Saturday, December 31, 2005

One MORE last post of 2005

This one's good... in case 2005 didn't bring you enough laughs, here's one for the road:

Giant Knitted Squid Attacks Life-Sized Knitted Digestive System.

Last post of 2005.

I made it to the coffee house with my sister and Grouper this morning, then the yarn shop. Picked up six skeins of soft wool to make into a felted bag, maybe a diaper bag. I've spent a few hours online today reading up on organic wool, ways to dye yarn, and knitty stuff in general. The only organic wool yarn the shop had was red, which was okay, but I wanted more variety for this project.

Grouper's crankiness continued today. He's still not back to his healthy self. Spent most of the day yelling, whining or throwing himself on the floor when I didn't feel like having him on my lap. But he did finally go to sleep! During his nap, Puffer and I cranked out four dozen gingerbread cookies.

Er, I should say, Puffer cut out the first half dozen, which took all of 4 minutes, and then he ran outside to play while I rolled out and the rest. After nap, I invited the neighbor kids inside to help decorate. Tiny multi-colored non pareils covered the entire table, and eventually the floor. But they did seem to have fun. The batch of frosting I created without a recipe turned out pretty yummy, if I do say so myself.

Now, I must get off the computer and go knit! I have a scarf to finish for my mom out of Fancy Fur, which looks kind of cool, but is really strange to try and knit.

Happy New Year!!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Resolutions, already.

My house and the bodies within it are still recovering from the Christmas flu bug. We've had only one decent night's sleep all week, and it wasn't last night. Gingerbread cookie dough remains in the fridge from Christmas Eve, hopeful that someone will want to bake it before the New Year makes it obsolete. Phone calls need to be returned. Thank you notes need to be written.

It's only the fifth day of Christmas, and yet my excitement over Christmas activities and decorations is already waning. I'm making To-Do lists and New Year's Resolutions in my head, and wishing I had some energy to finally clean this place. I did manage to scrub my nasty bathtub, and soak by candlelight for a little while this evening. I laid there trying to remember how many times I've done that this year, and decided that this must have been the first -- and most likely last -- time for 2005.

Resolution #1: More candlit baths for Mommy.

The last couple days I've spent mostly on the couch at my mom's, watching HGTV, knitting and/or holding a feverish Grouper on my lap so he could sleep. I'm hoping we saw the last of the fevers today. Pray tonight goes well, or I might not make it to 2006.

I'm almost done with the final Christmas gift hat. I have two scarves to make next. Then I have to decide if I'm going to make a felted diaper bag or not. Or just jump right into baby clothes and diaper covers.

The Martha rerun today was all about baby stuff, with an audience full of pregnant women. Got me thinking about preparing for this next baby, and how I always get these grand ideas of how I might do things differently, and then I turn out to be as lazy as always. Or, at least, too busy making new plans to follow through with the last ones.

There was this couple on who had twins, and then SEXTUPLETS. The mom had charts, and diagrams and color-coordinated feeding schedules, and she was talking about how staying organized is the only thing that keeps her alive. I used to imagine myself as a mom of six, with everything perfectly organized just like that. I don't know where that came from. I'm not sure it's ever actually been in my nature to stay that on top of physical things. I did have an extremely balanced bank account before I got married. But throw one more actual, not imaginary, person into that equation, and I'm toast.

I do get a surge of organizational energy in January. When the holidays are over, and everything has to be packed away again, I start wanting to declutter every closet and cranny and clean behind all the crevices. I want to declutter and prioritize everything else about our daily lives, too. Housekeeping routines, social calendar, diet, especially diet. Mine needs a major rehaul.

I think I only had ate well the first two weeks I was actually pregnant. Then morning sickness took over, and I ate mostly toast, applesauce and string cheese -- when I wasn't scarfing down cheeseburgers and french fries. I do eat well at Knitting Night and Vegand.o.m, but I've gotten lazy at home. Besides wanting to give this baby all the right nutrients, I'm still fighting the Candidas Monster. Though I've tried to avoid sugar, this flu bug somehow KICKED MY BUTT. Literally. I can hardly sit on it. It's driving me INSANE.

Resolution #2: Make a healthful meal plan, and stick to it.

Other things on the To-Do list to prioritize:
Find a dresser and make space for baby's things.
Scrapbook the boys' first years before I have yet another album to work on.
Finish painting the woodwork project I started in July.
Hang pictures in the living and dining room that have been on the boy's top bunk for five months.
Host the Birth Junkie movie night I promised to have in January.
Prep for and line up next childbirth education class for couples due in April and May.
Clean up the mess in the backyard and plant spring bulbs.

I'm sure there's more, but my next resolution is to:

#3: Get enough sleep.

That could prove to be the most challenging goal of 2006.

Monday, December 26, 2005

The Christmas Flu

This was the strangest Christmas ever.

Instead of finishing my last knitted gift Friday night, I laid on the couch with a headache. As relaxing an activity as knitting is, it still requires energy. I had none.

Instead of visiting with my mom and sisters or decorating gingerbread cookies with the boys on Christmas Eve Day, I slept until 2 p.m. I ate dinner in my mom's bed, while the boys played with aunties and grandparents and second cousins in the rest of the house.

Instead of being woken on Christmas morning at the crack of dawn by two small boys eager to see what Santa had brought them, we were woken before dawn by one boy whose fever caused him to wet the bed. And then the other, who coughed himself into puking. Once the beds were stripped, we dragged ourselves to the living room, where, instead of energetically ripping paper off packages, they half-heartedly asked for help getting them open.

Then we all went back to bed until 10:30. Eventually we made it over to my parents' house, where my dad was making breakfast. Puffer lay on the couch with a fever and headache, crying, "Somebody help me! I hate headaches! I don't want to be sick! Somebody help me!" while I rubbed his head, his brother curled up at my other side.

In between doses of Tylenol (Mommy included) and alternating naps (Mommy definitely included), we opened presents. My dad and Scott did all the cooking. My mother got out of the hospital on Wednesday. She has Valley Fever, and has to take antifungal medication and give herself IV antibiotics three times a day. We took up both couches in the living room for most of the day.

By early evening, the boys had a simultaneous boost of energy and actually played with their new games for a little while. Then it was back to feeling puney. They fell asleep within five minutes of climbing into bed.

So, I'm sitting here now after a short morning nap, with Grouper on my lap and still feverish. Puffer's feeling much better. He always seems to get sick noisily and recover quickly. Grouper's a quiet sick kid. Doesn't complain much, just looks miserable, and doesn't respond well to medicine.

I sure hope your Christmas was healthier.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Almost ready for Christmas...

It's almost 4 p.m. and we've barely been home 15 minutes. Had pageant rehearsal this morning, came home for lunch, then left again for more errands. I'm finally finished!! (I hope.) All I had to do was get more yarn (which was on sale!), get a gift certificate for a family at church, and take our movies back, but it took nearly 3 hours because the stores were all over town. I spent two hours with the crowds at Target last night -- by myself! -- to get the last few things for stockings, and other misc stuff we just needed. I'm hoping I won't be back there again until January!

Now I just have to finish knitting, help the boys make gifts for 10 of their friends, and wrap everything. Hopfully I bought enough wrapping paper, because I REALLY don't want to go out there again! Holiday drivers are WEIRD. They're either swerving through traffic or going exactly 4 mph below the speed limit with NO ONE in front of them, so you can't pass them and can't move as fast as you otherwise would.

Anyhow, I still have a post to finish about Grouper's visit to the dentist on Wednesday. That had my brain occupied for a solid two days, trying to decide what to do next, so maybe I'll actually finishing writing about it. I also wanted to post about the scary parenting going on during the pageant rehearsal at church, but it's going to have to wait.

Oh, and while I'm completely preoccupied by Christmas preparations, my poor mother is in the hospital on IV antibiotics and awaiting the results of a CT scan to determine what to do about a large abcess in her intestine, which has been making her severely ill for the last two weeks. Please pray that whatever they have to do goes smoothly and that she heals quickly!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

An actual post.

So, I just want to say thank you to anyone and everyone whose prayed for me lately. I've been in a sort of spiritual slump the last six months, for no particular, or at least no good, reason, and I seem to be coming out of it. I have a FABULOUS life. I am so darn spoiled I can't even tell you. I've done nothing to deserve it, and God has blessed me completely. I have the sweetest children and husband in the world (no comparisons, please, just let me live in my personal bliss ;), amazing friends, a wonderful, close family, a beautiful home, steady income, perfectly fine weather, etc, etc.

I was looking over all our photos from this year, choosing the best ones to send out to friends and family, and I realized just what an incredible life we have. Heck, my kids haven't even had the flu this fall! (Please pray that doesn't change this week, now that I've mentioned it.) My mom attributed our good health to the removal of the old nasty carpet, which was yet another blessing.

With all the suffering happening in the world, I sometimes wonder why I made it out so good. And I wonder how I still manage to get overwhelmed and discouraged sometimes, when it's so obvious that God is taking care of me. But right now I'm just too grateful to worry about it. That's a good thing.

Which reminds me, I've given up Oprah for Martha when it comes to knitting and tea time in the afternoon (another blessing). Oprah's been a little heavier than I can take this season, but Martha keeps me inspired to be creative in simple ways.

I'm really enjoying the fact that it's Christmastime. Not stressing about too much to do, just doing it as I can. I've got all my out-of-town gifts taken care of, will be mailing a batch of Christmas cards tomorrow, waiting for an order from Amazon, still knitting gifts for the fam, done with most of my shopping. UberDad will be off next week, so I figure I'll send him out with the boys so I can do our wrapping. They boys have rehearsal for their first Christmas pageant tomorrow night and Saturday morning, then the pageant on Sunday. Monday we have our holiday party with our homeschooling group, and gift exchange with my knitting group. Tuesday we'll go out of town to visit close friends and exchange gifts. Wednesday we'll have an early Christmas with UberDad's family. Thursday we'll have another with my grandfather. Friday my sister arrives from Tuscon, and then it's Christmas Eve!

The boys' new trampoline, a Christmas gift from Scott's mom, arrived earlier than expected, so they've been enjoying that the last few days. This morning it was finally cold enough that they wanted socks on, and then they didn't last too long anyhow. But it's always pretty sunny by afternoon, so they're going to get a LOT of use out of it.

Once I get the Christmas cards and e-mail photos sent out, I have to get cracking at my knitting projects. Four more hats and a scarf to finish in one-and-a-half weeks! But -- I'm not stressing. I just might go buy some thicker yarn.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Just for fun, since I've never posted a photo of myself before... Grouper took this shot in July.
"A child will be born unto them."

Nativity photo. Take two.

Well, this sure took long enough...

Let's see if this works. Here's a photo of our nativity set.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Praise the Lord! My camera's been healed!

After two-and-a-half months of not being able to use my digital camera, I finally visited the fancy photo store to see what could be done with the thing. I'd put new batteries in it, jiggled and wiggled and jiggled the on/off switch, and the camera simply ignored me.

I told this to the lady at the photo shop, and she took out the batteries to make sure they were good. Yep, just fine. She put them back in. Then she turned the camera on. She turned the camera ON. By flicking the switch. The one I hadn't been able to get to work for two months. So, yes, the photo lady healed my camera.

Now I have to see if I still know how to use Hello, so I can post some pictures here finally!

Friday, December 02, 2005

A sorry attempt at sleep recovery.

So, my house is clean and lovely, and my mom even took my hypoglycemic self out to lunch. Now if I could just drag myself to bed instead of sitting at the computer in a trance, maybe I can get a few hours of sleep before 6:45, when Carla will be knocking at the door and dropping off her 3-year-old for the next nine hours...


Except for the gurgling of the fishtank in the boys' room, my house is quiet this morning. Unlike it was at 2 a.m. Or 4:30. Or 6:30. Or 7:45.

I feel like I already have a newborn again. I wake up feeling like it's the end of a long day, instead of the beginning. Only, instead of going to bed at 8 p.m. like I will when the new kid arrives, I climbed onto Grouper's trundle at 10, and accidently fell asleep. I woke up around midnight, squished against the side of Puffer's bunk, my back bare to the cold air under the bed. He felt me move, and slid that much closer to me, so I had to squeeze myself up carefully, the plastic mattress cover crinkling noisily the whole way.

Just as I was settled into bed next to UberDad, I heard Emma the cat scratching at the front door. So, I climbed out, let her in, and tried to get warm again. Two hours later, from deep in REM sleep, I heard Grouper calling me. My heavy body begged me to let him scream, but I knew if I didn't catch him in time, he'd be climbing into my bed soon anyway. Fortunately, a few caresses of his forehead had him settled again.

This time when I climbed back into my bed my stomach was starting to grumble. "NO!" I yelled in my head. "I will NOT get up and feed you! Go to SLEEP!"

Two more hours of so-called rest. Then -- "MOMMY! MOMMEEEEE!!! MOOOOOMMMMEEEE!!!!" Puffer this time, with a bad dream, and he's woken up Grouper. Rub the forehead, fix the covers, pick up the 3-year-old, and drag us back to my bed. Not to sleep, mind you, because outside it is now pouring down rain so loudly that I'm reminded of my visit to the Black Forest in Germany, where there's no such thing as a rain "drop," only rain boulders.

It's now 5 a.m. Grouper squirms. My stomach whines. The rain pounds. The covers fall to one side of the bed making me feel lopsided because UberDad refuses to straighten them on his side. And I'm reminded of being irritated with him for spending $120 on a hardbound set of The Chronicles of Narnia with the Christmas money I thought we were going to use on a trampoline.

I finally get up and storm out of the bedroom, drink some orange juice, and sit on the couch, fuming about the incessantly loud rain, my budget unconscious husband, and my own hypersensitivity, low blood sugar, and missing sense of humor.

Eventually, I get tired enough to go back to bed, where Grouper is at least not squirming anymore.

BEEP!! BEEP!! BEEP!! UberDad's alarm clock goes off at 6:30.

"MOMMY!! MOMMEEEEE!!!! MOOOOOOMMMMMEEEEE!!!!!" Puffer wakes up at 7, wanting me to come carry him to my bed. Thankfully, UberDad hears him and takes care of it.

"Mommy, I need milk." I get the milk. "Mommy, I'm COLD! I want my blanket from my bed." Get your own darn blanket. "Mommy, I had a dream about..." Tell me later, I'm still SLEEPING!

At 8 a.m., my mother comes in, coffee in hand. She get the boys dressed, tells me she'll take them to her house, and that my sister is coming at 10 to clean my house for me.

I might just survive the day after all.
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