We got dogs!

I always had a dog growing up. My dad had always had a dog growing up. I’m pretty sure his dad had one, too. We wanted our kids to have dogs, too. And so we did. We had the most patient, sweet, loving golden retriever a handful of kids could ask for. But all the while we had her, our youngest two kiddos would regularly have their head colds move into their chest and we would invariably have to take them to the hospital for croup. Turns out, they are allergic to dogs. This allergy was effecting their lungs, which meant that their lungs were always irritated, so when they got sick, it didn’t take much for their lungs to start to have issues. Our pup passed away around the same time we found out, so we chose to forgo adding a new one to our family.

Well, after 3 years of allergy shots, and 3 years of seemingly daily requests, pleas, and “I wish we had a dog” comments, we were cleared by our allergist to get a dog, with caveats. The dog needed to be hypoallergenic. They’re still allergic to dogs, just the reaction they have to dogs is minimal. So we need to be able to have as little shedding as possible. We started looking for dogs. Specifically poodle mixes, schnauzer mixes, or we would need a dog that we would have to groom very regularly. Did you know that those poodle mix puppies start off around $5,000?!?! Those people are making a killing!

We changed tactics and started looking at our local adoption sites, specifically the Denver Dumb Friends League. We were having a hard time justifying paying out the nose for a puppy. Why not find a dog that needed a second chance. After months of searching, we found two beautiful doodle-mix dogs that needed their second home. I don’t know why these dogs needed to find a new home, but I’m glad they have their home with us.

That doesn’t mean things have been easy. J, a bernedoodle, has Happy Tail. This means that the tip of his tail was injured, and when he wags it, specifically against something solid, like the chairs, walls, doors, stair railings (I’m believing to think we don’t have anything soft in our house!) it breaks open again and starts to bleed. Now, I am here to tell you that a dog’s tail does not contain a small amount of blood. This tail contains enough blood that my house looks like a murder scene after he’s whacked it open. OMG! And this dog isn’t short, so it’s not just blood from the knees down. There are spots of blood on the walls higher than my head. And he’s not just standing there in one spot wagging his tail. He’s prancing around the house in all his happy glory. And it’s not just once a day that he’s happy it’s all the live long day! Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad he’s happy, but Old Faithful doesn’t produce as much or as often as this dog’s tail!

Unfortunately, the cure for Happy Tail is an amputation. Thankfully, the good vets at Denver Dumb Friends League recognized the issue, the severity of it (there was already some necrosis of the tail) and have the ability to do the surgery. We’re looking forward to continuing our adventure with J and B (a golden doodle), but hopefully with significantly less blood on our walls, windows, floors, couches…

J and B, our newest family members

I made a sweater!

I have been knitting since my mother-in-law taught me how almost 15 years ago. I love all the different stitches that you can do. I had always wanted to make a sweater but the idea of making one was, well let’s say I didn’t want to screw it up, and I wasn’t confident enough in my skills to not screw it up. I had looked at various patterns to find the no-fail-anyone-can-do-it-yes-even-you patterns and just never made the leap. Then, Purl Soho had a knit-along for their Lightweight Raglan Pullover Sweater and I thought, well if they’re doing a knit-along it’s sure to be no-fail!

Lightweight Raglan Pullover by Purl Soho

My sweater even (mostly) turned out exactly the way it was suppose to! So, kudos to them for creating a pattern that even a Nervous Nelly like me could knit up! I’m pretty sure the only mistake I made was that I missed a decrease in the yoke, so the neck is a little wider than it’s supposed to be. With the off the shoulder tops being trendy for the time being, I’m okay with it, though.

I used Juniper Moon’s Moonshine yarn in Twilight to make this sweater. It’s incredibly soft, holds its shape with a little bit of drape, and is just all around beautiful. I made this sweater for my oldest daughter. I also bought enough skeins in their color Dew to make myself a sweater. Have I completed that sweater? No, not yet, but, I’m so close to being done!

After making the first sweater I knew I was going to make another sweater, but not yet because good grief knitting those sleeves is enough to make you dizzy! I’ve never been a huge fan of knitting on double pointed needles. I usually get just a little extra smidgeon of space in between each of these needles no mater how tight I make the stitches. Using the magic loop is definitely magical, but not for sleeves that are miles long! So I knew I wanted to make something flat before I made the next sweater.

Waiting was definitely worth the wait! I saw this beautiful Slavyanka Sweater created by the ever talented Lyudmila Aksenik. I had most of a skein left from making the purple sweater, and I knew this was the sweater I had to make. The pattern is super easy to follow, complete with various manipulations if you so desire. So with the confidence I had gained from making the first sweater, I set about making this sweater.

Slavyanka Sweater by Lyudmila Akaenik

It has taken me significantly longer to make this second sweater, and I’m okay with that. I’ve been using it as my swimming sweater. Let me explain – I’ve only been working on the sweater while I’m at a swim practice or competition. Needless to say this sweater has been all over Colorado! Because I’ve been consistently working on it (we have a swimming something almost every day) I am super close to being done. Taking it to a swim meet really helps the progress. I have about 80 more rows of the last sleeve to go. It might be the middle of summer when I finish it, but by golly I’m going to wear it!

My Slavyanka Sweater. I’m almost done!

It has been really interesting to make these sweaters. It was extremely tempting to give up on the sleeves and just make them short sleeve sweaters, but I also knew I would always associate the sleeves with quitting, and I hate quitting. Now that I can’t go back and make the sleeves shorter, I’m super tempted to make yet another sweater with shorter sleeves. We have nice spring and fall seasons here, and wearing a short sleeve sweater is pretty normal. And I have plenty of yarn in my stash to make another sweater. So many ideas!

Update – It’s been a while!

My oldest was looking me up online when she came across this site. “Wow, Mom! You have a blog?” After perusing through the posts she asked why I didn’t do it anymore. Well, crap, kid, shit got crazy! In the last few years we’ve started piano and cellos lessons, started drum lessons, started year round swim team, I got a full time job, the kids have started turning into teenagers (OMG!!), continued playing with yarn, traveled, volunteered, had surgery, and, and, and… Oh! And I started reading again.

So, at her behest, here I am again. That rings of a song, but I couldn’t tell you which one.

music, athletics, and school

When the kids were super young we inherited my great-grandmother’s piano. It was brought to us from California on the back of a moving truck. It was out of tune, had 4 broken keys, and a missing mirror. My kids loved it! The kids who come over for our potlucks loved it. My niblings (yes, it’s a word. Look it up!) loved it. After many years of “music” our middle kiddo decided she wanted to learn for real. A few years later she took up the cello, so she could sit while she played in orchestra, and has been madly in love with both instruments.
Our oldest has always loved music. She would pause in the middle of a homework problem, conversation, or other random time to hand wave through part of a song. I’m not sure how I made the connection but I asked her if she wanted to learn drums. It was a hit!
Not to be left out, the hubs decided he also wanted to learn the piano, so he’s been teaching himself, with the help of the middle kiddo, to play various songs on the piano. Needless to say, the house is full of music!
I don’t play anymore, I just shuttle and enjoy the fruits of their labor.

We’ve always encouraged the kids to do athletic stuff, but never forced it on them. Whatever they wanted to try we would sign them up, and after 3-9 months they would ask to try something else. Never a big deal, we want them to do what they will enjoy. This year they have decided to do soccer (1 kid), swim team (2 kids), self defense (2 kids), and ballet (1 kid). Currently we’re still trying to figure out working the self defense and ballet into the schedule. It’s a little full.
I’m also hesitantly looking forward to playing softball again. I had surgery done on my rotator cuff and labrum almost a year and a half ago. I’ve been working on strengthening it and keeping active with it and I think I’m ready to throw something heavier than a tennis ball. Imagine if I am suddenly able to throw like the kid in that one movie, hold on let me go find it… oh yeah, Rookie of the Year! That would be hilarious!

In January of 2022 I took a full stack bootcamp. It was probably the most difficult 3 months of school I have ever done in my entire life, and that includes high school chemistry. Learning new things has always come pretty easy to me. This was not easy. It wasn’t impossible, but it was definitely not easy. My sister laughed at me while we were talking about it one day. She said it was always irritating when I didn’t struggle over something, so while she felt bad that this was tough, she also felt I deserved to suffer. Gotta love those sisters!
It was because of this class that I got my job, ironically enough, not because of my coding skills. I got the job because I had the push and drive to learn, and to get good at what I was learning. Needless to say I am loving it! I have always loved creating and learning new things, and this way I get t to do both.

Needless to say, things have been crazy, but they’ve been wonderful, and my heart is filled with joy. I hope, dear reader, things have gotten better for you in the last few years. I hope you have had something to make you stronger, something to make you smile, and something that lifts your heart.