Saturday, July 2, 2011

Time Flies...

I haven't posted in a while due to... being lazy :)

With the end of school wrapping up, Emma being her crawling/standing/semi-walking self, and getting things ready for summer, I just couldn't bring myself to come over here and post (however, I always found time to FB).

To catch up, as I have said, Emma is crawling.  She walks along the edges of things, and has taken very, very, very small steps without holding on to things.  Which, as her mother, I think this is super advanced for a 10 month old baby.  She also eats more foods she has to "chew".  Cheerios and bananas are a favorite, along with olives for some odd reason.  I've been starting to plan for her 1st Birthday Party, and I've made 2 trial run cakes.  I'll post pictures in my next post, but because I am a truly horrible cake decorator, I think the cakes rock.

On to the meaty part of the post!  My stitches!  I've stitched my heart away while not posting on here.  I finished the bookmark (no pic), both of my SpriteStitch squares,

and I started on Servotron's Mario Thru the Ages.

Not sure why this one is sideways...

I've spent a month on the Mario piece, and am still shooting to have it done by August (hahaha!!!).  It is 23,000+ stitches, and I still haven't got the biggest part, the sky, finished.  I'll keep posting pics here, and hopefully find some time for more blogging!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Late Birthday to Myself

A bit behind on posting.  I have completed my bookmark and will update pictures soon.  Just didn't want the blogosphere to forget I exist.

On a funnier note, I had a pretty good student quote last week.  Kids were giving presentations on a variety of topics about the Civil Rights Movement- people, places, events.  I had given the students instructions to try to use more compelling adjectives and adverbs in their PowerPoints.  Everyone gets tired of seeing very, great, wonderful, etc.  I got my wish.  When discussing someone who a student would have normally as "very" educated, they instead had this:  "He was a severely educated man."  I burst out laughing, and had to stop the presenter and have them explain the word severely.  They then sheepishly told me they didn't have a real reason for using it, only that it was listed in the thesaurus .  I applauded their use of the thesaurus, and gently reminded them to be sure it makes sense in the context they use it.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

New Stand

I've finally figured out why I've been so tired/cranky.  My one and only wisdom tooth has decided to make its entrance into this world and has been bearing down on my other teeth.  Thus the constant headaches I've been having.  The dentist, after laughing for a good 5 minutes at the fact that my daughter and I were teething at the same time, referred me to an oral surgeon.  I apparently I have to go in for a consultation before they just rip the dang thing outta my head.  I feel my paycheck getting lighter and lighter.

On a happier note, I received an early birthday present.  I put it together last night and have been enjoying it.

What I like the most about this design is that I can clamp in any type of hoop.  However, I have seemed to misplaced my largest size hoop.  I originally put it away because it was so awkward for me to hold, but I like stitching in it because it allowed me to view my entire piece.  Now I can use it!

The piece in it is my Earthbound square.  Not much more done on it.  I'm through with about half of the colors, but most of the colors I've stitched haven't had large sections of color on it.

Monday, March 21, 2011

More Emma Food

Emma is able to have a lot more on her plate now-a-days.  We've added sweet potatoes, carrots, peas, cinnamon (mixed in bananas or rice), mangos and prunes.  She'll eat anything, but tends to make disgusting faces when prunes are put on her tongue.

I bought A LOT of mangos when they were on sale at the local supermarket for $.77 each.  What a deal!  That is, until I began peeling the devil fruit.
I looked up how to do it, and it looked easy.  HA!  It's not.  Mangos are super sticky, and it was hard for me to maneuver around their oddly shaped seed.  Lucky for me, Emma loves mangos, so plenty of practice is my future.

The other "fun" I've been having cooking Emma's food are the prunes.  We decided to try them when we noticed Emma was... ah... straining a bit more than usual (hopefully that euphemism is not lost on you- I don't want to have to go into more detail than possible).  Natural laxative, and on her list of approved food for this time frame. Perfect!  Until we cooked them by boiling them in some water.

Let's just say that the appearance of cooked prunes is very similar to Emma's "problem".  It only got worse as I put them in my Ninja and began to process them.  I'll leave out pictures and just let your mind do that for you.  Eww.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

le Sigh

I feel like I have been so busy lately... and I have gotten NOTHING accomplished.  Not too much more done on the Earthbound square.  I haven't worked on my Zelda one at all.  I did get started on a bookmark collection for four girls who will be seniors next year.  I've chosen a quote that I think represents each of them.  Sadly, only one girl is in to retro gaming, so I started her project first.  She enjoys Rubix cubes as well, so I thought it would be clever to have Mario hit a Rubix instead of a ? box.
I hope to have some more updates soon, but I've just been fragmented between Emma and the start of the new trimester at school.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Earthbound Square

Just a quick WIP post- nothing too lengthy.
My Earthbound quilt square.  I tried to make this design a bit busier so I wouldn't get too bogged down with the grass like I did on my Zelda square, however, can't decide if I'm pleased with the overall composition or not.

I'm also working on creating a banner for my blog.  Look back for an update soon!

Saturday, February 26, 2011


I love my Ninja.  The food processor- not the karate expert I keep in my closet.  If you want to make baby food, guacamole, salsa, or smoothies, you must own one.

Emma has a pretty colorful palate so far.  Avacados, bananas, apples, and rice cereal were her fare for the past week.  All are A+ worthy in her book.  This coming week, green beans, acorn squash, butternut squash, pear, and sweet potato are on the menu.
Green beans.  Simply steamed, added water, and ninja-ed.

Baked the squash, meat side turned down in a baking dish with 1/2 inch of water for 40 minutes.  Carved out meat.

Added some water, ninja-ed, and BAM!  Baby squash.

I highly recommend the ice cube tray for freezing.  Then just pop out, put into freezer bags, and you're good to go.  And the Press'n Seal is amazing!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

New Book

I haven't been writing or stitching as much as I should because I've had my nose stuck in a book for the last week.  Typically, I'm not much for non-fiction.  I get my heavy doses of that through all of the documentaries that Netflix has to offer as I cross stitch.

The book is Columbine, by Dave Cullen.
The story of Columbine has never been told in such a haunting format.  The story and evolution of the two killers, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, are intertwined with graphic descriptions of the massacre, family and student reactions, as well as updates ten years after the fact.  I go from being on the brink of tears, to down right anger at the police for not piecing together the pieces, and then staging a cover-up. 

While I could never say I understood the killers, I have never thought about or saw their humanity displayed until now. It is also disturbing at how normal there lives seemed.  I had always assumed that they had dysfunctional families, parents that didn't care.  Not true.  It is scarily eye-opening.

Hopefully I will have the book done by this weekend.  Then, an update on my students' perception of Othello, my Earthbound cross-stitch, and updates on Emma's food (now eating bananas, avacados, and rice cereal- will take pictures of the cooking process).

Friday, February 18, 2011

Good Starts

After reading numerous articles on the proper age to start feeding a baby solid foods, my husband and I chose tonight, Emma's 5 1/2 month birthday, to feed her.  While 6 months is what most physicians organizations reccommend, after speaking to her pediatrician and getting the go ahead (as all parents should before considering solids), and after reading wonderful recipes from Wholesome Homeade Baby Food, we tried avacado.  Why avacado?  It's creamy, a great texture for infants, has loads of nutrients, and the "good" fats babies need for development.  Go to Wholesome Homeade Baby Food for a full article on this great fruit!

We mashed an organic avacado (or perhaps pureed is the better term?), and added formula to make it a bit thinner and to give it a familiar taste.  Then, I started by just putting some on my finger and letting her chew on that.
Wwe started using a spoon next, which Emma thought was the funniest thing on the planet.  She grabbed it, played with it, chewed on it like it was a teether.  All of that made for great entertainment, but not much on the NOM front.  Finally, we just took her bottle with formula in it, dabbed the avacado mixure, and fed her.  Every so often we would re-dab the nipple, and Emma seemed fairly pleased with herself at the end of the feeding.

Although I haven't snagged any pictures of it yet, we have a Nuby transitional sippy cup we've been letting her play with.  I put about 2 ounces of water in it and let her practice holding it and attempting to drink out of it.  While she does get a couple of gulps in, it's mostly just a play activity for the little darling.

I'm a firm believer in building a strong foundation for healthy eating habits in young children.  It is so simple to get caught up in doing what is easiest for parents that the nutritional quality of foods is not closely looked into. 

While I have no definitive answer on how dangerous pesticides, preservatives, or other typical things that go into most foods truly is, I believe that erring on the side of caution is the best route for me and my baby.  That is why we are starting her out on organic and natural foods, and while we might not always be able to buy/afford these items, I want to always try and give my daughter the healthiest options for meals. 

For example, we are going to try to restrict her sugar intake to as near to zero as we can until she is at least 3 years old.  Will sugar kill children?  No.  Will eating a little sugar be a defining factor on causing childhood obseity or other early health probelms.  Not necessarily.  But, it is a fact that too much sugar can cause many problems.  Our thought behind limiting this is the idea that Emma can't want or miss something she's never tasted.  Same with salt, Mc Donalds, and soda.  It won't kill a kid having them once, but it can be the start of bad habits.

As I will always say when discussing any parenting issue- as long as you have consulted your doctor, do your own research and do what you feel is best for your baby and your family.

I hope to post more baby eating/feeding as we try new foods and recipes with Emma, so stay tuned!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Quilt Square #1 DONE

After the sea of green stitches, my Zelda quilt square is finished!  While Mother Clucker is no Mona Lisa, it still feels great to finish a work I designed from start to finish.  And for it not to take  over a year to complete.

Here it is for all to enjoy!  I've now started on my Earthbound square, and will post pictures of it after I get the black outline done.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Long Week. L o n g .

Last week was the first full week I had worked, with students, since before Christmas.  I realize that complaining about having to work 5 days in a row may seem whiny and ridiculous, BUT it is my firm belief that part of the reason kids get a summer off is to protect them.  From what, you ask?  From teacher's who have been driven crazy and might snap.  For example, yesterday I had to catch myself from ripping one young gentleman's head off for spelling my name "Mortan".  Innocent enough, but it was one of those things that got under my skin.  And kids who I let go to the library kept leaving the door slightly cracked instead of closing it all the way.  And I won't even get started on my seniors... okay, but not too much, lest my blood pressure cause blood to shoot from my eyes. 

I haven't taught seniors until now, and it is very difficult.  Not the content.  Not the books we are reading.  Them.  On average, they miss 1-2 times a week, then they become indignant when you tell them their make-up work needs to be done at home, or the test made up after school.  And they become completely belligerent if you give them a deadline, they miss it, and you refuse to let them turn in their work.  I think what bothers me most about it all is the fact that they will be entering college and careers, and neither will let them do the things they are trying to do.  I guess the best lesson comes with the life experience.

On to other things.  The student quote of the week for last week is actually a teacher quote, by me.  Let me give the setup so no one assumes it was real advice I was dispensing.  With my beloved senior class (please note the drip, drip, drip of sarcasm oozing from that comment), we are reading Brave New World.  In this novel, there are no parents, all children are decanted, and since "everyone belongs to everyone else," promiscuousity is permissable and encouraged.  Lenina, one of the central characters, is chastised in the beginning for only "having" one man multiple times for a few months.  A student, who was not really comprehending the oddness of this in comparison to our culture, asked, "But with all the sex, someone has to be a mommy." 

Here it comes.  I, in explaining their method of birthcontrol and the emphasis on sex as a pleasurable means to placate the masses, made this simple statement:

"Sex is for fun-- not for making babies."

Snicker.  Snicker.  Guffaw.  Full out laughter.  I have had at least one student tell me they have posted that as a quote on their Facebook wall, as said by JM, so as not to incriminate me.

In stitching news, I entered the February contest on the Sprite Stitch forums.  The theme was an unlikely partnership.  Since I thought a little love needed to be tied in, I created this:

Yoshi and Mario had been having problems, sure.  He would be out all night with Luigi and come home with no explanation.  Mario would sometime not even ride on Yoshi for days at a time.  But Yoshi never saw this coming.  Mario, with a Chocobo of all creatures!

Still need to finish my Mother Clucker quilt square, but today I am focusing on creating the pattern for my Earthbound square.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

More Dark Pistachio Green

I'm to the point in my stitching of doing the solid background.  DMC 367.  5678 stitches of Dark Pistachio Green.

On the one hand, it's mindless.  No looking at charts, counting crosses, second guessing yourself for the fifth time.  Yet all one color makes Jade a dull girl...

Not that crazy yet.  I've surpassed the half-way mark of filling the grass, and I feel that each day we've been snowed out of school has been at least partially productive (although the messy state of my home may disprove that idea).

Here are two pics at different stages for the square!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Student Quote of the Week

This was a short week.  Martin Luther King Jr. Day Monday.  No school for me Tuesday for a doctor's appointment.  Normal day on Wednesday and Thursday.  No school Friday because of snow.

Even in this short week, I have a great quote from one of my students.

I enjoy having a "thread" or common theme/idea run through a unit of study.  Before delving into Shakespeare's Othello, we do a study about race and religion.  We read some poems, "Incident" by Countee Cullen, "Cross" by Langston Hughes.  Move on to the short story "Recitatif" by Toni Morrison.  With my very white, very Southern-Minded students, I like to talk about race.  For some, this is the only way they will learn etiquette when talking about race.  I begin a transition to the religious discussion by having them do research on different aspects of the Civil Right's Movement.  With this, they get there first taste of MLA formatting, and while I do not have them do an entire research paper, I find this very beneficial.  They take all this information, and do a presentation.  After they have all presented, I give them my presentation on Malcolm X.

When discussin Malcolm X, I spend about half of the presentation discussing the similarities and differences between he and his contemporary Martin Luther King Jr.  I focus a lot of attention on teaching my kids about the Islamic religion and the simlarities and differences between it and Christianity.  We then watch the Spike Lee movie, and students select a symbol to trace the development of throughout the film.  In the end, this culminates with reading Othello, a story of a racial and religious outsider, a black muslim in a white Christian society.

I'm pretty proud of this thread running throughout my 12 week class.  Since we finished up the Malcolm X portion of the class, I decided to share this photo my husband found on the website .

Before projecting the picture, we discuss what an internet troll is.  I then ask them to write in their notebooks what is wrong with this picture.  While discussing the photo in one class, this is what one student said:

"So, Malcom X and Martin Luther King aren't the same guy?"

I'm still trying to determine whether it was a student fail or a teacher fail.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Link to the Past

Ever since I played A Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past on SNES as a wee-little Jade, I have been in love with the Zelda series.  It epitomizes the zeitgeist of my youth and makes me recall the innocence of that time in my life.  The story of Zelda being rescued by her brave warrior Link was better than any Disney feel-good movie.  While not as handsome as Prince Charming,this knight in shining armor had to be smart to solve the complex puzzles and mazes.  Like all men of fairy tales, Link gave me a skewed view of all men.  Throughout all the trials and fights, Link never spoke.  No words ever passed his lips, except the grunts in newer games as he rolled forward or sliced enemies with his sword.  Never complained, never asked you to cook or cut back on spending.  Link was the perfect man.

The two projects that I am currently working on are based on the fantasies of my youth.

The first is from one of the end game screens and has the 6 Maidens, Zelda, and the King in front of Hyrule Castle.  This is part a larger project/pipe dream that I have- stitching 6 - 7in x 8in scenes from the game to be hung around the Light World Map.  Husband has approved that when finished, this glorious work can be displayed in our living room.

The other is for a charity project on the Sprite Stitch forums, and is Link surrounded by chickens, praying on a tree stump.  There was something cathartic about hacking away at a defenseless chicken.  And the first time it happened, I was shocked that these vulnerable little creatures came raining down on Link.  The only thought that ran through my head when this happened was "Mother Clucker!"  Thus the title of the piece.

Will update these WIPs as I stitch more.