Monday, November 26, 2007

I won!

I've been drooling over the Lady Eleanor Stole from Scarf Style for weeks now, but the yarn that I wanted to use (Noro Silk Garden) is so expensive! Well, I looked on ebay and placed a bid for 10 skeins of Silk Garden. Last night I won the yarn! Yay! Basically I'm spending half as much as I would have normally, making the stole MUCH more affordable (ahem, $55 instead of $110)! An added bonus: they carry Scarf Style at the local library. Now I cannot, I repeat, I cannot start this until I finish my Christmas presents!

Friday, November 23, 2007

My Blessing

Right now it is snowing--HARD! We woke up to about three inches, and now there is about six. It has been a relaxing and cozy morning. I always love the day after Thanksgiving. We don't do the "Black Friday" thing, so it's a time of togetherness and down-time around the house. Pat did have to do some shoveling, but we also played with Matthew, watched some football and enjoyed leftover turkey and trimmings together. I've also been able to sneak in some tea-drinking and mitt-knitting. :)

Of course, like many people, I've been reflecting on what I'm thankful for. This year it goes without saying what I'm thankful for--my son. I thought I'd use this post to write about Matthew's birth.

Before I conceived Matthew, I had three miscarraiges. Since I was a healthy woman in my early twenties without any family history of miscarraiges, my OB/GYN was baffled. He sent me to a fertility specialist in Albuquerque who did a number of tests. A couple of weeks later I found out I was pregnant for the fourth time, but not all of the tests had come back. When they finally did, one indicated that I tested positive for a phospholipid antibody. Basically what that meant was that my body was recognizing the embryos as "foreign," therefore cutting off blood supply to them. Since I was already pregnant, the doctor put me on blood-thinners right away. The heparin I was on was injected twice a day--ouch! I was on that for about eleven weeks.

During my 17 week check-up with the perinatologist, we found out that Matthew was a boy. We were delighted (but also would have been delighted with a girl)! The perinatologist also discovered that the umbilical cord only had one artery instead of the usual two (this happens in under 1% of pregnancies). This statistically implied that there was an up to 40% chance of a congenital or genetic disorder such as Down Syndrome. We would love any baby God would bless us with, but did want to be prepared, so we had genetic testing done. Luckily it found that the risk was extremely low for us.

Because of the single artery umbilical cord, I was induced a week early. It was a fairly easy birth (after the epidural!) and that happiest day of my life. Matthew looked perfect. He was, however, having difficulty breathing. That evening he was taken out of my room to pediactrics to be monitored. The following day I was able to change rooms to be closer to him. He was on oxygen and had various heart/breathing monitors hooked up to him. His breathing kept getting worse and I just knew that something was very wrong. He seemed happy and comforted when I held him, but nursing was just too difficult. It was taking all of his strength just to breathe. The next day (Wednesday) the pediatrician inserted an IV into Matthew and told me not to nurse him anymore. That evening he called the NICU at Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque (I delivered at St. Vincent's in Santa Fe) and set up a transport team to take him there.

Pat had gone home to Los Alamos to pack some things to take to ABQ when the transport team arrived, so I was alone when the nurse practitioner in charge of the team told me that they would have to intubate Matthew. She told me that he was working too hard to breathe and that if they didn't intubate him he would stop breathing. I signed the papers, but couldn't watch them do it. A couple days later Brenda (the NP) told me it was one of the most difficult intubations she ever did--Matthew was such a fighter even with a sedative!

Matthew ended up being in the NICU for seven days, and they never did figure out what caused his lungs to have such difficulties. Every day he got stronger, and after four days they took the breathing tube out. It was a very difficult time, but I knew he was in good hands.

So, after my history of miscarraiges, the phospholipid antibody problem, the single-artery umbilical cord, then Matthew spending a week in the NICU, you could understand why I am thankful for every day, every moment, with my son. He is the greatest blessing in my life, and I will forever be grateful and praise God for the privelege of being Matthew's mother.

Here is a picture of Matthew shortly after he was born (ignore me!):
and now:
What a little chunk! :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

IK Winter 2007

In the Winter 2007 edition of Interweave Knits, Amy Singer writes, "On the lighter side, I love blogs for keeping me in touch with what we're knitting and with the daily lives of my friends. The deeper reason: socially acceptable eavesdropping into someone's internal dialogue. What you hear can be rather cool." I couldn't have said it better myself!

Speaking (or typing) of IK Winter 2007 edition, I have to say that it has grown on me. At first I wasn't very excited about any of the patterns except for this. Now, after looking through it numerous times, I'm very interested in knitting this and this someday. I think that Veronik Avery is an impressive designer, and I hope someday to have the patience to knit this (I love how the design is actually little kitty heads!). I wonder if that "someday" will ever come?

Monday, November 19, 2007


My pile of FOs for Christmas gifting is growing, which in return makes me much less anxious with the holiday approaching so quickly. I'm actually trying to make a point not to be too stressed out about it. I believe that Christmas isn't (or at least shouldn't be) about stress and presents, and I especially want to savor every moment of Matthew's first Christmas. Since presents are a standard part of the holiday, however, I'm trying to go the handmade route for my relatives and close friends (see "handmade pledge" at right). This way I know that they will receive something unique and hopefully useful. So far I have completed two pairs of fingerless mitts, a pair of felted mittens, an "airy scarf" from Last Minute Knitted Gifts, and I'm half-way done with Pat's sweater. I'm feeling pretty good about all this, but I still have a ways to go: wool scarf, another airy scarf, gaiter, mittens, and a couple of felted bowls. My priorities are a pair of fingerless mitts for my swap pal and a felted bag for a friend's daughter. Whew! I have my work cut out for me!

On the domestic side of things, I spent the morning making ginger cookies--yum! I love baking when it gets cold outside. I also love making soup--we had tuna cheddar tonight. I don't usually like tuna, but I like this soup. Probably all of the cheesy goodness. Football ended Friday night with a loss in the first round of playoffs. I'm sorry that they lost, but I'm not sorry to have my husband back! I'm looking forward to having Pat come home right after work and spend time with me and Matthew. He's a terrific dad, and Matthew's face lights up when he comes through the door.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I'm in!

Today I received my invitation to join Ravelry! I've checked it out a little bit, but there's a whole lot more to see. I just need some time to really explore the site and all the tools. It looks like it will be great for organizational, social, and inspirational purposes. I've heard so much about it, and I'm excited to be in!

I've been working on Pat's sweater while I've been working on my KnitPicks order to arrive, and it seems like it's been taking for-ev-er (the sweater, not the order). Pat's a pretty big guy, so I've been doing lots of monotonous ribbing lately. I think that I'll need to take a little break after this sleeve and work on something else. I just hope that I have the willpower to pick it back up again and finish it before Christmas.

Matthew and I took a little drive to Santa Fe this morning to see my grandfather and his wife. They split their time between Santa Fe and Chicago (where Ann lived before she and my grandfather married) and will be here for Thanksgiving. It makes me smile seeing Matthew with his great-grandfather. My grandpa and I have always had a really special relationship, and I'm so thankful that I was able to provide him with a great-grandchild. He was the kind of grandpa who would sing me to sleep at night, create treasure hunts in their house/yard, pull candy out of my ear, and take me on walks in the moonlight with me on his shoulders.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Turning Lemons into Lemonade

I have to admit it, I'm a sweater snob. I love nice sweaters, especially of the j.crew variety. Over the years I've built up quite a collection (most have been gifts--we're poor teachers!). Well, at the end of last winter I took about 6 of my prized sweaters to a local dry cleaner. I'm sure you all know where this is heading...basically, most of them were ruined. When I got them home I could barely fit into them, and it looked like someone had started the felting process and took them out of the wash before it was complete. I took them back and complained, and all they could do was try blocking them for me (they didn't even give me a refund)! Now they still don't fit and the seams are stretched to the max. Needless to say, I'm never going to that dry cleaners again. This all reminded me of the Seinfeld where Jerry tries to get the dry-cleaners to admit that they messed up his shirt.

Anyway, I was talking to a friend about this when she said she had seen an article somewhere about turning recycled sweaters into a throw. This piqued my curiosity, so I've already spent some time browing the 'net for examples. I found some good ones here and here. Now I have something to do with my "ruined" sweaters that will enable me to keep them in some shape or form. I'm actually excited about a new, and somewhat different, craft project. This will have to be after Christmas or after I finish all of my Christmas presents, whichever comes first (unfortunately, it's not necessarily finishing the presents!).

Monday, November 12, 2007

Thank you, Bloggers!

Sometimes I spend so much time reading other blogs that I don't have time to update my own. I am intrigued by the knitting projects others are starting and completing, as well as the lives of others in general. There is such a great knitting blog community out there--I love it! I really think that it's helping me keep on track with my own projects. I find that I'm finishing projects more steadily with the anticipation of being able to post it here. I also am inspired by others' work, and inspiration can be contagious.

I am just about finished with my second pair of Fetching for a friend. It feels good to have completed that Christmas present at least! I have a HUGE order from Knit Picks coming, but it probably won't be here until at least Friday. So...I started working on Pat's sweater again. To tell you the truth, I was working on it this time last year! He's a pretty big guy, so it's a size large, it's monotonous work, and it's just not exciting to work on. I must finish it by Christmas, though. It's WAY overdue!

Friday, November 9, 2007

I Love my Mom!

Thanks, Mom, for always being there for me. Thank you for driving over to help me with Matthew when I was too tired. Thank you for being a wonderful grandmother to my son. Thank you for being a terrific model of a mother for me to follow. Thank you for always puting me and Daniel first. Most of all, thank you for your unconditional love and support. I love you, Mom!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Up for Sunrises

This is a sunrise pic taken last week from our front porch. Actually, it's more like a stoop. Not too shabby, eh? I could do without the electric wires, but I'll still enjoy a beautiful sunrise anyday. I thought that a sunrise picture would be appropriate seeing that Matthew has been waking up pretty early. I guess no one warned him about daylight savings time. :) Yesterday morning he was up for the day at 4:00am. This morning, however, we got to sleep in until 6:00-yay! He also spent the whole night in his crib for the first time! I enjoyed not being kicked in the stomach and feeling like a human pacifier all night, but i have to admit that I missed him being in our bed. I do think that he sleeps better in his crib, and I KNOW that Pat and I sleep much better that way! I hope to have special moments when he does sleep with us sometimes. I remember getting up early on the weekends, sneaking into my parents' bed, then watching Saturday-morning cartoons (they had a tv in their room). I have fond memories of those special moments.

I finished Matthew's longies from Little Turtle Knits tonight, and they are SO CUTE! I tried them on him and they looked like little, cozy long-johns. I'm going to order some bright red yarn tonight for his next pair. Which brings me to my Knit Picks order--it's going to be huge! I'm trying to make most of my Christmas gifts this year and am feeling a little overwhelmed. I've picked out some simpler projects and am focusing on my family and close friends. I'm also excited about the choices of gifts/yarns I've made. I'm taking part in a fingerless mitts swap, and I've picked out the yarn and pattern for the mitts I'm making for my swap partner. I'm anxious to get them started, as well as get together other "goodies" to put in her package. This is my first swap, and I'm looking forward to it!

Sunday, November 4, 2007


Here is our little bee! Actually, he is quite a big bee. Thanks, Grandma, for the costume. Hopefully we'll be able to use it for a future little bee. :) Matthew sure has been buzzing around lately, as in he's been experimenting with his vocal chords. He's "blowing raspberries" now, as well as shieking for fun, saying "oooh" and making other interesting noises. Pat and I get a real kick out of it all. He's also been pretty fussy this weekend. I really think that he's teething because he's constantly chewing on his tongue and whatever other object he can put in his mouth. He just wants to nurse ALL of the time, and because of that he's spitting up a lot. Naptime is also a cry-fest when it wasn't before. Poor little guy. I wish I knew how to help him feel better.

In other exciting news, Pat and I finally rearranged our living room yesterday. We have a funky-spaced living room that doesn't leave us many options, but I think that we may have found a better arrangement. It's cozier now and the sofas and chair are facing each other instead of the TV, which I really like. Pat, on the other hand, is still warming up to it. :)

Here are some FOs: Fetching and Wavy Fingerless Mitts from One Skein Wonders (thanks, mom, for being a great hand-model!). I had fun making both, and one is a gift. It always feels good to have completed projects, especially when one is for someone else! I'm about 2/3 of the way done with Matthew's longies, and I'm really anxious to finish them. They already look so cute and cozy! I read some articles on "stripping" clothe diapers, so I think that I'll try that so we can use his diapers again. It's just amazing how many disposables we've already gone through. I don't think that people should feel guilty for using disposables because I know that every situation is different, but I personally do. Plus, I love my clothe diapers and the adorable covers I have for them. Hopefully you won't have to hear me discuss my clothe diaper troubles after this week!