Saturday, April 28, 2007

On Vacay

Malcolm, Oren, Leo, Ginny, originally uploaded by billandamir.

I just wanted to post quickly to the blog to test the Flickr posting function and show off one of the pictures our friends took of us while on vacation in South Carolina.

Little Baby and I are off on the bus to meet the rest of the crew at the Arboretum after they pick up our Safta.

I have much to tell: baby handknits in the wild (and more on the way!), clicking while I walk, etc.

More soon!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Growing and Growing

Well, here's a second quickie blog post for today to alleviate the mortification of posting my before photo earlier.
Some things besides my waist are growing around here. My Lady Eleanor is now more than halfway done and has definitely left the travel knitting phase. I can barely work on it over the baby while he's nursing anymore either. The stitching may slow down on it a bit, unless I can squeeze in some time in the evenings with both kiddos asleep.

HAHAHAHAHA. I crack myself up.

Little Baby is definitely growing alongside Lady Eleanor. At 5 weeks, he weighed in at the Breastfeeding Center at 10 pounds, 13 ounces. That's 2.5 pounds in 5 weeks!! Can I get a woot-woot?? He's not so little anymore. (Toys shared by big brother.)

When I took Baby Dos downtown to the doctor, I actually took out the Jaywalkers for the first time in almost 6 weeks. I've been utterly monogamous (and loving it!) with Lady Eleanor since Little Baby's birth, but like I said, she wasn't going to make a Metro trip with me and Little Baby in the sling.

So the socks are growing by a few rows, though I hate to work on anything else while I've got such momentum on the Lady.

The stash has grown a little, but only from prize yarn. I won this lovely, soft Merino Oro laceweight yarn in an oatmeal color from Wanda. Thank you, Wanda! It's perfect for a lace shawl. Leave me comments on your favorite patterns....

Our excitement over the house is growing too. I don't know if I've mentioned this on the blog before, but right now the Cap'n and I sleep on the futon in the living room with Little Baby nearby while Slim has the entire bedroom to himself. It's the only way that any of us can get any sleep in this 550-sf apartment.

I can't wait to sleep in my own bed in my own bedroom again! July can't come soon enough...

P.S. I tell you: Stay-at-home mothering can be good for the soul. As I was dancing around the living room this afternoon singing and acting silly, both boys had eyes only for their momma. Great times.

Of course, they were probably thinking, "How did we end up here?"

Weight Loss Wednesday

Well, there are some updates here on the weight loss front. I think I've made progress over the week.

I don't have a new weight to post. Since we don't own a scale, I'm not actually monitoring the numbers that closely. I don't want to focus solely on the weight.

But I have my official "before" photo. Ugh. You'll only get it small.

I'll focus on the positive: This is me after coming back from my first run post-baby. Instead of focusing on my lack of a waist. Oh well. Moving on.

Isn't amazing (yeah, amazingly horrible) how it takes a photo to really show you how things are, and not how you think they are? I mean, I knew my bedroom was messy, but I didn't know it was that messy! Ha, ha.

Since last week my exercise routine included:

  • A yoga class with Slim
  • A yoga class by myself
  • A 4.5 mile beach walk
  • A 2.8 mile power walk
  • A 1.8 mile run/walk
So I have almost met my exercise goals. I also have been adding salads to my meals, and I tried not to go overboard eating at the wedding this weekend.

I've been going online to try to build up more support for this weight loss journey. I'm taking Lolly's recommendation to use Peer Trainer as another online community for people looking to lose weight. It has an online log to keep track of your food and exercise, which I need to keep me accountable. I also used this calculator to figure out my BMI, as part of my motivation to lose weight.

I wish I had something funny or inspiring to say about this, but I'm feeling a little overwhelmed about trying to lose this much weight after taking my picture this morning. I know that I eventually lost weight after the first baby, but it took a year and then I got pregnant again.

Baby steps, right? (I can't type that without thinking of that movie. Now that's funny.)

Monday, April 23, 2007

Home Again, Home Again...

And we are doing a jiggity-jig.

The wedding this weekend in South Carolina was beautiful, and we had a great time celebrating with friends we had not seen in a while. The drive was long, but both boys did well. I also got in some good knitting time on Lady Eleanor. I'll try to get more photos up as soon as I find my camera.

We had more than just the wedding to celebrate, too. Our house offer was accepted!

There's so much going on right usual. Life is never boring around Chez Muthaknitter. I'll try to update more tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Bloggy Inspirations

I've been inspired by a few of my co-knitbloggers over the last few days, and this post is going to play off their writing considerably.

Laura issued a weight loss challenge Monday. I'm now one month post-baby, and I am itching to get into shape and fit into my old clothes. One could say that controlling my weight would be a way for me to get control over at least some area of my life amidst the chaos of baby, toddler and house searching.

If one had ever taken Psych 101. (See what you get when you visit my blog? Sarcasm for free. You're welcome.)

I did not gain as much with Baby Dos, but I am way over what I was pre-Slim. But more importantly, I don't feel like I'm in shape. I'm getting back to walking a lot (44 blocks yesterday pushing 50 lbs of stroller and kids!) but I'm not sure if I could run around the park.

I have a life goal (probably not this year, but maybe next) of running a marathon. And as my dad, a longtime runner, said, I should probably be able to run at least around the block before actually starting marathon training.

I also want to learn how to eat healthier. It's always been my weakness, and many years ago, I had a particularly unhealthy relationship with food and eating. I am addicted to sweet things, and I want to learn how to say no to candy bars and yes to green things.

So I'm going to join Laura's Weight Loss Challenge and try to meet some goals while cheering my fellow knitbloggers on in their weight loss goals. Here we go:

Deadline: September 23, my 31st birthday (I wanna be one hot mama in my 30s!)
Starting weight: 186
Goal weight: 156 (pre-baby weight) In 22 weeks, this should be doable.
Exercise goal: Twice weekly yoga practice and running 10 miles a week
Food goal: Eating a salad for one meal everyday (with or without additional courses)
Yarn goal: No stash acquisition until my birthday
Yarn REWARD: A skein of really nice (and I mean N-I-C-E) yarn for every 10 pounds lost

Like Laura, I want the blog to keep me honest and accountable. I will try to update the blog every week or so, and I'll get the Cap'n to take a starting photo of me tomorrow. Luck to all of us!!

Carrie talked recently about the crumbs of life. I've been thinking about the image of crumbs when I think of how my time is broken up into tiny pieces while spending 24/7 meeting the needs of two tiny human beings who rely on me. I think back to the years BK (before kids), and I miss the time I had alone to myself to daydream, to read and to just take naps whenever I felt like it. (Imagine what kind of knitting I could have accomplished!)

Sometimes, even though I know I'm doing an important job taking care of the boys, I question if I've lost my way. I wonder if I'll only be known from now on as someone's mom, and not as my own person. I wonder if I've left the path I was supposed to be on in life.

I think I'm tired and need sleep.

But back to blogging...all I have now are crumbs of time to blog, to knit, to shower, to exercise, to kiss my husband, to read, to sleep. I have to make do, somehow. I have to get more organized, to make each of those moments count. It's all I can do.

Hannah asked what inspires us. It reminded me that I've also been meaning to do a regular blog posting on the "Everyday Creative." I am often inspired by the things around me in my home. We have alot of the Cap'n's mom's artwork and some fiber pieces that I'd like to feature on the blog as they inspire me. They help me take advantage of those crumbs of time as they come along.

I haven't put much time in on Lady Eleanor lately, but I'm hoping she grows this week. I'm at Tier 15 of 35, but I will probably go up to 40 if I have the yarn. We're heading out today for our friends' wedding in Edisto, S.C., so hopefully 9 hours of driving time will translate into some progress. Unless I fall asleep first.

And I have to say a big "THANK YOU" to Wanda. I won some beautiful laceweight yarn in her 3rd Blogiversary contest. That's the second contest I've won in the last few months.

I guess I'm one lucky knitter.

And for those (family) here just for baby pictures, a new hand-me-down for Little Baby so we can all play trains on the floor:

Monday, April 16, 2007

Feeling the Love

Gather ye blog time while ye may.

There are two restless, but still napping babies in the house, so after getting a couple more stitches in on Lady Eleanor, I want to get down some thoughts in the peace and quiet.

We've got the love around here.

Brotherly love...

This one pretty much sums up their personalities: Slim with his mouth open talking or screaming and Little Baby with his eyebrows knitted up as if to say, "what's with him?" (And Lady Eleanor resting in the background...)

Slim adores the Little Baby. He wants to hug him and pat him and share toys with him. And pacis, let's not forget those.

I'm already seeing some benefits of having these two so close together. But as I was describing to the Cap'n and to my midwife, it's overwhelming. I've not got the baby blues, but I feel outnumbered and outflanked for the better part of the day.

Perhaps I've got to get a new strategy. Think like the Spartans at the Hot Gates and outmaneuver the siege. Those boys haven't gotten me pinned down yet.

Baby Love...
It's been a different experience with Baby Dos. There wasn't the immediate adrenaline of infatuation brought on in large part by first-time parenting anxiety. It's been more like, "oh, here you are, kid. You're wonderful."

He's such a good baby, a good eater (not so much a sleeper) and already starting to smile. I adore him, just like I do Slim, but in a different way. And he's fit in so well to the family. It's like he already wants to be sitting up and taking part in the conversation around him.

Stroller Love...

Our Excellent Adventure continues. (KnittinSis thought it was a "Bill and Ted.") I can't believe how easy our new Phil & Ted is to maneuver and get out and around the neighborhood. It was expensive, but it's already paid off.

Knitterly Love...

The Lady Eleanor went on a ride with the Cap'n, our realtor and I to look at more houses. I'm 2/5 of the way through the tiers of rectangles, but just now through 1/3 of the yarn, so I think I may end up making it a little longer. I'm going to use up every smidgen of Noro I have.

Neighborly Love?

We put in an offer on a second house that I like better than the first one we tried for. I am crossing my fingers. There were a bunch of kids' toys on the porch next door, so we might even have some neighborhood play buddies for the boys. I like the location of this house better (closer to stuff to walk to) and it's in much better/move-in condition. Send some house vibes our way.

City Love...

Check out the new yarn pusher on the block! Neighborhood Fiber Co. is run by the awesome Karida, who plays a large role in my ongoing yarn obsession (though she probably doesn't know it). For one, she first gave the Cap'n recommendations of books to buy for me as knitting Hanukkah presents, so she is ultimately to credit for Scarf Style and the current Lady Eleanor. Also, she taught the sock class that got me hooked on socks, too! And she probably thought she was just working at a yarn store.

I'm going to take credit for inspiring Kingman Park (my favorite!). Go. Look. I dare you not to love it.

Husbandly Love...

Reason #52,789 Why I Love the Cap'n: Everytime he comes home from work trips (like today from an embed with the National Guard in Indiana), I can't help feeling fluttery and happy to see him. He's the best.

Sorry no knit pictures...but we'll try more tomorrow...I'm going to try to make shorter, more frequent posts so it doesn't take me so long to get these posted.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Knittin' Mama

Okay, so this knitting update starts pre-Baby Dos' arrival. Goodness, almost a month ago now.

When KnittinSis came to town with Uncle Ben, we couldn't miss my LYS's Daylight Savings Savings yarn sale. Since Uncle Ben was along as Slim's babysitter, KnittinSis and I waddled (okay, that was just me) through the store fondling yarn and debating patterns.

I did acquire some Claudia's in February for my new Jaywalkers (still OTN), but that had been my only stash enhancement since December. And with 20 percent off storewide, I had a hard time resisting, especially one of my favorite yarns.

And Now...

An Ode to Worsted Weight Yarn Made By Noro

Kureyon, how I love thee.
Let me count the ways...
You keep my sanity
in late night knitting/feeding sessions.
You fascinate me
with your color changes.
All hail the power of entrelac blocks.
And the speed of knitting
with worsted weight yarn.

Ever since the Cap'n gave me his first knitting-related present (two Hannukahs ago) of Scarf Style, I have ogled the Lady Eleanor stole, both in the book and at the KAL. Mostly, I fell in love with the name and the description at first. The entrelac? Eh.

But coming across Kureyon on sale was too tempting to resist. I knew it would look beautiful in the stole pattern. So it came home with me from Stitch. All mumbletwelvemumble balls. KnittinSis walked out with some stash enhancement too, but I'll let her comment on it, since I can't remember all of it. Plus I think some of it is maybe for a surprise present??

In that first week home from the hospital with Little Baby, I cast on for Lady Eleanor one night around 2am. I was the only one awake, feeding Little Baby and staring longingly at my knitting bookshelf across from the couch. All I had to work on were the Jaywalkers and a laceweight scarf in a Feather and Fan pattern. I needed something big, and I needed something fast.

That first tier of half triangles looked like ass. No joke. I had swatched on both the US10.5 needles called for in the pattern and with US11s. I went with the 11s because it got me better gauge. But in that first row, the fabric on US11s was really loose. It really didn't start looking like something until the second full tier.

I am really happy with my choice of needles, though. The Knitpicks Options set made it really easy to switch out the needle size on the swatch, and I've really enjoyed working with them.

And this project has forced me to learn a new skill: knitting backwards. Actually, I mastered purling backwards first, and only now, at Tier 10 out of 35 have I got the knitting backwards thing down. I checked out this tutorial and this Knitty advice beforehand. My difficulty in picking up the knitting backwards trick is because I purl Combination style and had trouble figuring out how to wrap the yarn coming backwards.

But if you've made it this far, you deserve a picture of the Lady Eleanor progress so far. A row here and there over about a month adds up! I'm almost done with ball 3, and am more than 1/4 of the way through the tiers of entrelac blocks.

So that's the belated knitting update. I am chugging along with my knitting, and while I still look longingly at my other pattern books while nursing and reading Dr. Seuss for the nth time, Lady Eleanor is a satisfying way to keep my sanity from sneaking off the way the dog does from Slim.

I also am belated in thanking Maryse for a beautiful skein of Schaeffer Anne that I won as an entrant in her mismatched sock-shoe contest. It brightened my day on one of those difficult first days home with the new baby and Slim while we were all adjusting to each other.

There are still those days, but the three of us got out of the house this morning in our great green rocketship, aka the new Phil and Ted stroller for the boys. I love its maneuverability and lightness, and I'm even able to still make my grocery runs with both boys.

I'm also contemplating starting a new blog with daily updates of pics and baby news, but that's just in my head so far. I'll let you know if something comes of it. I'm thinking of calling it the D Boys blog, but check out the urban definition. Maybe not.

And hopefully we'll have a house update by next week. More searching tomorrow...

It never stops at Chez Muthaknitter.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Time Flies...

...when you're sleepless with a sick toddler and baby with day/night confusion.

I am sorry it's been two weeks since I blogged. I have been writing blog entries in my head at 3:30 in the morning while little baby and I have been up together. But it's so hard to type one-handed, I haven't sat down at the computer to even check email.

There's all sorts of news to blog, but we'll have to give the bulleted version:
  • Baby is a charming little thing, growing like a weed and eating through the night. At two weeks he was already at 9 lbs, 3 oz., a pound up from birthweight.
  • Slim has run a high fever over 103 for two days, but we think it's just a sore throat and not strep. We hope.
  • We put an offer in on a house, got countered, came up and countered again, and were rejected. The home owner thinks she is sitting on a gold mine. One that happens to be eaten up with termite damage and in need of a complete renovation. It's one of those things that makes me hate living in D.C. But we can't give up. If we add one more toy, onesie or Cheerio to this tiny little apartment, us 'rents are going to go nuts.
  • Grandpa DiDa and Grammy had good visits with the D-boys. Hopefully we'll get more visits with the fam, maybe in a house with more room.
  • Knitting has been happening...slowly. But it sure does help with the sanity-keeping.
  • We made our first out of town trip with both boys, taking a wonderful break outside of Philly on the farm. Little Baby got to go to his first play, an interesting production about a hostage-taking situation.
  • I have seen the movie "Cars" four times in a week. Thank goodness the soundtrack is good.

There are cute, new pics waiting to be downloaded from the cameras, but I'm back to cuddling a sick kiddo and typing one-handed, so it'll have to wait. It'll give me a good reason to take new pics of the knitting project, too.