Friday, July 30, 2010

An essential truth of motherhood, as explained by my Gemini:

So I've been a parent now for 8 years. This is long enough to know that I don't know it all, but I know quite a bit, because really, when it comes down to it, there's very little to know about motherhood other than: 1) whatever it is, you won't find it in a book, 2) your friends know it and have been telling you about it for years but you weren't listening, and 3) as my MIL likes to say, "Everyone gets to do it their own way." Which is true, although that's sometimes when CPS comes in handy. Anyhow, back to what I know.

What I know is this. My children come in three versions. I'll use photos to explain.

Version 1 is the deliriously happy child. Typically, this is the child you meet when there's something they want from you. This child should generally be regarded with doubt and the occasional side-eye. This child *sometimes* occurs naturally - typically speaking these natural occurrences fall when 1) they wake you up early in the morning to snuggle just because they love you and 2) late at night when you've allowed them dessert and to stay up past their bedtime.

Here's child version 1:

And listen to me: When version 1 is around and his or her eyes are open, you'll think to yourself "Gosh, what a sweetheart, I'm so glad I had him/her." Or, sometimes you'll think "OMG, I cannot believe I just lost my schmidt with the kid and threatened to send him to the Haitian orphanage we saw on TV." Version #1 can also be found at any point in which the child is sleeping. The smile's not the same, but version #1 while sleeping ALWAYS elicits the "I cannot believe God blessed me with such an amazing and awesome creature when I'm so totally undeserving." while taking a large gulp of beer or tapping a T-box.

But remember, mommies (or soon to be mommies - or wanting to be mommies), every child embodies, like Janus, that second face. That version #2. Version #2 should be handled with aplomb, friends. Version #2 should be met with a raised eyebrow and a "You know, you're only embarrassing yourself." Whatever you do, do not fall into the sad-sack-guile that is Version #2.

What's Version #2? Version #2 is the child that makes old ladies weep for the cruelty you've bestowed upon a stranger to them. Version #2 is the look that makes you think perhaps you should give in just to get him or her to stop looking so pathetic. Trust me, only laughter is the appropriate response to this. Or, perhaps shooting a picture to share with all, and I do mean all, of your friends.

And version #3? Well look, I'd try to explain but nothing, and I do mean nothing, NOTHING can explain version #3 unless or until you've experienced it. It's the shrieking, and I'm not willing to share it, that makes all of the people around you say either 1) "Why can't she control that child" or 2) "A mom so bad as to have children like that shouldn't be a mom." And for those who say that, well let me just say, I cannot wait until you meet your own version #3. It'll be a glorious day - as all the mothers in the world take a deep breath and say "Something has changed in the force."

Monday, July 26, 2010

Aaaaand another pair of tiny knit pants/tights:

Finished the second set of leggings. I think I'm done with this pattern for a little while, to be honest. It's slow going. Still, I really enjoy the outcome.

Not quite myself today. . .

I must miss my old glasses.

Or not!

My eyebuy package came this morning, prompting me to run around screaming "My new glasses are here! My new glasses are here!" to nary a sly comment regarding The Jerk OR The Simpsons. I'm disappointed in my family.

What's that you say? These photographs are indistinct and blurry? Suck it, okay. It took me five tries to ensure that I didn't look like Drew Carey from one of the Ace Ventura movies, so this is what you get. Me. No makeup. Wet hair. New glasses. Yippeeeeee!!!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Okay, strangers, here's the deal:

I am due in November. Thanksgiving to be precise-ish (actually several days after, but let's not split hairs here).

And here's what I know:

  • I know I'm big. But thanks. I know Thanksgiving's awhile from now. In fact, it's just about 4 months from now. I know you're not sure where I'm going to put all that baby. I know you don't know how I do it. I know you think I'm going to fall over! I also know you think you're funny.

And I know you know someone whose sister's brother's BFF had unexpected surprise twins! I know when you/yourwife/yourBFF was pg with twins she was just sooooooooooooo tiny. That's awesome. I know you were tiny when you were pg. That's awesome too.

I also know that when a woman becomes pregnant, suddenly her body is involved in the process of expanding humankind and THUS you might feel that it's your property upon which to comment freely.

Here's what you don't know: I have two children. This is my 7th pregnancy. This belly is a badge that I wear daily that says "We did this. WE did this." It is a marker of everything we have gone through since March of 2009. I wear it with pride.

I will be huge. I will be gigantic. I will waddle (hell, I waddle now). I will probably tip. And I will love EVERY.SINGLE.MINUTE of it.

Excepting, of course, when you, dear stranger, feel the need to comment on my size.

Dearest daughter, I love you

and I'd like to get to the bottom of why it takes you approximately 27 minutes to get out of a parked car.

The thing is, I'm worried. Is your sacrum messed up like mine? Have you suffered premature aging? Could something possibly be wrong with you?

It must be. It has to be.

Case in point: if I accidentally knock into the Lucky Charms box in the cupboard, you materialize at my feet. Your talent and willingness to run swiftly through the house and yard (often with a soundtrack, but I digress) is well known among members of this household.

So why, my dear, WHY is it a 27 minute exercise to get you to remove seatbelt and climb out of the car?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Texting. . . Tweeting. . . (or "How I learned to stop living and love the Web")

does anyone MySpace anymore? No?

Look, I think Twitter's kind of double rainbow these days, especially since I've expanded my massive Nathan Fillion crush to include a crush on Nathan Fillion's tweets (he loves geeks. I am a geek. Therefore, utilizing old school logic, Nathan Fillion loves me and come on, let's admit it, that's all I've ever wanted since he uttered the line "The use of a s-what?").

But who has the time, really, between repeated viewings of Hot Tub Time Machine, gestating, keeping a half-eye on the 2 already-gestated-and-born children and their massive pool-fort-invention outside, teaching Composition online, and editing this massive document full of really big words.

Still, I keep going to the Twitter homepage and staring at "Create an account." But doesn't it seem a little self-important to think that people will care about my tweets? Of course, I've labored under the idea that this little blogosphere is practically private and yet I seem to get visits from all sorts of places. Hrrrm. We'll see.

In other news, the children have now come inside for 4 plastic bags. To play with in the pool. Methinks more than a half-eye is necessary when these things are in play. . .

Saturday, July 10, 2010

An open letter to Corda at Children's Place in Aspen Grove, Littleton, CO

You suck.

Now look, I had a lovely time in your store on Tuesday when I purchased a few things off of the Monster Sale rack. You were sweet and very talkative and that's why my son, who loves sweet and talkative people, kind of took to you. And you were so sweet when he asked about where the suits were and said he meant wedding suits not swimming suits. You told us about your son's tux he wore years back, when he was the Budge's age, which you were getting ready to give to goodwill, and how cute your son looked in it. I thought you were very charming.

And then you made a fatal mistake: you told my son you would pack up that tux and bring it for him instead of sending it to Goodwill. You told him you would be back on Saturday. You smiled. You promised. You showed him the rack where it would be hanging in case you got off work before we managed to get there. And I memorized your name, because I was afraid something like this would happen.

On Wednesday he woke up and asked me if it was Saturday.
On Thursday he woke up and asked me if it was Saturday.
On Friday he woke up and asked me if it was Saturday.
This morning he didn't even ask. I could see on his face that he knew: It was Saturday. The boy looked like he was about to have puppies he was so happy.

So this afternoon, at 4 pm, we packed up and came to your shop to collect the tuxedo you volunteered, promised, and offered. I spent the day with a feeling of dread, to be honest. What if you didn't come through? After all, you are a stranger - and I'm the mother who would have to console him when five days' worth of anticipation crashed down upon him.

And it did. Crash, that is. When we walked in, he didn't see you, and his lit up face snuffed out. When I explained to the other cashiers that you were supposed to leave something for us and he ran to the rack you showed him and there was nothing? He whimpered a little.

When the cashiers called in back to see if the suit was there and it wasn't, he screamed.

And he kept screaming. He screamed and cried on the way out of the store. And on the sidewalk out front. And in Build-A-Bear where he and his sister intended to spend their cash from Grandma and Grandpa.

NOBODY in this world gets to disappoint my son like that but me, Corda. NOBODY. Do you understand me?

I have a lot of names I could call you, but I won't. You're a stranger. For all I know Children's Place's hiring practices are whack and you are a nutjob. And I doubt you'll ever read this. Regardless, you should know this: should I ever come to Children's Place again, and if you're there, I won't buy anything. I'll move stuff from rack to rack and I might even leave a scat-filled diaper in the dressing room, but I will not purchase a single thing from you. Those small efforts and blogging about you are my only recourse.

And here's a hint: Next time, don't make promises to a 4 year old. At least not mine. Your four year old might've been too stupid or frail to remember the promises of a stranger, but mine is not.

Baby Warm Leggings: DONE!

And a few modifications to go with the pattern in future uses -- first, I'd like to put a triangle patch in the crotch rather than sew it up straight, secondly, I'd like to cast off with an extra stretchy cast off (these are rather constricted, IMO). Finally, I'm keeping the modifications to the added stitches in the leg rows (rather than every other row toward the top, spread out over those 16 rows of straight knit).

Overall, a good first effort. I fell in love with this yarn, too. I got more. I think next time I'll work to match up the legs, though. I like the idea of a matching pattern as well.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Bad news, friends:

I had to pull that one leg out and start over. It was too long and I realized my gauge was WAY TOO LOOSE. So I started over last night and this will give me a chance to fix the increase-row issue at the upper half of the legging pattern. Hopefully it will also give me a newborn or at least 0-3 sized leg.

Already I can tell it will be significantly shorter than the one I pulled out. So that's great.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

First major baby knit. . .

and my first experience with sock-like knitting.

I'm making the Keeping Baby Warm leggings from this blog. I'm using Knitting Fever Indulgence, a discontinued yarn. It's creating some of the most interesting patterns. I look forward to finishing it.

Having read a few hints on the comments section at Ravelry, I've decided to mod the pattern a bit - and to knit on size 3s (I had them available) instead of the 2s the pattern calls for. I'm excited to finish these - and see the final product - so that I can, perhaps, consider making them with the beautiful Malabrigo sock yarn that Jill sent me OH SO LONG AGO!!! :)

(Of course, this means I have to have a girl, as that Mal sock yarn is AMAZING and purple.)

Update: I knit several inches last night and I'm in love. VERY much in love. With the yarn and its strange coloring and striping, with the tiny leg that is forming before my eyes. . . and with the baby legs that will eventually be inside them. :)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Dear Fellow Citizens of Littleton,

It is 9 am on the 5th of July, so I thought I'd take a moment to write you a note of thanks.

Thank you, friends, for your concientious objection to shackling local legislation regarding the usage of blasting fireworks. I appreciate that you've made your point - from about 9 pm to about 1 am last night, to support and celebrate America's freedoms by breaking the law. When an unjust law stands, only the unjust abide it, or something, and I know that's what was going through your grain-alcohol addled brain at 12:57 a.m. when you let off your last firework. As it screamed its way into the sky (or my tree), I just know you said to yourself "God Bless America".

I especially like how *I*, the law-abiding neighbor who does NOT use fireworks that leave the ground on the 4th of July because they are illegal, has to stay up until the wee hours of the morn based on the noise and the potential for property damage. I think that's particularly neighborly of you, extending my enjoyment of the holiday and all.

I hope, this morning, at 9:15 am when I send my children outside to run in circles and scream at the top of their lungs because I've filled them with retribution-focused early-morning sugar, you recognize that they, too, are protecting their freedom to be an asshole.

God Bless America, neighbors. And God bless your hangover when I unleash my children upon it.

P.S. Anything I find in my yard from your jerkish displays will be returned over the fence. Kthanksbye.

Edited to add an update: It's 9:35 am and my daughter is currently losing her schmidt on the back porch. She's shrieking "LET ME COME INSIDE" at the top of her lungs. This is GLORIOUS. One couldn't ask for a better morning.
What have I been working on? I know it's been awhile and inquiring minds want to know.

First off, I organized the Relay for Life Lids for Life knitting and crocheting- wherein we received well over 100 hats for sale and donation to Methodist Cancer Center in Omaha, NE. That should probably be its own post - it was just an awesome experience and I have some VERY talented friends and family.

But now I've been knitting for myself, sort of. Well, actually for baby. My first baby knit was this umbilical cord hat - but the gauge was all wrong and it looks to be about the right size for a 1 year old. The cotton is SUPER soft and while it's hard to tell from the picture, there are two colors of yarn - an orange and a deeper red. I really, really like this cotton. I wish I knew whose it was - it was leftover from earlier knits when I didn't really pay attention to these kinds of things. That's unfortunate, I know.

I moved on to this:
This one is a top-down bonnet (from Ravelry it's the Top-Down Anime bonnet). I made it in newborn size out of the softest most beautiful wool I had in my stash - it's di.Ve Attumno in Desert Shadow. I wanted to make matching mittens, but I didn't have enough left (I had one skein of this burning a hole in my needles - but there's really not much there at all!! After the cuffs on these mittens I had only a tiny ball left. The top part of the mittens was made with a much less soft wool, but it was readily available in the stash. Of course these tiny mittens will swallow any newborn - my guess is they'll go up to the elbow or so, but what the heck. Why not?
Finally, I'm working on a project for one of Tim's coworkers. This is that same top-down bonnet (now that I've gotten over the figure 8 cast-on, I really love this one). I made this out of a Dark Horse yarn - it's super soft AND a leftover from another project as well. Mittens are on the way for this one - I'll do the simple 6 month old mittens (this bonnet is in an infant size rather than newborn) but I'm going to add some garter stitch to them in order to help them match the bonnet. I just haven't figured out what or where yet.

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