Thursday, March 25, 2010


Clone is just a tad more than a month away from receiving First Communion. This special occasion calls for a white dress, white shoes, and white veil. A couple friends offered to loan me their daughters' dresses. I would have done that if I couldn't swing the money for it. Thankfully I was thinking ahead and started looking early. We have the requisite white dress. It's a lightweight, slightly adorned number with a layered skirt. She needs a veil too, and I decided that I can make one a lot cheaper than buying one. It could just as easily get more expensive though too. However the least expensive I've seen is $10 for just the veil - no means to affix it to her head. The clips, headbands, combs & crowns add up. For some reason the price triples because it's "bridal" supplies. She wants 2 layers (so she can pull one layer over her face - she watches too much "Say Yes to the Dress"), a tiara, and a decorative edging. We scoped out some trim today. We found one trim that is adorned with something similar to what's on the dress. I will also look in a couple other places to see if there is anything else that strikes our fancy. I'm not overly fond of the tiara idea, but I did see a hair comb with a small tiara somewhere recently. She's a bit of a peanut and I don't want to go overboard with the whole princess getup either, so the smaller the tiara the better. I happened across the dress in a second-hand store while still waddling pregnant with the Mini-Human. I found the shoes (heels - the Clone swooned!) in another second hand store. I told her the ONLY reason she was getting them was because she needs white shoes for this, they're dressy, and she is ONLY going to be permitted to wear them to church. I don't let her wear heels for a number of reasons. First of all I don't believe little kids have any business wearing heels outside of very special occasions, and I'd bet I have a thousand podiatrists ready to back me up on that one. Second, she has my feet. I won't even explain my feet here. Neither of us have time for that right now. So, heels are special occasion shoes only. This special occasion, all the girls dress up like little princess brides. My tomboy diva princess wants a tiara on her veil. I'm just glad I lack the skills to knit lace, because I was briefly (and I do mean BRIEFLY) tempted to knit a veil for Clone. Perusing Ravelry's projects pages of veils revealed that I can not spend 6 hours each day for the next month knitting a veil. It might have worked if I started it last year or even the year before. But some tulle, a decorative hair comb, some lace trim, needle, thread, possibly beading wire and/or hot glue - that I can do. And I can squeeze it in while Mini-Human takes naps.

Mini-Human is getting so big and I'm like "WAIT, SLOW DOWN!" She'll be 6 months old this weekend, and she's crawling, pulling up on things, trying to walk (she REALLY REALLY wants to GO and she just hasn't developed the physical skills fully yet, but the desire is there), and trying to sit up on her own. Tonight I left her in the den on her tummy, went to another room, and immediately came back to find her sitting up all by herself. Beast was 4 feet away watching tv, so he totally missed it. She was very proud of herself as she played with the office supply mini catalog that fell on the floor. There was no repeat performance so I could send a picture message to a certain list of people. A watched pot never boils, and a watched baby never performs on demand either.

While these milestones are awesome to watch and make me smile....I am so not ready for them.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

More Mobility

She's pulling up on stuff. She's been scooting with AUTHORITY, and started pulling herself up on things. First it was the FisherPrice rocking chair thingy. Then there's the Exersaucer. Then Thursday it was the toybox. Tonight (Friday) I laid her in the crib for bed. She was fine for a few minutes and complained. Beast checked on her and she was standing up facing the wall. He laid her back down, put the mobile on for her, and so far I haven't heard anything else.
She's crawling. I witnessed it with my own eyes - legs moving with the knees on the floor and the 90 degree angle, with coordinated movement of actual crawling.
She's sitting decently on her own if planted somewhere, but she's too busy and nosy to stay there usually. She is trying to push herself up into a sitting position on her own, but still only gets to 45 degrees usually.
She's kicking both legs at the same time. She'll do this while laying on the floor or in the crib, WHILE nursing, and even while sitting in your lap. But she hasn't made the correlation that if she's in the rocking chair and does this, she can entertain herself and rock as long as she wants. She's more inclined to flipping over in the chair to scoot down out of it and play with the seatbelts. She tries to do this while the seatbelt is fastened with her behind it.
She was unfastened in the baby bucket on the floor and crawled up to the top of it and flipped it over. She apparently expected that because she was not even the least bit surprised. She looked annoyed that I was picking her up off the carseat. I got the scowl.

She's moving too fast. They all moved too fast. Here I was thinking she'd be held so much she wouldn't walk till she was a year old. I was dead wrong there. She's held plenty, but she loves exploring - at least till she gets caught under the futon or dining room chair and can't figure out how to escape. I don't know why I expected anything different from this baby that I didn't get from the older 3 kids. Nope, this one decided to be uber competitive and Devildog thinks she'll be walking before 7 months. Beast walked at 7 months, Oldest at 8, and Clone at 9 months.

You can bet future blog posts will include me saying "Sit down please, Mommy's tired!"

Friday, March 19, 2010


I have one, and it's colored by my experiences. I can't say I've always had stellar experiences, but I can say some of those experiences make me dig in my heels even more - and sometimes to my own detriment. I'm a hard-headed Irish woman, I doubt anyone would expect any less of me.
My own perspective got reeled in really quick today. Devildog's phone rang while he was asleep. As I sometimes do, I answered his phone. It was our friend C. I commented that he sounded thrilled to be, oops. Yeah, I got a big shock from him, saying his son J. was in the hospital. As it turns out, J has Type 1 diabetes, and his blood sugar had been over 500 this past weekend when he was at his grandparents' house. GP, as he's called, has Type 2 diabetes and sometimes the other members of the family will spot check their blood sugar levels. Gma told C & S about the high reading and said "get him to a doctor". That was Sunday. J already had an appointment on Wednesday for a camp physical, so C&S decided to ask about it at the appointment. The nurse took the reading, and promptly said "Take him to the hospital. NOW." They did, and J was admitted Wednesay evening with a blood glucose reading of 540. By Thursday, they'd gotten it down to 243. Normal for J is 120.

The silver-ish lining in all this is that C has struggled with weight for ages, but his diet always reverts back to what it was previously. With the diet that J needs, the family will all be following it, and C hopes to gain control of his weight and avoid the fate his dad has met, and now his son must tend.
The real ass-kicker for J? Thursday was his 13th birthday. It was spent in the hospital with a life changing diagnosis. Happy Birthday, welcome to adolescence, and oh yea, you're diabetic. Enjoy the hospital stay. (and I say that with all the dripping sarcasm my regular readers know I possess.)

Saturday, March 13, 2010


It's been a challenging week to say the least. The oldest has decided that he's old enough to do his own thing, regardless of what his parents (or the law for that matter) have to say on it. He's become a gadabout. It got nasty Monday night. I have not seen him since Monday, except briefly Wednesday night - and only because I had a police officer round him up, and even more briefly Thursday night. He's got his side of the story that he tells his friends and their parents, garnering him a place to sleep for that night. I'll spare everyone the details of the latest drama, because really, do we need to feed THAT llama any extra fodder? It's something else Satan is doing to throw heaps of sand on my sidewalk, in hopes of me slipping and falling. I've got a broom, and friends with brooms. He can survive without us (paraphrasing his words here), and that much is plausible. But survival is less heinous when one avoids burning one's own bridges. My oldest sister taught me that 20 years ago. (GAH, I feel old writing that!)

The bright spots in my week involve the younger 3 kids.

I had to tend the baby a second while on the phone with a friend. I handed the phone to Beast for a minute, who shared thoughts with that person. When I got the phone back, the friend was duly impressed by the location of Beast's head on his shoulders.

Clone went to the yarn shop with me today so I could read over a pattern there for a sweater I want to make for myself. When we got home, I was talking to my friend (the one who taught me to knit) about the pattern. After I hung up the phone, Clone asked me to make a sweater for her please. (She keeps stealing my blanket and it was only a matter of time before she asked me.) I'll sit with her soon and we'll go through Ravelry first, and then other sources if need be to find one for her that I can manage. I need to stash-bust anyway right?

Mini-human...well she's very interested in whatever we're eating. She makes chomping motions with her mouth, and it's funny to hear her smacking her lips while she's playing on the floor, scooting around with authority like she does. She's trying to sit up on her own, pull to standing, and figure out that whole moving the feet thing - SIMULTANEOUSLY. She's got opinions already and is rather vocal. She's not unlike any of the other kids were as babies, and I wouldn't expect anything else from her either. She's got 2 new-to-us pieces of equipment, and loves them. The Fisher Price Infant-to-Toddler rocker is her favorite at B's house. Clone loved sitting in one at C's house as a baby. Mini-Human turned herself over in the rocking chair, slid down till her feet hit the floor, and then stood in front of the chair playing with it. Devildog walked into the living room tonight and was somewhat dumbfounded by her antics.
And the Evenflo Jump & Go - entertained the older 3 for hours. The older kids had the Graco Bumper Jumper actually. Beast used to walk his way as far forward or backward as his legs allowed. Then he'd pick up his feet and swing back and forth till the momentum slowed. And he'd repeat. We'd see him playing in the doorway and a couple seconds later we'd see him flying. We'll see how Mini-Human does with it, but so far she's enjoying that too. I wouldn't be surprised if she followed Beast's springing running start.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

another yarny WIN

I goofed, but left it because I'm not frogging back. I'm so excited it's rediculous. I was getting annoyed because I couldn't get this pattern wrapped together with my brain. Finally it clicked and I was sailing from there. I figured out what I needed to do to mark stitches.
Because I was making too many knit vs purl/purl vs knit mistakes, I needed to pick back freqently till I could visualize the stitch patterns. So I had to mark not only the point in the pattern as instructed, but I also had to mark my slipped stitch too in case I had to pick back the entire row.

Yes, I'm excited about a yarn pattern. At almost 2 am. Because I finally figured it out and have now cast off the item from my needles.
I'll post pictures later. You muggles probably will never understand my excitement. The project defied me, and I ripped it back to cast-on 3 times. The 4th time was my charm. I am so gonna make this in smaller sizes for my girls now too. Well not now-now...I need sleep. Later-now. Clone will be so excited for me when she sees it in the morning.

just WOOT! It's all I can say.
I did my own version of THIS.

Monday, March 8, 2010

At last, it's FINISHED

I have been knitting this since June 2008. I cast off February 23, 2010. In my defense, during that year and a half, it did hibernate a LOOONNNNNG time since I was working on that Neverending-baby-towel for Heather D & her daughter. Then it was just plain too freaking hot and I was too freaking pregnant to touch it. Then I had a new baby and she took all my time and energy. If I didn't have 3 older kids to entertain her and tend her I may not have finished it till June of NEXT year. So last month, I got down to the last skein of the Baby Clouds yarn in my possession. I could see light at the end of the tunnel.
The yarn was freecycled to me and I don't expect to ever use this yarn again. When I got it, I was only crocheting, not knitting. I didn't know how and hadn't found a friend to teach me. This yarn is horrid for crocheting, and works up easier in knitting. So said Heather herself, but it was another year before I was able to get a lesson out of her, and it was only because she was moving halfway across the world to an Upper Midwestern State that I squeezed that lesson out of her even. It's extraordinarily forgiving of errors, but that's just because the yarn has ulterior motives. It was out to get me. I refused to be defeated by this yarn in 2006 when I acquired it. No way in hades I was going to concede defeat after this much time either.
Now to remind the children that this is MOM'S blanket and of all the others they've stolen from me, this one has personal investment and I'm not interested in sharing too much. I was so very excited to find that I had reached a point in the project that I could call it done and be happy to have a fuzzy string of scrap yarn leftover.

My text message to Heather at 1 in the morning?
"WOOOHOOO!!!! CASTING OFF THE BABY CLOUDS WRAP! i refused to be defeated by this yarn 4 years ago and damn it i win."

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Fowl Play on words

I got a phone call from Heather D, who taught me to knit and taught the oldest to play violin. She was sitting on the couch with her 1 year old daughter, working on a knitting project she designed (LOTR Tree of Gandor). Her PhD Student husband came home to find some BBQ chicken in the works. He turned to Heather, and asked "Is the chicken done knitting yet?"
So I had to tell her about a funny from Beast. He was making brownies and needed eggs for it. He held one egg up and said "Look Mom, it has eggzema"

Monday, March 1, 2010

New Schedules

I'm making an effort here to NOT whine about this new schedule that is starting this week for both Devildog and myself. He gets new hours, I get a new service schedule. Instead of working my big stores weekly and being assigned the little stores on the service schedule, I'm now given the little stores in one lump group and get to schedule them however I want as long as it's done in the first 2 weeks of the month. I'm trying to keep an open mind about it, but this is coming exactly the same week Devildog's shift changes too. Thankfully I've got menus planned for the week to get us through it. I do believe the crockpot will be my best friend in all this, as much as Devildog dislikes my frequent use of it. I'm not his stepmom, and I have an arsenal of recipes that I know work, and others that I have been really wanting to try making. I don't quite understand his disdain, and I make no apologies to him for my adventures with food. I'm not fearless, but I loathe boring food after growing up with a mother who could screw up a box of mac & cheese. There's a difference between comfort food and same-old-same-old. Usually you WANT the comfort food, and you ask for a peanut butter sandwich when same-old is served.
Plus, the KP duty between the boys changes hands today too, as it's the first of the month. I'm not sure where Devildog is going with this method he's devised, but I am going along with it. There are very distinct personalities between the boys and it's an exercise in tongue-biting and rosary-reciting with these two.
Recalling the advice my sister gave me at the start of 8th grade when I whined about the way they worked our class schedules...

The only constant in life is change.

And she's right.