Updating is my resolution. Life with three little boys is about as busy as one would expect, especially with planning for kindergarten (it’s like applying for college here, WHY?) and balancing the needs of a 5-month-old, an almost 3-year-old, and a nearly 5-year-old.
There will be more posts. There will be lots of random kid stuff. There will be plenty of knitting content, and some spinning stuff, too. It’s coming.
Between preparing for a pattern release and putting together pattern proposals for a few different magazines, the summer slipped away. And now, today, my little boy is starting is first day of preschool.
I’m exceptionally weepy. How is he that old!?
I have a loom.
My wonderful, wonderful friend got wind of a potentially awesome loom, and checked it out for me, as she knows a lot more about weaving than I do. I almost bought a simple rigid heddle model last year at SAFF, but decided that it wouldn’t do what I wanted, so I’d wait.
So now I have a loom. A floor loom. A 45” LeClerc Nilus in a gorgeous dark finish, with all pieces accounted for and no rust on things that matter.
I’m in joy and awe and everything else because of the generosity of my friend, and of the woman who gifted me the loom because she wanted someone to have it that would use it. So here’s my newest project (to go along with the standing 6-month-old and the running and jumping 2-year-old…)
Being this enormously pregnant at this time of year has led me to think quite a lot about the reason for the season. Such a trite, overused phrase it is – ‘reason for the season’ – bandied about by almost every church message board in the days leading up to Christmas, yet it’s a reminder that all the pressure to shop, shop, shop and spend, spend, spend is just a cultural holiday. There’s more to this particular day than just that, and we should take pause to remember it.
I was pregnant with my first son during the Christmas season, too, but only about six months in. Large enough for knowing smiles in the grocery store, but not nearly huge enough for overly-kindly Southern women to pull me aside and express what a miracle a Christmas baby would be.
At this point, I don’t care if he’s a Christmas baby, you see. I just want him out. I’m enormously uncomfortable, the Gestational Diabetes is a pain in the rear end during the carb laden Christmas season, and I just want to get on with the joy of being a mother instead of lugging my not-so-aerodynamic belly up and down the stairs while being unable to keep up with my toddler. I feel like I am so, so done with this, and the little guy is taking his time making his appearance.
Two thousand years ago, a heavily pregnant woman was also making preparations. Not for the Christmas season. It didn’t exist, yet. She was preparing for a journey to a different town to do her civic duty at the side of her husband, the man who loved her so much that he stayed with her even when told her child wasn’t his. An angel messenger is a pretty good pregnancy test, one that comes with an accurate due date, unlike what women at the time must’ve normally done to calculate when a child might arrive. Still, she probably had no idea when setting off on her trip that her child would be born outside of her home, in her husband’s hometown, not hers.
As the tradition goes, Mary and Joseph made their way from the Galilee to Bethlehem with Mary riding on a donkey. Nine months pregnant and riding about 100 miles, 158 kilometers, on the back of a donkey. I’m so huge that I can barely sit up straight in my car. And add to that the problem of lodging – a whole city filled to the brim for the census, leaving hugely pregnant Mary forced to sleep on a bed of hay, no matter how uncomfortable it must’ve left her.
And so that night of all nights, a new baby was born. A hundred miles from home, she labored without her friends or midwife, with only her new husband to hold her hand and guide the baby into the world. Women did, and still do, die in labor, especially in those conditions. She must’ve been so scared that night, giving birth on a pile of hay surrounded by animals instead of her loved ones. There’s more than one miracle to celebrate on Christmas morning: Jesus was born, yes. But his mother made it through, too, despite all the terrible conditions and hardships she had to face. Alone in a stable in an unfamiliar city, a baby was born, and a family gained a member, regardless of who that baby would become.
Tonight, I’ll no doubt sit in church and get all sorts of knowing smiles and parades of people asking when I’m due. It’s uncomfortable to me, being the center of that attention when all I really want is to be at home with my feet up and tea in my hands to keep the constant late-pregnancy swelling down. But tonight, I need to keep in mind what another woman went through long before me.
Will it be a pain for my son to share his birthday with a season so full of hype? Will he complain about joint birthday-Christmas presents, and a birthday party overshadowed by Santa? Yes. But he’ll also share his birthday season with the Son of God. That’s pretty special. It’s my job to help him understand that.
I haven’t used this forum to talk much about my current pregnancy for various reasons, but I wanted to take a moment to jot down some notes about my experiences with gestational diabetes. I wish I’d found a post on a blog somewhere when I was first diagnosed as it scared the crap out of me and I didn’t know where to start.
I didn’t have GD with my first term pregnancy. My GD has nothing to do with weight — I actually weighed less at the start of this pregnancy than I did at the start of Jr.’s. This particular placenta is producing hormones that make it tough for my body to produce enough insulin to compensate. As a result, my body is going nuts trying to make enough if I eat too many carbs, and poof. Baby is on a constant sugar high if I don’t control what I eat.
The good news is, in most cases, diet DOES fix the problem. Granted, I’m very, very borderline for GD. I’ve had absolutely ZERO problem getting my blood glucose numbers to come back as they should be if I just pay attention to what I’m eating.
This is where I had trouble before taking a class, however. I couldn’t find enough info in a form that was helpful to me to make an informed change of diet immediately. So here it is, a list of what I’m allowed to eat (and generally what guidelines most people are given) and a short meal plan for a single day.
Breakfast: 30g-45g of carbs total
I usually have a piece of whole wheat toast with PB on it and a smallish serving of fruit. I’ve noticed that if I err on the 45g edge of the range, my blood glucose readings are usually on the high end later. This is the only meal that tends to give me this reaction.
Snack 1: 15g carbs
A piece of string cheese and a 100 calorie pack of crackers. I was glad to find that the prepackaged 100 calorie packs often have at or about 15g of carbs in each pack. I hate the extra waste, but it’s a very, very easy way to take my snack with me and not be guessing about serving size.
Lunch: 45g carbs
A sandwich and a small piece of fruit. The more protein on the sandwich the better!
Snack 2: 15g carbs
I’m boring, so I eat the same thing as snack 1. Sometimes I’ll have a pudding cup instead, but it’s not usually substantial enough to keep me from being hungry before dinner.
Dinner: 45g-60g carbs
Salmon (grilled), asparagus, fluffy dinner roll. Or chicken wrap with whole wheat tortilla, salad. I’ve been able to push the carb limit here and not have adverse reactions, but I know others who have had terrible problems.
Snack 3: 15g-30g carbs
Pudding cup and crackers and cheese. Definitely needs something protein oriented. This snack is super important — if I don’t eat enough carbs here, my morning readings go wonky as my blood glucose crashes in the middle of the night and the pancreas shoots out extra glucose to compensate, which triggers the weird placenta response. I’ve noticed I can tell if I don’t have enough snack at about 2am — the baby gets a sugar rush from the excess glucose my pancreas decided to make and wakes me up with a dance party.
The hardest part of GD in my experience is making sure I eat enough protein so that I’m still gaining as I should be. My first few weeks after being diagnosed, my weight plateaued and at one point I actually lost weight, not something I’d recommend for a pregnant woman. Couple that with the holidays approaching, and I’ve been pretty miserable, food-wise.
Only a month or so to go, and he is here, and the GD should simply disappear once the placenta is out. I can’t wait to drink orange juice again. Nothing like some wasted delicious carbs.
Whoever thought I would swell with pride when watching a kid grab a rattle? But my son has been working on his hand-eye coordination now, at 4 whole months, and the way his face lights up when he manages to actually touch what he wants is beyond amazing. I love that kid.
In other news, it’s Tour de Fleece time again. I’ve been spinning my butt off, trying new things, like spinning with sparkles.
It’s amazing how busy life gets with a small child. For example, this is the first day in oh… 10 weeks that I’ve had the time to make my hair look nice. I hadn’t realized how LONG it had gotten until I left it out of a ponytail today.
All the busy time with the baby means less time for the things that make me sane. I’ve yet to finish a single skein of yarn from the fibers I bought at Maryland Sheep and Wool (though I’ve gotten halfway finished with one). I’ve finished small projects, but I haven’t finished writing up patterns for things that should have patterns, like the incredibly simple and cute neckwarmer that’s just waiting to have a picture taken. No, everything revolves around my baby boy.
That’s not a bad thing. It’s just a HUGE change. As a consequence, I have oodles of lovely yarn hanging around that hasn’t been knit, far more than I normally allow in my stash. As such… an official yarn buying hiatus. Until I finish 8 more projects, no yarn. And until I finish spinning at least 5 hanks of fiber, no more fiber buying. I have plenty on my plate!
So, I’ve decided to cast on for a new project. It’s a light short sleeved sweater made of big yarn on big needles, which I’m intending to use to cover the 8 kajillion nursing tanks I’ll spend the sweltering Durham summers in.
I’m going to race the baby. I’m due in two weeks. Which will be done first, baby or sweater?
(Hey, I’ve got to have SOME way to keep myself from going stark raving mad in the next couple of weeks, right?)