Friday, December 26, 2008  

Merry Christmas!

We got a very Merry Christmas present this year... our little girl, A, (aka the Little Monster), got dropped off by Santa on his way back up to the North Pole!

She was born at 9:22 am after almost 5 hours of labor. No, that's not a typo - my water broke at 4:40 am and by the time we talked with the doctor and headed to the hospital, it was time to push! I'm convinced that the secret to such a fast labor was the lovely lobster dinner we enjoyed on Christmas Eve... you heard it here first - lobster causes labor!

We're all doing really well - A got the hang of eating today, and has been eating non-stop all afternoon, and I'm feeling really good considering that I haven't really had too much sleep in the last few nights. Assuming all continues to go well, we'll all head home tomorrow, and hopefully celebrate a rescheduled Christmas on Sunday!

Here are the details:

A, the Little Monster
Born December 25, 2008 at 9:22 am
6 pounds 13 ounces
19.5 inches


Tuesday, December 23, 2008  


Still pregnant. Everyone is waiting around for something to happen:

I'm knitting S a sock.


Friday, December 19, 2008  

Attention, Little Monster:

You are hereby notified, in any event, that your tenancy is hereby terminated as of RIGHT NOW.
You are hereby requested to quit, vacate, and deliver possession therefore to the undersigned on or before RIGHT NOW.

I'm now 2 cm dilated, and the head is "way down there." How far down there? Apparently, it's knocking on the door. But the Little Monster is just having a great time, having a dance party, getting its groove on... and seemingly in no hurry to come out and meet the world. We had an ultrasound today to double check that all is well before my doctor heads off for a few days for the Christmas holiday (any bets on whether the Little Monster waits just long enough for her to get on the plane?)

And we got to see our little cutie:

It also mooned the ultrasound tech, but she didn't take a picture. And no, we didn't see any identifying parts (she had us look away and was really good to say NOTHING). But I'm prepared to cover the little bottom if it ever bothers to show up... I sewed a quick little pair of pants out of some leftover fleece:

And to show that I'm serious about Project Little Monster Eviction? Yeah, that's right... I finished Alpine Lace, and it's blocking as we speak. Hear that, Little Monster? I FINISHED ALPINE LACE. Consider yourself served with the official eviction notice.

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Thursday, December 18, 2008  

Riding the Nesting Wave

Everyone send "Little Monster Eviction" vibes this way... I'm trying to convince it that a birthday BEFORE Christmas is so much better than a birthday AFTER Christmas. The wonderful folks at Knit Happens all made very encouraging noises last night, complete with testimony about people who have birthdays on either side of the holidays. So, Little Monster, any time now!!

In the meantime, I'm just continuing to "get things done" thanks to the wonderful world of nesting. I finally dug out my "mending basket" and sewed up everything in it - many of the items had been languishing for well over a year! Poor Shawn - he had almost forgotten he owned the shirt and sweater that had been hanging out in the basket.

In the process, I found a pair of socks I finished about a year ago...

... another pair of socks I finished months ago, but didn't bother to weave in the ends...

... a lovely feather-and-fan scarf knit out of the most amazing handspun from Carolina that I wore all day yesterday, even though I was kinda hot and had to change into a t-shirt...

... and a pair of socks that I knit SEVERAL years ago, and then overdyed with kool-aid. I'm toying with overdying these so they're not quite as, ummm, bright, but then again... I'm not sure I care!

So after that whirlwind of productivity, I sewed the last crib sheets and the final little sleeper sack... today or tomorrow I'll finish the sewing by whipping up a few pairs of little pants for the monster, and then I'll put away the sewing machine in preparation for the arrival of the in laws, who apparently need to sleep somewhere, and don't really want to have to step over all of the crafting supplies I've got in the basement!

Oh, and while I was at it, I took a picture of S' fingerless mitts. I swear I ended up knititng these about 15 times to get the fit right, but what's the point of custom-knitting something if you don't get it right? And yes, they are Cormo... but less than half a skein. I didn't go crazy and knit him a Cormo sweater or anything!

Today I'd like to bake cookies, finish up my thank you notes, and get my weekly doctor's appointment out of the way. I'd also love to keep updating my Ravelry projects (lots of old projects to add), go through photos, and all sorts of other stuff... so hear that, Little Monster? I have PLANS! Your arrival will mess up those PLANS! So it would be INCONVENIENT for you to come now! (I'm totally not above using reverse psychology on my unborn child).

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008  

Any Time You're Ready, Little Monster...

I have a few more items on my "to-do" list, but mostly I'm just biding my time until the Little Monster decides to come. So I'm chugging along on all of those "it would be nice to finish this up" items on the list.

So that explains why I finally pulled out my long-neglected Alpine Lace Scarf, which has sat in "I'm bored" time-out for probably the better part of a year. After a few false starts while trying to figure out where I was in the pattern, I'm moving right along - I have a couple more repeats of the center motif, and then the bottom border. Who knows - maybe I'll manage to get this cast off before the Little Monster puts it into another extended hiatus!

I also spent some time this weekend preparing some undyed yarn for the dye pot... I had some expert help with the skein-winding process.

But despite the over-enthusiastic helper, I did manage to get all of the yarn wound... that's a bunch of Blue Faced Leicester worsted weight that may become a February Lady, or may become a basic raglan (depending on the results of my over-dye job today), and sock yarn for 5 pairs of socks for S, who has been wearing out his older socks at an alarming rate. I guess they all reached their expiration date about the same time!

I took advantage of the 66 degree weather yesterday and was able to set up the drying rack outside. I was also able to dye on the screen porch with plenty of ventilation, and only used the liquid dye stocks I had made up previously, so there was very little danger of me inhaling any particles. Plus, between the mask, the glasses, the gloves, and the apron, I was pretty well covered!

I had intended to do the dyeing this weekend, but I had an unexpectedly long lunch with a few friends on Saturday... lunch that turned into a surprise baby shower! They are VERY VERY sneaky and totally surprised me, even though EVERYONE knew, including my parents and S! It was a blast, and there were even some sneaky knitters in attendance... so now the Little Monster has a Baby Surprise in luscious koigu thanks to the lovely Elspeth! It may suck for the Little Monster to have a birthday right around Christmas, but it is PERFECT timing for all of the extra-cute teensy-tiny little handknits!

I also finished a second little ribbed hat, modeled here by a member of the Little Monster's personal sheep herd (complete with a border collie to keep everything in order!) And see the sheepie on the far left? That was hand-knit by the lovely (and very sneaky) Kati who flew down from Boston to help pull off the entire shower surprise. She thinks the ears are kinda "wonky," but I think they are perfect.

Meanwhile, Cricket has discovered that there are certain advantages to all of this "baby stuff" that keeps getting brought into the house. For example, she got to thoroughly test the warmth of both the blanket I made for the Little Monster out of flannel and fleece, AND the cushioning provided by the changing table pad. Somehow, I doubt she's going to be spending much time in that particular spot once it begins being used for its intended purpose...

Abby, meanwhile, spent the weekend supervising S, chasing squirrels away from the bird feeders, and barking at the various delivery people who keep driving past the house on their way to deliver holiday packages. All of that work makes for a VERY tired doggy who wishes we would turn off that stupid light and let her go to sleep already!

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Friday, December 12, 2008  

Counting Down

So as of yesterday, I'm 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced. Hopefully this means the Little Monster is preparing for a timely entrance, because being 38 weeks pregnant is not at the top of my "most fun things ever" list! I'm currently fantasizing about some sort of spring-powered bed that will allow me to get up without looking remarkably like a large sea lion attempting to maneuver across land.

But at least, regardless of the Little Monster's timing, I've finished the 2008 Edition of Dad's Vest!!!

Ok, so technically it's not quite blocked. But in my defense, I was going to block it yesterday... but the weather was so nasty (low 40s and driving rain ALL DAY) that even Abby didn't want to go outside! And since the blocking board is in the shed, I decided it could wait.

Cricket concurred that the idea of "going outside" is entirely overrated, especially when there is a heat vent available!

I also whipped up a Little Monster hat... I was at Target stocking up the nursery with onesies and so forth when I thought to myself, "that sucks that they don't have any cute baby hats!" DUH! Sometimes pregnancy brain can be stunning in its stupidity. I'm a KNITTER. Why would I buy a hat?

Truthfully, though, I've been spending more time with the sewing machine than with the needles. I whipped up a super-cozy flannel and fleece blanket... it's 2 layers, so the flannel is paired with a layer of fleece on the back and vice-versa. It's very warm and cozy, and I'm hoping it'll come in handy for car rides and other outside times! I also made a ring-sling, and even practiced a bit with a big bag of rice as the "baby"... I think I'll get the hang of it! I still have to sew another crib sheet, another sleep sack, and a couple of pairs of baby pants... and then I think that's all I thought of. But the fabric store is right up the street, so no promises that I won't pick up more fabric!

And finally, I've been trying to finish the tree-decorating. I have one more round that I'll hopefully finish tonight, and then we'll be done! As you can see, I get a LOT of help from my crack team of tree decorators...

Abby also moonlights as a "cookie decoration supervisor." Apparently, she thinks I'm incapable of glazing sugar cookies by myself!

I guess she does have a point - that huge tummy keeps me from getting as close to the counter as I'd like!

I glazed cookies with red and green glazes for Christmas. S got his hands on teh food coloring and made his own "special" color...

Somehow, he thought that the addition of sprinkles would improve his "oil spill man" cookie...

Luckily, though, it still tasted good. And yes, he WAS that little kid who always ended up with the brown easter eggs because he dipped them into way too many colors...

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Monday, December 08, 2008  

Not Dead Yet

Wow - this has been quite the cold. I've finally turned the corner and can see the prospect of "feeling better" on the horizon, but it's pretty sad when the highlight of my recovery thus far was the fact that, last night, I only woke up coughing uncontrollably ONCE, and I was actually able to kinda sleep on my side for a few hours instead of sleeping sitting up.

But the Little Monster is doing just fine, and only seems to be mildly annoyed by all of the bouncing it experiences during the various coughing fits. At least I'm hopefully getting the nasty cold of the season out of the way while the Little Monster is safely in utero... and hopefully I'll avoid repeat cold performances once the Little Monster arrives!

So poor S, who has been putting up with the unbelievable sexiness that is a 9 month pregnant Snot-a-saurus, also got to put up with me busting out the Christmas decorations. We bought our happy little tree, and I've made some pretty good progress on the decorating - it'll probably take me most of the week to get everything set up since it takes me forever to get up from the floor when I put an ornament on the lower part of the tree! You can see that I had help from a motivated and talented team of furry supervisors... Cricket really loves to help, shall we say, test the integrity of the ornament-attachment methods, and Abby likes to nap.

In between all of the coughing, not much knitting has been accomplished. I have a date with my dad's vest momentarily, and hope to finish that up today and get it blocking. I have, however, been busting out the sewing machine.

I found instructions for sewing a sleep sack online that suggested using a baby outfit as a guide to cut out a pattern. I don't have much in the way of clothing for the Little Monster as of yet, so I pulled out the 3 month size outfit I did buy to use as a model...

Any guesses as to why I couldn't resist buying this particular outfit?

With the puppy-feet outfit firmly in hand, I set forth to attack my new fabric stash... the 2 printed flannels are destined to become sleep sacks and little blankets, the fabric on the far right will become a ring-sling, and the fabric on the left will either become additional crib sheets, or will head to the fabric stash for some to-be-determined use.

I also got to fire up my new toy... I managed to break the bobbin-winder on my sewing machine, and thought I would have to track down a sewing machine repair shop and beg someone to fix it. Since it's cold outside, and I'm sick, and I'm a wuss, I really didn't relish the idea of driving all over town in a possibly futile attempt to compensate for my own stupidity in breaking my machine. Luckily, that morning had brought an advertising email from the local fabric store advertising the following product for $20... SCORE!

So, all pieces in place, I got to it. First, I used some stash fabric to cut out a pattern.

Then, I carefully pressed my flannel, cut out the pattern pieces, and put the freshly ironed flannel to the side for a later project. Bad idea, thanks to a helpful kitty...

About an hour or so later, and I was done... I can't believe how cute this is!!! And sheepies!! (I know, you're shocked.)


Wednesday, December 03, 2008  

Dear Sore Throat,

No offense or anything, but I hate you, Sore Throat. I can handle the disgusting nose-blowing, and even the headaches and general crappiness feeling of the common cold. But the sore throat that wakes me up in the middle of the night when I try to swallow? NOT COOL. And no, I don't think my lack of voice makes me sound sexy. Rather, I sound quite a bit like an old frog who has refused to give up his 3-pack-a-day smoking habit. So, Sore Throat, get the $&*@ out of here.

- Love, Maeve.

Yeah... still sick. I was supposed to visit the pediatrician's office this morning, but I rescheduled... I figure that no one at the office needs to be exposed to my toxic cloud of germy nastiness. Meanwhile, I'm making friends with the decaf tea, seltzer water, and chocolate chip cookies (ok, so that last one doesn't really help the cold, but they ARE yummy!)

The rest of the team is trying to ignore how often I blow my nose, and are instead subtly suggesting that I spend more time resting. Abby, for example, demonstrated how one might get comfy in a nest of down comforter, feather bed, and fleece blanket (hypothetically, of course, since she's not allowed on the bed and we're REALLY strict).

Cricket, on the other hand, finally discovered the doggy bed we keep upstairs, and decided that Abby might just be onto something here... after all, this particular doggy bed is really a full-sized feather bed that I folded into a square and sewed together.

And there has been a little bit of knitting in between the nose-blowing... I've finished the 3 little mitten/sock sets out of leftover sock yarns...

... but even more exciting was the package that arrived yesterday in the mail from none other than 4-Ply Katie!!! Inside were 3 tiny, tissue-paper wrapped packages. I barely managed to restrain myself until S got home, and we opened them together to find 3 of the loveliest sweaters I've ever seen!

Look! Denim stripes! Seed stitch collar! Buttons!

Teeny set in sleeves!

Thistle buttons! And the Little Monster's first trip abroad was to Scotland! And the yarn is green!

Look! So cute! And if you could feel how soft this is, you'd all be plotting as to how to steal it in order to carry it around like a security blanket. And GREEN!

I would have squeeled, but I had already lost my voice, so instead I croaked excitedly and kept pointing things out to S and to my mom. Luckily, although neither knit, both S and my mom were suitably impressed and kept making lovely comments.

So THANK YOU, KATIE!!!! And I promise to get you some properly modeled shots as soon as the Little Monster shows up for the photo-shoot.


Tuesday, December 02, 2008  


After a lovely Thanksgiving, I celebrated my new freedom from the job-I-hate by getting thoroughly sick. I had such a horrible sore throat on Sunday that I was seriously contemplating asking S to just go ahead and club me over the head. It didn't help that I couldn't take any medicine since so few things are "Little Monster Approved." Luckily, yesterday and today have seen marked improvements, although the Little Monster is apparently training for an interpretive dance competition. The intense rehearsals in the middle of the night have been, ummmm, challenging. Especially that little move I've nicknamed "play mommy's ribs like a xylophone with your feet."

Plus, yesterday we splurged and had a cleaning crew come for a complete de-furring of the house. It looks amazing, and was such a great way to shift into "Little Monster Arrival" mode! Abby and Cricket are rather upset that all of their insulating fur deposits were summarily removed, and have been attempting to re-coat every surface with fur as quickly as they can. What team players!

S realized that I hadn't taken a picture of him and his new saw when we were building our "drawer-holding box"- so we staged a picture. At what point to boys stop playing with toys and substitute power tools? Because S was so excited to buy his new saw that it reminded me of a little kid going to the toy store...

Abby, meanwhile, tried to make me feel better on Sunday by stealing a rice cake from S (ok, he actually gave it to her), and then running upstairs and "hiding" on the bed. I was minding my own business when suddenly a rice-cake-carrying doggy hops up on the bed as if it's the most natural place to have a snack! You can tell that we're real disciplinarians and NEVER let any of the fuzzles on the bed....

Cricket, meanwhile, had her own job to do. After, ummmmm, nearly 10 months of having un-hemmed curtains in the living and dining rooms, I finally got around to hemming them. Things took just a smidge longer than I thought, however, due to the following "technical difficulty"...

Having trouble seeing what was preventing me from finishing the ironing? How about a close-up:

What a helpful kitty.

And the best present a tired, pregnant lady can get? How about home-made soup, full of yummy veggies and awesome flavors like coconut milk, tamarind, red chilis... and, best of all, made by the hubby? MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM.


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Alpine Lace
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