InstaFriday – 9/13/13

life rearranged It’s Friday! I’m excited to share my week in pictures via Jeannett’s InstaFriday link-up at Life Rearranged. I’m thedestinymanifest on instagram, if you’d like to follow me.

I’m excited that I finally feel like blogging again… it’s been too long since my desire to write matched up with my ability to sit and write without feeling sick.

The biggest news of our week — we got our car fixed! The poor girl has been overheating since April and we’ve been babying her along, hoping to have the money to have it fixed each week, and never actually having the money. A few weeks ago, our neighbor fixed the fan, which had come disconnected from its’ wires, and the week after that, we bought a new thermostat and David installed that, but it still wasn’t fixing the problem. I’d get into afternoon car line to pick up Addah, and within 5 minutes of moving slowly forward in line, the engine temperature would be at 116 degrees and you could hear the coolant bubbling and boiling in the engine. Not good… and as a result, I have been relying on my sister way too much to help me with picking up kids. She’s having knee surgery next week, so it was time to get to the bottom of this problem.

I called my old friend Craig (if you remember, the girls and I used to live with he and his wife, years ago) and asked him if he had time to take a look at the car. As luck would have it, he did. He checked it all out and said that everything looked good and he wasn’t 100% sure what the problem could be. He thought the radiator cap looked rusted and suggested buying a new one. $5.00 later… our car is no longer overheating! $5.00! A new radiator cap! I was impressed… and also felt a little silly, that something that small has been tripping us up for so long.

Mechanics Car Repair

The bad news from the mechanical check-up is that our master cylinder is starting to go bad, and we’re going to need to replace that very soon. It’s only $125.00, since Craig can replace the part himself, but still… $125.00 is a fortune when you’re constantly living paycheck to paycheck. I prefer the amazing $5.00 radiator cap = no more overheating kind of mechanical fix, personally.

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I convinced David to help me do a major overhaul of our bedroom and bedroom closet last weekend. We pulled every little thing out of our closet, and most of one side of the bedroom, so I could put my long dresser into the closet and move out the baby things that have been taking up so much room in there. Now I have the baby bassinet on my side of the bed. It was a little surreal the first morning after the big clean-up, waking up to the baby’s bed right next to me, because this is much earlier than we would normally “get ready for baby”, but it’s such a long time coming for us… it just feels right.

Baby Nursery Prep

We still have two very large boxes of baby girl clothes in the top of the closet, and I’m just not sure that I will ever be ready to part with them, whether this baby is a boy or a girl. Some of them will always be “Clara’s clothes” and it’s painful to think of seeing them on another baby. I don’t know… I have to hope that this part sorts itself out as the pregnancy progresses. I have so much excitement and happiness, but also so much fear and anxiety.

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I’m knitting my fingers to the bone! I finished two pairs of socks for my mama… and forgot to take a picture of one pair, unfortunately. She loved them so much that she ordered four more colors of yarn for more socks. It’s a good thing I enjoy this, eh?

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Knitpicks Sock Yarn Collection

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And finally, Addah wrote a “newspaper” this week for a class assignment. For the “My Hero” section, she chose David, and wrote the sweetest little note about him. He got quite teary when she showed him after work… so did I, to be honest.

My Stepdad, My Hero

In case you can’t read her writing, it says “My stepdad David is my role model because he is an artist. He also plays and has fun with me. Sometimes he yells but that’s because he has to. I know he loves me. I love him too. He’s the best stepdad ever.”

Is that not the sweetest thing ever? Or is that just my pregnancy hormones running out of control?

Mustache Club

So silly… and so sweet.

Oh and before I forget! Addah got a pug puppy! No, not a real puppy… I don’t need that stress in my life. A balloon pug!

And what’s a balloon pug, you ask?

Balloon Pug

This adorable helium-filled puppy was begging me to take him home from Party City. I couldn’t refuse, because I knew I’d get the biggest grin out of Addah when she saw it. I was right; the grin was amazing and totally worth the $8.00 I spent on the puppy. He’s still floating too, over two weeks later. It’s like having a cartoon dog living with us – the slightest movement of air from walking past him causes him to “follow” you, just like a real puppy would.

It makes the girls happy, so it makes me happy. It’s the simple things, y’know?

Have a great weekend!

Knitting To Stay Sane

Knitting To Stay Sane

I’m having a rough week, so I’ve been doing a lot of knitting to stay sane. Knitting is my “go to” project when I’m struggling, and it hasn’t failed me yet. Focusing on the details gives me something to think about that doesn’t hurt or make me sad, and many times, finishing a project gives me a sense of accomplishment that bolsters my mood and gets me going in the right direction again.

It’s still raining a lot here (every day in July, so far), so the kids can’t get outside to play as much as they would like. We’ve been lazy this week — cuddled up on the couch watching movies and TV shows on Netflix. The rain will pass soon enough and they’ll be back to running a hundred miles per hour, but for now I’m really enjoying this quiet downtime with my girls.

I finished a pair of socks that have been languishing on the needles for months now. I’d work on them a little, then set them aside to work on something else. David was thrilled to come home from work to a brand new pair of socks; this man loves his hand-knit socks!

Knitting To Stay Sane | The Destiny Manifest

I’m particularly proud of how the stripes line up on this pair of socks — that was no easy feat! The socks fit him perfectly and he wore them to work today, so I’d say he’s pleased!

I used my own basic toe-up sock pattern for this pair of socks. For David, this means a magic cast-on of 28 stitches, increase to 76, knit for 9.5 inches, short row the heel down to 14 stitches and back up to 76 total, {knit 2, purl 2} for 8-9 inches for the cuff and cast off… then repeat for sock #2.

Knitting To Stay Sane | The Destiny Manifest

I’ve already cast on for the next pair, one of three pairs for my mother. She’s got almost as many pairs of my hand-knit socks as David does, and she’s been requesting more for a while now. I’m more than happy to acquiesce to knitting for people who appreciate it as much as these two do!

I’m connecting with others via Wordless/Wordful Wednesday today! Check out my blog hop directory to see who else is participating, as well as the other blog hops that I join each week!

The Demand for Knit Socks Has Increased

In addition to working on the beautiful shawl in memory of my friend Stephanie, I’ve also begun a new pair of socks for David.

This man adores his hand-knit socks, and he wears the ones I’ve already made until I sneak them off the bathroom floor and throw them into the wash without his knowledge. When I bring in the clean laundry baskets, he jumps in to look for a pair of his hand-knit socks right off the bat.

I consider that high praise, especially since he has a billion pairs of plain white athletic socks that he could be wearing. He’s not exactly sock-deprived, this man.

Last week, he asked me if I could knit plain white socks. I told him that I certainly could, but I don’t particularly want to. Remember when I said yesterday that I knit faster when I have new colors to look forward to? Yeah, if I knit plain white socks, they would take me forever. How very boring!

Then he tells me that he wants at least one pair of knit socks for every day of the week. I think he has 4 pairs now, so I still have a few to go, and something tells me that by the time those three pairs of socks are finished, he’ll have worn out the first pair I made him.

Yes, I’m going to be knitting this man socks for the rest of my life. That may make some of you cringe, but the truth is that it makes me smile when he appreciates my hard work so much.

So, I was wandering through the craft store last week, thinking about what I’d like to spend my $25 Christmas gift card on, when I saw sock yarn that I knew David would love. The brand is Patons Kroy Socks (75% wool, 25% nylon), and the yarn wears like iron, even on the feet of a man who loves his socks and wears them inside, outside, all the time, round the clock (unless he’s showering). This colorway is called “Gray Brown Marl”, which is really not a very pretty name for sock yarn that stripes bright red, shades of gray and a touch of medium brown.

I’m using my own basic toe-up sock pattern for this pair of socks. For David, this means a magic cast-on of 20 stitches, increase to 76, knit for 9.5 inches, insert whatever heels strikes my fancy at the time (I’m thinking afterthought heel on this pair), knit for another 8-9 inches, k2p2 for the cuff and cast off. Rinse, repeat for sock #2. I haven’t made a plain stockinette pair of socks in a while, but they’re perfect for mindless afternoon car line knitting.

I’m also plugging away at the queen-size crocheted ripple afghan that adorns the back of our sofa (which feels like it will be a work-in-progress forever), and a stack of blankets in various sizes, which will be tagged and donated to the hospital where Clara was born. These blankets are specifically for stillborn babies, to be wrapped around the little ones for photographs, to be buried or cremated with them if their parents choose, or to provide a memory and comfort for their parents in their time of grief and loss.

I plan to work on these throughout the next few months and donate as many as I can in July, for Clara. I plan to write more extensively on the loss blankets in the next few weeks, and I will share the pattern I am designing for this project, as well.

Do you knit or crochet? If so, what are you working on?