Friday, November 30, 2007

pupper of the week

I searched and searched for the photo of Irene that I wanted to post, but I can't find it. This one will have to do. Irene has a chronic blanket stealing problem, and sometimes, it backfires and the whole blanket falls down on top of her. Mostly, she doesn't mind. She's a chilly pupper.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

not in the mood

I'm in a funk, both emotionally and physically. I'm not sure which one brought the other on, but they're both here, hovering over me. I'm physically drained, even though I've been going to bed at 9 and getting up at 7. My body aches and I have a low grade fever. I was feeling horribly nauseous last night, sure that I was finally going to puke like all the other pregnant ladies.

Pregnancy has done something to my brain that makes it impossible to reason. When I'm uncomfortable or not feeling well, I immediately jump to the conclusion that this is how it's going to be for the rest of my pregnancy. It's like I've been waiting for the other shoe to drop, that feeling good all the time must be a miscalculation and it's all going to be swept away sooner or later. I resign myself to the fact that I'm going to spend the next 4 months miserable, unable to sit on a couch comfortably or roll over in bed with out careful choreography.

This, though, this can't just be the way it is. I think I must be coming down with something. I'm not in a mood to do anything. I don't want to eat, I don't want to knit, I don't want to go to the gym, and I most certainly do not want to go to work. Pretty much just lying in bed in my bathrobe sounds good. Nothing else. I don't like being around people because it's hard to lie when I answer the question "how are you?" This week, my answer has been "sick of being pregnant. I want a break." That's not actually true. I don't need a break. Being pregnant hasn't been that difficult. Sure, none of my pants fit, but who needs pants when you have the softest bathrobe on earth? I think I need a break from everything: from work, from home, from my routine of things to do on a daily basis. I just want to float in a little nothing time, where I don't have to get anything done and I don't feel bad for not doing anything. Just a little time off from being Laura. It's exhausting sometimes.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Winter arrived today, much to my surprise. On Sunday evening Dave and I sat in the backyard in jeans and sweatshirts and had a fire. Today, it was 9 degrees while I waited for the bus. Who knew the temperature could drop so suddenly?

I always claim to be a winter person, but I've been more and more excited about summer in the recent years. The cold has just begun to get to me. I'm not sure how it's going to work this year - my jacket is barely fitting around my tummy right now. I'll be thrift storing for a bigger coat soon. Maybe a big long trench coat, one that goes down to my calves and keeps my butt warm so I can sit on the bench.

Long ago when I first became pregnant, I vowed to myself that I wouldn't become a wuss and insist on driving the car every day. This morning, though, I was trying to figure out how to finance a second car so both Dave and I could drive instead of take the bus. We don't really want to be a two car family, but there are mornings when I dream of walking into a heated, attached, 2-car garage, kissing Dave good-bye and each getting into our respective cars. Just a pipe dream, one that will be completely gone by this afternoon when it's 30 degrees. I do love Minnesota winters. I just tend to love them more in retrospect than when I'm living through them.

Monday, November 26, 2007

pupper of the week: not my pupper

This is Ruby. She belongs to my dad and step-mom, and lives in Colorado.. I met Ruby for the first time almost 3 years ago, and I haven't seen her since. She is a good bulldog. We heard fun stories about her this weekend, and I can't wait until she moves to Minnesota so we can spend more time with her (and my parents).

These photos are from our visit when Ruby was just a puppy. Irene and she got along like gangbusters.

giving thanks it's over

Dave and I hosted the big meal this past week, and along with it hosted family members and a lot of drama. It's the first time in a long time that I've been thankful it's Monday.

Our internet connection at home is iffy right now, so I will try to get some updates in while I'm at work this week. The baby has reached the length of an ear of corn, and was kicking me enthusiastically through the weekend. Perhaps it was the sugar rush from all of the pie, or perhaps I'm just finally starting to notice it daily - either way, I''m enjoying the fact that I can finally feel the baby move around.

It's my 24th week of pregnancy, and it's hard to believe that the third trimester is right around the corner. We have begun sharing our home birth plan with some family members and that's been okay so far. We haven't tacked the difficult ones yet. I think I might start attending the childbirth collective education nights - it would be good to connect to some people who have chosen the same path and come out safely on the other side.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

in retrospect

When we were kids, my mom would take us to Philadelphia to see her family once every 2 years. She did it when she had only my sister, then she did it with two kids, and she kept doing it once I came along. That meant that when I was a baby she got on an airplane with me, my 3 year old brother, and my 5 year old sister. She must have been insane.

The last time I flew anywhere was to see my friend Kayla out in Oregon. I was sitting in my seat when the last people boarded, and it was a family of 6 - two parents and 4 kids. It looked like twin 5 year old boys, and two younger ones - one about 3 and one maybe a year old. The parents looked harried, exhausted, dragging 8 million pieces of luggage behind them. I know I exchanged looks with people next to me, as if to say, "this is going to be one long, tear filled flight". In the 3 hours that I was on that plane, I didn't hear the kids once. The parents kept these kids totally engaged with books, coloring, stories, and various other things. I was shocked, and felt bad about my eye rolling. I guess I had become a victim of the "other people's children" mentality, and I was embarrassed that it was so easy to fall into.

It's hard to avoid saying "I would never let my child do that" especially now that I'm pregnant and that hypothetical child is soon to be a reality. Naming and listing things that I would never do is just dangerous territory for doing exactly what I say I won't do. There is something about being pregnant and having a child that allows strangers and acquaintance's to offer you unsolicited advice. I've changed my tune a little bit when we talk to people who don't know us well, and instead of "we're doing cloth diapers" I say "we're going to try to do cloth diapers" and "we're going to try to make our own baby food as much as possible." This still brings scorn and rueful laughter from people who think they know how hard it is to do these things, but those friends that we have who have gone the same route offer nothing but support and encouragement. They tell us how easy it was to incorporate making baby food and how few loads of wash the diapers actually are. They don't make us feel stupid for saying we want to try to avoid all the plastic toys and licensed characters, and in fact they offer us advice on how they got away with donating everything back to the thrift store. I like support better than I like being laughed at. I would never let my kid do that.

Monday, November 19, 2007


Apparently stores don't stock swimsuits in the middle of November. Who knew?

I ended up purchasing a maternity suit online. I'm not happy with it, but they have a good return policy and it should be here soon. I chose this one, and while I don't really like it or think it will be flattering, I can at least be grateful that it's black and my belly will not be hanging out. Tankinis for pregnant people? No thanks.

Thanksgiving is this Thursday and Dave and I are getting ready for family to visit and a big meal to cook. As I think I've mentioned before, we cook nearly everything from scratch, and buy as much local and organic food as we can. I'm a little sad that Dave hasn't had time to post to his blog about it because he's been super excited at home. The menu is shaping up, and the turkey is in the fridge. I wish I could link to the farm we got it from, but the name is escaping me right now.

I've also picked out a new camera, so hopefully that will mean more, clearer pictures. I know I'm overdue for a belly photo (23 weeks! woot!) and I hope to get around to it this week. There will certainly be photos on Thanksgiving, so maybe I'll post a few of those.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


It's been a weekend of shopping. Yesterday Dave and I hit Savers, Salvation Army, and Unique Thrift store. I came home with 5 new maternity shirts that I really like. Dave also got some electric socks ($6!), an item he has long craved. Today, my mission is to find a swimsuit that fits.

It's extraordinarily frustrating to me that nearly every pregnancy book and website tell you that swimming is a good, healthy exercise to do while pregnant, yet it's impossible to find a suit. I've been following this advice, and for the first 5 months of this pregnancy I have swam laps at least 3 times a week. Now I'm no longer able to fit into the suit that I bought back at 2 months - it's not a maternity swimsuit, it's just a regular old speedo that's a few sizes larger than I normally buy. I originally scoffed at the maternity suit idea, thinking it was just another way for stores to make money. I get it now. I really need a different suit. One with support, and an expandable belly. I've been avoiding the pool for a week because it has just become too uncomfortable. I've searched the websites of Target, Motherhood, Due Date, and every other cutesy name brand maternity clothing line. I have found one thing: the dreaded tankini. There may be people in the world for whom the tankini is a flattering and delightful swimsuit. I am not one of them. I see no reason that my belly should be sticking out while I'm trying to swim laps. So today I'm off to the stores, to see what I can come up with. I'm hoping that the stores are better stocked than the internet, but I seriously doubt that. I think it'll be nearly impossible, seeing how it's November and swimsuits aren't exactly the hottest item. We'll see what I get.

Alas, I'm going to try. Maternity swimsuit, here I come.

Friday, November 16, 2007

pupper of the week

She hates the cold, but I love running around with her in really deep snow.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


In the introduction to Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, she writes something that I don't think I'll ever forget:

"So many horror stories circulate about birth- especially in the United States- that it can be difficult for women to believe that labor and birth can be a beneficial experience. If you have been pregnant for a while, it's probable that you've already heard some scary birth stories from friends or relatives. This is especially true if you live in the United States, where telling pregnant women gory stories has been a national pastime for at least a century. Now that birth has become a favorite subject of television dramas and situation comedies, this trend has been even more pronounced. No one has explained the situation more succinctly than Stephen King in his novella "The Breathing Method." Commenting on the fear many women have of birth, his fictional character observes, "Believe me: if you are told that some experience is going to hurt, it will hurt. Most pain is in the mind, and when a woman absorbs the idea that the act of giving birth is excruciatingly painful- when she gets this information from her mother, her sisters, her married friends, and her physician - that woman has been mentally prepared to feel great agony." King, you may not know, is the father of several children born at home."

This struck me so completely when I read through her book for the first time (when I was 2 months pregnant). Now that I've picked it up again at 5 months, it resonates even more. People love to tell you horrible stories about birth, as if scaring the pants off a pregnant woman is fun for those who have never been pregnant. The strangest thing for me, though, is that I spent my younger years very afraid of pregnancy and birth. It was only when I became pregnant that I felt this eerie calm come over me. After reading and doing research, I feel totally at peace and excited about the birth, not afraid at all. (though I'm conscious I sound a little bit like Luke in this scene, I hope I don't run into Yoda any time soon).

The way that Ina May counteracts this culture of horror stories is through telling positive and happy birth stories. Her books are filled with telling after telling of mothers who felt fulfilled and happy throughout and after the birth of a child. It's difficult to change my thinking to believe that labor and birth are not horrible, painful experiences. That perception is so pervasive that even after reading these stories and talking to people who enjoyed the birth of their children (a number of whom delivered at home) it's hard to fully believe that birth will be anything other than excruciating.

It is only when I'm defending our choice to try to give birth without intervention, at home, that I find that I must actually believe in some of the natural childbirth hokey-pokey. I remember my sister telling me after the birth of her son that "you wouldn't expect to be up and walking around after a car wreck, and that's essentially what your body has gone through." Just recently, talking to my brother about birth, he shifted uncomfortably in his seat and said that it sounds "traumatic." My response was that no, it's not a trauma - a woman's body was designed and intended to give birth. It is only bringing birth into hospitals in the last 50 years that has created the illusion that this is "like a car wreck." In the same book mentioned above, Ms. Gaskin states the same sentiment: "Birth is a normal physiological process...It is important to keep in mind that our bodies must work pretty well, or there wouldn't be so many humans on the planet." I, for one, am a believer.


Yesterday was a hard day. I had a board meeting from 4:00 - 6:30, and I should have gone into the office late knowing that I would be there into the evening. I had a training that I had to attend at 8:30, so I wasn't able to start the day late. I went into the office at the usual time, and was there for about 11 hours yesterday.

I don't have the stamina for that any longer. By 4:30, by eyelids were drooping, I was exhausted. I stayed to the end of the meeting, and came home and ate dinner. I was on my way to bed at 8:30, and slept for 10 hours straight. It's the first time in a long time that I didn't wake up in the middle of the night, and I'm actually feeling much more rested than I have in days. I can't work more than 8 hours at a time. It's not fair to me, and it's certainly not fair to Dave, who has to bear the brunt of my grumpiness. I'm really looking forward to this weekend and a short week next week.

In pregnancy news - I think thumper is beginning to develop a sort of schedule. The baby doesn't wake up when I do, but usually thumps me for the first time around 9:00 in the morning. That goes on for awhile, then there's radio silence until mid afternoon. From 2 - 5, there's lots of thumping, and then again after dinner. Maybe the baby is learning how to take naps!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


My spell checker just suggested that I change the spelling of my last name to "Honk". I'm feeling a little insulted by that.

special cat

Luke is the least loved animal in our house. I'm not ashamed, everyone has to have a favorite, and Luke just isn't it. He was acquired by accident, back when Dave was a young lad of 19 or 20. His roommate brought Luke home, and later moved out without taking him. Years later, someone made a claim for him, but by then it was two late. He and Roo had become a twosome, and there was no turning back.

Luke is very loving. He tries hard to meet new people and experience new things. This summer he ventured outside regularly, if only to run from the back door to the front, then around again. It seemed to bring him great joy, that little adventure. Once or twice he was left out overnight, and I know he just waited on the porch for the first sign of morning. Maybe sneaking beneath the porch to check on things, but never venturing too far away.

Luke is annoying to those who live with him. He is neurotic and compulsive. He drinks water until it makes him sick, and then goes back for more. He really like water and drinking out of the bath is his favorite thing. He's always looking for a lap to sit in, but when you pet him, he tries to bite you. He chews on plastic bags and cracker wrappers, but doesn't steal the food. He's mischievous, and very good at sneaking things away. I know he must have a stockpile somewhere of all the q-tips, pipe cleaners, hair bands, and small pieces of yarn that he's squirreled away. One day, I'm going to run across it, and get all that yarn back. He sneaks into closets when you open them for something, and then doesn't run back out before you close the door. He meows very loudly when this happens, so he's never stuck for long.

Luke is probably around 10 or 11 years old, and I have a fear that he might live to be 20. It scares me more than a little bit to know we could have a 9 or 10 year old child, and Luke could still be around begging for a lap and drinking out of the bath tub. He doesn't take good care of himself, his whiskers are always crooked and goofy, and he neurotically chews the hair off of his belly and ankles. Dave recently pointed out that he kind of has a lazy eye, something I'd never noticed. He gets a sort of wild look about him every now and again, and his eyes just don't line up. I like Luke, as much as I never admit it to him. Every now and again I give him a pat on the back, then run away before we can swipe at me. I'm glad that he's around, he completes our little pet trio (two cats and a dog...). Roo is by far my favorite cat, and Irene is by far my favorite pet, but Luke deserves some credit every now and again. Most days, he's the one to greet me at the door when I come home - the dog is too lazy to move away from the furnace. He's handsome and friendly, some say he could be entered into a show, he's got some sort of fancy cat breed in him. For now, though, we'll just keep him to ourselves, closing him out of the bathroom to take a bath and pushing him off the couch when he's in the good spot. Luke is pretty special, though. Crazy whiskers and all.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

22 weeks and ready for a nap

I've reached 22 weeks along, and wants me to know that the baby is the length of a spaghetti squash. Because the length of a spaghetti squash is something that I readily understand and think about. They may be running out of vegetables.

I meant to post these photos earlier. Here are the ultrasound photos from last week!

Looking straight at the baby's face and belly.

The baby on its knees, facing down.

On its back again, with face in profile.

The ultrasound was a little strange, but all told it went fine. The baby is of average size, and there were no abnormalities with the heart or brain or anything else that they look at during the procedure. Right toward the end, the nurse called in some strange doctor-man, saying "I'm calling the doctor now. He reads the results" This threw both Dave and I back a little bit, since we didn't know in advance that we would be seeing a doctor. He came in and shook my hand, muttered something about "looks good" and then asked if I had any questions. I didn't, other than why he was in the room. I equate this to when the dentist comes in and looks at your teeth after the hygienist spends 30 minutes cleaning them. I think it's just to be sure that you feel like a real professional is working behind the scenes, and to ensure that the visit costs the insurance company the $1200 per minute fee that the doctor charges. Just one more reason I'm feeling confident in our homebirth plan. It's pretty rare for a stranger to walk in during the birth when you're in your home with the midwives and support people that you've chosen.

Speaking of homebirth midwives, Dave and I met with Gail and Clare again last week. It was fun to see them, and I'm glad to begin the process of getting to know them. We covered a lot of ground in the hour we spent with them, but we honestly didn't talk much about the birth. We talked about diet and exercise, my health history, and they listened for the baby's heartbeat using the fetoscope. Unfortunately, they weren't able to pick it up, but they were able to hear all sorts of kicks and punches coming from the baby. The ultrasound revealed the the placenta is anterior, making it more difficult to hear the heartbeat and also making it a little more difficult for me to feel those first kicks. I am feeling them pretty regularly now, and Dave got lucky and felt one through my belly the other night.

I wish I was a little better at keeping up this blog. If I updated daily, it would look more like this:
Everything is great! I feel great! Pregnancy is fun! Whee!!
Dear lord, someone get me a pillow and a blanket, I need a nap.
Pregnancy rocks! I rock at being pregnant! Woo hoo!
Is that the time? 7:30 pm? Geez, I better hit the hay I need to get 12 hours of sleep.

Unfortunately, I tend to only post when I'm not on those emotional and physical highs, so it sounds all down and sad and poor me. When I look back over the past 2 months, though, things have been wonderful overall. Just in the last week have I hit the good day/bad day dynamic, and it's taking some time to get used to. I'm exhausted again, and not sleeping through the night. I haven't had time to fit my naps in, and when I do they just make me more tired instead of more rested. I know that the third trimester will bring some exhaustion with it, but I'm not there yet. I feel a little cheated that I didn't get the full second trimester full of energy (4 more weeks!)

I've been meaning to take a photo of me from the side - I've started visibly showing in the last few weeks, and I'm loving that. My weight gain is still hovering around 10 pounds total so far, but my belly is poking out over my pants, and I'm having a hard time keeping it covered. It's definitely time to move into maternity pants, but I don't feel like shopping or going to a store at all. One thing I definitely need to buy is a maternity swimsuit. I'm still swimming laps 3 times a week, and even though the suit I have is a few sizes bigger than usual, it is no longer doing the job. My internet searches have turned up nothing other than tankinis, a style that I do not want to swim laps in. You'd think with all of the advice to swim while pregnant, someone would make a decent swimsuit that covers your belly but doesn't come down to your knees (why do they put skirts on swimsuits? why?). I have to make it a priority to find one soon, since it's become uncomfortable to swim in the one I've got, and I don't want to get out of the habit of doing my laps every week.

In other non-pregnancy news, we're getting excited for Thanksgiving. I can't believe how quickly November has blown by, the holiday is next week already! My mom and brother are coming to share the meal with us, and hopefully my mother and sister-in law as well. My dad and step-mom are flying in on Friday, so they'll miss the meal but will still see us. This is the third year that we've hosted the holiday, and we have a great time doing it. We cook an entirely organic meal, using as much locally grown food as we are able. Even though we're vegetarian, we cook a turkey for everyone else and rumor has it that it's pretty delicious. We insist on a free-range, organic bird, something that our family members wouldn't buy for themselves. I think its deliciousness is partially due to that and partially due to the fact that Dave is a fantastic cook. We always invite friends for wine and pie after dinner, and hopefully we'll have some people show up again this year. I'm doing apple, pecan, and pumpkin pies again so if that's not enough to draw them in, I don't know what would be. I'm glad that our families are coming again this year, we weren't sure if we would just be cooking for 2 this time.

I think it's time for me to go find that nap that I've been raving about. Hopefully I can take off from work a little early and sleep the afternoon away.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Pupper of the week special edition: a dog and her heater

A few months after we began dating, Dave and I rented a house together. It was a small house. Something like 400 square feet, but miraculously 2 bedrooms (if you could call them that - the bed was against the wall on 3 sides). In this house many life changing events happened - I finished college, we got engaged, we got a puppy, and we got married. We lived in this tiny house for just over 2 years.

The house did not have a furnace.

It had a "cabin heater". It was about the size of a short bookshelf, sitting smack in the middle of the house. It was connected to a thermostat and fueled by gas. When we would turn the heat up, the heater would ignite, and you could see the flames through the front panel. It was definitely unique, and in the middle of a Minnesota winter it was usually pretty cold in the house - except for right in front of the heater.

When the weather turned cold in the first year of Irene's life, things got tough for the pupper. She did not like the cold. She would sit and shiver at 70 degrees, her whole body visibly shaking. She still does not like to go out in the rain or snow, and will sit pathetically on the doorstep waiting to be let in. Dave wrote about this tendency here. While we lived in that tiny little house, Irene developed a special relationship with the heater. When it clicked on, she would sit in front of it, as close as she could get without scorching herself. If it turned on while she was in the kitchen or the porch, should would run to be near it as it gave off heat. When it clicked off, she would lick the front face of it, as if to say "please turn back on. it's so cold in this little house."
She slept in front of it most days, and sometimes she would contort her body to flop away from it when she got too hot, but kept her bum close for the warmth.

Two years ago we bought our first house - and luckily it had a proper furnace. It was May when we moved, so I'm sure the heater was the last thing on Irene's mind. We quickly discovered, however, that we had created a monster.

Instead of just one heater, Irene has now developed a special love for all of the furnace vents in the house. When it turns on, she runs to sit in front of the living room vent that blows the most air. If we're cooking and she wants to be near the kitchen in case of a dropped onion or piece of cheese, she will sit directly on top of the kitchen vent, blocking all of the air into the room. If we force her off, she reluctantly pulls her bed up to the dining room vent. It's not as strong as the living room, but she can't block it fully so at least some heat escapes into the house.

We recently purchased a programmable thermostat, and I'm wondering how this will affect her love for the furnace. Will she learn that at 5:00 it goes up to 69 degrees? Will she prepare for it by bringing her bed over to the vent at 4:55? I don't know if the little house with the cabin heater is entirely to blame for her dysfunctional love of the furnace, but sometimes I feel bad that she's so cold. That is, until she starts licking the wall or the chair next to the vent. Then I make her move.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

it could have been worse

I had to run a short errand for work. It should have taken less than 30 minutes. Instead, it took 2 and a half hours. Why? Because I locked my keys in my car.

It could have been worse. I was in a store that I could bus home from, and the store had computers so I was able to email my boss as well as call Dave to find out where the extra house key is hidden. I even had change for the bus, and it all worked out. But I felt really stupid. Locking my keys in the car is not exactly par for the course. I just don't do things like that.

Enter: Pregnancy brain. My new excuse for everything. Some people may think it's a bogus claim, but I sign up for it. Thanks to Google, I have plenty of people to back me up. Including these folks here, here, and here. None of these pages site an actual medical study, but I think they're all right on course. How else could I have dropped my keys inside my purse and the left the purse sitting on the passenger seat? That just doesn't make sense, folks.

Now, the thing you've been waiting for - finished mittens!

Photobooth doen't lend itself well to hiding while you're taking a photo. Oh well.

Pattern: Eunny Jang's Anemoi mittens
Yarn: SandnesGarn sisu in brown and Cleckheaton Baby cocoon in color 005.
Yarn Source: LYS
Needles: US 3 Prym double points
Gauge: Ask me and I will kill you
Modifications: I ended up skipping all of the repeats in the pattern because the mittens were long enough before I got to the end. I changed needle sizes 3 times, and used the Italian tubular cast-on.

They may not match anything else that I own, but I love these mittens. The colors are great, they're warm but not too warm, and fancy shmancy.

dave is smart

Thank you for fixing the thing that was wrong. From now on, I will know not to click on the Edit Html button. That messed everything up for me.

We had the ultrasound yesterday and everything was great - I'll try to get to the library today or tomorrow to scan the photos in. I know folks are just dying to see what the little baby looks like!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

anemoi, take 5

Last week, I began working on the anemoi mittens. I've long read Eunny Jang's site and I admire her knitting and her patterns very much. I knew that this pattern was probably above my skill level, but I thought I would go for it.

Surprisingly, I was successful. On the 5th try, that is.

Take 1: Cast-on with size 0 needles, as called for in the pattern. Knit through cuff. Did not fit over hand. Pulled back.
Take 2: Cast-on with size 1 needles. Knit through cuff. Did not fit over hand. Pulled back again.
Take 3: Cast-on again with size 1 needles, but consciously tried for a very loose cast on. Thought I was successful, knit up to the thumb. Didn't fit over my hand. Pulled back.
Take 4: Cast-on with size 2 needles, and discovered a new way to do the tubular cast-on. Thanks to this nice lady, I was able to get a very flexible cast-on, and knit up to the thumb. It fit over my hand! Woo hoo! I was so excited that I excused the fact that it barely fit over my hand, and that the cuff was a little too tight (read barely allowing blood into my hand) so I knit the whole right mitten.

It was beautiful.

But it didn't fit.

Now, I realize this entire situation could have been avoided if I had just done a gauge swatch to see how many stitches I was getting per inch. Why didn't I? Why did I knit up this entire mitten knowing that it wouldn't fit? Because it was really fun. I really liked following the pattern. And I could only find 4 of the 5 size 3 needles, and I didn't have the energy to go searching for the other one.

After taking this picture, I ripped the whole mitten back.

Take 5: Found (with Dave's help! go Dave!) my missing size 3 needle, cast-on the Italian way with the size 3's and changed the main color from blue to brown. I knit them up in 4 days, and I love them. I would have a finished photo for you this morning, but I left them in the car. Oh well. They fit great, and I love the color and the pattern. They're not perfect - I have a serious problem with loose stitches at my needle join, but they're still fantastic. And I have mittens!

Tonight - we're meeting with our homebirth midwives again. Tomorrow - a new project on the needles.

Monday, November 5, 2007


I forgot to upload the photos of the Anemoi mittens, so it'll have to wait until another day. This is week 21, nearing the end of the 2nd trimester. I'm still surprised at how little I'm showing, though some people are shocked to see that I suddenly look very pregnant. I think it all depends on what I'm wearing. At work, I'm in dress pants and button up shirts so don't think it's as noticeable. At home I'm in jeans or sweat pants and tank tops, so I think it's much more obvious.

My check-up with our clinic midwife last Friday went very well. The baby's heartbeat was 158 bpm, which is perfect and normal. We've got the ultrasound rescheduled for this Wednesday, and we're also scheduled to see the home birth midwives again on Thursday, which will be fun and exciting. Our clinic midwife is fine with our plan to do a home birth, and has had a few clients who chose this route. She and Abbott NW will be the backup plan. It's good to have that piece taken care of. She also recommended the standard glucose screening test at my next visit. This is something I've been anticipating, and doing some reading about. Somewhere along the line I got it in my head that this test has a high rate of false positives, and I'm looking forward to talking to our home birth midwives to get their perspective on it.

In other baby related news, I think I felt the first stirrings this weekend. In the middle of the night (after the mouse attack) when we were going back to sleep, I felt what I'm almost sure was the thumpings of the little one on my insides. Since I identified that feeling, I've felt it once or twice more during the day and in the evening. I'm still not 100% sure that this is it, but more and more I'm thinking it can't be anything else. According to the baby is the length of a carrot this week - and can definitely hear sounds on the outside. Maybe I'll get Dave to blast some Shostakovich at my belly - that should get the kid moving!

For unknown reasons, yesterday was a really hard day for me. I was exhausted (despite the extra hour of sleep) and took 2 naps and a long shower. I just couldn't get motivated to do anything, and I missed the yoga class I had been wanting to attend. I suppose these bouts of exhaustion are normal, and I got used to it during the first trimester. It's been 6 or 7 weeks since I've felt tired like that for no reason, and I couldn't help but be angry and sad about it - something else I can't really control. I took my naps and lazed around, and tried to get into a better mood. I'm feeling much better today, so Dave and I were joking that maybe the babe is just going through a growth spurt and needed to sap my energy for 24 hours. By the end of the evening things were better, even though Dave kicked my butt at Trivial Pursuit 80's edition. I hope that I get a few more weeks of boundless energy, before the hum drums of the 3rd trimester set in. T minus 133 days until the due date! Woo hoo!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

the good cat

This is Elvis. He is a good cat.

Elvis and Dave go way back. Dave acquired Elvis when he was just a young strapping man of 19 years old. When he and I met and started dating, I was not much of a cat person. In fact, I found it a little strange that a single man would own two cats. They grew on me, however, and now I'm glad to have them as part of my life. Elvis has two names, and has not really gone by the name Elvis for many years. He is called Roo, originally because he can jump like a kanga, but also because he caterwauls in the middle of the night and it sounds a lot like "A-Roo! A-Roo!"

We've had a mouse in the house for the last few weeks. Dave and I have seen evidence of the mouse, and once the dog was able to trap it in the garbage bag, but it got out and away before we were able to take it outside. We don't like to set traps for them, we just hope nature will work itself out. Last night it did. At 2:00 am, we heard a racket in the kitchen, and then Elvis came tearing up the stairs into what will be the baby's room. We heard a tiny squeak, and we knew the mission had been accomplished.

We're happy to have a mouse free house once again. We even got up at 2:00 am to congratulate Roo on a job well done (he received half a can of tuna as his reward). And we didn't let him toy with the mouse until its death - Dave grabbed it and took it outside. It may have been mortally wounded, but this way we didn't have to set a trap and know for sure that it had been destroyed.

I was beginning to wonder if he still had it in him, but at nearly 12 years of age, Roo's still got it.

Friday, November 2, 2007

pupper of the week

Here is the ever-popular Irene, glaring at me through the screen door. I thought it was fitting to have one more summer photo before the chill really sets in.

It's been a busy few days at work, and I feel like I haven't had a chance to catch my breath. Halloween night was fun - we had many trick-or-treaters and only had to turn away one bunch of kids when we ran out of candy. I did something that shocked the shit out of me, though - while I was walking down the stairs, I completely missed the bottom step and hit the floor on my knees. Even though I've read in every pregnancy book to be careful, walk delicately, and note that your center of gravity changes, I still wasn't really prepared for that. I thought it would happen much later, once I'm really popping out, but I suppose an extra 10 pounds right in the middle front of your body will through you off. I iced my knees and the bruises aren't too bad. It made me take note, though, and I'm going to go down the stairs more carefully from now on. Of course, it may have nothing to do with my center of gravity - I may just be extremely clumsy.

We had our ultrasound scheduled for today, but the furnace
is causing us problems and the repair person can only come during the hours we had planned to be at the clinic. I'm going to try to call and get it rescheduled, I just don't want to have Dave miss it. Hopefully we can get in early next week, get the furnace fixed, and all will be well. I'm more than a little disappointed, though, and sad that today won't be the day where we get to see the baby.

Alas, tis better not to suffer the cold in the house this weekend, or pay through the nose for emergency repair service. I've started Eunny Jang's Anemoi mittens. I'm thrilled with them, but more on that later.