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 babiesrus.com 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 gallery.trovish.org/

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!