Wednesday, December 10, 2008

From Bad to worse

28 (now 29) posts in 2008. And it's not like nothing blogworthy happened. I popped out a baby, for chrissake.

I guess raising a kid is just more important than blogging about him.

I should try harder, though. Really. But I'm not going to make it a New Year's resolution or anything.

Well, Then

It's been a while. Thanksgiving has come and gone, and the holidays are all up in our faces. The year has blown by. I think that, just like the pregnancy made last year go so quickly, school-wise, having a baby around to mark the passage of time is doing the same this year. Just a few updates:

  • Ike is... crawling, pulling up, and (as of a few days ago) flushing the toilet. Cause and effect... "I push this shiny silver thing down, and it makes a noise!"
  • Loki has taken well to his new human torturer. He'll allow himself to be crawled upon, grabbed at, and bitten, and when he's had enough, he just gets up and walks away.
  • My classroom looks like twenty different construction paper art projects exploded in it, and it's not far from the literal truth. This time of year, it's best to stick to things that keep students' little hands busy.
  • I'm trying to lose the pregnancy weight, and making modest progress. Slow and steady wins the race, eh?
  • Isaac is eating food. He refuses anything offered to him on a spoon, so we're just giving him baby-sized portions (read: tiiiiiiiiiny and non-choke-able) and letting him self-feed. Not sure what I'm going to do with my ziploc bags full of homemade purees, though.

And with that, I leave you. Don't let the holidays stress you out.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Fan Scan

My mother and middle sister are at the Packer game. We keep scanning the crowd shots for them, but no luck so far.

Good game to be at!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Geek Cute

That dear husband of mine spliced together a video documentary of "Baby's First Exercise in Democracy."

We may not remember to video his first steps, but his first trip to the polls... that's not to be missed.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


"President-Elect Obama."

That sounds pretty.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Whoda Thunk It

I've always been convinced that elementary is the level I was meant to teach. I'm certified K-12, but my entire teaching career has been at the elementary level (and most of that in the primary grades).

This semester, however, due to budget cuts, schedule constraints, and one of the secondary teachers needing an extra prep period, I've been teaching one period of junior high reading.

Yes, that's right. Junior high. The redheaded stepchild of school leveling. That age that everyone wishes their kids would just skip over on their way to adulthood. Puberty at its finest. Attitude and laziness and sarcasm.

And I kind of enjoy it. Sick, huh?

In some ways, it's more difficult than teaching the wee ones. In others, it's easier. The workload kind of balances out. But I kind of enjoy the specific challenges that teaching those in-between ages presents. Maybe it's just the newness of it all, but I honestly find myself looking forward to seventh period. They're loud, hormone-y, and slightly awkward. I have to say things like, "Please don't fart and waft it intentionally at your neighbor." I have to answer questions like, "If number one is pee and number two is anaq (poop), what's number three?" I supervise boys and girls whose idea of coy flirtation is throwing mechanical pencils at each others' heads.

In a sick, sadistic kind of way, it's a lot of fun.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Yes, Yes, and Yes

I like what this guy has to say about Palin, Alaska, and where the two do and don't intersect. We're talking about a state that still lacks basic infrastructure in many places. A state where my husband (who is a highly intelligent and capable person, but has ZERO I.T. training) is a village's "guy who really knows computers, you should ask him." A state where thousands of women can't remain at home past the 36th week of their pregnancies because their communities lack sufficient health care facilities and professionals.

I get the "Alaskan Mystique." I really do. But the reality just doesn't match up with what Palin's trying to capitalize on.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

In Case he Forgets who he Is...

I made the bracelet (in manly colors, of course) for him before he was born, but it was too big for him at birth. I just got around to putting it on him today at lunch!

Friday, October 10, 2008

I... No Words. I Have no Words

Pet Yarn Chic.

And then there are some finished products here.

I love knitting, I love my dog. But... no. No. No. No. A thousand times no. I guess I shouldn't judge, but no.

Friday, September 12, 2008

And the Money Kept Rolling In...

It's PFD Day, baby. At least for those of use who applied early and opted for direct deposit.




I really should post a picture of the baby or something. I know.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle my Pants

Isaac's pants, really. Made from an old sweater. It never quite fit me right.

It's wool (nice and soft), so it doubles as a diaper cover. It also has a killer cargo pocket on the leg... how lucky was I to have a pair of pants with a cargo pocket on the arm in just the right place?

Friday, July 18, 2008

Liar, Liar...

...Pants on Fire!

I made fleece shorties (they work like a diaper cover and also take the place of shorts, for those of you not in the know). It's just a first try, and I didn't have a pattern or anything, so they're less spectacular than they could be, but I learned a lot and think that they'll be better next time. I know I want to put another layer of fleece into the crotch region next time around, but it was fun to just bust out a pair during naptime. I'm working with fleece for now, wanting to perfect my pattern/method before finding some nice recycled wool to play with.

I'll put them on Isaac when he wakes up from his nap and hopefully post a pic of him wearing them at some point.

Friday, July 11, 2008

REALLY, REALLY, REALLY Random Non-Baby-Related Thought

I really, really, really get annoyed when people use unnecessary big words.

I pride myself on having a pretty decent vocabulary; I'm not annoyed because I don't understand you. You think you sound smart just because you use big words. NO. You sound smart if you have good ideas. There are no bonus points for extra syllables.

I'm speaking to a general "you," not to anyone specific. Well, someone specific, but it's not someone I actually know... just someone whose writing I happened to read.

And now back to our regularly scheduled mundane crap...

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

It Starts

Mobility, that is. Isaac rolled over today, front-to-back, on his adorable puppy blanket.

This kid is an animal. :D

Monday, July 07, 2008

We're not Laughing AT Him...

Well, yeah, we're laughing at him, but I don't feel too bad because (a) he's a dog, and (b) he was having a whole lot of fun.

My sister has two Weimaraners, named Cosmo and Wyatt. Like Loki, they both love swimming. Like Loki, Cosmo is quite skilled at it. Wyatt, on the other hand... well... he gets an A for effort, an A for enthusiasm, and we'll just leave the little "achievement" box blank because I can't give a failing grade to someone trying THIS hard.

(Edited to add: Kudos to Shaun for splicing the videos together, and for taking the video itself. No, there was no earthquake in Northern Wisconsin, the shaking was a result of cameraman laughing fits.)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Just cute, in a general kind of way

6-14-08 008_2
Originally uploaded by smacca
If I could just keep him naked all day long, he'd be ecstatic.

We're in serious trouble once he's old enough to remove his own diaper. I can totally see him being that two year-old who greets visitors wearing nothing but a smile.

The ONLY time he consistently puts up with just being put down is when naked, or at least bare-butt. Of course, while he's perfectly happy, he's also likely either peeing all over the place or preparing to pee all over the place.

But he's not crying, and pee is fairly easy to clean up.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

He's Gonna be a Swimmer

Seriously, this kid LOVES the water... more so if the jets are on. We were in the tub for at least 30 minutes and he didn't so much as whimper until the very end, and he was sleepy and probably well beyond his attention span at that point. Yes, worrywarts, he was plenty warm... that's the nice thing about being in a grown-up sized tub: most of him can be underwater. This is the first full smile we've managed to catch on camera. I just put it in black-and-white for shits and giggles.

And no, it wasn't a bubble bath, just a regular bath. The water just got really bubbly for some reason.

Hah! Baby!

Well, he's four weeks old, and if poopy diapers are any indication of happiness, he's quite content.

He's also started smiling... pretty much only right after waking up from a long nap or first thing in the morning, but a smile is a smile. And don't give me any of that "it's just gas" crap. These are smiles. Full, open-mouthed, crinkly-eyed smiles. It melts the heart. We tried to catch a few on film (is the term "on film" really applicable to a digital camera?), but it's hard. We caught him almost-smiling a bunch of times. They come and go pretty quickly. I've included a few below for your baby-viewing pleasure. Please also witness (and be totally awed by) the quilt he's laying on. It was made for Isaac by Mary S., a long-time friend of my parents and someone I consider to be pretty darn close to family. The quilt is cool. Beyond cool, even. It rocks. Beyond rocks, even.

Side note: Ignore the funny-looking mother. Her presence, while not aesthetically pleasing, was necessary to coerce a smile out of the little guy.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Old News...

I know pretty much everyone knows this already, but I've had a good reason for not posting (as opposed to my usual laziness reason for not posting).

Isaac Vincent made his arrival on May 6th at 3:57pm. Weighed in at eight pounds, 2 ounces and was an even 20 inches long. Screamed like a banshee right away and pinked up quite nicely, to the point where he pretty much matched the pink on my sexy hospital gown.

Just looking at this picture... he's changed so much in just the past four days. Time to take some more pictures...

Friday, April 25, 2008

Rusty Voicebox

I feel like 95% of the "talking" I've done over the past few weeks has been internet-based and in typed form. Now, there's nothing wrong with that. It's sure as heck cheaper than making a bunch of telephone calls. But I often wonder whether I'm losing the capability for normal human speech. I also wonder if the baby will forget what my voice sounds like. ;)

Shaun arrives today. I can tell, because the weather has turned kinda nasty. The weather gods don't want him getting homesick for the Tundra, apparently. Up until I woke up this morning (at 5am... who wakes up at 5am voluntarily? Me, apparently...), I hadn't seen a cloud in about a week. Highs have been in the lower 50s, for the most part, with little wind. This morning, however, I heard a noise that has been conspicuously absent from my life since leaving Nunapitchuk... the wind. It's 38, windy, with light rain. I feel like I'm back in the village.

In addition to my dearest darling husband, who'll be here for... well, until we go back to Nunap with the baby, a bunch of other friends will be in town for the weekend. Four friends, to be mathematically exact about the whole thing. I'm going to have social opportunities coming out of my rear end.

I just hope my voice still works. Perhaps I should sing at the top of my lungs for a while, just to make sure.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

... and Waiting

I'm here. Whilin' away the time in good old Anchorage, AK.

It's funny. After the pukey, tired, sick, miserable first two months or so, this pregnancy FLEW by. Work helped me not focus too much on how much pregnancy I had left, and pregnancy helped me not focus too much on how much school year I had left. Next thing I knew, it was April 7th, and I was leaving for Anchorage.

Now, however, time seems to have slowed to a crawl. I keep myself pretty busy... I spread out appointments so I have something to do most days, I try to get to the YMCA to swim five out of seven days per week, and I have craft projects that I haven't even TOUCHED since I've been here (although that's my plan for tomorrow afternoon). But still, without the daily distraction of work, I can't help but notice the passing of every day. The past week was probably the slowest of my entire pregnancy.

Not the most terrible week, mind you. I'll take slightly under-occupied over actively vomiting any day. It's not that I'm horrifically sick of being pregnant or anything. It's not so awful, really. I guess I'm very much aware of the passage of time. I'm not insanely bored or anything. I'm just... waiting. Like being in line at Space Mountain at Disney world. There's lots of fun stuff to look at and make the wait less mind-numbingly boring, but you're still acutely aware that you're waiting for the "real part" to start. You know you're just waiting for something to happen.

I know, I know, I know... enjoy it while it lasts. Everyone keeps telling me that.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Yup, still just chillin' in the big city. I got a bus pass and a YMCA membership for the month, so I'm set for transportation and at least an hour of entertainment per day through the end of April. Swimming is fun. I look like a beached whale, but it's lots of fun.

Good news... baby is head down and "very happy in there." I just hope he's not so happy that he decides to take after his mom and Auntie Mel and book an extended stay.

Bad news... well... there's some sad news back in Nunap that I really don't want to get into.

That's about it, really. I'm trying to fill my days with things that don't cost huge amounts of money. Sure, I could eat out at a different restaurant for every meal, and that would be QUITE entertaining and take up a lot of time... but that stuff adds up quickly. Right now, I'm enjoying having a bunch of fresh vegetables and dairy products (I've been on a yogurt kick; and apparently one company makes a tub of yogurt twice the size of the regular "large" tub of plain yogurt). And Jelly Bellies. I may have bought some Jelly Bellies. But that was my only junk food purchase, I swear. I'm tryin' to end this pregnancy on a healthy note.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Well, Here I Am

I type this at a keyboard in a house on a street (a street... not a boardwalk) in a neighborhood of a city that is connected by road to other cities. I type this having returned, carrying bags containing vegetables and yogurt and cottage cheese and maybe a bag of Jelly Bellies, from a grocery store larger than my house. I type this on unfiltered, non-school internet. I type this, in other words, from Anchorage.

Yes, I'm "waiting." That's what you do when you have a baby in the Bush. At some point, you go into Bethel or Anchorage "to wait." It's just what it sounds like. You take time off of work (over half of my maternity leave will likely be used up before the baby is even born), go somewhere, and do nothing but gaze at your navel and wonder when the baby lurking beneath it will appear.

Five hours, and I'm already kind of homesick. Sure, there are restaurants and movie theaters and stores and Other Assorted Things Not Found in the Bush, but it's not home. I'm lucky enough to have a coworker from whom I can rent a house for the month-plus I'll likely be here. Shaun will join me here when I get closer to my due date.

I'll admit it... I'm kind of homesick. Our house in the village is really nothing special, but it's our house. Home. Home containing a husband and wildly-shedding dog.

But, bare minimum, I'm homesick in a place with fresh vegetables and fruits that I won't have to cut the bad spots off of.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Intercultural Flatulence Exchange

This week has been... standardized testing week. It's also my last week of work, for the record. In addition to EVERY student, grades 3-10, having to take a test, the state of Alaska has added this year a Science test for grades 4, 8, and 10.

Several of the students in our 4th grade classroom are actually third graders according to the state, so while the rest of their class slaves away at bubble-filling, they're hanging out with me. We had some work to do, but at this point, we're just hanging out, chatting, listening to some Mexican music, and being artistic. They were especially interested in the Mexican music. We found Mexico on the globe and everything.

Suddenly, the inevitable happens, someone passes wind.

Student 1: "Student 2 FARTED! AAAAH!"

Me: "Everyone farts sometimes. It's not a big deal. But for the rest of the day, if we have to fart, let's try to go over by the door."

Student 2: "Okay."

Student 1: "Everyone farts?"

Me: "Yup."

Student 1: "Even 50 Cent?"

Me: "Yeah, if he eats a lot of beans or drinks a lot of milk or something."

Student 2: "Even Mexican people fart?"

Me: "Yes. Even Mexican people. Everyone farts."

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Our Baby Wears Many Hats

Or, as it were, many pairs of pants. For one so young, he really has a lot of different personalities.

Sometimes he's a prisoner (note: these are actually shorts).

Sometimes he's a pirate.

Sometimes he just wants to be a dirty, filthy hippie.

This is waaaaaaaaay more fun than buying baby clothes! Seriously, ONE cute handmade item is like 500x cooler than anything we've purchased thus far. Especially the Pirate Pants. How do you say "YARR" in baby-talk?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Place Your Bets Here, Ladies and Germs...

Will I have a May baby or an April baby? My original (and, as far as I know, still my official) due date is May 1. BUT, when I looked at my charts (I did one appointment in Wisconsin, so got copies of my charts to take with me), they had my "adjusted," as in what they think it'll be after seeing him on ultrasound, due date as April 27th.

So... April baby or May baby? When do YOU think this little guy will arrive? Pick a date and make it your own. Closest guess wins... well... probably nothing. You just get the joy of being a winner. Make your guess as specific (date, time, etc) as you want.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The OPPOSITE of a Bargain Baby

No, I didn't go blow $300 at Baby Gap. I blew significantly less than that at a wonderful yarn store in Anchorage, Knitting Grounds.
There's something to be said about GOOD yarn. I'm talking about Malabrigo. Tough on the wallet, easy on the skin. This stuff gives my fingers happiness. There is also something to be said for a good pattern. I'm talking this time about Little Turtle Knit's Picky Pants Pattern. Now, at this point, you may be thinking one (or two) of two things... "But Sara, you PAID for a PATTERN? Aren't you the self-described cheap bastard who can't follow directions any better than your students?" OR "Sara... wool? On a baby? Are you daft?"

Well, I followed directions, thankyouverymuch, and they came out awesome. This pattern is actually worth the money. Most knitting patterns suck. This one gives you a whole bunch of options and a wide range of sizes, so I'll be able to use it many, many times. And I plan to. And as for the WOOL ON A BABY?! screamers amongst you, let me assure you of a few things. This is not like the wool you find at your local Mega Craft store. This stuff is... amazing. And as far as washing goes... well... these (and the second project, shown below the pants) are designed to be worn over a cloth diaper. Wool is awesome for that. Keeps liquids in, if you lanolize it correctly (which I sure as heck hope I manage to do).

Here be the Picky Pants, knitted in Malabrigo Azul Bolito (note: they haven't been blocked or lanolized yet):

And my other project (knitted in... crap, I forget, but some kind of yarn slightly less awesome than Malabrigo, but still pretty great), is a soaker I made from a free pattern I found online. I'd give credit, but the pattern was saved on my computer, which has again decided that it doesn't need to function. It's in a bigger-butt size. I'm trying to sew and knit things in various sizes, since I'm sure I won't have time after this moving mass in my abdomen makes his way out into the world. These haven't been blocked either, but the yarn is a VERY hand-spun kind of yarn, so it varies a lot in thickness. Even after it's blocked, it'll be pretty... wavy. I think it adds character.

So there you have it. Stuff I've made. Pretty boring post, I realize.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Bargain Basement Budget Baby

I've kind of been both mortally dreading and pathetically looking forward to the purchasing of baby clothing. Upside: Cute. Downside: Expensive.

Enter, the thrift store (Did I mention we're in Anchorage? Yeah, we're in Anchorage for a prenatal appointment). Ah, the thrift store. Onesies and T-shirts? $.99. Stretchy pants? Also $.99. Some really spendy items (a pair of Oshkosh B'Gosh overalls, an elastic-bottom "sleep sack," etc) were a whopping $4.99. I only bought a few of those most expensive items. Come to find out that most of the items were also 50% off today. Whaddayaknow?

$20 later, our unborn son is the proud owner of four pairs of pants, two sets of bibs (the Oshkosh B'Gosh pair and one short pair), three onesies, two little jacket shirt, aforementioned "sleep sack," and a baseball-style jersey shirt. $20.

The amount of Baby Gap and Other Assorted Expensive Baby Brand clothing there was mind-blowing... and most of it looked pristine. Shaun insisted on buying Baby Gap, out of sheer irony. We are the proud owner of a $.50 Baby Gap long-sleeved onesie. The cheapest price I could find for onesies on the Baby Gap website was 3 for $18. For $18, I could have gotten, if my calculations are correct, 36 onesies.

I'm such a cheap bastard. And darn proud of it.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I've Been Busy

And clearly, I've been busy not blogging.

I've been on a baby-item-making spree, though. I made two little cotton shirts (the collars were HARD, but the second one came out far better than the first, so I'm encouraged) and am currently in the middle of a knitting project (a romper, I guess they're called).

Over Christmas, my mother and I started on this...

... and I finished it the night that Shaun had his little snowmachine adventure. They're a big-baby size, because I figure I might as well build up a stash now, while I'm childless and fairly bored. The pattern called for no pocket and patches on the knees, but I started sewing on the patches and they just didn't look very good... kinda tacky. So I improvised a pocket. Thus continues my streak of being unable to leave anything alone. I can't think of a craft project I've completed "by the book," ever. I just can't leave well enough alone.

Conveniently, it is Chocolate Lab-colored, which is nice because, like everything else in our house, I'm guessing this baby will not be dog-hair-free.

*The flash made the dog shiny... they really are closer in color than this photograph would indicate. I'm very jealous of people who can arrange their craft projects to look all cool and artistic... not me. These are casual snapshots, and I am very OK with that.*