Friday, September 26, 2008

We have two winners! spit out numbers 15 and 1 who are Chelle and Midlife Midwife. Congratulations to my winners!!! Email me with your addresses (and in the case of the non knitting Midlife Midwife ideas of what you would like me to knit).

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Mixed feelings

Evan has his therapy evaluation today. There was some residual crankiness from the day before but he managed a pretty good showing. One of the questions was if he choked on his food and I answered no unless he crammed his mouth full. During a break between the PT and the doctor that will be coordinating his care coming in to talk to us I gave the boys some peanut butter sandwiches that I had packed ahead. The second that the doctor came in Harry started gagging and choking on his last bite of sandwich. Just as I get Harry all fixed up Evan goes and does it too! You would have thought that he would have learned from the example of his brother, but no he did not.

We have prescriptions for therapy which we can fill here in town (thank goodness) but the doctor also wanted to put him in a hand splint and a DAFO. The hand splint was something that Evan's previous PT had talked about trying, but of course the move made us put it off. I was expecting it. The DAFO was another matter entirely, I am not really sure how I feel about it. I am trying to keep an open mind about it and see if it helps him with his walking any. He does tend to foot drag when he gets tired or is not paying attention to how he is walking. The doctor also mentioned Botox as a possible eventual treatment but I am very reluctant to have long needle jabbed into Evan for sometimes questionable and always temporary results.

It seems that more and more people are being added to Evan's list of people that he has to see. We started out with his primary care doctor who added the cardiologist, neurologist and the rehab doctor. The cardiologist added the electro physiologist to keep track of Evan's pacemaker. The rehab doctor added PT, OT and the person that will make sure that his splints fit properly. That is a lot of visits to keep track of, my mind is starting to spin. I miss the simplicity of his previous specalists. I am going to see how it goes and if things look like they are improving I will play along, but if the results are not there then I am going to cut back.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Have you ever had one of those utterly exhausting days where at the end of the day you are so tired that you can barely function? Well I had one of those today.

Monday I got a call from Evan's cardiologist telling me that they went over his Holter monitor results and that his pacemaker was not pacing properly. They set up an appointment for him to go to the pacemaker doctor and have his pacemaker checked out. The kicker was that the appointment was at 8:30 and we live an hour away. To get there in time I ended up getting up at 6:15 in the morning (and of course because of all the worrying I slept badly the night before).

It was another massive marathon appointment and we did not leave the hospital until around noon. The good news is that the doctor was able to tinker with his settings and get everything working properly. I was worried that they would have to crack his chest again and replace the lead, which of course would have meant hospital time and all that fun stuff that goes with it.

The kicker is that we get to go back to the very same hospital tomorrow morning (at a more civilized time) for Evan's PT evaluation. Apparently the pacemaker could not wait one more day, although I am not really sure that it would have been wise to combine the trips since the boys were uber cranky by the end thanks to the early morning wake up. We also get to go back to the big city one more time on Thursday to pick my mom up from the airport. At least that trip will be all pleasant with no doctor stuff at all. It also brings with it the promise of free babysitting and afternoon naps. I am going to need a mental health day when the doctor stuff is over.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Magic Marker Monday


For my first Magic Marker Monday I thought I would show off some illicit wall art. Somehow Evan got a hold of a pencil and drew this fascinating and rather complex (for him) drawing. I think that maybe the amount of space he had available led him to be more creative. He needs to learn a bit about how not to get into trouble though. When he was done he came up to me and told me that he drawn on the wall. He got a stern lecture about the proper place to draw, but I can't force myself to remove his artwork from the wall. I find it charming and utterly fascinating.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

What I Did On My Blogging Vacation Part 1 (With a Contest at the end)

Here is my massive report on all the knitting I did on my blogging vacation. The first day I almost managed to finish two projects (one of which I can't show you) but I was held back from that feat because of the bind off. The second project was a hat and scarf combined and it took fooorrrreeever to bind off. I am pretty pleased at how it turned out though since I did a lot of tweaking to the pattern.

With out further ado the much altered Toasty Topper.

"Don't hate be because I am beautiful!"

When the pattern stated that "one size will fit an infant, toddler or small child." I believed them. What I failed to take into account was that the children of two parents with large heads will have large heads themselves (Harry is in the 90th percentile for head circumference). The hat when knit as written with the exact same yarn that was used by the pattern (which I oddly enough had picked out to use for a hat for Harry before I even found this pattern) was much too small for my large noggined progeny.

I altered the pattern by using only one strand of yarn, used smaller needles (for a tighter fabric as this will go under hoods), did more crown increases, bound off an entirely different number of stitches and added a ton more for the scarf part of the hat. I think I bound off too many stitches since you can see Evan's ears peeking out. I may knit an extension on to that part of the hat so that the ears get better coverage. Over all I am pretty pleased with the hat when I take into account that it was only loosely based on a pattern and mostly it came from my large brain (a big head means a bigger brain.. right?)

That bottom stripe was supposed to look less subtle. I tried to do a slip stitch rib, but it did not stand out as much as I would have liked.

Evan the monkey toed little boy

Saturday I did a lot of yarn dyeing. I found a great article that had several ways to get variegated yarn when using food coloring to dye with. I am practicing my techniques for some socks that my mom wants me to knit for her. I am very happy with how my yarn turned out. I used the hot pour method and it was super easy. I ended up with a lot fewer white spots than the author of the article, I think in part because I have a wider and shallower crock pot. That let the dye to get to more of the yarn.

My first batch I used more orange Kool-aid and less yellow. The colors seem a bit more pastel than the second skein.

I could not resist knitting up a swatch just to see how the colors looked together.

I like the colors of the second skein better. They seemed to saturate better. I used more yellow and cut back on the orange. I know it is hard to tell the subtle differences from my pictures due to my sucky camera, but trust me they are there.

I had been planning on trying the cold pour method where you pour the dye directly on to the yarn, but I chickened out due to the mess factor. I will give it a try when I can be sure that my kids will not be around to "help" me. I shudder to think of what this would do to my carpets if I spilled some of the dye.

I also managed to make good starts on two different socks, one to start a pair and one to finish a pair. No pictures again because the recipients are readers of this blog.

Now it is contest time!!! If you would like to win one of these skeins of yarn just leave a comment. Stealing from the book Emma you will have to tell me three dull things or two moderately amusing things or one very amusing thing. I will pick two winners (you have a week to enter) and if you are not a knitter, I may be able to be convinced to knit it up into something simple.... if you twist my arm hard enough and don't expect it to be a rush job. Good luck!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Kid stuff

I promise pictures of my crafting soon (cross my heart hope to die). But until I get the chance to take them with good light I am going to share some of the awesomeness of my kids.

Yesterday Evan had to have some blood drawn for some routine tests (part of having a new doctor). He amazed me! He was so good and held so still for the blood draw. He did not even cry! I think Harry was more upset about it than Evan was.

Evan has not had his blood drawn for almost 2 years (I can't believe that it has been so long!) and after it was done he asked them for juice which is something that they gave to him after he got it drawn at his other hospital. I am so amazed that he remembered that detail after such a long time.

Harry is becoming more and more amusing every day. Lately he has started saying "excuse me" which sounds more like "quse me" We were grocery shopping the other day when he turned around and yelled "excuse me!" loudly at an older man that was blocking the way. I had to try hard to keep from laughing.

Another new Harry thing is him telling you to stop something. If we are in the middle of a tickle session he will randomly tell me to stop, which I will. Then he will take my hands and put them back on his stomach for more tickling. This morning he was telling the commercials that go on before Sesame Street to "stop" sadly that did not work at all.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Eye of the storm?

The Sunday before last we had an interesting Relief Society lesson about dealing with tough times. Different kinds of trials were compared to different natural disasters. Evan's birth and the discovery of his heart defect was like an earth quake, sudden and not something that you could really anticipate or prepare for. Our recent move was like a hurricane, something that you could see looming over the horizon and something that can be very life altering. Right now we are in the process of discovering if the point in time we are at right now is the end of the storm or merely the eye of the storm.

While I was on my blog break we found out that the long anticipated promotion that my husband had been working for and hoping to get before the move had gone through and before the end of the year he would be moving up in rank. The problem is that this assignment is for his current rank and there are no slots for the rank up. That means we may have to move yet again next summer. There are some options that are too complicated to explain here so there is a chance that we will be staying. The idea that we could be moving again almost makes me physically ill.

Another stressful thing that happened today was that we finally had an appointment with Evan's new cardiologist. She is nice but it was a seriously long appointment. I had not been really prepared for the length of time that we ended up spending there. We got there on time for the 10:00 appointment (which means we were 15 min early) and did not leave until 12:45. They did an echo and she decided she wanted him to have a Holter monitor on (so I get the fun of trying to keep him from pulling off his leads for 24 hours) and we have to go back and get some blood work done. Both boys were generally well behaved, but by the end we were all going nuts.

The practice seems nice enough, it is great that she had clinic so close to our house. Something that gives me pause is that they don't have anyone in the practice that does heart catheterizations. We are also being sent to another cardiologist that specializes in pacemakers. It really was nice to have the one stop shopping of Evan's previous Cardiologist. There was someone that did the cath lab and his cardiologist was able to take care of his basic pacemaker needs.

All this has drained me a bit. I will post all my exciting crafting pictures later, even though I did not get as much done as I had wanted. Most of my knitting will not be posted due to the fact that the recipiants are readers of my blog, which is a shame because that is where I made the most progress.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Crafting break

I have decided to take a week off of blogging to spend the time that I would spend on the internet making really fun crafts. Chelle got me hooked on the idea of felt food (I knew it was out there, but I never realized how easy it would be to make) and I am going to attempt my own. I also have some knitting projects that I want to finish up and I have some yarn that I want to dye, so I think I will manage to keep busy. Oh, and my husband's 30th birthday is this Saturday and I have to plan for that as well.

When I come back I am going to have some fun things to give away!

Monday, September 08, 2008

I heart garage sales

Here in Kansas garage sales are hard core. You can find plenty of them starting as early as Thursday. I haven't been to too many, I am trying to keep the amount of clutter in our house to a minimum, but I still can't resist going to Craig's List and scoping out the yard sales for the week. This week I found something that I had been wanting to get for my boys for some time now.

Yes I got my boys a play kitchen for a mere $5. I had been eyeing a really nice wooden one at Target, but they girled it up and changed the color scheme from neutral to pink. In fact most of the previously gender neutral play food there was pinked up. That makes me rather grumpy!

"Look maw I am playing in a gender neutral kitchen!"

"I love my kitchen!"

Now all I need to do I get them some fun wooden or felt play food and wee dishes. Maybe that is a job for grandparents for Christmas ... hint hint.

Saturday, September 06, 2008


Sometimes it is pretty easy to get ground under with all the thankless stuff that you have to do as a parent. Today I actually got a bit of appreciation.

I was making the kids lunch and had made them stay downstairs so that they would not harass me while I was working in the kitchen. Part way through the lunch preparation I hear Evan say "Good job making lunch Mommy" and then later he actually thanked me for making him lunch. This was repeated at dinner time.

I replied with a "You are welcome" but it also made me feel a bit bad that I had been kind of grumpy with him. He can be such a trying child at times and sometimes I would love to sell him just so I could have a few moments of peace. When he is not annoying the crap out of me, he is a very sweet and loving child. I feel so lucky to be his mom.

Friday, September 05, 2008


I can't believe that it is already Friday! Having a three day weekend really messes with my perception of time.

Do you have anything fun planned for the weekend? We don't have much but I am excited that my husband will (fingers crossed) be installing a plant shelf in our dining room. I am tired of the kids picking the leaves off my plants (the little monkeys are getting way too tall). I have a grow light (hee hee!) that I will also be installing so that my plants will be able to have the amount of light that they need to actually thrive. I will post pictures when it is done.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

I ain't lion

Harry was quite a hit with the lions at the zoo today. I really am kicking myself for not bringing my camera.

It is quite chilly today so I thought it would be fun to get out and make out weekly zoo trip. I hate going when it is super hot so I usually schedule it on a cloudy day. Today we had to wear pants and jackets!

The animals were much more active this morning. Usually they sit there listlessly ignoring the puny humans that are peering at them. The lion display has a see through fence and a path that leads to a cave where you can look at the lions through thick glass. There were some older kids running from one part of the display to another and the male lion was running along side them. He stopped and stared when he saw Harry who was wearing a red jacket.

When we went to the cave there was a female lion near the window and she got quite excited when she saw Harry. She started pawing at the window right where Harry was standing to look in. The male lion came by a bit later and started doing the same thing.

One of the moms there asked me if I was freaked out that my son seemed so attractive to the lions. I just shrugged. I would have been more worried if Harry had been upset by all the attention, but he thought it was funny that they were trying to get to him. I also felt that the zoo would not want to get sued so they would make darn sure that the animal enclosures were up to snuff.