Thursday, February 28, 2008

Has it really been two weeks?

Astonishingly, it has. I have been terribly distracted with house stuff, game stuff, knitting, and even baby! I'm still knitting furiously on the kilt hose; I'm about halfway done with #2, with ambitious plans to have it finished this week. I don't have any current in-progress pictures of that; if you really want some, scroll down to the pix for #1, and assume they're identical. House stuff is progressing; I still don't want to post much until everything is definite (like, we have the keys in hand), which will be about two weeks, depending.

This will be a picture heavy post, though! I took a few minutes this morning to slightly alter a lovely smocked maternity blouse my mom sent me, that could so easily roll over into being a nursing top, too, with just a few modifications... first on the list, however, was eliminating the silly band across the front neck which severely restricted the neckline size:

First step was cutting the silly thing across the middle.

Second step was folding the ends over and stitching them down (ignore my unmanicured hands). Converting this to a nursing top will involve gently ripping the seam down the middle front and adding buttons - I'd love to raid my mom's collection of tiny antique pearl buttons for this, but failing that, I'll use commercial plastic baby buttons. Upon examining the inside of the center seam, I find it's not even solidly French seamed or anything, just one side lapped over the other and sewn down. This will be cake to alter.

While getting to my sewing things to perform this minor adjustment, I was struck once again by the question of the ages: how did my sewing basket

become a knitting basket?

Visible are my nearly-finished BSJ made from favorite old socks and two skeins of KnitPicks Gloss, one green, one purple, both mates to to socks in-progress. I'll finish the BSJ when the wedding knitting is done.

Last but not least, I have my bi-weekly belly pics. The more observant among you will recognize the shirt I'm wearing as the afore-mentioned smocked blouse, post surgery. What's really astonishing to me is that I still have a waist, even at 26 weeks and with my baby belly getting more obvious!

I do wish the maternity jeans would stop falling down, though. :( This may be endemic to the design, however, and I'll gladly put up with it, anyway, just to wear jeans again!

Thursday, February 14, 2008


I'm shocked, shocked I say - posting for the third day in a row!

Anyway, it's V-Day, and I feel the urge to get a bit political. Not political like presidential elections, but birth politics, which I'm up to my ears in these days. V-Day is about countering violence towards women... and if a doctor playing the "bad mommy" card to get a laboring woman to do something she doesn't want to do isn't violent and abusive, I don't know what is.

I say this coming from a background of abuse - not physical, thankfully, "merely" verbal and emotional. I feel lucky, because I feel like of all the members of my family, I probably got off with the least exposure to the situation... but that doesn't mean I am not still deeply scarred and affected by it. It also means I know abuses when I see them, and am angered on a deep, frustrated level. However it makes me extremely happy to know I got myself into a profession where I can help mitigate some of the birth abuse I encounter - and I didn't even realize it when I signed on!

I finally got to see "The Business Of Being Born" last night. This is Ricki Lake's documentary about hospital birth vs. home birth, and it is very powerful. I really want to own it, when I can afford such things. I've heard it criticized for being skewed, or "fringy", or just in bad taste for showing video from Ms Lake's own home birth where she happens to be naked because she's in her tub giving birth. Hello, most birthing women end up naked! Now, you could accuse me of having a skewed perspective on this issue that's so near to my heart, but honestly, I don't think it's possible not to be skewed to one side or the other. To me, either you actually look at the evidence, and say, oh yeah, huh, home birth really is safer for most pregnancies, and then decide what's best for you and your situation, or you shut your eyes to the evidence and fall in line with "doctor knows best".

This post has been brewing in my head since early last week when the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists released a formal statement decrying homebirth, in which they not only play the "bad mommy" card, but use untruths in so doing. I'm not very good at being articulate with this kind of thing; I mostly tend to froth at the mouth incoherently, and then fall into a frustrated silence because I can't clearly speak about the things I know intuitively are just wrong. Fortunately, not everyone out there is as bad about this as I am. Rixa, an excellently articulate researcher and unassisted homebirth advocate (although she also recognizes that that's not for everyone), has a lovely response to the statement here, and a list of other people's responses here.

One thing that strikes me very deeply about the research and who knows it is that midwives and doulas all know the research, and can generally render it into easily understood language, while OB/Gyns, even those in favor of more "mother friendly" procedures tend to hem and haw and say not much of anything while trying to obfuscate clearly spoken facts. There are a number of beautiful examples of this in Ms. Lake's documentary, but it's even more striking when you get to listen to midwives and OBs together, answering the same questions. I had the chance to do so after the showing last night, and I was just blown away at the differences. I came away feeling that I would not want to be in the primary care of the OB who spoke on the panel, despite feeling that she's probably pretty good at her job. I'd much rather have the homebirth midwife who spoke for my primary care, and go to the OB if (and only if) things went sideways.

So where do I fall into this for my prenatal care and birthing plans? Well, I'm lucky. Although my insurance won't cover a home birth (and actually very few insurance companies do, although possibly more in this area than most others, the Pacific Northwest is pretty awesome that way), it does allow me to go to the only Mother Friendly hospital in the state, a mere 45 or so (depending on traffic) minute drive away. I have a wonderful CNM (Certified Nurse Midwife - RNs who go on to complete a Master's program in midwifery) who not only knows what doulas are, but loves them, and respects that I am a doula myself and want to birth as naturally as possible. I haven't toured the birth center yet, but I understand that Barbara Harper had a hand in its design and construction.

I just wish all moms had it so lucky.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I'm Shocked!

Ok, I hadn't meant to post again today, but I went and picked the mail (a weeks or so's worth... finally..) and found the new Interweave Knits. I just spent a good portion of the last hour reading it, and holy moly! I actually want to make a whole lot of the patterns!

I still had trouble distinguishing the start of the garment descriptions from the ads that came before them, but at least that only took me about a half a second to figure out, as opposed to the minute or so it took for last year's spring issue. I wish the designers would use more yarns I can get easily (read: afford as much as have physical access to) - hello, KnitPicks, anyone? - but I suppose the ones that work for yarn companies have to use their employers' products.

Anyway. Go back to whatever you were doing.

A Plethora of Pictures

Here are the pix I promised yesterday.

For Norma, our first generation microwave (not a very great picture, I admit), and those Dutch Letter cookies I made back at Christmas (finally!):

This is actual knitting!!!! The Monkeys I made for my fellow doula Amy and the first of the kilt hose I'm making for my brother - the Monkeys are finished, the hose is only to the heel. Guess which I've been having more fun with (don't hurt me, Tom!):

And finally, baby belly pics for those fascinated, taken just minutes before posting:

Yes, I am having fun with alliteration today, why do you ask?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Life keeps rolling..

I took a couple of pictures today of current knitting; I'll try to publish them later tonight. I"m kind of under a time crunch right now, and don't feel like going through all the steps to get them on here. But I did feel like posting to fill some time; go figure, right?

What's going on in my world: the biggest thing right now is that we're house hunting. Running around with our very sweet realtor, finding that the houses we can afford all look like crap (well, almost all), all that fun stuff. I'm learning that offers get made and withdrawn pretty often when you're at this stage, so I'll post more definite news when I have something solid; I don't right now.

Igor is doing fine, by the evidence; I'm just shy of 24 weeks and feeling movement pretty often now. I'm suspecting something of a growth spurt, because I've been hungry a lot recently; on the other hand, that could also be that I've fallen out of my good eating habits. Still. The baby belly grows, the pelvis turns to rubber, you know, dead boring. Except that it's me, right? :) I have evidently hit the part of pregnancy where one is too hot all the time, because I have been for the last several days. Funny how your fingers and toes can be cold while you're sweating under a light shirt... Maybe I'll take some fresh pics before I post the lot tonight. I know you're all champing at the bit to see!

I'm pretty low energy right now. I didn't sleep at all well last night, mainly because I was anticipating our realtor coming over at 6:30 this morning (!!!) to sign some urgent paperwork; however, I also have a dental appointment this afternoon.. such fun. At least I"ll have knitting to do during the parts where I'm waiting around.

More later!

Sunday, February 03, 2008


We acquired a really nifty board game a few weeks ago that we've been playing a fair amount. It's called Carcassonne, after the French city, and while it's competitive, it's not highly so; it often pays quite a bit to cooperate, which I like. You can read more about it here. We only have a couple of the expansions so far, but we're really enjoying every bit of even the basic game!

Anyway, that handsome devil I post pictures of now and then, my husband, has decided that he likes the nifty patterns you can come up with as you play the game, and will be documenting them at Maybe it will inspire one of you to start playing as well!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Because I promised Ann...

Here's a couple of belly pics taken this afternoon. Yes, you silly people, of course I'm wearing clothes for them, I'm not posting semi-nude pics on my blog! Please note that I'm actually wearing preggo clothes in these pics - I have jeans that fit again! Even if they do keep sliding down because they're still just a tad big around.

A meme that's going around the knitblogosphere right now is the Make My Day award. I have been put up for it by both Ann and Peggy. Thanks, guys! You rock. If I were going to do this meme (which I'm not, because I don't feel like it ;P), you guys would be at the top of my list. You have both, in your very different and yet strikingly similar ways, become very dear to me. Ann is a brilliant dressmaker (who also knits quite well) with a deliciously biting wit (oh, the snarktastic emails we exchange...) and three lovely daughters who shine from every entry they appear in. Peggy is an absolutely brilliant knitter who happily tackles complex projects I set aside as too much trouble, as well as making up and/or unventing random projects (like her BSJ snowsuit! that's for the bump in my belly!!) as she goes. What's more astonishing is that she hasn't been knitting that long - less than two years! I count you two as some of my closest friends, especially in the knitblogosphere, and I look forward to your posts, as well as your comments and emails.