Thursday, October 27, 2011

Week 32


Highlights:
*More baby dreams. This time I dreamed I gave birth to a red-haired boy, but in the dream he kept changing into a puppy. Reminds me a little of when I was pregnant with S and dreamed I was pregnant with a kitten.

*Still marveling over baby's movements. This week baby's legs seem so long and I can feel them stretching throughout the day. More little feet shapes under my hands too.

*I won a contest, and received the most beautiful yarn from Ellen over at Hurrayic Seriously, I don't how she could give it up. The scarlet colorway in each skein is gorgeous. Now what to knit with it?

*T and S put the baby's bed together and it fits beautifully in our room.

*Watched Ghostbusters, a childhood favorite, in the theater with T and S and a bunch of his friends from work. Guess what S wants to be for Halloween now? Peter Venkman. T has been building his proton pack from wood all this week.

*Each week S says so many amazing things. He gets more and more clever each day. This week's funny was after he finished eating an orange and said, "Damn! That thing was good." Guess I need to stop saying the one and only curse word I use these days.

Lowlights:

*More pregnancy aches and pains...but this will improve in week 33 when my sweet mom sends me a maternity pillow in the mail.

*Getting nervous about all the stuff that needs tending to before baby arrives: getting my FMLA straightened out, getting baby's space ready in our bedroom, washing all of baby's clothes and diapers, lanolizing tons of wool soakers, preparing for poverty--if I quit my job, buying a used car, finding a new place to live (this last one could wait until after baby arrives).


Midwife Appointment:
Measured small this week and midwife ordered an ultrasound just to check on growth of baby and amniotic fluid. Baby looked great! The tech estimated he/she weighs about 4 lbs. and 5 oz. (though I know those measurements are never accurate), and my amniotic fluid looks perfectly normal. I guess I'm just one of those ladies that measures small for dates consistently. But try telling that to the countless strangers that keep stopping me on the street to ask if I'm due tomorrow or having twins.

I've not had an ultrasound since I was seeing an OB, and since I've switched to a midwife I have a new ultrasound tech as well. The old one wouldn't allow children in the ultrasound room, but the new one does. So, S got to see the baby for the first time and that alone nearly had me all choked up. S was so excited when he saw the baby open and close his/her fist and turn his/her head. T was also looking closely at the ultrasound, but not so much at the profile or the fists or feet. He swears he saw testicles and is now convinced we're having a boy. But I don't know how any lay person could read a grainy black/white ultrasound. This makes me all the more anxious to meet this little person. Keeping the gender a surprise has been pretty exciting to say the least!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pumpkin Picking

Missed the Yarn-Along today to chaperon a pumpkin picking field trip with S's school. We spent the day in lovely Holmdel, New Jersey (home of the Boss and Jon Bon Jovi).






It was a fun day, but now I'm utterly exhausted. I'll be around tomorrow to have a look at what everyone's been knitting and reading. In the meantime, check out Ginny's linky list on the Small Things Blog.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fall

Each fall I take a whole bunch of pictures of S playing in the leaves. I think this year's photos are my favorite...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Muffin Monday

This morning S and I made Cranberry Applesauce Muffins, which we made a little healthier by substituting grape seed oil for the vegetable oil and using half whole wheat flour. We also added some orange zest just because we love orange and cranberries together.


Then I made a big pot of Barry's Tea (decaf for both of us) in the teapot my friend Peggy gave me for my birthday and used the tea cozy she knitted as well. And S and I had tea and muffins in our pajamas (we're still in our pajamas as I write this--we may not put real clothes on until this afternoon).



It was so yummy! The last time I had Barry's Tea I was 19 and spending the summer in Ireland. I should drink this more often.


S also loved his tea and muffins, especially since I added rice milk and sugar to his tea.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Week 31


Highlights this week:
*Spending time with my guys in Rhinebeck, driving through the country, looking at the leaves, petting sheep at the Sheep and Wool Festival, eating yummy food, fiber shopping.
*Watching Seamus discover his love of honey, and the next day laughing at him pretending to be a honeybee for hours with a long straw for a honeybee tongue.
*Marveling over something S said: I haven't seen the whole world yet; everything is new to me.
*Dreaming more amazing baby dreams, including one in which I gave birth to a dark-haired, blue-eyed baby girl with chubby cheeks.
*Feeling baby move more and more and feeling the shape of a little foot, small as a stone, by my belly button.
*Having a helpful husband who will ask me to rest while he loads the dishwasher and does the laundry even after working an extra-long shift.
*Having a husband who will drive our family all over New Jersey and New York for my errands and whims with minimal complaint. Oh, how I love that husband of mine!
*Starting to write more.


Lowlights:
*More minor pregnancy discomforts: variose veins spreading (so far it's just the right side of my body), the usual hip achiness, heartburn and so on.
*Still measuring small for dates, but week 32 brings good news about this.

T took these photos of me at the Dutchess County Sheep and Wool Festival on Sunday.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Yarn-Along

Yarning along with Ginny from Small Things again this week...


On the Needles: The Eyelet Baby Cardi from last week is finished and blocked and now it waits for the perfect button. I'll post pictures once I find one. I've just started knitting the Toorie hat, a little treat for me before I go full-force into knitting up soakers. So far I've just made the casing for the drawstring, but I can already tell this is going to be a fun pattern. I'm using some handspun alpaca that I purchased at the fiber festival on Sunday.

From the Library: Still reading poetry. See those little bits of paper sticking out of the Charles Simic book? Yep, that's the beginning of a little story I'm working. It may amount to nothing, but it's the first thing I've written in awhile and that makes me happy. Poetry always pulls me out of my ruts.

I've also been flipping through my library's copy of Weldon's Practical Needlework, a facsimile edition of a series of knitting books originally published in the 1880s. There are some exquisite items contained in its pages, including petticoats and Venetian lace, gentleman's drawers and baby bonnets. Unfortunately, needle sizes were different back then and there are no gauges given for any of the patterns. But I'm sure an advanced knitter could figure things out.

Check out Ginny's blog to see what others are knitting and reading this week!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Dutchess County Sheep and Wool Festival


Sunday finally came. I'd been waiting for it since last month and day dreaming about getting out of the city and heading up to Rhinebeck, NY for the Dutchess County Sheep and Wool Festival. All week I've been thinking of scrumptious hand-dyed wool, the smell of clover and hay, the small towns we'd be sure to drive through, the fall leaves, but move than anything I'd been thinking about the food. If it's one thing sheep and wool festivals always have it's great food, and Rhinebeck had the best.

But first let's start with our drive into upstate New York and the not-so-great pictures I snapped out the window. New York state is incredible. Our two-hour drive took us through picturesque farms, rolling hills and gold and red mountains. S kept staring out the window hoping to see a bear.






On the way to Rhinebeck we crossed over the Hudson River on the Mid-Hudson/FDR Bridge and drove right into Hyde Park, FDR's home town and home to his presidential library (as well as several lovely mansions including a Vanderbilt mansion). Hyde Park was so lovely I'd like to stay there for next year's sheep and wool festival.

The sheep and wool festival itself was amazing but a little overwhelming. We stayed for about 3-4 hours, and even in all that time I never saw all there was to see. I was very happy they had a huge section of the fairgrounds devoted to children, with a carousel, slide, bouncy castle and lots of lots of kids activities including a petting zoo, a science show, a frog and bug show and a man taking requests for animal balloons.

The highlight of S's day was petting a giant toad and this turtle:

He also loved his balloon snake....

...until it popped. We had to go back and request a dinosaur.

I left the boys to their own devices for a little while and walked around by myself. I knew S would only be able to stand about 2 minutes of yarn shoppping before he'd be bored. There was so many gorgeous fiber everywhere.


But I was specifically looking for an orange or mustard colored DK yarn for the hat I'm making. I found a lovely handspun, hand-dyed alpaca yarn that fit the bill and was just about the right shade of orange. When I saw that it was only $18 for 350 yards I had to have it. I was also looking for some handspun, un-dyed wool for soakers and I found plenty of it but everything was either too rough or too expensive. I did find some crazy self-patterning worsted weight yarn from Crystal Palace that I thought might make some cute baby pants.


I also walked away with a bunch of tiny bags of roving in bright primary colors. I'm planning on making these felted acorns for our Christmas tree this year. Maybe this is something I could do with my mother-in-law when she comes to visit for the month of December. (She's coming to help out with S while I'm in labor and afterwards. I love her!)


And I bought a lovely basket to hold all of my yarn. As part of the massive de-cluttering of our house, I've made it my goal to never exceed more yarn in my stash than this basket will hold. Right now it's filled to the brim, which means I better get to knitting so I can buy more yarn.

Before leaving we had to just pet some sheep.

This little guy took a liking to me and Seamus and was eating the hay right out of our hands and letting me pet behind his ears.

I can't end this post without mentioning and showing you the yummy food we had. I had Fried pickles and squash soup for lunch, both of which were the best of each I'd ever had.

Then after all the shopping was done I was hungry again and made a beeline for the apple cider doughnuts, which I had with hot apple cider.

And then we saw this...

When you see something like maple sugar cotton candy you just HAVE to eat it. I think I devoured most of the bag. Guess who was squirming in my belly all the way home? I think I made the baby very happy this day.

Can you spot the cotton candy among the roving?

Before we left, T purchased some local honey and bee pollen as well, and S has already made a pretty big dint in the honeypot, drizzling it over apples and slathering it on toast, eating it by the spoonful.

We had a lovely time, and upstate New York was so beautiful we'd like to vacation there sometime. But I have to say, as this was the second rather large sheep and wool festival I've been to, I still prefer the smaller festivals. I've had just as much fun at the Garden State Sheep and Wool Festival and the Southeast Animal Fiber Fair in Asheville, NC. Somehow the smaller ones are more my speed, but that won't stop me from going back to Rhinebeck next year.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Week 30!

Woo hoo! 30 weeks down and only 10 more to go (I hope).


Highlights this week:

*Celebrating my 34th birthday with my guys
*Receiving an unexpected birthday gift from a dear friend and co-worker: a beautfiul teapot with a handknit (by my friend) tea cozy
*Feeling lots of baby movement. Baby seems to respond to my voice and always to S's voice.
*Meditating everyday and learning to focus on deep breathing and releasing tension--hope I'll be able to use this in labor.
*Seeing a deer at the Great Swamp and standing just a few feet away from him
*Miso soup and rice (a $3 lunch in NYC) with a friend at our favorite Korean restaurant

Lowlights this week:

*Need more sleep! I'm tired all the time, but when bedtime comes I can't sleep. I can't get comfortable, moving and repositioning all night is awkward and I must get up to pee a million freakin' times.
*Wrestling with the big decision about whether or not to quit my job. I want to be home with my kids more than anything, but need the insurance that my job provides. And frankly my income is more than my husband's. It'll be a big financial blow if I do this, and I'll have to work from home to supplement our income.
*Feeling Braxton-Hicks contractions. Midwife says this is caused by stress and is a sign from my body to take it easy and that I should sit down and drink some water and relax every time I have one. Too bad they always happen at work.


Midwife Update:
My Monday midwife visit was great. My glucose test was perfect and my iron levels are very high (surprising since I don't eat meat). Baby's heartbeat is great. I gained two more pounds in as many weeks. My uterus is measuring small--28cm instead of 30cm--but Rachel, my midwife, thinks this is because babe is positioned longitudinally in my uterus. She asked me to come back next week to double-check measurements. This worries me a little because I measured small for weeks with S and then ended up being induced due to low amniotic fluid. But my midwife is not worried at all, just wants to play it safe. So I'm trying not to worry as well. Have I mentioned how much I love my midwives and their practice. I do! I love them. They seem like family when I visit them.

T took these pictures of me at the Great Swamp on Saturday. That was a perfect day I'll remember forever.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Yarn-Along

Yarning-along with Ginny from Small Things this week...


On the Needles: About to finish up the Baby Eyelet Cardi; only two rows and one sleeve left to go. Next on the needles will be a little hat for myself, and then it's off to soaker land I go. With only about two months left before my due date I need to get crackin' on some diaper covers.

From the Library: More poetry! I've put Faulkner aside for awhile and started reading poetry in a desperate attempt to fire up my fiction writing again. So far it's sort of working; I'm at least thinking of stories I want to write and jotting down little sentences that pop into my head during the day.

Check out Ginny's Small Things blog to see what others are knitting and reading this week!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

My 34th birthday was Tuesday of last week, but we celebrated it on Saturday since our weekday schedules are so chaotic. We have a birthday tradition in our family: the birthday person gets to sleep in, receives breakfast in bed when they wake up, can request the family make them any cake they desire and gets to chose that day's event.

So after sleeping in until 9am, my boys woke me up with breakfast in bed. Croissants, strawberries, bananas, an apple danish and a tall glass of orange juice.

Then we all headed to the Great Swamp. We'd never been there in the fall and it was gorgeous with red, gold and orange everywhere but plenty of green still left too.



We saw the usual suspects:


And played Boardwalk Bingo, finding nearly all the animals and plants on our game piece. Afterward, S was asked to be a Junior Park Manager and is now working toward earning his badge.

Then we had lunch at a little Mexican restaurant right outside the refuge area.

For the cake T made me a Devil's Food Cake from an old, maybe 1940s, recipe. I was surprised with the birthday gift of a new Kitchen Aide Mixer a few days earlier, and it was T's first time using it. We'll never lament the fact that we won't have to cream butter and sugar by hand again. Although T did make homemade whipped cream by hand but only because he prefers to do it that way.


T's cake was beautiful and incredibly scrumptious. It was so rich S and I had to share a piece. Usually I can woof down a couple of slices of cake with no problem, but this stuff was decadent!


We spent the next day at our favorite park, watching the diving birds catch fish...


swinging...


and looking for fossils...

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