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Barknknit's Blog

2014 New year theme/goals!Open in a New Window

It has been far too long since I posted but life has been busy and hasn't allowed me to post.  I won't bore you will too many details but a quick recap...first off I have a 3 year old and 9 month old who take turns not wanting to sleep, which takes over my mommy time at night, second I have a husband and dogs that require attention as well, and then thirdly I got a promotion at work that has kept me super busy!  I am excited about all the things taken over my time but I also had to let some things go to fit it all in. 

With the new year quickly coming, I was thinking about my new year theme ala Jasmin from the knitmore girls and some goals, as I work well with clear goals.  The first thing that came to mind was I wanted to share with you, my neglected blog readers, that I have missed so much!  So here I am...ready to share with you my new year plans and also needing to do some serious catching up with all of you! We'll start with this post and see where it goes from there!  As always, this blog is a work in progress!  Enjoy!

For 2014, my personal theme is going to be Mastering the task at hand.  What this means is that I plan to do my best at whatever I am doing at that time and put my focus there.  To not to stretch myself too thin and spread out my energy but focus it and master/do my best at what I am doing.

With this theme in mind, here are a couple of New Years goals to start with:

1. I recently read this blog post about 3 things he wishes he knew before he got married and the one about going home and loving your wife hit home with me.  Often times we and by this I mean me, tend to focus on what we are getting out of the relationships we have instead of focusing on what we are giving.  When we focus more on what we can give, we get way more positives than when we worry about what we are getting. I plan to focus on loving my husband and to put away my mental tally of I did this and he did that.  To just love him and put him first in my thoughts and in my actions.  

2. With this first one, I also plan to focus on my girls when I am with them.  I have become a little lax with my phone time lately.  I would like to go back to my dad's advice and really focus on quality time instead of worrying about all my selfish needs of me time and just focus on my girls when we are together.  The me time will naturally come but I'd like to make the time with them more quality.

3. With my crafting time, I plan to tackle the Knitter's Guild of America's Master Knitter Program Level 1 with my friend KnottyKnitter17 aka Alicia.  We are hoping to apply for scholarships here soon and either way start the program by March at the latest!  I'd like to take my knitting to the next level this year.

4. As a test for January, I plan to restict my social media time...mainly Facebook. I do not plan to post less pictures as I am not restricting my Instagram time but I plan to restrict my Facebook time to only weekends and once at the end of the day.  I was going to only do weekends but lets not get carried away too fast.

More goals make come up as I adjust my life to fit my 2014 theme but for now I think this is a good start.

Hope you are all doing well an have a fantastic New Year!

Happy New Year!


A Series of Thoughts: Maria's Birth Story Part 3Open in a New Window

We left off here...a while ago. Now let's finish up this birth story. We are going to end with less detail but lots of pictures!

So, there I was waiting for my epidural to come and feeling pretty loopy.  I could still feel the contractions but the edge had been knocked off.  When the anesthesiologist finally came in, I was happy to see him.  My sister and husband had to leave the room while they placed the epidural but my nurse was great company.

After the epidural was in place, I was feeling pretty good.  I was able to rest but I knew this time was going to move faster.  She at this point broke my water and that got the contractions to speed up but at least I didn't feel anymore pain.  We all tried to rest as we waited for the time to come.

That time didn't take long to come and by early morning I was already feeling ready to push.  We called the nurse in because I wanted the doctor to start heading this way...I could feel that need to push coming and I didn't want her to miss it.  The nurse as I said was fantastic and she got me ready to go.  The doctor showed up JUST in time as I had already been feeling the need to push when she waked in and from experience I knew that I am an efficient pusher and that it wouldn't take long.  The nurse kept telling me to try some practice pushes but I told her we should hold off.  Once I finally did, she was shocked how right I was.  The doctor showed up, Special K and Fleasbyte got in their positions to help me and a couple pushes later out came Maria Anne!

She was perfect with all her little toes and fingers and such a beautiful face!  I got to hold her for a while and then she had to get cleaned up.  Even right after she was born, she was a confirmed daddy's she was fussing on the table until daddy put his hand on her and she calmed right down.  LOVE this picture!

I actually remembered this time to get a picture of Dr. T! She deliever both our babies and she is my favorite at the practice. I prayed the whole time I was pregnant with both of my girls that she would be on call when I went into labor! THANKfully it worked!
Our first picture with our babiest!
The best nurse ever!!!  I couldn't have been in better care than this woman!  She was a traveling nurse and not sure where in the world she is now but I'm so glad she was here when I delivered! She was amazing!!
Daddy and his babies girl!  Love them!
And then here are some more pictures from our hospital stay...

Carmen meeting her new sister for the first time.  She was instantly in love! 
Hope you enjoyed my birth story. I know this last one was rushed but life got in my way of blogging and I wanted to get this up before she is a year old!


This Moment - picture dump!Open in a New Window

I have been a terrible blogger the last couple week.  You should see how many posts I have drafted and half completed.  You'll get them soon however life has been busy!  To get us somewhat caught up, I figured I'd start with a picture post!  Hope you enjoy...

{this moment} – A Friday ritual from Soule Mama.  A single photo (or several)  – no words – capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special, extraordinary moment.  A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.  If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your “moment” in the comments for all to find and see.


52 Weeks of Blogging with a Purpose: If I could have one superpower...Open in a New Window

If I could have one super power it would be the power to heal. It would be amazing to be able to use my hands and words to heal people of their illness but also of their hurts emotionally and not just physically.

Having lost my mother to cancer so young, I often thought about how I wish someone could have touched her and taken away the cancer.  I wish that she would not have had to suffer and go though all that she did.  I know others that have been sick and needed healing and I wish I could have been the one to do it.

So many people walk around with pain that's not physical.  Pain from hurts that they have experienced along their path.  Sometimes it's right on the surface and you can see this pain like its a physical feature. It makes me sad when you see this pain in young kids that shouldn't have to carry it.  I just want to take away all their sadness...not by giving them material things but by being able to heal the pain that they have had to go through.  Tell them they didn't do anything wrong and they didn't deserve it.  I would like to be able to say what they need to hear to let the past go and to heal...and forgive. 

Not sure exactly how my super power would work but I think it would be a miracle to have the power to heal those I love and those that I come across.

What would your superpower be?


52 Weeks of Blogging with a Purpose: If I could be anything in the world...Open in a New Window

This topic was another hard one for me...I think this is a running theme with this linkup.  I like that it's pushing me to think about things.  I struggled with this one because I wasn't sure where I wanted to go with it.  This is what came out when I began writing.
When I look inside and ask myself what I would like to be, my first thought is I am already a mom.  I've always wanted to be a mom and I have 2 precious girls, who make me a mommy.  Growing up, I always wanted to be in a mother/daughter relationship.  I would look at my friends and see them with their moms and wanted that relationship.  I knew that while I love my father and we have a good relationship, it's not the same as I would have had with my mom. My mom would have understood a lot of what I was going through and she would have been there for me like no one else could have.  She would have been mother and many people take that relationship for granted.
For those of you who don't know, my mother Carmen Delia Martinez passed away January 7th, 1987 of breast cancer.  I was 6 and a half years old and I miss her everyday!  It's hard to describe growing up without a mom.  I had a step-mom but she had her own kids and it's not the same.  I had older sisters, who have been like mothers to me throughout my life, however, they had their own lives and their own children to mother.  I feel I turned out fine but it wasn't always easy.  I pray often that I will be there for my girls for all those moments that I missed having my mother there for my wedding and the birth of both my girls.  When they do have their babies someday, I plan to take a month plus vacation and spend the time helping them learn to be a mom themselves.  They might be ready for me to head home after that but I plan to be there for them through it and for as long as they will let me. 

I always knew if/when I had a child I'd have a girl...I picked out her name when I was young and was very thankful none of my sister took my girl name.  Naming my first daughter after my mother was the easiest decision I ever made.  It's funny that she looks SO much like my husband's mother yet she is named after my mom.   She has a bit of both her grandmas in her forever!

Back to the topic, if I could be anything in the world...I would be what I am and I would be a mom to my 2 dearest blessings Carmen and Maria.

What would you be?  Is there something you already are that you always wanted to be?


This Moment - Sister Love!Open in a New Window

{this moment} – A Friday ritual from Soule Mama.  A single photo(or a few) – no words – capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special, extraordinary moment.  A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.  If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your “moment” in the comments for all to find and see.


52 Weeks of Blogging with a Purpose: If I were to win the lottery, 5 Things I'd BuyOpen in a New Window

This would require actually playing lottery, which my husband and I don't do but it was fun to discuss this week's topic with him as I made my list.  Some of these were on both our lists and one wasn't.  Here are the first 5 things we would buy...

1. Pay off our house. Enough monthly mortgage!

2. New cars...I really want a minivan!  Yes, call me soccer mom or whatever you'd like but it would be great to have a minivan with all the extras!  There have been countless times that we've borrowed my sister's minivan because neither our cars fit more than just our family.  Special K really wants a new truck and I would love him to get a new one with a bigger back seat! 

3. Renovate our house.  We have a list of things we plan to do within the next couple years but if we had lottery money then we could do them all right now!

4. A vacation cabin in the mountains.  Not sure exactly where this would be but would love a nice cabin to vacation to.

5. Pay off family mortgages or buy them a house.  We would pay off or purchase a home for each of our parents and our siblings.

Kenny added another one that I wish I would have thought of before I made my list but it would definitely be something that would be on the top of our list if we did have this money. His great idea was to set up trust and college funds for the girls!   When I thought of this list, I thought of right now...figured I wanted immediate satisfaction. 

What would the first 5 things you buy be?


A Series of Thoughts: Maria's Birth Story Part 2Open in a New Window

We left off here with me heading to the hospital to hopefully have this baby girl! 

On the way to the hospital my contractions kept coming regularly and with a vengeance. The trip to the hospital thankfully is a quick one but it felt like it took forever. Before I knew it though, we were pulling up and Fleas was letting me out. She had to drive over a bit to get the car valeted because it was pretty late and the Baby Place valet was closed. I went to check in and the security guy offered me a wheelchair several times but I didn't want one...I wanted to keep contracting and sitting was uncomfortable so I just stood there, swayed, and waited for her. As soon as we got up the elevator and onto the Baby Place floor, my sister grabbed the paperwork, which after being there 3 times before during this pregnancy and twice with my first, we were pros at filling out. She had to help me this time because I was having trouble focusing enough to write my information down...another clue that this was probably it!

We got checked in and taken back to triage.  The nurse had me change into the hospital gown, lie down, and get checked.  This part is hands down my least favorite part.  At this point I was 3.5 cms and super soft.  She said they wanted me to stay in bed being monitored for 15 mins, walk for 45, and then she would check me again and at that point call and ask doctor what she would like to do.  I asked who was on call for the practice I go to and when she said Dr. T, I was thrilled!  Not only is she my favorite docor in the practice but also the one who delivered Carmen! I thought the triage nurse's plan sounded fine but told her that after being in pain and contracting for the last 2 weeks, I want an epidural and I wanted as soon as I could get it!!  She got us both some water and off she went.

I stayed in bed on the monitors and continued to labor for15 mins.  I was really having to work through the contractions and was happy when the nurse came back in and told me I could walk around.  I was ready to get things progressing and I told my sister that I can't go home...I was in too much pain!  She agreed and we began to walk the halls.  As we walked, I was struggling more and more with each contraction.  I don't remember this whole area of the hospital last time as I didn't walk around like I did this time.  

We waddled by the nurses station for the labor and delivery rooms and I noticed there was a younger male nurse.  I didn't remember seeing any men on this side 2 years ago.  I even commented to my sister how I didn't recall any male nurses back here.  We continued walking and stopped in the room with drinks for a quick drink.  I knew as soon as I got my IV, they weren't going to let me drink anymore so I wanted to get some liquid in before I had to resort to only ice chips.  At this point, I was really in pain and thought I was ready to waddle back to the triage room.  

We got to the room and still had 10 mins before she was coming to check me.  I tried laboring sitting down and decided that I was NOT going to do that again.  I kept changing standing positions and my sister helped me focus on my breathing and held my hand during each contraction.  Not sure I could have made it through this part without her as she kept me focused.  During both pregnancies, I found when I was going through a tough contraction I had to close my eyes and breath or I would start getting a bit panicky.  It felt like an eternity passed before the nurse finally came in to check me again.  She checked and said that I was progressing but not by much.  She asked if I had a procedure done when I was younger that may have left scar tissue on my cervix and I said yes.  This was the exact thing that prevented progress with Carmen.  She said she could break up the scar tissue now but didn't recommend it because I was already in so much pain she worried that it would progress me too fast.  She said they would wait until after I got my epidural.  I agreed to that!  Before she left the room to talk to the doctor, I told her to please tell Dr. T that I can't go home and that I am asking for pain meds NOW!!  I told the nurse that Dr. T would know I was serious if she shared that with her.  

Before having Carmen, Dr. T and I discussed at length trying for a med free birth and after 14+ hrs of slow progress and lots of pain, I got the epidural and couldn't have been happier.  After that birth and throughout this pregnancy, I had talked about trying to go med free again but after the 2 weeks I had just gone through...I was at the state where I wanted drugs and I wanted them NOW! 

The nurse went off to call the doctor and ask her if I was to be admitted or not.  My sister helped me continue to labor.  Not 5 mins later, the young man I had seen at the nurses station knocks and comes in and through the door I hear the best words come from the triage nurse, "She said to admit you!!"  Relief came over me as I couldn't imagine that I wasn't in labor or that they could possibly send me home!  

The nice young man, who had a southern accent and manners, proceeded to set me up to put in my IV.  He asked if I minded and I said go ahead but please promise me that you'll get it in one try!  2 weeks prior to this, the nurse had blown a vein in my arm so bad that I still had a bruise to show him.  He said he would try his best and I wanted to kiss him when he did it quickly and in one try!  He started my IV and got some of my vitals as we waited for another nurse to come take me to labor and delivery.

When the nurse arrived she asked if I wanted a wheel chair to head to my room or walk. After experiencing what it felt like to contract sitting down I declined and said let's walk. She looked at me in shock and asked again and I said no wheel chair lets go!  As we started a contraction came on and I had to labor through it...the nurses at the station asked the one helping me why I wasn't in a wheel chair and she giggled and told them I said let's do it!  That made me laugh.  We walked/labored as fast as we could over to my l&d room and got me settled in.

My labor and delivery nurse came in and introduced herself.  She was my favorite person all night!  She started asking a bunch of questions and got me into bed and back on the monitors.  One monitor for the contractions and one for the baby's heartbeat.  I tried to answer everything as quickly as possible and was just trying to get her finished and get her to get me meds!  She said she was going to go put in my order for my epidural and I quickly asked "Can I please have something now while we wait for anesthesiologist?"  She said she would check to see what orders the doctor put in and she would be back. 

By this point, my sister had already called Special K and put into motion the plan.  My niece Surfer girl had headed over to our house and my husband was on his way.  I was looking forward to having him with us.  He showed up just in time for the nurse to come in and start me on the meds through my IV. She had warned me it would make me loopy and within mins I felt high but it helped.  Special K took out his phone and recorded me all loopy!  We all were chatting and laughing and excited that baby was coming!!  I was happy to know my epidural was on it's way!  Check out this smile while I was in labor.  Can't remember if this was pre or post epidural but I know there was meds in me. :)

Please come back soon for the final part of this birth story, when Miss Maria finally joins us.


Garden Love: Testing out my green thumb.Open in a New Window

One of the most exciting things about owning a home to me is finally being able to plant flowers and play in dirt!
This weekend my sister Fleas and I decided it was time to work on 2 of the planters attached to our house.  Because we are still on a pretty tight budget since my unpaid maternity leave, we didn't want to spend much.  My sister came up with an idea to use clippings from her flowers and some from our other sister's house.  

So Sunday morning, we took the girls to Home Depot and bought several bags of topsoil and 2 bags of cow manure.  We got home and used some rakes to turn over and aerate the soil in the planter on the side of our house.  When we first looked at this planter, it looked like it was all sand but once we started digging in we found lovely lovely dirt!  We mixed up what was in there and then spread out a layer of cow manure.  After that we topped it off with a layer of the topsoil.  
Once the planter was full of lovely dirt/cow manure, we went over and clipped some of my sister's vinca flowers across the street and planted those with some plant food mixed in.  3 of these were off shoots of her current plants and had lots of roots, these look like they are picking up faster than the ones that had no or little roots.  
This is mainly an experiment to see if this will work, I know that it would work better to root the clippings in a pot first.  If it doesn't work the way we are trying it, we will just try again with new clippings and follow the right way but I hope at least some of these take.
Carmen's Aunt Lecia aka fleas bought Carmen her own flower to plant.  Carmen got to pick one and she picked a pretty yellow marigold.

The last part of our gardening was to take clippings from my sister G's red pentas and planted those in the planter by our front window.  This section had a layer of mulch so we just moved that over, dug holes, filled with new dirt and plant food, and planted the clippings.  
You can also see our papaya tree my friend gave us, which is currently living in a pot until we can decide where it will live.  It's had a ton of new growth and am so excited about it!
It was fun spending the morning in the sun, working with our hands, and getting dirty with my sister and Carmen.  I can't wait to see how these flowers do and plant more flowers, bushes, and trees around our new home!  Might be silly but it makes me so happy to do little things to make our house a home.

Carmen had a great time getting dirty as you can tell by this picture my niece took!  My niece and sister G came over and hung out with Maria and Carmen while we finished up planting.  It was a fulfilling morning!

Happy Gardening!!

What kind of flowers have you been successful with planting?  Do you have any advice for this gardening novice?  Would like to get some indoor plants eventually.  Any suggestions?


52 Weeks of Blogging with a Purpose: My Biggest WeaknessOpen in a New Window

Dessert...dessert is my biggest weakness.  

JUST KIDDING...If I thought last week's topic was hard...picking just one weakness was harder. Again I wasn't sure where I wanted to go with this post. I am flawed as all humans are.  

I wake up each day with a plan for the day. I go to get started and I get distracted...distracted by what I have no clue! 

This often is paired with tunnel vision. I get so focused on what I am doing that I forget about other things.  I am very capable of multitasking, however, things that I deem important are usually where I put my focus.  Those important things get done 110% but the others go by wayside and sometimes get forgotten.

How this effects my daily life is that I tend to forget to do things. It's not that I intentionally try to forget them.  I always have good intentions, however it's my follow through that really bites the big one!  People who know me know I need lots of reminders to do things.  If I don't do something right away...just keep reminding me because I probably forgot or am focusing on something else at that moment.  I know this can be frustrating for many, especially my husband. He doesn't understand how I didn't see something right there!  I just never focused on it.  I don't do it on purpose, it's just the way I have always been.  I know this about myself though and have worked hard to get better at it.

Thankfully, I have never forgotten my children and am always aware of where they are.  They are my I try to always be in tune with's everything else that often times gets set aside.

This weakness is something I am aware of...without it I would be a better mother, wife, friend, and person.  I would probably manage my home better...think how this distractedness effects cleaning when you have a time crunch...

What has helped me are lists...when I don't forget the list or lose it that is.  Lists save me.  I write lists all the time so that I can stay focused and keep on track with things.  I use my reminder feature and calendar alerts on my phone A TON!  I'm often ask Siri to remind me of things because she never forgets!  I just hope I don't miss the reminder popping up.

I also have prayed that I get better with this.  It's something I'm not proud of and something that has hurt people who are dear to me.  I never intended to hurt them but it has and I am very sorry for that.  It's a weakness that I hope some day I can say I don't have but until then...I just have to keep training my focus to get out of the tunnel and look beyond!

On the bright side of this, once I focus on something it gets done!

What is your biggest weakness?


This moment: snuggle puppyOpen in a New Window

{this moment} – A Friday ritual from Soule Mama.  A single photo(or a few) – no words – capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special, extraordinary moment.  A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.  If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your “moment” in the comments for all to find and see.


Happy 4th of July!Open in a New Window

Wishing you and yours a very Happy 4th of July! Hope you all had a fantastic day!
We started our day by taking Carmen to see her first movie in a theater Despicable Me 2 and both she and Maria did so well!  Carmen loved watching the big screen and stayed in her seat mostly until close to the end when she was getting sleepy and wanted to sit with me.  Maria either slept or nursed the whole movie.  
The rest of the day was spent relaxing with family.  We tried fireworks with Carmen and she did not like them!!  Maybe next year.

Hope you had a great day!  

Happy 4th of July!


A Series of Thoughts: Maria's Birth Story Part 1Open in a New Window

Our birth story has been something I've gone back and forth on sharing.  I had been wanting to share Carmen's birth story for so long but wasn't sure how to go about it.  One of my favorite things to read on other mommy blogs are their birth stories so I decided to finally jump in and share Maria's while it's still fresh in my memory.  I will warn you now...I can never be straight and to the point so I'm going to break this up into several parts to bring you along on my journey to having my babiest girl Maria Anne.  I may go back and share Carmen's as well since I still remember the details and I wrote it out but haven't posted publicly.

For those of you who were following along with my pregnancy, we ended at this post at 37 weeks...a week before Maria decided to join us.  We left off with me ready for her to come! I had finally given her the eviction notice but she wasn't ready.  That week I spent walking almost every day and generally trying to move things along.  I wasn't able to do much and mainly I would get the contractions going but once I took a shower, relaxed, and sat down they would slow and usually go back to just braxton hicks.

The week of March 25th was Spring Break for all my sisters(yes they are all teachers here) and many of them were planning to travel.  My sister G was flying out to Colorado Monday afternoon to drive back with her daughter, and my sister Fleasbyte was planning to leave Tuesday morning to drive around FL to check out colleges for her daughter.  These were the 2 that had jobs to I did some stressing about what if this baby comes while they are both gone!  Aunt G's job was Carmen while I was in labor...but I was mostly concerned about Fleasbyte being gone since she is pretty much my doula...and a great doula at that!  She was there with Special K and I during Carmen's birth and she was such a great support for both of us.

The weekend started with one goal...get this baby out before Monday or she was going to have to stay put until Friday when they would all return.  I had the ok to move things along from my doctor, however, as with Carmen the most I was willing to do was walk her out.  Operation Waddle This baby out was in full effect, yet it was not successful in the way I had hoped.  I would waddle around the lake by my house and get home and be contracting and in lots of pain for several hours but it wouldn't push me into labor.  I would end up very sore and exhausted but with no baby.  After trying to keep labor at bay for 2 weeks I was ready yet she wasn't.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;...Prov 3:5-Prov 3:6

I knew in my heart God had a plan for this baby and knew her birth day was already planned but I had to have faith in his timing not mine.  This has been the theme for Maria's whole exists for me really.  Even before we got pregnant, I was praying for her and wanting to know when we'd get pregnant but I had to rely on God's plan in my life and wait as patiently as I could for him to show it to me.  So, here we were again...God teaching me a lesson in persistent, patience and trusting in his plan.

Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD....Psalms 27:14

That Monday March 25th came and I decided since labor had not started that I had to just let it go and get some rest.  I was exhausted from the 2 weeks I'd been contracting and in pain and I knew that if this baby was coming soon or not for another 2 week I had to give my body a real break and rest.  The plan for Monday was to lay around, knit, and try to get some sleep.  It started out pretty well.  As it had been routine, daddy got up with Carmen and they said their good byes to me as I slept in and tried to sleep as late as my body would allow.  My sister G called and asked if I wanted to go to Walmart with her just for a quick trip to get out of the house.

It was a short trip and we didn't walk around too much.  We were in, got what we needed and got out of there.  However, at this point I looked like a freak show that was about to POP so everyone had to either look at me strangely or say something.  It was interesting because people would look at me waddling around and you could tell they either wanted to say something or would blurt out the first thing that came to mind and then feel bad for saying something.  I don't know how many times I was asked how far along I was and looked at in amazement when I said not due for another 2 weeks.  I understood their need to say looked like Maria was about to fall off my body!  I was a freak show!
After we got home from Walmart, I set up my spot on the couch...I had already worn a good indent into the corner of our couch from spending the last 2 weeks hanging out there.  I spent the afternoon watching TV, knitting, and catnapping.  My sister G boarded a plan that afternoon and was off on her CO adventure to drive her daughter back.  My other sisters Fleasbyte and CZbrats drove her to the airport that afternoon and then went shopping and had dinner before they returned from Tampa.  They all asked me not to go into labor while they were on the other side of the Howard Franklin bridge.   I told them I would try and stayed on the couch.

At around 3:30pm, I dragged my large body off the couch and went to pick up my girl Carmen from daycare.  I brought her home and we hung out while waiting for her daddy.  He arrived and we ate dinner and during dinner my contractions started back up.  He told me to go lay down and again as it had become the usual, he did bath, books, and bedtime with Carmen.  As I laid on the couch, the contractions kept coming.  I was concerned because they had come on after doing no activity.  They were about 4-5 mins apart at this point, which wasn't unusual but always concerning, and so I decided lets take a shower and see if they slow or hurt less, which had been doing the trick to make them go away.  They didn't slow or change at all but started to intensify.  I texted Fleasbyte, who lives across the street, and said "You are going to think I'm joking but I think we might have to go in to the hospital tonight...going to lay down and we'll make the call in 45 mins"  She replied with she's jumping in the shower and going to be ready.

I then laid back down on my spot on the couch and the contractions started to intensify even more!  I was having to really breath through them and I was timing them and they were on average 4 mins apart.  Special K as usual was giving me space and just kept checking on me.  After about 30 mins, I knew it was time to get going and called him back in from the 3rd bedroom where he had set up shop and texted my sister "let's go NOW!!"  I remember standing with Special K and laboring through a really bad contraction and my sister walking in.  I saw the concern on their faces and they knew it was go time to!

We had decided during our first labor scare that Special K would stay behind with Carmen until I was admitted and then he'd start the process of getting my niece Surfer Girl, originally my sister G, over to the house to stay with Carmen and he'd join us.  Only one person was allowed with me in triage and Fleasbyte is better at the waiting game than my husband so she won out as the person to hang with me until they admitted me.

After saying my good bye to Special K and getting a bit teary eyed...which I knew was another sign this was it.  We waited until another contraction was over and then we rushed me out the door and into the car and on our way to HOPEFULLY have this baby!

...the next part of this story can be found here.


Knitting/Spinning: New Month planOpen in a New Window

New month means new classes for the Harry Potter Knit/Crochet House Cup goes up and new planning happens!  Usually I plan out at least 6 projects but with my slowed knitting progress I am scaling back.

For Detention, I am planning to finish the Miss Abbey by Terri Kruse that I am knitting for Carmen in size 2T out of Laines Du Nord Papiro cotton yarn.  It's knitting up relatively quickly and a very easy knit.  I think it's going to be so cute!

For classes, the plan is to knit a couple hexipuffs and get some points in since I have been such a slacker the first 2 months.  These are quick and hopefully I can get 6 of them turned in for lots of points!!
I would also like to spend some time with Pilar, my spinning wheel!  She has been left in the corner for too long!  Time to pull her out and get my fibery goodness going! Need to dive into the stash, play, organize, and find something to spin first!

Happy Knitting!!!

What project are you planning this week?  This month?


52 Weeks of Blogging with a Purpose: My Life 5 Years From NowOpen in a New Window

I'm really not sure why this was such a hard post for me but I spent a lot of time thinking and praying about what to write. Usually I always have a 5 year plan in the back of my head but for some reason I'm having a hard time figuring out what mine is currently. I think I wanted it to be more enlightening but for now I'm just going to write and see what comes out.

My life 5 years from now will look much different but similar to what it is now. What I'm picturing:

We will still be living in our current home that we just closed on in Feb and I hope that it will truly be a home and not just a house. The kitchen and bathroom will have been redone and we'll finally have the landscaping I envision. The playroom will be organized and truly set up as a playroom. Essential I hope that all our major renovation plans are completed and we just have smaller room redos left to do.
In 5 years, my girls will both be getting ready to go to Elementary school. Miss CGR will be 7 1/2 and going into 2nd grade and Miss Ria will be 5 and starting Kindergarten.(I know this is 5 years from now, but I started shaking when I even thought about Carmen going to 2nd grade!) They will hopefully get a long great still and be each other's best friends. Hopefully we'll be on some great summer vacation 5 years from right now and enjoying ourselves before the new school year!
5 years from now, Special K and I will be gearing up to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary that December and hopefully have FINALLY taken our wedding honeymoon or at least have it planned that year. We still hope to make it to a cabin up north for some time together some day.
I hope to be a better wife and mother, as I know there is always room for improvement.  I want to be the best I can be both for my husband and my children.  I pray often about being what they need and being able to support them in the ways that are best for them.  My relationship with my husband is as important as my relationship with my children.  For them and for us, we need to put effort into making our marriage as strong as possible.  It's never going to be smooth sailing but that's ok...I just hope that we are there for each other for the rest of our days.  I hope that we can set the best example for them on love and security.

Sadly I'm not sure if our pups will still be with us. If they haven't crossed the rainbow bridge, then they will both be very elderly. Jackjack would be 15 and I anticipate having a lot of trouble walking because of his early onset of arthritis. Abigail would be 13 and probably still crazy and silly as ever! If they have crossed, then sadly we probably won't have any dogs in the house. I've agreed to not get any more dogs for a long time since Carmen is allergic to dogs and our schedules are just too crazy the way they are now for a new dog. I still can't imagine our home without we'll see if I can keep my promise here.

I'm sure I could go on and on about how I will have all these amazing finished knitting projects and spinning away still! I can't imagine stopping that soon as I feel I am a Knitter/Spinner with capitals...not just someone who knits and spins.

My life 5 years from now will hopefully be full of family time as it is now. I know my nieces and nephews will be off at college or off starting their after college lives but I hope we still see them all often and my sisters are still around to get together with regularly.
I hope that I have found a church home by then. I feel a bit lost without one and I miss having my church community.  I hope to continue my nightly devotionals and to grow in my faith and share this faith with my girls.  I feel it's so important that they grow up with a church home and I need to start taking the steps to make this happen.

Well...hope you enjoyed this's not what I envisioned for it but I think I wanted to make it bigger than it is at this moment.

Happy Blogging! 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?How often do you think about your 5 year plan?


This Moment: TogethernessOpen in a New Window

{this moment} – A Friday ritual from Soule Mama.  A single photo (or several)  – no words – capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special, extraordinary moment.  A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.  If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your “moment” in the comments for all to find and see.

Happy Friday!!

What's your favorite moment(s) from this week?  Yes, I know I cheated with the last one but I love when Google+ makes these gif files from my pictures!  And this one is cute!!  My silly family!


All about the puppies: my furbabies update.Open in a New Window

The pups...Jackjack and Abigail are doing good! They are adjusting to their new life with 2 sisters well. They love their sister Carmen and are enjoying the baby sniffs they get. Here are some of my favorite recent pictures of my 2 furbabies! Hope you enjoy! I know once I had Carmen they stopped showing up on the blog as much but we are going to work on bringing them back into a Thursday post.

That last picture is a rarity! We had to throw out Abby's bed and this was before we got her a new one. They now have their own beds again and all are happy. Jackjack doesn't like being THAT close to this sister. :) Love these pups! Happy Thursday!

How are your puppies/kitties/pets doing?


Maria Anne 3 months!Open in a New Window

Happy 3 months old  to Miss Maria Anne...

Weight: No apt until next I'm guessing 14 lbs?
Diapers: Size 2s
Clothes: quickly growing out of every 3 month outfit we have and fitting well in 6 month clothes!
Favorite toy: her loveys (One at daycare and one at home)
Favorite activity: Bath time wins out over anything right now!
Sleep: She is sleeping through the night and has been for about a month...not the sleep through the night for her age which is 6 hrs but really sleeping through the night!  She usually is asleep anywhere between 8-10 and then sleeps until 6:30ish when I wake her up!  We are still swaddling her using a SwaddleMe blanket at night only.  She naps without being swaddled but she still hasn't figured out how to calm her arms yet so I haven't put her down at night unswaddled.  It's coming though!  She also is sleeping in our room in the rock n play. 
Physical Activity:  She rolled over once!  I had to help her the last budge but she keeps trying to roll over from her back to her belly!  She's also trying to grab things.  She looks at things so intensely and you can see her trying to move her arms towards it but as of yet hasn't grabbed things on purpose.
Sounds: She has started squeaking and doing a sort of audible giggle when she's excited!  

She is such a happy baby!  I know you shouldn't compare your kids but Maria is polar opposite of her sister at this age.  She's calm, pleasant, and just generally fusses when she needs something.  It's always pretty easy to calm her and she likes to just hang out and watch what your doing.  She also has the greatest cheeks that are so kissable!  So thankful she picked me to be her momma!
Happy 3 Months!!

Don't you just love her barknknit onsie?!?!


Knitting: hexipuffin, cotton, and moreOpen in a New Window

There was little time for knitting in the past couple months since Maria was born, however, thankfully that has changed!  For the first couple months all I   managed to knit was a couple hexipuffs...but I didn't really start knitting again until I went back to work.

Best knitting time right now is during lunch and during my pump breaks! :) Hands-free pump bra makes pumping so much better by allowing me to knit a couple rows and ignore the fact that I'm stuck in a room pumping.  Not a fan of the whole pumping thing...but we'll talk about that another day. It's all worth it though and knitting, and Netflix or HBOGo make it easier.

When I first started my leave, I was able to finish a couple things.  I finished up the pair of Spring Forward socks for Carmen and Maria's Grant Robin!  I also knit a cute pair of matching toddler socks for Maria!
My latest new project I started recently is a Little Abbey top in some cotton I bought at a local yarn shop for $1 a skein!!  It's coming out great!  I'm hoping to have enough yarn to knit Maria one too but this one is a 2T one for Carmen.  I thought I'd maybe knit the 4T but she's so little still that wouldn't fit her for ages!  Hoping this one fits well enough.  I already tried it over her head and it fit well.
I have a lot of things as usual I want to cast on but for now I am hoping to finish this soon and cast on matching one for Maria.  I hope to resist the startitis I seem to e suffering from until things start fitting into the house cup.  I am still hoping to get our family stockings done this year...or at least the girl's done!  Here's hoping!!

Happy Knitting!

What projects are you working on?


52 Weeks of Blogging with a Purpose: What I live forOpen in a New Window

1 my daughters...they are my life, my air, my everything!  Love these two girls with all my heart.
2 my hubby...I wouldn't have my girls without him, our house would be lost without him.  We have our disagreements but even when I am mad at him I still want him around.
3 my family...I am not sure what I would do without my sisters, brothers, father, nieces, nephews, in-laws, and the rest of my family.  I couldn't possibly ask for a more support group of people!  They are always there to do what they can in time of need!
4 my friends...I may not always have time for them and we don't always get a chance to talk or hang out as much as I'd like, I am so grateful to have such good friends in my life that I have met over the years.
5 Jackjack and Abigail Grace...these 2 pups, who found me when they needed a home and love, are my furbabies!  It started out just me and ole Jackjack, who was so skinny and was on his last couple days at the pound.  He has taught me so much and has always been happy to see me.  Abbygirl had a rough start to life but she found Jackjack and me and we taught her about being a family.  Their lives have changes over the years as our family grew but I live for them.
6 a knitter, you need yarn and I love my stash and in an emergency I would probably grab some as I ran out of the house.  After making sure my girls and dogs are safe first!
7 wool fiber...I love the smell of wool...yes I said it...I like the smell of sheep!  I like to spin it and play with it and generally spend time with fiber!
8 beach/pool...I have always lived close to the beach.  Even in San Fran where it was way too cold to go in...I enjoyed being around the water.  I like to hang out and listen to the waves and now that I am older watch my girl play in the sand.
9 vacation could anyone not live for vacations!  A maternity leave is no vacation even though you don't have to work it is a lot of work!  I live for having time off with my family and traveling! 
10 holidays especially CHRISTmas...along with vacations comes holidays!  I love them!  Time celebrating together with family!  I love that!  I especially love all the CHRISTmas festivities and decorations, songs, food, and the meaning of the season!

What do you live for? What could you not live without?


52 Weeks of Blogging with a Purpose: Who I amOpen in a New Window

One of my favorite bloggers is starting a blogging journal topic for her Show and Tell Link Up that is 52 Weeks of Blogging with a Purpose.  This hit me as something that was exactly what I needed to get back to sharing my thoughts on this blog.  I'm joining it a week late so I'm going to post the first week's topic today to catch up.  Hope you enjoy!

Who I Am:

a daughter...I am a daughter to a very important man in my life.  My dad has helped define who I am in so many ways.  His decisions in his life effected me as I grew up and I learned from them and grew into the person I am today.  He has always had good advice for me in his way of saying things but growing up with him I've learned how to understand his words.  He is dear to me and I'm so thankful I'm his daughter.  Being my mother's daughter, even though she passed away when I was 6 years old, defined who I am.  Her memory is strong even though I was only 6 when she passed...she lives in me and my sisters and the stories people share about her life and who she was.  I feel her guiding me as I was growing up and become the woman I am today.  Her spirit is still guiding me and with me today.

a sister...I am a sister to 5 sisters and 2 brothers.  Being a sister to so many has taught me so much about my life and having them in my life is so important.  I'm the youngest so I often times am being mothered by them but that is I know they love me.  I am not sure who I would be without my sisters and brothers.  They are the best gifts my parents could have ever given me!

a wife...I am a wife to an amazing man.  He is my rock and my home.  We are both stubborn and our marriage is Ben Afleck said in his recent Oscar acceptance speech...marriage is a lot of work...but that work is so rewarding and so worth every ounce of effort.  I often tell him how happy I am that he is my husband and that we have the most amazing 2 girls in the world together.  I'm thankful that we found each other and are doing our best to love, honor, and cherish each other.

a mother...Becoming a mom for the first and now the 2nd time, changed me in so many ways I don't even know where to begin. I think this is the biggest part of who I am today.  It's the most rewarding and hardest thing about who I am.  Someone once said that having children is like taking a part of your heart and letting it out in the world and I never understood this until the day I had Carmen.  It's amazing how much love you can feel instantly for this little person that spent 9 months in you and now is in your arms.  As this little person grows into a toddler, it's amazing how every day they learn something new and your heart just grows even more.  Having my toddler squeal with happiness and call me Mommy when she sees me and my newborn smile a big smile at me...melts my heart into mush.  I am blessed that they chose me to be their mom and I just hope that I do the best I can for them.

and lastly...a knitter/spinner...My knitting is always close by me and something that helps me balance my mind.  I may live in a warm climate but the craft of knitting and playing with fiber is such a big part of who I am as a person too.

How would you define who you are?


Catching up: Sister together!Open in a New Window

And we'll round out the iPhone photo dump with pictures of the girls together!  Love these!

And again...try to pick your favorite? Love these girls!


Catching up: Toddler world!Open in a New Window

And now for Carmen's turn...

Now try to pick a favorite of these? Just wait until next blog post with the girls will be the hardest then!


And we're back! Introducing our little addition...Open in a New Window

After having Carmen it took me a while to get back to knitting, blogging, and the things I do for fun.  I was hoping that this time after having Maria, it wouldn't take me so long to get back but boy was I mistaken!  Having a toddler and a newborn keeps you busy...but I'll get to that soon enough.  The past 3 month hiatus from the blog has been full of things I have wanted to share with my readers but I just haven't had a chance to write it all down.  I have written many posts in my head and hope to be able to get most of it out on here soon.  Bare with me as I find a way to organize my thoughts and posts into something semi-coherent!

My main trouble with coming back was where do I start?  I've sat down to write several times and I just end up with a blank page, time passing, and ending up frustrated.  So much I want to share but no real first thing first a plan!  I've started to work on organizing my weekly posts so that I have a plan for the week and set goals.  I am not going to share it all with you now but just look for that soon!  Next was what should be my first post?  After some thought, I figured let's start with pictures!!  So I'm going to post 3 picture heavy posts to get all the cuteness I have locked up in my iPhone onto the blog to share with you in pictures our life the last 3 months.  Then we'll get back to words.

And so it' begins...since I'm sure most of you, who aren't friends with me on Facebook or follow me on instagram or twitter, are eager to meet the new addition to the Barknknit family...we are going to start with pictures of our newest member!

Welcome Miss Maria Anne!  She arrived at 5:50 am on March 26th and weighed 7lbs 11oz.  She is so precious and such a cuddle bug! You'll hear more about her birth and her in future posts but she is growing fast!! Much faster than I can keep track of!

Our first picture with Maria!

more pictures...
All I can say is I can't get enough of her! Hope you enjoyed these pictures! Happy Blogging!!!

I challenge you to pick a favorite picture of Maria from her first 3 months?  I know I can't!  There are too many great ones!


Baby Bump: 37 week Update!Open in a New Window

Not going to apologize for the little hiatus...explanation is in the post! Hope you enjoy and will hopefully be posting some more soon!! :) Have some knitting and lots of pictures to share!
Week: 37 weeks and 2 days.  Any day now!!!
Weight gain: 47 lbs so far...which is WAY more than I gained with Carmen. 
Baby's sex: Team Pink!  
Baby's name: Been decided but not announcing until after birth!  Per Daddy. :)
Sleep: This has been tough.  My hips go numb in the night and rolling over is a chore.  I usually end up catching up on sleep throughout the day as night time is not always successful for me.
Movements:  She is losing a lot of her room so the movements are different, however, she moves a lot.  When we were in the hospital the first time with pre-term labor at 35 wks, I could tell a contraction was coming because she would kick right before it started.  
Labor Signs:  Where do I begin...on March 7th I was at work and I had been feeling contractions since the night before.  After lunch I finally started to time them and they were coming every 2-5 mins.  I called the OB and she said that I should go into the hospital triage.  At this point, I was overwhelmed with that idea and started to cry.  I called my sister who was leaving work at this point and she told me she'd meet me at home and take me in and to calm down.  I texted Kenny at work and told him to stay there but that I was going to go in with my sister to triage to be monitored.  When we finally got into triage that afternoon, the contractions were every 2-3 minutes.  They checked me and I was 1 cm dialated.  At this point, they decided to monitor me for an hour and see if the contractions slowed or if I was progressing.  The hour came and they checked me and the contractions had not slowed and I was 2 cm.  They decided to give me a shot to slow the labor and it was supposed to last 45 and hopefully slow them enough but they only slowed to 4 mins apart and once the 45 mins were up they came right back at 2-3 minutes apart.  After that didn't work, they decided to try a pill.  They would load me up on the pill by giving me one pill every 10 mins for 30 mins and then it would take another 30 for them to work...let's just say that did NOTHING!  So, the nurse said she would wait until 9 pm and check me again...if I was progressing still I would most likely be admitted.  We waited, she came and checked, and I was 3 cms at this point.  So, I was given an IV and moved into a labor & delivery room. that was most the excitement for the night.  My other sister went to the house to stay with little miss CGR, who had been put to bed by her daddy, and her daddy came and joined us.  The plan was not to help things along and just to see how the night went.  The nurse had warned that the IV may slow the contractions and they did.  Once I was able to rest in the l&d room, my contractions started to slow throughout the night.  When the doctor came in the morning and checked me, I was still a 3 and was sent home on pre-term labor precautions.  At almost 36 weeks, it was too late for bed rest but she said not to do anything to provoke the contractions and to rest as much as possible.  To make an already long story shorter, I have since gone back one night with painful contractions but weren't progressing me.  I've been on maternity leave since March 8th and just resting and trying to keep this baby in as long as possible.  We've hit 37 weeks so it's time. 

Operation walk this baby out has started and I am really hoping that things progress soon but now that I'm not working, I fear I will still be pregnant April 9th on my due date.  We'll see.  I'm having regular contractions, lots of pain, but nothing that would count as labor yet.  

Maternity Clothes: If it's not maternity then it's my husbands t-shirts and something very comfortable!
Big Sister Carmen: She has been a trooper!  I'm usually the one who gives her a bath and does a lot with her but since I've not been able to, others and her daddy have taken over.  I can tell she's noticed as she is a bit more of a momma's girl than normal.  She gives the baby lots of hugs and kisses and I even have her asking the baby to come out and play. :)  My daycare was closed yesterday so she stayed home with me and it was tough but we did it.  She didn't nap and I was super sore at the end of the day but we had a good time and lots of cuddles, fun, and play were had.  Love my big girl!

Past couple weeks: With being home now, I'm still exhausted all the time but not as bad as I was when I was working.  My body is tired and sore most the time but I've been focusing on knitting, resting, and my family and that has helped.  Baby will come when she's ready...but we are ready for her.
Doctor's Visit:  Had a doctor's visit today.  We are on every wed I have one.  The doctor today was distracted as there was another pregnant lady being sent to hospital from their office.  All my vitals were great and baby's heartbeat strong.  She checked me and I'm still 3 cm so she said just hang in there.  She mentioned we could talk induction if I get to 39 weeks but I'm not ok with that.  As much as I want to be done, I also want this girl coming when she's if we go past 40 weeks...then I'll be more open to induction.  They did an u/s at last apt and baby was already measuring 7lb 4oz but as the doctor reminded me several times, that guess is usually wrong and I should not worry about delivering a huge baby.  And that she is confident I can get through this.  That helped.
Next Doctor's Visit: Next wednesday the 27th...hoping not to make it that far but the apt is there. 
Looking forward to: Being comfortable again.  Holding this baby girl.  Carmen meeting her sibling! (Same as 2 weeks ago but it's the truth!)
Todos: Other than go into labor, rest, still need to sort through Carmen's clothes and everything else is done!
Overall, I am trying to focus on the positives!  Just take things one day at a time and know that God has a plan for me and this baby.  God knows this baby's birthday and when it's time he'll let me know.  I have faith that everything is going as he planned it and I'm putting my full trust in his plan.  Reminding myself often that he has perfect timing and he has had his hand in everything about this pregnancy and just trusting that.

Thanks for reading another baby bump update!!

Happy Wednesday!  
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