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Archive for August, 2011

Last August Check-In

Not sure if anyone else is having issues with wordpress and the other blogs you subscribe to, but I haven’t been able to read them(without going to each individual one to see if they’ve even been updated) for the last couple of days. Anyone else having this problem as well?

This week didn’t start out too great. Had trouble waking up Monday morning and had to get Hayleigh up by 6:15 so she had time to eat and get ready to get down to the end of the driveway to catch the bus by 7:07. Then, by the time I got Nathaniel down for a nap and took a shower, I didn’t have a lot of time left before she got home and realized I still had to get Monday’s blog post typed up, So I did that instead. And the bus dropped her off about 20 minutes later than I expected(I wasn’t exactly sure of the time so headed down early but wasn’t expecting to wait almost 30 minutes).  So, I didn’t get anything written on Monday, aside from the blog post.

On Tuesday I woke up about 4 a.m. and heard the gate in the kids’ hallway open then little feet pad across the house. I sat up as Hayleigh came into the room. I told her it was too early to be up and she told me, “no, it morning.” yes, but way too early. Turned out, she had to go potty, so we got that taken care of and got her back to bed. In the meantime though, her brother woke up, so I had to get him to go back to sleep as well. Once that was done, I went back to bed until about 4:30, but since I couldn’t get back to sleep, I figured I might as well get up. I wrote for just about an hour with a couple of short distractions(about a minute or 2 at a time) and fell just short of 750 words.

This morning I woke up at 5, was on the computer by 5:15 and writing by 5:30. That only gave me about half an hour to write but I got 285 words. Not a whole lot, but at least it is helping to move the story along. Right now I’m more concerned with getting some words down and not worrying so much about how many.

Knitting Monday: Knitting from Scratch

I was at looking at patterns on ravelry.com one day and found one titled “How to make a hat”. It wasn’t exactly a pattern, but more just instructions on how to figure out how many stitches to cast on and how/when to start the decreases for the crown. So, I decided to make my first hat without an actual pattern. I did write some things down and I tried to put a design in it. That was supposed to look like snowflakes around the hat, but it didn’t come out quite like I had pictured it. I figured it out on a chart then wrote it down from there. I’ve never followed a chart before, so I figured the written instructions would be easier even though it was out of my head. As I made the decreases, it got harder and harder to do on the circular needles and I didn’t have any double pointed ones yet(fixed that this past Saturday thanks to my Mother-In-Law) so I did a pretty sharp decrease. And I made my first pom pom for the top of it. I think it turned out pretty good for pretty much just winging it, but I’m going to practice more with it. I made this one for Nathaniel, but I could have cast on less stitches b/c it ended up being just a little big.

He's not a very cooperative model

August Nearly Over

I was prepared to stick to my goals starting Wednesday morning. But, my alarm went off, and I had no desire to get out of bed. When I finally did, it was just about time for the kids to start waking up(I swear you could set a clock by them). So, I didn’t get any writing done then. I sat down during my son’s morning nap but had some trouble focusing on the words. Thanks to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse though, I was able to get 15 minutes of uninterrupted writing in. It was my fault for being distracted by the Internet or I could have gotten twice that.

Thursday I woke up extremely early, as in about 1:30 the first time, due to some storms rolling through and my dog having a nervous breakdown because of that. Managed maybe another hour of sleep but laid awake from about 2:30 until around 3:45 when I decided I might as well get up since I wasn’t getting any sleep anyways. Once I got my coffee, I forced myself to focus on the words and pounded out 340 in half an hour. I took a fifteen minute break then wrote for another half hour and got 252 words. So by 5:30, I had already written more than I had in the last week. I got another half hour session in before either of the kids woke up and even though the scene took a turn I wasn’t expecting, I got 511 words written. So, that was a total of 1103 words by 6:15 in the morning. A lot better than I’ve done for most of the month.

Friday I was at the computer by 5:20, so I gave myself 10 minutes to check out Facebook and all that. Took a few extra minutes, but was back to the words by 5:35. Wrote without letting the internet distract me for a half hour, and managed 273 words. But, after that I didn’t get any more writing done for the day.

So, even though I didn’t actually meet my new goal at all, I still feel more accomplished than I have the rest of the month. I think I just needed to take the pressure of meeting a certain word goal. Hopefully after Labor Day(and my son’s first birthday party) things will settle down and I will be able to meet that 2 hour goal.

Family Friday: Starting Pre-K

It’s so hard to believe that my little girl is going off to school all ready, but I’ll be putting her on that bus Monday morning. I should be prepared for it since she went to a program one day a week last year. But, this feels so much different. Last year, it was at the church. This year, she’s going to the elementary school. Last year, she rode on a van with 1 or 2 other kids(and on a little bus for the summer session with about the same amount of kids). This year, she’ll  be riding to school in the morning on the regular bus with kids from her age all the way up through high school. Since she only goes in the morning, on the way home there will be a lot less kids on the bus. The program she went to last year, they try to keep to only about 10 or so kids. This year, there will be closer to 50 kids between the two classes(which from what they said at orientation Wednesday night, they like to mix together). So, it’s going to be a bit of a change. We’ve been doing some dry runs of getting ready in the morning this week. And I’ve figured out that if she is up by 6:30, which is pretty typical for her, and is finished eating by 7, she can be ready and out waiting for the bus in time(which if I remember from when I’d see it go by last year and if it doesn’t change, is around7:15-7:20).

Like I just said, we had her orientation Wednesday night. We got to take a ride on the buses around the school and into town. I swear those bus seats used to be a lot bigger. Then, there was a little meeting to tell us about all the papers they were sending home with us. After that, they split the group into two smaller groups, sending one to the classroom while the other stayed in the meeting room. We were in the group to go to the classroom first. We had to go through the routine that Hayleigh will go through every day when she gets there. First, we had to find her cubby in the hallway(where she’ll put her bookbag when she gets there). Hers was the very first one. We had to take her folder from there(just like she’ll take it out of her bookbag in the morning) and take it into the classroom to a set of “mailboxes”. In her mailbox was a picture of a box of crayons with her name on it, which means she gets to go to the Creation Station(more of the play area) first thing in the morning(if she had an explorer’s hat, she’d go to the Discovery Zone, which is more of the learning space, first). There’s a smartboard in both areas where the kids can tap on their name to check in when they get there. They’ll be in both areas throughout the day.

They’ll also be going to the library once a month(walking when the weather’s nice, taking a bus when it’s not) and will be able to check  out their own books. With as much as she likes to read, I think she’ll really like that. We found out last night that we have to provide a snack every so often and even got a calendar with our days marked on it. Each day has 2 kids bringing in a snack and each has to bring enough for 25 kids. And they celebrate birthdays once a month, so I figured since hers was during the summer, she’d miss out. But, they are going to be celebrating the August and September birthdays at the end of the first week.

I have to admit I have some fears about her starting school. It just became even more obvious to me last night how far behind the other kids she is, socially and verbally at least. I know her teachers last year were impressed with how much she knew once she actually started talking. But, it usually takes her quite a while to warm up to people and actually start talking. And we even still have some trouble understanding her sometimes(which frustrates her quicker than it ever used to). She still doesn’t really play with other kids, but will play beside them. One of the things I’m worried about is that she’ll start throwing a fit in the middle of class because someone got too close to her. And “too close” could mean an inch away from one day and a foot the next day.

And I can’t help but wonder how much of all this is my fault. If I would have gotten her out around other kids more when she was younger, would she still have these issues? And then I wonder if it would have mattered anyway because she seems to have gotten way more from me than I would have liked(the extreme shyness, preferring to be alone, etc). And I just remember all my bad experiences with school(all to do with other kids picking on me b/c I was the quiet, shy, different one who was always reading). And I don’t want her to go through even a fraction of that.

8/24 ROW80 Check-In & Change to Schedule

I don’t have a lot to report for the last week and a half. Last Monday I started out good and wrote 1022 words. And Tuesday and Wednesday I woke up early to write and got just over 300 both days but didn’t write during any naps. Thursday I didn’t wake up before the kids and didn’t get any writing done. Friday I only got 202 words written. so only 1911 for the week, which I have sometimes been able to write in a day. And I haven’t written anything yet this week. So, I’m thinking I need to change how I measure my goals. I’m thinking of switching to a time goal instead of word count. I think, at least for the time being, that writing for at least two hours a day will be a more realistic goal than trying to get a certain number of words. That’s either one of the little guy’s nap or a half hour in the morning before kids get up, two half hour periods during his naps, and a half hour after the kids are in bed at night.

Also, I’m planning on making a change to my blog schedule. Since it’s obvious I cannot keep up with a daily posting schedule, I’m going to dial it back to three/four days a week. I’ll still do the knitting updates on Mondays. I’ll post my check-ins on Wednesdays, and this is when I’ll also post flash fiction or excerpts if I have them. I’ll still keep the family updates on Fridays. If I have anything to report on Sundays, I’ll post a check-in then as well.

I hope everyone else has been able to keep to their goals better than I have.

Knitting Monday: Softee Baby Jacket – Almost done

Even though I lacked the motivation to do just about anything else, I actually made a good bit of progress on my knitting project last week. I got the second sleeve finished and and sewed up all the completed pieces. When I was getting ready to sew the sleeves onto the body of the jacket, I realized I didn’t have the split ring stitch markers I needed to mark where the sleeves went in(only had the solid ring ones to mark the beginning/end of a round on circular needles). So I made do with using little pieces of yarn. Realized when I was sewing the sleeves on that I probably should have used a different color yarn than what the project was though. Still, I don’t think it looked too bad when I was finished. I tried it on a very squirmy 11 month old, and I think I could have gotten away with making it in the 12 month size instead of 18 months. He may have a growth spurt between now and when it gets cold again though, and it won’t be as bad. I also got started on the hood, which even though it’s knitted flat, I had to put on a circular needle. There was just no way I was going to fit the initial 111 stitches on the straight needles. Just a couple more rows and I should be to the point where I can start casting off on it. Then, I just need to sew it onto the rest of the jacket, do the blanket stitch border around the jacket in a contrast color, and do the button loops and buttons.

shoulders seamed together. can see my makeshift stitch markers on the sides.

a closer look at my makeshift stich markers

shoulder seams. don't think they're too bad for the first time.

Absense Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

So, I doubt the truth of that statement. But, anyway if you read my post from Friday(Okay, Saturday), you already know I did not get much accomplished in the last week. It actually did not start out too bad. I had trouble getting back into the swing of things Monday and only wrote a little over 200 words. Then, Tuesday I wrote over 1900 words and thought I found my groove again. Wednesday and Thursday though I didn’t even hit 700 words, and I did not write anything on Friday. I am way behind where I wanted to be at this point, but I’m not beating myself up about it too much. I do plan on kicking my butt back into gear this week but am going to be adjusting my goals. I want to get at least 1000 words written a day. To do that, I’m still going to wake up early and get as much written as I can before the kids wake up. Then, during my son’s first nap, I will write until I meet that goal. This will be a lot easier once my daughter starts pre-k at the end of the month and doesn’t want to play during that time. Hopefully this will keep my on track for the rest of this round.

Family Friday: 4th Birthday

I realize this is a day late, but I’ve been suffering from a severe lack of motivation this week and it has effected about every aspect of my life.

Last Sunday we had Hayleigh’s fourth birthday party. It went really well even if I was drowning in a sea of pink. Of course, she was pushing our buttons all morning leading up to the party. I found myself tempted several times to threaten her with cancelling the party. But, I knew it would be an empty threat and not achieve anything. Added to that, we apparently have poor party planning skills and scheduled it for Nathaniel’s usual nap time. I thought of this too late to change it. so, that day I decided to try to put him down early for a nap and hoped he would sleep for at least a little bit before people started showing up. He had other ideas though. Of course, he started to get cranky half way through the party, so I tried laying him down again. But, he was afraid he was going to miss something.After about fifteen minutes or so of him screaming in his crib(and me going in to lay him back down again) he finally fell asleep.

Hayleigh did really well at the party. She didn’t want to play with any of her cousins, which is completely typical for her. And after opening her presents, we tried to get her to say a general thank you to everyone, but she wouldn’t. The only way we could get her to was for her to go around and thank everyone individually. But unlike at Christmas and her last birthday, she did not throw the clothes at me when she opened them.

My handwriting is just as bad on cakes as it is on paper

wearing her party dress

this is something I never thought a daughter of mine would like, but she does

ready to blow out her candles

Wednesday was her actual birthday, but she opened her presents from us on Tuesday because Cory wasn’t able to be home on Wednesday. I think with having her party and our little celebration early, it really confused her. Because Wednesday morning she got seriously mad at me when i called her birthday girl and sang happy birthday to her. She kept insisting it was not her birthday. She did not have a problem with me taking her birthday picture with Tigger though.

she was being very careful not to rip the wrapping paper

we have now had to play her "ice game" at least once a day

she used to sit in front of Tigger. This time she insisted on sitting on him.

And as a comparison:

One Month Old

One Year Old

Like I said, it turned out good, but I’m glad it is over. And, we have to do it all over again in three more weeks for Nathaniel’s birthday.

Family Friday: Birthdays

We have an interesting trend in our family. One of my sisters had her first daughter in May & her second daughter in June four years later. I had my daughter in August and my son in September three years later. My oldest sister had her daughter in December and her son in January two years later. I find it funny that only a month separates each set of sibling’s birthdays. My sisters share that trend too since their birthdays are only about a month apart(June & July). Like everything else, I had to be the oddball with a November birthday.

My son turned 11 months this past Wednesday which was exactly a week before my daughter’s fourth birthday. He is proving every day that he is not going to be anything like the laid back child his sister always was. He seems to think he needs to climb everything. He climbs into his sister’s plastic chair set to get up onto the coffee table. And if we don’t have the chairs right up against the coffee table, he still seems to think he can climb over them. He tried standing on an empty box to climb onto the couch earlier today. He’s not even walking on his own yet, and I already have my hands full with him. He will walk if he’s pushing something though. Even if it’s something that’s not meant to be pushed.

He decided to push this across the floor

This is the one he’s supposed to push.


As for Hayleigh, she had her 4 year check-up today. She still only weighs about 30 lbs(15th percentile) and is about 3 feet, 2 inches tall(25th percentile). So, she’s short and skinny. She is very healthy though. She couldn’t get her shots today though because she has to be at least four years old. If I would have known that when scheduling the appointment, I would have waited at least another week. So, now we either have to take her back in sometime after her birthday or wait until her next appointment at 5. It’s not really an issue since she doesn’t need them until she starts Kindergarten next year. So, I will probably just end up waiting.

We’re having her party this Sunday and just about have the house ready for it. Most of what is left on my to-do list is decorating stuff and last minute cleaning. Every time we’ve asked her what she wanted for her birthday, she has told us pink presents and pink cake. So, w got pink wrapping paper, pink icing for on the cake, pink balloons, and pink streamers. I think I’m going to be overloaded on pink this weekend. Even though her party is Sunday, we’re keeping our presents for her until Wednesday since when we asked she said she wanted to open them on her birthday instead of at her party. I don’t know if she realizes they are two different days or not

ROW80 Check-in 8/3

I didn’t really do much during the second half of last week which is why I didn’t check-in on Sunday. I did start writing on Monday again, but as this has been(and will continue to be) a busy week, I haven’t worried too much about my word counts. Monday wasn’t actually too bad and I got over 1650 words written before the kids woke up and during my son’s morning nap. Then, my mom, sister, and 2 nieces came over in the afternoon with my daughter’s birthday presents(since my sister will be out of town for the party this weekend). And after they left, and I put the boy down for a nap, I told Hayleigh I would play her new game with her. On Tuesday, I got just over 1000 words written in the morning but had some other things to do during the afternoon nap, so didn’t get anymore writing done. Today is when things are really starting to get busy. Hayleigh had her last day of “little school”(what she calls the program she goes to) today, so I got vacuuming done while she was out of the house, since she’s still scared of it, even though I will have to run it again before the party since our two dogs can’t seem to keep their hair to themselves. I also had some other cleaning to do although most of that will be done Friday & Saturday. The only writing I got done today was the 537 words I wrote before the kids got up. I should be working on it now, but I’ve been fighting this sinus thing for about 2 weeks now and after giving me a reprieve it’s rearing its ugly head again. Hopefully I can get some more written the next two days, but I’m concentrating more on getting the house ready for her party(still hard to believe she’s going to be 4 already).

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