Thursday, March 26, 2009

Small Successes # 2

1. I declared a snow day today. We've had a very mild Winter and today we got one of those typical Spring blizzards giving us about a foot of much needed snow with more to come. Anyway, I sat down and read picture books to the boys and then we drew. Luke has wanted more drawing time with me and today, I decided to drop everything and draw. We read The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes, The Dancing Deer and the Foolish Hunter and Easter Parade by Irving Berlin. I drew Cottontail from The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes while Luke drew another picture from the book.

2. I baked two batches of cream scones. Every now and then, I like to bake scones and have tea. A snow day seemed a perfect day for scones and tea!

3. I finished loom-knitting a hat to donate to Newborns in Need.

4. The kitchen is clean after all the scone making!

Share your successes here.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Spring quiz

You Are Blooming Flowers

You are an optimistic person by nature. In even the darkest times, you are hopeful about the future.

You feel truly blessed in life and can sometimes be overwhelmed with emotions.

You have an artist's eye. You are always looking for beauty in the mundane.

You have a good sense of aesthetics, especially when it comes to shapes and color.

h/t Dawn

Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring and the beautiful butterfly

In honor of 40th anniversary of the publication of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, tonight, I read it twice to Sammy. I love the way he finishes the book for me by saying, "beautiful butterfly." Happy Spring!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Small Successes

I admit it. I'm overwhelmed and it's my own fault. I take on way too many things and today I realized I've just got too much that I have to do and to much that I want to do. I realized that I'm knitting socks, working on two quilts, and trying to remember how to crochet. I have way too many books checked out from the library and I always feel like a loser if I turn them back in without reading or at least perusing them. See? I bring it on myself. I know myself too well to just drop everything and simplify because I'll feel like a failure. Anyway, these thoughts swirled around in my head and I felt a little down that I'm just not getting as much accomplished as I would like and then I thought about Small Successes and I cheered up a bit because I realized that I have done quite a bit more than I thought today.

1. I ironed our Fall/Winter duvet, folded it and put it away. Normally, it would take me until the middle of Spring to get the Winter things put away. I'm pretty happy about this especially since the duvet involved ironing. I absolutely dislike ironing.

2. I had three almost black bananas and I baked a loaf of banana bread and that delighted the boys.

3. I packaged up two books that I sold at Amazon marketplace and I will take them to the post office today.

4. Okay, this is what contributes to me feeling overhwelmed. I started another quilt. I organized the rows of simple squares, but the great thing is that it's all ready to be sewn.

5. I won't even think about starting another project!!

6. I always keep the checkbook balanced to the penny.

Share your successes here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Little Shamrocks

No pinches for the wee ones!

Erin Go Bragh

Happy St. Patrick's Day!
I borrowed this image from here. Go read about the remarkable life of St. Patrick. We don't have a lot planned for today except to make chocolate cupcakes with green frosting and to read from the many Irish-themed picture books tonight.
Here's a prayer attributed to St. Patrick that I found in A Child's Book of Celtic Prayers.

God of All
Our God is the God of all,
The God of heaven and earth,
Of the sea and of the rivers;
The God of the sun and of the moon
And of all the stars;
The God of the lofty mountains
And of the lowly valleys.
He has his dwelling around heaven and earth,
And sea, and all that in them is.
Here's a small section of the Breastplate of St. Patrick: Luke and I pray this prayer together every evening. We want Christ's presence with us everywhere we go...

Christ be with me
Christ within me
Christ before me
Christ behind me
Christ be on my right
Christ be on my left
Christ where I lie and Christ where I sit
Christ where I arise
Christ beneath me
Christ above me
Christ in the hearts of all who love me
Christ in quiet
Christ in danger
Christ in the mouth of friend and stranger

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Things I don't want to forget

I wanted to take some pictures of Tess in some of her special clothes. Here's Tess wearing the little jumper that Stephanie bought the day of my ultrasound when I learned we were having a girl. It's still a little big, but this is her first dress. It's actually her first outfit ever.

Here's Tess wearing the first dress I bought for her. Since she was due right before Christmas, I bought this little silk dress with deep red roses. It fits better now than it did at Christmas except for her arms. Her arms are wee bit chubbier now.

Why can't she stay this small forever?

At this point, she's getting a little tired of modeling for me. Here's the first dress Paul bought for her. He was out on his own and came back with this cute little brown polka dot dress.

I think Daddy has good taste!

My mom made this beautiful baptismal gown for Tess. I didn't really get a good picture of her in it when she was baptized in January. She was swimming in the gown since it was so big. It fits much nicer now. I think I'm going to have a portrait taken of her in this gown since I just can't get a good photo.

Up close in her Christening gown

One more in the gown

She loves this little monkey and doll. She's just now starting to hold things.

Tess and monkey
She's just so sweet!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

I should be doing something else

Both Sam and Tess are napping. Luke is out with Uncle Markie and Paul is helping John paint his basement. I'm home in a quiet house. I could be knitting, reading, crocheting, sewing, or folding laundry and yet I'm not doing any of those things. Why am I not getting more done? I better get off this computer!

Friday, March 13, 2009

The 4x10 Reading Challenge Update #3

It's time for another reading challenge update! I recently finished The Ten Year Nap by Meg Wolitzer and although this novel is skilfully written, it annoyed me so much. The Ten Year Nap centers around a small group of New York women who left promising careers to raise children. Now that their children are older, they are at crossroads in their lives. Now I know many women have misgivings about leaving careers, academia etc, but I was extremely annoyed by these particularly self-indulgent women walking through life with vague discontent. I didn't think that they needed to be so miserable. Is happiness elusive to them because their careers were derailed by motherhood? Is happiness elusive in general? I mean, I'm just not convinced that these women would be any happier if they were back at work. I just can't understand boredom. As a stay at home mother myself, I was insulted by the cliche of the bored housewife. If they're bored, it's their own fault. As I read, I started to get angry because I wanted them to take responsibility for their own happiness. They didn't have to be so discontent. Is this really a true and honest look at women who give up careers to raise children? I'm sure for a lot of women it is, but is it true for all women?

I was especially insulted by the main character Amy who assumes that her husband no longer finds her interesting because she has stayed home with their son for the past ten years. Can she only be interesting with a high-profile law career? Can't she be interesting because of who she is and not what she does? Is it possible that her husband doesn't think she's boring at all and that he's got his own problems and is, well, just preoccupied? It turns out that he's worried about a lot of things including their debt. It saddened me that what they lacked was true communication in their marriage.

I admit that it's unusual for me to have such a strong reaction to a novel, but in the end, I did see a glimmer of hope that they were finally taking some responsibility for their lives. The women were waking up!
Anyone else read this? What do you think?

Monday, March 9, 2009

It's finished!

I started knitting this sweater for Sammy last October. I did take a knitting break after Tess was born in December. Double points, circulars and the Kitchener stitch...I learned so much making this Wallaby sweater. (I realize I have a lot of pictures of the boys posed in front of this door.)

I have to knit another one for my older son. I hope I can remember how I made this one!

Here's Stephanie showing off her first pair of mittens!
She's a pro with the double points too.

Our friend Krissy visited us from Boston this past weekend. We took the opportunity to teach her to cast-on, knit and purl. She was a very enthusiastic learner. Here is the beginning of her scarf. It was so much fun for the three of us girls to chat and knit at the same time! Now that the sweater's done, back to the socks and a sweater for Luke.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

To Crochet or not to Crochet

See this cute little chevron throw? I want to make this, but I'm not done knitting my first pair of socks yet. I can't start another project yet, right? Well, I'm a little intimidated by crochet, but I want to try anyway (after I finish the socks of course).

CPSIA and Illegal books

I've heard a lot about the CPSIA (Consumer Product Safety Improvements Act) which recently went into effect making it illegal for Americans to buy, sell, or barter children’s books published before 1985. This is a huge blow to us homeschoolers who enjoy hunting down out-of-print gems to add to our children's libraries.
Yesterday, I spent some time at the library perusing children's picture books, cook books, knitting books (the usual) and the library used book shelves. Many libraries have such shelves filled with books donated by patrons. The library then sells those donated books to raise funds for new library items. I always stop to look for books for the boys and yesterday I came across this particular edition of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Now, I already own two different sets of The Chronicles of Narnia (One for Sam and one set for Luke) and so I really didn't need another copy of this book (I guess I do since I don't have a set for Tess), but I immediately realized that this cover art was the cover art I remembered from childhood (even though I didn't read The Voyage of the Dawn Treader until my thirties). I bought this edition published in 1970 for 50 cents. I had the CPSIA in mind when I purchased the book and I knew I was making an act of rebellion against the CPSIA, but I bought it more to preserve this older cover art. Soon, all those "old" children's books won't be on those shelves if libraries comply with CPSIA. Will libraries have to discard books published prior to 1985 from circulation? Can you imagine the amout of books that will ultimately end up in landfill? Of course, I'm in favor of protecting our children from lead and other nasty things that are found more frequently in their toys, but I think this legislation will have some serious unintended consequences. Making it illegal to sell, barter, or buy children's books published before 1985 is only part of the CPSIA. I suppose it's unsafe for my son Sammy to be holding this toxic book.