Pattern: Natural Knits for Babies and Moms
Yarn: Rowan Tapestry, Rainbow & Rustic
Sweater 1 (Tapestry):
Knitting started: 03.30.07
Knitting completed: 04.07.07
Sweater 2 (Rustic):
Knitting started: 04.07.07
Knitting completed: 04.21.07
Blocking and finishing for both: 08.02.07
And another two bite the dust...
The Oz vests are done and looking rather festive, if I do say so myself. I think I originally decided to make them for the twins to wear at Thanksgiving with little white shirts. They'll definitely look cute in them when the time comes.
You may recall that I talked about changing the pattern after making the first vest. It called for a decorative (read: non-functional) button flap on the right shoulder which I omitted on the second go round. I think the vest knitted up much better without it — there weren't like 8 bazillion ends to weave in from all the casting on and off — but, truth be told, the little pearl buttons on the Rainbow one add a festive touch.
I would make one more change if I had to knit this all over again and that is to convert the pattern into the round. There's really no reason for it to be knit as two separate pieces and knitting it in the round would have prevented my headaches with trying to get the stripes on the back and front to match up.
P.S. Just three days of maternity day left! Gulp!
I told you Ravelry was good for motivating me.
FO: Cabled Pocket Shawl
Pattern: free pattern from KnitPicks
Yarn: KnitPick's Bare - 100% Peruvian Wool Bulky Weight
Needles: KnitPicks circulars, whatever sizes the pattern called for since gauge wasn't important
Began: October 13, 2006
Knitting completed: October 25, 2006
Blocked: November 5, 2006
Finished: July 30, 2007
I call this my "dog walking shawl." It's the purpose that I had in mind for it when I saw the pattern. Now that it's done I can see that it is perfect for that. The pockets can hold dog-poop bags and the shawl covers just enough to take away the chill on those fall evenings. I kinda regret not taking the plunge and finishing it earlier.
FO: One Skein Wonder
Pattern: designed by Stefanie Japel
Yarn: Gedifra Living, Graphite & Ruby
Needles: Don't remember
Began: Mid-October (?)
Knitting completed: November 4, 2006
Finished: July 30, 2007
This is my second "One Skein Wonder." I made my first one out of some Noro yarn and it wound up being WAY too big. This one is just right size-wise, but I bound off too tightly around the neckline. I also ran out of the grey yarn and had to use the red that I bought for a third (never to be made) one. All in all it's aiight and will suit it's purpose — I made it to be worn around the house in the winter — but I won't be running to make another any time soon.
Pattern: designed by Jenna Wilson for Knitty's Breast Cancer Issue
Yarn: Norway Heilo, Charcoal
Needles: Don't remember, something small
Began: November 6, 2006
Knitting completed: December 15, 2006
Finished: July 30, 2007
This is another project that languished forever. I loved, loved, loved knitting up Shedir. When I finished, I was almost sad but then I was excited by the thought of wearing it. All I needed to do to finish it was weave in two ends. So what happened?
Well... I put it on.
Can you say "Mushmouth?"
I like my hats much shorter, almost beanie style. I could have accomplished the look I like by omitting two of the pattern repeats but I didn't think of it at the time. I can still wear the hat with the brim turned up but chances are it's being gifted to Mark.
Pity cause while I really liked it, I'm not going to be knitting up a second one.
Sweater 1 (Khaki):
Knitting started: January 15, 2007
Knitting completed: January 27, 2007
Sweater 2 (French Blue):
Knitting started: January 29, 2007
Knitting completed: February 16, 2007
Blocking and finishing for both: July 30, 2007
The first of the babies sweaters are finally done de done done and I couldn't be more pleased! The sweaters are still a little big for my bebes but will be perfect for the fall.
The only modification that I made was not to have closure at the back. The pattern calls for twill tape to tie it closed but I figured it wasn't necessary.
I'm halfway through seaming the first of the Hooded Jackets and hope to finish both of them and the two Oz vests today. As for the Baby Surprise Jacket and Three Piece Layette... well those are on hold until I'm done with my finishing.
And to think that in six days I have to kiss this goodbye and work all day:
Posted at 07:41 AM in Life 101 > Family Life, Projects > Knit > Baby Surprise Jacket, Projects > Knit > Cabled Pocket Shawl, Projects > Knit > Classic Cashmere Sweater, Projects > Knit > Finished Objects, Projects > Knit > Hooded Jacket, Projects > Knit > One Skein Wonder, Projects > Knit > Oz Vest, Projects > Knit > Shedir, Projects > Knit > Three Piece Layette, Projects > Knit > Visits From the UFO Pile | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)
We have our eagerly awaited ultrasound appointment at 9:15 today. They'll be doing growth checks on the twins so I've got my fingers crossed for good news. According to "What to Expect When You're Expecting," the sea monkeys are supposed to be gaining half an ounce per day past this point.
I'm really hoping that Aden gained at least four ounces again. Technically he should have gained between eight ounces and a pound in the two weeks between growth measurements, but any development will make me happy. Both he and Hunter have been squirming so strongly that it's hard to imagine them being in trouble, and that makes things even more frustrating than they should be. (I'll post an update on the appointment when we get back...)
I'm in serious nesting mode right now and as such I am pretty frustrated to find myself on bedrest. There are pictures to be hung, things to purchased, a nursery, albeit a small one, to be set up. I'll be doing a little more online registry / wishlist shopping after our doctor's appointment — we need to get the pack n' play and the second car seat — but frankly there's not much satisfaction after you hit the "confirm order" button.
The satisfaction comes when you receive the things and put them together or arrange them "just so", which, of course, I'm not allowed do right now.
The only thing that I do have control of is my knitting. There are a slew of things to be blocked and sewn up, to be absolutely finished. Since I started in mid-January, I have completed the knitting on eight sweaters / vests, four pairs of booties, four pairs of mittens, four beanies and two lace caps — all in the newborn to 3 month size.
That's a whole mess of knitting. And a whole mess of UFO's (unfinished objects for those not up on "knitter-speak"). Since the rest of my baby projects are for larger sizes (6 months, 1 year), my goal for the week is to have Mark buy me a bottle of Dreft (or some dye-free, scent-free generic equivalent) and to get to blocking, sewing up ends and otherwise getting all my newborn knits finished and ready to wear.
As a recap, here're all the projects that need to be finished up:
Classic Cashmere Sweaters
Classic Cashmere Booties
Vine Lace Baby Hats
Some of these only need to be gently blocked and have a few loose ends sewn in; others require fiddly piecing together and sewing on of buttons, among other things. Still it's all very doable. I'm thinking of washing and blocking two sweaters a day, then sewing them up the following day when they are dry. That way I can easily block them on my sewing table with minimal effort. It'll be slower than trying to do them all at one shot, but it will be more manageable in the long run.
Fortunately, aside from the Vine Lace Baby Hats, the accessories (hats, mittens and booties) need no blocking so I can sew up the loose ends of those pretty much at will and have them completed in a day or two.
And to keep my hands actually knitting between finishing sweaters, I've started swatching for the Classic Baby Cardigans in my sidebar at left. As of last night, I thought I had gauge (a weird 6 1/4 stitches per inch!) but I want to work a few more rows before diving fully in.
Posted at 06:55 AM in Life 102b > Extremely Pregnant, Projects > Knit > Baby Mittens, Projects > Knit > Beanie Hats, Projects > Knit > Classic Cashmere Booties, Projects > Knit > Classic Cashmere Sweater, Projects > Knit > General Stuff, Projects > Knit > Harvey Kimono, Projects > Knit > Hooded Jacket, Projects > Knit > Oz Vest, Projects > Knit > Vine Lace Baby Hat | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)
A huge thanks to everyone who commented on my "Swelling" post. My sister-in-law — who died at the age of 27 — had pre-eclampsia during her pregnancies and lost a baby girl because of it. So it hits a little closer to home for me and it's just one of those amplified fears that I have that I shouldn't. (Hell, when I told my brother I was pregnant, he kept telling me to make sure I got monitored for pre-eclampsia!) I know that some level of mild edema is normal for pregnant women... I just thought that maybe I lucked out and was going to miss out on it completely. I have an appointment on Wednesday — this one kicks off the weekly visits! — so I'll definitely be asking about how normal this all is then.
I'm just not used to having to force my rings on or for my clothes and sheets and chair to so readily imprint themselves in my flesh. And let's not talk about the ankles. They're not at cankle stage yet but it's disconcerting to see how fat they appear to be. And of course, for a woman who's struggled with weight issues her entire life, appearing fat is a huge blow to the ego — regardless of how "cute" everyone insists pregnant women are.
Oh and that's another pet peeve. The whole pregnant women being "cute" thing. For the record, waddling is not fucking cute. I waddle cause I can't walk normally. I waddle cause it fucking hurts to walk any other way. So telling me how cute I am or look when I waddle just frustrates me. Watching me waddle slowly down the hall towards you with a half-knowing smile on your face makes me want to smack you when I get to the end. I'm in pain and your smiling at my misery, you dolt. There's more to this rant, but I'll leave it at that.
Okay, yeah, I'm crabby. I've been pretty crabby lately. And no, my crabbiness isn't cute either.
I'm pretty sure that this crabbiness is being brought about by my frustration at being unable to do normal things like, oh, bend over to pick something up or shave my legs or take off my shoes unassisted. My belly has gotten heavier and much more uncomfortable to walk with lately — even with the sling — and I can feel that the twins are getting more than a bit crowded. More often than not I can feel a solid baby body along my sides. It's definitely a neat feeling but unfortunately it's usually accompanied by some other pain like extreme backache or the sensation that your bladder is about to fall out.
Adding to the crab is my depression over my upcoming 38th birthday on Saturday. I have absolutely no plans for my birthday. Part of me feels that this is the last birthday I will have all to myself for a long time. Starting next year, my birthdays will revolve around the kids (at least until they're in their pre-teens) so I kinda was hoping to make this one special somehow. Of course, most of the things I would normally do are either off limits or take too much physical effort and I can't think of substitutions for them. I'm not a spa or manicure person — I hate people touching me, my favorite restaurant closed two years ago, and I can't walk around and explore the city like I used to. Having a few drinks is out of the question, I don't want to go to the movies cause I have to pee every 20 minutes and there's really nothing I want to see, ditto with going to a concert, and I've already bought myself enough stuff. That basically leaves staying home and either lying in bed watching TV or sitting in the glider and knitting, since I can't lie down and knit comfortably. Sounds like a fabu time, no?
And of course there's this growing and gnawing anxiety over getting ready for the twins. Getting the car registered in NYS was a freaking three day nightmare for Mark but now we legally have wheels so that we can go places if we need to. And we will.
I wasn't feeling well this weekend, so we didn't go look at apartment sized washer / dryer units. That's our next big major purchase and I guess we'll have to go shopping for it on my birthday (joy) since we really need to get that lined up. On top of that, we still need to pick up absolutely everything — clothes, crib, stroller, diapers, etc. The cloth diaper service we were going to use (Tidy Diapers) stopped delivering to Brooklyn and the other diaper service I knew of appears to be out of business. At least that's what the disconnect message I get when I dial the number tells me.
Aside: It took three unreturned phone calls and three e-mails over the course of a month and a half for Suzanne, the owner of Tidy Diapers, to deign to reply to me. My last e-mail was marked urgent and had a paragraph on what our needs were, how highly recommended they were and how I'd really like to set up an account. This was answered by a curt "We are no longer delivering to Brooklyn. Suzanne". SIX contact attempts on my part and that's ALL I get? Great customer service on their part, no? Makes me kinda glad that I don't have to deal with them at all. I definitely will NOT be recommending them to anyone based on this experience.
[Edited to add - 9:11 PM]: Suzanne called my cellphone today to return a call from two weeks ago. Unfortunately I was in a meeting and had to let it go to voicemail. Also, I just read an email I got today from a woman who uses Tidy Diapers. Apparently the company has been having experiencing some serious delivery personnel problems which might be the reason why the cut their Brooklyn service out. So, that being said, I won't personally be recommending them but I won't be dissuading people either.
This has of course thrown a huge wrench in my "save money any which way you can" plan — cloth diapers for both twins would have come out to under $100 per month based on what the other twin moms in Manhattan were paying — but it is what it is. My guess is that Mark and I will do disposables for the first six months or so and then figure out how to do cloth on our own. It's going to take a bit of research on our parts and I don't have the energy for that right now. I'm more concerned with our non-existent nursery at the moment.
In knitting news, I've officially killed the Elven Cardigan and the Classic Cashmere Leggings. I made the decision this weekend and frogged both pieces, storing the yarn for future unknown projects. The leggings didn't make sense to me anymore because the babies would have to wear them during the summer (not likely) and while I liked the Elven cardi, I was already making the similarly styled Hooded Pullovers in the same size. Also, as much as I liked the Andean Treasure when I started, I'd kinda fallen out of love with it for that particular project. After all, I'd bought nicer yarns recently that I'd rather use for the kids' knits.
I haven't scrapped the Alphabet Blanket or the Candle Flame Shawl, though, because I can keep working on these after the babies are born. Ideally I'd like to have the blanket finished by Thanksgiving, which actually seems doable. And as for the shawl, well, I can cast off where it is right now and easily call it finished. Still I have another ball of yarn and would like to get a few more pattern repeats in there.
I've managed to knit through both fronts and one sleeve of the second Harvey Kimono. I'm halfway through the second sleeve and should be finished with that by this evening:
By the way, see that cute "project bag" from Piddleloop (an Etsy shop). That was one of my birthday presents to myself. I've bought two so far and am completely in love with them. They have a grommet to feed the yarn through so I can keep my knitting in my messenger bag while I commute. They also have an inside pocket for notions (I use it to keep ball bands and stitch holders) and an elastic knitting needle holder which is just perfect for me to keep the different size needle tips I need for my projects. The best part is that two of them fit in the front of my messenger bag so I can always have two fully ready projects (needles, notions and all) at the ready. I'm totally wanting one or two more and I'm only waiting until they put some up in fabrics that I like.
The knitting on the second of the Oz Vests was finished on Saturday. It's now in the "to be blocked and finished" pile with the rest of the sweaters:
Last but not least, I started the last of the newborn sweaters — the second of the Hooded Pullovers. I should be finished knitting the second Harvey Kimono either today or tomorrow so I will be able to concentrate my efforts on finishing that.
Posted at 08:09 AM in Life 101 > Married Stuff, Life 102b > Extremely Pregnant, Projects > Knit > Alphabet Blanket, Projects > Knit > Candle Flame Shawl, Projects > Knit > Classic Cashmere Leggings, Projects > Knit > Elven Cardigan, Projects > Knit > General Stuff, Projects > Knit > Harvey Kimono, Projects > Knit > Hooded Jacket, Projects > Knit > Oz Vest | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)
I'm in the single digits now with 9 weeks to go. No, I don't feel any pressure. Why would I feel pressure? Yeah I know that we haven't bought any cribs or a bassinette or car seats or, for heaven's sake, CLOTHES yet and that the diaper service still hasn't gotten back to me and I should probably call them AGAIN or we're going to wind up going the disposables route.
Yes, there will be lots of shopping happening in the very near future. We have to get one more major purchase out of the way — an apartment-sized combo washer / dryer — before we embark on purchasing all the baby stuff. Thank God / the universe that I put together a registry / shopping list that can be ordered entirely online if I need it to be.
On the plus side, I finally have a formalized maternity leave plan. My boss and I sat down last week and agreed that my last day in the office would be June 1st. I'll work from home the week of June 4th, and if I haven't given birth by then, begin my leave on June 11th. My revised due date is June 18th (38 weeks) so having the week before to prep and relax would be nice. Of course, this is all subject to the whims of the two inhabitants of my uterus. They might decide that 38 weeks is a little too long to wait and decide to make an early departure from their ever-shrinking surroundings. Still, it's nice to have a plan, however unreliable it might turn out to be.
Mark's trip to WV and back went really well. He got to spend the weekend visiting with his dad, sis, brother-in-law, nephews and a ton of other family whom he hadn't gotten to see since we last visited a few years ago. All of them wanted to hear about how the the twins were doing so there were many calls to say "hi" to Mama which helped to assuage some of my loneliness.
The net result of his trip was Moby II:
Moby is an extremely well maintained white Chevy Venture. It is sweet and gorgeous, has a light grey interior and seats six humans or, in our case, four humans, a tongue-lolling rottweiller and four scared and very pissed off cats. Mark drove Moby back home through the Nor'Easter we had on Sunday and apparently the car handled really well so that makes me feel very good about it. I told Mark I'd get him a Garmin and a subscription to AAA but apparently that offends his "Southern male" sensibilities and I can only get them if I finally learn how to drive.
My fear of driving may eventually be conquered by my desire to get to the yummy yarn / craft mega-sales upstate. However, I don't see that happening anytime before the kids are
Speaking of yarn, my friend Sandy and her daughter Eva came over for a knitting lesson on Saturday. I'm glad to say that I managed to succesfully teach Sandy — I totally bombed with Eva, unfortunately — after I changed the cast on method. The backwards loop cast on was causing too many problems with it's ever-growing distance between stitches so I taught Sandy the knitted cast-on and VOILA! Problem solved. The much firmer cast-on enabled her to quickly learn how to knit and purl. I also had her do some moss stitch and ribbing before she learned to cast-off.
She and Eva went home with some yarn, issues of Knitters, FCEK and KnitSimple and straight needles I was no longer using so they could continue practicing on their own. Sandy will also be joining the lovely ladies of Knit Club on Wednesday — I'm hoping that I FINALLY get to make it after a two month hiatus — for more fun. She's decided to make a vest for her son's birthday so there will be more lessons in the future.
As for my own knitting, I finished the right front of the second Oz Vest and have the left front to go. The goal is to finish all the knitting on it today, then to move on to finishing the knitting on the second Harvey Kimono. That should carry me to the end of this week.
I want to have everything blocked and sewn up by the end of this month and that includes starting and finishing the second Hooded Pullover as well. It's only slightly ambitious since I definitely could get more knitting time in each day by knitting during lunch and at night before bed. I've just been lazy about blocking out time for myself at work so I think I'll make myself a sign that says "At lunch. Please return at ___" and put that next to me while I knit. It worked for another of my co-workers so maybe it will work for me too.
Thanks for the comments about the pictures from yesterday!
The cats are in fact totally loving their condo. Mark thought that it was a a somewhat-extravagant splurge at first but he now loves it almost as much as we think they do. (I think he was biased initially because he was the one that had to put it together...) They still need to get used to clawing the sisal but otherwise the cattens and Spot are all over the thing, vying for the top seat. Stranger (the black & white tuxedo cat) still prefers his perch on Mark's reading chair but he doesn't mind the easier access to the food bowl! I'm thrilled that they're actually using it and am looking forward to ditching that ugly old plastic bookcase that we were previously using to keep their food out of Maia's reach.
As for the twins and I, our doctor's appointment went relatively well. I don't have gestational diabetes (hoorah!) and my exhaustion and aches and pains are simply due to the fact that I am carrying two babies. The midwife kept stressing that I should listen to my body and should go on leave when my body told me to, which I'm already planning on. Otherwise, I am doing really, really well in her opinion. My next visit in two weeks (the 30 week mark) will herald the switch from bi-weekly to weekly visits. It's kinda odd to think about it, but I'm in the home stretch.
The only disconcerting thing that turned up at the visit was that Aden weighs about 25% less than Hunter does at this point. He weighs 2 pounds, 1 ounce to her 2 pounds, 12 ounces. I could tell something was up when the ultrasound tech came back and said that Doctor Death had asked her to run a few more tests. I'd never had this particular tech scan me before and she wasn't very helpful or friendly — they usually explain or comment as they scan — so I felt a bit out of sorts and uncomfortable with her. (That and she pushed down really freaking hard on my belly a few times... Hello, that shit HURTS!) She did give me those cool 3D ultrasound pictures of Hunter though — Aden was facing my back until the very last minute so she couldn't get him — so I wound up forgiving her at the end.
Dr. D. did the ultrasound read and he was positive overall. He told me that since the sea monkeys weren't identical that Aden might be hardwired for a lower birth weight. He said that they would check again in 4 weeks and since the discrepancy wasn't larger (say a 30 to 40% difference) and the additional tests were perfectly normal, I really didn't have to worry.
Of course, I was worried until a few of the folks over on Weight Watchers told me their personal experiences. A couple of the twin moms piped in — one woman's twins always had a 10 oz difference in their growth and another was diagnosed with discordant twin growth but her babies turned out to not be that far apart in weight at birth — which helped put my mind at ease for now.
Aside: I get pissed off every time people who don't have kids tell me "Oh, but one twin is ALWAYS XYZ. They're always born just fine..." Thanks for your medical opinion but that's simply not true... There are plenty of babies, singleton and otherwise, that are not just born fine.
I know that I'm not the first woman on the planet to be pregnant or the first person ever to have twins but I really hate when the doctors scare the crap out of you because they legally have to and all your friends just try to blindly reassure you and dismiss your worries. If I'm worried telling me that everything is going to be okay doesn't help me. It just pisses me off because it shows that you don't respect my fears.
This week has gone by too quickly for me... Of course it's because I've been dreading Mark's trip to pick up the car and I'm now counting the minutes until he drives home on Sunday. The funny thing is that aside from this week all the rest of my "pregnancy time" has seemed to just draaaag. But this week, of course, just flew on by.
I've called a few folks from my support network and I feel a bit more comfortable about fending for myself so this weekend won't be that bad. I'm planning to take it super-easy, with the notion of calling and catching up with a few people I haven't spoken to recently, exhaustion permitting. But I'm planning on spending the bulk of my time knitting and decompressing.
My friend Sandy will be coming over tomorrow. I've been promising her a knitting lesson for like forever and a day, and I've got a little yarn and some mags and books to pass on to her. I hope that I can actually manage to teach in a comprehensible manner. My friend Kelly is one of the few people that I have successfully taught how to knit and she's like a bazillion times better at it than I am so she usually teaches at Knit Club. I tend to sit there, fix mistakes and give input every now and again so I feel wildly out of practice. Still, I know Sandy's had a few lessons so hopefully it'll just a question of being able to take off from what she remembers.
Speaking of knitting, progress on the second Oz vest is being quickly made:
My guess is that it will be finished by the end of the weekend. (I might get really ambitious and try to finish it all today.) That leaves completing the second Harvey Kimono and making the second Hooded Pullover before I can block everything to have it ready for finishing. There are booties, beanies and mittens in the picture also but I can make those in a day or two so I'm not sweating those.
Oddly enough I'm feeling really good about my knitting. I probably won't have the baby blanket completed before they are born but I will have plenty of little sweaters ready for when they arrive and as they grow up.
Another week down and another milestone achieved. 28 weeks. The sea monkeys will get a growth check at this Wednesday's ultrasound and are getting closer and closer to being born healthy. Prematurity has been weighing heavily on my mind lately and while I'm not entirely scared of the NICU, I'm hoping that my babies and I can avoid the experience. In the meantime, I feel like I'm playing a random numbers waiting game. Will I go at 36 weeks? At 29? 38?
Add to that gnawing anxiety an amplified fear of being alone. I never thought I would feel as helpless or dependent on someone as I do now. Mark's trip to pick up the car is scaring the shit out of me because it will be the first time since I've gotten pregnant that I will have to fend entirely for myself. Realistically I know that millions of women go through this — heck, Mark's sister was alone for a couple of months while her husband worked away from home! — and it's not like he's going to Zimbabwe for a month like he used to, but still... Even back then his travel bothered me, and I wasn't even pregnant.
I know that I have friends and neighbors that I can invite over to keep me company. And should something go bump in the hall, I will have a locked door and a big ass rottie to protect me. But my biggest fear is that I will go prematurely or slip and have an accident or something. My fear is that I'll have to call a car service to take me to the hospital sometime in the middle of the night. Alone.
Another related fear is that something will happen to Mark and I will be left to raise the twins alone. Without any help.
Aside: With the fear of something happening to Mark comes the completely unrelated fear that we received the wrong donor's sperm and that our babies will be black / asian / martian / not some mix of hispanic and white. Again, totally random and extremely unlikely and if it did happen Mark and I would be pissed at the fuck up but we'd be happy with the babies. However I think his family would completely write me off...
I can't even begin to imagine raising the kids on my own and it brings on my anxiety so badly that I wish I could take Xanax. Instead I've been dealing by thinking about what needs to be done next Monday, planning for my birthday, going over my checklists. There's a much more likely and realistic future in that planning and thinking and I need to start hanging my hat onto that and letting go of the fear.
Still, anxiety aside, I have days when I feel like crying and get extremely frustrated with myself because I feel so fucking helpless. I can't roll over easily or get comfortable in any position or walk without some level of pain. I know that it's a temporary condition but I really do wonder if I'll ever get back to being the strong, shit-kicking, take-no-prisoners woman I perceived myself to be. The fact that some minor aches and pains have worn down my psyche so much makes me think that maybe I wasn't as strong as I thought I was. Pregnancy can be incredibly humbling.
Tonight Next Monday (another pregnancy brain goof) we have our infant / child CPR course. It's another step closer to become prepared parents for us. A week after that we have a basic childcare class — gotta learn how to bathe the baby, right? After that it's breastfeeding. Somewhere in that time we need to actually start picking up baby stuff like cribs and clothes and diapers. I'm living from class to doctor's appointment to shopping trip.
While my life has been consumed with thoughts of the future, I have been trying not to neglect the rest of my life. The cats benefited from my need to nest this weekend:
I bought them this HUMONGOUS 82" tall cat condo off of E-bay (under $110! Total score!). I've been thinking that the poor guys needed it since all their favorite haunts are getting a touch bit crowded:
Especialy when Maia gets in on the action:
I also bought myself some yarn because, well... it was 100% silk and on sale and my birthday is at the end of this month...
Plymouth Shire Silk, Frost
Plymouth Shire Silk, Silver
for two "Milan Jackets" (12 month size) from Natural Knits for Babies and Moms
(I also bought a few small knick-knacks from Etsy but I'll share those as they arrive...)
And, I finished the knitting on first of the two Oz vests:
I'm actually really happy with the job I did matching the colors up on the trim and on the fronts. Now I have to do the same with the second one:
There is one thing that I will be changing about the pattern on the second go round, though. It calls for a decorative button flap on the right shoulder, which a) was a pain in the ass to work because it was only two freaking rows deep and b) really didn't add that much to the look. And, considering that I've been having a hard time just finding buttons I like for the other sweaters, I figure I don't need to give myself a headache by trying to find three more. Also, I originally thought that it was a functional thing to help get the vests on and off, but having finished the first one I can see that even it were functional, I wouldn't have needed it. So this design detail is getting tossed for the second vest.
And, don't worry, the second of the Harvey Kimonos has been getting some love as well:
The back is entirely done and I'm now up to the quick-going decrease part for the left front.
And before you think that I'm NEVER going to actually weave in ends and finish these sweaters, I'm trying to finish all the newborn - 3 month size sweaters first so that I can block them in one fell swoop. That means I need to finish the second Harvey Kimono and to start and finish the second Hooded Jacket. I should be getting around to finishing things by the end of the month is my guess. (Yes, I know that the vests are not in the newborn size but who can resist knitting with some luscious Rowan...)
I'm beginning to get even more fatigued these days and it's causing me to lose my sense of humor. I keep trying not to be a whiny McCrankster but today I feel like it's look out world! I slept pretty poorly again last night — I can't WAIT to sleep on my back or stomach again — waking frequently and finding it hard to get comfortable. Add to this a knotted-up upper back and shoulders, some wicked heartburn and a mild headache and you can see where I'd like to just call in sick and sleep in all day.
I am, however, glad that some of my insomnia was caused by babies moving around. There had been less activity on the left side than usual the past day or so and it had been causing me to slightly worry. Since I had no other symptoms — no bleeding, cramping, low backache, water breaking, fever, etc. — that the nurse / midwife had admonished me to keep an eye out for, I put off calling her. I told myself that if the movements didn't improve by this morning, I would call and ask to be seen. After all, I was feeling movement, just not at the strength or frequency that I was used to. And... this had happened to me before but the decreased movement was on the right. That time I had an appointment the next day so I wound up waiting until I was seen to bring it up.
Well, the party was ON last night and is still going on this morning. The babies are kicking my bladder and partying on the left and right. I'll be calling the midwife anyway to find out when I should start doing kick counts and if there's any special requirement for twins. Usually it's 10 movements per hour of monitoring, but I easily feel that in the first few minutes. The problem is that I can't usually tell which twin is doing the moving. My assumption has always been that if it's low or on the right, it's Aden. If it's higher and on the left, it's Hunter. Any flutters in the middle were fair game but I typically ascribe them to Hunter because Aden seems to revel in hanging out down by my bladder. Of course, this is all speculation on my part and I can only tell where they really are when I get ultrasounds.
Womb party aside, though, I'm feeling a bit, oh I don't know, put upon, I guess. My belly is getting huge and I feel and look like a beached whale. I can't flip over easily in bed so I wind up sticking it out in one position until it hurts and then trying to move my bulk around. My sense of smell is greatly improved so every little smell bothers me and prevents me from falling asleep. Mark's stinky sneakers were making me gag at one point last night and I had to flip my bulk over so they were downwind of me, so to speak. Getting in and out of bed is painful, as is walking. I can't just get up and run to the bathroom. I have to ease my bulk out of bed, wait a minute or two for my legs to get used to the idea of supporting my bulk, and then slowly shuffle my way with the ligaments / tendons where my groin and legs meet screaming the entire time.
And I'm only 27 weeks along. I can't imagine what this will all be like at 32 or 38.
I'm currently working on the shaping of the vest front:
The vest looks — and feels — great and I'm 75% pleased with how everything's been coming along. Why 75%? Well...
The yarn pulled a fast one and this time there were no knots to blame. For some reason or other the gradation changed as you can see above. Up until then, the colorway was acting fairly predictably. I was getting blue going into pink / rust-orange going into green. So imagine my surprise when I realized that my next stripe of blue was not going as expected.
Of course this is going to make it a huge pain in the ass to match the colors on the other side of the V-neck shaping. I'm pretty sure that I can do it — I just have to unravel my skein and find a matching length or two. However, I keep thinking that I might need to order an extra ball in order to have enough yarn for the task.
(Note: This would have never happened if I used a solid color for this pattern!)
Lesson triply learned. Whenever I think I've moved beyond my knitting experience, something like this happens. Next time, I won't be so fucking cheap and will order the spare ball anyway, even if I think I am never in one bazillion years going to need it. I'll probably be right but I won't spend a week worrying if I'm going to "have enough to make it".
Edited to add: I finished the right vest front and actually managed to get the colors to match up just perfectly on the left side without wasting too much of the ball. Go me!
Hello third trimester! — at least, according to 3 out of the 5 books / pregnancy newsletters I reference. The other 2 have me starting next week but I've decided to start my counting as of this week. I mean, really, with twins everything is sped up anyway so what's one week more or less?
I ushered in the third tri with a bit of insomnia. Mark inadvertently woke me when he came back into our room at 2:30 — he usually goes into the other room when I fall asleep at about 10 or so and comes and joins me later on when the cattens start running laps on his head. This is usually not a problem but for some reason, I was unable to get back to sleep after my bathroom run. My mind just didn't want to quiet down and thoughts of Mark getting the car, premature labor, taxes, finances, being alone, feeling helpless, knitting, doing April's blog design and God knows what else kept racing through my mind, trying to beat each other in the "worry Olympics". After an hour and a half of trying to calm my mind, I gave up on sleep and decided to get up.
So teeth brushed and decaf in hand, I got up and worked on changing the blog face. Here's a snapshot of what March looked like:
As for what I've been up to... The rest of last week and this weekend were pretty busy. Last Wednesday's appointment went well. Dr. Death wound up reviewing our ultrasound again and said I was having a "textbook pregnancy" and that everything was going really well (knock on wood). The glucose test went pretty smoothly also — I'm still waiting for the results but I hope they're good! — although it gave me an all-day sugar crash headache which sucked. Still, the drink was NOWHERE near as bad as everyone insinuated it might be. It tasted like a really, really super-sweet Coke and I chugged it down in like 30 seconds. The woman administering the test said I "must have been really thirsty" but I told her that I'd been dreading the drink and she laughed.
The doctor told me that they wanted to get me to 38 weeks, if possible, so that's given me a more solid time-frame to base my maternity leave around. As for birth plans, she told me to continue to think about them and bring my proposed plan (or at the very least my list of what I don't want if it can be avoided) to my 30 week visit. So, based on this information, I'm currently planning on "officially" beginning maternity leave at week 37 with plans to work from home starting at week 35 — which happens to be the Monday after Memorial Day. I don't think that I'll want to commute the hour each way from Brooklyn to the office on the subway as I'm expecting to be very round and somewhat uncomfortable. I've kinda hinted at this with my boss, and he's okay with everything so long as I train the dude that will be covering for me while I'm out. Mark will probably work out a similar arrangement to work from home during the same time, so he will be around to help me and take me to the hospital in case I go early, and that will bring me much needed piece of mind. Still, I have the belief that my water will break at work or I'll feel contractions and have to rush from the hospital from there. It's still of course way too early to determine what my body will do but having a "tentative plan" for two months from now does help me feel like better.
My next visit at 28 weeks will be another growth check on the twins and then I have my 30th week visit before I start going weekly. It's hard to believe that next week will be 10 weeks away and I can begin "the countdown..."
Mark and I had the second half of our multiples birthing and parenting class on Wednesday night. I think I was the only person in the class that was not cringing or averting my eyes at the births. I mean, have these people never watched Discovery or "miracle of life" shows? Fortunately, the video portion of the class took 15 minutes and the rest of the class focused on what happens after the babies are born: getting support, items you must have, breastfeeding, baby care and a bunch of other stuff. Mark and I really enjoyed the class but I think the best part of the day was when we went to the diner on the corner and had a simple adult meal together. No worries about the dog (she'd already been walked) or the cats or rushing home to do something. Just the two of us talking and bonding over an omelette (for him) and grilled cheese and matzoh ball soup (for me). Mark told me how happy he was that I decided I wanted to try and how much he was looking forward to being a dad.
I wouldn't trade that meal for anything.
The weekend was spent getting ready for our visit to H&R Block — although, I did manage to get a lot of knitting in. I found all of our tax papers, shredded old crap, filed old bills and shredded some more stuff. I am happy to say that eight, back-breaking hours later all of our paperwork is filed and up to date:
Mark and I have vowed to not let the mail turn into an insurmountable pile going forward. I literally went through a year's worth of mail this Sunday — we pay all our bills online so there's no need to open most of our mail — and am sooo not gonna do THAT again next year.
In knitting news, I got yarn for some new projects:
Rowan Tapestry, Rainbow
Rowan Tapestry, Rustic
for two "Oz Vests" from Natural Knits for Babies and Moms
Handmaiden Sea Silk, Ebony
for a "Storm Water Scarf"
and Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in Chocolate, Dusty Pink and Pale Blue for two "Classic Baby Cardigans" from Spring/Summer 2007 Vogue Knitting
The Oz Vests and Classic Baby Cardigans will be made in the 6 - 9 month size, in anticipation of the holidays. The joke that Mark and I were going to have little goth babies didn't go over well with his relatives in West Virginia so I plan on knitting some cute, traditional stuff for Hunter and Aden to wear when visiting Mark's grandmother and aunt.
I, of course, got shiny-nickeled by the Rowan Tapestry and instead of continuing on with the 2nd "Harvey Kimono" began the first of the two Oz Vests. Bad Liz!
Well, I did more than began... I finished the back of the vest and am roughly 1/4 of the way through the front.
For those unfamiliar with Rowan Tapestry, it's a 70% wool / 30% soybean yarn, in a DK weight. My gauge was spot on with the recommended size 6 needles. It knits like a dream but tangles when you try to rip or tink back.
Likes: Super soft yarn almost akin to mohair; great vibrant-looking colorways; long gradual gradations.
Dislikes: My biggest issue so far has been the knot in the middle of the ball that joined two TOTALLY different gradation sequences — blue going to green joining orange going to yellow. Sadly, I have found this happening more and more with "high-end yarn". I had to unravel the ball until I found a point that matched the first sequence, and to cut and join the yarn. I'm hoping that there are no more fucked up sequences as for the first time in forever I did NOT order an extra, "just in case" ball of yarn. Other minor and forgivable (at least to me) issues are the fact that the yarn is hand-wash only — a "no no" for kids' knits — and it seems to get fuzzy just looking at it.
I plan on alternating between the Oz Vest and the Harvey Kimono during my morning and evening commutes. That way both projects will get some love. But I'd be willing to bet good money that the Oz Vest will be finished first.