Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Daycare dilemma's

For the last month, I've been batting around an article idea on 'what the daycare guides don't tell you'. It's an idea of those additional questions or items to observe when touring a potential child care centre for one's child. Basically, covering off the problems we experienced with lil k's care (or lack thereof) in March of this year. Although there are people that are very happy with the place, it just didn't work with lil k, and so there are questions that I NOW ask, just to avoid the trauma to my little man...

Anyhow, today someone posted a question on (KIV) looking for advice on the pros/cons for each type of child care licencing group. Although I've only had my preciousssss in group licensed and licensed preschool, I have toured/observed others and offered some suggestions (including some of the half-baked ideas for my article). I received a lovely email about the information, and so I'm thinking I may expand a little more on the questions, to-do list for touring, observing and transitioning ones' little person to not only daycare, but to a 'new' centre. With such shortage of child care spaces, I would like to save some people the heartache we experienced. (Don't get me started on the poor parents that are more afraid of losing a full-time child care spot than to complain!!!! Again, another posting on KIV from a concerned father regarding ratios/safety of his daughter, and what should he do because he didn't want to tick off the caregiver and lose his spot!!!!)

I really need to get a business plan for expanding lil k's former centre...

Monday, April 28, 2008

Adjusting the size of socks

I've never been one to adjust something by 'changing needle size' - to me that changes the look of the pattern by making the fabric 'stiffer'. However, I was 'googling' toddler socks, and a blog came up with a pattern, adjusted from a woman's small size by using a thinner yarn and smaller needles. (located halfway down this page). So far, so good, it's 'looking' like it'll fit a size 9 toddler foot!

Afterwards, I *may* make the actual socks in the size the pattern (Wyvern) calls for myself!

Socks in progress photos posted May 3rd

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The many faces of toes...

Although I haven't knit alot of socks (relative to others I know), I have managed to try a different technique each time I knit a pair. My first pair were top down, as were a couple of others, but I've done the 2socks on 2 circular needles (and found it was great for doing felted slippers because it avoided the boredom of doing the 2nd slipper); I've done toe up and this is where I find there are more techniques out there. Now I don't have any issue with grafting toes (a requirement if knitting socks top down), but the toe-up versions intrigue me mainly to be able to use up the WHOLE ball of yarn without 'running out before finishing'.

Anyway, my first 'toe-up' socks were Twinkletoes for my neice's Christmas gift in 2005. It used the provisional cast-on which I found in the techniques page on Knitty. Pretty cool, no holes and the gift was well received.

Next toe-up socks were for me - I wanted to try the Sherman Heel, but I did get somewhat confused and ended up doing Judy's magic cast-on for the toes instead. The toes were great, my heel, a little loose unfortunately. In reading posts on the Sockknitter's Forum I figured I was not pulling my yarn overs enough and/or this was a common issue, but hard to explain what people were doing wrong - basically "practice makes perfect" heels was the advice.

Now we are at today - I received PGR's book "Simple Socks" and although was apprehensive (the instructions for the Sherman socks commented the PGR method was more complicated!). I just completed the toes for some socks for lil k, and it astounds me why people don't just use Judy's Magic Cast-on - all the stitches are there, and you start knitting in the round immediately instead of knitting the cap and picking up stitches :S. Anyhow, I've done the PGR technique for the toes, it was more complicated than necessary (compared to Judy's), BUT the instructions were more clear on what I was doing wrong with my yarnover stitches! I have no holes in these toes and now know why my Sherman Heel socks had loose side stitches. It was how I did the wrap AND how I slipped and purled the stitches (I didn't purl the 3 together from the back left to right!!!)

So long story to say, although there are millions of techniques, one can learn a bit from each one and come up with what works for you! I'm sticking to Judy's toes, but with reminders from PGR on how to do those decreases!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Knit Night Facecloths

We have a biweekly knit night that I started, originally, as a pub night. It was a means for me to show a group of women from the daycare how to knit facecloths for wiping the children's faces. It eventually got moved to a coffee shop (much to my chagrin), but we still are making cloths for the children and that's okay by me.

Although facecloths may be 'boring knitting' to some, it doesn't have to be. It is an easier first time project than a scarf (boredom doesn't set in before you finish on a facecloth). And the first one I teach them is the 'grandmother's favourite' design, so they only knit (no purling), and learn increases by YarnOver and decreases by knitting 2 together. Now a couple have branched off on their own and have done some lovely feather/fan design cloths, and now a much more textured version, etc.

All in all, I think it's an easier way for people to learn, quick gratification, and the daycare can always use donated 'first, second, third projects'

Friday, April 11, 2008

Day 5

My fifth day at home in the afternoon. Although I'm slightly behind on my work because I'm not 'focussed' enough, I'm starting to feel like I'm getting into a groove. Unfortunately I thought I'd work at home during naptime...instead I've discovered Planet Parent on Tues/Thurs on Knowledge Network (I figure I'm still learning this parenting stuff, now that I'm at home maybe they can help me!?), and I've discovered Steven and Chris on CBC. I LOVE THOSE GUYS! They never had good shows like these when I'd be home sick from work! (I hate daytime television)...

I guess I need to figure out how to earn my income in even less hours!!!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Tiggers and Eeyores...

I had a rough day yesterday. It was Day 3 of working part-time, at home mama part-time and although lil man is thoroughly tickled about this turn of events, I'm not so sure about my enthusiasm. I do need to establish a routine, and to work out the kinks in how to balance everything...but I was feeling like a total failure in all aspects of my life (work, home, fun, parenting, etc). At bedtime I started venting to hubby about it all, and he somehow turns on a television show that he thought looked interesting...we both cried and laughed at this show...and in a way, it was a swift kick in the pants for me. I should BE so lucky to be able to spend so much time with my son at this age!

Want to know what it was? It was on ABC, Diane Sawyer "The Last Lecture: A Love Story For Your Life" on ABC Wednesday April 9th, 10pm/9 CST."

We are buying the book, and have yet to watch the YouTube Video of his complete last lecture - but this is certainly a must-see for anyone struggling with negative thoughts about life, people or anything in general..

Hubby's favourite quote was "are you a Tigger or an Eeyore?"
Hubby is definitely a Tigger...

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Daily Rhythm and Rhyme

It's interesting how young children thrive on a rhythm. It gives them a sense of security, as they know what is coming next. I've read a number of parenting books that speak to this, and many daycare "philosophies" that promote it as well. Yet, few daycares that I've toured actually put it to practice. The little man's experience last month was proof of that - their philosophy and history in the community were great. But in actual practice, they couldn't get a rhthym going - they kept changing the pattern because it wasn't working out for one reason or another...unfortunately, the children were acting out because of it. Although they are adaptable (more so than adults), the constant change was hard for them.

Strangely enough, with this new "life-changing" event for me (ie shifting to half-time work, half-time at home mom), *I* feel better with routine. I've been trying to follow the FlyLady principles, but I would always stray away from them eventually - they never really ingrained as habits....however, this week, I'm developing my own routines and it's made my 'transition' easier. It's only day 3 (after a week of the little man being home sick though!), but I think I need the security of a weekly rhthym...

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

What a Relief!

The little man started at his *new* new 'sckool' (preschool) yesterday morning. His transition took all of 15 minutes before he told Daddy to "go now, I have work to do!" He was all smiles and excited when I picked him up at 11:30am, came home to make lunch, had a rest. So, unlike the other 'new sckool' he attended in March, he was well fed, happy, dress appropriately for outside play, went potty...twice, and all in all, his usual happy-go-lucky self. Ahhhh, I can relax more now when he's off to 'sckool'.

On the otherhand, I'm now only able to work M-F 8:15-11:15, and 'possibly' between 1-2:30 depending upon how long he keeps up his naptime! The work thing isn't just about finances, since of course his daycare is a lower cost being only half days, but it's more about ME having that business contact and knowledge. I like what I do for a living, I like my business and clients and projects that I work I've had to cut the time down, and feel sort of torn - I should be happy that I can stay at home with the little man, but at the same time, I miss my "work life".

It's only been two days...who can tell how I'll feel next week!
(we made banana bread together today, we cut vegetables for soup yesterday...what will the little man want to do tomorrow???)