September seems to have whooshed by somehow without me noticing it very much.  I have two green projects on the needles, and especially the beginnings of the cardigan pictured at left the colour makes me happy.  Its such a bright new green leaf colour, a contrast to all the yellow aspens leaves we have around here now.  I’m happy to have cast on with my fabulous Peace Fleece a short sleeve cardigan with cables around the yoke, I’ve been looking forward to this project for awhile! 

My little green baby layette sweater is coming along, with the sleeves almost done, and just the yoke and finishing to do.  One reason I started on this one first was that I knew it was not a quick knit on the small needles.  It will be worth it when it is done however, it already is so beautiful in its pieces.  Then I can start on the bonnet, booties, and mitts!  The baby knitting needs to get kicked up, just over four months to go now!

Photographic Evidence

September 28, 2010

There I am, last day of the conference in the fancy bathroom with a couch that I almost had a few naps on, except that I was running off to the next talk/meeting/event.  Its getting harder to take photographs of myself, as I find them hard to look at, but I know that one day I will want these photographs.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my belly and how Mr. J and I were watching it bounce around this weekend for the first time as she kicked and wiggled around.  My belly is measuring large, but I would argue its large compared to other people’s statistics, and nothing to do with what is normal for me.  I’m not about to let a Doctor change my due date, I know how old this baby is!  I love my belly, but I’m not enjoying the extra fat on my face, boobs, butt, legs etc.  In fact, I find it hard to look at in photographs.  I understand that a belly like this needs a good strong support from wide hips, and good strong legs, and that the fat is going to be useful for making food for my baby, but I still don’t like it.  I’ve been proactive as always, devising a plan and executing it.  I got a hair cut, bought new make up, done other things to make myself feel better, it may be superficial but it helps a lot.  I think of the old me that could bike for hours, go for a run, walk up stairs without panting.  I miss her, but I hope to meet her again on the other side of this and introduce her to my daughter.  In the meantime we’ll take photographs to document my body as it changes and swells, but only a select few will be made public, and mostly because my Mum likes to see them!  And in those ones the double chin will be hidden or otherwise unseen.

Last week was one of those busy ones where I was getting home after 9 pm a few nights in a row, and leaving again at 6 am for 7 am breakfasts.  The occasion was the Western Canada Water and Wastewater show, which being the giant nerd I am I was really looking forward to.  This year the theme was “Superheroes” which was rather cute, I did my best to pose as one before the tradeshow opened on Wednesday.  This year my new company did not have a booth at the show, but being the clever girl I am I still got to attend the whole deal, this time in the water charity booth.  I helped organize the fundraising, sold raffle and 50/50 tickets, and got to catch up with loads of old friends and contacts.  By the second day I was running around with sneakers on, as I have no shame.  I don’t look very pregnant in the photo at left, as the belly is totally out the front.  I sure surprised a few people however that hadn’t seen me in a year, especially once they said Hi, then glanced down and noticed my belly is a good foot out from where it normally is.  I have some side profile photos to show tomorrow, so Mum can see just how big the belly is getting! 

I learned a lot as always at the show, a highlight was going to a presentation on the improvements being done at the two Calgary water treatment plants, specifically the one that I drink from.  Not only is it interesting, but its personal. One thing they have done recently is recycle more water, reducing their withdrawals from the Bow River by 10%, which is significant.

I’m becoming more and more involved in the water charity that I volunteer for, which I’ll talk about here,but this is for information only (as I find it interesting) I’m not asking anyone to donate anything.  There are many, many charities out there asking for money to provide clean drinking water systems for people in developing nations, but Water for People (www.waterforpeople.org) is the one supported by water professionals, and is the official recipient for all the conferences.  They have a good model which involves providing incentives for local people to develop their own business models for water and sanitation systems.  They do not believe people from developed nations should provide what they think is the best solution, they would rather consult with locals and try to develop something that is sustainable and will work.  They also do ongoing monitoring, which is completed by volunteers, and if a system is broken investigate what happened, and endeavour to fix the system.  They have programs to develop proper latrines which will be used and can be easily maintained, and hand washing programs all of which prevent pollution of water, and stop the spread of disease.  They have a program in India where they are consulting with local women and girls to integrate proper latrines that ensure modesty is upheld, as well as incorporating an incinerator for menstruation pads.  A large cause of failure of toilets and latrines in the past was the flushing of these materials.  I find it all rather fascinating, an example of applying engineering troubleshooting skills to a real world problem from which we can all draw lessons.  If the people don’t want it, they won’t use it, so why not ask them what they want in the first place?  As a charity it also meets one of my other criteria, with less than 15% of the donated money going towards overhead, and the rest towards actual projects.

Wednesday Working Away

September 15, 2010

Its turned cold and rainy here in Calgary, the leaves are changing to their prettiest colours rapidly, and there is actually snow in the forecast.  I’m missing the normal beautiful Calgary September, which is usually the nicest month with sunny skies and fair temperatures.  I’ve been feeling some pretty strong urges to pull all the yarn out of the stash, and cast on for all the projects that I’ve got in mind.  I’m pretty sure I’d like to knit on them all at the same time as well.  Sweaters, hats, mittens, scarves, shawls, baby items, the list is long!  So far I’ve managed to keep it under control, and keep going on what I’m already working on, which is already five projects!  The newest one is my wild green vest:

This vest is just meant to sit over the shoulders, and has no button holes.  I could probably pin it together if I want to.  The pattern calls for thinner yarn that is knit double, but the Noro Retro green that I fell in love with at first sight is thick enough to be knit with a single strand.  This way the periodic stripes show up nicely.  I’m enjoying the daisy stitch, and the big needles after my smaller needle projects, progress is quick!  I had always thought this yarn was going to be a scarf, but I’m really enjoying it as a vest now, it’s going to be a unique piece (hopefully, won’t know until it’s all done!).  I’ll need some more yarn to finish this off, but luckily my LYS has a big stock of Retro, which comes in a few drooliscious colours.  I’m making the large, as I’m getting a bit large now!

More Baby Kimono’s

September 13, 2010

Its been so fun putting names to these kimonos as the babies have been born.  The one pictured at left was the first one I made, and I had forgotten that it also had a “design feature” on the right arm.  It looks like I ran out of the limey green!  I waffled a lot on these colours, as I liked the lime green and purple, but they definitely weren’t the typical “baby” colours.  However since my friends are super cool, and this little baby that this was meant for must therefore be a cool kid as well, I’m hoping it worked out okay! 

Now this kimono meant for a little girl with a rocking name is the only one without any noticeable design features.  In fact I had at least a foot of the pink yarn left over when I was done.  I really like this one, the two colours of blue go well together, and the touch of pink around the edges helping to “girl” it up a bit, but not too much!  The tiny star on the left lapel ups the cute factor.  It’s a lot of fun taking a big bag of random yarn, with many different colours and putting combinations together!  Too bad I’ve already used most of it up.

The first kimono I showed you has been received by my good friend, and we had a huge giggle about the funny sleeves, she thought they were as hilarious as I did.  Her little baby girl looked pretty awesome in it!  We have a short time to put our children in clothes that we like, might as well take advantage of it before they start picking their own outfits out!

Its a Girl!

September 2, 2010

Holy moley ladies and gentleman.  We’re adjusting to the news here, and thinking of the baby as “her” instead of “it”.  The technician, who is very, very good by the way, had a hard time figuring out the gender as the baby kept putting her hands between her legs, typical boy behavior!  Finally she gave up and the hands came out and we got a shot, and were surprised to see girl parts.  The rest of the scan was very good, all the important parts were declared “perfect” like the heart, stomach, kidney, cord etc. 

I have to admit I’m having a bit of a hard time adjusting to the responsibility of raising a little girl, and am more than a bit scared.  Perhaps a boy seemed easier as well, I’ve never been a boy!  Knowing first hand how hard it is to grow up with good self-esteem, good body imagine, and make your way in this world as a girl/woman is what is worrying me.  It didn’t help that as I drove in my neighbourhood a little blond girl was wearing a pink polka dot dress and a crown.  Outside.  To play.  While all the other kids were riding bikes.  Shudder. 

I think we need a few days to process the information!!

Boy, Girl, or Undetermined

September 1, 2010

We go on Thursday for our 19 week scan, and we hope to find out if we have a little boy or girl.  I’m hoping the answer is not “undetermined” as I really want to find out.  Here is your chance to guess what is inside me (other than, hopefully, a baby that is)

Here are possible clues:

1) That is me at the left, all 19 weeks of me.  The belly seems to be going almost straight out now, and developing a nice outward trajectory.  I don’t know if its big enough yet to conclude I’m carrying high or low, but I would definitely say out rather than around

2) In my last check-up the heart rate was 155 bpm, which has been a fairly consistent number during the whole pregnancy.

3) The Chinese calendar says we’re having a girl.

4) I’ve been craving mostly real food, with salty and vinegar flavors.  This week is all about pizza, which I’m currently restraining myself from.  If I let the craving out I would be eating it breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Instead I had a tomato salad with plenty of vinegar to accompany dinner.  I have had periods of extreme hunger, but thankfully that has died down over the last 2-3 weeks.  At one point I would be eating, and just getting hungrier as I went, crazy!

5) My skin, which usually has acne, has cleared up.  I’ve only been washing with soap and water, which is excellent as you are not really supposed to use many acne remedies during pregnancy.

6) As for the mother’s instinct, or gut feeling, I don’t know that I have that one way or the other.  I have a preference, but I’d rather not say.  Let’s just say that if we have a little girl, and she ever utters the word “Princess” except in the sentence “Oh Look there is Princess Margaret on tv” she will need to drop and give me 20 push ups. 

Stay tuned Thursday night for the big reveal!  I can’t wait to find out!  Oh, we’ll also be finding out some more about the health of the baby, which will be good as well.  So far he/she/it is kicking up a storm, even though we can’t quite feel it from the outside yet.