Two More Weeks. Maybe.

Posted by on Sep 9, 2014 in motherhood | 0 comments


Two Weeks Left

There are just under two weeks left in my pregnancy – nine days until my estimated due date. It’s funny – for most of this pregnancy I generally had no idea how far along I was and I once a week or so I’d enter my due date into pregnology.com to find out.

Then, once I hit 37 weeks, I could tell you the exact amount of days left until my due date. Because I’m done.

Actually, I think I’ve been done for about a month now. To be honest, this has been my easiest pregnancy by far. I credit having a great chiropractor who kept everything aligned and was able to take away almost every discomfort I had.

But now there are less than two weeks left and I think I’ve had enough of this pregnancy thing. I’m tired because I can’t find a comfortable way to sleep. And because I have to go to the bathroom 17 times a night. And because my clothes have stopped fitting me. And because I have two kids that chose to be sick for the entire month of August.

And I’m done with the typical comments that strangers give you. Like, “wow – you must be due any day now”! But it’s not any day now – it’s two more weeks. And technically it could be four more weeks if this bun decides to bake a little bit longer.

I apologize in advance for anything that I write here on my blog if I go two weeks overdue.

About a month ago a beautiful young girl at a farm was ringing through my purchase and she flashed me her perfect smile and stated that I must be ready to pop any day now. (It’s always any day now. I HATE any day now.)

I smiled back and said no, I still had six weeks to go. She smiled even wider and leaned in, asking me in a knowing voice,  “is it twins”?

Being the charming person that I am, I forced a laugh, all the while praying silently that someday she’d be blessed with pregnancy acne, varicose veins and stretch marks. I’m not sure if you’re allowed to pray for things like that, but if it ever comes up, I plan to blame my hormones and third trimester sleep deprivation.

It’s hard not to be impatient. It’s hard not to think about all the things I’m missing out on in September, things that I could do with a baby rather than a belly. But I’m also trying to enjoy this time which is really going by so fast.

There are only two weeks left.

Two more weeks to take my girls to Chapters where they will run around like hooligans. Because after two weeks I will think back fondly on the days where I only had two kids to take out.

Two more weeks to find a way to cram another car seat in my back seat. Because I’m too cheap to buy a minivan.

Two more weeks to get the diapers prepped and the clothes sorted and to find the other half of the crib. I mean, if I don’t set up the crib, where will I store the diapers and clothes??

Two more weeks to avoid the supermarket so I don’t have to hear anyone accuse me of stealing a watermelon and then laugh like they are the first person to come up with that joke.

Two more weeks before this baby comes out. Although I suppose it could be four.

I hope it’s not four.

Photo courtesy of Torsten Mangner on Flickr and slightly modified by me.

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We Went Outside Today!

Posted by on Sep 7, 2014 in Hamilton Blog (#HamOnt), homeschool, outside | 0 comments

We started our homeschooling up again last month. Yup, halfway through the summer. We even started on the holiday Monday of the August long weekend.

We’re soooooo mean.

When you think about it, though, there was really no reason not to. Other than the daily ten minutes of copywork (handwriting) that The Princess dreads, she thoroughly enjoys everything else. She still gets annoyed that we don’t do school on weekends. I think she secretly suspects that I made weekends up.

For some reason, our days are just so much nicer when we do school. There’s less whining and less arguing – and not just from me but from the kids too. The Princess gets excited about doing her lessons and The Pixie suddenly becomes more interested in distracting her sister than in watching TV. And rather than being faced with a whole day to fill, I’m faced with a day where I wonder how I’m going to fit it all in.

Our homeschool days are actually pretty simple. We are heavily influenced by Charlotte Mason, a British educator that lived at the turn on the 20th century. Among other things, she advocated for short lessons where the students focus intensely but for limited amounts of time, with formal lessons ending in the early afternoon. She also recommended a lot of time outside.

Like a LOT.

Like 4-6 hours a day.

To be honest, there are days when getting outdoors for half an hour is a challenge – in fact, sometimes getting outside at all seems impossible, not just for me but for the girls too.

For years, The Princess hated going outside. When she attended a Waldorf school at the age of 3, she was originally scheduled to be in class on Thursdays, the designated “hike days”.  On hike days, the kids spend the whole morning in the woods and it’s the most favourite day of all the children. Or so they told me. I warned the teachers that The Princess wasn’t … super keen … on hiking. They quickly assured me that everyone loves hike days – even the kids who resist it at first. So I signed her up and was relieved that soon I would have the nature-loving hippy child that I had always dreamed of.

About two months later, the teachers pulled me aside and asked if I would please switch The Princess to another day because she ruining hike day for all the other kids. I nodded my head and we all shared a knowing look – I’m certain they tried their best. Secretly though I was totally relieved. If even these amazing teachers couldn’t get my kid to embrace the outdoors, then it certainly wasn’t my fault. As a mother, I was officially let off the hook for having the world’s only kid who hates being outside.

Then last summer, at the age of 5, something changed: The Princess fell in love with it all. She likes to climb trees. She likes to catch bugs. She likes to pick flowers. She LOVES going on hikes and will happily spend an hour in a forest drawing happy little trees in her nature journal.

And, of course, now my three year old wants none of it.

Suddenly The Pixie hates the outdoors. She hates the hikes. She hates our backyard and runs to the safety of her bedroom as soon as we look the other way. Honestly, I just have to laugh at the entire situation - partly in good-natured defeat, partly because something in my brain has finally snapped and laughing a bit psychotically is the only response I’m capable of. Either way, I laugh and trust that as she gets older, she’ll learn to love the outdoors too.

And I think we did SO GOOD with going outside this summer. We went to splash pads, parks, wading pools, farms, petting zoos, hiking trails, berry patches, gardens full of lightning bugs – we even camped in my cousins backyard for a weekend.

Lily Pads at the RBG

Sharing a Butterfly

Camping

That being said, the past four weeks have been rough. There have been stupidly hot days. There have been weeks where all three of us had a wicked cold. And of course there has been the whole last-month-of-pregnancy thing stealing all of my motivation. I’m trying not to let it bother me though. I try to focus on the days where we actually make it outside rather than dwell on the days that we don’t.

Like today! Today we made it outside. We went to the Teaching Garden at Churchill Park in Westdale where we learned about calendula from Dan of apothecarysgarden.com. It was such a beautiful day to be out in the sun and the girls got to gather seeds for our front yard and pick flowers to take home. Dan told us how we can prepare the flowers as a tea or as a cream, which I can’t wait to get started on tomorrow.

Calendula (and some Lavender)

I’m certain the Princess could have stayed in the garden for another hour, drawing the flowers and watching the birds, but the Pixie became pretty cranky and we decided to head home. As we walked back to the car, I saw the start of a trail I’ve never explored, Caleb’s Walk, so I asked the girls if they wanted to peak inside the Spoooooooky Forest. Of course, if I said “let’s go for a hike”, the Pixie would scream no. If I said “let’s see where this goes”, the Pixie would immediately throw herself to the ground in the sort of tantrum that makes three year olds legendary. But when I ask her to explore the Spoooooooky Forest, she was all for it.

It wasn’t my intention to go for a hike. I didn’t bring water or snacks or even a phone if I went into labour at the bottom of a trail. And normally I don’t just start hiking without a clue about how long the trail is or where it goes. I had only meant to peak in and maybe walk for a few minutes. But today my three year old had other plans.

You want to know how to snap kids out of bad moods? Forests. They are truly magical.

Anyway, we first walked down a gigantic hill. Half way down I realized that I was in trouble. The girls were going to freak out when it was time to climb up again and there was no way I’d be able to carry The Pixie once she got tired, so as soon as we got to the bottom I told them that we had to turn around – except that they couldn’t hear me because there was a bridge over some water and they had to check it for trolls. And then they had to see where the boardwalk went. And then they had to run up another dirt path. After 20 minutes of walking, I got concerned. Well, more thirsty than concerned.

A father and daughter team passed by and I asked where the trail went – he said it looped around back to Churchill Park, which is what I figured. Then he warned me to go back since the trail was about to get narrow and unsteady, which I thought was good advice. Unfortunately my children disagreed with our parental wisdom and ran on, with me and my enormous pregnant belly stumbling along behind them. At one point the path was insanely narrow with a steep drop on the side – I was glad to see that the man and his daughter were still nearby. Thankfully, the father had kept their pace slow so that if I got into trouble he could give me a hand. Or at least call an ambulance if my water broke.

When we cleared the trail and arrived at the much wider path of Ravine Road Trail, the other family took off at a much faster pace and I relaxed, knowing that our hike was almost done. Except that it wasn’t – we were only about half way back to the car. And the trail had different paths and sometimes I was just guessing at which way to go. Even short hikes feel like endless marches when you you have two young children, no water, and no idea of where you actually are. I didn’t worry too much though since there were suddenly far more people around. And it was such a beautiful walk - I can’t wait to go back and hike some more. I mean, “explore the Spooooooooky Forest”.

In the end we were outside for 2.5 hours today – still a far cry from the 4-6 hours that Charlotte Mason advocated. But we’re definitely getting better, and I’m looking forward to the day that The Pixie loves being outside as much as The Princess does. Which should be right around the time that our baby turns three and refuses to leave the air-conditioned house.

 

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A New Project on the Needles

Posted by on Sep 3, 2014 in knitting | 10 comments

Work in Progress

It occurred to me that I’ve been knitting so much lately that I should start posting some photos. In fact, doing a Work In Progress Wednesday might even inspire me to knit more because I fear your judgement get to show off what I’ve been working on (my kids aren’t remotely impressed).

And really? I can use all the motivation I can get, given that I’ve entered the black hole of knitting. Knitters of course know the black hole well – where the laws of physics no longer apply and you knit for days but your sweater doesn’t get any longer. Do you know why shrugs and boleros were invented? Because some poor knitter knit and knit and knit and knit and her sweater never got any longer, and eventually she ran out of her exquisitely beautiful hand-dyed yarn and decided that the cropped sweater would just have to be a thing. Luckily for her, fashion loves all sorts of odd-ball looks (denim overalls of the 90s, I’m looking at you) and now the cropped sweater is here to stay. Knitters everywhere rejoice.

So my current work in progress: I originally planned to do a pullover when I bought this yarn, but then I got pregnant and realized that another couple of years of breastfeeding would make a pullover impractical. The project got ripped out and started again, this time as a nursing-friendly cardigan.

Lady Sunnyside Cardigan

I’m using the Lady Sunnyside pattern on Raverly by Tanis Lavallee. I changed it slightly by doing a garter stitch on the shoulders instead of a cable because I like things pretty simple. I think I’m happy with my decision, though I’m a bit nervous about the yarn that I chose. In a lot of lights it’s actually quite pale and I’m afraid it washes me out. I’ve never cared about that before, so hopefully it’s not something I’ll dwell on once my sweater is actually done.

I mean, what are the chances of me finishing anyway?

Ha. Not funny.

In fact, to quell any rumours that I never finish anything, I’d like to present some photos of the longies that I finished weaving the ends into yesterday. Tonight they will be given a dose of lanolin, which magically will turn them from cute little baby pants to amazing leak-proof cloth diaper covers.

Second set of Knitted Cloth Diaper Pants/Longies
First set of Knitted Cloth Diaper Pants/Longies
Third set of Knitted Cloth Diaper Pants/Longies

I used the For the Little Ones pattern on Raverly by Allison Lawler. Of all the cloth diaper covers I’ve knit, I think this is my favourite pattern. It’s easy to get the hang of – after doing one pair, I had the pattern virtually memorized, making it the perfect take along project for the park or the library. I’m working on a fourth pair right not, but to be honest, I need a break from longies.

Which is why I started the sweater. I wish I had just done a hat.

Anyway, by next week I hope to have made more progress on my sweater. Or bolero. We’ll see how I’m feeling after seven more days of the black hole.

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