Sunday, September 30, 2007

FO & the obligatory cute pic of the week!

The Yoda Sweater for BIL & SIL's baby boy due in January '08 is finished! I finished the right front panel & got everything seamed up this am.

I need to get some ribbon for the ties or do an I-cord tie. I was too far into the left panel when I remembered I wanted to do buttonholes & didn't feel like going to the frog pond. Oh well. The cuffs are my own doing btw!

I still need to do a hat, socks & pants as it will be cold in VA wen he arrives. MIL is doing a blanket so I'm off the hook there!

And here I am with the Wee One at the Children's Museum in Atlanta yesterday. She LOVES Alice in Wonderland & they are doing an Alice exhibition. We played with moon sand, "watered" flowers & played in the "dirt" in the garden, went "fishing", & played on the bus. The highlight for me was putting on tap shoes & dancing w/ the Wee One! A simple little "heel step, heel step" but still. I managed to get some shuffles, riffles & yes, I can still do a pick up!!!

The Wee One's highlight was seeing Alice in Wonderland & getting a hug from her! Of course no photo exists, but the look on her face was priceless!

We went by the Perimeter Mall for lunch & a little shopping & then to Hunter's aunt's house to say hello & see her beautiful new kitchen. We got home later than we expected & were in bed by 1030 last night!

Friday, September 28, 2007

We have felting. . .

I finished my bag for the Fall Felted Bag Exchange last night & felted this morning. There is still some stitch definition but after 2 trips thru the washer I think I've got it as good as it's going to be. It's drying right now so we'll s ee how I feel when it's dry.

Hunter is at the mechanics having my car's 60k checkup done. Very sweet of him. It's something that's easy to do w/out a 3 yr old in tow so he's there w/ a book & cup of coffee enjoying some solitude & man talk LOL.

The wee one is playing w/ play doh (one of her favorite past times---actually she loves all sorts of art related things----painting, coloring etc) & I'm about to start a load of laundry. Funny how having one more person in the house adds that much more to the laundry load!

A friend forwarded a blog to me that really made me sad. The author is a mother & feels "trapped" by her responsibilities. I could relate to that when the wee one was very young & I was making the transition from working gal to SAHM. I was almost 37 when she was born & used to leaving the house to go to work every day. The hair was done, full face of makeup, dressed cute, you know the drill. Suddenly (well okay, not so suddenly as I was pregnant for 9 months but you KWIM) I was thrust into a lifestyle where it was just me & this little person A shower became a luxury & if I was smart I'd take it when she was napping. I was SO sleep deprived that first month. Hunter would put me to bed at 9 or 10 on the weekends & stay up w/ her.

When she was a few months old I heard about the MOMS club in town & joined. It was my saving grace. I was out with other women in the same situation as me. There was a small group of us w/young babies & we went through teething, 1st solids, transitioning from bottles to sippies, etc together. Those days of feeling "trapped" were behind me & honestly, 3 1/2 yrs later I can say without a doubt that I LOVE being a SAHM. Sure, I miss having my own income. I miss shopping for work clothes & I miss having an identity other than "Mommy" but I wouldn't trade it for the world. I joke about it when the wee one's having a rough day because as those of you who have been there before know the trials & tribulations of having a 3 yr old. The back talk, the assertion of free will, the boundless energy.

There are days when I feel angry that I'm doing this alone but I know that this deployment will pass. I'm not one of those wives who loses her grip on reality during a deployment or worse---during a TDY. *steps on soap box* If you're an active duty military spouse & cannot handle a month without your husband you've got issues. Maybe I'm being harsh, maybe I'm judging other wives, maybe I'm just plain ol' mean. Whatever. But really, in war time? I'll admit, a month without your spouse is difficult---I've been there MANY times. I've also been without him for more than a calendar year as well. It's part of the territory & apart from a short vacation (going to visit family) I am proud to say that I have NEVER had to run home to Mommy & Daddy because I couldn't deal with the time away from my husband. Sorry, when you marry a military man DURING WAR TIME deployments are part of the package. I've also seen what deployments are like for my husband---specifically time away from our daughter. Last time he left she was 9 months old. He didn't see her until she was almost 17 months & then when she was 21 months old he came home. This time he left an almost 3 yr old with limited vocabulary--he came home a couple weeks ago to a walking dictionary! How could I resent being home with that??? The changes I've seen in her during the past 6 months alone are incredible.

*steps off soap box*

So back to the "trapped" issues. I truly believe that your life is what you make of it. YOU are the one making decisions about your life. We have just 1 child because honestly I dont want to be the pregnant wife w/ the deployed husband. Maybe I'm selfish. I like to think I'm realistic about my skills & my limitations. I like the fact that it's just me & the wee one during this time.

If I were really unhappy w/ my position in life I would look into going back to work & perhaps when the wee one is in school full time I will look into something that offers "mother's hours" as I want to be there when she gets home from school in the afternoon. I want to be the one to taxi her to dance lessons, music lessons, art lessons, sports, whatever activity she wants to be involved in. My Mom tells me that I grew up at 37 & in many ways she's right. Never before had I been so challenged, so tested & so incredibly responsible for someone else.

Motherhood isn't for sissies & it's not for the faint of heart. It's truly the most challenging job I've had & the one w/ the longest hours, the worst pay but the BEST benefits! "Trapped" isn't a word I choose to describe it. I choose to count myself as lucky, blessed & fortunate to be in this position! I feel bad for "trapped" mommy & hope she's able to come to some place where she's comfortable with her position because it's really a fantastic place to be.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Fall Felted Bag Exchange Contest

As of this weekend, the season has officially changed on the calendar - but what makes Autumn feel like Autumn to you, and why?

For me it's fall when the weather changes & the leaves turn red, orange, yellow & hit the ground!

Growing up in VT, fall started in Sept----the weather turned cooler after Labor Day, the leaves started to change & fall & it was "sweater weather". I have so many wonderful memories of raking leaves into piles only to send them flying when we'd jump into them. To this day one of my favorite simple pleasures is to "scuffle" through the leaves on the sidewalk. There is something magical about the sound they make & the colors never fail to dazzle me.

One of my favorite things about driving in New England in the fall is seeing the myriad of colors along the highway or along the roads.

It's actually one of the things I dislike the most about the South---fall doesn't arrive until Nov (leaves). It's not uncommon for us to still wear shorts in Nov which I seriously dislike!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Back from the beach

We had a wonderful time in Destin despite Tropical Depression "Ten" threatening the area early in our vacation!
As you can see, the Wee One had a good time! They wound up closing the water on Saturday & Sunday due to strong currents but she wasn't upset in the least----more time to play in the sand! I was sore Saturday night from jumping waves & being hit by them! Haven't felt that way since I lived in Boston & used to swim at Nahant Beach!
We're enjoying our time together as a family & I'll blog more later! On the knitting front---the Yoda sweater for BIL & SIL's baby is just about 3/4th done. I have the back & sleeves finished & am 1/2 way thru w/ the left front. I'm trying to decide whether to do buttons/button holes or whether I'll stick to the pattern & use ties.
My bag for the Fall Bag Exchange is about 3/4 done as well. I was working on it in the car on the way down to FL only to discover that the yarn I had wound that morning was still on the kitchen counter! Grrrrrrrrrrrr.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The welcome home pic

Grrr, why didn't he smile?!! Yes, I am wearing 3" sandals (wedges).
Off to enjoy family time!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Going MIA

R & R starts tomorrow when I pick Hunter up at the airport so I shall be absent for a few days, couple weeks, whatever.

Conduct yourselves as ladies & gentlemen while I am gone!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

If you've got any prayers left

Please pray for Fez, his family & the soldiers he left behind.

Fez was one of Hunter's medics. He was a good kid---we had him here for Thanksgiving dinner last year. He was the guy that the others ribbed as they would a younger brother.

In my mind's eye I can still see him sitting in the chair in our living room giving as good as he got from the other guy.

RIP Fez.

From our local paper:

3rd Brigade medic killed in Baghdad

San Antonio's Spc. Javier Paredes remembered warmly by friends, family

Fort Benning's latest victim of the war in Iraq was identified only by his dog tags.

"That's how they confirmed it was him," said Pedro Paredes, the brother of Spc. Javier Paredes, who died Sept. 5 from injuries sustained when insurgents attacked his unit during combat operations in Baghdad. "I didn't want to accept it. I never thought that would happen to Javier."

The official release of Paredes' name by the Department of Defense was delayed for several days after they released the name of the other soldier in the attack -- Spc. Keith Nurnberg of McHenry, Ill.

Both were members of Fort Benning's *unit name left out by me* part of the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, which has been deployed to Iraq since April 1. They were killed when a rocket-propelled grenade struck the Humvee in which they were riding.
Paredes, a 24-year-old medic from San Antonio, enlisted in the Army three years ago. A graduate of Ingram High School, he had worked in construction and as a dishwasher at a local market before joining the Army.
Family and friends were in shock when notified of Paredes' death after gathering at the home of his aunt, Maria Acevedo.
According to the San Antonio Express, Paredes lived much of his life in foster care.
"Javier was a good kid," Acevedo told the newspaper. "His mother would have been proud of him."

She died in 1999.
Paredes, known by his nickname Niño, lived with Acevedo just before he joined the Army in 2004.

The family described Paredes as a proud, strong soldier who loved his job and worked as a medic.
Gonzalo Paredes, 20, said he was going to miss his brother.
Paredes' best friend, Juan Medina, 21, said he worked with Paredes at the Central Market on Broadway in San Antonio for a few years.
Medina said his friend was a hard worker who washed dishes and did other jobs at the store, often volunteering for night and holiday shifts.
"The day he joined the military," he said, "he called me from the recruiter's office. I told him, 'Niño, what are you doing? You know we are at war, right?' But he said he had made his decision, that he was going to do it and I didn't need to worry. But that's the way he was, spontaneous."
Acevedo said she was also worried about her nephew's safety but told him the day he enlisted that he had her support in his decision.
"I told him joining the military was a bad decision," Pedro Paredes said, remembering that his brother also at some point considered college. "But when he makes up his mind about something, he does it, and he does it all the way."
The deaths of the two *again, leaving out unit name* soldiers brings to 10 the number from that battalion to die in the war. The toll in the brigade now stands at 22.

Monday, September 10, 2007

A Knitting Survey

Found this on Ursula's blog & thought it was cool:

Mark with bold the things you have knit, with italics the ones you plan to do sometime, and leave the rest.
Garter stitch

Knitting with metal wire
Stockinette stitch
Socks: top-down
Socks: toe-up
Knitting with camel yarn
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down
Knitting with silk (if a blend counts)
Moebius band knitting
Participating in a KAL
Drop stitch patterns (it's on the needles)
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Slip stitch patterns
Knitting with banana fiber yarn
Domino knitting
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with bamboo yarn
Two end knitting
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn
Toy/doll clothing
Knitting with circular needles
Baby items

Knitting with your own hand-spun yarn
Graffiti knitting
Continental knitting (Can't do it--I have to think too much! LOL)
Designing knitted garments (once!)
Cable stitch patterns
Lace patterns
Publishing a knitting book
Participate in an exchange

Teaching a child to knit
American/English knitting
Knitting to make money
Knitting with alpaca (again, a blend)

Fair Isle knitting
Norwegian knitting
Dying with plant colors
Knitting items for a wedding
Household items
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on one or two circulars

Knitting with someone else’s hand-spun yarn
Knitting with dpns
Holiday related knitting

Teaching a male how to knit
Knitting for a living
Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking

Dying yarn
Knitting art
Knitting two socks on two circulars simultaneously
Knitting with wool

Textured knitting
Kitchener stitch
Knitted flowers
Knitting with beads

Long Tail CO
Knitting and purling backwards
Machine knitting
Knitting with self patterning/self striping/variegated yarn
Stuffed toys
Knitting with cashmere (you guessed it---a blend!)

Knitting with synthetic yarn
Writing a pattern
Knitting with linen

Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO
Free-form knitting
Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mits/arm-warmers
Knitting a pattern from an on-line knitting magazine
Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets
Knitting with dog/cat hair (no no no no!)
Hair accessories
Knitting in public

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Fall Felted Bag Exchange Contest #2

1) Post on your blog, and give us SOME kind of secret "Bag in Progress" photo. You could share your yarn before you started, or a close up of your knitting, or the patterns you pondered when you began, or what you're still pondering!
I considered this bag---the Brea by Berocco. I loved the look of it & it fits what my partner described as her perfect bag.
2) Post a link to the blog of one other swapper that you 'met' and have continued to read through the 3-2-1 contact post!
That would have to be KrisW

She's a New Englander, owns the 2nd cutest dog (2nd to Libby) & has a son @ college in VT (my homestate!)

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Weekend Update. . .

Oh that sneaky LeslieJ! About a week ago the package on the left arrives---notice what it says. DO NOT OPEN UNTIL Sept. 4th. Like she's Santa or something.

But I was good. I waited. After all, I'm the F word now. Patience being a virtue yada yada yada.

And look at the goodies she sent me! Some Burt's Bees yumminess, Sockina cotton yarn (I miss making socks & will keep this yarn for myself. ) I noticed it's not MSU colors LOL. And a sweatshirt from the Ellen Degeneres show from her visit in thee spring. How cool! Thank you so much Leslie---you are too sweet!!!

The house has been scrubbed down & R & R starts sometime next week! As it would turn out my ILS are in ATl visiting MIL's sister so we will go to her house from the airport for lunch. My outfit is ready to go as is the wee one's. I've got some cookies (snickerdoodles) ready for Hunter too. All that's left is to clean up the wee one's toys from the living room floor, put clean sheets on the bed & vacuum.

I've been good about going to the gym while the wee one's in school. Ive been taking advantage of the nice weather & walking outdoors as my cardio & have been doing weights in the gym.

If you have any spare prayers/vibes please send them up for 3 of our friends. There are 2 girls in my FRG whose husbands have come home from Iraq. They were wounded last month & are back here recovering. I'm the Helping Hands coordinator for our FRG & scheduled meals for them. On Weds I brought dinner to Hunter's friend Tim. I cried after leaving their house. Next Weds it's for another guy & his wife. They're lucky to be alive & are true heroes. The 3rd was a soldier of Hunter's who didn't make it. We had him here for Thanksgiving dinner last year. He was everyone's (the guys) favorite victim to pick on---sort of a younger brother type. I can still see him sitting in my living room. Remember him (as well as T & N) in your prayers if you can!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

The one where I get all introspective about the F word

Roll your eyes & skip this if you want. Really, I wont be offended!

So I have a big birthday. The F word. People ask me how I feel about it almost daily! I loved my 30's & am really sad to see them end. F word seems old, maybe because when my parents were in their 40's I saw them as old. Most of the time turning F-word doesn't bother me as I really feel that age is just a number. But let's be real, the F word is a lot older than 25. Not that 25 was all that spectacular but the world is still your oyster at 25. By the time the F word rolls around it's expected that you have harvested that oyster already & either have a pearl or have enjoyed the oyster on the half shell. Yum. Oysters on the 1/2 shell. Oysters Rockefeller. Great, now I'm craving oysters. Or mussels at the very least.

*note to self----order mussels next time you see them on the menu. Or oysters.

So back to the F word. No one believes I'm there so why should I own up to it?? I could easily be 36 for the next couple yrs if I wanted to. 36 was nice. I was pregnant w/ the wee one & had her while still 36. It was a very good year.

Really tho, most of them have been good years! I'm very lucky.

So the other night I was putting the wee one to bed & we were having some snuggles after reading our bedtime stories (Meet the Dinosaurs, Snuggle Puppy, The Belly Button Book, Polar Bear, Polar Bear what doyou hear & Goodnight Moon in case you were wondering) & it hit me. What does my age matter if I'm THIS happy?

I have a lot to be happy about. I have a husband who loves me & who is healthy & alive & whole. Recent events here hit too close to home & I am counting my blessings that he's not injured. I have a wonderful little girl who is healthy & sweet & so smart & beautiful. I have a dog who loves me no matter what my breath smells like in the morning! I have a family (parents, brothers, ILS etc) & friends who love me & support me. I have a roof over my head, food in my stomach, a soft place to lay my head at night & creature comforts. My health isn't perfect but I have legs to carry me, eyes & ears that see & hear, a mouth that can get me into trouble & hands that can knit, throw a ball for my dog or stroke my daughter's cheek. We're not in the same league as Donald Trump but we have enough $$ to live on & some to save.

I know I'm getting all Jimmy Stewart/It's a Wonderful Life here but it's true.

I haven't written the great American novel & I'm not a celebrity w/ a TV show (although I admit, I'd love to have my own talk show!) but I have a great life! I'm not at the place I thought I'd be at when I was 22 & starting out in life but man, getting here's been fun (again, for the most part) & this place is pretty damn good!

So, F-word birthday----bring it on!!

You are sneaky LeslieJ

That's all I am going to say! Very. Sneaky.