Book 10: The Science of Mom

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I saw a review of The Science of Mom, by Alice Callahan, on one of my favorite blogs, Science Based Medicine. Since I was registering for baby things around that time, I added it to our list, and I’m glad I did.

The Science of Mom is written by a scientist who’s also a mother and was tired/confused/frustrated with the amount and quality of pregnancy and baby-rearing advice out there. I have been pretty lucky in that I haven’t had random strangers offer me advice (or touch my belly), but I have read lots of conflicting information on the internet (of course) and in various books. In this one, though, the author reads through the scientific studies on a variety of baby topics and explains the results. The book is thorough without being overwhelming, and she is careful to break down the quality of the data available on each subject. There’s also a very helpful section on scientific studies in general, and what makes a study stronger or weaker, which can be used to do your own research on topics she doesn’t cover (or ones she does, for that matter). This book didn’t answer all of my questions, but it did help me to feel much more comfortable about the topics she covers.

Knitted Baby Hat

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What to knit photo

I’ve been working on getting the house ready for Baby Gecko. In between eating and napping, that is. I haven’t gotten nearly all of the projects done that I wanted to have done by this point, but that’s ok. We have clothing, diapers, and a place for him to sleep; everything else will get done when it gets done.

I have yarn for three more hats, two blankets, and a jacket. They’ll get done eventually. I also have lots of other yarn, some with projects in mind and some without, but those are now further down the list…

The first knitted project that I made for Baby Gecko was the hat below. It’s from this Swirl Hat pattern on Ravelry. The pattern was pretty easy to follow. I used the yarn in the photo above, and then went out and bought a set of Addi Turbo circular knitting needles. Turns out, I don’t like working with double pointed knitting needles. I managed to use them to finish the hat, but I’m going to try and avoid them until I’m more confident with regular knitting.

IMG_20151113_111132191I accidentally switched directions while working on this project, but fortunately, it happened when I was about halfway through, so it looks intentional. It wasn’t, but by the time I figured out what had happened, I decided it was easier to just go with it rather than figure out how to pull out multiple rows of tiny stitches. He won’t care, anyway.

Things have really quieted down in our area. Most Yellowstone roads are closed, and there’s not enough snow for winter sports. The wildlife is pretty abundant, though. We’ve been seeing a pine marten in the neighborhood this year, and the foxes are back. We’ve gotten a little more snow, but nothing too extreme yet. Overall, it’s been a good start to the winter.IMG_20151113_112704970

Book Nine: Maneater

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Book nine, Maneater by Gigi Levangie Grazer, was an impulse checkout from our local library. I had read a book of hers before, and enjoyed it, and I was getting overwhelmed reading pregnancy and baby books.

The novel tells the story of a spoiled Hollywood woman who gets whatever she wants, and whose job seems to consist of shopping, getting “improvements” to her body, and dating. As she gets older, though, she wants to get married, so she starts looking for the right wealthy man. She engineers a meeting with the newest rich man in LA and marries him as fast as she can. That’s when things start to go very wrong.

This book was not what I expected. Well, the plot of this book wasn’t what I expected. The biting wit was there, and it was funny, but it also took some turns that I wasn’t at all expecting. For a light, distracting read, it was good, and I finished it pretty quickly. I also finished it about a month ago… Oh well.

Latest Sewing Project

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I’ve had this project hanging out on my To Do list for quite a while. About a year, in fact. A few days ago, I finally finished it. With Sugar’s “help”, of course.

DSC_0098Mr. Gecko is tall. Very tall. Clothes are easier to find here than they were in Arizona, but finding a houserobe has been much more difficult. I’ve looked, and robes are made that are long enough to come past his knees, but they are pretty expensive. I don’t remember which one of us suggested it, but we finally decided that I’d make him one.

When we went to Memphis last year, my Granny and I went to a fabric store that was having a sale. After a phone call (cell phones make things so easy), I picked up a few yards of two different fleeces, a brown fuzzy one and a smoother camouflage one. I looked at patterns for robes, but none of them were quite right.

DSC_0097Instead, I used the robe that Mr. Gecko has been using since before we were married as a template. It was a pretty basic one to follow, with limited seams and no sleeve bias. I had him try it on so that I could measure how much longer it needed to be, then got to work.

I discovered quickly that the fabric pencils that I had didn’t really show up on the camp fleece. I can’t free cut a straight line to save my life, so the cutting part was a bit tedious. Fortunately, the body of the robe is one piece, so piece cutting was limited. I cut the brown fleece with a couple of extra inches around the edges, since Mr. Gecko wanted the fuzzy one on the inside and we thought a border looked nice. I also cut two pieces of each fleece for lined sleeves, a long piece of brown fleece for a belt, another piece of brown fleece to finish out the neck lining, and three little pieces of camp for belt loops.

DSC_0186After the cutting came the pinning. So much pinning. Sadly, the pictures of the middle part of the project are lost in the ether. After I had pinned the body pieces, I had to set it aside for a few days, fortunately, as it turned out. When I picked it back up again, I realized that I had pinned it wrong, and the brown border would end up inside the seams. I unpinned those pieces and repinned them the right way. After that, I wrote a list of what order I needed to do things so that I wouldn’t forget anything. The big seams were machine stitched, and the smaller seams and pieces I hand stitched.

Overall, I like how it turned out. It’s mid-calf length, and the sleeves hit just past his elbow, at his request. He also says that it is very warm. It doesn’t look like it was professionally made, and some of the seams are a little wiggly, but it fits Mr. Gecko and he likes it, so I’m happy. Sugar is still convinced that I made it for her, so I may take the leftovers and turn them into a bed or blanket.DSC_0188

Random Notes

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Sunset with moonIt wasn’t until I sat down at the coffee shop to post this that I realized it’s been a month since I posted a blog… I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth, I promise. I had good intentions of blogging while we were on our trip to California, but that didn’t happen. Apple BoxWe had a great trip, spending time with family and friends and eating my way through many of my favorite restaurants. I also picked up a few skeins of yarn and some things to decorate Baby Gecko’s room. Between the baby shower that my sister put together, pass downs from friends, and hitting a giant consignment sale, we are well supplied for Baby Gecko’s arrival. The house isn’t ready yet, by any means, but we have a couple of months for that.

Sugar in carI played with a lot of yarn on the two days it took us to drive each way. I checked out a book from our library of crochet patterns for baby clothes, and made a couple of items from it. I didn’t like the way the booties turned out, but the jacket turned out cute. I had intended to take a picture of the finished items before I left for town today, but I didn’t. Here’s a picture of Sugar on day 1 of our drive. We did some rearranging at our first stop so that she had a bit more padding for her chin. Bull MooseOn one of my last days at work, this guy was crossing the parking lot looking for lady friends. I had to stop and take a couple of pictures. Our snow hasn’t arrived yet, but we may get some this week. I wrote this post intending to post it last week, then walked off and left my laptop at home. Since then, we’ve had a dusting of snow most days, but it’s all melted off before the end of the day.Frozen YogurtThis was my first odd pregnancy combination (that I actually ate): salted caramel pretzel frozen yogurt, cereal marshmallows, nerds candies, cookie dough, and peanut butter cup bits. It was pretty tasty. My goals for the next month are to write more blog posts, do some freezer cooking, and get more of the house ready for the baby. Oh, and to crochet something for myself, maybe with the lovely wool-silk blend yarn I bought in California.