Friday, December 5, 2008

Big freakin week

Ok, so we're in the new house! Horay! It is perfect and I love it and I really don't miss the old place at all. We'd outgrown that house so long ago that I was starting to loath it by the end there.
We really did pull off one for the record books with this settlement and move here. On the 14th of November I woke up thinking that I'd be having this baby in Arlington and we'd hear about the house sometime later. That afternoon we got word that the approval on the short sale would come through on Monday.
On Monday we got the written approval and I spent hours on the phone setting up the settlement ending with a mad dash starting around 4pm calling up an old colleague I'd worked with back in my Real Estate days and begging him to turn around a settlement in just over a week. We managed to schedule settlement for the 25th and my colleague came through as did my lender, both of whom were fabulous. We had 5 business days to pull of this deal and it actually got done despite my DH being out of town for the majority of that time. We moved in the 29th and cleaned out the old place on the 30th and haven't looked back since.
In the course of 3 weeks I went from having resigned myself to having 2 kids in that tiny little house (just under 800 sq feet) to now living in the house that we've been dreaming about for so long.
We're just about all set up for the birth now which is pretty exciting especially since the last two days my body has apparently been "warming up," (i.e. having contractions that mysteriously stop after a little while). I know from the last time around that this is perfectly fine and totally normal but it does mess with your head a little. I get all ready to have this baby, I call my folks that need calling and get my ducks in a row just in case this is really it, and then it isn't. Oh well.
My midwife believes that it will probably be the next couple of days that will really get this baby going. We will see I guess. I'm hoping that "Oscar" at least holds off until tomorrow evening. I'd like to have one more day to get things done before going into labor. Wish me luck!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Your Tax Dollars At Work

So last week DH and I tried to play hardball with the government/IndyMac Bank. We told them they had a week to accept our offer on a short sale before we lowered the offer price. For a full week I made call after call after call to responsible parties at the bank and heard no response. Finally on Monday we lowered our offer as promised because the house simply was not worth as much to us as it was a few weeks ago. The next Friday, we heard that they had finished reviewing the contract and that we will have approval for the short sale on Monday.
This whole situation bugs me for a variety of reasons. Not that I'm not greatful to be getting the house we want at a great price, I know I could have bigger things to be griping about in this economy. However, we gave them all kinds of oppertunities to accept our offer at a higher price within a time that was convenient for us. Now, even though we're saving some money, we have to move during the holidays with a baby due any day. It makes things a little sticky for us. Not to mention the fact that all those folks at IndyMac just gyped the government out of $10,000 becasue they couldn't get their act together a few days earlier. Oy!
All that asside, I'm excited to be moving to our new house and have a chance to settle in hopefully before the baby comes. The house is really great and we love the location and schools so there is a lot of positive stuff here. There will be a lot more space for people to visit (a guest room!!!!) which is one of the things that we've really been wanting to offer our family. We've been really lucky that we found this place at a time when we can afford it. So, despite the bad timing of things, I'm glad it's happening at all.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What I believe

In the interest of full disclosure you should know that I am a conservative. No, I'm not demonstrating in front of abortion clinics and I don't think that gay marriage is the end of the institution as we know it. I don't agree with the craziness that many in the Right wing of politics have come up with but in general I agree with the conservative line of thought more often than not.
I just came across this on a blog not too long ago and it seriously disturbed me. If you want to read the full description of this you can go ahead and read the other blog but here's the bit that really bugged me.
Certain folks in congress are starting to chat about a second bill of rights to include most of the following.

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.

All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.

America’s own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for our citizens.

Now, many of these things are things that most people want for themselves so it's not a hard sell to consider them as rights. However when you consider it your right to have a job or your right to own a home what incentive to you have to work for those particular bits of life. My husband and I have worked really hard and sacrificed many things to achieve the kind of life that we want. We don't consider a nice house a right, we consider it something to be achieved and want to pass on that work ethic to our children. Life will not be handed to you by your government, you have to do the work, no one will do it for you. So, if the folks in congress can come up with a "manifesto" of sorts I figure I am entitled to do the same, here is mine.

I believe that America is the land of equal opportunity, not of equal results. What I do with that opportunity is my business.

I believe that I have the right to an education but again, what I do with that education is my business.

I believe that I have the right to pay for as much housing as I can work for regardless of my age, race, gender or other qualities.

I believe that it is my right to pay for what health care I feel I need and not to pay for what I feel I don't need. For this reason, I don't believe that government has any business getting involved in health care issues other than outlawing things that are harmful to vast majorities of the population.

I'm very sorry to get all kinds of political on this space but a week away from an election and things like "redistribution of wealth" are being brought up but not in a bad way and this scares the hell out of me. Do we really want to live in a society where all you have to do is show up and the government will just take care of you? Do we know what the costs of that sort of thing are and are we really willing to pay them? It's not so long ago that we saw the failure of societies like this, do we really think that we can do it better? And do we really want to try?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Bad vibes

My darling nerd has a very manly love of action movies and thriller type flicks. We are currently on the couch watching "The Kingdom" which (if you haven't had the pleasure) is a FBI anti-terrorism flick complete with innocent victims getting blown to bits, brave agents being tortured and scary bad guys doing unspeakable things to people who look a lot like me.
I am not of the school of thought that believes that anything you see during pregnancy will affect your baby but as I write this now from the safety of my bedroom, I know these sort of images affect me. I also know that seeing images like these leave me terrified for months. I saw "I am Legend" shortly after I found out I was pregnant and occasionally still have nightmares about zombies. I know this about myself and I don't want my baby catching my frightened vibes. That's right, I said vibes.
I am not a hippy but I do believe that the things that you feel can be transferred to the people around you and most definitely to the person being gestated inside of you.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Other things I've learned recently

Beware all you squeamish types out there, this has to do with actually human body functions that tend to gross out the uninitiated so reader beware.
I've been reading a lot about Childbirth lately and there's a lot out there that's a lot different than what you'd see on Discovery health channel or TLC. I'm mad about it quite frankly. Not that DHC or TLC have any responsibility to me to educate me on childbirth. I'm angry that so many women are so uneducated about what there bodies are capable of.
I am not totally anti-doctor. I know many people who are but I am not inherently one of them. My wild one (2 and a half now) has been vaccinated, takes medicine when she has a cold and I don't hesitate to call our pediatrician when she's running a nasty fever at 2am. However, when it comes to any health issue, especially something as life altering as childbirth, I firmly believe it is up to the patient to know what the heck is going on and not rely solely on the Doctors advise. Doctors are people, fallible people. They do not know everything and they do not know everything about my body.
The experience of birthing a baby is far more than a medical event. It is a spiritual and emotional event on par with your wedding, graduation and every major life event all rolled into one. You are responsible for eveyrthing that happens to that child up to that point. They are in you and are your sole responsibility. Then, as the natural process happens, they become their own person, right in front of your eyes. Suddenly you don't do everything for them. They start taking over some functions that you previously did for them. It's all a metaphore for the journey of parenthood in genral. Through struggle comes further independence. The sooner a parent learns that lesson, the more adaptable they are to the challenges of parenthood.
When the doctors come in and interrupt the process by telling you that your body isn't big enough to pass the baby that you made, it isn't competent to handle the struggle of labor, it isn't strong enough to push the baby out and they have to come in and "help" with a vaccuum or forceps; they take away that lesson from you, they take away the experience and they take away the power that comes with that.
If Doctors instead told women that they were big/compenent/strong enough to handle the process that eveolution has prepared us for then maybe women wouldn't be so terrified of the things their body do. Maybe they wouldn't be so scared of the natural process and maybe they would be able to relax and let it happen instead of trying to fight against what their body is supposed to do.
What we ultimatly take away from women with all these interventions that have become so rampant with birth is the power that is inheritantly ours. The one thing that only women can do is give birth. It is ours alone. If your doctor is pressuring you to take steps to "help your body out" or making you doubt your own capabilities, go find yourself a good midwife and trust that your body knows what to do.
Yes, birth is an intense and sometimes painful (that's right I said sometimes, not all women experience pain in birth. Some even get off on it, literally) experience. However, it is what our bodies are built for. We are the product of millions of years of evolution of the female system. We are the most advanced baby-having machines out there, don't let anyone take that away from you.

Too busy knitting to write

Oy, it's been a busy summer. So sorry for the long silence. But, big news! Last time I wrote I was not but I am no, most obviously knocked up. In fact I am at 31 weeks gestation (out of 40 weeks for the uninitiated). So far things have gone very well, I am huge but not so huge that I can't move yet so, bonus.
I have been busy stock piling various baby things for the impending arrival. Most recently I finished a pair of baby mittens connected by an i-cord to each other. They are super cute and the pattern took about 10 minutes to knit (Exaggerating of course). I also finished a pair of matching baby socks.
For Mama I just completed a pair of plain old stockinette socks that I love. I used my Jitterbug sock yarn which I also LOVE!!!! Totally fun to knit with and delicious. Love the colors too.
I also completed the February Lady Sweater but I didn't do very well on that one. It's too big through the shoulder and yolk which made it too big in the arms, bust and back. Other than that It was a nice project to knit, I just messed it up. This was my first adult size sweater and a good project to work on. Pretty easy to memorize the lace pattern so it traveled well for a sweater.
Things I would add to this pattern to make it a little easier
  • use stitch markers between each repeat of the lace pattern. The pattern never says to but its a good idea, I tried for a while without and had to rip back a few inches. No fun.
  • Knit the arms separately and find a way to add them later. It's a pain in the butt to knit in the round with the whole sweater needing to go around as well.
  • When knitting the yolk, I think it would be worth it to occasionally thread some waste yarn through all the live stitches and measure the thing around your intended recipient. It's a pain but after my experience with the shoulders/arms/bust all being too large because I kept the yolk going too far.
I'm sure there have been other things completed but I can't think of them all now. On the needles now I have a really beautiful silk scarf, a baby sweater that's done all in one piece with short rows and lots and lots of tiny little Christmas Stockings.

I've learned a fun new technique this fall. The two socks on one needle thing is great. I did the jitterbug socks, the baby socks and the baby mittens with this method and it goes so quickly. It totally fixes the issue of one-sock-syndrome. Lots of fun. I definitely recommend you give it a try.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Sophie Sweater!!!! and NYC

The Sweater is done!!!! I've never done a sweater before and it's so exciting to have one finished. It has about a thousand big errors in it and it sortof looks like a first sweater but it's done and it will keep my little pudding warm for the next 4 days before it's too hot to wear it anymore. I have a bunch more of the yarn and I'm thinking I'm going to start a baby sweater but Matt thinks that might be jumping the gun a little bit. We'll see.
In other news, Matt and I are heading to NYC at the end of the week. If anyone has an idea about good yarn shops or other places I should visit, that would be lovely. I'm defiantly going to visit Purl in SoHo. The owner of that shop wrote this book that the sweater pattern was in and she's totally brilliant. So, I'm going to visit her shop and spend too much on yarn, yay! I'll post pictures of the sweater here soon. Later!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Hungry, Hungry Hippo

So I'm departing from my stated theme of Knitting and Motherhood and branching out into, wait for it, crochet!!! I know, my life is so exciting I can hardly stand it. But the project I found is really cool!
The story on that page is a little lame but I think the project is fun and I think the Sophi-ster will love it when it's finished. I'm planning on putting it in her Easter basket instead of any lame care bear, plastic goofiness that she would probably pick out and be tired of in 10 minutes. So, hooray for the hippo!
The yarn I'm using is a cotton three ply called Flash in Candy Strip and it's working pretty well except that it's a little hard to count the stitches because it's got so many colors going on. Oh well, I'll deal with it. I'm having fun with it anyway and the head is shaping up nicely. I'm off to buy buttons for the eyes. Later

Saturday, February 23, 2008

In defence of party pooping

My husband and I used to be great partiers. We always showed up after the party was started but before it got too wild. We were usually a small reason why it got wild. We threw great parties, the kind that people talked about for months afterward, with things like surround sounds and strobe lights and such. And, we were usually among the last to leave.
My, how things have changed.
I left my best friends 30th birthday party tonight at 8pm. I was an hour early to help set up, I brought a cake instead of booze. My husband had to run back in after we were ready to go to grab a sippy cup instead of our bottle of vodka. All because I didn't want to sacrifice the all mighty schedule that we have our daughter on.
Some people,I'm sure thought I was nuts for leaving so early and spoiling the fun. Some probably thought I was nuts to have brought my daughter up to be so inflexible in her sleep times. But you know what, at this age, all we have is the schedule. When the schedule goes, chaos ensues and I just have too much going on this weekend for chaos to be an option. Plus, I really didn't feel like it was fair to ask her to try to fall asleep in a strange room without her usual routine, without her own pajamas, without cookie monster in a house with lots of loud music and people and sounds that she doesn't know. I wouldn't want to do that, I can't imagine that she would. So I stand by my party pooping ways. My daughter and her needs for comfortable sleep come before my need to party, that's how it goes and I refuse to feel guilty about it.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Lazy Motherhood

I'm tired of people jumping to my defence when I say that being a stay at home mom isn't all that difficult. It's really not, I occasionally clean the house, do a few dishes and take care of my own child. It's not the hardest job in the world, it's not worth the $150,000 that some people have estimated it to be and it's not the Wonder Woman calling that some people imagine it to be.
Being a parent is the hardest job in the world. And that doesn't change if your at home with them or at work and leaving them with a nanny. The hard decisions are yours, the future of their mortal soul is yours to deal with, the values that they grow up with are yours to teach them and nothing having to do with your employment status changes that.
That said, I fully admit to being a bit of a lazy mom. Just now I've been sitting at my computer for the better part of an hour checking email and reading other blogs while my daughter finishes her breakfast at the coffee table while watching Sesame Street. (To be fair to myself, she is eating homemade pancakes which I whipped up this morning while still in my pajamas) I just looked over to check on her and she's taking various items from around the living room and rearranging them to her liking or trying to discover what they are. Would she get this kind of education if I was one of those intense mothers who insist on keeping the living room the exact same way it was before she had children and insisted that her child play only with they toys bought for her. Call me crazy but I think it's good that kids think everything is a toy. Play is the way they learn things. It's their job right now. Sophie plays like a scientist, touching to feel the texture, testing the objects limits, smelling it, seeing if it will hold water. She's storing up information on all of these things that she might not get if I were one of those "in-your-face" moms. She's figuring things out for herself.
Plus, I like to think that having time to think like this means she'll have a saner mother to deal with her during the more labor intensive parts of parenthood like this morning when we woke up to a major tantrum. Time out is a wonderful thing.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


The Clapotis is finally finished. I'm blocking it tonight, horay!!!!! This project has been by far the longest one that I have every worked on and actually finished. I feel like I learned a lot of things I should have known by now in the world of knitting.
Things I learned from Clapotis,
  • The correct way to ktbl
  • the dangers of makeshift stitch markers
  • the joy of really good yarn
I've attached a link to the knitty pattern here
If you attempt it be sure to know that, while not difficult, it's not totally mindless knitting either. And, while it requires 3-4 skeins of yarn to complete, when finished you'll be glad you splurged on the good stuff. I used Lorna's lace Shepherd Sport in Pine because I couldn't afford the silk/wool blend that the pattern recommends. While it's not as luxurious as the silk would be, it is beautiful and well worth the $50 spent on it.
It is finally done so I'm on to my next project, I've picked some girly lacy socks in a beautiful plum color. I chose them because I have incredibly large feet and these socks are little anklets so I won't spend the next three months knitting them. Here's the pattern for those of you who are interested.

Anyway, my husband is home from work today on account of the expected snow and he went out of the front door and woke Sophie up early from her nap so I have a grumpy toddler on my hands and must go. Happy knitting.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Big dreams

The joy that is married life is not always so obvious. You are going about your day to day things and this other person who lives with you is going about their day to day things and sometimes those things come together and sometimes you feel like you're just existing in the same house together. But then there are those days when you remember why you loved them in the first place and other days when you remember why you married them. (Note, those are rarely the same things)
Those days seem to be happening a lot this week. Darling husband (DH) and I have been trying to break away from the pull of the neon goddess otherwise known as a television for the past few weeks. This doesn't always work and we're not pushing it too hard but we are making an effort to talk to each other about things other than Boston Legal.
So Sunday night the house had gotten to an outrageous degree of messyness. I believe the word "Squalor" was used at one point so we spent the evening cleaning and ended up talking until midnight as we dried pots and put things away. After the cleaning was done we sat down and made a list of the things we want for ourselves in the next 3 years.
The true joy of marriage is having someone to share the silly dreams with. The stupid stuff that you think could never happen. You share it with him and sometimes he says, "yep, that is pretty out there." Then other times he says, "Let's do it."
For privacy sake I'm not going to reveal all of them because that would be a breach of the husband/wife deal, we keep each other's silly dreams a secret between us. Suffice to say, this little blog is one of them.
I love reading knitting blogs and if I can turn my yarn addiction into something that benefits others by letting them know that they are not alone in their crazyness then I hope to have done some good. I will also share patterns as I come across good ones or make up my own.
Back to my original idea. The other day my husband reminded me why I love him we were having lunch together during the week in the food court at Tysons Corner. I posed an idea to him of expanding our family and he smiled and said, "Yeah, lets do it." It's not every day you find someone who can support your silly dreams and be there to back it all up with a smile. Here's to Mr. Follow Through.