Wednesday, March 9, 2016

State Resources Books - The Boxcar Children

We love books at our house and I love to seek out books both new and old to share with my children.  We are fortunate to be able to travel, mostly to see family and friends.  To get ready for a trip I hit the library for some non-fiction books to learn about the area and pull out any resources I might already have.  Once our oldest kiddo was ready for some longer stories I looked for books that featured the place we were going.  All our travel is within the United States and I thought it would be easy to pick up a few fiction books that featured a specific locale, turns out it's not as easy as I would've thought. 

So, I'm making my own list!  I've started my list with The Boxcar Children created by Gertrude Chandler Warner. 

Now, this is just my list so I might've missed a book that featured a location, especially since I didn't actually read all of these books; the list is organized by state and at the end are Washington D.C. and regions that span more than one state.  I have typically not included books about "the beach" or "in a wild west town".

State Resources Books - The Boxcar Children

Alaska Special #12
Arizona #52
California: San Francisco #51, 57
Florida: Special #20, Everglades NP #66, Key West #41
Hawaii #64
Illinois: Chicago Special #10
Iowa #101
Kansas #105
Louisiana Special #19
Michigan Special #9
Missouri: Hannibal #20
Montana #139
New Jersey #131
New York: Special #13, New York City #38, Niagara Falls Special #8
North Carolina #77
Oregon #132
Pennsylvania: Philadelphia #123
South Carolina: Charleston #54
Texas: The Alamo #58
Vermont #90
Virginia #63
Washington: Seattle #111
West Virginia #59
Wisconsin #98
Wyoming: Yellowstone #61

Washington D.C. Special #2
Navajo Reservation #37
New England #39, Special #3
The Rockies #71
South Sea Islands (South Carolina, Georgia, Florida) #6

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Cute poster

Found a cute poster on flickr, but apparently I can't pin from that.  Here's the creator Krissy Venosdale's flicker site:

Saturday, August 1, 2015

I can't shop without my husband

Yes readers, that's right I was pregnant with twins.  Totally unexpected and wonderously awesome.  Originally we called the baby "Baby MAC" for Mysteriously Awesome Conception but just around month four our doctor found a hidden baby!  A friend of ours told me this was God's way of giving us the big family we always wanted, and assumed we would never have due to our infertility problem.  So fast forward through the sickness (everyday, all day, especially when I did too much), napping (everyday, 3 or 4 hours plus towards the end I'd fall asleep just about anywhere), pain (horrible, crazy pain from the pelvic girdle) and giant tummy that didn't fit in restaurant booths;  Sunshine and Lollipop came at 34w5d by C-section.  Recovery from the c-section has been a lot longer, four months later and I still get sore when I do too much.

Lollipop stayed in the hospital for four days and Sunshine for seven.  They did have Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS) that went undetected but thankfully both were okay.  Lollipop was bright red from all the extra blood cells and it took a good two months for his color to normalize;  Sunshine was a little pale for a couple of weeks.

So life with twins is, uh . . . fun?  No, no, messy, like this blog!  Tiring, totally going with tiring.  Despite all I've seen about identical twins, mine do not keep the same schedule.  They do sleep through the night, but during the day one tends to be awake in the morning and the other in the afternoon with a nap sandwiched in there somewhere.   We're still waiting for them to do some cute "twin" thing, however they do tend to be mirror images of each other.

I can not go shopping.  No, not because people to stop and ask if they are twins or exclaim that there are two babies "over there"; there is just no room in the shopping cart.  Our Costco has new shopping carts, they are dumb.  The part when you could put two kids does not fold up and only one infant seat will fit in the basket.  I went to Target by myself with all three kids because we ran out of formula and the hubby and I were too tired and lazy to go the night before.  That was a comical sight!  I had one baby in his seat sideways in the top part and the other baby below, then the four year old stood in the little space that was left between the babies.  I sort of just tossed stuff in the little space under the baby that was in the top.  People were staring at me, I just smiled and, like cousin Kurt would say, "got 'er done".

I want to start a new blog.  Not that I'm great at this one by any stretch of the imagination.  It would be focused on travelling with kids.  Something at which we do a lot of, in fact the twins are going on their first trip next week.  A family reunion (which we learned about 6 weeks ago) that we are going to drive to.  We'll visit with family, check out some local scenery, and do a lot of driving.  I have faith my car will make it there and back in one piece, my mind however I might lose somewhere on I-5.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Needle Ice

Hello blog.

I saw a cool experiment that explained the phenomena of needle ice on The Weather Channel tonight, the program Weird Weather.  The woman used plain white chalk with a line draw around it in marker.  She then placed them in a shallow bath of rubbing alcohol.  The color of course spread up the chalk, illustrating the same principle present in the formation of needle ice.

There was also a segment about pancake ice, which is really cool looking.

Oh yes, I'm having twins.  Totally random.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

My life as a mentally ill mom

Maybe that's what this blog should be about, maybe that's its calling, its purpose; talking out about mental illness and explaining to people that we aren't all homeless, unkempt, muttering fools.  I'm well educated, I have a crazy head of hair, I'm married with one kid and I'm mentally ill.

I wasn't always mentally ill, although I've spent more than half my life dealing this condition.  Sometimes it seems like just yesterday when I came to the realization that something was wrong, that something was seriously wrong.  There became a point where I realized I was way off track and well meaning people kept asking when I was going to finish my educational training, when was I going to start working full time, when was I going to . . .  What I heard was, what's wrong with you, why aren't you the person you used to be, what happened to your drive?  You'd have thought that I would've sought help, but I didn't.  I continued to bury myself into my bed and sleep all day.  Eventually I began therapy (again) and started to see some improvement from my more ridiculous fears and thoughts.  I was resistant and fought the idea of medication.  I started and quit many times.  I wanted to give up and just live the life I had, was given, was dealt to live.

Eventually we acquired health care, which included therapy sessions and medication.  I really didn't waste much time getting back into therapy.  I was very lucky to find two excellent doctors, one an MD who handles my medication and specializes in people with my disorder, and a very patient doctor who led me through a few years of therapy.  I am in some small ways "better", but I know that this a long road with dips, giant valleys, never ending potholes and yes, even rises where I can
look out and enjoy the view.

After my therapist retired I took a break from therapy, but one morning I woke up and realized that things had gotten bad.  Not eating, not bathing, a lack of self care - this is when I know I've tripped and fallen into one of those potholes.  I started therapy again, I was asked to consider an outpatient program, I refused.  Too much mommy guilt.  I felt I was taking away something from my baby, that he needed me more than I needed to get better.  Those of you with mommy guilt know exactly
what I'm saying. 

My baby is now three and a half.  I still go to therapy, I go to group once a week, I take my medication every morning.  I try to change in small ways, I pay attention to the danger signs.  I still don't like to ask for help, but every day I'm more and more open about my life, about my disease, my condition, my depression.  I'm never going to be cured; there will always be failures where I succumb to that internal voice that tells me that I am unimportant, unloved and not deserving of loving
kindness.  There will be remissions. "Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."  "Only let us live up to what we have already attained." -Philipians 3:13-14, 16 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Bird feeder from disposable containers

We are usually the recipient of leftovers at family gatherings and then I'm left with all the containers; I don't use them and I don't want to throw them away and people don't want them back.  Finally a good solution - make them into a bird feeder! 

Cut out holes for the birds to eat from - 1/4x1/2 inch slots on the bottom sides of the container.
Punch a hole through the middle of two lids and the bottom of the container.
Thread some plastic lacing cord through the lid, the container and the other lid.  Put a washer below the feeder for support and then thread back up.  Make a loop at the top for hanging.
Fill container with birdseed and seal lid on top.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Thanksgiving Songs

I'd really like to teach JeffJeff some Thanksgiving songs this year.  I spent some time looking up songs and I've picked my favorites and divided them into categories:  Let's try these, Favorites and Maybe next year.  (The picture is one of Jeffrey's favorite Thanksgiving books.)

Let's try these

Turkey Chant
            (Tune - Military Cadence)
Gobble Gobble is the sound (repeat)
Of the turkey fat and round (repeat)
Thanksgiving Day will soon be here (repeat)
Then he'll surely disappear (repeat)

Pumpkin Pie (Tune - Peanut Butter & Jelly)
First you take the pumpkin and you pick it (pick it)
Pumpkin, pumpkin pie - yummy!  Pumpkin, pumpkin pie - yummy!
Then you take the pumpkin and you carve it (carve it)
Next you take the spices and you mix it (mix it)
You put it in the oven and you wait (you wait)
Let it cool and you eat it (eat it)

I'm A Little Turkey (Obviously - I'm A Little Teapot)
I'm a little turkey on a farm.
Here are my feathers, here is my beak.
When Thanksgiving comes I get real freaked,
Please don't eat me for your treat!

Thanksgiving Day (Tune - Farmer in the Dell)
(from Building Literacy With Interactive Charts by Schlosser and Phillips; Scholastic , 1992)
The ____ ran away
Before Thanksgiving Day.
He said, "They'll make a ____ of me
If I decide to stay!
Choices:  turkey/roast, pumpkin/pie, cranberry/sauce, bread/stuffing


Albuquerque Turkey (Tune - Clementine)  I sang this as a child!
Albuquerque is a turkey 
And he's feathered and he's fine
And he wobbles and he gobbles 
And he's absolutely mine! 
He's the best pet you can get yet 
Better than a dog or cat 
He's my Albuquerque turkey 
And I'm awfully proud of that! 
And my Albuquerque turkey 
Is so happy in his bed 
'Cause for our Thanksgiving Dinner 
We have spaghetti instead!

Fat Turkeys Are We (Tune - Did You Ever See a Lassie?) 
Angie taught us this song last year 
Oh, gobble, gobble, gobble,
Fat turkeys, fat turkeys.
Gobble, gobble, gobble,
Fat turkeys are we.

We walk very proudly and gobble so loudly (Chorus)
We're not here for living, we're here for Thanksgiving (Chorus)
They stuff you and bake you and then they will taste you (Chorus)

Gobble, gobble, gobble.
Fat turkeys are we.

Maybe next year

The First Thanksgiving (Tune - Twinkle, Twinkle)
Pick the corn and pick the beans,
Pick the squash and other greens
It is harvest time you see
Come and share a feast with me.
Bring your family out to play,
We'll call this Thanksgiving Day.
Thanksgiving Song (Tune - Row, Row, Row Your Boat)
The Pilgrims sailed away,
Far across the sea.
They came to America
So they could be free.
The Native Americans
Helped them plant the corn.
Then they shared a great big feast,
Thanksgiving Day was born!