Hello friends, it’s been awhile since I’ve posted, but there has been a lot going on these last couple months. I’ll start with the MOST exciting news – I passed the PMP Exam (Project Management Professional) early September! It was a professional milestone I was working on for ~9 months and it finally happened! You may recall my post in June about “treating myself” – that was attempt #1. It didn’t work out. It sucked. I was pretty down, disappointed, and after a week of wallowing, I was more determined than ever to get it done. Thousands of hours, practice tests, bailing on fun, and discipline I never knew I had went into round 2, and seeing this beautiful sight when clicking ‘submit’ made it all worth it:
..I’ve been a bit quiet on the blog and insta lately. Mostly because I’ve been swamped at work, adjusting into my new(ish) position, attempting to stay on top of my game, studying for a PMP exam, “training” for a 5-miler, and trying to squeeze in time for self care (yoga, knits and Netflix).
There is just a lot going on, and I’m having a TIME establishing a healthy work-life balance (parents, I don’t know how you do it). I’m learning as I go, faking it til’ I make it, and trying not to sprout anymore gray hairs in the process. PS- I recently spotted 3 devil hairs that grow significantly faster and thicker than the others. What’s up with that, anyway?
Anyway, in midst of all the everyday crazy, that we all endure, I’m frantically trying to finish up this baby blanket for a dear friend’s baby shower in early June (15 days, to be specific). Of course I’m woefully behind, but was reassured that I’d finish this in time if I stuck to a schedule I made for myself when I started in May.
~100 rows to get the length aka ~3 rows/day for a month and it should get it done. I am..behind. Weekends are typically when I have my time to catch up but they’ve been quite packed this month.
There is just not enough hours in the day..and too many things I don’t want to do that are getting in my way of what I enjoy. This is life, I know and overall it’s good ‘problem’ to have.
“If I can just make it though this week, I’ll be good” – and I’ll tell myself that for the foreseeable future, or at least through the end of June.
How do you prioritize your conflicting priorities in life? What do you do when you feel overwhelmed? I’m open to any and all suggestions on maintaining sanity. #SOS
We took a lovely long weekend trip to Missouri over Easter.
Given that my child is almost two and a half, it really is a crap shoot of what to expect from him on the 7.5-hour drive. For example, last time we made the trip, he projectile vomited within 5 miles of my parents’ house.
It could have been worse, I suppose. He could have thrown up in hour 2 and the smell would have destroyed us all. So there’s that.
But anyway, he did great. Both the ride down and back. Possibly the best road trip we’ve had with him.
My husband, however, did not fare so well.
He got the chills the night before we drove back home.
We still drove back, but turns out it was strep throat. And we had all been trapped in a car together for 7.5 hours.
Kyle immediately went into quarantine. And while I like to think of myself as a loving wife, there’s only so much nurturing to go around. And when I am doing everything I can to keep my child from getting strep, there’s not much leftover when it comes to looking over his well-being.
I warmed up a couple of cans of soup. Threw a bottle of NyQuil at him through a slightly opened door. Provided him with some Clorox wipes to wipe down anything he touched between the two rooms he was allowed in – our bedroom and the bathroom.
And then I slept on our family room couch for two days.
Because it is all about survival. And sorry, bro, you have fallen and I cannot help you until you are officially no longer contagious.
That does seem harsh. But to be fair, if I were to get sick, I would expect about the same. One adult being sick is tolerable. But if you take the child down with you, we’re going to have problems.
He must be protected at all costs.
So Kyle stayed in quarantine and I caught up on Netflix in the evenings, with crochet in hand.
I really love the texture, but due to the size of this throw, it’s been slow going. It’s also stalled at the moment, because I need to buy more yarn for it.
With health being restored in our household, I also expect it to stall more because I am desperately behind on my NICU blanket goals.
Gonna have to partially blame the husband and his germs on that one. 🙂
As previously mentioned, my family was planning for a weekend getaway.
In Wisconsin, actually. Sheboygan, to be more specific.
Sheboygan is fun to say.
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.
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?).
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.
I like to be punctual.
Screw that. I like to be ridiculously early to things.
And if it requires driving somewhere with traffic being a factor? I will knock on your door 10 minutes early and exclaim, “I’m so sorry I’m early!” when I’ve already spent 10 minutes sitting in my car in front of your house like a creep.
Being late causes extremely large amount of discomfort. It’s always been that way. It’s a thing with me.
I jokingly blame my dad. A regular staple in my childhood was being told we were going to leave for something at, say, 4:30. My parents would be sitting in the car, already backed out of our garage and impatiently waiting at 4:15. Honking.
As you can imagine, this has affected many aspects of everyday life. Remember the movie “Superbad”? It was hilarious, right?
NO. I HATED that movie because the majority of the plot was based around getting to a party and they kept getting more and more delayed. They were soooo late for that stupid party.
I could not handle it.
There’s also a Friends episode where they’re all supposed to go to a dinner and the only person ready and trying to get everyone out the door was Ross. No one else seemed to be bothered that they were never going to get there on time. It was terribly rude.
I simply cannot.
But I recognize my problem and am actively trying to overcome it. My husband, for example, will only leave then house at the exact time needed to get us there within a minute of when we’re supposed to arrive. What caused me to have an unnecessary heart attack every time we would leave the house is now starting to dwindle to maybe only a few chest pains here and there.
And if anything, if we end up late, I can always blame my husband.
The scape goat makes me feel better.
So what about the rest of you? Any weird ticks that have just become a part of who you are?
I also can only open the microwave after it’s done, or on a number that ends in 0 or 5. Oh, the oatmeal is going to explode out of the bowl if I don’t open it with 13 seconds left? Too bad. Let’s watch it tidal wave over the top and I’ll open it when the timer gets to 10 seconds when it’s clearly too late.
I’m a mess.
Link to pattern used is here.
My husband would probably agree with the statement that, at times, I am somewhat overanxious about the mundane. This is probably one of the reasons why I’ve adapted to knitting and crochet – it’s good for my wellbeing.
But that still doesn’t stop the overly ridiculous thoughts from creeping in. And of course they don’t bother to come knocking until around 2am.
As a bit of a study, I’ve been keeping track of the things keeping me up. Here are a few of the more obnoxious things:
1. On a night we were scheduled to get a large amount of wet snow (5+ inches), I was awake and heard a few random creaks, leading me to believe that perhaps the heavy snow was going to cave in the roof of our house or garage. Who do you even call for such things? I tried to figure it out on my own. Right then. I still don’t know the answer.
2. Not being able to get my dog’s teeth cleaned on a regular basis. The vet says weekly cleanings at a minimum and here I am calling it a win if I can get one or two swipes in before she starts to growl and kick. My dog is too young to start losing teeth and I don’t particularly care to budget for extensive cleaning sessions. Panic ensued.
3. The teeny tiny zit I saw on my son’s face is somehow actually Hand Foot Mouth and neither Kyle or myself can afford to take off work the next day, let alone the rest of the week, and OMG WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO. (This is a regularly occurring situation, but the particular ailment varies. As a side note, we’ve rarely had an issue figuring something like this out.)
4. Did we lock the back door? Surely it’s locked. I was the last to let Polly in and of course I always lock it. But did I? Should I go check? Or is it a waste of time because if a burglar is going to show up at our house, they’re likely inside already. I wonder if the dog will actually react if she hears something with us here. *Turns on monitor to make sure the child has not been kidnapped.* Did I just hear something? Maybe I should wake up Kyle to go check. (Side note: Never wake your husband to do this. He won’t.)
5. (On a night in a week where I was getting quite a few tension headaches) What if my headaches are something worse than just stress? What if I have a serious eye issue? Omg, I have noticed my one eye is worse than the other. What other symptoms do I have? Do I have double vision? Like, I can see my hand right now… but maybe I’m seeing two? I don’t know… is that two?!?! Am I seeing two right now? OH NO I USE MY EYES FOR EVERYTHING WHAT AM I GOING TO DO??
Each time I presented such worries to my husband the next day, he just looked at me like he was having the hardest time physically stopping his eyes from rolling.
In other news, Kyle now brushes Polly’s teeth. So at least I can stop worrying about that one…
“This is ridiculous. Why on earth did you buy that much yarn? Don’t you still have a bunch upstairs?”
Well, yes, dear husband, I do. Likely more than you’re aware of at the moment. Most definitely more than you’re aware of at the moment.
But here’s what happened…
I wanted to make a tree skirt. In typical Amy style, I way undershot how much yarn would actually be needed.
Luckily, I happened to be off of work and it was Cyber Monday at the time and the online deals for in store pick-up at Michael’s were pretty awesome.
I then braved the nasty weather to Michael’s to pick up said yarn and continue work on my tree skirt. It didn’t take long until, for the second time that day, I realized I was still extremely short on the amount of yarn needed.
Back online I went to order more yarn, but the weather continued to get worse and I had somehow managed to buy out every last skein of yarn in that color the store had in stock. So I had to have it delivered to the house from whatever magical place Michael’s keeps their yarn.
It’s not a secret I’m a firm believer in not paying shipping if I don’t have to, and if I hit $49, shipping would be free. However, the real problem that led to this overabundance of yarn was that the sale was so good (yarn was discounted AND 30% off all regular and sale priced items!) that it took 20 skeins to get me over the $50 threshold. And even if I don’t need 20 more skeins at this very moment, it will surely last me a while and so it just makes sense to order them now while they’re on such an incredible sale.
So you see, it’s not really my fault that I now have what would fairly be called a ridiculous amount of yarn on hand. You can’t pass up a good deal or free shipping if the opportunity arises.
But, my dear husband, isn’t the real question less about the amount of yarn I have and more about when we’re going to get a house with more rooms so I can store all of my yarn properly?
It’s funny to think I met most of my college friends over 15 years ago at the University of Missouri. A bunch of us, just thrown into an extremely awkward living/social experiment in the dorms.
As a 33-year-old, I see now that maybe we all could have used another year or two of parental supervision.
But I digress.
We didn’t necessarily choose to be friends. I would think everyone involved would call that a fair statement. We just sort of ended up in the same place and found it convenient to travel places in packs- the bigger the crowd, the better.
But after the first year, it WAS up to us on what happened next. Most of us chose to continue being friends. And that’s what actually matters, right?
So after four years of complete and utter nonsense, we all graduated and moved away, with some of us landing in the same cities.
And wouldn’t you know it, we still found reasons to hang out?
Slowly, though, the flow of champagne tapered off. We got busy. Got married. Started having kids. Talk about the best bar in town became talk about what level of Costco membership to obtain. The definition of sleeping in on a Saturday went from 10:30am to 6:30am.
We’ve all become lame together. But what do you expect after 15 years? I’m closer to 40 than I am to 21. Something was bound to give.
But after my friend announced they were expecting baby #2, I decided to take him and his wife on a quick walk back to memory lane, where it all began.
The kid has to learn where his parents came from (and more importantly, where they met). And while Mizzou sports may be lacking this year, at least he’ll still be prepared for game day.
It’s like Daisy Farm Crafts can read my mind when it comes to what makes a good baby blanket- I’ve bookmarked the majority of her blanket patterns for future use. I’ve already used this particular one twice.
My office is in downtown Chicago. Every day I take a metra train to and from work. Every day. For the past five years. For four of those years, I’ve been on the same train.
Back and forth. Back and forth.
Same repetitive pattern. Back and forth. Back and forth. Almost like crochet, in a way… #justgowithmeonthis
So I often walk to and from the train in a trance. Listening to music. Talking on the phone. Not really a big deal as long as I’m on time.
And on the right train. Because sometimes… just sometimes… weird things happen and they switch the track my train is on.
Like last week. When I was on the phone. And got on the train.
My call ended. I browsed some headlines. Rummaged through my bag for a book. And finally, popped my head up to look out the window.
I did not recognize a thing. And immediately realized my huge, HUGE mistake. And even though I was perfectly safe, surrounded by people, the idea of not having any idea where I was going was absolutely terrifying.
So I casually turned to my seat partner. “Excuse me, I don’t normally take this specific train (to be fair, that wasn’t a lie). Can you tell me what the first stop is for this one?”
“I’m pretty sure it’s Lombard.”
“Perfect. Thank you!”
As you can guess, I did not want to go to Lombard, which is 35 minutes due west of the city. I do not live west of the city. I live north of the city. And I was heading the wrong way. During rush hour.
After explaining where I was heading to my husband, he quickly replies, “GET OFF AT THE NEXT STOP!”
“THAT IS THE NEXT STOP!”
And so I expressed to Lombard. The train quickly taking me further and further away from home.
Total Cost of my mistake: 45 minutes, $35 in uber fees, an unbathed child and a cold dinner.
Luckily, that did give my husband enough time to get some wine chilled to the ideal temperature.
And then back and forth, back and forth I went with my current baby blanket project. Because routine is comforting. And mindless busy work is a great after a stressful day.
Although it never hurts to double check your work from time to time. Or in other cases, the sign for your train.
Hello! This is Bailey and Amy. We like yarn stuff.
Is that enough to go off of? No? Ok, let’s try again…
Hi! We used to live together as roommates in the city of Chicago. Nowadays, Amy is living the crazy Chicago suburban life and Bailey has made Boston her home. We’re still close friends, but the one thing that has really solidified that?
That sounds ridiculous.
But weirdly, it’s true. Amy’s known how to knit for a while, and even tried to teach Bailey once, but rarely ever spent time on the hobby she learned as a kid. She picked it back up again when her husband asked her if she could make him a hat. She responded, “I think so”. And did (it was her first hat, and terribly ugly but he did wear it, maybe twice, to be nice).
Bailey, on the other hand, decided to have another go at knitting (after Amy’s sub par attempt) and took some classes after she moved her life to Boston. She then graduated to crochet and forced Amy to learn it, as well.
Fast forward a few years later, and here we are. Texting each other what we’re working on, exchanging pretty Instagram knit pics and joking about their “grandma” hobby as we pass along info on yarn sales.
And we just really want to keep talking about it with whoever wants to listen. And how we weave (knit?) our little hobby into our lives.
Perhaps you’ll see our latest creations. Or be told a story. Or laugh at a play-by-play of how to not cry when security forces you to throw away your entire crochet hook set in the airport (Bailey is promising that tale soon).
We’re not really sure. But hey, this could be fun, right?
-Bailey & Amy