Show and Tell

So I was a bit frustrated with all I have to do, but last night was just not the night to get anything done. Nope. Last night I watched bad TV, put my feet up, and ate a lot of Kraft Mac&Cheese. Oh, I also took Scout for a walk, in my pajamas. Well, he wasn't wearing them, I was..nevermind.

It may have been because Phil was working, or perhaps because my little foray into Kohl's maternity section was soooooo depressing. And I want to know why are those clothes so nasty! Peak childbearing years for women these days seem to be the mid-30's, which I think is an age in which most women reach a better self-awareness, have created their own sense of style, and probably have a bit more in their pockets to spend on decently-manufactured clothing. So why is everything I get to pick from for the next four months made of 100% poly-rayon blends? If my body is going to change drastically why are seams and stitching so cheaply done? And why does the Motherhood clothing manufacturer think I want a velour sweatsuit?

Don't they notice that stores like Banana Republic and The Limited, who cater predominantly to women in my age-bracket do NOT stock their shelves with hideous bourbon-colored paisley tops? Do I buy pants that say PINK or PRINCESS across my butt? Do I slouch anymore? By 30 we all grow up a little (hopefully) learn to stand taller, have some dignity, and dress ourselves with a little pride.
Sweatsuits are for the gym, and I'm about as likely to go jump into a sculpting class as a rock-climbing competition right now, so spare me. I guess Kohl's maternity feels that pregnant women should be locked away in confinement, only to surface for food-shopping in their sloppy sweats, dragging their feet in loud flip-flops. I personally was hoping to show of my maternity glow, wearing some sparklies and elegant pants with at least a halfway decent drape. Dammit, I'm calling Nordstrom.

That's my friday rant. At this time I would like to bring your attention to the CUUUUTE buttons I picked up last weekend. Teeny little airplanes, rustic wooden leaves (and the stitch markers I whipped up from some leftover beads.)

Bender Update: Turbulence

My good old boyfriend Joe Bender is hitting the rapids today. Why, you ask? Well, when you get a lot of pressure at the dam, the result will be more turbulent waters (or so I learned at Zoar white water rafting in western MA). So my 'turbulence' is a result of putting too many things off for tomorrow. Now its time to buckle my PFD and take the plunge.

1)We have a big vacant master bedroom that needs to be de-wallpapered before my father-in-law can come in to fix it up.
2)We have a nursery that is half-painted. I'm also down to my last pair of pre-pregnant pants, and shamefully must admit to myself its time for elastic waistbands.
3) After a fun trip to Windsor Button last weekend, I came home with these gorgeous wooden buttons, shaped like leaves, for my baby raglan sweater. However, making buttonholes big enough on the raglan decreases has proven more difficult than a simple YO. Today, in between my legitimate work (believe it or not I actually do work) I need to find a pattern to assimilate into my own design..
4) Friends? Where are they? I need to set aside some serious QT for my buddies, because not everything in this world revolves around babies. Or knitting. Just everything in MY world.
5) October. Almost here. How the hell did that happen?

Loopy Wednesday

Ha ha! Rhinebeck is going to be a blast! I signed up this week to be a player in Blogger Bingo, so watch out! I am a fearless hunter who will be on the prowl, come hell or high water!
I decided not to be a square because right now I'd most likely be known as "Fields of Heather, WHO?" I peeked at Stitchy's list of participants and see there are a ton of bloggers who will be squares that I can't wait to meet. Being a newbie, I think this year I will really enjoy making new friends and finding new bloggers to learn from. So let the games begin!

I also worked on my brother's care package this weekend, and decided to go the frivolous route. Mom is sending home-made brownies and neccesities to comfort him. I'm sending toys, movies, and assorted crack-ups, such as windup rubber bugs the size of your hand that scurry across the floor, and of course the greatest action figure in my mind, Joe Bender.

Joe is pretty cool, and I like to keep him around, but he would make a very bad boyfriend. As you can see, sometimes he grows his hair way too long, and he obviously spend a fortune on sporting goods. In his collection is hockey, football, baseball gear, assorted skiing and snowboarding equipment. He recently splurged on a sporty little kayak. Oh, and apparently he doesn't bother with the PFD. So unfortunately our relationship would not last. I will rest my hopes with good old G.I. Joe.

Again, no camera handy

While my mother may remain blogless, I apparently from time to time am cameraless. What a terrible weekend to leave my camera at work! Saturday with friends at a cheezy Journey/Def Leppard concert, sunday in Boston at the Knit-Out-what was I thinking?! Fajitas & 'Ritas with new blogger friends, building up excitement for Winebeck, I mean, Rhinebeck was purty cool. Attacking Windsor Button in a frenzy-also purty neat. Tomorrow I will be able to post pictures of my new stash, and some of the goodies I snagged at the Knit-Out on the Common yesterday.

To be honest, I'm still feelin' a bit special because my LYS was there to represent, and the ladies from Duxbury's Wool Basket Yarns even recognized me. I'm proud to be such a yarn-shop haunt. More tomorrow, as I am sagging under the weight of a million hearings, and goody-goody that I am, volunteered to adopt a few extra just to be helpful. And they took me up on it.


Needles of Fire!

I picked up a Debbie Bliss publication, the Baby Knits Book, this week and went to town. I had seen her hooded cable sweater pattern online and just couldn't get it out of my head! After I got the book home I read that it would require about 6 skeins of cotton on something like a size 3 needle. Hmm... how about I just put that off a little longer. Sounds like the perfect project for next Christmas.

But, to have something fun to whip up, I nabbed a few hanks of Plymouth Yarn's Suri Merino (55% alpaca, 45% merino) in a soft sage color to make the raglan sweater. My half-stitched idea, however, is to combine this with another pattern so I can have a 2-button closure on the shoulder. After all, who wants to pull a fitted rollneck collar over a baby's head? Debbie should have though of that... If anyone has any ideas let me know, otherwise I'm just going to play it by ear.
The baby Pea Pod set is so fun to make. I'm working on the cap right now, and possibly matching socks if I have enough cashmerino left over. This sunday at the Knit Out I will need to hit Windsor Button for some nifty little buttons.

On a side note, I peeked through Knitting Nature and spotted the coolest pattern for woolen women's tams, and thought this might be a fun idea for Christmas gifts. I know I would wear it, and it's simple enough that I could make enough for my friends. Does anyone have a similar pattern they could share?

My Favorite Guys...5 years later

(With the exception of my wonderful dad).

Here's to Ed, Kevin, and Mr. Phil-the best lookin' guys I know. I love them, I love them I love them! Kevin is happily married to Michelle, five+ years and counting. They were wed within the same year that Phil and I said our "I do's". To this day we are still close friends. I cheekily call Ed 'my other husband' but to be honest these guys are more than just friends-they are family.

And this next picture just grabbed me, as Phil was walking with a little guy to show off the jeep, it hit me that this might be identical to the way things will be just a few years from now, right down to the little blonde boy in cargo pants, no less!

I'm the bad Mommy....

So I was at a lovely baptism yesterday for our friends-the kind of friends that live close by, you love them dearly, but for some crazy reason you don't see often enough. You know those? Well, at the party afterwards us mommies-to-be flocked together for a few minutes like we always do, to exchange info (how far along? have any names yet? who's your doctor? etc) and compare tummies. Of course, we love new mommies too, and they always join us to share the joy. They also join us to share a lot of No-no's. For this reason, I'm a little wary of first-time moms. They always have a strict and sensitive list of things you MUST not do or touch when you're pregnant. They carry a bottle of antibacterial gel wherever they go, and are acutely talented at pointing out your boo-boos publicly.

I have a lot of those.

So we were sharing with a friend who had just announced her pregnancy and talking about food, of course, and how funny it is (not really) to say goodbye to the world of sushi, beer, and rare meats. She wasn't too happy about the caffeine restriction and was admitting she still gave in often to diet coke, and I was confessing the same, when the 'fresh off the delivery table' mom joined in and began expounding on her lengthy list of no-no's. "And NEVER drink those protein waters," she bellowed and looked pointedly at me. I froze, a bottle of Vitamin Water poised at my lips. Somewhere on the patio a glass broke, the music skipped, and a sweet italian grandmother slid to the ground in a faint.

I smiled as innocently as I could, and slowly lowered the bottle, certain that I would be taken to the ground by a SWAT team if I dared another sip, based on the consternation I saw on SuperMom's face. Aw, hell. Sometimes they take it so seriously you feel they have created their own philosophy, and you have ventured into the Parish of Perfect Motherhood without respecting their principles. By sucking down a water beverage fortified with electrolytes I had just tread upon her ethos. Thinking of the cold cuts accidentally eaten the day before I blushed.

Then little baby Rand from down below gave me a big boot, like some silent confirmation that all was alright. I hadn't messed up anything seriously so far. So maybe "What to Expect When You're Expecting" is gathering dust under my coffeetable. Imagine the looks on their faces if they knew we were going camping in late october in new hampshire, and that I planned on not bathing for four days *gasp* and would definitely NOT bring any antibacterial gel! Mercy!

On a side note- I hope to see you at the Boston Knit-Out on sunday-I am so excited! Just please don't point and scream if you see me with a bottle of gatorade...

Doggie Time

This Friday I have nothing witty or interesting to say, so I'll just babble about what is foremost on my mind.

You see, we have this fantastic dog-not a pet, really. He's more of a companion, protector, therapist, and heated blanket rolled into one. That is the wonderful-ness we call Scout. He's big (about 120 lbs) and hairy, has the most gentle amber eyes. On the farm we always had one or two just like him rolling around, and they always had the run of the house. They were under the table during dinner, followed us as we did our chores, slept closely by our sides. My childhood pet, Hugo is credited with rescuing me from a vicious neighborhood dog and a possibly rabid woodchuck-I swear. He also took on a few cars head-on and lived to tell the tale. He was a toughie.

It has become natural for me to awake and listen for anything unusual if I hear Scout get up and check the front window in the middle of the night. While I do respect the leash law, it is the dog's primary purpose to protect and alert us to danger-how is this possible if they are confined or not by our side constantly? So its a family habit to have a big lug next to us at all times, like a shadow.

Well, I am reluctant to accept another dog this time, but I know it is for the best. Phil has brought up the subject of bringing the next generation of canine into our house, so that some of the Scout-ness may rub off and be perpetuated. The only way I can be open to this is to think of another big, dumb, gentle giant by my side, so Phil has found the American Mastiff as our next buddy (unless fate steps in like it did with Scout). One look at the photos at the Flying W Farms website, and I saw tiny children with their arms wrapped around these big brutes. I thought about Hugo, and his big ugly face and his gentle nature. We have a long time to wait before the next litter is ready, so I can get used to the idea (and brace myself for a puppy and the chewed shoes, poops and problems they bring), but its still a hard fact to swallow. But maybe Scout will really like being the alpha dog around the house...we'll see.

So sad...

I was driving to work this morning, singing to myself as usual, when I realized that I knew every word to "Blasphemous Rumours."

Now, I have absolutely nothing against Depeche Mode, but I began to wonder what the hell was wrong with me. In my high school years I experienced a serious case of teen angst for some reason, and my behavior included all of the following: listening to angry music such as Fugazi and Operation Ivy, dying my hair with Manic Panic into a furious shade of crimson, briefly dating a strange grim boy who wore combat boots and spoke rarely except to blurt out his love of knives (but he was a wellesley boy, so don't worry, mom and dad!), a brief foray into the fashion world of doc martens and strangely patterned tights that I would scurrilously collect at Harvard Square thrift shops, and a habit of name-dropping characters from literary masterpieces.

I tried to create a brooding dark soul of myself, and probably drove my parents crazy in the process. I even scared the Paysons, my dorm parents, once or twice with a serious crying jag or weeklong silences.

Well, at least now I know how well teenagers can act! What a drama queen-in reality I am nothing like that. Yes, the 17-year old Heather was just railing against the fact that she was bound to be yet another petite and bubbly blonde. I tried as hard as I could, but you just can't deny who you really are. Perky, yup. Exhuberant, yup. Excessively silly, and prone to foot-in-mouth moments? Oh dear god, all the time. Oh well. I said goodbye to the dark, brooding soul a long time ago, and it's only snippets of music that bring those days back. Its just funny that I had to go to such an extreme-especially when never in my life have I ever had anything to be brooding and dark about whatsoever.....

If You Can't Beat Them...

So there you have it- my first football game ever. I was so excited I barely notice how disappointing the first half was. But my wonderful husband, with little to no nagging, brought me to see the Pats play in their season-opener against Buffalo. Right here I caught the kickoff, not bad considering we had seats in the highest section of the stadium. It was amazing enough to see the game from such a phenomenal view. It turned out to be the perfect day, and I have the sunburn to prove it...

We also got there in the morning to tailgate, meet up with all Phil's friends, and have some beer (or in my case, water). I knew this was going to be fun, but really had no clue what a great day it was going to be. We packed some food, drinks and camp chairs and met up with our friends for grilling, good times, and to talk it up before and after the game. (You also have to love knowing the right people in order to get free parking just steps away from the stadium.)

And yes, I brought my knitting. I didn't bring it with me, as checking any type of belongings to a game is a pain in the ***, but there was plenty of time after the game, in between all the good food to catch up on the pea pod set. I finished the body and moved on to the sleeves. Pretty easy, considering I really only spent about a half hour of the day on it, since my hands were usually full of food!

But here's the body, ready for sleeves, collar, and itty bitty buttons. Its so soft and cuddly-I can't wait to finish it. This week I'll be on the hunt for a pullver baby sweater, in a kind of eddie bauer style, something to match what his daddy wears... perhaps in a yummy light brown or taupe so I don't get sick of pastel blue.

With Octoberfest approaching and my favorite Maine brewers announcing their fall and winter specials, i would like to take this moment to step away from knitting (I'm back in stockinette-stitch hell again anyways) and make a quick nod to beer. I was reading Men's Journal last night (I read the men's mags, its true but they have better health tips and fascinating articles than Cosmo. Last month they had a great article about climbing Everest) and was tickled to find the editor-in-chief had reviewed beers across the nation and listed his favorites. This included SmuttyNose IPA from New Hampshire (yummy), and Allagash Interlude (sounds yummy) from Maine.

Your uber-preggie bloghostess is also a beer aficionado, and has three or four times turned her nose up at Boston's Harpoon fest (yuck) in favor of the Maine Brewer's Fest in Portland, and once for the Vermont version. I coasted through the web this morning for the brews I remember the most fondly and came up with the following yummy mix:

Sea Dog had several brews to imbibe, haha. And I often saved them for last, as they favor the fruity, sweet and wheaty flavors that can be hard to tolerate early in the evening. But after a few honey porters, this was always a great chaser. I remember the first sample being passed around our group and being found much to our liking. Of course, there wasn't much we didn't like at that point...

Gritty McDuff's Black Fly Stout. All I can remember is that this beer is bad-ass, and it takes one to drink it. Its like a wave of warm molasses hitting your gullet, and usually requires some time to finish. If I could review this beer in the way I would a wine, I would call it a 'dramatic' beer. Not something you take very lightly.

All of Casco Bay's beer are good for the soul. The red ale or Riptide is no different. I would drink this any day, to cool off and relax, or with a big heavy meal. It wasn't a heavy beer, had no great depth or character to it. Well, some character, but nothing that would linger bitterly on your tongue, like most reds.

Geary's IPA, however, was a pale ale that HAD a lot of character. I have to finish my post with this beer, because whenever I am in doubt, I go with Geary's.

Well, that's it for today. I will return to work and savor my memories from those beer-sloshed autumn nights, where we would cram into a cab like a pack of sardines and wobble down to Gritty's pub for food, more beer, and silly games of Pass the Pigs. The Good ole' days....

Just a pea in the pod...

No way! You can't see any of the details in this picture!

Well, here's the Pea Pod sweater so far, ready to split into the sleeves and neckline as of last night. There are three different patterns here, from the ribbing, the leaf lace, to the seed stitch, so I'm pretty enthralled. No case of knit-boredom this time. (It also helps that this is a teensy-weensy garment!) That baby cashmerino also goes a long way. I'm just finishing up the first skein, with three more waiting in the wings for the matching hat. Perhaps booties too? We'll see..

I'm also shocked at you knit-bloggers for your shameless and reckless behaviors! Who would have thought knit- & spin-enthusiasts could be so wild! Rhinebeck is not too far away, and I'm hearing plans of partying, drinking, and debauchery for the weekend. Damn, looks like I picked the wrong time to be pregnant...

Great Expectations

Yesterday was beautiful. I sat on my back porch for at least an hour watching the sailboats head up to the channel. The day before? Not so good. But I'm new to coastal living, so I still find beauty even on the bad days. These are pictures of the the point on sunday...

I do hope, that all your weekends otherwise were as lovely as mine. I spent plenty of time with Mr., picked up three gallons of paint for the nursery, cleaned out what has previously been called 'the junk room' for the project, and of course skipped down on saturday to the Wool Basket and picked up four skeins of Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino in blue.

I'm already plowing through the pea pod baby set pattern from the Interweave Knits website with its pretty falling leaves lace design, which means I have finally learned how to read a pattern from a chart. Very exciting.

But on a deeper note, I thought a lot about having a little boy, the area we live in, and the kind of people we are. It makes me wonder what he will be like. There are so many factors when you look at parenting, education, and environment. Will he be creative? Will he be a plymouth beach bum? Will he be outgoing, fearless, and social like us? Or will he be more of an introvert-shy, and close to only a select few friends (like I used to be.)

What will he bring to our beach on saturdays? A fishing pole? A surfboard? Or an easel? I do hope he's more interested in fly-fishing than flirting, but I'm getting ahead of myself here. (Please dear God let him be disinterested in teenage girls) But having watched two younger brothers grow into young men, I know that we cannot predict who this little boy will be. It will just have to be another one of our little adventures. I just can't wait to meet him (and thank him for kicking up a storm last night at about 2 AM.)