Friday, November 21, 2008

Is Santa missing some reindeer?

I think Santa may be missing some reindeer. We found them. Hiding Transformer style in our driveway.

Nate got a big kick out of the Reindeer Car costumes that Lino brought home yesterday. Lino had seen these a few Christmases ago, but only now found them in a store.

So, the Big Red Car has been renamed the Big Red Reindeer for the next month or so.

Nate has taken to hiding under his or the girls' beds when he is sad/mad etc. Yesterday we were getting ready to go shopping and Nate wasn't in the living room with Lino. He wasn't in the bedroom with Maggie and Cassie. So Maggie checked under the bunkbeds, no Nate. Lino checked under Nate's bed. He was there. Asleep.

I don't think he had been under there too long. I am glad he hadn't gotten undressed, though. The floor was cold! You can see Maggie in the background...she crawled under to try and wake him up.

Speaking of Christmas, I have added some Christmas songs to my blog. Lino made fun of me, he thinks most of the versions are terrible. (And he likes Christmas music. He is already listening to the 24 hour Christmas music radio station....)

I love Christmas music. Really love it. Even the really religious ones sound really pretty. I have different versions of songs up there, and am trying to find more. I really like the Little Drummer Boy. Not sure why. I also like the silly ones. I am still looking for Domenic the Christmas Donkey.

The one song you won't ever hear on my playlist though is "The Christmas Shoes" (I don't even know if that is the right title). I just know it is quite possibly the saddest/worst Christmas song ever. I heard it for the first time the year my mom passed away, I was crying my eyes out about a minute into it and made Lino change the station. I can appreciate the sentiment of the song, but I won't listen to it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Some sewing!

A few months ago I got a recyclable shopping bag from Target. It was free, a coupon I had filled out. For a free bag, it is pretty nice, canvas (with a big Target symbol embroidered on it), pretty sturdy. I try to remember to take it and another smaller bag with me when we go shopping. (I don't even worry about it being a Target bag at other stores)

Well, the first thing that we said when we got it was "I can make this". I have had the canvas for at least a month now, and finally cut the pieces and put them together. It was my first attempt, and I like it, although, there are a couple of things I would do differently. (I will definitely make more for us and maybe as gifts)

It is a pretty big bag. I don't know how it came out taller than the Target bag, I measured the Target one pretty well. As for the embroidery, I love how it came out, and think it is cute. I did the bag with french seams, which is when you sew the fabric so there aren't any raw edges showing. I did it so the seams would be on the inside. I think the next time, I will do it so they are on the outside. The Target bag has binding over the seams, on the outside, (which would have been faster, but I didn't have any and didn't want to wait to get some!) I don't know if I would use grommets. They seem to be just for looks, and not function.

Today I had the idea to make reusable baggies for the girls' snacks for school. I went to classroom observation on Monday, and while the parents were there, the kids ate snack. Well, if the kids can't open their stuff, the teacher and assistant have to do it, and if you have 20 little kids needing help, that doesn't allow a bunch of time to eat. So, I know now, to send snack in bags/containers the girls can do without help.

This morning, we did little ziplock bags. Both Maggie and Cassie told me they had trouble zipping them shut. And, that is when I thought of doing our own bags. Less work for the teacher, and good for the planet, too!

The purple one was my test one. Very easy to do and I did the french seams on the inside. It sewed up pretty quickly. Approximately 6 inches square. Velcro across the top to close it. The princess one I did for Cassie. That one is a bit bigger, maybe 7 inches square. Also with the french seams and velcro. The purple one is one long piece folded and sewn on 2 sides. Cassie wanted Sleeping Beauty on both sides, which is why it is bigger. Hers is sewn on 3 sides, as I had to cut the fabric differently.

I am definitely going to do more, I just ran out of velcro. I need to go to Joanns anyway, I broke 2 sewing needles doing the canvas bag. We also need to pick out fabric for our family Christmas jammies.

Friday, November 7, 2008

My migraines are good for me.....

According to an article that I read yesterday, migraines are a good thing.

"We found that, overall, women who had a history of migraines had a 30 percent lower risk of breast cancer compared to women who did not have a history of such headaches," said Dr. Christopher Li of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, whose findings appear in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.

I will have to remember the next time that it feels as though my head may explode due to the raging, blinding pain and accompanying nausea.

It is also thought that breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer.

Much of the research shows that the longer a woman breastfeeds the more protected she is against breast cancer. This information takes on special significance during October which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Early detection remains the best tool in the arsenal of breast cancer cure. Women today are also looking for preventive measures. Increasing the duration of breastfeeding an additional six months would prevent an estimated 25,000 breast cancers in Western populations where breast cancer is most prevalent.

Should I feel extra protected? I have been breastfeeding since March 2003 and have suffered migraines since the early 90's.

I know that nothing is ever a guarrantee, but if there is any truth to those studies, I guess I can live with the migraines.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes We Can

This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time - to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth - that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes We Can. Thank you, God bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.

From President-Elect Obama's speech on Election Night. I thought the whole speech was excellent, and if you click on the above you can get the transcript of the whole thing. I feel a sense of relief, that things will get better. Hopeful. I stayed up much too late last night, but am glad I did.

I thought that John McCain's speech was gracious. However, how else would he (could he) have conceeded? Of course he was going to be gracious. I just hope that his supporters will take his words to heart, as we all work together to better our country. I liked JohnMcCain back in the 2000 election, I voted for him then. However, this time, he just seemed really, really angry. I would like to see the 'old' McCain again, working in the Senate.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day!

School was closed today, so after the kids ate breakfast we got dressed and walked to our polling place. It was great weather for a walk, and the poll wasn't crowded at all when we got there.

We checked in and the kids picked a booth. I voted for the candidates I believe in, made decisions on local ballot questions and then we submitted my ballot. It was number 208, and that was around 9:10 am or so.

The lady at the scanning machine gave Maggie, Cassie, Nate and I our 'I Voted' stickers. The kids were excited. Then she gave Nate's yellow bear a sticker, too. Yellow Bear wasn't saying who he voted for, though. :)

Lino just called and he is done voting, he went straight from work. During elections, the parking lot right in front of the doors is usually full of candidates and supporters doing last minute campaigning.

At the primary, I felt pressured by a candidate who had a supporter approach me at the door speaking onlyPortuguese to me. Our neighborhood is primarily Portuguese, the polling place is at a church that has a large Portuguese congregation. However, don't assume that I don't speak English. Don't harass me as I walk in to vote.

I called the Secretary of State's office when I got home that day, and he told me by law, candidates, etc are required to be at least 50 feet away from the door. He said if not, report them to a poll worker next time.

Well, when Lino drove in, the main parking lot had supporters, etc. When he parked near the door, he was near a guy who was campaigning, less than 50 feet from the door. He tried to give Lino pamphlets, and when Lino declined, stating that he couldn't evn be that close, the guy was all "Says who?"

Lino stopped in his tracks and told him it was the law. He also told the guy that his candidate just lost a vote. When Lino left the building, he said the guys truck and signs were still parked, but the guy was in a chair far away from the door.

Good for him.

Now we wait for results. I am sure we will be flipping channels, but I like NBC, so we will watch that mostly.

Hope you all voted!

Monday, November 3, 2008

A Woman's Right to Vote


This is the story of our Grandmothers and Great-grandmothers; they lived only 90 years ago.
Remember, it was not until 1920 that women were granted the right to go to the polls and vote.

Some were abused horribly for trying to gain that right.

These women were innocent and defenseless, but they were jailed nonetheless for picketing the White House, carrying signs asking for the vote.

Thus unfolded the 'Night of Terror' on Nov. 15, 1917, when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right to vote.

And by the end of the night, they were barely alive. Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden's blessing went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of 'obstructing sidewalk traffic.'

They beat Lucy Burns ( pictured in prison above), chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging! All through the night, bleeding and gasping for air.

They hurled Dora Lewis (above) into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack. Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.

For weeks, the women's only water came from an open pail. Their food--all of it colorless slop--was infested with worms.

When one of the leaders, Alice Paul (above), embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press.

So, refresh my memory. Some women won't vote this year because- -why, exactly? We have carpool duties? We have to get to work? Our vote doesn't matter? It's raining?

The above was in an email that my sister sent me. Women have had the right to vote for less than 100 years! I can't imagine not being able to speak my opinion about something, or being told that I am not important becasue I am a woman. Sure, I have encountered the occasional chauvinist, but to endure that on a daily basis, wow. I am grateful that those women had the courage to stand for what they believed in.

A movie by HBO Films, Iron Jawed Jewels

A wiki entry on Women's Right to Vote

The Nineteenth ammendment to the Constitution of the United States of America:

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Have you tuned in for the last 2 years? The election is tomorrow......Vote. We have the right, it would be such a waste to not use it.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween fun

The kids had so much fun on Halloween. It was great to see them so excited. I was able to finish the costumes and was very pleased with how they came out.

The dinosaur (in Maggie's favorite colors) is purple waffle fleece with a green poly blend belly and spines. The pattern instructions weren't terribly clear when it came to the feet, and I lost a lot of sewing time trying to figure them out. I moved on to other parts figuring that the next day maybe it would become clearer. (Lino was able to help me figure them out). If I ever do another dinosaur, I know things that I would do differently, but overall, I liked it and Maggie loved it, which was good.

Nate's tiger costume is a jersey (cotton) print with orange fleece belly and ribbed knit for the cuffs. His was from a pattern by Simplicity, Costumes for Dummies. Those instructions weren't terribly thorough, and if I were a complete beginner, I wouldn't have known how to do some of the steps (it just skipped some parts completely!) If I ever do that hat pattern again, I will do the ears differently. They wound up being hand sewn on (I really dislike handsewing! I am just not neat with it....) But, the hat is cute, and Nate loved it. (I am actually thinking of making him some animal jammies, using this pattern as a guide!

Side view.

Back view, tails and wings. Maggie's tail is quite heavy! it dragged on the ground. Lino tried to wire it, but the wire was kind of pokey, and we didn't want Maggie to get scraped. The tail held up well, though, from all the walking, it still looks good.

At the neighbors house. They looked so cute walking down the street! I guess there were a few people who asked if Maggie was Barney. (she wasn't, purple and green are her favorite colors). Lino was able to deflect it by telling Maggie that they must not know as much about dinosaurs as she does. She agreed with him.....

Lino and Nate took this one. It was kind of cool that night, and Maggie was plenty warm in her fleece, Nate was double layered, but Cassie was kind of chilly by the time they got home! (though when Lino asked her while they were out she was fine! ) We did add a long sleeve tshirt to Cassie's for warmth. I had offered to make her costume, once I saw what it looked like, but she fell in love with the store bought one. It is very thin though, and I will probably wind up reconstructing it at some point.

Nate was a bit disappointed that Maggie and Cassie were taking mini cupcakes to school for a party and the cupcakes wouldn't come home. When I went out to get Halloween candy I picked up some cupcakes so we could have some, too. He was extremely excited, he loves cupcakes!

Because of Cassie's allergy, the candy we pass out is completely peanut/tree nut free/safe. She likes to help pass out candy, too. We also buy candy just for the kids, to trade with them when they get home. I filled an entire gallon bag with unsafe candy! (I did eat 2 Reese's peanut butter cups after the kids went to has been a long time since I have had any...and felt really guilty for eating them....) I sent the 'bag of death' to work with Lino today, to leave on the break room table.

It was a good Halloween. Next year, if they want me to make costumes, I will start earlier than a week before!