Monday, May 2, 2011

Brand New

More beautiful signs of spring! Despite the rainy weather there was something to smile about on my daily walk around the pond. Brand new baby geese! These little puff balls are only about 24 hours old. I did not see them the day before so they are just freshly hatched. People may find geese annoying but I find them intriguing.

If only human parents would take a few tips from these feathered friends. Mom and dad stick together and parent together. They protect their children from any potential harm, they keep them warm and safe, and they set an example for their children to learn and live by. I find it absolutely beautiful.

In One Week's Time

Last week was week 33. It seemed like overnight my belly doubled in size and that The Bean had a growth spurt. I mean I definitely felt pregnant in the previous weeks but last week I really felt pregnant - one of those oh so that's what everyone is talking about moments. I am grateful that up until now I haven't struggled every time I had to bend to pick something up, wasn't having issues putting on my shoes, didn't have to take a moment to concentrate when I was trying to get up from my seat, etc. We are into week 34 now. Six more weeks to go if The Bean decides to stay in there the whole time (please do little one, you need to stay brewing!). Here are Week 32 and Week 33 pictures.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Signs of Spring

Spring shows what God can do with a drab and dirty world

Spring is a time for new beginnings, for new birth, for life. Spring is surely bringing lots of that to our family this year! A few signs that spring is sprung here in the buckeye state.

Friday, April 22, 2011

According to Old Wives Tales...

I am having a girl because the heartbeat is consistently above 140.

I am having a boy because I am carrying low (supposedly, this one is debatable since I have no torso to begin - this one may therefore be flawed).

I am having a girl because I am craving sweet things like fruit and orange juice. Oh and sweet tea. Can't get enough sweet tea.

I am having a boy because I am eating a lot of salty and sour things like my beloved salt n vinegar chips and sweet tarts.

I am having a girl because I prefer to sleep on my right side.

I am having a boy because I am wanting a lot of cheese. And meat (but only red meat).

I am having a girl because the Mayan's predicted that if the mother's age at conception and the year of conception are both even or odd numbers that the baby is female.

I am having a boy because the Chinese prediction chart tells me so.

I am having a girl because another Chinese prediction chart tells me so.

I am having a boy because my belly looks like a basketball (although my dad said it looks like I swallowed a watermelon whole and a watermelon shaped belly means girl...)

I am having a girl because I have had terrible skin issues since becoming pregnant and apparently girls steal a mother's beauty.

I am having a boy because I picked up a key on the table from the widest end.

I am having a girl because my face has gotten fuller (isn't that just because I am swelling and retaining water everywhere?).

I am having a boy because my legs have gotten bigger (again, pretty sure it's the obnoxious amount of swelling that's going on from being on my feet all day).

I am having a girl because I had bad morning sickness.

I am having a boy because I am clumsy during pregnancy (maybe that's because I no longer have the same center of gravity?)

I am having a girl because I won't eat the ends of the loaf of bread (didn't do that before hand though...)

Ok so given all of that information, what do you think? Conflicted much?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Touring the Hospital

We started taking classes at the maternity center two weeks ago. The maternity pavilion at St. Ann's Hospital is absolutely fantastic. I really like the maternity center at the hospital because the moment you enter the labor and delivery floor you would never know you're in a hospital. It's a very modern maternity unit and is pretty much everything a woman would hope for in a labor and delivery ward. The labor/delivery/recovery room itself is deceiving. It doesn't look like a hospital room. Everything is hidden away in armorers and cabinets - even the baby bed and warmer folds out from an armorer! Most of the monitoring equipment is hidden in the wall, covered by a framed picture on the wall that slides upward. Pretty neat stuff!

The rooms themselves are huge. You could seriously host a decent sized party in one of them. They are equipped with every type of chair you would possibly want (rockers, gliders, etc.) and each room has a very large shower that you can labor in. Birthing balls are available in all the rooms (which they even suggest using in the shower). PLUS there are rooms that have tubs for hydrotherapy, I definitely am going to request one of the hydrotherapy rooms! Laboring in the tub sounds ideal to me. I am so comforted by being in the water, whether it be a tub, shower, pool, etc. I love the water. I am really hoping that hydrotherapy will work for me through the natural labor process that I have selected for myself. I am also so grateful that my husband is 100% with me on my decision to labor naturally with no medication. I could not imagine going through this whole process without a loving and caring support like he is. He may be a lot more squeamish about things than I am but overall we are a pretty swell team.

This Week's To Do List

Every week we get an email from This is our 31st week and according to the information they sent The Bean is measuring somewhere around 16 inches long and is nearing the 4lb mark (they suggest hefting around 4 navel oranges to compare). They also informed me (warned me) that we are headed towards a growth spurt. The information also says that the baby is "probably" moving around more now. Probably is an understatement. This is one active baby! The Bean could be renamed to Jumping Bean. People tell me that you can feel a baby move when you lay or sit still for a while - well there is no need to sit still or lay down here! I can feel movement all day long. Lots of the movement is definitely stretching and moving around but then there are times when it feels like The Bean just completely has a few minutes of complete freak out mode. I am just waiting for one of my students to notice while I am teaching. I am sure that will result in no productivity for the rest of the class period.

We will see if The Bean is as active on the outside of the womb as on the inside. I have heard it can go either way. I for example was quiet in the womb but a colic high needs infant outside. My brother on the other hand was very active until he was born. Then he sort of became a happy blob baby, content with eating and sleeping with little fussing. I guess he was a gift to my mom after her experiences with me!

I have had moments lately of wondering if we are getting enough things done before the baby comes. I don't mean things like decorating the nursery or anything. I mean more along the lines of having things arranged like a pediatrician and such. Now that I've started to go through my list, I feel much more accomplished.

Things we've been able to cross off the list:
* Starting bi-weekly prenatal visits (weekly visits coming soon!)
* Signed up for (and started) childbirth classes
* Toured the hospital (the labor/delivery/recovery room is AWESOME)
* Decided on a natural, drug free labor (decided on this a while ago)
* Decided to use a tub to labor in as long as there is a tub room available at the hospital
* Signed up for a breastfeeding class
*Chose a pediatrician for the baby
* Working on adding to our cloth diaper newborn stash

Then this week's email came. Our task for the week: Begin assembling a bag for the hospital. WHAT? Yeah that makes it a lot more real. Not any of this other stuff but that. Packing a bag. Being ready to head out the door at any moment. That's when it hits you. At least that's when it hit me. We are so close.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

First Baby Shower

We headed up to Connecticut this past week for a wonderful baby shower hosted by my mother-in-law. We were overwhelmed with the generosity of all the friends and family that attended and got us such wonderful gifts for The Bean. More than anything, it was wonderful to see our little nieces who we hadn't seen in over a year - they were the best helpers ever at the shower.

Now that we have all sorts of wonderful baby items in our house, it's making everything much more real. Today when I got home from work I was pleasantly surprised to see the crib our mother-in-law purchased for us at our doorstep! Part of me wants to drop everything I need to do today and start assembling it. Of course the room is still a work in progress and isn't ready for the crib to be put up yet but just having it in our house gives me all sorts of excited feelings.

28 Weeks

Hello Third Trimester! It's crazy to think we are this far along already. Everything has been going by so fast. This is probably because of the fact I am being kept very busy with my student teaching but I definitely cannot complain about this pregnancy dragging along at all.

Things I am enjoying at 28 Weeks:
* Naps
* Sweet tea
* Salt and Vinegar Chips
* Water. Lots and lots of water
* Weekly prenatal yoga sessions
* Feeling The Bean moving around (a lot)
* Browsing through baby websites
*Registry stalking

Things I am not enjoying at 28 weeks:
* Finding a comfortable (aka not painful) way to sleep
* Sore feet
* Swollen hands
* Feeling The Bean kicking me in the bladder
* Not fitting into certain clothes anymore (including my winter jacket)
* Foods that increase heartburn

(NOTE: This post was supposed to go up almost two weeks ago -oops-)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

24 Weeks

At 24 Weeks:

* I am feeling pretty good minus some back pains

* I am measuring right on track and gaining weight as I should

* I am feeling more and more activity as The Bean continues to explore it's living space

* I am not looking forward to the glucose test in a few weeks

* I am enjoying my prenatal yoga classes

* I am starting to get excited about decorating the nursery

* I am ready for week 25


I am a farm girl. I raised sheep. I drove tractors. I get dirty. When I was searching for a bedding set for The Bean's nursery I wasn't really sure what I would want other than something gender neutral since we plan to have more children and want to use the nursery items for all our children. When I came across this vintage-inspired bedding set by Bean Sprout.I fell in love with it. I don't necessarily want to have everything matchy-matchy in the room, but I want to stick with a vintage farm theme. Very vintage farmhouse I guess you could label it. Here are some of my current inspirations.

The prints are from an Etsy seller, Rachelle Levingston, and I love them so much! Now I need to decide which ones will adore the walls. The rest of the items are vintage items or repurposed items.

To me, this theme isn't gender specific at all - although I have had some opposition to my point of view. I hope that my child, whether boy or girl, learns to have a love of animals, the outdoors, and agriculture. I pray that my child will respect and understand the work that farmers and others in the related fields do for all of us. I hope that my child will want to work in the garden with me, to use their hands in the earth, and to create something wonderful.

And I hope that he or she likes to get good and dirty just like me.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Choices We Make

I had a few comments and questions asked after I posted about cloth diapers. After reflecting on it, I decided to write a little bit about our decision to cloth diaper.

Cloth diapers are the choice for us, but they certainly aren’t the only way to diaper a baby. As someone who has chosen to cloth diaper I often get a lot of strange looks, opposition from others, and lots and lots of questions. And while I could choose to be snobby about cloth diapers vs. disposables, especially to those who right away write me off as some crazy hippie who doesn't know what I am getting into, I've decided that the best thing to do is to educate those around me about why we choose to cloth diaper.

Generally I find that people respond so much better when they learn why you do something as opposed to being told that they need to make a change. I know I certainly don't like being told why my choices are wrong, especially without evidence and by those who have never tried my choice - sort of like when my dad said he hates spinach artichoke dip at the restaurant and I said well did you ever try it and he hadn't, and then after I convinced him to try it, he ended up eating almost half of it. But I digress...

Cloth diapering is a decision we made as a family for very specific reasons. If people are cloth diapering for the novelty of it (which I could see happen since some of this stuff is just so gosh darn cute!) they may feel less committed to full time. For us, we want cloth diapering to be just another part of our life. There is no thinking about it and constantly wondering if we should just go buy a box of disposables, it just is. Kind of like wearing underwear everyday - we don't question it, we just do it!

Again, I understand that it may not work for everyone but this is the decision we've made. I've heard a lot of "oh you'll still need some disposable diapers," "what about when you are not at home?" and "you should still have disposables for traveling." I see where people would have those concerns, however with today's cloth diapering systems, all of those reasons for keeping around disposables are no longer valid. Resorting to using disposables for convenience just isn’t an option for us.

The main reasons we decided to use cloth are as follows:
  • Healthier option for our baby
  • Better option for the environment
  • Kinder to our budget
  • Makes the most sense to us given that we plan to have more children
In my quest to educate others, I plan to follow up this post with posts focusing on each of the reasons that led us to our decision to choose cloth. It's not my goal to convert every person in the world to cloth diapering. As I said, I realize it's not the choice for everyone, but I want to educate others as to why it is our choice. If that creates some converts along the way as my friends' stories have converted me, then so be it.

And of course I realize that all of this is coming from a mother-to-be who has not yet placed a single cloth diaper on a baby. However I hope you will take this as an opportunity to follow along in our journey and see how it turns out instead of dismissing my commentary all together.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Mission: 52 in 52

Project #2: Tree Frog Knits Holster Longies

Longies in "Holster" by Sarah of Tree Frog Knits (now partnered with Western Sky Knits).

Projects in Progress

I am pretty sure I average five projects on the needles at a time. Right now I think I am up to six. Guess this is an extension of my ability to multitask. Now if only I could find a way to create a few more arms and hands I could get so many more projects done!

Above is the sweater I am working on for a dear friend in Sublime Baby Cashmerino Silk DK yarn. Below is the yarn that I am using for a blanket for The Bean. I'm using a pretty light blue organic cotton yarn by Lion Brand.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

We've Got Ourselves A Spaghetti Squash

22 Weeks
At 22 weeks I am being told that The Bean is nearly a pound and about 11 inches long, the length of a spaghetti squash. As long as the baby keeps growing to look like a newborn and not a vegetable, I am totally okay with the comparison.

The downside of looking more pregnant: My belly is becoming a hand magnet but luckily not too many unwanted touchings yet. Most people tell me they want to touch but won't - which is amazing since most people are lacking the concept of personal space.

The upside of looking more pregnant: I have twice been told to "go ahead" instead of having to wait in line in the ladies room. Ah benefits.

Chick-A-Dee Knits In Action: Meet Kara

Chick-A-Dee Kara sporting a Cozy Ear Flap Hat in Western Sky Knits Love of Chocolate on sequoia worsted. I love that this hat matches her winter coat so perfectly! Such wonderful yarn to knit as always.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Fluffy Mail

Our decision to cloth diaper has led to getting the most wonderful fluffy mail ever! We got our order of sustainablebabyish diapers in the mail and let me tell you, I cannot wait to put these on The Bean. We ordered some of the snapless-multi contrasts and also have some organic bamboo fleece fitteds on the way. I have heard terrific things about these diapers, especially for nighttime. The fitteds will get the trial run first since they are sized and are XS (~5-11 lbs) and the snapless-multi are one size (OS) and probably won't start fitting until around 10 lbs. Eventually I'll post pictures of the rest of The Bean's stash but for now, feel free to drool over this squishy goodness.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Becoming Well-Rounded

Well we've made it to the half way point. Yesterday marked the beginning of the 21st week. Bring on the second half.

As I venture further into this pregnancy, there are so many things I feel I need to accomplish before The Bean arrives. I don't mean just the normal nesting stuff, getting the nursery ready, prepping clothes and diapers. All of a sudden I have this need to sew and to quilt. I want to be able to sew up some things for the baby, to make a quilt to snuggle in, to not rely on store bought items.

I guess this is all part of the adventure to being "well-rounded." I've been reflecting on what I'm good at, what needs to be learned, what needs to be improved, and what needs to be let go. There are some things I feel good about right now like my abilities to teach my students (although I did have a nightmare about losing control of my class), growing The Bean, eating healthy, going to yoga, and taking my vitamins.

There are other things I feel I am not so good at right now such as fulfilling my creativity quotient, being creative in the kitchen (although I did make a mean teriyaki sauce the other day), keeping up with cleaning, putting away laundry, and getting school work done in a timely fashion.

I begin to worry about these things I am lacking in and how I will be able to change those things and adjust before (and when) The Bean arrives. I suppose that's all in the process of being well-rounded. I know one thing I am good at, adaptability. I'll just rely on that for now.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saturday in Stitches

Saturday morning are great for knitting. A cup of coffee to sip, the peaceful click click click of knitting needles, and a cozy kitty next to me. So much quieter than the hustle and noise of my classroom on a daily basis during the week. Eighth graders can sure make a racket. Even my smallest classroom of thirteen students can be so loud. I don't notice it while teaching, it's just part of the daily business, but then when I am home and sitting in this quiet I realize how noisy the days really are. Back to my click click clicking...

Working on a sweet soft sweater for a newborn little angel. A good friend of mine just had a little baby girl and when searching through my patterns I just had to make this particular sweater (link will be added later after she gets it). I'm using Sublime Yarns Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK in the "Pebble" colorway. It is so super soft and squishy. I will have to make The Bean something in this delicious yarn as well, perhaps a little sweater for cool summer evenings.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Mission: 52 in 52

I decided that the best way to establish a solid stash of knitted goodies for The Bean was to start a 52 in 52 project. The task is to knit 52 items in 52 weeks. It's a daunting task but I have confidence that in the end, The Bean will have a glorious stash of the most glorious knitted items. Pants, sweaters, tops, hats, and all sorts of other squishy knitted goodness. To start off the stash right, a sweet pair of newborn longies.

Project #1: Mosaic Moon Sunflower Longies

Mosaic Moon "Sunflower" on Mt Meadow Rambouillet yarn

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Work In Progress

Meet The Bean
Coming June 2011
Mom's nose included

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What I'm Doing These Days: A List

**Stepping forward in my career path

**Student teaching at a middle school with a great group of 8th graders

**Growing The Bean


**Contemplating creating a quilt for The Bean

**Spending a lot of time staring at baby clothes and other cute stuff


**Eating an amazing amount of salt and vinegar chips

**Enjoying the winter snow

**Discovering all varieties of decaffeinated beverages at Caribou Coffee


What are you up to?
Subscribe to Every Day A Waltz by Email
Subscribe in a reader