Thursday, February 26, 2009

What's Next...Book Burning?

It's not just handmade children's toys and apparel on the chopping block. Now children's books printed before 1985 are being deemed unsafe, because apparently at that time, printers could use small amounts of lead in the printing process. Here's a link to the article:

http://www.examiner.com/x-536-Civil-Liberties-Examiner~y2009m2d18-New-federal-law-bans-childrens-books

Consignment sales can continue to sell used toys, clothes, and books, as long as the item "does not exceed the lead limit." Because so many of these things have not been tested, the seller doesn't know. It's too expensive to send every little thing off to be tested, and time consuming to check every list out there. So what's a seller to do? Burn the books? Throw perfectly good toys away? The thrift store where my parents volunteer has chosen to stop carrying any children's items. In our current economic state, parents need a price break on clothes and toys. And what about the libraries? Am I supposed to chuck all of the books from my childhood? Or just not sell them?! Can you tell that I'm frustrated?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Nothing Going On

I've been couped up in the house with a snotty little girl for the last couple of weeks, so I haven't done any gardening. I've barely even thought about gardening. Maybe it's because I've been fighting the cold off, too. Our terraced bed for the veggie garden is still waiting on some stone to finish the wall. And dirt. I don't know when the bed will be ready, so I haven't purchased any seed. I guess it won't be ready in time for spring planting, so perhaps I should start looking for late spring/summer seeds. Looking forward to warmer weather!

Guess Who's Turning 1?



I can hardly believe it's been a whole year (as of this Sunday) since we welcomed our little Panda Bear into the world. And in my absence from the blog, she's been doing all sorts of fun and wonderful things. Miranda has been taking a few steps here and a few steps there since the first week of February. She was doing three or four at a time, would decide that crawling was faster, and do that instead. Late last week, however, she started getting up to seven steps in before plopping down to crawl. And now, after a weekend of practice at Grandma and Grandpa's, she's hardly crawling at all! This girl is determined! Once she decides she wants to do something, she practices until she gets it right. So, she's walking all over the place. And yes, it's adorable (and no, we haven't gotten video...yet!) Miranda is also babbling. She "talks" all of the time. It sounds mostly like, "Dakaduga...." Conversational nonsense, BUT...yesterday, she clearly said, "Socks!" I was talking to her about taking her socks off, and she says, "Socks!" Adorable! We're planning on having her baptized on Sunday. I'm hoping that we can manage to not get sick. Not sure how likely that will be. Miranda is finally almost snot free. And Duncan will hopefully not pick anything up from school this week. It's good to want things, right?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Warm Weather and Cranky Babies

We've spent more time outside than in lately with the mild weather. It's been beautiful! And Duncan has been, dare I say it, well behaved. Well, for the most part. Of course, as I write this there are all sorts of crashing sounds coming from the playroom. At least time spent outside means he's running off some of that energy, and more importantly, having fun. The warm temperatures are making the gardener in me want to work. On our super romantic Valentine's Day, we went to go buy some rock. Unfortunately, the place was closed. The sign on the gate said, "Open Monday thru Saturday, 8-5." It was 3. We'll try again this week. Maybe we'll call them first!

Duncan has been a happy little camper. Miranda, on the other hand, has had a pretty bad cold. She's been tugging on her ears, and I thought she may have another ear infection. So, I took her to the doctor this morning for a check. For once, she's clear! She does have at least five new teeth coming in, though! Five! And two of them are molars! No wonder she's been kind of cranky, and screamy! So yeah, she'll be getting Motrin again at bedtime. We may need to look into some Baby Orajel, too. Bless her little heart!

I'm off to take the kiddos outside. happy President's Day!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sometimes You Just Gotta Do It Yourself

Yesterday the weather was beautiful. We took the kids outside for some playtime in the yard, and Justin and I got to work. Justin started putting down the last of the mulch, and I decided to mark out where I wanted my veggie garden. Pretty soon, Justin was not feeling so well, and went back inside. I don't know if it was the good weather or having fun with my son, but I started digging. I ended up digging a trench in preparation for the stone wall that will be part of the terraced veggie bed. My neighbor came over and offered help. So, we chuckled about how "I am woman, hear me roar" and how we can do anything. We ended up with a trench 12' long, 2' wide, and maybe 2' deep. Justin came back out. The look on his face was truly priceless. It was one of those, "What the heck has been going on here?!" looks. But he got in on the fun, too. Justin measured out the space, and put some string out for us to have as a guide. All of this while my son, Duncan, "helped." He dug, then refilled, stepped on the string, and hammered the stakes. There's nothing to tucker a little guy out like 4 hours of play/hard work outside. We got the first course of stone (rocks that were found on our property) down, along with some sand and gravel. Now we just have to go get some more stone! It's so exciting to have broken ground on this project. There's still a lot of work to do, but it feels great to finally have started. Woohoo!

Duncan the Menace?

Grief is a strange monster. People generally tell me "I'll be thinking about you" or "praying for you" on the significant anniversaries each year. Birthdays, death anniversaries, Christmas, Mother's Day. What I have found as a bereaved parent (and I'm sure this applies to anyone suffering the loss of a loved one) is that the anniversary days are usually not so bad. It's the days (and sometimes weeks) that lead up to the anniversary, as well as the days following. Basically, Evan's birthday was a super day. But the week before hand I was pretty down. And I was pretty emotional last week after the birthday, too.

My little wild man, Duncan, tried his hardest to distract me. Unfortunately, his methods need to be refined. I already had issues with Duncan climbing up on a chair to play with the water and the sink. I asked him ever so nicely not to turn the water on (we are in a drought, after all!) But that kitchen hose is just too tempting! Over the last two weeks, I found him playing in there with water all over the counter tops and our hardwood floors. Sometimes he got a time out, sometimes not. Finally, last week I decided this must stop. I pulled all of the chairs out of the kitchen, and even out of the playroom. I thought, "This will stop him!" I underestimated the determination of one small boy. I heard the water running, and walked in. Duncan had pushed the kitchen table over to the sink, climbed onto the table, and into the sink. After a good week of the flooring getting soaked, the boards have started to buckle, and the el cheapo counter tops (with particle board underneath) are starting to swell. I had visions of having to remodel the kitchen all because of one naughty little boy. Then I implemented my mom's idea: turn off the water from under the sink. Too bad I didn't do this sooner! It would have saved many tears and angry words.

Duncan's behavior certainly was distracting! Thank goodness for the mild weather this week. We can get outside and burn off some of that seemingly boundless energy. I'm hoping that keeping Duncan outside will keep him out of the kitchen!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

What's a Birthday Without...Cake?!


I need more cake!


Me too!

We spent Evan's birthday outside! The weather was beautiful, and we had a wonderful afternoon together. Then we came home and ate cake. Evan would have loved everything about today.

Happy Birthday, Evan!