About Me

On Schools

I came across this video, and decided to go ahead and share it.

The gist is that teenagers naturally have a later sleep-wake cycle, and the fact that many high schools start before 8am is damaging their brain development.

This is not new information — we talked about this when I was in high school back in the 2000’s, and the teachers were very aware that our 7:30am start time was bad for everyone. My school even experimented with implementing periodic late-start days, to see how it could address the problem. But you know how it is with bureaucracy: twenty years later, nothing has changed.

I don’t talk much about homeschooling my kids, but this is one of the reasons why I went with that option; I still have a naturally late circadian rhythm, and getting up early every morning to get the kids ready and off to school would kill me. In the vein of “been there, done that,” I know that it would very quickly reduce me down to a depressed, horrible mess that bursts into tears every time the alarm goes off. I am not a morning person.

Because my husband is also a night owl, I’m expecting our children to turn out much the same. With homeschooling, everyone can wake up naturally without relying on alarm clocks, and we’re free to enjoy a leisurely breakfast before we get started on the day.

I’m very much of the opinion that the modern lifestyle is incompatible with how our brains and bodies evolved to function — and that’s why society has growing rates of emotional disorders and health problems. I love my children as the vibrant and vivacious individuals that they are, and I could never make them sit in a classroom all day while they are subjected to a “one size fits all” approach to education.

We were meant to move and use our bodies, and to follow our unique passions and curiosities.

About Me

Existential

It doesn’t seem to matter how many times I do this, morning sickness doesn’t get any easier to deal with.

I managed to stay active with exercising 2-3 times a week (yay!), but I also felt absolutely awful in the evenings (morning sickness is such a misnomer). You know, after the kids were in bed, during the time I usually spend on my stuff. So instead of doing my thing, I focused on not throwing up while feeling tired.

I’ve also been very existentially moody about the direction society has gone.

The other day I looked at a line of moms sitting with their faces glued to their phones, and I wished that they would look up to see the world in front of them. They could have watched what their kids were learning and chatted with each other, then left for home feeling happy and fulfilled, but instead they chose to be checked out and miss everything.

Just fricken’ look up already.

One day you are going to die, and the only memories you’ll have will be of staring at a screen. What a waste.

Anyway, I didn’t really feel like publicly complaining while I was dealing with morning sickness.

Of course, feeling better also means that I’ve got a lot of catching up to do with the housework, because even though my family has been very helpful, they aren’t an expecting mother full of nesting instincts, lol.

Not to mention, Halloween is coming up fast.

Photo by ROMAN ODINTSOV on Pexels.com
Stories, The Scion Suit

TSS – Nightmares

Is there anything more exciting than a story passage presented completely out of context?

Hee hee, enjoy.


Carol began to gasp and moan in her sleep, whimpering the words, “Don’t … take me …” before Lambert managed to shake her awake. She was thoroughly drenched in a cold sweat, and still confused as she frantically asked, “Where’s Henry? I can’t find him!”

“He’s there, right next to you in his crib,” Lambert answered soothingly, and waited for her to pick up their four-month-old son before pulling her into an embrace. “Everything’s fine. You had another nightmare.”

She was quiet, and he suspected that she had dozed off again. He kept her pressed against his chest, however, feeling her clammy skin underneath his hands as his mouth formed a straight line. He had hoped that with time and emotional support, Carol’s struggle with postpartum anxiety would resolve on its own, but instead it was growing worse.

The baby woke and began to root, so Carol shifted to breastfeed. “Sorry about this,” she murmured, completely awake. “Could you get out another pajama shirt for me?”

He nodded, but remained still. “Carol …” he began, and she stiffened from his tone. “It might be time for you to go see a professional.”

“I don’t want to,” she answered slowly.

“You’ve been having nightmares every night for awhile now. It might be best to get you on medication to help you through this.”

“I have you.”

Lambert felt Carol move to curl up around their baby, and for a moment he debated whether or not he should drop the subject all together. He got up to rummage through the dresser in the darkness, found one of the over-sized shirts that she liked to sleep in, and handed it to her.

“Cognitive therapy isn’t making any difference,” he said quietly. She remained silent, so, he pressed on, “You’re a good mother, and it’s natural to have some feelings of anxiety with a new baby …” he began, and the therapist’s intonation that he had slipped into grated against his own ears.

“Would you mind holding Henry while I change?” Carol interrupted, her voice slightly higher pitched than usual. She had recently discovered that he couldn’t argue with her when she spoke that way, and utilized it whenever she wanted him to back down. It was enough to make him cave and give up on his line of reasoning.

Lambert didn’t know what to do. For the most part, Carol was still Carol. They went fishing together on the weekends, and he came home every evening to dinner and a clean house. As long as she had their baby pressed against her in the carrier or in her arms, it was as if nothing had changed. The car trips were almost endearing, with the way she frequently checked the mirrors to ensure that Henry was still breathing, and needed the occasional reassurance that he wasn’t going to be stung by a bee or bitten by a spider while he was in his car seat.

But the nights were different.

Lambert had purchased a special crib with one side that clamped onto their mattress to help her feel closer to Henry, but it couldn’t overcome the mental separation of sleep. There were times when she had startled awake with the baby in her arms, crying about how she couldn’t find him. Recently, she had begun to fight against the fear of being taken away herself, but once awake she always claimed that she could not remember what she had been dreaming.

They had talked. And talked. And talked. Lambert had accepted the military relegating him into a paper-pusher role after the war had ended, because it enabled him to be home every night, and he didn’t dare leave Carol to sleep alone. He had even quit drinking for the most part, so he could maintain his vigilance and be there for her the moment the nightmares began.

After four months, he had reached the end of what he could handle on his own. Carol needed something more than talk to help her, and as a defunct psychiatrist, he was no longer qualified to provide it.

Alice and the Warden

Alicia’s Booties knitting pattern

“I’ll tell you what, dear, … I’ve got some leftover yarn from my grandbaby’s blanket, and I can have some booties knitted up in a jiffy.”

Alice and the Warden, by Autumn Rain

Materials

Worsted weight yarn

Markers

Yarn needle

0-3 months: Size 3 needles

3-6 months: Size 4 needles

6-9 months: Size 5 needles

9-12 months: Size 6 needles

Sole

CO 26

Odd rows: sl1, k to end

Row 2: k1, m1, k11, pm, m1, k1, m1, k1, m1, pm, (5 sts total between markers) k11, m1, k1

Row 4: sl1, k1, m1, k11, (sl marker), m1, k2, m1, k3, m1, (sl marker), k11, m1, k2

Row 6: sl1, k2, m1, k11, (sl marker), m1, k4, m1, k4, m1, (sl marker), k11, m1, k3

Row 8: sl1, k3, m1, k11, (sl marker), m1, k5, m1, k6, m1, (sl marker), k11, m1, k4

Row 10: sl1, k4, m1, k11, (sl marker), m1, k7, m1, k7, m1, (sl marker), k11, m1, k5

Row 11: sl1, k to end (remove markers)

Foot

Rows 12-18: stockinette stitch (k odd rows, p even rows)

Row 19: sl1, k28, ssk, turn

Even rows: sl1, p7, p2tog, turn

Odd rows: sl1, k7, ssk, turn

Continue short rows until there are 36 sts on needles.

sl1, k to end

sl1, p to end

Eyelet row: sl1, (yo, k2tog, k) repeat to end (12 yo total)

sl1, p to end

Cuff

Continue in 2×2 ribbing (k2, p2) until 2x desired length

End after even row

BO3, (sl st to left needle, CO2, BO6) repeat across

Note: Picots are supposed to be centered over P sts in ribbing

Cut yarn with long tail to sew up the back of bootie (~2ft)

Weave in ends

Thread yarn or ribbon for a shoe lace through eyelet row, fold over cuff

Decorate!

Note: Little hands like to grab things! Tuck the laces under the cuff to protect them, and make sure decorations like pompoms are attached securely.

About Me

Knitting Patterns

My baby is teething. And I am so tired.

I’m one of those excessively creative sorts, and writing is just *one* of the things I do — since it’s my favorite, it’s the one I blog about. Ostensibly. Since I’m not particularly ‘plugged in,’ I usually work on some sort of yarn project when most others are on their phones. I know that this is an obsolete thing to say now, but once upon a time I used to be the only mom at the playground who wasn’t glued to a screen. You know, back when the world still existed.

Sometimes I think everything really did end back in 2012, and we just didn’t realize it at the time.

Don’t mind me … I’m not getting enough sleep.

So, one of my other dreams is to publish crochet and knitting patterns. I’ve already made a few of my own designs, too.

The problem comes with writing them down. Following a knitting pattern is one thing, but writing one is agonizingly boring. Then, of course, in order to make them more commercially friendly, you need to work out different sizes, as well as gauge. I’ve always found it much easier to simply hand the sweater/scarf/hat over to whichever child I made it for, for them to promptly lose in a giant mess of laundry, never to be seen again.

Then I tell myself that since I can’t take a picture anyway, there’s no point in writing down the pattern.

But I still think that I would like to come up with designs that are based on the stories I write. Like, “Alicia’s baby booties,” or “Gertie’s shawl.” It would be a fun way to share this magical world of mine outside of the stories.

So, I’ve decided that one of my 2021 goals is to design and publish at least one knitting pattern for Alice and the Warden.

Here’s hoping I actually make that happen?

I’m currently knitting socks for my 8-year-old.

About Me

Introversion

I’m very introverted, and sometimes the ability to socialize just isn’t there. Not only am I unable to think of anything to say, I don’t have the energy to listen/read what anyone else has to say either, and I don’t even want to deal with anyone online or through texts. My husband occasionally teases me that if I were any more introverted, I’d be nonfunctional in society.

When I first became a mother, I worried about how I was going to raise and homeschool my children without going crazy. Being an introvert, my social circle is very small. I am also the black sheep of my extended family, so they’ve been a non-factor in my life (which is my polite way of saying I have zero contact with most of my relatives). Babysitting is not easy to come by, especially because I’m extremely distrustful of leaving my children with people I don’t know very well.

It took some time, but I found my zen.

Which wound up leaving me well positioned for the lockdowns.

While others are sobbing for a break from their children, I already have the routine and boundaries in place for me to thrive. Bonus: As an introvert, I don’t require much interaction with others.

What I had initially feared would be a weakness, turned out to be a strength.

Obviously, what works for me probably isn’t going to work for most other people, because my form of recharging involves going inside my own head (usually to explore story ideas), but my advice is:

Honestly, I don’t enjoy giving advice; I couldn’t care less what you do. It’s mostly that I’ve seen some people having nervous breakdowns, and thought to myself, “Phew, glad I’m not like that.” I want to share my personal thoughts more, but I worry too much about hurting other people’s feelings. I’m not trying to rub it in.

But seriously, I really don’t care what you do or don’t do. It’s your life, and if you want to have a nervous breakdown and wallow in depression, go right ahead. All power to you.