Tuesday, January 31, 2012

New Yarn Part 1

I bought yarn for new projects.  I was going to put both projects in one blog post, but it got too long so I split it up.

This is for my February KAL:

Very bright.  I seem to be making a turn from the neutral colors I usually choose.  I don't remember the brands or colorways.  It is sock yarn though.

We are making Teknika gloves.

The purple yarn will replace the gray and the pink variegated yarn will be my color accents.

This will be my first time knitting in fair isle and my first time making gloves.  I've made mittens so, I figure making gloves is a lot like making mittens, but with many more, strategically placed and longer thumbs.  The awesome factor to this project is that connective thread is used in the tips of the index fingers so that you can still use your smart phone while wearing gloves.  I am so excited for this project.  I hope I get to use them this season, but it is 50 degrees outside.  I hope we get a few more weeks of winter.

Have you ever done color work before? Do you ever dress too warm for the weather to show off your handmade goods? (I may be guilty of this.)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Thrummed Slippers

I finished the thrummed slippers I fist blogged about here.

These thrummed slippers are a part of the knit-a-longs at The Fiber Universe. Every month, the store selects a pattern that helps us knitters fulfill the 2012 challenges.  The challenges are lists of 12 things to do: techniques (like thrums) and projects (like slippers).  Completing all 12 equals a free skein of yarn.  I am going to complete 3 of the 4 challenge sheets: projects, knitting techniques and crochet techniques.  The other challenge list is spinning and I am just not good at that nor do I own a spinning wheel, but in February I may learn to drop spindle spin.  So maybe I can do all 4, maybe.  

I started and finished this January KAL in the correct month and everything. I am off to a great start.

I made them for someone special.   I hope to see that person soon so, I can give them away.  Here my daughter is modeling them; they are just a bit too big.  I probably could size the pattern down and make a pair for her, but I have other things to make to complete the challenges first..

As I stated earlier, this pattern is not especially easy to read., but I made it through.  The second one is so much easier than the first.

You may be wondering why my bunny slippers don't look like bunnies.  I decided to just end with the slipper part and not add the bunny features.

I get to start my next KAL on Wednesday. Februrary's project is Teknika Gloves.

Friday, January 27, 2012

First Friday

So this is the second non-yarn related post in a row.  I will get back to yarn delights soon, as I just procured yarn to start two new projects (YAY!!!).  Today, though, is all about food.

Food is important, maybe too important to me.  I am always thinking about eating delicious things, which is not good because I am attempting to loose weight for my sister's wedding in June (the Matron of Honor has to look good too, right?).  But, I digress.

Food is easy, cooking is hard.  I am very bad a meal planning.  I just never know what to make.  I leave for work about 6:40 am, drop my daughter off at daycare, work until 3:30ish, run 3-4 miles, collect my daughter and then return home around 5:20 pm. I then somehow have to make dinner for the family and we like to eat between 5:30 and 6 pm. So I don't have a lot of time to cook and usually all the meat is frozen and I forgot to get it out to defrost.  I like the idea of cooking, but doing it seems to be a different matter.

So my point is, we are going to start a family tradition.  On Fridays we are going to always make homemade pizza.  I got this idea years ago when I read Animal Vegetable Mineral by Barbara Kingsolver.  Her family had homemade pizza every Friday as a family ritual and I thought, so nice, we should do that.  Fast forward 18 months and  here we are, tonight starts an Ott family tradition.  Tonight is the First Friday and we're having  Canadian bacon pizza.

It is one night I do not have to plan.  It is one night that will be constant.  It is one night were everyone will eat without argument.  It is one night I can usually count on my hubby to cook.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Librarian fact: did you know that primary resources are important for research?  Guess what, journals are a primary resources and ever since I watched my first Doogie Howser show, I have wanted to be someone who writes a daily journal.

(image from http://www.90s411.com/doogie-howser-md.html)

Boy, was he good at journaling.  He had great poignant things to say that perfectly summed up his day in just a few words. Plus, I was in early elementary school when the show was on and I was proud that I could read what he wrote, even if I did not understand it.  It was my favorite part and I anxiously awaited the journaling scene. I just wanted to type on a blue screen computer so bad, just like Doogie.

Anyway, I've had diaries and blogs over the years, but nothing that I really kept up with.  But I think I have found something I can stick with, 280daily.

280daily is a free website/app where you can briefly journal about your day.  Briefly = 280 characters.  This forces me to write just a few sentences to sum up my day.  It doesn't take long.  It is just perfect for chronicling my day.  You can also add photos to go with your daily posts. You can use it for personal reflection or for chronicling what you did at work.  Anything that you want.

Since I started 280daily (two weeks ago), I have not missed a day and most days have a photo to go with it.  Worried about people reading your personal thoughts? Journal entries are private and will remain private.  As they say "free, secure, private and unsociable."  There is even a way to search past entries with a quick search box..

Want to try it?  Use this referral code and I can earn more characters for my daily posts.

Referral code: http://280d.co/my9yry  

Give it a try.  You can get an email sent to you to remind you to journal.  That is half the battle, remembering to journal.  That little feature has kept me journaling away.

Have you been a journal-er?  Have you ever found a long, lost journal from your childhood?   Did you love Doogie Howser or still love Neil Patrick Harris in whatever he does?

This is not a paid advertisement.  I just love the app and wanted to pass it all on to you.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I made my first amigurumi.  Well it is not my first, I made a carrot may years ago, but it did not turn out right so, I guess this is my first successful amigurumi.

What is amigurumi?  It is crocheting or knitting little toys.  Usually an animal, person, food or other object.  I tried it a few years ago and I did not like the result.  I had planned on making veggies for my daughter's toy kitchen.  I started with the carrot and got discouraged, never to try it again for years.. 

One of the great authorities in the field is Ana Paula Rimoli.  This is the author of many amigurumi patterns and books including this one:

I will have to get this from the library soon.

I used her cupcake pattern and made this:

I plan on making more. I think I stuffed this one too much.  It seems to be bulging a bit.  I also need to add some sprinkles, perhaps.

My daughter was very excited to see this one so, I need to make more for her dolls to have a tea and cupcake party.   She will need many flavors (or colors, whatever you want to call it.)  This one is chocolate with strawberry frosting.  I picked up a skein of a really bright blue that will make excellent, fun frosting, too.

I also might check out some of the other cupcake patterns to see which one I like the best.  Next one up is Karla Fitch's (aka Itsy Bitsy Spider, a great crochet blog) Amigurumi Cupcakes pattern.

photo from knitpicks.

What do you think?  Should my cupcake have a smile?  Have you made amigurumi?  What thing should I make next?  There tons of free patterns at Lion Brand Yarn.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

First Pair

Ever since I learned to knit in the Spring of 2009, my husband has been asking me for to make him socks.  In nearly three years of knitting, I have make lots of things and proudly shown my husband each item.  Most times he would reply with something like, "Those are not socks."  It became a running gag really.

I finished my first ever sock on New Year's day 2012.  It was huge, perfect for my hubby.  I thought I would not make a second one (you know completing a pair, two feet? Gah.) and just move on to other projects, but it kept nagging at me and well, I already had the yarn.  So, this weekend I made it a finished pair.

They don't fit quite right and they are different lengths and tensions.  But as I understand it, that is how most knitter's first socks turn out.  They are everything first socks should be.

I am very happy with them (and so his my husband so no more jokes!!!***) and I do plan on making more socks.  Maybe two at at time?  Or two at a time toe up?  I already have the yarn, needles and pattern.  I just need the time to cast on and get sucked in.

Have you ever made socks? Any pattern or yarn recommendations? Or do you have an annoying joke with your partner?

***he says he wants more socks, ones he can wear out of the house, so maybe that will be the new joke.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

House Warming

I had a friend at work buy a house; her first house.  This is a very exciting and big deal.  A new house deserves a house warming present.

I "secretly" tried to find out her kitchen colors by asking her what color she planned on painting the kitchen.  This launched into a long discussion on color, but it seemed to center around that she liked blues and greens.  Sugar 'n Cream yarn is on sale at Michael's this week so I always stock-up on the cotton yarn and this was an excuse to buy more.

My lys, is having a 2012 challenge and one of the challenges is to crochet from a chart.  I decided to meet that challenge and make the gift so I made these:

The pattern is: 27-28-35 Tawashi by Pierrot (Gosyo Co., Ltd).  I have made this many times before, but not in a while so, I thought I'd get the pattern out and hook it up.  The yarn is Sugar 'n Cream.

I also made some matching scrubbies from a pattern in my Knitting calendar.

The pattern is: Cotton Scrubbies and Washcloth by Lynn Rowe.  The yarn is Sugar 'n Cream.  Also crochet, project (I am on a crochet kick, I still have one more project to reveal.)

My friend graciously accepted the gift and said they were too nice to use, but I convinced her that I did indeed make them for her to use and if they wore out, I would make more.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Baby Ripples

I started a baby afghan last week.  For some reason most baby yarns are "baby" colors = pastel.  Do babies actually like pastels?   Babies' brains can't process all the visual information they receive, so bright and contrasting colors are actually great for babies. (I learned something reading all those pregnancy and child development books.)  Plus, non-"baby" colors are great so they can still use the blanket when the baby grows up.

So this is what I got:

Shades of primary colors plus green.

I did not really have a plan for colors when I went to Jo-Ann's.  I just wanted acrylic yarn because it is cheap and washable.  (I am not a yarn snob; I love working with acrylic too.)  Vanna's Choice was on sale.  I like Vanna's Choice yarn.  I definitely prefer it to Red Heart Super Saver yarn.  Vanna also has a baby line, which is this yarn.  Not sure what the difference really is because they look the same, but with a different label.  Same weight, same price, same fiber content.

I just liked how these looked together.

I started right away:

I am now quite a bit further.  I am just a few inches shy of half way.

The pattern is Wavy Blanky by Stephanie Gage.  It is a free pattern.  I love how the ripples form.  It is a tad different from most ripples and that is what drew me into it.  I wanted ripples but something differet and lo and behold the Wavy Blanky.

It feels good to get some crocheting in.  I have been knitting so much lately.  It is like going back to a long lost friend, you pick up right where you left off, never really realizing why you've had such little contact lately.   We are just happy to be together again.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


People think that yarn crafting is for the patient or people with a lot of free time.  It is not.  It is for the un-patient.  The people who cannot sit still.  The people who need to do something.  The people who can't sit still and need an outlet.  It is for the busy people who hate to wait and just sit around (for example at the doctors office).  It keeps us sane.

I have a lot of nervous energy.  Just born with it I guess (you should see the energy of my mom and her sisters).  I run, I work, I parent and I craft. Oh and I jiggle my legs/ tap my feet a lot.  This habit kills my husband, as I often shake the whole car or pew or table or wherever I am.

When I said I was surprised by my daughters patience to learn to knit on a loom at 3 1/2 years old, I should really not be.  She has the energy and she needs the outlet.  I love watching her knit on her loom.  She concentrates so hard to make sure she does it right.  Then, she rejoices when she finishes another round.  She asks for me to measure it (she wants to make sure it is indeed getting longer) and then asks me to put more yarn on the loom for her.

 Look at that concentration and skill.  She is a natural.  And it is a great, productive outlet for her energy.  Maybe I'll even be able to take her to knit night with me somday.

I think I could have her on knitting needles within a year, if she is interested.  Which I hope she will be.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Accidental Hat

We finally got the cold weather and snow that we have been waiting for all winter.  This made me realize that I did not have hat for myself.  I saw another mom at daycare that had a great cream colored hat.  I decided I could make myself a cream colored hat.

A few weeks ago I saw this pattern on Purl Bee (another great knitting blog.)  I love the cables and the classic look. 

I went yarn looking.  I wanted something that was machine washable and warm and also wool.  I could not find any superwash wool in cream so I went with plain old wool, Cascade 220.  How often do you wash your hats anyway?

I cast on Saturday afternoon and just never stopped.

I did not mean to knit a whole hat in a day, but I did.  I just kept going and going.

I love how it turned out.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Proudest Moment

My mom, dad and nephew came to visit.  My mom brought me a box of stuff, things she was no longer willing to store for me (thanks, mom) and knitting looms that she picked up at a garage sale, but have never really used much.  She thought my daughter could learn to use it.  I thought my mom overestimated my 3 1/2 year old's attention span and fine motor skills.  I was so wrong.

She she totally understands what to do and she loves doing it.  I am so impressed.  My daughter is a bit wild so, I can barely believe that she is sitting and being patient. (Please excuse the un-lady-like pose.)

She did not want to stop; a true sign of an addicted yarn-crafter. 

It is not just a proud moment for me as a mother because she finally has something to do that keeps her quiet and entertained.  She wants to be like me.  I know she is like me in so many ways. She is bossy and ornery.  She likes to be right (aka is always right) and likes to have things done her way (aka will have things done her way).   Just like her mommy. She likes to play with yarn by taking a ball and unwinding it all over the house so I knew she was somewhat interested in doing yarn-related activities, but this is just the best I could ever hope for.

I gave her her very own knitting bag to keep her looms in.  She is so excited.  Last night she even got out of bed asking to knit more.  It broke my heart to say no, but I did promise her we could knit together after school the next day.

Look at all she did:
It is about three inches long.  I know because she kept asking me to measure it and she is then was really excited to find that it is longer each time.

What is one of your proudest parenting moment?  Do you have a child that takes after you?  What is one of your proudest crafting moments?  I would love to hear from you in the comments.

Also, the giveaway has ended and the winner has been contacted.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

In the Bag

In my knitting bag this week is my January knit-a-long from my lys, The Fiber Universe.

From this:


To this:


I made this:


It was not very easy as the pattern's instructions are very cryptic.  I had to rip out many, many times.  I think the second one will go much better.

The pattern is Bunny Hop Thrummed Bunny Slippers.  I am not making the bunny part.  I am using Cascade Yarns Pacific Chunky.  It is a nice yarn.  I am using merino roving.  See my project page here.

There is a recipient in mind for these and, again, it is a secret, so I won't divulge it here.

The awesome feature of this slipper is the thrums.  Thrums are these little "v" stitches in pink. 

They are made from roving (un-spun yarn).  I just pull off some roving (about the size of the yarn I am using) and knit it into the pattern.


The thrums make the inside very cozy and fuzzy.


Usually, you find thrums in mittens, but slippers work too.   I can't really see them being useful in other knitted objects, but I may be wrong. 


Now I have to make another to have a matching pair.

Speaking of matching pairs.  I started on my second sock, so my husband can actually have a pair.  I hope this one takes me less than 4 months to complete, unlike the first one.

Do you find it hard to make the second object to a pair?  Have you ever used thrums?

Remember to enter my giveaway here.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

All Wound Up: A Review

The first knitting blog I ever started to follow was Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's aka The Yarn Harlot.  She is a niche writer; she writes about knitting.  Not how to knit or patterns (but she does do that a bit), she writes about her experiences knitting.  She loves, loves yarn and knitting.  And she is pretty funny. Her books are a lot like her blog.  Every chapter in the book is a new vignette into the life of a crazed knitter and yarn hoarder.

All Wound Up is her newest book.  It just came out a few months ago.  Reading her writing inspires me to be a better knitter, because Stephanie has amazing skills and I want to emulate said skills.  It also makes me feel better about how much I feel knitting is becoming an obsession, because I don't think I could make it to her level.  But, then again, she is about 20 years older than me, maybe in 20 years I could reach that level.  Someone stop me before I am like her and start storing yarn in the freezer because that is the only place there is room.

My only problem with Stephanie is that she is not a fan of crocheting.  She just doesn't like it and I really do.  But in this book, she actually inspired me to crochet more because she actually wrote about the merits of crocheting. Did you know crocheting must be done by hand?  No machine can replicate it, unlike knitting machines.

Which got me to thinking, I haven't crocheted in a while.  So I picked out a pattern and went yarn shopping.

Good stuff coming!!!!!

Do you follow The Yarn Harlot?  Who do you follow?  Would you store yarn in the freezer?

Remember to enter my first ever giveaway here.

Friday, January 13, 2012

First Ever Giveaway!!!

****UPDATE.  Giveaway is over.  Winner is "Decorandthedog."  Thanks for entering!

So, I know that at least a few people are reading my blog, but none of you leave comments.  Today, that changes.

I have a scarf with no home. So one of you lovely readers can win it.  It is pink so, sorry, if that is not your color, but it is what I have.


Pattern is One-Row Handspun Scarf.  Yarn is Cascade 220.  100% Andean Wool.  My project page is here

To enter leave a comment (on the blog, not facebook) and you can win this fabulous scarf, knitted by me.

Your Question(s):  How did you start reading my blog? What do you like/dislike? Do you have a hobby that is a bit addictive like mine? Or just leave me any comment, but I thought I'd give you some ideas.

Winner will be chosen at random using random.org.   Winner will be announced Jan 17th.  Check back to see if you have won.

Giveaway closes at Monday January 16, 2012 at 11:59 CST.

Open to US Residents Only.  Void where prohibited.

Good luck!  I look forward to reading your comments.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


So nearly four years ago my mom gave me a diaper bag, she thought it was the one on my baby registry, but it wasn't.  I never returned it and it has been sitting around my house and/or my mom's house ever since.

Finally, I had a great idea.  I could use it as a knitting bag.  It is big with tons of little pockets to keep tools.  All I had to do was remove the changing pad.

Totally saved me big bucks since I was looking at The Swift.  As if I would ever buy such a bag, but it is nice to dream.  I am just as happy with my free re-purposed bag.  It is designed my Amy Coe, who mostly designs baby items, but no one has to know that...just you I guess.

What is in my knitting bag this week?  Pink roving and purple chunky yarn.  I am making the January Knit-A-Long from The Fiber Universe.  I'm heading there tonight for knit night.  I needs some help interpreting the directions.

Oh and we did get the snow.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Three Hour Cowl

I was looking for something big, fast and chunky to make and I found The Three Hour Cowl.  It is made from super chunky yarn and as the title suggests, a quick project.  I should have timed myself.  I don't think it took three hours, but it may have.

I bought some yarn especially for the project.  This is Plymouth Yarn Encore Mega.  Nice yarn.  Washable, which is important for winter items not intended for me.  I know not everyone likes to wash things by hand and line dry (not that I like it either, but I do it for my yarn creations, if needed.)  Mega is 75% acrylic and 25% wool and machine washable.  I bought two skeins, but I did not use it all and I have some left over.

It did not start out looking like much.  It is basically just two inches of ribbing then seven inches of stockinette, which is just knitting in the round.  Then, it ends with two more inches of ribbing. Ta da!  Not much thought.

It turned out nicely.  I already have a recipient in mind, but it is a surprise so, I won't say who here.

The great thing about knitting is that the project make warm goodies.  The problem about knitting this winter is that no one cares about warm goodies because it is over 50 degrees in January in Central Illinois!  My friends and family that are more northern dwellers are having the same mild winter.  However, that is all supposed to change tonight.  Snow is coming; today's low temperature is tomorrow's high temp.  Finally some cold weather to appreciate the warm goodness that is handcrafted knitting.  I'm all set.

What about you?  Are you ready for some real mid-west winter?  Or are you happy with the no snow?  Are you all set?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Hooked: A Review

It took me a long time to read this one.

It is not a bad story at all.  It is wonderfully written. It is the coming-of-age story of Thea.  She is totally in love with Will.  She even loves his lazy eye.  During her senior year she discovers she is pregnant.  Her mom and best friend just assume she will have an abortion, but Thea can't go through with it.  To gain some normalcy in her life she clings to this old picture of her as a child wearing a crocheted bikini.  She decides to increase her crocheting skills and learn to re-create the bikini.  The crocheting calms her down in her crazy world of teen-motherhood.  This book covers the trials of being a mother and being young.

This is a great representation of motherhood and crocheting (as I dabble in both).  It took a while, but I really started to feel a connection to Thea and what she was going through.

3/5 stars

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Clockwork Prince: A Review

I love Cassandra Clare.  She writes the most excellent YA fantasy books about Shadowhunters.  Her original series The Mortal Instruments includes :City of Bones (soon to be a major motion picture), City of Ashes, City of Glass and City of Fallen Angles.  Two more books are scheduled to be in the series. I have read all four and loved each one of them.

Clare is also writing a prequel series to The Mortal Instruments called The Infernal Devices.  The first book is Clockwork Angel and this is the second Clockwork Prince:
These books are so amazing.They all very long books (400-500 pages) but the story is so compelling that I wish they were twice as long.

This is the continuation of the saga of Tessa who was betrayed by her brother and sent to England from New England to live with the Dark Sisters who abused her magical powers.  At the end of Clockwork Angel we all discovered that Jem (featured on the cover above) and Will  (who are best friends) both have very strong romantic feelings for Tessa.  In this installment these feelings are played out and I was a bit surprised at how it happened.  This book also features more of the story line from Will's perspective and we find out why he is so mean to everyone.  What type of magical creature Tessa is still remains a mystery but a lot of her past issues are resolved.

I tend to not like the middle book in a trilogy but this one was quite good.  Not a ton of action, but a lot of valuable information is gathered, as is normal in the middle.  I am very excited to see what happens next.

So it is pretty hard to write a review about a series and not spoil what happened in the first book too much and give the second book justice.  It is really good so, just read it, both of them, and the four in the other series.

5/5 stars

Friday, January 6, 2012

Reading is important

As a librarian I think reading is important.  This should also carry over into my crafting life, right?  Well apparently I can't read as well as I thought I could because I made this:

See anything wrong?

Oh, a baby needs a head hole?  Hmmmm.

So last night at knit night I ripped it out to make a head hole and make one sleeve as the instructions clearly state.  I continued on for 4 inches.

Oh wait, the instructions said to increase one at the same time. Crap.  I did not get a picture of this one because I was out of the house, but again, I ripped out and finally knit two rows following the directions correctly.  I just made one of these last week with no problems with reading the pattern.  I just need to follow instructions better. 

I got home and cast on something new.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Some finished items

I may have knit a bit over my holiday break.


became this

I made this cowl for my husband's cousin's wife on the car rides to Iowa and Wisconsin for family gatherings.  I love it and hated to see it go, but I have to start knitting more for others because I already have several scarves and really only one neck.

I made yet another "One Row Scarf".  The pattern in really addictive and easy (great for Doctor Who watching).  I will make more.

This one is without a home.  Maybe I'll do a give-a-way.

I made some dishcloths which I did not photograph.

I started baby knitting.  My hubby has two cousins having babies in March so, I need to start making things.


This is a Baby Kimono by Mason-Dixon Knitting.  I also made a bib to match and will probably make several more. I am making the second kimono now (more on this later). 

I finished my first sock.

It is huge (that is my husband's men's size 14 foot) but that is to be expected since I was knitting on larger needles than the pattern called for and I usually need to go down a size or two.  I still have another one to go to make a pair.  I have to find the other skein I bought.  I started this sock over Labor Day weekend (again in a car ride traveling to Wisconsin) and it was abandoned with I came to the heel and did not understand the directions.  Over break I decided to give it a go once more and I totally understood the directions.  My knitting has really improved over the past few months--I feel bold and ready to try new things.  This is mostly because I found a way to not use DPNs (which I loathed using) and now use magic loop knitting.  This opens up a whole new world to me and my knitting.  2012 will definitely be a year of new and exciting projects.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Back From Break

I had a grand vacation the past few days.  The college shuts down for about a week between fall and spring semesters over Christmas time.  I had seven wonderful days off from work (plus weekends). 

I did do several things:
  • visited in-laws and celebrated Christmas
  • visited parents and siblings and celebrated Christmas
  • visited extended in-laws in Wisconsin and celebrated Christmas
  • watched many, many seasons of Doctor Who on Netflix (only thee episodes left for me to watch)
  • knit several items (more on that later)
  • put away Christmas decorations (my husband did a lot of this)
  • had quality family time 
  • celebrated one-year anniversary of buying our house
  • cooked
  • cleaned (but not nearly enough)
  • took a Flat Stanley on a tour of Peoria
  • slept in 
What I did not do, that I planned to do:
  • read-  I barely read over break. I blame it on all the Doctor Who watching.  I can't watch and read at the same time.  I finished one book that I started ages ago (more on that later).  I started another book that I should finish this week.  I checked out 5+ books to read over break.  I will just have to renew them.
  • organize- I wanted to organize a lot of my/our junk.  We have been in the house for a year now and it is time for us to reevaluate how we use the space, especially the closets.  I wanted to clear out my daughters toys that she no longer plays with and put them in the attic for someday when we have another child.  This of course did not happen.  We went and bought shelves for the "toy" room, but now I am not sure where to put the stuff that no longer goes in the toy room closet. (I own hundreds of books, most of them boxed up because we don't have shelf space for them in the new house.)  Now I have to work on creating basement area for storing the stuff.  I also wanted to organize my craft area better.  I did not ever get a chance to work on that.
  • potty-train-  My daughter suffers from chronic constipation.  It is a medical problem that there is really nothing I can do to solve.  I wanted to put 1000% effort in getting my daughter to go in the toilet, but she did not go a single time in the pot.  I was really hoping to get this pooping thing over with over break.  We have now been potty-training for over two years.
  • clean- Maybe this goes with organize.  I really wanted my house to be very tidy by the end of break and do all those fall cleaning things I should have does months ago.  Every time I turned my back, a three-year-old tornado would sweep through.  Demolishing this I had just put up.  I guess I should be glad thing look as good as they do.  There are just way too many little pieces to the toys my daughter now enjoys.

Even though I did not accomplish everything I wanted to do, I got some things done and had a good time with my family and that is what really matters especially since 2011 was a very tough year on my family with my niece's cancer.  2012 looks to be a much brighter and better year for everyone.  I love that come January 1 we all get this feeling of newness and freshness.  We get to start over and try for a good year again.  In 2012, I can still do all the things I wanted to get done last year and do more. 2012 will be the year my daughter finally figures out her bodily functions, the year I get the house organized and cleaned, the year I decide to focus less on negative and small things and live a better and fulfilled life. (I can just feel it!)