Thursday, May 24, 2012

Worker Bee

 I made this bag for a swap with a sister who sews.  It is crocheted with KnitPicks Brava Worsted yarn which is 100% acrylic.  Most of the time, I hate working with acrylic but Brava is a *nice* acrylic to use.  It didn't feel like I was exfoliating my hands when I was crocheting.  The pattern I used for the bag was the GoLightly Tote Pattern.  I ordered two skeins of each color yarn I used in the bag and had enough left over to make the little matching purse (which I crocheted freestyle).  I loved how this project turned out and look forward to making this pattern again.  In return, I received a stack of cloth wipes for the baby as well as the sweetest little diaper (not pictured).

This pattern is Declan's Hat.  I made it using KnitPicks Wool of the Andes in Fairy Tale.  The cables were a bit of a beast--too much to keep track of and unwieldy but I think it came out okay.  It was initially intended for a baby but it's so big it fits me.  I ordered more of the same wool from KnitPicks to make the following projects:

I made the sweater using the the Cascade pattern.  It was such a wonderful project.  It was simple enough that it didn't stress me out but had enough intricacy to keep me engaged.  The hat pattern is Baby Hat with Leaf Edging and I chose it to complement the leaf design of the sweater.  I am very pleased with how it turned out!  I made it for one of my good friends' baby daughter and she informed me that it would fit for a long time to come.  I was happy to hear that.  I hope I get to see her wearing it soon.

I just wanted to finish up the yarn from the previous project so I decided to crochet this kerchief. The pattern is Amita Shawl.  It’s not a full-size shawl but it’s large enough to wear as a shawlette or as a scarf. I’m thinking of some cute way to hold it in place when it’s being used as a shawlette.

Making some changes

Yesterday was a rough day for me emotionally and, thankfully, I was very clear as to why and in line with my new attitude towards things, I'm being solution-oriented.  

I have been sick for the past two weeks with a flu that just laid me out.  I only started to feel about 95% two days ago and today, I finally felt well enough to get moving again and exercise.  But I was really worried that the sickness would be a permanent setback and that I wouldn't be able to get back into exercise for the rest of this pregnancy.  Yesterday, I felt so lethargic and lackluster that I really started to worry. So I am so relieved and happy that I could exercise this morning and, of course, I feel great.  I just determined last night to get to bed before 9 without fail and to get up and do something.  I decided on a DVD with which I am very familiar that has both weight and cardio intervals and I knew I would just do the modifications and take it easy.  It was difficult to get started but once I did, it felt great.  And now, I'm ready to consistently exercise every morning even if it's just a few minutes of stretching or a walk.  The phrase "Just Do It" has some serious merit to it.  

I've also been a bit concerned about not having much help after the baby gets here.  The sickness took me completely out which meant I spent a lot of time sleeping and the boys spent a lot of time watching t.v. and playing on the computer.  I've lamented lack of community and close friends before but being sick like that crystallized how serious a situation this is in my life.  There is no one close enough to me that I could rely on to help me through those difficult days.  I was blessed to see my father step up and help me get the boys to their karate class and get them dinner on some days but otherwise, I was on my own dealing with the boys and the upkeep of the house while battling temperatures of 101 and higher.  Of course, the hubby is a great help but he is at work for the majority of the day.  I couldn't help but start to worry about how I'm going to handle things when the baby arrives and I am getting little to no sleep but still need to get up and do the things I need to do for myself, my family and the household.   I mean, I am still wondering how to fulfill my need for simple company, i.e. another adult who I see and interact with on a consistent basis, much less friends who see that I need help and offer.  I don't have a solution for this one yet but I am working on it.  It may involve hosting a knitting/crochet meet-up at my house.  I think I have been hyper-focused on meeting others who homeschool and that has been very unproductive.  Why not tap into my other interests?

Since January I have been following the specific carbohydrate diet and the results have been lackluster.  I know that I will need to see someone who can correctly diagnose what I've got going on but right now so we can appropriately address it.  I do have a functional nutritionist lined up and I hope to start working with her after the baby is born.  But right now, my options are to continue to tweak my diet and do things to heal my gut. So after about 5 months of SCD, I am going to try something different and that is to avoid FODMAPs foods.  I will try it for 3 weeks at first and see if there is any improvement.

Lastly, I find it so fascinating that following a paleo/primal diet has left me feeling more isolated than being vegan.  It's amazing how the tides have changed over the last few years in favor of vegetarianism.   A few days ago, I posted on a board for more natural-minded mothers that I finally tried liver.  Liver is indeed a superfood especially if it comes from an animal that has been eating its proper diet.  So I have been wanting to give it a shot for some time now but memories of eating it as a child were not pleasant.  Also, I am a picky eater so the odds are I still wouldn't like the taste.  But I tried it.  I added it to some beef stew.  And I ate it.  I was very proud of myself.  Come to find out that grass-fed liver is nothing like the liver of my youth.  And that, although the way I prepared it wasn't the greatest, it wasn't the worst.  Eating liver is definitely not a mainstream thing but what I am learning is that "natural living" or "alternative lifestyle" is now synonymous with being a vegetarian or better yet a vegan and optimally a raw food vegan.  The few comments I got on that board were condescending [let us help you find a plant-based way (i.e. a better way) to get what it is you think you are missing] or downright rude (I find that if meat eaters need to do so much to meat to make it palatable then that should be a sign not to eat meat.)  As if . . . as if, you would go out into your garden, collect kidney beans, throw them into a pot with nothing but water and that would be something palatable and delicious.  I can't be too mad since  I was one of those vegans who would call other human beings "meat eaters" as if what I didn't eat made me superior to them.  I can't be too mad when folks turn around and call me a "meat eater".  I don't have any desire to argue with anyone.  I have no energy to waste engaging in that kind of negativity.  I only want support for my journey to healing which has involved incorporating nutrient-dense animal products into my diet and I don't see myself going back to totally plant-based diet any time soon as it's clear to me that that is what got me here in the first place.  Also, I simply look at my teeth and I notice that I have canines and molars which means I am omnivorous: I am supposed to eat meat and vegetables.  I also notice that I have only 4 canines and many more molars which means far more vegetables/fruits than meat.  I am, after all, not a meat-eater.  I look into my cat's mouth and see only canines.  It only makes sense to have her on a diet that is mainly meat (no grains butsea veggies and other veggies since she is an indoor cat and likes chicken but doesn't seem to like grass-fed beef).  She is a meat-eater.  I'm doing for myself what makes sense to me and is helping me and I am not insisting or arguing that it make sense to anyone else or that anyone else do what I am doing.

I'd be lying if I said that little online interaction didn't force me to remember why I had pretty much stopped interacting online. It generally doesn't make me feel lifted: people who don't know you making judgments about you.  No thanks.  So I'm once again, making some changes.  

I am feeling so much better today physically and emotionally and so much clearer about how to handle things that would have had me down for days.  The decision to be solution-oriented has, dare I say, turned my life around.  Even if the solution isn't clear, it's so much more empowering to be on the lookout for the answer instead of wallowing in the problem.  

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