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Entries from May 2008

No Dice

100_6638_2 The tulips I sent myself for Mother's Day

I've been "off" the past couple of days, since Dr. Pal stepped me down on one of my meds to see if it's behind this allergic rash I've been having. I've been dizzy and overly tired. Yesterday, I nearly fell asleep driving home from Chloë's ballet class, and I did fall asleep in the car as soon as we pulled into the driveway. Jack was snoozing right along with me, while the girls patiently waited in their carseats. I even left the car running for the entire half hour, horror of horrors. Finally, the neighbor came knocking on my window to see if I was all right and to help me carry the children into the house. It was a bit embarrassing, but I just told her it was because of some medication I'm taking. She knows all about my surgery so probably thought it was something to do with that.

Anyway, today was about the same. Dizzy and terribly sleepy. I've managed to get the kids off to school on time all week, so at least there's that. Today, Sophia and I mostly snuggled, read a couple stories, and did a little laundry.

100_6633 Oh, speaking of laundry, I got my Soapnuts in the mail today from Laundry Tree! This bag full of soapnuts will wash at least 300 loads of laundry - not bad for $30. I bought the Ocean Breeze essential oil to scent our laundry with, and Laundry Tree gave me two extra sample bags (with 8 soapnuts each - that will do up to 16 loads!) and four extra drawstring bags free! I love these soapnuts because they really do get the clothes clean and fresh-smelling, and the best part? No waste! You just throw the used up nuts outside and they completely biodegrade. I'm definitely a convert, and I hope you'll try them, too! You can order the sample size for just a few bucks off their site, to try them out.

I eventuallly made it off my arse to go upstairs and shower and get ready for Bunco. It's the one night a month anymore I actually blow-dry my hair and put on make-up. Gotta look good for the ladies! I grabbed my pasta salad and headed out, kissing my babies goodbye.

Bunco was tons of fun, as usual. Everyone welcomed me back, and I was so excited to see them, after having surgery the same day the group last met. They were all so nice, asking how I was feeling, if everything was taken care of, etc. I'm so glad to have such a caring group of friends. We had three people missing tonight, so it was a little tricky to play, but we managed. I didn't win any prizes, but no surprise there. I had the most losses and still lost the prize for that (to a tie)! We decided I would host the July Bunco so that I can bring back cool prizes from Europe. Should be interesting; I hope I find good stuff.

Zat's about all, my friends. I think I'm going to go sit and knit on my cotton stripey blanket for awhile. I haven't touched it in ages, so its time has come.


Hot Damn!!!!!


I am literally jumping up and down. Okay, I was, before I sat down here.

The most unexpected letter came in the mail today: Chloë is gifted!!!!! She is going to start receiving 'gifted' services at school!!!!!!!!


We've always known she was a smahty. I've just been so worried that that hasn't translated well at school. Hot damn!  I feel like we just won the lottery!

{Of course, there is something nagging at the bag of my head (LMAO, I'm keeping that typo in), asking me why this matters to me so much. I don't know whether it should, but it does, and I'm freaking excited, and I'm not going to defend that.}



Name Meme

As you can see, I don't much feel like sleeping today, so I'm doing this meme I saw at Craft Apple. I like tagging myself. It's so not pathetic. Hee.

M is for medicine. I take a lot of it. I'm bipolar and take four different meds to keep myself under control. I have absolutely no qualms about sharing that with the general public, because I hate that there is such a stigma still attached to mental illnesses, when it's no more my 'fault' than diabetes or lupus is for someone else. I take other meds as well, but this is the one I wanted to discuss openly here and on an ongoing basis.

E is for enthusiasm. I'm a pretty enthusiastic person. I sometimes wonder if I'm just an exciteable person or if it's the manic part of being bipolar. I think I'm just that way, because I'm on a pretty even keel now that I'm taking Abilify for the mania. Like Chloë said, I 'smiel' a lot, and my most prized award was receiving "Class Giggler" in third grade. I just really like what I really like, and I want everyone else to like it, too. I don't even know if I'm getting my point across here!

L is for lazy. In my baby book, my mother said I was a bit on the lazy side, and I still am to this day. I'm not much of a do-it-yourselfer: I hire someone to clean my house, I'm strongly considering hiring someone to weed my garden, and I often try to devise ways to get out of things I should be doing. I'm so not proud of that, and I work incessantly to try and overcome it, but it is what it is.

A is for allergies. This should come as no surprise to anyone who's been reading here for a while, but I am suddenly allergic to everything. I'm on a quest now to find out if there's an underlying culprit - everything I'm told and read points to an autoimmune disorder.

N is for new. I love anything new. I like traveling to new places, I like living in a new home, I like getting new office/knitting/scrapping/you-name-it supplies. This brings back "excitement" because I literally lose sleep being overjoyed over any new thing or experience, future or current.  "Change" should be my middle name.

I is for ice cream. What else? My grandfather's proudest accomplishment, he would say, is teaching my sister and me how to eat ice cream. He was big on his butter pecan (do they even make that anymore?) but my favorites are chocolate peanut butter and mint chocolate chip. My birthday is not complete without an ice cream cake, and I'm trying my best to make sure my kids feel the same way. Rob's a dud - he likes plain chocolate cake with no frosting - but if my kids grow up enjoying the frozen treat as much as I do, it would make me and their great-grand so pleased!

E is for emotional. I've been told by a reliable source that I feel all of my emotions more strongly than the average person. I hurt deeper, I get angrier, I love harder, I fear intensely. I've always thought myself a bit of a crybaby, which is annoying, but I also frequently laugh until my guts hurt, and I guess it evens out.

Wow. That was harder to do than I thought it would be. If you read this and want to play along, consider yourself tagged! Just let me know if you do in the comments, so I can go and read it.


WFMW: Reading Cop-Out

Wfmwsmall I'll admit, although I try, I don't always have (make?) time to sit and read to my little ones every day.

So I solve this problem by having my six-year-old, who is a new reader, sit with her 3yo sister and 5yo brother and read their stories to them. They all love it! It helps her develop her reading skills, it gives the children great bonding sibling time, and it still does the job of helping the smaller ones develop their vocabulary.

Ideally, it would be me, but honestly, I enjoy watching this sweetness so much, sometimes I purposely don't make time just for the sheer pleasure of observing it!


Validation or Group Insanity?

So I was just reading a blog where the writer told of having recurrent dreams about not being on time for a college class, or not remembering which building it's in, and bam! That struck a chord with not just me, but several of her commenters. And another commented that she frequently dreams about forgetting her school locker combination. That's me, too! A third thing I frequently dream is not being able to find my punch card to punch in at work (as a cashier), or forgetting the codes for produce, or forgetting my secret register code and not being able to use my register at all...

I think it's stress. But it's good to know I'm not alone in dreaming these things!

What about you? Do you have similar dreams of long-ago forgetfulness?


Geek In The Pink

100_6619So this is the pink set to which I was referring last night - I couldn't find it on the blog, but I'm quite certain I've posted about it before, right? Anyway, this is the set that the Saartje booties completed. (Look, Steph - same buttons! Eight buttons that matched!)

Welp, I woke up on time - early, actually - to get Chloë up, dressed, fed, and on the bus. Yay! One small victory for Smellankind.

I was going to snooze before I had to get Jack up, but I was actually wide awake. What? Enough sleep, after snoozing all Mother's Day? We're sleepers here, I tell you. We're sleepers.

Good thing, though, because Jack woke up earlier than usual and came downstairs to sit with me during Ellen. He started asking about Robby and God again (he's got this jealousy thing against God having Robby and keeps trying to insist they're not twins and shouldn't be together, poor thing), and he wanted to see pictures of his twin. So I sat him on my lap and we looked at the pictures on the CARE Package site, first the two of them together in my belly, and then Robby all hooked up to tubes and monitors in the NICU.

He asked all about the tubes and what each one was for, and about Robby dying and stuff. And then he wanted me to scroll down and show him more pictures. Of course, the very next ones were of himself in the NICU, also hooked up to many tubes. He looked at me for a moment, frightened, and asked, "Did I died too?" And it made me feel something for him that I have not felt since he was in the NICU, the time I was sitting next to him and he started desatting after Robby died, and I freaked out and ran away, terrified I was going to lose him, too. So today, on my knee, I kissed his soft cheek and rubbed his sweet head, whispering to him how much I loved him and how happy I was to be his mommy.

It was a good moment.

And then he asked for breakfast.

So we did that, and I made his lunch and got him bundled up for school. It was another cold, wet, stormy day. What, is this not May?! In Virginia?!!! Come on, weather! Shape up!

After he hopped on his bus, while I was reading emails, I heard Sophia wake up upstairs. So I brought her a banana to eat while I was in the shower, getting ready for my appointment with that nasty Dr. Pal, who isn't mine. Pal. Get it? Ugh, I can't stand him. He's so unpleasant. But, he's in charge of my meds and literally keeps me sane, so we must deal with him.

As usual, at his office, I instructed Sophia to stay in her chair and keep quiet. She usually does very well, and today was not bad. She hopped into my lap, though, and chatted away, sweetly asking toddler questions while he wrote out all my scripts. He actually looked up and smiled at her, wonder of wonders, and commented that she kept me busy with her curiosity. Then he went back to his disdainful glare, which he usually carries when there is a small child (of mine) in his midst.

Leaving the building, Sophia asked for a Panera sandwich for lunch. Um, hm, let me think about it for a mi... okay, yes! Panera it shall be! She knows it's my weak spot, little devil. It was pouring when we drove the couple of blocks over there, so instead of taking her out in the yuck, I called my best friend, Dr. Lisa, to pick her brain about all the allergic reactions I'm having lately, since Pal was no help (other than thinking it's one of my meds). She didn't know either but is at least willing to look it up, and it was good to talk to her and hear about her Mother's Day with her two little cuties.

The rain wasn't letting up, so we finally went for it and dashed in. Sophie was so cute in her purple raincoat and blond hair that curls up when it's wet. She had her usual grilled cheese, and I my usual tuna and broccoli soup, and we giggled and talked and smooched our way through lunch. She's such a pleasure to spend a day with!

Oh, cute quote: At the drink station, Soapy saw the container of sliced lemons and said, "Can I have an orange? I mean, a yellow?" Hee.

Back at home, chores awaited, so we spent an hour and change doing laundry while we awaited Jack's return from preschool. Normally I let them watch a PBS show when he comes home, before nap, but she was rubbing her eyes and yawning. I put her down a little early, and she curled right up and went to sleep practically before I shut the door.

Jack came home and, not seeing his sister, asked me if he could go wake her up. As if she'd been in her room the whole time he was gone, ha ha! I gave him a quick snack and then sent him upstairs for quiet time. He seemed only too happy to go, for once. Tired kids! When Chloë came home, I gave her the choice of resting or starting homework. She chose rest, too. Yay, nap time for me! I was sooooo sleepy by then. Guess I didn't have quite enough sleep to make it through the day, after all.

100_6621   Chlo came down a long while later, so I got up to help her with her homework. This picture is before we got to the math part; then there was much clenching of jaw and gnashing of teeth. Actually, tonight's wasn't so bad. She seems to understand rudimentary fractions a bit better than monetary stuff.

100_6622While the rest of the family ate dinner (of which I couldn't partake, because I had lunch instead of a Slim-Fast shake, and I'd already had my dinner shake), I watched Dancing with the Stars and crocheted this onesie to complete yet another package for donation.

100_6624This is the set it completes. The blue is slightly off, but it looks better in real life than in the picture, I think.

I watched The Bachelor while I organized a bunch of loose patterns into my binder, choosing a pattern for one last set I'm going to complete tonight before donation.

Ohmigosh, did any of you watch that? Were you completely stunned he didn't choose Chelsea? I totally thought she was the one! That didn't stop me from crying my eyes out during his proposal to Shayne, though!

'At's about it for tonight. Are y'all having better weather than we are?



Confession time: I think I'm giving up on the CPAP. I can't DO it! It's messed up, I think. It's hard to breathe now with it on, and I still can't sleep on my back, and I just hate it, hate it, hate it.  I haven't slept with it on in at least four nights, maybe more.

I know. Bad.

Okay, okay, I won't give up on it completely - I'll call the medical supply people and see if I can bring it in and make some adjustments.

But I won't be thrilled about it, oh, no, no!


I'm starting to rethink shutting down CARE Package. I just don't know, now. Since I made my little "announcement," I have heard from three people (who don't read my blog) who have made me realize just how important and necessary such a program is for them. I know it does good in the world. I know it does me good.

Oh well, I guess I have many moons to think about it. And I will do so.

Gah. Decisions, decisions.  Well, I'm going to put them all on the back burner right now. It's time for Ellen.


Mother's Day

Ohhh, I can't brag about what a wonderful day I had with my family today, because I didn't. Not that I had a bad day with my family, but it was mostly solitary. As in, snoozing and napping. On the couch. It's almost midnight, and I'm still in my pajamas.

Rob woke up around 0400 this morning to hang out with me and try on his new sock:

100_6615 As you can see, it's a little lose in the ankular area, as he is a skinny, skinny boy, and I followed the Yarn Harlot's (aka Stephanie Pearl-McPhee) basic sock recipe for women. We're hoping it'll firm up some after a spin in the washer. And not felt. I don't have any plans right now to start the second sock, but I'm planning to get it done at least before we go to Europe! I really do like the colors in it, though, and fortunately, so does the new owner.

100_6616 After that excitement, I knit yet another pair of Saartje's booties, this time to match the pink set I made a while back.  I just tried to do a search for it, and apparently I never posted it on here?!  I will have to do that tomorrow... my shower is calling me.

Anyway, we were still wide awake at 0700, so Rob went out and picked up some (drumroll) Panera for us for breakfast. And lunch. He bought cinnamon rolls (eh, not hugely impressed) and sandwiches (always stellar) for us. The kids woke up many hours later and wondered where theirs were. Sorry, children, you snooze, you lose!

Shortly after, with the Sunday paper on my lap and a full belly, I finally fell asleep and did not wake up until well into the afternoon. This does not bode well for the coming week, but I'm hoping we'll do all right.  Rob was upstairs with the kids, keeping quiet, even though I implored him not to let me sleep all day! Oy. So I woke up and was checking my email when they came tiptoeing down the stairs, Rob shushing them all the way. I tiptoed into the kitchen myself and shushed them even louder, which made the babies laugh.

It was pouring and cold and miserable all day today, but there was a monster truck rally on the beach I wanted them to go to - both for Jack's sake and mine! Call me cold-hearted, but I love having quiet time on Mother's Day to myself. And Jack really does love his cars and trucks, so I hated for them to miss it. They quickly bundled up into warm clothes and headed down to the beach.

What did I do? Well... I had my usual grand plans. Today's included taking a shower (not done), finishing all the laundry (nope), finishing getting out all the spring/summer children's clothes (nyet) and doing a little grocery shopping (uh-uh). Instead, I sat back down on the couch "for a minute" to read a little more newspaper, and the next thing I know the evening was fully upon us, and Rob was waking me up, asking me what I wanted for dinner.

You see, he had tried to do the right thing. Only, he never quite thinks of it on time. I had told him long, long ago that I wanted a great big basket of tulips from a real florist - but he only went yesterday to Walmart to get me a bunch of roses. Hm. So I went on and bought them for myself. They'll be here Tuesday, and I don't care how pathetic it is, I want a bunch of tulips! And he made reservations for Mother's Day dinner, but not in time, so he had to make them for Saturday night. Only I was annoyed about the not thinking ahead, and the flowers, so I refused to go, because I am a huge bitch like that. (Plus I really wasn't in the mood to go to the sushi place.)

So, I thought about what I wanted, and I bashfully informed him that I wanted (drumroll) Panera for dinner! Again! All tuna, all the time! He gave me that "oh, you" look, threw on some clothes, and headed out.

BRRRRRRINNNNGGGG! Rang the phone. Panera's out. It's closed. How about Subway? Ugh. All right. BRRRRRRINNNNNNNG! Subway's closed. Um, Wendy's? Crap. All right.

So I had a crappy tough, dry grilled chicken sandwich for my Mother's Day dinner. I don't really care, though. I don't know why, but I'm not overly sentimental about this day. If I had a mother to call up and talk to, or spend the day with, or even argue with, for Pete's sake, it might mean more to me... perhaps I should get over it, though. I have had four beautiful children, and three shining faces greet me every morning, and I am indeed quite blessed.


The kids had dinner and went to bed, and then I remembered. The strawberries! Shortcake to make! Whoops! Well, it was too late now to wait until tomorrow. Once I've remembered something tasty like that, we've got to go ahead and go through with making it. I sent Rob to the store for Bisquick (sue me, I like their recipe for shortcake) and whipped cream, and the free yogurt for which I'd won the coupons - and for once, he came back with exactly the right things! Woot!!

100_6618 So I immediately set to work making the cakes and then assembling when the buzzer went off. They tasted every bit as good as they looked. There is still one more left - who wants it?

I hope you all had a great day, with whomever you were, wherever you were, whatever you did.

I enjoyed my naps and skipping the laundry, yes I did. But those three shining faces... always the best.


Not Tonight, Dear, I Have A Headache

100_6614 Today I received these cards from Betty Refour, owner of Noteworthy Crafts. Her sister Rose, who has autism, drew the pictures. Betty sells them on her site to support autism research. Aren't they cool? The cards and envelopes are really nice, and I can't wait to use them. Visit their site - they support other causes, as well!

Rob had to stand watch today once again, and I had (have) a migraine, so not much fun was had in Chez Odette today.  Well, not unless you count what fun the "big" kids had pouring all of the bunny's bedding, and his pellets, and then water on top, into his cage while I was upstairs doing a load of laundry... argh.

Rob finally came home, and all I wanted was a tuna sandwich from Panera. He graciously took the kids with him to go get food for dinner, while I worked on knitting his sock. Ah, silence. And darkness. I sat there with no noise, no lights and a pounding head. Not exactly bliss, but I'll accept it.

I have since finished the sock, but the model fell asleep and has yet to try it on for pictures. So expect that tomorrow. Until then... Happy Mother's Day!


Tender Loving CARE

This decision has been a long time coming. I have been thinking this over for the past year. Or two years, or three, I don't know. I've discussed it at length with my therapist. And it weighed heavily on my heart tonight (this morning?) as I completed assembly of the packages by printing out the cards that go with them, inserting those with wristbands and business cards, and labeling them with size and sex designations.

It's a lot of work to run this charity. That, I don't mind. If that were all, I would keep doing it indefinitely.

But it takes a lot out of me. I put my heart and soul in each item I make, and that can take away what I'm able to give the rest of my children sometimes. I want to be able to make things for them whenever I feel like it, too. And, yeah, I'd like to be able to (maybe?) sell my creations and (maybe?) turn a small profit.

So, the time has come to make this announcement: By the fifth anniversary of CARE Package, which will be in March, 2009, I will step down from running this charity. It may be sooner; it may be when we move to Pensacola. Or wherever we end up going.

I'm tired. I need to focus on something else.


The Darker The Berry, The Sweeter The Juice

{For you long-post lovers, this Bud's for you.}

Ugh. I overslept again this morning. Way. And so did the kids. So it was a quarter after ten this morning when I opened my eyes and caught the time! I vaguely remember my phone alarm going off, so I must have hit the "OK" button instead of "snooze." Dammit.  I'm glad I took a shower the "night" before - it was really around 0300.  I jumped out of bed, gathered up some children and their clothes, and let everyone pee, made lunches, grabbed backpacks, and left.

On the way to her school, I did a bad thing. I told Chloë I was going to tell a small lie and say that we were at a doctor's appointment, and that she shouldn't say anything when I did, like, "No, we were sleeping, Mommy!" She looked very uncomfortable about this. As well she should. But I didn't want two "overslept"s in the book in one week! What do you think, heinous crime or forgiveable fib?

After I dropped her off, the three of us skedaddled over to the office where I had made Jack's counseling appointment. I'd completely forgotten my phone and my Palm T\X, so I had to go by memory for the location. It was in a huge office complex with lots of different businesses - therapy and otherwise - so I was a bit nervous. And my therapist had said, the other day, "It's not XYZ Counseling, I hope, is it?" I assured her it wasn't.

Well, when I got to the right building, on the right floor (that much I knew), the first door I came to was XYZ Counseling. Oh, please, don't let this be the one. I went up to the receptionist and asked if they had an 11:00 appointment down for Jack O. Sure enough. Shit.  I was all ready to bolt there on the spot. I didn't fill out half the information on their multiple forms, and I didn't sign their releases, in case I didn't want to stick with them.

When I returned from the desk, there was Sophia holding a pen up to her mouth. The boy next to her had an identical one, so I demanded she give it right back to him. Well, his dad spoke up: "I gave it to her." Hello? You don't just give a toddler a pen! Especially with nothing to use it on - what do you think she's going to do with it? Color on herself, her clothes, and the furniture, duh! What are people thinking?!

Soon, Michelle came and got us, and took us back to her office. She left momentarily to get the kids some toys (good sign, smart lady), and we left them to play while we discussed my son. I talked about how he had been dry for a year but was now not only peeing every night and nap but also getting out of bed and peeing in the closet, under the bed, etc. I talked about how he seemed angrier than he ought to be - to me - and how he lashes out at his sisters. I talked about how, for a while there, I just felt like he didn't like me at all.

We discussed many things, like his prematurity, his developmental delays, our parenting style(s), reports about his behavior from school, and so on. Michelle was very reassuring. See, I grew up with three sisters. Until December, I was an aunt to all little girls. All my cousins are girls. I have absolutely zero experience with little boys, other than babysitting, and that doesn't really count IMO. She was happy to defer to his pediatrician but felt that he probably wasn't really awake when he was getting out of bed to pee in the wrong places, even if his eyes were open and he seemed alert. We racked our brains, as I have often in the past few months, to try to come up with some kind of event that would have triggered his regression to wetting the bed after being dry for so long, but we came up empty. So, her conclusion was that it's just more of his physical immaturity manifesting itself.

And as for his behavior, she said it really seemed like normal 5yo boy stuff to her. Boys are obviously more testosterone-driven and aggressive, which is why I observe this stuff in him much more so than in the girls. Watching him bounce around the room constantly, she said it would not surprise her to find he has ADHD - down the road a ways - but this is something Rob and I are very hesitant to ... I don't know ... think about at this early point in time. Michelle thought a lot of his anger is frustration over his delays, and also just part of his personality. Bottom line: there was absolutely nothing that concerned her, and she just wants to see him one more time to observe him again and discuss parenting skills we can implement specific to his peculiarities. I'm so relieved! I just can't tell you how much.

Afterward, I brought Jack to school, and everyone was so happy to see him. Even the lady custodian brightened up and said, "There's Jack!!" when we walked in. It really is such a pleasure to know that other people enjoy your children.

Sophia and I left to have lunch, and then I set her down with some toys while I made a few phone calls. One of those was to find out about the status of my civilian referral for gastric bypass; it turns out it has already been approved and I'll get my letter in the mail in about a week, telling me which provider to contact!! YIPPEE!!! Dr. Bidus kicks ass, man.

After my calls, I decided to wind up a bunch of my new yarns, since my swift and ball winder were still out from the day before. 100_6585 

Le Swift

100_6586 El Ball Winder

100_6587All my big, fat, colorful yarn cakes - that's the Malabrigo up front. You can visually tell how much softer it is than the raw wool in the back, can't you?

Jack had come home, and then Chloë, and then Rob (early!), while I was winding up the yarn. The children bore gifts! Jack brought me a paper bracelet and a flower pot he painted himself. I'm not sure what's growing in there, but it's doing well. Chloë brought me this giant laminated card:


Really? The best thing about me is that I pet "her" dog? At least she got the "prettey" part right - er, uh, I mean the knitting and the dansing! God, I love little kid writing!Mommy_picture

This picture is of her, Jack and me. I guess she forgot she had a little sister? I like that our clothes match. And that I appear to  have Daddy's ears. She gave me coupon cards, too, promising she would do the dishes, wash my car, and make my bed!

The girls wanted to dance, so I took video of that, which you can see here. Sorry about my semi-singing; I just can't help myself! Then I sent the kiddies upstairs for quiet time, and after the last ball was wound (and the obligatory bloggy pictures taken, natch), I left for my long-awaited allergy appointment!

I shan't have been so excited about it. Firstly, I've been doing Slim-Fast for a week and weigh more than when I started. Farg! Second, I'm not allergic to anything for which they tested me. Suck! Basically, this is what she told me: "Does the Benadryl work for you? Good, keep plenty next to you at all times. Buh-bye!"

Yeah. Thanks for that. I guess you get what you pay for... and since I'm not going to give up knitting and crocheting, well, I'm going to invest in whatever company makes Benny.

So. I drove home. Defeated. And a certain current favorite song of mine came on, and I forgot my head and started rocking out and pretending I was on stage, singing into my fist-microphone. Did I realize that I was stopped at a light doing this? Did I realize the people in the next car were watching me and laughing? No I did not. Did I slink down in my seat in embarrassment when I finally looked up and caught their stares? Heck yes! The fist-microphone almost reappeared on the next good song, but I crushed that impulse.

But, lo, that is not the end of today's story, oh, no, no, no. There is more. There is always more. We haven't gotten to the part yet that explains today's title, see?

I had wanted us to go out to Dirty Dick's and eat some crab and drink some alkie with Steph and Tim, and let the kids play on their little playground, but my phone died before I could see about that. And then I remembered Uncle Chuck, my fishmonger at the Farmer's Market. And then I remembered there was a hoedown at the FM starting at 1900! Whoo-eee, I'm there!

Rob and I collected our various progeny, buckled them into their seaties, and headed down the road. I have naught to add to this paragraph.

100_6593 Hoedown? More like letdown! This was it, an un-amped quintet with a bunch of fogies in camp chairs scattered in front of them, completely drowned out by the jets flying overhead from nearby Naval Station Oceana. We could scarcely hear them. And they were playing sloooooowly. I thought bluegrass was supposed to be fast and lively? Not so, this. Puh.

So we were glad to find that half the booths were still open on the circle that surrounded this little field. Alas, Unc Chuck had closed up shop and skipped out until tomorrow, so I didn't get the crabbies I was so intent upon devouring tonight. I'm on a real crab kick lately, don'tcha know.

So we ambled around the circle, until we came to a produce stand that had the absolute most gorgeous strawberries I've ever seen. The proprietor told me they'd just been picked that morning! I bought two heavy quarts. Then we bought two quarts of new potatoes, a few tomatoes, an apple for each of the kids, and... I guess that's it. The kids bit right into their apples before I could even wipe them on my shirt, and we made our way back to the car with our yummy purchases.

Edit: As we were leaving, the guy said to me, "Too many girls! You need to give him a brother!"  Ouch.

Then Chloë wanted to go into the candy store to spend some of her allowance money. The kids ran in and acted like kids in... well, you know. The owners were so amused by their capricious choosing of a candy only to spot something else and put the first thing back. It's the hardest decision in the world, after all! Rob bought himself a piece of fudge, the Littles each chose a big, colorful "lilypop" as Sophie calls them, and Chloë bought herself some cotton candy and a taffy bar. She always gets so excited about bringing her purse out and spending her money, I guess since I rarely suggest she do it. And when the lady told her the total was $1.98, Chloë dove into her wallet and came out with two dollar bills! She knew! Awesome.

The kids had long since handed over their barely-eaten apples at this point, in favor of sweet treats, so we sat in the rocking chairs out front while they ate their goodies and I finished two of the apples. I don't know how long it's been since I just ate an apple right off the core. They were so good. I should do it more often.

Edit: Forgot to mention, when I threw away the second apple core, I realized the hand that was holding it had swollen up to twice its normal size! Add another allergy to the ^%&* list!

100_6598 Jack nibbling on a piece of lolly

100_6606 Chomp!

100_6601 Did you know you could get cotton candy in vacuum-sealed bags like chips?

100_6607 The girls are always so entertained by their tongue changing colors from candy!

100_6591 Some kind of mill

100_6592 This sign on the butcher's shop door tickled my funny bone.

100_6609 Before we left, Rob bought himself and the three baby 'squirrels' an enormous sack of peanuts. Goodness! Those'll be around a while.

We cleaned our hands and headed home with our yummy goodies. I immediately set to work making dinner. What's to eat? Smashed new potatoes and strawberries! And peanuts! For serious, that's what we had.

100_6610 Have you ever seen such beautiful berries? I thought not! I cut up one quart for dinner - which the kids quickly demolished - and sliced up the other strawberries, sugaring them for juice, to make shortcakes tomorrow. Mmmm-mmm.

100_6612 I cut up the new potatoes and boiled them while I sautéed this lovely Vidalia onion. Oh, it smelled so sweet. When they were done, I mashed them together with a little butter, a little S&P, and a little garlic. That's all we ate. Strawberries and potatoes and peanuts. And behold, it was good.


Let's Not Do Anything Rash

100_6571 I got another Bloggy Giveaway prize in the mail! This bracelet, though, is not exactly what I thought it was going to be: A thick, beaded bracelet on stretchy elastic. Instead, it's on wire, with three coils. I'm donating it to Chloë for the time being. I like it, but obviously not enough to, uh, bother taking a halfway decent picture...

Also in the mail: Our  Mediterranean cruise tickets!!! In a fancy, non-plasticky envelope. If I could do cartwheels right now, I'd have done a hundred. We're going, we're really going!!!! In just over six weeks!

100_6573Rob looking all cute and athletic after his Dodgeball games yesterday. Note that he now has as many crow's feet wrinkles as tattoos. Hehe, my boy is getting old (and I like it)!

Last night I couldn't sleep, so I puttered around and wound the natural, undyed (white) wool that I bought at MD Sheep & Wool into a useable (and humongo)center-pull cake. I figured on crocheting a blanket for the red sweater set today with it.

Well, add that to the long list of things to which I am highly allergic. I woke up this morning with severe, painfully itchy rash, one which even massive dosages of Benadryl couldn't combat. Wanna see? Sure you don't.

100_6575 100_6577

Very attractive, no? Especially on such chubbiness. Now picture that over every square inch of my body, sparing only (thank heavens) my face. I took my Bennies. I sprayed my Kenalog spray. I scratched myself violently from head to toe - violating the corner of the wall in an illegal manner in 23 states. It was of no use. The rash wouldn't go away, and it hurt like hell, and I was fecking miserable. I canceled Sophie's and my plans to visit the ladies at the Knitting Corner (a LYS), dashing off an apologetic email before retreating to my corner of shame. I was disappointed, but I just did not want to go out in such a state. It's ugly and embarrassing, and really, do they need to watch me digging my nails into my ass? I didn't think so.

100_6578 When it looked like the reaction wouldn't abate, I threw caution to the wind and decided to crochet the hell out of that blanket anyway.  While we watched morning shows, I made it in more or less one three-hour sitting. I didn't notice it before, but you can see the natural variations in the "white" portion, which adds interest for me.

100_6579 One more complete set, (almost) ready for donation!

So that was complete, and  yeah, using that wool for that long didn't help the allergy at all, in case you were wondering. Worse than ever. Mommy in a great mood. Not. (Tomorrow's my follow-up appointment for the allergy test, and I don't think I've ever been more excited for a non-prenatal doctor visit in my life!)

I decided it was finally dive into my ever-growing stash of FOs (finished objects) - both mine and donated - to see how many packages I could make. First I sort out the items by category:

100_6581 Sweaters/gowns and hats/bonnets

100_6582 Booties and blankets


Some of those hats are a sight bigger than preemie-size...

And then I match them up to make a complete set, with one item from each pile. I try to do it so the gown, booties and hat coordinate well, and then pick a matching but contrasting blankie so the baby will stand out in pictures.

100_6584_2 Imagine my surprise in finding about three dozen complete packages that required absolutely no additions at all! That rarely happens; I'm usually labeling each of them with a sticky note telling what needs to be made to finish the set. Love it.

Soon, after I finish the two - just two! - packages that need additional items, I will donate these to the hospital via my therapist's ladies group. She's on some board there, and her group gets credit hours for the packages, which earns them money, which they then turn around and donate back to the hospital. Don't ask me to explain that again, because I find it all very confusing. I'm just happy if the packages get where they need to go, and judging from yesterday's post, they do!

After dinner and the kids' bedtime, I headed to the grocery store (with a single tote bag, for once) for a few necessities that couldn't wait until the weekend. It wasn't a good trip for me, because shortly after I started pushing an empty cart around the store, my back seized up and made it very difficult for me to keep moving.

[I have nerve damage from the spinal I received for my last c-section, which causes my lower back to cramp up and feel like all the vertebrae are fused together, immobilizing me, and gives me incredible spasms that climb up my spine and go around my neck. It's extremely painful.]

As I made my way around the store, slowly but surely, I was shuddering at the idea of getting back on the treadmill once at home. Dr. Mann, the bariatric surgeon, seems to think I should just be out there exercising my fool head off! I have tried low- and no-impact exercises that "should not" affect my back - swimming and walking, namely - but I don't think Mann understands the nature and extent of the pain in which I find myself. Simply put, it's debilitating. This frustrates me to no end. Do I want to be in this condition? Of course not! Do I want my physical function to be limited? Hell no!

At the hospital for my hysterectomy, when talking to the anesthesiologists, I cried when they talked about giving me a spinal. In the end, I refused to do it, having multiple anesth. docs come try to talk me into it. Instead, I decided to go with a solution that involved the risk of me feeling the entire surgery. I didn't, thankfully, but I would rather go through that than injure my back worse than it is.

All this to say, screw you, Dr. Mann! Meanwhile, I still haven't called to get a referral for a civilian surgeon. Perhaps tomorrow.

Perhaps tomorrow. Story of my life.



So the most exciting, wonderful, happy thing happened to me today: On Ravelry, a mom contacted me to tell me that she had been one of the recipients from CARE Package! She had a loss earlier than mine, but somehow she received a package from us - I know the blanket was made by my MIL because she dug it out and told me about the note card on it. She told me that whenever she thought about her son, she pulled out the items and hugged them and held them, and they comforted her. I have been waiting four long years to hear such a thing, and I am truly overjoyed and touched to know this. Whenever my energy to continue the charity flags, something happens that pushes me forward; this has by far been the biggest push yet!

Well, I managed to get my fat arse up in time to take Chloë to the bus stop on time, and get Jack on his, and get out of the house before Barbara came. Or, no, I was just getting out of the shower when she came. But close enough!

After I quickly threw the laundry baskets and what-have-yous on top of our bed, Sophie and I skedaddled to let Babs do her work. Man, I wish she could come every day. It's so lovely to come home to a clean house once every fortnight. If anyone wants to chip in our pot for a live-in housekeeper, please, by all means...!

We found out Rob's leave chit has been approved. We are going to Europe, baby! I am starting to feel more cheered about our abridged trip. There is still going to be a lot of fun. And sex. I ain't gonna lie to you.


Our first stop, Sophie's and mine, was to Panera for lunch, por supuesto. Sophie is turning into little Miss Gregarious, much like her sister was at that age. She goes up to everyone and says, "Hi! What's your name? I'm Sophie! I'm three! What's that? What's that? What's that?"  and they smile down at her, grin at me, answer her questions, and generally seem to enjoy her company as much as I do.  We ate lunch, often with her resting her sweet head on my arm, and headed back out to the car, hand-in-hand.

Have I mentioned how much I love that kid? She's sweet, she's funny, she's charming... we have great kids, I gotta say.

Next we headed to Chloë's school to register Jack for kindergarten. It didn't quite go as planned: the office lady came back and told me his shot record was "short," though at his check-up last week he didn't need any new shots. So apparently his record is incomplete, and now I have to take care of that, too. Bah. While we waited, though, Sophie ingratiated herself unto a fifth grader who was apparently there for a treat - she received two pieces of candy. Sophia asked her, "Can I have some?" but I said no, those were for her. Well, the girl left, and a couple minutes later came back with a pack of peanut butter crackers for my wee girl. It was so sweet! She (the girl) grinned at me, and I could see how much she enjoyed interacting with Soap. Sophie was well pleased and couldn't wait to get back to the van to munch down her snack. Yes, she had just had lunch. No, she is never full.

After that, we still had time to kill, so I decided to (finally) take her to Toys 'R Us to get her balloon and crown and spend the three gift cards I'd received from them. I don't know why I always receive multiple gift cards per kid - even Robby! Whatev. She was excited about the balloon but wanted nothing to do with the crown. She quickly picked out a little froggy pool toy and a pack of water balloons, and since she didn't seem interested in anything else, I decided to pick out more Hot Wheels for Jack with the third one. Why? Because I am a sucker. And because I am trying to buy my son's love.

We headed home, and Barbara was just finishing up vacuuming upstairs when we returned. She was there longer than usual, which confirmed my suspicions that the house was messier than usual. Sophia just adores talking to Babs, and I couldn't keep her downstairs, away from the poor woman. Even with PBS Kids on. She just kept skedaddling up there to cheer Barbara on from the sidelines.

I was tired out by then, so when the kids came home from school, we all lay down for naps. Apparently they were all tired, too, because it was three-plus hours before any of us surfaced. During my sleep, I dreamed that I was suffocating and choking for air. I was on the couch, without my breathing machine, so I'm thinking that was really happening. Score one for CPAP.

Rob didn't get home until pretty late, because he was voluntold to go play dodgeball as part of his chief-in-training business. He was pretty irate about having to go, and he was none to pleased when he came home and reported four losses. Out of four. He's whipped. Poor kid; he works far too much. What he needs is a good trip to Europe. With lots of sex. Ain't gonna lie.


Gas Pains

Well, today started out with a bang. I had Chloë at the side of my bed at about 0815, telling me we were late for school. Ay! She was supposed to be on the bus 20 minutes earlier. So I threw on some clothes while she did the same and rushed out the door. Crap! No breakfast! Bad mommy! She ended up only being about 10 minutes late, but still. Not an auspicious beginning.

Of course, then the other kids were up way earlier than normal, which is good for none of us.  We kind of zoned out in the living room for a while, and then it was time to get Jack ready for school, too. I sent him up to get dressed, and he came down wearing the same clothes as yesterday. No, no, no...

After he got on the bus, I found myself with a migraine and no migraine medication. So I suffered through while Sophia and I did our usual on such days: We read stories. I tried to get her to color and draw, which is difficult, partly because she is left-handed and partly because she insists on holding the crayon/pencil at the top instead of the bottom. She watched PBS Kids while I knitted. We snuggled up together on the couch and took a little snooze. In other words, we managed.

When the kids came home, I hopped into a shower while Chloë donned her ballet leotard. I grabbed my knitting and off we went. But oops! My gas light came on as we arrived at the studio, so I had to drop her off and go get some gas.  I cringed as the final tally came up on the screen: $70.23. Yowch.  Thank goodness I normally only fill up about once a month! I ran in and got the non-twins some oatmeal cookies, which they nearly jumped out of their carseats for, and headed back to ballet.

There I managed to do some knitting instead of falling asleep. I'm working on the socks I promised Rob:

100_6565 It's slow-going for me, as I'm back to the double-pointed needles with which I have so little experience. I think it's turning out okay, though. I like the colors; so does he.

After ballet, I put the Littles down for nap (they so needed it today) while the Big did her homework. I had to leave as soon as Daddy came home, for my therapy appointment, but I promised her we'd go get the Panda Webkinz (pet of the month!) when I returned if she finished her homework.

My session went really well. No tears - nothing to cry about! We talked about the surgery I just had and the one I'm really looking forward to, and the Europe trip (shortened as it is), and this, that, and the other. I've been stable on my meds now since, I don't know, October or so, and it feels really good. The only thing I'm nervous about is having to switch that up after the gastric bypass, but I guess we'll jump off that bridge when we get to it.

There was a seven car pile-up right in front of me on the way home! That was... interesting. Police cars started flooding in as I headed away from the scene.

When I returned home, the blondies were still down, and Chloë was outside, peering under the Landcruiser's hood with her dad. Apparently she finished the homework! I smooched hubs and off Daughter and I went in search of Panda. She decided to let me name this one, and I chose Bamboo. She didn't want it to be the same as the thing it eats, though, so we amended it to Bambu. This was enough to make her happy. Silly six-year-olds!

At the mall, I guessed wrong and parked at completely the opposite end from where the Hallmark store was located. Oh well, a walk does a body good, sore back or no.  She broke her glasses at school yesterday, so her little face was on display, and her curls were particularly sproingy, so she got a lot more attention than she usually does this day. She kept giggling and saying, "Oh, thank you! Oh, thank you!" in a dramatic manner. I had to laugh.

We found Panda right away and had a look at the other 'kinz while we were there. She really wanted a kitty she spotted instead, but I reminded her about Pet of the Month and she decided to stick with our Bambu. She happily drew her allowance money out of her wallet and skipped off with the change. She's still at the point where every piece of money is worth the same thing to her. A five is the same as a one; a dime is the same as a quarter. It's all about quantity, not quality with her. She'd be happier with five ones than a five-dollar bill.


On the way home, the accident was just clearing up as the last two police cars drove off, with just a lot of skid marks all over the road. I don't think anyone was hurt; no ambulances. I didn't even see it on the evening news.

The kids were up and sitting on the porch eating goldfish crackers when we pulled up, and they ran into the driveway shouting, "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy's home!"  I do love that so.

So we had dinner, and what the heck? There was no Dancing With the Stars on, and the news came on at 2100 - two hours early - and it made me tweak. What's up with that? I don't like when my TV plans are messed with, dudes!

That's all. Not the most thrilling day, but satisfying enough. How about you?


WFMW: The Rug Stick

Doesntwork Here's what doesn't work for me: That new rug stick. From Woolite, I think?

I even got the heavy-duty traffic cleaner to work with it. We have heavy-duty stains, y'all. Three kids, three pets = messy carpet all. the. time.

Well, the rug stick hasn't worked to take out any of the stains I've used it on. None! And it leaves a sticky residue that's not pleasant to step in.  And it's a pain in the butt to get the soap stuff out on the spot exactly where you want it.

Just don't buy it. It's not worth it.


Cinco De Mayo! Or, Easy Come, Easy Go

I haven't got a lot of content tonight. No pictures, no fun things to share. I had a headache all day & so did Rob, so we're wondering if it's from the sushi last night or something. MSG in the soy sauce? Who knows.

Everywhere I drove today, the Mexican restaurants were packed. Even at 1500! Well, military folks tend to get out early, so that may be why. Whatever the reason, I was hankering for a margarita.

We went to our favorite little hole-in-the-wall authentic Mexican restaurant for dinner. We haven't gone there since Rob gave up beef, so there was a bit of a mix-up when he ordered the "number 8" but didn't specify "vegetarian," as we veggies all know must be done. He cut into his enchilada and a big ol' hunk of cow meat squirted back at him. Gross. They switched it out for him but charged him for the meal since it was his fault. Thankfully, Mexican is el cheapo!

It was good, too. We were stuffed and didn't even order dessert. Jack, as usual, ate nothing but tortilla chips, and even the girls were surprisingly not into their meals. Well, Chloë ate her quesadilla, but Sophie did nothing but suck down her milk. Oh well, Mom and Dad enjoyed!

We had a bit of a parenting ordeal afterward. Some Baptist church left their literature along with a stuffed snake on our porch the other day. I told Chloë she could have the snake. Tonight, she had asked me if she could bring her snake with us, and I specifically told her the snake had to stay home, and then I added for the other kids' sakes, "NO TOYS." Pretty clear, right? So I was surprised to find, when letting Chlo into the back seat, her stuffed snake on the seat next to her booster. I asked her if she remembered me telling her not to bring it. Yes. Did she bring it anyway? Yes. Give it to me. She gave. I tossed it over my shoulder. "Sorry. It's gone now. Next time you'll do what you're told."

Of course, she had a meltdown, and my heart was breaking for her, and I wanted to go right over and pick it up. Not give it back to her, but at least take it home. Rob and I debated all evening whether one of us should go back for it. I'm still tempted. It was a bit extreme. But I don't want to undo the lesson.


Parenting is hard.


Take The Long Way Home

Hiya, folks! We're baaaaack! Now that my camera's uploading to my computer again, I have to backtrack and do some Friday stuff here as well, before getting to the festival.  So, no one knows how to get pictures from a camera phone to the computer? I have some pictures of sheep-shearing and wool-spinning and -weaving that I wanted to share.

Anyway. Friday.

I started getting some of my Bloggy Giveaway goodies in the mail!

100_6545 Free yogurt coupons! Woot! We go through lots of Yoplait around here.

100_6538 Laundry Tree SoapNuts. Wth is a soapnut, anyway? Well, I'd tell you, but you probably don't care to know anyway. I used them for two loads of laundry on Friday, and I loved the way my clothes smelled after they came out of the wash. Seriously, loved. And you can just throw them outside after they're used up (after 3-4 loads!); they're entirely biodegradable, of course. Love that. I have a feeling I may be buying some of these babies in the near future.

Also in the mail was my latest Bzzkit, but I'll be reporting on that in a future post, probably this week's WFMW.

100_6539 And finally, I received my latest shipment of kids' clothes from The Children's Place, using the discount code I was given on Jack's birthday. Or Sophia's, I don't know. The non-twins each received three new shorts sets, and Chloë got a new dress - no more, because the site just would not let me add her clothes to my cart. Irritating!

100_6540 When she came home from school, Chloë insisted on wearing her new dress to modeling class that night. And of course, she demanded a picture be taken in it.

100_6541 It amused (and still does) the hell out of me that Jack followed suit, with the little curtsey-motion and everything. This is one of his new outfits; the others are nearly identical but red and blue. He's wearing a 3T, my boy's in a 3T!!! Doesn't he look so big?! 'Course, the shorts fall down and need to be folded over, but that's just a fact of life when you have skinny kids.

100_6542 Then, Sophia wanted to model her new clothes and do her curtsey, too. So funny. Her other outfits are a nearly identical one in pink and turquoise, with solid color shorts instead of white. I was going to buy Chlo the exact same outfits but t-shirts instead of tanks so she could wear them to school. Still annoyed that I couldn't, since I'm so into matching outfits for the girls lately. Actually, I'd adore having a three-way match, but you rarely find his-n-hers matching outfits in kids. At least, that's been my experience...

100_6548 Sophia's hair has finally grown out enough from the severe chopping I gave it in the fall, to wear piggie tails! She asks for them all the time and looks so cute in them, I think. Here, she is telling me the candle is thirsty and wants some water. I obliged. This amused her.

Okay! Now onto today's visit to Maryland Sheep & Wool! Of course, since I can't share the other pictures with you right now, all you're going to get to see is the yarny goodness with which I came home. And that might bore some of you - sorry!

Here are some highlights of the trip:

  • Rob on the phone with the hotel: "Hi, I'm coming to Sheep & Wool - do you allow sheep?"
  • As soon as we checked in and I found the hotel stationery, I immediately set to work writing a dirty love letter to Rob. I think he may have left it for the maids to read!! :O
  • Free parking and admission to the fair!
  • Tons and tons of varieties of wool and other yarn to be had (and had, I did), many of which came from small, local farms that only sell at this and other festivals. I love this aspect of it and came home with yarn grown in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Illinois, Virginia and Maine. Um, "yarn grown" - yeah, you know what I meant! :p
  • The freaking sheep were hilarious, sticking out their tongues and "maaaa"ing all over the place. I am still imitating them. What silly animals!


  • Hello, homespun yarn is not cheap! I spent all of CARE Package's budget and then some. Can you say, "hurry up, tax rebate check"?
  • Sheep poop. Sandals. Get the picture?
  • All the freaking bellyaching from the kids on the way up. My God! I wanted to shoot myself in the skull. Fortunately, we got smart and moved Chloë back to the third row on the way home; peace and quiet reigned supreme.
  • Rob did a lot of the driving, after I did what I could and got that eye-rolly sleepiness going on. He is just not a great driver. I can't tell you how many times I woke up from the passenger seat, alarmed, saying, "What's wrong? What happened!" Ahhh! Not relaxing.

So, without further ado, my purchases:

100_6551This wool was less than $7 per hank! That's a really great price, considering the yardage. Rob was asking for some thick wool socks, so I bought these mainly for those, and with the leftovers, I'll...make a blanket? I dunno, but there should be plenty. The colors (brown, charcoal, dark red, forest green, dark teal) are pretty accurate. Sorry it's such a dark picture, but using the flash distorts the colors.


Tinkerbell went really nuts over that wool! She just dove in and wizzled all around in it. Funny video of it can be found here.

100_6553Of course I had to buy a couple of cute patterns, for $6 each. That is one ugly baby on the left; s/he looks like Mini-Me from the Austin Powers movies.  At least the sweaters are cute!

100_6554 I bought these frog closures for $2 apiece. I have a couple of patterns that call for frogs, plus I just love the look of them. I find it very hard to take pictures of black items, if anyone has any tips...!

100_6557Wooden buttons! They were almost a buck apiece, so I didn't buy many - and these were the cheap ones! But they're very cute and will look great on a couple of sweaters. Keep them in mind, Steph!

100_6558400 yards of 100% merino wool in fingering weight. Great for socks, or a baby sweater pattern I have already. I bought this yarn specifically for that, at $11 per hank! The colorway is called "Spring Garden" and I think it's great, except there's no green in it!

100_6559 Natural, undyed wool - no price or anything on it, and of course I can't remember the details. It was one of the things I was coming for, since I want to make a white blanket to go with the red sweater set I just finished. I rarely, if ever, use white for anything - yarn, colors in my house, you name it - and just this once I thought the situation called for it. I'll trim the blanket in the red I have left over from the set. Okay?

100_6560 Remember this blue set I made earlier this year? Well, here's the yarn that's specifically made for that (and other) Sockotta pattern. I found it! So I'll want to make that pattern again - I enjoyed it so - in the "right" yarn this time. Look for that in future projects, too!

100_6561This rich, very dark purpley-blue handspun merino was discounted from $35 to $21, and it was calling my name from the sale basket! It's so soft. I don't know what will become of it, but I'm imagining a baby blanket, since I have so many I need to make for the charity.

100_6562 This is a German wool/nylon blend yarn that I bought to practice making socks for Rob with, before I venture on to his thick wool ones. I have only made that one pair of baby ones for the blue set, so I need to build my confidence on "sock weight" yarn before I work up to something thicker. He choose the one on the right for his socks, so the left one will be for CARE Package. I think it goes well with that tan and blue sweater I goofed on (remember, the zig-when-I-should-have-zagged one?), so maybe a blankie to match.

100_6563 Probably my favorite unplanned splurge, I found this $25 ball of 100% silk yarn at the check-out when I was buying the "Spring Garden" sock yarn above. There were many other colorways available, and I liked them all, so I had the vendor pick out the color for me. At first I thought it looked like puke, but now it has very much grown on me. I have no clue what I'm going to make with it yet, but I'm open to suggestions!

100_6564 And finally, this is the purchase that made me flee the campgrounds for home, about seven hours earlier than planned! We had only been at the fair for three hours at this point, and had already had our fill of fair food (three hot pretzels, a cup of cheesy fries, a lamb gyro, cinnamon-and-sugar-roasted almonds, and two ginormous drinks) and yarn vendors, when I came upon the huge "main exhibition hall" at the end of the row of barns where I'd done my previous shopping. I thought I was done yarn-buying for the day, but I told Rob and the kids to wait outside while I quickly peeked at all the vendors to see if anything was on sale that I liked. Well, I found these gorgeous Koigu KPPPM mill-ends for 25-cents a gram! That sounded great, but what I did not realize was I had chosen 283 grams - that works out to $75 including tax! Dude! I paid and then ran out of the barn, telling Rob, "We need to leave. Now. Seriously." I could see me outspending that tax rebate check, and then where would we be? Certainly without money for souvies on our Europe trip. Possibly without money for the water bill!

The kids were a little bummed to be leaving so soon - even after whining about being bored, cold, wanting to go  home, etc. - and I felt a little guilty not even staying for the sheepdog trials I promised them we'd watched, but I was in danger. Danger, y'all! That's it. I promise I am going on a yarn diet. Right now.

But I didn't say anything about patterns, or buttons, or...


Greetings From Maryland!

I had all kinds of cute titles in mind for this post, which I thought of on the drive up, and now they're all escaping me. Always happens. Bah!

So we didn't come up here early this morning after all. I woke up at something like 1:30 in the morning and stayed awake until about 4:20 - when I had to be up at 5! But I crashed and slept through my alarms, and by the time I woke up at 9-something, it was too late to be worth the four-hour trip for five hours of festival. I was so mad at myself! Buuut, we didn't have anything planned for Sunday, so we decided to come up tonight, get a room, and be there early tomorrow morning.

It's probably a good thing we didn't try to come up after all. After we checked into our hotel here, we met with several of the vendors from the festival at the pool. (Shoulda brought our swimsuits! We hiked up our pants and the kids swam in their skivvies!) Apparently, they were turning away people from the fair because it was too packed! That would really have stunk, if we couldn't get in after coming all that way. Saturday is by far the busier day, so I'm hopeful that we won't have any problems tomorrow.

By the way, is there anything funnier than a little kid farting?? The car started getting smelly, and I asked Rob if it was him. Sophia (3) piped up from the backseat, "NO, I FARTED!!" and we all giggled. About ten minutes later, she said in an alarmed tone, "Mommy, Daddy, I have to go poop!!" which made me laugh even more. We stopped as soon as we could, and she sure did have to poop. Whew!  I don't know why that strikes me as so amusing, but it does...

The ride up was pretty uneventful, but tomorrow will be more interesting. I forgot my camera, though!!! Wah! This weekend will be totally unscrappable. Hey, wait, I *do* have my camera phone now. But I don't know how to get the pictures from my phone to the computer - anyone know? I don't have a cable for it; can I email them somehow?

All right, that's all I've got. Toodle-oo!


Time For Bed

You know you're tired when you actually try the clap-on-clap-off, um, clapping to see if all the lights and TV will turn off without you actually getting up. Have you ever done this? Be honest, I know you have.

Off to Maryland in three hours. G'night!


Seriously? Are You Kidding Me?!

Red for anger.

Our recycling bin was stolen today. For about the fourth time. Meaning our shit has to be piled up in whatever little bags we can squirrel away for the purpose, because the stupid city always has a stupid waiting list to get a new one. Meaning some jackhole out there is so hard up for a bin he has to walk over to our house and take ours. Again and again.

I'm so pissed!!


What's Happening Meme

I took this meme from A Daisy A Day and thought I'd play along, too. Lord knows I can't have too many posts in a day!

Outside my Window... kids kicking around after school, happy for the weekend.

I am Thinking...I should do something bake-y or crafty with my kids instead of puttering around doing nothing much.

I am Thankful For... my marriage & my husband, who is patient and kind, hardworking and conscientious, intelligent and funny, loving and thoughtful, and hung like a ... hahahaha! Did I really just start to say that?

From the Kitchen... well, nothing, like I just said, but perhaps the kids and I will knead up some dough after this.

I am the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival tomorrow, to buy some local yarny goodness! Could I be more excited?!!

I am Reading...well, the funnies, since I bought a repeat Picoult book.

I am Hoping...that our European cruise (now) goes off without a hitch, and we are able to thoroughly enjoy our romantic getaway.

I am Hearing...the littles watching "Little Bill" on Noggin and Chloë exclaiming over the fun she's having with her new sticker book.

Around the House...the laundry is piled up, there are books all over the floor, the dog just tracked mud in, the dishes need to be put away - and I refuse to stress about it. Did I mention I'm going to Maryland tomorrow?!!

One of My Favorite Things... new crafty things: I love a new flavor of yarn, new scrapbooking supplies, fresh ideas, and time to implement them.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...taking Chlo to her modeling class tonight, our long drive tomorrow (will Rob drive? Will I get to knit along the way?), maybe going to my friend T's chocolate-tasting party Sunday night, and definitely some grocery shopping.

I'm Feeling...very old and tired right now. Perhaps I should be taking my iron pills in the morning like I'm supposed to.

A Picture Thought to Share for the Day...

Giantfish Fin.

Daggone It!

I already own - and have read - the new Jodi Picoult book I just bought tonight! Hello, stupid, ever hear of reading the back cover?!!!

On the upside, I found out tonight I won another Bloggy Giveaway: three bags of iris bulbs. I believe that makes twelve. Piggish!