The One Month Birthday Milestone

Posted by on Oct 24, 2014

A couple of years ago, I wrote a post about how our second child, The Pixie, didn’t get the same sort of milestone recognition that her older sister did. One year the poor kid didn’t even get her own birthday decorations – we just added hearts to the ones that were left up from my other daughter’s party (three months earlier). It was a good post – go ahead and read it if you haven’t already. I was far more coherent back then.

Well, it turns out that things aren’t going to get any better for Baby #3. In fact, we’ve already missed his first milestone completely. On Wednesday I realized that he had celebrated his one month birthday the day before and we didn’t even notice, let alone acknowledge it. No proud pictures posted to Facebook, no birthday songs or cake (we’ll use any excuse to bake a cake).

Now, that’s not to say that I didn’t take photos on Tuesday – it’s just that the pictures were of yarn. Really, really beautiful yarn.


Yarn for Honey Cowl #1
Yarn for Honey Cowl #2

Can you blame me? Wool can be pretty darn distracting.

Thankfully I have some other photos that can stand in for the requisite one month photos. Incidentally, they also show off some more beautiful yarn, but I suppose that’s beside the point. I took these pictures just a few days before his official one month birthday, and that’s close enough, right? They’ll count?

*Warning – these photos may contain super high levels of baby cuteness….

If it Moves, Bend ItSuper Model Baby

Jazz HandsJazz Hands Baby

YawnsCrotchety Old Man Baby

Alien Abduction Alien Abduction Baby (our favourite)

 Happy one month birthday, little baby. I fall in love with you a little more every day.

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The Little Things

Posted by on Oct 22, 2014

We’re studying the Middle Ages in our homeschooling lessons. On Tuesday morning The Princess and I talked about the wars between the Muslims and the Christians. It was a great lesson with fascinating stories, but at the same time it’s a part of history that I’ve dreaded discussing. I mean, as a Christian, I’m embarrassed by it: “So this is when we decided to go ahead and share the love and peace of Jesus by killing everyone who believes differently”. Yeah, it doesn’t make the Church look overly good. Or intelligent.

After our lesson, The Princess started to run off but then she paused and turned around. “I’m sure glad we don’t live back then when everyone was always fighting wars and stuff”, she said. “It sounds scary.”

I wasn’t sure how to respond. I don’t want to tell her that there are still wars being fought throughout the world – that there are still people willing to kill others because of their religion or ideology or politics. I don’t want her to be fearful. Rather, I want her to believe that people are kind and that the world is safe and maybe even that Santa Claus is real – in other words, I want her childhood innocence to last as long as it can.

But, of course, the world isn’t perfect. There are crazy people out there.

Today, like half of Canada, I spent the day glued to the radio, listening to updates about the Ottawa shooting. The reports were chaotic at first – were there multiple gunmen? Multiple locations? Then came the news that the soldier who had been shot was from Hamilton, followed later by the announcement that he had died of his injuries.

What a senseless tragedy.

Pray for Both Mothers

As I sat and listened with my baby boy in my arms, I thought about the soldier’s mother – how could I not? She’d never get to hold her son again. I am heartbroken for her loss. I tried my best to pray for her and her family.

I also thought about the mother of the shooter, and I tried to pray for her too. I remember once hearing an interview with Monique Lépine, the mother of the gunman who killed 14 women at l’École Polytechnique, an event now known as the the Montreal Massacre. Lépine said that when she first heard the news of the killings, she had been on her way to a prayer meeting. She then asked the group to pray for the killer’s mother – not yet knowing that she was asking them to pray for herself. That story has always stuck with me.

Today, two mother’s lost their sons. And one of them not only lost her son, but she must also deal with the shame and grief of knowing what he did. I can’t even imagine what that would be like. My heart goes out to her too.

So I pray for his mother. Both mothers. Both families. All the families that have been touched by the events of this day.

It’s a small thing but sometimes small things are all we can do.

When I heard that the soldier had died, my first thought was to take the girls down to the armoury and leave flowers – a small gesture to show the friends and family of the fallen soldier that we care. I wanted to bring the girls because I want them to know that sometimes big scary things happen, but there are also lots of people doing little kind things, and those little things all added together are bigger than the tragedies themselves.

Be the Helpers

There is a great quote by Mr. Rogers that seems to circulate on social media every time a frightening event occurs: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mom would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'” What a beautiful perspective – a way to see the good, even in the bad. As my children grow older, I want them to be looking for the helpers. I want them to look for ways that they can be helpers too, even in tiny ways. That might mean praying. That might mean dropping off flowers to show that they care.

But not this time. In the end, I decided not to bring my girls to the armoury because I don’t want to tell them what happened today. I want them to stay innocent just a little while longer. This time, I’ll pray quietly as I listen to the radio in the kitchen. I’m not ready to let my daughters know that there are still people who will kill. I’m not ready for them to know that the world can be that scary.

I’ll pray for the mother of the victims. I’ll pray for mother of the killer. And then, like all mothers across Canada, I’ll hug my kids extra tight tonight.

Look for the Helpers


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Han Solo Mittens (Works in Progress)

Posted by on Oct 16, 2014

Are you my brother-in-law? If so, I can’t imagine how you found yourself on my blog. However, if you have somehow ended up here inadvertently, please stop reading so you don’t see your Christmas gift. Seriously. I’ll give them to someone else.

“You love him. He knows.”

Confession time: that line means nothing to me. I’m not a Star Wars fan. That’s not to say that I don’t love science fiction – it’s just that my heart belongs to Star Trek TNG. That’s right, I’d share a cup of “tea, earl grey, hot” with Captain Picard any time, even though earl grey tea tastes like nasty cologne heated up. Or how about BSG? If my heart belongs to Star Trek, my soul belongs to Battlestar Galactica. Best. Show. EVER. The theme music still gives me the shivers.

I digress.

My husband assured me that my brother-in-law loves Star Wars and will totally get the “You Love Him” reference on these Han Solo mittens, so with Christmas a couple months away, I cast on these mittens last week in the hopes that I’d have them finished in time. It shouldn’t be too hard – I just need to do three rows a day to be done in time, and while I may not love Star Wars,  I LOVE stranded (fair isle) knitting. I can’t put it down – I always want to knit just “one more row” to see how it looks. I’d rather knit another row than shower or sleep. You know, like watching Battlestar Galactica episodes.

That clip always makes me laugh (you can see the full clip here). I remember doing the “one more episode” at 4:00 am with my husband. Oh, life before kids…

Anyway, here are my mittens so far. Star Wars or not, they’re pretty stinking awesome.


In addition to the mittens, I’ve also been working away on my cardigan because, well, it’s getting colder out and I want to wear it. I’m not certain how much yarn I have left so I decided to stop working on the length and start the sleeves instead.

Keen knitters will notice that I prefer to knit in the round with two sets of circular needles rather than magic loop or double pointed needles. I just find it so much easier – the needles don’t fall out as easily, they don’t leave loose stitches or ladders when I switch from needle to needle, and they keep the stitches securely in place when I stash the project in my bag. But good gravy – I’ve now got two circulars and three balls of yarn (two that I’m alternating on the body plus one for the sleeve) attached to this sweater and it’s quite the monstrousity to tote around.

I’m a bit concerned that the cardigan will be too small, but I have to keep reminding myself that I just had a baby three and a half weeks ago and will probably end up a bit smaller – eventually. I hope. I suspect the sweater will grow a bit too when I block it. I can’t wait to be done.


The sweater has become a bit tedious, but I feel like the end is in site. It’s really the perfect project for mindless knitting in front of the TV. Like during a marathon viewing session of Battlestar Galactica.

Huh. I wonder if there are any cylon-themed mittens. Now those would be cool…

Find more works in progress at the Yarn Along with Ginny at Small Things and Keep Calm Craft On with Frontier Dreams.

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