Friday, March 25, 2011

Vagina havers and other human beings!

I love this video. Being someone blessed to live in a Canada, where basic medical care is free, I consider myself privileged. I grew up poor - I'm talking 'plain macaroni four times a week, wipe your ass with newspaper' poor, and still, health care was available to me and my family. I grew up in an apartment with black mold everywhere, once we had a mushroom growing in our carpet. We were sick a lot compared to other kids. We couldn't afford anything for a really long time, but we still had health care.

Fast forward to now. My husband has extended medical coverage, so any medicines that we might need are greatly discounted compared to someone who does not get extended benefits. I'm so grateful that this is available to us to lighten the financial burden that health sometimes causes. Life is pretty good here in the Frozen North - but it isn't everywhere.

NSFW for language - it's bleeped.. sort of.

I'm going to be having a baby in the next eighty days or so. I cannot imagine being put in a position where I would have to shell out the money for my check-ups, my routine tests, my birth and hospital stay for these months. I cannot imagine being unprepared and living in a country where I am required to pay to have a healthy child.

Planned Parenthood is a system in place for those who need help, and taking that help away from someone who needs it is doing a disservice to women, and to everyone who loves women and wants them to be healthy.


Sunday, March 20, 2011

A new love, a new 'do, and a finished project!

image via weheartit

Lately I've been having some trouble getting comfy - sitting, laying down, whatever. My back has been hurting a bit, and I've been having some ligament pain in my abdomen. Everything is stretching so quickly, I can hardly keep up!

I decided I would take things into my own hands. After downing a chocolate soymilk with a scoop of protein powder, I set to work on my prenatal yoga DVD. I've always been really fond of yoga, stretching and flexibility training, and it's always been something I've been pretty good at. Today was punishing - about an hour of a series of warm-ups, standing poses and then floor work, and I'm spent. I tend to follow the second trimester example rather than the heavily modified poses for the third trimester because the heavily modified poses make it all too easy. My belly is still small enough that I can bend pretty far, and get a nice challenge.

I love it. I feel so, so good. When I was about 15 I had a book of yoga poses that I would go through once in a while, which I liked, but this.. this is different. I want to do this every day! I feel so pleasantly loose, warm and calm. I have a feeling this is the beginning of a regular yoga practice in my future. The prenatal yoga video focuses mainly on opening the pelvis and hips, and stretching the back and triceps which is all helpful for childbirth and relieving tension.

I finished the red soaker! Then Danger! the cat munched on all the loose ends I neglected to weave in omgrightaway and ruined one of the leg cuffs. I should know better by now. I unraveled it and picked up the stitches and re-knit about half of it. It doesn't quite match the other side, but it'll do just fine. I started a purple one, in Wool of the Andes, colourway "Hyacinth". One must have stamina!



Speaking of stamina..

I spent the better part of the 17th and a portion of the 18th sectioning and back-combing my hair. That's right folks, I dreaded up again - my second set.

An awkward mirror photo of the back!

Dreads, second set

They're far thinner than my last set, and I easily have over 100. I'm really quite pleased with myself, and looking forward to watching them tighten up and mature.


I combed out the first set because I have psoriasis on my scalp and was managing the chronic itchies quite poorly. The thickness of my dreads was not conducive to treatment of it as the roots tightened up. I'd be lying if I said that was the only reason, though, because a good part of it was because I caved to societal pressures to 'look a certain way' and because of the constant small-minded rudeness of others.

This set is comprised of far thinner sections, though, thereby exposing more of my scalp to air and remedy. I'm not going to let this control me, and I'm not going to let the opinions of others have any bearing on how I look based on common misconceptions.

Little does everyone know, dreads are not dirty, smelly or unhygienic in any way when properly cared for. Dreads wash just like regular hair does and when allowed adequate drying time are a healthy, natural way of wearing your hair. In fact, clean hair dreads up much more effectively than dirty, greasy hair (or hair with additives like wax.. ew). I sectioned and back-combed my hair to afford me some control over the formation  and size of the dreads, but when left to their devices, most if not all hair types will dread on their own.

All in all, I'm really happy with my decision. I can't wait until my baby girl's fingers curl around my new dreads, but until then.. more baby knitting, and I'm excited to say, more yoga, too!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I've been playing..

Alex has been bugging me to knit him a hat. The last beanie I knit for him was black acrylic with green stripes. It was the first thing I knit when I picked up the needles again after learning for the second time (and haven't since put them down). This hat, of which I was most proud was taken from us one summer in 2007 when our car was broken into. I never replaced it - no hat would ever be as good.

Until now..

*indescript arm gesture*
A hat of my own design, a creation of my brain and fond childhood memories - 

Charlie Brown Hat

Charlie Brown Hat

Charlie Brown Hat

I'd like very much to say that it took hours of toil and brain-wrecking mathematics to design, but once I charted out how I wanted the zigzag to look and adjusted my initial stitch count, it was smoooth sailin'. Start to finish, the design and knitting of the prototype took about five and a half hours of fairly constant knitting. I'm debating on whether I'm going to put the pattern out, maybe I'll get some feelers out there and see if there's an interest.

I'm so proud I could burst. SHIELD YOUR EYES.


I warned you. I'm practically naked and oddly fluorescent.

This is the end of the second trimester. There is no prize at the end of this one, not like at the end of the first trimester when the babygods smile upon the sick and weary pregnant girls and are supposed to make the puking go away. Not like at the end of the third trimester when (so I'm told) you're supposed to end up with a baby. Nope! I'm currently enjoying feet pressing my ribs out, and a feeling like I'm going to split down the middle starting with my belly button. Those of you who have been there can shut your gobs about how I should "just you wait until you're x months along!" unless you'd like to know the true meaning of pain. ..Was that mean? I meant to say sometimes in the evenings I'm uncomfortable and all stretched out. Don't hate me.

Other than that, I've been enjoying having energy. I've cooked three new recipes from the Veganomicon - Seitan Cutlets, Curried Udon Stir-Fry, and the Potato-Broccoli Soup. The first two I closely stuck with the recipe, but I can't in good conscience say that I went by the Potato-Broccoli Soup recipe other than when it said to boil the potatoes and broccoli in some stuff and puree a third of the soup when they're mooshy. Other than those steps, I did a great deal of what I like to call "throwing in what looks good and hoping to God that Alex eats it". IT WAS AWESOME. I added about a tablespoon or two of onion powder, tablespoon of garlic salt, almost a 1/4cup of nooch and a couple teaspoons of mustard powder to the portion of the soup I puree'd. Added back into the watery potato and broccoli, it made everything delightfully creamy. Best broccoli soup ever, I tells ya. 

I've been drawing in the evenings because, for whatever reason ahem dance party on my insides I've been having trouble relaxing before bed! Here's the newest one, from a photo that I took in January. I'm kinda meh about it, but at least I tried.


My hand, charcoal and graphite on regular sketchbook paper.

Today I'm going to bake some herb bread to have with more of that yumsoup and maybe get crazy and do some more knitting. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

26 weeks, knitting and a new little friend!

Here I am! My belly is getting huuuge and is actually starting to feel a little uncomfortable as it stretches. I'm using some vitamin E oil and cocoa butter on my tummy but my DANGER!NAVEL rages on.

I finished the sleep sack! I used kitchener stitch for the very first time to close up the bottom almost invisibly and I'm pretty proud of it! I love learning a new technique, it's no where near as hard has I thought it would be!
Sleep Sack

My next task is to track down the circular needle that I was using for soakers and start on some new ones, and I'm determined to finish this Clapotis I've been working on fooorever. It's knit in Handmaiden Sea Silk, and I adore working with the yarn, it's so slippery and shiny and stunning. 



We have a new little addition to our little misfit family! We fell in love with the ball python we went to go see the other day, and decided to adopt her. We've named her Lucy and she's absolutely adorable, and so sweet tempered! I took a couple of photos of her in Alex's hands after we brought her home. 





At first I was a little weirded out, I've never had a reptile before, so this is all new to me. I'd never even held a snake, but she's grown on me. I thought they were fast-moving, unpredictable and scary, but she's just curious and alert, slowly climbing up our arms, peeking through our fingers and flicking her tongue, just exploring. It was really cool to see. I'm pretty proud of myself for not wigging out. We're being very conscious of safety and security to ensure no escapes ever happen, and she lives in a room completely closed off from the rest of the house.

I think today is going to be a day of lots of Earl Grey, yoga and plans. I've been doing yoga and squats for the last week or so, and my thighs have stopped feeling "good tired" and "good sore" so I think it's time to bump up the workout a bit. I made a list of exercises on BabyFit that I'm going to start doing three times a week to see if I can get a little more progress. On my off days I'm going to load up my iPod and start doing some cardio downstairs on the stationary bike. I'm going to be one fit mama!

We have really only the big ticket items left to get for Annabelle before we're just about ready - crib (+bedding), changing table, cloth diapers+snappis, the sling and carseat. Most of the clothes we've bought are NB or 0-3mos which I'm pretty sure will pose a problem seeing as how babies out-grow the 3mos clothes surprisingly quickly. I can't believe that in 13ish weeks, I'm going to be holding her and bringing her home. This is going by so fast!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Virtue, nesting and.. SNAAKE!


I took this photo of Virtue yesterday while she was napping on the back of our couch. I tend to take a LOT of photos of our kitties, but this one in particular makes me pretty proud. 

I spent much of the day ripping out everything in a huge set of cupboards we have in the kitchen, throwing out things we don't need and reorganizing. It needed to be done, I haven't gone through them in the almost 8 months since we moved in. Something just possessed me to run around like a chicken with my head cut off to tidy, clean, and make the cupboards a more efficient use of space!

I now have a tea/herbal cupboard, a dye cupboard and a cupboard full of jars for tincturing, steeping dyestuffs, pickling and making preserves! I'm so excited, haha.


I've always wished to have a huge collection of jars of herbs for making remedies and tea blends, and creating gorgeous yarn colours. I'm well on my way, I think! One day, I'll be a wild-haired lady who always dresses in airy, flowing clothing, walls of my house lined with shelves covered in glass jars filled with herbs. 


My natural dyes are from Maiwa and I've had some really great results with them. The jacquard acid dyes are from KnitPicks and the little I've used them, they seem to work well. I'm more partial to natural dyes, maybe because they were the first that I worked with. I find the colours from natural sources like barks, roots and other plant matter absolutely gorgeous and love how complimentary they can be to one another.

Tomorrow it looks like we may be going to go look at a female ball python for sale in town here. Alex really wants one and has been doing extensive research on their care. I've had a lot of pets in my life, but I've never had a reptile so this is going to be a learning experience even for me. I'm excited, though! If she's healthy, and happy, we might have a new little friend coming home with us!

Friday, March 4, 2011

I'm on Bloglovin'!

image via weheartit

I just recently started using BlogLovin' to follow my favourite blogs, with up to the minute updates on posts, which is really nice considering I follow so many. BlogLovin' also gives you recommendations based on the blogs you follow! I love it!

Yummy Dinner, Open Mic

Yesterday afternoon I cooked up one of our favourite meals. It happens to be vegan, but even my meat-loving husband can't get enough of it. The recipe is found in Sarah Kramer's La Dolce Vegan cookbook. I love that book, alone with How it All Vegan. How it All Vegan has my absolute favourite vegan lasagna recipe, and the recipe for the best from-scratch tomato sauce I've ever tasted. This particular recipe uses a lot of the same spices as in traditional meat dishes - thyme, sage, savoury and it smells like something you'd eat at a big family dinner during the holidays. It's the perfect comfort food!

Here's the pie before baking, just before I put the crust on top:
Portabello Pot Pie 1

I never said I was a professional pie crust maker..
Portabello Pot Pie 2

I guess it was pretty good - someone ate two thirds of the whole pie and then passed out...

Someone needed a nap.


Later that evening Alex and I met some friends at the little bar down the street for Open Mic night, every second Thursday. I thought it would be a little awkward sitting in a bar very visibly pregnant, but most of the people there were regular customers of mine at the shop so I wasn't uncomfortable. There were a couple good acts that I enjoyed, maybe one of these days I'll work up the courage to get up there myself and play something. It was nice to get out and hear some live music, something this town is severely lacking. Pretty damn good day, if I say so myself!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Absolutely precious.

This tattooed punk rock single Daddy is so sweet to his little daughter - have tissues at the ready. I saw this video on a couple other blogs and I just had to share.

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