Tanis Fibre Arts Giveaway!

See this delicious yarn? You could win a kit just like this one!

I’ve been keeping my eye on Tanis Fibre Arts since I started knitting. Their colors are so vibrant and the yarn looks oh-so-soft. They spin their own yarn and offer it up in their store for sale alone or in kits.


Travel on over to their blog:  Tanis Fibre Arts to find out how you could win their giveaway!  Or if you want to check out what they are all about visit their website Tanis Fibre Arts Store.

When I have some extra money I’d like to join their year in color club.  Looks like fun and my friends who have done it enjoy the yarn and patterns they receive.

So hop on over, enter the contest, pick up some yarn and start knitting!  Have a great Friday everyone.  🙂


Paws to Heart – Being a Dog Foster Mom

There have been many dogs through this small apartment’s doors but only two have ever called it home. Through all the licking, the barking, the behavior issues, the sad stories and the heartbreak when they leave I have never asked myself “why do I do this?”.  I do it because I love dogs.  It’s as simple as that.

There are so many dogs who need help, so many lives and sad stories that I often find myself overwhelmed.  It’s hard to wade through the horrors of dog rescue and feel like you aren’t doing enough or that you’re horrible for not saving all the doggies.  I often have to defend my choice of charity to other people who don’t understand why I put my efforts into saving animals when there are children starving.  I’ve also had to defend my choice of rescue to other animal advocates who think I’m not doing it right.  That I’m not saving the right kind of dogs or fighting for what they believe to be the correct way to rescue.

This post isn’t for them though.  This post is for everyone out there who ever wanted to do something to help but weren’t sure about what to do.  Consider fostering – it’s one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences you will ever have.  It will teach you patience when the dog who has never lived in a house pees on your walls and chews your furniture.  It will teach you creative thinking when you have to adjust your schedule for a special needs pet or a high energy pup who needs more exercise.  It will teach you how to child proof your home because if you have a chewer you will learn quickly what dangerous and expensive things should NOT be left around where waist-high creatures can get at them.  Most of all though, it will teach you about unconditional love.  It will teach you about putting the needs of another being before your own.  You will learn to do what is best for that being even if it goes against what you want.

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I’m a Knitter!

It’s happened. I’ve officially been bitten by the knitting bug. I’ll admit, it kind of snuck up on me.

I started out knitting little squares of acrylic yarn – working to perfect my knit and purl before I tried anything harder.  It was a good distraction for my hands, nothing more.

Then I discovered real yarn. The stuff made out of natural materials like wool and cotton. I bought a bunch of different types and colors and added to my needle collection.

I made washcloths. Knitting different patterned squares in all natural organic cotton for my little baby bean. Still not “getting” this whole knitting thing but I’m enjoying the fact that knitting on the bus keeps me from having panic attacks. It lessens my anxiety…that’s a good thing right?

Then I discovered Noro yarn. The beautiful Japanese yarn with so many colors. I bought a couple skeins. I found an easy pattern on ravelry.com to make a scarf with said Noro yarn. As I knit this scarf (called Undulation) I find myself gazing at the fabric in wonder.  I made this!  I knitted this!  I wonder what ELSE I can knit?  What other patterns (no longer another language to me) can I find to turn into gifts for friends and family?  What other skills can I learn next?  What other yarns can I buy?  What’s on sale this week?  So much yarn…so many patterns…

I didn’t know knitting could be this FUN.  And that’s the whole point, right?  FUN!

Pregnant Ponderings

So I’m pregnant. 28 weeks pregnant.  That’s more pregnant than I’ve ever been and gods willing I’ll be bringing this bean into the world in 2 1/2 months time. Probably earlier, I feel this will be an early birth. I’m not sure why I feel this way – perhaps it’s the way Arthurbean kicks me constantly as if he’s anxious to leave my belly and see the world. I think he knows the wonders that await him in this apartment (awesome dad, adorable dog, more animated movies, comics and video games than he could ever want). It’s fatherbean’s fault. He’s been reading a book on the Tardis from Doctor Who to Arthur before bed. Who wouldn’t want to learn more about the Doctor?

I’ve got sciatica, my hips constantly hurt, my back aches from simultaneously holding up a giant belly and ginormous boobs (did you know there is bigger than an H cup? I do now.), carpal tunnel is my constant friend at work, I forget things all the time but…but…but…look at my hair! It’s so thick and shiny and wavy – I touch it all the time. Fatherbean loves it as I have left it long and flowing instead of cutting it short for the oncoming summer.  So when the physical pain and inconvenience gets too much some days I just run my hands through my lustrous hair (I can use that word again hee hee hee).

Arthurbean you’ll have to stay inside a bit longer.  I have a nursery to set up, furniture to buy, a husband to prepare, classes to attend, and a baby blanket to finish knitting for you.  There’s currently a foster dog occupying your nursery (see picture) and he’ll be leaving for his new foster home in May.  Your nursery theme is puppies anyways, so he’s just been keeping it puppied for you.  We have so many useful things we need to buy you (a stroller, car seat, clothes, bottles, nibs, soothers etc etc etc) but your easily distracted mamabean keeps getting sidetracked by adorable baby plush that are in the shape of puppies.  I really hope you like puppies.

I love you already and above anything else that happens during my day I ponder the day I get to meet you, finally.

Then I remember that day comes with crazy pain and screaming (thanks prenatal classes!) and ponder something else.  Like puppies.

Intensive Prenatal Classes

What was supposed to be informative and helpful ended up being a very hard day for me yesterday. My husband and I had signed up for prenatal classes with the only person in our city that my Dr recommended. We opted for the two 4 hour classes instead of the five 1 1/2 hour classes.

We were early and sat in the room waiting for the 7 other couples to show up.  The instructor gave us our name tags (oi – name tags?) and fatherbean and I read various books on babies while we waited.

I can feel the anxiety starting in me, the tickle in my stomach that isn’t quite nausea, the racing thoughts in my head – but what if they don’t like me oh god i’m going to be the oldest mom here i’ll definately be the fattest will i have to talk infront of them – and so on and so forth.  I know fatherbean is nervous but he stays quiet and focused beside me.  I take out my knitting and work on calming some of that anxiety.

The first couple arrives and sits down.  Then the rest trickle in.  The fathers all seem to have the same caught-in-the-headlights look on their faces and focus their attention on the moms.  The moms all glance around when they think the others aren’t looking and steal peeks at other bellies than theirs.  No one talks – I don’t think anyone is sure how to start a conversation.  “Hi!  I’m pregnant, so are you!  So…uh…how’s it going?”

A lady representing a company that does Cord Blood Banking comes in and talks to us about it.  http://www.insception.com/  I’d heard about this service before but had never really delved into the heart of it.  The blood can apparently be used later in the child’s life to help with various diseases and can even be used for other close family members.  Sounds good but it’s expensive and not something fatherbean and I have the budget for at the moment.  Plus I feel guilty – like I won’t be doing enough to protect this child if I DON’T use the service.

The class continues.  The teacher is a beautiful woman with a Trinidad accent.  I love listening to her talk and she puts me at ease.  Fatherbean is learning what to do to make labor more comfortable for me – ways he can help and ways he can be useful.  What to do to take care of himself and me in the coming months.  I know he’s been stressed about seeing me in pain and about becoming a dad so as I expected this class is more for him than me.

As the class moves on and we start talking about the signs of labor and preterm labor I start to become more and more agitated.  I’ve already been in labor.  I know the signs.  My mind flashes back to that horrible day all alone at the hospital where I went in to emergency with what I thought was a bladder infection and ended up having a stillbirth at 19.5 weeks.  As the teacher describes the type of pain contractions are my body remembers and I start to panic.  I think of Joel, little Joel, who I lost last May and whose death weighs still so heavily on my heart.  I get mad once again at the Ob/Gyn who failed me.  It’s hard hearing all this in a setting I can’t escape from. It’s taking all my strength not to run sobbing from the room.  I look at the wall and try not to listen too much.  Not that I think anyone will fault me for it if I did start crying but I do not want to upset the class – nor the other mothers there. I also do not really want to explain myself.

Perhaps one day I will post my lost bean’s story.

The instructor noticed my pain and took me aside afterwards and we talked about it.  It really helped.  She helped calm my anxieties somewhat and gave me some options to help with this pregnancy.  She says fatherbean and I may be candidates for a volunteer Doula to help – especially since I have an increased risk of post partum depression.  That would be a big help.

I’ll leave this post on a fun note though. While all us moms were out in the hall eating our lunch the men had to stay behind and make a list of things to “help her during pregnancy”. Like what they would specifically do. When us women were let back in the room we had to guess which ones our guys wrote. There was one there that said “Bring her a picture of a favorite pet” and I started to laugh. I knew that was fatherbean’s! The teacher said he wanted to bring me the pet but they don’t allow that at the hospital so a picture will have to do. Seems as if my precious Spitha dog will be helping me during pregnancy more than she knows – and how lucky am I to have a husband who truly understands me like he does? So lucky.

Knitting leads to rats and sloths and Bronies, Oh My!

I decided to teach myself knitting and discovered that there is a wonderful yarn store in my area that specializes in all natural and hand-spun yarns. They source their own brand of yarn locally and bring in some killer natural yarns from around the world. I picked up the one you see in the picture – Noro Silk Garden – from Japan a month or so ago but have been terrified to knit anything with it.  I’m a beginner and beautiful yarn like this needs at least some skill right?

So since I’ve mastered knitting, purling and combining the two into patterns by knitting my unborn child cotton washcloths (he now has about 5 lovingly knitted face wipes), I decided to break out my Japanese yarn and make myself something nice.  A scarf called undulation.  Undulation.  Isn’t that word erotic?  So yeah, erotic scarf for mamabean.

I also discovered, whilst perusing Spun’s website, that they offer a knit group on Fridays where you drop by and hang out with a group of awesome knitters and crocheters (is that a word?) and talk.  Though they don’t call it this on their website, I have been told that knitting groups like this are often called “Stitch and Bitch”.  So last Friday I attended my first “Stitch and Bitch” and was pleasantly surprised.  The store is warm and inviting and the patrons are cheerful and full of fun and laughter.  I mainly knit and listened – watching out of the corner of my eyes as they knit with speed and precision while talking enthusiastically about everything.  (Seriously, how do they knit that freaking fast?  I’d stab myself in the hand going at those speeds)  They were kind enough to help this newbie with her questions and work to include shy me in the conversation as many times as they could.

This Friday I bought my needles and took a seat at the table to once again listen to this group of 10 – 15 ladies and men (yes, men knit too!) talk about, well, everything!  The topics jumped around like kernels in a frying pan but I was enraptured by the debate raging in my corner of the room – are sloths cute?  There were several votes for yes (I was among those) and several for no.  So, out came the iPods and laptops to play videos of adorable sloths doing adorable things.  Like this one:  .  During this fascinating conversation I realized that I needed to re-do the knitting I had started as I hadn’t been paying attention and had knitted with the tail which prompted a frustrated cry from me and kindly laughter from others around me.

Oddly, the conversation took a turn I didn’t expect.  Being a geek had not come up yet and I wasn’t sure If I was going to out my nerdiness to these crafty ladies.  However – the topic of Bronies came up and no one in the room could answer the how or why of Brony culture.  I couldn’t keep my geeky mouth shut on this one (seeing as I’m a Pegasister and all) and proceeded to explain to everyone the wonder of My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic.  They seemed truly interested in what I was saying and happy with my explanation of the MLP FIM phenom.  I told them I was a fan of the show but that I also worked at a comic shop.  Consider myself outed.

Bronies, I did you proud tonight at my knitting group.

In other news I downloaded a Hipstamatic app for my iPod.  It takes pictures as if my camera was old and polaroid-ish.  These are my first attempts as I learn what the lenses do.  So, for your viewing pleasure, snapshots of my trip to work taken with various hipster iPod lenses.  And a picture of my dinner.  A delicious sundae from Baskin Robbins.  What?  Smallbean demanded a sacrifice of ice cream.  Now he is satisfied and only dancing on my bladder once in awhile.

A Surreal Pregnancy Moment

OK, first off, 27 weeks OMFG.  I’ve wandered out of the realm of “is she pregnant or fat” and into the “so, how far along are you?”.  It helps that the weather here is unseasonably warm and I’ve shed my winter jacket for some maternity dresses and tank tops.

I’m feeling:  Pretty darn good, actually.  Other than a few anxiety-related panic attacks on the public bus and an extreme need to pee every hour or so, this third trimester is turning out to be fairly easy going.  Bean is kicking me on a regular basis (or head butting or punching or butting) and sometimes my belly even ripples.  Look at it jiggle fatherbean, LOOK, it’s so jumpy!

So today while waiting for the bus downtown to go to work I had a bit of a surreal moment of pregnancy shared with 4 other pregnant ladies.

We all kind of turned, regarded each other’s protruding bellies, then shared a simultaneous smile with hands resting on said bellies.  In that one smile I felt connected to something bigger.  To a shared anxiety about motherhood and all the ups and downs that go with it.  That smile on each of our faces said a million words trimmed down into one sentence “Congratulations, I know what you are going through.”  Then we all turned from each other and went on our ways – some of us by bus, some walking down the street, some disappearing into stores.

I know what you are going through, and you are not alone.