Friday, August 31, 2007

Later, gators

Tonight we're off to northern NY for a long weekend with my extended family. Hester will be thoroughly spoiled by her grandparents and we'll all get to visit with 91-year old Great Grandma Hester. Good times are ahead if we can make it through the long drive. MassPike and NY Thruway, here we come!

Here's wishing y'all a great long weekend. Happy Labor Day!


Outstanding news

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The back of the dress

I finished the back of Hester's dress this morning. It looks v. small, but that's because the stockinette stitch rolls in on itself. Once I block it, stitch it together, and add the trim, it should be the correct size for her. Fingers crossed, anyway! This is what the dress should look like when it's finished, by the way:

I think it's getting there, don't you?


I mean business

I had another surprise inspection this morning from my licensor and I'm pleased to say that all is well. V. well, in fact! We were listening to salsa and playing in the indoor tunnel when he showed up, entirely unannounced. It was scary for me--unannounced visits make me anxious!--but I knew everything was fine. Now I'm to be licensed for another 3 years.

Despite all the work issues I've had since Hester came home, I'm proud of myself. Petunia and I took a big risk 4 years ago when we decided to buy a house, move west, and start my business. We planned like crazy and I worked my ass off, taking weekend jobs to allow myself time to get my program off the ground. As word of mouth spread, I found some (mostly) great families and get referrals for new ones all the time. Financially, my business allows us to claim ~1/3 of our mortgage, utilities, groceries, etc., which helps a lot. And now that Hester is here, she has all these friends who love her to bits and whom she absolutely adores.

This job is crazy hard in many respects: the consistency is a killer, I get sick constantly, and I have to keep the house wicked neat and clean. I have to remind myself daily (if not hourly) why I'm doing this. I usually think about Hester when things get difficult, but today's licensing visit reminds me that I can think of one other thing: This is my business, and I'm proud of it.


Monday, August 27, 2007


On Saturday night I realized that Hester's dress would be too big, despite my initial gauge swatch. Disappointed, I had to frog the whole effing thing. I started it over in the 3-6 month size, though, and it's coming along nicely now. Still, I was 1/4 done before I had to rip it out. Now I'm not even 1/8 done--boo hoo. Here's hoping Hester doesn't have some crazy growth spurt between now and October!


Thursday, August 23, 2007

In which some random asshat makes my day

Last week I received a notice in the mail saying I needed to pony up $40 for a parking ticket in Boston. The notice went on to say that "the correspondence [I] sent is not sufficient grounds for appeal." Since I haven't received a parking ticket in quite a while, I was stumped. I called the parking clerk yesterday to inquire about the entire situation, and here's what went down:

Bad: I really did receive a $40 parking ticket. I got it for parking in a resident-only zone while we attended my surprise party. That's sucky.

Worse: Some random asshat mailed it back to the parking clerk with "a 4-letter word written on it," according to the clerk.

Fabulous: Because said 4-letter word counts as a letter of protest against the ticket, I only owe $40, despite the ticket being over a month old. If they hadn't received the altered ticket, I would've had to pay $53. Yay, due process! And thanks, asshat!


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Knitting the baptism dress


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Baptism dress

Yesterday Petunia decided that we should knit Hester's baptism dress. After a moment's pause, I concurred. Are we nuts or what? Nothing says pressure like a deadline and a Garment That Must Be Perfect. Or, you know, wearable. We'll see how it goes...y'all already know how much I love small gauge and/or deadline knitting.

I actually started the dress early this morning after doing my trusty gauge swatch. The dress is on size 5s with Debbie Bliss white merino and it's from a pattern in the Debbie Bliss Baby Knits for Beginners book. I just read online that the pattern I'm using has problems with its neckline, but whatever. I also decided to go with seed stitch as the decorative stitch rather than garter stitch, so that should be fun to change up, too. But as much as I want to complain, I have to say this: I'm 13 rows into the back of the dress and it's already so pretty. I hope that Hester will like it; I hope she'll also like the matching sweater and booties that Petunia will make for her.

From now till October 7, it'll be All Knitting, All the Time around these parts! I'll try to post pictures as I work. Here's hoping things go according to plan; otherwise, it's a tacky shiny polyester dress from Sears for us. The horror!


Pain in the neck: An update

My neck is fine today, too. I think it really was that damned chair!


Monday, August 20, 2007

Pain in the neck

I've had this pain in my neck since April or May where the back of my neck gets so tense it's hard to turn my head to the side or to bring my chin to my chest. Nice, huh? Sounds like a stress reaction, doesn't it? Even better, it only happened on work days; Saturdays, Sundays, and vacation days were completely pain-free. I blamed my work, thinking the kids were literally pains in the neck.

It turns out I might have been unfair to them, though. The true culprit might have been something else altogether: My office chair.


Today is the first day in months that my neck hasn't killed. Today is also my first day with our new desk chair from IKEA. Coincidence? I think not. Seriously, I think this new chair is making a world of difference already--no more pain in the neck for me!

And now if you'll excuse me, I think I owe an apology to 7 toddlers and preschoolers.

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I'm ba-ack!

Alrighty then. I took a little bloggy break but now I'm back like gangbusters.

And did I mention that it's feeling like FALL around here? Cool days, cooler nights. Maple leaves have begun to fall in our yard and I saw my first scarlet leaves today in our local cemetery. Petunia bought some mums for our porch and we pulled out some warmer clothes for Hester. Apple picking, pumpkins, and scarves can't be far off. I love it!

In other news, I took the kids to the playground this morning and had a funny conversation with a 10-year old there:

Kid: Are they triplets? [Side note: I get this all the time from passersby. I heard it 3 times this morning alone; one woman even exited her car to stare at us and ask whether the boys are triplets. People are nuts, huh?]

Clementine: No, they're friends.

Kid: They're not yours?

Clementine: No, they're not mine. I run a child care program at my home, and these kids are friends who come to my child care program. [Hester is with her Mumzy today.]

Kid, brightening: You know, I want to have a daycare when I grow up! Maybe part-time, though. Parents struggle with their kids so much, so I think I won't have kids myself. I'll just take care of other people's kids cuz I love kids. But part-time, though. I don't love them that much.

How awesome is that?


Friday, August 10, 2007

Glamour shots

True confession: We're taking Hester to get her 6-month photo done at a kiddie portrait studio tomorrow morning. I know, I know--could we be more middle class?

I'm trying not to let my inner stage mother get the best of me, but what in the world should this child wear to her sitting? I'm inclined to put her in something v. casual, but this is the only studio photo she'll have until her first birthday. Should we go more formal? Should we stick to casual wear? Eh, who the hell knows. One thing's for sure: There will be no naked baby pics! Those are just plain creepy to me.


Thursday, August 09, 2007

Inspiration needed

No good blog-fodder + obsession with baby = Crappity blog posts

Lemme know if there's something you want me to write about, 'kay?


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Baby Daddy

Y'all know Steve Almond, author of Candyfreak? He has a blog about his little girl, Josie. Am I late to the party on this, too?


The Ergo, Part 3

[Part 2 here. Part 1 referenced later.]

I will now present a mini-photo essay of yesterday's late afternoon adventures with The Ergo. And PS--I took these photos of myself while wearing said Ergo and chasing after 3 bigger kids. Now that's talent!

Here's Hester Willa snoozing on my back as I play tag with her more mobile friends. She and I are glued together by sweat, but whatevs--my hands are free, I can bend over, and my back feels great. So what if it's 90 degrees and humid? We're bonding, damn it. (An aside--see how cute and chubby her little hand is? That's because she actually eats nowadays!)

But now you see my problem. And I spared you a trip out west, JPP!

Is this situation out of control or what?

Till later...ta ta!


Monday, August 06, 2007

Our alter egos

You can be a Simpson, too!


Weekend fun

This weekend was filled with family, art, music, shooting stars, coffee, picnic blankets, chocolate covered gummi bears, friends (old and new), sale shopping, and talk of babies. Though Hester, Petunia, and I are still under the weather from last week's summer colds, we had a great time.

How was your weekend?


Friday, August 03, 2007

In which I am ungrateful and peevish

Y'all might recall that I only had one week off from work when Hester got discharged from her 7-week NICU stay. That sucked bigtime. I was so stressed: My work families were demanding, my child care kids were nuts, and Hester herself needed lots of TLC. Most days I wanted to run away and live in a cave with Hester and Petunia and never see anyone else ever ever again.

In the midst of that horrendously difficult first week of work, one of my work moms gave me some yarn she picked up while Hester was in the hospital. "I really liked these colors!" she said, "And I know you like to knit, so I thought this would make a nice summer sweater for the baby. There's definitely enough yarn here for a baby sweater--I checked with the woman at the yarn shop." And though I knew she meant the gift in a kind, generous way, in my stress haze all I could think was, "FUCK!!! Another demand on my time. Sport-weight (thin) yarn. And the gifter is at my house all the time so she'd know if I let the project sit. Gah!"

Resentfully, I started the sweater back in March. I finally finished it 2 weeks ago. It still needs blocking and some I-cord ties, but whatever: It's done. I'm still not appropriately grateful for the gift--the timing was terrible!--but I'm so glad to have knit this sweater for little Hester.

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Proof that I'm a rockstar at tie-dyeing

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Talk in her good ear

So it turns out that Hester has her first ear infection. Which means she also has her first prescription for Amoxicillin, otherwise known as the #1 beverage of my own childhood. Ah, the memories!

After lots of issues about "Is she taking the pink stuff too soon?" and "What if she's allergic?" we bucked up and dosed the baby first thing this morning. So far, she's fine. Knock wood she stays that way.

The puking is neither here nor there, by the way: it's probably due to post-nasal drip. Her Zantac is fine.

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Baby spew

Under the heading "Better Safe Than Sorry," Petunia is on her way home to take Hester to the doctor. Hester's been vomiting a lot since she got sick with a head cold late last week, and we want to find out whether the vom can be blamed on post-nasal drip or whether her Zantac prescription needs to be adjusted.

Things I've Learned About Baby Spew, Part 3

1. Formula + baby cereal + baby yogurt + fruit/veg = V. colorful vomit.

2. I liked it better when it was only formula.

3. Carrots stain v. easily.

4. Good thing Crocs are washable.

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Singing Bee

Why do I always love the corniest shows?

That's all.


Plan B

Many moons ago, I worked as a toddler teacher at a child development center. It was a fun job and I liked it, though I didn't like the way the administration treated the teachers. When I left that job to attend graduate school, I always figured that if I couldn't find a job doing other things, teaching would be a good solid Plan B for me.

Eight years ago I applied for and received my state license to teach infants and toddlers in a child care center. (Yes, it's a different process for center licensure vs. family child care licensure. Gotta love The State!) I promptly forgot all about this once I got my first post-grad school job as co-director of a youth center, and only remembered the license recently when we began to discuss moving west. On Monday I spoke with someone at the EEC who said that my license is still valid; she sent a new copy out to me with my married name on it. I received it yesterday.

It feels good to have this piece of paper in my possession. I like having options, and this license gives me one more possibility for work. Since we want to move to western MA before Hester starts school, it makes sense to me to start poking around now. Family child care might still be a possibility once we move, but maybe for a specific clientele, like teachers' children so I can have holidays and summers off with my little miss. Hmm.

At any rate, I'm glad to have my Plan B back again. I realize now that I actually missed it.

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