To Do.

I have a big list of stuff I would like to accomplish this year. I thought it might be productive to write them all down.

1. Lose the last 25 pounds. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!
2. Become a doula
3. Finish the fracking floor.
4. Teach a knitting class
5. Drink less wine, more water.
6. Finish Elodie's dollhouse so that it will be something for her to cherish (otherwise known as don't let it look like crap)
7. Knit for every baby that comes along this year.
8. Exercise more
9. Enjoy my last summer at home with Elodie before she starts school in the fall.
10. Knit more for me.
11. (This is a big one) Increase my income by 50%.
13. Design and publish four patterns.
14. Spend my time more wisely.
15. Call my grandparents every week, and write a letter to my Bedstefar every week in Danish.

I'll be able to cross number four off my list fairly shortly. I'll be teaching a beginner's lace class at The Knitting Room starting in March. Spots are limited, so please call Annie to sign up if you're interested. It will be FUN!

I'm also well on my way to accomplishing number 11. I intend to be a certified doula by July or August (preferably July), and then I'll be accepting four births a month while still doing my transcription business. Robbie and I are on track to be debt-free (besides mortgage) in two years, and I intend to keep it that way!

You can "like" my Facebook group for my doula business here. I am currently offering my services to clients in June, July and August (four spots in each) for free in order to increase my experience. If you know of anyone in the Calgary area (including Airdrie, Crossfield, Carstairs, Cochrane, Strathmore, Chestermere, Beiseker, Okotoks and High River) who may benefit from such services, please pass along my name and Facebook address. It would be much appreciated!

Anyway, so hopefully 2011 turns out good. I'm hoping to cross every, single one of those goals off my list, although I understand that some of them are beyond my control. I will be revisiting these goals on the last day of each month. Stay tuned to see just how many I finish!


Yar, Matey

Elodie has been learning about pirates. This leads to lots of pirate talk around our house lately. Yar Matey seems to be her new fave saying, along with "booty" and "scurvy".

There's nothing scurvy about this, though, maties!


Almost. finished.

In other news, Elodie is now registered for kindergarten starting in the fall. OMG. The time has flown.


Pan Dieter Von SpaceCat.

We have a new furry running around the house.

It all started when, on a whim, we went to the Humane Society after picking Elodie up from a weekend with Robbie's dad. We looked at the dogs and the bunnies. I saw an angora that I was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO tempted by. But then we went to Elodie's favourite part, the kitties.

They CHS has been overrun for years. Despite having a fairly new facility, the cat population is huge, and there's not enough room for all the cats. Our old cat, Ciaty, was a rescue from CHS, and I've always said our next cat would be a rescue, as well.

We had no intention of getting a kitty, but as we were walking up the aisle, one kitty saw Elodie and started frantically rubbing up against his glass, kneading the window and mewing at Elodie. I just couldn't help myself. I asked to meet that kitty.

We went into a little room with this cat, named Dieter, a tiny black-and-white stray. He and Elodie were like automatic best friends. They'd anticipate each others' movements. She'd run, and he'd run with her. He wouldn't take his eyes off her.

We put Dieter back and headed home. Elodie kept reminding us how much she loved that kitty and how she's give him food and clean his litter box every day. Later that night, Robbie and I decided to do it. We would adopt that kitty.

The next day, we drove to pick Elodie up from daycare, and then told her we were going for a drive and just headed into Calgary. She soon fell asleep, and 40 minutes later, we were in front of the Humane Society. Elodie was groggy and didn't figure out where we were until we were in the building. Then she asked if she could go see that kitty again. We said sure, and off she trotted, dragging us behind her.

I sat down at the adoption table to start the process, and Elodie was happily oblivious for ten minutes. Then she asked why he had a cut on his bum. We explained what neutering was, and that Dieter had been neutered that day. She asked why they don't want cats to have kittens because kittens are just so cute. We explained that there are so many cats in the world that there aren't enough homes for them, and some kitties have to spend their whole lives in places like this, without a family. She asked if Dieter would have to do that. We said, no, because we're taking Dieter home with us.

She was SO excited! Pretty soon, we packed him in the little cardboard box thing, paid our fee, and left for home with our new pet. He's really Elodie's cat. We spent the entire ride home trying to pick a new name for him. I went to school with a very strange boy named Dieter, and had no desire to be reminded of him every time I called the cat's name. We finally picked Pan, of the Greek persuasion, and Elodie decided his name is Pan Dieter Von SpaceCat. Don't ask me where she gets these things from.

Here's a picture of the little guy, settling in nicely.

We think he maybe was originally someone's pet, who ran away. He's certainly very affectionate for being a stray. He comes running if a shake the Temptations. He slept between Robbie and I last night and is holding his own against our very curious small dog. The big one doesn't really care. But most important, he and Elodie are like best friends. They romp around the house. She's spent all this evening playing with him, not once turning on the TV. Right now, in fact, she's playing with his mouse and him, tossing and tossing it over and over.

As for myself, I must say, since we put Ciaty down last December, I've been wanting another kitty. I missed the lap snuggles and the purring around our house. Pan has fulfilled both those things just today alone. He snuggled up and fell promptly asleep while I was reading a text book. And he purrs constantly. All in all, it's been a great choice.


Weekend Update

Robbie and I had a great weekend. We hung out with friends, went dancing at a night club (when does that ever happen?!) and enjoyed alone time. Why? Because Elodie went for a weekend with her Pop, Robbie's dad.

Yesterday, my best friend called late in the afternoon to ask if I was around tonight because she came into town unexpectedly. Her brother, who is on the national Judo team, was in from Montreal and she came down to visit. I've known Amanda for almost 20 years, and we've been best friends since the day we met (maybe since the moment). She knows everything about me, and I know everything about her, and if she were a man, I'd probably be married to her. ;) In fact, I often joke that I married the male version of her. Robbie and Amanda are so similar that it's scary sometimes.

We went to my friend, Cat's, birthday, and then out to the local night club to dance for a bit. It's something I've always loved to do, and although Robbie's a terrible dancer, he tries really hard. Some music cira 1997 came on, and we had lots of fun singing along, and then laughing when all the young kids in the bar asked, "What is this song?" I did appreciate getting ID'ed as well.

Today, I read some of my textbooks for the doula course and stained one of the floors in Elodie's dollhouse.


I like the color of the floor, and the gel stain was easy to apply.

As for the book...I'm not as impressed. It's full of interesting information, but it's extremely one-sided. While I'm a strong advocate for a natural birth experience, there are many reasons that women choose not to participate in that process. This book seems to hint or assume that any woman with an uncomplicated labor who does not opt for a natural birth experience is either uncaring, uneducated or unreasonable.

I guess this just goes to remind me that while I'm a doula, I need to remember to respect the choices of my clients and help them have the birth that's most beneficial to them, whether it's what I would choose or not.

My plan for the months of June and July is to offer my services for free to as many women as I possibly can to gain experience and knowledge. If anybody knows of anyone who may be interested in this, please let me know.

In knitting matters, I've been working hard on my Royale. It's pretty.


I did find some instructions kind of confusing, like the neck shaping, for example, but I've worked it out. It is rather low, but I'm assuming that the hemline will bring it up to a less slutastic cut. When you have a front porch like mine, there's a very thin line between sexy and trashy.

All in all, at this very moment in time, life is wonderful. I love my family. I love my friends. My a capella group is an amazing bunch of people who I treasure spending time with. My bills are paid. My house is warm. I am grateful.


Career Change

After much deliberation, I've decided to change careers. I'm currently a legal transcriptionist. I take audio files and turn them into hard copies. My work can be anything from insurance claims to police interviews to legal proceedings, and it's a job I can do in my home, in my jammies, usually without a bra. It's allowed me to have sanity, and I do treasure that aspect of my life.

However. It is not something I want to do for the rest of my life. I enjoy aspects of it, but the hours and hours of typing, the need to be self-motivating, it's all rather difficult for me, especially with all the yarn rather close at hand. My husband and I discussed this in depth over the holidays, and together, we've decided it's time for me to change careers. So I've signed up to become a doula.

The word Doula derives from a Greek word meaning servant. She was the head servant in a wealthy Greek family, the one who would help the lady of the house deliver her baby. Now, it's a woman (or man) who supports women in their labour and delivery, advocates for them, helps them through it, and bears witness to their journey. It is not a medical position. A doula does not make medical decisions, but they do offer their support and experience.

Birth is something I'm incredibly passionate about. I was lucky enough to experience an unmedicated labor and delivery of my daughter (although I did have to fight for it). It's my belief that a woman is going to be changed by her delivery, for better or worse, no matter what. I want to be able to help that change be a positive one by being the woman's advocate and support during an incredibly overwhelming time.

I've started the preliminary steps. I've ordered the books I have to read from the library (the ladies are going to think I'm pregnant! Eight books about the physiology of pregnancy, birth, babies and breastfeeding!), started the online breast feeding course, and been in discussions with local doulas about their practices. I've signed up to take the weekend course in May, and then after that, I get to start attending births. I have, maybe, two lined up right now.

After a few years of being a doula, it's my intention to move into midwifery, still offering my services to clients while I go through the four-year midwifery course. It feels so good to be on a path that, while I may not be able to have more children of my own, can help women bring babies into this world in the most optimal conditions, meaning in a way that she chooses and is best for her and her family, and not the way the system dictates.



Elodie's Dollhouse

For Christmas this year, Santa brought Elodie a dollhouse kit. The kit is for the Glencroft, a Tudor-style cottage. Here's what it will hopefully look like when we're finished:

For now, though, the house looks like this:


I have been at it for probably three hours, and I have more scrapes and burns and splinters than a woodworker, but it's coming along nicely. I have to finish putting it together, mud the joints, sand down the joints, prime the whole thing, paint it, add the roof and shingles, and then, and only then will Elodie and I head to the local craft store to search for felt suitable for carpets, scrapbooking paper suitable for wallpaper, and furniture for her little family.

I think I'm more excited about the finished prospect than Elodie. ;)



On December 31, I cast on a pretty sweater, the first of my cables and colourwork challenge.


The goal of my challenge is to purchase four patterns in the year of 2011 that are either cables or colourwork, buy pretty yarn and make 'em. My usual way of doing things is checking for free patterns and using them with discount yarn (or at least small projects with expensive yarn). And while the Cascade 220 Heathers that I cast this sucker on with is not exactly expensive, seven skeins does pinch my budget a wee bit. I'm a rather frugal person, and even though I know this $70 sweater is not going to break my bank by any means, I still think of other uses for it. I mean, you're looking at the woman who gives her husband an allowance and is on track for the whole family to be debt free (save for the mortgage) by 2012. Just in time for the end of the world. ;)


But it does look so pretty, and the yarn is lovely. The heather bit is hard to pick up in the photo, but it's a very vibrant green running throughout the blue. And while the twisted stitches in the pattern (like, all of the knit stitches...) were something that concerned me, it's really not bad at all. It makes the whole thing look very crisp. So far, I'm enjoying it, although I did knit a few dishcloths to reassure myself that I would be able to knit normally after this.

That bowl in the back is my yarn bowl, by the way. Love them.

In other news, I stepped on the scale this morning for the first time since my birthday on the 28th. On the 28th, it read at 165. Today? 160. Awesome.