Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Pizza Omelets

Have you ever realized how many things go great in Omelets or as pizza toppings? With school getting closer I haven't been in the mood for cereal for breakfast. So I've spent the last half hour mentally going through what we have that can go good with an omelet.

Mushrooms
Peppers
Onions
Sausage
Pepperoni
Tomato
Basil
Scallions
Spinach
Broccoli
Bacon
Ham
Pineapple
Multiple types of cheeses
Salsa (on top)

Unfortunately, we don't have any of those in the apartment right now. I know some of those things don't go on a pizza. I'd imaging salsa would taste weird on a pizza. Scallions might work on a pizza, but I haven't seen a pizza with scallions on it. They aren't listed in local pizza places as a topping option.

In fact, the only classic pizza toppings left off that list are black olives, meatballs, and anchovies. Both can go in an omelet, but probably wouldn't taste as good in an omelet. Maybe an anchovy omelet would make good hangover food. I smell twisted pregnancy craving!

When it comes to omelets and pizza I like them both plain with cheese. But I prefer something with it. Favorite pizza combos in our place include:

Pepperoni and Mushroom
Sausage, Pepper, and Onion
Pepper and Onion
Sausage and Mushroom
Ham and Pineapple

Favorite omelets include:

Scallions
Tomato and Basil
Mushrooms
Cheese with Salsa on top
Pepperoni
Pepper and Onion

Both pizza and omelets are fun. They start off basic, but are fun to explore different combinations with. I know there is a lot more you can put on a pizza then in an omelet. There is a lot more listed in our pizza place's menu. That includes eggplant or penne vodka. Other places have their own combos. I just stuck with the basics for this list. There might be things I left off of the omelet list. Perhaps I mentioned an option you haven't tried but sounds good. I wonder what a ham and pineapple omelet would taste like? Creative food is fun and yummy!

Now it's time for that bowl of cereal :)!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Alternative News

I don't know what news you get, but mine basically amounts to:

1. Things you do wrong
2. People being killed or saved
3. Celebrity News
4. Natural Disasters
5. Scary health news

I'm tired of articles that either tell me how to live my life or why the author thinks my way of doing it is wrong and their way is correct. I think I once came across an article titled "You Are Brushing Your Hair Wrong". If not yet, it's coming. When did we reach a point when everyone assumes their way is the only correct way to do things? Sometimes, doing things differently is just different. But neither way is wrong. I would love to start seeing articles titled "Your Way Of Loading The Dishwasher Is GREAT!" or "No, It Doesn't Matter How You Hang The Toilet Paper"

Whether it's about death or survival, most of these articles are sad. Very sad. I'm happy about the survival stories, but angry that the survivor went through it to being with. All of this sad news needs to be countered. Why can't happy articles be news? How about posting articles like "Mama Bunny Seen With Babies" complete with a picture.

Mundane is a part of life. What's wrong about an article covering the health benefits of walking to school? Every walking to school article I read is about a kidnapped kid. In my town, most kids walk and no one has been kidnapped. Instead of instilling a fear of healthy behavior in parents with fearful articles, how about showing the other side of the statistic. X percent of kidnappings might happen when walking to or from school. But what about the Y percent of walks to school that are uneventful? Y is a much higher number then X. Do an article highlighting that.

Celebrities are people. They might not live "normal" lives but they live their lives. There are marriages, divorces, kids, new relationships. Good for them. But I find knowing too much about a celebrity's personal life ruins their work for me. When watching a movie or TV show I like to get wrapped in the world. It makes it more enjoyable. But I can't enjoy the illusion of Penny and Leonard knowing the actress is married. I'm happy for her. But I just don't want to know about it. The same is true for music.

I know some people love celebrity news. Perhaps more cryptic headlines won't ruin it for people like me while providing the celebrity gossip other people like. They can try "Jennifer Aniston has big news!" With any picture being a generic picture of the celebrity so it doesn't give the news away. Someone like me won't be bothered but celebrity readers will excitedly jump right in!

All I can do for natural disasters is pray. There seems to always be one going on somewhere. With each one I share fear with those living through it. I feel just as helpless about not being able to stop it. It's important to report about natural disasters. But years later the news is all about the recovery that DIDN'T happen yet. I want to read about the part that is back to normal. "Pictures of California's Post-Fire Recovery". Those pictures could show the area effected when almost everything is rebuilt and nature is mostly healed.

I don't know about you, but I can't go a day without reading about some sort of scary health news. It's important to know about these things. But often the threat is exaggerated in these articles. The statistics are listed. But often downplayed. Apparently, fear sells. Instead of only reading about every bottle of Tylenol being recalled, I'd like it countered with calming news. "Walgreen's Acetaminophen Is Safe" At least it would inform us what we CAN use. If you are going to warn people not to use something, offer an equivalent alternative!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Literally Big Headed..........Hydrocephalus

Josh was born with Hydrocephalus. I know he's been through a lot in his life. Before my research, this is what I do know. He has excess brain fluid in his brain. He has a shunt that drains that fluid out so he doesn't literally drown himself. Josh had some major issues with his shunt when he was still growing. But it hasn't been a problem in our 17 years together. They check it with x-rays and CT scans. He also is more likely to get headaches.

Because of the fluid, he has a big head. I'm working on crocheting him a winter hat. I was iffy about doing it because he rarely wears hats. But the more progress I make, the more excited he is about having a hat that fits properly. The notes for this hat say a man's hat should be for a 23" head circumference. Josh's head clocked in at 24.5"!!! To be fair, part of it is genetics. Zach's is supposed to be 19" - 20" but slightly bigger for winter growth measured at my size of 22". The average for a woman.

Josh is a very capable person. When he feels sick, we check for the signs of an issue. But he can still do a lot of things. His hip is a bigger issue then his Hydrocephalus is. He's recently joined the Hydrocephalus Association. He takes comfort in answering questions parents of kids with Hydrocephalus have. If you have any questions about the shunt or Hydrocephalus, post them in the comment section. Josh will answer them for you.

But now I've decided to figure out how much of what I know is correct. Below is the link to the Hydrocephalus Association. Under it, is the link that talks about Hydrocephalus. But the website has a lot of great resources. If you or someone you know has Hydrocephalus, it's worth checking out the website.

http://www.hydroassoc.org/

http://www.hydroassoc.org/hydrocephalus/

I'm right about the excess brain fluid part.

Hydrocephalus is an abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) within cavities in the brain called ventricles. Cerebrospinal fluid is produced in the ventricles and in the choroid plexus. It circulates through the ventricular system in the brain and is absorbed into the bloodstream. This fluid is in constant circulation and has many functions, including to surround the brain and spinal cord and act as a protective cushion against injury. It contains nutrients and proteins necessary for the nourishment and normal function of the brain, and carries waste products away from surrounding tissues.

Hydrocephalus occurs when there is an imbalance between the amount of CSF that is produced and the rate at which it is absorbed. As the CSF builds up, it causes the ventricles to enlarge and the pressure inside the head to increase.

With more research I learned that it can be detected during pregnancy in an ultrasound. CT scans and MRIs check the ventricle size. The x-rays they do are checking the shunt.

A shunt provides an alternative fluid pathway through which CSF bypasses an obstruction(s) in the fluid compartments of the brain, and acts when CSF absorption is otherwise impaired. Such a bypass relieves the excess fluid buildup that is responsible for hydrocephalus. When CSF production and absorption are in balance, hydrocephalus is considered “compensated”; when out of balance, complications associated with elevated pressure or overdrainage occur— causing the signs of a malfunctioning shunt.

http://www.hydroassoc.org/shunt-systems/

http://www.hydroassoc.org/complications-of-shunt-systems/

I'm not going to post all of the information about complications with shunt systems. It's too much information. Use the above link for that information. But a lot can effect a working shunt.

1. Shunt Malfunctions
2. Shunt Infection
3. Over drainage
4. Under drainage
5. Subdural hematoma
6. Multiloculated hydrocephalus
7. Seizures
8. Abnormal Complications

But I am going to post the symptoms of a malfunctioning shunt. They are found at the bottom of the "Shunt Systems" link. The shunt is crucial to treating Hydrocephalus.

Symptoms of Shunt Malfunction:

InfantsToddlersChildren and AdultsAdults Living with NPH
  • Enlargement of the baby’s head
  • Fontanel is full and tense when the infant is upright and quiet
  • Prominent scalp veins
  • Swelling along the shunt tract
  • Vomiting
  • Irritability
  • Sleepiness
  • Downward deviation of the eyes
  • Less interest in feeding
  • Head enlargement
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Irritability and/or sleepiness
  • Swelling along the shunt tract
  • Loss of previous abilities (sensory or motor function)
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Vision problems
  • Irritability and/or tiredness
  • Personality change
  • Loss of coordination or balance
  • Swelling along the shunt tract
  • Difficulty in waking up or staying awake
  • Decline in academic performance
  • Return of symptoms that were present before shunt was placed

Friday, August 07, 2015

Different Type Of Camera Shy

I don't look good in pictures. Having my picture taken has always made me uncomfortable. Why do I never look right? Recently, something happened to make me dig deeper into this.

A year ago my childhood babysitter died. She's the one I talked about in the post "My Dona". A friend of hers mentioned the anniversary on facebook. That led to a conversation with my mom about the pictures we have with her in them. It also led to some self exploration.

When my brother was born the number of pictures with me alone in them decreased. That's not unusual. But a lot of the time he wasn't the one in the picture with me. They are mostly people I put in the category of "comfort people". Like comfort objects but people not things. The people who ease my anxiety most of the time. Some people fall under that category just from their voice or simply seeing them. They probably all know who they are. I'm smiling as I think about them.

But it's not a "make love to the camera" kind of smile. My dad has always struggled to get a picture of me smiling in a way that looks like a real smile. My mom can attest that there isn't a word in any language that saying could get a smile out of me. She's looked over my dad's shoulder and tried literally any word she could think of. Those Christmas pictures were a nightmare! I hope family and friends appreciated them!

Most moms tend to not be in many pictures once they have kids. I wasn't in many pictures from a much earlier age. I never realized what was happening. Until I realized how easy it was to get the smile my dad wanted when Dona was in the picture with me.

I do have a favorite picture of the two of us. She started taking care of me at about six months old. In it, I'm a baby touching her mouth as I stare at it. She's smiling lovingly back at me. It captured one of those early moments when I was getting to know her.

It's a different type of camera shy. It's outright camera fear! I have a lot of fears, anxieties, and worries. I never thought of it as a fear. Just something I hated doing but had to put up with. It explains why it's so hard to get me to smile unless at least one "comfort person" or "comfort object is with me. The comfort is relaxing. It makes it easier to be me.

Good, because my dad is tired of pictures where I'm either hiding behind Zach or am doing something so you can't see my face. It's like getting blood work done. As long as I don't see the needle, it can be taken without issue.

General Anxiety Disorder is only present when your anxieties, worries, and fears get in the way of your ability to live normally. Even if you don't like getting your picture taken, you are most likely not outright scared of it. It's a different type of camera shy.

Monday, August 03, 2015

July Summer vs. August Summer

July and August are the two big months of summer. There are activities we can do throughout both of them. We can go to a town pool, we can go to the shore, we have weddings and birthday parties. But, somehow, they feel different in August then July.

July is one long dash of busy. There are reasons to party all summer but there are more in July. That's because graduation parties carry over into July. Most kids are in some form of camp. THAT is the big difference. I don't know about most parents. But I try to get as much as possible done while Zach's in camp. He went to the day camp in town. That meant we went to the town pool sometimes after camp. He is like most kids in another way. He took swim lessons in July. But, won't be taking them in August.

Now August is here. Meaning, Zach is here................ALWAYS!!! He loves being home all of the time the first week. The second week he just wants to back-to-school shop. The rest of August is spent driving me crazy. That's because by then he just wants to go back to school where his friends are. Does that sound familiar?

August might be different this year. Now that we joined the town pool, he'll see some of his friends there. I can't last more then two hours there alone with him. But, if Josh is with us, we might go between three and four hours. A lot of that depends on who's there when we are.

August is an obsession. August and November are the only months I do a blog post on each year. Even then, I think I skipped a year with November. It's an odd month to obsess over. There isn't much that goes on in August. This obsession goes all the way back to when I was Zach's age.

Perhaps I have always been fascinated on how different yet how similar July and August are. We have always had a summer routine. Even though that routine doesn't change much when July fades to August, it feels different. The pace changes. Suddenly, you remember all you planned to do in the summer and didn't get to. Suddenly, there doesn't seem to be enough time before September hits and the fun summer routine changes. Changes into the school year routine. It's funny, even when we weren't in school and didn't have a kid in school. We had a different routine for that time of year.

My August calendar is still full. But now the plans include relaxation in them. Soaking up the remainder of summer. Ironically, while rushing to do the back-to-school shopping and summer homework. Teachers are back in the classroom. Getting ready for new students. How they feel depends on the class from the year before.

Zach's teacher last year had an amazing class. I bet she's excited to see what her new Kindergarteners will be like. Knowing it's such a great class, I suspect the first grade teachers are excited to meet them. Zach's camp was at his school so I snuck a peak into his classroom. He's going to have a desk now!!! But teachers with rough classes last year probably feel a mix of hope for a better year, and dread that it will be more of the same. To them, I hope you have a better year. To the teachers getting those students this year, I hope they matured over the summer. You might be getting different kids.

But that's the back-to-school post. This is the annual August post. It's a time to prepare the classrooms. Then take your own kids to the town pool. You can't do that in September. But it's August, a mix of September and July. The bookmark month. Holding the place between July summer busy and September school year busy.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

My Only Two Beauty Secrets

I don't wear makeup or style my hair. But I do have two beauty secrets. One is actually a spa basic. The other is as quirky as I am. But if you are busy, they might help. They are basics that anyone can easily do.

I'll start with the spa secret. I wash my face with the clean and clear deep action cleanser pictured below. Then I use the Freeman's Avocado and Oatmeal face mask also pictured below. I like how the mask makes me feel after. It's one of my secrets to stress relief. I put on that mask and crochet while watching TV. When it's completely hard, I wipe it off with a face cloth.  I tried other face masks but like this one best.  That includes their cucumber peel off mask. My issue with that being that it was hard to get all of it peeled off. You can do a lot while wearing this mask. I'm writing this blog post with one on. But make sure to put your hair up first.



 


My other beauty secret is pigtails. I don't like wet hair on my neck. But if I use a clip to hold my hair up it dries ugly. Strait on the sides to my ears and wavy on the bottom. So to be silly one night I put my hair in pigtails. As a young kid I wore them all of the time. What I discovered that night is only a little bit of my hair was flat. The rest was wavy. It looked a lot better. Letting it dry wet helps naturally wavy or curly hair.



I know these aren't going to turn the beauty world upside down. I doubt we'll find the Paparazzi taking pictures of a big celebrity fresh from the shower wearing pigtails. But if you're busy, they don't stop you from doing what needs to get done. The only exception being you can't kiss anyone with the face mask on. They are simple and basic. But sometimes with beauty, that's all you need.

Still Lost MH370

One thing about General Anxiety Disorder is you live in almost a constant state of worry. For me, that's always been about people and things missing for so long they are gone forever. Sometimes I'll read about a person or thing that just went missing within the past 48 hours and just know it or they will take a very long time to find. If ever!

One example of that is Malaysian Airlines flight MH370. It disappeared on March 8, 2014. Below is the blog post I did back then on this airplane disappearing.

http://homewithmommy-fran.blogspot.com/2014/03/malaysian-airplane-hide-and-seek.html

In it, I had some interesting theories. The first two were two versions of the same idea. On board were two men from Iran seeking asylum. One in Denmark one in Germany. The plane was heading to Beijing, China. But it was later discovered heading in the same direction as Iran. I doubt these two hijacked the plan. But it's possible it was hijacked by another passenger or a hacker with a computer.

I mentioned a Hawaii 5-0 episode with Nick Jonas. He talks about how when the military made GPS available to civilians, they didn't protect it the same way. That makes it possible to hijack a plane without the pilot's knowledge. The pilots never sounded like anything was out of place.

While it was from a TV show, it's an idea that made a lot of sense. It sounds like something that could really be true. That was a popular blog post for a while. Suddenly, I found four articles addressing the hacker hijacker idea. I hadn't seen that in any article before that. I had been reading any article I could find on MH370. It was, and still is, an obsession.

Why was it so important to address a hacker hijacker option? I suspect a government cover-up. They don't want it known it's not only a real thing. But that it was a possibility in this case. It would mean lawsuits, public pressure to spend the massive amount of money to bring GPS to full level military protection, and let hackers know this was a possibility.

Either way, that plane has been missing for too long without any clues. Until yesterday when debris was found on Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean. It's not fully confirmed as being from flight MH370. But due to ocean currents, it most likely is. Article below:

http://www.aol.com/article/2015/07/30/malaysia-says-almost-certain-debris-found-off-madagascar-is-from/21215815/?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl1%7Csec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D8855423

They can track it's path through ocean currents but that will take a very long time. That plane, and the loved people on it, very well could be gone forever. But, I hope they can track it's path to a landing spot.

Even if the plane is found, we might never know what really happened. That bothers me. I hate not having answers. I'm sure there are many loved ones feeling the same way. It's frustrating not knowing what exactly happened. I feel that way with missing people too.

In this case, there is something the governments involved aren't telling us. I can sense it. I'm okay with that. Intelligence is only valuable if the other side doesn't know you have it. I have said before in other posts that I don't mind not knowing everything the government knows. Because it's not just made public to the good people. It can be used as a weapon by the bad. At minimum, it could make it a lot harder to catch the bad guys. They can't know what we know.

If the plane was hijacked, then there is probably a search for who did it. By not publicizing that theory, they can collect intelligence on it that the hacker and/or hijacker won't be suspicious of. If it was hijacked by a passenger they are probably dead. But they could have jumped out while the plane was going down. That is a possibility that can't be ignored.

They can't tell us everything they have learned. It's for the best. But, that doesn't make it less frustrating. I wish them luck in finding answers and catching who did it. Assuming he or she is still alive.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Asthma In The Summer

I've talked before about Zach's asthma. Here's a refresher. In September of 2012 Zach was sitting on my lap and struggling to breathe. His doctor sent him to a fantastic hospital.

http://homewithmommy-fran.blogspot.com/2012/09/zach-at-hospital.html

Doctors don't usually diagnose asthma that quickly. But, Zach's attack was pretty big. So he got the diagnosis. Now, we have to go to the Pediatric Pulmonologist every three months. Sometimes that includes very expensive testing on very big machines. He has a very expensive twice daily medication (Qvar) and a less expensive emergency medication (Albuterol). The Albuterol has to be with him always. As well as his puffer chamber. To learn more, read my previous blog post:

http://homewithmommy-fran.blogspot.com/2014/01/managing-zachs-asthma.html

But things get better in the summer. From Memorial Day until Labor Day he's never needed the Qvar. He hasn't had many attacks since that day. We give him his albuterol before physical activities like sports class. We also give him his Albuterol before camp each day. That's because of the activities and the humidity. It's just a precaution. But the heat and humidity can get to him.

That does effect things. In the winter I am more likely to keep him home if he's got a stuffy nose. I need to be able to keep an eye on him. The teacher will send him to the nurse if they notice the signs. But the signs aren't always obvious.

In the summer it means there are some days he can't go out. Here's an example. It's supposed to be 94 degrees here on Wednesday afternoon. There is an air conditioned room at camp. But he's mostly in the gym with just a fan. We'll pick him up after lunch then keep him in air conditioning the rest of the day. Once it cools off we might go to the pool later.

We used to give him his Albuterol before swim class. We haven't been giving him his albuterol when swimming but we need to. He's a confident swimmer now and can play in the water for a long stretch of time. I have noticed times when he does struggle to breathe after swimming for a long time.

Towards the end of summer I'll need to refill the Albuterol so the school nurse has an updated prescription. I'll need a new chamber too. The asthma gets better each year. He might grow out of it. But for now, we have to watch the humidity and heat!!!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

A Shark's Home

I don't live anywhere near North Carolina. But apparently sharks have decided it makes a great place for a summer vacation. We have sharks at the Jersey shore too. The ocean is a shark's home. It's in the water. It might be far away from the swimmers, but it's still in the water.

Even as a child I had a large fear of sharks. We go to the same place at the Jersey shore now that my family went to when my brother and I were kids. We used to spend the morning at the beach. My Mom and brother love the beach. We built sand boats and looked for seashells. But, I rarely went in the water. I was too scared. My parents got me a boogie board when I was about ten. But my brother used it more then me.

My Dad and I have always been pool people. We would get lunch after the beach. Then head back to the hotel for pool time. It's never been a mystery to me why I prefer the pool. It's safer. No animals call it home. I can see the bottom and am not likely to be grossed out when I touch the bottom.

http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/shark-attack-infographic-world/29381700

When researching this post I am only now learning about the 1916 Jersey Shore shark attacks that killed four people and injured one more. Before then, there wasn't much known about sharks. These attacks led to more research. They occurred in Beach Haven, Long Beach Island, Spring Lake, Matawan Creek and a half mile from Wyckoff Dock. The accused sharks are suspected to be Bull Sharks and Great White Sharks.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jersey_Shore_shark_attacks_of_1916

New Smyrna Beach just south of Daytona, Florida is the most likely place to encounter a shark. The highest rate of dangerous shark attacks is in the Gulf of Mexico. Bull sharks are the most threatening to people. Great White sharks and Tiger sharks are the second and third most threatening species for people.

http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/fish/bull-shark/

http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/fish/great-white-shark/?source=A-to-Z

http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/fish/tiger-shark/?source=A-to-Z

Not all sharks are dangerous. I did find a list of harmless and dangerous sharks. But I don't know about the website's credibility. Here's the bottom line. A lot of people could spend the day at the beach and swim in the ocean. A lot of people find a lot of inner peace surfing. It's important to remember that many animals call the ocean their home. Assume a shark is dangerous unless you know otherwise. Respect that the ocean is wilderness. Enjoy it, but look out for sharks. Just like you would be on the lookout for a bear in the woods.

Shark attacks will never actually go away. From what I can tell, most shark attacks are minor. The number of attacks increase as the number of people in the water increase. They apparently are becoming less afraid of humans as well.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/06/30/shark-attacks-east-coast/29519371/

Monday, July 13, 2015

Crochet Success!!!

I started teaching myself how to crochet this past winter. I used books and the internet to help. I even started a coaster project with patterns for each season and solid colors for the months. When I did enough of those to come out pretty, I knew I was ready for a project with actual instructions.

I tried to think about what kinds of things we would use. The only thing I can think of is winter hats. We don't wear scarves. Josh and Zach don't like sweaters. Zach got excited at the thought of wearing a hat all winter made by his mom.

One thing that stopped me from trying a pattern sooner was the lack of basic patterns. Everything has accents to add on or something about it making it too hard to make a basic. I'm still looking for a pattern book that teaches how to make things like a wrap without fancy stitching or accents. What's the basics for making a sweater? No pockets or flowers please! How about a basic Afghan? I just want to know the steps. How do you make a sleeve?

But I found the pattern at the end of this post on the following website.

http://www.beginner-crochet-patterns.com/how-to-crochet-a-hat.html

When I measured Zach's head I discovered it's only slightly smaller then my head. Great news!!! Because OCD kicked in and I planned to make five for me. I get tired of looking the same all winter so I decided to make one for each month in winter. Then I needed one for fall and one for spring. But I started with Zach's!!!

I got this at first:



Luckily, it's summer! So I was about to see someone I know that has crocheted for 25 years that I only see in the summer. It turns out I was doing a couple of small things wrong.

1. To make the next row bigger you need to make an increase stitch. I was making two where I only needed one.

2. The stitches were too small. I was generally doing the mechanics right. But, I was using my fingers to move the loops over the hook. She taught me how to loop the yarn over my left pointer finger and slide the hook without using my hands. Suddenly, I got this:



Much better, huh! Remember, it's July. He will be dressed appropriately when he wears it in the cold weather! There was only one modification from the basic pattern. The math for the below pattern for his 22" head would mean the flat part is 7" and the sides measure 8.8". This is 8". The extra 0.8" is probably supposed to be the part that folds up. He always hates that part.

The good news is if I ever want to add knitting to my arsenal I can ask Josh's mom :)! For now, I am happy with the planned projects and the other projects I've done.


Hot Pad I made for Josh's Mom

Hot Pad I made for MY Mom
 
 
Coasters I made for the holiday Shop at Zach's school.
 

Coasters for the Dad/Grandpa/Uncle table for the Holiday Shop at Zach's School.


Hat pattern I used:
*** The link above gives things you can add to it to make it with accents like a visor, side flops, or baby waves. There is more too.

Step 1. Measure the head circumference.

To ensure the proper fit of the hat we use head circumference. It is a measurement of a child’s (adults') head around its largest area -- it measures the distance from above the eyebrows and ears and around the back of the head.
If you can't obtain the exact measurement, here is the approximate measurements (head circumferences) for the ages:
Preemie baby: 11" -12" or 28 cm - 30.5 cm
Newborn baby: 13 " or 33 cm
Baby 2 weeks - 3 months: 14 " or 35.5 cm
Baby 3-6 months: 15" or 38 cm
Baby 6-9 months: 16" or 40.5 cm
Baby 9-12 months: 16 1/2 " or 42 cn
Baby 12-18 months: 17 " or 43.5 cm
Baby 18-24 months: 18 " or 46 cm
Toddler 2 years - 5 years: 18" - 19 " or 46 cm - 48.5 cm
Child 19"- 20" or 48.5cm - 51 cm
teenager 20-21" or 51 cm - 53.5 cm
Adult woman 22" or 56 cm
Adult man 23" or 59 cm

Step 2. How to Crochet a Flat Circle Top of the Hat

How to crochet a hat? Every crochet hat pattern starts from the top of the hat. The top of the hat is a flat round circle. The diameter of this flat round circle is your needed head circumference divided by 3.14. The diameter is a measurement of a circle in the thicker part (through the center). For example, you are making a hat for a newborn baby and the head circumference is 13" or 33 cm. The diameter of the flat circle bottom of the hat for this baby should be: 13" / 3.14 = 4.14" (10.5 cm)
Note: To crochet a flat round circle you'll need to add (increase) only 6 stitches in every row if you use SC (singlestitches) or 12 stitches if you use DC (double stitches),(not more, not less - that's a rule of a flat circle). Those 6 or 12 stitches in each row should be spaced evenly. In this tutorial we will use SC (single crochets).
If you crochet a hat in solid color (no stripes), there is no need to finish each row with a slip stitch and no need to begin each row with a CH 1. Work in spiral and attach a stitch marker to the last stitch of the row and move it up as you work progresses.


Row #1: CH 3, join in the ring with a slip stitch. SC 6 in the ring. Total = 6 stitches after completing this row.
Row #2: 2SC in each stitch (Make 2 SC in every stitch of the previous row). Total = 12 stitches after completing this row.
Row #3: [SC, 2SC] repeat [ ] 6 times. This means: make a SC in the first stitch of the row, make 2 Sc in the second stitch of the row, and repeate this pattern 5 more times.
In other words, you make an increase in every second stitch of this row and the total number of stitches after completing this row is 18.
Row #4: [SC 2, 2 SC] repeat [ ] 6 times. This means: make a SC in the first stitch of the row, make a SC in the second stitch of the row, make 2 SC together in the third stitch of the row. Repeat this pattern 5 more times. Total number of stitches will 24 after completing of this row.
Row #5: [SC 3, 2SC] repeat [ ] 6 times. In other words, make a SC in the first stitch of the row, make a SC in the second stitch of the row, make a SC in the third stitch of the row, make 2 SC together in the 4th stitch of the row. Repeat this pattern 5 more times. Total number of stitches will 30 after completing of this row.
Measure the diameter of your flat circle. If you need more rows, continue rows adding 6 SC stitches for every row spaced evenly.
For example, Row #6 will be: [SC 4, 2 SC] repeat [ ] 6 times, total = 36 stitches, Row #7 will be: [SC 5, 2SC] repeat [ ] 6 times, total = 42 stitches and so on untill you reach the needed diameter.


Here is how to crochet the center of the hat in pictures:
CH 3, join in a ring with a slip stitch
Row #1: SC 6 in the ring (make 6 SC stitches in the center) and attach a stitch marker to the last (6th)SC stitch to indicate the end of the row (it can be a safety pin as well).
Row #2: 2 SC in each stitch
Row #3: [SC, 2 SC] repeat [ ] 6 times
and so on until you reach the needed diameter

Step 3. How to Crochet the Sides of the Hat.

After you made the flat round bottom of the hat, you need to make the sides. In other words, now you need to ensure the proper height of the hat. The formula for the height from top to bottom is:
Head circumference /10 x 4.
For example, if you make a hat for the newborn baby, the head circumference is 13". The height of the hat will be:
13/10 x 4 = 5.2 ''
After you reach needed diameter of the flat circle bottom of the hat, continue to make rows without increase (do not add more stitches), make SC in SC all the way around for as many rows as needed to reach the desired height of the hat.

The basic hat is ready! Finish the last row with a slip stitch. If you are making the beanie, make a row of slip stitches all around the edge of the hat - it will give the beanie the finished look:

Weave in the loose ends and enjoy the hat. You can now crochet some appliques or flowers for the hat. Your beanie is ready!
Now the base of the hat is ready. You can leave it as it is (the beanie version) or you can continue and make an earflap, a cap, a cloche and many other styles. If you want to continue, do not make a row of slip stitches, this is only for the beanie. After you've made the slip stitch at the end of the last row of the hat continue according to your choice of style.