Previous month:
December 2007
Next month:
February 2008

Entries from January 2008

A Kitty On My Foot and I Wanna Touch It

"...Little bag of bones been out all night..."  I'm listening to the Presidents right now, can you tell? Good stuff.

Well, today was an interesting day, to say the least. I had my consult for bariatric surgery, which I've been hoping to have soon so I can start getting skinny for the cruise in June. It's probably not going to happen by then, now. I found out today I have cancer and need to schedule a hysterectomy ASAP. I pretty much wandered through the rest of the day in shock after hearing that. It's not so much that I'm worried about things - I'm really not - but I would have expected to hear that from my OB-Oncologist shortly after my exam in December, not the drastic bypass surgeon almost as an aside! The first he said when he came in was, "Well, first we have to get this cancer thing out of the way..." What?! What cancer thing?!! Totally threw me for a loop, especially since the doc I saw on Monday looked at my file and told me everything was good.

So, mostly out of surprise and dismay, I burst into tears and couldn't seem to stop crying while we talked, which was embarrassing. Then he told me we would still proceed with getting me ready for the surgery, and I'd need to make my appointments for nutrition and psych since it looked like there were major issues in both areas. Dammit! I said, "I'm not always this weepy, but for one thing, I'm extremely hormonal right now, and I just wasn't expecting to hear that from you today!" So, great. My therapist thinks I'm going to do well with the surgery - now it's just a matter of convincing them.

As for the nutritional issues, he confirmed what I was told on Monday, that my iron levels are abyssmal - and so is my protein. I basically have none. He said being a vegetarian was going to be a big problem for me with the surgery if I don't start getting some major protein in now, because I would fail the nutritional consult as it stands right now. And, he pretty much put me on the post-op diet - starting Monday, after our NYC trip! ;) - so I'm going to be a grumpy, starving little bitch for a while, y'all. No more chocolate. No more eating-out mystery shops. No more of my beloved Caffeine-Free Diet Coke. No more spaghetti dinners. Bring on the chicken and beans and gallons of water.


But I can do this!! I'm very good at following doctor's orders. Trying to do something on my own - very difficult for me. Being told by a doctor that I must do something - not a problem. I'm the obedient type, when it comes to authority. I can do this.

After New York. Don't mess with my bagels.


Well, It's Official

I'm officially allergic to acrylic yarn. Okay, I suppose I shouldn't say 'official' since I haven't had an allergen test or anything like that, but I finally figured it out partly through the process of elimination and partly through really paying attention to what I was doing. Whenever I work with it, my wrists and hands break out in a rash and are painfully itchy. I just woke up from a nap on the couch (yeah, at 1:11 AM, just my luck) clutching an afghan I made from acrylic yarn, and now my arms are covered in spots and my hands are just as itchy and swollen as can be. And when I sleep under said blanket without pants on, as I am wont to do, I get the itchy spots all over my torso and legs, too. So, a-ha! I've never had an allergy before. When I was a kid I used to say I was allergic to raisins, because I didn't like them. But this appeared out of the deep blue sky. Oh well, if I have to be allergic to some yarn, I'm glad it's the cheapy stuff - gives me a good excuse to keep visiting the LYS!

Moving right along. Are you all having fun with the giveaways? There are well over 800 now! I'm #603. It's good stuff, too, lots of homemade craftiness from super talented people, some cold, hard cash and lots of gift certificates, a stand mixer, and a plethura of other great finds. All being given away! It's so fun! I've entered a little over 200 of them myself. I hope I win something. *rubbing hands together shiftily*

100_5288 Sophia proudly turning her Oompa-bag inside-out, all by her lonesome

Welp, Barbara came again today, which necessitated my getting out of the house with Sophia, that wascally wabbit. With our new Panera card in hand, we escaped there for lunch first. To the one down the road, which, I know I said we weren't going to do for a while, but hey. I'm a glutton for punishment. And it was jam-packed as usual. I talked to the Manager, who said they haven't had a down minute since they opened. We did find a table right away, though. Much easier to do with two than with five, I should think.  And uninfluenced by the capricious diets of her older siblings, Soap actually ate the entirety of her meal. She's someone who appreciates food. My kind of someone.

100_5293 Then we went to Ewe Knit Kits & Yarn for some fellowship with other knitty ladies. Actually, I brought the ten yarn babies donated from Artyarns to see if they would wind them for me. Nancy, one of my favorites, was there and said instead, she would show me how to do it. Fun! So I wound three balls and was starting the fourth when Andrea, my least favorite, came over and said that was enough, they couldn't do anymore, making up some lame story about not wanting to be sued if my yarn gets messed up. Heh? Since I still had six hanks of yarn to wind with the promise of many more to come, I really had no choice but to get my own swift and ball winder. Swift and who? That's what I'm showing off to you - or rather, Chloë is - in that overly busy office picture above.  It's a lovely new set of overpriced toys that I wasn't expecting to buy so soonly. Now for sure I need to get Rob something decent in the near future, to make up for all my yarnable splurges lately!

100_5294See? The swift and ball winder turn the hanks of yarn from babies into completely usable and sweet little cakes! Can you tell I started with the pink yarn first? My blue ones are wound much more neatly as I got the hang of the things.

Chloë and I went out for a last hurrah of Girl Scout cookie selling. I just do not know why they make these girls go out in the dead of winter like that. Even in Virginia, it's nippy for a 30-lb six-year-old. We sold 17 more boxes - ten to one house - before she was frozen and begging to go back home.  We're still two short of our goal, but 98 is much more dealable than 81, I should think. But we'll still have booth sales, so I think she'll get a patch for that. I just want the patches, man!

Stephernie and Tim came over to play for a little while, to get Steph's hat I made and to borrow a computer cord for her camera (we have the same one). She showed me lovely pictures of her 6mo niece, and Jack was just the silliest little billy imaginable. Two more days until Steph and I take the Odettelettes on a plane ride to NYC! We are beyond excited, but neither of us is remotely ready to go yet.

And that is all.


Booga Bag Giveaway


100_5290_2 100_5291

100_5292I have two Booga Bags to give away. I made these to sell to raise money for our charity, CARE Package, but I never actually got around to selling them.

If you'd like to win, post a comment below and let me know! Be sure to leave your email address. Comments will be open until 5 PM EST Sunday, and a winner will be chosen randomly on Sunday night. Open to US and Canada residents only; need not have a blog to win!

Good luck!

Excellent Mail Day, Jeeves

Watch_cap I am being quite the prolific little knitter lately!  Sometimes I pick up the needles and go to town, other times I get so sick of yarn and don't want to see it. Right now is the first kind of time. I finished Rob's watch cap last night while he was out filling my meds. It's a little big, and I made the smallest size the pattern gives. But not so big that it's funny-looking. I hope. I had him take off his glasses because I kept getting the shinies. Look at those crow's feet! Dude is getting old.

100_5285 So I immediately cast on for the Wisp with my pink cashmere, after debating for days about what to do with my frogged-out yarn. So far, I'm loving it. It's pretty, ain't it? Hopefully I like the end result, because I am not frogging it again! I did a few rows on it here and there today and am enjoying the process. I'm trying to determine whether I'm process-motivated or product-motivated, and I think it's just both, depending on the project. I love the creating and the doing, and I love sitting back and admiring my work. Ah, whatever; that needle is pretty bent.

So today, Jack was off school for planning, which meant bringing him along with me for my last weight and nutrition check before the big appointment on Thursday. The non-twins were very funny today, knocking about in the exam room like human Jezzballs. "What's that? What's that? What's that? What's that?" over and over, not really taking in my answers or even caring whether I did answer, before they were on to the next curiosity. Thankfully, the doc was grandmotherly and had a sense of humor, because she laughed along with me. Especially when Jack said, "Do you have a broken bone, Mommy? Do you have a broken heart?"

She gave me all the bloodwork results for Thursday's tests and surprisingly, I'm quite healthy! Other than the extreme larditude, I mean. No diabetes, my cholesterol is perfect, thyroid is great, heart's functioning well, everything's good - except for iron. I have extremely low iron. "Don'tcha eat meat?" she said. Oops, nope. So she gave me some iron pills and we called it a day. So that probably explains the extreme fatigue I've been dealing with since coming back from L.A. Small wonder.

We came home and had some lunch, watched a little Noggin and did a little knitting, waiting for Big Sis to get off the bus. Then we all had a nap. I could barely keep my eyes open long enough to point the troops upstairs, but I'm pretty sure everyone found their rooms all right.

When Rob came home, he was carrying a box. For me? From Artyarns? Whoopeee! Open it, open it, honeeeeee!100_5283

There were five hanks of this pink ultramerino for little bitty girls, 100_5284 

and five skeins of this blue/tan variegated ultramerino for little bitty boys! Isn't that sweet? They almost look like little babies all wrapped up next to each other by themselves.

And THEN, I asked him to bring in the rest of the mail.100_5287 

First, I noticed this neat little package and snatched it out of his hands as he grumped, "You're so spoiled." It was three cool little handmade, reversible totebags from my pal Visty! I had made her now-one-year-old daughter Ellery a little dress, and she made this for, well, my kids. I was hoping they were mine for grocery shopping, but the picture became clearer when I realized there where three, two with girly prints and one with boyish prints... and when Rob bonked me over the head with, "You know those are for the kids, right?" or some such blather. Rats. They're so cute!  Thanks, Oompa!

And then I got a $10 Panera gift card from MyPoints (ask me if you want a referral) ;) which is always good for a lunch out with the Sophia. Can't beat free Panera money!

That's about it for today's excitement. We had spaghetti for dinner. Sophie took a red marker to the ivory rocking chair and Jack's special blanket. And the ravenous dog, whose food we were out of until extremely recently, kept licking my foot. Oh, sure, go for the porker first. She's got meat to spare.


Heeeere, Aunt Stevie!

100_5275_2I finished your hat, Stepherninie. It's comfy and cozy. I wore it last night around the house. Cooties! I hope you like it. The yarn is really sproingy and soft.

When we go to NYC, and visit the Yarn Co., I'm going to buy some Malabrigo yarn. Or maybe some Koigu. Or Noro? I don't know what for, yet. I expect they'll help me figure it out when we get there. I was planning to have the Yarn Girls sign their book for me, from which I learned to knit, but now I'm thinking about buying a second one of their books so I can at least save that much packing. What to do, what to do...? I have four days to decide.

100_5276 I've also been working on this, Rob's cap for standing watch when it's, as he says, 'colder than a welldigger's ass' outside. It's slowgoing. I'm making it with a very fine strand Filatura Di Crosa Superior, which is mostly cashmere with a bit of silk, alongside a thick strand of Merinos Otto, which is, obviously, merino wool. So very soft. So very frustrating to knit them together. The cashmere keeps wanting to bunch up on the merino, and I'm having a dickens of a time keeping them straight. It only lets me knit about an inch an hour. I'm seven inches in. About five more to go. Oy!

Nothing really new to report on the home front. I'm sick as a dog, so we didn't make our goal of selling 100 boxes of Girl Scout cookies. Rob even went out with Chlo yesterday and helped her sell 11 more, and I sold two boxes during my charity crochet-a-thon (online) this weekend, but we're only up to 75. Fortunately, I just found out it's only our initial order that needs to be put in today, and we can keep selling for a while. And luckily, no other GS have come knockin' on our door yet, so we can still work the home front. Whew!

Edit: We have 81 boxes. Closer...


Strictly Sophie

100_5259Is it wrong to admire my child's body? Sometimes, it's more like covet...

All of the children have a nice physique, but there is something about Sophia's that I wish I had. She has an athletic build. You can't quite tell it from this picture, but the girl is built. She has muscular legs, a nice round rump, a perfect back - and still, a toddler belly. She has the body I wish I had.

When she's not wearing her "ballet," which is darn near all the time, she loves to run around and be naked. Which is great for me, because I have a magnetic attraction to my children's heinies. My sister and I both get that from our maternal grandma. Sophie's has the best squeeze appeal. It smushes and mushes and kneads up well. Fortunately, she seems to enjoy that. I don't know if she'll be letting me squeeze that tush when she's 15, but for now, I like to get two big handfuls and just rub into oblivion. My own little stress ball.

And she is flexible as anything! Some of you know about her ability to lick her own elbows. She still has that, maybe even better than before! She loves to hop and jump, and she squats and sits down in the most unusual, uncomfortable-looking positions. We're definitely going to put her in gymnastics after she's three.

Three! I can't believe it's almost upon us, just three short months away. My baby!


Thank you for the donations! You know who you are - but I don't! What a nice, humbling surprise that was this morning.


Please Help CARE Package!

Parade Magazine is presenting America’s Giving Challenge and awarding $500,000 to charities whose supporters have attracted the most unique donors to their cause using new and innovative online tools.

The 100 nonprofits with the greatest number of total donations made to them through America’s Giving Challenge will each get $1,000.

Please help! We have less than a dollar in our coffers right now, and your $10-minimum donation would help so much. If we made it to $1,000, it would be the most we've ever had by a long shot!  Visit Giving Challenge for more information.  Thanks!


I Found My Shangri-la In A Yarn Store

100_5263 Monday, Rob and the kids were off work and school. We had to get out of the house so Babs could clean. First, we went to the base clinic at Little Creek NAB so I could get the rest of my bloodwork done for next week's drastic bypass consult. [Speaking of which, I don't know what I'm going to do about the kids, because I have to be there from 0800-noon and the kids are going to miss school the next day when we go to NYC, too... hmm. Ideas?] Anyway, so we did that, and then we went to the new Panera for lunch.

OMG, it was so crowded and it was not funny. There was literally nowhere to sit, and these rude, inconsiderate people were just sitting around with their iPods in and laptops on the table and not eating anything!! But it's Panera's policy to let people stick around as long as they want, so we all just stood there staring at people, willing them to get up and move. The same several groups of people were still there when they left. Argh, that irritates me so much. Rude!!! But we finally snagged a table and enjoyed our meal, getting up the instant we were done for the next people. I think we'll hold off on going to that Panera - at least in the busy hours - until the novelty has worn off some!

Since it's right next door to Michael's, of course we had to go there next. I'd seen brads (decorative ones, for scrapping) on sale in the ad - which I'd brought, but lost at Panera, along with my 40% off coupon, hmph - so I wanted to get a bunch of those. I like brads. So multipurpose. So many fun ones. And I needed more ribbon, so I ransacked the dollar bin and came up with ten fun ones.  I strongly eyeballed the eyelets and eyelet setting tools next to the brads, since I don't have either of those, but once again I decided to pass them up. I so want them, but they can wait.

We ran home to see if Barbara was done cleaning so we could put the kids down for naps. She was, but since we were all still hooked up in the car, we decided the heck with it and kept going. We went to the Sears Repair shop so Bobbert could get a new element for the oven. Ours burned out the night before and unfortunately, it was fixable with a new $40 element. Why unfortunately? Duh, because it meant I couldn't get a nice, new appliance! "But we're moving!" Rob kept telling me. Still. Nice and new.

(What would I have done if he were deployed and this happened? I keep asking myself that with every little thing. Like when I need to ball up my tangled yarn, get frustrated and throw it at him. I decided to take him for granted up until the very last minute before he leaves and then learn how to live without him when he's actually gone.)

Finally, we went to the yarn store. Ahhhh, the yarn store. There is a heaven, and this is it.  Even Rob enjoyed going around petting all the nice yarns, and he has no interest in knitting whatsoever. People say, why knit when you can buy clothes? {Why cook when you can go to a restaurant? Why sing when there's the radio?} For the pure enjoyment of doing it and running that soft stuff through your fingers and watching it turn into something useable and beautiful.

Anyway, so. Rob wants a cashmere sweater. Cashmere is dang near $50 a ball. It would require a lot of those little balls to make a sweater, even one his size. Cheaper to buy the sweater, in this case. However, we spent so much time comparing and feeling and rubbing and admiring that cashmere, I could not longer leave the store without buying a smidgen of it for some damn thing. I wanted some of the pink ombré for me, and he had his eye on the black. But what to make??  He decided on a black skull (or "watch") cap that he can wear when he stands watch, which will be super warm and uniform-worthy. I still wanted that pink. Finally I decided to just get the two hanks that were there and decide what to do with it later! That's it, up at the top.

100_5264Rob's cashmere and silk, so soft and fuzzy, Superior from Filatura di Crosa

100_5268 I cast on Monday night for this one-skein shawl, and I finished it today, but I don't like it. It's kind of not pretty, right? It took just over a skein. And I don't know what I'd do with the rest of the second skein. I'm thinking gloves, but there are so many fingerless glove patterns, and I just don't love those. Plus, you have to use double-pointed needles, which I have (thanks to MIL giving me all of her mom's needles!) but have never used, and I'm not sure I want to learn with pure Italian cashmere! So help me decide: should I frog this shawl (rip-it, rip-it, rip-it) and make a new, bigger and lacy and pretty one, or just leave it and enjoy it wrapped around my neck like I did all afternoon? Please vote!

It is amazing, though, this yarn. I am so in love with it. It's literally so soft, you can hardly feel it. Rob agrees with that. So I remembered on Friday night that I never wrote to Artyarns, the maker of this cashmere and the blue ombré supermerino that I'm making that baby boy cardigan out of, to ask for them to donate to CARE Package. And guess what? Guess WHAT?  They said YES!!!! YES! They are going to send me a package. They asked me to tell them what I wanted! I said, "I dare not ask for cashmere" and asked for the supermerino, any colors. Maybe they will see that as the thinly-veiled request that it is and send me some cashmere anyway. ;) Heh heh.

That's really all that's going on around here. Other than the kids going to school and taking Chloë to dance class last night, we haven't done anything at all of note.   We're just anticipating our trip to the Big Apple!

[Confidential to Stephanie: One of my shops from Saturday night got excluded. Email me for details!]


Blast From The Past

100_5239 Chloë and I made this friendship bracelet tonight. Whoa, I haven't done any knot-tying in a lot of years. The girls are trading bracelets tomorrow at her Brownie meeting, and we missed the last one from being in L.A. where they were all taught how to do it, so I had to look online. Oh, yes. This was the way I used to make those hemp bracelets back in college. But then I wanted to go waaay back to about 1986 and remember the fingerloop braiding method I used to do. It took me a while, several tries, and then wham! It all came rushing back to me. Chloë is proudly wearing that bracelet in bed right now, and this beaded one is what she'll trade tomorrow. She's so excited about it! As am I; bracelet tying can be so much fun, and it was really sweet making them together.

I'm getting excited about our little jaunt to NYC, although I'm disappointed once again to be traveling without my spouse. It'll be fun to go with the kids and Steph, who's never been, and see things anew through their eyes. I haven't been since I was 15 or so - maybe younger - so more than half my life ago. I did see the Statue of Liberty when I was in grad school and going for a week on the Jersey Shore with my friends. It will be interesting seeing the Big Apple from an adult perspective.  My dad always drove us everywhere when we went in, or my grandparents if I was with them, so I really do not know my way around as I should (having been there many times). And I've never taken the bus or the subway there. That's one of the goals of this trip. Priorities, for me: Sign the contract. Do the photo shoot. Conquer the subway. See Times Square. Have real NYC pizza and bagels. Go to the Yarn Co., home of the Yarn Girls, who wrote the book from which I painstakingly learned to knit five years ago, and buy some luxurious yarn. Maybe see a show? Steph - maybe you should make a list too, so we can see how our ideals stack up!

The price of the Amtrak tickets jumped way up from yesterday to today, so instead of riding the train, we're going to fly. It will save us about 8 hours of confinement with the kids, but I was looking forward to it. I love taking the train. It's so romantic! 

Enough about that.

Today, I felt like shit. Literally. You get my drift? Diorama, anyone? So I canceled Barbara, who was supposed to clean today, and rested on my laurels in my slovenly house. It sucked. I wanted a clean house. But I hadn't done the pre-cleaning cleaning and was in no shape to do it. Rob finally came home, and he was oh-so-tired, but naptime was not in the cards. We had to go to the mall so I could do mystery shops at Old Navy and Yankee Candle, and then it was eating-out night. Jade-free night. We decided to go to Moe's. Welcome to Moe's!

First, I did the candle shop. I didn't even know we had a YC shop here in town. Oh, what smells. I only had a $5 limit, so I had to find just the right things. And I did, but I didn't. I can't remember the scent I liked - Sicilian Orange, maybe? I think it was - but that one doesn't come in tea lights, which I wanted. Suck. So I got some votives on sale in apple and pumpkin and "frosted cedar wreath," and they actually smell good together when I open the back, stick in my face, and inhale deeply.

Then we went to Old Navy. Well, first we stopped at my new favorite candy shoppe and got my favorite favorites, coconut chocolates, and then we went to Old Navy. The thing about those chocolates is, I love them to death. But now Rob likes them, too. And so do the kids. It's not fair! Like your own things! Copycats.

And my, my, my, darn near everything at ON was 75% off. Hello! I had to spend $40, and you can get a lot of shit for $40 at 75% off at Old Navy. We bought three huge bags of clothes, some for all five of us. I hate to buy scarves, hats and mittens when I perfectly capable of making some rather nice ones myself, but for 99 cents (where is the 'cents' code when I need it? Bugger!), you can't beat it. I got some coats and shirts, the girls got some cute shirts, Jack got jammies he picked out - cars, of course - and some cute shorts, and Robert, well, he got gloves and underpants. Six different pairs of Christmas boxers. Who cares? They do the job. Oh, and socks. And those scarves and such. We made out. I could probably go back and do some serious damage, which is why we're going to put that thought right out of our heads and not think anymore about it. But you can go. 75% off, man!

Then we went to Moe's. As usual, Jack kept bemoaning the state of his empty hungry belly, and we thought for sure, he was going to eat. He even said he wanted the damn quesadilla. But no, when it came time to eating, he would chew up a bite and then cry and refuse to swallow it, showing it to me and you and God and everyone else. I get pissed and order him to swallow, Rob coddles him and is turning him into a spoiled brat who will only go to Daddy because he knows Daddy will take care of everything for him, and nothing gets accomplished. So the food gets spit out into a napkin, nothing goes in his fricking belly, and we all just sit there and stare at each other, wondering what to do next. I'm frustrated as hell with it. Sometimes he will eat, but NOT if you watch him do it. Jack's actual eating must not be acknowledged or it will stop on the spot. "Tear it up into little tiny pieces," I urged Rob. He did, and we coaxed, and encouraged, and finally, one by one, they went into the mouth. I think they were swallowed. I didn't see them go anywhere else. He ate the whole thing (the 'whole thing,' mind you, being just one slice out of a four-slice kids' size quesadilla), and we broke into applause and let him have half a cookie. I'm sure we are going about everything exactly the wrong way, but we have tried everything under the sun, and he is still no bigger than a witch's thumb. At nearly five years old, he weighs 22 pounds. And, wow. I have rambled on about this a whole lot longer than I meant to - which was not at all - but sometimes you just need to get it out!

I think I'm done. Time to sort coupons and make some sort of a plan to get groceries in this house.


On The Road Again...

100_5233_2 This is the the remnants of a sliced apple snack (with cinnamon sugar) Sophia had today. Can you see? She eats the meat and leaves the peels behind. She eats lots of her food Sophialy - for doughnuts with sprinkles or chocolate on top, she'll go around the top and nibble that all off, leaving the bottom carcass full of crescent-shaped bite marks. Just one more thing to love about that kid.

100_5192 Here's a "memory pillow" I made for a charity called TAPS. It's this month's charity for the crochet group I belong to; CARE Package will be coming up later in the year.  Which is good, because supplies are down.  This took about three hours and was a refreshing break from all the knitting I've been doing lately. Plus it was a good way to use up the bag of fiberfill I've had sitting around for ages. I might make another one, with the reverse colors. Haven't decided yet.

Manhattan2 So, in about two weeks, we're headed to Manhattan! I talked and talked with the agent at MMG in New York City today, and we got all of our issues ironed out and things look great. We need to go there and sign the contract and the next day, Chloë will have a professional modeling photo shoot done, to build her portfolio. Hair and make-up and wardrobe will all be done for us, which is good, so I won't have to lug her entire closet there just to have them pick one or two things out. Stephanie is coming, and Rob is not. Boo! But he can't afford to take any more days off, or our cruise will be in jeopardy. (Not boo to Stephanie coming, of course - that will be fun!) We're going to take the train up there, because I do not want to drive in the city, and I'm still working on finding a hotel room that's not either (a) $250+ a night or (b) an open dorm hostel-type thing. I might be up for that if it was just me and Rob, but not with three little kids! Hopefully we'll have time to take in some sights and we'll definitely have to eat some real NYC pizza and bagels!

Chloë had ballet today, so I made sure to go in and thank Darlene, the studio director, for sponsoring  her trip to iPOP. I told her all about Chloë's successes and the promises of things to come, and she was so pleased for her.

That's all, folks! Eebity eebity eebity. I know that's backward. Whatever!



Today, the mail brought Chloë's clothes that I left behind in the hotel room when we overslept and I had to drag her out of bed and put her on the plane in her pj's. It was the iPOP souvenir shirt that all the performers signed for her, so I was so chagrined at LAX when I realized it was still in the drawer along with her undies and jeans. We still have one student left to sign it, so I'm glad it's back in our hot little hands.

Note to Oompa: Pleeeeaaaaase tell me how to take a picture so that the foreground is in focus and the background isn't? I did it once, but I don't know what I did, and I've been unable to reproduce it. I want to take cool pictures of stuff, too! And btw, what's the next step on our quilted squares?

It was freezing this morning when I put Chloë on the bus for her first day back to school. What a long break that was. Remember that guy, Robert, who I renamed something else? Craig, that's it. Robert-not-Craig and I talked about our holidays and his son who's in the military and our adventures in L.A., at the bus stop and on the way back to our respective houses. I had a point for bringing him up, but now I forget.

I put Jack on the bus and then ran into a shower before Jadey got here. I was still running late and had to throw on my clothes as I ran down the stairs, hair sticking every which way, when the doorbell rang. Sophie and I got dressed lickety-split, and then we went to my dr. appointment. I told him about not being able to wake up fully for the past week, the headaches and dizziness, and he thought it was just from traveling and jet lag. For a whole week?!! That's kind of a long time, so he wants me to go in for a full check-up. Meh. I probably won't. Have to do that soon for the drastic bypass anyway. Ooh, speaking of which, I have to remember to do one last blood test after a fast. Remind me Wednesday when Jadey's not here!

So then we drove over to Michael's to get the embroidery floss and beads for the friendship bracelet that "Chloë" has to make (psht, right) for trading at Brownies on Thursday. I saw much signage trumpeting the now-openness of the new Panera and just had to go in for lunch. I recognized a lot of the employees from the other Paneras around. Lunch was good. The place was hoppin'. They don't quite have everything down pat yet, but I'm sure they will when we go in next. Week.

We picked up our crafty things next door, taking care not to turn our heads to the right our left and get inspiration for some other crafty thing that would invariably cost a lotta money, and then we went to the bank. For the second time, since I went last night and found the depository not working. And what? It's closed again. Argh!! I would've driven down to the next branch, but I had to get home for Jack.

By the time we got home, I was feeling the annoying overwhelming drowsiness again. I sat down. Jack came home. Chloë came home. And soon, thankfully, Rob came home, and we put Jadey and the kids down for a nap, and I took one myself. I'm glad it was a short one. Lately, I'd been asleep more than awake, and it's frustrating to lose that much time.

I talked to the agents in L.A. today. I think they're getting annoyed with me calling, but so what. They never answered my question about exclusivity on Friday, and I need to know before we sign with NYC and Orlando. I called NYC again today and still haven't heard back. I'm hoping we can get that contract straightened out and then go up for maybe MLK day for a signing. Don't know why I can't just sign it and mail it to them like L.A. but whatever. Hey, trip to New York! We're hoping to take Stephanie-babysitter along and make a fun deal out of it. And maybe her husband. And maybe mine. Depending. He can't take any more days off though, or he won't have enough for the cruise, and you know I'm not missing that!

Well, that's all. I have cat litter to vacuum up.


Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are!

I am not feeling myself lately. I just can't seem to fully wake up since we got home, not for long anyway, and I'm so dizzy and tired and headachy. Someone suggested to me that I get checked for mono... I don't know. Even though my dosages haven't changed, I'm feeling overmedicated. But I see the doc on Monday and will discuss it with him then.

Other than that, things are still busy and overwhelming regarding Chloë's stuff. I had an entertainment lawyer look over her contracts, and he like the L.A. one but told me to run and hide from the NYC one. The same things he pointed out had bothered me, so at least my instincts were right. I'm hoping I can get a different sort of contract out of them, or else we'll go elsewhere, but we're not sure if the L.A. people are going to make us be exclusive with them, anyway. It's very confusing.

Girl Scout cookie sales started today! Does anyone want to order some from Chloë? She's already sold 21 boxes without leaving the house - to her mom and dad. Hey, it's my kid, or else we'd have bought maybe six! Seriously, let me know if you want and I'll give you the deets. Tomorrow we'll start tramping about door to door, once again. Didn't we just do that? I guess it was September, but it seems like it was last week.

Nothing else really to report.  The pink-eye seems to be fading fast, which is very good. None of the kids got it. I'm not sure that's really what it was. Good.



More good news from iPOP!

When we were in L.A. doing the meet-and-greets with all the agents and management companies, the agent from MMG (Model Management Group) in NYC chased us down after we left their table, to get more information from us. Well, they just called Chloë's acting school a little while ago to get in touch with us. We got the message and called in. The guy was very New York, very different from L.A. "Yeah, we want to work with Chloë, can you get to New York? Okay, email me some head shots. Thanks, bye." Very short, very terse, but very good!!

This is so exciting!!!


You Turn My Brown Eyes Pink

I have pink-eye. Loverly. So when Jade came today, I could not open my eyes. They were matted shut and I felt like I'd been punched in the right one. When Jack came home from school, we brought her home, and Rob took me to the ER to find out what was going on and get some meds (since I couldn't get an appointment at my clinic). Yep, pink-eye. Is *any* eye infection going to be labeled as conjunctivitis? Because I don't know anyone with pink-eye, and I know it's because I wore my contacts last night...

Anyway, how y'all doin'? We came home Tuesday night. After such an inauspicious start, the trip really turned around and was quite successful for us! I have so much to do, so many people to contact and follow up with, papers to fill out, etc. and have just been exhausted and feeling like poo. So frustrating, that bit, but it's exciting thinking about all that we have ahead of us! For starters, I need to get Chloë a California Work Permit, which her school has to sign and approve for her to fly out for auditions and work whenever we get called up. We're now trying to figure out when and how to move out there, which is causing us some consternation thanks to Rob's being in the military. Anyone want to move with us? Seriously?

She's the only child in her age group that came home with a contract in her hand, from iPOP. She ended up winning three awards total for her acting! Most kids had one or two callbacks, and she had twelve!  I'm so proud of how well she did, for being so young and little and for starting out feeling like doodyballs. When I told her how proud I was after she did her scene, she gushed, "Awww, and I'm so proud of you for just sitting there and watching me!"  Funny kid.

Here are the pictures from her trip, if you would like to see!

100_5172 We had a really fun time out there, and she cried when it was over and time to go back. Twice. Daddy met her at the airport with roses, and a little boy came up to her and gave her a dozen silver helium balloons, so she was just walking on air when we got into the van to go home.  Oh! and when The Tots saw her, they ran up to her, screaming her name, and she ran to them, and they all stopped and hugged each other tightly. It was the sweetest, mostly loving thing. Then Sophie and Jack saw me and ran to me, and I realized how much I had missed them so. And then I got to Rob, and it felt so good to be back in his arms. It's going to be rough being apart, if we move and he stays behind. Rough, rough, rough.

It's funny what a difference a week makes. Both Jack and Sophia looked plumper than I'd remembered. And they are such funny kids! [The agent wants me to bring them in, too. Too bad Jack is twinless, or he'd (they'd)have tons of work of his own.] Sophia says so many funny things, over and over, and is just such a comical baby, and Jack is just so Jack! I love my babies. It's so good to be back with them.

Last night was Bunco night. Drunko Bunko. We had a really fun time. I just love the camaraderie, the screaming and yelling and shouting and laughing. It's just once a month, but it really gives me a boost. And crappy Carolyn wasn't there, whom none of us can stand, which made it even better! Stephanie came over afterward until 0100, and she and Rob and I laughed and gabbed and ... laughed some more. I'm going to miss my Bunco group when we go!

...Chloë just had a bad dream and is complaining of an upset tummy. Must go!


Hey Y'all!

Well, today was a much better day!  It didn't start out that way. We were supposed to get up wicked early to go talk to all the agents, but Chloë's tummy wasn't feeling good, and I wasn't going to push her. And then I started coughing up blood. No good. So we stayed in the room and rested.

Finally, we felt better and took a cab over to the other hotel instead of waiting around in the rain for the shuttle. We didn't get much time to talk to  all the agents (and managers and casting directors and what have you), but we met with some and ALL of them wanted to work with Chloë. They want us to move to L.A., they want us to move to Orlando, they want us to move to NYC...! So we're trying to figure out wth we're going to do next. Tomorrow we'll be callbacks, so we'll find out more information then.

Then tonight was the awards ceremony and dinner. Chloë won an award for being in the TOP TEN for acting, out of a huge - HUGE - room full of kids!! The 'award' was a dog tag that says "iACT TOP TEN" (the top four get trophies). None of the other little girls from our group won, so we are working really hard on bringing her giant head back down to size and understanding about winning and not winning and hurt feelings and all that.

Welp, we have to get up early again, so we've got to get to bed! Ciao!

Greetings from L.A.

Hey, y'all. I'll probably keep this short, as I'm sooper exhausted, and we have to get up early again tomorrow.

Chloë's acting bug was derailed yesterday by a stomach bug that sent her to the hospital with severe dehydration from all the vomiting and poopying she was doing, for about 12 hours straight. It was bad. She was just lying there, listless and miserable, and she missed her auditions completely. We went to one, and she puked right outside the door, so I took her 'home'. At first I thought it was nerves, and I was quite grumpy about it, and then I was stressed not knowing what to do, and we were both in tears, and it was just plain AWFUL. She was so very thirsty, later on, and everytime I'd give her a drop of anything to drink, it would come right back up. I knew it was more than just nerves, or traveling, or missing Daddy. So an ambulance was called, and one of the Directors of her acting school rode along with us, and we ended up at Cedars-Sinai. I tried to find Britney Spears' bald head, but she wasn't to be found in the ER!

Anyway. Today, she's doing so much better. We went to her monologue audition first, and while she left out a big chunk of it, she delivered well the parts that she did remember, and she just kept on going like I told her to do if she messed up. That was good.  Then she did her scene with another of the older actors, and she nailed it. It was perfect, the best I've ever seen her do it. I told her what a great job she did, and she said, "Awww, and you did a great job just sitting there watching me!"  Some of the agents asked her questions and wrote notes, which was a really good sign.

Then we went back to the hotel room so I could give her a quick bath to make her curls bounce back to life, and we went down again so she could redo the commercial audition that she missed from yesterday. Well, she finally got up on the stage and completely forgot which thing she was supposed to be doing. I looked at the directors, and they looked at me, and I stood up and shouted, "Do your Campbell's Soup commercial, Chloë!" So she started right away and delivered it too quickly and without any hand motions, but at least she got through it! And they still thought she was adorable and asked for extra head shots and her age and stuff.

So tomorrow we go back eeeaaarrrrlllyyyy to start networking with all the agents, going from table to table and introducing her and giving head shots out. We'll do some seminars in the afternoon - or not, if we're too tired. I'd like to get some sightseeing in, but I don't know how without spending a couple hundred bucks! No, thank you. I just really want to see the 'Hollywood' sign!

Ruby - did you get my email? Call me if you want to meet up! I don't know when I'll get to check email again so use my cell.


The Final Countdown

1: New Year's Day

2: Our Seventh Anniversary

3: Leave for Los Angeles

There's a bit of a whirlwind going on in my mind right now as I try to plan for our day tomorrow (Jack goes back to school, a lunch shop at Gordon Biersch and two at Dunkin Donuts, dinner and a movie with Rob, and lots of PACKING) and think of everything I need for our trip to L.A. Cell phone. Camera. For God's sake, don't forget the head shots and résumés! Knitting and magazine for the plane. Audition clothes. Party clothes. Oh yeah, clothes for me. Bathing suit? No time to swim. And on and on. Right, and we still have to practice her bits. She's got them down. Nothing to worry about there. Tomorrow she'll perform for Stephanie.

Oh, before I forget, if anyone wants to see, Chloë and all the other performers from across the nation are on here. Click on "iPOP! Directory" and then "Submit" in the new window. She's in the Virginia Beach school - which drives me nuts, since the school is really in Chesapeake. She's definitely one of the cuties!

That's about it. I am not feeling well and have slept much of the day, hoping I will be feeling 100% when it's time to step on that plane.

I'm nervous and excited!


Happy New Year!

Happy 2008, everybody! I hope there is happiness, joy and love in the coming year for all of you.

As for us, we just had an argument about which towel to use to dry the melted ice that dripped all over the floor after Rob left it on the counter from making piña coladas. I dropped the bag of cat food and split. It's all good. We'll be back to smooching in no time.

We kept the kids up until midnight this time. Usually we wake them up just in time to see the ball drop, bang pots and pans, and get some snackies. For the hell of it, we did it different this year. Chloë especially was very excited about the whole "midnight" thing. She kept saying how she's always this and she's always that at midnight. We watched Noggin until 11:45, which kept the kids' rapt attention and drew them away from crabbiness. We noshed on appetizers and ice cream cake (don't ask), and then we all went outside with our noisemakers and created a big hoopla. No one else was out there, but far away there were some fireworks. I always wonder if our neighbors hate us and think we're weird when we do that, but I think it's weird not to, so there!

100_5052 I worked my tush off on finishing this by midnight, and I almost made it. Note the dates in the pictures! This baby actually rather enjoyed 'her sweater' but I made her stop dancing around in it long enough to take the shot, hence the long face. And yeah, she did cut her bangs very recently, so ignore that... I really ought to make more things for my children. They really seem to like wearing them. Maybe in the spring I will take a break and switch gears for a while. Or the summer. Or the fall...

100_5053_2 Here it is, pre-felting and cleaned up, with all the little ends sewn in. It's as soft as anything here, and in the close-up, full screen picture, the stitches look really wonderful. One of the ladies I met in Ewe Knit (the LYS I've been frequenting lately) hates the idea of felting because she loves to see her stitches. After this jacket, I really know what she is talking about!

100_5054 And here it is afterward, mucho mas pequeño, with the buttons that Assistant Director Rob selected. It's pretty stiff, and the whole shape of the garment changed, and I lost the roll-edge detail. I was actually hoping that last part would happen, because I sewed one sleeve on backward and didn't feel like fixing it! I like it, but I wouldn't do it (felt a garment) again anytime soon!

So what do you think: is this male, female, or unisex? Please vote in the comments and settle our disagreement.

And now, I think I need to see an allergist, because I am pretty sure this very bad, red, itchy rash I've been getting is from wool, of all things. DAMMIT!!