Yarn Along

Well, I’m later than usual, joining Ginny’s Yarn Along.  O well.

I included in the picture my dirty windows, so that all you other homemakers out there see that we are all not perfect and no one gets to everything, especially if there are 4 children living in the home.  You’re welcome.

In my knitting work in project picture this week, you see a pair of wool shorties that are being sold to a friend of a friend.  They’re in some lovely Peruvian Highland Wool and very squishy.  She couldn’t decide between the blue and the green.  I already had some leftover blue from a previous soaker project, so I told her that we could just purchase the green, and I could use the blue as an accent color.  I’m planning on embroidering a little baby elephant on the bum in the blue.  Last minute I cast on for a blue waistband as well to make it pull together a bit more.

Yes, you do see that I sometimes use my wedding ring as a stitch marker.  I have lots of stitch markers now, so I don’t know why I forget and use it as habit sometimes when I can’t find any in my project bag.  In the past it’s always been incentive for me to finish a project fast so that I can get it back.

It would normally be done by now, but my arms have taken a toll from working on the Serina Cardigan, and I’m taking more frequent breaks with my knitting.  Knitting in US size 3 needles just makes my hands too tense, and I should have been breaking it up with projects using bigger needles like this one (size US 7 for this one) to make sure I’m relaxing my hands while I’m knitting.  I really want to get the Serina done for Christmas, though.  Cross your fingers for me.

I’m going to blame my arm aching on Solveig a bit too.  She’s been breaking in some new teeth and wants to be held all the time…and she’s not a tiny baby anymore.  So to be on the safe side to make sure I’m not hurting myself, there are several days that go by where I don’t knit, and during the day when Solveig is awake and needy, I either put her in the Ergo, or wear some little arm braces that I got at a drug store a few years ago when the same thing happened when Elias was this age.

I’m finding lots of solutions to help her feel better, but she’s still been a bit clingy.  I’m sure it will be short lived as she’s getting very adventurous in trying to walk.  I’ve decided to enjoy her snuggles while they last.  Knitting will be there when she’s older.

I still need my fix, though.  When I’m not knitting in the late evenings, I’ve cleaned out my sewing room and will start pulling together a few last minute Christmas gifts.  I want to make a few outfits for Silje’s doll.

I’ve also been reading my book that I couldn’t find at all for this picture.  I’m reading All Wound Up: The Yarn Harlot Writes for a Spin.  I had not heard of “The Yarn Harlot” before but I read some excerpts from this book online and was hooked.  It’s a whole book with essays on knitting and she’s so stinkin’ funny.  Knut will hear me laughing out loud on my side of the couch quite often these evenings.  Although, when he asks what’s so funny, I’ve learned it’s not very effective to explain to him a knitting joke.  They are completely lost on him.

Training Time

Over time, my ideas of parenting have changed.  Not so much my ideas on parenting, but my personal priorities of what I consider important.  Early on I discovered that getting down to a battle of wills with a toddler over potty training really wasn’t that important to me.  I did that with Silje.  I was determined to have her out of diapers at 18 months as I heard of other people doing.  She was out…for about 2 days.  Then the 9 month battle of dragging her to the bathroom, her refusing to go, etc. started.  O, in the end I won…at least in theory.

With David I decided to wait until he was ready.  I was surprised at how many raised eyebrows and questions I got about it.  I mean, he was out of diapers by 3.  It’s not like it was forever.  One day he decided he was done.  Training him took less than a week.  The number of accidents I dealt with were in the single digits.  To me, I discovered that waiting was certainly the easy way to go.

But then people said that changing diapers for that “extended” amount of time was just so much more work.  I just didn’t seem like work to me, so I guess it’s personal preference.

So I’ve been digging my heals in when the subject gets brought up about Elias as well.  It’s not that he couldn’t go in the potty chair, it’s that he refused to be bribed or anything.  He decided he hated doing that, and that was that.

So I didn’t push it.  Well, I do in a small motherly-passive way.  I call the diapers, “baby diapers.”  I talk about how soon he’ll be a big boy and go in the potty chair.  He will tell me he’s already a big boy, and then I ask him why he’s wearing baby diapers.  I told him when he turned 3, he could start using the potty chair all the time, to which he always replied a simple: “no.”

I honestly do not have time to push a child daily to do something he has no intention of doing.  Kudos to mothers who can dedicate their day to it, but that’s just not logistically possible for me.  On top of that, I’m already washing diapers and changing diapers with Solveig.  It’s not like washing/changing just a few more is really hard.

Well, Elias turned 3, and he still refuses.  We were going to have his big, extended party with all the great-grandparents and Knut’s parents, and a few cousins, but then David got sick and I postponed it.

So just after Thanksgiving we decided to throw together a little shin-dig and guess what?

I guess he needed a party to go potty.

He tells me when he needs to go potty now and I take him there.  It was just like a switch went off in his head.  Now I’ll say: “OK, Elias, it’s time to go potty.”  (I learned long ago never to ask a toddler to go to the bathroom.  It must always be a statement.)  Then he willingly goes, like it’s no big deal.

I still have him in diapers, and that is mostly because I’m lazy.  I feel so guilty over it, but I figure: why not?  We’re going potty all the time now, but we still have accidents multiple times a day.  Soon I’ll take the diapers away and make it more urgent for him to take care of business.  Soon…

I think I may be the ones digging in my heals a bit.  (Really Elias?  Deciding you’re ready in the midst of Christmas preparations with all the baking and parties and warped schedule?  Now you’re ready?)

When I told Knut that I think the party was the turning point for him, he said: “We should have done that a year ago!”  to which I replied…”um…we did.  He actually had a birthday last year too.  It’s funny how that works.”

I’m Blessed

Along with everyone else in our house this weekend, I took a little vacation from blogging.  I figured you all wouldn’t mind.  It was such a beautiful, peaceful weekend.  I feel so caught up, so rejuvenated, so rested.

I feel so thankful to have married into such a family.  We got together for Thanksgiving once again, and I just loved it.

I’m so thankful Knut’s wood pile is done and he spent so much time inside with us.  Each day the house got a little more caught up.  Each day we read more stories, he measured again and again and stared at the mantel to be finished.  I cleaned my sewing room and he cleaned his office.

I’m blessed with evenings talking and dreaming by the fire.  I’m blessed with someone who likes to dream with me.

I’m thankful for the vitamin B complex I’ve been taking.  It’s like such a fog is lifted and I’ve been tearing through the house finishing projects like crazy. I feel so myself again and it feels a bit like coming up for air.  I don’t know if this made the difference, or Knut helping has made the difference.  I have an appetite again, and that is so helpful in the energy department.  I normally like to hit a problem from every angle I know, and perhaps most solutions are multi-faceted.  Regardless, every tool, every help, every person, every solution was provided by God, and I am so thankful for that.

I’m blessed with this girl:

She helped me with the Christmas decorating, and paused here for a moment to read her Highlight’s magazine.  I remember when she first got one the bus for kindergarten.  I felt like I was losing my time with her and it was so good to start homeschooling her a year later.  However, the feeling like she’s growing up so beyond me hasn’t left.

She spends more time alone.  She’s the least needy of all my kids, and maybe that’s the way it should be.  Time with her has to be intentional.  She requires so much less discipline than the other kids.  We still have good talks, and learn together.  She’s just getting so big and growing up her own way.  It’s so bittersweet.  As my oldest, everything she does will always be a “first” for me.

There will always be that tension of wanting to hold her forever, and not wanting to ever hold her back.   She’s my right hand most days, and though she occasionally complains, she asks for more to do more often.  She gives me hope so many days when I’m correcting and disciplining the smaller ones like a broken record that it pays off.  It’s not that I’m so proud of her, it’s that I’m so humbled to see God work in her life.

I hope you all had a good Thanksgiving weekend too.  I hope you’ve had a chance to reflect on the so many ways God has blessed us.  You can always leave a quick comment naming your blessings, or link to your specific blog post on blessings.  To “link up” simply leave a link to this blog in your post and enter your blog link below.

Yarn Along

My pictures for Ginny’s Yarn Along are broken up today.  I thought it might be a bit simpler that way.

 Here’s the back of my Serina cardigan pattern in progress.  I’m using Madelintosh Tosh Sock yarn in the colorway “Ginger.”  I’m still adding length, sleeves, and front edging.  I’m really hoping that I get it done by Christmas.

I ordered a new book that we’ve been enjoying the last 2 weeks.  In fact, we like it so much that I may order some more for a few Christmas presents.

Farm Anatomy looked so cute when I first heard of it.  It just came out last month, and I’m normally not that cutting edge.  It’s all illustrated so it’s interesting for kids, but it’s a basically a packed encyclopedia of information.  If I had this book in hands when I met Knut…he would not have laughed at me so much.  Well actually, even he’s learning things in here.

Where are the sickles on a chicken?  How do you milk a cow?  How do you make maple syrup?  How do you chop down a tree?  What’s a cord of wood exactly, and what’s the easiest way to grow potatoes?  How do you trim a horse’s hooves?  How do you can tomatoes?  What’s the difference between barley, buckwheat, millet and oats?  What kinds of turkey breeds are there?  How do you make cheese?  What’s a wether, a shoat, and a pullet?  What’s the best position to hold a sheep when shearing?  (You yarn lovers out there would be pleased to know it talks about what sorts of plants work great for dying yarn, and the whole process of yarn being made, as well as quilts, corn husk dolls, flower pressing…) 

Seriously, this is a very, very cool book.  Silje and David are reading through it, and Knut and I have both been looking through it as well and learning things. Silje noticed all the recipes in there…and no one was surprised by that.

It brings me back to the conversation I had with my friend Doug when I first moved up here (and before I met Knut.  He was trying to explain to me what a combine was, and every word out of his mouth sounded like a foreign language.

While I thank Doug for his effort, what I needed was the section of farm implements in this book:

Although, Doug may not actually admit this is a combine on the left because it’s not the right color.  😉  Knut was very happy they had a red combine in here.  Until I picked up this book, I did not know that a combine is called a combine because it combines several parts of the harvesting process in one big swoop.  It was a blonde moment for me.