My Boys

Alex and I have been trying for a baby for over a year now. Until there is a real baby, there’s the fur babies.

Link

I got Link as a baby.  He’s a Toy Manchester Terrier mixed with most likely a Chihuahua.  He’s nearing 10 years old.  He’s 8 pounds of muscle and attitude.  He likes to play like catch and tries to get us to throw anything for him.  He can and will play catch until he passes out from exhaustion.  He loves laying in “hot spots” where the sunlight is just right. He loves exploring and hiking.  He has even done a 16km hike pulling on his leash the whole time.  He goes pretty much wherever I go.  He sits with me while I knit, he sleeps in bed with us, he watches me pee. This dog has no boundaries.  He has all kinds of nicknames like boo, booboo, stinky, stink, and moe.  He loves his stuffies and the favourites end up as his babies.  He will carry around his baby everywhere and settles himself by chewing on it ever so gently.

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Link and his baby

Shadow is also known as big dog or dog dog.  He will be 11 in September.  He’s some kind of retriever mix.  Shadow is around 45 pounds, which isn’t really that big, but when compared to Link he’s a giant.  My mom and dad got him as a puppy in 2003.  Shadow came to live with me and Link in 2009 when I left my ex-husband and bought my own house. He was mostly for security reasons (he can have a bad temper and can’t go off leash for those reasons) as well as mom and dad were planning on moving into a house that would be too small for having him.  Shadow loves to be loved.  He always is up to have his head scratched.  He doesn’t seem to realize he’s not a small dog and willingly jumps into people’s laps if they show him love.  Shadow loves going for runs with me and loves hiking and swimming too. Shadow HATES birds though.  There’s a natural pond behind our house and the geese stay there for a bit in the spring and fall and the silly dog will jump as high as he can barking at them.  I don’t have the heart to tell him that he’ll never catch them that way.

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A quick swim at the end of Mount Marten trail

Shadow and Link are thick as thieves.  They are essentially one dog.  If one leaves the house, the other one cries for his brother.  I used to take Link on drives with me, but now I can’t.  Shadow is impossibly car sick and nothing we have tried works for him.  He has a limit of about 90 minutes in the car and then he barfs spectacularly.  So now, the dogs are only in the car for essential travel only.

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Training for West Coast Trail

 

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Nice winter hike with Alex’s mom

Alex and I often talk about how amazing our dogs are.  They only really bark if there’s someone at the door…oh yeah…and if there are birds in the yard. They are mostly calm cool and collected.  They don’t get into things and can be trusted to be alone loose in the house while we are at work.

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I am a nurse

I am a nurse.  I graduated with my BScN in 2004.  As a fresh grad at the tender age of 22, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

I’d like to say that it’s a consistently wonderful job.  It’s not. I’d like to say it’s always a  fun job.  It’s not. It is an immensely physically and mentally exhausting job, but I don’t think I could do anything else.

Things people say when they hear I’m a nurse: “Wow, that’s amazing!” “Cool!” “I wish I could do that!”

Then they hear I work in the pediatric intensive care unit: “Oh, that’s so sad.” “What a sad and scary place.” “I could never do that, I would cry all the time.”

The truth is, I do cry.  Not often, but it does happen. What usually happens is I smile.  I laugh.  I read stories.  I give free hugs and snuggles.  I care about these children like I would care for my own, or someone in my own family.

We see families at their worst.  Their child is critically ill, and I work HARD to take care of their child.  While I’m taking care of the child, I’m also taking care of the family.  I’m explaining everything I do, every medication I give, all of the tests that are being done, all of the monitor dings, the pump beeps, the ventilator alarms.  I do not have all of the answers, but I certainly do try.  I hold hands, I give hugs, I give kleenex and a shoulder to cry on. I listen until there is nothing else left to say. I also refer parents to people who have more answers than me. I watch vital signs, I watch test results, I watch the patient. I watch for incredibly subtle changes. A little bit too awake vs a little bit too sleepy.  Hungry vs tired vs withdrawl.  I ask my colleagues for help. I keep the doctors constantly informed of the patient’s condition.  I weigh diapers so see exactly how much urine the patient is producing because in/out balance is incredibly important, especially with the small babes.  If you ever want someone to cheer for a poop, I’m your gal!

I have seen more horrible things in my nearly 10 years as a nurse than I care to think about.  When I come home and tell my husband I’ve had a bad day, he knows what I mean.  He never asks, just gives hugs.  I rarely cry at work.  I cry in my car after work and at home.  One time I cried for three days solid about a little one.   I still get teary thinking of some kids.  There was a thing going around Facebook that as a nurse there’s always one patient you will remember forever.  I think I’m up well beyond 10 special kids.  Some kids just have a special connection with you.  Sometimes it’s just little things.  Some kids you wanted to take home for yourself. Some kids you wanted to hug and tell them everything will be alright, when you know it won’t.

There are many days where I think to myself why the hell am I working here? What hole did I dig myself into?  Nurses have terrible senses of humour.  We laugh about incredibly inappropriate things.  We have to.  We work in a high stress environment.  When it comes down to it, I wouldn’t want to work with anyone else.  The people I work with are amazing.  We are a giant family of at least 100 people.  When something bad is happening, we band together. We support each other.

When I was in high school and I chose nursing as a career, I chose it because I wanted to help people.  I do help people.  Every day.  I live for the day I get an honest thank you from a family instead of snide remarks about how useless I am or how awful the nurse before me was.  I live for the smiles I get from my babes, the cuddles that I occasionally get to sneak in, the patients who tell me I’m awesome.

Being a nurse is definitely not what I thought it was back in the day.  It is so much more.

This is my passion.

This is my life.

I am a nurse.

WIP Wednesday April 23

Happy Wednesday!
I’m writing this on my new computer! My beautiful iMac arrived last night an hour before I left for work. I had just enough time to set it all up and start the data transfer from my MacBook. It actually turned out good that I had to work because before I left the house, there was about 7 hours to go on the import. I had a long antsy night at work just waiting to go home!  My handy hubby did lots of set up after the transfer was done, so when I finally did get home, it was all fired up and ready to go.  I sure feel spoiled having a new computer.  Everything is so fast, and it can actually do more than two things at the same time!

My new baby!

 

So, as the title suggests, I’m going to show off a WIP (that’s work in progress if you aren’t down with the knitting lingo).  I’ve wanted to knit a sweater for a long time, but haven’t had the guts to go for it.  I finally decided that I know enough about shaping, so it’s now or never.  I browsed through patterns for a while and finally settled on the Backbone Cable Sweater for Alex.  It’s available for download on Ravelry for $6 US.  I bought the pattern in October 2013, and then waited until Alex was ready for measurements.  I ended up buying yarn guessing what size he would be because I never got around for measurements.  Finally, around Christmas, I measured him up. I then decided that I would finish up all of my 2013 projects and have nothing on the needles for the start of 2014.  I casted on the sweater shortly after midnight on New Year’s Day. It’s been a slow slog knitting this thing.  I picked something simple for my first sweater, and this seems to be causing me problems because I’m used to knitting quite complex socks and hats.  The miles of stockinette with one cable going up the spine is not keeping me very interested.  I have to knit until it’s 17 inches before I split for the sleeves, and I’m up to 14. It doesn’t help that since the start of 2014 I’ve procrastinated on the sweater so badly that I’ve knit two pairs of socks, two hats, a pair of slippers, a stuffed monster,  a cowl…and so on. Clearly that should get me a medal!  I have 2 other WIPs right now and I’m trying to push myself to finish this sweater.  No more casting on socks until I’m done! PS – socks are my favorite thing to knit!  The cable will be going up the center back, not the side as the picture suggests.

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Life Lately

Wow. A lot of living has taken place since I last blogged.  I constantly think of doing blog posts, but my thoughts never turn me into sitting down and typing one.  More life stuff has prompted me to get back into blogging regularly!

I’ll start off with a little bit of an FO parade! I’ll try to stick to only my favourites!

Kai-Mei Socks – from Sock Innovation by Cookie A

Yarn – Oh Loops! High Twist Sock in Boober Fraggle

Needle – 2.5mm/US1.5

Finished – Sept 24 2013

Kai-Mei Socks

These socks were quite fun to knit.  After the first repeat on the foot I totally understood how easy it truly was with also looking so intricate. Having worn these for a while now (I wear all of my handknit socks mostly at work wearing crocs, so I abuse them more than most people I’m sure), I think the leg of ribbing gets too baggy by the end of the day.

 

Strangling Vines Lace Scarf – free download on Ravelry

Yarn – Nova Sock Print

Needle – 3.5mm/US4

Finished – Oct 10 2013

Strangling Vines Lace Scarf

I worked on this poor scarf forever, seemingly getting nowhere.  It wasn’t until I had the brainy moment, that if I just work on it, it will eventually get done, that it finally got done. I think I finished the second half off in a couple of weeks.  It was my first attempt at blocking, which I think went well.  I ended up giving it to my sister for Christmas.

 

Owlie Sleep Set – all free downloads on Ravelry: Owlie Hat, Owlie Sleep Sack and Dreamy Baby Booties

Yarn – Malabrigo Rios in Bobby Blue

Needles – 4.omm/US6, 4.5mm/US7

Finished – Nov 14 2013

Sleep Sack

A girlfriend from work asked me to knit something for her baby.  I let her pick out patterns and told her how much yarn I would need. I was surprised when she bought Malabrigo, and I was super excited when I saw it!  This yarn feels like butter in your hands!  I loved knitting with it.  Now – for the objects, I modified the edge on the hat and sleep sack to be ribbing instead of the rolled stockinette edge.  I had to adjust the cast on numbers to account for the 2×2 ribbing for the sack and the 1×1 ribbing for the hat.  I finished all three things within 4 days! For some reason I can’t find he picture with all three.  Oh well…

 

Jaywalker Socks – Free download on Ravelry

Yarn – Twisted Limone Tangy Sock Yarn in Key Lime Pie

Needles – 2.5mm/US1.5

Finished – Dec 13 2013

Jaywalker Socks

I didn’t do any mods on the pattern and I cast on for the smaller size (76).  I can get them on my feet with a little bit of work and they feel fine on.  I’m not sure if I had knit the next size up if they would be too big in the leg.

 

Okay, now I’ve had enough of the FOs.  I’ll have to do more later! I’ve got a few WIPs right now as well.  I started a sweater for Alex on New Year’s Day – I have been slowly working on it.  It’s a bottom up in the round sweater with set in sleeves.  I’m about 12″ up the body and I need to be at 17″ to split for the sleeves.  I’m also working on a pair of socks, a giant shawl/wrap thing, and a ten stitch blanket.  All are at various stages of not being very far along.

I’ve recently come into a realization about my yarn stash, though.  I counted up how much I knit last year, and counted up how much yarn I have.  If I knit at the pace I kept last year, I have two years of knitting available to me.  I want to work on keeping my stash current and at an acceptable level to me.  I don’t want to purchase yarn that I will never use.  I am trying to use up a new yarn, then an older yarn.  The exceptions I have to this are my dishcloth cotton and acrylic stashes.  I thing both are good for whipping up quick gifts or just for quick mindless projects during long hauls of large boring work.  Anyways, since I have only been knitting for a couple of years, this isn’t much of a problem yet.  I’m knitting socks with the oldest yarn I have and it was only bought last April.  I want to maybe keep my stash to about the one year ahead mark, mostly buying with specific projects in mind.  Most of what I have is single skeins, which if its sock yarn, that’s a pair of socks. But, when it gets into the worsted, sport and DK, then it’s hat after hat after hat…then some mittens.  And don’t get me wrong, those are all perfectly good things to knit, but it’s not how I want to purchase my yarn anymore.  I have gotten into purchasing some gorgeous but expensive (to me) yarns and I want to be careful when I click buy.

Anyways, the real reason I’m trying to start blogging again is I am hoping to use this space to track my Invisalign progress alongside with my knitting progress.  I am getting Invisalign braces right away and I did a lot of research on this process before I signed up to get this done, and I want to try to offer my side of things.  I have quite a bit of issues with my teeth and am really excited to get this all fixed up!   The main problem is with my family genetics.  Almost everyone in my family has some version of missing teeth.  As far as I can remember, I’m missing the most.  I never grew wisdom teeth.  I still have 4 baby teeth in my mouth (I’m 31 years old), and I’m missing my both of my lateral incisors on top.  That’s a grand total of 10 teeth that I will never have.  Because my canines got to grow in however they wanted, they are sideways.  My orthodontist is hoping to move my canines closer to my central incisors and to shape them to look like incisors.  He feels that this way I will have a more normal looking smile with gaps in the back.  That will set up for when the baby teeth finally do die I can get adult sized implants.  I hope to be able to get a copy of the video they make to show predicted progress!

I went for my x-rays, pictures, and scan today.  Nothing too crazy, just a panorex X-ray and one of my skull.  Pictures were of my face and side profile as well as a wide smile.  Also there were pictures with my gums pulled away looking up and down, my bite, and other various poses. The iTero scan was neat.  It blew air in while scanning, so it made my mouth quite dry.  Luckily we stopped for multiple breaks.

And now I wait.  My orthodontist will consult back and forth for a couple of weeks and then all my trays will be made.  I have an appointment for May 26 for my first set of trays.  That’s when I will know how long this will start to take!

 

..Phew, that’s a lot of writing! If you actually made it to the end of this, let me reward you with my newest obsession, Wollmeise!

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I haven’t forgotten!

Sorry it’s been so long! I really haven’t forgotten, just life has become so busy! I work so much, and have so few days off that when I’m at home, I don’t have much energy to do anything. I have, however, been knitting! I have totally abandoned my granny stripe for the moment, though. I’ve knitted a couple of stuffed toys and a hat. I have too many projects on the needles too. I usually only like having one or two projects on the go, but right now, I have 5. 5?!?!? Yeah. Kinda crazy of me. I frogged my Marywarmers that I have been working on since February 2012. I decided that overall I didn’t like the look of the increases and decreases (my own bad knitting, not the pattern). I decided on a lacy scarf that will be so pretty! I guess I forgot that I hate knitting scarves and I had already started one for Alex.  Alex then got mad at me for knitting his scarf and that I should make something for myself.  So I casted on and finished a hat – which turned out to small, so I started a bigger one for me.  And then, I decided I wanted mittens too….so yeah.  I went a little ADHD there, and I don’t know what to do about it.  Sometimes I work on one thing a day, but then other days, I work on everything.  It’s mind boggling to me. And I think I sound a bit rambly – Here’s a list of my WIPs:

1 – Granny Stripe Blanket

Status: On hold. I haven’t worked on this bad boy since January.  I tried to force myself to do a row two weeks ago and I just finished it today.  I’m tired of working on this, so it’s just gonna hang out until I find my mojo back.  It’s got 48 stripes and is 46% finished.  I still want to finish this monster, and make it queen bed sized, but it might be a while in time out.  I don’t even have any recent pictures of it!

2 – Strangling Vines Lace Scarf  (free pattern on Ravelry)

Needles: US4

Yarn: Nova Sock Print Fingering

Status: Slowly progressing.  It comes with me to work on night shifts and I work on it when I have time.  This might take me a while to complete. It will need a good hard blocking once I’m done (which I’ve never done before) and it will be heavenly!

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3 – Dapperly Dashing Scarf (free pattern on Ravelry)

Needles: US10

Yarn: Knit Picks Swish Tonal Worsted in Deep Waters

Status: Chugging away at this one.  It doesn’t travel to work with me because it’s on straight needles, and I don’t want to bring those in to work.

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4 – Power Pop Mittens (free pattern on Ravelry)

Needles: US8

Yarn: Loops & Threads Impeccable Worsted in Folklore (remnants from another project)

Status: Slow as well.  The pattern calls for DK yarn and US4 needles, but I wanted bigger mittens, so I used worsted yarn and size US8 needles.  This was more of a test because I didn’t want to use my Knit Picks Swish until I had the sizing right, but now I kind of like the crazy barfy yarn I’m using.  It’s definitely not a great yarn to show off the neat pattern, but I don’t mind. I apparently don’t have a picture of this right now.

 

5 – Lucky 7 Hat (free pattern on Ravelry)

Needles: US7

Yarn: Knit Picks Swish Worsted in Gulfstream

Status: My favorite project on the go right now! I made the Lucky 7 Hat in Knit Picks Swish Tonal in Gypsy and I followed it exactly as the pattern.  It unfortunately was way too short and also too tight.  I gave it to my mom, and decided to knit a second one for me!  This one I casted on 108 stitches instead of 84, and knit 30 rows of ribbing for the brim instead of 23.  I think I will also knit in 8 cable crosses instead of 7.  I really liked the gauge, so I stuck with the US7 needle size.  It’s so smooshy and I LOVE IT SO MUCH!!!!

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So yeah, this is all the stuff I have on the go right now!  Hopefully I won’t cast on anything new until these are all done, but I don’t know when my knitting ADHD will kick in!

Soonly I’ll show off a few FOs that I’ve been too lazy to post!

Sick Dog Blues

What a week! My poor dog Shadow was feeling sick last Sunday. He was having some diarrhea and wasn’t handling food he ate either. It quickly progressed to having to urgently go outside every two hours for the next 5 days. I ended up having to get a special leave day from work because I couldn’t get enough sleep to be able to properly function. Being a good nurse, I did some research to try and see if I could help fix him without going to the vet. He got switched to pumpkin purée, white rice, and boiled chicken with some results, but definitely not sustained results. I finally broke down and found a vet for my sweet baby. Friday we went in and I ended up spending $500! Shadow had a stool test, urine test, blood work, got a fluid bolus (precautionary – he wasn’t dehydrated), a prescription for Flagyl, and a few cans of soft food that would be gentle on his tummy. We got back the blood results and they didn’t really show anything, so now we’re waiting for the rest of the results. He did, however, seem to turn the corner…just hopefully not too far – he now hasn’t pooped since Friday! I’m off to research constipation and see if I can help him, but I’m stuck between another theory also – I sure hope its constipation and not an ileus! But he also hasn’t really been eating his full meals yet either; I only gave him a full meal of his usual food this morning. Haha, just my luck – one week praying for no poop and the next week hoping for poop!

I just realized that some people might not be happy reading about poop – oh well. Unfortunately, having been a nurse for the last 8 years, not much grosses me out anymore.

Hopefully my life will return to some normalcy so I can spend some time knitting and crocheting this week.

Granny Stripe Progress – Dec 17

This week I worked my first stretch of 3 12 hour day shifts in a row in about 5 years.  It wasn’t as bad as I had anticipated, but I sure was tired by the end! Some days at work, I think to myself, “Oh yeah, this job is great.  I love it here and I’m glad we moved”. Other days I think,  “Oh bloody hell, why did I get a job in ICU???” I’ve got lots to learn, but overall I love it.  It’s such an incredible environment built on support for the staff.

Anyways, back to the granny stripe! I managed to get in 5 stripes this week which brings me up to 29 stripes.  My goal is 104 stripes, so I’m 27% finished the blanket (I’m not counting the border for progress sake).  I also added in an all new color – WHITE! For some reason, I love the white against the teal.  It’s too bad that I’ve run out of teal and have replaced it with a turquoise that doesn’t match at all.

I’ve decided that once I’m finished with the yarns that I have, I will only use Knit Picks Brava for the rest.  I was really disappointed with my last trip to the craft store.  I just didn’t see any colors that I liked.  I like the selection of colors that Knit Picks has to offer.  I also like the softness of the yarn too.  I think it’s definitely thinner than the worsted they say it is, but I can work with that.

Gratuitous doggy shot!!

Gratuitous doggy shot!!

 

Now to get ready for night shift tonight – nap time!