31 October 2006

Happy Halloween!

Trick or treating is over. The boys have more candy than they'll ever eat (no, really. M threw away half a pumpkin full today!). We have a bit left from what we gave out (tootsie rolls and the like), but mostly, we are full of meatloaf.

It's been 10 weeks since I've had a picture of meatloaf on this blog, so here are a couple of pictures. Presenting: Calabera Meatloaf! It does look a bit like a skull. M fully approves of skull meatloaf. He ate this. Brain-shaped meatloaf, not so much. B wants me to make baby-shaped meatloaf, but ... I don't think that I can do that. There will be other meatloaf constructions, but I don't what will be the next. I never expected to make a calabera meatloaf. Next year I want to frost it with mashed potatoes, then decorate it with ketchup and olive eyeballs. L, of course, at the olives.

I'm also showing you pictures of us in our costumes. L was a ghost, M was Han Solo and I was a lady (don't laugh, sometimes I am!).

29 October 2006


we have free time now. Today was the MUSA soccer party. M received his trophy, and found out that playing defense is really important. L and I saw a few of our team and I gave them their trophies too. M is probably going to play indoor soccer with his teammates (but that's just Saturdays, and we can miss some of those games). As soon as the kids got their trophies, they took off and played on the indoor fields. They had fun.

I found out from L's teacher that he won't give her the things we send from home. Hopefully, I've solved that problem with a mini messenger bag, a pattern I just made up Friday.
Despite the picture, he really likes the bag. We told him that anything in the bag must go to his teacher. Maybe this will work (crosses fingers).

Choir is still in full swing. M has a big concert next Sunday, so after next Saturday, we won't have Saturday practices again until December. I have a ton of grading to do already, but am adding more to it this week--two exams and lab notebooks. Ick. When's Thanksgiving?

I have some pictures from el dia de las mortes (we did it Saturday, even though we should do it on Wednesday*) to show you later. I don't want to have a too picture heavy post.

*I realized after I published this the first time that Thursday is the Day of the Dead, not Wednesday!

24 October 2006

100 Posts!

Wow, I have really stuck to writing entries to this thing, haven't I?
Now that's out of the way, I'm going to blog about the cool stuff that's happened. We've had our share of medical issues (and we don't have all the results yet) but I'm going to ignore them for the moment.

First: The Pawleys Island Blues Socks. In xsmall, medium and large!
Second, I received a package from my spooky secret pal. It's so nice to have something to look forward to in the mail. For instance, the box came yesterday, along with 3 bills from CCHM and a postponing approval letter for L's SCIG. For now, the box wins.

She sent me a box chock full of fun stuff. The dogs even have some treats to share! M & L really liked the ribbons that came around all of the little packages. (They are ribbons with ghosts, bats, pumpkins, cats, witches and spiders glued to them. Very cute!) They have decided that they should get to divvy them up. The balloons and cookie cutters are a big hit. We're going to hang the banner up tonight.

She also sent me some Opal sock yarn, a blend of superwash wool and silk. These are going to make great socks--I can't wait to start a pair. However, I am going to finish up a few things first. (I have B's sweater, P's other kilt hose, and a pair of socks with a deadline to finish.) She also sent me some stitch holders (you can never have enough of these) and some non-skid pawprints to put on the bottom of slipper socks. Pretty nifty, yes?

Thanks Spooky! Not only did I have fun opening everything up, the boys had fun too. Danke!

22 October 2006

Soccer's over

for the fall. We won't play again until March. : ( On the bright side, we can start sleeping in on Saturdays. (Unless of course, M has choir rehearsals, which he does for the next two Saturdays.)

M's team played a great season. They only lost one game, and it wasn't today! The only team that beat them was the team they faced in the championship game today. It was a hard fought game, but the Tigers won, 2-1. All of us parents thought it would go into over time, as we were freezing! With two minutes to go, our team scored their second goal and held off the other team. No overtime, so we didn't freeze to death! : ) He's so excited. We're really proud of them. All of the players worked really hard and it paid off.

21 October 2006

Soccer Shot

M, even with 2 on him, kept the ball, and passed it to his teammate, behind him. He's really playing well right now. If the Tigers can keep up their play for just one more game...

More of the same

I kind of forget how unusual our lives can be. This month has been incredibly busy with L going to doctors and having tests, but it still doesn't always sink in.

Anyway, L saw his new allergist on Thursday. I called on Tuesday saying that the Hem wanted him seen sooner than December. We've never had a 48 hour turn around with allergy before. I was just hoping we would see her before we go back up to Children's for the first dose of IG. Apparently, saying the Hem wants him seen has magical powers of schedules opening up!

I really like the new allergist. She is pretty young but is "educable" as a fellow SDS lister said. Dr. O had actually heard about SDS (at first she saw Creon 10 and asked CF?) but didn't know a lot about it. She promptly went and got her textbook of pediatric disorders and brushed up. She's a bit surprised that he seems to only be intermittently neutropenic, but I did tell her about his bone marrow and other issues. She is taking him and his immune system very seriously. We will be seeing her every three months for at least the next year and every 6 months after that. His allergies are pretty bad, apparently. She thinks his headaches are sinus related (so does the Hem) and has added new medication and ordered a CT scan. She doesn't want him to have antibiotics unless he needs them.

Yesterday L had his CT scan (yes, less than 24 hours later). L was given a magnetic kitty because he was sooooo brave. He's always brave when there are no needles involved! I'm imagining B's parents are reading this and thinking why we didn't tell them. Well, because they are busy helping SIL and her husband in NY. The report should make it back to the allergist in a couple of days. Meanwhile, I have copies of all the images. They are huge! I really need to find some place to store them. L likes being able to see inside of his head.

The more of the same and weirdness comes from the fact that afterward, we went to soccer practice. I was talking to the mother of one of my players and mentioned that we'd had another medical test today. She was flabbergasted that we'd come out to practice after a CT scan. I didn't tell her about coming to practice after L's BMB! I didn't even think that it was weird to go and do these things at all.

However, this month has been insane for doctors and medical tests. Our insurance company hates us, I am sure. In October, L saw his ped for a preop visit. He had blood work done. The next week, he had a hem visit, a BMB, and a GI visit on the same day. We will be starting IG on November 14 (my older brother's birthday). We saw the allergist and then had a CT scan. It's been really busy.

Today is all normal stuff. M has his 3rd tournament game. B is celebrating a wedding in Lexington, and I am going too, wearing a beautiful dress that B's parents found for me. It should be a good day. : )

15 October 2006

Maisie's Collar

Blogger is completely messing up the the formatting of posts today. I tried to put this picture in, but for some reason it didn't want to post it the way I wanted it posted. AAAARGGGHH!

For non-knitting amusement, I present Maisie's new collar:

For some reason, girly, happy pink skulls on a black background amuses me. It's also funny to see them on a small black and brown dog. Lulu's girly collar is ladybugs on pink and yellow squares, but this is much funnier.

Knitting for SDS

I've been knitting for SDS lately. This is the beginning of a pair of socks for a large child/small woman. It's a picot edge and plain stockinette otherwise. I'm going to do a heel flap, because I actually like the way they look. Here are the two 5 hour baby sweaters that I made. One is for the SDS auction and one is for a baby that will be born in December. The picture of both is to prove that I made two! Yes, they are knit from the same yarn. I didn't believe that you could knit a sweater from only 4 ounces of yarn, so I bought two. The sweater with the ribbon tie is going to go to the SDS tea and the one with the button is going to be the baby gift. I made the sweater and the socks girly because I don't often knit for girls. Around here, it's knitting for boys most of the time.

14 October 2006

Back down south

We're back home. We came home on Thursday afternoon, but I was so tired and mentally exhausted that I didn't have time to write. It's not like this is a paying job, so (not-so-)faithful readers, you'll just have to wait. : )

L and I drove up to the Cincinnati area on Wednesday afternoon. I always try to go up the night before so we can sleep a little bit longer and cut down on the driving during the day. It also gives L a chance to spend some time with his beloved grandparents. There are some benefits to L's illness.

While we were up there, MIL and I found a dress for me to wear to a wedding B is celebrating next Saturday. It's really beautiful and was on sale. I'll wear it to rags like everything else I own. If I find something that I like and it fits, it goes into rotation for years. We also found a beautiful velvet jacket, which I will probably wear for the next 20 years or so (if you think I'm kidding, I still wear a sweater I've had since I was a senior in high school--18 years ago!).

Then, we tried to go to a yarn store so FIL could buy some knitting needles. The store was no longer there, so we went back to the car. It began to rain and blow, so we sat in the car awhile and decided where to eat dinner (The Boathouse). We finally start off, and after we turn onto a road, we watch a tree fall down across the road. It wasn't far in front of us, so our discussion in the car probably kept us from being under the tree. Whew. However, now L's worried about trees falling on him while we're in the car during rainstorms.

Dinner was great. L really enjoyed the ribs there. He wanted to learn how to fold the napkins the way they did for his restaurant he's going to open. He also enjoyed watching the boats on the river and the rainbow we eventually saw. The rest of us needed some quiet after a difficult day (my bil was admitted to the hospital on Wednesday and they still aren't sure what is wrong) and a chance to relax before the next, also difficult, day.

L needed to be at the hospital at 6:30 am. That meant a very early morning for us. We left at 5:40ish. As L was getting in to the car, he slammed the door on his fingers. I ran inside and got him ice, thinking that at least we were going to the right place if they were broken. : (

By the time we were at the hospital, L's fingers were better. He has a little bruise, but he's okay. We arrived before the reception staff at Hem/Onc, so L had plenty of time to play in the play area. We usually don't have time, as L goes straight back to a room. Once we made it to a room, L was able to watch videos. He also was allowed to order breakfast, which made him even happier. Of course, he couldn't have it until after the biopsy, but it was still good that it was going to be there waiting for him when he woke up. Then we had to put in his IV. Even with emla cream, it still bothered him. Sigh. Even after it was placed, he complained about it. Usually, he's fine, but this one hurt him. It had to be replaced, so they did that after he had his general. We wanted one in case his GI needed blood for tests, too. The biopsy went well, but we still haven't heard any results yet. His CBC was okay, but there are some abnormalities (like always). Dr. H thinks L is starting to have sinus problems on top of his lung problems so I need to talk his allergist into getting him in faster.

On November 14, L will be starting IG therapy. The first dose will be given in the hospital and L will be receiving it at home weekly after that. Wish us luck, because now I have to learn to give it to him. I'm worried that he's going to hate it and be angry with me. However, it should help keep him healthier, so it will be worth it.

Between the hem appointment and the GI appointment, we walked around the first floor pushing buttons. Well, I walked and pushed the wheelchair, L pushed buttons! He dropped his spider which he took into the OR and we couldn't find it. Later, a very nice person gave him a ghost to take care of for her since the spider wandered off. L wasn't too happy, but he accepted being in charge of the ghost. L's doing well GI wise--he is now 42 inches tall and 37 pounds. He's still pretty darn small, but he is growing and is actually on the 10th percentile curve for weight. For height, he up to 25th and has been there for a year now. We don't have to go until April to the GI. I don't know when our next hem appointment is, as that usually is decided after the pathology reports come in.

We managed to go to the zoo and saw the Australian animals and the penguins. We met G&G for lunch, but then L was ready to go home. His hip hurt and he was tired. The trip home wasn't too bad, but we ran into traffic. Oh well.

Today, both boys had soccer. L's team had a goal but lost. M's team won their first tournament game, so he's pretty excited. M plays tomorrow. L only has one more game.

I'm tired, and ready to do nothing for awhile. Ciao.

11 October 2006

North, HO!

L and I are heading up north for his day of doctors tomorrow. We are leaving here around 12:15 or so this afternoon. I think that the two worst things for him will be a.) no breakfast until after his bone marrow biopsy and b.) getting his IV inserted. He sleeps through the biopsy and is looking forward to going to the zoo afterwards and buying another stuffed animal. He will be seeing his GI first thoughIt's strange to have a child who looks forward to surgical procedures. Maybe I've made them too much fun afterwards?

Anyhoo, yesterday was very busy. B is exhausted, as he spent literally hours at the crematorium. He claims it was interesting and not depressing at all, but he's definitely exhausted. The funeral isn't until Saturday, so this is a long drawn out process, much more than usual. M is becoming much more independent. He can ride his bike to friends' homes and is generally growing up. It helps that he has a security phone (he gets nervous), so we can call him when he needs to come home. Yes, we are that teched out.

I managed to grade 13 notebooks yesterday. I have about 11 or so left. I cleaned the upstairs (not that you can tell--Lulu sheds like crazy) and it mostly looks better. After that, I did some thing that are fun. My spooky secret pal sent me a nifty sock pattern for Halloween illusion socks, which I definitely need to knit. I worked on L's sock (first leg is completed, I cast on for sock #2), and I knit 3 pattern repeats of my shawl. All while watching L&O reruns. I miss Lenny.
The picture images aren't the best--I took them at night and the couch isn't exactly fine furniture. But it will give you the idea, anyway.

10 October 2006

A week off

and plenty to do. It's just nice to have time to do it.

We were planning on hiking yesterday since the boys and I all had a day off coinciding with B's day off, but sadly, a church emergency came up. Instead, the boys raked leaves (their decision) and helped me pull up the weedy flowers in the flower beds. Now, it's still messy, but you can see the lovely 3 year old mums again. You can also see the day lilies, which bloomed in June, and have been blooming again since September. When did they start blooming twice in a year?

I finished M's socks on Sunday afternoon. Do they look familiar? (Don't mind the dirty looking floor. That's the color it always is--the person we bought from had no sense in floor coverings.) I have also started a pair for L. I've nearly the finished the leg of one sock, so I'll be casting on for the second probably before he and I head north for his day of doctors.

I also cast on for something for ME. I've actually made it through 2 pattern repeats and haven't had to rip it yet. It's a miracle! I have had this yarn since last spring, and every time I've tried to do something with it, it hasn't worked. At all. I seem to have found something that will work with it, and that's been nice. I'll try and get another repeat or so finished today.

Well, as much as I'd like to write about everything, I can't. I have 25 lab notebooks to grade, and I'd love to have them finished before Friday, so I can have a day with no work. That means I have to finish them today and tomorrow, since Thursday is kind of busy. I want to spend Friday buying gifts for my secret pal and signing up for a knitting class. I need to get away from the boys some time, and that's a good way to do it.

07 October 2006

I was busy

The week I've just finished was packed full of all sorts of activity. Nothing terribly exciting, but busy nonetheless. Sunday afternoon I spent prepping a lab practical for Monday afternoon. I managed to finish it in two and a half hours. I have a ton of things to grade for the labs, and for the lecture classes still to do, but it's better because I'm off for a week! L also had his preop visit, so we are getting ready for his annual bone marrow biopsy on Thursday. Ugh.

Soccer and choir are getting to be pretty crazy. M's choir is part of a big concert on November 5, the Feast of All Saint's (the Episcopal Church has this as a moveable feast, so we celebrate it on the Sunday closest) and thus has rehearsal almost every Saturday from 10-noon. Then he has games. L has games, but no extra rehearsals. Thank goodness. Soccer will be over in two more weeks. I'm ready to sleep in some.

Anyway, today M had rehearsal while L had a game. B went to the rehearsal and I went with L to the game (being the coach). Only three children showed up (one was sick, one out of town, one has disappeared), but it was enough to play. Whew. The other team had 5 players, so they could sub, but oh well. My little players were very good and hung in and really played the whole game. They won, anyway! L even scored his first goal (for our team) today. All three of them scored goals. I was very proud of all of them.

M's game was later. His team was very good yet again. They shut out the other team. M's coach has been trying to keep the scores down and has been making the offensive team play defense and the defensive team play offense. It didn't work, again. M was very close to scoring, once by a header! His team is playing very well, and they have a few more games to go. I hope that they play well and can make it through the playoffs. I don't really care if they win, but they've done so well, they deserve to.

This evening, we went to the Bishop's Barbecue, a diocesan-wide event. The boys had a blast, like always. : ) Everyone in the diocese knows them, so I am not too worried about keeping them close. It's fun to see people and talk and find out what's going on at the other parishes.

In knitting news, I am almost finished with M's socks. I have completed the toe of one and have started the toe of the other. I'll probably finish them tomorrow. I'd like to work on the kilt hose stocking and B's sweater sleeves. I have to finish a pair of socks for L (he deserves a new pair after what he had to do yesterday and what's coming up next week). I'd also like to get a pair of children's socks (from yarn previously thought to become fingerless gloves for me) made to send to P for the SDS Silent Auction and Tea. After I finish the things on the needles already and the socks, I think that maybe I'll be allowed to knit something for me. I could use a sweater. I have one cardi that I knit and a sweater from high school (oh, so long ago) that fits. All the others are too big or have been worn to bits. I'm cold and I want another sweater!