Wednesday, June 24, 2009

the solstice with the mostest

June 21st: Summer Solstice, Father's Day, and our 6th Wedding Anniversary. But the most important of all? It's the day Milo was born.

I'll save the labour story for another time (it involves another c-section) because all that matters now is that we're happy and we're home. Milo is a healthy little guy and looks just like Sadie did as a baby. He was by far the best Father's Day present Jay could ever get. I think the 3 of us are still in shock that we have a little boy, but we are so excited to start this adventure. Speaking of adventure, Milo just squealed. Gotta go kiss the newest love of my life.

Milo Lamb Kronenwald. Born June 21st, 2009, 5:11pm. 8 pounds, 4 ounces.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


In my efforts to stay busy - and distracted - I decided to make a curtain for our closet.  The biggest bedroom in our house was a joint studio until 2 months ago, and we've never got around to sanding and repainting the closet door in there.  But staring at a messy closet makes my head hurt, so I figured why not tackle this now?

Natural linen would have been my first choice, but I didn't have a big enough piece and I'm in a use-what-you-have phase right now (and should be for my whole mat leave).  I did have dark red dupioni silk that was big enough, but the look was way too boudoir.  So, I started randomly piecing together fabrics I liked.  It's a bit cutesy, but all the colours are right for the room and even Jay doesn't mind it.  Plus it covers up the mess behind it and makes me feel more relaxed.  I'll be spending a lot of time in the rocking chair right next to it, so the fabrics will make me happy.  Patchwork rarely goes wrong.

And the following photo is the other side of our closet, just above the makeshift change table we set up (a wooden desk filled with baby things).  I hadn't really noticed the contrast of lamb mobile to pin-up girl, but now it makes me laugh.  Figures we wouldn't notice, it took us long enough to move her from the kitchen to a more private space (Sadie used to say it was a picture of me).  Though privacy is soon going to be relative - we're sharing our bedroom with the new baby for as long as we can handle it so that we hold on to studio space. A small house always means reconsidering function.  Luckily, we enjoy all the experiments...just not painting closet doors.

Oh, and luckily babies don't read either.  We hung my little samplers above the bed.  I like seeing them together and it just seemed like the appropriate spot, if you ignore the whole baby component.  This is definitely a room I can spend a lot of time in, a phase which should be starting any day now.

Friday, June 19, 2009

d day


It's my own fault for thinking this baby would come early like Sadie did. I guess he/she is pretty happy in there and feels no rush to meet the world. I'm doing my best to distract myself, but it's hard. I need Jay and Sadie to get home because the cats - as charming as they are - just can't keep me occupied. And I think we all deserve a dinner out tonight. I mean, today is a due date. Surely we're allowed to celebrate, even if baby doesn't make a debut.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

stitches in time

It's funny. When I was pulling together my work, I felt that these little samplers were my indulgence - something that only I liked. I thought I was somehow "sneaking" them into the gallery show. But the beauty of sharing your work with the outside world is that you are reminded that what intrigues you the most is generally what resonates with others. And this small reminder keeps me going, and makes me feel that getting my ideas out onto physical surfaces is neither fruitless, nor meant for me alone.

Of course, there is a wealth of work out there that is exploring similar themes and materials, and I am inspired by it all. Here are two Flickr groups devoted to "subversive" needlework: Phat Quarter and Subversive Cross-Stitch (the latter being started for people to show their completed SCS kit work, but now it includes work that is original). A particular favourite of mine is this quote sampler, taken from Parker Posey's character in "Waiting for Guffman" (would Jay ever love to have that on our wall) and though it's not a sampler, this piece is wonderful. And thanks to this great new blog discovery (and check out her entire blog, you won't be disappointed!), I've been introduced to Joetta Maue and her fantastic fibre work.

So much inspiration out there, and never enough time in the day. I think I just might go pick up a needle and thread - late pregnancy carpal tunnel syndrome be damned!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

reading roundup

I keep getting behind in writing about the books I'm reading. So again, I'm going to attempt some fairly quick reviews.

The Story of a Widow, by Musharraf Ali Farooqi: a beautiful cover and an intriguing premise, but I felt the whole way through that something was missing. I loved the setting and looked forward to exploring widowhood in another culture, yet I could not fully understand the widow's motivations first for remarrying and second for standing by her new husband. It didn't seem like the motivation was love (as her new husband symbolized "liberation" more than anything) but given Mona's status, it never seemed like societal expectations were the culprit either. The writing was clean and delightful to read, I just can't say that the story worked for me. The motivations were unclear, and in more characters than just Mona. Her daughters left me equally confused.

Swimming in the Ocean, by Catherine Jenkins: it took me two attempts to get into this novel, but I'm glad I did. This is a novel written by a poet, and I was worried that my foggy, pregnant brain wouldn't be able to follow the prose. Luckily I wasn't as far gone as I imagined and I quite enjoyed the meandering, confessional writing. In truth, I have no idea if the character was diagnosed with HIV or not, but it didn't even matter. I generally enjoy this style of writing and I will happily forgive many quirks. This book was refreshing, thought-provoking and satisfying. And it's the 11th novel for my Canadian Challenge (I better get through 2 more in time for July 1st!)

A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from my Kitchen Table, by Molly Wizenberg: what else can I say that a gazillion bloggers haven't already said? This book was downright lovely. I've only checked out Orangette a few times, but knowing that the author took off to Paris after her father passed away and decided to write about food (her true love) was enough to inspire me to pick up her book (I mean, come on - she went to live in Paris). The cover is lovely, the recipes mouth-watering and the writing personal enough without being indulgent. I have never read about food while in bed, and it was so wonderful to slip off into sleep thinking about slow-roasted tomatoes or Pistachio Cake. I was quite sad when I finished the book, but I've passed it to my Mom who already started reading it before she even left my house. So in one word: charming. And highly recommended.

Currently I'm enjoying A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, but I think I may have to redirect my reading to something Canadian. July 1st isn't that far away, and I've got a 6 to 7 to 8 pound obstacle about to enter the scene.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

sitting back

Time to think. Time to relax a bit. Time to enjoy the tiny feet of my 4 year old who is about to become a big sister.

I'm trying to keep my worries at bay, but it's amazing how different my thoughts are this time around. I guess I know what labour has in store for me instead of it being a complete mystery. And I'm trying a VBAC, which I must admit, is a little daunting, although I'm confident it is the right choice.  I'll explain my last labour quickly: 36 hours of labour and 2 hours of pushing, at which point the hospital intervened, gave me an epidural and a steady dose of oxytocin, but an hour later Sadie still hadn't changed her "stuck" position and her heartbeat was erratic. So a swift emergency C-section got her out, and I was not at all disappointed.  Now I'm lucky to have the same midwife, and although I have to go straight to the hospital when labour starts, I'm making the same choices as last time.  No interventions until there is a reason for it.  But it still scares me a little.

My due date is next Friday. Sadie was born a week early, so I'm not sure what to expect. Definitely I'm getting stronger Braxton Hicks contractions each day, but they are not regular. And I have nausea all day now, which only Coke seems to alleviate (I know, what an awful solution - but hey, it's the final week, and I'm not going to dwell on it). I'm totally uncomfortable and I feel like a whale, but I'm shocked my feet actually look normal in the photo above (thank goodness for small miracles!).

So the countdown is on. And as long as I don't think too much about how drastically life is about to change, I'll stay calm.  Sort of.  Keeping my feet up is a start.

(And thank you to Mira for sending me to this beautiful post. These are just the "babies are wonderful" words I need to read.)

Sunday, June 07, 2009

finishing up

A knitting project finally done. This has been hanging around since February but my pregnant self has rarely been in a knitting mood. Last week I became determined to complete it and I ignored the carpal tunnel syndrome in my right hand to do just that (I had the same problem/symptom with my last pregnancy, so at least I feel reassured it will go away as soon as the baby is born). And after all the time and small amount of agony, this is a pretty cute sweater. Even Sadie likes it.

I meant to use Wendy Bernard's Drive-Thru pattern, but I got lazy and did yet another bottom-up raglan style. I like being able to control sizing as I go, and it doesn't take any referencing of notes or checking back over mistakes. This translates to: baby brain can handle it. The wool was lovely and soft, and as much as I don't really like variegated wools, this is perfect for a 4 year old who thinks pink and purple rock. I crocheted around the neck and front edges, made two button loops for some very purple buttons, and left the bottom hem and cuffs to roll as much as they wanted to. I think this will get plenty of wear and I'm happy to get it out of my knitting bag.

And as these things go, now my knitting mood is back. What have I cast on? Oh, another raglan cardigan for a 6 month old. But I'm really shaking it up this time - I'm working top-down and adding a garter collar. A girl with baby brain really knows how to make life exciting, huh?