Knitting in the round

Last winter I bought some round needles with the intent of learning to knit hats without a seam down the back. I had one hat in particular I wanted to try.

After four attempts at making the hat, I gave up on the round needles. The length from needle tip to needle tip was longer than my hat’s circumference, so the loops were always stretched tight. This meant that they didn’t slide nicely onto and off of the needles, which were thicker than the connector wire. I also didn’t know what I was doing, so I kept getting twists in my hat.

I decided to try them again this year, but I looked up how to knit in the round first online. Apparently you can buy round needles of different lengths. Sixteen inches is recommended for baby clothing and hats. I think my needles are 32″ long.

Apparently mine are good for knitting sweaters for large men.

How old are you?

Lego is learning the concept of two. He knows he has two hands, two eyes, two feet, etc. He also knows that when I say “one,” he should say, “two.” So I figured I should try teaching him how old he is.  Here’s how the conversation went:

Me: How old is Lego? Lego is one! How old is Lego? Lego is one! How old is Lego? (pause)

Lego: Big!

Me: Yes, you are SO big! How old are you? You are one.

Lego: Two.

Me: No, you’re not two yet. You’re one.

Lego: Eight.

Me: No, silly boy. Not eight. One.

Lego: One.

Me: Good job! How old are you?

Lego: Two.


Thanksgiving was so great. Seriously. We went out to Denver to visit my family, and it was one of the most enjoyable visits I think I’ve ever had with them. Here are the highlights, in order of occurrence:

1. Lego was perfectly behaved on the eight-hour drive. He might have fussed for a minute or two softly in the last hour, but other than that, he happily enjoyed reading books and playing with whoever was sitting next to him. He snacked in the car and drank his chocolate milk, which meant we didn’t even have to stop to nurse the entire time. That means he didn’t nurse for nine or ten hours. I still can’t believe he did that.

2. Lego slept through the night every night while we were there. I’d still nurse at 5:00 or 6:00, but I consistently got lots of sleep. Hooray!

3. Jon Boy’s parents came down for Thanksgiving dinner. While his mom, my mom, and I were snapping green beans, we had a really nice chat about all things Church. Nothing earthshattering, but nice.

4. Lego had a blast. He loved everyone and learned their names. He wasn’t even shy for a minute or two. In fact, the first night we got there, he didn’t want to go to bed because he wanted to play with Grandma some more. We’d arrived less than two hours before. It was so nice to see him so happy. The nice thing about Lego is that when he’s happily surrounded by people he loves, he doesn’t get hyper; he just smiles a lot and talks a lot and sits and plays with his toys. And then occasionally he’ll point to someone in the room, exclaim their name, and then continue what he was doing. Everybody who knows him at all thinks his little personality is adorable, and I happen to agree. Watch this kid: he’s going to be a social butterfly later in life.

5.  The meal was extraordinarily good. I especially loved my uncle’s mashed potatoes with 1/3 each sweet potatoes and squash. And of course my old favorites, the stuffing and the green beans.

6. The mornings were some of my favorite times. Jon Boy and my two youngest siblings would sleep in later than me, Lego, and my parents. So the house would be quiet and calm, and I got lots of good time to spend with my parents. Sometimes we didn’t even do or say much.

7. It was fascinating and really cool listening to my siblings compose songs together.

8. We had a Qdoba vs. Chipotle challenge. We got a couple of identical burritos from each place and compared them for flavor and for speed. The speed challenge was a draw, but everyone agreed that Chipotle burritos are far superior. So that solves that. I still like Cafe Rio better than either, for what it’s worth.

All in all, a great trip. (The drive home and hotel stay Saturday night were not quite so awesome, though.)

No, I haven’t died or anything.

Though, my laptop did. Jon Boy and I are now sharing his computer, which means less time for time-consuming activities online, such as blogging. What’s more, Lego has recently decided that it’s BORING when Mommy’s on the computer, and he pesters me by grabbing the mouse, begging to nurse, pushing buttons on the keyboard, and pushing my chair around in circles until I get off. Anyway, I just haven’t been online much, and when I have been, I’ve been playing Scrabble on Facebook.

The main thing I’ve been wanting to blog about recently has been Lego’s sleeping problems.Because I’m pregnant, I’ve found that suddenly my body can’t handle waking up three or four times each night to nurse Lego. I never really liked doing it, but I was used to it enough that I was coping. But when I’m pregnant, I need even more sleep than usual. The days were dragging, and I had no energy to do my housework or to play with Lego.

I did a ton of research and even got some advice from Lego’s doctor, so we started on a strict regimen. Lego was to eat every three hours, no less (he’d always been a “grazer”), we would comfort him when he woke at night, but I would not nurse him until he’d been in bed at least eight hours, and I would “calorie pack” everything I fed him (this was because his weight gain was approaching abominable). Mmm, half and half mixed with whole milk to drink. Mmmm, butter on everything.

To make a long story short, the regimen did a good job of getting more calories into Lego. It didn’t do a great job getting him to sleep. After five days of rocking, singing, and snuggling Lego to sleep when he’d wake (still three or four times a night), I was exhausted. Nursing is a LOT faster and easier than that, and he wasn’t really waking any less. I relaxed a bit and figured I’d start with a five-hour stretch as the goal instead of eight and then gradually lengthen it. That allowed me to sleep better (only two wakings) for a few nights, until he started waking every three hours again, and by then I was so tired I didn’t have the will to fight it. Lego was back frequenting the all-night diner with a vengeance.

Last week, I reached the end of my rope. I did something I never felt I could do before: I tried the horrible, cruel, painful method of just not going into Lego’s room at all from bedtime until morning. I knew he would scream his lungs out all night. I knew he’d probably feel abandoned and hungry and scared. But I also knew that he’d soon learn that there was no point to waking up if there was no reward for it. After a week of doing this, Lego still wakes once or twice, albeit briefly. He quickly puts himself back to sleep.

Meanwhile, he’s protesting solid food a bit (though that’s slowly getting better). And now he has a cold. But I’m sleeping at night, and I’m feeling so much better during the day. As mean as I felt those first few nights, I’m wondering if I should have done this earlier.

Well, it was probably inevitable.

I lost my proofreading gig. They said I had missed too many “big things” and that while they understand that everyone misses things occasionally, misses should be “very rare.” I suddenly have a lot more free time on my hands.

Is it possible to feel relieved and heartbroken at the same time? I mean, the job wasn’t actually working out that well for me (mostly for Lego). I had to work three-hour shifts during the day, half of which—at most—would be during Lego’s nap. He’d keep himself occupied for maybe half an hour to an hour of the remaining time, but the end was always a struggle. “Book!” he’d say, thrusting one in my lap. “No, honey, not right now. Mommy’s working,” I’d reply. Multiply this conversation by twenty. Finally I’d cave and read the book so he’d leave me alone to work. As soon as I’d finish, he’d find another book (or the same one) and start all over again. Or want to go outside. Or hand me a toy to play with. Or beg me to nurse, sit in my lap, let him play with my mouse, or put on his shoes. You can imagine how effective a proofreader I was through all of this. I’m relieved to be able to spend more time with Lego now and to not have to face that battle every day.

The truth of the matter, though, is that I wouldn’t have been good enough for them even without Lego bothering me. They wanted someone who almost never missed a single thing, and I’m just not that good. I’ve never worked for someone who expected me to be that good. I liked the challenge at first, but it’s been really hard for me to have to admit that I failed. I’m usually pretty good at accepting my weaknesses for what they are and knowing my limits without letting failures get me down. But I consider editing and proofreading some of the things I’m best at, so I guess this particular failure got me down more than most.

I keep telling myself that no matter what you do (unless you’re an gold-medal-winning Olympic athlete), there will probably always be someone out there who is better at it than you are. Just because I’m not the sort of proofreader who can catch everything at one pass doesn’t mean I’m not good.

This wasn’t meant to be a call for sympathy. I just wanted to get my thoughts on paper so maybe I can get out of my funk.