A Star is Born

I started having contractions at 2:00pm on Tuesday. 
At work.
They didn't hurt.
Not even a little.
At 4:30 I left work and called the hospital.
They said to stay home and relax. If the contractions got worse, I could come in.
I woke up at 3:30 to a contraction that H.U.R.T.
Then my water broke.
And off to the hospital we went.

Stella Noel Pelton was born at 10:55 am on Wednesday, December 23rd.  Also known as Festivus.

She weighed in at a whopping 5lbs 3oz and stretched to 19 whole inches.  Her head was barely over 10cm.  This, dear friends, was the greatest attribute.

Until I looked at her.  

And saw her sweet, sweet face.

Big sister gave Stella her first bath. 
(and attempted to take her umbilical cord off.  She said it looked hurt-y).

Her feet are big for her small size.  I thought this needed to be photographically documented.
Sweet flowers from three sweet girls.  
She sleeps!  
In two hour increments...
but still...
she sleeps!

And Elena loves her.

Until she realizes that she's here to stay.
Then I am guessing her reaction will look a little more like this:
Happy Birthday, Stella.
Happy Big-Sisterhood, Elena.
Joyous Festivus Everyone,


Festivus Part Two: Feats of Strength

The second part of the annual Festivus tradition involves performing Feats of Strength.

I fully intend for my body and uterus to perform its own feat of strength in the not-t0-distant future (please, oh please Santa?), but here are DRL and Elena's attempts:

Tell me this is not a feat:
It was merely an attempt.

This was the real feat:

You lookin' at me?

And DRL's feat of strength cannot be captured on film as it involves tolerating a very pregnant, very hormonal me, so I chose to include the photo of his awesomeness.

He can ollie like a madman.

And I've been told he's got the best 360 flip this side of the Mississippi.

Joyous Festivus,


Festivus Part One: Airing of the Grievances

Here, in no particular order, are my list of grievances of the past year.

I am officially calling out of those who have disappointed me in 2009.

*The driver who cannot, will not use their turn signal. You know who you are, and are far too numerous to call out by name. I don't have to yield to your manuevers if I do not know what they are. You do not have the right of way just because you are turning...if you do not indicate that you are turning! I do not have to let you merge in front of me just because you "feel like it." I don't need much. Just an orange colored indicator of your next move. Something to let me know what you're thinking. A little gift of courtesy. A trifle, really. A token. Besides: if you don't use your blinker fluid on a regular basis, it goes bad, and then requires changing. This is a very expensive procedure. Just ask the gents over at Pep Boys.

*Misusers of Their/They're/There, We're/Were, Your/You're, Its/It's, and other similar confusions. Really people? Really? My facebook newsfeed is made up of people who are all over the age of 18 and have graduated high school. Thus taking a course in grammar, and being required to pen numerous papers in which the correct usage of such words would be required in order to earn a passing grade (at least I would hope.) So, I ask, what's the problem here? Do we need daily quizzes to keep you up on your skillz? An iPhone app that will help you pick the right word? A DSi "Brain Age" game that includes these common grammatical errors? Or would not being a stupid idiot be the best option? I'm open to suggestions...

*Solicitors. I do not want to join your Mafia. Or buy an animal for your Farm. Or sell make-up or erotica or jewelry or tupperware. I just want to check Spacebook and see what folks are up to. If you aree spending your time farming, playing bejeweled, killin' peeps in a war, or making an aquarium that's great. I'm happy you have something to do at 4 am. It's nice that you're sending your friends happy hearts and drinks of the season and other miscellany, but go ahead and cross my name off your list. And if you won't, I'll just hide you from my news feed.

*The "LOL"er. LOL translates into "laugh out loud." As in - I just chuckled. Vocally. Audibly. Someone may have even heard it. It has now become a typed version of the facebook "like" button. It is what people write when they can't think of anything funny, interesting, or important to say, but they want to make their presence known and they can't type "Nodding my head in agreement." Every time I read "LOL" I cringe. My disappointment in mankind increases. And I am further reminded that the next time I read something funny, something that actually makes me laugh, I have to say, "that made me laugh." Thank you LOL-ers for making me type 15 extra characters and ruining abbreviations for the rest of us. Don't even get me started on OMG and ROFL. I want video proof that somewhere, sometime, a person read something so funny that they fell out of their chair and began Rolling On the Floor Laughing. It never happened. And it is most certainly NOT an appropriate response to anything. Moving on..

*People who feel the need to make completely obtuse comments about my pregnancy. The "Wow, you're finally showing"-ers, and the "How's the baby coming"-ers, and my personal favorite, "Wow you're not very huge at all!"-ers. How's the baby coming? Do you think I have an ultrasound machine in my living room that I strap myself up to every night so that I can check in on my fetus? Make sure all is well? See what organ is developing today? Well, let me put the question to rest once and for all: I don't know how the baby is coming. If you want to talk about my cankles, hemorrhoids, or stretch marks I could go on for days. As to the current condition of the contents of my womb, however, your guess is as good as mine. My response to those who feel it necessary to comment on my size: I wasn't very huge to begin with and everything in life is relative. Second: I was ginormous when I was pregnant with Elena. Too bad you don't have a good enough memory to recall the size of my fundus then. Likely I would have lived up to your expectations.

*The Finger Moistener. Look, I don't care if you poop in the work restroom. Pooping is a natural occurence. I don't even care if it smells to high heaven. We've all been there. So long as you flush when you're done, your poop is your business. But turning on the water and running two fingers under the stream and then wiping your hands on 3.4 feet of paper towel does not make your hands clean. Whether you just pooped your heart out or simply ran into the stall to check and see if Aunt Flo was paying you a visit. You need hot water, soap, a hearty lather, and about a solid minute of washing before you are germ free and fit to participate in the Holiday Pot Luck. Try singing the Birthday Song in your head as you scrub. Song's over=hands are clean. Done and done. Now pass me the cookie tray...

*The woman who walks her dogs to my yard every morning and has them relieve themselves on my tree. My yard is not a dog park. My grass is just as precious to me as your grass is to you. I don't care if this is your "routine" and you'll have to up your pooch's dosage of Prozac if you don't adhere to it. You are rude. And your dogs are ugly. There will be a note on my tree next spring.

*Lady Gaga. Need I say more?

*Sarah Palin. Without getting all political on you, allow me to just say that I am gravely disappointed in her politics, her accent, and her attempt at "going rogue." I do, however, really enjoy doing Tina Fey style impersonations of her. Making this addition to this list kind of a wash.

Honorable Mentions:

*Brett Favre "fans."

*My Utuerus (on this list only if I fail to deliver its contents prior to December 31st at midnight).

*The facebook "like" button

Merry Festivus, everyone!



Thursday Photography

I took this photo over the summer.
(I apologize but the shot details are in my mac...at home.
So all I can tell you is that it's SOOC and was shot on my D60).
I saw this tree and it reminded me of Christmas.
So I took the photo.
I have it set as the background on my phone.
And it just...fits.
Makes me feel merry.
Merry Christmahanukwanzikah to all,
(And a Joyous Festivus, too)



Yesterday would have been my grandmother Helen's 86th birthday.
She left us nearly 10 years ago.
Nine Christmases.

Christmas was her favorite.

So were grandkids.

She never got to know any great-grandchildren, though she has two named in her honor.

Here is what, after ten years, I still remember so very vividly about her.

*She gave the world's greatest back tickles. The kind that would put you to sleep in an instant and solve even the world's toughest problem and burdensome stresses.
*She smelled like Avon.
*She had a gold acorn necklace that she wore often.
*She loved cardinals. She had a white sweater with cardinals appliqued on it that was sooooo ugly. I never saw it as a fashion faux-pas. It was gramma's bird shirt. And she loved it.
*She had a great lap. Perfect for sitting. Rocking. Cuddling.
*She kept candy bars in the fruit drawer of the fridge and a pack of trident gum in the cupboard near the chips.
*She always had the good (read: full of sugar) cereal, and her cookie jar always had cookies in it.
*We had ice cream with tiny marshmallows and chocolate syrup before bed every night.
*We ate sandwhiches with big slices of tomato, cottage cheese, and a pickle every day for lunch while she watched her "stories."
*When she would get mad she'd yell out every single grandkids name and sometimes even the cat's name before she'd get to yours. By that time we'd all be laughing, and then she would laugh, too.
*She listened to the Twins on the radio.
*She gave each grandkid a gift bag with some stocking stuffers, a toothbrush, and an orange for Christmas. Every year. Without fail. No matter what.
*She loved wholly. And it was encompassing. Warm. Remarkable. Just like her.

And most of all: After ten years I still miss her like crazy...really, really often.
I smile frequently because of her.
Especially when Elena looks at her picture and tells me that it's "Gramma Helen." Even before I had told her who Gramma Helen was.

I cried when she saw a Cardinal and said "Hi Gramma."

I hope this baby girl comes in December so I have a reason to wear her Blue Topaz more often.

I hope she welcomes DRL's Grandma Pelton into heaven alongside her. And makes her comfortable there. Shows her the ropes.

And I hope she continues to visit my little girl(s).
I pray that she keeps watch over them.
As only she can.

I love you Gramma.


Mobile Uploads

Because it's Friday.

Because I have a cold.

Because I'm horrible at using my good camera to take photos of my finished hats.

Thanks to facebook and my iPhone I can upload photos of my hats directly to my facebook page--showing them off instantly upon completion.

Sadly, this means they rarely get posted on the blog for your viewing pleasure. So: shoddy quality and all, here are some of my latest creations:

A Raspberry Beret:

One for me: Organic Cotton
One for Elena: Supersoft Acrylic blend

One for a co-worker: Malabrigo

Birthday gift for a friend: Malabrigo

One for a baby girl: Cotton

One for a paying customer: Superwash Wool

Another customer (child's size): Acrylic Tweed

Now you know why I have carpal tunnel syndrome and am severely lacking sleep.

Want one?

Wishing You Warm Heads,


Family Portraits: Walstead Style

This is Missa J.

She is 6 months old.

And completely, hopelessly, unabashedly adorable.
This is the Walstead family.

I went to high school with Becky.  
I went to middle school with Becky. 
 I went to Elementary school with Becky.
She allowed me the privilege of chasing her family around for 30 minutes in a brisk wind.

This is just a sneak peek of what I captured that day.

I can't wait to share the rest with you.



Grammar (C) Park

Because it's Friday.
Because I haven't had enough coffee yet.
Because a surprising number of folks need it...

Here is a quick little grammar lesson.

Your: Posessive pronoun. Of or belonging to you.
You're: Contraction. You+Are.

There: Adverb. A place.
Their: Adjective. Belonging to, done by, or made by "them." Possessive form of "they."
They're: Contractive. They+Are.

Its: Posessive prounoun. Replaces His/hers/theirs, etc.
It's: It+Is.

*Helpful hint with contractions: SAY IT OUT! If it doesn't sound right to say "you are" or "they are" or "it is" then you don't (do not) want to use a contraction. You'll (you will) want to use another word.
Like Their.
Or Your.
Or its.




Coming To A Mailbox Near You:

If you want in, make sure I have your address!

Happy Holidays,


Dear Elena,

In a few short weeks your little sister will arrive and things will be very different in our house. You will no longer have all of Mom and Dad's attention - though you will still hold our hearts. As you have done since the moment you were born.

You will be forced to learn how to really share. Your room. Your blankets. Zoe. Belle. The backseat of the car. Mama and Daddy, especially.

You will learn what it means to be a big sister. Love. Patience. Kisses and cuddles. Dirty diapers and spit up. Crying. Sleeping. Laughing. You will sing your sister the dolphin song, and you can teach her the words to "Mommy Loves Me" and "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star."

You can show her how to Jumpy jump jump jump with Yo Gabba Gabba and that it really IS fun to put on your pajamas.

There are soooo many wonderful things coming your way, little one.

I will treasure the last two years that your father and I have spent with you as our only daughter.

The last few weeks.

I will drink in every last detail of who you are at this exact moment.
.........and again.

I am excited to watch you and your sister grow up. From little girls...to (gasp!) teenagers...to women...and into wives and mothers.

I hope that you are as excited to meet your sister as your Daddy and I are.

Don't worry, Inchworm. I know it's going to be new and scary and different. But you have to remember that sometimes different is good. The caterpiller cannot become a beautiful butterfly without change. It will be tough sometimes, but the metamorphosis is worth it.

I promise.

You just have to be patient.

I love you,