28 March 2012

I've Run Out of Yarn, Thank Goodness

I've been knitting. Actually, I haven't stopped knitting.  But, being as close as I am to having this baby, I am happy to report that but for a few small, non-essential projects I'm working on, I've run out of things to knit and yarn to knit it with.  And that's a good thing.  So, here's what I've knit the last little bit:

This darling baby sweater.  I did this as a test knit, so the pattern isn't available yet.  I really love it!  And, with the leftovers I made one of my favourite hats to match.  Its a 12 month size, so hopefully it will fit my baby in the winter. If this baby is anything like my boys, they will be monsters, so that shouldn't be a problem.

I did take an action shot of my favourite (at the moment - I'm reserving that spot for another baby soon enough) baby.  Here's Sam, modelling the sweater.

And Silas wanted in on the action.  A little small, but he sure is cute!

And then, using elements of the sweater above and this one, I knit up this one, which I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! 

And, Eli.  What more can I say.

And, coming soon to a blog near you, this is a sweater I designed all by myself!  It is currently in testing, and I am so excited for it.  I love ruffles.  Thankfully, if I don't have a girl, my sister-in-law Laura is having one, so it will be worn.  Feel free to ooh and aah and wait with baited breath until I release the pattern. Yeah!

So, now I just have to finish the quilt I've made (just needs 3/4 of the binding sewn on), the birth bin gone through, the house kept clean, and I'll be ready for this baby. Oh, and I would love to magically wake up to a freezer full of meals. That would be magical.

27 March 2012

Baby Stat Poll!

So, apparently I'm going to have a baby soon.  Very soon.  Eek.  I'm excited to meet this little on inside my body.  Is it a boy or a girl?  Will it have dark hair like Silas did, or no hair, like Eli.  Will it look like me or Jared (since we can only come up with one or the other, no blending at all.)  I am really getting eager to know just who it is inside of me.

So....  what do you think?  Comment here with your guesses, and I will put them in the baby book that I will probably never get around to making (that's promising, eh?) 

Here's what I'm looking for:

Birthday -
Gender -
Weight -

Just so you know, my completely unofficial due date is "the middle of April."  Sorry, that's all you get.  I don't believe in due dates, I believe that babies decide their birthdays.  It really is "the middle of April" though.

And, for the record, Eli was born at 35 +5 weeks, and weighed in at 6lbs 4 oz.  Silas was born at 40 +1 weeks and was 8lbs 4 oz.  

And Meg, make sure Sam guesses!

18 March 2012

I love to See the Temple

Yesterday we went to the Cardston Temple.  It has honestly been ages, and it was so good to go. I'm so glad we decided to do it before this baby comes, because I know it will be another long while before I get to go again.  My mom and dad went earlier in the day, so we drove down to Cardston, spent a few minutes walking around taking pictures, then traded the boys off with them and went in ourselves.  Afterward we just met up with mom and dad to get the boys back.  It was a perfect plan!

 Look how large I look in that dress.  I love it!
 Renee came along. I love Renee.

 First I'm going to cut my belly out of the side of this picture, and then I'm going to frame it and hang it in Eli's room.  He's so cute.

Silas is crying because he was convinced that he was going to fall off that 1 foot ledge.  Poor boy.

And, when we got out of the session it looked a little different.  I love the snow.  I love the temple.  I love Jared. 

17 March 2012

Victorious of Patrick

Happy St. Patrick's Day, all.  Today we drove through down town Calgary, twice, and were - or maybe weren't - surprised to see the bar line-ups starting in the AM, and ridiculously long by 7 PM.  I'm so glad I'm not part of that scene. 

Instead, I spent the morning with two elves of my own, devising all sorts of ways to catch leprechauns. We were leaving for Cardston for the afternoon, and wanted to make sure if one stopped by our house, we would know about it.  This is what we came up with:

Leprechauns love gold... and green... right?  Well, we were pretty sure they did.  So, we lured them in with gold, and left the house feeling pretty confident that when we got home a few hours later we would have a leprechaun of our very own. 

But... when we got home those tricky little elves had not fallen for our trap.  They must have, however, appreciated our golden offering because they didn't trash our house, instead they left us some replacement goodies and some footprints to prove themselves there.

 Apparently they are no respecters of chocolate coins, because they were happy to leave us with Canadian ones, not Irish! 

The boys could only have been more excited if we had been able to catch the two little elves, but the chocolate certainly abated their disappointment. 

It was a perfect day to celebrate green, and we did it up well!

12 March 2012

Faith from Afar

If you've read any of my posts about my past births, you will know that I have a few regrets.  For both Eli and Silas's births I planned home births (or a hotel birth, in Silas's case, if you are being specific).  In both cases I ended up in the hospital, drugged, assisted and disappointed. 

Well, I am doing a few things different this time (not traveling across an international border while in labour, for one...) I am going again for a homebirth, and can't wait to experience birth the way my body was meant to do it.

Last week I received a gift in the mail.  It was a gift from someone I don't even know, in real life anyway.  I am part of a Due Date Club on Mothering.com.  Several of the women who frequent the board got together to do a gift exchange.  The momma who sent me a gift is from Brooklyn.  She was so thoughtful and her gift so powerful.  This is what she sent:

Would it be admitting too much if I said I cried?  I did.  Just a little.  She wrote the nicest note, saying that she just knew I would get my homebirth this time, and that my baby would be able to proudly wear this sweet little onesie.  And the crochet cowboy boots???  Well, need I even say anything about those.  You all know I LOVE them!  I don't know why, but her sending me her faith all the way from Brooklyn just means so much.  It's not just me that thinks I can do this: my online friend from Brooklyn believes in me too.  This little onesie is staying out until my baby is here as a reminder of the faith in me all around.  And I can't wait to send her a picture of my baby wearing it!!!

And, for my giftee, Laura in Toronto, I knit her this little sweater and hat:
The sweater is Mossy.  I knit it on a tighter gauge so that it would fit a brand new newborn, and wouldn't have to be grown into.  The hat is a favourite pattern of mine: Aviatrix.

09 March 2012

The Things that I love about Silas

I love both of my boys so much, and narrowing down the reasons why is an impossible task, but I'm going to try.  I'm going to start with my dear, sweet Silas. He is just at that stage right now where I can't get enough of him.  He can be a total rotter, and I still just want to scoop him up and love him.

He is so different from Eli, in looks and personality.  Jared and I always go back and forth about where he gets what from (although there can be no denying where he gets his good looks from, can there?)   He is just so independent, and while he thinks his big brother is about the greatest thing on earth, he has no problem telling Eli what's up if he's been short handed in anything.  Unlike Eli, he is completely happy to play on his own, talking to himself and making a mess.  If he wants something, he quietly goes about getting it all by himself. 

Yesterday I hadn't heard him for a while, so I wandered the house (doesn't take long) and found him up on the kitchen counter (he pulled a stool from the table in to get up) with a banana peel next to him, a half eaten apple between his legs, a handful of raisins and a huge grin on his face.  I may not win mother of the year for not caring that he was sitting next to the oven and toaster (neither were on), but man, he wins something.  He will eat anything and can honestly out eat every one of us (he gets that from Jared.)  We made peanut butter cookies the other night and when they were cooled we sat down to eat them. I gave each boy one cookie and a small glass of milk. I served myself two cookies and milk.  Eli asked why I got two, and I answered that I was eating for me and the baby.  Silas said, "Me no cookie for my baby?!" with a sly grin. 

While Silas has been talking for a long while now, just in the last week or two he has really started to converse.  He tells stories, demands attention, and when he doesn't know the words, he uses sound effects.  This is possibly my favourite thing about him right now.  While he's talking you will catch a "whoosh" or a "bing" and sometimes even a "kapow!"  He will yell "no way, jose" if he doesn't want to do something, or just completely ignore you (which Jared says he gets from me.) The other morning he woke me up a few minutes earlier than usual saying "Baby kickin', baby kickin'."  He had been cuddling up against me, so I assumed he had felt the baby moving inside of me.  "NO!  My baby kickin'!"  Then he grabbed my hand and put it against his chest, where I could feel his little heart beating hard.  "My baby kickin'!"

Silas is officially potty trained (well, almost...)  The task took and unexpectedly long time, seeing as it took three days to train Eli at 22 months.  But, he's done it, and just in time. I really didn't want to be changing two kids' diapers.  He just doesn't have that drive to please that his brother has.  If he didn't want to go in the potty, then he dang well wasn't going to.  He is his own man in every way. 

Silas is not easily shaken.  He can fall, roll, bump into, or crash, and will get up and keep on going without much complaint.  He usually doesn't notice, and more often doesn't care what others are doing around him.  Although, in the moments when he does, he is sure to express his indignation if he is not being involved.

My boy loves to cuddle, with me anyway.  When he crawls into bed with me, which he does every night still, he likes to fall asleep facing my face with one arm under my neck and the other around my head.

I could really go on and on and on, but you get the point.  This kid is the best!

02 March 2012

One of these things just doesn't belong

Eli and I have been discussing a lot things that don't go together.  Like when he asks for jam and honey on his toast, together.  Or when his finger and his nostril end up together, often.  Or when he puts on a cowboy shirt with track pants, and socks in his Crocs.  I feel like Mr Hooper singing "One of these things is not like the others..."

We're learning.

In my life I've found a few things that don't belong together either.  Like a clean house and a happy family.  It just doesn't happen.  I can either clean the house, or feed the children; clean the house, or read a book; clean the house, or be a good mom.

Sometimes I try to get the boys to help. I threaten them with taking away privileges, but then I realize that they are 2 and 4 and that's just silly.  Besides, their privileges are basically just being children, and I'm not often willing to take away play time and food (that's really all they do... oh, and sleep.) Besides that, I'm not sure if they see any correlation between not being able to go to soccer and whether or not their bed is made.

01 March 2012

Cozy Cap - Knitting Pattern

Well, I've said I have a few patterns, and here's one, finally!!!

This is a super easy knit hat. It knit with a great wool blend, making it warm, and washable.  I've sized it from Infant to Adult, so you can knit up one for every one in your family!!! I've included size XXL, which is just that,  a super chunky, super huge hat, at my sister Phoebe's request.

Cozy Cap

Infant, Child, Adult, XXL

Super bulky yarn (I used Cozy Wool by Loops & Threads Super Bulky: 50% Acrylic, 50% Wool)
1 set of 10 mm (US size 15 double-pointed needles (can use a 16" circular needle until decreases make using the DPNs necessary)
Stitch Marker
Tapestry Needle
9 sts/14 rows = 4 inches in stockinette st

2X2 Rib (Worked in the round over a multiple of 4 sts)
Round 1: [K2, P2] to end
Repeat this around for 2x2 Rib
If changing colours, use the Stationary Jogless Stripe Technique to make the stripes even. 


Infant, (Child, Adult, XXL)
CO 40 (44, 48, 52) Divide stitches between needles.  Place marker. Join in the round, being careful not to twist stitches. 

Work in 2x2 rib for 9 (10, 11, 12) rows.

Continue knitting in stockinette stitch (knit around) until hat measures 4 (4 1/2, 5, 5 1/2) inches

Rnd 1 - K 2(2, 4, 2) K2Tog around - 30 (33, 40, 39) stitches
Rnd 2 - K around
Rnd 3 - K 1(1, 3, 1) K2Tog around - 20 (22, 32, 26) stitchs
Rnd 4 - K around
Rnd 5 - K2tog around - 10 (11, 16, 13) stitches
Rnd 6 - K2tog around (for the child size and XXL you will have one stitch left - just knit it) - 5 (6, 8, 7) stitches

Break yarn and with a tapestry needle thread through the loops and draw tight.  

Weave in ends. 
And that's it.  As you can see in the pictures, I've made a few variations:
Colour: Stripe your hat by changing colours: three rows of ribbing in MC, three rows in CC, complete hat in MC
"Umbilical Cord" Top: (For infant size) Knit to end of instructions, and then instead of breaking yarn and pulling through, instead knit the remaining 5 sitiches as an I-Cord for 5 inches.  Cast off five stitches and tie I-Cord in a knot close to hat. 

Find the pattern here on Ravelry.

All photos are taken by Chloe Taylor Photography!

Preparing my Heart for Motherhood of Three

Okay, so in my last post I talked about how I wanted a clean house, and I wanted my "instincts" to take over and get it done for me.  Well, I've been sick this week, and therefore, instincts or not, I have not been able to get much of anything done.  But, I have spent a lot of time in bed where I could just think.  I've thought about where my priorities lie, and how maybe, just maybe, if my house isn't clean, that's okay.  What really matters the very most is my children.  I'm sure that living in a spotlessly clean home will help them learn and grow even better, but there is a lot more I could be doing with them than just sweeping my floors around their messes.  Not only that, but in a very short time I'm going to have one more to care for, and I'm sure life isn't going to get any easier. 

Today I am starting a challenge for myself.  Before this baby comes, which is sneaking up on my way too quickly, I want to make a few changes in my home, and in my heart.  I want to set some patterns that will help me to be a better mother to Eli, Silas, and the baby that is joining us. Some of these things may seem silly, but I think they will really help me to be the mother I want to be.  So, starting today I am switching things up.  I am starting small (don't judge!) and hopefully moving on to bigger and better.  Here's my list of changes I'm going to implement this week:

1. Start my day off on my knees.  I'm terrible at personal prayers.  We pray over meals, and the boys always pray at night, but I often forget my own devotions to my Heavenly Father.  I'm going to hit the floor first thing every morning.  I figure it can't hurt, seeing as I need all the help I can get!
2. Get ready for the day before I leave my bedroom.  Showered, dressed, and even a little makeup!  I'm hoping this will help me get moving with other things quicker, instead of spending the morning in my PJs not getting much done at all.
3. After breakfast clean the kitchen and do a house tidy. I live in a small house, it isn't hard to clean up the messes from the day before, and with the house tidy, I can get so much more done.  While doing this, start a load of laundry - that way it doesn't pile up quite so much.
4. Have a plan for dinner before lunch.  Soak, thaw, and prepare what I can so I'm not rushing later in the day.
5. Do an activity with the boys every day where I'm totally engaged.  That means I'm not doing something else while they are working on something, but I'm right in there with them.  With St. Patrick's Day and Easter coming up, this should be easy. 
6. Read scriptures with the boys during lunch.  Again, something we often leave out of our day that is very important to me.

Okay, I'm going to stop there for now.  There is a whole lot more I need to be doing, and a bunch of stuff I need to NOT be doing, but I'm going to focus on a few things for this week anyway. 

What things do you do each day to keep you grounded with what really matters?  Does anyone else need to join me in a revival of spirits? I'll keep you posted on how this affects my day and my heart.
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