Thursday, April 28, 2005

Miracle Baby

Ana is the daughter of a friend of a friend. She was born at 27 weeks, and was doing quite well with a strong heart and lungs and no known brain damage, but now she got necrotizing enterocolitis. Basically, her immune and digestive systems were so weak that any and all bacteria in her food infected her intestines, and they turned gangrenous. She was in so much pain that if anyone touches her, she stops breathing, so all her parents could do was go in and look at her, talk to her, and get updates from the staff. The prospect was not good at all, with only a small chance of survival.

Two days after this diagnosis, they operated on her and removed 1/3 of each her large and small intestine. Then they waited two weeks for the inflammation to go away and to make sure her stomas were draining. For those of you who don't know what a stoma is, it's an opening of the intestine that drains outside the body into a bag as an alternative to pooping. It extends from the tummy. After two weeks, Ana's stoma stopped draining poop, so they operated again and removed some more of her small intestine. She still couldn't tolerate feeding. She is was 3lbs 3 ozs., at this point, and breathing well on a nasal canula, and starting to become alert. She cries and opens her eyes when spoken to. Also the suck reflex started (it normally starts between 33 and 34 weeks gestation), so she was able to enjoy her pacifier.

Now, almost 2 months later, she is at home with her parents. I've always felt blessed whenever I think of Chungita and Pulgito, but after seeing those pictures of Ana, I feel doubly blessed that I was able to carry Chungita to term (after serious pre-term labor), and that although Pulgito was preterm, he was a big, healthy, almost fully developed 8 pound baby.

Swim, swim, swim

I can't remember the name of this rose.

I swam for 27 minutes this morning. It would have been longer, but Pulgito woke up before I left, so I spent about 10 minutes nursing him.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Fair Bianca & a wadder

Fair Bianca has beautiful blooms, but it's prone to disease and very spindly.

I decided to chuck the pucker knit fabric that I was working with. I did a test dart on a scrap, and it didn't work. That fabric requires pattern with no darts.


I swam for 44 minutes today. I wanted to swim longer, but Yuki got out, and I didn't want to make her wait for me. We go to the pool together.

Good OA Meeting

Angel Face is a lovely rose. It does very well in Sunset zone 14. Quite a few of my roses suffer from the dessicating furnace blast that we call sunshine. They wilt, they get sun burn, or they look tired, but not Angel Face. Angel Face has no problems with pests or disease.

We had a new member show up at OA last night. It was a good meeting, 6 people, which is really nice. The past year has been hard for this meeting. We've limped along with 3 core members who won't give up on the meeting. We read a passage from Abstinance, an OA book. It reminded me that I really need to keep in touch with my higher power. If I had done a higher power check-in before watching NUMB3RS and binging, I probably would have given myself permission to watch TV and do nothing else. (SHUT UP, MOM!)

Check out this life size lego sculpture of Han Solo frozen in carbonite from Make.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Tuesday is ED Day

This is Abraham Darby, an English rose by David Austin. It's my favorite rose. It blooms prolifically almost all year round (zone Sunset 14), the flowers are beautiful, and the scent is luscious. It's habit isn't great, being rather gangly or brambly.

I went to group. I had a binge last night, and I got up this morning to exercise (purge?). I wanted to watch the end of NUMB3RS at a time when I should be doing something productive. I could hear my mother saying that TV is such a waste of time. So I ate an apple. The show was still on. I ate another apple. The show was still on, so I picked up a bag of cheese crackers that one of the kids had left on the counter and ate that. BINGE! The stupid thing is that I know it's okay to watch TV (SHUT UP, MOM!) and just sit for 20 minutes if I want. It's not like I was late to anything or had anything pressing to do. Group gave me permission to watch TV. I like group. We found out today that group goes on forever, the rest of lives if we need it. There is no limit.

Flowers & Stuff

These tulips are from about 2 weeks ago, another picture that I forgot about in my broken camera. The Canon really does take better pictures than DH's loner. If I remember, I'll post the brand, but I don't remember. Am I funny or what? Yeah, that or what, right?

I actually got my lazy ass out of bed this morning and went swimming before work. Hey, and I swam yesterday. If my arms don't fall off, I'll swim tomorrow, too.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Key Holders

Hee, hee.

Nylon Fabric

That's the fabric that I'm using for Neue Mode M23061. I marked the dart ends and points, I pinned one to get it ready for sewing, and I'm just not sure this is going to work. Because of the pucker part of the pucker knit, if you move away from the ruching/pucker, you get a a much longer piece of fabric. This is happening at the darts, and I'm not sure what the results will be.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

DH lent me a camera.

Pictures soon.

I had to take my camera back to Good Guys, and they sent it in, somewhere, to be fixed. It's a good thing that DH bought the extended warrenty.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Kwik Sew 2529

I decided to check the memory card in my camera, and look what I found. I worked on this item for almost a year. I'm not sure why it took me so long to finish. Usually, I don't have any UFOs.

These are the bottoms from Kwik Sew 2529. I lengthened the legs about 4 inches so that I can wear it as a chafe guard in the summer. They are a little large. I'll so a review soon.

Earth Day

We celebrated Earth Day by picking up garbage at the local park.

I can't help myself.

I'm double naughty, but I don't think I'm bashful at all.
J is for Jolly
E is for Earnest
N is for Naughty
N is for Nerdy
I is for Intense
F is for Fancy
E is for Expressive
R is for Relaxing
E is for Earthy
L is for Logical
A is for Artistic
I is for Intense
N is for Naughty
E is for Explosive
R is for Radical
O is for Overwhelming
B is for Bashful
L is for Luxurious
E is for Energetic
S is for Sappy


I have a favicon. Thanks Tania!

Check out my Punk Band name.

Jennifer Elaine Robles's Aliases

Your movie star name: Apple Carl
Your fashion designer name is Jennifer London
Your socialite name is Jen Hen San Francisco
Your fly girl / guy name is J Rob
Your detective name is Dolphin Piedmont High School
Your barfly name is Latte Wine
Your soap opera name is Elaine Wildwood
Your rock star name is Chocolate Cheetah
Your star wars name is Jenann Robrob
Your punk rock band name is The Low Uterus

Stupid Blogger Ate My Post

Low Self-Esteem

I've always been puzzled by the idea that an eating disorder is rooted in low self esteem. I never thought I had low self esteem. I'm smart, I'm accomplished, I'm athletic, and while I don't know that I think I'm particularly attractive, I do not think that I'm unattractive. I'm certainly not modest.

Yesterday, I gave a presentation on some work that I'd done. I thought I'd done a half-assed job. It got a lot of praise. I was surprised. I remember back in undergrad, I wrote a term paper in one weekend. I thought I'd done a half-assed job. I got an A- on it. Instead of accepting the outside validation, I thought that the other papers must have been piss-poor. I'm thinking that that is my issue with low self esteem.

Yankee English

Your Linguistic Profile:

75% General American English
10% Upper Midwestern
5% Dixie
5% Midwestern
5% Yankee

Broken Camera

I learned that the Canon digital cameras are infamous, yet unknown to me, for the "E18" error message. This error message appears when the lens get stuck and won't extend (in my case) or retract. A lot of people on the 'web have complained about this. My husband bought me this camera and the extended warrenty, so he's going to go to Good Guys and (try to) make them replace it. I would recommend staying away from Canon digital cameras.

ED Stuff I went swimming today, 37 minutes!

I'm supposed to journalling my food. Am I doing that?

I've been weighing myself every day, and it's made a huge difference. I'm not anxious that I'm gaining 10 pounds in a week. Now, if I would just write in my food journal, ...

Sewing None. Well, I decided to break my rule that once I get out some fabric that it all must be cut and made into something. I just couldn't get into the leftover nylon knit stuff, so I put it away. I still had about 1 and 1/3 yards, so it's not like it's a little cut.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Tuesday is Eating Disorder Day

I went to group today. We spent most of the time on our check-ins. It seems that I am not the only one who is having problems keeping my journal. Almost all of us are having problems. I'm not sure if I found that reassuring or not. We all have the assignment this week to do at least one day of food journaling. We're going to go over the journals next week.

I talked about how difficult it is to give up the idea of losing weight. If you are a woman who is 50 pounds overweight and never think about losing weight, please, let me know.

I got some help with my delusion that I'm gaining 10 pounds in a week. I thought weighing myself once a week, same day, same time, same situation, would help with my obsession. Instead, I start thinking that I am gaining weight. I chose Thursday as my weigh day, but by Tuesday, I'm frantic. I'm sure my weight is way up. It was suggested that it might be better for me to weigh (almost) every day. So I'm going to start doing that.

Currently, I'm not purging, but I'm thinking about it. I'm probably always thinking about it. I know it would be unhealthy. I know it. I know it. I want to weigh myself in the morning, after emptying my bladder, naked, before eating, and after pooping. It's the after pooping part that is causing me angst.

Monday, April 18, 2005

No Sewing, Just Links

I swam today for 33 mintues. 1050 m. My goal is 2400 m in an hour. We shall see.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Technology Issues

Wah!!! My digital camera is not working. Wah!!! I think it's the battery, but I'm not sure.

I cut out NM23061, the knit dress. Unfortunately, I only had one fabric in my stash with enough yardage. It turned out that I needed 3 yards, and between shrinkage and short cuts, all my knits were shorter than the 3 yards. I ended up using a very lightweight, very stretchy pucker nylon. I'm having sewist's regret. I'm thinking this just isn't an appropriate fabric for this pattern.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Woodland Hyacinths

I planted these bulbs when we still had a 40 foot cedar of Lebanon in our front yard. I should say when our front yard was a 40 foot deodur cedar. The tree was beautiful, but it was impossible to grow anything underneath without major effort. In a year, the dropped a layer 2 inches/5 cm thick of needles and other detris. I spent hours and hours just picking up the needles. One day, when I was about 5 months pregnant and it was 100F out, I'd had it with that tree. It took me 30 minutes to clean up a section that was 3ftx6ft (1m x 2m). I went in the house and told DH that we could cut down the tree. DH was overjoyed; he'd wanted that tree gone for a long time.

Anyway, these bulbs survived the trauma of the tree removal and the change from a deeply shaded habitat to full sun.

I decided to work on Neue Mode M23061 pictured left. I traced it when I was ten pounds heavier and nursing regularly, so I'm a size smaller now. I pin fit the pattern pieces last night, and they seem okay. It's always tough to tell with a pattern for knits. I use patternease, which has absolutely now give, and then I make it out of different knits with differing amounts of stretch. Like Hellen Keller said, "Life is either a daring adventure or it is nothing."

My weight hasn't changed since last week. The therapists tell me that this will stop being important to me. It's so hard to believe because my weight has been a consuming issue in my life for 30 years.

I swam again today. It was hard. My arms are tired from yesterday. I only swam 22 mintues.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005


I swam today, 1050 m in 30 minutes.


So I'm finally convinced to pursue vitamin and mineral suppliments because of the deficiencies caused by the ED. My therapist recommends Live Extension. It's so confusing!!!

White Flowers

I don't know what this perennial is. I think I bought it 10 years ago when we redid the back yard. DH wanted white flowers, and this was something for him. It's never done especially well, but it hasn't died either. It might be that the dessicating furnace blast that we call sunlight is too much for it.

On the sewing front, I have too many patterns. Does anyone else have this problem? How many patterns is too many? I'm sure this is an individual thing depending on pattern storage space. I store my patterns under my sewing table, which has been a computer table lately. If you click on the image to the left, you can see a full sized picture and more pix of my sewing room. Each of the tubs under the sewing table extension houses certain pattern types (i.e. pants). In theory, I can only have as many patterns of each type as will fit in the box. Most of the boxes are filled to capacity; a couple are not. I put a way a pile of patterns last week, and I felt very proud of myself because after culling patterns (always difficult), all of my new patterns fit into the boxes. Well, the karma kops were watching me in my hubris. I found another box of patterns waiting to be put away. BIG SIGH. Those are mostly put away, but I had to postpone the new project planning.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Tuesday is ED day

My kids loved the red and yellow tulips so much that they picked them all. Chungita told me that they weren't going to pick the ones in the back yard. We shall see.

I went to group this morning. The group is shrinking, and there is the possibility that this group will be canceled and we will get sucked into another group. That would be sad. I like this group, and I'm now comfortable with it. I did pretty well last week. I have to watch out for restricting.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Shasta Daisy

This shasta daisy is from my mother from her new house. I have one other plant from her, a canna. She got the canna from a neighbor when they lived on Michigan Avenue in Oakland. So it's been in the family about 15 years longer than I have. Mom kept it in a pot on the deck at our house in Piedmont. By the time I got it, it had filled the pot with tubers. I had a terrible time getting it out and divided. Perhaps, some day, I will pass these 2 plants on to my children.

On the sewing front, I altered 2 t-shirts yesterday. They've never fit well. RTW doesn't do darts in t-shirts, so to get them big enough for the gigantic ones, they are too big in the neck. Losing weight made them even bigger. All I did was take the backs in. I think they will work. I'll have to wear them and see.

I'm not sure what I'm going to start on next. Maybe jeans? I've gone down a size, so my wardrobe just expanded to my prepregnancy clothes. And that includes a lot of pants which were in short supply in my wardrobe. Buttina is now too big. Her high bust is more than 2 inches bigger than mine. I'm still wearing most of the clothes that I made when heavier, but they are getting big. I have no more TNT patterns!

On the ED front, I don't journal over the weekend. I need to do this. It's so hard with the kiddos to take the few minutes to write down what I ate.

Saturday, April 09, 2005


The lilac is blooming. Ours barely smells. DH says the ones that he grew up with, in the Boston area, smelled heavenly. This tree was in our yard when we bought the house. It's one of the few things that we've kept.

I finishe DH's windpro sweatshirt. He wants vests, now. Out of windpro, with zippers; the zipper part is not a problem. The windpro might be. It's not like I find it readily available. I hate to go no "no mail" on the fabric and notions mailing list because I'll be very tempted to buy more fabric. Oh, well, we shall see.

I finished Kwik Sew 2529. I had started it last May, so it took me almost a year. I like them, and I think they will work for wearing under skirts, but I need to lengthen the legs more. One really good thing about them is that I can get them to fit my waist without squeezing the dickens out of my thighs.

What's interesting is that this is the first time for as long as I can remember that I don't have anything cut out and waiting for me in the to-do pile. It must be the antidepressents. That's all I can think. I wish I had this response at work. Oh, well.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Denim Jacket & Swimming

I'm wearing my denim jacket today. The sleeves are a tad long, and I want to lengthen it just a bit. I think there are other problems as well. I'm going to take it to the next BABES for help.

Yuki and I went swimming. I started raining moderately hard as we pulled away from work. We got rather wet while walking from the car to the locker room. When we walked out of the locker room to go to the pool, it looked like the gate was closed. Neither one of us wanted to walk out into the rain then walk back, so we just stood there. Fortunately, someone else came out of the locker room and was willing to go check things out.

Swimming in the rain gives me good incentive to swim continously. Those rain drops are cold. I swam 1000 m in 30 mintues.

Dutch Iris & Presser Foot Pressure (say that 3 times fast)

I have 2 varieties of Dutch iris in my front yard. One blooms and finishes before the second starts. This is the late bloomer. It's a slightly different color, too.

On the sewing front, I replaced the broken needle on my serger and rethreaded. And I found the knob to adjust the presser foot pressure. It's right on top where you couldn't possibly miss it. Ah, well. The manual even has a section where it discusses how you can fix skipped stitches on thicker seams or where seams cross by lowering the pressure. It's at the back of the manual, and I wonder if I ever got that far. Now, I know.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Joseph's Coat

I love this rose. It's a climbing joseph's coat. The first flush of the year is just wonderful. It doesn't bloom as much for the rest of the year, but it does repeat bloom almost all year round. What's even better is that it doesn't seem to be bothered by pests or disease. I decided to post a bunch of pictures of it. I don't think they convey how breathtakingly beautiful the rose is, but it might give you some idea.
I went to the neighborhood ASG meeting last night and showed off my jean jacket, Chungita's jeans, and DH's sweatshirt. They were so helpful. I didn't know that you could change the pressure on the presserfoot on the Elna 744 serger. I think that is my problem with the windpro. I also learned about a store in the valley that only charges $20/hour to use their fully computerized longarm quilting machines. We're going to take a field trip sometime.

On the ED front, I recorded ALL of my food yesterday.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

I went swimming.

I went swimming today. So that's 2 exercise sessions this week.

Spanish Lavendar

That's the Spanish lavendar from my front yard. It's just starting to bloom. Is it really Spanish? I have no idea.

Stupid windpro broke a needle in my serger while doing coverstitch. Everything was going great, then bammo! broken needle. I was mad, so I just left everything where it was.

I went to OA last night. The new people from last week didn't show. OA is a really hard thing to do. I've been going for over a year, and I've only managed to take Step 1. It took me a very long time to find my higher power, and I'm still defining HP. I did really well yesterday, well, except for the 2 bites of my son's oatmeal that I took before putting it in the sink and running water over it. So, one small binge. I did not stop at Starbuck's on the way home from ED group to get a maple oat scone, altho it's just about all I thought about on the 45 minute drive home. I ate my planned food at work, and when I got home with Pulgito, we had peanut butter and jelly on my homebaked whole wheat bread and strawberries. I was very pleased that I didn't have a binge while I was home alone with him.

Smilie from Click Smilies

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Native Iris

A few years ago, my mother was taking landscaping classes at a local junior college. They have sales to raise money for the department, and I bought this iris at one of them. It's a native California iris; I forget the name. Supposedly, it does well in deep shade and needs to be protected from the sun. I bought it to go under an enormous cedar tree in our front yard. We cut down the cedar tree 5.5 years ago. The iris survived the turmoil of the tree removal and has flourished in the HOT full sun of my front yard. Go figure.

DH's sweatshirt is all together. I decided the seams needed reinforcing with the sewing machine. There were too many skipped stitches. It is terribly thick fabric, the double faced windpro. The serger just isn't up to the job. I wonder how it will do in the coverstitch department.

I weighed myself, yesterday, and my weight was up to where it was before DH took the kids to Lake Tahoe. I know I'm not supposed to be trying to lose weight, but it's all that I can think about. Anyway, I resolved to eat. I planned out my 3 meals and 2 snacks, and I stuck to the plan until I got home from work. DH calls and says that he's not going to make dinner. Can we have Chinese? Sure. That's fine. I'll just have 1 serving, no seconds. He gets home an hour later than I expected. I'm starving, the kids are starving, I'm annoyed because he's late and the kids are fighting, and I'm tired. HALT = Hungry Angry Lonely Tired. 3 out of 4 on that score card. So what did I do? I have my first serving, I went back for seconds, and I had thirds, full on binge. Next time, I'm going to feed myself and the kids and not wait for DH to bring home food.

Group was tough this morning. One of our members is depressed, suicidally so. She reminds me of me 15 or 20 years ago. I wish I could help her see how beautiful she is.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Chungita's Jeans

I finished Chungita's jeans. They came out pretty well. It turns out that I didn't stretch the fabric when doing the topstitching of the crotch seam. I did something when I topstitched the fly. I decided to unpick the topstitching just below the fly. I checked various pairs of jeans we have. Some were topstitched all the way to the fly, and some were only stitched on the back pieces.

I pulled out DH's windpro sweatshirt. He doesn't think that I'm ever going to get it done. I managed to get the shoulders sewn, the neckband on, and 1 sleeve in. I was not careful when I put the neckband in and didn't quite catch it all in the stitching. Of course, the bit that wasn't caught was on the right side smack dab in the middle of the front. It took me a while to pick it out. The Elna 744 serger doesn't handle the windpro very well. I've got skipped stitches, which never happens.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Gumnut Baby Fabric

Isn't this cool fabric? Vennevo from Pattern Review sent it to me from Austrailia.

I had a very pleasant sewing afternoon. I spent it with Lenore, showing her how to use her new Elna 744 serger. About two months ago, I convinced her to buy it. A month ago, we set the date to get together on April 1. Yesterday afternoon, we unpacked the serger and set it up. She did great. I showed her how to thread it once for overlock, and she was able to thread it. Same thing with the coverstitch. Hopefully, she will find it as useful as I do.