Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

Things at Circle K are strange. Two years ago we had a New Years Eve party, one of many that Karl hosted. It's hard knowing that if he was here, the house would be clean (which it's not) and he'd be in the kitchen preparing WAY too much food. People would be calling to check in, we'd be making sure there would be enough flutes for everybody to toast in the new year...

Instead, it's quiet on the home front. I've spent the last few days trying to move my bedroom upstairs, and there have been some kodak moments - particularly me trying to move the dresser up the stairs and getting stuck at the turn, pinned in a corner trying desperately not to let the thing fall back down and give Elliot an unwelcome 2am wake up call. So now it's sitting in the hall - I couldn't get it upstairs, but managed not to injure myself getting it back down.

I don't have plans tonight, other than to hopefully get one of the rooms in order enough that Elliot and I can sit and watch a movie, have a snack, and snuggle.

Wishing everybody the best in 2010.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Not Related.

Today I had to make an emergency trip to the store for kitty litter and draino. Fortunately, neither one has to do with the other, or with Elliot.

He has, however, something to do with plumbing, as he has used the potty 4 times in the last 2 days. Yes, I have bribed him with leftover Christmas cookies - your point?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Yes, that's right, it's Christmas Morning. Elliot woke up in a delightful mood, and I got him some milk, at his request ("Maa!"). Then I herded him into the living room and gave him his stocking, which he really couldn't be bothered with because he was thirsty, and such matters are more important than some silly sock. Finally, after I pulled out a present to show him it was indeed a cool sock, he multi-tasked; doing his morning yoga, checking out the tree, and hydrating.

We finally got to the tree, and he selected a present, and opened it. Much "Woo!" and "OOoooh" ensued.

Finally, with presents unwrapped and puppy out of the way with a new squeeky toy, Elliot went to the closet, got my purse, and happily settled in at the table to play with the zipper.

Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Goose is getting Fat?

I've been working for several weeks on my first written knitting pattern. I'm pretty excited about it, although it isn't quite finished yet. It's a beaded scarf/shawl pattern based on the Taj Mahal. So far, I'm very happy with it, which is extremely rare for me. I hope to sell the pattern online and donate proceeds to the Liz Logelin Foundation. We'll see how it goes.

Oh, right, and Christmas is coming, kinda like a freight train. We had Wednesday Knit Night this week, because xmas eve is no time for being out in the world. All evening I felt like I was sort of in a daze. Driving out to west county in the rain can do that to you, I guess, but this was very strange. It was like I was watching a movie of myself, and I could tell something big was about to happen. If there'd been a soundtrack, it would have been building to a crescendo... but then, I went out, I knitted, I came home. The earth didn't move, at least not any more than usual. No shattering, nothing Big.

Lately I'm reverting to my college sleep schedule, which isn't so healthy when there's a toddler depending on me. But I just can't seem to put myself in bed before midnight, and sometimes not till much later. So here I am, awake.


The thing about the drive home tonight was that I really missed Karl. And I hated that here it was almost Christmas, and he wasn't beside me in the car, and we weren't out shopping for cool stuff to give Elliot. Last year was harder. Last year I shopped a lot, and kept finding perfect presents for Karl, only he wasn't there, so I couldn't get them. This year - I don't know, is it easier? Is that what this is? I think about him and I feel so distant and numb, but at the same time so acutely and distinctly torn up, and present.

And it sucks.

I've tried to DO Christmas. Karl loved it, and honestly I've enjoyed decorating, and baking, and lighting candles and shopping... but every time I hear that "All I Want for Christmas is You" song, cheesy tho it is, I just want to cry.

ramble, babble, blah blah blah.

And these are my delay tactics, keeping me away from much needed sleep. recognizing this, I now intend to shut down the computer and find a less obvious escape mechanism. g'night.

Friday, December 18, 2009

It may not mean much to you

but to me, it was very exciting to have lunch with my son today, and have him play peek-a-boo and actually *say* "Boo!"

We've been working on our sounds, and he's been very reluctant to try to make anything but vowel sounds. When I picked him up from Mom's this afternoon, he said "Mmmmmm" while asking for milk - which was Huge. Then we went to Breadco for lunch, and he not only repeated "Boo!" with our peek-a-boo game, but also tried to say "Bite." B B B !

I've been so frustrated, and so worried, and it's just such a great relief to have him willing to try, even if only once in awhile.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Dont' turn your back...

So I was making eggs for breakfast. I had peeled a clementine and put it on Elliot's plate on the kitchen counter, then got out the eggs, and cracked and scrambled, like ya do. Then I turned to the stove to cook the eggs.

No, the dog didn't eat the clementine.

When I finished the eggs, and turned around to scoop them onto the plate, it was gone. So was Elliot. He was at the (counter high with swivel bar stools) dining room table, plate of citrusy goodness in front of him, happily seated and digging in.

He's climbed in his own chair for a while now, but this is the first serve yourself meal I've seen him do. As far as I can tell, he didn't spill, and the dog didn't try to steal the plate along the way.

I kinda hope next time I turn my back, he's done the dishes. I'll let you know.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Unexpected, Delightful...

Found while searching for my Wedding Guest List on Google. Had no idea these were recorded:
February 28, 2007

1:16 PM Karl: meep
1:17 PM meeple
me: mooop
Karl: zweeply
I am so bad
me: zoooooooba
Karl: I got nothing done in my prep
me: bad bad bad
Karl: yeah well
1:18 PM I have first hour prep tomorrow
that rocks for getting work done
me: it'll all work out
it usually does
Karl: third hour prep you are already exhausted
I'm not worried
I'm smerply
me: oooh. shmerply. i see.
1:19 PM Karl: somewhere there is a little us growing
I dreamt about frogs last night
me: itty bitty tadpole
Karl: I dreamt we had a little aquatic frog
1:20 PM maybe we should get one
those dog watering things are on sale at petsmart
I think I'll get one on my way home
I also have to stop at ITT
me: ok
Karl: for some paperwork
me: i have to call a doctor
i'm all nervous
1:21 PM Karl: Tempe or Sandy?
me: start with tempe beause she sent me a name
Karl: ok
the bell will ring soon
and then I must teach
me: diiiing
1:22 PM Karl: soon
not yet
three minutes
or sooooooo
me: ooh. gniiiid
Karl: all our fish seem so happy
I watched them all last night before you got home
me: were they smiling?
1:23 PM Karl: singing actually
me: that's pretty happy
1:25 PM Karl: there's the bell
I must salivate now
c u

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wind's a Blowin'

I was posting to FulcrumMonkey, and mid-post I heard a familiar sound. I heard thin metal flapping in the wind, and bashing against the bricks. Then it stopped.

I headed outside, and there was a strip of my brand new fascia, face down on the sidewalk, a casualty of the windstorm. Didn't even make it 3 months.

Called the installer. They said not today, but in the next few days they'd get somebody out to fix it. We'll see how that goes.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Aunt Kelly sent this great magnet set, which till now had been in it's metal container, or affixed to the outside of said container. Till the other day, when El realized he could stick them on the fridge.

And he did so, sorting carefully by colors in perfectly straight lines.

Cute, but a little creepy. Sadly, the old magnets are 'out.' He has thrown most of them on the floor, and won't acknowledge their existence, preferring the little squares and their easy alignability. A shame, too, because the old ones had Braille, which I found super-cool.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Call a Mechanic.

So you know how your car makes that funny noise EVERY TIME YOU START IT, till you take it in to the shop?

My internet went out last weekend. I went upstairs to reset the router (which I have to do about every 2-3 days) and came back down, and it still didn't work. I went up, and all the lights (power included) were flashing on the modem. I unplugged it and plugged it back in. All lights still flashing. I turned on the tv to make sure I still had cable. Cable worked. Internet didn't.

Well, I thought I'd unplug it a while, let it think about it's attitude. Sort of a time out for electronics... Plugged it back in a while later. Still flashing. Still not working.

I left a message with Kris, my bro who used to work for Charter(Satan). He'd left his phone in his truck, and didn't get back to me till later, when I was out shopping with Elliot. That was Monday.

Yesterday we ran around town doing this and that. When we got home, I went up to check on Flashy. Still flashing. Still no internet.

So this morning I called my brother again. Left a message. He messaged me back, but I was getting El to sleep. I called him back, no answer. He called me, I was on the phone. I called him...


"Hey. It's Jes. It's flashing. All the lights. Bad, Right?"

"The power button too? Yeah, sounds dead. Why don't we try something. Go to your computer and open the browser."

I put down my popcorn and head to the computer. I open the browser. Up pops google, happy as you please. WTF? I key in Facebook. There's my account, working just fine.

I go upstairs. No flashing. Solid power light, happy blinky send and receive lights. Cheery little modem with no signs of attitude.


I tell Kris he fixed it, and say, "Thanks."

"Sure. Just let me know if it happens again, and we'll try the stuff I was going to have you try. Glad this one worked on brain waves alone."

Yep. Call the Mechanic.


So I did find my cell phone. I'd looked everywhere, and since it couldn't be nowhere it had to be at the Symphony Hall, where I'd last had it. I called and talked to the security guard, who went up and looked in the seats, but found nothing. A few hours, and a lot more searching, later I decided to go in to the hall and look myself.

When I got there, the lady at the desk gave me the classic "Why are you wasting my time?" look, complete with rolled eyes. I begged, pleaded, and grovelled, and she agreed to walk me up to the TOP ROW of the theater to look again.

In the elevator (which takes you about half way there) I explained that my Mom had bought me the phone, so I really had to find it. This softened her a bit, and she and I scanned the floor in the row above and below our seats. No luck.

Saddened and disappointed, we trudged back down to the security desk. On the way there, she said "Maybe if you give me your number, and I call it, you could see it light up?"

"We looked everywhere. I think it's just gone." I sulked.

"Look," she handed me her phone. "DO NOT lose my phone. You go back up there and call. I'll call you in a few minutes to see if you made it." What did I have to lose? Not my phone...

So I went back up. One of the maintenance guys, who'd been listening to our conversation, met me up there. I showed him where we'd been sitting. I called the phone.

"Yep. I hear it." He reached down in between two seats and there was the phone. It was on vibrate, and still had enough charge to shake.

Just as he handed me the phone, the other phone rang. "You're a genius! We found it!" I told the guard. We headed back downstairs, and I gave her her phone. She gave me a hug, and we were all smiles all around.

Red letter day.

Friday, November 27, 2009


I'm in a bad mood.

I've spent much of today, and some of yesterday, and quite a bit of the day before looking for my cell phone. I've looked in boxes and bags, drawers and cabinets. I've checked the freezer, under the bed, under the covers, under the couch. I've looked in Elliot's room, in the toy box, down the laundry chute, and between the sofa cushions. I've checked pockets. I've cleaned out my entire car. It's just nowhere.

I know, nothing is nowhere unless it really is nothing. And my phone is something, so clearly it's somewhere, but I can't figure out where.

I had it last in the parking lot at Powell on Tuesday night. I dutifully turned off the ringer so as not to disturb other people attending the lecture if I got a call. I didn't think about it again till Wednesday morning, when I discovered it was not in my purse. Or my jacket. Or my pants pocket.

I messaged my step mom, who'd been out with me that night, and she called the hall, as well as Gene, who'd given us a ride. No phone. I emailed mom because i'd stopped there to pick Elliot up on the way home. No phone.

I'm out of ideas. I'm frustrated. I'm isolated.

It's not like I lost a limb. It's just a phone. It can be replaced. But it's such a hassle, and it had to happen just when I was getting into the holiday spirit and starting to feel cheery. So much for that. Bah, humbug.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Holiday Cheer

We got this catalog the other day - Chef's Whatever Gadget-o-Rama. It's your typical mid range kitchen enthusiast catalog full of pots and pans and pasta machines... and stand mixers.

It happens that I have a stand mixer, and I used it on Elliot's birthday to make cupcakes. Because I had spatulas and spoons and mixer blades covered with cake batter, somebody had to clean them off.

So, naturally, Elliot got his first spatula and it was love at first bite.

I didn't know the monster I had created till I saw him start leafing through the Chef catalog. He found a picture of a stand mixer, complete with unknown white buttery goo in the bowl. Then he licked the picture. About 20 times. When it still didn't produce the desired result (and the page had become wrinkly and soggy) he leafed through looking for another bowl. Sure enough, there was one with yellow icing. Maybe this one would taste better. But it didn't.

He looked rather distraught. A mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do. Of course I made cookies, and he was willing to trade the magazine glossies for the real thing.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Evolution of the Story

So I was going to tell you about this:

This is Elliot's first haircut. It happened while we were in Wisconsin visiting Karl's parents. His mother ran a beauty shop in the first mall in America - a little family claim to fame that Karl liked to share with people. I'd held out on the haircut, perhaps for longer than I should have, but I thought it would be lovely to have Donna do it, and it all worked out.

While I was planning the blog, I made Elliot a sandwich. Nothing new or fancy, just PB&J, which he has liked lately. He sat behind me as I started working on the computer, and instead of eating, did this:

I used to brag a little about what a good eater he was. When we started him on solid food, we went quickly into real stuff right off our plates. He ate just about anything we were eating. Then, one day, he started looking askance at his plate sometimes, and calling in a taste tester. I had to eat the first few bites, just to prove I wasn't poisoning him, but then he'd eat.

Well, now he's two. He wouldn't eat the sandwich, but did dissect it, consuming as much peanut butter and as little bread as possible.

So I decided to tell you about that instead, and went to get my camera for photo evidence. Unfortunately, right after I took the shot, I did this:

Now, maybe you have to look close, but if you do, you'll see that the front lens is not sitting at a healthy angle. That's because I photoshoped it to look like it had a few minutes before. Here's what happened.

I took the picture, and turned around to go in the kitchen. For some unknown reason, maybe because I actually hate this camera, I threw it across the room. Not gently - I didn't drop it. I flung it, and it bounced off the wall. Some strange muscle spasm or maybe I tripped - honestly i don't know. I do know it made a sickening crunchy noise, then some angry grinding noises, then it lay very still.

I thought I killed it. I secretly rejoiced, because I've replaced the camera once, but with a camera I ended up hating even more. Then the replacement got stolen (darn the luck!) and I haven't been able to justify buying a new one. Finally, I was on the right track - I'd have to have my new camera by Christmas!

Then I remembered that I'm me, and I have to at least TRY to resuscitate the thing. It's been with me for at least 5 years. I owe it a chance at life. I tried to move the lens back in place, but it wasn't budging. So I pulled out the battery and whacked it on the table - hard. I put the battery back in, and still nothing. The I gave the lens a little twist and pulled again, and out it popped, looking quite normal. I turned it on, and it hummed to life again.

I leave you with this - me looking very cross at my camera, which just won't die:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Waiting Sucks.

Last week I met with a woman from Missouri's First Steps program. The way I understand it is that this is a division of the state department of education meant to help families with children with moderate to severe developmental disabilities. Since Elliot is not talking, my pediatrician suggested that we have him screened, and First Steps offers screening at no charge.

The meeting last week, the 'intake' meeting, really didn't cover much about Elliot or his delay. It was an information meeting about how the program works if he qualifies. The screening itself is done by a speech therapist, and has to be scheduled separately. At our meeting last Wednesday, I was told that somebody should contact me "within a week" to schedule this, but as of today, I haven't heard anything.

It's very frustrating, because I feel like I don't know how to help my son. And worse, I don't even know if he needs help, but because I don't know, I worry constantly.

The screening is a win-win situation for me. Either they tell me that he has a problem, but then they help me fix it, or they tell me his delay is very minor, and there's no need to intervene. Both scenarios are good. Either one I can live with and work with.

What I can't seem to handle is waiting, not knowing if there's something I could be doing, something I SHOULD be doing, to help my son talk. Everybody tells me that boys talk late, and I shouldn't worry, and once he starts talking I'll just wish he'd stop. At least two of his Kopitske cousins were late talkers, and speak clearly now. Elliot communicates very well most of the time, and even strangers seem able to tell what he wants and needs. But he doesn't use words, and my gut tells me he should.

So why can't I stop feeling like I need to DO something?

I think it's the not knowing, mixed with the frustration of feeling like my child is not a priority to somebody else. While I understand that the program is really meant to help families with more severe problems, I still feel like they should not set expectations for me and not meet them. If they'd said "Somebody will be in touch soon" and not said "a week," I think I would be fine. But as it is, I'm not fine.

On top of all this, I got a call from my health insurance broker this week telling me that my rates, which went up in October, are going up again in January. So I'm shopping for insurance, but I'm not sure if I'll need to see a specialist on my own dime, or if First Steps will be helping, or what's next. So I don't know exactly what to look for in a policy, because I don't know quite what I'm looking at for Elliot...

Because I'm waiting for a phone call.

Waiting sucks.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Not the grossest moment in Mommy History, but close.

So I was changing a big poopy diaper a bit ago. The mixed soft'n'chunky, super stinky kind. The kind you know happened even tho he's in another room. The scent doesn't waft gently through the house, rather it stampedes from room to room, trampling nostrils and crumpling all things pure and happy.

Yes, so the diaper, not the gross part.

I had just finished cleaning him up, and the dog came wandering in. As I slid a clean diaper under Elliot's butt, I noticed the dog chewing something. Without thinking too much, I reached down and did a finger sweep to remove whatever he had.

Yes. It was a chunk of poo half the size of my thumb, and just pulled from half way down the dog's throat. I'm not sure how it escaped the diaper and ended up in the dog, but eew.

I'm quite grossed out.

Monday, November 16, 2009

North by air, and home by car.

We had a nice visit in Minneapolis and Navarino. The flight up to Phil's place went pretty well, other than having to re-check through security for our connection in Milwaukee. Even that was pretty smooth, now that the airports have 'family and medical liquid' lanes. I'd still like to see "single mom paying for two seats and unwilling to pay even more to check bags hauling 100 pounds of caryon and a baby" lanes, but I'm not holding my breath. The good folks in Milwaukee were at least happy to load the carseat and one caryon bag in my seat before boarding started, which made everything a heck of a lot easier.

I'm a big fan of this gadget. It hooks the carseat to your caryon luggage, and lets your kid ride securly. I will say it's a little overpriced for a little piece of webbing and a few D rings, but boy does it make it easy to get from place to place in the airport. The only improvement I can think of would be to make the strap itself adjustable instead of relying only on the Latch straps from the carseat. I ended up unable to get El's very tall carseat to hook in right without running the top strap over his diaper bag, adding height to my bag. But once he was hooked in, I piled my other things on top, and we were off.

Even with the second check in security, I was able to pop it off the bag and back on, and only took about 3 minutes to get him re-situated. Not bad, all things considered.

Elliot enjoyed wreaking havoc at Phil and Grace's place, and tolerated a trip to the local yarn store. We mostly hung out around the house Thursday and Friday, and headed for the farm Friday evening.

Grandma and Grandpa were excited to see Elliot, and as long as we were there, we decided to let Grandma have a go at cutting his hair. He now sports a slightly less wild hairdo, and I have the clippings from a very special first haircut. Grandma Donna ran a beauty shop at one of the first malls in America, before she got married and ran off to New Guinea with her missionary husband. She still keeps her hand in the business, and gave Aunt Vic a trim as well.

We went out Saturday night to Uncle Arlyn's 80th Birthday party. I got to meet several new Kopitskes (well, new to me, anyway!) I have to admit it is a little awkward sometimes, when I'm introduced as Karl's wife. Those who know suddenly don't know what to say, and their sympathy can be overwhelming at times. Here it is, over a year later, and once in a while I find myself right back there in the shock of it. I guess that's just something I'll always live with.

We enjoyed the party. Elliot ran in circles around the room, laughing and delighting everybody, and I mostly just listened in on everybody's catching up and retelling favorite stories.

Later, back at the farm, we played a few hands of cards and headed for bed. In the morning, we went to services with Harley and Donna, then headed back on the road with Aunt Vic and Uncle Randy, who'd driven up for the birthday bash. Elliot made the whole 8 hour trip without a single complaint. Amazing!

Sadly, we woke up to the same gloomy skies we hoped we'd gotten rid of with the pretty weather last week. Time now to go wake the boy from an over-long nap, and scrounge up some dinner.

Photos to follow, when I get the camera recharged.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tomorrow: Wisconsin!

Right, I should be packed. And since I'm not, I should be packing. Instead, what am I doing? Looking through pictures of me and Karl as kids trying to decide who Elliot favors. I'm thinking it's an even split, but I'll let you decide for yourself:



Friday, November 6, 2009

Better Sleep? Better sleep.

I'm discovering the when he sleeps, I really should too. Driving out to the county tonight for knitting I may have been a danger to those around me, and if you were there, I'm sorry. I stayed up reading while he dozed. He doesn't like me to read my own books when he's up, so I have to wait till he turns in. And I'm really enjoying my book, so I didn't put it down till, well, lets just say VERY late. And when he sleeps well he gets up very early.

Not a good combination.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


I'm trying NaNoWriMo again this year. I did try a few years back, and wrote, um, 2 paragraphs? before I gave up. It will be part novel and part memoir, as my main character is recently widowed and working through all that emotional crap that, hey!, I'm working through too!

I may, and may not, post excerpts at FulcrumMonkey, but will keep them to a minimum here. This particular heroin has no little monkey. I kind of want a chance to work through the other side of this crap deal I got - the crap side - without the Big Sunshine. the little monkey - you know - he's the good side. but there's a whole lot of dark on the other side of that scale, and i shouldn't pretend it's not there.


Here, we continue to talk about monkey, who, by the way, rocks. I asked him to clean up his blocks before he could watch a movie, and he went and started right away. usually i have to help. so he'd got about half of them when i made the mistake of walking near the box. then he decided he needed to hand them to me, and I would put them in the box. I didn't like that plan, so I pulled my hand up into my sleeve. "Mommy can't help! She has no hand!" so he reached up there and felt for it, and sure enough, there it was. he scowled and pushed the block towards me "TAKE THE BLOCK, WOMAN!" so I pulled my arm ALL THE WAY into my shirt, and flapped the sleeve emptily. And he took me and placed me where my sleeve was directly over the block bin, and then stuck blocks up my sleeve, letting them fall into the box. Good enough.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Kitty Go House!

I bought Fin a pad for his kennel today. It's getting colder, and he tends to make a lot of noise overnight tossing around on the plastic tray. Now that he seems pretty well house broken, I thought, sure, give him a little comfort, right? Well, it seems somebody else has decided he needs a cushy bed too. Go figure.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Creepy Overnight Giggles

Last night at about 1am I herd rather hysterical laughter from Elliot's room. It was the kind of laughing that torturous amounts of tickling bring - laughter that's almost crying, and a little hard to distinguish. So I wasn't so sure when I first heard it that he wasn't crying.

He's done this before, laughing in his sleep, but not like this. It went on, sporadically, for about 5 minutes. Eventually it reached a level where I convinced myself that it was not laughing, it MUST be crying, because seriously, what's that funny when you're asleep?

I went into his room, and he had kicked off the blankets and he was staring at the ceiling shrieking. "I'm a terrible mom!" I thought, having let him lay there miserable, thinking he was laughing, and I rushed to scoop him up.

As I got closer, I could see he was beaming. The smile on his face was absurdly huge. No - not a bad mom, then. He *was* laughing.

But then I started to worry that this was some kind of seizure. He's had a fever on and off the last few days, and maybe this is some kind of bizarre, laughing bug. And I thought about how completely ridiculous I'd be rushing him in to the emergency room because of uncontrollable laughing. Not that the ER nurses wouldn't have loved telling *that* story... but I was barely able to walk from room to room, much less safely drive anywhere with him.

So instead I brought him in to bed with me. He continued laughing on and off another 10 minutes before settling down, and slept quietly - but fitfully - the rest of the night. Meaning he was quiet, but he kicked me. A lot. All night.

So today, I really wish he could talk so maybe he'd share the joke, and I'd have something to laugh about too, because mostly I'm exhausted, sleepy, and cranky today.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Better First

Here's our first (yes, implying that there could be a tradition in the works) Monkey Pumpkin! Hooray!

I used my "Mood-O-Meter" monkey as a loose guide, and tried to give him just a *little* creepy. I'm thrilled that I was accused of using a template (Thanks, Brad!). I hope he makes it till Halloween - don't know how fast Jack O'Lanterns decay.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Every Day Something New!

Today's first, you ask? Stepping in doggy poo! Hooray for new experiences.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday Morning Blues

So last night while I was berating you for not reading (when it was my own fault, i know, for not writing) my roof was leaking. Karma? Maybe.

But still, I wasn't that harsh, and this is the NEW roof - the one that's only been up there a little over a week.

(weird. I'm suddenly craving a soft pretzel with cinnamon and sugar.. huh. And i'm NOT at the mall.)

Right. The roof. Leaking. You can get the details at FulcrumMonkey. The short version:

2:00am DripDripDripDrip
2:10am Text to roofer, sopping of water with towels
8:00am Text from roofer "be there asap"
11:45am (ASAP?) Roofers arrive, inspect, and determine it's "fine"
12:00pm I send them back for another look, because, well, there's rain in my house.
12:15pm Roofers re-caulk and leave, saying they'll be back if it leaks again
12:20pm Text job manager. Not happily.
12:25pm Callback from manager. Sincere apologies. Promises to fix any damage, make sure all is done right. More apologies.
12:45pm Blog
12:51pm Deep Breath, and off to pick up Boo. Need a little dose of happy.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Seriously? 2? Come on, people.

So I'm checking stat counter, and there's been lots of traffic lately. I've been all happy about that because I feel warm and fuzzy when I think you like my stories. And knowing somebody's listening? That totally rocks.

Then suddenly today there are 2 of you - TWO! - who've checked in.


Yesterday - 60. six zero. A lot more than two. And yesterday, some of you even came back for seconds!

Now - 2.

I'll admit it. Today - not nearly as exciting a day as days past, but still, I expect more of you, oh Blog-o-sphere.

Just for that, I'm going to make you wait till tomorrow for the story of the birthday cupcakes. So there.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Birthday Burgers

Birthday Boy!

Fries (crispy treats)

Burgers (cupcakes)

Little People Language

We had a little adventure today, and a lesson in communication as well.

Elliot had his two year checkup today. Except for his continued insistence not to talk, he seems healthy and developmentally on track, so the visit was mostly good. The doctor does want to have him screened by a speech therapist, which I'm all for, so they had to do a hearing test. He liked it, and when it was done, he signed for more. Kinda ironic - kinda.

Anyway then he had to get shots, which sucked. But I'm pro immunization, so what ccan you do?

He was a very good boy at the doctor's, and was brave even tho the whole staff was wearing (rather creepy) germ masks. I understand why, but seriously, it creeped *me* out a bit, so I'm sure the kids were loving it. Like the pediatrician isn't scary enough...

So after, we went to the park. It's so pretty out today - maybe for the last time. We were playing on the really cool little kis playground at Carondolet, and Elliot met a little boy, maybe 5 years old, crossing the swing bridge. They looked at each other, and Elliot started chatting.

"Eeee eeh eeehhh ha ee," he said, and banged on the bridge. Then he said "Aaah ah eeeeh hmmm." and nodded his head a few times.

The other boy was watching politely, and when Elliot paused, he looked up at me. I said, "He's trying to tell you about something, but he doesn't know how to talk yet."

The other kid said "Oh. I know what he said."

Wha? Seriously? I was a little taken aback, and wondered about the possibility that children DO in fact have abilities to communicate that we know nothing about. Nah. Surely he was just a polite boy playing along...

Curious, I asked the boy what he thought Elliot said.

"Oh. We have the same shoes. See? Only mine are dirtier."

And they did. I'd gotten Elliot a new pair of shoes recently, and it seems his parents shop at Target too, because there they were - same shoes, different size.

The boy also told me all about the coast guard, and said I could drive the rescue boat, but he was flying the helicopter.

So there ya go - that is today's really cool encounter.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sleeping in Again

Well - I think I may have to start setting an alarm.

No, wait, I really don't need to. Actually, I may just need to work on my self discipline. Because the dog makes quite an effective alarm, in fact, and goes off every morning at 7am sharp.

But lately, Elliot does not. And can I tell you just how hard it is for me to get up and start my busy day when he's still asleep? I can? Oh. Ok. It's very very hard. He's there all snuggled up in bed, and I'm sure as heck not going to be the only one in the house with cold feet on the floor. Fin doesn't count - he has fur. And you better believe Ajax is still curled up in the blankies.

Yep. We slept till almost 9. And this the day before the Incredible Shrinking Party. Well, we're up now, and I'm off to do the laundry.

Have I mentioned Elliot has favorite movies?? Bolt and Cinderella. AND he now shakes his head no and nods yes. Still not talking, but we'll check in with the Dr. about that Wednesday.

Right. Laundry.

But you should be impressed i've managed to type this much while supporting a standing, squirming TWO YEAR OLD!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Tossing Guilt

So I've been going through trying to clean for the party for the last week or so. In the process, sometimes I come across things I meant to do, and didn't. Things left undone, and I can't go back and do them now.

Today I found a stack of 20 thank you cards from Karl's funeral. I'd made a list of people I had to acknowledge, and slowly went through, able to do 5 or 6 cards in a sitting before breaking down. There were, I'm grateful to say, a LOT of cards to be sent. Unfortunately, I ran out of motivation? stamina? time? before I ran out of cards. Then they got buried under the masses of stuff.

Once, a few months after Karl died, I found this same stack, only bigger. I felt terrible that I'd forgotten them, and vowed to finish this time. I sent out a few more cards, but not all of them. It was still hard to write the words - to brush against those raw memories, barely healing. So I let the chaos take the rest of the pile again.

Today, when I found them, I felt terrible again. Then, I made a decision. I recycled them.

Perhaps a late thank you is better than none, but I have to believe you can forgive me, and I have to forgive myself, for not getting them all out. I'm done with feeling guilty about anything to do with Karl's death. I'm doing my best, and it just has to be enough for all of us.

While we're on the subject, I have to tell you that I mean to call more often - I do! - but maybe you don't know that I'm actually quite phobic about the phone. Ask my mom about the time she tried to get me to order a pizza. Actually, don't. It's not a good story for either of us. Let's just say that making phone calls is always a little traumatic for me, and maybe you should know that, so you know when I do call, well, it's more effort than you might think.

And I do beat myself up about it, but I think maybe I'm done with that too.

So here's hoping Earth Circle takes more than paper, glass, and plastic this week. I'm going to let them have a little something that wasn't on their list, and I'm not even going to rinse it out first.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Photoshop just crashed. Hadn't done much that I lost, but it had been running a long time. We'll see how it holds up.

Boo's napping. I'm supposed to be cleaning, but instead still working on the redesign. Perhaps this is a sign that i need to get back to working on the house, but you know, nothing motivates you to do things you've been putting off like the opportunity to procrastinate from something more important!

Go, design!

New design in progress. Woot!

I've been meaning to put together a more fitting design for some time, and am finally getting around to it. I'm still having to use a pre-fab template, but as i get back up to speed on dreamweaver, I hope to get a little more fancy. For now, at least it looks a little less out of the box. Hooray!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Two years ago...

Dear Elliot,

Saturday, October 13, 2007 was supposed to be your birthday. A pressure system went through and made everybody in St. Louis go into labor that day, and I was no exception. At about 10am, I was sitting in the basement spinning some kool-aid dyed wool when suddenly, undeniably, my water broke. Which is a nicer thing to say than my pants got soaked and I went scurrying to the bathroom with liquid gushing out of me.

I know - right? Eeew.

Your dad was about to sit down and grade papers. Seriously, I think that was a first - he actually had organized piles stacked on the dining room table, and he had a plan. He hated grading, so he was that much more excited when I announced that we had to go. Now.

We were both a little in shock, and a little panicky, but we made it to the car - me wrapped in towels and trying to find a comfortable way to sit without ruining the upholstery, your dad driving too fast and grinning ear to ear.

We checked in to the hospital around 10:30. When we'd pulled up, a man had been wheeling away an empty wheelchair - the only one in sight - and we flagged him down and convinced him we needed it more than he did. We'd taken a class about a month before you were born, and so we knew where to go, and off we went.

Your dad had already called half the people in the midwest between getting in the car and the time we got to our room, so we'd only been there a few minutes - just long enough for me to change into my hospital gown - when people started to arrive. Grandma and Grandpa, MawMaw and PawPaw, Uncle Brad, Auntie Beth, and Auntie Vanessa all hung out and watched Mommy labor.

I don't remember all of it, only bits and pieces. We were so excited, and everybody was impatient to meet you, but you weren't in any hurry, so the Doctors decided to help things along with a Petosin drip. Everything was easy till that kicked in, then I started to put Daddy to work massaging my back, neck, and hands as my body tried to shrink down to the size of a marble, thus evicting you from your cozy home.

What followed was a lot of joy. I can't imagine a room more full of love, hope, and expectation. We were getting so close! Contractions were only a few minutes apart. It was late in the afternoon, but we knew it wouldn't be much longer.

Then, a switch on the Petosin machine popped. We looked at it curiously, and soon the nure came in with some bad news. The staff, already overwhelmed with too many patients, had to deal with two emergency c-sections, and anybody who could wait would just have to wait. That meant no inducing drugs, so we hit a stand still. The contractions slowed, and we waited.

I don't know if it was an hour, or two, or more. It's hard to remember now. However long it was, it was exhausting and frustrating. When they came back to turn the drip on, and the pain started again, it was like starting all over from the beginning. I was tired, and afraid I wouldn't have the energy for delivery, so when they offered, I gladly took the epidural. We sent our family out in the waiting room, and the anesthesiologist came in.

For me, that was the scariest part of labor, and the most painful. I tried to relax, but couldn't, and I felt the needle go in. I thought maybe I had made a mistake, that this was worse than labor, but then, after two contractions that I was sure would make me pass out but for the adrenaline, it all went away. I could breathe and relax, and soon I fell asleep.

I remember people coming into the room quietly now and then to check on me, and I think I slept about 3 hours. It was almost midnight. The nurse came to check on us, and she said I was ready - we could transition to the delivery part of this adventure.

I psyched myself up for battle while your father rushed out to give a status update. The nurses had me do a little test push, and sure enough, there you were - ready for the world.

The doctor came in, along with about 600 other people. They encouraged me and gave me some last minute instructions, like "Push REALLY hard!" and we were off. The first contraction came, and the doctor said everything looked great, and she started setting up her baby-catching gear. One of the nurses grabbed my left knee and tried to put it behind my ear as she told me to bear down through a contraction. Everybody in the room cheered, and told me to push harder. The doctor joked with the nurses about not getting her dirty, they were all a little slap happy after what had been almost 24 hours straight of deliveries. We were the last, and the doctor was clearly relieved.

She was turned away when another contraction started. "Should I push?" I asked. I could tell you were ready to get out of there, so she said yes, and I pushed. Hard.

She turned just in time to see that you were on your way out. "Stop. Pushing. Right. Now." She barked. I did, and just tried to breathe, and out you came - tiny and perfect. She had me catch you myself - not something I'd planned, but I'm so glad she did. "Reach down," she said, "He's right there - reach down and get him."

12:46am, Sunday, October 14, 2007.

Not more than 5 pushes, and there you were, in my arms. That moment when you were born I reached down for you, and brought you up toward my face, and you looked right in my eyes, and you smiled. I may have been delirious, and may not, but I swear you did. And maybe it was because you'd left a trail of poop all across my thigh and probably on the doctor's shoes as well, but smile you did. Those 600 nurses made quick work of the cleanup, and soon you, your daddy, and I were alone in the room with each other - bewildered and amazed and overwhelmed and proud and so so happy.

We've been through a lot since then, but even at the worst moment - when we lost your dad - the happiness from that day has carried me. Your smile is the light of my life, and fills me with joy.

I love you so much, boo.

One day, I hope you'll show more enthusiasm about getting a cupcake for breakfast, and I hope you have fun today.

Happy Birthday.

Love always,

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Sleep or Blog

Not exactly the same devastating question as "Cake or Death," but a struggle nonetheless.

I've posted to FulcrumMonkey tonight, so you can check in with me there. But I thought I might throw a little graphic fun your way here too. So here you go - catch!

Friday, September 18, 2009


I keep a lot of photos in the windows of my china cabinet. When we first moved to the house, I thought about how nice it would be to keep our wedding china in there, all organized and pretty. I did for a while.

Then, when Karl died, I started putting pictures there. Four of the pictures are from Karl's memorial service. Tonight I was thinking about how strange it is going to be to me, and how strangely normal it will be to Elliot to go through photos, telling him what they are.

"Here's mommy and daddy at the hospital - look how tiny you were!"

"That's mommy and daddy at Ms. Barb's retirement party - daddy's stealing a kiss while you're distracted by your bottle."

"That's you and daddy in pawpaw's swimming pool."

"That's you and your Auntie V at daddy's funeral."

Seriously - how am I ever going to get used to telling him that? Maybe by the time he's able to understand it, I'll be used to telling myself, and I'll know how to tell him.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Nodding off.

Elliot's been nodding lately when you ask a question. He's very solemn about it. Doesn't really matter what you're asking, he recognizes that it's a question, so he nods. If that doesn't get a good response, sometimes he'll pause, then slowly shake his head. If it's not yes, then surely it's no. Either way, it's adorable.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Florida, phones, and phonics?

We went to Florida last week to visit Aunt Kelly and hang out on the beach. It was a little rainier than I had hoped, but we had a great time anyway. More details in FB note.

Time has elapsed. I have been out to buy a new phone, so I may bot be able to call you for a while because I think it's smarter than me. I've been to knitting. I've also stayed up past my bedtime and should sleep.

But first, let me say that Elliot is making progress with the whole repeating sounds thing. A few days ago, he said "Bah, Heee!" Bah isn't new - we all know that means "more," but "hee," well, that's please. So he's not exactly good with the words, but he's trying.

Now must sleep.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Lazy Weekend

We didn't get much done. All that shopping? No. But I did buy milk and eggs, so we're set, really, till vacation.

Elliot has become quite the little boy. We went for an oil change this morning, and he followed directions (such as "put that annoying Barney toy back in the toy box - we need to go Bye-Bye," or "Be gentle with the curtains because mommy doesn't want to buy Mr. Midas new ones") remarkably well. No fussing, no fighting.

I realize a lot of places put a "kid's corner" in to win over moms, and let me tell you, it works for me. Thursday we went to Knitorious, and they have a little bookshelf with kiddie stuff, which kept El entertained long enough for me to browse the racks of yarn at my leisure. The above mentioned Midas also had a nice little play bench with books and toys. I also love Schnuck's for having the race-car fronted shopping carts. Really, all these little things do make parenting a little easier, so I'm happy to shop more at places that try to accommodate.

Not so accommodating: the Missouri DMV. I tried to do the online renewal, and it couldn't find my property tax info. Alas. Now I have to go down to the city hall with Elliot (no toy table *there*) and find a tax receipt. If I've paid them. Which I think I did, but who knows. Sigh.

All in all, tho things are well. Elliot got another tick taller on his growth chart last week (a measure him whenever i feel like he's gotten taller, and he sure had.) We're starting to pack for Florida. Fin didn't pee in the house yesterday.

Yep. Things could be worse :)

Saturday, August 29, 2009


So I need to buy everything. I'm out of paper towels, dish soap, diapering supplies, pretty much all my food staples (except pasta. plenty of pasta), kleenex... well, yeah, you get the idea. Major shopping trip needed.

Here's the thing - lately I'm trying to balance quite a few things, namely budget, environmental concerns, and convenience. These three things have me in a bind. I want to be a better person, but it's not cheap. Or easy. I guess if it were, we'd all be better, but there it is.

I want to compost, but I worry about Elliot and Fin getting into things. I'm considering clearing the Vine of Death with some harsh chemicals, then converting the area next to my garage to a little green spot. I am wondering if I could keep a rain barrel full just off the garage roof - probably better to put it off the house, i guess. One way or another, it's on my list.

I also want to grow things we eat. I had good luck with my early strawberries til the bunnies pulled up the netting and feasted...

Anyway, this is all neither here nor there, except that I suppose it is because here I am writing about it.

There's a thing on Ravelry for making re-usable non-paper towels - you just roll them up and use them like you would a pt, but then wash them. Thinking about trying this too.

Many ideas. Little time for execution.


Sleeping In

Elliot let me sleep till 8 this morning. Once upon a time, that would have been an early morning for me - no more. I've heard it said it gets easier to do the morning thing as you do it more. Here we are almost 2 years into my early morning life, and I still just want to sleep. A lot.

I took El to knit night Thursday. Joan had made a Baby Surprise Jacket, and he modeled it for size. Seems to fit an almost 2 year old just fine.

Otherwise it's pretty much same old thing. Elliot's not talking, I'm cleaning up more puppy accidents than I want to, tho fewer than in the past. He's a slow learner, but learning all the same.

Speaking of, barking dog. Must go.

Friday, August 21, 2009

You're Watching... Yay!

I did my first real check on StatCounter tonight. The map thingy is pretty cool, because I can see where you come from, and thus I can guess who you are. So hello Boston, and Minneapolis, Melbourne, and D.C... Hi to the West Coast, and to our friends in West County, and everywhere in between. Thanks for stopping in to check up on us. We're glad you came by. Well, I am anyway, and I project all my own ideas on Elliot, so I'm sure he feels the same.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

He picked the pink train.

He picked the pink train., originally uploaded by jescope.

We took Elliot and his cousins to Bay Beach Amusement Park. Once El got over the initial shock of me putting him down in a little car and walking away out a gate, he had a blast. More photos from the farm are up on Flickr - click the photo for a link.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

What happened to the Friendly Skies?

I'm home tonight from our visit to The Kopitske Farm. We flew in to Green Bay on Wednesday, and spent 3 days with Harley & Donna and Andy & Vicky and their boys. Our time at the farm was full of good fun and good family. Sadly, the flights to and from Green Bay were a little less fun.

The only reason I still have hope for humanity is that my fellow travelers were tremendously kind and understanding. When I couldn't carry my bag, my car seat, and my son, the gate attendants stood idly by and watched me kick the seat half way to the gate. Another passenger finally came to my aid, and when I asked the attendant if I could check the seat there or had to carry it to the end of the gangway, she looked at the guy who'd helped me that far, and said "Oh - you won't help her to the plane?" Like he was some kind of shirker.

On the flight home I stopped at the desk at my gate and asked about any available seats where I could put the carseat so El could ride more safely. The gate attendant said "There's no 2 open seats together. You'll have to ask the passenger in the center seat if he'll move to the seat behind you. It's open. Then your son can sit by you."

Hmm. Not exactly what I had in mind. I thought that would be kind of awkward, but I'd try what she said. After all, she's the boss. So I went to board the plane, and the woman taking the tickets asked if I was checking the seat. I explained what the desk lady had said, and she looked at me like I was nuts. "If they say no, what are you going to do? Bring it all the way back here?" Then she started to get into it with the lady at the desk "Why didn't you talk to the passengers before we started boarding.. blah blah" And of course, we're holding up the whole line, and everybody's staring at us.

"Look - I'll just check it. Never mind." I say. But no, she's got her teeth in it now, and she's going on and on, and of course, I'm horribly embarrassed and I tear up, because she won't let me get on the plane and I feel completely out of control of the situation. I finally get El extracted from his seat and pretty much run to the plane. I get to my seat and the one behind me is in fact occupied. So much for her little plan, and I'm glad I don't have a car seat on my shoulder, but I wish I didn't still have wet eyes...

So then, after we're seated and my car seat has been checked, the original gate lady gets on the plane and comes back to my seat and looks at the guy beside me (who is charming and has already apologized for not being able to help when I was in distress at the gate) and points to a seat three rows up, "You can move there."

"Um, I'm fine here." he says.

"No, then she can put the baby in the seat."

I shake my head, and say, "Actually, without the car seat he would wiggle out of the regular seat belt. I have to hold him anyway."

She gives me that "You're a nut" look again, then precedes to harass the people behind us, who don't speak english and have misplaced their tickets.

"Take everything out. Now. All your papers. Come on. Papers. Now."

Like they were about to have to walk the plank. Seriously.

Anyway, so yeah, my seat buddy and I bemoaned the lack of friendliness in the skies these days, all the while being friendly.

Happy to be home. More about the cool parts of the trip coming soon.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Ahoy! Big Boy Bed Ahead!

Got Elliot's big boy bed today. After some minor assembly issues, it's together (ish) and he's sleeping in it Right Now.

I'll report more about the success of this experiment when more is known.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Elliot is getting more and more vocal, if not verbal. Right now he's sitting behind me playing with blocks - putting together, taking apart - singing a little song. Yesterday he was dumping them out and swimming in them. Yeah. Messy, but cute.

Most of his play lately is accompanied by sound, but he hums rather than speaking. He has quite a range of sounds, but all are with a closed mouth. I just don't know how hard to try to make him talk, or what to do to encourage it.

For now, we go with repeating names of things and asking him what they are, hoping he'll crack and use a word more than once. So far, not happening.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Marathon Sleeper

I'm not sure how many hours count as a sleep marathon, but Elliot's been napping for over 4 now. Sure, he got up before 7 (again) but still, this nap is getting problematic. I'm supposed to drop him off at Mom's tonight, and I don't want him keeping them up forever, but then, I don't want to wake him and have a scream fest either.

He's still not talking. I tried all morning to get a word - any word - out of him, and he simply refuses. I don't want to make it such a big deal that he gets a complex about it, but I'm starting to worry. I've been reading about 'normal' speech development, and he's definitely behind the curve.

But he's said words, and that keeps me hopeful. And maybe makes me even more frustrated. It isn't that he can't imitate the sounds, or that he can't hear, or that he's not sure what words are... he just doesn't want to use them.

Anyway, maybe he'll wake up talking.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I've installed a stat counter. Karl always kept one on fulcrummonkey, and was a little obsessed with seeing who his readers were and where they came from. I thought, even though I expect far fewer views, I might add this to his tracking account just for kicks.

Elliot's starting to watch movies a little. He showed some interest in Toy Story and Wall-E (his first show in a theater, but now we have the DVD).

M&D came by this morning. D mowed the lawn, and M watched Elliot while I made waffles. Mmmmm. Waffles. I don't get the iron out as often as I'd like.

Fin's still not housebroken. I've cleaned up 4 messes today, 2 RIGHT after bringing him in from a trip outside. Grrr. Dr. Kelly suggested a little more kennel time, and I'm thinking I'm going to try it, because nothing else is working.

Hard to be consistent with so many distractions. He's great otherwise tho - got come, sit, down, and stay pretty well down pat. I'm thinking about an obedience class after vacation. Yippy!

Speaking of distractions, toddler's getting into trouble. Gotta go.

Friday, July 24, 2009

nubby circle in a square

This is from my blog archive. I was asked about it on Ravelry, so I'm reposting it and correcting the link. Cheers!

nubby circle in a square
Jul 4, '08, 5:23 AM
Ok. I’m working on an afghan for my step mother, and i need 9 different 6” crochet squares. I found a pattern for the first one, then couldn’t find anything I liked as much for the second. So I’m going to maybe design the rest myself. The first one uses a little nubby stitch that may have a real name or may not - I just kind of made it up, but I’m sure i’m not the first to do so.

I've never written a pattern before, so sorry if it's not great, but here goes:

6" Variety Square (working title :)

Fingering wt. yarn
Size E hook

6Nub - (yo, slip hook behind post of last dc formed, yo, draw loop forward) 6 times. (13 loops on hook) Yo, pull through all loops. (1 loop on hook)
5Nub - (yo, slip hook behind post of last dc formed, yo, draw loop forward) 5 times. (11 loops on hook) Yo, pull through all loops. (1 loop on hook)
Post - Insert hook in next ch3 sp, yo, draw loop forward (2 loops on hook), draw yarn through one loop(2 loops on hook), draw yarn through both loops
Chain 4. Join with sl. stitch.

Round 1: Ch 1, 12 sc in loop, join to first sc. (12 sc)

Round 2: Ch 5, (tr in next sc, ch 1) 11 times. Join to ch 5 in 4th ch from bottom. (12 ch1 spaces)

Round 3: Ch 1, (sc, ch 1, dc, ch 1, sc) in each ch 1 space. Join to first sc (12 petals)

Round 4: Sl St into first dc. Ch 1. Sc in same st. (ch 3, sc in next dc) 11 times, ch 3, join with sl st to first sc. (12 ch 3 spaces)

Round 5: Sl St in previous ch 3 sp. Ch 3, *dc in next sc, 6nub, post in next ch 3 sp. Post, Nub, Post formed. 3 dc in same ch 3 sp. Repeat from *10 times. Dc in next sc, 6nub, post in next ch 3 sp. Post, Nub, Post formed. 2 dc in same ch 3 sp, join with sl st to third loop in ch 3.

Round 6: Sl St in nubbed dc, ch 6, *3 tr in same st, ch1, sk next 2 st, dc in next dc, ch 1, sk next 2 st, hdc in next nubbed dc, ch 2, sk 2 st, sc in next dc, ch 2, sk 2 st, hdc in next nudded dc, ch 1, sk 2 st, dc in next dc, ch 1, sk 2 st, 3 tr in next nubbed dc, ch 2. Repeat from *2 times, 3 tr in same st, ch1, sk next 2 st, dc in next dc, ch 1, sk next 2 st, hdc in next nubbed dc, ch 2, sk 2 st, sc in next dc, ch 2, sk 2 st, hdc in next nudded dc, ch 1, sk 2 st, dc in next dc, ch 1, sk 2 st, 2 tr in next nubbed dc, join with sl st to 4th loop in ch 6.

Round 7: Sl St in ch 2 sp. Ch 4, *3 dc in same sp, ch1, sk 1 st, dc in next dc, ch 1, dc in next ch 1 sp, ch 1, dc in next ch 1 sp, ch 2, dc in next ch 2 sp, dc in next sc, 5nub, post in next ch 2 sp, ch 2, dc in next ch 1 sp, ch 1, dc in next ch 1 sp, ch 1, sk next st, dc in next dc, ch 1, 3 dc in ch 2 sp, ch 1, repeat from *2 times. 3 dc in same sp, ch1, sk 1 st, dc in next dc, ch 1, dc in next ch 1 sp, ch 1, dc in next ch 1 sp, ch 2, dc in next ch 2 sp, dc in next sc, 5nub, post in next ch 2 sp, ch 2, dc in next ch 1 sp, ch 1, dc in next ch 1 sp, ch 1, sk next st, dc in next dc, ch 1, 2 dc in ch 2 sp, join with sl st to third loop in ch 4.

Round 8: ch 2. 4 hdc in ch 1 sp, *hdc in next 3 dc, 2 hdc in next 3 ch 1 spaces, 3 hdc in next ch 2 sp, hdc between next dc and nubbed dc, hdc in nubbed dc, hdc between nubbed dc and next dc, 3 hdc in next ch 2 sp, 2 hdc in next 3 ch 1 spaces, hdc in next 3 dc, 4 hdc in ch 1 sp. repeat from * two times. Hdc in next 3 dc, 2 hdc in next 3 ch 1 spaces, 3 hdc in next ch 2 sp, hdc between next dc and nubbed dc, hdc in nubbed dc, hdc between nubbed dc and next dc, 3 hdc in next ch 2 sp, 2 hdc in next 3 ch 1 spaces, hdc in next 2 dc, join with sl st to third loop in ch 3. Finish.

looking back

I've been looking through my old blog's archive tonight. I never really kept up with it much, but there are entries now and then about important things. Over the next few weeks, I hope to catch you up with life before Elliot, and his first few months. I don't want to dwell too much, and I'll try to look forward too.

And not to forget to live in the moment, either, of course..

My first real post about being Mommy

Here I Am, the Milk Giver
Oct 11, '07, 10:27 AM
So I was warned that the first three months would be mostly me sitting on the couch with my shirt up. It isn't really. Sometimes I'm on a chair or pacing around the house or lying in bed with my shirt up. This child likes to eat. He likes to eat a lot. I'm starting to make progress - I'm actually 4 ounces ahead of him right now. Finding time to pump is difficult because as soon as I put away the pumped milk he wants to eat. There's nothing left in me to feed him, so he keeps getting the bottle. So far there has not been any trouble with him latching on - nipple confusion or whatever it is when they decide they like a bottle better. Worst case I could pump exclusively, and I'd rather that than formula when I go back to work in January.

In other news, Elliot's baptism is tonight. I need to give him a bath, or at least wash his face and his feet.His eye is still gumming up when he sleeps. His skin is flaking around his ankles again, and it looks a little gross. We want a clean baby for God.

What else? He's growing like a weed. He's learned to fuss. He's very noisy when he poops or passes gas. In fact, right now... ah - daddy's got him. We're getting better at some things, like changing and night feedings. But as he gets fussier sometimes it feels like we're getting worse. We go to the pediatrician on Friday - perhaps she will have suggestions on making his bowels more comfy...

Well, best go get ready. Oh, and there's new photos almost daily at Flickr - here's a teaser with a link:

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Elliot was getting over-active, and I decided to calm things down a bit with a movie. We usually watch his movies on my laptop, since that's the only "tv" on the first floor. I slid in the DVD, and 15 seconds later, it spit it back out.

Huh. Well, lets try again... Slide in the dvd - it loads, sits for a minute, spits.

Ok. Clean the DVD. Back in. And back out.

Change disks - opt for "Bonus Material - Disk 2." Still no luck.

Search internet for "Macbook Pro DVD eject" Find 50 pages on how to remove a stuck DVD. Nothing helpful on keeping it in.

Email my personal mac genius, who is on vacation in Mexico.

Head upstairs (with laptop) to watch movie on TV. Tip laptop on side to carry it.

Penny falls out of DVD slot.

Shoot toddler the evil eye, put in movie, settle down to relax.

Then, the power goes out. But that's another story.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Home again..

I'm completely unmotivated. The house is a disaster, and my niece is coming to visit Wednesday. I need to clean. I need to get the bedroom upstairs ready. I need to teach the dog not to pee in the house. I'm not getting any of this done. Instead I'm on the computer. Not Good.

I did post a video of Mel and Lou being couch potatoes at the lake... For some reason my camera doesn't want to send the earlier footage (of me) to the computer. I'll work on it.

Right. Clean the house. I'm all over that. ok.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Still not Packed

No surprise, right?

I should be packing. Or at least cleaning the kitchen. How does it get so messy? There's only the two of us here, and I'm the only one who can reach the counter, so it must be my mess, but truly I don't understand it - or believe it. I swear there are gremlins.

Anyway, right, supposed to be packing. Cleaning. Preparing.

I got a big task done today - transferred the title on the truck. A small step, but it's always hard to walk in to an 'official' place, and say "My husband died. I'm trying to sort out all the peripheral crap. Where do I need to sign?" Sigh.

He should be here - we should be rolling our eyes at each other - he'd be thinking I'm packing too much for the baby, I'd be complaining that he's packing too much food... they do have a grocery store there.

Brad sent pictures of the giant inflatable sofa-raft we got him a few years ago, after my first trip to the lake. It was on clearance in the AB catalog, and everybody pitched in to get it as a thank you = then it promptly got buried in storage. It's resurfaced, and I'm looking forward to the ride.

If I ever get packed.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Ready for the Lake?

I'm trying to get together a mental list of what I want to take to the lake with us. I need to make sure I have sunscreen and swim diapers, clothes, toys, and sippy cups. I should take a stroller, in case we want to (of COURSE we want to) hit the outlet mall.

I don't think I'm bringing anything to read, as I know there won't really be much quiet time with Elliot along.

I'm going back and forth on the Wii. We brought it down last year, and Karl shot a fantastic video of the beautiful, sunshiny day outside, and us playing Wii tennis in the living room. Hah. Maybe I'll consult with Brad and Beth on this one...

Either way, the physical baggage for this trip will be substantial. Overnighting with a toddler requires quite the carload of goods.

Then there's the emotional baggage.

I used to spend the 4th of July in Arkansas, shooting fireworks on my Uncle Jim's property. The first year Karl and I were dating, we were apart for the first time (we were sort of marathon dating...) over the 4th. That was the year Melissa's purse cought fire... Anyway, after that we spent the next 3 years with Brad at his parent's condo on the lake.

There are so many reasons I loved those weekends. The lake, the boat, the jet-ski, the friends and companionship, the Mexican train domino tournaments... but most of all I loved being there with Karl. It was always the closest we came to feeling like we did when we first started dating, because a: we were worlds away from any responsibility, and b: he didn't drink.

I loved Karl all the time, but he was a heavy drinker. When I met him, he was on a 9 month round of medication which did not allow him to consume alcohol. He had been drinking when we first met, but our courtship and engagement happened while he was sober, and that's the man I fell in love with.

When he started drinking again (before we were married) he changed - he wasn't quite as brilliant, quite as perceptive, or quite as loving when he drank. Karl worked in an intense and demanding field, and a few drinks at night helped him let go of the day's many stresses, but it also muted him a bit. No, not the volume - that went up, as anybody who ever met the "Mad Scotsman" knows. But it dulled his wit a little, and turned his thoughts inward, making him a little darker, and harder to really know.

So my favorite Karl I got to see once a year, at the lake.

I know I'll still look for him. I'm not at the point in my grieving that I've really accepted that he's gone, and part of me secretly hopes he's there, although I know (I KNOW!) he's not. I have a photo of him at the lake last year. I think it's kind of funny that he's fuzzy and bleary looking, and here I am talking about how clear he was... but that's the shot I'm thinking about printing up and taking down to put in the book at the lake.

That, and my flipflops, and my sun hat, and Elliot's spare bink (just in case) and his Giraffe for sleepytime. And snacks for the road, and water, and a few movies, and ....

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Another night away...

I shot a wedding yesterday for my former boss, and Elliot stayed with my dad and step-mom. I called to check in this morning, and found out all the women were out garage sailing, and L was tagging along. I've prepped him well for this, as we are often out on a Saturday morning looking at other people's junk, hoping to find our own future treasures... He did well, as usual.

He got to go swimming in the pool last night, and generally had a great time. When I went to pick him up, he did have the grace to acknowledge my presence before returning to play. Sometimes I have visions as I pull up to retrieve him - I walk in the door, and he screams and runs to hide. It hasn't happened yet, but I keep preparing myself. It only makes it that much sweeter when I get a big hug and a happy smile, even if it's only for a moment before he's back to his busy little world.

We're back home now, and he's crashed. Mawmaw and Pawpaw play hard. I was gone about 4 hours, and came home to a clean, dry puppy in his kennel, and he and Ajax have been playing all afternoon.

Good times.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Music is no longer on the menu.

On Thursday mornings, Elliot and I go to Music Together. It's kind of madness, kind of musical, and very fun. Elliot gets excited when I tell him we're going, and does his little chicken dance.

A lot of the songs include motions we do together with the song. One is about our fingers:

I have ten little fingers and they all belong to me,
I can make them do things, just you wait and see. (Waving fingers back and forth)

I can shut them up tight, or open them wide,
I can put them together, or make them all hide. (Opening, shutting, clapping, and hiding behind back)

I can make them jump High, I can make them jump low. (Wiggling fingers overhead, then by feet)
I can fold them quietly and hold them just so. (Folding hands in lap)

I have ten little fingers and they all belong to me. (Waving back and forth again)
Do you have ten fingers too? Let's see!

Then we count our fingers.

It's a cute little number, very popular with the kids. Last week Elliot started to mimic the hand movements a bit, and seemed to be enjoying it.

Last night at dinner he was getting tired and a little cranky, so I decided to lift his mood with a tune. This went well for one round, so he requested another. (He doesn't talk yet, but knows the sign for 'more' and uses it to say 'again' as well.) We were all smiles, up until we had to 'Make them all hide' on round two.

In his enthusiasm, trying to hide his hands as fast as possible behind his back, he managed to clear the entire contents of his dinner plate, sending everything flying to the floor.

Ajax (kitty) fled the kitchen, sure we were under attack. Finley (puppy), who had not been interested in the game till now, suddenly began a mad dash for scraps. I scrambled to contain the dog - and the mess - as quickly as possible, all without ruining the "Happy Mood" I was trying to encourage. After a quick whirlwind of scooping, scraping, and rinsing the mess, and dishing up a clean plate for Elliot, I collapsed back into my seat.

Elliot looked at me, grinned, and signed, "More?"

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A little story about reasoning with toddlers

A few weeks ago I was working on the computer and Elliot was over by the bookcase whining a little. His frustration level was clearly escalating, so I decided to figure out the problem and solve it so we could both have some peace and happiness in the afternoon.

When I went to investigate, I found he was trying to make a book on the shelf stand on end, and getting angrier every time it fell over. Despite his best efforts, he couldn't make it stand up. The problem was it wasn't one of those Webster's Unabridged size books, it was more like a hard bound magazine. Not an independent standing book.

I decided to make a little lesson out of this. I sat Elliot down, and pulled the book from the shelf. If he sees that I can't stand it up either, I thought, he won't be so mad. So I stood the book up on the floor, and it fell. I repeated.

Elliot frowned, and whined a little more.

Ok, I thought, he's not getting it yet.

"It's Gravity," I said, "Gravity makes things fall down." I let the book fall again, to make my point. Elliot seemed to be interested, but still confused. I pondered a better way to explain. I thought about Newton, and briefly considered dropping something on his head (Elliot's, not Newton's), but thought better of it. That could go very badly.

So I picked up the book, held it parallel to the floor, and let it fall.

"Gravity!" I said, with a little flourish.

A light came on in Elliot's eyes. He was getting it, I could tell. He'd quit whining, and was watching me with total concentration.

"See? No reason to be upset. Gravity just makes things fall." I dropped the book again, and smiled.

Elliot smiled too. He took the book and threw it, grinning even more as it hit the floor.

Lesson Intended: Some things are forces of nature, and getting frustrated with them is pointless.

Lesson Received: If you're mad at it, throw it! It'll make you feel a lot better.

Yeah. That went well.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Strange Dreams Again

No, I haven't given full custody to mom, but she did have him again last night. I bowled a little better than before, came home to a clean, dry puppy, and stayed up way too late doing stuff: changing aquarium filters, watering plants, tidying rooms...

Then I went to sleep, and had more anxiety dreams. Once again I'd misplaced Elliot, this time I was sometimes living with other families with 12 kids, and for some reason I had to take care of all of them, and couldn't find mine. When I did, he had become an infant again, barely crawling, and covered in bruises and scrapes, looking dehydrated and pathetic... Then I was paddling through a swamp, again searching for baby Elliot. Encountered many obstacles.

The cuts and bruises I know are a manifestation of my guilt over yesterday's tumble down the stairs. Well, not tumble so much as swan dive. Yeah. Somebody's got a bruise the size of Texas, and it isn't me. The swamp - no idea.

Well, I'm off to shop a little before retrieving the Bruised Boy.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Another night with Grandma

Well, last night there were no strange dreams - or none I remember. Maybe I'm getting better with this whole separation thing. Or maybe between falling buildings, drunk wedding parties, pooping dogs, and online addictions, I was so exhausted my brain had no energy to create dreams. Either way, today I feel pretty good about the idea of letting him stay overnight with relatives more. Now if only somebody wanted to take the puppy too ;)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Talking! Sort of.

Tonight Elliot said 4 words. As we were getting ready to go to Grandma's house, I was getting him a drink. "What's this?" I asked, and then said "Milk!"

He looked back at me and said "MMMiii." I'm going to call that close enough. Of course, he wouldn't say it again.

After we got home, we were in the tub, and I held one of his little basketballs up. "What's this?" I asked again, and told him "Ball!"

"Baah!" He said.


I also showed him a duck, which he called, well, a "Duh." Close enough.

Then I pointed to me. "Who's this?" I asked.

And he said, "Mum." And just to show me he knew his stuff, he stuck out his finger and poked me in the chest - meaning, I take it, "Yes, YOU."

I'm a happy mum.