Friday, February 29, 2008

A couple of booties walking your way...these were fun and fast to make.

I will try to write about something unrelated to knitting soon. I might have to see The Other Boleyn Girl, even though I couldn't get into the book. Some critic described it as a "ridiculously delicious soap opera" on Rotten Tomatoes. I've been missing Desperate Housewives, after all...

Thursday, February 28, 2008

More more more...

Another baby hat for you...this one is for E.

A hat

Here it is!...the hat I made for a friend's baby. She was kind enough to send me some clothes for E, and I figured I should *not* get clothes for her baby because a neighbor gave them 56 onesies! Yes, you read that right.

Later, when her baby is born, she's going to send me a picture of him or her wearing it. That will be cute :)

I'm going to make another edition of this hat for E, but to avoid pattern fatigue (from making the same thing twice in quick succession), I'm making him a different hat, in turquoise, and still working on the blanket. It is crazy how long those things take! Longer than a sweater. I guess it's just because of the sheer mass of a blanket...long, wide, with worsted weight yarn.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The celebrities are out in full force...I saw Liv Tyler at Barnes and Noble today. First, I heard a woman say, "Everyone is staring at me, so..." Of course I looked then, and saw Liv talking on her cell phone. She's tall and thin with high cheekbones. I read in a magazine a while back how she was lamenting what having babies can do to your body, but having seen her, I don't think she needs to worry. She had no body fat.

I got Sophie Kinsella's newest, Remember Me, and a book about knitting socks. I'd like to get into knitting socks again. I like working with worsted-weight (medium weight) socks; the super-fine (e.g., you go blind while knitting them) socks are not for me. The book focused on worsted weight, so that was cool.

Afterward I went to the grocery store, where I am starting to enjoy pregnancy privileges; some guy let me ahead of him in line! I checked out Yo Mommy yogurt (the kind Liz wrote about) but was dismayed to find it contains fish oil, which made me nauseous just thinking about it. Bearette doesn't like fish, even before she became vegetarian. (She does like referring to herself in the third person. So does D :)

Outside the supermarket, some guy turned his head to watch a girl go by, and she yelled, "Well, damn! Take a pik-cha!"

In other news, I knitted something for my high school friend G's baby, who is due to make his or her arrival in April. As soon as she gets it, I'll put up a picture. I'm still working on a baby blanket for E...those things take forever!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Ethan Hawke...AGAIN

D and I had dinner at a diner with nicer decor than most, lots of windows and hanging plants, but a diner nonetheless. I was enjoying my grilled cheese (Swiss on wheat, my favorite combo) and strawberry milkshake as we overheard a guy giving his children a morality lesson at the table behind us. "You have to be honest," etc. And "you'll be much closer when you're adults."

As they filed out, the waiter said, "Pretty exciting, huh? An actor, huh?"

D: "What was he in?"

The waiter: "I dunno."

Neither of us got a good look at the guy, so my eyes shot to the entryway. There he was...Ethan Hawke. With a curly-haired woman I didn't recognize, and two kids. The girl was tall, thin and blonde...she'll probably end up looking like Uma. She had sparkles on the seat of her jeans.

He should recognize *me* by now ;)
I went swimming with A and D today, and we all met in the lobby before heading out to lunch. There was a guy in a gray T-shirt standing across the lobby, and I poked A and said, "See that guy in the gray T-shirt? He's an actor. He was in the Chris Rock movie." I was referring to Head of State.

The only problem was, he walked toward us as I was talking, so he heard what I said. I felt like such a dork. You're supposed to pretend to be above it all (the whole celebrity thing, when you spot one) even though you're star-struck. I've even patted this guy's dogs before, without letting on that I knew he was famous.

Oh well. I don't think he cared -- he smiled at us -- but I was embarrassed anyway.

Then we met up with A's girlfriend at the Irish Rogue, which had been taken over by a rugby game. Huge TV screens showed young men with powerful thighs, duking it out. The whole bar was rooting for Ireland, but A, to be perverse, decided to root for Scotland (he might be Scottish on his father's side). When Ireland won, he moped.

"Is there anything positive about being Scottish?" he asked.

"Well, you know what they say -- if it's not Scottish, it's crap!" I said, imitating Mike Myers from the Saturday Night Live skit. At the next table, an Irish fan shot me a dirty look.

"Just kidding!" I added.

Friday, February 22, 2008

So I was visiting to check on E's progress. Actually, I looked a week ahead, to 25 weeks (I always do this). I was intrigued by the line: "You may see also that your baby comes to your hand if you lay it on your abdomen."

Before, I noticed he could be contrary...D would put his hand on my tummy to feel him, and sometimes he would swim away ;) But today I tried it, and he kicked my hand about 4 times. It was really cool.

The site also mentions, "
[Y]ou can really feel it when he turns and changes positions." This is true. Sometimes it feels like an internal organ is shifting.

In other news, J. Lo's twins were born today.

I feel a peculiar kinship with Jessica Alba because I think we are due around the same time. I heard she was carrying a boy, too, though some tabloid now says "twins."

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

In college, a friend of mine put on a dress and said she hoped it would draw the eye up to her chest and down to her legs, distracting from her midsection.

It was the only time I heard someone articulate a goal that is central to women's fashion -- accentuating your good points, downplaying the trouble spots.

Mine have changed.

I had to lug my carcass uptown today to shop at the only "real" maternity store in Manhattan (if anybody knows of any others, I'm all ears; variety is nice). I got some jeans, a sweater, and some clothes for Miami, where I'm headed in a couple of weeks.

The shorts and short skirts (not sluttishly so, just above the knee a few inches) that used to look good on me? Now they make me look like a heifer.

The dresses with kind of a wrap top that I used to, um, not fill out? Now they look blossomy.

So I left the heifer clothes in the stall and bought the blossomy dresses.

My mother didn't raise any fools.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Do you really want to hurt me? Do you really want to make me cry?

I'm a little mad at my local library.

They were closed today. It's not a real holiday. Feh.

Then tomorrow they don't open until TWELVE.

There's a book on the hold shelf waiting for me, and I'm currently bookless; I just finished what I was reading (A Version of the Truth by Kaufman & Mack; they also wrote Literacy & Longing in L.A....both were good.)

I don't want to go to the bookstore and get a new book when there's a free one waiting for me. Plus, the bookstore is further away. Oh, and they're closing on March 31st.

Someone is definitely out to get me...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

So T and I went to see Definitely, Maybe yesterday. It's the new movie with Ryan Reynolds (previously engaged to Alanis Morissette, now dating Scarlett Johannson, who gave him a bronzed tooth as a gift) and Abigail Breslin (the little girl from Little Miss Sunshine; she is just relentlessly cute). Anyway, Ryan is getting divorced, and his daughter, Abigail, wants to hear how he met her mother. He decides to tell her in the guise of a "love story mystery," featuring three women he dated, with all of their names changed (except one, as it turns out). Then Abigail has to guess who her mother is.

I don't know if it would stand up to a re-watching, since so much of it was plot-driven ("Who's your mommy?"), but the script was clever and T and I both enjoyed it. She pointed out that the divorce detracted from the feel-good factor, which was true. But, all in all, it was a good movie.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

So D and I went out to dinner tonight and he had the strawberry risotto (one of the specials) and I had the orrecchiette with broccoli rabe (also a special). I love the mild bitterness and texture of broccoli rabe. The strawberry risotto came with gold leaf on top. It literally looked like tinfoil (except gold) folded across the top. I thought it would be grated, like Mario Batali did on the one episode of Iron Chef I've seen.

Anyway, the waiter told D it was edible, but D didn't buy it and scraped it off.

Next to us were seated one man and six women. I pointed out the sexual discrepancy to D and he said conversationally, "They're visiting from Utah."

I took him seriously at first.

When we got home, we found a package in the mailbox for "Baby ____". It was a Valentine's Day bib from my mother. The bib is very cute, with some pink in it, but E is secure in his masculinity :)

It was kind of humiliating at the doctor's office today. The nurse slid the bar on the bottom of the scale to a place it has never been before. I thought, "That's a mistake. She's going to have to slide it back." (To add insult to injury, she slid it to that dark place before I even stepped on the scale). But...not only did she NOT have to slide it back, she added a couple of pounds on. I wanted to drop through the floor but she had the grace not to announce the weight at the top of her lungs like they usually do. Which is, in a way, worse. It's like they know it's too embarrassing to say out loud.

I'm obviously not going to diet, but I skipped dessert tonight after that!

Knitting and other things

So knitting is back with a vengeance. I'm working on E's light green blanket...there's a whole pound of yarn and when D saw it, he thought it looked like an egg. It does look a bit like an Easter egg, one of the pastel painted ones.

After that, I'm planning to make him a number of hats, maybe starting with this one. I'm not so fond of the double-pointed needles, so I need to remember to buy 12" circular needles. I'd like to use this yarn, in the shade "Seafarer."

I'm on a really good streak with books lately...I've improved my heuristic for picking them out...basically, I go with authors I've read before, recommendations from people I trust, or I read the first 5 pages in the bookstore. The only problem is, when everything I'm reading is so good, I tend to whip through the books really quickly. So if you've read anything you loved lately, let me know!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

You know your husband's overworked when...

I was coming back from Whole Foods, where I have to go to get the magic cereal (365 Brand shredded wheat, only $3.49 for little bites of heaven) and D woke up with a start when I came into the room.

D: [mutters something unintelligible]

Me: What?

D: I'm just looking at file names and permissions.

Me: You're asleep.

D: [in a silly-you tone] No, I'm not!

Me: How can you look at file names and permissions when you're lying in bed without a computer?

D: Mmm. [falls back asleep]

As an aside, I dreamed that he wanted to get a second college degree and jetted off to UCLA. Who knows what that means.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Ben & Jerry's closed. Yes. It was tragic. So I went to Baskin Robbins instead. I got the strangely named Tax Crunch, which really tasted like Heath Bar Crunch, and was quite good. So I give Baskin Robbins the Bearette stamp of approval. They also gave me a sensibly small scoop -- none of this large-masquerading-as-a-small business.

I'm also very excited about tomorrow morning. I'm bummed that the strike is keeping Desperate Housewives (the only show I really miss, aside from The Office) off the air...but breakfast makes up for it. I recently discovered 365 brand Frosted Mini Wheats and I love them. It makes me look forward to morning.

Are you infatuated with any breakfast items?
Well, I made my decision. I'm going to make the baby blanket, linked below, with pastel green Pound of Love yarn. It was so windy when I walked out of the store, I thought it was going to blow out of my hands!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

An election...

...but not the political kind. Since I finished the scarf for my MIL, I've been wanting to make something else. My choices are these:

1) Baby blanket from a simple online pattern. You may be able to view it here, or they might want you to register. I'm not sure.

2) More complicated, but pretty, baby blanket from Speed Knitting by Kris Percival. My only gripe is, it calls for size 9 needles, and most of the yarn I know requires size 8 or 10 needles. I know of very few size 9 yarns, except Manos del Uruguay, which is itchy and not machine-washable, so that is out.

3) Baby booties, from the same book. They are cute. I am having a summer baby, though. I've been told they need booties, even so.

4) Baby hat from Stitch 'n' Bitch by Debbie Stoller. It's a stockinette-stitch, roll-brim hat that I've made a million of (for adults) and happen to be fond of. The problem? They added an I-cord (weird dangly thing) to the top of the hat. I would like to make it without the I-cord, but I don't know how to alter the pattern. You have to put 16 stitches onto double-point needles at the crown of the head, after you've completed most of the hat. What do you do with those 16 stitches if they're not going onto the DPNs? Decreasing would be the logical answer, but how fast? K4tog? K2tog? Anyway, if you have the pattern and know how to answer my question, I would be most grateful. ~~

Thursday, February 07, 2008

So tonight I asked my SIL if she'd like to be in the delivery room, and she was really excited about the idea. She started asking about the breathing techniques, how could she help me, etc. She's getting a degree in social work and has a calming presence.

Which makes me wonder: should I bother with the doula at all? I decided to take some time to think about it, because I did like the doula candidate a lot, but the flakiness before class sent out warning signals, and this day is important. I've had bad experiences with flakes before. They do generally let you down.

So as it stands, my SIL will be there, D (until it gets graphic) and possibly my mom (though she's in another state, so it all depends. She mentioned coming to NY to help, but the timing may not work out for delivery. I think she will come to visit the baby afterward, though, even if she can't make it to the delivery room.) I do prefer to have people I know...the doula, no matter how well-intentioned and skilled, is basically a stranger at an intimate scene. So I'm kind of thinking: maybe forego it.

Another possibility: my labor may be so fast that it's a nonissue. The childbirth class teacher asked us if our mothers or sisters had fast deliveries, in which case we shouldn't linger at home, but rather rush to the hospital. My mom did not have fast deliveries, and I probably take after her more. However, my sister had super-fast labors. In fact, she delivered one of her children with her sneakers on. She didn't have time to take them off!

Red scarf

Here's the red scarf I just finished as a gift...Silverstar had wanted to see a picture of the newest knitting. Those are my feet at the bottom of the photo.

My Lumix camera is now saying "AF" whenever I take a picture...does anyone know what this means? I'm not sure how to get rid of it. I guess I could always consult the, um, users' manual.

I might make a pair of booties, hat or a blanket as a next project. I have more knitted goods than anyone needs, so most things I make from here on out will be for others.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

One small thing can make all the difference.

So today I went swimming. I try to swim or do yoga every day. Before you get bowled over by my industriousness, note that it's usually yoga, and I use a DVD so I don't need to drag my butt out of the house.

The #1 enemy of working out? Laziness.

The #2 enemy of working out? Having to schlep my bathing suit, flip flops, swim cap and lock all over town.

So I rented a locker at my gym today! This was one of those measures that I was too cheap/frugal to adopt immediately; however, I can say it has improved my life. Now I can swim whenever I want! I don't have to pack a bag full of stuff because it's already there.


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

So D and I went over and voted for Hillary today. Did you vote? If so, for whom? (And if you don't like talking politics, no need to reveal. But I am curious.)

I feel like there is an excitement in the air surrounding this election. People are ready for change, or, to use Obama's buzzword, "hope." D says he has a very good PR team -- it's recommended to brand yourself with a single word. I do like him, and he's probably the "coolest" candidate in recent years (I think he has a rock-star image) but I just feel more comfortable with Hillary somehow, like she has more experience with the White House.

Apparently Barack won in Georgia, but the polls are still open in most states.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

So we went to the childbirth class today. I ended up liking the doula/nurse/teacher a lot. I had only interacted with her via email before, where she came across as a nice person, but I was a little concerned about not getting the packet beforehand. It turns out they were having problems with their printer. But the important part was that I really liked her; she had a comforting manner and I felt at ease with her right away, which I can't say about all strangers. She was one of those people who is just bubbling over with genuine warmth.

I haven't asked her to be my doula yet. I'm going to think about it. There's also a "speed-dating" event where you can meet doulas this Wednesday. I do think I feel more comfortable with this woman than most people. She was funny and down-to-earth. She even asked where D and I met (I got the impression she thought D was a "quality" husband). She is having a Superbowl party tomorrow and she asked all the girls to bring a single man. D thinks she is very practical ;)

At any rate, I felt comfortable enough with her to ask her my most ridiculous question (in private, not in front of the others). We're going to Miami in March and although it will be in the safe window for travel, I was afraid that if the plane hit the runway hard during landing, it would hurt E. She reassured me it would not, and didn't laugh at me or anything. We also talked about non-chemical sunscreen. She also joked about worrying later -- "what if he brings some hussy home?" she said, to be silly. I actually already thought about that. I bet most mothers don't like their son's girlfriend, at least at first.

We got to see the delivery rooms. They have CD players and VCRs, though not DVD players. So she encouraged us to bring our old VHS tapes. I have Sixteen Candles on VHS...that's probably a comforting one during labor :)

She also told us, "The labor room is like Vegas...what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!"

Toward the end, we saw a baby who had been born a few hours ago...she was very pink and waving her arms and legs around. I think most of the girls wanted to stay and cuddle with her ;)

Friday, February 01, 2008

I fought my OCD, and the OCD won

Tonight when we got back from dinner, I asked D if he could pull my boots off. This is because bending is a bitch, kids. Sorry to be blunt, but that's the truth. I realized these boots required deep bending before dinner, when I had to bend to stuff my pants into them (even sitting down), and my abs felt like they were getting crunched, which is unpleasant when there's a baby in there.

(I will go to great lengths to avoid bending. I keep everything I need on tables, chairs or counters rather than the floor.)

So anyway, D kindly pulled the boots off and asked me where he should put them. (He foresaw that this would require more bending.) I thanked him and pointed out the spot where I keep them. He put them back, but folks, they weren't facing the same way as my other boots.

I tried to overlook it, but I couldn't. My shoes have always looked like the cans in Sleeping with the Enemy. You know, the part where the audience's collective heart plunges into its sneakers because the psycho husband is back. Otherwise, the cans wouldn't be lined up so neatly. That's what my shoes are like. I could see it startled my college roommate when she could got her first glimpse of The Shoes. I come off as this free spirit and I mostly am. But the shoes. Have to be. Lined up.

So you know how this story ends. I sheepishly asked D to line up the boots correctly. He did it. I have a sterling husband.

My other story...I was going to ask a certain woman to be my doula. (I feel like I'm looking for a prom date.) Anyway, doula is Greek for "servant," and the doula provides support during the birth. D, though fabulous, is squeamish and doesn't want to be in the delivery room.

(It's probably just as well. He heard about how some woman was cursing her husband in the delivery room, screaming, "I'm never letting you near me again! @$^@$!^!" and he was a little freaked out.)

But now I suspect this doula is a total flake. She's teaching a childbirth class which is tomorrow. She told me I was confirmed and I'd get a confirmation packet in the mail. It never arrived. So I don't even know where the freakin' class is, and did I mention it's tomorrow at noon? I'm going to have to call and make sure it's at her office. I mean, it probably is, but doesn't that strike you as a salient detail she should have shared with me? I shouldn't have to call to find this out.

Also, she took a few weeks to respond to each of my e-mails.

My experience with flakes is that they are amazingly consistent. They will always flake out on you. They do not have flashes of responsibility and reliability.

So I think I should look for another doula.

I thought, maybe she has compartmentalized flakiness; perhaps she is flaky about childbirth classes, but not about childbirth itself. But do I really want to take that chance? No.

But I thought I'd air the issue here, and if anyone has a different perspective on the matter, do let me know.