Friday, September 28, 2007


My aunt, P. Mookie (not her real name) has been teaching me to sew and quilt and has encouraged a fabric addiction. This is a good thing as I've been making gifts for people and it's gives me some great ideas for new things to create with my hands. I do think there should be some kind of personality test involved with picking new crafts-do you like to iron or press things? Do you compulsively buy things? Do you see the point of cutting up a large piece of fabric into smaller pieces and sewing those small pieces back together into a large piece of fabric?

I have a legacy of crafty female stock to call on-mostly quilting and embroidery, not many knitters like myself. P. Mookie taught me how to make pillow cases and she's made a number for us. Last time I was at her house, she gave me a new batch, I unfolded them, took a look, made sure to comment how much I liked them, folded them back up and put them down. "Who folded these like this?" My aunt asked, with a little laugh. She took each case, folded it in half, in half again and then thirds.

I brought the cases home and showed my mom. She opened each one and folded it the same way as my aunt, half, half and thirds. My mom and my aunt have made different life choices, but they came from the same stock of strong women who have passed on a number of traits, including the proper way to fold a pillowcase. It's funny how close sisters can be, but we always know exactly how to make the other one mad (I'm speaking from my experiences on this one.) My sister Dithy likes to pinch my butt, I'm in a constant clench in her presences and I'm conscience of who is behind me. Luckily, I was granted the pregnancy dispensation, but that will become exempt very soon. Hopefully, I can ask for a breastfeeding one next!
I remember a day when my mom showed me how to fold a pillowcase and I brushed it off and decided to do it my way. For the record, I've changed the way I do it now, and here it is demonstrated on some birthday gifts I made for Butter's friends. We've got at least 7 birthdays in October (friends, my husband, his mom and the most important birthday coming up!) You'd think people would find something better to do in January!

I always ask other mothers if their children of opposite gender are still close. I like the idea of my matched set, but I wonder if they will be close. Close enough to be honest with the other and know how to make the other one laugh and also cry with the pinch of a butt! If they are pinching each others butts' as adults, I'd rather not hear about it.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Best Part of the Day

The best part of my day is first thing in the morning (unless it's 6:30 am.) I'm usually snuggling with Butters in a warm bed, waiting to hear his first words. The boy has a touch of profundity syndrome, as my friend Ann and I used to call it. Anything he says sounds very profound, but also points out the obvious. Similar to Legolas in Lord of the Rings, "The men are nervous and the horses grow restless."

The other morning, Butters opened his eyes, stretched onto his back and said, "Levi. Sleeps. On. A. Yellow. Bed." And, he does! You have to say it in a monotone voice and hear his non-inflections to get the real feel for this. Today he said, "Mommy's shirt has holes." And, it does! It's a waffle long underwear shirt that I've worn forever, it's practically threadbare. I borrowed it (read: stole) from my dad in high school.
Lately however, much of the focus on our conversations has centered around something new. He uses his name and speaks in the third person, but I'll include his pseudonym to protect the innocent. "Butters has a penis. Dad has a penis. Mom, don't have a penis. Mom has gyna." Yes, we are very proud of having a penis and although I tell him don't want one, I was tired of just hearing about what I don't have that I gave in and told him what I do have, a vagina. He calls it a "gyna." It sounds so medical, though. I wish there was a better child-friendly name for it. Although I proudly read this book on the bus, I'm not ready for my 2.5 year old to reclaim that word!

Right now, I'm in what I call the Chocolate Pudding Phase. I ate A LOT of it the last 2 weeks with the boy and started craving it yesterday. I made some with silken tofu, I know that sounds gross to most of you but with Tofu Mates, it's awesome. It makes me feel like I'm eating healthy, when I'm actually not.
PS. Yes, he is wearing a shirt that says, "Question Authority." He wore it to school on friday! I'm totally going to put it in his CO file so that they don't try to draft him in 16 years if we get to that point (again).

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Za-Zimmerman Baby!

Baby Girl will be a decked out, Elizabeth Zimmerman style! EZ was a knitting author/yarn seller/self publisher who changed the way knitting was done in the 60s/70s and now she's making a comeback. She encouraged knitters to un-invent patterns and figure things out for yourself. Some call her the grandmother of knitting, she could even knit from the back of a motorcycle. Her pattern books read more like humorous journal entries.

This photo includes three sweaters: Liane made the blue and orange Baby Surprise Jacket, the pink and brown was knitted by Carrie and I made the pink-lilac February Sweater in the lower corner. This was my first Zimmerman project and I loved it. I made some modifications, did the top in Stockinette and the sleeve on 2 circs so there was no seaming. I made the buttons from polymer clay. I am grateful to these fine crafters for taking the time to make something for my daughter. The time involved and the love that is put into each stitch will be passed down to the next generations.

In other crafty baby news, I finished a rag quilt for the baby girl. Here it is stretched on the couch with my belly in the corner for scale. I picked purples, pinks and oranges, they don't all go quite together, but it's okay for now. I figured if I'm surrounding her by this much pink, I need a little balance, so I cut the fabric strips in a Fibonacci sequence. Fibonacci was a man who liked numbers, his sequence, 0,1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, etc is represented in nature and pleasing to the eye. You add the first number to the second for the third (0+1=1, 1+1=2, 1+2=3, etc). He's also known for the golden ratio and various other formulas. His wife probably figured it out, but he's got the credit. Butter's girlfriend is encouraged to say, "I'm beautiful AND smart," by her mom, and that's what I was thinking for this blanket.

So, two more weeks to go, I'm ready to not be pregnant anymore, but wait for Grandma to get here! If anyone has an opinion on a name, vote on the sidebar and help us decide!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Home Delivery...coming soon

My husband and I have decided to give birth at home this time around. We gave birth (okay, I did it, but I couldn't do it w/out my man's support) to Butters at a hospital in California. It was a natural birth, no drugs and a wonderful labor surrounded by mom and friend. None of my fears came true-no complications, no drug pushing, healthy baby, etc. But still, I didn't feel completely in control of the process. Hospitals have procedures. May was a busy time, the hospital births as many as 60 kids a day! That day was overcrowded, I could hear the nurses talking about it in triage and the nurse was keeping me from pushing even though I was ready, there was no doctor ready. I stayed home as long as possible b/c I knew the hospital would stress me out. This time, I'll birth the baby and my midwives will tuck us into bed and say goodnight! They'll come back the next day and check on us. We don't have to put the baby in the car seat and go anywhere. We'll be home.

Before I had Butters, I thought people who delivered a baby at home were totally crazy. Nut job religious people or Luddites or something. I have felt a bit intimated telling more conservative people that this is our choice, but birthing a baby is what a body was meant to do, it's completely natural. I've taken advantage of technology, my ultrasounds, heart monitors and blood tests all show a completely healthy mother and baby. When I deliver in my home, there will literally be thousands of women doing the same thing as I am doing. Some will be in a hospital, but most will in their house, a hut, a field where they have to return to work (okay, I may be getting dramatic with the last one).

Giving birth is one of the most empowering things you can do as a woman. I was filled with confidence after Butters was born. I felt like a warrior marathon runner, like I needed a girl scout badge, like I wanted to take some photos b/c I looked fabulous!

My midwives are awesome, Valerie walked me to my car yesterday and helped put Butters in the car, they are the kind of people I want to knit for! They help me up from the bed, they hug me, they won't do anything without asking. They put me in control of my birth and my body and they give me love and guidance. That's the way our care should be!

This is an old photo of me and Butters, I haven't done it yet!!!
Everything will work out fine and my baby will be born at home, in a loving caring environment, covered in pet hair. (And don't worry, honey, I will let you sell this house someday and I won't bury the placenta in the back yard!)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Harlot Democracy

I heard best-selling author, the Yarn Harlot speak at Third Place Books on Friday, I was tired and out of it and didn't even get a photo! She signed a postcard for me, I don't have her book. They had a signing system, the store gave out ordered tickets ahead of time but Stephanie said she wanted any moms with kids or pregnant ladies to be able to jump the line and go first. She said that's how things would be if women ruled the world!

I took the chance and even though I had no ticket, I clearly had a baby in my belly and I was third in line! I told her I took the class in Madrona, 8 months ago and this is why I was less than energetic. I didn't say any of the other cleaver things I had planned, I talked fast and got all goofy and just slipped away, feeling funny. I saw all the other women in line. They've all got busy lives and may have kids at home, deadlines or people to care for. I liked the idea of the Harlot's democracy, but I felt guilty for being on the receiving end of it. (Funny, after feeling so entitled!) Some people would wait for 2-3 hours to get the chance to talk to her, and she would sit there and sign all those books and meet people. I had already met her before, why should I take up their time to meet her again.

If the signing line had been a bunch of white men in suits, I would have had no problem with jumping the queue, but these were my people, I don't feel any more deserving than them. Sorry, people. I'll make gauge swatches as penance!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Why Women Can't Be Engineers

I'm knitting a belt for my sister for Cmas (don't worry, it's not a surprise, she already knows, that means it's not you, Michelle!). I found the perfect yarn and ordered a belt buckle online. It's described as a 4.5" leather closure and the photo includes a scrap of leather. I figured that's just for samples' sake. Here's what came in the mail.
Don't see the problem? Here it is again with a quarter for perspective.

The WHOLE THING is only 4.5," including the leather! According to E! news, skinny belts are in this year, but this would be ridiculous. I think I'll have to shop for one in person.

In other news, Friday was our first day of Mommy and Me preschool. He looks pretty cute, doesn't he.

Dear Neighbors,

I heard it, too. It was 7:30 am and my husband and I were hoping to sleep in a bit more. Our 2 year old was playing in his room. We heard him reading his books, then it got quiet. Some one's car alarm goes off. "I think the boy went downstairs," I said. That car alarm sounds familiar. My husband runs downstairs. There's the boy, with my car keys in his hand, hitting the panic button.

We apologize for the noise this morning. Especially after all the times I complained when you play your drums in your garage or drive your remote control cars with their squealing engines in the middle of the road, or play an electric organ at 11 pm because your parents are out for the night and I think, "I've got a 2 year old in bed, if you wake him up I'll bring him over to your house!" Anyways, sorry for the rude awakening.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Things You Shouldn't Say to a Pregnant Lady

1. You are HUGE.
2. You look small.
3. Oh MY GOD.
4. No, you've always had those stretch marks.
5. You look tired.

Just say, "You look beautiful and healthy."

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Super Dooper Pink Baby Shower

My friend threw me a baby shower this weekend! We made T shirts for baby girl and butters and we had a cupcake-cake. It was perfect, there were no "guess the candy bar in the diaper" games, just some great women and presents.

J did a computer image, a la What If They Mated and here's what our daughter will apparently look like.

Scary, isn't it. She's Art Garfunkel in need of a shave. You worry that your child will be healthy, at least that's what you tell people, but deep down, you really don't want your children to be ugly. This is will keep me up at night!
I went to the midwife and asked how big she thought the baby was, she felt around and said about 5.5 lbs, which puts her to 8 lbs or so at birth. Then we got another ultra sound (I had an almost placenta previa) and they spent about 10 minutes calculating the weight, and the technician said, about 5.5 lbs! The weird thing is, 8 lbs at birth sounds so small to me, Butters was 9.9. I'm already worried that I'm not doing as good a job with this one. I know it's crazy, 9.9 is excessive and we don't need to have babies that big, I just want to give her a good head start. Eight is good, it's healthy. We are going to birth this one at home, so I don't need her to be much bigger!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

What I Can and Can't Do

My husband is much better at playing with our son than I am. I found Butters a used Tinker Toy set and all I can tinker up are lollipops. Here's what T made-a 'soft-tail motorcycle.' Butters is proud to play with it! T builds things-towers, waterwheel, car ramps and I decorate them!

I took the dog for a short walk to the dog park the other night and nearly died on the way home-serious groin pain and cramping, apparently I can't walk more than a mile.

But, there is one thing I can still do-knit! Here are two quick knits I finished up for store samples and to teach a class on this fall. They both use twisted stitches which give the look of cables, but they are much faster. I used Cascade Yarns, "Cloud 9" which is 50% angora, oh my, it is soft and heavenly to knit with! The hat pattern is "Van's Twisted Rib Hat" from Dream in Color. The gloves are free from South West Trading Company, called Fingerless Gloves. There are countless errors in this pattern, I'm still writing them up!