Saturday, January 31, 2009

Still Picking Along

My finger is healing up quite nicely. The skin glue peeled off this morning. Well, I actually helped it the rest of the way, it kept getting caught on band-aids, clothes, hair, Bobby, my other fingers, and apparently the air as well. So, I figured since it's not so floppy anymore (at all really) I could do with just a band-aid! Plus, now I can wash it properly. Big plus!

I was able, thankfully, to continue knitting in my usual way (holding the yarn in my left hand). I tried with my right and it seriously looked as though I had never knit a consistent stitch in my life. It was not pretty, and given the hat I was working on, I really wanted it to be at least bearable.
(Hat looks better on a head, but I didn't have a convenient one at the time. Bobby's is a bit too small and he has a habit of pulling off hats as I try to get the picture anyway!)

So then I tried knitting with my left hand, but a different finger: no dice. Still pretty awful.

Then I discovered I could still use the index finger on my left hand if I slid the yarn back a bit and made sure the band-aid was smooth in that section (fingers and their tips are pretty hard to wrap, I've discovered). So, with this new found power I finished the Aran hat I was knitting and started a hat for my sister.
The hat is actually a little darker than this picture shows, and I was worried about the colors not having enough contrast, but I think it will turn out quite nice!

So, the whole ordeal with my finger has taught me two things (so far):

1. Rotary cutters are very sharp, and I should not be using them if it's just me and Bobby at home, because he can't drive me to the hospital yet.

2. I really should make myself learn to knit with different fingers and keep up my ability to knit with my right hand (it's all I used for the first year I knit). Especially if I'm a slow leaner on the first thing I should have learned from this experience!

And in Bobby news, he has had a cold and cough the last few days. He started coming down with it last weekend and I keep having flash backs to the little girl from the emergency room. He was doing better for a few days, but finally yesterday we took him in just to check and make sure he didn't have something horrible that was going to strike him down within hours (you worry about these things, you know). And, sure enough he's okay, just really cough-y and gooey, and boy does he hate having his nose sucked or wiped! You'd think we were ruining his life, but then as soon as it's over he's back to his goofy, grinning, playing self again!

He hasn't been the most consistent eater, either, so they checked to see if he was anemic while we were there and he didn't even react to the finger pokes, or the band aid for that matter. I would think that if he's going to scream as loud as he can while we are just wiping his nose with a tissue, he would at least have the decency to not smile at the woman as she is squeezing blood out of his finger... ... Oh well!

And, he's hilarious and finding new ways to make himself laugh all the time. Yesterday he was cracking up at my attempts to juggle, which I actually used to be able to do, but apparently almost cutting off my finger is just a symptom of a larger klutz issue. And, he also thought it was too cool to look at me through some of his tupperware.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Counting My Blessings

This week didn't really go as planned. I had intended to teach, come home and take care of Bobby, visit with some friends, and get some stuff done. Little of that happened, but I'm trying to be positive about what did happen and remember that in spite of the way things did go, I've still got it pretty good.

I did get some stuff done. The most important of which was the first of Bobby's books. It turned out quite nice, I think, and now I'm hooked on them. I have a Paddington Bear book ready to be sewn together, and then I went by Quilt Tree yesterday and bought a panel for another book. There are a few others out there I'm thinking about, but I might wait and see. He seems to like the book and I'm pretty happy with it, so we'll see if this will help his paper-based books survive his teething times.

I also played with Bobby at his newest pastimes and he is becoming more and more inventive at ways to crawl around the table and chairs to make sure that we can't quite catch him until he is ready to be tickled.

But, I didn't get a chance to visit with everyone I was hoping too because I have lost a notebook in the shuffle of rooms from the last two weeks that has phone numbers I need, and because of a series of other events I haven't gotten much done really since Tuesday.

And I did teach every day that we had school this week. Actually, today was quite inspiring in one class when several students got up in front of the entire class to recite poems they had memorized. It was quite exciting that not only did they volunteer (okay there was a small amount of extra credit involved) but the rest of the class actually listened in an interested way and cheered them when they finished! It was one of those I'm-so-glad-I'm-a-teacher moments.

But, other than that not much went as planned. I did have a dentist appointment planned and I knew they were going to be drilling and filling and such, but I did not plan on the numbing stuff to not really work all that well on the top. Give the guy credit though he got the bottom really numb and those went fast and easy, but my back was sweaty by the time he was done with the top. I hate going to the dentist and I'm just worried now about passing that irrational phobia on to Bobby through my attitude. So that was not the most exciting moment.

But, counting my blessings, I still have all the teeth I'm supposed to, I finally found a floss that fits into the tight spaces between my teeth and doesn't shred and leave little bits straggling around for a couple of hours, and that appointment is over and with a little luck it'll be the last of its sort for a good long while. Also, we can afford to go to the dentist and keep all of our teeth and use as much anesthetic as they have in the office. And, I have family that is willing to watch Bobby while all of this is going on. Really, in the grand scheme, not too bad!

After that appointment I didn't do much but stay home in my pajamas. (Pajamas really are a true blessing, aren't they?) I made some cinnamon muffins so Bob and I would have something to eat the next morning, watched the season opening of "Lost" and went to bed. Another blessing from that night, Bobby only woke up once. He's been teething and having a really hard time sleeping since his surgery anyway, so that almost full night of sleep was amazing!

Then Thursday rolled around. My mouth was still a bit tender and sensitive, but much better than the evening before. I went about my life as usual. I picked up the book for the hat knitting class I'm taking and the fabric panel for the newest book I want to make Bobby. And one of the coolest people I know happened to be in the store as well! That was fortuitous.

Then that night after Bobby was in bed and I was finished with grading and planning I started to cut out some stuff. One of the greatest parts of having that craft room is that I can leave things ready to go and so when I have spare 30 minutes or so I can do little bits of projects. It's been very helpful. So I decided to cut out Bobby's new book and the batting for it. Then I figured I would cut out the fabric for my Saturday Sampler block while I was at it.

That craft room is a blessing, having the money to buy fabric for books is a blessing, having the chance to make an entire quilt top for close to $35 if I do all of my homework is a blessing, having a rotary cutter that slices through fabric (and anything else I want cut) with ease is also a blessing... ... most of the time.

I sliced open the index finger on my left hand last night. I was happily cutting out my fabric and congratulating myself on using my time so well and being so efficient and apparently I got a little too enthusiastic and the cutter jumped up on the ruler and bam! Next thing I knew I was running up the stairs thinking, "What kind of an idiot am I?!"

Then I got to Bob at the sink and showed him the slightly floppy side of my finger. I was getting a little shaky and had a lightheaded sort of giddy feeling, and I was sort of vaguely saying something about needing stitches, being serious, going to the emergency room, and asking for him to get me something to put around it. My husband is also a blessing (first because he had been at the sink doing dishes). But mostly because in this situation he went into action mode and started digging through our medicine/first aid drawer. He asked if I wanted alcohol wipes and my mental reaction was, "Do you realize how much that would hurt?! Are you insane?!" but my actual response was, "No I just want this wrapped and to be at the hospital." (I told him this later and he said his response would have been, "It already hurts.") He found some gauze and helped me get my finger wrapped up and I clamped it with my other hand. I told him he would have to get Bobby and get him ready to go and I turned off the water from where Bob had been doing dishes after I rinsed the scary amount of blood off of my right hand and then promptly re-clamped my finger.

As we drove to the hospital I thought how strange it was that I had never considered how emotionally attached I was to that relatively small chunk of my left hand. I thought about how much I would miss it if I lost the tip of my finger. I wondered if I had bled onto my fabric and if I would be able to get more. I wondered how on earth I was going to finish that Aran hat this weekend. I thought (a little bitterly) that I was going to have to return to throwing while I knit for a while. I thought about how absurd it was to be concerned about those things when I might have blood poisoning. I remembered that my last tetanus shot had been April 11, 2008, the day we were discharged from the hospital after Bobby's birth. I thought I should have known how something like this might happen, I was too happy to be getting so much done. I thought that I was lucky I still had my finger attached given how excited and enthusiastic and carried away I get when I'm particularly pleased with something. I thought about the directions I read in a quilt pattern that urged caution in using a rotary cutter because of how embarrassing it can be to try to explain a "glorified pizza cutter" to nurses and doctors. I thought a lot of things.

When we pulled up to the emergency room I got out and walked in behind a woman carrying her seriously sick (as in death warmed over, coughing, split dry lips) granddaughter that looked to be about 18 months old at the most and suddenly my finger didn't seem to be hurting as much. We waited for about 45 minutes before being called into triage and there they were impressed with the fact that I knew the date of my last tetanus shot, but then when they found out why I knew they were all over Bobby and how cute he is. Now granted, I think he's just about the best there is and he looked adorable in his one-piece sleeper, hunting hat, boots and osh-kosh jacket, but come one people, I could be losing a finger here! She sent us back to the you-really-came-in-for-that section and I waited while Bob filled out the paper work. The nurse, as it turned out, was a quilter, so she understood.

She asked to see it and as I unwrapped it I started getting that same sweaty, giddy feeling. She kept asking if I was going to pass out, but I thought that would be too ridiculous of me so I said no. It was worse when I got to the bloody part of the gauze, but then I saw my actual finger and it looked more bruised than anything else. She put a new piece of gauze on it and then said the doctor would come in when he was done with the patient before me. Bob and I talked for a little while and he changed Bobby and walked around with him.

Then the doctor came in and looked at my finger. Again I got that crazy feeling, but tried to make myself calm down. He asked if I felt light-headed. I said no. Then he asked if I felt sweaty, and I gave the honest answer: yes. He called the nurse and asked her to lay me down because I was "getting a little 'vagal'." She laid the chair back and put a cool washcloth on my head and it helped a lot. He finished cleaning up my finger and said, "Oh yeah, right into it. Even into the nail a little bit. Well, I could pull it back, but it would just flop open and since it's lined up so nice I can just put some skin glue on it." He did just that and while he did he explained what he had meant by "vagal." I'm still frustrated by the reaction in general, but it's kind of funny. I thought he was saying "vague-al" as though I was starting to look zoned out or something along those lines (which probably wasn't far off). Instead he was turning the name of a nerve (I think he said it was a nerve) into an adjective. Fascinating the way our language works!

We headed home two hours after I cut myself with a very tired little boy and a weird sort of plastic coating over my finger. When we got home I checked to make sure I hadn't bled on my fabric. I hadn't: big blessing. And apparently I was so fast after I realized what I had done that the only blood I could find was the barest bit on the blade of the rotary cutter itself. And, to top it all off, the piece I was cutting was straight and still usable! So, I think I had cut all of the fabric before the blade went rogue. Other blessings, I still have all of my finger, Bobby fell back asleep pretty easily, and Bob let me just crawl into bed (after I checked my fabric).

I was able to get through the school day pretty well with it, though it hurts a good bit if I run it into something, and I tried knitting this afternoon and it's going to take a bit longer to get that hat done. But, I will get it done, and I have time, and it looks like it will be worth the time.

Earlier this afternoon Bobby added the sort of last insult to injury for the week. He has a sort of crazy poop cycle that results in rather large quantities in a single day. Today was my day. After his first poop he finally took a nap, but only for 30 minutes. Then he was up for a while playing around. I eventually had him in my lap while I caught up on the Yarn Harlot blog and that's when he let out his second installment. I waited to see if it was over when I noticed that my right leg was damp. After I got him changed into his third outfit and into his crib (the only safely untainted place in the house at the time) I realized that the only part of my clothing without some sort of contribution from him was my underwear and the sock on my left foot. I decided we would go see Bob at school early and get the weekend started before anything else crazy could happen.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

New Favorite Games

Every few weeks Bobby seems to invent a new favorite game or have a favorite toy that he always goes to when he's not sure what to do (or that I set him down with when I'm not sure what to do). In the lest few days, though, he seems to have come up with several new ones.

I'm not sure what this one was, but it had something to do with putting a sweater over the arm of the chair. Not under, not around, not on the floor, not anything else but over.

Then of course he started pulling everything off the chair and putting it on the floor, but that's been an old favorite for a long time.

This past summer I made what I thought were coasters. We've even been using them as coasters since I made them (and they're pretty convenient given that they can be thrown in the washing machine after I spill something on them). But a couple of nights ago Bobby showed us their true purpose: flat blocks. Depending on his mood he will sit and put them in and out of his blue chair, wipe the inside of his blue chair, pass them back and forth with you, eat them, crawl with one in each hand or any combination of these things.

They're even better as flat blocks than they were as coasters! (Actually, we do steal them back now and again for their first purpose, but don't tell him that.)

He also discovered he likes to build things. He helped out with his new dresser and a few new cabinets for food. Okay so, the most help he was was during the first hour when he took a nap, but we won't tell him that, either.

This new found hobby has lead to an interest in how things are put together. As a result he frequently checks out the table to make sure it won't collapse during meal time or during his other favorite game.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


The last few days have been filled with hats!

I finished the little girl hat.How cute is that?!

And have started a little boy hat that is a lot more "fun" with the colors. No pictures yet on that one.

Then a hat finally made its way to Bobby through a few hands and it is adorable! He can rock it sideways, like a mohawk, and even from the top, it's as though there's a little salmon swimming around the living room!

It came from the owner of one of my favorite yarn stores, Knitting Grounds, and it's great! (Incidentally this is the store where I bought that great cotton yarn for the pink girl hat.)

And, today I went to the first of three hat classes and started an Aran hat that I'm pretty excited about. I was able to learn a new way of casting on and even did 2 rows worth of double knitting which I had read about but never done. It's kind of cool and not as difficult as I thought it was going to be. So, all my knitting lately has been hats and they've been great fun!

Speaking of, I'm going to go keep knitting that hat. I'm still on the cuff that rolls up and I'd really like to get the 6" worth of ribbing done so I can move on to the more fun and interesting cables!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Three in a Row

We are now on our third day off from school because of weather. It is strange to be knitting in the living room to the patter of rain on the roof and windows in January. On Wednesday it took a bit of effort to keep reminding myself that it was indeed January and not, say, September. All of this unexpected time off has meant a good bit of napping, playing with the little boy, crafting, and planning.

On Wednesday I got lots of little things done, but didn't actually finish anything. The one thing I did finish (then promptly unfinished on Thursday) was to clean out the cubby holes under our coffee table. They are great for stashing things away while watching TV, but as a result they have a tendency to collect things. All of this came from under there and unfortunately one of the circular needles has the sizing rubbed off, so I had to sort of guess from matching it with needle sizes around it, and the pile of double-pointed needles didn't go with the packaging they were with so I'm missing a set of double-pointed needles (well more than one, but this is the packaging that I found under the coffee table). I was thinking that maybe if I finally admit I have a clutter problem I can get on the road to recovery, and I won't then have mysterious knitting needles and such floating around the house.

Luckily, I snapped out of that train of thought real quick once I remembered that I can buy a handy little sizing tool the next time I'm at a yarn store and that I have a project in my project in progress drawer that is using the missing needles. Disaster averted, extensive cleaning out unnecessary!

On Wednesday I also cut out the fabric and batting for Bobby's books so that I could get those finished, but I want to put his name on them and in the instructions that is supposed to be done before they're sewn together, so I need to buy a fabric marker before I can finish them. So I have not forgotten them, they are sitting together right next to my cutting table, I just need to get a fabric marker and I'll be ready to finish those!

Since I don't usually venture out of the house on bad weather days I worked on other projects on Thursday. I finished this bag for myself:

And, I started this hat for a friend's yet-to-be-born little girl.

This hat is knit with some of the softest cotton I've ever used: Glaciar Del Cielo I'm using a skein each of Barbie and Espresso (I don't plan on telling her the name of the yarn and I'm reasonably sure she doesn't read this blog), but it sort of reminds me of chocolate and strawberries! I think I'm going to have to get more of this because it is just so soft and gets softer the more I work with it. Perfect for little baby heads!

Other than working on these things I'm following the example of a friend of mine and making a list of presents and scheduling them so I can actually get things done in a more timely manner. It's all part of my goal (I'm not calling it a resolution, because I've wanted to do this for so long that I'm clearly not that resolute about it otherwise I would have achieved it by now) to be more organized! So the list is done and now it's just a matter of working away!

Hopefully this preview of Spring Break will help jump start all these projects!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Ice Day

This morning, after being up with Bobby for 45 minutes as he pretended to sleep only to open his eyes and smile in a "I fooled you!" kind of way, I was resetting our alarm clock from 4:30 to 5:00 deciding that I needed the extra 30 minutes more than I needed breakfast or dry hair or even matching shoes. I was also thinking that if somehow school could be cancelled that would be ideal.

Alas, my hope of snow days and the such has only grown stronger the older I become. I hope endlessly, but I also have that more typical adult characteristic of thinking things just don't really ever work out the way you'd really like them to, but you're resigned to it and don't get too worked up over it (much). If they didn't cancel school when students were complaining of chest pain from walking in the subzero temperatures or when they were almost getting frostbite waiting for late busses, they certainly weren't going to cancel it now that it had warmed up. It even snowed a bit yesterday, but not anywhere near enough.

But this morning, right after my 5:00 o'clock alarm went off I heard the phone ring and seeing the name on the caller ID I knew that somehow it was my lucky day! Apparently, while we were tucked safely in our house and in bed (though not sleeping, thanks to our charming little boy) it was raining on top of that new snow and that was creating a very nasty bit of ice. So, while the dangerous conditions aren't a good thing, that we can stay home and rest and be together is perfectly timed.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Starting the New Year

It doesn't bode well that this post is coming 11 days into the new year, but better late than never, right? There are many things I want to try to accomplish this year, but I am not going to make a list quite yet. I have a few left over things to take care of first! Again, a hint that this year may not be the most productive one yet, if I'm behind on even making my list of things to do... ... but moving on!

Bobby is becoming more and more of a little boy. He is able to really learn things we are teaching him. He can give you five, and if you put out your pointer finger near his face he'll touch his nose to it. It's pretty hilarious. In the last two days he's also taken to sticking his tongue out of his mouth. It looks like a combination of licking his lips and using his tongue to feel his lips and mouth. It's pretty hilarious. He is also getting a tooth (which is why the tongue is doing so much feeling around, I think). It'll still be a little while before it's through, but it's certainly coming!

The first week of school for this calendar year is behind us! I even managed to write the correct year up on the board and on the passes! It was quite an accomplishment, since I have been in a school setting since I was 5 years old and the year doesn't really seem to start over in the middle of the school year.

One thing did help it feel a little bit like a new beginning. We moved things around in our house for the last few days of break and so we have a new arrangement to make things feel different. And, I've been getting rid of the things that you have a tendency to collect (particularly if you are of the "I didn't even remember I had it, but I might need that one day" frame of mind). The result is a cleaner and less cluttered upstairs where we do most of our living and a new craft room where our old bedroom was. It's not completely put away or cleaned out, but it's pretty exciting none the less! Since school started shortly after the moving around was done I haven't been able to spend too much time in it yet. I will though!

I am also hoping that I can ride this wave of organization and get all of my upcoming projects in order. I have a few deadlines coming up with birthdays for both older and yet-to-be-out-in-the-world people! So, those really should be top priority. But, instead this last Saturday I went out and bought yarn for two classes I'm getting ready to take. There are the makings of 1 aran hat, 3 fair-isle hats, and 4 pairs of socks. 2 of those pairs of socks are for my husband who apparently liked the sock he received for Christmas, and its mate I finished 2 days later, because he wore that pair of socks for about 2 weeks straight. Just around the house, not out. That could have gotten creepy. So, I decided he needs more socks. I have to admit, they are pretty wonderful those hand-knit socks. And warm, too.

But before anything else, I am planning to make Bobby two books that were supposed to be made almost a year ago. So I guess here is a little bit of a list:
1. Bobby's books
2. birthday presents 1, 2, and 3
3. hats 1 and 2
4. socks for hubby!

Well, at least I have a great room to keep this all organized in!