Friday, December 21, 2007

Year in Review

2007 has been quite a year. Up and down (more up than down, though, and that's a good thing). This post may be more for me than anyone else, but I want to take this opportunity to take a walk down memory lane, and revisit just how far I've come this year. Think of it as a personal newsletter that I'm too lazy to put in my Christmas card.

I started the year in January by
announcing that I was pregnant with Vivian (only named Pumpkin at the time). It was an incredibly emotional time for me -- incredibly happy, yet sad and grieving. At the end of the month, we traveled back up to Tahoe to scatter Eliza's ashes, a cathartic and beautiful experience.

In February, I started making Vivian's Pumpkin quilt (which is still in the unfinished state it
was in when she was born, but which I plan to finish after Christmas knitting is finished). And Mark was born! Looking back at those first photos of him, it's hard to remember how small he was to start with! February was also the first time I felt Vivian move -- and it was the most awesome, incredible feeling.

March started Richard's uber-travel schedule, in which he was gone 6 weekends in 7 weeks. I
remember that getting really old, really fast, for both of us. We found out Vivian's gender this month, and also gave her her name. Giving Viv her name was very important to us, as it helped us identify with her as an individual person, and begin our relationship.

April was an emotional month for me, as I reached, and finally passed, the 25-week-2-day mark at which I lost Eliza. Once we passed it, I felt this huge weight lifted off of my chest, as I entered into new pregnancy territory. And it was awesome.

May was a fairly light month, emotionally. We attended the Red-neck Wedding party, and it was awesome. We also got to prep more for Vivian, signing up for childbirth, infant care and breast feeding classes (only some of which we actually got to take).

June was certainly an eventful month! We started with my awesome shower, at which we were showered with so many amazing gifts
, handmade and otherwise. Towards the end of the month, we had another ultrasound, which showed how big Vivian was getting. We were preparing to welcome her in the middle of July, when she decided she had things to do and people to see. My water broke on Friday morning, June 29, when I was 34 weeks, 2 days pregnant.

July is pretty much an emotional blur. It started with me & Vivian being in the hospital, and then transitioned into Vivian staying in the NICU, which sucked, but we got through. A good thing that also happened, which I never really wrote about, was that our FORMER health insurance company FINALLY agreed to pay my medical bills from when we lost Eliza. I literally had a collection agent calling me on my cell phone while I was doped up on Vicodin in a hospital bed, with Vivian in the NICU, telling me that my bill was now almost a year old. Like I could forget that it had now been a year since Eliza had died. It finally got resolved when my company's insurance broker finally shamed the insurance company to stop stalling and pay the damn bills. We were finally able to bring Vivian home, and while tiring and stressful, it was the most amazing experience of my life.

In August, we took our first trip with Vivian, out to Tucson to see the family. I loved introducing her to my grandmother and stepfather. We also continued the stressful experience of trying to find daycare for Viv - stressful, but with a happy ending, thank goodness.

September was a great month. I finally started to feel comfortable with Vivian's schedule. She finally got the hang of breastfeeding. We took our first plane trip (out to Tucson again)
and Viv did awesome, sleeping through most of the two flights and a layover.

October marked the tragic end of my maternity leave and my return to work. Jenny came to visit, and I got my hair cut. I cried on Vivian's first day at daycare, but we both survived. Vivian had her very first visit to the pumpkin patch, and I made a somewhat misguided attempt to take a photo of a baby in a pumpkin. Vivian was not exactly fond of being placed in a wet, slimy gourd. Oh well, live and learn. If she ends up with some horrible phobia of enclosed places, it will be all my fault.
Probably only one of many things I'll be guilty of.

In November, we started in on our very first holiday season as a threesome. We shared Friends Thanksgiving and found out that there is a whole new bumper crop of babies expected in the spring! Vivian won't be the youngest baby for very long.

And now we're in December. We've taken Vivian to see Santa, hung the stockings (although not Vivian's yet because I still haven't sewn the lining for hers -- tonight, I promise!). Vivian had her first renal ultrasound since leaving the hospital (her hydronephrosis is improving, although not yet gone completely. We'll do another ultrasound in a few months). We had our first bout of daycare-related sickness (rotavirus), and managed to pass it on to many of our favorite people. The gift that keeps on giving! We leave for Tucson tomorrow in a purple PT Cruiser packed to the gills with clothes, diapers, presents, and unfinished knitting. That was 2007 for us. I can't wait to see what 2008 will bring us.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

a good book

I am a reader. Since I was a wee girlie, I have been found at many a social function with my nose buried in a book. I've never been a snob about what I read -- chick lit, sci fi, fantasy -- I'll read the fluff alongside the more "serious" and "literary" tomes.

But for much of 2006 and 2007, I had felt lost, unable to find a book worthy of my time. I spent plenty on magazines, but I just couldn't read anything more substantial than Entertainment
Weekly (one obvious exception being Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- but that's more of a phenomenon than a mere book). I told myself it was depression or being pregnant, which kept me from really enjoying books like I used to.

But that was before I joined
Paperback Swap. This is not a commercial, but I have to say that this service, where you can swap your unwanted books and get other books in return FOR FREE, is awesome. I joined back in September and decided that I would use it to try out books that sounded interesting but that weren't MUST HAVES that I needed right away.

In just the last few months, I've read:

Fluffy chick-lit, true crime, children's lit (btw, The Golden Compass is really dense. When the New York Times calls your book "challenging," this is not your average kiddie book). I've decided that reading, no matter what it is that I'm reading, is the goal.

Here's what's on my To Be Read shelf (currently stacked on top of the TV):

Right now I'm reading The Annotated Pride & Prejudice. I love Jane Austen, and Pride & Prejudice is my 2nd favorite book (just behind Persuasion). The annotations are really adding to my enjoyment, I have to say. They give insight into how certain words were used at the time of the writing, show illustrations of common items from the time, and point out certain literary devices as they occur. Very cool for the history nerd like me.

If you're interested in signing up for PaperBack Swap, click here: Full disclosure -- I get book credits for each person who signs up. It's free and a good way to get rid of the old books you're never going to reread. It's also a low-cost way to get a head start on that New Year's resolution to read more books!

Thursday, November 29, 2007


I can't believe it's almost December. This month has gone by in a total blur.

First, I have to apologize to my fab Secret Pal Rebecca, who sent me an awesome package for SP11. I received it before Thanksgiving, but have been so crazy that I haven't posted about it. Let me count the ways that it rocked:

1. An adorable outfit for Vivian. So cute!
2. Beautiful Tilli Thomas beaded yarn. I've wanted to try this yarn for a long time, and now I can.

3. Lush purple/white wool blend -- 3 skeins with a lot of yardage -- enough to make a sweater (at least a tank)

4. Gorgeous Artyarns sock kit -- it may be enough to actually entice me to finish a pair of socks

5. 2 skeins of fun & fluffy yarn that will make great edgings for baby outfits

6. A set of circular needles and point protectors

Thank you
Rebecca for putting such a great package together!

I have been knitting Christmas gifts (which I can't show), but not frequently enough to get much progress done. Hopefully at SnB tonight I can knuckle down and get one project finished.

Last night, we took our first family portraits. John Dlugolecki, who has been the
photographer for my work for more than 20 years (and who also photographed my wedding 5 years ago) took some wonderful photos. I don't want to show them all off yet, as many will end up as gifts and cards, but here are a few that I couldn't resist:
Life is crazy, and with Richard sick and Vivian's first tooth coming in, no one is sleeping very much (maybe that's why life is a blur), but when we have a baby this cute, how can we be anything but ecstatically happy?

Monday, November 19, 2007

On being thankful

Thank you to everyone for your suggestions and support for managing my crazy life. Yes, we have changed diaper brands, and we haven't had any blowouts since.

With Thanksgiving only a few days away, I decided to focus on the things for which I am faithful.
#1 Vivian: My daughter is happy & healthy, vibrant and joyous. On Saturday, I was bouncing her on my lap, and she was smiling and giggling so much that it made me cry. It reminded me of the dream I had before she was born, and it was so wonderful. It was an absolutely perfect moment that I will always treasure.

#2 Richard: My husband (of five years! as of Friday) is wonderful and amazing. I know the word "soulmate" is cheesy and trite, but we just fit. We can talk about anything, from next year's Halloween costumes (we're thinking food marketing characters: Chef Boyardi, the Sunmaid Raisin girl and a baby Swiss Miss), to where we were when Kurt Cobain died, to American history and today's politics. I am very lucky to be married to my best friend.

#3 My family: Vivian's birth has brought my family closer together. Seeing their love for her has been awesome (like a 100 million hot dogs).

If you are a diligent reader of this blog (and why wouldn't you be?), you may remember the quilt square I made in memory of Eliza for the Preeclampsia Foundation's memory quilt. I thought you might like to see it in its final form:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The quilt was auctioned off at this year's Saving Grace fundraiser gala. The winning bidder paid $4,500 for the quilt! The winner was the CEO of Beckman-Coulter, a biomedical testing company that is working to develop a diagnostic test for preeclampsia. Apparently, the CEO plans to have the quilt on a rotating display among all the company's labs/offices. I'm very proud to have participated in this project, and I'm thankful that Eliza is helping to raise awareness of this horrible disease.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I'd lose my head if it wasn't attached...

It would be a polite understatement to say that I've been scattered lately. I have a million things going through my head at any one time, and yet, when I try to think about exactly what I needed from the store... poof! It's gone.

Yesterday, Vivian had a "diaper explosion" on the way to daycare, so we had to change her clothes once we got there, using her "alternate" clothes in her cubby. Ok, so that means I'm supposed to bring new "alternate" clothes. Last night, I pulled out and set aside these alternates, right next to the cute outfit I had planned for today. So, this morning, another explosion in the car seat on the way to daycare. And... I'd forgotten the alternate clothes. Luckily, we had extra onesies in the cubby, but no pants. So Vivian is pantless today. Good parenting.

AND, I noticed this morning that I had forgotten to bring the breast pump up from the car into the office. I pump twice a day at the office, so that Vivian has food for the next day. I went down to my car a few minutes ago, and no pump. Did I leave it in the house? Is it sitting in my driveway? (if it was, it's probably gone by now, knowing my neighborhood) So now I have to drive home on my lunch break and pick it up (hopefully -- assuming it still exists).

The DMV "misplaced" the title transfer for my car, which means I need to request a new title and new paperwork from Ford, to prove the loan has been paid off. I've known about this since Halloween. I have until the end of this month. Have I done anything with the paperwork? No, it's still sitting on my desk.

We went to Mel & Grant's home last weekend for Friends Thanksgiving (which was lovely by the way -- I'll get around to posting about it someday), and I ended up leaving my book (which I had just had returned from accidentally leaving it behind in Tucson in September) and an outfit of Vivian's that was in the dryer (from another diaper explosion -- maybe those Target diapers aren't so good after all).

Oh, and there are only 40 crafting/shopping days left before Christmas. And yet again, I've overloaded myself with knitting for gifts. Why I do this to myself every year, I don't know. Five knitted gifts to be made (I've only started one, but at least it's half-done already), a knitted Santa hat for Christmas morning, and numerous sewing gifts (yes, much easier than knitting, but sewing needs to take place at the sewing machine, in the craft closet, away from Vivian -- as opposed to knitting, which I can do on the couch next to her).

And there's still work. I'll leave that one other than to say that everyone now realizes that I'm back, and my dance card is way, way full.

I need to stop the spinning in my head. I need to breathe. I need to do one thing at a time.

UPDATE: I found the pump. It wasn't in the driveway, it was next to the cat's water. Good place for it, don't you think? And yet another thing I've forgotten: when I went to feed Vivian at lunch, I noticed that there was a strange bottle in her food tray in the refrigerator. When I asked about it, I was told, "well, you didn't leave any nipples, just the milk bottles with caps, so we had to transfer your milk into another bottle." Great.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

New look

Everyone needs a new look every once in a while. And now that I'm sporting my new hair, I felt like my blog needed a face lift. So now we have a Marimekko-inspired look. It's orange! It must be good!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Time for me

As a mom, I have discovered just how easy it is to constantly put yourself dead last. I spend so much of my time thinking/worrying about Vivian, that sometimes I just can't care about anyone, or anything, else, much less myself. Vivian is #1, Richard is #2, the cats are (a somewhat distant -- to their dismay) #3, and if I have the energy, I am #4.

But that needs to change (if not the order, then at least the number of times I actually get to #4). I need to take care of myself to take care of my family. What's that annoying t-shirt say? "When Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." I won't take on the appalling grammar -- I don't have time. But I do think I need to pay attention to myself a bit, so I can be happy and healthy. Because when I'm not, everyone at home feels the pain.

So, I'm starting by making doctor's appointments. After seeing a doctor every 2 weeks while I was pregnant, it feels a bit weird to not have seen someone for months. So I made an appointment for a physical, a flu shot and an eye exam. I also need to get into a dentist, which I have been putting off for far too long.

The upside for me? Once I get my new eye prescriptions, I can get lenses for my new glasses that I picked up at this weekend's L.A. Eyeworks sale! Thank you Ellen, for reminding me about this yearly event. I scored 3 pairs for $85: a dark green rectangular set, a light peach rectangular set and a fab gold-brown cat's eye pair. Pictures to come.

I'm also getting some knitting done, although no finished objects yet. I am making good progress on my Juliet, although I'm starting to think that the Noro Blossom I'm using, and its color stripes, will take away from the lace pattern. Oh well, too late now. It still looks fabulous, and I know I'll get a lot of use for it this winter.

Christmas is coming up, and I've gotten a late start on crafting, as usual. I have 5 knitting projects on the list, which is probably too many to finish, but I'm going to try anyway. Luckily, I'm not fooling myself that anyone is getting sweaters, and once I'm finished with Juliet (probably my last "me" project until after the holiday), I can cast on for the first.

Even though this post is about me, I couldn't leave without some gratuitous baby photos.

Vivian in her Pumpkin costume for Halloween

Vivian & I in the craziness of Hollywood Blvd. on Halloween (on our way to see The Nightmare Before Christmas in 3-D!)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Good year

Bad blogger. No posts in over a week!

My only excuse is that I'm sick. I've had a nasty head cold for the last few days (luckily, it seems to be starting to go away). But because of it, I haven't felt like doing anything. I have 3 pumpkins that I never carved, a costume that I didn't make, and decorations I never put up. Crap. I love Halloween, but I just had no energy this year.

Last week, I turned 32. I really think this is a good year. 32 just looks better than 31 -- round number, I'm now comfortably in my 30s, rather than just hanging around the edges. The day of my birthday was pretty low key. We went to Pizza Club and Richard had provided everyone with hats and noisemakers for me. Ashley even brought me chocolate cupcakes, which was very nice.

I know, Vivian looks really into the birthday spirit, doesn't she? But she is the best birthday present I could ever ask for.

Over the weekend, we headed up to Fresno for the largest Civil War reenactment west of the Mississippi. I'm a total history geek, so it was perfect for me. I loved seeing all the reenacters and how excited they were to be there. I know that I could totally be one of them -- heck, give me a few years (after Vivian and any siblings are a bit older), and I probably will be!

Vivian was an angel all day. Before the battle, people kept coming up to Rich and saying that he should be careful of Vivian because the cannons were very loud and would probably scare her. So before the battle got underway, he walked to the back of the field. And BOOM! The cannon fire felt like I had been hit in the chest. And Vivian? She slept through the entire thing. Richard kept asking me, "are we sure they tested her hearing in the hospital?" They did. She just wasn't worried about the cannons. She was snuggled in her Bjorn with Daddy -- what could go wrong?

On the crafty front, I have been knitting and crocheting. No Christmas gifts yet, but I'll start those soon. I'm working on my Juliet sweater and I finished a crocheted sweater for Vivian.

Halloween pictures to come. Vivian looks absolutely adorable in her pumpkin costume that my mom made for her. And tomorrow is our WeHo SnB Stitch n Witch party! Come on out and join the fun!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Pumpkin in the Pumpkin Patch

Yesterday, Rich & I took Vivian for her first visit to the Halloween Pumpkin Patch. Ok, so this visit may have been more for us than for her. At 16 weeks old, I'm not sure how much holiday spirit she absorbed. But she is the Pumpkin, so we had to take her for some photos.
And you cannot take a bad photo in a pumpkin patch.

Vivian was very patient, considering that Mommy kept trying to sit her up in and amongst pumpkins and gourds of various sizes. The pumpkin patch is up in Saugus, and the winds were extremely fierce. Vivian actually seemed to enjoy the wind, and I enjoyed the fact that I have short hair, which does not get tangled and messy!

We finally left when Vivian seemed she had had enough, and not a moment too soon.
The sky behind Rich & Viv isn't brown with the usual LA smog -- that's smoke. The Agua Dulce fire started while we were there, and now the road we took to the pumpkin patch is closed because of it.

When we got home, we headed over to the park to take some pictures of Vivian with her pumpkins, including some of her in the pumpkins.
She was only mildly amused. We only got a couple of good pictures of her in the pumpkin before she started to protest. But we continued to snap away, and took some adorable ones of her next to the pumpkins.

And finally, as the sun went down, I put the camera away. Vivian was very happy about that.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Movie meme

stolen from k8

AFI's top 100 movies. Bold the ones you have seen. Strike out the ones you couldn't finish. * the ones you have seen more than once. (Found via kmkat)

1. Citizen Kane (1941)

2. Godfather, The

3. Casablanca (1942)

4. Raging Bull (1980)

5. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

6. Gone with the Wind (1939)* one of my favorites

7. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

8. Schindler’s List (1993)

9. Vertigo (1958)* "I look up, I look down, I look up, I look arrgghh!" Seen at cinespia.

10. Wizard of Oz, The (1939)*

11. City Lights (1931)

12. Searchers, The (1956)

13. Star Wars (1977)*

14. Psycho (1960)

15. Sunset Blvd. (1950)* Seen at cinespia.

16. 2001 : A Space Odyssey (1968)

17. Graduate, The (1967)* Plastics.

18. General, The (1927)

19. On the Waterfront (1954)

20. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)*

21. Chinatown (1974)

22. Some Like It Hot (1959)* Seen at cinespia.

23. Grapes of Wrath, The (1940)

24. E.T. The Extraterrestrial (1982)*

25. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)*

26. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

27. High Noon (1952)

28. All About Eve (1950)

29. Double Indemnity (1944) Seen at cinespia.

30. Apocalypse Now (1979)

31. Maltese Falcon, The (1941) Seen at cinespia.

32. Godfather Part II, The (1974)

33. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)

34. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)*

35. Annie Hall (1977)

36. Bridge on the River Kwai, The (1957)

37. Best Years of Our Lives, The (1946)

38. Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The (1948)

39. Dr. Strangelove (1964)

40. Sound of Music (1965)*

41. King Kong (1933)

42. Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

43. Midnight Cowboy (1969)*

44. Philadelphia Story, The (1940) Seen at cinespia (I think...)

45. Shane (1953)

46. It Happened One Night (1934) Seen at cinespia.

47. Streetcar Named Desire, A (1951)

48. Rear Window (1954)

49. Intolerance (1916)

50. Lord of the Rings : The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)*

51. West Side Story (1961)*

52. Taxi Driver (1976)

53. Deer Hunter, The (1978)

54. M*A*S*H (1970)*

55. North by Northwest (1959) Seen at cinespia.

56. Jaws (1975)

57. Rocky (1976)*

58. Gold Rush, The (1925)

59. Nashville (1975)

60. Duck Soup (1933)

61. Sullivan’s Travels (1941) Seen at cinespia.

62. American Graffiti (1973)*

63. Cabaret (1972)*

64. Network (1976)

65. African Queen, The (1951)

66. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)*

67. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)

68. Unforgiven (1992)

69. Tootsie (1982)*

70. Clockwork Orange, A (1971)

71. Saving Private Ryan (1998)

72. Shawshank Redemption, The (1994)*

73. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

74. Silence of the Lambs, The (1991)*

75. In the Heat of the Night (1967)

76. Forrest Gump (1994)*

77. All the President’s Men (1976)*

78. Modern Times (1936)

79. Wild Bunch, The (1969)

80. Apartment, The (1960)* Another of my all-time favorites.

81. Spartacus (1960)

82. Sunrise (1927)

83. Titanic (1997)*

84. Easy Rider (1969)

85. Night at the Opera, A (1935)

86. Platoon (1986)

87. 12 Angry Men (1957)

88. Bringing Up Baby (1938) Seen at cinespia.

89. Sixth Sense, The (1999)*

90. Swing Time (1936)

91. Sophie’s Choice (1982)

92. Goodfellas (1990)*

93. French Connection, The (1971)

94. Pulp Fiction (1994)*

95. Last Picture Show, The (1971)

96. Do the Right Thing (1989)

97. Blade Runner (1982)*

98. Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)

99. Toy Story (1995)*

100. Ben-Hur (1959)

Ok, 55% isn't too bad. It leaves room for improvement. If it hadn't have been for cinespia, it would have been much lower!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Fashionable and free?

I may be the only sewer who didn't know this, but Burda has super cute sewing patterns available for download... for free! Dresses, shirts, skirts, pants, clutches -- all available for download and printing on either your home printer or from a copy shop.

I'm a little bigger than their size range, but with some careful drafting, I could make some of these patterns work (especially in stretchy fabrics).

Of course, I also have a 3 1/2 month old at home, so I don't know when I'm doing all this sewing, but now I have some extra reasons to get stitching!

Monday, October 15, 2007


We survived. I went back to work, and both Viv and I survived. I probably had a harder time than she did. I did stop by at lunch to feed her, and she seemed happy and smiley to everyone (but me).

My first day back at work was ok. A lot of people are out at a 3-day meeting, so it was a bit slow, which was good. I can ease back in instead of being slammed. And it went faster than I expected, so all in all, about as good as I could have hoped for.

Several projects under way right now. I'm doing Juliet in Noro Blossom, the Back-to-School
Sweater Vest from Fitted Knits (in vintage wool I got at the PCC Flea Market) and a motif sweater for Vivian that is similar in basic construction to Annie Modesitt's Lacy Leaf Cocoon sweater. More details when I get a bit further on any of them.

And here is your gratuitous baby photo:
Isn't that a beautiful smile? I sure think so!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


What is life if not a work in progress? We move forward, like it or not. And here at Chez Reeve/Manfredi, we're moving forward.

This is my last week of maternity leave. I head back to work next week, and Viv heads to daycare. I'm dreading this transition, but it's something
that needs to happen. We're a two-income family, and we both work outside the home. Rich is being wonderful -- he tells me that we'll that if I hate leaving her at daycare, we can revisit this. Not that we can really afford to live on 1 salary (at least not in LA), but just the thought that we can revisit this if necessary lifts a bit of the weight off my shoulders.

So, we're getting ready. I decided I needed a new look to help me get into a work frame of mind. So let me present my new haircut:

It's so nice not to need to pull my hair into a ponytail or work to make sure Vivian doesn't grab it. The only bad thing is that my hair seems to have gotten curlier now that it's shorter. So it curls up in funky places. But I still love it. I went to Haas Salon on Larchmont Blvd., just walked right in with my sister Jenny, and got this fab cut for only $45! I've found my new salon!

More works in progress, on the crafty front. I finished Vivian's Christmas stocking! It went really fast, and I'm very pleased with how it turned out. I do still need to line it and add a
hanger, but it turned out just how I pictured it.

I only used 1/3 - 1/2 of each skein of Cascade 220, so I decided to make good use of the leftover yarn by crocheting Vivian a winter vest. Layers work so much better here in LA when it's cold(ish). This is the Pastel Parfait vest from Candy Babies, by Candi Jensen.

It's going really quickly, so it should be done in the next day or so.

And that's that. Change happens, and it's not always bad. I just have to get through this transition and back into routine. Take a deep breath and just move forward.

now that's a sleepy pumpkin

Friday, September 28, 2007

In my life

Guess where I was Wednesday night?

Richard, Vivian and I skipped Pizza Club this week to make a trek out to the LA County Fair and the Professional Bull Rider's Los Angeles circuit event. And it was actually my idea. Never in my life would I have thought I would be whooping and hollering at grown men trying to stay on the back of a very large bull. But it was actually a lot of fun, watching the riders hang on for dear life. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and I'm not ashamed, even if this does make my neck a wee bit red...

Being at the Fair, we also enjoyed some deep-fried goodness: deep fried hostess cupcake and a deep fried Snickers. The cupcake was warm, chocolatey, molten heaven: everything that I could hope for and more. The Snickers was a bit disappointing. Too much batter, and just too heavy.

If that snickers was my last deep-fried awesomeness of the year, I'd be even more disappointed, but fear not! More deep-fried happiness is coming on Sunday, when we head back for the last night of the fair. I need to score some deep-fried avocado and some deep-fried oreos. Deep-fried oreos -- I feel a Homer-worthy drool coming on as I type. Pictures to come...

Monday, September 24, 2007


Yes, we survived our first plane flight -- in fact, Vivian was a perfect angel. She started to fuss a bit on our first leg, but I fed her and she settled right down. She slept through the entire second leg, a feat that led other passengers to remark, "wow, I wish I could travel that way." Hurray! Of course, she started screaming the moment we got in the car to go to my mom's, but I can't really complain. That's just Viv -- on perfect behavior in public, screaming in front of family. On the whole, I guess that's the definition of a good baby.

A few FO's for the list: #1, the Ogee Lace Skirt that I made for Jenny's birthday, and #2, Le Slouch, my Tucson knitting project.

The Ogee is from the Summer 07 Interweave Knits, and I used Wool in the Woods Cameo. Doesn't it look cute on Jenny?

And here is my Le Slouch. I got inspired by Catherine's version, so I went through my stash and rediscovered the bag of Noro Big Bebe that Ellen gifted me with (in her fit of de-stashing). It's bigger than the pattern calls for, but I think I made it work.

And here's some awesome news: I got my Ravelry invite! Hurrah! And omg, I have been on all day (in between feeding & changing diapers), posting my stash and projects. It's a little overwhelming, but fun. If you're on Ravelry, my handle is HandyC.

And in Secret Pal news, my Giftee officially loved her package, which makes me feel good. I must have done something right. And my gift-er did something right, too: she gave me a $20 gift certificate to! So now I can buy the yarn for Viv's stocking. Yay! Thanks Secret Pal!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

New challenges

Tomorrow, I undertake a new challenge, one that will tax my mind, my body, and most of all, my patience.

Tomorrow, Vivian and I will take our first flight together.

If you happen to be on our Southwest flight to Tucson tomorrow, let me apologize in advance. Yes, she is 11 weeks old. Aren't you glad this isn't a very long flight? Me too.

I have packed the diaper bag with exceeding care: Clorox wipes, Purell, disposable changing pads, extra onesie for Viv and extra tank top for me (in case of diaper explosions). I have saline nose spray/drops to help her ears adjust to the altitude, and a bottle to feed her as we land. I bought her a seat so
that we can keep her in her car seat. I hope it's enough.

On the knitting front, I've been working on presents that I can't share yet -- pictures to come when I can. I think I've made up my mind on what to do for Viv's stocking: the striped Funky Stocking from
Handknit Holidays. I know I was thinking it should be cabled, to be similar to Eliza's, but I think it's even better that Vivian's will be completely different.

So here are my color thoughts:
Orange & White Stripes with Green Heel & Cuff

This colorway (in Laines Du Nord Softlight from is very pumpkin-y, which
would fit, but I don't want Viv to get burned out on orange & green and grow to hate them. But then again, I'm her mom -- she's got to hate something I've done, and my color choices are probably the lesser of many evils.

Here's my other thought:
Red & White Stripes with Green Heel & Cuff

This colorway (in Peruvian Pure Alpaca also from is more traditional Christmas-y.

Decisions, decisions. I will probably end up buying the yarn for both (it's elann - it's not that expensive, especially for a project that is effectively 1 large sock) and deciding when I can compare them to each other. Does any one out there have any opinions on these colors?

Friday, September 07, 2007

She knits, she scores!

Yes, once in a while, I actually do more than take pictures of my incredibly cute offspring. Occasionally, I knit. Not that you would know this by reading this blog, but I am actually a pretty crafty person. I just have been very bad about documenting said craftiness lately.

So, what have I been up to? Well, I finished the Cloud Bolero! And here it is, in all its glory:
Cloud Bolero
Sorry for the yellow hue, but I am really happy with how it turned out. I used 2 skeins of Patons Classic Merino Wool in Forest -- a cute little merino wool sweater for a grand total of $12? Not bad! The pattern was super easy -- great TV or SnB knitting -- but the ripples provided enough interest so I didn't get bored.

Before the drive to Tucson last month, I realized that I needed a good, simple project for knitting in the car -- something to keep my hands busy that was basic enough that I could put down at any moment. So I decided on the Montego Bay Scarf from the Summer 2007 issue of Interweave Knits. I'm not a scarf knitter -- I tend to get bored too easily to finish one of the proper length. But the fishnet lace pattern was easy yet nice looking, so I picked up a few balls of stash yarn (DiVe Tiwi from a Yarn lady sale ages ago) and started knitting. Here's how it turned out:
Montego Bay Scarf
I love it. It's not exactly a warm & snuggly scarf (the yarn has multiple threads: a slub, a cotton and a metallic thread, so it causes a slight itch if wrapped too tightly), but it's perfect for summer.

I've also been doing some sewing (a bit). I made a simple baby quilt for our friends Matt & Candice's new baby boy. I found this fabulous cotton print showing a sketch of a peg board hung with tools: hammers, saws, wrenches, etc. It was done in shades of orange, green & blue, so I alternated squares of the print with squares of those solid colors. It turned out super cute, but of course, I forgot to take a photo before we gave it. I'll try to get one taken with the baby (once we get word that he's been born!).

I started to make the Tank with 3-d Crochet Embellishments from Knitting Lingerie. I made a gauge swatch and everything looked good -- I was feeling pretty proud of myself. Except that by the time I'd knit about 1/2 of the back, I noticed that everything had stretched. And not a little bit. I mean sssstttrrreeettccchhhheeeeddd. If I had kept going, this tank would have had a 52" waist! I know I'm not in pre-pregnancy shape yet, but I'm not that far gone! So that project has been officially frogged, perhaps to be picked up again, perhaps not.

I haven't started on Vivian's Christmas stocking yet (I actually haven't even bought the yarn) because I'm working on a gift or two. I'll post pictures once they are gifted.

And that's all for today's crafty update. You may now return to your regularly scheduled programming.