Friday, December 31, 2010

the last day of 2010

This year has been marked with disease, family strife, financial woes, and a few new beginnings.
Let's focus on the good stuff, shall we?
  • The hubs and I moved into our own place. 
  • My sister moved to Chicago. 
  • I am teaching again in a classroom of my very own at a school that I actually kind of like and might even see myself working at until I'm old. 
  • I reconnected with an old but still very dear and important friend. 
  • The monkey started preschool. 
  • The hubs went back to school. 
  • The hubs just started a new job.
Not too bad, right? I think the good might actually outweigh all the bad this year has brought. I am SO glad we are hours away from this year being over. I am almost positive that 2011 is going to be less drama-filled (at least that's what I'm hoping!) and maybe even less of a financial nightmare too.

In terms of knitting, I completed 33 projects this year and ten of them were shawls!!

There were only two pairs of socks, one face mask, six hats, four cowls, two pairs of ear warmers, four scarves, one pair of mittens, and two pairs of fingerless mitts.
For 2011, I'd like to get back into a few more socks. I think I might finally cast on for that vest for the hubs. I might even finally cast on for an audrey in unst for myself (good thing I waited..it would've been a tad big on me and I'd have to gift it to my sister!). I also want to cast on for some endpaper mitts. Got the yarn all ready (it's been sitting out on the floor for weeks now!). Before I set my sights so high, I still have to finish the pair of socks I began for my sister, the hat I should be working on right now, and possibly the OMG mittens (but I'm still on the fence about my yarn choice!).

In terms of reading, I didn't fare as well as I had hoped. I guess that's what happens when you're easily distracted by your job as a teacher. :P I was only able to complete 25 novels. Tori Spelling was quite popular with me this year. lol. Amidst my 25 reads, there were some really good ones. I think my favorites for the year would be (in no particular order): My Life in France, Eat, Pray Love, and The Help. The last two have been key in my journey through 2010.

Resolutions for the new year? I haven't taken the time to think of any yet. When I do, I'll let you know. I can tell you that I went through this apartment and did a much needed cleaning/de-cluttering which says to me that I don't like entering a new year "dirty."  I vacuumed, most of the trash is out (still need to take the rest of the recycling down!), the laundry is done, and my bedroom floor is clear once again. Clean room, clean conscience, right?

With that, I am off to work on more narratives. I've got about 4 done and I had challenged myself to get 3 done today (and it's after 6!!).

May you all have a fantastic new year!

in recovery

Christmas came and went and seemed to swallow me up whole. It didn't end when I realized (days later!) that I was suffering a horrible bladder infection the day after Christmas. I spent the entire day in bed-unable to move and fearful of the next time I was going to cough or sneeze or what have you. This was my first time having a bladder infection and I don't wish it upon anyone (so I say now!).
During my bed rest, I was afraid to close my eyes during all the tv movies I was watching for fear that I wouldn't wake up! We didn't go to the ER or even to see a doctor because the next day, I was actually feeling better.
I am guessing since I was doing such a horrible job of taking care of myself these last few weeks, that eventually something was going to catch up with me--something bad! I had lost my voice earlier in the month, then I had a dry cough which sort of lingered. You'd think that I would've increased my liquid intake but I did no such thing. Then the DAY before Christmas, I had a cold and couldn't taste anything and I still had a cough which had sort of worsened. My body was seeking revenge against me and therefore, late Christmas night what I thought was just too much crap was possibly the onset of my bladder infection. It wasn't until Wednesday that I sort of started feeling like myself again.
So while I have been gone, there have been a couple of finishes, another trip to Christmas in the Park, and lots of baking!
I finished the beret for my SIL. I ended up frogging the one for my sister. When I went back to work on it, I noticed all the errors I had made with the cables and I just kept picturing her wearing it and it wasn't flattering. I have since cast on for a new hat using the same yarn.
I finished the hub's face mask which is super duper warm. I finally gave it to him yesterday!
My sister and I went up to San Jose to go pick up my friend who was flying in from Portland. Before we left, I had suggested that we go check out Christmas in the Park (but only if my friend was going to be okay with it!). We ended up taking the monkey and my SIL with us so it was inevitable that we were going to end up at Christmas in the Park!
Even though you don't get to see all the Christmas lights during the daytime, there are SO many things to see like this countdown clock! In all the times I had been, I had yet to notice it!
There was less people and we were better able to take pictures of things. Not to mention the lighting was SO much better during the daytime!
I liked the ornaments on this particular tree. I took a pic so that next year, my assistant and I can try to make these cork reindeer with our kids!
Me as a tree!
The monkey sneaking on Santa's sleigh..
And my goofy sister as a snowman.
And now for the few baking shots I have..
 Here are the strawberry poinsettia cookies I attempted to make.
The still unfrosted butter cookies I made..and I didn't manage to get a shot of the spice cookies I made. My sister came over LATE on Christmas Eve and the girl baked until about 2:30 in the morning. I don't know how she did it! 
Christmas was nice. We ended up just staying in. We had waffles for our first Christmas in our apartment. This Christmas was one where new traditions can begin. I think butter cookies will be a continued tradition as will the waffles. We ended up opening our Christmas gifts later in the day too so that just might be another new tradition..we'll just have to see.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Today was the hub's birthday. Luckily, we had most of the necessary ingredients for me to make him some homemade cupcakes with homemade frosting!
Yet another quiet evening at home. Since returning to "normal," I have been hard at work on my narratives (aka progress reports) which are due the week we get back from vacation. I'm a bit of a primadonna when it comes to composing my reports though. I have to be sitting at a desk (as far away as possible from a tv!!!!!!). I must have earphones on too so I can listen to pandora or something else. I also noticed that I don't really start to get to work until about 3 in the afternoon! That must be why I can only get about two done a day.. I completed my first one yesterday and emailed it to our director for some feedback and she said it was pretty good for being my first one at our school ever. :) Now I just need to  git 'em done (which is much easier said than done!). Narratives are much more difficult and thought provoking than a check list and a comment section. Though I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world. They provide a unique snapshot of each individual child. I'm sure the parents appreciate them too.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Last minute holiday startitis

In all the years that I have been a knitter, this is the first year where I will be giving more than one handmade gifts. With our cash flow running into the toilet, I didn't want to NOT give gifts. I also didn't like having to tell certain people that their Christmas gift from us was going to be late. Why I decided to start Christmas gift knitting THIS week I couldn't tell you. I cast on for a slouchy for my sister.
She hates them but I'm trying to make her more versatile. lol. I kept saying if she would wear WHATEVER kind of hat I made for her and she said yes. She started to figure out what I was talking about. It has been slow goings. I need to focus!!
I want to cast on for these too. They are SO her. She keeps telling me she doesn't want mittens because you have to take them off to do stuff..well, the person that designed these is a genius if you ask me!
Yesterday, I decided I needed to cast on for something for my SIL. I decided on something called cuckoo.
It is actually a fast knit. I am already at the last repeat for the hat body and soon I'll be working on crown decreases. I stayed up VERY late last night knitting and watching tv. I hope she likes it. She has a lacy pink one that she picked up at a shop and she wears it all the time. I figured this color would go with anything.
I have also been working on this.
I am a few inches away from completion but I'm sure I'm going to run out of yarn. I haven't decided yet what I am going to do. I have some paton's merino wool in a similar shade but I also have some more debbie bliss in a contrasting shade as well. Decisions, decisions. I better decide quick!
Oh, I also managed to cast on for my sister's first pair of handmade socks!
I gave her a pair before she moved to Chicago which she wears every night!
I gave her another pair the other day.
I'm pretty sure I won't finish the socks in time to give to her as a Christmas gift but they'll be finished before she goes back to Chicago.
Back to the knitting!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

gingerbread

This week, I sent home a family homework assignment. It was to decorate a paper gingerbread. The only rules were that it had to be done as a family and that they were welcome to use whatever they wanted. I've done this at most of the schools I worked at. I wasn't expecting to get many back because the last time I did this project at a charter school. I only got a handful back. Boy was I surprised yesterday morning!
Fifteen of my children remembered to do the activity. Two of them made more than one gingerbread. I will try to get better shots of them on Monday. They did a really good job and I made sure to tell them! I am hoping to get more on Monday especially since one of my students was out and was really bummed that he wasn't going to get to turn it on yesterday.
Last night was also my first work Christmas party at my boss's house. I dragged my sister along. The major selling point was free food and free liquor. lol. It was an interesting event. Many parents (particularly on the board!) still don't know who I am which isn't a big deal to me. I kind of like my anonymity.
I finished my mitts that I started earlier this week so I will try to post a finished pic soon!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

more busy

It feels like forever since I last posted! I had intended to post over the weekend but didn't get around to it. Then I intended when to catch up on my sick day that I took this past Tuesday but time just got away from me.
On Saturday, my boss had given the hubs and I tickets to see the symphony.  Wow. Hard to believe those kids are basically half my age. Such talent!
This was my favorite sight at the venue..aside from watching the harpist!
After the symphony, we went to hang out with my BFF and her daughter. We went to Christmas in the Park but since I forgot my camera (and didn't want to rely on cell phone pics!) I figured maybe I'd try to visit her again this coming Saturday and we could go during the daytime (especially since her lil one fell ASLEEP as soon as we got there-we woke her up though!). SO should I follow through and go like I intend to, I will have my camera in tow and will be able to take some pictures of my own. It's a really cool display.
I lost my voice, had a horrible annoying cough, and got very little sleep Monday night so I stayed home on Tuesday. I got lots of knitting done. I had sort of thought I'd go on a knitting hiatus at least until next Friday (last day of school) but that didn't happen! I started and completed two calorimetries.
Both of which are for my sister She mentioned wanting to buy ear warmers and I said I could just make her some.
I finally took a blocked picture of my daybreak.
 The picture doesn't really do it that much justice. Thank goodness my sister is in town again so I can take modeled shots of all my latest finished shawls. :)
I cast on for some mitts for myself.

These are the lovisa armwarmers. I'm nearly finished with the second one. I'm on the fence about blocking them since they're knit in alpaca. I may finally cast on for a pair of endpaper mitts while I'm on break too. :) I'm in the mood to do some stranded knitting. :D There will also be a fresh new pair of socks in my knitting agenda. My sister actually requested some! I gave her a pair of socks I had made for myself and she wears them to sleep. I told her the next pair will be made specifically for her. I wanted to cast on for some mittens but then she told me she can't do much with mittens. Then I mentioned I was going to just make her some fingerless mitts with a muffin top. We'll see. She has lots of patterns to go through while she's here--in between working and all!
Only one more week of school. This week has been the slowest one yet-and I was out sick for a day. You'd think that would make time speed up. HA.