29 March 2011

Dear Blogger,

When we first met and you whispered the word "free" into my ear I fell hard.  I was convinced that you cared about me.  That you understood about my lack of disposable blogging income.  That you were truly interested in my ability to share my intimate details with the world. That's how you sucked me in, convinced me to commit, how you lulled me into a false sense of security.  And then, just like the schoolyard drug dealer, right when you knew I was hooked, really dependent, you pulled the wool from my eyes!  You tell me that there are limits to our relationship.  You claim that you love me, but only so much (1 gb, to be exact).  You try to convince me that our relationship means something, and that if I will only give you a little something, we can carry on as though this little change of rules never occurred.  Well, you know what, it worked.  The crack you slipped me, with all the promises to go along with it, has taken it's hold.  I can't stop.  While I may like to think I can just walk away, leaving you with over a year of memories together, I can't.  I will pay your little fee.  I will give you what you are asking for. And then? Then I will upload all the pictures I want, and I will shove them in your smug little face! 

Kindest regards,
Me

24 March 2011

Pickle Money

If I had a magic genie to grant me a wish, I would wish that my boy's lives would be video taped (and put to music... if he's a good genie) so at any time I could go back and watch the moments that I have loved so much. 

For instance, this week when Eli was freaking out over wearing a t-shirt instead of a button-up shirt and I asked him why he didn't want to wear the t-shirt, and he said, "Because, Mom, my head is bigger than my neck, and if I grow while I'm wearing it I won't be able to get it off!"  Very concerning. 

Or, when he gets to the telephone before me and answers with a "Hi," and then proceeds to tell whoever has called exactly what he is doing with his day, even if that involves his elimination.  We are working on phone manners, and now when they ask to speak with someone he asks, "Would you like to speak with my Mommy?"  Go ahead, call us, see how cute he is.  But, don't leave a message, for it will be forgotten before he hangs up the phone. 

Right now the most wonderful thing that is going on is Eli's new found desire to work and save money. A few weeks ago he decided that he wanted some finger skateboards, just like the Russells.  When he asked if we could go buy some, he wouldn't take no for an answer.  We told him if he wanted to do some jobs and earn some money he could use that money to buy the skateboards.  He has almost been helpful for the last two weeks.  He wiped half the mirror in the bathroom.  He picked up two piles of dog poo in the back yard.  He threw all the toys in our room (plus one bra) into a bucket and called it clean! Really, I have had the greatest little helper, and his rates are pretty cheap!  Yesterday he finally earned enough money to buy the skateboards that he wanted. We carefully counted it up, took out 10% to pay tithing to the church, took out another 10% for his Missionary fund so that one day he can go on a mission, and headed to the toy store with an old pickle jar full of cash.  It took him a good half hour to decide which of the plethora of skateboards he wanted, and which track he wanted to go with his precious boards.  Oh, the decision making of a three-year-old is something to behold.  He then dug out his pickle smelling money and handed it to the cashier.  We brought it home and he hasn't stopped playing with it since. He even called Andy this morning and asked, "Andy, I was wondering if you wanted to come over to my house and play finger skateboards with me?"  Oh, he is so cute!



So, if anyone is feeling the need to push around a two inch long skateboard, come on over, you'll have a very willing play mate!

23 March 2011

If money weren't an issue...

I would definitely go to this:



Three days, in London, knitting!?! Heaven on earth, I tell you. Perhaps there I could feel less guilty about the amount of time I spend knitting. Perhaps there I would actually feel good about it, because I'm sure there are others worse than me. Perhaps there all of my dreams would come true.  Perhaps.

While you may all think that I do nothing but knitting (which may or may not be true...) life at my home has been wonderful... and... I've been knitting



20 March 2011

Welcome Spring

Today is the first day of Spring, and we woke to a beautiful blanket of snow in Calgary.  It's sunny and gorgeous out, so I don't really mind.  But still, I am looking forward to green grass and shorts.

Luckily I just finished another hat, so Silas could wear it to church this morning, on account of all the snow and all...


Whenever people say how boring it is to dress boys, I feel badly that they don't take their boys to church. I just love dressing my boys up like little men in white shirts and ties!  I have as many ties for them as I do socks.  I love it!

Silas has now reached 18 months and is now officially part of the Nursery program at church. Of course he has spent most of his life in Nursery anyway, because I have been serving in Nursery for most of his life, but this week it was official.  He handled it like a champ!


Isn't the hat darling??? It is a vintage pattern from the 1940s, and I am going to make an hundred more!  So stinking cute!

16 March 2011

At it Again!





I love when I make something that is super cheep and REALLY,REALLY cute.  Now I just wish Silas needed another hat.  The pattern for this is surprisingly easy, and I knit it up in just a few hours. The yarn is just the cheap Michael's acrylic, so only cost me $4.00.  You can't beat that!  And Silas... well, I can't even begin to express how cute he is.

Find the pattern here and here

14 March 2011

Sleeping Sick Baby

My house is a death house right now.  All three of my boys, Jared included, have been SICK, SICK, SICK! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I won't get the plague too, because it doesn't look like any fun. (Although maybe it would be a further excuse to knit more!) My little Si-guy has refused to sleep on his own, so I have either had to lie down with him, or let him cuddle with me on the couch until he falls asleep and then unwrap myself from him.  I can't get up, or he'll wake up, but I can knit next to him. 

Yesterday the need to vacuum finally outweighed my desire to knit, so I sneakily got up from Silas's side and started pushing the old hoover around.  Silas woke, so I passed him a balloon to pacify him for a moment, and in seconds this was his state.  

Oh, he's so stinking cute!  I love him. It's no fun being sick, especially when you can't describe what hurts. Thank heavens for breastfeeding, because he hasn't eaten anything to eat for three days, but he will still nurse, so I know he's okay!

Embracing my Inner Grandma

I know my endless knitting projects may not impress as much as I think they do, but the boys have been sick and so we've spent a lot of time sitting around, and so I've spent a lot of time knitting and crocheting. It's been quite lovely... except for the whole, being sick thing.

Anyway, like it or not, here's what I've been working on:


Let's start with this one.  A terrible picture, but a hat that actually fits a big person, instead of a little one!  And cables to boot.  The designer calls it Unoriginal, but I've never knit anything quite like it.  It's super cute (and if anyone has a birthday coming up....)

And then I moved back into the little person realm with this piggie bonnet.  Wish I had a newborn to try it on. I made the pattern up myself, including the pigs ears, which I spent far too long on. 


Then I made two of these, trying to make them the right size for a four year old. This one's called the Divine Hat, and it is just about that.



Oh, and then I made this one. It turned out way smaller than I planned, but it's pretty cute regardless.  I added three dangling pom-poms to the top, and it's even better now. 


Then there was this one, which I think necessitates a big brown and pink flower.


And I just finished this.  I'm not terribly fond of the colours, but it was a quick, easy knit, so I might just do it again smaller, with different yarn. As is expected, my favourite are the braids. I like earflaps and braids.  Here's a link to the pattern.


 And then, my absolute favourite so far.  I knit this one out of a ball of cheap variegated acrylic yarn that did not look good crocheted.  It turned out so ridiculously darling that I may have to go out and buy some more yarn and made a whole slough of them!   The pattern, Capucine, is really easy to follow, even for a beginner knitter, and I knit it up in one evening.  You can't beat that! In the tassels I added some of the extra dark purple from the Divine hat, and I think it makes it all the more wonderful. Maybe not the most practical of baby hats, but I love it none the less.


So there you have it.  I'll admit, I'm a total grandma, but I love it! And like I said, any birthdays coming up...

11 March 2011

RENTED!

Today I miss facebook, because I have happy news that I would love to share, but have no way to do so without my symbolic housetop shouting.  So, you in blogland get to hear it:

WE RENTED THE HOUSE!!!



What does that mean?  Well, it means that on April 1 I won't be developing ulcers as I watch my bank account overdraft.  It also means that we can survive a little longer while Jared looks for the right job.  It also means that someone gets to enjoy our beautiful house!  I'm happy for them, and for us.  It's pretty much a win-win situation.

And it looks like we'll be living in the basement for another month...

08 March 2011

He speaks!

For those of you dying for an update on the brilliance of our boy, Silas, let me quickly list for you his words, in order of appearance:

Uh-oh
Eli (Eeeeeee-eye)
Bumpa (Bum-baa)
Daddy (Dadeeeeee)
Bye-bye
Uh-huh

And, his ever present Uhh? which communicates so much for words he has yet to master.  I love this kid!

Here's a video of a few of his words, just as proof, but he's not much of a performer, so it's all you get. 

video

Broadening our Horizons

So, we've been Raw so long now, I can't even count the days.  We have fallen into a simple routine, and have a few recipes that we really love, and use regularly.  We are still feeling incredibly good, so we are carrying on.  However, like with everything in life, some days it feels hard to be so committed.  It's not necessarily the "Raw" food, but just food in general.  For the past two months I have prepared, from scratch, the vast majority of everything we have eaten.  But for a few splurges at the health food store, everything has to be made by hand, and often has to be planned a few days in advance. The lingering few boxes of macaroni in the cupboard have, some evenings, been very tempting (although, with no ketchup in the house I'm not sure if even that would be worth it).

But then, with a little effort we sit down to something like this, and it is just fine!

There is so much good about what you see there: tacos with sprouted quinoa tabbouleh and pineapple-broccoli salad. Delish!  And for a drink we had some fresh (and when I say fresh, I mean I opened the coconut myself) coconut water.  I would love to pontificate on the wonders of coconut water, but you should just look it up yourself.  It's incredible!

Those of you with scrutinizing eyes may notice the white creamy stuff on the tacos, and wonder what's becoming of the Wiebes.  Well, it is almost exactly what it looks like - it is freshly home-made yogurt! Oh, my domesticity just went up a few notches, didn't it?


I won't bore you with the details of the failed attempts at yogurt making, or tell you exactly what temperature I had to heat my farm-fresh raw milk to to make the yogurt.  No, I will just let you be impressed by my homemaking skills. Really, I'm well on my way to be dropped in the middle of this ad:

 They forgot to put "Make homemade yogurt and lettuce tacos with fake meat" in there. Strange.

Anyway, the yogurt is delicious, and almost worth "cheating" a little.  We are trying to discover exactly where we want to be on the whole Raw Food spectrum.  I have yet to miss real meat, but I do crave breads every now and then.  I feel really good about the raw milk, even though true raw foodists are vegan, but I have yet to have cheese, even though that's raw too.  And the yogurt is an easy way to whip up a snack for the boys.  We're just figuring it out as we go, deciding what works for our family, in order for us to be as healthy as we can be.  It's an adventure, that's for sure. 

And for those of you who have asked for more on our raw food, stay tuned for the "day in the life..." post.  It's coming!

06 March 2011

Eli's Chunk Hat

Every time my needles or hooks come out Eli asks when I will knit him a hat.  Poor boy, I make him try on all the hats I make, mostly for girls, and he never gets to keep any of them.  So, tonight I made him a hat of his own.  My favourite part is just the tiny bit of a point at the top.  Eli is getting to be too big for a full on gnome hat, but I sneaked in just a hint of cuteness into this otherwise very "boy" hat! The reason that Eli looks like he's just gotten in a school yard fight is because it's really late, but I really wanted to try the hat on him, so when he whimpered in bed a few minutes ago, instead of quickly getting him back to sleep I made him wake up and model it for me.  Even in his exhaustion he said, "I love it Mommy, especially that it's brown." I love him!


This pattern is ridiculously simple, but I find it nice to follow one, even so.  It could be made even simpler by just switching to a smaller hook and dcing the last few rows even.  But, I added a modified version of Rheatheylia's crocheted ribbing to tighten up the bottom.With a beautiful chunky yarn, this can be completed in just an hour or so. 

Eli's Chunk Hat

SIZE
Child

MATERIALS
Lang Yarns Maxi Tosca (55% Wool, 45% Acrylic; 100 yards per 50g ball) in colour 3989
Crochet Hook US J/6 mm
Tapestry needle
GAUGE
12 sts = 4"; 7 rounds = 4" in dc rounds. 
Use any size hook to obtain the gauge.

PATTERN NOTES
dc = double crochet
sc = single crochet
fpdc = front post double crochet
bpdc = back post double crochet

DIRECTIONS
Round 1: Using an adjustable ring, draw up 2 ch; 8 dc into loop; join with a slip st in first dc - 8 sts
Round 2: Ch 2, 2 dc in same st as joining, 2 dc in each dc in round; slip st in first dc - 16 sts
Round 3: Ch 2, dc in same st as joining, 2 dc in next dc, [dc in next dc, 2 dc in next dc] around; join - 24 sts
Round 4: Ch 2, dc in same st as joining, dc in next dc, 2 dc in next dc [dc in next 2 dc, 2 dc in next dc] around; join - 32 sts
Round 5: Ch 2, dc in same st as joining, dc in next 2 dc, 2 dc in next dc  [dc in next 3 dc, 2 dc in next dc] around; join - 40 sts
Round 6: Ch 2, dc in same st as joining, dc in next 3 dc, 2 dc in next dc  [dc in next 4 dc, 2 dc in next dc] around; join - 48 sts
Round 7: Ch 2, dc in same st as joining, dc in next 4 dc, 2 dc in next dc  [dc in next 5 dc, 2 dc in next dc] around; join - 56 sts
Round 8-11 - Ch 2, dc in same st as joining, dc around; join - 56 sts


Switch to Size 5.0 mm
Round 12- Ch 1, sc in same st as joining, sc around; join - 56 sts
Round 13 - Ch 2, dc in same st as joing, dc around; join - 56 sts
Round 14-15 - Ch 2, fpdc in first dc, bpdc in next dc, repeat around; join. Fasten off  - 56 sts
Weave in all ends.

Check my project out on Ravelry, or the pattern page here

04 March 2011

A Cleanse of Sorts

I am going on a cleanse.  Not a physical cleanse, but something even more important: a Facebook cleanse.  That's right, I am shutting it down for the next few weeks.  I've got so much going on right now and I feel like Facebook is just one thing that I DON'T need, that at best mildly entertains, but at worst works me up into a frenzy at times.  There is too much drama and too many hours that I will never get back.  So, if you look for me there, you won't find me.  Feel free to pick up the phone and call me: email me if that doesn't work for you. I will still be around, just not on Facebook.

What will I do with the time I save?

I plan on reading the ever growing stack of books sitting in my room gathering dust.  I have my first birth as a doula at the end of the month, and I want to make sure that I am prepared.  I also have two new LLL books I haven't really read yet that I want to get through.  Then there are the three new parenting books I just bought that I haven't touched yet.  Yes, I will read, I will read a lot.

Then there is all the crocheting and knitting I want to do that I can't do while I'm navigating the interwebs. I've got loads of patterns I want to work on and lots of yarn to do it with. Stay tuned for a few new patterns I've been working on!

There are the quilts I made last year that I haven't quilted yet.  I don't want to miss another picnic season without my picnic quilt now, do I?

I am working on a new website for my doula business and want to launch that sooner than later. It will be a great place, and a much better forum, for me to post links to articles and studies that I find interesting and informative. Look for it soon! 


And, most importantly, I want to spend more meaningful time with my boys.  They are getting so good at playing together that I have used my new-found independence as an excuse to sit in front of my computer, but I'd rather spend that time watching them interact, making memories of this time before it passes, as it quickly will.  I want to go to the zoo, go to the park, play on the floor.  I love them and I don't want to waste my time with them updating my status.

I'll go back, I'm sure, but hopefully a little time away will cleanse my apparent, and embarrassing, dependence on the beast.  Wish me luck!

I Want to Give Birth

No, I'm not pregnant, but I'd like to be soon, and so I've been thinking about it a lot lately, and I've come to at least one conclusion: I'm excited to give birth.  That's right: excited!

Eli and Silas's births did not go as I planned.  For a long time that made me really sad.  When I get into conversations where war stories I mean, birth stories, are shared, I all too often typically get one of two responses: the "well, you have two healthy babies, that's really what matters, right?" and the "well, if you had only done this or that you could have had the perfect birth."  I even once got a "Well, I guess God was just teaching you a lesson for trying to plan what was out of your control."  Huh? Not helpful.  For some reason it is fine to share your horrific, graphic and terrible birth stories, but being disappointed by them is taboo. Well, guess what?  I believe it is okay to be upset by your birth experience!  That's right, it's fine to feel disappointment, pain, guilt and sadness over what happened during a birth.  It's even okay to place blame on others, if that's where you feel it belongs.  Of course a healthy baby is what really matters, but there is nothing wrong with expecting your body to do what it was meant to do, even if we understand that sometimes things are out of our control. There is nothing wrong with being affected by what happened or how you were treated in birth.  

Somewhere in the past few months I have managed to move past the feelings that I have been harboring about my birth experiences.  I have been able to forgive myself for not doing what I meant to do, and accept the beauty of the births I had.  I have realized that no matter how a baby comes, the entrance into this world is truly beautiful.  With Eli I was able to take advantage of the miracle of modern medicine - without it we wouldn't be here today!  With Silas I was able to accomplish what many women do not - giving birth vaginally after having a cesarean birth. Although it didn't go as I dreamed it would, I did it, and that is a real accomplishment!  And with those accomplishments and experiences under my belt I am feeling prepared to do it all over again.  And I have a game plan!

I am going to deliver my next baby in my home, in water, with my husband and both boys by my side. 

I will be very clear with my midwives about what I want and what I need.  I want a natural homebirth in water. I need them to trust that I can do it, even if I say I can't. I need them to tell me I am strong when I feel weak.  I need them to grab me and tell me that labour may be hard, and may be painful, but that I can do it!

I will take a natural childbirth class... or two... or maybe even three.  Despite my ridiculous amount of research on the matter, I think the more prepared I am, the better. Besides, let's be honest, any excuse to sit around and talk about birth is an excuse enough for me!

I will hire a doula, as well as my midwives.  I will tell her the same thing I tell the midwives, just in case they have a moment of weakness.  I know I am strong, and that I can do it, but I think I will need to be reminded of it, and so the more people prepared to do that, the better!

I will have a birth plan that states not how I want my birth to go, but how I expect to be treated.  Sure, I'd love to dictate that I only labour for 6 hours and push for 20 minutes, but really, what is more important is that I am allowed to labour at home, in peace, with my family around me; that I am not encouraged to push until I feel the urge, and that I am instead encouraged to move and find a position that works best for me and my baby, that I will support my own baby as he or she emerges into this world.  Oh, I am excited to write my birth plan, yes I am!

It has been suggested by family members, doctors and friends alike that perhaps I should just give up and accept that I cannot give birth the way I want; that I am crazy not to be scared of doing it all over again; that I would do well to lower my expectations of birth, so I won't be disappointed again.  I will not expect less just because there is a chance of disappointment.  I am excited, I am looking forward to it!  I am strong: I am amazing, actually, and I know I can do it!

03 March 2011

We've done it again

Remember the house we were renovating?  Well, without any major mental breakdowns we have finished the project.  It's almost nice enough to make me want to move back in!  In just three weeks we (and when I say "we" I really mean Jared, really):

1. Tore out all the old crappy flooring, the bathroom mirrors, light fixtures and faucets, the kitchen faucets and more.
2. Completely painted the entire house from floorboards to ceilings. 
3. Installed beautiful laminate flooring throughout the entire home (with the generous help of my brother Matt!)
4. Put in new mirrors, lights, faucets, etc.
5. Installed new hardware in the bathroom and kitchen.
6. Painted all the kitchen cupboards.
7. Gave the front of the house a facelift with new numbers, a new mailbox and light.  In the summer we will paint the window frames and stucco and hopefully do something about the maroon soffiting and door. 










It really is gorgeous.  Sadly we didn't get it finished with enough time to get it rented for this month, so hopefully we'll be able to do so for April.  If you know of anyone looking, send them my way!

02 March 2011

First Words - Uh oh!

That's right folks, I do believe I'm prepared to say that Silas has uttered his first words.  If I could figure out how, I would upload a video, because I caught it on camera.  But alas, 'firewire' means nothing to me, and so the footage shall remain on my video camera.

Silas will be 18 months in two weeks, and while his various intonations of  'uhhh' manage to communicate much more than you would suspect, he has flatly refused to say any real words.  Until today...  today I dropped something and said, uh oh" and Silas clearly repeated, "Uh oh!"  There it was, as clear as if he'd been saying it for weeks, "Uh oh!"  He also chases me around shouting "mamamamama" and squeals in excitement when he sees Jared with "daaaaadaaaaa" but he refuses to do it on cue, like the trained little entertainer I want him to be, so I'm not counting those.

Despite his lack of vocabulary, let me promise you that Silas is quite honestly the most darling baby I know.  He is sweet as can be, always coming up just to hug me tight around the neck.  Although I don't get them, he makes jokes all the time, laughing at himself right out loud.  He is a total daredevil, leaping off couches, jumping into swim pools, swinging from the chandelier (honestly!)  I love him to bits and pieces, and am totally looking forward to seeing what he has to say.

Here's a picture of the little Duketer after he carried my camera over to me, placed it on my lap with a well meaning "uhhh" and marched over to the obvious picture taking spot. He stood quite still while I snapped the shot, and then insisted I take several more before I was allowed to put the camera away.  I love this kid so much!
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