Tuesday, June 29

So what the heck happened to my sidebar? I swear, I didn't touch it. I haven't even been into the template since last week! Now I'm going to have to go doodling around in there and then I'll *really* mess it up.

Knitting content: Divided for the shoulders. I did the short rows for the bust. Only two sets because (a) I'll be wearing a bra so presumably I won't have the full gory G-cup to account for and (b) it would have come down to my knees if I had done all the short rows. As it was, I had to start the armholes immediately after the short-rows. I'm still not sure how it's going to look--it seems like the "dart" is a little high. I won't be able to tell for sure until I finish the shoulder straps. I did 12 wraps in a row instead of two sets of 6. I'm not sure that was right, but two sets of six would have made a weird double-dart thing that I think would have looked worse. I may need to re-read Maggie Righetti's design book to figure out the right way to do this.

I've been reading some amazing blogs from IVFers, thanks to my friend Gina (ginabeaner). I feel like I know these people already, though of course they don't know jack about me. I wonder what mayhem we might have caused if the BIW (bitter infertile women, a little email loop I founded with a couple of friends) had known about the blogosphere back in the day. Anyway, here are some brilliant struggles: The Naked Ovary (includes an infertility comic strip!), a little pregnant (don't know how I wound up LMAO about such sad, hard stuff, but yeah, I did), and So Close (wow, how bad do I want this to work out for her). It brings it all right back, not that it wasn't there to begin with.

Well, after all that tragedy today, I am going to pick up my amazing children from daycare. I am going to hug them extra hard today. Even if they have a very bad case of two-ness, I am the luckiest woman in the world that they decided to show up in my life. I've almost gotten to the point where I've stopped pinching myself, though it's still a little hard to believe that this is really my life, the life I used to long for and dream about. May those other mamas to be look back from this happy place soon too.

Sunday, June 27

Child labor...cool! Here is my 2-year-old DD carding wool--rambouillet, no less! My DS was doing it too, I just didn't get a photo. Now this could be quite the racket. Should I get another pair of hand cards? Hmmm....

Saturday, June 26

The shapley tank on Friday morning--3 days of work, most of the way through waist decreases. The yarn is unger escape, which I got on sale some time in the distant past. Posted by Hello

Thursday, June 24

Hmmm, this whole blogging thing is a bit odd. I want people to read it--I think--but I want to talk and vent about stuff that happens IRL and on other sites and of course if I invite people to read it I have to think about how they'll take it. I suppose that's what Keith ran into with his blog. Ah well. I'll just blab and try not to be too bitchy, which is probably a good thing.

Here's a secret I don't want to tell anyone: I quit caffeine not only because it gives me insomnia (even when I stop drinking it before 9 am), but it also makes me really bitchy. I am a much nicer person without caffeine. See, true confessions, right here! Did I mention I had them put some caffeine in my coffee this morning in desperation after a late night facing a long meeting? I'll try to be nice. It helps that I'm aware of it. Really.

Lesson for the day yesterday: do not try to play hostess for two meals to two sets of people you don't know very well in one day while caring for twin toddlers while your partner is out of town. Duh, you say? Yeah, well, you're right. It was a moment of insanity. The idea was that I would have a nice social day. Haha.

So the first visit was a playdate with a friend from the kids' daycare. That was actually really nice, it's just that I don't know the mom that well so it was a little strained just making sure we liked each other and had stuff in common (we did, and we do, at least from my perspective). But of course she was not a close enough friend to have a big pile of dirty laundry sitting in the doorway when she walked in (see how much we love our friends?), so I had to clean the house, then there were dishes after lunch, and the kids were pretty wound up. Then we refused to nap. It drives me crazy and makes me feel like I'm doing something terribly wrong that they go to sleep (generally) without a problem at school, but at home getting them down is a huge challenge. I feel really lousy and defeated when people talk about how their twins go to bed willingly and happily "chat" themselves off to sleep. It's just really not like that at my house. Really, really not like that. I have to remind myself that I'm not SUCH a terrible, hopeless, pathetic excuse for a mother that it could be completely my fault that my kids have a lot of tantrums and refuse to go to sleep unless they are on the verge of collapse AND have a boob in their mouths. There are other kids like my kids, and I don't blame the moms--I figure they're just different kids. And I know that I was a terrible sleeper as a kid, and that the kids are intelligent, persistent, and full of *character*, and that sometimes that means they're intense kids. But man, I feel like blaming myself for it a lot of the time.

Which brings me to my second visit of the day, for which I hosted dinner. So I was doing this "doula" idea (where I support women going through IVF) with this woman--my first "client" though I didn't charge her, she was someone I didn't know beforehand who approached me specifically as a doula. She's now pregnant (hooray!) and came over for a celebratory dinner. She and her DH, who of course are "trying on" parenting and are a bit nervous about it, seemed very critical of the kids. They got them all wound up with really physical play, then the kids were acting like maniacs and Henry had a few biting attempts including one on me, and then they said things like "Henry, we've got to get this biting under control!" OK, argh! First of all, no, WE don't, I do, and I've been working on it for over a year and it IS under control and listen, I've read every book and article on the subject and tried every strategy that I don't consider abusive (like biting them back or putting hot pepper on their tongue when they bite), and it's a heck of a lot better than it was, and second of all, buzz the hell off! Well, whatever, that's the coffee talking, probably, but anyone who talked to me about the biting issue in the last year knows how incredibly sensitive a topic it is for me, and although I knew it was about her own progression toward parenthood and I can keep that perspective and be compassionate about it, wow, ya had to hit me right where I live, huh? And this is someone I really supported and helped for nothing (except experience and a reference) in return.

I know she didn't mean it, and I forgive her, but it made for a yucky feeling in the pit of my stomach as a wrestled with getting my late-napping kids to bed, which didn't happen until ten. I have had a lot of experience in letting other people's opinions of me and my choices (sexuality, politics, etc.) roll off my back, but parenting is a whole new ballgame. I just keep questioning myself and my choices, even though I know they're right for us and I couldn't do it any other way. Sigh.

In things fibery, I am trucking along on the shapely tank, done with the short rows (not to bad and I figured out the wraps once I was actually doing it--it's one of those things where you have to be trying it to understand the instructions) and on to the waist shaping. The variegated yarn is okay, but I'm not loving the patterns it's forming. I have to remember that I like variegated yarns better on the skein than in the garment. When I start dyeing my spinning I think I'll go for more of a tweedy look.

Speaking of spinning, I haven't spun since Monday (gasp!), but I've been trying to knit with the stuff. I started a pair of kids' socks with the gray romney singles, but I don't know, I can just see the socks being rejected on grounds of scratchiness (even though it's not that bad). And I think the kids will find the gray kind of drab and not appreciate it, so I'm going to frog (I've only done an inch of ribbing) and make a mama hat. Tonight is the ice cream social at the kids school (new teachers and classrooms starting next week, sniff), and I'm going to miss it to go to spinning. I'm excited to go to spinning, but a little sad to miss the social. I'm hoping Rhys will go with the kids.

OK, back to work. I am doing a focus group project for the career center, and the director has agreed to do some career counseling for ME! I'm really grateful and very excited. I have a big project of writing and analyzing my work history/priorities ahead of me. Oh yeah, and I have to finish the report on the focus groups too...

Tuesday, June 22

Well, gosh, since I'm on a roll and completely uninterested in the report I should be writing, here's a fun game I've seen on a few other blogs (no idea where it originated so can't give credit):

A - Age: 34
B - Band listening to right now: For the Kids (compilation with Barenaked Ladies and Guster, among others)
C - Career future: SAHM and entrepreneur--this week!--tune in for lots of obeisance about what the heck I'm going to do with my life in future blog entries!
D - Dad's name: Bob
E - Easiest person to talk to: Rhys--DP
F - Favorite song: gosh, I only get to listen to kids' music these days!
G - Gummy Bears or Gummy Worms: Worms. The kind with the sour sugar on them.
H - Hometown: Brooklyn NY, now Florence, MA
I - Instruments: Flute and recorder, but not really
J - Job: pt SAHM, pt educational researcher
K - Kids: Henry & Eleanor, 2.25
L - Longest car ride ever: Berkshire County, MA to Homer, Alaska
M - Mom's name: Martha
N - Number of people you slept with: I take the 5th, but there is a flip chart from my old company somewhere with tallies for all the core staff tabulated by gender of partner. Can you say "boundary issues?"
P - Phobia[s]: Not really.
Q - Quote: I can't think of anything except the one regularly misattributed to Nelson Mandela, which was really written by Marianne Williamson (how bizarre a combination is that?): Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
R - Reason to smile: Henry's kisses; Ellie's snuggles
S - Song you sang last: The Hoppity Song (from For the Kids)
T - Time you wake up: work days, 7:30, home days, 8:30
U - Unknown fact about me: I've been to Egypt
V - Vegetable you hate: I can't think of one--I love all food, pretty much!
W - Worst habit: Staying up too late
X - X-rays you've had: Hand (broken), uterus (not broken)
Y - Yummy food: Yes, please.
Z - Zodiac sign: Scorpio
Well, it has only been two years since I posted to this blog. LMBO. I thought I'd have time to describe life with infant twins. BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Actually, I did spend a lot of time online, I was just never (rarely) able to use my hands to type. I even have a remote mouse now so I can nurse and surf at the same time.

So, now they're two, and while life is still pretty crazy, I have a little more space. I've gotten into reading a lot of blogs (with my remote mouse) over the years--better create a blogroll--but right now I'm really excited about getting back into knitting, plus I'm learning to spin! So I will have to get my digital camera out and take lots of pics of the kids and of my wonderful fiber creations.

I'm also just about to join the shapely tank knitalong as soon as I'm done sending out a survey mailing from another window (which makes my return address look funky). I've cast on using some ribbon yarn that has been languishing in my stash for at least 5 years. I had started another tank with larger needles, and it was just dreadful. When I swatched it for the shapely tank, I realized that I was in the right gauge for the yarn and it was perfect! I no longer hate this yarn! Plus, I got the exact gauge in one try, which is always a good sign. I did the edging in seed stitch, and I'll start the short rows--er--shortly. :)

I have been knitting for almost 20 years (hard to believe, but I'm 34 and started at 15 or so!), and I've made short-row socks, but this whole wrapping thing is new to me. I *am* familiar with the little holes that wrapping is supposed to eliminate, but I'll be doing something new to me, so that will be interesting. I'm also excited that this pattern has adjustments for the well-endowed! Since nursing twins, I am a 34-G, which is just a weird size and no clothes are made for me. I either look like I should be nabbed for solicitation or I look like I'm wearing a tent. So now I can do short rows for the bust and not BUST out of the thing when I try to wear it. Hooray! I'm a little concerned that the variegated yarn is going to show up with weird stripes around the bust (making it that much more accented) but I'm hoping that the color changes are short enough (only about 2 inches apiece) that it will come out in more of a "popcorn" look than stripes, if that makes sense. So far, based on the swatch and the edging, that's what's happening. I should remember this for yarn design.

As far as spinning goes, as a beginner, wool is the fiber of choice, so it's hard to get really inspired in late June to do anything with the yarn that I'm creating. I have about 8 oz. of gray romney, and I have spun about half of it. My spinning teacher also sold us a big bag of various fleeces, and one of them is gray shetland, so I have probably 4-6 oz of that. Both of them seem to want to be cabled cardigans, but if I was going to combine them, it should have been in spinning, not now, so I would need to get a lot more of one or both of them to make a sweater (I guess it is usually about 2 lbs for a LS). That seems like a lot of carding (if I buy the teacher's fleece) and spinning for something that's a little boring. Also, I'm learning slowly, and the teacher's fleece has a real variety of colors, including a bunch of dark brown undercoat. Had I been thinking, I would have carded that in with the longer silver locks, but I didn't, so now my yarn has really long sections of dark brown, and long sections of light silver. I didn't even notice all the brown, so I spun a whole bunch of just the silver, then found the brown, spun that, then realized that *duh* this was going to not look so good in a sweater. Sigh. So I'll have to figure out what to do with it. Thank goodness for having short people around to knit small sweaters and tiny socks for! Though I'm not sure how they'll feel about scratchy shetland, and if I make something and they refuse to wear it my head might just explode! Happily, they seem to appreciate the cardigans I just finished for them (top down in variegated Plush).

I got a package from a woman doing some stash reduction on the spindler's list this past weekend. It has a bunch of really cool fiber, including silk sliver and flax. I don't think I've got the chops for either of those yet, but if I could spin those, then I'd be cooking with gas, and I could knit something for summer. But for now I'll just spin wool aimlessly (not that I'm complaining!) and knit from my stash. Maybe a pair of wool socks with the handspun....

Well, that was a lot of fiber content, huh? The kids are great. Bedtime is still a nightmare. Part of me keeps telling myself I need to provide more structure, etc., but when it comes right down to it, the conventional ways of doing these things backfire every time. In our house, there is no better way to get them riled up than to bring them to their bedroom and ask them to lie down. So Eleanor goes to sleep nursing with me on the couch (how many times have we had to abandon the bed and go downstairs to get her to finally drift off), and Henry snuggles up with a mama in the bed. Every time I have stressed out about something like this (especially sleep), in hindsight it would have made so much more sense to relax and wait for their development to catch up to my expectations. But it would be nice to have them go to bed at 8:00 like they used to! I blame daylight savings time.

Henry has been very into KISSING lately. He gives these lovely, soft, non-slobbery kisses, and he will hold your face while he kisses each cheek like a French paysan. Then he kisses your forehead. It sends me.