Sunday, September 21, 2008

Contest Alert

Go over to and you can enter to win one of two $176.00 Jimmy Bean's Wool Eco Dishcloth sets. Hurry up though, because the contest ends September 24th.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Remember I said I had some small crochet projects to show?

Well, here's two of them:

The first is a pillow I crocheted for my 10 year old niece Rosie (my niece Jenna's older sister) to match her bedrooms. Her bedroom is lime green (yep, it's bright!) with a lime green, hot pink, and white floral bedding set. I think this pillow matches pretty good. I used a 14" pillow form, and sewed two pieces of gingham fabric (with my crappy hand sewing skills!) over it to make a cover.
Here are the stats:

Pattern: Afghan Reincarnation - Crochet Today, December 06/January 07 issue
Yarn: Bernat Softee Chunky in Hot Pink, Hot Green, and White

Hooks: J & K

I also have a picture of Rosie with my Bethany, when they had a sleepover a few weeks ago:
Aren't the matching dresses cute?! My mom bought them for the girls last year.

The other project I have to show is a pillow I crocheted for Bethany. I saw a pattern for crocheted letters in a book, and thought of making a monogram pillow.

Here's a photo and stats:

Pattern: Letter from the book "201 Crochet Motifs, Blocks, Projects, and Ideas"
Yarn: Vanna's Choice Baby in Lamb, Aqua, & Mint
Hooks: I & K

I used a single crochet square worked in rounds with an I hook for the base. For the letter I crocheted with a double strand of yarn and a K hook to make the letter B extra-big. I think it would probably have looked better done in a chunky weight yarn, but I couldn't find an inexpensive chunky weight in the colors Bethany wanted.

I'm going to crochet a D pillow for my Dominic soon. Poor kid never gets any thing crocheted for him. It's just so difficult finding crochet patterns for boys that are beyond the baby/toddler years. Dominic is crazy about pirates, and loves dressing up as one. He had a pirate hat from his Halloween costume last year, but it's been long since lost, so he gets dressed up in the remaining pieces from his costume, and then puts a pencil case (unzipped, and turned sideways) on his head for a hat, ha, ha! It's hilarious! I'm going to have to snap a picture of him the next time he does it, so I can embarass him with it when he gets older. The other day he asked me if I can "yarn him a pirate hat". He's going to have to settle for one from the store, because even if I did have a pattern, I think that's way beyond my level of expertise.

In other news, the new job is going good. The work is pretty boring, but it's easy, and the supervisors are nice. The only thing I really dislike is the commute. The board of elections is in downtown Cleveland, but on the edge of downtown, so I have to take two busses to get there. I live barely over 10 miles from downtown, a 20 minute commute by car, but between the bus rides and all the waiting around for them (since our local transit authority recently cut a bunch of busses from the routes) I have to leave a little after 8 in the morning just to get there by 9:30, and then I get off work at 5:30, and don't get home until nearly 7.

It's hard because I only have about two hours with the kids when I get home for baths, homework, etc. At least the position is only lasting about two months. Hopefully after that I'll be able to find a permanent job where I can get home earlier in the evening.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Baby Gifts

My husband found the USB cord for my camera, so I have some crochet project pictures to show.

First is a dress I crocheted for
Katrina for her new baby. The pattern is the Lacy Baby Frock from the July/August issue of Crochet Today. It's a 6-12 month size. I used a G hook, and some Red Heart Hula yarn from my stash. It's such pretty yarn, but so hard to crochet with because the colored strand comes loose easily, and the yarn tends to unravel. The pattern was really easy though - I finished the dress is a little over a day.
The second is a hat and poncho for my 8 month old niece, Jenna. I used some stash Cotton Ease in Candy Blue, an H hook for the hat, and a J for the poncho. The pattern is a free one from Luv to Crochet.

Here's Jenna with her mom, my sister-in-law, Gehan. Now, I know I'm probably naturally biased because I'm her aunt, but I think Jenna is just an adorable baby!

Well, I have to get going to bed, because I have to go work tomorrow. Wow, that feels weird to be writing that, after being out of work for so long!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Good News!

Guess what?! I got a job! I'm so excited! OK, it's only a temporary one - doing data entry for the local county board of elections, and it only pays $10 an hour, but it's a job nonetheless! I start on Monday. I'm really looking forward to getting out of the house, and bringing home a paycheck again, but I'm going to miss being home with my kids in the afternoons after school, and being able to go with my husband to pick them up everyday.

It's been pretty interesting watching the daily debacle of pickup time. The school has had so many problems with parents driving recklessly near the school, and in the parking lots, that they had to institute special driving lanes for parents, and designate certain doors for kids who are being picked up, and for kids who are walking home. It doesn't seem to matter though, because so many parents just blatantly ignore the rules.

The parents who drive have to circle around to the back of the school, and get in line to pull up to the side entrance to pick up their kids. The kids wait with their class and a teacher, who walks them to their parent's vehicle. Just today my husband nearly got sideswiped by a parent who decided they didn't want to wait, and pulled out, speeding through the parking lot. A couple of times, parents decided to park right in the path of the line of cars, blocking traffic.

And. in the school newsletter this week, the principal mentioned a mom who (dropping her kid off at the wrong entrance), let her kid out of the car, and while the kid had barely stepped onto the curb, sped off, and nearly hit him or her! Can you be in that much of a hurry to get to work or wherever that you would nearly hit your own kid??? I'm constantly amazed by the sense of entitlement some of the parents have, this rules- be-damned attitude.

I've been meaning to update my blog, but I've been busy with homework and school-elated things. My Dominic is still getting used to kindergarten. I didn't expect him to have much of a transition period, because he went through several years of full-time preschool, but the first few weeks of kindergarten have been tough for him. I guess it's because kindergarten is more structured - no naps, less playtime, and he has a new teacher and new classmates. He's also getting used to having homework (twice a week). My daughter actually had homework 5 days a week in kindergarten, but she went to a different Catholic school (which closed after she finished kindergarten). Dominic told me "kindergarten is a lot of hard work", ha, ha!

My Bethany likes her 5th grade teacher, and is happy that a lot of her friends are in her class, but her learning disabilities really complicate school for her. I'm working on getting all of the testing done to determine if she has ADD. As time goes on, I'm more and more convinced of it. She has little focus and concentration, even when it comes to actitivies she enjoys, and she is so disorganized and forgetful. She doesn't get her classwork done in time, and perpetually forgets to bring home books and papers she needs for homework, or forgets to write down assignments. She underwent a ton of testing as part of her learning disability diagnosis, and it showed that she has a normal IQ, and above average vocabulary and reading skills, but her grades are all over the place. She'll get an A on a test or assignment one week, and an F the next, and she's failed math the past few years, even with receiving one on one tutoring several times a week. It's frustrating, because she's a bright kid, but it doesn't show in her schoolwork.

Bethany's 4th grade homeroom teacher was fortunately very patient with her, but the other 4th grade teacher, who taught science to Bethany's class, just seemed in my conversations with her to completely disregard Bethany's learning disabilities, and seemed like she just thought Bethany was being lazy when she didn't do well in class. Her 3rd grade teacher was even worse. In my opinion, a teacher should expect that not every kid they ever teach is going to perform at a normal or exceptional level, and in Bethany's case, she can't help having learning disabilities. Learning disabilities don't equal lazy or dumb. We have an appointment coming up with a pediatric neurologist in October, and hopefully that will get us closer to determining if Bethany does indeed have ADD.

Oh well, I guess that's enough ranting for now.

I took Bethany to her pediatrician for a follow-up appointment for her infected hand on Tuesday. Unfortunately, even after a 10-day course of an antibiotic, a steroid, and an antihistamine, her hand is still infected. She's back on the antibiotic for another 10 days now, and has a cream for her hand. I feel so bad for her because the antibiotic leaves her tired, headachy and nauseous, and the cream stings her hand. I'll be glad when the infection is finally cleared up.

As far as crochet projects go, I've been working on a few small projects lately, but can't post the pictures. My computer at home (despite only being 5 years old) was on its "last leg" so my husband's best friend gave him a used computer he didn't need any more. The "new" computer runs a lot better, but I realized it doesn't have a slot for a camera memory card. I have to download pictures from the camera with a USB cable, which unfortunately I misplaced and can't find anywhere. I'll post the pictures when the cable turns up.

I also want to say thank you to Christina, who sent my kids a package of goodies last week! She sent puzzle books, little toys, hair accessories for Bethany, stickers, crayons, and cookie and brownie mixes. The kids love getting mail, so they were very happy to receive it. Thank you again, Christina!