Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A Little Advent - Christmas Resource Round Up

Advent starts Sunday!  We sure are getting excited around here!  We even had trial runs of O Come, O Come Emmanuel!  and People Look East! at breakfast this morning!  Friday and Saturday we'll be pulling out the Advent wreath and Jesse Tree and dusting off some of the holiday books!  

I'm not planning on writing much that's Advent-y or Christmas-y this year.  But I did enjoy looking back through some of my past holiday posts and thought I'd stick some of them together here for you.  

I can't wait to get out holiday book basket out!  In this old post, I starred our
favorites.  What are you favorite picture books to share with kids during
Advent and Christmas?

For non-Christmas book ideas, check out my book lists page for lots of other great gift ideas!

Advent and Christmas Classical Music Recommendations
Music that we love that's not Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer or Barenaked Ladies 
singing We Three Kinds (which I'm pretty sure is one of the all time absolute worst 
recordings of a Christmas song.  Of all time.  Ever.  All time.) 

Advent for Adults
My favorite books for my own personal spiritual reading during Advent.
(cause it's not just about kids, you know.)

10 Christmas Gift Ideas for Kids that Are Not Stuff
I love this list, if I do say so myself!  It's refreshing to bless our kids, and to be blessed by others with thoughtful gifts that don't add to our clutter.  
(Cause, boy, do we have enough clutter!)

But if you ARE in the market for some good old fashioned Christmas toys, here are some
that the kids and I heartily recommend!  

Want to help your kids made homemade gifts for family and friends??  Check out our Kids Made Gift series from last year and the Kids Craft Ideas page too!

And don't forget!  There are still some items available in the Ordinary Lovely shoplet for your shopping convenience!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Guilt and Misunderstanding in the Juice Aisle (Diabetes Awareness Month, 2015)

When Aaron was diagnosed with diabetes over two years ago, I knew we'd have some new and unusual and scary issues to navigate.  But believe me, I never guessed how much drama there'd be over JUICE!!

We're not a juice family.  It's a health thing and it's a preference thing.  Juice is not the "health food" they market it as, and I just don't care for it that much (except for the occasional fresh squeezed orange juice that pancake houses serve in a shot glass for $4.99.  It's criminal... but oh, so delicious!) so I don't really serve it to my family.  

I think I can count on one hand the times our kids drink juice each year - they get orange juice at Easter brunch (cause the adults gets mimosas *glug, glug*!), apple cider at the Fall Soup Party and Thanksgiving, and maybe a sip or two on those Saturday mornings when my husband has one of his biannual I-must-have-juice-now!! episodes and runs out for a frozen orange juice concentrate leaving all the kids sitting at the breakfast table waiting like baby birds for him to come home with the delectable nectar.  

So, we don't really drink juice.   But we have a pantry stocked with juice.  And we never leave the house without juice.  And I have a bottle of juice in the glove compartment of both cars.  And the kids... all these kids I have... are frequently pestering me about can they drink the juice juice juice juice juice!?!

Aaron drinks juice.

And it is a constant source of conflict for me.

Because everyone knows that juice rots your teeth, and has little nutritional value compared to an actual piece of fruit, and juice spikes your blood sugar in a major way. 

Bingo.  Aaron drinks juice to spike his blood sugar in a major way.  

Since a diabetic's body does not naturally regulate blood sugar, if his glucose levels are  very low (hypoglycemia) they must be brought up immediately and artificially, to avoid severe complications such as comma, brain damage, and even death.  

Scary.  And that's why, despite all my instincts not to, I buy juice. 

For most diabetics the preferred methods of raising blood sugar quickly (because it must be done quickly) are juice, frosting, candy such as Skittles or Smarties, or glucose tablets.  It must be something with lots of sugar, little fat, and low to no nutritional value, because fat and nutritional goodness slow down the effectiveness of the sugar.  If a diabetic's blood sugar drops low enough that he is uncooperative, is too confused or incapacitated  to chew or swallow, or is unconscious, he will need an immediate emergency and life-saving injection of glucagon (a hormone that's kind of like the opposite of insulin.)  And believe me, ain't nobody want the glucagon...............

I mean, you might as well cue the Psycho music... right??  

So juice it is.  

And even though I know that juice is part of my son's life-saving first aid kit, I still feel guilty buying it.  

I hear little whispers  from the nutrition angel on my shoulder as I head for the juice aisle at the grocery store, "Juice is evil!!!  Don't purchase the evil!"  I hear the JAWS theme music play as I scan the shelves and reach for a six pack of apple juice.  I feel the piercing and disapproving stares of health-conscious shoppers as I put the juice in my cart and lower my eyes so that our gazes don't meet.  I act distracted and all "how'd that get there???" when I put the juice up on the checkout counter.

Ok, I know.  It's all in my head.  I mean, they don't really play the JAWS theme at the place where I shop.    

And I know I'm just imagining the piercing stares.  Seriously, no one else in the store cares what's in my cart.  No one is really judging me for buying juice.  

Except for the day that they did.

I was in the juice aisle, chatting to myself but making it appear less awkward by directing my mumbles in the general direction of the baby sitting in the shopping cart.  I crossed juice off my list and reached for a six pack.  

"Oh wait!  That's the low sugar kind," I said out loud to myself as I withdrew my hand, realizing my mistake.  

A nearby, well-meaning shopper overheard my private conversation with myself and said, "Oh sweetie, it tastes just as good as the other stuff and it's so much better for your kids." 

In retrospect, I should have been an on-the-spot type 1 diabetes educator, politely said, "Not for my child, it isn't," and given her my speech about the dangers of hypoglycemia and the life-saving properties of juice, frosting, and Skittles.  But I had that baby in the cart and four other kids in the grocery store kids play room, so I just laughed off her misunderstanding of the situation, found the juice I wanted (the kind with the extra double shot of sugary goodness), and bustled out of there. 

Cause the truth is, I sort of get it.  It goes against every fiber of my being to have juice in the cart, in the fridge, in the pantry, in the car, and in my purse.  But it's a diabetic's necessary accessory and in an emergency situation, that sugary, tooth-rotting, non-nutritive, sugar-spiking juice, could spike the sugar of the exact person that needs it to save his life.  

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Know the signs of hypoglycemia:

sweating, chills, clamminess
irritability, impatience
rapid heartbeat
lightheadedness, diziness
hunger, nausea
blurred vision
weakness, fatigue
lack of coordination

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I encourage you to read some of the other things I've written about 
diabetes and our family life.  And as always, please feel free to 
ask questions here!

What is Type 1 Diabetes? and Other Things You Can Learn From 

Highly Scientific Internet Memes

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You may also like...

by Amanda Perales

Monday, November 16, 2015

Ordinary Lovely 2015 Shoplet

I'm so happy to have a few handmade items available for sale!  

A Shoplet is a mini, unofficial shop - a place where I can share the things I've made over and above what my family needs.  It's a way for me to share my joy in making simple, lovely, and useful things for friends and family.  And it's a way for me to do it in my own little space!  (You can read about why I chose the "Shoplet" over Etsy here.)

Thank you for stopping by!  If you want to find this post in the weeks to come, or want to direct a friend here, there will be a Shoplet image on the top of my right sidebar that you can click on to bring you right here :)  

Please read the following guidelines before browsing and purchasing.

  • The Shoplet will be open until December 11.  I will not take any purchases after that date.

  • If you would like to buy an item, please leave a comment here at the end of this post stating the name and number of the item.  Please then send me an email at theresa[dot]blackstone[at]gmail[dot]com with the same information, as well as your name and full address.  

  • Comments from non-buyers are still welcome.  Obviously!!

  • I am only able to accept payments by PayPal (or in person from local folk!)  Once the payment, including the packing and shipping cost, has been sent to my PayPal account (the email listed above) I will send out your item and notify you by email.

  • If I do not receive your payment within three days of your comment, I will put the item back up for sale for someone else to purchase.

  • I cannot take any additional orders at this time.  I'm sorry.  Special orders are so flattering that I wish I could :(  But my own kids' Christmas presents have yet to be crocheted!  

  • And of course, please let me know if you have any questions!

I've never done this on my blog before and it's a bit of an experiment for me!  I think it will go well!  However, I know you'll be patient with me if there are kinks to work out :)

I'd love for you invite your family and friends to come check out the Shoplet too!  All are welcome!  And if they're friends of readers, they're very welcome <3

Again, thank you for stopping by!

Rainbow Crocheted Nesting and Stacking Bowls
$15, $4 packing and shipping
(both sets SOLD!) 

Bowls are crocheted in a soft washable wool/acrylic blend.
They make a sweet toy for children or storage for adults (a pretty way to hold jewelry, hair accessories, etc...)
The largest bowl measures approximately  4 1/4 inches across and 2 1/4 inches high.
The smallest is about 2 inches across and 1 1/2 inches high.
The six bowls stacked together measure approximately one foot tall.

Crocheted Nesting and Stacking Bowls
$15, $4 packing and shipping

(see description in previous item)

Crocheted Bowls and Wooden Checkers 
Color Sorting Toy
$15, $4 packing and shipping

Bowls are crocheted in a soft, washable wool/acrylic blend.
They measure approximately 2 3/4 inches in diameter.  The checkers are wood, painted with non-toxic acrylic paint and sealed with organic flax oil.

Wood Color Sorting Toy
$12, $4 packing and shipping

Five little guys and five little pots!  Color sorting fun for little ones.
Each pot measures approximately 2 inches tall and each figure is 2 1/2 inches tall.
They are wood, painted with non-toxic acrylic paint, and sealed with organic flax oil.

Wood and Terry Cloth Teething Ring
$10, $3 packing and shipping

please specify preference when ordering:

5A - Petals Teether
5B - Playful Monkeys Teether (SOLD!)
5C - Butterfly Garden Teether (SOLD!)
5D - Polkadot Teether (SOLD!)

A toy for baby to grasp and chew (and that's not an assault on mom's eyes like many commercial teething rings are!)
Cotton and thick terry cloth "ears" are great for little gums and new teeth.  The smooth wood rings are sealed with organic flax oil.  Drool, spit up, and other unpleasantries are not a problem because the fabric comes off and is machine washable :)

Baby Doll Ring Sling
$10, $4 packing and shipping

Your little one can care for her baby dolls and keep them close in a child size ring sling.
Adjustable with two D rings.

Baby Bibs
$6, $3 packing and shipping

please specify preference when ordering:

7A - retro floral bib (SOLD!)
7B - silly monsters bib (SOLD!)

The baby bibs each have a secure snap closures and the backs are thick, absorbent terry cloth.  Each bib measures approximately 10 inches from top to bottom and 8 inches across at the widest point.  The "fall" from baby's neck is about 5 1/2 inches.  
They're washable.  Obviously ;)

Harvest Baby Bibs
$12, $3 packing and shipping

These thick, soft bibs would be perfect for your little one at the Thanksgiving table!  They have secure snaps closures, the backs are absorbent terry cloth, the fronts are pumpkins and autumn's bounty.  (Did you know my name, Theresa, means "bountiful harvest" or "reaper"  ?!?!  It's so autumnal!)    
Each bib measures approximately 10 inches from top to bottom and 8 inches across at the widest point.  The "fall" from baby's neck is about 5 1/2 inches.

Child-size Kitchen Apron
$10, $3 packing and shipping

please specify when ordering:

9A - Christmas stripe and Nativity Dolls
9B - Gingerbread Men (front) and Trees (back)
9C - Trees (front) and Gingerbread Men (back)

A reversible apron, perfect for winter-time baking and helping around the kitchen :)
The apron measures 20 1/2 inches from just below the neck strap to the bottom.  Best fits 4 - 7 year olds.  (if you want to make your own smaller, toddler-size version, here's the link to my pattern and tutorial.)

Lavender Crochet Cowl
(Toddler/Pre-Schooler Size)
$10, $3 packing and shipping

Crocheted in a very soft acrylic yarn.  Washable.
The toddler/pre-schooler lavender cowl pictured in the top photos is item (10) for sale.

Pocket-Full-of-Posies Crochet Cowl
(Child Size)
$10, $3 packing and shipping

Crocheted in a very soft acrylic yarn.  Washable.

The  pink child-size cowl pictured in the top and bottom photos is item (11) for sale.

Pink Ombre Crochet Mittens
(Size Childrens 4-6)
$10, $3 packing and shipping

My kids love these soft and cozy mittens crocheted in a wool/acrylic blend, so I think yours will too :)  They are washable, and actually get even more soft and cozy after being washed!  They will not shrink in the dryer either!  (Trust me, we have 35 pairs of these crochet mittens floating around the house and they've all been in the washer/dryer many times!)

Toddler/Pre-Schooler Crochet Mittens
$8, $3 packing and shipping

please specify when ordering:

13A - pink mittens (SOLD!)
13B - green mittens (SOLD!)

(see description for previous item)

Toddler/Pre-Schooler Crochet Bloom Hat
$10, $3 packing and shipping

This hat is crocheted in a chunky beige acrylic with an orange-pink accent flower.
(note: the colors in the bottom photos are more true to the actual product)

Women's Sugarplum Crochet Infinity Scarf
$15, $4 packing and shipping

Crocheted in a cozy, chunky wool/acrylic blend, this scarf is sure to keep you warm! 
(I know because I've made two for myself ;) )
(note: the color in the bottom photo is more true to the actual product)

Women's Harvest Crochet Hat
$10, $3 packing and shipping

Crocheted in a soft wool/acrylic blend, this burnt-orange cap with wood button accents is perfect for chilly days.  (Again... I know from experience ;) )

Women's Cranberry Crochet Beret
$10, $3 packing and shipping

This is one of my favorite patterns to make and wear.  Crocheted in... you guessed it!  a soft, wool/acrylic blend, it's comfy and stylish :)

Women's Peony Crochet Cowl
$10, $3 packing and shipping)

Super soft neck cowl crocheted in a subtle multi-tone pink acrylic yarn.

Harvest Crochet Pumpkins
$10, $3 packing and shipping

Crocheted Bunting
$10, $3 packing and shipping

please specify when ordering:

20A - pink-to-brown bunting
20B - pink and blue
20C - pink and blue (same colors as 20B, crocheted slightly different)




Plush Matryoshka Style Doll
$10, $3 packing and shipping

A treat for a Matryoshka lover, or a soft first doll for baby.
The doll is approximately 9 inches tall.

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