Happy New Year

December 31, 2008 § 1 Comment

It’s been a while since I blogged. We’ve been visiting family for Christmas and are back home now. I’m trying not to get sick so I’ll be brief. I’ll fill in with stories later. It was a great time.

That is brief.

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Keeping track of socks

December 17, 2008 § 2 Comments

It’s amazing how quickly socks disappear around here. I’ve finally come up with a way to try to keep track of them, since the kids’ drawers are also a black hole for socks. I give you the sock basket. At the end of the day, or whenever I find a lonesome sock, I just throw it in here. It’s working so far.

p1010116

(sorta) snowed in

December 17, 2008 § 2 Comments

The driveway has got a ton of snow (sorry, don’t know how many inches or cms) on top of a nice thick layer of ice. After yesterdays brief visit to pick up the mail, I decided we would just find more activities to do around the house, having slipped a couple of times (not badly) and constantly tightening the grip on bilingual baby as she slipped a bit, too.

Once back home, I came to terms with the fact that I can get one task done a day. Yes, folks. That’s one thing a day. Yesterday, I vacuumed the downstairs. We don’t have a big place but the one-a-day rule still applies. I did try to vacuum the upstairs which has been getting on my nerves (I do have limits on how much dirt accumulates on the carpet) but got as far as lugging the vacuum up the stairs and leaving it there. For some reason, the vacuum doesn’t like to vacuum up there. It seems to do an okay (not great) job down here but up there… dunno. Probably have to replace some part of something.

Anywho. Today I’ll be doing laundry. (exciting post so far, huh?) I’ll start to set up in my head what clothes to bring for myself and the kids. Baby brother is a drool machine, now that he’s teething, so I end up having to change his clothes all the time. Yesterday, the count was 3 shirts.

I’m enjoying the slowing down of Winter. Being in tune with the seasons. With nature. Turning inward and finding time to reflect and make plans for Spring. Going to be early (or trying to) and waking up late (or at least coming downstairs later). I’ve got the slow core playing as the snow keeps on coming.

It’s done!

December 16, 2008 § 3 Comments

A couple of nights ago I finished a fellow time bankers memory quilt (aka recon blanket). I did more sandwiching this time but still not as much as a “real” quilt would receive.

Total hours: 12

memory-quilt

I was trying to figure out why it took so much longer than the last one I made. Once I looked at the picture of the last one and this one it became clear that the size is a big difference. Some features not present in the last one:

Strips of a play silk and scarf added (tricky fabric)

Jean “blocks” that weren’t really blocks at all. I liked how it turned out. One side of the jean was stitched together with one of the t-shirts and the other side was top-stitched- as if it were an applique.

Like I said above, I did more sandwiching.

It’s a lengthy process but very fun. The owner of the quilt seemed very pleased with the results. Yay!

A good time to travel

December 16, 2008 § 1 Comment

Having travelled a lot with bilingual baby, I’ve got to say that I’m really relaxed with our upcoming trip. We’re taking the train from Vermont to Chicago for the second year in a row. Last year I remember stressing about how we’d get her down for a nap and bedtime. Having been through it already (even though she’s got different patterns now), I’m not worried about how it’ll all go. Bilingual baby has her ins and outs with naps. Some days she takes a nap; others she just doesn’t. It depends on how she slept, how early she woke up and how much stimuli is around her. Basically, I’ve been through a couple of days all alone with no nap and it wasn’t all that bad. Plus, her baby brother still sleeps whenever and where ever he’s tired.

So, this seems an ideal time to be away from home. No worries on naps. It will be obvious if she needs a nap, though, I’ll tell you that much.

Help me out with something: What carrier should I take? I love the wrap… I love the mei tai… and the podeagi is just so cozy warm…

Used is still new to me

December 15, 2008 § 3 Comments

I love used clothes. Here’s why:

1. I don’t worry about it being organic for the kids because I know it’s been washed a ton.

2. A new item, while nice from time to time, has used recent resources. A used piece of clothing gets used many times over but only used those resources to make it once. Pretty cool.

3. There’s a bit more freedom from the concerns of whether it’s fairly traded and such.

4. Most times, if you buy used, the money goes to a good cause.

5. Sometimes you get lucky and have a friend giving away their used clothes, so they get to give you something they loved and you get to love it up until you’re ready to pass it along.

This last point brings me to our local freecycle. A woman just gave me a bunch of gently used sweaters and tops in my current size. Now I don’t have to deal with shopping (something that a fluctuating body would rather not do) and I can still wear non-pregnancy clothes (I’m desperately tired of wearing maternity clothes). Funny thing about this is that I don’t have an aversion to a larger size. I do have an aversion to buying a size I may not be wearing in a couple of months when it’s new.  A hand me down, a gift, a used purchase I seem to be just fine with. I did just buy a pair of pants at the used store but they are still too tight. Why didn’t I get the size that fit? It was part tired child, part lack of appropriate size. Bleh.

Did you really need to know all this? 😉 Sorry if you’re bored to tears now. I’ll try to make it up with an entry I’m working on about the connection between Chinese medicine and winter. I’m enjoying the reading so far.

Keep handmade toys alive

December 15, 2008 § Leave a comment

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, in their December email, urged us to write to our government officials to better detail the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. Here’s what they said in their email:

In August, in response to the influx of imported toys containing materials hazardous to children, Congress passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, which mandates testing for all toys sold in the U.S.   The intent was laudable, but only large scale manufacturers and retailers will be able to afford the substantial testing fees, which effectively closes the market to all but those able to mass produce toys.  As a result, small independent toymakers – the same toymakers that almost never market their products directly to children – may have to go out of business.  To urge Congress to protect both children and your favorite independent toymaker, please visit http://www.handmadetoyalliance.org/.

Check out their website here. They also just put out a Commercial-free holiday guide, which you can find in pdf format here. They suggest that if you do buy toys, make them high quality instead of quantity. Mass toy marketers want us to buy quantity whereas most small toy makers appreciate the craft of making a toy that will outlast batteries and plastic parts.

While I’m an idealist, I do have plastic toys at home. We do try one of the other suggestions in the holiday guide which is to “buy green, buy fair (trade), buy local, buy used, and most importantly, buy less.” Check it out.

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