Monday, December 23, 2002

Merry and Bright...Hah!

I can't believe how long it has been since I last posted. The spirit has been willing, really, but the cable modem has been weak. It seems like every time I get a free moment to sit, post, and check my email, I am inconveniently offline. I have been such a busy little elf, anyway, shopping, baking, and attending Christmas parties, not to mention doing favors for what seems like every family in the preschool, that I've hardly enough time for finishing my Christmas presents, let alone writing. To date, I have finished hats for two of my brothers, my mom, and one of my sisters (almost!), and a Barbie dress and Barbie afghan for Isabel. (Good way to test out patterns.) I am in the middle of the scarf for my ex-mother-in-law and a vest for my mother, a simple free Michael's pattern using Homespun in a purple and black color. I wanted to be finished with these projects and more, but oh well. I am surprised by how much I love working with the Homespun, though, acrylic usually leaves me quite cold. I also am nearly finished with a homemade (but not knitted!) Christmas present for Brea, but I will save details for after the holiday since she is my most devoted reader. It was finished, before Isabel bit it and broke it.

I am so burnt out. I am not feeling the Christmas love this year. Usually I am very merry, but this year I have felt way, way behind and a lot of the things that make me happy about Christmas have been off this year. We had to undecorate the Christmas tree, because Alice killed a record number of ornaments this year, fortunately not any of the dear ones. I never really had any problems with Bel and trees, but Alice jumps into everything headfirst while Bel is a look-before-you-leap-er. I really really really want to start knitting non-hat items. Especially sweaters. I went shopping at ARC and not only found a gorgeous blue cashmere sweater for 3.99 (!!!!!) but a nice serviceable gray Express sweater that may very well serve as a pattern for sweaters for me. I have recently found two really good batches of yarn at the thrift store that might want to join my wardrobe, but I also have a springtime full of expected babies to prepare for. Thank heavens none of those babies are mine!

I am spending tomorrow night with my folks, so...

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Which Goddess Owns You?

brought to you by Quizilla

Take that, world.

Monday, December 09, 2002

Silly Old Boot!

I have borrowed a digital camera from my neighbor, and I have heard from the squeaky-clean P-man that a coworker of his might let us use his server for photos, so maybe soon I can put up a gallery. My current projects are not very interesting, I know-6 hats, all basically the same, for Christmas, just like the three I did for my immediate family. Yawn. But I have to be very careful with my family not to shortchange anyone, (they're very high-drama) and so the same item in favorite colors or with nice details is the best I can do right now. I am really envious of a lot of you out there in knitblog-land whose knitting life is more thrilling than mine. I've never even made a sweater for myself. In fact, the only thing I've ever knitted for myself is a shawl that has yet to be washed and worn. I guess my only New Year's resolution is to make myself a sweater. But I don't have the resources right now, interior or exterior. I see so many patterns that I love, but I end up making things for other people, (mostly) mistakenly thinking that a handmade gift will have more meaning. I'm just so short on time! I would love to design patterns or work in the knitting industry someday, but I'll have to wait until all the people in my family can feed themselves, I think.

I went to my neighbor Leona's baby shower on Sunday, and gave her a wee green sweater to match Teddy's, as well as a skein of yarn and some needles. I am shamelessly hoping she has a boy so he and Teddy can pal around. She had mentioned she would like to learn how to knit, and though I may not be the best person to teach her, at least she has supplies. Shortly after the baby shower, I was hit by this crashing wave of self-pity-I haven't had one of those episodes since my birthday this year, so maybe it's come early and next year I can have a really happy birthday. I just get this feeling once in a while that I give more than I receive and am underappreciated. (This does not mean you, Brea, you are the absolute best!) My in-laws sort of get me down this time of year. They expect that all of their kids and spouselets will gather for each and every holiday and generally ignore the amount of juggling I have to do to get through the holidays. Not that my life is so much more stressful than other moms' lives, but just for a Christmas celebration I have to factor my parents, P-man's parents, Alex's (Isabel's dad) parents, Alex himself, and our own fledgling family traditions. The past few years we have just had to skip certain things I loved doing, such as Christmas Day open houses at Brea's dad's house (he always makes me feel like a daughter) and my foster parents' house. One family always ends up getting their feelings hurt. I suppose I should be glad we are in such demand, but it is such a weight trying to please roughly 25 different people. I often feel like I bear the brunt of making the "blended family" work. When I was in the hospital having Teddy, my mother was not there although I desperately wanted her to be, having had her feelings hurt in some unnamed way by my mother-in-law. P-man ended up calling her, after I asked every fifteen minutes, "Where's my mom?" and telling her to get down to the hospital to see her grandson. But I digress. So the baby shower was lovely, about thirty women each stringing a special bead they had brought onto a birthing necklace and sharing advice or touching stories about their own mothers. Envy, envy, envy. I will never be at the center of thirty women who are all vocal in their admiration. I don't have Girlfriends. Fortunately, I have Brea, who is seeming more and more like a life partner. I do worry sometimes that maybe we are the crazy ones and the world isn't topsy-turvy after all, but she supports me like Atlas holding the world on his shoulders. I have had multiple people tell me I don't make a good first impression ("Gee, you aren't nearly as airheaded as I thought!") and now I assume that people don't often see the real me.
Plus, I got a phone call from a mother in Isabel's class. Apparently my charming daughter has been telling this woman's daughter that she hates her, doesn't like her, wants her to go away. Now, we are not the sort of parents who condone hatefulness. I know what this is about. Isabel needs personal space and, being four, doesn't know how to ask for it nicely. The classmate in question follows Isabel around constantly and is all up in her eye all the time and Isabel doesn't know a better way to handle it. Still, it's so embarrassing. I generally don't have a great deal of trouble separating Isabel's identity from my own, and usually her personality quirks, for lack of a more appropriate term, don't send me into a shame spiral over what I've done wrong as a parent. But I get a vibe from this mom like she doesn't like me anyway, and she was very defensive when relating all this to me, and obviously it looks like my failing as a parent. I don't want to chalk this up to something I've done wrong (her father needs so much personal space he should have his own wee planet like the Little Prince, and he still has trouble asking for it nicely) but it reflects on me whether or not it has anything at all to do with me. So, we have taken what I think are very appropriate steps to deal with the situation, but I am now so sensitive and sore about the subject that I think the best thing would be for this child and her mom to go away, disappear, vanish in a puff of smoke. I am accustomed to picking up my own vibes about people-I consider myself to be quite good at "reading" people-and I feel like I can often tell whether people like me or not, even if there is no evidence. I have been picking up on people not liking me a lot recently, and I think it's given me a case of the mean reds. Maybe my aura needs to be cleared.

Not least but last, Brea and I went to the Counting Crows concert on Wednesday and had a simply delightful time. Nothing could have been improved upon. The best night I've had in ages. If my praise is too brief, it is only because I lack the proper words.

Tuesday, December 03, 2002

Our Lady of Perpetual Sleep Deprivation

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving. I gave my mother-in-law her purple hat for her birthday (earlier in November) and have received a nice note from her already. I finished a blue hat for my mother (to match Alice's) with XOX cables instead of ribbing, and I also finally finished Teddy's scarf. It is very long, long enough for a tall adult, so the plan is to double it to wrap around his sweet little neck. I am working on a hat for my sister and the aforementioned scarf.

We took Isabel to see the new Harry Potter movie the day after, and I for one loved it. Also the trailer for the new Lord of the Rings movie-I am such a geek princess.

We played this game with my family on Friday and made my step-dad and two sisters cry.

I will try to post longer later, but soon it'll be time to pick Bel up from school, and it's hard to relax when you know you have to leave soon.