Sunday, August 28, 2016

To Chase, On your 6th Birthday

My darling, sweet, strong little boy. Today, you are 6. I can't quite believe it. Six years ago today, you came into the world, and gave me the most important title - mom. And I am so lucky every single day to be your mother. 

This year has been a year of major transformations. You have grown so so much. This past year, you have found and embraced your independence. You no longer need me to hold your hand and walk you to the playground. Instead, you are up bright and early and head over there with your friends. There's no more pushing you on the swing or supporting you on the monkey bars. You have conquered the playground, in all its glory. And this summer, you learned to ride your bike without training wheels, which opened up a whole new world of possibility for you. Instead of being confined to our alley, you now have the freedom to race around the block with all your friends. If I'm being honest, it is all quite bittersweet. I am so proud of you, and I'm proud that I can trust you with these little freedoms and know that you'll follow the rules and boundaries. But I'm also a little sad, because this new found freedom means that you're growing up, and that the last of your "babyness" is really gone for good. 

You've also become quite a responsible little boy this year. So responsible in fact, that your dad and I got you a hamster for your birthday. And while I wasn't sure if you could handle it at first, you've proven me quite wrong. Every day you give that little guy fresh food, and water, and play with him. And you don't argue when it's time to clean his cage, even though be both know how stinky that job is. You have a list of chores to do everyday, and you (mostly) complete them without argument. You (usually) decide to save your allowance, and have become such a huge helper around the house. 

You have also become such a wonderful big brother. I know that your sister gets on your nerves sometimes, but you rarely let is show. If the house gets too quiet, I can usually find you upstairs playing house or babies with your sister, even when I know you'd rather build Legos. You are so patient and kind to your sister, and try so hard to calm her down when she gets upset. And my sweet boy, I know you don't always see it, but your little sister worships the ground you walk on. She would follow you to the ends of the earth. And I'm so proud to say that you are an excellent role model for her. Being the oldest child can comes a lot of responsibilies, but you are meeting each one with strength and grace. 

As wonderful as this past year has been, it has not been without its challenges. Shortly after your fifth birthday, you were officially diagnosed with ADHD. And that was a hard blow for both of us, baby. Your momma cried. Oh, how I cried. After talking with every doctor who would listen, we finally decided to try medication. It took us quite a bit of trial and error to find out what was right for you. I was unsure at first, but it has turned out to be one of the best things we could have done for you. The medicine has helped you so much. Before, you were struggling to learn your ABC's, and now you are nearly reading. You had begun to hate school, and now you get up in the morning and are so excited to get to school. The medicine hasn't changed who you are, but it has helped you to show the smart, lovable boy that I know. This past year, I have watched your confidence soar, and it takes my breath away. Everyday you come home from Kindergarten and tell me all of the new wonderful things that you've learned, and my heart swells. Together, we have learned to reframe what others wrongly call a "disorder", and embrace your endless energy and creativeness. 

Oh, my darling boy, how you have changed this year. You've transfromed from a boy who needed help, to a child who is always willing to help. You've transformed from an unsure preschooler to confident Kindergartener. And I see the amazing young man that you are becoming. And I am so proud of you. But the one thing that has not changed is your heart of gold. And my sweet boy, I pray you never outgrow that. 

Your mommy

Summer Wrap Up

I don't know about you, but ya'll, this summer has been a scorcher! I'm usually a knit all year kinda girl, but this oppressive summer heat really got to me. I had so many glorious projects planned, but once the temps broke 100 degrees, I couldn't bear the thought of sitting around with wool on my lap. I knocked out a few small projects, but between the heat, the kids being home, and crazy summer travel, none of my glorious projects came to fruition. So this summer has been...well...unproductive. Here's a quick roundup of what I finished this summer:

First up - dishcloths and hand towels. 
Hot sticky wool sounded miserable in the heat, so I pulled out some trusty cotton and worked on something a bit lighter. The yarn for these is just some random 100% cotton that I grabbed from the mill ends bin at the craft store. No need for fancy schmancy yarn when it's just getting used to scrub dishes. These were perfect little mindless projects while my kids were running around the splash pad or while we were road tripping (which we did A LOT of this summer.)

Next Up - Hemlock Rings Doily
After my hands just couldn't take anymore stiff kitchen cotton, I switched over to crochet thread. A light, lacy doily was just perfect during the heat. The yarn for this one was Aunt Lydia's Classic Crochet cotton, on size 1.5 needles. I enjoyed the more mindful project after the dull dishcloths. But I'm really not thrilled with the final project. I gave this bad boy a thorough blocking, but it's still pretty saggy and the edges are flipping up. Truth be told, the imperfections are driving me crazy. I usually scour the Ravelry notes before starting any project, but I just dove right in on this one. Lesson learned. After I finished, I read the notes, and sagging seems to be a common problem with this pattern. It's still adorning my fireplace, but I'm going to give another go at blocking. And if it doesn't straighten out after that, then I'll have to try a different doily pattern. 

Third Project - Well, it's still a surprise! 
I can't actually tell you anything about the next project I did, because it's a Christmas gift for someone I know reads the blog. Yes, that's right - I said Christmas. I know it's summer, but I always get caught up in the Christmas rush, and this is going to a super special person, and I wanted plenty of time to give it the attention it deserves. It will have to remain a mystery for now, but I promise I'll do a reveal after it's been given to the recipient. But here's a sneak peek photo of the details. The yarn for this piece is Madelintosh Light in Composition Book gray. I love the recipient enough that I used Merino in 100 degree weather. 

And finally - Cardigan Pattern Design! 
While I was thinking up Christmas gifts for everyone, I had an idea of a cardigan I wanted to make for a friend. But after searching the endless library of Ravelry, I still couldn't find anything that was what I wanted. So, I sat down with my calculator and excel sheet, and decided to write one out. Let's just say that knitwear designers don't get nearly enough credit. I will never, ever, ever, complain about the price of a pattern again. Math is not my strong suit, and this cardigan pattern gave me fits for a month. The cardi below is for me, and I used it to work out some design flaws and double check my numbers. I've got a little more tweaking to do on the pattern, and then I'll publish this bad boy on Rav. 

That's it. Four projects in 3 months. That is all I was able to accomplish this summer. But Fall is almost here. The mornings are a bit cooler, there's a breeze in the air, and it won't be too long before pumpkin spice everything. And I for one, can not wait!