Monday, August 28, 2006


I'm trying to get a thousand and one things done, and am suffering with guilt for not posting. So here goes, fast to the point (well, as much as I can ever be with my waffling problem), and as much as I can type in 3 minutes.

  • Have been busy with getting kids ready for school. I will have 3 kids in elementary school as of the 5th of Sept. K, 3rd and 5th.
  • Did I mention that I am also the new PTO co-president, so have been running around trying to get everything ready for the open-house (31st), booklets printed, magnets made, directory info gathered, and forms designed and handed out. Not the mention, the meetings.
  • I am also on the Cub Scout Committee, and have been busy planning the kickoff for this school year. Again, meetings.
  • Caleb started his second year of Tackle Football last week, and I have been running him to practices. Getting gear fitted and mouthpieces molded.
  • "E" decided to hit the terrible two's a few months early and has been tearing the place apart and destroying all in sight. e.g. managing to open sippy cup with chocolate milk in and pouring all over expensive sage green italian leather sofa (do not ask why with four children we would possess such a thing - I can only say in defense, that I believe that the smell of play-doh must be toxic and has permanently damaged our brains)
  • Squeezing in four kids worth of doctors appointments and shots before school starts
  • Shopping for school - finding the perfect backpack - not to big, not to small, sturdy enough
  • Same as above, but for shoes for kids
  • Declan's 8th birthday - involved an unplanned trip to Mall of America. No shopping took place (except for a cute Hanna Anderson dress for Maddie, but that doesn't count). We rode more rides than my stomach or back could handle. Admired the sharks in the aquarium and petted some sting-rays.
  • My parents are coming to visit from England on Friday. This means that I turn into a crazy person. Cleaning out every cupboard I own and dashing things off to Goodwill, washing down closet, reorganizing items (my mother critics everything in a way that causes me to act like a bratty teenager, so I try to counter that by having everything look lovely - it never works. But I try.
  • Friends birthday lunches .
  • Swatching. I have dug out some Dale Sisik yarn I had in the stash and have been busy swatching with it trying to figure out what I want to make out of it.
  • Last week I also received my new book "Aran Sweater Design" by Janet Szabo and Twists and Turns Newsletter that she publishes. Love it. The book is fantastic, I highly recommend it if you are an aran knitter. Check out her site -
  • While at Stitches I discovered that what I really loved was more textured knitting, mainly with cables. The first item I ever knit was an aran as a child. My grandmother thought they were the perfect item to learn how to knit with.
  • I have discovered in all this cleaning out that we have over 10 knitted arans in our house. Some by me, but quite a few from my mother for Caleb when he as a baby. They are still in perfect shape and have been used by each of the kids. Ethan is set for this winter with over 5 sweaters and cardi's ranging from traditional cream to blue and green.
That's it for now. Gotta run. Happy Blogiversary to Marji!

Friday, August 18, 2006

We were in Stitches - Part 1

Laughing was a large part of Stitches. It all started with Lily Chins class - Darting the Issue. Jae, Marji and myself had her class all day on Friday, and it was excellent. I think we all felt that we learned alot from it. I feel very comfortable with adjusting any sweater I'm knitting now, to add darts, especially shortrow ones. I know, you're impressed. Me, too!

However, I wasn't sure by the end of the day that I could handle Lily talking about her "Boobies" one more time. To be quite honest, I didn't actually think anybody really used the word "Boobies" anymore. By 4pm, I was about to stand up and ask her to call them a different name but thought it might be rude, so quickly slipped out of the class when it was finished.

She did an excellent job of handling the variety of knitting skills possessed by the students. By the end of the weekend, I was a little frustrated at the inability of people to read a class preview/description and what level of knitter one should be before signing up. Apparently, some people feel that if they've knitted one scarf in fuzzy lion brand yarn on size 13 needles, then they're an expert, despite the fact that the class description suggested that they be advanced knitters who have knit at least one sweater of their own design and one aran sweater.

Jae was apparently the muse for every teacher, and found herself being singled out because of her slender (no darts needed) figure. She even had teachers have the class point out why her shirt was too short, the wrong color and wrong pattern, and yet, still came out smiling. She was high on lace knitting though, so that might explain her constant smile.

Lace Knitting seemed to be the "in" thing of the weekend. More than one time, I almost had my eyes poked out with lace blocking pins. It was refreshing though after all the funky yarns of last year and many poncho wearers.

Marji and Jae made the weekend perfect. It was amazing how we instantly clicked and chatted away as though we had been friends for years. My biggest regret is that we didn't spend enough time just sitting, knitting and talking. Next year, I'll skip one of the shows, and some of the classes just to hang out and stitch with the girls.

Well, this has been a rather disjointed post, but I'm hurrying. It's Declan's 8th birthday tomorrow and I've got to get some stuff together for him.

BTW, marji has pics on her blog of our fun time together. I would like to note though, that I don't usually look (at least I hope I don't) so grey and blahh looking in real life.

More to come with details of yarn purchases.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Knackered from knitting

For those of you who don't speak "english", you'll have to google the meaning of the word knackered. It's an excellent word. One of the few true english words/terms that I have never been able to forget since moving to the US. For the record, some of the others are torch instead of flashlight, bap instead of hamburger bun, rubber instead of eraser, and calling the person driving the car that cuts me off a wanker instead of .... Well, a wanker is really the best word here.

Anyway, back to the topic of being knackered. I should really say that the discussion of knitting theory has me knackered as there was little kniiting that happened at stitches much to my frustration. I loved meeting marji and jae. We had a blast. We knit swatches. We laughed. We shopped. We discussed knitting. We all discussed what a total pratt (yes, another english word to google) that rick mondo-inappropriate-dragon is. He kept going on about drugs and lsd. I'd wager a guess that all the drugs he did during the 80's destroyed his ability to filter his inappropriate thought. He kept needling two little girls about smoking.

Other than that, I loved our time at stitches. Next time i'd take less classes and knit more, but am looking forward to the reunion next year.

I'm posting this from my treo and will have to post much more tomorrow with details of the classy marji and the amazingly good sporting jae. Not to mention the yummy shopping.

'til then - hugs to marji and jae (hope you feel better soon, jae).

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's Off to Stitches I Go

Oh I'm sorry! I know it's a bloody lame title, but it's the best I could do while trying to run around and get things done before I leave. I'm not actually leaving for Stitches until early Thursday morning, but have been helping my friend, so I have piles of laundry (anyone who has read my blog before, knows that this is a constant battle in my house), cooking a couple of gluten-free meals and snacks for my son, Declan, while I'm gone, and getting ready to go.

For the record, Steve is completely capable of cooking for the four kids, but admittedly he isn't used to cooking GF meals for Declan that the other three picky eating kids will like, so I decided to make it easier. It was that, or write out step by step instructions for Steve and it was easier to just whip up a couple meals.

I'm so looking forward to my classes, shopping and meeting Marji and Jae. It's going to be fab.

You know... there is still time for you all to get tickets and come play (yes, Carrie K, I am talking to you).

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Friends and Angels

Yesterday morning, I received a call from my friend that she had gone into early labor (she was 32 wks). She has 6 children at home ranging from 12 months to 11, and no family lives in the state. She said the kids were okay at home, but I picked up 3 of them (my other friend) took the other 3. I live pretty close to the hospital and one of her children, Maeli who is 5, has severe diabetes and had just had a new pump inserted and her sugar levels are all over the place. She is often on the border from going into a diabetic coma, so she has to be extremely closely monitored. So, it was a crazy day, checking her blood, having to quickly contact her dad and give her insulin/pump, snacks when her levels plummeted. I was nervous taking care of her, but she is truly such an angelic little girl. That sounds a little over the top, but if you met her you would understand. As I was checking her levels and poking her fingers and giving her shots, she would say "thank you Kim for taking such good care of me", "you're so nice to help me", "I like you Kim One-in-a-DeMillion (cute variation she has made up of my last name). She was being sickly sweet or putting on a show, this is how she is - all the time. As she is getting a painful shot in her stomach, through the tears she smiles and says thank you.

My friend had her baby at 4:15p and she is doing remarkably well for being 8 weeks early. She weighed 4lbs 4ozs and is incubated but stable. I'll admit to being a little more concerned about my friend who is in her early 40's and has a lot of health problems due to the pregnancy risks.

Before you think her too reckless, she was told she would never have children due to terrible scar tissue that had formed when she was in a near fatal car accident. 5 of the children are adopted, 3 having come from the same family and she was asked last year if she would take all 3 because they obviously didn't want to split them up and one of them had serious health issues. No sooner did they adopt them but they found out Mitzi was actually pregnant, and carried the baby to full term. Then 5 months later - she's unexpectedly pregnant again. This women is amazing and accepts everything that comes her way so gracefully. She is the epitome of unconditional love and is a bundle of energy.

When I first met Mitzi, I remember thinking to myself, that she was too hyper/nice/sweet and that people aren't really like that (I'm more from the bitchy/snarky/sarcastic garden variety). But I couldn't help but like her and enjoy her company, her perkiness was contagious.

After talking to her yesterday when she called in the middle of labor to check on the kids, she was her usual self (although understandably very scared for the baby) and actually was worrying that I was doing okay. See what I mean?!

I tell you all of this, because I'm grateful to have a friend who inspires me to be a better person and for the opportunity to spend time with such a family. I hugged my kids a little closer last night and felt more grateful for what I had. I feel that having friends in your life is such a blessing and you can never have too many of them. Especially not too many of ones like Mitzi, who make you want to be a better person.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

She was lost, but Now is Found!!

Originally posted late Thursday night August 3rd.

NOTE: This post has been edited from the original, as I was apparently out of mind when I wrote that last night. A day at the fair and taking meds that night, didn't help in my clarity of thought and ability to filter information. For those, who read the initial post, you'll know what I mean, thanks for bearing with the crazy ramblings.

Also, to anyone who received a strange comment to a posting on their blog - oops! sorry. I will try to be cleared of mind when commenting next time. Please forgive me.

Kimmmm's Back!!!!!

I've had the slew of tests and retests done, only to receive the diagnosis that I thought it was all along - Fibrosis. But now, at least, I have peace of mind.

The cysts are still hovering around and we're debating taking something to help reduce the size of them, but it's nothing to worry about. If they don't reduce in size, they'll perform surgery to remove them. I've had this same surgery a number of times now and find it pretty easy to bounce back from.

I took the kids to the Wisconsin Valley Fair today at 4pm for what I thought would be an 1 hour and a half - of course, that meant in reality, that we didn't leave there until 9pm. It was obviously longer than I planned, but the kids had so much fun. They got to go on tons of rides (as it was wristband day) and are still of an age that they enjoy seeing all the animals. They particulary enjoyed the poultry house, which freaks me out for some reason. Ever since I saw the movie "The Birds" I've been slightly paranoid that they're going to peck my eyes out. Ridiculous! I'm sure they're lovely little things. I even owned a budgie when I was a kid named "Joey" and he was a delightful little pet. So, I was trying really hard to act cool, calm and collected while walking through the poultry house, although I'm not sure I pulled it off, as I about jumped out of my skin when half of them started crowing and making a fuss. My kids just laughed, at the birds and me. At least I'm comic relief for them.

Steve doesn't like the fair at all, but acted much cooler than I did. He even took them on the ferris wheel. I think the motivation of Pork Chops on a stick helped in his eagerness to play superdad.

Caleb was at a friends house, so it was just Declan, Ethan, Madison and Celeste (Maddie's friend). I know it still sounds like a lot of kids, but they were very well behaved and made one of my least favorite activities almost enjoyable. Overall, it was very long, hot and humid, and I was desperate to go home and wash my hands, face and feet (especially feet - note: do not wear sandals to the fair next year). The music wasn't too bad - the band "Little River Band" was playing and were pretty good. I would have preferred to hear tomorrows music act - Chris Cagle.

I was amazed to hear that people go to the fair every year, for each day of it. They say that it's a family tradition to gorge on fair food all week. Ugghhh! Tons of unsupervised kids, lots of litter, it costs a fortune for the crap you get. It's definitely not quite my cup of tea. Yet, the food is very interesting, if not always edible:
Pork Chops on a Stick
Barbequed Turkey Legs (think Henry the VIII size)
Fried Dill Pickles on a stick
Cheesecake on a Stick
Cheese Curds
Fried Twinkie Rolls
Funell Cakes

I have lots to update, but am truly cream crackered so it will have to wait. Before I forget 7 days to Stitches - Woo Hoo! What? Do I sound excited? Knitting got slowed down quite a bit while waiting for results, but I did find my gift from my One Skein Secret Pal truly invaluable. After sitting in the hospital having tests all day monday, plus a couple of follow up scans over the next few days, it was a lifesaver. I sat and listened to a book I'd downloaded that was hilarious. I wanted something light and funny to distract me, nothing heavy, so I chose "Can you keep a secret?" by Sophie Kinsella. The fact that it's british helped in my comforting, as I thought of home and mum and dad while listening. The only side effect was that my english accent would return briefly after listening and started asking the kids if they'd fetch a nappy (diaper) so I could change Ethan's bum. The techs at the hospital did find it funny when I was laughing my head off while having a pelvic ultrasound. Big hugs out to OSSP for such a thoughtful and insightful gift.

Well, I desperately need to go to bed - I'm knackered. So I'm back on the blogging track and will post tomorrow with updates.

Love to all those who sent me well wishes while awaiting the news. It meant alot to know others cared. Love to all the knitting buds I've met and I look foward to many more time with you typing keys and clicking needles