how i knit to stay sane

May 25, 2009

Fun in the Sun

Filed under: Uncategorized — K @ 10:24 am

We have settled into life with 3 kids, and it is wild, adventurous, chaotic, and wonderful!  Andrew is a cheerful baby, who is perfectly chubby — a relief after his weight gain issues in the first 6  weeks.  He is quick to smile, especially when one of his older siblings is showing off for him.  And for the first time in recorded history, yes, ladies and gentlemen, we have a sleeper!  Drew is active and happy when awake, but when he’s sleepy (which is often), he loves to be swaddled and put into his Moses basket.  No rocking to sleep for him — he’ll handle it himself, thankyouverymuch!

Drew and Kitty sharing a nap


After nearly a week of constant rain (I know, we’re in a drought area, I should stop complaining!), we had a few days of sunshine.  The Saturday before Mother’s Day, we heard about a local pick-your-own strawberry farm, and headed out for the afternoon.  We all had some good finds, and we each enjoyed a sample!


Drew totally dug hanging out in the warm afternoon breeze in the Moby wrap — he slept almost the whole time!  (And let me tell you, if you ever want a good thigh workout, pick strawberries for an hour with a 12 pound baby in a front carrier and an impatient toddler who doesn’t want to work in just one spot!)



DSC05862        DSC05866       DSC05871

Quite a haul we got there!  Stay tuned to find out what became of all those ripe berries!



Washington Farms must have known that even a full afternoon of berry-picking isn’t enough to tire some kids out!  Off we went to the adjacent play area and “petting farm” (that’s what they called it, but you couldn’t really pet the animals….)  Catie was still enamored of a new friend, though!


The kids are much more appreciative of faucets, after trying out this duck race with old-fashioned water pumps!


The kids were eager to slide, but when they got to the top, they were scared of this slide with the rollers.  I gave them the gentle ultimatum that, just like with some dinners, you don’t get more of what you want (the other play things) if you aren’t willing to be brave and try something new.


I was really proud of them, because they both decided to be brave and try it.  Noah agreed first, and then Catie.  As soon as Catie said she’d do it, Noah “gallantly” waved Catie ahead of him, saying, “Ladies first, Catie!”  Fortunately, she loved it!


Noah followed close behind, although he wasn’t so eager at first!  He also enjoyed it, and they both slid down at least 20 more times before we moved on!  I’m really proud of them for being so brave — sounds silly to say about a slide, but they’re only 3 and 4, and they were truly scared and worried about the slide at first, so trying it really was an act of bravery for my little guys!


Our last stop before heading back home was the “corn” box — think of a giant sand box, but filled with dried corn kernels.  The kids were much cleaner than after our average romp in a sand box, but I had a good laugh when, 4 days later, I pulled these outfits out of the clothes drier and it took me a minute to figure out why there was corn in my lint trap!


I hope you are enjoying your family, your home town, and your spring as much as we are!  

P.S. — I got a new computer, and it has taken me a little while to figure out how best to resize photos and post them.  I think I’m getting the hang of it, so I hope to share a lot more photos than I  have been lately!


April 22, 2009

Letters to my family

Filed under: Uncategorized — K @ 11:19 pm

Dear Drew,

I know that breastfeeding is the best start I could give you.  I have read all the studies and I know all the benefits.  But the most important thing is that I feed you — *what* I feed you is secondary.  You need more than I can provide with breastfeeding, and I don’t mean the milk.  You need for me to not cry in pain over you while you nurse.  You need me to be focusing on your first smile, your first time playing with a toy, not focusing on what time you latched on, and how many times you suck to each swallow.  It’s time for us to start our relationship over, one that doesn’t involve resentment and feeling like a failure, a relationship that lets me look down on you with love as you eat.  

You see, of all the benefits of breastfeeding, my favorite has always been those wonderful bonding moments of looking into the eyes of my child at my breast, seeking nourishment from me.  You will be next to my breast, and your nourishment will come from a bottle, but I will gaze into your eyes just the same.  I will hold you against my skin, and whisper love-words as you grow on what I am able to provide you.  I will not prop your bottle and go about other business while you feed, but instead I will nourish your mind and heart as I nourish your body.  I love you and want the best for you, and the best thing for you is a mommy who looks forward to and cherishes every moment with you.


Dear Noah and Catie,

I’m sorry that Mommy hasn’t been much fun lately.  I’ve been spending all my time worrying about Drew getting all his food to be bigger and stronger, and I haven’t been playing enough with you guys!  I’m so proud of how much you understand, and how you know that sometimes you need to play quietly together so Mommy can take care of Drew!  But you know what?  Mommy misses playing games with you and reading books to you all the time!  I still need to take some quiet time with Drew, but I think we can start sneaking in a few more games and stories.  Who’s up for Cootie?!?


Dear Brandon,

I cannot begin to express what your support has meant to me over the last weeks.  I know that it’s been hard for you to see me stressed, exhausted, in pain, and frustrated.  I love that you’ve done everything possible to alleviate all my other duties so that I could explore every possibility of establishing nursing well for the baby.  I truly appreciate all the listening, hugs, meals, cleaning, entertaining the kids, holding the baby so I could sleep, and everything else you’ve done to keep me from losing my sanity over the last weeks.  I know I always would have wondered “what if”, if I hadn’t tried everything, and you made it possible for me to keep trying and to fight every set-back.  Thank you for providing every kind of support that I’ve needed — I love you.


Dear Me,

It’s okay.  You can rest now.  You’ve done enough.  Now it is time to just enjoy your baby.



Mother, Mommy, Wife, Kelly

April 20, 2009

Checking in — An update on Andrew

Filed under: Uncategorized — K @ 9:28 am

I’ve been horrible about email, visiting groups, IMs, and blogging, lately — Little Andrew’s taking about all of my attention!

Drew is a strong (he rolled over on his 5-week-birthday!) and healthy baby with one exception — apparently I watched too many late night infomercials about weight loss products in the hospital because he has himself on some kind of diet. He was still losing weight at more than two weeks old (he should have been back to his birth weight then), and when he finally started gaining, he was gaining at about the half the rate of a healthy average baby. Although he doesn’t have any distress signs (too few diapers, dehydration, lethargy), I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me to get him caught up to where he should be, and we’re still working on it.

He was born at 9 lbs 11 oz, and was down to 8 lbs 6 oz at his lowest measured point. At his 1 month checkup, he was doing much better at 9 lbs 3 oz, but he was still half a pound below his birthweight (he should have been about a pound up from that.) We are, as you can tell, keeping a very close eye on the problem, and making sure that he stays healthy as we explore the issues (which seem to be mostly related to a not-stellar latch and a lazy suck — I won’t call it a “bad” latch because I’m not in pain. It could be a LOT worse!). However, I have been pretty focused on feeding the baby first, family time and effort in general second, me third (I’m still having some pain from my c-section and have plenty of times every day that remind me that I am recovering still from major surgery!), and computer time a distant fourth. (And yes, knitting fits right in there with the “me” category. Doesn’t get done as much as I’d like, but I do manage to get in a row here and there!)

Thanks for all the prayers and well wishes you’ve had coming our way — we appreciate them, and can still use them!

April 5, 2009

Lots of New Pictures!

Filed under: Uncategorized — K @ 11:15 am

I’ve been a little tired lately (go figure!). We’ve been busy with baby stuff — I’ll update more later, but the overview is, everything’s going pretty well right now! While I am working on getting back into the swing of things in real life, I’ve been letting the blog slide, but please visit my hubby’s blog, where you can see some great maternity photos taken by a friend, and some more recent photos of our family, featuring our newest little guy!

I will, however, give a quick teaser — Here’s a pic of Brandon with Andrew, who’s modeling one of the sweaters I made him (that he’s already trying to outgrow!)


And for everyone more interested in knitting content than babydom, this sweater is Black Purl’s “Sock It To Me Baby”.  I knitted it in the smallest size, and it has been adorable on him, and will last through his first month, at least, but probably not much longer!  I get compliments on it EVERY time he wears it, and regularly get asked where I bought it!  It only took me 2 days of bed rest to make, but now that I’m back to mere mortal status (especially DISTRACTED mere mortal status!), I’m estimating more like two weeks for the replacement I’m making in the next size up!

I used Opal sock yarn (something from Kaffe Fassett’s landscape line….  I lost the label….) and it washes beautifully.  I am using Regia for the replacement sweater.  My only complaint about the pattern is that the body and sleeves are short — I do have long babies, but it still seems VERY short, even when a friend’s shorter baby tried it on.  I am making the replacement size with an extra inch added to each length measurement.  I highly recommend the pattern, though — just keep the length in mind!

March 13, 2009

Welcome to the world Andrew Jacob Checketts

Filed under: Uncategorized — K @ 8:57 pm

As of 11:05 EDT we are the parents of a brand-new baby boy. Mommy and baby are both doing well. Andrew Jacob Checketts weighed in at 9 lbs, 11 ounces and 21.5 inches long.

We arrived at the hospital for the scheduled C-Section at 9:00 and checked in for the surgery scheduled at 11:00 AM. Kelly’s doctor, Dr. Sepesie, had a surgery earlier and finished up a little early. Kelly got the spinal and prepped before they let me into the room just a few minutes before 11:00. By 11:05, baby was out and the nurses worked on cleaning him up, getting his footprints taken, doing initial measurements, etc. After just a few minutes Kelly got to snuggle with the new baby while the doctor continued with the surgery.

I followed baby to the nursery where they continued cleaning, doing some more measurements, and giving him some initial shots. Kelly finished with surgery, and about 30 minutes later and we met back in the labor and delivery room just a few minutes before moving to a recovery room.

We spent a little while together and then I left to go pick up the kids and Corky. Mommy worked on teaching the little guy to eat until I got back. Noah and Catie didn’t quite know what to say. They understood that we were going to have a new baby, but I think they were still a little shocked to see him. After an initial introduction, they were more interested in the hospital bed and the window blinds.


Mommy upon arriving at the hospital and being assigned our room:

First picture after birth:

Nurses cleaning him off and getting footprints:

More footprints:

Official Weight: 9 lbs, 11 ounces:

First Picture with Mommy:

First Picture with Mommy and Daddy:

Mommy and Baby Bonding Time:

Mommy and Baby Bonding Time:

Getting swaddled, ready to go to the nursery:

Sucking the fist in the nursery:

A picture with Daddy in the nursery:

Trying to open his eyes:

Introducing the kids to him:

February 23, 2009

Blog? What blog?

Filed under: Uncategorized — K @ 9:26 am

I am feeling decidedly lazy, lately.  If you check out my pregnancy ticker, you probably understand why.  And if you don’t, you’ve probably never been pregnant….  I don’t know what it is about “third babies”, but many of my 3-time mommy friends agree that this pregnancy is just harder than the first two.  I also have a dear friend who is an RN and a doula, who pointed out to me that, well, I’m 30 now, and this isn’t the same as going through a pregnancy at 25!  She sure wasn’t saying I was old, but I am old enough now that age is a factor in my physical well-being.

In Baby News, the non-medical version is that the baby is measuring big, but I’m measuring small, meaning that I’ve got the fun of experiencing 9th month discomfort, but ever since the 6th month.  Umm, ouch.  Baby is active as can be, and this means that I don’t sleep a whole lot, or very deeply, so I’m just sort of ready to get him out, at this point.  He still has some cooking to do, though, so unless he decides to come out early (not expected — my babies like to cook until they are well-done), I am scheduled for a c-section on Mar. 23rd (exactly 4 weeks from this moment, I should be cuddling a really-brand-new human!)



We took advantage of that belly the other day with a fun art project for the kids.   I’ll spare you the in-progress pictures, but I wore an interesting ensemble made of garbage bags that left just my belly exposed, and let the kids paint my belly to their hearts’ content.  When they were done, we smooshed a piece of art paper across my belly from side-to-side, and admired our artistic creation (yes, the white dot in the middle is from my belly button — the pop-out timer says there is plenty more cooking required….)


February 16, 2009

Help Celebrate Make and Takes Birthday!

Filed under: Uncategorized — K @ 8:20 am

I’ve linked to this awesome blog before, but I’ll do so again in hopes of upping my chances of winning some of this awesome baby gear (we’re 5 weeks away from needing it, for anyone keeping track!)! And of course, if I can’t win, I hope one of my readers does! (But there are 7 prizes, so no reason you and I both can’t win!) Go wish Make and Takes Blog a happy 2nd birthday!

January 13, 2009

Christmas Presents

Filed under: Uncategorized — K @ 11:54 am

Finally (better late than never!) I can update on my Christmas knitting! I couldn’t before, because some of my family periodically peek at my blog! (Hi guys!) I didn’t want to spoil the surprise, but I have been cranking out felted clogs like a factory for the last month and a half! I miss my other knitting, but I am about to get back to it!

I managed to get 10 pairs made for the assorted family in time for the trip (this idea didn’t come to me until a little late in the season…..) I still have two pairs to finish — 1 is on the needles, and the other is off and waiting to be felted, and then I am finished (except for this sudden strange desire to make another pair for myself out of Noro Kureyon…..)


I highly recommend this pattern — It’s a little on the wordy side, but I think that a novice knitter will appreciate being able to mark off each row as they go, and an experienced knitter can get into the groove of the knitting, and let go of the pattern a little bit. My first recommendation to someone knitting this pattern would be to make a copy of it — it helps to highlight the instructions for the size you’re making, but I can almost guarantee that you’ll want to make more pairs for loved ones as time goes on, so you’ll want to keep your original copy unmarked!

I used a selection of yarns, including Patons Classic Merino for the extended family, Galway for mine, and Louet Riverstone for Brandon’s and the kids’. The slippers seemed to be loved by everyone — Grandma even took them to wear in the car on a day trip we took! (There is a separate pattern for the kids’ sizes — they are adorable!)

We used puff paint on the bottom of the slippers to give a little bit of skid-proofness. So far, so good, although I found that if you don’t use the nozzle to push the paint into the wool fibers a bit, the lines of paint begin to peel off. I felt almost as creative with the painting as I did with the knitting! We have an assortment of squiggles, dots, x’s and o’s, happy faces, words, and drawings to walk around on, now!

January 12, 2009

We’re home!

Filed under: Uncategorized — K @ 11:53 am

We had a lovely vacation, but I sure feel like I could use another week to recover and relax from it! I have a zillion photos, but I’ll be good and only annoy you with a few favorites!

We were staying in really nice three bedroom condos in Hilton Head, where there was a little deck just off our dining room. And there was a little lake just off the deck. And there was a little alligator just off the shore! This is a good chunk of my extended family gathered around it, probably wondering just how many people would wet their pants if the gator moved!


We enjoyed a lovely family day in Savannah, and got to see Savannah’s Candy Kitchen in full production — the kids and Brandon are eating taffy that the funky looking machine is cutting and wrapping at the same time.


The candy that doesn’t get tossed out as samples goes into those little buckets, where they get dropped onto a conveyor belt, which carried the candy to the “upstairs” area (only up a couple of steps), where it dropped out of a chute and into a sales bin!


Brandon and I even got a little “date time”. We had a lovely dinner out at CQ’s, but my real highlight of the trip was getting into a kayak for the first time. When calling to make reservations, I asked if 7 months pregnant novices were welcome. The man answered with another question: “Do you have a sense of humor?” We had a great time checking out some wildlife around Hilton Head!


This sign totally cracked me up, so I told Brandon to take a picture. I should have had him take one without me in it, but, well, I didn’t. When I showed him my Shamu self in this photo later, he described me as “vo-lump-tuous”! Good thing for him that I do have a sense of humor!


January 2, 2009


Filed under: Uncategorized — K @ 10:41 am

I know I’ve really been slacking over the holidays, but I’m about to beg off for another week! We’ve been enjoying our very family-centered holidays for the last weeks, and I’ve been spending a lot of time focusing on my two big kids, before my focus switches to a certain newborn in a few months. We are spending the next week in Hilton Head with my extended family, and the kids are looking really forward to seeing their Ju-Ju and Pop-Pop, and Grandma Ruth and Grandpa Bud. My aunt and uncle will also be there — I’m excited, as it’s been a few years since we’ve seen them. They have grown children, and I know the kids are also excited to meet some new playmates — at this age, they are convinced that everyone they meet is there to shower them with attention. Fortunately, it usually works that way!

(I am looking forward to everyone showering them with attention, too — I’m planning to sleep in, take naps, and knit!)

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