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


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.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

24 Weeks

Time has flown by! I had my 20 week ultrasound (didn't find out the gender) but baby is doing well, besides measuring 3-4 weeks ahead. Looks like I am growing another 10 + pound baby. Please pray for my vagina. No matter the size of the baby it's going to hurt, but big babies I assume are a little tougher. Who knows. Not me, because the last baby I had was 10 pounds 6.1 oz so I can't compare it to a "normal" birth weight baby.

I'm just starting to feel huge. Last week my center of gravity shifted and I have been bumping into this and that and knocking things over. I'm definitely in maternity clothes at this point. I am having a lot of  joint pain really early this time around (with Reuben this didn't happen until around the last 2 months) and I think it's because I still have my abdominal split issue. Pregnancy is making it worse again, and I will have to start all over with physical therapy to close it up after birth. Not looking forward to that, but what can you do?

Here are some pictures of around 24 weeks with Reuben--I think I am definitely bigger this time.

Pregnancy woes? I am having some serious gut issues that are driving me crazy. I can't wait to get this baby out of me in the hopes that my gut will calm down. I was symptom free for six months before getting pregnant with this new squish, so I have no idea what is wrong or how to fix it. Ugh.

Also, nesting. Nesting like crazy. This baby is going to have a nursery before he or she is born. At least that is my goal! If you want to see how that is going follow my daily vlogging account.

I am excited about this new baby. I am hoping for a girl. But I am trying to be happy with whatever God has blessed us with.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Week 103

The week of the solar eclipse. We wanted to travel to totality but couldn't find a place to stay because EVERYTHING was booked. So we just stayed home and watched the partial eclipse from our house. I didn't care much anyway for the moon eclipsing the sun, but husband was bummed we didn't get to see the full thing.

One year ago is here.