Thursday, January 25, 2007

A colonic is not actually an organic version of a gin and tonic

See, the things I'm learning just amaze me. Seriously. One of my friends said she was discussing "the bet" (my bet with Jeff) with one of her friends who works in the health care industry. She said "OH, tell her to get some colonics, but be careful because they can be addicting and you can lose too many electolytes." I said, MAN, anything that can help you lose weight AND be addicting HAS to be good. I asked what exactly ARE colonics? Well, they're herbs and water. cool. I like herbs and water, I said, what, like a whole-foods version of a gin & tonic? nope. not even close. OOOOOOOhhhhhhhhhhh. yeah. kay. maybe if I'm really close and need a couple of pounds to go over the limit, but otherwise, I'm gonna stick with my fake-chocolate tasting ex-lax when things need some help.

TMI? sorry people. I just try to educate anyone else out there as clueless as me. The rest of you can just shake your heads and say "oh, how does she not walk into walls every damn day?"

I finished the lacy-look section of the top of my green gables sweater. See how her lacy part is these pretty rows of stitches between the openings? Yeah. Mine is working up a bit fuxxed up. They kind of zig-zag in a most peculiar manner but I think I like it. It's like organized chaos in a knitted top. To achieve this bit of design structure, you totally forget whether you were doing the A or B section over & over and just wing it. Yeah. Looks like it should be this one. Then you try to count, realizing you're totally off and think, um, sure, this one will work now. Voila. Pictures soon. My old laptop died and I haven't found the driver cd for the work computer yet.

I've grown to a new level of my exercising. I no longer hate it with every fibre of my being. Now it's more of a "well, I guess so" instead of "NOOOOOOOOOOOO PLEASE MAKE IT STOOOOOOOOOOOPPPPPPPPP!" I haven't hit that whole "runner's high" crap I keep hearing about but I almost enjoyed my workout with trainer man yesterday. I think those people who run FOR FUN or work out and get happy with it have some extra crazy gene or something I was born without. I'm making terriyaki chicken breasts with buttloads of veggies and wild rice tonight. Free range, veggie-fed, no chemicals-added chicken. I now add local bee pollen and sprouted wheat germ to my whole grain cheerios in the morning. I cook, I clean, I exercise, I knit, I even STEAMED ASPARAGUS last night. How scary is that? I am the new superwoman. rrawrrr.

Know what else I learned yesterday? TINK is knit spelled backwards. Duh. I TOTALLY did not know this. I always thought it was a Brittish, polite, old-way of saying un-knitting without cursing, kind of like they say "a bit wonky" to mean "totally fuxxed up". How cool is that? Tinking is un-knitting. who'd of thunk it? Am I really the only one out there who didn't know these things?

An interesting video called The Last Knit that was posted about on the lace knitting yahoo group I belong to. I got a kick out of it. The obsession...Ah, we've all been there.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Moving in the right direction

136. It's working. I'm tired. ass. out. My trainer is really a great guy. He seems genuinely excited to see me make such a change in my lifestyle. He's more about the "learn to eat healty for life" rather than the "just make it to the bet goal" but hey, those healthy people are all about that. No worries. I'm still chugging right along, reading labels and eating right. I've gotten the kids involved in exercising at home and they're having a blast thinking up exercises they learned at gym class and making stuff up. We had a head-standing contest that was the funniest thing I've ever witnessed. Kids were loopy as hell, as soon as I'd get one leaning against the wall and the other started, it'd be dominoes, feet and legs flying off every which way. good times.

I am still knitting, in fact, I'm having some serious bouts with startitis. Not only do I have my daughter's cardigan/shrug/bolero thing on the needles, (almost done with one sleeve and one sleeve to go), but also a pair of socks for Jeff out of mountain colors yarn (loving it so far), my orangina that is still only about 6 inches long and NEVER getting any longer--I've hit that weird knitting limbo that happens when you knit and knit and NOTHING HAPPENS, the roses tank top is sitting there looking at me waiting patiently to get longer than its 4 inch start, I'm trying to decide whether or not to frog the market bag I've had on the needles for ALMOST THREE YEARS NOW because I think the yarn would be enough to make the wicked sweater and I just don't see me using the market bag should I ever finish the damn thing, AND I cast on TWICE for green gable with some wild multicolored hand-painted cotton yarn I got at a Studio yarn sale about a year ago.

Why twice? Well, the woman who has never twisted a joined ring, no, I think I did once, but then caught it after ONE ROW like any good knitter would, had a DOUBLE TWIST in my joined stitches. Then knit for FOUR FREAKING INCHES. FOUR INCHES. yes, yes I did. I couldn't believe it. You think somewhere I would have found at least ONE of the damn twists, wouldn't you? Ah well. Now it's about one inch along, no twists in sight, added to the pile of knitting just waiting for me.

I guess starting a buttload of new knitting projects and a new exercise and eating plan wasn't enough for me, because I'm also signed up for a beginner's quilting class at the Prairie Point shop and it's been fun so far! I've never done anything in moderation before, so why start now? Six weeks from now I should have a cute six block small quilt ready to hang on the wall.

That's it around here, sorry to be boring, but that's all I got.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Lose-the-Bootie Camp, Knitter Style

Joey update: THANK GOD no more puking. Sometimes I think childbirth was easier than dealing with a barfing child. He's feeling much better today.

Six weeks from yesterday is my d-day. My bootie camp officially starts tomorrow.

Either way, SIX WEEKS LEFT. After my triumph of breaking the 140 barrier and getting to 138, I've been stuck. stuck stuck stuck. 138-142 every damn day. I need to get to 125 to win the bet. I mostly thought I could do it, but didn't really believe until yesterday. I ran into my old trainer at the gym. He's gone into business for himself and is creating a boot camp with another trainer to run in the spring. I'm going to be his guinney pig (sp?) and get cheap rates and he BELIEVES he REALLY DOES THINK I CAN DO IT!!! I've got to eat, sleep, breathe, work, sweat and drink lakes of water but I CAN DO ANYTHING FOR SIX WEEKS, right?. I've got workout day #1 tomorrow. I'm going to train 3 times a week with him, do cardio 6 times a week, and eat the diet he gives me. I'm going to NOT DRINK ANY BEERS OR MIKES HARD LIMEADES until March 2nd. Holy crap. He did tell me he's not taking away my diet coke. He said he's seen how much his girlfriend lives for hers, so I'm down to one a day. period. I even told him he can have one of my "before" pictures of me on the beach in shorts (quite scary I must say) and can use it for promotion of his boot camp, as long as we get the results we need and I have a totally hot "after" shot and good hair.

In addition to the training workouts, homework workouts and other crap, I can't sit on my butt knitting for hours on end. I just looked at him. I said, "You know, you can take away my beer, my limeades, my chocolate-coated everything. You take away my yarn, I might shrivel up and die, but only after I wrap you in yarn so tight you resemble a big-ass cocoon. Let's find another option, shall we?" SO we decided I may, in fact, sit on my ass and knit but not for more than 30 minutes at a time. Then I have to get up and JUMP ROPE for one set of commercials or 3 minutes. 30 minutes of knitting, commercials of squats, 30 minutes of knitting, commercials of deep knee bends, 30 minutes of knitting, plank yoga position where you alternate stretching out one arm and the opposite leg straight out in front of and behind you while not falling over and shaking mercilessly, 30 minutes of knitting.

I'm also supposed to go to bed and SLEEP and not stay up knitting into the night. I actually was able to turn off my light at 10pm and we went to sleep not too much later. Sex is always a nice way to burn calories, and Jeff is happily helping with that part of the equation.

My trainer called today just to say he was so excited and knows I can do it and to give me a cardio homework assignment to be ready for tomorrow.

He and another trainer are working on planning a boot camp for the spring but also should have some VERY REASONABLE (less than half what the best plan at the gyms I was looking at charge) individual and small group session pricing. They'll do most of the sessions near 135th and Nall in south Overland Park, KS. We could be workout buddies!!! Once the craziness is over, let me know if you want some info on these guys. I love that he takes my very own personal situation and sets things up for ME, not some cookie-cutter of what the standard should be.

OK, my personal fitness tip of the day...
BUY yourself an mp3 player of some sort. Get Meatloaf's Paradise by the Dashboard Lights. (make sure you don't accidentally buy some damn karioke version that SUCKS by mistake) Play it over & over while doing the quickstart on the eliptical machine. If you keep your feet moving to the beat, you get slow, fast, crazy fast, slower, fast, etc. throughout the song, mixing things up and keeping your muscles from getting used to anything. I can't seem to figure out how to do the pre-programmed workouts, plus I've got to have my feet moving to the beat or I fall over.

Get the American Idiot song from Green Day. Play it while cruising on the stair-master. In a 20 minute session you can easily go one mile while pumping to this music. I get the most burn not from just stepping to the music, no, anyone can do that. I do more of a step-bounce, step-bounce, step-bounce, step-bounce thing. If you really get cranking, you add a hip swing and pump your fists, it resembles a weird version of cross-country skiing. If you get going a bit too much, you may or may not make scary noises while the machine actually wobbles back and forth (which seems to scare the skinny minnies on the machines next to me).

Make sure before hitting "shuffle songs" that your children's music selection is NOT on your ipod. There's nothing worse than craking along on the stairmaster, hips swinging, arms pumping, sweat sweating, legs pumping and you hear the screams (I keep mine cranked LOUD while working out) of the hamster dance song from Radio Disney. I about fell off the damn machine.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Barf and Koigu don't mix

Whooooo boy. It was a close one. I've been fanatically knitting away on my daughter's tween's dream bolshrudigan, my first attempt at sweater designing with help from Elizabeth Zimmerman and Barbara Walker. I mean, I was CRANKING along on the thing. I figured out why,when knitting a ruffle around the entire edging, that maybe it's best not to do a double ruffle. Double ruffle = knit regular one round, knit front & back of each stitch next round (doubling stitches), knit regular one round, knit front & back of each stitch next round (doubling the doubled stitches). Let's just say that I had every damn length of my adjustible needle set added on and it was still so crammed with stitches that I had to stop and hwang them around after each 10 or so stitches. TOO DAMN MANY STITCHES. I couldn't unknit it, I had to pull it off the needles and woooooooo pull out the stitches. I'd just decided my hands, eyes and head hurt too much to work on it any longer, so I put it into my basket and set it on the counter next to my bedroom's bathroom door.

*duh, duh, DUUUHHHHHHHHHHH* (foreshadowing music here)

At about 11pm, little feet padded into the room with a "my tummy hurts" and then seconds later, SPLAT....SPLAT SPLAT SPLAT SPLAT SPLAT!!!! (repeat over & over). Joey had gotten the barfs. Projectile vomitting from the doorway of the bathroom that covered the entire room, the door, towels, walls, etc. ICK doesn't even begin to describe the horror. The only saving grace was that the knitting basket was about TWO INCHES away from the beginnings of the splatter. I'm telling you, it's a good damn thing. It would have been thrown away, basket and all. I don't care if I'm 5 balls of koigu kersti into the thing or not, I don't do well with barf. If the kid hadn't made it to the bathroom and exploded on my bed, I think we'd have to move. period.

I can handle everything else that comes out of a child, you name it, I've cleaned it up. Barf just isn't one of those super-momma fighting skills I was blessed with. THANK GOD FOR JEFF. After sticking Joey into the shower, he used the nearby towels I'd grabbed and wiped up all the visual traces for me, took them down into the washing machine. I just had to lysol & clorox the room without breathing or thinking of it.

Joey's feeling better now. Hopefully it was a one-big episode. We all had our flu shots, so I'm hoping that helps kick this in the butt.

Friday, January 12, 2007

I've become a lady of the night

NO, not in the extra-curricular, street-walking, earning extra money for yarn way, no, no, no. More of the can't-go-to-sleep-yet, just-a-couple-more-rows, why-isn't-there-anything-on-tv, maybe-I'll-listen-to-a-few-more-podcasts, HOLY CRAP when-did-it-become-2:30am kind of way. Sleep and creative knitting do not go together, there's just not room for both. I don't know why my most energetic, thought inspiring, fastest knitting must come after midnight. OH it's hard to get up in the am. The fact that Jeff has been traveling has made these night-time knits a little easier, I don't have to worry about keeping anyone up.

Last night I had a knit-piphany. I had been going through books and books and books and internet patterns and all sorts of things and even PURCHASED another freaking book to get a pattern to make a cardigan/bolero/shrug kind of thing for my daughter. I was printing shit out at 11:30 last night to get ideas. I'd even worked about 2 inches of 90 stitches back and forth stockinette stitching for the back of a pattern for her, but it just wasn't speaking to me. Actually, it WAS speaking to me, it was sounding like a petty, obnoxious pre-teen being bored. Seriously, the yarn was bored with the pattern and no matter how hard I tried to look at the cute, pretty little pattern there in the book, it wasn't good knitting. Life's too short for that crap. If I'm gonna knit something, I'm gonna enjoy the living crap out of it or I'm not gonna knit it. Period. That's my new philosophy.

I have been recently been bitten by the Elizabeth Zimmerman and Barbara Walker bug. I've been reading and reading and chuckling and just loving the hell out of those little pictures and stories that go along with the inspiration that is EZ's work. So, at 12:30am, I decided wtf and cast on for my very own inspiration. I climbed up on top of the desk in my kid's room, leaned out over my daughter's very high bunk bed and measured the back of her neck and also where a raglan seam would be from her neck to her armpit. I rolled her back over, "no, honey it's not time to get up yet, go back to sleep, you're dreaming, your momma's not really measuring your armpits in the middle of the night, what a silly dream you're having."

I'm going to make the world's cutest pre-teen bolero/shrug/cardigan ever knitted on the face of the earth out of koigu kersti that decided it didn't really want to become my friend's clapotis. I'm even keeping pattern notes so if it works I may have an actual pattern to post here. I think I'll call it the tween's dream bolshrudigan. Wish me luck.

STILL 138 lbs, hanging in there. Still sucks. I miss real food. Ah well. Just thinking of my reward helped me put down the nutty bars box after giving one to Joey. PUT.DOWN.THE.NUTTY.BARS.AND.BACK.AWAY.SLOWLY!!! If I have a taste of the good stuff, it's all over. I've now realized I cannot do ANYTHING in moderation, especially eat good food. Nope. It's now been so long since I've had a taste of actual good stuff that the Kashi rice/peanut/fake chocolate CRAP bar I pulled out of the pantry actually TASTED GOOD. That's the secret of those "healthy" people. They don't actually ENJOY running, sweating and eating cardboard-flavored things with raw veggies all the time, THEY JUST DON'T KNOW ANY BETTER. Secretly part of me wants to run up behind them and cram hershey bars into their mouths just to see the light of day dawn upon them, you know, bring them back to reality. Now I really wouldn't do that. I just THINK about it, that's all. It would be a waste of good chocolate.

I wasn't very clear on the previous post, I didn't actually lose all the weight in the last month, I just got SERIOUS in the last month and went from eating sensibly and exercising more to TOTAL FREAKOUT STATUS. I actually was the 168 closer to early October. 18 pounds to go and 6 and a half weeks left. Holy crap. If I somehow get there sooner, I can end this insanity. It's really sad that the whole losing weight for "living healthier, living longer" theory wasn't enough of an inspiration for me. I have tried for that off and on for the last 20 years. Nope, it takes serious cash and the threat of public humiliation in great humidity go get my ass moving. Hey, whatever works.

Dear Dieting Goddesses:
I appreciate the fact that I'm able to try on dresses in the very low single digits. I really do. I love that I can now wear a SMALL or even an EXTRA SMALL top. I don't mind that my already tiny boobs are getting smaller because the thrill of actually WEARING a SIZE FOUR dress to the holiday parties was quite possibly the biggest thrill of my life. The fact that it was an A-Frame style doesn't really bother me at all. I think I showed great restraint by not actually spray painting the size tag across the back of the dress. The fact that I am still wearing a SIZE 12 EASY FIT pair of jeans doesn't really concern me. I'm just a titch concerned that if I go down any smaller in my upper body I will have to buy my bras at Target's training bra aisle and I will start to resemble a weeble-wobble. What do I have to sacrifice to get the thighs to go down JUST ONE FREAKING SIZE? I've already sacrificed chocolate, I'm down to one or two diet cokes a day, I'm drinking green tea and eating crap that bears turn up their noses at. I'm SWEATING dammit. Can at last 3 or 4 of the remaining pounds come off the lower body? PLEASE? Pretty please with fat-free-sugar-free cream and splenda on top?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Caution: a few CURSE WORDS and actual knitting content

OK, so the bet's still on. 125 lbs by March 1st and I get $2500. If I don't hit the weight target, I sweat my ass off all summer long pushing a crappy half-broken down NOT self-propelled lawn mower, bag the grass and other various lawn duties while Jeff AND THE NEIGHBOR MEN sit in our driveway drinking beer while sitting in lawn chairs. Kansas City in the summer? Can we say 8th level of humidity hell? Sweat, blowing grass bits and flat hair on a redhead? Not a pretty picture.

At the beginning of the bet, it wasn't so unthinkable. I was about 155 lbs and a bit cocky (hard to imagine, isn't it?) The bet was started with 6 months to go. How hard could that be? Um, well, somehow 155 turned into 168. seriously. from 168 to 125? OH and in 3 months left. nice. Half-way through December I got seriously serious. eating better. exercising. ick. i hate that crap.

I'm now at freakishly healthy levels. Living like this could totally kill a normal woman. I start my morning with a glass of water with lemon. fiber and fruit. snacks are nuts and berries. lunch is veggies and beans. I do pilates in the morning. I either take a quick bike ride or walk around the neighborhood in the afternoon. more veggies and nuts and berries with beans of some form for dinner. work out at the gym with weights at some point in the day. It's all gonna be worth it. you know why? I hit ONE FUCKING THIRTY EIGHT POUNDS today. It's been a LONG DAMN TIME since I've seen the other side of 140. I was so happy I about hugged some poor old nakid woman putting on her swimsuit that was standing near the scale at the gym. I had to actually put my hands into my pockets to keep from picking her up and spinning around the locker room.

I don't have to maintain the weight, I just have to HIT IT. Then I'm licking the cream out of at least half a bag of oreos. Double stuff oreos. I think 135-140 is a much more reasonable maintaining goal for me.

Working my way through the STR socks, MAN they're fun. I just love watching the patterns that magically appear.

I had a good ol'd KICK IN THE ASS from the knitting goddesses last night. I was feeling my usual super powers after turning the heel on my STR sock, set it down, sighing at my amazing abilities. I picked up my start for the roses top. I had made a mistake in the lace edging at the bottom and was able to slip a stitch off the needles, follow it down a while, CORRECT the bugger, loop it just so with YARN OVERS, SSK's and various knit stitches through SIX ROWS. I was FREAKING SUPERKNITTER. Seriously. I should have had a malabrigo cape fluttering in the wind behind me and glorious hair to boot.

I started thinking. You know, my blog was started for my trials and accomplishments as a beginner knitter. I thought to myself "I am no longer a beginner knitter. I knit SOCKS, SEE mistakes, FIX mistakes, knit lace patterns, knit sweaters that occasionally FIT, I am knitting guru extraordinnaire." Yeah, anyone else out there been there done that? Know what's coming? a big old BITE IN THE ASS. After correcting the lace mistake and admiring it, I spent the next hour finishing the first ball of yarn and looked at the pattern again. Yeah, I've read enough about other's troubles with missing those little words "at the same time" that I've trained myself to read the entire pattern before starting a few times through. I didn't miss any at-the-same-time's. Nope, I missed "with the bigger needle..." Yup. The lace pattern needs to be knit WITH THE BIGGER SIZE NEEDLE. That gives it the pretty shaping where it's a little wider than the rest of the sweater without having to do decreases, etc. nice. I had no heart left to frog it, so I very calmly slipped out the needles and set it into a baggie and put it back in the damn drawer.

My sacrfice to the altar of the smart-ass knitting goddess. I am back to humble "beginner knitter" status. I am now half-way through the first repeat of the leaves on the right sized needles. Part of a violent femmes song kept drifting through my head as I re-started...."third verse, same as the first."

Monday, January 08, 2007

Beer-drinking, gun-toting sock-knitting momma! Don't you want to send your kids to play here too?

Joey asks a little friend over to play on Saturday morning. Sweet boy, one of those uber-Christian types. My family is happily Christian, I'm not bagging on them, it's just important to the story line. I like this overly-going-to-Church-functions DAILY family because though they are quite involved in everything, and you know they are, they don't flaunt it in your face. ANYWAY, the point is, the boy's from a bit of a sheltered home.

He comes over, the boys are playing like boys do, running around throwing balls at each other and walls, causing lots of havoc and noise. After a bit, I send them down to play video games and legos in the playroom in the basement. On the way down to the basement is our family room/den. It's the manly room. We've got deep red walls, leather big-ass couch, wood stove, pictures of Jeff's cows, his stereo, etc. Along with all this is an old cowboy lamp with an actual (but disabled and not able to shoot anymore) real live cowboy's revolver hand-gun as part of the lamp that you can remove. I come down to the little boy saying, "Wow, your mom lets you have guns on your tables? Cool!" nice. STIKE ONE

Later, they come up to the kitchen for a juice box. I'm preparing some beer bread from my Tastefully Simple stash from my cousin. The beer can is sitting on the kitchen island next to my bowl and spoon. Oven's pre-heating. The boy keeps watching me strangely as he sips away on his apple juice. After I pour the beer into the mix and then into the pan and throw away the can, he says, "OH, you're not DRINKING the beer?" It's 10:00 in the morning. STRIKE TWO

As visions of the horror-striken face of the mother as the little boy tells his mom "Joey's mom has guns AND beer at his house!" I figured I'd better send her boy home with a disclaimer so she wouldn't think we were the spawn of satan. She laughed and smiled and said "oh, I totally understand, no problem" but then she said "hey, I have an idea, why don't the boys play at OUR house the next couple of times?" STRIKE THREE

(OK, so our house was the scene of various shot-gun blasts blowing chunks of our yard into oblivion on new year's eve, but those guns are for hunting and are locked up away from children, not sitting out on the coffee tables.)

Ah well, life goes on. I'm now the 10am-beer-drinking gun-toting hoodlum momma of 1st grade. who knits. socks. Beer-drinking, gun-toting, sock-knitting momma!

On a side note, Joey's perking up a bit and his coughing wasn't so bad last night, signs that the new medicines and increased vest therapy seems to be working to fight the lung infection.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Feeling much better today, thanks!

You guys are so wonderful. Thank you all for your kind words and thoughts and prayers. I am feeling much more normal today, or as normal as I ever feel I guess. I think everyone needs a big cry day every so often. It's been a long time since I've just wanted to curl up in a ball and cry myself silly. It's healing. It really is.

I felt much better about the world after sucking down TWO 32 ounce diet cokes and half a burrito bowl from Chipotle yesterday. I somehow made it through my haze and got my work done and went to pick up the kids from school. Seeing Joey and Elizabeth come bouncing out of the school just like any other day made things suddenly make sense. He's still the same kid he was the day before I knew he had this damn infection, no different. no sicker. Just the same. It's just more stuff to do, no big deal.

This pseudomonas infection came to represent a line in the sand for me. I always knew in my mind that Joey had CF, but until he got the first infection of this crap, I didn't really know it in my heart. It's just the first tiny step on that long road of sucky things to come. Just a baby step. It doesn't mean we're going running down that path, I have been a pretty damn stubborn person once or twice in my life and I'm raising some pretty damn stubborn chilren as well. We will do what we have to and get on with life. Life's too short to be pissy or worried or to knit with crappy yarn. period. Get on with it. LIVE DAMMIT. See? I'm back, baby.

Jeff was a doll. He was busy out working all over the city and not around all day and then had bb practice with his older boy in the evening. By the time we got all the kids to bed, he took me, put me in my pj's, brought a box of tissues and cuddled me and let me cry and cry and cry. Then we watched the 30 year reunion of Mash and I cried some more. I think I lost 3 pounds yesterday just from fluid loss.

When Joey was at his cf checkup, he made a friend with a girl his same age that had just been through all this stuff. I talked with her parents last night and it really helped me see through a lot of the confusion also. I really did feel comforted reading all your nice comments and emails. Thanks guys. I really needed it.

The biggest sign that I was totally freaked out beyond all recognition (FOBAR is not nearly as much fun as FUBAR you know) was that I didn't even want chocolate. How scary is that? 2nd sign? The only knitting I had handy was a swatch square and I knit an ENTIRE 4 inches of swatch for yarn I want to use for the roses top. I didn't even MEASURE it yet to see if it works. Damn, that's freaky enough for me. I'm gonna go measure it now. Normally I try to swatch big, I really do, but am doing good to do an inch and a half or two inches before I just get too impatient.

Just say NO to subscribing to podcasts while thoroughly depressed. I'm not even sure how many bluegrass casts are now on my ipod. I can't even believer there ARE that many bluegrass podcasters out there. It boggles the mind.

I love you guys, I really do. Thank you for your help and prayers. It's helped more than I can say.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

well crap.

As some of you know, my son Joey has cystic fibrosis. It's a genetic disease that affects the lungs, digestive organs, in his case sinuses, and eventually causes problems with the rest of him. It sucks. For the past few years, he's been so healthy that we pretty much forget about it. He just takes a few extra medicines, does his "shaking" a vest that uses air vibrations to shake the piss out of him which helps break up congestion in the lungs. His last few checkups have been so good. We've always been told Joey's "the healthiest cf kid in kansas city." Well, not anymore.

It's nothing huge, nothing horrendous, but it's just dropped me like a rock today. I got a call from the CF Clinic at Children's Mercy where we go for his stuff. The throat culture he took showed pseudomonas aeruginosa. It's a antibiotic-resistant bug that gets into cf lungs and causes problems. Most cf kids catch their first case of it by the age of 10, and it keeps coming back over and over and stronger and stronger throughout their lives. It's not the big bad cf infection, that's the B cepacia, which you don't even want to hear the word when you're a cf parent, let me tell you. That's the bad one, that's the one who's parents are supposed to be crying and freaking out, not for the regular pseudomonas.

To fight the pseudomonas, Joey will take a series of 2x a day inhaled super antibiotics called Tobi (Tobramyacin) that targets this particular bug along with an oral medication called cypro. He comes in more often for tests and such and there's good hope that he'll be able to almost irradicate it since they caught it so early. It will come back over and over and be harder to get rid of each time and will eventually damage his lungs. His lungs are very good, operating at 98% function, which is better than most normal people's lungs. The tobi will help preserve lung function and it's all a great exciting thing because these drugs didn't exist a few years ago and cf kids would get sick and die very young. It's all very exciting, but it still really really SUCKS.

I was so proud of Joey's health, I just kept telling myself and everyone that would listen, "oh, yes, he has cf, but he's so healthy now, we're just going to keep him that way." "No, you would never know anything's wrong just to look at him." I think I knew something was brewing because he's just not been quite himself for the last month. He just didn't have the umph he normally has. I don't know why I'm so shocked, but I feel like the first time he was diagnosed as an infant. That horrible feeling that the baby you're holding has something wrong that you can't fix. I think I'm freaking out because this is really the first sign that he's just like the other cf kids. I'm afraid I was feeling a bit superior or super-blessed or something. "Yes, Joey has cf, but he's never had pseudomonas..." kid of biting me in the ass now, huh?

We've got a good game plan. We've got medicines called in and on their way. We'll increase his vest treatments and get the stuff done in a way that will minimize the time he spends having to sit around doing meds. We're going into clinic on a monthly basis to test the levels of the pseudomonas to make sure we're getting this first batch gone as quickly as possible. He's got a great care team at CMH and they're very aggressive in their work and love Joey as much as I do. I won't be one of those parents who lets the kid become "the sick one", he's still just Joey. It's all positive, they caught it early, his lungs are so good now they're not even going to have to hospitalize him for iv antibiotics or anything.....blah blah blah. I believe it, I'm just feeling kind of crappy, have a headach and am OUT OF FREAKING DIET COKE!!! and have a big project due at work. damn damn damn

I'm going to finish the damn project for work, take myself out to Chipotle for some damn guacamole and chips and steak burrito bowl and BIG ASS damn diet coke and then sit down and watch Little House on the Prairie on the Hallmark Channel later this afternoon and knit my damn socks.

I really am feeling better and it's really not a big deal. I just feel like most of you guys are my extended knitting group/circle of friends and I needed to vent bigtime. Thanks for listening. Thanks for keeping Joey in your thoughts and prayers. I deeply appreciate it.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Socks that Rock and a White Trash New Year's

I totally couldn't wait for the Jan 1st start date for the 2007 L&V Sock Marathon. I mean, come on! My first ball of Socks That Rock are sitting there just taunting me. What's a girl to do? I kirchenered up the toe at about 1:00am this morning before finally shutting off the light and going to bed. I started this yarn on pomotamus, made it about 2 inches and my eyeballs started itching from the inside out. Frogged it, started monkey with it. Got about 3 inches, realized though this yarn is beautiful and loverly, it looked like monkey barf in this pattern and frogged it. Yes, I frogged THREE INCHES of size 1 work on the damn thing. I think I'll have to stick with mostly solid colors for that pattern. Decided I liked the swirly way it turned out just in plain old ribbing at the top of the socks I'd tried, so here's sock #1. Knit with 65 stitches cast on, 2X2 rib, slip stitch heel and decreased down to 28 stitches before kirchenering the toe. LOVE IT! The bottom is actually prettier than the top, but I'm not coordinated to take that picture on my own, (fell off my rolling office chair). My boyfriend is mostly understanding about the sock knitting addiction, but would probably have me committed if I asked him to take a picture of the bottom of my foot. You'll have to use your imagination.

I'm going to try to get out to a couple of yarn shops to see what yarn they suggest for my roses top I posted yesterday. The pattern calls for Harrisville Silk & Wool Yarns, but it doesn't come in that many colors and it just didn't speak to me. Yes, my yarn does talk to me. Yours probably talks to you too, you just need to listen closer, drink a lot of diet coke and stay up way too late at night.

I've got a house full of boys today. Jeff's boys are here for the day while their mom's at work and Jeff had to go in to the office. Joey's running around with the other 2 and they're having nerf gun wars, playing trains and building forts with pillows. Elizabeth's due home tomorrow afternoon. She's flying BY HERSELF for the fitst time, ever. Her dad didn't quite plan well enough with all the big storms that have hit New Mexico, so instead of leaving EARLIER and driving her back, he's going to put her on the plane. It's a direct flight and she flew with us to Maui in September, so she should be fine. Her momma's nervous as hell, but she's fine.

Got to get back to work, better close.

Happy New Year!

Editor's note: I totally forgot details of Xmas and our white trash new years!
Santa was very good to our house this year! Joey got a new bike, Elizabeth an ipod (she's all about the music, baby), David a train set and new scooter, Ben a monster sized lego set, and they all got TONS of presents. I got a very pretty pendant with an emerald and three little diamonds hanging on a gold chain with matching earrings from Jeff and a little wooden jewelry box from Santa. I got Jeff a chief's sweatshirt and a wine caraff (how do you spell that anyway?). Santa brought him a carved wooden cow and a bag of beef jerky. His herd of cattle is growing, they bought another cow and a calf a while back (the momma cow that chased me, remember?)

We twanged in the new year with a Hee Haw marathon on tv and old country music albums on the record player during commercials. Yes, we really did. It was at least six hours of Hee-Haw. We had the white trash new years eve. Fire was blazing in the wood stove, beer and steak in our bellies, and shotguns galore were shot (into the dirt at least) at the break of midnight. The only thing missing was squirrel stew and a granny in a rocker spitting chaw. Jeff found a can of something minty and chaw-like so I guess that'll do. The house was so hot at one point (88 degrees) that I went up to the attic to cool off. When I came back downstairs, both Jeff & Joey were sitting in their UNDERWEAR on the couches and each one had a guitar and were strumming along. I swear by all that is holy, I sat down and laughed until I about wet my pants. NORMAL people were shooting off pretty fireworks that we gazed at through the smoke and haze and SMELL of gunpowder in the air around our house.

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