WIP Wednesday! (Camo Edition)



Happy WIP Wednesday, my fellow crocheters/yarn enthusiasts!

This week I’m hard at work on my chevron afghan, but as I said before, I’m not going to post a picture of it every week, as that would be kind of pointless. Instead, this week I’m going to share with you a different project that’s been on and off my hook for awhile… my camo chevron afghan!

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I’m making this particular afghan for my father, since he’s never had a crocheted afghan of his own and he tends to get very cold in the winter.

I’m not going to lie, this project is definitely a challenge for me. For starters, I’m using Red Heart brand yarn (because it’s nearly impossible to find masculine colors in Caron Simply Soft or I Love This Yarn) and as most crafters know, certain skeins can be particularly rough on your hands. I find that I have to go rinse and lotion my hands every so often to keep them from getting yarn-burnt. And because the yarn is so thick and I’m crocheting through the back-loops (I know I’ve mentioned this before, it’s the reason that there are ridges on the blanket), I actually have to go back and manually weave in my ends instead of just crocheting over the tails like I usually do.

Despite this thing being a monster to work with, I’m actually pretty proud of the way it’s turning out. My dad is really impressed, and I know he’ll be happy once winter rolls around and he has something to keep him warm. As long as I can get it finished by then. I tend to work on this project when I run out of grape yarn for my main afghan… so it’s kind of slow going at the moment. I think I’m on stripe 3, so that means that I have 18 more stripes to go D:



Toddler Frustrations

I think the hardest part of having a toddler is the fact that they have SO much independence… yet you still have to do virtually everything for them. They don’t want to sit still long enough to eat, get their diaper changed (if they haven’t been potty-trained yet), get dressed, get their teeth brushed, get their hair brushed (or plaited or ribboned if you just so happen to have a girl), or anything that takes longer than thirty seconds. As the parent, you’re very much aware of how important these small things can be… you have enough life experience to know that skipping lunch will make for a hungry, cranky child later on, you know that brushing your teeth will keep them from rotting and falling out, you know that brushing your hair will keep it from knotting and tangling into an unmanageable mess, but a toddler doesn’t understand ANY of that. All they know is that you holding them down to brush their hair or sitting them down so they can eat lunch means that they’re losing out on valuable playtime.

I think that’s where the terrible two’s really come from (and believe me, that’s not a stage that I look forward to). I think that the toddler starts fighting for their own independence, but they see that they’re still really reliant on their parents, and that frustrates them. It would frustrate me too if I were them. Imagine being thirsty for your favorite apple juice, but when you tell your mother that you need something to drink, she brings out a cold glass of milk instead. How frustrating would it get after trying to communicate to her again and again that it’s the apple juice that you want, only it comes out wrong, and time and time again she brings out other beverages that you have no interest in. For someone who has little self-control and no concept of social behavior, throwing yourself in the floor would be a tempting way to let out your frustration.

It’s hard to be patient with a toddler, but it’s a learning experience. Sometimes it isn’t all about your frustration… you have to realize that they’re frustrated too.

Bad Morning

I am having a very bad morning.

I woke up in a pretty sour mood and I’m not entirely sure why… but it’s been a downhill battle since then. I took a shower and discovered that I STILL can’t get the purple dye off my skin (this makes day three of me walking around looking like I’ve been hit with a dozen paintballs), a fly landed in my fresh coffee, my son threw half of his breakfast in the floor and the other half in my lap.

So after I put my pants in the washer, I went and sat down in the livingroom, thinking that maybe some time with my hook and yarn would make me feel better. But do you know how much crocheting I’ve gotten done today? Like, maybe a dozen stitches… because my son has decided that he’s 100% done listening to me and he’s going to do whatever he wants. I’ve had to get onto him at least fifty times for doing everything he’s not supposed to do (touching the very expensive TV, crawling behind the livingroom chair, hiding underneath the end-table, pulling my iPod touches off the couch, trying to grab my crocheting out of my hand, touching the heater, etc)… and every time he disregards my warnings and gets himself in trouble, he acts like he’s absolutely shocked and heartbroken that I would dare punish him.

I don’t know what’s going on with him. He’s usually such a good boy… I guess he’s in a bad mood too. Or maybe he can sense my bad mood? Babies are pretty intuitive like that.

I’m looking forward to nap-time, that’s for sure. I need some time to sit down, eat, and clear my head before I absolutely lose my mind. Pray that I can make it to 12:30.

 

The Purple Nightmare

So yesterday my husband and I decided that we were going to dye my hair purple. And oh what an adventure THAT was.

For starters, I’ve always wanted to dye my hair a funky color. I couldn’t do it in high school because of the dress code and I couldn’t do it after I graduated because I was actively looking for a job… and then I was employed for a while. But now that I’m a stay-at-home mom, there’s been nothing stopping me… and when my husband surprised me with a box of Purple Passion hair color, I was ready to take the plunge.

I realize now that the whole thing was a mistake.

It’s not like I’ve never dyed my hair before. I’ve been putting highlights in my hair since I was eleven and outright dying it since I was fourteen. I bet I’ve colored my hair at home with boxed hair-dying kits at least thirty or forty times…. I’m definitely not a newbie to this game. My husband, however, is not quite an expert… and I needed his assistance to get the color in parts of my hair that I couldn’t see. Usually I have my dad help me with that part, but this was a bit of a complicated kit and he was afraid of messing it up.

Bleaching my hair was the easy part… we left the bleach on for an hour, and after I rinsed it out, my hair was pale blonde and ready to be purple-fied. My husband spent a good thirty minutes gently massaging the purple dye into my locks, and then after waiting another hour for it to set, I found myself in the shower once again. Let me just say… if you’ve never dyed your hair a dark color, it’s a PAIN. The dye is incredibly messy, and when you’re rinsing it out, it gets all over EVERYTHING. I had to rinse the entire shower out several times to keep all the soap from turning purple.

I knew as soon as I looked in the mirror that something was wrong. The top of my head was incredibly purple… but then, so were certain spots on my face where my husband had accidentally smeared the dye (and yes, I did put vaseline on my skin to protect it from staining… he just managed to get dye PAST the areas of vaseline). Then, to my horror, I realized that there was only a light dusting of purple on the rest of my hair! It literally looks like someone dumped a bucket of purple paint over my blonde head… I am absolutely horrified, unable to show my face in public out of fear of the weird glances and whispers that are sure to come.

So in conclusion… never let your husband dye your hair. Unless he really knows what he’s doing, and in that case, please point him in the direction of MY husband, who definitely needs some lessons.

Weekend Fun!

I’ve been so busy for the past couple of days that I’ve barely had time to catch my breath.

Friday morning, I had to take my son to the doctor because he was very sick. Turns out he had a stomach virus… I have no idea how he caught it, but it gave him some pretty severe diarrhea for a couple of days, making us both absolutely miserable (him more-so than me of course… but after the tenth or twentieth poopy diaper, I was starting to get a little bit sick of the whole thing). I got into an argument with his doctor (like I ALWAYS do… I have tried several times to get him into see a different doctor in the same office, but they always end up passing us back to Dr. Stupid. I swear, if it happens one more time, I’m going to put my foot down and say, “It’s either you find us a different doctor or we’re taking him somewhere else!) because she INSISTED that the 103 temperature that appeared when my son took Amox-K was simply a coincidence and in no way prevented them from giving him the antibiotic again. I was FURIOUS. It doesn’t matter what they think, I said NO, and NO means NO! If they give it to him without my consent, they’re going to get themselves SUED, and you can bet your bottom dollar that I won’t be giving my consent.

But anyway. They didn’t do anything for him this time, didn’t give him any medicine, didn’t even suggest anything that we could do… they were pretty much like, “Is he on the BRAT diet?” (the BRAT diet is a diet consisting of foods that usually stop diarreah… i.e. bananas, rice, apple sauce, and toast) and when I said yes, they were like, “Well that’s it. Just let it run it’s course.” So THAT whole adventure was a massive waste of time. But whatever.

Saturday my husband and I left the baby with my parents and went out of town for a little while. I was pretty frustrated at first because I had to sit in this reclusive little music store and watch my husband play guitars (something that bores the living crap out of me), but after he was finished, he took me to Hobby Lobby and bought me six skeins of yarn and a bamboo handled hook, so I made out in the end. Now I have enough yarn to almost finish the project I’m working on now, and enough to start a brand new project after I’m finished 🙂

We spent some time walking around the bookstore (I didn’t find anything really interesting, the crochet magazines this month are pretty much duds, nothing more than amigurumi and clothing patterns), then we ate dinner at Applebee’s (I had a rum punch, but shhh, don’t tell anyone), then we went and took a stroll through the baby toys (Christmas is in FOUR months! We’ve got to start coming up with ideas for Christmas presents!)… it was really nice to just get out for a while. I missed my son like crazy though… I was glad to peek at him through the bars of the crib before I went to sleep that night.

So it was a pretty eventful weekend! I hope you all had fun too… now to face a long and daunting week.

 

Good Qualities

Yesterday while she was visiting, my friend Dana complained to me that she absolutely despises her mother-in-law. Now this is not an uncommon complaint among girls my age (I myself have a complicated relationship with my MIL: see my post “Monster In Law”), but when I politely asked her to elaborate, her reason seemed… a bit nit-picky.

Apparently the woman is extremely religious, and this irritates the living crap out of Dana. And I really can’t feel any sympathy for her in that regard because a) I grew up in a super religious family (whereas Dana did not… her family is more of the “be yourself” free-spirit type) and it was very rarely a big deal, and b) she kind of knew what she was getting into when she decided to marry a Pentecostal man.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to trivialize anyone’s problems or make it seem like I just don’t care… but in all honesty, I find it difficult to feel sorry for any woman whose mother-in-law genuinely likes them and wants them to be with their son. As much as I hate people who try to force their beliefs on others, I really don’t see what the problem is. They usually get along, she just refuses to acknowledge that Dana isn’t a Christian. And honestly, I think that if Dana actually cared about keeping peace in the family, she could put on a façade for a couple of hours just to make everyone happy.

I think that people are a little too quick to decide that they don’t like someone… and then they refuse to let anything change their minds. Instead of saying, “oh, there’s something about this person that gets on my nerves, but they have a lot of good qualities too,” they just write them off as a bad person and leave it at that.

In the future, I’m going to try harder to find good things about the people I don’t like, that way I can feel like I’ve given them a fair chance before I decide to cut them loose. And I’m also going to try to be more tolerant of people who are outspoken about their religion because I know that they really do mean well, and they’re not trying to hurt someone by witnessing to them.

And it’s not going to kill you to listen to someone talk about God for a couple of minutes. Even if you don’t believe, it might just teach you something about faith, and that’s a quality that we can admire in everyone.

Old Friends

I realize that today is WIP Wednesday, but I haven’t had the time nor the patience to sit down and take pictures of my projects. My son has been very sick (diarrhea brought on by teething, he literally doesn’t even have time to completely digest his food before it comes back out again), plus two of my friends from college dropped by to visit, so I have been very, VERY busy.

I really did enjoy seeing my friends… I haven’t seen Dana since right after my son was born, and I haven’t seen Katherine since the last time we partied together (at least two years ago… my partying stopped shortly after my husband and I got together). But even though I love them both dearly, we’re still living completely different lives and I found it difficult to think of things to talk about. I pretty much just rambled and gauged their reactions. I could tell that they weren’t really interested in hearing funny stories about my child or complaints about married life, but that’s literally all I have to talk about… so anything I had to say just hung there in the open air, politely dismissed by those they were directed towards. Most of the conversation came from asking about their personal lives, but they’re pretty much doing the exact same thing that they were when I last saw them, so I couldn’t think of anything new to say in response.

My son didn’t enjoy having company. He cried nearly the entire time they were here, refused to eat (which isn’t good seeing as how he’s sick), refused to sleep (also not good), refused to pick his head up off my chest… I can tell they were both uncomfortable. Even when people say that they like toddlers, they usually mean that they like toddlers in small doses. They don’t know what to do when the toddler starts having issues.

So when they decided that it was time to leave, they told me that they were having lunch with a couple more of our friends on Sunday and invited me to come… and I politely declined. I’m sure that my parents would love to take my son to church with them, so finding a sitter isn’t an issue… but I just can’t handle anymore pity laughs for a while.

RIP Robin Williams

I’m sure that by now, everyone has heard about Robin Williams.

When I first found out, I was shocked. I was completely unaware of his personal life, of his struggle with drugs and depression, of his absolute misery… I guess I always assumed that because he was able to be so funny so easily, that he must have been happy and carefree. I guess I didn’t learn from Chris Farley that the funniest people are often the ones hurting the most.

For people my age, it’s a hard hit. We grew up with Robin Williams… he was an integral part of our childhood. The genie from Aladdin, the bat from Fern Gully (one of my absolute favorite movies when I was a child), the professor from Flubber (another one of those movies that I drove my mom crazy with, watching ten or twenty times in a row), the kind-hearted doctor from Patch Adams… anyone who grew up in the 90’s felt like this man was a part of their family. I don’t usually take celebrity deaths very hard, but this one really does hurt. And it’s not just the fact that he died, it’s the way he went out… he was found with a belt around his neck. He strangled himself to death. The man that brought us all endless joy as children was so miserable that he felt like dying was the only way to find relief.

Robin, I hope that you find a peace in death that you were unable to find in life. I hope you’re at ease now that you don’t have to fight with your own mind anymore. You were one of the greatest comedians who ever lived and we’re all going to miss you terribly. I pray that your family finds peace during this difficult time… because while your misery is over, theirs is just beginning.

For anyone who is currently contemplating suicide, know that this is not the way to go. If you need someone to talk to, the national suicide hotline is always open at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)… and I’m always here to listen too, just send me a message and I would love to give you my email address or skype username so we can talk. Suicide is not the answer, I’ve been there myself, and trust me, it does get better. You just have to give it time.

Church Feels

I took my son to church for the first time since Easter… and let’s just say that I didn’t have a good time.

There’s a lot that I could say about the matter, but I really don’t feel like going off on that much of a rant… and it’s pointless anyway, as there’s nothing I can do to change the way things are, and no one else seems to have a problem with it… so whatever. But I will say this… I don’t understand why some Christians make SUCH a big deal about HAVING to be in church.

I mean, if you want to go to church, great for you! If you need to be around other Christian people, if you need to experience that environment on a regular basis, or if there’s just something there that you can’t get at home, then by all means GO. But don’t make other people feel bad or make it out like you’re a much better Christian just because your butt is in a pew every Sunday. In the end, it literally doesn’t matter… your personal relationship with God is what’s going to save you, and if you’re going around bashing people because they don’t go to church, then you need to re-evaluate what kind of person you are. Because last time I checked, God wasn’t pushy. He’s more of the “come to me of your own freewill” type. And as far as talking to him goes, that is YOUR responsibility. You don’t need to be around other people to make that happen.

And really, it’s a people thing, not a God thing. Most of the problems I have with church stem from the fact that I just HATE being around other people. I have problems getting along with others and church is a very “hands on” kind of place, which is thoroughly unpleasant for someone who hates being touched. I get easily offended by comments that other people could generally just brush off. I don’t enjoy being a part of the congregation, and they often exclude me or make me feel like an outsider. All the moms are in their own little club and while everyone insists that it’s MY fault for not trying harder to be a part of things… when I have reached out towards them, they’ve kind of been polite and then moved on as though I never said anything.

I’m not trying to bash church or anything… I’m just frustrated. The last time I went, someone had printed out a bunch of fliers about how the people who were missing services were “interfering with everyone else’s worship” and essentially condemning them to hell. That’s the kind of thing that makes people (including me) not want to go back, no matter how good it is for their child to grow up around other Christian children.

 

Storms

I don’t think anything compares to the feeling that you get when you’re standing outside right before a thunderstorm… there’s a chill in the air, the wind is whipping around, you can almost feel the soft prickle of rain on your skin before it even has a chance to touch… it’s soothing.

I’ve never been threatened by thunderstorms. Even as a child, I loved to stand at the screen door and watch the rain come down in sheets, like my own personal water storm. Sometimes I would pretend that I could manipulate it… that I was some kind of divine being with the power to control water… that I could make it rain whenever I wanted.

In high school, I learned that most of my friends didn’t feel the same way about storms that I did. Whenever there was a tornado, they would herd us all into one of the bathrooms or into the empty hallway behind the gymnasium until the danger passed, and there in that confined space (which often smelled like adolescent body odor and too much Axe body spray), they would all huddle together and whimper like children, begging to go home to their mothers. I was never afraid. Sometimes my nerves were on edge (because a crowded room full of sniveling teenagers is no place for a claustrophobic), but the storm never bothered me. Let it rain. What’s the worst it could do? After a couple of hours the tornado warning would be over and they would let us go home, and as I waited for my grandparents to come pick me up, I would stand outside in the wind and enjoy the open space. Very few things feel as liberating… everyone else would huddle underneath the awning just in case it started raining again, so I had the whole front lawn to myself… it was private, personal. Free.

My husband is terrified of storms. Every time there’s bad weather, he refuses to leave the house. I’ve seen him break down over rain and wind, reduced to a huddled mass over a simple tornado siren. The weird part is that deep down… he’s just as fascinated by them as I am, if not more. I don’t know why he hides when the storm comes… but I know that he’s always the first one outside before it hits.

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