Friday, August 18, 2017

Baby Socks

I have been knitting a lot of things for the baby lately. When I first found out I was expecting I found a Toe Up Baby Sock pattern and promptly knit up a cute tiny pair of infant socks! I can't wait to put them on my newborn.

While I wasn't really impressed with this pattern, I am not giving up on knitting socks and have plans to try two other baby sock knitting patterns in hopes I can find one I really like. Baby socks are so quick and fun to knit. Also, right after finishing these is when morning sickness hit me like a fright train and so I'm just posting a picture now.

Ohh, tiny baby feet! I'm so excited for this January baby so he or she can wear wool! Reuben, although a wonderful child, was born in July and did not need such things.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Things I need for Second Baby

When I had Reuben I published a list of things I bought for him before he was born. Many of those things (and the things we received from our baby shower) we will use again. We have almost everything we need if we have another boy with the exception of a few infant toys that Reuben utterly destroyed or that I gave away.

So what do we need? There are a few products that have come out since Reuben's birth that have peeked my interest, and a few things I realized I would like to try. So here is what I will be buying for my second baby; yes my sixth pregnancy, but my second birth.

  • I bought a dockatot. Since I have a toddler, this baby will need it's own space and safe area to lay down to sleep. I was lucky to find the infant dockatot (goes up to 8-9 months) for sale used locally for almost 1/2 the price. We will use the dockatot only for naps and lounging (as I said, a safe space for me to place baby that a toddler can learn not to touch) until four months and then I plan on using it as a bedsharing cosleeper. The arms reach cosleeper we bought for Reuben will be used as the baby's sleeping area for nighttime sleeping until four months. Or the tiny kid will just sleep on my chest. Because you can't really predict baby sleep preferences. 
  • I splurged BIG TIME and bought Reuben and new baby a matching pair of rainbow Sloomb Woolies. I love Sloomb Woolies (but they are $70 each)! As this baby is due January 29th I decided wool would be wonderfully useful AND that the money was worth spending. I spent a lot of time looking at the Sloomb website as Reuben was growing but never bought anything. This is my splurge item for the new baby and for Reuben! I'm so excited!
  • Burp cloths. What, you say? You didn't buy burp cloths for Reuben? Well, I had one pack of two. And goodness knows I needed a lot more than two, but never got around to buying more because I was exhausted from being a sleep deprived mom and my brain wasn't functioning well enough to make the connection to buy more. This time we will be buying a lot of burp cloths for sure. I'm thinking cute ones from target--I'll probably add this to my baby sprinkle registry for baby two. 
  • A car seat. Reuben's infant car seat is in good condition and is not expired, so we will reuse it--but we have two cars, and thus will need another baby car seat for my car eventually. 
  • If the baby is a girl (and I am SO HOPEFUL) we will need to buy some "girlish" clothes. I do plan on reusing a lot of Reuben's clothes. I'm not picky and I definitely have sentimental attachments to them; but I do want some things new for this baby, girl or no. 
  • I plan on cloth diapering again. We will only need one or two covers as some of Reuben's covers are completely worn out. I already knit a diaper cover for the new baby, and plan on making several more items as well.
  • Maybe items: there are a few items we are considering but have not purchased yet. A double stroller? A standard Mai tai? And I've been seriously considering a my breast friend nursing pillow. I am not sure if we will buy all those things, but they are on the list to consider. 
What did you guys buy for your first or second baby? Any suggestions to add to the list?

Monday, July 31, 2017

Giving up to Survive

I'm around fourteen weeks now, and I've started to acclimate to the nausea. In order to reduce my stress I have given up a lot of things that I thought were permanent parts of my life! I am starting to function so whatever works, right?

Here is what I have given up.
  1. Cloth diapers. Reuben is wearing plastic on his butt. Gasp.
  2. Making my husband lunch. He just starves. I mean, he eats at a restaurant for lunch.
  3. Worrying about our budget. I'm pregnant and miserable and just need to eat, not item crunch. Or make lunches for my husband.
  4. Unpaper towels. We bought paper towels for the first time in two years. The Earth can look after it's own self for a few weeks while I figure out how to walk without getting dizzy.
  5. Facebook. I needed to simplify. I've been having panic attacks and stress trying to keep up with my interpersonal relationships. I usually love facebook, but for right now it has to go! I need to get my own ducks in a row before I can worry about toddler advice or vaccine debates.
  6. Worrying about how much TV we are watching. Am I able to lay on the couch? Is my toddler's attention not on me? Yay, who cares what else is happening.
  7. Making videos. Nope, not happening. I can barely feed myself, so filming stuff is at the bottom of the totem.
  8. Finding a picture for this blog post. I mean, all blog posts need pictures, so I slapped one up from Reuben's birthday drive on the blue ridge parkway, but it really isn't relevant to this post. Oh well, I don't care.
Downsizing all these things may not seem like much, but it really has been the world for me! I feel better equipped to deal with my two year old (who is suddenly so two, tantrums and all) and attempt to get something done with my life, like make food. And feed myself. And try to relax so I don't have panic attacks.

You know, priorities.

How are you guys?

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Week 94

The week I threw up a lot. The week I got my hair cut. The week of morning sickness. Take your pick. Ugh. I only vlogged twice because I was having a hard time holding it together. Literally.

One year ago is here!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

I'm not doing well

What do you do when you are at the end of your mom rope? This is week five or six of survival mode. Nauseousness is becoming my new normal. Reuben has not been sleeping well. Right now we are both sick; Daddy has been working 11 hour days and I just realized yesterday that I need help.

I need help but I don't know where to find it. All my friends are also exhausted overworked moms. My sister just had a baby and I can't even take care of myself right now, much less help her. My mom has chronic lyme and is also in need of help I can't give. Everyone needs help! We all need help but I'm still slowly drowning over here.

I'm so behind on everything. I feel like I will never be caught up. Every day I get through the day and my toddler is fed and usually I am fed and that is it. I feel like I am intellectually and emotionally starving. I have not been able to work on my book, knit, crochet or make a video. I miss those parts of myself because they were cathartic.

Everything feels insurmountable. Dishes? I get ill looking at them. It takes all day to have the energy to do them sometimes. I am so tired all of the time. I don't function well on little sleep. I have not had alone time with my husband in weeks, since Reuben is refusing to go to bed until we do. I don't have the energy to fight him every night, when my "morning sickness" is the worst and I'm exhausted physically and emotionally. 

I feel like my life is on replay. I watch Reuben and try to connect with him and try to nap when he naps and watch way to much TV and get annoyed with him because he has to touch everything all the time and specifically he has to be touching me and nothing makes my anxiety skyrocket then sticky toddler fingers in my hair. The poor dude is sick too, and thus wanting to nurse extra.

I love nursing. Well, I loved nursing when I wasn't pregnant. Now it is kind of like a slow torture. I don't even know if I am making any milk to help him!

Well, then daddy gets home and we both collapse on the couch and eat whatever I made or usually what he brought for dinner and I cry inwardly from exhaustion while he changes Reuben's diaper and we watch more TV because we can't function.

I'm not fuctioning.

I love being a mom. I love Reuben, I love that we are being blessed with a new baby. But I am so mentally and physically tired. I don't know how to pull myself out of this hole. I am trying to fall on my face before God but I am even too tired to do that most days! It does not help that I am bad at accepting help from others. I feel like I bother them, like I'm some giant inconvenience. The further I get behind the more guilt I feel. We've been missing church and small group--connections as an extrovert that I really need not to miss! Last week our washing machine AND our mower broke. Our budget is shot. Everything feels out of control.

new lawn mower
Lately I've just felt...that I can't do this anymore. That something has to change. But I don't know what, where, or when or how. I feel like I'm failing as a wife, a friend, a mother, and as a creative person.

Reuben also turned two yesterday and I was too sick to take him anywhere to celebrate. I still have his cake to make him, he's excited to make it with me. He doesn't know he's two. When I ask him how old he is, he says "two in July" because that is what I have told him for the last six months when anyone asks. I always said "he turns two in July". It is so cute. He really makes me happy. If only he wasn't so high maintenance sometimes! I have no idea how he is going to cope with sharing mommy and daddy with a new tiny human. My gut tells me it is going to be a huge adjustment for him, just like I am sure it will be for me.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

I'm dying and I can't get up

Well, I might be the most melodramatic person on the internet: but baby number two nausea has been the 5th circle of hell. Reuben's pregnancy was only the 10th circle so you can see things have escalated quite a bit.

With Reuben, my nausea was gone by 11 weeks. Completely gone. I'm 12 weeks with this bean and still confined to the fetal position trying not to throw up most nights. 6 out of 7 nights. Some days I have ALL DAY nausea. Oh, and not just nausea. I ALSO have vertigo and I feel like I'm going to pass out all the time.

literally me all the time. not pictured, the bucket to my left
Everyone keeps telling me that second pregnancies are usually worse then first ones. I thought since my body already did this once, it would know what it was doing and be easier on me! Oh well. Lesson learned?

I like to rationalize my nausea. It ranges from 30% to "get me a bucket NOW". I tell husband the percentage so he can gauge my mood. Thirty percent means there might be a dinner when he arrives home. Anything over 50 and he needs to bring take out. Anything over 70 and he can expect to find his mom watching Reuben when he arrives home with me sobbing in the bathroom.

I hate nausea. I don't care what level of nausea you are having--any is bad. A lot is horrible. All day? Good luck getting anything done. I am so far behind on laundry that my husband went to Walmart and bought himself NEW BOXERS to wear instead of washing the 6,405 dirty ones piled up in the washroom. Men.

I have not knit a stitch in four weeks, filmed a video, or showered without calculating how far I am from the toilet. Because I need to know. Really, I do. Mistakes, or missing the toilet...are not fun.

I have not vlogged or cleaned. My husband has been doing the grocery shopping while listening to me whine about how much I hate being nauseous all the time.

Oh and the crusher....we bought Reuben a book about having a sibling. After reading said book to him, daddy asked him if he wanted a sister. He said no.

Later I asked him again. He said, and I quote "not right now mommy."

I just hope he sleeps through the night before the new baby arrives.

Week 93

One year ago vlogs are here.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Week 92

The week I found out I was pregnant! I hope it's a girl. Daddy wants another boy. Who knows?

One year ago is here!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Crochet Ruffle Boot Cuffs

I've made knit ruffle boot cuffs so of course I had to make crochet ruffle boot cuffs! To make these cuffs you will need a 4.25mm crochet hook (size G) and around 300 yards of worsted weight yarn. Crochet eats up yarn like crazy! I used about 50 yards for each base cuff (so 100 yards total) and about 30 yards for each color ruffled row (so 60 yards total per row per ruffle).

I did rainbow ruffles, but you can do one color or two or six like me! The options are limitless. You can also leave more space between the ruffles if you desire by adding more rows of hdc in the back loops. This is explained in the pattern! Good luck.

You can view the PDF pattern here and the YouTube video below (or here) Happy crocheting!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Crochet Basic Booties

We need more basic boot cuff patterns! I have a lot of funky ones that I love, but sometimes I just want something normal. That's why I designed this pattern!

For these boot cuffs you need worsted weight yarn and a 4.25mm crochet hook. Download the PDF file here, or watch the video below. Happy crocheting!

Monday, June 26, 2017

A bit of News

Well, hopefully in January Reuben will have a sibling.

I've spent the last two weeks worrying about miscarriages. Since I've had four I worry a lot in the first trimester! I'm nowhere near the end of it either.

Right now I'm eight weeks pregnant. Eight weeks to enjoy a little tiny baby! (okay, well horrible morning sickness set in around week 6 so...) But I plan to cherish this pregnancy for as long as it lasts.

he has no idea what is coming in January
With Reuben, I never got to enjoy my pregnancy. I had three miscarriages before conceiving him and I was certain he would die. I didn't buy anything until 34 weeks and even then I thought I'd just have to return it. I had anxiety and depression, two things I had never suffered from before, while pregnant. I hated alluding to my belly. I did not talk to him in the womb. I did not knit him anything because I was afraid he would die like the rest of my babies. I did not think I would want even hold him after birth because I felt absolutely no connection with him out of fear. When my husband would talk positively about our baby I would tell him to be quiet or change the subject or have a panic attack. I really thought he would die.

Luckily he was born one day after his due date (all 10p 6oz of him) and I immediately fell in love. 

I had another miscarriage when Reuben was 8 months old.

And now I am pregnant again. I know there are a lot of loss mamas who read my blog and I hope this news comes gently to you. I know it hurts.

I am around 8 weeks now and I hope pregnancy will be different this time around because I am different, I've learned a lot. Yet I am filled with fear and anxious. Is there any such thing as depression and anxiety and brain fog with pregnancy? I do not have it normally. It seems to be connected to pregnancy. I don't know if I will lose this baby or not. I feel positive about it staying, but I feel depressed and couch ridden otherwise. And nauseated.

I want so much to enjoy and celebrate this baby while it is here for however long it is here. And that is what I try to point myself towards.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

It's Not a Fad, and other Crunchy Confessions

My crunchy lifestyle is not a fad.

I don't get it why neurotypical adults act like I'm infringing on their food safety bubble when I talk about my food allergies. Or my kid's food allergies. Or how diet healed my body. Or how I'm not in chronic pain or suffering from chronic constipation anymore because of my diet. Sometimes I feel like I am practicing voodoo or black magic from the looks they give me!

I try really hard not to be judgmental about other people's choices. But I expect the same in return. I am not standing on the rooftop demanding everyone be paleo; that would be insane! I advocate for paleo and how it changed my life, but I respect other people's decisions and I realize that all bodies are different. My husband feels better vegan. However, he does not pressure me to be vegan! He respects my food choices, and I try to respect his.

Just a few short years ago I was in chronic pain. I suffered from chronic constipation since EIGHT YEARS OLD. I had brain fog, joint pain, and reoccurring miscarriages, just to name a few of the issues I've dealt with since a young age.

After three miscarriages I finally had my rainbow baby. But Reuben did not nap or sleep until around a year old and he cried all the time as an infant. He was covered in eczema. I was frantic to find out what was wrong, frantic for answers and help, not condemnation and sneers! Doctors had no answers and largely dismissed my fears while offering my four month old steroids. I researched on my own. Steroid creams only made his eczema worse.

Reuben, 11 months, Healing
It took me nine months to find out his major allergies and a few short months later, his skin was clear and he started actually sleeping.

I wish I could show those who judge the tears I shed as I held my sobbing, bleeding son, trying to keep him from scratching his eczema, not knowing how to help him. I will never forget how helpless I felt and how much I sobbed to God during that time.

So many people badmouth "the google degree". GUYS, the google degree saved my life. A biomedical group on Facebook saved my son (Recovering Kids Biomedical Healing) and their protocol HEALED my son.

I myself went to western doctors for years. YEARS. They did nothing to help me. I was told to eat more fiber. That made my constipation and pain worse. I was told I had arthritis and there was nothing they could do. Since being paleo (it took six months) I have no more joint pain. I am not randomly confined to bed, barely able to move in pain. I haven't worn my arm brace--a monthly occurrence--in over a year.

So, no. My crunchy lifestyle is not a bandwagon fad. I'm not doing it to prove how I'm so much better then you. I'm not doing it to make you feel bad about how many oreos or cheeseburgers you feed yourself or your kids. If I could digest oreos, I'd eat them too!

It's saving my life. It's saving my son's life. Perhaps you could understand this before you tell me you "hate those food snob all organic people" who have "high minded ideas about food". Do you think I LIKE spending a house payment a month on organic food at the grocery store? I have a (few?) autoimmune diseases. Eating this way significantly raises my quality of life. So take your smug expression over my organic health eating choices elsewhere. I'm happy your body can digest and process every food known to man. Mine can't.

I like being a functional human being who is not in pain. I like having a child who sleeps and who isn't broken out in bloody sores all over his face.

And that is why I follow this crunchy path. It is not a fad. Don't belittle the fierceness of a mama bear researching at 1 am or call her desire to heal herself or her children "misguided" or "playing doctor". And don't ever utter the words "all in her head" or "making it up".  Yes,  I've been told that.

Biomedical healing does not work for everyone; that is not what I am trying to say. But don't limit your choices. I would have tried almost anything to help my son sleep for his mental, emotional and psychical health and mine! We went to doctor after doctor and specialist after specialist. It was a nightmare.

I am my child's greatest advocate, especially when he doesn't have a voice. Doctors can see between 20-30 patients a day . I have only one Reuben and a lifetime to devote to his care. I also have a lifetime degree in learning my own body and knowing my own heath. I can find out what is wrong and I can fix it. I know myself. And there is a wealth of information on the internet at my fingertips.

I'm not saying to believe everything you read on the internet. I am not saying to abandon your doctor. I am just saying that perhaps we put to much faith in overworked doctors who don't live inside the vessel they are trying to heal--and not enough faith in our own hands.

Work with your doctor. Work by yourself. But don't give up hope for healing, even in tiny steps. We are all on a journey towards death, as morbid as it sounds. I know I can't escape the inevitable.

But I know myself best. I can delay my sickness and even heal the body I've been given. I can learn more about how it works and how to care for it.

Thus my crunchy-mindedness is not a fad. No, it is a deep vein of research I have poured hours and hours and hours of my life into. And I haven't even scratched the surface. 

So before you judge why I panic when you hand my son a treat I am not familiar with--before you judge my hesitation to a request to eat out, or come to a meal-related event...perhaps you could just ask why. And listen. Because it's a long story, and there are a lot of tears along the way.

Monday, June 19, 2017

What I Spent April 2017

Another month, another budget.

Bills: $385

Our bills for this month are:
  1. YMCA ($75)
  2. Audible ($25)
  3. Cell phones, mine and husbands ($25)
  4. Electric bill ($200)
  5. Internet ($60)
No water bill this month because it's every two months. I expect it to go up since we will be watering our garden every day now.

Eating Out ($90)

We did great eating out this month! We ate out four times, twice for pizza (they have gluten and dairy free in our town now) and once for Mexican food, and once at Zoe's Kitchen. Win.

Grocery ($797)

I say we did pretty good on groceries this month. My goal is to keep it under $800 and we did that. Next month our CSA starts and hopefully that will lower grochery cost even more.

Reuben ($225)

Reuben needed new diapers and some training pants for potty training. I love our cloth diapers, and I bought some wool covers and a bunch of training underpants from Green Mountain Diapers.

Home ($1082)

This month my car died. We bought a car from a lady at church as well as paid to get new plates at the DMV. It's a nice car. I feel like I'm driving a boat. This will have to be split up into monthly payments so as not to totally ruin our budget. (going to do 136 a month for six months)

Personal Money ($504)

Carolynn ($385)

I bought myself a new diaper bag, some rainbow leggings, gas for my car, a bookshelf for our living room (I love it, isn't it awesome) and some babysitting.

Brian ($119)

Brian ate out at a fast food places on his own, bought a teemo hat (that Reuben is wearing above) and random things on amazon...and a gift for me.

Tithe ($150)

That brings our total spent in January to $3188. We also earned some money. Brian sold a junker car that had been sitting behind our house for $100. I made $75 from selling my foxy tula that Reuben outgrew. I sold some other baby stuff for $30, and I received $40 as a gift from my mother in law. That brings our total to $2943, still $1000 above budget. We have $123 saved for our fence, but that was eaten up, bringing it to $2820. The $820 above budget is because of the car we bought, and I will be spacing it out over the next six months in payments of 136 a month.

Money saved for fence: $0. can you see my crying emoji face? Better luck next month!

The 2017 budget series:

January : February : March : April : May : June : July : August : September : October : November : December

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Week 89

Oh, week 89. How hard you were. We started with finally getting our garden planted. Reuben decided to get FOUR TEETH at once, and also have a growth spurt. Yes, please buy me coffee. Then I got the first draft of my book back and realized I love writing but I hate editing. It's tedious but so good, kind of like pealing off a bandied or receiving shock therapy. I mean, I've never received shock therapy but I can see how they might be similarly humiliating and soul crushing. 

But I am going to push through. I've created a rough draft, now lets shine it up. Why is it so painful?

Also, I don't think this is in the vlog, but my mother in law showed up TWICE this week without calling, and we had a fight. I hate fights. Please call before coming over. Just so I can make sure I'm wearing clothes. Please. Call.

I think she learned her lesson. I need more coffee.

Want to know what I was doing last year? There's video evidence, so here ya go.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The 5 things I've learned in 5 years of Christianity

I was thinking the other day: I've been a christian for five years now! Five is a long time. At least to me.

So I thought I would postulate on the five things I feel I've learned these past five years.

1) Everything I know about God is wrong.

Okay, so I know I'm a Christian now. But that first year--I feel like I had to unlearn more than I learned. Because there was so many expectations, misconceptions and lies about God and Christianity that I internalized over the years. I had to throw it all out the window and start from scratch by reading the bible and learning what God actually has to say. I'm still learning. But realizing my foundations of what I thought God was were wrong was very traumatic for me. I cried a lot. I questioned a lot. It was very healing and very hard.

2) Christians are very diverse and this is frustrating  

Three or so years into my Christian walk I realized that the religion of Christianity is extremely diverse. I mean, I've seen arguments in Christian Facebook groups about the timeline of the tribulation. I've had heated discussions in my church about Calvinism (you are saved forever) and Arminianism (you can lose your salvation). I've seen people throwing out the exact same verses out to support one or the other. We fallen humans do not have the "key" to understanding the bible. So we have to guess sometimes, or assume, or even postulate--because some things are just not black and white. Or are they? Because for each questions you'll find one Christian that thinks it is obvious while another says it cannot be discerned. Add in another Christian who believes the exact opposite and arrive at the conundrum that is Christianity.

This is really frustrating for me as a young Christian. I hate the bickering and fighting among people who should get along. But we can't agree, we won't agree, and that is okay and also hard to accept at times. I...I count myself blessed that I have a God who knows the truth, who knows what is right and what is not--even if I mistakenly infer otherwise. I put my faith in Him to work it out all out even as I blunder around seeking answers. And if the answer can't be found? I trust in the wisdom that He has given me to make whatever decision I need to make. I will make mistakes. I am not perfect. Nor do I know the truth, or even pretend to be able to discern doctrine that Christians have been arguing about since the bible was written.

3) I let God down every day.

I am sinful. Salvation did not erase my sin nature, I still struggle with my own selfish wants and desires. I wish I had a pair of glasses that would let me see the world the way God does, so I could follow him easier. My own eyes see only a limited skyline, and my vision is continually distracted by my own finite, sinful attitude. I have never been more aware of my need for God's cleansing salvation. (If you are one of those Christians that believe you cease to sin after salvation, please reread point two above...and your bible.)

4) My life has been significantly altered by my salvation

I don't know how to accurately describe this point other then what I've stated. I see a huge difference in my spirit and my heart, my conscious and my compassion. I am not perfect, but I can tell God is at work in my life and in my heart. I can tell I belong to Him. I feel a joy in the depths of my soul that I know is rooted in God.

5) The mysteries of the bible are never-ending

There is so much in the bible to learn and read that I will never, even if I dedicated my entire life to biblical research--come to a complete understanding of God's word. This both awes and frightens me.

So that's what I've learned in my first five years of following God.

What have you learned? Was your first five years like mine, or different?

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Knitting, Crochet and Copyright Law

I tend to jump in head first without researching. What can I say? I'm impulsive. While this can be an admirable trait, sometimes I need to take a step back and research things. Whatever your hobby is, make sure to research any laws for your state and country before proceeding into any internet-related endeavor! It's very important!

Here is part of my research of knitting, crochet and copyright law, as well as how I've "technically" broken the rules and what I do now to make sure I am working within the parameters of the law.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

My Old Doll House

I had a really awesome doll house as a kid. Well, I think I did. My mom helped us make one with old crates and project board. I stumbled upon these pictures when I was going though some old photos last week, that I'd put on a jump drive and forgotten about! Oh, this brings back memories. My sister and I played dolls for hours and hours every day until I was around fourteen or fifteen years old. We would create elaborate adventures of escape and discovery games with our dolls. They would caravan around the country in the 1800s and go on space exportations to discover lost civilizations.

These pictures from our doll house were from when I was 8 or 9. I really hope I find some of when I was older, because we had a lot more walls up!

The kitchen. I wonder how long it took my mom to draw in all the squares on the wall?

Living room.

This is the kitchen in my sister's doll house. We each had a separate house.

 My sister loves animals. This was her pet room!

Wow, so many memories. And yes, in the above room I did tape Pokemon to the wall. I was obsessed with that card game as a kid!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Knit Ruffle Cuffs

I love ruffles. They are so fun! And I also love this variegated pink yarn! It had to be ruffled, guys. It had to be! Thus, my ruffle boot cuffs were born.

You need DK weight yarn for this project, 240 yards for the large size. Needles used are 3.75mm to knit the cuff and 4.0mm to knit the ruffles. The video can be seen here and you can download the PDF file for free here. Happy ruffling!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Week 87

A week of adventures. I really can't remember what stuck out this week. Planting flowers? Playing with the Roo? Going on walks? Swimming at the pool? Things we do a lot (well, except the garden) but wonderful things even if they are repetitious. This is my life.

One Year Ago is here!

Friday, June 2, 2017

What I Read April 2017

I read a measly 10 books in April! I've been reading up a storm this year so I really slowed down this month. Like really.

In the Meh Book Category:

I didn't like most of the books I read this month. It was a pretty disappointing month, to tell the truth. I thought Deadly Flowers by Sarah Thompson would be really good. I was planning on giving it a five star review until half way through it just went downhill fast. Suddenly there was a lot of mysticism and all the bad guys turned out to have something lame in common (no spoilers), and the main male character just up and left the narration 75% of the way through for absolutely no reason. And I still don't get the demon-that-looks-like-the-love-interest part.

The Twin's Daughter by Lauren Logsted was just creepy. Really creepy. Too creepy for me. The twist at the end, where what you think is a loving character turns out not to be loving at all...through me for the biggest loop. Dislike.

The worst book I read was The Falconer's Knot: A Story of Friars, Flirtation and Foul Play by Mary Hoffman. It was truly awful, full of stock characters with no emotional depth and every trope known to mankind. And it wasn't written well either. I couldn't finish it.

I also read Behind the Attic Wall by Sylvia Cassedy. Is she crazy or is she crazy? And isn't it sad? It was too sad. I don't recommend. Also, I remember reading this as a kid because of the backwoods girls...but I don't think I finished it. At least, it wasn't memorable enough if I did.

In the YAY Category:

The only book I really read that I liked was Hannah by Kathryn Lasky. And it's not even a particularity good book. I just happen to really like that genre no matter how many tropes there are.

I'm also currently reading a gardening book that I really like by Deborah Martin (Rodale's Basic Organic Gardening: A Beginner's Guide to Starting a Healthy Garden) but I haven't finished it yet and have not even started gardening, so I can't report on it's usefulness. Right now I just feel apprehensive and overwhelmed. But a lot more informed than I was sans book...

Honorable Mentions:

I read Ophelia by Lisa Klein and liked it okay. Ophelia is interesting and lovable and intriguing, and I liked seeing the world though her eyes. I want to read more by Klein, but it wasn't love if you know what I mean. It was enjoyable, for sure, and entertaining, but not...memorable. I enjoyed my one read through and won't be picking it up again.

Another honorable mention is Winnie-the-Pooh. I adored it, but it's a kid book. And that about sums it up. Maybe if I'd ever read it as a kid it would be more memorable to me. I did give it five stars, but I'm not bubbling over with excitement about it. I do want to read it to Reuben. I'm just not into idealistic chapter books anymore. That ship sailed when I turned eight. 

What did you read this month? To see these and other books I read, check out my goodreads here. Also, I am always open to book suggestions!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

What I Spent March 2017

Can we just talk about how hard budgeting is before you read this months budget? Ugh. I don't even know what happened. We spent way over our budget of $2000 a month (we are trying for $1800 but didn't even get close this month). What did we buy? More on that below. Ugh.

Bills: $1140
Our bills for this month are:
  1. YMCA ($75)
  2. Audible ($25)
  3. Cell phones, mine and husbands ($25)
  4. Electric bill ($200)
  5. Internet ($60)
  6. Water ($80)
  7. House Taxes (we own our home) (675$)
I forgot we'd be paying our home taxes this month! This pushes our bills up wayyyy over what I budget. Good thing we also got our tax return back this month or we'd be in the red. I also got a question about our electric bill. Is it really $200 a month? No, its not. I budget $200 for it a month but in the summer it can be as low as $75 and in the winter it can be as much as $300. I just forget to update the exact number, but I always know we budget $200 for it. Same goes for the water bill. Sometimes I forget to look at exactly how much it is (husband manages those two bills and pays them) but I do know we budget $80.

Eating Out ($190)

We ate out too much AGAIN. Poop. We are only supposed to spend 100$ eating out a month. Fail. But, I did enjoy a really fun date night with the hubs at our favorite place--as well as a lot of weekend meals. This covers five times eating out, and one of those times we paid for a friend as well as for ourselves (hi Jon).

Grocery ($1087)

I'm not even halfway though the budget and we already hit $2000. Thanks, taxes. I have no idea how we spent this much on grocery food, but my receipts tell the truth.

Reuben ($40)

Finally something under budget! We budget $100 for Reuben each month for growing expenses, toys, trips, or doctor visits he needs. This month he got two (new to him) pairs of shoes, and some summer clothes (he needed more shorts) and also a friend was selling her kid's gently used winter clothes on facebook in 3T so I grabbed them up.

Home ($687)

This isn't a category we usually have, but since we got our tax return back we decided to spend it starting a garden in our front yard. We bought pressurized wood to build a frame, dirt, an electric rototiller, and chicken wire to put around the garden so deer don't eat all our food. This garden starting business was more expensive than I thought it would be, but it's only a starting cost. We won't be spending this much on it yearly! I'm glad its almost done (haven't put the wire up yet). Kudos to husband for doing the majority of the work. I mean, I did watch the Reuben, but husband dug out the raised beds, hauled everything... and built everything.

Personal Money ($595)

Carolynn ($505)

Yes, I know. I know. I spent like 80% of the personal money. I'm sorry. It happens. I hired a babysitter four times ($160) bought myself gas twice, some socks, some yarn, some clothes and some cloth pads.

Brian ($90)

Brian bought an essential oil to try for his anxiety, as well as a book, gas for his car, and breakfast from McDonald's.

Tithe ($200)

That brings our total spent in January to $3939, almost $2000 over our budget of 1800. Are you shocked? I am. However, we received a tax return of $2000, bailing us out so we didn't have to take anything from our savings account. This saves $61 for our fence, bringing our total saved to $123. We had hoped to save our full tax return for the fence but as you can see above, we literally failed at that. At least we saved something. Right?

The 2017 budget series:

January : February : March : April : May : June : July : August : September : October : November : December

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Week 86

Easter, allergies, and lots of paleo food. I really cracked down on my snacking this week, because I've been having some blood sugar issues. I hate brain fog! Paleo fixes it, but I am a lazy potato. However, this week I threw away my lazy attitude and paleofied everything! I also started sewing a sweater again with some bulky yarn! Fingers crossed I actually finish it! I'm so nervous. Mostly because my last sweater...I gave up after halfway.

One Year Ago is here.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Crochet Books I Own

I don't own many crochet books. I like to make up my own patterns, as I think my dyslexia and impatience (I am a very impatient person) make following other's patterns difficult. But, here are my thoughts on the three crochet books I own, as well as tips on what to look for if you are just starting out!

Contrary to what you might think, you don't need to own any books to be good at crochet! That's right, not one! It all really depends on how you learn. So don't worry if you don't have funds, or space to store heavy fiber art books! Just look at what you need, and what you use, and go from there!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

House Tour 2017

I do a house tour every year. I've been doing them since I lived at home with my parents in 2010, although it was a room tour at that time! You can see all my house tours here. The past four have been video tours, the first few are picture only, before I started YouTube!

My favorite thing about our house right now is our big yard. I didn't include the yard in this video, but it's in a few of the others. I love the grass, and Reuben loves all the space to explore!

Enjoy our wonderful house tour below. Let me know what you think!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Reuben's Favorite Books

Library books can be hit and miss for a toddler. Have you ever noticed that? I find about 50% of the books we check out he just isn't interested in at all, and will wiggle out of my arms to go get another, or just close the book and say "all done". And it's for many different reasons. Some have too many words. Some are really uninteresting. Some have pictures that just don't translate well for little ones.

But some are perfect. And this post is about Reuben's top three library books that he loves, and that we check out over and over and even request holds on!

The first one he really enjoys is The Bear Ate Your Sandwich. Even I enjoyed this one! There is a cute little twist at the end, and the whole tale is well drawn and well written. I don't tire of reading about how bears make it to big cities to steal sandwiches from little girls.

When we picked up Panda Pants at the library I read it six times to Reuben in the first day. Daddy does the best voices, and also read it to him a lot that day too! It's written like a conversation, and it's really easy for a toddler to understand and grasp. Also, the drawings are vivid but not cluttered: perfect for a very distractable toddler who gets overwhelmed by lots of colors and prints easily. I did get tired of reading it so much (he like LOVES it to the point of obsession) but we will be checking it out again.

reading panda pants to himself
The last, but definitely not least book that we enjoy is There's a Bear on my Chair. This book also has simple, clear pictures that are done well. And the words are large and easy to read. But my favorite part, as the parent reading the book, is the rhyme! The story rhymes and flows well and is fun to read aloud to my toddler. Who loves pointing to the mouse! And also, the mouse's sweaters are to die for and I must knit a miniature version!

What does your toddler like to read? Please give me suggestions! Hunting through rows of books at the library with a squirmy toddler is difficult. Usually I just grab and go, and we end up with a lot of duds.
Have you read any of these?

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Week 85

This week: daddy filmed Reuben's morning routine and I decluttered a lot, as well as talked about what is going on in my heart and in my marriage.

We also did an Easter egg hunt. Do people really tell their kids that some mythical bunny brings them gifts? I was honestly shocked out of my bubble a bit. I wouldn't tell my kid that. It just sounds wrong. And weird.

Anyway, Hope you enjoy the vlogs and the tiny glimpses into our lives!

One YEAR ago we were here.

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