Friday, December 15, 2017

Everything I Made For Rebekah


I made a lot for January baby, whose first name will be Rebekah! I love everything I've made her and can't wait for her to arrive so I can don her with wool, alpaca and cotton clothing items.

Here is everything I've made in anticipation of her arrival. It's both knitting and crochet, but the two words did not fit in the title--so I just went with knitting. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Preschool Homeschool


I'm excited to start Reuben on a very play based preschool homeschooling program! I can't wait to homeschool. In my state (VA) kindergarten starts at 5, and you don't technically have to do anything before that.

But, I want to start Reuben at 3-4 in some type of preschool program. Mainly because I want to get into the rhythm of doing school every day. I want it to become a habit for him and for me! I'm not going to do anything too structured: my preschool will be mostly play based. We will read lots of books. We will play all the things! Puzzles and learning toys are the base of his day anyway, so I am not too worried that this will be difficult in any way. He's two right now, so I want to do Reuben-lead learning--following his interests and discovering what he likes, what he is good at, and what he loves learning about.

In the video below I discuss my plans for curriculum, sex education, socialization and physical education for our preschool homeschool program. Hope this helps anyone else who is wanting an easy preschool play-based learning experience for their child!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Week 113


One year ago
Two years ago

The week I found out that I actually DO have gestational diabetes. Ugh.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Purple Hat

I know, I know, another hat for January Baby? We finally decided on a name for her too: Rebekah! I love it. I am excited about it! Whooo! January Baby has a name! At least, a first name.





This hat is the Garter Stitch Pilot Cap and I found it on Ravelry. I love how it knit upl it's a genius way to knit a hat. I don't like picking up stitches--that's the only draw back. There are a lot of stitches to pick up. I used worsted weight yarn from my stash again, and 4.5mm knitting needles.

Maybe I'll make another one for Reuben. Who knows?

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Crochet Bulky Bib Tutorial


Reuben drools like a waterfall, so I wanted to create a few bibs for him. I love the triangle shaped bibs, and since I'd already created some basic square bibs I decided to work up a new pattern for a change of pace. I ended up making him three; and three for my new baby, and a few for my friends who are expecting. They crochet up so quick, taking me about an hour from cast on to button sewing.

Thus I wrote down and decided to publish the design! You can buy the PDF pattern for $1 here on Ravelry if you want a written pattern to follow or just feel like supporting our family. There is also a free video tutorial for those who cannot afford a pattern and still want to create bibs, or for those who need both a written and visual tutorial to follow. Enjoy!

You need bulky cotton yarn and a 6.0mm crochet hook to create this bib. There are two sizes; a baby and a toddler size.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Week 112


The week we all got sick! It started with Reuben, moved to mommy (while Reuben was still sick) and now at the end of the week daddy has it too! Poor sick family. Good thing for take out food and rest days!

One year ago.
Two years ago.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Crochet Toddler Hat (1yo)

I made January Baby (who we all know is a girl by now) another hat. Her head will be very warm for the rest of her life with a mama who loves to knit and crochet! This is the Rose Earflap Hat and I found the pattern on Ravelry. I love how it turned out, and it was was total stash busting project for me! Yay for using up some yarn!


I love the colors in the hat and the pompom. I can't wait to put this on my soon-to-be born little girl. When it fits, I know. Hah. I used worsted weight yarn and a 4.0mm crochet hook.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

How to Pick Up Stitches When Knitting

I remember the first time I tried to pick up stitches when knitting. It was an absolute fail. I was left with a bulky seam that showed from both sides and lumps in places. Sadly, I couldn't find many tutorials on picking up stitches and the ones I did find were still obscure. I struggled. I started to shy away from patterns that required you to pick up stitches.


But then I decided to find a way to do it myself and make my own tutorial. I have no idea if this is the "right" or "correct" way to pick up stitches but it works for me, creates a great seam and isn't difficult. I use this all the time and am no longer afraid of working with patterns that bind off and pick up stitches. I hope this helps anyone else who is also struggling!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Week 111


The week I did an infertility photo shoot with KJ Photography! It was sobering to meet other loss mothers, but a very healing experience all around. Honestly, it was the highlight of my week even if I was nervous! I love remembering my miscarriages and creating special memories around them, for them.

Two years ago.
One year ago.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Crochet Legwarmers

It gets cold in my house in the winter. Usually I bundle up, layering leggings under pants and wearing big sweaters. However, all of my pants are too small because...growing a human. So I decided to make myself some nice warm wool legwarmers! I just made up this pattern and I love it. They are super fun, full of texture, and very warm.


I used a 4.5mm crochet hook and 200 yards of worsted weight yarn for each legwarmer (so a total of 400 yards). I love them!


 What is your favorite way to keep warm in the winter?

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Laundry Room Space Saving Hacks


We have an absolutely tiny laundry room. I mean, I wouldn't even call it a room--its actually a closet. In our bathroom. But that space holds a washer, a dryer, two bins for sorting dirty laundry, all our towels and washcloths, a drying wrack for cloth diapers and even our water heater. How do I make it all happen? By using every inch of space I can!

Here is the run down on our tiny laundry room space saving hacks. Hope you like it!


What is your laundry room like?

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Week 110


This was a hard week for many reasons. We started out with two of us sick--and one of us not. Guess who? I knit a lot too. But the end of the week was amazing, because I found out what we are having! Yes, I know the gender now. And so can you if you watch our last video!

Two Years Ago
One Year Ago

Friday, November 17, 2017

Lots of Bibs

Recently I have been crocheting a lot of bibs. I made some for January baby and for Reuben, and then I cranked out a few more for some friends who are expecting. They were fun stash busting projects, using up the leftover billow cotton yarn I own and utilizing my own handmade pattern, Bulky Bibs.

I like how they turned out, and even through you can't see it at all in these pictures, I added really cute buttons to the backs that make me happy.




Yay for more drool catchers! We sure need them around here!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

A Yarny Tour of my Home


I have a lot of yarn. Even as a self declared minimalist (I'm not a minimalist for social justice reasons, but for mom survival reasons) I own a lot of yarn. Yarn is my hobby. Yarn makes me happy. I can always find a reason to buy more yarn. I will use it all (that's what I tell myself) and if not, I can always look at it when I need a reason to smile. Like when my adorable toddler is climbing the walls and my husband is working late.


Anyway, here are two videos: one showing how I store my working yarn downstairs where I do all of my knitting, and another showing how I store my yarn long term for future projects. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Week 109


This is the week of that horrible shooting in Las Vegas. I am still praying for the victims and families, and the surrounding community. Violence always shocks me. Reuben being cute and innocent was a nice distraction from the news and filled my heart with joy even in the middle of all the sorrow.

One Year Ago
Two Years Ago

Friday, November 10, 2017

Pullover for Danny

I thought my friend Missy would love a pullover for her son Danny who is only a few months older than Reuben (you can see Reuben's here). I knit his in a dark green, and I hope she loves it! This pattern is from Ravelry, and is called the Odila Cape Pullover. Like the one I knit for my son, I made hers with k2,p2 ribbing because I liked it better, as well as adding the same back decrease. Both of these sweaters were knit in knit picks wool of the andes bulky yarn.




The color is closest to the last picture, my camera is not that great. It's a really dark forest green.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Baby #2 is a....

I had a lot of anxiety over the gender of this baby. I knew what I wanted, but not what I was going to have. My husband also really wanted a boy but I really wanted a girl. I know in the long run it does not matter, but gender disappointment is a real thing...and I struggled!


So what did I end up with? If you don't already know (from watching my vlogs) you can find out below!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Week 108


So this week put me in full nesting mode. I filmed every day and decluttered a lot getting ready for baby M. I also felt stressed this week. I'm not sure it comes across in the vlogs, but we are just past the halfway point and there is so much I feel that needs to be done before this new tiny human arrives!

Two Years Ago
One Year Ago

Friday, November 3, 2017

Sweater for H

I finally finished my first sweater for Christmas 2017! This is for my two year old niece--and the one for my 6 year old niece will match her sisters. I hope they like them.

Pattern is Petite Polished. I made the 62 inch size, and the only modification I did was change the collar. I hate picking up stitches, so I crochet the collar. I like it--I mean, it's not perfect. But it works. I also used knit picks DK cotlin yarn so that my sister could wash it without any special instructions.




I did try it on her, and it does fit. Can't wait to see them both wearing the pink sweater after I finish the other one!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

My Maternity Capsule Wardobe


I love clothes. I am not one to usually do a capsule wardrobe; but for pregnancy it made perfect sense. I am only huge enough to wear maternity clothes for the second and third trimesters, so why buy a bunch of things I won't use much after? I do wear a bit of it postpartum, but that is a little different. I am due in January, so this is very much a fall and winter centered capsule. About half of it is left over from Reuben's pregnancy and a few pieces are not maternity, but loose enough to wear.

I love the ease a capsule wardrobe gives me as a busy mom. That, and the short term wear factor are really my only two reasons to chose a capsule wardrobe for my maternity season. Enjoy the video!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Week 107


The week of my ultrasound! I was a bundle of nerves. Didn't vlog much this week, but captured some cute moments with the Reuben. I've been dealing with some pregnancy stress and life stress and didn't have much time to pick up a camera.

One year ago
Two years ago

Friday, October 27, 2017

I made Socks!

I've wanted to knit socks forever! The task of knitting at least one pair was on my to-do list for my new years resolutions...last year and this year too. I started on this pair of basic toe-up socks from the book Socks from the Toe Up in November of 2016, intending to give them to my mom for Christmas. Almost one year later in October of 2017 I finished them! They will make a great gift this year so I am not worried.


And...I love knitting socks! It really isn't hard. The only annoying thing is that you have to make two of them so that they match, but the same goes for gloves and sweater sleeves so...that's normal.


I did not write down what kind of yarn this is. The orange is knit picks wool of the andes fingering but the green...your guess is as good as mine! Anyway, I am really proud to have finished something on my bucket list. Next up: a pair of socks for me!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

I can't "fix" my husband's anxiety.

My husband has general anxiety. He was diagnosed shortly after Reuben's birth, and to be honest it has been very hard on our marriage. When he is experiencing anxiety (fyi blog post is all from my perspective) he can't function, so I have to pick up the slack because things around our house still have to be done. He also can't make decisions when under an anxiety attack so either we don't make them at that time or I make them.

I love my husband and I want to support him. But I feel like I've moved through the "three stages of understanding your spouse's anxiety" in the last two years and just NOW am beginning to fully comprehend what he is going though and make sense of my own emotions and reactions. Because anxiety does affect our family even if he wishes it didn't. Also, it hugely effects his life!

The first stage I went through was honestly resentment. My husband gets to lay in bed because he "can't cope with life" and I am stuck with a crying needy poopy baby and dishes to wash? This can't be happening.


Denial and resentment permeated my heart only for a short time because I did see how much he was suffering and how much he really did not want to experience the emotions he was experiencing. So I quickly moved on to to what I like to call my "helpful" stage. I am a go-getter, a type-A-get-it-done person, and I switched from being angry about my husband's anxiety to trying to do something about it. I thought if I could just find the right diet or the right verse or the right x-y-z it would somehow help him and then he would feel better. Curing his anxiety became my new goal.

This stage lasted about a year. I didn't realize how much it impacted everything in a mostly-negative fashion until just recently. Anxiety isn't something you can control. It isn't something he or I can just put in a box and label. I don't think it is even something that can be cured.

My husband has generalized anxiety and he does not know exactly what causes it. He knows a few things that don't help by any means but so far there isn't a clear trigger to the crippling feelings of anxiety that come and go in his life. It seems random. And me trying to come in and diagnose and treat him even if my intentions are good and come from a place of trying to help him do not actually help him. At all. Instead they just made him feel guilty that he didn't feel better after whatever it is I would try (and we tried lots of things lots of times). It made his anxiety worse because of my hyper awareness of it. And it made me frustrated because I just couldn't discover what was making him anxious or anything that helped his anxiety.

So this is where I am now: I am not trying to fix him. I instead want to love him no matter what he is walking through, while also acknowledging that anxiety is crummy and no fun for either of us. I want to be honest with how his anxiety makes me stressed at times since I have more to deal with and can't rely on him. I also want to have compassion for what he is going through. It's a fine line to walk.

The best thing I have found that "helps" when my husband is having severe anxiety is to leave him alone and let him work through it as he feels he should while letting him know I am here to listen.

I don't blame him or resent him. I don't blame myself. And I don't try to cheer him up. I order take out and try to keep things as low key as possible to limit both our stress and usually plan something fun out of the house for Reuben and I do to so we can get out his hair and let him have some space.

Anxiety isn't something--at least for my family--that can be washed away with a diet or a uplifting book. It is something that my husband is going through. It's something that our family is going through. And acknowledging that is enough for now.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Week 106


The week I got an undercut. I love it. I have a ton of thick hair that can give me headaches, so having less is a good thing. For me, anyway.

One Year Ago
Two Years Ago

Friday, October 20, 2017

Cover All for Reuben

I made this for Reuben to wear over his clothes all winter. It's made of knit picks bulky wool of the andes, and knit with love! However I might have made it too small. It fits perfectly right now... so I think I will have to make him another one for the December-Feb months.


It just goes to show you that this kid grows FAST. When I finished it in August, it was a little big, and very long on him, and now at the end of September (when I am writing this) it fits perfectly. He's such a tall boy as well, always in the 80-90 percentile for height for his age.


This pattern is the Odila Cap Pullover. I did make two adjustments. I changed the k1tbl, p1 to k2, p2 as I like the way it looks better. I also added a decrease in the back as I wanted it to be a little tighter at the bottom. All in all, I love it!


Reuben had to be bribed with chocolate for these pictures. Isn't he cute?!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Worst Year

Today a friend asked me for advice--she's almost 20 weeks pregnant and due to have her honeymoon baby this winter, a few weeks after me.

I told her the usual stuff. You can't control birth, the best advice is to have no expectations, pray a lot and read as much as you can but be okay with just going with the flow because babies, even tiny ones, have strong wills sometimes.

And then I told her that the first year after having Reuben was probably the worst year of my life.

Many hours after that conversation I couldn't get my phrase "the worst year of my life" out of my head. Around and round it went as I nursed my now 2 year old to sleep. Was that first year really the worst in my life? I mean, I wanted a baby forever. And I am grateful. But that year was hard in so many ways, a grueling journey with sleepless nights struggling with a body that consistently failed me while trying to cope with postpartum with little to no support. I just remember hours of me desperately attempting to soothe a baby who cried all the time and crying a lot myself.


It really was one of the worst years of my life. And now as I look towards another birth I do so fearfully and much more prayerfully this time.

What made that year hard wasn't just one thing; it was a lot of large changes and little ones too, all back to back and compounded by the sleeplessness that newborns sometimes bring. I was in shock over the state of my body. For the first year, and even a little bit beyond, I could not have sex with my husband without sobbing in pain. It was awful. Even after the pain stopped I had to many times force myself to have sex just from the memories of the pain. Even without the pain my still-distended belly revolted me. I felt 0% sexy and horribly ugly--both feelings, I might add, that did not help my sex drive much either.

I also had very little support. My mom works full time, and my mother in law at that stage in our relationship would only tell me what to do in critical tones. Instead of helping, being around my mother in law caused me serious anxiety because she was so offended all the time. She would also come over and expect me to make her tea and serve her, when all I wanted to do was sleep.

My husband was also a new father and it took awhile for it to grow on him. During that year I remember he would leave me many nights alone with a baby and go up and play video games for hours on his computer--something we used to do before I gave birth, but after left me feeling isolated and forgotten. He also refused to get up with the baby at night, leaving me to take all the nightly wakings.


Reuben also was a difficult baby. I know now that he had some serious allergies he was working through, but he rarely slept, cried all the time, wanted to nurse every 45 minutes and was covered in excema. I felt like I failed him--I would get so touched out (I am not a touchy feeling person) from holding him 24/7 only to listen to him cry whenever I tried to put him down. Luckily we figured out his allergies (banana, avocado, pumpkin, soy, dairy, eggs...just to name a few) and by 15 months he was a totally different child.

Compound all the above with all the normal changes that a new baby brings: loss of personal freedom and time, dirty diapers and extra laundry, and that first year is not something I am looking forward to reliving. Of course, now I have a very understanding, very helpful husband. I have learned how to communicate better my needs. I still have hardly any extended family support, but that is not the fault of my hardworking single mother, or my mother in law. I am working through the difficulties in my intimate relationships and I feel much more positive about birth this time around. But I am praying for a baby that sleeps.

So, yes. Even after infertility, even after miscarriages--that first year was one of the hardest of my life. And I am coming to recognize it and deal with it, one day at a time.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Gloves

I made myself a new pair of fall gloves. I love knitting gloves, if you've followed my knitting adventures for awhile, I used to exclusively knit gloves. After gloves, I went on this boot cuff crochet splurge. Now I seem to want to knit sweaters. At least that is how I feel! But it was nice to knit something simple for once and "return to my roots".


The yarn I used to make these gloves is hand spun by Wool and Wheel. I used my own free basic gloves pattern, only adding a slight twist to the front. I love them! They are very snug and warm.


What are you making lately?

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

I don't know who I am anymore.

I was reading some old blog posts of mine from 2014 and 2015 and trying to remember who I was back then. I mean, some of the old posts are... funny (I love my 38 week prego post from when I was gestating Reuben). I reread that one and giggled through the whole thing. I also miss the times when I wrote thought provoking posts, like this post where I discuss my thoughts on becoming a new mom and my first foray into mom guilt land. 

I am wondering where that person is. The girl who wrote those posts feels as far from me as if I was reading someone else's blog. I just don't feel like her anymore. Ever since Reuben was born I feel like I've lost myself. I don't mean like Reuben took away all my time or anything like that, I mean like when I birthed him I also morphed into a new person that I no longer know or recognize.

Okay, yes. I do have less time. I have less time for introspection, thought and research. I have less time for myself. I am very busy taking care of a tiny person and my brain is very occupied with hundreds of different things that were not on my radar before a child emerged from my vagina. My time and priorities have changed.


But I have also changed. I've noticed it, slowly, even through it happened all at once. I think I've had to catch up with the changes, maybe that is what has made it all the more shocking. Not only did things change, they did so without my permission and without my notice, dragging me along with them rather I liked it or not.

I mean there are so many things that are different about my life now versus before I had a baby. My relationship with my husband is different. Actually, now that I think about it, my relationship with every person is different. It's like birth changed me and also changed the dynamics of all my friendships and family too. But before, I only noticed the outward differences. Yet inwardly I have changed too. Morally. Emotionally. And I'm having to learn all over again how to articulate my inner voice and how to express myself.

Don't get me wrong. I am happy in the life. There is joy, there is quiet. There is peace. I just feel like I don't know who I am anymore--but maybe I don't need to know. I don't know. Ahhugh. Anyway, I noticed that my blog content changed after birth too. I lost a lot of readers and for the longest time I wondered why. I mean, people come and go. I get that. But I still wondered why. I now think it's because I changed, my content changed, my voice changed.

But into what have I changed...that is the question. Maybe one day I'll have sufficient rest and energy to answer it.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Week 104


The week where I bought organic bedding. The week we decided my husband could name the baby. These two things might be related...also, this marks TWO YEARS VLOGGING! Wow, huh? That's amazing. Next week I will mark one year ago, and two years ago!! Crazy, huh? I love documenting our life as I am able and I don't see myself stopping any time soon. I love that I can look back on the (badly filmed) videos of Reuben's first year of life, and now his second! I hope I have grown in my editing efforts, and I know I have a lot more growing to do... but I love this. I love thinking my kids can look back when they are adults, or I can when I am old...or my great, great grandchildren. I love capturing the amazing moments so I will never forget.

One Year Ago is here.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Rainbow Cowl

I love color. I'm kinda obsessed. I received this bulky yarn in my Knit Picks mystery box, and decided to make a cowl out of it! I love how it turned out, too! It's warm, and fun, and colorful and everything I usually look for in accessories.


I liked the pattern, it was free on Ravelry (Blue Streak). The only modification I made was to use a 16 inch circular needle as it did not fit on the 26 circular needle the pattern called for. The rest was an easy knitting project with a simple, memorable pattern and an awesome rainbow outcome.


I've also started on my first sweater for my little two-year-old niece. I decided not to make the lace sweater after much deliberation. I kept feeling stressed and anxious when thinking of knitting that complicated pattern, so I've opted for something simpler and although it won't be as visually stunning, I am still excited to make matching pink sweaters for my two wonderful nieces.
 
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