Knitting Thursday

I once again missed posting last week.  I was nearly finished with Charlotte’s dress, but didn’t feel like I had much to post at the time.  I finished her dress on Saturday morning, the day before her birthday.  I also made her a headband to go with it.  It’s crochet, which requires a bit more concentration from me, but it went quickly nonetheless.  It just meant I couldn’t read whilst making it. 😉

And now I’m working on another dress for her.  I’d planned to start working on something for me, but I’ll need to do a bit of math with that first, since I’m using DK instead of sock yarn.  I was doing a swatch with the lace pattern with the yarn I’m using, and I don’t like the way it looks with that yarn, so that will change, too.  And I want it to be a V-neck.  In the end, it won’t really be the same sweater, but that’s OK.  I rarely end up following a pattern completely anyway.

I might never go back

to using deodorant.  Now, before you step away holding your nose, let me explain.  Years ago, I think I was a teenager, I’d heard that the aluminium in antiperspirant was bad for you, so I started using just plain old deodorant that didn’t have antiperspirant in it.  Seeing as I was a teen, I didn’t research to see if that was true or not, but figured I’d rather be safe than sorry.  I got used to doing that, and in fact it’s still rather ingrained in me to do that.

So over the years I’ve used deodorant, but have never been all that pleased with the results, since it sometimes irritated my skin and of course I still had to deal with the wetness from perspiring.  Nevertheless, I continued with that until recently, since I figured I needed to use something.  Unhappy with this, though, I started seeing if I could find something else that would work.  To that end, I searched online for a natural deodorant, and came across a site that suggested using 1 part bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) to 6 parts cornstarch.  I mixed that up and put some on using some cotton wool, and it works great.  In all honesty, it works better than the store-bought deodorant I was using, and the cornstarch acts as an antiperspirant.  Even better, it doesn’t irritate my skin at all.  I’m sold.

On a related note, I also might never go back to using shampoo and conditioner.  I stopped regularly using shampoo a while ago, actually, and started just using conditioner.  Shampoo isn’t the best for curly hair.  Once my bottle of conditioner ran out, I decided to try something else, and started using bicarbonate of soda instead of shampoo, and then rinsing with diluted cider vinegar.  So far it’s working great, without making my hair feel bad or causing any build-up.  Who knew baking soda was so handy?

Book Nook

Kieran just got a new book: Mixed-Up Fairy Tales, by Hilary Robinson and Nick Sharratt.  The book divides a bunch of fairy tales into 4 sections, and then the child can mix up these sections to create crazy tales.  For example, they can read a story about Cinderella climbing a beanstalk to find a bowl of soup, or Puss in Boots being tormented by two step-sisters and finding a cave full of treasure that was stolen by a troll.  The pages are colour-coded, so you can find the proper story if you want.  The combinations are quite funny, though, and provide lots of entertainment.

Lollipops and Rainbows

Time for another NFP pet peeve.  I know, it seems like I’m ragging on NFP a lot, which may seem rather strange considering I’m a BOM instructor; however, my beef isn’t with NFP, but with the way it is sometimes presented.  Now that I’m starting to give presentations on it, I don’t want to fall into some of these pitfalls.

I get rather irritated when using NFP is presented in such a rosy light that the sacrifices are just glossed over.  By all means, mention any potential benefits, but don’t make it sound like it’ll make your married life be all lollipops and rainbows.  Yes, it can lead to increased communication, considering the couple must discuss the chart regularly, but it won’t magically solve any communication problems (believe me), and if the couple are relying on NFP to ensure they’re communicating, then they have bigger problems.

I do think it does the couples a real disservice to mention any potential benefits to the exclusion of mentioning that it also requires sacrifice.  Sacrifice isn’t a bad thing, in fact it can help lead us to holiness, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy, and this needs to be explained.  Of course, it also needs to be said that marriage in and of itself is a sacrifice, whether one uses NFP or not (and I’m not convinced that using NFP should be the norm, though I will also say that I do not think charting is necessarily synonymous with NFP, and I love the knowledge that charting gives me).  Back on topic.  One reason I think this does the couples a disservice is that they may wonder what’s wrong with them if they aren’t experiencing this sunshiny existence when using NFP.  I know I felt like that, and yet I didn’t speak of it, because I figured I was just the odd person out.  Maybe I am, I don’t know, but when I gave the presentation for Engaged Encounter, I decided to be upfront about the sacrifice it entails.  I also felt like the couples appreciated my candour with that.

Actually, that brings up another point.  If we paint NFP as being nothing but sunshine, then will the couples actually believe us and turn to NFP if they have a just reason to postpone pregnancy (or want to conceive)?  I don’t know the answer, but I do know that I’m sceptical of things when no sacrifice is mentioned, because I think that just about anything that is worth it requires sacrifice.

To sum up my thoughts: teach about NFP, but give an accurate, realistic picture instead of an idealised version that doesn’t exist in reality (at least in my limited experience).

Ah, Spring

It’s gorgeous here today.  14C and sunny, so of course we’ve been outside.  A home ed group meets at the playground, so we went there first.  The kids had a blast playing, with both of them loving the slide.  Charlotte tried to climb over the side and up the slide, saying “whee!” as she did so.  I’m very glad we were able to go; I wasn’t sure we’d be able to do so since both kids had gone back to sleep a little before 10, but they both awoke by 11 so we were only an hour late.

After leaving the playground we headed to the library and then to the store to get some veg for tonight.  I love walking in this weather, and Kieran was enjoying himself, too.  Charlotte had fallen asleep by the time we got home, and has taken a long nap, but maybe we can get back outside a little later.  I love this weather.

Adventures with Children

Yesterday the kids and I went on an adventure.  I had to give a presentation on the Billings Ovulation Method for an Engaged Encounter group at the Franciscan Friary at Pantasaph.  It’s beautiful there, by the way.  By car it would’ve taken about 40 minutes, but I don’t have a car, so we went by train, which would take nearly 2 hours.  Being Sunday, there were fewer trains running, so we had to leave at 8.00 in order to get there in time.  It took a total of three trains to get there, too.  So I packed diapers and wipes and books and snacks and toys in the bag, along with the handouts and USB drive that I needed for my presentation.  Kieran had decided that moose had to go, too.

I got the kids dressed and ready and fed and out the door, and we got to the station with plenty of time.  Kieran loves trains, so he was quite excited; I’d strapped Charlotte on in the Kari-Me, opting for that over the mei tai because it would be easier to get her in and out on the train.  We got on the first train, which was quite empty, being the first train of the morning through that station, and got into the city centre to change trains.  Charlotte had fallen asleep, but she awoke on the second train, so I got her out and we had snacks.  We made it to Chester without a problem and waited for the final train into Flint, where we would then get a taxi to the Friary.  Kieran was very excited about the taxi.  Charlotte was tired of being strapped on at that point, and even the sight of all the sheep wouldn’t distract her.  There were even sheep grazing in the middle of the golf course, with golfers just walking around them.  It was a beautiful drive up to the Friary, though, and the taxi driver was incredibly nice.

Once we got there I was met by one of the presenting couples who took us up where we could sit down and I could have a cup of tea.  The kids were thrilled to be able to run around, and it was decided that they would watch Kieran for me during the presentation.  I figured that Charlotte would likely fall back asleep after all the running, and she did, so it worked out perfectly.  Both kids made friends with one of the Friars, who pointed out that my children have Franciscan second names, something I’d not thought of before.  After lunch, we turned around to come home.

The train back was considerably more crowded, since there wouldn’t be another train through that station for 2 more hours, and consequently there were no seats.  Thankfully it was a Virgin train, and we only had a 13 minute journey on that one from Flint to Chester.  I was prepared to tell Kieran that we’d have to run for the next one (4 minutes between connections at the station), but, praise God, the platforms were just next to each other, and we got on the next train without a problem.  We did miss our connection in the city centre, and so had to wait nearly half an hour for the next one, but that wasn’t bad.  The kids were good as gold the entire time, with Charlotte sitting with me and Kieran watching out the window and talking about trains and tracks and magnets (he recently read about mag lev trains).  After all that, and after we’d eaten an earlier dinner, I felt I owed it to the kids to let them run around outside with the neighbourhood kids, and so we did.  It was a long day, and an adventure with both kids in tow, but it worked out, and I’m rather proud of them.

Book Nook

This is one I’ve mentioned in another Book Nook, I think, but it bears having its own post.  Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler are a great team, and they don’t disappoint in Zog.  The story follows a dragon called Zog through his years in school, as he tries to be the best in the class.  It’s a very fun book.