Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Met with the Midwife

Now I'm due for some serious stewing.

She summed it up well and essentially said, "If you do homebirth, you're taking responsibility for eating right, being healthy and doing the work to get your baby here. I'm just there to basically supervise the last part. If you're not willing to take full responsibility for those things, then the doctors at the hospital have all sorts of ways to get that baby out for you."

I answered her questions and felt so...retarded. I know what the healthy way is, and I just don't do it. I blame my poor eating habits on not feeling good, I blame my not exercising on not feeling get the picture. My babies have been 6-7 pounders and just fine...perhaps I'm just stressing myself out yet again because I'm not perfect and that bugs me.

Pro-Hospital: I know what to expect, I get waited on hand and foot for 2-3 days. And yes, epidurals. Labor hurts and it's nice to escape the pain at the end.

Anti-Hospital: With each of my births, my water has broken at home and then we go to the hospital, where they immediately hook me up to a machine and tell me that I cannot go anywhere because they don't want any leaking "water" to stain their hallway, so I'm stuck pacing the same five feet in front of the machine that I'm hooked up to. The nurses tell me that I'm being too loud when I vocalise my way through contractions and I feel very anxious about what they think about me afterwards. No one listens to me--they look to the machine to tell them what's going on. When I was having Little Lamb, I had a monster contraction and wanted someone to hold my hand, but the machine wasn't registering that I was having a contraction and I was told that I wasn't really having a contraction. It turned out that the machine "paused" its real-time reporting and about a minute after the contraction ended, the machine skipped forward and showed the nasty all-the-way-to-the-top-of-the-screen contraction that I had told people I was having. (To which I responded with something like, "See?!?! I know when I'm having a ******-ing contraction!") And even though epidurals are grand, they make me want to throw up and I'm stuck with completely numb legs for hours after delivery. And when it's over, they take my baby to the nursery and Mr. Brooke goes with them and I'm completely abandoned for what seems like hours.

Pro-Home: I won't lie, it's like a badge of honor to have a baby naturally at home. I'm quite impressed by women who do it. I could actually walk around, even after my water breaks. I could eat. I could labor in whatever position I want and not worry about whether or not the machine is getting a good reading. I could experience the entire spectrum of birth, which feels like something I need to experience. I wouldn't have to travel anywhere and I could sleep in my own bed when I'm done, instead of those horrendously lumpy twin-size hospital beds. I wouldn't have to live out of a suitcase. I wouldn't have to wait for visiting hours to see my husband. I'm very interested in a birthing tub. I wouldn't be woken up every two hours to have my blood pressure taken.

Anti-Home: No epidural. I'm afraid that my neighbors will think I'm a freak when all the yelling erupts. (I practically promise to yell my way through contractions--it's what I do.) Potential stress about the newness of the situation. Stress of "Can I really do this?" My house is not a quiet place and I'm worried about not being able to rest as much after the birth. (It seems silly, but the ever-flowing fountain of juice, crackers and cookies that I can have whenever I want at the hospital is one of my favorite parts of giving birth...and I like the hospital food and how the nurses will just run and grab me whatever I want whenever I want it.)

At the end of the appointment with the midwife, I decided that my biggest concern is pain management. (What idiot came up with the idea that breathing would help with pain?) She suggested I look into hypnobirthing, which I've heard from ladies in my neighborhood is awesome. Perhaps that's the missing puzzle piece to make this all work out nicely. (Well, as nicely as you can hope for...they call it labor for a reason.)

And I think I'd want to look into having another person coming over to help out with things for many days after the birth so I can have my husband more free to pay attention to me and our new little one. I'm coming to the decision that it's OK if I get to be the center of attention for a week or two after having a baby. We've always done the "rest for 2-3 days and then start getting back in the saddle" thing due to his work, money, etc. I don't ask that the sun revolve around me permanently, but I don't think I'm asking for too much for it to revolve around me for a little while after bringing another child into this world. Respect the delivery person. :)

I don't know why I talk about this stuff on my blog...I know it's personal, but at the same time, a situation that most of us have or will experience throughout our lives and that seems to make it more apt to discussing and fleshing out in print. Or perhaps I've lost my mind and can no longer function in a rational manner. Ha ha.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Organized Christmas--Why I Always Quit

Despite the nausea and moodiness, I have been trying to keep up with Organized's Holiday Grand Plan. (I threw out so much junk last week when I went through my bedroom!) However, now that I'm a few weeks into it, I'm beginning to see why I always just drift away from completing the whole plan: the "To-Do List" that I'm keeping as I go through each room is getting ridiculously long and I am completely overwhelmed by it. There are so many things I could do around here that would make life easier, but they all require time, energy or money and I'm running discouragingly low on all three right now.

So far, after only following the plan for TWO weeks, here's my To-Do List:
  • Set up a system for organizing coats, shoes, hats, purses and keys. The current shelf by the front door is NOT working and is slowly leaching my sanity.
  • Set up a scheduled laundry-folding time. And a scheduled laundry-putting away time. Seriously.
  • Figure out a way to organize my yarn and knitting needles.
  • The sewing maching and serger really need some dust covers.
  • Replace the window that I cracked.
  • Replace the 16x20" piece of glass that I broke.
  • Replace the 8x10" piece of glass that I also broke. (Is God understanding when you curse after you've broken your third piece of glass in a week? I sure hope so. Thankfully, it happened during naptime, so no children learned new words that day.)
  • Procure the necessary picture hanging supplies so I can finally hang up the family portraits that we had done in March.
  • Permanently fix the rocking chair or get rid of it.
  • Either get rid of more books (after having already completed three purges) or just bite the bullet and buy some more bookshelves. Stacking books on the floor is not a justifiable solution. (I could write a number of posts regarding my curious attachment to my books and how I know I shouldn't buy any more, but just can't seem to stop.)
  • Buy some hand towels. Really, it's been too long.
  • Organize my CDs in a manner that will not invite young hands to explore them.
  • Organize the DVDs in a similar fashion.
  • Figure out how/where to store diaper changing supplies so that they are accessible, yet not strewn all over the house.
  • Figure out how to solve the dilemma of the girls' dirty clothes. Right now we have a bucket in their bathroom for them to put their dirty clothes into, but it fills up ridiculously fast and only catches the clothes that are removed before bathtime, and for some reason there are multiple unrobings throughout the day and those pieces of clothing end up all over the house.
  • Get rid of the extra television sets, extra desks, extra tables, extra floor rugs, extra Christmas tree, keyboard, and the dust-collecting weight bench. We're a magnet for people giving their stuff away and we're unable to say "No" to anything and have thus collected a surprising amount of furniture that we never use. Our garage, storage room and guest room are hideously cluttered. It needs to change.

And that's the list after only two weeks; as in: entryway, living room, master bedroom and master bathroom. Geez.

If any of you have suggestions regarding some of my dilemmas, I'm all ears. If some of my neighbors are interested in some of my surplus items, let me know--I'm giving most of them away for free.

In discussing the site with a friend, she mentioned that the website administrator also has a book available. I expressed that I was newly aware of it, but hadn't seen it yet and hoped to procure a copy in the near future (another book! I LOVE books!). And then that sweet friend of mine bought me a copy and had it shipped to me as a surprise. (A package! I LOVE packages!)

And I've come to an "Ah-ha" conclusion after reading through the first section of the book: I am a hoarder. This "decluttering stuff" is very, very hard for me to do. I'm always afraid that I'll need something after I've thrown it away and I place way too much sentimental attachment to objects, which makes it nearly impossible for me to get rid of anything. Which I think is so weird, considering that I have been through the experience of literally losing EVERYTHING when my house burnt down when I was twelve years old. I know it's just stuff. I know you can replace things and if you really need something after it's gone, that it's not hard to get a satisfactory replacement. Oh, to understand the minute workings of my knee-jerk reactions to throwing stuff away.

Another unsettling conclusion that I am coming to is this: I'd be able to afford some of the big ticket items that I'd like for our household if I wasn't piddling away our money in buying so much of this clutter that I'm now trying to purge from our home. Seriously, stop with the kitchen gadgets, the books, the yarn, the fabric, the "on sale" items I wouldn't have bought if they hadn't happened to have been on sale, and stop completely outfitting myself to the nines each time I pick up a new hobby. This is insane.

Organized Christmas + House Works= an uncomfortable, candid scrutiny of how I'm managing my home. It's very much needed and heartily recommended, despite the instinctive desire to turn one's head and ignore the glaring conflicts.

Friday, September 25, 2009

"People With Blogs"

Bluebird has gotten this notion into her head that you cannot tell secrets to people who have blogs.

The last week or so has had her declaring that she has a secret, but "I can't tell Mama because she has a blog." So she tells Daddy or Rabbit.

I blame Kindergarten. It's such an easy scapegoat.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Slightly Less Queasy

I awoke this morning feeling very much better than I have in weeks. I just had to share that.

I even did some school with Bluebird and loaded up the dishwasher. And took a shower and got dressed before 10am. I'd really like to do a load of laundry, but the smell of dirty clothing is probably too much to take right now, even on a good day. I'll have to pester Mr. Brooke when he returns home this evening from work.

I think I'll call it a day. I've been more productive today than for many previous days combined. Only thirty more weeks and however long it takes to recover from the birth and we can return to normal. I am not flexible with setbacks. I am trying to be nicer with myself this time around, but it's hard to consciously grant myself permission to be a lump on the log. Very against my nature.

But I'm trying. And sometimes I do well with it.

I cannot wait until it cools down...cold weather is so much easier to deal with than hot weather when you're nauseated.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


That's my official response to any question aimed in my direction.

I'm really hoping for a miraculous break from the pregnancy nausea. It's never happened before; but maybe, just maybe, I'll get lucky this time and start my second trimester with a sudden absence of queasiness.

I made an appointment to meet with a midwife next week. I've always been interested in a homebirth, but have never done it. I'm not committing just yet, only gathering information.

I have accomplished nothing else and don't foresee the trend changing anytime soon.

I'm glad we went with Kindergarten this year--now I can say that we did indeed try it and did not like it. She has a very nice teacher and the level of academics is just fine, but I miss my girl and I'm really getting tired of the driving and picking up and signing something everyday and aggressively counteracting all the weird ideas she's bringing home that she's learned from her fellow classmates. (Very saddened that she feels like orange can't be her favorite color anymore because a boy in her class laughed at her and said that orange is a boy color.)

I'm trying to give myself permission to not sew the girls' Halloween costumes, even though I already bought the materials. WASTE! WASTE!

I don't think there will be any handmade Christmas anything this year.


Friday, September 18, 2009


Yesiree, the Brooke household will experience a growth in numbers come April.

I am monstrously sick and incapable of getting anything done.

THIS is why I sent Bluebird to Kindergarten. It's been one of my loopholes from the beginning.

Bluebird has prayed for both a boy and girl and has picked out names for both: If it's a girl--Mrs. Peanut Butter Cup; if it's a boy--Babu. She also announced our good news on the school bus yesterday.

Rabbit thinks we should name it "Penguin," no matter what the gender is.

Mr. Brooke really wants it to be a boy. But is happy if it is another girl. I think we are biologically incapable of creating male children, and I've already had "the" dream telling me it was a girl.

We're not going to find out what it is. What's the point? I think it's safer to find out in the moment because there's a little bit riding on it--better to find out it's a girl in the miraculous moment of birth (and skip any disappointment on some people's part) than four months beforehand when there's lots of time to be slightly deflated about it.

So, hooray...although I am definitely picking up on a "It's your fourth kid...big deal" vibe from various persons and it's bumming me out. All babies are exciting, no matter how many you've had previously. I might just throw me a baby shower to prove my point. Who wants to come? :)

Oh, yes...all non-baby knitting will probably go into hibernation for the next while.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

To Do This Week

I'm so frazzle-minded these days, and I'm finding that I'd really like to give the's plans a go. I'm starting two weeks late, so things will be a little compounded for the first while.

Here's what I want to accomplish this week:
  • Clean off the front step
  • Clean up the entryway & move shoes and coats to a downstairs location
  • Dry dust the living room walls and the living room fan blades
  • Move the homeschool table to the garage until living room has been thoroughly cleaned
  • Take cuttings from outside plants for overwintering
  • Re-organize the office space
  • Set up regular office and declutter times
  • Write up a Master Gift-giving list
  • Make and freeze a batch of Christmas cookies
  • Set up a Christmas Planning Area

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Organized Christmas: Question Week

I love the Organized Christmas website! (I've never actually completed the entire Holiday Grand Plan, but what small amounts I have completed have helped me immensely in past years.)

This week was Question Week, where you ask yourself the hard questions about your holiday festivities. I thought it'd be fun to post my thoughts...

Do I see Christmas time primarily as a time for entertaining friends and renewing long lost acquaintances or as a time for family?
I would love to be the ultimate Christmas party throwing hostess who sends out handmade cards and gifts all her neighbors with homebaked goodies that were painstakingly decorated. I have yet to realize this aspiration. Perhaps it is just too "pie in the sky" for this chapter of my life. Or is that completely unrealistic for any phase of life?
Honestly, I don't think Christmas is too different from everyday life, except that we spend lots more money. I do not feel that my home is large enough to invite friends over, I talk to the acquaintances I want to talk to already, and I spend time with my family everyday. There is an added emphasis on extended family--but usually just to get a good idea on what to gift them.
Ew. I think this needs to change. I don't know how or in what direction per se, but I'm not comfortable with how I'm viewing the holidays.

How much emphasis do our Christmas activities place on the spiritual side of Christmas?
It is referred to as Jesus' birthday a lot and my girls know that it's Jesus' birthday. But the gifting part is more fun to focus on. Christmas activities? I don't think we really have any of those. We finally managed to visit Temple Square last year to look at the Christmas lights, but found it to be incredibly crowded and way too cold to really be considered an enjoyable trip. There's a live nativity at some point at Gardner Village, perhaps we can try that this year instead...but Gardner Village is a money-sucking entity and I just can't seem to get out of there without departing with a lot of our money. What activities can you do with three children under the age of six that would place emphasis on the spiritual side of Christmas? Bluebird participates with the Primary when they sing in Sacrament meeting...and that's about it.

How involved is my family in the Christmas preparation?
Ha ha ha ha! I'm afraid I'm a little too controlling to really let anyone in on it and now I resent a lot of it. Bluebird would love to help out with any form of Christmas planning--I need to make a conscious effort to allow her "in" on it. (Decorating the Christmas tree is such a test in patience with small children wanting to help!) If I asked Mr. Brooke to take over any aspect of our Christmas preparations, I know he'd willingly lend a hand--I'm just such a control freak and always want things done a certain way. I think I'll try to share the load this year--or just ask if anyone wants to be in charge of anything specifically. I'm always surprised by the immense good that can be accomplished by just letting go and letting someone take care of something they're interested in taking care of.

What activities are particularly important to our family at Christmas? To myself?
I won't lie--I get warm fuzzies when I see that there are lots of Christmas presents piled under the (beautiful) tree for my little ones. I love being able to give things to them and I love their excitement over Christmas morning. I like having a nice breakfast together on Christmas morning and just enjoying a lazy day together with nothing to do but exist. My girls love to make Christmas cookies. I love singing Christmas songs and listening to Christmas music. I like giving gifts to people I love. Bluebird wants to go caroling and give goodies to our neighbors this year--I've wanted to do this as well, but haven't gotten up the courage to do it just yet.

Why do we observe the traditions we do in our house?
Some of them are inherited, some of them feel obligatory, some of them we like. I don't think we have too many "traditions." I feel like we should fix that, but I'm not sure how.

How important is an elaborately decorated house, homemade gifts or food, to my feelings about Christmas?
Elaborately decorated house: Such a part of my childhood. It took my mother and her mother DAYS to decorate their houses for Christmas. Framed pictures came off the walls to be replaced with the framed pictures for Christmas. They have different curtains that they put up. It's a huge deal to them. Nothing "ordinary" was left out, everything was Christmas. (In fact, when my house burnt down three days after Christmas, we still had just about all our regular home decorating stuff because it had been packed away for the Christmas season and was in an area of the home that was untouched by the fire.)
With all that being said, I don't go as overboard as they do simply because it just takes so much time and money to decorate like they do. I would like to put up more twinkle lights because I like the glow they give and how warm they make a home feel. I strive for my home to "smell" like Christmas because that's one thing I really like about the holidays--that cinnamony smell. I'm not a knick-knack person and don't like finding Christmas stuff in February that I've forgotten to put away. I like my house to look different for the holidays, but don't like spending inordinate amounts of time achieving that look.

Homemade gifts: Ideally I'd make all my Christmas gifts. I've yet to accomplish this goal either. So few people actually like handmade gifts. It hurts my feelings to work hard on something and it receive little to no glowing reception. I only give handmade gifts to people I know appreciate them, which is a very small number. I LOVE handmade gifts--it flatters me to no end when someone takes that extra time to make something for me. I guess it's a crafter's thing?

Homemade food: Also very important to me. Thankgiving and Christmas have always been times of good eatin' in my family. You start cooking a day or two before the actual holiday and you wake up super early the day of to take care of business. Rolls are always made from scratch, the bread in the stuffing is homemade and then dried in the oven, the mashed potatoes are NEVER from a box and contain at least two sticks of butter, the pies have flaky homemade crusts and the filling is never from a can. Oh goodness, can the women in my family cook when they set out to do it. And, fortunately, me being of the female variety of the species, I got to help from an early age and I just love the chatter of women cooking together in the kitchen. I learned my granny's opinions on making pie crusts when I was 14 and assigned the task of making the pies (which I sucked at). I've been trying to memorize my aunt's Caesar salad recipe since I was 12. Our family holiday dinners were loud and bright with candlelight and all the other lights in the house turned on.
But this is only on one side of my family. On the other side was a silent dinner made as easily as possible because the matriarch of that side of the family was usually inebriated beyond belief. (Have you ever eaten stuffing accidentally made with vodka? I have...) To this day I cannot stand a silent dinner and I do not like "easy" foods because they always remind me of those strained meals. Ugh. Homemade, loud and glowing--that makes me feel good inside.

What would my ideal Christmas be like?
I miss my family so much at Christmas! I look forward to when we can live by them and participate in all the things I love to do with them at Christmas. I look forward to having my girls participate in all the fun--the after-Thanksgiving shopping, hot chocolate in the evening while deciding our battle plan for the next day, singing Christmas carols at the top of our lungs in the car, drinking apple cider at Starbuck's. I'd like to host a cookie decorating party for my girls and their friends--I'll make up tons of frosting and supply sprinkles and decorating bags, the friends bring cookies to decorate and share. I'd like to do the neighborhood caroling and goodie-giving thing. I'd like to send packages of homebaked goods to loved ones. I like special Christmas clothes. I'd love to be able to give a gift to everyone in mine and Mr. Brooke's family. I'd love to make intricately frosted snowflake cookies and a lavish gingerbread mansion. I'd like to host Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner and have lots of my female relatives help me make it. I'd like to remember to make cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve. I'd like to take my girls to see The Nutcracker. I'd like to drink warm apple cider with my husband on Christmas Eve after the girls have gone to bed and everything is prepared for the next morning. I'd like to have warm cinnamon rolls and a farmer's casserole for breakfast. I like singing in the Christmas program at church. I love reading "Room for a Little One" to my girls--I cry every time I get to the end. At some point in the future, I'd really like to put on a Christmas concert--it's my hope that my girls will develop musical skills and then we could band together and do a Christmas recital and give the proceeds to charity. I look forward to the too-short scarves that I hope to receive when the girls learn to knit. It seems ideal to read "A Christmas Carol" during December as well. Christmas Day would just be a content day--calm after the joyous frenzy of preparations. Nothing would feel obligatory--everything we would do would be because we wanted to do it.

I like the "worldly" part of Christmas and I've decided to stop feeling guilty for our Christmas celebrations not being spiritual "enough." I went through a phase of disdain of all the materialism that surrounds Christmas, and those were some rather stark holidays. In this house, we know what Christmas is about; but we also enjoy the secular side of it and I'm pretty tired of all the Santa-haters. We're just going to celebrate in the way that makes us feel the most joyous.

Your thoughts?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Cute Girl

Mr. Brooke was putting the girls to bed the other night and noticed that Bluebird's favorite teddy bear (Crystalbear) was sans clothing...

Mr. Brooke: "Why is Crystalbear naked?"

Bluebird: "I don't know. I didn't do it."

Mr. Brooke: "Well, here's her clothes, let's put them in a safe place where you can easily find them tomorrow and dress her again. How about under your pillow?"

Bluebird: [hesitates, then speaks in an anxious voice] "But what if the Tooth Fairy accidentally finds them and takes them away?"

Mr. Brooke: "Don't worry, the Tooth Fairy is really smart and she won't ever take anything that's not really teeth."

Bluebird: "Oh. Alright."

Friday, September 11, 2009

More Yarn

The colors are just too pretty to not share:
Noro Taiyo, 2 skeins. I saw this colorway and it made me think of Bluebird, so I bought enough to make her a winter hat and some mittens to match. I think the cotton blend will be perfect, as she overheats easily--100% wool might just be too warm for her.

This, my friends, will become my first pair of handknit socks. It's quite smooshy and I'm quite fond of all the colors it encompasses. It's Misti Alpaca Hand Paint Sock Yarn and it's 50% Alpaca, 30% Merino, 10% Silk and 10% Nylon. I cannot wait to enrobe my feet with this stuff.

I also picked up some knitting books--Scarf Style (even though I'm not going to knit scarfs for a while, I'm always seeing scarves that I like and they always come from that book!), Itty-Bitty Hats (helps with branching out, and oh my goodness, what cuteness), and some book about knitting with beads (to aid me in incorporating beads into the Peacock Stole...and then some.)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Jumping on the Bandwagon

I needed another project to work on when the Peacock Stole is giving me a headache.

When I was satisfying my yarn craving last weekend at Kamille's, she showed me the "Bella's Mittens" pattern. At first I was non-committal, but then I saw this great green yarn (Berrocco Peruvia Quick) and thought that these mittens would be very nice in such a beautiful green.

And hey, I've read the Twilight series multiple times (I even got my copy of Twilight signed by Stephenie Meyer when she came through on her publicity tour for The Host), I did see the movie in the theater and I do own the DVD. I guess I'm totally on the bandwagon now. (But I think I already was?)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Peacock Feathers Stole Swatch

I was browsing through knitting patterns while I was staying at my granny's house in Seattle and she really liked the Peacock Feathers Stole. So I offered to make it for her. (Ignore all the weird mistakes in the swatch--I do it on purpose, to make sure I understand the stitch pattern and to see if I could feasibly fix mistakes without having to rip back to them. Obviously, that will not work with this one.)

The swatch blocked perfectly to the preferred 5 1/2 by 5 1/4 inches. Excellent.

I'm using JaggerSpun Zephyr Wool-Silk #036 Juniper. I bumped up my needle size to US4 instead of the recommended US3 because I tend to knit tight.

I was going to try to be a super knitter and have it done for Christmas because, seriously, how awesome would I be if that happened? (And hey, Eunny Jang finished her Peacock Feathers Shawl in nine DAYS.) But after trying to stick to "the schedule" of completing eight rows a day for that to happen, I developed a perma-headache and a slightly nauseated feeling whenever I thought about picking up the thing again. In my book, that points to TOO MUCH. So, much to my knitting pride's disappointment, I am mandating that this project be downgraded to "slow-and-steady." It will be ready when it is time for it be ready. No more than 2-4 rows a day, with the occasional day off. Not as much bang for your buck, but it will still get done. Eventually. (Boring.)

Also, in beginning to knit this little darling I have come face-to-face with my worst fear: What if this truly is above my skill level? My knitting skills are definitely being stretched with Lil' Ole Mr. Peacock here. It's 109 stitches across, NINE DIFFERENT charts to follow, 304 rows...and that's just half of it, you get to knit the other half when you get to that point.

Why keep on with the crazines and the mental exhaustion? Because it's for my granny, whom I adore immensely and would do almost anything for. I have wanted to make something "big" for her for forever, and she has finally given me my head to do so and darn it, I'm going to do a spectacular job with it. I have created the odd knitted article here and there for her, but nothing that I would actually want her to confess to having been created by me. I made her a scarf when I was first learning to knit and I really wish I could somehow locate it and burn it--Fun Fur was involved. And then I made her a very nice Lopi Earflap hat--that was two sizes too big. This stole needs to be drop-dead gorgeous and as near perfect as possible.

I did have a great idea last night that kept me from sleep for many hours: BEADS. How gorgeous would this be if I incorporated beading into it?

So much potential for such unproven hands...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

epiphany re: knitting

I was feeling blue over the fact that I am, quite possibly, one of the world's slowest knitters. Other knitters fly through their projects and I'm still slogging through the first quarter of my project from a year ago.

And then it dawned on me: I only knit scarves. Of course it takes a long time to finish something that's six feet long. Doi.

I'm thinking about venturing into the wider world of knitting: mittens, hats, etc.

Of course, I did already commit to knitting a stole for my granny. That's so very much bigger than a scarf. But we have an agreement that it's going to take me forever to complete it, so a few side projects probably won't irritate her.

So, after I finish the girls' Halloween costumes, the apron for my dad and perhaps an apron for myself (all while intermittedly putting in some work on Granny's stole), perhaps I'll start into some handwarmers or one of those uber cute berets from the latest Vogue Knitting. Or maybe I'll finally face my knitted sock fear and try a pair of socks. There has got to be a reason why so many people prefer handmade to storebought.

Monday, September 7, 2009


Mr. Brooke made pigs in blankets for dinner this evening, and Rabbit decided that they were to be called "Yumblats." (This makes sense if you've seen the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episode where they go to Mars.)

This annoyed Bluebird, who likes to call things by their proper name only.

Bluebird: "Rabbit, they're not called Yumblats! They're called pigs in blankets or just hotdogs!"

Rabbit: "Mmmm, I wuv Yumblats!"

Bluebird: [turning purple] "THEY'RE NOT CALLED YUMBLATS!!!"

Mr. Brooke: [Trying to calm things down] "Well, if we were on Mars, we'd call them Yumblats; so maybe Rabbit is just pretending she's on Mars right now."

Rabbit: "I call them Yumblats on Earth too."

Bluebird: "NO! They are only Yumblats on Mars!...and in England."

Me: "In England? Why are they called Yumblats in England?"

Bluebird: "Because in England they talk in opposites. They like giving new names to stuff instead of using the real names."

I really don't know where she gets this stuff.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Here's a Laugh for Ya

Apparently the designer was dipping a little too much into the bubbly while designing this monstrosity:

Champagne Fizz Hat

Just in case your long weekend is a little low on humor. Gah. Perhaps I should get into designing, I KNOW I could make something that awful and it'd be nice to get paid for my efforts.

Oh dear, I can only imagine the model at the photo shoot:

Model: "So what's my motivation here? What am I channelling?"

Photographer: "You're a black hole, sucking in all the planets that surround you, absorbing all matter from the corner of your universe."

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Passive-Aggressive Cattiness

Bluebird and Rabbit were fighting having a spirited debate over what movie to watch. Rabbit wanted to watch Dora, Bluebird wanted to watch Monster Machines (I blame her father). They argued back and forth ad nauseum until I said they needed to pick a completely different movie that they could both agree on or there would be no movie whatsoever.

Bluebird heaved a dramatic sigh and then said, "FINE, we'll watch the not-coolest movie FIRST--what did you want to watch again [Rabbit]?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


I just haven't felt very bloggy lately. My jaw still hurts like crazy, although I did get to go see the TMD specialist and I think he'll be a good thing--as soon as I can amass the necessary funds to pay him in full upfront. Gah. Something is very wrong with a system that won't cover TMD under insurance and the people who will treat it won't help you until you give them their money first. So my jaw is still locked (or "sprained" as the specialist refers to it), and I'm getting mighty sick of liquid or very flat foods. When I get this joint unlocked, I'm going to drive like Cruella DeVille down to McDonald's and order me a Big Mac.

Bluebird still loves Kindergarten, although she's a little annoyed that she has to be there at a specific time every. single. day. We still do our regular homeschooling activities like always, every morning--she's just now out of the house during naptime, which I figured was healthy for her. Better than zoning out in front of the computer while I fold laundry and her sisters sleep.

I succumbed to the first "everyone has one" plea. Apparently, for the elementary crowd, the coolest thing right now are these water-filled balls that have a smattering of glitter in them that swirls and looks very pretty when you roll them. I let Bluebird buy one after watching her play with a friend's glitter ball the first day of school. And, of course, when Rabbit and Little Lamb saw that Big Sister was getting a toy, they each wanted one as well, and...I like buying things for them. Three glitter balls on the floor in our house--watch where you step.

I have discovered the TV show "The Big Bang Theory" and I love it. I laugh so hard each time I watch an episode. It's just another one of your typical guy-tries-to-"get"-with-girl sitcoms, but with freakishly smart people and it's hilarious.

I cannot find circular chocolate wafer cookies. Until I do, I cannot make penguin cupcakes.

My husband's stepfather has been very sick (ICU-type stuff) and it's been stressful waiting for the updates and feeling bad about not visiting (can't risk passing on germs).

I need zucchini recipes. The garden overfloweth.

I always overdo dried herbs in recipes.

We have three pumpkins growing in our garden.

The Rainbows won their last game 2 or 3-0. The other team scored a goal on
themselves, so we're not sure whether to claim that point or not. :)

Little Lamb can now say Bluebird's real name, "Poop," "I want that," and "Penguin." It's amazing what you get excited about sometimes as a mother.

Rabbit spends a lot of her time trying to convince me that she really is an honest-to-goodness penguin. Some days she'll only talk in squawks. And some days she'll only want to eat (Swedish) fish.