05 December 2011

The Posts Are Appearing

I'm slowly getting all my posts recovered. I have completed through part of 2009... only three more years' worth to go. It's taking longer than I expected to go through every post to make sure the links and images still work. I still can't believe so much of my journal went poof. So glad I had a back-up!

All It Took

Well, if I had known that would be all it would take to get him to sleep through the night, I would have done it a year ago! What, you ask? Well, I just told him to go to sleep.  

Haha, riiiiiight.

No, really.  

Not possible.

Let me explain... as he was drinking his warm milk before bed, I set him on my lap and told him that his sleep schedule has been completely crazy lately. Even the night I finally got some sleep, he still got up with Daddy for a bit. I informed him that Daddy had to get up early in the mornings for work, so we can't be keeping him up with crying. Then I reminded him that we go to the gym during the week and we need to be well-rested... Mommy has to be energized for a hard workout so she can get fit and healthy and he needs to be ready to play with all of his new friends that he's made in the daycare.

After he finished his bottle, I did the same nightly routine of changing his diaper, reading him a story in the rocking chair, gave him a big hug and kiss, and placed him in his crib. Instead of instantly crying, he rolled over on his belly, sighed, and fell asleep. That kid will even wake from sound sleep and start screaming as soon as I place him in his crib, so this was huge! He never cried last night... that was a first. He's still asleep. I had to check and make sure he was still breathing! Haha.

04 December 2011

Not-So-Healthy Post-Workout Snack

While I toiled away for a few extra minutes in the gym, Mom and Xander enjoyed some breakfast in the car. Glazed donuts are not exactly what I would have chosen for a post-workout snack... but it makes for a sweet video of my son.


03 December 2011

Restful Night

Finally got some sleep last night! Xander slept from 10:30pm until 8:30am. I was woken temporarily when Ross' alarm went off at 3:00am for work, but I fell back asleep quickly. Xander even took his nap on time and slept well through that. It was after 10:00pm when he got to sleep tonight and of course I'm now weirdly wide awake. Guess I'm not used to getting all that sleep now. LOL That's okay... it gave me some time to work on some knitting in peace. I should try to get some sleep, though. Night all!

02 December 2011

Gym Does Not Equal Trauma

You can definitely tell Gold's Gym is running a special the past few weeks... it has been insanely busy there. I was hesitant to join a gym in the first place because I felt so uncomfortable with the idea of working out in public. If the gym had been like it is now, I would probably have not signed up. That would have been a shame.

I'm here to say that working out at the gym is not the horrific experience I had expected. It's highly unlikely anyone is watching you. Most people are too caught up in their own music, book, or conversations with friends that they don't notice what you're up to. If I'm looking at anything, it's with a blank stare of concentration... I don't actually see anything.

I have had a few people ask me how to use a machine. That was a major confidence booster! There's something empowering about discovering you look enough like you know what you're doing that a new member asks you for advice... especially when you're a hundred pounds overweight.

I never thought I'd say it, but I'm addicted to the gym! I hope those who think they could never work out a gym will at least give it a shot. I'll see you there!

01 December 2011

Should Be In Bed

I got something resembling decent sleep last night... over four whole hours! I'm still not sure what eventually got him to sleep, because I did the same routine as every other night. I started him out with his usual Claritin dose, warmed his final bottle before bed, gave him some semi-frozen berries to gnaw on for his teething (finally found something that works for that!), and made sure his pajamas and bedding were as clean and comfortable as possible.

He wouldn't stay down in his crib, so I tried holding him and rocking him. He just squirmed and sobbed and kept wanting down. He started to get gassy again, so I patted him for a bit. When that didn't help, I tried the gas drops the doctor suggested... I think the gripe water was more effective. Some point after 1am I got so tired that I just couldn't even hold him anymore without far of dozing off and dropping him. I put him in his crib, he cried for about ten minutes, and finally fell asleep... he's still asleep six hours later.

I woke up as Ross was leaving for work. We still maintain our morning good-bye ritual through all the odd hours. Today, though, I couldn't fall right back to sleep. So here I am blogging to clear my head and hoping I can sneak in a few more minutes of sleep before Xander wakes up. 

27 November 2011

Not a Great Day

Today was not a great day. Xander is teething big time. I ate like crap. The house is a mess. The Yule tree is getting destroyed. I haven't set any of my Spark goals. I'm feeling disorganized and discouraged.

Xander has five molars coming in at once... three on his left and two on his right. It is making him very irritable and he is not sleeping. We have tried everything from teething gel to teething rings to icy fruit. We have even risked serious bites to rub his achy gums. I've given Tylenol with no effect. I've eased the gassiness it's causing with gripe water... but the gas comes back with diarrhea in tow. I hope, for the sanity of all of us, that those little buggers cut through soon.

Pots and pans have become the latest thing in toys in our household. It wouldn't be quite so bad, but Xander seems to favor anything and everything glass. I want to allow him to play, express himself, and be creative... I'd just like him to do it without leaving shards of glass all over and making my kitchen look like we were looted! It is testing my patience. I get a bit OCD about the house sometimes and the mess is making me want to scream.

Speaking of messes... the tree. The cats and the kid seem to think it is there to amuse them. They pull the ornaments off and play with them. The bat at the branches. Pandora likes to hide in it, Selune likes to sleep under it, and Xander likes to play peek-a-boo from behind it. The tree skirt has had hairballs puked up on it, dirty diapers leaked on it, and leaky sippy cups spilled on it. I don't think the poor thing is going to survive to Yule.

I've been reading The Spark and have reached the point where you need to begin writing down your goals. I have no idea what I want those goals to be. I feel like I should have more and bigger goals, but it's hard enough to think day to day!

My short-term goals:
  1. Lose 10 more pounds before the holiday gatherings the week of Christmas.
  2. Get the birthday thank-yous out... they're a month overdue.
  3. Write up and send out Yule cards.
  4. Finish another lesson in my bridal consulting course.
  5. Finish Cody's pink socks in time for gift exchange.
I should have been sleeping by now... back to the gym tomorrow. Mom and I are moving on to stage two of our workout schedule. We'll be moving from one set of 15 reps to two sets of 12 reps. I'm hoping we have enough time to get in the same amount of cardio.

25 November 2011

Black Friday

Yesterday was a pleasant evening at Mom's. It was ourselves, Mom and Grandma... everyone else had other plans... but I think that is largely the reason for it being so nice.

As always, there was too much food and it was very yummy. Amazingly, though, I didn't over-eat! It may have helped me that I finally got back into a pair of jeans that hadn't fit for several months. When I ate they got a bit snug, so it encouraged me to forgo the second helping.

We're right back to our workouts today, but we're going a little later than usual. Ross is home to watch Xander, so we aren't limited to the time the daycare is open. I'm hoping to get in a little extra cardio to make up for yesterday and maybe explore a few new machines for future reference.

Ross and I had considered going out for the Black Friday sales, but opted to stay home once we looked at the sales ads. We were not really feeling inspired for gift ideas for Xander. We are planning on getting family board games for each of our siblings families and that is hard to do when you are being rushed by other shoppers... I didn't really do my research ahead of time. The parents are probably getting digital photo keychains. Best Buy had a great sale on them, so it cost less than we originally budgeted.

24 November 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!


A very happy Thanksgiving to all! I hope you have many things to be thankful for this year. I am thankful for my beautiful family, our health, our home, and our continued prosperity.

22 November 2011

Feeling Accomplished

I'm feeling very accomplished today and it's only halfway through. It was my cardio day at the gym and I burned 750 calories between the treadmill, elliptical and bicycle. I could have gone longer, but I ran out of daycare time for Xander... it's an hour and a half limit.

Black and Silver Yule Tree
The ornaments for our Yule tree arrived while we were at the gym... black and silver on a white tree. They were even nicer in person than they looked online. I debated waiting until tomorrow to put them on the tree and take a nap, but decided to just go for it. I'm glad I did... I got over the tired feeling I get after a workout and ended up finishing the tree (so pretty!), folding the rest of the laundry, dusting, vacuuming, doing dishes, and washing windows.

I've think I have earned the time to kick back until Xander wakes from his nap.

16 November 2011

Aunt Again!

My New Niece
My new niece, Kali, was born yesterday morning. She looks like a tiny little female version of Jason. She has his lips, his nose and his eyelashes. Jason's genetics are definitely strong, because I didn't see a bit of Angel in her.

I was shocked to find out she weighed a whole 7 pounds and 8 ounces... even Angel thought she should be re-weighed! She's so tiny and only 20 inches long, so that little girl must be storing rocks in her little bottom.

A Little Jealous
Xander got pretty jealous when I held her. He was already tired and cranky because he hasn't been feeling well. Kali's crying was making him nervous, too. I sat on the floor to hold her, so that Xander could come and see her. At first he tried to "pet" her like he does the cats... which is more like patting hard. When I told him he couldn't do that and had to touch nice, he went to my free arm and curled up against me. Mom ended up needing to take Kali away because Xander kept pressing harder and harder against me.

It was all a bit awkward with Angel and Jason, because we are very tentatively talking again. Within a few days after Matt and the girls had come to visit, the girls blabbed about it during an interrogation by Jason and Angel. They are denying Matt access to the girls... won't even let him call... as punishment for going behind their backs. I felt it necessary to contact them and voice my opinions. The more I hear and witness, the more I grow concerned about an abusive situation. Keeping the lines of communication open will make it easier to keep an eye on the situation... especially when Matt is being denied everything but his legally scheduled weekends with the girls.

As it stands, I still have no intention of attending their wedding reception in March. When a person you thought you were close to goes off and gets married secretly twice, it hurts and I refuse to cater to it. I won't participate in a farce.

11 November 2011

At the Gym: Day Three

Today will be my third day at the gym. So far, things are going quite well. I've found that exercising in public does not bother me quite as much as I thought it would and I know it will get easier as I get smaller. The change in routine has already done some good... I'm down four pounds!

My back injury from last winter is going to cause a few problems until I get it built up. Mom was showing me how to use the crunch machine and I could only do four at a time, because my back muscles were pulling so painfully. It all radiates right from the spot that hit the step. If it doesn't get better after some more strengthening, I will have to have the doctor take another look at it.

I'm not a fan of the regular upright stationary bikes at the gym. My poor butt crack suffered more than anything, but the machine was also very jerky and awkward. Mom prefers them over the recumbent bikes. I told her that if we get on the bikes today and she sits by me, we'll have to sit where the uprights and recumbents meet, because I'm not doing that to my poor behind again!

I just need to locate a visual guide to the machines so I know what everything is called. I didn't go with the higher-cost gym package, so I really don't have a trainer to ask. You can ask for assistance from those on the floor, but they always seem like they have somewhere else to be right then. At least most of the machines have guides on them for use and explain the muscle groups that are targeted.

07 November 2011

Golden!

Gold's Gym Member
Tomorrow night I am finally getting my gym membership. Mom wanted me to sign up with her ages ago. There were a few problems in our way.

Ross and I only have one car (and license... lol) between us and he takes it to work every day. Even if I had my license, it would hardly make sense for me to make the three hours' worth of commuting each day to drop Ross off and pick him up just to have the car. Most of the time I can get around pretty well just by walking where I need to go, but in winter or for longer distances a car is a must and I wait until Ross gets home. The gym is too far to walk unless I break a few laws walking on the highway.

Before I had Xander, Mom was more than willing to taxi me around. In fact it always worked so well for both of us that I never had much reason to get my license. It did cost me (and eventually Ross) a small fortune in repair and upkeep costs, though. There's a reason I always called Mom's truck "The Beast."

When Xander came along, the truck was no longer an option. Car seats are illegal in the front seat of a truck with an active airbag and there was no room for the car seat in the tiny rear seats. Rising gas prices and the constant problems with maintaining the truck didn't help matters either. Luckily she has an uncle in the car sales business. He and his father-in-law were able to give Mom an even trade on her truck for a car.

So, we have wheels again! Mom and I can get back to our old routine of shared upkeep and gas on one vehicle. She has been going to a Gold's Gym near where she lives and offered to come pick Xander and I up every weekday to go to the gym. She knows it will motivate her and I can hardy help but be motivated when she shows up at my door to drag me away. LOL

I look forward to having the chance to finally work out again. It has been a bit hard with Xander underfoot. I was taking walks every day with him in a stroller, but the weather has been cold and wet. If it were just me, I wouldn't mind... but I have a baby to keep healthy. I tried doing video, game console and elliptical workouts at home but Xander kept getting right under my feet or the elliptical. Waiting until he napped didn't work either. The noise of the machine or me jumping about would often wake him. At some point I found the only time I had to get anything done was while he slept and working out got pushed aside. The gym has daycare while I'm in the gym... I get to work out without Xander underfoot and he gets to socialize with the other kids. Win, win!

Now I just need to scrape together the funds for a new pair of athletic shoes (wore mine out walking), a replacement water bottle or two, and maybe a few extra t-shirts to work out in. A heart rate monitor would be pretty nice, too.

31 October 2011

Another Visit, Another Rough Night

Matt and the girls came by for a bit last night. We grabbed some pizzas from Papa Murphy's and sat around playing games.

We didn't really talk as much about stuff this time, but a few things were said. Matt brought up a bit about how crappy Mom's family is to her... especially the way they all chain-smoked around her right after she quit. I told him how they were actually placing bets on how long she would last without a cigarette during the surgery to remove half her lung. Good to see you can count on support there!

We all decided to keep our visits on the down low. I'm usually the last to tell a kid to keep something from their parents, but every one of us is convinced the kids would be punished for going behind Angel's back. Jason has been harsh to Mackenzie and Nevaeh... I don't want to be the cause of more punishments. We're also pretty sure Matt would be punished in some way too and it would likely mean none of us would see the girls.

Last night was another rough night with Xander. He was doing so well, but the last couple nights he has been waking constantly until he's finally so tired he just drops. It was after two in the morning before he finally went to sleep. It's hard to pinpoint the problem, because he's completely normal during the day.

29 October 2011

History Repeats Itself

Apparently my sister did it again... got married without telling anyone. She and Jason are still planning their "show" wedding next year. Again, it was for "insurance purposes." I can't figure that one out, because Angel quit her job while she's in the last few months of her pregnancy and Jason can't hold a job to save himself. Oh, and she's been telling Mackenzie and Nevaeh that their Auntie Tonya is mad at her because they all didn't sit by Ross, Xander and me at the fireworks. Talk about oversimplifying things!

So, how did I find all this out? Angel's ex, Matt, went to visit Mom with the girls. She called me up to let me know they were there if I wanted to come over. Of course! We packed a quick diaper bag and headed right over.

Turns out Matt has been going through a lot of the same things as us. Angel has been steadily making it harder and harder for Matt to visit... telling him the girls are busy or they have to bring Jason's daughter somewhere... always something. The girls have even been put into programs that intentionally interfere with Matt's visitation schedule. Mackenzie was there to confirm that many of the stories we heard from Angel about Matt over the years were heavily exaggerated. Of course we're taking Matt's stories with a grain of salt, but it is very interesting to hear him making a lot of the same comments Mom and I have been making to each other. Matt also discovered something Mom and I suspected for some time... Jason has been the one reading and responding to all of Angel's texts.

Mackenzie and Nevaeh are definitely hurting. Their mom has been ignoring them in favor of Jason and his daughter Leila. Jason has been given sole responsibility for disciplining them and takes away privileges for every little infraction. Mackenzie said he went through all their clothes and removed anything he deemed "too sexy.' Apparently some capri pants didn't make the cut because they were too short! It sounds like the early stages of a controlling and abusive relationship. He also took away the cell phones they had been given, because he doesn't want them calling anyone unless he is listening in. The girls asked about calling us or Mom (their grandma) and were told they couldn't because we wouldn't answer anyway.

It's kind of hard to explain it all, but basically we got a chance to find out we are not the only ones that see what is going on. We had an opportunity to tell the girls the truth about what happened. I also gave them our phone numbers with instructions to call whenever they need or want to... assuming they can ever find the opportunity.

25 October 2011

CO: Strawberry Scarf and Navy Ribs

Once I completed Ross' grey ribbed socks I immediately began another pair in navy blue. I'll be working this pair toe-up. I want Ross to be able to choose which fit he prefers... toe-up or cuff-down.

Navy Ribs Toe
I also cast on another of the chevron scarves. I'm stash-busting some cashmere blend sock yarn that has given me numerous issues when I tried to make it into socks. It's working much better as a scarf. I decided to add a repeat to make a wider, shorter scarf. I just hope I have enough yarn to make it long enough.

Strawberry Chevron Scarf

FO: Gothic Ribs

Gothic Ribs
Pattern: Basic 2x2 Ribbed Toe-up

Yarn: Knit Picks Felici in Goth

Needles: Size 0 (2.00 mm) double-points

Made for: Myself

Notes: I love the fit of the toe-up with a flap heel! Somehow, knitting toe-up makes the project feel like it is moving along faster. Knitting with the Felici is a dream, too... it's so soft and it's fun getting to the next color. I look forward to using some more of the Felici in my stash.

FO: Grey Ribbed Socks

Ross' Grey Ribbed Socks

Pattern: Random ribbed cuff-down basic socks

Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll in Ash

Needles: Size 0 (2.00 mm) double-points

Made for: Ross

Notes: Another endless pair of giant ribbed socks for my dearest. They are obviously his favorite yet... he keeps wearing them!

22 October 2011

Poof! Recovering...

I had a major issue with my blog. All of the posts pretty much just disappeared. I am slowly recovering them from a back-up, but I have to re-do all the pictures and videos to prevent broken links. I'll be publishing each entry as I update it, so you'll see the archives slowly expand back to what it was. It will probably take a few days... I've kept this journal since 2006!

17 October 2011

Bugged

This flu bug is more than welcome to go the hell away now. Just sayin'. Xander and I have been barely above functioning level for over a week now. Ross has been coughing and sneezing for a few days. Judging by the rub-down he was giving his back as he got out of bed and the fact he turned the heat down, he's getting the horrible aches and fever now. I hope, for all of our sanity, that he recovers faster than we are... he is horrible as a sick person.

Beautiful Witch
Discovered a great new artist. I'm sure she's been around awhile, but I just came across her work while browsing in a signature-making group. Her illustrations make me smile and she has a great eye for photography. Check out Linmida.

Xander's one year NICU follow-up appointment is coming up on Wednesday. We only go for his sake... to keep an eye on any possible developmental delays from the lack of oxygen at birth. They seemed so convinced he wouldn't do well if we took him out "before he is truly ready to leave," but we were confident he was more than ready and would actually progress faster in our care. There was more than one time I wanted to slap a smug look off a doctor's face, so I take a bit of joy in showing off our beautiful son... but not enough to want to keep up these appointments the whole three to four years. Frankly, I can't wait until they tell us they don't think we need to bother coming back. We will be so happy to wash our hands of the whole place.

14 October 2011

Xander's Birthday Party


Birthday Boy!
Xander's first birthday party went very well. I was so stressed in the days beforehand... probably why I picked up the flu bug Mom and Grandma have been sick from. Not feeling well and Xander wreaking havoc made everything take twice as long as it should have, but everything was done in time for us to sit down and relax for a whole two hours before the party. I should have napped, but figured it would end up a short nap by the time I got to sleep, woke up, and got freshened up... it would just make me sleepier.

Birthday Banner
I went crazy with the decorations. I used every single balloon that we ordered... a total of almost 50! We also had a huge custom banner printed and it was hung so that it would be the first thing everyone saw when they walked in. His high chair and the big window behind it were also decked out with coordinating decor.

Balloon Bouquet
We had too much food, as always. Haha. We served chicken and dumplings (made a separate mushroom dumpling batch for Xander and I), a new barbecued beef recipe Ross tried, white and whole wheat buns, taco salad with tortilla chips, veggies (cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, celery, peppers, green onion) and dip, chips and dip, Doritos, cheese slices, cheese spread, summer sausage, crackers, peas and corn, salsa, coleslaw, tuna salad, soda, coffee, milk, beer, mixed drinks, juice, ice cream, and cake.

Birthday Cake
Xander's cake turned out okay. There was a lot of frustration and tears... I nearly tossed the whole thing in the road! Everyone said it looked great, but it was not at all how I pictured it. The idea to piece together the diamonds worked pretty well, but the unseasonably warm weather left the cake a bit melted. The base layer of icing started to come through between the diamonds. I also was shaky from lack of sleep and not feeling well, so the lines and dots came out very sloppy. I had people ask me to do cakes for them, but if I do I will need a lot more practice before I go "pro."

Opening Gifts
The toybox is overflowing and Xander's bank account has been plumped, too. He got...

  • A firehouse tower and firetruck from Nana
  • An umbrella stroller and books from Grandma Trinki
  • Musical storybooks and college money from Grandma Kris
  • A musical broom and college money from Grandpa Norm and Grandma Theresa
  • A "first laptop" from Uncle Dennis, Aunt Jessie and Lincoln
  • A Little people tractor from Uncle Larry, Aunt Desi and Austin
  • A cute stuffed bunny and college money from Uncle Troy, Aunt Renae and Cody
  • An adorable "Little Rebels" sporty jacket and pants set and college money from Uncle Bob, Aunt Dawn, Val, Kristi and Brian
  • Three big boy shirts and a jingly toy from Shaun, Gretchen, Evie and Nate
Playing With Ribbon
The last of over-stuffed guests... goodie bags and doggie bags in hand... left some time after eight. It was three days before I had everything cleaned up. We still have a few leftovers. We definitely need to buy an actual toybox (currently using a sturdy basket) or get around to refinishing that chest Ross' mom gave us.

I am so not looking forward to Ross' 40th in February!

Halloween Makeover

A little Halloween makeover for the blog courtesy of Cutest Blog on the Block. They truly have some of the cutest designs I've seen!

05 October 2011

Walking Video

Just a little bit of Xander walking. It was difficult to film while acting as baby catcher, but I'm glad I captured some of his early steps on camera. He does go further than what you see here... this was filmed just before bedtime and he got tired quickly.



03 October 2011

Random Book Quotes: Redux

Found on KSpot's Blog. Decided to do this again, because it is fun.

02 October 2011

He's Walking!

I think we can officially say Xander is walking now. On Friday, he took two small steps toward me when I stepped away from him. On Saturday, Ross and I were sitting on the floor and Xander kept walking between the two of us. At this point he is walking about two to three feet at a time. So exciting!

29 September 2011

Me and My Shadow

A funny moment with Xander and Selune. He was crawling around shadowing her. The funniest thing to me is that I hadn't truly realized how big Selune was getting until I noticed she looks bigger than Xander here.



Contrary to how it appears, his head is not right under her tail. Perspective can be a funny thing.

Cake Experiment: Final Attempt

Experiment Status- Mostly Successful

I decided to work on layers, fondant and decorating with the third (and probably final) practice cake.

I made a full batch of fondant this time, so that I would have enough to allow for rolling it out a little more thickly and I wouldn't be concerned about running short. The process of making the fondant went more smoothly now that I had a little experience. My only issue was being a little over generous with the confectioner's sugar on the counter... the dough got a bit tough this time.

Kneading the Dough

Dough Ball

The dyeing process was a little easier on my hands with the addition of dish washing gloves... no skin stained purple from the black dye. I do think the lack of contact with the heat from my hands helped to keep the dough from getting sticky as I worked with it. This time around, I used the lighter blue dye and just a hint of the black. The darker color is still off, but closer. The lighter color came even closer to the inspiration piece. I've been surprised by how little dye it actually takes to achieve rich color.

Light Dye

Dark Dye

I placed the cake layers in the freezer for several hours before icing them. That, combined with the advice on the Wilton cake leveler packaging, helped me to achieve a nice smooth base coat for the fondant. The cake looked good enough to eat already!

Icing in Progress

Icing Complete

Knowing that the diamond pattern is going to be my biggest challenge with the final cake, I opted to decorate this practice cake with a harlequin pattern. I used the icing spatula as a guide for cutting the squares that became the diamonds. Next time I'll use a proper ruler and a pizza cutter. In the practice cake I layered the lighter diamonds on top of the darker base. In the actual cake, I believe it will work best of I piece the diamonds together. It will allow me a little better control in keeping the diamond shapes even. I won't continue the diamonds on to the top of the final cake. Most of the top of the diamond layer will be covered by the top layer and I do not like how the diamonds had to be stretched to continue the pattern.

Solid Fondant

Adding the Diamonds

There will be dots on the top layer of the final cake and straight ribbons around the base of each layer. I decided to practice those techniques on this cake, too. It created a very fun pattern. All in all, I think the final result is a huge improvement over the first practice cake and could be considered a success.

The Final Result

Xander's Eczema

Precious Rash-y Face
I realized that I forgot to post about our appointment with the allergist on Tuesday.

Our first impressions weren't great... the receptionist is a grumpy, snappy ol' woman. She practically threw some paperwork at me and informed me that I neglected to return some vital paperwork that had been mailed to me. I'm ashamed to say it, but I took some pleasure in informing her that the sheets she gave me had not been in the package I received. I'm almost certain I heard her mutter "whatever" under her breath.

The nurse gave us some mixed feelings. She asked some questions and got visibly frustrated when we didn't know Xander's current weight. I explained that he was last weighed at his six-month appointment and had gained considerable weight since then. She pretty much treated us like awful parents because we don't weigh him every day. Seriously, it's a doctor's office... why don't you have a scale? She asked for medication information and again got upset when we didn't know the name of the prescription ointment he's on. She gets all snarky and says, "Well, that's why we tell you to bring the meds in." I responded, "Oh? Was that perhaps on the paperwork I didn't get? I was told his medical information was being faxed to you guys, so I assumed you would have any information you needed." She redeemed herself when dealing with Xander though. She was gentle with him, played with him and generally cooed and praised him.

The doctor herself was wonderful. She was visibly troubled when we were telling her how his pediatrician had us dealing with the eczema. She explained to us that he was basically getting it all backward and our "poor baby" had to suffer unnecessarily all this time. The pediatrician's advice to use Benedryl sparingly was backwards. The allergist said he should have had us administering it daily until his rashes cleared up. She also was amazed he only prescribed a topical antibiotic for Xander's open sores. The infection is visibly apparent, so he should have had a stronger oral prescription.

Getting Some Rest
She clarified that the pediatrician gave us false hope by telling us it was probably a milk or other food allergy. Eczema, especially as severe as his, is very rarely related to a food allergy. She went on to tell us that eczema is a chronic lifetime disease and it cannot be cured; only controlled. She did still test him for all major allergens (including cat, dog, dust, milk, soy, etc) and he came out allergy-free.

The allergist lined up a whole battle plan. She prescribed prednisone to bring down the inflammation and itching. There is a week of amoxycillin to deal with the infection. A stronger steroid ointment (betamethasone) to apply topically was added to the mix. She also recommended that we start giving him Claritin on a daily basis until after the spots clear up and she gave us information on chlorine baths to be done three days a week.

There was also a list of do's and don't to follow. We need to keep his skin free of acidic foods (tomatoes, citrus, etc) that might irritate the skin. Avoid wool... guess that means I need to get cotton or bamboo to knit socks for him. Prevent sweating and keep him dry, but moisturized. There was even a recommendation on a sleep aid for infants because sleep is essential to the healing process. We may need to look into that if his current crazy schedule continues.

It's been just two days and his skin is visibly better. He itched like crazy... to the point of drawing blood... the first time we applied the betamethasone, but since then he rarely scratches. We've been helping him out there by making sure he has on a onesie, long-sleeve shirt, long pants and socks at all time. We've been keeping it cooler in the house to keep him from getting sweaty, too. He even slept a solid eight hours last night. We're very hopeful that it's finally been dealt with.

28 September 2011

Cake Experiment: Attempt Two

Experiment Status- OKAY

Sloppy Spiderweb
The second attempt at advanced cake decorating went a little better than the first. I would describe the results as "okay."

The cake itself proved to be the bigger issue on this go-round. For some reason my go-to recipe decided to be a stinker. Bits of the cake stuck in the pan. The length of time to cook seems a bit off. I've tried following the directions from the cake recipe and the directions for the six-inch pans and had different results every time.

The fondant was much easier to work with. I used the bit of light blue I had left from the first attempt. It has been stored in the refrigerator all this time. When I dusted the counter with confectioner's sugar, I was very generous. I also rolled it out using the 3/16" guide rather than the 1/16" guide. I also pre-cut the circle of fondant to size before transferring it to the cake. Had the cake itself come out as nicely as it did on the first attempt, the final results would have been near perfect.

I did a little practicing with the decorative frosting. It's been quite some time since I last used a piping bag, so it was a bit messy. It didn't help much that I had my little 11-month old "helper" hanging off of me as I worked.

The end result looks decent and was a huge leap forward fro the first result. The taste was very good. The fondant was thin enough and good-tasting enough that you hardly noticed it... no greasy, plastic flavor. The flavor of the chocolate icing base underneath stood out more, which is more than I could have asked for.

26 September 2011

Cake Experiment: Attempt One

Experiment Status- FAIL

The Layers
The cake recipe itself turned out a bit dry compared to normal. It would have been okay if it didn't crumble at the slightest touch. I placed it in the freezer to firm it up for all of the handling that it would be getting, but the little cakes still crumbled significantly. Frosting the layers was a bit of a nightmare because of it. I just couldn't get a nice, smooth base for the fondant.

The Tinted Fondant
The fondant turned out pretty decently, but I will need to practice color combinations to get the shades of blue just right. I just have to get gloves or something to keep the dye off my hands, though. I turned them purple! I think the risk of wearing gloves for a few minutes is better than finding out what all this dye will do to them.

Rolling the fondant was difficult. Despite generous amounts of confectioners' sugar, it stuck to the counter and rolling pin. When I transferred it to the cake, it ripped. I think I will have to roll it out just a little bit thicker. I will also try adding more confectioner's sugar to the dough. Maybe chilling it longer would have helped?

 A Mess
The icing under the fondant started to melt from the weird humidity and the fondant sagged along with it. The more I worked at trying to fix it all... the worse it started to look. I wanted to cry! In the picture, you can see the chocolate icing starting to puddle from under the top layer and the spots where the fondant started to crack as it sagged. The black dye from the upper layer got all over everything. I got fingerprints all over my blue layer and there are spots of deep purple on the kitchen counter.

A Bigger Mess
In the midst of it all, Xander was screaming bloody murder. I had asked Ross to take care of him while I figured out the cakes, but he was too caught up in his game to change a diaper and feed him lunch. The frustration of the cake combined with Ross not truly helping with Xander and the stye in my eye hurting every time I blinked got me very frustrated... so I took it out on the cake. It's still edible. I just sort of "cut" it up into bite-sized pieces. Hehe.

For the record, Ross did come upstairs shortly after the cake smashing. He fed and changed Xander. He cleaned up and hand-washed all the dirty dishes. He put away the clean dishes from the dishwasher. He's also volunteered to deal with all of Xander's needs until bedtime and to cook our supper. I made dessert... it turned out smashingly. LOL

But There's Cake!

Today, well technically yesterday, was such a long day.

We were up again last night and into the morning with Xander. He woke up screaming and scratching furiously. We couldn't get him calmed down until we took him out into the living room to play with his toys. Ross and I are both starting to wonder if he's experiencing nightmares. I only wish I knew what he would be so frightened of and how to ease it. The poor kid doesn't need nightmares on top of the pain he's already in.

It was nearly 7:00am before I got him back down to sleep. Ross had gone to bed around 2:00am, so when he woke as I was coming to bed, I told him to take the monitor and let me sleep. Go figure... Xander ended up sleeping until two hours after I woke up at 10:30am!

Ross had his D&D game today, so it was just Xander and I for most of the day. I tried to keep Xander awake to shift him back to his usual schedule, but he crashed at about 6:30pm. Frankly, I was relieved. He'd been a total bear for most of the time after Ross left. I was just settling in for some knitting, after tidying the living room and kitchen, when he woke up. He only had half an hour of sleep. His mood wasn't any better after his nap... until I whipped up a couple of French fries to share with him. Apparently the mounds of food he had eaten all day were not the right foods. *sigh* He played relatively quietly until Ross got home.

After dealing with a surprise blow-out diaper moments after Ross got home (Welcome home, dear. Hehe.), I put Ross in charge of Xander. I scrubbed up and tackled the first round of test cakes. Tonight was just the baking step. I'm using my tried and true chocolate cake recipe from the side of the Hershey cocoa tin, but I had to test out cooking times for various sizes of pans. I usually bake in nine inch rounds, but I'll also be adding six in rounds and mini bundts to the roster... and I wasn't sure how long they all would need to cook. Looks like the six inch rounds take five minutes less time than the nine inch and the mini bundts I'm using for the smash cake take five minutes less than the six inch. That should be simple to remember.

I'm looking forward to practicing with fondant and decorating tomorrow. I'll try to take lots of pictures to share.

24 September 2011

Cake Supplies

Cake Decorating Supplies
If I'm ever any good at it, let it be known that today was the day I became a cake decorator. Haha. Ross and I went and gathered all the little things I'll need to make Xander's cake for his first birthday party. For some strange reason I felt the need to tackle the challenge rather than paying someone else to make a cute cake. It was probably because I wanted something very specific (like my favorite chocolate cake recipe) and the cost could get ridiculous for something that I could do myself. At least this way I'll have the basics on hand for other events.

Party Theme
We are going with a "Lil' Rebel" theme. I want to mimic the look of the decorations. The plan is to have the top layer in black with white dots. The lower level will be the harlequin design in two shades of blue. The candle that came with the party kit looks like the pattern on the bottom. I haven't decided if I'll pipe in a line to cover the seam between layers or use a ribbon... most likely piping in a clean blue line like on the plate. I'm hoping I can find a way to mimic the wings and add Xander's name but that is probably out of my skill set for now.

23 September 2011

Not Again!

Exhausted
It's now 5:00 in the fricken' morning and I still have not slept. Xander simply refuses to sleep for more than a few minutes at a time. I don't even make it back to bed before he's crying again. Ross was up with us for two hours earlier this morning. Neither of us can figure out what is wrong. He has been fed and changed numerous times. We have given him the gripe water earlier because he was gassy. We put hydrocortisone on his rashes because he was itching horribly. When that didn't ease his itching, we resorted to the Benedryl.

He's still acting wide awake, whining and itching... and now he's running a fever. I have him up to play in hopes that it will wear him out. He seems to be itching less, but he is very, very clingy and whining over everything. I'm sure he's actually very tired, but something is keeping him awake.

I'm losing my mind here. A person can only go so long with so little sleep. I am so happy that Ross is on vacation after today. Earlier this morning, I warned him that I am heading straight to bed when he gets home and I'm sleeping until I feel rested. If that means Xander is in Ross' care until Saturday night, then so be it. If I don't get some solid sleep soon I'm going to go ape-shit.

22 September 2011

Home Sweet Home?

On the Move
I moved my blog again. I've been trying to find the right place for it. I know a lot of people knock Blogger, but it is conveniently connected to Picasa and YouTube... the places I store my photos and videos. I also like the much wider range of free customization. How else could I annoy my lovely readers with this wonderful script-y font? (Seriously, if it's hard to read let me know. I will change it.) With the new look and options behind-the-scenes, it's much more user-friendly also. I also know that Blogger comes with its own community of writers... and who doesn't like a little more viewership? I'll be adding my archived posts as time allows, so check back to read the past and the future.

21 September 2011

It's a Gas

Probably safer to stay clear of me for a few days. Ugh. The weather and all its associated bugs finally got me. I've been sniffling, coughing, feverish, achy, irritable... oh, and my period showed up ten days early. Yay. Not. I am so glad Ross is on vacation next week. I need the break so badly. I'm just wearing down from the lack of sleep. Yet, even now that he is sleeping, I can't sleep.

We had to take Xander back off the soy formula. The eczema didn't get any better and we got a very gassy baby to boot. We can't pin down a single source. It happens regardless of the type of formula or the type of food he's eating. I read an article in which a mom described a very similar story to ours. Her son turned out to have a corn allergy. Could you imagine? Corn is in everything!

He's rubbing his face on everything... our clothes, his crib, the floor, the furniture... to the point that he has a raw open sore on his chin and a red "mustache" over his lip. I'm applying the hydrocortizone and Aquaphor as the doctor suggested and hoping it clears up quickly. I may have to resort to bandaging his chin at night. That's when he rubs the worst and I'm not there to stop him.

Until we can better determine what is causing the gas, we picked up some gripe water in hopes that it will ease some of the pain he's in. It seems to be helping so far tonight. It's been two hours since he fell asleep and we haven't had any of the usual whimpers and restlessness. I had to go check on him to make sure he was okay!

I really need to try to sleep. Maybe a cup of hot cocoa will do the trick?

20 September 2011

Changed My Mind

I was going to continue with the story of why I have my issues with my sister, but I have decided not to. It's just turned into a big ol' pity party, and that's not my style. Lack of sleep and stress over Xander's issues has made me a bit crazy and I blew things out of proportion. Angel is entitled to her own decisions. I will be there for my nieces if and when they need me.

I will carry on with Xander's party with those who choose to come and I won't fault those who choose not to. I can't say at this point that I definitely won't go to her wedding, but I will say that a lot of healing will have to happen for that to take place.

I can't have regrets for the choices I make. They may sometimes feel like mistakes, but I wouldn't be who I am without them... and I like who I am. Thank you to everyone who offered advice and insight. I truly appreciated it. Hug your loved ones tonight because you never know what tomorrow holds.

15 September 2011

More of the Story

I shared a bit of my current frustration with my sister across a few message boards that I frequent to get some insight. For them, I provide more of the story...

There is so much to this story that is hard to put down without writing a novel here. Actually, many people have said that is exactly what I should do... write a novel. It's all better than fiction. Hey, wouldn't you read a story that starts with the line, "My first memory is the day I killed my sister."?

I think I can pinpoint the very moment I began to give up on my sister. It was when I caught her sneaking out with boxes of her stuff in the middle of the night... leaving my mom and I to care for our dying dad. I know it was tough on Angel. It was tough on all of us. I have no respect for someone who runs away from their problems. I guess that's why I've continued to try to mend what can't be fixed these 10 years since. She hasn't made it easy.

Just days before Dad died, she pops in for a visit and announces she's pregnant. My dad broke down crying. He was completely mute at that point because of what had all been removed to fight his cancer. There is nothing I have experienced more heart-wrenching than watching my dad sobbing uncontrollably in utter silence. I knew that in that moment he was realizing he would never meet his grandchild. I hate her for doing that to him, but I kept silent.

A few days after my dad's funeral, my sister couldn't be contacted. Several of us had tried calling her and she wasn't returning any calls. When someone finally got a hold of her many days later, she said that she and Matt had "spent a few nights in a hotel." It wasn't until a few months later at Easter dinner that she announced she and Matt had married then. My sister and I had once been so close and it killed me that she didn't have us there. It wasn't any secret that no one among her family and friends (and his) approved of their relationship. Matt was rude, crude, and disrespectful... and it was rubbing off on Angel. I'm sure that is why she chose to elope.

Before Dad died, he had asked to see me alone. I still have the note he wrote me that day, "Please take care of your mom. She's going to need you more than ever. I'm sorry I'm leaving you, but I know you're strong enough." It was six years before I left Mom and moved out on my own. We battled through her many methods of coping... drinking, gambling, eating and threatening to kill herself to be with Dad. I tried so many times to get her to get help, but she said she didn't need it. She bled me dry; mentally, physically and financially. It would have been nice at some point to have just a little help from my sister... just a moment where I could feel I had back-up... but it never happened. Mom has been better, but still struggles in every way. I just have nothing left.

Over the next several years, the rift grew. Angel was constantly making choices to be with Matt's family over ours. We were passed by over the holidays and she was "too busy" to make it to parties. Gifts even became an issue. Although money spent doesn't matter, it did cut a bit for Mom when she'd discover they spent $500 on a Christmas gift for his parents but only $15 on her gift. There was so much tension over everything that Mom and Matt's mom began to argue when they were at the same event. Suppose it never helped that Matt's step-dad would side with Mom.

Angel constantly complains that Mom doesn't go to pageants and games that the kids have. When she lived 200 miles from us, she complained that Mom didn't visit. Angel neglects to remember two key points. Mom is on an extremely fixed income (disabled due to extreme anxiety and depression) and any visit she made meant gas money out of my pocket. Angel never offered to help. Now that I am a stay-at-home-mom there isn't extra to give her. Mom also gets very anxious when driving... to the point she has panic attacks when she gets near certain areas. The majority of the time, Angel lived near Milwaukee which is one of Mom's biggest panic attack triggers. Between jobs, my husband, my son and my own obligations, I wasn't exactly always able to take Mom to everything but we made it to every single event that we could. We've been to pageants, every birthday party, every holiday at their house, birthday visits at school, graduations and big events. I can count on one hand how many times Angel has been to Mom's house and it wouldn't take all the fingers on my other hand to count her visits to my home.

12 September 2011

CO: Gothic Ribs

The Toe
Casting on a pair of socks for myself in Knit Picks' Felici. I usually like the purl section to be smaller than the knit sections, but I don't like how the folded over part looks. So, I've decided to do a basic 2x2 ribbing on this sock.

FO: Tiger Socks

Completed Tiger Socks
Pattern: Basic toe-up size 8.5 woman's sock formula from the Sock Wizard program


Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll Hand-Painted in Tiger


Needles: Size 0 (2.0 mm) circular


Ravelry: Tiger Socks project page


Made for: Me


Notes: I wish I had done the ribbing over the top of the sock too. The fit is good, but I am increasing by four stitches for my next pair for an even better fit.

10 September 2011

Rest

Ahhh... an actual restful night of sleep. Xander was only up for a few minutes around 1am. I got him a bottle and Ross put him back to sleep. We all slept in until Xander woke us at 7:30. I'm just whipping up some fried potatoes and veggie sausages for breakfast and then we're hoping to meet up with Gretchen, Shaun and the kids at the farmers' market. We haven't seen them in ages and we've missed several weeks of the market because of Ross' schedule.

Mom is coming by later for help washing up and vacuuming her truck. My cousin Fred has a few possible cars for her to choose from, so she wants the truck looking it's best when he sees it. She's getting the breaks fixed tomorrow by Angel's fiance's dad. Mom is waiting until they're done to let Angel and Jason know she can't make it to the shower because of Xander's birthday party. That is one of those "if only I were a fly on the wall" moments.

I really need to get dressed and stop procrastinating.

09 September 2011

Aches & Pains

Another lousy night of sleep. From 10pm to 4am, Xander woke up every fifteen to thirty minutes. I finally headed to bed at 4:30... hopeful that I could get a few hours of good sleep... but it was not to be. Between an aching back and two cats acting up, I barely scraped together an hour.

It was probably a bad idea to let Xander take such a long (and second) nap yesterday. I'm pretty sure that's why he didn't get solid sleep until the wee hours of the morning.

I'm pretty sure the backache is because of all the rearranging and cleaning I was doing. I moved our incredibly heavy elliptical out of the living room and into the bedroom, changed things around in the living room, cleared out some items destined for the rummage sale and steamed the dining room and living room carpets. The new layout makes the main living area look even bigger, keeps Xander out of things not intended for little hands, and allows for a better play area that contains his toys.

I really need to eat something. I'm starving this morning!

08 September 2011

Spite & Malice

I got an invite for my sister's baby shower in the mail yesterday. She scheduled it for the very same day and time of Xander's first birthday party... a date my family and friends were told to keep open as far back as the week of Xander's birth. She still hasn't had the time to talk things out. Apparently she now decided to get spiteful. Lovely.

Shopping For Xander

New Kicks
Did some shopping for the kiddo.

He needed new shoes because his feet are getting so big so fast. Occasionally Walmart is the place to go when you can't justify spending $30 on something he'll out grow in a week. LOL These were a mere $10... and oh so cute!

Thrift Store Haul
Our favorite thrift shop had a half off everything sale, so we snagged a few things for Autumn and Winter. Our find of the day was an official NFL Packers sweatshirt that was a steal at $1.00. The whole works totaled only $25.

07 September 2011

Food Poisoning?

I walked four and a half miles today. I took a variation on my usual route to meet up with Ross at the store. The main road I need to cross to get to the store was insanely busy today and we were not getting the little walking man to signal us to cross. I decided to have Ross pick us up across the street from the store at Culvers. I wasn't going to cross if I couldn't cross safely.

I'm sort of regretting that decision. I decided to have a Pumpkin Cheesecake Concrete Mixer while I waited. It tasted so good! Within half an hour, I was running for a bathroom. Since then, I've had three more bouts of "digestive issues." Even now, my stomach and back are aching from what my body has been through. I'm debating contacting the store to say something. Does food poisoning strike that fast or could this be something else?

I just hope I'm feeling better by morning. It was bad enough that I only got four hours of sleep last night. Please, Xander, sleep tonight.

06 September 2011

Elusive Sleep

I'm so tired, but I can't sleep. Xander finally fell asleep a bit after eleven and that should have been my cue to get to bed. Instead, I keep wasting minute after minute playing games on Facebook (Sims Social, anyone?) and chatting on message boards. I just know I'm going to get woken in a few hours by my dear husband that never developed the skill of getting ready quietly so the rest of the house can sleep.

Ross has to work overtime all week.  He goes in a couple hours early every day. It basically doubles his paycheck. Overtime helps us build up the nest egg, but it really messes with our family time and sleep schedule. Well, even if he was quiet in the morning, he'd probably still wake me to say goodbye. It's a sweet little morning ritual, so I can't complain... and I generally doze right back off to sleep.

I guess I'll cue up Netflix and find a movie to watch. There's a new documentary called Forks Over Knives that I've been wanting to see, although an old movie I've seen a thousand times would probably be more conducive to getting some sleep. And, there's a yawn. Perhaps I can sleep after all.

FO: Packer Backer Baby Sweater

Packer Backer Baby Sweater
Between temper tantrums, dirty diapers and a cranky husband, I managed to complete Xander's Packer sweater. I used KnitPicks Shine Worsted in White, Dandelion and Arbor (discontinued) and the Candlestick pattern.. I love how soft the yarn is... it has an almost silky feel to it. I'm not very thrilled with the collar. It came out a bit boat-neck for my tastes. When I do the pattern again, I intend to make decreases to create a more snug collar. For this one, I'm going to try a bit of elastic to pull it in just a bit.

I can't wait to give it to him for his first birthday! He won't remember getting it, but this is the age when he won't mind getting it. Haha.

04 September 2011

Little Accomplished

It was supposed to be a day to get things done, but I accomplished very little. We took Xander over to his Nana's to play for a few hours and headed home to tackle our list. I crossed off two things: tidy the house and do Mom's laundry. I got part of the second sleeve on Xander's sweater done.

We didn't even touch the major project of clearing out the two spare bedrooms that have become storage rooms. We have a deadline of sorts. There is a neighborhood rummage sale in late September or early October and I have every intention of participating because the money I make is what I'll be using to buy Ross' Yule gifts... but we need to sort out what we want to sell. I know there is plenty there to get rid of. I have boxes of clothes from my pre-weight-gain days. We had doubles of nearly everything when we moved in together, so the spares can all go... mixers, dishes, silverware, pans, etc. There are two TVs, an entertainment center, several tables, chairs, books, desks, computer gear and so much more. Not to mention all of the baby clothes and gear we've already accumulated!

It's a long weekend, so all is not lost. We may have to do it with Xander around, but we can at least get a start on the mess. Well... until we need to get around to clearing the garage for the sale. That's a whole new ballgame.

02 September 2011

Rambling

Things are really not getting much better around here. Xander is still enduring painful eczema... and Ross and I continue to go crazy from lack of sleep. Due to our schedules and the office policy that requires first-time visits to be before 4:00, we can't get him in to see the allergist until the last week of September. Ross will be on vacation then.

In the meantime, we are having another go at the soy-based formula. When we tried it before, he got horrible gas. We are currently mixing half soy and half dairy to reduce the chances of tummy aches and gas. By the end of the week, he should be on full soy. It has been only two days since we started, but he slept through the night last night for the first time in over a month! He normally scratches at himself to the point of drawing blood. Today I only saw him scratch lightly at his wrist a couple of times. I'm very hopeful this is actually working... yet it will be so frustrating to find it was all that simple!

Mom's truck is breaking down again. It seems like the problems with The Beast (my nickname for her truck) come in droves. The major issue is squealing and shimmying when she steps on the breaks. The automatic windows keep shorting out, but that can be blamed on the handiwork of her brother; the wanna-be mechanic. The cooling unit is also useless. The good news is that my cousin is trying to find her a nice used car as an even-up trade for her truck. He has a successful career at a dealership and knows that Mom is struggling for the money. She will still need to get the breaks fixed to get it to him, though.

And a random moment of baby and cat...


03 August 2011

Some Great Fitness & Diet Sites

I'm definitely getting better and better at getting back on track for fitness and diet. I have joined a few sites for support, encouragement and workout variety. I was using SparkPeople (tell them Earth-Whispers sent you and add me as a friend)... and still do for most things... but I have migrated my main tracking over to MyFitnessPal because the iPhone app is much better. I'm finding that I track more consistently with their app. I love the barcode scanner feature for adding foods. It's so handy! I also joined LifeKraze, I found the site through MyPoints. I got points by signing up through MyPoints and I've found a great motivational tool... and they also give awards for points! I'm also seeking out sites that have exercise videos and tips. ExerciseTV is really great because I can access it from my computer and our SmartTV. I've found the free full-length videos are more than enough for me for now, but it's nice knowing there is a subscription option if I need more. It just feels great finally finding the motivation I have been lacking.

27 July 2011

Slept on the Floor

I am so exhausted once again. We had a lot of good nights of sleep and then suddenly Xander doesn't want to sleep again. It's so frustrating! Last night I was spending so much time going back and forth to his room that I ended up grabbing the futon-like cushion from the family room couch and sleeping on his floor. He had fallen asleep in Mom's arms just 20 minutes before his usual bedtime and then woke up two hours later and was up for the next five hours.

My whole body aches today. That cushion was definitely not as comfortable on the floor as it is on the frame. I tried napping today while Xander did, but he's been so restless that I'm afraid I'll just get woken up as soon as I get to sleep.

23 July 2011

Raglan Sweater for Xander

More of the the same old crap lately. Xander has been cranky beyond belief and I can't find a reason. At times I think it's teething or a tummy ache or the itchy skin or all of the above, but nothing I do seems to make a difference. If we're out in public or around others he is a perfect child, but get home to just Ross and I and all Hell breaks loose!

Torso and One Sleeve
At least I'm sneaking in some knitting time... usually at the expense of my sleep schedule. I'm working on a Packer-theme sweater as a birthday gift for Xander. It's hard to believe that he'll be a year in less than three months! It is my first time doing a real raglan sweater. I have only made two sweaters before this and they were both basic baby cardigans.

Unlike the sample project, I'm doing the stripe detail on both sleeves. I'm a tad obsessive about symmetry. The collar will be green like the bulk of the sleeves. I love this type of folded hem on garments, because it's so clean and neat. I'm enjoying working in the round because it reduces a chunk of seaming. I hate seams!

At this point in the project I can already say that I will very likely use the same pattern many times. The three-month size will make a cute quick knit as a gifts for my new niece and nephew... both scheduled to arrive in November if their moms' uteri cooperate. :p

10 July 2011

Stir-Crazy

I have been going a bit stir-crazy again. I think a lot has to do with the over-exposure to family that happens in the summer. There has been a family gathering of some sort nearly every weekend. Add to that a mom who calls every day... even on days she sees us in person... and you get a me that seriously needs a break from family.

Ross has been on vacation all week and we've had an appointment or meet-up every day. There just hasn't been any time to relax at home. When I'm home there is cleaning, laundry, or school work to do. Xander has been irritable and fussy... making every task that much harder to accomplish. I need a vacation from our vacation!

The weekend of fireworks led to some minor "fireworks" with Angel. She had mentioned that herself, her fiance Jason, and the girls were all going to be at the same fireworks location that we were attending. I suggested meeting up and she ignored me. I thought she hadn't heard me until I repeated while standing right in front of her and was ignored again. It irritated me. If you don't want to meet up, just say so. Don't pretend you didn't hear me!

Oooo... Fireworks!
The day of the event I decided to give her another shot in case she changed her mind, because I knew the girls wanted to sit with us... so I texted her to ask when they were heading to the park. I get back "don't know." Alrighty then. Later on at the event I took a cute picture of Xander's face while they were firing test shots and I texted it to a few close family and friends. She never responded. We never saw her.

The next day she texted an "apology" full of yet another bunch of excuses... the same old recycled excuses. We were tired, sick, busy, etc. She seriously used all of them at once. I have already been struggling to bite my tongue on my concerns/ issues with Jason, the baby and the pending wedding. I'm tired of her only wanting family (specifically myself and mom) around when she needs something from us. I decided it was time to take a break from Angel before I said something that would make our relationship irreparable. So I responded, "I have decided to take a break from family for a bit. I'm tired of excuses and only being wanted when I'm needed. I'll get back to you if I ever get over it." She never responded.

I guess she did eventually say something to Mom and asked what it was about, accused me of "doing stuff like this all the time," and said she didn't have time for me. Mom asked me not to respond to Angel about it because she doesn't want to get in the middle, but she is irritated by the situation with Angel also. Mom knows herself that the only other time I did "stuff like this" was when she and Angel were getting into it and I told them both I wasn't going to speak to either until they sorted it out. I'm further frustrated that Angel still can't say anything directly to a person she is in conflict with. Get some balls and say what you've got to say, already!

I'll be there if/ when she's ready to talk. Until then, I'll enjoy the peace.