Monday, June 27, 2011

Powerful Preparation Installment #1

When I was pregnant with Sir Oliver, preparation was so easy and relaxed.  I was so immersed in my pregnancy, so in tune with my baby, so ready and excited to have birth pangs, so ready to be a mom.  I had no fear.  I had a birth team of stars all ready to be with me for a gently wonderful home birth. We even did a belly mold!  I was READY!

Then, a week before my due date I was diagnosed with preeclampsia.  My midwives had to break the news that we would have to go to the hospital for the birth and that I was being induced on my due date. I did some crazy heavy grieving that weekend.  And then, we regrouped, replanned, and got ready.

I went into the hospital and was induced at 3 in the morning on Wednesday, February 25.  I had Oliver via Cesarean on Saturday, February 28 at 10 pm.  Yup, a long ride of Pitocin, epidural, etc.  Not at all what we planned, but gentle (I know, oxymoron), unrushed, and caaaaalm.  Oliver and I were both calm and it was all good.  Of course, he was non-responsive at first and they rushed him off to NICU for two days.  That was when I lost my cool.  It was NOT fun.

Thankfully, the nurses at the hospital were fabulous and after my two hours of recovery, those fantastic ladies wheeled my bed-gurney into the NICU.  They moved furniture so that I could see my sweet baby and I got to hold him right away.  Two days later I got to nurse him for the first time and on Tuesday, we got him all to ourselves in the room.  I finally put a do-not-disturb on the door so that we could all be alone.

And then, on Wednesday, a whole week after we went into the hospital, we took our little, tiny, sweet baby home.  It was the beginning of what has been an amazing, challenging, completely unhinging two years.

Now, I'm pregnant again, and it's different this time.  Come back next time and we'll talk about some of those differences.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Giveaway winner!

Hi there all you webonites!  I'm very pleased to announce that Miss Stephanie is the winner of my first giveaway!!  Congratulations Stephanie and thank you so much for keeping an eye on my little blog!  You can email me your soap choices and I'll get them out to you super fast!  Don't worry all you other peeps, I'll do another giveaway!  It's so fun!  Happy day everyone!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Work in Progress Wednesday #1

I've been stalking all the folks who participate in WIP Wednesday for a while now and figured I'd finally post alongside them all today.  Partly 'cause works in progress is my middle name, and partly because my current project is giving me major ajiduh (spelling Katie?  I spelled it phonetically).  My sister uses this word often to describe a situation that is stressing her out.  And yes, this sweater is a bit stressful even though I am also loving the challenge it's giving me.

I'm working on Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby Surprise Jacket and it is not easy!  I mean, it's not exactly hard, but boy do you have to pay attention!  Here's my progress so far:

I've started twice, and ripped out 1 and 1/2 rows so far.  Buuuuut, I think I might have the hang of it now.  While I love her conversational style, Ms Elizabeth is not super detail oriented in this one, so there are little things you just have to figure out on your own.  It's actually awesome in the sense that you get an idea of how she thinks about her pattern making.  And, I'm really happy with the corners I managed to create here.

I'm not sure where these corners will be on the finished project but they look pretty good so far!  I am also loving the yarn I am using!  While Oliver and Dave and I were in Maine and Canada a few weeks ago I got to go to a lovely yarn store in Belfast, Maine.  Heavenly Socks Yarns, is small but packed with great stuff and I found this lovely hemp blend yarn called Hempathy.  I love love love this rich red and can't wait to see it on the new baby!  I also love that it will be a lightweight layering sweater that won't be too bulky for those sweet new arms.

Oh, and for all you handmade soap lovers out there...Check out my first giveaway!  Just leave a little commentyomenty if you're not a follower already and you'll be entered to win 2 bars of your choice of my latest soaps!!  You can find it all here!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Musings and My First Giveaway!!!

It's early for me to be up and functional.  And by functional I mean on the computer "working".  It was prompted by Miss Kimberly's (of chezsucrechez fame) morning email praising a photo and correcting an awful spelling error on my etsy site.  Thank goodness she caught it!  I HATE spelling errors.  Particularly glaring ones that are so right in your face you really should have seen it!  This was one of those by the way.  I had spelled Mojito-Mohito.  My sister Jessie will read that with shock I'm sure.  Well, anyway, that prompted this lovely burst of productivity and I'm riding the wave with some level of joy.  It will be interesting to see if I can keep it up AFTER Oliver has woken up.

Mohito is now spelled Mojito and speaking of etsy, zip on over and check out all the new soaps.  They are finally all listed! Hooray!!  And in honor of me reaching a goal this week (listing them and writing a blog post, and it's only Tuesday) I will be sending two bars of their choice to one of my sweet followers.  If you are already following the blog, do NOTHING!!  If you are one of the silent stalkers here and would like to perchance receive some soap then you just have to follow the blog! EDIT: If you are a silent stalker and enjoy silently stalking and do not want to follow a blog but would like to receive some all means leave some lovely comment below and I'll include ya...kind of along the lines of no-purchase-necessary and all that!   I'll do the random drawing on....randomly picked....Tuesday of next week.  Tuesday being the first anniversary of me putting this up.    Get following people!  Oh, and while I love fawning and empty praise, this is not necessary for winning as it will all be random.  Sorry siblings, I know this shameless pandering has worked in the past, but this time, forget it!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Rub a Dub Dub It's TIme for the TUB!!!

I love making soap.  Lots and lots of soap.  I haven't bought soap in three years.  I love that too.  The best part of making soap is that I get to do it with my friend Lelayna.  She is sooooo amazing!  She raises her own lovely sheep, spins their wool and makes up the funkiest little items with her handspun yarns.  She is also a wonderful doula and is training to be a midwife.  Best of all, she is my friend!  Truly a blessing in my life.

SO, back in April, we decided it was time to make more soap!  I hired a babysitter this time since I wanted the chance to make LOTS, and we got to work.

Oliver wanted to help while he waited for his babysitter so we gave him  the non-soapmaking gloves so he could "work".

Then we got the oils, and the scale, and water, and the bowls, and the pots and the essential oils, and the molds together...

...and mixed and smelled, and talked, and laughed, and documented, and experimented...

pouring into the molds.  I line each with waxed paper so the soap don't stick.  Lala hates this part so I always do the lining:)

mixing until trace (kind of like making whipped cream) and you can see more oils melting in the other pot

...and wrapped up our baby soaps in their lovely pile of blankets to set...

cold process soap sits in its molds wrapped up like this to "incubate" overnight

...and then cut, and cut, and cut, until we had piles and piles of soap!

"Rose in Bloom" soap with added almond oil this time

From left to right: Mohito soap, Lavender, lemongrass and ginger, and rose all ready to cure for 30 days
All in all, over two days we made about 25 different soaps.  Hooray!!!

and now, today, I've finally started listing my concoctions on etsy to make them available to the world!