how i knit to stay sane

June 11, 2013

Resolution

Filed under: Uncategorized — K @ 12:45 am

We all make resolutions.  Whether its a resolve to do something more, or less, or better. Start something, end something.  I generally don’t go for the whole New Year’s Resolutions custom.  I prefer to think I am strong enough to, when I have a plan, enact immediately, instead of waiting for an arbitrary date.  ‘Cause, you know, that always works.  :snicker:  

 

But this year was different!  I had a plan!  It was perfect!  I was going to make a sweater a month — just imagine!  12 sweaters for every time of the year, every situation.  Hey, this was an idea I could get behind!  And so doable!  I’m a fast knitter, right?  

 

Since I’m just now getting into blogging again (come to think of it, wasn’t writing here a resolution a few years ago?), I don’t have many things to blog about.  So, you’ll just have to contain your excitement until I post next, to share my progress.  But I’ll give you a hint about how well it’s going — at least I’m still going to the gym….   ;)

June 7, 2013

Hi Again!

Filed under: Duke,family,Healthy Living,seizures,Tumor — K @ 10:37 pm
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I wrote the post below without realizing what an abrupt exit I made from my blog 3 years ago.  This whole long post that I feel the need to share with you (assuming anyone of my old reading still check in….) is predicated on what in the interim.  When I was 26 weeks preggers, early December ’10, I had an “episode”.  I could only describe it as “I would expect a seizure to be, except it was only on one side of my body.  It turns out that, as not everybody knows, not all seizures are the fall-on-floor jerking.  As opposed that, a grande mal seizure, I had a petite mal seizure, which can affect only one side or part of your body, or even manifest in barely noticeable tics.  Long story short, I was diagnosed with a tennis ball sized brain tumor. (If you are morbidly interested, and heck, I would be!, I started another blog to post in at first when I processing my feelings.  The address is meandmytumor.wordpress.com).   The rest of this post is to catch you up, and let you that I’m getting back into knitting, and I have a goal to do more writing and sharing here. 

I know, I know, it’s been a long time. Before I bore you with my own life, though, i have a friend who was just diagnosed with a brain tumor — Katie, a 30 year old mother with three young children. I’d like to requests prayers and positive thoughts for this young family. I know first hand how comforting they are.

As for me, a lot’s been going on, and I haven’t felt like writing here much. No worries, though — I’ve several visits at Duke, and Dr. Desjardin always gives me my version of the best news possible — no growth.

I’ve been in a funk for a while. Since, like, the last time I wrote. I don’t term it depression — it definitely wasn’t clinical, and I feel like my little blue period was more a pity party, rather than a true depression. I did what had to do, as far as chores, child care, etc., but I really didn’t go out of my way to do anything extra — I am supremely lucky to have a husband who is self-employed and can be home when I need him, and a nanny, Meagan (she’s a new addition to the family, because I can’t be alone with the kids, or for transportation. And we love her!)

Anyway, I realized during a convo with my mom (meaning, she pointed out to me, sternly, but we’re gonna gloss over that, mmkay?) that I was sort waiting to die. And not in a good “Bucket List” “Last Holiday” kinda way. And as I became more detached mentally, I got more detached physically and emotionally as well. I mean, if you asked me if I loved my kids, a resounding yes! But I was content to watch them play. Well, I still am, but now I’m a lot more likely to teach them a new game, or get down on the floor to play with them. I watch a lot less tv, and I do, I’m doing something else — I used to knit CONSTANTLY! After the seizures started, it was really hard. I had to retrain my right hand. And if a seizure struck at precisely the wrong time, I would lose several stitches, get frustrated, and throw the needles aside and cry.

Around 4 months ago, Mom and I had this little ass-kicking convo, and I decided that she was right, I had been living like I had a death sentence, and was closing into myself instead of sharing what was left of my life with my most important people, with love and exuberance. I decided to start taking better care of myself physically, and have been following a healthy diet, and working out with a personal trainer, Daniel (If you’re local, I can hook you up! Brandon and I both really like him.)

I’ve lost some weight, gained some muscle, dropped a clothing size, can wear swimsuits I never thought I would again. I chase my kids, climb with them at the park, take long walks on the beach with my hubby (in the Bahamas, no less!), and gotten involved with my knitting again — not just doing the stitches, but really loving the deciding on a pattern, finding the yarn, knitting half the project, discovering that none of it’s right…. I don’t know, but I’ve always loved that! I’ve stopped living like I was dying, and started living — really LIVING!

September 24, 2010

Good-bye and Hello

Filed under: Uncategorized — K @ 12:10 pm

When all the other American 16 year-olds were getting their drivers’ licenses and pestering their parents for cars, I was living in Europe with my family, and completely ignoring 4-wheeled transportation in favor of trains, buses, metros, and trams.  When I moved back to the U.S., though, I didn’t find the public transportation to be nearly as useful, and finally learned to drive at the ripe old age of 21.  My parents helped me decide on a car and learn some of the ins-and-outs of buying a car, and helped me with the payments in those early days of car ownership (thanks again, guys!)  I can still remember some of the cars we looked at — mostly used, a few new.  I finally settled on a new 1999Saturn SL-2, a basic 4 door sedan that wasn’t going to break any speed or style records, but would be fine for all my needs.  I remember thinking, when I first was considering that car, “This will probably be my main car for the next 5-10 years.  Can I picture it in front of my first home?  Can I picture driving home from work to a husband?  Can I picture buckling a little car seat into the back, and an even-littler baby into it?  Is it possible that some day, I’ll drive that baby to school in it?”

I am actually crying now as I think about that day, and remember having those first thoughts.  I’m happy to say that, even though I hadn’t met my husband at that time (that would happen a year and a half later), all of those things happened in that car.  I named her Sadie.

In early 2001, I packed Sadie to the gills and drove it with my mom to Walt Disney World.  After a few days, Mom flew home.  Sadie and I stayed for the next 7 months, where we met, dated, and fell in love with Brandon and his Nissan 240SX (It didn’t have a name, to the best of my knowledge…..  I have enough trouble getting him to help name our kids, so I’m sure the car didn’t fare well in that respect).  In December of that same year, Sadie was packed up again, and driven across the country from Tennessee to Utah, with Brandon and his brother Jordan as our “chaperone” escorting me to my new home (for 4 years) in Utah.

In 2002, Brandon and I got married and drove Sadie to Walt Disney World again to spend time over the summer working in the theme parks again.

In 2003, Sadie took us to the doctor where we got to see a miracle — another heartbeat besides my own in my body.

In 2004, that much-anticipated car seat got buckled in as tight as we could make it, and our first child went for his first ride in my first car.

In 2005, we welcomed another stranger’s heartbeat at another doctor’s appointment early in the year.  And late that year, we welcomed a new rider in the car shortly before Christmas — yes, that was when and where our cat chose us.  Catie also made it in under-the-wire.  We brought her home from the hospital on New Year’s Eve, with Sadie protectively housing two small carseats, two small bodies in the backseat.

In 2006, Sadie went across the country for her last time.  She took our family to Maryland for the adventure of a lifetime — when Brandon took the plunge to start working from home, and we’ve never looked back!

In 2007, Sadie was relegated to second-car status — we bought a family van, and Sadie became the car we used when just one of us needed to make an outing without the whole family.  I spent many a happy evening going to yarn shops and knitting nights with her, though, so please don’t think she was ignored!

In 2008, I made another kind of outing where it was just me — you guessed it!  Another doctor’s appt, another heartbeat!  Sadie and I were giddy about us being the only two who knew for that drive home!

In 2009, Sadie made her last long trip.  Brandon and she drove to our new home — our first house! — in Georgia.  This time, she was left out in the cold, while the rest of the family and the van welcomed home Andrew.  She was one of the last to meet him, when he was already a few months old.

In 2010, Sadie had some exciting moments, though!  She and Brandon spent a lot of quality time together on several trips back and forth to Atlanta as Brandon started a new business venture.  She held me as I cried when I came back from the doctor, this time confirming a miscarriage.  She took us for a much-needed weekend away, while the kids stayed home with babysitters.  She also fulfilled one of the last hopes I had for her — she has made several trips back and forth to take our first child to school.

As you’ve probably guessed, though, it’s time to say good-bye to Sadie.  I’m crying as I think about her and all the great moments I’ve we’ve had with her.  It’s amazing for me to look back to when I got her, and to think about how much my life has changed in the past 11 years!  Unfortunately, on Brandon’s last trip back from Atlanta with her, her engine started making a knocking sound.  We hoped it was just a belt, or something else easily fixable, but a trip to the mechanic confirmed the worst, and Saturns are notorious for the high cost involved in replacing the engine block.  We’ve decided to trade her in towards a new (to us!) car.  Because of her engine trouble and her age, she won’t be sold to anyone else, so I wanted to mourn her as she deserves.  I have hope that she’ll at least get to be an “organ donor” and that part of her will continue to live on, helping to keep other families safe and happy.

And the fact that I can’t stop crying right now?  Well, it’s probably partly because of hormones.  For those who don’t know, Sadie did get to take me for one more of her favorite trips — to confirm one more healthy heartbeat joining our family.  She won’t be here to meet our new baby next March, but I’m glad she was there to begin the journey with me.  Rest in Peace, Sadie (and no, if the new baby’s a girl, her name won’t be Sadie!)

July 16, 2010

Family Update

Filed under: Uncategorized — K @ 10:17 am
Noah is turning 6 in a few days.  He lost his first tooth last month, and is starting Kindergarten next month.  (I actually just got a note from his school inviting us to an ice cream social and meet-and-greet with his teacher!)  He is out-going, loves to tell stories, and reads very well.  He loves to sit down to read a book to his brother and sister, and they love it, too!  I’ve really been loving his willingness to help around the house lately — he empties the dishwasher (well, at least, everything that goes in the lower cabinets!) and helps to sort laundry.
Catie is also reading, but she would rather be writing.  She is very good at drawing, and could keep herself happy if the only thing she were allowed to play with all day were her crayons.  She enjoys designing personalized greeting cards, as well.  She and Noah both love playing games, and happily play together every day during “quiet time” while their brother is napping.  Her hair is long enough for a ponytail, and she loves to spend time playing with her hair, and being the “girly-girl” — definitely the princess to her brothers!
Drew is developing such a great personality.  He’s always looking for trouble, but at the same time, he tries so hard to please.  Just this morning, he kept heading for things he isn’t allowed to play with — dishes on the counter, electrical sockets, Daddy’s computer.  After me telling him, “No-no!” each time, he wandered around with his hands clasped behind his back, looking at all the forbidden pleasures, saying, “No-no.  No-no.  No-no.”  He blows kisses, plays peek-a-boo, and chases his brother and sister around the house.  He loves to give hugs, and will tackle anyone with their arms out, waiting!  Catie frequently gets knocked over by his exuberance!

May 10, 2010

Mother’s Day

Filed under: Uncategorized — K @ 10:49 am

Last week, I lost something special to me.  Only my closest friends and family knew I had it, and when I lost it, I lost some of my innocence about the life I’m living.  I wanted to stay in bed and cry for days, but I didn’t.  I had family and friends to put on a happy face for.  And I had special family and special friends that I didn’t have to wear a happy face for.

The Saturday before Mother’s Day, Brandon asked if I wanted to go strawberry picking.  I didn’t.  I wanted to send him out with the kids, and stay at home alone and sulk.  But I knew he was worried about me, and he wanted me to be happy — not just wearing a happy face, but really happy.  I remembered the Saturday before Mother’s Day last year, when we went strawberry picking, and then I spent Mother’s Day learning how to can homemade jams.

I remembered not being able to bend over much because of still recovering from my c-section 2 months before, and, oh yeah, 12 lbs of dead weight tied to my front!  I remembered the giggles of my older children as they ran up and down the aisles of the strawberry fields, looking for plump berries, and their red faces as they sampled a berry, with juice running down their chins and dripping onto their shirts.

We packed up the car and headed out.  I enjoyed making new memories this year, with my kids all a year older.  We had many of the same moments — berry tasting, running, giggling — and some new ones.  (Remember the 12 lbs of dead weight from last year?  Now about 25 lbs of VERY active weight!)

I spent Mother’s Day evening canning jam (8 pts. so far!) and experimenting with a pint of apple jelly, too!  (The experiment was a success, so after the baby goes down for his nap, I’m heading back to the kitchen to make more, and also some grape jelly!)

I didn’t forget my sorrow, but I was mostly happy, most of the weekend.  And now that sorrow seems a little farther away.  A little less likely to invade my every thought.  And maybe, just maybe, I have a little of my innocence back.

March 27, 2010

Is this thing on?

Filed under: Uncategorized — K @ 7:24 am

I have been remembering to come here lately, and I’ve even started several posts, but none of them seems to come to fruition!  I just don’t feel like I have anything special to say….

I guess I’ll let some yarn speak for itself!  Palindrome scarves (7 total, because I wanted one for me!) made from squishable Misti Alpaca Chunky in a rainbow of earthy tones — They were taken to Utah on my husband’s recent ski/visiting family trip, where his parents and his co-workers each got their pick of a scarf guaranteed to fill the gap between skin and collar, and keep them toasty!

March 17, 2010

Updating — family and goals

Filed under: Uncategorized — K @ 6:03 pm

Yeah…. so it’s been a while, huh?  I’ve had a fair amount going on in my life, so here’s the check-in post since last we chatted.

Drew (the “baby”) turned 1 on Saturday — can you believe it?!?  My little failure-to-thrive child is closing in fast on 30 lbs (we’ll get the exact at his 1 year check-up on Friday).  He is healthy, eating well, learning new things, and learning to stand (about 5 seconds is his record so far, but he always makes the choice to sit down — it doesn’t take him by surprise as he falls!)  He also had his check-in with his urologist today, and — drum roll, please! — he is showing improvement!  His doctor wants to see him in another year, but that’s a long way off!

Catie is amusing me more every day — she has always had an active imagination, but lately, it’s been wild!  I’d worry about Multiple Personality Disorder, if she didn’t make the conscious decision to switch personas.  She has about 8 different ones right now, and they each have favorite outfits, colors, and meals.  One, she explained to me, is a 10-year-old Katie.  No, that’s not a typo.  That Katie spells her name with a “K”.  She also, I swear, has neater handwriting.  I really don’t understand it, but I think it’s delightful and hilarious.

Noah has started Kindergarten through k12 — it’s an amazing program, and I am thrilled to be a participant.  If you haven’t heard of this, it’s a state-funded home-school program.  I love the curriculum, and I love helping Noah learn.  If you’ve ever thought of home-schooling, I encourage you to check it out.  And if you want more information for your consideration, or simply out of curiosity, please feel free to leave a comment here, and I’ll respond to you.  (If you don’t want your comment made public, say so in the comment, and I won’t approve it for publishing.)

I am knitting again, and doing other crafts, too.  I’ll try to remember to hop on here more often and share some of my projects!  A friend’s blog features a “What I Made Wednesday”, so I’m going to try to share something each week.  I am also going to start updating my knitmeter again, so I can track my mileage.  I have a goal to knit a half-marathon (13.1 miles) this year — anyone with me?

December 22, 2009

What I’ve been working on

Filed under: Uncategorized — K @ 9:14 pm

I’ll give you a hint — pretty much everything but knitting!  I have been pretty busy with honing my baking skills (I got a Nutrimill as an early Christmas gift, so I’ve been learning how to bake with freshly milled whole wheat flour), scrapbooking (have you ever seen exploding boxes?!?), and sewing (Simplicity has patterns for really cute rag quilts that my kids are getting for Christmas!)

We took a family vacation to Walt Disney World at the beginning of December.  The baby was a trouper, and put up with us hauling him all over the place!  The big kids were big enough to really “get it” and had a great time trying out all the rides, shmoozing with the characters, and otherwise exploring Mommy and Daddy’s old stomping grounds.  (Catie declared that, when she’s all growned up, but not a Mommy yet, she wants to drive trams like Daddy and pet goats like Mommy!)

I have actually done a little knitting — nothing too exciting, but I am making a selection of different colored Palindrome scarves as belated Christmas presents for my husband’s co-workers.  They are having a ski weekend get-together (since they all work from home across the continental U.S.)  Spouses/dates are invited, but kids aren’t, so I’m staying at home — I’m just not ready to ditch the kids for a trip yet!  (And I just have to say, if I were, it sure wouldn’t be to go to somewhere cold!)

October 8, 2009

Waiting, waiting, waiting.

Filed under: Uncategorized — K @ 4:56 pm

We heard back from the urologist last week, about the results of Andrew’s test. He doesn’t have anything indicating a blockage, meaning that surgery is not imminent. :insert deep sigh of relief here:

The downside is, it’s still something, and we still don’t know what it is. We have a reprieve — the next test time isn’t until after his first birthday, so that week, we’ll be back at the hospital for another ultrasound, but we don’t have anything to think or worry about until then. (Yeah, right!)

All the prayers are appreciated — so far, so good! My continuing prayer is that he outgrows this by his first birthday — judging by his chubby little thighs, he’s certainly trying!

September 22, 2009

This, too, shall pass.

Filed under: Uncategorized — K @ 12:27 pm

Life is taking over.  I wish I could say that I’ve been busy doing nothing but knitting and playing with my kids.  At least, I can say I’ve been doing plenty of the latter!  The knitting has taken a backseat for a couple of reasons.  I have gotten into a few other hobbies a little bit more, and been really enjoying stretching my knowledge base.  The not-so-good reason is that there has been a little more concern over Drew’s health issues.  Before I go any further, I must specify that this is NOT a big deal!  Nothing life threatening, and because we have been watching it since birth, it’s not even threatening his kidney function (which is where the problem lies).

I was hugely uncomfortable at the end of my pregnancy, and at 37 weeks-ish, I begged for an amniocentesis, to test for the baby’s lung maturity, to see if I could have him early and not worry about him needing help to breathe. The test came back with great results, so I could deliver early, but it showed a “hydronephrosis”, a dilated kidney (bigger than it should be). Drew would have to get an ultrasound when he was a day or two old to see, but I was told that it was likely to be nothing, or to resolve soon after.

The u/s after his birth showed that it was worse than originally thought, and on both sides instead of just one. We were again reassured that most babies grow out of this, so it’s nothing to worry about. They’d repeat the u/s at 6 weeks. Meanwhile, he was to be on daily antibiotics. I am not a fan of daily antibiotic use, so I asked that we figure out if it was really necessary. After all, if it hadn’t been for my request for an amnio, we wouldn’t have had an u/s that late, and seen this kidney problem to begin with.

He had to have a VCUG — a procedure in which he was catheterized under an x-ray, and his bladder was filled with contrast dye. When he peed, the x-ray showed that he emptied his bladder completely and there was no urine refluxing back to his kidney — great news! That meant that he didn’t need the antibiotics anymore.

We went back a couple of weeks ago for an u/s at the six month point (I know, I can’t believe he’s six months old, either!). Today was the follow-up appointment to discuss it. All along I’ve been told that it’s most likely that he’ll completely outgrow it by six months, and so I haven’t been letting myself research it much or spend much time worrying about it. Well, last week was the dreaded disclosure: one kidney showed a marginal improvement, so minor that it didn’t really mean much, as it was still not in the healthy range; and the other kidney was worse.

Today we had a procedure to check for a UPJ obstruction, which is a congenital issue and would need a minor corrective surgery.  We won’t know for another week or so if there is any indications that he’ll need that surgery, so we’re in the wait-and-see period.  I’m really not worried anymore about the surgery itself (I mean, I worry a little — I’m a mommy!), but I just want to know!  It’s like when your baby is crying and you go to the doctor and sort of hope it’s an ear infection, because at least you can get it treated and move on.

Hydronephrosis: https://www.google.com/health/ref/Unilateral+hydronephrosis

UPJ Obstruction: https://www.google.com/health/ref/UPJ+obstruction

(By the way, for those of you who were helping me through Drew’s failure-to-thrive phase, note that that’s one of the symptoms of a UPJ Obstruction…)

Poor Drew had to have an IV placed today.  His little hand was wrapped like a mummy’s, to keep him from being able to pull it out.  Of course, he cried when it was placed, but he was a trooper, and cheered right up again later, and even started treating the mummy-hand like his newest toy!  Afterwards, he had to lay still on an x-ray table while a camera took multiple exposures of his kidney function over 25 minutes.  He had to be swaddled to the table, and was quite miserable for a few minutes, but settled down soon, and napped for 20 minutes of the procedure (what a relief!).  They filled him with a contrast dye to check the kidney function, and with saline IV fluid to make him over-hydrated.  Then they gave him a diuretic, to basically give his kidneys a stress test.  Like I said, we won’t know the results for a while, but I’m glad the test is over!  So is he….

Drew After IV

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