Thursday, August 28, 2008

I can knit a coaster!

I knit my very first precious coaster. It's green - rather, honeydew.

More on this tremendously creative knitting project when it is not bedtime. I was just excited about my first finished knitting project and had to share.

More, as promised.

Years ago my MIL (mother-in-law) taught me how to crochet. I was into the baby afghan scene for awhile, but since the boys arrived I haven't had time for big projects. She is an amazing knitter, too (Hi, Frances!), but I decided to save that lesson for a rainy day. Or, an Iowa day.

A year ago or so (correct me if I'm wrong), my mom re-discovered her inner knitter! She told me she and her friends used to knit socks for their boyfriends in college. I think she said, "It's just what we did." Isn't that funny? Was that sort of like being pinned? Receiving socks? (Anyone having mental pictures of Dobby in his pillowcase here?) Anyway, she gave me a book called "The Friday Night Knitting Club," and it was one of the best books I've ever read. It was just amazing. I decided maybe a proverbially rainy day had come.

When I went home for my high school reunion I found some yarn and a pattern in my guest bedroom. Over the next few days my mom began to teach me how to knit. The first part was winding the ball of yarn. We had some good discussion and hearty laughs over rolling the yarn ball. She casted on a row for me and taught me the knit stitch. We had a lot more fun knitting, mostly because I was such a mess at knitting.

The next step was figuring out what on earth the pattern would create. All it said on the pattern, besides instructions, was "The Howl." I thought it looked like a muff to keep your hands warm. Then I thought maybe it was a dish towel because towel rhymes with howl. We had a lot of laughs trying to figure out what it was, and we never did! So this beautiful yarn became my practice piece, and boy, it is interesting!

I came home knitting away, though still poorly, and then I found a youtube video and learned to purl. My MIL showed me how to bind off a few weeks ago, and then I bought a book. The lady who helped me at Michael's suggested a popular book that is written for teenagers. I find that the instructions in "beginners" books are actually pretty advanced, in my opinion. The projects in this book are for things like coasters, posies (knit flowers), and legwarmers. I think maybe I'll knit a pair of legwarmers for my knitting mentor, Dr. Ann Thompson. Perhaps she'll wear them for an international speaking engagement this fall. It cat get cold in places like the Ukraine, right? ;o)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

First day of school.


I dropped off Big Brother at school this morning, late because I wanted to take some pictures before we left. When I dropped him off in the room he just started playing on the slide, but he did cry when I left. After dropping him off I met with a few friends to pray about our children's first day of school and for our mommy hearts at loosening the reins a little bit. Little Brother crawled around on the floor and "talked" while we prayed.

It was fun being alone with LB after we got home. I realized that so much of how I see LB is as BB's baby brother. LB got a kick out of having the run of the house to himself, playing with whatever toys he liked, and having Mommy all to himself. Having LB here alone also reminded me of how much work a toddler is! It was much easier to take care of a few little things around the house when I only had the little guy.

Naps definitely were an issue today. LB has been having some serious napping issues, and today just compounded them. He probably slept for a total of 50 minutes today. We did spend about an hour and a half in the car driving back and forth, so that limits his napping windows.

It wasn't exactly the easy day I was hoping for, but it definitely went fast! I think this Mother's Day Out gig is a good idea for all of us. I definitely enjoyed my one-on-one time with BB this afternoon, having been away from him for most of the day, and it was really fun being able to give LB my undivided attention. BB goes back to school on Friday.

My new tooth.


My big brother went to school today. It was neat! I got to crawl around on the chapel floor and pull up on the sound equipment while our mommy and her friends prayed, . Then we went home and I hardly napped at all and had my mommy at my beck and call. She took pictures of me enjoying having the house all to myself. I missed my big bro, but we had a reunion after his nap and my 15 minute catnap. Meow.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Flunked out.

LB failed his psychiatric testing today. Well, not really, but he was not a dream subject.

For this infant perception study they have the baby look at images on a screen. When the baby gets bored with the stimulus (habituates to it), his looking time decreases. Then the researchers can tell when the baby notices a new stimulus because he will look longer again. Well, LB just wasn't interested in the screen at all and wasn't paying attention to the images in the first place, so they couldn't compare his looking time to the test images. We got a cup as a consolation prize.

It was fun anyway, showing off my cute baby. He was waving his arms and looking all over the place at anything other than the screen. He loved his cup, too!

What kind of adventure is up for my boys tomorrow? I wonder.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Worn out.

I'm really done. I don't know why this past week has kicked my mommy butt. I don't even know what to say about this. I'm just plum tuckered out.

Tomorrow Little Brother is going to be a guinea pig. We are going to the University to be in an infant perception study. I'll drop Big Brother off with Daddy and head off to the lab. Should be good stuff.

Tonight we went out to an impromptu dinner with friends and our 3 boys. Hey - a whole world exists outside of my home. Wow.

OK, that's it. No more barfing stories, Nik.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Emetophobes do NOT read.

(That means fear of yakkage.)

I had a really gross experience today that might actually be funny someday. Randy played guitar in our evening church service this evening. It was a special occasion as they usually play early service. Against my better judgment tonight, I loaded the kids up in the car to go watch. I just had a feeling it was the wrong thing to do. It was.

When we were almost there, I heard gagging from the back seat. We were at a stoplight and I was able to look to see what was happening. Big Brother was throwing up back there. Gross enough, right? Well, he had eaten strawberries, hot dog with ketchup, and a square of dark chocolate for dessert. All of these foods combined to look like the stomach contents of a zombie.

In the past week we have watched 2 zombie movies. I have never seen a zombie movie before this, so 2 in one week is quite noteworthy. I'm pretty sure my child could get a starring role after tonight.

The good news is that it seems this might be a one-time deal. The poor baby was able to keep down the fluids I gave him after we cleaned up. Hopefully he'll be better tomorrow. He was asking for food before bed, but I was not going to go there again today.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Create much?

I think I've done something pretty neat.

Did you know that I was a musician? Probably, since I used to student teach music and at one point in my life posted about it more often.

Ever since I was a little girl I used to like to write music. I'm not much of a lyricist, but I've always enjoyed composing melodies and harmonies. I haven't done it in a really long time, although I did arrange "Be Thou My Vision" for a friend's wedding processional a few years back.

When Big Brother was a wee bairn I used to sing him to sleep, and around Valentine's Day of 2007 a lullaby emerged. The lyrics are silly, but I think the melody is kind of catchy. The lyrics are:

Baby [B.B.], I love you.
I would take you over the ocean blue.
Baby [B.B.], you are mine,
Won't you be my Valentine?

I need to write it down and notate it. I only ever sing the melody, but I can "hear" what harmonies I'd like to go with it.

Now another lullaby has emerged for Little Brother. The lyrics are equally silly!

L.B.Rino, I love you,
L.B. Rino, my love is true.
L.B. Rino, how I love you so,
L.B. Rino.

Again I sing him the melody every night, but I also can hear in my head the harmonies that go with the tune. This evening I sat down at the piano and played around with it a little bit. The result, I thought, was quite lovely and it made me cry. I need need to notate it, too. It's so pretty, and music always makes me cry anyway, so I'm quite taken with myself right now.

Lately I've been feeling sad that my babies are growing up and some day I won't get to hold them in my arms and rock them to sleep.* However, with these songs I can always, always go back to them and connect with my feelings about my sweet boys when they were babies.

These boys have been miracles in my life. BB satisfied my long-unfulfilled dream of a baby to love. Thanks to his birthmom who has given us the most precious gift, we were able to become parents. Even though LB is our biological child, he will never replace or compare to our firstborn child who began to quench such a great longing to be parents. Just as parents love each child differently (not more or less), I love both of my children differently, although the same. Make sense?

Anyhow, forgive me if it sounds as if I'm bragging about my great musical prowess as a composer. Whether someone else thinks my songs are wonderful or not isn't important to me. I'm just pleased that I have a way to remember each of these guys.

I promise I won't call L.B. "L.B. Rino" when he goes to college.

*I feel I have to point out that when I start feeling nostalgic about these guys' babyhood, I try to remember my friends and others who have lost children, either by infertility, miscarriage, stillbirth, or death, and to remember how blessed we are that we even get to hold these babies on this earth at all. Love and prayers to you if this has been your experience.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Liar, liar pants on fire.

Ooooh - I'm in trouble! Well not really, but maybe I should be.

There was a time in my past where I lied a lot. Not really bold-face out and out lies, but lies of omission and half-truth. I had a little trust issue with someone important in my life. That person didn't trust me which made me even more untrustworthy as I felt I had to lie about what I was doing.

In any case, my life is very different now. Partially because of my experience I think I'm quite honest, maybe even to a fault. I probably cop to things that could just be left unsaid. I am into transparency, though.

So back to my story. Today I was needing a break from being Mommy. I planned a trip to the grocery store which scarily enough feels like a getaway sometimes. I also thought I might go to Starbucks, have a coffee (because a 103 degree day is a great day to go for a coffee), and read or journal. I didn't tell my husband about that part of my trip, not because I thought he'd say he'd rather I didn't, because he is great at understanding my need for time away, but I guess I just wanted to do something on my own without accounting to anyone.

So I did get to Starbucks and I wrote in a journal for awhile, then I went to the grocery store. By the time I got into the car after shopping it was 5:30 and all of the sudden I panicked. I had been gone for almost 2 hours and it certainly doesn't take that long to get to the store and back. What would I tell my husband? That I had planned to go to Starbucks but figured I wouldn't tell him, and that's why it took so long? That I had to "run another errand" before going to the store? That I talked on the phone for awhile before going to the store? (I did, but that only took a few minutes.) What if the baby had been fussing the whole time I was gone and Randy was wondering where the heck I was?

I decided to call and let him know that I was on my way. Turns out the baby had slept the whole time I was gone and Daddy and Big Brother played without incident. I told him that I had gone to Starbucks to journal before the grocery store and time had gotten away from me. That's exactly what had happened. No lies, no omissions, just the facts, baby. I had to ask myself though, why I didn't tell my husband about my plans to stop for coffee. It was nice to get away just by myself and have a secret errand. Nothing wrong with that. Just maybe I should have let him know in case it would have altered his parenting plans.

I definitely felt better after some time off. I journaled a little for myself, and a little for the boys. I want to get better at tracking their milestones so I don't forget who did what and when. I haven't been good about that. Understandable, I suppose!

What's my point? I don't know. This is just what happened to me today. That's life.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Sleep, sweet sleep.

In general we've been blessed with really good sleepers. Since LB was born his big brother has only woken up in the night 2 times. The last time it happened he was so easy to put back to sleep I actually loved the experience. He let me sing him a song, give him some water, and he went right back to sleep. It was so sweet.

Usually Randy puts BB to bed and I'm in charge of LB. Tonight was no different. I had an especially lovely time putting LB down for bed tonight. I read him a couple of books and sang "Jesus Loves the Little Children," a song I sing every night. I then held him in my arms and sang him his lullaby that I wrote (I wrote BB one too when he was a little baby). Soon he was heavy in my arms and breathing slowly - a sure sign of sleep. Usually he will wake up when I put him down, but tonight he was just out. Last night I had to hang over his crib rubbing his tummy and back for about 20 minutes before he eventually fell asleep.

This was one of those experiences I dreamt of when longing for a sweet child to love. I know what a blessing these boys are to me, and times like this especially make me thank God for my guys.

It's been a fun weekend. Last night we had dinner at our church's monthly grill night and left the kids in their wonderful child care. Randy and I played ping pong for a little while and I accidentally smashed some kids' ball over the wall in the rec room. Oopsies! We went to a swimming party earlier today and had a great time. We later had somewhat of a misadventure at dinner with a table that was two small for two little grabbers, but we managed to eat some yummy Greek food. Now we're hanging out watching a little 24 before bed. We contemplated once of us going out to pick up ice cream, but reconsidered when I saw how many Weight Watchers points were in a Chick-Fil-A shake! Life is good.