Monday, December 29, 2008

New Years Resolution

Okay, so I realize that the new year has not officially begun, but I am not feeling very good about myself lately, so I've already started my New Years resolution which is to get in better shape, eat better and lose some weight! I don't look that bad, really. I'm a tiny bit over six feet tall and as of this morning I weight 164 pounds. I am a size ten in my jeans and a little smaller up top (Dammit!) So, really not so terrible. But, when I got married three years ago, I was 137 pounds and a size six. I was not too skinny, I was healthy, and felt really good about myself. (I also was able to eat whatever the hell I wanted, but thanks to Baby Girl's arrival and the onset of age, those days are gone) So, here are the goals:

1 - I am going to work out three days a week.
2 - I am going to try and lose 20 pounds. That won't get me back to my pre-pregnancy weight, but it will get me back where I think my body will be happy.
3 - I am going to do this in five pound increments. Lose five pounds, get a prize. And no, the prize cannot be food-based. For the first five pounds I have selected this. Aren't they the most beautiful needles you've seen! I got the set of inter-changable circular needles for Christmas (Thanks, Mom!) and although I don't really "need" new needles, these are so pretty I just must have them, so there you go. When I'm down to 159 pounds, according to the gym scale, I get these.

So, Saturday I cleaned out the fridge and got really good foods from the grocery store. This does mean I will be cooking a whole lot more from scratch and not the prepared foods I love, but I can handle it for the greater good. Also, I made it back to the gym today and felt really good. I only managed to do 40 minutes of cardio (I usually do an hour), but I'll get there soon!

Oh, here's the pasta dish I made last night for dinner, which was yummy and pretty darn healthy too:

1 pound chicken breast tenders - cut into bite-sized pieces
2 Tbl. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup lite Italian dressing
1 Green pepper - cut into small peices, but not really diced
1 package pre-cleaned and sliced mushrooms
1 can diced tomatoes
1 pound whole wheat pasta - cooked according to package directions

Brown the chicken in the olive oil with salt and pepper. Add the salad dressing, green peppers and mushrooms. Cover and simmer for about five minutes so the veggies start to soften. Add the can of tomatoes, don't drain them, you need the liquid to help create your sauce. Simmer this all together for around 10 minutes so the flavors can get all good and developed. Add the pasta, toss and serve. If I can find really good fresh basil, you can garish with that, it adds a really nice fresh flavor, but I didn't have any yesterday and it was still delicious! We sometimes serve leftovers cold, like a pasta salad, but it re-heats well, too.
I know I need to update you guys on my trip to Tahoe for Christmas, I'll try and get the pictures downloaded later today. For now I will leave you with: It was Awesome!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Happy, Shiny Sarah

Okay, so I really hope that I'm not actually all that shiny, but I am happy. Because of one big thing, and then a series of little things. The big thing is that I am now officially registered for the Stitches South convention in Atlanta in April with my friend, Lara, who I cannot wait to see for the first time in 15 years! We're going to have a knit-centric blast!

The little things have been helping a lot too. You know sometimes around the holidays, you can get a little blue thinking about all the things you have to do or people you may be missing and I'm not any different. So, little treats finding their way to me really keep my holiday spirit up. The first good thing that happened was last Friday. I'd had a really bad 24-hour period, what with being stupid enough to download the latest vicious virus that's been circulating the net and all. So, when a surprise package arrived on my doorstep, it was a little bit of happy in an envelope. I had kinda forgotten about Lara's offer to her on-line buddies for a free copy of Who by Fire by Diana Spechler, but there was my copy at the door! Woo hoo! Reading material for our upcoming Christmas trip and it was FREE. I am a total whore for free stuff. So, after we get back from our trip, stay tuned for a review of the book. I've read a few chapters already and it definitely grabbed my attention quickly, so I totally expect to enjoy it!

The weekend was a series of good little items, Hubby taking me and Baby Girl to Cabella's for some cold weather gear (he usually hates shopping trips), the really nice lady at Wendy's who told us how wonderful it was to see a little girl as loved as ours, and my beloved Florida Gators winning the SEC championship and securing their spot in the BCS championship game! I really hope the SEC can take the championship for the third year in a row.

Today really was looking to be a pretty mundane day filled with practical things like going to the dry cleaner, the post office and the grocery store. Not a bad day, just kinda boring. We got to the post office and there was no line (woo hoo this time of year) and after I made my stamp purchase, the teller made some comment about smelling like tuna fish (herself, not me, apparently I had caught her in the middle of eating lunch), I laughed and said I hadn't noticed, but that I was strangely in the mood for Subway. At that point, she reached in her purse and handed me a $20 gift card to Subway. Really? She said that someone had given it to her and since she didn't like Subway very much she was giving it to me. What a sweet lady! So, with a little smile I headed off to Whole Foods to pick up a few things for the week. After getting through the checkout line, the cashier informed me that the little old lady who had been ahead of me had left a $10 coupon for me since she had been unable to use it herself. Again, how sweet! As I loaded the groceries in my car, I saw her pulling out and managed to stop her to say, "Thank you." So anyhow, those things made my boring little shopping trip so much more pleasant. We hear so often about how bad people are nowadays so to those people today who proved that theory wrong and in their own way, made my day: THANK YOU!

Oh, should you want a little Knitting Christmas cheer, check out Knit & Purl Mama's post from a couple of days ago. Scroll to the bottom of the post and read the poem. Also, check out her on-line store, she's got some really good items and the favorable exchange rate between US and Canadian dollars may save you a bit of green.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Big, Wam Fuzzies!

Today was Santa Claus day! Baby Girl and I went to the mall with the Little Boy Next Door (LBND) and his mommy to see Santa and get their pictures made. Not usually that much fun and today was looking like it was going to be no different. When we got there, we had two families ahead of us. After waiting for a while, the mall management came out to let us know that the woman who managed the photo operations for Santa had locked her keys in the car and was running late, but they sent out Santa before she got there so he could visit with the kids. Okay, no big deal, they even gave us a coupon for a free 5X7, so we were happy. Baby Girl and LBND were being good, they were the brave kids who walked right up to Santa and gave him high-fives. All the other little ones kinda hung back a little bit.

Once the photo manager got there, Liz, we figured things would move along fairly quickly, but alas, that just wasn't meant to be. Turns out the computer was giving them trouble and then the camera was broken. So, we waited more. Most of the other families gave up, but we toughed it out. After a few minutes, a little girl (18 months) and her grandma, got in line behind us. Almost immediately, the little girl started crying and pointed to me. Oh Lord, what had I done? Her grandma let her out of the stroller to comfort her and she immediately flung herself into my arms and there she stayed for the next half hour! She hugged me and gave me kisses and wouldn't let go. Finally, when her grandma had enough with the line, she had to take the little one away from me kicking and screaming. I gotta tell you, I loved it! Not the kicking and screaming part, but the great cuddles! Baby Girl didn't even get jealous, she and LBND were having way too much fun.

Finally, after and hour and a half, we managed to get our pictures taken. Santa and his helpers were so embarrassed about what had happened, but really, we still managed to have a good time and told them so. Santa and Liz were both grateful that LBND's mom and I were so nice and I got another big hug from Liz before we left. Everybody was wanting the Sarah hugs! Woo Hoo!

And so I end my warm, fuzzy tale with the picture of the result. Baby Girl and LBND with the Jolly Old Elf himself:


Still haven't found the Play-doh....could be good, could be bad, only time will tell.

Monday, December 1, 2008


From the day you become pregnant with your first child, you become very closely acquainted with fear. What if something goes wrong, what if the baby is sick, what if someone steals her....
After a while, you push all those fears to the back of your mind for the most part, you are always on guard, but you can't live your life constantly worried about what might happen.

This morning I discovered a new definition of fear, ceratinly not the same fear as with the other things I named, but fear nonetheless. Today I have resolved to start getting things done in preparation for the holidays and nothing helps get me motivated more than having a nice clean house. As much as I may claim that knitting things that will be in your house (or even someone else's house) counts as housework, truly it does not and my home has started the reflect that realization. Sorry Justification Gods, I have betrayed you.

So, anyhow, as I was tidying up Baby Girl's toys, I discovered the one item that can strike fear into the heart of any mother of a empty Play-Doh container..... (cue: horror movie music and tight fade-away shot)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I am on a roll and you can't stop me!

Well, I don't really know why anyone would want to stop me, but I'm very excited that I'm finally wrapping up some projects that have been in the works for way too long. I finished Baby Girl's wrap sweater tonight. I would love to show you a picture of how cute she looks in it, but #1 - she's already in bed and #2 - it's way too big for her. I made it in a four year old size so I could get as much wear out of it as possible. So, you have to settle for a very boring picture of it laying on my coffee table. Sorry, but I still love it. Who knows, maybe I'll finally finish my log cabin afghan that I started about four months ago! Woo hoo!

I did it! I did it! I did it!

I actually managed to finish the ladybug blankie! It took longer than the hour I predicted, but it's done! And so stinking cute! The feet you see are Baby Girl's running to jump on it. She loves it too, to bad it's not for her.

And here's the bath matt all done and in full use. Aren't Hubby's feet cute? It's nice and soft and feels really good when you step out of the shower. Yay! So, now that the ladybug is done, I'm going to make another one for in front of the sink.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Finishing Rears It's Ugly Head...

Okay, I think I've probably b*tched about this before, and I know I shouldn't follow-up my warm-fuzzy with this, but seriously....I HATE FINISHING!

I'm working on an absolutely adorable crochet baby blanket for one of my friends who is expecting her first little girl after having two of the cutest baby boys I know, and I have all the pieces done, all I have to do is sew them together and I will have a cute little ladybug blankie. It'll take an hour tops....and I can't bring myself to do it. What's wrong with me?! Instead, I'm sitting here dreading it and trying to decide if I should just stop worrying about it and cast-on a new project. Have I mentioned that the sweater I started for Baby Girl months ago and have had all the pieces done for at least six weeks is still sitting in many pieces on the futon in my craft room? UGGGHHH, why can't these things just finish themselves?

Okay, I'm done and off to search for a tapestry needle. If I don't have pictures up by tomorrow, please feel free to write and yell at me.

These are a few of my favorite things....

My dear friend, Lara, posted a list of great things that have happened to her over the past week or so and the things she's grateful for this Thanksgiving. I was inspired by her to come up with my own list.

This has been a very good year for me and my family. Of course, the highlight is Baby Girl and all of the things she has accomplished in her growth and development. I know they are the same things all small children learn, but somehow when it's your own child, every step seems so much more exciting. I love that she has learned to say, "I love you, Mommy!" and would happily give everything I have to continue hearing it. I am so grateful that she is healthy and happy. So many children in this world are not so fortunate. I hope and pray that we are able to give her a little brother or sister who is just as healthy and blessed as she is.

I am grateful for Hubby and the love he and I share. We make one hell of a team and we become even more so every day. He is my best friend and after nine years together, I still have a huge crush on him!

I'm thankful for so many other things as well: my family, my dear friends, those that I've knows forever and some that I've only recently gotten to know, my grandmother for imbuing me with my great love of all things yarn, my husband (again) who tolerates my addictions, Haagen Daz Pineapple Coconut ice cream, my cranky 13-year-old cat, my slow-cooker, Mason-Dixon knitting, and chocolate. I could go on and on, this is a really great world we live in despite what people may say. Little things count and make me happy, like the group of construction workers who let me keep my place in line at Golden Corral even when I had to run off to chase Baby Girl (and told me how beautiful we both were without being creepy), the lady in the parking lot who started to back out and then pulled back into her spot when she saw me and Baby Girl coming even though she didn't have to, and the little girl at the park who announced that Baby Girl was her best friend and took her by the hand to go play even though they had never met before in their lives.

So, there's my warm-fuzzy for the day. Thank you, Lara, for reminding me that sometimes we just need to reflect on all the good things that surround us!

Monday, November 17, 2008

I'm Back!

Did you miss me terribly, my long-neglected blog? Probably not, but I'm back anyway.
Sweater weather has descended on New Orleans. Okay, to you Yankees, it may not be, but dammit the weather is under sixty degrees so I'm wearing a sweater that I made with my very-own two hands! It's a top-down sweater that I got off of The Running Yarn. It's soft and cuddy and I LOVE it! So, maybe I'm a bit of a wuss, but since we only get to wear sweaters maybe two weeks out of the year, I'm going to enjoy it. The change in weather has also reminded me that Christmas is much closer than I am prepared for, so, I am proud to announce that I have finished one of my Christmas presents. It's for Hubby's brother and sister-in-law and I am totally in love with it. If you look closely at some of the sunflowers, it calls for eyelash yarn which creates that neat fuzzy effect that real sunflowers have. Hmmm...maybe I'll just keep it. ;-)

A few weeks ago, I wrote about an LSU afghan that I was making for one of Hubby's cousins. I finally finished that bad-boy and not a moment too soon for my sanity. Here it is:

It's fairly boring, but the colors look good (if you're an LSU fan) and it's got a nice texture. I will not be using this pattern again however.
So, after two crochet projects, I was desperate to pick up my knitting needles again. So, I returned to the Mason-Dixon Knitting book and started on the log-cabin style bath matts. They call for three strands of double-worsted cotton yarn to be held together and size 15 needles. It's a bit challenging and the yarn it THICK, but so far, it's looking great! One thing the wonderful authors of the pattern neglected to mention is how difficult it is to pick up stitches with materials this thick, so if you decide to follow in my footsteps, add a Size K crochet hook to your tools to make this process a bit easier. I'm using Peaches 'n Creme from the Elmore Pisgah company in cream, camel, and beige, so it's a really great natural look. If you order from them, be sure to talk to Martha. She's super nice and even delayed shipment on my order to work around Hurricane Gustav.
So, that's the news that's fit to print right now. I'm back to my needles before Baby Girl wakes up from her nap.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Can Elmo actually grow up?

So last night Baby Girl and I went to see the new Elmo stageshow, "When Elmo Grows Up". Now I was certainly of the belief that Elmo is a monster who will perpetually remain at around 4 years old, but hey, I guess we all grow up at some point. I'm still waiting to, of course.

I was really looking forward to the show because #1 - Lilly's best-friend, The Boy Next Door, was going with his parents and I knew they two of them would be thrilled to see each other and #2 - it was Lilly's first show like that and I really wanted to see her reaction. Other than that, I pretty much figured watching this show would probably send me into a diabetic shock at some point. Ah, the things we do for our kids!

We got to the show about twenty minutes before start time, which gave us plenty of time to find Baby Girl's BFF. When she spotted him, she yelled his name over and over until we got to them. The love each other as much as a pair of two-year-olds are capable of. I fear he is her Dawson to his Joey. We will have to separate them sometime around puberty. After visiting with him and his parents for a little while we made our way for the obligatory visit to the souvenir table to get a stuffed Elmo and a little t-shirt.

The show was actually surprisingly entertaining and Baby Girl LOVED it! You know your kid is being pretty cute when other parents are ignoring their own little sweeties and laughing at the exuberance that your own tyke is showing. She stood in my lap and danced her little heiny off! She cheered at all the appropriate places and even tried singing along even though she barely talks. What a blast!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Yarn, Yarn, Yarn!

Okay so this was the subject of a recent email from a good friend and it got me thinking that I haven't written about my great love recently. I guess it's because my primary project that I'm working on right now is not particularly exciting. I'm working with acrylic yarn (I know, all the yarn-snobs out there have now totally written me off), but I'm working on a baby blanket for a cousin that I don't know particularly well and I didn't feel like shelling out a bundle on yarn for his new bundle. Sorry, got to be honest here. So, the yarn isn't great and I'm crocheting (for the sake of expediency) a tight ripple pattern. So, it's VERY repetitive, and not in a good Zen way either. Plus, I made the very foolish decision to widen the blanket, and now I'm just really sick of working on it and if I'd left it the way it should have been I would be done by now! Argh.

Better News

After doing a little research, I found out that nearly 80% of kids who have grade 1-3 renal relux outgrow it by age five. That's really good news, but she still has to be on antibugs until that happens. Also, I talked to my dad last night, and he confirmed everything the first radiologist said and also let me know that the ultrasound showed no scarring or other residual damage from her recent infection. Yeah!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Update on Baby Girl's Insides....

Wow, have you noticed that despite the name of my blog, I seem to spend very little time actually knitting lately. Hmm, maybe I've managed to find my 12-step program after all....I do have a couple of projects going right now, I just haven't had time to work on them!

I know I promised to fill you in on Baby Girl's brithday party, but we've had a couple of other things going on the past few days and I've been just a little stressed about one of them. After Baby Girl's UTI, the follow-up includes an X-ray study of her renal system and an ultrasound. Of course, I told myself that these were just precautionary tests and that nothing was wrong with my girl other than having had a bad experience with a dirty diaper. And there was about an 80% chance that I was right. So, I packed Baby Girl up for the hospital yesterday with very few concerns except for how she would handle having these tests done to her.

The first study was the X-ray, also called a VCUG. It is not a very pleasant test for a little one (or big one, I would imagine) because they start the test by catheterizing the child and pumping the poor kid's bladder full of contrast dye. The point of the test is to check and see if any of the dye leaks back up into the ureters and then on to the kidneys. I was holding her shoulders and one of the techs was holding her legs during the study. She was such a good girl and didn't fight them at all, but she cried the whole time and I could tell how scared she was as the X-Ray machine got closer to her. You don't know how bad I was chanting in my head, "c'mon, no kidneys! No kidneys!" It was like that old game show where the contestants wanted "big money, no whammies!" Poor Baby Girl, she got a whammie! Clear as day, you could see one of her ureters on the screen. I, of course, tried to ignore it, but the radiologist confirmed it for me. My little girl has a Grade 3 Renal Reflux! It goes on a scale from 1-5, so you might be thinking, okay three, it's the middle of the road, not too bad, right? Well, that's true. If it were a four or five, we'd be scheduling her for surgery right away. Unfortunately, until I meet with a pediatric urologist, I won't know what her treatment will be. Could be surgery, could be wait and see. All of it will involve her being on low-grade antibiotics for some time, though, because if she gets another bladder infection, it's going straight up to that kidney.

UUGGGHHH! So, that's the results of the X-ray. Did I mention that there was an ultrasound, too? So, after the X-ray, she calmed down really quickly, and we went to the cafeteria to get something to eat. Then back to Radiology for her next study. She was so freaked out until she realized that this test was nowhere near as invasive as the first one. I still don't have the results of that test, but I sent both studies to my dad on DVD so he should be reading them tonight. I love that my Daddy is a Radiologist and can swoop in to save the day!

So, we have a urologist appointment for November 21, and she's going to be on antibugs for a while. Keep your fingers crossed for my little sweetie, okay?

I promise, I will post some birthday pictures soon!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

My poor little girl!

So, about two days after we got back from the Big Apple, Baby Girl started running a fever. Normally, I assume she has a virus and wait a few days before taking her to the pediatrician, but for some reason, this seemed a bit different, so I took her to the doctor on Tuesday, just the second day of fever-running. The doctor couldn't really find anything wrong with her except that her throat was a bit red. She did a strep culture, which came back negative, so she backed up my thoughts that it was just a virus and I should treat her with motrin for her fever and wait it out. Only thing was, she didn't have any of the other traditional viral symptons, snot, sneezing or coughing, just really high fevers. Also, she was crying almost constantly and wouldn't sleep anywhere except with me. So, by Friday, she wasn't doing any better and I was about to lose my mind from lack of sleep.

Back to the pediatrician's office we went. This time, we got to see Baby Girl's regular doctor and she was as baffled as I was as to what was causing my little one's suffering. Baby Girl had lost nearly a pound in the four days since we brought her in the first time, which, when you only weigh 27 pounds to start off with, is a lot! She was down around the 15th percentile for weight-to-height! Dr. C started by running a flu culture, which was negative, then she proceeded to do some bloodwork and taking a urine sample. I was able to stay in the room while they drew the blood, but just couldn't do it while they catheterized the poor kid. By this point, I was pretty much freaking out, with my mind going wild with ideas of what was wrong with her. The leading theory focused on my friend in New York who works as a port chaplain at the port of Newark. The Rev came and visited us at our hotel while we were in New York and was running a fever at the time. So, my worried mommy-brain was just convinced that Baby Girl had contracted some rare exotic disease from her Auntie Rev!

Okay, so it didn't turn out to be anything so serious as that, but it still wasn't good. Baby Girl had a UTI. No wonder the poor kid was crying so much. She was in pain! It killed me that it took a week to figure it out. The only thing worse than having a bladder infection yourself is when your child has one. I would've taken her place in a heartbeat to save her that suffering!

After a couple of days of anti-bugs, she was doing a lot better, so I've spent the last week getting her reacquainted with her own bed. That has basically sucked since she now realized that sleeping with Mommy is so much better than staying by yourself in a crib. We had to start all over teaching her that her bed is where she belongs. The first night we tried, she cried for and hour and a half before finally giving up and going to sleep. I know what you're thinking, "What kind of mean mother lets her kid cry for that long?" Trust me, I thought it pretty much constantly while we were going through it, but it's for her own good. I start out by letting her cry for 5 minutes, then going in and laying her back down. Then I add five minutes between each subsequent return. Usually, she's out by the end of the first five minutes, on a bad night she'll make it to the 10 minute stretch. Well, that night she made it well into a 30 minute stretch! The next night, she only cried for about two minutes, but she stood up in her crib for nearly 45 minutes before finally falling asleep on her feet and then falling over. Each night after that got better and two nights ago, she went to bed with no fuss and stayed in bed until 7:00am! Woo hoo! We were back to normal! Yeah, well, that got killed last night!

Hubby and I went out to dinner with another couple and when we got back, Baby Girl and Mom-in-Law were sound asleep in my bed! UGH! I tried to transfer her to the nursery, but that just wasn't happening! She "slept" with me the rest of the night. I use the term slept loosely since she tossed and turned the majority of the night. Sleeping with a toddler is nearly impossible and as a result, I am incredibly tired today and less than happy with M-i-L. I wonder how long getting her to sleep in her own bed with take tonight.....back to square one we go!

So, tomorrow I will tell you all about our second birthday party at the house and then I will be all caught up on the major events that have happened since I started getting lax in posting!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Playing Catch-Up

Okay, I claimed in my last post that I was trying to get my life back on track and get a little less scattered. Well, that didn't happen, but I think this week will be the week! I've even finally made it to the gym, which had been a rare event over the past month (read: non-existant).

A lot has happened since I last wrote, to start off with, we went to New York for a couple of days with Baby Girl. It was a great trip, although the weather didn't totally cooperate. We always stay at the Tribeca Grand Hotel when we go, and this time was no different. We love being down there, and the first afternoon we were there, we spent the majority of the afternoon walking around Soho. There's a great yarn shop there called Purl and I suggest if you haven't been there, you should definitely stop by. Since my yarn stash is already full to the brim, thanks to a recent order from Herrschner's, I didn't buy anything, but I did go in and take a good look around and inhale the wonderful fiber-y goodness of the place. That night we decided to forgo the usual fancy New York dining (this was a kid-centric trip after all) so we ordered some pizzas and headed back to the hotel. Of course, we forgot how large a New York pizza is (even though we did order small ones), so there was plenty of pizza left to share with the door guys at the hotel. They're always super nice to us and it definitely went a long way to building continued goodwill with them.

The next day was a Thursday, and after finding a great diner for breakfast (thanks to our buddies at the Grand), we headed up to Midtown for a little shopping and even more walking. In spite of the light rain that was falling, New York is one of my all-time favorite cities for walking! We hit several men's stores because Hubby needed some black dress shoes for dinner that night. He was unsuccessful, but I found a gorgeous pair of black pumps at Cole Haan that I just had to have! I never splurge on shoes (since I can rarely find really nice ones for my honkin' big, size 11 feet), so I felt especially happy buying what are officially now the most expensive shoes in my closet. They were 25% off, though, so I can at least feel a little more satifies with the fact that I saved money, right? After being unsuccessful in our attempt to find shoes for Hubby, we made our way to Central Park for a photo session with Baby Girl and a little lunch. I know most people would be rather disgusted with our decision to feed her "street meat" aka hot dogs, but seriously, she loves them! After the park we headed over the Time Warner building, briefly, and got to see my friend, Jason, long enough to hug his neck and let him meet a sleeping Baby Girl before jumping back in a cab and heading to our hotel.

Friday was our last day in the city. Again, we decided to go kid-centric and headed to the Upper West Side to see how New York kids have fun. There is a fantastic kids' museum up there and if you live in the city or ifyou are planning on bringing a kid up there any time soon, you should really check it out. Pretty much it's an indoor playground and Baby Girl LOVED it. We had a really hard time getting her out of there. Screaming her bloody head off like we were trying to kill her! After that we headed over to the Museum of Natural History, but c'mon, it had nothing on the Dora exhibit at CMOM, so we didn't stay long, but we did get some great pictures.

So, that's our trip to NYC, it was a ton of fun and I can't wait to go again. I'm going to really enjoy watching Baby Girl's experiences up there and how her perspective changes as she does. I'll try and catch up a little bit more on the past month's events tomorrow, but for now, I'm off to work on an LSU themed baby blanket for Hubby's cousin's kid.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Les Petites Victoires

I've been a little bit scattered since the evacuation for Hurricane Gustav. I haven't wanted to do much of anything other than sit on my butt and knit or play with my kid. So, after almost three weeks, I've decided it is time to get re-centered and get my life back in order.

It has been an eventful past few weeks, of course there was the great evacuation, then my father-in-law ended up in the hospital, and there was that minor incident with my truck and the side of that building. After that we had some evacuees of our own from Houston. It was great having them here, but it still didn't help me get any more organized.

So, I have resolved that over the next week, up until our trip to New York, I will get at least something done around this house every day. Today, I decided to tackle the pool table room and my kitchen. Tomorrow, I'll get the rest of the downstairs clean. I know, really not a whole lot to be proud of, but it's better than I have been doing. Small victories, right?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Stupid names for baby blankets

I must admit, I have never understood why people give inane names to their kids' baby blankets. Woobie is one of the more common ones, but I've heard such a variety of weird and wonderful names. Before I was a mom, I swore to myself that I wouldn't be so cutsie, a pacifier would be a pacifier (oops, it became a binkie), and blanket at its most cutsie would be blankie. Aaah, the naivete of the woman without children! I have since figured out that I get no choice in the matter and once a baby learns to talk, they get the deciding vote on what their comfort items will be called.

So, we now have "Goin", rhymes with groin. While we were in Florida, I finally made the connection between that word and Baby Girl's favorite white blanket (Actually, she has two identical ones). I think maybe it came from the fact that she wants it whenever she is going to bed or going out with me. I'm latching onto that explanation because at least it sounds a bit logical. Also, I'm trying to change it to Gawain, like in Sir Gawain of the Knights of the Round Table.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I can't believe I hit a building....

So, I've been avoiding blogging. After I got back from the evacuation, things have been a little crazy. While we were gone, my Father-in-Law ended up in the hospital, so the evacuation lasted a bit longer than we had anticipated and when I finally got home, I really just wanted to focus on Hubby and Baby Girl and relax. Oh, and there was that good chance that Hurricane Ike was going to pay us a little visit, so I was also doing laundry so I could load it back up in the car...

Anyhow, by Monday I was over my drama and decided that it would be a really good day to go back to the gym and blow off some steam. I loaded Baby Girl into the car and even had a little knitting project to bring with me and knit while riding the stationary bike. People read on those things, so why can't I knit. I was terribly excited about the prospect since I haven't done it before and it gives me further opportunity to play with yarn. Alas, it was not to be!

Our gym is awesome, it has tons of pools, great facilities and best of all, a fantastic day care center and you get up to two hours a day while you work out included in your membership. (If any of you out there feel like joining, please list me as a referral, I get points) So, I pulled up and parked outside the day care. I leaned across the car to get Baby Girl's diaper bag and noticed that the car next to me was backing out. No big deal, right? Well, as soon as my car hit the cement thing that they put at the front of parking spaces to keep you from going too far forward, I realized that the other car was not, in fact, backing out, I was the one moving. Apparently I missed the action of putting the car in park as if I haven't done it everyday, multiple times, since I began driving almost 18 years ago. My car began to go over the block, because it's huge and has an enormous engine and I panicked, I slammed my foot on the brake and at that point everything should have been okay, right? I'm guessing you've figured out by now that everything wasn't as it should be. I didn't hit the brake, my foot found the gas and my car smashed into the side of my little girl's day care.

Okay, it didn't go all the way through, but I did put one hell of a dent in the wall. I backed away from it and put my car into park. For real, this time! I got out of the car and looked at the havoc I had wreaked on my grill and on the building. Oh my! What the hell?! One of the day care workers came running out to investigate what had happened only to find me hysterically bawling. After determining that I had not been injured, he kindly took Baby Girl into the facility so she wouldn't have to see her poor mother in such a state and I began the process of explaining what exactly I had done to various members of the gym management and the security at the business park. They couldn't have been nicer to me, although I really didn't feel like I deserved their kindness. They brought me ice water and a big box of tissues. I gave them my license and insurance information. Fair trade right, after all, I did hit their building. Oh, did I mention that it was the day care. I collapsed into tears again when that realization hit me and they took me inside to prove to me that I had not hurt any of the little kids, or really even scared them too much. I did push in the dry wall inside about four inches, so I'm still pretty upset about the fact that even though I didn't hurt anyone, I could have. That's a really crappy thing to realize.

So, after the paperwork was done and most everyone had gone back inside, I sat outside, waiting for Hubby to arrive (my knight in shining armor) and collecting myself. I must've had no less that four people tell me that "these things just happen, you read about it in the paper all the time." Yeah, you do read about such things all the time, but it's usually about some poor, senile octogenarian or followed up by the phrase, "with a blood-alcohol content of _______." So, for all their good intentions, it really didn't make me feel too much better. One of the staff even told me that if I still wanted to work out, they would keep Baby Girl for a little longer than usual so I could. Nope, I wasn't ready for that, so Hubby took us for sushi instead and then I got my car off to the collision center and picked up my rental. I was beating myself up pretty hard until my wonderful neighbor called later that night and brought me homemade cookies and told me when I am ready to go back to the gym, she will ride with me and prove that she thinks I'm still a safe driver. What a sweetie! I still haven't gone back though, it's still a little too fresh.

I can't believe they didn't revoke my membership....

I will try and post some pictures tomorrow, Hubby has them on his camera and I am tired tonight and want to go to bed.

Take care, all!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Binge Stitching...

So, I'm a refugee. I have escaped Southeast Louisiana and I'm now at my parents' house in Northwest Florida. Unfortunately, Hubby is not with me. We have a family-owned business and he needs to be there to keep everything under control during the storm and to get things up and running as quickly as he can after the weather passes.

What am I doing now? Worrying, waiting, obsessively watching the news and Weather channel, and knitting. I call it therapy knitting, but I've found myself becoming a bit fixated on it. I actually packed my supplies in my evacuation kit! So far I've been working on baby burp cloths (thanks Mason Dixon Knitting), but I've also got a sweater that is a work in progress that I will try and finish in the next day or so. Of course, when given the opportunity, I made a bee-line to the local yarn shop and enough yarn for several more projects. Oh my! Some people turn to alcohol, others comfort eat; I hoard yarn.
There is something completely soothing for me working with yarn in times of stress. The repetitive motions and need to focus on maintaining a pattern help distract me from whatever is on my mind causing me worry. After I lost my grandmother to liver cancer, I completed a king sized afghan based on one of her patterns in about a week and a half! After Katrina, I turned to cross stitching and completed a portrait of Mickey Mouse in front of the American flag almost entirely before the power even came back on. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of it, it's a pretty impressive piece of work if I do say so myself! So, we'll see how much I get accomplished this week while watching my home take a beating again. Please say some prayers for New Orleans, whether you're a religious person or not, we need all the help we can get tonight.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The beginnings of a fiber addiction....

Okay, so here's my dilemma, there are only so many hours in a day, and the majority of them are dedicated to one very small, yet demanding little girl. The hours that are left, must be divided between Hubby, knitting and whatever else I feel like doing (blogging, reading, etc.). So, tonight I will forgo knitting my sweater for a little while and look back to where it all began for me. A yarn stash born, an addiction begun....

My grandmother, Nanny, was a crafter through and through. She quilted and crocheted beautifully, but she was also one of those ladies who could look at something and figure out how to make one herself. She was brilliant, but never thought so herself. When I was five, we moved to Charlottesville, VA which was not terribly far from Nanny and PaPa's house in Norfolk, only a couple of hours. So we went down to see them often.

I was a very loud and active child (big shocker, I know), so my grandmother was often trying to find ways to hold my interest. When I was around six, she put a crochet hook in my hand for the first time along with a ball of pink variegated yarn. Thinking back, it was hideous yarn, but I love the stuff to this day for the memories it evokes. I had some in my yarn drawer for years and when Nanny died, I found some of it still in her stash. She taught me to make a chain and it kept me busy for hours! I would chain the whole ball, then re-wind the ball and start again. I could wrap that chain around the entire house. On subsequent trips she taught me different stitches and how to turn rows. I made blankets galore for my stuffed animals!

Nanny (and my mom as well) also taught me how to sew on plastic canvas, cross stitch and various other crafts; I will confess a love for making just about any kind of handicraft, but crochet is what stuck with me throughout my life. This is my "I was country, when country wasn't cool" moment. I crocheted long before knitting and crochet began to get popular. I was closeted for certain, not even my closest friends knew, but I did it nonetheless. I didn't come out until college, during a bad breakup, I stayed in my suite at the dorm and made an entire afghan in one week as my own weird form of therapy. My suite-mates looked at me rather strangely, but darned if they didn't all want blankets of their own!

After college, I was still crocheting and terrified of the prospect of two needles. I just couldn't grasp the concept of how it was done and the risk of dropping stitches. Crochet is an instant gratification kind of a hobby, things work up fairly quickly and if you mess up, well, you jut rip it out and start over. Knitting is a whole different beast. But after I discovered my best friend from high school was also a yarn girl and knitting, I was intrigued. Plus she had made a really cool sweater that I wanted, so, I had to learn. That was about six years ago. I still crochet from time to time, but I am obsessed with knitting and all the pretty patterns you can create. Plus, it uses less yarn that crochet, so I can afford to use much higher quality stuff. I have become addicted to expensive yarn. It's kind of crazy, if I went into a store and saw a sweater for the price that I've paid for some of my yarn, I would think it was way over-priced, yet I spend it and then have to do the work to assemble it too. Hmmm....

Hubby teases me about yarn being my heroin, how sad and true that statement is. I get the shakes walking out of a yarn store with empty hands. I crave new yarn like and alcoholic craves his next drink. I justify my addiction by telling myself that I am creating things for other people and really that's a fairly generous thing to do, but in reality, I am a yarn-oholic and I just NEED it!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Bow-Fishing Adventure

Okay, so I guess today is as good a day as any to begin my blogging experience. Despite my blog's title, today's entry has nothing to do with knitting or crafts whatsoever. Sorry for false-advertising.

Last night was definitely a new experience for me. Generally, I tend to be an indoor type, especially when heat and insects are involved, but when Hubby and I were invited to go bow-fishing with Hubby's attorney, how could I turn down such an intriguing new adventure? Here's the basic premise, you get on an air-boat at night and head out into the marshes to literally hunt for fish. No wimpy waiting for fish to come to you and bite a hook for us, no sir! So, ignoring the fact that I haven't shot an arrow since camp in junior high (and I pretty much stunk at it back then, too), off we went down to the little town in Southest Louisiana called Jean Lafitte. Yes, it's named after the pirate because it's where his hide-out used to be and supposedly his treasure and ghost still reside there today.

We headed down to Lafitte after Hubby got off work on Friday. I thought we were heading for a camp down there, but we were, in fact, staying at the marina where our air-boat would be leaving from. Here's a picture of our bunk-house. It really wasn't that bad inside, but when I saw the outside, the spoiled little girl in me whined, "We're staying there?" The marina was filled with small, run-down boats, shrimp boats, trailers and equipment. And one very interesting , and out of place addition. Nicholas Cage's yacht was moored down there. He and his family have been down there for about two weeks! All the amazing places they could choose to go for vacation and they were down in Jean Lafitte, LA. Interesting choice, guess they truly wanted to get away from it all. The marina owner even told us they had taken the 130' yacht into the bayous earlier in the week to catch catfish from. I found that really amusing, fishing from that huge boat in a tiny bayou.

Attorney had dinner waiting for us when we arrived. Steak and mashed potatoes with plenty of cabernet. Yummy! I am a girl who loves her red meat (and wine)! Afterwords, we made our way over to the dock to wait for our guide and his boat. And wait, and wait... The guide was about an hour late, not really his fault, there was a wreck on the one road leading to Lafitte, but still...I'm waiting an hour at a dock with MANY flying insects and beetles. Let's focus here, people, it's all about me! Okay, not really, but the fact that he was late gave Attorney plenty of time to regale me with a story of not one, but two incidents on prior bow-fishing trips. In one, the boat sank with them out in the middle of the marsh, in the second, he ended up stranded on a bit of land out in the marsh surrounded by alligators. I don't know about you, but this is definitely not a story I really wanted to hear prior to embarking on my great adventure. Still, I didn't let it get to me too much and psyched myself up for a good time, shooting fish and being in nature.

Once the guides arrived they got the boat loaded into the water fairly quickly, and we set off! The boat was the standard air-boat like you see in any movie set in Louisiana with the addition of a platform attached to the front for us to shoot from. The platform had lights attached underneath so we could see the fish in the water. I will say that it was pretty cool riding through the intercoastal waterway and marshes at high speed with only the lights under the platform and one hand-held spotlight to guide us. It was kind of like that swamp chase scene from that James Bond movie....okay, so not really that cool, but still a lot of fun! Oh, except for the fact that if you smiled, you ran the risk of getting bugs in your teeth. I was amazed at the guide's ability to know where we were going without the usual visual references the rest of us would rely on.

When we got to our first "fishing" spot, the guides showed us how to use the bows and we got started looking for and shooting fish. The mass of bugs surrounding us was amazing! I'm really shocked that I didn't get absolutely skeezed out because I am truly one who HATES the insect world. The marshes are teeming with life, not just bugs, but little fish were jumping out of the water everywhere you looked, there were stingrays, shrimp and alligators (which I was quickly instructed that I was NOT to shoot!). We were looking primarily for redfish, but also for sheepshead and drums. They are not as easy to spot as one might hope. The guides kept pointing for us and I would look where they were pointing and see NOTHING! I think they quickly decided that I would be hopeless and concentrated their spotting efforts primarily to Attorney and Hubby. I did figure it out after a while though and started to see the fish that we were after. I shot and shot and shot and hit nothing. Darn that refraction. Well, I say I hit nothing, I actually hit a couple of fish, but I was so bad at drawing the bowstring that the arrow kinda bounced off the fish. Hubby and Attorney got several and I think Hubby was starting to feel like Robin Hood! I was so proud of him! After many tries I did manage to hit one small redfish. I was SO excited. This was by far more success than I was expecting and made the trip worth it for me. Of course, that didn't mean we could head back so we proceeded to hunt for fish for HOURS. After a bit, I pretty much determined that my one hit was a fluke and I retired to the captain's seat high above the water and became an observer. It turned into a beautiful night with a cool breeze and stars everywhere. Hubby came back and joined me after a while. We were definitely becoming bored with the fishing, but enjoyed the evening. Until about 1:30am, then we just wanted to go back to the dock! We finally got back to the marina around 2:30am. Boy, did I ever have to pee! All-in-all, though, a very fun experience. I'm really glad we went and even happier we didn't run into any spectral pirates!

Now, we're waiting on our turn at Tropical Storm Fay, so I'm going to sign off and bring in some plants before the winds pick up!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

About me...

Hmmm....this leads to a very interesting question. Who am I? And to top that off, what can I say here that will hook people and get them reading and caring about my blog. Okay, so I'm not really so worried about that, but c'mon, we all care what other people think just a little bit, whether we admit it or not.

To start off with, I'm a yarn addict. I have a problem, but I've accepted that and I'm trying to find a way to deal with my addiction and incorporate it into my life and still be able to function normally. Okay, so maybe not "normally", but in a way so that I can still get the other things in my life that need doing, done. I have some serious responsibility. Namely, I'm trying to raise a good human being. I think of all the jobs we do in life, that's the most important. For the most part, no one really remembers what you did for a job when your gone (unless you're famous, and I'm not), the only lasting legacy that you leave is your children. So, I want mine to be really good. So far I only have one, but I want her to have all the options in the world, but I also want her do be a good person who looks out for others and is kind.

I'm also a wife. I love that job. I like having Hubby come home and tell me that Baby Girl and I are the highlight of his day. So, right now, that's me: wife, mommy, crafting fiend. The description probably will change as I grow up (I know, technically an adult, but never fully grown), so I'll keep this updated as need be.