Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Socks


I finally finished a pair of socks! These came out a little big--I think I will go down a needle size next time. They are made out of 100% wool. I love them! The pattern is from Wendy D.



I am trying to finish all my works in progress before I start anything new. That is my 2018 goal. I have two scarfs and a sweater and a shawl that are all "in progress". I may frog some of them. We will see...


Monday, June 11, 2018

Dress for Becky












This is the Eileen Dress by Taiga. We love it! Glad to have finished knitting something.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

trying my hardest and it's not enough

I remember when I was single and even newly married and I would read articles about how women can have it all: a career, a social life, a husband and a family.

I am here to tell you that is 100% not my experience. At least not right now with a four month old and an almost three year old. I feel like I'm stuck on a bipolar roller coaster; going up when I least expect it only to plunge down again when I am finally comfortable.

Reuben's bedtimes are great for a few days than a disaster. He eats everything one day and won't eat for anything for days. He is sweet and loving to Rebekah and then tries to literally shove his food into her mouth while I am doing dishes. He randomly (at least how it seems to me) tantrums. I love him dearly, but this is hard. We never had terrible twos--but I think three is going to be an adventure I may not want to remember.


I am exhausted and have not brushed my hair in days. Last week I went a week without showering and didn't even notice until my husband mentioned it. I keep forgetting to spend time with God; the one thing I do need and can't live without--my lifeline and what should be my foundation. I forget to read my bible and pray. I get all wrapped up in reacting to my kid's behavior and not showing him examples of good behavior. It's no wonder he's upset most of the time with a mom who is upset at him most of the time.

I don't know how to be a good parent when I can't even be a good person. How can I raise my son when I am not even a capable human being?

Sometimes it takes falling far to realize the only thing you are promised in life, and the only thing you need...is God. God will be there for you. I can never have it all. Striving for that dream is reaching for a lie. All I can have is God's grace, his mercy and love, his peace and his faith. I won't ever have a perfect kid. I'll never have hours and hours of free time to make videos and blog and be creative again--I have a family now and pining for what I don't have isn't going to help me feel better. I also won't suddenly get that body back that I rocked when I was 20. And if I'm honest with myself, I didn't even like my body at 20 either. Sitting here thinking of all the things I don't have just leaves me feeling jilted by life and extremely frustrated.

I need to think of what I do have. A healthy family. A nice home. A loving husband. Good (exhausted) mom friends and hardworking single friends.

Yes I have dreams and desires. No, motherhood does not fulfill me. But. Only God should have that role. Only God should fulfill me. Sticking anything else in that slot is just wrong. My creative knitting, my crochet, my video making: none of that should fulfill me either. Asking my family and my kids who have their own feelings and are their own people to fulfill me is just plain selfish as well. It's only God that can bring any peace to my heart, and only if it is his will.

I'm not saying it's wrong for me to have dreams. But those dreams are not what makes me, well, me. God made me, and I am his. And I need to remember that when the days are long and the years are short.

Week 140


I'm going to be changing up the vlogs again. It is so hard to keep track of all these weeks, so I am just going to start naming them the dates that they run for. Like "May 15-18" or something like that. I will still try to keep track of one or two years ago but I can't make any promises. It's hard to find all the videos from so long ago, but I do like having them linked. I think I will have to start a new way of keeping track of all the vlogs. Maybe I will do a monthly dump instead of weekly?

Any ideas?

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Changes

I have to realize that I do get into a postpartum funk. And with Reuben, it took almost a year to come out of. With Rebekah--four months. I think every time I have a baby (no idea if this is true for others) my entire life changes. The ebb and flow of my days change. My time gets crunched and doing simple things like showering, eating and cleaning become alpine climbs. Next time I have a baby I want to remember this and give myself more grace and ask for a lot of help.


I wanted to talk a little about birth. I have both Reuben's and Rebekah's birth stories on my YouTube but I wanted to talk about birth in general. I want another baby (but not right now, I would like to wait a year or two at the least) and I no longer have debilitating fear feelings surrounding the idea of birth. Isn't that great?! I mean, I am not looking forward to pushing a large human out of my delicate bits, but I no longer have soul crushing anxiety and fear when I think about it.

Pregnancy is another story, however. After three miscarriages before Reuben and one after, I have a bit of anxiety when I think of going through pregnancy again. Also gestational diabetes is NOT fun. It's awful. Yes, I was able to manage it with diet and I am lucky. But poking my finger every day three times a day was horribly traumatic for me. I would have panic attacks just thinking of the next day of pokes. I hope I do not have to go through that again. I also hope for a uncomplicated pregnancy. So many things can go wrong. I remember with Reuben I had marginal placenta previa and panicked so hard about that. I did not have it with Rebekah, but had other complications with her. I am going to start praying for God to get me through my next pregnancy if I am blessed with one. Growing a human is hard.


Something else happened this week that I am just in utter shock of. Reuben requested to sleep in his own room! All by himself!!! And the last two nights not only has he done so, but he has slept through the night and woken up without crying. I am thunderstruck. I expected him to desire his own sleeping space around five, not at almost three (in two months!!! My baby is growing up.). But it has been a much needed break for me and I really am in shock. The first night it happened I woke up a few times to check on him. The second night I only woke up once to check on him. He has never slept apart from me (or at least out of the same room) for his entire life. I know it's only been two days, but it's been an interesting process, to say the least. We are still taking it day by day--I know bedtime won't always be easy, but when it is--it's nice.

Now all we need is to get Rebekah in the crib in our room and husband and I will have a whole bed to ourselves. Can you imagine such bliss?

Some food I've been enjoying this month has been fresh made sweet tea (stevia sweetened, we are still keto) and yogurt with husband-homemade granola and fruit. The later have been breakfast staples this week! I feel on food cloud nine. Those two things are food items I look forward to almost daily and have not grown tired of yet.


Rebekah turned four months last week and I am waiting for her four month sleep regression. I remember it being one of the worst with Reuben where he didn't sleep for 48 hours and I am trying to prep food and prepare for it. So far nothing, but her last sleep regression was a whole week later than expected so perhaps this one will be also. That means it will hit today or tomorrow. I am prepared! Her sleep regressions so far have been how Reuben normally used to sleep, so its not that bad. I mean, it's hard that she does not sleep much during the day, but she at least sleeps at night (unless regressing). This somewhat allows me to be a functioning human, unlike Reuben who at her age never slept and near about killed me. I am not joking.

Gotta count the little things, right?

Another thing I talked about last time was sex after pregnancy. It hurt for a whole year (like I would sob after) with Reuben. It's still painful postpartum now but I am not sobbing. More like just not enjoying it and being sore during and after. But making time for intimacy is 350% harder because we have two kids not just one! My vaginal recovery has been much improved this time even if it is not perfect. So there is that, if you wanted to know.

And that's the end of my meandering update. Until next time!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Week 134


I only ended up taking a two week break from vlogging, but it was much needed. Back to doing it whenever I can.

One year ago: week 30
Two years ago: week 82


Saturday, May 19, 2018

Thoughts on Motherhoold of Two Small Ones

I feel like I have finally grown up. I'm a responsible adult with two kids. I know how to cook three meals a day, meal plan, do laundry, soothe a tantrum, make beds, wipe mouths, organize a fridge and feel creatively stifled all at the same time. I know how to have good intentions and never follow through with them.

Sometimes I feel like I am a machine. My machine runs off of hastily consumed food and cold coffee. My levers read "bathe toddler" and "change sheets" and the noise that consumes my cogs is a mix of a baby fussing and pots clanging. This sound is played over and over again and my hinges are wearing out. I am derelict.

Yesterday I went to the store for groceries without brushing my hair. I got home and looked in the mirror and did a double take. I wanted to laugh at myself, but it was just sad. Why didn't anyone tell me that I looked legitimately homeless?! How could I forget a simple thing like brushing my hair? What must the cashier have thought?


There are so many thoughts buzzing in my head. Don't forget to switch the laundry. The dishes need to be done. Reuben needs to be changed into fresh clothes. I need a bath. I need to prep some food. The weeding is way past due. Managing a household is a full time job. It's also a lot of repetition and routine. A juggling act.

I couldn't do it without God. I need him every hour, every day, every moment. Every sunrise that creaks over the horizon brings fresh prayers to my mind begging him to give me the strength, the stamina to make it through. "Making It" has become the score that I tally my life by. How much TV did we watch today? Was take out part of a meal? Did I read him any books today? I feel like a failure of a mother when the TV is on and he eats Hardee's for supper while I tell him I am too tired to read books. But I feel like a worn out, tired and stressed mom when he eats homecooked peas and chicken for supper while I wash the dishes. Many days the books we read are piled all around the living room in discordant heaps, but I still feel unhappy.

I am struggling to find balance. And peace, inwardly and outwardly.

And where is my hairbrush?

Keto Breastfeeding and What I Eat in a Day


I was nervous when I started breastfeeding on the keto diet. Would I make enough milk? What if I had low supply? Luckily I make copious amount of milk and still breastfeed my toddler at least once a day.

Here are two videos: one of what I eat in a day while breastfeeding (Rebekah was two weeks old when I filmed the WIEIAD video) and one of what I do to keep my breastmilk suppy up while on keto. Hope they are helpful and informative to you if you are breastfeeding, or thinking about breastfeeding while keto! It's totally and completely safe and possible.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Knit Tiny Toddler Gloves


Reuben needed some gloves for playing outside--so I made him some! I made these for him before I had Rebekah, but am just getting around to posting the links on my blog. He requested "orange" ones and thus I found some 4.0mm knitting needles and some orange worsted weight yarn and got to work. And he loves his gloves!

You can view the video tutorial below, and/or download the free PDF pattern from Raverly here!

Monday, April 30, 2018

Mommy and Me Headband Tutorial


When I was waiting around for Rebekah to be born I made Reuben and I these Mommy and Me headbands! There is a free PDF pattern can be downloaded from Ravelry or the video tutorial for the small size can be viewed below. I had fun making these, and Reuben is tickled that we match. I crochet these mommy and me headbands using worsted weight yarn and a 4.5mm crochet hook.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

What Life is About

If I could sum up my 30s (besides kids) it would include the term "learning more". Learning more about the way the world works, the way my body works, the way society works. Seeing behind the veil.

In my 20s I took things at face value and was so busy with school and life I didn't have time (or maybe the eyes) to see how the world worked behind the scenes.

Well, I'm reading Charlotte Mason's first book about education (ITS AMAZING) and I was floored by something she said. She talked about how people spend their lives trying to get their own way. That "trying to get ones own way" is all life has boiled down to for some. She then continued talking about child raising, but I've been stuck on her first two sentences for days now.

I've never thought about it that way. My mind feels exploded. She just arbitrarily summed up what, for so long, seems so wrong about the world. Everyone is running around struggling to get their own way. Life has become this struggle among the sea of other lives to get ones own way. The American Dream has just become the Dream to Have Ones Own Way.


When I think about this in my own life, I see this play out. Why do I fight with my husband? Because I want my own way. Why do I (usually) have hard time with my toddler? Because he wants his own way. I don't want my life to be just a constant struggle to have my own way anymore. I want my life to be about God having His way.

Seeing life in these simple terms has really helped me with my internet addiction and with my spending splurging. I used to look at something and see how it would help my life and make me happy and that would justify me buying it. But now I look at it and think about how hard my husband worked for the money. I think about how I can use money for other things--not just things "I want" or even that I need. I think about how the money isn't really mine, but God's gift. It's put a whole new spin on something I have struggled with my whole life. I feel liberated!

You may think reading this that it is comment sense. Maybe I am dense but Charlotte Mason's books (that I bought off Amazon) are not only answering some parenting and homeschooling questions, but also fundamental life questions I didn't even know I had. It wasn't common sense for me.

I've always known that life is about so much more than myself, but I have not exactly lived that way in every aspect of my life. And I've never taken a microscope to my own intentions before. But I plan to now. I don't want to struggle through the rest of my existence trying to get my own way above everyone else. I want to live for Christ.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

I don't know how to make time for myself

One of the hardest things about being a mother is being a creative mother. And not being able to be creative. I miss knitting. I miss writing. I miss coffee shops by myself with a good book. I miss wasting time. Hah.

I know it's a season. But these little people keep me on my toes 24/7. If I take time for myself right now it is usually to the detriment of another part of my life. Took time to knit? Probably didn't make dinner. Or clean. Took time to shower? Well, that time that Rebekah was asleep (for like 20 minutes) could have been spent playing with the toddler. Now she's awake and I have to hold her and play with a toddler. Yay.


There isn't even time to take to cry.

I know you may not believe me. 

Rebekah does not sleep. She just doesn't. Unless I am holding her. It's so hard guys. Maybe she will learn to nap later? I have no clue. She spent the first two weeks of her life sleeping and I was amazed, because Reuben also didn't sleep ever. I was like, I DID IT. I created a baby that sleeps!!

Until she quit. It's been almost three weeks without any daytime naps. She wakes up 3 times a night--and I know that's great. Reuben wakes up twice a night. So guess how many times I wake up a night?


At least we got Reuben's bedtime fixed. We snuggle him to sleep and it usually takes 20-30 minutes, but that beats the 2-3 hours it was taking. We learned we have to wait until it's dark, for one, and also do NO TALKING. So no stimulation. It's been a week of blessed toddler bedtime routine and I for one am thanking God.

I remember that things were easier with Reuben when he turned one. I wonder if it will be the same. Right now I feel like I live in a constant state of stress and unhappiness. I am trying to be joyful and rest in God, but all I want is a mimosa and a vacation from my priorities. This is hard. God is still good, but dang this is hard. I am working every moment of every day and still not getting everything done that needs to be done! It's crazy!

So glad we are not homeschooling yet. Two more years and I'll be adding that to my plate! Yes, I'm excited. But also, where in the world will I fit it in?! And we will honestly probably have 1-2 more kids by that point. Who knows. It's up to God.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Tour My Makeup Bag


I used to not wear makeup. Now I do wear it sometimes! Here is a tour of my vegan makeup bag--a minimalist collection of makeup that I wear once or twice a month when I want to feel fancy or am going on a hot date. I wear mostly Gabriel makeup--it's vegan, but more importantly to me--gluten free. It's also pretty affordable, and to a girl that does not wear a ton of makeup a lot--that was a must!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Week 131


One Year Ago, Week 79
Two Years Ago, Week 27

The last vlog I ever made. For awhile now. Maybe I'll start up sometime again, but I expect to take at least a six month break. It got too hard to do with two kids under 3 and a husband and a full time house to run and meals to cook.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

My Crunchy Mama Postpartum Kit


It was guesswork when I bought stuff for Reuben's postpartum recovery. Now I know a little more about what to expect, although every birth is different. Here is what I bought (with links) in case you are interested!

So, what's in my Crunchy Mama Postpartum Kit?

Hemorrhoid Cream from How He's Raised

Seventh Generation Pads
Sitz Bath Spray
Stretch Mark Oil 
From Thrive Market

Breast pads
Lanolin
From Amazon

From my baby shower I got the bath herbs and the nipple cream from a dear friend. You can also hear me talk about why I got what I got in the video below!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Keto What I Eat in a Day

I went keto for my gestational diabetes, and as I was struggling through the diet I couldn't find many what I eat in a day videos from people that were pregnant or that had diabetes. I wanted to show my meals to help others who might be going through the same thing--even if I suck at making videos and filming food.


Here are two what I eat in a day videos from the keto diet (I do lazy keto, the only thing I track is carbs, I stay around 30 net carbs a day) showing what I ate when pregnant and with gestational diabetes. I filmed both of these in my third trimester! The keto diet was amazing for my gestational diabetes and really helped me control my numbers without resorting to meds or insulin. I am glad I was able to stick with it!

One thing to note-- in the first video I call what is clearly thai red curry "green curry". Oops.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Toddlers and Sleep

I wonder if there is a phase of parenthood that is called "the sleep pit of hell" that every parent goes through as they attempt to put a toddler to bed.

We are in that phase now.


There is "before Rebekah" and "after Rebekah". Before Rebekah I nursed Reuben to sleep. I had unrealistic expectations that sleep "after Rebekah" would be the same as sleep "before Rebekah". I was wrong. During my pregnancy my husband and I gently transitioned Reuben out of our bed and into a crib in our bedroom. It was not too hard. I nursed him to sleep and placed him in his crib instead of in bed with me. Sometimes he climbed out, but often he did not. He even started sleeping through the night, something he has never done before! And I slept (as blissfully as a pregnant woman can sleep) sans toddler for my third trimester--the first time in two years that I had not had one little person curled up next to me. As much as I loved bedsharing, I knew (or at least I thought, see next paragraph) that I would probably bedshare with Rebekah and thus needed to move Reuben to his own space. I also assumed I would still be able to nurse him to sleep after she was born, so we didn't change that part of our bedtime routine.


Cue the chaos of birth. I was away from my toddler for two days. This was the first time I had ever been away from him for that long. Even through he was with daddy he immediately sleep regressed when I arrived home. So, I had a newborn who didn't want to be separated from me and a toddler who missed me and also didn't want to be separated from me. Bed time has never been the same since.

First we tried daddy putting Reuben to bed. This resulted in him screaming for me for about half an hour before he fell asleep. It broke my heart but with a newborn there was nothing I could really do. I had to hold and nurse Rebekah. Nursing Reuben gives me nursing aversions (and if I had known this I would have weaned him before Rebekah came, but I didn't know this would happen) so I couldn't nurse him anymore. Those first two weeks Daddy held a boy who didn't want him and tried to get him to sleep. I kept thinking that if we just pushed forward and did the same thing every day he would eventually stop crying.

He didn't.

So then I decided to nurse him. I felt so bad for him. I would nurse Rebekah at the same time and it would really take all of the effort in my body not to cry from the nursing aversions. Afterwards when he did fall asleep I was angry, upset and grouchy. Although this worked for Reuben it did not work for me and was destroying my mental health. I only lasted about a week before I told my husband I couldn't do it anymore. Not to mention nursing him again made him ask to nurse 5043 times or whenever he saw Rebekah nursing, and cry when I told him no. That is not fun and also broke my heart.


I would also like to say that from the moment Rebekah was born Reuben stopped allowing us to put him in his crib (so he is wedged against my back all night, with Rebekah wedged against my front) and he also has stopped also sleeping through the night. He wakes up now 1-2 times a night. Every night. I feel like I would be insane--execpt for Rebekah only wakes up to nurse 1-2 times a night. She's an amazing sleeper. I'd actually get some good sleep if Reuben slept!! When Reuben was Rebekah's age he woke up every 1-2 hours to nurse. I am not making that up. So, I am really grateful that Rebekah's sleep habits are set to "default normal"...for now, at least.

Since week three of "after Rebekah" we have tried various sleep routines to get our toddler to fall asleep. I mean, he should be tired by 7pm! He does not nap anymore and wakes up from 6-7am.

We have tried watching TV until he falls asleep. Rocking him to sleep. Making him lay down in his crib while one of us tells him a story. Cuddling him to sleep. Reading him books. Laying with him and letting him watch something on our phones. One out of three times one of these things will work. Two out of three times he cries and screams "to go downstairs" or wants to roll around and play. If we let him stay up he is extremely cranky the next day and whines all day and is very overtired--so yes, we even tried just letting him stay up. Which we used to do "before Rebekah" when he'd have a sleep issue 1-2 times a week, but since this is EVERY DAY we can't really do that. He needs sleep. And we need to figure out how to put him to sleep.


This week we are trying an audiobook. We all lay down together (him wedged against me) and put on an audiobook and listen to that. It usually takes 45 minutes until he goes to sleep. Then daddy picks him up and puts him in his crib so I can have some space. Until he climbs out and crawls into bed with me again, anywhere from 15 minutes to hours later. It always happens.

I know it's just a season. But I really wish there was a magic sleep method that worked and did not raise my anxiety from all the crying. Oh, the crying. Hysterical crying. You would think I was torturing his favorite stuffed Pooh doll in fiery heinous ways from all the crying, flailing and wailing that goes on.

I feel so bad for him. I feel so bad for me.

I just want him to go to sleep because he needs sleep. And because I need toddler free time. I desperately need toddler free time. And time with my husband. And time with a book. And time to just relax and write blog posts.

Week 128


This week was really hard. Postpartum is definitely difficult and right now life is rough. But it is worth it and God is good. I need sleep. Also, learning lessons the hard way is...hard.

One Year Ago, Week 76
Two Years Ago, Week 24

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Crochet Pineapple Hat Tutorial


If you have followed my blog for a long time, you know I love pineapples. I've made knit pineapple leggings for my baby and even knit pineapple gloves for myself! I love pineapples. Thus, the pineapple hat was born--and it's a mommy and me version! There is a 2-3t size perfect for a toddler and an adult size for mommy or daddy.

You can buy a copy of the pineapple hat PDF pattern for both sizes (adult and 2-3t) in my Ravelry store for only .99 cents. There is also a free video tutorial for the toddler size on my youtube channel in case you need a step by step tutorial or cannot afford the pattern. Good luck!

This pattern uses worsted weight yarn and a 4.5mm crochet hook for the toddler size. Download the written PDF here and view the video tutorial (three parts) below.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Week 126


The end of Rebekah's first week of life and the start of her second! She really is wonderful. I am sleep deprived and nursing a lot, eating a ton and trying to manage a household on top of taking care of myself and two tiny humans! Okay, one not so tiny. But still miniature! Oh, the forth trimester...

One Year Ago, Week 74
Two Years Ago, Week 22

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Tour My Knitting Corner

I needed to revamp my knitting corner, especially with the new baby on the way! I wanted everything close at hand, but also semi-toddler/baby proof. I also was tired of my old way of storing my knitting needles and crochet hooks and wanted to simplify. I am very happy with the solution I found!


You can see what it used to look like here!

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