Sunday, May 28, 2006

Guess Who Finally Decided?

I hesitate to post this for fear of my putting it out there making it not so, but the Prolific Pooper has earned her guitar!
Eat your heart out, Keith Partridge!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Oooh! And did I mention?

Good friends Skippy and Barb were out for the weekend and I finished The Cardigan just before their arrival! (okay, so I didn't weave any ends in or sew the buttons on, but I was still paralyzed with fear that it wouldn't fit, so it was as done as I was willing to get it!)

It Fits!!! In the words of Jefe, "It's a sweater!" Wear it in good health, Skippy! That is, once you weave in all the ends!

Okay. I didn't get any pictures, but trust me, it is out of my house and with its new owner. The first ever BK original cardigan! Sea Monsters be damned!

Just Keep Knitting, Just Keep Knitting,

Knitting, Knitting!

Pair two of the Unity Sock Project are done!

I now feel I must tell you, I had absolutely no idea WTF I was getting myself into with this little venture! It's not as though I've never experienced SSS (Second Sock Syndrome), I mean, just look at how long my New Englands took to become a pair! (ahem. almost a year) So, why in the name of all things wool did I think that three pair of the same damn sock would be a piece of cake and not present any inertia or ambivilence on my part? Yes, my friends, I am suffering FASSS (Fifth And Sixth Sock Syndrome) I even considered doing the third pair on size 2s and cutting the stitch count back so that they would be done sooner. That whiny little perfectionist in my head ixnayed that idea. So. I cast on and have about 1/4" of ribbing done on sock #5. I'm hoping to have them done by next Friday when the union has their end of year social. We'll see.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Pay No Attention to the Knitter Behind the Curtain!

I'm doing some test knitting currently and cannot blog about that, so I thought I'd just post some photos of what I WON'T be working on (at least until I get the work knitting done).

1) Mock Croc sock #1 is just beyond the gusset, for now...

2) My Krista Tee was cruising along, but must await my idle hands...

However, the Unity Sock-a-rama is now officially halfway done! I have completed 1 full pair, and 1 sock from the second pair, leaving 3 socks left to knit, and since I'm being paid for these, they will continue to chug along. Unfortunately, they will be getting some major wear, I fear. Grr!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Musings on Motherhood

I've been thinking about this for a while. I thought I might post it on the girls' birthday. That came and went. Then I thought, maybe on the anniversary of their coming home from the hospital. Come and gone as well.

Well, now Mother's Day is encroaching, and with it, the 3rd anniversary of their due date. If ever there were a time for me to wax nostalgic and philosophical about my kids and becoming a mom, this is it. At least, for this year.

My DH and I began our foray into parenthood with all the planning of a college freshman, newly out on their own, having just finished reading Kerouac's On The Road, planning a "truly awesome roadtrip." Which is to say, we had no idea what we were doing. Let's have a baby. Okay. It all seemed so simple. Being 28 years old at the time and having read all these new studies about the sharp decline in fertility in women over the age of 26, I figured that this might take a while and so we might as well start trying. Little did I know. I knew I'd always wanted to have children, I just didn't know how all fired intent my body was on making that happen ASAP.

I did try to time the pregnancy around the school year. Being a teacher, I figured the closer to a June due date we could manage, the better. Then I wouldn't have to take leave (or much) and could still have a nice stretch of time home with the baby. Not long into our "experiment," the time came to pee on a stick (this was right after my first full week of teaching). I peed. Stick turned blue before my very eyes. The box said that I should do this first thing in the morning and that the result would appear in 2-5 minutes. I did it right before bed. I thought at first that maybe it might fade or something. But no, we were preggo. Went to get the test confirmed, and the nurse at the clinic remarked on how quickly the positive showed. (I shoulda known something was up!)

We were lucky enough to get a fantastic midwife (once the OB nurse and I explained to the DH that this didn't mean home birth), and, aside from some morning sickness and a little trouble gaining weight, things were going great. I was having a "perfect" pregnancy. I thought I was getting kind of big kind of fast, but the DH was convinced that it was psychosomatic. At any rate, I was doing well, the baby was doing well, and everyone was really excited, as this would be the first grandchild on either side of the family. We waited to get the one ultrasound our HMO would cover until there would be "something to see" for us to take home to Minnesota for the winter holidays. The only appointment we could get was right after school, and with only one car and the two of us working on opposite ends of town, I had to go by myself. I left a message on the DH's voicemail that he should try to get a ride and where I would be at the hospital. We had decided that we didn't want to know the sex of the child until the birth. I let the tech know that right away. There were some extra people in the room, which I later learned was because my triple-screen had just come back abnormal and they were worried about birth defects. The tech put the transponder on my belly and said, "You do know you're having two, don't you?" Just like that. No. No I didn't know that, holycrapwecan'taffordtwokidsatoncecanwe? I sobbed for about five minutes. I was in complete shock. The tech told me they were fraternal since they were in seperate sacs, and although she meant well, I later learned that there really was no way for her to know for sure, most people just assume that all identical twins are monoamnionic (one sac). For reasons I won't get into here, that is very rarely the case, which is good because that is a very high risk situation. Still in shock, with films in hand, I went to pick up the DH. He was in a foul mood as he had been stranded at work, not thinking to ask for a ride 'till everyone was gone for the day. So he was grumping at me over why it took so long for me to come get him, etc. When we got home, he noticed I hadn't said a word since he got in the car, except to say that I had called and left him a message to get a ride. He asked what was wrong. I told him, "There's two," and the tears started again. Anyone who's ever seriously contemplated motherhood knows just how daunting and terrifying the prospect of molding another being can be; suddenly being thrown the curveball of, "Oh, by the way, you'll be shaping two lives at the same time. That's not a problem for you, is it?" while soaking in a second trimester double doozy hormone bath can really knock a gal into next week. Impending motherhood teaches you things. Things like, everything you thought you knew about becoming a mom? Yeah, just go ahead and chuck that all out the window. Now, see if you can hang on for the rest of the ride!

See, I was all about natural childbirth. Well, I should clarify. I wanted the kid to come out the way nature intended, not be surgically removed, and I did not want an epidural AT ALL. This was not due to some belief that no one should have one, or a stoic need to endure a helluva lotta pain; just that the idea of someone inserting a needle into my spinal space scares the everlovin' piss out of me! So. I called to leave a message for my midwife with the news that we were having twins, and the receptionist, again, well-intentioned I'm sure, shoots back, "Oh, well you'll have to be switched over to an OB/GYN since you'll have to have a C-section." And again, into the pool of tears and hormones. It turns out, my new doctor agreed to co-manage our case with my midwife, so that was great. The babies were in position to have a vaginal birth, and they seemed to be staying put. I was doing well, despite a slight gestational diabetes scare that turned out to be nothing.

Then, in the wee hours of the morning on what was supposed to be my last day of work before maternity leave, my world, previously turned upside-down, was turned inside out. My uterus, at 32 weeks pregnancy, decided that it was indeed a single occupancy space and finally realized that there was an extra resident who hadn't signed the lease. "Everybody out!" it screamed, every five minutes like clockwork. I tried drinking water. No change. I tried changing positions. No change. Finally, we tried the hospital, where we were informed that my water had broken and they would try to delay delivery long enough to get two doses of steroids in to help the babies' lungs, but we were going to be parents. Now. As soon as it really hit that there was no stopping what was happening, I gave up the thought that it shouldn't be happening, I just let my body do what it needed to do, focusing on the moment and trusting that my babies and I would be in the best of hands.

In the end, I had my "natural" delivery with no epidural, and became Mama to two tiny, beautiful, remarkably healthy little girls. They were able to come home over a month before they were even due to arrive. I am truly blessed to have them; their lives have given me an embarrassment of riches already, and there's only more to come.

Happy Mother's Day.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Teacher Appreciation Day

Yesterday was "Teacher Appreciation Day" here in our local school district, which of course meant that administrators handed out non-renew slips and involuntary transfers. They did not choose to do so in a discreet manner, either. Teachers were served with their slips in the hallways, in their classrooms in front of students, anywhere. Further affirming my belief that we need to get out of here. It just makes me sick.

I did finish the first pair of Unity socks. I'm still not in love with them, I liked the originals better, but I am a texture lovin' gal! The next two pair will be done in a tighter gauge, though. These are for someone with wider feet/ankles than I, so they should be alright. These are my May socks for the Sock-a-Month-a-Long. I hope to get the other two pair done before the end of May, since my personal goal for this KAL was to have no repeats for credit (if I get 'em done in May, they will be brownie point socks) and no just plain old socks. So far, so good!

All the residents of Chez Bitter have been fighting "The Virus" over the last week. It seems to be abating slightly, the DH is back at work, I can eat again, and the girls have actually been playing and eating a little bit. Things were pretty bleak for a while, though.

And, in lead news, the people who dug out the leaded soil managed to 1) break off one of the cleanout caps for the sewer line and let it just fall in with no attempt to retrieve it, 2) replace the cap without informing us what had happened, 3) BURY the cleanout caps, and 4) crush the line in two places by repeatedly driving over it with heavy equipment. Somebody's gonna pay, and it ain't us!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

So, what's the deal with all the lead, anyway?

If you haven't been reading this blog since its inception (and, let's not kid ourselves, you haven't), you might be wondering about the mysterious lead contamination I've begun to post about again.

We bought our house in October of 2004. The house was built in 1934 or some such. It's old. It's also sort of a landmark in the neighborhood. The neighborhood is old as well. Our home purchase is now referred to by the DH as our "urban renewal experiment." Anyway, shortly after we moved in, a flyer went out about an informational meeting about lead hazards. I made the DH go and sign us up for assessment. The SFHOs had not had the house tested (even though they had infant twins) so we were sure that there was some lead, but we didn't know where or how much. I wanted to be put at ease. So, they came and tested. The interior was fine except for the closet door in the nursery (I don't call them SFHOs for nothing!)! The exterior was a different story. As near as we could tell, the damn house was still painted in lead paint! And, the SFHOs had scraped the house to make it look a little better, leaving all that leady goodness to sink into the soil. Our soil lead levels were 400 times the safe limit in areas! Bad news! But, and here is where I know I am among the luckiest people on the planet, despite all my bitching to the contrary, there was a major fund available from fine money from the old steel mill in town. We got our home encased in new siding (if they ever finish it), the closet door replaced, and all the excavating and minor landscaping to abate the yard problem, paid for in full. So, anyway, that's the deal with the lead. I'll have some knitting content soon. I promise.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Soon to be available in Unleaded!

For anyone who cares, the workers are now here digging up the yard, removing the super duper lead contaminated soil. We will soon be able to bring the girls out there and also not worry about tracking lead into the house from outside! Yeah! In other lead news, the siding (you know, the siding that got started in October?) STILL ISN'T DONE!! There remain 2 windows to be wrapped, and about 15 ft of fascia to be done. They have been called. And called. And called. Hmph!

And, in totally random news, I cut my hair. Or, rather, I had the DH do it. Every 10 years or so, I get a wild hair in my craw and decide to cut it all off. So we did. 1" clipper attachment. Ilsa misses my "Mommy Hair" but likes to play with the new 'do. Or "don't." Whatever. Forgive the weird photo. It's a self-portrait since everyone else in the house is taking a little Siesta. Ole!

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