Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Leaving on a jet plane

Can I take a moment to brag about my lil guy? Of course I can. It's my blog. So yesterday I took him to get his hair cut after I got off work and picked him up from daycare. He was a complete angel. (I am aware of the fact that by bragging on him like this, I am just asking for an episode of such great magnitude where I will swear that he is behaving so awfully that he couldn't possibly be my child, but I will continue nonetheless.) Keep in mind that his last haircut was the first that he ever received without needing to sit on a parent's lap. This time my big boy climbed up the chair and sat on top of the booster (yes, my child who hates boosters actually sat on one) without any qualms and then...he actually let the girl put the cape on him. I. Was. So. Proud. And for being so good they gave him a sucker AND a balloon. He was in heaven until the balloon burst, but that's a story for another day.

Here's a picture before haircut:

And one after:

So did anyone else watch the finale of The Contender last night and cry? Anyone? No? Ok then, um, I didn't either. I wanted Sergio to win because he wanted the million dollars to provide a better life for his mother. If you are a mother, feel free to say "Awwwwwww" right along with me. Ever since I heard him say that episodes ago, I have been pulling for him. And last night he won. So that's why there were, um, no tears in my house last night. Most people who know me would be surprised to learn that I am a huge boxing fan. What they probably wouldn't be surprised about is the fact that I'm a totally emotional freak.

I'm not sure if I'll be blogging much in the next few days as I'm hopping a plane tomorrow morning for Ohio. Braden and I are going (as are my mom and aunt) to see the family there. Please send good thoughts and prayers for uneventful flights. The hubby couldn't take off work at this particular time so he will be taking care of the house, and I have given him only 2 jobs to do. First, he needs to fix the leak underneath the bar sink. Secondly, he needs to kill the squirrels who have decided to chew holes into the side of our house so they can live between our 2 floors. I have no problems whatsoever with killing the little critters either as they have started watching us from the arbor outside the big picture window in the living room and mocking us, not to mention the fact that they are damaging our house. I told hubby that maybe we should hang their little dead carcasses from the arbor as a warning to other squirrels who might think about taking their place. Or maybe we could even put their little heads on sticks. I promise I'm not demented - I just hate them THAT much, and I hope the little bastards are dead by the time I get home. Normally I love and have the utmost respect for all creatures great and small, but these critters have crossed the line.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Not feeling well

I have a sore throat, drainage, cough, and a slight fever today, but that doesn't stop me from being outraged about THIS. Enough is enough, people. I'm just saying...

Tomorrow I will attend the funeral of a friend. Granted, she wasn't a close friend, but my hubby and her ex-hubby are good friends, and we had some good mutual friends, and I feel like I should go to show support for everyone. Here's the thing though: she was only 40 years old and it looks as if she died from complications of diabetes. I urge you if you are diabetic, please take good care of yourself. Don't cut your life short because you aren't managing your disease properly. Please.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Houston, we have used the potty

The boy is tickled as can be over his new Buzz Lightyear spaceship. It was, of course, a potty reward. I have to admit that it's much bigger in person than it looked on the box. Here are some pictures. Click on them to enlarge.

My little Space Ranger... At this moment he's in the other room talking into the imaginary communicator on his wrist pretending to be Buzz. How stinking cute is that?

Not such a great weekend

Reasons I didn’t have such a great weekend:

1. My kid got sick. He had a little bit of a fever, and then just a wee bit of vomiting. Other than that those few things, he was his normal crackhead self (and I mean that in the most lovingly way possible).
2. The first time he vomited, he aimed his projectile curdled milk right into my knitting bag. I had to wash cottage cheese-like chunks off the baby gift I’m knitting. I was far more upset about the knitting bag and baby gift project than the fact that it also went all over my leg, my flip-flops, and the new carpet.
3. The second time he vomited, it was on our bed.
4. I had 2 glasses of wine Saturday night only to wake up with a full-blown hangover on Sunday. Two glasses, people! And I didn’t even have the nice drunk feeling on Saturday night to show for it.
5. The crackhead woke up at the hellish hour of 6:00am during my hangover.
6. I slept most of the day on Sunday. (Ok, that part was actually nice. I haven’t done that in years. However, it wasn’t a good sleep. It was more of a head throbbing, if I could stand up and walk across the room I would totally take an entire bottle of Tylenol type of sleep.)
7. My husband was nice to me for a while, but then he quickly negated all his brownie points by acting like an utter ass over the vomit on the bed episode. Not to worry, he did apologize.
8. Because I slept most of Sunday, I got little to no knitting done. Or laundry. Or house cleaning. But I’m much more bummed over the lost knitting time.
9. While letting the dog outside, I ran into a stack of ceramic tiles that has been sitting by the back door for about a month now, resulting in a scrape and a large bluish bruise on the top of my foot. After saying words that I’m not proud of (out of earshot of the child, thank you very much), hubby removed the tiles.
10. After I was finally awakened at 6:30pm Sunday(two glasses, people – I swear!), we cleaned out the fridge, went out to eat, and then went grocery shopping. We didn’t get home from that until 11:00pm. I’m telling you, the fun never stops at my house.

On the other hand, I finally got to document my most recent yarn stash enhancements:
This is the Knitpicks stuff we have been
waiting on for forever due to the fine service we get from the USPS

This is Lorna's Lace's Shepherd Sport in jeans and black purl, with a little koigu thrown in for good measure, bought at Knitting Zone

And finally, some Jaeger Shetland Aran scored on ebay that is just begging to be a cardigan this fall

And then there was also the time on Saturday when I was playing with my kiddo’s little prism-y looking glass thingamajig. I thought I’d see if it was possible to take a picture through it. How cool is that?

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

A little TMI

I highly recommend that every woman start out her day with a trip to the ob/gyn's office for the annual pap. Woohoooo! And I was their first patient of the day. What a lovely, lovely experience. I actually saw the nurse practitioner (whom I love dearly) and she joked that she'd rather see the gyn than the dentist. Ummm, ok. I'll have to think about that one... I have to say, though, that since I switched to a female ob/gyn, my annual experience is not anything remotely close to the painful, awkward, humiliating experience I had with a male ob/gyn. Oh, and then there was the one male family practitioner who didn't close the speculum before removing it. So anyway, I probably won't ever go back to having a male ob/gyn again. I think the women docs are more gentle because they know what it's like. And thus ends the TMI section. Aren't you glad I shared?

The kiddo is starting to show some signs of an Okie twang. He must be picking it up at daycare because his dad and I don't speak that way, but lots of one syllable words are turning into 2 and 3 syllable words. For example, milk is now may-ulk, help is now hay-ulp, head is now hay-ud, etc. Is this just a normal phase of development or something deeper, something much more Southern? Stay tuned...

I'm hoping to be able to share some pics very soon of all the yarn acquisitions I've made recently, but for some reason the USPS is having trouble finding me. KatyaR and I ordered from Knitpicks recently and half the order was on backorder. So they sent what they had through Parcel Direct, which we found out means it comes through the regular mail. I called to have the package traced and was told that it was returned to Knitpicks because it was "undeliverable as addressed." So they resent that half of the order through UPS and we received it promptly. Meanwhile, the 2nd half of our order was filled and shipped also through Parcel Direct. I called 2 weeks later to track that package and their system showed it made it as far as Dallas and then mysteriously vanished. So Knitpicks sent the 2nd half of the order again, but instead of reliable UPS, they sent it again through Parcel Direct. We are currently taking bets as to whether or not it will ever arrive. I fear, though, that my purchases will pale in comparison to those I've seem from just a few of the people who attended the MDS&W festival this past weekend. I'm so envious.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Happy Mother's Day

I have lots of pictures to share because I've made good use of the new camera.

First are 2 pictures of the big boy's potty reward toys.

Next are a couple of pictures of a hat I made him during the winter. He didn't want to wear it back then, but you can see I made it plenty big enough for him to grow into. Maybe we'll get lucky and he'll want to wear it when it's actually cold outside again. The pattern is from Ann Budd's The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns and it is made from Cascade 220. I embroidered the spider web design on with Cascade 220 also.

And these are the projects I finally finished up this weekend. First is a baby sweater from a pattern purchased from Patternworks and made of Tahki Cotton Classic. The hat is based on a free pattern I found on the internet (sorry, I can't find it right now or I'd give the proper link) and I modified it to have the seed stitch rim and eyelet pattern to match the sweater.

Next are pictures of my completed socks. The pattern is the Harvest Cable Socks by the Sockguy from the Yahoo Sockniters Group, and they are made with Cherry Tree Hill Potluck Supersock yarn that was a Christmas gift from KatyaR.

I absolutely LOVE this yarn. Thank you KatyaR!

And I tried to take a picture of my Mother's Day gift, but I found out how hard it is to photograph jewelry. So since I couldn't get a decent photo, click HERE for a link to what my guys got me.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

A special anniversary

Today is the 6th anniversary of the day that changed my life forever. It was the night I survived an F5 tornado. I learned just how easily my safety and security could vanish. As I huddled in a tiny coat closet with my dog, the tornado ripped my house apart. If you're interested, here's the brief version of my story.

I noticed how dark the sky was in the south as I headed home from work that Monday evening, but this is, after all, Oklahoma, so I was used to that. When I got home and turned on the TV there was a tornado on the ground down by Amber and it was headed NE towards Chickasha. After it hit Chickasha, it kept heading NE towards Bridge Creek, where several people died. We lived in Moore and if it stayed on its current course, we would be in its path. My husband tried to get me to leave the house and meet him for dinner, but I honestly didn't think there was anything to worry about. It was many miles away from us and tornadoes don't stay on the ground THAT long, and besides, what's to say it wouldn't change course and I wouldn't be driving into its new path? Like a lot of people, I was complacent. I'd lived in Oklahoma my entire life and had never had a tornado scare before. Well, as this monster of a tornado got closer to south Oklahoma City and Moore, I put my mom's dogs (that I was dogsitting) in my husband's closet, and went ahead and got in the coat closet (right next to hubby's closet) with my own dog "just in case." And I sat there in the closet for almost 20 minutes (MORE than enough time to get in the car and leave), and I eventually heard a low rumble, sort of like a freight train. As it got louder I realized how stupid I was for not leaving and I really began to be afraid. I started praying quietly. I heard glass breaking and the aluminum mini blinds rattling, but I was still in denial. I actually thought to myself, "Well, I guess we'll have to replace some windows." The rumbling got louder and then I heard loud little debris projectiles hitting the closet door and walls. The rumbling got louder. I could hear my mom's dogs barking and my own started frantically trying to claw his way out of my arms. Then the closet walls shifted and leaned a little so that one wall was about a foot off the foundation, and I could see sunlight coming in under that wall. The rumbling and noise was deafening and I started praying as loud as I could. I prayed that if this was really my time, God would just take me quickly and not let me suffer with horrible pain. And then all of a sudden, the walls stopped shaking and everything went eerily quiet. I sat there for a little while wondering if it was over and then slowly I started hearing voices of neighbors yelling to each other. I tried to open the closet door, but there was so much debris it would only open a few inches. Momentary claustrophobia made me determined to get out of that closet NOW and not wait for someone to dig me out, so I somehow forced it open enough to get out, and what I saw made me gasp. Looking through where walls used to exist on my own house, I could see that my neighborhood was totally devastated.

I knew my husband would come looking for me so I concentrated on getting the dogs out and then found a safe place to sit down on my next-door neighbor's slab. That's right, SLAB. Their house was sheared off at the foundation, pipes and all. We were lucky, I suppose. We still had some interior walls, and that's what protected me and the dogs, but the roof and 95% of the exterior walls were gone. And there's also the amazing fact that I didn't have any injuries other than minor scrapes and bruises (which later took the shape of paw prints). My next-door neighbor had to be treated at the hospital for debris puncture wounds in her legs and she was carried out of our addition on a DOOR because the ambulances couldn't get in, but we saw her a few days later and she was fine. And people just a few houses away from us weren't so lucky and they died. There are tons of minute details I remember about that night. I remember how my car was covered in so much debris and fiberglass that it looked like it had been burned. I remember how all I wanted to do was take a bath. I remember meeting neighbors that I'd lived by for five years and never known, and how everyone banded together to try to help each other. I remember asking one of those nice neighbors to help me carry my husband's guns to his truck (I didn't want it on my conscience if a looter killed someone with one of our guns.) and she said to me, "Oh, I can't be caught with a firearm." I didn't even ask... I remember a policeman walking through the neighborhood yelling at everyone that we needed to leave and find shelter because another storm was headed our way. Go where exactly? But you know what one my best memories from that night is? I saw my husband turn the corner sprinting up our street, and when he saw me he slowed down and I could actually see the relief on his face. He came up and just hugged me tightly and I thought to myself "Wow, he really does love me." And then I finally let myself cry. Wow. And just think, that's the BRIEF version.

Lessons learned

The healing process for me has been extremely long and difficult, and I've even done individual counseling and a support group. My friend Jamie recently asked me what happened to the fun girl she used to know? I didn't answer her out loud, but I was thinking, "She must have died in the tornado." I suppose a lot of people have had moments in their lives when they believed they were about to die, and I hope they don't do as I do and live with fear and anxiety, but instead realize how precious life is and how it should be lived to the fullest extent. I'm trying to get there, and it helps a little bit now that I have my son to consider now, but it's still difficult and something I will probably always struggle with. We now have a storm shelter and that helps, but if we have enough advance warning, we will get in the car and leave. But please, if you learn anything from my story, let it be this:

1) If a tornado is heading your way, get fully dressed. Bra and everything. Seriously. Don't go to Walmart braless the next day because the person you are staying with is 2 sizes smaller than you.
2) Wear real shoes. Don't wear house slippers. Trust me, slippers are not your friend when you are climbing over debris.
3) Ladies, keep your purse with you. Don't ask your husband and his best friend to go dig in the debris of your former home the next day in the general area of where you left it.
4) If you have dogs, put a leash on them BEFORE you take shelter. Don't wait until afterwards and have to fashion a leash out of some man's necktie that you found on the ground.
5) If you have jewelry that's important to you (and I say this only if you have tons of warning time because your life is way more important than any jewelry) wear it or put it in your purse because it really sucks when you can't find your engagement ring or your family heirlooms in the debris.
6) If you have kids, put bicycle helmets on their little heads. I'm not speaking from personal experience on that one, but that's what I've been told and that's what I would do now to my own child.
7) For God's sake people, if you have 30 minutes notice that a ginormous tornado is heading your general way, get in the car and leave (in a safe, calm manner, of course). Drive to an underground parking garage or drive way the hell away from the storm's path. But don't be in denial like me and think it won't get you. You just never know.

Monday, May 02, 2005

I hate Mondays

I've got some bad news and some good news from this weekend. The bad news is my mom had to be hospitalized for an intestinal blockage, but as of this morning she is much better and may get to go home tomorrow without surgery. They gave her a nasogastric tube to attempt to suck the small intestine blockage up through her stomach and out her nose into a container. How gross is that? And just think, she was lying there in a hospital bed with a ginormous tube stuck in her nose watching bits of sh*t come out in the tube. People, I'm telling you, drink plenty of fluids so this doesn't happen to you. Go now and drink a big glass of water. I'll even wait while you do this.

And now that you're back, don't you feel better? So now for the good news. The kiddo used the big boy potty this weekend! Woohoo! I acted like it was his single greatest accomplishment to date with much cheering and clapping and praise. And he got the Buzz Lightyear and Woody dolls I promised him. So now we will hit this potty training thing even harder and see if we can get some consistent usage of the potty. My boy is growing up. (Sniffle)

In other news of the weekend, my male cat killed a baby bunny in the backyard and brought it in the house in an attempt to show us what a mighty hunter he is. I was taking clothes out of the dryer when I heard "Mama, wook at the rabbit." I thought maybe he saw a bunny on TV so I took my time hanging up the clothes and then going to see what I was supposed to "wook at." When I saw the cat's dead little trophy, much freaking out ensued. The husband was summoned loudly to dispose of said trophy and the child was questioned as to whether he touched the trophy in any way. Hands were washed just in case and a bath followed (I promise it was bath time anyway) and all is well now.