knitting magazine, a magnetic photo display kit, and wait, the most amazing part...



a ball winder!!!!! Oh, the excitement. I even wound a hank last night, JUST BECAUSE I COULD. Oh, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU secret pal!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Red Sox

Seriously? It's 1:08am. Bottom of the 10th and still tied 8-8. Can the freakin' Red Sox just win it in 9 innings like everyone else? I feel like a crappy fan but I'm starting to fall asleep in my knitting. Sheesh.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Girly Girl

When I found out I was pregnant, I immediately thought I was going to have a boy. All my dreams in those early weeks were about babies dressed entirely in blue. When I found out I was having a girl, I cried. I told my doctor that girls were cranky and high-maintenance and I didn't think I could do it (hormonal much?).

When Bear was born, I, of course, fell in love. I loved snuggling with her and kissing her sweet baby lips. She has the sweetest little girly personality. She loves dolls and coloring and M&M's. She runs like a girl. I routinely buy her dresses and adorable little outfits just because they are so darn cute. So a few weeks ago, when my aunt asked if she could buy Bear a Cinderella costume for Halloween and give it to her at her birthday party, I said absolutely.

And then Bear broke the news to me. This year, she's going trick-or-treating dressed as Spiderman.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Cozy V-Neck Pullover with Deep Ribbing


Pattern: Cozy V-Neck Pullover with Deep Ribbing by Stefanie Japel
Yarn: 6 hanks (almost all of it) of Cascade Pastaza color #019 cherry
Size: Bear sized
Begun: 8/31/08
Finished: 10/5/08

Notes
This was super easy to knit - it took a month because I didn't touch it for almost two full weeks. The llama wool is incredibly itchy, but it's barely noticeable with the button down shirt on underneath. I like the fit, though the ribbing on the arms looks very chunky to me. I will probably make a Bear-sized version of this also, though not in Pastaza.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Christmas Sweaters

Ever year I say that I am going to make sweaters for us to wear in our Christmas card picture. And every year it gets to be about mid-December and my husband starts wondering if the Christmas cards are going to be mailed before December 25th or a couple months later.

Well this year is DIFFERENT! I am more than halfway through the first sweater, which the big sister will wear. I'm going to make a mini-version for Bear. And then make this for myself. All before the September 28th. (Christmas picture-cards are 40% off if you have them done in September.)

Check out the progress so far...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Book Review - In His Sights

I read this review and these chapters online and knew I HAD to read this book.

To say this is a good book feels wrong. It is, after all, the true story of a women terrorized by an obsessive boyfriend with the time and money to follow her to the ends of the earth. But I will tell you that I could not put it down. I read the first 30 pages standing in my kitchen after opening the package the book arrived in. Two days later I finished the last chapter thinking, "What about now?", even since the epilogue was written time has elapsed. What about now?

I don't want to give away too much so suffice it to say that this book is creepy and addictive. Read it.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Why I love being a mom

Reason #37

Bear: I love you noodles and noodles and bunches and bunches.
Me: I love you too.
Bear: Mama, you my best friend.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Back to Pre-School U-Neck Vest




Pattern: Back to School U-Neck Vest by Stefanie Japel
Yarn: 3 1/2 balls Rowan RYC Cashsoft Chunky Color 703 Blush
Size: Bear sized
Begun: 8/08
Finished: 8/29/08
Notes
Improvised a toddler-sized version of this vest to match a plaid skirt we bought Bear last fall. Initially, I didn't do the 9 rounds of pearl 3, knit 3, pearl 3 at the begining, but I think I might add them b/c the vest seems a little short to me. Maybe we'll see what happens after I block it. The bottom picture is a close-up without the arm-hole edging completed - :-)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Summer of Yarn Love Revealed

My final swap package arrived, and all I can say is W-O-W!!! Carolyn did an amazing job. Here's the overview.

Louet Worsted, Malabrigo Worsted, Sour Patch Kids, A Day at the Beach in a box, stitch markers, and When Bad Things Happen to Good Knitters.


Can you see that Louet? Hand-dyed superwash in the most perfect fall colorway I have ever seen. And that blue yarn over there - that's my first Malabrigo. Ever. Ooooh I can't wait to play with it!!!

And all this new yarn? Just in time, since I promised Andrew no yarn, swaps, or ebay for the next two months - we bought Bear portraits today. SOOOOO darn cute. The portraits are on order but as soon as they come in I'll post 'em. (Check out tomorrow's post for a clue as to just how darn cute!)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Perhaps I DO spend too much time at the yarn shop...

Yesterday, on the way out of my LYS, Bear turned to the elderly woman who owns the place and blew her a kiss.

Aww, how cute.

And then, they both yelled out to each other, "Love you!"

Monday, August 18, 2008

Just Call Me Alicia Sacramone

I'm not a master knitter (or a master gymnast, or even a mediocre gymnast but that's not really the point now is it?) but I came to these Olympics with the highest hopes and the best of intentions. I was going to perform perfect yarn overs and land every row with the same stitch count as when I started. But I am wilting under the pressure. Wilting like iceburg lettuce on the grill. And it's going to take a small bed-rest requiring accident for me to pull this one off. Something minor. Perhaps two slightly sprained ankles. Nothing requiring me to take pain meds that will suddenly make me think Mr. Bean movies are actually worth watching.

In case you haven't figured it out yet, I screwed up the lace again. Perhaps mohair, black mohair, was a poor first lace choice.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Eureka!

I've actually had two "Eureka!" moments this week...

First, after locking myself in solitary confinement for about an hour, I finally was able to get past row four of this lace pattern. There's a few mistakes here and there, but I'm hoping that blocking will even some of those out.

The beginning of Seascape.

Second, I've found an exercise I truly love. This past Christmas my MIL gave me an Amazon gift card which I used to buy this bike seat. We finally tried it out this past week and both Bear and I LOVE it! The seat sits in front of me, so it adds to my center of gravity instead of taking away from it. Also, Bear gets to see all the scenery instead of staring at my back the whole time. Right now we're just taking short rides so I can build up my stamina - Bear yells "Faster Mama!" every time we hit a hill - but I can't wait to go on longer rides with her. Especially this fall, the air will be cool and imagine how gorgeous the bike path will be when the leaves change. Oooh I can't wait.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Tell me why anyone knits lace again

I have cast on Seascape four times and haven't yet gotten past the fourth row. I stopped watching the Olympics while trying to knit the lace patterns, I pause the Tivo for the lace rows and hit play for the purl only rows, but that didn't seem to help much. This yarn is so tiny I feel like I'm trying to knit with hair - which makes keeping my stitch count darn near impossible. Anyway... this is how it's going so far. How are you events going?

Friday, August 8, 2008

A Happy Ending and a Contest

EarthChicKnits is celebrating the year anniversary since her son's dramatic near-death rescue and is hosting a contest that runs until noon today.

Oh, and Bear wants to say hi to everyone out there in blogger land:
oejuuuuuuuut676988u898u9888bvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbhp[

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Things To Do Before Opening Ceremonies

1. Finish two of the three PIF gifts I have left.
2. Make progress on the third PIF gift.
3. Swatch Hip in Hemp.
4. Finish uploading the rest of my stash onto Ravelry.
5. Find somewhere to take two two-year olds tomorrow where they can play and I can knit.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Monday, August 4, 2008

165

Another pound down. Yahoo!

A fellow SparkPeople-er showed me this website. I used it to create before, now, and goal pictures of myself.

When I started, 178#.

Where I am now, 165#.

Goal, 125#.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Addendum to Question #7

If I lived in D.C. I would knit here every single day. There must be a bird sanctuary around here somewhere...

(I have no idea how to rotate the video, but that's not the point really. If it bothers you as much as it bothers me just close your eyes and listen.)

Friday, August 1, 2008

SP Questions #7 & #8

What is your favorite place to knit?
My love seat. I sit with my back against one armrest and my feet stretched out in front of me while watching crime tv after everyone has gone to bed. (Boring I know.)

What supplies (besides yarn & needles) make the setting perfect for knitting?
Comfy sweatpants. A blanket in the winter. Someone equally yarn obsessed to chat with.

What is your favorite supper for a hot summer evening?
I love BLT sandwiches or veggie burgers. Carrot and celery sticks on the side and strawberries covered in whipped cream for dessert.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

MIL Mittens


Pattern: House Mittens by Ruth Bendig
Yarn: Patons Classic Wool Merino - ~1 skein dark brown & ~1/4 skein tan
Size: one size
Begun: 12/07
Finished: 7/30/08

Notes
My MIL wanted a pair of plain color wool mittens with one stripe above the thumb, just like her grandmother used to make. Here they are. The pattern was very easy to follow, easily adjustable to fit a larger or smaller hand. It took me seven months to finish because I apparently suck at counting and suck even worse at taking accurate notes. Note to self, things in pairs should be knit at the same time. :-)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Ravelympics

I'm getting ready for some serious knitting time. I have entered the Ravelympics as part of Team Red Sox Nation. I will be competing in the Laceweight Long Jump, Synchronized Flirty Skirts and WIP's Wrestling. I'm holding back from the Sock Put but really, with a name like that, I may just have to enter.

As part of the rules, casting on cannot commence until opening ceremonies officially start. Swatching is considered training so you'd better believe that will be done by then.

And what about those MIL Mittens? I frogged the entire second one this weekend and started over so the stripes match up now. I'm just about to start the decreases at the top and then it's just the thumb and they're done. It would be cheating to save them for next week wouldn't it?

Monday, July 28, 2008

166

Despite the fact that I ate my weight in bacon this weekend, the SparkPeople nutrition tracker helped me keep my overall calories in-check (well, most of the weekend anyway, lol). I also made a very conscious effort to go to the gym three nights this past week. But my biggest motivator? A nurse I work with but haven't seen in months saw me Saturday and said, "Wow, you look great." Who wouldn't be motivated by that?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Summer of Yarn Love Package #2

My Summer of Yarn Love pal rocks!

I got my second package in the mail yesterday and I am sooooo happy! My pal is clearly doing her homework and put together yet another one of the most perfect packages I have ever gotten.



First, a book from my wish list, 2-at-a-time Socks. I took it to they gym with me last night to read while on the stationary bike. Two skeins of KnitPicks Felici Self Striping Sock Yarn in Provence, a gorgeous hank of Franklin Sock Yarn (hand dyed!), some citrus coconut hand cream, a package of Red Sox pens, and a package of Sour Patch Watermelon Slices.

I see a new pair of socks in my future. :-)

P.S. This is post #200!

Friday, July 18, 2008

SP Question #6

1) What is your favorite type of project to take along on holiday/vacation?
For a car trip, I'll take whatever I happen to be working on at the time. For a conference or meeting, I need something small like socks or mittens.

2) Tell us about a time that you packed too much knitting or were stranded without knitting.
I always pack too much, lol. I have a knitting tote from Knit Picks that can store quite a lot so I usually just take that along. I try to take something with me when there is even the slightest chance of idle time, even if it's just a swatch. Though, I did once make my husband stop at a yarn shop in the middle of Connecticut so I could knit on the way home.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Fun at Work

The construction crew working on our hospital broke a (very essential) pipe leading to our office bathroom. Now we have to hike halfway across the building to pee. Unless it's an emergency...

I still laugh every time I look up.

And for those of you that think I have taken to stuffing my mattress with my stash instead of knitting with it, I have been furiously trying to finish my Pay-It-Forward gifts. I'd like to send them out before the start of August. Almost two weeks before they're due.

P.S. How many times do you think law enforcement internet searches turn up knitting blogs thanks to the frequent use of the word "stash". He he.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

JCAHO

Anyone in health care knows what a scary word that is. Especially when splashed across your pager at 7:30 on a Monday morning.

But we survived.

And now that my nervous system is off high alert for the first time in a week, I think I'll knit.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

SP Question #5

1) Where is your favorite place to go for vacation/holiday?
New Hampshire. You can camp or hike in the woods and not seen another human being for days or you can shop at the outlets or hang on the shore with hundreds of other tourists.

2) Where is one place you’d like to go?
I would like to visit Ireland. The pictures of the lush green hillside are irresistible.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

SP Question #4

1) What yarn (that you don’t have/haven’t used) would make your stash “complete”?
Ummm... tough question. If I had to pick one right this second, I would say Rowan Calmer. I have heard so many wonderful things about this yarn but I've never tried it. And who doesn't want something named calmer?

2) What yarn do you never want to be without?
Besides yarn in general? :-) I always want to have something in my stash that inspires me to pick up my needles.

Monday, July 7, 2008

167

This number is less a reflection of the miles I've logged this week and more a reflection of the amount of amusement park food I've eaten, I think.

That's allright. I feel good (I've exercised a lot this week).

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Happy 4th Everyone!

Andrew and I both had this long weekend (mostly) off. He worked for a few hours Friday and I was on call for the weekend (but no one called, yippee!), so we spent our 4th having lots of TV-free family time with Bear.

Friday it rained (a lot) so we did inside things. We played Sesame Street Dominos and gave the dog a bath (not so much for fun for the dog, Andrew, or I but Bear enjoyed it emensly). We also weathered about 47 temper tantrums. Saturdays forecast was essentially the same - dreary rain all day. We packed up the car and drove 150 miles north to Story Land. We had a BLAST! We spent the whole day and probably still missed about 1/2 the park. We let Bear set the pace, which meant steering our swan boat in circles the entire time and riding the rides three and four times in a row. After the park closed we headed home through North Conway (with all the other tourists) so instead of fighting traffic we stopped at Elvio's Pizzeria and ate dinner outside on the lawn.

It was a fantastic day. And Bear's giggly smile made it all worth it.


Monday, June 30, 2008

167

I know it's been a while but I joined SparkPeople this week and I am feeling inspired again (notice the new ticker under my profile?).

I actually joined SparkPeople back in February to check it out for a patient but I really began using it this past week. There are a few things I really like about it. First, it is 100% free. Second, it's not trying to sell anything. I NEVER send a patient to a web site that is trying to sell them vitamins or miracle powdered drinks or anything else. I think all "education" on those sites is suspect at that point.

The biggest thing I think I like about it though is that the site encompasses so much. Not only can you track your weight loss, your daily calorie intake (it does most of the work for you, you just plug in what you ate), and your daily exercise but the site is big on motivation. There are tons of "SparkTeams" that you can join (much like the groups on Ravelry), there are message boards to ask questions and connect to people with your same interests or in your same area (there IS a knitter's group!), and there are SparkPoints.

You earn points for logging on, tracking your food intake, your exercise, drinking 8 glasses of water daily, basically most of what you do on/with the web site earns you points. The points go towards trophies which are displayed on your main log in page. Silly, I know, but motivation is motivation. Whatever it takes.

Check it out and let me know what you think.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Potty Training

The problem with the candy for pee rewards system that we are using is that Bear is smart enough to have learned how to manipulate it in the first eight hours.

Bear peed in the potty for the first time over a year ago and then promptly decided against it. This morning she woke up and decided that she had had enough of diapers. She took off her diaper, peed in the potty, and didn't look back.

So why am I complaining? Because she's using this whole "potty train me" routine as a rouse to get Sour Patch Kids. I know she has the physical ability to be potty trained. And she now knows how to meter out her pee into two or three separate trips to the potty in order to double or triple her candy haul. It's infuriating. I can't really tell her no, you can't go to the potty. But seriously. How much candy can I give her before her teeth fall out?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

SP Question #3

What would you consider the perfect amount of stash?
A wee bit more than I have now? :-) Actually, I don't think there is a perfect amount per se, more a perfect composition. You need to have a a good base of regular wool and/or cotton (Cascade 220, Sugar n Cream), a hank or two of something decadent (cashmere maybe?), a few skeins you don't mind parting with for when friends want to learn, and enough for at least one or two projects that you have planned for the future.

Also while avoiding the mountains of work I still haven't caught up on, I stumbled upon these two Blogiversary Contests. And this contest to give away "green" bags.

OK, I have to go back to work now. Oh, and thanks for all your well-wishes. Besides being two (which I hear there is still no anti-biotic for) Bear is doing just fine.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

We're on the fast track

to parenting hell.

Bear has had this hacking cough since I got back from DC. Friday night she woke us up at about 2am complaining that her forehead hurt. When I picked her up she was burning up - the thermometer showed her temperature to be 103.0F (39.4C for you Canadians). I have been on the phone with the pediatrician's answering service all weekend. They didn't think anything sounded urgent enough for her to be seen in the Emergency Room over the weekend but said I should definitely bring her in on Monday.

Here's where we failed. I have been away from the hospital for week and a half. Andrew's company is in crisis mode and he had a major meeting at 10am. We gave her cough syrup and ibuprofen and sent her to day care hoping she'd hold out until after Andrew's meeting. (Which she did by the way... when we finally got her to the pediatrician yesterday afternoon her temp was perfectly normal at 98.3F - 36.8C - and she coughed like twice the entire time the doctor was with her.) Final diagnosis: croup and a left ear infection.

Um, croup? Hello?

So now it is the crack of dawn Tuesday morning and we are on our second Mickey Mouse episode of the day while she licks the Sour Patch kids my Summer of Yarn Love Swap pal sent. Yup, parenting hell, here we come. At least all our mommy and daddy friends will be there too.

In other update-ish type of news I received TWO fantastic packages in the mail in the past couple of days. First, ponyknit sent me my Pay It Forward gift - some really pretty stitch markers she made.


And yesterday, my first Summer of Yarn Love package arrived. It was CHOCK FULL of Knit Picks yarn in my favorite colors. First a Renaissance Sampler - it came with six skeins of different yarns (Comfy, Cotlin, Shine Sport, Crayon, Shine Worsted, and Main Line) and instructions for five quick projects. She also included three balls of Andean Silk in Olive. On the non-yarn side, she included a bag of Sour Patch Kids, my favorite, which Bear is currently eating (but just the red ones, she leaves all the other colors for me) and three Yankee Candles in fresh summer scents - Sun & Sand, Island Spa, and Ocean Water. The candles made the box smell SO good when opened.


Thank you swap pals!!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Bear Feet I


Pattern: Universal Toe-Up Sock Formula
Yarn: Cascade Fixation Effects #9780
Made for: Bear
Begun: 5/26/08
Finished: 6/17/08

Thursday, June 19, 2008

SP12 Question #1 & #2

I just got the SP12 question #2 in my inbox and realized I completely flaked on question #1. Oops.

1. What's your favorite summertime drink?
Del's Lemonade. It's frozen lemonade, only 100 times better. You can only get it in Rhode Island and Southeast Massachusetts. You can order a powder mix, but trust me, it's a gazillion times better straight from the truck.

2. As a kid, what did you look forward to most about summer vacation/break/holiday?
Summer camp. Two weeks in a tent with seven other girls. No parents (the camp counselors seemed so old, but now I realize they were barely older than us), no little brothers, tons of fun.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Book Review - Half Assed: A Weight Loss Memoir

I used the last of my alone time on the plane to finish Half Assed: A Weight Loss Memoir by Jennette Fulda. She lost 184 pounds on her own, via a healthy diet and plenty of exercise. The book had me laughing out loud on virtually every page (which probably annoyed my fellow passengers to no end). She writes the blog pastaqueen.com, but even if you read her blog, I would still highly recommend her book. It makes me want to get off the couch and go outside.

Watch as she shrinks before your eyes. (How cool is this video?)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hU8L0l85dp8 (Well, here's the link, blogger won't show the video.)

Monday, June 16, 2008

It's Not Dead - It's Sunning!

So says the sign in front of the red-legged seriema at the National Zoo. My other favorite sign had to be Warning: Aggressive Crane.

But I have to admit it, even with all the super cool animals available for my ogling, my heart just wasn't in it. What fun is the zoo without a two-year old to share it with? I paid more attention to the little kids than the animals so I left before the parents had me put on a list somewhere.

I did get to see the Giant Pandas and I would show you a picture, however...

When a hotel has both "Free Wi-Fi" and a "Free Business Center" beware. I guess they assume that most people travel with their own laptops these days so why bother updating the business center? I am posting this from a computer that probably hasn't been used in about 15 years. I have to unplug the keyboard in order to plug in my flash drive because a) there is definitely no camera card slot and b) the USB port is in the back directly below the keyboard port and they don't both fit at the same time. My pictures of the pandas need to be rotated and while this computer is probably capable of performing such a task, I am checking out in two days so I don't think I'll have time to wait.


Besides the zoo, I stopped at a great LYS, Knit Happens.

Quick back story - I had originally planned on relying solely on public transportation during this trip but while waiting through our plane's delays a fellow passenger and DC native told me that I really didn't want to be at certain metro stations alone after dark so I ended up renting a car at Dulles and driving myself to the hotel. Yesterday morning I figured I'd drive myself to a metro stop and then go from there to the zoo. When I got to the metro stop nearest my hotel, I realized that alone during the day wasn't such a great idea either. I was tired, lost, and needed comfort and friends. So I went to one of the LYS's Wendy suggested. The people there were GREAT. They let me fondle all the yarn, looked up Seascape for me, and helped me pick out the perfect shade of Kidsilk Haze for a formal November wedding. Then they gave me directions to a more comfortable metro station. Really, this knitting thing is greater than the yarn and the needles and all the fabulous things we make. I walked in and felt at home. Perhaps this is how Harry Potter feels when he's out in the Muggle world? Like if he can just make it to Diagon Alley everything with be OK. Anyway, I digress.

Last night I also got to see an old friend I have known since my Girl Scout Camp days. She lives down here, so we met up at an Irish pub for dinner and Guinness ice cream. I also got to meet her new fiance - super nice, and they are so clearly in love. It was a great way to end the day.

On today's agenda? Bariatrics and Nutrition - conference room B.