Through the Back Loop

Adventures in knitting, fiber arts, and family.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Happy Birthday, Baby!

Image hosted by

She's 13 today. It's not possible! I cannot believe that the little girl with the permanently dirty face, the little girl who spoke her first word first phrase of, "What's that?" at the age of 9 months and hasn't stopped talking since has become a teenager. I have fought this day off for years, begging her to not drink her milk so that she wouldn't grow up (of course this made her drink it, which was really the point), and refusing to let her call herself a "preteen".

Here are 13 things that make my daughter special:

13. She can cook by herself. She makes scrambled eggs, french toast, Ramen noodles, and almost anything that comes in a box. Last night she made her own birthday treats (chocolate rice krispie bars), what a treat for me!

12. She still loves to go camping. Really roughing it. Anyone who will fight with her sister to be the one who gets to go to the bathroom first so that they can dig the "bathroom hole" in the sand is a special person. Canoe camp wouldn't be the same without her.

11. She fishes in the dark. The light up bobber is too clunky for her taste, thank you very much. She will fish in the dark by feel, and claim that she can see everything by the light of the moon. She baits her own hook, and takes off her own fish, sometimes.

10. She is a smart consumer. Since our in-home test of the reliability of advertisements, she no longer "needs" to have brand named anything. I bought a named brand cereal and a generic, put them in plain containers and we had a taste test. Even though the named brand was a little bit better, the generic was still good!

9. This girl can save money! She knows what she wants, and puts her money together. I'm loving her iPod Nano myself! Rock on!

8. She is a friend to everyone. At school, she has never joined the "popular" group because she doesn't want someone else to think that she doesn't like them. She also doesn't want to have to act a certain way to stay popular. She is her own person.

7. This girl can play sports! Trust me, when she was little we thought her talents would lead to acting, dancing, and cheerleading. This would have been great. She went to many camps for dancing and cheerleading, and had a small part in a play, but sports? We thought that she would trip over her own feet. Now, this 13 year-old plays basketball, soccer, and joined swim team" just to stay in shape?" She's strong in every sport, too. Goodbye, dancing!

6. She eats Chinese food like a pro. She likes all of the same foods that I do, so going out for lunch is a breeze. Dim sum, potstickers, noodles of any kind and egg rolls. Bring them on!

5. This girl is a writer. She knows how to write something that people want to read. All of her teachers since second grade have told her this. She wants to go to college and become a novelist. As long as she buys me lots of yarn and insists that I knit while on the vacation in New Zealand, or a cruise, or on the beach that she has paid for - well, I don't care where I go!

4. She is a good sister. Even though they fight sometimes, I know that my two girls are close and will always be the best of friends, and the worst of enemies. True sisters!

3. If you need someone to draw or paint something really wonderful, this is the girl! She inherited her love of art from her father, and even though I can't understand how she does this so well, I appreciate the final product. She has been to the museums of art in London and Chicago, and spends hours upon hours just looking at the works there. Hours and hours, and we had to force her to move on. She would have loved nothing better than to take her sketch pad into the museum in London and spend the day sketching. Wow.

2. She is my chick-flick buddy. Six hour sappy movie marathon? We are on the couch in our pajamas with tissues at the ready. And for a snack we both want the same thing.

1. She is a family girl. She loves her family from the bottom of her soul, and will defend them to the bitter end. I'm so glad for each of the 4,626 days she has graced us with her life.

Happy Birthday, my TEENAGER!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

I've been away. Things continue to be busy, but I will have to give an update this weekend.

I'm having surgery this afternoon for my endometriosis, and I plan to spend the long weekend recovering at home with knitting, chick flicks, and plenty of coffee!

Hope your Thanksgiving is wonderful!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

My Life

My life, these last two months, has become like a novel you would read where bad things happen so much that you finally are forced to put the book down shouting, “I get it already. This person has it BAD!”
The only difference is that the book is something that you know is fiction. My life is real. No one would believe that these things have actually happened, it really does sound like I made it up.
In the beginning of September, DH was hired at a school district 3 ½ hours away. We helped him move in, and Sept. 11th was our last “normal”, ”happy” day. I should have been warned, just from that date!
My FIL ended up back in the hospital for antibiotic treatments, and the next weekend my MIL had a major stroke. Each was in the hospital, but in different cities – an hour apart. They both deteriorated every day, and we thought it was the end, but on the same day, without talking to one another, they both improved. FIL was sent home with a special line so that he could go to the hospital every day for antibiotic IV treatments as an outpatient. MIL was released home with her now almost non-existent short term memory.
For weeks, six to be exact, I have driven to their home two to three times every week. They live 30 minutes away. I will help them clean, go grocery shopping, do laundry, whatever would make them happy. On the weekends when my DH comes home to see us, he would have to drive the same 30 minutes one-way to take his father to the hospital for the treatments. After six weeks of treatment, my FIL was no better, and now faces surgery this week for his aortic anuerysm. Because of his emphysema, the doctors have warned him that he may not survive the surgery.
This weekend would have been the first “normal” weekend in months. My mother, who has been sick for two and a half years, went with a friend to visit the friend’s aunt for the week. She has ended up in the hospital with a kidney stone, bladder and kidney infection that spread to the blood, and a low white blood cell count. This was the kicker. I have dipped into the sherry each night, and I have to admit to smoking a couple of cigs even with my asthma in bad form. Hey, I’m human, lay off!
Mom should be discharged from the hospital in Rock Island, Illinois today and come home tomorrow with her friend. I debated a thousand times about going there, and I will spare you the guilt ridden conversations that I have had with her friend, and I will also spare you the saga of my poor relationship with my mother.
Anyway, my sanity has been retained through most of this by finishing one of the baby gifts. Just take a look at how fantastic the Dale of Norway Fanasaeter pattern is.
Image hosted by
Bestill my heart.... I can see the little German/Indonesian baby filling this up. Apparently others could also see the imaginary baby while I worked on the romper, as several staff at the hospital where my MIL had her procedure came up to ask me, ‘What are you doing to that baby?” only to realize that there was no baby there.
Some more photos and project facts:Image hosted by
Image hosted by Photobucket.comPattern: Dale of Norway FanasaeterYarn: Dale of Norway Baby Ull in creamGauge: An incredible amount of stitches on sizes 0 and 2 US needles. Start Date: Somewhere between my FIL’s first hospitalization and his second. Let’s see – that would be about Sept. 1rst.Finish Date: November 1, 2005 at 11:45 pm.
Now I’ve started the same pattern in lavendar for size 6 months for my friend who cannot be named in case she visits. Darn, she is probably my only pregnant friend right now, so she will figure it out. Don’t look, Sharon!