Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Yard Sale Finds

Sewing machineImage via Wikipedia

For Christmas my mom got me a sewing machine. Because I have no where to put it it has sat in the box it came in since Christmastime.
The whole point of the sewing machine is to help save us money so I didn't want to spend a lot on a work space. I also wanted something small enough that wouldn't take up too much space in our home that is getting more crowded everyday.
I decided that I can find something used and if I need to fix it up. There is so much good quality used furniture out there that just needs some TLC.
It is much more economically sound, and environmentally sound. Cheaper wood furniture is often made of particle board which can emit formaldehyde, a known carcinogenic. It also does not last as long as solid wood. The fact alone of buying new means more trees cut down.
It is not very hard to refinish a good quality piece of wood, the problem is to find one. Well it really isn't too much of problem if you know where to look. People are often too lazy to refinish something, or they just don't know how. So when their table or chairs are starting to look out of date or don't match their new style they often just want to get rid of their old stuff. People put great stuff on craigslist, or in yardsales, sometimes they don't even need any TLC. My mom got a beautiful dining room set off craigslist very cheap and it needed no work at all.
If you are really lucky you can even find stuff on freecycle.
Yard sales are great, especially if you can find town wide ones. That is where I found an old desk, according to the owner it was bought at a garage sale by his parents when he was a child. Its a perfect size for a sewing machine, with great nautical details, dovetail joints and a very solid quality wood. As they say they just don't make them the way they used too.
Another great place to find pieces are during some towns "sparkle days" or week. Many towns will do bulk pick up once a year and you would be surprised what some people are just going to throw out.
There are tons of online resources on how to refinish furniture and with being able to borrow a sander from a friend the cost to us to make my desk beautiful will be minimal.

I am hoping to get started next week so keep an eye out for future posts of the progress of my desk/sewing machine table.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Pregnancy Slow Down

Toddler playing with a hose in a gardenImage by State Library of Queensland, Australia via Flickr

My morning sickness has subsided. I am feeling much better, but I am not a happy pregnant person.
Some people feel full of energy and life while pregnant, while I am tired and cranky. I get bloated, I have a hard time sleeping at night, my back hurts, I could go on and one, but this pregnancy is much different since I have to take care of a toddler.
When my morning sickness was bad Liv had her first exposer to children's tv. It was the only way to keep her out of the bathroom while I puked most of the morning. Now that I am feeling better, and the weather is nicer the tv is off. I limit her to around 1/2 hr a day. I have many reasons for this that I will discuss in an upcoming blog.
Since I am fairly tired I have been enjoying some more quiet activities with Liv.
We color together,
play dough,
blow bubbles outside,
side walk chalk,
build with blocks,
play with musical instruments
read together,
do fingerplays,
do puzzles,
and play with sorters and other shape toys.
This keeps us busy for some of the day. Liv is still to young to do many crafts, and I don't have the energy to attempt many of them with the messy clean ups.
I find if I take time to sit and play with her everyday she will play better alone so I can relax, cook or clean.
Liv will read to herself, play with toys cars, play dress up with shoes and jewelry, push her dolls around, care for her dolls, drive a play car around, dance, sing, pretend to shop in our pantry, and other things to keep herself busy.
I really love watching her play and grow. She has such a good imagination for a 21 month old.
I am just glad that we have not turned to tv, become dependent on it, as a main source of quiet entertainment, or for something to do when I can't play with her.
Even while I am starting to slow down, you can't slow down a toddler, and why would you want to anyway? This is how they learn and grow.

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

New Breastfeeding Ban

this is what a nursing toddler looks likeImage by sierraromeo [sarah-ji] via Flickr

The city of Forest Park has passed a city wide public indecency ordinance that bans breastfeeding on children over 2 years of age.
This ordinance angers me in so many ways. First to put breastfeeding in the same category of public indecent is a huge set back for Breastfeeding and is just wrong. A mother nursing her child is not indecent, it is the most natural way to feed a child.
I have blogged often about the benefits of extended breastfeeding, all of which are not even understood or discovered yet. This could prevent children from those benefits. It can scare mothers to hide in their homes and shame extended breastfeeders.
It could also cause problems for moms with children under 2. People constantly think Liv over 2 by her looks and behavior, but she is now only 21 months. If I decided to breastfeed her in public who is to say that I will not be harassed and questioned about feeding my child. What are woman supposed to carry around their child's birth certificate to prove they are not violate this new ordinance.
It also just sets back the whole breastfeeding movement. There has always been this mixed message with breastfeeding. That breastfeeding is best, but don't do it in public. This can cause many issues with nursing and can lead to early weaning. Are you supposed to carry around pumped milk, a cooler, a bottle warmer and then what to do with the milk you have in your breasts? It should be pumped out so your supply will not go down. Breastfeeding is based on supply and demand. It nursing sessions are missed often the milk can dry up. I know several people who had this happen to them. They would not nurse in public, mostly because of the public stigma attached to it.
Laws like this will keep woman inside and make them again embarrassed to nurse their children in public. Keeping the breastfeeding stigmas going instead of normalizing it.
It also violates state laws which in Georgia has no age limits on breastfeeding.
I am hoping that because of that fact the ordinance will be repealed.

There is a nurse in on May 23 at 10am to 12pm at Forest Park's City Hall. I encourage anyone who can to attend and help normalize breastfeeding.
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This is not indecent, Breastfeeding is beautiful!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Another Reason to Breastfeed

A woman breastfeeding an infant.Image via Wikipedia

This new study about breastfeeding just came out of England.
It states that babies who were breastfeed are less likely to have behavioral problems as children. They are also less likely to lie, steal, be anxious and have hyperactivity.
What surprised me most was that this was looked at in babies who were only breastfeed at least 4 months or longer. So breastfeeding, even for a short time, has huge benefits that were not even thought of before.
The study's results can't tell if its the milk or the bond that is created through nursing that are protecting children. Or possible even the combination of both. Or it could be the parenting styles that mother's who BF more often use.
The bond when BF is amazing. I can not say that not BF does not connect with your baby, but I know that I have felt very in-tuned to my baby's needs from a young age. My toddler is not clingy, but she still loves her hugs and kisses from mommy and daddy. She loves her cuddle time and is very affectionate. But at the same time she is very independent. I feel she is a great balance of both at her age.

It just always amazes me the new benefits they keep find for breastfeeding your babies.
Mother's milk is just the best :)
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Monday, May 9, 2011

Lilacs in Bloom

lilac Syringa vulgaris in bloomImage via Wikipedia

When I grew up my mother alway brought fresh cut lilacs into our house from the 2 lilac bushes outside our home.
I am lucky enough to have 3 lilac bushes in our yard and all are now starting to bloom.
I have been cutting just a few at a time, since lilacs don't seem to last too long cut, and spreading them through out our home. This way I can keep cutting a few and bringing them in so my house will smell of lilacs for weeks.
The fresh bunch I cut today I placed right at the entrance of our home. We are having several visitors this week, so now when then walk our home the first smell they will notice will be the beautiful scent of lilacs. Not a candle fragrance or some artificial air freshener, but real fresh cut flowers from my yard.

I just love the scents of spring and welcome bringing them into my home, and then sharing them with my friends. Sense of smell with memories is strongly associated. When I smell lilacs I remember my childhood home growing up and my mom cutting bunches and bunches to fill up the home. I would not mind if my friends associate the smell of fresh lilacs with my spring home.
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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Exploring and Learning With Children

A Frisian Holstein cow in the Netherlands: Int...Image via Wikipedia

I have a love/dislike relationship were I live. My dislike is simple, I hate to drive and I live too far from anything to walk or bike.
But I do enjoy living so close to nature. I am in one of the most rural parts of the most populated state. We have all types of birds, chipmunks, deer, foxes and even black bears.
I also love that just a short walk away my neighbors have cows, roosters and chickens.
I love having Liv learn animal sounds from real animals, not from a book. We do read books with animal sounds often, one of our favorites is , but she hasn't learned any sounds from it.
But every time she hears an animal making noise she learns the sound so quick. Their are birds out chirping all the time in my yard and Liv asks to see the "cheep cheeps" When we go to see the cows she goes "meeyo" When we see "doggies" she goes "woof woof" I love watching her learn from real life examples.
It really sets up a lifetime of memories, one she would not get from learning about cows online or in a video.
The best way to learn is to experience. The sad fact is that many kids do not get to experience nature.
Young children learn best while just letting them explore, observe and discover. They do not learn from sitting in front of a t.v., educational programs or not, doing work sheets or flash cards or participate in organized sports. They need time to learn for themselves, play in nature and learn the little things that help build a foundation for the higher levels of learning that they will experience later in life.
There is no reason to push, education and learning is not a race, a race has a definite beginning and end, your learning should not.
Pushing children in the trend, but the results seem to backfired. We are not getting smarter as a whole, just the opposite is happening.
Give children time to play and they will learn with out even realize that is what is going on.

Recommended books:

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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Hummingbirds and Dangers of the Dye in Feeders

Hummingbird hovering to feed at a red feeder w...Image via Wikipedia

Liv and I love to watch birds. She calls them "cheep cheeps" because she loves listening to them sing.
I am very grateful to live where I do. My state bird is the Eastern Goldfinch, a bird I did not see till I was an adult and visited my husbands parents in New Hampshire. Now living in a more rural part I see them, along with other wildlife I thought only existed in other states, daily.
One thing I do not see in my yard is hummingbirds. I have been working to bring back the gardens and other greenery that the previous homeowners neglected so there are not too many plants that attract them.
While I was leaving the library I spotted this book and went right back to check it out.
Its a great resource on how to attract hummingbirds to your yard. I wanted to get us a hummingbird feeder and am so glad I read this book before I did.
I always thought that the nectar needed to be red to attract them. Which is not true. Most feeders have enough red parts to attract hummingbirds. I never thought that most of these nectars are made with Red 40, which numerous studies show that this dye is harmful in large and possible small quantities. Imagine how harmful it could be to a small hummingbird who is drinking a lot of it?
Instead you can just make your own nectar with 1 part sugar to 4 parts boiling water and let cool. Its cheaper then buying the store kind, and kinder to the birds.
It always makes me think how many things we do that can be so harmful to nature with out even realizing it.
"Leave only footprints" when it comes to nature.
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