What I’m Into: April 2015

easter blogEaster at the Ronald McDonald House

Felix 5 monthsNo NG tube for passport photos

(Note: I wrote this while still in the hospital, since I assumed I would be a little busy for blogging in the first weeks back home. Rest assured we are thrilled to be home and I will update you on the details soon!)

April was our fifth and final (for now) month in the hospital with Felix.

It was still a hard month, but it was infused throughout with hope. We knew going into April that we would probably be taking Felix home by the end of it.

There were still hard days and lots of tears. Especially the day Felix pulled out his NG tube and it took us TEN tries to get it back in. And the day I gave him his injection for the first time. And the day I found out what’s really in the formula we’re giving him. (Corn syrup solids are the first ingredient?!? Oh Lord have mercy on me. Corn syrup solids. My baby’s organs and bones and brain are being grown with corn syrup solids.)

And even though we were still trapped indoors for most of it, way up on the sixth floor, spring had a hopeful effect on us. And Easter. Our thoughts turned to Resurrection more than once as the snow melted and little crocuses popped up in the flower beds.

Death and new life. They come together.

And here’s what I’ve been into:

Books

enders game

Ender’s GameOrson Scott Card. Wow. WOW WOW WOW WOW. So many surprises in this thrilling, intelligent sci-fi novel. (This book confirmed once again that my heart eternally belongs to YA fantasy and sci-fi.) Though it differs in a lot of ways, the book reminded me of the TV show Firefly — it shares a similar mood and magnitude. Entire planets and civilizations at stake. Plus there’s the rarely-explored power of love between siblings. A fascinating, deep and moving story. (Also: Ben read this book at the same time as me — hence the two bookmarks — and he obsessed over it as much as I did. So I also recommend it for the fiction-averse dude in your life.)

Little Women – Loise May Alcott. Another classic I’d never read. I have mixed feelings about it, but mostly positive. Jo’s character was fascinating and wonderful. A few chapters were kind of boring. The realistic ending caught me completely by surprised, and I wasn’t happy about it at first, but I guess it was okay. I really loved Laurie and would have liked to marry him myself.

Movies

Ender’s Game. We watched this within hours of completing the book, which was probably a bad idea. We weren’t super-impressed, but that’s not surprising. I can’t imagine how anyone could translate and compress a story of that length and grandeur into a two-hour film. Using child actors, no less. We never felt convinced that Ender was the great leader he was supposed to be. Nor did we get the chance to develop any real affection for him. It was just razzle-dazzle special effects.

Television

We are SO SO SO SO sick of TV. We’ve watched the pilot episodes of at least a dozen different TV shows in four different genres and we couldn’t appreciate any of them.

Crochet

I finally finished the black-and-white striped blanket I started last month. (Hoping to post a tutorial soonish.) I’m very pleased with it.

black-and-white cotton crocheted blanket

I decided that now I’d mastered the basics of crochet, it was time to move on to amigurumi.

I started with a simple monster, and then tried my hand at this adorable chibi doll:

crochet amigurumi chibi dollThe tutorial can be found here. I used worsted weight acrylic yarn. I’m still a slow crocheter, but I started it in the morning and finished it by midnight that day. So that tells you how obsessed I was.

I also started to experiment with felting, which brings me endless delight. Like this bowl:

felted bowl

So¬† that’s what I’ve been into. How about you?

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Comments

  1. Coriander says:

    Oh my goodness! All that hair! Is it red? He’s getting so big! That’s the smartest crocheted blanket I’ve ever seen. Was it hard to learn to crochet? I can’t remember clearly, but I think you taught yourself, right? Great felted bowl. I hope you are settling in nicely at home. I’m guessing it’s going to feel like old hat before long, taking care of Felix yourselves. To sleep in your own bed and eat your own food! And to be near your darling little girl!

    • His hair does seem to be reddish. So was his aunt’s, but it turned super-blonde, so we’ll see. I learned how to crochet online, yes! Thanks so much, we’re pretty thrilled!

  2. Coriander says:

    What I’m doing lately: On Netflix, we’re lately trying Being Human, watching Gilmore Girls, and Royal Pains, and thoroughly enjoyed Doc Martin. I’m eating gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, and soy-free for the sake of my six month old baby, his eczema is clearing up wonderfully because of my diet change. Good thing I like to cook and eat whole foods.

    • I wanted to watch Gilmore Girls on Netflix, but Ben wasn’t interested, and we don’t have the chance to watch things separately. :) That’s amazing that it’s working to clear up his eczema! Hopefully you can eventually add a few of those foods back into your diet. There was a time when I would have thought eating like that was IMPOSSIBLE. Now I just think it would be REALLY challenging. Kudos for doing it!!

  3. Ender’s game is one of those books that I really wish I could read again for the first time. But really, the 8th time isn’t so bad either.

    Also, I’m not sure if you’ve discovered this, but there are several other books in the Ender universe. I haven’t read them all, but from what I have read, you’re not missing much. They’re sometimes good, sometimes bad, but mostly just odd and very different (kind of like how That Hideous Strength departed from the rest of The Space Trilogy and got weird).

    • Let’s see. There are kind of several different groups of other books in the Enderverse, and they vary greatly.

      The original sequels, Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, and Children of the Mind, are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT in setting, tone, pacing…in every way. I hated them when I was a kid, because I wanted more fun action like in EG and these were all slow and philosophical. But as an adult? These are actually really good books. Ender’s Game was originally the first chapter/prologue sort of set up for Speaker for the Dead, the book Card really meant to write. They’re good. But so different.

      Then there are the Shadow books. Ender’s Shadow is a parallel novel (it covers the same time period/events) to Ender’s Game that follows Bean and his story–how he got to Battle School and what he did there. It’s a lot more like Ender’s Game, but still a really good novel in its own right. Then its sequels (I don’t remember them all, but they all have Shadow in the title and I think start with Shadow of the Hegemon) follow the events on Earth after the end of Ender’s Game–Ender leaves for the space colony, so he’s not in them. Instead they’re about Bean, Peter, Valentine, and other characters from Ender’s Game and how they deal with the fallout of victory over the Buggers/changing global political landscape. They’re also really good, fast-paced in the style of EG but more political and military intrigue with less of the spacey razzle-dazzle. Also with adolescent and adult characters rather than small children.

      Then there are a whole bunch of random short stories and novellas that deal with various situations for various characters in the series. These are of varying quality.

      Finally, there are two trilogies (one published, one planned; Earth Unaware is the first) dealing with the First and Second Bugger Wars (so, prequels to Ender’s Game). Mazer Rackham is one of the main characters. They’re ok. They’re recently published and co-written with Aaron Johnston. In the last decade or so, Card has hit on a formula. It’s a very lucrative formula, I suppose, and it means he can churn out books quickly, but a certain amount of the depth that made his earlier books truly great has been lost. These books aren’t bad. They’re action-packed. They have some interesting twists and concepts and fictional science. They’re just not up to Card’s earlier standards.

      So there you go. In case you were wondering. ;-)

  4. Yay for being home!

    I’m so glad you guys liked Ender’s Game. I think I mentioned that, while it is one of my Favorite Books Ever, a number of people who have read it first as adults haven’t cared for it as much. So I’m glad you saw its greatness. ;-) And yes, the movie, in some ways, would have been better if they hadn’t been able to do so many fancy effects–maybe it could have focused on the humanness of the plotlines more. It wasn’t all bad, but it wasn’t great, either.

    I haven’t read Little Women since I was young. I do remember both liking it a lot, and being kind of surprised by how not neat-and-happy the ending was. I think I’ve forgotten more of it than I remember at this point, though.

    Your crochet skillz are pretty awesome.

    HUZZAH again for being home!

  5. Ya so glad you guys are able to go home :) as for the formula are you allowed to switch him at all? There is a organic one we use called Earths best.

  6. Home, wow. You really have beautiful children. I don’t watch much on TV, and away from Netflix lately……… youtube (hallyuback,- a young couple that were in Korea and now home in NY… and cat videos). My 73 year old husband is tired, distended belly, not eating much, and lab work says he is fine. So going in as soon as we get appt. Still clueless what is bothering him, we did all the self help we know. I can not drive (no ability!) so it is a problem. May you have many GOOD days ahead.

  7. BTW I adore the black/white crocheted blanket… and the little creatures, … you are very good at crocheting!

  8. I can’t wait to hear about your first week at home! I’m so happy for you all.

    “Ender’s Game” is one of my favorites. The writer actually lives in my city and he’s sadly a jerk. I remember writing him a letter as part of a class project in middle school and the entire class received a nasty response. So, I read his books but don’t purchase them :)

  9. So glad you are home and that Felix is doing well. Wonderful! Your crocheted blanket is so pretty! I’m pretty new at crochet myself (ie I’ve only done single stitch crochet and only used one color of yarn), but I have a slew of yarn waiting for me to start new projects. The felting looks really neat!

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