Being a mother, becoming a doula, knitting, charity and the life that happens in-between.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Fall knitting . . . .

It's been a bit of a break yes, but I would love to get back to blogging and what better to start with than a few of my favourite fall knitting patterns from Ravelry!

Top three? Well that might be hard to narrow down but maybe I can try.

3. The Purl Bee - Chevon Baby Blanket 
Hands down easy and stylish, chunky and warm. The perfect size for gifting or cuddling. Here is one of the versions that I have made before.

Also a classic and so fun for boys. I love the double up as it keeps those little ears warm. Knit with a great superwash for durability. 

1. The Pixie Hat
If you've got a little one in your life or know someone who is expecting this quick knit is always a great choice. Solids or a mix, different ribbing? It is so easy to personalize this one.

So what are you doing these cool fall days?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Yes I feel shame!

I feel shame for so many things. Little things like I’m not a good enough house cleaner to ever make a difference to my husband, and that I eat too much, to the larger things like I’m not fit enough to be a parent that and that my boys are going to end up in therapy at a young age because I’ve either messed them up or passed on the genes that will make then that way regardless of nurture.

The quest for perfection is exhausting and unrelenting. There is a constant barrage of social expectations that teach us that being imperfect is synonymous with being inadequate. Everywhere we turn, there are messages that tell us who, what and how we’re supposed to be. So, we learn to hide our struggles and protect ourselves from shame, judgment, criticism and blame by seeking safety in pretending and perfection. (From I Thought It Was Just Me But It Isn’t by Brene Brown)

I doubt myself every second of the day, at work, at home, with people I trust as my friends. I strive to please people who I doubt will be in my life even three years from now. I reply conversation in my head later wondering if I have offended someone, or said the wrong thing. I struggle to just “be” okay. To just enjoy those around me and the people who matter most. To see the differences in feeling shame for something and feeling bad about something I cannot control.

After an amazing conversation with a group of women that I only see but once a year, I was lead to find this book, and of course, that even ordered it immediately on my e-reader that evening. And while I’m only a few chapters in I can already feel the value that it holds for me, so much so that I bought three copies and gave them to women I value, and then bought three more, one of which I have left for a reader here!

It’s time to take back our imperfect lives, our imperfect selves and be okay with who we are, and value that in other women we see. It’s time to come from a place of empathy not sympathy and to recognize that while our struggles are different we have similarities that we can come together around.

So here is it, I’ve laid it all out! Leave a comment here and I will draw a winner on the 26th! Visit my Facebook page and enter there as well, if you win both you can share this journey with a friend! 

Monday, February 10, 2014

What comes to mind when you think of the smell of coffee brewing?

I have been using a few different apps to prompt me on things to write about, not only for blogging but also to be able to expand what I’m writing about and try and to explore new techniques.

So the three I’m currently juggling between are Askt, Q&A Journal and 365 Topics. I’m not in love with any one of them yet, which is why I have three! I miss writing, but sometimes you need a topic, sometimes there’s just nothing I need to say, or nothing that I want to admit on written paper or screen.

Today I got the above question, ‘what comes to mind when you think of the smell of coffee brewing’, and it brings me back to specific times and places. Both during the same part of my life, both separate geographically by about 300km.  Early to mid 20’s, it was such a different life than the one we live now day to day with two children, a dog and full time jobs.

 If we were in Welland at his apartment it meant that he was 
actually brewing a pot of coffee, which he would do, I don’t drink coffee so it was a very distinct smell for me. It conjures memories of laying on the box spring and mattress on the floor of the bedroom, with nothing to do and no place to go. Warm and young, and in love in a way that only new love in your 20’s can be.

If we were in London at my place it would mean that we were at Starbucks, (where my obsession with it started), and that we were out separately reading the magazines from Chapters, together. Enjoying the life of weekend visits, trying to figure out where we were going, our career paths, how they would fit together and what this adventure would all turn out to look like. Surrounded by students, or other young professionals, or moms and their babies, or business men working on weekends. Everyone there for a different reason, but ours was always the same.

Now I don’t notice the smell anymore, we have a Keurig and so he does it a cup at a time, it doesn't give the same effect and I’m kind of glad because it if did the memories of the smell wouldn't be as evoking as they are. 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

What do you spend too much of your time doing?

I’m sure like many others the answer is worrying. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t worry, and as I get older I like to trick myself into believing that I worry less but it is a fine balance.

I do worry less about what people think of me, well let’s clarify that; I do worry less about what SOME people think of me. About having friends that fit the right mould , but I worry more about having friends that support my family and ones that I can have fun with and not be judged by.

Carer wise I worry less about the perfect job, and the corporate ladder than I did even five years ago. I want to do something that makes a difference and be doing something that will have a lasting effect, and while I’m not doing what is my perfect job yet, there is a goal and when I reach it I will cross this all off the “worry list”.

My parents are high on the worry list, and have been their separation. Will Mom ever be truly happy? Will Dad find someone else and if he does will she at least be older than me! Ha ha! Will we finally get to a place as a family where they can be in the same room with each other without one or the other feeling awkward and then feel the need to call me after and tell me about it.

Where the worry metre goes up is with my kids of course. Will they grow up to be happy and productive, and is there something I’m doing that will ruin them for life that I don’t know about now but will see perfectly in hindsight? How do my husband and I teach them how to be strong, independent young men as well as boys who have an emotional intelligence to them as well. I intensely worry about my husband, our relationship and how to keep a marriage happy and healthy when the world around you is often neither of those.

My mom is a worrier so maybe it’s an inherited quality? Or maybe I just need to someone to blame for my shortcomings. I am forever wishing that I could worry less . . . add it to the list! 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Falling back . . . into a groove!

There is so much that I love about fall but the biggest thing is that I can get back into a nice routine. The insanity of the summer is over, weekends are spent back at the hockey area, nights are full of play, homework and bed. 

Don't get me wrong. I love summer as well, but it always seems to busy and hectic and when it's over everyone feels disappointed. I strive on routine. I do better when I know what to expect and I think that the boys do to. Fall also gives me a chance to tackle a few more things than I do in the summer. I've picked up cross stitching again thanks to The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. 

If you haven't seen it yet, I've got a new hat project that will benefit the Teso Safe Motherhood Project in Uganda, and I've been able to make a few other little things for friends and family and send out surprises all over, which I LOVE!

So bring on the colours, the leaves, the colder mornings, and I will take it all! What is your favourite thing about fall?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The price of a craft.

So since I've been getting back into knitting and I have a little table at a show coming up there seems to be one question that sneaks back into the fold. What is the price of a craft?

I'm not a fan of the word craft really, somehow it implies to me that I made it out of Popsicle sticks and Elmer's glue. I'm sorry if that offends others, I just don't like it. I knit, I quilt, I do a few others things as well, but I don't find myself particularly crafty. Who knows maybe others see it differently. I digress!

Okay so the issue at heart here is what do you charge for the things that you make? I know there are all kinds of calculations out there to use, like the price of material x2 + time. But of course you would never sell anything at that price. 

These little pixie hats for instance. Alpaca blend, hand knit, 0-3 month size. Okay go! I think that a fair price is around $22 but is that too much, is that not adding enough value to what they are or what I've made? Does anyone else struggle with this as much as I do? I want to be fair but I also want to be paid a decent price for doing something I love, is that even possible? 

Monday, July 29, 2013

I wasn't meant to be a hockey mom!

Have I mentioned that before? The early mornings (although anyone who knows my children knows that we are up by 6 every morning anyways), the cold arenas, the equipment, the screaming parents.

Now if I wasn't meant to be a hockey mom, goalie mom is even further from what I should be. There's too much to take in, I go into Mama Bear mode the second he steps on the ice, and can we remember he's just 6! He fits IN the net! And yet here we are! The last week in July and William has just finished his first summer of 3-on-3 hockey and as a goalie no less. 

On the weekend he played his first official playoff games (oh I long for the days of Timbit hockey where there were no playoffs and no pressure), and his team won. When I say team, I mean team, there is nothing more that a nail biting, crazed eyed mom could ask for than the teammates that William had. These little guys, some also 6, some 7 and 8 were so fiercely protective of him, often going from one end to the other to get back and help him out. 

I wish that as adults we could remember these little things. Helping others when it's not your job, getting back and giving a hand, and the sheer joy of playing!

This picture to me said it all, when I was editing it after it brought tears to my eyes, you could see the excitement on  his teammate's face as he pulls William towards him to celebrate. 

And in a few months we will be doing it all again for the "real" season, goalie equipment and all. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

When home is different than you remember.

It didn't quite happen suddenly that going back to "The Eau" was different, it snuck up on me, one small thing at a time. First it was Mom moving moving out, then a summer with only Dad in the house, and now the For Sale sign that really seems to almost haunt me while I'm there.

Many things are the same, Dad still spends most of my time home fixing my car.

The beach is still there, and the beach glass can still be found if you take your time. The boys love being there, but now spending their time between two places instead of the one stable place I've always called home.

With my job ending, and a bit of an identity crisis that you know I've been dealing with, a slip back into a depression that I haven't felt since after William was born, the change in going home just seems like icing on the cake.

I'm pretty sure that I'm searching for something that I may not find again, and how do you get over that?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Being okay with being done.

While struggling with all these identity issues these days while looking for a job I've also been struggling with letting go of wanting to have a third child. My dear husband has known for some time that two was enough and I have been rather adamant that two is "not my number" that there was something inside that I could not quiet saying "one more, three is your number."

I had a bit of an epiphany last week. For the first time, maybe ever, when a close friend told me she was expecting I didn't feel jealous, I was just happy for her. I didn't relate her news to something I wasn't doing or having, I just felt relieved that her journey was continuing in a way that she was more than ecstatic about.
This might seem like a small thing, but after feeling an empty womb syndrome for what seems like since the moment little man #2 was born, it was a big deal. I felt like a decision in my heart and my head had finally been made and I was okay with it.

I have two amazing boys, who are full of life and teach me something new everyday. I am working to become a doula and possibly a childbirth educator so I will ensure that I am able to help other woman and families through their journeys, but I feel now that it is their journey and not my own. I'm not sure the feeling of wanting more children ever quiet goes away, but being content with two feels more natural than it ever has before, and I'm celebrating that.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Yep I'm a goalie mom!

So being a hockey mom was not a dream of mine, even with two boys. I grew up playing baseball and my husband grew up playing soccer so really in our house hockey was a passing thought (they may revoke our Canadian citizenship for typing that!). Until now . . .

Not only did I endure 1/2 a season as a hockey mom when boy 1 wanted to play late into the season, but now we are doing summer 3-on-3 hockey, and yep he's the goalie. He had been asking and we figured that at 10 weeks it's a great chance for him to try it out. But I was not quiet prepared about how I would feel everytime the puck came near him, how much for acute I would be while watching the game, and how I would hold my breath while he tried his best to save that little black piece of rubber.

Two games in and he loves it! He even received the game puck his first game from the ref for a game well played, and his first win. I'm so proud but I'm not sure my heart will be able to handle more than 10 weeks of this!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

On the bright side!

Yes my last post was a bit of a pity party and I'm still feeling a bit down about it all and trying to sort out where I am and where I'm going, but one of the tactics that I'm using is to try to look on the bright side and today the bright side is these lovely photos from Jessica Weinstock of my pixie hats in action.

There is nothing better than seeing items that you have made being put to amazing use like this. I also have two to make for another photographer in NYC so I can't wait to see how she uses them.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Minor identity crisis.

I have to admit it, out loud, so people can hear . . . I am having an identity crisis.

For over 10 years I have worked in the non-profit sector, and other than being off on maternity leave with my two boys I have never not been working. Since my time at my last position ended I have been looking for something else in the field, but wondering if there is something else out there that I could and would do outside the non-profit field. While I love it and the fullfillment it brings it is trying, means weekends and nights sometimes and really puts a bit of a strain on my family when I cannot leave things at work.

Then there is the part of me that is a mother, the part that wants to be able to build a practice as a doula and someday a childbirth educator, the lady who knits hats for babies around the world who are not as lucky as most of the ones born here, possibly a better photographer? There is the part of me that is a wife, that would love to be more organized at home (but is never really good at it), and being able to support my husband in what he is doing in his career.

I don't feel like myself when I'm not working, it's not a validation thing but it is just that I've always done it, but this time off while searching for something new, something better, something that fits my family has thrown me off more than usual.

So what do I do? Any advice? I could use some right now.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Miss P.'s Birth - Doula Love

I haven't had a moment to write about the amazing birth that I was able to be part of three weeks ago today. I'm still smiling about it, and about the entrance of Miss P.

It started with the call around 4:30am from a bit of a worried sounding Mommy, she was sure her water had broke and she was positive she was in labour, not early labour, real labour. When I arrived at 5am yes she was, but was doing great, talking between contractions, walking around, finding different positions to find some comfort in.

A few hours later, a car ride to the hospital, an amazing effort from Mom to get herself to 7cm, and finally the need for an epidural to get her some relief we were able to take a break. I was so proud of mom! By 12:20 the epidural had done such a good job of relaxing her that she was at 10cm and ready to meet her babe.

With one nurse, one midwife and myself there was a feeling of calm as she gave a few pushes and this little one entered the world at 12:38pm with a little tiny cry. Mommy cut the cord herself, and put that baby on her chest like it was the most natural thing in the world. 3 hours later we were back at her house, baby settling in, and Momma having so well deserved watermelon.

I feel so prividged to have been part of this, to have learned from Mommy, baby and the nurses and midwife who were surround me. I am lucky to have been able to help give this strong young woman the experience she wanted, to have captured most of it in images she will cherish and show her daughter later. It is the best of both the worlds I love so much.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Time for change

I'm not good with change, in fact I suck at change. Since my time at my last position has ended and I'm on the search for a new job there's been more change than I am use to, rather than fight it, I'm making more, trying to embrace it, so hence the new looking blog!

I'm also trying to make little changes in the way I act, the way I present myself and the way I make a difference in the world. New knitting projects with a chance to make a difference in other places, a new venture with Thirty-one as an independant consultant, and a few weekends a year as a part of the Lansinoh team.

We will see what comes from it all. I have also made the committment to be a better blogger, so I've downloaded a great app called Roller Journal, so hopefully on the days I think that I have nothing to say it will prompt me to think outside the box.

So here we go!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Bye Bye Baby

After almost eight years together I am saying goodbye to the one item that might be with me more than my kids and my husband. My camera, seen here, my lovely Pentax!

Waiting in the wings and newly arrived is a Nikon 3200D, a couple lenses and a lot of learning to do.