Monday, October 29, 2012

taking refuge in the internet

I actually have "blogging" on my to-do list today, and I was going to write a post about my weekend and how wonderful it was. Because it was pretty great.

But then Michael didn't take his morning nap. He didn't take it at 10am, but he woke up late this morning, so I wasn't too worried. He didn't take it at 11am, either. Or noon. Which was when I knew today was officially going to be a mess. That morning nap only ever lasts half an hour, but it seems to be what the entire day is built upon.

And of course I finished my secret stash of chocolate off yesterday, so I had to resort to chips and salsa, which is yummy and crunchy and salty but not exactly consoling.

Sometime around 1pm he was wailing in his swing and I was curled up and wailing in bed with a pillow over my ears.

Sometime after that I managed to convince him I wasn't an awful person for putting him in his crib and he slept for twenty whole minutes.

There was a lot of desperate prayer going up during all that, but I can't say I was very open to grace, because my prayers in that sort of situation tend to follow this pattern:

"Lord, please help my baby sleep. Please give me patience and strength to deal with this situation." "Lord, this baby is still not asleep. Please, please, please, thanks ....? Please?"  "Lord, why aren't you giving me patience????? And why won't my baby sleep?!?!?! I know you can hear me. What the heck is taking so long?! Argh!"

I am laughing as I type this, but I'm afraid to say I am not exaggerating the ridiculousness of the situation.

Now he's sleeping again on my bed and I am not trying to move him to his crib or touching him in any way, not until he wakes up.

This is bad for my sanity, yes. But what really upsets me is his exhausted face.

I will blog about the weekend later.

And now I am going to drink tea.

Thank you.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Seven Quick Takes (3?)

1. I really need to fix the way this blog looks. The background, the layout, the links in the sidebar ... pretty much everything. Not sure when I'll have time to do it, but I'm hoping at some point to make my own header, as well. (Or maybe have Keith make it. :-P ) Perhaps I can get it done sometime before the year is out?

2. A friend is having her baby shower in a few weeks, so I knit a Milo for her little man in utero. It was a quickie--less than 24 hours, I think, and that while taking care of a baby. I've just cast on a pair of booties, and I'm thinking there will be enough yarn left to make a matching hat.

3. Michael seemed to enjoy his bananas today, which makes me happy! Homemade baby food has been hit and miss so far--he likes the applesauce, but he HATES the peas I made him, despite liking the ones in a jar. When he sees them he purses his lips shut. (They are a very bright green, much brighter than the jarred peas.) Right now I have a sweet potato in the oven that I will puree and freeze. Making a batch of baby food makes me feel quite the accomplished and thrifty mother. ^_^

4. Yesterday I took Michael to CMU to take part in a study about infant language learning. It consisted of him sitting in my lap and watching a video, while his reactions were recorded. Afterwards he got a free book. Clearly he is already following in his father's footsteps on the path to scientific greatness. ;)

5. Today I am going to block my cardigan. I'm hoping I can wear it on Sunday. Say a prayer that it works out and doesn't somehow morph into a huge shapeless mess. ;) Either way, I will post pictures.

6. Oh man, Halloween is almost here, and I don't have a costume for Michael. Maybe Keith and I can get out and find one tomorrow ...

7. I don't like to post about politics, not because I don't have opinions, but because I am generally too lazy to write about those opinions in a clear way, and because I don't really like conflict. But I'm going to go ahead and risk getting political in a general sense and say it drives me crazy when people brag about their political apathy. I don't enjoy politics by a long shot. I admit I didn't really pay attention to the last debate (I was knitting something complicated :-P ), and if you didn't watch it I won't judge you. (That much. ;-P ) But to brag about not watching it on Facebook, about not caring because both candidates are the same (they're not, but that's another issue)? Like it or not, you were born in a country where you have a say and therefore a responsibility in the government. You may say that whatever you do makes no difference--your vote is a drop in the ocean--and maybe you're right.

I can totally understand not liking either candidate, but if you're not voting, and ALSO not doing anything else like writing letters to your representatives, getting involved on the local level, whatever ... then you don't really have a right to complain about the situation. Saying that both candidates are losers doesn't abnegate your responsibility ... because seriously, who's to blame that only losers seem to run for president in our country? Who ELECTS them? Us. And if you're going to do nothing at all about it ... it empties your complaint of any weight.

In the end, responsibility isn't just about how our actions affect others (the "drop in the ocean"), but also how they shape ourselves. And apathy about big issues is never a positive character trait! I say this as someone who does little except vote, which is not very admirable. And if I've probably offended someone, so just know that I include myself in the category of people whose complaints are sorely disproportionate to the actions I take.

(Another reason I never post about politics--after spending a ton of time and words on that point I am still not satisfied how I've said things. Oh well.)

Babies, politics and knitting ... yep, you've come to the right place!

Joining up with Jen over at Conversion Diary.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Isadora Cardigan

Guess what?

I am knitting myself a sweater! Yay! (You will remember that this was one of my goals for this year. It shall be accomplished!)

The pattern is Featherweight, and the yarn is Tosh Merino Light in the Isadora colorway, which I got on sale from one of my favorite yarn stores before their annual inventory.

I had to go down two needle sizes to get gauge, which means I am using my painfully short size 4 circs (because I am too cheap/lazy to go get a longer pair). Also, last night I sliced a chunk of my left index finger off while chopping veggies, which makes the going a lot slower. (I'm a contintental knitter and hold the yarn in my left hand.) But I'm knitting the edging, and injuries aside, I'm hoping to be finished by the end of the week.

I reached a point last week when I had a dearth of reading material, but then all on the same day I received the newest issue of Dappled Things, a package with a poetry collection on loan from a friend, and a Humble Bundle of six edgy scifi novels courtesy of my husband. So I think I'm good for at least a month. ;) (One of the books was Pump Six by Paolo Bacigalupi, who is a recent favorite of mine. Yay! I finished that one in three or four days.)

Joining up with Ginny's yarn along.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Drilling, drilling, drilling ....

There are upsides to having your landlady live downstairs. When I couldn't find my keys anywhere (they were in a random drawer), she loaned me the key to the front door so I could walk to Giant Eagle with Michael. She's always been very attentive to things that need fixing or improving in the apartment, and now that she's just one floor down she is even more prompt about taking care of things.

I know this is a good thing, and so I'm trying not to be grumpy about the really loud hammering and sawing that's going on just outside, especially since Michael seems to be sleeping through it. But it seems like ever since our landlords have moved in, they've had some sort of worker over here every week or two. Jackhammers redo the concrete steps (twice, since the first time they were all crooked); plumbers turning off the water; electricians making more noise than one would expect electricians to need to make (although they fixed our bathroom switch, yay!); workers installing central AC in the downstairs apartment.

I wouldn't even mind, in general, except for Michael. When they were installing the AC and doing other work prior to the landlords moving in, he was pretty scared of all the noise. And it's not as if he's a great napper anyway.

Speaking of naps. Nighttime sleep is a lot better around here. Not perfect, but I'm okay with that. Michael now goes down around 8pm, sleeps until 1 or 2 before waking up to eat, then sleeps until 4ish, at which point I take him into bed with us, otherwise he'd be waking up every hour until it was time to get up. Often he'll wake up anywhere between 5-30 minutes after going down for the night and protest being in his crib, but he either goes to sleep right away if I go in and pat his back or, if that doesn't work, will cry/fuss for 10-15 minutes until going to sleep.

Ferber worked for us. The hardest night was #2, when he woke up every hour literally all. night. long. Uggggggh. But after that he settled into the pattern we have now, more or less. We had a setback when he caught a cold and had to start over, and he cried for 45 minutes the first night after that. But I no longer have to lay down with him for half an hour (or longer) and then sneeeeeak away only to have him wake up again ten minutes later.

Praise God.

Naps, on the other hand. Oh, naps. They are still like that. He will not stay asleep for more than half an hour. Will not. Naps reenergize him for about twenty minutes and then he gets super grumpy because he hasn't slept enough. By the end of the day neither of us is pleasant to be around.

This week I resolved to have him nap in his crib (rather than in our bed), even if it was only for 10 minutes at a time, just so he'd learn that crib=sleep=crib, even in the daytime. This resolution sort of fell apart yesterday, when he took one nap in his swing, one in the cars eat, and one in our bed. And we will be visiting parents for the next couple nights, so obviously naps and sleep in general are going to be different.

Maybe next week.

Monday, October 1, 2012


I feel a little silly writing a post about St. Michael's feast on St. Therese's feast day, especially since Therese is a very special friend to me. We really didn't even celebrate St. Michael's day on the day, but rather yesterday.

Sorry for the fuzzy picture. But it was yummy. :)

I made a Michaelmas pie, which I am eating a piece of now. We roasted a chicken and had my parents down to eat it with us. (Sadly, my brother wasn't able to come--he is keeping afloat in an ocean of school work.)

My mom just got put on a gluten free diet, so I made a rice flour crust, which was an experiment. Because non-gluten flours don't have any "glue" to hold the dough together, I had to add an egg. All the recipes I found only specified a bottom crust, but I wanted one on top, so I made a second batch, rolled it out, and tried to make the transfer.

I'm not sure how well you can tell from this photo, but by the time it made it from counter to pie plate it was in about twenty pieces. At least. Gluten exists for a reason, in my humble opinion. :-P

Other than that, the pie turned out well. Apples and blackberries. Apparently you aren't supposed to pick blackberries after September 29 because when St. Michael cast Satan out of heaven, he landed in a blackberry bush, and was so angry he spit on them. (Or ... worse.) Just fyi. ;)