Numb.

Fingers, that is.

I’ve been struggling all week with numbness in my hand/fingers from holding my cross-stitching pattern. I use my right hand to stitch while my left hand holds the fabric.  My elbow is bent at greater than 90 degrees, so I’m sure I am compressing my ulnar nerve.

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First world problems, I know.

The time has come, I think, to purchase something that allows me the freedom not to use my left hand to hold the fabric for hours at a time.  After several days of research, I decided to purchase a lap stand. I’m not exactly sure how it’s going to work, but in theory it should allow me to rest my left hand since I won’t be using it to hold the fabric.

And the beast that has driven me to purchase this?

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A Welcome Reprieve

Family medicine is great. Earlier in the week I was completely slammed, double booked almost every hour. This morning two people no-showed and I have cleared my inbox in record time.  I’ve paid the office bills that piled up on my desk all week, I’ve already had two coffees and am feeling the caffeine buzz.  The phones at the front desk are pretty quiet.

The calm before the storm?

You betcha!

Mornings like this are nice especially when they follow a couple of crazy weeks of non-stop patients. It gives me time to reflect and regroup. It also makes me wish I had my cross-stitching tucked away in my desk. I have several projects on the go and being able to work on something while at the office would be great, especially on days like today when I have done all the work I can do and am just waiting for patients to show up.

I started cross-stitching in medical school.  I was never a crafty person and can’t draw a straight line with a ruler, so this was something I was quite surprised I took to so well.  Counted cross stitching is methodical, it’s relatively easy to learn and hard to mess up.  Having said that, on more than one occasion I have miscounted my stitches and while it can be really frustrating at the time, for the most part it is a relaxing and meditative hobby that I absolutely love.  When I haven’t had an opportunity to stitch I get cranky and irritable.  So at times like this, when the office is unusually quiet, I really wish I had my hobby to go to.

Thursday Thirty.

Thirty things I love.

1. Myself.
2. My husband
3. My children
4. My parents and brother
5. My friends
6. My cat
7. Running
8. Chocolate
9. Cross stitching
10. Coffee
11. Wine
12. Bailey’s
13. Martinis – preferably chocolate-y and sweet
14. Steak
15. Being a doctor
16. Being respected
17. Being someone to count on
18. Being my own boss
19. My bed.
20. Chips and dip
21. Ice cold water
22. The sun
23. Baklava
24. The smell of my kids right out of the bath
25. The scale 😉
26. My Guess jeans
27. My boots
28. My nails (they are the longest now they have ever been … ever!)
29. My house
30. My life

Back to Doing What I Love.

I did something last night I haven’t done in months.

I cross-stitched.

Most of my new followers probably don’t know this, but I am an avid cross-stitcher.  I started in medical school, wanting to have a hobby of sorts.  I was staying at my girlfriend’s house for a week one summer and she is quite crafty.  She and her mom took me to a local craft store and showed me around. I saw a picture of a cat asleep on a chair and was immediately drawn to it.  It was a beginner’s cross-stitch kit.  My friend’s mom thought it was something I could learn pretty quickly, so I bought it and I’ve been stitching ever since.

That first cross stitch design was this:

It has several mistakes, the most glaring of which is the “w” and “r” in “where” and the spacing between that and “the”.  Still, not too bad for a first try.  It was the beginning of a beautiful relationship between me and cat-themed cross stitch kits.

I’ve completed eight or so kits since I started stitching back in 2002.  I currently have three works-in-progress.  I stopped stitching sometime in July, mostly because my belly was getting far too big to hold the fabric for any length of time, not to mention sitting for hours at a time was just impossible.  And of course, since the baby was born my hands have been full of him and so it’s been next to impossible to find any decent chunk of time to work on my projects.

That is, until last night.

For the past few weeks, the baby is starting to get into a more predictable sleep pattern. I put him in his crib around 5-6pm for the night.  He will usually sleep 3 hours and wake for a feed, after which I put him right back to bed.  When I go up to bed, I take him out of his room and he sleeps in the bassinet next to my bedside.  So, for a few hours every night, I am now baby-free and can cross stitch.  Yay!  I started a kit for him a few months after I found out I was pregnant.  All the kids have a birth record framed cross stitch in their rooms, which I had completed by their first birthday.  For baby J, it’s no different.

Last night, I pulled out the kit for his birth record and went to work.  I lasted about an hour.  I hold the fabric in my left hand and after about 15 minutes, my thumb, index finger and the thenar eminence all started to go numb. My hands are clearly out of shape!  I’m not kidding!  Some nights I’m holding the fabric for several hours with no issues whatsoever.  Not last night though.  My eyes also got tired pretty quickly too.

I felt the calmness come over me, which I only get with stitching. I am so glad I worked on it, even if it was for a short period of time. My mind turned off and all I thought about was which cross I was going to do next. It calms me after a stressful day at work and it centers me when I’m in doubt.

It’s what I love to do.

A Little Taste of Freedom.

Day 26. National Blog Posting Month.

So, the baby is 2+ months old.  He’s been sleeping in the buzzy chair, swing, or bassinet.  He has been spending the evenings with us asleep in the basement, in the buzzy chair, while husband and I eat dinner and watch TV.  When its time for me to go to sleep, I bring the baby upstairs with me and he sleeps in the bassinet next to my bed.

Last night, while the older two kids were getting ready for bed, baby was not settling in the buzzy chair, so I decided to try him in the crib.

OH!!  I forgot to mention — he POOPED yesterday!!!  I think it was pretty close to 2 weeks since his last poop.  It wasn’t a pooplosion, but it was a great poop.  I kinda squealed in delight!

Anyway, I digress…  So, where was I? Yes, I put baby to sleep in the crib.  I swaddled him nice and tight, lay him in the crib and placed to tightly rolled up towels on either side of him.  He fell asleep instantly and slept for almost 3 hours.  I ate my dinner, we watched a movie and I was seriously contemplating getting some cross-stitching done (haven’t touched it for almost 4 months), but he woke up and I had to nurse him.  Thwarted!  But I have to say, I was so proud of my little man for sleeping all by himself!
I did eventually bring him back to the bassinet because I was just too tired to walk the 20 feet to the nursery every 2-3 hours. I don’t think he’s ready to sleep in the crib all night just yet.  Still, if this continues, and he sleeps in the crib in the evening when the older two kids go to bed, I think I might be able to get back to my cross-stitching.

Here’s hoping I haven’t just jinxed myself – though, he is sleeping in his crib as I write this, so … we shall see.