Monday, December 28, 2009

The return of work, and the Ivy League Vest

If you turn your head to the left a bit, you can see what's become of my Ivy League Vest. This thing just got really complicated and I thought I had it worked out. I read several lines of directions ahead and I didn't see any reference to the neck shaping anymore, so I quit doing it. Then after I got a good amount of work done in the last two days, I finally saw it "continue in pattern, including neck decs". It's the return of the dreaded "at same time" deal. Why, oh why did I start to knit this thing only to be forced to put it down for other projects like Christmas knitting, and baby knitting? I completely lost track of where I was and now I've had to pay for it. I had to rip back about 15 rows and I guess I should be thankful for that because I caught a stitch that had frayed so I was able to repair it before I put it on and it snapped, sending me into a frenzy. But now I have neck shaping going on every 2nd row 13 times, plus decreasing 3 sts for 2 rows, then decreasing 2 sts for 5 rows, then every other row 4 times (all while keeping track of the neck). It's enough to make me scream.

Now, my other return to work is actual work. I'll be going in to train at Bella Yarns on Wednesday and then I'll be working 2 full days each week, Tuesdays and Saturdays. I let Kim know that sometimes I have things that I need to do on Saturdays for church, and she said that Saturdays are the easiest days to cover so that should be fine. My classes are on Monday and Thursday again, and the shop has knitting nights on Wednesdays which I'll likely be taking over when Kim goes out to have her baby. Things look good regarding work :)

Yesterday I missed Sacrament meeting because my water was out. I called the office and asked for maintenance to come out and fix it, so I had to wait. Three and a half hours later after I didn't hear anything, I called again and was told that my neighbor's pipes burst and they had to repair it so they shut off the water to the building. They said it wouldn't be that much longer, but the water didn't come back on until 4:30-ish. That's 7 full hours without water. I didn't know what was going to happen because they forgot to come around to the building and let us know, so I didn't have time to get any water ready, and we were out of milk and had 1 bottle of soda. I finally gave up and went to the store (on Sunday, which I hate to do) to get water, only to have the water come back on about an hour later...thanks. Well today they came back and told me that there's a leak now and they have to turn it off again, and even though I still have water and milk and soda in my car (not the milk, that's in the fridge), I filled up the empty bottle of water, my Nalgen bottle, the tea pot, the coffee pot (for my husband) and the drink pitcher. I won't be waterless today I tell you! Now, off to have some tea and a snack, and try to do something about that mess in my glider.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

It was a very Thomas Christmas in our house, and at Grandpa's too. Alex got a huge train set with a motorized Thomas, and despite my best efforts he ended up with two Percy's but he doesn't care one bit. Dante got an authentic Rip Stick along with his bean bag chair, and some pads for his wrists, elbows, and knees. There are a bunch of movies and more books. I got 7 more Horror films to add to my collection, including the original version of The Fog, The Pit and the Pendulum, and Drag Me to Hell.

We got over to my FIL's on time, and spent a little time with them and then got back home to try to find a place for all the new stuff. My gifts were well received, and Dante loves his socks. He put them right on, and said that he likes them "better than [his] regular socks." I told him "now you know why I knit socks". He hasn't taken them off all day. What's better than that? How about when I asked the boys in the car, on the way to my FIL's, if they liked what they got and Alex said "yeah. Thanks Santa for Thomas!"

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve from hell (that's right, I said it!)

This is the blocked sweater for Little Miss Alves. My husband asked me if it was going to be a problem that the sweater is blue...and the baby is a girl. I informed him that I have a blue sweater made from this exact yarn, and he informed me that I was not a baby. I didn't hurt him, but it was hard not to after the day I've had. (The sweater is all seamed up now.)

Today Alex woke up very early, and in a foul mood. I had to discipline him 6 times today...wait, make that 7. That's 7 times too many for Christmas Eve.

My car was fixed today, to the tune of $550.00, so basically all of my savings went to the car and now I've got zero cushion again. Plus I have an estimate for something or other that keeps tension on the belt and that'll be another $215 unless Jim can fix that. I wrote out the check, wished the man a merry Christmas, walked outside, and burst into tears.

Earlier today (before the car broke my will), I checked my account and saw that I have 7 unauthorized charges from the Willet Ave Extra Mart (one of them for $67.00 and another hitting yesterday for $37.00. You may remember that I was stranded in front of the Pawtucket Boys and Girls Club yesterday). I had to call the bank and file a dispute which involves paperwork, 10 business days, and investigation into exactly how my PIN and card were used when both were in my possession, and a canceled card. Thankfully I ordered one for my other account back in October (for Rhinebeck) so I moved all my money over, except for the $58.00 that I had to leave in there to cover a hold from AAA after they told us yesterday that my card was rejected twice and my MIL had to pay that money to put my on the account. If that doesn't drop off, I have to call AAA to have it refunded.

I went into the laundry mat to see how much money I had on the laundry card, only to be snapped at by the lesbian couple from across the walk way about whether or not I planned to remove the clothes from the washer that they wanted...only they weren't my clothes. After I told them as much, and that I was only checking the balance on my card, all they could muster up to say was "oh". This set of ladies have been hostile to us before and I can't help but think that they're overly sensitive and aggressive towards all heterosexual couples because of past issues. They have some type of preemptive hostility for possible future slights or discrimination. I could walk around like that too if I wanted, being both an African American woman and a Mormon, but it's just not worth the time. Anyway, no laundry was done today because I didn't feel like dealing with them again.
I didn't get to go with my husband and Dante to his Aunt's house for dinner because they got a late start and Alex was so bad (see above) that I couldn't take the stress. I stayed home and washed dishes, listened to the Twilight/New Moon Soundtrack, put the gifts under the tree, hung the stockings, and started cookies for Santa. After about 2 hours, I finally felt better. Then I got an email from a woman who I only know from Ravelry, checking in on me based on my post to the discussion board. It was really sweet and it touched me. Then my husband came home with not one, but two containers of food that had been made special, just for me by his cousin Stacy and my MIL. Two containers of broccoli and cheese rigatoni/bow tie pasta, and a container of marshmallow peep snowmen. It really made me feel special and that small gesture by my loving and generous Italian family-in-law helped bring my Holiday spirit back. So now I'm going to drink some eggnog, and finish the cookies, and look forward to seeing the kids react to their gifts and bringing my gifts to my FIL's house.
Have a Merry Christmas! I'm going to try to do the same.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

No good deed...

Today should have been joyous and festive. I've been looking forward to it for the last month. I took Dante, gathered all the donations and drove out to my Family's apartment to deliver. Aaron warned me that my battery light came on when he took my car out the other night and we made sure that my phone had a full charge. I drove most of the way with no heat in the car just to make sure things would be okay, and for the most part they were. The light turned off and we got out there to play Santa. So when we pulled in, their little boy was talking home in tears because he'd missed the bus to go to the Boys and Girls Club for the swim party. I tossed him in the car and drove him home to bring the loot. We got there and his mom was out (she ran to the store) and their dad was there with another child that I've never seen. Suddenly this wasn't working out at all like I envisioned it. Dante and I brought everything inside, and were on the way out to take the little boy to the Boys & Girls Club when I see Mom coming up the sidewalk. I suddenly remembered the gift card and cash in my back pocket for her, and went out to give her a big hug and let her know that there was a ton of stuff in the apartment for her. (I was glad to see that their dad brought gifts for them, so they had things under their little tree.) She was really happy, and that's the important thing. Now if I could end my story here I'd be all set, but that's no where the end.

I drive over and drop Little Man off, and no sooner does he get out of the car than the car sputtered and died. Right there directly in front of the doors to the Boys and Girls Club. Right smack in the middle of the "No Parking Ever" zone. I called Aaron, and chewed him out for never getting around to putting me on his AAA card as an authorized user. He calls them to try to do so, and they say it's going to be $58 (!!!!) and that the card is rejecting. He tells them that we have plenty of money and to run it again. She runs it again and it rejects again. Now he's getting Alex dressed again to come out and meet us, and call them again, when his mom calls. He tells her the issue and she calls them and pays to add me to the card. I'm talking to him when I get a call on the other line from the AAA dispatcher, who tells me that due to the fact that the car died while it was running, it would have to be towed and the wait would be 90 minutes...(!!!!) This is at 4:45pm. Dante and I are bundled up to the max but eventually it gets cold in the car and we're freezing out there. I call Aaron and let him know that he has to meet me at the Pawtucket B&G Club only to have him tell me that his mom is coming instead. Meanwhile, there is some sort of emergency at the Club that requires an ambulance and the nice gentleman from The Club asks me to move my car, at which point I let him know that the reason the hazard lights are on is because the car is dead...and I can't move it. This makes me feel like a major jerk, especially when they have to go the long way to take the kid on the stretcher to the ambulance through the cold. Now that there was an issue where the ambulance was blocked (my car being broke down), they proceeded to set up road blocks, and put a man out there in the cold to direct traffic. He's none to happy about it and he lets everyone who dares to pull up and park know about it. (He bit off a little more than he could chew when he barked at my MIL though, cause she gave it right back to him and he backed right down. More of me feeling like a jerk.)

Speak of the devil...she just came through like a hurricane with her arms full of Christmas gifts for me to shove in my kitchen closet till tomorrow night. Anyway, back to the narrative.

So I send Dante over to get in her car and tell her where to park before she gets hauled away in cuffs for attacking a parking attendant, and then they come over and I let them know that I still had 30 minutes before the AAA truck would be getting there. I was freezing to death so Jim (bless his Wisconsin heart!) sent me and Linda back to her warm car and he stayed with mine. (Dante tells me that Jim goes out in the snow in bare feet!) When the truck got there, the driver wasn't sure how many miles away the Goodyear in East Providence was from our location, but said that he'd mark it down as only 3 miles so that we didn't have to pay anything for the tow. What a great early Christmas gift that was, considering that we're likely going to have to replace my alternator. So we left, and he dropped my Taurus off at Goodyear like a gift for their mechanics. I have to call them tomorrow to have them take a look at it, and then I have to make arrangements to visit my FIL on Christmas day. It's going to be a lot like joint custody for the boys and I...Aaron will drive us up, and his dad will drop us back home.

And then there's tomorrow. We're supposed to be at Aaron's cousin's for "Night of the seven fishes" (of which I won't be eating any). The problem is Alex's sleep issues. He's just got to be in bed by 6pm or Christmas will be full of tears and tantrums. People always try to weigh in with their "helpful" insights on what we're doing wrong and how he'll just have to "get used to it" and how he "knows he can get away with it". I've already (mostly) raised one child and I know what I'm doing so I don't need the unsolicited advice. He goes to bed just fine. He falls asleep just fine. He does not stay asleep and when he wakes up he can't get back to sleep. He's so tired that he has issues with impulse control, behavior, mood...all behaviors that look a lot like ADHD but his aren't because they all disappear when he's somehow finally dropped from exhaustion and gets some sleep. We have an appointment for next week to have him screened for a sleep disorder, which after doing a few hours of research last night, I have discovered is not very uncommon in children. It's called pediatric insomnia and recent articles show that it's hard to nail down the exact cause sometimes, and that many pediatricians learned most of what they know on the subject through experience with patients than they did in med school. So I'll have to go armed with stats and knowledge, and push my pediatrician to take the next step to see what's going on with Alex. Because all of the other "things to do" we're already doing, and it's not enough.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

'Tas three nights before Christmas...

Actually, this photo was from last week but it's super cute. Eddie was sniffing Aaron's glasses and all he could see was cat whiskers and nose. He's daddy's boy.

So anyway, three nights before Christmas. Lets see. Snowballs are baked. Tree is up. Stockings are out (but not hung yet). Gifts are bought (but not wrapped, except for the gifts for my adopt-a-family...I got those done tonight. Oh! and Aaron's iPod). Elf and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation have been watched, (along with any other cheesy Netflix instant view Christmas themed movie I could get my hands on...I do not recommend Black Christmas [the original]...lame). Snow has fallen and has been cleaned out of my parking spot. Chocolate bark with candied orange peels and pistachios (pumpkin seeds for us) is in progress. Alex is misbehaving (typical of any toddler around Christmas). Christmas knitting is done. Why do I feel like I've forgotten something?

In knitting news, I've stuck with this baby sweater and believe it or not, I'm almost done. I finished the front and started the first of the sleeves while watching The Ghost and Mr. Chicken on Netflix. I love that movie!! And Alex liked it too (so much in fact that as soon as it was over he asked to watch the "Monster piano movie again". I started the second sleeve but I had to put it down about the time that my Zyrtec kicked in (monster allergy attack this morning) and I passed out in my chair. I'll finish it tonight and then pick up the color and hopefully it'll be ready for a Christmas delivery to Aaron's friend Joe and his wife, along with a blue cotton pair of socks. I wanted to avoid the standard pink for these baby girls so Little Miss Alves is getting blue, and Little Miss Nielson got a pretty green/yellow for her socks. I can't promise that I won't go nuts with the pink for her sweater though, or blanket (which ever I end up making) because I know that she'll eventually be blond and blue eyed and look like a little elf so what could be cuter than pink against that ivory complexion? Maybe lavender. Or butter yellow? Shoot. Here we go. Good thing I'll be working at a yarn shop. I'm so gonna use that employee discount! Now...does anyone know what I can do with the leftover sugar syrup I'm simmering my orange peels in? It just seems like a waste to toss it out.

Monday, December 21, 2009

"Tell me where he is, and I'll break down the door."

The Snidely mustache is complete. I had to knit that with Cascade 220 held double, and as such it is twice as warm as normal. Today we went out and spent two hours digging out my car, (and the neighbors per Dante's suggestion), and Alex was just fine while he played in the snow but Dante complained of being too hot. I guess I'll have to pick up some alpaca after the first of the year (lets hear it for the employee discount) and knit it again. I'll recycle this lovely green yarn for something awesome for myself.

After digging out the cars and the parking spaces, we headed out to Sam's club for Aaron's iPod which was sold out! Girrr! So back into the car we went, and over to Wal-Mart where I lucked out and got one of the last two in stock, and only for $1 more. I bought he and I noise canceling headphones to go with our iPods, only to realize that the new shuffle has the controls on the ear he won't be able to use the pair I got him. Luckily I can use the ones I bought and although they aren't top quality, they do stop the outside noise and give me some base which is really what I was after. And they're more comfortable than my first pair (which crapped out after about 6 weeks!). Then it was back home for lunch and some Netflix instant holiday movies. Aaron introduced Alex to The Muppets Take Manhattan which was interesting to watch again now that I'm an adult. If I remember correctly, my mom hated that movie, lol. After stuffing the boys with PB&J (extra peanut butter), Cheetos, and hot cocoa, I just about passed out on the couch.

In terms of knitting, I've started and stopped three different baby sweaters in the last few days but I think I finally have one. It's been tough for me to work from my stash because the only yarns that might work are earmarked for a pullover for myself (although I have no specific patterns in mind, but I don't want to break up the set for fear that I'll run out and wish I had that ball back). The other yarns that would work aren't machine washable and it's just too much to ask parents with new babies to hand wash a sweater for a newborn. And then I had to search to find a pattern in worsted weight because I didn't want to be spending weeks knitting a sweater that the baby will only wear for the same amount of time that it took for me to knit it! I did find one in my Natural Knits for Babies and Moms book, and I started it a little bit ago. I've already knit the same amount of inches as I did in the DK weight after 2 days.

So what am I doing right now instead of working on the baby sweater? Well, besides writing this post, I'm listening to my Christmas mix on iTunes, and baking butterballs per my husband's request. I found the recipe a few years ago next to the chocolate morsels and I made them. My husband loves them and has asked for them every year after. So it's butterball season and I've got them going right now. Butter and yarn don't go well together so I'll be staying away from the knitting until I'm done for the night. In the mean time, I started to read Breaking Dawn again. I've re-read all of the other books from the Twilight Saga and I started this one last night. I love the love story in Twilight, but I love the actual plot of New Moon the best.

On Thursday (Christmas Eve), I'll be taking my family with me to deliver all of the things that I've received for my adopt-a-family. I've got some cash (which I'll be converting into gift cards), some donated holiday treats, and some toys for the kids. Yesterday my MIL and her boyfriend came over with gifts for them and about 5 boxes of kids cereal, lol. If you've never been poor, then you have no idea the power of sugary kids cereal! I remember how much it sucked to have to get Kix all the time because that's what WIC covered. I just wanted some Captain Crunch. And now these kids will have about six different varieties of sugary love for the mornings. I have more stuff than I have room for right now and it's scattered over my dining room, my kitchen closet, and behind my couch. I better get wrapping! And I want to thank everyone who helped me do this, because I remember being a single mother on welfare and worrying about what I was going to be able to afford for Dante for Christmas. I hated that feeling of helplessness, and I've tried every year sense then to help someone who's in a worse situation than I am. And this year, I couldn't have done that without all of you, so thank you for giving me what I wanted for Christmas.

PS- the quote in the title is from "The Emperor's New Grove". Ezma is trying to get them to tell her where Pacha is, and the kids called her on her error. "shouldn't it be 'tell me there he is or I'll break down the door'?" Hilarious

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Peanut Butter Circle Toast

It sound a bit like "Peanut butter jelly time" if you think about it. Anyway, if I didn't already tell you the story, Alex asked Aaron for a bagel with peanut butter on it, only it came out peanut-butter-circle-toast. He couldn't have been more accurate if he tried.

Anyway, I was online yesterday and decided that Dante needed to have an incognito, but the needles I was using were a pain so I decided to go to the shop for needles and some yarn. I hung out a bit and knit with Emily, and then came home to finish up the cowl. It's simple and quick, and fun but about half way through I realized that I hadn't really bothered to check my gauge and it was way to small. Rather than rip it back for a second time that day, I decided to go ahead with it and give it to Alex instead; maybe I could get my cowl back. This morning I got up and stitched the Poirot mustache on it and handed it to Alex, who thought it was the funnest thing he's ever seen. He modeled it for everyone who came in the house today, and Dante thought it was cool and said that he'd like to have one so I'll be knitting one for him tonight, with my Cascade 220 Heathers in Olive held double so I actually hit gauge this time. Then the plan it to knit them hats with giant eyebrows to match so they can both look like silent movie villains. This should be fun! I think Dante will get the...cancel that thought...he just came over and said he wants the Snidely mustache.

On the subject of Christmas, I got my mom's box in the mail filled to bursting with stuff for her and a bag of treats for her new puppy. I made my pumpkin bread loaves and unfortunately I missed several people who had already left to travel to visit family for the holidays. I have a really tough time trying to remember that just because I never go away doesn't mean that others don't either, and I need to get the baking done earlier. So now I have 6 extra mini-loaves in my fridge and I'll be passing them out to family. The last (and largest) of Dante's gifts arrived today in the mail. I had to tell them that I had a huge yarn order, and then rushed off to hide it upstairs in my room. Alex is all set. I have one gift for Aaron, but Dante and I are going in halves on a new iPod shuffle for him and i should probably drag him out today to get that done, or maybe I can just do it after I drop them off at Young Men's tomorrow... I told Aaron not to get me the EZ book that I asked for, because the shop has a few copies and I'll have an employee discount in a few weeks so I'll just hold off. The tree is up, and decorations are out, and I'm spending most of my day chasing Alex away from them. I don't know if I'm going to live through the holidays at this rate :) Now all that's left is to gather what I managed to pull together for my family and to drop it over on Christmas Eve. I couldn't pull together what I wanted for them, but there are some gifts and a few goodies, some extra canned goods and juice, and some home made candy from the Nielsons, so hopefully it will be a merry Christmas for them.

Monday, December 14, 2009

When it rains...

Isn't this the cutest thing? I "Mad Men"ed myself on the Mad Men website. Surprisingly, I did a pretty good job of picking out my facial features considering I don't look at my own face as often as other people do. I've been seeing these all over Ravelry and I really wanted one, so...

Now, I know that i told you all about my ADP interview, and that I have been offered a job with Bella Yarns (which I accepted). Well today I was also offered a job with ADP, and I think I might have accepted that too. I don't think the shop can give me more than 10 hours per week, and even though I will still have my unemployment, I have some serious dental work that needs to be done, and the only dentist I trust does not accept the craptastic coverage offered by the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations (can you believe that's the full name of this tiny state?). So the plan is to work my 24 hours per week at ADP, taking advantage of the wonderful benefits which are available on my first day of work and the fact that I'll have my schedule at least one month in advance, until the yarn shop can take me on with more hours and/or my husband finishes his new classes and gets a job. Now this is all just speculation, assuming that I pass the extensive background check (I can't imagine that I wouldn't) and that the shop can only give me limited hours. If either of these conditions turn out to be incorrect, then I'll be at the shop only, which is not a bad thing. The only bad thing is that my new job will start four days before the start of Sock Wars.

So, I bet you're wondering what's on the needles. It's baby socks. They're like crack. I've knit two pairs in two days, and today I cast on for a third. One pair was greenish/yellow, one was blue, and this pair is going to be red and white. They just work up so fast, and they seem to be just the thing to help me use up the crazy amount of sock yarn left-overs I have around here. That being said, I'm going to get off the computer to go back to my baby socks, and Netflix. This week I watched Quantum of Solace, Pan's Labyrinth, Scooby-doo and the Alien Invaders, Jim Henson's Story Tellers (Greek Myths), some episodes of Fairly Odd Parents, Sponge Bob season 3, and right now...The Alphabet Killer. I still have a paper to turn in, and a final exam to take. Wish me luck, and will power.

Friday, December 11, 2009


Thanks to everyone who left me comments on yesterday's post. I really appreciate it, and Rachel, I'll definitely be talking to you...probably tomorrow :) Today, we all had a snack of some whole grain crackers and hummus (Dante ate his with Cheetos, lol). They ended up having chef boyarde for dinner because I got busy in the kitchen washing dishes so that we could bake for tomorrows Christmas social. The boys played outside for a little while because Alex really needed to get out outside so when they came in they both had a hot chocolate, and then later on Dante ate the rest of a second can of lasagna and then one of the brownies that I baked for tomorrow. I don't think the brownies are going to make it, because I tried to make them in my muffin pan with the idea in mind that they would come out like the two-bite brownies that I love from Sam's Club, only bigger. Well, they stuck to the pan even though I greased it first so it didn't work out like I thought. I think there will be cookies instead.

So this afternoon I had an interview with ADP for a part time job. The call center is close to Sovereign, and it felt comfortable in there. I guess I've gotten used to working in a cubicle. I won't say too much because one never knows who is reading their blogs, but I will say that I had a pleasant interview, the managers who interviewed me were lovely people, and the company seems like a great place to work. The offer many of the same programs that I loved about Sovereign, back when it was still Sovereign. I don't know when I will hear back, but when I do I'll have some thinking to do. I like the idea of working there part time.

Now, let's add some irons to the fire. I got home today to find a job offer awaiting me from my local yarn shop! I've dreamed of working in a yarn shop for years now and I just love it there. So starting the first of the new year, I'll be an employee of Bella Yarns. It's part time which leaves time for school, there's an employee discount which means that I probably won't be taking a paycheck home, and I'll be getting paid to knit on the job. I will likely be taking over the knitting classes when Kim goes out on maternity leave, and I'll be helping to get the web business up and running. The hours sound pretty good, but I'd be willing to work there for hours and hours just to be around the yarn, lol. Naturally the pay isn't near what ADP would offer, but I know that I'll be blissfully happy and that's really important. So now I just have to figure out what I might do if ADP does in fact call me and offer me a job. I might have to think about taking both so that I can get insurance and a 401K from the corporate job, and money for my habit from the shop. Cast your votes, lol.

In holiday knitting news, I finished Dante's socks. Photos and details on my ravelry projects page. It was hard to resist giving them to him now but I want to put them in his stocking. They turned out really nice, not bad at all for a yarn that I didn't really like in the first place. This pattern really worked wonders for it. It's the Gentleman's shooting stocking with fluted pattern from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush. I loved this pattern. It was easy to memorize, it worked up quickly, and it was a bit addicting. I worked up a pair of socks in what would amount to a Woman's 11 (man's small) in 10 days. The second sock practically flew off the needles. I used 2 skeins of Knit Picks Essential Tweed in Flint, which I've had in the stash for a few years because I wasn't a fan of the primary colored tweed flecks, but it worked out beautifully for this pattern. I cast on 72 st instead of the 84 called for, and worked a 3x3 ribbing for an inch before going into the pattern. Dante isn't big enough for me to knit these as stockings so I knit them as socks. I had church in mind when I made these so I wanted them to be something that would keep his feet warm, but also look good with dress shoes. I'll have to see how he takes to them (and if it's anything like the way he reacted to that bag of Cheetos that I bought at his request last night, then I've got it made!) Now I'm knitting baby socks with the left over Tofuties from my MIL's shawl, trying to concentrate on my last real week of school until January 6th, and trying to get house work done. Between the holiday knitting, and the siren call of Netfilx...I'm not getting anything done around here. Tonight it was Quantum of Solace. I love me some Daniel Craig as James Bond. Best Bond ever!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

IEP meeting, physical, and med check...

So Dante is once again qualified to receive assistance and to continue with an IEP, at least until 2012. At my request, his resource teacher (lovely woman) tested him and he scored average in math, high-average in reading (10th grade level) and high-average in comprehension. He's passed his last 3 math tests with scores in the high 90's. Things are in good hands and I'm a happy momma. Then we go to the doctor's office and he get's his physical. His BMI is 10... (no, not a typo). He's 12 years old, 5' 3" tall, and 87 lbs. 87! So the doctor has suggested that he have a snack right before bed, and that I sneak in some olive oil, nuts, or other heart-healthy oils and proteins into his diet to help boost his calories. And I'll be working on it, but I've got concerns about forming bad eating habits by encouraging him to eat ice cream, puddings, and pumpkin pies (all actual suggestions) before bed. So now I'm a worried momma. I'll be focusing on granola bars, adding olive oil to his pasta sauce, eggs, nuts, avocados, and Carnation instant breakfasts. I'll have to do some serious research to make sure that I can get the most nutritious high-calorie foods I can find, and I really want to be sure that I don't cause the formation of bad life long habits. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Netflix will be the death of me

I have a wonderful friend who got my a 3 month subscription to Netfilx for Christmas! I woke up on Friday morning, and there it was...sitting in my email inbox just waiting for me. So I went online and claimed my gift as fast as my hot little hands would type, and next thing I knew I had 22 movies in my que, 13 in my "instant que", and one already on the way to my house! They had that puppy shipped out before I even had a chance to log out. And sure enough, first thing Saturday morning, I had a brand new movie sitting in my mailbox (which I haven't even taken out of the envelope because I've watched 6 instant movies in the last two days!). I look up, and hours have gone by. Today alone, I watched two Thomas the Tank Engine movies with Alex, Short Circuit, and The Corpse Bride with Dante, and I've got plans for a few more after Aaron finishes playing Call of Duty (issues with lagging). Yesterday it was Spongebob season 3, Labyrinth, and two collections of Saturday Night Live. This is going to be really dangerous, and if I have made any recent commitments to anyone, you might need to call me to make sure that a) I still remember what they are, and b) that I'm not stuck at the computer with my eyes glued to a Netfilx movie, knitting a sock.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Free-ish manicures and pedicures! Come and get 'em

This year, I am adopting a ward family and I really need your help. On the right of this blog post, you will see a small list titled Adopt a Family. There is a list of some things that this family really needs (check often because this list is subject to change), and I am offering manicures and pedicures for donations of canned goods, gift certificates to places like walmart, job lot, price rite, save-a-lot, and payless shoes, or other items on the list. If you're interested in getting a manicure or pedicure and would like to help me make Christmas for a family that will not otherwise have one, I would greatly appreciate it. Just call me, email me, or comment on this post and I'll schedule an appointment for you. I also do artificial nails, but that is a bigger investment of time and product so I would be looking for a larger donation if you want to have acrylics done. (For those who don't know, I am a licensed manicurist with 10 years experience, and a master technician with Creative Nail Design. Credentials available from their web site.)

I will be taking appointments through Tuesday, December 22 so that I can get everything over to their house in time for Christmas. If you are a knitter reading this, and you don't live near enough for a mani, pedi, or set of nails but you still want to help out, email me and I'll send you my home address, and a set of hand made stitch markers for your donation. There may also be a stash sale, depending on how well the fund raiser is going, and how much time I can take away from homework to sort through the stash, lol.

Now, if you want to know what you can do this holiday season to's my idea. Look at the list of women that you visit teach (or that you know if you aren't a Mormon and don't have a visiting teaching program). Is there a sister on your list who really needs help and won't be able to provide a Christmas to her family this year? If so, talk to your companion to see how you can help. If not, talk to another member of the ward to see if you can help them with their sisters. If you're not in a position financially to help out (and this applies to many of us), try to provide service to that family. I don't have a problem admitting that I'm broke, but I have skills that I can use to try to help out, so that's what I usually do. We all have something that we can do for another person that will really help them out, even if it's simply going over and babysitting for a single mother so that she can go to a Relief Society activity once in a while, child free. Maybe we can go through out closet and give the clothes that we've (cough) outgrown so that newer sisters can have skirts to wear to Sacrament meeting. Maybe we just bake cookies, and go visit. What ever it is...what ever you can do, do it! If we just look at our lists, we can find someone who could use some help, and if we can't, we can ask around to see who does have a sister in need and we can help out.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


This is not a post, it's a rant. You've been warned.

So today I got one of my peer reviewed papers back and the reviewer missed one of the main points in my thesis, and therefore couldn't understand why I referenced statistics relating to different races and how they are affected by different eating disorders. Then I got to thinking about how she said that my paper was mostly informative rather than persuasive, and I realized that she was probably right. I kept thinking about what I really wanted out of this, and what I want other people to want, and it led me to come downstairs a do some more research. Well, I was just pissed off by what I found (sorry, but there's really no other way to put it) and I realized that I'm going to have to completely rework this paper because there is something I want from this. I want our federal government to actually back research, prevention, and education with some MONEY, and I want the media to take some responsibility for the content that they expose our children to, and I want people to get up and take a STAND about this! I want people to demand better standard, and I want people to insist that insurance companies treat eating disorders with the seriousness they deserve and to fully cover treatment so that doctors no longer have to release patients well before they're ready to be sent home, so that they can relapse. I want a face to go with the cause, and I want people to be aware that anorexia alone has the highest mortality rate of any other mental illness...ANY other mental illness, for adolescent girls, and that it's 12 times higher than ALL OTHER CAUSES OF DEATH for women aged 15-24. I want people to do something, write a letter, complain to someone if they don't like what they see on TV and magazines.

Did you know that the average American woman is 5'4" tall, and weight about 140lbs, and the average model is 5'11" tall, and weighs 117lbs, and according to the NEDA, only 5% of the population naturally fit those standards? Did you know that "officials in Fiji reported a sudden increase in anorexia and bulimia with the arrival of television in their communities", according to the Renfrew Center Foundation for Eating Disorders? Did you know that the National Institute of Mental Health (who controls the allocation of researching funding in the United States) did not allocate ANY funding for the study, education, or treatment of eating disorders in 1999-2000, and that in 1997 they only allocated 1% of their budget, which then had to be split with obesity and diabetes? Up to 24 million people in America suffer from an eating disorder, in relation to 1.2 million who suffer from HIV/AIDS, and the NIMH provided 1.3 billion dollars to AIDS... and in 2005, they have spent roughly $1.20 per person with eating disorders, compared to $159.00 per person on schizophrenia research, and 75% less than on Alzheimer's research (NEDA)!

So why does the government spend so little money on this ridiculously serious issue, you ask? Because there aren't enough people out there demanding it! Americans will spend their money to vote for the next American Idol, they will go to websites to "demand" that a movie come to their area (just like I did with Paranormal Activity), they'll call or email to their cable companies to say that "they want their MTV", but they can't be bothered to write to their congressman or any other local representative to tell them what's on their mind. We just complain in our houses, or to each other, but not to those who can do something about it, and I'm just as guilty but I can tell you that after this paper is done, I'm sending it to a local representative and demanding that something be done to educate children, fund more research, and push the insurance companies to do the right thing! And I'm challenging anyone within eyesight of this blog post to join me to ask for change. An estimated 480,000 people die from anorexia every year (just anorexia, not counting bulimia or "eating disorder, not otherwise specified" as it's defined in the DSM-IV, and this is truly an estimate because there are so many people who don't go looking for help due to the stigma's surrounding eating disorders, and eating disorders and related deaths are not tracked by ANY government agency like other mental illnesses are (Renfrew). So I'm not going to let my anger pass. I'm not going to sit here so upset that I'm crying tears of frustration because this is just so STUPID! I'm going to follow through, rewrite my paper, and send it to someone who can do something, and then I'm going to contact NEDA and see what I can do because I really want to see this cause be pushed into the forefront like other causes so that no one else will have to google for over an hour just to find out how much we as Americans are spending on this, and who the spokespersons are (Jamie Lynn Seigler if you didn't know...cause I didn't know). So if you're feeling just as indignant about this as I am... DO SOMETHING!