Saturday, May 31, 2008

running away from home

Well, just for the afternoon. Yesterday was my (GASP) forty second birthday, and it was somewhat an exhausted shamble of kindergarten graduation, lunch with four six year olds, nausea, aching bones, and feeling sorry for myself. Nothing a hot bath and a good nights sleep didn't cure.

I'm going out alone. To the craft store, the asian market, and the grocery store. Then I'm going to start on a bunch of my works in progress, because it is the first day of the summer, and we are having a baby in TWELVE days.

Friday, May 30, 2008

scooter at school

scooter at school, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

my tooth just fell out

my tooth just fell out, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

After letting this tooth hang on all weekend, Ella's tooth literally fell out this afternoon at the coffee shop. She feels like a big girl.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

garter stitch baby shoes pattern

One 2 oz ball of Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino
Gauge: 28 sts and 60 rows to 4 in

US 2 needles,, cast on 18 sts
K1 row
Work in garter st and inc one st at end of next and
every foll alt row until there are 32 sts.
Dec one st at each end of next and every foll alt row until 18 sts rem
Shape Heel
Next row Cast on 7sts, k these 7, then k to end. 25 sts.
K1 row
Inc one st at end of next row and 5 foll alt rows.
31 sts.
K1 row
Next row Bind off 18 sts, k to last stitch, inc in last st.
14 sts
K 14 rows
Next row K2tog, k to end.
Next row Cast on 18 sts, k these 18 sts, then k
to end. 31 sts.
Dec one st at beg of next and 5 foll alt rows.
25 sts.
K1 row.
Bind off.

Finish: Join back heel seam. Join upper to sole all around easing in fullness at toes. Turn through to right side. Can be decorated with small beads, ribbon, or piped edging.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

gestational diabetes

So, one of the things that I don't do on this blog is actually mention some portions of my real life. Some of that is on purpose, and much of it is accidental. I may have mentioned in passing being tested for gestational diabetes and my expectation that I would fail the test. I did, and I've been on the diet for ten weeks or so. It is even milder than when I had it with Ella, but when you listen to that speech about stillbirth and fetal organ development from the diabetes educator, it can scare the living tortilla chips right out of your hand.

I went to a class at the hospital taught by two extremely overweight, no, they were morbidly obese, women. That was disconcerting, but I really do live in a small town, and they did know their facts. Apparently they just weren't applying them to themselves. They gave me a lot of printed information, enough to get started, but I feel sorry for all the people who just go with that amount of information for the remaining months of their pregnancies, or, if they have type 1 or 2 diabetes, for the rest of their lives. The educators need to tell people that they need to completely change the way they think about carbs, about food. If you don't eat any prepared food you can actually eat more food without feeling deprived. Soup in a can has starch added, as does most prepared food. I heard the educator telling some poor woman how to measure out a portion of Hamburger Helper, and I felt so sad for the poor faceless person on the phone. Throw it alway. Buy a box of Dreamfield's pasta, some hamburger, a can of tomatoes, and some cheese. Instead of having a half a cup of a chemically laden boxed meal she could have had a whole bowl. The Dreamfield's pasta somehow has so much fiber in it that it only has five net carbs per serving, and it is not brown and gummy.

The hardest thing for me to give up has been rice. I can't have any or my blood sugar goes through the roof. Even brown rice. Rice noodles are the worst. No thai for me. My fasting blood sugars were the worst so I have to eat a breakfast that would leave my two year old hungry, but at ten I can have a bigger snack, ie second breakfast, and by lunch I can eat a whole sandwich and maybe half an apple. My cholesterol is probably through the roof because of all the eggs and meat I've consumed, but Ruby has definitely been the salad girl as well.

Last night I actually wept over the GD for the first time. It was my anniversary. I had been in the car for four hours with the children, and then I found out I had to go drive another hour to go pick up John after work at a Mall in the big city. Someone had previously agreed to bring him home and then backed out at the last minute. Anyhow, I had brilliant idea that the nine months pregnant lady would find some sugar free ice cream at the Mall. None. And then I cried over ice cream. So, as soon as this child is born, hopefully weighing less than ten pounds, I'm going to sit in bed and eat ice cream, the real kind.

In retrospect I should mention that for some people with gestational diabetes, the diet just isn't enough and insulin is a necessity. I've been lucky enough to count my carbs and make it to full term while I've known others to take insulin twice a day and survive on premeasured healthy choice frozen dinners. We all do what we have to do.

Friday, May 23, 2008

john and daddy 8/12/05

john and daddy 8/12/05, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Happy Ten Year Anniversary John.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

quick oya baka

His: John now says thank you to elevators when they open their doors.
Hers: Ella has been peer pressured into asking for sheets of toasted nori as a lunchbox snack. I love that school.

ten years

Who knew that my sciatic nerve was tired and achy and exhausted? I got the massage today that Ella won at a grocery store raffle, and it was absolutely amazing. It was done by this totally non threatening middle aged woman who managed to massage my sciatic nerves without making me feel the least bit uncomfortable.

It has been a goodish sort of week, but I've been too tired to write anything down. On sunday I spent the day with ten girlfriends eating good food and taking about babies and labor. I have never heard so many funny stories, and it was great to be there without any of our children. Ruby has been welcomed so sweetly into our community, and she isn't even here yet. I have a lovely red velvet bag of beans to take into labor...wishes, prayers, and hopes for Ruby's safe arrival. If I'm yelling for my bag of beans that is what I'm talking about.

Tomorrow is our ten year anniversary, and John has an out of town work trip arranged. Yes, chide him please. For the sake of togetherness the whole family is going with him and making a weekend of it. Did you know that the traditional tenth anniversary gifts are made of tin or aluminum?

Monday, May 19, 2008

miss ruby::kindergarten bathroom

miss ruby::kindergarten bathroom, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Yes, I am still pregnant

Thirty four weeks, four days. I look like I'm having triplets or baby elephants, and I can't get particularly comfortable. I saw the doctor yesterday, and she was measuring thirty five weeks and bouncing around. I got checked because of all the contractions that I've been having, but they don't seem to be doing anything. I only have two appointments left, one on the next to last day of school and a final one on June 6.

I added a few phone numbers to my speed dial this week in case I do indeed go into labor early, and this morning I did a whole load of baby laundry.

I feel like I have two speeds these days, stupor and slow. While in slow mode today I finished the sling chair covers for the porch chairs and sanded and repaired the wooden part of the chair. I rescreened the patio doors, made tabbouli, and quickly reverted back to the stupor mode. I actually fall asleep whilst sitting up.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood

I've been ranting about Webkinz lately, and a friend sent me this site. Ella was asking for a Webkinz, and I finally found a way to sway her. I wish I could offer her a kitten or a puppy, but we did talk about virtual reality versus actual animals in our area that need food and care. I am happy to get her a stuffed animal that she can play with in her imagination, but we are going to donate some of her allowance to our local animal shelter so that a real kitten can eat a few more meals instead of buying a cheap hideous stuffed animal an online hot tub.

Friday, May 09, 2008

more mud

I need some mud management technniques around here. The two of them set up a studio in the driveway today, two stump stools and a flat rock. Then they wanted clean clothes and hands, and it was a bit cold for the hose. Oh, the mess. They love to play in dirt but can't stand to stay wet or dirty.

Ella asked me who she should talk to about that pottery wheel at Christmas, me or Santa Claus?

I'll have to show Ella where I used to dig my clay when I was a girl.

Thursday, May 08, 2008


mud pottery, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Every morning at six am the children and I sit down and watch Mr Rodgers. It is the closest thing I have to a meditation practice. One day last week Mr Rodgers went to visit a potter, and she went out to collect her own clay and then mixed it with volcanic ash with her foot. She formed her pot, smoothed it with her great grandmother's smoothing stone, painted the pot, and then fired it in her yard with a wood fire. Later she carved the pot.

Ella is determined to find her own clay and bake a pot now. At school they have been making pinch pots, and she can't wait to be old enough to use the pottery wheel.

dress up and ride

dress up and ride, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Sunday, May 04, 2008


6, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

back in the day

lalasandeater, originally uploaded by styro.

John has been tasting the sand lately, and I was reminded of this picture from back in Portland.


Remember all the months when little John did not talk. His small friends spoke in complete sentences, and he said, "mama". Last night he said, "I need my own ipod". For the record we don't give two year old's ipods around here, but Ella has been yipping about having one. I don't even think that she really knew what it was, but she won a raffle at the grocery store, and in her mind the only prize she remembered was the word ipod. In reality, she won a one hour massage. John loaded up a little ipod shuffle with lots of Beatles and Dan Zane and she thinks she is really a big girl.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

I never talk about politics...

because other people do it so much better.

crush still for sale

house, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Every time I think I'm over this house it comes back to haunt me, this time at a lower price. And hey, now it is summer so it won't need heat. I know, I feel like I can barely walk so I want to move to the fixer upper of the century. Maybe I lived here in a previous life. All I know is that I could live here for the rest of my life.

Friday, May 02, 2008


Back in August I sold most of my baby things at a yardsale. Ella was starting kindergarten. We were old. We were done with swings and bouncy seats. Weeks later, I knew we might be needing some of these things just one more time. Luckily, John still slept in a crib, and I had the pack and play for travelling. No one bought my car seat with the missing base, and I still had a few boxes of baby clothes.

Over the past few months a lot of nice things have come my way to replace the things I got rid of. Today my friend put a bassinet in my car when I was over at her house. I've never used one before, but it could be great for beside my bed or in the living room in the afternoons. I think that the only thing that I need now is a swing, and I want to get one of those low portable ones like I had last time, a swing that doesn't take over the living room.

Of course I can look at those sleek mod baby magazines and want a space age stroller and streamlined birch bouncy seat. I want a moses basket and an extremely organized diaper bag. Then there is the question of a nursery. It doesn't exist in this house.

Luckily each child seems to need less and less "gear".

I counted the days today. Forty.