Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Bucky's Cowboy Sweater

Pattern: The Jean Jacket by Judith L. Swartz, published in Dogs in Knits
Yarn: Paton Classic Wool
Needle: US Size 8
Cost: About $10 including buttons
Model: Bucky the black pug, 13 years old
Notes: This is Bucky's first official sweater, because he really prefers to be nekkid, thank you very much. He kept the sweater on for about ten minutes, enough time for me to get a few shots, gave me lots of dirty looks. What do you think you are doing mom? Henry sewed on all the buttons.

Here is the tongue. I can lick the top of my nose, can you? There are cowboy hat buttons on the front.

Bucky does not carry any money in those back pockets. We decided to put all the extra buttons on the hem, or the butt, seems perfect placement for some boots.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Fixation Disparity

From Wikipedia:
Fixation disparity exists when there is a small misalignment of the eyes when viewing with binocular vision. The misalignment may be vertical, horizontal or both. The misalignment (a few minutes of arc) is much smaller than that of strabismus, which prevents binocular vision, although it may reduce a patient's level of stereopsis.
In layman's words, Henry sees the world as a badly tuned TV, especially when it's up close, like when he reads. The images are ever so slightly blurred, because the two images from both eyes are not completely duplicated, therefore just a tiny bit away from each other. He complained about "double vision" two years ago, caused me quite a bit of worry, as I blogged here. At the time my eye doctor couldn't find anything wrong. Either it was the doctor, or Henry being older and more articulate in explaining his problem now, it took two years and two doctors to finally diagnose it.
It's anyone's guess if Henry's fixation disparity is hereditary from my lazy eye. It's a much milder misalignment than strabismus and amblyopia (lazy eye). Only girls in my family inherited the eye problems, with my mom's and mine most serious. But then it's entirely possible the boys are never diagnosed since they can all see very well in exams.
Now Henry has these cool Nike flexible prism glasses that he uses mostly for reading and playing his PSP. Rather cute, isn't he?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Where We Met

Under the Hoover tower, in Stanford University.
It was my first year in the US. I was working three jobs, after my mom lost her job at Hoover, and my brother just arrived with no English and no identity. A professor that couldn't find employment in this new country and a banker turned dishwasher in a Chinese restaurant. I had a full time job as a customer service clerk at a Chinese PC distributor. On Saturdays I went to various flee markets with my mom to sell her beaded jewelry and assorted Chinese crafts. A Chinese woman working for Thomas Sowell at Hoover needed someone to pick up some odds and ends office work for her, and I was the lucky one. She even let me work in her office on weekends. So every Sunday I went to work in one of the Hoover buildings, behind those trees on the left hand side of the tower in the picture.
On the day we met, I came out of the office, Bill was waiting on a bench on the right hand side of the tower. Although we talked on the phone a few times, enough for him to be interested in me, I had no idea what to expect. It was July and he was wearing a gray suit jacket. If it's anywhere else in the valley he'd look totally out of place, but on Stanford campus, under the Hoover tower, in the orange sunset, he looked perfectly proper, and ... gentlemanly. There was something very foreign and yet vaguely familiar about this man; and somewhere deep in my mind, I know he was the one.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Baby Is Ten

Henry at four months old, wrestling an alligator.

Henry today, stealing ball in the first five seconds of the game. It was city wide league tournament. Henry's team won in triple over time. Henry shot 100% from the field. Next, face the Number One seed on Henry's birthday.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Dog Video On Thursday

I have been playing with the video making software and make this slide show the other night. It's getting quite addictive, so staying tuned for more.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

First Born

Tagged on Facebook, and I would like to share the chatters with my blog friends too. Pick up the tag if you'd like, just leave a comment so I can read your answers. 1. WAS YOUR FIRST PREGNANCY PLANNED? Let's assume that's Henry and I'd say he's semi planned. I stopped the pills but he came earlier than planned. A bit of passion after a game of tennis and one of us said "it'll be ok"... 2. WERE YOU MARRIED AT THE TIME? Yes, six years 3. WHAT WERE YOUR REACTIONS? Happy, nervous. Bill said he had a sense of accomplishment. 4. HOW DID YOU TELL YOUR PARENTS? Called my mom when I was about five months pregnant, and wrote letter to my dad couple months before Henry was born. 6. HOW DID YOU FIND OUT YOU WERE PREGNANT? I felt it and I knew it. Scientifically I put in a test at Kaiser and waited till the next morning for the result. I made Bill stay home with me in the morning so we can call Kaiser together. 7. WHO DID YOU TELL FIRST? Bill 8. DID YOU WANT TO FIND OUT THE SEX? Of course. 9. DUE DATE? 2/22/99 10. DID YOU HAVE MORNING SICKNESS? Not much, just nauseated from time to time, never threw up. 11. WHAT DID YOU CRAVE? Almost nothing, which was a big disappointment for Bill. He heard about all these horror stories how wives would send the husband on some wild snack run in the middle of the night, and he was ready to go any moment. 12. WHO/WHAT IRRITATED YOU THE MOST? People at work. I didn't tell them till the end of first trimester, so had to tough it out for the first seven weeks when I was feeling totally out of sorts. After that people treated me like a princess. 13. WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST CHILD'S SEX? All boy. We have an ultrasound picture taken from right above him with his legs apart. The technician put an arrow pointing at the little penis. Very thoughtful. 14. DID YOU WISH YOU HAD THE OPPOSITE SEX OF WHAT YOU WERE GETTING? I wanted a boy since the moment I knew I wanted kids, and I only know how to bring up little boys. 15. HOW MANY POUNDS DID YOU GAIN THROUGHOUT THE PREGNANCY? 40+ I was underweight to start off, then just ballooned at six months. 16. DID YOU HAVE A BABY SHOWER? Yes. The ladies at work were mostly much older than me, many of them grandmothers, so they had a lot of fun watching my belly grow and they threw me a huge shower, made me look much more popular than I actually was. 17. WAS IT A SURPRISE OR DID YOU KNOW? They were going to surprise me, but decided Bill should be invited so they had to tell me. 18. DID YOU HAVE ANY COMPLICATIONS DURING YOUR PREGNANCY? Not much at all. Pregnancy was the most enjoyable part of my child bearing/rearing so far. I wouldn't mind doing it all over, if not for the labor, delivery, first year, second year ..... 19. WHERE DID YOU GIVE BIRTH? Kaiser Santa Clara 20. HOW MANY HOURS WERE YOU IN LABOR? 27 hours with 3.5 hours of pushing 21. WHO DROVE YOU TO THE HOSPITAL? Bill 22. WHO WATCHED YOU GIVE BIRTH? Bill was there but I don't know if he watched. I went through three shifts of doctors and nurses. In the end we ended up with the best team. It was an older doctor, instead of the Aussie surfer dude or old witch that were there earlier in my stay. The nurse's name was Marianne. For years I wanted to go back to Kaiser and find that nurse. She's the only person took care of ME during the whole ordeal. 23. WAS IT NATURAL OR C-SECTION? Natural, a surprise for a few people in my life. I had rheumatic fever when I was young and there were suspected damage to heart valves. I had everything thoroughly checked out at Kaiser during my pregnancy, and apparently I was healthy enough to give birth. 24. DID YOU TAKE MEDICINE TO EASE THE PAIN? More than I want to admit. For a few hours during the night I was hallucinating and asked Bill to take me home. I remember wondering who this Henry person was, the name sounded rather familiar! 25. HOW MUCH DID YOUR CHILD WEIGH? 7 lb 14 oz, glad he came out when he did! 26. WHEN WAS YOUR CHILD ACTUALLY BORN? 9:24am, Monday, February 15, 1999, my very first day of maternity leave. I worked till 3pm the prior Friday, only left early for a doctor's appt. Bill missed his 9am meeting. 27. WHAT DID YOU NAME HIM/HER? Henry 28. HOW OLD IS YOUR FIRST BORN TODAY? 10 years in 5 days

Monday, February 09, 2009

Bust Enhancer Finale

Pattern: Heather by Joan McGowan-Michael of White Lies Designs
Yarn: Joy from White Lies Designs, handdyed merino wool. 8 skeins
Needles: US size 6
Size: Medium
Cost: About $75 for the kit (pattern, yarn pack and the glass dangles) and an extra skein that I bought later to add couple inches to the body
Previous post: here
Notes: The pattern name Heather does not do justice to this lovely design. Someone on Ravelry noted that this sweater is a good bust enhancer, so I adopted the name. Certainly can use the help. The extra skein is slightly darker than the yarn pack and it's incorporated into the garter stitch ridges on the bust line.

Thursday, February 05, 2009