Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I'm really not sure about this

I've signed up to be a substitute ParaEducator (teacher's aide) in the local school district. I thought it would be a good way to provide yarn money and get me out and about, without taking away from the time home with the kids. Since I'm a substitute, I can work when I want, more or less, and be unavailable at other times.

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Really. If I work 80 hours a month, I'll bring home about what was left of my check from my previous job after taking out gas money and daycare, etc. That isn't really my goal, but it is an interesting number to know. So, I went to orientation yesterday and today I had my first job. It lasted a whole 2 hours, as it was a lunch monitor position at a local elementary school.

Yikes! First, I didn't know what the job was, so I over-dressed a bit. I wouldn't care much, but my feet hurt from standing around on a non-comfy surface. Next time, I'll bring extra shoes, just in case. Secondly, first aid. I took a class a couple of weeks ago, so I'm now certified in first aid and CPR for infants through adults. This is a good thing, but today there were a million accidents requiring band-aids and I didn't have a stash on me. Other monitors did, so I think I may want to put together a little bag that goes with me for that sort of thing. Otherwise, the school nurse is overrun with small scratches that simply must have a bandage. Lastly, I had no idea I would become some sort of counselor. "Um, I want to be her friend, but she won't let me and she never lets me sit close to her and I just want to be friends with her..." It isn't that I'm not sympathetic, but I had a hard time finding out exactly what my duties were (not big on communication). I'm pretty sure this level of counseling was not high on my list of duties, if it appeared at all. I tried, but as often happens with the younger set, he got distracted and ran off. I hope he gets it sorted, but I imagine that since it involved a girl, he is in for a long road of confusion and, possibly, disappointment.

I also ended up with chocolate milk on my head, but well, I'll just let that one go.

I'm at the heel turn of the second NeverMore sock. I like the toe-up thing, it seems easier, somehow, than top down. I'm not crazy about how pointy this toe is, or the heel for that matter. Still, that is a function of the particular pattern, not toe-up knitting. So, I'll know to modify those things in the future. The job orientation and the short job today really ate up my knitting time, though, so I'm anxious about getting this sock done. The next pattern comes out tomorrow! Eek! (See? Scarefest!) I also spent the weekend cooking for a movie party (not mine) and taking the oldest shopping for some new jeans. So, no real knitting in about four days. Woe is me! And here I am blogging instead of knitting, but I'm trying to get a routine going, again, for all the things I want to do often.

I'll get pics up of the NeverMore socks once I finish the last one. These socks haven't gone as quickly as the Wasp Woman socks, but I've learned several new things and I've had trouble counting the lace pattern at times (sleep deprivation!). The second sock is going faster than the first, if only I hadn't been so busy the past few days!

Pardon me while I go chase the squirrels off of the bird feeder, then back to the socks!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Wow! A whole month

What have I been doing with myself? Well, just the usual stuff I guess. The girls had to get all their gear together for school, and there was all the last minute stuff trying to fit in some more fun before school started. There's been some knitting and some sewing as well.

When asked if she's enjoying first grade, the youngest had this to say: "If you mean do I like sitting around all day in my chair doing nothing and being bored, yeah, it's okay I guess." Hmmm. Not a thrilling reply, but it is early days yet. I'm not sure if she is still adjusting to going to school for a full day, not as physically active in first grade as she was in Kinder, or if she is really bored and not challenged. I'll wait a bit before getting too concerned. I know it takes a while for everyone to settle into a routine, especially first graders, so I'll just see how she feels at the end of the month. The eldest isn't very impressed with 3rd grade either. She doesn't have any of her old friends in her new class, and they spend an hour every day on maths. She is quite unhappy, and doesn't seem satisfied with her teacher either.

It is always so hard to know if it is just the child adjusting to the new teacher and routine, or if there is a real mismatch. I don't want to be a helicopter parent, they need to learn to work things out, etc., but I had some seriously BAD teachers when I was young, and my mom did nothing to help me sort out the problems. (Seriously, I had a teacher who personally hated my mother and took it out on me in class. She made fun of me in front of the other students, etc.) I don't want either child dealing with anything like that, but there's nothing wrong with a 'strict' teacher. They were some of my best teachers, overall.

'Wait and see' seems to be the path ahead.

I've been trying to get back on a "kids in school" routine ever since. I should have it sorted out soon. I hope.

We gave in and joined Netflix, and I've been watching way too many movies lately. Well, that and I joined the Super Sock Scarefest 2008 on Ravelry. I've been watching boxed sets of old horror classics. I'm sometimes confused why a specific movie is considered a horror film, but they are not very long and still entertaining, and it is easy to knit while watching them. I was hoping to gain some more experience and build up my comfort level with socks. I think I'm off to a good start. The first pair I finished is the Wasp Woman pattern. It was a bonus pattern given out before the Scarefest actually started. I wasn't watching the dates, so I started it about 3 days before the first real pattern came out. I've skipped the first pattern, The Mummy, for now though it is really nice and I can't wait to get back to it, and went on to pattern #2, NeverMore (The Raven). Wasp Woman was done in Opal Rainforest, chameleon colorway, which was some stash yarn, and they took about 12 days (or about 10 of actual knitting). I'm pretty excited as the first pair of socks took almost 2 years. LOL That's a nice improvement, don't you think?

I've been buying way too much sock yarn the past 3 weeks.

NeverMore is my first toe-up sock, and is a lace pattern. It is a simple pattern, and quite lovely. The only thing is that the pattern moves around the leg, so once past the heel I won't be able to do 2 on 2 circs. I'm a bit worried that I'll lag too far behind and develop SSS, but I'm hoping I'll manage okay. I'm starting the heel gusset today, and if I can get through this part, I know it'll be smooth sailing for the rest of the sock. They are shorter socks, too, so that should help me get them done. I'm doing this one in Mountain Colors Bearfoot in the Obsidian colorway. I'll take some pictures soon and get them up (hopefully in under a month!).