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Archive for January, 2009

I am starting to remember why I quit working (outside the house) last time.

As I mentioned before, snot is flying. I have been trapped in the house with whiny sick children since last Friday. That I could handle (sort of), but I still have work to do. No problem – I work from home part of the time so this should be easy, right? I’m all set up for it.

What I’m not set up for is trying to concentrate on work while also dealing with the whining of bored children. Today is the worst, because I have Asher and Boo and they are almost better, which mean they are more – how shall I put this? High needs. They keep taking to me and asking me for things and Boo, my beloved Boo, won’t actually shut up at all.

I’ve got two huge deadlines looming and I just need them to go away. I thinkĀ  thoughts like that and then feel guilty about shuffling my kids off to the side to get work done and then – whamo! – I remember why I quit last time. I never felt like I was giving my kids proper attention and never thought I was giving work proper attention, trying to attend to both at the same time. This time, I won’t quit, because I really like the job and because by tomorrow, this dilemma will be resolved because I’m sending the rugrats back to school. When I quit last time, I had a 3-year-old and an infant, so there really wasn’t any time.

But when the kids are sick and the work still needs to get done, all those feeling come back.

Alright, Boo has stopped talking and is now gluing something to something else, and Asher is actually doing the work his teachers sent for him, so it is back to work for me!

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Snot

There is copious amounts of it flying around this house. Maya and Asher are both sick with this horrible, nasty virus decimating the population of their school. They keep sneezing and coughing, and Maya keeps wiping her nose, wiping and wiping on kleenex after kleenex and then leaving them in little piles wherever she’s been. And when Asher annoys her, which is about 2539 times a day, she flings a snotty kleenex at him and he freaks out. And at random moments, Asher suddenly pops his head up from wherever he’s flopped and yells, “Ah! Ah! AH!” and when we say, “What? What?!” He wails, “I feel like I’m gonna throw up!” But then never does. So now we just say, wearily, “You have your puke container right there, so enough with the ‘Ah Ah!’ stuff.”

The worst part, besides the fact that Boo is still startingly healthy and therefore bored and demanding, is that my throat really hurts, and I’m starting to cough and I feel kind of queasy, and enough already!

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Just guess:

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I’m not kidding. The hand-knit sock foot is warm and toasty. The store-bought sock foot is cold, despite the fact that it is an expensive, supposed-to-be-warm sock. This is the solution to second-sockitis – I want two warm feet.

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I love knitting socks, but I love sock #1 much much more than I love sock #2. Sock #1 is new and interesting, but #2 is just the same thing. BTDT (“been there, done that,” for the less internet savvy reading this).

I know that non-knitty people believe that knitters must be very patient (I know this because non-knitters keep saying to me, “Oh, I’d love to knit, but I don’t have the patience,”) but it is a myth. I have no patience. None. J will attest to this. Even red lights make me twitchy. So the second sock just cannot go fast enough.

When I’m knitting a sweater, I solve the boredom thing by knitting both sleeves at the same time, which is also convenient for keeping them the same as I randomly make changes to the pattern. Haven’t figure out how to do two socks at the same time, though. There is a technique, and it involves circular needles, so I popped out to the yarn store for the right-sized circular needles in preparation for the next set of socks, which I planned to tackle at the same time. I was well on my way into the original sock the second, I assure you.

I found the needles. I already have the yarn I plan to use for my nephew’s socks and have resisted it thus far. But the yarn store had this lovely, soft wool/silk mix on sale. Sale! Could not resist. And, since it is much thicker than normal sock yarn, I figured it would knit up really quickly and I could test out the two-sock plan with speed. The second sock could not hold its own against this yarn.

I knit two separate toes, using the system for knitting single socks on circular needles – many thanks to people who like to demonstrate such techniques and them upload them to youtube. Then I put them together and attempted to knit them both. Big failure. I gave up after two rounds. But I’m still knitting the socks (one at a time) on the circular needles and loving it, so something good came of the whole experiment.

By the way, what I hate even worse than when people tell me they’d knit if they had the patience, is when they tell me they wish they had the time to knit, as though knitters just sit around with needles clacking, staring vacantly into space. Ha! I don’t knit because I have the time. I knit because I get bored so damn easily. I thought that was just me, until I read one of the Yarn Harlot‘s books and she said exactly the same thing. I love her, by the way. Here’s what she says about knitting socks (and its funny even if you don’t knit):

Last year, I was waiting for a teacher at parent-teacher interviews, sitting in a chair outside of the classroom. Another parent came up and sat down beside me to wait also. She watched me knitting for a minute (a totally cool, great hat that Maya wears every day of winter) and then said she wished she had the time to knit. I found this completely baffling, as both of us were doing a lot of waiting for teachers, only by the end of the day, my kid was going to have a nice, warm, hand-knit hat that perfectly fit her head, and hers …. wasn’t.

I feel like I’ve said pretty much all of this before. If I’m repeating myself, apologies. Coma brain.

Anyway, out with the old, in with the new. Is it not a thing of beauty?

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A Small Whine

I am ill today. The problem with my job and being ill is that the newsletter I send out every Friday does not go away for illness. Deadlines for open houses and things do not get moved. It’s like being back in university when being sick got you nothing but less time to do the same amount of stuff in.

This makes me sulky.

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Yesterday, Maya was being very eldest child and amusing herself by manipulating her siblings. She had a loot bag with something pink and shiny inside, and told them that whoever did what she said would win it. She then proceeded to order them to tell her how marvelous, magnificent and superior she was.

Asher quickly decided it wasn’t worth it, but Boo hung in there until Maya grew bored with the game, and handed over the ‘prize’. Unsurprisingly, it turned out to be an old container of some yucky goo stuff. Also unsurprisingly, Boo cried.

Despite the fact that this is well within the ages-old tradition of elder siblings tormenting the younger, we live in a new age, and I ordered Maya to provide something better for a prize. Maya produced something equally unacceptable – a small bottle of shampoo.

As Boo wailed again, I told Maya that she had to find something acceptable to Boo, and she’d just keep going up to her room to look until she was successful.

Maya made a couple more tries, increasingly serious and all rejected. I had tuned out, but tuned back in about this point and noticed that Boo was yelling after her sister, “And make it good this time! I expect something really good. Nothing stupid counts! I’m sure you have something in there you can find that I will think is acceptable! You’ll just have to keep looking.” And on and on and on. She had Maya jumping through those hoops and she was loving it. It took mere minutes for Boo to go from opressed to opressor.

Maya finally satisfied her with a lollipop, by the way.

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* Version One

When we had Maya, we were convinced she was the cutest baby in the universe. J honestly felt badly for the other parents who had their babies at the same time, because when they went to pick up their newborns in the hospital nursery, they’d spot Maya and be jealous.

Years later, we looked back on our photos and came to the realization that really, while she wasn’t actually ugly, she wasn’t the most gorgeous infant around either. But once she passed infancy and came into baby and toddlerhood, she did in fact become the cutest baby ever. I’ve been scanning old photos we have of her, so I have proof. Once I scan infant pictures, I’ll post those too, not be biased. But for now, adorable toddler:emma-toddler10

emma-toddler20

M with doll

M with baby

This last one is Maya with the Cutest Baby Ever, Version Two, (otherwise known as Asher) who was also not cutest until later. But whereas she was still cute as an infant, just not the cutest, he was, um, kinda ugly. Totally not his fault though, because he kind of got squished in utero and emerged with a huge lump on his head, a bloodshot right eye and a squashed ear. Stay tuned for more of Version Two.

Oh, and just for comparison purposes, here’s the Cutest Baby Ever, 12 years later.

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