Random Acts of Cuteness

A lot of new moms such as myself have been posting about their frustrations with a newborn, or the difficulties of pregnancy and labor. Every one I read with understanding and share their troubles and tribulations. It has not been easy. And now, back at work, I encounter new challenges. It takes all my strength just to leave the house for work, and leave him in the loving arms of a close relative. Not to mention having to pump at work, be up several times a night for feedings, and still be perky. Ugh.
But we have all said over and over that it is worth all the trouble, tears, and pain. And so it is, especially when they are so darn cute.

Or when you get to torture them right back.
Behold Senor Pantalones. Also known as Baby Panthead:

Red is the New Black

I have always thought it takes a strong woman to pull off red lipstick. And that woman has never been me. Sure, I have a tendency towards red shoes. But when it comes to a bold statement in fashion or other personal presentation I have fallen very short of such bravery.
But when a woman spends two months in practical seclusion, suddenly a stranger to the fun life of fine dining and nightspots, gains and loses 30 pounds, and becomes personal chef to an infant, she falls even further from being able to express her femininity. After all, its hard to feel pretty when you can't fit back into your favorite skinny jeans. Or when you cut short your daily beauty routine to nurse on the couch. Blow-dry and straight-iron? Are you kidding me?
But during one feeding session, the shampoo commercial depicting a harried mother caught my eye. It stated that 89% of mothers admitting to letting themselves go. My husband looked over at me, took in my current disarray of sloppy hair, unmade face, and wide-open wrinkled shirt, and laughed. I laughed with him, but that sealed the deal.
Friday I walked into my salon and gave Nicole, my goddess with scissors, a serious order. With precision she removed my soccer-mom blonde shaggy 'do. Three hours later, a woman getting that same soccer-mom style was admiring Nicole's work. "When she came in here, she was a blonde," replied my stylist.
"NO WAY," gaped Mrs. Partial-Foil Soccer Mom.
So, I am very sorry not to share a picture of my new look, but I can only describe it as very very red. As soon as I can get someone to take my picture, you will see true fashion bravery...

The Walrus and the Carpenter

The policeman and the secretary
walked on the beach one day
To stretch their legs and see the mess
the storm had tossed astray
They watched the gulls swirl in the wind
and waves crash with a rage
While counting all the crabs and clams
and even an errant lobster cage...
After the storm we wrapped up the baby and took the dog for a walk on the beach. True to the tales we have heard, the second low tide after a storm is a seafood-lovers fantasy. Washed up in the tidal pools were tons of steamers, razor clams, and sea clams. Our jogging stroller quickly became a conduit for a stash of foraged clams (and if anyone reading this is an employee of the town or environmental police I deny deny deny!). That night I whipped up a dinner of stuffed clams just like Mom used to make for us. Yet another reward of living by the beach!
I also started over on the sleeves for EBTKS. The long sleeves looked chunky, so I decided to try a cap- or short-sleeve. Like I have said before, Lisa's patterns are well written and easy to play with, so I cast on 52 stitches and proceeded with a 2X2 ribbing for just an inch, worked in stockinette for another in, and then started the decreases. The neckline should just have 4 extra stitches, which will work out just fine. Hopefully. AND I'll be finished faster..heehe.

Widdle Hands..

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Have a great weekend!

Burn Baby Burn

Slowly but surely I have been working away at my cabled wristwarmers. The wool my mother spun is easy to work with, but will be very very warm! Had I the motivation to start over I would probably ease up the twist on the cable, and do only one cable on each arm instead of three, as the yarn is very dense. I'm going to find great use for these, as they will be perfect for those days where it is to warm to wear a winter coat, but too cool in the morning to get away without one. More pictures to come as I slog along between feedings and diaper changes...
I've been thinking a lot about the EBTKS sweater. As I have been working on the first sleeve, I'm not a big fan of the bulkiness-it works for the body, but the last thing I need right now are chunky-lookin' arms. So with a little bit of experimentation, I may attempt to short-sleeve it. Still mulling it over though...

In the meantime I wanted to share the dinner and a show we received at New Tokyo over the weekend.

I love hibachi...

Spring Misgivings

Mom & Dad's landscaping crew hard at work:
I will not hate myself. I pledge to love myself the way I am, and take good care of myself. I will not be obsessed with losing weight, or fitting back into last year's denim mini.

March 20th will mark the first day of Spring, a season that I am very fond of because in the past it has meant flounder fishing, maple syrup collecting, and spring lambs. It also marks a period of self-loathing that begins when I spot the first skinny college girls down at the waterfront in their cute little spring outfits. Being a 30-something isn't that bad, but it is hard to face the fact that I will never be a little chickadee again. And I'm sick-I think about it every year.
Luckily, I have my Dad. Being a physician, outdoorsman, and all around down-to-earth guy he is fantastic to talk to about health, fitness, and general well-being. Last weekend we talked about the importance of good nutrition, and treating one's body well. He brought me back to reality: it doesn't matter if we look anything like celebrities or the models from our favorite magazines. It is important, however, to keep in shape and make sure we are in the best of health for the years to come. Looking back, I'm pretty sure we have this chat every spring. It helps.
So I will not stress about fitting into my swimsuit, or foolishly consider tanning. I will, however, keep that bowl on the kitchen table brimming with fruit. And do my 45 minutes of cardio. And love myself just the way I am.
And for a bit of knitting eye-candy, the Kaia sweater my mother (AKA Blogless Sharon) knit for the little guy:

Cookie Mojo

You're looking at my attempt at cookie magic. Look closely at these cookies and you will see them dotted with tropical fishies...

Islamorada is proclaimed to be the sportfishing capital of the US. I bring this up because lately it has been proposed as the destination of the next in-law family vacation. Color me psyched. Four or five years ago I was obsessed with fishing!
I've had to find excuses to miss the last three family vacations because they kept going to the same spot: Disney. Now I won't go into any great explanation about why I detest Disney, because I know a lot of lovers of the place. But what I can say is that they have somehow discovered my most beloved place on earth and turned it into an amusement park hotel. Behold Portofino, Disney-style:

Portofino is the kind of place that is so small and so off the beaten path that it has become an very exclusive getaway for italian gentlemen and their uber-young mistresses. I loved it, but unfortunately cannot afford to skip off to $500/night vacations all the time, so it will have to live on in my memory. The genuine article:


With Love From Iraq

And there has been genuine silliness this week. It just goes to show that you cannot put three siblings in a room together without experiencing the following:

bad eating habits
constant laughter
dirty jokes
nipple tweaking

We are really happy to have my little bro home for two weeks, safe and sound and least for now. Tuesday, over dinner and beers we caught up on lost time, introduced him to his nephew, and let ourselves relax for just a little while, now that he is back on American soil.

Mum, or Blogless Sharon as you may know her, will hopefully enjoy two weeks of sleep now that her youngest is home from the war. She also shared some of her homespun with me:

This is destined to be the super-long cabled wristwarmers from the Lion brand yarns website that are worthy of being worn with a vintage style white blouse to my office this spring. I have had WAY too much time on my hands! Too much time reading fashion mags, watching episodes of 'What Not to Wear' and too much MTV. I can tell you with certainty that this has affected my self-image in a negative way. It has also caused an obsession with fashion that I cannot afford! So I have concocted a 'style' of my own that you could describe as vintage/Newbury St boutique. Actually, it is something closer to 'what does TJMaxx and Marshalls have this week?'

While I absolutely love the array of colors from all the aquisitions you made at SPA (I'll be there next year I swear) my favorite will always be the natural shades of wool in their oatmeal-speckled yumminess. I think it reminds me of the irish cable sweaters that I love so much...