Life and a new pet.

It’s been a while. Work has been exceptionally busy at times. There was a stretch for a few weeks where I wasn’t getting home until well after 6pm. The busy pace is good but when it slows down it seems to really slow down. Like, snail’s pace slow. So slow that I’ve gone out for mid-day runs during the week.

My running comeback has been slow. I still struggle at times with shin splints and am pretty convinced it’s shoe related but just haven’t found the time to get new shoes. I’ve been wearing an older pair which is much better than my current new-ish pair but it’s not ideal. Unfortunately the old shoe isn’t made anymore, I don’t think, so I will have to spend some time trying on new brands and well, there just isn’t enough time right now.

Remember that sourdough starter? Well it’s still going! I’ve made several loaves of bread and have figured out what works and what doesn’t but making just bread all the time is getting boring.  Husband found me a recipe for saltine crackers.

  
They were so good, they rocked!! 😉

Yesterday I tried the Joy of Cooking’s recipe for pretzels. A little bit time consuming and laborious but well worth the final product.


We also have a new pet.

A mouse.

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Have I mentioned we also have a snake? He’s a ball python. We’ve had him for about 10 years now. My husband rescued him from his nephew.  He eats live mice.  Daughter is coming to the age where she understands that the snake eats and what he eats is live mice. Well one day over a month ago, she was particularly smitten with one particular mouse. She begged her daddy not to feed him to the snake.

When I got home from work that night, it was late and the kids were already in bed.  I was surprised to see that there was a mouse still alive.  Husband told me that daughter wanted to keep it, so if she woke up the next morning and still asked about the mouse, he would let her keep it.  First thing the next morning, she woke up and asked him if he saved the mouse.  How could he refuse her? Late that day, the $2.99 mouse was living in a swanky one bedroom apartment worth $75.00.  Almost two months later, he is alive and well and thriving.  Daughter takes excellent care of him.  She cleans out his cage every 2 weeks when the stink gets bad, she is responsible for feeding him and making sure he has enough water.  She has turned into a wonderful mouse mother.

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This mother couldn’t be more proud.

The mouse’s name is Speck.  Even the cat is tolerating him.

Back to Doing What I Love.

I did something last night I haven’t done in months.

I cross-stitched.

Most of my new followers probably don’t know this, but I am an avid cross-stitcher.  I started in medical school, wanting to have a hobby of sorts.  I was staying at my girlfriend’s house for a week one summer and she is quite crafty.  She and her mom took me to a local craft store and showed me around. I saw a picture of a cat asleep on a chair and was immediately drawn to it.  It was a beginner’s cross-stitch kit.  My friend’s mom thought it was something I could learn pretty quickly, so I bought it and I’ve been stitching ever since.

That first cross stitch design was this:

It has several mistakes, the most glaring of which is the “w” and “r” in “where” and the spacing between that and “the”.  Still, not too bad for a first try.  It was the beginning of a beautiful relationship between me and cat-themed cross stitch kits.

I’ve completed eight or so kits since I started stitching back in 2002.  I currently have three works-in-progress.  I stopped stitching sometime in July, mostly because my belly was getting far too big to hold the fabric for any length of time, not to mention sitting for hours at a time was just impossible.  And of course, since the baby was born my hands have been full of him and so it’s been next to impossible to find any decent chunk of time to work on my projects.

That is, until last night.

For the past few weeks, the baby is starting to get into a more predictable sleep pattern. I put him in his crib around 5-6pm for the night.  He will usually sleep 3 hours and wake for a feed, after which I put him right back to bed.  When I go up to bed, I take him out of his room and he sleeps in the bassinet next to my bedside.  So, for a few hours every night, I am now baby-free and can cross stitch.  Yay!  I started a kit for him a few months after I found out I was pregnant.  All the kids have a birth record framed cross stitch in their rooms, which I had completed by their first birthday.  For baby J, it’s no different.

Last night, I pulled out the kit for his birth record and went to work.  I lasted about an hour.  I hold the fabric in my left hand and after about 15 minutes, my thumb, index finger and the thenar eminence all started to go numb. My hands are clearly out of shape!  I’m not kidding!  Some nights I’m holding the fabric for several hours with no issues whatsoever.  Not last night though.  My eyes also got tired pretty quickly too.

I felt the calmness come over me, which I only get with stitching. I am so glad I worked on it, even if it was for a short period of time. My mind turned off and all I thought about was which cross I was going to do next. It calms me after a stressful day at work and it centers me when I’m in doubt.

It’s what I love to do.

A Little Taste of Freedom.

Day 26. National Blog Posting Month.

So, the baby is 2+ months old.  He’s been sleeping in the buzzy chair, swing, or bassinet.  He has been spending the evenings with us asleep in the basement, in the buzzy chair, while husband and I eat dinner and watch TV.  When its time for me to go to sleep, I bring the baby upstairs with me and he sleeps in the bassinet next to my bed.

Last night, while the older two kids were getting ready for bed, baby was not settling in the buzzy chair, so I decided to try him in the crib.

OH!!  I forgot to mention — he POOPED yesterday!!!  I think it was pretty close to 2 weeks since his last poop.  It wasn’t a pooplosion, but it was a great poop.  I kinda squealed in delight!

Anyway, I digress…  So, where was I? Yes, I put baby to sleep in the crib.  I swaddled him nice and tight, lay him in the crib and placed to tightly rolled up towels on either side of him.  He fell asleep instantly and slept for almost 3 hours.  I ate my dinner, we watched a movie and I was seriously contemplating getting some cross-stitching done (haven’t touched it for almost 4 months), but he woke up and I had to nurse him.  Thwarted!  But I have to say, I was so proud of my little man for sleeping all by himself!
I did eventually bring him back to the bassinet because I was just too tired to walk the 20 feet to the nursery every 2-3 hours. I don’t think he’s ready to sleep in the crib all night just yet.  Still, if this continues, and he sleeps in the crib in the evening when the older two kids go to bed, I think I might be able to get back to my cross-stitching.

Here’s hoping I haven’t just jinxed myself – though, he is sleeping in his crib as I write this, so … we shall see.

It’s Alive!

Day 5.

A picture says two (or three) words.

I took this photograph a few days ago. It was about 9pm, husband and I were watching an episode of 30 Rock. I had gotten the baby to sleep and put him on a pillow next to me. This was after multiple attempts at trying to get him to sleep in the bassinet you see at the left of the photograph.  I can’t tell you how lovely it was to be able to eat my dinner with two hands!  He’d been asleep for about an hour and a half when he started to stir.  The soother had fallen out of his mouth about an hour before and as I looked over at him, I saw his hand pop up.  Immediately, I grabbed my camera and snapped the photograph.  All I could think of was this:

Dreaming of the Beach …

My FB feed today is full of comments about the weather.  It’s a snowy, slushy mess today.  It’s February, for heaven’s sake, what do people expect??

Hubby said this would be the perfect week to have gone south.  I reminded him that indeed, 5 years ago this week, we were in Negril, Jamaica on our honeymoon.

Ah… Negril.

We stayed at CoCo La Palm on the seven-mile beach.

Heaven.  It was pure heaven.

I have been wanting to go back ever since we left.  The locals were incredibly friendly, we loved how everyone was on “Jamaica time”.  We’d order a Red Stripe and maybe it would arrive a half-hour later.  So we quickly learned to order several at a time (ha!) so we were well stocked.

As I look out my office window today, the snow and slush make me want to get on a plane right now with the family and hit that beautiful beach again.

I think I am ready for winter to be over.  We’ve had our fair share of snow and sleet.  I want to see my tulips sprouting.  I’d like to put my boots away.  It’s time.