Christmas Booty

Hee hee! My lovely sister-in-law gave me this for Christmas:
Reason #1 why I love this book? It is adventurous. I love playing with patterns, adjusting a neckline here, or adding a vent or seam there, in case you haven't noticed by now. The sweaters in this book allow for variations in guage, yarn, texture, and pattern. After you peek through this book for a minute or two you come up with some original ideas. My favorite is the "everything but the kitchen sink" sweater.

It shows you how (in theory) to take a mishmosh of beautiful yarns and make a pullover worthy of wearing to work, or as the pictures suggest, sitting in a sunlit cafe, wearing seductive liquid eyeliner, sipping a latte. I feel hopeful that if I could complete such a sweater I would most definitely leave work early one day. I would go to Algiers in Cambridge and enjoy a decadent coffee while posing pretty-as-a-picture in my own handiwork. (Reality check: knit with washable wool and dark colors that may be resistant to the staining qualities of baby spit-up. Eyeliner is a no-go, as sleepless nights result in the frequent rubbing of one's eyes.)

Reason #2? It is young and hip. The tops are cute and fitted without being sleezo. If I wanted to knit a potato sack I could knit a tube with sleeves with my eyes closed. In the middle of a Jethro Tull concert. High. No thanks-I'd like to make something more flattering. Someone decided that I would be prone to gaining weight in my lower body rather than mid- or upper-, so I need to work with what God gave me. Baggy pants are good. Baggy tops are out of the question.

Well, enough of the rambling-with the holidays, work pressure, and 4 weeks or less to go before babakins arrives, my brain is mush.

I smuggled a basketball...

Well, back to work. I hope you all had wonderful weekends. I intend to spend the next two days reading about all of it on other blogs in detail! As for us, it was a quiet and peaceful holiday. More anticipatory, really. As we finished opening gifts and sorting through our stocking stuffers (I am sooo spoiled) we enjoyed our last quiet Christmas morning together, knowing the holiday would have a whole new meaning for us next year. For years it has been 'you, me, and Scout makes three' as our little domestic unit and we have been very content! However, having had a taste of what being a parent brings, we know there has been something missing.

But we made great use of the time, and enjoyed some peace and quiet together. We also got in our last sporting event before little Rand arrives:

So there you have it: we saw the Sox back in month 3 and the Patriots season-opener in September. We watched the Bruins take the ice in October, and now have seen the Celtics take the court in December. This baby has been to everything but soccer before he's even been born!

Toys in Babeland

I've been catching some criticism for my lack of knitting lately, and for this I am so sorry! I try to plug away at the baby cardigan, but find myself frozen in mid-purl in front of the latest episode of Nip Tuck or Top Chef. Or standing in front of the cutting board slicing up dozens of biscotti that I will never eat.
Or the latest: organizing the nursery and packing, unpacking, and re-packing the hospital bag. None of this make sense. None of this is typical Heather. I've always been more of a go-go-go kind of person, but completely lacking in organizational skills. Now I'm a sit-sit-eatacookie person who spends an hour sorting baby socks and onesies by size.
Mr finds it hilarious, and turns to me quite often to prompt, "knit, woman, knit!" and makes whipping sounds when he finds me frozen, #4 needles stuck in mid-air. I'd make a great entry in the world's first knitting wax-museum.

One Week Before Xmas

If you worked at my office you'd have a piece of my mocha-almond or cranberry (chocolate-dipped) biscotti right now. To which there is no recipe. Its all in my head. many things...
Well, having a baby changes your life entirely, so I have heard over and over again. Yes, I get it. None of these changes are unwelcome.
Except one.
The hard top is on the Jeep.
Since the day we bought it, the ragtop has been my best friend. And the hard top we removed that same day has been ruminating somewhere on the farm. Last night I finally said goodbye to the freedom of zippered windows, flapping roofs, icy cold morning drives, and said hello to my first concession of motherhood. Automobile comfort and safety.
They still won't get me to give up my heels!

Adam's First Christmas

Can ours be this cute? Oh please please? This is baby Adam in his PJ's, one of the latest additions to our Kappa Delta Phi circle of friends (but more like family.)

Oh, how things have changed. Last saturday as we all gathered for a Christmas party, we gingerly stepped around the house to avoid all the wandering and tottering kids one of us was muttering, "What in the world are we going to do in ten years when we all have crabby teenagers..."
We won't think of that now. I know it will happen in the blink of an eye (and that scares me!), but for now just look at the little darling! Merry Christmas Adam, Joseph, Lauren, and Nicholas. We will have a new playmate for you soon!

London and a Silly Hat yesterday I was reminiscing about London. In all the places we have lived and visited, I have never felt so at home. And with all the places on this earth I wish to see, returning there tops my list. Even if I had to choose between jolly ol' England or being the first knitter in space...well, London would win. I would move there permanently if given the choice. (Sorry Boston.)

Traveling is remarkable to me because it packs more surprises than a cheap horror movie. One such occasion that I will never forget was a quick dinner at this funky spot on Drury Lane. We were going to see 'My Fair Lady'and needed to eat first, and were drawn to this cute little wooden door surrounded by a lush little garden. Stepping inside, we found a great long room, decorated something between the theme of Arabian Nights and a high school theatre prop room. The place was called Sarastro, and was supposed to be almost a theatrical dining experience, but it was quiet that night, or maybe we were very early (they eat very late in that city, usually after the show). So we were led to a little nook where we were suited on golden batik-printed cusions and served a half-way decent mediterranean meal.

We were almost done when Mr. decided to hit the restroom. He came back with a stunned look on his face, and after a moment he murmured, "there is porn in the bathroom. ALL OVER the walls."
I couldn't contain myself, and picturing walls pasted with pages from smutty magazines, of course made a mad rush to see for myself. (Later we checked a guide of area restaurants and found that this place was recommended for families. Sweet.) Who wouldn't?

The ladies room as well was painted wall to wall with a fresco of little devils having their way with plump little nymphs. In every possible position. Quite happily too. On every inch of wall. You couldn't find a safe place to keep your eyes, as even while you washed your hands, the mirror above reflected dozens of wicked little figures having the time of their lives, while you cursed having to rush off to a rated G musical....Screamingly funny.

I could have told you that...*sigh*

You Belong in London

A little old fashioned, and a little modern.
A little traditional, and a little bit punk rock.
A unique woman like you needs a city that offers everything.
No wonder you and London will get along so well.

Happy Birthday Blogless Sharon!!!!

I happen to have the most wonderful mother on earth- she's free-spirited, intelligent, sweet, loving, thoughtful (and zany like me.) And today is her birthday!!! So I thought I would share some of the wonderful memories and gags that come to mind. (And sorry for stealing the photo, but it just captures her so well.)

1) She is kind and graceful- with her influence even her rough and tumble sons have grown up to be sensitive and giving young men.
2) She spent years organizing a team of women and going to schools to teach children about the dangers of drug abuse.
3) When she enters a room she brings grace and dignity. I love how my mother takes pride in herself-unlike stories I heard from other kids, I was never embarassed to be caught in public with my mom. In fact, when she was a field-trip chaperone, all the 'cool' kids vied to be in her group. Afterwards, the 'cool' kids would give me the proverbial pat on the back and talk about how great my mom was, or perhaps something funny she did or said.
4) She would do anything for us kids. She would sew any Halloween costume we so desired, or spend hours creating an authentic gladiator costume for Ed's latin class (haha, Ed. Do you watch movies about gladiators?) She would wake at 4AM for hockey practice. She would drive to the college library for desperately-needed and last-minute research.
5) She's so creative, off-beat, and takes everything in stride, whether it be having an alligator chase her and a stroller in the everglades, having a team of oxen unexpectedly dropped off at the farm, or coming home to hear chainsaw being started up in her bedroom...
6) She can't say no to a puppy or kitten. Or racoon. Or flying squirrel.

7) Mom is beautiful. Without even trying.

Fuzzy Baby Boggy Brain

I'm sorry for the bland post, but my camera is home. It's getting harder to accomplish even the ordinary tasks, and as for keeping up routine? Even worse. I'm not totally disorganized yet, but in small stages I can see it happening. First came the physical signs; walking trash to the basement went first. Then I became complete helpless in the cleaning department, and the house began looking a bit like a used-clothing drive. I could sort things into piles, but physically the follow-through just-wasn't-a-happenin'.

Now here's the catch-I can shop for three different types of sugar, whip up a batch biscotti, improvise a double-boiler and dip them in chocolate, but I can't find my way to the sock drawer.

Shortly thereafter came the signs of mental weakness- I have always been terrible with the telephone, but now I forget my cell phone even exists. If you want to reach me, send a carrier pigeon, write it in the sky, or shoot an arrow, but don't call! If I don't write it down in my calendar, I even forget to shower.

Again, its bizarre that I can knit half a dozen cabled hats, but if you ask me to call the vet the scheduled a Scout-checkup, I can't find enough time!

Just an update on Dave and the furniture situation- the pieces did not show up thursday as I was told. However, after receiving a visit from Mr. they called just hours later to notify us the furniture had arrived. It must have been magic.

Hats Off!

I finished another fuzzy and soft cable beanie last night, and am reluctant to let it go! But I really did want to participate in the Knit Unto Others KAL, so I gathered all my finished hats for one last goodbye.

Since none of these are made in a washable wool, they wouldn't be too suitable for children. Instead, I'm sending them off to St. Francis House in Boston to be distributed through their means to the homeless.
About five years ago I accompanied our church youth group to an overnight there and helped with their clothing distribution the next morning. It was quite an experience-I wish I had the pictures with me. Ever since then, I think of those people we met when we have cold winter nights, as we learned its quite commonplace for the homeless to freeze to death on particularly harsh nights. It's a little 'put yourself in someone else's shoes,' moment that I have all the time. Imagine struggling to survive a harsh city in the winter, while people in warm coats, with warm offices and apartments are all around you. It makes my heart break.

Man + Beer + Turkey = FUN

Are you tired of hearing about the Fab 5 yet? Tough. Until tomorrow, when I hopefully finish my Knit Unto Others project (late late late!) and another soft cabled beanie from the Stitch Cafe pattern, you must hear about the Fabulous Five. And my fabulous man too.

Drill weekend is always a chance for the Fab 5 to have a get-together, and nothing cheers me up better than having my pals over. So I gladly hosted a dinner friday night, and enlisted the help of Mr. I had only asked him to throw a turkey in the oven since I would be at work. Instead, he be-decked the house, whipped up gourmet stuffing and potatoes, brined and roasted a turkey, cleaned up, and waited for us to arrive.

I rolled onto our street after work and spotted from 50 yards away the twinkling lights that framed our picture window. Inside this window now stood two glittering iconic holiday figures; a fluffy snowman and Santa himself, waving. At 4 feet high, they stand in our window to greet everyone who turns down our street in their gaudy glittery-ness. Eyes and mouth wide open in shock, I entered our house where Mr. calmly looked at me and said, "I have waited ALL DAY to see that look on your face."

Well, after some tasty turkey and fixins, including stuffed acorn squash, homemade cranberry sauce, corn muffins, white wine and pumpkin cheesecake squares (thanks ladies!) we have a silly photo in front of the infamous window....

Me Vs. Raging Hormones

"Hello! Baby Furniture Warehouse-Dave speaking."

"Hi Dave, I'm calling to see if my order of furniture came in today as planned."

"Hold on a moment please..."

hmmmm....da da da the girl from ipanema.....

"Hello, Mrs Rand? They couldn't fit it on the truck today."

Oh really a%*wipe. I spent all morning organizing onesies and rattles to make space because you said it would be here. "Oh that's too bad Dave. When do think the dressers will be there for us to pickup?"

"Well, with the snow I don't think we'll have them monday either."

Great. GREAT! I'm about to POP any minute now, but driving through sleet in a little Jeep is no problem for me, but it is for two grown men in a tractor trailer?

"Oh, that's the latest you said it would take-so my husband had planned to be there today or tomorrow to get them."

"Sorry Mrs. Rand, but I'd have to say they should be in on thursday."

Oh go screw yourself. I'm going to go make four dozen cookies and a pumpkin pie, I'm so damn frustrated.

"Thanks Dave, have a nice day!"

I just wanted to give you all a little insight on the evil that lurks within....