Thursday, November 30, 2006

A Knitting Event in the Bronx

Any of you out there who live in the Bronx or wouldn't mind taking a trip to visit, a good friend of mine is hosting a knitting event on Sunday at The Riverdale-Yonkers Society for Ethical Culture. Maribel and I will be there (which really isn't that reason enough to come?) and a good time is sure to be had by all. The event starts at 1:00 and all are welcome, I believe I heard tale of a bake sale going on at the same time, yum!

E-mail me or leave a comment if you're interested and need directions or have any questions.

Have a great weekend all...

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Time to mess with the squints, Jody, Cate and Norma have all mentioned this but basically someone is studying how fast a meme can travel through blogdom. We want the knitters to dominate, so link to this and then ping technorati so they can track it. Come on people it's all in the name of science and world domination by knitters. I think that's a cause we can all get behind!

Besides, it's great blog fodder...

Thanks for all the kind and supportive words after my last post. It's really is nice to have so many people willing to hear you rant and rave a bit when life gets a little hard to handle.

I promised some knitting for you this time. I finished the first of three Christmas Stockings:

It's a little tighter than I would have liked. I needed to go up a needle size or two but I figure grownups use them mostly for decorative purposes anyway. The pattern was quick and easy. I'll start the next one soon. At the moment I decided to make my third Odessa. I really needed some instant gratification and nice mindless knitting.

I've been really hung up on my mother in laws socks for the past week but ta da:

...they too are done. Yay!

Happy Wednesday y'all...

Monday, November 27, 2006

Strange days indeed...

So it's Monday morning and I'm locked out of my office. We have two doors we can use to get in. One is a door that opens onto the sales floor which is always locked when we leave. The other is a door that leads to the stock area which we never lock...except someone seems to have locked it. The problem is that no one has a key to either of these doors. I have a key to my office but that is inside the textbook office which is the room I can't get into. Great way to start the week, right?

I haven't posted because I've had some stuff going on and I've been obsessing on it quite a bit. Ian's parent teacher conference did not go well. His teachers feel he is lost and they want him to go back to a self contained special ed class. The problem is he is getting far more than they realize. One of the teacher's even admitted how shocked she was when she worked with him one on one as to how much he knew. He's learning beautifully. He comes home overflowing with new things. He is simply not sharing it in class. If he is uncertain of what to do he will simply sit there while all the other kids go and do what their supposed to do. Needless to say we were devastated. His pre-school teacher had recommended an integrated setting as had CSE which is the committee that assesses kids in the NYC Public School system. I fought that to get him into the school he is in because it's small and progressive. I felt that he could do better there than in an integrated class in a regular school. Oddly enough it turned out that the Kindergarten this year is an integrated class. I figured that was the best of both worlds, he's certified general ed but in a class with two teachers so he will get extra attention anyway. Doesn't seem to be working out that way.

The thing is Ian is extremely introverted when he goes to school. He is a completely different child from the one that we see at home and everywhere else. Mind you since September he has blossomed tremendously, he speaks to everyone in the school (that's amazing for him). He's got a ton of friends and he's happy to go to school everyday. I feel that to pull him out of this school that he loves would be a breach of his trust. Unfortunately they don't currently have a Kindergarten Special Ed class. It's a third grade at the moment. It may cycle back down to K next September but that hasn't been decided yet. Which means if he does go into special ed he leaves the school, frankly in my district, special ed is spotty at best. I won't let him go into a class where the other kids all have behavioral and emotional issues. That mix won't help him at all.

Of course I'm more than a little pissed that they can just make this decision 2 months into the school year. So what does that mean? Have they given up on him? Are they even trying anymore? I wonder also if he would be getting more attention in the class itself from the special ed teacher if he was certified as special ed. She seems to not have much experience and I wonder how well the team teaching is going overall. It seems to me no child should be getting "lost" in a class with two full teachers. We spoke to his speech teacher, who he is doing wonderfully with, and asked her to "push in" for one of his sessions. Basically she will work with him within the context of the class. We'll see if that helps. In the meantime I am trying to have him independently evaluated here at NYU so I have some idea of what he is capable of. I am also going to call his pre-school teacher to see if there is any strategies she found particularly helpful with him. I am also not completely against him repeating Kindergarten. I'm not a big believer in four year olds starting Kindergarten (Ian turned five in late October). I realize many kids are ready at that age but I would bet just as many are not. I think it should be a choice, based on the individual kid. It seems to me that turning five by December 31 is a bit too wide a window. Many districts elsewhere require a child to be 5 by September 1st. Why can't there be more leeway for parents to decide what's best for their child.

Ok, sorry for venting on you. Now you see why I haven't posted. Of course oddly enough I'm not the only parent going through this exact thing right now. The problem I have is I can't separate the fact that the stress should come from the decision about what's best for Ian today, rather than stressing about what it means for the rest of his life. I tend to be a bit obsessive about this kind of thing.

Aah here's someone with a key, time to start my workday. I promise some knitting next time...

Saturday, November 25, 2006

I swear to god I wasn't drunk for Thanksgiving, even though the photographic evidence makes it look that way...

Thursday, November 16, 2006

U is for Umbrella

I have a love/hate relationship with umbrellas and it took me years to figure out why. I rarely use them even if I remember to carry one with me, which I never do. I do recall having a really cool bubble one that I loved beyond comprehension when I was a little girl, otherwise umbrellas were not an accessory I really had use for.

It occurred to me awhile back that blind people do not use umbrellas. Kind of hard to navigate with a cane or a dog while carrying an umbrella. As an older child I wouldn't have carried one because it would get it the way of me guiding my parents. As a rule this was accomplished by my dad putting his hand on my shoulder so I could lead while my mother held his arm. An umbrella would have been hopelessly in the way in that situation.

Now I find that as a mother and wife I am an umbrella fan. Both boys have umbrellas in their bookbags at all times, Avery's is the light blue and Ian's is the Go Diego Go. I strongly encourage Rinaldo to use his, the purple NYU AMC one, yet I still often forget mine, the lovely Egyptian one (a birthday gift from Maribel). I was pondering this on Monday when Avery and I were waiting for a bus to get home from Parent Teacher conferences. I was drenched and my beautiful umbrella, which I will say I love more than any I have had before, was sitting at home nice and dry.

Old habits die hard...

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

In between ABC Along catch ups there is actually some knitting going on. I finished the first Odessa on Friday, then I made another on Sunday. I really love the pattern but I'm not overly thrilled with this yarn and pattern combo. See the pooling:

and the flip side:

Now the red is much nicer in my opinion but I have to say everyone else loves these hats so I'm calling them a success and they will be given. I have one more Odessa to do with my third skein of Four Play, then it's on to 2 lady hats. I am however taking a little break to finish my mother in law's other sock first. I posted a bit more about the hats over at the Love Thy Teacher blog if anyone is interested.

I had Avery's parent teacher conference last night. It went very well. I am very proud of how hard he is working and the way he has transitioned from his Bronx Laid Back progressive school into a much more intense traditional middle school. He's really coming into his own. His teachers love him and he loves them as well. I still had huge anxiety over the meetings simply because I have scars from past parent teacher conferences. I am torn about going to Ian's. I'm worried that the teachers don't see all the progress I am seeing. Ian is good at not showing his teachers what he knows. As far as I can see he's doing beautifully. He's learned all his letter sounds, and can spell words that we sound out together pretty damn well. I'm very proud of him and I'll be distraught if they tell me anything different. I think I will let Rinaldo go and we will switch for the Spring meeting.

I am still waiting for my damn KnitPicks order. The tracking says it got to NYC on Thursday but it can take days for it to get through NYU Mail Services sometimes. I'm ready to try the magic loop method on the Christmas Stockings. Maribel came over on Saturday to go over it with me again and I think I got it but I need my 32 inch KnitPicks needles to do it.

I. Hate. Waiting.

...and it's only Tuesday, that so sucks...

Monday, November 13, 2006

T is for Tea...

Yup, how obvious can I be, but tea is serious business in our house, see:

I remember when I was a little girl my mother's friend would come over and make coffee for everyone but she would always make me tea with milk so I could feel included. When I sip a cup of tea, if it's made just right I can still remember that feeling, of playing at being a grown up.

I had a dalliance with coffee as a teenager. Black of course, no sugar. It matched my clothes and my persona. When I met my husband he was a huge tea drinker. In fact he had a nightly tradition of a cup of tea before bed. I found it so funny when his dad stayed with us the first time, he too had to have a cup of tea before retiring.

Mostly I drink plain old Lipton tea but my morning preference is Chai tea. I like the one that comes from concentrate best but I will settle for the teabag version if that's all I have. It's just not quite spicy enough for me (I usually take an extra shot of the concentrate as it is). Peppermint tea is also a favorite and a friend of mine got me into kukicha tea which is amazingly relaxing.

We usually still have our tea at night and on weekends Avery joins us. Ian liked tea as a baby but won't touch it at the moment. I'm sure that will change in time. It brings a nice moment of peace at the end of the day and helps me wind down for the night.

Tea, it's so civilized...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I've up and joined another knit along:

I had already ordered the yarn for the Twirl Top Stocking from KnitPicks and we all know how I love to join a knit along that I've already planned something for.

Then I got to thinking, I know of at least a few bloggers who are making gifts for teachers at the moment so why not host a knit along myself! It's been awhile. I hosted the Devan Along a few years ago, and Ian is just now wearing his Devan but it was fun. Katy reminded me that it was how we "met". So ladies and gentleman I present to you the:

Love Thy Teacher Knit Along

I'm giving it it's own blog so it will be fairly low maintenance. Frankly it can go on and on because there will probably be teacher knitting going on near the end of the school year as well. I am envisioning this as less of a "start this now, finish it by..." kind of knit along and more of a sharing of ideas. We all need some inspiration at one time or another so maybe we can help each other out. Join up if you like!

My morning kind of sucked. I spent almost all of it in the dentist's chair. My Root Scaling and Planing is done but now all three wisdom teeth need to be removed and I, at 37, need braces. Yup, thanks ma! My mother thought it was just vanity when the dentist told her to get me braces when I was a kid but now it seems my overbite is causing trauma to my teeth so they ache all the freakin' time. Oh yay, well at least it should be Invisaligns.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I finished the first sock for my mother in law. It went nice and fast, gotta love a small foot. I didn't take a picture yet so I'll make you wait for the pair. She tried it on yesterday and pronounced it perfect. I'd best get to the second one and fast or she'll nag me to death!

I cast on for one of the teacher gifts yesterday. Here is the start of Odessa in Four Play:

I've decided to not do the beads this time. I really do love the pattern, nice and mindless but pretty and of course you all know how orgasmic Four Play makes me;)

I am actively trying to not start a cute cat blog but I felt the need to share. On Halloween while Rinaldo and the boys were up in Rockland trick or treating, Maribel and I were hanging out watching some stuff on the DVR and an old movie. Maribel it should be said is a dog person, not a cat person...not at all, not even a little. She loves her some Hiro though, he even survived stealing her sock:
Rinaldo had the camera hence the crappy cell phone shot

He's a handful that one...'s Tuesday, go vote!!!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

No excuses for the lack of posting this week, it just is the way it is. Of course I have Halloween pictures to share.

Here is a very distracted Ian as Buzz Lightyear:
Avery as a dementor not doing a very good job of intimidating Sleeping Beauty (that's the boys' cousin Zeyda):
...last but not least cousin Cheyenne as a very fetching Supergirl:

Here's some shots of Gyrid, they're not very impressive since I've done no blocking nor seaming but the knitting is done as I said:
I tried to do a close up of the cable pattern but none of them really show it well. It does pop nicely in person but is completely lost in pictures. Here's the best of the shots:
I am actually almost finished with the first sock for my mother in law. It's coming along quite nicely. There's nothing wrong with plain and simple sometimes:
Unfortunately my new kitten has a great fondness for attacking my yarn, particularly when I am working on it but sometimes when it is just sitting there doing nothing. This is what I found of the ball I am currently using after my shower this morning:
He's trouble that one, he's currently obsessed with chasing the few balloons left from Ian's party last week. This is his favorite stalking perch:

...damned if I know how he gets up there, I've yet to see him do it.

Go give you congratulations to displaced Bronx Girl Alison, she had a beautiful baby boy last night. Welcome to the world Avishai Reilly Fox!

Have a great weekend...