These last 8 months have flown by. In the moment, it felt like it would never pass. I thought the newborn stage was never ending. When you’re in the middle of it, it sure feels never ending. But now at 8 months I can safely say that I miss that newborn stage. At the time all I wanted was a full nights sleep. Just a full 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. And now that James is more active, I miss all those 2 hour naps he used to take. All the naps he used to take on my chest while making the cutest noises. But now he’s more toddler-like (when does toddler-hood begin anyway). He’s more active and fun and I’m thoroughly enjoying this age.
James at 8 Months Old
- He crawls everywhere. EVERYWHERE. And if there’s something blocking his way like say a couch, he tries to push it out of the way. Or proceeds to get frustrated and screams.
- He picks everything up off the floor. And it goes right into his mouth. I’m pretty sure he’s eaten a few broken pieces of dog food that Crosby has left laying around (we have a very messy eating with that dog). I feel like I’m always sweeping.
- Speaking of sweeping. James loves the broom. He follows me everywhere when I sweep and when he reaches the broom he giggles and wants to play with it. Makes keeping the floors clean a bit harder. I used to be able to keep him in his bouncy seat or his exersaucer but as soon as he sees that broom he cries until he’s set free. Free to chase it and me.
- We’ve been doing swimming lessons. It’s mostly playing in the water, getting them used to the water. We’ve dunked his head in a few times. He’s not a fan. But he does love splashing, especially when it’s in my face.
- He’s on somewhat of a routine. He’s up at 7am and goes to sleep around 7:30pm. He also has 2 naps throughout the day, a morning nap between 9:30am and 11am, and an afternoon nap between 1:30pm and 3pm. This works great when he actually takes those naps and for the most part he does. It’s the morning naps we’re working on. I give him solids around 8am and he usually falls asleep in his high chair soon after, then he’s up at 9. So I’ve been taking him on long walks so that he can get in that extra shut eye and I’m not dealing with a monster until his afternoon nap.
- He loves food. Even food he’s not eating. We’ll show him what we’re cooking and his eyes light up. I’m hoping that this is a good sign that he will be an awesome eater.
- He loves pictures of himself. Our screensaver on the apple tv are all pictures of him and Crosby. As soon as it starts he gets the biggest smile and stares at the tv. It’s absolutely precious. He may be a little vain when he’s older. Hahaha.
- He stood up on his own for the first time yesterday. I fear walking is soon then there will be no stopping him. No stopping the trouble he will get into.
Watching our screensaver of himself on the TV
The struggle to crochet while James is awake
He seems to be reaching major milestones on his monthly birthday. I’m quite excited for next month, maybe walking, maybe a tooth, maybe talking.
On the knitting front, I haven’t had much time. An active baby makes it quite impossible to accomplish knitting. I’ve been working on a pair of socks. It’s taken one month to complete 1 sock. Tonight I will start the second, and in one months time I should have myself a pair.I have been working on a few other items but that’s for another post.
If you’re a knitter or crocheter it’s a safe bet that you’ve heard all of these at some point or another. At first, it’s not so bad. People are curious or interested. But slowly they becomes irritating and now you’re tired of hearing them. So if you see someone knitting or crocheting it’s a safe bet they’ve heard these before.
5 Things Knitter’s (and Crocheter’s) are Tired of Hearing
- Knitting is for old people or You look like a grandma: My brother’s say this to me all the time. Especially when I used to knit while watching Jeopardy. And I’m sure I looked like my Memere as she would knit, but she would be watching the Weather Network. Anyhow, there’s no age requirement for knitting or crochet. Anyone can do either of them whether they be young or old. I even tried teaching my 8 year old God Daughter to crochet. She wasn’t having it. But none the less, knitting and crocheting does not discriminate against age or gender.
- Can you make me….: This one makes me a little bit angry at times. Yes there are some that say “How much would you charge if I want so and so” and that’s wonderful. But for the most part people expect you to make them something for free. They forget the cost of the yarn, needles, and most importantly your time. Because your time is precious even if you’re knitting while watching tv. I usually try to make an item for someone that will appreciate it and who will actually use it. And I usually keep these as gifts. Because there’s nothing worse than spending time and money on an item and having the recipient never use it. Keeping it hidden away in a box or closet. My efforts (and yours too) do not belong in a box or closet!
- Isn’t it cheaper if you buy it: The answer to this is almost always a yes. But I wouldn’t get the satisfaction of completing an item. The satisfaction of someone using my items. The satisfaction of someone loving that special item that I made just for them. So as you know my friend recently had her second baby and as with her first I made and sent the baby a blanket, a sweater and a stuffed dog. I made them completely different than those I gifted to her first baby. But her response still makes my heart explode. That now the baby has something of his own instead of all hand me downs from baby #1. So sure, it’s cheaper to buy it. You won’t spend hours and hours creating something but you know what, they’re will be a dozen people out there with that same item. And for me that makes it less appealing.
- Can you teach me to crochet or knit: I haven’t been asked this too many times but I always respond with an absolutely. I love knitting and crocheting and almost every chance I get to turn someone else into a knitting and crochet addict I take it. Most of the time people don’t follow through. I’ll bring it up again but they don’t seem as interested. Most of the time I help out newbie knitter’s with a problem they’re having or encourage them to try something new. I did teach one arm knitting class at Michael’s but it was nerve racking. I had 9 ladies (all ranging in age —see point #1) and I was ridiculously nervous the entire time. I’m much better one on one. And I told myself maybe teaching a knitting class isn’t for me. Then a woman that works with my husband asked if I would teach her and her friends how to knit. Eeeeekkkk. I don’t know why I’m so afraid. Thinking about it is making me sweat. I know I should man up and do it. Do the one thing that I find scariest. Get it over with. I mean it can’t be as bad as I’m imagining in my head, right?
- My grandma/grandpa/mom/dad/etc knits too: There isn’t anywhere this conversation can go. I mean how do you reply, ‘that’s nice’ or ‘it’s very addicting’. Because in all honesty you can’t talk to them about your project because they didn’t say that they knit or crochet so they would have no idea what you’re talking about. They simply know someone who does. And in all honesty, everyone knows someone who knits or crochets. Another great one along these lines is saying they know someone who crochets when you’re knitting. Or vice versa. And you correct them and they say ‘what’s the difference’ or ‘same thing’. Umm no there is a difference and they are most definitely not the same thing. But who has time to explain it. You have a project to finish.
- And this one’s a BONUS — Do you really need more yarn: I hear this quite frequently from my husband, or even my mom when we’re out shopping. And they answer is always a big fat YES. Sure I might have yarn that’s suitable at home but it’s not the right colour. Or I might have the colour I want at home but it’s not the right yarn weight. Or the right fiber type. There are countless reasons why I need more yarn. And let it be known that the answer to this will never be no.
What are you tired of hearing?
Happy Knitting (& Crocheting)
It’s been 7 months since James came into our lives and turned everything upside down (I should say right side up). Now that he’s 7 months old he’s more active and mobile and always wants to be on the go, life has gotten quite hectic. A good hectic. Sure there are days where I’m sure I’ve given birth to the devil and we’ll be living in hell forever. But these days are not the norm. Most days he’s a happy baby. A smiley baby. A baby that wants to explore and find new things. A baby that wants to taste new things. A baby that wants to taste everything. A baby that we absolutely adore. And this month has been a bunch of firsts.
James at 7 Months Old
- He’s been eating real food. And by real food I mean we’ve ditched the rice cereal and he’s been feasting on fruits and veggies. Most namely, banana’s, sweet potatoes and carrots. He loves bananas, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, blueberries and pears, I mean lovvvves them. He could eat them until he explodes. He’s not a big fan of carrots but mixed with sweet potatoes they’re a hit. He’s not a fan of cauliflower or green beans but he will eat them. He hates avocados and peas. And I mean loathes them. He keeps his mouth shut tight. The only way that foods getting into his mouth is if I force it. Then he cries and gags like it’s poison. In a few weeks we’ll try meats, well chicken. And if he’s anything like his dad (which he is), he’s going to love it!
- He’s even closer to crawling. I didn’t think that was possible but it is. Not only does he shimmy around on his belly to move around but now he get’s up onto his hands and knees. He’ll move his knees but then he’s not quite sure what to do and falls back to his tummy. We’ve tried helping him by showing him what to do with his hands but as soon as we try to move them he falls to his belly. But he’s close and it’ll be the moment that I’m not looking that he starts to crawl. Obviously. And he started crawling last night after I had already written this post. So at 7 months he’s crawling.
- He can sit up on his own. Well for the most part he can. It happened on Sunday (April 17th). I put him on the ground on his belly, looked up to say something to my mom and when I looked down he was sitting on his bum. And although there were 4 adults around, not one of them witnessed this achievement. So for the next hour we had him do it over and over again while we recorded James sitting up. He does have trouble with one of his legs. It still stays bent behind him so he doesn’t get the full sitting experience (if you can call it that). And he can’t sit up for too long before falling backwards. I’m slowly realizing that I need cushioned floors. Like a floor made from memory foam.
- He’s more chatty. He likes to babble and hear himself. Especially when we’re driving. He’ll have a 15 minute conversation with himself and bam fall asleep. He also likes to scream. He started that a few days ago and not an angry or mad scream but more of a ‘oh look at the noise I can make’ kind of scream. I find it adorable. I’m sure when I’m out in public others don’t.
- He can sit in a high chair when we eat at restaurants. This makes me ridiculously happy. I’m a big fan of breakfasts and a friend and I do breakfast dates often. So now that I don’t have to cart around and keep him in his car seat during these breakfast it’s going to be awesome. And I can feed him when we eat. I love it.
- He’s down to 4 bottles a day and 3 meals a day. It’s a lovely routine. And it’s working wonderfully for our family right now.
- The last week or so he’s been having great naps. 1.5 hrs in the morning and 1.5 hrs in the afternoon. I really hope they stick for a few months. I actually feel productive during those naps. And the more I think of them the more I hope he continues this nap routine. It’s perfect!
- He visited my parents cottage for the first time. It’s still under renovations but he was still able to see it (not that he’ll remember). We love the cottage and hope that he loves it too.
Although I do miss the newborn stage. Well certain aspects of the newborn stage, James at 7 months old is so much more fun.
It’s already April and I’ve made slow, very slow progress on my 2016 Goals. I’ve been debating modifying my goals as I’m sort of changing my mind about some of the items to make. But I’ll discuss more when talking about each of my goals. So here we go.
1. Create 6 new blanket patterns to add to Etsy and Ravelry
2. Create a simple baby sweater that’s customizable
3. Crochet a Christmas Tree Skirt
4. Slippers for the cottage (approx. 8 pairs)
5. Knit a nice pair of socks.
- I’m currently working on the second blanket. My motivation was sky high when I finished the first blanket but has now fallen. I’ve been in an animal kind of mood. So I’ve crocheted a Giraffe and I’m knitting my second Elephant. I’m hopeful that I can knock out a good deal of this blanket while I’m here visiting my parents and brothers. They want to spend as much time with James as they can which leaves me with some time to get some knitting done. I know I should probably be spending time with them also and I am. I’m just knitting at the same time.
- I’ve started a simple baby sweater. Actually I’ve started 2 baby sweaters — a cardigan and a pullover. The only problem is that I’ve started them in my head. I have the measurements I want to use, the yarn I want to use and I’ve even tried sketching a basic sweater (my 6 month old could sketch a better sweater). I have to sit my butt down and start this bad boy, get all the ideas out of my head and onto my needles. I was planning on using Baby Mitchell’s sweater as I designed the whole thing (see post), however I want the sweater pattern that I share to be simple and basic. I want to give the knitter the basics and let them run with it and design their own sweater and what not.
- Again, all of my ideas for a Christmas Tree skirt are floating around in my head. I know what I want it to look like and feel like. I want it to be crocheted, I want it to feel like my Memere could have made it for me. I want it to be timeless and to use it forever. When James grows up and thinks of Christmas Trees I want him to see this tree skirt. I want it to be passed down through future generations. I want it to be loved and immortal. Is that too much to ask from a simple Christmas Tree Skirt? Most definitely. And although it’s unrealistic I’m going to have a hard time starting a Tree Skirt if it doesn’t at least tick the majority of these boxes.
- I’ve been thinking of changing these cottage slippers for something else cottage related. It’s not that they wouldn’t be appreciated, they just wouldn’t get much use. At least I don’t think they would get much use. I’m not quite sure if we’re a slipper wearing kind of family. We’re more of a laying on the couch in the evening with a cosy blanket kind of family. So I might change these slippers to throws once my parents have picked out paint colours. Their cottage renovations are well underway and should be completed soon so matching throws for bedrooms and/or living room might be a better addition.
- I can happily say that I’ve found a pattern for my first ever pair of socks. It’s called Petty Harbour by Rayna Curtis and the pattern can be found on Ravelry. I managed to start the ribbing and then was quickly sidetracked by stuffed animals (see #1). I’m hopeful for more progress now that I have some free time with my parents and brothers keeping James occupied.
So my goals are coming along slowly but surely and as long as I can keep it up they should be done by the end of the year.
I skipped last weeks WIP Wednesdays, not because I didn’t have any projects on the go, but because I was having troubles with my computer. Something with an update that wasn’t letting windows log in or something along those lines (tech issues are my husbands department :)). Actually I’ve skipped a few WIP Wednesdays because I hadn’t started new projects, I’ve only been working on some old ones. And there’s only so many in progress blanket pictures one can look at. But now I’ve got a few new items on the go.
- First up is another blanket. Yes another blanket. I’m working towards one of my 2016 goals with this one so I should always have a blanket on the go this year. This one is also worked with bulky yarn which I’m currently loving. It knits up much faster than with worsted weight yarn (as it should). It’s a triangle pattern where each triangle alternates between stockinette and reverse stockinette. It’s a 15 row repeat so I have to focus a bit more than with a 4 row repeat which means that this guy can only be worked once baby goes to bed, either nap time or bed time.
- Next are these baby and toddler hats. Again with bulky yarn (I’m loving bulky right now — I wonder if it’s a phase). This past weekend I was able to knit 4 of them. That’s right 4 hats. In 2 days. And not when the baby was asleep. This feels like a victory. And probably the reason why I’m loving these babies so much. I’ve done sizes 3-6 months, 6-12 months (2 of them) and one toddler size. I need some double pointed needles to work on the newborn size which I don’t have surprisingly. I’ve been to every craft in Milton and no luck so tonight I try Mississauga. I better find them! I’m also planning on putting this pattern up on Ravelry as a free pattern. Yaya free and easy and quick pattern.
- I started working on this Giraffe on Monday. It’s been a slow start since yesterday afternoon was a right off. James was not in the best of moods. I think I have a starting to teeth baby on my hands. And I’m still deciding on how I want to work the head. I’m hopeful that today I can get some quality crochet time to finish off some of her/his body and maybe some limbs.
- This vest, what can I say about this vest. I hated it. Not the pattern, the pattern was great and easy to follow. But this particular vest (I can feel my blood pressure rising just typing about it) was a giant pain. I suck at colour work. I must have reworked the diamond section at least 4 times and still my floats were too tight. No matter how loose I made them they puckered. So finally the last time was the last time. I’m frogging this guy and using the yarn else where. Can you see the puckering, its driving me crazy!!!!
- Finally, this girls not so much a WIP as a finished and sold project. But I’m proud of her because she was in my forgotten WIPS baskets and last week I saw her again and suddenly had the motivation to finish her. I listed and sold her in one day. A record! Thanks so much to my cousin in law! So yesterday when I was out looking for those size 11US DPNs I bought some more grey yarn and I’m going to make a few more. But that’s for another WIP Wenesday.
Those are on my needles this week, what’s on your needles?
It’s hard to believe that my baby is already 6 months old (well he was 6 months yesterday). That it’s only been 6 months and there are already things I miss. Like his tiny newborn clothes and how he slept all the time. I miss most how he used to nap on my chest. It was the best feeling ever. But now he’s older and on to other awesome achievements.
James at 6 Months Old
- He’s eating rice cereal. He’s eating it like a champ. He opens his mouth expecting his food, it’s absolutely adorable. Tomorrow we start with real food, a banana, I can’t wait.
- He’s so close to crawling. He gets in push up position and tries to rock but it pushes himself backwards. I keep trying to help him practice going forward but he doesn’t quite get it.
- He started this super cute giggle. Like a laugh out loud/giggle, it’s absolutely perfect.
- He still sleeping like a champ at night.
- He started somewhat having regular naps. One hour in the morning, half an hour in the early afternoon and then another hour in the late afternoon. No complaints here, I’m loving his new schedule.
- He loves his walks. He sits in his stroller and watches the world around him.
- He can sit up. Well only on the couch when were sitting next to him. It must be because were creating a groove a in the couch cushion where he acts like he has the craziest abs and just sits up. It’s kind of freaky.
He’s much more interactive now and I can’t wait to see what the next month brings us.
The bear in the top picture was given to me by my brothers girlfriend Natasha. It’s one of her first ever knitted items. I’m so amazed at how well she did and how great it turned out. I taught her to knit last Christmas (2014) and she’s already a pro. James loves his bear and so do I!!!!!! Thank you!!!
Now that I’ve been doing this parenting thing for almost 6 month (and to a fairly easy baby) clearly I’m an expert. Hahaha. But all joking aside, there are certain things I do to stay productive during the day so I can get things done whether it be around the house or in my shop or on the blog. Some days are better than others. Some days are an absolute mess and it’s a struggle to even take a shower. But on the good days, the great days, I can have a clean house, work on the blog, update the shop, get in some knitting time and have some quality time with James.
These are my tips and they work great for me. They may not work for everyone. They surely won’t work if we had more than one kid, and they definitely wouldn’t have worked when James was a newborn. But while he can entertain himself for a short period of time they’re great.
How I Stay Productive with a Baby
- Clean when the baby is playing. I choose one or two areas of the house to clean during the day (sometimes if James is in a great mood I’ll clean up the whole upstairs bathrooms included). I put James in his bouncy seat, give him a few toys, put on some Adele (he loves Adele) and start cleaning. I can usually get a good 30-40 minutes out of him. When I notice him getting restless I vacuum. He loves the vacuum, it’s an instant soother.
- James is the king of 30 minute cat naps. I hate it. But I’ve learned to deal with it. He’s not a fan of watching me knit on the couch or watching me eat or anything that involves me trying to relax. So this is what I do while he naps. Either food, potty break, or knitting. On a side note, when he was a newborn I would sometimes “sleep when baby sleeps”. But now it’s unrealistic by the time I actually shut my mind off for a nap he’s waking up. So unless I have someone to watch him (when my mom comes to visit) I rarely sleep when baby sleeps.
- Develop a routine (or something routine-ish). On the days that I do decide to clean, it’s always in the morning after his first bottle. He’s in the best mood at this time and most willing to sit in his bouncy seat and entertain himself. On the days he wakes up being a monster, I typically don’t clean.
- I let him nap where he wants to nap. For the last few months, I would make sure he naps in his crib. I kept reading that this was the best spot, it gets them used to their bed, it’ll make him a better sleeper and so on and so on. And for whatever reason I stuck to it even on the days where I would have to go in there 100 times to soothe him. Then my mom came to visit and while I was cleaning up my craft room, she let him sleep for 2 hours on the couch. That’s right, this I only sleep for 30 mins max kid slept for 2 hours. And she told me that he doesn’t always need to sleep in his bed. I didn’t believe her and thought for sure I was going to ruin this kid by letting him nap in places other than his crib. But I tried it out and it was great. I’ve been letting him take naps where he falls asleep, in his stroller, in his swing, on the couch. They aren’t much longer than 30 minutes but it’s not a struggle to get him to nap. And I don’t waste precious minutes (many many minutes) trying to get him to sleep in his crib. And the great thing is that he lets me know when he wants to sleep in his crib. It’s like no other place will do and the moment I put him upstairs in his bed he’s out. And the bonus is that he’s still a great night sleeper.
- He has a bedtime. And a bedtime routine. At about 7:15pm my hubby takes him upstairs and they play on the bed and make a few Facetime calls. This gives me a chance to clean up after dinner and tidy our main living space for the next day. I love this time because all I need is 30 minutes and our main floor is clean and organized and ready for tomorrow. When I’m done I head upstairs, we do bath time (every 2 days), then lotion (well his eczema cream and vaseline), then bottle. Sometimes he falls asleep near the end of the bottle and sometimes we sing him a few songs (Au Claire de la Lune puts me and dog to sleep now) and by 8-8:15 he’s out. and he sleeps for the most part for 11 or so hours. This means that by 8:30 we’re free to get things done. I usually knit or work on blog posts while we try to catch up on our TV shows and try not to fall asleep before 10pm.
- This brings me to mornings. I wake up before James does. Every week day. I get up at around 6am and he will wake up anytime between 715 and 745. This gives me about an hour to work on whatever I choose. It gives me a chance to have a coffee, plan our day and actually wake up nicely. And on good days, he wakes up all chatty and playing with the one light up toy that I put in his bed (my mom said he must be so lonely in his cage with no toys — so now he has one toy in there). I’ve grown accustomed to these morning and feel somewhat cheated when I accidentally sleep in or James wakes up early. So when I get them I cherish them.
These are how I stay productive throughout the day. I hope they help you out.
This weeks WIP Wednesdays is a day late. All my photos were taken but I had no time to sit down and write this post. So here I go, one day late.
First up is the knit baby blanket. This bad boy’s almost done. About 10 more rows then I can bind off. This pattern should be available (as well as the finished blanket) by next week.
Next, I started working on this Diaper Cover. You use bulky yarn so its been knitting up fairly quickly. I only plan to use it for an Easter photo shoot with James. Let’s hope it fits at least for the photo shoot because it’s a 0-3 months. The pattern can be found here.
I’m also working on this Easter vest, again for James. I’ve been working on this guy for about a week. No matter how many times I’ve frogged this pattern my floats are way too tight. It’s driving me crazy. If anyone has advice on how I can make my floats looser, I’m all ears!
I also created these two over the last week. The only thing left to do is attach buttons, so technically they’re still considered WIPs. I’m quite excited for this diaper and wipes organizer because my diaper bag has been a mess since I started using it. And my ziploc bag method doesn’t work quite as well to keep everything neat in there. These guys should be available in the shop next week.
That’s it for this week. What’s on your needles (or hook)?