Thursday, January 26, 2012

Blogger Help?

Does anyone know how I can make a Microsoft Word file available for viewers to download on Blogger?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Separate Peace

A Separate Peace by John Knowles was on a recommended reading list I looked at recently, so I picked it up. The back cover gave rave reviews.  I have to say that the book was exceptionally well written.  I can only aspire to be able to paint such vivid landscapes with words like Knowles does in this book.  The descriptions were impeccable.  Often the action, though, would come so abruptly that I would have to reread a paragraph or a few sentences to be sure something so dramatic could happen in such a little space.  The foreshadowing was interesting, though it made me feel a bit anxious through most of the book.

The story is about a young man in college during WWII and his odd relationship with his roommate.  Since I have often been curious to know how a man thinks, I enjoyed stepping inside this young man's psyche for a while.  Still, there were moments when I just couldn't understand his motives.  At the end of chapter twelve, I admit that I broke down crying.  I sort of knew what was bound to happen because of the foreshadowing from chapter one, but it still was upsetting.  (I don't want to blow it for you if you haven't read it.)  All in all it was an emotional story, but emotions I'm not accustomed to feeling.  Maybe it's a boy book.  This book is hard to rate. I want to give it 5 stars for the skill of the author.  But it wasn't really very pleasant.  At times when I was angry in the book I wanted to say I hated it and give it a one star, but I kept reading...  I suppose to be able to invoke the emotions is power in a book.  It really deserves much more than one star.  I can see why it is a classic.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Baby Bathtub Tricks

I don't know what got me thinking about this... but I remember when my little people were babies.  Every time I filled the tub with nice clean warm water and stuck their little tushies in it, they would pee right in the water.  No sense trying to clean a baby in yucky water, so I'd have to drain it and start again.  Meanwhile I'm trying to hold up a slippery wiggle-worm with one hand while they are getting cold.  Finally I wisened up.  I filled the tub and only undressed them down to the diaper.  All I had to do was let them put their feet in the water, and then they would pee in the diaper.  Diaper off--clean bath.

As long as I am on the topic of bathing babies, it would be fun to hear some opinions about fear of the water.  My children always hated to have water in their face.  Rinsing shampoo from their hair could often lead to panicked screaming and thrashing if any water got in their faces.  Faces need to get cleaned, too, though.  I often thought of putting a sticker on ceiling to help them understand better when I would repeat "look up high!"  I suppose some children come readily adapted to the water somehow, but mine certainly were not.  I resorted to giving them swimming lessons to help them overcome their fear of the water.  It has been a long time coming, but now Belle says she would like to train dolphins when she grows up.  She would rather BE a dolphin if that were possible.  Four-year-old Sweetheart is bobbing for rings at the bottom of the pool.  I'm so proud.

We've used waterproof books, Barbie mermaids, foam letters and road tracks with cars, boats, bathtub crayons, and of course plastic cups and bowls to make bath time fun.

What do you do?  Leave a comment.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Use a Humidifier

Utah is technically a desert.  That means it is dry, of course.  With the winter weather, our house has been really dry lately.  My children's hair stands up straight like they are touching a Van de Graaf generator after they put on a shirt.  In a dark bathroom, we can get an electric lights show when changing out of polar fleece sleeper jammies.  A couple weeks ago, I dropped our kitchen timer and broke it because I received a shock when turning on the light switch.  Time to run the humidifier.  We have a cold mist humidifier that I run in the night time.  It helps tremendously to reduce the trouble we've been having with dry air.  It helps with dry, itchy skin, bloody noses and bloodshot eyes, chapped lips, and even helps me get to sleep better since it isn't so hard to breathe.

Our pediatricians have always recommended running a humidifier as soon as the kids get sick.  It helps more than any medicine, I think.  My mom has a steam humidifier.  It works, too, but a little too well!  If she runs it all night, she wakes up in a tropical rain forest, with water dripping down the walls and a bad smell from the wooden furniture.  It is better to run hers a couple hours before bed, and then turn it off.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year's Resolutions

Happy New Year to everyone!  I love this time of year when people start to focus on self-improvement.

I have a few resolutions of my own.  This last year I have been bogged down and overwhelmed with PAPERS.  It sounds funny, but all those stacks of bills, letters, notices, store ads, articles, coupons...  I just don't know what to do with them half the time.  If I don't have time to deal with it right away, I leave it out so I'll see it later and take care of it.  Next thing I know my entire counter or desk or table or whatever is covered in papers I don't know how to deal with.  Can anyone relate?  So this year I am resolved to get organized.  I've gotten some stacking trays and labeled them for different sorts of papers.  Hopefully now things won't be getting lost and forgotten, and I can take care of things as they come.  I already feel a burden lifted as I don't have stacks of clutter anymore.

My other resolution: every time I write out a to-do list this year, I am going to write "study the scriptures" at the top of the list.  I too often let that go to the wayside on busy days.

I know lots of people are making resolutions for exercise, as always.

Here are some tips when you set goals:
1. Make it attainable.
Belle says her resolution this year is to keep her room clean every day for the whole year.  That is not really a reasonable goal, and I can foresee failure within the first week.  She hasn't mastered the skill of cleaning up one activity before moving on to the next.  For her a more attainable goal would be to put her dirty laundry in the hamper every time she changes or something like that.

2.  Make it measurable.
"I'm going to get healthy" is not as good a goal as "I'm going to exercise three times a week for 30 minutes," or "I am only going to allow myself one sweet treat a day."

3. Write it down to make it official.
Put it in your journal, stick a post-it note on your mirror, put it on your calendar--whatever.

4. Reward yourself for reaching the goal.
Make it a good enough reward that you'll want to push yourself in order to reach it.  Don't choose a reward that opposes your goal, like don't reward all your exercise with a big bowl of ice cream.  That doesn't make sense.

What are some of your resolutions?