Category Archives: Knitting

There and Back Again

We are traveling with cloth diapers. Thankfully we are mostly visiting family and friends who kindly allow us to do laundry at their homes. Cloth diapers really aren’t too bad on the road if you bring a couple big plastic bags and you are exclusively breastfeeding. Diapers get a lot smellier when your baby is eating solids.

After driving straight across Vancouver Island, from West to East, we arrived at Marc’s sister’s house. Danielle is expecting her baby in May and we’re very excited to have a cousin so close for wee Gabrielle.

Gabrielle fell asleep on Danielle’s tummy while her little utero-bean nudged Gabrielle to give her a little more room, please.

When we were here, we got a small text from my dear friend. It read:

Shaely Rose was born at 1:47am. She didn’t make it.

This friend was due in April, the day before my birthday. We walked throughout our pregnancy and then between Gabrielle’s surgeries. I was very excited for this baby, this playmate of Gabrielle. At 32 weeks pregnant, my friend went into labour, was airlifted from small Pender Island, and rushed to the hospital. The docs think the placenta unattached too soon, thus starving the baby of oxygen. I cried.

In a world of where there is one less baby, I am praying for peace and small mercies for that little family. I hope you’ll join me.

Gabrielle is doing well since her hernia surgery. The incisions are quite small and not very noticeable with her belly rolls. Yes, she has baby belly rolls. And leg rolls. *love* And she’s growing out of her newborn sleepers, finally. We’re almost in the 0-3 month category, and she is 3 months next week. How the time flies.

There were hurricane-force winds the first day we were there, when we planned on heading further North. The winds blew away our plans and we stayed cozied-up at Danielle’s house. But the sun broke out the next day before we left and we got to enjoy the beauty of the great “wild” North Island.

There was still some time for knitting though. I am finally knitting something for me, little wrist-warmies. Then I will attempt again a pair of socks for Marc. After pulling them out 5 times, I took a break from socks. (grumble grumble, stupid socks.)

Yesterday we drove down island, visited friends with their son and twins. (Man, they are busy.) And now we’re hidden away at my parents’ house. The parents are gone to Hawaii so we are enjoying such quietness and their amenities. -Namely, laundry.- Gabrielle is currently kicking in front of their fireplace, sans diaper, and talking in complete baby sentences. Oh, the stories she tells.

Time for a Holiday!

Some people take crazy trips to Las Vegas for the weekend. Us, we take crazy trips to the hospital. Admitted on Friday, surgery on Saturday and out on Sunday, just in time for Sunday Dinner. It was not the family day that we prefer.

And what I meant to post about next is how to bathe a baby on a boat. Or something rather mundane yet normal in our every day lives.

(Yes I know, she barely fits in the green basin anymore. Next size up will be the roasting pan I think…)

But ya know, hernias pop up every now and then and need to be dealt with post haste. I must say, we’re getting better at the medical system, better at changing diapers with leads and IV’s. Better at the terminology, better at silencing the machines when the readings aren’t accurate. These are all things that we did not want to become better at.

I’d prefer to become better at making my baby smile. Or better at knitting. Yes Knitting, that would be peaceful.

Or reading.

But, nevertheless, we are back on the boat now. And I think we’re due for an actual vacation. Perhaps not to Las Vegas as it’s not really our style. A good road trip. As it so happens, we had one planned for this weekend that I think we’ll expand on a little. We’re getting packed up today and doing laundry. (Like every day with a baby.) And then we’ll be away for a week or so. Hopefully there will be a chance to blog when we’re on the road with some silly anecdotes and great stories. Enough of this hospital nonsense, ok Gabrielle?

Becoming Home

What things make a home for you?

For me, home is where I wear my slippers.

Home is where I have my spices.

Home is where I have a baking nook.

Home is where I knit, and write my lists.

Home is where I make tea, and slurp it in my favourite mug.

Home is where Mewes sleeps.

Right now I am in town for midwife appointments and I’m away from home. The ironic thing is, the dock we live on has no electricity, and tonight there is a big wind storm in town and the power has gone out here. I thought “And as usual, we’re reaching for the candles.”

The hot water, lights at the flick of a switch, and the option of the internet are wonderful things. But in the blowing storm, I hope the boat and the cat are ok until we’re home tomorrow.

We take the ferry over to the “big island” (this being: Vancouver Island) and make a quick trip to Canadian Tire to pick up essential boat supplies. Screws, plumbing hose, and I’m most excited about this purchase, solar-powered Christmas lights! We are hoping to string these up inside with the solar panel out one of the hatches so we can have lights inside the boat! More to be posted on this…

After going to the grocery store to pick up dinner, we bring it all to my brother and sister-in-law who graciously host us, and make them dinner. The grocery store is completely overwhelming to us small-island bumpkins. Seriously, they have cherries and strawberries and eggplants and artichokes and purple potatoes! Marc asked as I fingered the beautiful red gems, “Where do they get cherries in November?” Chilean Cherries of course, dear!

Not only is the size of the grocery store expansive, but the selection overloads our senses! We managed to escape sans cherries, blueberries and raspberries. It’s amazing that even now, though we are not gardening, there are some things that seem to dramatically defy seasonal eating, that they become incredulous to us!

This trip to Vancouver Island, we brought a car seat, some baby clothes and some cloth diapers, just in case the baby decides to come earlier than expected. We only have a couple more weeks before the due date, do you think we’re over-preparing?

Also, what do you pack in your hospital bag when you’re having a baby? It seems so weird to pack an outfit for someone who has not emerged into the world yet. Should I pack a breast pump? I’ve heard I should have chapstick and slippers and a housecoat. What else did you find helpful?

Look forward to your helpful advice!

I’m so looking forward to bringing this new addition to our family to meet our home and the corners we occupy.

In these Corners

In these corners of our life, Marc cooks me dinner, rich in iron as my iron’s been low lately.

I’ve been reading back through old journals last week. A common theme I’ve found is how long I’ve dreamed about having a baby of my own. I’ve done my fair share of waiting for this baby to come. Now I am in the twilight, before the chaos begins, and I find myself enjoying the quietness, and moments of solitude.

What I have proclaimed in the past to want to do when I’m raising a child, that will all be tested. It’s about to be truth-time and we’ll see what I stick to and what I compromise on.

Marc and I went to the hospital last week for an ultrasound, a non-stress test and some blood work. We got to see that the baby has lots of hair! Marc and I both have very curly hair so it’ll be fun to see our baby take on our traits. The baby is quite small, as am I, so I’m thankful that our sizes seem to be quite compatible thus far. My midwife has said that the pregnancy has been “uneventful.” This is, of course, a very positive thing. But my life has been anything but uneventful during the last 9 months. We are still establishing home in this boat of ours. And my self-assignment this week is to set up a baking nook and get some baby clothes organized. Since the baby is going to be very small, I have 3 premie outfits and I think I’ll have to invest in a few more until the baby gains some weight. Mommies, how many outfits will I go through in a day?

Marc took the opportunity this week to earn some money working on a friend’s boat. While he was gone, I read, knitted and did a self-photo shoot.

Excuse the results!

I’ve been reading:

I heard the Owl Call my Name by Margaret Craven. A friend, thank you Robin, sent it to me with a couple tea bags, so that I wouldn’t get bored on my maternity. I absolutely loved this book and it has quickly bumped into my top ten books of all time. It is about a Vicar that is sent to a Native village on the East coast of Vancouver Island/Mainland area. It is a graceful and realistic description of Native living in the 1960′s. Be wary though, that this book may inspire a few tears. I cannot blame this entirely on the pregnancy hormones.

I have recently started Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. It is an autobiography about Ayaan’s muslim life as she grows up in Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia and Kenya. I’m really enjoying it so far and it’s a great fast-moving read while we’ve been waiting in ferry line-ups so often for midwife appointments.

I’ve been knitting these booties. (they are on the right side bar called Saartje’s booties.) And I’ve been knitting a little elf-pixie toque which I’ve failed to take any photos of yet.

They make fantastic baby shower gifts that don’t take too long but still are such fun to knit because you see immediate results.

I’ve recently got a couple new patterns so I’ll keep you posted on how they work out.

Wishing you a happy November as the weather changes. I hope you have a cozy place to curl up and do what you love.

Day to Day at 35 weeks

This is my belly at 35 weeks. I am wearing my fabulous maternity jeans, $2 at the Nu-to-U Thrift store on island. And my mom’s Indian sweater that she wore with all three of her pregnancies. Funny story about me procuring the sweater. I went up to visit my parents right before they moved houses and they had a big box of stuff that they were going to get rid of. In the box was this sweater. I scooped it up and my mom said to me “I wore that sweater with every one of my pregnancies.” And that visit, we sat in my mom’s bathroom, as I bemoaned the fact that Marc and I had been trying to have a baby for a bit with no luck. Little did I know, I had a little baby growing in my womb even then. I went home a couple days later and took a pregnancy test and it was Positive! I love this sweater for the family lore, for the fact I get to wear it pregnant, and for how it keeps me warm when we’re sailing in October.

This is what I am currently knitting. I don’t have a pattern. Usually such projects end in utter failure but we’ll see. I heard that you can have knitted baby leggings that make it so you don’t have to take the baby’s pants off before changing their diaper. So I’m trying to knit for a baby who I have no idea how long their legs will be. Risky? Well, it’s just a little bit of wool!

This is who visited me recently. This is my sister-in-law Danielle. She’s also expecting a little bean and we got to compare and empathize with each other through our heartburn, nausea, and frequent urination. It’s so fun being pregnant with a sister!

I’ve only been able to eat apples in my last trimester. Before then, it gave me terrible stomach cramps. I’m happy to return to my apple-eating ways because it is, after all, apple season. Last year we were in the thick of processing to try to keep up with the apple production. This year, we happily go sailing on sunny days and leave the apple processing to someone else.

(I love his hat….) Can you believe that Marc and I have already nearly been married for 5 years! And not only do I still love him, but I still like him!! He still makes me laugh until I beg him to stop so I don’t pee myself, and he is still challenging me on the next adventure. I’m a lucky gal, and I know it!

I’m seriously not even trying to look intrepid! Yes, I do this naturally. I’m actually observing the sea lions dotting the shore, and sympathizing with how clumsy they look on land, rolling about, feeling each fatty flab on the rocks. Sea lions, I too feel like I am beached unceremoniously with all my belly hanging out. Please roll me toward the food!… Or the toilet…

Ok, so we picked a few apples, but no where near the harvest of last year. These are just for munching, not for apple sauce, apple juice, apple pies, apple cider. Oh, you get the idea.

Baby, do you like Prevost Island? I know you can’t see it, but there is an old apple orchard here with Dr. Seuss fruit trees with fuzzy tops. How about I make you a deal? You let me sleep through the night on occasion, and I’ll bring you hear to play?

Sounds like a good deal to me…