‘Twas brillig, and……um………

This brain is now full and is no longer accepting new information. We apologize for any inconvenience.

You know, there are studies that say motherhood makes you smarter. Oh yeah? ‘Cause I don’t think so. I am feeling pretty darn dumb these days, and after talking to a few other mothers I’ve come to the conclusion that I am not alone. I mean, I still have an awful lot of useless information rattling around in my brain, but I feel like every time I learn something new (that cleaning barnacles off a buoy is a Dirty Job, for example), older information gets pushed out. And yes, I had to look up how to spell buoy just now. So sad. Motherhood isn’t making me smarter. In fact, it feels a lot more like a quiz I keep failing, and my kids are the quiz masters. I mean really, the questions never stop and I am pretty useless in answering. Thank GOD for Google. Neve asked me yesterday what was inside our brains, and I said “electrical impulses?”. And of course she wanted to know what those were, and what was in them. So I googled “brain” and showed her the resulting images. That’s what’s in our brains. But mostly it’s more like they ask me what something is or how something works and I tell them to ask their papa when he calls.

It’s memory as well. Or maybe that is most of it anyway. I used to be able to recite Jabberwocky from memory. Not anymore. Across the Universe? Can’t remember the words to sing along. Was the brownie meeting today or last week? Don’t ask me.

This wouldn’t be so bad if I was acquiring newer and more useful skills. A second set of arms, even. I’d even settle for a thought filter that prevents those “open mouth and insert foot” situations. But noooooooo.

Is brain function one of those “use it or lose it” deals? Maybe I need some brain exercise. You know what though? I am so shallow that I’d prefer to work on getting my butt back down to a size 4 than work on being smart.

Oh well.

Sick Child Brand

Amor told me a few times how whenever they got sick as kids, their grandfather would look at them laying miserably on the couch and say “Sick child brand”.  That seems to have stuck in my head.  At 3 this morning when Oona was all snorty and stuffy all I could think in my grogginess was “sick child brand”.   Neve has likewise been feeling unwell, and I can feel the beginnings of a head cold.  Sick family brand?

It’s funny what things stick with you after someone is gone.  My kids are the second generation to be frustrated by being told “You’re doing a good job”.   Paul’s grandfather used to tell them that whenever they were mad about doing chores, or feeling particularly ornery about an assignment.   Amor laughs about it now, but I can picture all of them as kids feeling exasperated by it, as my kids are now.   Neve screams when she can’t properly dress her Barbie and Emily whines about cleaning her room and all Paul will say is “You’re doing a good job.”  They roll their eyes, but I wonder if it will stick with them the same way it has stuck with their father and aunts and uncles.

My grandfather was always after us to wash our hands.  My brother was terrified of him as a child – he wasn’t a big man but he had a large, if somewhat quiet, presence that seemed to command respect without saying a word.   Every evening at dinner grandpa would say to my brother “You wash your hands, boy?”  It’s a family joke now, and I’m sure if I ever had a son my brother would pester him with it.  It was good advice.  Maybe if my kids would be more diligent in heeding it  I wouldn’t be calling them “sick child brand” today.

Ode to Laundry

How I loathe thee, oh diabolical laundry

With your troublesome piles calling “come fold me”

You stare at me dirtily from the hamper in here

That I’ll never triumph over you, I fear

Even when clean, your power to overwhelm me you keep

Scattered as you are in great untidy heaps

Please disappear laundry, I can take you no more

I tried to sort you, now you cover the floor

Dirty or clean, you’re a horrible mess,

Though goodness knows I’ve tried my best

I’m drowning here, I can’t find anything I need

How I loathe thee laundry, I loathe thee indeed.

I Need a New Bagel Horse

When Emily was about 2 years old we spent Thanksgiving up in New York, and for some reason that I can no longer remember we went to FAO Schwartz with her.  We spent some time perusing the (expensive!) cute toys and even though we swore to each other we wouldn’t spend any money, it soon became clear to Emily’s papa that I wasn’t going to keep my end of the bargain.  There were just too many cute things that she was captivated by, and at 2 years old and my first child I was still firmly wrapped around her tiny finger.  What we left with was a Gund kitty cat that I thought was pretty cute and she would not let go of once she had it.  Her papa grumbled over the $20 price (he had nooooooo clue back then……) but he bought it anyway because clearly Emily was in love.

All the way back to my in – laws’ place I kept asking Emily what her new kitty’s name was.   She kept shrugging.  I would offer suggestions but most of them she rejected.  We had just seen Austin Powers so I asked her if she’d like to call her kitty “Mr. Bigglesworth”.  She didn’t seem overly excited about it, but since she offered no other names (and for some reason I really felt she needed a name for her fake cat) we began to refer to it as such.

Now, the thing about a 2 year old Emily calling her cat “Mr. Bigglesworth” lay in the pronunciation.  Specifically, that  she could not pronounce it correctly, but like everything else, added her own twist to it (kind of like how frappuccinos became crap-uccinos) and what she called it sounded much closer to “Mr. Bagel-horse”.  And as sometimes happens, we began to call him “Bagel – horse” as well.

Bagel – horse was her best friend.  He slept with her at bedtime, he sat with her at mealtime, he came with us wherever we traveled to.  When she started daycare, he was her take along companion.


Emily, papa and Bagel horse

Now flash forward to Neve.  Emily was 4 when Neve was born, and she was (and still is) Neve’s idol.  As soon as she could crawl and walk, she followed Emily.  Unfortunately, she also loved Emily’s possessions.  Most troublesome was her attachment to Emily’s Bagel horse.  By this time he wasn’t Emily’s accessory anymore, but he held (and still does today) the honored spot on her pillow.   Emily therefore did not take too kindly to “sharing” him.  So imagine my delight when I found an exact replica while shopping for christmas gifts that year at a local toy store.  The same Gund kitty, called “Bootsie”.  I snatched it up and Neve gleefully hugged him to herself christmas morning.  All was well with the world, there was Bagel horse 1 and Bagel horse 2 (yes, that was what we named him).  Best of all, they were very easy to tell apart; Emily’s Bagel horse was very clearly well loved.  He was not the fluffy clean toy that Neve had.  His fur was matted and worn down and his stuffing was uneven.  Amazingly, that made Emily love him all the more.

Now that we have Oona I have been thinking about Bagel horse 3.  I’m pretty sure the toy store still carries them (good thing Gund hasn’t discontinued it!).  Neve doesn’t love hers in the same way that Emily did, and I wonder what Oona will find that will be her lovey.  Either way, there’s a Bagel horse for all.

All the Yarny Goodness

I finally picked up the sweater I had cast on for Emily a few months ago. I only had about an inch done, but I’ve been working on it in the evenings so it’s starting to come along a bit. It’s rather boring right now since it’s just row after row of stockinette in chocolate brown. I’m working as fast as I can so I can get to the fun part – a mock fair isle band in pink and cream. But for now, mindless and boring. Plus I really don’t care for circular needles – I’d much rather use dpn’s. Next time I think I will. At least it’s working up rather fast. I’m a lot further along now than I was when I took this picture:


I’m using Plymouth’s Galway wool and the pattern is the Drive-thru sweater from Wendy over at Knit & Tonic. I’ve got more to make one for Neve as well. The good news is that if I don’t finish in time for it to fit either of them, there’s still Oona. One always must be thinking of these things when embarking on a project!

Notice the ginormous Starbucks cup? It’s pretty much my constant companion these days. The good news is I have started Oona on rice cereal so I am hoping that will translate to longer periods of sleeping at night! This week has been pretty decent – she’s been falling asleep around 9 pm and sleeping until about 3 before wanting to nurse. So I’ve been using my evenings to knit (as much as I can while holding her) and catching up on some tv. I recorded about 8 hours worth of Dirty Jobs last week in case my satellite went out again (it didn’t….yay!) and I was also happy to see a new show on Discovery (I’m a Discovery junkie) called Some Assembly Required. One of the hosts is Lou Bloomfield, my old college physics professor. So I’ve been having fun watching him on tv, doing basically the same things he did in class. I’m also impatiently waiting for new Deadliest Catch and Ice Road Truckers. These shows were the staples of my couch – bound pregnancy. I can’t help but think of Alaskan crab when I look at my newly finished socks (the first was was mostly worked on during a Deadliest Catch marathon, with my feet up and the sock propped on my huge uncomfortable belly).

But now those socks are done, evening tv is fun, and I have a pile of new projects to look forward to. See what came today?



There’s Blue Moon Fiber Arts Leticia for hats, some Socks That Rock, a toddler sock kit from KnitWhit and some Rowan Big Wool Fusion for a Kitty Pi bed. It’s gonna be great.


Cradle Cat

No I do not mean Cradle Cap, the skin condition in infants and toddlers that causes scaliness. I am talking about a much more serious condition.

Cradle Cat is caused by leaving a warm and comfy cradle in an accessible area, such as the living room. Symptoms include, but are not limited to: an inordinate amount of fur buildup in cradle liner (more fur than your child could shed on his or her own); a strange “purring” noise emanating from the cradle; sharp swiping at unwanted passersby (ie., YOU); and perhaps the most serious of the symptoms, the inability to put your child down.*

*this condition may lead to frustration, tension headaches and cursing.

There is no known cure for Cradle Cat.


The Random Odds & Bits

Well it’s a total understatement, but being a mom is hard work.  We are so underpaid.  I’ve been keeping lists for quite some time now, since my memory for things I need to accomplish tends to be rather inexact (or non – existent, depending on who you talk to).  I have lists to remind me what paintings I have planned, lists to remind me what projects were planned for which yarn, what meals I planned to make for the week….you get the idea.  So yesterday morning I made a list of all the things I wanted to accomplish for the day (dishes, vacuum, take down the xmas lights…..).

Reality hit about 6 pm yesterday when despite my best efforts (and no napping on my part) my accomplishments were roughly that half the dishwasher had been emptied and I’d wiped the dust off the tv screen.  So maybe my to – do list will be for the week.  Seriously.  I tried, I really did.  But I’ll tell you it’s hard to do anything when you’ve got a 5 month old who wants to eat every 2 hours and won’t nap if you’re not holding her, but is very cranky if she doesn’t  nap and is also not happy unless you’re interacting with her.  And then there’s the demanding 4 year old.  I swear she is this close to running around feral, wearing her pj’s all day and foraging for goldfish crackers.

On the plus side I have perfected the ability to wind a ball of yarn from a hank while holding a sleepy baby in my lap.  I’d like to call that quite an accomplishment!!!

Speaking of knitting, while waiting for my groceries (we buy our food online, then drive out to the store and they bring ’em out and load ’em in the car – great when it’s just you and a small army of little kids) there was a very elderly lady in the car next to us, with her little poodle sitting in between the front seats.  He was pretty cute, but what I noticed was she was knitting!  And while the rest of my family made baby talk about her cute pooch, I was sorely tempted to knock on her window and be like “So……whatcha workin’ on?”

In Which I Torture My Cats

I am happy to report that my socks are done!


Sorry for the crappy pic.  I also finished some wine with those lovelies, so I wasn’t too concerned at the time about how the picture looked.  I am very happy with how they turned out – especially after I had to rip back the first sock several times due to problems with gauge and fit.  The colors pooled a bit after I turned the heel, but I actually kind of like it like that.  During my first go round there was no striping at all on the cuffs and it looked kind of neat.  But I’ve grown to love the stripes and the socks are very warm and comfy.  I used Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock yarn which I really enjoyed working with.  Next up I’ll be trying out some Blue Moon Fiber Arts’ Socks That Rock yarn, and I am very excited!  But, before I can cast on any of that I have about umpteen other projects to work on.

In other news, I went to Target yesterday with my mother and sister and the baby and we spent some time just looking around.  While passing through the cat supplies we spied something, something unbelievable.  Ties for cats.  And not only that, a giraffe head hat for cats.  Well now, who on earth would buy such a thing?


Milo in his tie.  Milo would like to destroy me for humiliating him this way, but he is too hungry.


Sushi doesn’t seem to mind.
Hey don’t look at me that way.  At least I didn’t buy them the giraffe hat.  (I couldn’t – my mother did).