Friday, October 31, 2008  

The Last Month

I'm planning on starting my maternity leave on December 1, making November my last month at work. Unfortunately, the last week has been and the next week will be insane at work... although I have been largely sheltered from the craziness. Today, I decided I needed to "clear the air" with the 3 partners for whom I work. Basically, I can't do crazy hours right now. When I do, I get stressed out and worn out, and I start to lose weight, and I usually get sick. Like in April, right before I got pregnant, when I dropped almost 10 pounds in a month - 10 pounds I wasn't really interested in losing. It was to the point where I was literally falling out of my pants. My doctor has (duh) been VERY clear that this CANNOT HAPPEN when I'm 8 months pregnant.

So I've spent the last week feeling like I'm a big slacker for not being in this project up to my eyebrows, and feeling guilty (and relieved) when I leave at 6 instead of staying past 10 like "everyone else." So I've gone to 2 of the 3 partners so far today with the message of, "I wanted to thank you for the accommodations you've made for me so far, and the fact that you haven't been demanding that I stay all hours etc.... I also wanted to say that I really need this accommodation, because if I push myself past my limits, I'll have to start my maternity leave early, and possibly be facing bedrest." So far the 2 conversations have gone really well - I'm trying to catch the 3rd partner to get that over with as well. (Of course, the last conversation is with the most intimidating of the 3)...

I definitely feel better after getting this out in the open. I don't know if it will make a huge difference in the grand scheme of things, because I think it's pretty clear to y'all that I will not be re-entering the world of big law after the baby, but I would like to avoid leaving a bad impression behind me.

After today - 17 days left in the office, spread over 4 weeks. And hopefully after next week the project-from-hell will be over, and my inability to push myself won't be so glaringly obvious.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008  

Cough Cough!

Well, it's actually more of a headache, but I couldn't think of a sound effect for "headache." Regardless, it's given me an excuse to take a sick day and hopefully to finally be able to take a much-needed afternoon nap! I'm also planning to watch some netflix and work on the sheepie blanket, bake some chocolate chip cookies, and get lots of snuggles with the fuzzy-butts.

I'm also trying to finally go through some of my photos... trying to order some prints and generally "clear the decks" in preparation for the Little Monster. Also, this way I can take advantage of the faster internet at work to upload photos to flickr! But in the course of sorting through some of the pictures, I found a few from Scotland that I meant to post, but somehow forgot...

First up - a very curious candy bar. It's just a milk chocolate bar - and it's pretty yummy - but really, is this the best marketing idea? Wouldn't you think that women would be a little MORE likely to buy chocolate than men? And does the fact that I ate some of it mean that the Little Monster will be a boy?

And in a similarly confusing label situation, S and I bought this toothpaste in Scotland after running out of the small tube we had brought with us.

Looks normal, right? But this is the warning prominently printed on the back of the tube... how exactly does one get toothpaste in one's eye? And who has done it often enough to merit a warning on the packaging?

Ok. Back to the present! On Sunday, we took advantage of the beautiful day and took a day-trip to Shenandoah National Park. We were originally going to go camping, but the weather on Saturday didn't cooperate, so we got up super-early on Sunday and headed out.

First order of business once we negotiated the road-closures in connection with the Marine Corps Marathon? Stop for breakfast (we hit up a *$'s). S may have slightly miscalculated when he decided he would just eat his breakfast sandwich in the car...

We hiked a short section of the Appalachian Trail and made sure to take lots of breaks to, ummmmm, "enjoy nature." (We think she's hunting a chipmonk, but it also could have been a mole. Or a mouse. Or just something that smelled interesting.)

We stopped at one overlook for a snack of apples and carrots (Abby helped with the apple cores once she finished her carrot!)

And we stopped at a second, spectacular overlook for lunch. The leaves weren't quite changed, but there were enough flashes of color to make it well worth the hike.

On the way back, Abby hunted something in a rotten log... and finally got S to understand that she needed him to break apart the rotten wood so she could stick her nose further into the middle of the log! S can be so dumb sometimes, but those opposable thumbs DO come in handy...

And the end result of almost 3 hours of sniffing out of the car window, followed by a 4 mile hike?

One sleepy doggy.


Saturday, October 25, 2008  


So this week hasn't been too bad at work - mostly because I just don't care anymore, so am willing to do what I have to, but am no longer going out of my way to try and prove myself. Of course, I haven't slept properly in what seems like forever, but is actually just this past week, so the exhaustion isn't helping my mood. I love the irony of the third trimester - the last time in my life I'll have to sleep like a normal person, and I can't sleep through the night. Figures!

So anyway, this week is FINALLY over, and I can look back fondly on what I was doing this time last week.... RHINEBECK!!!

On the drive up, we saw beautiful fall foliage (and stopped like good little tourists to take pictures)...

... at the hotel room, we engaged in some group handspun-quiviut-detangling...

... and then, on Saturday, got to the main business of the trip... friends, fiber, food... and adorable border collie puppies!!!!

And did I mention the food? The apple crisp at this place was unbelievably good. My only regret was that it was too cold to get the ice cream, and I had to settle for the whipped cream. Wow - now I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.

And remember that cute little border collie puppy? Hopefully, when he grows up, he can herd this little guy - a four-day old lamb that was so full of cute that it was almost painful!

There were some older relatives as well, including some cashmere goats...

...and some sheepies that looked so warm and toasty all snuggled up together, but who didn't seem to be interested in having me join them to get warm!

On Sunday, we managed to sneak in another few hours at the festival before we had to hit the road for the ride home. First stop? Lamb chili for breakfast (yes, it is just that good).

Since I had, ummmm, accidentally purchased a sweater's worth of grey cormo from Foxhill Farm the day before, I tried to concentrate on the beautiful scenery rather than the beautiful yarns. I love fall!

I wasn't alone in having a "cormo problem." Poor Elspeth accidentally tripped and fell into a pile of cormo-silk, and then just had to buy it. Doesn't she look so sad about the whole chain of events?

And to top the trip off... right before loading up the zipcar to head back to DC, I got to see my first pumpkin-chucking competition. True, I only saw 1.5 rounds so don't know who won, but I still think it counts. See that tiny little dot above and slightly to the right of the girl in the pink jacket? Yeah... that's a pumpkin. The sound they make when they hit the ground was AWESOME.

And here's a good look at some of the machines used to propel said pumpkins. When we left, the team that was winning was from the local high school - what a way to make science fun!


Thursday, October 23, 2008  

Saving Rhinebeck for Another Day

I have, including today, 24 days left in the office. For the last month and a half, I have had literally NOTHING to do, and spent much of the day listening to NPR and knitting under my desk. With just over 5 weeks left to go, things may be a "little crazy" - just what I did NOT want. Although I now have the ability to go to my doctor and tell her that I think my health is suffering due to the work stress, and she needs to help me start my maternity leave a little early. After all, last time I went through a "crazy time" at work, I dropped almost 15 pounds and spent a lot of time crying when I got home. I obviously can't do that again - no job is worth jeopardizing the health of the Little Monster - especially a job that I don't want. To be fair, so far I've been very much on the periphery of the craziness - to the extent that I spent all day Tuesday at a worthless webinar, while other members of the group were pulling all-nighters. So I may very well be making a big fuss over nothing, and I may manage to dodge the craziness and get out of here without having to pull the "I'm 8 months pregnant and can't do this" card. (The kicker? They've named the potential project-from-hell "Operation Sunshine.")

ANYWAY, all of that was quite the long rant to explain why I'm saving my Rhinebeck post until later in the week - I have a feeling that I'll really REALLY need to remind myself of the glorious weekend in order to keep from running screaming from the building.

So let's jump ahead to Tuesday evening, when S and I engaged in some much-needed home improvement. (Nesting? Oh, HELL YEAH.) Our front door is lovely - it's the original from 60 years ago, and it has a large paned glass section that just makes the whole thing seem so friendly. Of course, it's a little TOO friendly when all of your neighbors can see you wandering around in your underwear because you really wanted a drink of water before bed. So we decided to replace the broken venetian blinds with a nice cream roman shade. Can anyone spot the source of the "fun" we had trying to position the blinds properly? I'll give you a hint... the cords from the blinds were REALLY long!

Fresh from her duties as assistant-blind-installer, Cricket turned to a MUCH more demanding task. See, I'm knitting coordinating chicken hats for S and the Little Monster. S really REALLY likes chickens, and once I saw the pattern in a Dale of Norway book, I knew the Little Monster needed one... and once S saw the pattern, he knew HE needed one. I figure that after they wear them a few times for photos, I can stuff them, sew up the bottoms, and make 2 very cute chicken dolls.

So yesterday I finished the Little Monster Chicken Hat, and needed a model (the Little Monster being unavailable for hopefully another few months). "Hmmmm," I thought, "Cricket has a pretty small noggin!"

She was not amused. So I gave up, and decided to take a picture of the chicken hat on the back of the couch instead.

Cricket, however, had not forgiven the attempted humiliation.

She was determined to destroy the chicken-interloper...

... and attempted to drag it off to "finish it" later.

Finally, thanks to the fortuitous intervention of some Trader Joe's canned cat food, I managed to take a picture:

... and even convinced S to "model" it.

So another project off of the "list"! And the second chicken hat, knit with worsted weight instead of sock yarn, is moving right along, as is the sheepie blanket. Perhaps, with luck and a little more of those lovely nesting hormones, I'll actually get through all of these projects!


1. Sew 3 baby bumpers for crib
2. Baby aran sweater
3. Baby Dale of Norway sweater
4. Socks for S
5. Chicken Hat for Little Monster (don't ask... really no rational explanation)

Almost Finished
1. Dad's Christmas Vest (cut steeks, neck and arm bands, sew in ends, block)
2. Sheepie Blanket (finish borders, assemble blanket)
3. Finally hem living room and dining room curtains
4. Chicken Hat for S

Haven't Started
1. Fingerless mitts for S
2. Shaun the Sheep mobile for Little Monster
3. Sew sleep sacks for Little Monster
4. Sew ring sling for Little Monster
5. Sew crib sheets for Little Monster


Wednesday, October 22, 2008  

So Much to Blog!

I've finally gotten my act in gear and gone through some of my photos - but then I realized that if I tried to fit them all into one blog post, it would be a little insane. So I'll have to wait patiently and spread out all of the fun stuff and hopefully manage to update more than once in a blue moon!

First up - I finished another pair of socks for S! He has been slowly-but-surely wearing holes into his "happy maevie socks," so I'm trying to keep up his sock-drawer supply. These are basic 2x2 rib.

We've also been trying to enjoy the lovely fall weather we've been having - a few weekends ago (not last weekend - last weekend was RHINEBECK!!) - we went to Great Falls and enjoyed a lovely hike along the C&O Canal. Being 7+ months pregnant, I was (of course) hungry when we got there, so I made S and Abby eat a hot dog to keep me company...

And later that same weekend, I made Abby and S try out our "new" rocking chair. We picked it up from my parents' house and gave it a good clean - it's the rocking chair that my mom used when my brother and I were babies. In her words - "it's seen a lot of rocking in its day!" I'm thrilled that we'll be able to use it with our Little Monster. Oh, and in case you're wondering, Abby approved of the rocking. She passed out and took a nice long nap in S' lap.

And despite my being 7+ months pregnant, neither fuzzle is totally on board with the idea that their lap is quickly disappearing. Cricket has resorted to sleeping under my chin, and Abby... well, Abby just improvises.

Abby also understands the strict rules we have in our house - no fuzzles on the bed (with a few minor exceptions, like if they look "cute" or "comfy"). So I think it is DEFINITELY against the rules for her to take her treat, run upstairs, and proceed to have "breakfast in bed."


Tuesday, October 14, 2008  

Why Can't I Remember to Take Pictures?

I finished S' socks on Saturday, made him try them on, and took pictures. But then I was too lazy to actually upload said photos. SIGH.

I'm currently chugging along on the Sheepie Blanket - it's all in one piece now, and I'm working on the top and bottom borders. The end is in sight - I may manage to finish it in the next week or so! Of course, then I'll have to figure out what to bring for my Rhinebeck knitting - that's right - I'm taking advantage of the last time I can hop into a car for a weekend trip without a kidlet in tow, and I'm heading up to Rhinebeck with the girls on Friday! Now if I can just figure out which project to bring...


1. Sew 3 baby bumpers for crib
2. Baby aran sweater
3. Baby Dale of Norway sweater
4. Socks for S

Almost Finished
1. Dad's Christmas Vest (cut steeks, neck and arm bands, sew in ends, block)
2. Sheepie Blanket (finish borders, assemble blanket)
3. Finally hem living room and dining room curtains

Haven't Started
1. Shaun the Sheep mobile for Little Monster
2. Chicken Hats for S and Little Monster (don't ask... really no rational explanation)
3. Sew sleep sacks for Little Monster
4. Sew ring sling for Little Monster
5. Sew crib sheets for Little Monster


Monday, October 06, 2008  


S spent the weekend in Minnesota catching up with his family, which left me with huge spaces of time to fill with knitting. My goal? Finish something. Anything.

So I tackled the Little Monster Dale sweater. First, I headed to the local fabric store and picked up some buttons (making sure they were washable)...

I love these buttons. They work for either gender, they are sturdy (so they shouldn't snap off and get eaten, God forbid), and they were the right size. Oh, and they were cheap AND on sale!

After the button-shopping expedition, I settled in to the finishing work. Dale patterns are REALLY fiddly. You sew down plackets, you knit facings, you sew down hems... lots of little details. This, for example, is what the armhole seam looks like.

But I kept on with the fiddly bits, and kept plugging away at the button bands, the seams, the neckband, the buttons, the weaving-in-of-ends...

And ended up blocking this at about 10 pm last night. I think I can say that I have NEVER done this much detailed finishing on a sweater. Do I think all of my seams need to be covered by facings? No. But I do think that forcing myself to attend to all of these picky little details will make me that much better- after all, every project will benefit from a little extra TLC during those final finishing steps.

And since I had the blocking board out, I blocked the Little Monster Aran. Two baby sweaters ready for the Little Monster! Now, if those borders for the sheepie blanket would just knit themselves...

1. Sew 3 baby bumpers for crib
2. Baby aran sweater
3. Baby Dale of Norway sweater

Almost Finished
1. Dad's Christmas Vest (cut steeks, neck and arm bands, sew in ends, block)
2. Sheepie Blanket (finish borders, assemble blanket)
3. Finally hem living room and dining room curtains
4. Socks for S

Haven't Started
1. Shaun the Sheep mobile for Little Monster
2. Chicken Hats for S and Little Monster (don't ask... really no rational explanation)
3. Sew sleep sacks for Little Monster
4. Sew ring sling for Little Monster
5. Sew crib sheets for Little Monster



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