Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Jack's poem

Have I mentioned the challenges of parenting teenagers? This poem is awful and wonderful at the same time. It's clever and well written and made me chuckle. And it's just sooo teenage boy. And I can't believe that Jack wrote it - both in a good way and a he should get in trouble way. Charming, isn't it? (special note: Jack is actually quite respectful of girls and women and this poem is meant to be funny and does not reflect his feelings - just his sense of humor.)

Love Poem

You think you're hot
You're not
You have the eyes of a doll
The ones from Chucky, that's all

I love how you carefully look for your dog, the mutt
I say, "hey look behind you, lady; it's stuck on your butt."
Smothered in poodle urine is thy handbag
It could probably make a maggot gag

The greasy, flea bitten scalp of thee
Harbors all of the demons of the sea
I really don't care that your pits could do with a few good prunes
What bothers me is the mushrooms

The way your stretch marks are all in a bunch
It really makes me lose my lunch
You say you're a chick
But I know you have a


Monday, April 27, 2009

babies and computers

Should not be mixed! I left my blog up on the computer earlier today and had to do something across the room and Gemma started clicking away at the mouse. I was busy with Oona and half-heartedly told her to stop. It was kind of cute how she was trying to be like her Mama. Then I went and looked at my blog and all the links and everything were in a different language - Arabic or Persian or Hindi or something, I don't even know. I was NOT happy and I couldn't figure out how to change it back to English. Every time I looked it up on the help menu, I got the answer back in the language I could not read. Not helpful. I finally found something on the help forums but couldn't figure it out because it involved changing something that I couldn't read to know where it was. It is finally fixed! After hair pulling, cursing, yelling etc., Eric is on Blogger so we compared his to mine and figured out which button I needed to push and my blog is in English again and all is well with the world. At least with the blog world. I will never be so nonchalant, though, about babies clicking away with the mouse or typing on the keyboard! Lesson learned... times two hundred.

Teenage boys and how they torture their younger sisters....

Don't worry. They got in trouble....

Happy Birthday, Oona!

Oona got to go to the zoo for her first birthday and though her older sister and brothers probably enjoyed it more than she did, she also had a good time.

She also loved her birthday cake! (note: hotel rooms are impossible to keep tidy with six people in one room.) In the process of eating her cake (no high chair), I became covered in frosting.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

And I thought I was exhausted yesterday! - collapses on floor laughing and crying at the same time. This is as bad as when I last had Benneditos Pizza. I am very unhappy with whoever (Gemma?) fed Oona cheese or something else with dairy in it.

Somehow I'll make it through the day. And the boys are in love with night driving because they did that with their Dad a lot when they were little. So I'm compromising and have agreed to leave at 5 am for our road trip tomorrow morning. Which also means I have to have everything packed and ready tonight and travelling with babies is no mean feat!

I'm looking forward to those days of whine and chocolate! lol... Right now, I'd go for a martini. A chocolate martini, or that really yummy ginger amaretto one I had that one time.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sleep troubles

I am pretty sure that Gemma fed Oona cheese yesterday. You want to know how I know? Flailing limbs connecting with various body parts the most painful of which being the boob and the face, squirming, fussing, and a certain baby named Oona wanting to be up seemingly non-stop to chew my nipples off. There is something up with her latch. I don't know if it's because she has a small mouth or if I'm being lazy or what. I try to get her to open as wide as she can. And still I end up with teeth indentations every time I nurse. Oh, I am so tired... I hear my Dad's voice in my ear saying "quit your moaning..." So I apologize for using this blog merely to complain.

My friend Ivory is going through night-weaning with her little one. Her blog cites this article. I am getting absolutely desperate for sleep and plan on joining her in using the sleep plan described in the article. I've even calculated when the first opportunity to try it will be. Eric needs to be done with finals and have his grades turned in because I don't know if I can do it without his support. It will also have to start on a Thursday because I work Tuesdays and Thursdays. So the magic day is May 14. And that seems waaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy to far away. I swear, when you're in that desperate I need to sleep now mode, every movement and whine and fuss feels like a wire rasping on the side of a gong. You have the irritation of the rasping sound but then it reverberates throughout your entire being and it is so incredibly hard to keep your patience. Did you know telling your baby loudly and firmly, allright, yelling at your baby, GO TO SLEEP, is not an effective way to soothe your baby to sleep? Luckily, in spite of Eric's absolute exhaustion, he took Oona for a couple hours and I slept on the couch - with no flailing limbs around to keep me up.

This morning my entire body aches. I'm so thankful for those couple hours of sleep because otherwise I wouldn't function at all, instead of only semi-functioning.

On the docket for the day... Meeting at a daycare we're hoping the girls will be able to go to. (Guilt alert, guilt alert. Do all Mom's feel guilt over leaving their babies at daycare? The boys went to daycare and they're fine. And it is only for two days a week. And it will allow me to work and to take classes one at a time.) Then it is off to Wally world (more low level guilt for supporting a big-box store) to get a new car seat for Gemma (Wal Mart does have the lowest price I could find and my pocket book thanks me) and materials for our upcoming car trip. We've decided to turn Oona forward facing for our trip so she will be using Gemma's old seat. She turns one on Saturday and is more than twenty pounds. I know you're supposed to leave them rear-facing as long as possible but she really is growing out of the infant car seat and I think she'll be a lot happier forward facing (thus making the driver more alert and happy). That is how I persuade myself that it is a good idea, anyway. Wow, you would think I was a tad neurotic or something, wouldn't you? What with all the anxiety about "am I doing the right thing?" I really hope I am. It's so hard to know for sure. And maybe it is completely unavoidable to have your grown up kids talking about how awful you were/are to their therapist and night weaning was just the beginning...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Dream death by bog

I have never died in a dream before... until last night. How disturbing! And usually I go back and change disturbing dreams, but I couldn't change the fact I died, I could only have my body be rescued. Here's my dream.

I was walking through a field with my sister Anne. There were a bunch of weird trees similar to the one in the picture. (The picture is one another sister took. It's a tree in France that they prune in such a way so that the tree doesn't interfere with wires and everything.)

In my dream, though, we were in a field so no cars or houses and the trees were just turning green - the beginning of Spring. The ground was a bit soggy. My sister and I came to a ditch to cross and I knew it might be muddy but it had to be crossed and so I jumped right in. Turns out it was a bog and the mud was very deep. I went all the way up to my waist right away and the more I struggled the deeper I sank. At first there was a panic and then a complete resignation. So that is how I died. Sunk in a bog, suffocating from the pressure of mud. My sister was more cautious and didn't jump in so was able to pull herself out but couldn't pull me out without being pulled in herself. The part I changed was that this old couple that lived on the farm saw us go down and rescued us. But it wouldn't stick. They did rescue my sister but they only pulled my body out - covered in mud - and then there was a funeral.

Then I spent the rest of the night freaked out about this dream and what does it mean. And just the thought of dying in your dream - it's just really disturbing.

From an on-line dream dictionary: Bogs, denotes burdens under whose weight you feel that endeavors to rise are useless. Illness and other worries may oppress you. When we dream of death, our emotions run high. Feelings of terror, anxiety or even liberation can dominate our mood upon waking. As with any other type of dream, there is no one answer for what the dream means. Generally speaking, however, dreams about death signify much needed change in our lives. Such dreams typically herald symbolic rather than literal death. In this way, death dreams let us know that some part of the self needs to be radically reworked, whether it be one's attitudes, emotions, or relationships.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

random bits

I put Dove Solid Milk Chocolate Eggs in all the Easter baskets. Patrick doesn't like them and there are four of them sitting on the counter taunting me. I think if they're not gone by tonight, I will be throwing them away. Also, Gemma likes unwrapping them but doesn't like to eat them. So she either hands them to me or to Oona. This is pure torture.

I'm holding out, though, for my prize which I think I've finally decided on - though it's open to change since I have until October to really make up my mind. I think, though, that it will be yarn for the Cunningsburgh jacket with the Plymouth Boku yarn as the color part and I thought Reynolds Lite Lopi yarn in Ash for the background. And then, I'm going to ask (complete side note here - Gemma just handed me a jelly bean, aargh!) my sister Anne who lives near a Hobby Lobby to keep an eye out for some Caron Simply Soft Shadows yarn for the Infinity Wrap. Of course, when I'm going to find time to actually knit/crochet these projects is another question.

Speaking of knitting projects, I've finished the front and back of the Kaftan Dress and have started the first sleeve. I'd been hoping to finish it for my anniversary (five years on May 1) but that doesn't look likely. We'll see. Maybe I'll get some marathon knitting time between now and then.

On another note, Gemma is getting closer to potty training, I think. This morning she took her pants and diaper off after she pooped. That was very nice, except for the fact that it demanded that I get up right then and clean her up because, silly me, I didn't want poop smeared all over her clothes, the floor or the furniture. I have a feeling though that potty training in general will be pretty messy.

And it's a beautiful sunny day outside. We went to the park and had a good walk. We played on the slide.

Monday, April 13, 2009

day 3 - what will my prize be?

Well, I'm on day 3 of no sugar. The first three days are the hardest. I could eat Gemma's Easter candy in about twenty minutes. But somehow I've been stopping myself.

I've found I do better with my sugar challenges if I have a concrete reward at the end. Then it is all about delayed gratification instead of denied gratification. Lol... So I've been thinking about that. For awhile now I've been drooling over Noro style yarn - the beautiful long color repeats. And so I've been thinking about projects to use this yarn for. I'm down to either a Fair Isle (Fake Isle) project or the Infinity Wrap By Kristin Omdahl. Here's the wrap and a picture of Plymouth Boku yarn. What do you think?

Hmmmm.... I really like the pattern but do I really need another wrap/shawl? But then if it's about reward and not about what I need..... I could probably persuade myself somehow. I thought about just a striped sweater but finally decided I'm just not a big fan of wearing stripes. So then had the thought of a Fake Isle sweater or whatnot. That would be more practical than the shawl. I liked the Cunninghsburgh Star Jacket in ColorStyle pretty well and I already have the pattern so that would assuage my guilty conscience that says I need to knit something from every book that I own. (ravelry link: Cunningsburgh Star Jacket)

Decisions, decisions.....

I really wish it weren't so hard to not eat sweets but I have to keep reminding myself how much better I feel when I don't. It's strange how strongly I react to it. My first taste of it after a break is like nirvana. Then I go into the depths of despair and need more and more sugar to reach that nirvana-esque state. And then I go off sugar and it's like I need to check into a hotel or a detox program. Good thing I have another addiction to turn to.... yarn and knitting. :)

Friday, April 10, 2009

poor oona...

I've already made my rice krispy treats (see previous post of twenty minutes ago...). Gemma gave me hers after determining it was yucky. (Is she really my daughter? She must have inherited Eric's sugar genes.) Oona, on the other hand, was a huge fan. Poor Oona. I do think she has inherited my sugar genes.

And you'll be proud. I only made a single recipe instead of a double like I usually do.

this time failure is sweet...

I've been in an existential funk this week - depressed about the state of the world and questions of purpose, existence, religion, etc. The kind of stuff you really can't talk to anybody about or even blog about. I feel extremely fortunate that I have been able to talk to Eric about it and he comforts me by telling me how amazing I am. Now, only if I could believe him on that score. :P

In the meantime, I have completely and utterly failed on my no-sugar-for-2009-except-for-specified-holidays challenge. The amount of sugar I've consumed in the past week defies belief. Easter candy has been my downfall which is rather ironic considering the source of my funk. Peeps (mostly for their sugar hit without the heaviness of fat), frosted shortbread cookies, cadbury eggs, malted milk eggs, reese's peanut butter cups, white chocolate bunny, gummy worms, spice jelly beans, cadbury mini-eggs, white chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies, chocolate chunk cookies, chocolate covered pretzels, and I have ingredients for rice krispy treats. I might have missed a few items. I even raided my kids candy for their Easter baskets and had to replace it.

So, now it is time to accept the fact that I've failed. Pick myself up, brush myself off and decide what next. To start with, I think I really need to make and eat the rice krispy treats. Need, you ask? I don't think I could handle throwing away the marshmallows and I couldn't handle making them for the kids and watch them eat them and not have any myself. Then comes the next two challenges. Oona's birthday is the 25th of this month and there is the question of birthday cake. Then Mother's day is in early May and the boys have already told me that they want to decorate a cake for me. They have a program at our local grocery store where kids can come in and decorate a cake, get a photo, etc, for Mother's day. How can you disappoint your kids by not sharing in their celebrations or not eating something they made special for you?

My choices? 1) Continue to eat sweets until Mother's day and then go off sugar from then until Eric's birthday in October. 2) Stop eating sweets tomorrow (after the rice krispy treats) and then eat cake for Oona's birthday and then cake on Mother's day but no other sweets. 3) Stop eating sweets tomorrow (after the rice krispy treats) and no cake for Oona's birthday (she won't notice anyway) and disappoint the boys and no cake on Mother's day.

Number 1 is the easiest, except that I would have to face the consequences of eating sugar for a month (weight gain, holding water, depression, short patience, easy frustration, jumpy legs, fast heart beat, inertia (hard time going up and down stairs), achy joints, etc). Number 2 is the hardest because of the roller coaster of going on and off sugar. Number 3 would be great and nearly as easy as Number 1 except that I already brought it up with the boys and the look of disappointment on their faces was just too much.

And as often happens in grown-up land, the hardest decision is the best one. Sacrificing for your kids seems to be the name of the game. And looking at it that way also makes it easier. So I'll eat cake for Oona for her birthday and cake for the boys for Mother's day and otherwise no sugar for me (after today) from now until October 3. And now I can start thinking of what kind of prize I can give myself for making it that long.

Maybe my 2010 challenge will be no sweets all year except for birthday cake on birthdays. Think I can do it? It's a worthy goal and I'll have to think of ways that will make it worthwhile.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

yarn purchases

Remember my yarn guilt (posted March 22)? My husband and I were talking about whether we were going to get gifts for each other for our fifth anniversary coming up on May 1. He said there were a couple books he wanted so I ordered them for him. And he asked what I wanted. Guess what I said? Yep, you got it! Yarn! I fell in love with two crochet projects in the new Interweave Crochet Magazine. The Audrey Hat and the Blossom Kimono were the ones that caught my eyes. So I popped over to Knitpicks and did some research and picked out some yarn. I got Comfy Sport in Ivory and Marlin for the hat and CotLin in Harbour and Planetarium for the Kimono (deciding on two colors instead of three). I also got some Shadow laceweight in Vineyard Heather for the ZickZack Tunic from the Spring Interweave Knits Magazine. Here they are in opposite order.

But that is not all.... I went shopping at Joanns with a good friend yesterday and got very excited about crafts. I also got some pink sock yarn for Gemma. Fabric for two outfits each for the girls (my friend is sewing them for me as part of a trade). And I decided I had to have the book "Crochet That Fits" because it has the most adorable crocheted little girls dress in it that wouldn't take very long for me to make and then my friend who sews can do the lining. It would be perfect in Comfy Sport Yarn and under $15 for the yarn. The pattern calls for 600 yds for the dress. 600/136=4.4 skeins and you could also make it into an adorable top with probably 3 skeins at $2.79 a piece which would be $8.37 plus tax. I'm thinking I'd make a top because I think I would have the girls wear it more often as a top instead of a dress. We don't do many dressy occasions here.

And then, we got the new knitpicks catalogue in the mail and I'm wondering how I can order $50 worth again (to get free shipping , of course). So it would be yarn for the tops for the girls (Gemma, Oona, Abby, Norah (if I can figure out the sizing) and then maybe Ella and Alice if they want?), yarn for a top for my sister for Christmas (you have to plan these things way in advance, you know...) and then they have this new City Tweed yarn coming out at the end of April that I'm really excited about and think it would make an awesome sweater for Eric. It's DK weight so I might be able to make it up on my knitting machine if I can get that working.

And, and, and. I already have a ton of yarn for a ton of projects. But isn't this so exciting to think about? Now, I just need to be able to knit ten hours a day instead of writing about it on my blog... Ha!

Friday, April 3, 2009

knitting dream

I had my first detailed and remembered knitting dream last night. I was at a knitting store buying yarn and taking a knitting class. I bought some 50% silk, 50% viscose (yes, the word viscose was in my dream) sea green yarn that had a gold thread in it. In fact, they didn't have enough of the yarn and so I bought the sample sweater and was using the yarn from it to make my own sweater. Also, I was discussing sock yarn with another person (unidentifiable) and how I love to wear hand knit socks but that they're not my favorite thing to knit. They were having a sale on sock yarn and I really wanted some with really long color repeats. The knitting class was using the silk/viscose yarn and we were learning a weird stitch that I've never heard of and was having a hard time understanding. Something about making an A and then doing something else with it.

So that must be a sign that I knit too much.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

teenage boys

This is kind of a dark picture but that makes it even more teenager-ish. I came downstairs last night after getting Oona to sleep and was just struck by how teenager-ish Jack and Pat were - lounging in front of screens. The room was filled with the aura, for lack of a better word, of teenage boys. When I'm with friends with babies, sometimes I forget that I'm the mother of two teenage boys as well. The boys have such an amazing bond with their Dad. Being a step-parent has its challenges that's for sure. I'm really honored to be mother to the boys. I'm also aware of a slight distance or otherness. I'm often sad that I wasn't there for them when they were younger and wonder if we would have bonded more then. It really has worked out that Eric is the primary parent for the boy and I am for the girls. It's an interesting dynamic. Eric goes to the store and the boys jump at the chance to go with their Dad. I invite them and they're not interested. At the same time I have the privelege of making sure they are fed, clothed and sheltered and that they are behaving themselves.