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


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!