Sunday, September 30, 2007

seafishes & starmonkeys

Okay, the etsy shop is up. Introducing:

Starfish15'll see that I obviously need a logo and masthead. Working on it. I had more crocheted stuff than I thought. Be kind...


Apparently, (and unfortunately) it's not so easy to just change the name of your etsy shop. So "Seafishes and starmonkeys" will have to wait for now.

THANK YOU TO ALL WHO PURCHASED SOMETHING!! I will be adding things soon - especially the swirl picture frame that was a hit. Be sure to ask me if there is something specific you would like - I love to personalize things for people!

Mel at Stirrup Queens has done it again. She has arranged to compile a list of all shops that are owned by women who will use the funds for infertility treatments or adoption. Please see the link over there on my sidebar. When shopping for gifts (don't forget Christmas is coming!!) I hope you will consider shopping at these places for your needs. You will get a great hand made gift, and will help someone become a mom. Win win if you ask me.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Funky Friday

This morning, as I am walking into my building to work, I encountered the biggest idiot on the face of this planet. To get into my building I have to go through a revolving door, which admittedly is always moving pretty quickly, especially in the morning when everyone is coming in. Getting through the door is usually uneventful. But this time, just as I get into my little one fourth section of the door, I hear shrieking in my left ear.

Apparently, a very young, very STUPID young woman who is apparently from a planet where there are no revolving doors, was unable to figure out how to safely navigate such a complex piece of machinery. I guess she misjudged the trajectory of her entry, and she almost got crushed as the door moved around. She and ended up smooshed up against me in my little section, scaring the crap out of me with the screaming. I had to do the Mr Tudball shuffle* through the door with this idiot on my back. Being the sympathetic and understanding sort that I am, I scream "WHAT ON EARTH WOULD POSSESS YOU TO DO THAT??". Sheesh. Meanwhile, she didn't even apologize or anything...when we got to the other side she practically ran into the little coffeeshop. I guess she was mortified. RIGHTFULLY SO.

So that should give you an indication of the kind of day this is. Can't wait to go home. Tomorrow we are doing a community yard sale - a bunch of houses in my neighborhood all do it the same day. It's always an interesting social experiment. I love to practically give away stuff to people who really like something, or really need something. I also really love tellling people to take a hike when they get all nasty because you won't give them a lead crystal vase for 25 cents.
Although most of my time tomorrow will probably be spent going through baby clothes right there on the front lawn...SM (seamonkey) has a closet full of clothes that don't really fit him anymore, and I am reluctant to face the fact that many things still have tags on them and were a complete waste of (mine and other's) money. I need to realize that he is at least in 12 mos size now, and it's probably a good idea to get rid of the 3-6 month sizes. Ya think? So I have his closet full, drawers, plus 3 huge plastic tubs of hand me downs from my cousin to go through. I need to pull out stuff to sell at the yardsale, stuff to sell on ebay, and stuff to give away to charity. Let me know if anyone is interested in little boy things - I would love to think that some of his things would be loved by other adopted kids.....

As for the etsy shop - I think we have a winner. Rachel came up with "Seafishes & Starmonkeys" and for some reason I can't get that out of my head. Something about how it tangles up me and the boy in a fun way. I have no idea what kind of logo/banner thing I will come up with, but it matches the whimsicalness (whimsicality?) of the items I make. And to clarify that point, most of my stuff will NOT be knitted related. I do alot of whimsical painted stuff...treasure boxes, pictures frames and things. I may throw some knitted stuff out there that I have never gifted out, but it won't be much. Sorry if I mislead you. But, once you see what kind of stuff there is, I am totally open to suggestions and will custom make anything you wish. Rachel, thankyou, and we will have to work out how you will be justly rewarded for your creativity.

If I can find a few freaking minutes of free time, maybe I can get everything finished, photographed and posted.

In the meantime, please check out these great links from adoptive moms:

Mama K Creations - Great tye dye baby stuff made by fellow blogger MamaK
The Family Gems - Beautiful bracelets - love the ones that say "believe"- by Sig
Connie at One More Ladybug is selling great International Adoption car decals - see her sidebar!

*50 points if you know this reference.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Help for a name

The Etsy shop is almost ready - although don't get too excited, I don't have a ton of stuff to list - whenever I get a free block of time, I seem to want to spend it with a certain short person in my household. But the stuff that will be there should be nice... Anyway, I need help choosing a name for my etsy shop page. Some things I've thought of:

Starfish Garden
Fifteen Starfish (15 is my lucky number)
Starfish and Seamonkeys
Chunky Seamonkey
Seamonkey Says...

Well, you see the theme I'm trying to go with here...and I don't really love any of me a favor and take 2 minutes and think about it - what else do ya got?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Grumpy Monday

Okay so people aren't exactly scrambling to knit with me. Seems like it's a slow blog reading day (or that's what I'm choosing to believe) - you all must be so exhausted from the weekend - I'll give you some more time to mull it over. Just one red scarf - and I promise to pick a pattern that is totally do-able. Even if only a few of us do it it will be fun dammit!

In other news - last week my admin asked me to contribute money towards a gift for one of our staff members who is a new dad. I found out about the birth when this person suddenly asked for a week off to help "the baby's mother" while she recouperates. Yeah, one of those deals. So I decided not to be all bitter, and I gave $5. Well today I learn that a total of $285 was collected! Can you believe that?? So I'm way past bitter now - I'm into totally pissed off. Let's all give this guy a freaking car payment because he forgot to use a condom?? I don't get it! Life is so not fair. But I knew that.

Yawn. I'm exhausted. I'm not sleeping terribly well these days. I find myself subconsciously worrying about every little thing lately. I guess when things are good you are always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Actually it's not so much subconsciously - I have been doing this really bizarre thing lately - I have been imagining these really horrible things happening to the people I love. Accident type things - and I play out entire scenes in my head. Like I'll be carrying seamonkey and I'll think "Imagine if I tripped and we both fell onto the concrete and he cracked his head open" - and that's a mild one trust me. In particular I seem to be obsessed as to when my dad is going to die. Isn't that horrible? He and seamonkey have such a strong bond that I'm thinking it would just FIGURE that something would happen to screw that all up.

I think I am just really scared that something bad is going to happen soon - the law of averages says it's got to happen sometime, no?. And those of us who have gone through infertility kind of know that you get used to bad disappointing hurtful shit happening to you so regularly that you can't believe that the good stuff will last very long.

Am I nuts? Do some of you feel that way too? Any thoughts on how to handle it?

Friday, September 21, 2007

KAL anyone?

So I've been thrilled to see that we have some knitters out there in adoption/inferitlity bloggy land! As you may know, I do have a knitting blog, but I haven't posted there in quite some time - it's been a challenge to post with any semblance of regularity on this blog, so maintaining two is OUT. So guess what? I will be consolidating - and now you get to look at knitterly things in various stages of completion from now on. Doesn't that sounds fabulous?

Okay ready? Go!

This is what I'm working on now - A blue baby kimono sweater. It's a gift for a friend. Now I just need to seam it and do the neck band. I also need to make a girly baby sweater for a friend, I was going to do this in a feminine color, but perhaps I'll just crochet something...that goes quicker for me.
Now for the items that I haven't picked up since before we got seamonkey:

A wrap (basically a big rectangle) made from worsted wieght wool, using a lace pattern I found in a magazine which I can't locate right now. Perfect for fall, but I doubt I'll finish it - I'm like a third done with it.

Entrelac baby blanket. This is just too feminine for seamonkey. When I finish it I'll probably gift or sell it on etsy. It's 100% wool and super soft, once it's blocked I'm sure it will be gorgeous and snuggly.

Bell Sleeve Pullover for myself. Thick yarn with big needles, this should go fairly fast. This is one sleeve done - it's the first sweater I've ever attempted just for me.

I wish I could plow through these projects and be done with them. I am definitely a product knitter - I like finishing and having something to show for my efforts, as opposed to some who are process knitters; enjoying the journey as much as the end product. That's SO not me.

I'm not sure if I'm going to pick up any of these UFOs any time soon (unfinished objects for all you civilians). After the baby sweaters I want to make seamonkey a stripey winter hat and scarf. And I maybe want to knit something to send to our friends in Colombia. And then I was thinking that maybe we could do a KAL?

What's a KAL you ask? Why a Knit A Long of course!

Where we all pick a pattern, knit it at the same time, help each other along and (of course) post our progress on the blog. I had this crazy idea that maybe some of you who dabble in knitting would like to try something new and exciting....maybe even learn something new? Howz about lace? Or cables? I was thinking scarf to keep things fairly quick to knit. AND, if you don't have your heart set on giving your scarf to your great Aunt Tilly for Christmas, we could even tie this in to the whole adoption thing and participate in the Red Scarf Project!

What do you think??

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Some Follow Up

Well I am happy to report that this week is going much better (damn I was looking for an excuse to do some serious shoe shopping), although I should keep that on the QT in case the gods are listening - there is still tomorrow to get through. I have to attend a stupid lunch tomorrow to meet a client - an easy work day but I have to go with a bunch of sales people which is always so annoying - I can't do that chit chat thing, nor can I do the salesy schmoozy thing. Such a waste of time to me.

Anyway - just a note on my husband...while he is definitely a keeper - don't go giving him too much praise now - there were some definite benefits to him advising me to buy four tailored suits. Like how he doesn't have to hear me bitch about my lack of appropriate attire at least for the short term. That is no small thing here folks - I think his ears were starting to bleed because of it. Not to mention that I'm sure he assumes that he now has free reign to buy four tailored suits worth of fishing equipment, car magazines and grooming products. There is a method to his madness for sure - a stupid man he is not.

I am also remiss in thanking you for all of your kind words on the Birthday Bash. Again, it was nice of you all to be so complimentary, but really, I don't think I'll be winning any mom of the year awards. As I said, the weeks leading up to the event were so unbelievably stressful. I am not a good party planner AT ALL. I think and rethink every single decision a million times. I can't even begin to tell you how many times we changed the menu. And I am still feeling guilty for all the time I stuck seamonkey in his packnplay in front of the tv so I could get crap done. I do not enjoy party planning, not one little bit. In fact, I said to one friend at the end of the night "I hope you had fun because I am NEVER doing that again. Okay, MAYBE when he's five, but right now that is a very big MAYBE".

The invitations I enjoyed, because crafting is my thing. They took me a little longer than normal because I am a crazy perfectionist. But the rest was really quite simple. The food was all either cold stuff or barbecued stuff - simple recipies with few ingredients. The spongebob cake was really easier than it looks. The website not only gives you step by step instructions, but gives you videos of the whole thing too. It's basically a rectangular cake, so it wasn't all that tricky - and it uses a cake mix and canned icing. As for the cupcakes - that could not have been easier, and I got the idea from a tv show. Make any old cupcakes and any old frosting tinted with (2 whole bottles!) of red food coloring. Stick in two swedish fish with a notch cut out for claws, shoe lace licorice for legs, and halved black jelly beans for eyes. Easy peasy!

The difficult part was that I was crazy busy at work all week and everything I needed to do had to be done between Thursday night and Saturday afternoon. Words cannot express the whirlwind of activity that occurred in my house in that time frame. It was not fun at all. AT ALL.

As for husbands, I don't know what to tell you. We seem to be struggling a bit with the SAHD thing....more on that in a later post. I'm glad to see that at least of few of you have husbands with the bizarre garage unpack/repack disease. Maybe we should have a telethon.

Lastly, I never acknowledged that I was recommended for a Rockin' Girl Blogger award by Samantha at Southern Infertility. Thanks very much Samantha! As required, here are my nominations. I think I'm only supposed to list 5, but I needed to list a few more. This was pretty difficult, there are lots of great blogs I read, and many great people who have supported me throughout my journey. This list represents those blogs where I feel some kind of connection with the authors (beyond having adopted a child), as much as you can without having actually met the person anyway...

1. Samantha herself. In the spirit of "right back atcha", Samantha is an eloquent writer, describing her feelings during infertility treatments in a such a deep and thoughtful way - better than I ever could. Add to that the fact that she is a faithful reader of this blog, even when there are pics of seamonkey all over the place. She is the definition of class. Go say hi to her. She could probably use the support right now anyway.

2. Rachael at Always Wanted Four - I started reading her blog when she was in the process of bringing Katya home from Russia. Intelligent, crafty, witty - my kind of gal!

3. Jenni at Four Feet More - I love to read about the antics of high spirited Vika and handsome Eamon. We seem to have similar views on parenting and a similar sense of humor. And she knits!

4. Julie at ...And the rest is history - Our sons are extremely close in age, so it's great to get another perspective on things as we go along on this road to raising a human being. I like her candidness, both in her words and her photography.

5. Mama K - Me and Mama K go way back - we connected through our knitting blogs, and she's cheered me on from the beginning of the adoption process. Thankfully, she's never had to experience serious infertility issues, but she "gets it" nonetheless, and has always been a great supporter.

6. Shaken Mamma - This is one of the newest blogs added to my blogroll. From the first post I read, I knew this was someone I could relate to. She's hilarious, especially when she's describing her darling Chebbles and the challenges she presents to motherhood. How she manages to keep her sense of humor with all that pregnancy and nasea going on, I'm not sure.

7. Mel at Stirrup Queens - no explanation needed really. She rocks. Period.

Now go nominate some people if you haven't already, it just may make their day.

Going forward, I am going to try (TRY) to blog at least 3 times a week. No matter what, I am going to sit down and type out whatever is in my head at the moment. I want to be a better blogger. I am finding myself with this insane need to DO, to CREATE, to EXPRESS myself. I think maybe it's because life is slightly stressful now, and in the past creative outlets have helped me deal with things. It's probably because I feel validated and good about myself when people tell me they like what I've created (still working on that etsy shop!). It kind of balances out the negativity (real or self imposed) that is floating around me. So, be sure to comment regularly or I'll have to blame you for the degredation of my confidence.

Friday, September 14, 2007

A rambling account of my sucky week and it's ultimate redemption

Happy Monday. Let's hope this week is better than last week. Last week, at one point I was seriously considering jumping off a very high bridge.

It started well enough - I took last Monday off because I needed a mental health day - and I got to play Mrs. Mom for the day. It was such a wonderfully productive day - I was able to do some crafting (for that etsy shop I keep mentioning) and knitting, and laundry, and cleaning, and movie watching, all the while spending the day with my little munchkin. Man I love that kid.

Anyway, it all went down hill from there. Tuesday I woke up late, and we were in the midst of a horrible rainstorm, so I decided to drive through hellish traffic and flooding to our satellite office and spend the day there - which sometimes is good, but this time it sucked because I didn't have things I needed with me and well, just trust me it sucked.

Wednesday was even worse. Again, I woke up late. I had an extremely important 9:30 meeting to make. Okay no problem, I'll take the next train which will still get me there in plenty of time. Then some bizarre time vortex happened and before I knew it I realized I wasn't going to make the next train either. Okay the next train after that will get me there AT 9:30. Rush rush rush, yada yada yada, get in the car, look at the clock - Holy Shit you are kidding me I am going to miss this train too. So I drive like a maniac to the train station and pray to God that He doesn't choose this day to teach me a lesson and put a small animal or (GOD FORBID) a small person in the road in front of me. I thankfully avoid disaster, park and run in heels and jump onto the train right before the doors close. I sit on the train panting like a rabid dog, and try to sit quietly and will my sweat glands to stop producing. I do finally settle much in fact that I get so engrossed in my book that I miss my transfer. UGH. I end up having to take a much busier much more ANNOYING route to the office. Once I finally get there, I nearly sprint to the conference room to find that....the meeting has been delayed an entire half hour. Which means I have to hang around doing nothing until it starts. So I am standing in the hallway checking the BB, and my boss comes up with a puss on his face. And he starts telling me how displeased he is with a certain issue that has come up. And goes on. and on. And drops the F bomb. And then basically says he has no confidence in my team and storms off. *SIGH*

The rest of the day was spent playing email volleyball with him, because he got himself on a nice little roll there, and decided he needed to know (and criticize) the status of every project and issue we are currently dealing with. All day long. It finally ended at about 8:30 pm - I was sitting in the parking lot of a Boston M@rket having just picked up a late dinner, and emailing him back saying that I was sorry everything was so terribly horrible but can you please just cut me a break here, I am trying very hard and I am not one for excuses, but how much can a person take?? I got what could kind of pass as an apology, and a nice note that despite his meltdown, he's happy I'm in charge over the team. There may or may not have been a few tears at that point - but if there were it was only relief that I didn't have to argue any more, that the work day was now officially over and that I could go home and have dinner with my family.

Thursday was slightly better, only to be worse again on Friday when I had to attend two different client meetings, both of which were like walking into the lion's den. I hate it when people find the need to ambush you with issues, issues that could have very easily been resolved with a phone call when first identified, instead of calling a meeting with big wigs who don't need to be involved, and don't really understand that you are making a freaking mountain out of a molehill. Or at the very least, have the courtesy to allow me to prepare to be yelled at by a different set of people who are unhappy with me this week. Needless to say, by the end of the day, I felt like I was hit by a mack truck.

The weekend was MUCH better because 1) I have the ability to switch off my brain from work and didn't give any of it another thought once I left the building and 2) I have the best husband in the world.

BT was participating in some fishing tournament thing which involved him being out of the house for practically the entire day on Saturday. This afforded me some much needed time to try and finish some craft projects, and spend quality time with the seamonkey. Did I mention I love that kid? On Sunday I accompanied BT to the closing "ceremonies" of the tournament (read: a bunch of skanky fisherman and a suck up councilman standing in the parking lot gawking over fish carcasses) and it was a beautiful day, so I walked with seamonkey along the beach, and visited a new 9/11 memorial that was constructed there. Hauntingly beautiful - it gave me goosebumps. Afterwards we dropped the boy off at the grandparents and we went shopping.

Shopping beause - I need to upgrade my wardrobe. In this new position I have much more visibility, and many more occasions that require me to wear an actual business suit. As much as that pains me, both financially (I'm cheap) and physically (I hate wearing jackets) it is a necessity. I have been dreading this shopping trip because I'm hard to fit (and to please) and I've already been to many stores with no luck. We decide to head off to L&T because they have a decent selection in my size. We started off a little rocky, I must have brought in 15 things to try on and only came out with one shirt and one suit that would have been perfect except for the front darts on the jacket that made me look *ahem* very cold. I come out to show BT that "See? It isn't my fault, my body is bizarre and uncooperative so how can I be expected to find anything decent, and ---"



As I'm standing there blinking at him, speechless...the fitting room attendant sticks her head out and says: "I'm sorry, did you say you needed a tailor? Would you like me to call her up here?" to which BT of course yells "YES!" We were told we would have to wait a bit since she was backed up, but would we like to continue shopping? "YES!" says BT again as he grabs me by the hand and drags me into the suits section of the store. Now I have never, ever bought a suit where both pieces are together on one hanger. I am two different sizes on top and bottom, so I have always bought separates, in separate sizes. Standing among a sea of actual real life suits, BT tells me to "Stand there and don't move". He goes around pulling suits from everywhere, in the larger size to accomodate my *cough* voluptious bosom. "But I don't like---" I start to protest... "SHUT UP." he said "YOU WILL TRY ON WHAT I GIVE YOU." And for the next 20 minutes I tried on every jacket he handed me. It went quickly - we could see what had potential and what didn't. In the end, I had 4 suits in gray, brown, black pinstripe and a pretty brown/pink pinstripe. And when the tailor came, I tried them all on and just pushed through my embarrasment (I was convinced she was going to laugh at me and tell me that she was a tailor and not a magician or something) and together we agreed on what to do to make them look better. Mostly she made the bigger pants smaller, and adjusted some jacket seams to skim my curves better. The total for the alterations was just $80!! And the suits themselves were all at least 30% off or better, and the saleswoman gave me a 20% coupon for everything. Tell me can you beat that?? Stacey and Clinton would be so proud!!

So it ended up okay. I'm hopeful this is a better week. If not, I'm definitely going shoe shopping next weekend!

Oh and the husband? Don't worry, he was justly rewarded...if you know what I mean.....

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I remember

I can't believe it's been six years. It seems like just yesterday.

People say that everyone's forgotten, that's it's "business as usual". To me, that's true and it isn't. I walk by ground zero at least 3 times a week. The fact that there is a gigantic hole where there used to be buildings is not something I can ever get used to. There is life there now...vendors and business people and tourists. And for that I am glad. They are the evidence that life IS going on, but I would rather that than empty cold dark concrete. Each time I walk by that place I think about how we have literally risen from the ashes. I feel a little like it is my responsibility to keep walking there, to show that we are still alive, still free.

If you didn't observe the moment of silence this morning, won't you do it now? Close your eyes and send a prayer of thanks, a prayer of healing, a prayer of hope.

God Bless America.

(My post last year described my 9/11 experience, if you are interested, read it here)

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The Birthday Bash

Holy crap I have been insanely busy. The weeks leading up to the boy's first birthday party were pure chaos. Of course, because of how my life works, the several days directly preceeding the party were the busiest I've ever had at work ever. EV-ER. I took the Friday before off, and of course that's the day my company decides to prepare for the big board meeting the following week, and the president of the company is calling all over God's creation to find me. Good thing I didn't answer the blackberry, as I was up to my eyeballs in balsamic vinegar and canned icing (trying to multi-task).

It really did end up being a great time. We had a beautiful day, almost everyone invited attended and said repeatedly how much fun they had. We even got to know our neighbors better, they've lived next door for 2 years, and have a 2 year old daughter but we never really saw them. We invited them to the party and they still seem to like us after meeting my entire family! The only bad thing was that I didn't take any video, and didn't take nearly enough pictures. The memories though, are priceless.
Here's what we ate:

Steamed Crabs (caught locally, and made with O'Brycki's seasoning, better than Old Bay and a great Baltimore restaurant)
Hamburgers & Hot Dogs
Key West Chicken (made with boneless chicken thighs)
Marinated Flank Steak skewers (marinated and prepped by the butcher)
Potato Salad (from Costco - try it, it's amazing)
Corn on the cob (fresh local farm corn, so sweet!)
Mid-Summer Bread Salad (again with local farm produce)
BT's Salad (he's famous for it - green salad with sugared pecans, gorgonzola, red onion, pears in balsamic dressing)

Lessons I've learned:

1. Never start major home improvements less than a month before a party. You think it's good motivation to get your husband to finally do stuff, but all it does is strain your marriage and give you huge. throbbing. headaches. We had a paving stone patio put in and built a second floor deck. Yes I am insane.

2. Never ask your dad to do the aforementioned home improvements. Or if you do, remember that he is now 67 and can not move at the pace you need him to. I swear to you that no less than 5 hours before the party my backyard looked like the tool corral at Home Depot. I finally had to say "DAD FORGET THE TRIM, WE WILL LIVE WITHOUT IT FOR NOW".

3. Never trust your husband to do everything you need him to do while you are at work. I made lists upon lists, and each night when I got home I heard about all the stuff he did that was NOT on the list. Honestly, do your husbands have the insane habit of repeatedly "cleaning out the garage" which really consists of taking all the crap out of the garage, strewing it all over the driveway, and then putting it right back in again, rearranging it so that you can't find a damn thing? Or is that just my husband? How does this help prepare for a party??

4. Wear comfortable shoes when entertaining. I must have went in and out of the house sixty four thousand times.

5. Listen to your mom when she tells you how much food you are going to need. If you don't, then you will run out (or come dangerously close). Listen to your dad about how much beer you are going to need. Otherwise, you need to make a beer run at 9pm.

6. Having an extra fridge in the garage is an absolute Godsend. It's the one "not on the list" thing I have forgiven him for.

7. If you are going to make a big elaborate cake, make sure you give yourself enough time. This way you aren't rushing and accidentally leave out ingredients. Also make sure you aren't tired, or you will be punchy; when you laugh too much your hand shakes and you can't squeeze out icing consistently. Oh and when recipes say 4 oz of red food coloring it is not a misprint, that means TWO WHOLE BOTTLES. And for God sakes be careful or else everything will be red.

8. Boiled crabs are not good the next day. Leftover crab cupcakes however, are great for breakfast.

9. When you really really need him, your brother will come through for you. He cleaned, he babysat, he shucked corn and iced cakes. Could he finally be maturing? I won't hold my breath, but it sure was nice while it lasted.

10. When people offer to help you, TAKE THEM UP ON IT.