Why My Blog Will Never Be Big

I know some people out there wonder why anyone would start a blog. Well...the reasons are varied, just like the people who write the stories. I created my blog because I like to write. I have a lot of interests, diy projects, clothing, failing at cooking, movies. This make my blog hard to pin down. I do not fit in a category that is easy to define.

Some people write about their lives daily. Lets be honest, my life is not nearly exciting enough for me to post daily. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram take care of that for me anyway. I can not cook well, and frankly, I hate to cook. I don't bake (and when I do bake the results are often a disaster.) I don't outfit blog very often. Partly because I forget to take the pictures and partly because I don't always feel like I wear things anyone would care to see.

My blog will never be a top 100, 1000, or even 10000 blog. I won't ever have c/o items or sponsors knocking down my door. I probably won't ever break 30 "followers". I don't court advertisers. I am not overly active in the blogging community. I have a handful of blogs that I very much enjoy reading, but I don't do link-ups or giveaways. I do not have 40 extra hours to devote to this blog, even if I wanted to I wouldn't.

Because in the grand scheme of things, none of that matters.

I don't blog for accolades or money or fame. I blog because it is fun. I blog because somewhere in the vastness of the Internet might be one other person who wants to know an easy way to make a dress-up wardrobe out of an old dresser. There might be some person looking for a list of decent books for her kid to read. There might be someone else who loves finding dresses in the kid's department. There might even be another crappy movie lover. And if there isn't? Well, that is okay too.

To Read or Not To Read...

As an avid book lover (see photographic proof here), I have always sworn that I will never censor anything my daughter wants to read. Do I hope to push her towards certain types of books? Yes. Will I encourage a variety of genres? Yes. Will I push her towards fantasy with strong female characters? Yes. Will I also dissuade her from the less empowering works out there? No. 
This picture is not related to the content, I just think she is ridiculously adorable.

As an English teacher I have always been of the opinion that any book that gets a kid to read is a good book. As a mom, I hold to this same opinion. I can freely admit that I was sucked in to the Twilight craze many moons ago, and why not?  They were fluff, a diversion, fun. This was pre-daughter though.... And I read them as a twenty something grown up with an already pretty well developed sense of self. Did I find Bella Swan to be dreadful and boring. Yep. (Kristen Stewart really nails that simpering bore quality in the horrid movies.) I think the 4th book really sealed the deal for me. I dislike Mary Sue characters anyway, so Bella's complete transformation from wimpy girl to super vampire was less than pleasing. (Especially since she did not actually do ANYTHING with her "shield" powers.) At the end of the day though, do I dislike these books? No. I think they are what they are--beach reads. Do I want my daughter reading it at age 4, 7, or even 11?, not really. Will I keep her from reading it? No. I will, however, re-read them with her so we can discuss the themes and relationships between the characters.

I want her to grow up reading books that inspire her. Fantasy is a good thing. It breeds imagination, and I think that people without imagination are dreadfully dull. (I have a friend who thinks I have no imagination because I don't like animals that aren't normal animal colors ;) but I do have a very vivid imagination, in large part due to the vast amount of reading I did as a child.) I want her to read Sci-Fi, Classics, Poetry, Westerns, Horror. As she grows, I hope she will share my love of biographies and memoirs. I want her to know and understand that books open doors. I hope that she will still want to go on treasure hunts with me to the fantastic old opera house that is a now a recycled book store even when she is older. She loves books now, and I think it is my job as a parent to grow that love.

I sincerely hope that she will be interested in reading the same books I loved (some as a child, some as an adult). I have even compiled a list. These are the books I want her to devour. She can save the fluff for the beach.

15. Where the Red Fern Grows
14. Emma
13. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
12. The Amelia Bedelia Books
11. A Wrinkle in Time
10. Catherine Called Birdy
9.  The Harry Potter Series
8. The Princess Bride
7. The Hunger Games
6. The Secret Garden
5. Little Women
4. Coraline
3. His Dark Materials Trilogy
2. Charlotte's Web
1. Anything by Roald Dahl

What books are must reads for your children? Are there books out there you don't want them reading at all? Leave a comment!

How I Spent My Spring Break--Painting Furniture....

I decided to use my spring break to work on A's room makeover. My eyes were bigger than my stomach though...I thought for sure I would knock this project out, and by the time the Bug returned from her Gigi's I would have new furniture to show her.

She will be 4 in May, and we feel it is time to transition her to a "big girl" bed and bedroom. I feel a stab of nostalgia when I look at the butterfly decals that have been up since her birth, but the toddler bed (and the blankets that fit it) no longer fit her. Her room won't be finished until her birthday, so I technically still have two months, but between the princess cut-outs I am still working on, favor bags, and decorations for the party, Disney planning, and the furniture makeover I knew I needed to start now.

I did manage to finish the nightstand, do one coat on the mirror, one coat on all the drawers, and paint all the hardware. So that isn't horrible....I am not 100% happy with the finished product, but being me, I know I won't ever be. (Sad isn't it?)

(I cropped this picture to spare myself some humiliation, as I may have been getting ready to go to prom my Freshman year and may look ridiculous.) This is the dresser (which I actually haven't touched with the exception of the drawers). The dresser, nightstand, mirror, and bed all belonged to my mom. Then they belonged to me, and come May they will belong to A. The original color was an antique white with gold detail.

Then in 2007 J and I moved into a house with a guest room. I painted the antique white an olive green and the gold hardware became silver.

And poof! Here it is today after several coats of glossy white paint. This furniture has certainly had a long life!

I will have a larger post in May related to the nitty gritty of the redo.

A Return Trip to Science

Just under a year ago my little family and I went to the Ft. Worth Museum of Science and History. (You can read about that trip here.) As mentioned in that post, the "Omni" is one of my favorite places ever. I personally have very fond memories of going there, and I love that I am growing new memories for myself and my daughter.

Family shot before the planetarium show.
I don't know if it is just because I am visiting as an adult or due to the huge amount of changes....When I was young (even the last time pre-baby that J and I went) the museum seemed to have more actual displays. A had a great time, she loved the dino dig, the energy ride, the planetarium, and of course the omni, but the cattle drive didn't hold her interest at all. The imagineer stations are great, if she was closer to 8. The children's section feels like a toddler section, and yes she is only three, but (I like to think) fairly intelligent, and she moved very quickly there. The stations seem designed for 1-2, then there is a big jump to the imagineer rooms, which are aimed at 8 and up. The dinosaur room is still a big hit, but it no longer features multiple dinosaurs. Those are now outside the building. They do have a few skeletons and more interactive attractions, which is the way of the world now.

After the energy ride.
At the mouth (literally) of the children's museum.

Digging for dino bones.

A had a great time, I just think we will try to plan a little better on our next visit. On this trip we arrived pretty close to opening, walked through the exhibits, then went to the Noble Planetarium. (If you are there, please go to the planetarium and hope Jimmy is working. Jimmy is fascinating. He will talk your ear off, but in the best way possible.) Then we had lunch, the cafe is a lot expensive....30 dollars for two cheeseburgers (cafeteria style), a corn dog, two drinks, and a fruit cup. I am reminding myself that sticker shock now is good as it will ease the pain when we get to Disney!
Enjoying a hot dog on a stick.

After lunch we had two hours to kill. This is poor planning on our part, but I really thought the exhibits would sustain us. We made a party hat, played puppets, looked through kaleidoscopes, went to the museum shop, and drew pictures with light. We still had an hour left...
The party hat.
Amazingly, A was great the whole day. She had one moment when she refused to leave the dino dig, but other than that, she was very well behaved. With an hour left to spend, we decided to go ahead and make our way to the omni area. J made a trip to the concession stand and bought a Dr. Pepper (another reason to love this place) and some popcorn. I went to get on line; J thought I was crazy. Sure enough though, the line started forming 45 minutes before the show. In this case, our poor planning actually worked in our favor. We were the 2nd family in the theater! We scored, what I truly believe are, the best seats in the place. We were directly above the hump (might be the projector?) which means we were able to put our feet up.
The opening sequence, a helicopter and jet ride, threw A a bit. She kept asking if we were really flying. Our show, The Living Sea, kept her interest the entire time. She loved the jellyfish.

All in all, this was another great trip to the museum, and our Spring Break tradition continues!