Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Adam

The day before Christmas Eve... ;-)

8 cards are in the mailbox... I was actually not planning on sending any out until after Christmas, but had some extra time this morning and sent outa few.  I accidentally put larger sized pictures in some of those, that I was planning on framing, but didn't realize it until I had the envelope sealed, addressed and stamped.  Oh well.  Guess they just get a bigger version of our smiling faces!  At least, of Micah and my smiling faces... although we have very happy, smiley children, getting them to smile at 9pm or later on Thanksgiving after a huge day was a fail.  See?

Merry Christmas from
Micah  Natalie
& Miriam

p.s.  I baked and frosted seven plates of sugar cookies over the past twos, and this recipe has my full and complete approval!  Amazing!  I have never had sugar cookies turn out well enough to deserve frosting before, and I am SO happy to have a good reliable recipe for them now!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

2 eggs
1 1/2 cup milk
7/8 cup honey (I used 1/3 c. sugar and 1/3 c. maple syrup Sunday morning... yum!)
1 stick butter
1 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 cups oats
3 cups flour
Raisins, craisins, blueberries, nuts, etc, if desired

Mix.  Pour into pan (I used a 7x11 glass pyrex Sunday morning).  Sprinkle top with oats, brown sugar, and nuts if you have time and desire.  Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes, until fork inserted comes out clean. 

I put in about a cup of frozen blueberries.  Very yummy!  It is a really dense, filling breakfast.  Fine on its own with a big glass of milk. :)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Better Marriages through Twitter!

I think I'll write a book and become rich and famous.

This morning I tweeted the following as I sat and sipped my Lady Grey tea that my sweet husband had made me:
Slightly feverish and cranky baby makes for a sleep deprived, headachy mama. Working on this one sip at a time.

I don't know why headaches make it so I can't remember the existence of pain medication.  Unfortunately, this means I generally suffer until Micah figures out what is wrong with me and hands me the ibuprofen.

My tweet, however, sent a text message to his phone, and to my surprise less than five minutes later, he arrived with a glass of water and two ibuprofen.  At first I thought he had just looked at me and known I had a headache, which was slightly more impressive, however I think this worked much better than our usual system.

So I'll try to remember to tweet next time my head hurts.  Maybe I'll be able to remember that...even though I can't remember to just take some ibuprofen...

Although, considering my level of crazy, I'd say the chances of that are pretty slim.

Anyway.  My husband is the best. :)

Friday, December 11, 2009


So I started to make cookies, and found that all the butter was frozen, so I substituted apple sauce, and I didn't have any chocolate chips, so I substituted some cinnamon to give some nice flavor, and I didn't have much brown sugar so I substituted white sugar and molasses for that, and then I thought oats sounded yummier with the apple flavor so I used that instead of most of the flour...

They're good! Kind of reminiscent of oatmeal, which is perfect on a chilly day. :)


Some of you may have noticed my Swagbucks banner on the sidebar, but I thought I'd take the time to write a post on Swagbucks because I'm getting ready to spend my third $5 Amazon gift card thanks to Swagbucks.  If you're already signed up with Swagbucks, this won't be too interesting, but if you're not, keep reading. :)

What is Swagbucks?

Swagbucks is a search engine that rewards you for searching.  It does this by randomly awarding points, or "Swagbucks" for searches.  Once you have enough Swagbucks, you can redeem them for prizes.  I've redeemed all of mine as gift cards, but you could also get a Paypal gift card and spend it like cash anywhere online.  I installed the Swagbucks toolbar, and I can search easily and quickly from there.

Why should I sign up using your referral link instead typing Swagbucks into my address bar?
Because if you go using my referral link (every Swagbucks link in this post, or the banner below) then I get points. :)  And if you use Swagbucks after signing up with my link, I get more points.  Which means more Amazon gift cards for me, which means more books, music, and general fun splurgy goodness.  :)  Plus of course you're earning points just for searching the web like you already do!

So what are you waiting for?
Go sign up!  Start earning while you search the web! :)

Search & Win

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Sleeping Baby on My Back :)

I was playing around with adding watermarks and trying them out on this picture, so I thought I'd share it.  Miriam fell asleep in the mei tai a few weeks ago while I was working in the kitchen.  Amazingly, I was able to get her off my back and in her playpen asleep... she is a very sound sleeper!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Enjoy your cranberry sauce, turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, yams, and whatever other festive trimmings are tradition around your neck of the woods... and do it all to the glory of God!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Peaceful Moments

It is always a good idea to have a toy or two stashed so that your toddler finds it a new and novel distraction when you really need him to play happily in the other room and let his sister nurse. She tends to get distracted when he is in here kissing her feet... although it is so sweet it's more than worth the delay!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

uh oh...

I am a novice in such matters, but surely it is bad if smoke is pouring out of my beloved cherry red KitchenAid?


To use Nathan's new favorite word, uh oh...

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Picture This...

...a rainy fall day.

I found my card reader, finally.  I found it in the couch cushions while looking for the keys, which were actually behind the couch so I wasn't too far off!

A perfect day for a snuggly nap.
Or an adventure in a playhouse! :) 

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Storing Linens

How do you store linens? I know how Martha Stewart does it, but I don't happen to have a spare closet... we have ONE closet for the house, and it doesn't have any room to spare! Mine end up stacked in a laundry basket, but that isn't really a good solution, especially after the laundry basket gets knocked over, etc, by a busy toddler... I do have a blanket chest (the current job of my hope chest), and like it, but it only fits the blankets, not the sheets, pillowcases, extra pillows, or towels... any suggestions? I was thinking as a temporary solution I'd just get another Rubbermaid container... the cheap version of another blanket chest. ;-) 

Or I could just leave them on the clothesline.  They look much nicer that way, out there in nature with the leaves and spiders and birds...birds?!  Um, or not.  The rubbermaid will work, I think...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

adventure or inconvenience?

An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered.  - G. K. Chesterton

A good thing to keep in mind when you discover a diaper blowout in the parking lot and you're running late and running short on extra clothes and have no wipes.*  Adventure!

* Extra prefolds in the diaper bag are a very good idea! :) 

Monday, October 26, 2009

monday musings

Today is Monday, a grey, drizzly Monday.  I have no stamps, and I do have bills that need to be mailed within the next few days, but the postmistress assured me when I called that she could have the mailman remedy that if I left a check in the mailbox.  Earlier, I dropped the milk jug lid in my mug of hot chocolate.  And before that, we had a rousing game of hunt-the-keys (and then a bonus round of hunt-the-shoe, thanks to N's love of wearing our shoes all over the house) this morning before Micah left for work.  

Yep.  Monday!  Back to the joy of the mundane.  Here are a couple links to what I'm catching up on reading this Monday-

This NY Times article on the safety of posting children's photos, names, info, etc, online has me thinking. I am going to be rereading this article a few times and thinking over whether there are things I'd want to change.  I do think I want to do watermarks on my public images... can Flickr do that for you?


I LOVE this beautiful post on babywearing by Leigh at Marvelous Kiddo.  She articulates well the ease and benefits of a lifestyle of babywearing.  She also had another great post recently with lots of pictures of babywearing around the world. 

happy Monday, friends!

Friday, October 23, 2009

A Rainy Fall Day

Today is the kind of day that just doubles the joy in baking, cups of hot tea, curling up with a book and two cuddly kiddos, wearing those warm winter clothes that have been packed away, and toasting your toes in front of the heater.

The maples are golden outside, the clouds are grey, but the fields are still green. I can't find my card reader, but when I do I'll have some pictures to share...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Introducing Fred

Meet Fred.

Doesn't he just look so angelic?

Well, he is a pretty good dog (except for his love of chewing anything).  But you can get a better idea of his true nature here as he chases Wilma, the cat...

Friday, October 16, 2009

Wrapping Away

Last Friday, I purchased 5 yards of fabric, washed and dried it, and wrapped it up!  We are loving the wrap, and although I still needed (in this picture) to cut it lengthwise (so I look less like I wrapped a king sized sheet around myself), and I still need to taper the ends, and hem or serge the whole thing, I love it!  Very very comfortable and distributes Miriam's 15 pounds very well across my whole back.  It feels very secure and although it takes longer to get on than the ring sling it is more comfortable for longer periods.  We took a evening walk and it was a lot more comfortable than the sling for a brisk pace.
I opted not to get a stretchy fabric because I read that was better for smaller babies and that a non stretchy would be better for older babies and toddlers.  I've done a back carry with Nathan, which worked great- still working on doing the back carry with that wiggly little one... Daddy helped us with this one and we both loved it!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Hide your hearts, girls...

He's amazingly cute AND has a great sense of style. 

I assisted him in getting the backpack and slippers on, but he chose all the accessories here and put the hat on himself.  I do admit to dressing him in a long sleeved shirt and shorts, but the rest is allllllllll Nathan.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Beauty of the Mundane

This is a great post on Anne Bradstreet,  but I also loved how beautifully Mrs. Friedrich put this:
But the word "mundane" also refers to things pertaining to this life rather than things that are spiritual. In other words, everyday life is mundane. But it acquires a beauty and holiness when we see those everyday things, even the dirty dishes, as opportunities to serve God and bring glory to Him.

Monday, October 05, 2009


Mondays are for dishes.
And laundry.

And catching up on baby cuddles.

(This is Miriam in the ring sling watching me pick blueberries this summer.)

Happy Monday, friends! :)

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Welcome, Fall!

It is officially fall!  Well, it actually has been fall for ten days, but now that it is October it feels much more like fall.  And the weather seems to be in fall mode as well, we're having a nice blustery grey day today. I love days like this!  They make me want to put the kettle on, light a candle, and sit down with some knitting or a good book...

I love so many things about fall...the crunchy leaves, the beautiful colors, the crispness in the air, the excuse to wear hats and scarves and gloves, or to curl up in a soft blanket inside.

Rachel over at One Pretty Thing put together a great collection of fall DIY ideas, and I drooled over loved this fall makeover for a mantlepiece.  I was grieving over my lack of a mantle, which has really cramped my garland making desires, when it hit me.  The odd wide trim over the window over the sink!  Viola!  For some odd reason there are three nails already in the board, left behind by the previous owner, so I was saved the laborious task of trying to remember where I last put the hammer.  And where the bigger nails are, since I can only find the teeny tiny ones that are a step up from a pin.  But I digress (isn't that what blogs are for, though?!)... anyway... I think it needs some bulking up, but here is the basic garland:

Are you doing anything fun to welcome fall? :)

Monday, September 21, 2009

International Babywearing Week is here!

I LOVE babywearing.  :)  It makes my life so much less stressful- lots more baby cuddles and I can get more done with a happy baby along for the ride.  I wrote here about ring slings... just some info about making or buying one, and how much I love mine!  And here is the fun video for babywearing week... I love all those happy toddlers and babies who are "close enough to kiss"~ this year's theme for babywearing week. :)

Friday, September 18, 2009

True Dat

Why is it that our memory is good enough to retain the least triviality that happens to us, and yet not good enough to recollect how often we have told it to the same person?
Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Saturday, September 12, 2009


funny pictures of cats with captionsThis brings back vivid memories of my mom bathing my orange tomcat, Tiger.  He put up a valiant resistance, but it availed him nothing!

see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Friday, September 11, 2009

Butter in the carpet...

I just turned around and noticed in horror that Nathan had two large handfulls of butter.  He was standing there in the office, on the carpet, and then he gaily threw each handful down.  Oh. my. I thought we were doing better about him getting into the butter, but maybe that was just me getting better about putting it away after meals.  The tally - 3/4 of a stick of butter, divided among the office carpet, living room rug, and dining table chair.  No real lasting damage.  This is precisely why I hate carpet and bought an inexpensive rug for the living room!

And it isn't even 9 AM yet!  Maybe mama's computer time needs to wait for naptime...? ;-)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Marrying Young

I've been reading this post from Nancy Wilson on marrying young (not teen, but not waiting till 35 either.) Love it, and especially enjoyed the comments, lots from of women who married young and don't regret it. Yeah, financially it is probably tougher to marry young instead of waiting until you have lots of savings, a very good job, etc. But this quote from Brandy's comment just hits the nail on the head for me- "some parents would rather their child struggle with sexual temptation than have any financial struggles."

Is it better to have young Christians struggling with sexual temptations while getting all their financial ducks in a row, or to encourage getting married younger and provide support for that?

When we got married, we were overwhelmed with the generosity of our church family- from a shower that mostly equipped the kitchen, to the people who asked us if we could use the furniture they were getting rid of (yes! yes! yes!), to the huge generosity of our families (who gave liberally in working on our house, as well as in helping us to equip it).

We don't drive fancy cars, have the latest gadgets, or vacation anywhere exotic. But we're getting to share these years, and I wouldn't trade this for the world.

Us, dancing at our reception and being madly in love. :) Photo taken by Sarie, I think... all I know is I stole it off Facebook and I love it!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Red Wine on a White Tablecloth

... an inevitable casualty of our cups running over. ;-) Actually, it was a small child *ahem!* whodunnit, as they say.

Any success stories on getting out red wine? What should I try? I've got it soaking in the washer now. Of course, things being what they are, the washer had to get unloaded for that to happen, but really that is just a bonus because otherwise it would've gotten overlooked over the weekend no doubt, which is just gross.

Thursday, August 06, 2009


A pro-Georgian blogger with accounts on Twitter, Facebook, LiveJournal and Google's Blogger and YouTube was targeted in a denial of service attack that led to the site-wide outage at Twitter and problems at the other sites on Thursday, according to a Facebook executive.

The blogger, who uses the account name "Cyxymu," (the name of a town in the Republic of Georgia) had accounts on all of the different sites that were attacked at the same time, Max Kelly, chief security officer at Facebook, told CNET News.

"It was a simultaneous attack across a number of properties targeting him to keep his voice from being heard," Kelly said. "We're actively investigating the source of the attacks and we hope to be able to find out the individuals involved in the back end and to take action against them if we can."

- CNET article here

Kind of fascinating backstory to the Twitter outage today.

Monday, July 27, 2009


"To be Queen Elizabeth within a definite area, deciding sales, banquets, labors, and holidays; to be Whitely within a certain area, providing toys, boots, cakes, and books; to be Aristotle within a certain area, teaching morals, manners, theology, and hygiene; I can understand how this might exhaust the mind, but I cannot imagine how it could narrow it. How can it be a large career to tell other people's children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one's own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone and narrow to be everything to someone? No, a woman's function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute."

-G.K. Chesterton, in What's Wrong with the World

Monday, July 13, 2009


This is a zucchini "apple" crisp recipe that I made recently. :) This wasn't the recipe I used last year (couldn' t find it), and this one is slightly more "involved", but still a great recipe. One caveat- if you are using large zucchini, you may want to add one more step, and scrape out the seeds before slicing... since they are the only way anyone could know they're not eating apple crisp! ;-)

Somewhere in my recipes I also have a zucchini chocolate chip cookie recipe I'll post in the next few weeks. I'm sure I'll be making both those recipes, as well as the standard zucchini bread and muffins, a lot this summer, since we have a few zucchini plants out in the garden, and so far they're doing well.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Mother and children...

(Image from The Graphics Fairy, here)

Thinking about having this printed this out and framing it for the nursery... not sure how best to get frame-able quality though... maybe take it in to the photo center & have it printed?

Thursday, July 02, 2009

What size shoe do YOU wear?

Do you wear a size 6 shoe? I wish I did! I think these shoes look really cute, but unfortunately shopping online clearance (these are at J.C. Penney's) does have its drawbacks... you can't always get what you want (in your size)... I'll keep looking. :-)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I'm loving...

- This cd, by Elizabeth Mitchell. Some friends gave this to us after Miriam was born, and it has definitely been a big hit! Nathan loves it, I like it (and don't mind listening to it all day long!), it is fun and playful without being trite or being that tinny type of kid music. LOVE it!

- My ring sling! Perfect for walks, hanging laundry, and just generally being hands free with a baby. Last night after the rain, it was nice and cool, so after dinner when Miriam was getting a bit fussy (as she is wont to do around the 8 o'clock hour!) I popped her in and she and Mama took a walk. I realized that it was the first time I'd taken her on a walk down our road... the road that I'd walked so many times trying to get labor started, as the days past my "due date" crept along (little did I know that the "due guess" was several weeks off- SO glad my midwife counseled that the baby would come when the baby was ready!). I'd also walked that road several times while in labor, trying to keep it moving (little did I know it was progressing nicely, I just wasn't feeling much discomfort so I figured it had stalled)! If you have a baby, and are without a ring sling (woe! woe!) then you can pop along over to Nature's Child, where they're giving away a beautiful Sakura Bloom Ring sling and Aden and Anais Swaddling Blankets!

If it weren't for Philo T. Farnsworth, inventor of television, we'd still be eating frozen radio dinners.
- Johnny Carson

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I haven't spoken to my wife in years. I didn't want to interrupt her.
- Rodney Dangerfield

So true... I frequently have to do the verbal equivalent of sitting on my hands, because really, Micah doesn't need to come home at night and be subjected to hours of me recounting what occurred to me while hanging clothes, what the cat did today, or how annoying it was when there was nothing but junk mail in the box!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair.
- Douglas Adams

Thursday, June 18, 2009

My Days These Days..

People ask me what my days look like. I think I've finally figured out the honest answer to that, and it is, I have no idea.

I frequently look back at the end of the day and it is a blur of diaper changes, baths, hauling Nathan down from the chairs, tables, benches, stairs, beds, and sofas he climbs, nursing, naps, giggles, messes, making food, washing laundry, dishes, to-do lists that grow instead of shrink, half finished projects, more nursing, diapers, naps, and tears (usually, just the babies, but sometimes mama too). In the few minutes since I sat down to write this, baby monitor next to me as they sleep upstairs (6.36 AM), I've realized that I don't remember if I paid the electric bill this month (if I didn't it's late), I've looked in the stack of mail and discovered my husband's paycheck (which should've been deposited), and I've thought I should go put the dishes away/hang clothes/clean the office for the company coming this weekend/find the missing vaccuum part/find the electric bill.

I ought to keep a diary for a day, jotting down each thing as it happens, but since I haven't journaled much since Miriam's birth I don't see that happening any time soon.


Since starting this, I've fed Nathan breakfast, nursed M, taken a load of laundry off the line, hung a load of laundry on the line, started another load in the washer, downed two glasses of water, given Nathan and Miriam baths, confirmed that I did indeed pay the electric bill, and put Nathan down for a nap. It has been a good morning. Nathan toddling around outside picking clover blossoms as I hang laundry. Miriam smiling back at me. Nathan putting his head on Miriam's feet to 'hug' her as she nurses. Green grass blowing in the wind. Nathan's glee at splashing in the tub.

I'm not going to try to polish this all up because then, frankly, it won't ever get posted... dishes need washed, floors need swept, and I need to get going because they're both asleep! :-)

Friday, June 05, 2009

Amazon's Baby/Child clearance

New clothes from The Children's Place for $0.99? I was delighted to find this post from Family Hack in which they gave links to Amazon's clearance for babies and children by percentage! You can also sort the pages further into different retailers, which I liked because I'm partial to the style of The Children's Place and could just browse their clearance.

Here is the 90% off page, and here is the 80% off page.

The 90% off page included deals like this cute fleece pullover, only in size 18mos, originally 12.50, now only 99 cents.

This polo is also 99 cents!

So cute- I was very tempted, but we have an abundance of good quality hand me downs, so I've resisted... so far. :-) We haven't purchased most of Nathan or Miriam's clothing, since we have so many generous families with older kids, but I'm definitely bookmarking these pages, since even with great hand me downs there are always gaps- and this is so much cheaper than the consignment store. Plus this is a great resource for nice baby gifts!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Celebrating Spring!

I just did a cartwheel in the front yard. It has been many months since I attempted one, due to babies and weather, also due to being a boring grown up and not doing silly fun things enough. It was great! I think I should do that more often on my way back from walking to the mail box. :-)

Monday, May 25, 2009

quotes for monday

Biography lends to death a new terror.
- Oscar Wilde

It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.
- Douglas Adams

Today so far...

Three trips in from the car to get things left there last night when we got home really late, two poopy diapers, one napping child... and a partridge in a pear tree! (Oops... I mean, and a hot cup of tea by meeeeee. ) ;-)

Saturday, May 23, 2009


The worst moment for the atheist is when he is really thankful and has nobody to thank.
- Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Saturday, May 16, 2009


This morning- Micah sheared sheep at the Fiber Fair. The rain held off, thankfully, and it wasn't too hot. I pushed Nathan in the stroller and wore Miriam in the ring sling. That worked well and Nathan loved looking at the alpacas, llamas, sheep, goats, and rabbits. I was amazed by the woman spinning wool from the rabbit on her lap! I don't think I would be that brave...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Just a PSA that I've succumbed to the twittering. If you already have as well, you can follow me here.

As an aside, does anybody else think its creepy that people "follow" you? If I noticed people following me on the street, I'd be a bit freaked out...but apparently it's a good thing if they follow you on Twitter. Huh.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Miriam Rose

Sunday night, Miriam Rose was born peacefully at home, weighing 7 lbs 8oz, and measuring 20 1/2 inches long.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Great Giveaway at Amoretti!

If you haven't been following the Amoretti blog, hop on over there and check out the latest giveaway. A Carry On, Jeeves dishtowel (!), the book itself, and a package of Penguin Wafers (which look very tasty) in addition to a Skirty!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Give a man a fish, and you'll feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll buy a funny hat. Talk to a hungry man about fish, and you're a consultant.
- Scott Adams

Saturday, February 21, 2009

In Which I am a Super Hero...

You can entertain yourself making your own here. I have to say, though, I was a little disappointed that a laundry basket wasn't one of the choices for accessories... ;-)

p.s. This is all Jenni's fault. ;-)

Friday, February 20, 2009

"The Trouble With Repeat Cesareans"

Good article in Time magazine. This is an upsetting example of the way insurance policies and the fear of litigation are trumping the medical evidence and the best interests of mothers and babies.

Some quotes from the article-

"Much ado has been made recently of women who choose to have cesareans, but little attention has been paid to the vast number of moms who are forced to have them. More than 9 out of 10 births following a C-section are now surgical deliveries..."

"In a 2006 ACOG survey of 10,659 ob-gyns nationwide, 26% said they had given up on VBACs because insurance was unaffordable or unavailable; 33% said they had dropped VBACs out of fear of litigation."

"With each repeat cesarean, a mother's risk of heavy bleeding, infection and infertility, among other complications, goes up. Perhaps most alarming, repeat C-sections increase a woman's chances of developing life-threatening placental abnormalities that can cause hemorrhaging during childbirth."

Thursday, February 19, 2009

DIY Coasters

I'm mostly just filing this here to make sure that I don't loose it, but doesn't this look really fun and classy? I never would've thought of making coasters with tiles and napkins, and I love how these only need a few supplies to make something with a lot of 'pop'!

I'll definitely be keeping my eyes open now for decorative napkins that would look good with my living room!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Do you have rhinotillexomania?

I certainly hope not. But if so, here is a helpful guide from WikiHow, on how to stop picking your nose.

There are also insightful warnings included at the end, like this one-
"See your health professional if straight-talking and self-reasoning don't work. You might be suffering from compulsive nose-picking (rhinotillexomania) and this may need medical and/or psychological treatment and intervention, especially if it relates to a traumatic event in your life."

Thursday, February 12, 2009


If the English language made any sense, a catastrophe would be an apostrophe with fur.
- Doug Larson

Saturday, January 31, 2009

CPSIA - One year stay on 3rd party testing!

"The stay of enforcement provides some temporary, limited relief to the crafters, children’s garment manufacturers and toy makers who had been subject to the testing and certification required under the CPSIA. These businesses will not need to issue certificates based on testing of their products until additional decisions are issued by the Commission. However, all businesses, including, but not limited to, handmade toy and apparel makers, crafters and home-based small businesses, must still be sure that their products conform to all safety standards and similar requirements, including the lead and phthalates provisions of the CPSIA.

Handmade garment makers are cautioned to know whether the zippers, buttons and other fasteners they are using contain lead. Likewise, handmade toy manufacturers need to know whether their products, if using plastic or soft flexible vinyl, contain phthalates."

As of yesterday, the CPSC announced a one year stay of testing and certification requirements for certain products.

"Don't you know what causes that?"

Good post over at Tandem Mommy Lifestyle.

"If the church doesn't see children as a blessing and a gift from God, why should we expect the world to?"

Edited to add-

After writing and publishing this earlier today, I read a post from Lora Lynn over at Vita Familiae, in which she discusses a series of events in which she was asked this question.

It's hilarious, and you can (and should!) read it here.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Benefits of full term pregnancy...

"A study in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology in October calculated that for each week a baby stayed in the womb between 32 and 39 weeks, there is a 23% decrease in problems such as respiratory distress, jaundice, seizures, temperature instability and brain hemorrhages...
...What's more, experts warn that a fetus's estimated age may be off by as much as two weeks either way, meaning that a baby thought to be 36 weeks along might be only 34.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the March of Dimes are now urging obstetricians not to deliver babies before 39 weeks unless there is a medical reason to do so."

Rest of the Wall Street Journal article here.

I would just add that a baby thought to be 39 weeks could be 37, just as the 36/34 example in the article. That would mean that when it was supposedly safe to schedule an induction/c-section, for example, you would be risking an over 40% significant increase in respiratory distress, jaundice, seizures, etc.

There is a reason to wait for the beginning of labor on its own, whether at 40 weeks, 41, or 42! Finally, medical research is catching up with common sense... ;-)

Forbes article on the effects of CPSIA...

Some quotes from the article...

"Hailed almost universally on its passage last year--it passed the Senate 89 to three and the House by 424 to one, with Ron Paul the lone dissenter--CPSIA is now shaping up as a calamity for businesses and an epic failure of regulation, threatening to wipe out tens of thousands of small makers of children's items from coast to coast, and taking a particular toll on the handcrafted and creative, the small-production-run and sideline at-home business, not to mention struggling retailers. How could this have happened?"

"For a given hand-knitted sweater, for example, one might have to pay not just, say, $150 for the first test, but added-on charges for each component beyond the first: a button or snap, yarn of a second color, a care label, maybe a ribbon or stitching--with each color of stitching thread having to be tested separately.

Suddenly the bill is more like $1,000--and that's just to test the one style and size. The same sweater in a larger size, or with a different button or clasp, would need a new round of tests--not just on the button or clasp, but on the whole garment. The maker of a kids' telescope (with no suspected problems) was quoted a $24,000 testing estimate, on a product with only $32,000 in annual sales."

The rest of the article here.

CPSIA and Children's Books!?

"WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Library Association (ALA) released a letter to Congress yesterday, urging members to take action against a recent opinion ruling released from the General Counsel of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) that would require public, school, academic and museum libraries to either remove all their books or ban all children under 12 from visiting the facilities, beginning on February 10."

American Library Association President Jim Rettig is quoted as saying, “I sincerely doubt that Congress intended to require libraries to be subject to this law, but if Congress does not act soon, libraries across the country will be forced to remove books from the shelves, rather than keep them available to serve the educational needs of our nation’s children.”

The rest of the story here.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Good Read...

Nancy Wilson has a great post up over at Femina, called "Let It Ride" about when we "see the faults of others oh so clearly, and so we think we might have the gift of rebuking (if there is such a gift). Or, more likely, we are burdened by the blind spots of those dear to us, whether family or friends, and so we feel it is clearly our duty to point them out."
She goes on to remind us that it may not, indeed, be our place to go put them in theirs. Go read the whole thing!

How to sew baby shoes...

Doesn't this look fun? I'm just posting it as a way of filing it away for myself, so I don't loose it in the myriads of bookmarks I have. I think these would look so cute in a dark chocolate corduroy, and I bet it wouldn't be too hard to add some details that would make them look more like "real" shoes!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Banana Breakthrough

Nathan likes eating little banana cubes, but he frequently had trouble picking them up and got frustrated because they were so slippery. Of course, the more you try to pinch up a banana cube, the slipperier it gets, so it would just get worse and I would end up having to feed him the little cubes, which wasn't as fun for either one of us as finger food would've been.

I don't know WHY I didn't think of this sooner... but I took some raisin bran flakes, put them in a baggy, and rolled the rolling pin over them until they were mostly crushed. Then I slice the banana as usual, put two or three pieces in the bag, and shake. I put those in front of him and he can finally just enjoy eating his now non-slippery banana! As a bonus, this gives him a (teeny) amount of fiber, which he also needs.

Yay! I would've shared a picture of this gourmet delight with all y'all, but my camera batteries are dead and we're out of AA's. Sorry. But I'm sure you can imagine it anyway, right?

CPSIA Pricing at Etsy...

Check out the new pricing on some children's items over at Etsy if the law isn't amended before it goes into effect next month. :-(

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Jenni did this, and I realized that although this type of list has been floating around for a long time, I haven't. So here it is. Feel free to do it too... just let me know in the comments so I can read which ones you've done! Just boldface the items that you HAVE done, and leave the rest normal…

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain.
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch (is cheesecake an art? how about photography?)
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train (yes, but we didn't have overnight berths, so it was NOT very comfortable... plus the conductor came by regularly to see our tickets, waking us from our fitful slumbers)
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29 Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33 Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors (some of them, anyway)
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41 Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45 Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60 Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Gotten flowers for no reason
64 Donated blood, platelets, or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66 Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67 Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt (the top is done, which I think means I can count this one.)
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79 Seen the Grand Canyon in person (those of you who know me well will understand why this one amuses me... for the rest of you who don't know, I lived there for several years of my childhood)
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (I've done part of this, I guess... I shot a deer, then helped later wrap up the steaks... I definitely missed the middle part there, with the evisceration, but I've done that with chickens many times so I'm counting this one anyway!)
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a lawsuit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Christmas clearance...

I just bought plain blue and green gift bags, white tissue paper, gold wrapping paper with black swirls, and vanilla candles all at 75% off at my local Walmart. If the Christmas wrapping paper gets any lower (than it's current 25 cents) I might pick some up, but we have a few started rolls that will probably see us through next year. We also got four light sets, since the tree seemed a bit lacking in the light department this year. At 75% off, that was the same as buying just one set before Christmas! I was also tempted by the lovely red paper plates with white snowflakes, and matching napkins... those will definitely add a bit of fun flair to Christmas next year!