Hello! Happy Wednesday! I hope you’ll join me (aka keep me accountable!) in my new endeavor here-“works-in-progress wednesday”-as a replacement for Ginny’s Yarn Along which ended a couple weeks ago. I think my knitting was greatly improved or at least furthered because of Ginny’s Wednesday link-up (many many thanks to her for all those years of Yarn Alongs!). I could join a yarn along on another blog, but I feel a bit weird just jumping in somewhere else–like a yarn bully, ha! So here I’ll stay & attempt to keep my own knitting & other projects going. If you’d like to join me, please leave me either a link to your own blog in the comments or just a comment telling me what you’re up to this week & I promise to head over to your blog and/or reply to your comment. xx
I am currently knitting a pair of short trousers with suspenders (overalls-a Debbie Bliss pattern) for Harmon in (yes, again!) Quince & Co Chickadee, colorway Belize. I’ve bought this color sooooo many times Quince might as well just change the name to Bodeker Blue. 😉 Coralee & I moved most of our seedlings outside onto the newly-spring-cleaned 3-season porch on Sunday (thank you, Brian, for helping me set up the porch!). I love how the stems and underside of the leaves of our German Pink tomato seedlings have a hint of purple. I cannot wait to eat a garden fresh tomato in a few months.
Coralee dug a few purple violets from the yard & potted them up for me. Another big thanks to my eldest for always doing so much to make our house a home!
Harmon is looooving the porch. Also this orange golf ball he found outside on Sunday. He has slept with it every night & nap since Sunday. Must be a good ball.
He’s very much into getting in & out of this kid-sized Adirondack chair my uncle Ron made for Coralee when she was a toddler. He also is working on going in & out of the porch door to the house. It’s one step, but it’s giving him trouble going back out–he tries to just walk right off it like a plank into the ocean.
Rubrubrubrub RUB the face. We’re also deep deep deep in the midst of working with our pediatrician to figure out what on earth Harmon can eat & can’t eat. Allergies, intolerances, auto immune disorders, weight loss, failure to thrive…this has been our life practically since birth & it continues…
I thought his issues were only food-related, but after spending several hours outside Sunday afternoon on the lawn (but around the cats & chickens & dogs & not up in the carrier), his arms and torso flared considerably & his nose & eyes became green-goo infested. Poor hobbit, he cannot win it seems! We are most definitely a work-in-progress.
(Above photo of Harmon taken during a brief, glorious few days of no allergy/intolerance-issues early last week! He was so genial & happy! All the work we’re doing to manage whatever it is he has going on is worth it, I know.)
Hope you’ll join us here on a future works-in-progress wednesday sometime soon!
…was March 21st. I know this because I spent much of the day in a small town Wisconsin hospital with my mother waiting to have surgery. A surgery to officially end my third child’s existence as part of me. It wasn’t the best day, obviously. Our baby was 20 weeks gestation, but an ultrasound (& subsequent post-mortem) showed our baby to have stopped growing sometime around 16weeks, maybe 17. I had been to my OB-GYN between 16 & 20 weeks at some point (math is fuzzy now) & our baby was alive with a heartbeat at that time. But then, on Good Friday Eve-Maunday Thursday-I started bleeding & never stopped. I refused to look at the ultrasound screen the next day, on Good Friday. I knew what it showed before I even laid back on the table. I stared at the wall in that dark room & bit my tongue, trying with everything I had not to cry. The ultrasound tech never said a word, but held my hand. My mother sat in the waiting room during the scan. Brian was still down in Iowa at school. I was visiting my parents for Easter along with my children, Coralee who was in kindergarten & Merritt who was going to turn 3 soon. Such a strange day. It was sunny when I entered the clinic that morning & by the time my surgery was over & I was discharged, my mother & I walked out into an evening of gently falling snow. And it was beautiful. And I can still see it perfectly all these years later. Beautiful white flakes filling the air. Like the world wasn’t crashing down on me. Like I was supposed to stop & recognize there was still beauty out there.
I bought the baby alpaca green yarn that makes up the vest Harmon is wearing in the above photo when I was pregnant with my 2008 Good Friday baby-who, incidentally, had a due date of MY birthday, August 8th. I thought the due date was a sign this baby was meant to be! Harmon has worn this little vest I knit with yarn for his special sibling many times. I snapped these photos of him just before Christmas last year.
I remember buying this yarn. I was so happy. I loved the color. I loved how soft it was; Blue Sky Alpacas is dreamy for sure. I often thought about throwing the yarn out after that Good Friday. I think I may have thrown some of it away, but I kept a couple skeins wound & unknit for a long time. When I was pregnant with June I knit some of it up into this vest. I don’t think June wore the vest but once, if that…this is Harmon’s vest. I like to think it’s keeping our baby’s memory present. At least with me.
So three years after that horrid Good Friday I gave birth to a living baby, our June Belle. Yes, on the same day! March 21st surprised me again. That’s got to mean something…
Good Friday will forever be something of a conundrum to me. Holy Week is tricky, too. It’s both the worst of life & the best. Which is scary true on so many levels I get chills thinking about it. I feel like I have a special connection to Mary, Jesus’s mother. I really do. I also lost a child on Good Friday. But then I was gifted another three years later on the same date. So, I want to say, Good morning on this goodest of Fridays. It is a Good day. And thank you for indulging my thoughts here on this little blog. May your Friday be Good as well.
P.S. Thank you, Mom. xxo
Coralee, Harmon, & I began last Saturday morning around 3:30AM. (I think Harmon actually woke up closer to 3:50AM.) Coralee was registered to attend an Iowa Young Birders event to count Sandhill Cranes with Bremer County Conservation as part of the Annual Midwest Crane Count along with over 1,000 other volunteers throughout the Midwest. Unfortunately, we got word Thursday evening the trip was cancelled due to most of the young birder registrants being either sick or cancelling for other reasons. But we are tough birders, the Bodekers, so Coralee & I decided to go anyway & emailed the Bremer County Naturalist ourselves Friday morning. She sent us directions to a fire number on the southern boundary of Sweet Marsh State Wildlife Management Area. We were to meet up with a seasoned crane-count volunteer at 5:30AM the next morning. The drive would take us over an hour & I had no idea where it was, hence the 3:30AM wake up.
I made much coffee at 3:30AM.
This is Sweet Marsh closer to 6:30AM (I think sunrise was officially a bit after 6:40AM on Saturday). The gravel on the right leads to the dike which is where Coralee was officially placed as a counter. Marsh is to the left of the dike.
We were in site 2.
The count takes place every year around this time in roughly 90 counties in an effort to survey both Sandhill & Whooping Crane numbers. Whooping Cranes are endangered, Sandhills are not, but both are equally beautiful & worthy of protection in my opinion.
Harmon slept most of the drive north from our house, woke up screaming when we arrived to the parking lot on the edge of the Marsh, in the PITCH BLACK, then fell asleep again about 10 minutes after Coralee took off to count (nursing to the rescue). The count officially took place from 5:30-7:30AM. We arrived at 5:20AM to the lot. The other volunteer arrived shortly after. It was a bit awkward to get out of the car and approach her in the dark…I worried I would spook her or she wouldn’t actually be who I thought she was…although, I figured, who else would be out here in the middle of nowhere at this hour…she turned out to be an amazing count companion for Coralee. She is a teacher (a Talented & Gifted teacher like me) and extremely personable. Coralee took off down the dike with her, binoculars & clipboard in hand, to count cranes (by sight and/or by sound) at promptly 5:30AM. I tried for a selfie with Harmon when he woke up in order to document something, apparently his nose itched. 😉
Then he looked at books.
He also ate an almond butter sandwich & spilled water all over the car. At least it wasn’t coffee.
Coralee & her count companion saw three Sandhill Cranes, heard none, which is apparently strange. We are not sure how many in total were submitted from the entire count site yet, but last year our site submitted 63. Coralee & I definitely want to visit Sweet Marsh again in the next several weeks to bird. It is amazing habitat amidst a sea of corn. I didn’t see much from the car, obviously, but upon leaving we spotted a Sandhill Crane flying low near the Marsh, so at least I added my FOY Sandhill Crane to my 2017 birding list.
Brian, Merritt, & June were at Merritt’s first soccer game of the spring season on Saturday morning. Upon arriving home later, Coralee & I ate an early lunch & then went to bed. I think Harmon & I slept for over two hours. Good napping & good birding.
Edited to add: Numbers are in–64 this year!!! One more than 2016!
It’s been dull as tombs around here for most of March, I apologize! Harmon was SICK. I was SICK. I missed posting about Harmon’s favorite things at 15 months as a result. My goal is to post about Month 16 this week. Fingers crossed the sickness train has departed for good now. I’m still waiting on a call from my P.A. as to whether or not I truly broke/fractured a rib due to my incessant coughing over the course of three+ weeks. I cannot believe I may have broke a rib as a result of coughing…the pain is so horrid, however, I absolutely believe it!
Yesterday we visited the nearby Dudegon Wildlife Management Area to bird and hike. Collectively we saw 19 species of birds including three Golden-crowned Kinglets, many Green-winged Teal, two Eastern Meadowlarks singing their hearts out, & a Yellow-rumped Warbler (photo below). Iowa has been stuck in a literal cloud bank for over a week now…if we don’t get some sun soon I’m afraid the seedlings Coralee started for our garden this summer will get too leggy and die. Pray for sun! We all need an April Awakening!
Harmon’s cap is about the only knitting I’ve completed in weeks–another Garter Ear Flap Cap using Quince & Co’s newest le Blue Heathers collection. I hope you’ll stay in touch with the blog this month despite my almost complete absence last month…lots to announce & some big changes in the Bodeker household taking place this summer! Happy April!
…& you’re a baby & you’ve been awake screaming/wailing practically every half-hour like clockwork for the last two nights due to congestion…& since you’re congested you can’t nurse properly…so you’re really mad at life…& you’re also teething due to being 15 months old & only having 1.5 teeth(!)…& your fevers don’t really respond to anything mama tries…& your mama is also sick & keeps coughing at night which wakes you up every.single.time…what else…oh, of course, the best part!….your mom has been eating dairy the last few days & now your eczema is raging all over your torso & limbs & today you started scratching a lot…& your tummy rumbles way too much because of said dairy eaten by your mother…
You enjoyed pretending to drive…sort of…You loved watching the late busses come & go…Well, not really.Mama tried to comfort you…you really seemed indifferent. And angry.Your morning nap was hard won! You slept off and on for close to three hours due to mama’s constant rocking (& attempts at nursing) between sleeps…You actually woke up fairly happy! “Fed” yourself oatmeal for the first time…
Nope, nope, maybe not. So we took a bath at noon due to oatmeal being plastered basically everywhere…Now you’re sleeping on mama again & it’s ok because she can see birds at the feeder in the garden from this position..but surely tomorrow will be better, Harmon Hunter, little hobbit, surely surely. ❤