Thursday, September 15, 2011

Midway

It's September 15th- Officially half-way through this month "off" for me. How's your month so far? I haven't been as productive as I'd like, but it's been a good month by and large. The kids have been busy and loving school. The baby is about to turn a year old and is currently cutting all four first molars at once. Poor baby was of course tackled by a nasty sinus infection she's currently on Amoxicillen for as well. We're hoping these teeth cut in the next couple days so the entire house can be a little more at peace and her poor body will have the strength to kick this sinusitis.
I'm so excited with my new projects at home right now. In July I purchased a Husqvarna Huskylock S15 serger. I decided to really learn it inside and out during this month, rather than just using it well enough. To accomplish this feat I purchased a book that has been absolutely incredible: Successful Serging: From Setup to Simple and Specialty Stitches. I love it. I recommend it to anyone who wants to serge or is a relative newb like myself. I've been sewing since I was seven-years-old so serging wasn't TOO difficult to pick up, but this book has definitely been a great resource. It starts by teaching you about the serger as a machine- the parts, what they do and why- knowledge that is important for ALL sergers regardless of brand. It explains threading techniques, handy tips and simple techniques on each page, and includes a glossary of stitches- what they do, what they're good for, and includes graphics to be able to identify just by looking at a garment, and SO much more. All of these skills can no doubt be learned by experience and expensive classes, but my type-A personality means I research everything myself before I do it- If there's a book on it, I've read it from breastfeeding, proper car seat installation, and making organic baby food, to knitting intarsia and sewing skirts. Of course I needed to read a book on serging! In all seriousness, it really helps when you start serging to be able to know what you're looking at when you have a problem rather than opening the machine and staring at the confusing jumble of threads.

In my traipsing across the internet several months ago I came across the Comfort Wool blog. Not only does Teresa have a love of yarn, she's a teacher- My match made in heaven! This past week she posted about a very worthy cause I could not help but spread the word about: A fundraiser to help her purchase school supplies for her inner-city classroom that is severely lacking in funding. I was always fortunate enough to work for private suburban schools when I was teaching, but I had MANY teacher friends who were not so fortunate- Many who were not paid a wage deserving of their work and given a completely inadequate budget for classroom supplies by the school. This leaves many teachers in the position of forcing their students to go without or purchasing from their own pockets without reimbursement. If you know ANYTHING about teachers, it should be that they aren't in their profession for the money- It's all about teaching children to love learning! This WAHM and teacher is no different. I encourage everyone to stop by her blog for more information on her fundraiser and pop in on Knit Night starting Thursday, September 29th, to bid on some INCREDIBLE donations to raise money for this inner-city classroom.

Monday, September 12, 2011

A to Z of Me!

A. Age: 27
B. Bed size: King
C. Chore that you hate: Folding laundry
D. Dogs: None because we rent, but the kids are SURE we're getting a big pink doggie "Soon," and we're naming her Rosie. We'll see.
E. Essential start to your day: COFFEE!
F. Favorite color: Green
G. Gold or Silver: White gold
H. Height: 5’11"
I. Instruments you play: A little bit of everything- Trumpet and voice by training, but plenty of others by ear
J. Job title: Work-at-home mom
K. Kids: Two daughters and a son
L. Live:  Central New York, USA
M. Mother’s name: Marcia
N. Nicknames: Meg
O. Overnight hospital stays: Just the deliveries of my children
P. Pet peeves: People without manners
Q. Quote from a movie: I love lamp
R. Right or left handed: Right
S. Siblings: Two sisters, one older and one younger, and an older brother who lives with Jesus
U. Underwear: Nothing exciting- I promise.
V. Vegetable you hate: Swiss chard
W. What makes you run late: My husband
X. X-Rays you’ve had: Too many to recall- Mouth, jaw, knees, arms, wrists, hands, lungs, CT scans- All numerous time. I was a hardcore asthmatic athlete prone to pneumonia who  abused her body back in the day.
Y. Yummy food that you make: German food. Yum.
Z. Zoo animal:Tigers!
 
 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

One Week Down...

So September was supposed to be my "break" from WAHM work, but I over-committed a bit this summer, so part of this first week was used catching up. Part of that was finishing a gorgeous batch of Twisty Soakers on 2-ply undyed Cestari Merino for consignment at Petite Bottoms- A brick-and-mortar cloth diaper store in New Hampshire! I'm so excited to see how this newest business venture goes, and the owner of PB, Kim, was SO easy to work with. I look forward to getting more goods in her store in the future.
Once the soakers were on their way to the coast, I got to work on a piece for Miss R's winter woolie stash- A pair of Kumfy™ Pants on 3-ply Uruguayan Merino in "Xucua" by PureWool. I did them with the fold-over yoga-style waistband and a 1-inch cuff for growing room. I think she loves them!  I have quite a few more pairs planned for her, including a pair with an owl-cabled cargo pocket and double ruffles on Mosaic Moon's "Barn Owl" with green trim on Cestari, a pair of classic goes-with-everything neutral longies in PureWool's "Crema & Chocolate" colorway, a pair on Cestari dyed in "Silver Rain" by Eco-Wrapz, and a pair of wide lattice-cabled longies on "Zinnia" by Cestari. All of these in addition to the recycled wool leggins, skirts, dresses and jumpers I have queued up for her wardrobe, and I think my littlest is pretty well set for the winter.
Last night I started a new pattern I'd purchased with a plan but hadn't started yet. Aaryn is a beautiful yet fairly simple pattern by Julie of Libelle. I plan to knit one for each of the girls to extend the lives of their short-sleeved tees from the summer. I decided to start with the one for my bigger girl, Miss A, in a size 6. I figured it'd be wise to get the larger one knit first so the smaller would simply BREEZE by  when I got to it. Well, the size 6 is breezing fast enough! I started it last night after the kids were in bed, and tonight all I need to do is knit the sleeves, which are tapered and bound to be a quick knit despite their 11.5 inches in length. The pattern recommends using a size 7 needle, but I wanted a bit more ease in the garment so I'm knitting it on 8's. So far so good! I had my girl try it on once the body was finished to ensure I was doing the proper size for her. She was THRILLED that I was knitting something for her. Poor thing is getting so big it's becoming too time-consuming for me to knit for her very often. I need to get better about that. This Aaryn is being knit with 2-ply Cestari Merino in "Springtime Violet." Miss R's will match. Yes, I'm THAT mom.

Tüsse!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Home School Year

It's September! That means the start of a new school year for us. Last year for us was more informal because our oldest was only in preschool. As a former preschool teacher myself, I created a curriculum for our daughter, and we'd get it out and do some work whenever she decided that's what she wanted to do. By early January, she was asking every single day- Good, and yet stressful for us as a family with a new baby and a two-year-old who had just begun our journey with Early Intervention and Occupational Therapy to meet his super-sensory needs. In February, we decided on a curriculum for the coming school year and purchased the whole kit and caboodle with a piece of our tax return. Our girl was giddy beyond words when the big brown truck delivered her full Abeka K-5 package, and she has flipped through the pages of at least one of the books daily since then.
In addition to our big girl's kindergarten, our almost-3-year-old boy has expressed A LOT of interest in doing school work with his big sister, so we're starting him on the same preschool curriculum Miss A used last year. Just as we did part-time whenever-the-mood-struck preschool work with her, Mister G likely won't be full time, especially since he has an occupational therapist in our home doing 'work' for his sensory processing and regulation needs two to three times a week, but he is SO excited to get started- Turning three and starting "pweeeeschool" are his favorite topics of conversation.
In July, we sent the school district our letter of intent to home school making it official: We're a home schooling family! A lot of things affected our decision to do so, but we're pleased with the decision we've made as a family, and excited to start on this journey "officially." In order to make this big transition for our family I am taking the month of September off from KumfyKozies™ and focusing solely on learning how home schooling will work for OUR family.
"Xucua" longies on the needles for Miss R's winter stash.
You cannot keep me from my sewing table and knitting needles for long, though. Any creative time I have will be spent getting our own littles' wardrobes ready for the winter- I see dresses, skirts, sweaters and longies a-plenty in my month ahead. I plan to keep blogging, though. I have seen SO many parents complaining in this back-to-school season about the scandalous clothing available for little girls, and lack of modesty overall. I plan to show just how easily and affordably a stylish AND modest wardrobe can be made for MY little girls, ages 11 months and 4 years.