Just so you know, in case there's lots of typos.
Monday, December 31, 2007
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Alternate Title: Flashing the Loot
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Yesterday was my birthday - I'm 29 (no, really). I know what you're thinking: yup, it's darn close to Christmas. Blame my parents. Really, they're serial offenders - my sister's birthday is in a couple of weeks. This time of year's always kind of been my-birthday-Christmas-sister's-birthday all rolled up in a celebratory jumble. We're really close in age, too (a year apart), so we always get cute matchy-matchy birthday gifts. Sweaters, scarves, gloves, one color for me, one for her. It's another little family tradition I'd miss over the holidays if it wasn't there.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Wow, you're still here!
It is so weird to go from posting every day to being unable to post for over a week. What the heck should I write about? I couldn't possibly mention all the things that struck me as "blogworthy" during the week, even if I could remember them; it would just be ridiculous. There's new knitting and spinning, but I think that can be its own post. I guess I should just write about the biggest stuff this week: the new job and the weather.
As Stacie noted in the comments, that guy's a keeper.
We got a big fat winter storm or two this week - about a foot of snow on Thursday and another six inches or so on Sunday. The kids were totally excited - and when I say "the kids," I'm including myself. :)
Here's the view from the window Thursday night:
And some Friday morning shots:
The kids got the day off Friday (as did I) so the boys had a lot of fun playing outside. Baby Sister did not really care for playing in the snow, which I guess is understandable when it comes up to your thighs. So I did not get to spend any time in the snow with the boys. Luckily, our backyard has a good-sized hill, so they can sled even if I can't actually take them anywhere. Mostly, though, it's all about the snowballs. I love this picture of Big Brother really putting his heart into his throw:
I was especially glad for the snowed-in time this weekend after going back to work last Tuesday. It's hard to be away from your kids, even when you know they are in more than capable hands. Especially when you know they are sometimes giving those very capable hands a hard time. . . (I feel I should note: Jess put them up to that.)
The good news is that I do like the new job. It's a little overwhelming at present - these Sylvan people have their own language, I swear - but I think with time it will get easier. Once I understand all the different programs we teach and learn the myriad of acronyms I will hopefully stop coming home at night feeling like I'm brimming with information and if I'm not careful it will spill out my ears. And I must say that as I've been going back and forth between different centers on different days to train, I have yet to meet an unpleasant person. So it's all good. Except for missing the kids, of course.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Oh, yes, there was disaster yesterday. But before that (and after that, actually) there was good stuff. So I'll talk about that first.
In the morning Jess, my mom, and I drove to Fairhaven for a Ravelry brunch at Eva's Yarn Shop. You read that right - a Ravelry brunch. The owner, Eva, opened her doors a couple hours early, discounted pretty much everything for that period of time, and invited the Ravelry mob to come on by, and bring some food. It was such a great thing for her to do, and evidently I'm not the only one who thought so, because the place was packed! I'm sure pictures will be popping up on other blogs soon. The blogs of smart people who remembered to bring cameras.
The store itself was spacious and beautiful and full of yummy yummy yarns. I did not go crazy this close to Christmas, but I did get some Sheep Shop Sheep One in the poetically named G129 colorway. I can't show it to you, but more on that later. I will definitely be going back to this place soon - I'm adding it to my mental list of post-holiday yarn shopping destinations.
I got home from this lovely outing to find my computer eviscerated on the kitchen table. This, of course, would be the aforementioned disaster. J did his diagnostic poking around, which he thankfully does have some talent for, and he thinks it just needs a new power supply. Which he has already ordered. And maybe it is a sad commentary on my life how much suffering the lack of this computer is causing, but that doesn't so much make the suffering go away. Our older computer was upstairs in the boys' room, for them to play solitaire and write little stories, so we brought that down and hooked it up. At this point I have the internet, s-l-o-w-l-y, but I do not have email. I opened the email program on the old computer and found some well-aged spam but no inclination to get any post-2004 messages. Most troubling, though, is the fact that all my pictures are on that computer. Yes, yes, I should have backed them up. I know that, I knew that, but it doesn't do me any good now. So I can't show you any pretty yarn, or my pretty Christmas tree, or the gloves I finished yesterday, or my adorable children, or . . . well, you get the picture. (Actually, you don't. Ha! Puns at my own expense!)
So hopefully the computer will be back to normal soon. And to take my mind off it, perhaps, I got some good news yesterday: I got a new job! I had interviewed for a Director of Education position at a local Sylvan center last week, and they liked me! The best part about these interviews, though, was this neat little personality test thing they have you do. It consists of a few lists of items or statements, and you put them in order from best to worst. The whole thing took about ten minutes, but they got so much information from it. When they went over the results with me, I couldn't believe how accurate it was. Like, bordering on creepy kind of accurate. It even said that I am not all that great at presenting myself and touting my accomplishments, so they should take this into consideration when evaluating the interview. How great is it, to go into an interview with that kind of disclaimer?
So . . . yeah. Working full-time again. The simple fact is that I really need to. There was only going to be so long that we could get away with being a one-income household, and the time has pretty much run out. Which sucks, because I would prefer to be home with the kids, but I guess I don't really want to whine too much about something so out of my control. Out loud, anyway. I think I will like the job (that test did say I was an optimist), even if I don't like being away from my babies. And I'm sure I will have more to say about it once it gets going.
The other good thing from yesterday? Brand-new Niece is home! We got to bring the kids to see her (the hospital wouldn't let them) and it was so sweet. Baby Sister was a little apprehensive at first, probably because a newborn doesn't really look like what she pictures as a "baby," but once she figured out what it was she was very excited. "Baby! Baby! Baby hand! Baby nose! Baby head!" I love that there's another little girl so close to her age in the family. The boys both got to hold her (they are baby experts, you know) and declared that she looks like Baby Sister. Probably because she's, you know, a baby. I used the word "baby" ten times in that last paragraph. Sorry about that.
And I'm also sorry for such a long, picture-free post, but I wanted to get everything in so I don't feel like there's things I missed, and I should post about them while they are still fresh. Because I don't think you'll hear from me again until the computer's fixed - I am not loving the slow internet and the Windows Millenium Edition. Send me some good technology mojo, will you? :)
Friday, December 7, 2007
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Yesterday morning I drove up to Lexington, MA, for the initial screening for my egg donation. It was quite a long morning, not that I'm complaining about getting everything done at once. I'm glad, though, that most of the process will be able to be done a lot closer to home.
The first thing I did was to take the MMPI test, which consists of 567 true-false statements. 567. Most of them seemed pretty straightforward but I did notice a trend toward paranoid-sounding things: Someone is trying to rob me. Someone has control of my mind. Someone is out to get me. Followed by something innocuous like I enjoy watching movies. And of course, since it was an office setting, they were required to have the radio tuned to the local soft rock station. At this time of year, that means the Rod Stewart and Mariah Carey are alternated with a few different renditions of Jingle Bell Rock. You have to wonder, really, if this has an effect on the test results.
Next I met with the doctor, who went over how it all works (which I had already read about and talked about with other people), and the nurse, who gave me the much more detailed, this-is-what-you-will-be-doing-on-this-particular-day version. I'm sure I will share more of this as it happens, but essentially there will be a few weeks of pills, just normal birth-control pills, followed by about two weeks of injections, then the actual retrieval. That I won't share much more of, because I think hearing details on medical procedures is just Too Much Information, don't you? And about the injections - I'm really not skeeved about them. Seriously, after you've had three kids, pretty much naturally all three times, a needle is not such a big deal. My husband, on the other hand, is a big squeamish wuss. He had to have blood drawn while we were there, and he complained about it intermittently throughout the rest of the day. They took one vial from him and eight from me, is all I am saying.
The last meeting was with a counselor. I haven't had any experience with therapy before, and I am not what you might call outgoing and at ease with people I don't really know, so it was a little weird for me. She was very nice, and very earnest, and asked a lot of probing questions. About my experiences being a parent, and my reasons for wanting to be an egg donor, which is completely understandable, but also about my childhood, my family, etc. I guess that's also revealing, but I gotta say as I was talking about my parents being divorced since before I could remember, and the remarrying and divorcing again, and all of that stuff, I was thinking oh my goodness I sound so dysfunctional. And of course the phrase "dysfunctional family" has been used to the point where it really doesn't mean anything, but I've never applied it to my family. I kept wanting to say, "But I'm fine, really."
Anyway, unless they decide I am just too psychologically damaged to proceed, it's a waiting game for a couple of weeks and then everything will start. I know a lot of the process might be unpleasant, but I have to say I'm really looking forward to it. The timing is just great; my sister-in-law is going to have her baby any day now,* and it's such a reminder of what's really happening and why I want to do this. I'm very excited!
*Dude! My father-in-law just called, and she's on her way to the hospital right now! Now I'm very very excited!
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
I had a big discussion with Little Brother this weekend on what the phrase "trimming the tree" means. He couldn't figure out why you had to trim it, and what if it's a fake tree, and do you need a saw, etc. etc. etc. We've had these sort of talks before; any kind of idiom just goes right over his head, and no amount of explaining will convince him that it doesn't mean just what it says it means. Sometimes living with Amelia Bedelia can be tiring, but for now just using the title "trimming the house" is kind of making me laugh.
It hung in the house every year when I was a kid, along with its matching tree skirt (well, the tree skirt didn't hang, but you know what I mean), and then my mom let me take them when I moved out. Maybe I'll let one of the kids take them when that time comes, or maybe I'll be more selfish. :)
Friday, November 30, 2007
I heard tell that there was supposed to be an "I did it!" badge to put on the blog, on this, the last day of NaBloPoMo. But the site is down at present, so just pretend it's here.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
So, what exactly should you do with those felted beads you've made? Well, googly eyes are always fun.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Little Brother's class has head lice.
Say it with me: Ewww.
Most of the class got sent home today, Little Brother included, and so we spent the afternoon washing things in hot water, spraying things, shampooing, and combing. Although I have to say, when we did the combing, we didn't see anything. On Little Brother, J, me, or Baby Sister. And Big Brother was checked at school yesterday and there was nothing there. So, may be they were just extra careful in sending people home? I'm going with that theory, because it makes my skin crawl a little bit less. We'll do the second shampooing and combing in a week or so, and then forget this ever happened.
And if you'll excuse me, I need to go do something relaxing. Knitting needles or spinning wheel? Decisions, decisions . . .
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
I think my daughter is taking advantage of my desire to give her some autonomy.
"Baby Sister, would you like some cheese?"
These are all tried-and-true favorites, by the way. She was, at one point, quite easy to please, and I gotta say I liked that about her.
"Do you want your milk?"
I give her the milk, and she throws the cup on the floor. "No."
She ended up having peas for her snack. A little bowl of peas, only peas would do. There was a similar scene when it was time to put a sweater on (would you believe it - 60 degrees in late November?), although she mixed it up this time by saying she wanted a certain sweater, then changing her mind, then changing it back again, etc. It's fun, really.
That's pretty much been my day so far, and I'm thinking the rest of it will be about the same. I did have a bunch of extra laundry to do, as the dry indoor air induced a middle-of-the-night nosebleed in my husband, and it looked like I murdered him in bed. So, yeah, there's some excitement there . . .
The fact is, it's November 27th and I'm just plain running out of things to say.
Actually, that's not quite true. First, go read this. I'll wait.
Oh, hi, you're back. So this is a topic I've been thinking about a lot lately, out loud with other people and internally. I do have things to say about it, and I guess right now I'm just waiting for my thoughts to become a little more coherent. What it boils down to is that I've been bouncing from part-time job to part-time job, all in the education field, for a while now. Mostly this is because I want to be home with the kids as much as I can, but I guess I am also feeling my way towards what will bring me joy. And the etsy store and the craft fair and all the stuff Jess & I have been discussing lately is all part of it too.
Is it selfish, to want to not just have a job but The Right Job? J is completely supportive of me, but he never talks about his job in terms of joy, or fulfillment. Actually, he likes to complain, if you ask me, but I think he's fairly happy. He gets along with the people he's with, he gets to tinker with things, equipment, every once in a while, and I know he likes that. I don't know that that's in the same category as what I am thinking about, or what Amy's post was about, though.
Now look, here I go, writing about this all stream-of-consciousness before my thoughts have
become coherent. I'll stop now, but I'm sure I'll revisit later.
Posted by jenfromRI at 12:39 PM
Monday, November 26, 2007
Yes, I have been tempting the Christmas-knitting fates and continuing to do a little bit of spinning. See, I think the fates are on my side. The evidence: I got an email from my aunt last week suggesting maybe the adults just enjoy each other's company for Christmas, and only do gifts for the children. Yay! That cuts about a third off my list! See what I mean?
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Well, I'll come right out and say we did not do as well as we had wanted to, sales-wise. I'll also say it's not a big deal. We had fun, we got a lot of knitting/spinning/planning done, and we do plan to do it again at some point. And all the leftovers will be up on the etsy shop by the end of this week, so hopefully it will get bought anyway.
11:00 - Knit knit knit. Jess is working on three of these at once, because she doesn't like knitting the same thing twice. Clearly, the girl is crazy.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
So did any of you head out to the stores in the wee hours of the morning, set to empty your wallets at the altar of the retail gods? Nah, me neither. I've done it before, actually I've experienced the day-after-Thanksgiving mania from both sides of the retail counter, and at this point I don't have any strong feelings about it either way. I doubt you are shredding the fabric of society if you choose to go, but I think I'll stay home.
In high school and college, I worked at a toy store. With Jess, actually, because we have way too many things in common. The day after Thanksgiving is nuts in a toy store, as I'm sure you can imagine. We would have a big meeting about a week or so before, and the contents of the super-secret special sale flyer that went out on Thanksgiving day were revealed, amid much oohing and aahing. Or in some cases, holy crap we're going to run out of those before the store even opens. Everybody had to work at some point on the big day, and really the most fun shift was the early morning. By afternoon any excitement the day might have had is gone, and people are just tired and grumpy. But in the morning, people really are excited, and if they are hoping to snag that year's Big Toy That Is Generally Impossible To Get, their hopes have not yet been dashed.
Speaking of such toys, I was working there when some of the big ones came out. Remember Tickle Me Elmo? The original one, when just the shaking and giggling was enough. Now they fall over laughing and kick their feet and roll over and slap the floor and no, I'm not kidding. But the first ones just giggled and shook, and if you stacked up about ten of them and squeezed them all at once you'd get something resembling a skyscraper in a gale. Not that many people had an opportunity to be around ten Tickle Me Elmos at once in that particular year. Really, I am blessed.
There was also Furby, which was big but I don't think quite as big. Furbys were fun to keep on the counter for if it ever got slow. They really were pretty entertaining, in a kind of creepy way. They had that weird robot voice, I think that was the creepy part.
The first couple of years after we didn't work there anymore, Jess and I would go to the toy store for the day-after-Thanksgiving early morning. It was pretty fun to see it from the other side. And it wasn't like we didn't have any kids to buy for; we did have an actual reason to be shopping there. Gloating at those who had to be working was just a little bonus.
This year, as I said, there was no shopping. The day was hectic in a different way. Somehow an explosion of some sort hit my house without me noticing, or at least that's what it looked like. Then there's also that, you know, craft fair thing going on tomorrow . . . but I'm not nervous about that. Nope, not me. Because I think we're ready. Really. Ahem.
Posted by jenfromRI at 8:39 PM
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Today is one of my favorite days, a fall holiday laden with food and family and giant balloons. This morning the kids and I made a big batch of monkey bread, then settled in to watch the Macy’s parade, which I am just enough of a dork to totally love. I don’t know why; looked at objectively the parade is pretty awful, but I don’t question the love.
Later we will head to my mom’s house for dinner, a very low-key event. Potluck even, so nobody is unduly stressed. My brother and my aunt will also be there, and we’ll have a great afternoon filled with food, board games, and football/knitting, depending on your inclination. (For my mom it will be both.) Without my sister there, it will certainly be quieter, and she won’t be bickering with my brother, but it will also probably be a little less fun.
We’ll head home after dark, with the car full of leftovers and with any luck, a sleeping baby. I’ll be looking forward to next year already.
This celebration is something I am thankful for, and it seems a little silly to let this day pass without mentioning others as well. There are the obvious, and most important things: my healthy family, the fact that I am able to have this family and to give that gift to someone else. A strong and happy marriage, where maybe our interests aren’t the same but we support each other and are never at a loss for something to laugh about. That my extended family is all close by, all in good health, and all speaking to each other. A few close friends who are, in essence, family too.
Then there are other things I am thankful for, the things that don’t quite occupy the space of family and friends, but satisfy a different part of me. Knowing how to knit, and (sort of) how to spin, is being able to transform materials from one thing to another. It is magic, and I am thankful for it. It means I can make something entirely unique (because of course even if you are following a pattern, and paying as much attention to gauge as you possibly can, you’re not making a carbon copy of anything) for myself or to give away. For anybody, but especially I think for people who spend a lot of time taking care of other people, a creative outlet is essential.
And finally, a list of smaller things that I am thankful for – not so essential for the most part, but things that maybe make a good day better, and a crappy one not so bad:
- the internet. Okay, maybe this one is essential. What, exactly, did I do before I had a blog?
- hazelnut coffee
- the advent of the digital camera
- fall leaves, of course
- the fact that Baby Sister still naps every day
- the fact that my boys actually like school, and learning
- my big warm bathrobe
Happy Thanksgiving, internet. Enjoy your turkey. :)
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
My inner five-year-old is jumping up and down, and I'm not ashamed to say that my outer 28-year-old is not far removed. Come February I'll probably not be so excited (although, really, who am I kidding?), but now my thoughts are pretty much "Oooh, look at that!!" Like my backyard:
Posted by jenfromRI at 12:23 PM
Monday, November 19, 2007
Lately I've been knitting a lot of little things. Actually, over my 2-ish year knitting history, I've knitted mostly little things. Hats, mittens, socks, etc. Which is why I can't get over the size of this to-be-felted seat cover I'm working on:
It doesn't actually look all that big; if it were a sweater, I wouldn't even be halfway done. But to somebody used to all those little things, it feels more like this:
surprising it hasn't come up before, both of us being fairly well into adulthood and all. But J has always come to my mom's house with us, and my sister Nancy has not really been seriously enough involved with a boyfriend for it to be an issue. Don't get me wrong: I and everybody else in the family like the boyfriend a lot. I'm just, at the moment, thinking, "Oh, yeah, that was going to happen . . ." It'll be different, that's all.
Jimmie Johnson won the championship, if you're interested. J, for one, is pretty excited.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Hey - didja check out the new header? Hard to miss it, I know, it's freaking huge. (All attempts to make it smaller only made it bigger, so there it stands.) I've been meaning to add it for ages, pretty much since I started blogging back in January. Originally, I wanted to have a picture of one of those Newton's cradle things, like this:
Saturday, November 17, 2007
So, where was I? Oh, yeah, being a nerd in school. Onward:
11. I graduated second in my class in high school. I got into an Ivy League School, but it was a smidge out of my price range.
12. I went to Rhode Island College instead, and I think the education I got was just fine, thank you very much.
13. I majored in physics, so anything you may have heard about a lack of personal attention at a state school does not apply.
14. I'm reasonably sure that during my years at RIC, the physics professors outnumbered the physics majors. And I don't just mean the physics majors in my year, I mean all the physics majors.
The good: lots of individual attention, plus since I was the only graduating physics major in 2002, the departmental award was in the bag.
The bad: many classes had to be independent study. Ever try to learn about quantum mechanics on your own out of a textbook? I don't recommend it.
15. Big Brother was born when I was 19, during my freshman year in college.
16. I vastly prefer the term "surprise" to "accident," or worse, "mistake."
17. J was a chemistry major at RIC at the time, and Big Brother became something of a science department mascot. I would meet people, and they would say, "Oh, you're Big Brother's mom!"
18. We managed a crazy schedule - both of us at school full-time, J at work full-time, and some semesters, me at work part-time. In spite of all that, Big Brother spent most of his time with a parent or grandparent. My mom and J's parents are heroes.
19. We were married in 1999, when Big Brother was a year and a half. It was a perfect day in October.
20. Little Brother came along the next year. Both J and I have siblings close to our own age. I think that is a very special bond, and I wanted it for our children.
More later . . .
Friday, November 16, 2007
First, an "eye candy Friday" fall leaves picture; the last one, I think.
- Is it a sign that your relationship has gotten too, um, comfortable when your husband sends you a love letter via monk-e-mail?*
- Flu shot = clingy, sort-of-cranky baby. Consider this a public service announcement.
- When two people with two cameras take two sets of pictures (lots of pictures) from the same photoshoot (I swear, I tried to think of a word that would better reflect our unprofessionalism, but came up empty), it is going to be a giant pain in the ass to figure out which ones to keep and print. Even more so if it is a new computer/printer/photo-printing-and-editing program with which you are working.
- I stop nursing and suddenly my jeans are a wee bit tight. Crap.
- The fall leaves are dancing today, and it's colder than it looks outside.**
- Baby Sister's winter jacket is jaw-droppingly cute.
And I think that's all I've got. See you tomorrow.
*The chipmunk thing is an old inside joke. Sorry about that.
**as sung by BNL.
Posted by jenfromRI at 12:38 PM