Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sewing Again ...

This week I have returned to my sewing room to sew. This, although you don't realize it, is huge news!!

Things got bad about this time last year ... I had too many things to do and not enough time to do it. I was trying to make lots of things, run an etsy store, begin to gear up for Christmas and promised to do too many things for too many people (mainly Jill who has been waiting for an apron for approximately 11.5 months now. :( ) And I just felt overwhelmed and wasn't motivated to do much (because apparently when I feel like I have too much to do, I just don't do anything).

Then Christmas came and I sewed my little heart out to make presents (I still have a pile of unfinished items - isn't that sad?). And once Christmas was over I told myself I would take a one month break because I REALLY needed it. And one more month wait wouldn't be too bad, right?

Except we started to throw all the stuff we didn't know where else to put in my sewing room (and by we, I mean me). And the room got messy, and cluttered, and full. And there wasn't room to work at all. Very sad. And everytime I went to straighten things out, it felt like there was too much to do, that it would never get done. So I stopped (I hope I'm not the only one who does this!).

But Halloween is coming. And this year I was going to gently suggest to my children that we buy their costumes. Because I couldn't fathom that I would be able to make them. And right before I suggested that we were out in public when my daughters, out of the blue mind you, declare to someone that they were the luckiest kids in the entire world because every year their mommy made them the best Halloween costumes ever and they simply couldn't wait to go to the store and pick out the pattern and the fabric because it was so special. Interestingly enough, I have not made their costume every year, only for the last 2 years and I didn't know it meant that much to them.

So the kids and I planned for halloween. We shopped for supplies. And then I cleaned. And straightened and organized. And filled a trash bag full of junk. Although I did not straighten out the entire office, I did more than enough to make room to work. And this weekend, well this weekend I sat down and started working on the costumes. And I mostly sew a bit at night and each day they ask me if I've finished yet, and can they see what I did so far and they are so excited. And I can't believe if I had had my way, we wouldn't be doing this.

Hopefully soon I will have pretty costumes to show you. But I have also discovered, I am a really slow sewer now. I used to fly through things quickly. I think though, it's because I'm paying more attention to what I am doing and not just rushing to finish. Which is good, because I was moments away from making quite a few mistakes when I've decided to double check the instructions. And I never double check instructions!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Tweet, tweet

Okay, I took the plunge.
I joined twitter.
You can follow me here.
I don't promise to keep up, but I had to join! All the cool kids were doing it and I want to be cool too LOL!!!! ;-)

Friday, September 26, 2008

I heart my husband

Look what I got tonight as a surprise! He doesn't bring me flowers often, but when he does, he always has perfect timing!
I'm tired tonight. And probably a bit cranky. This working gig is HARD (ftr: I have always admired working moms and marveled at how they juggle work and home so well. This only reinforces how I feel about that). But it is wearing me out. It probably doesn't help that the three kids are with me when I work and sometimes that's harder than working frankly.
Also, the camera is still mia. I thought it would be waiting for me when I returned home tonight, but it wasn't there :-( I'm not sure what's going on with that all .... and I'm crossing my fingers it arrives tomorrow).
But my darling husband brought me flowers (and thank goodness for camera phones LOL! So I can show off my gorgeous flowers to you all!!!)
This weekend I don't have to work (yeah!) but my hubby does. So that's a bit sad. But this is a short season in time.
Tomorrow though, I'll be cleaning lots with all my wonderful new cleaning products and I can't wait to do that because my house needs it desperately after the week we have had!

On another note: last night I made 12 pints of quartered tomatoes and 7 pints of applesauce! I have 20 pounds more each of apples and tomatoes to play around with tomorrow. I'm not sure what I'll make for sure. I think I will just do more quartered tomatoes. It's the easiest thing for me to makebut I might also try some apple butter with the apples. And I should get more tomatoes Sunday and I think I'll use those for some spaghetti sauce! =)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

So much to say ... so little time to say it all in!

This is shaping up to be quite the week!
I found out Monday the new and improved Motherhood site will be launching soon! I've been to the test site, and seriously folks, it is just awesome!! I can't wait until I can tell you all to head over there and check it out!!!

Then last night was the awesome, amazing and simply fabulous Method party!!! I have been talking about it all day long just telling everyone how fabulous it was and how much fun it was! A few people asked if this meant they could buy the Method products from me now LOL! Maybe I should have bought a bunch of extra last night to walk around and sell people - they all seem ready to buy hahaha!! But nope, I tell them where they can buy them ;-)

And then today, I got an e-mail letting me know that one of my favorite authors Kate Jacobs is coming out with a new book, and it's the sequel to The Friday Night Knitting Club. Now, if you don't remember, I LOVED that book so extremely much! Just loved it. I have recommended it time and time again. And everyone I have advised to read it has loved it too. And I went and saw Kate (because we are totally BFFs now - at least in my own little head LOL!) at a local book talk. And she is coming out with a sequel and I'm SOOOOOO excited! And they sent me an e-mail today asking if I wanted an advance copy. Umm, YES! lol! Here is a preview of the cover:
And I also have a copy of the first chapter that I am allowed to share here with everyone! I will post that at a later date. I might wait until I get the book and can tell you how wonderful it is and prove it by posting the chapter, or I might just randomly post it another day I have nothing else to write about ROFL!!!

In other news, I have been workng this week - during the day, for my parents, with my children with me. I am blessed in that I can get internet on the go and so I can bring my computer with me and blog! At work! Fabulous! But, truthfully, it's sort of stressful. Because I have to leave the house earlier than I like, make sure I have food for everyone and enough water, and enough diapers and snacks and things to do and I'm so not used to it. And I don't clock out until 6pm - that is usually the time we are sitting down to dinner. This was all unexpected - I got a call Tuesday morning asking if I could come in for the day LOL! This morning I had enough put together to start the crockpot so we could have a decent dinner tonight and we did the dishes, but I didn't get the laundry done before we left and was sort of bummed. Oh well. I am doing what I can with the time I have. I can say though, given all that is going on, the extra income will be quite welcomed in our house. It won't make us rich (I barely breaking min wage here) but it's a family business and I don't have to pay a babysitter so it will be good in the long run!

Okay, over and out for now!

Method Party!!!!

Oh my word! I don't even know where to begin!!
The entire night was just so fabulous and amazing. Method knows how to take care of people - I can tell you that for sure!

The back of the store was amazingly decorated - it felt like we were in someone's living room it was just awesome =) (and I meant to snap pictures of it and didn't! LOL)

We had fun making a facial tea mask, lip balm, and bath salts! And we were able to take all the recipes home along with a resource page of where to buy more supplies if we want to do so (I REALLY want to do so!)

We were given TONS of free stuff, and really who doesn't like free stuff?

But the best part, the people! I think everyone who came with me had a lot of fun - at least I hope so! I know I did. I didn't get to talk much to some of the guests as they left but I should get reports soon =) The people I drove home with all had a great time too! And at least the car I was in, was FULL of method bags, so you know, we bought TONS of things! LOL

And the Method people, they were oh so fabulous! I cannot stress this enough, because even if Method had the most fabulous products, the party would have not been fun if the people hadn't been nice. But that was not the case at all. Seriously, they did EVERYTHING - great food, great drinks. They even took pictures that they will send to me tomorrow - I didn't have to stop to get pictures! That is service. And they were all so great to talk to and chit chat with. I felt like I was friends with everyone I talked to! They came from California and even from England and it was all just so wonderful - every single one of them.

I joked that I wanted to do this again and again and I would ask other people to invite me to their parties so that I could come in again LOL!

Here, my friends, is all I came home with:

Nice! Very nice! I did buy some of it, but I got a lot of it from them because they ROCK! I am so amazed at how much they gave away, that I have decided to give away one of their Plastic Rehab bags because you all need to have one too - so come back soon and see about that.

Anyway, to top off the night - as if it couldn't get any better. I got home and realized I left my camera in the store. And I was thinking about how I was going to drive downtown with the 3 kids, find a place to park, drag them in, grab the camera, drive back home (okay, okay, so I also thought about more products I could buy because I think I might be seriously addicted to them). I called the store, left a message, and then came on-line.

I already had an e-mail in my box letting me know they had my camera all safe and sound and would I give them my address so they could messenger it out to me?!?!?! Now seriously, does it get any better than that? That, my friends, is service. And amazing service at that. I am impressed with Method SO incredibly much right now!

So, if you can't tell, tonight was awesome! I had such a blast! I feel all wound up from it - hence all my !!!!!!! in this post! LOL!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

More Cleaning Stuff!

Today I got some fun stuff in the mail:


Yep! More cleaning things! And it's only "fun" because it came in the mail just for me - because I do not like to clean really! LOL

You might notice all the items are from Method - and as from the previous post, I do use Method and I do like them very much. So you can imagine my surprise when a few short weeks ago, someone from Method (okay, really it was someone from an advertising company representing Method) sent me an e-mail asking me to contact them about their Method Maven Program.

I had already read about one Method Maven party from a blog I followed, so I was SOOOO excited. (this isn't the one I read, but this blogger also was one too) Not too long after I went downtown to talk to the very lovely lady who contacted me (and also, she has a British accent and I just loved to hear her talk LOL). Well, I learned Monday they picked me to become one of the Chicago Method Mavens!

Woo-hoo! This means I get to have a great party with my friends and they will send me stuff to try (hence the package today). The only downside is the party is NEXT WEDNESDAY! Which means I've given most people a one's week notice, which also means so far I'm hearing more no's than yes's - mostly due to the fact that people can't rearrange schedules to go. Although I am hearing it sounds like fun and they wish they could make it.

Anyway, I'm so excited about this opportunity and I know some of you reading this here blog are in the Chicago area and really how much fun would it be to meet up? And wouldn't it be even more fun if we got to meet for the first time at a party with food and drinks and free cleaning supplies?!?! No, really, if you are from around here, and can be downtown Chicago next Wednesday (the 24th) and want to meet me in person, let me know! I'd love to invite you and meet you too =) I swear!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Misc. Ramblings ...

Because it's late and I've not much to say!

  • I made a huge oops this weekend. My 6 year old was invited to a party that I thought was Sunday, but when I pulled out the invite Sat. night to mapquest the directions, I noticed the invite actually said Saturday. Ugh. I feel pretty darn stupid over that one. But we'll go see the birthday girl Wednesday and have lunch with her instead.
  • The nighttime routine is already showing huge improvements in my sleeping ability. (Despite the fact that it's 12:45 am here right now. I am staying up on purpose to do some canning that is just too hard when kids are awake). Friday night I fell asleep at a decent hour but I woke up 1,001 times. The good news, each time I was able to get right back to sleep. I did feel pretty sleepy Saturday though, but I still considered it improvement. Last night I fell asleep at a normal time and only woke up a few times. I even managed to do it in my own bed, despite dh's snoring. Although I kept having dreams about missing the party about how it pretty much ended life as we know it on this planet because I made my 6 year old miss that party - I bet you didn't know I was that powerful did you?! I have no doubt I would have had good results tonight had I done it all, but instead I'm simmering tomato puree to make canned tomato sauce.
  • Work this weekend was good. I get next weekend off and then I switch to working from about 5p-10pm at night. I'm not particularly looking forward to it, but I will do what I need to do to make it work.
  • My husband also worked this weekend. My 15 year old sis watched the kids. She did a good job with the kids, but the house is a MESS and I'm pretty sure they consumed 5 times the amount of food normally consumed by our family on a weekend. Insane.
  • My TV sound is being very strange. For about 20 minutes tonight it was giving the sound in both English and Spanish. And now it just started doing a weird echo thing. Crazy. I hope it's the cable/tv station and not my television.
  • This weekend I was told I had unusual book choices. I actually liked hearing that and it made me smile. I read a lot of different things and I'm okay with that!!
  • We still only have 5 people (including me) for next week's Method Party. I have invited over 60 people now (via e-mail, phone calls, printing out an invite and handing it to people). I am very bummed about the low turn-out, but darn-it, I am going to try to have fun no matter what! And hey, if you want to come, let me know!!
  • I finished Squeaky Green - the book Method sent me - and have already put to use one of the suggestions. I'll talk more about that later as I've also been using the one cleaner and I'll share it all with you later.
  • I heart facebook and am psyched to be talking to old friends that I haven't chatted with in a while =)
  • This may be sad, but I already have a mental list going for WTF Wednesday this week!

Hope everyone has a good week!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Worried for nothing

I'm pretty sure that I have mentioned my insomnia on here before. There are periods where it's better than others, but it's pretty much always with me.

Lately it's been worse and it's kicking my butt. And I've been dragging my feet to go to the doctor. Mostly because I'm afraid I'll get in there, say I can't sleep, be handed a few samples and a prescription for one of the sleep medicines that are so frequently advertised during late night television! And I'm not really afraid of medicine, but I didn't want it to be the first option and I have a fear that I will get addicted to it. Yes, yes, the commercials say you can't not physically become dependent on it, but I know a few people who have become emotionally dependent on it, and I don't trust myself to fall into that category.

And I was worried for nothing. Because yesterday my 6 year old needed to go in for a shot (we've delayed the MMR until now which my doctor is 100% okay with and never pushed me to get it earlier at all.) Since she was going in, and the office takes walk-ins, at the last minute I put my name down on the paper to talk to her.

And talk we did! And it reminded me all over again just why I love my doctor so very much! She actually talked to me at length about all that was going on. She gave me a new bedtime routine to follow. She told me to take melatonin (and over the counter supplement), she taught me a relaxation exercise, she gave me advice - she knew exactly what I was going through and gave me advice that made so much sense to me when she said it. Okay, she also recommended a glass of warm milk and I HATE milk and the thought of it warm totally makes me want to puke but that's minor really. She also told me if it didn't start to help within 2 weeks, we'd bump me up to a prescription strength melatonin and if that didn't start to show some improvements, we'd cross that road when we get to it.

I walked out feeling hopeful and glad she was my doctor. And last night I started the routine: I drank a glass of milk and took my melatonin (I drank it cold because I was not ready to drink it warm just yet). I sat myself down and mentally went over my day - I congratulated myself on all that went well and when I got to the not so great stuff, I told myself that it was okay. I made a mistake. I will do better tomorrow. And I pushed it out of my thoughts and told myself I was done thinking about it (instead of dwelling on it per my usual when I try to go to sleep!). Got ready for bed (although didn't take a shower as she suggested because it was later than I intended it to be by this time). I laid down and read for a little bit. She suggested 30 minutes, I don't think I lasted 30 minutes before I couldn't comprehend what the book was saying. And then I started the relaxation technique - which is basically starting at your head and working down to your toes to get each part of you to relax. I thought for sure I'd have to run through my whole body 2 or 3 times for it to work. I did my head, my shoulders, my right arm and that's about when I went to sleep. It had to be between 12-12:30 am (which beats my normal 3 am bedtime by a lot!).

I woke up at 4:30 am, went to the bathroom, moved to my bedroom*, and fell right back asleep.

This is HUGE news. Typically if I fall asleep anytime before 1 am, I wake back up within 2 hours and cannot fall back asleep for 3-4 hours.

Her routine for me takes care of my two biggest issues: first - I have always been a nightowl. She said it sounds to her that over the years, I have altered my sleep rhythm to not go to bed until 2 or 3 am (hence if I go to bed earlier than that, I wake up because my body interprets it as a nap). Hence the melatonin, to help get my sleep rhythm back to more normal hours and second - the anxiety issues that I have which I am trying to overcome by going over my day before I go to bed and relaxing once I am in bed.

I am praying and hoping I can continue to get good results, but with one night down, it is feeling like it could work for sure!

The only downside is my husband is usually in bed around 9:30. The chances of me ever getting to bed that early seem pretty slim so that's kind of a bummer. Right now my doctor said we are aiming to get me to bed around 11. I will be thrilled if I can go sleep on the same day that I woke up on, so anything before 11:59 sounds good to me LOL!

*I originally went to sleep on the couch because my husband snores and I knew if he was snoring when I laid down it would not help me relax at all, so I opted to try it on the couch where I could make sure it would be very quiet. I think I will do that for a few days, until I get everything down really well and then try it while having him snoring in the background!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My cleaners ...

I use a WIDE variety of cleaners - I took a sample shot of them today to show you:


You can see Method, Burt's Bees, Palmolive, Scrubbing Bubbles, Seventh Generation, Shaklee and Clean Well. This does not include the water, vinegar, lemon, baking powder that I use either! Because I also use lots of those things too!

As you can see, I don't have a favorite brand or much brand loyalty - I look at the amount of chemicals, how well it works, are there alternatives, the price, and then look at the brand. So we end up with a wide variety. And we switch as things go on sale or special. I did not buy the Shaklee though. I won that. I use it. And I love it. However, that we won't buy unless the company changes their policies because we don't want to be locked in to buy a certain amount each month - which stinks, because I would probably buy from them otherwise. Also, I won't be buying scrubbing bubbles anymore, but the frugal part of me needs to finish the spray before replacing it - although maybe not so much anymore - it might be gone very soon - more on that later.

Anyway, my point is, I use lots of products and it doesn't bother me that I do that. I will say that right now we are trying to use less chemicals in our house - I have a child with neurological issues and a child with asthma - both of which are documented to be irritated by lots of chemicals in the products we use. My house is not chemical free - we have nonstick pans, some of our furniture has been treated with the fireproof agent, I'm sure my carpet is releasing VOC's into the air (along with our paint, furniture, and other things). We are not eliminating them completely to be sure, but we are trying to make small changes that can help a lot - and cleaners is one area it's been easy to do that with.

I'm sure you are scratching your head right now - it's okay ... this post will make a lot more sense once I make my next post. But it's a way for me to give you background without creating the longest post in the history of this blog! LOL

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Olympic Inspiration!

The Olympics are over and done with, but they are still effecting us!

My oldest dd has signed up for diving classes! She had her first class on Sunday. My hubby took her, so I didn't get to see much. It's an intro to diving and she said she did a "t dive." I should be taking her this weekend and I plan to take pictures to show you all, because I am sure one day she will be a famous diver and you can say you all saw it here first ROFL! (Just kidding, I don't really think that and I certainly don't expect it. We signed up for fun, not to be in the Olympics).

Now, the Olympics also influenced us in other ways. One night while watching track and field, we saw something we knew we had to try at home:


Yep! A hairstyle! =) A french braid that looks like a headband really. I know, really, I think we are only people in America who can watch the Olympics and copy a hairstyle! [and I wish I could have found a picture of the athlete to show you here too but I didn't. Sorry!]

Anyway, this is how we did my 6 year old's hair for her birthday party! It just looked so cute. I think I took 10 pictures just of her hair I was so in love with it. I wish she would let me do it again like that. She LOVED the hairstyle too, but it's sort of awkward to do. At least, it's awkward for me to do it on her! But, seriously, it looks so cute that I just love it and wanted to show it here for all of you to admire too LOL!



Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Weather ...

My prayers and thoughts are with all of those who were hit by Ike. I watched much of the coverage last night (until about 3am CDT) and my heart broke for everyone affected by it. It is a horrendous storm and I can't imagine those who had to be in Texas and live through it. :-(

On other weather news, Chicago has been inundated with rain. Things are flooding all over the place, roads are being closed, people's homes are flooding. It's a terrible mess. The current reports say the rain will continue without break until Monday night. Two more days of rain. We've had well over 6 inches since yesterday. Assuming we don't lose power or the sump pump doesn't break, we should be okay in our house. But it's not nice out there right now. A street about 2 blocks away is flooded over and the water goes to my 6 year old's knees! A retention pond a block from that, that normally has inches of water in it, is about 5-6feet deep right now. I know of at least 2 people who are flooding in their home/apartment. Mostly we all still have power, but some are without it.

I don't mean to compare this to what is happening with Ike, because I know those people are hurting a lot more right now. But things are much crazier than normal in our part too and it has many people worried and stressed and on edge and the amount of water just seems unbelievable to many of us.

In non-weather news, my hearts go out to those affected by the train crash in California yesterday. :-(

Ugh. It seems like the news just keep reporting worse and worse things these days.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I had, to put it bluntly, an awful terrible afternoon today. It involves a 2 year old throwing a temper tantrum, a line at Hobby Lobby and not being to just walk out because I had cut fabric in my cart. It was not pretty. It did not go well. I was also embarrassed beyond belief at how it all played out (although no one really said anything or gave us bad looks, and in fact two other people just smiled that smile that to me said, been there done that, hope it gets better soon for you).
But it was just bad.

Ugh. But, thank goodness today was Thursday - because Thursday is my knitting night. And I LOVE knitting night. I found a knitting group locally. Everyone is very nice - and always working on such great projects (and using fabulous yarn that I will be able to afford after all three children have gone to college LOL!). It's fun to see what everyone is making - and fun to see what they are wearing - and just go and relax.

And I'm so glad it was tonight. Otherwise, well, I think my head would have exploded and I would have been one extremely crabby mother all night tonight.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Happy Birthday ...

to my darling daughter!


My Dear M,

It's hard to believe 6 years ago you were a brand new baby. We welcomed you into the world after 2.5 hours of labor (which I sincerely thank you for!). You had apgars of 9 and 10 - yes, I am the kind of mother who remembers that! You were a healthy 7 pounds 8 ounces and 21 inches long. You were a good baby right from the start - a champion eater (proved by your 30 pounds at 9 months old!) and a great sleeper.

Now, now you are a happy 6 year old with plenty of things to say! You are so full of love and just a very sweet child.

Some days it's hard to imagine that 6 years have gone by! And other days, it seems like so much more time has passed. But, we all love you so very much and can't imagine our family without you!

love mom =)


Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Clue 1 ...

of mystery stole 4 is complete:


It's looking very pretty and clue 2 will be out on Friday.
That's all for now. I've been struck my a nasty virus and am laying low at the moment.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Breaking news ....

At 11:54 am (CST), my darling husband was able to resurrect the previously mentioned computer. After discovering the computer was no longer under warranty, he bravely disassembled the computer and allowed all the pieces to dry fully. After painstakingly putting all the pieces back in place, the computer turned on without any trouble.

The entire family welcomed "Dell" back with many happy smiles. The two girls were probably just happy to get their computer back, but that's okay.

I am happy once again having a faster, lighter, quieter computer back home.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Good bye dear friend

A few years ago, my husband surprised me with a brand new laptop for Christmas! I joked that it was like my 4th child and I absolutely loved it. And love it I did. I did all sorts of wonderful things on that computer - play, work, and all sorts of things.

Tonight, Dell (that is how the kids and I called it) is now resting in computer heaven. One of the children accidentally knocked over a glass of water all over dear Dell. I suppose it would be safe to say the computer drowned tonight.
It is just a computer I keep telling myself. But I admit, there were files not backed up and all sorts of items saved in bookmarks - all gone. In an instant. The child who is responsible was quite upset by it all. Lots of tears were shed. She offered to sell all her toys to earn enough money to buy a new computer for me.
Dh and I told her over and over it was an accident, we were not mad, she didn't need to buy a new computer for me, and that we accepted her apology. I guess, though, when you joke with your children that your computer is like another child to you, they feel pretty upset when they break it. :-(
Dh thinks he might be able to save the harddrive and get what I had on there off of it. I won't hold my breath. He also offers the slight hope that after it has thoroughly dried, we might try powering it up, but again, I won't hold my breath.
These are the moments that I wish we had a lot more disposable income than we do right now. That we could simply run out and replace it. But we can't. I suppose the good news is there are other computers in our home - but one is my husbands and since he works from home - albeit very rarely - we can't add many items to it. The second is the old laptop, that doens't run all the programs I use - hence the reason for the new computer a few years ago. But for now, I will have to learn to live between the two computers. Of course, the old laptop we gave to the kids, so I told them it became mommy's again. They were pretty understanding - and the one who felt responsible all but insisted I take it "RIGHT NOW AND MAKE IT YOURS BECAUSE YOU NEED YOUR COMPUTER TO WORK ON AND YOU NEED TO HAVE A COMPUTER!" (did I mention how guilty and bad she felt - poor thing)
I have nothing else to say at the moment, just that I miss my computer already!

Knitting Updates

I finished my little guy's hat. It turned out perfect for him, if I do say so myself! I gave it to him this morning and a) he remembered asking for it and helping me buy the yarn - which I admit I was a bit nervous he wouldn't LOL! and b) he LOVED it! Yeah!!


And seriously, isn't he just so amazingly cute?! He is extra cute because he knows how to cause lots of trouble and it helps balance him! I say it semi-jokingly, but he has tested me as a parent in more ways than I think my two girls have combined. But, he has the best heart and is so sweet most of the time that it balances the rough moments. I am so glad he is a part of our family. He was most certainly a surprise and a shock - and we discovered he would be coming on April Fool's Day. It seems fitting now. He is full of energy and I believe he is part tigger with all the bouncing he does! But he is adorable and sweet and he brings energy to this family that the rest of us do not have. And I love him, and was so glad to make him this (bright) red hat, and I think the brightness of it just completely fits him!!

So, I finished it quickly because the first clue for mystery stole 4 came out today (there is still time to join if you want to!) I got it extremely early this am, and reknit the first few rows 3 times before getting right!! Ugh. But now I'm half way through the first clue and it is looking lovely so far.



I have never beaded or done lace before. The lace part isn't hard - but you have to pay attention. I have learned that I am painfully slow at adding beads and that is what I struggle with the most. It is looking lovely though. It just stinks that we have to wait another week to get the next clue. I'd be ready to move on now. But I suppose for now, I will buy a second set of needles to begin the other side!

That's all from here. Work this weekend and next week we start awana, soccer, more work and other activities. And I told my oldest we wouldn't start school until after halloween (it just makes more sense for our family) but I changed my mind and we will be starting now. We are going to study the election and all the presidents as well as an 8 year old can! I have decided to try out lapbooks with this - something we've never done before, but I bought file folders the other day so I hope it works!! =)

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Two worlds

I think we have two worlds in the US right now. There is a HUGE gap between low income and the rest of us. Yes, yes, I know, I'm in the middle class and I'm hurting right now too - but hurting to me is lowering the number of cable channels I use and maybe using my cell phone less. When I look around, I still am pretty damn lucky with all that I have.

This week, Chicago City Schools started back up. Except, not all students returned to school -
In a story that will likely fly under the radar this week due to the convention and other electoral politics, it should be noted that a sizable protest is taking place this week in Chicago. In a plea for school funding, nearly 1,000 Chicago Public School students and some of their parents descended upon New Trier Township High School, a wealthy public school in Chicago’s north side Northfield suburb. (from here)
And it is my opinion that the story has flown under the radar - but not so much because of the convention or the other news I think. It's because for people who have the greatest access to get the story out, well, it doesn't affect them, so they turn the other way. Let's face it folks, we pride ourselves on our ability to work hard and to move to suburbs with safe schools and good education. Even the worst suburban public schools are light years ahead of many city schools.

So why should those schools be our problem? The parents should just work harder and move out and get over it. But it's not that simple for some people. We all know people who work hard and can't get ahead. Okay, maybe you don't, but I do. I get that it's not as simple as waking up, saying I want better and then doing it. And mix in today's economy, which most are feeling anxious about, well, it's not that easy.

And not only that, but it is our problem. It's my problem. It's your problem. And your's, yep, and your's too. Because those kids are a part of our future! And no one can deny that a good education can be instrumental in having a better adulthood. We should all care. Every single one of us.

And today I did a quick google blog search and most results were news blogs. I have checked Chicago Mom Blog both today and yesterday and nothing has been mentioned there. Why not? Because it's not our kids who are attending schools that:
the report reveals that many planned school improvements projects are unfunded and that there is about $229 million worth of projects that no longer appear in the city's capital improvements plan. Overcrowding remains a persistent and unresolved problem, and there has been no clear plan for integrating educational technology. The Chicago public school system alone has $2.5 billion in unfunded capital needs for its schools, but funds allotted for statewide capital needs are rapidly disappearing, and federal assistance in local school construction and repair needs is in jeopardy. (from here)
Or maybe when we see this figure:
Chicago Public Schools spent $11,300 a student last year. New Trier High School spent $17,500 a student, near the top in the state. (from here)

I know, some of you are saying that the money doens't matter. But today it does. That money is the difference between updated computers, money for band instruments, repairs on buildings, competive pay for teachers, updated school books - okay, I'll grant you math may not have changed much, but you know, how many of you want your kids to have history books published 20 years ago? Think how much the world has changed since then! Money does count in this day and age. It is important.

I know Chicago is not the only place where two worlds exist - one of some of the best education you can get today and the other is a district lacking enough resources and funds to give some kids even the most basic of education. It's sad. We should not overlook it anymore. We should not ignore it. We should not brush it off as their problem. Because it affects ALL of us.

Sorry, for getting all "political" today, but education is an issue near and dear to my heart - and I think every child should have the opportunity to get a great education. I have decided for my kids that that takes place in our home, but that doesn't mean I don't care about the other options available for other families out there.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Creativity Test ...

I've seen this all over, and with not much else to talk about today, I decided to take it too!

Right Brain vs Left Brain Creativity Test
About this test | Disclaimer

Thank you for taking the Creativity Test. The results show your brain dominance as being:

Left Brain Right Brain
47% 53%

You are more right-brained than left-brained. The right side of your brain controls the left side of your body. In addition to being known as right-brained, you are also known as a creative thinker who uses feeling and intuition to gather information. You retain this information through the use of images and patterns. You are able to visualize the "whole" picture first, and then work backwards to put the pieces together to create the "whole" picture. Your thought process can appear quite illogical and meandering. The problem-solving techniques that you use involve free association, which is often very innovative and creative. The routes taken to arrive at your conclusions are completely opposite to what a left-brained person would be accustomed. You probably find it easy to express yourself using art, dance, or music. Some occupations usually held by a right-brained person are forest ranger, athlete, beautician, actor/actress, craftsman, and artist.

You can take the test here. I personally am not surprised by my results. I've never felt like the typical right brain person or left brain person - but the downside is, I often feel like I do many things okay, but I do very few things well. But for the most part, I like that I'm sort of split. I think I have many hobbies/interest that seem to go against each other in terms of stereotypes, and I think that's okay. And I feel I have plenty of time to figure out what I want to work more on to find those few things that I can do well!