Thursday, May 31, 2007

Happy Days

I just polished off the remains of a monumental piece of Oreo cheesecake that Mara and I tried to eat at lunch today, and am now happily gritting my teeth through a teensy weensy bit of indigestion as a result. It was worth it, though. Today's my birthday, and dammit, if a girl can't overindulge in dairy desserts on her birthday--when she's pregnant--when can she, I ask you? WHEN?

We lunched at Graze, a new ped mall restaurant here in town, where I am a little ashamed to say that I have now had lunch four times. Even better (or worse, if you ask my husband) is that right next door, the mostly-cool-vintage-but-also-some-new-locally-designed-funky-stuff clothing store, Revival, just opened their new location. Of COURSE Mara and I had to stroll through.

Not ONLY was I able to find a pretty cute birthday present for dear Colleen (Happy Birthday, miss Willson!)--but I also nabbed another kick-ass vintage knitting case, to match one that I recently bought via eBay. I have never found a more perfect (and stylish) tote for a knitting project-in-progress, and it makes me wonder why they don't seem to make these anymore. The first one I found, a few months back, is a fabric-covered cylinder, about a foot tall or so, with a flip top lid, and the new one is also fabric covered, with rigid sides, but the new one is square. Love it!

Mara also brought me a bag o' goodies, courtesy of her friend, Jody, who recently appropriated her mom's old knitting stash (her mom has given up her own knitting practice) and given it to Mara for redistribution. I am the proud new owner of a bungload of vintage knitting needles, and Mara also gave me a sweet fabric needle case--something I've been needing for some time, now that I've completely outgrown My First Needle Case, which she also gave me when I was a fledgling knitter.

I guess it's only appropriate to give props to Mara now, for being my knitting mentor (my Knitor?) and my greatest enabler. Ted, you already know that all blame can be placed squarely on her very strong shoulders.

I am off to the salon this afternoon for a cut and highlights--the latter being a treat I have not indulged in for a long, long, long time--as a little birthday treat for myself, doubly earned after two full days spent playing Mom to THREE nearly-three-year-old boys...

Arlo's daycare provider is on vacation this week, so I made a deal with one of the other moms (also a neighbor) to take turns with "the triplets." Carver and Kinnick, twins, are just a couple of weeks younger than Arlo, and they operate as a unit most of the time. I will not rehash the whole two days, but I will say to their credit that all three are good boys, and we survived with minimal disruption. I was, of course, whooped at the end of each day, but not shredded. A BIG thank-you goes out to all three little guys for taking solid afternoon naps both days, to allow me some down time to recharge. We had great fun together, and now the Three Musketeers are hanging with the twins' mom for two days.


After four full days with Arlo, I have to admit that I am missing him sorely today. He has been such an absolute pleasure to be around lately--and I'd like to write more about that later. Right now, though, I'm off to the beauty salon for some "me" time. Ciao!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Beanie on a goofball

Well, I finished the beanie I was knitting for Tata's birthday! This is a pattern from Knit Picks, but they no longer seem to offer it on their website. It's knitted from their "Shine Sport" yarn, which is a cotton/modal blend that I'm very fond of.

Arlo keeps insisting that I made it for him, and wore it around the house for several hours last night.

I did actually make one for him--a purple one--this winter, but I made it too shallow, so it doesn't really fit his big melon. Or mine, for that matter.

Next, I am knitting one for a friend-of-a-friend who will be undergoing chemotherapy soon--and then there's a dear co-worker who also is scheduled for chemo in the coming weeks--and then I guess I'll set to work on YET ANOTHER beanie for Arlo.

It's a good thing this pattern is pretty painless and relatively quick to knit.

And I guess the more beanies I make, the easier and quicker it should get.

But when will I find time to knit more baby sweaters??

Maybe I should quit my job. (Said while making a face similar to the one Arlo demonstrates here.)

Mom's Day pics

Here's one of me and my dad, comparing bellehs. No offense, Dad, but I think mine wins. Click on the flickr link over there on the right to see lots more shots of Mother's day shenanigans.

Friday, May 18, 2007

"Alright, Mr. Demille, I'm ready for my close-up."

Today is the day that we get to take a look at our baby for the first time!
Everyone wants to know if we're going to find out the sex of the baby, but that's not what I'm most excited about.
I've been feeling the baby move for weeks now, and building a quiet relationship with this invisible little one. I can't wait to see those little arms and legs, the bottom of the foot--a classic ultrasound view--the string of pearls that make up the baby's backbone, to watch the baby stretch and kick, and maybe even blow bubbles or suck its thumb. If we're lucky, we'll get a glimpse of the baby's face--a ghostly, negative image of a face that we will see in full color in a handful of months, that we will adore for the rest of our lives.
If we're even luckier, we'll learn that our baby is healthy, flawless, and just the right size.

And yes, we might get to see what's between the baby's legs. But I don't think I'm gonna tell.

This probably won't excite you...

...but it excites me. At left is a knitting needle set, with its very own organizer jacket, that features interchangeable tips and cables for a really wide range of projects.
If you could see what my current hodgepodge of needles looks like--straight and circular, various sizes, colors, and materials--crammed into an organizer that the collection has far outgrown, you would understand the appeal of such a no-nonsense approach.
Hello, my name is Jen. And I'm a big dork.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Yum vs. Not Yum

I did a Google image search today for Beck, as in the guy whose music I have been listening to incessantly lately. I was looking for a picture to post here, a little visual to accompany my post about how much I love Beck, in every way--including that he is totally on my Laminated List, should he ever want to look me up and talk about me bearing any of his future children. I was looking for something like this:

...which, obviously, is yummy.

As I was scrolling through the results, I also saw this:

...which (no offense to the Beck family of Indiana) is really not that yummy. I mean, unless you also relish things like Wonder bread and white Zinfandel.

It sort of killed the mood... but Beck, if you're reading this, the offer still stands.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Half Baked

This is the 20 week mark in my pregnancy, which means that we are halfway to Baby Town! Here's a pic that my dad took with his cameraphone this weekend.
Obviously, we've been woefully lax in the Taking Photos of the Developing Baby Bump department... but we weren't very diligent with my first pegnancy either, so at least it's not because this child is less loved or less eagerly anticipated. It's more like, "Why would I want a lot of pictures floating around of me at my fattest?"
No, but seriously. I'm not really that vain--I just don't think much about documenting how I look on the outside. The important thing is, I feel fantastic most of the time, the baby is healthy, and we are all so excited about meeting him or her!
The due date is September 29. Can't wait!

Friday, May 11, 2007

His first time

Two nights ago
we went out to run an errand,
and he brought his purse.
It was the first time I heard him say
that he was
"running an errand,"
which sounds different spoken by a
32-month-old person.
We stopped at the DQ
and sat on the window ledge
sharing a Dilly Bar.
We strolled down the mall corridor
looking for the hobby shop
and the train that chugs in its window
until the photo booth stopped him
dead in his tracks.
"You wanna go in there?" he asked.
You bet I did.
It was as if he had been posing in photo booths
but it was only his first time.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Sharin' in the Rain

Okay, I know the images are a little...cloudy...but still, these are sweet shots of Arlo and his good buddy Piers sharing an umbrella in the rain downtown last Sunday afternoon.
Did I mention that I love Iowa City in springtime?

It's great to be outside again!

We are loving spring in Iowa City! Here's Arlo playing at the City Plaza (?) playground downtown by the public library.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Big Boy Bed

Arlo finally has his big boy bed now, and he couldn't be happier. This is how I found him the morning after his first night sleeping in the new bed (Monday morning). Just like the first time we laid him, as an infant, in his big ole crib, he looks so tiny and forlorn. And I wonder if he aligned himself across the headboard because it felt more like the crib that he's so accustomed to.

Also note the dual Sock Monkey motif--on the jammies and on the bed. Arlo's choice, of course--though the jammies preceded the sheet set by several months, we were lucky to come across the matching sheets at Target this weekend. I'm surprised you can even see him laying there, he's so well camouflaged.

Well, he slept all night without a fuss--though it did take a little longer to get him settled down at bedtime. All in all, he made the transition like a champ. We just hope that he won't have second thoughts when we bring the crib back out for the baby several months down the road.

On Tuesday night he slept vertically, though still eschewing the pillow and blankets. The step forward is that he allowed the pillow to remain on the bed. Baby steps.

Ted and I laughed about how soon the day will come that Arlo will be sprawled across this bed, snoring, with his big adolescent feet hanging off the end. Fifteen years? Looking at his dad, I'd say more like twelve.

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C'mon, now, you have to admit it. This is one fine specimen of boy beauty! He looks like he should be made into a fountain. This picture was taken two evenings ago, in between shifts of playing with the garden hose (or washing Mom and Dad's cars, if you ask him). I think he was practicing some moves from his "Super Tots" gymnastics class. Beautiful form, Arlo!

And yes, those are underpants. And no, he did not have an accident. Arlo is (dare I say it out loud???) making grand progress in the Art of Becoming Potty Trained. His favorite part is peeing while standing--he's just barely tall enough for the relevant "parts" to clear the toilet rim, and this is something of which he is infinitely proud.

p.s. Click on the flickr button on the right margin to see LOTS more pictures of The Boy and his latest pursuits.

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