Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Extra Bags

My little one is 7 months in one week (which is hard to believe in itself!), and has already outgrown his infant car seat and his 6 month clothes and has his very own tooth!  The one thing I've noticed are the extra bags. We no longer live in a "grab the keys and run out the door" kinda house. Instead we live in the, "double check the diaper bag, back seat, purse, extra bag, booster seat bag, baby, dog, spouse..." kinda house. In part this could have to do with the cloth diapering because the diaper bag always needs to be emptied of the stinky stuff and reloaded, but more likely is my theory that bags magnetically collect around a baby, like a hemispherical forcefield of carry-alls. Case in point: under eye bags. Every new parent has them. You can't look me in the eye and call it a coincidence!  Must be the forcefield. 

The upside to this is that you always have EVERYTHING!  Spare bib, got it!  Diaper, got it! Clean clothes, wipes, hand sanitizer, check, check, check!  Spark plugs? They must be in here somewhere... 

The downside is, there is no room for knitting!  All these flipping bags, and by the time I'm loaded down and ready to head out the door I give my knitting bag a longing look and cast my eyes down, not able to tell it that it can't come too. But, I mean, really, at that point I just see it as one more thing to carry out the door instead of the bag of creative opportunity it really is. Even if I do bring it with me, I end up having so much parenting to do that knitting isn't even on the radar. 

I know this because everyday I bring my knitting bag downstairs and don't work on it. Then in the evening I bring it upstairs and don't work on it.  Thankfully, having it close by has a calming effect all on its own. Maybe one day soon i will be able to sort this out, but I doubt it. 

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Taught with Love

It was on March 9th, 2012 that I learned my aunt who lives in Italy had passed away.  As we are coming up onto the anniversary of that date, it seems fitting that I finally finish this post which I started these three years past.  One might think that as a first generation Canadian, with very little family here with us, the bond of family would not be as strong.  One might think that learning of the death of a loved one you could love only from a distance, and a great distance at that, would not affect you, would somehow not hurt the same.  Maybe that's true, as I have no bar of comparison I don't know, but I can tell you that the bond I have with my family overseas is there.  And I can tell you that when I learned this news my heart broke to know that I would not get a chance to say good bye and let her know how much she meant to me. 
While it may be tempting to make this a post about loss - lost opportunities to know my aunt better, lost family history, I really think that my Zia, who in my heaven can read English, would not think that an appropriate tribute.  Instead, this post will show you what I learned from my aunt.
I was all of about 6 years old at the time, and couldn't speak Italian, that's for certain.  My whole family went to visit my aunt and her family in Turin as one stop on a grand adventure.  My cousin in England had just married his lovely wife and we (how this happened, I will never understand) were going on their honeymoon with them.  I'm sure that's not how it was billed at the time, but that's what happened.  My dad drove us all around in a van.  I'm fairly certain there were 8 of us in a 7 seater, but those were the times.  I recall it this way because as the littlest, I distinctly remember being seated on luggage.  How we fit 8 people and their luggage into the van in the first place is quite a mystery to me come to think about it. 
In any case, we went to my aunts apartment (how we all fit in there as well must have been a feat).  And when she went to make us all dinner, she made pasta. 
Now up until this point in my life, making pasta meant put dry noodles in salted water and cook.  Top with homemade tomato sauce and you're off to the races.  Well what my aunt meant was actually making the pasta. 
I loved to help in the kitchen and so she let me help knead the dough out on her wooden table top and press a tiny portion of it through the chitarra which cut it into spaghetti. 
This whole experience maybe took an hour, and yet here I am 24 years later (Good Lord, when did I get that old!) with the image of this day so clear in my mind.  The family was all talking while we made pasta.  It was noisy.  The house smelled warm and moist with the heat of the cooking sauce. The dough was squidgy and fun to play with between your fingers. And the pasta tasted like love. 
And so, when three years ago I learned that my aunt had passed, it seemed only fitting that I should make pasta to remember her with.  I did not have any of the right tools.  I rolled it by hand and it didn't come thin enough.  I sliced it by hand as well.  But it tasted good and it made me smile to think of that day so long ago that I spent with her.  I hope that wherever she is, she knows that I love her and will carry her love with me my whole life. 

Monday, November 03, 2014

Mamma needs to chat...

It has been so long since my last post that it hardly bears catching you up.  There have been changes around here.  Big ones.  And to a large extent they have changed me.  Changed who I am, what I value, and my overall focus in life.  I'm not so sure I had a focus to begin with and I'm even less sure that I have one now, but I do know that it's different.  One would suspect that in general as a knitting blog, changes in my overall self should be of any concern to you.  I wish that were so, but the fact remains that I am a hopeless rambler who falls prey to the whims of my own mind and often self-indulgently find myself writing about my life or my thoughts or myriad other things before, or at least in conjunction with my knitting, of which I lately do quite little.  To move things along fairly rapidly, I will sum up from my last post over a year ago in somewhat chronological order, but with no rank whatsoever on importance.  I believe that in that time I got a new car, my grandmother moved from my parents' home, where she has always lived, to a retirement residence where they are better equipped to help her with her Alzheimer's, I got pregnant, in the first trimester my baby died, I badly dinted my new car when distractedly thinking of that baby, I went to the Bahamas to escape that whole experience and wound up at the clutches of an evil hammock who saw fit to nearly break my rib, I got rubella from my MMR vaccine, I got pregnant again, I went to the Bahamas again and was safe from the hammocks, there was a baby shower, I got a cough that wouldn't end, I started maternity leave a few weeks early due to increased discomfort caused by my cough and extreme swelling, four days into my maternity leave my labour was induced and two days later I had a beautiful, healthy baby boy.

Baby boy is now just over 7 weeks and I really couldn't tell you what has happened in that time.  It's all a blur.  The first 3 weeks was just a twilight zone of joy over my new little man, and pain from my c section (which hurts a damn site more than anyone ever lets on, let me tell you).  Next was settling into my routine and my new role as mamma, and now I'm coming to you as someone who thinks a 4 hour sleep in the middle of the night is something akin to a holiday, and that a poopie diaper is somewhat a thing of beauty.  I was not sure about being at home or about what I might be like as a mother, having hitherto worked hard academically and professionally to prove my worth.  What I know now is that being home with this tiny human is about the most sure I have ever felt.  It is remarkable to me that I made him, and what's more remarkable to me is that someone made every single one of us and didn't make a nuisance of themselves telling us every single day of our lives how incredibly miraculous and special that makes every single mother and baby.  Now maybe it's the hormones talking or perhaps my pregnancy loss makes me sensitive to this sort of thing or maybe this is just what it's supposed to feel like, I don't know, but I look down at that little creature and watch him sleep, or nurse, or smile, or even cry and I'm so immensely grateful for his tiny existence and I'm so incredibly proud to be a part of it.  I'm in a state of hyper awareness that he has no idea that I feel like this, and that he will possibly never understand, and so I am a continuous fountain of praise.  If, God-forbid, I die tomorrow, I want this little man to know that I think he is the whole world.  I'm also suddenly aware of some measure of what my parents must have felt raising my brothers and I.  I'm eternally grateful for their love, support and knowledge. 

There is just one thing I'm still trying to get used to and that is the loneliness.  Is this par for the course.  I'm very productive at home and even get out of the house reasonably often but basically by the end of little man's long nap I feel like I've been in solitary confinement.  I'm working on this.  Being more active in online message boards, calling and pestering everyone I know who isn't working (not really a lot of people to be honest) and now, evidently resurrecting the blog.  I figure if I can talk, someone is bound to reply sometimes and that will be so nice.  Perhaps I should get on the facebooks, or something, but I have successfully avoided it for so long, I'm concerned that joining will show a break in will power, or at the very least, result in a complete time suck for which there is no cure. 

Anyways, I guess that is enough of a ramble for one day.  I don't know when I'll be back or if this will become a regular thing again but until next time, happy crafting and I hope to hear from you soon. 

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Holidays are Coming!!

Around this time last year is just about when I quit on you all. Part of what began the demise of my blogging was a holiday to visit my parents in Florida. It's ironic, looking at it now, to be blogging about that trip with my heart and soul set on our next visit out there. Last year we went to Universal Studios and hung out a whole lot with the folks and just soaked each other up. With being the baby of the family, my parents' winter sojourn to the south always leaves a gap, but the visits I get to have with just me and them, and my hubby of course, are monumental because I get them all to myself. We see things and go places. Hang out. Share stories. Meet new people. And my parents are the kind who don't sit still so there is always something to be seen. You can see last year we had wonderful weather while we were down there. And to sweeten the deal my parents gifted me Madeline Tosh Pashmina in Baltic to remind me of the ocean, and Madeline Tosh Vintage in Amber Trinket just because I liked it, AND a pair of Addi's from the LYS down there. There's something uniquely strange about a warm climate knit shop. Kind of incongruous I guess, but I enjoyed the trip.

A Florida Pelican by Sea
A Florida Pelican by Air
Mr. Frogged with the Head Honcho at the Dock

In 9 days the Mister and I will head to the big apple for our 10 year anniversary! So exciting! My favourite city on earth and his first time visit so sure to be a blast. From there we fly down to Florida to see my parents just in time for my mamma's birthday. I know we will need some sun to bum around in to recover from the big city and I just can't wait!!! Much travel knitting will be packed.

Until next time, happy crafting.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Bad, Blogger, Bad!

So, it has been a while. Over six months and no blog post from me. I'm a bad blogger. No, I'm
not ill, or in a remote place where my Internet doesn't connect. And no, it isn't that I've been lazy per se, as plenty of things have been going on. I guess blogging dropped off of the totem pole of hobbies in favour of a sanity in which there is also time for sleep. Of course I could have blogged, but this is not something I ever want to become a chore, and so when the mood didn't strike, I didn't force it because nobody would want to read the stunted blog of a blogger with nothing to say.

My father's favourite expression growing up seemed to be "There's no such thing as can't." He used it when he had asked us to do something we thought was hard. We would whine, or well, I would whine, I don't recall my brothers ever whining, and he would say, "There's no such thing as can't, just don't want to." I'm pretty sure he was just trying to teach us not to be so darned lazy, but really it is something I always go back to and often it pushes me to do things I otherwise wouldn't do. Things that would be difficult for me, like sock or lace knitting, I learn to do for myself anyways because I always think, well, that I want to do it, so I should try. So when I realized I hadn't stopped by the blog in ages I began ruminating on all the reasons I couldn't. There wasn't enough time. I was away on holiday. I was busy. I had work. I wasn't feeling well. The weather was nice and I got outside more. I had writer's block. And then I had a really good think and realized that there is no reason why I couldn't, I just didn't want to. Don't get me wrong, I have missed sharing with you and hearing your comments and everything I love about the blog, but I was enjoying my time away too. In other words, I apologize for my absence, but I think there's no sense in me waxing poetic about why I couldn't blog when clearly you and I both know that I didn't lose my ability to type, think or feel, and so there's no better reason for it than, I was lazy and I just didn't feel like blogging.

The good news is: I feel like blogging today! I need to break this down into several posts since it has been so long, and the best way I think for me to do this is to send you a picture or two from my absence and a brief blog post every couple of days and just catch you all up.

So friends, until then, happy crafting and hopefully I'll see you really soon. :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Bouquet of Happiness

Hello friends!  I am so sorry for my extended absence, but on this lovely positivi-Tuesday, I know that you will completely understand. 

After I last signed off, I experienced some kind of super human bout of exhaustion that drained me for the balance of the week.  Last Sunday evening I was planning on submitting a post featuring my joyful bouquet of miniature roses, but instead I cut my thumb rather drastically, requiring two half-hour car rides, one two-hour emergency room wait, one confused ortho consult physician, one sarcastic general ER physician, three stitches, and six chicken nuggets (my comfort food of choice at midnight).

The irony of it was that I spent the entire day Sunday making sausages, that is, cutting, grinding, seasoning and stuffing meat into sausage form, and did not get injured.  When I got home, I made a salad for myself and Mr. Frogged and promptly attempted thumb-sassination. 

Since then, my knitting has suffered, let me tell you!  But on the other hand, my end weaving in has almost been completed, however this only means that I am to a point in the ripple blanket where I can CONTINUE crocheting and then weave in more ends...will the madness never cease!?  By the time it's completed the infant will be walking, talking, and going to prom at this rate.  I'm a bit concerned about my sock-knitting rate though as I'm aiming to enter these socks in the Knit One Heart 2 KAL due next Wednesday and I'm not even past  the heel turn yet. 

The Mister and I celebrated our 9 year anniversary on Valentine's day and to honour this he planned us a beautiful day together on the Saturday prior to both February 14th and the thumb-slicing incident.  Of course it went completely pear shaped, but it was the thought that counts.  We were supposed to go skating together, as we are apt to do on Valentines, when we woke up to a beautifully Canadian high of -25 degrees celcius with the windchill.  That kiboshed that plan.  Plan B.  Matinee showing of The Vow, it's just so sappy it might work, but alas, it was sold out.  So, we watched the not at all romantic Chronicle, which was just about the most stressful movie I've ever watched!  I needed to knit on my socks just to avoid getting anxiety-induced tremors.  Fortunately dinner went well and was absolutely delicious. 

I would say that would catch you up to PositiviTuesday this week.  I'm going to change up the positiviTuesday report a bit and instead of giving some positive news I'll try to review something (recipe, book, pattern, yarn, movie... you get the idea) each week, so that you can then go out and make your own positivity with whatever that happens to be. 

In any case, this week what I've been loving is hanging with my parents who have been in town from Florida.  It was my mom's #&th birthday (when you get to be her age, the number needs to be censored) and we threw here a party and spent lots of family time together.  It was awesome. 

Das my mom...Ain't she a cutie!?

I've also been loving hanging out with the Mister on this family day long weekend.  We barely changed out of our pj's on Monday and it was just what I was looking for in a holiday. 

This week I'm looking forward to having my in-laws and friends over this weekend and cooking.  It's been some time since I've cooked a new recipe and I think I'm trying something a bit different this weekend.  I'm also looking forward to visiting my parents in Florida in a week.  We were going to go to Legoland, but they are closed on Wednesdays (who knew?) and instead we'll be going to Universal.  The greatest part is that Mister Frogged has never been to either place so I get to see it through his eyes either way. 

As for a review, this week I will review my latest and greatest book, The Help.  I've not finished the book yet, but I'm about half way through and I'm really enjoying the writing style.  I like that it is written in such a way that I can hear the characters in their southern drawl in my mind and feel like I'm that much closer to them.  Sometimes it tends to drag a bit but all in all, I highly recommend the book.  I will be continuing through it and then watching the movie for comparison purposes, although I never like the movie version as much. 

Well, I think that about sums it up for me today.  I wish you a wonderful week and Happy Crafting one and all. 

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Random Happy Thoughts

Hello out there and welcome to the Positivi-Tuesday Post today.  I have to admit, I'm a bit stumped today.  I guess I've got writer's block, but that's not what you want to hear, so I'll try to get something going, please bear with me. 

In the news this week, there has been a family lost and found and I think that's pretty good reason to celebrate.  A family of three in southwest of Portland, Oregon was lost in a forest for 6 days surviving on only stream water when they went out mushroom hunting.   Search parties went after them when they hadn't returned to their campsite.  They were finally found and airlifted to a nearby hospital, and after the entire ordeal only suffered a sprained ankle, minor frost bite, and a back injury between all three of them.  They were certainly lucky to be found, especially since it is said that they would not have been able to survive for more than two more days out there.  I don't know them, but I'm thankful they are safe. 

I have to say that this week I've definitely had my mood ups and downs, but I have been enjoying a number of things.  One of them is All Wound Up: The Yarn Harlot Writes for a Spin  by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee that I just finished.  Can I just say that I would like to be her friend?  Stephanie, if you're out there, let me know.  For those of you familiar with Big Bang Theory, I think Stephanie could play the Penny to my Amy Farrah Fowler.  Stephanie lives in Toronto, I live close enough.  Stephanie likes knitting, I like knitting.  Stephanie needs closets, I have spares.  I'm just sayin'....we could make it work.  This book was so entertaining, I even began reading a chapter here and there to the Mister and we shared a giggle.  Each chapter stands independantly of the rest of the book which makes it great for reading in fits and starts as I tend to do each lunch hour.  I wholly recomend this book, it is light and funny, touching and sincere and it certainly resonated with me. 

And when I'm on lunch reading the Yarn Harlot and the like, what else am I doing?  Eating?  Yeah I guess, but more imporatantly, knitting!  I've been ploughing through Mr. Frogged's socks (but that means on size 11 feet that I'm about half way to the heel turn.  I really like working on them though.  So much so that I'm fairly sure it's safe to say that they were calling to me over the weekend.  I make a point of only working on them when I am out of the house because they are my portable knit project, and I have other things on the go around here that don't travel as easily.  Lately I've been thinking about knitting on them all the time.  I was at three different parties this past weekend, and at all of the parties I couldn't help but think,  "Would it be inappropriate to knit here?"  Unfortunately, the answer was pretty resoundingly yes it would be inappropriate to knit here.  Here's my progress. 

What a cosy toe?

I've also been taking some time to be with my pets this week.  Tonka has been going to daycare three days a week since I began my new job and it leaves him equal parts cuddly and exhausted. 
 We gave our hedgehog, Penny (Penelope Pricklesworth), a bath tonight and some TLC.  Penny is a conundrum of creatures because by nature she quite frankly does not care to be doted on.  She's nocturnal and perfectly happy to not be bothered by us, but today we just had to brave her prickly temper and soap her up.  I think she's the happier for it, even though she totally bit the Mister - hehehe.

This is going to seem quite abrupt, but frankly, I had homework due at midnight yesterday and I am so tired, I'm falling asleep while I type.  So on that note, Happy Crafting one and all, and I will try to complete this post tomorrow. 

Thanks for stopping by and happy crafting.