Saturday, June 30, 2007

No Time to Blog

I am on a mad knitting spree. Pictures to come soon. . . I hope.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Royally Spoiled

The alien may not have officially been "styled" yet, but he is now riding around in serious style. His royal coach was delivered yesterday and he is very excited about it.
Now the alien can hear, and supposedly he can even make noise, but seeing as you and I can't hear him, Princess P. sent a proxy for him so that he could still show you his new coach.
This is Trip-Trap - Trap for short. He arrived with a message for the alien from his cousin "W". It said "My dad is cooler than your dad." The alien promptly erased it. He hasn't met his uncle Prince Bertram the Bad yet, but he's a smart little guy and isn't buying that anyone with the title "Bad" is better than his Daddy Duke.
So, here is Trap, standing in for the alien, to show off his new coach in a series of short clips.
Please keep in mind that I am no cinematographer, nor to I even have a video camera, just my simple digital with highly limited video capability.



"Check out my new ride!"





"I'm the coolest fetus ever!"







"Suh-weeet!"

__________________

The royal coach is a Hyundai Veracruz. If you've never heard of it, you're not alone, my insurance agent didn't even have it in her database yet. It was just released in June. You can get a better look at it here or read the buzz about it here.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Maya in Summer

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Maya had been waiting patiently for her summer outfit.

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Me being pregnant is hard on her as a creative muse.

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It's hard for even the most powerful of creative energies to overcome physical weakness in their bestowee.

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She's a darling of a muse, though, and said she would wait a little longer than usually for her outfit, as she wanted it to be either pink or blue(ish) in celebration of the little alien. Isn't it sweet of her to want to help greet the little heathen that is making her job so difficult. Well, that's the sort of muse she is.

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We will have a better photo shoot in a week or so, but she didn't want to wait any longer to show off her new knits. She was so happy to get out of her hot winter alpaca and wool!

Also, she has declared that we must get creative about what we will call the baby on the blog here, before the Yarn Queen bestows upon him something we don't like. I (being actually clueless about true royal titles and peerage in general) took a trip to Wikipedia (what did we do before this site existed?) and learnd that what we are doing here (evidently) is determining how the baby should "be styled." Well, naturally there are all sorts of rules about how to address who and what title is bestowed on whose children, and of course, here in Yarnnation we are in no way what so ever concerned with all those rules, so here are some options, please let me know what you think
So there are true ranks whose titles are (other than Duke)

-Marquess
-Earl
-Viscount
-Baron
-Lord

I think I could add a few of my own, seeing as I have no concern for what is real and what is not.

-Knight
-Master (or Young Master)
-Sir

And of course all of these can and probably will be combined with "baby" or "boy" or his initials (JH)

Here are some that I have considered

-Baby Baron
-Baron Baby Boy (maybe BBB for short)
-Knit Knight (it is a knitting blog!)
-Lord JH
-Master Baby
-Little Sir

So cast your vote, and please, don't feel limited by what I've listed here, give me ideas!

Monday, June 25, 2007

New Restaurants

For those who live in the area (or visit on occasion) I have added two more reviews to my restaurant blog.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Calling all Knitters- Resource Needed

Calling all knitters!!!

The Yarn Queen really wants to learn the sock in a sock method for knitting socks (where you knit two socks at once, but one is inside the other, not next to it.) She has tried to use the Knitty article, but thinks she needs a different teaching approach. Being the good daughter that I am I told her that I would look for a different source, but I can not find one for the life of me. I know that Kory (author of the Knitty article) must have learned this technique somewhere. . . I will resort to emailing her if I must, but if any of you know of a book or something, let me or the Yarn Queen know.

Thanks!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Half Way

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Lookie over there to your right. . . That's right- 20 weeks today, that means I am half way done with this personal form of hell they call pregnancy. There have been days when I was sure I would die long before this and whether endurance when there is no other option is cause for celebration or not, we are going to celebrate!

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The Sweet Duke brought me flowers. We had a doctor's appointment where it was determined that what I thought was a recurrence of a previous bladder infection is very probably just ligament pain. And last but not least, we'll probably go out to dinner tonight, depending on how the little alien is feeling about it.

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Speaking of the Alien, he is a vigorous little dude. Sleep is not high on his priority list. I'm thinkin' he's taking after his daddy and is getting all the swimming time in he can while he still has room. Yep, I think those are flip turns I'm feeling.

And in a complete change of topic, I would like to thank my friend JJ for introducing me to this cool new site. You all may remember that I was worried about what I would do after school was out, and I was considering reading for a Librivox project, as it was something useful I could do from home, but had worries about my reading skills? Well, I may still read for a project, but this, this is something I KNOW I can do and I know I am good at and I am very excited about.

SO, the LDS church holds that largest collection of genealogical records anywhere on earth. Presently to access these records you must visit the Family History Library in Salt Lake City or one of thousands of Family History Centers throughout the world. This doesn't seem like that big of a deal until you learn that if you aren't in SLC you have to order the microfilm or fiche from SLC, wait for it, then return it in three weeks. Also, the vast majority of the indexes (if the records are indexed at all) are also on film, so you have to order the index, and the film or films with the actual records, and depending on the size of the collection. . .well, let's just say it's tedious.

This project is the second part of a massive three part undertaking that will make these
records not only access able via the Internet, but also completely ELECTRONICALLY INDEXED!!! I know it shows how big of a geek I am that I am so excited about this, but really, I don't care. I am so excited to be able to participate in this. (For those of you who don't know, this geekiness stems from my bachelor's degree, which is in Family History and Genealogy.)

The church has all ready been taking their microfilmed copies of the records and digitizing them. They have been doing this for five years and with technology advancements, have dramatically picked up speed. They have also created a software program that permits your average computer user to input the data from the image of the original record into a database. You or I or anyone else can download a "batch" which is a fairly small piece of a record, enter the information from the original record into the database, and then upload that completed batch back to their server. After that is done twice for each record a third party checks to see if the two entries match (for accuracy), reconciles any differences, and then that information is integrated into the main database. The last part of this project will be to make the electronically scanned and indexed records available to search and view online. THIS IS SO COOL!

I think I read that they will begin making the records available as they are finished, but it will be a very long time before the project is complete. To give you an idea of how big this collection is, I took this of the Family History Library's site

The collection includes over 2.4 million rolls of microfilmed genealogical records; 742,000 microfiche; 310,000 books, serials, and other formats; 4,500 periodicals; 700 electronic resources.

I used to teach a introduction to genealogy class and one of the things that I used to share with my class is that if all of that microfilm and fiche were in book format, the library would be over three times as big as the largest library in the world.

OK, so I've probably long since lost all of you. If you're still reading, go check it out and consider volunteering. It's very cool.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Nothing to Post About?

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I have nothing to post about, a little photo shop play is all I have.

No knitting, no spinning, no photos, nothin'

The Duke and I are thinking about buying a new car. . . We've looked at the Kia Sorento, the Hyundi Santa Fe, and the Vera Cruiz, the Toyota Rav4 and the Highlander. We like the Highlander, maybe a Hybrid. We aren't ready to make a decision. . . any suggestions?

The Duke has had 6 job offers this week. He (well, we actually) will make a decision after some questions get answered, hopefully by Friday.

You see, nothing interesting.

So, go check out Princess P.'s blog, which we might re-name Prince Burtram's blog. She is again showing off her hubby's talents.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

An Encouragement

I have never before encouraged anyone who reads this blog to read my other blog, as it is religious in nature. The post I have just created, however, will be the first and possibly only exception to this rule. It is not at all religious in nature, but it is something that I think is important and that currently I feel strongly about. It contains my pledge to try to make life ever so slightly more enjoyable. I hope you all will take a moment to read it.

http://amusinglymormon.blogspot.com/

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Pictures

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Behold the future of pharmacy!

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It's amazing what you find when you have film developed that's been siting in a camera for three years.

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I actually thought my Duke was ageless. Doesn't he look young here? This was pre-second year pharmacy. It aged both of us.

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From The Artful Ewe. Merino Wool in an unknown (but delightful colorway) and the "Miss Mavis" batt, whose tag I have all ready managed to loose. I think it is alpaca, mohair, and angora. Lovely!

Also, I've crossed another WIP off my list.

Duke's Aran Sweater
Lil Bro Hat
Headband
Duke's Shadow Scarf
Red Felt Bag
Leg Warmer
Baby Surprise
M. Vest
Striped Felt Bag
Green Sweater
Japanese Lace
Go with the Flo Socks
Mitered Baby Blanket
Silk Rumple Wrap
JD Baby Sweater
W. Baby Sweater
Charlotte's Shawls

I have also made good progress on the Duke's Aran sweater, I am up to the cap shaping on the second sleeve, as well as the Flo socks, I am ready to turn the heel.

Oh, and ultrasound pics (in all their creepy cuteness) as soon as I get around to scanning them. Soon I hope.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Eight Hundred Miles and Egg Shells

Please excuse my longer than typical absence from the blogging world. The past week and a half has been more than I could deal with, all non-essential functions were discontinued.

The past week was a full fledged, decked out in all her glory, this is not a drill, demonstration of why I live (and will always live) 800 miles away from the town I originally called home. Let me explain.

The Duke and I are originally from the same area, my parents, his parents, one set of my grandparents, one set of his grandparents, all my siblings, half of his siblings, and a multitude of aunts, uncles, and cousins all still live there. There has been a lot of pressure over the years for us to return, pressure that I have easily ignored with the great help of events like this past week.

Don't get me wrong, I love my family, and I dearly wish I my sister and her husband would move to Seattle (yes, I know it's never going to happen, but a Duchess can dream.) I just don't have the constitution to deal with the politics that are seemingly inevitable when not just one, but several, intermarried families live so close to one another. (My brother and sister also married into families from the same county. . . I don't even know who all my relatives are anymore.)

. . .

OK, I got about 2000 words into recapping my past week and got so upset that it ruined the rest of my day. You don't want to read it, and I don't want to write about it. Here's how things stand now.

The Bad

-I am exhausted from doing a poor excused for my best to host 16 people. (Much thanks to my wonderful parents for helping me enough to make this even remotely possible. I would have certainly killed someone if you hadn't been there.)
- My FIL crossed the line on Sunday. I have moved from expending a ridiculous amount of energy to try to tolerate "John's teasing" and trying to keep the peace in the face of a person who goes out of his way to upset me. I can't help the fact that he dislikes me because I married his son, that's his problem. I will now, instead, expend a much smaller amount of energy (heaven knows I need to conserve all I have at this point,) to avoid having unnecessary interaction with him. As a wise counselor once told me "Don't try to kiss a rattle snake."
- Due to other highly unpleasant circumstances the Duke and mine's future plans have radically changed. Nothing really to write about here, but it's very stressful at the moment.

The Good

-I definitively felt the little alien move last week. The little bugger kicked me hard enough that I felt it with my hand that was resting on my belly. I have been feeling these little movements for a few weeks now, but intermittently, and I didn't know for sure if that is what it was. Well, now this little alien has taken to romping around in my belly with great vigor. An athlete? Well, that depends on how much of his father's DNA he got as opposed to mine, but his energy is not mine, that's for sure. (Or rather it IS mine, plus his, as he continues to consume mine.)
- I now have some time to rest and recover until the next major event, our annual trip to the Oregon Coast. I'm not as excited for the beach trip as I usually am. We made an impromptu trip to Portland on Monday and the car trip was really hard on me. Luckily, the beach is a very restful place.
- I have some fabulous acquisitions to share with you all from last week before my home and life were invaded. My mom and I made a fun little excursion to Whidbey Island. . . aren't you excited?

A few more notes before I sign off.

Yes, we have a name chosen for the alien. I have been trying to decide if I should post it or not. The Duke preferes not to have our names posted to the blog, thus the Duchess and Duke. I agree, but want to share the name we've chosen. I'll think about it.

No, Patrick, rest assured, his name will not be Earl. (And sadly I had to explain that to the Duke- sigh.)

Yes, there do seem to be a multitude of boys coming around. My cousin just gave birth to twin boys a few days ago (just under 36 weeks, both healthy and adorable. I can't wait to meet them.) I have three friends expecting boys in the next 4 months, another cousin expecting a boy, and of course Princess P. will have W. in August. We actually have enough baby boys being born just within the family to have a basketball team. Too bad the parents are all so short, guess they'll just have to learn to knit ganseys instead!

Thank you all for your well wishes and congratulations. We are very excited.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Snips and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

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That's what little BOYS are made of!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Pink or Blue?

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I have one of each. Tomorrow we will know which one gets it's mate!!!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Check another one off

I'm not always that great at meeting my knitting goals, but you must admit I've been doing pretty well with the current finishing spree.

The goal was to have the blanket done before Friday when the gender specific knitting will (hopefully) commence.

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It's only Wed!

The blanket turned out pretty well despite my concerns. I don't think I will ever do a patch type blanket again, the seaming just about killed me and the finishing is. . . well, if you are a knitter and see this blanket out and about, don't look at the back. I just didn't like how messy all those woven ends were looking in the cotton. I ended up knotting most of the ends with one another and trimming them closely.
If I were to do another mitered blanket of any sort, it would have to be in wool. Even the 20% wool in this yarn (Brown Sheep's Cotton Fleece) didn't help much with the cotton woes.
All in all, though, I am happy with the blanket. I love the colors and I love the miters and the back really isn't that bad. I'm sure it will comfortably keep the alien warm.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

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The finished Charlotte's Lace Shawl.

This will likely be the only time you will ever see pictures on this blog taken in the beautiful soft light that is only found in the wee morning (5:00 am, people) hours of a high overcast day in the Pacific North West. Enjoy

In contrast, here is the other FO to check off my list, terrible pictures taken in bad indoor lighting. You may not recognize these fun slippers from the WIP list I made, but they are there.
Look closely, they are made from the felted red bag that only needed handles, some shaping and a lining. Actually, the reason the bag never got done was that it just wasn't jiving as a bag, it wanted to be something else, slippers evidently, as these went together without trouble, and I really like them.

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The project was my first go at something from this fun little book, Heartfelt, which only has projects made from felt. I had felt to cut up, the book demanded that I use it, the book and the bag must have been in it together all along.

They are a tad big and I may run them through one more felting cycle to get a good fit, but all in all, they are a better answer to an unserviceable bag. The souls were also the remains of an altered project.
Last year or longer ago I knit Samus but screwed up the sleeves. They didn't want to be fixed and my Samus became a vest. I always keep random pieces of discarded knit wool for projects such as these slippers. The Samus sleeves became the souls of these slippers. Very nice.

Here's the updated list:

Duke's Aran Sweater
Lil Bro Hat
Headband
Duke's Shadow Scarf
Red Felt Bag
Leg Warmer
Baby Surprise
M. Vest
Striped Felt Bag
Green Sweater
Japanese Lace
Go with the Flo Socks
Mitered Baby Blanket
Silk Rumple Wrap
JD Baby Sweater
W. Baby Sweater
Charlotte's Shawls

That gets me down to eight projects. I am making good progress on the socks and have maybe 10 or so ends to weave in on the mitered baby blanket (plus it needs some serious blocking.)

Progress

Monday, June 04, 2007

Things that are Expanding

Friday night I commented to Sarah that no one could tell that I was pregnant, that I really wasn't showing at all yet. I'll omit her explanation of that phenomenon.
Saturday I got up and put on a skirt and a stretchy tailored tee shirt. When I looked in the mirror something was different. OK, now I know what they mean by POP!

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Just so you know the dark spot on my belly is a birth mark that I am very fond of. It's a little stretched out right now, but look closely and you can still see that it is in the shape of a Scottie Dog. His nose if facing my belly button.

There is also a knitted item here in Yarnnation that underwent a sudden and dramatic expansion.

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Here is the finished Charlotte's Shawl blocked to within an inch of its life. The strange happenings at either end there are a result of binding off too loose. When does that happen? I didn't fix it because I thought it might help it stay on better and I didn't think it would bother me. We'll see.
The finished measurements are about 37 inches tall and 96 inches wide. It is big, as predicted, but surprisingly, it isn't as big as I thought it was going to be.

One last thing, probably in a sick attempt to make sure that I have too much to do in the ensuing months (again that fear of nothing planned,) I have started another blog. I know, I'm crazy. It is true that I all ready have two blogs, but I don't often post to my second blog, only when a though or experience warrants it. This blog is a "down to earth," Seattle area, restaurant review blog. Here is what lead me to conclude the Seattle area needed such a blog.

I have been looking for several days now for a restaurant in the area that meets the following criteria:

1. Northwest or Italian Cuisine of good quality, not a chain
2. Moderately Priced
3. Can accommodate a party of 17
4. Takes reservations for Friday evenings
5. Isn't too noisy

You would not believe how difficult of a task this is. I did come across three new blogs to follow in the process, but none of them could help in this task. I am going to check out one recommended by Jessica tomorrow, and my hopes are high. However, there was nothing on the Internet that could answer my particular questions and concerns, and so it began.

Check it out if you are so inclined.

The content is limited right now, of course, but will grow over time.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Spun Stitches

I've done it, I've gone and signed myself up for the Spun Stitches KAL.

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You can read my introduction to the KAL here.

Hurry Hurry Hurry!

That is how I feel this week. . . hurry towards next week when we have final presentations, family arriving, ultrasound, graduation, graduation party. Then (because I don't have enough to worry about) I begin to wonder, then what?

What am I going to do for the next 4.5 months until the baby is born? I will be traveling for some of that time, but no job, no school, no plans. I'm a little afraid! The Duke says I will nest. I think he is over estimating my nesting tolerance. Yes, I do have a nursery to arrange, which is going to be no small feat, but I don't think it will take 4 months. Well, I supposed this little alien will, at the very least, have a whole lotta hand knits.

Anyway, changing topics, this has also been a week of surprises, and pleasant ones at that.

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Here is baby's first photo album, a gift from friends R., J., and baby E. Very sweet!

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Then a package arrived for me at Hilltop, which of course caused some confusion, but one of the women I used to work with is also my neighbor, and she was sweet enough to bring it home. It was a package from my secret pal from Knitty's Secret Pal 8. Amy, I know your real name now, but just couldn't bring myself to go through all those hundreds of posts to try to figure out what your Coffeeshop name is. Please, do tell.
Thank you so much for the wonderful package. Some of you may remember, it would have also been Amy who sent the beautiful Malabrigo yarn.
This package was no less spectacular, as you can see. A sweet button hole bag, a couple of balls of Misty Alpaca's Merino (I LOVE this yarn,) a hank of Araucania's Naure Wool Chunky in a beautiful orange, chocolate (yum yum yum,) a new Chibby- (I've wanted one of the new ones in the cool new colors, but never bought myself one,) and a plethora of wonderful smelling soaps, lotions, creams, lip gloss, and a candle. Amy, you must have been reading my 100th post, or was is just a good guess that I love good smelling soaps in particular? One of them is even for my dogs. I think they will be getting a bath tomorrow! Thank you so much Amy, you were so generous!

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I also got a package from my grandmother who we refer to as the Queen Mother here in Yarnnation. She has recently returned from Panama and sweetly brought home a beautifully embroidered bag for me. I love it. The colors and the work are stunning. It is hand driven machine embroidery with multiple layers of embroidery, much like a painting. It is an interesting craft I admired while living in the Philippines, and this is a beautiful example of it.
There was also a present for the alien. A darling blanket and burp cloth combo which she has crocheted around the edges. I love the combo of the the print with the stripes. THANKS GRANDMA (and yes, of course I remember, and will always be your Valentine.)

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I also got my copy of Spin-Off. I loved the article written by Kathryn Tewson about the Faroe Island shawls she spun the yarn for and then knit for a friend that needed to know that someone loved her and was there for her. The article not only made me want to learn more about Faroe Island shawls, but also made me wish that we could all be a friend like Kathryn was, and made me want to be a better friend.

I have been considering joining the Spun Stiches KAL for a couple of days now, but didn't really know if I would be able to give my full commitment. It appears that the spinning motion no longer makes me sick, as I have been able to spin for a few days now without problem, and the article in Spin-Off pushed me off the fence. I've sent off my email request to join.

Last but not least, I have made my visit to random.org and it has chosen the recipient of the fiber happiness that always accompanies a Yarn of Yarnnation. Wouldn't you know it, it chose The Yarn Queen, my mom! She is flying up here in a few days for the Duke's graduation, so I will give it to her then and even take a picture of her with it!

Also, the yarn is GGH Goa. Katie is right, Yarndex does list this as a heavy worsted. I wrote about it as a bulky simply because knit at 4 sts to the inch, it has a stiff and heavy fabric that I dislike. I think it served the yarn better to knit it at 3-3.5 sts to the inch and let it have a little freedom, but I do realize that doesn't really make it a true bulky. Melissa and Kathleen both wondered about a picture of the FO. Sarah, you are right, it is the same capelette/poncho I was wearing the first time we met.

I knit this back in 2005 before I was blogging and I don't have a great picture of it, but here is a picture of me wearing it (alongside my favorite Duke) on vacation at the Sun Mountain Lodge.
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Friday, June 01, 2007

Spinning? Do we do that here?

The Duke said he would know when I was feeling better when I started spinning again. Well, it is true that I am feeling much better and so it happened as the man said.

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This Lorna's Laces roving (wool of unknown origin- but nice to spin) has been on my bobbins since pre-pregnancy. It was time to get it off. It was about 10 oz., but I used some of it for a non-spinning purpose, and there was a little waste, as is expected. I ended up with about 500 or so yards of a light worsted weight 2 ply. There are actually parts of it that are a little finer, as it is my nature to spin finer singles, but considering the length of time that elapse between start date and end date, it looks pretty consistent.

The Duke says thanks to all of you who sent congratulations via the blog. It really is such a big thing for us, it is still sinking in. We have been married for 6 years and he has been a student that entire time. At least I'm still a student for a bit longer, so we won't go into total culture shock all at once!

Next, remember you have until 5:00 pm today to comment on the Yarn of Yarnnation #3. A random commenter will get sent some fiber happiness.

Last, I have fixed my bloglines (I'm pretty sure) but I haven't been commenting a lot lately, mostly because I'm just tired. I am reading though- great midnight occupation! I'll be better after school is over. I have a feeling that the naughty alien is going to (per Murphy's law) give up the nausea battle just as soon as finals are over. Hopefully the mythical second trimester energy will show up around that time too. The reason I am telling you this- If you know I have read your blog in the past, or for that matter you think I should read your blog but haven't in the past and you don't see your blog on my sidebar, leave a comment or send me an email and let me know. I felt terrible when I discovered that I had somehow deleted three of my friend's blogs. I just thought they were going through a blogging dry spell. I'm blaming it all on the alien, it's all the alien's fault! It's a naughty little alien (and a week from today we will be able to assign the appropriate pronoun to that naughty little alien- YIPEEE!!!!)