31 December 2008

The obligatory Wrapping Up The Year post

Sorry that I've been silent since Lucy's birthday; it's been a crazywhirlwindsuperattackholidayseasonwahoo! little bit busy around here.

We survived Christmas with surprisingly little shrieking due to overstimulation. This was especially surprising when we went to Christmas at Dad and Mary Jane's, where there were six children under the age of four enjoying their presents in a (relatively) decorous manner. I mean, given that they are kids, and there was wrapping paper flying in all directions. Lucy made out like a bandit; she got tons of clothes and a few awesome new toys. Best toy? She got a keyboard that she.absolutely.loves. My little brother watched her pound on the keys for a little while -- she's figured out that different keys make different sounds, and will adjust her pounding according to what she wants to hear; she also knows how to make it play her a song so she can dance -- and then commented that he knew of someone else born on her birthday. That would be Beethoven.

Not saying she's a musical genius or anything; just a fun fact.

Looking back on 2008...well, a friend of mine sent me an email on my birthday (number 29, and for the first time, thankyouverymuch) and said pretty much "You've had an awesome year; you must be so proud. Good for you!" and it really made me take stock of everything that's gone on in the past 13 months.

What I said to my friend, I will say now to you. I really felt the solstice this year. I swear, I knew in my bones the moment the sun started to turn around and come back to us. I feel like I have been in a dark night of the soul for -- well, a lot of years, really. Depression hasn't been the right word, not exactly, but whatever it was, it peaked in the weeks and months after Lucy was born, and it didn't really start to lighten up until the past month or so. But that moment, on the solstice -- I felt that one. In my bones.

This is a much more articulate conversation in my brain, so I thank you for bearing with it while I try to sort it out on (digital) paper.

I feel lighter. For the first time in years, I am enthusiastic about the new year. About the potential it holds. About the challenges it brings. About the opportunities and possibilities and the It's A Wonderful Life moments.

There is such darkness in the world. I don't get political or relevant here very often -- this place is my escape, not my platform -- but my heart broke this morning, hearing about the fighting in the Gaza strip. Realizing how lucky I am to live in a part of the world where violence -- well, we have our own problems, don't we, but people aren't dropping rockets on us. That takes me pretty damn far on a daily basis, you know?

I've started feeling this way a few months ago, when I started going to church again regularly. I haven't talked about it, because it's so incredibly personal...and if you have anything mean or even just critical about that decision, you can take it somewhere the hell else for now, thanks kindly...but I'm glad. I'm making the right choices. And I'm very happy about them.

Feel free to remind me of this next year when I (yet again) fire November.

16 December 2008

You look like a monkey...

but you smell like a sweet little baby girl.

Today, a little more than a year and an hour ago, a star shone in the east -- well, no, not quite, a snowstorm rose up in the middle of the night, which meant that my stubborn daughter decided it was the perfect time to make a slightly more dramatic than strictly necessary entrance into the world. This has become the modus operandi of one little Miss Lucy Joy.

Someone said to me last weekend, as we celebrated Lucy's birthday, that we had named our girl perfectly. Lucy means "bringer of light," and that is absolutely what she does.

My response? "She's pretty cute. I think we'll keep her."
Which is my trademark New Englander way of saying "My entire life has been reshaped around this tiny bundle of high powered energy, and I'm not sure what I would do if she were not here with me."

I can't believe the pictures I see of the day she was born, where she fit under my chin, and her feet were barely at the bottom of my breasts. Where she looked dwarfed by my (suddenly monstrously large) breasts as she smacked me around to get what she wanted.

I've been very clear with a lot of people over the past year; motherhood is not this golden fog of wonderfulness. Those daydreams you have of curling up with the baby for a gentle snooze completely skip the part where you haven't showered in days, your house is a mess, and you're so exhausted that even when you have the chance, you can't sleep. The part where the baby hates your favorite song; even hearing Glowworm tinkle out "Rockabye Baby" reduces her to hysterical tears. It sounds sweet to hear stories about moms singing themselves hoarse because it's the only way to stop the baby screaming -- until it's you.

There's so much about my girl that is completely inscrutable. I've survived phases and spells and situations which have a cause I can only guess at. There were the two weeks where baths caused screaming so loud I stopped hearing sound and started hearing vibration. The past two weeks, where going to sleep is JUST NOT ALLOWED. The sudden desire to bite my left nipple -- but only the left one.
The complete and total love of music, and dancing, and mama's good cooking (smart move there, kiddo). The way she goes completely still and silent to listen to "Lucy's song," aka that Bach lullaby that's on every kid's mobile ever made. The way she slowly got back to trusting that she was safe in the bath, even though it meant that I once climbed in mostly clothed, because I couldn't conceive of making her wait and cry while I got undressed. Every time I think that I can't survive another second, she snuggles into me, or gives me this sweet, desperate look that says that I am her world, and she trusts me, and she knows I can help.

And yet, there's this way she has. She's growing up already, and I'm so proud of her. She crawls away from me all the time, goes around a corner, and then panics because she can't see me. Puts herself to sleep, then wakes up in a tizzy because we're gone. Falls asleep as soon as we walk back into her room.

She's precious. I adore her.
I think we'll keep her.

05 December 2008

Is it Friday yet?

Thank goodness.

Work is always nuts at the beginning of the month, and then it gets crazier after a holiday. I should have known that Monday and Tuesday were going to be oy-yoy-yoy. And they were.

I want to say a quick thanks to all the Canadians who've been so carefully explaining all the ins and outs of what's going on with the parliament; our local papers here are reporting everything in a very sensational style (shocking, I know), and I've enjoyed calming down my co-workers.

Finished the Cardigan for Merry, and I will try to set up a photo shoot this weekend, although the sweater came out much closer to 18 mo size than 12, so it's a bit too big for Lucy to be happy about; I may pack it up and call it a Christmas present. It's not like she'll know the difference, so we'll see. Cast on a sweater out of the blue Cashsoft DK that I have, and I'm loving how it's going...I'm thinking of using it as a canvas to learn needle felting or embroidery. We'll see how I feel by the time it's done.

I want to work on my grey aran sweater that I started to replace the sweater that Lucy hates because it's scratchy, but I keep getting distracted by knitting for other people (shocking, I know).

I have nothing else to report. :) There might be pictures on this blog again, someday. Until then...

01 December 2008

November: Survived!

Next up, December.

See, it's good for me; the writing this is finally starting to happen again after a five year dry spell (there were lot of reasons there, and we don't talk about them in polite company anymore to protect the innocent, okay, so just trust me that it was HELL and BAD and all things TERRIBLE), and I'm fascinated by the words I'm churning out on a daily basis. I wrote 33K words last month, which is more than I've written in the last THREE YEARS put together. I was talking to my friend J today about the story I'm working on, and how all the modern vampire stories have missed the point, because they are equating being consumed with being loved, and it's not the same, and maybe that's part of what this story is about, and I just love it, darlings, I LOVE it.

I've been knitting, too, almost done the Cardigan for Merry, which was annypurls adaptation of the Cardigan for Arwen from IK a few years back for her little boy; Lucy's version is pink (I know, I think I'm coming down with something), but as I've said a zillion times before, I have time to knit and write or take pictures of my knitting and blog about them, so the first is winning, especially since I've got an almost-12 month old to chase around all the darn time. She's cruising like crazy, and resisting all efforts by the grandparents to "teach" her to walk; try to stand her up, and she will sit down on her butt, hide her hands, and give you the most petulant look; she'll do it in her own time, thank you very much.

I swear, her first sentence will be "Mama, I do it."

Have I mentioned lately that I'm totally in love with this baby girl?

Someone asked me the other day how I felt about motherhood. When I got done laughing, I asked him if he wanted the truth, or the PC version. He asked for the truth. So here it goes.

I hate it. I hate not getting enough sleep, having no time to myself. I hate planning for three people when I just want a cup of coffee. I hate having to get up earlier so I can get me AND someone else ready before I go for work. I hate not being able to eat brownies for dinner because someone else needs a nutritious dinner. I hate being relied on, depended on, and knowing that my saying the word "no," can break someone's world, not because she wants to do whatever it is so badly, but because she is stressed that I look upset with her. I hate that because I let myself be convinced to "sneak out" yesterday, rather than saying good-bye when I knew it would upset her, and then got punished all night long because she was so afraid that I would disappear again.

I hate it, and yet I wouldn't trade it for anything; not all the knitting time in the universe, or all the sea silk in the Handmaiden Vaults.

Just now, I could hear her whimpering a bit in her room; I didn't even have to get all the way into the room before she started to settle down. As soon as she heard my voice, I saw her shoulders relax, heard the tension ease out of her tiny voice.

Being a mom; it's a pain in the ass, but it's as good as it fucking gets. Pardon the profanity, but -- it's just the way it is. :)

19 November 2008

November? I'm watching you.

In general, November likes to leave me in a corner, weeping gently. Being a child of divorced parents is particularly painful and frustrating at the holidays, and throwing biological AND adoptive families into the stew is more than enough -- add in a grandbaby, and it's just a headache. One big fat headache. Two years ago, I declared that November was fired. Clearly, the administration did not take my extreme frustration into account. This year, however, not shaping up to be much better.

I'm working on Nanowrimo, and have written 27k words, which is more than I've written in the past three years. While this is tremendously healing, it's also exhausting, and is bringing up a fair amount of emotional stuff that I thought was dealt with. I don't have time to knit, although I did get to hang out with the lovely Alison Hyde at Kaleidoscope last Friday; that was awesome.

I finished the ladybug sweater, I have pictures...one of these days, I'll have four minutes to post them (and deal with the BS necessary to post them on Blogger, sigh).

Until then...still not dead...

10 November 2008

It is a blow to one's ego

and one's status as the hippie-crunchie-granola-mom in the family when, despite months of feeding my daughter the best organic, local, healthy foods that I can find, it is becoming painfully clear that, if she could, she would exist on Kraft Macaroni & Cheese and ice cream. Someone please tell me that all children go through this phase? It doesn't help that she's impossibly cute as she begs for scraps. I mean, begs for food. I mean...

I'll tell you more about knitting when I'm not in insane WRITE 50000 WORDS BY 11/30 mode.

27 October 2008

I aten't dead

The past few weeks, man. Oy.

She's crawling. EVERYWHERE. Her new favorite game is "What does it sound like when this hits the floor? And what does this taste like? And what does it sound like when it hits the floor? And what does this taste like? And...ow I hit my head MAMAMAMA!!! No, don't hold me, I want to run around! No, don't put me down, I want to be cuddled. No, I want to be held and cuddled AND run around! I HATE BEING A BABY!!!"

I swear, I see it all in her eyes. Especially when we're around her older cousins, all five of whom are walking now. She watches them with this eager, anticipatory look, then chases after them on her hands and knees. Well, this weird feet-and-hands crawl that she's adapted from somewhere, causing the numerous head bonks as her butt is waaaaay up in the air and her face is looking down instead of ahead.

Meanwhile, I have zero time. Seriously, I'm very glad that this is my virtual living room, because my real living room looks like Hurricane Lucy hit it. Oh, wait, it did. Go figure. The center of the living room is covered with sewing stuff, from when I sewed Lucy's Halloween costume (pictures as soon as I download them) and the new blouse for my ren-faire gear (promptly smeared the white sleeve with grease, somehow, thanks VERY much). The coffee table is invisible beneath assorted knitting supplies and my macbook. The kitchen...well, after some work yesterday, the kitchen is relatively clean, because that's where clutter has a chance of turning into bugs and infestation. We don't want that.

Successes, because they're worth mentioning: cooked all weekend; made shepherd's pie and chili. I like cooking in winter much more than in summer. In summer, I could survive on crackers and hot pepper jelly.

The knitting deadlines are starting to pile up; I think Melissa's bridesmaid-shawl is going to have to be put off until after Christmas, because I want to knit a box of food for the kids to have at Grammy & Poppy's house for their play-kitchen. I thought I might sew some big squares of brightly colored silks for their play room too. And some for Lucy as well. A recent scare in regards to her lead levels (they're not properly elevated, just on the borderline; my gut instinct as I've been investigating is that it's an old exposure, and is now resolving itself, but it's still stressful) has me wanting to clean out the whole world, ya know?

I am sitting directly under a florescent light, which is bad for my world. I need to get one of those gooseneck lamps we all had in college and equip it with a full spectrum bulb.

And I'm very, very tired.

But other than that, life is still good here. Expect a picture heavy post sometime this week. :)

15 October 2008

Chatty Cathy

That's me, blethering up a storm. Or not. Shoosh. Look that way.

I'm sorry, I started watching Lost, and it is eating my brain...I called a good friend on Monday afternoon, and said "If I go home with Lucy, I'm going to watch another four hours of Lost. It's not that I don't want to watch another four hours of Lost, but I don't think I should."

In exciting news, though, my wedding shawl has started it's tenth and final full repeat. (I'm making this shawl (ravelry link), only with beads in place of the nups) After this last repeat, I still have another half repeat, and then it's knit edging on almost 400 stitches, ugh. And a quick game of "do I have enough beads to add some to the edging?" And then I will be done with two of the three wedding shawls I need to knit.

The DIY aspect of this wedding is starting to ramp up...I'm going to make my cake topper, favors, the bridesmaids' gifts (hence all the shawl knitting)... probably a shrug for Lucy, probably out of left-over zephyr... I want to put together a wedding scrapbook instead of a signature book, so that people get a scrapbook page and they can write things, paste in things, so forth...I think that will be much more awesome than just a list of the people in attendance that I'll never look at...I have to find cake-cutting utensils...win my argument to get married barefoot (why pay for shoes when I'll be trying to sneak out of them asap anyway? I already made mom pay for a tiara...)...

My brain is scattered. :)

Sounds like a good time to rewrite a pattern to fit the gauge I'm getting, don't you think?

13 October 2008

October, take two!


The beginning of this month was kind of a wash.

I don't know if this wretched stomach flu is hitting other areas as hard as it is ours, but with Robb, Lucy, and I, all laid low in rapid succession last week...October needs a do-over.

Just before my near-death-experience, I bought a set of blocking wires -- I actually found that the ones that my LYS sells were cheaper than going to the hardware store and getting good enough wire that it wouldn't rust and discolor the yarn. But then I was too sick to experiment. Sad!

Also, no writing all week. Although I did sit down and churn out 500 words this morning. Hooray!

Other than that...not much to report. Life is good. :)

03 October 2008

I got tagged!!!

So, first of all, it was the lovely Karin who did the honors.

The game works like this:

1) Link to the person who tagged you

2) Mention the rules

3) Tell six quirky yet boring, unspectacular details about yourself

4) Tag six other bloggers by linking to them

5) Go to each person’s blog and leave a comment that lets them know they’ve been tagged

Random details about me:

1.) I am a high-fiver. I am an avid high fiver. I taught my daughter how to "give five," and her daddy LOVES to get her give him high five. Lucy will also be a high fiver, I can tell, because when you tell her to "give you five," she breaks into this awesome, huge, gigantic grin. It's on video here. I have used the phrase "Don't leave me hangin'," and I have not been ashamed.

2.) I really like finishing work when knitting, but I put it off as long as humanly possible. I have a PILE of things that will be perfect...when they're finished. I have a sweater that has just needed a tiny bit of sewing for SIX YEARS...and I haven't brought myself to finish it yet.

3.) I hate math. I use Robb as my human calculator. As such, he knows random knitting terms like "gauge" and "stitch count."

4.) I really HATE it when people say to me, "Don't you love being a mother?" It's an inane question that I hate answering. What am I going to say, "I hate it?" Stupid. I hate stupid questions.

5.) I hardly ever get tagged for memes, and was so unreasonably excited when I got the note from Karin that she'd tagged me that I might have jumped up and down a bit in my chair.

So, who would like to do this next? I nominate...

um, I'm all shy all of a sudden. I nominate YOU if you want to do this. :)

30 September 2008


Despite Mercury retrograde...
despite the collapse of the financial markets...
despite the sense of impending doom coming from every corner...
despite the stronger and stronger pushes from various places and worlds begging me to cast free of these anchors and set sail on a sea of uncertainty...
despite a suddenly obvious flare for the dramatic...

I'm having a really good week.

Someone needed to say it, and with all the doom and gloom everywhere on the horizon, I thought I might be the only one.

So, go me!

26 September 2008


I haven't knitted a stitch this week. Not-a-one. My new Macbook and iPod were retrieved from very friendly UPS staff on Monday, and since then? None at all. I've been playing Spore and updated files and -- most excitingly -- writing.

That's write. Right. Hehe. :) Writing stories. From my braiiiiin. Onto (digital) paper. Stories that could possibly be sold to the highest bidder, traded for food on our table and electricity in our house, and so forth. Can you imagine it? To me, it's almost the highest form of shenanigans -- the highest being acting in all its forms. All the arts, really, though -- "You mean, if I do this thing that keeps me from just losing my mind and going COMPLETELY insane, you're going to pay me for it?"(laugh)"REALLY?"

I'm all blissed out on word fumes.

22 September 2008

Has it really been that long?

I'm so sorry! I had no idea I'd skipped out on you guys for such a long time! The outreach lists were huge, the call volumes were ridiculous, the baby was growing...the knitting didn't happen very much anyway. I've gotten 5 pattern repeats done on my wedding shawl. There, you're up to date.

The exciting thing right now is that I'm typing this on my very own brand new Macbook. Ooooo. I know; I know. I'm crazy excited, too. It's beautiful, and it feels like something that should be in a science fiction movie, but it's mine, and I can type on the couch. I'm hoping that writing will start getting in the way of my knitting time, you know?

Here's wishing.

Love to you all, talk to you soon.

08 September 2008

Sleeping is for birds.

All last week, I got between 3 and 5 hours of sleep a night, for no real reason except I couldn't be bothered going to bed.

Last night, I actually got some sleep. Today, I can't get out of my own way.

Sheep & Wool festival this weekend; lovely day, lovely pretties, and very impressed with myself for staying inside of the budget Robb and I agreed on. Even more exciting, I found a spot in the living room where my spinning wheel can live and not be in the way, since there's a direct correlation between how much of my spinning wheel I can see, and how often I spin.

I'm impressed with both myself, and the high speed kit for the Kiwi; I'm spinning soft, fine singles, that should make fantastic two ply yarn, maybe DK weight. Pictures when the sun cooperates/I remember.

B, your shawl is done, I just need to block it. Which means I need blocking wires. Which are temporarily out of my price range. (i.e. I spent the money I meant to spend on blocking wires on alpaca fiber. Sorry. :( ) You will love it.

Sleepy. Nothing else to report.

03 September 2008

Thank God I was pregnant last year

because I'm actually following the election this year, and there's no way little Lucy would have survived my blood pressure fluctuations.

I hate politics. I hate politicians. I hate the way modern politics has gone, where the bulk of the population doesn't bother to vote, and a good bunch of the people who do vote vote for the guy they "trust," or who had the flashier ads on TV. People don't watch or listen to the debates, people don't learn about the issues, and they so often vote based on just one issue -- and it makes me nuts.

I'm trying to stay balanced, even if my vote was decided last year. Last week, I listened to the DNC, I was inspired. This week, I'm trying -- I'm really trying -- to listen to the RNC (that's Republican National Convention, for Shannon :) ), and my blood pressure...let's just say that I had to put down the lace.

Put aside your positions on the issues for just a second. When I listened to the DNC, I heard "John McCain is going to do this...Barack Obama is going to do this. John Mccain will do X...Barack Obama will do y." There were positions discussed, practical explanations of how things were going to happen.

When I listen to Rudy Guliani talk, all I'm hearing is "How dare that Barack guy go to an Ivy League school? And how come he talks so good? And how can he think he can run anything, when he's not experienced? Yeah? Huh? And we're going to put nuclear power plants on every corner, and don't you ask about how long it's going to take to get them built, or where we'll get the uranium to run the plants, or what we're going to do with it when it's done!"

I'm dealing with this to listen to Sarah Palin, because I am nervous about her, and I want to hear what she has to say.

I note that NPR didn't tell me what Sarah Palin was wearing tonight, something they felt it necessary to tell me about when Hillary stood up for Barack Obama.

Erg. Just erg.

Shan, seriously, if John Mccain wins this election, I'm moving my family next door to you.

Sorry for the random political intrusion into this normally calm knitting/motherhood/general work blog. I'm just...frustrated.

29 August 2008

S.L.O.W. D.O.W.N.

Yesterday, I looked up after what felt like 15 minutes at work, and it was lunch time.

Today, I swear I've been here for half of my life time, and it's not even time for my first break.

I broke out my book, but I'm way too lazy to read right now.


Lots of knitting done this week, though few photo ops. I've been listening to the DNC and all the speechifying, which is a great combination with a lace shawl that has reached the unendingly boring part.

I have nothing exciting to report, just didn't want anyone to think I'd fallen off a cliff.

Hugs and love and suchlike all around.

23 August 2008

One with pictures!!!

I know, can you believe it?

It's been a busy couple of weeks here, with a sick baby followed by a sick Mama and Dada, followed by a disgusting infected toe (mine) that I didn't even injure doing anything cool like, I don't know, rockgliding? Nope, ingrown toenail. Don't worry, I didn't take a picture of it.

But because of the gross toe, I had to get antibiotics, which has affected the taste of my milk, which has caused -- well, not a nursing strike, but a grouchy kid, let me say that much. She's not nursing much at all, and the only thing that's sustaining me is the certain knowledge that healthy babies don't starve themselves. She's not dehydrated, and she is nursing some...she's just pissy.

I think I'm going to have to start drinking that disgusting tea again.

She's crawling like a demon now. Army crawling, with occasional moments of cross-crawling...for a step or two, before she crashes onto her chin and screams. Currently, she has made her way into the kitchen, and discovered that the cat's food bowl makes a very interesting sound when you smack it on the linoleum. And, it pushes nicely on the carpet. My kid? Too clever.

But don't worry, I know what you're really here for.

Some of these are still "some assembly required," and they're all too big, so these are just knitting shots; I'll provide some modeling as soon as it's reasonable.


The Dale Ladybug Sweater, finally done except for some adorable Ladybug buttons that need to be sewn onto the shoulder.


The Berrocco Pure Merino Nuance sweater.


The Berrocco Love It! Colors sweater.


The Waves in Square Shawl (Sivia Harding) is knit, and just needs blocking.


And then, finally, the green, beaded hat.

I know, I can't believe I did it either. And B, I poked all the beads over to the right side. Just for you. :)

By the way, I took a ton of pictures of Lucy in that hat; you can see the rest of them here.


17 August 2008

Thank you

to everyone who asked if Lucy was feeling better. She is; now Robb and I are sick. Ugh.

More soon.

13 August 2008

I'd forgotten what spit up tastes like.

Today, however, I got a plentiful reminder. Ugh. Little Bug has her first cold (what a wonderful first, right), and she is miserable beyond belief. I can't figure out what I hate more, the all-out crying, screaming, oh-my-god-why shrieks of pain, anger, and frustration, or the quiet, soft moments, when she cuddles into me and then looks up with these eyes that say "Mama, why can't you fix it?"

Finally got her to sleep around 9pm -- which is great -- and I celebrated by finishing the last sleeve on the Ladybug sweater -- you've been around a long time if you remember that one! -- and steeking the armholes before I lost my courage. I did f up one little corner, but not so badly I couldn't fix it. Go me.

Pictures. Eventually.

Meantime, taking on more responsibilities at work means that I will be better compensated on my quarterly bonus, but significantly cuts into my internet time.

There will be balance again. Eventually.

05 August 2008

Cute hats, cute pictures, cute babies...

...but no time to upload.

Lucy's little green Tili Thomas hat is finito. I tried to get a pic for you, but Lucy is currently of the opinion that the only thing worth having is something worth eating, so no dice yet. I'll keep working on it.

The top of the little hat got interesting. If you remember the original (and I totally tripped out trying to find this picture, because I absolutely DO NOT BELIEVE that Lucy was ever that small), you might remember the cutesy little thingies on the top of the hat. Little loopy guys.

I originally bought the pattern (it's a Tili Thomas pattern) for the little loopy guys. I know how to knit a hat, after all. It's simple. Measure baby head. Measure gauge. Multiply. Knit. Even I can do that. But the little loopy guys. I wanted my loopy guys to be like the shop-hat's loopy guys. So I bought the pattern.

Come to knit Beaded Hat #2, Electric Boogaloo version...and find out that I've "misplaced" or "lost" or "sent into a time/space warp" the pattern.

And I thought about buying another copy of the pattern, for the loopy guys.

I winged it. Wung it. Whatever.

I'll provide photographic evidence tomorrow, if I can get the kid to keep her hat on long enough.

The crying jags have eased off; the top tooth is nearly through, and the generous administration of Hyland's Teething Tablets has restored this family's sleep. In general, I'm not a fan of medicating kids -- I hate hearing about how my 3 month old nephew was on prilosec, my cousin was on ADD meds, this one's on this, that one's on that...there simply isn't enough research done on these medicines in adult bodies before they're used, it REALLY isn't appropriate to use them in kids if you don't have to...

But they let her sleep. And it doesn't seem like an unnatural sleep, the kind of passed-out kid I get when I've rarely given her tylenol (mostly after she gets shots). It just seems to ease her out, relax her a bit, so she can go to sleep herself.

I really do love that kid like crazy, you know?

And so here's the big debate of today. I really really want to knit stoles for both of my bridesmaids. I started with scarves, because the wedding was going to be in May (don't ask me why that makes sense, because I don't know). Now that it's going to be March, I really want to knit Swan Lake for B and Hanami for Melissa.

Am I a total nutter, wanting to knit two lace stoles in the next eight months?

01 August 2008

Poor Little Bug.

Miss Lucy has been having the most awful week; she's not napping well with Grandma Donna, so it's hard to put her down in the evening, since she's so overtired (massages and baths help, but it's still a half hour process, more when you figure that I nearly always fall asleep for a little while with her). But the last week or so, most night (say, 5 out of 7?) she wakes up at 11pm, practically on the dot, and fusses and cries and generally throws herself about with distress. I'm pretty sure she's getting her top two teeth in, based on her absolute and determined refusal to let anything into her mouth that isn't controlled by her -- and no, I have no further scientific method, why do you ask? -- but last night. Oy, last night.

She went down a little earlier and a little easier, and I only slept 20 minutes or so before stumbling out to the living room to try and be an adult for an hour or two before bedtime. And then at 10pm, or just after, there was full throated screaming coming from the bedroom. There was no warm up, no "Hey, Mama, I'm getting pissy!" engine reving, just a complete and total FREAKOUT.

I pretty much bolted into the bedroom, convinced that she had somehow crawled out of the bed and broken something, but no, she was still exactly where I'd left her, and her eyes were even still closed. But she was screaming, and she was quivering with tension, poor thing. Normally I can stroke her and cuddle her back to sleep, but last night I had to pick her up and rock her for quite a while, and then nurse her back to sleep.

I've got no idea what's going on. All the parents I talk to assure me that this is all normal, kids go through this, it's probably just that she's teething, and so forth. All of that makes sense to me, but it doesn't stop my worry that maybe something's wrong, you know?

In knitting news, I'm almost done the second gumdrop sock (well, almost is strong, I just turned the heel on the second sock, how's that?) and for a quick knit to soothe my nerves, I'm knitting a new hat for Lu for this winter, out of the same Tili Thomas beaded yarn I used last year. What, I loved the hat.

But because I'm growing as a person, can you guess what color it is?

That's right.


30 July 2008

What I did on my...the opposite of summer vacation.

So, there's a lovely lady here at work who is fit-to-burst with baby boy. I'm 99% sure that no one here knows I blog, so I'm comfortable saying that this is what I made her:


This incredibly oversaturated photo was taken in the wee hours of the morning, after I realized that I really ought to weave in the ends before giving this as a gift. Two strands of Baby Ull held together. Really, both ends of each ball. But still! I'm super impressive. And do you want to know why?

I made up the pattern. Out of my very own head.

I was going to get Lucy to pose, but it was seriously past her bedtime, and I didn't want to wake her up if I could help it.

However, since I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning, and then realized that our secret super surprise for the lady at work isn't until TOMORROW (sigh) I'll get another chance tomorrow.

I want one of these for Lu now, maybe in pink and green? Am I totally weird? You can tell me if I am...But be gentle.

And, because I know you're all busy bodies and want to see:


29 July 2008

Actual knitting accomplished!

Lucy and I had the most wonderful weekend. After two weeks of teething hell, she was a calm, cheerful, happy baby. I got to spend my weekend knitting and ready and playing with a happy baby, instead of frantically trying to calm a teething tornado. Ah, bliss.

What, pictures? Why would you think that?

Okay, actually, there are a few, but you have to go here to look at them. Let me know if it works. They should be visible to the public now; that means you. There are adorable videos there now. Hooray. :)

No, really, I did take pictures actually. Although we can all note that this morning, my grasp of the Queen's English, she is-a not so good. Bear with me, please. No sleep + much coffee = weird me.


This little sweater is from an Ann Norling leaflet, and it's knit from Berocco Love It! Colors. I have completely accidentally fixed the one issue that I had with the shop sample I fell in love with -- the colors didn't match on the two fronts at the shop, and for some reason it really bugged me. Normally, I like that. Well, I don't know what I did differently, but the colors on these two fronts line up in an almost eerily perfect way.

There has been progress since this picture; the knitting was finished, the edging was knit. I need to seam and add buttons.


This is the newest pattern from Blue Moon Fiber Art's Socks That Rock Sock Club. I've been in the club since the beginning, and I love it. It's funny, on the Rav board, there's been a lot of hubbub this year about every single colorway, with some people hating it, and other people saying that they're stupid. Maybe this has been throughout the history of the club and I just didn't notice, I don't know. It seems like people have gotten a bit more intense this time, expressing frustration at the "pastel" nature of the colorway (it doesn't read that way to me, but I'm commonly acknowledged to be strange), and at it's multi-colored-ness. Why you would sign up for a sock club with a company like BMFA and not want multi yarns is beyond me...it's what Tina's amazing at, so it's kind of like ... it's like wanting to be a fan of David Ortiz because of his fielding. You can do it, I guess, but it doesn't make much sense.


There has also been progress on these since Sunday. Sock #1 is finished, sock #2 should hit the heel turn on the way home. Excited!


I finished the last pair of BMFA socks before starting the new ones. Go me!

On the needles (frantically knitting), a hat for a work-baby-shower tomorrow. I was going to do a plain hat with a very masculine pompom, but then the blue Baby ULL and the yellow Baby ULL were right next to each other, and they said let us play! and then I did. At least I had the sense to double them up so that I'm not knitting fingering weight hats for people I only just met. Don't get me wrong, this lady is very cool or I wouldn't bother at all...but I did only just meet her.

Add to that the part where I'm kind of reinventing fair isle patterns from memory, because I can...

Yeah, I'd better get back to work. And by work, I mean knitting. :)

23 July 2008

Inner Strength

It's the only reason I'm awake today.

The second tooth on the bottom front FINALLY cut through yesterday, meaning that my baby finally got some damn sleep. Thank GOD. I'm sorry for the excessive use of capitals, but TRULY. Still, as Robb and I try to keep the stress of life from translating through to our relationship, I got very little sleep last night, and what I got didn't feel very restful; I think I'm going to go to bed when Lucy does tonight, especially since Robb won't get home until near 11pm.

Last night, I was up late knitting a sweater, watching Gilmore Girls, and scrubbing a pan of burned-on spaghetti sauce. Fascinating evening. I'm kinda entertained by this sweater (no, I didn't take pictures, why would you ask me such a silly question??), designed by Ann Norling, and knit by little ole me out of Love It Colors; I loved the sample knit up in the shop, but it kind of bugged me that the color repeats were out of sync. I don't know why, as I'm not normally a matchy-matchy girl. Which, incidentally, completely stressed out my bridesmaids on Saturday. It was hysterically fun; I never thought I'd have to get all Bridezilla to convince them to get the dresses they actually wanted.

Anyway, I don't know what I did differently, but my sweater is a perfect line-for-line match on both fronts. It's lovely.

Of course, to pay me back, I'm getting the wrong gauge with the Lamb's Pride on the adorable skater-top. I think this sweater is going to need to be redesigned to fit. Sigh. It's cute enough to be worth it.

All in all, I'm a tired camper, but a happy camper. Life is feeling a little more bearable this week; money woes aren't gone, but they feel manageable. I can draw the obvious conclusion as to why this is, if you want to draw it too, that's fine, but do me a favor and don't say it yet, because it feels too new, too fresh to be bandied about without sounding like some sort of revivalist convert. I'm too New England for that.

More to come when I've slept. Hoorah!

21 July 2008

200th post! ZOMG.

I didn't even think of it, until I went to blogger and realized I had previously written 199 posts.

Oh. Gee. Look at that.

Of course, that doesn't take into account my old blog on Livejournal, but no one read that anyway, so never you mind your wonderful head about it.


Hi! It's my 200th post, apparently. I wish I had pictures. Maybe I'll add some later, when I get home.

This was a fun and crazy weekend; B flew in from DC so that she and Melissa and I could all go bridesmaid dress shopping. The girls found great dresses that are similar enough that it won't look weird, and different enough that both of them look really beautiful. I'm also pleased to report that the world did not explode with my two best friends in the same room, which is fantastic, as I was a little...concerned.

Of course, Lucy had to put the final seal of approval on the dresses, which she did with happy gurgles. The sight of Mama in a veil and tiara apparently was too much, though, and the poor munchkin was reduced to tears and howls. I hope she was just hungry. :)

Before that, though, B and I had gone out for breakfast, and then to Kaleidoscope. I had mourned, in my current financial state, the inability to re-wardrobe my daughter for fall, and she's grown out of almost all of her handmade sweaters. B took on the challenge. We got alpaca-silk from Blue Sky Alpacas, Love It in one of their long-repeat colors, some Pure Merino Nuance, some Lamb's Pride Worsted, some Tili Thomas beaded for a new version of last year's awesome blue hat. The baby will continue to be well dressed. Very exciting.

Sunday morning, Lucy and I went to church with Grandpa Frank so we could hear him sing. I wasn't sure how well she'd do -- she's not exactly in a sitting still phase, and with her second tooth cutting through right next to the first one, her mood has been slightly less sunny, though I think only the most trained observer would notice, given her propensity for smiling at strangers -- but I was actually very impressed. I think she definitely enjoyed the first parts of the worship, the music and the call-and-response, but the message was too much for her. I listened to some of it from the back of the sanctuary, where I could rock her and walk her to keep her calm, but when even that wore through her patience, I took her down to the nursery, where she could bobble and talk, and I could still hear the message.

There was more I was going to say, but then the phones went nuts, and now I've forgotten. The downside of blogging from work.

Much love to you and yours.

09 July 2008

Public Service Announcement

The baby is teething.

The fact that all of us have survived the last three days is mainly due to the development of Infant Tylenol.

Before I had a baby, I said there was nothing worse than mothers who drugged their children so that the kids would sleep and poor little mommy could get some time on her own.

Shows what I know.

It is, in fact, a self-defense technique. Because if you strangle the child, who is crying (truly through no fault of their own, but when they're making that sound I swear you don't know that) and crying and crying and wearing doesn't help and nursing doesn't help and thumb sucking doesn't help (because as soon as she drifts off enough to be careful, her thumb bumps the sore spot, and then the screaming starts again), if you strangle the child, you'll be sent to jail, and no one wants that.

Note: I'm trying to be funny. If it's not coming off that way, please blame extreme exhaustion. One sharp little corner of the tooth in question has already poked through -- any chance that means there's an end in sight? And I've already tried washclothes and cold teethers, she will have nothing to do with them.

07 July 2008

In which there is practically no knitting.

Because what I've (mostly) been knitting is plain socks, and I just don't think you're going to care so much. Plain, DK weight socks. Yawn. I got really excitable and kept the ribbing going all the way down the leg -- but only the back of the leg. Yeah, see? Not exciting.

But look at this:

And this one:

That little yellow blur? That's a summer squash. It now has a buddy, and a likely looking bud on its other side.

And can you believe it?

There are already two baby chili peppers on the plants, and the bells and the chilis are COVERED in buds.

Norma, if I ever meet you in person, I'm going to hug you.

Someone want to tell me what I need to do with the chilis throughout the summer so that I can make hot pepper jelly in the fall?

02 July 2008

Snatching a moment.

Sneaking in to say hello during a 5 minute break.

Training proceeds, no worries. I will very much enjoy the new tasks, and I'm excited for them.

Last night was rough, for some reason; Lucy went to bed with no-muss-no-fuss, and I turned in a couple hours later. It was all very fuzzy in my brain, as I was VERY tired from teflon-brain induced by too-much-learning-about-pharmacy-programs.

I woke up a few hours after I'd gone to bed; some part of my brain thought Lu might be hungry, but she was sound asleep and totally at peace. And it occurred to me that she didn't need me nearby to sleep. I was proud/sad/lonely all at once. I expect that feeling will occur often as the days pass and my little girl grows.

College is practically right around the corner.

Much love to you all.

30 June 2008

Monday is fired.

You hear that, Monday?? Take that! You and your forgetting-stuff-at-home, busy-phones, stressed-out nonsense; I'm done with you! haHA!

In other news, I keep reading everywhere how the knitblog is dying, the knitblog is on its way out, beat our chests and rend our skin, the knitblog, o the knitblog.

Dudes. Seriously.

Perhaps I'm jaded or overtired or something, but it's just not that big of a deal to me. It feels like the blogs I read -- are distilled, somehow. Pared down. In a good way. Of course, since I started working, pictures have become something that happened to Other Blogs, so perhaps my perspective is skewed.

But then, I didn't get into blogging for the knitting. I always had the knittalk list for that, and when I got my camera, I was going to show off pictures, sure, and that was fun...but rapidly, what I liked more was the stories. The friendships. The people I keep in touch with that I would never keep in touch with -- much less meet! -- if it weren't for the internet. I know that there are those of you who wander over regularly to find out what Lucy's up to, what I'm mad at today, and, oh yeah, if I'm knitting anything. I mean, sure, it started all about projects, but woman cannot knit sock yarn alone, or something similar.

Really. I started reading blogs because of the Yarn Harlot, and I started blogging because I wanted to be Cool Like Her. But what makes Stephanie cool? Is it that she was The First (I have no idea if she was, I'm just saying). Is it that she knits like a demon when the force is with her? Or is it her take on life, her turn of phrase, her way of making you fall off your chair laughing?

Every time I go to the yarn store, Robb asks if I'm going to have a yarn accident. You know, where you fall down in the yarn store, and swipe your credit card on the way by? That's because of her.

Not because she knit the (admittedly beautiful) snowdrop shawl.

Because of her I realized that women still breastfeed, that women still have natural births, that there is recourse to other options than the one shown on TBS's A Baby Story. I could care about what she's knitting, but I want to hear about her children, her life, her friends, I want to hear about the singular way she sees the world, because it makes me want to be more like her. A crunchy, hippie mama in birkies with the courage to take on all the Muggles in the world.

The knitblog isn't dying. The knitblog is becoming mainstream -- which means that it's big enough to take in everything. Knitters who get distracted by gardens and babies and whatever else life throws at us.

Because we are all knitters. And just because that's what we started talking about -- we can diversify.


Saturday was for cuddles this weekend, cuz Mama had a fuckup. Lynne, if you read this, I'm not telling my mother because I will NEVER hear the end of it, and no one was endangered, so really, we're just letting it lie. But I'm writing it down here because I need to know that other moms have had oopses too, and to be told that I'm not a horrible mom, so please feel free to indicate this down where there's the little comment box, 'kay? You know what to do.

This weekend, we went over to Dad's almost all day for his birthday party -- Poppy turned 60 this year, and Lucy, Robb, and I went to help him celebrate in style. It was a grand time; and there were a lot of kids needing naps -- somewhere in the chaos of getting one kid up and another kid down, the monitor for the room that Lucy was in got turned off. I put her down at 6, sure that she was drifting off to sleep -- 45 minutes later, I was shocked that she was asleep, she never sleeps long if we're away from home. I decided to go upstairs and check on her -- and as soon as I got outside the door to the room (which someone had closed, to "protect" her from the noise), I could hear her screaming her head off.

I don't know how long the poor little bean was crying in there, all on her own, thinking that mama had forsaken her. I'm guessing somewhere between 15 minutes to half an hour. She'd thrown up all over herself, the pack-n-play, her blankie, her sweater. She had puke in her hair, down her front, down her back. And what really broke my heart was that as soon as I opened that door and got inside her view, she stopped crying and held out her arms. She'd just been waiting for me.

I brought her downstairs, all messy and awful and got her cleaned up while she cuddled as close as she could get. A couple people tried to suggest that I should put her down to clean her up so I didn't get messy (fucking idiots); I ignored them while I got her not-so-yucky, and then nursed her, right there in the middle of the public view. I had one aunt look like maybe she'd say something, and another aunt just kinda got in the way and started talking about the intermittent rain. Go Aunt Rachel!

The rest of the weekend was fine. I knit one entire sock out of some LL Shepherd Worsted in Jeans that's been hanging around for a VERY long time, and got all the way down to the heel of sock #2. My house is still full of moths, but I can't find any yarn that they're munching...could it just be eggs that were laid in the carpet that are hatching?

Very bizarre.

27 June 2008

One of *those* weeks.

I don't know if I've even touched knitting needles since this weekend.

It's been a hectic few days emotionally, personally, workally, homelifeally...just all around. Rough. Busy.

Sleep schedule? Gone.

Laundry? Not done.

Cleaning? I laugh at you. I laugh hard.

This week, I have run around like a chicken with my head cut off, taking care of sick Robb, potentially sick Lucy (it's so hard to tell when she can't tell me where it hurts. Is she sick, or just the crankiest baby ever? Actually, that's never been true, a 10-minute crying jag is a REALLY long time for her, so I don't mean to complain), trying to ensure that both Lu and I have health insurance next month (and Robb will, for the first time since we've gotten together!) Next week, I go to training for the next level of my job. That will be fun, and possibly a knitting extravaganza. But if you don't hear from me, that's why.

I have no pictures of knitting to show you, but if you wanna see pics of Lucy -- check here. Part of Phanfare's new app is letting people see pictures without signing up. Hooray! Take a look. :)

Until then -- I just wanna nap.

23 June 2008

In which Fate bites me in the heiny.

This Saturday past, Lucy and I decided to get off our butts and go for a nice walk. Well, I decided, and Lucy got to come along, because she's not allowed to stay home by herself yet. Not till she's at least two. (I'm kidding, call off the hounds).

It was a really wonderful walk; sunny and warm, but the sun was in the right way to keep it off the PaleRedheadedGirl, and there was shade at just the right intervals.

We went to the library, where we returned the extremely overdue novel by someone Harris that I couldn't read past the first page, and the less overdue Duma Key by Stephen King (loved that book, truly did, keep meaning to write a review, but it's just not in my brain of late). We then (of course) continued on to the lovely LYS so that everyone could tell Lucy how adorable she is (I keep telling Robb we need another child, just so that Lucy won't get spoiled completely rotten). I bought the new Norah Gaughan pattern book, and controlled myself admirably -- which is to say that I did not spend $150 on yarn that I can't afford, when I know that if I just wait out the cotton season, the DK room will once again fill with more affordable, workhorse yarns for winter. I did, however, succumb to one of these.

When Lucy and I got home (I'm sure I could think of something picturesque to say about this weekend if I tried, but too much Buffy this weekend has made it unlikely), I thought to myself, "Self, we should really finish something before we cast on for those Flat Feet socks."

I'd like to pretend that I had a long, internal monologue where I weighed the options one against the other, and finally lost the war, but struggled valiently, and got credit for trying. But really, I thought the above, and the internal response was:

"Who are you kidding? Grab the size 1s!"

So I knit all Saturday and most of Sunday, between bouts of Lucy cuddling. I did finish the final sleeve of her new sweater (one of these days I'll post pictures again, I swear). I thought about seaming and finishing it. I thought about finding the sewing needles.

I didn't do it.

So it was totally my own fault that the sock I spent two days knitting, and was halfway down the foot -- gauge was totally on, but WAY too small for my foot. And when I'd fiddled enough to make it fit, I then skipped the "Row 2 and all other even numbered rows" direction. For the next twelve rows.


Ribbit, ribbit.

19 June 2008

Blushing over here, already.

Thank you to everyone who had such nice things about my (essay? piece of quasi-fiction? mini-memoir?) yesterday. All through that day, I found myself wanting to share it, and wishing I had my camera. And then, Tuesday, regretting that I didn't have my camera so that I couldn't share that day with all of you.

And then I realized that I've come to rely too heavily on that damn camera. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I have it...but I started this blog because I love words, and I want to share the words in my head and my heart. I don't need a camera for that.

Maybe my writer's heart is finally healing from all that shit I went through three years ago. That would be nice.

Actually, I've been obsessed with writing lately (surprise!). This is actually what got me thinking -- I've been wanting to write children's books (nothing new there) but particularly picture books (very new!), and I'd like to somehow write picture books that would show a style of parenting more like what I'm doing instead of what a child sees in most picture books; something that would reflect the life that (I hope) she will have growing up. A world of breastfed babies and toddlers, a world with slings and wraps instead of strollers, a world where Mama makes baby food instead of buying it off a shelf in the store. But I don't know how to include that sort of thing in a story without being didactic, without being the illustrator and -- uh -- I can't draw. Not to save my life.

But the ideas I'm being drawn to -- a photoproject of breastfeeding mothers. Who aren't just breastfeeding newborns. A project that says that boobs aren't just for sex. A book of positive birth stories -- ones that include situations like mine, where I *did* end up needing an emergency c-section, one that only the most hardcore jerks say was caused by doctor distress. (Dudes. She pooped her water and they had to suction out her lungs. She was in distress). The anti-"A Baby Story". Where someone tells mothers who "aren't dilating" to get up an walk around for a minute. Let gravity help you, for pity's sake.

Would you be interested in any of these things? Let me know.

Meanwhile, my lesson-from-God today came from a very unexpected source. There are a lot of "semi-transients" in my town; folks who do have homes, if you call rat-ridden slum efficiency apartments "homes", and the "semi" coming from the fact that they don't always remember where their homes are. One of these guys I've known for years. He's the kind of guy who, if I didn't know him, and saw him in a place I was unfamiliar with, I might cross the street to get away from him. He's a bulky sort of man, and his clothes are stained, and his hair is unkempt. I passed him as I was walking in from where I was parked, and then we ended up at the same coffee shop this morning. I got an iced mocha; he got an iced coffee. And he was standing in front of the straws. I asked him to hand me one, saying I didn't want to lean over his coffee.

He smiled at me, handed me one, and said "That's what neighbors are for."

He's very very right. Thanks for the reminder.

I feel like light today.

17 June 2008

Use your imagination

Because I don't know where the batteries are for the camera.

Here's the scene; a messy living room, small but lovingly decorated. All the furniture is Hand-me-down Chic, but none of it needs to be thrown out. A family lives here, you can tell by the brightly colored plastic toys in the corners the high chair strapped to a chair, the Exersaucer that is the middle of the floor for you to trip over, because there is nowhere else for it to be.

Crashed on the couch, wearied after a six month checkup and a frenzied effort to get Daddy out the door on time for work, is a pretty little red-headed baby, and her frazzled looking mother. The mother looks longingly at her knitting, which she hasn't touched since Friday, and looks realistically at the apartment (an utter disaster). You can see the thoughts on her face -- she could stay here all day, fighting the baby for time to clean, or she could cut loose, head over to her own mother's house, and let someone help her for a change...yeah, that sounds good...

She brings along two bags of laundry, because that's how she is.

Once the laundry is up and running (swirling), three generations of women head off to the local farmstand-with-garden store; one is an accomplished gardener, one wants a few plants in containers so she can make hotpepper jelly, and one is riding in a stroller and seems afraid of all the colors.

The women gather their purchases; bell peppers, hot peppers, cucumbers, summer squash. Carrot and radish seeds. Potting soil.

Back at the grandmother's house, the mother tries to calm the youngest member of her family under the trees. Her hands are gritty with potting soil, it's not the same as dirt, but it's closer than she's been for a long while. Her daughter is tired, her legs are sore from the shots she got, but she won't settle down to sleep. They rock in a swing, soft humming merging with the strong breeze sweeping down from between the trees. It carries with it the promise of half a hundred more summers like this one, with dandelion wine and strawberry jam and hot pepper jelly.

If God is good.

15 June 2008

Blogging from my brother's

where we just had a father's day celebration for BioDad, and partially to test out the keyboard on his Mac, which is most likely the next computer I'm going to buy for myself.

This weekend, there has been much with the knitting, as I went back and forth between Town & Country for myself, and the Nashua Blossom sweater out of PureLife for Lucy. I'll try and get my act together and actually post pictures this afternoon or tomorrow, depending on, well, life.

Yesterday was WWKIP day, and Lucy and I went to the Farmer's Market (not much produce that is baby-approved yet) and then camped out with about twenty people and knit. It's Vermont, we didn't actually stand out all that much. But it was fun.

Tomorrow, Lucy has her 6 month checkup; I'll let you know her updated stats, so you can appreciate how adorable she is. And then, in the evening, Mom is going to be moral support tomorrow, and we're going to set up a container garden for me. I'm thinking of cucumbers, peppers, maybe some carrots and radishes. It's part of Norma's Gardenalong, and it should be tremendously fun. I'm trying to choose things that I will either want to eat straight out of the ground, or else will help me achieve my goal of starting to make my own jams and jellies. I've been craving hot pepper jelly for three years; it's time to do something about it!

More later. I love this keyboard.

09 June 2008

Where am I now?

I just got a very polite email from Joan asking if I had, by chance, fallen down the well, or if, perhaps, my staggering pile of WIPs had tipped over, burying me under them, leaving Lucy to be raised motherless, crying sadly in the middle of the floor until either my uninterested neighbors investigate, or Robb comes home to see one pale hand poking out from under a mountain of yarn. Can't you just see him, falling to his knees and crying out his rage to the gods as he gathered his poor daughter close, trying to spare her the horror? A knitter done in by her hobby...

Okay, so she didn't say that exactly. You know she was thinking it.

The truth is much more prosaic. The last week of any month at my job, apparently, is full of people saying "Oh, right, I have to pay for health insurance. Oops. Can you -- no, I don't want to be on hold -- no, I don't care that you can't help me, I'd much rather -- no, don't you -- no, you listen --"

Well, you know how that goes. I got sworn at for the first time today. Hooray, very fun.

Anyway, after a long week of that crap, I went home to a moderately more scheduled weekend than I've been allowing. This would have been fine, but I accidentally attempted to accomplish other things along with the scheduled events, while discounting the effect that the ridiculous ball of fire in the sky would have on my little winter baby. We had plans with Robb's mom, and they were good-and-fun, a new car seat was acquired, and baby care will be more evenly split between my mom and Robb's mom, good for all. I got a sunburn on my arm, and I think Lucy got a bit of a burn on her sun-side, plus she was just generally overheated. So Saturday night was one huge wash. She had a terrible time settling down for sleep, and kept me pretty miserable most of Saturday night.

Sunday was going to be my day to "get stuff done," and that's where I made my fatal error. Most Sundays, I've "gotten stuff done" but I've planned for things like "clean for half an hour." and "shower." This Sunday, I wanted to clean the kitchen, neaten the living room, clean the bathroom, put away the week's laundry, do more laundry, knit, watch a movie...yeah, if you have young kids, you know where this is going. I totally ignored the fact that Lucy had a miserable day on Saturday, completely refused to believe that this mood might carry over into Sunday. I spent Sunday refusing to accept the reality that I needed to give up on everything but my little girl. It got fairly ugly, and frustrated both of us.

I did start knitting the fronts on the Town & Country sweater, and in a fancypants move (stupid, stupid, stupid!) I decided to try something new and knit both fronts at once. Of course, I messed it up; I haven't made up my mind if you could tell from a galloping horse, which is how I'll decide whether or not to frog the darned things.

My big success this weekend was making my very own baby food; yummy tasty Braeburns, cut up and steamed, then put through the baby food mill. Mmm good. Well, I thought so; Lucy was not convinced. At all. HYSTERICAL faces she made; I seriously thought she'd try and pull her tongue out. Of course, then there was the coughing, and the nearly choking; that was less fun. I think the apples are still a bit too thick for her, I'm going to try thinning it with some breastmilk tonight, and report back tomorrow (who am I kidding, you'll hear from me next week if I'm lucky!). But the making of the food was way easier than I thought it would be, and I think it's something I can commit to doing, which is ever so good.

So, um, yes. Not dead. Or buried under wool. Though one can dream.

Also, Siren, I never heard from you...you won a present! Get in touch with me at kristine . lemay @ gmail . com

02 June 2008

Someone has a case of the "Mondays".

And yes, that would be me. Stupid, stupid day.

I told Robb to set the alarm for 6:15, in an attempt to start combating my snooze-button habit. Unfortunately, I didn't remember that at 6am, when the alarm went off, so I got up 15 minutes later than I meant to. That normally would be fine -- I know myself well enough that I allow for such variations -- but on a morning like this one, which was a finely tuned machine of efficiency, we had a serious problem. Houston-style. Between those extra 15 minutes and having to circle the block twice to find a parking space (twice as far as normal, therefore walking to work took longer, and GOD do I miss taking the bus), I didn't have time to make the deposit I needed to before work. This means that instead of jetting to the post office and then eating lunch at my half hour break, I have to jet to the bank, and then jet to the post office, and probably not have time to eat.

Depending on my mood by 1:30, I might go to the bank, then run my risks of missing the post office this afternoon. Why the hell not, the post office raising the stamp rates every three second has already cost me $35, why not just wait until freaking FRIDAY to send my bills.


I hate trying to be responsible and failing. It gets me mean.

Plus, I have boulders on the front of my chest, instead of boobs. And, can we say ow? Another 20 minutes before I go to break/pump.

Knitting content! Knitting content here!

One repeat left on the back of Town & Country. I've been knitting so many socks and so much lace lately that it's a real treat, using worsted weight yarn and size 7 needles. It feels like I'm zipping along beautifully!

I'm wearing Austermann Step socks, and they are soooooooo sqooshy and compfy and wonderful. I want another 20 pair! (all in good time).

I turned the heel on the purple STR sock; and we have a winner! Siren416 most nearly guessed the time it took for me to give in and cast on for the purple sock, and given what Alison and Karin thought about my self-control, I'm really quite pleased with myself for holding out for five hours!

Blogger is currently being odd, so I can't link to Siren's blog...when blogger stops being stupid, I'll try again. :)

30 May 2008

You guess.

If I tell you that the new Socks That Rock club colorway was shades of purple, how long would you think it took me to have 20 WIPs? Not noticing Karin's comment that at least two of the items on my list (if I even remember the list correctly) contained multiple items?

No, seriously, guess.

If you guess right, I'll find a present for you. It'll probably be sock yarn. :)

25 May 2008

An honest accounting of WIPs

First off, what are the freaking odds.

Karin very kindly send me some Nashua Julia she had in a color she'd thought would look better on me than on her -- Deep Blue Sea. It's a gorgeous, deep teal, and I've got my heart set on knitting the military style cardi from Veronik Avery's Classic Style book out of it -- but I was a little worried that I'd need more yarn than I had. So, after a lot of debate, I figured screw dye lot, I'll get a few skeins at my LYS, and then if I need to, I can stripe the sleeves. I didn't even look for the dyelot, I figured I would have no luck.

I am trying to organize today, as a start to cleaning (and listening to the new 3 Doors Down album), and I combined the Julias. And realized the dyelots were an almost perfect match.

Because they're the same dyelot.

Who'd've figured??

So, what's on the needles:

1.) Town & Country, Cascade 220
2.) Nashua Blossom pattern for Lucy, Rowan Purelife
3.) Buckingham lace pattern out of Manos Silky Merino
4.) Waves in Square, CTH Sockittome in Cornflower
5.) Angel Pearls Scarf in nameless white laceweight
6.) Lily of the Valley Shawl out of purple Zephyr laceweight
7.) Ribbed socks in Austermann Step
8.) Ribbed socks in CTH Sock
9.) Ribbed socks in Koigu
10.) Sivia Harding sock club socks from TWO DECEMBERS ago (I need to find the other skein
11.) One of the Nancy Bush traveling socks in Blue Jean (LL)
12.) Worsted weight socks for Al, Blue Jeans (LL)
13.) Socks I'm designing out of Fiesta's new sock yarn
14.) Work socks out of Tofutsies
15.) Another Angel Pearls Scarf out of Cracksilk Haze
16.) A big blue mohair scarf in a rippley pattern
17.) Three different pairs of mittens from Folk Mittens
18.) Ladybug sweater
19.) Plain Pi shawl out of java CTH laceweight.

Oh my god. Forget stash busting; I need to WIP-bust. Jeez. I had no idea it had gotten so out of control!

If you have motivating suggestions, feel free to mention them!

This time, with pictures!

I'm taking Ayla's advice and resurrecting my photobucket account. It's just too unreasonable, the way blogger uploads photos. This also means I can post photos at home and blog from work. It's a good thing.

Recent projects include:


Washing socks. Very glam, I know.

Closeup on:

Work socks. I actually tried to make these match, can you believe it? I failed, clearly. Good thing it doesn't worry me. :)


Socks that Rock socks. In Green. clearly, I'm weakening in my old age, because these are my favorite socks except my Lenores.


Sweater for Lucy. In Rowan's Purelife. I love this yarn. It's cotton, and I love it. Let's not go into all the weird things that says about me.


The beginnings of Town & Country. I've now completed two repeats of the main body pattern, but my camera batteries died, so you get ribbing pictures.

Today, I was going to go downtown and watch a friend run a 26k marathon. Today, I woke up and...well, maybe after I do this. Maybe. It does look like a beautiful day out, but I just feel rather blah about the whole thing. Not because of Jim, but because my house is a disaster and I want to clean and...and...and...I don't know yet what I'm going to do. I'll definitely know by tomorrow. :)

Lucy Update!!

Someone has found her toes...


And started eating solid foods.


21 May 2008

Grumbly bear

I am a whiny, bratty little bitch today. Feel free to smack me.

I don't know what is bugging me so badly. I slept reasonably well, Lucy didn't do her crazed wolverine impression, just woke up because she was hungry, settled down when she ate, and then was still asleep with Daddy when I left for work. I got a lovely message from my stepmother that she had finished and folded my laundry, and I could pick it up whenever, and I totally expected to finish it tonight. I got to see the season finale of House last night. And I got to work in time to get a cup of coffee and a bagel before I had to log on the phones. Really, what could be bad about all this?

I don't know.

I tried to upload pictures to Blogger, with the thought of saving a draft so I could add text when I got to work -- but blogger took fifteen minutes and was still working on trying to load the freaking things, increasing my belief that hosting my blog somewhere would be a good plan. Wordpress rocks, or so I hear.

The coffee upset my stomach so badly that I haven't eaten my bagel. I understand (now) that I should have reversed the order of these things, but the universe is not rewarding my understanding by making me less sick.

I'm too tired and brain dead to try and work on the Shedir socks, but I don't have any other knitting with me.

While I enjoy Ravelry for its organizational purposes, and I've joined a bazillion groups...I don't really find that I care about *reading* or responding to the groups. I'm bored with Forums. I did that in the 90s. I dunno, I'm just weird.

I'm revamping all my wedding plans to fit the revised budget I was given. I'm over the sour grapes portion of my psychology, and I'm even getting into the new and improved plans...but I'm a little bit sad and frustrated about some of the circumstances that led me to this place.

I want families to be simple.

And I hate telling moms that because they were responsible, and their kids were responsible, their kids have to not have insurance for a year before they can get help. And then, at the same time, I want to scream at them to stop covering for their damn kids and let their 21, 22, 23 year olds know that they absolutely need to get out there and get a job and get insurance through their job, because traveling Europe is cool, but it doesn't get you anywhere.

Don't ask. That's all I'm allowed to say about it.

See, I told you. Bitch today.

I'm going to go eat a cookie now.

20 May 2008

I know you're all dying to know...

...whether or not Lucy got any sleep last night. I mean, I know that if I were reading this blog, it would be what I was most interested in. Not news about knitting or anything like that. No. Why would you be interested in waving two sticks around until I get a sweater? (note: it takes a looooooooooooong time.)

So, since it's what you're all here for, I'm more than happy to tell you!

Last night, Lucy went to bed earlier than I meant her to -- I'm realizing that an earlier bedtime (pre-8pm) directly contributes to the growling-grumpies at 4am. But she had lousy naps yesterday, and was an inconsolable, crying, mess of a baby by the time I got her back from Mom yesterday (not Mom's fault, we don't blame her), so when I finally got her to fall asleep at 7:30, there was no freaking way I was waking her up unless she woke up on her own. And she didn't, so...yeah.

I do not have one of those sleep-12-hours-at-a-time babies. She's an awake baby, as Karin once described her. She went two months without a proper nap; she would nap about 15 minutes after nursing, and then was up and at it again. The most she's ever slept at one time is about eight hours.

I'm peaceful with all of this. There are forces in my life who insist that I *need* to get the baby on a schedule, that I *need* to make her sleep more, that I *need* to do this or that or the other thing. I've spent five months getting very, very adept at smiling and saying "Thanks for the advice, but her pediatrician says she's healthy," or "That's an interesting opinion, thanks for that. I think we're good with the way things are, though," or maybe "That's interesting -- are you interested in why we're doing things the way we are?" I figure Lucy is on a schedule -- hers. She sleeps as much as she needs to (this has been verified by her pediatrician) and what I *need* to do is take care of my daughter and meet her needs as best as I can until she's better able to communicate them to me. Those needs vary day-to-day, and I best meet them by remaining flexible and making sure that I am not forcing her needs to fit some predetermined schedule. Sure, there's the big three -- hungry/dirty/tired -- but after that, it's often a matter of trial and error.

The biggest thing I've learned about my daughter -- she's not a book. I can't read her. So I have to figure it out, nice and slow. Which means that no one has all the answers -- not the AP folks, not the Cry-It-Out folks, not the baby-wearers...it's like diets. You need to take bits and pieces from everything, call it tools in your toolbox -- don't use a hammer to beat in a screw, is what I'm saying.

I'm rambling.


The only reason I'm considering transitioning Lucy to her crib at all is because I'm wondering if she might sleep better there than she currently is in bed with us. If that's not the case, I'm not going hardline on the issue.

Anyway again.

Back up at 4:30am this morning with the grumblies. Miss Lucy was REALLY resistant to everything this morning; I rocked her and bounced her and cuddled her, and she finally settled down around 5 am in her crib, and slept until 6am, when she got hungry, and came back to our bed for a nice relaxed breakfast. I could hear her moving around in her crib before she fell back asleep, and I heard a couple of toys being played with, but she seemed to feel okay. And she's learning to self-soothe, which is pretty cool; she had a hard time falling asleep when I first brought her to her crib, but I kept picking her up and rocking her until she relaxed, then lying (laying? I never know) her back down -- the third time I did this, instead of her little face crumpling up, she flipped herself onto her side, popped her thumb into her mouth (after weaving her little fingers through her blankie so that it was right there too, she's making her knitting mama very proud) and closed her eyes. Out like a light -- at least for a bit.

It seems goofy, I know, spending half an hour in the morning getting her to sleep in her own bed, so that she can sleep there for an hour, but it's working well for me; it means that when I fall back asleep, I sleep better, because she's not trying to attract my attention every few seconds, and I can actually fall asleep for even another half hour before the alarm goes off; it's a good division for right now.

I think we're a long way, though, from her really sleeping on her own all night in the crib. But that's not an important goal for me, so I'm okay with it. There are certainly a few -- ahem -- relationship based challenges, but hey. I'm a creative lady.

As witnessed by the Primavera socks! Completed, done, fini! I had to request assistance from the knittalk group to figure out how to kitchener without a tapestry needle, and I don't like the way the toe came out on that sock, but I don't dislike it enough to take it out and redo it. I'll try to get a picture and post it tomorrow.

Now I've cast on for the Shedir socks out of Tofutsies yarn; I'll show you a picture of those, too. Tomorrow. I hope.

Oh! And new cleaning strategy; I get home, get the baby settled in, and set the microwave timer for 30 minutes. And I clean until the timer goes off. Whatever comes to hand, whatever I feel like dealing with, but I do it every day. It's fantastic, because I'm pleasantly surprised by how much clutter can be cleared with a dedicated half hour of work, and I don't feel bogged down by the complete mess that my house is.

Go me!

Also update: remember the moths?

Yeah, freezing did zero good. Cooking them per Alison's suggestion was impossible -- it's Vermont, we don't believe in sun here. Ultimately, I've thrown out one bag of yarn (oh, my bleeding heart!) but the losses seem to be limited there. It was a skein of Socks That Rock in a colorway I hated and was not sad to see go (Monsoon -- grey and green. Ugh. Blergh. Yuck.) and four skeins of Louet Gems in the prettiest baby blue I'd ever seen -- but it was sacrificed to keep my Manos safe, and I honored it appropriately before pitching it out in the trash.

The rest of the yarn that was near those bags is still in isolation, but so far still seems unaffected. There is one other bag in DEEP isolation -- in a totally separate part of the room from EVERYTHING else because it is highly suspicious -- which contains a bunch of sock leftovers and the cone of mohair that Karin sent me a few months ago.

I figure if things remain as they are for a bit longer, I may consider reintegration. But I'm being hyper cautious. I think I'm going to go by the health food store and get a couple bars of strongly scented soap; my understanding is that lavender won't help once you have moths, but can help keep you from getting moths.

I'm tremendously talkative when I'm at work. I'll scamper off now. :)

19 May 2008

Weekend, I love you; or, cabling with cotton is not for the faint of heart.

Ah, the bliss of a weekend. You work in retail long enough and you forget the luxury of Saturday morning, stretching and relaxing into the sunlight that comes through your window, moving like a cat into the ease of pajama day.

Well, other people do. My apartment is half in the basement. But I stretch, and pretend that there is sunlight. It's something.

Friday, I told you I was going to start transitioning Lucy into her crib. Didn't happen. Blame Robb. No, really -- I was ready on this one, and when I mentioned it to him, he gave me the saddest eyes and said, "Well, okay. I guess. If you think it's best." Turns out Daddy wakes up and checks on his girl a lot during the night, and he thinks he'll still wake up if she's not there.

So we decided on a hybrid plan. Lucy went to bed in our bed, as she has been, at about 8:30. We went to bed probably around midnight. Little girl was sound asleep, even slept through her midnight diaper change (I know it's probably silly, but it's stopped the 6am diaper blowout, so I'm fine with it. There's nothing like waking up with poop in your bed to start your day off right). Around 4am, she woke me up with her grumbly-growling. It's the weirdest thing; I'm convinced she's still asleep, but she growls and whines and groans and makes a ton of noise and jerks her body all around; she won't eat, she won't settle. Sometimes if I pull her onto my chest she calms down and falls back into a more solid sleep, but sometimes it wakes her up and she screams. I'm going to mention it to her doctor at her 6month well baby (which will be about three weeks from now, so no big deal).

So, at 4am when she woke me up, I offered her da boob; she didn't notice, just kept flailing. So I cuddled her for a minute, and then moved her into her crib. As soon as I picked her up, she relaxed, and she didn't even wake up when I put her in her crib. I stayed there for a minute, to make sure she wasn't going to wake up howling, but she stayed settled. I went back to bed, and all three of us slept for another three hours. She woke up, hungry and smiling, and I woke up happy and rested. Good deal, all around.

Sunday morning, she didn't wake up grumbly until almost 5:30. Did the same thing over again.

This morning, we were grumbly free. Hooray.

Kaleidoscope had their big sale this weekend, and I got some serious swag. Since I was too busy enjoying my daughter to take pictures of my loot, I will provide you with some links. :)

Cascade 220 in a lovely dark charcoal grey. This was originally going to be for the Fylingdale sweater out of the new A Fine Fleece book, but after swatching (I know, can you believe it? I swatched! TWICE!! IN ONE WEEKEND!!!), it was painfully clear that this yarn was NOT going to make that sweater. 5 stitches to an inch and 4 stitches to an inch...just not the same.

So, I did what any sensible knitter would do, when faced with a pile of yarn that is just not going to work for what they thought it was going to work for. I searched all through the book for a pattern that would work with the gauge and amount of yarn I had. And lo and behold, the Town And Country sweater has exactly that gauge, exactly the right amount of yarn -- guess why, because that sweater was knit out of Cascade 220. Sigh.

I've knit two inches of cabled rib, and I can already see why this yarn is on so many peoples' list of favorite workhorse yarns. It's sturdy and durable and I love it already.

I also got enough Rowan Purelife cotton for a sweater for Lucy. It's this soft, hazy grey color (it was a grey weekend, apparently) that I'm using to knit a little cardi out of the new Nashua Blossom booklet. It was one of those things -- I saw a sample knit up in the shop, and I marched myself straight back to the counter and informed Kalen that I needed to make that sweater, and now. It's pattern number 4; it's so cute! I knit the back and a sleeve over the weekend. Cabling in cotton...ow. I decided that I could cast on for the Town & Country cardi at the same time, because I needed something to give my hands a break. I forget how hard it is to knit in cotton!

But I'm weirded out. I'm going to have to rethink the entire concept of gauge in my life. I've always been a loose knitter -- drop down one to two needle sizes before I even swatch. For the Town & Country, my gauge was letter-perfect with the pattern needles, both row AND stitch. Then, for the cotton -- I actually went UP two sizes. I know! I nearly died of shock.

I also got some Baby ULL in a purple color for a winter sweater, but I can't track down the Dale link for the sweater so that you can understand how funny it is that I want to knit this sweater in purple (and that I'm considering doing one band in white or -- you guessed it -- grey, but we'll see about that), so perhaps more, along with the sale-swag, tonight. Or tomorrow. When I'm taking pictures.

Hooray. :)

Oh, and onto the foot of the work sock. Go me!

16 May 2008

In case the title of the blog hadn't clued you in...

...I really love lilacs. They remind me of spring time, of my grandmother's house once the snow was gone, of playing in her yard, which was smaller and less substantial in every way than my parents' yard, but made better by novelty. They remind me of my cousins and the glory days of childhood. They remind me of the bitter sweetness of my grandmother's elderly years, her gentle decline into Alzheimer's, and those last few moments before we moved her out of the house she'd lived in for many, many years.

The lilacs are blooming in Vermont. I had been riding the bus to work for the past three weeks, and one of the reasons I was loving my bus rides was that I could open the windows near me and breathe in the sweet fragrance of the lilacs all through Chittenden county. They're almost too sweet, aren't they? They dance the line just near cloying -- but for me, they never cross.

Unfortunately, my bus rides have been canceled, at least for awhile; Mom's taking care of Lucy for us, so that I can work, and she's too tired at night to bring Lucy back home; it's completely idiotic to ride the bus all the way from Burlington to Essex, just to turn around and drive back to Burlington. I was getting home at 7, after leaving the house at 6am.

So I'm back to having a huge, depressing carbon footprint. :( I'm currently driving a 99 Taurus that my father is kindly paying insurance/any bills on for a year. I'm researching cars for next year, something that won't cost me $200 a month in gas (it's an estimate, don't quote me). I love that there are fuel efficient sub-compact sedans that are actually safe. I'm torn between the Chevy Aveo and the Toyota Yaris. Next time I bring our Focus in for an oil change, I'll quiz my mechanic, see what he thinks.

Meanwhile, my sock knitting has also been cut into severely. This, just after I'd signed up for that Summer of Socks thingy. Oh well. I'll survive, I'm sure.

Other than that, I'm just having a whiny Friday. I'm tired, Lucy didn't sleep more than a couple hours at a time after I went to bed, and I'm thinking of starting to transition her to her crib, to see if maybe she's one of those babies who sleeps better on her own. That means I have to clean the laundry out of her crib. Sigh. It was so much easier the other way, but even if it means that I nurse her before I go to bed and get up a little earlier in the morning to nurse her again -- I think I'm encouraging her to wake more frequently in the night by being there to soothe her back to sleep.

I do have the common sense to try out this little plan of mine over the weekend, rather than on a weeknight, when I really need the sleep.

Other whines include: I hate pumping, I hate people who don't listen, I hate bills, I hate money, and I hate clutter. However, I have to/am willing to live with all of these things, given that I have very little choice on some of them.

My LYS is having a huge sale this weekend. I suspect that will cheer me up immensely. :) I'm going to get yarn for at least one sweater for me, at least one sweater for Lucy...after that, we'll see what happens.

Much love to all of you.

14 May 2008

Now that I have a new-and-improved shift-key

I am willing to post from work, since my attempts at shifting no longer look LikE THiS.

It stressed me out. I'm OCD like that.

Thank you so much, all of you, for being so nice about my humble little sock; I have to take some time to write up the pattern -- maybe Lucy will take a trip with Grandma for a couple of hours on Sunday, I'm not sure -- but I plan on offering it sometime soon. I hope. I'll probably post it for free, because...I don't know, because I don't feel like I can charge for something the very first time I do it. You can disagree with me if you want, but you probably won't change my mind.

I have another sock that I'm working on, but it's an at-home sock, and I've been playing with it a lot, so I haven't been showing it to you here. There's a kinda cool story behind it though.

See, my friend Jacquelyn lives down south now, and my friend Ashley out west, but we all went to college together, back in the old days, when life was good and the wheat was high -- but I digress. Ashley, when she got out west, got fascinated with spinning, and has gotten quite good, first with a drop spindle, and then with a couple of wheels that she's picked up in the meantime. If you need proof of this, check out http://www.artemisiaink.com/ . She's sent me bits and bobbles now and then, but I haven't had just the right project yet, so the yarn lingers about, eating bon-bons and generally behaving like the artwork that it is.

Meantime, my friend Jacquelyn has a friend who has moved away, and her friend loved socks. No, really, loved socks. Like we love yarn, this woman loved her some socks.

So Jacquelyn thought, between my friend Kristine and my friend Ashley, I can make my friend some socks.

So Ashley got commissioned to spin up some yarn, and I got commissioned to knit up some socks. I'm inventing that pattern as well, but it isn't so clear and lovely yet, so I'm not giving up pictures just yet. But soon.

I promise. Soon.

As soon as I think that I can handle my job and designing a knitting pattern at the same time. The other one was easy, I can read what I did clearly enough just by looking at the sock. This one will be trickier.

And I have to figure out how to describe the process I went through, figuring out how long to make the foot. It involves math (ugh). I may require wine. We'll see how it goes.

Hugs to all of you.