Friday, September 30, 2011

{This Moment}

This goes here
Inspired by SouleMama, a Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Step 1

This is the lamp on my side of the bed. I love the lamp, but I've always hated the shade. I'm also oddly terrified of the process by which you recover a lampshade, so I finally decided to try just recoloring it. I think the test patch turned out pretty cool, and it looks better with the light then I expected, so I think thiss plan is a go. I'm going to glue some ribbon around the top and bottom when I'm done, but I haven't figured out which one yet. I'd also like to spray the actual lamp part silver eventually, and rewire it so that it's happier with modern lightbulbs, but those are much farther down my do list.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Her nails are colorful too.

I'm glad she hasn't discovered where my actual makeup is. This pen lipstick will wash right off, but my lipstick is the never come off stuff.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sunday Surf

Things that have caught my eye over the last two weeks. I also joined Pinterest, that sucks up a lot of time, but what pretty eye candy.

Pregnancy not a Disease, pulling apart the pro life movement's argument that birth control shouldn't be covered.

Why I mix Play Dates and Politics, it's so much easier to make actual friends if you try talking about the sensitive topics with them. Plus, then you can weed out the people who disagree with you on important things before you get attached.

10 ways to Guarantee you will Hate Doing Kids Crafts, I'm usually pretty good at relaxing into the process of crafting with Moira, but sometimes I let internal pressure for perfection mount. When that happens, I usually just walk away and let her keep having her fun.

That's What you do in a Herd, it is not required that siblings fight. I hope that's something we can encourage.

My Post Baby Body, your kids don't mind your squishy bits. Please celebrate your body for all the amazing things it does for you.

Are we Protecting our Kids From the Right Things?, of course I agree with this author. There's no point in encouraging everyone to be the same.

The Storytelling Incident, and in that vein, what can happen if you help your kid embrace their weird.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sunday Surf

This is not as long as last week. Apparently, I was less inspired. Or something.

Do Inspiring Blogs Make you Feel bad About Yourself? So much of Mommy guilt is self inflicted. I always try to assume that mothers who are doing something 'better' then me are also probably not doing something I do as well.

Exaggerating for Effect, I love these tips. It seems like now would be a great time to be more silly as I am more likely to be cranky all day long. It's not much harder to threaten with pretend consequences then it is to tell her to "just leave me alone!" for the 5th time in 5 minutes.

The Kid Should See This is a website with nothing but interesting videos of all sorts of things. They are not all made for kids, but they are all interesting to kids. Moira and I watched a time lapse of a butterfly emerging from it's chrysalis.

Your Furry Toys Traveling to Paris! Awfully expensive, but what a cute idea.

To my Someday Daughter, "You don't have to play second fiddle to a game, and you don't have to accept his guilt-tripping and the cruelty of his friends, all of whom play, all of whom resent you for the loss of their raiding buddy or playtest partner. You don't have to accept his culture and that culture's ignorance to your needs, nor do you have to subject yourself to their biases." Sexism is so pervasive in gaming, from the top down, and it makes me so sad. I sincerely hope that by the time this man has a daughter, she won't need to read this letter.

And, stolen last minute from Mamapoekie herself, Of Course I'm a Feminist, Aren't You?. I especially like the last line.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

That should last us a couple of weeks

I met my last preserving goal of the year (minus of course, chicken/veggie stock, and beans which I just do as necessary throughout the year), and made tomato sauce last weekend.
Sauce to be
I bought 3 25lb boxes of canning tomatoes and made 14 quarts and 1 pint of sauce, with one whole box getting frozen whole because I ran out of energy. I had forgotten that even though some of the steps, like cooking down the sauce and the actual pressure canning, take a long time, there's very little actual downtime.
Roasted chiles
Because I had forgotten, I decided to roast and can the chiles that had been piling up in our fridge, and also make salsa when I neglected to grab all the chiles out of the fridge on the first pass. Plus we had some miscellaneous tomatoes lying around in the fridge and were going out of town the next weekend.
Chiles and salsa
It was a lot for one pregnant person to get done in 24 hours, but at least the last few hours were pretty low maintenance. I even decided to get more chiles so I can do more of the chopped chile pieces, although I will probably make Walker do the peeling and chopping since he seems to be impervious to capsacian burns. I love those little cans of pre-chopped peppers, and use them all the time, but I'm sure the commercial cans are lined with BPA and other horrible things. Since that was really the last canned item I hadn't managed to replace, I'm hopeful that these will turn out successful, but I'm not sure when chili is going to sound like a good idea again.
In other news, I finally tried papaya enzymes and I'm pleased to report that those seem to be effective at keeping my heartburn under control. Sometimes, I even want seconds of dinner! Unfortunately I have been experiencing a new pregnancy side effect where some bathrooms smell like used kitty litter to me, including one of the bathrooms in our house. Not fun.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Queen of the castle

I have reached the point of pregnancy where I can no longer order pizza, or make plans reliably. Today I had plans to take Moira to Remlinger Farms this afternoon, and had already told her about them. But when I checked the website before we left, I discovered that they were not in fact open until 6 today like I thought, but only 4:30.
Since paying $8 a head for 15 minutes didn't seem like a good idea, I apologized to Moira and offered up the alternate plan of playing in the play area at Bellevue Square, which she gleefully agreed to. She is actually in a fabulous mood, I think because she was so happy to actually be doing something special with me on the weekend. It's a refreshing change to the usual afternoon crankyness for me, and the special time with me while we leave Daddy at home is probably a pretty big thing for her.
Usually, the evenings and weekends are mostly Daddy time, excepting the rare autocross or something. In fact, since I've been pregnant, the actual number of things I've done with them on the weekends can be counted on two hands, and I'm no longer even eating dinner with them. By the time he gets home from work, or the weekend rolls around, I'm just too exhausted and overwhelmed to even have a conversation. I'm an introvert normally, more so while pregnant, and being around another person all day who is constantly talking to me is more draining then I can put into words.
Walker just handles the extra responsibility without complaint, but after awhile he starts getting a stir crazy look in his eyes, and that's when I try to actually let him have a couple of hours to himself. Fortunately today I seem to have a random burst of energy, possibly related to sleeping and eating better for the last couple of days, so I was able to actually do this. Moira is having a fabulous time playing on the castle, and I can just sit and watch.
I have to say that she is much more fun lately, coming up with plans and ideas, actually being able to work out a few compromises with me, and generally being awesome. I am waiting for her to start just deciding things on her own though, which is probably not something I should be looking forward to since she will usually ask me if she can, for instance, dump some paint on the porch. Usually though she does the things I would say no to, like cutting her own hair, without asking, but then asks me (I am not exagerating) 6 times in 2 minutes if she can wear the outfit she wore yesterday today. In her defense, she was checking out all the permutations she could think of. Can she wear it ALL day? Yes. Can she wear it when we go out? Yes. Can she wear it to the farm? Yes. Can she still wear it today? Yes. Note, she changed her shirt while I was out, which doesn't surprise me since yesterday's shirt was pretty filthy. I don't know why, but the answer is probably something along the lines of, it got wet.

Sunday Surf

Everyone is talking about back to school now, which is not a big surprise. Moira had her very first co-op, at home, preschool experience this week, which I mostly did because she has been asking and asking to go to school for almost a year. Any homeschoolers have experience with little kids who pick up how exciting school is from books and media? Did that wear off as they got older? I've been conducting some minor brainwashing on the subject, but it doesn't seem to be working very well. I'm pretty sure that she would not enjoy a traditional school experience, but if she is persistent in this idea, I'll have to respect her decision and send her to school which, honestly, will be SO much more work it makes me tired just to think of it.

Back to the Wrong School, why are we trying to make a system designed to churn out factory workers work for our current job market?

What Should a 4 Year old Know? I'm not worried that Moira has 'stalled' at the same level of reading readyness for a year and a half. Or that 13 appears twice between 1 and 20 when she counts. This is a helpful list of the social and personal skills that children are usually developing at this age.

In Which I am a Woman, not a Girl, there is no universe in which I would want to be a teenager or young adult forever. Every year older I get, the happier, more confident, and more competent I am.

Study Says Confronting men About Sexism Makes Them Nicer, this study is actually about workplace relations, and I wonder if it translates to personal relations well.

I will not Obey, why does our society put so much emphasis on teaching children to be obedient? Not only does it rarely work, but it can be harmful in healthy sexual development. (That is not a point Teacher Tom makes, just my own personal soapbox.)

Backroad Learning, this is related to the first link, at least in my mind. Much of our current schooling emphasis strips everything 'extra' out of our kids lives. Kids need to be creative, move, explore, and have the room to develop tangents.

You're not Homeschooling Because... I've been enjoying this series from Jazzy Mama. Not that I need convincing, but I love her take on all the different obstacles people have to homeschooling.

Homeschooling With Babies and Toddlers, are you bored with homeschooling links now? Too bad! This talks about how it works to homeschool with multiple age kids.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Officially homeschooling

Moira was super excited to have our first day of school this week, with our co-op, home based preschool with friends. She woke up full of plans of what to wear and what to show at show and tell. (She didn't end up wanting to stand up in front of the group. Maybe next time.) She also didn't want to stop doing the lesson, even after painting 7 pictures to everyone else's 2.
Because she was so into it, I came up with a second "lesson" for the afternoon, where we took a walk and gathered leaves. I also decided to fill a basket of books, loosely themed around fall. That basket is pretty popular already, so I think we try to change it every week with the library storytime's alphabet themes.
Planning ahead for that, I decided to make a letter page for next week, with lots of pictures of A things. I was taking a break when she and Walker came downstairs to tell me it was bedtime. She assured me that Daddy could finish my work, and we agreed that Daddy probably could. He didn't even try though, maybe he couldn't think of any more A words.
I don't really think I'm planning anymore activities then normal, but it seems to make her feel really grown up when I call them lessons instead of projects. If that's all it takes to keep her happy, I'm fine with that.