Friday, April 29, 2011

Finally over...

I am so glad that April 28th is finally over! What a terrible day from start to finish... It was just nutso at work with crazy deliveries and terrible looking strips that just make my stomach ache thinking about them. Plus we've had all this scheduling cr*p that is so wearing I was about ready to quit. According to management we are adequately staffed but the feeling among those of us that work here night after night is a little different. Today was the first day that I seriously considered looking for a new job! But it's April 29th now, the babies are all here safetly, and it's a new day so here's hoping today is brighter and better than yesterday. Plus I get to watch the Royal Wedding so there's some nice happy fluff to lift my spirits!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Yarn Along

Not much knitting going on this week I'm sad to say! This is all I have accomplished on the hat to match the blue sweater (which I finally finished and posted about here). My plan was whip it out but then I had to work all weekend and we were very busy at work so I had no chance to knit at all on my breaks. Then Monday and Tuesday things just totally got away from me and tonight I have to work again not much knitting going on! I want to get this hat finished so I can start on Xander's birthday present. I figure I still have a month before his birthday but it might take me that long to get it done! Reading-wise I am trying to get going on studying for the IBCLC exam. July 25th is the date and I only get reimbursed if I pass- so I need to get cracking on the studying. Plus it will be great to have my certification.

Monday I managed to get my closet cleaned out and that is about it! I fell asleep with Xander at 8:00- but seeing as I worked Sun night and only slept about 4 hours I figure that isn't such a bad thing. Tuesday I was just tired all day. Connor and my Mom came for a visit so the boys had a blast playing with him. We tired out the sidewalk chalk and I finally broke into the paints that I got them. I am SO glad that we waited for that to be an outside activity when there were 3 adults present b/c boy was that a mess! Fun but extremely messy. I think James had more paint on him than the paper. We had a lovely dinner of homegrown steak and then we went out for ice cream. It was once we got back that things went downhill! Xander had locked James' room and then shut the door- luckily while no one was in the room b/c we don't have a key to that room. Frank thought he could jimmy the lock open but then couldn't and he finally had to take the door frame off to get the lock open. Needless to say that took awhile so I tried to get James to sleep in our room but he would not fall asleep. Finally at midnight I just tossed him in his crib and said good-night. I don't know how long he cried for but he finally fell asleep. Then at 4:30am he was up again. I put him back down but he was up again at 5:30-6ish. Frank got him to go back down then but we were both pretty wiped. Then as Frank as getting ready for work he let the dogs in the house only to find out that Cassie got into a fight with a rat (who lost BTW..) but in the process got her ear sliced open at the tip so she bled all over the front step and the sun room. We got her washed up and bandaged and she promptly shook the bandage right off her ear and bled all over the couch! So that meant a trip to the vet who glued her ear and bandaged her up and gave her a rabies booster. Of course she had that bandage off before we even got home and then bled all over my car! I re bandaged her once we got home and now that we have been at home she has kept that one on. Hopefully we can keep it on her long enough to get her ear to stop bleeding every time she shakes her head. So needless to say I didn't get much sleep today- we'll see how tonight at work goes!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Or should I say Happy White Easter b/c yesterday it decided to snow at our house! I was driving home from work yesterday morning and it was really cold and gloomy and rainy and as I drove up the hill to the house the rain turned to snow! It was kinda wild. It snowed all morning and then turned back to rain in the afternoon but when I left for work we had snow at home still but there was nothing in Keene at all. Weird...

Every year I swear to myself that I am not going to go overboard on Easter Baskets for the kids b/c Easter isn't really about the Easter Bunny - you know like Christmas isn't really about presents under the tree- it's about celebrating the life of Christ, the joy of his sacrifice for mankind and the miracle of his resurrection. Heck we've spent the last 40 days of Lent preparing for this moment and yet somehow I always go overboard on the baskets. Easter has really snuck up on me this year. I don't feel like I have truly and properly used this Lenten season as it is meant to be used, i.e self-denial. And somehow I managed to have to work Thur-Sun of Holy Week so this Holy Week has been a bit strange for our family. Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are 2 of my favorite masses of the year. I did make it to Ash Wednesday this year but somehow I feel like I have been cheated out of some of the joy of the Easter Season by my being unable to attend a single mass of Holy Week- well we did go to Palm Sunday mass (another favorite) but somehow that one never really seems to be part of Holy Week in my mind. Frank took the boys to Good Friday Mass and told me all about it. Normally during weekly mass we have developed this tradition after communion of taking a small side trip into the chapel to "visit with Jesus". Our church has a chapel off the altar with a statue of Jesus lying after he has been taken down from the Cross following his Crucifixion. Since he was old enough to walk Xander likes to go into this chapel and stand on the knee rail and "visit" Jesus. So we go and visit after communion on Sundays. So during the Good Friday mass and veneration of the cross, Frank asked Xander if he wanted to kiss Jesus and he did! Frank showed him how he did it and Xander went ahead and kissed the cross and I missed it! I was so sad that I missed it but I'm happy that Xander is showing such an interest. I keep hoping if he is more interest in the ritual of the mass he will sit slightly more still during mass!

Anyway back to where I began- going overboard on Easter Baskets- somehow I think that this year it happened b/c I was feeling sad and guilty about not being able to take part in Holy Week with Frank and the boys. So I played Easter bunny instead! We'll open their baskets when I get home from work and in their baskets this year they have several books about Easter from their Grandma and Grandpa and Godparents so we'll be able to read those and I got them some new Bible coloring books to hopefully keep them occupied during mass but they are also getting plenty of new toys and even a little candy. Every Easter Basket needs a chocolate bunny after all! Frank's basket is strictly cansy so I guess I will need to keep myself away from that or else I won't be happy with my weigh-in this week. I had some other things too that I figured I will save for Xander's I just have to save myself from going overboard on that! I guess I need to pray for self-control...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Weight Watchers update

So despite Longhorn and a birthday party this weekend I actually lost .8lbs this week! I am so excited that I didn't gain. Lessons learned this week: this is going to be harder than I thought! I was so good the first week that I thought- I am going to do this and it's going work and it's not going to be that hard. WRONG! It was hard this week. I really fell back into poor eating habits frighteningly easily. I really have to keep track of every single thing that goes into my mouth. I really need to look up points before I eat something b/c you'd be amazed how bad somethings are for you. I mean cake, ice cream, etc ok I get it but did you know that 1 oz of sunflower seeds is 7 points?!?!??! That's whole meal- for sunflower seeds! realize now that I actually do better at work than at home. I guess b/c at work I am very consious of what goes into my lunch box and I am really good about drinking tons of water but at home it's just me and the boys. They eat ALL day long and i find myself snacking along with them- not good. So I ahve to fight this battle of wanting them to eat but not being able to eat along with them. I guess they need to be eating healthy snacks so we can just have healthy snacks together but boy do those graham crackers look good! Total weight lost- 4lbs in 2 weeks.

Videos from Playtown

The Great Race- these little cars held James' attention for quite awhile back and forth and back and forth. Xander wasn't quite as interested but we got them together long enough for a race!

After his 100th or so time down the slide Xander discovered he could literally fling himself off the edge at the top and then tumble the rest of the way down without getting hurt! This isn't the best video but you get the idea! It was pretty hilarious. Getting him off the slide was less so...

Again I am not sure who was having more fun- Frank or the boys. All in all it was great fun!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

It's finished!!!!!!!

So first off please excuse the messiness in the background- too much knitting, not enough cleaning! Second off please excuse the lack of pants- I'm only fighting one battle at a time in regards to clothing my almost 3 yr old. Third off please excuse the insane number of pictures but I am so excited to finally have finished this sweater! And guess what- It fits PERFECTLY! It's not a great sweater for layering over many other items b/c it fits pretty close but it will be perfect for the summer over a bathing suit or t-shirt when he gets cold. The sleeves are a bit snug so I would make them wider if I made this sweater again. Xander has skinny arms so it isn't a big deal for him but even with his skinniness this wouldn't fit well over a long sleeve shirt b/c the sleeves are so narrow. Then again it is a lightweight cotton sweater so it isn't really designed to be worn with long sleeves. I like the narrow sleeves to a point because then they don't drag in his food at dinner but you could only wear this as a shirt or over a short sleeved shirt. The yarn is so soft that Xander is wearing it as a shirt right now and loving it. He said, "I like that!" He also likes the dump truck buttons! In fact I tried to get him to try it on before I sewed the buttons on and he was not having any of it but as soon as I whipped at the truck buttons boy did his tune change! It's amazing how 3 buttons can totally change a sweater's wearability factor for a 3 yr old! And mommy likes the fact that she got those buttons on a whim (with no project in mind) from the dollar bin at the yarn shop and they are perfect for this sweater.

So I made some other alterations to make this fit Xander better- the sleeves are a good 2 in longer than the pattern called for and I increased the length also by at least 2 inches but adding several extras rows of pattern. I also added 4 rows of garter stitch at the left shoulder on the back side to give me more room to place the buttons and to make more of an overlapping panel. I had to do that darn buttonhole row probably 4 times before I got it right and then I ripped it out again to make the front longer after ripping about about half the back. The joys though of making it yourself! I used Knitpicks Comfy worsted, which is just the softest stuff ever, in celestial and the color is simply amazing on Xander. I knew it was going to be a great color for him and really bring out the blue in his eyes but it looks just awesome. I almost went with a darker, more muted blue and I am so glad that I didn't because the celestial is perfect. I knit the whole thing with almost exactly 3 skeins. If I hadn't gone ahead and made it a bit bigger I would have been able to make ti out of three but I am glad I hate the extra because I still have plenty for the hat and maybe even enough for a hat for James too. Overall, despite more frogging and re-knitting that I would like to discuss, I am really pleased with how this turned out. Now onto the hat...

Yarn Along

So I continue to Yarn Along with Ginny at Small Things. This week has been focused on finishing the blue sweater. Well actually I pit stopped by the Bel Cloche for Reba which came out super cute! I had some toruble with the increases at the crown it ended up size wise between a lg and an XL, which I didn't think was going to be excessively problematic until I blocked it and it blocked out HUGE! Well bigger than I would like but still wearable...although when I do this pattern again (b/c I will it was cute, cute, cute...) I will be sure to get the correct number of increases and only make a Lg size. I also ended up goofing a little on the length of the hat overall- apparently I was having a hard time following directions on this one despite it being very nicely written- well really I should have made better use of the row counter but I was being lazy. I kept thinking it was going to be too small so I figured I'd add some extra length and with the slightly larger # of stitches it would all work out...and then it ended up being a bit big.... oh well. Lessons learned! I was really surprised though at how much bigger it seemed once I blocked it?!?!?!?

Back to the blue sweater I did end up frogging all of the patterned section on the back and redoing it. I just knew it would bug me forever that the pattern was reversed. Also it allowed me to add some length by adding some extra sections of pattern, which meant that I had to rip out some of the front too to add more pattern to match but now all the frogging and reknitting is done and all that is left is the seaming. I seamed the right side already. I have never seamed a whole garment before-even a toddler size one and boy am I not enjoying it. I think I will stick with knitting in the round as much as possible! So then as I started to seam the left side I realized that I really needed to add some extra length to the back shoulder to give me a place to put the buttons on. Otherwise I feel like it will pull excessively on that side. So I am adding on a few rows there and then I will get the rest of the seaming done and then I can start on the hat!!!! I really need to learn to knit quicker!

As for reading I have been catching up on my parenting magazine for this month and the knitting book was so I could learn how to seam. I actually love this book b/c it has tons and tons of pictures of all differnet techniques and different kinds of stitches. I am a really visual person so having the photo to look at really helps me figure out how my stitches are supposed to be. This book and have been my saving graces. My weight watchers journey continues with the cook book. I realized this week how easy it was to fall back into bad eating patterns. I was so bad this weekend without even realizing it. I thought I was being good and I'd look up the food values afterwards and discover that the foods I thought were ok really have a lot of hidden sugars and fats. Did you know that Chocolate Stampede from Longhorn has over 2000 calories in what they call 2 servings? uugh- good thing we brought it home and it took me 4 days to eat my half. I don't expect to lose any weight this week but hopefully I won't gain too much and now I just have to focus on keeping on track.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Weekend update.

Saturday we ended up skipping swim class. We had a lot planned for the weekend and everyone was having a hard time getting going Saturday morning so we decided to have some quality family downtime instead. Frank got to sleep in and the boys and I played and they took a nice early nap. Saturday afternoon we headed into town to meet with our accountant. Every year we say that we are going to get our taxes in early and somehow instead of getting earlier it somehow seems to get later- this year we are filing an extension. Next year I tell you! While Frank met with him, I waited in line to get Leo a Rabies vaccination. Of course I didn't realize that I needed to bring proof of previous vaccination with me so he was only bale to get the one year shot but then at least we can take him and Cassie next year and get them on the same schedule. Now I just have to make it down to the town hall and get them registered before the end of the month. After the rabies clinic we looked at some of the animals at the humane society. We'd like to adopt a barn cat b/c we are having some serious mice issues out in the barn. Hopefully they will get back to us soon! Then we went to Cheshire Horse to buy feed and Home Depot for light bulbs etc. We met up with my mom, Nikki, James, Riley and Connor at Target where I coupon shopped! Then we all headed over to Longhorn for supper. MMM delicious. Not super weight watcher friendly but I did ok... just don't get the chocolate stampede. Luckily the boys fell asleep on the way home in the car so that made bedtime really easy.

Sunday we went to church in the morning and then headed own to Hopkinton, MA to Playtown Express for Naomi's birthday party. I'm not sure who had more fun the boys or Frank! Playtown Express is an indoor play place that has a ton of inflatables- a bouncy house, giant slide, obstacle course, plus lots of fun ride-ons and pretend toys. James started out pretty into the grocery store. He loaded up all the play food into his shopping cart and then was pushing it all over the place. That lasted until he tried to climb into the front of the shopping cart which was meant for something doll sized and although James is small he is bigger than that! Xander spent most of the time in the giant slide with Frank with small breaks to race James on the car ramps and jump in the bouncy house. We only managed to get him out of there with the promise of cake and that really didn't last long before he wanted to go back and play. We all really had a wonderful time and it made me wish that we had something like that closer to home b/c the boys really slept well that night!

Monday I took James to the audiologist- with much the same results as last time. It's rather disconcerting to sit in that booth and hear the audiologist talking to him pretty loudly and him having no acknowledgement whatsoever. Apparently he is currently hearing at about 35 decibels- they measure hearing between 0-50 decibels and the lower the number the better you hear. Most audible speech is around 25 decibels so unless you are yelling at him he probably isn't hearing you well. I'm going to attribute most of his mischievous behavior on that! His tympanograms continue to be flat and as the audiologist said, "his ears are just chock full of fluid." So the the ENT we go. Our appointment isn't for a few weeks but I imagine that it will pretty much lead to another set of tubes for us- three sets of tubes in 9 months, yuck! I am interested to ask the ENT about also removing James' adenoids at the time of his first tubes. Given the problems we had with Xander I really don't want to end up with four sets of tubes in one year but then again I also don't want to subject James to unnecessary surgery. I am conflicted. But those months of ear infection upon ear infection were pretty much miserable for Xander and everyone around him so I don't want to subject James to that either... I guess we'll just have to see what the Dr recommends.

And Tuesday we just had a nice boring lazy day at home. I need to make sure we schedule those days more often because while the boys get a little wild- especially since in the afternoon it was pouring and I wouldn't let them go play outside- it is still nice to just hunker down and go nowhere and do nothing but hang out with my boys (and maybe squeeze in a little knitting....).

Saturday, April 16, 2011

How do they get so dirty?????

This was James after dinner last night. I swear most of his yogurt ended up in his hair! You should have seen his clothing before I stripped him!!! I wasn't about the pick the child up the way he was. Luckily it was bath time anyway.

I took Xander to the audiologist on Tuesday. His tympanograms looks good which is a huge relief b/c that means his tubes are in good working order. He does still rub at his ears sometimes, especially in the mornings, but so far no ear infections. His hearing is well within normal range so that is good but given how well his speech has come along I'm not surprised that he is hearing better. Tuesday afternoon he had speech therapy and we went for a walk, which was a nice change. We saw a wood pecker and heard a ton of frogs/crickets in the pond down the road- Xander kept looking for the frogs and was confused by the idea that he could hear them but not see them. He did get to see the wood pecker though. Next week we start dual speech therapy with Xander and James together- we'll see how that goes or if we need to do 2 sessions a week.

Wednesday morning was gym class- we skipped swim this week b/c I had to work Wed night and I was feeling tired so I wanted to get a decent nap. It was a good thing I did b/c Wed was a pretty crazy night at work. Xander loves gym class so much it is funny! This week she had the ball pit out which I kinda wish she just wouldn't do at all b./c for the boys it is a total distraction. They will do all the other activities when the balls aren't there but with balls they spend 3/4 of the time in the ball pit. Xander is doing really, really well with jumping, the ring, and climbing the ladder and he can even do the wide balance beam without any help from me. This week he started walking sideways down the beam. We are signed up for one more session of toddler gym and swim and then he will be 3 so I may move him to preschool gym. We have major scheduling changes coming down the pike at work so it may be a challenge to keep them in gym and swim at all but I am going to do my best. At the very least he could do gym Saturday mornings with Frank. I really want to keep him in gymnastics b.c I think it helps focus his energy a bit. Swimming I don't know.... Xander seems to have hit an impasse in regards to skill. He is still a little fish but he doesn't seem to be getting any better. He refuses to use his arms most of the time and he doesn't really follow along well with the class- the Saturday class especially. It is a very busy class and the teacher is rather soft spoken so I wonder sometimes if he can even hear her (but according to the audiologist he can hear just fine!). Wed he does a little better but he is usually so tired by the time swim is over that it's almost too much.... We've been slowly decreasing the floatation in his vest and that does seem to help him use his arms more but I don't know how much he is getting out of it really in terms of swimming skills. We are going to do one more session and then we will probably take a break for the summer. Hopefully we will be going to the beach a lot! James is just a big old lump in the pool. He likes to chew on duckies and go down the slide but he usually makes no effort to paddle or kick his legs. Every once in awhile he has a really good class and he seems to get it and then nothing for weeks. I keep holding out for the days when he really seems to get it.

Friday I got up early after and go to meetings together so we can keep each other on track. So we had our first weigh in and we both lost 3 lbs this week- go us! Unfortunately b/c of my work schedule and her home schedule we can't go to the same meeting every week but we can at least go together. I also joined a weight loss challenge at work starting April 25th. It was $10 to enter, $1 for every lb gained and whoever loses the most weight percentage wise by July 25th wins the whole pot! It's a good goal to shoot for anyway. So far the whole WW thing is going pretty well. I am eating withing my points and not feeling hungry and I lost weight so the biggest challenge will be motivation to keep moving forward- hopefully having the challenge and D to keep me on track will help.

You'll have to excuse the excessive number of James pictures- Xander is currently mostly refusing to have his picture taken- he just wants to be behind the camera! Oh yeah and don't mind James in the tutu- he was trying on Naomi's birthday present for me to make sure it would fit her!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Yarn Along

Well I have made excellent progress on the sweater that I started last week. I have both the front and the back done but now I am thinking I may have to rip about half of each out.... grrr. Somehow I managed to reverse the pattern on the back top portion- which really no one in the world would notice but me so I was just going to leave it but....then I also realized that I think the whole thing is going to be WAY too short on Xander so if I frogged the pattern to fix that then I could add some more length but... that means that I have to frog the front pattern to so I can add more length to the front. And boy was that buttonhole row a pain in the pattoot! Decisions, decisions, decisions..... Well in the meantime I couldn't decide so I casted on a hat for my friend Reba. Her birthday was last month and slacker friend that I am didn't come up with a birthday present for her so last week when she was up visiting I had her pick out a hat pattern (totally the one I had picked for her- yeah me!) so since I am going to visit her this weekend I thought I would give a good old college try to getting the hat done before then! I am using the Bel Cloche pattern by Carina Spencer which is a new one to me. I had a bit of trouble with the repeat at the crown hat required several redos- darn small circumference circular knitting but I muddled though and despite 1 dropped increase along the way it's going pretty well. I'm using some cascade superwash which I like but it certainly isn't as soft as the knitpicks comfy-mmmm still feels like butter in my fingers! I haven't had a ton of time for reading these days. We've been renewing our fetal monitoring coursework at work - have to repeat the advanced fetal monitoring course every 2 years so I have been slogging though that. And in excellent news my application to take the the IBCLC examination this summer finally made it through the audit phase, but that means now I actually have to study so I have started on that as well. I did mange to find time to read through Chloe and Spud though- such a cute book with oh so many fun projects! I thought the kid's story would be more child like but really it is a cartoon strip- which the boys are just not into but they really liked looking at all the pictures of animals with me. I need more projects like I need a hole in the head. But I lined up my raverly queue to keep myself on task! Now I just need to stick with it!

PS- I think I might baste the sweater together and see how it fits and then make my decision about frogging. It will fit James for sure but the color would be so beautiful on Xander that it would be a shame for it to be too small! What do you think?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Yarn Along

So I still seem to be knitting obsessed this week. I did have to take a break on Sunday to shovel the pit that I call my house. We're all happier for it but I'd still rather be knitting...or sewing... which I did some of this week for my friend's daughter's birthday present. It was so nice to get back in the sewing room for a few hours. My current readin material is this book of devotionals for moms that I picked up at the bargain bin at Rite-Aid of all places... it has some really wonderful, heartfelt, and funny stories in it. Best of all none of them are more than a few pages long so I can read when I have a few minutes to spare. So this weekend I knit up these two little bunnies for the boy's Easter baskets. They were super easy (and that's saying a lot coming from this slow knitter...). The only thing I didn't like was that they involved quite a bit of seaming. Now the boys really didn't NEED anything else for the Easter Baskets but I wanted them to have something made by mama! Then yesterday the yarn that I ordered for my next 2 projects came so I was able to get going on Xander's sweater. I spent a whole bunch of time fiddling with the stupid gauge swatch b/c based on the measurements the sweater is only just going to fit (it's a 24 month size) and I wanted to make it a bit on the bigger side to make sure it fits this summer anyway. That gauge swatch was a pain in my behind! It called for you to cast on an even # of stitches but then as I was knitting it up the pattern wasn't working out right so I'm like what the heck how am I supposed to check my gauge if i can;t get the pattern to knit right- well it turns out that the pattern needs to be knit on an odd # of stitches so why the gauge swatch was supposed to be done in an even # is still beyond my comprehension. I got it close enough and just started knitting and thankfully the pattern is coming out just right and perfectly on gauge! I've got the bottom done enough that I can hold it up to Xander and I think it should be plenty big enough. The yarn I am using is a 75% pima cotton/25% acrylic blend from KnitPicks and it is like knitting with butter! OMG the whole thing is going to be so incredibly soft- and stretchy so that should help the fit even more... as long as it doesn't shrink too much! I just can't get over how soft it is! It will be a nice light-weight sweater for the spring/fall. And the color... it's just the most vibrant shade of blue. It's going to look just amazing with Xander's eyes! Now I just need to keep the motivation going to get this done. I'm pretty excited about it right now but this is the first sweater that I have done that needs to be seamed so we'll see how I feel about it by the end. Come Yarn Along with us at Ginny's place.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Blogging for a cause....

Most of you who know me, know that I am kind of a crafty person.... Maybe even a touch... mmm... shall we say obsessed... Something along the lines of needing a whole closet to store my fabric and currently have 59 yarns in my raverly stash! Anyway since around the time that I was pregnant with Xander I have belonged to a web forum called Diaper Sewing Divas. Although I have yet to meet a single Diva in person they have been my sounding board, a place to ask questions, a place to learn, to swap, to destash (gasp....), to participate in no-buy contests (which this fabric hoarder needs for sure...), and generally a wonderful group of crafty, amazing women (and a few token crafty guys....). While I started out there to learn how to sew cloth diaper for Xander they have become so much more than a place to learn how to make diapers. Berritt, one of the founding Divas and Diaper artiste... recently found out that her husband has cancer, Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia. The good news is that it is treatable, the bad news is the medications to treat his illness cost $7500 a month and because he is required to pass a physical exam to keep his job (actually it was during his physical they found his cancer) the fact that he has cancer means that he no longer has a job. Cancer, really expensive medications, no job, no insurance, 3 kids.... but he had a great long term prognosis with treatment! It's a double edge sword... Berritt in addition to her diaper artiste talents also makes wonderful patterns and has a shop on Etsy. They need all the help they can get right now... so instead of simply asking for monetary donations Berritt is asking for help promoting her business. So if know anyone who is crafty or you are crafty yourself feel free to go to Lille Skapet for children's patterns or to Birdiful Stiches for patterns for electronics... camera cases, e-reader covers etc... Pass the word, send all your crafty friends links to her shops. I have included a button link to Lille Skapet on my sidebar. You can read more about Berritt and Alex story here, here, here, or here. If you couldn't tell Berritt is extremely well loved and rightly so as she is one of the kindest, most generous people I know (online or off). If you aren't a crafty soul then prayers and positive thoughts are always welcome. Please include Alex and Berritt and their children in your prayers for a while. Also please consider registering with the National Bone Marrow Registry. At some point Alex may require a bone marrow transplant during his treatment. If you need another reason to register to be a bone marrow donor read this or this story about Oliver Williams, a 3 week old boy from Spofford, NH that needs a bone marrow transplant just to survive. Thanks you for all your positive thoughts and prayers!