Ten weeks

26 Apr 2017 01:24 pm
wayfaringwordhack: (art - guitton housework)
For some weeks now, I've been feeling really puffy and moonfaced. Just the other day (no points for observation for me) I noticed that this puffiness is in my legs, too. I'm feeling stiff and sore for no reason.  So, I've decided that I'm going to go off gluten for the remainder of the time we are here. Not because i have a proven sensitivity to it, I just want to see what my body does without it. I'm also cutting down on carbs* overall, especially those in a processed form. I'll still eat veggies and fruits that contain them. I haven't decided on brown rice, etc. yet. Of course thinking about what I put in my body makes me more aware of the lack of exercise I get. I'm going to change that as well. To get rid of the edema, I'm drinking lemongrass infusions; juices with celery, parsley, ginger, lemon...; cutting back on salt; elevating my legs; and giving myself massages to move the fluid. I'm going to do some yoga for lymphatic flow.  If it doesn't go away or comes back again, I'll have to go to the doc to figure out why I have it and try to get it under control before flying out.

I hope to be a lighter in body and spirit when we get to our new place.

Speaking of weeks, the kids and I are without J as he spends two weeks working at the French consulate in Alexandria. We had planned to go see him this weekend, but some unexpected work on his end and the fact that Alex is even louder, apparently, than Cairo and is not kid-friendly to navigate, we've cancelled that.

This separation is a foretaste of what our lives will be like in France, and so far the kids are sort of OK. Junebug, however, seems to be a bit needier than usual and is more set on persecuting Sprout. "It's the age and the stage," she stoically tells me. This comes from me telling her that she also went through this when she was younger. Junebug's issues are exacerbated by Ti'Loup's presence in his life. He loves his baby brother and is often affectionate towards him, but boy does he dislike Ti'Loup being near me when he, Junebug, is tired or in need. Ti'Loup just turned 11 months old, but he already senses the rivalry and is starting to glare at Junebug. :-/

Now back to my cleaning and packing...

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* Carbs are a no-no of sorts for me because of my PCOS.


wayfaringwordhack: (Junebug: Diggin' life)
This morning, Sprout and Junebug donned J's and my clothes so they could be the parents.  Sprout informed me that our housekeeper would be keeping us "children" while she and Papa went to the Opera.

She and Junebug went into the yard and were sitting on the steps:

Junebug sings "Who Let the Dogs Out!" *
Sprout: That is not what you listen to at the opera!

Sprout begins to hum a La, la, la, lilting tune, and Junebug insists on repeating, louder, Who let the dogs out!!!!

Sprout: No, no, no. That is not opera music.

:P

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* Junebug's interest in (and knowledge of the existence of this song) is thanks to his father who heard it over 15 years ago during his first visit to the States to meet my family. He never heard it again. Talk about a good memory for earworms. If only he remembered other things as well as he remembers music. ;)

Junebug sings this a. lot. A couple of weekends ago, we were on a family retreat, and at 1:30 a.m., Junebug woke up crying.  Both J and I tried to comfort him, to no avail. Finally, he began to quiet down, and we heard a dog bark outside. He happily sang, "Who let the dogs out" and fell back asleep shortly after. :P
wayfaringwordhack: (Sprout: Soëlie eating)

Can you guess which one?

I made a Thai-influenced soup for lunch:

Junebug took his spoon, dug in, and proclaimed, "Tasty!"*

Sprout looks in her bowl and without tasting it, wails, "I like shrimp, I like calamari, I like chicken; what a bad surprise this is, having them all together! And rice! I didn't want my rice mixed in!"

o.O


_________

* Yes, I made the soup, so I might be biased, but it was very tasty.

wayfaringwordhack: (Junebug: Diggin' life)




Here is the hooded jacket on the mini model, who is not so mini any more:




I didn't (haven't) put a pompom on the hood yet because I was pretty fed up and wanted to call it done. What do you think?  Should I add one? If I do, it will be the color of the blue buttons.

wayfaringwordhack: (Junebug: Diggin' life)
Finished the sweater!  Woot!

No photos yet because the model is in bed, but hopefully I can post a couple tomorrow.  The pattern, as I've stated many times, needs serious work, and I don't know that I have the time or energy to put into "fixing"* it and making a tutorial to help out any other people who might like to try their crochet hooks at it.  I would have loved to, though. Priorities, priorities.

Glad to have that project off my hands.

Come Sunday I hope to have writing progress to post here.

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* By fixing it, I mean not only make the directions clearer but adjust measurements to fit kids as I know (have) them.  I made the 18-24 month size, and it is understandably a bit long for Junebug, but Sprout, who is 4.5 can wear it. I can barely button it around Junebug's waist, even after adding rows to the buttonband. The sleeves were also too narrow at the wrists. I upped the size to the one for 36 month-olds and STILL had to add rows up the sides to make the sleeves big enough...
wayfaringwordhack: (art: guitton - housework)
A day late, I know, but i had a hectic day yesterdy. The snippet was what had to give for me to see to more pressing matters.

Since wrapping up the zero draft, I haven't touched my kid's book.

This week, I worked a bit on Junebug's sweater. Stil have to finish one sleeve and then put it together and make the hood.  Will I finish before we leave for France on Thursday?

I doubt it. :P
wayfaringwordhack: (writing: book)
I accomplished zero draft of my children's book this week. Some of the entries are fairly polished and may make it into the next draft, but many need tweaking.

Revision and further research are in my future.

This week, however, I need to focus on getting Junebug's sweater finished.  I know he will need it in France. I really need quiet and time alone to make progress, two commodities in short supply around here. :P
wayfaringwordhack: (art: energized)
At last, a full week on the creative front.  I finally finised the "Project of the Week" that I've had on my agenda since we got back from our holiday by the sea:  Make Junebug a bucket hat.

I used fabric from my stash, which means one side of the reversible hat is exactly like the last hat I made him, and the other is from one of the hooded towels I made from Sprout before she was born. Nothing like getting mileage out of one's purchase.

The model was not too pleased with having to wear the hat. Naturally.

Photographic proof of productivity this way... )

I also did a lot of research about illustrating children's books--watching videos, tutorials, browsing sites for inspiration--and now I need to get back to finishing up the text.
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* Sticky tack is the greatest thing for paper dolls, infinitely re-stickable yet mess-free. Way better than paper tabs that get weak and tear from overuse.
wayfaringwordhack: (art - pondering)
While I predicted this past week would be a wash on the creative front, I secretly hoped it would not be so.  I even took the time before our trip to download a scad of reference photos to my hard drive so I could work on my children's book illustrations.  'Twas not to be, though; I only managed one sketching session with Sprout while Junebug napped on our second to last day.

This is a view of a succession of terraces at our hotel as seen from our terrace.  The perspective was so cool that I started to do a very precise sketch with pencil and then realized I wouldn't have time to finish something accurate and detailed. I defaulted to a charcoal stick. Sadly, I had only my "cheap" sketchbook with me; its smooth paper doesn't have any tooth to hold charcoal so it is very smudgy and loose:


I also planned to make headway on Junebug's sweater but I had to rip out the rows I had on the sleeves (again) and start over because I'm sure they will be too small. I still have hopes of finishing it before May, though. :P

Today I did some doodling* with the kids and broke out the sewing machine to fashion some eyeholes in a sleep mask for Sprout, who wanted to pretend she was a Mousquetaire (Musketeer).
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* I set it up as a Double Doodle activity, but Sprout soon started doing her own thing. And of course, give a one-year-old markers and "do your own thing" is the de facto name of the game. :P
wayfaringwordhack: (art: guitton - housework)
I just spent an hour on the phone with an internet tech in order to bring you this passionate post about my creative endeavors of the week past.  I'll wait until your beating hearts still to continue....  OK. That should be good.

First bit of news is that I spent a lot of time writing up text and reading it to Sprout.  When she wasn't saying, "Yeah, I know that, Mom," (because, obviously, I share and she listens when I discuss things with J), she seemed to be enjoying it.

I also figured out something that seems really obvious in hindsight. All this time I've been wondering what kind of style I should do or how to approach the (possible) style disconnect between an absurd creation and a real creature; and I started trying to suss this out by drawing the absurd when, in fact, I should have started with the realistic stuff.

This brilliant realization had to take backseat to another project, though.

Junebug's hooded sweater*:
junebugs hooded sweater

I found someone to help me figure out the pattern.  If I can complete the thing, I just may make another and do a photo tutorial because the posted pattern causes (has caused) a lot of people problems.

________________
*It's almost too warm for a sweater here, but he'll need it in France in May.
wayfaringwordhack: (Sprout: !!!)
Is anyone on my flist a crocheter?  I started making a hooded jacket for Junebug (before Christmas) but petered out on in because of (to me and obviously a lot of other people, judging from the comments) unclear instructions.  I need help understanding something and would appreciate it so much if someone could make sense of it for me.

The excerpted instructions are as follows:

Shoulder:
Place a marker 9:11:13:15:17:19 sts in from armhole edge to mark inner edge of shoulder seam leaving 14:15:16:17:18:19 sts unworked at front opening edge.


Here is what I have so far, to which I should apply the above instrustions:

hooded jacket copy

Where do I start counting from? In which direction? Any ideas?
wayfaringwordhack: (art journal)
I didn't forget my snippet yesterday, but we had dinner guests. I cooked all day and went to bed immediately after they left.  I had plans to post today, but Mondays are very busy here.  I'm just basically posting to reference, for posterity, that I've been diligent with my sketching and searching out reference material.

And now I must go for I have a sick baby to nurse. To top it off, he is teething. Always seems to happen in conjunction, that teething and the ick.

G'night, LJ.
wayfaringwordhack: (art journal)
I keep saying I'll take photos of what I'm doing so that I can make a decent snippet post, but we've taken other pictures of late, which I'll include under a cut.

On the creative front, I've been crocheting a sweater for Junebug.  Given the shortness and mildness of Egyptian winters, I'm making for 18-24 mo, but I don't know if it will be big enough next year. I've also been doing some sketches, working on a suitable style for a picture book idea I have. And baking: galettes, pizzas, bread. Baking counts, right?

So photos:
family time )
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* Sprout was 14 mo in the photos in the link; Junebug is 10 mo. :)
wayfaringwordhack: (art: christmas quail)
Well, I don't know about the dollar, but I am late for my snippet.  'Tis the season for creativity chez moi, so there has been a lot going on.  I haven't had the camera out for most of it, but I did make a point of photographing the "first ornament" that I made for Junebug.

I liked the look of these, so I drafted my own copy, using, yes, a dromedary* instead of a fawn.  Needed something to remind the wee fellow he spent his first Christmas in Egypt:

IMG_5678

IMG_5682

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* It does look like a dromedary in real life...I think...and less like a Great Dane with a humpback. And it looks more circular, less lumply.  Ah, nothing like a photo to make something look fat and full of flaws. :P
wayfaringwordhack: (wayfaring wordhack)
To paraphrase from The Princess Bride, There is too much; I'll sum up...about our trip to Oklahoma, that is.

For three weeks:

We rested, following the sun's rhythms pretty closely, not bothered at all by the yapping of coyotes, which is so much more melodious as it rolls down hills and creeks, echoing off oaks than is the barking and snarling of the wild dogs that run the concrete labyrinth of this city.

sunrise

(the photos are clickable)

Rest of the trip, this way... )

_________________________

* Has anyone else been in proximity to an armadillo? There was one funky smell in its wake, and we don't know if it was the creature itself or something it had come in contact with. It smelled like skunk and wild garlic/onions.
wayfaringwordhack: (Sprout: !!!)
We are all still trying to get over our jetlag. Truth be told, without the kiddos, J and I would be just fine by now.  Sprout is never ready for bed at "bedtime," and three weeks romping around the countryside have made her even more of a caged tiger in our apartment. Even though Junebug is getting better about falling asleep at his regular time, he doesn't stay asleep. New favorite:  Playing from 1 a.m. to 4a.m.  It is jetlag, yes, but it is also teething.  He is going to get four teeth in the space of one month. Three are already in and the other top one is just beneath the skin.

And all of this adds up to a very tired me.  Sorry I'm not back yet, not in the sense that I'm able to keep up with anything.  Hopefully by week's end.  Hopefully. For now, color me brain-dead.

In the good news department, the weather here is lovely, not getting hotter than 32C/89.6F.
wayfaringwordhack: (Sprout: !!!)
With a big sis like Sprout, Junebug has to learn fast; he has to get mobile!

To that end, this has been a very busy month for him.  The day before we left France (Aug 29), he pushed up onto all fours.  He was moving about then, but only backwards, not having figured out how to advance.

Our first day back in Egyt, he pushed up onto hands and toes. He can take wee "steps" like that, but prefers "the wave." He has mastered an inchworm or seal-flop type motion and gets about really well, following me around the house.

On September 24th, our first day at Anafora, he pushed himself into a sitting position. The 25th he pulled himself onto his feet. He's been practicing every day. Sprout walked at 1 year and 10 days; I think her bro will beat to that milestone by several months if he keeps this up.

In other milestone news, he cut his first tooth today.

IMG_1683
IMG_1673
IMG_1566

He'll be 7 months old in two days.
wayfaringwordhack: (art: energized)
A snippet!  I haven't had taken much time for creativity since we've been on vacation, but necessity is the mother of invention handiwork, meaning: Tuesday we are going to the French Pyrenees for a few days and are in need of a baby carrier for Junebug. Since I couldn't find the one we made for Sprout, I whipped up a new for Junebug using the same pattern. No pics tonight because it is ten to midnight and I just finished. Maybe I'll have some to share after our trip.

In other news the vacation is going well despite (the "despite" not being my sentiment) lots of cool weather and rain.  How are all of you doing?
wayfaringwordhack: (wayfaring wordhack)
Junebug is 3 months and two days old.  On June 3, he rolled over on his tummy all by himself.  He also rolled off his Montessori bed. Good thing it is very low and there is a nice, thick rug to cushion him.

Today, J and Sprout brought home croissants and pains au chocolat from the bakery, and we picnicked at a freshly renovated garden spot* just down the street. After breakfast, I traversed the slackline for the first time. I started trying about a month ago and did all right my first session. My second time, I almost made it across. However, the third time I hurt myself (I think I broke a toe), and that made me leery and unable to train for awhile. Here's hoping I can keep practicing so I can surprise my BIL when we return to France in 2 weeks; he is the one who turned J on to slacklining in the first place. He has no idea that I've started doing it, but he has always maintained that he thinks I'll be good at it since I have a good sense of balance.

And speaking of balance, Sprout has a cool word. I don't think she realizes her "mistake," but it makes perfect sense when one thinks about it. Instead of saying "equilibrist" or "escalade," she combines them into "escalibrist," which is what she is. (She says it in French and English but always with a French accent.)

S on the slackline
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* The "garden" is actually a small triangle of land formed by the intersections of three roads. It was an abandoned, overgrown, litter-filled lot when we moved here, but the inhabitants of the apartment building that fronts it grew tired of the unruly mess. Knowing the government or "city" wasn't going to get around to doing anything with it, they cleared, cleaned, replanted, and keep it watered with money from their own pockets. They are generous enough not to complain when our little family debarks for slacklining and running around in the grass.
wayfaringwordhack: (N'gouja)
...that I was back to my absenteeism at the end of last week, not commenting on entries or posting a snippet. One reason was that we were having Internet difficulties and didn't get them straightened up until Monday.  The other was that we went out of town for the weekend. If there is anything that I need to be in the know about, please leave me a comment because I don't think I'll make it back through my flist.

I don't have any "late" snippets to post, my previous week being devoid of any creativity besides cooking and packing.

But I will share a bit about our trip.

Pics and things this way )
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* I wish they would have played something by Xavier Rudd (link to YouTube video). Every time I listen to Rudd, I am transported to an intimate beach concert, sun setting, fire crackling, cool sand under my feet, waves lapping. And if I'm listening to an album and not just a single song, that beach concert continues, dark deepening while stars whirl overhead and I, by turns, dance or sit clasping my knees to my chest, watching the waves.

** Only J and I got burned; we had enough sense to protect the kids.

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