Re-framing

And just like that G is five weeks old. It feels like both an eternity and only a moment has passed. I still forget he is not inside me anymore and when I remember I feel a little sad. When we have playtime I marvel at how much he changes everyday. When he’s screaming for no apparent reason I have to remind myself its all part of the magic.

He’s now up to 8lbs and starting to both sleep longer stretches and be awake for longer stretches. We can get a good play in a couple times a day. He is so close to smiling- I can’t wait for that first true gummy grin.

I definitely feel like a real mom now, especially with the breastfeeding going so much better. I kind of know what to do- but I’m also finding that every few days you have a whole new situation on your hands!

It is true that you lose a lot of your old self. Not the core stuff, just the things that used to seem really important are no longer crucial. My schedule has totally changed, and it has taken a while to adjust to the chaos of a newborn. I sleep A LOT less, but I’m starting to get 7hrs consistently and I think that’s manageable. I long for those days of sleeping 12hrs then reading with coffee and a warm blanket the rest of the day, nothing to do and no where to be.

I’ve learned though that the most important part of having a newborn is how you frame it. My good friend grew up around a Mennonite community and she says the way they view children as a blessing and a miracle really changes your outlook on diaper changes at 3am. She says no matter how awful the baby, she never heard a bad word spoken about them. They were cherished every moment. I think in today’s world with all this pressure to raise the perfect child, to go back to work too fast, and to keep your whole life Insta-worthy, it’s easy to get frustrated and angry with a difficult baby. But I’m trying to slow down and enjoy every moment- even the not so great ones. To be present is changing the way I see G. Yes he’s a handful. He’s also a miracle that won’t stay small for very long. He’s already almost out of newborn clothes and his first few weeks were so crazy for both of us I want to make sure that I’m there for him in everyway possible from now on.

While I think its important for moms to be themselves as well as moms, sometimes letting your old self go a little bit can make you a better parent. After all, I CHOSE to have this baby. I wanted him. I can’t expect such a huge and powerful experience to not change me. I grieve my old life a little, I’m not going to lie- but allowing myself to change has made my outlook so much better. I’m happier for it. And getting peed on is no longer a hassle but hilarious.

Lessons from G

  1. No two days are the same. Somedays I scream bloody murder all day. Somedays I’m a little angel.
  2. The days I’m an angel are ALWAYS the days someone comes over to help/hold me.
  3. I make more laundry then your tired ass can keep up to.
  4. I go through more diapers and take more shits then you ever thought humanly possible.
  5. It seems as though I only pee when diaper is off and dick is left unattended (though amount of diapers would prove otherwise).
  6. When you think its safe to sit and pick up your knitting I WILL start screaming. Its the law.
  7. I insist upon eating too fast and getting milk all over my face and in my neck folds. I will then spit up a good portion of every meal instead of just burping like you seem to want.
  8. Most of my naps will be on/squished under one of your boobs.
  9. Mom learned she can blog with only one hand because I am so helpful.

Adventures of the Bump

As my belly gets bigger and bigger I am noticing there are all kind of reactions to the bump.

So far, strangely, older gentlemen are the most happy to see me. They will jog forward to open doors and say hi with a huge smile. Older women are FULL of old wives tales and advice. They seem equally divided on whether I am having a boy or girl.

Grocery store check out ladies are also THRILLED to talk to you, usually about their own experiences but also about how you feel and how excited you are. The checkout lady at the liquor store on the other hand was hella concerned. I had to explain the wine was for risotto, not me.

Young people (teenagers) don’t give a shit, I don’t even think they notice.

Mothers hauling around a couple toddlers look at me with what I can only describe as “enjoy it now”. Mothers with older kids or teens look quite wistful, and then smile down at their own kids.

I also get a few double takes when I’m out exercising. I’m quite proud that I am still pushing myself to get active each day so the quick surprised looks make me feel good.

So far I haven’t had any problem with randoms wanting to touch my belly- thank you COVID! Some of my friends get a snuggle- but that is fine with me. My hubby keeps trying to catch the bean swimming around, but they seemingly have performance anxiety and he’s only felt a few kicks. Also, head is down now so when bean gets hiccups it just makes me need to pee really badly with all that low jostling.

I’m 32 weeks now so the countdown begins- bye bye belly and hello baby!

Building a Baby

Only 27 weeks! So much left!

I now understand all my mommy friends. Building a baby is no joke. You are tired and uncomfortable ALL THE TIME. Not sleeping well was just the tip of the iceberg. There’s all sorts of bizarre pelvic pains. Your belly feels like an over-full beach ball that bonks into things all the time and prevents you from properly bending over. You get winded on the stairs and you pee a little when you sneeze.

You also zone out all the time thinking about baby. My cleaning standards are way higher. And I am starting to freak out about how this giant baby is going to come out.

I have to admit that I am eating healthier now then I ever have. Knowing the bean eats everything I do is making me re-think candy and chips. Unfortunately, my ‘bizarre craving’ is super cold Dr Pepper. I always get myself one after grocery shopping. I also want milk all the time. I drink a 4L jug all by myself every week.

I was completely unprepared for the constant kicking. In my mind it was a little boot while your hubby was gently cupping your bump that was miraculous to everyone. In reality it an onslaught of kidney and cervical punches and full on barrel rolls that make even my enormous boobs bounce around. It is distracting and just plain weird. Bean is always most active after a workout when I’m stretching. So some belly rubs are now part of my routine.

Finally, there are the mental gymnastics you must do to deal with your changing body. You waddle around feeling oh-so-sexy, NOT. You can only watch in fear as your belly gets bigger and bigger. It’s hard sometimes to remember there is LIFE in there and you are not just getting fat as hell. I admit to some breakdowns early on about the changes in my figure. Now it’s almost comical how big I’m getting. The belly is a serious hinderance to almost every part of the day. Washing dishes or cleaning the tub are the worst. I’m also guilty of man-spreading when sitting down, I feel no shame.

The idea that all of this will turn into a screaming infant in approximately 13 weeks has not really sunk in yet. I am hoping COVID regulations ease up enough that I can go to a birthing class some time soon. In the meantime YouTube is my friend.

To Buy or Not to Buy?

So apparently there are like a billion things out there marketed to babies and moms. I’m almost certain you NEED almost none of it, but it is very easy to get sucked into what you WANT (usually cause it’s so goddamn cute!). I have caved and bought a few maternity tops. To my immense satisfaction they are actually built to house enormous boobs and look pretty darn good if you ask me. I may keep wearing them after baby.

I have also been added to some baby/mommy swap or sell facebook groups by other mom friends and the amount out there is astounding! Some of it is an amazing deal and it is soooo hard to not buy. Fortunately/unfortunately both my husband and I are terrified to jinx the pregnancy by starting to buy too early. I am just starting the second trimester and it feels like counting my chickens to buy a crib already. I think we are both natural worriers and incubating a baby is only making it worse.

We have decided to wait until the third trimester to start collecting the baby things. But that has not stopped us from rearranging the house to accommodate a nursery. It feels less permanent to just move furniture, but it is satisfying my insane urge to nest. Also, I have started a birth announcement cross-stitch that I work on when I’m feeling broody.

This part of the pregnancy is wonderful. No more morning sickness and the fatigue is lifting. Hubby says my skin is amazing and I look happy. I FEEL happy too. The only hard part is remembering you’re pregnant! Sometimes its painfully obvious (like trying to put on jeans) but other times you forget and then it comes rushing in (like almost passing out while trying to move a dresser downstairs). Everyone says to enjoy this part and I am doing my best to!

So amongst all the strife of what we need/what we can afford/what we want, little bean is happily incubating and causing very few problems. I am so excited to co-habitate right now that I am trying not to think about how bean will be exiting in a few months time.

Baby Mittens

It’s my niece’s first birthday on the 22nd! That beautiful, happy girl will be a whole year old. Since we can not attend the party we wanted to send a gift. Her mom requested hand-knit mittens for the on-coming winter.

Of course, being me, no pattern was exactly what I wanted. So I made one by hybridizing several from Ravelry. If you’re interested here it is:

Using 4mm dpns cast on 26 stitches.

Start k1p1 ribbing for 5 rows.

Over the next row increase 4 stitches evenly across the 26 existing stitches (which you will knit). You can use any increase you want since the edge of the ribbing will hide a lot of sins.

Knit the next four rows.

Purl one row.

Knit four rows. Purl one row. Repeat 2 more times.

Knit one row.

k3k2tog repeat across row.

Knit on row.

k2k2tog repeat across row.

Purl one row.

k1k2tog repeat across row.

Knit one row.

k2tog repeat across row. This should leave 6 stitches. Run tail end through to gather. Sew end into the inside of mit.

Next slide your yarn needle and some yarn through the front loops of every knit stitch in the upper most row of ribbing. Stretch the opening wide and cut the yarn to the appropriate length to still tie at the max stretch but not be too long when slightly cinched.

That’s it! Well, you have to make a second one obviously.

For the cord I chained 175st using a 2.5mm crochet hook. This part I am unsure of since the actual child was unavailable to me. I would suggest checking it out in your kid’s coat before binding off.

I will update once the mittens reach their owner if any corrections need to be made.

Lessons from Babies

This weekend we went away for my hubby’s birthday. His brother’s family came for one of the days we were at the cabin. It was so nice to see our niece who is growing up way too fast. She can sit and stand and crawl now. It’s bizarre. I always think of her as a little purple potato.

It was fun cooing at her, and she seemed to kind of like the stacking bear I made her. But what struck me most about their visit was how happy my sister-in-law was. I don’t know if she was just shy before and now she feels comfortable with us, but now she is so full of life.

It makes me wonder what having a baby would do for my life. They say pregnancy and all the changes that happen can rewire you. Can fix you. I can hardly remember a world with out crippling anxiety and mood swings. It would be spectacular to just wipe that away- and have an adorable baby.

Now if only I could get pregnant.

Our niece was very excited by Dexter. She can crawl crazy fast and basically chased him around the cabin all day. Dexter was playing along for a while, only going a little way and then lying down. But eventually he got frustrated and gave her a good swift kick. I magically managed to capture this moment:

We all laughed while my niece cried and Dexter curled up to have a nap. The poor girl was fine in a few seconds and right back at trying to grab his tail. Fearless.

I wish I could be like that. Get kicked in the chest by life? Take a sec and then go right back out there. Keep trying, keep exploring. Take the world head on. Reach for that thing you so desperately want without fear of being hurt.

I guess we could all learn a little from babies.

The Stacking Toys of Doom

Bwahaha! Check out these beauties! Admire them, because they took WAAAAYYY too long to make.

I have a niece and an honorary nephew under the age of one so I KNEW I needed to make something epic for them. Something that would earn me favourite aunt status.

I found the pattern on Ravelry, which cost a few bucks but the complexity of the pattern is not replicate-able (unless your a crochet guru).

I learned the hard way about mixing weights of yarn. The pedestal for the girl bear was re-crochetted three times as I made the rings. Her head is also significantly smaller so her snout looks a bit too big- but that’s character right?

The boy bear was all done from the same brand of yarn. He worked up just like the pattern suggests. It was actually crazy to just have everything slide into place without alterations.

One of the hardest parts was embroidering the nose. Next time I would definitely buy some plastic ones and only embroider the mouth. I think it would look cleaner.

The pattern suggest you make the pants into overalls with a few more crochetted bits. It was cute but I really liked the way it looked with out it.

The head always looked like Groot to me while I was finishing it up. I MAY do my own pattern up since I have all these plastic eyes and brown yarn now.

Anyway I hope my beloved babies love these bears as much as I do.