Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A Good Day

Today was a really good day. Nothing particularly special happened, but I was able to follow my cleaning schedule, do lots of laundry, take Joseph to the library for an hour and a half, and read Act 3 of Othello. Joseph was even dry all day; he has been having about one wet a day the past week or so. It doesn't happen often that my day goes so smoothly, so I think it is worth noting. Well, I am off to read Act 4.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


I added a lighter book to what I am reading right now- Riquet Pique et le Coin Ideal. It is a children's book about a Porcupine who is trying to find the perfect place to live. I got it from my french teacher at Humboldt. I started it then when in classes, but couldn't find the time to finish it, even though it was a lot of fun.
Othello is not quite as exciting to read for me as I had hoped-which means not as interesting as Hamlet. Hamlet is my favorite Shakespearean tragedy, so I guess it isn't really fare to compare. However, I had read that Shakespeare wrote Othello in the same time period, and actually just after Hamlet, so I guess I had my hopes up for something nearly as good. Iago, the main character in Othello, is just so completely evil, and that is pretty much all there is to his character. It makes for a story of one evil person plotting against the innocent, and so far there isn't much more to it for me. In Hamlet, the murderer of his father is his uncle, who happens to be in love with Hamlet's mother (and she with him.) So, in that play the hate is tied up with love, and that makes things infinitely more interesting. I will finish Othello, but I defiantly needed something light when the evil gets to be too much.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Saturday Morning

This was how our house looked this Saturday morning. I bought this toy vacuum for Joseph when I got the cleaning supplies for him last week, but he didn't take to the vacuum at first. He discovered that he liked it after all last night and played with it for an hour or so. He would take it and say 'cleaning', and then 'all done,' wanting to put it back in the laundry room. Then it would start all over with him saying 'again.' Here is a video of him using it this morning; he has been playing with it all this morning and afternoon.

Friday, February 23, 2007


I am looking forward to spring, so I made these spring inspired cupcakes.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Cleaning with Joseph

I bought some toy cleaning supplies for Joseph, and he is quite enthusiastic about cleaning. Today I put him in the playpen so I could sweep and after playing for a while he started complaining that he wanted to sweep too. He is starting to move into the 'do it myself' stage, so when he has trouble getting the gloves on he starts to cry and then call me for help. As soon as I come to help though, he insists 'Jojo do it!' This has been going on about three days, so I think toddler independence is on the horizon.

Little People House

I am so excited; I bid on this little people house on e-bay and I won the auction. If you click on the picture you can see lots of great details. I think Joseph will have a lot of fun with it, and even if he doesn't, I sure will!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Fun Projects

I have been working on a few things over the past few weeks and ended up finishing them all around last weekend. Here they are. I made a Clifford blanket for Joseph as a valentine.

I finally finished this scarf. I had started it last fall, and then ran out of wool and had to wait to have my mom send more from Holland. The scarf is very long and I love it.

I made this replica of Pickles the Fire Cat for Joseph. He loves the story, and since we went to the fire station on Friday, I decided to make it then.

On to Othello

I finished reading March on Monday. What a great story! At times the flowery prose can be a bit difficult to completely follow, but this was really only concerning the main character's letters home. The author did this in order to accurately render the time of the story, which is during the civil war. Toward the end of the book, I was having a difficult time putting it down. Once while reading it, with Joseph sleeping on my lap, Jim came into the room to tell me something, and I looked at him with wide eyes and my heart was beating rapidly. I was right in the middle of a scene of an attack on some recently freed slaves and the main character is trying to help save them. Brooks' writing is so tangibly realistic; at one point in the story the main character was trying to escape the attackers. He is going into a woodpile in order to hide, and the author describes the scene with such realistic detail that she writes about how he feels a searing pain from a splinter in his thumb.

Warming Weather

Since the weekend we have been having warming weather. On Sunday it was about 58 degrees Fahrenheit and we went to Holmes Lake for the afternoon. Holmes lake is a recreation park about 10 minutes driving from our house. Some ice fishermen were cutting in the ice (you can see them in the distance, if you click on the photo), and it looked like someone had cleared a spot to ice skate.
Today was another warm day, about 60 degrees. It was so warm that Joseph and I both didn't need to wear jackets! The sun was so hot on Joseph's fair head that he kept rubbing it, and so I had to put a cap on him.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Fire Station

Today we went to the Fire Station with the Mom's group. Joseph had a great time. He especially liked the ambulance, and for some reason kept wanting to go up to it and touch it. One of the firemen joked, 'that's good, a future medic'. I guess he takes after his father, who at one time was going to be an EMT.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Where are my Cliffords?

In our house 'Clifford' has become synonymous with 'slipper.' This is because Joseph has a pair of slippers with Clifford the Big Red Dog on them and he refers to them as his Cliffords. In the photo he is wearing them, and he was quite proud to model them for me. He also calls our slippers Cliffords. That is why this morning when looking for my slippers, I said 'Where are my Cliffords?'


As a way to keep Joseph happy in the afternoon, I got into the habit of holding him while I made the coffee just before Jim came home (he often gets very fussy right around 5pm.) I would tell him he was helping me make coffee and then I would count the scoops. Now I tell him I am going to make coffee and he comes running and shouts 'count!' Now I ask him to open the trashcan for me, so I can throw away the old filter if there is still one in the basket, and then we count. When Jim and I have coffee together I make coffee with 3 and a half scoops, but when I make it only for myself in the morning, I use only 3 scoops. Joseph would always be disappointed because for some reason he really likes to count the half scoop.  Last week I told Joseph that when I say 'Half' at the end of the counting that means that Daddy is coming home. The next day I asked him if he remembered what it means when I count 'Half' and he shouted gleefully 'Daddy coming!' Now when we count in the mornings he tries to convince me that I should count 3 and a half scoops also, I presume because he wants Jim to come home.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Return to the Classics

Leaving behind the idea of reading classic literature was something I could only do for a couple of days, thank goodness. I have found a way to keep reading the classics along with doing this other, more contemporary book club. I found out about another book club that meets at one of the libraries here and they focus on the classics. They actually meet every two weeks, but I will only be attending once in a while. I looked at their reading list, and I am not all that interested in the enlightenment stuff. But, they do read Shakespeare, as well as some interesting ancient Greek writers. This spring the two things they are reading that I am interested in are 'Othello' (March) , and 'Antigone' (May.) This makes me happy because this way I can go to this fun book club without entirely giving up my more academic interests. However, I am truly enjoying 'March.' I just read this section where the character describes what he felt like when meeting his wife, and discussions he had with a young Henry Thoreau when he was in his early twenties. The passions and the intense conversations really brought me back to my own early twenties. I told Jim that reading it brought back memories of my youth. He said something like 'you mean your youth during the civil war?' Ha ha.

Snow storm

We are in the midst of a big snow storm. It has been snowing for about five hours and there is already a thick blanket of snow covering everything; all of the leaves and grass are now completely out of sight. I really prefer the look of heavy snow to just a light covering. It is really ugly when the leaves poke out just a little bit, ruining the pure white of the snow. It is supposed to keep snowing until mid-morning tomorrow. I wonder how deep it will be...

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Late Presents...

This morning during coffee, the postman came and brought a package from Amazon. At first I thought, how strange, I didn't order any books lately. Well, I opened it and it was this great big book of children's stories! It is a late Christmas present from my sister and her family for Joseph. We sat down and immediately read 5 or so stories. There are lots of really good children's stories in this volume, all reprinted with the illustrations. A couple of the stories we have read before ('Goodnight moon', and 'Harry the Dirty Dog',) and when Joseph saw those his eyes lit up and he wanted to read them immediately.
I guess getting this late Christmas gift has finally motivated me. I have had gifts for all of my nieces and nephews in my closet since before Christmas, but now I am going to be the last to deliver them. Well, better late then never! If you are one of my nieces or nephews, you can look forward to receiving a gift very soon.


I just updated my 'What I am reading' list. I had started 'March' about 10 days ago, but then put it down until today because of all of these other things going on. Because Joseph has a cold he has been taking extra long naps and today I took that time to pick up 'March' again. Both times I have picked it up I have become completely absorbed by it from the very first page. Brooks is like a painter with words. I can envision every scene and hear every character. It takes place during the Civil War, in the American South. I am usually much more interested in books about European history, but this one definitely has me hooked.
I was trying to read Don Quixote in an effort to educate myself in the classics, but at the moment I am putting it down (again) in order to read for this book club.  I definitely hope to pick it up again, I was most certainly enjoying it, though I had only read the first ten chapters or so.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007


The past couple of weeks I have fallen a little behind on the housework, and it has been driving me crazy. You see, I got pretty busy making hats and thinking about Harry Potter scarves, and on top of that Joseph has had a pretty bad cold. He is starting to feel a bit better now, so today I decided to take the bull by the horns again and tackle the housework once again. It is always difficult to do much of consequence with a toddler underfoot, unless one devises creative ways to get the toddler to cooperate, or keep himself busy. Luckily, Joseph is doing rather well in both regards. When I was mopping the floors this morning I put Joseph in the playpen and gave him this really cool shape sorter that has keys (that is the thing in the picture), some puzzles, and two see-n-say toys that I reserve for the playpen only.
Last week my friend Lisa was telling me about the Montessori Method of childcare, in which the child is encouraged to help with everyday tasks. I have gotten Joseph to help me clean up his toys, and 'help' sweep and dust for quite a while, but doing dishes has always been a problem. We dry our dishes in the dishwasher, and Joseph has figured out how to open it and also turn it on. This is quite a nuisance when I am trying to load clean dishes. A couple of days ago I decided to get him to help me with the dishes by giving him the plastic dishes and the wooden spoons to load into the dishwasher himself. He was very excited about helping. This morning I told him it was time to do the dishes, and he came running. When we were finished, he proudly declared "Jojo help!"

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Four Dry Days!

After wearing underwear everyday for the last two weeks, Joseph has been dry for 4 days straight! I put him on the potty about every two hours now. When I tell him I am taking him to the potty, sometimes he disagrees, but only when he doesn't really have to go. If he does have to go he is actually sort of agreeable about it. I changed my tactic by only giving him a choice about which toys he will have on the potty or if he wants to sit up or down (I put the potty on the counter sometimes, because he likes to see himself in the mirror or put his hand in the water in the sink.) He was 21 months old on Sunday, so I think he is doing amazingly well!