Monday, February 15, 2010

Progress Report

Welcome to February break.  So far, I don't think much of this vacation (or staycation, or playcation, or everybody get sick and barf all over the place-cation).  It started a little early for us when Nate got the stomach bug in the middle of last week and missed the last three days of school. This included the pajama party on Thursday, which he was okay about, and the Valentine's Day party on Friday, which he most certainly was not okay about.

By Friday, Matty was good and sick too, although with the raging fever/crying/must-be-attached-to-mommy-at-all-times kind of sickness.He missed his Valentine's Day party too.

By Saturday night, I was starting to suffer from a milder version of both illnesses combined (although I did not make my mommy stay with me) and by Sunday night it looked like Emma was coming down with something too, although she could just be suffering the aftershock of four basketball games in one 24 hour period.  Bleah.

I'm still not feeling all that great, but after all the rest I had on Saturday (when I chose to sit down and relax all afternoon because Matty couldn't go anywhere) and Sunday (when I had to sit down and rest because I couldn't go anywhere), I just don't think I can rest any more.  So this morning I did what anybody home on vacation with four kids and a lot of sickness would do.

I mopped. 

Don't ask me to explain this behavior.  I can't.  The floor did have a few spots on it, and I generally do prefer to relax in a clean house, since too much chaos makes me edgy.  But really the house was not in terrible shape.  A little straightening up the rooms and washing a few dishes would have done the job for me on any other day. Plus, I wasn't actually feeling great.  Plus, the floor had been mopped less than a week ago by the nice lady who comes in twice a month and does all my dirty work. So why, suddenly, was I possessed by the urge to really clean the floor? Can't explain it.  The only thing I can think of is that I must be a lot sicker than I realized.

I had helpers, though. I did the soapy water mop, and the hot water rinse mop, but they get all the credit for actually drying the mop-water off the floor.  They seemed to enjoy it a lot more than I usually do.  Now the floor feels wonderfully clean . . .

which always makes me want to pack everyone off to a hotel for few days in order to keep it that way.

Despite all the forced relaxation, I was not totally idle over the weekend.  In fact, I was knitting like a fiend on my Slanting Gretel Tee.  I cast on during the opening ceremonies, just like I was supposed to.  Saturday I started chugging along in earnest, only to suffer an equipment malfunction.  The 32" cable for my interchangeable circular needles was threatening to come apart.  No problem, I switched to my back-up cable.  In the process of working the stitches from one needle to the other, I noticed that the project was growing at an astounding rate.  The lower edge of the tee, which was supposed to be 41.5", was over 46 inches.  My gauge was off by 1/2 stitch per inch, which over 232 stitches adds up to a lot of extra inches.  I could just hear the Olympic Knitting Officials:  False start; three hour penalty! Back to the starting line, please. 

And back I went. New cast on row, new needle size. Along the way, the second cable started to come apart, and I was forced to resort to a set of bamboo fixed circulars.  They took a little getting used to, but now we're getting along just fine.  Here is a picture of them from Sunday morning, just after they rescued  Saturday's work:


Here is a cable detail from the sweater that is both difficult to see and unrepresentative of the yarn colors:

I wish I didn't like it better than the real yarn color.

And here is the photo from today, showing (to the careful observer):
(1) that I have about 5 inches of sweater knit;
(2) that I am nearly 25% of the way through my yarn (I started with 4 yarn cakes, and I'm down to three plus the little knobbly bit on the end of the needle; fortunately, I am also nearly 25% of the way through the sweater);
(3) that my floor is in fact shiny clean after all my mopping; and
(4) that I can still make a smiley face out of anything.

Others were also engaged in artistic pursuits over the weekend.  We bought new watercolors, oil pastels, and water color pencils on Sunday, and I was rewarded with a great deal of fabulous artwork. 

Isabel has a thing for trees and mountains, while Emma is exploring sunsets, skies, and green grass.  I love them all; they just brighten my day.

When I uploaded the pictures from my camera, I found a few gems from Matty's birthday.  The girls decided to make him a cape and a crown.  Due to a small measurement oversight, combined with a failure to account for the effect of stuffing the crown (don't ask), the crown came out a little small, but Matty doesn't seem to mind.  I think he was pleased that we were all finally willing to recognize his rightful place in our family.  He promises to be a benevolent tyrant.

Due to a candle shortage, we had to put the number 5 on his pink cake (yes, his choice) instead of the number 4, which is more typically used to describe people of his age.  We are a forward thinking people and like to look at it as "one to grow on."

On my camera, I also found a solid photographic evidence that it is not necessarily a good thing for my children to have unfettered access to my camera.

Collage 1: clockwise from upper left:  Violin on Desk;  Carpet Sample; Dog Looking Backwards; Laptop on Desk; Random View Out Window;  Laundry; Hair.  Center: Mouse on Mousepad.

Collage 2: clockwise from upper left:  Chessboard on Floor with Body Parts; Chessboard on Floor, angled view; Chessboard on Floor, view from above; Chessboard on Floor, view from above, detail showing unusual configuration of pieces; Chessboard on Floor, side view showing unusual configuration of pieces; Chessboard on Floor, blurry view; Chessboard on Floor without body parts.

I think I'll encourage them to stick to painting.

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