Friday, October 27, 2006


My initial plan for this post was to talk about finishing knitting projects. But first I need to take a moment to say how lucky we are.

Soon after finding out we were going to have a baby, we heard of two other friends in the same circumstances with a due date in February as well. The first ended in miscarriage this summer. And the second has met with tragedy just this week. We are in no way better than these other two couples, or the couples we know who are still trying to conceive. There is no way to say why these things happen to some people and not to others. I just want to acknowledge how blessed we are to have made it as far in the process as we have and to give my prayers for those dealing with loss.

In stark contrast, I received an email with joyous news from another couple who have been given a date for going to Guatemala to finalize the adoption of their son and bring him home. This news brought more tears, but tears of joy that their 11-month process has an end date in sight. And delight that I will finally get to meet their son in person after months of pictures and stories from their trip.

I had bought yarn to make a hat for the baby that was lost this week. At that point, it seemed likely that he would be premature and I had planned to make him a hat after the christmas knitting was done. In his memory, I think I will use the yarn for caps to donate to the Caps the Capitol campaign.

The brief knitting update is that the swallowtail shawl was mended, the ends woven in and it is now blocking (hopefully without any assistance from the cats). I wove in the ends of the shrug finally and will wash and block it tonight. I basted the maternity sweater together, and I think it is too long. I thought that basting the torso together would be enough, but I need to baste on the sleeves as well. It might just be that the armholes are too deep. Or the whole thing might be too long. It hugs my behind in a way that is totally unattractive. I'm just beginning to have enough belly to fill it, but I think I would have to be pregnant with triplets for my girth to accommodate the extra length.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Nicely Rendered

"Still, perversely, I love Williams and can't thank Open Stage enough for going through what must have been a nightmare putting this show up. In addition to assembling this huge cast, in [Beth's] colorful costumes, and the monstrous set, nicely rendered by [Amy], director [Mark] probably lost years of sleep wrestling with such an extravagantly overwritten but ultimately under-developed script. That the whole thing manages to hang together is high praise."

An exerpt from the first review for the show. The whole thing can be found here - (You have to scroll down to where it says "Camino Real") A pretty good review considering how little regard the reviewer has for the script. :-)

At least two more critics saw the show. I guess their reviews will appear tomorrow?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Loving the DVR and the bella band

I'm really enjoying our new DVR. Most of the time we've had it I've been show-obsessed, so I haven't really seen it change my TV viewing habits substantially, but it did make it a lot easier to catch up on what I had missed without having to worry about the VCR being set properly, a tape being available, etc. I've also been using it to tape Knitty Gritty on DIY network. I have to say that I don't really like most of the patterns they feature and there are 1-2 shows a week that focus on beginner technique. But I have also learned several things from watching and I like the opportunity to see some current knitting book authors. It's also just nice to have a way to get knitting "input" while I'm doing other things.

The other thing I love is the flexibility while watching TV. If the oven comes to temperature while I'm watching something, I can easily pause it and resume when I return. No more running around trying to cook during the commercial breaks. No more overdone pasta, no more running to the bathroom (at least not because of TV!) and no more missing the dialogue because R asked me a question or the phone rang. I'm still getting used to the idea that I can rewind live TV if I miss something, but once I get accustomed to it I might never be able to go back!

In a very different way, my bella band is making me happy. There is limited clothing that I still need to wear it with. But I am finding that just having it on, wrapped around my belly, is comfortable and almost reassuring. Difficult to describe, but I can see myself wearing it everyday, even when it's just hidden under my clothes. Maybe I just like it right now because it makes me feel more pregnant. :-)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Overall, I feel good. My appetite is strange and constantly changing, but I don't really have an physical things to whine about (yet). But the rest of this post will be feel free to skip it. You've been warned.

I seem to be in the transition phase where nothing quite fits right.

The maternity shirts are still pretty big since I don't have much of a belly (it's there, but it doesn't really look so much like a pregnant belly that I want to wear clothes that hug it), but the maternity pants and skirts have wide elastic at the waists that I don't know that I want to show off.

So today I wore an elastic waist non-maternity skirt, only to discover that the elastic is a little too tight to be comfortable. It's okay standing, but scoots into an uncomfortable spot when I sit.

The non-maternity shirts are mostly too short and occasionally too tight. Not only do I need to get caught up on laundry tonight, I need to go through my closet and bring all of the stuff that is still viable to the front.

I also need to go up a size in pantyhose and I should probably look for some new flats to prepare for the inevitable change in my center of gravity. Most of my favorite shoes have a 1" chunky heel. That's not going to last.

And I still don't think I look pregnant. There is still an indentation in my belly where my waist used to be, so I don't have a recognizable round belly. In a way, this is okay. But it's also kind of weird and I'm wondering when that little valley is going to go away...

And yes, I realize how sad I will be if the valley never comes back. :-) Being a woman is complicated!

Monday, October 23, 2006

The weight is lifted

After a month of spending every free non-working, non-sleeping moment at the theater or thinking about my set, I almost don't know what to do with myself now that it is over.

Okay, so that isn't really true. We need to do a good top to bottom pre-baby house cleaning, deal with laundry and dishes and all of the other messes left in the wake of my busyness. But it *was* nice to have some choices, some time to knit and finally some time to think about what we need for this child.

First, to wrap up about the show, it turned out okay in the end. It certainly isn't everything I had wanted it to be. But I was able to finish up the last few "must-do" items between work and the first show on Friday evening. By the time the Friday night audience entered, there was paint on every surface and I didn't feel the need to return on Saturday. Certainly, if I wanted to, there are things I could do. But most of them are things that only I know are missing (with the possible exception of the unsupported arch...). Mentally, I am done. We'll see what the critics say later this week.

I started the first Christmas knitting project last night. It's a vest for someone who doesn't read the blog, so there might be some information included here. Most other presents won't be mentioned. I'm using the superwash wool from knitpicks, so far, so good. I decided on the cable pattern last night using my 365 stitch pattern a day calendar. I realized on the bus that my first attempt was too wide, so I'll try another start on the way home. I just really didn't have the mental energy for a lot of math last night, but wanted to get started. If this attempt isn't working I will force myself to do the math tonight. :-)

The baby registry process is a little overwhelming. More so because we need to decide where to register soon, so the shower invitations can go out, and we weren't able to start looking this weekend because R had to work on saturday. :-( I did pick up a copy of Baby Bargains, and am making my way through it. I have an idea where I think we should register, but we need to make one or two trips to stores before we announce it.

I'll end with two cute cat stories. While I was home last week, at one point I found Nora sleeping in the cat carrier in the dining room! Don't know if she was ready to go on a trip, or if the carrier was close enough to the heat register to be extra cozy. And several times recently Stewart has jumped into the refrigerator while I was considering what to eat. In the summer it made sense, but since he has started to recline in front of the heat register in the evenings, I don't understand what the appeal is!

Friday, October 20, 2006

What's the protocol?

So, if we assume that the set won't be "done" tonight when the show starts at 8pm, do I do more on Saturday? I was always the person in school who turned in the assignment when it was due, even if it wasn't as perfect or complete as I wanted. My architecture studio projects were what they were when it was time to show it to the jury. I never worked on one past that point. It even gives me hives a little bit when we issue addendums and supplemental drawings for a building project. Usually these are just to provide clarity or coordination or to deal with unexpected situations in a renovation...but to my "when it's done, it's done" mentality, it just irks me a bit. Even though I have come to realize that it is a natural part of the process, and no set of construction documents is "perfect".

At least 2, and possibly 3, of the newspaper critics are going to be at the show tonight. Kind of like the jury in architecture school, although they don't have to mention my set in their review if they don't want to.

It's entirely possible that there will be things on the set tonight that won't even have a coat of paint on them. Some of these, like the edge of the door that was cut down, will bother only me. Others, like a foam part of "the wall" which may be white next to it's terra cotta counterparts will be obvious to everyone in the audience that it isn't done. Never mind the paint treatments that I scratched from the list earlier in the week when it became clear that there wasn't time to get it all done and that certain things wouldn't even be built until the last minute, so last minute painting would have to be spent working on those things.

There is a little part of me that will be able to tolerate going to the theater for an hour or two on Saturday to ensure that no raw surfaces are showing. BUT, I have put my life on hold for the past several weeks, and I'm not willing to give up more time than that to add detail to things that weren't even built until a couple of days before the show opened.

Enough of the set is there to make my intentions clear. And enough of it is painted to the extent that I had planned to show that I *can* paint with some skill. And, most thankfully, the set looks considerably better under show lighting than it does under the fluorescent work lights.

In the end, the only time the audience should really be focused on the set is before the show starts, during intermission and after the last bow. The rest of the time it is just a background to give context to what the actors are doing on stage. If the audience notices in the midst of a scene that the edge of a door isn't painted or that one of the buildings has less detail than another, the problems with the show are much bigger than the fact that the set isn't complete.

It's unfortunate that my last set design experience for a while has been so trying, but I don't regret the experience and I'm sure that with a little more hindsight I will have learned even more from it than I have up to this point.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


I ended up taking off Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to be at the theater. Not only has everything (set, lights, sound, props, etc) been about a week behind, but I have to get a good night's sleep each night and need to take breaks often.

Tuesday was my low point and Wednesday I got some much-needed painting assistance from a friend of the lighting designer. The set will not be everything I had planned, but I'm thrilled that there will be paint on every surface (yes, without help I wouldn't have even gotten to that point!), and there most of the most critical elements have or will be getting painted texture. Taking one more day off would have been nice, but I don't want to take advantage of how understanding my firm has been. And quite frankly I don't know that I had another full day of painting in me. I'm pretty zapped emotionally and physically (though I have done a good job of getting sleep the past few nights - big plus!)

I'm really looking forward to this weekend. I plan to start a couple of christmas knitting projects (I've had the yarn and it's been taunting me!), get caught up on dishes, shop for baby furniture and start our registry. I also have/will have a little TV on the DVR to catch up on and there is clean laundry to put away as well as new maternity clothes to wash. (I'm not really filling the shirts out yet, but many of my regular shirts are too short or too tight to be comfortable all day.)

The little bit of bus knitting time I've had recently has resulted in a pink and tan striped pair of kid's mittens for Dulaan. I haven't fixed the swallowtail shawl yet, but I have blocking wires now and I'd like to wear it next weekend, so that's somewhere on the agenda soon.

(On one hand, I can't wait to relax. And on the other, I can't wait to do all of these things I've been putting off for several weeks!)

Monday, October 16, 2006


There is still a lot left to do before the show opens on Friday. I took today off to get more done because I couldn't fall asleep last night thinking of all that needed to be done and I could tell that trying to get through 8 hours of work knowing all that needed to be done at the theater would be mighty difficult.

I'm also worried that it's going to take more than one day off to get everything done, so the sooner I can get more done the less likely I am to run out of hours before the show opens. The added difficulty is that I need more breaks and I just really can't spend all of my time on my feet. (I had to leave last night before I had done all that I could have because my feet were too tired to keep going.) So there are upsides and downsides to having a whole day at the theater.

Enough talk, I'm off to get things done.

Friday, October 13, 2006


Really, I don't have a lot to say. I tried to post yesterday, but I couldn't come up with anything.

This week is like last week, and pretty similar to next week. Get up. Go to work. Go to the theater and paint until I get kicked off the stage for rehearsal. Go home and have an hour or two to relax/email/eat/do anything else that needs to get done. Go to sleep. Rinse and repeat.

There is no rehearsal tonight or on Monday, so I will be able to continue painting until I'm too tired to go on. Tomorrow's glitch is that I have to be on campus in the middle of the day for an alumni reception and award presentation (aka, dress up and try not to have paint all over my hands). I might spend the morning working on the little bit of sewing I have to do for the show and not go to the theater until after the reception. Depends on how long I stay tonight. Must get sleep.

I'm a little nervous about the set construction being completed in adequate time for me to paint it. But there isn't a whole lot that I can do about it. So I'm just going to keep chugging along on what I can paint and hope that I don't run out of things to paint this weekend. I do have half a day of vacation that I can use if I get desperate.

Monday, October 09, 2006


Yesterday, R linked to my blog to the post with our happy news. Today, I provide a link to his with some sad but not unexpected news.

I skipped out on the theater tonight so R and I could take a walk and talk and enjoy one of the last lovely evenings of the year together. There just hasn't been enough time lately to hang out. It's unfortunate that today's circumstances were necessary to make it happen. And I think it will help me get through the next 11 (gulp) days until the show opens. At which point we can get back to a more "normal" schedule again and talk about all of these things that we need to talk about.

We've officially decided to make the daycare decision later. We're putting down deposits on our two favorites, one of which won't tell us if there is a place available until January. (And even if they do, the place won't be available until a month after I'm supposed to go back to work.)

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Quick Week

Almost all time not spent at work or sleeping this past week was spent at the theater painting my set. This will likely continue until the show opens on the 20th. It's a really big set. There is a lot to paint, and it isn't even all built yet.

Work was busy, too. Working on presentation boards for a competition next week. The boss offered to take us out to a nice dinner if we get the job. I told him if we get the job I want to be on the team - it's a huge theater in North Carolina, in the city where R proposed. :-)

In the little time I've had to knit, I bound off the swallowtail shawl. Then I noticed a hole that seemed to big, and soon after I noticed a dropped stitch nearby! I caught the stitch but haven't done anything else with it since. I need time to sit down and see if I can fix it without undoing the bind off. But I'm not going to try to do that while I'm so busy. In the meantime, I've been working on Dulaan mittens on the bus. I pair completed and a second pair started.

Monday, October 02, 2006


Something big to share today. It is something I've been trying to tell "personally" to everyone who I know reads the blog. There are friends from college that I haven't told yet - not because I don't want to tell them but because I'm not a huge fan of the phone and my current state of busy-ness has kept me from making many calls. So I have been sure to tell the people that I know read the blog (because they post comments). If you read the blog, but never comment, and I haven't shared the news with you personally...well, let this be a lesson to you. :-)

You may have noticed that my thoughts have been somewhat scattered over the past few months. Much of this is because there is something rather big and life changing that I haven't been writing about. I'm pregnant. :-) 20 weeks and 2 days to be exact. We had the big ultrasound last week, and our daughter looks healthy and is still on course for a mid-February arrival. The due date is the 18th, but since only 5% of babies arrive on their actual due date, I prefer to say mid-February.

I briefly considered keeping a journal of the experience of pregnancy, but I don't know that there is really enough to say, and some of it is not pleasant enough to want to write. ;-) I will recap here a little bit some of the highlights:

The day we found out was a shocker. Not because we hadn't been trying, but because I was fairly convinced that we hadn't timed our attempts very well. And also because even though this was something we wanted and were purposefully trying to achieve, there is something very startling about actually getting a positive test. (And they were both VERY CLEARLY positive, no "is that a line? do you think you see a line?" for us - we got A LINE and pretty quickly, too).

Then there was a few days of - when do we tell people? who do we tell first? what do we do now? And there is the constant back and forth emotion of being really excited and at the same time not wanting to get your hopes up too much because it was so early. We've known a number of couples who've had issues both getting and staying pregnant, and we're both too practical to take anything for granted.

A week after we found out, we had the chance to tell both sets of future grandparents together and in person. So we took the opportunity to tell them (as well as R's sister, brother and niece, and a couple of friends who had stuck around to the bitter end of our party), and then simultaneously swear them to secrecy. :-) We did give them "permission" to tell a few of their friends so they wouldn't explode with the secret, but we didn't want to start telling more family but have to tell them to keep a secret, too. With a few exceptions, we didn't spread the news to family and friends until the second week of August. The following week I told work, and we've been slowly telling people as we talk to them ever since.

On the symptom front, I was nauseous on and off for the first three weeks. Thankfully, I felt fine in the morning (generally) so getting myself to work wasn't a hurdle. Once the nausea wore off, I was REALLY tired. Like I couldn't bring myself to do much of anything but sit on the couch after work tired. There wasn't much that I *needed* to do, but I hate feeling like such a lump. And as soon as the exhaustion wore off life got a little busier, so a good night's sleep has continued to be extremely important.

What else? Well, the whole thing didn't really seem very real until the 12 week appointment when we heard the heartbeat. Even after the 8 week appointment, I wasn't totally convinced that this was all real. Sure, I had had some morning sickness, and the doctor verified that my uterus was bigger and no one laughed at me for thinking I was pregnant. But until we heard that little heart beating 154 times a minute I didn't really believe that there was something in there. And when we started telling people it became that much more real.

I'm still not really showing. Yes, my belly is bigger, but it is much more noticeable to me and it is still pretty easy to hide. The only clothing that does not fit are my jeans and a few shirts that were on the tight side before I gained 12 pounds. :-) My work pants still fit, though I can tell that they won't last a lot longer. I've started wearing some maternity jeans and pants, mostly for the comfort factor, even though they are still a little big.

Part of me is impatient for my belly to "pop" and to really look pregnant (and not just like I've gained weight), but I also know that once I start to look pregnant it will be just that much sooner until I start hearing "haven't you had that baby yet?" So I'll count my blessings that the baby is healthy and try to let go of what I can't control.

I also wouldn't mind feeling the baby move now and then. It makes me impatient for the next time we hear the heartbeat to make sure that everything is still okay.