Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Step One - Gauge it Out

Project: Felted Wool Basket to hold the kids wooden blocks


Yarn: Lion Wool held double stranded
Needles: size 7 bamboo
Gauge: 15 sts x 21 rows = 4"
Pre-felted measurements: 5.5" x 5"
Post-felted measurements: 4.75" x 4"
   Height lost: 20%
   Length lost: 14%
   Area lost: 31%


Mold: "YARN ONLY" dye pot
Measurements: circumference 10.5", height 9.25"

Sunday, December 5, 2010

HIPPA

As most of you know, I work in a hospital. There is never a dull day - be it ridiculous or heartbreaking work is always an interesting place to be.

This weekend I had a consult on a patient admitted from a nursing home. The paperwork that came with her from the nursing home listed her diet as "NSS". I have a degree in Nutrition, I have been a dietitian for 6 years, and I have never heard of the acronym NSS. So I called the nursing home and asked to speak to someone in the kitchen. The kid that answered the phone refused to tell me what NSS stood for. He actually told me, "I can't divulge that information."

Seriously? Is your facilities list of acronyms HIPPA protected? I don't think so. I think someone takes his job a little too seriously.

For the record, NSS stands for No Salt Substitutes. Also for the record, I have no idea what that means either.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

My Two Cents

  • I don't understand the protests over the planned Islamic center near ground zero. By protesting, people are just perpetuating hate. How about perpetuating peace and acceptance instead?
  • Reverand Terry Jones is looking to make a name for himself. Absolutely nothing good would have come from burning the Quran. Whatever happened to do unto others as you would have done unto you? I give it two weeks tops before Fox News offers him a job.
  • If you were driving a double decker bus and came to a low bridge, wouldn't you slow down, just in case?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Book Review: Pride and Prejudice

I have recently begun reading all the classics I never read in high school. (I downloaded Kindle for Droid and the classics are free.) Now, for the record, I was never assigned to read Pride and Prejudice. I took American lit in school, so I Cliff Noted my way through masterpieces like Billy Budd (UGH!) and All Quiet on the Western Front.

I LOVE this book. LOVE LOVE LOVE. It was a little confusing at first, all the characters and the cities and names of everyones home, I had a hard time keeping everybody and everywhere straight in my mind. It was captivating from the start and I looked forward to my nightly nurse-Tadpole-to-sleep-and-read sessions from the beginning. I'm sure I wouldn't have "got" it in high school, and the book was probably better since I chose to read it instead of being forced to (though I'm pretty sure I will NEVER understand Billy Budd) but the last four or five chapters have had me reading in the elevator at work, at red lights, it's crazy, but I couldn't put the book down. And I had to stop myself from Googling whether Darcy and Elizabeth ended up together or not. I have no idea the history, or time period of this book, but I imagine it was scandalous in it's day - even before the part where Lydia runs off with Wickham and they (gasp) shack up before being properly married.

I am by no means a literature person, I have a Bachelor of Science, I have a science based career and I hated Literature in school. I never understood HOW on Earth anyone knew that by writing two chapters about blueberries the author was conveying sadness? Did they TELL you that? Is it EXPRESSLY WRITTEN somewhere? I didn't think so. So how do you know my interpretation is wrong? Yeah, that argument didn't go over so well. Anyway, don't expect an amazingly witty, informative literary review from me. That will have to come from my friend Jen, the English major.

All I can say is that I LOVED this book. You should read it.

Next up, Anna Karenina.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Math

Sucks.

And if I could figure out how to make that Jimmy Buffet song play while you read this, I would. But alas, you'll just have to click the link and play the song in a different window yourself.

My good friend Sara's baby girl is turning one later this month. For quite some time now, I have been working on a Cabled Baby Raglan as her birthday present. I was very knitterly-responsible with this project. I used yarn from my stash (gasp!) and even knit and re-knit a gauge swatch (double gasp!). A gauge swatch though, is USELESS if the swatcher can't add. Which apparently I had forgotten how to do that day, since 14+14 DOES NOT equal 24. So I have been KILLING MYSELF knitting with DK COTTON on SIZE ONE'S only to turn my 18-24 month sized sweater into a 3-6 month sized sweater. Grr.

Luckily for me, everyone I know seems to be pregnant (including Sara) so someone out there will be opening this lovely cardigan at their baby shower. Act surprised.

Friday, July 2, 2010

161

For those of you that have followed this for a while, you're probably thinking, hmmmm not much has changed. Well... in between the last time I recorded my weight and now I had Tadpole, lost a bunch of weight during the summer I was on maternity leave and then gained back every ounce once I went back to work. So here we go again, on the seemingly never ending quest for less of me.

This latest bout started with two seemingly inconsequential events. First, we hired a new dietitian at work. Besides being the thinnest healthy person I think I have ever met, she said something that really made me think. We were discussing how to determine an obese patients calorie needs. I said I usually use the adjusted body weight, a mid point between the persons ideal body weight for height and their current weight. K said she just uses their ideal weight because she doesn't believe in "feeding what isn't supposed to be there". Hmmmm....

Also, I fried my Blackberry. I tried downloading Google Maps straight from the Google web site instead of from the Blackberry apps site. According to the people at Verizon, I deleted the operating system of my phone (whatever that means). When I asked if there was anything they could do to fix it they asked if they could interest me in a new phone. Ooops. I ended up getting a Droid (LOVE it!!!) and downloaded an app (from the Droid app market!) called Calorie Counter. The data base has EVERYTHING. I can even scan the bar code of a food package using the phone's camera and the program finds the food and adds it to my day's food diary. I've been limiting my calories to ~1500 calories/day. Having my phone with me all day has made it amazingly easy and I have done really well.

The overall goal is 125, but at this point, I'll take progress, no matter the form.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Getting Re-Aquainted

Over the next few weeks I would like to (gasp!) start regularly posting to my blog again.

This past year has been a challenging one. Like a wise friend once told me, one plus one does not equal two when it comes to kids. She prefaced this with, "It's hell, don't do it." but since I chose not to heed her first piece of advice I take comfort in knowing that I am not the only one who feels ill-equipped to care for more children than I can chase at any one time. Sometimes I feel as though I am just running through my day, checking off my perpetual to-do list, never really slowing down to enjoy the moments or reflect on them.

Tadpole is now a year old. (Yes, a year! Can you believe it?!?) He has turned out to be a very different baby than Bear. First off, he likes me, not just my boobs. And he EATS. Someone at work told me to be prepared to mortgage my house to feed him. Hmmmm... pretty sure I can't mortgage my apartment. (Quick side story: Years ago, when Andrew and I were married, without kids and living in then unknown blissful solitude in the ghetto, a window salesman called just about daily trying to get us to buy new windows for our house. I tried repeatedly to tell him that we did not own said house, but he insisted that we were listed as the owners and thus, able to purchase his windows. He finally stopped calling when I offered to sell him the mouse infested place.) I digress...

Tadpole also gets into things Bear never dreamed about touching (she was too busy nursing). He empties the dog's toy box daily. If he manages to sneak into the bathroom, he flushes the toilet. He puts all of the dog's food into her water dish, one piece of kibble at a time. This week he has started using Baby Signs for "all done", "more" and "bye-bye".

Bear is 4 1/2 going on 35. The things that come out of her mouth amaze and infuriate me with equal frequency. She LOVES Hannah Montana and Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber, just like her big sister. I don't really know when Elmo and Dora were put by the wayside, but I kind of miss them for her. This afternoon she was calling Tadpole silly names on the way home from daycare. After laughing hysterically at her wit when she called him a mailbox, she followed with, "You're an aglet." (If you don't know what that is, watch this.) I burst out laughing.

She is a wonderful big sister. She plays with Tadpole all the time, shares her toys, and is as careful as a 4-year old can be to not leave choking hazards lying around. In that respect, I am a very, very lucky mom.

(It is now 9:39pm and I am falling asleep while typing this. How telling of why I probably have let this blog fall by the wayside.)

To be continued...

Sunday, February 28, 2010

My Olympic Fail

There will be no Olympic medal for me this year. But I'm OK with that. I wasn't, but after ten minutes of fuming I realized why I'm not going to get my medal and why it doesn't matter.

First the knitting...
I have knit the front of this !#$%& vest and ripped it back about six times now. Let's see, first I knit an extra row of the intarsia diamond. That wouldn't have been such a big deal if it wasn't destined to be argyle and the X across the diamond doesn't really allow for an accidental extra row. Ripped it back and fixed that. Then I realized that I missed the armhole decreases. Rip. Oh, decreased to the 18 month size instead of the 12 month size. Rip. Missed 12 decreases right after the armholes. Rip. Rip. Rip.

And now the why...
I've been trying to balance being a wife and a mom, having a career, and finding time to knit, work out, spend time with friends, read, think. There are only so many hours in a day. I tried giving up sleep but I'm not so nice when I'm tired. So these past two weeks I've been trying to multitask. Playing Wii with Andrew, reading Tadpole Twilight instead of Goodnight Moon, knitting while playing kitchen and school with Bear. It's this last multitasking endeavor that hasn't worked out so well. But I've had so much fun, I don't even care.

Eventually, I will finish this thing. Hopefully before Friday because I really do want Tadpole to wear it for Easter pictures.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

His First Love



Pattern: Apple Hat by Susan B. Anderson and Thumbless Toddler Mitts by Bethany McRae
Yarn: Aslan Trends Del Cerro
Begun: 2/2/2010
Finished: 2/6/2010
Notes: My friend Sara has been watching Tadpole for me twice a week since I went back to work. She also watches another little boy twice a week for another friend. Last week that boy brought her daughter a "My First Valentine's Day" bib. She made sure to tell Tadpole that the other boy was moving in on his girlfriend while I was within earshot. Well, I told her that Tadpole would NEVER give such an impersonal, store bought gift. ;-) Which of course meant that I had to make something quickly. Tuesday afternoon I needed a little retail (fiber) therapy and I found the most amazingly soft wool. Del Cerro by Aslan Trends might be my new favorite yarn. Anyway, it comes in the most perfect little girl pink so I picked up a hank, gauged it, and used Ravelry to find an appropriate pattern. (Which by the way is my new favorite way of knitting. Gauge out my yarn and then choose a pattern.) I thought the plain pick hat needed something so I broke out my needle felting tools (last years Christmas gift) and used them for the first time on this hat. It took a while to perfect my technique but I think it came out pretty good.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Alice

Alice was my first dog. Well, she was MY first dog. Lassie was my family's first dog. Yes, she was a collie and yes her name was Lassie but WE didn't name her. She came with the name. She was a pound dog. We had just purchased the house that we had lived in since I was three. Now our former landlord was our tenant and in those first few months we did everything we weren't allowed to do before. We got a dog. And a cat. We walked on the grass. We had cookouts with friends in the back yard. My mom went to the pound to rescue a dog and came home with the homeliest, ugliest, smelliest excuse for a dog I had ever seen. It was her last chance. If Lassie hadn't found a home by the end of that day they were going to euthanize her. So my mom brought her home. Her looks improved a bit after a couple of baths and a trip to the groomer. She was a great first dog. Obedient, loving, deathly afraid of cameras. When I moved out of my parents house and in with Andrew and his roommate they already had a dog. Spiff. Spiff ate anything that wasn't nailed down. And a few things that were. As a puppy he ate a twin mattress and a linoleum floor. He ate Andrew's checkbook and a pair of my shoes (I know I didn't lose them because I found the buckle). He ate a box of chocolate covered cherries, including the box and the cellophane wrapping. One year, he ate Thanksgiving dinner. All of it. Spiff was nice. He was dumb and playful, but he wasn't my dog. I wanted my own dog. A woman I worked with had a puppy that needed a home. I told her to meet me at the park after work and I would take her. I brought Alice home and told Andrew and Jim I had decided to get a dog. That's how they learned about Alice.

Alice and Spiff got along fairly well. Alice liked to nip at Spiff's ears. Spiff would snap and Alice would back off a bit, for a minute or two, and then the whole routine would repeat itself. Alice slept on our bed from the very first day. She failed obedience school, twice. She barked at everything that made noise, all day long. She was afraid of shadows and the sound of leaves crunching under he paws. And she licked. She licked the floor, the couch, people, other dogs, she just loved to lick. My brother thought she would make a great mob dog. Alice "The Tongue". Alice was meant to be my dog. She hated the cold. She loved to take long naps and snuggle under the blankets with me. She was my dog. She moved home with me when Andrew and I broke up for five months. She moved back with me when we got back together. She napped by my side while I studied in college. She was waiting for me when Andrew and I came home on our wedding night. She was there when we brought Bear and Tadpole home. Bear was pretty indifferent to the dogs as a baby. Tadpole LOVED Alice. He would lean over the side of his high chair and willingly hand over his wagon wheels and teether biscuits. He'd giggle uncontrollably as she licked his little hands clean. He's not crawling yet, but he can get anywhere he wants to go by rolling. And where he wanted to be was wherever Alice was. He would roll to her. She would jump up and lick his face and prance around while he kicked and squealed and tried to roll closer.

Alice lost a battle against cancer that we didn't realize she was fighting. She never once complained. Never snapped at Tadpole. Never languished on her dog bed. Never stopped barking. Never indicated that she was anything other than a slightly aging, overweight dog. She was a good dog. She was MY dog. And I miss her.