100 Days of Happiness – Days 1-5

I’ve recently seen my facebook feed explode with people jumping on the 100 Days of Happiness bandwagon.  I’ve often been accused of being grumpy or just plain miserable by my Darling Hubby and I think that I might just need a little daily reminder that there are happy moments for me everyday.  It’s all about perspective.  I find that the little things that bring me joy often get lost amongst the daily jumble of everyday chores and tasks.

My plan isn’t to join the 100 days website, instagram feed or even take a photograph every day, but to simply write down something each day that made me happy.  It could be something big or something small, but I want to start seeing the joy in everyday.  I may even occasionally share photos, but for now I’m just going to keep a list and post when I can (it won’t be everyday.)

I know I’m a couple days late, but I sort of unofficially started on Monday.

3/24 – Happiness is a new mattress with the hope of a good night’s sleep.

3/25 – Happiness is a skype session with a couple far away friends.

3/26 – Happiness is watching your usually shy 9 year old take the lead at his mini Lego Expo presentation at Math Night at school.   (I have pictures, but haven’t uploaded or had time to edit them.)

3/27 – Happiness is watching a stupid movie with Darling Hubby after the kids go to bed.

3/28 – Happiness is commenting on a blog and winning a free knitting pattern and having a day free of tantrums and naughty behaviour from Fidget.

I actually noticed more than just one happy moment for each of those days and it was actually hard to pick just one.  Hopefully I’ll continue this HAPPY trend!

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Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival 2012

Yesterday was an adventure into all things fibery!  A couple members from the Frequent Fibers Club at my local library went for a drive to Rhinebeck, NY for the annual Sheep and Wool Festival.

Let me tell you there was so much to see, touch and even smell!  There were over 260 vendors, not counting the food.  That’s barns and barns full of yarn, wool, animals,  needles & hooks, spindles, hats, scarves, shawls, patterns, books and of course people…OMG I could go on and on…It was serious sensory overload.

This is just a sample of  the yarn.,  Every where you turned there were walls, baskets, bins, and tables full of yarns in all colors of the rainbow and every size you could think of.

Lots and Lots of Pretty Yarn!

We arrived at opening and immediately started shopping.   I decided before going that I wanted to try my hand at spinning my own yarn.  My friend Barbara who spins yarn for her online shop Kitty Mine Crafts makes awesome things and because of that I was bitten by the bug!   Rather than shell out a ton of money on a spinning wheel, I decided to try a drop spindle…I’d been advised to look for a top whirl one, but I’d viewed a video on Knit Picks with someone using a funky looking crossed one, so I’d already had that in mind.  In the first building, I ran across this kilted guy using that same funky looking drop spindle I’d seen in the video.

Kilted Spinner

He told me it was a Jenkins brand drop spindle and that I might find one a couple barns over.  Another pro to this particular spindle, which I later learned is called a Turkish drop spindle, is that if you wrap the newly spun yarn around the tines a certain way you can create a center pull ball!  Sweet!  My search was on.

In the second barn we found it filled with llamas, alpacas, sheep, their owners, and respective shops.  Here are some pictures of the more interesting specimens.

This guy was not happy about being the center of attention…no siree bob!  He gave everyone who got near his stall the stink eye.  I was just waiting for the spit to fly.

Unhappy Camper

This guy was pretty unusual.  He has a wicked under bite.  It just goes to show that you don’t have to have a pretty face to have pretty fleece!

Under bite!

These little sheep were playing shy.  They wouldn’t let me get a good shot of them.  I think the little brown one was too embarrassed to his his picture taken.

In one of the later rows of vendors we stumbled across a shop called Still River Mill.  They sold interesting yarns like yakaboo (combination of yak and bamboo yarn) and dog hair yarn.  I contemplated the yakaboo yarn, but decided it was too thin to make a hat (I was thinking something for Darling Hubby since it was a nice gray color) and ended up picking up a dark blue skein of the Seven Sammy’s dog hair yarn.  It’s made from the hair from a Samoyed sled dog team from Cambridge, VT.  It has a beautiful halo effect after handling and I’m partial to Samoyeds having had a big white one named Sheba growing up.  Her long hair would have been perfect for spinning.

Also around that area we came across this cute little knitted monster.  I couldn’t resist taking a picture of him.

Eventually I did find the spindle I was looking for.  It was indeed a Jenkins brand (hand made by Ed Jenkins) Turkish drop spindle, made from purpleheart at 2.22 oz.  I’m excited to give it a try.  I know I’m not going to be perfect right out of the gate, but a girl can hope!  Maybe I’ll take to it like I did to knitting.  The best thing about that purchase was the other customers there that I spoke with.  One was adamant about using a bottom or turkish spindle while her friend was all about the top.  They both were really helpful in giving me pros and cons about the different spindles and I think I made the right choice.  The one woman, Elizabeth, even gave me her card and told me to shoot her an email if I got stuck.

Now, before I could even think about trying out my new purchase, I had to get some fiber to practice with.  Having not purchased fiber before it was a bit overwhelming, to be honest.  There were so many different colors, feels, and blends…I really didn’t know where to start.  Barbara told me to look for something with a long fiber and I did my best…I ended up getting a 2oz bag of a mix of merino from Loop Fiber Studio in a gorgeous sea treasure colorway.  It’s got lots of greens and blues and a bit of sparkle.  I also found a merino and silk mix, from another shop that sadly I missed the name of, that is so soft!  I do remember they also had adorable 8 week old bunnies for sale.  They were so sweet!…Not that I need a rabbit!  lol  I fell in love with the black, blues and silver of this 2oz of dyed wool.  I know this will be rather difficult to work with out of the gate, but I’m holding on to it for when I get better.  It was just too beautiful to resist.  I think it will make a gorgeous yarn!

Aside from knitted monsters we came across a knitted critter that looked like Eeyore and a knitted moose. Both were too cute to resist taking a picture of.

 

Other things we saw were a demonstration of needle felting and of someone using a circular sock knitting machine.  Personally, I think hand knitting is more fun!  lol

Circular Sock Knitting Machine

There was even this funky contraption below.  It was a spinning wheel created by this woman’s husband.  It was called a pendulum spinning wheel…it was a crazy looking thing.  Basically it had this super long arm that had a spindle at the very end that was spun around by the wheel.  It seemed to me to be a version of a drop spindle laid on its side.  Personally it seemed like there were many easier methods of spinning…and the amount of room that was needed was enormous…I don’t even think it would have fit in my living room!

Spinning Contraption

Later in the afternoon was the drop spindle contest.  There were approximately a dozen people signed up to see how much yarn they could spin in 10 minutes.

Drop Spindle Contest

It was interesting to see each person’s method of spinning.  Some preferred to sit, while other preferred to stand.

Drop Spindle Contest

Some preferred to drape their roving over their hands and others over their shoulders.  A few, along the back wall, were able to continue a full conversation while spinning…they didn’t even seem under pressure.  lol

Drop Spindle Contest

Some gave their spindle a quick flick with their hand to get momentum while other preferred to spin it down their leg.  I was a bit disappointed to only see top whirl spindles as I was hoping to see all the different kinds in action, but it did give me an appreciation for both types of spindles.  The winner of the contest was able to spin 16 yards of yarn in 10 minutes and there was a tie for 2nd place with I think about 13 yards.  I hope that I can one day be that good.  I also got to see this thing called the niddy noddy in action.  Apparently that is how you can wind your spun yarn into a skein and know how many yards you made.  I may have to get one in the future…lol

And the day wouldn’t be complete without a picture of me wearing a big fluffy, fuzzy wool hat.  I think it suits me!  lol

Here are a couple pictures of some of the other random animals that really had nothing to do with fiber arts…they were just there to keep the kids entertained in the kids zone  🙂  The red kangaroo seemed to be posing…He was sexy and he knew it…lol

This was a ginormous bunny.  I think it was a Flemmish Giant.  He was also in with a big tortoise.

Overall we had a fun day with beautiful fall weather.  We couldn’t have asked for a better day, especially at the end of October.  The sun was shining, the weather was warm and not too humid.  There was a ton to see and by the end of the day we were all a little overwhelmed and a lot tired from all the walking.  I’m looking forward to maybe going again next year.  Maybe by then I’ll be an accomplished spinner and can broaden my horizons even further!  One can hope, right!

Time For A Lego Party!

Bug was so excited for his big 7th birthday party.  We opted to do a home party and just keep it small.  For his 6th birthday we had the party at a local gymnastics club.  It was nice, but in order for it to be worth the money we paid, we had to have a ton of kids.  I told Bug he could choose 6 friends.  He invited 3 from school and 3 family friends.  Five kids came, so it was the perfect size!

Things got off to a late start.  Bug’s school friends were right on time…everyone else was running late.  The 3 ended up playing in Bug’s room for nearly an hour before anyone else arrived.  They were having fun playing with all Bug’s Legos and it was a Lego party, so it didn’t ruin anything.  I think most of my birthday parties growing up where I invited friends we ended up playing around rather than playing party games, etc.

Since our theme was Legos, I did some searching around and found some great idea sites.  The one that had the most great ideas was Homemaking Fun: A Lego Themed Birthday Party.  I ended up using the invite idea, which I personalized and had printed out in color and tucked into Lego brick envelopes that I made using primary colored card stock from my scrapbooking stash.  I cut circles out of lighter colored paper and hot glued them on to make the Lego pegs.  They looked pretty cool.

For the games I used the “Guess the number of Legos in the jar game.”  The person with the closest guess won a prize.  Darling Hubby had the honor of filling the jar and loaded it with all sorts of different shaped bricks.  I would have been lame and just used the rectangle bricks…he used car pieces, wheels, and all sorts of things.

I also used the Lego Toss game.  I used primary colored construction paper to make the rings.  I just taped them together and printed out the numbers using a Lego font I found for free on the web…I didn’t keep the link, unfortunately, but you can just search and you’ll find something.  The kids ended up playing this game quite a bit, even after the prize was awarded.  They even went back to it after the cake and ice cream was eaten and the presents opened.

On Pinterest, I found a PDF of a Lego Bingo Game.  Darling Hubby was kind enough to run out to his lab the morning of the party to print it with the color printer.  All the games were big hits!  For the prizes I bought the little Lego creator kits (5.99 at Target) (airplane, construction vehicle and race car).  They were big hits, too.

I also made gift bags for all the guests.  I picked up some primary colored rectangular gift bags at Target.  I got a 1.5 inch diameter circle cutter and cut up the extra bags to make them into Lego bricks.  If I used a lighter colored paper for the circles they might have shown up a bit better, but it got the point across.  I also printed out the children’s names using the Lego font.  I taped them to red construction paper and used a yellow marker to outline the letters like the Lego logo.  For the contents, I bought Lego mini figures, some candy Lego Bricks and tucked a pencil into each bag.  The mini figures were a big hit.  They all opened them before they left so they could see which figure they got.  The candy got rave reviews, too.  What’s better than candy that you can build with!


We of course had cake, ice cream and fruit and veggie platters.  You’ve no doubt seen the cake that I baked. For the table decorations and place settings, I picked up a party table cloth, yellow square plates, blue napkins, red forks, knives and spoons and green plastic cups from the dollar store.  Darling Hubby also picked up some birthday balloons from the dollar store, too.


There was, to Bug’s dismay, singing.  At least this year (unlike his 2nd birthday) he didn’t put his head down on the table and cry.

Make a wish!

Oh, and I can’t forget to include a picture of Fidget.  I think he’s warning me not to mess with his piece of cake!  He ate the whole thing, too!


Overall it was a great birthday party and one I’m sure Bug will remember for years.  Bug and his friends all had fun, which is the main goal of a party.  And seriously, what could be more fun than LEGOS!

Strawberry Cake From Scratch

Bug’s birthday party was scheduled for February 4th and if I wanted to share in the festivities and eat cake, I had to find one that was ok for me to eat.  All the boxed mixes contain soy.  Bug loves strawberries and asked for a strawberry cake (chocolate was easy, but not strawberry) and that left me to find a homemade strawberry cake…there are some out there, but they all use strawberry gelatin and not having a box in front of me I didn’t know if there would be soy or natural flavors included…plus I didn’t want the added food coloring, especially since I was already planning on dying the frosting red, green, blue and yellow.

Then I stumbled upon this little gem or a recipe.  Rather than strawberry gelatin it used real strawberry puree!  Score!

Here’s the recipe copied from the above link.

  • 2 ¼ cups cake flour (sifted)  (I used All Purpose flour, sifted)
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup butter , room temp (2 sticks)
  • 1 ¼ cupssugar
  • 2 teaspoons strawberry extract (you can use vanilla if you can’t find strawberry)
  • 1 cup whole milk , room temp
  • 3 eggs , room temp
  • ¾ cup pureed fresh strawberries(or frozen, thawed)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest(I left this out)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

    My ingredients

Directions:

Thaw (if necessary) strawberries and puree.  Bring butter, eggs, and milk to room temperature.

Combine sifted flour and baking powder in a bowl and set aside. Using a mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add eggs 1 at a time; mix well after each addition. Next add pureed strawberries and extract and combine well. Gradually add the flour (and baking powder) and the milk alternating between them until completely mixed. Then add lemon zest and juice and mix well.

Lightly grease and flour a 13 X 9 pan or (2) 8″ round pans. Pour batter into pans and bake at 350 degrees for 25 – 30 min or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Oven times may vary.  (Mine was done in 30 minutes, the recipes author did two 8″ pans that were done in 25.)

The cake just out of the oven.  It smelled delish, really just like a boxed strawberry cake, only better!

So the verdict…Darling Hubby asked me to make it again, leaving the frosting off.  My complaint was that it didn’t bake up fluffy like a traditional cake, though that might have been because I used AP flour rather than cake flour.  It was dense, more like a fudge brownie than cake.  It had good flavor, though.  Most of the kids ate it, but by the time we had cake they’d filled up on fruits and veggies.  lol  Despite the cake being soy free, it appears that butter is going to be another issue, but we knew that was a possibility.  Hopefully when my gut heals from all the soy damage I’ll be able to introduce milk and butter again (cheese seems to be ok for now).

Oh, and if you want to see the finished decorated cake, here ya go.

I followed the recipe for Wilton’s Fluffy Boiled frosting from the can of meringue powder and dyed it red, blue, yellow and green (the primary lego brick colors).  The red was a hit…I just hope it washed off the faces of our guests!  lol  Hopefully I’ll find time to write about the party tomorrow.  The day has gotten away from me and I have things to do before Darling Hubby gets home.  🙂

Hats Off!

At the beginning of the month one of my Craft Night friends and her sister-in-law planned a trip to a LYS called Common Thread Saratoga.  Carole (the sis-in-law) found this yarn shop in Saratoga, NY and thought it was different and knowing my friends yarn crafting habits, thought bringing her up there to buy her birthday and Christmas presents would be fun.  I tagged along in the hopes of finding some yummy yarn.  I can count the time I’ve used the really expensive and awesome yarns on well one finger!…pretty much all of the yarn in my stash is acrylic or wool/acrylic combined.  Not that there’s anything wrong with acrylic.  It’s great for items that need frequent washing  or things that are difficult to wash like baby blankets, large blankets and sweaters.  It’s just not yummy yarn!

While we were in the shop I fell in love with this Misti Alpaca Hand Paint Chunky (100% baby alpaca) yarn.  Oh. My. God!  This yarn is so soft and squishy and, like the clerk said, it’s like knitting with a cloud!  I didn’t have a particular pattern in mind when I set foot in the shop, but one of their display hats caught my eye and I was in love.  It was a bulky snowboarder earflap hat with braids.  It was exactly what I was looking for!  I ended up purchasing the pattern (at around $5.50) and 2 skeins of the alpaca yarn (at $22 a skein!) in a variegated green called Midsummer’s Night (CP25) that matches the bright green of my winter coat.  I’ve never bought yarn that cost that much…much less 2 skeins of it!  Thank goodness for credit cards! lol

I had to wait about a week before I could start on the hat for myself…I had to finish the project on my circulars before I could start anything new.  I have a set of Boye interchangeable circulars and I was using the smallest length for a scarf that is a Christmas presents for one of Bug’s teachers.  I also had to pick up a set of size 15 dpns and I ended up going up to the other LYS called Trumpet Hill because Joann’s (despite me having a 50% off coupon) just doesn’t carry needles that big.

I finished the scarf on Thursday the 8th (I’ll post about those Christmas presents later) and started the Snowboarder Hat (for Everyone) on Friday.  I was worried that I wasn’t going to have enough yarn since the pattern calls for 130 yards of super bulky yarn and together the 2 skeins of Misit Alpaca were only 110 yards and only bulky, so I would have to hold them together to get gauge.   I figured worse case scenario I’d go back up to Trumpet Hill to get a contrasting color in the baby alpaca they carry for the border and braids.  Turns out I had nothing to worry about.  The hat is such a quick knit and the alpaca was like knitting with a warm fuzzy cloud.  The only downside is that it shed quite a bit, but I didn’t mind!   I ended up making the braids holding the yarn single stranded rather than doubled and I’m sure that saved me a bit of yardage at the end.  I actually love how it came out!  I wish I had more of the yarn leftover so I could make a matching scarf or some mittens.  It’s the most expensive (and luxurious) hat I’ve ever owned.  Seriously, I’d never buy a hat that cost nearly $44 bucks in a store!  It cost as much as (if not more than) the 2 new pairs of jeans I bought last month!  I’m looking forward to wearing it every chance I get this winter!

I seriously loved the pattern so much that before I was done making mine, I bought yarn to make more and I’ve made it twice since!  Once for Bug and again for Fidget.  Bug's HatI picked up some Lion Brand Home Town USA yarn in Cinncinati Red and Oakland Black at Wal*Mart for less than $3 a skein when I had to buy a replacement Christmas tree stand for out 8 year old one that cracked.  Two Skeins of Red and one black was enough for me to make 2 hats and have enough left over to probably make one more child size one.  Bug’s hat is red with a black edging and red and black braids (that’s the one that’s pictured).  Fidget’s took some modification to make it sized down for an 18 month old, but I did it (the mods are written on my Rav project page) and it’s also red with black edging and has black braids (mostly so I can quickly tell which hat is which.)  Now if I can just get Fidget to keep it on his head when we go outside!  lol

Since pretty much everyone in my family has new hats, (except Darling Hubby who has a perfectly good earflap hat (not made by me!  GASP!)) I think it’s time to go through all the hats in storage and wash and donate the ones we really don’t need.  I know I have at least 2-3 hats and a couple scarves that I haven’t worn in forever…Guess it’s in with the new and out with the old.

One of My Favorites

Usually when I need to make a baby blanket for a pregnant friend, I grab my crochet hook and some baby yarn and I get to work.  This usually yields a nice soft fluffy blanket in a matter of days.  When my friend Shannon announced that she was pregnant with her first, due a few months after me, I jumped at the chance to try my hand at something new.  I knew I still had Darling Hubby’s sweater on the needles, but I figured trying a knitted baby blanket would help me along with my knitting skills.

Shannon wasn’t finding out what she was having and I was convinced she was having a boy.  I started on a knitted blue hearts blanket.  After working on it for a few weeks, I saw another knitted baby blanket on one of those knitting shows on tv and I knew I had to try it.  I ran out to the local yarn store and picked up a circular needle in the right length (Joann’s crafts never has the long circulars) and a bunch of soft squishy (and machine washable) yarn in shades of green – which go along with the baby’s room theme and set out to work.

The pattern was so easy once I figured out the new stitch and I finished 4 days before the baby’s arrival  and delivered just 2 days before the baby made its arrival.

I’m happy to announce that I was wrong!  Shannon had a baby girl!  (I’m glad I put that blue hearts blanket into hibernation for a while.) I haven’t had the opportunity to meet her yet, due to conflicting schedules and sickness, but I hope to before she’s a year old!  lol  I also hope that she’s enjoying snuggling with the blanket.

Here are some pictures of the finished blanket.  I’ll admit that while it took a little longer than making a crocheted baby blanket, I’d love to make it again on bigger needles.  It’s one of my favorite finished objects!

The finished blanket

Close up

Shannon and the blanket

Shannon & Jay

Baby Fidget’s Birth Story

I’ve been so busy over the last 3 months with the newest addition to our family that I haven’t had time to sit down and write out Baby Fidget’s birth story.  I’ve actually been attempting to write this post for weeks and never had any luck.  lol  It’s super long and filled with pictures.  You’ve been warned!  lol

********

So, the day of my scheduled c-section (Monday, May 17th) we got up as we always do, got Bug ready for school and I saw him off for the last time for the next 2 weeks.  After dropping him off we came home and I had to shower with this antiseptic soap the hospital gave me.  It’s the worst soap ever!  It smells like that alcohol hand sanitizer…my whole body was coated!  Ick!  We arrived at the hospital at 10:30 on the dot and prepared to check in.  I was escorted to a room, given one of the lovely gowns that leave your butt hangin’ out and left to our own devices in the room…let me tell ya, boredom quickly ensued.  I was getting super silly…partly from being nervous about the upcoming surgery and partly because I was excited to finally be meeting the little being that’s been kicking me from the inside.

Last belly pic - 39w 5d
Last belly pic – 39w 5d

It was nearly 45 minutes before I saw the admitting woman who double checked my information from Friday’s meeting and got me officially admitted. Shortly after the nurse came in and got me set up with my IV. After a bad experience with the insertion of the IV during with Bug’s delivery I was pretty nervous about being stuck. I was stabbed 5 times before the nurse got the IV inserted in a spot that didn’t cause me massive pain. This time the nurse checked all my veins before deciding on a spot and she got it in first try and with little pain. That made me happy. 🙂

Gowned and IV'd
Gowned and IV’d

After the successful IV insertion, they hung bags of fluid to give me prior to the surgery. It was practically 11:30 by this point and I was scheduled to go into the OR at 12:30. They opened the IV up all the way to get as much of the fluid in as they could before going down to the room. I met with Deb, the anesthesiologist, who was super awesome and supportive. I told her about my bad experience with the epidural and about how grumpy the anesthesiologist was and it was confirmed by both the nurse, Kris, and Deb that it was probably someone named Paul, who apparently had a reputation for being grumpy and my experience sounded like something he would do…I kindly asked Deb if she would walked me through each step as she was putting in my spinal so I would have no surprises and she gladly obliged. 🙂

As my time to go into the OR drew nearer it became apparent that I would not be going in on time. The section that was scheduled for 8am got out of the gate at least 30 minutes late, which bumped the 9am section back. Toss in a couple emergency c-sections followed by an 11am section that was also late…I didn’t actually get into the OR until around 2:30. While I waited, I had the pleasure of listening to my nurse, Kris, and Deb the anesthesiologist argue about how much IV fluids I should have. Whenever Deb would open up my IV full bore and raise it up to get it all in, Kris would come back in and lower it and turn it down so as to not give me pulmonary edema. They seriously went back and forth for nearly an hour turning it up and down…It was both amusing and disconcerting.

Eventually, the OR was finally clear and clean. The nurses gave Darling Hubby his bunny suit and me my shower cap to put on. It was getting close!

Dr. Darling Hubby

Dr. Darling Hubby

Getting close to going to the OR!

Getting close to going to the OR!

So 2:30 rolled around and I geared up to walk down to the OR. Kris gave me some socks with grippies on the bottom so I didn’t slip and fall on my walk down the hall, and to keep my feet warm in the cold OR. Darling Hubby took my camera and waited in the hallway until they were ready. The OR was freezing and my little flimsy gown wasn’t cutting it. I was shivering uncontrollably and it wasn’t cause I was scared. I was actually feeling really good about the whole thing, despite the setbacks thus far.

To ward off the chill toasty warm blankets magically appeared and were wrapped around me. Someone slipped a blood pressure cuff on my arm and the only moment of sheer panic I experienced the before the surgery started was when that cuff started tightening and tightening and tightening and seemed like it would never stop. My hand started to go purple and I could feel it start tingling like it was falling asleep. Someone had me put my arm down and relax and it slowly started to release. I was thankful that never happened again…

The back of my gown was untied so Deb could get at my back to insert my spinal and, like she said she would, she walked me through the whole thing, warning me when she would be touching me and when she would stick me. It was a much better experience than last time. The medication took effect pretty quickly so Deb had me quickly lay down on the table and soon my legs were feeling warm and then numb. I started feeling people touching me, but felt no pain. The blue curtain was put up in front of me and someone brought Darling Hubby in to sit by my side while they started the surgery.

On the table
On the table

I’m not sure how long the surgery itself took. Before I knew it, the doctor told Darling Hubby that he could stand up and watch the baby be born. I’m actually surprised that he did. I felt a ton of pressure on my stomach and a slight pain in my chest (which Deb confirmed was normal) and I heard the baby start crying. Someone commented that he was peeing. The doctor cut the cord and it was a good thing she was wearing a full face mask because when the cord was severed, she was splattered with blood…it was even on the ceiling. lol

The baby was put in the warmer to pink up and get quickly checked out while the doctor went back to working on finishing up.

Baby Fidget just born and in the warmer
Baby Fidget just born and in the warmer.
Fidget on the scale
Baby Fidget on the scale

They put Fidget on the scale and he weighted in at 8lbs 5oz.  He was 20 inches long and came into the world (peeing) at 2:52pm…only 2 hours later than he was supposed to be!  lol  He was tiny compared to Bug!

We had one more moment of concern when the doctor began asking for something called Methylene Blue.  It seemed it wasn’t something that they stocked in the room so someone had to go find it and the doctor wanted it faster than it was brought.  Turns out that while she was in there, she thought she spotted a hole in my bladder and rather than just sew me up and let it go, she pumped my bladder full of this blue dye to check for leaks.  Thankfully, there were none.  It was just a little nerve wracking to hear your doctor asking for something “stat” when she’s got you wide open on the table.

I was brought into recovery after everything was done. I think they kept me there longer than they normally would because I was having trouble with my blood pressure being too low.  Every time they’d raise the head of the bed, I’d get dizzy…it was no fun.  Darling Hubby got to spend a lot of time just holding Fidget, who was wide eyed and content just sucking on his fist.  It was so sweet.

Spending time with mommy in recovery
Spending time with mommy in recovery

I was eventually OK enough to sit up and they brought me down the hall to my semi private (read: crowded) room.  Since I was the first one in, I got the bed by the window and had the room to myself overnight, which was nice.  Darling Hubby had to leave around 6 to go pick up Bug, who was spending time with his friend Little A.  Since it was kinda late and Bug had school the next day, we decided to postpone the meeting of the brothers until after school the next day.

I had a pretty quiet night.  The nurses brought Fidget in a couple times for a feeding and to get me up to walk around and use the bathroom.  It was around midnight when I got up for the first time and it was bad.  The pain wasn’t too terrible, it hurt, but was bearable.  It was more the dizzy feeling and blackouts I started experiencing that bothered me.  Honestly, it was pretty scary.   Turns out, my blood sugar was rock bottom because I hadn’t had any solid food (only ice chips and the IV meds)  in over 24 hours.  I don’t think it would have been near as bad had my surgery not been delayed 2 hours.  The nurses got me some cranberry juice and I almost instantly started to feel better.  Thankfully, I was allowed to have breakfast in the morning (not the liquid diet I was stuck on for Bug’s birth) and the french toast and fresh fruit I had later in the morning tasted like it could have been from a 5 star restaurant!  lol

I spent the next 3 days just hanging out with my new little man and fighting off the boredom of the hospital.  Darling Hubby had to go to work for the week (there was really no point in him sitting in the hospital room when he could be doing something productive) and Bug had to go to school, so it was mostly just me and the nurses.  Both my mom and my mother-in-law called at one point and my friend Barbara called a couple times.  My friend Leana stopped by Monday night just as I was getting settled into my room and Shannon stopped by Tuesday night at the same time Darling Hubby brought Bug to meet his baby brother.  Other than that, the only visitors during the day were the doctors and nurses.

Family of Four
My new family of four

The meeting of the brothers was kinda what I expected.  Bug wasn’t completely sure of Fidget and was pretty wary of him.  He was really cute when we gave him the big brother gift that Fidget gave him (the Imaginext Batmobile) and he kept telling Fidget, “Thank you.”   He didn’t want to hold him at all and was pretty reluctant for me even to hold him near him.  Of course, he really just wanted to watch my tv…and go home for dinner.  lol  Darling Hubby did manage to snap this picture of them together before heading home for the night.

Brothers meeting
Bug and Fidget together for the 1st time
Daddy and Baby Fidget
Daddy and Baby Fidget

On Wednesday it was better between them and Bug actually asked to hold him.  I love this picture of the two of them.  It’s almost like he’s thinking, “Babies are like platypus’, they don’t do much, you know.”  (It’s from Phineas and Ferb…if you’ve never seen it, go check it out.)

platypus
He’s like a platypus, they don’t do much, you know!

I was sprung from the joint, a day early thanks to a slight fib, on Thursday and boy was I glad to get out of there, for 2 reasons.  The first (and best reason) was that I was getting to meet my online blogging (and fellow crochet/knitting and cat lover) friend, Barbara, for the first time.  The second reason was my roommate and I didn’t hit it off and I felt pretty alone in the room with her.

From the moment that my roommate arrived Tuesday afternoon, it was like I didn’t exist and I felt closed off.  She hardly spoke to me and kept the pink dividing curtains around her bed closed so tight it was like she was trying to lock out the world.  It didn’t help that her baby, Henry, and Fidget were on completely opposite schedules.  When her baby was awake and crying, I was trying to sleep and when Fidget was awake and crying, she was trying to sleep.   She always had visitors (and they were loud!) and they complained about everything.  At one point, when she must have thought I was sleeping, I overheard her talking to someone on her cell phone about the fact that she had to share the room and she didn’t like being close to the door and that she only had one chair for guests and a small table and that doctors and nurses were always coming in and out and it was disturbing her.  She referred to her curtained off area as the “pink prison,” but she did it to herself and I have no pity.

For me, it was tough being in the room with her and with my hormones being out of whack and the fact that I was alone and bored, I was already pretty emotional and, probably without even knowing it, she made me feel pretty low.  I’m a pretty friendly person (well, I think so anyway) and I’d hoped that since we both had newborn boys and were both moms that we might just have something in common.  The first day I gave her her privacy.  I mean, she did just give birth and was bonding with her baby and I respected that, but by Wednesday I thought maybe we could get to know each other.  I tried to start conversations when the curtains were open a tad.  I commented on her son, how he was cute, had a ton of hair (he did!), tried to make light of our battle of the babies, tried to offer her the chairs that I had in my corner, even the rocking chair, for her and her company, but all I got were short answers and the distinct feeling that I was unwelcome in my own room.  I was glad that I went down to the nurses station Thursday morning asking to be released before 1pm so we could pick up Bug from school.  I was, thankfully, released by lunchtime…she was still sitting around waiting.

The best thing about getting out a day early on Thursday was that that night I was able to meet up with Barbara and her husband Michael who flew from Colorado to Boston for his work and made a detour to NY to see me and my family and to hand deliver the beautiful hand spun and hand knit baby blanket she made for Fidget.  I’ll have pictures of it with Fidget later on.  We use it all the time, so I’m sure it will show up many times.  Barbara and Michael also hung around for our Thursday night DnD game and were able to experience my game groups’ wacky sense of humor (and their odd dislike of Laplanders…) and first edition Dungeons and Dragons.

I do have to say that Barbara and Michael are just so sweet and we have so much in common!  They are great people to know and I’m glad that I commented on her blog post about a contest for naming foster kittens over a year ago!

So, there you have it.  That’s how Fidget came into the world.  In the past 3 months since he arrived I can’t imagine my life without him or Bug.  Bug is such a good big brother and has been a great helper around the house.  I don’t know what I’m going to do when he goes back to school!  He starts Kindergarten in a few weeks!  Fidget is such a happy baby.  He smiles and talks a ton, loves tummy time, has a thing for kitties and sleeps pretty well.  Hopefully now that I’m back on the blogging bandwagon I can stay on board and keep posting so I have a running record of everything about my 2 boys.