Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Its Becoming a Regular Thing

I'm guest posting again today over at The Cloth Diaper Whisperer.  This particular post is about how everything is prettier when you cloth diaper and its absolutely 100% true.  :-)

It is easy to write about things that are going on in your life and right now there is much more going on in the world of diapering than in the world of knitting.  I have been inspired recently though and my fingers are itching to knit.  I am hoping over the holiday weekend to get to do a bit of that.

And for absolutely no reason at all other than cuteness, I will leave you with this picture from Museum Babies.  (BTW - if you live in Tulsa and haven't heard of Museum Babies, go to the Gilcrease website to read up on it.  They are on a break for the summer but we can't wait to start back up in the fall!!)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

100 Facebook Fan Giveaway


In celebration of reaching 100 facebook fans I am having a giveaway.  There will be not just one but three winners!  Up for grabs are 1 pair of felted wool dryer balls and 2 sets of stitch markers.  Each set of stitch markers will be a set of 5 coordinating markers.

This is my first rafflecopter giveaway, I though I would give it a try and see how it goes.  I am leaving the giveaway open until the 20th to give everyone time to enter.  :-)

Thanks for helping me meet this milestone.  No matter how small it may seem to some, it means a lot to me!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Love You, Mom.

Happy Mother's Day to my mom, my Grandma and my Mimi.  I love you all and Evelyn does too!

4 Generations

Evelyn's First Ball Game

Visiting Mimi, Evelyn is full of giggles!

First Wedding

First Valentine's Day and First Tea Party!

Snuggles from Great-Grandma Pat

My first Mother's Day was wonderful and I hope yours was too.  I got to knit!!  Really!  It was so nice. And my thoughtful husband built me a swing set!  If you know me, you know how awesome that is.  My first order of business will be to hang my hammock chair and have a nice lie-down and read a book, I can't wait!  :-)

Before I head off to a much deserved soak in the tub, I want to take a minute to thank my wonderful mom.  Even though this was also her day she got up and fixed fantastic blueberry pancakes (my favorite) for a big family breakfast this morning.  Thanks for helping make my first Mother's Day special, Mom!  

My mom is a wonderfully talented and awesome person, on top of being a great mom.  I am so grateful for everything she does for me.  I am glad she was there when my baby girl was born and I am glad we live close enough that I see her all the time and that Evelyn will get to have a close relationship with her.

Happy Mom's day to all the moms out there.  And double and triple to all the grandmas and great-grandmas!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Time passes so quickly now

I am still not as good at time management as I would like to be but I am working on it.  I have cut down on TV so much.  I don't turn it on until after she is asleep and some nights not at all.  I don't want her getting all TV obsessed.

I did another guest post for The Cloth Diaper Whisperer.  It all about pimping out my cloth diapers.  I am obsessed, I tell ya.

Speaking of obsessed, I am obsessed with Rumpkinz diapers.  Soooo cute!  I really, really NEED a Minion diaper.  I have 2 of her diapers so far, a Kermit the Frog face diaper and a Thing 1 Thing 2 diaper.   I really like them and they have hemp inserts.  Since I like them so much I am going to be hosting a co-op to order some at discounted prices (yay!) so hit me up if you might be interested.  We will have to get together at least the minimum order to qualify for co-op prices.

Well, I will leave you with some phone pics of Baby Girl from Easter.  I know, I am really behind on that kind of thing.  But you'll be happy to know I have been pretty good about keeping the baby book up to date.

 This bathing cap has an adorable matching old fashioned looking tiny swimsuit.  She will be the belle of the pool.
 This hat has a cute matching dress, all from H&M.  Its fun and adorable.
This little chair was my dad's contribution to Evelyn's Easter basket.  Since her nursery is frog themed, its totally perfect.  And look what a good job she did of sitting up momentarily at just barely over 3 months!

We do take a picture of her every single day, so it can be kind of overwhelming to go through all of the pictures.  I need to get on top of organizing all of those.

Speaking of pictures, I am working on become more at ease with our large DSLR.  I have been reading up on stuff, but if you have books, websites, or blog post recommendations that I should check out as I work on that, let me know.  I have been practicing but I am not at all ready to show my practice shots to anyone.  :-P

uh-oh, she just woke up....

Friday, April 6, 2012

Guest Post

Ok, it has taken me a while to get around to posting this.  Again.  But you can find me guest blogging here at The Cloth Diaper Whisperer.  

I decided that one of the best ways to get out that urge to gush incessantly about my love for cloth diapers would be to guest blog about it.  That way it doesn't totally take over this blog.  I'll be sure to mention it here when I do though, even if it is a little late.

Back in the world of Knitting, my handspun cowl is done except for blocking!  It only took me 3 weeks to bind off!!  Oh well.  So, blocking and pictures, coming soon!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I may never get to knit again

Ok, well, thats being a little dramatic.  I get to knit for approximately 30 minutes once a week.  So I should be able to complete at least one project by maybe the middle of the summer.

You see, there are so many things on the to do list that there just isn't a lot of time left over for knitting.  And its not just the 'have to do' list thats getting in the way.  Even the 'want to do' list is getting in the way. I have to get my living room feeling less claustrophobic.  The whole room has started to close in on me and its making me nuts.  To the point that I just want to box it all up and have the room be completely empty if thats what it takes to feel better about it.  And then I have to get my chaotic craft room/office under control.  Ever since we had to empty out the guest room to make it a nursery its been a disaster area, which is not at all conducive to effectively working.  Or crafting for that matter.  And then there is the garage.  And the lawn.  And the pantry.  You get the idea.

And then we move on to the want to's.  I want to make a fleece blanket for Evelyn.  I have wanted to make a fleece blanket for her since before I know she was a she.  I have been planning to make this blanket since I got pregnant.  I finally took the first step and bought the fleece, but that was a couple weeks ago now and it has just been sitting in the bag I brought it home from the store in, just one more thing sitting in my craft room / office.  Its not a hard project, it just requires time.  And space.  I need to lay out both pieces of fleece flat and pin them together.  Once that it done then its all about cutting strips and tying them together.  Not hard, just takes time.  And there is always something else needing my time.

And dryer balls.  I LOVE that the dryer balls are selling, don't get me wrong.  But if I have a spare moment, I don't pick up knitting needles, I just pick up wool.  At least people want to buy dryer balls in the spring, unlike knitting.  That is the main reason I am taking the spring off from shows.  Even if everything I knit is cotton people still don't want knitted stuff in the spring.  People don't know what they are missing, but oh well.  So yes, I have been making a lot of dryer balls and at least I get to play with color that way.

But really, that handspun cowl that only has three more rows left on it, I really just want to sit down and finish that.  But then I might feel guilty for not folding the laundry.  Or putting away the dishes.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Progress

I am making progress on that project I am knitting with my first handspun.  I LOVE how the colors are knitting up.

I am going for the random or messy-on-purpose look here.  It seems to suit the unevenness of the yarn and playfulness of the many colors.  To achieve the messy look I am just doing YO, k2tog but changing up where the YO starts.  So basically if you looked really closely, every once in a while you would see a single knit next to a k2tog or a k3tog to change up the starting point.

I am just about to start the border again and the bind off.  I will have to take a picture of the completed project just to post because the weather has gotten so warm I don't know if I will get to wear it this winter or if I will have to wait all the way until next!

Not that I object, I am loving the warm weather.

Well, except for the painful sinuses.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Cleaning Up

I'm still "making," even when I am not knitting as much.  Speaking of which, and I'll get on to the real topic in just a minute, I finally got up the guts to start knitting with that handspun I made so long ago.  It seriously feels like forever, I guess it was last spring though.  Anyway, it is on its way to becoming a cowl and I will definitely post pics when it is done.

So my wee one and my cloth diapering adventures have inspired me to become a little more green (or a little more crunchy, as some might see it) in the rest of my life.  I've often thought about making my own cleaning products, but never got around to actually doing it.  I mean, yes, I did basic things like run vinegar through my coffee pot and pour baking soda followed by vinegar down a slow drain, but I had never sat down and worked on figuring out how to replace all of my household cleaners with stuff I made.  Luckily, I have friends who are just as in to this as I am, some with more experience than I have, and I have some great reference materials.

Yesterday, armed with a 13lb bag of baking soda, 2 1/2 gallons of vinegar, a box or borax, a box of washing soda, some LemiShine standing in for citric acid, a few random bars of hotel soap, and various recycled containers, I had a couple friends over to get started because making things is always more fun as a group.

We decided to make the following things:
Dishwasher Detergent
Stain Gel
Diaper Pail Freshener
Fabric Softener

The first step was to pick some recipes.  I was armed with The Peaceful Housewife's e-book, The Green Grandma's book Vinegar Fridays, Home Ec 101, and a natural cleaners e-book I grabbed for free in the Kindle store one day.  We ended up using The Peaceful Housewife's recipes for the most part.  Vinegar Fridays is a great tips and tricks book with plenty of recipes as well, many of them very similar to The Peaceful Housewife's e-book.  The e-book is very clear and easy to follow, so it was easy just to bring it up on the screen and follow the recipes.  Vinegar Fridays is written more conversationally and covers much more, but it has no index so we went with what was easy for this first get together.  Buying supplies at Sam's Club and splitting the cost makes it even cheaper for everyone than it already is, so I recommend going that route if you and some friends want to try making your own cleaning products.

We started by making enough of each thing that we would each have a decent amount to take home and test drive.  The only one I have had the opportunity to try so far is the dish detergent, but I am a fan so far.  The hard water hear usually leaves me with cloudy glass ware, I've tried a few different detergents and wash procedures to try and fix this and this morning might be the clearest and sparkliest my glasses have been in a while.  I am excited to try all the others and I will try and be sure to let you all know how it goes.  I'm 100% positive I am going to love the diaper pail freshener because I already use the same thing purchased from The Peaceful Housewife's store.  I am planning to try the fabric softener out on a load of towels because that is usually the most static-y load of laundry I do.  We never used fabric softener before, but way back before the cloth diapering we used to use unscented dryer sheets and Jenny even has a solution for that (she basically tells you to make a dryer sheet out of the fabric softener that you just made and a washcloth.  Clever, right?)

I mentioned those recycled containers, remember?  Well rather than buy containers, wash out and keep things that open and close easily.  I like containers with screw on lids, like empty salsa jars, peanut butter jars, etc. just make sure they are thoroughly cleaned and completely dry before using!

So why didn't we make laundry detergent since that seems to be one that many people start with when they start making their own cleaners?  Well 2 of us already had 500 load supplies from The Peaceful Housewife, so I think we're set for a while!

Do you make your own cleaning supplies?  If so, what do you make and where do you find your recipes?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Holy Lactation Cookies, Batman!

And by that I mean YUM!   Who knew?

My friends and I, who all have babies 6 months and younger, decided during our weekly play date to make lactation cookies.  I scoured the internet and found these two recipes that looked the best.  I had virtually everything in my cabinets, except brewers yeast, which turned out to be harder to find than I thought it would be, at least in scoop-able baking form.  We ended up having to hit up Akins for that, although Whole Foods likely would have had it too.  Reasors not so much.  They had a nice blank spot on their shelves where it should have been, but the employee I talked to couldn't tell me the last time they had actually gotten any in.  Hmm.  Anyway, back to the cookies.  If you click that link and read through all the helpful information and then the cookie recipes, we decided to start with the first one.  We used peanut butter, not almond butter, but I bet almond butter would be awesome.  We also used coconut oil instead of butter.  Why use plain old fattening fat when you can substitute a healthier fat that also aids in this whole milk supply issue?  (I've been reading a lot about coconut oil recently and you can buy a big jar at Walmart for $5 so don't think its expensive just because it seems to have magical powers)

We also added both raisins and dark chocolate chips to our cookies.  We made a few like that for the non-nut lovers among us then really went all out and threw in walnuts, pecans, and pumpkin seeds.  If we can get our hands on them, in the future we want to try adding chia seeds, thistle, and other things rumored to aid in milk production.  But even if I get no extra milk from eating these cookies, I have to tell you, they were GOOD!!  I should have taken a picture of the final product to post here.  Its hard to take a picture of something when you look at it and immediately feel the need to consume it.  The two cookies I set out for myself were gone by the end of the first long paragraph in this post, and they went really well with the hot cup of Peaceful Mama Tea from Earth Mama Angel Baby.  I won a box of this tea while I was still pregnant but didn't finish it.  Its approved for breastfeeding though so I am still going through it.

So, summary, for really yummy lactation cookies, click that link above and print off the recipes.

Make recipe #1 using:
peanut butter (although I bet almond butter is great)
coconut oil instead of butter
Dark chocolate chips instead of semi-sweet

add:
Walnuts
pecans
pumpkin seeds
raisins

In the next batch I want to try craisins.  And I might make a batch with butterscotch chips for variety.

And while I am at it I had this *brilliant* idea to make individually frozen cookie dough, kind of like you can buy at the store.  That way you can have hot and fresh gooey lactation cookies anytime.  I am thinking my friends might each like a bag.  :-)  What is better than hot cookies right out of the oven?

So have I been knitting?  Not much.  But I have found time to bake and apparently become much more of a mommy blogger than I intended.  (I have like 4 more mom related posts in my head, so I will have to work on some knitting related ones)  Little girl was 8 weeks yesterday and she is so wonderful!

btw, am I the only person in the world who thinks Mothers Milk Tea is yumtastic?  My friends seem to all disagree with me.  Maybe its because I love black licorice.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Dryer Balls!

I've been making dryer balls like a mad woman recently!  That is, when i am not holding or feeding Evelyn, who is still the sweetest, cutest baby around.  I'm making my dryer balls denser than before, which requires more wool and more felting, but its totally worth it.  And I am having way too much fun playing with color.  Who new you could have so much fun making balls out of wool?


I took a big batch over to The Peaceful Housewife in Sand Springs earlier this week, so if you are looking to stock up, head over to her store or her website.  She will even custom scent them for you.  Speaking of The Peaceful Housewife, she will also be at Babyfest in Tulsa, which I hear is coming up pretty soon, so I will post more info on that as I get it.  Rumor has it she will be taking my dryer balls to Baby fest with her, so stop by and check her out.  Rumor also has it that local cloth diaper business Green Bees will be joining her.  Yay!  (I love the Green Bees diapers I have)

Oh, and in case you were wondering, I got this one:


And I love it!

Oh, I hear her waking up!  Well, at least I got a little update in!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Indecision

I have put off picking out a baby book because I am just too dang indecisive.  I know I want something unique and interesting, not just an off the shelf baby book from someplace like Babies R Us.  Not that there is anything wrong with those, its just not what I have in mind.  So I have spent hours searching Etsy.  I have compared what the books on etsy offer to what commercially produced baby books on Amazon offer.  I believe I have narrowed it down to these three books.  Each has its pros and cons.  And each has its price.  So maybe you could help me out.  Give me your input.


This first book is made by Ruby Love Designs.
Pros:  
The cover is unique and interesting.
Comes with 52 custom designed pages
20 blank pages for scrapbooking
24 adhesive photo sleeves
A 14 month calendar with matching stickers
Additional packages of pages available including 2nd year package, first holidays package, years 3-5 package and NICU page

Cons: 
9"X8" size album, pages 7.75"x7.5"
2 weeks to ship

Total cost with everything I want added, including shipping: $92


Second book made by Chic Memories
Pros: 
12:x12"x2.5" book, 8.5"x11" pages (read = easily added to)
Handmade embellishments
Personalized with baby's name throughout the book, parents names and anniversary
3 pockets with customizable tabs
5 card stock pages with sleeves, pre-labeled for first 5 years photos

Cons:
3-4 weeks for delivery
Only 30 preprinted pages, some information seems like it will be rather condensed.

Total cost with shipping: $99

This album by Two Giggles
Pros:
78 journaling pages
Can order 56 more pages for "the toddler years" for $30 more
Album ships in 2 business days of payment
First year seems like it will be well documented: • Newborn - 12 months (Place for picture + 3 journaling pages each month)
Name Personalization included
NICU page available
I think this is my favorite of the covers

Cons:
I've already passed all of this:
 Baby On The Way
• Pregnancy (1st, 2nd + 3rd Trimesters)
• Doctor Visits
• Baby Shower (Includes place for invitation)
But I did keep a pregnancy journal, so I could transfer a lot of that in.
9"x8" book, 7.75"x7.5" pages

Total price with toddler pages and shipping: $102 (probably a little more with NICU page and extra shower pages, I have messaged to ask for sure)

Do you see why I am having such a hard time deciding?  I could really use some input.

Thanks!!

Monday, January 30, 2012

E - 4 Weeks

I had a knitting related post planned, I wanted to break it up a bit from all the baby related posts, but then I completely failed to take a picture of the little hat I made for my friend Ashley's baby, so that post went down the drain.  Perhaps Ashley would be kind enough to take a picture of little Miss Avery in the hat sometime.  But enough of my failings, on to the 4 week birthday of little Evelyn!

Photo by Madison Vining Photography

Somewhat knitting related, who remembers the silvery grey blanket I knit that won first in its category at the fair this year?  Yep, that one that Evelyn is on in the picture above.  Doesn't she look adorable?  Madison Vining took newborn pictures of Evelyn when she was 6 days old.  We had a fantastic time and I love, love, love all the photos.  Madison was a joy to work with and I would highly recommend her to anyone looking for a fantastic and patient newborn photographer.

Its already hard to believe she was that tiny.  I loved and treasured the super tiny stage.  I know she is still small, but I can already see the changes in her.  She slept so very well that first week.  Most nights we got at least one 4 - 5 hour stretch of solid sleep.  Great for mommy and daddy!  


 It took a while before she fit into her newborn clothes without them sagging all around her, but once she did I loved buttoning her up in adorable footed sleepers.  She hates getting dressed though and really hates if you want to pull her arms out to put them through sleeves.  But the end result of keeping warm plus being cute is worth the little bit of fussing.  We have her baby einstein play ocean all set up in the living room, but the only thing on it she is sure she loves so far is the mirror.  She finds mirrors fascinating.  I know that pretty soon she will be loving the rest of it and grabbing for all the hanging toys.  For now its mirror time and tummy time on the play ocean.


 On monday the 23rd Evelyn had her first play date with Little Rex.  Rex lives down the street and was born a mere few days before Evelyn on 12/30/11!  Rex is already trying to hit on her, the little snuggler.
Evelyn is excited for more play dates with all of her neighborhood friends.  Today she got to see Rex again as well as Emily, who is a bit older and wiser at 5 months and was pontificating on the ways of the crinkle toy for some time this afternoon.


We love, love, love the nap nanny!  Couldn't live without it.  When she was tiny and slept practically all day every day we just put her in the nap nanny in whatever room we were in.  That way she was always close to us.  At night she sleeps in the pack and play in our room, but during the day it was nice to have her close by.  And the incline seemed to help a lot when she was really stuffy in the beginning.  Riley and Ripley like to hang out near Evelyn and when she is not in the nap nanny they feel the need to keep it warm for her (something we are actually trying to discourage, but they are persistent).  We also love our Sleep Sheep.  We couldn't live without it.  Seriously.  It has helped out so many times when she was only borderline asleep or super fussy and walking alone wasn't doing it.  I highly recommend everyone with a baby own a Sleep Sheep!!


 Evelyn still loves to be swaddled.  I try and keep her unswaddled for a few hours a day so she will stretch and kick and have tummy time and such, but she is really happiest when she is all snug as a bug in a rug.  In fact, for a while I had take to calling her bug because I would tell her when I was getting ready to swaddle her that I was going to make her all snug like a bug.  Now that she is a bit bigger the Swaddle Me blankets that velcro are the absolute best thing.  Its so easy and she doesn't kick out of it like she sometimes does with a regular blanket.  She does still work her hands out of the top sometimes, she just really loves to have both her hands right under her chin.  Especially when she nurses!  She holds her two little hands together and its the sweetest thing.  It melts my heart every time.


This past sunday was baby dedication day at church so Evelyn wore a dress that was mine when I was a baby and an adorable little white bonnet.  She looked so darling.  And once again she was fascinated by her own reflection.

I am still getting up with her for every feeding.  I know eventually I might pump more and surrender a feeding or two to the bottle, but for now I love spending that quiet time with my little girl, even if it is really hard for me to pull myself out of bed sometimes.  Some days I wish I could just lay around all day and cuddle her.  I know that this time will pass so quickly and I want to savor it.  I took her to the doctor's office today just to weigh and she's 8 pounds even today.  She started out at 6 pounds 6 ounces at birth and I can tell the difference!  You won't think that just over a pound and a half would be that significant, but it definitely is.

I love my baby girl and I am enjoying seeing her little personality develop.  Its going to be a wonderful journey.  Now I better get some rest while I can because I know that tonight's portion of the journey will require at least 2 middle of the night feedings!

Friday, January 20, 2012

I Knit Something!

Well, despite the fact that my right wrist has decided to not yet get over the whole carpal tunnel thing, I have knit (and completed) something!  I have a few things I have been working on, but I hadn't put all that much in to them recently.  But I finally sat down and knit on the same project from start to finish.


Ok, so its a small cotton baby hat.  And I didn't swatch, so its not as small as I had intended and I have started another one on smaller needles (although between the smaller needles and the less stitches I may have over compensated...)  So take heart, my knitting mojo has not gone away!  (Its just slowed down a bit what with all the distractions)

I'm excited for many things coming up.  Of course there is baby knitting, for both little Miss Evelyn and also for friends' babies.  Then there is the Indie Emporium Shop.  Have I mentioned that exciting news?  I think its going to be great!  And I was thinking maybe at some point I would get back to some of those projects I have in progress for myself.  The easiest to finish would be the chunky fingerless gloves I have been knitting to match my hooded cowl.  I have both of the gloves knit, I just need to sew up the seams and tuck in the ends.

Wish me luck on integrating the knitting, weaving, spinning, etc with the parenting!

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Pictures

So I did the all words post, here is the picture post to go along with it.  I was too intent on writing it all out to worry about incorporating the pictures.

1/2/12
Me and Evelyn in the delivery room.

All three of us, our first family picture.

1/3/12:
Holding my baby girl in the NICU.  I hated that IV in her poor head.

 1/4/12:
My little glow-worm.

Ben checking on our little glow-worm.

1/5/12:
Diva Time.

 1/6/12:
Home!!

 1/7/12:
My clothes are all too big!!  At least I have my wubbanub.

Ok, I will try not to inundate you with baby pictures, but I can say there will probably be more soon because we had the fantastic Madison Vining here last sunday taking newborn photos.  She took a ton and the previews so far are amazing.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Evelyn Elizabeth

Bear with me.  This will be long and detailed, but I want to have it for myself so I am not going to leave things out of edit it down to an easy read.

When I went to a friend's New Years Eve party and stayed up until 1am, I had no idea I was going to be woken up at 5am with my first contraction.  Well, the first one strong enough to wake me up.  A big part of me thought the contractions would stop.  They were irregular and uncomfortable but not out of control.  I fell back asleep between each one just to be re-awoken 10-15 minutes later by the next one.  I did time them, even though I was sleeping in between, just so I would know.  I didn't have the heart to wake Ben.  After all, we had gone to bed at 1am!  And my living room was full of company, also sleeping, so I just stayed in bed.  At 6 I figured my mom was up so I started texting her.  I was hungry so I snuck out to the kitchen to get yogurt and then ran a warm bath.  I stayed in there, re-warming the water, reading, texting and breathing through contractions until Ben eventually woke up at 8 or so.  Once I decided I was pruney enough from floating I got out and insisted Ben pack his hospital bag.  Mine had been packed for a couple weeks, but I added things to it, like make-up and a few more shirts.

My mom dropped by with a latte and a scone as an early labor pick me up and eventually the company sleeping in our living room woke up (it really was wonderful to have Kathleen and Amir here visiting!!) and we all sipped on early morning tea and coffee and discussed the day.  There was a whole list of stuff I had planned to get done on January 1st, so we got started on some of that.  They helped us un-decorate and take down the tree and even helped Ben get it all back up in the attic.  I sat on the couch during all this, wrapping ornaments individually.  Kathleen commented that I was the calmest person in labor she'd ever seen.  (How many have you really seen though, Kathleen??)  At this point I was still reminding people that it was entirely possible the contractions would stop.  They were still irregular and only slightly uncomfortable.  I was sad that the contractions meant I couldn't go to the aquarium with Kathleen and Amir as I had planned to, but at least I got to see them during their visit.  There were lots of hugs and well wishes as they headed on their way.

My mom came back with a big sack of groceries, including lots of things for me to 'snack' on during labor.  Who knew how long it was going to go on the way it was and we weren't supposed to head to the hospital unless they got to 5 minutes apart for at least an hour.  She brought kefir, saltines, greek yogurt, oyster crackers, etc.  It was great to have these things to keep me going, I could not have gone all day with out eating anything, but I also didn't want to eat anything that would sit heavy in my stomach and possibly come back up again in a very bad way.  Mom helped us clean the kitchen and get some things organized while I mostly sat in my glider/recliner and waited out the contractions.  I did manage to go take a nice warm shower at one point, which felt great but definitely took a while because I had to stop what I was doing every time a contraction hit.  At about 3 in the afternoon the contractions had become much stronger and I was pretty sure they weren't going to stop.  For the next hour the contractions were 4.5 - 5 minutes apart and became strong enough that I did get nauseous and throw up. We decided then that it was time to go to the hospital.  We fed the dogs and packed up the car.

The ride to the hospital was one of the worst parts.  The contractions were strong and the road was bumpy.  There was really no way to change position to ease the discomfort and I pretty much just had to hold on and not go crazy.  At least it wasn't a long drive.  About 15 minutes or so.  Once we arrived at the hospital Ben dropped me off at the ER, as we had been instructed by the nurse from our OB.  He parked and came back and wheeled me up to labor and delivery.  There was this odd pause between us checking in and being put in a room where they made us go sit in the waiting room and I was dry heaving and very uncomfortable.  I totally under estimated this whole labor thing.  I used to have a seriously high pain threshold, I totally thought I could handle it but the dry heaving was the straw that broke the camel's back.  The whole time waiting and even once they put us in a delivery room I would dry heave with every contraction.  Ug.

I'm not going to put a pretty spin on it.  I was crying occasionally with the contractions and I finally looked at Ben and asked if he cared if I asked for an epidural.  After all, I hadn't planned on having one, but I had pre-registered just in case and I am glad I did because apparently I am a wuss.  The lab apparently lost my blood, so there was a bit of a hold up on actually getting it.  The anesthesiologist was great and quick though once she got there and got everything placed perfectly and over the next half hour or so after she came in the contractions just melted away.  (Although while we were waiting on her I almost succeeded in crushing Ben's hand.  Or at least smashing his wedding ring in to it really, really bad with all my squeezing)  Once things were getting better and they let my mom back in the room (you can apparently only have one person in the room with you while they poke stuff in to your spine) I was downright hungry again.  The nurse, Bethany, was awesome and set me up with some orange jell-o and a lime double popsicle.  I devoured both, yum.  Then I worked my way through part of a half sprite half cranberry juice but eventually decided that was too sweet and just drank water like we were in the desert.

Eventually the hospitalist came in and broke my water.  The doc had the nurse ask if they could give me petocin to move things along but I said no.  I only wanted to use that as a last resort.  There was some debate as to whether or not my labor was progressing because the monitors weren't picking up much but when they went to try and put in an internal monitor the baby's head was already too well engaged and during all of that I jumped from being at a 5 or 6 to a 9.  Did I mention that during much of this time I was either dozing or playing on my phone?  It was lovely.

When I started pushing, just before midnight, I regained just enough feeling that I could totally tell where I was pushing and it was uncomfortable, but not screaming agony.  Eventually the doc (it wasn't my actual doctor on call from her practice that night.  There are 3 of them and I ended up really liking the one who was there) got there and after much pushing at 2:48AM Evelyn Elizabeth was born!  (My mother would probably like me to mention that I was still dozing between pushes for quite a while.  I was tired, you know?  Oh, and was I ever thirsty!   I had to have a drink of water between each push, almost right up until the end.  I felt constantly parched)  I only got to hold her for a few minutes while Ben cut the cord and then they took her away to be cleaned up and examined.  There was mucus in her lungs so they took her even farther away to work on her and Ben went with her and I have never been so worried in my life.  Tired and worried.  I had planned to try and breast feed immediately after deliver but that wasn't an option.  Apparently her O2 wasn't what it should have been so they put her on oxygen.  They only brought her back in to see me for another couple minutes before they took her away to the NICU.  Ben went with her again and I had to just wait and do all those other post delivery things.  They brought me food right away (peanut butter, crackers, and apple sauce) so I ate and I slept some, just waiting.  They didn't move me to a post partum room until 5am (and then they proceeded to wake me at 6 and 7 for different things).

I finally met Evelyn's NICU doctor at about 7:45.  She told me that Evelyn had a nasal cannula in but that they were no longer putting any more oxygen in it than one would find in normal room air.  They also put her on antibiotics because I had fever during deliver.  A fever of all of 99 degrees.  Very low grade and it disappeared immediately after deliver.  Because of the nasal cannula, I couldn't breast feed for at least the first day.  Because of the antibiotics she was going to be in the NICU at least 48 hours.  It was upsetting and hard, even though the doctor said she was doing well.  At least I was able to go down to the NICU and sit with her and hold her and rock her.  I had a few visitors throughout the day and went down to see Evelyn a number of times.  Only 2 people could be in with her at any given time and one of the two had to be Ben or I, so when family came to see her we traded off.  We also both tried to get some rest between visitors.

On Tuesday they took out the nasal cannula and we were finally able to try breast feeding!  (I had been pumping the day before)  It wasn't easy and they wanted her to eat on a strict schedule of 2, 5, 8 & 11, both am and pm.  She still had her IV in and they said they couldn't take it out until they were sure she was getting at least 15ccs at each feeding.  We had to weigh her before and after every time and the threat of delaying her release an extra day bullied me in to supplementing with some formula.  I really didn't want to, but I also wanted to take my little girl home.  That day and night were all about her feeding schedule.  I set an alarm to get up and go feed her at night.  I got to know the NICU nurses really well.  It wasn't easy, but we pushed through it and Ben was wonderful the whole time.

On wednesday I was hoping I'd get to take her home, but no luck.  Now she was jaundiced and they wanted to wrap her up with billi lights.  So while they had removed her IV, now I could only take her out of her crib for feeding and then she had to go straight back in to be wrapped up with the lights.  Once again both day and night were about her feeding schedule.  I was also discharged on wednesday.  We were able to stay in the room until midnight so we figured out what we would need for the night and Ben took everything else out to the car.  We grabbed up everything that was left and at just shy of 11pm trudged down to the NICU to settle in for the night.  At least they have recliners to sleep in.  It was a long night and not a very restful one.  During the 6:30am - 7:30am time when we were required to be out of the NICU we hung out in the l&d waiting room and cleaned up and brushed our teeth.  I felt kinda like a bum, trying to clean up in a public restroom.  And I was really, really tired.

Her billi count hadn't come down far enough, so once again we didn't get to go home.  They added a top light to her photo-therapy and we made sure after each feeding to get her back under the light as quick as possible.  We were required to go over to the Children's Hospital and take an infant CPR class that morning and then had a great 2nd appointment with a lactation consultant (we had seen the same one the day before).  In the afternoon Ben practically dragged me out of the hospital to go home and take a shower.  It was so hard for me to walk out those doors without my baby girl.  It was the first time I had breathed outside air since Sunday.  I refused to miss a feeding so we weren't gone more than two hours.  I planned to stay the night again but the doctor, the nurses and Ben all kept saying I needed to sleep so we went home at about 1am and came back Friday morning in time for her 8am feeding.  I felt so guilty leaving her there but I was tired and had a horrible hacking cough that I had been trying to hide for a few days at that point.

It seemed like a forever wait for the doctor that morning, but I was extremely hopeful.  I could tell they had bathed her the night before while we were gone and she had a little white t-shirt on when we got back in the morning.  That was her very first piece of clothing.  They had always kept her in just a diaper and a swaddle blanket.  The billi lights were gone and I got to feed her and rock her and just hold on to her.  From the time we got the news that she was being discharged (9ish or so) until the time we actually go out of the hospital (after 1 sometime) seemed to take forever!  There was a hearing test and a photographer to distract us while waiting on all the paperwork but the waiting still seemed to go on forever.  It was such a relief when they finally wheeled our little wagon full of stuff and our baby girl downstairs and we got in the car to go home, tired and happy.

So there you have our little story.  I know it was long and quite detailed (trust me, it could have been worse, I am brimming with details) but that was how our first days at as a family of 3 went.  We are glad to be home now.  We love our precious little baby girl, Evelyn Elizabeth.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

On Radio Silence

I write brilliant blog posts in the shower.  Really.  They are witty and insightful and focused.  And then I get out of the shower and there are a million other things waiting to be done and I get distracted and those well thought out blog posts fly away like they were never even there.

I didn't blog as much as I wanted while I was pregnant.  I didn't blog as much as I wanted to about all of the exciting fall shows and things I was working on.  My blog is also having an identity crisis.  While I still want to focus on knitting and share what I do and learn and all, I may be transitioning to much more of a lifestyle blog because despite my best efforts, I am going to end up being one of those people who can't help but talk about their child and all that goes along with that.

I only gave one knitted Christmas present this year.  It was a pair of beautiful brown socks knit in Happy Feet in a garter rib pattern.  I have been working on them for well over 3 years, they kept getting put down in favor of much more instant gratification projects or deadlines for shows.  They were for Ben so they took much longer than if I had been knitting socks for myself.  I completely failed to get a picture of them finished, so maybe next time he has them on I can get him to pause long enough for me to take a picture.

By the end of my pregnancy I had swelling induced carpal tunnel.  It hurt to do a lot of things, especially knit with smaller needles.  I made some big airy cowls and then worked on a pair of fingerless mitts for myself to match the hooded cowl I made last year.  I bound off last night so I will post a picture as soon as I sew them up.  Stop laughing, mom, I will sew them up! (not let them sit like those two purses I knit and felted 5 years ago and have yet to sew the pieces together.)

I wanted to knit E a little hat to match that grey blanket but I kept putting it off.  I put a lot of stuff off, thinking I had 2 more weeks to prepare for E's arrival.  Boy was I wrong, but that's for another post.  My point is, I am going to try my best not to put so many things off anymore.  I hope to get E's birth story written this week.  It will be more for my own archival purposes than because I think you really want all the details.  And it will be long, so be forewarned.

Anyway, I hope you are still out there, taking a moment to read, and that I have not lost you all with such a long period of radio silence.  If I was a dj, I'd certainly have been fired ages ago.