Wife, Mummy, Nurse: December 2011

29 December 2011

Happy FIRST Anniversary Helen and Mike!!

Read about the
favors at this post.
This time last year, we were in Northern Ireland for my cousin's wedding.  [You can read Helen's blog here.]  So, I've been looking at photographs and tearing up.  Drew and Jen, my SIL, were able to meet my Grandad, Uncle Colin and Auntie Mavis, and cousins.  They had already met my other aunt and uncle because Uncle Blair officiated our wedding.  Robbie and I were finally able to meet Arlene, my cousin Timothy's wife.

Unfortunately, I was not able to see the bride walk down the aisle because Charis had a cold and I had to take her out to the nursery.  But, God was good. I was able to see most of the ceremony because Charis fell asleep in my arms.  After the service we had tea and coffee with scones, whipped cream, and strawberries.  I loved Helen's idea to request that those who were invited send in postcards so she could put them on a wall.  I did not see this wall, but our contribution was a postcard of the Pittsburgh International Airport, since I left the real postcard in our van.

The reception was at the Everglades hotel.  It was lovely.  We had wine, listened to a jazz band, and danced.  At the Everglades hotel, we had the Christmas meal that we did not have, since we flew on Christmas day.

The time we spent in Northern Ireland last year was time that we treasure.

Top Left: Bridal party after the service.
Top Right: Mike [the groom] holding Charis.
Bottom Left: Gareth playing the piano.
Botton Right: Drew and I.  I have NO CLUE what we
were laughing about, but it was something.

28 December 2011

Neckwarmers and Scarves {Yarn Along}

I'm STILL knitting Christmas gifts-the Celtic Cable Neckwarmer [for my SIL] and a Sweeney Todd Scarf [for my dad].  I just started reading The Friendships of Women by Dee Brestin, but I only completed one chapter. Note: I did not knit the sweater Charis is wearing; it was knit by my mum as a Christmas gift to Charis.  Unfortunately, I can't find my camera battery charger and had to use Drew's camera.  I'm missing my DSLR.

I have a few knitting goals for 2012.

  1. Knit Christmas decorations throughout the year, i.e. Santa baby ornamentTiny elf [forget the Elf on the shelf!], Little christmas treePartridge or a pear tree ornaments, etc.
  2. Knit soakers and longies.  Using the Curly purly soaker pattern and Ruffle skirted soaker [I'd like to have this finished by March or April].
  3. Knit Christmas gifts throughout the year, such as BowtieLondonderry legwarmers, and Zigzag lace scarf.  This way, I'm not caught up frantically knitting the last few weeks.
  4. I'd also like to knit my first sweater and knit a small fair aisle project, but haven't decided which patterns to knit.  
What's on your needles and what are you reading this week?
Do you have any knitting goals for this year?
Join us for Ginny's Yarn Along.

26 December 2011

Tips on Flying with an Infant

It's so hard to believe that it has been a year since we landed in Northern Ireland so we could attend my cousin's wedding.  Time has flown by.  I am thankful that Drew and I decided to travel when Charis was an infant, because I cannot imagine travelling with an active toddler.  I want to list a few things that helped us when we traveled last Christmas on an airplane.

  1. If your baby appears to be suffering from ear pain during take of and landing, breastfeed [or give a pacifier or formula].  But if your baby's sleeping, let him sleep.
  2. Bring a baby carrier.  By doing this, you can have your hands free as you are moving through the airport and your baby can hopefully sleep when you're carrying him.  I bought a Boba baby carrier about two weeks before flying and had no regrets about taking it over with us.  I liked the Boba because it's easy to put on and multiple people can wear it, since it's not sized.  My 6 foot 6 inch brother wore my daughter in it a few times on that trip.  
  3. Pack a wet bag to take on the plane.  Since Charis was only four months old when we traveled, she was still exclusively breastfed and had at least TWO blowouts on the plane.  I was thankful for our Planet wise wet bag.
  4. Pack 2-3 changes of baby clothes.  [See above reason.]
  5. Bring bottled water on the plane, especially if you are breastfeeding.  Staying hydrated helps prevent jet lag and helps keep your milk supply.
  6. Bring an umbrella stroller.  I say this because umbrella strollers tend to be less expensive than other strollers, so if something happens to it, it's not a big loss.  I bought a used umbrella stroller at a thrift store and was able to check it in at the gate before boarding the plane.
  7. Rent, borrow, or bring a car seat with you.  Thankfully, my aunt was able to borrow a car seat from somebody at her church.  So this was one thing I did not have to worry about.
  8. Ask for help before boarding or before leaving the plane.  Most airlines have passengers with young children board first.  And try to relax and enjoy the flight.
What tips do you have for traveling or flying with an infant?
My brother carrier my daughter using the Boba carrier.
This was taken inside Grianan fort.

21 December 2011

Charis in Maya Wrap {Wordless Wednesday}

Charis on Monday, after her nap;
she was grumpy and wanted held.
She was beginning to come down
with symptoms of a cold, so I got
my Maya wrap and put her in it.
Then she was as happy as a lark.
Then she 

20 December 2011

Tea, Lemon, and Honey {Gratituesday}

I'm thankful for tea, lemon, and honey.  My husband, daughter, and I are suffering from colds-sore throat, cough, runny nose, malaise, etc.  So, I'm sipping on some tea.  I'm also thankful that God is the Great Physician.

Note: This photograph was not taken tonight.  It is one I took earlier.  This is how I usually take my tea, with a little bit of milk and sugar.  Milk is NOT my favorite thing to drink or add to tea when I have a cold.

I'm also grateful that my parents are able to come and spend the weekend with us.  I work on Friday, so they will watch Charis while my husband works.

Join us for Gratituesday.

17 December 2011

Kraynaks

I spent the week after Thanksgiving in Pennsylvania.  On November 30, my mother in law organized a small group to go to Kraynaks in Hermitage, PA.  This was my first time being there.  They have a Santa's Christmasland that is free and open to viewing.  Here are a few photographs.

We saw a Charlie Brown display.



The poor pumpkin was unsure of EVERYTHING.  
Every time I tried to get her out of the shopping cart,
she would fuss and start to cry.


There was a pink ballerina Christmas tree.
I would have loved this when I was a little girl.


A heart


We are in STEELER COUNTRY!!!


Overall, this was not my cup of tea.  It was OK, but if we didn't go next year, I would not miss it.  A lot of the decorations seem tacky.  More and more, I'm preferring homemade ornaments instead of ones that were made in China.  I'm also told by various people that they go because their children like it, but we'll see what we do next year.

[even though we did this on a Wednesday].

16 December 2011

A Few Breastfeeding Rules I've Broken {Breastfeeding Blog Hop}


One of the tiny regrets I have with the birth of my daughter is that I did not begin nursing her as quickly as I wanted [I started about 1-1 1/2 hours after she was born].  Yes, she was laid on my chest immediately after birth, but was quickly whisked away so they could do an APGAR and bathe her.

After I ate my dinner tray, the nurse gave me my daughter.  I positioned my daughter in the cross-cradle, and she latched on beautifully and stayed there for a few moments.  The nurse said, "Now, I want to show you different holds.  This is how you do the football hold and this is the cradle hold, which you may find more comfortable."  I was thinking, "Really??  This was going so well until you tried to intervene for what you think is better.  It's not."  The different holds she was showing me were seemed unnatural.  When she left, I quickly moved my daughter to the position that was most comfortable for me and was working for her-the cross-cradle hold.  This helped show me that there is not one correct position to breastfeed.  This was my first step in breaking some breastfeeding rules that were placed on by an outside source.

Many say [myself included until I had a baby], "Don't give your baby a pacifier until breastfeeding is well established."  I DEFINITELY broke this rule, about five days after she was born.  I nursed her on demand [and despise Babywise books], but there were times that she would cry right after I finished nursing, so I'd try to put her back on, but she didn't want it.  She wanted to be soothed.  I quickly decided to put a pacifier in her mouth and hold her.  For some a pacifier this soon may wreak havoc on breastfeeding, but for others it would be fine.

Now, people are astonished when they find out my almost 16 month old is still nursing, usually 2-4 times/day. Before Thanksgiving, it was usually just twice a day-morning and evening, but during the holidays, she wanted to be nursed more.  I think it's because she was not used to the environment we were in; she and I were away for about 10-12 days, out of our surroundings, and she needed more comfort.  Thankfully our pediatrician is supportive of breastfeeding.  He is not telling us to stop, but others say, "Isn't she a little old to be breastfeeding?"  No, she's not.  I'm not forcing it on her.  She clearly shows me she wants it by pulling on my shirt, putting her hands down on my breasts, etc.  I try to use the milk sign for her, but she hasn't used it herself yet.  Many people falsely believe that you must start weaning my their first birthday.  No, I don't, and I'm not going to.  If Charis does not want to be weaned, I'm not going to force the issue, especially since she's still getting the many benefits of breastfeeding.

This post was written as part of the blog hop, hosted by Life with Levi
This weeks topic is: Breaking the Rules.

14 December 2011

Knitting {Yarn Along}

I'm still knitting the Celtic Cable Neckwarmer.  It feels like the knitting has been going so slowly, but I need to keep knitting away because it's for a Christmas gift to my sister in law [Jen] in honor of memories made last December in Northern Ireland.

I'm still reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.  Hope you enjoy one of my favorite paragraphs from this book:
It was a sledge, and it was reindeer with bells on their harness. But they were far bigger than the Witch's reindeer, and they were not white but brown.  And on that sledge sat a person whom everyone knew the moment they set eyes on him.  He was a huge man in a bright red robe (bright as hollyberries) with a hood that had fur inside it and a great white beard that fell like a foamy waterfall over his chest.
Linking up to Ginny's Yarn Along

12 December 2011

Charis's Longies are Finished and Guest Post

You may remember the longies I wrote about knitting here and here.  Well, they are finished [and have been for a few days]!!  And you can see the final result on my guest post at Sophie and Momma's blog.  Nathania currently has a "A Very Wooly Event" going on, to date it has four giveaways.

Here's a snippet of my post:
Before I started cloth diapering, the only knitting projects that I completed were scarves or wash cloths, but this all changed during my third trimester.  I would go onto Etsy and saw the prices of hand knit soakers and longies.  They were so cute, but my heart would sink at what I saw.  I read of the benefits of using wool, especially at night, but I was not prepared to pay the money that was asked.  Thankfully, I found a website that has numerous soaker and longie patterns on it-Ravelry-and many of them are free!!  
Go check out the rest of my post and the giveaways on Nathania's blog.

07 December 2011

Future Knitter?? {Wordless Wednesday}

Only if she can start reading
knitting patterns right side up.

Celtic Cable Neckwarmer {Yarn Along}

It's been almost a month since I wrote what I've been knitting for Yarn Along!! Since then, I've decided what I'm going to knit everyone for Christmas.  Two gifts are completed.  Two more are on there way to be completed.  I need to buy yarn for my FIL's gift, but other than that, all my yarn is bought.

I started knitting a Celtic cable neckwarmer over Thanksgiving.  I have not knit as far as I would have liked, but I quickly found out I need to be paying close attention to what I am doing.  It's my first time knitting using a chart, so I'm learning as I'm going along. Thankfully, I have not made any mistakes yet, and I'd like to keep it that way.  So this project will be "slow and steady."  I'm using Tahki Donegal Tweed.  I hope the recipient [I'm not going to mention who] likes it.

I'm going to start reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.  I figured if I was knitting Celtic cables, I might as well read a book by a man from Belfast. Actually, I'll take ANY excuse to read any of the Narnia books.

What are you reading and knitting?
Are you making homemade Christmas gifts?
Join us at Ginny's Yarn Along.

06 December 2011

Thanksgiving {Gratituesday}

My new kettle!!
It seems like it has been forever since I have written a personal post.  I was on vacation until getting home on Sunday night. It feels good to be back home in the comfort of our apartment.

I am thankful for...

  1. My tea kettle.  On November 21st, I accidentally let our old kettle boil dry!  My husband told me to put it on my Christmas list, but I drink anywhere from 2-4 cups of tea/day.  I decided I was NOT going to wait until Christmas to get a new kettle, so I bought one the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  In case you were wondering, my current kettle whistles.
  2. My health.  On November 23rd and 24th, I was busy vomiting and having diarrhea.  [Sorry for the TMI, please remember I'm a nurse.]  But it made me thankful for the health I usually have.  I was thankful I got sick halfway on our journey instead of before leaving or the first hour or two.  My husband and I decided to keep trekking to PA.  
  3. My parents and siblings [and spouses].  They came to get Charis on Thanksgiving morning.  Drew and I were both sick.  I slept on the bathroom floor and Drew slept in the laundry room.
  4. My SIL and her husband.  Who were VERY understanding when I told them what I accidentally did to the carpet because I didn't make it to the bathroom on time.  It was after that vomiting incident I decided to sleep on the floor in the bathroom.  
  5. Rug Doctors and the fact that my SIL and her husband have one.  See #4.
  6. My in-laws. They are coming down this week to watch Charis since I work on Friday, and Drew is planning to work on his dissertation.  
  7. Amy.  My IRL friend.  I was able to see her last Friday [and her two boys] and buy some Christmas presents.  Double win!!
  8. Wolf Creek Yarns. My favorite yarn store.  I was able to go their twice.  I have most of the yarn bought for Christmas gifts.  Now I just need to knit them.  :-D
  9. Drew being able to stay in PA longer than we originally thought he would be able to stay.
  10. God.  He sustains and preserves me.  He has given me salvation and to Him alone I am thankful for all these things and people.
Hope you had a good Thanksgiving.

What are you thankful for?
Join us at Gratituesday.

#fluffyxmas winner is...

Trista Zollars!!  

Congratulations Trista.  Hope you enjoy everything as much as I have!!  Winner was e-mailed and has responded.

01 December 2011

Merry Fluffy Christmas Cloth Diaper Giveaway #fluffyxmas


Welcome to the 2nd Annual Merry Fluffy Christmas!!  There are over 30 blogs participating.  Each blog has a prize package worth over $50.00.  There is only one winner per blog.  The event runs from December 1-5, and there is only one winner per blog.
Prizes [Left to Right]: Bummas cloth wipes, Londonware diaper cover,
Hippeez fleece diaper cover, and Sweet Bobbins organic
bamboo fleece flat diaper

Prizes [Left to Right]: Baby Bee Haven diaper cover,
Leibert Family Creations pocket diaper, and
Sew Silly Designs $10.00 gift card