Reflections of 2009

It has certainly been an interesting year. So much has happened and much more has changed. The kids have grown so much and started new grades. I guess the best way is to take it kid by kid.

Andrew is now in 3rd grade. He's been dealing with a lot of social issues stemming from his developmental delays. He attended a social skills summer program and I think it may have done him a lot of good. He still has some problems, but he is doing his best to overcome them. We've switched his ADD meds adn I think that has a lot to do with it. He needs to do more of the work now and while it is difficult for him now, I think it is the best decision for him in the long run. He is now a purple belt in MMA and will be testing for blue in the next couple of months. He is also a Bear Cub Scout now and enjoying the new pack as well as racking up belt loops. In 2009, he celebrated his first communion - and is now disappointed that he has to wait until 4th grade to be an altar server.

Ryan is still the charmer - but now it is in the 2nd grade. He still can't sit still very well - which was making for a difficult first grade year, but 2nd is going SO much better! he had his best report card yet and for the first time ever he is at or above grade level in reading. His math test scores have all been over 100% (hmm... wonder where he gets that from...). We are really thrilled at the improvement and growth. Now, if only he can learn some patience. He had a med change too and again it is a change for the better. He is also a purple belt in MMA and will be testing for blue at the first test of the new year. Ryan is also racking up the new belt loops in Cub Scouts ( he is "winning" 4-3 right now) where he is a Wolf Cub. He has recived his first reconciliation and is studying for his First Communion - on Andy's Birthday.

Colin began ST through early intervention. He has ADD red flags all over the place, but no official diagnosis. Hist first SLP "diagnosed" him with a case of my-brothers-won't-shut-up-long-enough-for-me-to-learn-to-talk. we've worked with him to help him learn to assert himself and it has made a huge differance. He turned 3 and transitioned to the Pre-K program. He goes 5 mornings a week and has made some new friends. We're working on the potty thing. He has decided that he is too big for diapers, but the accidents are still quite frequent. Hopefully 2010 will be a diaper free year!

They are all happy and heathy and that makes me a happy Mommy.

Todd's story really ins't mine to tell, but I can tell you that while 2008 was a year of difficult health issues for him, 2009 was a year of healing. He is in such a better a better place I can't begin to tell you. We have had our bumps and trails as a couple, but we renewed our vows for our 10th anniversary as a symbol of a new begining for us.

As for me, I spent most of 2009 looking for a new job. I found one. It is an honest living and even ion my field, but a big step back career-wise. I'm notthrilled with that, but the pay isn't too bad and the job security is very good and right now that is what really counts. I'll ride out the rough economy as a construction inspector for the DOT and then move on to what I want. I was presented with an opportunity to guest lecture at CCSU - which I really enjoyed. It has alos given me reason to look back on my career and take note of its twists and turns. I think I may have finally figured out the path I've taken and the reason for it - but that is for me right now. I'll share with the world when I am ready to continue my journey. I have learned the art of detachment and the power of grattitude both of which have brought me a lot of serenity in a stressful world. I have also learned that prayer is a conversation and I need to stop talking and listen if I want to hear the answers. I've also come to accept thatwhile those answers may not be what I want, they are what I need.
So, that is it for 2009. As we move on to a new year and a new decade I wish you all peace, prosperity and joy.


WIP Wenesday

remember way back when I used to do weekly WIP update? Now that I can blog somewhat regularly, I'm going to attempt to resurrect that. I'm also putting out the challenge to other knit/crochet/quilt/craft bloggers to join me for WIP Wednesday. Drop me a comment and I will add your link to my post.
Before I explain the photo, let me tell you a little story. I usually ride the train to work. I knit on the trains - nothing new there. Well, now I'm working at 3 different stations. I have a backpack with my knitting, makeup and about 30 pens. I also carry my clipboard stuffed with forms in it. I left my bag on the platform in SoNo (which has recnetly been made "famous" by this story) while my clipboard and I went to talk to the cops. There was a RR employee standing about 5 feet from it. I guess he went to go get a coffee and some crackhead swiped my knitting! Did I mention that this was Christmas knitting? I made matching socks for all of my boys. I was halfway done with Andy's -the last pair - when it was taken LESS THAN A WEEK BEFORE CHRISTMAS!!! I ran back to Joann's got mre yarn and a new needle and managed to get a new pair done on Christmas Eve! AS frustrating as that was, I have to laugh because the joke was on the thief. There was nothing of any value to anyone but me in there. Good luck pawning a half knit pair of socks and some used lipgloss.
The hat is Star-Crossed Slouchy Beret from Strands of Me. The yarn is Debbie Mumm Traditions (Heather Haze) from Jo-Ann etc. It is a wool blend - soft and warm. It is a loosly spun single ply, so it can be a bit of a pita to work with. Each skein also had a knot in it which messed up the pattern repeat. The pattern was well written, easy to follow and fun to knit. I started it Saturday night and finished Sunday afternoon!
Right now I'm working on a pair of cabled gauntlets in the same yarn, but I have a feeling that they will end up being mittens. I'll post a picture of those next week. There isn't much to look at now.
I need to shovel out the sewing room and then I can post new pictures of my quilts. I am mid quilting on the feed sack sampler and I have another quilt top that needs batting, backing and quilting.


tightening the circle

I've been doing a lot of reflecting these last few days. I suppose it is the new year coming. One thing I realized is that I've really tightened the circle of trust around me. In the past, I've let a lot of people in and trusted them. I thought that since they were my friends I could use their support. Instead of support, I got a lot of judgement. Some people just cut me out of their lives. Some decided to trash me behind my back. Others thought they knew what was best for me and told me - incessantly - what I should be doing then got upset when I didn't do it. None of those people know what it is like to be me. they don't know my boundaries or my limits. I have only truly learned what they are in the last 13 months. I've learned to trust myself.

There are some friends who have accepted me as me and support me in my efforts to grow as a person. I have made some new wonderful friends who do have an understanding of what I have been through as they are dealing with similar issues. They listen with love and understanding and offer support and advice based on their own experience. They respect my choice to take their advice or not as I see fit.

So, if you haven't heard from me much or you haven't seen me hanging out at my old haunts*, don't take it personally. I've tightened the circle of trust and I'm not in a place to loosen my grasp right now.

*except H&C - that has been a logistical problem which should be fixed in the near future. see you soon!


'Twas the Day After Christmas

... and all through the house
every creature is stirring
and making me NUTS!!!

seriously... that jolly fat ass brought you a ton of shit and you are going to fight over a vidoe game that you've had for almost a year? how about you jump on the wii fit+ and burn off some of that sugar.

Come to think of it, this jolly fat ass should kick them both off of the wii and do some yoga... since there isn't an s-factor for the wii (yet).
So, you can expect a return to regular blogging now that Santa brought the kids a new Laptop. We stopped our internet service shortly after the old one pooped out, so I am "borrowing" an unsecured signal until we reinstate it. I am currently researching our option since we also got rid of the land line. I hate the cable company with a passion words cannot express, so we won't be spending a penny there. I'm open to other suggestions. It looks like AT&T now offers internet with no home phone service, but that would also require us to switch cell phone carriers - which may not be a bad idea. Anyway, there are options to weigh and plans to compare, so bear with me.
For now I try for 2 weekly posts - an weekly recap and TGIF. The TGIFs are really for me, but I hope you are all inspired by them to do the same. It is really quite powerful when you get down to it.

Christmas recap:
lots of Wii games, the netpal and Cars for Colin. Todd got a GPS, some DVDs and we both got new tires for the car (amazing what happens when you grow up, huh?). I got a couple movies and lots of bling for my Pandora bracelet. most of all, a healthy hubby and 3 happy kids. 2009 has been a pretty good year to me, but that'll be another post.


Thanks for the Giving

I've really missed my TGIF posts, so what better time to post one than Thanksgiving?

  • My family - of course
  • Finding new friends
  • Fellowship and the other fellowship
  • growth and discovery
  • food on the table, a roof over our heads, a car in the driveway and a paycheck in the mailbox.
  • Hockey tickets
  • babysitters
  • my super smart cousin who told Santa about the Disney computer
  • having a family room again (hmm... I think a pole would look nice there.)
  • planning for the future
  • learning that prayer is a conversation and that if I shut up and listen I can hear the answers.
  • not making decisions based on fear.
  • being wanted when not needed.
  • new opportunities.
  • looking forward, onward and upward.


A long overdue update

I know. I know.... I miss my blog - even if no one reads it, it makes me happy. The good news is that one of Santa's elves just told me a new laptop may be under the tree. (Actually, I Santa may set it up ahead of time and put a bow on the amoire for the kids to find after all the rest of the gifts are opened.) My very smart and very cool cousin Kerry just told me about the Disney Netpal and it looks perfect for the kids (and I can blog on it).

so, a quick round up....

Andy and Ryan are pretty much the same - just taller. They are both still in MMA, but Ryan is now a higher rank than Andy (D'oh).

Ryan actually is having his best year yet academically, but best of all NO behavior issues. Andy's grades are pretty good, but his effort is lacking. If he did more than the minimum, he'd have all A's. He is also going to get OT for his handwriting and they are having him work on typing to help him keep up cognitively - hence the kid friendly computer.

Colin is now in Pre-K and LOVING it. He was the only student in his class for a while, but now he has two new friends. They are going to increase his class time to 5 mornings a week - YAY! He is going to have such a great time. He wants to get on the bus every morning anyway. That will start after Thanksgiving break. He wants to take karate too, but we told him he has to go poopy on the potty first.... soon enough...

Todd is back in MMA as well. I should actually start with - Todd is back. there are no words to truly explain what the last year has been like for us. The changes he has made in himself are astounding. He is a new man, and trust me the changes are for the better. Our lives now are so different from what they were last year that it is sometimes hard for me to remember what it was really like then. Don't get me wrong, the insanity isn't 100% gone, but now it is just fun insanity - or kid related.

As for me... I don't know where to start. The new job is OK. The work is easy. The hours are... well they vary. I'm at the end of a 3 month night rotation now. The nights are sometimes hard, but it does offer me a lot of flexibility for the days. I am actually going to guest lecture at CCSU this morning and I'm looking forward to it. It is really amazing what opportunities have opened themselves up to me now that my decisions are based on my own desire.

how about some pics?

I am doing a BOTM on Ravlery and I'm assembling the strips and lap quilting them. The print fabrics are vintage feed sacks. This is the first strip:

The back pieced from the scraps
the first block of the next strip
scraps from that block for the backing strip
This is a top that I threw together last week from strips in my stash.
As you can see, I've been in more of a sewing mood lately. I have been knitting too, but mostly boring utilitarian socks for work.


The return of TGIF 9/4/09

First... this is a temporary return. I will get back to regular blogging when things settle out a bit more. Things are going well.. but it is a journey.

  • A cool new job with a great boss and a interesting yet pleasant cast of characters.
  • Three big kids in school (pictures are comming).
  • Colin's "big" Pre-K classroom (OK - so he is the only kid in his class... REALLY!)
  • A healthy hubby.
  • A family room that is a family room again!!!
  • knitting
  • quilting - Goddess pictures are comming too. they are on Mom's computer
  • the great big list
  • The other even bigger list
  • my Sunday night gang
  • Birthday Boy #1 Photobucket

(yeah that is a pile of Bakugan Birthday Cake Balls! )

  • Birthday boy #2


(That is a Tofutti "ice cream" cake.)

  • sanity and serenity
  • being back on the bike
  • Brown Gables

So... Here is the thing with these lists. The concept is taken form Mama Gena. But it is really about (for me) self-reflection. I take stock of every thing that I have and see how blessed I really am. Then I make a list of my desires ..big and small. It helps me put things in perspective. Where I'm comming from and where I am going.

Well, last week, I wasn't able to get to the blog, but I put pen to paper. I wrote and wrote and wrote. The thoughts just came pouring out and didn't want to stop! Then I took a look back at what I wrote. Suddenly.... my life made sense. The path I've taken.. the twists.. the turns... falling off of a cliff of two...

The most amazing thing I realized was that I know now where it is I want my life to be headed. Still not sure how I'm going to make it from here to there, but I now have a clear goal in mind. I'm refreshed, relieved and inspired!

so... go make you own list of grattitudes and desires! enjoy!


Welcome to Brown Gables!

Since the economy needed a little boost, we thought we'd do our part and buy a new vacation home.

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Andy and I are reading "Anne of Green Gables" so we thought it appropriate to name it Brown Gables.
After a test run in the back yard, we packed up and went up to Webb Mountain Park. The boys really had a blast hiking, mountain biking and making s'mores. We also took a trip down the road to the Webb Mountain Discovery Zone. Seriously COOL place. We hiked the short loop (about a mile) and plan a couple of day trips for the other two loops.

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We picked Andy up after day camp and drove up to Webb Mountain. It is about a half hour from us and 3 miles from my parents. We stayed 2 nights and I think that was just about the right length for our first tent trip. We hiked them till they dropped then had the grand-parents over for dinner. They slept early and solidly. The best part... they slep in!
The older two already have a trip scheduled with Daddy and Papa in MA next week. They are also asking to go back to Webb Mtn too, so at least one more trip before school starts.


Time Warp!

can't believe it's been almost 2 months! I need to upload some pics, but we've got:

  • Andy's Birthday
  • book reviews
  • crafty stuff (crochet dodecahedrons, Andy's quilt, Goddess quilt and sock monsters)
  • our new vacation home
  • Colin's ST
  • PPTs for Andrew and Colin
  • book reviews (hint- Twilight series=rediculously predictable)

stay tuned!

oh - and thanks Mary for pointing out that I'm WAAAAYYY behind.

I'm also working on updates and caping tips for my Daddy Day Camp Blog.


A New Hope

Colin has a LOT of words, but he isn't really putting them together. He understands everything we say. He follows instructions (usually). So, we had him screened by Birth to Three. He is beind on the speech and fine motor. He lost points on the fine motor because he couldn't sit still long enough to complete the task. He showed signs of impulsivity, hyperactivity and inattentiveness. Sound familiar? yeah.. not official yet, but it looks like he may have ADD/ADHD like his brothers and father.
So, all this means that he will get speech and other services (we set up his therapies on Friday) at home this spring/summer and he'll start pre-k on his birthday or the first day of school (whichever is later).
He is also at that "fun" stage where he rips his diaper off the second it gets wet, but he won't use the potty either. So, I made him a backpack that he can carry around his diapers etc in. It has a waterproof PUL lining and pockets perfect for diapers, wipes, hand sanitizer and Hot Wheels. I also made a matching changing pad which fold to fit the bottom of the bag, a PUL bag for wet/dirty diapers/clothes and, of course, a diaper. I'd actually inteded to make the diaper a pull-on type, but it isn't very streachy and it doesn't pull-on very well.
The diaper bag will double nicely as a school backpack in the fall! (The bag is a scaled down Chelsea Tote from Lazy Girl Designs.)

The ensemble:
Backpack and diaper in action:
Inside (empty & stuffed):

you want an example of the hyperactivity? Here are the outtakes from the photoshoot:

Fun, isn't he? He's so cute I can't stand it!


Communion Revisited

more pictures from the communion...


FO Round Up.

Once the Anniversary Shawl was done, I could wrap up the other projects I had going.

First, I finished Todd's Heavy Metal Monkey socks.

Then I finished off my socks to go with my Tubey sweater.

After everything was done... I needed a new project.
fraternal Jaywalkers for Todd.


SO grown up!

Andy made his first Communion a week ago. For those of you who arent' Catholic, it is a HUGE deal - a major rite of passage. What has been really interesting to watch is how he's started paying attention and following along in Mass. I suppose it all makes a LOT more sense now that he know what is going on and why.

Anyway... I'll let the pictures speak for themselves...

more pictures to come once I get them from my FIL.


TGIF- 5/1/09

it's been a while...

  • my boys
  • Sunday night buddies
  • thursday night buddies
  • leftovers in the freezer (haven't had to cook in weeks!)
  • reasons to celebrate
  • Faith
  • detachment
  • clarity
  • serenity
  • more FOs and less WIPs


Ooops - I did it again!

A few years ago, my parentsw participated in our Church's Anniversary Mass. It is a mass vow renewal for couples celebrating 10th, 25th, 40th and 50th anniversaries. Todd thought it was cool and suggested we should do it for our 10th and at the time I agreed.

Well, year #9 has been a really rough one. At one point I found myself holding the business card of a divorce lawyer. I wont get into specifics, but things needed to change. Luckily (for him) they did and now we are able to work through the rest of the issues. Things aren't perfect, but we're human and therefore imperfect. Marriage is a constant effort, but now I find myself wanting to work at it again.

As our actual anniversary approaches (May 22), we are re-learning who we both are and how our relationship works. What better way to make a fresh start than to renew our vows?
See my shawl? Yeah.. I finished it in time! I started it last June and it got tossed in a corner as the shit hit the fan. Once it became clear that things were changing for the better, I pulled it out and got back to work on it. I finished it at 2am - the ceremony was at 11! I really like how it came out.
I took this photo in the garden mom planted in her yard for my wedding pictures.
Here are some detail shots. The lace blocks are Lillies of the Valley and Heather - both of which were in my wedding boquet. I also crocheted some beads on the hem to give it some weight at the ends.