Thursday, July 26, 2012

Needle & Thread ~ June 26th, 2012

needle and thREAD

Earlier this week, I was busy trying to do some last minute sewing for baby and me. I made some sucking/drool pads for my Ergo baby carrier. I know that it won't be getting much use for the first while, but I wanted to be prepared. This carrier is going on it's third baby and is nearly 7 years old. It is still in great shape, but I don't like to wash it very often. These pads should come in handy. I got the pattern from LuBird Baby. I used the same fabric as I used for this project.

I also whipped up a dozen post-partum mama pads to add to my stash. I drew up my own pattern and used the sewing method described in this post. There is so much information out there on homemade cloth pads. I react to Always and other synthetic pads. I already have some pads that I made using this pattern and I love them. I had left over diaper making supplies and made mine with using a top layer of bamboo french terry, an absorbant layer of zorb, another absorbant layer of cotton quilt batting, and a layer of flannel. The bottom pad is made from 2 layers of cotton print with a hidden layer of PUL. I hope that they are as comfortable and absorbant as they feel. I also sewed up the little bag that is in the basket. It hold my diva cup, some tampons and pregnancy tests. I didn't realize how many I had until I put them in there. In case you want or need to buy pregnancy tests, buy them in bulk here. They are way cheaper than the ones you find at the pharmacy and are just as accurate.

I am still reading my way through Embracing Motherhoodby Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle as well as reading tidbits here and there in my pregancy and birth books. In truth, I haven't been reading much because it puts me to sleep (which is not hard when you are pregnant). I also have been very busy knitting things for the baby.

Please don't forget to stop by Elizabeth's blog to see what other's have been sewing and reading for this week's installment of Needle & Thread.
God Bless and have a wonderful Feast of Sts. Joachim and Anne,

Stash Bash ~ July 26, 2012.

This week's edition of Stash Bash includes projects from already existing stash and some brand new yarn that I just bought. I don't tend to have an abundance of yarn in the house, so I ordered a bit of yarn a few weeks ago to enhance my diminishing stash. I had plans to make some neat projects before baby arrives, but I don't have the right sized needles. We'll see if I splurge or not. I try to use what I have on hand.

So this week, I have been scurrying to finish up some more projects for the baby. I don't think I have ever made so many things for any of my other babies. Not clothes, anyway. I am just starting to get the hang of it and not leaving the unfinished objects in my knitting baskets.

This is the Offset Wraplan pattern  by Sara Morris and the Shadow Stripes Hat pattern byPatti Pierce Stone. I changed up the bottom part of the sweater by using the "zig-zag welt" pattern from the book Knitting Over The Edge: Unique Ribs, Cords, Appliques, Colors, Nouveau. I snapped this book up from the library at a book sale for $1.00. This is the first time that I have used it for one of my projects and I think I will be using it again. The pattern links above take you to my ravelry pages and have included my notes. Both are free patterns!

This is a baby elf hat for taking newborn pictures. I want to make a cocoon to match if I can get larger needles without breaking the bank. The pattern in the Baby Elf by Ira Rott. I didn't attach the braided part with a tassel. I liked the way it turned out without the longer piece. I can't wait to get a few snapshots with my little one in this hat.

So that's all for today. I have done a little bit of sewing, too. I will share that in another post. Go take a look at Tricia's blog to see what others have been doing to bash some stash.

God Bless friends,

Friday, July 20, 2012

St. Margaret of Antioch

Today is the feast day of Saint Margaret of Antioch.

Saint Margaret of Antioch was the daughter of a pagan priest. She converted to Christianity and was persecuted and imprisoned. In prison, she encountered the devil in the form of a dragon. He consumed her, but then spit her out because he was choking on the the cross that she wore around her neck. For this reason, she is also know as the patron of mothers in labor. She is also recognized by the Catholic Church as one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers and is one of the Saints that spoke to Saint Joan of Arc.

I have a lovely prayer that I would like to share. It is from Daily Prayers with the Saints for the New Millenium.

O Loving Lord, Saint Margaret's father was a pagan priest. Her escape from his false beliefs was depichted in a story of being swallowed by a dragon representing paganism, and then escaping from its belly as if being born anew. Because of this tale, she has become the patron saint of pregnancy, labor, and childbirth. I ask her to pray for every expectant mother I know, especially those who are having difficult pregnancies or who have been unable to conceive. Touch their wombs, dear Lord, and give them easy deliveries and healthy children. Protect the lives of babies who might be aborted. Saint Margaret, pray for us. Amen.
Have a wonderful feast day,

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Needle & Thread - Patrick's Quilt

I finally finished Patrick's quilt! I machine quilted it a few weeks ago and attached the binding. Then we were hit by a heat wave and there was no way that this pregnant momma could handle laying a quilt across her lap to finish binding it by hand. Luckily, the weather took a turn, we got some rain and it cooled down a lot. I sewed as fast as possible. Patrick loves his new quilt. I used the Wee Woodlands fabric from Moda and a pattern that I purchased on Etsy. It is called, Flowers in the Garden. It was an extremely quick quilt to cut and sew together. I have two more of these quilt tops waiting to be finished. I just need the motivation to finish them.

For now, I will share with you pictures of my sweetie and his new quilt.

This is the matching pillow case that we made a while back. My daughter Maria did the embroidery and I pieced, sewed and quilted the top.
This week, I have been reading Ingeborg Stadleman's "Die Hebammen Sprechstunde."
I love this book. It is a pregnancy book, written by a midwife. It covers all of the major issues and nuances of pregnancy, labour, post-partum period and breastfeeding. I especially love the breakdown of the first few days and weeks after giving birth. I have yet to find another book that describes the normal day-to-day changes in the early post-partum time. It describes in depth what your discharge should look like, your breasts and milk and sorts of other things that come up. It talks alot about natural remedies throughout the whole book. The uses of teas, tinctures, homeopathic remedies, herbs and aromatherapies are very important to well-being of the new mother. I have used a number of her remedies as described throughout the book and have always felt better for them. This book needs to be translated into English.

For more Needle & Thread posts, visit Elizabeth's Blog, In the Heart of my Home.

God Bless friends,

UPDATE: There is an English Translation of the above mentioned book available. You can find it here at Stadelmann Verlag. The book is called A Consultation with a Midwife. I hope it is every bit as good in English as it is in German.

Stash Bash - Last Minute Stuff

I am still supposed to be on bedrest light household duty. I have to keep baby in for one more week. I really shouldn't be sitting at the sewing machine, but it called my name. If baby comes soon, I won't be ready.

I had found a few simple patterns that I wanted to whip up. I kicked my feet up to cut out the material, skipped the ironing and sewed everything up real quick. I made hubby a neck pillow. I planned on making myself one as well, but I ran out of stuffing. They come in handy when you have a new baby and always end up sleeping while sitting. I forgot to take a picture of the one I made for Sascha. He loves it and used it to watch tv last night.

The other need, was some more nursing pads. I prefer cotton nursing pads to disposable. I hate paying for something that I am going to toss in the garbage. Plus they are expensive! I can't afford to buy any right now either. I had leftover flannel in my stash from making some cloth diapers. I backed them with a layer of fleece to make them waterproof. I used a 3:1 ratio, 3 flannel layers:1 fleece layer. I used a cd to trace the circles, cut them out with Maria's help and used an overlock stick on my sewing maching to finish them up. I have 9 new pairs of nursing pads.

I have a number of other projects that I want to whip up before baby comes. I have also started a cute little sweater. It is on my knitting needles. I know that I should be resting, but I get so bored. Do you get bored?

For more Stash Bash projects, check out Tricia's blog, Crunchy Catholic Momma.

God Bless friends,

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Simple Solutions

The past two days have been two of the most challenging and scary days of my life. I think I can safely say that they were pretty daunting for the rest of the family, too.

I am 35 weeks pregnant and everything has been going pretty well so far. On Friday the 13th, that all changed. I began have contractions. By dinner time they were about 5 minutes apart. After dinner, I called my midwife and she wanted to see me at the hosptial. That's sounds like no big deal, but at first, we couldn't get ahold of anyone to look after the kids.

Our neighbor had promised to help us out in a pinch if we needed her, but she is very busy and we saw her leave. Since moving across the city, we haven't made many new friends. Most of our friends are living near our old neighborhood. But at first we couldn't reach anyone. By then the contractions we 2-3 minutes apart and I was panicking.

I still had to pack a bag for me (just in case) and a bag for the baby (just in case). I was frantic, scared and praying. I grabbed a rosary and hoped and prayed that Sascha had finally gotten ahold of someone. He did and boy was I thankful.

We had to drive quite a ways to our friends house, which did not help the contractions any. Then we drove to the hospital. We met our midwife on the sixth floor and were hooked up to monitors and given a non-stree test. That is when things started to slow down, thankfully. The contractions went from 3-4 minutes to 7 minutes apart. We were happy that things were slowing down. We are not ready to have a premature baby. She checked my cervix and I was maybe 1cm. That is good news too. So she sent us home. We picked up the kids and thought a good night's rest would do the trick.

All Friday night and early Saturday morning, I was plagued with contractions. One after another after another. They were getting pretty intense. I tried to sleep between them, I really tried. I had to run to the toilet a million times. By five in the morning, they were so intense that I woke my already awake husband. We came upstairs and went into the living room and went through all of the possible scenarios. Because of the choas, we hadn't made Saturday's breakfast, which we always make the day before. We didn't have food for the kids. Living with food allergies/sensitivities adds a whole new dimenion to the stress.

I called the midwive and she urged me to take a bath and half a glass of wine to slow things down and that she would meet with me later. Sascha scurried into the kitchen and whipped up a batch of banana bread (our breakfast food of choice) and planned on serving that with fruit and yogurt. He also started making two loaves of gluten free bread. One for Saturday, for the kids' lunch and one in case of an emergency. Meanwhile I took a bath. This caused the contractions to get even more intense. They were now coming 1-2 minutes apart. It was so early and we had yet to call someone to help with the kids.

Sascha saw the neighbor lady head out to work. I called one friend, whom I love dearly. She also has 5 children, so I felt so terrible asking her at 6:00am to watch my kids. The kids all get along and have fun, but still that's 9 kids! She agreed to watch them.

Sascha and I wanted to see if we could let the kids sleep as long as possible. We hadn't gotten home from the hospital until almost 10:00pm the night before and only the youngest fell asleep in the car. I got the brilliant idea of drinking an Emergen-C (a drink recommended by midwives during labor to increase energy). I had some stashed ready to use for the home birth. Sascha brought me a glass and I drank it up rather quickly. Guess what? It caused me to become really drowsy and allowed me to doze off and it lightened up the contractions a bit.

While I was dozing and my dear husband was playing housewife making breakfast, bread and trying to keep busy, he also made me some laborade.


1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1 crushed calcium-magnesium tablet (or 1-2 Tbsp liquid Cal-mag)
enough water to make 1 litre.

You mix this all together until it is one homogenous mixture. You sip this over ice to ease morning sickness. You can sip it also to help heartburn. You can also make it into ice cubes and pour soda water over it.

Since my contractions had slowed down significantly, we called the midwife and she suggested that we see her in the afternoon and make sure that the contractions had changed the cervix in any way. We agreed and called our friends to tell them that hopefully things are slowing down and that we might need them in the afternoon.

The contractions came and went all day. I was pretty sure that I wasn't in labor. I also wanted to be sure that nothing had changed internally. I also wanted to know what I could do to ease the frequency and the intensity of some of these nasty contractions. I knew that I had to hold out at least another two weeks before I could have a home birth, let along a non-premature baby. I couldn't keep having nights like Friday night. I never slept at all. I wanted to be somewhat fit for the birth and the initial weeks of turbulent hormones, night feedings etc.

I sipped laborade over ice and prayed. I hung out on my bed and tried to keep my mind off the situation. I called the midwife and we agreed to meet. By this time, my contractions were not significant in number or intensity. I couldn't figure out why, but my wise husband had a theory.

At the clinic, we found no change in the cervix. Yeah!!! and I did the group B strep test. My husband shared his theory with the midwife. We have had intense temperature for the past week. This is not normal for our area. We also rarely get any humidity, but it has been very humid. I have drank more water than I can ever remember drinking and this is the catch. I was drinking water and so much so that I was likely flushing all of the good salts out of my body. My urine test from Friday night indicated that I was dehydrated. This threw us off at first, but Sascha thinks I drink too much water and not enough other stuff. The Emergen-C is like an electrolyte soltion and replenishes your body of deprived vitamin C and many other minerals. The laborade also has salt in it. These drinks must have aided in bringing my body's salt household back into balance. The results being less contractions.

The midwife was impressed with his theory and agrees. She know that the heat can bring on a lot of contractions. She told me to drink Emergen-C everyday in addition to lots of other fluids.

I went to bed at 7:00pm last night. Sascha brought the kids to bed for me. He is such an awesome husband and daddy. I was sleeping by 7:30pm and didn't wake up until about 20 minutes ago. I never woke up once to go pee. That is a miracle of its own. I woke up to another miracle. My rather chubby pregnant feet are almost back to their pre-pregnant size and I lost 3 lbs.

So ladies, I could have saved myself, my husband and family a ton of trouble by making sure that my salt levels were in balance. Who knew? You would think that this is my first pregnancy. I  was still put on light household duty, no lifting and told to get plenty of rest. But now I know that simple solutions (pardon the pun) could have saved me a whole bunch of stress.

I also account the number of prayers and the intercession of Our Lady, St. Gerard, St. Gianna, St. Anne and St. Margaret of Antioch to have helped as well. I believe that it is no coincidence that my midwife team's name is the "Morning Star" group.

God Bless friends,

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Yarn Along ~ A day late

It has been so hot here! I can hardly move. Luckily and thankfully it cools down a little to sleep at night. I never got around to posting my Yarn Along post yesterday. I was busy making a family cookbook.

I am now 35 weeks pregnant and feeling a little bit of pressure to get things done, but it has been so hot lately. I have mentioned before that I have a 'to do' list that I want to tackle before the baby comes. One of those things was to compile a little cookbook with all of our family favourites in it. Eating grain-free is challenging at times, but I have learned to adapt regular recipes to our needs. I have written all over my 'go-to' recipes. There are substitutes listed in margins and things crossed out everywhere. That is ok if I am doing the cooking, but it makes it hard for the rest of my fellow family cooks. I knew that this cookbook had to be a priority when the breakfast bread that Noah baked turned out about as thick as an I-pod. It was bad. He missed something for sure. He claims he didn't, but we make this recipe 3-4 times a week and know that something went wrong. I take the blame partly because of the state of this particular page in the cookbook.

So instead of blogging yesterday, I typed like a mad woman to make a useable cookbook for my family. I promised everyone that I would print everything out today, laminate the pages and bind it into a little book for everyone to use. The oldest kids were thrilled about the laminated pages. My cookbooks have lots of stains in them. You should see my beet salad recipe! My inspiration for this cookbook came from these and many other sources.

The bottom book is actually one of two binders full of recipes pulled off of the internet. As our eating evolved from eating "normally" to being gluten-free to now being grain-free, I have a lot of recipes. Most of them are useless to me now. Whenever I wanted to find a particular recipe, it was buried between lots of other recipes. With a new baby coming, two kids and a husband that also cook, I don't actually do all of the cooking anymore. This cookbook is for them. No pen scribbles, no splotches of sticky food, just good recipes that we know and love.  I have included everything from breads, to smoothies, to marinated chicken to nutella ice cream. I wish I could share, but I can't take credit for hardly any of the recipes.

Enough about my excuses for not posting yesterday. I have been busily working on some things for baby and me. Here is my Ravelry page to see all of the things that I have been working on. I finished more projects this week than I have in a year. Right now, I am working on another wool soaker. I am knitting it in size S, since I tend to breed big babies.

I also recently ordered a couple of Donna Marie Cooper O'Boyle's books from Right now I just started Embracing Motherhood. It is an easy read and so full of wisdom and insight. I love her books. Like I said, I just began reading it so I don't have any comments other than I feel that it promises to be very uplifting and insightful.

For more Yarn Along posts, visit Ginny at her blog Small Things.

God Bless friends and thank you for stopping by,

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Summer Fun & Garden Pictures

I have a love/hate relationship with summer. I love gardening, but I hate the heat. We don't have much shade to hide under, so we spend most of our summer as we do our winter, indoors. But thankfully, our summers are not that hot and that many days are in their early 20's Celcius and we can really enjoy the outdoors.

Waterguns on a Saturday afternoon and mommy's feet in the kiddie pool.

Target practise.

Making soup.

Want some???

Yes, this child is dressed for -25C and not +25C. He claimed that he was cold.
Our first zucchini blossom.

Although blurry, you can see a few Marguerite (Roma) tomatoes on the vine.

The first sweat peas (Our Lady's Flower).

Mary with a beautiful flowerpot full of violas (Our Lady's Delight) and Double Cascade Orchid Mist petunias (Lady's Praise). These were planted from seed and transplanted by Maria.

The squash patch. There are zucchini, cucumbers, small sugar squash, marigolds (Mary's Gold), nasturtiums (St.Joseph's Flowers), borage (Virgin's Face) another type of squash or two. The markers got removed and switched up by my loving and cute toddler.

The strawberry (Fruitfull Virgin) and onion patch.

Saint Francis overlooks our Alexander Mackenzie and John Cabot roses (Mary's Purity).

I believe this is the blossom of a Snack Jack Pumpkin. We are growing these specifically for their seeds.

A closeup of our Alexander Mackenzie roses.

Owen's garden box. Filled with sunflowers (Mary's Gold), edible peas and sweat peas (Our Lady's Flower).

A view from the office/sewing room.

The current bushes are loaded with currents that are not yet ripe.

Another view of the garden. It turned out to be more beautfiul than I expected. I love my potager garden. I also adore that Mary is the focal point of the garden.

Now I just need to keep cool. I hope you are enjoying the summer. God Bless, friends.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Monday Afternoon Daybook

Outside my window... is scorching hot. We are not used to this here. We had such a rainy and cold spring.

 I am thinking...
...about all of the things that I want to get done before the baby arrives. My mind is circling about and it is truly exhausting.

I am thankful for...
...a bedroom in the basement, especially on these really hot days.

...another wonderful weekend.

From the lesson plans...
...nothing really. It is too hot to think. As soon as it cools down, I hope to plug in some more lessons plans on homeschool tracker. I am curious to see how that works out actually. Do you use homeschool tracker or another program.

 From the kitchen...
...leftovers. I also really want to make up another batch of Labour Ade. I have a recipe from the midwives and it is supposed to be good for labour, but I froze it into ice cubes and have been sipping it with club soda. I think I should let them know that it is also great for heartburn.

 I am wearing... black capris and a t-shirt. I was wearing a skirt.

I am creating...
...knitted nursing pads. I know that it is summer, but I love my woolen nursing pads. I just can't afford to buy any. I have one pair and a bunch of cotton ones from past pregnancies. I really prefer the woolen ones at the beginning.
...a quilt for both Patrick and the baby. I still have to quilt and bind the baby's, but Patrick's just needs to be bound. I started binding it, but it is just to hot to continue. Who can bind a quilt that lays on your laps during a heat wave?
...a pair of woolen soakers for the baby. I hope to knit another pair as soon as I have a few pairs of nursing pads whipped up.

 I am planning...
...a home birth. I still need to make up a birth plan and get a few more things ready. I still have a few weeks to get on that.

I am reading...
...bits and pieces of pregnancy and baby books. I have a book from the library that I want to start and another waiting for me on hold. I will have to get motivated though. I tend to fall asleep when I start to read.

 I am hoping...
...that the weather cools a bit.

I am hearing...
...the kids playing with legos.

Around the house...
...diapers need to be folded and stacked on the shelf. I got the bathroom cleaned. That is quite a task when you have a tiny bath and are huge pregnant. I used a spray that I found on pinterest. I didn't have to scrub, so that was great. I did however have to take a towel and cover my face while spraying. That stuff is strong.

I am going... try to rest and relax more. I tend to try to do too much and get easily frustrated.

I am praying for... baby that he stays put until the 25th of this month and for a beautiful homebirth. godmother who is still mourning the loss of my godfather.
...Patrick's godparents who are awaiting their 7th. husband to get promoted to permanent full-time instead of temporary full-time.

For the rest of the week...
...a midwife appointment on Wednesday.

A quote for the day...

"I wish I could lose myself and never find myself except in God!" ~ St. John Vianney

A picture thought...

Two of my boys celebrated a birthday on Saturday.

I hope you are staying cool and have a wonderful week. God Bless.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Needle & Thread

With Sascha being home for four days this past weekend, I actually got a lot of sewing done. First he repainted the office/sewing room and then I got to work. I made two pairs of newborn pants and matching bibs using the scraps and then I made shorts for two of the other boys.

Do you know how hard it is to find nice boy patterns? If you have little boys and like to make them clothes, you will know exactly what I mean. The newborn pants are made using Rae's Basic Newborn Pants pattern, which is free! I used the same bib pattern that I used for last week's Needle & Thread post. I still have to put snaps in them (I have an aversion to velcro on bibs) and they will be ready to go.

For the bigger boys in the Star Wars t-shirts, I used a pattern that I bought on Etsy a while ago. I bought the Fuddie Duddies Pants Pattern with Cuff. The pattern is really easy to use and is worth the money in my opinion. I made the shorts without a cuff and added pockets to Owen's in the style of Rae's pocket tutorial. I made some adjustments to Patrick's shorts in order to have them fit over his fluffy cloth diapered behind. I would love to make them some more shorts and pants. Owen and Patrick like to match. They have fun matching clothes. I also hope to find the pants pattern that I designed for Noah, my almost 12 year old. I want to make him a pair of matching shorts. When the baby arrives they can all match.

Unfortunately, I haven't been reading lately. I did order a few new books from amazon, though. They will be reading material for nursing sessions. Most of my time is spent nesting these days. And when I am not nesting, I am working with my hands. Maria and I also got some sewing done and we want to share that with you on our other blog.

God Bless friends and don't forget to stop by Elizabeth's blog for more Needle & Thread posts. There is also a giveaway this week! 
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