Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Book Review: Wicked Bugs

Wicked BugsWicked Bugs by Amy Stewart
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book! But then, I love living things, including bugs. The author covers a slew of nasty, hurtful and rarely helpful small, multi-legged creatures. She discusses more than just insects (of which "bug" is a particular type of insect), but also spiders and small crustaceans that have impacted mankind. If you are one who gets the heeby-geebies when reading, be careful of this book, and don't read it at night.

View all my reviews

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real

Its been some crazy times. Not that anything crazy is going on, but I'm getting the hang of my weekly schedule, the computer diet is working nicely, and I'm getting lots of sewing done.

Picture heavy this week!



He might not be actually Pretty, but Hank is a ton of fun.  (Why is this category so difficult for me?)


Peanut is crawling, and is every where!

trying to get to the garage sale stuff pile

round the far side of the love seat

between sofa and side table

under the hutch

far end of the kitchen

I moved him right after this picture, promise.

a favorite spot for Hank, glad I had cleaned and vacuumed that spot the day before

behind my chair in the bedroom


Not only is Peanut sitting, but he is wearing my most recent sewing project, a sweatshirt.

His most recent favorite toy, a ziplock reusable plastic container.
It's gonna need some adjustments, but I'm learning a ton. Its out of "Sewing for Boys". I'm finding at no patterns work just right, so I'm trying to learn how to do it myself -- create the patterns, adjust the patterns.

In this effort, my last library run was all about sewing, mostly.

Really enjoying "Unbroken". Look for a review in a few weeks. And I have learned a ton from  MS's cooking school.

is the most awesome and complete sewing book. Its got just about everything I could want to know. I'm only about 100 pages in and I've learned quite a bit. MS's Encyclopedia of Crafts has some description of fabrics, but this has pages upon pages of pictures and descriptions of more fabrics than I ever imagined existed. 

I have enjoyed this book, too, despite the total 80s styles of clothes. I'd love to find a book like this that is more... current, but this one has enough information that is just about making patterns that it is still quite useful and the reader isn't doomed to styles from the 80s.

I'm hoping to put together an item or two for myself.


"You're so lucky!"(this is the 'picture')

This statement bugs me. I get it regularly when someone finds out that I'm a full time stay at home mom. Hubby pointed out to me that the meaning is probably, "you are fortunate". And we are fortunate. But when someone says "lucky", it suggests a whimsical, spur of the moment decision. As if it just happened.

We planned for this. We worked hard so that I could stay home with any children that God gave us. We saved, set up some passive income, and made plans. Now, I am working to keep our expenses down and figuring out how I can bring in extra income without becoming a working mom.

Okay.  Rant done.

round button chicken

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Feeding America -- my new favorite web site

So, a blogger friend included a link to this site, Feeding America, in her last post.

I think I just found my new favorite web site. Books, old books, that can be read cover to cover online... no searching for them at the library, where Peanut has decided to exercise his lungs, no wishing I could afford some outrageous price off amazon.

Thank you, Mrs. Mac!

'via Blog this'

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Book Review: Scream-free Parenting

Screamfree Parenting: The Revolutionary Approach to Raising Your Kids by Keeping Your CoolScreamfree Parenting: The Revolutionary Approach to Raising Your Kids by Keeping Your Cool by Hal Edward Runkel
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the parenting book for my generation. Most other parenting books assume that you, the parent, have actually grown-up and are, at least, a fairly mature individual. This book does not make that mistake.

To sum up the book: Don't expect your kids to ease your anxiety. Deal with your own anxiety.

I think Runkel has some good thought and good recommendations. Our kids should not be the center of our worlds, but they should be apart of the world we live in. (as in the bit of life that you live) Your child is his own individual, let him be who he is and don't expect him to not try for independence.

At the same time, Runkel doesn't really talk about actually discipline. He just says that once you decide on some method, know why you are doing that, and stick to it. He doesn't really address training or disciplining your children. What he does do is talk to a generation who are still kids themselves and before they can train or discipline their own children, they must finish their own growing up.

Add in "Shepherding a Child's Heart" and "Dare to Discipline" and I think you've got a set of books that address the various aspects of parenting.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Special Post: 50/50 day

As of today, Peanut has spent 1/2 his life in-utero and 1/2 his life ex-utero.

And he will be 9 months on Saturday.

How time flies!

(I'm on the wrong computer, otherwise, I'd have a picture.)

Love ya, Little Guy, love ya tons and tons!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Pants are pants, right?

I decided that Peanut needed some warmer pants to wear as the coldest part of  "winter" approaches. I had two smaller fleece blankets that my gracious in-laws brought down last time they were hear that I thought would make some nice, cozy pants for Peanut.  I have three patterns for pants for Peanut's size and age (got to account for a diaper). One pattern I used already, and that left me two to try.

Some day I will have actual sewing room. For now, I move a table in and out of the living room. If nothing else, its a good excuse to watch some TV.
"Mr. Two-face Pants" (here after known as MTFP) is from Sewing for Boys: 24 Projects to Create a Handmade Wardrobe, which I received as a Christmas gift. The other pattern is "Reversible Bubble Pants for Baby" (here after known as RBPB) in  Growing Up Sew Liberated: Making Handmade Clothes and Projects for Your Creative Child

Out I pulled the tissue paper from the various gift bags that I've designated for garage sale-ing (and so don't need the tissue paper, right?) and copied the patterns. Its an oona idea.

And after several days of wearing, here's my thoughts on each.

I like the MTFP. They fit nicely, though I should hem them up an inch or two for now. There is room for the cloth diaper, though its not necessarily designed so. I just made the right size for it. It would be way easy to adjust the length. There was ONE pattern piece. Yes, only one. That was beautiful. And only two pieces of material to cut. That was awesome.

I imagine you could cut both pieces of the same fabric if one desired. Okay, so I don't imagine it, you really could.

In recent days, I'm finding it harder and harder to get non-blurry pictures of Peanut.
Being only one layer, the MTFP aren't as warm as the RBPB. But they are loose enough that putting on something underneath is very possible (as we did today, because that day was a chilly-chilly day).

The RBPB has 3 pattern pieces, with which you cut out 8 pieces of fabric. More than the MTFP, but still reasonable. These pants are lined and have a gusset to widen the crotch to accommodate a cloth diaper. I was quite thankful for the pictures in the book, as at first I didn't understand what the gusset pieces were for or how to attach them. But once figuring it out, it was quite easy.

blurry, argh, even with the flash
 The RBPB are a bit bulky, being 2 layers of fleece. And for my long-bodied little boy, the rise is a bit short. But Peanut looks comfy in them! I'm guessing the RBPB would be less bulky in a thinner fabric.

Next time? Hmmm.... I like them both. The RBPB uses 1/4 inch elastic in the waist, but that seems too thin. I think next time I'd use 1/2 inch elastic. I think I'll make the gusset thinner, it will make the pants a little less bulky and the diapers aren't that wide. I'm also wondering if I could put a gusset into the MTFP, to wide the crotch a bit, make it a bit more cloth diaper friendly while shrinking the leg width.

I hope to make some more items from Sewing for Boys soon. As for Growing Up Sew Liberated, I love the basic patterns, but so far all I've made have needed adjustment some how.

Any body else been sewing?

And I just realized, its Valentines Day. And to add some romance to the post...

Hubby, I love you so very, very much. I have enjoyed these few years with you, and hope we have many more together.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

What stage is your philosopher at?

Katie over at Philosiology has a drastically insightful post about the stages that young philosophers will go through as they explore philosophy. I am married to a philosopher and I love him dearly, but I can imagine him as the young philosopher he once was, and I can see, in my mind's eye, him at each stage.

I think these stages can be generalized to any young person as they get into a field of study. And I don't think its limited to just academic fields, any sort of specialized knowledge area can take a newbie through these stages.

I can also imagine the day when our young Peanut will start venturing through these stages in his chosen area. Oh, the grace needed for those days!

And don't you think that "philosopher" is a funny looking word? Its just struck me as I typed it a few times... I see hints of "gopher" and "Phil as a fern" sorts of sounds. No, I don't know who Phil is or why he might look like a fern. See, I tend to learn how to spell a word and recognize it as spelled right based on its general shape, which of course, creates slews of issues with letters will similar shapes, like mixing up "m" and "n" (plus they sound similar, too, in my mind). But, on the other hand, keeping "their" and "there" and "they're" separate is easy... they all look quite different.

Yes, I'm an odd-ball, I know.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Baggers at the grocery store

Why is it, that when presented with reusable grocery bags, baggers forget how to bag groceries? When using simple plastic bags, they know to put like things together, not to mix meats (especially drippy ones) with other things like produce, to not put eggs into a bag and put things on top of them. Why do they forget these things when they aren't using plastic bags? Its like a reusable grocery bag says "forget all you know about bagging groceries. None of it applies with us."


And if they wonder why I start rearranging the stuff in the bags just as soon as I've checked out... well, if you didn't check your brain when you clocked in, you might figure it out.

End rant.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Sleeping, Groceries and the Mundane

Well, it appears that making sure Peanut is awake when put down to bed and falls asleep on his own has little effect on how often he wakes at night. Its made a big difference for day time naps, but night time wakings fluctuate tremendously, whether Peanut is sick, not feeling well, or what-have-you (growth spurts?). Nonetheless, he is getting better at sleeping longer stretches. As I read some place, our culture puts way too much into getting a baby to sleep through the night. Really. I'm okay getting up at night, I've decided its just not that big of a deal.

In other news, we decided that aiming for $200 a month on groceries is too little. $250 is more reasonable, we decided, and that is an average over several months. Individual months can easily fluxuate + or - $100. I've added one action to both save money and keep life simple. I buy meat once a month, and package it up in to appropriate sizes and freeze it. I've figured out what will last about a month or two, in chicken, pork and beef, and can buy it at a good price when I find it well priced. I won't pay more than $1.97/lb for boneless, skinless chicken breasts, $0.88/lb for a whole chicken, $3 for pork or beef.  I'm hoping that my gardening endeavors this summer will further reduce our grocery bill.

And the mundane... the everyday... The book group I'm apart of was reading "Wind in the Willows". Overall, I quite enjoyed the book (well, enjoying, not totally finished it yet). I'm tired of reading about Toad, who is a pompous, prideful fool, but I was told he does get over himself in the end. I'm trusting my fellow book group ladies on this and persevering to the end.

The chapter I just read was "Wayfarers All", where a Seafaring Rat shows up and tells Rat all the neat things he has been doing and where he's heading off to. Well, Rat was already disillusioned with his life as so many other animals are migrating south of the winter and Seafaring Rat's stories are too much for him. In a daze, he packs up and starts off. Luckily, Mole catches him and stops him, and is able to break him out of this trance he is in. By the end of the chapter, Rat is back to his sensible self.

I think we all reach this point at some point in our lives, where we are tired of the everyday and want some adventure. What's nice is when we have those good friends, like Mole, who remind us of who we really are, that what we truly love is right before us.

So, that's my 2 cents!

Who? Me?

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real

We've had some beautiful days. I've opened the windows two days in a row now. Hopefully, more tomorrow!

Daddy and Peanut have a great time playing. Even when there is laundry to be folded.

I forget what Peanut was responding to, but its a funny face for sure.

My little boy is growing up. Every day he's a little less baby and little more boy-child.

round button chicken