Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas 2012 - A Toddler Turning Point

My parents got my 20-month-old a twin-sized bed for Christmas today. It's adorable how tiny she looks in that big-girl bed! But tiny she is not...

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

So cliche, I know... but She's growing up so fast

I've heard these phrases a million bajillion times from my parents, grandparents, church members, strangers at the grocery store... I really thought I was doing my best to 'enjoy every moment,' but alas, the other day, I realized I spend quite a lot of time waiting.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas DIY toddler project

I had a brilliant idea. In fact, so brilliant, I teared up when I explained it to the hubs. The tearing up might be because I'm pregnant and emotional, but I digress... My brilliant idea was... wait for it...
wait for it...

wait for iiiiiiiiiiittt....

DIY Christmas ornaments! Sparkley, glittery, messy, painty, styrofoamy Christmas ornaments to give to the grandparents (those people are so hard to buy for!!) I figured, even if we make a huge mess and they're un-symmetrical and ugly, they'll still be gorgeous and my Maya will have a blast making them. Aaaand... I'm tearing up.

Finished ornaments

Anyway, here's my tutorial on how we achieved such beautiful goodness.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Looove is in the air!

Walking behind an old couple at Fred Meyer, (must've been in their 80s) he stepped behind her to make room in the walkway. Then he said to her, "You're lookin mighty fine from here." I almost teared up.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Things I never truly appreciated before kids

There are quite a few things that have come to mind recently that, before the daughter, I never really thought much of. Things that held little to no value to me. Things that I can see now should be treasured. Read on.

1. Baths.
      Not for her, but for me! I never took baths before having kids, now when Nana takes her overnight, the first thing I do is a super hot bubble bath complete with headrest pillow and aromatherapy. Better than sex (almost).
Cue the Enya music and the knowledge that you have hours.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Welp. That's it. Life's over.

How I imagine it goes down.
(Not a picture of our lost keys; I wish I had a bmw...)
My 18mo old daughter has reached the throw-things-away stage. Earlier this week, my husband and I had the realization that his keys weren't lost - that is, we knew exactly where they were... On their way to municipal Waste Management dumping station. Safely tucked into a Hefty cinch sak. 

We retraced our steps around the house, cleaned top and bottom, and suddenly looked at each other and said the same thing, "She must've thrown them away yesterday." I can still hear - in the very back of my memory - the "jinglejingleCLUNK" of the keys going into the garbage bin... I don't know why at the time it didn't set anything off. I guess I'm just used to noises and kerplunks and -unless accompanied by crying or calls of distress- I guess I've been programmed to ignore them...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Mommy projects - the good, the bad, the boring

I fell in love with Pinterest for a little while. I'll admit, I did the stereotypical "Oh, yeah lemme pin that, I'll totally do that project this weekend!" for a few too many things. But some stuff I actually accomplished! One that I'm extreeeemely proud of, and a few others that are just 'eh'.

Share in my joy:

Gluten-free almond bread with chocolate chips. The chocolate chips all mushed into a gaping hole in the bottom (as you can see in the picture) which was the BEST part of each slice. But it would've been nice if there was chocolate in every bite. 

Browsing Pinterest took me over to thebeautydepartment and inspired me to make my nails pretty. This turned out well, looked cute, but took me friggin 2 hours. I'm just not meant for self-mani's I guess. 

I successfully convinced my sister to dress up as Miss Piggy for halloween at work! Not an idea from Pinterest, I'm just really proud of my creation... 

One of the more boring Pinterest ideas... Smelled like coffee for maybe a minute. Tops. 

This one actually came from a dream! I dreamt about cake doughnuts. Isn't that ridiculous? The whole recipe and everything came to me. Woke up, HAD to make them. They were delicious... except for the few over-fried ones. Hmm.. I should do this again.

This is my daughter and my nephew. Born a month apart, and brilliant me decided to volunteer to watch them both at the same time. Blame it on post-partum, or sleep deprivation, or my baby breastfeeding away my brain... but whatever the case, this was one of my more brilliant ideas from that time (there weren't many, I assure you).
I was SICK of being in the house, so I went into the backyard, put them on a blanket, shielded them from the sun with my gorgeous fort you see there, and voila! we all had a nice nap with a side of Vitamin D.

And now, for the grand finale... my most shining DIY project...

drum roll please...

dum dum dum dum dum dum...

Bookshelves made from pallets! 

One [free] pallet, a lot of sanding, nails (not screws!!), elbow grease, and wood stain later and I have never been more proud of something I made. Other than my daughter, but I don't think I can take full credit for her.

Here they are populated with books and mounted (quite securely) to the wall.

You can tell the top one (in both pics) was the first -more experimental- one. I cut the beam in half because of a knot that made it lay unevenly... but my flipping it over did absolutely no good whatsoever. Oh well.

What are some of your DIY projects gone wrong or right? Leave your tale(s) in the comments!

How to Start Loving Doctor Who (for newbies)

 If you've ever wanted to get into Doctor Who, but are intimidated by its 50 years of history, read and go do the following.
Time And Relative Dimesion In Space. TARDIS.

Read: The Doctor is a time/space-traveller who doesn't use his birth name (which the audience doesn't know), but just goes by the Doctor. He doesn't really die, he gets replaced by a different version of himself (called regenerating). His time machine/space ship is called the TARDIS and it's that blue phone booth looking thing you might've seen (it's bigger on the inside... like... mansion huge). He goes from place to place, fixing things and saving people/aliens and making everyone love him.

Netflix cover art
to look for

Now: Go on Netflix. Find the Doctor Who (cover art is the Tardis with no people) that says it started in 2005. 
  • First, watch the episode called The Eleventh Hour (season 5), 
  • then the episode from Season 3 called Blink
  • then go back to the beginning (2005) and watch IN ORDER. 
You'll suffer emotionally, but you'll be happy about it. 

These are the men who play the Doctor in the current seasons. This picture
has them out of order but they're doctor #s 10, 11, and 9.

*The reason I say start with that one then go back, is the production value greatly increased between seasons 4 & 5, so see the 'Eleventh Hour' and know how much better and less cheesy it gets. The first season especially is SUUUPER cheesy... like... green-goo-and-ramen-thrown-against-a-wall-when-an-alien-explodes cheesy. Then 'Blink' sort of explains how the show works (and it's friggin terrifying and awesome).

Monday, November 26, 2012

Accept it!

I was driving home from ... somewhere... can't remember right now. But anyway, I was driving home with my 18mo old daughter in her carseat behind me. She was extremely tired because it was about an hour past her naptime, but she just would not close her eyes! She rubbed them furiously, whined at me, asked for every toy she could think of, anything to try and distract her from accepting the fact that she needed to nap. All I could tell her was, "Just accept it little one, you're tired and you need sleep. There is nothing I can do or give you that will make you feel better. Ya gotta do this one on your own." 

Then it occurred to me: I should tell myself the same thing in quite a few instances in my life! Parenting would be a lot more rewarding if I stressed out less about things that -ultimately- don't matter! 

  • I got peed on? I can shower and clothes can be washed. 
  • She dumped her toy bin all over the floor for the 37th time? They'll just have to be picked up. 
  • She's asking [nicely] for more food when I just put it all away? [As long as it's healthy food] I shouldn't refuse to get it back out just because I'm being lazy.
But the important parts: she's potty-training, she's having fun using her toys, she's developing manners and a healthy palate etc. are the parts that I need to focus on instead.
Standing on a trash can covered in toothpaste and stickers?
No problem, they're learning how their world works!
(not my kids, used with permission)
So many times I've been out in public, hearing a mom or dad yelling at their kids to quiet down, don't touch that, come back here, don't jump in mud puddles, etc... But...why? If they're not bothering/hurting/stealing from strangers, everything they do is a learning experience. 
Accept that they're full of curiosities, and they need to learn eventually.  They'll learn that your warnings have weight, and if they don't listen, there are unpleasant consequences, but in the mean time: don't stress out about it! Acceptance is key. "This is happening, and I should make the most of it." So grab a camera, hold on to your sense of humor, and post that stuff to YouTube!

for some laughs, check out: (not my site, sorry for the language)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Babies to teens to adults

I made this a few months ago, just thinking about how quickly it goes. Not that I could ever forget - strangers remind me aaaaallllll the time. But anyway, take a good look at how you're spending your time with your child. Because one day you might look at them and wonder where your time went.

"Newborn for a month
Infant for a year
Toddler for two years
Preschooler for two years
Child for five years
Preteen for three years
Teenager for five years
And then they're off. Take care what you do with those years. They are few, though they may seem like many."

Friday, November 16, 2012

Semi-crunchy, Organic, and WIC do not mix.

My family is broke. Not poor - broke. There is a difference. While many welfare families don't have an exit plan, we're simply passing through the land of WIC, EBT, DSHS, and other government-assisted-acronyms.

That said, it is very difficult to be (as I like to call it) semi-crunchy in this patch of our lives. You know what I mean by "crunchy"... The woman who wears clothes made of hemp, she buys cloth-organic-cotton-hemp diapers, never cuts her hair, only uses patchouli and pig-fat shampoo, and heaven forbid she eat a vegetable that wasn't locally and organically harvested! 
^This woman is suuuuper crunchy!

Well, I like to consider myself semi-crunchy. We buy clothes where they're cheap (perhaps a battle for later in life), I used to make my own baby food (now she just eats what we eat), and we bathe regularly with products from the supermarket. But when it comes to food, I check ingredients (nothing I can't pronounce!), I prefer organic food, and sometimes I even ask the deli counter worker where/how the meat was raised (spoiler alert: they don't know.)

The problem is, being on government food programs means adhering to their rules. And their rules, as we all know, can be a bit asinine sometimes...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Married People! Answer my questions!

Please leave your answers in the comments! I'll be writing an entry of all my findings on Sept 15th so check back!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Divorce is not an option. Murder is a possibility.

We come from a divorced country. See?

Divorce statistics in America for marriage
MarriageDivorce statistics (in percent)
First Marriage45% to 50% marriages end in divorce
Second Marriage60% to 67% marriages end in divorce
Third Marriage70% to 73% marriages end in divorce
* Source of this Divorce Statistics: Jennifer Baker, Forest Institute of Professional Psychology, Springfield
 Most divorces occur between 3-7 years of  marriage and then again at 20-25 years of marriage. 

Those are the hardest chunks of time in a marriage. I believe it's because of our mindset. Everything around us says date around then break up if it doesn't work out. That's practicing divorce! Go for as long as you feel like you can, then when it gets tough, take care of Number 1.  Of course, sometimes it's not resolvable, but THAT'S WHERE THE PROBLEM IS!
It should always be resolvable as long as both parties entered into the marriage with the same philosophy: "I'm going to die with this person. Divorce is not an option. I am going to do everything I can to make him/her feel loved for the rest of our lives."
Most people go into marriage thinking "This person completes me, loves me, and makes me happy." Me. Me me me me me! If you go into it thinking, "What can this person do for me, to make me happy," then you're headed for a big fat fail. No one will ever live up to that standard. 
They will never be able to make you happy enough. They will never complete you.
me me me me me me

But what if we switch that around? Instead of me me me, we go into it thinking, "How can I make my husband/wife's life better? What can I do to make them happy and put them first?"

Ooh, what do you think of that?

"But wait... If I do that, then how are MY needs going to get met? If I'm constantly thinking about him/her, when do I have time for myself?"

That's the beauty of this arrangement. You have to trust the other person to do that for you. Repeat
YOU HAVE TO TRUST the other person to do that for you. 

Your husband/wife takes care of your needs. His/her number one priority is making sure you feel safe and loved and respected. And your number one priority is the same - but for him/her.
But this is where it gets tricky: 
   People are selfish. 
 Eventually the paradigm will switch and both of you will be sitting on the couch, realizing how unloved and unappreciated you feel. If you're like most couples, you'll just learn to take care of yourself again and eventually drift so far apart you 
A) Seek someone else to meet your needs then get divorced because of infidelity 
or B)Get divorced [without infidelity] citing irreconcilable differences and hope the next person you hook up with will fill those gaps.

If you're on the other end of the statistic, you'll realize this relationship takes work. You can't go on autopilot because your pilot is selfish! So you sack up and apologize for not meeting your husband/wife's needs. Because it is your fault. It's your fault for not communicating, not taking care of him/her, and being your own back-up because you don't trust him/her to take care of you. And then he/she will apologize for doing the same thing to you. 
And here's the MOST IMPORTANT part of this:  
Then you commit to to trusting each other to meet each other's needs, selflessly.

Because he/she DOES love you. He/she DOES want to see you happy; there's a sense of accomplishment in seeing someone's joy that you created. Especially in marriage. That's what he/she committed to in the beginning of this deal. If you don't honestly believe that he/she loves you anymore or wants to do right by you, then I strongly suggest you get counseling. But if you still believe it, then you can do this yourselves. You have to do this yourselves. For the sake of the rest of your lives. It just requires trust. Unadulaterated* Unwavering* Trust*

  1. pure: not mixed or diluted with something else
  2. absolute: free from any element that would spoil or detract from it)
  1. steady and firm in purpose: firm in view or purpose and unable to be swayed or diverted from it)

   1. reliance: confidence in and reliance on good qualities, especially fairness, truth, honor, or ability
   2. position of obligation: the position of somebody who is expected by others to behave responsibly or honorably
   3. hope for future: hopeful reliance on what will happen in the future
   4. care: responsibility for taking good care of somebody or something
Be encouraged, stick with it. If you're dating someone, be honest with yourself - if there's any inkling in the back of your mind that this person isn't perfect for you, move on. Be picky about who you get into relationships with (and keep it in your pants once you get there). 
Make a wise, thoughtful decison about who you choose to marry. Ask your family, your pastors, your friends for advice. Then once you make that decision, make it firmly. Go to pre-marital counseling. Equip yourselves with the tools to succeed and go against the statistics. It's a two-way street... both parties must be just as enthusiastic about working at this to make it work.
Because once you're in it, you're in it till you die. Divorce is NOT an option.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Things I'm loving right now

My crock pot

My Toms

Bobby pins and ponytail holders

My daughter's bows (if she keeps them in)

Salted mixed nuts (except cashews... yuck)

Doctor Who

Stovetop popcorn in a paper bag

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Keep it in your pants.

There is a very sad epidemic in this country. Kids don't have daddies. 40% of babies born today will grow up without their birth father.

Suicide. 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes *1

Behavioral Disorders. 85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes *2

High School Dropouts. 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes  *3

This is not okay. I know, I know, your baby daddy inn't like dat. He's responsible. He graduated high school and has a job! Well, sorry to put this to you, but unless you're really lucky - like, lottery winner lucky - your baby daddy will peace out as soon as it gets tough. See this graph:

All these #s averaged together ~ 40% of all babies born.  Well, you might be saying "That just lists unwed mothers. That doesn't say anything about fatherless kids." Well take a look at this:

What does this mean for YOU?

If you aren't married, especially if you're a minority race (sorry but it's true), please PLEASE keep it in your pants UNTIL YOU ARE MARRIED. I don't care if you're on birth control. I don't care if you're "careful" statistics don't lie, and you are not an exception. The only exceptions are the ones who wait to have sex. Wait until they're married. The ones who make decisions based on logic, reason, wisdom. Not heat. Or promises of "trust me" by a man driven by his peep.

When I say 'married' I don't mean the "Hey lets go to Vegas and get married!" kind of wedded status. Not that Vegas weddings don't last, but again, I'm talking statistically speaking. I mean 'married' like those old couple down the street who've been together since they were 16 and still pinch each other's butts. I'm talking think-it-through-seek-wisdom-from-others-and-get-to-know-the-person-without-sex kind of married. Marriage where divorce is not an option.
Not this.

Sex complicates relationships. What movie have you seen when the people were virgins and had a messy breakup? I can't think of any.  But how many TV shows and movies (and real relationships we know of) show people whose hearts are torn up RIGHT after the couple has sex for the first time. Soooooo many...

When you date someone without having sex, you see what their real motives are. Their dreams, their personality without ulterior motives.

Believe me, I did it. I made it to the alter not only a virgin, but a 21-year-old who'd never kissed anyone but my husband. I've never had to get an STD screening. I never had to wonder if I was pregnant ouside of wedlock.

We were married 2 years before we got pregnant. After having our daughter, it absolutely BREAKS MY HEART when I see the kids in our apartment complex dressing like thugs and hussies, caring about no one but themselves. I've asked quite a few of them if they have dads, and I have yet to hear a 'yes.'

Now, I KNOW it's hard to abstain. Like I said, I did it. We screwed up sometimes, never made it to actual sex or anything close, but man did we want to. It's how we're wired. We're MADE to have sex with the person we're attracted to. But it is possible. We're also made with a thing called self-control. It's that thing that keeps us from eating everything in our fridge at once. Keeps us from screaming at our neighbors when they're being stupid. Keeps us from buying anything and everything we like, when we don't have money. It keeps us proud of our decisions.

If you have troubles with those types of things, then you're exactly who I'm talking to.

This is the most important thing you will EVER do. Keep it in your pants. You are not above the statistics. Your boyfriend will not stick around. If he's going to stick around, he'll do it without sex before marriage also (and if so - you've got a keeper!). Guard your heart, and your hoo-ha. Keep it safe for the person who thinks you're worth waiting for. Your happy, healthy, well-adjusted, crime-free kids will thank you later.

I want the best for you and your unborn children.

1. (Source: What Can the Federal Government Do To Decrease Crime and Revitalize Communities? from the National Institute of Justice, 1998, page 11)
2.  (Source: What Can the Federal Government Do To Decrease Crime and Revitalize Communities? from the National Institute of Justice, 1998, page 11)
3.  (Source: What Can the Federal Government Do To Decrease Crime and Revitalize Communities? from the National Institute of Justice, 1998, page 11.)

Children of smokers are have a 70% chance of smoking by age 15. Quit now.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

My browser is following me...

My Internet browser is following my every move. I see ads that are mirror images of things i've searched on Amazon. I see pop ups for baby products I use. My Facebook knows what movies I might want to buy.
I think this is going a little far guys. I mean I know you want my money, but it just seems like I should get to know YOU a little first... You could at least buy me dinner or something. You seem to know me better than my husband does.

Creepy. To say the least.
But effective, I'll give them that. Although I have yet to click on any ads, so I'm not sure HOW effective.