16 grains of rice

16 grains of riceThis is what 16 grains of rice looks like.  It doesn’t sound like much until you say, “When he blew his nose, 16 grains of rice came out.”  Then it sounds like more; especially when the “he” is your 2 year old.  It was one of those too quiet moments when I became suspicious and checked on my little man to find him quietly sitting at his rice table, pushing rice up is nose.  There was no doubt what he’d been doing, “Rice up nose” he said.  After I told him “we don’t put rice up our nose” I had him blow his nose.  Thankfully he is a good nose blower.  After a couple more sneezes and nose blows, I counted 16 grains of rice.  I almost took a picture of the tissue to post, but then I got grossed out.  So, here is a representation of the 16 grains of rice that my son stuffed up his nose.

Making fun bean bags

Instead of reading about crafts, I actually got crafty and made some bean bags!  I made two sets of four.

stiched bean bags inside out

I started by cutting 5″ squares of a blue denim fabric I had from another project.  It would be fun to cut up some old jeans to use, but the jeans I had were thicker than I wanted for the bean bags.

I wanted to make the bean bags a little special so I cut 5″ strips of grosgrain  ribbon, one for each bag.

After sewing each ribbon onto a square of fabric, I placed the fronts together and sewed a seam between 1/4″ and 1/2″ around the square.  I left an opening so I could turn the bags right side out.   I didn’t back stitch around the opening, but next time I will.  It was a pain to get my stitches back in order before I finished the bags.

finished bean bagsI turned the bags right side out, and tried several different fillings: small white beans, corn, rice, and polystyrene weighted pellets.  I liked the weight and the sound of the corn the best.  I made a funnel from sturdy paper and put slightly less than 2/3 cup of corn kernels into each bag.

I finished the bags by stitching all the way around the edge of each bag.  I really don’t like sewing by hand and this way looks neat and finished.

Why studded snow tires drive me nuts

First, there’s the annoying clicking noise they make as they drive past you; like a dog running on tile that needs its nails clipped.  Second, they destroy the roads; meaning you and I have to pay more taxes to fix the torn up roads.  Third, they only improve traction for “glare ice” road conditions; that’s one, maybe two days a year where I live.  “Research on studded tires consistently shows that vehicles equipped with studded tires require a longer stopping distance on wet or dry pavement than do vehicles equipped with standard tires.”

One more time with lots of feeling: “Tire studs reduce the full contact between a tire’s rubber compound and the pavement.”

Carseat Love

7 months in new carseatWhen my son was 6 months old, it became obvious that his infant carseat was not going to last until he was a year old.  I began searching for a convertible carseat.  The Alpha Omega Elite from Costco seemed to be a super bargain.  We brought one home and then tried to install it.  It was way to big for us to use rear facing in our cars.  I started searching for a seat that would work in our Outback and allow me to ride shotgun without my knees crammed into the dash.

I started reading more and more about carseats and why children should remain rear facing as long as possible; it’s safer!  I found the perfect post on the  car-seat.org forum.  The Maxi-Cosi Priori was the perfect carseat for us and Target had them in stock, but it was more money than we had originally intended to spend on a carseat.  When we got to Target I pulled all the covers off the carseats to expose their shell and foam.  Carseats all have to pass the same tests, but they are not all created equal.  It was an eye opener.  I pointed out, “We wouldn’t have a problem spending $200 on a laptop that was going to last us 2-4 years.  Isn’t his safety worth at least that much?”

When we got the seat home it was amazing.  It came with push button LATCH clips which made installation a breeze.  It had a base that flipped so that no pool noodles or rolled up towels were needed to reach the correct incline.  To top it off, my son smiled when we strapped him in.

Over the last year and a half, I’ve watched him grow to fill more and more of the seat.  The top of his head is getting close to being within the limit of 1 inch from the top.   I know we’ll have to turn him around soon, or get a bigger car with a bigger carseat.  I feel lucky that I found the car-seat.org forums and have been able to keep my son rear facing as long as we have.  Even thought I’m not currently in the market for a carseat, I’ve put the carseatblog on my regular reading list.  I hope that others will find the information at car-safety.org as helpful and informative as I have.

happy-scrappy quilt giveaway!

happy-scrappy quiltmarie-madeline studioThe Long ladies at marie-madeline studio are giving away a beautiful, machine quilted, twin-sized happy-scrappy quilt! Enter for a chance to win on their blog. Surf on over and check out their tutorials section and don’t forget to leave a comment!

The Long ladies are a close-knit, Christ centered, mother & daughters team. They have made their talent available through their online store front & Etsy shop.

Sippy Sup Cups

drawer of sippy cupsWhen I had to return to the office part time my son, then 7 months, decided he did not want anything to do with a bottle.  We bought a ton of sippy cups to see what he would use.  We had tried several without success before I tried to drink from them.  I can drink a thick milkshake through a straw, but I could not get any water from a sippy cup with its valve in.  Once we removed the valves from the cups, he happily drank from all of them.  We modified the Take n’ Toss cups by drilling holes in the lids.


flexible baby shoe by Trimfoot CoFinding flexible shoes that allow little feet to move is a challenge.  Walmart, Fred Meyer, & Burlington Coat Factory have moccasin like training shoes with rubber grip on the bottom designed by Trimfoot Co.  After touching a lot of baby shoes my favorite are See Kai Run shoes.  They are leather and have very flexible soles.  If you search online I’m sure you’ll find some on sale like I did.

Signing Time

We work ASL into our vocabulary when speaking with our son.  I learned a few signs from the ASL Browser; more, food, drink.  We started using those when he began to eat solids.  In January I discovered our local library has a collection of Signing Time videos.  Our son enjoys watching the videos.  His favorites are Leah’s Farm and Zoo Train; the ones with animals.  A new sign language video dictionary, Signing Savvy, came online in January.  It has a larger sign collection and videos which can be played in slow motion.  You can pay for access to larger videos and more features but the free & registered access is sufficient for us.

Opening Windows

No. I will not open those documents in a new browser window. That breaks the back button, which is the most used button in the browser.

She asked again.

I was getting ready to jet off a similar reply. In my mind I had started composing a line about the increasing use of pop up blockers. Then, for some reason I did a search and came across several pages that made me think.

  • Top Ten Web Design Mistakes of 2005 » – useit.com
    “In particular, don’t open pages in new windows (except for PDF files and such).”
  • Open New Windows for PDF and other Non-Web Documents » – useit.com
    “When using PC-native file formats such as PDF or spreadsheets, users feel like they’re interacting with a PC application. Because users are no longer browsing a website, they shouldn’t be given a browser UI.”
  • Offerring PDFs that download » – Stüvel.eu
    “The ideal way for offering PDF files would be just that: ask the user to either save it, or view it in their native PDF viewer.” Stüvel’s example links work in FF, but not in IE6. I haven’t had a chance to test them in IE7.

She had been asking for pdf & doc files to be opened in their own windows. Firefox opens Microsoft Office documents in their native applications by default, but pdf files have always been stuck in a browser window. IE still thinks it knows how to open every type of document, but can’t even manage to open Microsoft documents properly.

Instead of responding, I’m thinking. I like that FF opens documents in their native application. Would I like pdf files to open in Adobe?