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.