Sunday, December 30, 2007

Bunny Beanie

"cast on 3 sts, cast off 1 st, slip stitch now on right needle back onto left needle...
k2tog, k5 8 times (48 sts)...
purl 2tog, purl 6, purl 2tog, k2tog, k8, k2tog,..."

Those were excerpts from the knitting pattern of my first project. I recently saw this really cute baby hat in a pregnancy magazine, and thought it would be great if my sister made it for our baby. She had another idea: "You should make it, and I will help you."

My sister, Alli has taught me the basics before, but it was definitely like starting from scratch. I had to learn how to cast on, knit, purl, work with two colors, and join stitches! Fortunately, I didn't have to do any "character building" (undoing your work to fix a mistake), mostly because Alli was there to save the day. I did have to finish the last ear on my own at home though, a little scary, but it worked out ok.

If you walked past me while I was working you would see how hard I was concentrating, and might mistakenly think I wasn't having much fun. On the contrary, it was a blast to do a project again (I haven't had much time for my sewing hobby lately), especially one for our baby!

"I'm knitting, I'm a knitter, way far away from the Alli" -- in the voice of Bill Murray in What About Bob?

Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas 2007

When Brian and I got married, we started the tradition of Christmas morning being just us (and eventually our family), and rotating Christmas Eve and Christmas dinner between our two families, usually tacking on an extra day on either side to make the visit a little more substantial. This year we were with the Rushes before Christmas and the Graceys after Christmas.

Here are some highlights:

  • First Christmas since we've been married that all of the Rushes were together at the same time.

  • Spiders! Brian's favorite Christmas treat (chocolate, butterscotch, peanuts and chow mein noodles)

  • Our dogs getting to interact with baby Jamie and my parents' dog Murphy

  • Being elves for Grandma and Grandpa and helping to set up Noah and Ella's Christmas presents: an air hockey table and an elaborate Barbie dollhouse
  • Opening our stockings at midnight because we would rather do that than get up early

  • Brian reading aloud to me while we drove

  • Christmas morning service -- "Christ is born! Glorify Him!" -- followed by reading Father Mel's hilarious Christmas letter

  • Snowfall as we drove into Everett for Christmas dinner -- the biggest flakes I think I've ever seen

  • My cousin Cheyenne and her boyfriend Moses surprised us and showed up for Christmas dinner, even though they had to turn around and drive back to Yakima that same night

  • Playing the drawing game with the Graceys and Mollers - we laughed so hard!

  • Watching my parents play Guitar Hero 3!

  • All the yummy food!

  • Alli teaching me how to knit! (more to come on this soon)

  • The chance to rest and do nothing...


  • Brian's mom made his favorite dessert, Mud Pie, in front of him, then he found out later it was for Christmas dinner -- She promptly offered to make him another one if we come up to visit again soon

  • Our dogs taking turns vomiting in the middle of the night -- good prep for the baby, right?

  • My increasingly aching back

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Look who's 30!

Our friend, Eric Frazier, celebrated in style, at his surprise 70's-themed birthday party planned by his wife, Emily.

Happy Birthday, Eric!

Monday, December 17, 2007

New Blog

For those of you that don't know, Shannon and I have been regularly attending an Orthodox church. And I've just started a new blog to discuss anything and everything related to our journey toward this ancient form of Christian faith. So if you're interested in having theological discussions with us or just hearing about our story come to Liminal Incense. I hope many of you will come and ask us questions and discuss with us. But if that doesn't sound like your cup of tea, don't worry, Rushcapades will continue with its regular programming.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Trudy is a very smart dog.  Even as a wee pup, we had to keep her mentally- as well as physically active. She catches on to new tricks pretty easily.  She's also eager to please and likes having a job.  So, in my pregnancy I've started taking advantage of that. 

It started a few weeks ago, when I decided it would be nice if she could bring me the dogs' leashes so I didn't have to look for them or bend over to pick them up. 

"Trudy.  Bring me your leashes."  She perked her ears up, and trotted purposefully out of the kitchen, as I smiled at the prospect of never again having to search for or bend over to pick up their leashes.  A minute or two later, despite previous success at leash retrieval, she returned empty-mouthed, unable to find them (I think they were in the car).  She looked everywhere.  Then she went into Brian's studio and sniffed a short piece of black webbing but left it, knowing it wasn't a leash.  A few minutes later, exasperated by the lack of leashes and desperate to go for a walk, she went back to the 12 inch strap and decided to bring it anyway. "Mom, will this do?"

A second case came when I took Trudy and Otis to the dog park. It was a typical blustery day, and I didn't want to have to get out and dig around in the car for the chuck-it with her ball in it.  I knew it was somewhere in the back with her, so I just asked her to bring me her ball. It took a few tries, since the plastic launching device was previously a doggy no-no, but she eventually overcame her learned inhibition and brought it to my perfectly warm and dry hand in the front seat. I'm starting to like this, I thought. 

Finally, last night I was exhausted. Dinner was ready, but Brian was downstairs in our bedroom. I had been up and down stairs all day at work and at home and didn't feel like yelling. So, I thought to myself, "I wish Trudy could go tell Brian that it's time to eat." Then I had an idea. And it worked perfectly! 

Not only did it get my message across, but when she brought the sign to Brian he thought it was so funny he came up right away, laughing hysterically  :) 

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Swiper, No swiping!

For those of you that don't know, Dora the Explorer is one of the current kid crazes. It is an animated television series aimed at pre-school age children. The main character, Dora, is a seven-year-old Latina girl who goes on adventures with her special backpack, map, and monkey named Boots. Children are encouraged to respond to Dora throughout the show as she problem solves teaching kids math, music and other concepts you would see on any kid show. But what sets it apart for me is that Dora also teaches kids words and phrases in Spanish.

Like any phenomenon in the children's world, marketers have taken Dora to the extreme. You can find pretty much anything with the Dora characters on them. But until recently, I thought the show itself was pretty innocent.

On Dora's show there is a character named Swiper (a fox) that likes to steal things. Dora often catches him in the act and stands with feet apart, arm extended, waving her palm at Swiper saying, "Swiper, No swiping." This saves the day as she has caught Swiper in the act. 

This weekend, while we were at the wedding and catching up with friends, their almost 2-year-old boy was playing on the stairs near us with his grandma's cell phone. A few minutes later, grandma came to look for the cell phone and asked him if she could have it back. The little boy, immediately stood up and went into the "Swiper, no swiping" pose to fend off his grandma! A modern day version of "mine!" Grandma finally gave up and asked him if he wanted to go with her downstairs, and happily he left with her, cell phone still clutched in his little hand.

So parents out there with children watching Dora, beware!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Estie and Joel Parris

This weekend Brian and I braved the flood damaged I-5 (which ended up not being that bad) to head to Portland for our 26th wedding. Our friend Estie worked at Camp Firwood with us for the three summers we were there and we were excited to receive an invitation and an opportunity to reconnect.

We love going to weddings.

There were some similarities between Estie and Joel's wedding and ours. They too had a flower TEAM, though theirs was much larger than ours. There were 12 little kids coming down the various aisles, and instead of throwing petals they were ringing bells. Super cute! Also similar to us they do not like cake. They had a dessert buffet with a chocolate fondue fountain, but the big treat was homemade icecream sandwiches--hundreds of cookies all baked by her mom!

Congratulations Estie and Joel!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Weighty Comments

Now that it is obvious that I am pregnant, people are beginning to be a bit more bold with their comments. Almost daily I hear things like "You look great", "Wow, you are finally starting to pop", "I don't know if you are going to make it to February", "You are hardly showing." Here are a few recent, unusual ones.

Otis's vet: "Christmas baby?"
Me: "No, we are due in February, so we have a few more months to wait."
Otis's vet: Oh (stutters for something to say) it must be your coat" *nervous laughter*

Co-worker: "Oh hi, when did you get back from maternity leave?"
Me: "Actually, I haven't left yet. We are due in February."
Co-worker: "I guess I really haven't seen you since school started." (This was a strange comment since my role at school has me in front of the staff nearly every month.)

Both of these happened on the same day and were made by women that have had children. The next two comments came from students in my Pre-Algebra class.

Boy: Mrs. Rush are you losing weight?
Me: No, (boy) I am actually gaining weight, because I am pregnant, remember?
Boy: Oh, I thought you might not be anymore. Last week you looked more pregnant.
Me: I think it depends on what I am wearing.

While I squatted down to help a student by their desk, another girl says, "Mrs. Rush, your butt is really big. You really shouldn't squat down like that."

It's amazing how pregnancy makes everybody feel comfortable sharing their opinions on your body.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Grandpa William Batiuk ~ 1921 - 2007

As you may have read in one of my previous posts, Brian's grandpa past away just before American Thanksgiving. Last spring, he and grandma moved from their long time home in Trail, B.C. to be closer to family as their health conditions, including Grandpa's Alzheimer's, worsened. Grandpa had been in and out of the hospital with various ailments since then and it was sad to see him lose precious memories and be unable to do the things he loved like golfing and gardening. But even to the end, we continued to see his gentle spirit, his wit and his love of nature.

We held a family memorial service at Brian's parents last Saturday. Everyone got to share some fond memories:
  • how, even in his 80's, he beat Brian's aunt at golf
  • how he always affectionately and inexplicably called his grandkids "ginks"
  • how, every time the ginks would walk by and smack the newspaper he was reading, he wouldn't get upset but would just calmly uncrumple it and continue reading
  • how, one time, he did something no other mortal has done and lived: stood up to Grandma :) She was voicing, to Brian's brother, her not-so-favorable opinions about the "young people of today" when Grandpa astonished him by sticking up for us
  • how he would painstakingly fill out full pads of grocery store contest applications and win fabulous merchandise almost weekly
  • how he was one of the first people in B.C. to work on computers, but refused to own one in his home.
Overall, he will surely be remembered for his unfailing dedication to his family, his love of children (they always made his face brighten) and his never-ending wonder for nature.

We finished our celebration by listening to and reading his favorite Ukrainian hymn and eating a Ukrainian meal (he loved his heritage). Grandma gave each of the branches of his family a Ukrainian memento to remind us of grandpa.

My last memory of grandpa took place over Canadian Thanksgiving in October. We picked him up from his nursing home so he could celebrate with us. Carol, Brian's mom, asked me if I would give him a haircut, since I regularly cut Brian's hair. I was a little nervous, but I agreed.

Although, he didn't have much hair, it still was an adventure. His diabetes made him very sensitive to touch, so I was careful not to startle him too much. The toughest part was his neck. Several times I asked him to look down. I think it was the third time when he turned to me and, unsure why he would want to do such a thing, said, "There's just a dog down there." Carol and I had a good chuckle and I decided to just do my best without getting him to look down. I didn't have much time with Grandpa Batiuk, but the times I did I saw a man to be admired and we will always remember him.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

29 weeks!

Well, we've officially made it into the third trimester. Our baby girl is actively moving and growing. Without fail, every time Brian puts his hand or face on my belly she responds with a "kick." We don't know if that is a good thing because she is so responsive toward him or a bad thing because she likes to kick him in the face.

The doctor said everything is going great from their perspective (heart beat is strong, I'm measuring perfectly, great blood pressure, etc). Supposedly, she is the size of a butternut squash this week. That is really hard for me to believe that something that big is inside of me. Brian didn't find it surprising, but he did question me on the choice to have butternut squash soup for dinner recently.

Life is getting more complicated for me however. Sleeping is not a easy as it used to be, my back is hurting more often, and little things are getting a lot more difficult. The other day I had to call Brian to help me get my pantyhose on. It didn't help when he came in the room and started busting up laughing.

People comment regularly that I am finally starting to look big. A few people have asked for belly pictures so we finally got around to taking one. I won't be offended if you quickly avert your eyes.
Only a couple more months and she will be here! We can't wait!