My Life of Travels and Adventures: December 2012

Craft: Christmas Tree Foot Print

20 December 2012

Super Simple Christmas Craft Here

Stamp baby foot in green paint.  

Press on little canvas. (Next year - Bigger canvas is needed)
Let Dry. 

Draw lights with permanent marker.


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Craft: Holiday Picture Frames

17 December 2012

Supplies: Wooden picture frame.  I bought these on a super sale and Joann's a while ago. 
Clear Coat
While painting various things for Reid's First Birthday party, I pulled these guys out and put a quick coat of stain on them.
Then one evening when Reid was in a good mood, we tried stamping his hand prints on the frames.  He was having nothing of it.  

So we dipped one hand in red paint and one in green paint and let him go to town.  
I wrote Christmas 2012 and Reid's name on each in silver permanent marker and painted a clear coat on each. 
No to shabby for a quick holiday craft. 

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Twinkle Lights Pictures: How To

06 December 2012

I love "twinkle light" pictures.  So for our Christmas card this year we went ahead and had a mini-photoshoot.  
A quick 10 minute set-up with the following...

2 strings of white lights
Masking tape
White Sheet

One afternoon I quickly set up a twinkle light studio in the dining room. 

I used the desk already there and a piece of cardboard to tape up a white sheet.  Then I taped up the christmas lights. 
 See nothing fancy at all..
I used my 50mm lens at f/1.8 and 1/200... due to the lighting in the room I was between ISO 400 and 800 on all the pictures. 
I tried to keep Reid about 3 to 3.5 feet from the backdrop and I moved to the far end of the dining room.
Of course, with a moving baby that was not always possible. 

After a few shots with my test owl, I was ready to get a cute picture for our Christmas Card.
I love this face!

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Book Review: Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

01 December 2012

Battle Hymn of the Tiger MotherI read "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" by Amy Chua recently while pumping at work.

According to goodreads... " All decent parents want to do what's best for their children. What Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother reveals is that the Chinese just have a totally different idea of how to do that. Western parents try to respect their children's individuality, encouraging them to pursue their true passions and providing a nurturing environment. The Chinese believe that the best way to protect your children is by preparing them for the future and arming them with skills, strong work habits, and inner confidence. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother chronicles Chua's iron-willed decision to raise her daughters, Sophia and Lulu, her way-the Chinese way-and the remarkable results her choice inspires.
Here are some things Amy Chua would never allow her daughters to do:
  • have a playdate 
  • be in a school play
  • complain about not being in a school play
  • not be the #1 student in every subject except gym and drama
  • play any instrument other than the piano or violin
  • not play the piano or violin
The truth is Lulu and Sophia would never have had time for a playdate. They were too busy practicing their instruments (two to three hours a day and double sessions on the weekend) and perfecting their Mandarin.

Of course no one is perfect, including Chua herself. Witness this scene:

"According to Sophia, here are three things I actually said to her at the piano as I supervised her practicing:

1. Oh my God, you're just getting worse and worse.
2. I'm going to count to three, then I want musicality.
3. If the next time's not PERFECT, I'm going to take all your stuffed animals and burn them!"

But Chua demands as much of herself as she does of her daughters. And in her sacrifices-the exacting attention spent studying her daughters' performances, the office hours lost shuttling the girls to lessons-the depth of her love for her children becomes clear. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother is an eye-opening exploration of the differences in Eastern and Western parenting- and the lessons parents and children everywhere teach one another.""

It was an interesting read.  I am sure that it is not the parenting style I choose for my family but it does explain some things that I see with other families.  I am sure that is one of many parenting style books I will read in my time.

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