Day 4 Progress

July 31, 2012

 In the homestretch on the bottom, 3 inches to go, then sleeves and button band.  Sports watched:

-diving

-kayaking

-swimming

-volleyball

-judo

-skeet shooting

-mens and womens road race (what the hell happened there?)

-weight lifting

-rowing

-water polo

-gymnastics

Wish list:

-all the mountain biking and track cycling

-more kayaking

-track and field

 …They are calling it now that I’ve ruined the Olympics.  I am busy getting ready for Friday, at which point in time I will cast on for a child’s sweater, which I will attempt to finish by the closing ceremonies of the Olympics.  It doesn’t sound that hard, a little sweater in two weeks, but sometimes life does get in the way, and I didn’t want to over commit.  I’m even on a team “Team Yarn Chompers” of other Mummies who had babies in January 2011.  Pictured at left is a dress which I have knit/sewed, and I am so chuffed with myself and with this dress.  It needs some buttons before it can be modeled by my dear sweet daughter, but I think I did a bang-up job and sewing, especially the hand sewing on this dress was not easy.  I am making a second one with the green plaid material for a friend’s daughter.  The yarn in the bag is all ready to go for Friday!  Further to my goal of finishing my friends sweater for the closing ceremonies, is to finish her dress before we head to Ontario on vacation.  The bodice is complete, and the bottom panel is machine sewn.  The hard part is sewing the two together, and then sewing the ribbon on, as I’m doing that by hand.  All to be done by August 11!  Go me, and go Canada in the Olympics!  Or you know, just go and have a good time, and try your best, we will love and support you anyways!

 (In this photo she is very excited that the tree has “EYES!!”, we also taught her to say “shhhhh”, as the tree is very, very quiet you know “Shhhhhh”.  We could see this tree out the window of the kitchen at the Panther River Lodge. )  This sweater is from a pattern in the 60 Quick Baby Knits by Cascade, which are excellent patterns for any worsted weight yarn.  The only downfall is that the sizing only goes up to 2 years maximum.  When I planned out this little cardigan I had thought the brown was lighter, more beige really, but sometimes when you knit certain colours with other things change, and the brown went darker.  The cardigan went from Unisex/girl to most definitely boy in my mind.  I don’t like dressing her in a very girly manner, but I also don’t try and dress her up as a little boy.  Perhaps that time I got kicked out of the girls washroom as they thought I was a boy is still in my subconscious.  I was thinking that I would finish the cardigan up anyways and save it for a little boy’s birthday as it is nice and roomy.  I know one little boy who will be 2 soon, but he may be too big for this sweater already!  I know some others who will be one in the fall.  I threw it in the suitcase for the weekend on a whim, and I’m glad I did as it was chilly up there!  I packed in a heat wave, skirts, shorts, tanks, bathing suit, and it was cold.  I only had 2 pairs of pants for her!!  Therefore the sweater got worn a lot.  As with most things, the more she wears it, the more she owns it really.  Another reason to like Panther River people is that they were very complimentary of her sweater, they are very, kind and appreciative of hand made items.

The buttons are from a big bag of random ones I got at a local craft store, I do like the different bright colours on a kids sweater.  I didn’t have enough yarn to finish up the hood, and just did a neck collar instead.  I do hate sewing sleeves into the circular opening on this all in one piece, split at the underarms construction.  The sewing is not neat, it was very difficult to get it perfect.  There fore it isn’t, and whatever.  I do think the colours will mask dirt very well, and she already likes the buttons.  Yup, it is probably her sweater now.

Last week I had to go to Saskatchewan to help fix a water plant.  We fixed it, and saved the town.  No one there noticed, which is better than the problems being so bad that they do notice.  Please trust me when I say it is a bad thing when the town water tanks are so low, because your plant isn’t working, and they have to tell people to not only not water their lawns, but not to fight fires either.  That gets people really, really, upset.  (When the town water tank gets to 10%, that is when the call is made to stop fighting fires).  I went out with a new employee, who is new to Canada.  What a beautiful time to see Saskatchean when the canola, and flax are in full bloom.  He also got a good taste of how nice and friendly people are here.

 This past weekend we escaped the heat wave, and went into the foothills to the Panther River for a fibre/knitting/horseback riding/wandering around/enjoying nature/chasing a toddler retreat.  Something for everyone!  The idea was to bring together people in the fibre community, enjoy a beautiful spot where the Panther and Red Deer River come together, to spin, knit, ride horses, eat, sit, nap, and enjoy ourselves.  Mr. J was game to come along, as did Althea, even though she didn’t have much of a choice.  She was also too young to go on the trail ride, but she still got to pat horses, look at them, and play with the local cats.  She slept well, ate a lot of food, survived the mosquitos, and made friends wherever she went as normal.  I kept wondering what we were going to “do” with her, what activities would take place.  To my surprise, we had a wonderful time wandering around.  A toddler will go here and there as the aimlessly as a little butterfly, flitting from interesting thing to interesting thing.  I realized how restricted her life is really, she can’t wander here and there due to cars, being busy, having to get places, fences, etc. etc.  At the Panther River she could go most places, just not the river, as much as she wanted to.  She practiced going up and down ramps, stairs, tiny bumps, under fences, through trees, grass, up and down hills.  She ran, crawled, was carried, rode on shoulders, played in puddles, experienced tiny minute details, and big animals like horses.

 As for the fibre portion of the weekend, I knit next to the river during Althea’s nap, we hung out in the teepee around a fire one night, and Mr. J was good enough to stay with her in the cabin in the evening so that I could join the group of spinners, felters, knitters, and learners.  It was very lively, and freeform as desired, everyone could do as they wished!  As always I enjoy getting to know folks in the fibre world, and learning new things, I made felted beads!  There are plans for next year, and so far they are pretty good.  I’m already very, very excited about this, you may want to sit down.  Next year they are thinking that during the trail ride we will stop (I think I will go riding next year instead of skipping to spend time with Althea) and gather ingredients from nature in order to do some natural dying.  Indian paintbrush and some other super, extremely cool items that will dye yarn were mentioned.  After the ride we eat, and then dye our yarn with the ingredients we’ve collected!!  I will also try and convince the owners to take their covered wagon out next year so that Althea can experience that.

We met new people, we learned some fun felting techniques, but most of all I learned about my daughter.  Letting her go to wander at her own whims taught me more about her likes, preferences, what she likes to do, where she likes to go, how she experiences the world.  Shedding all our other roles (worker, cleaner, cook) and just being parents was relaxing, rewarding, and fun.  Fun, fun, fun with our delightful little girl who can tell you a bug goes buzz, buzz, buzz, where your nose, ears, eyes, and knees are, and says “please’ for more broccoli.  We are the most proud parents that ever were!

The Failure Phase

July 5, 2012

Do you know someone like me?  I’ve had a very successful life so far.  I was the kid in high school getting 90% on tests, but upset that I didn’t get 95% and vowing to work harder to do better.  I got into the university I wanted, into the program I wanted.  It was challenging, and I didn’t think I was going to make it many a time, but I graduated.  I got the first job I wanted, then the second, then the third, fourth and fifth.  The last 3 jobs I have had were not advertised, I got them through networking, knowing people, and reputation.  I bought my first house at 26, and I’m on my fourth one now.  I’m a registered professional, I’m getting more well known in my chosen field.  I’m used to success, I’m used to doing well, I’m used to working hard, getting things done, and doing them well.  When the work load ramps up, I work harder, and get things done.  I figure things out, I fix problems, I make customers happy, I land jobs. 

Until the last, 18 months that is.  Until I became more than a worker, until I became a mother, a wife, a worker, a cook, a cleaner, and so much more.  And I’m failing at all those roles.  I have been struggling to keep up with the workload at my job, and am approximately 2 months behind.  I barely make important deadlines.  I get stuff done, but not well.  I don’t have time for sales, or networking, or my charity work right now.  I have so many tasks flagged in my Inbox that are high priority, but so many other items that are higher priority than the high priority priorities.  My boss is not very happy with me, and I can tell, but he also knows he can’t really say anything.  I leave at 3 pm to get my daughter, and I have a hard time working more hours after she is asleep, even though I often do.  My daughter needs more of me, and instead she gets dumped at daycare, with me hoping they don’t call for me to pick her up so that I don’t have to miss all those meetings.  I rush home, pick her up, we play for 1/2 hour, then dinner, bath, bedtime.  I need to have all our food ready to go in 15 minutes, which means cooking and prep on the weekends, or when she is sleeping.  (On the weekend my MIL criticized me for not having more time to prep meals, and for not cooking enough, and for not feeding my daughter properly, and my answer to that is that we eat fine, I’m making it work, I can’t leave work any earlier, and say good-bye to the visits from your Granddaughter.)  I’m failing as a wife, not cooking enough full meals, and please do not ask when the bathrooms were last cleaned.  I am managing to work out more, say 1-2 times a week, but it is at the expense of job work, cleaning, cooking etc. etc.  At my current level of fitness I’ve had to give up dreams of longer mountain bike rides in favour of more cruiser type ones, if I ever get time to go that is. 

I am holding onto hope that this is a phase, that as time goes on I will get better at all these things.  My daughter will grow up, and not need Mummy all. the. time.  I’ll move out of the failure phase, and onto the almost keeping up phase, then onto the head slightly above water phase, and then onto the treading water phase.  One day, I’ll get back to the successful phase again, and that should make my boss happy.  And my husband.  And my daughter.  And me.