Category Archives: Life

Back…

I’ll do a post with pictures later, but just wanted to write this before I lost lock again.

It’s been a rather crazy six weeks. We went from planning a local move in the middle of June to planning a local move to temporary housing at the end of June and a multi-state move in mid-August. We’re in the process of buying a house in a city where we’ve spent three days.

On top of this, there have been all of the normal shenanigans caused by having two two year olds frolicking about.

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They did seem to like the dolls and backpacks I sewed for them. My mom made the girls quilts, made the dolls dresses (the fabric I’d cut for the dresses disappeared in the first move), made the dolls quilts, and made the dolls beds.

I did get to knit on our two trips and finished the rainbow socks.

More to come soon, I hope.

A different color!

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I cast on for a sock for me in the Nordlys yarn today. It is not white. It is all for me.

I finished the main part of Matriarch’s shawl by the girls’ birthday. It’s over half cast off now, so I have hopes that I’ll be able to finish the casting off by the one year anniversary of when they came home.

Afghans for Afghans isn’t running a campaign now, so I’m waiting on the Car Seat Test mitten. I think I’m going to knit things in bright colors for myself for a bit.

Of course, I am thinking a little about two tiny Rhinebeck sweaters…

More shawl

As always, Matriarch’s shawl is coming along, although slower than I’d like. I didn’t get to work on it as much as I’d hoped while traveling to Maryland (I slept in the car) and I had some unexpected things that came up.

She keeps trying to touch it. I know it’s because they’re interested in string now (also containers and transparency), but I like to think it’s because she realizes it’s beautiful and will be hers.

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I am looking forward to having the shawls finished and knitting something for myself again. This has been a lot of white lace.

Small Human Being Sewalong: Now with 50% less napkin!

I use my Ergo less than the husband uses his; I tend to prefer the Moby or the K”Tan, both of which I can put on in the morning and keep on all day. It’s a fashion statement. Still, the Ergo seems likely to be more useful as they get bigger, and we tend to use the Ergos for big outings.

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I made myself a pair of Ergo covers as well, using the same pattern. The fabric is left over from a maternity dress I sewed myself. (It amazed me how much most maternity clothing was unlike what I’d normally wear– tight and low cut, Also, during a time in my life when I was constantly eating candied ginger, I needed pockets more, not less.) The interlining is a pair of stained napkins.

I also finished a nursing nightgown for myself. I’d traced the pattern in early July, planning to sew a nightgown and some tank tops. Then the girls were born before I could even cut the fabric. I ended up wearing three dresses from Old Navy as nursing nightdresses. I am looking forward to casting them off into the outer darkness, especially now I have this to sub in.

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(Yes, it’s a bad picture, but it’s not something I want a picture of myself wearing on the Internet.)

Vanishing

Edit: This came out much more depressing than it was supposed to! I meant it to be more like things I’ve read recently about how the pregnant body becomes a public space for comment and that it’s strange how people in public interact with me only as the subtitles for the girls and think that I always want to stop and answer all questions, no matter how personal, even as I’m hurrying somewhere or trying to calm a crying baby.

I’m now 50% through Matriarch’s shawl. Both girls keep trying to touch it, since they’re very interested in string and paper.

Matriarch and her shawl

In The Reluctant Father, one of the strands is about how, when his daughter was born, his wife vanished. I can definitely feel that. As I walk the girls around campus, it’s amazing how many students talk about them as if I can’t hear. In the grocery store, it can be hard to get the groceries without people asking about them. If I’m trying to run a fast errand, someone will stop me to argue with me about if they’re identical or sororal. The girls exist, and I’m just there as a caption.

When I go out for a run, it’s amazing. I’m just a normal person with her headphones in.

I also feel sort of vanished in the knitting I’ve been doing. I knit the soakers that they outgrew before I finished them, which were black and white. I’ve been knitting the white christening shawls. I have the mitten from First Lady’s car seat test, but Afghans for Afghans isn’t currently collecting and doesn’t seem to know when it will again.

As usual, my big conference and my husband’s overlapped. Normally this just means both of us are frantically working on our papers/posters/workshops at the same time, but this year had the added complication of the girls. My parents, therefore, came up to wrangle, and the girls went to their first academic conference, which they seemed to enjoy. I’m so lucky to have parents who could and wanted to do that.

My mom and I went to Webs later in the week, bringing the girls. Their baby books now have entries about first LYS trip.

Girls in Webs

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I got myself some sock yarn in bright colors that hopefully will make me, as I’m stopped to be asked about the girls, feel less invisible.

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Shawl

I’m working on the Matriarch’s shawl, but it won’t be done in time for the christening in January. I’m about 34% done, and the First Lady’s needs casting off as well.

These will now probably be first birthday shawls.

Rhinebeck 2014

My mother and I went to Rhinebeck for the eleventh year in a row. We met up with my aunt there, but my cousin and the Matriarch and First Lady didn’t come.

It was a shorter Rhinebeck than ones before; the Matriarch and the First Lady were experimenting with sleeping longer stretches, so we weren’t on the road until a lot later than expected. (“Never wake a sleeping baby” doesn’t always apply to twins, but we want to encourage them to sleep at night!) I wanted to leave earlier than usual so that I’d be home to put them to bed, and I had to spend time in the mothers’ room every few hours. (Confusingly, it was in the State Police building and labeled “Girl Scout room.”)

Still, it was a fun Rhinebeck. I finished knitting the cuff of the mitten I’d started at the First Lady’s car seat test (she passed, by the way). Neither my mom nor I bought anything but food, but we got to look at all sorts of beautiful things, and my mom got all sorts of compliments on her Kauni.

I hope that the girls will be able to come to Rhinebeck 2015; I think it could be a lot of fun.

Continued knitting

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I’m working on another soaker from a different pattern and will compare the two patterns when I’m done. So far, I’m liking the pay pattern better than the free one.

Normal’s Just A Setting on the Washing Machine

First of all, the girls are doing well. They’re in the “graduate nursery,” not the NICU any more; they’re working on leaning how to eat, regulate their temperature, and being weaned off oxygen. They’re each over four pounds now, so they’re growing like tiny weeds.

In college, there was a song that they had a folksinger perform during orientation with the line of the post title: “Normal’s Just A Setting on the Washing Machine.” It’s strange how normal changes so quickly.

The girls were born very late on 8 July (I’d gone into labor in the very early hours of that day and the bulk of the day was spent trying to stop the labor at least long enough for the girls to have steroids for lung development). I first saw them almost exactly twenty-four hours after labor had started. During the first days while I was in the hospital, they weren’t ready to be touched yet, but then we started to be able to hold them.

Every day now, I go and visit them and do kangaroo care/skin to skin. It’s an actually scientific treatment for them (and for me and for Caleb when he comes); they do better if they’re lying on a familiar chest, hearing a familiar heartbeat and voice, than if they’re in the isolette. I’m also supposed to kiss them as much as possible so that I pick up information about their immune systems and produce the right antibodies in my milk. (Patting and stroking, though, are too much stimulation for them in quantity; I’m supposed to put a hand on their backs instead of stroking them.) The daily visit, the pumping milk every few hours, the calls in to see how they are right after morning shift change and nightly weighing (later on bath days) are all the new normal. And, in a matter of weeks, when they’re home, there will be an entirely new normal that will soon seem as if it’s always been that way.

They got names the day after they were born; we’d been planning to figure that out what ended up being the weekend after they were born. They were around two months early, so we thought there was time. I’m not going to be using their names here for a while at least; partly it’s because all four of us have somewhat distinctive names, but also it’s because I’m trying to figure out what information about them I want on the Internet. Here, they’ll be going by the First Lady (for the older one) and the Matriarch (for the younger one). These are references to holders of their names, but hopefully not Googleable.

I’ve started knitting a diaper soaker; I held it up to the Matriarch and checked that the sizing looked right. Of course, since motherhood hasn’t changed me entirely, I’m making it in referee stripes.

Tuesday’s Children Are Full of Grace

Very late on Tuesday evening, I gave birth to my twin daughters.

They were very early and are slated to be in the NICU for quite some time.

I’m at ten percent on the second shawl and will keep working on it to welcome her home or be used at her baptism.

One thing that was very comforting to me when they brought me up to see them the first time was that the older girl had on a handknit hat and there was a handknit blanket in her warming bed. Now that the younger one is stabler, there’s a blanket for her as well. They’re in incubators, so no hats now, but have the blankets down below their feet.

It was so nice seeing that, even though this was totally unexpected, they still had something there made with love for them.