Sunday, September 26, 2010

Small Successes and Randomness: New Mom - TMI Edition

*As stated above, some of this is "TMI". Read at your own discretion.*

1. I managed to take 2 showers this week, one of them with my newborn.

2. After a week of sore nipple nursing, the scabs finally healed and fell off my nipples. Life is much better now.

3. Hemorrhoids are truely a PITA. I am not sure I have ever endured any quite like what I have right now. I am being comforted by a bottle of witch hazel at every bathroom break.

4. I finished the sweater I was working on for Flower this week. I had almost had it finished while I was in labor, but then things got too intense. I can't link here (on the blackberry), but it is up on my Ravelry project page. It is a purple sweater to match her purple mittens.

5. Yesterday, I brushed my teeth. First time this week.

6. Oh - I gave birth, without drugs, without intervention, in the comfort of my own home once again. That would be a big "success".

7. I put some pictures of my dughter on Facebook for family to see. (Now if I could just load some here and/or remember to email some to Aunt.)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Quick Pics

Birth story coming soon.....these are all I have time for now!! She does have a name but not a "blog" name yet. :)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

She's Here!

Baby came this morning at 6:45 am after 2 hours of the most intense labor I've ever experienced. Turned out she was posterior. Labor was so fast there was no time for pool or birth pictures.

I will post pics soon. (On my blackberry now.) Thanks for all the prayers!!

8lb 6oz 20 3/4 inches long
My biggest baby yet. :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Queue, Interrupted

Remember that grand plan I had to work on specific projects until they were done (namely this one and this one)? Um, yeah......well....uh....I'm not really sure what happened.

Ok, I do know. Knitting sweaters for men/boys is kind of boring. I have been working on the hubby's sweater and Wob's sweater for, it seems like, ever. I needed something pretty and fun to work on. I started the LOTR Socks. That was fun, for a while. I finished the first sock and have no motivation yet to cast on the second (I think b/c the first one is a little big, whatever).

So when my Little Flower said, "I want purple mittens and a purple sweater," I was overcome with joy!! Toddler mittens, a one day project.

They started out like this:

Then I added these when I could not sleep through the night:
And this is her cute little response:

She LOVES them!! And I love them. You can read details about them here. I made 3, modifying after the first one. I didn't use a pattern, just cast on 32 stitches and went from there. I wanted them to fit but still be loose enough that she could get them on without help. (If anyone is seriously interested in the pattern, which really did come out very, very well, I could type it up and post it. Just leave me a comment.)
So, then what? Go back to the boy sweaters? in the boring "hunter greenie" colors? Nope. I cast on yet another project that is not in my queue: a sweater for my Little Flower. This will not be a one day knit, but I like it. I am actually using the same Patons Wool yarn that I used for the mittens. Not my first choice for sweaters, but the more I use the Patons in my stash, the more I think it's an OK yarn. If I really love the sweater, maybe she'll get a second one in Malabrigo (I have 4 or 5 skeins in a pretty, girly pink).

And I'm still knitting a baby. Due next week. Love for her to come now. The last two were here by now. :)
What are you knitting?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Worst Church Banner Ever

Do I even need to say anymore?? (As if church banners aren't tacky enough in and of themselves.)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Yes, Still Pregnant

I just thought I'd mention quickly that I am still pregnant.

After 3 days of intense cleaning at my house, organizing diapers, re-organizing diapers, finding teeny-tiny baby clothes in bins scattered around the house, ordering around my family to help me, complaining about the house not being clean enough, lanolizing about 12 wool pants/soakers, and fretting over some "things" I still need (a diaper pail for dirty diapers, chux pads, something to organize kid toys in) I am still not in labor.

I really thought all that cleaning would work.

So, instead of being sassy-pants mad about it, I have taken my energy and done something productive - we started school this week. I even kind of got us on a "schedule". I made a big move and decided no more sleeping in till 11 or 12. We have been up at 10 everyday (which I know probably sounds really late to most of you, but that is very early for me and the kids when I am this pregnant.....when not pregnant usually we're up by 7 or 8) for the last 3 days.

Tomorrow (um, I guess that's TODAY), we will be up at 9 to make it to the park to meet some local homeschool families at 10. I am really excited about this. We have lived here for over a year and I still don't really know anyone who lives near us except the midwives I work with. To see any other children or any adults I know we have been driving at least 45 min to 1 hour to the "big city" to visit. It will be really wonderful to get to know some families around here, in the boonies.

Along with getting up at the same time everyday, Lovey has had a nap everyday and I have cooked lunch. I know, weird right? Just trying to make everyone feel a little normal for once. I have been a major slacker with this pregnancy. I need to get it together. Of course, my husband thinks I'm nuts. He knows I will just be laying in bed and nursing when the babe gets here so he really doesn't get why I am going so crazy to have everything be "normal" now when it will change in the next 10 days sometime. I don't know why I am doing it either, but it is making me feel better at least mentally.

I promise to post once the wee one arrives. For now, I am just patiently waiting.

New Blogs and Socks

I have finally added some much deserved links to the sidebar.

Let me introduce you to:

Juggling Eric, a Man Blog

N*ked on the Roof, a BatShitCrazy Blog


Abigail's Alcove, a Keeping Me Sane Blog

I have been reading the first two for a couple of months/weeks. I just found Abigail's blog yesterday.

Juggling Eric is a dad to 5 great kids and husband to a very patient wife. His insights into parenthood are spot-on and entertaining (especially if you have kids, I can totally relate to this guy). Good writing.

N*ked On the Roof has me completely cracking up and almost peeing my pants every time I tune in. This guy is very funny and does it in a smart way. None of the "this is funny just because it's gross or I say gross things or I act stupid" kind of funny that is running rampant in the world today. Nope. He's got humour covered in a good way, a way the brings the punch line on at just the right moment.

Abigail is a Catholic mom of 4 living in the DC area blogging about her vocation, poverty, faith, and prayer. This is a real gem of a find. I have been reading through her archives the past two evenings and I can't get enough.

Enjoy these blogs! Stop by and leave them a comment if you can. Abigail could use some prayers right now. She just gave birth to baby 4 and she is in the NICU recovering from abdominal surgery.


An update on the socks: I did rip them and reknit. I added 6 stitches and went up a needle size. They fit! I am on the gusset of the first sock. Pics when it's done.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Admit Defeat?

Sometimes knitting has built in stumbling blocks. Or maybe "humbling" blocks is a better phrase?

I have been working like crazy on my LOTR Socks (Rivendell Socks).

I read a lot of other raveler's comments on their projects before I started. One that I can't get out of my head is the lady who only knit one sock and then sold it to her LYS because she felt like it was "inside out" the entire time she was knitting it. I must admit, I have never purled this much on a project before.

Another comment (which I saw many, many times) was that the socks came out a little small. With all that purling and those twisted knit stitches, the calves seemed to be coming out a bit tight for most knitters.

"Well," I thought. "I am a loose knitter. This really shouldn't be a problem for me."

Yeah. Uh-huh.

When I was knitting the cuff, which is only on 63 stitches btw (and I decided to use size 0 needles, because I knit "loose" and the yarn is pretty thin), I thought, "Hmmm. That does look a bit small. But look.....when I stretch it out, it's pretty big. Yeah....knitting stretches. Duh." And, I just kept on knitting.

I am enamored by this pattern and this yarn. I have coveted the pattern for a long time and finally bought it once I found the perfect yarn, not too varigated, not too plain, light beautiful colors that smoothly run together and won't over power the pattern. (This one is called Beach Fog, and is a bluish color with a faint teal and little bits of light purple and orange woven through.)

I just kept knitting, even as my mind said, "Ya know, it looks a little small." "Shut up!" I told myself. "That's just silly. You're almost done with the first chart. Keep going."

At the end of the first chart, I tried it on. I could get it over my heel. And it was pretty. And it didn't feel that tight on my calve. Keep knitting.

I knit the second chart. Cabling, twisted stitches. I love it. It's soooo wonderful, even though historically I will do almost anything to avoid purling.

"It's going to be too tight," that little voice in the back of my head said.


Knit. Knit. Knit.

I love this pattern. I love this yarn.

I just finished the second chart and set up the heel. I have knit about an inch of the heel flap. The heel flap construction has pros and cons. Pro - It is back & forth knitting without slipped stitches so it gains height faster than most other heels I have knit. Con - It is ktbl (knit through the back loop), p2 ribbing.....and on wrong side rows it's k2, ptbl ribbing. That is a PITA.

I decided to try it on again. Notice the photos in this post are of the sock on my arm. Why is that, you ask?

Well. My calves just aren't as dainty as they used to be. I can get the sock on and over my heel (without too much trouble even). However, up by those wrapped stitches at the top of the cuff, it's a little tight. Really, it looks silly. Like I have fat legs sticking out the top of the sock.

"That doesn't look too bad," the knitting part of my brain said.

"Shut up! It looks weird!" the little voice in the back of my head said. You know the voice, the honest one?

My dilemma - do I just keep knitting it?

I could keep knitting this to specs (the pattern) and then make a second sock with adjustments, AND THEN rip the first sock and fix it??? (Can you tell I am really liking knitting this pattern?)

Or I could rip it now, and try to figure out how to "fix" it right away(the pattern is 3 repeats of a 21 stitch chart, so I cannot just add another repeat, it would be huge, I'll actually have to think about where to add some stitches, I've got some ideas)???

Do I just make the socks to pattern and wear them a little tight, probably pushed down around my ankles so no one can see how tight they are over my calves??

Do I Admit Defeat?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Blogging in Bed

That's right. I am still (at 11:30am) laying in bed. It's a beautiful day outside. I am waiting for my little ones to wake up so we can tackle the day. I am even thinking about *gasp* going to the park. (Yes, actually leaving the house.)

I cast on Rivendell last night. I knit the entire 1st chart on the cuff (35 rounds) and started the second. It looks a little small, but I can get it over my heel.

I love the yarn. Winding it turned into a big deal, again. And it shouldn't have. This was a perfectly good skein for winding - no twists, no tangles, just beautiful.

My husband refused to help so I made Wobbers do it. At the very end, he got excited and started winding too fast and pulled the last 15 yards or so right off my arms. Ahhh!! So, I ended up with a big tangled mess. I worked on the tangle for TWO HOURS. Yes, two hours. Finally, I decided I probably would have "extra yarn" when the socks were done and I cut the yarn. I untangled my 15 yards and wound an itty-bitty ball by hand. Whew.

The yarn is DIC Smooshy - a free skein I got on one of my EatSleepKnit Lotto cards. It's a superwash wool. Does anyone else notice a difference in the hand of superwash vs regular wool?? I swear I can tell there is some kind of "processing" just by the feel (I mean, I know there is b/9 its superwash.....I am just wondering if I am the only one that can *feel* it when handling the yarn). It's a little weird. But I definitely LOVE the colors!

Oh - seems one of the babes is stirring. Time to get the day going. :)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Things are Looking UP

I seem to have found a whole new set of happiness today. I am not sure where it came from, but there it is.

Yeah, I am still really uncomfortable (physically) but that can only mean that this baby is making her way out soon. :) I have a new found energy to bleach my bathtub (don't worry, hubby did it so I wasn't inhaling fumes), buy washcloths and a new shower curtain, and get all my diapers out, washed, and folded. I also need to lanolize the wool soakers and longies I knit.

(I realize I just typed "buy washcloths". I know...I could knit some, right? I don't have super-soft cotton appropriate for that. And after we use the new washcloths on the baby we can wash them and everyone can use them. I either buy a few new towels or washcloths for each new babe.)

I am also really super, duper anxious to cast on something new!! I really want to start my Rivendell Socks - like RIGHT NOW. But no one will help me wind the yarn. I just need to get this beautiful skein of DIC Smooshy (Beach Fog - love it!) wound up and a-sock-knitting I will be.

You know you love the Beach Fog!

And this is the sock.....sorry for the tiny thumbnail.
Oh, and I found this really beautiful yarn over at Susan B Anderson's blog that is discontinued.....and then found 2 skeins on Ravelry. No, I will not tell you what it is because I WANT IT FOR ME. Although, I am not really in a good place to buy more yarn right now. But it's sooooo pretty.
I keep checking the mail for my needles to arrive. I swapped another raveler for the size I needed. Hers are already there.....mine, not so much.
AND, in the mail I am looking for my first shipment for the Harry Potter Yarn Club from Sunshine Yarns. This is the first time I have ever done a "yarn club". I did some research before hand and checked out all the yarns from the last 7 rounds of the club. I liked every single one of the colorways, so I put my faith in that and signed up (months ago). I thought it would be nice to have some yarn arrive at my house while I was sitting at home nursing my baby.
Oh.....other knitting stuff.....

I got two books from the library that had patterns in them I ran into either on blogs or Ravelry.
The first one is Vintage Baby Knits. (Little tiny thumbnail picture there, sorry.)
While I did think a lot of the patterns in it were cute, I wasn't super impressed with any of them. Mostly, I think, it's because I do not like knitting pieces of garments and then sewing them up. Every single pattern in there was knit in pieces, so that just turned me off. I *did* really like the "Duckie Onesie" and I am sure I could convert it and knit it in the round....but that would be a small pain in the @$$, so no. Cute stuff, but nothing that I've never seen before. So, I took it back the next day.

I also picked up Closely Knit. I actually would maybe knit a few of the patterns out of this book. It is full of gift ideas. The garments in it are knit in pieces, but that could be fixed. Again, not any garments that I've never seen before. I do like a few of the baby pieces, especially the charts for the duckies and the kangaroo. I like some of the blankets in the book, which is weird b/c I haven't ever actually knit a blanket and the task seems daunting. There is also a really cute pair of knee socks, a hat and scarf set that are pretty original looking (to me), and even a cardigan I think is cute. I'll be keeping this one for a few days and reading more closely through the patterns to see what I think of their construction.
Hmmmm.....what else??
My brother is still with us, until the 7th. Things are going good with him too. He got his c-spine cleared, so no more collar. He's pretty happy about that. They cut some of the bands out of his mouth so he can move his jaw a teeny tiny bit. It's enough to get a straw between his teeth so we have been experimenting with different pureed foods (he hasn't had "food" in about 2 weeks). So far, creamy Campbell's soups are the best, closely followed by pureed scrambled eggs with cheese.
Thanks for the comments of encouragement and prioritizing regarding this little stepping stone in my life. I finally just let go and let God (which I did a long time ago with him......the whole "almost dying - accident" thing just had me backstep a little bit). My brother is probably going to continue drinking (in fact, he had a beer when we stopped at his place after all the dr's appts the other day) and there isn't anything I can do about it (which I know, have always known, just let my hopes get up with the accident thing). But, I can help right now by being here for him. He knows he can always reach out to me in the future if he wants some help finding "help" to get clean.