Thursday, July 31, 2008

Odds and Ends

I am exhausted. E.X.H.A.U.S.T.E.D! We've done so much work on the new house, and there's still so much to do. But I do feel like we've gotten over the half-way mark, and we're sprinting towards the finish line. We're so ready to move over there and have this all over with. The Greatest is working like a man possessed. I'm actually grateful he's working two twelve hour shifts at his "real job" in the next two days so I can proceed at a more relaxed pace. I'm still going to go over and work on the house without him, but I'm going to stop around noon to feed the kids lunch, instead of, oh, I don't know, THREE! And I might take an hour off in the afternoon so Sweet Pea can take a decent nap in her own crib instead of a fifteen minute cat nap on my shoulder. (It is a true sign of what a bad sleeper she is when I consider an hour to be a decent nap. This kid does not like to sleep).

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Speaking of Sweet Pea, she's mobile. She isn't crawling in the traditional form, but she does get around. It's a cross between an army crawl and a bear crawl. It's not graceful, and it looks awfully labor intensive, but it gets her where she wants to go so she is thrilled. She's also mastered going from a sitting up to crawling, and now she's working on the reverse action. It's so fun to watch her on the floor trying to puzzle it all out. We think she successfully executed the maneuver, but of course neither of us were watching. We just know she was on her hands and knees trying to sit up, and a few minutes later she was sitting up. Whether there was intervention in the form of Pork Chop, or if she did it all on her own, we just don't know. She's eating everything we set in front of her. We have yet to find a food she will not eat. Until last night her favorite was avocado, but last night we gave her watermelon. She was shoving those tiny red cubes of heaven in her mouth as fast as her chubby hands would move, often smashing pieces into her cheek in her impatience to get more in her mouth. I may have to have watermelon on hand for the rest of the season, it made her so happy.

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There's been knitting, but not much in the past few days. I've knit another pair of pants for Sweet Pea for this winter. I'm almost done with a matching sweater for her pants. This obsession with baby pants really is threatening to grow out of control. But for the moment exhaustion is keeping the obsession in check.

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And just for the record. I did not intentionally do a bad job on painting. I am just naturally bad at it. It takes a certain degree of hand eye co-ordination, which surprisingly, despite all my knitting, I lack. It might also require general body co-ordination, which I also lack. I did help The Greatest paint our family room the other day when his friend from work failed to show up to help. When I dropped my wet roller on the only six inches of flooring not covered by a plastic drop cloth he didn't even say a word to me. But I notice he found other places for me to be when he painted the kitchen. I try.

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And Stephanie. I did not paint Pork Chop's room. I picked out the color, I went with him to buy the paint, then I hung out with my Mom while The Greatest painted. Mom and I did hang the border in Pork Chop's room, but my hands were paint free. I did help steady the ladder while The Greatest was painting the stairs. But he had half the ladder held up by a cook book and a box of Tide. He needed supervision. Not that I could have done anything but watch him fall to his death when the Tide box broke, but at least I would have been near him during his final moments on earth. Again my hands were paint free. And when I made him paint the master bedroom, only to turn around two days later and declare the color (which I picked out) "hideous" and made him re-paint the room, again, my hands were paint free. It is a true testament to his love for me that our marriage survived that little incident. But don't worry, I've made up for it lately. My hands, my hair, my feet, my arms, my legs, my tummy (??!), my clothes, and even the baby (who was in the sling while I painted) have all been covered in paint. Only the two story living room/stairway, and two bathrooms to go, and the painting will be done! And the garage. The Greatest wants to paint his garage and *shrug* I'm not about to get between a man and his garage.

Monday, July 28, 2008

A Talent I Lack

Things are going well at the new house. Even though we haven't moved in yet we've been swimming almost everyday. I'm starting to think we've purchased the world's most expensive pool pass. We just show up whenever we feel like it to swim. The kids are getting so tan. Even the baby, who swims in the buff, is getting tan lines in her fat wrinkles. Work inside the house is moving fairly quickly, but I'm so impatient to move-in that the progress feels glacially slow.

We started out with the Greatest taping rooms and painting while the children and I washed walls. Sweet Pea was along for the ride in the sling which meant I couldn't get up on a ladder to reach the tops of the walls or bend over to reach the bottom of the walls. The children (and by children I mean Pork Chop, the middle two mostly threw the wet rags at one another) washed the bottom portion of the walls, while the Greatest came in and got the top portions. We managed to wash all four bedrooms and both bathrooms upstairs the first day, not to mention painting Meaty's room. Not bad for a days work. Since I didn't have to bend over, or get up on a ladder this arrangement was working really well for me.

I had to go and open my big mouth and ruin it.


As The Greatest and I lay in bed that night chatting about how it went and what we hoped to get done the next morning I mentioned that in all the years of marriage, in all the places we had lived and painted, I had yet to pick up a roller. I'd never roller-ed, edged, or even opened a paint can. I didn't tape, or remove tape. I had almost nothing to do with the actual painting of a room, and couldn't really recall ever painting in my life. Why, oh why, did I feel the need to open my mouth? I could have taken that little tidbit of information to the grave with no one being harmed in the process. But no, the words were out of my mouth before I realized the full implication of them.

The Greatest had never realized this inequality of the workload. He didn't know I didn't know how to paint and that if left to my own devices I might forever live in a house with paint picked out by the previous owner, not for lack of desire to change the paint color, but for lack of a starting point on where to begin. But honestly, look at it from my viewpoint. If I'm painting, who is watching the children? It's not like I was sitting on my butt knitting while he was painting all those other houses. Alright, maybe I was sitting on my butt knitting while he was painting some of those houses, but I was also tending to the children. And it's not like I was sitting on my butt knitting while he was painting THIS house, our dream house, our forever house. I was in the other room, sweating with no a/c, washing walls. I was working too.

But it was too late to plead my case in my own defense. The damage had been done. The Greatest had determined that I would paint Pork Chops room the next day. And nothing I could say would dissuade him.

So the next morning I dressed in old clothes that I could throw away without shedding tears over. I managed to get Sweet Pea down for a nap (the only nap she's taken at the new house) and with a deep breath I prepared to paint.

Now The Greatest was kind. He taped the room. He laid out plastic to protect the carpet. He carefully edged the ceiling for me. He showed me how to load paint on the roller and how to roll it on the wall. The he showed me how to roller more slowly when I splattered myself on my first attempt by rolling too quickly. He gave me the sturdy ladder because I don't like heights and can't reach the upper wall with a chair anyways (I'm not that short, the walls are that tall). He then turned me loose.

This was a mistake of epic proportions.

I managed to paint everything but the walls. I could frequently be found swearing and grabbing an edge of my shirt to wipe paint off of places it didn't belong. I got paint on the door jamb, the window frame, the window, the closet door jamb, the carpet, my hair, and my shoes (that were in the room, but not on my feet). My white t-shirt was completely pink from all the wiping I did, and somehow I got paint on my tummy as well, whether it was transfer from the shirt, or if I rubbed against a wet wall when I was trying to wipe off paint from somewhere it didn't belong, I can not say.

As I stepped in a three inch puddle of paint I don't recall dripping on the floor I had a flash-back. I HAD painted before.

When I was fourteen or fifteen I was sent away for a week of "camp." This was a "character building" experience where the youth were spending a week fixing up an old campground. It was "service to the community." It was going to make me a better person. It was slave labor!

I was painting a cabin. But I wasn't any good at it back then either. The story was the same. Paint on everything but where it belonged. Paint in my hair. And I stepped in paint back then too. Only that time it was a gallon of paint, that I stepped in and spilled. I was such a disaster they sent me to go swimming. They didn't even re-assign me a new task. They just sent me out of the way. I was such a poor clumsy little girl. Is it any wonder I've worked so hard to repress memories like these?

But I survived "camp" and I survived painting Pork Chop's room. It is now a monstrosity of pink.

The Greatest praised me and my efforts. He told me what a good job I had done. He told me all my mistakes were easily fixed. And he enlisted his friends from work to come and help him paint the rest of the house.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

It Must Be Mid-Summer

Because we're preparing for our annual Fall Move! I can't believe I didn't blog it, but in addition to moving across the country almost two years ago we moved last fall to get into a better school district for Pork Chop. And I don't even want to think about this move or this one. And those were just the ones that got a passing mention on the blog. I've been married ten years and moved eight times. And we're about to make it nine.

I moved a lot as a child too. My parents must have had wander-lust in their blood. Things were always changing at our house. The furniture was re-arranged on a quarterly basis. We were always swapping bedrooms. And every few years we just changed towns. My Dad was into computers before computers were something people were into and I think he went where the technology would take him (or at least that was my child-like understanding). My best friend in high school went to the same school for all thirteen years. That was just unfathomable to my teenage brain. How could one stay in one town for so long?

And that wander-lust must have rubbed off on me. I married a man in the military, virtually guaranteeing I would never spend too long in one place. But as the years slipped by, and the moves added up (and in the interest of full-disclosure only two moves were military related, three if you count the move when he left the military) I began to ponder living in one place for a long time. Wondering what it would be like to live in one house for a lifetime. Making friends and keeping them. Not picking up heavy furniture every 12 months. Having my children go to the same school for all thirteen years. Would it be dull? Would the stability be smothering? Or would it be glorious?

I'm about to find out.

Yesterday we closed on a house. I can't even begin to get into what the home buying process was. It was a nightmare. After I hit publish I shall never think nor speak of it again. I started to type the highlights, but really, if I have a record of them I might stumble across them, then I'll have to think of them, and I'm never going to think of them again.

I didn't blog the process as it happened because I was too happy about buying the house. I was so happy my body could not hold it all in, and it bubbled out in smiles, laughter, and occasionally happy tears. To be honest, so much joy felt foreign to me. I worried that if I called attention to how happy I was the universe might notice me. Surely this much joy is not meant to be felt by one person. I didn't want them to realize their mistake and take measure to correct the situation, or temper my joy by filling the house with termites.

But the documents are all signed and recorded. The locks have been changed and the house is mine.

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It was a foreclosure house, so there is a bit of work to be done in the house. Not as much as there could have been. The house was broken into and the appliances were stolen after we went into contract. So the bank had to install brand new appliances and fix the garage door. If only we hadn't stumbled upon the break-in before they came back for the fridge (we went to the house and the doors were all open and the fridge was on a dolly by the door, they never came back for it). We have a VA loan. And the VA inspector declared the house to be unsanitary. Our lender refused to fund the loan until the house was cleaned, the carpets were washed, and the pool was swim-able. That's right. I said POOL.

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So I am now the co-owner (The Greatest signed the loan too) of a house with a pool. But the love doesn't stop there. The previous owners pimped the house out with lots of upgrades. My favorite is probably the humongous balcony off the master bedroom where I plan to sit and knit every day! I'll show you lots of pictures when we are done. But in the meantime I've got walls to wash.


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And painting to do.

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So we can move in and do this

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Every day!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

What does a Zombie knit?

As we all learned yesterday I am a sleep deprived zombie, stumping my way through the day in a tired haze. And what does a good zombie knit? Why *ZOMBIE SOCKS* of course!

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Pattern: Zombie Socks

Yarn: South West Trading Company TOFUtsies

Needles: Two size 0 Addi Turbos

Modifications: Just the smaller needles.

Review: I didn't join Sock Madness this year. I feared with the Tiny Terrorist I wouldn't be able to participate well enough to enjoy myself. I also didn't *love* the patterns we knit last year. Most were fine, one I hated, but most weren't patterns I would have knit had I not been in the competition. I didn't want to spend what little knitting time I can find knitting things I didn't love. I was perfectly content with my decision. Then wouldn't you know it, I fell in love with the first pattern they knit,Zombie Socks, a sock madness exclusive. Thank goodness the designer offered it up as a free ravelry download when sock madness was over.

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In an only vaguely related piece of useless information, I cast on for these while I was listening to "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" just as Harry and Dumbledore were fighting the inferi. I found that oddly appropriate. A tired zombie of a mommy knitting zombie socks while she listened to a story with zombies in it. I'm so in love with these socks! Perfect fit for a zombie to wear as she stumps through her hazy day.I know some people had problems with the sock being too big. But mine fit just fine. I could blame it on my monster feet (hey, I'm five six, I need big feet to carry me around all day), but I'd rather think it was a combination of size 0 needles, and the non-stretchy Tofootsies yarn that made such a perfect fit. I'm loving these socks, and need to knit myself more socks.

And a note on the tofutsies. I love this yarn. But it isn't wool. It has no stretch, give, or memory. I had to go through six or seven patterns before I found a pattern that worked so well with this yarn's qualities. I've knit with two balls of this yarn and each one contained several poorly spun places that had to be cut out, atleast two per sock (and I've knit four socks with this stuff). I adore the fabric this yarn produces on size 0 needles. So while this yarn is a bit of extra work (extra end to darn in, must find just the right pattern), I find it worth the effort.

And because I know it's expected required

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Something else I'm gonna blame on the baby

To save time we'll get this part out of the way.


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Yes I know she is the world's cutest baby. EVER. She would have won Regis and Kelly's cutest baby in America contest in a heartbeat, but she was missed the age requirement by something silly like two weeks. She's irresistible and I'm heartless for ever thinking a mean thing about her.

But mean things I do think. I know. Heartless. Someday my children will all be in therapy. I've learned to accept this about myself.

Being the Tiny Terrorist that she is, Operations Mommy-Will-Die-A-Slow-Painful-Death-But-Only-After-Being-Driven-Insane-From-Severe-Sleep-Deprivation continues as planned. We are entering the seventh month of no sleep. Most days I feel like a walking zombie. But an exceptionally well-trained zombie as I automatically keep the vacuum, washing machine and dishwasher running, maintaining some standard of living around here. Heck, some days I even manage to cook a decent meal with vegetables and everything. Although lately it's simply too hot to cook. Deli-style sandwiches are my friend. But that's neither here nor there. Back to the zombie. I am a zombie. So the following story is not my fault. It is the baby's.

I was cruising the Internet knitting sites (because looking at the Internet is infinitely easier than actually interacting with yarn and sticks) and I found these shoes.


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I know. So cute right? I have a love of Chucks that goes deep. You can not even begin to understand (unless you are a grunge child of the '90s, then you might get it). But at $60.00 these shoes are a little pricey even if they did make me feel nostalgic and young, even if they would have looked so cute with my hand knit socks.

But a few days later I was on Tammy Knits blog where I saw these


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And only $15.00 with FREE shipping. It was love. True love. I loved the texture, I loved the strap, I loved the heel. I even loved the sock in the shoe, but that wasn't for sale. I'm not precisely sure what happened next, it's a bit of a blur, but a shopping cart might have been filled, a credit card number might have been entered. It's all fuzzy. But a week later I came home from the library and found these on my front step.


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I fell in love with the look, but oh-my-goodness, they're comfy. So sleep deprived I went on a $15.00 spending spree and got a pair of the world's comfiest shoes that look super cute with my hand knit socks. I'm thinking the baby, although evil intentioned, might not be a criminal mastermind. Here's hoping Boyd never takes her under his wing. The current score?

Sweet Pea: 2482
Mommy: 2

Victory is SWEET!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Now I'm just showing off

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I hate to brag, but I do have the cutest baby in the world.

Real blog posts are coming soon, but since I've moved the baby from our room into the only other avaliable spot in the house for a crib, the computer room, one can see how this might cramp my "blog while the baby naps" style. But there's knitting, and plotting against me, and cute children, I promise.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I blame the baby

I know she's cute. I mean, who, honestly, who can resist this sweet little face?



And those chubby rolls? She's irresistible!

And it's a good thing she's so cute and charming, because she is devious! DEVIOUS!!!

Sure it starts out innocently enough. It all began with one messy baby face from a nice bowl of oatmeal (actually that picture might be peaches, I used my really good oatmeal face the other day, but the idea remains the same: messy baby face).



I don't know if you're familiar with baby oatmeal, but it is a close cousin of cement. But a low grade gritty cement, one you don't bring home to meet your Mamma. This stuff dries almost instantly and requires a power washer to remove.

Now my baby is simply to sweet and dainty to use a power washer on. Just look at her, she's sturdy, but a power washer might break her. She needed something as sweet and dainty as she to scrub her kissable cheeks clean. Enter a hand knit washcloth.



Just a quick thing I whipped up one evening after Sweet Pea had gone to bed. Pink befitting the princess she is. And covered in hearts, cause I lurve my baby! It takes the oatmeal off with minimal scrubbing and even uses the gritty texture of the oatmeal to exfoliate her baby cheeks making them the most kissable baby cheeks on the block. It's a win-win situation.

Or one would think.

I told you the baby is devious. She is cunning. She uses that angelic innocent face to plot against me. I just know it.

That silly little washcloth became the source of many tear from another tiny princess.



My Sweet Bird. (yes I know I am greatly overusing the word sweet. Whatcha gonna do about it? I can't help it. My girls are the physical incarnation of the word sweet.)

Bird crawled into my lap a few night later and started to cry. She wanted a washcloth too. My heart was instantly a puddle of goo, guilty goo. Who knew knitting the baby something could cause such hurt feelings? I guess I've been officially welcomed into the world of baby jealous. The situation was easily remedied. Bird and I logged onto ravelry and she picked out a very special pattern for her own very special washcloth.



Flowers for my Bird.

And to head off any future hurt feelings



A train for my train-lovin' Meaty.



And a crown for the queen princess Pork Chop.

So all this knitting is the Baby's fault. I blame the baby.

But while one messy baby might have plotted to create drama within my happy family and cause me to knit four finished objects in one week, I think this plan backfired.



Now each child has their very own custom knit washcloth. And each time they use it they feel special and know Mommy loves them enough to take the time to make something just for them. And *poor* Mommy. She just *had* to spend an entire week knitting washcloths for her children. I'll tell you it was such a *chore* but I muddled through it somehow. I think this round goes to me.

So if you're keeping score the official tally is

Sweet Pea: 2,389
Mommy: 1

I feel good about this.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Hi Grandpa!

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I like a sweet potato best, but oatmeal with applesauce is pretty yummy too! As you can see oatmeal with peaches is best used for fingerpainting. It is not fit for baby consumption.

Thursday, July 03, 2008