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Since I peppered you with all the bad stuff in the winter and spring, I thought it would only be fair to share at least three awesome things that have happened to me lately:

Three Good Things: My Vacation, Weight Watchers, and Parenting Validation )

So, three good things and counting. :)
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First things first:

As I previously mentioned, my family was relatively unaffected by the flooding in Nashville. But I know someone who lost her home and possessions and every day I learn about new groups of people who are having difficulties getting back on their feet. As always, it seems that those who can least afford it have lost the most. [livejournal.com profile] elizah_jane has a very good post with resources and links for making donations (thanks to [livejournal.com profile] coreopsis for the link). There is also a follow-up post with more information. Tomorrow I plan to take my O-neg self down to the Red Cross. It's been so long since I've had the energy to even come close to qualify for donating, and now seems like an excellent time to go back.

In more benign news:

This morning, Boo asked what "If your cat likes Cat Chow they might like this" meant (it was written on our bag of cat food). Since we had been discussing proprietary formulas the day before (don't ask), this led to a talk about brand names, which led to patents, which led to trademarks, which led to copyright. That took up the first half hour of the forty-five minute drive to school, after which we switched to the Kuiper Belt.

The problem? I meant to review the words for her weekly spelling test today.

So, yeah, she'll be fine if the teacher asks her about trademark law, but won't be able to spell "butterfly" or whatever the hell it is I was actually supposed to help her with. Crap.

In other news, the cats are well )
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It is finally the end of the Longest Passover Break Ever. Boo's school was closed from March 26 until this morning. I have lost count of the number of games of Clue I have played.

Actually, I was a crappy mom for most of the first week. My allergies were horrible and I spent a lot of time stuffed with antihistamines, rousing only when prodded by little hands for feeding time. Boo was really great about letting me sleep off the stupid allergies and mostly amused herself. I did take her to my knitting group and we had a play date with a knitting pal's grandkids, so I wasn't 100% crap in the mom department. I also made it up a bit this week with the aforementioned Clue marathons and with taking her out places. It's really amazing how nice mom/daughter time is when mom doesn't feel like crap.

Parental Visitation )

Useful Post-Apocalyptic Skills. Or Not. )
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I am pin-less, cast-less and have the ability to be splint-less at will. I still have a couple of stitches in (literally, like, two stitches), but those will be coming out next week. I'm cleared to do pretty much anything I want so long as it doesn't hurt beyond certain parameters. At the moment, those parameters are very small, but it's nice to be able to eat a meal without worrying about breaking my pins lifting a soup spoon.

Medical Details )

Personal Details )

The timing of all this good-feeling is fortuitous, as it turns out. Boo's school is going to be closed today and Monday because more than 30 kids (about a quarter of the student body) and half the teachers are sick with the flu. They haven't specified if it's H1N1 or suspected H1N1, which irritates me greatly because, hello, I'd like to know, but the school is advising everyone to avoid other people for a few days. The Jewish Community Center will be taking kids from Metro schools in the daycare-aftercare program, but kids from Akiva need to stay home. That means it'll be just me and Boo. As much as it's inconvenient, and as much as I don't want Boo or me or Al or anyone else to get sick, it's also kind of nice to be able to take care of my own kid for the first time in weeks. :)

We have also released Tom back into the wild. Or tried. We opened up the garage door for him, but as of a few minutes ago he was still hiding under his favorite shelf. He seems to be very well healed up, no sign of his injuries apart from a slight bald patch on his foot. Boo has been taking care of his medication for that last few days, and has proved a very able assistant.

In other words, the household is on the mend. :)

ETA: I should really learn not to tempt fate by posting things like the previous sentence. Right after posting the above I realized that I didn't actually feel that well. Current condition: sore throat, aches, fever 100 degrees.

I would headdesk, except that would hurt. I'll headpillow instead.
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I have returned!

Well, okay, I returned last Sunday. But I returned with a horrible cough and sinus infection, and it's only been in the last couple of days that I've felt like uploading and organizing the mass of pictures I took on vacation. I'm composing a more detailed post, but I think it will be more efficient to begin with the pictorial highlights.

To that end, I've made a set on Flickr. It's big, with 129 pictures, and most of them have comments about the trip. If this does not deter you, and you'd like to experience the full chronicle of our Kiawah holiday in pictures (well, not really the full because I took a little over 500 pictures and only uploaded 129), go here:

Kiawah Beach Trip 2007 Photo Set on Flickr

For those wishing a less comprehensive photo tour, visit the quickie ten-picture tour below.

Kiawah, the quickie ten-picture tour )

Kiawah 2007--Day Five

Bye-bye, beach. See you next year!
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Boo's Sparkly Socks

Pattern: Boo's Sparkly Socks.
Yarn: 1 100g/425m skein South West Trading Company Tofutsies (50% superwash wool/25% Soysilk fibers/22.5% cotton/2.5% chitin) in #730 (Light Foot). 1 87yd skein Lana Gatto Crystal (63% viscose/20% Nylon/17% Polyester) in #4112 (Pinks)
Needles: 2.5mm (US 1)
Gauge: 9 sts = 1"
Notes: Flush with the success of the Fixation socks, I decided to make Boo a pair of pink socks. I showed her the pink yarn I'd bought, and she asked if it was "sparkly." I said I'd see what I could do. The next day, I went back to where I'd bought the Tofutsies, and found a matching pink eyelash yarn that certainly qualified as "sparkly." (And it was on sale.) So, I cast on more stitches than I needed, added the sparkly yarn, and ribbed the cuff in sparklies. After the cuff ribbing, I reduced the stitches to a more normal circumference and just knitted a basic sock. If I had it all to do again I might not double the yarn, and I almost certainly won't rib the eyelash parts, but the effect of the cuff was exactly as I'd hoped: big and floppy and foldable down to a nice anklet, but also capable of staying up.

More Pictures )

More Pattern Details )
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Fixation Socks


Pattern: Socks
Yarn: 1 50g/100 yd ball Cascade Fixation (98.3% cotton/1.7% elastic) in #9464. One ball actually made three socks, the two shown here and a *cough* rather smaller one. It was a swatch sock. Really.
Needles: 3.0mm (US 3)
Gauge: 7.5 sts = 1"
Knitting Time and Date Completed: Four hours each, completed 06/30/07
Notes: Although Boo's first socks were beautiful, they weren't exactly a success in the knittability and wearability departments. Knitting anything at 12 stitches to the inch is asking for a nervous breakdown, and after they were done Boo said the socks were "itchy." She loved them when she saw them, she really did, but she only wore them once before refusing to wear them again (cf. "itchy").

So, for my second attempt, I went with cotton, and I went with bigger yarn. Much bigger yarn. I used Cascade Fixation, which is cotton with a deceptively small amount of elastic blended in. It says 1.7%, but that 1.7% goes a long, long way. It's a very pleasant yarn to work with, soft and springy, but it took me a while to get the hang of what tension to use (for the record, really, really loose). It's very easy to have a lot of tension on the yarn without noticing, and I had to make a special effort to make sure that there was plenty of yarn pulled free and that I wasn't just stretching the same three inches of yarn over more and more stitches. But the results were very nice, and Boo loves them and declares them non-itchy. That's good enough for me.

More pictures and details under the cut, including a gratuitous cat picture )

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I took approximately three billion pictures during Boo's field trip to the Bicentennial Mall and Farmer's Market yesterday. For those of you not native to Nashville, there's a huge mall in front of the state capitol. It was constructed in 1996 to celebrate Tennessee's bicentennial, and includes a 1,400-foot wall of history, a ninety-five bell carillion (one for each of the counties in the state), an amphitheater, a nine-ton floating marble globe of the world as it was during World War II, and a plaza with thirty-one fountains (to represent each of the rivers that flow through Tennessee). The fountains are pretty much designed to be played in, and the kids had a fantastic time:

Bicentennial Mall

More pictures under the cut )
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Playschool Zoo Trip May 2007

Boo's playschool class went to the zoo last week. A dozen 4-year-olds were set loose in the wilds of the Nashville Zoo, with the following results (some numbers estimated):

Number of children per adult: 1.5
Escapes: None successful
Rest stops in two-hour period: 6
Bottles of water consumed: 60
Organized pee breaks: 2
Emergency pee breaks: 47
Animals seen: 10
Meltdowns for reasons of fear: 2
Meltdowns for reasons of hunger: 23
Meltdowns of unknown origins: 3
Children lost: 0
Parents lost: 2
Moment most likely to be remembered: The peeing giraffe

More pictures here

Since Boo and I met up with the rest of the playschool on our own, we were able to stay a bit after the others left. We continued on from the Unseen Adventures building (this is where they have fish, snakes, insects, and other smaller critters) and set off to see tigers. The tigers were sleeping in the far corner of their enclosure, but we did get to glimpse them, so it was all good. Being there with the rest of the class was fun, but I really enjoyed the one-on-one time with Boo afterwards.
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I can't believe it. I actually *did* come home and upload the pictures from [livejournal.com profile] vaklam and [livejournal.com profile] melissagay's son's birthday party. They can be found here.

Sadly, Boo apparently cleared off her camera, so we lost the pictures from her playschool friend's party this morning, and several pictures from the park that I would have liked to see. There are only three pictures on it from today, and Flickr won't let me upload them because they aren't JPEG even though they totally are. Well, at least that's how my computer labeled them. I'll see about converting them.

I've reduced the file size on all these. If you need any of them in super-high-quality files, let me know.
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My daughter, as some of you may know, is completely obsessed with volcanoes. I believe this to be a direct result of her watching the "Firebird Suite" portion of Fantasia 2000 approximately fifty billion times. She was eventually moved to create her own visual interpretation of the video, shown here:

Art, with artist's commentary, under the cut )

Upgrades

Sep. 19th, 2006 07:50 am
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In Boo news, she is now 38.75 inches tall. She grew a half-inch at some point last week. Seriously, you blink and you miss it. In another 1.25 inches, she'll be tall enough for a booster seat, and in about five weeks she'll be old enough for said booster seat. She's probably way short on the weight requirement, though, so we'll have to see if two out of three is good enough.

I'm not actually that anxious to upgrade her. Although the standard is 40 inches, 40 pounds, and 4 years old, she can still stay in the seat she's using until she weighs more than 40 pounds or her head sticks up more than halfway over the back of the seat. She's quite a ways from both of those benchmarks, and my understanding is that if kids can keep riding in their restraint seats even when they're bigger than the Tennessee Dept of Safety says they have to be, so much the better. Well, so long as they're within the height and weight said seat is rated for.

Speaking of 4s, we had an amusing exchange last week. Boo was asking about her birthday, and told me her birthday was in October and she'd be 4, etc. I reminded her that Mama's birthday was also in October, and she asked me how old I would be. I told her I would be 40. She was delighted. "We'll be the same!" she said. And I said that, yes, our ages would certainly start with the same number...

Boo's latest fascination is gymnastics. She adores the Angelina Ballerina books, and I bought her a couple of DVDs of the TV series, one of which includes an episode about Angelina's friend Alice being in a gymnastics competition. Our bed has now become a balance beam and a floor exercise area. I nearly had a heart attack watching her leap from the bed, announcing mid-leap that she's going to do a split, see her assume that position mid-air and land splat on the floor in said split, grinning in triumph. I do give myself points for stoicism for witnessing this without screaming, shrieking, or otherwise freaking out, and saying instead, "Very good, now please don't ever do that again."

ETA: The LJ "Update Journal" button today says: "Update Captain's Log." :)

ETA2: LJ also says: "Aye, aye! Updating journal." And "Edit Captain's Log." I love Talk Like a Pirate Day.
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