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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Yep. It's been months.

It's that time of year again people, and it's busier than it's ever been for us.  Work is going well, but I got hurt on the job so I'm on light duty right now and rehabbing my knee.  Dante and Alex are trying to stay caught up on their school work, and I'm stressing about it (per usual).  Unexpected bills are hitting, we have all been sick, the cat was sick, and we're all working more hours than we did last year at this time, so nothing is on schedule this holiday season.  I'm sure that most of you are in the same boat, but it felt good to type that out :)

As you can see here, Alex is decorating the tree again.  This year the Sissionaries helped out but they aren't in the picture.  They are coming over for Christmas dinner this year, and will be skyping their families from our computer.  It's really bittersweet to see.  They're so happy and they catch up with their parents and siblings, and then after a while everyone gets sad and starts to cry because the call is close to ending.  Family members gather so that distant cousins and Aunts & Uncles, and grandparents, and family friends can all speak to their missionary.  I like to be a part of it. 

As you may expect, I have almost no Christmas knitting going.  This pair of socks in progress is intended for Dante, but I'm not sure if they'll be finished in time.  I don't love the way this color is transitioning at all.  I bought this on my trip to Stitches East, and I've been trying to knit the yarn from that trip so I'll feel better about spending and buying so much, lol.  This is the only project so far that has felt disappointing, but he likes the colors, so... 

I'm not sure about getting a gingerbread house baked, or anything else we usually do.  Alex doesn't want Christmas Eve meatballs this year (my tradition), and has asked for quesadillas.  I guess we're tossing out all the stuff I usually do and trying a lot of new things, so it doesn't matter if I get to all the baking or knitting or movie-watching.  It only matters that I remember the reason we celebrate the Christmas season, and that I spend time with my boys (without trying to kill them). 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

welp, summer is gone folks

First day of the 3rd grade.
I don't know how this keeps happening.  I didn't realize it had been SO LONG since my last post.  The whole summer went by!  I guess that's what happens when I'm focusing on school, and working full time, and trying to run the Primary all at the same time.  So let's see...what's new?

I'm still at work and it's great.  It's hard but it's great.  My husband is working full time at a Nissan dealership and loving it.  Dante started his senior year of high school a few weeks ago.  Senior year!!  I don't know how that happened.  It seemed at first like we'd never get here, but at the same time it feels like I just had him.  It's a strange time warp.  Alex started 3rd grade and is doing wonderfully now that his accommodations are in place.  The small changes made by the 504 have been a huge help.  Also, it doesn't hurt that there's a new, more seasoned teacher and a new principal as well.  I like them both much better than the combo we had last year. 

The Primary is flowing nicely and thankfully, all of the people we lost over the summer have returned so we're better staffed.  My kids are almost ready for a rip to the temple and we're all pretty excited about it.  They've been working very hard at improving their behavior each week and I think they're just about ready.  We have a challenge in place where they're trying to earn the coins they need (they're filling a jar) before October, and I think they just might do it.

Now to the yarn.  I knit another yoked baby sweater for a friend/co-worker who is expecting a baby any day now.  You may recognize the buttons from Katie's etsy shop.  They're left over from the sweater I knit for Alex a few years ago.  They're perfect for this little gem.  The yarn is hand dyed and I bought it when I went out to California last summer to visit my parents.  The Yarn Yenta and I went to her favorite local yarn shop and I came home with this (among other things I won't mention here, lol).

Right now I'm working on another sweater.  I have six on the needles.  I just need to finish one already, lol.  I also have two pairs of socks, one shawl, and my Pop blanket still in progress.  Meanwhile, I designed a sock pattern for the Super Sock Scarefest, which will be released on October 1st.  If you're in the group, you'll get the pattern for free.  It will be released to the general knitting public after the 2014 round finished up. 

And since I'm in a confessing mood, I feel compelled to say that my good friend Heather and I took a pilgrimage up to Webs a few weeks ago.  You know you're in trouble when you walk in and see the shopping carts (like at the grocery store).  We got one just to be funny, and to have a place to put our purses.  We filled it with yarn.  I bought enough yarn to knit a sweater for every person in my immediate family, plus another skein of Noro Kureyon for my Pop blanket, and two skeins of sock yarn in ridiculous shades of red and pink, cause the last thing I needed was more sock yarn.  Oh well.  Such is life.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Things are looking up

Today I got to help out a friend who always helps me out, and it was nice to be able to return the favor.  We took her little girl this morning so that she could go to the temple to help a family who went up to have their child sealed to them.  Their little girl really struggles with strangers and has severe separation anxiety, and since my friend is the child-whisperer, she is the only one who can sooth the little girl. 

So today Alex got to play with his friend for most of the morning, and he did a wonderful job keeping her busy and happy.  He made her a waffle and did some of the cutting himself (with a butter knife).  He colored, built a train track and brought down a handful of Thomas engines to play with, brought down several stuffed animals to play with, played peek-a-boo with a hat, and just generally did his best to be helpful.  We eventually went for a walk to the park and he helped her down the slide.  Then on the way home, she turned to him and asked him to pick her up (the way babies with limited verbals do, with up-stretched arms, lol).  This has never happened before so I took several adorable photos of that but I won't post them here.  He picked her up and did his best to carry her for as long as she wanted him to, taking care to set her down and readjust when he thought he was losing his hold.  He was very careful with her without having to be told, and I was glad to have the help (and made sure to tell him so several times).  He needs more opportunities like this to have positive social interactions with others so he can learn how it's done and be immediately reinforced for doing it. 

In other news, the mediation was successful and the school agreed to start the 504 process.  I was also able to specify that if it should be necessary to involve the school psychologist in the process, they have to pull one from another school.  The one I've had issues with is now out of the picture, and since it's written into the mediation agreement, it's legally binding and I can enforce it in court if necessary.  This should be in place before the end of the school year, which is rapidly approaching.

And finally, I went to my doctor and after working up a plan of action with him, I'm feeling much better.  Sometimes there are just to many things going on in our lives to handle successfully, and there's no shame in asking for help until things blow over.  I struggled with having to take medication in the past, feeling somehow like I was broken and couldn't be fixed, but I've come to realize over the years that the human body is not designed to handle stress for extended periods of time.  The very system that protects us in the short term can cause damage in the long term if we can't switch it off.   Getting some help to do that is not only wise, it's necessary.  This time around I just feel glad for the help and I don't feel any stigma or shame in it.  I made a good decision and my family will be the better for it, as will I.

Work is getting better now that I'm getting better.  Yesterday I was sent to the main building to help out a classroom with limited staff.  The youngest children went on a field trip to URI to kick off the Special Olympics, and it was amazing.  I didn't really get it before, but going in there with my little buddy C was the most joyful experience I've had there.  Each school got to go in separately (much like the athletes do in the traditional Olympics), and they were greeted to a standing ovation.  There were several stations set up with modified versions of several sports, and they were encouraged to go around to try what ever interested them.  He was so excited, and got to see some teachers and classmates from the school he attended prior to ours.  He was warmly greeted by them all, and it was heartwarming to see.  He stuck pretty close to me and cuddled up regularly.  It was one of those special moments that reminds you of why people do this type of work.  It was wonderful to see him happy and having a good time, able to choose for himself whether he wanted to try an activity or just go sit down in a chair.  Next year, when Special Olympics comes around again, I think I'll sign up to be a staff for one of our Pathways kids.

Oh yeah.  You came here for knitting.  I'm working exclusively on my POP blanket and I found two skeins of Kureyon at Knit One Quilt Two that were brighter than what I was working with before.  I went over to Bella Yarns and got my white Eco Wool, and now I'm full steam ahead.  It. Is. Glorious.