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Summer 2014 Knitting Goals

April 5, 2014

Instead of buying yarn I make no time to knit with, I thought I would make some knitting goals to (1) complete unfinished objects, (2) have fun with in short bursts, and (3) make a few gifts for others.  Here is my queue for Summer 2014:

(1) finish sleeves and hood for my cable-trimmed jacket with hood.

(2) sew on buttons for my now completed and wearing around heather hoodie vest/turned cardigan.

(3) finish my faux-cable mitts I knitted to replace the Vancouver mitts I lost at Munchin’s birthday breakfast.

(4) undo my too large cowl-neck sweater and reknit for the right size.

(5) restart and complete Hun’s Tomten

(6) knit a “not itchy” sweater for Munchkin.  Hope he wears it.  If not, I won’t knit anything for him until he turns 30.

(7) knit a sweater for T2 with wool-blend yarn.  make him wear it anyway if it irritates him. 

(8) knit a present for my mama.

(9) knit a hat for Poppy and perhaps others.

I doubt I will finish all the list by the end of the summer.  But with some due diligence, I will cut down on some of my yarn stash occupying our overflowing bedroom.


Aaaaaaand she’s back . . . Munchkin

December 29, 2013

. . . at least for tonight.  I’ve been reading my blogs, in contrast to my FB pages, and I think I will take a bit of a holiday from FB for awhile.  At least, not post so much on it.  Gain back some of my joy in meandering thoughts and not worry about pithy status updates and comments.  You know, not fall in love with the prose, just express the ideas sort of thing.  Although, this format doesn’t force economy of words, or “killing darlings”, as it were.  I can also wallow in being grammatically incorrect.  But it might help me limber my brain. 

As we say goodbye to 2013 and hello to the next year, I’ve realized why I’ve been tired all the time.  I’ve been running a marathon since Halloween of 2012. 

My son has been diagnosed with a speech and developmental delay late in 2011.  He started speech therapy just before he turned three, to great success.  However, we figured out it wasn’t enough–that there is more going on than having problems expressing himself.  Some of Munchkin’s providers recommend he be tested for sensory integration over the summer–and he might benefit from therapy.  Other words and acronyms were bantered around, like ADHD and Autism spectrum in the spring.

Munchin was at the cusp of not qualifying for special-ed preschool, and he started to become more aggressive with us and other children after the birth of our second child in January.  We thought his acting out might be adjustment to a new baby brother.  But his aggression didn’t really go away.  We hoped Munchkin–an imaginative and passionate child who loves people–would thrive in a private preschool with typically developing peers in a smaller classroom.  He was at the cusp of qualifying cognitively out of the early intervention program in Baltimore.  I talked bluntly with the school’s director about his needs at the time.  She said they could give it a go.

The classroom was the size of our dining room, containing 10 kids and two to three adults.  This was a recipe for disaster for Munchkin.  He hit kids and got to leave the classroom for an escape.  The teachers only wanted to get him out of their sight while they continued to herd other three-year-olds.  Munchkin new this, and could tell he was not favored.  He responded the way he usually does when faced with rejection–he made sure they knew it could be worse.  For the little time he was tolerated in the classroom, he would hit, push, scream, and make the show be all about him.  In less than a month, Munchkin’s aggression set him apart from the other children, and in extension, me from the other parents.

After many tears, many arguments, and much soul searching; Hun and I switched gears.  We talked to one of my old friends at length about what was best for our oldest son.  It was clear he needed teachers with more training, and we were recommended to enroll Munchkin in a pre-k program that could meet his needs through the city school district.  That was September.

We crossed our fingers and hoped he would qualify, after providers warned us he might test too high.  We followed through with an appointment with a developmental pediatrician in hopes of having some developmental diagnosis.  Reassessments were requested from his providers, that said he was doing great–although atypical.  Luckily his special ed instructor discussed his social needs at length and said he tested low verbally and cognitively.  (I was never so happy Munchkin had his special ed sessions scheduled during his nap time to test low.)  That was October.

All the while Munchkin’s speech improved.  He learned to pee and poop in the potty, dress himself, and put on his shoes.  He also was a fantastic big brother, and T2 is still excited to see him all the time.  T2 is fond of his parents, but he thinks Munchkin is the coolest.  He ran around the neighborhood, pretending to fly on sticks like Harry Potter, fly like Superman with a tattered brown sweater swung over his shoulders, and pretended to glide like Batman with oversized hoodies.  Hun gave Munchkin a Superman t-shirt this fall on a lark, and an obsession was born.  Munchkin gave Hun the look of eternal thanks, and quickly threw the Superman shirt over his head.  (I since bought two more Superman shirts, complete with cape, for Halloween and two Batman shirts for Christmas.)  Although Munchkin was already a minor celebrity in Charles Village, his renown hit cult status when he “flew” up and down St. Paul St., with his cape trailing behind him. 

Munchkin started a special-ed pre-k, and is greatly improving.  His teacher said he was one of the toughest kids she dealt with behaviorally.  But he improved after only being in school for 3 weeks.  Munchkin is also doing much better at home and out in public.  His sensory integration and speech are also doing remarkably well.  Munchkin has worked really hard this year.  We took a few wrong turns, but we are optimistic we are finally on the right course.

Tomorrow, I’ll talk about T2 had done with his first year.  It was the year that was forgotten.  T2 is a wonderful blessing we’ve had so far–and is getting more and more interesting by the day.


Things I have Done and Not Done:

September 24, 2012

I have taken out the recycling–and the trash–and additional items to Goodwill.

I have not written every day, not withstanding the pithy FB status updates.

I cuddled with my son and taken him on adventures.

Feeling a bit disconnected from the world.  We’ve been in Baltimore a year, and I can name the people I know here on one hand.  I feel sometimes entrenched in the life I built for myself in Colorado and Upstate NY.  Although I enjoy this town,  it takes more effort to let down my guard and trust people anymore.  Why is that?

As a result, I am starting to blog again.  Perhaps it will break me out of my isolation and live more in the present.  When I do write something, it will be more substantial and therapeutic, and allow myself a place for vulnerability.  Over time, I hope I can regain some of my old self, the girl who traveled to Europe and Asia by herself, the girl who expressed herself with reckless abandon, the girl who spent time to paint her toes.

I plan on going swimming tomorrow.  Either that, or take Munchkin to the Science Center.  Who knows.  As nice as these adventures are, it’s been a long time since I’ve lived for myself.  I need to regain that–and soon–to make it a priority as another life gestates within me.  I must find my own rebirth.


Things To Do:

September 12, 2012

(1)  Take out the recycling.

(2)  Pay the parking ticket.

(3)  Do laundry.

(4)  Write each day.  Even if it’s a crappy to-do list.

A Productive Day

September 16, 2011

I had a productive day today, although the list is short.  Munchkin slept in this morning, allowing some quality quite time with Hun.  When Munchkin awoke, to discover he was left behind–as he suspected all along–on very interesting things going on outside.  Hun and Munchkin cuddled.  I scored a new level on my FB game.  Munchkin went down a few hours later, and Hun went to work.  Again, I didn’t do much of anything.  I took Munchkin to the park, and I met a few moms, and we chatted.  Who knows, it might have kindled some new friendship–or not.  But perhaps it will spark something further later on, and I won’t have to rely so much on Hun’s companionship, and Munchkin’s playdates with a foreign lad and his mom, who are expected to return to their homeland within a year.  Munchkin had a great time.

Munchkin spent the remaining time eating and sleeping.  We took a quick jaunt to the independent video rental joint down the street, and picked up a movie.  The clerk, who recommended a movie to me the week before, remembered me, and we chatted for a bit.  Slowly but surely, things are becoming familiar, and my neighbors are becoming more familiar with me.

Things To Do List

September 16, 2011

I know, a boring entry.  However, unfinished business is irking me lately, and something must be done.  Since it is late at night, I will procrastinate until tomorrow what I could have done today!

(1) We have lots of pictures and artwork lying on various bookcases.  They need proper places on our walls.  I have a 10 dollar gift card to Target I will be using tomorrow.

(2)  Find a recipe for broccoli soup.  Hun asked me a month ago to make it.  I had vowed to make one “veggie”tarian meal per week to increase vegetables in our diets and less fatty crap.  I fell off the wagon for the past month.  Along with blogging.  Damn you, facebook!

(3)  Blog tomorrow.  Again.  Rinse and repeat.

(4)  Complete  “Poppy” Dr. Who scarf by Halloween.  I can then complete another set of Bella mitts for my former landlady and former fostermom.   I will also need to knit a suitable Mayhem Cap for the Munchkin.  After that, I will attempt  the adult version of the Tomten for Hun, who has been begging over a year for one.  At that point, I will actually knit a sweater for moi!  (I will also forgo buying any more yarn until I substantially cut down my stash by half.

(5)  Commit to cleaning the house one morning per week.  Munchkin will have to deal.

(6)  Schedule an appointment with the doctor, as I’ve had a case of the awful coughin’ for over a week now.  Get flu shots, rinse, and repeat.  This is a general appeal to go to bed earlier, and take better care of myself.

Well,  I should brush and floss my teeth before bed.  Then I need to catch some sleep.

Ooops . . . it looks like I forgot to do one thing . . . submit my post.  I am now drinking a damn good cup of coffee the next morning as I do just that .  . .

Remember September

September 12, 2011

Instead of posting lately, I spent hours playing “Gardens of Time” on facebook. While whiling away time making my dream garden and playing games, I created a wasteland of my personal time, dawdling, not cleaning, not writing, and not adding to my tiny legacy if I happen to get hit by an asteroid tomorrow.  I confess, I am weak and lazy in many respects.

I have decided that I will have one FB holiday per week–and to stick to it.  I gave myself one yesterday–but broke my promise.  Today, and half of tomorrow, I will be off the FB bandwagon.

Giving more time to write in tangents and bore my two readers.  By the by, hey Mom and Dad.  We’ll be booking plane tickets this week for the end of November.

I will also get back on the bandwagon of writing every day–even if it might be 1am, to do it, like brushing my teeth twice a day.

Alas, the post I am writing about is remembering how the world changed ten years ago yesterday.  I remember I started grad school in journalism.  I just moved to Boulder, and my roommate asked me if she could use my television–we didn’t have cable and I had the only tv in the house.

She told me the United States was under attack, and wanted to see the coverage.  We couldn’t get reception, so I hiked over to campus, to find out what was really happening.  American under attack?  Are you kidding me?!  She was smoking too much pot.

I hustled into the journalism school to find out what was really going on.  At that moment, I witnessed both Towers toppled to the ground live on CNN.   I sat amongst a room full of strangers, dumbstruck–both unwilling to believe the tragedy I couldn’t deny.

I saw WTC fall on reloops throughout the day, journalist and other witnesses who barely escaped with their lives, family members wandering the streets and accosting reporters for help in finding the missing.  I also saw footage of people dancing in the streets in Pakistan and Iran.

I wanted to reach through the screen and choke those dancers.  A foreign classmate stood by me, and agreed it was a very sad day.  She then said that in her country, bombings were not uncommon occurrences–people wound die because of politics masked in religious ideology.  Americans showed little interest in people with the same plight, and were more focused on the little nothings and taking their safety and security for granted.  Meanwhile, we did quite a bit of pissing off the rest of the world–and it was unfortunately a matter of time for America’s veil of  illusions would be lifted.  Still, it was a very sad day.

After the Towers fell, our word changed.  Many things change, just on the basis of time.  I have more gray hare, a wedding ring, and a child.  I live in Baltimore instead of Boulder, and I returned to social work after completing my MA in journalism.  It’s the natural order of things to change over time.

Yet 9/11 started a series of events that we as a country couldn’t turn back.  We couldn’t ignore our place in the world.  We couldn’t ignore the plight of others.  We–as a country–could no longer pursue our own material wants while willfully disregarding the needs of others.  We couldn’t take our safety and welfare for granted.

Ten years later,  Osama bin Laden was assassinated in Pakistan.  Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize for not being George Bush. China and Vietnam enjoy the seductions of capitalism while communism whisper’s its swan song.

And something astonishing is happening in the Middle East, where we least expected it . . . Democracy is pushing forward–not by our own hands by pursuing liberty, justice, and the American way–but through everyday people taking to the streets and taking control of their own country.