I’m not sure what made me decide I wanted to try knitting two socks on two circular needles with two balls of yarn at the same time, but I am. Some sock demon has possessed me and demanded that it be so. brasocks.jpg
Actually, once you get the hang of it, it’s not really that complicated. Even if there are about fifty ends of something dangling about at any given time. Chris keeps staring at me in awe. It’s nothing new that he is fascinated by “women work” (that would be sewing and knitting and crocheting, etc), but he keeps staring at me with this face that says, “I can’t even wrap my brain around that without getting tangled up in the two balls of yarn”.

One day while he was staring so intently, he sort of muttered, “It looks like you are knitting a bra”. Now, of course, every time I pick the socks up, Alexis wants me to hold them to my chest like some sort of homegrown Madonna tit-sling. Thanks dad.

I do have to admit, that I LOVE that I won’t have to start the second sock when the first is finished. I can’t tell you how many single socks I have. In fact, I’ve only ever finished 2 pairs. One for Alexis, and another for her teddy bear. You can see how focused I am.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with these socks. They are so full of mistakes and the toes are too pointy, and it bugs me that they are fraternal (that would socks – oh never mind). When I started them, I was all like, “Hot damn! the pattern is starting in the same place for both center-pull balls”. Sigh, apparently there are two instances of each color in a repeat, so they are sort of staggered. Not that they look as bad as I always imagined fraternal socks would look, but still… The perfectionist in me is really trying to overwhelm the I-don’t-have-time-to-frog-this-and-start-over in me. I. will. not. let. it.

This is one of my all time favorite recipes. I have taken it to a friend’s annual holiday cookie baking party twice, and it’s been a big hit both times. The best part about it (apart from the taste)? It’s no-bake so if you don’t want to dip them in chocolate, it’s as close to instant gratification as you can get.

georgette.jpg I don’t know anyone else who makes these. It could very well be something my grandmother and I invented together. I have the recipe in this old cookbook from the church. It’s nestled in there with my grandmother’s famous (delicious) microwave pralines, and a cookie recipe I invented. And as odd as it may seem, that cookbook has provided hours (ok, probably minutes) of entertainment in the form of reading all the weird recipes. My favorite to freak people out with? Velveeta Cheese Fudge! (No, I’ve not ever tried it – that’s gross!)

Without further ado:

Georgette’s Peanut Butter Balls

1.5 C graham cracker crumbs
1 can of coconut
2 sticks melted butter (this was margarine, but in the interest of leaving out trans fats…)
1 C chopped nuts (any kind)
1 tsp vanilla
1 box sifted powdered sugar (I never sift it… totally not a problem)
1 C crunchy peanut butter

(these are optional and for “glazing” the pb balls)
.5 cake paraffin (you can leave this out – I can never find it, and it’s just for shine)
1 (16oz) pkg chocolate chips or almond bark morsels

Mix graham cracker crumbs, coconut, butter, nuts , vanilla, powdered sugar and peanut butter. Roll into balls. Chill. Melt chocolate or almond bark and cake paraffin in separate pans. Add 2 tbsp of the paraffin to the chocolate/almond bark. Dip balls in mixture and put on waxed paper or foil that has been lightly greased. Chill until chocolate is firm.

What are you waiting for? Get cooking!


Filed Under Parenting, Ranting | 4 Comments

What is it about the public school system? Why do they want every child to conform? Why can’t they see that some children need to learn differently than others? Why are children expected to behave in exactly the same manner? Why are differences in creativity smothered?

If they have programs for children with special needs, why can’t they adjust the curriculum for children whose skills are far beyond the lessons being taught in their classroom? In my opinion (which is worthless at best) gifted children *are* special needs cases. At the very least, they could skip the child ahead to keep her challenged. But that is not generally allowed either. Children must be grouped according to age. For some unknown reason, they think that putting a younger child with a group of older children at the same academic level is unacceptable. Chris said it best, “No child left behind means no child gets ahead.”

Have you seen the test for graduation from school in 1895? I’m willing to bet that the percentage of students graduating today who could pass is remarkably low. I know I can’t pass it. Schools are so focused on passing standardized tests, that they forget to make learning fun. Children are filed into a classroom, expected to sit still and pay attention and go over the same monotonous bullshit every day. For the students who have already mastered the days lessons, it is a painful, boring process. And what do young kids do when they’re bored? Well, I know what MY kid does when she is bored, and that is entertain herself. Unfortunately there isn’t much way for her to entertain herself in her classroom. Her notebooks and crayons are put away out of reach. Without thinking about it (because she is FIVE) she begins singing to herself or wiggling. And when a child demonstrates these behaviors the first thing school administrators and teachers do is jump to the conclusion that she is ADHD.

I can’t tell you how angry this makes me. Not because in some cases they are probably right, but because in this case, I told the teacher MONTHS AGO that my child was bored. And that this is how she behaves when she is bored. For example, if we take her to a restaurant and she is given a coloring sheet, she will happily color it until the food arrives. However, if we forget to bring paper and colors, or the restaurant doesn’t have special kids activities, she wiggles, and sings and tries to get up and walk around.

But ADHD is out of the question. Alexis can sit for HOURS and color. She can sit for HOURS and write a story. She can read a 150 page book to me in one go. I don’t think her attention span has any deficit at all.

From what I can understand, the reading lessons in her classroom consist of staring at a sight word on the overhead projector and saying it out-loud with the class for several minutes. Can you imagine how boring it must be to read the word “the” 50 times? Especially to a child who is starting to read chapter books to herself?

But according to her teacher, “It seems to me that being challenged is not so much the issue as is learning interpersonal/social skills”. What a load of crap. My child can carry on an intelligent and engaging conversation with an adult. “[S]inging the Good morning, Weather, Days of the Week and Month of the Year songs with the class [and] counting the number of days we’ve been at school on our number chart” is probably BORING.

But hell, what do I know? I’m just her mother.

** I’m half tempted to post the entire email thread here just to prove what an idiot this teacher is.

Mornings in our house can get a bit, well, loud. With about 35 minutes from waking her to walking her out the door, Alexis’ morning is always rushed. There is usually a lot of crying and screaming, and Alexis is no picnic either.

This morning was much like other mornings with lots of yelling. Alexis won’t get off the toilet. And she screams bloody murder when I turn on the hall lights. Alexis won’t get dressed quickly – she does this thing where she HAS to get all of her clothes together first, and sits on the floor naked and looking at them forever if you let her. Alexis stands around instead of brushing her teeth. When I finally went in and saw her  standing there after 5 minutes with still no toothpaste even on her brush, I brushed her teeth for her.

Part of the problem with the teeth brushing is that we can’t find a single toothpaste that she likes the taste of. She hates them all, and believe me, we have 15 tubes and bottles of the stuff to prove it. So throughout the entire experience of me tilting her head back and forcing the toothbrush in between her jaws she screamed and cried. I hate doing that stuff to her. But she won’t do it herself, so the “punishment” is that mom does it for her. I’ve used this tactic with picking out clothes, too, and she really really HATES that. I always pick exactly what she doesn’t want to wear.

But as she sat there pouting at her breakfast, I comment that she sure has a lot of peanut butter on her oatmeal (don’t knock it until you try it). Chris must’ve been completely zoned out when he put it on there. There were probably 3 tablespoons of it. It was melting like frosting over the top of the mush underneath. Somehow we started giggling about it and came to the topic of peanut butter and brown sugar sandwiches. You should have seen her eyes widen. I fully expect to come into the kitchen one day and catch her making one.

After she finished her breakfast and put away her dishes,  she came over to me and starts giving me “peanut butter kisses”. Her cold little nose touched mine and I melted just like the peanut butter on her cereal. Then she walks over to her daddy and stands on her tippy-toes and gives him a kiss. I thought she was going to fall over backwards her head was tipped so far back.

As she and Chris left, I watched her bend over and give the dog a kiss, too. I watched my daughter who has grown so much in the last 5 1/2 years walk off to another day at Kindergarten and gratitude just washed over me. These are the moments that make parenting so wonderful.

therapykit.jpg Things are picking up around here. I’ve got these fun spa pillows finished (filled with rice, buckwheat, and flax seed. They are for a secret Santa exchange that some Etsians are conducting. Of COURSE I notice after they’re all finished that my recipient is in SCOTLAND. It’s gonna cost a million and one dollars to ship these babies. But they’re cute, no?

pooh_bag.jpg I also managed to create a little something just for me. (I never do that. Why don’t I ever do that?) It’s a new Pooh-bag. I know. Now you’re crinkling your eyebrows and wondering why I call it that. Years ago, a friend of mine had the cutest toiletry bag with classic Pooh all over it. I had to have one. It took me almost a year, but I finally found one and had to have it. I’ve always referred to it as my Pooh-bag. As in “Honey, will you get my medicine? It’s in my Pooh-bag”. Two years ago, I made Alexis a Pooh-bag. It’s purple polka-dots, no Pooh-bear in sight. So now, all toiletry bags are Pooh-bags. At least in my house.

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