Tuesday, February 19, 2008


I had a dream about knitting last night (note: onset of dreaming does not imply I'm sleeping longer and thus reaching deep sleep. merely that I'm sleep deprived enough that I drop immediately into dreams) I dreamt that I started a pair of socks, and I was just going around and around and around. Unfortunately that's as close as I've gotten to knitting in a couple of weeks. I need something simple, something mindless. I feel naked sitting still without my hands moving, but I rarely have enough time to start something new, or to look at a pattern once something is begun.

Despite the lack of knitting time, folks still seem to think of me as a knitter. My mom gifted me with a great bunch of this yarn in the Butter colorway. It has a very interesting texture (not quite soft, not quite scratchy, very organic), and I love that it's made in the southwest. I've been wanting to make a tank top for ages, so I cast on for this lacey thing while I was still visiting mom in Arizona. Alas, the bottom inch is as far as I've gotten. Not even enough fabric to be considered racey, but more like a belt. I think my rationale went something along the lines of "a tank top will go quicker than a sweater," but when knitting fine yarn on size 4 needles, that might not be the case.

And my friend, Chrystal, returned from a visit to her grandma's farm with this:
All of it made by her grandma - from sheep to dye kettle to skein. I feel a bit of pressure to do something cool with it - how can I let her go back to Vermont without photos of my appreciative knitting?

So far, this is as close as I've gotten to knitting with any of the yarn...

Ideas, anyone? There is some laceweight in there, some I don't know what you call it maybe boucle?, and some DK weight. Maybe I should succumb to my lack of time for thought and swatching and just make a knit-every-row shawl? And since Grandma knew exactly what Chrystal was talking about when she told her I was making diaper covers, maybe she'd actually feel honored to have some used for a soaker?

Monday, February 11, 2008


Having a newborn gives one a new perspective on sleep. While in college you may have learned how little sleep was actually necessary to function - I didn't. I was one of those annoying people who finished things ahead of schedule and studied all semester so I didn't have to freak out and pull all-nighters. I've always been a pretty regular 7-8 hour per night kind of girl. Imagine my surprise, then, when I discover that it is possible to function on blocks of sleep of less than 3 hours at a stretch. Imagine my surprise at being able to sustain this for five months. (let me put emphasis on the word function rather than excel or succeed)

One evening, in quiet desperation, I pleaded to my husband "What am I doing wrong?" Pointing to the array of books on the topic (there are at least two books on getting your child to sleep through the night for every book on nutrition, behavior, and development), he reassured me that it was hardly an uncommon problem. And yet, in this case, company hardly lessens the misery. Few parents own up to having a child who wakens frequently in the night. Instead, those lucky few boast about the number of hours their angel sleeps each night. I do everything I've read that should help - regular naps, quiet evenings, a bedtime routine - and still he wakes every 2-3 hours demanding to eat.

This past week, however, my focus has shifted. I don't really care if he sleeps through the night, if only putting him to sleep could be more peaceful. Bedtime has not been idyllic for some time, having a child who seems to require a bit of screaming to unwind each night. We've overcome the hurdle of being able to put him into his bassinet once he is asleep (patience and persistence), but now he seems to recognize the bedtime routine and has been putting up mounting resistance to falling asleep. If he accidentally falls asleep while nursing, he'll wake up within the hour with extra energy for his revolt.

I'm hoping this is "just a phase" as my mother said through the years she had young children, but I can't help feeling like perhaps there is something we've done wrong to find ourselves in this situation. Books would certainly seem to indicate this is the case - for if we aren't doing anything wrong, how can they sell themselves as the cure? Barring the "crying-it-out" method* we are left to our only devices: rocking and swaying while he protests, trading off when one parent's emotional limit is breached, and praying that tomorrow sleep will come more gracefully.
sleeping beauty. mismatched sheets are a hallmark of midnight sheet changes.

* "Crying it out" is not an option, as can be corroborated by anyone who has been in the car with us - this child has a passionate reserve of energy for making his feelings known.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Back to work

Tomorrow is the day.

I used to wonder how women could stand to be home all day with their kids, but the way the past 4.5 months have flown by I'm starting to understand. The first 3 months are a blur of sleeplessness, nursing, washing diapers. It is the past six weeks that have really been precious...

* waking up first thing in the morning to his mischevious little grin (makes the time on the clock a bit less painful)
* the way he watches me from across the room while he's in someone else's arms
* the movement of his pursed lips as he dreams of nursing
* our "conversations" of nonsense that say so much
* the way my off-key voice can calm him every time with a silly song
* his hand gently brushing my chest or reaching up to my chin as he nurses
* watching him kick and swim in the bathtub, fists tucked under his chin, face in deep concentration

My days are going to seem long without him in my arms, without narrating every part of my day to him. But just like the wonderful feeling I get every time I pick him up after his nap, I hope that feeling will be even bigger when I come home from an entire day away. I hope his grin doesn't fade, and that he's young enough to be glad to see me without the baggage of being upset I was gone.