Wednesday, March 31, 2010
I headed to the mall where the salon where I normally get my eyebrows done is located. But instead of going to the normal place, I decided to head upstairs to a place that does threading. I've been wanting to try it for a while, and I figured this was my chance.
Holy hell did it hurt. Way more than waxing. And it took longer. Instead of a couple of quick rips with wax and muslin, it was 10 minutes of her pulling my eyebrow hairs out five or ten at a time. It hurt enough that I considered walking out before the lady could start in on my second brow.
When I complained to my sister about how much it hurt, she said that it gets easier if you do regular upkeep because there's not as much hair to rip out.
I think I'll pass. I have a high tolerance for pain, but I'm not willing to put myself through that much of it for the sake of vanity.
Bring on the wax.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
But instead of working on my friend's socks, I cast on a pair for my Olympic Knitting challenge. Turns out, that was exactly what I needed to do. Working on those socks got me my knitting mojo back, and I've been burning up the needles ever since.
And now for the too-small socks. I ordered a kit from KnitPicks that came with patterns and yarn for seven pairs of ankle socks. I wanted something different and to practice knitting patterns from charts without committing to huge projects. However, from the kit's description, it wasn't clear, at least not to me, that all the socks are toe-up and two at a time on circular needles. I've never done toe-up let alone two at once on circs. After some trial and error and scribbling, I managed to convert the pattern to one sock at a time on DPNs, and I figured out how to cast on toe-up.
Unfortunately, despite checking my progress as I knit, I cannot get the sock on my foot. It's not because I bound off too tight, it's that the whole dang sock is too narrow. It's plenty long enough, but I can't get it over my heel. Obviously my gauge was off and the needles were too small. Le sigh.
Instead of making another too-small sock to match, I've decided to declare it a practice sock. My cast-on was wonky, and I know that there are some errors in the heel, which involved turn-and-wrap instead of short rows.
So I've cast on a new sock on larger needles, and so far things are going much better.
Friday, March 26, 2010
I desperately need some time away, and even though I'll have Ella with me, this counts as a break. We're spending the night at a good hotel, and we don't need to be at the gym until 11:30 in morning. That means I'll get to sleep until I wake up instead of being woken up at the crack of dawn by Elizabeth. And tonight I'll be able to lie in bed and watch TV without worrying about dishes or laundry or messes. It should be divine.
We've been having some pre-tween issues with Ella lately - she has mastered the art of rolling her eyes so hard that we can hear it - but she is so thrilled about this trip that I think she'll be on her best behavior. It will be some good bonding time. Lily is a bit jealous, but B has promised her a movie night where she gets to pick whatever movie she wants and eat popcorn until she is stuffed.
Someone asked whether B's mom would be helping him while I was gone, and I said that I had no idea. Not only do I not know what plans he's made, I don't want to know. Worrying about what's going on at home will only ruin the fun of being gone, so I've vowed not to do it at all.
So I'm packing my knitting and a book for the hours I'll spend at the climbing gym waiting for Ella to compete, and I'm packing Ella's flashy pants and lucky socks. As soon as she gets home from school, we're hitting the road!
Look out, Houston. Here we come.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
I'm tired of living in shorts and jeans and solid-colored shirts, even though they are very comfortable. I'm feeling frumpy and old and drab.
It's not like I haven't tried to buy new clothes, because I have. I've gone shopping three times in the past three weeks with every intention of buying something new and fabulous. And each time, I've come home empty handed.
Part of the problem is that I just don't see anything I like. Too much of what is in stores today is either a. a flashback to the '80s, and to paraphrase a friend, if I wore it the first time it was in style, I'm not wearing it the second time, or b. something that one of the Real Housewives of Wherever would wear, and I'm just not into bejewelled silk tank tops or clothing that looks like lingerie.
Capri pants appear to be a hot trend right now, but I just can't bring myself to wear them. Each time I try some on, I think about the little old ladies who wore pastel capris while walking the beach in Florida, and I take them back off. But one of my friends has a pair of cute cargo capri pants, so I tried on a similar pair the other day, only to discover they had a pleated front, and the pleats combined with the pockets on the side made me look like a clown.
The next time I went shopping, I decided to just look for jeans, on the advice of the same friend, who told me never to shop for tops and bottoms at the same time. But then I got in front of the wall of jeans and freaked out. There were too many choices - boyfriend cut, diva cut, low rise, high rise, boot cut, slim fit. I left in defeat.
I do have two friends who are good at picking out clothes for me. I need to bribe one of them with dinner and drinks in exchange for acting as my personal shopper. Otherwise, I fear I may spend the rest of my life wearing my one pair of shabby jeans.
Plus, I'm going to see OK Go in May, and I want to fit in with all the cute twenty-somethings who will be at the show, not look like their mother.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
First up - I've been reading again. I must admit that I have been a bit ADD in my reading. I currently have four books under way, which is a lot for me. I'm in the middle of: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, The Mysterious Benedict Society, The Help, and The Hemingses of Monticello. Plus I have three New Yorkers that I'm working on. But I have managed to finish three books and post them over on my book blog - Plenty More Books Inside.
Second - My friend Kate had a baby two weeks ago and then ended up spending more than a week in a drug-induced coma thanks to a terrible post-partum infection that had a lot to do with mistakes made on many levels by doctors. It's a terrible story that isn't over yet. Baby Isaac is thriving, and Kate is on the mend, but she has a long road ahead of her in terms of recovery. If you have a moment, stop by her blog and wish her well.
Third - I had another post, this one about my inability to sit still, picked up by Deep South Moms. You can read it here.
I think that's all for now. I'm going to go back to watching a mama owl hatch her babies.
Friday, March 19, 2010
The Bengal tigers are always my favorite. The are bigger than you imagine a cat could ever be. Their paws are immense. This guy was the kids' favorite because he was rolling around and playing and roaring at them.
Campbell loved his map, even though he had no idea how to read it. He's still playing with it at home, leading expeditions around the yard.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
This week is Spring Break for the kids, and I feel obligated to spend every minute I can outside with them, because I know that in a few short months I'm going to be hibernating in the AC. So we've gone to the park for a picnic with friends, visited the Austin Zoo, flown kites and spent hours just playing the yard. Today we're going to the park again, and we'll probably do the same tomorrow.
That's all for now. I'm going outside to play.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
But last week I got an invitation to attend a brunch hosted by PBSKids Interactive. I forwarded the invite to Wendi and asked what she thought. She agreed that it sounded interesting and said, "At the very least, you'll get a free brunch and maybe some swag." Then she asked if she could go with me. I e-mailed my contact asking if I could bring a guest, and she said I could.
Sunday morning, Wendi and I met up in the lobby of the Driskill and headed upstairs to the brunch. I am so glad that Wendi was with me. I had expected, based on the information in the invite, a panel of folks from PBSKids Interactive talking about plans they had for the site and how they were coming up with ideas of good programs and games for kids.
Instead, it was a brunch mixer attended by the PBSKids Interactive team and about a dozen bloggers. I am horrible at making small talk with complete strangers, and if I had been alone, I might have bolted for the door instead of staying to chat.
According to Wendi, there were some big-name bloggers there, but I had never heard of them. And given that I'm far from being a big-name blogger, I have no idea how I ended up on the guest list.
Wendi and I stayed for about an hour and chatted with a few people. Then we bolted for the door and headed out to wander 6th Street and enjoy the scenery. There were lots of hung-over conference attendees heading to the Convention Center, the site of most of the SXSW Interactive events. Given that it was only noon on a Sunday, the day of the time change, no less, I was surprised at how many folks were up and out.
The highlight, or lowlight, of the walk was the six pack of skanks dressed in short-shorts and string bikini tops with all their tramp stamps and piercings on display, hoola-hooping in front of one bar hoping to lure customers inside. When I told B about the hoola-hoopers and wondered whether the bar owners really thought it would work, he pointed out that I wasn't the bar's target demographic. Instead of going inside and drinking, I wanted to tell the girls to put some clothes on and stop bleaching their hair in stripes for heaven's sake.
Finally, since I'm all about blogging with integrity and stuff (cough), PBSKids did not ask me to write about the event as a condition of attending. And after reading this and seeing their name mentioned in the same post with hoola-hooping skanks, they'll probably wish that they hadn't invited me.
Also, none of the people at the brunch was actually a hipster. No one was wearing skinny jeans or black sunglasses. They were all very nice and normal.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Check it out here.
And I felt relatively safe and non-snarky with my caption because, after having four kids, my boobs have all but disappeared. I feel Maggie's pain.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
This past Saturday was watching day, so Elizabeth and I sat in on the class. Unfortunately, we didn't last very long because Elizabeth wanted nothing more than to run out on the dance floor Lily. I ended up taking her out into the hall and watching through the glass door.
We weren't allowed to take pictures during the class, so we had to be satisfied with getting some photos of curtsies afterwards. Lily loves to curtsy - she takes it very seriously as you can see by her expression.
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
But I thought you loveded me.
I maintained my composure long enough to say that I loved him very much but he still wasn't getting chocolate milk. Then I went to the living room and collapsed laughing.
I have no idea where he would have heard this. My girls have never said it to me; although, they have been known to tell me that I obviously don't love them.
It's amazing how quickly little kids pick up on tricks like this. Not that it worked for Campbell.
Monday, March 08, 2010
This year's project, however, went much better. And it was a real communal effort. Ella and two partners decided to test which solution cleaned a penny the best. One family hosted the girls while they did the actual experiment and created the display board. For the experiment, they used vinegar, ketchup, lemon juice and soap to clean pennies with a tooth brush and a cloth.
The girls did a great job recording their results, taking lots of pictures and creating a beautiful display. And they won second place out of the third graders at their school. Much to my surprise, they advanced to the regional science fair, which was two weeks ago.
Friday, March 05, 2010
Somewhere along the line with my kids, I've gone wrong. I don't remember giving my kids permission to play in my room, but they seem to have taken it over completely. My bedside table is stacked with their books, and the floor is littered with toys of various kinds. If I don't do a quick clean-up before bed, I'm in danger of injuring my feet on legos and Little People if I get up in the middle of the night.
Sunday morning, I stripped all the sheets off my bed, put them in the wash, and grabbed clean sheets from the closet. In that amount of time, this collection appeared on my bed.
I don't know how Lily and Campbell managed to set these critters up so quickly, but there they were. And when I asked the kids to move the menagerie so that I could put sheets on the bed, they told me I had to wait because they were going to the moon to have a party. Lily was already dressed in a party ensemble, complete with lacy socks and dressy shoes. Campbell was in underpants and a t-shirt. They have very different ideas of what constitutes formal attire.
So I let them have their "Moon Party" and waited until later to put sheets on the bed.
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
I scrolled through the pictures to see if I could figure out who had played with it and found this series of pictures.
Monday, March 01, 2010
I cast on a pair of socks out of Franklin's gorgeous Panopticon wool. As I knit, I noticed that the colors in the wool closely matched the greens and blues in all the Olympic signs and banners, which was really cool.
Now some knitting
Then I wore them to watch the closing ceremonies, which was really one of the oddest things I've ever seen. We laughed hysterically during the entire last half hour, and I'm not sure that's what the organizers were going for. I mean really, giant inflated beavers and flying moose? A terrified kid dressed as a hockey puck? Shattner performing poetry? It was a spectacle, for sure.
I will miss the Olympics, though. I'm the biggest geek about watching them. I love watching young, earnest athletes putting it all on the line to fulfill life-long dreams. So few win medals, but for each and every person there, just participating in the Olympics is the culmination of a life spent training and sacrificing in the name of their sport. It's a beautiful thing to see.
It's chilly here today. So I think I'll wear my new socks in honor of the athletes who are now headed home.