Friday, October 30, 2009

We get this all the time...

I had lunch with a friend today who I don't see that often. She is awesome, and gets Pablo, but she tends to forget his... abilities.

Today they had this conversation:

The setup: She was telling me about a new relationship that is lots of fun but probably not such a good idea since he is alarmingly like someone she once dated. Pablo seemed engrossed in a book, so we thought we were safe. I laughingly reminded her about the story about walking down the street and falling in the same hole over and over again (an analogy for repeating the same mistake over and over).

Of course, Pablo cut in to investigate this hole.

him: What hole did you fall in?

her: Well, when you fall in a hole, you have to climb back out and sometimes it takes a long time.

him: No, you were talking about a metaphor. That hole?

her, prevaricating: Ummm.... well I keep falling in a hole by underestimating you every time I see you!

him, pausing and looking her in the eye: I bet that's really hard for you.

Yeah, sometimes it's hard for us all, mister!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Failure and SUCCESS!

Knitting patterns should NOT start with the words: make a short row toe by the method of your choosing. No, they really shouldn't. I give a little credit for linking to a website that shows you how, but only half credit because the instructions were seriously confusing and had to be abandoned.

Also knitting patterns should not contain a knitting chart that goes from bottom to top. Who reads stuff from bottom to top?! Crazy. Now, maybe I just don't know and it is standard, but it is not right. Again, I will give some credit for the rows being numbered. But only half as much because I didn't see them until row 6, so clearly they weren't obvious enough for the (exhausted) average knitter.

And finally, it should be really obvious in knitting when you screw up so that you can rip out and go back. You should not rip out, painstakingly get everything back on the needles without dropping stitches, only to find that you need to rip out 2 more rows. It is not fair.

Not the pattern's fault tho so no points off the pattern.

Now on to brighter news: I finished the baby's skirt, and it is awesome, if I do say so myself. (Also, this was not the pattern I had the problems with.) No idea why it came out looking like the shot was taken in the 70s, but you get the idea.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Do you ever suspect reincarnation?

Pablo and Beebz were singing in the bathtub, like you do. She would sing TEE HEE HEE, and he would answer, WE ARE ALL MADE OF CHI! Again and again. I was thinking how cool it was that someone, probably my partner, had talked to him about chi. And how cool it is that he understood it, and felt so connected by it.

So I got curious. I asked, "Hey buddy, who told you about chi?"


"Nobody? Really? No one has talked about it to you?"


Hmmm. I then asked, " What is chi?"

"Chi is everything. It is all we are."

"Really? That's interesting, since you are talking about something that is our life force, so everything is chi, in a way." I was kind of freaked out at this point, but I was trying to act nonchalant."

Then he said, "Other people know about chi?"

"Yeah, buddy. People dedicate their lives to helping people by helping their chi. You know, like K, our acupuncturist."

He was silent for a few minutes, then finally said, "Mine is different. How do you spell yours?"

"Chi or Xi, depending on who you ask."

"Well then," he replied, looking smug, "mine is spelled chiee."

Saturday, October 24, 2009


At dinner. To set the scene, Pablo's favorite way to eat is to name each bite an element by atomic number. This is especially awesome when he eats a PBJ, since there are 25 bites, when cut as he wishes. We were discussing elements and what would happen if specific elements were mixed together. And then he said this.

him: There is helium and hydrogen and lithium in stars, helium and oxygen in ballons....

us: uh huh...

him: And I know if you add Helium and Boron you get a store!

us: um... huh?

him: Yeah! Stores are made of helium and boron.

us: that doesn't sound right, buddy.

him: well, I know it makes a grocery store....

us: um... huh?

him: Why else would our grocery store be called HeB?

Man, did that scammer have us going.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Snobby pinky syndrome

Yes, I admit it. I have snobby pinky syndrome and this lace edging is the reason why. What? You haven't heard of it? weird. Probably because I invented it myself. Which is pretty impressive considering how much my pinky hurts. Let me back up.

I have snobby pinkies. You know, the kind that stick out when you pick up your tea cup? Right. I first noticed this as a freshman in high school, when I went on a school trip to New York city to see Broadway shows. As part of our indoctrination into loving the Big Apple, we ate at Tavern on the Green, thought we were SOOOO cool, and sat around, holding our pinkies up and snickering.

I didn't seem to have trouble remembering to hold up my pinky. I must have aristocratic roots.

Or a deformity.

Or something.

Two days ago, the pinky on my right hand started hurting when it is lifted away from its friends (ie, in snobby pinky pose). This is odd, because I am left handed. My right pinky is not something I use on a regular basis. Who does?! Then I realized: knitting. It has to be knitting. More specifically, knitting while holding up my right pinky finger. Ridiculous, right?

Yesterday, it hurt to hold anything in my right hand. Driving the car hurt. Knitting, strangely, didn't hurt TOO badly. Yeah, yeah. I know.

Today, it is worse. But the thing is, I am so close to finishing this awesome skirt for Beebz! I can't stand letting it sit there, when I only have the lace edging to go. It is the stinking edging that is doing it, so the sooner I am done the better I will feel, right? Right?! Only 3/4 of it is left to do....

Monday, October 19, 2009

another trip to the farm...

We went to see my folks over the weekend. As always, we had a great time. However, I saw things that made me think.

First, boy is there a difference between how I think kids should be treated versus what they think. I mean way more than the typical "good boy" nonsense that so gets on my nerves. My son was told that if he didn't eat his dinner, his granddaddy would be soooo sad because he had worked so hard to make a yummy meal. Oy. It went on a while. There were other things said, violent things, that my family has always taken for granted (I'm gonna kill you, said jokingly, but not funny at ALL to me these days). There were judgments, forgotten now, that left me with that ever present feeling of having to watch the kids more closely, knowing that on step "out of line" will be viewed as just that, rather than a process of kids learning to be grownups, eventually.

Second, I got so clear that my mom just HAS to be raising animals. It is her passion. Right now it is chickens. I am glad it makes her happy. And it was fun to pet the chicks. Maybe she will whittle down her miniature horse collection in favor of chickens. Probably not, considering she has 2 shetland babies in the barn.

Finally, (and this one puts all the other nonsense in perspective) my parents are starting to look older. They are still in great shape, but lately I have been more aware of mortality, and seeing my parents while I am in that frame of mind scared me. I think of all the ways I wish we could connect and know we never will (not necessarily from my lack of trying, trust me). I think of all the things they know that they take for granted that I could never learn if I just dedicated my life of following them around for a few years being a nuisance. I think of missing them, some day, irrevocably. I mean, I grieve now, when all that happens is that they don't initiate contact with me or come to visit my family. I cannot imagine the depth of missing them when they are not a phone call away.

Great. Now I am crying. That wasn't supposed to happen! Phooey.

We really did have a great trip. It just made me kind of thoughtful. And kind of sad.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

So soxy!

I finished my yoga socks, and boy are they AWESOME! I really love them, and even more important, they gave me the courage to knit a real sock.

I used the non-pattern in Knitting Rules by the Yarn Harlot herself. If course, I don't have a picture. Yet. This one I will get up soon. really. promise? Anyway, the Yarn Harlot, aka Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, explains how to make things without actual patterns (nice for me, since I kind of think of patterns as cheating....). She takes the parts of the sock (or hat, scarf, or shawl) and breaks them down into components so that anyone can make whatever kind of fun sock et al that they want. I am so excited! Also, a big shout out to LD for loaning me the book!!

I am currently working on a hat for the baby. I am really psyched about it, since I am winging the pattern. Ah, the thrill (and fear) of flying without a map... I will let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Teasin' Mama

The baby has decided to be a comic. She now leaves the room, takes off all her clothes (not at all unusual), puts them back on backwards (very unusual), comes out, strikes a pose, and says, "Teasin' Mama!!" and then doubles over with laughter.

Another favorite is to jump up and run to the potty, yelling, "POOP! POOP!" all the way there, taking off all her clothes, sitting on the potty, grunting as if she hasn't pooped in a year, and then shouting, "Teasin' Mama!!" Strange, I thought I was a few years away from potty humor again. sigh.

She is just so darned cute that I can't help but laugh with her.

She is currently telling her poor brother that he is different animals just to annoy him and get him to say, "NO! I am NOT a lion!" It cracks me up every time because he is so serious as he answers her, as if she really thinks he is a lion. Ha. Teasin' Pablo.

Monday, October 5, 2009

A quandry

As I progress in this whole homeschooling adventure, I am still trying to find my place in the whole philosophy of it. Unschooling is beautiful as a concept, but am I somehow failing my child by not providing some "structure"? Is it just that I still can't see out of the box of what school "should" look like? This year is a gimme anyway, since he is only 5, but I really want to find my comfort level on this spectrum.

I know I don't want to do some school at home concept, since that removes pretty much all that is positive about homeschooling and adds in tons of power struggles to get in the way of a loving relationship. (It may work beautifully in some families, but not mine!) But what does "structure" mean, exactly? I think of it as learning to be part of a whole, to consider more than just oneself in the larger context, to temporarily disregard our own needs in favor of the group. Is it just about learning to stand in line and do what you are told, regardless of what you want and need? Does self-imposed structure count toward building the skills needed to tolerate becoming part of a larger whole? Is this even something to "teach"? Or is it something that comes with being in a family and having siblings and dealing with the inevitably competing needs that evolve? Does it really matter whether he can sit at a desk at age 5? For that matter should 5 year olds be expected to sit at desks for hours a day?!

Well, you can see that I am completely confused by the whole thing. I want to be a free wheeling unschooler... but I don't really trust the process. I know, that is pretty ironic coming from a parent who has a 5 year old doing 3rd grade stuff without even trying to "teach" him anything.... Maybe I just don't know my place in unschooling. Having structure gives me something to DO.

I guess this is like breastfeeding... the baby is on a nurse-a-thon this week, and I was bemoaning my inability to do anything productive. A friend pointed out that I was being productive: producing milk, nourishing my child with food, love and presence. I told her it didn't FEEL productive. She rolled her eyes.

I guess it comes down to whether I want Pablo's schooling to be his experience, or my own. The structure is for me. It would give me something to do, to hold up when people are asking me how homeschooling is going, etc. It is becoming clear as I write this that none of that is for Pablo. He will learn, at his pace, no matter what I do. It us up to me how much I impose on him, how much I shape it to be what I think it should be.

Crap, am I back to ANOTHER place in my life where I just have to have faith?! Just when I thought I had this faith thing down (in very small amounts), here it comes again to slap me in the face. sigh.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Obsession with needles...

Mr. Man needed a new hat for winter, so I let him pick the pattern and the yarn. He wanted a newsboy cap, and I think he chose well! I am working on a matching scarf, but since I am obsessed with knitting more than crochet, I can't say I am making much progress. He kept acting silly for the camera, but I tried my best to get a couple of good shots!

In knitting news, I finished the baby's dress, and am so excited! Well excited and disappointed. I was using old yarn, trying to get rid of the yarn I used before becoming a big yarn snob. So it doesn't hang the way I would like, and once it came out, I think it looks a big Jesus-like. She should be out wandering in a desert in this outfit. I think I will make it again in better colors, with better yarn. The pattern is so awesome, she will end up with 20 of these, I think! This is supposed to be her solstice dress, tho, so I think the spiritual connotation works out just fine. ( I also added a little inset piece in front so it loses the plunging neckline affect. But I couldn't get another pic without her obsessing over the camera AGAIN....)

"O, follow me, ye who despair. Together we will find cookies." She could be the next messiah!