Sound Machine Woes

I use the White Noise app on my phone, but it sometimes clashes with my alarm clock app, Timely. Just this morning, my alarm went off for 45 minutes before shutting itself off.

Uhmm… yeeaaahh, it went off silently.

I’ve once pondered getting a sound machine for myself but got a simple alarm clock with charging ports instead. There are no challenge questions to turn off the alarm, but the harsh beeping does do that trick. I’m up. I like that little clock.

For the kids, I purchased 3 of these HoMedics sound machines. They did ok at first, but then started having issues. I reviewed this item on Bed, Bath, & Beyond’s website with 2 stars, not recommended. When it worked, it was great. However, it started having issues after about 6 months of use. Now, I’m going to need 3 more machines! Save your money and get a better sound machine from the start. I don’t know what that machine is, yet.

If only I could convince the kids to switch over the app on their devices! I may try that angle again. Spending $150 or more on sound machines is not my idea of fun.

*None of these links are affiliate links.

Popular for Sinks and Showers

I started making these super simple washcloths and they’ve become very popular! I’ve been commissioned to make them and had many family members request them as gifts. They are made from the polyester scrubby “yarn” and are single crocheted all the way with a 5 mm hook.

Variegated Purple Washcloth

The small size (4″ square) is for the sink. They are great little scrubbers that rinse clean and can be washed daily – no need to worry about sponge germs! I make them medium (6″ square) or large (8″ square) for use in the shower instead of a loofa. They’re machine washable, and you can soak them in a bleach/water solution without damaging the colors or fibers if they ever do get a funk.

I try to make them square, but sometimes they get a little character like my latest washcloth pictured above. I’ve also experimented with making them with large holes in each corner so you could hang it on a hook in the shower, but it turns out to be extra work for nothing. The weave moves about and you can hang it on a hook without making a hole specifically for hanging.

I love making this, so I guess it’s a good thing they’re becoming my most requested item.

First Oval

A while back, I switched my bathroom sink’s hand soap from liquid to bar. With the bar, came a soap dish. With that soap dish, came water circles on my counter. Call me crazy (and I might be), but I really don’t like those rings!

So, I decided to learn how to crochet an oval. I’ve never done it before. My first oval turned out kind of warpy, but I like it and I think it’ll do the job.

Here it is in it’s place:

I’m really quite pleased with this perfectly imperfect little creation. Now, I need to make another one and see if I can make it without that giant hole and maybe even a little bit less warped.

Courage

I read this article once, and then again. The second time, I shared it out on Twitter. My IFTTT routines kick my tweets to my Evernote journal. I saw that note this morning, and read it again. This article by Ken Chitwood really resonates with me – perhaps because it takes deep courage to raise kids, especially children with special needs.

A few excerpts:

“When most people think of courage, they think of bravery, fearlessness, or feats of super-heroic valor. And yet, despite what we think or imagine, courage is not about being impervious to fear, pain, or struggle. Instead, courage is something that emerges out of fear, pain, and struggle.

In fact, courage cannot exist without adversity.”

“What we see in these moments is courage. True courage. Courage forged in fear, built after burnout, and worked out in the wilderness of anxiety, pain, and loss…

All of these difficult life experiences and tragedies threaten the very integrity of ourselves, our beings, our souls. At critical crossroads in our lives, we feel the weight of the world crushing in on us and we face a choice: to pick ourselves up and carry on in courage, or turn in on ourselves and shrivel up into the dust, disappointment, and despair.

Instead of trying to avoid anxiety or sidestep struggle, we should embrace these moments in our lives as opportunities for courage to be developed, practiced, and put to use.

Reflecting on the idea of courage, Paul Tillich wrote that true courage is not something that removes or rejects anxiety, but engages it and takes it into itself. Basically, Tillich argued, courage is embracing fear — not avoiding it, ignoring it, or pretending it doesn’t exist.”

“When faced with the great challenges of life, we will need to pull on reservoirs of courage, miracles of audacity that emerge from our past experiences where fear has been transformed into faith, loathing into love, and hardship into hope.”

The entire article is published on THRED and excerpted on Ken’s blog

Seal the Door

My son had been playing an game all day yesterday – something about nuclear fallout and having a shelter. His room was the shelter. The kids were running around the house and pretending stuff was poison laughing and playing. It was great! At one point, I even played along – “Before the nuclear blast hits, come eat your lunch.”

Fast forward to bed time, my son’s room looks like a bomb had gone off! I commented on such and he gave me this chagrined look, “Well, I kind of had to because I was scrounging for parts to make my door seal so this could be the nuclear shelter.”

He rigged a light switch from grandpa to pieces from his electronics kit and taped it to the wall next to his door! That little green light on the orange thingy actually turns on! I was cracking up and impressed. This kid.

My Kind of Ordinary

Bunnies!

My daughter built a bunny habitat complete with shredded paper. She’s been diligently taking care of her bunnies nearly all day. She’s even taken one to bed with her tonight.

Math and Magic

My oldest son spent nearly the entire morning programming and drawing in Scratch a meter to reach his goal of purchasing the outrageous builder subscription on Roblox. He did loads of math learning how to divide his monetary goal up evenly, and how long it’d take him mowing lawns while giving to God and saving.

He then moved onto making magic wands (or swords?) with Legos. That sweet boy tried to wave his wand to make all my pain go away.

Imagination to Design

My younger son and I had a lovely conversation at bedtime revolving around how to go about designing things. He now aspires to this Roblox subscription and is noodling what shirts to make. How do you imagine something and make it real?

… and Poop

I get asked a lot of questions throughout the day. However, my favorite question, by far, was this: “Does God poop?”

I responded, “No, but if he does, it’s perfect.”

Dot Journal

Purple Dot Journal By Artist’s LoftTM – $5 from Michael’s
At this price point, it’s a great deal. I like the size too. My favorite pens are the Pilot G-2 gel inks. They do bleed through the pages ever so slightly. The hardcover is on the softer side of things, it has some give. I love that it has two ribbon bookmarks and that there’s a table of contents style to the first several pages.

*I don’t do affiliate links or for-reward reviews.

I originally was going to review several journals here, but I’m realizing that will take a really long time. I’ve been using this journal for my first bullet journal and I’m enjoying it. I think I’ll get a blue one next time.

Update: I posted my review on Michael’s website.

Imitation Game

I finally got my “round to it” and watched The Imitation Game with Benedict Cumberbatch on Netflix. I have to admit that the actor more than the story line is what grabbed me.

The movie was gripping – a very well told story. Turing was so obviously autistic it was painful. The homosexual twist was not exactly shocking, but I was pleased with how it was covered – not lewd/crude, but matter of fact and certainly not central. Although the movie could have ended much earlier than all the homosexual political stuff – however, I do understand why Hollywood included it. I can’t fault them for using their medium for political agendas.

This is definitely an adult movie for many reasons, but mostly because it’s slow and complex. Kids won’t necessarily be able to follow it. I liked it, and would probably watch it again sometime.

Cumberbatch was great in this role. I do like that actor. He’s not overly handsome, but he is a really believable actor. I find that skill level fascinating to watch.

42

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams has the answer, and it’s 42. This is a great and fun book. I’ve never read the rest in the series, but I want to!

There are a number of theories why the answer to “life, the universe, and everything” is 42. My favorite is that’s it’s ASCII for “anything you want it to be.”

The number 42 also happens to be the ASCII code for the asterisk ‘*’ which is a wildcard character indicating any number of characters or even an empty string in programming. This could be interpreted as the answer ‘anything you want it to be’.

Wikipedia

The real answer is far more mundane.

Douglas Adams was asked many times why he chose the number 42. Many theories were proposed… Adams rejected them all. On 3 November 1993, he gave this answer:

The answer to this is very simple. It was a joke. It had to be a number, an ordinary, smallish number, and… I sat at my desk, stared into the garden and thought ’42 will do’ I typed it out. End of story.

*

Kindle Fire HD 8 MoKo Cases

To help with our educational goals (and make use of my giant Kindle library), I purchased 3 Kindle Fire HD 8 tablets on Prime day for the children. I also got these MoKo cases. Both products are great!

My Review of the cases on Amazon:

We got three of these cases. The cases are sturdy, fit well, the kids love them, and they’re pretty. Who could ask for anything more?

Incidentally, my giant Kindle library is largely due to a BookBub subscription. That service is brilliant!