Monthly Archives: June 2010

A productive day so far!

It’s just barely noon and already we’ve had a full day.

We woke up and washed diapers

Had breakfast and took the pugs on their potty walk

Went to the local farmer’s market for the first time!!  Bought lots of good produce and farm fresh eggs!!!

Got the oil changed in the car, knit while waiting.

Visited the local quilt shop and bought some really cute fabric.  Not sure what I’m going to make with it yet.

I just love days like today!  And I still have half the day remaining, hopefully it will be just as good.  I plan to visit the farmer’s market weekly.  Can you believe that’s the first time I’ve ever been to one?

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I made a Mei Tai!

I’m pretty excited about this!  I bought the fabric to make it while I was pregnant but never got around to it.  Now the baby’s a little over 7 months old and I finally made it!  A Mei Tai (pronounced May Tie) is an Asian baby carrier.  

I love my Ergo now that it’s hot.  It’s kind of bulky and all the snaps and hardware are a turn off for me.  I have always thought Mei Tais are beautiful and it’s great that they’re mostly for back carry.  Since my baby has been big enough for back carry, I feel like I am free to do almost anything.

I used a tutorial on Jan Andrea’s website.  It was a very easy to follow pattern with good instructions.  My only complaint was that when it was instructing how to cut out the pieces, I got really confused. If it weren’t for the sample layout there’s no way I would have figured it out. 

   

I’m so happy with the way it turned out.  I feel a huge sense of accomplishment, especially since this is something I’m going to be using all the time.

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Filed under Babywearing, sewing

line drying goodness

I’m a big fan of line drying my cloth diapers.  There are so many benefits.  The direct sunlight sanitzes and strips them, bleaches out any stains, and it saves so much energy which is good for the environment and the power bill.  Or in my case, saves energy and $1.25 to use a coin-op dryer.  Then there’s the added benefit of the wonderful smell that comes with drying outside. 

Before I had the spin dryer, anytime I would dry my clothes and diapers outside, they would come off the line really stiff.  Since using the spin dryer, they dry almost instantly and they are just as soft as if they had come out of an electric dryer.  I’m not sure what the difference is, but I think all the water still remaining in the clothes has something to do with it.

I put my diapers out on the collapsible rack every morning.  The only items that need pinning are the wipes.  I have issues holding several wipes and pins at a time while trying to put them on the rack.  I’m too impatient to just hold one wipe and one pin at a time.   When I saw the Granny’s Clothespin Apron in the book, One Yard Wonders, I was immediately in love.  This pattern and the pug on the cover, of course, were the major selling points. 

I finished my clothespin apron yesterday.  I used it to hang my diapers this morning, and I am so happy about it!  It works perfect for me!  It’s so satisfying making something that is going to be used so often.

While making this, I couldn’t help but think of my sister.  She loves making aprons.  She is an apron making master!  She made me this apron for my birthday last year. I use it all the time and I just love it so much! I also can’t help but giggle when I see this picture.  I was only days away from finding out I was pregnant.

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Filed under Cloth Diapering, Eco-friendly, sewing

WIP Wednesday: ribbed socks and an apron

Last week I started some socks for my husband.  I’m using the Oak Ribbed Sock pattern from the book, Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush.  So far I’ve worked the cuff and leg.  Today I started on the heel flaps and I hope I will have turned both heels by the end of the day.  I am using my new Knit Picks Harmony Wood circular needles for magic loop.  I’m also using Knit Picks yarn, it’s Gloss in Parsley.  I’m really enjoying these needles for magic loop.  Casting on top down two at a time was difficult, and despite my research efforts, I found nothing online about doing this.  Maybe two at a time magic loop is a newer method?  I don’t know. 

My sewing project today is the Granny’s Clothespin Apron for the book, One Yard Wonders.  Yesterday I attempted to begin sewing, but I did not understand what the pattern was telling me to do.  Sewing patterns are another language to me.  I feel like many I have come across are worded to where I can’t understand what they are telling me to do.  Long story short, I knew it wanted me to make a bias tape edging on the pocket.  I was mad at the pattern and decided to do it my way.  So I made the bias tape and zigzag stitched it on.  Well, come to find out, it was just having me put the bias tape on in a way that would show no seams.  Ha, they should have stated it so obviously.  Oh well, I’m not going to fix it, I’ve had enough with it.  So I continued on and I’m actually nearly finished with the project.  I worked for an hour today because yesterday’s time was absolutely wasted, and I wanted to make up for it.

So today was day 15 of my 30 days of sewing, the half way point!  I have fallen behind on my days, it really should have been day 17.  Between a busy weekend and a grumpy baby, 2 days I skipped my sewing goal.

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Happy Father’s Day to my love.

My husband is in the military and currently he’s attending a year long training where it’s tradition to get a tattoo once this training is completed.  He didn’t have any tattoos and he didn’t want this to be his first.  He had an idea for a tattoo that he wanted. It was to get our son’s footprints on him from the ink blot card we recieved in the hospital.  I loved the idea, I thought it would be very sentimental and meaningful.  What better time to get said tattoo than Fathers Day weekend? 

Friday evening after he got out of class we drove to the tattoo parlor and had the tattoo done.  I was impressed how decisive he was.  I went through all the typical emotions most people go through before getting their first tattoo. I had a little panick attack before they started because this is a decision he’s going to have to live with for the rest of his life!  I had similar emotions with naming the baby.  Derek wasn’t nervous at all because he had put so much thought into it and was sure about this.

When I saw the completed tattoo for the first time, I was surprised at my reaction to it.  I saw so much more than just ink in a cut, I saw a story, a memory of when he became a father.  A flood of emotions came over me, and still does everytime I look at it.  I think today in honor of Father’s Day I will share some of this story.

Before the birth of the baby I had a serious obsession with natural childbirth.  I had some medical complications and my Dr. felt induction was necessary.  I was very reluctant, but followed through for the safety of myself and the baby.  As it turned out I was a “speedster” (definition of my type of labor in the book, Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way) meaning that when labor started, I immediately started at the most painful part.  My husband was so wonderful helping me handle the pain, but when I had no relief from the contractions I started to consider the epidural.  He reminded me of my wishes to go through this naturally.  This conversation was so memorable to me.  I told him that I wanted it, and he was supportive. 

My labor was quick.  I was fully dilated and ready to push by 2 p.m.  When I first started pushing, it turned out the baby was facing my side, so they decided to let me rest until he turned on his own.  6 hours later the baby still hadn’t budged and it was really time to get him out now.

I pushed as hard as I could with every contraction for an hour and a half.  My husband and the nurses cheered and praised me with every push.  The baby still hadn’t turned despite several attempts by nurses to turn his head as I was pushing.  Finally my Dr. had to leave, and his partner was to help me.  She was master of the vacuum extractor and it had come to the point where it was the vacuum or cesearian.

Several pushes later the baby still hadn’t turned and had made very little progress.  He just couldn’t get over my pelvis. The Dr. took a serious tone with me and said “I can only use the vacuum with a few more pushes and then we’re going to have to consider our last option”.  I panicked knowing she was referring to a C-section.  I looked into my husband’s eyes and pushed with all the energy that was remaining. 

My  husband looked down, looked at me and said, “I can see his head!  He’s almost here!  You only have one more push to go!!”  These words of encouragement changed everything.  As I saw the emotion on his face, I witnessed the moment he became a father.  Derek had seen part of his baby and that moment he realized how real it was that he was almost to meet his son for the first time.

They removed the vacuum once the baby was crowning.  My husband was right, one more push and out he came.  After he was breathing well, he brought our baby to me.  The three of us shared some very special bonding time.  It was far too short however, and the baby had to go to the nursery for his newborn exams.  Derek was able to carry Dylan to the nursery and stayed by his side the whole time.

Meanwhile, I was getting stitched up and missing my family very much.  I was crying tears of exhaustion and sadness.  I called the nursery several times because I wanted them back.  When I heard a baby crying in the hall I immediately recognized it as my own.  There they were, Father and son.  Derek was carrying the ink blot cards and pushing the baby who was in the bassinet.

I was so impressed with how immediately we all bonded, all three of us.  The next few days (and weeks and months) we enjoyed each other.  Once we got home, Derek took such wonderful care of us.  He cooked and cleaned and did everything he possibly could to make things easy on us.  The military was so great, he had so much time off.  He didn’t have to work for a whole month.  After that he still had plenty of time off to be the the baby and me.  He had so much time off because he was preparing for this intense training and we were in between moves.

We chose to try attachment parenting for our parenting style.  This has worked so well for our family, and we have all three slept by each other’s sides every single night.  This nightime bonding has made up for how much he works while he’s in this training. 

Every day he never ceases to show his love.  He chooses to spend all his time off with us, and our weekends are very special because of him.

He always has such wonderful things to say, constant praise and support for our decision to breastfeed.  He never fails to make me feel special and always tells me I’m a great mother.  Dylan adores his father.  His face lights up and he squeals everytime his daddy comes home from work.  That boy really loves his daddy.

I love Derek so much.  The past 8 years have been the very best of my whole life.  We have a very close relationship.  Not only do we love each other with all our hearts, but we are each other’s best friend.  I didn’t think anything could improve our relationship.  Once the baby was born, it changed everything.  Now we share a closer bond and more love for each other and our son. 

I hope Derek has a very happy first Father’s Day.  And I hope he knows how much I love him.

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Cherries popped.

On Wednesday I finally finished my socks.  I already posted most of what I had to say about them in this post.  So they were my first toe-up, two at a time, magic loop, short row heel, and stretchy sewn bind off.  On top of that it was my first time following a cabling chart and knitting through the back loops.  It was rated as an experienced level pattern. 

The only problem I came across was the error with the pattern in the book, and I had already started them when I realized there was a problem.  I tore them down and started again, but it didn’t bother me.  I wanted them to be perfect.  Additionally every sock I have made so far out of Joy of Sox has an errata, so I’ve made a habit of checking their project pages on Ravelry before casting on.

The yarn was crazy.  I love winding hanks into center-pull balls when I’m really stressed out.  When I got the yarn out to wind it, I found it was a huge tangled mess.  It took me hours to wind it into a ball.  I was quite discouraged and felt that I wouldn’t buy Malabrigo sock again.  After knitting with it though, I have changed my mind about that.  I bought another hank recently and I had an easier time with it.  I suppose it was because I was prepared to work with the tangles.  Truthfully I think it’s unacceptable to charge $22 US for a hank of yarn that you have to untangle, but I guess Malabrigo sock is just that good.

These socks have changed me as a knitter.  I knew I was a sock person before, but now it’s different.  Lately I have been dreaming about socks all night long.  I wake up eager to get to work on them.  Now I’m starting to appreciate them as a work of art.  They are the best type of art as they are so functional.  I consider myself to be a functional person and I rarely do anything that isn’t. 

Socks are the perfect knit for me, and I am so proud of this pair.

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First Father’s Day Gift

We just got home from getting Derek’s present for his first Father’s Day!  My husband is a wonderful father.  He loves his little boy so much, it just shows in everything he does.  He has been wanting a tattoo for years, though there was nothing that was worth getting until now.  We have had many long conversations about body art and we both feel that a tattoo should not be a product of drunken judgement, but something personal, sentimental, and representing a life-changing event.  One day he came home and had an idea for a tattoo, and I loved it!  It was just the timing that was tricky.  This weekend we’re going to be celebrating his first Father’s Day, and what better way to celebrate than to get the tattoo he has been wanting for several months now.

Seeing our newborn’s footprints on the chest of the man I love melts my heart.  And makes my milk let down.  I think it’s the perfect tattoo!

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