Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Acorn's Oak & A Finished Object Catch Up

As if the baby shower on Sunday wasn't enough to turn a frustrating day around, I was in for another surprise when I got home. Matt had finished clearing out the baby's room, mopped the floor and had the changing table and half the chest of drawers put together!

After showing him the shower goodies, I decked out the changing table and started filling the chest of drawers with all of the clothes we brought back from Ohio. I'd forgotten how tiny and cute some of those little outfits were! Then we put together the crib, did a little "staging" and had a Skype chat with my parents to show them around since they so kindly bought the furniture for us. 

So now that the room is mostly finished - we have a lot of little finishing touches to add, of course - I can reveal the tree! I haven't even started on the leaves but I can add those little by little. I have visions of Mom and I making leaves while we're waiting for the baby to arrive....


It's huge! It goes from floor to ceiling and nearly takes up one entire wall. We're also adding a little birdhouse nightlight and I'm going to "carve" our initials into the tree as well.  

The room really already looks fantastic but I'll wait until we've done some decorating before I post any more photos. My granny has made us a little woodland themed quilt that Mom is bringing, too - I can't wait to see it!

In the mean time I do have some - sigh - finished baby knitting to talk about. I keep saying I'm going to knit something for myself but nothing really appeals. I have a blue and a purple skein of Rowan Pure Wool Aran, and I'm determined to knit myself a cowl with one of them before the acorn gets here. In fact I may add that to my (should be long but is really short) to do list for tomorrow.


This Seamless Baby Kimono and I go way back..back before Matt and I even got married. We were getting married, though, and we'd talked about having babies and we knew we were eventually going to try so I didn't feel like I was really jinxing anything. Technically, this was my first sweater - not the Shalom or the February Lady Sweater - although I didn't block this and sew on the buttons until this week. I did make a few changes to the pattern: I used buttons rather than a tie, sewed in a popper on the inside of the side opposite the buttons and did a seed stitch along the bottom rather a few rows of garter. I love it but am a little worried about the cuffs. They didn't
actually show up in any of the photos I took but they're kind of tiny.  

This is another pair of the Garter Stripe Baby Socks and I call them Alan's Socks. And why is that? This yarn was actually part of the prize package I received from Kim when Alan Rickman won the first Knitter's Hunk back in 2007. I knitted my very first sock with it right away but that's when I discovered I was one of those with Second Sock Syndrome so the rest of it languished in my stash, waiting to maybe be made into a second sock someday. Alan was in the running again this year and doing really well so I decided to knit a pair baby socks in his honor. I finished them just a few days before he was crowned Knitter's Hunk again this year!  So, yes, Alan's Socks - very appropriate.  I'm also quite proud that I almost got the pooling to match.  :)


This BItty Cabled Hat is part of our little acorn's coming home outfit.  I've mentioned the cardigan that goes with it before because, even though it's very simple, I'm having trouble with it.  I had the body finished but ended up with gaping holes under the arms that I just couldn't fix so I ripped it back to the arm holes but then somehow managed to flub up one of the cables and into time out it went.  Unfortunately, the pattern for it is one of the ones I can't find and I had already made some very helpful notes which are now also who knows where. I think rewriting them is also on the list of things to do tomorrow since I'm beginning to feel like having his coming home outfit complete is pretty important.  That and finally settling on a car seat since that's really the most important part of his coming home outfit!

I took a photo of this with a quarter and a 10p coin to show just how bitty it is. Very, very bitty.

I had an antenatal appointment today to check the progress of my gestational diabetes. It was a miserable appointment in that we waited for two hours only to talk to a consultant and the GD doctor for about twenty minutes but, thankfully, things are good and I'm still able to control it with diet rather than medication. The consultant also seemed fairly open minded to the fact that I'm really against induction if there's no medical reason for it. I'm also open minded to whatever needs to happen but, of course, would like things to happen as naturally as possible. I don't want to be in labor for 48 hours and I really love the idea of using a birthing pool for pain relief (not for the actual birth, though) and an induction means being hooked up to a machine which means no birthing pool and a possible long labor with interference.  

I'll settle for a healthy baby, though - no matter what it takes.  :)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Baby Shower, American-Style

Things have been a little stressful around here and last week more days than not were spent riding an emotional roller coaster that one had two speeds: sad and mad. Yesterday started out that way. I didn't even consider putting together my bag for knit group until it was nearly time to walk about the door which was Not a Good Idea since everything here as we make the spare bedroom a nursery, the third floor attic/office a storage room/spare bedroom and the conservatory a conservatory/office, is 100% topsy-turvy. Things you thought were there are actually who knows where and yesterday that proved especially true for the patterns of a couple of projects I'd wanted to finish.  So I threw what I could find in my bag and hit the pavement, running a little late. 

Imagine my surprise when I rounded the corner of our newly found quiet little alcove at Cafe Nero and heard, "Welcome to your surprise baby shower!"  

Baby showers aren't as popular here as they are in the US but Libby said they wanted to make sure I wasn't missing out on anything just because I lived here - how nice is that?  They even researched baby games!  You just don't realize how often you say the words "baby" and "knitting" at a baby shower put on by knitters until it's part of a game where you can't say them at all.  


Besides our little acorn's very first piggy bank (we've already started collecting 5p coins in a wooden acorn for him and have been looking for a proper bank for months) and his first "oh my goodness, push that button one more time and that''s going up on the shelf where you can't reach it" toy with lights and music (just kidding - it's very sweet and not loud at all) there were, of course, some beautiful hand knits!


What little boy wouldn't look handsome in this little cabled sweater? This was knitted (in my favorite color, no less) by fellow ex-pat Phoe who also kindly took photos and made the gorgeous flower arrangements.  This is going to be so cute with the little pair of jeans we bought last month and I'm already sad that, eventually, he'll grow out of it!

I've had this pattern in my Ravelry queue but I know it would have never turned out as cute as this one made by Alice (that's her on the right in the above photo)!  Again, he's going to look so handsome!  Matt and I are, no doubt, going to have the best dressed baby in Salisbury.


I've been looking at tag blankets for awhile now and am so glad I never actually bought one because this one that's handmade by Libby is so much nicer!  The bright color ribbons have so many different textures that I even found myself absentmindedly playing with the tags and the back is lined with a sweet, soft, blue Peter Rabbit fabric.  I already know it's going to be a Little Acorn favorite.  

Thanks so much to Libby, Stephanie and Phoe for putting it all together and to everyone else for coming - I had a really wonderful time!  It's hard to believe that the next time I meet up with the Poultry Cross Knitters, our little boy will probably be asleep in his pushchair or cuddled up in his Moby wrap!


Phoe also posted about the shower so to see more photos (especially more of a very pregnant me), hop over to her blog, A Life of a Photographoe. :)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Bump Photos - 34 Weeks



I'm 34 weeks exactly today so we took a few more photos this afternoon.  I had a little finished project in my purse to photograph as well but we completely forgot!  We're going out early tomorrow for the Salisbury Food & Wine Festival so we'll try again. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Emily & The Acorn's First Socks

If you've known me for any amount of time you probably know that, as much as I love sock yarn, looking at sock patterns and even knitting them, I've never actually finished a second sock.*

Until today.

Who knew that getting pregnant was all I had to do to cure myself of Second Sock Syndrome?  


I really had no business taking photos of these today since it's so gloomy and rainy but I was too excited to wait! 

These are the Garter Stripe Baby Socks knit in some Socks That Rock that my friend Bertha sent ages ago (I knew it would become socks eventually!).  


They knit up in no time at all and are super cute.  

I've also knitted a tiny, adorable cabled hat but it's a dark brown and really has no business being photographed today.  It has a matching sweater that should be simple but I've been struggling with it so it's tucked away for a bit.   I'm going to embroider an acorn on a newborn onesie and it, the sweater and the cap are going to be his coming home outfit (with a pair of trousers we've already bought, of course).   I can't believe that, as of today, I'm 33 weeks and 3 days and he could arrive in about seven weeks!

We have a home visit with our midwife tomorrow to go over my birth plan and I've been putting off the housework all day so I should get to it.  Knitting a tiny sock is so much more fun....

*In my defense, I only have about two inches left on the leg of the second of an actual pair of socks.  Getting pregnant, loosing my knitting mojo and then finding that the only things I want to knit are baby things kind of got in the way!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Letterbox Love

It's a good day when two out of three things that fall through your letterbox are Real Mail!

Look, look, look at the cardigan my friend Sarah knitted for our little acorn!

Cardigan by Sarah 

And yes, the buttons are exactly what you think they are: acorns!  And since I have never knitted anything but top down sweaters, may I point out how impressed I am that this actually isn't knit top down?  

Thanks again, Sarah - I can't wait to see how handsome he looks in it!

The second piece of real mail was a card from my parents.IMG_0006

I think I've mentioned this before but it bears repeating.  They've been sending us a card a week which has been such a nice way of reaching out from so far away.  Nearly every one of them brings a tear to my eye (although, these days, what doesn't) and this was no exception.  I can't bear to take any of them down!  I told Matt today that I would miss getting them in November and then laughed at myself.  I think a baby is a pretty good replacement for a weekly card in the mail!  

And lastly, something I didn't get in the mail that still shows lots of love ...

IMG_0007 Our little acorn had his dad bring me some flowers and a card the other night to thank me for pricking my finger several times a day to take care of him.  Sweet!

I've only been monitoring my blood sugar for a few days but it seems to be going well.  Even when I totally blew a day by eating Burger King for lunch and pizza from my favorite pizza place for dinner, my numbers were still perfectly fine.  I  made up for it by having a Quorn burger with carrot sticks today, though, and I have to say, Quorn burgers are pretty good!  The hardest part of this is eating enough of what's good for me and the baby.   I find myself hungry more often and fear has me waiting longer than I should to eat something so when I do it ends up being one of my three main meals.  I should be eating something every couple of hours.  We've stocked up on some snacks that are healthy but quick which should help me not reach for the tea biscuits.  In fact, I'm off to dish myself a bowl of Greek yogurt right now....

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Feed Me, Seymour!

Want to see the blood glucose meter the NHS gives you if you have gestational diabetes?  Here you go:


I'm only kind of kidding.  I used it last night for the first time and got an error message seven times: not enough blood/use a new strip.  After I burst into extra drippy hormonal tears, Matt convinced me to stop trying until we could buy a "real" meter in the morning.  This morning I tried Audrey II one last time and got another error so it was off to Boots for a new meter.  We bought an Accu-Chek Aviva Nano because his dad recommended it and it worked great.  Not only did I get a healthy reading but it worked the very first time and it didn't hurt, thank goodness! 

Speaking of hormones and good news...one stress I've had recently has had to do with deciding when my parents were going to visit in November.  Obviously, babies rarely ever come on time- especially first babies - so it's been really difficult.  Too soon and they might miss the baby all together - too late and Mom would explode with anxiousness.  The other day, though, they announced during a Skype chat that Mom was taking a short leave of absence for the month of November and, if it was okay with us, she's going to come on the first and stay about three weeks and Dad will come a week later.  Some women, I'm sure, wouldn't look forward to that at all but it makes me insanely happy. 

I'm due on October 30th so we could spend two weeks twiddling our thumbs but...hopefully not!  I really like the idea of having her here before our little acorn arrives.  I could use a little help with the, ahem, nesting.  I also have this feeling that he won't hide out for too long but that could just be my own anxious hopefulness.  My intuition was right about him being a boy but I had a fifty-fifty chance with that one after all!

And now for a little knitting! 

I heart baby hats.  Tiny, quick and the cutest little things ever.

Greenleaf Baby Hat

This is the Greenleaf Baby Hat knit with some leftover Stitch Nation Alpaca Love which, besides being hand wash only, is perfect for baby hats because it's so soft.   

Emmett's Apple Hat

Apple Hat

And this is Emmett's Apple Hat knitted with Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmere which is one of my favorite yarns to knit with.  The stitch definition is gorgeous and the colors are really vibrant.  As cute as this pattern is, it was the "Emmett" part that really drew me in because that's been one of our top name choices for the little acorn.  Matt came up with it because he likes my name so much.  I know that, thanks to Twilight (which I'm, ironically, watching right now), it's not going to be as uncommon as it used to be but I like it.  It actually reminds me more of Emmett Otter's Jug-Band Christmas and it reminds Matt of Back to the Future.  We've been referring to him as Emmett instead of Ola recently but we're still undecided.  Some of the women from my mom's office voted and, of the three names we like, they liked Emmett best which I thought was kind of funny.  I like that my mom finally has a future grandchild to talk about. 

Whew, I think this post is long enough - hope everyone is having a great day!