When I was 4 years old, my parents gave me the job of planting the carrot seeds in the garden. I was given the packet full of seeds and told to put the seeds in the row. Somehow, the packet got away from me and I spilled some seeds to the side. I guiltily pretended it didn’t happen and finished up my chore.
Later, I came back and I noticed that the seeds I had spilled had sprouted the same way the ones in the prepared row had sprouted. Suddenly, I understood what a seed was. It wasn’t a process my dad came up with–it’s a germ of life. I have always found seeds kind of magical since that day.
Vegetable gardening is one of the most valuable things you can do with your kid. Here are five reasons why:
It Teaches Them About Food–Let’s just say it: Americans are obese. One of the reasons for this is that we’re disconnected from our food. Seeing food grow as a child short-circuits this disconnection. It teaches them what plant-life actually is, and once they know that, they will always have something wholesome to reference when eating a fast food taco made out of Doritos.
It Teaches Them About Nature–You can teach about plants and seeds on the chalkboard, but it’s not the same as putting a seed in the ground and watching it grow. Gardening teaches children about plant life, insects, birds, light, water, fruiting, birth, and death–plus about a dozen other things I’m not thinking of right now.
It Gives Them Fresh Air and Exercise–We all know kids aren’t getting enough of that, right?
It Gives Them Autonomy–Gardening is a valuable life skill. No matter how bad things get, you know how to feed yourself. There’s that old saying, “Feed a man to fish, you can feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, you can feed him for a lifetime.” That applies to gardens, and kids, too.
It Gets Them To Eat Vegetables–Studies show that when kids grow vegetables, they are more likely to eat them. This makes sense. After all, what gardener doesn’t want to eat the things they grow?
Make Your Own Baby Swing so your newborn can swing on the porch with you. One Sassy Housewife built her own for $27, much cheaper than the $135 swings she found online.
I enjoyed this post on Rage Against The Minivan about “Holiday Overkill.” It starts out with Kristin, a mother of four, discovering that someone at school had told her kids that on St. Patrick’s Day, you set out a trap for leprechauns and then there are gold coins in it the next day. Yeah, I had never heard of that either. As Kristen put it:
Gold coins? A leprechaun trap? Is he serious? When I was a kid we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day by wearing something green. THE END.
She then goes on to say:
Yes, I’ve turned into a bit of a grinch, but SERIOUSLY WITH THE HOLIDAY OVERKILL. As if Christmas wasn’t already hard enough as a parent, someone also decided that we have to move an Elf around every day, into creative tableaus? And then someone else decided that the Advent Calendar was A Thing beyond a simple religious observation and now involves some kind of gift each day leading up to Christmas?
And less than a month after having survived that whole mess, we’ve got Valentine’s Day which has became The New Halloween, because God forbid you send a simple store-bought card. You’d better include some candy or your child will be shunned. Shunned! … And do not even get me started on what Easter has become. When I was a kid my mom went to the store and bought us a new dress and a pre-made plastic Easter basket for $8.99. THE END. There was candy and we loved it. Maybe we would die some eggs from a kit sitting in the check-out lane at Target. They would look like crap. Now we’ve got to leave footprints from the Easter Bunny and make artful, Pinterest-worthy eggs with stencils and ikat prints and probably some that are hombre.
Pretty funny stuff, plus she makes some good points in her rant. She calls it a “We’re all in this together, let’s simplify!” manifesto. Read the rest here.
What do you think about holiday overkill?
The baby monitor came out of the Lindbergh baby kidnapping in the 1930s.
Henri Nestlé, as in Nestlé chocolate, came up with the first baby food.
The first disposable diaper “consisted of two parts: a strip of inexpensive, cellulose-based gauze as an absorbing pad, and a nylon outer shell that held the pad in place, made from an old parachute.”
Read about this and lots of other interesting facts in A Brief History of 7 Baby Basics.
My stroller doesn’t come with a cup holder, which has been kind of annoying. We looked into buying one in the store, but I didn’t like the designs and I had a problem with spending $7-$15 for yet another plastic thing.
I don’t know why it never occurred to me to make my own until I saw this tutorial for a stroller cup holder. It’s a simple fabric cylinder with a flap that folds over the stroller and snaps in place. Looks like it works!
This is an easy project. All you do is add felt “spikes” to an existing hat. Cute!
Anyway, I went into a fancy children’s store and they had Hand-Cut Children’s Silhouette Art for $159. Here they are:
They were cute, but I thought, I could make that.
Well, I guess I wasn’t the only person who thought of making children’s silhouettes, because Lindy at Cottage Hill did that very thing using her own children’s profiles–and what’s more she shares how to do it on her blog.
It looks like she first took a picture of her children against a light wall, enhanced the drawings, and cut them out of black paper. Then she put them against gray-blue fabric and framed them.
I think they look pretty great. And they cost a lot less than $159.
I can see why I don’t need the mall any more.
Check out this Antique Gothic Crib from somewhere around 1835-1845. Part of the Gothic Revival style that popped up in America between 1830-1870, it’s made of black walnut and costs $8,500.
I’m not sure how safe it is, but wow.
I like this stuffed owl. You can sew one yourself with this free pattern. Cute.