Monday, February 28, 2011

Boo-Boos and Stressed-Out Man

We've had two sick boys in our house since last Wednesday. We didn't go to church yesterday, and I was bummed. We had planned to join Grace Baptist, but that will have to wait until next week.

The baby is pulling himself up on  the furniture, walls, dishwasher, etc. now. That means he's also been falling down a lot. The poor kid has three goose eggs on his forehead! (Thank goodness for the Elmo Boo-Boo Buddy!)

I learned something about the boo-boo buddy this week. It is COLD COLD COLD if you keep it in the freezer. No wonder my babies don't like it! I started keeping it in the fridge instead, and it's still plenty cool, but they'll tolerate me holding it on their boo-boos a lot longer.

My Honey is under a lot of stress lately. He is taking 19 credit hours at the university, which is too much for him. But he's had mid-terms all last week and this week, and he is wigged out about them. He is doing very well in all his classes except for Applied Calculus. He is struggling in that class, mostly because his professor doesn't really go over the assignments. Apparently he goes over one problem in each assignment set, but it's always the easiest problem that doesn't require any special manipulation to make it "work." I never took calculus, so I'm of no help to him. He spends a lot of time doing Internet research for how to work particular problems.

My Honey is doing well in accounting, but the professor will often go to the website and post new assignments out of the blue. So if you are not constantly checking in with her website, you'll miss an assignment and get a 0 grade. His astronomy class is really interesting, but intense. It's a full semester class crammed into half the semester. No break for him, either, because he's taking another astronomy class the last half of the semester! His business law class is going well, but a lot of legal terminology that the professor doesn't always explain. (Thank goodness I have my Black's Law Dictionary from my paralegal days!) He is enjoying his macroeconomics class, and often "analyzing" the news whenever the reporters mention the current recession and recovery, housing bust, or whatever other money-type topic is making the news. He finished up his little Saturday class on resume making, which was an easy A for him. But it was a required class, so that's done at least.

So things have been a bit busy around here, and posting updates has been a bit spotty. I just keep telling myself, "it will all be over soon, it will all be over soon..."

Monday, February 21, 2011

Astronomy Night

A planetarium in our area held a free family astronomy night this weekend. We had a lot of fun!

Here is my Honey and son on a flight simulator.

There was a green screen where you could pretend to be a weather reporter.

The monitor of the green screen.

Putting pennies down the gravity funnel.


A mock-up of the space shuttle. See my little guy on the bottom right?

 A cool space suit.

We also got to look through telescopes outside. I saw Jupiter and four of its moons, and I also saw the Orion nebula.

There was a planetarium show, but it was filled up before we got a chance to get there. We stayed late and watched a laser show. Ugh, that was hard on the eyes! It went too fast and swirly. Thankfully neither of my litte boys are prone to seizures! If we go again, we're going to be early so we can see the "real" space show.

Friday, February 18, 2011

My daughter, the "Wise Old Woman"

Today I overheard my 17 year old daughter telling my 2 year old son, "You need to hurry up and get smart. Because children are our future. So don't go screwing it up for me when I'm an old lady."

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Seedlings Update

I bought another grow light when it looked like my broccoli and cabbage were getting leggy. I think the extra light has really helped out. I have also been putting them outside on sunny days. It's still a bit cold most days, so I have usually kept the "lid" on the greenhouse. But I don't think there was enough air circulation in there, because some of the cups have a layer of mold starting to grow on them. Today I took the lid off, so they could air out.

Here is what they're looking like right now:

I've got broccoli, cabbage, 1 Texas bluebonnet (I'll have to plant more, the seeds are getting old), 3 short sunflowers (I'll want to plant a few more of those as fillers in flower beds), 2 types of marigolds, and Shasta daisies sprouted. I planted some bell peppers last week, but they haven't come up yet.
I am really happy with the way this "greenhouse" is turning out, I think I'll want to get another one (and 2 grow lights) soon. I still need to start some tomatoes and gobs of other veggies.

If you want to grow your seedlings this way, make sure you get a container that has a completely transparent lid. I've seen lots of "white" containers, and the lids are more opaquey-white and you can't see through them as well. Here's what mine looks like with the lid on:


As you can see, the lid is completely clear.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Cute Valentine Idea

My son received this "iPod" as a Valentine gift at church yesterday. I thought it was so cute!
Here's how it was made. You wrap a piece of construction paper around a box of candy. Then you tape a long piece of yarn to the top, and tape some candy kisses to the ends of the yarn. Those are the "earbuds." Then you add a playlist of your choice, and a control button. That's it. It seems super-easy to make.

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Great Crib Migration

My 8 month old has not yet slept through the night. I think part of his problem is that he is ALL OVER his crib. I'll put him to bed at one end, but he'll wake up at the other end, facing the opposite way.

I think what wakes him up most of the time is that he has gotten himself squished into a corner of the crib, and he is at an angle where he can't put his head down.

We put the crib bumpers back up so that he doesn't hit his head on the crib rails. When I put him to bed, I make sure he is laying at the far end of the crib, so he has more room for movement.

Any ideas for how to get him to sleep still?

Monday, February 7, 2011

A Link Between Working Moms and Childhood Obesity

I found this article to be very eye-opening:

http://www.american.edu/media/news/20110204-Childrens-BMI-May-Rise-Longer-Mothers-Work.cfm

There is a study which suggests that moms who work long hours outside the home end up having more obese children. Researchers think it might be due to the fact that moms are too tired or busy to make homemade meals, so they end up feeding their kids more processed, quick meals.

The study focused on more than 900 children in 3rd, 5th, and 6th grades in various parts of the country. The phenomenon held true across the board--the more mom worked, the fatter the kids got. The results were especially true of the 5th and 6th graders.

One idea I have is that these children might be latchkey kids. They come home to an empty house, have free reign over the food pantry, and sit down to play some sedentary video games until Mom or Dad come home to cook supper.

However, according to the article, "Surprisingly, changes in children’s physical activity, time spent unsupervised, and time spent watching TV didn’t explain the link between maternal employment and children’s BMI. Moreover, the time of day moms worked wasn’t significantly associated with children’s BMI." I'll bet there is a link though, even a small one.

Could it be that we Americans have been taught to believe that success is achieved by job promotions which demand more hours in the office, parking fancy cars in the driveways of upscale homes, owning the latest and greatest tech gadgets, and "looking" like we have really achieved a great status in life? We spend more hours in the office away from home so that we can afford the American dream, but meanwhile our kids lose time with Mom and Dad. They come home from school to unlock a dark and lonely house, then we tell them "Don't answer the door. Stay inside. Don't let it look like anyone's home, or else the weirdo boogeyman might come to get you." Meanwhile, our kids aren't allowed to go outside to play--after all, it's dark before Mom or Dad get home. And school systems are taking away P.E. and recess, because administrators fail to see the correlation between kids' recess and increased academic performance.

Mom and Dad, let me say what's been on my heart for several years now: Your kids will only be young for a short time. You get ONE SHOT at raising them to be caring, responsible citizens. There are no second chances at this job! Why, oh why would you choose to play office politics instead of molding the next generation?  There will be plenty of time to advance your career once your kids are grown. Trust me, they'll be grown before you know it. You don't want to miss their childhood, do you?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

My seedlings

I've got some seedlings! I've got broccoli, cabbage, lupine (Texas bluebonnets), small sunflowers, Shasta daisies, and two varieties of marigolds. I think some of them look a bit leggy already, because they weren't out in the sunshine as much as they should have been. Blame the yucky weather, but we didn't see much sun at all this past week. We all have cabin fever in a bad way. Today the sun is shining, but it is really cold.

I put the grow light on the greenhouse, but as I mentioned earlier, I've never had much luck with those things. I'm off to look for a couple more, hoping that maybe more light will do the trick.

I need to plant my pepper seeds today.