Algebra life

I just seriously used the area of a triangle theorem to figure out how many feathers I need to cover so Zoe’s wings. 

A=1/2b * h

did you forget your lunch?

I recently read this NYTimes article that more or less says that there are now schools with a policy against parents bringing things forgotten at home.

photo credit; KJ Dell’Antonia

As always, the interesting part is in the comments where there is debate about this….

Is it right for the school to dictate this sort of policy?

I can see that the constant flow of parents to the school with forgotten items can get in the way of running a school, not to mention kids coming to the office to get it, or, parents disrupting class time to bring the forgotten item.  On the other hand, a flat out policy AGAINST really feels like there will be trouble when super allergy child forgets their lunch and gets to starve because they can’t eat school lunch and nobody can bring the lunch.

When is a child ‘old enough’ to be responsible?

I don’t know… there are people who say suffering young makes them more responsible faster but then there are adults that are still constantly forgetting things.  Did that adult have an indulgent parent, or, are they just forgetful?  I know some kids just loose or forget all the time – luckily my kids seem to have it more or less under control but I also remind and I’ve brought things to school a few times over the past few years.  In my opinion, I’m not bringing anything that I told them 5x to put in their backpack but I like that I get to make that call.

At what point are you hurting the child by helping, or, hurting them by letting the swing?

Another big I don’t know.  I can see the rule basically as a shield for parents, they can’t bring something so their child knows there is no bail out coming.  The child can’t spend half the day hopeful that their parent will appear with the missing form/lunch/homework/snowpants and be disappointed in the end when the parent does not turn up (either by decision or inability or just didn’t even notice the missing item).  In that way the rule is a good thing, all kids know that no adults can or will bail them out at school.

There is also the case where it isn’t the kids fault…  Lars forgot to pack a snack for Niamh one morning because he didn’t even know she needed one and I was at an early meeting.   I was going by the school anyway so I dropped the snack in her locker; ironically – she never saw it and went snackless anyway.  However, she saw it when she packed up and knew that I was looking out for her.  Opportunities to be a hero are pretty slim and I’m glad to take the moment where I can.

It is an interesting and many-sided situation.  I know as an adult I hate the feeling I get when I forget something I need like my wallet or my lunch or phone.  It puts me off my game and I think that I bring stuff for my kids when its important because I don’t want them missing a day of focus in school because they are worried about it.  I’m also sure I’m completely overthinking this but if you read the article I’m not alone in overthinking.


Three things Thursday

After my condemnation of Slumberland yesterday I need to pour a little extra positive into today, good thing it’s Thursday!

#1  Halloween costume shopping is well underway.  I’m going with 3 totally different costumes, no common theme but they are all fun.

Niamh wants Pocahontas – very easy; dress with fringe that will go to the dress up bin after and I’ll buy brown boots she can wear for the season and embellish with some fringe.  Since Pocohantas doesn’t wear shoes in the movie I’m allowed to make that part up because in MN you HAVE to wear shoes…

Zoe switched around a ton but finally settled on an Owl.  She has always loved owls and I’ve always wanted to make one of the cool cloak of feathers costumes.  I went to the store undecided between fleece and felt.  Fleece is washable making the cloak a longer running garment but it tends to be more expensive.  Lucky day (kinda) fleece was on sale and the exact same price as felt.  For the body I’m making a big ‘sack’ style tunic with elastic at the bottom and top and post-Halloween I’m going to sew up the arm and head holes, add a zipper to the bottom, and voila! A new floor pillow in minky pink and brown.

Fiona wants to be a RED Superhero.  Not a specific superhero at all, she has no idea about lava girl and never saw Firestar (who is mostly yellow anyway) so I get to be as creative as I want with hers.  Its gong to be the least sewing costume of them all, just a red tutu and I’ll buy pants and a shirt and I already have a cape from SheRa.  I’ll be crafting the accessories so that will be fun.


#2  I’m mid-project for upcycling the crib.  I hope to finish it up today and I’ve had fun with the puzzle of what hardware to use because my goal is that if we need to, it can be a crib again (but its so useful now!)


#3 In the general category of organizing the garage for winter (and while I’m glad its happening it isn’t exactly fun) I actualy successfully sold this monstrosity on a garage sale site.  I got a whole $15 but I’m really just glad its OUT of my life and I smile every time I see the 5 square feet it used to take up empty.


Honorable mention is my new Daisy girlscout, I’m happy to have a daughter follow in my scout footsteps and I’m more happy that I don’t have to be the leader.IMG_6660

Sins of Slumberland


10 days out of the box… I call that poor quality

The sins of Slumberland – explanation below

  1. Coffee table that chips, scratches and looks like trash less than a week out of the box
  2. Shady sales tactic that push the ‘value’ of a $200 reduction in the form of a merchandise credit
  3. Lied about quality when asked
  4. virtually nothing in the store under $200, everything is very overpriced for the quality I experienced
  5. No reviews on their website – a real indication that they don’t care about the voice of the customer



The long version

A few months ago we went mattress shopping.  It was long, it was tedious and you know what we found out?  There are only so many mattress and LOTS of places sell virtually the same mattress.  Oh they might claim to be different mattresses to prevent direct comparison but if you find a mattress you like you can probably find its nearly identical twin at another store near by.

I say this because we were SUCKERED in by a $200 ‘discount’ in the form of a slumberland dollars (usable only at slumberland). We could have gotten a better deal by about $100 at other stores for the same mattress but I was tired of looking and also intrigued by the shiny furniture in the acre of show room.

When we went back to use our $200 we found not only did it have many many restrictions (unsurprising) but there was very little in our style that we actually needed and even less near the $200 mark.  We choose a coffee table because our 10 year old table from Target had just started to be unstable and we picked out this table – the Radcliffe Collection Coffee Table in Merlot – and in the store I asked about a small chip I saw in a different/similar coffee table and the sales person said something to the effect that ‘floor models get bashed endlessly, you should be fine’  basically lying to me about the quality of the finish because mine chipped within 3 days and was very chipped and scratched after 10.


this was the first chip, found 2 days out of box


scratches; >10 days in the house and found under a library book left on the table.

They took the table back – kudos to them – but now I’m more or less out $200 on the cost of the mattress because I fell for their incentive.  They gave me another credit but seriously, there is nothing there I want because I prefer my furniture to look like it hasn’t spent a year in a frat house.  I tried to talk to them, but they did not really want to talk to me so all I can do is hope that I save you from a similar fate by sharing this little story.  Make my $200 useful and listen to me – go to Ikea, go to the thrift store, go anywhere else.  I hope I cost them far more than 200 in lost sales!


Ps. If Slumberland reads this and actually wants to make this up to me let me know

A little less social meadia to keep social

Yesterday I praised the megga that is FaceBook but we all know it has its flaws (including the perpetual hoax that it is going to publicize all our posts).   One of the reasons I have a selfie of myself with the moon is because I took it to send specifically to my cousins.  Why?  Well – it ties into one of the main reasons why I blog – to keep in touch with my family in NY, HI, ME, and CA etc.  HOWEVER, due to who know why reasons my cousins do not write an equally verbose blog so I don’t know much about THEM.  I have two options; let my cousins drift off and turn into people I only see at funerals and occasional holidays OR do something about it.  What I decided to do was start a Sunday Text Share.

I got everyone’s number, held my breath hoping that they would go along with it, and texted a little intro and a picture of my kids on Sunday morning.

What followed was beyond expectations….  of 9 people on the list all but 1 replied.  And not just replied once like I hoped, many of them texted throughout the day and it felt like we actually spent the day together in a way.  The best part is that by reaching into each of my sisters and cousins lives I get to see their husbands and friends and kids so from a 10 person list we get a snippet of life from 30+ souls.  We all grew up within a mile of each other and now we live all over half the globe but on Sunday I feel like they are neighbors again.


kid cousins in the stream I played in with my cousins… Because we can’t do this often we can do the next best thing…

We have kept it up for a month now and I find myself taking extra pictures on Sunday to share and I’m always glad I have them later.  After I started this project I started seeing articles on the general subject of ‘keeping in touch’ (good old red-car syndrome) and the one that was most striking was that friendships are often about the little normal moments.  Of knowing that someone cooked steak or that just replaced a doorknob.  The mundane details that would never ever make a Christmas letter (of chit chat at a funeral…) but make a person real.  That’s what I’m looking for with my family and I think we are going that way.  Some of them are fantastic about posting on facebook, others not so much, but we can all* text and do :)  I hope we can keep this up, the technology is there and all my cousins have a phone so we are a very lucky 1st world family and this works for us.  I thought I might share since I know lots of families are spread out over the country and this is a way to use our current tech to keep in touch – who knows, maybe someday they will perfect the transporter and we can all do coffee weekly but until then this will have to do.


*ok, one cousin apparently can’t – you can lead a horse to water…. still not bad overall

The moon is what we are all talking about

There are many many reasons I like facebook.  The reason I like it today is because yesterday morning a friend posted a semi-mocking post about the upcoming eclipse but hey, that was the first I heard about it.  In my defence, I don’t get much time to read news and I don’t like to turn on the news when the kids are around for fear I need to explain what a triple homicide is, or, genocide – we have already had to have some of those discussions but I don’t want to make it a common theme in their life.  So if the news does not make facebook or the John Oliver show I don’t see it~  Back to Facebook, I heard there WAS a moon thing and then when I went out for a run I SAW the awesome full moon rise but all I had was my iPhone…  I took a few lame pictures and resolved to take a better one but then I got home and it fell out of my head.

IMG_6638 IMG_6640

Then after dinner, after kids in bed, after my shower I was scrolling my feed and another friend commented on how cool it was that everyone was posting eclipse pictures and I got up off the couch, in my pj’s, and went up on the ladder that happened to be up because I need to roof a bit, and took pictures.  None are awesome but it was fun that Lars and I stood at the top of a ladder, leaning on our roof, watching this event.  I messed with settings and things and the clouds held until the second half of the event so I have to trust that the moon came back ;)



So thank you Facebook and Friends that post cool things.