Posted in crochet

Wednesday WIP: April 12th 2017

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Hi guys!

As I mentioned in yesterday’s TTT post, I finished Charles’ pig earflap beanie.  And, you know, though I found Charles’ choice of complementary colours questionnable at best, they all work remarkably well together.  Perhaps he’ll be a fashion designer later on?  Haha!

I’ve also progressed a bit on the scarf I was working on, though I took a break from it after Amélie found both the scarf and my scissors and “helpfully” cut my working yarn.  On the bright side, she didn’t cut into the actual scarf!  I really like the color progression and enjoy the big blocks of colours.  I’m hoping to finish it this week.

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I also started working on another little octopus a while back.  The initial hospital that I contacted hasn’t gotten back to me, but I’ve found another one who might be interested.

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I played around with this one and added an eye patch to turn it into a pirate.  I only have 5 tentacles left to crochet before I can stuff it and close it up.  I also decided to do 3 sc instead of 2 sc in each chain link of the tentacles.  It makes for a bit wider tentacles but they are also tighter.  I’m eager to finish it to compare with my other one and decide what I like best.

What project(s) are you currently working on?  Feel free to link up to one of your own WIP posts!

Posted in crochet

Wednesday WIP: April 4th 2017

wednesday-wip

Hi guys!

I’m so happy to be doing a new WIP Wednesday!  Woot woot!

I finally finished my sister-in-law’s poncho over the weekend.  I don’t know exactly why it took me so long to finish, I mean, the pattern works up very quickly.  I guess I just got caught up in a whole lot of other things (I have waaaay to many projects in my head!).

Wanna take a look?  Of course you do!

I’m really pleased with the way it turned out!  I ended up needing six skeins of yarn (I used Vanna’s choice), two for each colour.  Honestly, I had a bit of a hard time actually giving it away once I tried it on – so comfy!

Now, I’m working on two new projects.  You already know that I’m working on a pig beanie for Charles.  He’s even picked out colours for the insides of the ears (Yoda green) and snout (sunglass-worthy orange).

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Though these are, quite obviously, not the colours I would have chosen, but I absolutely love the fact that his mind isn’t blocked by conventions.

My other project, despite the fact that the weather is finally warming up, is a scarf.  I bought a Caron Cake and had been wondering what to do with it.  Then, I saw this woven tartan pattern on Tami’s blog (Tanglewood Knots) and it gave me an idea.  I decided to do my filet mesh with the cake and am planning on doing my chains in grey.  What do you think?

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What project(s) are you currently working on?  Feel free to link up to one of your own WIP posts!

Posted in crochet

Wednesday WIP: March 8th 2017

wednesday-wip

Hello!

So I haven’t finished my sister-in-law’s poncho yet (though I did add a skein of yarn to it) because I’ve been engrossed in another project.

You see, recently an article popped up in my Twitter feed about something called the octo project.  It’s basically an initiative that began in Denmark in which crocheters crafted octopus amigurumi to give to preterm babies.  Anecdotal accounts indicate that the preemies who were given these octos seemed calmed by their presence because their tentacles resembled the umbilical cord.  These babies had calmer breathing and weren’t drawn to pulling at their medical equipment.

Since I found the project so interesting and given that I’ve been meaning to try my hand at amigurumi again, I decided to craft a little octopus and contact the donations department of the Montreal Children’s hospital to see if they would be interested in receiving some crocheted octopods.

They are super easy to make and oh so cute!  Plus, they’re great stash busters!  To give you an idea of size, the picture to the right is one of my 4 year old holding the octopus.

I’m really hoping that the hospital will be interested in trying this out.  If not, I’ll contact the other children’s hospital in my area.  At worst, I’ve a newfound interest and renewed confidence in doing amirugumi!

What project(s) are you currently working on?  Feel free to link up to one of your own WIP posts!

Posted in Parenting, Ten Thought Tuesday

Ten Thought Tuesday: Bleached House Edition

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  1. I haven’t been very good at this blogging thing lately so I thought I’d ease back in with a Ten Thought Tuesday.
  2. I DO have a good reason for not writing much though.  Between my job, my two littles and the end of my first trimester (yup, we’re gonna have another little one!) I’ve been completely tired.
  3. Plus, we just got hit with a “lovely” bout of gastroenteritis.  Oh yeah… So today I’m working on disinfecting the house with my friends bleach and water.
  4. The good news is that Christmas is just around the corner.   Little Dude is pretty excited (and was wise enough to ask for something different to everyone who asked him what he wanted).
  5. No snow so far though :(.  Plus on Chirstmas Eve we’re set to hit temps of 15 Celcius.  Thank you El Nino…
  6. I’m really looking forward to seeing the new Star Wars.  I’ve heard that it is wonderful.  Anyone wanna babysit my littles?
  7. I’m also looking forward to some alone time with my partner (and soon-to-be hubby – we’re getting married in May!).  We’re off to a spa for three days after Christmas.
  8. Amélie finally got her surgery to remove the dermoid cyst that she had over her right eye about a month ago.  Everything went very smoothly and the staff at the Montreal Children’s Hospital was fabulous.
  9. Oh, and since we’re expecting another baby, we also decided to upgrade one of our vehicles.  Despite saying that I’d never have one, I am now the (pretty proud) owner of a minivan.  Never say never folks.
  10. My partner and I just discovered a new series on Netflix.  We are thoroughly enjoying Psych which gets us laughing every time.

How have you all been?

Posted in Parenting

They Just Keep Growing and Growing

Last week we went to Charles’ and Amélie’s well visits.  We were lucky enough that we were able to align the little dude’s 2.5 year visit with baby girl’s 9 month visit.  Score!

In the office, the nurse started with Charles who straight out refused to stand on the scale to be weighed (I swear, he is such a scaredy cat!).  No worries, though, he was happy to sit down on the baby scale instead.  He’s just over 31 lbs now.  He then stood against the wall to get measured; only 8 cm away from measuring a meter (or just over 3 feet tall).  His pediatrician was happy with his progress and was surprised that he was potty trained.  She was completely unfazed by the constellation of bruises on his legs and arms and merely smiled when we mentioned that he falls…a lot.

(He also likes to wear goggles, by the way.  Specifically when I wash his hair.  Actually, the goggles were a solution to the endless screams and tears that were associated with the hair-washing experience)

As for Amélie, she is now 18 lbs and back up on the average curve with regards to her weight (the last time she had a well visit, at 6 months, her pediatrician had expressed some measure of concern because she had dropped quite a bit on the percentile curve).  She remains on the shorter side, measuring up at 69 cm.  When our pediatrician asked if we had any concerns, we mentioned the bump she has over her right eyebrow.

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Do you see it, right above her right eyebrow (your left on the picture)?

It’s been there a while, I remember it being there during her 6 month visit, but I hadn’t talked about it because I figured she’d just bumped her head and that it would go away.  It hasn’t.  It’s about the size of a cooked chickpea and has never seemed to bother her (I also don’t remember when it appeared, but it doesn’t seem to have grown or reduced in size).  Her pediatrician, poked and prodded and squeezed and frowned.  Then, she told us she thought it was a cyst, but gave us a referral to see a pediatric surgeon at the Montreal Children’s hospital (which is where we went for Charles’ allergies before the allergy department moved out of the hospital).  So we’ll see where that leads us.

I should probably mention that the little princess is intent on being able to follow her big brother around.  She still hasn’t mastered the crawl (which doesn’t stop her from being super speedy by doing her zombie drag), but that hasn’t stopped her from pulling up and starting to cruise.

Oh boy!

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A week ago, I caught her doing this for the first time. Now she has figured out that she can even move as long as she’s holding on to something.
Posted in Food allergies

Little Dude’s Food Allergies: Progress!

So today we went back to see Charles’ pediatric allergist to retest his reaction to dairy and flaxseeds.  I decided to take him into the city with the commuter train.

He was really excited when the train arrived on the platform and we lost no time in boarding.  Charles happily sat down while we waited for the train to leave, but when it did he had the surprise of his life!  Oh my, he became so startled when he realized that the scenery outside the window was moving, he quickly gestured that he wanted to sit on me.  Of course, his surprise isn’t really surprising, when we’re in a vehicle, he’s always strapped in.  This time, though he had more freedom.  As soon as he realized this, he became super happy and split his time between looking out the window and chattering with the random people who would pass by us inside the train.

We arrived at our appointment with about 20 minutes to spare and were called in rather quickly.  We first went to see the allergist who asked how everything was going and if we had discovered new reactions.  When I mentioned basil, she told me that she thought (given the very small reaction he gets) that it is more of an irritation than an actual allergy.  She was also very happy to hear that the little guy eats a variety of foods and wasn’t bothered when I told her that, besides water and juice, Charles has a variety of non-dairy milks instead of toddler formula (even though she had suggested we keep him on soy-based toddler formula until 2 years of age).  I guess she found him to be pudgy enough to go without the formula 😉

We then went back to the waiting room and Little Dude had fun drawing with the markers while I listened for his name to be called.  It didn’t take very long until it was his turn and back we went for the skin scratch test.  The nurse tested his reaction to dairy and flaxseeds and we were sent back to the waiting room for 10 minutes.  I expected the patch of skin exposed to dairy to react very quickly as it had six months ago, but was hopefully optimistic when, after 5 minutes, there was still no reaction to be found.  By the time we were called back in, Charles had had a very small reaction to dairy (a LOT) smaller than the first time ’round and absolutely no reaction to flaxseeds!

Score 1 for Charles!

Because of the big difference in reactions to dairy after a six month dairy-free period, a second scratch test was then done with a drop of real milk on his skin (as opposed to the synthesized dairy solution that had been used earlier).  This time, we weren’t even back in the waiting room and his skin had already started to puff up around the scratch.  Oh well, we can’t win them all now, can we?

Nonetheless, our allergist was super positive about the results.  She encouraged me to try flaxseeds again, starting with very small quantities mixed in with other stuff and working our way up to bigger quantities if Little Dude doesn’t react.  She also explained that since Charles had hardly reacted to the first dairy test of the day, we should go ahead and try to use cows milk when we bake (and work our way up from there).  She explained that the solution they first used didn’t contain all of the proteins that fresh milk does and that this usually indicates that though I very clearly still can’t give the little guy a glass of milk to drink, I can use it in recipes because once it is heated up and mixed with other stuff, its composition changes enough that Charles’ body doesn’t recognize it as being a danger.

Perhaps, in January, when we have another follow-up appointment, I’ll have more good news!

So….score 2 for Charles, right?

A part of me is excited by the news, but another part of me is still fearful.  I mean, I know I should try flaxseeds and dairy in baking recipes, but this is my little boy we’re talking about.  We always have benadryl on hand and an epinephrin injector, but still…

I will try though.

Does anyone have experience to share in the realm of disappearing allergies and progressive re-exposure to the past allergen?

Posted in Parenting

Ten Thought Tuesday: “Papa”

  1. I can’t believe I’ve got only (a little over) three months left before meeting Peanut.  It’s crazy how quickly time goes by.
  2. At times, I find myself both super excited and unreasonably frightened at the thought that our family is set to grow in September.
  3. My partner and I have a three-day us time planned at the end of June.  We found a wonderful-looking Bed & Breakfast that is super close to the old part of Quebec city.
  4. Now, we just have to let our parents negotiate to see who gets to babysit Charles when ;).
  5. My mom will be going camping by herself near the end of July for a week and I will most likely go and join her with Charles and perhaps my sister for a couple of days.  It’ll be great to let Little Dude discover new things!  Incidentally, has anyone ever gone canoeing while being very pregnant?
  6. Yesterday, our little perfectionist allowed us to hear him call his dad “papa” for the first time (it would seem that he’s been saying the word at daycare and at his grandparents’ house for a little while now).  Needless to say, the dada was very happy!
  7. So far, it seems like the weather next weekend will be as awesome as it was this past weekend.  I know a toddler who will be VERY happy about it.
  8. No TTT image at the top of the post today; I’m posting from one of the schools I work at and have a very limited access to my blog.
  9. I’m officially going to finish my tutoring for the year on June 10th and the private lessons I give on the 14th at the latest.  It will be great to have my evenings and weekends back.  You can bet that I won’t be working evenings or weekends again.  I find it too hard now that I’ve got a kiddo.
  10. This Thursday, I’m going back to the Children’s hospital with Charles for a follow-up with his paediatric allergist.  I’m planning on going by train.  He is going to be thrilled!  (Though he’ll probably be less thrilled with the skin scratch test and the 18 month vaccinations later that evening).
Posted in Food allergies

Back From The Allergist: And The Culprits Are…

We finally got to go to our appointment with a pediatric allergist last Wednesday at the Montreal Children’s Hospital after an approximately five month wait.  As the date approached, I became more and more anxious about what the consultation/results would yield (I’ve been having really weird dreams over the past 5 days), but now that it’s over, I must say that I am relieved.

I first met with an intern (the hospital is affiliated with McGill University) who took a brief family history with regards to allergies.  Then, we moved on to Charles’ allergies and she asked about what type of reaction he’d had and to what.  She was very thorough and specific with her questions asking about when the reactions were noticed (for Little Dude, it was after his third time eating a particular food item that he’d react), how quickly they manifested, what type of reaction (was it just on the skin as in hives, did it have an effect on the stools, did it affect the respiratory system…), how quickly the symptoms disappeared and how (for us, it was with the help of Benadryl).  I would strongly suggest anyone going in to meet an allergist for food allergies to keep notes and pictures documenting these informations.  (For the record, I actually did document all of this…except I forgot to bring my notes.)

After being sent back into the waiting room briefly, we were called in by the nurse who would perform the scratch test (aka:  prick test).  She tested cantaloupe, chicken, dairy, flaxseeds, eggs and two other things that I don’t remember for some reason.  After about a 5 minute wait, we rolled up the little guy’s sleeves.  Beside two of the 7 black dots, there was a very clear reaction.

It would seem that as of right now, my son is definitely allergic to dairy and flaxseeds.

*Sigh*

We then met the allergist who explained that the other reactions (which nearly all happened when solids were first being introduced) were probably caused by his system going into overdrive from the allergy to dairy.  She also prescribed an epinephrin injector (something our pediatrician didn’t want to do) because of the progression in symptoms in his allergy to dairy.  I had the choice between the epipen jr. and the allerject jr. and chose the latter because it “talks” the user through the procedure.

This is the one we have.  We have the choice between having our voice instructions in French (great for daycare!) or English.
This is the one we have. We have the choice between having our voice instructions in French (great for daycare!) or English.

Here’s what it looks/sounds like.

I picked the allerject instead of the epipen because I liked the it had voice instructions.  I figured that if my son does have a serious reaction to something he eats, I might be to panicked to remember what to do.  I also think that it’s great for when he’ll be staying with a sitter (whether it be my parents, in-laws or someone else).  This morning, I also went ahead and ordered an allergect tester and carrying case (free of charge).  The tester will allow me to hear and follow through the instructions as often as I want so that I can become more familiar with it.

What I really enjoyed about seeing the allergist is that, unlike our pediatrician, she didn’t make me feel like a bad mother for trying dairy and eggs so early in the first place.  She didn’t scold me and tell me I should have waited until 9 months for the eggs or 12 months for dairy.  In fact, she even told me that I had to become less shy with trying new foods.  She explained that just because my son had confirmed food allergies, to not shy away from peanuts and tree nuts or any other type of food.  Funny how the point of views differed vastly!

I was, of course, encouraged to continue to keep dairy out of my own (and his, of course!) diet until Charles is weaned and to be more attentive if I give my son other seeds like sesame seeds because the allergy to flaxseeds can mean an allergy to those too.

Call me crazy, but though a part of me is sad that he has food allergies for the moment, another part of me feels relieved that we know (at least part of) what’s going on with regards to food right now and that I wasn’t just imagining things and seeing a problem where there wasn’t one.  At the hospital, they’ll be doing follow-up appointments every 6 months to retest the allergy to dairy and flaxseeds and check out any new ones that might have become apparent.  Thought I’m kind of stressed out by the fact that I might actually have to use the epinephrin injector for my son in the future, I’m also feeling more confident in having him try new foods that I didn’t want to give to him because of the fear of a big reaction.

Here’s to hoping that the allergies will be temporary and there won’t be anymore in the future.

Did any of you have a child who grew out of a food allergy?
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