Tuesday, July 22, 2014

14 Button Cowl {Knitting Pattern}

Pattern Release!  My needles were clicking away before this little girl was born (and still are, albeit at a slower speed), so get ready for some new patterns!  First up, the 14 Button Cowl, knit with Malabrigo Silky Merino.  It's quite a lovely thing to knit with- and oh, the colors!  A DK Weight that is 50% Silk, 50% Baby Merino wool and aprox. 150 yards per 50 grams skein.  (Pictured in colorway Azules.)

More about the pattern: This is s fun cowl with many options.  Fully buttoned, the piece is a cowl with buttons traveling all the way around the circumference or neck.  Unbuttoned, the piece can be worn as a scarf or shawl, or buttoned only partially for something in between.  The all over eyelet pattern is fun to knit and lends a great texture.  It's a great opportunity to highlight some pretty buttons, and so versatile for in between seasons! 

You can purchase the knitting pattern on Ravelry by clicking the "Buy Now" button below.


A big thanks to my beautiful friend Monique, who did such a lovely job modeling!  Get ready for more beautiful shots of her next month- along with a few fall patterns that I'm super excited to release!  (Hint: My first sweater pattern!)

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Pulse...

The irony that I came across this great article via social media is not lost on me... Reclaiming Our (Real) Lives From Social Media

So excited about the Madder Anthology1 and quite tempted to buy it, though I know it will be a dreadful long while until I actually have time to knit any of the lovelies inside.

Enjoying reading The Ma Books.  Love a thoughtful perspective on mothering.

Wishing I had time and energy to learn a little bit more on Shibori and Printing Yardage.  Ah, well- someday.

Knitting a little Shetland wool these days as I envy those getting ready to go to Shetland themselves.  Knowing though, that some time in the future will be my time for adventures again.  Right now is my time for tiny baby cuddles.

Getting ready to release a new pattern this week- and two more next month that I'm particularly excited about!  Stay tuned...  (Though you'll have to wait a wee bit longer for the aforementioned Shetland Wool.)

Sunday, July 20, 2014


Joining in with Jodi: "A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Otto: Most days lately, he can be found rolling around the living room floor, blowing raspberries and commiserating over his lot in life- namely, sharing his mother's affections.

Lilo: Melting my heart with her smiles and baby coos.


Monday, July 14, 2014

The Early Days, P2

The husband has gone back to work and the mothers gone home.  The three of us are flying solo these days, with one scrambling Mama trying to meet the needs of both toddler and newborn... and oh yes, myself.  There are moments in each day where it feels natural, possible even.  And others that threaten mental breakdown as a newborn screams in my arms, a toddler repeatedly crashes into my legs and my bladder chooses the most inopportune time to make itself known.  And whether the day holds more of the former moments, or the latter, it still ends with me feeling completely shell shocked and exhausted, ready to go to bed and do it all again tomorrow.  But for some crazy reason, I wouldn't have it any other way. 

The truth is that while one moment I'm weeping because I'm so mentally and physically exhausted, the next moment I'm weeping because my children are so beautiful, or because the world is so perfect in summer time at dusk.

On a walk with a friend this morning we reminded each other - and ourselves- that we are in the hardest part of it all right now.  We may long for days when we can picnic at sunset without fear of meltdown or bedtime.  We may long for children who are capable of being self sufficient for more than just a few moments so we can take a shower without worry.  We may long for children who can hold conversations and know not to do that dangerously life threatening thing.  But we are also fully aware that when we are there, we'll long to hold our tiny babies one more time.  To nurse them and kiss their boo-boo's.  To rock them, to smell their milky smell, to watch them sleep and stroke their tiny cheeks. 

For now, we're in the trenches of starting a family.  But it will go by faster than we can imagine.  Each day holds so many, many, difficult moments, that are contrasted so starkly by the beautiful moments of watching a baby grow into their own little person. 

Those are the ones you have to hold onto to get you through the day.

Saturday, July 12, 2014


Joining in with Jodi: "A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Otto: Climbs into Lilo's crib when nobody is looking.  Good thing we haven't started putting her in it, I suppose.

Lilo:Part of the third generation to sleep in this basket.

This set was totally accidental, but I'm quite pleased with the coordination.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Lilo's Birth Story

All through the end of my pregnancy, and most especially the last month, I said, "Never again, never again, never again."  I told Peter to remind me of this moment, those words should I ever get the baby fever again.  (And through my labor I thought the same...  Plus some added thoughts about Cesarian sections, epidurals and such.)

And then she was in my arms.  And I thought, "Oh, I could do this ten more times."

Because those moments, those hours, those first days are so incredible.  I'm processing them so much differently now as a second time mom than I did as a first time mom.  Perhaps it's knowing what a baby entails, or perhaps the fact that I'm more grounded in who I am as a mother, or perhaps the fact that her labor & birth was so much easier.  This time, I could see the pure miracle of it all more clearly.

Another Mom friend once said to me, "A sperm meets an egg, and then six weeks later, out of nowhere... a heart beats."  Which just sums it up entirely.  All the science in the world can't unlock, or explain away the mysteries, the layers and the miracle of a new life.  The miracle of which is made so powerfully clear when that life has grown within your own body.

For weeks before my labor actually started I felt like I was in labor.  Every day brought on at least one false alarm, discomfort that only grew stronger and stronger, sleepless nights and utter exhaustion.  My midwife told me that women who have already birthed can have labors that begin in "fits and starts," stopping here or there to give your body rest.  So I suppose all those false alarms, hours of contractions that just dissipated in the end probably made my actual labor and delivery shorter.  But for a 41 week pregnant Mama, they were mentally exhausting.

The day I actually went into labor, I told myself, was another one of these days- another day of false alarms and false contractions.  I was having contractions (powerful ones by this point) on and off throughout the day, but not regular enough that I thought it might this time be real.  The night before I had been up again, sure this time that labor was coming, as I had very real contractions for several hours around 1am that just... stopped.  The next morning Otto and I played in the yard, ate ice cream on the deck, and I gave him his first big boy haircut.  By the end of the day I was wiped and as soon as Peter got home I went upstairs to rest.  My doula sent me a list of natural induction remedies, and I called my midwife, frustrated and ready to have a baby.

My midwife told me that it sounded like my body was gearing up, but that perhaps the baby wasn't in a great position.  She suggested laying on my side and then getting onto my hands and knees to try and reposition the baby.  As soon as I did this a couple of times contractions started again.  I laid upstairs timing them, knitting and reading, still not believing this was real as the contractions didn't seem to be coming at regular intervals.  Over the next hour they began getting closer together, and feeling more powerful.  I got into the shower, letting the hot water pour over my lower back which was so relieving.  I started to notice that the contractions seemed to be coming pretty regularly and closer together at this point- as did Peter who was on the other side of the door.  I got out of the shower, dressed and called my doula and midwife (still telling them I wasn't sure if it was real this time.)  Peter called our childcare to be on the ready.

On the phone with my midwife, I told her my contractions were about 5-6 minutes apart, but that I was working through them and doing fine at home.  I thought my water had broken a few minutes before while in the bathroom, but I wasn't sure.  When another contraction swept through me she said, "That wasn't five minutes.  You should probably call your childcare.  Remember that second babies can come faster.  And if your childcare doesn't get there in time... just bring Otto with you."  At this point I started taking things seriously and letting myself believe that this time I was actually in labor.

We called our friend Amy to come over and put Otto to bed and she was at our house in about 3 minutes.  Otto, who had seen me working through contractions, and been told that I was "doing hard work to get the baby out," (what we told him would happen when it was time) was beside himself with excitement.  He talked non-stop in Amy's arms about who would hold the baby, that Mommy and Daddy were going to the hospital, etc., as Pete gathered our bags and I worked through a few more contractions by the front door.  We left the house about 8pm.

In the car my contractions slowed, and a little bit of panic set in- I feared that labor would stop again.  When we arrived at the Birthing Center though, they started back up as I waited by the front door and my doula reminded me that sometimes when things are happening our contractions will slow.  Inside I was hooked up to the monitor, and continued to work through contractions on a yoga ball.  My midwife came in to check me and said I was about 4 cm's dilated and 80% effaced.  Over the next few hours I went from shower to ball to tub and back to the shower.  As I was getting in and out of the tub I told my nurse and doula that I felt like these were pushing contractions.  "That's good!"  my nurse said.  My instincts were telling me that the baby was getting close, but looking at the clock my brain was telling me we hadn't been there long enough.

Getting out of the tub, I headed back into the shower.  I don't think I was in there very long when the contractions started feeling a lot more intense.  One came, and with it, a 'pop' of water, and in that moment I could feel the baby coming.  Those next few contractions (and the noises I made with them) had my doula and nurse alert and at the door, and calling in my midwife who was attending another laboring/delivering mother as well.  My brain and instincts were battling it out- my brain saying that it hadn't been doing this long enough, while my body feared my baby slip out right there onto the bathroom floor.

My team led me out of the shower and my midwife asked where I wanted to give birth, did I want to avoid tearing?  (And also told me that baby had hair!)  In the moment, leaning heavily on my doula, I told her I was fine there, but luckily she encouraged me onto the bed.  Unbeknownst to me at the time, part of my cervix had gotten in front of the baby, and being on the bed on my side allowed my midwife to help ease through that issue.

I didn't push for long.

All told she was in my arms after pushing for only 15-20 minutes, at 11:05, only 3 hours after we had left the house, and 2 hours after being only 4cm dialated.  I remember feeling elated- it seemed so much easier than with Otto, and I said, "I did it!"  Then asked Peter to look to see if the baby was a boy or girl.

A girl!

I bled more than normal (which I'm told can happen when babies come fast), but I had a great team and the bleeding stopped.  My tail end ached.  Both of these I'm told happen when babies come fast.

Those moments- those hours- those days after birth are one of the gifts of motherhood, I think.  When the world makes utterly clear that it's all so much bigger than us, so mysterious and so miraculous.  The moment when what was once a bundle of multiplying cells, is now a tiny human being breathing on your chest and searching for nourishing milk.

The moments-hours-days, when everything outside the miracle of life is trivial, and you simply hold your child, in total awe.

A gift.  A miracle.  A mystery that even science cannot explain or unfold.

My daughter.

Our daughter.

My son's little sister.

The next day in the hospital room I started crying (not surprising for a woman whose body is undergoing tremendous hormonal changes, I know.)  My little boy is already no longer my baby.  In the weeks before Lilo was born there were moments when it hit me, he'll never nurse again, never be this small again.  My baby is gone, and every day that goes by he moves closer to belonging to the world and no longer to me.  So I wept that my daughter, so tiny and perfect, too will grow.  One day she'll crawl.  And then walk.  And then talk.  And somewhere along the way she'll stop nursing.  And then both my babies will be growing and moving into their roles as citizens of the world.

No longer mine alone, though always, always, my miracles.

This moment, Lilo nestled on my chest as I write, is only here for what seems less than a moment.  And now this one.  And this one.  Every moment is fleeting.  Each moment that passes my children are another moment older, a tiny bit more grown.

So I'll soak it up, as much I can.  For I know already that you forget how tiny they were when they came into the world.  Forget tiny details about what they smelled like, how their tiny mouths searched for your milk.  Already those minutes-hours-days of reeling from the miracle of it all are passing me by, replaced by the daily needs and rhythms of our new family.

I understand the gift a little more fully now.  And know too that the body aches and exhaustion of pregnancy, followed by the hard, painful work of bringing a child into the world are worth it, 100 times over.  Because that miraculous moment will never happen again.  Nor any of the moments to follow.  They are here just for now, to be soaked up, before our children grow and we forget how mysterious and miraculous it was to bring them into the world.

Monday, July 7, 2014


Joining in with Jodi: "A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Otto: Very silly, this one.  With goggles, and then with Grandma's curler in his hair (which he later lost when he was playing bocce ball with it.)

Lilo: She's a smiler- and a hand by the face thumb sucker.

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