Archive for the ‘life’ Category

On the Sidelines

I love to knit. This isn’t a secret. Knitting is something that keeps my hands busy. I knit while I’m nursing, while I’m watching tv, or anytime I’m not doing something active. It fills a lot of my down time. I have been working on leg warmers for Isabelle. They are my second pair. I use them a lot when we go for walks.

Little leg warmers

They are taking waaayy more time than they should. This is because I have done something to my neck/shoulder/arm. This has been going on for about 2 weeks and it’s not getting any better. I’m slathering on icyhot, and aspercream stretching it out applying warm rice bags, taking ibuprofen  and anything else I can think of. I should probably go see someone, but when the inevitable question comes up “how did you do this?” I don’t have an answer, let alone a “cool” answer. The last time I was hurt I was starting/breaking my mare. Kinda cool. This time the reason is something to do with holding the baby and knitting. Not at all exciting. I’ve thought of making up an injury. Spelunking in Mexico, snowboarding in Colorado, cave diving, anything but, well nothing. After all who gets a knitting injury, other than maybe sitting on a double point needle. Been there done that. (I did not seek medical attention for that one).

So now the thing that fills up most of my down time is on the sidelines and trying to figure out how to fill in that time. Any ideas?

Catching Up

I’m still here! Contrary to what it might look like, I have not fallen off the face of the earth. So this is what happened. Back in October I was spending so much time nursing the wee one,  and feeling unproductive. I decided to do something about that.  It has been pointed out to me that giving life and sustaining that life is a productive use of ones time, but still, I decided it wasn’t enough soooooo, I started another Etsy shop WeeWoolieKnitz.  This has been quite a bit of fun, albeit hectic through the holidays. Now it’s evened out a bit so I’ll try to post more regularly.

Some hats!!

As babies will do Isabelle has been growing like a weed. At 6 months she is still a little mite, 13lbs  05oz. She makes up for her small size in personality.

Hanging out with daddy. I believe Craig enjoyed it as much/more than Isabelle!

She loves to “talk” and makes sure that we all know her feelings on…  well,  everything. Between Craig, the girls and myself she gets what I’m sure is more attention than she should.  Physically she is learning to sit up unassisted, but will topple over if she forgets to concentrate. Rolling over is a favorite and makes diaper changing a challenge. She loves her jumperoo, and since our weather is beginning to soften we have been able to get out for some walks in her new stroller.

This makes me extremely happy. I am craving the exercise. Some women can give birth and look fantastic afterwards, I sadly am not one of them. My body is soft and mushy and looks like I just had a baby. While I’m sure my babies love the pillowy feel, I do not. The reality of my new body was driven home when we decided to take a mini-vacation to a waterpark.

I thought of deleting myself out of this but, decided a dose of reality is good for the soul. The wave pool was a big hit with all the girls.

 

Lots of knitting has been getting done, though most of it has been hats. I made A sweet jumper and leg warmers. I’ll take pics and post it soon.

House Bound

All children are unique and a true blessing. That said I kinda wish some features came standard on newborns. For instance sleeping mostly through the night. A block of uninterrupted sleep puts a whole different perspective on the day. When you can actually comprehend what someone is saying to you, and not just see their lips moving and vaguely wonder if they are speaking English or a foreign tongue, but basically not caring either way. Another bonus feature would be to enjoy  riding in the car. I know most babies do, but mine did not come with this option standard. This makes going anywhere difficult a living hell. We have a 20+ minute ride to go anywhere. She can do maybe 5 minutes. That leaves 15+ minutes of ear-splitting, teeth rattling screeching. She was blessed with a remarkable set of pipes. This means I limit our outings to Dr. appointments and times when the walls start closing in on me. When we do venture out what used to be a simple trip to the store now takes about 3 hours. (seriously)

I’m trying to use all this home time to best advantage. I have mentally redecorated my living room, numerous times. I’m catching up on my reading, but that too requires a trip to the library. Mostly since we still spend so much time nursing, I’m exploring Ravelries fantastic pattern collection. There are patterns for every conceivable project one would ever feel compelled to make.  Since my knitting time is still in short supply, my fantasy knitting life is in full swing. And let me tell you what an accomplished knitter I am in this life. Not only do I crank out the requisite cold weather woollens for my family, but my mother has two intricate lace shawls for Christmas, Alexandra has a new Debbie Bliss cabled cardigan (knitted on size 4 needles) that she will treasure for eternity, (and then  hand  down to her children thus becoming a family heirloom) and Craig has a Fair Isle sweater that encompasses all the  love and devotion that went into each tiny size 2 stitch.  And since he is color blind he doesn’t even mind the wee bit of purple I put in to make it “pop”.

At least all this time at home isn’t being wasted.

Snippets of Time

2 1/2 weeks

Going home from the hospital

Our brains have a way of insulating us from unpleasant experiences from the past. We remember them but just not as vividly as when they were actually happening. I’ll give you a few examples:

1). Childbirth (this is still fresh in my mind). We all know it hurts, but our minds tend to blur the intensity of the pain and instead we remember the moment we first touched our babies.

2). Difficult financial times. Whether in college or just starting married life, we tend to laugh and describe how we had meat once a week, or we rode our bike everywhere we could to save gas,  or we had $50 for groceries not $50.01. It’s a lot funnier when we look back at it then when it was happening.

3). Life with a newborn.

This of course is the purpose of this post. I’ve had newborns before, I know they are time-consuming, but my mind played its tricks and I forgot just how much time goes into caring for a wee wonder.  I am breastfeeding. I think it is easier once it is established, which does take a little while, we aren’t there yet. At 3 weeks she is still eating, well almost constantly. I was joking the other day about our nursing chair having the imprint of my arse end, when I went to sit down at the next session I happened to glance down  and all joking aside there was a big ole imprint of my derriere. I’m trying to be all zen about how much time I’m spending in that chair. I know it is a temporary thing and she will grow very quickly and I will miss it, but when I see all the things I should/could be doing, well lets just say I doubt the Dalia Lama will be calling anytime soon.

Before Issy came I decided not to temporarily close my etsy shop, after all I had a little stock done ahead of time, I was trying for more but had a busy sales month in July. I’m not complaining:) Also not only would my two teenage girls be home, but my oldest daughter was staying for a week. I figured I had this covered. I can hear the Gods of  motherhood doubled over in laughter.  Since when do we ever have it “covered” ? Issy though a very good baby, doesn’t like to get to far away from the uhm.. food source. She likes constant contact when she is asleep. When she’s awake  she will sit in her wiggle chair as Craig calls it ( we thought her vibrator wasn’t exactly appropriate) or lay in her bassinet. This leaves precious little time to actually dye, take pictures, and post new colorways. So I’ve had to get creative. Cate my oldest daughter mad me a Moby wrap. This has been a life saver! Issy loves it and I get the use of my hands. When I dye I throw an apron on over it. I can do my computer work with two hands. Since my typing skills leave something to be desired two hands is a real plus.   So this is how life is at the moment. 5 minutes hear, 15 minutes there, it took me 7 hours to dye 5 skeins of yarn. Two of them where identical. This is a  stocking hat I started on Saturday for the baby, I should have it done by Christmas of 2011. It will never cease to amaze me how  lives can be so upturned by a wee being smaller than a watermelon, but so it is.

Self Esteem

34 week bump

Sunday was  one of those days that I believe come along to keep your ego in check. I’m telling myself that because otherwise I may cry.  Father’s Day dawned sunny and warm,  we decided we  needed to do something different, fun, and close to home. Being 8 1/2 months pregnant and with baby giving every indication that she may want to make an early entrance into this wonderful world, the Dr has advised I stay close and limit my activity. So with those restrictions in mind and the weather being hot and beautiful we decided to borrow Craig’s’ bosses  pontoon boat. This is actually his “spare” boat.  Being mere weeks away from delivery I can’t for the life of me justify the purchase of a maternity swimsuit. Well that and my a fore mentioned dislike loathing of shopping. With swimsuit shopping I believe, is  its own particular brand of hell. So I was left with what I had on hand, that would actually fit.  A bikini-type top and swim shorts that when rolled down under my bump fit well enough to keep me from violating any laws. All covered by one of Craig’s  long tank tops. Good enough I felt for a private family outing.  My 12 yo daughter who sees nothing but absolute beauty in the pregnant form was insistent that the tank was unnecessary.  At this point I think I should mention that she has yet to witness the true “beauty” of  pregnancy  in a state of undress. All this was about to change, an end to innocence as they say. As I am hiking up my shorts but before I have managed to get my tank on in walks miss “pregnancy is beautiful” she takes one look at my rather large belly and calmly states that perhaps she was wrong I probably should wear the tank too. (Strike 1)

The swim top

All discreetly covered up by this

On we move to the actual boat ride which is relaxing, lovely and private.  But also getting hot. We decide to go for a swim, or in my case a float. The swim ladder is installed and down I climb. I hit the second step when crack the part that holds it out from the boat disintegrates. Craig assures me that it’s just old and certainly not the fact that a hugely pregnant women roughly half the size of a beached orca just put her full weight on it. Now on to the larger problem at hand. How to get back in the boat. While the ladder is still operational, the fact that a pontoon boat sits higher out of the water than a regular boat never occurred to me. There is no way to get my legs up high enough and past my belly to reach the rungs, and since this particular boat is not equipped with a wench the only option left is to swim to shore. (strike 2)

If all that wasn’t enough to make me run screaming to the nearest cave here’s the topper of the day. We finish my now exhausting ride and need to head into town to pick up my 16 yo who decided to take a summer class for extra credit. ( My head is still trying to get wrapped around that one). There is no way in two hell’s I’m going into town dressed like this. I brought a regular t-shirt and shorts so all I need to do is switch out the tank for my fully covering shirt. Now keep in mind we are parked on private property, bordered on 3  sides by trees, and the other side is the lake. Craig’s truck is one of those huge things with a door and a half . It’s parked right next to his sisters Cherokee with the super tinted windows. I’ll just open up the doors and wallah perfect changing area. I double-check to be extra sure I am fully protected from onlookers  and proceed to whip off my wet tank. All the while a vaguely familiar whine that I can’t quite place is slowly invading my senses. Just as my shirt comes off  I realize frantically what that noise is, from about 15 feet over the tree tops zooms my neighbors single engine Cessna. Now this is a sweet elderly gentleman whom I’m sure never imagined his day ending up with  image of his half-naked very pregnant neighbor seared in his brain for all eternity. The best he can hope for now may be a little dementia. (Strike 3)

Simplicity or Lack There of

I like to keep my life as simple as possible. This may be because I have a limited brain capacity or it may just be because I seem to hit overload pretty darn quick. I’m not sure which. I’ve never taken the time to actually figure it out. But,  it seems to me that the world in general is constantly conspiring against me.  I’ll give you some examples. Last year I bought a new (to me) car. This was my first car in about 15 years. With a large family we needed mini vans.  So I started test driving vehicles. I had 3 criteria, could seat my 3 remaining children at home, plus squish the fourth from college in when necessary, gets very good gas mileage, and was front wheel drive. I figured this would be a relatively easy quest. Not so.  Cars nowadays have GPS systems just in case you find yourself lost in downtown Wausau WI, a very complicated city if ever I’ve seen one. 90% of my driving is local, when it’s not I can look at a map. Vehicles can (get this) back themselves into a parking spot. Now seriously if you can’t back your own vehicle into a spot (and this is just me) but maybe you shouldn’t BE DRIVING!! You can hook your MP3 into your radio, excuse me, stereo. At least I think you can I wouldn’t have a clue as to how to actually do that. And the topper, your vehicle can now talk to you. Are you kidding me?!! I don’t want a car to talk to me, sometimes that’s the only time I get some peace and quite. All this for the bargain price of about$25,000 give or take. That’s half of what I paid for my first house.

Next, we have cell phones. I just want a cell to make a phone call. Occasionally I send a text. I have a basic flip phone. My 12-year-old daughter loves to “play” with my phone. She is constantly leaving me messages, changing ring tones and other things that I had no idea even existed on it. It’s a good thing she actually likes me because if she didn’t and decided to leave me a nasty message I’d be stuck with this thing on there forever. My step daughters can access the internet, get directions to, well anywhere. “Tweet” about absolutely nothing from their jobs, the toilet, and on vacation. They can download apps for just about any possible function they may think they need.  And they are constantly losing, or dropping these phones in said toilet, on vacation and other places.

Now to what actually prompted this post. We have decided to mostly cloth diaper our as yet unnamed, much-anticipated baby girl. This is partly a financial decision, partly an environmental decision, and partly as a knitter, dyer and designer I love to put handmade super cute items on my children’s bottoms. The older children are starting to balk at this, so I have only one victim recipient left. So I set out to purchase my diapers, feeling that this is a task that even my overloaded, underachieving pregnancy brain can handle. How very wrong I was.  When I searched for diaper sites, I couldn’t believe what I found. We have pocket diapers, all in one diapers, liners (some disposable), diapers made out of cotton, hemp, bamboo, and  fleece. Prefolds made in China, apparently these are very good.  Indian prefolds I don’t know about those because by that time my head was actually steaming there was so much information. The makers of all these various brands are of course touting their product and the “happy” factor for your offspring, to the point that if you chose the wrong type of diaper your poor childs IQ will drastically drop (forget Harvard, you’ll be lucky if you manage to get him a job at the local gas station),  he/she will never sleep through the night and you may possibly create a biohazard by not containing the diapers contents adequately.

I hope you’re sitting down when I tell you the price of said diapers. They range from $14-$19 per diaper. One size does not fit all. A cover for prefolds and flats costs $8-$14, again one size does not fit all.

Now to wash our diapers we can’t just go to the store pick out laundry detergent and wash.  Ohhh no, we have to special order detergent, with no enzymes, brighteners or bleach. If you happen to have a front loader well you should get yourself a back up washer. Yes, that was actually suggested. Because they don’t get the diapers clean enough. For the $800-$1000 they cost they better get everything clean!! Or am I asking too much? My mother, grandmother, aunt, and every other women from  generations past used cloth diapers, they had a pail with a little bit of bleach and lots of water, they threw the diapers in the pail.They  soaked them until they were ready to wash,  put the contents in the washer, spun it out, washed the load, than hung them to dry. Whale, clean diapers. There were no newborn, small, infant and toddler sizes available. You just folded than unfolded as the baby got bigger.

Long story short, I ordered 2 dozen 100% cotton prefolds, (the Gerber ones on any Walmart shelf  have polyester in them, so do not absorb as well)  1 cover,  and have knitted 3 soakers so far. I’m still perfecting the pattern. It would help if I could try it on something. The dog who has the smallest butt in the house is not cooperating. When my diapers arrived I received with them an 18 (that’s not an exaggeration) page booklet on cloth diapering. I just can’t win!!

Decluttering

My funk has been replaced with a desire drive to declutter/organize everything in my house. What is it about being pregnant and getting ready for a baby that makes us want to clean/organize  everything? I can see getting baby clothes washed. The nursery painted and freshened up. But lets face it I’m pretty sure the organization of all our winter clothes does not in any way impact the quality of life for any newborn. Since I have been off for 7 months now ( good grief no wonder I’m going batty!) my house is in pretty good order. This, however, is in no way stopping the urge to get organized before the baby comes. I’m even going through Craig’s’ clothes. It’s a good thing too. If someone could please explain one of the great mysteries of the world to me I would forever be in your debt. For the life of me I can’t understand why men feel the perverse need to hang on to every article of clothing they have ever owned from jr. high until the present day. Yet they will complain about how they have no room to store anything and yes they did go through their stuff when I was making the last trip to goodwill. This is a definite genetic trait. When my son was 13 I was folding laundry and found a couple of pair of boys underwear that looked to small to fit anyone in the house. My first thought was that maybe one of the kids had brought home a stray child or two and I just hadn’t noticed. (With four kids and all their collective friends anything is possible) I brought them in to ask Jacob about them. He looked at me like I was nuts, of course they were his, and they still fit for heavens sakes! Fitting is apparently a matter of opinion. These particular pair of undies were so stretched out the waistband looked like a ruffle had been applied and the… umm… business area, well lets just say that a lot of growth takes place between 4 years of age and adolescents.

That’s a long story to say that I know this is not just Craig who feels the need to keep everything from puberty onward. So I went through and filed (read trashed) unworn, tattered, or outdated items . Until I came to the shorts I thought had hoped and prayed and mercifully blocked from my mind the existence of these things. These shorts are only shorts in the barest sense of the word. He made them himself, he’s ever so proud of letting you know that fact. So basically he took a pair of jeans and cut hacked off the legs. Not even with scissors, mind you, but with a box cutter. These shorts are sooooooo short that not only do the front pockets hang out, so does everything else God has graced him with.

And he doesn’t get it. Shorts are supposed to be short he says. When I first met him these were what he was wearing. It’s a sight I have never forgotten. Luckily his sister shoed him back into the house to change, and he returned in a full length pair of jeans. I’m not sure I would have been able to get through dinner. Obviously he has many, many other fine qualities that I was at some point, able to put the shorts out of my mind. It took a little while.

When I found them yesterday, my first thought was to just throw them out, but I have learned the hard way that  things reappear. My next was to bury them somewhere, but with the dogs, well its just not a sure bet. So I settled on the obvious, take a picture, then I’ll burn them. To extreme you may think, well I see it as my only hope. There is the social and mental well-being of five lovely young women/girls at stake. Should they at some point witness their father/stepfather in these, (again I’m searching for the word) thong/short, (shong, thort??) the out come would be devastating. So burn them I have and the safety/ well-being of our progeny is ensured.