Shiny new web site

I’m so excited to share that my business has a new web site. It was one of my goals this year to have a more professional looking web presence and I actually made it happen! I built it with Virb, which I found to be incredibly well-designed and easy to use. Thanks, Sarah, for the tip. 

You can check it out by going to marymarieknits.com.

Free cowl pattern

Earlier this year I designed a big chunky cowl that I thought I might sell when it started to get cold again. I’m still not sure if I have time to make them to sell, but I LOVE how the cowl turned out. I wrote up the pattern and posted it on Goodsmiths if you want to try it out.

Passing on toys from childhood

While we were in Denver my mom brought out a bunch of toys, clothes and books from when Megan and I were little. Of course it was very sentimental stuff, so I took some of it home with me, including this bag that used to hold wooden blocks.

Blocks have become a lot softer and squeakier since I was a kid, but it’s nice to keep them in something so sweet. I love thinking of someone hand stitching those letters to the bag.

6 months

Half a year, wow.

As Mike and I were putting Harper in her high chair for the first time and removing the car seat attachment from her stroller, we both sort of looked at each other like “I can’t believe this is happening.” Six months definitely feels like a time of transition. Onto sitting up, rolling over, solid foods. And while I certainly don’t have any desire to return to the stress of her early babyhood, I feel a little bit like I’m not ready to move on yet. But she is, so we move on.

This month we learned that Harper can roll over. But luckily for me she doesn’t have much interest in it. It’s great to see her pushing up and sitting up more, though she’s still pretty tippy.

Still no teeth. I think I can see the bottom two right under the surface of her gums, so they’ll probably pop through soon.

We’ve had fun figuring out what makes her giggle. Sometimes it’s a barrage of kisses, sometimes clapping, sometimes her toy dog.

Though she has a million toys, her favorite objects seem to be everyday things, especially crinkly wrappers or empty water bottles.


This is what you call excellent parenting. 

If five months was the month of upheaval, six months has been one of leveling out. We did some sleep training, which got her back to almost sleeping through the night. With travel and what seems like a growth spurt, she still wakes up one extra time most nights, but we can live with that. It’s funny what constitutes a good night’s sleep nowadays.

This month has given me some perspective on last month. Basically I know now that I am not a person who can live on long-term sleep deprivation and stay sane. I have to do some things to take care of myself so that I can be a good mom. There has been a lot of discussion on my moms email group about nurturing relationships while you have young children, and it’s been nice to read the suggestions for that too. I think we’re getting closer to a point of comfort in leaving Harper a little longer with someone else.

When I am finally (relatively) well-rested, I can really enjoy the time we get to spend together. These are days full of bouncing, jingling, drooling, chewing, babbling, giggling, eating and sleeping. They are full of ups and downs — bored to tears of the same toys one minute, stressed with a screamer the next minute. But I still can’t imagine being anywhere else than with my girl as she grows up.

The other day I found this photo of her from when she was really little.

I couldn’t believe how much darker her hair was then. It’s gone through every color — light brown, red, auburn — and now it’s sort of strawberry blond.

She’s cute as a button and such a charmer. I can’t wait to see what the next month will bring.

Body after baby

Now that Harper is 6 months old and starting solids, and my breastfeeding load is lightening, I think it’s time to focus on losing the baby weight. Honestly, I haven’t tried at all, so I think any effort would be helpful at this point. I have really enjoyed all the indulgences, but I’m feeling tired of carrying around the extra weight and eager to get back into all the clothes I used to wear.

I gained 43 pounds with the pregnancy. I was on track to gain about 35, but the last month was just nuts. With all the stress of the first month after Harper was born, I pretty quickly lost 30 of those pounds. But then I basically stayed there, and maybe even gained back a couple pounds.


“Mom, let’s do this thing.”

When you know you’re supposed to be eating extra calories for breastfeeding, it’s kind of confusing to know what and how much to eat. I couldn’t do the cleanse I normally do every January, so I missed out on my “jump start” this year. Then when everyone in my moms group went back to work, my exercise routine kind of died down, too.

My body has definitely changed post-pregnancy. I can feel my ab separation (creepy!) so I have that pooch that makes me look like I’m still pregnant. I totally see why you would look pregnant sooner the second time around. And speaking of that, why bother trying to fix the separation if you’re just gonna have more kids in the near future? I think the only goal that makes sense is just overall weight loss. And maybe trying to get some core strength back.


Feeling too much like a ‘before’ picture.

So here’s my plan to revive some healthy habits:

• Try to focus on eating healthy during the week and save splurges for weekends. I still need some extra calories so I don’t need to be super strict. But I think this is a very practical way to cut back on excess.

• Eliminate daily desserts. The sugar is always what gets me stuck in the overeating cycle. I’ve already cut back some and I can tell a difference.

• Watch portion control. I’ve allowed myself a lot of seconds during the eating-for-two phase, but I think I need to be done with that.

• Try to add more fruits/veggies and drink some green juice. I’ve been buying some green juices, but I think I might get a Nutribullet. I love my juicer, but it’s a pain to clean, and our blender isn’t strong enough to pulverize the greens.

• Review my old recipes. I learned a lot from doing cleanses before, so I have a pretty good resource in my own blog. I’ve been looking back at my nutrition posts, and finding some inspiration there.

• Switch the emphasis on meal planning from easy to healthy. Of course, anything I make still has to be relatively easy. But how I eat during the week all starts with planning and shopping. I’ve been trying to buy more healthy snacks too (hummus, trail mix, whole wheat fig bars and the like) so I always have good choices around me.

• Bring back my exercise grid. I kind of dropped this once I got mired in morning sickness, but it worked wonders for me before. I just check off boxes for the equivalent of 30 minutes of exercise each day.

• Set up the bike trainer in the basement. This way I have a built-in exercise machine I can use anytime.


The grid doesn’t lie.

• Invite moms to walk with me. There are still a few of us home all or part-time, so I need to take some initiative in getting us together.

• Dare I say try running again? It sounds weirdly appealing. I think it’s the “me time” aspect. Hey, whatever gets you to run.

• Find a yoga or pilates class to take occasionally. Money is tight with Mike taking Fridays off, but I think it would be worth the investment to take some classes.

So I think between all those things I ought to at least be able to shed the 13 pounds, and maybe eventually more. I know sleep is key to getting your weight under control, and that’s always a factor with a baby, but we’re making progress.

Loving: Ikea kids stuff

The other day we went to Ikea to get Harper a high chair. I couldn’t help but notice how adorable all the toys in the kids section were. And so cheap! (Isn’t that what you always say until you get to the checkout line?)

I know her grandpa already has his eye on the play kitchen, but I have a feeling we’ll be filling a cart with some of these other toys when she gets a little older.

1. Children’s tent, $19.99
I bet that pays for itself over and over.
2. Market stand, $14.99
Lemonade stand/puppet theatre? Yes!
3. Easel, $14.99
This plus a $5 paper roll seems like it could be hours and hours of fun.
4. Small Poang chair, $29.99
Every time I see this in the store I want it. We have the big one, too.
5. Doll furniture, $12.99
Everything in miniature. So cute.
6. Swivel chair, $89.99
A little pricey, but I’m sure it beats designer versions.
7. Mini kitchen, $99.99
Any child of ours must know how to cook, so she might as well start practicing!
8. Doll bed with linens, $19.99
I have to admit, I kind of want this for myself.
9. Table and 2 chairs, $19.99
I can’t imagine kids treat their furniture well, so that’s about what you want to pay for a tiny set.

Mile-high fun with the family

Now that my dad, stepmom, sister and uncle all live in Denver, we thought we would make a trip out there to visit them. I love Colorado in the summertime. It’s definitely warmer than it is here, but still cooler than some of the other places we’ve lived. So it was a nice change of pace.


Dad played guitar for Harper. She loves it. 

Plus, we had all those extra arms to hold Harper and keep her entertained. Now that was a vacation!


Fun times with great-uncle Steve. He always knows how to get a kid to laugh.

The first night Megan took us out for a dinner at this quirky bar in Broomfield called The Old Man. We were a little skeptical at first — we all got carded but there were lots of kids playing outside in back. Family place or party bar? But once we got our food we were totally won over.

They specialize in heaping plates of barbecue. We tried brisket and pulled pork. But the best part was the appetizer — tater tots smothered in green chili.


Totally weird and totally awesome.

While we were in Denver we also checked out the mile-high flea market and took Harper to the pool in my dad’s development.

The little boat thing was a spontaneous purchase, but it totally worked. Plus it folds up small enough to fit in a suitcase.

We attempted to take a family photo. Harper was pretty tired and cranky by that point, but we tried to make it work.

I like this outtake.

We also wanted to give ourselves a Boulder day, so we all gathered for breakfast at the Buff.

You know you’re in a college town when you can get a mimosa for $1!

Harper showed off her present from auntie Megan, an “I dance for cupcakes” onesie from Tee and Cakes. (Later we stopped there for dessert and coffee — still amazing).

We did our little knitwear photo shoot on Pearl Street. Harper helped.

They had so many pretty flowers. It was the perfect backdrop for photos.

I’m glad to see it’s still such a fun place to hang out, shop, eat, watch street performers.

On our last day in Colorado, Mike and I decided we needed a little time to ourselves so we left the baby with her grandparents and drove up Boulder canyon.

We spotted some climbers, little dots on the side of a mountain.

Unfortunately Boulder Falls was closed due to falling rocks. I would have loved to hike down there, but not badly enough to risk getting hit by a rock.

So we just kept driving, up to Nederland and then back to Denver the long way. It was so nice and quiet back there. Almost no other cars.

It’s really hard to find anywhere that isn’t crowded where we live, so this was really relaxing.

It was so great to see everyone. I didn’t get photos of this, but we also got together with old friends one night. Wish we could have stayed longer, but now we’re back to reality!

New knits for fall

Even though the seasons don’t change much around here, I am finding myself so ready for fall. Bring on the sweaters and football!

I have just added some new products to my Etsy shop that will be perfect come colder weather.

Super chunky knit cowls

Reversible slouch hats

Lightweight fingerless gloves

I’ve also started offering my most popular sized pouf, the extra large (approximately 18×13 inches), in a thicker knit that resembles my rope poufs.

It comes stuffed with foam, but if you go with the stuff-it-yourself option, it looks like this.

I also have been at work for a long time on a homemade yarn that resembles the rope. I love the look of the rope, but need a more consistent, higher-quality product. I think I have finally figured out how to do it, and hopefully soon I will be able to start replacing some items with that yarn.

So my shop is kind of in transition right now, but I’m really excited for new products and what’s yet to come.

Miss Harper has been helping model my baby legwarmers.

It’s fun to watch her keep growing into the next size. And thanks to my lovely sister Megan for modeling my other knit products. She sure makes them look good!

Bits and bobs from July

I know people always say this, but how the heck did it get to be August already? I have a bunch of photos to post from our trip, but I wanted to post the rest from the month of July before I do that.

Mike and I had our first date afternoon without the baby, which was really nice. His coworker watched Harper while we had lunch, ice cream, and went to a museum. We ate at Burma Superstar in Temescal, which was a lot less crowded in the afternoon than it normally is. We shared a rainbow salad, which is a mix of too many things to mention, but pretty tasty. They toss it all together at the table for you.

Then we walked down the street and got ice cream from Tara’s. I got the carrot cake, super yum.

I’m getting more and more used to the idea of leaving Harper with someone else, so I think there are more dates in our future. Hooray!

This is random, but I just noticed that on the back of our coffee bean bag there are these little notes about women’s roles in the company. Good to know.

I’ve been playing around with some new apps. I really like Over for adding words to your photos.

And speaking of berries, have you ever seen sunshine raspberries? I saw one package at the store and had to get them. They’re really good.

And finally, I had to share this picture of all the babies at my recent moms gathering. This is probably the last time they’ll sit still long enough for us to put them in a neat circle.