Old Lady Status Confirmed, St. Patrick’s Weekend Edition:

St. Patrick’s Day is one of my favorite holidays. I’m Irish, I love day-drinking, I love parades, and I love green things. With each passing year, I find myself starting earlier and ending earlier, because hey, I must work the next day and I cannot deal with the Monday fuzzies that come after a long day of raging as if I still have the stamina.

The weekend began on Friday night, casting on a new green beanie that I tasked myself to finish before Sunday’s parade. It was that moment I was reminded just how old lady I am.

Ten reasons why I feel 90:

#1: My Friday night was a rager, I spent it frogging my knit beanie because I was practicing the dandelion stitch – the struggle.

Saturday, we went skiing with some friends at Pats Peak – It was a 40-degree day and the runs were a little slushy, but it will likely be our last trip of the season, so it had to be done. I don’t typically challenge myself on the slopes, until I’ve had at least 3 beers. Guinness’ is just what I needed. Post-lunch ski run was a short one, and my last. No one was hurt, and I was quite impressed with my form as I bolted down the mountain at 30 mph – swerving every which way screaming “yikes” on my way down.

Saturday night we went out to dinner/drinks with some friends at a restaurant in the neighborhood. It was a great time, with great peeps, and it’s when my old lady tendencies really kicked in.

#2 – I made the mistake of laying down to watch Friday. The hubs had to scrape me off the couch to go to dinner. I can’t help it, I love Ice Cube.

#3 – I cannot tolerate lines or waiting in them, especially at 7pm. Luckily, we had a reservation and walking by 40+ people standing in line was so rewarding. Suckers. Reservations, always.

After dinner we scoped out a spot by the bar that would hold 14ish people – victory! I was monitoring the waves of people coming in and out, and plotted our take-over.

#4 – I was scoping out a spot to stand by the bar where people would not bump into me for at least an hour. Give me my space or SOS to you.

#5 – Bathrooms at bars these days are like a mini soap opera. Has it always been that way? I do not remember being so open with my problems to strangers. Carissa, (if you are reading this), I agree with Ashley…Jonathan really isn’t worth it. I know it was his birthday, but you shouldn’t have texted him – he’s a total jerk and you deserve better.

#6 – Every guy in that bar looked like a member of One Direction, but shorter.

#7 – Sunday, we woke up at 9am and went to brunch at a bar down the street. They opened at 10am and you better believe we were there at 9:55 to secure a seat at the bar. I’m always prompt.

#8 – The perfect seat is the one on the end (by the waitress station), where there is only one person who has the option to sit next to you – hubs. The fewer people reaching over me to order their espresso martinis, the better.

Of course, I stuffed my face with a heavy breakfast that was way too much for 10am. I was trying to get a good base that would last. I could have sat there all day sipping bloody marys, I wish I could have.

#9 – (received the bar bill) <inner monologue>: “OMG. What have we done? Was it worth it? No. I should have stayed in, I’m too poor for this. How do people do this every weekend? I could have bought 8 large pizzas, or groceries for the week. It’s okay, it’s only money, I can always make more. It’s not okay.”

Connor McGregor was in the parade and that was the ONE thing we wanted to see. That, and the people watching, which never disappoints. We didn’t see him (apparently, he didn’t do the whole parade), but we did see lots of shenanigans on the streets afterward. Jabroniville.

#10 – Before returning to our apt, I insisted that we walk through the carnage, and to appreciate the fact of “thank God that’s not me” – “oh that poor girl” “did you see that girl’s pants..did she just? Omg!” – “I hope no one gets hit by a car” – “is that guy peeing or puking?”

It’s you’re** get it together meme makers.

Some key takeaways and highlights:

  • Fire department rescued a guy off the roof. He jumped from the roof next door and couldn’t get back.
  • Always bring an extra pair of jeans for your friend – because even adults have accidents (yes, it was gross).
  • People were literally hanging of their windows and no one died, and that is what matters.

How did you spend your St. Pat’s day weekend?

~Bailey

It’s Hard Out There for a Toddler

On a typical day, my husband has already picked up Henry from daycare well before I get home. So when I walk in the door, the dog comes running and I can hear a “mama!!!” from somewhere inside the house. I get about 20 seconds to lose the work bag and winter coat before Henry rams into me at full speed for a big hug.

He’s a good hugger. Not a cuddler. But his hugs are pretty top notch. 

Henry is not at all impressed with his mother’s talents. Nor does he care I was working hard to get this done for a new best friend he hasn’t met yet.

However, the other night was a little different. The same exclamation of “mama!” happened and I walked around the corner to see him climbing the stairs to get to me. He got to the top. Stood up. Looked at me. And started to cry. And then proceeded to slowly cry walk toward me until he just collapsed into my arms. 
It’s amazing how much that can hurt one’s heart.
My husband said he had been having fun literally until that exact moment. This has happened a few times, in various ways, so I tried not to overthink it. And I had obviously googled it in the past. #helicoptermom
From what various discussion boards and mommy sites, it seems kids sometimes do the same things adults do. After working hard to keep himself together all day, following rules and being surrounded by other kids, coming home and being exhausted and within an hour of bedtime… we were all finally there and Henry felt like it was as safe time to just let loose. 

Done! I’ve become obsessed with less traditional colors being used for baby blankets.

I feel ya, bro. 
I really do. I wish I could say it gets easier. But that seems like a lie. Because I definitely have those days where I come home upset or exhausted from a deadline that has made me physically sick. Even though I love my job, it’s fair to still require a place where I feel comfortable enough to decompress and not get judged for it. 
It’s also one of the reasons why my husband can tell the difference between my normal resting knit face and my “OMG do not even think of coming near me or looking in my general direction” knit face. He gets me. 
Henry clearly doesn’t knit/crochet due to the lack of required dexterity at this point in his life, but he and I still share a few things that make us feel better after a long day: 
1. a good hug
2. a long bath
3. a good story
4. snacks on snacks on snacks
And when he turns 21, perhaps he can add wine to that list. 

I know I have.
What’s your go-to after a long day? 

-Amy

Pasta, Bagels, Pizza, Yarn Stores, and more Pizza

This past weekend I had a bachelorette party in NYC so naturally, I had to plan out what to see and do in my short amount of time there. Like any place I visit, my priorities are food, snacks, yarn stores and more food.  Carbs, mostly. I can’t shock my system with greens while I’m gallivanting the streets.

Bagels, pizza and pasta, is there really anything else you need in life?  Probably.  But not when you’re in NY.  My carb-o-loaded diet started Friday afternoon, with a couple cold beers to cool me down on the Amtrak.  I had to, that train was stuffy AF.

Friday evening, we indulged in some apps, homemade pasta, a bottle of wine and were in bed early because Saturday’s festivities were sure to be a 20+ hour day.  Avocado toast with fried artichokes and homemade Tagliatelle – I am still dreaming about it, Aunt Jakes, I love you.  Do you ever wish you had multiple stomachs, so you could eat more without getting full?  I think that to myself after every good meal.

Saturday we were up by 7:30am, and bolted to “Best Bagel & Coffee” by 8.  Yes, it’s considered ‘touristy” but whatever. It’s good..and we were there early enough to NOT have to wait outside in line. 

After a successful binge, we roamed the streets for a couple hours to burn some calories.  Note to self – if you REALLY want to burn out the calories, step in a pile of s**t, or look at the street curbs to see the gritty details of what was NOT thrown out properly the night before – it’ll make you puke.

We did both.  I won’t go into the graphic details, but we walked by some Indian restaurant that apparently ran out of garbage bags, so they just dumped their trash in the streets instead.  It looked like a war zone.  I don’t even know if it was food – gross.  Also, I stepped in s**t in the middle of the sidewalk, I think it was from a dog, but who knows.  I skidded my shoe for 4 blocks in search of some grass to clean my precious sneaker.  Good luck finding grass, by the way.

In the afternoon, I was on the hunt for yarn stores and ended up going to School Products Yarn (oldest yarn store in NYC), because it was the only one within walking distance that was OPEN on a Saturday.  Lion Brand was CLOSED.  How is that even possible?  Why would any store in NYC be closed on a Saturday?  Tragic.

Saturday late afternoon and into Sunday morning (4am) was focused around the Bachelorette party for a friend of mine.  Wine fests, bar hopping, comedy shows, more bar hopping, and late night pizza runs before bed – it was glorious.  You really can’t go wrong with anything you do – but you must be mentally prepped.  

Mentally preppy in my cozy black scarf

It was day-light savings time, so when 2am (3am) struck we were hurried out of the bar which was a bummer.  Luckily, the Uber driver (or whoever that guy was that gave us a ride) pulled over for us to pick up a couple of slices on the way back to the hotel.  We stuffed our faces and were passed out ~4:30am. 

We walked over 25k steps that day – THAT is why I was tired, not because It was 6 hours past my bed time, or because I started drinking at 3pm.  I’m so young (old) and vibrant (lazy) that I slept in a ‘question mark’ pose against the window for the 4-hour train ride home. 

What a trip.  I loved it and need to go back ASAP.  What is your favorite thing to do when you visit NYC?  Why are stores closed on Saturdays (Lion Brand, FAO Schwartz – I’m looking at YOU!)?

Missed Connections

I love traveling, for the most part.  It’s the process of getting there that makes me cringe.

This past weekend, I visited my hometown in Illinois for the weekend (Thursday-Sunday). Winter traveling is never easy, and in the last 5.5 years of living in Boston, I should have known that.  I always get stuck in some way or another due to weather, canceled flights, missed connections, mechanical issues, etc. You name it, it’s happened.

Boston > Chicago, Chicago > Peoria, typically.  But for this trip, I ended up flying through Charlotte because the times were decent and it was less expensive.  I spaced it out nicely with a nice 2-hour layover to get into town by 1pm – perfect.

False.

Overall, I spent a total of 27 hours either on a plane or in the airport.  It was a test of patience and sanity – both of which I am already lacking.

Breakdown below, if interested.  If not – just go to the bullet points on everything that is wrong with traveling these days.

Boston > Charlotte – we were on the tarmac for 3 hours before even taking off.

Three. Hours.  No water, no TV, no bathroom breaks, no beverages or Biscotti things, nothing.  It was like prison.  They say it was weather related, but it was just a couple inches of snow in February. Boston should be more equipped to deal with that.  Oh, and our pilot was late, they had to de-ice twice and refuel.  Almost everyone on that flight had missed their connection before we even took off… it was obvious I was about to have ‘a day’.

Charlotte > Peoria – We landed in Charlotte 3.5 hours late and I missed my connection.  Turns out there are only 2 flights to Peoria a day – cool.  I had to wait around for 8 hours before the next flight out. During my time of reflection, I noticed a couple things about the overall travel experience:

  • Airport bars should have just as many outlets as the coffee shops.
  • Playing Kelly Rowland at the airport bar is the quickest way to get me to leave.
  • $9 beers is robbery – this isn’t an NYC nightclub, I’m drowning my sorrows for my travel woes and they should have some mercy.  Flights are expensive enough as it is.
  • Cooler Ranch Doritos should not be available for purchase and should NOT be eaten on a plane.  I love them, but only in the comfort of my own home, and not in close quarters with others.  I’m way too considerate.
  • People who put backpacks and jackets in the overhead storage space should be kicked off the flight.
  • Why don’t they have TVs on planes anymore?  To spare a couple thousand pounds?  Terrible.
  • I REALLY miss Cinnabon.  It was the highlight of my day when I found one in Charlotte.  I may have eaten it twice, but I had to reward myself for not going Ben Stiller on everyone’s asses on the plane (Meet the Parents).
  • Jamba Juice needs to be replaced with REAL juice bars – Let’s spare everyone the misery of eating Burger King before a flight and replace shitty food options with healthy options, shall we?
  • Please don’t bring Burger King or Bojangles chicken on a full airplane.  You’re making everyone jealous and sick.
  • Leg/shoulder room, anyone?  This is America, we are not elf-size – build your planes as such and stop packing us in like sardines.

Needless to say, I went crazy for 8 hours. I lapped the airport 4 times (11k steps total) and was hypersensitive to literally everything.  I was too riled up to knit for a long length of time, so I people watched like a caged animal.  It sucked.

Eventually, I made it home Thursday before midnight (after an 18-hour day). I had a wonderful time visiting my mom, gran, and my friends, which is the most important part.  I left early Sunday because I had big plans to be back in Boston early. Big plans.

Ha!

Peoria > Charlotte – mechanical issues, 4-hour delay and another missed connection.  This time I had to fly standby from Charlotte > Boston and hope for the best. They did secure me a seat last minute and I made it home to Boston in time for the snow storm. We got more snow that night than we have all winter.  10-14 inches. Good timing.

It’s all fun until you have to dig out your car (not mine)

I’m happy to be back, and happy to not be in an airport anymore.  I am 100% not traveling from December – April any more.  For the safety of everyone around me, I will stay put until winter is over.  I know this happens to everyone at some point but I do NOT handle inconveniences well.  My tolerance is low and depleting every day I’m on earth – SOS.

I would love to hear your travel nightmares, it will make me feel better .

Wisconsin Weekend

As previously mentioned, my family was planning for a weekend getaway. 

In Wisconsin, actually. Sheboygan, to be more specific. 

Sheboygan is fun to say.

Shu-boy-gun. 

See? Fun. 

Anyway, it was a trip for the grand kids and mostly revolved around an indoor water park. Because there are not many desirable outdoor activities during winter months in Wisconsin. 

I think you can ski. But unlike my counterpart on this blog, I refuse to even entertain the idea of a hobby like that. 

My feet are better on solid ground. And if not on solid ground, they much prefer floating around a lazy river about 20x in a row with an excited but overwhelmed child chilling in my lap. 

He probably peed in the pool/on me. We’re not going to think about it. 

Anyway, when traveling, it’s always important to have packed correctly. And that includes the right amount of yarn and a good project to keep busy, even if there are only a few opportunities to work on it. That includes time spent in the car. 

My husband is the superior driver, there’s no argument about that, and so I happily keep myself busy and take very seriously my one job of turning on Google maps when we’re close to getting off the highway. 

Important stuff. 

It’s also great to have around for when my child chooses to forgo sleep because he’s not comfortable in a new environment and ends up in bed with us (kicking me in the back throughout the night) and then refuses to sleep past 5:30 am. 

It’d also be nice to have during middle of the day naps, but If we’re being honest, I ended up taking a nap at that time. Because 5:30 am. And tired crochet can be extremely consequential. I’ve yanked out rows upon rows before for simple oversights and it’s always a sad occurrence. 

Anyway, I started a blanket for friends due with their second in June, but probably won’t finish it anytime soon because it’s still a good size to take on the next road trip we have planned in April. 

My focus this month has been mostly on keeping up with my NICU blankets goal for the year. However, my son woke up calling for (i.e. demanding) someone to come wipe his boogers last night. So I suspect I’ll also have to put that away until we have a virus-free household again (rules are rules when it comes to charity guidelines, right?). 

Wisconsin has the best souvenirs!

All this means I’ll be focusing on getting a few other “almost done” projects completed and out the door because my collection of works in progress is starting to get a little overwhelming. And I still haven’t convinced my husband that a craft room is a valid reason for needing to move into a bigger house. 

Sigh. 

– Amy

Shut In

We have fun out of town plans with family this weekend. It’s something we’re all looking forward to. A day off of work. A weekend away from the routine. A fun new thing to do in the middle of the winter doldrums.

But you know what’s also fun? It’s the thing I did last weekend.

NEVER LEAVING THE HOUSE THE ENTIRE WEEKEND.

Ok, I did leave ONCE because I had to pick up some swim diapers (not for me, obvi) from Target for this coming weekend. Other than that? We convinced people to come to us. Which was great for a super windy, below freezing couple of days.

So much yarn. So many episodes of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

And when my husband had people over on Sunday?

Peace out, buds, I’m going to stow myself away in our guest bedroom and just enjoy some peace and quiet until the kiddo’s naptime is over.

And if you’re curious, this is my list of essentials to basically live in a cave for 2 solid days and be ok with it:

1. Stockpile pizza delivery coupons.

2. Acquire wine during the week.

3. When letting the dog out in the backyard, take a deep breath of outside air to remind yourself what fresh air is, but also to reinforce the idea that it is way too cold for this nonsense and quickly go back inside.

Yeah. That’s about it.

Until it gets warmer, this is likely to be my routine for every other remaining week of below freezing temps.

And that is lovely.

-Amy

THOSE yarns..

I have (more than) a couple of them laying around.  The yarns that are so pretty you just don’t know what to make with them.  The ones that you impulsively buy because you’re visiting from out of town and have to buy SOMETHING, even though there is no project in mind.

I have a lot.  Usually I just make a hat, because if it’s over 130 yds it’ll at least be something that can keep my head warm.  There are a couple instances where I’ve bought more than one skein, so maybe I can make a scarf, or a wrap, or multiple hats.

But what stitch do I use?  How long will it be?  Do I have enough yarn? Will I like it?

I never know.

Which is why they sit in storage bins until I’m done overthinking their purpose.  I buy things without a clear vision, which leads me to hunt on Ravelry for free patterns filtered by yardage.  I would say it works 70% of the time, the other 30% I get trapped in a rabbit hole and forget what I’m browsing for.

This yarn from Miss Babs that I purchased at SAFF is one that I sat on for months.  560 yards is a lot, and I don’t’ want ANY of it to go to waste.  So, hats are out of the question, I know it had to be something bigger.

Luckily, I found this simple FREE Triangle Neck Wrap pattern on Ravelry last week and knew it was a match.  No need to read the pattern (easy to memorize), it can be as big as I want, and it’s in garter stitch – nice and simple for this particular yarn.  I cannot wait until I finish it – I just love how the color worked up.

Do you have a favorite pattern you use for scarves or wraps?  I’m particularly interested in things I can wrap myself up in to hide.