Monday, June 30, 2008


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, 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?) (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.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Reduce Reuse Recycle Rippit

This is what happens when you try to be an earth-friendly knitter and recycle a "fill-in-the-important-numbers-yourself" pattern.

The first time I used Amy Swenson's Universal Toe-Up Sock Formula for my SITMT pal, I wrote in all my numbers in pencil. The smart would have erased all of those numbers before reusing the pattern. The lazy simply used purple ink.And then I made Bear's second sock using the SITMT stitch count. I thought it looked wider, but I was on a plane (a very late, very turbulent plane) and I just kept going.
Ah well, they're toddler socks, they knit up quick. :-)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Jet Plane

I love that song. And if I could figure out how to make it play while you read this, I would. (I bet it's running through your head now, isn't it?)

Tomorrow afternoon, I leave for my first real business trip. And my first stretch of real time away from Bear ever. (Remember THE STORM?) I am both very excited to be going (all that uninterrupted knitting time on the plane!) and a bit apprehensive about navigating public transportation alone in a large & unfamiliar city.

I'm going to have a bit of "down" time while there, so I'm hoping to visit the National Zoo and maybe the Botanic Gardens. I'm bringing my camera (obviously) and hopefully I'll be able to update this site from the hotel.

Anyone know of any great local yarn shops? :-)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Lace Knitting + Car Ride =

Extra stitches at the end, but no problem, it's only row 1, this can be frogged easily.*

What the #$%&!? I know I counted right!*

This is crap. Who the hell wants to knit lace anyway?*

*Due to their graphic nature, these photos have been sensored.