Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Yarn Along 9

I am not sure if it's just the second trimester energy bump or simple mania, but I have been a knitting/reading fool this week.

I just saw "The Hunger Games" at the theater (a trip to the movies without my toddler which was so, very, thrilling) and now that I have I feel comfortable reading on to the next books in the series.

I also have started one of those girly-feel-good-books.  I tried one a few month ago trying to make a story of strange women becoming fast friends all by being into yoga.  It kinda sucked.  This time I'm reading one about strangers becoming fast friends all by being into walking.  "The Wildwater Walking Club" is not that bad.  It's sorta cute and sorta annoying all at the same time.  My mother keeps getting me these books, so I'll keep reading them.  Even if they aren't the best.

In other news, after weeks of fighting with Interweave to send me something to me actual address instead of some random address they decided I must live at I finally got a copy of their Jane Austen 2011 special issue.  A lot of it is obviously warm weather stuff and I don't care.  I'm making every single thing in that magazine.  All 36 patterns.  (P.S. The articles are also really good if you're into the history of fashion and knitting.)

On the needles...what's not on the needles?  I still have the baby dress going.  Only 20 more rounds till it's finished.  I expect to bind off sometime tomorrow.  On Saturday my husband and I are hoping to go to a party themed around "white" so I made him a white superhero mask (just finished blocking it) and I'm making me a fascinator hat.

It's from an issue of "Knitting Today!"  I saw on ravelry that lots of people tried this pattern but got annoyed at the amount of i-chord it required.  I thought they were crazy.  Then I re-read the pattern:  4 yards of i-chord.  144 inches.  Ugh.  I'm 2.5 yards in and I am quite frankly sick of making i-chord.  And I used to think it was so much fun.  In other toddler just LOVES playing with the yard stick.  So much so that when I use it to find out how far I've gotten she throws a huge fit.  Even if she wasn't playing with it at the time.  Mommy is not allowed to have the yard stick.

Other projects:  Practicing my crocodile stitch in crochet and attempting to put it over a paddle.  Working on two shawls, one in thread and one with said crocodile stitch.  And I decided to re-start the Jan Sweater in earnest...which I didn't do at all because I was making i-chord.  But I decided to be earnest about it.

I also discovered the "que" portion of ravelry, which means I have set up a bunch of new projects and designated my stash yarn to them.  Which is probably better than me just casting on another project...I'm planning to cast on another project.  However, it's not as satisfying.

So that's my crazy knitting mania week.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Yesterday I was asked if I had any crazy cravings during this pregnancy.  I wanted to give the funny story he was hoping to hear, but honestly I couldn't think of any cravings I had had yet.

I can think of some now.

I wanted pickles in the first trimester.  We didn't have any in the house though, so after Christmas when I had come home from seeing my parents my husband had stocked up on pickles for me...I didn't really want them anymore.

A few weeks ago I wanted Oreos.  I blame this on NPR which had a bunch of different shows run a story on how Nabisco had to find a new marketing strategy for Oreos in China.  Now it's a big cookie over there.  They talked about Oreos so much I wanted some for weeks, but held off because they aren't exactly the best snack.  I finally got a package, finished it off in a few days, and now I'm over it.

Yesterday I wanted Halo Halo (a Filipino desert).  The nice thing about living in Hawaii is that you can just get Halo Halo mix (dried fruits, beans, etc in syrup) at any supermarket.  Not only is it that easy to get it I actually had some in my pantry.  Even better.  I also found a package of pudding mix (my Dad always made Halo Halo with pudding instead of condensed milk - I like it that way better).  So, right then and there I craved a food and I could make that food.  The jar of Halo Halo even said "easy open."  Perfect.

It was not easy to open.  I spent 20 minutes trying to whack that thing open enough to turn it.  I finally gave up on the Halo Halo and had a peanut butter sandwich.

And here's the real problem with me having those typical crazy cravings and crazy times.  With Emily we were in Korea where my husband had a curfew at night.  It was an attempt to keep military members safe and out of trouble in a land of bars.  So if I did wake up at midnight and crave, say, ice cream - I was out of luck.  He couldn't go out and get me any.  I couldn't really either because a woman walking around Songtan alone at night is not-a-good-thing.

Now that we're in Hawaii there is no curfew anymore.  However, my husband works the wonkiest schedule ever.  Sometimes three days on, sometimes five.  Sometimes in the day, sometimes in the afternoon, sometimes at night.  During the week.  During the weekend.  Sometimes he has to go in for 8 hours, sometimes it's 12 - usually it ends up 20.  So it sucks.  Bad.  I never know when he'll actually be home and I never know when he's home if he'll be awake.  And a wonky schedule with a tired husband and a crazy toddler means that half of my house is often off-limits just so he can get a little shut-eye.

So during my Halo Halo attempt he was actually home.  He could have helped me open the jar.  In a normal family he could have driven down the street and actually bought some real Halo Halo.  But he was sleeping because he had been out at 5am to 1pm and was gearing up for work starting at 8pm.  Incidentally, I'm writing this at 7am the next day and he's not home yet.

The thing I'm taking away from all this is it's exceptionally inconvenient to be pregnant when you're in the military, but if you are going to be pregnant - don't be typically pregnant.

I don't crave pickles and ice cream: I crave my husband.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Baby Alpaca!

I took a trip to Goodwill today.  I was in theory going there to find a large pot in order to cook huge amounts of pasta, but I like to look around and see what all is in there.  A few weeks ago when my parents where here we went looking for some clothes for my Dad.  While he got some shirts I found a skein of italian mohair for 99 cents.  Not a bad find, not bad at all.

Today, however I found a bunch of fun stuff.  Including, for 99 cents, two skeins of baby alpaca yarn.  It is so darn soft and lovely that when I brought it home I spent a good half hour stroking it and rubbing it against my cheek.  I would have rubbed it against my baby bump too...just to give the baby some alpaca yarn, except Emily started to get interested:

Yep, she loves it too.

We spent the rest of the afternoon alternately petting the nice yarn.  I have no idea what project this would be good for, but man is it nice to snuggle with now.

In other news the guy at Goodwill said that they had actually received four huge things of yarn.  I had cleaned out what was on the floor today (and picked up the mohair earlier) and he said there was more in the back.  They package this stuff in a weird way.  I had to buy some skeins of Sugar'n Cream in order to get both of the alpaca.  I also got some alpaca blends, and other pretties that I had to buy three bags to get the whole set.  I worry there may be more of this alpaca yarn in the back...waiting to be reunited with it's other alpaca friends.  Also, it'd be nice to have more than two skeins so I could have more project choices.  

Guess who is going to be haunting the Goodwill all week?  

Yarn Along 8

More Yarn Along!

I'm psyched!  The Bliss Dress I've been meaning to make for Emily is flying along.  I have about 30 more rounds before it's time to put on the straps and  convince her to model it.  After all those cables, just knitting and increasing is a breeze.  I'm liking how it's coming so far.

However, my ulterior motive for this dress has not panned out.  I bought this yarn originally for a blanket for my sister-in-law when she said she wanted yellow for her first child.  Then when it turned out to be a girl the colors changed to pink and brown and I was stuck with a whole lot of yellow, fingering weight, baby yarn.  I thought if I made a dress that should be made out of something thicker it'd use it up.  As you can didn't even make a dent in one skein, much less the other four.

I need a new project.

I think I'll survive.

For reading it's pretty simple: I haven't.  I've cleaned.  I've knitted.  I have not read.  My book club is coming up and we are reading "Attachments" by Rainbow Rowell.  I was super excited by this because it's finally a book that isn't depressing or about a post-apocalyptic world which has been our theme for the past few meetings.  But I've just learned I have a military meeting I have to go to on book club night. It has taken the wind out of my reading sails.  Sigh.

At least I have extra baby yarn.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Knitting keeps me from unraveling

Judging by my last few posts, all yarn-alongs, the most interesting part of my life is currently my knitting.  Or rather the most enjoyable part.  I'm completely, totally, addicted to my knitting right now.  

A few weeks ago I told my husband I was getting depressed.  Either left overs from 1st baby PPD or a new beginning of 2nd baby PPD or it could be pregnant-lady hormones.  Whatever it is I'm slipping into the sad world.  It doesn't help that my husband's current schedule is really crummy.  5 days on at various times (Midnights, Afternoons, Early mornings, you name it) and then 2 days off.  Then 5 days on.  Then 3 days off.  Then another switch.  And another change.  When he isn't working he's sleeping and that means I'm awake with the baby alone - even when he's here.  

I'm lonely.

I'm depressed.

I'm pregnant.

I'm a little cranky.  

So one particularly bad day when I was lonely, sad, and had run into some real ugly in a person I don't really like I picked up my sticks and made a ball gag:

I'm calling it the STFU gag and it's for people who quite frankly need to, you know, STFU.

I felt better.

Then I casted on a baby blanket.

And a shawl.

And some odds and ends.

Then I bought some clearance yarn.

And I took some yarn off of someone else's stash.  

Then I did it again the following week.

I do a little work around the house and I then I search for patterns I want to make.  When I find one's I like I cast them on.  If I can't cast on right away I will go through my yarn and plan when I will cast on.  The other night I dreamt about some soft yellow yarn.  

When my parents came to visit I found myself grumpy again.  I was getting whined at by all the people in my house from age 18 months to 66 years and I was not happy.

So I casted on another project.  And I finished it in four days.  As soon as they left I spent the day cataloging my entire stash.  Today I took pictures of it, you know, for cataloging purposes.

I might be a little crazy over my yarn.  And my knitting.  And some crochet.  But at least I'm not feeling sad.

Proof?  The other day my husband said "You're handling that depression really well."  I responded "I have really pointy sticks."

Yarn Along 7

 I looked at my Ravelry page yesterday and noticed that I have four WIP's.  That I've documented.  I just like variety.

This is a project I casted on a few months ago, before Emily and I got sick, then sick again, then sick some more.  I actually think it's worse than that, I started this before I got pregnant.  It's a dress for Emily and it's very cute, but I'm using fingering-weight yarn for it and the cables and such are a pain to do.  Very slippery.  I am at the point where I only have three more rounds to do of the bodice and then I start on the skirt which is just increases and knits.  Over and over.
Yes, the bodice is short.  My kid is a toddler.  My Mother is appalled!

The book is "The Knitter's Life List"  I just got through the yarn section and now do indeed have a life list of fibers I want to play with.  Pineapple anyone?  Musk ox?  Yes please.  I've always wanted to cuddle with a musk ox.  

Actually, I've never been a fiber person before.  I tried to be practical.  I like to make clothes and I don't like to hand-wash them so I stuck to acrylics and cottons.  An occasional wool here and there.  Honestly, I mostly liked baby yarn - it's always care friendly and soft.  But now I am really into other types of fibers and yarns and getting into designer things like that.  Which is terrible.  You don't find that kind of stuff at Wal-mart.  The other day my husband asked if he could spend $160 on a hobby of his.  I shrugged and told him that I had spent $20 on yarn that week so he should be able to buy what he wanted.  If I get into fancy yarn my splurges probably won't be $20 anymore.  (Though I did find a skein of mohair for $0.99 at Goodwill this week.)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Yarn Along 6

~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs. I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us! ~

I've been busy fighting off the depression monster.  My main weapon of choice has been crafting.  I've been bouncing between tons of projects:
I told myself I would never knit another blanket.  I prefer to crochet them.  But I couldn't pass up this little number and when I found the Cheerful Blue Giggle Yarn on clearance it just seemed right.  I mean, it's made of Cheerful Blue Giggle yarn!  This is a spiral pattern baby blanket, super easy.  I started it last Thursday and am already quite far with it.  So far that I am considering doing fancy things to it like line it with cheerful fabric in the back and add rainbow colored fun yarn all around the edges.  New baby should be quite pleased.  

"Dragonwyck"  is the novel I'm knitting along too.  It's been raining like crazy here in Hawaii so a dark, gothic novel full of silly young women and brooding men seemed the ticket.  But so far it is far less depressing than "Wuthering Heights" and that's helpful.  

That's all.  Brooding novels and blue giggle yarn.  Take that depression!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Yarn Along 5

This week I actually started two projects - from total non-knittyness to two seems like a gigantic step for me, but that's probably just my head talking.  

The first is a second one of these.  No not the baby.  Well okay, yes the baby.  I am in the process of making a second one of those - hopefully just as cute and giggly as the first.  But what I meant was this week I started making a second bunny.  For the second baby.  I might make some hats for them too...or bows...just so each kid has their own special rabbit.  What super adorable about this is Emily hasn't really played with the rabbit I made her in awhile, but when I pulled out the big skein of boucle yarn at knit night this week she insisted on cuddling with it.  I think that's the sign of some good baby yarn - it's cuddly even before it is anything.

My second project is this.  It's a crocheted evening shawl.  Looks like it doesn't it?  Actually this yarn used to be a different crocheted evening shawl, but when I went back to work on it I had forgotten the pattern and hadn't written it down anywhere.  So I frogged the whole thing and started anew with a new pattern.  I bought a TON of magazines when Borders closed.  Anything that looks remotely pretty I bought.  They were 90% off - you would splurge too.  So I went through my stash of patterns and picked the River Walk from Interweave Crochet.  It's pretty enough.  I think it will do nicely for a vanity project.  

Also at the close of Borders I bought books I always sorta wanted to read, but not enough to actually actively go out and get it at the store or library.  Sarah Vowell had those books.  "Assassination Vacation" was the only one they had at the sale so it's the one I got.  Honestly, it's not that great.  It's quirky and witty and there are some interesting tidbits of information I pick up on, but it feels a little like being forced to see photos of someone else's vacation.  It's a travel log.  But it's not about the place, it's about the opinion of the author of something that happened at that place.  I'm less than hooked 88 pages in.  

However, it's my bath book.  Does anyone else do this?  When Emily takes a bath we splash and play for a little while.  I somehow convince her to wash her hair and get clean, then she is no longer interested in playing with me and just wants to swim around on her own.  So I sit back against the wall next to the tub and read a book.  Usually not anything enthralling, I have one eye on the swimming toddler, but I read.  It's about the only time I do.  Does this make me a bad mother - oh probably.  Whatever.  At least I made her a bunny from scratch.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Make up your mind

Obviously it's been awhile since I blogged.  It's even been awhile since I read my blogger friends posts.  But that's the internet so it's common to just disappear for awhile right?

What's more troubling is that I've somehow managed to just disappear from actual life too.  I've spent most of my time locked in the house.  I might be cleaning.  Most of the time I'm crying about the fact that I am not cleaning.  And then I don't clean some more.  Whole hours pass by and I can't tell you what I've been up too.  Emily has been plenty busy, you can tell by the damage she's left behind, but I've been not.  Not busy.  Not doing.  Plenty damaged.

Part of this is because I had a really bad case of pharyngitis that came around Christmas and didn't start getting better till a week or so ago.  Being really, really sick and in the first trimester of pregnancy allowed me just enough energy to make it downstairs, feed the kid, and then lie on the couch (and cry about how I wasn't cleaning).  I was keeping first Emily, then myself, in quarantine so we didn't give these germs to anyone else.  Staying home wasn't that bad.  But after months of self-containment I feel like I've gone past the "awww, I'm lonely" phase to the "awww, I don't want to see anyone."  In other words the depression is back.

I expected a little of this.  I was only just pulling out of the major awful that was PPD when I got pregnant.  Things were looking up of course and I was seeing an end.  Then pregnancy happened and that slow and steady progression went into hyperdrive.  All those new hormones that I wasn't making as a nursing mother suddenly hit me and I was no longer depressed at all.  A change this quick can't last.  I know it.  I just didn't know how long it would stick around.

Apparently just until the placenta has been made.

It sucks.  It sucks hard.  Any other person who hadn't been recovering from PPD when they got pregnant would probably feel the drop in hormones and mood at around the 13th week.  They might suddenly go "Hey, I have energy now!  But I sorta don't feel that happy."  I instead feel an overwhelming guilt that now I do, in fact, have energy to get up, but I hate it.  I have the energy now to get out to knitting, or call my friends.  But I can't step out the door.  I have the energy to go to the swimming pool and splash with Emily.  But I can't bring myself to put on a swimsuit.  I have the energy to cook now.  But I can't eat the food I cooked.  I have the energy to finally find some awesome books to read or art to do.  But I can't make my mind concentrate on it.

My mind isn't just sorta depressed or sorta tired, my mind is junk.  It's confused and depressed and happy and currently hiding in some brain cave in order to stay far away from the depression that's ready to eat it.

It's also keeping me from writing coherent blog posts or...simple emails.  Because I can't make up my mind if I'm depressed, about to be depressed, pregnant, or actually happy and I just don't know what happy looks like anymore.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


The other day I went to my normal doctor to see if he couldn't help me with this cold I've had for awhile.  I haven't been there for a long time so they didn't know I was 13 weeks pregnant when I first came in.

The first they did was of course weigh me.  I stepped up and we looked at the scale:  125.2 lbs.  The nurse looked and chirped happily "Oh good for you!  You lost six pounds!"

Again, I hadn't told her I was pregnant yet.  She didn't know that I have been worrying about losing weight for the past three months.  She didn't say this as a disparaging remark and had no reason to think it would hurt my feelings.  In fact, she was trying to be super nice and encouraging, because what woman doesn't want to be thinner - right?

Actually, 125 is low for me.  Unhealthily low.  At 130 (my normal when I'm depressed/recovering from depression) I look like a zombie.  My face loses all fat and sinks in.  The circles under my eyes are more prominent.  My hips and butt verge on boyish.  At 125 even my breasts (which used to be ample) are gone.  I look like a sad, sad, old woman.  Six pounds isn't anything to celebrate.  However, isn't it always the way that weight loss is celebrated - no matter the situation.  I'm reminded of a joke by Kathy Griffin that when she found out her sister had cancer she was jealous that she was going to be so skinny.

I feel like this is a mostly female thing.  I don't think that men go to the doctor and get a cheer squad on the scale.  Honestly, do they even get a comment either way?  When I was pregnant with Emily I gained one pound in a week.  The nurse, without any prompting, patted me on the shoulder and said "Don't worry, that's probably all baby weight gain."  Would anyone think to try and reassure a man over a single pound?

Even my daughter is stuck on it.  She was a super chubby baby.  Nurses would comment and say that she was a very pretty baby (she so is) but so fat.  The problem there is the "but," as if that keeps her from being as pretty as she could be.  And she wasn't even a year old yet!

I don't know when we thought that weight was suddenly the topic that was allowed to be discussed openly and without tact.  I think maybe we should go back to discussing it like we discuss laundry:  we don't.  Not unless you're helping to do it!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Spread it around

On New Year's Eve I took Emily to the Hawaii Children's Discovery Center for their "Countdown to Noon" Balloon Drop.  We had a great time playing there, we always do.  The Balloon Drop was less than exciting, mostly because I had to pull Emily out from the big drop because parents kept stepping on her.  Let me repeat that:  Parents kept pushing her around and stepping on her.  The kids were very careful around all the smaller babies.

I try to take Emily to the Discovery Center often.  It's fun and she can touch and play with whatever she wants.  However, I do try to avoid it when it's super busy because things can get a little rowdy.  The exceptions are holidays like Halloween and New Year's.  Also, every time we've gone to the Center when it was full Emily and I have both caught some awful cold.  We get away germ free when it's not full.

So of course since I took her when it was packed we are now both fighting a particularly icky cold.  This not only means we both feel terrible, we don't get to go do anything.  We don't get to do anything because when my kid is a mess of germ infested snot I try to keep her away from kids who are not covered in germ infested snot.  Call me crazy, but I just think it's good manners.

Of course now that I am sick, hot, tired, and really, really, crabby I have this great desire to find the parents who took their sick kid to the Discovery Center at New Years and pass this little snot-bug back to them.  In my most vindictive I fantasize that it has already mutated and those parents will be blessed with at least a whole week of grouchy, unhappy kids and a hacking cough that keeps them out of school and bored with daytime television.  Ha-ha-ha--achoo.

But I won't.  Because I don't want to get people sick.  Well not the nice people anyway.

Monday, January 9, 2012


The other day my husband asked me "If you had a super power, which one would you want?" and I answered "To get by without needing sleep."

Because for the past few weeks I've had to get by without any sleep.  Emily went through a phase where she would sleep for 20 minutes to an hour before she'd wake up and cry.  Not fuss, not whine, she'd cry.  And it took a lot to settle her down.  For naps in the day she'd go down for about half and hour, then it was go-go-go time again.  She fell asleep in the car on the way back from Costco and I literally thought of pulling over and napping in the car with her.

Of course I initially blame this strange phase on teeth.  Because that is the big cosmic joke isn't it?  You're a baby, you have to grow tall, learn to walk, talk, eat, and ask for help in pretty much everything you do.  Also - you have to do it all while in terrible, irritating, pain.  Then when all the teeth come in and you're finally finished - they fall out and you have to do it all over again.  Welcome to the world.

Despite my tooth-theory Emily has finally gone back to sleeping longer (2-3 1/2 hours at a time) and she still has the same amount of teeth she had before.  But the dark circles under her eyes are gone and I feel more sane.  So maybe they were invisible teeth.

It's amazing how much those extra hours have helped with my relationship with my daughter and my unborn baby.  When sleep deprived I did not want to have another baby and I did not want to play with my current baby.  Emily was bored.  I was tired.  Life generally sucked for both of us.  Now with some sleep I've noticed the milestones Emily made while not sleeping.  She likes to point at pictures in books now.  She has finally figured out the shapes and holes bucket (previously she'd try, then take the lid off and put them in the bucket that way).  Her new favorite food are clementines and she calls them "Mama."  Generally, she's an amazing child.  I had no idea because I was too tired.

Also, while I wasn't sleeping my other baby grew arms and legs and when you look at it through an ultrasound you can see its little head being...headlike.  When I stare at the picture now I see how amazing it is that these kids can grow so much in such little time.  Which is a huge improvement from a week ago when all I could see was how annoying it was that they can get by on such little sleep.