Katja, Parenthood

Telling Tales

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As I approached the kindergarten I had no idea about the drama that had happened inside. No sooner had I walked inside when I heard “Katja’s Mummy!” from one of the little boys and found a group of small people rushing up to me. They were all desperate to tell me the news – “A**** bit Katja!” “A was naughty!” “No biting!”

So I asked Katja for confirmation which she gave me most emphatically then turned around to A**** and said loudly “A**** is naughty, no bite!”. (Apparently the staff are not allowed to call a child naughty, but that doesn’t stop the kids from doing so!.) In the few seconds all of this took I could see out of the corner of my eye Katja’s key worker all but falling over her feet to try to get to me before the kids blurted out the news, but no adult can hope to compete with a toddler who has quality gossip to impart.

And so the full story came out. Katja and A**** were playing with a doll. A**** snatched the doll, Katja snatched it back then A**** bit – hard. I was given the incident report and could tell that there was an air of slight alarm.

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Perhaps I’m doing this mummy thing wrong. I found the kids all rushing to dob in the criminal, A**** keeping to herself – clearly shunned from play circles and the rush by the staff to get to me first rather amusing.

The truth is that I’m actually quite impressed that there have been so few incidents in the time that Katja has been there. I fully expect toddlers to bite, pinch, push and more. It’s what they do. It’s part of growing up and learning what’s right and what’s wrong.

I’m also relieved that it wasn’t Katja doing the biting. And it means that she’s learnt a valuable lesson about how much biting can hurt. But I get the feeling that many mothers would react differently.

Elisa, Katja, Knitting

2015 Crafty Disaster No. 1

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It’s only three weeks in and I’ve already hit my first craft disaster of the year! This does not bode well..

Now I have a confession. I didn’t swatch. Instead I was cocky and figured that as I’ve done some colourwork in this yarn before and got gauge with that there wasn’t any point. And to be fair, it starts off fine but it grows. I started with 7 stitches to the inch and now I’m getting 6. That’s a 3″ difference over 128 stitches. So I’m not so sure that a swatch would have seen off this particular nightmare.

I had been thinking of lining this one with something super soft and slightly less itchy, but now I’m not so sure that this will be enough to save it so I’m trying to emotionally come to terms with the idea of ripping it all out and starting again. The only saving grace with that is that as I want it to be smaller I’ll be able to reuse the yarn – good thing I hadn’t sewn in all those ends yet!

The smaller size is only 4 stitches difference so I guess I’ll go down a needle size and also down a hat size. But right at this very minute I want to shove it all in a bag and throw it into the back of the cupboard πŸ™ Such a shame – I was really enjoying this one!

How would you handle this one? Would you rip back or try to somehow pull it in? Would you toss it aside or get started on a new one straight away?

In other news

We went to the Camera Obscura with E and A last week and the kids had an absolute ball. The Camera people were putting on a Toddler week and they did a brilliant job – they even set up one of their meeting rooms to be a break room complete with high chairs, toys and coffee. That was truly inspired – more venues should do this.

Elisa is now walking, albeit unsteadily unless she’s holding onto something. It’s quite scary considering she’s only 9 months old but I guess the incentive to keep up with Katja is probably a great motivator.

Yesterday E and A popped round and we did some biscuit baking, lots of fun. Although next time I think I’ll premix all the ingredients to save some time.

Crochet, Katja, Knitting, My Week in Pictures

February 2014 Round Up

General Pics

We started the month with a quick belly shot – interesting to compare the Katja bump on the left with the new bump on the right. Especially since I feel a lot bigger. My hair is a lot longer too, and has been looking good since Tegan straightened it for me back in April last year – only problem is now that my roots have started to grow I look like I have a frizz mullet!

Katja has finally started to expand her eating and every now and then will even have a sandwich for lunch. One evening she managed to eat all of her own dinner and polish off mine as well – granted it was fish fingers with mashed potato, but I was delighted.

We had an exciting afternoon when two firetrucks turned up, sirens going full blast and about 20 guys jumped out. There was that anxious moment of “OMG what do I need to pack to evacuate” but then I noticed that they were all heading for the block next door.

Towards the end of the month an errand filled morning saw me attempting to use the ergobaby to bring Katja home from nursery. This is no mean feat with the belly but we managed it and the girl thought it was great fun. I paid for it later on!

Also this month Mark visited us, but I was too slack to take any pictures. I’m so useless at that!

Crafty Pics

On the crafty front I ended up with some extra stitches in my cable here but twitter knitters soon put me right πŸ™‚

I also blocked Damask – and found out that my cast on is far too tight to get a good scalloped edge. Must work on loosening up. Still, I’m delighted with it πŸ™‚

I also started a hat for me, but it turned out far too big so I’m scrapped that. I then found an old crochet project to scrap and I’ll use that yarn to make a little hat for WeeBump.

Finished Projects, Katja, Knitting, My Week in Pictures, Travel

January 2014 Round Up

General Pics

January started in the standard way, with lots of fabulous fireworks. We stayed in and watched them from the comfort of our couch – very cosy!

For a minute there I thought the business to the left was doing private parties! #lookagain

And while picking up Katja from Nursery the street was blocked off by firefighters. Turns out there was a building well and truly ablaze on the other side of the canal. It’s since been torn down, which is no great loss – was a bit of an eyesore.

Family

Katja is starting to try to help around the house, which is really quite sweet. She’ll sweep up with the broom, put on the rubber gloves and even tries to season the chicken.

I popped into a local charity shop and scored a toddler sized handbag and very pretty denim dress for Katja – and no pink or cartoon/princess characters in site.

Meanwhile we’re into the 7th month of Bump and she’s starting to look a little more obvious now!

London Trip

This month we popped down to London for a long weekend. The idea was to meet up with Suzy and Dave to celebrate their recent nuptuals, but that didn’t quite work out. Never mind – we got to catch up with Ilze and Paul and with Gavin and take Katja to the Natural History Museum, which she adored.

We went down by train which we booked online only to find that thetrainline.com had put us in separate seats with no table despite our wishes. And as there was no way of letting them know that we had an under 2 with us oh my what a nightmare that would have been! Luckily for us we were travelling off peak and the wheelchair spaces were free for both journeys giving us the space that we needed for 5+ hours of train time with a toddler.

Craft

This month started with one finished item – a jumper for Katja which unfortunately ended up just a tad too small πŸ™ An unusual construction technique didn’t really pay off so eventually I’ll make another for her using the same yarn.

I also started on my Birthday Damask Shawl – a fabulous gift from Liz. I’d been eyeing this pattern off for years and had somehow elevated it to the “wow” level. I also found the prospect of starting by casting on over 300 stitches for the long edge to be overwhelming and I was convinced it would be a drag to knit. Boy was I wrong – I haven’t enjoyed knitting something so much for quite a long time. Actually, probably not since the last time I knit lace. Perhaps I should be looking more at lace patterns to knit!

Finished Projects, Katja, Knitting, My Week in Pictures

Week 2014.01 – Farm Animals and a Finished Object

Something I’ve been meaning to do for so long – visit the Gorgie City Farm. It’s only a 10 minute walk down the road from us so there’s really no excuse. Finally last week we did so.

Most of the animals were hiding away, especially the ducks and bunnies. That was a shame. We also didn’t get to see the horse. However Katja was rather impressed with the Moo and the Ba-aa-aa as well as the pigs, chickens and goats. And she adored the dog! The tractor was also a big hit. We’ll definitely head back once the weather starts to warm up again.

Also on display is my first finished object for the year. The pattern is StarboardΒ by Alicia Plummer. The yarn is Adriafil Knitcol in colour 046. I really love the colour and I’m quite pleased with how I got the pockets to kinda match, but I’m not so happy with the result in general. The neckband is too tight and the whole thing is a bit on the small side, and given that I was knitting the 2 year old size and have a skinny kid plus that the pattern should be slouchy, I’m disappointed. Hopefully it’ll block out a bit but worst case scenario is that it is put away for Bump.

Speaking of Bump, we’re now at 28 weeks, so into the third trimester with only 12 weeks to go. The back/hip pain is getting really quite bad now and it’s really nasty when I try to move in bed. C has been a great help picking up the wee one while he’s been off work but it’s now back to normality and doing the heavy (she’s almost 11kg now) lifting myself, not to mention the constant bending over to pick up whatever she’s thrown on the floor. Pregnancy the second time around is proving a little more uncomfortable than the first time!

 

Craft, Katja, My Week in Pictures, Stuff, Tatting

Christmas Failures

First decoration on our real tree #tattinglace

It’s been a crazy few weeks here, but I guess that’s the same for everyone in the Christmas countries. As a result I have totally failed to send cards to anyone, presents have made it only by the skin of their teeth and because I bypassed the wrapping and went straight from store to Mum (thanks Mum!). I also failed to procure baubles for the Christmas tree – shops are out of red ones, I don’t understand!

However, we did survive gastrogeddon which Katja generously brought home from nursery to share. Speaking of nursery, she is loving it now. Gets excited when we arrive and tries to beat the door down while I get her pram sorted. Last Monday was the nursery Christmas party, she was delighted when we went in on an off day and thought Santa was the bees’ knees πŸ™‚

Bump is doing well – very very active which is lovely. We’re booked in for an additional 3 ultrasounds before we meet her – huge bonus! Pelvic pain is getting a bit out of hand at the moment which is the only downer on the pregnancy front.

And the win? I procured some metallic thread and yesterday churned out the snowflake above. It’s needle tatted and took 4 hrs to finish. About the size of a saucer, looks great on the tree.

PS. I was meant to post this on Thursday and failed to do that too! Christian managed to find baubles and I made another snowflake.

Katja, Parenthood, sewing

Katja’s First Halloween Costume

When I picked Katja up from nursery last week there was a little slip of paper waiting for me. It announced that on the 31st they would like it if kids could turn up in a costume.

Now a 16 month old child going to nursery during a bitterly cold day in Edinburgh is going to need to be warm, so that’s my first requirement. The next is no attachments – it’s hard enough keeping a bib on her, a hat is impossible and wings/extra legs would be a nightmare.
No problem, I thought, with all the supermarkets here that sell quite decent kids clothes it should be a simple matter of pop down and pick up something cute.

Well, more fool me – it turns out that as soon as a child grows out of the very first pumpkin sleep suit it’s on to adult style costumes. Here’s a few of the boys’ costumes:

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They’re all practical, they’re all ghoulish as you’d expect from halloween.

Now, let’s take a look at the selection offered for girls:

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With any of these, MissK will be freezing! Plus hats and wings, not going to stay on so a waste of effort. They all look remarkably like the “sexy ___” variety of costumes that you find for adults and quite frankly I’m underwhelmed.

So, I did some searching online and came up with a few options – ladybird was a good one, as was cat or skeleton, but they all require black suits and black is a lot harder to get for toddler girls than insipid pink. I also found a post that showed little girls dressed as female scientists (sorry can’t locate the links now but if I do I’ll add them in the comments). Trouble with that is that noone of Katja’s generation is going to understand who Ada Lovelace was and there’s no way I could get her hair like that yet.

And then it hit me – Nina and the Neurons!

This is a TV show on CBeebies fronted by Nina, an outgoing, cheery neuroscientist who works at the Glasgow Science Centre. She loves experimenting and finding the answer to everyday questions with the help of her five animated neurons. Katja seems to like the show and the songs and Nina is dressed so practically. And so I set about making up a quick and dirty Nina and the Neurons costume and this is how I did it:

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First things first, I bought a sleep suit in plain white for 6 months older than Katja is now, I was after deliberately too big for her.

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Next, I cut the suit just above the crotch buttons and hemmed using a zig zag stitch. No need to be too fabulous, this is not likely to be worn beyond one day and there’s no prizes for best finished costume. I also cut off one of the feet to make a little pocket and cut off the ends of the sleeves.

I had some brightly coloured fabric from previous projects, so I cut some strips of that to make a pocket top and cuffs. To be honest it would have been a much neater job if I’d managed to find the right ribbon. Another alternative would have been to draw decorations on the top to match Nina’s.

I coloured in the buttons with various permanent markers to hand (again, doesn’t have to last) and I was done.

This morning all I had to do was dress her in her usual skinny jeans, tights and a brightly coloured tshirt then put on the “lab coat” and put her hair in bunches (that was the hardest part!) and we were done.

Naturally madam was far too busy to stop and pose for photographs, there’s a lab to get cleaned up you know! I’m quite chuffed with the result.