Saturday, June 30, 2007

FO - Garment of White

This is the finished Garment of White for Baby F's Christening tomorrow. I am more than pleased at how it turned out.

The completed front...

Detail of the stitches...

It was sewn by couching #3 perle cotton on linen. The cross is an original design. I haven't done any crewel embroidery since I was a member of my local SCA needlework guild (actually did get my competency in couching, blackwork, and general embroidery) at least 6 years ago. The tension of the linen loosened a bit as I went along, so there is some slight puckering because I didn't take the time to tighten things up again (something that tends to fall by the wayside when you are feverishly sewing at 2 in the morning). I designed the stitching as I went along so you would get this wonderful, subtle effect of the changing directions. The next piece I do in this fashion will most likely be done with 4 strands of embroidery floss in split-stitch rather than the couching with more planning on the design instead of making it up as I go along. From a needlework guild perspective, I would definitely classify it as journeyman-level work - my technique is sound, but there are too many small mistakes for it to be master work. I think I'm going to plan on doing some more SCA-style needlework as a diversion from knitting. I don't have any plans to actually play in the near future, but once the bean is a bit older, I'm hoping that I can make the time to get involved in my local group again.

The thing I am most unhappy about the finished piece is the sloppiness of the sewing. My only excuse is that I was cutting this out and feeling it through my machine at seven this morning after having been up all night. The fact that the side seams are remotely straight is a miracle. I know S thinks its wonderful (and it truly is), I just wish I had been more organized that I could have really spent the time making sure all of the seams were knife-straight and doing the hem-stitching that was part of the original design.

Friday, June 29, 2007

I think I could have picked a better time...

Processing your c-section and dealing with the prospect of another one is not something one should work on when there is embroidery to do. It looks like I'll be up to at least 3am if not later finishing this.

At least it will be practice for Harry Potter.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Note to self

It would be a good idea to actually nap when Michael naps rather than sit in the airless back room surfing on MDC while all of the fluid in your body settles into your ankles and feet.

Off to lay down...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Wish we had a camera moment...

S came over with her baby this afternoon and we got to just hang out in the AC and chat while I held the baby and Michael napped upstairs. After Michael woke, S started to get really tired so she dozed on the couch while I held F. Michael was typical - every time F made a sound, he whined too. At one point I had F balanced in one arm and Michael perched on my knee with my other arm around him, caressing both of the and loving it - definitely good practice for February. The sweetest thing was when S was nursing. Michael asked lots of questions about what the baby was doing and then came over to me and tried to latch on to my chest. It was a little bittersweet, having to tell him that mommy has no milk right now, but I am looking forward to being able to give him some milk when the new baby comes.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Now this is what I'm talking about!

I woke up exhausted this morning. Michael was a dream letting me doze on the sofa while Noggin raised him for an hour or two. We then went up stairs and laid on my bed and listened to the radio for an hour or so. After a small mad dash about the house, we managed to get on the road for his teacher conference by twelve thirty. Once I got acclimated to the humidity and the temperature, it really wasn't that bad and the walk to his school was a lot quicker than I thought it would be. We left school and walked up to John's library to hang out for a few, then it was back into the stroller for a nap and then home.

Mood-wise, I felt great today. Once I was able to shake off that exhausted feeling, I felt pretty good physically as well. I probably did just over three miles worth of walking today and while I was tired when I got home, I definitely did not over-do it even with the heat and humidity which is a great feeling. After talking with Michael's teachers, we are definitely going to work on raising our expectations for him. It's really hard for me to do since have age-appropriate expectations back when he was first diagnosed caused so much stress for everyone. We are going to be working on cleaning up and helping mommy during the day, both of which are things I know he's capable of doing. His behavior has also improved a great deal - he's a lot less stimmy during the day and more focused. I also feel so much more in balance with him too and have been snapping a lot less. I'm looking forward to a lot more mornings spent laying in bed and listening to the radio.

Last but not least, the embroidery on the garment of white for S's baby is going great. It's been many years since I've done any crewel work and I forgot just how much I enjoy it. I think I'll be doing some more of that and probably a few temari balls too for good measure - it would be nice to have some stuff for myself rather than everything being given away for presents.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Lazy post

Sorry folks, you may have read this elsewhere, but I'm too fried to come up with something different...

Had a pretty hectic morning - 3 year old, tired husband, and OB wiating room do not a good mix make. I am definitely going to have to make other arrangements - it's really unfair to keen Michael contained in his stroller for that long and then I start getting *looks* which just add to the stress. Instead of having that lovely moment of seeing the hearbeat, I was having a slight argument with the OB about my EDD and John was trying to placate Michael. I'm very happy that the bean seems to be here to stay, but it definitely wasn't the family-bonding moment I was hoping for.

On a different note - I'm definitely heavier than I was when I got pregnant with Michael, but I weigh about 10lbs less that I thought I did (3lbs less then the last time I was weighed on a good scale) so that's some happy news. I have made the resolution to not hide this time because of my size, it was a huge step for me to post a bare-skin belly pic both here. I really want to enjoy my body and the changes this pregnancy.

In crafting news, I have to start doing the embroidery (couching/laid work) for S's son's christening this weekend and I have a few miscellaneous knitting projects to finish up for him as well. We are also planning a trip to the aquarium on Wednesday - I am sure Michael will have a ball.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Taking the plunge...

I figure if I'm oblivious confident enough to walk around with unshaven armpits while wearing tank tops as soon as it's warm enough to do so, I can post a picture of my eight-week pregnant belly...

Hi Bean!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Short and sweet...

  • Saw a full-page ad for American Apparell in the Philadelphia Weekly featuring their "Tank Thong" which basically was and excuse to picture this woman's ass.

  • Read over some pregnancy books at Borders and man am I happy that I know as much as I do about pregnancy and childbirth. One of the books said that VBAC was incredibly risky (which is why they are rightly discouraged) and a repeat elective cesarian was considerably safer for mom and baby. Of course Henci Goer was nowhere to be found

  • Have an appointment with my OB on Monday and some very mixed feelings. I am going with him in the begining because I know I won't get any flack from him about my size. In a perfect world, I'd be having a homebirth and maybe even a UC, but there is no money for a homebirth and both options are so far out of my husband's comfort zone as to be in a separate dimension. More thoughts on this in the future.

  • Michael is off from school for the next two weeks and I am so looking forward to being able to hang out with him. I haven't been the best of moms recently and I really want to use this vacation as an opportunity to reconnect with him.

I can hear John laughing at the Daily Show downstairs, so that's all for tonight folks!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Trying to get back on top of things

And popping out of them too.

I mailed off two of my horribly late swap packages this afternoon and after I finish up the pom-poms and bag some herbal moth repellent the other two will be go to go for tomorrow's mail. I am NEVER doing three swaps at the same time again. This has been a complete nightmare and I'm not sure if I can even show my *face* on that board again because everything is so late. The bean, up until the past few days, has been sucking up all of my motivation, focus and energy. I have barely knit at all the past month which is really saying something. I may not have a lot of finished objects, but I usually have at least a half-dozen things on the needles at any given time. Ideas are just starting to dance around in my head again and I will be paying some much needed attention to Knitty Keen in the coming weeks - there should be some new freebie patterns and some hand-painted sock yarn for sale at the Etsy store.

I'm finally starting to hit my stride with the bean and am getting to the point of enjoying the pregnancy rather than feeling crazy and exhausted all the time. It's the craziness that gets to me the most. I am very sensitive to the hormones - even low-dose birth control drives me round the bend. The feeling of having no control over my emotions is a little to close to some of my worst times for comfort. I remember spending most of my first trimester with Michael feeling like I was two steps away from needing to be hospitalized. Here I am at seven weeks and I'm feeling pretty good. I still have my moments, but I'm taking a low dose of my meds and several supplements and am feeling pretty stable. The morning sickness has pretty much come and gone - I only get a touch of nausea if I've gone too long without eating. I'm chasing a few pounds of water-weight around but making sure I drink enough and keep off my feet in the later half of the day has helped tremendously. I have a bit more cramping this time around then with Michael, but I also know there are a decent number of adhesions stretching down there too. I've already "popped" too - I tried a skirt on two weeks ago and didn't like the way it fit. I tried the same skirt on yesterday in a size up and could barely do the zipper. My first OB appointment is next week, so once I see that heartbeat I'm going out to buy myself a nice pair of maternity capris.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I still aten't dead

Lots and lots and LOTS of things have been happening the past three weeks...

We recently found out that my father-in-law's cancer came back and it is not responding to treatment this time around. His body is a wreck from the original treatment and the doctors are not hopeful. His spirits are good and we've been trying to keep in touch so that he can get as much enjoyment of Michael as he can.

My baby is three - where on earth did the time go? Not only is he three but he had his first day of preschool this morning. We had our IEP meeting two weeks ago and aside from the somewhat crappy deal we got for the summer, we are very happy with the offerings. He's in a reverse-mainstream classroom at an excellent school. The crappiness comes in with the fact that his birthday is so late in the scool year, they don't have any morning slots, and consequently transportation slots, open for him until the start of the new scool year in September. In the fall, he'll be going to school three days a week for three hours a day, getting 45 mins of individual speech and OT per week in addition to the small groups the threrapists both run, and he'll be getting bussed there and back. For the summer, we'll still be getting the therapies, but he'll only be going twice a week from 11:30-2:30 and I have to take him there and pick him up myself. Thankfully there are several Septa lines we can take so I am not facing the 10 block-over and 10 block-up walk in the heat of the day, but it still sucks more than a bit. He did beautifully by the way. I, of course, sobbed the whole three blocks to the bus stop after I had dropped him off. This is the first time he's ever been in someone's care who was not a close friend or family member. Not only did he do well in class, he used the potty for the first time AND we were able to get him to use it at home as well!

I've been exhausted and Michael and I are both getting over the nastiest of head colds. I've been trying desparately to finish several projects that I need for swaps and am woefully late with them. I am planning on moving from the couch as little as possible tomorrow (or more realistically today since it's after 3am) so I can get them done and mailed on Thursday. I have not been able to focus well the past several weeks either. I think it may have something to do with a slightly unexpected work in progress. Here's a pic...

Looks like things should be done by the begining of February.