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Archive for the ‘Mommy stuff’ Category

Recently, Mr. ManlyMan and I finally got the time and motivation to finish unpacking our new house.  I always end up in this stage – I’ve been living somewhere for a few months, but there are still boxes skulking in corners and under piles of clothes.  At some point a desperate search for a book or winter coat results in a final unpacking (or a dumping of everything on the bed).  Whatever caused it this time, the Final Unpacking resulted in a very cute room for WeeSprite, and a craft corner for myself!

blurry crib corner

slipper making in progress

The Craft Corner.  It’s possibly the best thing ever (short of an entire craft room… someday, someday).  I have a desk, and several plastic bins of knitting and sewing stash.  I have room for my sewing machine (the one I learned to sew on, passed down from Mom).  I have tools in logical places were I can find them.

stash closet

I have discovered an amazing property of the dedicated crafting space – it gives off it’s own force of creativity.  Maybe it’s the fact that I don’t have to spend a half hour of setup before I can start a project. Maybe it’s knowing where everything is.  I like to think it’s a mystic aura created by the combination of all my crafting Stash in one place.

The Corner of Awesome Craftification has already witnessed the completion of several projects.

This

lost some of its outdated bits

yes, it had shoulder padsto become this

black lace!

add a sash made from the cut off fabric, striped tights, and some awesome jewelry, and it made my Halloween costume.

Slightly over one yard of this fabric

Halloween sale @ Hancocks!

became my first adventure into patten-based sewing

WeeSprite's first Halloween costume!

(the leftovers from the leggings turned into ankle socks for me)

This is what our Halloween looked like, in the end:

I have more projects on the way, but I will save those for another post.

What kind of set up do you have for your creative needs? Do you have a bag, a room, or a corner like mine? I’d love to see yours, now that I’ve show you mine 😉

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Housesitting is a little like a vacation in the KnittingSprite family.

Maybe this is because we only house-sit for my Dad and StepMom, in the house I grew up in.  This house has many cool things, such as The Comfy Chair

This is THE perfect chair.  I can nurse comfortably.  It reclines.  I can have all the necessities at hand for when I am pinned by a sleeping WeeSprite – knitting, tea, remote control, and laptop.

And it is comfy.  Oh so comfy.

There is also Joe;

Sheepies;

and a grill.

There’s the joy of having a big house to ourselves.  The comfort of listening to all the music I heard growing up.  The smell of my old bedroom.  We are playing ‘house’ in a way.  This is a lot like the life we imagine for ourselves in the future.  Land, a  big organic garden, lots of animals (although I do not envision myself with a Joe), a quiet place in the country.

I imagine a future with sheep and goats, alpaca and chickens.  Sometimes I dream of bees.  I have daydreams of WeeSprite running around where’s there’s room to grow and explore and catch snakes and rabbits.  Of having big, lush green areas all around.  Sitting in a big sunny yard with lots of trees, knitting or playing guitar and sipping a homebrew.

I dream of these things, and I also wonder when this became my fantasy future.  In the fashion of teenagers everywhere, when I lived this life I took it for granted.  I had big city plans and was going to move as far away as soon as possible.  At some point I was old enough to do things *my way*, and I found out crowded buildings made it hard to breathe.  Long stretches of pavement made me sad.  And going out to bars all night was only fun with the right people at the right times.

These days I’d rather have a nice meal with friends out in the sun, or go on a walk.  I’m more caught up in ‘dance parties’ and singing with WeeSprite than rubbing shoulders with the drunk and fabulous on the dancefloor.

Rather than having an expensive studio in downtown Wherever, I am budgeting and planning, and dreaming of my cozy little house in the country of the future.

Dreaming and planning – perfect occupations for The Comfy Chair.

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It seems to be a rule that if you know one person having a baby, you know lots of people having babies.  This has been the case for me.  I went from being the only person in my close group of friends having a baby, to going on 3-times-a-week walks with other moms and seeing pregnant women everywhere.

This is, of course, a perfect knitting opportunity.  One of my walking buddies had a post-baby-shower a few days ago, and I whipped up this little hat in a day:quackquack

I loved the hat and the colors, so the next day I started a similar version for WeeSprite.

The second one really took two days, but it would be a one-day project for anyone who doesn’t have an almost-two-month-old baby around. (The one-day version for my friend was made on a day that DaddySprite was home).

I don’t know if it’s the yummy color combination, or the thrill of instant gratification, but I just want to make more and more hats.  WeeSprite was nursing with the hat on, and when I looked at her I just got to thinking;

I could make one with more stripes.  And maybe an I-cord.  Ooooh, k1p1 ribbing!

Next thing I know, this has happened…

Several episodes of Ugly Betty later (and some nursing/playtime in between)…

Tadaa!

I may be doomed to a never-ending cycle of tiny hats. I could just keep making them until she’s old enough to refuse to wear them.  Then I would tuck them into her school bag and hope…

Hmm.  Maybe I should go clean some beer bottles until I work this out of my system.

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Long time no post.

WeeSprite is keeping me busy.  I’m hoping I can at least get a rough draft in before she wakes up.  Learning this whole “mom” thing is a process, to say the least.  There’s lots of repetition (feed, change diaper, try to do stuff while she sleeps, repeat).  There’s things I do all the time and never get sick of it – like staring at her.  A lot.  Seriously, your baby very quickly becomes your obsession.  I can watch her sleep, or just lie there, or make funny faces while she tries to take a poop, for hours.   There’s things I never thought I would get used to but now handle with gace and calm.  Like getting peed on.  And spit up on.  And going to the bathroom while holding a baby.  Oh, and typing with one hand.

I think the hardest thing to get used to is how different I am treated now.  While I was pregnant, people went out of their way to be nice to me, to help me with things (lifting, opening doors, whatever).  They asked about the baby, about my health.  They offered kind (usually) and well-meant advice.  This from complete strangers as well as friends and aquaintences.  Now that the baby is here, people don’t seem to understand that the pregnancy was the easy part.  At least for me it was.  NOW is when I need help, when it would be nice if someone opened the door for me while I juggle a winter coat, baby, and humongous diaper bag.  When, while it is not as visible as a pregnant belly, a cesarean section makes it a lot harder to move and lift things than it was while I was pregnant.  When I want to yell, No, I really can’t keep up with the amount of housework that I could a few weeks ago.  Other than my friends who already have kids (and my wonderful, amazing partner), people don’t Get It.  Strangers or friends, really.

Today was the first time I realized how different the world is for me as a mom as opposed to a pregnant woman.

Today I was scheduled for my two-week checkup with my midwives.  I dropped my Loving and Supportive Partner off at work, and had two hours to kill before said appointment.  We live far enough out of town that going home would be a pain and a waste of gas, as well as dealing with pulling my peacefully sleeping WeeSprite in and out of the car seat.   Considering she was sleeping so well, I decided to spend the time at the library, which is just across the street from LaSP’s place of employment (the acronym works for now, but he REALLY needs a blog name!).  WeeSprite was bundled into her Moby wrap, diaper bag hauled over one shoulder, and off we went.

It was not meant to be.  The moment I reached the most central, echoing part of the library, my little one started to cry.  She is generally a very calm baby.  She cries when she needs something and that’s it.  Right at that moment, WeeSprite needed to tell me she was hungry.  Also right at that moment, everyone in earshot needed to tell me something else.  Shut Your Baby Up.  What Are You Doing Here With A Crying Baby? You Must Be A Terrible Mother.  You Don’t Belong Here.  Oh, no one said these things.  But you can say a lot with a dirty look.  Patrons and librarians alike made it very clear that I was a Nuisance, a Disturbance, and Not Welcome.

I hurried to a quiet and (I thought) private corner.  I had no sooner gotten myself settled (and was seconds away from freeing a breast from the crazy Moby contraption to feed WeeSprite) when a scruffy guy browsing the stacks felt it necessary to add his two cents.  “The kid’s section is over there” he growled, jerking his thumb the the general direction.

“Back the fuck off! Let me feed my kid! Unless you’ve never been a temporary pain in someone’s ass, leave me alone!”

…is what I thought.  What I said was more of a stammering apology.  “I’m sorry! She was fine until I got here!”  Disgusting.  I was angry with myself for being so cowed, but still intimidated by the force of negative energy that seemed to be coming from everyone in the library.

Huddled in my corner, I fed my daughter.  When she seemed done, I burped her and got ready to look for a few books – my original plan.  WeeSprite had other ideas, and immediately let me know about her dirty diaper.  I hurried to the bathroom before she had time to make more than a few noises, wanting to avoid bringing more attention to myself.  I changed her, and lingered in the bathroom, afraid to go back into the library.  Sure enough, she began to fuss again (still hungry) and I did what I never thought I would do.  I had been a staunch supporter of a mother’s right to breastfeed in public.  I had ranted rants, read articles, discussed this right with my La Leche League Leader friend.  But I did it, I went into a bathroom stall.  To feed my baby.

Not because of censure of breastfeeding in public. Not out of modesty or fear someone would say something about me feeding my daughter in the way I thought best.  I did it because I was afraid of having a crying newborn in public.

I spent more time cowering from public opinion in the bathroom than I did using the library itself.  Really, I didn’t get any time to actually browse for books.

How fucked up is that?

It seems that we live in a place where pregnancy is smiled upon, but the result of that condition is considered a public nuisance.  How often have I (or you, dear reader) been in a restaurant, on a bus, boarding a plane, and saw a parent and baby come onto the scene?  Did I roll my eyes, and wonder what kind of disruption this would cause? Did I give them a dirty look if the baby cried?  I hope I have not been that person, but fear that I have.  I know that by the time my youngest brothers were born, I had learned more about what it was like to be a parent (from observing my mom) and was more likely to give parents of fussing kids looks of understanding – but what if they came off as pity?

I hope that at least a few people reading this will be kinder to frazzled moms (and dads) like myself.  I hope that I will learn to not give a crap about the opinions of others when I am taking care of my child’s needs.  I hope I get some of my F-you attitude back, and the cowed, scared me will fade into the background.

For the people who gave me dirty looks today, I would like to end this with a little bit of wisdom from OutKast.

I know you’d like to thank your shit don’t stank
But lean a little bit closer
See that roses really smell like poo-poo
Yeah, roses really smell like boo-boo


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The Birth of Lyra

My darling girl was born3:23 am, Saturday Dec 19 2009 via c-section.  She was 8lbs 2oz, and 19.5 inches long.

I am so happy to have her here after what felt like a long, long wait.  I felt so prepared – I had done my reading, my breathing and mental exercises, prenatal yoga – I was READY to have this baby.

Before it happened to me, I kind of believed C-Sections only happened to people who didn’t labor well, or had too many unnecessary interventions.  I was so caught up in my natural birth reading that I forgot to take it with a grain of salt, that not all hospitals were evil c-section pushing butchers.  I also assumed it couldn’t possibly happen to me, I was so ready to have this baby naturally that I mostly skipped the C-Section chapters in my books.  It couldn’t happen.

I was SO impatient to have this baby (as FB friends and blog readers may have noticed).  I went into false labor once, and broke down crying the next day in my midwife’s office because she still. wasn’t. here. yet.  When I started feeling contractions again I was afraid to get my hopes up.  I had spent one day with my stepmom hanging out and running errands so I wouldn’t be alone “in case I went into labor.”  I started having contractions again, and I was afraid to believe it was happening, even after 7 hours of chart-able contractions.  They did peter out that evening, but picked up again the next morning.

After days of early labor, I finally started “the real thing” Friday evening.  I was 3cm dilated when I got to the hospital.  The entire time I was really able to stay on top of contractions and breathe through them.  I walked, I used the tub, rocked on the birthing ball, and chatted with my mom and SO.  It was going well for the most part… I *was* hooked up to an external monitor the whole time, but I didn’t think much of it at first.  The baby’s heart rate was dropping at the end of each contraction, but neither my nurse or midwife seemed overly worried about that.  The nurse kept telling me that I was amazing, and he had rarely seen someone handle labor so well. (He was GREAT to have around during labor… if anyone reading this has a baby at Boulder Community Foothills, look for Danny in L&D. I loved him).

Around 2 am that changed.  I was still dilating well, and staying on top of contractions, but the baby’s heart rate was decelerating more and more.  Suddenly there was an internal monitor, and oxygen, and an IV.  Before long they were telling me I needed a C Section….. yea I cried.

There were scrubs brought in for my mom and my SO.  I had to change into a hospital gown (I was in a birthing skirt and a comfy shirt before) full on with open back. A nice man came to tell me about the spinal he was going to give me.  In a small crowd of my midwife, nurse, anesthesiologist, and birth support team,  I walked to the OR. Every step felt like I was losing control of my birth, and that it wasn’t mine anymore.  I wouldn’t be pushing my little girl out.  Someone else would be giving her the entrance into this world.

The OR was bright. And Cold. Bob Marley was playing on a small portable stereo in the corner as people – lots of people – set up.  I was so grateful when they turned him off – I really like Bob and didn’t want to associate him with what was happening to me.  As I had the spinal inserted, I was already thinking this meant that if I had another baby, it would mean no homebirth, no midwives… just an acronym. VBAC. I’m not really planning on another kid just yet, but I always assumed if one happened I would try for a homebirth next time.

I was scared the spinal couldn’t possibly do enough to numb the pain of having my skin, stomach muscles, and uterus cut open, but they really know what they are doing.  I wasn’t even sure when the actual incision was happening.  I remember holding my partner’s hand tight, and being so so scared.  I kept looking at my mom, who had been through this with my youngest brother.  I tried to draw on her strength and the knowledge that she was fine now.

When my baby’s head first came out, and I heard her first cry, the entire experience changed for me.  That one little noise took all the fear and hurt, and suddenly I was filled with love.   When they pulled her body out, several people made surprised noises, and my SO turned to me and said “She’s HUGE!”  They let him trim the umbilical cord (he couldn’t do the initial cut) and took him and our baby to the corner to do hospital-y things.  I held my mom’s hand and craned my neck to see her little feet in the air.  The eventually let her be brought over to me so I could see her.

It’s a little hard to understand why, when I was “laboring so well”, things can still end in major surgery.  It’s hard to let go of the fact that I still don’t know what it’s like to “really” give birth.  And I may not ever know.

What is easy is loving this little girl that I am so blessed to have.  It’s easy to love my family and friends that have been with me through this all. I know that this will just make me a stronger and better person someday.

Welcome to the world, WeeSprite.  You are loved by so many, but especially me.

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Hey all.  There’s been a lack of posting due to the fact that my brain is completely wrapped up in making. this. baby. come.  I didn’t think that would make a very interesting post (and really, if you want to hear my impatient bitching all you have to do is take a look at my facebook).

Because it has been so brain-encompassing, I still need to do a quick overview.  Red Raspberry leaf tea (X a million).   Induction massage (X2).  Evening primrose orally and perineum massage (X every day).  Pineapple (today).  Been eating spicy food and craving Dark Horse jalapeno poppers like crazy, but have not been able to convince anyone to deliver them here. Of course there’s the one EVERYONE likes to point out (including my SOs parents, joy of joys)… yes I have been having lots of sex. So no one needs to comment here and suggest it.

So. Hopefully it will be soon.  Many have pointed out I will not have all this lovely knitting time I have been enjoying once she is here, but I am devising a clever system of knitting while nursing… although I may have to switch to exclusively circular needles so baby Lyra can retain both her eyes.

I have managed to actually DO some other things. The MIL scarf is now as tall as she is, so I think it’s time to bind off.  Dad’s scarf is taking a bit longer because I have to untangle three balls of yarn every few rows (thanks to the little stripe I thought would be so nifty – it’s a LOT of work for 6 rows of contrasting color). The baby sweater has been a bit stalled due to frustration.  I have the left sleeve and front panel sewn on, the right sleeve is attached to the back, and now the front right panel is too short.  I swear it was the right size up until the time to sew seams came along.  So far the temptation to cast on a project for me (sooooooccckkkkksssssssss) has been resisted, because I am determined that everyone receive a FINISHED gift this year (this has not always been the case).

In beer news, the housemates and I got the holiday porter started, and it is happily bubbling away in the dining room.  Normally the beer lives and grows in the Beer Room, but others have pointed out that we have family coming to town this weekend and most people would refer  it as the Guest Room. Weirdos.  Anyway, who wouldn’t sleep better with a happy little homebrew bubbling nearby?

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