Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pattern Testers

As I've been writing more and more patterns lately, I need people to test them.  I want to make sure my patterns are readable and accurate before sharing them (or selling them - when I feel they're up to par).  Not to worry, though, all of my fan designs will remain freely available here.

If you are interested in testing patterns for me, please send an email to raising.ganon[at]gmail.com with "Pattern Tester" in the subject.  Also tell me if you would like to test patterns for knitting, crochet, or both.


Monday, August 30, 2010


At the end of last week, Ganon had an appointment with the nutritionist.  Honestly, these sorts of appointments are more for me than him, as he eats nothing but breast milk!  More importantly, they weighed and measured him again - 12lb 12oz and 23.5 inches!  Such a far cry from how tiny he was when he was born!  They plugged the numbers into the computer - he is between the 85th and 95th percentile for height (after accounting for his prematurity), and 50th percentile for weight to height as well as head circumference.  Between that and a nice quiz on my own dietary habits, they determined that he is doing quite well and no changes need to be made.

His incredible height does explain why his 3mo size clothes look baggy, but are getting too short, depending on the brand.  I wonder why baby clothes aren't standardized like men's clothing, instead of arbitrary sizing like women's clothes.  Some of Ganon's 3mo size clothes are still a bit large on him, while he has two 6mo size outfits that are too small already!  It's a conundrum trying to determine which clothes need to be brought out of storage (before they're too small). 

As he grows, he also sleeps for longer stretches at night (4-5 hours at a time!)... but this also means he does not want to nap during the day.  He used to sleep for an hour after eating, be awake for half an hour or so, then sleep more until his next feeding.  Now he eats, burps, and wants to play.  An hour later, he is tired and cranky, but not wanting to sleep, so I have to break out the Happiest Baby On the Block skills and get him down.  He sleeps for an hour or two, then wakes up for a bit of play before he gets hungry again.  My mother claims I stopped napping at 3 months old, on the day I started sleeping through the night.  Accounting for 20-some years of fuzzy memory and exaggeration, I don't doubt that Ganon will stop napping all too soon... but I have solid nights to look forward to!

Thursday, August 26, 2010


I am plagued by nightmares.  I have been since the night my son was born.  They range in theme and terror level, but they all disturb my oh-so-precious sleep.

A recurring theme is that I will awaken in the night to find my baby not breathing.  True SIDS.  I know infant CPR, and I use a co-sleeper bassinet, so I know there is nothing more I could possibly do to prevent or prepare for such an occurrence, but the fear still nags at the back of my mind - even when Ganon is napping.

When I first brought Ganon home, every night I would have a nightmare about his birth.  I would dream that we were just a few hours too late with the C-Section, and he didn't make it.  I would dream that I had given birth the natural way, and had somehow caused his death.  I would dream that for some unknown reason that he had died, and I had gone crazy and stolen someone else's baby.  I would dream that he had somehow been switched at birth, so he wasn't my son, and my son was out there somewhere being raised by someone else.  I didn't get a whole lot of sleep the first couple of weeks, so these nightmares were thankfully short, though no less disturbing.

Then there's the typical "I left the baby _____" dreams that started during pregnancy.  That I left the baby at the store, or in the car, or at home when I left the house.  This one was the least bothersome for me, since Ganon was mere inches from me while I slept.

The worst nightmares, and one of the ones I still have, are centered around a custody battle, where my ex is granted full custody of my son, and my baby is literally ripped from my arms in the courtroom, and there is nothing I can do about it.  I think this is still my biggest fear - losing my son through an unpreventable means.  Is that every mother's fear?  Does it ever go away?

I always kept my baby close.  A little bit out of fear, mostly out of love, but also because his presence comforted me.  Holding him in my arms, especially nursing him, would fill me with such warmth, such pure love that any fears or doubts were instantly washed away and I was left with nothing but serene peace.

After a few weeks, the nightmares dwindled from each time I slept to less than once a week, but they were definitely one of the hardest parts about adjusting to having a new baby, to being responsible for this tiny, fragile life.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Sheikah Scarf

As you may have guessed, I have an inordinate love for the Zelda series of video games.  The Legend of Zelda was the second video game I ever played (after Mario Bros.).  I love the pseudo-fantasy storylines, and the classic theme of rescuing a princess.  When I was a small child, I also loved the fact that all of the characters in the manual art had hair in front of their ears - I had the same but didn't know anyone else who did.

At this point, I would normally put a spoiler alert, but if you haven't played through Ocarina of Time yet, you have no right to complain about things being spoiled.

As a teenager, I was impressed and empowered by the "damsel in distress" Zelda dressing as Sheik and helping in the fight against Ganondorf.  My favorite color being blue, I also liked Sheik's costume.  Now, I would never wear a tabard or mask (outside of costumes, of course), but I would wear a scarf!  So I designed the Sheikah Scarf:

This scarf is long enough to be wrapped around the head/face several times, and still fall to the low chest, shown here folded.

Gauge is not important for this project.  The final scarf will measure approximately 8 inches wide.  If you want a wider scarf, cast on additional stitches and work them in the center part of the scarf.

Using size 10 needles and white worsted weight yarn,
Cast on 35 stitches

Row 1: Knit across.
Row 2: Slip one stitch purlwise, then purl to the end of the row.
Row 3: Slip one stitch, then knit to the end of the row.
Row 4: Slip one stitch, then knit to the end of the row.
Row 5: Slip one stitch, knit 1, purl 1, knit to the last 3 stitches, purl 1, knit 2
Row 6: Slip one stitch purlwise, purl 1, knit 1, purl to the last 3 stitches, knit 1, purl 2
Row 7: Sl, K1, P1, K to last 3 sts, P1, K2
Row 8: Sl/P, P1, K1, P to last 3 sts, K1, P2

repeat rows 7 and 8 until scarf measures 6 feet.
repeat row 7.

Row 9: Sl, K across
Row 10: Sl, K across
Row 11: Sl/P, P across
Row 12: Sl, K across
Bind off.

Use duplicate stitch to embroider the following chart to one or both ends of the scarf:
The chart should be centered, and the bottom of the chart should end approximately 2" from the end of the scarf.

Zelda and all related concepts and designs are copyright Nintendo, pattern copyright Ganon's Mom, feel free to share with credit, do not sell this pattern.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Sometimes at night, when everyone is asleep, I turn off all the lights, curl up under the bed covers, and I weep.

I weep for the birth I never had.  I weep for my son, who does not yet know his father.  I weep for all the things I wanted him to experience, that I never did without a father around.  I weep for all the things I experienced and he won't, because my father was close enough for occasional visits.  I weep for the life I wanted my son to have.  I weep for the life I wanted for myself.  I weep because part of me still seeks my mother's approval.  I weep for my inadequacies.  I weep for the love I still feel but can never express.  I weep for the heartache that I can never share.

When I am done crying, when I have let out all the pent-up emotions of the previous days or weeks, I pick up my son, my little Ganon.  I hold him in my arms and smile.  He smells faintly of his father, but mostly of that new baby smell (there really is no other way to describe it).  He is warm and he smiles in his sleep when I hold him in my arms. 

I rock him and kiss his forehead.  I smile down at him and sing his favorite lullabies.  My whole world revolves around him.  He is my life, and life is good.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Weight Gain

When I was pregnant, one of my biggest concerns was weight gain.  At each pre-natal doctor's appointment, I would provide a urine sample and hop on the scale, only to be berated again and again as my weight continued to drop.  I was eating almost nonstop, having gotten over my morning sickness by the third month (but even now, I still love dill pickles dipped in honey...), I was exercising less (as my hips became more and more sore), but I just couldn't seem to gain weight.  Granted, my diet had changed considerably (from mostly junk to no junk at all) and I had put on almost 30 pounds in the months before conception (but that's a story for another day).

For seven months, my heart dropped with the numbers on the scale.  I feared for my baby - was he getting all the nutrients he needed if I was losing weight?  But repeated ultrasounds showed good development and slightly faster than average growth.

Then I hit 7 months and my weight stabilized... and began to slowly climb.  Then it began to climb faster.  Then there were traces of protein in my urine, and I began to retain water...  all warning signs of pre-eclampsia.  Thankfully, my blood pressure was holding steady within the normal range.  All in all, I had a net loss of four pounds.

After the C-Section, my blood pressure was abnormally high (just another sign that my baby was coming that night one way or another!), but it returned to normal before I left the hospital. 

Thankfully, I am still below my pre-pregnancy weight; but I am left to wonder: how long will it last?  It seems the more I exercise, the more weight (and inches) I gain... Is pregnancy the only way my body is able to shed pounds?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Little Things

It really is about the little things...

licking the lid after opening your pudding...

bright red sunsets...

rainbow dawns...

when you walk into a room and your baby smiles at you.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Recessive Genes

When my son was born, he had a head full of curly, dark red hair and black eyes.  Over the first week of his life, his eyes quickly lightened to a shade of dusky blue.  Since then, most of his hair has fallen out, only to be replaced by blonde... and his eyes have only lightened further. 

His father and I both have dark brown hair, his eyes are brown, and mine are brown and green. 

Where did the blonde hair and blue eyes come from!?

I don't know much about the father's family, but the only person with blue eyes in my entire family was my mother's paternal grandmother, and the only blonde hair was in my grandmother's tow-headed childhood.  With odds like those, I think this boy will be a lucky one!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Two months.

Today, my son turns two months old.

In some ways, it seems like only yesterday that he was born.  At other times, it feels like it's been years.

I have finally come to terms with all that happened that night, and how my little miracle was very nearly a tragedy.  Now, all I can do is look at his darling little face and smile.  He is my beautiful boy, my Ganon.