Tuesday, February 5, 2013

2013. New policies. New prices.

Well it's official, with 1 month in, we are well into 2013.

My shop has been open since 2010, which amazes me that I've been open this long.  It's grown so much since I first started, and for everyone, I really appreciate that.

I still want to maintain a very friendly relationship with all my customers.  Conversations are best.  However, with running a business you have to be a little businessy you know?  So this will be a personal goal for 2013.

1. Price Increase
I know this part of it sucks.  It really does.  However, with the discontinue of my AI2s and any other diaper other than the prefold fitteds or "pre fitteds", this is a must.  So all prefold converted diapers and the conversions will be going up .50.

Did you even know I offer warranties on all my diapers?  A 30 day warranty that will cover snaps not working, if the fit isn't right, if something rips, natural wear and tear.  If it's fixable, I'll fix it, if it's my fault, I'll fix it, if you don't want it or the fit isn't right, I'll refund your money all except shipping costs.

The warranty starts the day you get it.  Not from the date of purchase.  I am always willing to offer longer warranties to pregnant moms buying ahead(Meaning your diaper warranty will start the day your baby is born).  A warranty is not any good if your not able to physically use it.  Talking this over with me ensures you get the right warranty that fits for you.

3. Shipping
USPS has already put into effect a price increase for shipping.  However, I am determined to still bring low shipping costs to you.  I promise to you, I will do everything I can, to get your items shipped to you in a nice way, that is low cost to you.

Which brings me to another problem, Etsy doesn't have an auto off for shipping.  For every listing you purchase it adds more shipping.  Please remember, I still think this is outrageous.  Your monies will always be refunded to you if it's over shipping.  If Etsy is charging you $20 for shipping something that is going to fit into something that is only $5, all of that money will be refunded.

I also offer flat shipping amounts.  This price did have to go up about .25, but that's ok.  On Etsy, all shipping money will be refunded after 10.25 immediately, and all orders that total more than $50 in items purchased will have free shipping.

Shipping will be $3.75 on all first class orders, $5.25 for small flat rate, and $10.25 for medium flat rate.
$6.00 to Canada
4. Orders
All my work is custom orders.  I don't have a problem with this, and many that buy from me, you guys don't either.  This pertains to all Facebook orders, or email orders.

However, I am having problems with people not following through on orders, and then purchasing it from someone else.  This is not a genuine, upsetting, life changing event, but it is frustrating.  A lot of the custom orders I make, don't have a down payment, no insurance, and then I'm stuck with an item that is custom to you.

From now on all orders, will require a PayPal email for a down payment.  Which will be 5% of your total purchase.

Local orders that don't have PayPal, I will accept a written consent of agreement to pay via Email.

Any order that does not have the down payment, will not be started.

This will be thoroughly enforced.

5. Quality of Orders
This one sounds weird but I can't think of a better name for it.

All I ask is that you remember I am not a machine, I make everything by hand.  It takes time, and sometimes I'm at the mercy of machines.  Sometimes my serger jumps, my snap pliers go through something it shouldn't, things happen.  The elastic may be identical on each side but somehow one is shorter.

Or my favorite, the prefolds shrink even more in the washer making it look uneven.

Everything I do is by hand.  I measure out and mark all the snap placement by hand.  I lay every snap by hand, every elastic.  Some of my diapers don't have patterns, which makes everyone different.  And things happen.

I check everything before it ships out.  If it doesn't mean my near perfect qualification, you will receive an email to be refunded to take it as a seconds or a NQP(not quite perfect), if you don't want it, your more than welcome to have a new one made.

You also will also receive a picture of your order and what all is in it, and if there are, abnormalities so you can make that decision for yourself before it ships.

This is just a friendly reminder, please don't expect machine factory perfection diapers.

Also, adding in conversion diapers here.

If something happens to your prefold during a conversion, it will be replaced by me if you still don't want the original.

6. Shipping times
I've said I'm going to set shipping times and days before, and I've never really followed through.  However, it is something that really needs to be done.

Shipping days will be Tuesday and Friday.  No more exceptions, unless you have worked out a rush order agreement through me through convos and emails.

7. Vacation Mode
Vacation mode on Etsy doesn't necessarily mean I'm on vacation.  Sometimes it happens when I have to many orders that I need filled in a timely manner.  So I will then put the shop on "vacation mode" for a week, to avoid further orders being added to the pile.  In my Vacation Message you'll see a list of all items I am working on.  As I complete each one, it will be taken off.

I believe this gives you a peace of mind, that you'll know where you are at on the list, and that your order is getting done.

Thank you all for making this all happen to me.  I really love it that I'm able to be able to do this, and offer everyone products they need.  It makes me feel so great.  Thanks again.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

We're expanding!

Well in a way we're expanding.

And it's in a non-pregnancy kind of way, just clearing that up.

So how do you expand something that is solely run by one person?

It's this simple.

After sending off the brain hat to my grandpa, apparently a lot of people like it. 

My grandparents are "snow birds" going to Arizona every winter.

This time my grandmother has asked for items to take with her, so she can sell them because a lot of people ask about the brain hat.  She also does a lot of recon for me at craft shows there and will send me pictures of things she likes.

The new items will be primarily adult.  I was think plain headbands, brain hats, possibly some scarves, that kind of stuff.  Stuff that will be lightly warm, not to heavy for those cold nights and days that Arizona does get cold.

So that's our 2nd big update.  I have until the summer to deliver the goods and I hope that I have a good stash of items by then!

Thanks to all my family and the people who continue to keep me in business.  You guys truly keep me busy, and already this year, I've been slammed through January.  I love it all.

Thanks again.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My Christmas Wreath

So since I haven't blogged in, well forever, it's time for a new post.

And why not make it Christmasy?

So....my son is getting to that age where he wants to decorate for every holiday.

I am the type of person that well....does not.

I loathe decorating.

Well today he told was the day.  He needed to decorate. 


I went to the store, and bought Christmas lights.  And then realized, this was all I had for Christmas decoration besides tree stuff.  We're not planning on putting up the tree for a while, so I decided, why not make a wreath?

I don't care for wreaths, but I knew my son would love it.

But the question was, how to afford this? 

My max budget was about $30, and yes I stayed on budget for this.

I live in a small town, with only handful of stores in my area.

We first hit the Goodwill.  We found a faux tree looking wreath, plain, some tinsels in a bag, a large jingle bell, an angel ornament, some glass and plastic ornaments.  Everything I thought would look good on it.

We came home and laid out our find, which we got for $20 plus tax.

I then took the tinsel out the bag and wrapped it around the wreath.  To cover the ugly faux tree.

It was then I went searching for the hot glue gun and the hot glue sticks.  And I found ribbon from when I used to make my daughter's bows.  so I wrapped that around it.

I started gluing on my ornaments, and well, run out of glue.

This sent me on the hunt for more ornaments, so I went to the dollar store and picked up some more unbreakable ornaments and some more jingle bells, then I went next door to the Walgreens to pick up a wreath hanger for cheap before going to another store to get the hot glue(I know could of saved lots of trips here but it was worth it.

I then just got to work, gluing everything on.  Trying to maneuver them and glue them on in a way where it would look full but not to full.  To cover most of the tinsel but not really.

And in the end, it actually came out really good.  I'm sure my son will love it when he gets up in the morning and sees it.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Knitting through "Dare to Dream" by Boo Knits on Ravelry

So about a month ago, my mother came to me and said she saw this "sweater" she thought it was, in the front window of a yarn shop and she had to have it.  She wanted me to knit it for her and said too that it would teach me a good lesson in branching out, away from hats, and into a harder, more complicated version of knitting.

Knitting lace.

She showed me the pattern and I knew it couldn't be hard.  So she sent me the yarn/thread, I purchased the pattern and got to work.

A little bit about "Boo Knits"

Boo Knits designs patterns, she is from the U.K(I'm guessing because her pattern prices are in monetary forms of GBP).

This is what she says is her motto for designing patterns, straight from her Ravelry page.

"My personal motto is ‘Maximum Impact with Minimum Stress’. With this in mind my patterns are quick to knit, easy to knit and yet look as though they really must be much more complicated! Really - they are not complicated or difficult at all!"

So I knew it, I could do this pattern.

I immediately read through the pattern and started off.  I started off with a circular needle, she recommends that you start with a US size 6, move up to a 7 for the lace portion, and 8 before binding off.

Here is what the pattern should work up to look like.

At first I instantly got confused, I had never worked with thread like this.  The pattern calls for you to cast on 2 and knit 3 rows in garter stitch.  Then to work around the border until you have a total of 7 on your stitches.  Which was impossible to do.  Once I got it done, I noticed it was curling up horribly, there had to be another way to start this without making it so bunchy.

So I took it out, went back to the pattern to start again.  I decided at that time to just keep going.  It had to work, why else would she write a pattern to sell?  Right?

As I worked through the pattern on the circular needles.  She tells you to place 2 markers in the "centre" stitch right off the bat.  She never tells you why, just that it needs to be there.  She also then implies that you should mark every 12 stitches with placemarkers.  But not only that, that you should place a "centre" stitch in each row.

I did all of this, with the exception of the center stitch and thought I would be fine.  My first lace section went HORRIBLY, and when I mean horribly, I mean horribly.  I was making stitches and decreasing stitches and it was looking nothing like the pictures.

I then decided to take it out, call another woman who made it, and ask for help.  I also contacted the pattern writer(with no response back after she told me to message her).  The woman in the store in Mt. Vernon, tried really hard to help me, but she was making no sense to me either, and was telling me not to use the written pattern but the chart!  I had never used a chart!  I didn't know anything.

So back to the drawing board, I went off the chart.  This pattern is truly simple, it's a 12 stitch pattern repeats plus 9 stitches.  Meaning you cast on a multiple of 12 stitches, add 9, and work the chart.

I then decided to just cast on a straight row on straight needles and see if I could get it to work up.  When I reached the lace row, I found it looking nothing like the pictures still.  At this attempt, I was on number 6 or 7.  And getting frustrated.  No one could tell me why my pattern wasn't working.  It's very frustrating mind you that you pay for a pattern just to have it not work(which is why I don't write patterns!).

So, as a last ditch effort, I decided I would knit it EXACTLY, like the pattern was written.  Without my alterations to it.  Surely this had to work right?  Down to the beads, this HAD to work.

It didn't.  My stitches were slanting and the beads didn't even measure up to the pattern and the row below.

So I phoned back to the woman in Mt. Vernon since I still had no response from the pattern maker, and asked some simple questions.  Were the beads supposed to look like the pattern and in the pictures?  Did hers look like the pictures?  Were the stitches supposed to be going in another direction?  Etc.

All of her answers were that the pattern that she knitted looked exactly like the picture and that the beads lined up the way they were supposed to.  So I was STILL doing something wrong.

And in my final attempt, I decided to not even knit this with the thread, which is becoming wearing and tired and feeling rough.  I took out some purple acrylic yarn and knit the 12 st + 9 pattern repeat.

I found the error in the pattern and I'm excited to see if it will work and how it will work with the thread.  And I'm going to tell my secret of how I got it to work.  Even the lady at the store in Mt. Vernon was excited and oddly confused at how I got it to work.  But I did.

I started at the beginning.  I cast on 7 stitches(which is what you start with after you make all the twists and turns), and worked up from there.  It was there that after all this trial and error I found the very first error in the pattern.

There are no sizes in this pattern.  Confusing huh? Yes, you do have to guess sizes.  the sizes are 117, 141, 165, 189, 213

With simple math, none of these stitches work out.  If you were to divide them all into 12, none of them come up with 9 stitches left over.  Yet SOMEHOW, it seems to work out on the needles when you start from a base of 7.

The 2nd error also is the KYOK description.  This stitch is exactly as it's mentioned, it's a knit, yarn over, knit.  Yet her description, it immediately throws you off, she doesn't even tell you what they mean, she just starts explaining how to do the stitch, however I read it instantly correct and got immediately confused with her description.  It makes me wonder if she knows the meaning to the KYOK or does she just like to try to explain it?  And she doesn't explain it well.

There is no way to avoid the curling on the edges.  Unfortunately, even with her "helpful hint" suggestions, you can't avoid puckering.

I added a few extra rows of beads.  I mean come on, every woman wants a glittery beaded shawl.

Next onto the lace section.

 There is a chart for the lace section.  For rows 1-17, this pattern works up with no problem.  As you can see in my picture.

However, on row 19, things start going a little wonky.

Let me start off my saying, I don't know how to read a chart.  I've never knitted from a chart, I've always knitted from a written pattern.  Always.  So when the woman from the knit shop in Mt. Vernon was trying to explain to me how to read one, I got very confused.

After reading through it a few times, it was pretty easy to figure out.  When you knit by the written pattern, you're knitting right to left.  So I read the chart that way, and the pattern flowed just as the written pattern.

But like I said, it all works out fine, until you get to row 19.

On row 19, I always ended up 1 short on the first section, or 1 to many.  How this happened I have no idea.  Here is a great helpful hint to this section.  Your bead placement(which I high recommend you do, otherwise this pattern will make no sense), will always be on the center stitch.  So if you don't do you 3 stitch decrease above that bead, you'll be doing it in the wrong spot.  Because I didn't have beads in there, the first 10 times I did this pattern I had no idea I was doing it wrong until I got those beads in there.

So on row 19 I made some alterations to make this pattern work.  I started off with the basic for the first section before getting to the repeat.

k k 3 k yo ssk yo s2kpsso

When you get to the s2kpsso, that's where the problem lies.  I had to decrease 4 instead of 3, and move the place marker over 1.  (Meaning I knit 3 together in the beginning section and took one from the 12 block repeat).

When I told the lady that knitted it in Mt. Vernon, she thought I was crazy, but if I was going to have that 3 stitch decrease and have it follow the pattern that I laid out before it, I was going to have to move that place marker over on every 12 stitch repeat down to the end of the work, and I always ended with the right amount of stitches.  I had to move place markers over, every 12 stitch repeat, for rows 19-31, at which point the chart fell back into sync and I was able to knit the rest of it without a problem.

Weird, but true.

And sadly that once I knitted all the way through it, I dropped a whole 12 stitch lace section.

So this is to be continued for now.


So last night, after working this for 2 days straight, I worked up to 189 stitches.  Yes one of the larger sizes, but when I called my mother(who this pattern is for), she said at this point to work it as fast and as good as I could.

So this time, I started off with size 7 needles, worked the base, and then switched to an 8 for the lace.

I am just about to start the lace section.

Once I started working through the lace section, I was faced with the same problems that I had before.  Even though the stitch numbers were correct, I didn't have more or less unless I made a mistake, the stitch placement did not fall correctly.  And if I made one more stitch, then that 3 stitch decrease would be off center causing all of my beads to be off and my blocked stitch section to go off in a slanted direction.

The rows where I started having problems was row 19.  The pattern calls for this:
k k 3 k yo ssk yo s2kpsso

The problem lies on the s2kpsso. 

Here's a picture to show the problem.
In order for everything to stay correct and to make the proper 3 stitch decrease, you need to move this place marker over.  Which means that you will need to move every place marker over all through out your piece.

You will need to move place markers over for rows, 19 through 29.  This is where it gets weird.  Magically, this piece goes back to normal and there is no need for moving place markers on row 31.  However, when you work through the piece, at every point where there is a 3 stitch decrease in the beginning you will need to move this place marker over.  This means that when the 3 stitch decrease picks back up on rows 43-57, you will need to move every place marker over to get that 3 stitch decrease in the proper space.

I had wanted to knit up a piece where I could show that I would make the extra stitch in the beginning of the piece and to show how the work will move to the right with every row I have to make that extra stitch.  I just didn't have time to do that however.

I was able to finally complete this piece.  Since it doesn't have sizes though, or even measurements, I accidentally knitted this piece very large.  Thankfully, it's what my mother wanted, so it wasn't necessarily a bad thing.

I am hoping that someone will find the errors to why I had to move the place markers over to complete this pattern.  In saying that, my honest thoughts and opinions on this piece, is that it is truly beautiful.  The pattern maker truly did a beautiful job.  However, with the noted problems that I found with this pattern, the lack of size, and needing to move those place markers, I would truly advice that unless you are an extremely advanced knitter(which I am the first to admit I am not), don't waste your time purchasing this pattern.  The pattern maker may say that she likes to make her patterns easy, this was not easy.  Especially when I had to debunk the errors.  Since I had no prior knowledge of how the piece was supposed to work up, it was extremely difficult.  I really did take this piece out about 15 times before I was able to, solely working with the pictures, to figure out the errors in the pattern to make it look like the picture.  So if you're just a mediocre knitter like me, don't waste your money.  In my honest opinion this pattern needs to be reviewed and more helpful hints need to be made.  The author also needs to learn what a KYOK means, because her description was extremely hard to understand when I could read it just fine, it was a knit, yarn over, knit, all in the same stitch.  But her description extremely confused me.

It was also extremely stressful.  Without that knowledge of needing to move the place markers over, it was very stressful to knit so much, just to have to take the piece out and start over.  Including some heated words between me and my mother.  I wish I could say more to the pattern maker, but I did send her several messages, with she did not return a message.

However, once I wet blocked it and saw all my beautiful work, I was ecstatic.  All the hard work paid off and I was able to see all the beautifulness that I made.  And now that I know what I have to do to make it look like the picture, I can do it easily again. 

Now onto pictures!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Updates on AdriannaKnits

I swear, as soon as September hits, I get slammed.

Gearing up for bazaars, 2 nephews birthdays within a week of each other(one of which I planned, photographed, and made cake for).  Then the Christmas orders that come in, not to mention family orders, getting ready for 2 kiddies birthdays of my own in December, an anniversary, and Christmas.

So I always start in September.  It gives me months to get ready.  At least I hope.

Getting around to updating and keeping up with AdriannaKnits on Facebook, well it's in the back of my mind, honestly.  Which sucks, but well, I'm busy!

So our new updates:

I will not be renewing AdriannaKnits on HyenaCart.
The decision to switch to HyenaCart was based on bringing lower prices to you, and keep me from paying absurd Etsy fees.  Although, the people that promised to purchase from HyenaCart hasn't happened.  I've only had 3 orders since I signed up.  So we will not be returning.

I'll be changing the prefold fitteds.  I think that the size difference between the newborn/small is to great.  Going from a 12x12 to a 16x16 is a great leap.  So I'll add in another option of an actual small size of a 14x14.

I'll be adding a one size fits most option for the prefold fitteds.  This will change the price from 5.50 to 6.50 but it will be a separate option so you can still get your sized and your one size fits most.

I'll no longer be offering a bleached option.  To make a prefold fitted from a bleached prefold I need a size prefold of 18x18 or larger after washing.  Which is impossible to obtain without paying absurd prizes for a toddler sized prefold.  I can still make a small and newborn bleached but nothing larger than that.

I'm making mini top hat for photo props.  Or just for a silly hat.  They will be available for custom orders and for the bazaars.
I was very impressed with the alligator scarf.  There will be one on the tables for bazaars.  It's new and improved and will have better teeth.

Other new things is that I'm working on designing a sweater for my daughter.  It has a pinwheel flower on the back with hearts.  It's a circular shrug.  There will be a blog post on that as well.

I am currently working through "Dare to Dream" by Boo Knits.  I'm very close to actually completing it, and I will be posting a blog on the errors in the pattern so other people will know to make it easier to work through the pattern, or to debunk and correct my errors.  I have already attempted to contact Ravelry and the author of the pattern but they refuse to write me back.  Other people have said the pattern works fine, but I will show you a comparison.

I am currently working on designing a newborn Captain America prop.  Hoping to have these on the tables for the first bazaar in 3 weeks.

The next news, is sad.  After my nephews birthday party, my camera fell out of my car, and then lense snapped off, breaking.  Thankfully the camera still works, but the lense is totaled.  Which sucks because it was the only lense to that camera.  What this means for you, is worse pictures than I have going up now of products.  And I'm apologizing ahead of time for that.

The worst news is now I need to learn shipping.  For those that didn't know, I always did the business, my husband did the shipping.  This prevented me from running to the post office every single day.  However, my husband transferred jobs, and we no longer have this shipping option.  We are currently working on a 2 day a week shipping schedule where I will go to the post office to ship items.  Those details at this time are currently being worked out.

Thank you to all for the continued support for AdriannaKnits.  In November it will be 2 years since I finally gave in opened my Etsy store.  It has grown into so much more than I ever expected it to.  I only did it to please my sister in law, and it looks like now I'm eating my own words.

Thanks to Roshell for pushing me to do this!  And all the beautiful pictures of my work modeled.  You really help me out.

And here's the sweater that I first made for Roshell that started it all.  

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Life with an EPI pen.

 All of my kids have some sort of "problem", ranging from Autism, to ADHD, to a behavioral disorder, to food allergies.  Who would of thought that Autism and ADHD would be, by far the easiest thing to deal with?

So my husband has informed me that within the first year of life, all of my children needed some form of medical care and or procedure down.

At only 6 months old, with my son, we opted to have him have an MRI.  They had pulled his shoulder during delivery and it never truly came back.  We documented it for legal purposes but never pursued it.

You would of thought this would have prepared me for all medical procedures in the future.  And it kind of did.  I definitely cried through this procedure and it was heart breaking for me.

So when my 2 months old daughter fell ill.  I truly thought she would over come it.  I thought it was a simple cold and she would get better.  It just so happened that she was 3 weeks early, and classified as a premie, and it was during the worst year for pneumonia and RSV.

So at only 2 months old, she was hospitalized for 8 days for pneumonia and RSV.

I know with that one I didn't really cry.  I just sat through it, and stayed with her.  But it truly prepared me for any more medical procedures that the kids would need.

We made a silent rule, that unless there's blood gushing from a big hole....we don't go to the hospital.  And luckily for the next 7 months, I was able to follow that.  I had an all out freak out moment when my daughter got a hole in her head from a toy being thrown, but other than that, we were able to avoid hospitals all together.

But with the events that transpired Sunday night, truly had me running.  In both my daughter and oldest son's cases, they were emergencies but not necessarily EMERGENCIES.  Meaning I could drive to the hospital, and I knew that in the end they would be okay by the time I got there(except for the bloody incidence).

This time I wasn't sure WHAT was truly going to happen.  And it all happened so quickly.

My youngest son had been showing signs of catching his big brother's cold.  He was sneezing and coughing and fighting a nap.   So I was helping get my daughter down for a nap.  We had been asleep about 30 minutes when I heard the shower turn on.  And about 5 minutes later my husband brought the baby in.  He said he was going to elevate the head of the bed because he had wanted to be sitting up, and then get the humidifier going.  So I said I would nurse him and then he could go to bed.

He nursed the normal amount of time with no problems, about 5 minutes after he nursed, his left eye swelled shut.  Freaking out, I immediately sat up and pulled up his shirt.  He had hives all over his stomach.  I yelled for my husband to bring the benadryl fast(benadryl is something we always have on hand because of all of our allergies), I told him we could possibly wait 30 minutes and then take him to the hospital.  But his face wouldn't stop swelling, and it was getting redder, and it was going fast.  I told my husband we needed to get to the hospital and that someone needed to sit with him in the back seat.  This the one time that rear facing has a disadvantage.  I wouldn't be able to see him if he stopped breathing and wouldn't be able to reach him.

My husband grudgingly agreed, mostly because I threatened to call an ambulance.  My mother in law would meet us at the hospital to grab the other kids, and my husband would sit in the back seat and watch him.  With in 10 minutes we were all in the car.  We live in the "country", so I just prayed we would make it, the nearest hospital was 25 minutes away, 20 if you went fast if there was no traffic. 

My husband kept giving me updates, if he did stop breathing I was the only one who knew infant CPR so I would of had to pull over anyways.  Kept saying, "I think he looks better"

We arrived at the hospital just in time, my mother in law looked at him, and she looked worried and said, "Oh my", and I grabbed him and ran in.

I actually had to explain to the receptionist that he was having a reaction, even though he was swelling up faster and it was going down his legs now(which he only had a diaper on a shirt).  Even the sick people in the ER felt sorry for us.  When my husband sat down, I looked at the baby and told my husband, "I hope they don't make us wait, I really think it's an emergency", and that's when I saw it.  He was turning blue.  His lips were blue, they weren't pink and red and he had turned pale.  I told my husband to notify the receptionist immediately.  He hates it when I tell him to do that because a lot of the time he thinks I'm over reacting.  I practically yelled at him to tell her NOW!

He walked up to tell the receptionist, and she said, "The nurse is coming out for him soon."  That was it.  And that's when the first wave hit me.  Puke, all down my shirt, pooling into my bra, I'm sure at this point my husband was glad I didn't hand him off and tell the receptionist myself.  I practically shouted, "He threw up!" and then the second wave hit, all over my pants, looking like I peed myself.

The receptionist says, "Are you sure he threw up?"

And I stood up, getting a reaction from practically everyone in the ER, he had puked a huge amount for an 18lbs baby.

They told me to come over and sit down so they could triage him, but I was thinking, "Are you sure?  Shouldn't we be rushing back?" and the nurse took one look at him and said, "We have to go NOW!" and we started rushing back, practically running, before she grabbed him from me and started screaming for RT(a respiratory therapist, learned that from the pneumonia episode) to evaluate his air way I'm sure.  He was so swollen and pale.

But after the puking episode, he started to come back to life.  They gave him some IV fluids and some zofran, and EPI pen dose, and some steriods.  I noticed he peed, but I had to tell them no pampers, he's allergic(those are what the hospitals use), and tell him his extensive other allergies to wheat and lactose.  As soon as we got the diaper off, even though he was still swollen, he started grabbing himself down there and itching himself, and we knew he was getting better.  That's just his personality.

Because we don't know what he ate, we now have to carry an EPI pen, and take him to an allergist soon to try and determine it.  I really think it could have been anything.  He swelled up 3 hours after he ate, and 5 minutes after he nursed.  So was it something I ate?  Was it something he ate?  Or is it all the paper he likes to eat?  Who knows.  But now, even after being a CNA for 10 years and being taught to use an EPI pen, I had to actually learn how to use one.  I had to tell the kids that baby brother has to have one now.  And that it's a needle, which freaks out my autistic child because he's afraid the needle will go in his head(because of where the nurses place IV's).

So for that past 2 days I've been monitoring, watching him for another reaction.  Yesterday morning he was unable to eat breakfast which disappointed him greatly.  He also was unable to drink water.  His face turned red again, but luckily was fixed with benadryl and the steroids. 

Now we add yet another medicine to our growing stock pile of things the kids need because they're allergic to.  And I hate seeing it, I never thought in my life, my kids would have so many problems.  Although, they have so many problems, I really don't regret it, or them in anyway.  If they didn't have these problems, they wouldn't be them.  And I love them, just the way God made them.  Issues and all.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The kids 1st day of School

It officially happened.

Today was Jacob's first day of school.

And I was scared out of my wits.  I took more benadryl than normal in the hopes that I would at least try to rest last night.

Still, when that alarm clock rang at 7:15 am, all the worry came back.

The morning went well, I told Jacob no junk for breakfast, to at least add an egg to his breakfast.  And he did.  His lunch was packed and in the fridge ready to go, but I had no idea how or what was going to happen.  He's been in a specially contained room(special ed) for the past 3 years with very little introduction to how a normal classroom functions.  Today that was going to change.

As soon as Jacob was out the door(since he has to go to a school not within our boundaries I don't have to drive him or walk him, he takes the bus to the school less than a mile from our house, I'm serious, and I love being the mommy outside in her PJ's while everyone else is walking to school!), I gathered the other two children back up, and we went back to bed, no questions asked.  They HAD to, mommy needed sleep too, and luckily they all went to sleep no problems.

The only problem with taking a morning nap is great in theory but we got up at noon.  Half the day spent.

So Nat ate breakfast and excited, she proudly put on the prettiest dress she could find.  She was going to start school!  Homeschool!  (Homework she calls it!)

Not only was she excited, I was ECSTATIC.  It's always been my dream to homeschool my children.  To give them a quality education not corrupted by the public school system and their wordly views.  Ok blah blah blah.

My attempt to homeschool Jacob went down the toilet.  It was impossible to get him to learn anything from me.  So in my failed attempt, we realized he needed much more than mommy could offer, and with no other option, he receives schooling from the school district.

But my daughter, she was excited.  I however, am stumped.  What do I teach the child who knows EVERYTHING?  And she really does.  The decision to homeschool her a year early is because she's ready for a 3's preschool, but her birthday isn't until December.

So now the trouble is what do you teach her?  She already knows all of her ABC's, her numbers up to about 18(missing only 1 or 2 numbers), she can count to 5-10 on some days, knows all the important shapes, and colors. 

I decided over all, to teach her how to write this year, it's something she can't do, she can't even draw a straight line, I know that it will come in time, but it doesn't mean we can't practice!  I'm also looking into get a song/chant/finger play book to play with her. 

As for right now, we just have the left overs from Jacob, so we played with that today.  And I truly saw how easy homeschooling really is.  Especially with the right student.  Natalie was excited to learn and to play.

First we attempted to draw lines from baby animals to mommy animals(no go), and second we did our shape/puzzle boards.  They're from Melissa and Doug and teaches her how to place the shapes in the right spaces.  We discussed the colors of the shapes and what the shapes are.  I realize that she made need a little speech class too, which we'll work on because an oval is a "offul".

During this, Jacob's teacher called to say that Jacob was eating hot lunch at school!  And that was something I was worried about.  He had spaghetti, and "chicken nuggets"(I think it was supposed to be chicken parmesean she said), and a salad and juice.  So with that worry over.  Nat and I went back to school work.

We counted to 18 with her princess cards.

And then practiced her ABC's in her picture book

Afterwards, we took a break and watered her new babies.  Decided that the slide was to hot to play on(she didn't want to burn her but), and then checked the garden for fresh tomatoes and zucchini as we do everyday.

Lastly, we settled on painting pretty pictures for daddy, which last much of the rest of the afternoon.

I know we didn't do much as far as "schooling" goes, but I figured it was good for a first day.  I wanted to see how long she could sit there and do work, and start with something she knows.  I plan on doing more with her as time goes on, including planning a weeks work of activities and other things.

I didn't get a phone call from Jacob's teacher for the rest of the afternoon, so I got things done too.  Which was nice.  In addition to cleaning I finished a few birthday presents for my nephews and Natalie of course did more painting before we decided to get the baby up and go sit outside and wait for the bus.

As soon as the bus pulled up I sensed something might of been wrong.  The bus pulled over and stopped, and turned the engine off.

NEVER a good sign.

The doors open, and the bus driver gets up, and Jacob doesn't get off.  Instead everyone inside the bus is moving.  I wait a few more seconds but he's not coming out, I don't hear screaming, so I know that's a good sign, so I walk over and say what I normally say on a bad day and people are looking for something.

"Did he throw something?"

The "something" was his shoe.  And NO one could find it.  Not me, not the bus driver, not the other 2 students on the bus.

So Jacob came home with only one shoe, and he cried as he watched the bus pull away with his shoe.  I told the bus driver to look for it and deliver it to us tomorrow morning.  And all Jacob could think was that I was going to send him to school with only one shoe(I totally would if it was legal, just to teach him a lesson so he's not exactly wrong in his thinking).

After he calmed down he told me all about his hot lunch and how much he enjoyed it and that he was going to eat hot lunch the next day too!( I totally did not send enough money for a month's worth of school lunches!  1 school lunch is 2.25!)  He told me all about the salad that was "Not like the salad you make me mommy, but I tried it and it was GOOD!"  :)

His point sheet was less than encouraging but not terrible either.  He shoved his desk(he didn't throw it so this is an improvement), spit on his desk(also an improvement he didn't spit on anyone else!), and threw papers.  Nothing new. 

So overall both children had an excellent first day of school and Natalie was very proud to show daddy all the homework she did.