A slow recovery, a dose of sarcasm well aimed.

Whatever this plague was/is, sinusitis with strep, I don’t even care anymore, I’m just ready for the upswing. I’ve never been knocked out of commission like this. This is like third trimester tired all the time. The last month ‘let me just lay down for a minute’ and three hours later you wake up still exhausted feeling. I have fallen asleep randomly more than a few times, and my daughter has even poked fun at me for it. I’ve gotten a few more rounds on the wool eater finished, but I’m lagging. I have managed to make it to the single appointment that was scheduled without passing out, but the real test will be Friday.

Back to school orientation will be going on all afternoon Friday. My husband is trying to get some time off because it is also known as ‘haul all your kids school supplies in day’. Having 2 kids and the joy of the teacher scavenger hunt, because what better way to cut expenses than to have the lists on their doors than sending the info directly to the parents. Don’t mind grumpy/tired me. My sarcasm is aimed directly at them because their robocallers have been quite adamant about making sure we know what Friday is, and when the laptops are going home, and if you have registered your kid online already*, blah blah blah blah blah. I’ve had no less than 4 calls since Monday, none before 7pm.

*this is where I feel they should have just emailed us the teacher information, and the main reason for my snark, but they make it so easy when they continually cut corners to buy iPads and laptops for elementary aged kids and force them into a block schedule, but have no time to do the things that are actually necessary for the parents who don’t have time off or can’t get time off. 

Our school system where I live now is amongst the worst I’ve seen, coming from the metro area of Northern Virginia/D.C. which is amongst the richest, and better focused on individual needs. Seeing that there are not enough books to fill the library shelves in my children’s school, having had the funding cut thanks to Gov. Bob Riley back in 2003, it makes me worry.Alabama was never my first choice place to live, but it was a joint decision to get on the east coast, and this was as close to Virginia and Indiana as we could get without going for broke. It is funny to think back to the time spent living on the west coast, I never once made a Seattle trip. Washington state, the western half at least, is a beautiful escape from the flat mid west and when it isn’t raining from October to April, it has some beautiful days. Now I’m reminiscing and completely gone from one end of the emotional spectrum to the other. (I confess I have left my computer open and have come and gone from this for about four five hours, as it is a school night for the other half and I have had to entertain kids and corral them to bath and bedtime routines. This is why most of my stuff comes out as half finished thoughts and blurbs. sorry!)

So I will share some of my Washington life with you.

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Shipwreck Beads? Another crafter’s paradise

Anyone fond of glass beads or of the place called Shipwreck Beads, here's a glimpse of what it looks like

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that time the google car drove by

that time the Google car drove by

My mom and stepdad sent this costume, and I forgot this picture existed until I started the hunt for Oly pics. His future SO is going to LOVE this.

My mom and stepdad sent this costume, and I forgot this picture existed until I started the hunt for Oly pics. His future SO is going to LOVE this.

Learned a thing or two about cross pollination

Learned a thing or two about cross pollination

One of my favorites of my Rachel, she was only 3 here.

One of my favorites of my Rachel, she was only 3 here.

they absolutely loved having the water table to themselves at the Olympia Children's Museum

they absolutely loved having the water table to themselves at the Olympia Children’s Museum

From the Olympia Children's Museum

From the Olympia Children’s Museum

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I miss having a garden full of honey bees

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The Puget Sound ends in Olympia, and it’s a nice walk from the local farmer’s market.

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At this park you could occasionally see Mt. Rainier when the conditions where right. Come here for the kids to play, sit back and enjoy the view.

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But sometimes the T-rexes just have to come in and ruin everything 😉

The magic of the Wool Eater Blanket

Ever since I first laid eyes on Bavarian crochet, I knew I would love it. I didn’t know how much work or how much less work, to be precise, there was really to it. It looks a bit intimidating if you look at the multi-colored variations of blankets that have been made. I thought it was going to be more difficult, having not really picked up the hook for anything more than a sporadic stuffed animal and dropped stitches in the last couple of years. I think we make things out to be more intimidating than they really are when we are lacking self-confidence. Well, I bit the bullet, read the instructions over a few times and started a baby blanket for my sister. image Somewhere under all that blanket and yarn is my table and 3 or 4 knitting projects. Procrastination, thy name is Jamie, and she is too busy enjoying the beautiful burst of color to care about the mess. Also, also, also. Speaking of procrastination,  I finally finished the Bluebell baby cardigan, and it is so tiny! image I really couldn’t believe how little it was for all the work that went into it. It will be a snug newborn sized cardi, in time for the cold Michigan weather that will hit when my sister is due this winter. I can’t wait to make a few more things. I enjoy making baby things the most. Speaking of babies, my sister in law is due to pop within the next couple of weeks and I can’t wait to find out if we are having a niece or nephew. My fingers are crossed that she has a July baby so we have another July birthday to celebrate.

Things are about to get a whole lot quieter around here because school starts in less than two weeks. It means I get my knitting time back, uninterrupted!  I’m hoping Ethan’s ear infection,  which has now turned into a double inner ear infection, is gone be the time we have orientation next Friday.  Rachel has managed to get some sinus cold/respiratory thing, and it has been shared around with the husband and myself.  So we are crossing fingers and wishing ourselves better, because everything seems to go wrong at once around here. A caulking issue with the bathtub in the main bathroom sprung a leak and we ended up with water pouring into our bedroom from the ceiling again, same hole. A toilet malfunctioning and leaking into the bathroom. Late summer blight killed out tomatoes and is trying to kill our squash. Between these and needing 1 root canal and just having had 1 root canal, things can only get better from here. At least we have all the school supplies and they’re organized.

I can’t wait for fall to get here so I can enjoy bike rides and pumpkin spice everything and 60 degree weather.

On a roll

Yesterday I got snowballed with errands. I brought my knitting with for the waiting I knew was inevitable at the doctors office, as my youngest had come down with an outer ear infection and we were waiting for the official diagnosis. So 2 kids in tow, gameboys and knitting. I finally had my knitting mojo back. I was almost done with one sleeve of the baby cardi I was working on, when I realized the needle had come out. I’m not a dpn fan, and I hadn’t even wanted to check my stash because I knew I didn’t have any that small. So off in the circular stash I crossed my fingers and peeked hoping to find one pair that wasn’t on a stashed wip. I spotted one and had never been so happy to have bought all those Chiao Goo needles from Tuesday Morning. They kept gauge too. So I’m looking to finish the cardi today, and move on to finish my other wips before starting anymore projects. *fingers crossed*

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This morning I decided to rebuttonize (?) a pair of shorts that had a couple of buttons missing from the pockets. So I tasked myself with finding 4 matching buttons and prepping the sewing machine. Now I haven’t used the new sewing machine for buttons before, so I did what any sensible person does, I looked at all the feet, said nope, and grabbed the manual. I wasn’t going to try guessing because breaking needles and buttons was not in the plans this morning. I, for the first time ever, measured the buttons, set the machine, and managed to get all the buttons set into awkward pockets. I felt like a real adult for the length of time it took to get them on. Then I realized it took me longer to do that than it would to have hand sewn them. Such is the process of learning. A victory dance in my pj’s and a hot shower later, I was able to appreciate my new found skill with my shorts back in my wardrobe rotation.

SSRI’s, Sorting, and Sewing

This week marks the 6th or so week that I’ve been on a new medication for migraines, which I will admit has helped in some ways and not so much in others. Because it is not a typical migraine medication and actually an antidepressant used as a migraine medication, it’s got a few side effects that have slowed down my, well, everything in the last week. It’s an SSRI that hit me like a brick wall last week. Yawning and feeling tired have been the normal since I’ve started this, and I actually bounced back or so I thought after week two. I’ve been starting projects and only have managed to finish one quick toddler hat that was nowhere near my project queue. I have struggled with focus and motivation outside of that. I have an appointment in a few weeks with my neurologist, and I know quitting is not an option when it comes to medications of these sorts. I’ve only had maybe 5 days in the last month or so where I’ve been really out of commission due to migraines, and I can’t really complain otherwise. Maybe they will nix this and I can finally get my botox shot for migraines approved by my insurance. I just want to get back to my knitting without falling asleep!

In the mean time of not knitting, I have meandered through old baby clothes and toddler toys. My stepsister is pregnant and has just moved into an apartment and is starting over. So I managed to find oodles of things that we saved from all the garage sale piles that we never organized.  It was fun sorting and reminiscing, remembering all the toys the kids used to spend hours playing with when they were toddlers. The days where it was easier for them to find joy in small knick knacks. We managed to end up with about 4 parcels to send her by the end of all the house hold wares hunting and clothes sorting. It had me pretty stumped, trying to remember what it was first like living on our own, to remember all the things you need. I sorted through my sewing stuff and cosmetic bags and put a cute sewing kit together that is mom friendly and not too big. It’s just one of those things you don’t think of until you’re in dire straights with a hole in pants and the whole world can see it.

Speaking of sewing, Thing 1 has been pleading with me for sewing time. She had camp this week and missed out on most of her opportunities to sew, so she jumped on the chance to do so today. She is getting really good at it now. She is coming to the understanding that it takes a bit more planning than just coming to me a half hour before bed and asking to whip up a project she has zero plans made up for. After being told many times to plan better, she finally did!

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a little bit sunburned from camp, but she’s enjoying the leisureliness of sewing

She decided to make a kitty finger puppet, with a little technical design help, and picked out the colors herself. I helped explained to her why the dimensions had to be a bit bigger then the way her plans were originally drafted for, and once she finished sewing it up, it all clicked. She also figured out how to back track and fix tangles and mistakes today, so I’m pretty sure her future in crafting is pretty bright.

And so we adapt (and that nuisance disagree button)

       I’m not one to peruse the forums of Ravelry often, or comment much. If I do, I’ll admit it’s for the testing groups or the free for a limited time pattern groups. My social skills range from super awkward to super impressive depending on the topic and company. I’m not much for crowds, so forums are intimidating, but I like to contribute if I take from them. So when I do offer up or say things, I always find there’s a few people that click the ‘disagree’ for the couple dozen that click the ‘love’ or ‘interesting’ and ‘educational’ buttons. I find that it is important to take critiques and criticism on projects and debates. It seems a bit asinine when people click the ‘disagree’ button when there is nothing of any questionable value to discuss.

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Chaos

My life feels chaotic right now, and I know one of my other KALs will be starting soon. Some days I look at my table and shove all my least desirables into project bags and work on my time sensitive ones. But this, this is getting out of hand, this after cleaning and shoving into bags and sidelining many projects.

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I know I will have to start a couple more, as another person in my family is having a baby. So more piles will be added. Maybe I just need a bigger table?

When the gifts have been opened

It feels like forever since the baby shower items were finished and mailed out, but in all reality it was only a month ago. Now that the intended recipient has opened them I can share the pictures finally!

I was at quite a loss for gender neutral items when I first started my hunt, but eventually a few items came to the forefront of my search. The first is the Walt Painted Chevron baby blanket. I adored this pattern when I first saw it, I’ll admit that I had looked at a few others before coming back to this. The Walt is so modern and easily modified, and you can use multiple colors on it, the hardest part is picking out the color scheme. I sat there going over and over a few colors I had before running back to my lys and grabbing a few more.  It was worth it in the end.

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Granted this isn’t the best of pictures because the colors are actually lighter than this, its a bit more pastel towards the spring color spectrum.

Of course I’ve never made a sweater and couldn’t get away without attempting to make one. By the time I had figured out what I was doing though, I had blown half the rules out of the water and modified the sweater to the point where it no longer resembled the original, and couldn’t fix anything that I might have done opposing the pattern. Thus a new pattern was born.

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Points to anyone who can figure out where it originated from.

I hadn’t many ideas as to what to make for their baby is due in August, and most eye catching baby items that are gender neutral generally are winter/fall/spring and are clothing and blankets. I figured they may be getting a ton of clothes as it is. So I decided on a sun hat. It took a while to find the perfect pattern of not too girly or masculine. Believe me, it is really hard to do! So I found a simple pattern, Floppy Brimmed Sunhat. It was a quick afternoon/evening knit. I was able to use up some Blue Skies Alpaca organic cotton, that on the tag had said something to the effect of using it for heirloom items, I thought it was ironic, because my sister-in-law was intending to reuse the items with future children.

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Lastly, and I mentioned this in an earlier post, I made a washing cheat sheet to go with, as well as extra yards of every color of yarn of every project in their own individual labeled project bags. I thought this would make it easier for any future repairs and washings. i know that is something I would love if I was given something home made.

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I wish I lived closer and would have been able to attend the baby shower, but I’m glad that all was well received and can’t wait to meet our future niece or nephew!