Monday, July 19, 2010

The Elefante in the Room

From Elefante
From Elefante
From Elefante
From Elefante
This, my dear readers, is the labor of love I have been working on for months. Now, in total it might have taken me about 12-14 nights, but most nights I don't have 2 hours+ to dedicate to my sub par crafting double life. I've been on a baby hat making extravaganza (e-mail me if you want one!), but decided to take the plunge and get knee deep in yarn for this baby shower gift. Once it was complete, Miles had to play with her (I made my own gender assumptions) and turned her into a cannibal as he "stuffed" her full of elephant shaped animal crackers, apples and peanut butter. He also made sure she was "loveable" by playing with her all afternoon and hugging her before I pried her out of his hands before he really tried to get her to eat peanut butter.
From Elefante
From Elefante
As soon as I saw my preggo friend AS's color palatte for their nursery and Baby Schlotty to be, I decided to get corresponding yarn for a hat. But then talk of stuffed elephants came up. I stalked the Ravelry site for a cute knitted elephant and stumbled upon a pattern from Susan B. Anderson, knitter guru, for the most ridiculously cute Elefante creature. I know...pretty intense directions...I had no right attempting this project. I didn't have the time, I didn't have the skills, and I didn't know how to whip stitch or kfb, or crochet the ears. Thanks to Google, I found another blog that gave directions for knitted ears for Susan B.'s Elefante pattern. And it was written on my birthday 2009. Fate I tell you. I must also give credit to the Knit Witch who turned to a number of times when I video Googled a number of knitting questions.

I got about 1/24 of the way through, and decided to take a break and knit a hat in the same color sequence for said Baby Schlotty. Hats are quick and easy...right?

Fail. I thought I could add an extra band to make it a little bigger from my original version of the hat I always make, but it ended up too long. And then I dropped a stitch. And knit where I should have purled. So, Felix is now the proud owner of the hat, and I owe Baby Schlotty a new hat.
From Elefante
From Elefante
From Elefante
From Elefante

And he couldn't be happier!
From Elefante

The best part? I got to HAND DELIVER the elefante to Baby Schlotty as Mama D and I had a mother's weekend off and flew up to Wisconsin for AS's baby shower! It was the first time I have ever been that far away from Miles and from Felix, and from Miles and Felix as a combo.

Mama D and I both had to pump the entire trip, so we were great travel mates. And we both had never been away from our babies before, so we sympathized with each other's need to have her cell phone at the ready 24/7. Okay, so it was not much more than 24 hours, but you would be amazed at how much you miss your children over the course of 2 days/1 night!

We had a blast...and let's just say that it doesn't take much to get 2 pumping moms and 1 preggo happy.

I keep recalling one very telling moment when we were out for the night in downtown Milwaukee. Mama D commented on how many people were out and about, wondering if there was something special going on. And then we paused, and acknowledged that something "special" was normal LIFE. That is, normal for people without young children. How soon we forget that not all people eat dinner at 5:30pm and snuggle with their babies over stories before "lights out" at 7:30pm. There is like this sub-culture that keeps bars in business and restaurants operating past the time primetime television begins. As fun as it is to participate in the festivities of a night out from time to time (I think a monthly girls' night out is requisite!), I came away realizing that I overwhelmingly prefer my quiet predictable nights with my children.

Highlights of our brief stint in WI included a bloody mary adorned with cheese whips, pickled mushroom, olive, pickle, lemon, lime and hot stick (I am not kidding), a wonderful baby shower, and unending conversations surrounding breast feeding, pumping, and delivering babies (my favorite topics!). Truly, the luxury of being *still* and talking to 2 of my closest girlfriends about anything and everything was just divine.

And then our good friend in Atlanta had a little baby girl while we were gone. And the news was received on the way to a baby shower while I was pumping in the back of the car. Holy milk production.

Enter: copious amounts of shrieking, crying and marveling at the miracle of life.

Sometimes I am overwhelmed by the amazement of pregnancy and birth. The variety of experiences, the wonderment, the excitement, the fear, the unbelievable love parents have for their children. Hands down this is the best time of my life, which is why I am struggling so hard to feel 100% invested in my professional work. I see my close friend AS radiating happiness and anticipation as she is on the tail end of her pregnancy, another one having her little girl this weekend, another one in the hospital with similar circumstance that I had with Felix, another one e-mailing me back and forth about breastfeeding her new son, another one pregnant with her second miracle baby later on in life, another one back home with her son after months in the NICU, another juggling (and well!) newborn twins and a 4 year old...and another one, and another one. (I'm pretty sure I need to invest in a bushel of yarn to keep up with my newborn hats...the pregnancy announcements and babies being delivered keeps coming!) So many of my loved girlfriends from around the country, all entering what WE consider normal LIFE.

A life that can be simple. Exhausting. Full of poop and wet kisses.

But those two little boys who are responsible for all of it just melt my heart and make both me and Eric proud to be parents. I wouldn't change it for a moment (okay, I could live without poop).
video

Full elefante and hat album here

5 comments:

  1. Your boys make fabulous knit models :)

    So awesome to hear about your great weekend!

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  2. ditto to Bec's comment re: the boys. They will have to come up to Wisco to be reunited with Elefante during the Winnebago trip. Seriously so great to have you here and thank you so much for enduring my series of questions about all things baby. Love you!

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  3. what a cute post! love Elephante and it was great to see you!

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  4. It was fate that the hat didn't turn out how you intended--it is absolutely adorable on Felix! The video is on mute for some reason. Is this just on my computer or is it a google reader problem? (I can't hear videos I uploaded to my blog either). Glad you ladies had such fun--you deserve a break every once in a while.

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  5. Your elephant is beautiful and quite a feat! Kudos to you for completing the task. Lovely hat as well. There is something about knitting that makes one feel so productive!

    There is nothing like parenthood - even the bad stuff that sometimes goes along w/ it...there is something about the sound of their laughter, the smell of their freshly washed bodies, the feel of their arms around your waist, and the sight of them after a day or two away that somehow takes the negativity away in a flash.

    We are truly blessed to have them!
    Enjoy!

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