I Am a Genius

Or, at least, I had a moment of genius. During my browsing to find stuff to make with my stash yarn, I found this pattern. Unfortunately, however, I do not have a printer, so trying to make things from patterns means I have to either

a) sit at my computer and crochet until I have enough of something made that I don’t need to refer to the pattern anymore


b) laboriously write down the entire pattern

However, I have recently received a Nook from my dear and loving father. The Nook has an SD card. I thought maybe I could convert said pattern to a pdf and read it from my Nook.

Through much tinkering, I got it to work and I was able to make a long shirt/short dress for Kara.

Steve was very impressed with my ingenuity and technical skills. Said skills are not great, but the fact that I’m using technology for something that (as he pointed out) is a regression back to the 1800s gave me major props in his book.

Now it will be much easier to repeat the process, and I see a glorious future of resting easy on the couch while crocheting patterns from my Nook.


The Sacrifices We Make

 I have a confession to make. Ever since I first encountered one, I’ve harbored the cherished ideal of having my very own papasan chair. I don’t know what caused this obsession. Perhaps it’s because I always curl up in whatever char I sit in, and the papasan chair is perfect for curling up. It’s just always embodied luxury to me, but I’ve never had one.

This morning, a friend of mine was at a yard sale. She found a papasan chair (with the footstool!) for $25. My friends, that is practically giving it away. And I wouldn’t even have to go to the sale—my friend offered to get it for me and let me pay her back.

A glance at the living room told me I couldn’t really fit it inside. Then, my mind feverishly working, I thought, if I move the desk here, then the papasan chair could go here, and I could finally have one!

But alas, as soon as I got everything figured out, it occurred to me that even if I could make room for it, if I’m going to crowd the living room, it should probably be with the kinds of things Kara will want when she’s a little older.

And so it begins, the lifetime of sacrificing my wants for my daughter’s.

But, I can still dream. We have a very large deck, and I’ve discovered that people make outdoor papasan chairs. Hope lives on!

Things Old People Say

It’s probably unfair to speak of “old people” in general as though they would all say the kinds of things that Maw-Maw Carden does. She’s probably in a class all of her own. During my most recent visit, of course, the primary “things we can make silly comments about” category was pregnancy.

Steve was at his parents’ one day while I was out and about. Maw-Maw says to Steve, “I know Tanya feels terrible.”

“Actually,” Steve said, “she’s been doing really well. She hasn’t been sick and there haven’t been many complaints.”

But alas, such looking on the bright side is not part of Maw-Maw’s nature. I’m certain she was convinced Steve just didn’t know what he was talking about. How do I know this? Why, because at my baby shower, Maw-Maw comes up to me while I’m in the kitchen getting some water and says, “I know you feel terrible.”

“Actually, this pregnancy has been pretty easy,” I said. “I’m just enjoying being able to feel her move and see her grow.”

As though none of that registered, she continued on about how tight your stomach gets as the baby grows. Of the complaints I do have, that… doesn’t really even make the list. I tried to reassure her that I was not miserable—quite the opposite in fact—but to no avail.

We’ve had just as much success in trying to convince her, in the past, that we weren’t cold—no, we didn’t need more blankets, the thermostat doesn’t need to be turned up, and the space heater in the bedroom really isn’t necessary. But that’s another story for another day.

A Opossum’s Tale

(No, the title is not a typo. I’ve never pronounced that first “o” in “opossum,” so even though the word begins with a vowel, I begin it with a consonant sound, hence “a” instead of “an.” Just so you know.)

Yesterday, I was on the beautiful campus of Clemson with Steve. While he ran an errand, I wandered around the campus. Now, I’m used to the uncharacteristic boldness of campus wildlife, and by “campus wildlife,” I mean squirrels. At my undergrad, there was at least one old lady who fed the squirrels, so they had more than their usual spunk around humans, and it’s not too different at Clemson. (The spunk. I know nothing about the feeding.)

However, as I was walking down a nice gravel path, I see a opossum trundling down the path toward me, looking for all the world as though he belonged. For some reason, I remember opossums being cute. This fellow was not. He was k ind of the Nala of the opossum kingdom. And it worried me a little to see a nocturnal animal wandering around so boldly during the day. He continued heading toward me even after I stopped to watch him.

As he drew closer, I asked him, “Are you rabid?” It was a legitimate concern, but he didn’t answer. Instead, he stopped, looked slowly up at me, and did a 180-degree turn. He never really showed any fear, and he didn’t run away. Just turned and walked, still following the path, for all the world as though I had inconvenienced him. I must say… that was a first.

The Art of Improvising

Yesterday, we got pretty much everything we absolutely need moved to the new apartment, and today has been spent largely setting up the new apartment. However, there are still some small things left at the old, which has led to several interesting improvisations, mostly in the kitchen.

Tonight, I’m making black-bean chili. After I got started with everything, I had a moment of panic when I couldn’t find the can opener (which would mean no diced tomatoes or tomato sauce in the chili). Fortunately, I found an ancient one that Steve had and I hated, which is why we got our nice new one for a wedding present. At least the hated thing came through for once.

Then I decided I wanted corn muffins to go with our chili. Unfortunately, we haven’t brought the muffin tin over. Or any baking dishes. But I do have an oven-safe skillet, so I’m making it in that.

So, cheers! My first home-cooked meal in my new apartment is a resounding success! Or, I hope it will be. I haven’t tasted the cornbread yet—we’ll see if it’s scorched on the bottom.

Hmm… Before I end this post, I feel like I should give a shout-out to the several people who have helped us move:

  • Mariah, for the use of her truck and her insane early-morning energy that got us packed up and moved much sooner than I would have thought possible. And for uber-delicious cinnamon rolls. When she opens her bakery, I’m asking for her to ship stuff to me.
  • Ethan, for the use of his dad’s pickup truck and for his time and help in moving.
  • Ken, for the hand truck and mad-awesome maneuvering skills in getting the loaded hand truck through our new hallways.
  • Mary, for the enormous feast that gave us our lunch and dinner, and for helping put stuff away and helping spare Steve’s back in the evening when it was at its worst.

We may have been able to do it without you guys, but it would have taken much longer and would have been much more unpleasant. More probably, however, Steve and I would be so frustrated we’d be sleeping in separate apartments and unable to function in either one. So thanks, and thanks again!

Getting Ready

My husband and I just got back from a wonderful vacation visiting friends and family. To my surprise, we had a baby shower and got TONS of stuff! Some of it was, as I suspected, stuff that I would not even think of needing until someone gave it to me. A prime example of this is a mesh bag/rack that can hold bottle straws, bottoms, nipples, etc. and go in the dishwasher. (Genius!)

My family was full of party animals this week—in addition to my baby shower, little Ava’s (my niece) 2nd birthday party was this weekend. It went much better than last year’s. She had a nap, for one thing. That makes a tremendous difference. And she just melted my heart trying to find baby Kara in my belly button.

Now we’re back, and tomorrow we’re moving into a two-bedroom apartment, so I can actually feel like I can get ready for Kara’s arrival. At the moment, that preparation involves cutting off all the tags from every article of clothing we got from the baby shower (let me just say that I cannot believe the monetary value of baby clothes is so great as to justify having to put 8 fasteners into each article of clothing) so that I can pre-wash everything while we still have a washer and dryer.

And tomorrow… the fun will begin!

Realizing the Obvious

As I was driving home from work the other day, I smiled as I felt Kara kicking, swishing, rolling, and practicing for her circus act or whatever she’s doing in there, and it occurred to me that I’m very used to that. To having her with me everywhere I go and being able to feel her every time she moves. And then it occurred to me that when she’s born, I won’t have that anymore.

Obvious, like I said. And don’t get me wrong, I’m very excited to meet her. I can’t wait for her to be as big a part of Steve’s life as she is of mine. But I’ll really miss this special time we have together now. In another three or four weeks I’ll probably scoff wholeheartedly at the idea of missing pregnancy and will be more than ready for her to do the rest of her growing outside of my body and to give my lungs, bladder, abdomen, etc. a break from the internal boxing.

But for now, I’ll cherish it all. The swollen fingers, the multiple times I have to wake up to pee because she’s headbutted my bladder. Because for now, she’s sitting right under my heart and squiggling her way deeper in with every move she makes.

Happy Mother’s Day to all who have experienced the same thing, to those who are still struggling to experience it, and to those who have experienced it for those who can’t and have given their babies to the other group of women who deserve a “happy Mother’s Day.”