Monday, December 31, 2007

2 more hours...last minute thoughts for 2007

I think every year on New Year's Eve it seems strange to me that one year is coming to an end and another is about to begin. I always like the fun of saying "This is the last time I'm going to do X this year" or "I'll do that next year". Silly, but it still kinda cracks me up.

I looked back at some of my posts from a year ago. They are about how I was feeling during the pregnancy, preparing the house for Heather's arrival, and finishing up the Christmas knitting. None of that to write about this year, although we still have lots of presents for Heather to put away just like last year. I need to decide which ones should stay in her room, which ones should stay in the living room, which ones should go in the 'corral' in the dining room and what should go into storage. I also need to go through her clothing again. There are lots of short-sleeved shirts that can go into storage since she got a good winter wardrobe for christmas and there is some stuff from the past few months that needs to be labeled. It isn't as critical as it used to be since clothing changes at daycare are more rare (knock on wood), but it needs to be done.

I'm pleased to announce that I was right. :-) Heather's on-and-off crankiness of the past couple of weeks was due to a new tooth. Number three has broken through the gum and our happy baby has returned. There has still been some night-waking and co-sleeping in response, but I'm hopeful that it is partially due to our recent travel and screwy schedule. Our recent trip did give me some insight into Heather's nap needs. Based on our experiences, I'd say that Heather could do one nap per day and she can adjust okay to schedule changes. She can do a 2-3-4 nap schedule, a 3-2-4 schedule, a 3-4-2 schedule, etc. But, I still think that she does better with two naps each day and her first nap 2 hours after waking up.

Heather is also doing better with table foods. She still seems somewhat reluctant, but tonight, after being encouraged by daddy, she fed herself pasta with sauce, peas and carrots. And at one point she seemed to be shoveling it all in as enthusiastically as she does her cheerios. I have to keep reminding myself to be patient. It is a lot easier to feed her mashed food with a spoon, but I know she needs to get used to more table foods so I can stop making her food separately.

The closest thing I have to a resolution this year is the goal of cooking dinner on a regular basis. This includes planning ahead (sigh) and making a real grocery list each week. Not sure when I will find time to start looking for ideas in my cookbooks.

Now there are only 90 minutes left in 2007. Time to wrap this post up and try to relax a little. A note for the readers on Ravelry - I've finally posted some project pictures and there will be more on the way soon. Not sure when there will be time for blog posts about the projects, so the Ravelry descriptions might have to do for a while.

I'll end with my favorite picture from Christmas Day. :-)

Friday, December 28, 2007


Before...........and after...........

A few weeks ago, mom and I organized the yarn stash. Heather attempted to help, but we decided that she should supervise from the exersaucer. For reference, we have a queen sized bed. I'm not going on any kind of a yarn diet, but i will be trying to knit from the stash when i'm ready to start something new. All of the warm i have was purchased with a project in mind.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Heather's hat

A message from the road. The knitting on Heather's hat is done. Now to weave in the ends!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas...2 down, 2 to go...

So far we've had a lovely holiday, and there are still a few celebrations to come over the next few days with my grandparents, aunts & uncles and family friends.

My parents arrived on Saturday evening. Having them around to help entertain and care for Heather enabled R and me to finish wrapping presents, do laundry, make more food for Heather (me) and do some straightening up around here. On Monday, we had a pretty quiet day at home. It seemed like before I knew it, it was time for dinner to eat my dad's yummy chicken and noodles. And then we got Heather into her new Christmas pjs, attempted to read "Twas the Night Before Christmas" (I got through it, but she was nursing through the last few pages), and before too long it was time to head to bed so that Santa could come. :-)

We had fun on Christmas morning. Heather didn't really get into ripping the wrapping paper as much as I thought she would, but she was certainly happy to play with and chew on each new toy as it was unwrapped for her. Also, Santa left her walker wagon with a teddy bear and Raggedy Ann sitting inside. After a few presents, Heather noticed the wagon and went immediately over to it. She pulled the bear out for a hug and pulled up on the wagon to try to move it around. She can't turn yet, but she is stable enough now to push the wagon without help - it's very impressive for someone so small!

After a few hours of fun, Heather took a nice nap and the four adults had breakfast and a respite. When she was ready for her second nap, we got in the car for Johnstown to see R's family. The house in Johnstown was very full of people and dogs. Heather was a little clingy at first, but she warmed up to the place and loved watching the dogs and letting them lick her hands. She got some more great presents (and seemed to have a better idea of how to remove the tissue paper from the gift bags) and we had a nice evening. We left at her bedtime, so we had a little challenge transitioning her to the crib when we got home (note to self, next time put pjs on before leaving, not at home).

Today, we took a quiet day to unpack toys, do laundry, make food for Heather and prepare for the rest of the celebrations to come. More soon with pictures...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Fourth Time Ever!

I was going to make this post last week, and the title was going to be "Second Time Ever!" Well, time got away from me and the stats have gotten even better, so let's celebrate. :-)

Some of you may not believe this, having seen the lengths we sometimes go to, to get Heather to sleep...but last night was the fourth time that she was left in the crib awake and fell asleep on her own! (The first time it happened was during the fall, at 11pm, when I was out of town for business. She quickly proved that that occurrence was a fluke.) I knew this day would come eventually, I just didn't dare to dream that it would happen before she turned 1... To be fair, it isn't totally consistent yet and I'm not sure what the best timing is (especially since her naps have been good but inconsistent lately), so we're just taking it one day at a time.

Here are my parameters:

- When I was home for a week at Thanksgiving I tried to focus on improving Heather's sleep schedule and routines. I got a pretty good idea of where here naps should ideally fall and I figured out that holding/rocking/nursing her in her room had a better affect than doing so in the living room. (We had tried this before, but when she was younger it didn't seem to make any difference where we were, so R and I stayed downstairs to watch TV).
- For the first week after Thanksgiving, I could usually get her to sleep within 30-45 minutes of going up to her room, but after we traveled to Ohio she was more resistant.
- I decided that I was willing to stay in the glider for 30-45 minutes trying. She could nurse, I could read, we could rock, but she needed to stay on my lap and try to relax. If she spends too much time trying to get off my lap or if she's just hanging out and having fun, into the crib she goes. I kiss her goodnight, turn off the light, turn on the bunny that plays music and leave.
- After 3 consecutive minutes of crying, I'll check on her again. If it stops and starts, I'll let her go longer. A few nights when I've gone back in she is much more conducive to nursing or rocking to sleep. And three nights I haven't had to go back in at all!

I'm sure that things will change again at some point, but I like that our evenings are a little more predictable and I feel like we're giving her the right amount of structure without trying to be the kind of strict bedtime parents that isn't in our nature.

On the venting/pain/whining side of things, I am better now. I ended up going home half an hour early Monday because my clogged duct turned into my third bout of mastitis. :-( Not pleasant. I was already on Motrin, so all I could do was rest, nurse and wait for the chills and fever to pass. I was pretty miserable all evening, but the fever finally broke while I was nursing Heather to sleep. I took Tuesday off to fully recover and after sleeping in I dropped Heather off at daycare so I could take a nice, long, hot, relaxing shower and rest and pump and do things that I can't do at work (like massage the remaining lump in my breast :-). All I'm left with today is the leg pain and a little nipple soreness. Neither is great, but they are better than they were and having felt so miserable so recently, they are much more tolerable than they were. It's amazing how that works, isn't it?

And lastly, the holidays. Let me just say how thankful I am that I chose not to knit for anyone this year. I feel a slight twinge of guilt that I didn't knit a little something for Heather's teachers (and I still might as a New Year's Gift), but otherwise it is a great feeling of freedom. We've been plenty busy, and I know that holiday knitting would have just pushed me over the edge...and I have been pretty close to the edge a few times already.

I still have some photo printing to do, all of the wrapping to do (some online shopping hasn't arrived yet, though) and Christmas cards to finish. But with the timing of the holiday this year, there is still the weekend. And personally I've never felt bad about holiday cards arriving late. It is the holiday *season* after all. :-) My parents arrive on Saturday afternoon bringing two extra pairs of hands to contain the little crawler, so I think everything will get accomplished and maybe I can even finish Heather's winter hat and bake a batch of cookies, too!

p.s. Anna and Cara - no, "it" hasn't returned yet. ;-)

Monday, December 17, 2007


I am tired of being broken.

I vividly remember a few weeks ago (the first weekend in November, to be exact) thinking how happy I was that I felt like I had my body back. Despite the fact that Heather was still nursing, we were in groove that made everything feel almost like it did pre-baby, I could move all of my appendages like I used to pre-baby and I was even continuing to lose weight from breastfeeding (granted, some of this was just from being too busy to eat much dinner).

Well, all of that has reversed. The friday before Thanksgiving I got a clogged duct in my normally perfect and extremely productive right side. The Sunday before Thanksgiving my hip/leg pain returned. And the past couple of weeks I've been craving chocolate and sweets like I did pre-baby. (I haven't gained any weight, but the loss has stopped). I'm back on my motrin and not sleeping as well because of the hip/leg pain, and my clogging issues seem to be ebbing and flowing (ha ha), but not going away. The only good news is that the motrin I'm taking for my leg is good for the duct, too, so at least I don't have to overmedicate.

Add in a horrendous night last night, which was probably due to the beginnings of Heather's third tooth (Merry Christmas to us) and I'm pretty miserable today. I'm seriously just waiting for the clock to strike 5 so I can go home and put a hot compress on my sore breast. And the fatigue and stress are probably the cause of the clog (or the reason it keeps returning), so it's a catch-22 of sorts

I seriously hate being this whiny...but nothing seems to make me more whiny than being tired and achy at work.


To keep from being totally obnoxious, I'll end on a happy note. The inside of the house is decorated for Christmas and it looks nice. Heather loves the trees and the lights. :-)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

About the Peanut

Heather is 10 months old. (How time flies!)

Overall, I would call her a happy girl. She's generally only cranky when she's hungry or tired, although there have been a few brief moments that we've seen a little bit of a temper. I think she's going to be a handful when she's a full-blown, walking toddler. Honestly, she seems like what I expect from a toddler now, just without the walking. She's as independent as she can be and has so much personality. I can't really think of her as a baby anymore...except maybe when she's nursing.

The thing I've learned in this parenting thing so far is that as soon as you get one thing figured out and under control, something else will get harder or toss you a curve. In our case, we seem to finally have a handle on a more regular bedtime, so Heather has decided that she has no interest in lying still for diaper changes anymore. Whenever possible, we double team her so the extra person can distract her.

Things are progressing on the food front. We haven't tried a lot of new things in the past couple of weeks. Although we did try pumpkin last week and chicken tonight. I have to figure out if there is anything else that Heather needs to try in order to share in the Chicken and Noodles my dad is making for Christmas Eve. :-) A few weeks ago, Heather wasn't interested in self-feeding anything other than Cheerios and Puffs (and she refused to let any meal pass without getting some of them), but I tried a few more finger foods this week and she seemed more receptive. I can tell that she isn't ready for an entire meal of finger foods. She is just a little too impatient and hungry for that, but I'm happy to be making another stride toward table food. Now I just have to figure out if there is a good way to prepare finger foods in advance like the purees. :-)

Heather is still crawling and cruising. She'll also walk a little bit holding our hands...although it's kind of a drunk walk. ;-) Her favorite thing at the moment is crawling over to the Christmas tree. She loves looking at it - the lights and the ornaments. She's also very enamored with ceiling lights and fans. Just turning on an overhead fan can stop a cranky baby in her tracks.

Occasionally she gets close to letting go and standing on her own, but she isn't quite there yet. It seems like it is just a matter of time. She doesn't have much fear when it comes to trying new things. She also still loves going swimming and really enjoys her bathtime. Splashing mommy and daddy is lots of fun!

Oh, and she wasn't at all scared of Santa. She just stared at him!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


I'm still here. I've probably thought about something to post to the blog every day since my last post...but I think about these things either while I'm working or when I'm no where near a computer.

I'm tired.

We bought a christmas tree on Saturday, but the christmas decorating is only half done. Christmas shopping is started, but none of it is finished.

My hip pain is back. After two weeks it is finally improving, but slowly. I'm trying to do my stretches regularly and taking my motrin again.

Over the weekend I got to meet Eleni and William which was awesome, but made for a very busy Sunday.

I just got back from a 2-day trip for work. (Only one overnight) It was productive and motivating, and there was lots of pretty snow.

I bound off a baby kimono on Monday morning on the bus, so the only thing I have that I can take tomorrow is my shawl. Lace isn't great bus knitting, but it is my only option.

I'm sure there is more, but this post is lame enough already. :-)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Frog Pond

These camera phone pictures aren't great, but they are good enough for this post. The purple sweater (top) is from the original Stitch'n'Bitch book and the blue sweater (lower) is Blaze from

The purple sweater is the first pattern I saw that inspired me to want to learn to knit. As I think I've stated before, the idea of knitting sweaters was what made me want to learn and this particular sweater was one of the inspiring ones. It was the second sweater I ever knit and it taught me a few things:

1 - Steam kills ribbing. This is a tough lesson to learn on a sweater that is almost entirely ribbed.

2 - Just because you get gauge doesn't make the yarn a good substitution. The pattern calls for a half wool, half cashmere yarn in worsted weight. I used a 100% wool in a DK weight. The fabric I got is bulkier and heavier than what I had anticipated and doesn't really show off the yarn well. With wear it gets even worse.

3 - An Empire waist needs to fall at the right spot. Given my figure, I really need to add short rows in the chest. At this point, the waist line falls at the widest point of my chest. If I pull the sweater down to get the horizontal line in the right place, the sweater is about 8" too long.

There are better uses for the yarn in both of these sweaters. And knowing what I know now about how I want sweaters to fit me for the most flattering look, and how to customize sweater patterns, I know that I will never wear these sweaters in their current state.

I've haven't unraveled them yet, but this fate is in their future. I love the yarn too much to give them away. So I'll take the time to undo them when I find the right project for the yarn.

Don't be sad for me. I learned a lot from both of these knits and enjoyed the process of making them. Sure, I'm sad to have two fewer sweaters to choose from this fall/winter. But I know that there will be more sweaters in my future and hopefully they will work out better because of what I've learned from these two projects!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


I'm finding myself being very drawn to the idea of knitting a sweater for ME next. This is daunting because I don't often have the time to do the measuring, swatching and planning necessary for an adult sweater that fits properly. Most of my knitting time is either on the bus or hanging out with friends. The first doesn't include any table space and the second isn't very compatible with math.

I think one of the motivations is that I finally figured out why "Blaze" (from didn't turn out quite how I wanted. I've known for a while that I should have chosen a size with negative ease. But I figured out the rest of the equation while reading the latest issue of Interweave Knits. There is an article about alpaca, which talks about the fact that alpaca is a denser fiber than wool, and is therefore not a great fiber for ribbing or cables. It doesn't loft as well as wool and therefore doesn't "pop" or pull together when knit in these textures. Ummm...yeah. "Blaze" is covered in ribbing that zig-zags back and forth like cables, and I knit it with 100% alpaca.

I do want to make "Blaze" again, but not now. And once I do, I will be taking the existing "Blaze" apart and using the yarn for something more appropriate for 100% alpaca. Live and learn, right. There are also issues with the shoulders and neckline that I will fix with #2. I didn't realize it, but this sweater made me realize that I have narrow shoulders.

What I really want right now is a new cardigan. Probably a wrap cardigan, which gives me some leeway on fit, but still requires some planning. I suppose at the very least I can bring some yarn for making swatches to the knitting get together on Sunday, and hope that I can find some time to do some math during my week off next week.

(Yes, I still have baby knitting to do...but I have a feeling that it is a never-ending queue, so I'm not putting other knitting totally on hold. And don't be worried that Heather will be cold. Her grandmother has made her enough sweaters that I think she is set until at least spring. :-)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Back in the 'burgh

I had a great trip to Chicago last week. I don't think I can really summarize it, but I do have some thoughts brewing in my head. I will see if I can distill them into anything useful when I'm writing the seminar I have to give at work about what I learned. The end of the trip was punctuated by a less than stellar experience at the airport when we returned. Totally my own fault, but still a bummer.

We came back on an express flight, and as I was exiting the plane, I missed the bottom step. Ouch! It all happened so fast I'm not really sure how I did it. All I know is that I was so happy to be home and I was worried that a gust of wind was going to come by and blow up my skirt for everyone on the ground to see. In my hurry, I did *something* careless.

My coworker was patient while we hobbled to baggage claim, where his wife and son were waiting. He had offered me a ride home and he hadn't checked his bag. This, coupled with my throbbing foot and strong desire to see my baby caused dumb act #2 for the night. I didn't double check the tag on the suitcase when I took it off the belt. Yep, I brought someone else's bag home. :-( My wonderful husband drove back out to the airport to return the 'other black suitcase' and retrieve the one with a gallon of milk in it. It certainly could have been avoided, but I still think we need to move "luggage that is not black" up on the list of things to buy for ourselves.

Despite my troubles, Heather was thrilled to see me on Friday night. So much so that she has been very reluctant to let me put her down to sleep in the crib. I spent most of Saturday trying to get her to nap and the last two nights I've ended up bringing her to bed after nursing because she will just NOT let me leave her. I'm hoping that being home for 9 days in a row next week will help to fix some of this. Or it's going to be a VERY long week.

As Melissa mentioned, we had a lovely little knitting get together yesterday. She, Tobi and Michelle have the basics, but just need a little push into the knitting world beyond scarves...and Anna and I were happy to oblige. I found buttons for a nearly complete baby sweater and am halfway through the second sleeve of the current baby sweater (gotta love the knitting you can do during airline travel!), so I hope to get some things finished, gifted and blogged soon.

I keep thinking about writing a blog post titled "Incapable"...about how I am completely unable to follow a knitting pattern exactly as written. I was following the current baby sweater pattern to a T...until I decided to make it a pullover and added color work to the body and sleeves. And I can't even follow the pattern that *I* wrote for yesterday's knitting lesson. I was knitting along with the ladies in case I needed to demonstrate anything and I tossed the hat in my bag this morning. I couldn't resist adding cables instead of doing plain stockinette. It's a sickness, I tell you...

Monday, November 05, 2007

Almost 9 months

I took Heather for her 9 month appointment this morning. All went well and she only had to suffer through one shot this time. There will be more shots and some bloodwork at the next one, so that is something to look forward to...

We got the go ahead to try most foods and the pediatrician strongly encouraged table foods so she can be used to lots of textures and flavors by the time she hits her first birthday. She dropped a little in the percentiles for height and weight, but he wasn't worried and it makes a lot of sense considering that she is almost constantly in motion. But I also plan to start offering more food at her meals. She might not take it until she's over her cold, but I usually just stop the meal at the usual place instead of waiting for the stop signal from her.

Weight - 16 lbs, 13 ounces (10% percentile)

Height - 26 1/2" (15% percentile)

She was a bit crabby (partially because she was hungry) during the exam and mad about the shot, so she didn't wave to anyone in the office (you'd think she'd be happy to say goodbye to them) and needed her pacifier for the trip to daycare. But once we arrived she immediately started playing, she let me pop the pacifier right out and she didn't even care about saying goodbye. Back to her normal, happy self. Considering how clingy she is at home and was all weekend, I wouldn't be surprised if she never cries when she gets dropped off at daycare. :-)

To make up for my sparse posting lately, here is a photo. It's from a few Saturdays ago, before a trip to the park and the swings.

I have secret knitting underway still. But I should be able to give my current project as soon as it is finished and I have two sweaters that just need a bath and buttons and they can be gifted, too. If nothing else, I'll do some more photo-filled posts while I am off work the week of Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Tuesday List

There is too much going on to focus my post on one topic. Sometimes I feel like I should just be able to download the blog posts that I think of during the day directly from my head. That might make these things more coherent. :-)

1 - I think I've mentioned before that I've been watching "Gilmore Girls" in syndication on ABC Family. We are nearing the end of Season 6, and according to the DVR they are looping back to the pilot next week. :-( I just checked on and season 7 isn't going to be released on DVD until November 13th. :-( I guess in the best case, I will be able to find Season 7 at Blockbuster and there will only be a week or so of suspense until I get to see how it all ends.

2 - With that meme last week I was delighted to see how many of my friends watch Battlestar Galactica! I almost feel like we should have a party when the next season starts.

3 - Heather's sleeping habits. The good news is that on Friday, she went to sleep at 9pm and slept for over 11 hours straight. And her sleeping the rest of the weekend was generally good. One overnight wake-up and decent bedtimes. But now the confusing part. Last night she fell asleep nursing around 6:30. Then she woke up and nursed again at 8:30. And we couldn't get her to sleep again until 11:30. :-( My first theory was that she had crappy naps yesterday. But no, she had a good one and an okay one. Tonight, she fell asleep on her daddy's lap at 7:20 and she had two good naps today. I don't know if she's taking annoying evening naps that disrupt her bedtime or if she's working on an earlier bedtime. Assuming that she is going to wake up again this evening, I plan to try to nurse her and put her right back to sleep. I was almost able to do it last night but I wasn't trying hard enough.
...So...she woke up about 8 and slept/nursed in my arms for half an hour and went back to sleep. Cross your fingers.

4 - I'm not sure what I'm going to do on the bus tomorrow. I finished my socks on the bus today. I started another baby sweater over the weekend, but the gauge is off and I don't know if I can find the needles I need quickly. I may have to start another pair of socks or use the leftovers from my socks to make a pair for Heather.

I'm pretty sure there is more, but I am fading and I need to get a few other things done before crashing in bed as soon as possible.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Let's talk about sleep for a minute... (long vent)

I posted the following to a message board this morning and thought I would post it here, too. I'm happy to get some insight from any of my readers, but I also wanted it to be easy to find in the future when I want to look back and remember past parenting challenges. :-)


So, I think I know where I stand on this, but I'm going to write down what I'm thinking and maybe somebody out there will have some brilliant advice for me or can give me a good reason to read one of those sleep books or try a specific technique.

Heather has always fought sleep. Even as a newborn, she would rarely just relax and fall asleep in your arms, it was always a process of paci/rocking/holding tight/swaddling etc. How long she has slept has varied, but she usually seems to wake because she's hungry or because something interrupted her sleep when she was sleeping lightly.

Over time, she gradually started sleeping longer stretches, and at 10 weeks she started sleeping 10 straight hours at night. (2 weeks before mommy went back to work - good girl!)

At 4 months, we hit the first sleep regression and things went to hell. She was waking multiple times a night, but some rocking and the paci put her back to sleep and 1-3 times a night she'd need to nurse.

By 6 months, we came back to a nice sleeping place. She was generally sleeping 10 hours a night, with one wake-up in the middle to nurse. She went right back to sleep after nursing and seemed to be getting easier to put to sleep at night. Less fussing and I could put her down when she was almost asleep instead of dead asleep.

Between 7.5 and 8 months her sleep was disrupted by her first tooth, a stomach bug and then her second tooth. And now, she's at 37 weeks, which is supposed to be the onset of the second big sleep regression.

So my biggest quandry is how to react to her night wakings. I can live with nursing her once a night, but I don't really want to nurse multiple times and set up a 'bad habit'. But if she follows her previous patterns, she will drop the extra wakings when she gets passed her current milestones. We try the paci/rocking when she wakes. Sometimes it works and sometimes she screams for 20 minutes until I nurse her. So if I just went ahead and nursed her DH and I would both get more sleep...but is taking the easy way out going to set us up for more difficult transitions in the future?

I guess my point is, that I really think that Heather has good sleeping patterns in her and her waking is just a reaction to developmental changes, and this is the crux of why I can't bring myself to sleep train or CIO or ferberize. But if anyone thinks that there is a book out there that could give us some insight to make these developmental sleep setbacks easier, I would be happy to give them a read.

(And thanks if you've managed to read my whole tirade here.)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


I'm too tired for a real post. I still haven't recovered from last week's teething and lack of sleep. I have spent all of Heather's recent naps and trips with Daddy cleaning the house and doing dishes.

I've been tagged by Amanda. So here is a post requiring no creative writing skills.

Jobs I've Had
1. Babysitting
2. Blockbuster Music
3. Annual Giving at CMU (calling alumni and asking for $$)
4. Office of Admissions at CMU (giving tours, filing applications and overseeing other student workers)
5. Summer Internship at an architecture firm in Buffalo
6. Intern Architect turned Project Architect at an architecture firm in Pittsburgh

Places I've Lived
1. Dayton, Ohio
2. Buffalo, NY (Amherst)
3. Valencia, Spain (6 months)
4. Pittsburgh, PA

Foods I Love
1. Chocolate
2. Sushi
3. Pasta
4. Fruit

Places I Would Rather Be
1. With Heather and R
2. Home
3. Valencia, Spain
4. St. Lucia

TV Shows I Watch
(Too many...although #12-14 are between seasons right now)
1. Gilmore Girls (I'm almost caught up on the reruns and can stop watching soon.)
2. How I Met Your Mother
3. The Big Bang Theory
4. Two and a Half Men
5. The Office
6. Bionic Woman
7. Pushing Daisies
8. CSI
9. Ugly Betty
10. 30 Rock
11. Scrubs
12. LOST
13. Battlestar Gallactica
14. Doctor Who
15. Torchwood
16. Numb3rs

Books I Love
1. Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter
2. Harry Potter, especially #4 through #7
3. Little Women
4. Sense and Sensibility
5. The various Ramona Quimby books
(I think these qualify as books that I love since I've read them all at least twice.)

I tag Katie and Nadine. :-)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Still around here somewhere...

My mood seems to swing between totally overwhelmed and totally under control on a regular basis these days. On one hand, I'm in much better shape than I was two weeks ago. I'm still behind at work, but not as much since this week's trip was cancelled. And I was finally able to start cleaning up the house this weekend. But on the other, the house is still a big mess and I'm still behind at work. We're also running low on Heather's food and I really need to start getting in the habit of making a regular dinner so we can start eating as a family.

On the food front, Heather seemed to have a surprising intolerance to apples. But she has accepted avocado the past two nights when I mixed it with her oatmeal. I don't know if the texture or the flavor was the issue, but oatmeal fixed it. We've been offering her a sippy cup of water, which she seems pretty unimpressed with, and Gerber puffs for "dessert", which she has learned to feed herself! Since she has learned to move the puffs to her gums and munch on them, I don't think it's going to be too long until we start offering her some small chunks of real food and see how she does. Both exciting and scary!

I'm working on a pair of socks (my first regia sock yarn because it was the first Regia colorway I ever liked enough to buy) and I still have two baby sweaters to sew up and at least one more to make before the end of the year. But I don't expect a lot of at home knitting time until the house is clean enough for Heather to crawl around without getting her hands covered in cat hair. ;-)

More soon...

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Not going to whine

I might not be posting much for a bit. I'm still behind at work and the house is still a mess, and I really don't feel like getting on here just to whine and complain.

The good news is that we all seem to be healthy again (R and I both got the daycare bug to varying degrees) and I had a lovely time at Amanda's shower yesterday. When I have time to post pictures, that is at least one baby sweater that I can show you.

Let me remind you again that October 8th, 9th and 10th is when you need to contact agencies about Guatemalan adoptions.

And thanks to those of you who supported my efforts in the Light the Night Walk. It's not to let if you meant to and haven't had a chance.

I'll try to be back soon.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Adventures in Parenting

So things are still busy and I'm still behind at work. I was beginning to feel like I might have things under control soon, so of course we were thrown a curve ball.

Heather woke up sick at 2:30 and continued to be sick for about an hour. I won't go into detail at the risk of pushing those of you who aren't parents yet into the "never gonna have kids" camp. (Although given what the nurse told me, it could have been much worse and lasted a lot longer - *knock on wood*)

Around 4 she fell asleep in her daddy's lap (awww...) and after putting in a load of laundry and emailing work to tell them I wouldn't be in on Wednesday, I joined them in bed. She woke up around 10am and seemed to be acting like herself. The nurse had told me that she should nurse for about 4-5 minutes every 30-60 minutes, and I was worried about having to cut her off to keep her from eating too much. Not a problem. She stopped after a few minutes. It never ceases to amaze me how smart our bodies are. Although, admittedly, after losing my lunch I'm generally pretty hesitant to start up with the eating again too quickly, so I really shouldn't be that surprised.

We had a quiet day and she had no more problems. (Thank god! It was difficult enough with two parents to take care of her...) We even went for an afternoon walk and she fell asleep in the stroller on the way home.

Sadly, I only got a little work done and so I'm still behind. I'm taking Monday off because daycare is closed and I leave for yet another trip on Tuesday afternoon. Somehow I will get caught up again someday. I just hope that day comes soon!

But beyond all of my recent stress, I just totally adore Heather. She is a beautiful, charming, happy and engaging child who will not rest until she can get anywhere she wants to go whenever she wants to go there. And that smile - irresistible. She is sitting up, crawling, pulling up and even cruising. Her physical development is just staggering, even in just the past couple of weeks. There is no doubt in my mind that she'll be walking before her first birthday and we're already past the point where we can walk into the other room 'for just a second'. I walked from the living room to the kitchen yesterday to grab my shoes and on my way back to the living room she met me halfway! The cats are wary and thankful that they can still move faster than she can. :-)

Monday, October 01, 2007

Two links

I've made a somewhat last minute decision to walk in the Light the Night Walk sponsored by the Leukemia and Lymphoma society in honor of my friend Lisa who passed away on Tuesday. Our team (3 of Lisa's bridesmaids) goal is $500. The walk is on Thursday night. Yes, in 3 days. Although I'm pretty sure you can still donate for the effort after Thursday.

Please consider supporting us.

(The funeral service was very nice and I'm very glad I went. I'm still sad, but I am feeling more at peace. I've been in a very good mood this evening. I think it is partially because I know how lucky I am and partially from the huge smile Heather gave me when I picked her up at daycare.)


A friend of a friend of a friend sent me this petition to stop Guatemalan President Berger from halting all adoptions, making it impossible for over 5,000 children who currently have no family and no permanent home to be denied that opportunity. Please sign.

If you have a blog please post this. If you don't have a blog, please email this to everyone you know!


On my way home last night, the second song on the radio was "The Rainbow Connection" from The Muppet Movie. (Gotta love satellite radio) This is not a song specifically linked to my friend Lisa, but it is one that I strongly connect to my first couple of years at college and my first CMU friends, of whom Lisa was one.

As I drove, I sang along with Kermit and let the tears flow. It was one of 'those moments'.

I'm certain that I will still cry at the funeral this afternoon...but my emotional release in the car seemed to be enough to prevent me from randomly crying for the rest of the evening as I had been doing all afternoon. It was a relief and I'm thankful I found something to help.

(I'm pretty sure that a song from Into the Woods would have had a similar effect...)

Sunday, September 30, 2007


Just a quick post to try to get some thoughts out of my head so I can concentrate on the tasks at hand.

I am sad. Upon arriving home from the house tour yesterday, I found an email from the husband of a college friend letting me know that she passed away on Tuesday. He realized that I was unlikely to have heard it from anyone else and wanted to make sure we knew. She and I emailed on an infrequent basis but read each other's blogs. Hers had been silent for two months, and now I know why. I did not going to the visitations at the funeral home, but will be going to the funeral tomorrow morning.

I am tired. I have gotten two good nights of sleep this weekend, one uninterrupted and one interrupted. But I am still tired and trying not to get sick.

I am emotional. On top of the news of my friend, I am worried for my friends who are adopting, I am feeling blessed by all the things I have in my life and I am constantly trying to balance my time between my family, my friends, my activities and my job. Something is going to have to give soon.

I am in constant motion and yet feel bogged down. I am behind at work and the house is a mess. Yet I can't fix everything at once and when I am with Heather and R, I want to focus on them and forget all of the things on my "to do" list. There are too many things on that list that I never get to (thank you notes for the June shower, cards to friends who have lost loved ones this year, finishing projects for Heather's room, planning household renovations, etc). There are important things on that list that I never get to. Something is going to have to give soon.

Basically I am just keeping my head above water, but I know that I need to enjoy life, take care of myself and my family, and focus on those things that really matter. I will be trying very hard this week (after I grieve) to spend my work time being focused, so I can get caught up and let that particular weight off my shoulders. Then maybe with the upcoming 3-day weekend I can get back to those important things on the to-do list and not feel like such a "bad" friend anymore.

I apologize if this is a depressing post. Please don't worry about me. I will be fine. I know I will. I just need to use this moment to understand what is important and move forward the best way I can for myself and my family. I need to clear out the clutter (figuratively and literally) and figure out what is going to give.

Thanks for reading my ramblings. I promise we will return to a less emotionally-charged blog soon. :-)

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Please go read this and mark your calendar to call, fax and/or email the appropriate parties. We know three families that could be affected by this change if it happens.

A List

1 - I'm tired. It turns out that Heather's recent funky sleep patterns and overnight wakings are probably due to teething. Last night she woke up for the second time at 12:30 and didn't seem interested in nursing. So I put my finger to her gums and voila - there was a little pokey bit of tooth. Baby tylenol got us through the night and she was her usual happy self by morning, so hopefully cutting teeth is just uncomfortable enough to cause night wakings and not turn her into a little miss cranky pants.

2 - I got some good news this week. I didn't have to report for jury duty this morning. I'm not opposed to serving. But things are very busy at work right now and it would be a rather unfortunate time to miss an unknown number of days. It's not like I have all kinds of free evening time to get extra done.

3 - I'm not sure what is kicking my butt more - the tiredness caused by traveling or the fact that each trip generates more meeting minutes that need to be written. I'm taking a break from the meeting minutes this week to work on a project going to bid on Monday...but we travel again on the 9th, so next week is going to have to be a marathon of meeting minute writing.

4 - I do have another Heather milestone to report. She is really crawling now and she is pulling up on anything that will hold her weight, including the side of her crib. Our only saving grace is that she is not very fast, so it has been pretty easy to keep her in safe places since the house isn't really baby-proofed yet. But there is no more leaving her alone "for just a minute" until the actual baby-proofing is done. In my opinion, the cutest thing she does right now happens after she sees me across the room. She crawls over to me (right over toys if they are in her path), pulls up on my legs to a stand (grabbing skin, clothes and whatever is necessary) and then slobbering on my knees. Can't beat it.

5 - The house tour is Saturday. I just have a little signage to finish for the ticket area and a couple of street signs. No biggie, but I'm ready for it to be over so the possibility of doing more can stop hanging over my head.

6 - One baby sweater needs blocking and a button, two need seams sewn, crochet edging, blocking and a button and one I haven't started yet. I have more accessories to make, too. I think I'd like to create a "stash" of burp cloths and wash cloths so I always have a couple to give with a big baby gift. (I've decided that it doesn't matter if the mothers and mothers-to-be read my ramblings about this stuff because they have no idea what any of it looks like or what applies to them. ;-)

7 - Once the knitting for other babies is done (or slows down), my next task will be some cold weather gear for Miss Heather. She has mittens but most of her hats are too big and she doesn't own a scarf yet. I might make a pair of socks or two for outdoor adventures in the winter.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Plus a photo

We really haven't taken many photos in September, but R did take this cell phone picture at the pool. He and Heather had a great time. :-)


Sadly, I have meeting minutes to finish today, so I'm trying to get them done while Heather is napping. It's going to be another busy week (traveling for work again, didn't last week), so I'll do what I can quickly.

After learning to sit up on her own last weekend, Heather has continued to make more progress. Last week she started grabbing our hands in order to pull herself up to a stand and made her first efforts at crawling. This weekend, with Stewart as her motivation, she crawled from the living room to the foyer! The good news is that she still doesn't really know that she can crawl yet. I think she was so focused on Stewart that she didn't know what she was doing. For the most part, she just scoots and stretches forward for whatever she wants. It's also harder to crawl on a blanket than on the carpet, and we try to keep her on her big pooh blanket. :-)

This week also involved new foods. I told you that peas were soundly rejected. Bananas were less interesting initially, but on the third attempt she decided she loved them and on the fourth feeding I couldn't shovel them in her mouth fast enough. :-) Avocado's first introduction was luke warm, but I'm hoping that was because of the new texture and we'll try again this afternoon when she wakes from her (hopefully long) nap.

The baby gifts continue well, the house tour to-do list is getting pretty small and the house was vacuumed this week. There is finally only one small pile of bags to be unpacked and there is laundry in progress.

I'm still busy, but a little less overwhelmed. A little. Still too much to do at work - partly because each trip I take produces more meeting mintues that need to be written, and I'm getting pretty far behind pretty quickly. Even if I get caught up on the Bradford ones today, I still have St. Lawrence and we go back to Bradford on Tuesday. :-)

Ah well. At least the work days are going quickly and not dragging, right? ;-) Hope everyone is enjoying the cool, crisp fall weather. I know I am! Although it adds one more thing to my to-do list - all of Heather's hand knitted sweaters need iron-on labels so she can wear them to daycare.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I prefer wood

Oh, the temptation.

Must resist.

At least until the next credit card cycle...

Monday, September 10, 2007


We have our first denial of food. At first I thought she was just tired, so we took a break, and she ate oatmeal without a problem. So I tried the peas again. Same immediate negative reaction.

So we left the table. She nursed, she played and then we went back to the table. This time, she had a full serving of oatmeal and enjoyed clicking her lips together to imitate me. Near the end of the bowl, I added just a dab of peas to the oatmeal.

Another crying fit.

So, what shall we try tomorrow night instead? :-)

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Squash, Formula and a lower mattress

There is no way to catch you all up on everything, but I think this will be a rambling post to do what I can.

First off, I'm in pretty good shape with the house tour stuff. It took every available minute last weekend to get everything ready that needed to go to the printer...but I made it. At 9pm on labor day night, I delivered a CD to my co-chair with the program, poster, ticket and postcard designs on it. Big, humongous CHECK. There are still a few other things on my to do list, but I think I can get most of them done before our next meeting on Tuesday.

The other highlights of last weekend is that Saturday night was R's high school reunion. For my benefit, I was thankful that there were two couples there that I had met before. Dave (who was in our wedding) and his wife, and Michelle (R's prom date) and her husband were in attendance, and as well as talking with them that night, we also saw them on Sunday so they could meet Heather and we could see their ever growing children again. (Dave and Reiko's youngest was still in the womb at our wedding!)

We actually stayed longer than we had originally planned, partially to see these friends, but mostly so that Heathe could have more time in the pool. The reunion started at 4pm and we left later than planned from Pittsburgh, so Saturday's dip was just too short. We had a great time on Sunday - Heather really enjoyed the water. We will have to go back more next summer. :-)

On to things about Heather. On the physical activity front, she's a dynamo. We heard from her teachers this week that she had sat up on her own. It seemed that she had pulled up on a toy. Well, maybe she did then, but today she sat up with no toys around! She figured out how to get from all fours to a sitting position. I saw her do it in the crib. Even before I saw it, we decided to lower her mattress in the crib...figuring that it would only be a matter of time until it was necessary. While I was at it, I installed her new crib mirror (thanks grandma and grandpa!) and finally made an adjustment to her mobile so it could be used on her crib.

On the food front, things have been moving slowly so far. In a month, she's had rice cereal, oatmeal, sweet potato and squash. Given that we can try something new every three days, that's pretty slow. :-) Honestly, a big part of it is how busy I've been. I've traveled for work two weeks in a row and we only had sweet potato and squash in the freezer. Truly, since solids are just for practice at this point, it is pretty easy to put them off when there is a lot of other stuff going on. And we have to try new foods with Heather before they'll give them to her at daycare. But today I made peas, bananas and more squash (she really seemed to like it yesterday and today) and we bought apples, green beans, pears, carrots and avocados. I hope to make at least a couple of those tomorrow in between vacuuming and laundry.

On the milk front, the milk stash officially ran out while I was on my trip this past week. And just like the solids, it was necessary for Heather to have formula at home before they would give it to her there. So on Thursday morning, she had her first full bottle of formula. Since my last trip was longe than my next trip, I don't expect that we'll run out again until I go on one of the longer trips again.

It bothers me less than I thought it would and pumping during business trips truly stinks. Although I successfully squeezed the gallon or so of milk that I pumped into my checked suitcase. :-) I'm tempted to try to wean from the pumping and just BF when I'm with Heather, but I'm to scared that I'll have to stop all together, so I'm not willing to try it for a few more months at least.

Not much knitting to report on. The secret knitting continues (and I need to get on that) and I started a stole from Victorian Lace Knitting on my last trip. So far I like the pattern in the yarn I'm working with (Helen's Laces). Although I might not work on it again until my next business trip since the secret knitting is bulkier.

I'm tired and I've written quite a bit, so that will have to be my catching up for now. More soon.

Sunday, September 02, 2007


For my own sanity, I need to finish the tickets, poster, postcard and program for the house tour by the end of the day tomorrow. The tickets, poster and postcard are done. I'm working on the program. I'm traveling for work from Tuesday night through Thursday night...and it's really just better if I get "everything" passed off to the printer before I leave.

There will still be some stuff to do for the house tour after that, but these are the big obstacles.

I plan to take my laptop with me on this trip and I expect it will be more of a 9-5 type of trip than the Bradford trips I will try to post this week and get "caught up" on everything.

Someday I'll have more time to relax...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Hanging on

I'm not even sure what to say. The workday is sprinting by in a blur of phone calls, emails and trying to actually get some drawing done. I'm reading the occasional blog and nest post to save my sanity, but I'm not really keeping up with everyone right now or participating like I would like. (Someday I'll post a picture of my sewing machine. :-)

Heather started getting two "meals" over the weekend, so we've had them start giving her rice cereal at daycare. Honestly, she hasn't had oatmeal in the evening the past two nights because I've been too pooped. After a fruitless search for ice cubes trays at three downtown stores on Tuesday, I got home over an hour later than usual. And last night, R wanted to take Heather with him to pick up our take out during the best window for feeding her, and I wanted a few minutes to myself too much to argue.

I realize that this doesn't make me a horrible mother, and I also wouldn't be horrible if I fed her jar food instead of making it myself. But the thing is that I want to enjoy feeding her and I want to make some of her first fruits and veggies. So I'm a happier mom if I skip a few nights of cereal and if I hold off on veggies and fruits until I can squeeze out the time to make them. In a couple of weeks I might be buying all of her food, but at the moment this is where I am. ;-)

I don't think I'm going to stop feeling stressed out until everything is done for the house tour and/or when things get less crazy at work. I've got two days off, a deadline and 3 business trips in the next four weeks. In other words, it will be at least a few weeks until I really relax. :-) But I'm okay. I know this isn't going to last forever, I'm enjoying my time with Heather (and R) each night, we had a nice visit with my parents last weekend (and I came home with new shoes, new clothes and new yarn...not to mention Heather's new toys!) and I'm really just tired more than anything else.

On the happy front, two baby sweaters are almost done, I'm enjoying the baby genius burp cloths in progress and I've started another baby sweater that I think will be adorable. I can't go into any more detail since most of the recipients read this blog, but I will say that I'm anxious to finish my baby commitments so I can make things for Heather and me again. (I pulled out lace weight yarn and a pattern to make a stole for me, but I haven't cast on yet.)

It's taken me about two hours to write this in between phone calls and emails, so I guess I should post it before the day is over. How is it 3pm already?!?!

Thanks to all of you who have commented and encouraged me recently. I really appreciate it, even though I haven't had much time to comment in return. All of your support means a lot!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


These things seem to come in cycles, and now I'm on the overwhelmed part of the roller coaster ride of the working mom.

I have four projects going at work, all in various states and with competing needs for my time.

Deadlines are approaching for the house tour. I have a lot of stuff I need to assemble before the weekend so I can spend my free time assembling the program.

I'm still barely keeping up with Heather's milk needs, so I'm still pumping 1-2 times a night.

This cereal thing not only takes time but dirties more laundry and dishes.

I think Heather's bedtime might need to be even earlier if we ever want to have a hope of putting her in the crib tired instead of putting her in there asleep. And I really don't know how everything is going to get done every night if she goes to be before 8. As it is I haven't managed to give her a real bath in almost a week.

And on top of all that I'm really tired, which makes it all seem that much harder. In the past few weeks I've only had a couple of nights when I managed to eek out 8 hours of sleep, so my average is probably somewhere around 6.5 hours. I can't tell you how good 7 hours straight felt last night, but I still need more to stave off my bad mood.


Cereal is going okay. Heather is accepting of it, although she's not crazy about being constrained in the chair and I don't think she loves the rice cereal. Maybe oatmeal will be a bigger hit.

(Part of me thinks I should have them feed her cereal at daycare so she needs less EBM and we have one less thing to do at night...but then that is one less thing that I get to do with her. In a month or two she'll need two "meals" a day and I can stop fretting over this particular decision.)

She's also babbling up a storm and sitting on her own. She still needs to sit on a soft surface or with some adult arms nearby, but she is pretty stable for several minutes at a time.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Happy news!

When I opened my bedside table drawer last night to grab the remote, I happened to see my sad iPod. I honestly hadn't been using it much since I came back to work in May, but the past few weeks of not having the option of listening to it has made me want to listen to music at work again. (oh, what complicated creatures we are)

So I decided that I had nothing to lose by trying to turn it on again.

And I'm glad I did, because it worked! I guess it finally had enough time to dry out and/or forgive me for mistreating it. :-)

I will be accompanied by tunes all day and I can get caught up on the Cast On podcast again!

Friday, August 10, 2007


I have removed the button for the Dulaan project from my blog. For those who haven't heard, you can read all about it here.

I have to say that I'm not quite sure yet how I'm going to spend my charity knitting time. I like the idea of the Red Scarf Project, but with all of the baby knitting on my plate, I don't know that I can have anything to the OFA by October 15th. Then there is the fact that I've been meaning to go to the charity knitting time at one of my LYSs for ages, but I've never made it. I think that has more to do with our preference for family time on Sundays than anything else.

I think once I'm ready to do some charity knitting I'm going to have to do some internet searching for either national or local organizations. I'd really like to help local groups, but I've never found good results from google searches. If anyone knows of any groups in the Pittsburgh area that are in need of donated knitting, please let me know. I'd even be happy to maintain a list or share the list with the Pittsburgh Knitting site.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Goal Reached

Heather is 6 months old today and she's had nothing but breast milk!

I've decided I'm not setting any more goals. I'm not going to force any weaning but I'm also not going to do any more than I'm already doing (3-4 pumping sessions, oatmeal, mother's milk tea). It's going to be a busy fall, so we'll see what happens.

Thanks to all of you who have provided support to help us get this far. :-)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Many thoughts

It feels like I have ideas for blog post multiple times a day, but just can't seem to find the minutes to get them written. (Yesterday's post was going to be longer, but I gave up when I hadn't gotten back to it for an hour).

So I'm going to stick with list format in order to share a few things with all of you. And maybe, just maybe, I'll have time to elaborate some of the points.

1 - I *think* Heather is moving herself to two naps a day using the 2-3-4 pattern. She's only done it for 3 days in a row (maybe longer, I didn't ask about her naps at daycare last week) and only followed 2-3-4 for the past two days. But the fact that she did it two days in a row is significant since she's never even come close to that pattern before.

2 - The other exciting aspect to these new patterns is that she went to be at 8:30 last night. Earliest bedtime ever. She woke up at 9:30 to eat, went right back to bed, and other than a few random cries/noises overnight, she wasn't up until she started rolling in her crib around 6:45. (But don't be too jealous, on Sunday night I got about 4 hours of sleep...)

3 - I'm reading "Child of Mine" by Ellyn Satter. It's about feeding babies and toddlers and was recommended by several friends with older babies. So far I'm really enjoying it and am getting ready to start solids with a little less trepidation. (We start on Saturday, BTW)

4 - Things are good at work. The firm just got a big job that should give us some financial security for a while. I was also just offered a role on a new job starting in late September. The downside is the travel that will be involved. But the upside is that because the President and VP of the firm will be the only people "above" me on the job, it will probably be the closest I've come to running a job so far. Exciting and scary at the same time.
The nicest thing is that I was given the option of saying no because of the travel involved. I will discuss the implications with R, but as long as I have a couple of days between trips for this job and another one that I'm already working on, I don't see it as being a problem. (Though it might be a bigger issue during construction - will have to think about that.)

5 - The essence of my breastfeeding post is still in my head, but I don't know that I'll ever have the time to write it as eloquently as I'd like.
There were two specific events that precipitated my thoughts. One, I was telling a coworker (2 kids, never breastfed) about my pumping schedule and the fact that I won't really be going to any lunch seminars until I stop pumping due to limited express bus runs, etc. Her response was "Better you than me. I couldn't do it." The second was a message board post where a woman was getting advice from her pediatrician to supplement with formula because her baby was suffering from reflux and medication wasn't helping. Without going into more details about the post, the gist is that all of the breastfeeding Moms were coming up with alternative strategies and encouraging this mom not to give formula if she didn't want to. The formula feeding moms responded with "If formula might help, why not try it" and "I would follow the pediatrician's advice".
I guess both of these incidents made me think about the commitment involved with breastfeeding. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to parenting, but as a parent you have to decide which decisions are critical and which ones aren't *for your family*. (The old cliché - choose your battles) For me, doing everything in my power to give Heather nothing but breast milk for 6 months is a priority. (On the other hand, it doesn't bother me that Heather doesn't have a consistent bedtime, but I'm sure that would drive some other mother batty.)
The more I think about it, I think the thing that bothers me is the implication the formula feeding is so much easier than breastfeeding. The idea that I'm making motherhood so much harder on myself by breastfeeding and pumping at work is just ridiculous. Yes, it is harder in the beginning because of the time it takes and the lack of sleep...but it is SO much easier once you get in a groove. And while I agree that formula isn't poison, it doesn't make me some kind of martyr just because I'm willing to make a few sacrifices to avoid it. I'm mostly trying to avoid it because I'm worried that if we supplement, my supply will go down and the problem will get even worse.
I don't mean for this to be a rant. I just find it interesting that there are mothers and pediatricians out there who would hear a mother say "I don't want to give my child formula yet" and then go ahead and encourage them to give formula. I guess it goes along with my wish that there were more doctors out there who were more knowledgeable about breastfeeding so that they could give new mothers better advice and not be so quick to recommend supplementing. More people should understand that there are few medical reasons why it is necessary to supplement right after birth, that sometimes it takes more than a week for a woman's milk to come in (without negative consequences) and that just because it is easier for the pediatrician to "fix" a problem with formula doesn't mean that it's the best idea.
I guess this is kind of a rant. Oh well. I probably just need to spend less time reading message boards - then I wouldn't have other peoples' problems to get agitated about. :-)

6 - I enjoyed HP5 even more on the second viewing and I had a great girls night out at the same time. A lovely Saturday evening. I think HP5 is tied with HP3 as my favorite movie. I'm very excited that David Yates is directing the next one, too.

7 - I'm sure that you are tired of hearing about my milk supply. But that's too bad since this is my blog. :-) I've noticed a pattern that makes me think that the Mother's milk tea and the oatmeal really do work. The past two Mondays I have had really crappy pumping days but the next day I've gotten almost as much as I needed. I generally haven't been having the tea or oatmeal over the weekend since it's hot and I'm nursing, but I'm pretty good about having both at work eat day. So it seems like they must really work.

I totally understand if that post was so long that you just skimmed it. :-)

Monday, August 06, 2007

halfway to 32

The only reason that I remembered that today is my half birthday is because Heather will be 6 months old on Thursday. We shall see if I can more easily remember my own birthday when February rolls around. :-) Although we all know what it will be overshadowed by! (I will just be happy to see "and Amy, too" in tiny letters on Heather's first birthday cake. ;-)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Unexciting title

I have a post about breastfeeding floating about in my head, but not the time to write it out. It's not meant to be condescending, but recent things that I've read tell me that formula feeding moms just "don't get it". Not that FFing moms are bad, but just that I've seen some examples of moms who don't seem to understand the rewards that come from a little extra effort. I'm probably not making much sense - I'll try to flush my thoughts out soon while I still remember them. :-)

Right now, I'm counting the minutes until it's time to go pump again so I can get back to Harry. (Maybe I should have just taken a half day off of work, LOL?) When I got to work this morning I had 90 pages to go...I'm soooooo close. And I'm really happy about what I read at my last pumping session!

Counting down - 1 week until Heather hits the 6 month mark. :-) I'm still debating what to feed her first next weekend - oatmeal? sweet potato? avocado? banana? So many possibilities, and I'm sure I'll be much more excited about it than she will be!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

223 pages

When I went to bed last night, that's how far I was into Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I received the book Monday morning at work, thanks to my lovely friend Katie who mailed me her finished copy.

I don't expect to make that much progress everyday, but Heather took a nice long evening nap and once I finished my house tour tasks I was free to read. (I have yet to vacuum while she naps and didn't want to risk it...)

I'm really enjoying it so far. And I don't see any knitting happening or any recorded episodes of "Gilmore Girls" (I'm watching the series for the first time in syndication) being viewed until I'm done with the book. It takes a lot of restraint to go back to work when I read it while pumping, too.

On the pumping front, things are okay. I seemed to be getting back to normal last week, but then yesterday was disappointing. I didn't pump or take fenugreek over the weekend - maybe that was a mistake? We shall see. A friend told me of the success she's had with the mother's milk tea, so I'm trying that again (with 2 spoonfuls of sugar) as well as the fenugreek, oatmeal and as much water as I can drink. My other theory is that I'm somewhat dehydrated from the heat and humidity, so it might just be a matter of drinking more water.

Heather has a new "trick". When she's tired or cranky, she just wants me. She's done this the past two evenings now. When she needs to go to sleep, she wants me to hold her. When she wakes up cranky, she wants me. Twice R was holding her while I was taking care of a few things. She was watching my every move and the crying would subside as I got closer. And when I "finally" came over to get her, she held up her arms to be picked up. Totally adorable, except for the part where she was crying inconsolably in R's ear.

I'm sure it's just a phase, but hopefully it won't be a problem when I'm out with the girls on Saturday night. (It hasn't been a problem at daycare, so for R's sake let's hope that it will be better if I'm not home at all.)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Slightly Optimistic

I've done a bunch of reading online to try to come up with new strategies to try for the benefit of my supply. In the process I found Work and Pump. There is some information on there I wish I would have had several months ago. :-) Nothing earth shattering, just a few tidbits that might have altered my strategies a little.

So I'm experimenting, and results seem to be good so far. Despite the hassle, I've started taking the pump home each night. The goal is to pump after both evening feedings, though I have found so far that I'm too tired to do it after the second one. But between the extra pumping and the 2 1/2 ounces that Heather didn't finish at daycare yesterday, we didn't have to use any frozen milk today! And, even more importantly, I got a full feeding at my first pumping session this morning!

The morning session is another strategy change, too. I decided to try pumping as soon as I get to work. Hopefully this will mean that I'm more relaxed since I haven't even started to think about the work day yet. It also means only interrupting my work twice and leaves me with more time and flexibility for my other two sessions.

I'm hopeful that these strategies, plus the oatmeal, water and fenugreek *and* my recovery from the breast infection will mean that we won't have to use up the whole freezer stash in the next two weeks. As I said before, I totally realize that supplementing with formula isn't the end of the world (and I realize that it might even make my life easier by putting less pressure on me to pump), but I'm concerned about the slippery slope of demanding less milk, so my body makes less, so we have to supplement more.

I'll stop boring you with all of this pumping talk soon - it just happens to be the big "thing" on my mind right now. With parenting there is always something, and I'm sure the next series of parenting related posts will be all about solids! To make up for the limited appeal of my prose, here are a few Heather pictures. Our picture gallery is up to date, except for our camping trip. So those of you who are registered users will find new photos in the May, June and July albums and everyone can see the new pictures in the public folder. (I apologize that the public folder is out of order - but really at the moment I'm just happy to be almost caught up).
Foot holding is a favorite pasttime these days.

Hanging out on the back porch is a good way to make a fussy Heather happy again.

Being in the tent seems to make her happy, too.

Being in the tent yields a number of fun expressions.

Trying out her cool sunglasses, which are still a little big.

Wondering why Daddy took over 600 pictures on this particular Saturday.

Sitting up with assistance is almost as good as standing with assistance. :-)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


1 - We went camping this weekend. Heather did really well - she loved the hikes, loved hanging out on the air mattress and sleeping bags, and loved sleeping next to me the first night when she was cold. Our site was very sunny in the afternoon, so we didn't have a lot of opportunity to put her down, except inside the tent, but we managed.

2 - On our way home we stopped at the ILs and Heather took her first dip in the pool. She was initially unimpressed by the water temperature, but as she got used to it her interest improved. In the last few minutes, she figured out how to splash and didn't seem to mind having the water up to her waist.

3 - Still lots to do, but for the moment I'm accepting the fact that I'm going to consistently feel behind. I'm willing to stay up a little later than I should to try to get a little more done and I hope that it doesn't come back to bite me by the end of the week. We've generally been able to convince Heather to go back to sleep (not always immediately) after her first feeding on weekend mornings, so I do get a little "extra" sleep then.

4 - I haven't even looked at Ravelry. I don't have time to get sucked into anything else on the internet right now, and I have enough trouble finding time to knit without spending some of that precious free time on knitting related websites. (I do still read most of the knit-blogs listed at the right, but that is a very limited time commitment)

5 - Secret baby-related knitting projects continue. I'd like to be making more progress, but I will eventually. I didn't even really knit in the car this weekend because I wanted to use the time to close my eyes.

6 - House tour planning seems to be going well. The list of homes in finalized. My co-chairs seem to be fulfilling their promises. I have our weekend in Michigan to fall back on if I haven't found the time to put together the tour program by then. The only thing I really need to do soon is design the poster.

7 - My milk supply is still not keeping up with the pumping. By my calculations, as long as it doesn't drop anymore, with a little extra weekend and evening pumping, we should be able to make it to August 9th (6 months) without any supplementing. After that, Heather will likely be getting about 1 bottle of formula a day at daycare. I will keep trying to pump extra and at least have enough of a freezer stash for the occasional evening away, but I am reconciling myself to the fact that formula isn't evil and I've done absolutely everything in my power to give Heather the best start possible. :-) I hope to keep nursing for quite a while longer, but it is hard to know what will happen with the introduction of a supplemental bottle and solids.

8 - Heather continues to be adorable. She's also full of energy and constantly on the move to the best of her ability. She's rolling almost effortlessly (usually), grabbing at anything within inches of her reach, kicking her legs and pushing off of anything nearby, standing and sitting with assistance every chance we give her and trying to sit and stand when we aren't helping. She literally does crunches trying to sit up from a lying position - making it very clear that she's tired of being on her back, thank-you-very-much! The changes have happened gradually, but kind of suddenly as I realize how much reaching and grabbing she is doing.

9 - I had a tragic purse accident last week. :-( A box of clothes that I had ordered online arrived at work, so I put my container from pumping into my purse. Sadly, I hadn't properly screwed on one of the lids. Not only did I lose 4 1/2 ounces of breast milk, but my purse and half its contents are stiff with dried milk and my iPod won't turn on. :-( It's not an immediate problem because I haven't been listening to it a ton lately...but now that I don't have it I am missing it. We will have to see if we can replace it in the next few months with a little bit of frugality or if it will be my one Christmas present. I may take the drenched one over to the Apple store to see if there is anything that they can do, but I don't know that repair will be that much less than replacement.

10 - I'm patiently waiting for one of my friends to finish HP7 so I can borrow it. I actually don't mind the waiting except that I'm completely paranoid that someone is going to spoil something for me...even though in 6 books I never had anything spoiled for me...but somehow this one seems like a much bigger deal!

11 - I'm going on a tour of our daycare on Thursday. :-) That may seem a bit backwards, but it isn't a tour about the program, it is about the building. They have completed a green renovation of the 100+ year old building and the tour is specifically to talk about its greenness. Considering that I'm currently working on a green renovation of a 40+ year old building, it seems like a timely tour and a nice chance to pick Heather up at the end of the day. Oh, and it's free because I'm a parent!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


I placed an order at last week. I was impressed that it came today since it just shipped yesterday.

I'm not impressed that I got two boxes...each with exactly the same contents.

Now I have to figure out if they charged me twice or someone made a boo-boo. Either way, I'm not paying to ship back items that I didn't order.

I'm not going to take the duplicates home with me, so if anyone at work needs an inflatable tub they won't have to look far.

Monday, July 16, 2007


My mood has been all over the place for the past few days. Delighted by Heather's cuteness. Happy after seeing Harry Potter. Unhappy while tired, achy and feverish. Frustrated while doing chores at 10pm on Sunday. Annoyed while running late this morning.

I'm still in a tired and overwhelmed mood, so this will be quick.

1 - I really enjoyed Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and I'm already looking forward to my next trip to see it. There were a few scenes that I would have liked to be a little longer, especially in the beginning, but overall I was very happy. I noticed a lot of the changes and omissions as they happened, and I didn't think there were any bad choices. I would have liked more Tonks and a few more Harry/Ron/Hermione moments (the one by the fire after the kiss was wonderful), but coming from such a long and rich story, I knew there were going to be things that didn't make the cut. I think I liked this one as much as POA, which means I liked it as a movie as well as liking it as a reimagination of a great book. Oh, and I LOVED the DA scenes.

2 - I had my second bout with mastitis this weekend. My only mistake was waiting too long to take Tylenol. I think if I would have taken it Friday night instead of Saturday afternoon, I would have felt much better all day Saturday. I felt fine yesterday, but with brunch and our Harry Potter plans, I barely had time to do some laundry.

3 - Not only did I not get half of the stuff done around the house that I wanted to, I didn't do any work on the house tour. I have a meeting on Thursday night. It's going to be a busy week.

4 - The main downside to pumping reared its head today. I fell asleep while Heather was nursing this morning and had to take a later bus. I just don't have the flexibility to be late. On most nights I would miss her first evening feeding if I didn't take the express bus home. And since I use my lunch hour to pump, I have to be in the office for nine hours. I have no idea how to make up any time other than working at home...which doesn't really work because I have too much to cram in to the little time I have at home while Heather sleeps. It might be different if she was an 8pm bedtime baby...but she isn't.

I'm not in an awful mood, just stressed out. (which isn't going to help my milk supply either...)

ETA: Thankfully Heather's last daycare bottle was at 3:30, so if R takes her for a walk I should be able to get home in time for her feeding and put in an 8 hour day. A pleasant surprise.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Why I don't "design"

Yes, it's actual knitting-related content. Don't faint, please.

I very often knit "off pattern". Either I start with a pattern and make modifications (add cables, add lace, change sleeve length, etc) or I knit the pattern in a different way (e.g., work a sock toe-up instead of cuff down) or I just plain knit from scratch (mostly purses, blankets and hats).

I have made a number of things according to a pattern. Usually if I don't make changes it is because I am getting gauge the pattern calls for and I don't want to do the math required to make the changes I would make otherwise. There are also times (especially with sweaters) that I really like a pattern as much as something I could design myself, and with a complicated garment, design is a lot of work. Oh, and lace. I have no desire to do all the work required to design lace. (This is why most of the knitting pattern books I own are of sweaters and lace!)

The current baby sweater I'm working on (and can't really talk too much about) is based on a sweater pattern I've made several times before, but with the addition of a lace pattern. In essence I'm just replacing the stockinette with lace, but as I'm working the decreases there are decisions to be made on each row about how to integrate the lace pattern and the decreases. In order to share the "pattern" for this sweater with anyone else, I would need to be charting the raglan shaping as I go. But I don't want to do that. I just want to knit and figure it out as I go. (The raglan decreases have been the most fun part of the knitting so far, actually - lots of thinking on my feet and figuring out how the lace pattern works.)

The story is similar for several purses and blankets that I've designed. I enjoy the process of figuring it out as I go. And once I'm finished with the item, I'm done. I have no desire to sit down and try to write the pattern.

So I'm sorry to report that I will never be posting the pattern for the baby poncho, the joyce carol oats puppet or anything else that I've created. I try to take good photos so that there is some chance that I could reconstruct my work in the future if I really wanted to and I have great respect for those who share or sell knitting patterns...but I won't be joining their ranks anytime soon.

Maybe when I'm retired. :-)

Living Room nap

This camera phone photo is a bit grainy...

The black thing in the upper right of the photo is a fan. Our house was very warm and muggy last night, but Heather figured out how to best position herself.

The funniest part was when she got up, she had a garter stitch pattern on her cheek and belly from the log cabin moderne blanket. :-)

Monday, July 09, 2007

5 months, 3 days and 45 photos

Heather is 5 months old today.

1) She's generally pretty happy. Especially if she takes a good nap every time she's tired. She gets fussy from time to time, but usually the introduction of a toy or a change of position will distract her from the fussiness unless she's tired or hungry.

2) She's still waking up overnight. Sunday night she didn't wake up overnight, but last night she woke up four times. In all but the last case, her pacifier and bear put her right back to sleep. Friday night she only woke up once, but it took two hours to get her back down. I'm hoping that this is just a developmental sleep regression (still) that will go away on its own.

3) She seems to know how to move all of her body parts. She can't always move what she wants to move right away or coordinate enough to do what she really wants to do (sit-up, crawl and walk). But she can lift her head enough that you can see when she wants to sit up and once she's standing she knows how to lock her legs so you can't sit her down again.

4) R set up our new tent (with room for the Pack'n'Play!) in the back yard last night, and Heather was practically giddy when we went out there. She laughed more consistently than we've ever heard before. She has always liked being outside, so maybe she saw the benefit of being outside with some protection. Either that or bouncing around on the air mattress is just the coolest thing ever.

5) Anything that comes in front of her face she will try to grab. And if she gets a hold of it, it immediately goes in her mouth. Everyone and their brother keeps telling us that she must be teething because she usually has a couple of fingers or a thumb in her mouth. We shall see.

I counted last night and I have about 3 days worth of milk in the freezer. I would like it to be a little more than that, but I was worried it would be less than that. I keep hoping to make a bunch of time to pump each weekend, but it hasn't quite happened. I'm just barely keeping up with what Heather needs each day at daycare, so a little bit more of a buffer wouldn't make me unhappy. Without a unexpected setback, I definitely see us making it to my goal of 6 months. I'm not sure what the next goal will be after that. Maybe just a month at a time?

I posted 55 pictures this weekend. So there are 45 to go. And R took more on Sunday while we were in the tent. I will do my best to get caught up before we go camping so there is some chance that I won't fall waaaay behind again!

Friday, July 06, 2007

A few favorites

A few of these could use a little Photoshop work, but you'll just have to bear with me for now...

In case you have lost track of time, Heather will be 5 months old on Monday. :-)

(And no, I will not be whining about how fast time flies or how sad I am at how big she's getting. In my view, time is moving at the appropriate pace. I love seeing her learn to move her body in new ways and explore new toys. I can't wait until she has the patience for a little more reading time and in general she's even more fun than she used to be. I'm amazed at how much she's grown in 5 months, but as long as I can still carry her, I'm not yearning to have our tiny newborn back!)

Thursday, July 05, 2007

100 pictures

Somehow, yesterday, after sleeping in, vacuuming, doing dishes and cleaning the kitchen floor, in between feeding and playing with Heather, I managed to go through the rest of the photos on our server. I went back as far as March, and picked all of the photos that I'd still like to post.

Now I just have to find the time to upload 100 pictures before we take more and I get behind again. :-)

I'm really not sure how soon I'll get to it. Maybe this weekend. I hope to go to bed as soon after Heather does for a while and try to feel more human again. I'm just tired of being tired and cranky! ;-) I know that it will get better, and we did have some good nights last week, but I'm getting to that sleepy place where it is harder to stay focused at work and I just hate feeling like this. Not to mention the fact that it is noon, and I've eaten everything I brought with me already...

Monday, July 02, 2007

Harlot happiness

I realize that this makes me a big dork, but I'm going to admit it anyway.

I re-watched the episode of Knitty Gritty with The Yarn Harlot yesterday with the intention of deleting it from the DVR when I was done. We don't need the space, but it's been on there a long time.

I couldn't do it.

I don't need the episode for any knitting related reason. I know how to make a sock and I have Stephanie's book, so I don't need the show for the pattern.

I just couldn't delete Stephanie.

Watching the episode made me happy.

And even though we've only met twice briefly at her book signings where she was mobbed by many memorable knitters, and she's probably more likely to remember Heather than to remember me...I've read every single one of her blog posts, and I feel like I know her and I just couldn't delete it.

So it will stay on there until the DVR does something dumb that causes the episode to disappear.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Go see photos

I've posted more Heather photos at

I'm still behind, but I went through 14 days (June 11-25), including the shower last Saturday. You'll see more pictures if you are a registered user (move your mouse over the "@" sign to register and please use an ID that would tell R and I who you are).

It took a couple of hours last night and tonight to do those 14 days...and R took over 600 photos yesterday, so i'm done for the moment. I need to work on the house tour and vacuum our house before I post any more...but I'll try to do some on Wednesday or next weekend.

The weather this weekend was gorgeous. I even woke up a little chilly this morning. Fingers crossed that it stays like this for a while!

Thursday, June 28, 2007


Finally, the images I sent from my phone showed up in my email inbox.

First, a photo from lunch on Monday. Not a bad shot given that we were inside a Cracker Barrel.
You can't see the colors very well. But here, finally, is a picture of my Dulaan contribution for 2007. (Don't worry, I didn't ship Heather off with the hats and mittens. :-)