Friday, May 23, 2014

The Slow Rhythm of Things

It's interesting, having a newborn. It's like you are so busy, but you're not really doing much. That being said, we are slowly building a rhythm and routine. Dishes are actually getting done, meals are actually getting cooked, and there is time left over for walks and naps. And my heart is overflowing with love for my two babies.

 Hehe, those little legs are so cute.

 Those little eyes are opening up wider every day.

 Making faces already. What a ham!
 Yesterday, Cedar and I went for a walk in the drizzly rain. She was snuggled up close and warm to me and I got to use my old vintage umbrella. Coming home along the lake, I spotted a little grey-headed chipmunk among the rocks. He was busily chewing up little dandelion heads.
 This is the first chipmunk I've seen here!
 If I do a second Northern Animals book, there will be a little chipmunk in there.
In a few minutes we are heading to the Farmer's Market for our first time as a family of four. Have a great weekend!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Knitting!: Little Sapling Newborn Hat and Scratch Mitts

I created this pattern for my newborn so she could have something nice and soft to wear in the hospital and at home. The hat features a delightful little leaf sprouting from the top like a sapling. The scratch mitts are intended to keep those sharp little newborn nails from scratching that soft newborn skin. The scratch mitts start with one repeat of lace for a nice decorative edge.

 Little Sapling: Newborn Hat and Scratch Mitts


Little Sapling Newborn Hat


Yarn:
Main colour (mc): Sirdar Snuggly Baby Bamboo in Golden
Contrast Colour (cc): Sirdar Snuggly Baby Bamboo in Green

Needles:
3.5mm double pointed needles (dpn's) for hat
3mm dpn's for leaf

Gauge:
4.5st and 8 rows = 1 inch in stockinette st

Measurements:
15 inch circumference

Abbreviations:
cc-contrast colour
cent doub dec-centre double decrease (process described in pattern)
dpn's-double pointed needles
k-knit
k2tog-knit two together
m1ls-make one stitch, left slant
m1rs-make one stitch, right slant
mc-main colour
p-purl
p2tog-purl two together
psso-pass slipped stitch over
s-slip stitch
st-stitches
yo-yarn over

Little Sapling Hat

Cast on 70 stitches in golden and and join in circle. Knit in round until hat measures 2.5” from the start.
Row 1: *k6 in golden, k1 in green* repeat 10 times
Row 2: k1 green, *k4 golden, k3 green* repeat 9 times, k4 golden, k2 green
Row 3: k2 green, *k2 golden, k5 green* repeat 9 times, k2 golden, k3 green
Switch to green and k 5 rows
Next row: k5, k2tog, 10 times
Next row: k
Next row: k
Next row: k4, k2tog, 10 times
Next row: k
Next row: k3, k2tog, 10 times
Next row: k2, k2tog, 10 times
Next row: k1, k2tog, 10 times
Next row: k2tog, 10 times

Leaving a 10” tail, cut yarn and pull through the remaining 10st, pull tight and secure. Bring tail up through the centre of the hat and pick up 4 st around the middle. Knit an icord for 1.5” and weave in ends.
Leaf

Cast on 3st in green on 3mm dpn's
Work an icord for 0.75”
Next row: k
Next row: p
Next row: k1, m1rs, k1, m1ls, k1
Next row: p
Next row: k2, m1rs, k1, m1ls, k2
Next row: p
Next row: k3, m1rs, k1, m1ls, k3
Next row: p
Next row: k4, m1rs, k1, m1ls, k4
Next row: p
Next row: k
Next row: p
Next row: k4, Work a centre double decrease as follows:*slip the next 2 st together knitwise, k1, pass both slipped st over knitted st and off the needle.*, k4
Next row: p
Next row: k3, cent doub dec, k3
Next row: p
Next row: k2, cent doub dec, k2
Next row: p
Next row: k1 cent doub dec, k1
Next row: p
Next row: cent doub dec, bind off st.

Make a second leaf in the same manner without the icord (starting at the 3rd row). Sew onto the first leaf with wrong sides together and sew icord stem onto the centre of the hat. Weave in ends.

Little Sapling Newborn Scratch Mitts

Yarn:
Main colour (mc): Sirdar Snuggly Baby Bamboo in Golden
Contrast Colour (cc): Sirdar Snuggly Baby Bamboo in Green

Needles:
2.25mm dpn's

Gauge:
6st = 1” in stockinette st

Cast on 36st in golden and join in the round.
Row 1: K
Row 2: *k2tog, k2, yo, k1, yo, k2, s1, k1, psso, p1, k1, p1* 3 times
Row 3: k
Row 4: *k2tog, k1, yo, k3, yo, k1, s1, k1, psso, p1, k1, p1* 3 times
Row 5: k
Row 6: *k2tog, yo, k5, yo, s1, k1, psso, p1, k1, p1* 3 times
Row 7: k
Row 8: switch to green. *K4, k2tog* 6 times
Row 9: k
Row 10: *k3, k2tog* 6 times
Row 11-12: k
Row 13: *k4, m1* 6 times
Row 14-18: k
Row 19: *k3, k2tog* 6 times
Row 20-21: k
Row 22: *k2, k2tog* 6 times
Row 23-24: k
Row 25: *k1, k2tog* 6 times
Row 26: k
Row 27: *k2tog* 6 times
Cut tail and pull through remaining st. Pull tight and secure on inside. Weave in ends. Cut off a 6” piece of golden yarn and weave around the mitt about 2rows above where the green begins to make a draw cord to hold mitt on. Make a second mitt in the same fashion.


I hope you enjoy them! Please let me know of any errors you find. And I love to see the creations you make with my patterns, so please share with me! I am honeynutbrown on ravelry, friend me!







Knitting!: Newborn Nutbrown Acorn Hat


Here's a cute little acorn hat for your newborn that is cozy as all get out and super quick to knit up. This pattern uses less than half a skein of each yarn colour.



Newborn Nutbrown Acorn Hat

Yarn:
Main colour (mc): Loops & Threads Cozy Wool in Barley
Contrast Colour (cc): Loops & Threads Cozy Wool in Chocolate

Needles:
5mm double pointed needles (dpn's)

Gauge:
3stitches and 5 rows = 1 inch in moss stitch

Measurement:
15" circumference

Abbreviations:
cc-contrast colour
dpn's-double pointed needles
k-knit
k2tog-knit two together
mc-main colour
p-purl
p2tog-purl two together
st-stitches

With the main colour (Barley) cast on 40st evenly on the 5mm dpn's. Join in a circle, placing a st marker at the beginning.
Do 2 rows of k1,p1 ribbing.
Knit 4 rows of stockinette stitch.

Switch to contrast colour (chocolate) and knit one row.
Begin moss st and knit until the contrast colour portion measures 2 inches.
(Moss stitch pattern is k1,p1 for one row. The next row is p1,k1, making sure that you purl over a knit, and knit over a purl.)
Making sure that the next row begins with a knit stitch:
Row 1: *k1,p1,k1,p1,k2tog* repeat 8 times
Row 2: *p1,k1,p1,k1,p1* repeat 8 times
Row 3: *k1,p1,k1,p2tog* repeat 8 times
Row 4: *p1,k1* repeat 8 times
Row 5: *k1,p1,k2tog* repeat 8 times
Row 6: *p1,k1,p1* repeat 8 times
Row 7: *k1,p2tog* repeat 8 times
Row 8: *p1,k1* repeat 8 times
Row 9: *k2tog,p2tog* repeat 4 times

Cut a 15inch tail and thread onto a needle. Pull through the remaining 8st on the needles, draw the circle closed and secure inside. Bring yarn up through the centre to the top of the hat. With 1 dpn, pick up 3st in centre of the hat and knit an i-cord about 1.75inches long. Bind off. Weave in all ends.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Birth Story of Cedar Meriel


Warning: Some graphic birthing content ahead!
I'm sitting here at the computer at a most indecent hour, helping my little girl learn on her second night of life that nights are for sleeping! So I figure I might as well start recording my birth story while it is still fresh in my mind!
Because I had had a fairly quick labour with Kesten (under 7 hours), we made plans with my midwife to go into town on Saturday to do a membrane sweep to see if we could get things going while I am in town. You see, we are a 2 hour drive from our midwife and we wanted to be close when labour got going, as we anticipated that it would be a fast one. Well we did the good old membrane sweep on Saturday, but my cervix wasn't very ripe, so I couldn't take the magic midwife cocktail to attempt labour induction. We decided to come back on Sunday morning to see if anything had changed and to try again.
Well Sunday morning and another 2 hour drive later, we were informed that there had been a few more satisfactory changes to my cervix and were given the green light to go ahead with the cocktail. We bought the ingredients and headed over to the University of Northern BC campus where we decided to hang out for the day to see if anything would happen. The original plan was to get a hotel room, but we're cheap! We hung out there for about 6 hours. At one point I was having some mild contractions, 4 minutes apart lasting 45 seconds or so, but that petered out after about 3o minutes. Feeling more than a little discouraged, we decided to go to dinner and then re-evaluate where we were at. It being Mother's Day, all the restaurants were packed with happy families while my husband and I sat in gloomy silence, feeling disheartened and missing our little boy who was back at home with Grandma. We called the midwife after supper where we both agreed that nothing was happening and it would be fine if we went home. I didn't feel like staying in town overnight, I wanted to get back home to see my little boy before he went to bed!
We made it back and read him a few stories and had a few cuddles. I didn't feel like doing too much that night we we headed to bed around 10:30pm. I  drifted off fairly quickly, but woke up half an hour later with a contraction. Hmmm, I was wondering if this was going to be another false alarm. Drifting back to sleep, I woke up to another one 4 minutes later. This pattern repeated a couple of times, so I finally decided to get up. They were feeling pretty strong and my legs were starting to shake a bit from the pain. Reluctantly, I woke up my poor tired husband (who had already driven 4 hours that day and 4 hours the day before) and told him what was going on. I hopped into the bath really quickly to be sure that this was the real thing, while he timed my contractions. 2.5 minutes apart lasting a minute. And gaining in intensity. A quick call to the midwife and we were on our way at midnight. There is one stop between us and Prince George with a hospital (Vanderhoof), so she told us to stop there if we needed to and maybe get checked to see how far along I was. My contractions were fast and furious and way more painful and intense than anything I had experienced with Kesten. By the time we were halfway to Vanderhoof, I knew I was not going to stay in the car long enough to make it to Prince George.
Pulling up to the hospital in Vanderhoof, we got out of the car and I managed to make my way inside. The nurses waiting inside didn't have to be told what was happening! They jumped into gear, getting us settled in. We weren't registered at this hospital, as it wasn't in the plan, but everything happened smoothly. I was soon in the labour room, breathing deeply through my contractions. They checked me and told me I was 5cm. I told them that I had a fast labour with the first and that my active labour was less than an hour. I'm not sure they believed me or not. I think they might have thought they had a couple more hours to go at least.
Looking back on things, I always think it would be funny to be a nurse and to see myself from their perspective. I must have looked like a frightened animal, trying to escape some horrible pain. I was pacing about, shifting positions, climbing onto beds, going on hands and knees while waiting for the tub to fill up. About 20minutes in I started vomiting up everything in my stomach, which was a surprising amount for that time of night. I eventually got to climb into the bath tub, which really helped me relax between contractions, but the contractions themselves became even more painful. I could feel baby moving lower down with each one, while my cervix opened up wider. At this point I was no longer breathing through them, I was making loud "ahhhhhhhhhhh" sounds in quite a musical manner, as the nurses joked about with me later. They would get higher pitched as the contraction built in intensity and then go back down as it eased off. I was feeling pretty scared by the painful intensity of them and wondering if I could really do it. Labour is such a psychological battle. I remember this time really wanting a way out of the pain, like an epidural or something, although I never ended up taking any drugs. At one point in the tub I remember saying angrily to my husband "Why did we decide to do this again?!" That had the nurses scurrying over, as I think they recognized that I must be in transtion. They checked me and I was 8cm. They told me I could have one more contraction in the tub and then it would be time to get out. Well one more came and with a second one right after and I was starting to push. Panicked, they tried to get me out of the tub, as there was no room for me to deliver in there. But a woman in labour is very stubborn and I told them I couldn't get out. Haha. I did eventually stand up with a lot of help and managed to waddle to the delivery room before another contraction came. I was trying to climb onto the bed before the contraction hit me full force and a nurse was trying to put a hospital gown on me, which was the least of my worries at the moment. I just grabbed it and climbed up mid push. I had planned to push on my hands and knees, but when the moment came, I just wanted to be on my back. Funny how that works! When I was in labour with Kesten, I never found the urge to push overwhelming. It took me two hours to push him out and I couldn't even feel any contractions during that time. This time however, there was no holding back! I couldn't have, if I wanted to. There was a big mirror mounted on the wall, so I could see everything that was happening. At first I wasn't sure I wanted to see it at all, but then I found it helped me see the progress I was making. My water broke next, sending a huge gush onto the bed. I remember being very impressed by how far it went, hahaha. At this point, the doctor had not yet arrived and the nurses were preparing to do their first nurse-only delivery. But the doctor came in on the next push and I remember him saying that this baby was going to be born really soon. That gave me a lot of hope that this part wasn't going to take two hours and that if I pushed hard, it would all be over soon. I could see the baby's head crowning, and they told me to just make little grunts instead of pushing. Hardest thing ever! But with the next contraction the head was born and I had to wait while they checked for the cord and then I finally pushed that baby all the way out! The relief was incredible! They plopped her right on my belly and I felt so triumphant. I kept telling them all, "I did it! I did it! I never have to do that again!" The nurses congratulated me and I was beaming. "It's a girl!" they told me, which was a shock as I was convinced I was having a boy. She had a great cry, right from the start, so they never had to take her away from me, like they had to with Kesten when he was born. We just snuggled happily while everything else was happening around us, like the delivery of the placenta. The pushing was only 9 minutes, compared to two hours last time and I never tore at all. What a great feeling it was to have it all over and done with. I was in labour for 2 hours and 49 minutes in total and the baby was born within one hour of us arriving in Vanderhoof, so it was a good thing we didn't try to drive all the way to Prince George. I'm a little sad I didn't get to deliver with my midwife again, but it was still a great experience, although way more intense and painful than I expected it to be.
And since this has taken me a couple days to write, our baby girl, Cedar is now 3 days old and we had a great night last night, as she slept in her cradle really well! Yay Cedar! There is an end in sight to the sleep deprivation!




Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Welcome

Welcome to the world, Cedar Meriel! After an extremely quick and intense labour, my little girl was born on Monday. Birth story to follow shortly!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

So This Is May

May, my favourite month in this village, has now arrived. And it began so promising! May the first was a hot day, a day for ice cream, shorts, kiddie pool, and outdoor fun. And then it got really cold for a couple of days, and now we are back to some warmer weather. I'm trying to make the most of it, while waiting for this baby to make an appearance. Any day now... Since I can no longer hike, I've been going for drives now and then and have been spotting quite a bit of wildlife. Like this osprey by the lake:
 Or these deer down Stones Bay road:

 And this guy at our feeder...Oh wait. That's the little rufous hummingbird I needle felted for Kesten. He's pretty keen on spotting hummers these days, but  doesn't like it when they fly too close to him.
 But this one is a nice, not-scary alternative that Kesten likes to cuddle and cart around.
I've had a small burst of productivity yesterday and today, cleaning the basement, getting things ready for my mom, laundry, and gardening. I weeded the chicken coop garden, hauled in some dirt, and planted my seeds. I don't expect a lot of gardening will get done this year, and definitely not a lot of weeding, but at least I've got one bed sewn.

And this little guy is more and more fun every day! He's got a real sense of humour and tries to make me laugh all the time with the funny faces that he makes. He's getting to be so grown up and I don't know where the time has gone!

 The hummingbirds are definitely out in full force and are very entertaining to watch.  We have one male rufous that has claimed our feeder for his own and guards it from several different perches, ready to chase off any invading hummer.
 I made a short video of this guy protecting his territory. He's a feisty one!
Enjoy your May days.
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