26 Weeks … Movin’ Right Along

So here we are. I haven’t blogged much this last week. It’s been hot, I’ve been pregnant. Not much to write about. I managed to only slightly mess up my 4th of July dessert, and it still tastes great.

I am just a week shy of the 7th month and… the THIRD trimester. Some days I feel huge, others…well, I can’t tell if I really am getting bigger.

I’m keeping this short today.

Two Ups, Two Downs

The Ups

1. Baby Blanket: I discovered this gem of a pattern on YouTube a few weeks back and decided to give it a whirl. I’m about a quarter of the way finished and am really liking how it’s turning out. Of course, I can’t wait to finish it–my first knitting project that isn’t a scarf!

2. Glucose Test: I did finally get around to taking the GD screening test. I drove 20 minutes to the lab in Rio Rancho because it seemed closer. It’s probably just as far as the one at my hospital. And that orange drink that I’ve heard such horrible things about–it wasn’t too bad either. It reminded me of flat orange soda or a melted orange popsicle.

Two Downs

1. Swelling: I’ve had the displeasure of swollen ankles and feet and forearms and wrists and fingers and toes for the last few weeks. This crap is normal. Normal sucks. I had to take my wedding ring off, and my flip-flops are getting so tight they are leaving impressions on my feet.

2. Insomnia: I can’t truly say I have insomnia, but I toss and turn from my left to my right side about a hundred times each night. My abdominal muscles and my lungs and other in-the-vicinity-of-my-uterus organs are constricted so much that it really hurts to move. But I have to move because of the tingling and numbness in the arm of whichever side I’m laying on. It’s a vicious cycle.

 

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Knit Me Something Warm to Wear

I thought I would change up my MO a bit. Previously I have posted about cooking and baking, but today I want to talk about another hobby I’ve been working on. I actually learned to knit a few years ago (before moving to Korea). My aunt’s mother is an amazing crafter of a multitude of genres and she introduced me to knitting. To start, she gave me HUGE knitting needles, which I have somewhere in my closet back home.

When I moved out here in 2009 the winter months were a big downer. Having to be at work and stay in the office throughout the day was quite depressing. I missed the sun, and I was not the happiest of foreigners, let me tell you. Jason suggested I find some hobbies. I took up painting/drawing and I also took up knitting. I should say that I invested a little more time into hobbies I already had, but which I had not engaged in for quite some time.

The art turned out ok, for the most part. I dabbled in abstract, but not quite as successfully at realist. I actually haven’t painted or drawn anything in quite a while–several months in fact. I’ve been baking and cooking more regularly, so that takes up more of my time. Take a look at some of my art projects:

When Jason and I first moved into our apartment in September of ’09, we soon discovered a really awesome alley on which vendors sell a wide selection of fresh, seasonal fruit or veggie. It’s a veritable farmers market that is open year round (although in the extreme cold or heat there are fewer people out). Along this road we also can find plants, beans & legumes, blankets, fresh fish, as well as a plethora of Korean side and main dishes. The smells, as we meander down this road that runs about four blocks, are distinct. The atmosphere, exciting.

Upon discovering this road, we also discovered this shop:

It was actually closed today, either because of the fact it was MAYBE 5 degrees (F) out, or it was Sunday. The woman who owns it usually has a ton of yard on display. When I finally decided I was going to take up knitting, we came here. I picked out a large, 10,000 won, hank of purple yarn and Jason was able to communicate enough with her to let her know we wanted to purchase that and a set of needles (quite difficult, actually). It took me about 6 months to knit my purple scarf. Mainly because after a while I would get bored and put it away. I did finish it though, and have worn the extra long scarf nearly every day this winter. A few months before the Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas season, I decided I would make one for Jason. He picked out a nice red hank of yarn (although the cost had gone up a thousand won) from the same lady.

 It’s coming along nicely. I plan on finishing it by his birthday in February. Wish me luck!

For Whatever Reason…

I have been really into ‘homemade’ these last few weeks. Now, I have been baking yummy treats here in Seoul since I got here (using Jason’s toaster oven at first) and now I am endeavoring to move beyond home-baked.

This all started because Jason has his World of Warcraft and I have no tried and true hobbies aside from reading sporadically, writing sporadically, and facebooking religiously. I do play WoW with Jason, I even have a level 70 paladin. But, after a long day of staring into a computer monitor, I needed to establish hobbies away from the desk. Thus I turned to baking. It’s fun, and delicious. I can’t complain about that. And, while I am trying to decrease the sugar intake, I will continue to bake some things, such as breads. Bread here isn’t all that expensive, but homemade bread has that added appeal of being homemade (you know what is in there).

On days when I have very little going on at work, I tend to google. I google recipes and home furnishings. I also google crafts. So, I landed on knitting one day. I was taught how to knit by Donna a few years ago, but never really got too into it. However, since I already knew how to do it – sort of – I deciding it would become my new hobby.

I did a little research, and since we’re (Jason and I) are already planning on more of an agrarian lifestyle when we get back to the States, I thought it would be awesome to have some sheep and alpaca for wool. To make yarn. Then, of course, animal colored yarn isn’t so exciting, I would have to dye it. So now I am thinking that I could make my own yarn, from scratch. This would allow me to knit to my heart’s content, while also resting happily in the knowledge that ‘I know where it came from’. Do I sound like a tree huger yet?

So after considering this whole yarn thing, I want to branch out… soap. I want to make my own soap. I have seen a few documentary videos about the process… it looks tough but amazing. The whole idea behind it would be to use natural ingredients that help your skin (I have combination skin… boo) like oatmeal and the like. I would like to try it here, in Korea, but I imagine that finding supplies, or explaining them to Sonya (my very helpful, loves-to-shop coworker who helps me with buying online) would be exceedingly difficult. So, I will hold off on that. For now.

While I was considering soap, I also considered paper. Making your own paper sounds so awesome. I read about the process (very smelly) and it sounds so fun. This hobby would defiantly be for “upon return” because, again, the supplies. Here to, you get the “I know what’s in there” feel, as well as the sence of accomplishment – I made this.

So, back to knitting…

A few weekends ago, I finally worked up the nerve to hit up the yarn & needle shop near our apartment. Actually, the lady was outside (normally she’s inside with her Pomeranian – which is understandable because she appears to have a sever leg deformity which looks painful and inhibits her ability to walk -and probably stand- for very long) and I picked out a 10,000KWN bag of purple yarn and a 500KWN pair of circular knitting needles (used more for knitting items such as hats, socks, sleeves – anything that needs to be connected in a circle). I let those sit undisturbed for about two weeks before starting. I made sure to watch several youtube and wiki-how videos about casting-on and knitting to refresh my memory.

I stayed home sick last Tuesday, the worst day of the 5 day cold I had. Monday was Korean Memorial Day, so I ended up with a nice (even while ill) 4 day weekend. On Tuesday, I began knitting a scarf. It’s the easiest and most rudimentary thing to knit for beginners. But, after knitting for a few hours (trial and error) and only a few inches of my scarf visible, I elected to take the huge mess of yarn and work it into something more manageable… a ball. So, for the next three days I untangled that mess of yarn… PAIN IN THE NECK! Basically, when I took the yarn out of its package and started knitting from the one end, the whole thing became so entangled that -yes- is took about 10 hours to untangle it. Had I been actually knitting that whole time, I would probably have a decently sized scarf by now. But, this IS a practice run. I intend on using the entire amount of yarn on this one scarf… at least then I will have something for next winter.

Jason wants me to knit him a 3-armed sweater. As a joke, of course…

On another note… Passover is coming up… I wonder if I can find a recipe for matzoh???