Sunday, May 04, 2008

Gifts and a mini rant

A few gifts have left the house as of late. First, for a baby that may be here sooner than we thought she would be

My pal Jenn#2 has such a sweet nursery planned for little Madeline. It is a penguin theme, but done in pinks and blues. I couldn't find the perfect fabric to go with the color theme, so I went instead with a fun Japanese print of playful penguins and paired it with bold fabrics
I thought Jenn would like as well to make a on-the-go blankie

The knit penguin

is from this pattern, and the hat was purchased from this etsy seller.

Also, for my nephew celebrating his 4th birthday, a holder and belt for his Gameboy Advance Micro

I know what some of you may be thinking. Yes, this may be a little young to be into video games. To add to the shock value, I remember him with a joystick in hand as young as 18 months.

To the critical among you, I offer you this. Growing up, my house was the junk food house. I was sent a piece of fruit with lunch (along with a Ding Dong), and we had a veggie with dinner, but other than that I fear most of the convenience food in the house had little nutritional value. There were no tempting bowls of grapes or carrots in the fridge, but there was just about every packaged snack food product known to American pre-teen kids, and all 5 brands of cereal in the cupboard were of the sugar fortified variety.

For me, it was take it or leave it. I had maybe a snack-sized bag of chips when I got home, but that was it. My friend, who lived in the sugar-free, no "fun" food house, came over every single day after school and gorged herself. It was not uncommon to see her with a bowl of Fruit Loops and 3 or 4 packaged snacks sitting nearby. She'd horde them near her as if she was afraid somebody would take them away from her. Other friends whose parents wouldn't "waste money" on snacks were also known to pig out a little. Ah, the secret lives of latchkey kids. But, I guess that's a commentary for another day.

Now, I'm not saying you have to give in to every whim of your child. But fortunately by God or by grace, their tendencies and personalities become fairly evident to us from a very young age. A child who plays video games incessantly and won't go outside, or a kid who literally does eat nothing but junk food certainly needs some restriction. But, taking something away completely often causes longing and desires that need to be fulfilled. Like any good junkies, kids usually know where they can find their fix. Moderation is key, and you should not assume your children will not become crazed demons if they are exposed to (fill-in-the-blank). In fact, you may be surprised to find the opposite is true.

My two cents for the week - take it or leave it. But, weren't the gifts cute?


Anonymous said...

This was such a precious gift of love and an amazing show of talent that I will never be able to replicate. Every little item in the lovely basket fit our little Madeline's decor and Jenn even monogrammed the scarf around the knitted penguins neck. To say the least my full blooded Japanese husband thought it was wonderful and was stunned by Jenn's ability to not only make the blanket but to actually knit a stuffie for little Maddie. I also want to add that Jenn was the winner of a beautiful orchid because even on a spontaneous craft of painting baby bibs Jenn won 1st place for drawing a penguin on a bib to continue our theme. Jenn thank you so much for being such a wonderful, caring and giving friend. We are truly blessed to have you in our life and love everything that you do. Hope you have a great week a work and may be it be an easy one for you too.

Love you to pieces!

Jenn #2

Handi Dandi Mandi said...

I love the little knit penguin, it's too cute! What sweet and thoughtful gifts.

woof nanny said...

Wow! LOVE all the stuff you made. Holy cow. You knit a penguin? How cool is that?! I think the game belt is genius.

And as for the 'rant', I think it's awesome. And so true. Parents are far too paranoid and politically correct. I grew up on Coca Cola and Koolaid. I would have done it regardless. We all just need to emphasize moderation in all things. A pop tart ain't gonna kill ya on occasion. But it might be fun. And that, as far as I'm concerned, is what life is all about. The thing is, so-called experts say one thing then pull back the next. Canola oil is now supposedly toxic. I mean, who can keep up? I do know that life without bread would certainly not be as joyful, that's for sure. I'll take my real butter and real sugar any day too. Absolutely. Oh, and whole milk products. Phooey to low fat. Everyone needs to try whole milk mozzarella and whole milk yogurt with a cream top and taste the difference. Just sayin'. And don't even get me started on produce in season...
Read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle if you haven't already.

leslie said...

yikes! my parents let us eat trix cereal and gallons of ice-cream, spagettios (sp??) were a staple and chips with our sandwiches for sure. i grew up to be a vegetarian, obsessed with healthy eating and my friend who only ate healthy is a junk food junkie now. you never know how it will turn out. for me, i try to get my girls to eat well but will never make huge issues out of food. i swore i would never feed them mcdonalds or fast food and thats just impossible. you do the best you can and hopefully not give your kids too many hang ups, i think most people find junk food makes you feel icky so you learn on your own to eat it in moderation. at least thats what happened to me.

jen you are the best!!! i love that knit penguin and the gift basket and the letter your friend wrote to you, just a wonderful letter to read after a long hard day at work!

Junie Moon said...

I love the gifts! They're adorable and so thoughtful. That little belt idea is ever so clever, too.

Stephknits3 said...

Cute and lovely gifts! Those are the kind of gifts that make people appreciate craftiness!

Heidi said...

That knit penguin is so cute! Thanks for linking to the pattern.

I have a little something I've been meaning to send to you. Could you please send me your address? Send to spiritualknitter (at) gmail (dot) com. Thanks!

Jane said...

The gift is so sweet! I was *that* kid who went nuts at houses with either junk food or TV. I think it is very sad that I would go on a play date and really wish I could watch their TV rather than play with the kid of the house! LOL. I agree with your view here.

Kari & Kijsa said...

Happy Mother's Day! Hope you had a wonderful day with your family.

kari & kijsa

African Kelli said...

I think that might be the most thoughtful baby gift I've ever seen! Nicely done.
And now I have to knit a couple penguins. -- Talk about something you never thought you'd write...

molly/apple cyder said...

I was the one in the no fun/no sugar house who went over to my bff's to eat junk food. And you betcha, I became pretty obsessed with candy etc. You are spot on.

Congrats on the new book!

And a side question (unrelated): I noticed your photos of fabric from M&L Fabrics on flickr. I am visiting LA this summer and would like to check out a few fabric stores. Are there other notable shops that you'd recommend? Thanks for any advice. Love your blog.

molly said...

Oh--my email is acyder at gmail dot com. Thanks!

Gail :) said...

My cousin did her daughter's room in penguins too. I bought a bolt of penguin eyelit like trim to finish off the baby quilt I made for her. What I am trying to say is if your friend Jenn#2 is in need of more decor, I would be willing to give you some yardage for a project. I love what you made for her wee one, and your blog is adorable too. I'm glad I found it ;)

Kate said...

My mother was a 'you can have a HALF AN HOUR' parent. And when you are talking about game systems with no memory card, that is not only frustrating, but also kind of pointless.

Even as an adult, I now sometimes spend almost all day on the computer. Cos I can. It's only been that last year or so (I'm 24) that I have started to get bored with it and stop playing, not because I've got something else to do, but because I'm done.

I'm with you. Kids should get to be kids sometimes, and that means indulging. And not being hovered over by adults. As long as they get taught the information that they will need to make good choices later, I don't see what's wrong with that, meself!