Catching up from vacation – Part 1 (Days 124-127 — April 24-27)
We’ve returned from out vacay, and as promised, here are all of the posts of things that I learned while away. Laziness is dictating me to lump everything into one post.
Day 124 – April 24
On Monday, I made messenger bags for the preschoolers. I wanted the straps to be adjustable so that the bags would be useful for more than just a year or so. A few years back, I found this tutorial on how to make an adjustable fabric strap from Angela at Sew Loquacious. It seemed like a great idea at the time, so I bookmarked it and then promptly forgot about it. When I was making the bags, I remembered the tute and looked it up. Happily, there was an updated photo tute with more pics and clearer directions. So, I cut my fabric and set to work. They were surprisingly easy to make and I was really happy with how they turned out . . . . until I tried to use them. I’d adjust it so that the bag would be smaller, and then as soon as I’d pick it up, it would slide all the way to the longest setting. I tried it on the babes, and it actually stayed, until we acutally needed to use them in the airport, and then it kept sliding! Grrr! Such a great idea, but it definitely didn’t work out for me. I think there’s a way to solve that problem, I just haven’t had a chance to sit down and figure it out. In the meantime, I’ve just sewn some quick stitches to keep the straps in place, and I’ll manually adjust the bag and restitch as necessary.
Day 125- April 25
We have a TV at home, but we don’t use it very often. Partly due to lack of time, and partly because we only get very basic channels. So, when we are staying in a hotel, it’s fun to check out some of the other stations, like TLC, Discovery, Animal Planet, etc. Tonight before bed, we were watching a show called “Wicked Tuna”, which follows several fishing boats and chronicles their adventures in trying to make a years salary during a two week period.
I’ve always liked tuna. I didn’t say loved, just liked. It’s not something that I eat very often at all, but I like tuna salad sandwiches. Tuna comes in these little tin cans, and I always imagined the fish to be about the size of red snapper or salmon. Imagine my surprise when I saw them catch the first tuna and it was around 500 pounds! It was ENORMOUS! I had NO IDEA that tuna were so giant! And the guys on the boat were rejoicing since that one tuna would fetch them around $5000! Who knew?!
Day 127 – April 27
This weekend we were at a church retreat for the 3-10 year old set. As such, lots of parents were there with their kids. I was really surprised at how much stern parenting I saw. Now, I have no problem with using a stern voice with the babes. Today, it struck me that maybe I use it too often and maybe I should relax a bit and try to be more gentle. I guess I saw myself magnified in the people around me. It sort of made me sad to see how stern and seemingly heartless alot of the parents were.
I was in one group where a little boy was having trouble focusing because, well, he’s 4 and was VERY sleep deprived by this point. (There were activities all day, no naps, and very late nights, sometimes as late as 10:30pm.) The parents kept yelling at him and after awhile started waving a belt as motivation. (This is not at all intended to be a post debating the merits or pitfalls of spanking. This is just a part of the story.) I tried to sit with him and gently motivate him to behave, steering him away from poor decisions. I noticed that after a bit of doing that, he would gravitate towards me. When we’d be walking from one activity to the next, he’d come up and hold my hand. Or if we were sitting on the floor, he’d come over and sit in my lap. It made me realize that in most cases, a soft voice is more effective.
So, I’ve decided to be less dramatic and stern with my own babes and more calm, yet firm to see if that helps improve their behavior and our family life in general.