Monday, March 29, 2010

Haven't got it Maid

So here's an embarrassing fact - sometimes I don't shoot videos of the adorable things Elliot does because I don't really want a record of what a state of disaster my house is in. Terrible, right?

I say this because today I did shoot some video of him playing with his remote control car. The batteries have been out for a while, and it's one of those unfortunate toys that takes a 9V instead of AAs, so it's taken me a some time to replace them. At the store today I finally remembered, and he had a blast chasing the thing all over the house.

What I didn't film, and should have, is his conversation with the iPod last night. Me and the iPod, really, but here's how it went:

E: night-night, iPoe.
Me: Mommy's iPod....
E: night-night, my iPoe. (hugging iPod) Myyy iPoe.
Me: Mommy's iPod....
E: No, thank you.

Polite - sort of?

Elliot just ran by, chasing the dog and yelling "No Thank You!!!"

Fin had stolen his finger puppet, and was off to demolish it.

Apparently the dog doesn't respond as well to polite requests as mommy does. I had to yell "Drop It!" to get him to put it down.

I didn't even say please.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Elliot Karlson

If you ask Elliot a question, and the answer is no, that's what he says, emphatically. When the answer is yes, he prefers to say "All right, I do that." Stubborn *and* verbose. Yep. Karl's son.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Wanted: Taj Mahal at Sunrise White

I'm working (still!) on this knitting pattern, my first real venture into designing my own work. It's a beaded wrap worked in lace, and based on the Taj Mahal. I've struggled a lot with finding the perfect yarn. For myself, I could spin or dye my own, but I want to create a pattern which can be reproduced, and so I need a commercially available option.

There's a ton of beautiful yarns out there, in a rainbow of colors. I've looked at most of the local shops, and poured over dozens of websites. I'm amazed at the variety of rich, deep colors, and the beautiful combination available. If I wanted this piece to be any shade of the rainbow, I could find it.

Unfortunately for me, I want it to be white. Not sterile white or winter white, but warm white, as the marble brushed by the sunrise would be, and dappled darker here, brighter there, as the rays of light play across the faces of the stone. Too pale to be peach or pink, but not so colorless as to seem lifeless... As yet I haven't found it.

Why white?

Across various cultures, white is a color of both celebration and mourning. The design is a tribute to both, as I believe it's namesake to be as well. Tonight, I've been thinking about those moments when our hearts are simultaneously filled with grief and joy, when the seemingly unbearable weight of loss is assaulted by the relentless, infectious wonder of our children.

I've read stories from so many widowed parents who don't just keep going for their kids, but are truly brought back to life by them. I'm certainly one of their number - without Elliot, I hate to think where I would be.

Anyway, yesterday I finished the second half of the shawl, and I have only the joining panel left to make. I still haven't settled on a design, I only know I want a floral motif. I appreciate that flowers, like the color white, can be symbolic of both celebration and mourning, as well as love and hope.

Walking through the gardens last week I stopped to enjoy the crocuses, brightly heralding the arrival of spring. I hope when it's complete that the shawl with hold the same feeling of warmth and promise.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Passing it on...

It's been even messier than usual here at Circle K. Last night I sorted through some of the old baby clothes I've been hoarding upstairs. My cousin has a little boy who I've been handing stuff down to, and he's growing again.

Some of the stuff is easy to pass on, but then there's the other stuff. There's the shirts that were Karl's favorites, and the things that have little monkeys. There's the outfits he wore on special occasions or for pictures. When I hold those, I'm back there, and Karl is closer. I can't decide which is stronger, the happy memories or pain of missing him. Both are more real with that physical reminder of what my life was with him.

So each time I go through the boxes I let go of about half of it. It's important to look back, but it's just as important to look forward. If I keep them, what are those tiny clothes going to mean to me later? If I have another baby, will I want to dress him in those same outfits? I think it might be too much, and if I have a partner, who knows how he will feel? Do I really want to store clothes for 20+ years and make Elliot take them for his own kids? These tiny memories with their adorable animal prints and soft, snuggly feelings deserve better.

I want to take the most positive approach, so I pass them on now to a little boy who will wear them and whose parents will add their own special memories, and who will pass them on a little bit at a time, holding on till they can let go, too.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Me: Do you know how much mommy loves you? I love you more than cake.

Elliot: Cake. Eat. Yum.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A little down...

Some days are better, some days are more, well, like today. Despite having a lovely time this morning at the Y class (Elliot played and participated and was so darned good) and chatting with my neighbor, and getting some work done for the show, I just can't get my head in a good place.

I miss Karl so much. Part of all the self improvement stuff I've been doing is to make me feel better about dating, but part of dating is miserable, because there's no escaping why I'm out there...

In the past few months I've invested more in myself than I think I ever have in my life. It isn't that I feel some crazy pressure from our patriarchal society that's forcing me to try to be younger or prettier or skinnier to find a mate - it's that I've actually always wanted to take better care of myself, but never really thought I was worth it.

I grew up believing I was not an attractive girl, and no makeup or wardrobe or diet would make any difference, so why put myself through all that? I never "let myself go" as they say, but I just didn't put any real thought into my "image."

And now that I am making an effort, it's so much fun I'm regretting all the time that I didn't. I'm also heartbroken that Karl isn't here to see me, not looking better, but feeling better about the way I look. I wish I could share this with him, and the irony is if he hadn't died, I might never have gained the confidence I have now, and might still be afraid to go to the salon with a picture of a beautiful blond and say, "make me look like that."

So I'm learning. Nobody's going to laugh at me because my eyeliner is in the wrong place, or my nails are the wrong color for my dress, or my shoes.... well, ok. They may laugh at my shoes. But if they do, screw 'em. I'm doing the best I can, trying to be the best me possible, and I think I'm doing a damn fine job of it.

Today, tho, all that good stuff just makes me miss him more, for wanting him to be here to love me.

Monday, March 8, 2010

New Do

Don't I look so excited about it!? I do love it :)

What does the Mommy say?

Me: What does a kitty say?

Elliot: (whispering) Meeeoow

Me: What does the puppy say?

Elliot: Oof. Oooof.

Me: What does the cow say?

Elliot: OOooooo. Oooooo.

Me: What does mommy say?

Elliot: (very loudly) BAH!


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Working out the workout...

We had another great day at the Y today. Our morning class, which moved from 10:00 to 9:00 two weeks ago, has improved a lot since I first wrote about it. The earlier time slot seems to have scared away some of the other families, so it's down to a more reasonable number of kids.

Last week, Elliot actually played with the group, interacting well with both the teacher and the other kids. We'd taken M and D to the airport at 7am, so we were early. I checked him in to the child watch, where he seemed to overcome his reluctance for me to leave much faster than he has in the past. When I picked him up, he said he didn't want to go play in the gym, but we went anyway, and he had a blast.

Today I had to wake him up at 9 and rush him to the car, and the resulting whack on his head (I don't know that I should let a sleepy baby try to climb up in his own seat again..) had him a little grumpy. He did eventually warm up, and tho he didn't play with the other kids as much as last time, he did play.

After class I checked him in to childwatch again, and I think I heard him say "Seeya!" as he practically bolted away from me to play with the toys. I went and did my little workout - which isn't anything but me and a machine - for half an hour. When I went up to get Elliot, he was dancing the potty dance and nobody was paying any attention (small grrr) so I took him to pee, which he did. In the potty. Yay.

He was in no hurry to leave, a good sign that he's adjusted to playing there, so I have no excuse for not going in more than once a week now...

We came home and played in the yard. I cleaned off Elliot's slide and bike, and scooped enough poop to make a whole new dog. So the little boys played and I did some preemptive yard work. I was excited to see one of the berry bushes has buds. I have a lot more cleaning up to do out there, but can't wait for spring!

Elliot's new addiction is Play-Doh. Tuesday I gave him the 3 containers from Christmas, and he sat for over an hour mushing little piles and putting them in and out of the tins, and impaling little pieces on a chopstick. We played with it again today, and he's still enthralled.

I've been dyeing fiber for the show coming up this month at Third Degree. Boy am I not ready!

More pictures at Flickr.... more news later.