Friday, June 11, 2010

Books and such...

Waiting, waiting, still waiting...
I went for a walk this evening and then I proceeded to weed a flower bed. But, besides necessitating the need for a bath, little else happened, such as the much looked for contractions. This baby seems quite content where it is. I keep telling it things are much nicer out here with me, Daddy, and the siblings, but alas to no avail...yet. I tell myself that I won't be pregnant forever and that it will happen when God intends it.
I finished reading my third book in a week and a half yesterday, So let me put on my literary critic's hat for a moment and tell you about them. All three were good and enjoyable for me.
The first was In Defense of Food by Micheal Pollan. His books are tremendous. His compelling, easy to read style makes the reader want to jump up and make instant changes in their diet. This book focused on how the Western Diet of highly processed foods filled with cheap calories and little or no nutrition is the cause for so many of our current health problems. He proposes the need to return of a traditional type diet filled with real food instead fast and processed foods. He encourages shopping the perifory of the grocery store, forgoing the middle aisles, and choosing farmers and local foods markets as well. I garnered a great deal from this book and highly recommend reading it.
Next I read Savage Lands by Clare Clark. It is a fictional account of the true story of 23 women that were sent by Louis XIV of France in 1704 to marry soldiers and settlers in the Louisana colony. It is an interesting tale of the struggles and hardships that these women had to endure. I found several things interesting: in Europe the New World was painted as being a land of little work, streets paved with gold, natives that would beg to be enslaved, and fortunes to be easily acquired. This was of course false. Instead there was flooding, disease, starvation, and constant threat of attack from surrounding tribes as well as the English. It made me grateful for the ability to drive down the road if I need something like flour or a sewing needle, instead of having to wait months or years for ships to bring supplies. It was very well written and I polished it off in three days.
Lastly, I read Romancing Miss Bronte by Juliet Gael. This was also a fictionalized account of the life of Charlotte Bronte. It begins about the time she and her sisters Emily and Anne decide to write and be published in order to earn a living. None of them were married and with an aling father that would be able to leave them with nothing to live on they needed to think of their futures. It weaves around the birth of their now famous novels and poems, but, most of the focus is on Charlotte and who she eventually comes to marry. I have enjoyed reading their novels over the years and this was a nice glimpse into what their lives were most likely like. I was taken with what it meant be a woman in the nineteenth century and how little options there were for women with no money or family to support them. Plus, above all it is a love story, which I always enjoy.
Next up for me is Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay. I have downloaded the sample to my Kindle and plan to start reading it tonight.
Can anyone recommend any good reading to me? My time will soon be limited, I know, but I do love to have at least one book that I am working on even if it takes me months to finish. So this literary critic is signing off...updates of any baby news to happen evenyually. :)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Goo, Craft Kits, and Birthday Gifts...

Tonight David and I went out for Sushi. I love a good veggie roll with any combination of cucumber, avocado, and cream cheese etc. We ordered a Mexican roll filled with cilantro, tomato, onion and jalepeno and I think that it was just about the best thing that I have put in my mouth for a long time. We sat at the bar, me with my Arnold Palmer and he with his Knob Creek as we waited for a table. We soon gave up on that and just ordered our Sushi there and proceeded to consume it faster than I thought possible. I wore sparkly earrings and little heels with David in his deep red shirt from Mexico that I happen to adore on him and we sat and laughed, people watched, and enjoyed an unrushed date, much like it used to be before we had babies. I was full to bursting, my heart and my tummy as we made our way home.

We made Goo a couple of weeks ago and my, my was it fun...
We made long strings and piles...we broke it into small pieces and then clumped it back together again.

It is not quite a liquid and not quite a solid. It conforms to pretty much anything you might put it on. It drips and pools and creeps. The kids loved playing with it and although a bit got on their clothes, I pulled off what I could and the rest came off in the washer with no detectable stains remaining. It is recommended to store it in the fridge between uses, but it still doesn't last too long, just about a week or so.
Goo Recipe
4 oz white glue (standard bottle size)
3 oz water
food coloring (optional)
4 tsp Borax
5 Tbls. water

Mix the glue, 3 oz water, and food coloring in a disposable bowl. Mix the Borax and 5 Tbls. water in another bowl. Stir to dissolve. Pour a little of the Borax mixture into the glue mixture. Stir until a blob forms. Remove the blob to a third container. Pour a little more of the Borax mixture into the glue mixture, stir until a blob forms, remove the blob as before. When all of the glue mixture has been used up, knead the blobs together in your hands (doing this over the kitchen sink is a good idea). It may be rather wet at first, but will come together and dry out a bit while you are kneading them together. You will have one nice sized blob in the end. Store in the refridgerator between uses.

I stocked up on a few bottles of glue from the office supply store and plan on whipping out this activity from time to time this Summer, especially if it is a rainy or unbearably hot day.

I think I mentione awhile back that I made up some craft/activity kits to do with the kids throughout the Summer. Just things that involve cardboard tubes, pipe cleaners, tissue paper and the like. Anything that comprises the uses of glue and sticky tape are always a hit.

I did a web search and I found a couple of sites that had easy and fun sounding crafts. Most of what I gleaned I got from here and here. I then gathered all of the supplies I needed and I put my kits together. Universal supplies that would be needed for most things went into the basket. Things like tape, glue, scissors, staples, paint brushes etc. Then I put craft specific supplies into individual ziplock bags along with the printed instructions. Next I labeled with a sharpie, stashed them all in the basket and placed in the closet. Now I just have to grab, dole out supplies and set the kids to work. I wanted to have them also, so that when my Mom is here she can pull them out to do things with the kids too while I am with the baby. I also put together a basket with sidewalk chalk, bubbles, a kite, etc for grabbing to take out side. I find I am much more likely to do crafts if I am more organized to begin with. If I have to spend an hour gathering supplies, I find the mood has past and it will be awhile before I attempt it again. This way I hope to do more with my Sweeties in the months to come as the new baby allows.

Since the kids are gone, I will be stepping in as a poor in comparison substitute at a 5 years old's birthday party tomorrow. I can't after all, run around and play like Elijah and Evelyn would, but I can at least come bearing a gift.
A few days ago I pulled the sewing machine back out and I sewed up a quick gift. I made up a colored pencil roll and I decopaged a drawing pad for the birthday girl. Tutorials for the pencil rolls have been floating around on blogs for awhile now and I had been wanting to try my hand at one. I used the instructions from here. I added a second row to accomodate 24 pencils and I increased the height from 4 to 10 inches. I also think that 4 inches might have been a misprint and perhaps they meant to put 8 inches instead. My thoughts anyway.

I used linen for the front and three purple prints from my stash. She is a girly girl that likes her pinks and purples. I used a dove gray satin ribbon that I had on hand for the ties and useing fabric ink, I stamped her name in purple on the outside.

I then glued a piece of card board to the front of a drawing pad to add strength and then decopaged squares of paper to it. After it dried, I added a square with her name and a few retro cat stickers that I had on hand as well with another layer of decopage glue. It was a quick, easy, and very inexpensive birthday gift. Although, she is only tunring 5, I think these are things she can use as she gets older.

Well, it is time for bed...well, maybe ice cream and then bed, if I am to be honest. ;)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Getting some rest...

OH where have I been? Here at home mostly.
My Sweet little ones are at their Grandma's and Auntie's until the baby comes. It has so far been a very restful break for me, but it seems unnatural and strange to be childless at the moment. To have all of this time be my own seems wrong somehow and almost decadent. I feel like I have blown off responsibility and there is a wee twinge of guilt there too.
But, in all honesty I am enjoying it too. I puttered around at several yard sales last weekend and picked up a few little things. One of my favorite scores being a large pile of nice clothes for Evelyn for only $6. I also hit the library for a few books and movies. The first time I tried to read on Friday, I had to put the book down and find something else to do, it was much too quiet in the house and I couldn't concentrate. I had not realized how in tune my ears are to the children and to the noises that they make. Not hearing them playing or even sleeping is strange. I have gotten more accustomed to it the last few days and I have been able to read and not be quite so distracted. But, oh how I miss them.
I have worked on a few projects as well and have done a bit of cleaning. The bathrooms still need attention, but golly I hate that chore and I find myself putting it off. I need to just get in there and do it. I did get all the sheets changed and the kitchen floor swept and washed. I just need to ready the guest room for my Mom's arrival when the baby comes and a few other housekeeping duties...washing the car seat cover, bring up the baby swing and bouncy seat from the basement etc. But, my bag is packed and the baby's diapers and bed are all ready and waiting.
Having David all to myself has been nice too. We laugh so much and are our happy, goofy selves. Last night we polished off the last of our episodes of the show Chuck. It is a silly show about an accidental nerd of a spy and his handlers. We enjoy it. We also have Netflix that sometimes takes us weeks to watch, so hopefully in the next couple of days we will watch our latest selection, Letters from Iwo Jima. I love a good World War II movie. I just hope it is not too graphic and violent. I tend to get a little queasy while watching those kinds of scenes...Saving Private Ryan's opening scenes of D-Day were really hard for me to watch because of that. I know that it was even worse for those that lived it, I struggle with visually seeing what man is/was capable of doing to each other. I think I feel a dark sadness more than anything while watching such things. Humans are so cruel to one another especially in the name of war.
Wow, did I ever digress...sorry.
I hope to get back on here soon, I have lots of pictures to share...the kids and I playing with Goo (it's so fun to make, I will share the recipe), the craft kits that I made up for this Summer, and I want to talk about a couple of books that I just read. I have two weeks until my due date...I'll keep you posted about that too. :)