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!

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One Proud Mama!

I went to Bug’s first 1st grade Parent Teacher Conference this morning and I couldn’t be prouder of my boy.  He’s doing fantastically!  Both his teachers just love having him in class (and they told me they weren’t just saying that!)  He makes them smile everyday and his excitement at learning  is contagious!

I already knew that Bug is a phenomenal reader, but Mrs. J confirmed that he’s reading well above the typical 1st grade level.  He’s actually reading at a 5th grade level (S on the Fountas & Pinnell Test)…and the only reason it’s not higher isn’t because he can’t sound out the words, it’s because he doesn’t understand the unspoken/inferred things and feelings between characters.  Our challenge is to find works that will hold his interest and are age appropriate.  Mrs. J gave me 2 huge lists of books to try to find something that takes him longer than 5 minutes to tear through (like the library book he brought home last week that was a level 2 early reader that he polished off in 4 minutes flat and correctly answered every question I asked.)

I did find several Beverly Cleary books on the list and we stopped at the library this afternoon and picked up Henry Huggins and Ribsy.  He was already eyeballing the other Henry books.  Hopefully those will be age appropriate for him and will hold his interest.  I also found some of my old non fiction books that I had when I was in college for elementary education and had to write lesson plans.  I found some books on the human body and several on mummies/pyramids.  He took right to the grossology book (of course!)

Over the summer I read a children’s version of Homer’s Odyssey written by Mary Pope Osborne (the author of the Magic Treehouse series) and last week, we started reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and he seems to be really enjoying it.  I’ve been reading a chapter to him at bedtime and if I know there is a word he wouldn’t know I take the time to explain it to him and he’s been good about asking questions if there is something he doesn’t understand.  I actually really enjoy reading chapter books to him.  Picture books are great, but sometimes making him think about what we read the day before is better.

We’ve also noticed that his handwriting and word spacing has improved ten fold since the start of the year.  It’s so obvious in his personal journal entries he does each week.  Now if we could only get him to enjoy the drawing and coloring portion of the journaling we’d be golden…though he’s never been one to color or draw…it was always like pulling teeth to get him to draw pictures at home…even before he started school.

The only downside is that Mrs. J is concerned that he’s not going to show a lot of growth in the reading department.  There’s always room for improvement, but if he doesn’t at least show some growth by the end of the year, the district may complain to the teacher that he didn’t make some improvement.  They only look for improvement, not the fact that he’s reading at well above his grade level…  We are all going to continue to encourage him with his reading and find things that interest him to keep him going.  He’s such a smart cookie that I’d hate to see him plateau out.

He’s also doing really well in his math.  I love that Mrs. J doesn’t want the kids competing against one another.  I can remember when I was in 1st/2nd grade we had to tear through a page of math facts and see how many we could get correct in a minute.  I always felt bad if I didn’t score high.  Mrs. J plans to have the kids compete with themselves and challenge them to improve upon their prior day’s score.  She gave me a set of flash cards that I have to cut out and a chart for his MOOSE book (Management of Organizational Skills Everyday).  I’ll time him and keep track of how many facts he gets correct and chart it.  I’m sure we’ll see improvement.

Needless to say, I’m one very proud Mommy!  It’s great seeing Bug make such strides in his learning.

Finally Finished!

This post has been a long time coming.  Apparently I not only have start-itis when it comes to knitting or crocheting projects, but blog posts as well.  I’ve started I don’t know how many posts only to stop several sentences in and never come back to it…

Anyway, I finally finished my Bella Cardigan (rav link) and it’s one of my favorite finished items.  I’ve worn it at least once a week (twice if I wore it before laundry day) since I finished it.  It’s warm and comfy and is just my style.  There are pictures on my ravelry link, but I’m not going to post them here.  I need to take a couple new ones of me wearing it.  I’m not happy with my hair in the 2 that I took and posted on ravelry.

I also started and finished 2 granny square bags. (Rav link)  One is for one of Bug’s Kindergarten friends, Tia, for her birthday and one for me to use as a diaper bag for Fidget.  I’m very proud of these bags.  The reason I made 2 was that I fell in love with the one I made for Tia and I had to make one for myself since I had enough leftover yarn.  They are exactly the same except mine  has a green tassel on the handle where Tia’s has a blue, pink and white one and is filled with art supplies.  I ended up using the Sunburst Granny Square pattern rather than the one the bag pattern called for.  The best thing is that I managed to get 2 projects out of the skeins of yarn I had on hand and didn’t have to run to the store to buy more.  The first bag was really a rush project because the birthday party was only a week away and I wanted to make something for the girl since she truly appreciated the star baby blanket I’d made her last year.  The bad thing was that the morning of the party, Tia got sick so the party was canceled.  At least now it’s been rescheduled and I’ll get to be there to see her get the presents.

There were 2 final things that I finished.  The first was the Wedding Shawl.  It’s a crocheted shawl following the Doris Chan “All Shawl” pattern.  It’s made with light green Pound of Love baby yarn.  I made it to wear over the dress I was making for my friend Leana’s wedding this past Saturday.  I was very proud of it, though I wished it were longer.   Unfortunately, Darling Hubby kept telling me that it didn’t match the dress and that it made me look like an old Grandma.  😦  I ended up not wearing it.  I kinda feel that my hard work was for not, but maybe I’ll find a use for it someday.  Dh was right though, it didn’t really go with the dress…I think had it been a different material, say a fingering weight yarn or a lace it would have been more appropriate.  The worsted was just to thick and heavy.

The next and final thing that I finished was the dress that I wore to Leana’s wedding.  If you’ve read some of my past posts under the sewing tag then you know the back story of “the dress.”  If not, here’s a basic rewind.  I’m wordy, but I’ve tried to keep it brief.

A couple years ago a friend from college asked me to be in her wedding and I said yes.  The plan was for the bride to make the bridesmaid dresses as well as her dress to wear later in the evening for another ceremony of sorts that she was planning.  That was 5 dresses.  I decided that since I had a bit of sewing know how and a good friend who is an accomplished sewer that I would make my own dress to take some pressure off the bride.  Somehow or other I ended up being roped into making not only my dress, but the maid of honors and 2 other bridesmaids as well.  I spent hours pinning patterns, cutting fabric, and sewing and got my dress and the maid of honor’s dress to the point where they just needed the zippers and hems and one other dress to the point where the neckline, zipper and hem were the only things left and only had one more dress that I needed to figure out how to make a size bigger than the biggest pattern available.  That’s when things went downhill.  I got notice in the mail that the wedding had been postponed.  I didn’t even get a phone call…The plan was for the wedding to take place the following June, which gave me several months to finish the dresses, so I put them aside and went about my own crafting things figuring I’d hear more about the wedding in a few months and could start working on them again when the time drew closer.

June quickly came and went and I hadn’t heard anything from the bride about the wedding…she pretty much stopped all contact with me.  Come to find out, she eloped in December and still didn’t bother to say anything to me.  I’ve since found out how much her friendship actually was worth when I confronted her about the fact that I was so far out of the loop and that I was annoyed by the fact that I spent all my time and paid out money for something I wasn’t going to have a use for.  Her reply was that I should be grateful that she didn’t choose the $125 dresses from the bridal store like she’d planned and that I was only out $50.  There was no “thanks for all your effort” or “sorry that I did that to you.”  I got nothing and being the glutton for punishment that I am, I tried to make the friendship work, but came to the realization that I was only a means to an end (she only called when she wanted something) and not a true friend.  So, I cut all contact and I feel I’m the better person for it.

Anyway, the dresses have sat in a half finished state for a couple years and I finally had a purpose for mine.  It was going to once again be worn for a wedding.  Not as a bridesmaid like originally planned, but as a guest (or the mother of the ring bearer) and I was so happy about it.  It turned out great!  Here are a few pics from Glenn and Leana’s wedding.

Me in the dress with Bug as the Ring Bearer and Fidget just hanging out in the stroller.

Darling Hubby and the Boys.

The Wedding Party!

The Reluctant Ring Bearer (aka Frodo) who was happy that he got to be a bit silly during the photograph session.

Fidget playing with some spoons at the reception.  We were trying to get a picture of his eyes changing color in the direct sunlight, but it wasn’t working.  His eyes are this gray blue color, but in direct sunlight they can change from a vivid blue to a green color.  I’m not sure what color they are going to end up!

Here’s one last picture of the whole dress.  I’m dancing the Cha Cha Slide with Bug (who you notice is no longer in his monkey suit!  He changed in the car before the reception started. lol)  We had planned to make the dress knee length or from knee to ankle on the diagonal, but the cut of the dress didn’t work for it, so it was floor length with me getting to wear my prom shoes again.  The sparkly silver 3 inch heeled ones that I’ve had since 1997.

So that’s what I’ve finished in the last month.  I’m feeling pretty accomplished.  Finishing a knit cardigan, 2 bags, 1 shawl and a pretty satin dress.  Maybe that will give me the encouragement to finish the other things I have going on…a stuffed sheep for Fidget, a 750 page book that’s due to the library next Friday and a knit scarf for spring (I’d like to have it for Easter, but I’m not going to push my luck).  Hey, I can say I’ve finished one more thing…this blog post!

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

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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.

4 Years Ago

I know I haven’t been around much lately.  I’ve still been reading blogs and such, but either haven’t had much to say or the inability to put my thoughts into words.  Plus, there was some drama that I was dealing with, alongside some of my online mommy friends.  Now that the dust has settled some, I think I should get back to blogging and putting my thoughts in order.

Let’s see…what have I been up to lately…Thursday was spent frosting cupcakes for Bug’s birthday party this past Saturday.  He’d been asking for “monster cupcakes” since a new years party we went to at a Borders Store.  They handed out a little booklet of cupcake ideas and has been going on about them since.  Wednesday I spent a portion of the morning figuring out how to make marbleized cupcakes without making a huge mess and Thursday I spent attempting to make those monster cupcakes from the book, materialize in my kitchen.  While the finished product wasn’t exactly what was in the book (or in my head), Bug was over the moon.  It melted my heart when, after showing him the finished cupcakes, he said, “Thanks Mommy, for making monster cupcakes for my birthday.”

Looking back, 4 years ago Thursday, I spent the day in labor (starting at 1am) and after a day filled with timing contractions and cutting Darling Hubby’s hair, I was finally admitted into the hospital…I was only 2 weeks overdue.  Apparently Bug just wasn’t ready to make his appearance into the cold of January.  After 32 hours of labor, Bug was born via c-section on January 30th at 12:12pm.  I can’t believe it’s been 4 years already! (Here’s Bug’s birth story for those than want to read it and get all nostalgic with me.)

Here are a few pictures of Bug 4th birthday party this Saturday.

Birthday Boy with his Silly Monster Cupcakes.

Birthday Boy and his Monster Cupcakes

Bug pointing out which cupcake he wanted to eat once the guests arrived.
He actually sat at the table for at least 15 minutes forlornly looking at the cupcakes and asking if it was time for his birthday.  It was kinda sad.

Pointing out which cupcake he wanted

Birthday Boy turns 4!

Birthday Boy

Oh No!  They’re singing!  Make them stop!
He hates singing…he did the same thing at his 2nd birthday…except this year he didn’t cry.

Oh No!  They're singing!

Make a wish!

Make a wish

Oohh!  Legos!

Legos!

Wow!  Lex Luthor!

Lex Luthor

It’s…It’s…It’s…A Matchbox Haunted House!

Haunted House

Yeah!  I got Optimus Prime! (along with Prowl and Megatron)

Optimus Prime

Birthday boy and party guests playing with the Haunted House.

Kids playing with toys

Friday (Bug’s actual birthday) I had a dentist appointment to see about getting a broken tooth fixed in addition to some cavities.  I haven’t been to the dentist in a long time and am very overdue for even a cleaning.  At least I got some good news about the broken tooth.  I can get away with just getting a filling and not a root canal like Darling Hubby had.  After a trip to the grocery store and some lunch Bug had his 4 year well visit with the doctor.  He did good for that.  He’s now 39″ tall (short compared all the other 4 year olds I know) and 35lbs.  Everything was going well until it was time for the shots.  This office does the shots together to reduce the trauma to the kids.  I held Bug tight to me and the nurses gave a shot in each arm on  the count of 3.  Well, the one nurse wasn’t holding Bug’s arm and when she inserted the needle, he pulled away, screaming before she could inject him with the medicine.  Poor thing had to be stuck an extra time.  At least the crying didn’t last long.  We took him to the book store afterwards to kill some time before dinner and then we went to Friendly’s (where “ice cream makes the meal”) to make it all up to him.

Since he’s turned 4, I’ve noticed Bug advancing in all sorts of things.  He can now use an X-box controller well enough to play some games (you’d be amazed at how good he is at some).  He can, if he puts his mind to it, color between the lines.  He has started pointing out and naming letters and asking what things say.  He can add simple numbers with his fingers.  He is getting better at writing his name and we are slowly working on writing different letters, too.

My little boy is growing up to fast, but honestly, I really love this age.

Six Years

That’s how long Darling Hubby and I have been married…as of yesterday.  It’s kinda hard to believe it’s been 6 years since we got married 156 feet below the surface of the earth at Howe Caverns.  It was such a special day surrounded by our family and close friends.

On this, our 6th anniversary, we shared it alone, just the two of us.  We dropped Bug off with some friends so he could spend the afternoon playing with ADN, their 2 year old son.  Thankfully, he’s such a good kid that he didn’t make a fuss when we left him.  He was having too much fun playing with the geotracks train set.

Darling Hubby and I went to see The Dark Knight together in the new theater in the newly renovated mall near our house.  The theaters are great (stadium seating with reclining seats) and the movie was great, too.  Heath Ledger did an amazing job with the Joker roll.  At first I was a bit resistant to see the movie in the theater.  Darling Hubby went shortly after it was released and with his review and the raving reviews I’d heard from others I was feeling a little out of the loop.  I figured it was going to be a very dark (not dark as in night dark, but dark in mood and tone).  I was wrong.  Yes, there were some dark and scary moments, but there were some “funny” (read slightly comical psycho) moments as well as amazing make-up jobs and cool gadgets.  Course, Christian Bale isn’t bad to look at, either.

After the movie, we had a bit of time to kill so we wandered through the book store (picking up a book for ADN and one for Bug) before heading over to PF Chang’s for dinner reservations at 6:30.  If you’ve never been to PF Chang’s you should really try it.  In my opinion, it’s kinda pricy (we spent a bit over $50 with tip), but the food is so very worth it.  In February, I babysat for some friends of mine over night while they went out of town and in return they gave us a gift card for PF Chang’s which had recently opened in the mall.  Otherwise I don’t think we would have made reservations to try it, even for our anniversary.  Darling Hubby had the Dali Chicken (served with Youkon Gold potatoes (which is very spicy!) and I had Philip’s Better Lemon Chicken with broccoli.  My chicken was very lightly breaded, perfectly cooked and oh so juicy.  The broccoli was cooked perfectly and was still crispy.  The sauce was so smooth and lemony with little wedges of lemon throughout.  Yum!  We also had brown rice and we each had a cup of egg drop soup, which was delicious, if not a little too hot temperature wise.  For dessert, we’d wanted to try the Wall of Chocolate cake, but unfortuanately they were out so we settled for the no flour Chocolate Dome cake served with raspberry sauce, raspberries, strawberries and blueberries.  Let me say that I was a little disappointed in the size of the portion that came.  It was a very small little dome of chocolate cake, but between Darling Hubby and I we finished it off and decided that had it been any bigger we would not have been able to eat it all and feel good afterwards.  Oh, and the taste…it was delicious!  It was so fudgy and smooth, kinda like eating a ball of fudge frosting.  Mmm!  I’m salivating just thinking about it again!  I need to find a recipe for it to make at home!

After dinner we drove back to pick up Bug and were pleased to find that he was a very good boy.  He even went potty for them.  He did ask once where we had disappeared to and when told we’d gone to a movie he asked if they were sure…which is a typical question from him.  He didn’t really miss us, which makes us both happy and a little sad.  It means he’s growing up and doesn’t always need us around anymore.

Overall, it was a fantasatic anniversary.  I loved having some time with just me and Darling Hubby.  It was nice to not worry about where Bug was headed and what he was touching.  It was very relaxing and gave my spirit a lift (and beleive me, I needed it).  There were a couple times, in the car, I turned to check on Bug or thought to point out the motorcycle on the street or airplane in the sky only to realize he wasn’t with us.

Here’s to many more happy years for us!  Love you honey!

The Things He Says and Does

Sometimes Bug really makes me laugh/smile at some of the things he says/does.  These are a few things that have happened over the last couple weeks that make me smile and giggle.

On any given day, I can be greeted numerous times by Spider-man, Hulk, Iron Man, War Machine, Batman, Green Arrow, Green Lantern (and a few other’s I’m sure I’m forgetting) in a matter of minutes.  I’m never truly sure who my son is second to second.  Sometimes he will ask, “Who are you, who are you, who are you?”  I generally tell him, “I don’t know.  Who am I?”  Sometimes I am a bad guy (Venom, Rhino) but on the days where I’m actually Mommy he tells me that in a voice that seems to say, “You’re Mommy, silly!”

As we were getting ready to go for a walk around the neighborhood yesterday, I ran upstairs to my room to grab my watch and I hear his wee little voice from the bottom of the stairs, “Well, I’m waiting!”

As I’m hanging up and folding laundry today, I hear Bug dump out his tub of matchbox cars and then see him come into my room wearing the bucket on his head to tell me he’s War Machine (from the Iron Man cartoon).  It starts to get dark outside thunder a bit.  When I mentioned it was going to rain, he tossed the bucket and said, “I need a brella” and pretends to hold up an imaginary umbrella.

He pooped on the potty one day last week and we called Grandma to tell her.  After telling her about going potty he goes, “and Mommy was sooooo happy.”  Yeah, I made a big deal out of it…he was like…whatever.  lol

He chases our cat Cleo around and around.  I told him to stop chasing her today and he then ran to the cabinet where we keep the treats and had to give her treats as a way to say he was sorry for chasing her.  It was sweet.

After we finish reading his bedtime story (generally a Curious George book) he goes, “I need see something, I need see something” until we give him the book so he can point out all the books we have (and don’t have) in our collection.  He enjoys it when we say yes or no to each book he’s pointing at in a silly voice.

If I get a boo boo he insists on putting imaginary “cweam” and an imaginary “bandid” on “mommy’s tiny boo boo.”  He’s sweet.

He loves to “cook” and feed me lots of different foods.  During the day I eat enough imaginary ice cream, chicken nuggets, soda, fries, pizza and other foods to weigh 3 times what I actually weigh.  Thankfully, if I do weigh a ton, it’s all invisible.  lol  Usually he helps me gobble down the invisble food and goes, “That was delishous!”  He doesn’t get to eat these foods on a regular basis so I think that’s why he’s always pretending to eat them.

Sometimes when he’s running through the house and falls and I don’t ask him if he’s ok, I’ll hear him go, “Bug, are you all right?  I know. I’m fine!” and get up and go about what he was doing.  Usually if I ask him if he’s ok he will hold up his hands and wave them around showing me he still has all his fingers while saying, “I know.  I’m fine!”

He’s recently started drawing pictures that resemble actual things.  The other day he drew a picture of Batman.  It was a stick figure, but it had arms and a head.  He drew another one while I was watching and it was complete with tiny bat ears on the head.   It’s a start.

Sometimes when Daddy comes home, he’s greeted with a “Hi Daddy.  Oh, what are you doing here?”  – It’s not like he lives here or anything.  lol

If he finds something really hilarious or fun he goes, “That was so much funny!” or “That was so much silly!”

He gets so super excited when we go over to our friend Bernie and Rose’s house.  He usually yells, “Bernie Roses!  Yeah!”

I love to hear him tell his blankie or his stuffed dog Tito (that my mom crocheted him), “Hold on tight.  I gotcha, I gotcha” when he’s carrying them downstairs.

I love it when he sneezes and they yells, “I got THE SNEEZE!”  It’s almost like it’s a disease.  He also has to announce when he’s scratching an itch.  “I’m scratchin’!”  He also has to announce farts…”STINKY TOOTS!”  So cute!

And it makes my heart melt when I leave his room at bedtime and he tells me “Sweet dreams, Mommy.  Love you.”

These are just some of the cuteness that happens in my house that make me smile and make me glad I’m someone’s Mommy.  🙂  I never want to forget these little things.