TWO

It’s been a year since I posted anything. It feels like it was just yesterday, I swear. But we’re still here, and I’m knitting more these days, and my boy is getting so big!

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I made socks last month. They’re amazing. I knit them while riding in the car to and from a conference in Savannah. It was nice to feel my hands remembering the stitches. The work went faster and faster, and before I knew it I was turning the second heel, and then binding off the second sock, and I still had time to sleep and read an article about the tenure process!

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Meanwhile, let me just tell you. O is amazing. The other night we were at Austin’s folks house, and he was looking over Austin’s shoulder at the pictures that grandma has on the shelf. He exclaimed “oh wow, a giant rock!” O’s first sentence: “Oh, wow, a giant rock!” It was a photo of his grandma and grandpa standing in a rock circle somewhere in England. He followed the statement up with “gram and papa and a big rock!” he doesn’t speak in whole sentences very much yet, but now we know he can.

And of course, life would not be complete without Ben, who is just as codependent and faithful and cuddly as ever.

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Life is full and busy and wonderful and hard and full of love. Hope you’re doing well, too!

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ONE

My baby turned one last week.

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He is amazing. He is standing up and cruising! He has six teeth!

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He loves Indian food. We eat it every Sunday.

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And his cat and The Cat in the Hat

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He watched the World Cup with his daddyman.

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And watched his daddyman play soccer

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And started nursery school
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What a difference a year can make. I can’t believe that in one year, he went from tiny preemie to thriving tot.

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Happy Birthday, Owen! You are amazing. I love you.

Love in the Afternoon

Another month has gone by, and Owen is getting bigger and bigger. And I’m really not doing any knitting. But I seem to have a new hobby: Babywearing. And I’m venturing into the land of DIY babywraps. I’ve made 4 so far, totally on the cheap (well, when you go to a fabric store with your mother-in-law and she buys all the fabric, I suppose you can’t get any cheaper than that! But for the record everything was on sale, too!)

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Owen goes everywhere with me, even around the house. I love having him so close. He naps and observes the world around him, and we talk. Austin is enjoying his share of the babywearing love, too, although he prefers the soft-structured carrier over the woven wrap.

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We taught Austin’s class as a family the other day… I was scheduled to co-teach to help prep his students for their final exam, and Austin wore Owen during the entirety of both of his classes (he teaches two classes each evening).

So, ya. Not knitting much, but definitely DIY creating and babywearing, and generally enjoying life!

7 Months

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This year is flying by so fast! March was here and now it’s gone…

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We spent spring break with my folks in Tennessee, and I got to see two of my sisters!

I checked a book out at my library called Mothers Unite!: Organizing for Workplace Flexibility and the Transformation of Family LifeAnd then I found this website: When Work Works.

Still working (so slowly!) on my Sakura wrap. I’m about half way finished with the second of two charts…

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And this girl finished her cancer treatments!

It was a busy month!

Reality

I have returned to the realm of thinking people, and have been devouring books and articles much like I used to. Except these days, instead of reading about information literacy (my job) or about women in Victorian literature (my escape) I have been reading a lot about the condition of motherhood, about the policy issues surrounding parental leave, and I’ve been thinking a lot about the feminist call to mothers to return to the workforce as soon as possible. A call which I have only half-heartedly been able to respond to.

I’ve been doing this reading while side-lying nursing my 6 month old infant.

And during my breaks, I’ve been folding a lot of diapers.

My reading list includes:

Why Women Still Can’t Have it all by Anne-Marie Slaughter

An article that I originally read when it first came out. It is worth a re-read or two, and makes one think. Especially a new mom who has just returned to work and is still struggling with how to prioritize all the things in her life. The truth is I am incredibly ambitious and have fantasies of ruling the world one day, but not at the expense of my child’s well-being. I’ve returned to work half-time so that I can spend large portions of my days with him, nursing and engaging during this time of early development. I want him to have the best start possible. And I’m trying to figure out how to plan the rest of it all out.

Pregnancy and Power: A Short History of Reproductive Politics in America

I have only read the introduction and first chapter of this so far, but wow. It’s a whole lot to think about. I’m still kind of chewing on it. The first chapter focuses on reproductive politics during slavery, and I find that after reading it, it’s begun to slip into most of my conversations. Things like Thomas Jefferson’s quote: “I consider a woman who brings a child every two years as more profitable than the best man of the farm.”

Struggling with Maternity Leave Policies and Practices: A Poststructuralist Feminist Analysis of Gendered Organizing by Patrice M. Buzzanell & Meina Liu

A Feminist Perspective on Parental Leave Policies by Margaret Sallee

Major Survey Findings of Listening to Mothers'”” IU: New Mothers Speak Out Report of National Surveys of Women’s Childbearing Experiences Conducted October-December 2012 and January-April 2013 by Eugene R. Declercq, PhD, Carol Sakala, PhD, MSPH, Maureen P. Corry, MPH, Sandra Applebaum, MS, Ariel Herrlich, MA

On my reading list:

All Joy and No Fun

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…and all of the new articles that I have recently saved to my folder in google drive…

 

Is this a normal reaction to motherhood? Who knows. What I do know is that I am completely captivated by what I am reading, and that I am so in love with my little bug. And this is the way that I am processing it all.

oh, also! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Meanwhile, Here’s A Surprise (Jacket)!

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We’ve hit our stride in the whole fitting into the things mama made for baby. It’s taken a while, but he’s finally big enough. And I’m having so much fun!

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One piece that I’ve really looked forward wearing has been this rainbow EZ Baby Surprise Jacket. So colorful! So soft! Vintage buttons, lots of room in the arms, just all around lovely.

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And he’s lovely in it.

But let me tell you, it’s not easy snapping photos of a garment on a five-month-old. We’re fooling you onto thinking he can actually sit up. He can sit up for toe seconds while I pull my hand out of the shot and snap!

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But he’s so cute.

And Here’s to a New Year?

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Here in baby-land, we’re figuring things out. It’s amazing how difficult normal day-to-day life is with an infant!

But then, he is so cute! And he’s doing so well. This little guy is 5 months old, 12 lbs, 23 inches long and very engaged. He started smiling over Christmas, and my heart melts Every. Single. Time.
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He and Emma got matching Christmas hats. They EZ Ganomy hats  made from some left-over Opus. Very cute. Very soft. He’ll not be able to wear it for long though, cause he’s growing SO FAST!

Life with baby O has brought so much change. We are cloth diapering and loving it. We are nursing strong. We wear him out in a sling and haven’t missed having a stroller or a baby bucket carrier at all.

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Sleep hasn’t been an issue either, and in the past couple of weeks we have actually started sleeping all the way through the night (last night I ended up waking him because I needed him to nurse.) And we are finding our way through the labyrinth of baby advice from all directions (I’ve learned, mostly, to just tune everyone else out and go with my instincts.) I have returned to work, but only half time until Owen’s first birthday, and that is wonderful. I am loving being back at work. And I’m loving that I only work until lunch time and then I go back to my little other world, filled with cooing, pooping, growing baby.

Although simple things like running errands and cooking dinner have become much more challenging, we’ve been amazed at how well O has adapted to our social life– and how well our social life has adapted to O. Our friends have been awesome. Owen sleeps in his sling while we play games or eat at restaurants, and cuddles with us on the sofa when we watch movies. We kind of expected to play out the whole Catherine Tate Baby On Board sketch for the next year, but it’s not been like that at all!

 

All of this is really to say I am absolutely LOVING being a mama, and it’s so much more than I ever expected it could be.

 
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Back to Work

Today’s my first day back at work. It sucks. I’m missing this guy so much!

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I have to admit that the time here at work has gone by fast- I didn’t expect to last a whole day but I had way to much to get done and once I got here I didn’t feel like I could leave it undone– I’ve been out for quite a while. But I urn to be home. I want to be home with my little love.

Just a few more minutes till I can walk out of this building!

Owen’s Handknits

So, my little bug has been home for seven weeks, and he is 15 weeks old, but I haven’t posted any pictures of him in hand-knits yet. I admit, after the hectic NICU experience, I have been savoring the peace and quiet of being home. I was able to go back to work intermittently while Owen was in the hospital and save my precious leave time for his homecoming. So, the other day I was checking feedly and noticed that my sweet friend over at RangerSarah has had her little one, and has posted at least one hand-knits photo, and it was so fun to see, so I decided to take a few minutes to share some of our pictures🙂

Very Hungry Caterpillar Hat and Cocoon

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I originally made this as a meet the grandparents outfit. Owen wasn’t due until Nov. 6th, but since he came at the end of August, this immediately became his Halloween costume. I couldn’t resist putting it on him the night before he came home from the hospital- we got to room in with him for that last night (talk about magic- sleeping with your baby at arms reach for the first time, after 8 weeks of a hospital stay is absolutely magical!)

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This hat has been lots of fun. I improvised it one afternoon while sitting in the NICU

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Jayne Cobb Hat

If you’ve followed me for long, you know I’m  married to a shameless fan-boy and that I am an enabler. A few years ago I knit Austin a Jayne Cobb hat, and it’s one of his most treasured possessions. Well, how could I resist. I surprised him with a Jayne hat for O, and now they trapes around like twinkies.

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O and A Thanksgiving

Yesterday, he was able to wear his February sweater for the first time. He’s finally big enough to fit in the smallest sized baby knits🙂

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I had been expecting to have a larger baby- 8 or 9 lbs (rather than 3 lbs)- so I didn't make a whole lot of tiny stuff. Knitting with an infant is challenging, so I've not gotten a whole lot done since he was born (other than the two hats). I've started the Rufus Textured Sweater (I have a sleeve and a half to finish).

I'll try to post again before Christmas, but if I don't I hope you all have a very Merry holiday season!

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