Monday, October 31, 2011

back to work I go...

I'm not altogether happy about it being almost-November. I'm trying hard to live in the moment and appreciate each and every one because tomorrow I am going back to work (almost full-time). I've been off on maternity leave with Miles for a year now. It has been amazing, but it's now time to get back to the 'real world.' Before I left work, I really was worried about missing it. I even considered taking only six months off. I thought I would have a hard time being at home all day. Boy was I ever wrong! I love being at home! and not because its an easy job. There is a lot to do to keep a family running while nurturing and entertaining a little one. There have been days when I have really struggled. It took me a while to get in to a groove, to develop a schedule, and to really 'get 'er done' without any outside motivation. Now that I feel we're in a rhythm, everything is going to change again. So it's time for a new rhythm.

"To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest." -Pema Chodron

Well I feel as though I am being thrown out of my nest. I just hope I can make the best of it.

My old working self was stressed out. I was always rushing, but never accomplishing enough. I always said yes even when I had no extra time or energy. I would bring home my work worries and lose sleep over them.

As a child behaviour therapist, I work with families and young children with autism and developmental disorders. It can be very stressful. I feel a great amount of pressure to do the absolute best for my clients. I know how I would feel if It was my child. So if a family is in crisis, or a child is not learning as much as they could, or I am just not sure of what step to take next, it weighs on me. That is when my work-life starts to creep in to my family life.

I think that being home for a full year was just what I needed. I'd like to think I've been making some progress in developing some buddha-nature. I am nowhere near attaining inward calm. I still lose focus ...often. But I do feel as though I have gained some perspective. This past year has been a sort of re-centering for me. This is not to say that my family was not important before, but my priorities did become out-of-order from time to time.

I hope that I am able to bring work back in to my life while still maintaining my family-centric lifestyle. It's all about balance, isn't it?

So much has happened in twelve months, and yet it seems to have gone by in the blink of an eye.

... those first few weeks of preparation, anticipation, excitement and then the very early baby days that I can only remember through a dreamlike haze.

Then there were the milestones of rolling over, crawling, first foods, teeth,  and now almost-walking.

We've played in the snow, the sand, and the leaves.

We've spent sooo many hours just rocking.

We have all settled in to our new family dynamic. Cole was four when Oliver came in to our lives. It is a new and wonderful thing to see my husband being a daddy to this very little one. 

Cole has taken to his role of big brother. Sometimes it is a challenge and sometimes it is magical just watching them together.

I just needed to take this moment ...

...because my year at home is up ...and because this little one will turn 1 in less than a month.

Isn't it amazing how fast they grow and how very much they change in such a short time?

And don't we all change? Who ever would have thought I'd end up as this knitting, sewing, thrifting, canning, chicken keeping blogger?

I intend to continue writing in this space, but I am not sure how it will work in to our new schedule. It may take some time to iron these things out.  So bare with me a while.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

A bed for her

Macey is quite a princess and really loves a soft place to sleep. Her favorite night time spot is the couch. This is not allowed ...not that she cares about that rule. I am getting rather annoyed at having to vacuum the couch every single morning. She sheds a lot, so there is always evidence of her rule breaking ways.

We have had dog beds in the past, but not with much luck. If there is any little bit sticking out, like a zipper or pipping, it gets eaten. Big beds are also hard to keep clean.

I decided to make her a new pillow of her very own. I cut a big rectangle out of this vintage bed sheet and folded it in half with right sides facing. I ironed the fold and then, using a sewing machine, sewed up two sides, leaving one side open. I turned it right way out and stuffed it with five layers of quilt batting and then sewed up the last side. I used my sewing machine to quilt the whole thing together with three rows of stitching. I think that will help hold it all together when I throw it in the washing machine.

What a quick and easy solution. I hope it keeps her off the couch! 

She took to it right away, but she may have to share ...

Do you see the lick mark on Alice's back?

I'm posting this quite late on Saturday night. We'll be unplugged all day Sunday. I hope you all enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual from Soule Mama. In her words: A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

yarn-along and YoP update

The frog suit is coming along. I'm feeling confident that it will be done in time for Halloween!  It's pretty thick and wooly though, so definitely more of an outdoor suit. We're reading mostly children's books these days, but I'm getting in bits of Trauma Farm when I have a minute. Its pretty good so far; a Canadian farmer's perspective on farm ecology, eating local, and life in general.

I mentioned last week that I finished Miles' aviatrix. I posted a photo here. I might make some more. So cute.

Its about time I post an update on my Year of Projects list:
:: Pebble vest for Miles :: started, ripped out. I really should just whip one up this weekend. It looks like a quick knit.

:: Sweater for Oliver :: also started and ripped out ...more than once. 

:: Fishy hats :: coming up next! I've accumulated an awful lot of yarn ends that will work well for these.

:: Work clothes for me :: I started and did not finish this vest because after spending soooo much time on it I realized it was way too big. How did that happen? I was going to rip it all out, but I think instead I am going to felt it and cut it in to scarfs. What do you think? I did make the Juliette Capelet (which I need to post finished pictures of) and this circle shrug. This Zinzin is still in my plan, but will probably wait until summer. I would also like to do the Shalom, and some leg warmers and socks. Do you have a favorite pretty, easy, free sock pattern? Maybe something with lace, or cables, or something?

:: Scarf for Oliver :: Once I finish up his masse mitts, I'm going to try a scarf with the same cable pattern. Coming up soon. 

::A bigger Baby Surprise Jacket for Miles :: I did make this less than a week of knitting furry, but failed to complete the i-cord. I really should do that. Why do I leave so many things almost-done? I actually have plans to make yet another one, this time with a hood.

:: Diaper covers :: I made one Curly Purly Soaker. I just need to sew in the ends and lanolize. The rest of them will be more re-purposed wool sweaters.

:: Something 'big boyish' for Cole :: I just found this hat that I think he will love. I'm going to make him a sweater too, one of these days.

This list may just be too ambitious ...

What are you up to?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Different Season

Around here, we participate in a fifth season of sorts. Football season. From August to October, my son Cole digs in deep. Between practices and games, he spends at least 6 hours per week on the field. Admittedly, this is not my favorite sport. After many years of watching at the side line, I barely grasp the most basic rules of the game. It also seems to me that there is a lot of standing around waiting for the next play.

But I love watching Cole do what he loves to do. So we go and cheer and pretend we know what's going on. Some years we see the championship trophy, while others not a single game is won (but that last one sure was close!)

Cole is looking forward to teaching Miles everything he knows. I'm sure this little one will end up playing if only to be just like his cool big brother.

Miles' new aviatrix kind of looks like a football helmet, doesn't it?

Go number 12!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Where Children Sleep

I came across this link last week and was so moved. By page 9, I had been brought to tears. This is a fantastic resource for parents. Mollison's intention is to give children a glimpse in to the lives of their peers around the world.

While you are on the site, check out James Mollison's other work. His larger than life photographs of cocoa pickers are pretty impressive.

Looking at 'Where Children Sleep' inspired me to photograph these areas in my home. Feel free to participate and include your link in the comments.



Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I'm joining in Ginny's yarn along. I was sad to miss last week, but we were too hectic and I just couldn't get to the computer.

I've just cast on this frog suit for Miles! If I get my act together, he might be able to wear it for Halloween. The pattern only goes up to 12 months, but he's kind of a big baby so I'm using a worsted weight wool with the same needles and getting a bit fewer stitches per inch. I hope it will be a good size for him. It should be nice and warm, so he can wear it all winter long. I know its totally dorky, but cute right? I'm using a 2-ply wool in "paddy green" from Briggs and Little. While I was there, I visited their seconds bin. I think the price went up as I remember it being $2 and now its $2.50 per skein. I picked up some 1-ply in a nice golden colour that will probably end up as a shawl. A nice flax/beige colours yarn is just what I need for the baby blanket I've been thinking of.

The Swan Thieves is done. I really enjoyed it. This book was well written and the story was intriguing. I appreciated the detailed descriptions of real paintings, as well as the richly developed historical (fictional) characters. I am recommending this to my husband who isn't a big fiction reader, but is an artist himself and also enjoys art history. Now, I'll finally get to Trauma Farm. Its been in my pile since the spring.

I also completed Miles' aviatrix, but he won't keep it on. I don't know why I thought this little strap would help. I'll post a picture another day. I left it in the van and Oliver took it to work with him.

Here's an almost masse mitt for Oliver. I've never made him anything before. He says he likes it, but I don't know if he means it or pretends for my sake. I figured he would be able to wear these stylish fingerless mitts when taking outdoor pictures in the winter.

This is a really cute and simple pattern for a eyelet baby dress. I made one for a cousin's baby, but forgot to take a picture. I used this yarn in 'pink berry mix'. It turned out great.

Wishing you all a lovely Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A care package from Australia

I am so glad I participated in this Care Package Swap hosted by Lindsay at Cook.Vegan.Lover.

My swap buddy was Susan in Australia. You can visit her at Kittens Gone Lentil.

All of these lovely goodies are vegan and made in Australia. Thank you so much Susan!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Happy Weekend!

Wishing you all a lovely Saturday afternoon.

Friday, October 14, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual from Soule Mama. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A very late Thanksgiving post

What am I thankful for? There is so much. Here's the short list:

~ my two children who I love entirely even when they curse at me or keep me up all night.
~ a husband who truly is my perfect match and my perfect partner in life and in all things.
~ an amazing family! I am beyond blessed to have the most generous and loving parents and grandparents, an amazing great-grandmother who is 96 years old, siblings who really do enrich my life, and in-laws who have unquestioningly accepted me into their own flock.
~ the ability to provide my family with healthy, wholesome, and safe food.
~ the fact that we get to live in one of the most beautiful, safe places in the world.
~ each wonderful day!

How about you?

I am so late with this post due to a very frustrating experience editing photos last night. I spent a few hours going through all of the images I shot during our trip to Kingslanding on Sunday. I picked out the ones I really liked and edited them carefully. When I tried to post them here, it was taking forever! So, I decided to re-size the files, making them smaller and faster to load. They ended up being too small and pixelated at the size I wanted to use. Argghhh! I just gave up. Today I spent the entire day running around doing errands and didn't have time to pop back here until now.I fully intended to start from scratch again ...but that is sooo much work!

I decided just to post these pictures as they are. Sometimes perfect doesn't really matter.

It really was a gorgeous day even. I think it got up to 23 degrees. As this was the last open weekend of the season, there was a country style auction. We ended up coming home with a turkey ...a live one!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

fruit flies and other stuff

I didn't want to gross you out by putting a huge picture of my fruit fly trap. It is pretty gross. With the mountains of veg and fruit for canning and freezing, fruit flies were a risk I took. Although they are completely harmless, they certainly are a nuisance. I tried this trick: something fermenting in a jar. I used a rotten bell pepper as they seem to like them. You could also use a bit of wine. Cover the jar with plastic wrap and poke small holes in the top. The flies will get in, but not out. I know this is not very nice. It would be better to avoid them to begin with, but for now I am not sure what else to do. Fruit flies do not shoo easily. This is not a great place to be for a Bodhisattva-wannabe.

Next week is another Elsie Marley Kids Clothes Week Challenge.

I'm joining in and hope to be more successful than my last attempt.

I will be away tomorrow as usual for Unplugged Sunday. By the way, I am going to be writing for them! My first post isn't for a couple months. I'll let you know. We'll be celebrating Thanksgiving through Monday, so I probably won't post again until Tuesday. I am already enjoying this weekend full of family, food, and a bit of relaxation. I have so much to be thankful for!

I'll leave you with a picture of our wild turkey visitor. She's been here at least twice. I hope she survives the holidays! Although, as far as I know wild turkeys are still protected here.

Friday, October 7, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual from Soule Mama. A photo ~ or a few this week ~ capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Wishing you all a terrific weekend!