Friday, February 26, 2010
Next, Dorothy and I met a new refugee family being sponsored by our church at the airport yesterday. When no one speaks a common language (and the translator is tied up with airport personnel trying to locate lost luggage...ugh), there is nothing like the ice-breaking power of a preschooler to help everyone come together! She was holding hands and dancing around with the teenagers in no time, and in a situation where the (well-meaning) American volunteers seem to hold a little too much of the power, it is so nice to have an international symbol of "I trust you back," to give, in allowing the newcomers access to interact with and touch my own child.
When we came back home (unrelated, but see photo), I helped Dorothy fashion a luge track out of a paper towel tube, and her little dolls competed for gold medals for over an hour. We're normally tv-free at our house, but we've pulled the little 13-incher and the rabbit ears (now with digital box attachment after last summer's switch) up from the basement for the winter games and are enjoying some family time in the evenings watching the athletes.
Finally, a couple nights ago I was having the really annoying kind of contractions--the kind that don't seem to go anywhere, but can't quite be slept through either. So I got out of bed and started another pair of booties for the baby, on the grounds that although he is well stocked, he didn't have a newborn-sized pair that matches his hospital outfit. (We have matching blue and white jammies for our first day together.) So I made the navy booties, above. But then I finished them and thought maybe they were a wee bit big, but by then had grown attached to the idea of booties for the hospital, so I made another smaller pair, out of a not-so-matchy but lovely soft alpaca, and have both pairs packed. So I am ready for his feet, whether they happen to be on the larger or the smaller side for a newborn. The navy are more matchy, but the alpaca ones look more like my own hospital footwear (see crocheted socks, below). Both pair are variations on this pattern, which I have made many times. I think I'm officially a crazy pregnant lady, churning out superfluous booties here in the latter days, but what else am I to do? A mama can only judge baby-doll luge events for so long.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
I also crocheted this hat (this pattern), which is a quick project with nice results. I've made a couple in other colors for our baby and can't wait to use them. The yarn for this hat is a nice ashy rose color--the picture really doesn't do it justice. It's a soft washable wool/acrylic blend and very stretchy, should be great for a baby. After working on it last night before bed, I had dreams that my own baby surprised us by being a girl!
Monday, February 22, 2010
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Rob and I, sadly, have never owned a dishwasher in our 7 years of marriage. We both had dishwashers before we were married, but for some reason have only owned homes together that will not accommodate this particular boon of American middle-class existence. Although there are many other things that fall into this category we do not hanker after (appliance garages, are you serious?), we do aspire to one day own a home with a dishwasher. We can dream, right? In the meantime, we have had plenty of meals at home to perfect our low-tech family dish washing system. We prefer these soap-filled dish wands that ooze out just the right amount of soap while we're washing. For several years, we replaced the sponge tips at regular intervals. They are actually pretty expensive--more than a dollar per sponge--and can't be reused because the sponge separates from the plastic if you try to launder it. (Or overuse it.) But about a year ago I figured out a way to stop paying The Man for sponges every week--I just make our own. I crochet these little sponge covers out of washable acrylic yarn, and we tuck little washable, reusable sponges inside (the kind you can buy in multi packs for $1, cut in half, and still wash and re-use!). The whole thing fits nicely over the plastic framework from the original sponge refill (so if you're going to try this at home, don't throw that part away--just peel off the old sponge and leave the plastic framework in place).
We've been using these now for about a year, and today I decided some of our little crocheted sponge covers needed to be purged and replaced, which seems reasonable for the use they've gotten. They've been used and washed many times. The new ones only take a few minutes to make, too, and only a tiny amount of scrap acrylic yarn. If you crochet, this is how to make them: Using an H hook and worsted weight yarn, chain 5. Turn and single crochet a row of 4 stitches, repeat. (For two rows of 4.) Next row make an increase on each end, for a row of 6 single crochet stitches. Make 5 more rows of 6 stitches (for a total of 6). Single crochet evenly around the whole periphery, then repeat for 3 more rows. The sponge should look a little like a bootie. Slip stitch or use a yarn-threaded needle to sew together the top (narrow) half of the sponge, then slip a little cut-up sponge inside and tug the whole thing over the end of the dish wand.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
In other news, this is how Dorothy insisted on dressing for a quick trip to Value Market today to purchase lentils. As if her snow queen getup itself weren't enough, her attitude when people (naturally) turned to stare or made comments was quite a riot. (Why did that girl make that noise? Why is that woman looking at me?)
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Friday, February 5, 2010
With about three weeks to go in this pregnancy, I've also been thinking about clothes for myself after this little guy comes out. A couple weeks ago I made myself a new spring skirt out of a fun cotton bird print I'd been eyeing. I think the cut of the skirt (Simplicity 2758) will be easy to wear as my waist shrinks, and it has cute pockets that don't show up in the picture, but should be very handy when toting around a new baby and his associated stuff. (I think the lack of pockets is often the fatal flaw of skirts.) Today I made a matching cotton/spandex top (Simplicity 4076) that I hope will also be figure-forgiving and easy to wear during the post-partum season. The neck looks big to me, but I think the fabric just stretched some during sewing, and hopefully a trip through the laundry will pull it back in a bit. I'm looking forward to having something besides slouchy sweats to wear to pediatrician visits and such, because I always feel like you get treated better if you dress like a grown-up at those sort of things.
I wrote a ranty letter to the Courier-Journal today about the chemical spill in my neighborhood (see below) and the fact that my Metro Council is spending time doing things like contemplating banning trans fats instead of shutting down the stupid factory until they can get the leak fully stopped and contained. Makes me so mad! But of course after hitting "send" I realized I'd misplaced an apostrophe in my letter. There's nothing like getting up on your soapbox and sending off an angry letter...and then realizing you made an elementary mistake in writing it. Sigh...
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Then on Monday afternoon, after struggling to find the source of the strong, strange odor in the house all day, a man in fire-fighter gear knocked on my door and suggested we open doors and windows "and might want to leave for a little while" due to a chemical spill at a nearby factory. He assured me it wasn't explosive. Um...great. So Dorothy and I headed to my parents' for the rest of the day (thankful once again for them!), and also ended up spending the night and next day there as well, because the smell lingered. My already-packed hospital bag came in quite handy as we were trying to leave the stinky house in a hurry. Phone calls to the local government hotline and fire station were not helpful--apparently it is "unclear" which chemicals spilled, or what noxious concoction they made once mixed. My doctor feels like as long as the odor didn't give me breathing trouble, the baby is fine (not going go grow an extra head at this point, with just a few weeks to go), but of course I worry about my three-year-old's lungs! I wish we hadn't stayed to breathe it all day, but I was blaming the whole thing on my super-pregnant nose.
But today we're back and I got back to my sewing machine. I'd left this dress project half-finished in Monday's evacuation. I want to get photographs of the kids taken together a week or two after the new guy is born, and I'd been thinking of how to dress them. I decided to make Dorothy a blue dress (above) trimmed in white, and will dress the baby in a coordinating blue diaper (also homemade) and white t-shirt. Dorothy loves her dress and looks cute in it, and I let her go ahead and wear it now. Hopefully it won't get terribly stained between now and that eventual picture day!