Saturday, October 31, 2009

project princess coat

So, Emily has this thing about jackets and coats. "Thing" meaning that she hates them. It has to be freezing, literally, for her to even wear long sleeves. This year, I thought that making a coat that she helped me out with might encourage her to wear it, so I asked her what kind of a coat she would like. The answer was that it had to be red (or orange), and "look like a dress". We went through my pattern collection and looked at some patterns online, and here's what she picked out (view B, in a red wool):

princess coat pattern

And all I can say right now is what was I thinking?! Now I understand why the boxy coats have endured in children's wear, because this thing is about to defeat me. I am on the 2nd full muslin and seriously considering throwing in the towel -- the problem being that Emily is the width of a size 2 or 3 but the height of a size 5. So I have lengthened and narrowed and redrafted this pattern like crazy, and it is still too short. (Although, happily, it is still working and makes a very cute coat!)

It has also struck me that there's a good chance that she'll grow out of it before the end of winter if I'm not careful. So I'm looking at some cute raglan-sleeved swing coat patterns and wondering if she would actually wear one of them (since they don't really look like dresses). Now I just have to decide if I should switch to something easier, or if I should just forge ahead and make her the princess coat! (Truthfully...I think she will be much happier with the princess coat, but the selfish lazy part of me is starting to balk.)

In other news -- Happy Halloween!! Emily's costume came out great (panics over the fabric not showing up in time aside) and hopefully I'll get some good pics today.

Also, thanks to everyone for your kind words and thoughts. They are much appreciated!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

a pain in the neck

I have been frozen up the last month and a half, finding it hard to write anything -- a blog post, emails, comments...even on twitter more than half the time I stop typing partway through my 140 characters and close the page. And here's why, because I need to get this over with:

Our luck has been bad this year (two massive basement/storage space floods, appliance fails, and my shoulder maladies* to name a few things) but it took an astounding turn for the worse when, while Evan was away at a signing in September, I found a lump in my neck. Hoping it was just a swollen gland, I gave it a week to get better. But it didn't. The next week I saw my doctor, who noted that the lump was on my thryoid gland and immediately sent me for a scan and an amazing battery of bloodwork. The bloodwork came back fine (in fact I'm astoundingly healthy according to five pages of test results). But the scan found a very large and "complex" nodule in my neck, on my thryoid. Next step was to see a specialist (an otolaryngologist, what a word!) but the wait for that appointment? A month! (And I do have insurance!)

So, we spent a month with all the worst-case scenarios unspooling in our brains, making contingency plans and trying to avoid stressing out the four-year-old any more than we can avoid. In the meantime, I have been stuck between talking about it (because I really didn't want to more than I had to) and avoiding talking about it....which meant saying nothing because "normal" conversations made me feel like a phony.

This week, I saw my specialist, who is great. Statistics are on my side, and he is full of infectious optimism so I am feeling much better. He was able to biopsy me without surgery (I was told that wasn't possible) and while we won't know those results for a few more weeks, even the worst case scenario is not that bad. So, all in all, the stress levels are starting to float back down to their normally heightened levels around here, rather than the state of full-on-panic we've been in.

So finally, I'm getting this monkey off my back so I can write/speak/etc again without feeling like I'm hiding things! Hopefully all will be well -- and to be honest, being forced to wind up loose ends and make contingency plans? Never a bad idea.

*One of the blog entries I never finished/posted was about my shoulder, in fact. Some of you may remember the mystery injury and all the tests I endured earlier this year -- turns out, I have something called "frozen shoulder". No-one knows what causes it, and there is no proven effective treatment for it. It takes a year or two to go away, no matter what you do. Yay!

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