Fall is by far my favorite season. I love it when the days start feeling chilly and I can finally break out those sweaters that have been lying dormant in my closet all summer, but not all good things come with chilly weather. Fall means cold/flu season and feeling under the weather is an almost inevitably unavoidable. So when you or a loved one does start to feel a little sick, grab your favorite chicken soup recipe and head on over to Sophistimom for a tutorial on how to add a little extra love to your comfort food with heart shaped carrots. It’s way actually quite easy and makes such a surprise in every bowl.
Posted in In the Kitchen | Tagged carrot, chicken, cold, comfort, cook, flu, heart, kitchen, noodle, remedy, rice, shape, soup, spoon | 2 Comments »
To say I’m a perfectionist would be very close to the truth. I like things a certain way and I like them to have been done a certain way to get there. This was my biggest fear before my daughter was born in 2011. I worried that my need for other people to do things correctly would be the same with my child as it was with adults, and I knew that expecting anything from a child besides presence was expecting too much. So I worried and I wondered, and then as babies do she arrived.
And there I was holding this tiny person, this tiny perfect person. She was so small and so fragile and made from so much love that I immediately dropped my fears and knew that I wouldn’t expect her to do things a certain way, because in her own creation she was the most amazing, perfect things I’d ever seen.
Fast forward to toddler-hood and the real test (so far) of this theory, but even in her juice spilling, food throwing, doesn’t quite follow directions glory I still found myself thinking that she’s doing it all with such quality and finesse and what’s a little spilled juice and missed direction when it comes to the amazing person you’ve created? It’s all part of the stage and I was and am often overcome by the way she does things and the intelligence in her actions even if they’re not the actions I was hoping for.
Now don’t get me wrong, sometimes I get completely overwhelmed. I cry(even when I’m not pregnant) and wonder if I’ll ever make it through this whole parenting thing, and I have moments when perfect isn’t the word I would use to describe my little hellion, but the truth is, she is perfect. She’s perfectly her, so at the end of the day when I’m looking at the things we’ve done and the way I’ve handled each situation I find myself always wishing I’d just let her be perfect, let her be the perfect person that she is naturally, the one that she is growing into, the one that my husband and I have the blessing to guard and nurture until she can blossom into a self confident adult who knows that it is her uniqueness and those things that could be considered imperfections that make her who she is, and that just in being true to herself and her character she is perfect.
So today when she takes all the measuring cups out of the drawer and asks to paint for the 10th time while I’m trying to get things done; I will stop and ask myself “Why can’t she do this?” and if I can’t come up with a good reason then I certainly can’t say no to her, and really what’s a little extra time teaching her to clean up when she’s done in the kitchen? Or the few moments and the casual supervision it takes to get her ready to paint?
Everything… that’s what those things are. They’re valuable life lessons and encouragement that will last her her whole life, and are far more important than finishing the dishes or avoiding a little bit of paint on the walls. So I let her paint, I let her paint and I give her the freedom to experiment and learn. I don’t tell her how to paint or correct her when she begins to use her hands. I just let her paint because the way she paints in perfect.
Thank you for reading and please feel free to comment and/or as questions.
Posted in Parenting | Tagged child, go, letting, nurture, paint, parent, parenting, perfect, permission, photography, protect | 6 Comments »
What do you love to do? What are those things that just make you happy no matter what? Though I don’t get the opportunity to do it very often one of my great loves in life is working with clay. It’s like reconnecting with the earth and immersing yourself in the very base of nature. The way the cool body feels against my warm hands and the smell of earth that emanates up as I wedge it into a more useful form. The way clay makes me strong both physically from the pure force needed for manipulation and mentally because it’s truly one of my most peaceful and centered places; the endless possibilities each bag possesses and how with the right technique and proper dedication you can turn it into anything imaginable. It’s bliss, pure, earthy, messy, cool, bliss.
As you can probably tell clay is my happy place, and I think that anything that makes a person happy on that level is not only a gift to ones self, but a gift you can so easily share with your children. Have you ever been completely taken by someone talking about something they were truly passionate about? So absorbed in their words you found the interest almost contagious because it obviously makes the speaker feel more alive? I have, and there’s not difference for children.
Whether it’s sitting at the wheel with me or curling up in here Daddy’s lap while he plays a game on the computer my daughter is entranced by anything we show passions for, and the level on which we are able to connect and share with her the things we love is amazing because not only are we being filled with a sense of happiness by doing what we love we are overcome with a sense of pride as we watch our daughter, the person that we made from love, as she learns to love and appreciate the things that mean so much to us.
So get out there and share with your kids. Don’t expect anything from them, but give them the opportunity to amaze you with the interests and new light they can shed on your most cherished pastimes.
Thank you for reading and please feel free to comment and/or ask questions.
Posted in Baby and Child, Family, Parenting | Tagged child, children, clay, computer, game, hobby, kid, share, sulpt, throw, wheel, young | 1 Comment »
There is a question, a strange, forward, blunt, probably socially unacceptable (though that doesn’t bother me because I think more people should feel comfortable asking and answering questions about sex) question that I have been asked a lot, and I feel I should answer that question here for the masses to maybe clear up a little gray area in the whole “Attachment Parenting, Closer Living” world.
So I will answer the “sex question” because like I said I get asked the “sex question”… a lot, by people I know, people I’ve just met, and complete strangers, so it must be a pretty big wonder out there among none bed/room sharing parents. That question being…
“How do you have sex?” (You might not want to read this part Mom and Dad)
First off I think the question is poorly phrased because if people are really asking me the “Hows” of sex they need a lot more explaining than I’m going to do here, though sometimes I am tempted to be a little snarky and give them a 5th grade sex education answer.
Really the better question is “When do you have sex?” or “Where do you have sex?” and the answers are really rather simple… Whenever…. and Wherever… Now don’t get me wrong we’re not out having sex in public rest rooms or pulled over on the side of the road in our car, we’ve outgrown that (For the moment). We just keep it simple and use the moments that are given to us. When the kid is asleep for instance is a wonderful “When” and for the “Where” well… There’s “Everywhere”. So we just throw down a blanket and use the couch or floor, or we head to the shower. The possibilities are endless and the creativity level needed can be as simple or complex as you like.
Another great “When” is the TV “When”. When is comes to media and letting your children watch television I think that in the realm of reasons for a little screen time being able to get a some one on one with your partner is by far the very best reason in the entire world to let you child watch a half hour of educational television, and the perks of this situation if you’re the conventional type are… you can use the bed, and 30 minutes later your whole family is happier it’s a win win.
Making time to connect on a physical level after having children is so incredibly important for the health of a relationship, and in our home where all the space is shared space sometimes it takes a little extra creativity to find the time and the place, but in the end there’s always a way.
As always thank you for reading and please feel free to comment and/or ask questions.
Posted in Marriage, Parenting | Tagged bed, child, connect, cosleeping, creativity, intimate, kid, living, marriage, married, sex, sharing, small, space | 8 Comments »
blowing bubbles in front of the barn
Oops… I kinda dropped the ball on my theory of keeping my 2.5 year old stimulated with weekly themes and corresponding craft projects. I also dropped the ball on regular bedtimes and eating anything that has to be prepared with heat. My poor husband has been coming home from work to a wife who has eaten cheese, crackers, salami and spinach for dinner…. again (I’m only on like the 4th night).
But in my defense it’s all for a really really good reason. You see, on Thursday we closed escrow on our very first home! It’s the most incredibly fantastic feeling to know that in 2-3 very short months when we bring home our second child it will be to a home we can live in forever if we want to.
Currently we live in a second story one bedroom apartment. It’s a wonderful little place and being a family that relates to the downsizing movement (living more simply in less space) it was really perfect for us. As a fairly crunch bunch of three a one bedroom was really all the space we needed for co-sleeping, closet sharing and closeness in our family.
But then my daughter turned 2 and energy exploded forth from her little body like sunlight piercing through the tiniest crack in a curtain and shining strait into your sleeping eyes… and I knew that as far as backyardless apartment living went… we were screwed. Two weeks later I found out I was pregnant.
So the house hunt began. Well the house hunt began…. And then stopped because we weren’t really in a practical position to buy a house at the moment and our rent was so cheap in the apartment that we couldn’t get to a practical place without staying here longer, let me rephrase… So the pre-house hunt began! We used all the money we were saving from living in a smaller location to pay off ALL of our debt, every last penny of it. Fortunately being young (and somehow wise about this particular subject) we had very minimal debt and had been sort of working to pay it off already. So then we were completely 100% debt free!
When we went in to talk to our mortgage broker (If you live in Humboldt County and are looking for a mortgage broker use PMG and never look back) we assumed she would tell us that we could start looking to buy a house in a few months when my husbands work history was a little longer and a little stronger, really all we were looking for that first day was an idea, an idea of what we could afford and how it was going to impact our budget, but no… that day she told us what we could afford and that we could start looking… NOW.
So…. The house hunt began. We still had a little bit of time left in the day so we called a realtor and fell in love with the first house that we saw, and were given a full case of the heebie-jeebies by every other thing on the market in our price range. The next day we put in an offer and after 37 of the most stressful days of my life we were given the keys to our new home; a two bedroom one bath with a big yard and open concept kitchen living area.
Now back to the lack of theme this week. This week has been crazy. I have been packing like mad because I am a pregnant woman in her third trimester that has been completely deprived of the ability to nest over the last month due to the ever changing uncertainty of escrow. Being told that it really is our house and we really do get to move into it has triggered some primal part of my pregnant brain and I was able to almost completely pack our entire space by myself with a 2 year old in two days. My only break downs have been over the heat (the reason why there have been no fancy diners for my hubby), and my inability to move my packed apartment to my new house because as a pregnant person I draw the line at carrying boxes down stairs. If we lived on the first floor everything but the furniture would already be over there, but since we don’t I stare at my giant pile of boxes (gratefully) waiting for my husband’s day off.
I would just like to add that while moving and escrow are stressful on me as the domestic of our family and my husband as the provider, it is also very important to remember that anything stressful to adults stresses out children, they can feel displeasure and uncertainty in their home and it’s very important to give them a break and do what you can to ease the transition for them. One of these things for us has been to put our potty learned daughter back into diapers after seeing she was struggling and uninterested in continuing with her current potty skills. Giving her the grace to take a little break from the stresses of being hauled off to the bathroom every 45 minutes made a huge impact on her overall happiness and we know that once things are settled she will be ready (in her own time) to try again.
And lastly I would like to thank the U.S. Veterans Association Loan Office for giving us the opportunity to become home owners before 25. My husband’s service in the armed forces has given us countless opportunities to better our lives and I appreciate all the wonderful benefits we receive.
Thank you for reading and please feel free to comment and/or ask questions.
Posted in Being Grateful, Family, Home Owning | Tagged buy, escrow, first, house, loan, purchase, stress, theme, time, VA, week | 5 Comments »
I have discovered the most fantastic Photoshop tool known to the human race! The Clone Tool! It’s basically the easiest way to remove unwanted objects from otherwise lovely photography. I was always eluded by how to make photoshoped images remain natural and flawless and now I know how thanks to a great tutorial over at Photoshop Buzz. I highly recommend checking it out if you’re interested in sprucing up some of your “almost” favorite photos. The photo bellow I took in 2007 on U.S. Interstate 80 somewhere in Nevada… or maybe Utah and I always loved it but could never make it just right. As you will see above with this new tutorial and about a half hour I was able to make it into the photograph I always dreamed it could be.
I don’t know if this was just me or not, but at first I didn’t understand the clone tool. I thought you were copy and pasting from one place to another one click at a time. When really you’re setting a location to clone from and that point moves evenly with your brush as you cover an object in another location. Good Luck!
Thank you for reading and please feel free to comment and/or ask questions.
Posted in How To, Nature and Outdoors, Photography, Travel | Tagged clone, edit, fix, Nevada, photo, photography, photoshop, picture, remove, sky, tool, train, Utah | 2 Comments »
When I was a kid my Mom always got up at 5 o’clock in the morning. I remembered being baffled by this as a young child, and further still as a teenager. I even remember finding it particular odd as a young adult on her own in the world for the first time. “Who has time to wake up at 5 a.m.?” And as a stay at home mother she wasn’t getting up for some timed job, she had all ready been on the job all night; this would have been her opportunity to get some extra sleep, but still she got up at five every morning.
Now as I sit her writing this at 6 a.m. my whole life (so far) later, I begin to understand the reason for the early hours. It wasn’t a conscious decision and there have certainly been moments in my life as a mother that I ignored the early morning wake up call but somehow, sometime after the birth of my daughter I also found my internal clock shifting and my mind and body waking before my family was up and my wife/mother job started for the day. It’s such a peaceful time sitting quietly listening to the world waking up and the sounds of my family sleeping calm, relaxed and undisturbed as time moves forward around them. It’s magical, magical and just for “Me”.
In the evening after my daughter is asleep for the night, my husband is happily entertained by his latest gaming interest and all the house is pulled back together; after dinner and family life I find myself with a little bit of time to myself which I greatly appreciate, but at the end of the day when everyone’s needs have been met and all has been said and done there is very little of myself left for me. I’m tired both mentally and physically, the pains of pregnancy are gnawing at my body and creativity is something I vaguely remember from earlier in the day when I was crafting with my daughter or trying to reason my way out of another tantrum. It’s not really time for myself as much as time by myself while the weight of my whole day still wrests heavily on my shoulder.
But 6a.m….. That really is just for me. Being a natural morning person after getting out of bed and brushing my teeth I find myself feeling alert and refreshed, ready to take on a new day full of wonderful and positive possibilities. As I sit here alone the weight of life is light and my optimism for the future is sweet and heavy with promise. And it’s these moments as the sun peaks over the mountains, light trickling into the valley, as a new day is born that I find myself being able to truly recharge and center myself in a peaceful and calm way that could last me a lifetime if only I remembered to great it each day as it comes and give this gift to myself, for the peace that I gain from this hour of new day far exceeds the benefits of an extra hour in bed.
When do you get your “Me” time?
Also if you caught it this is in fact a picture of a sunset and you’re right. I couldn’t find one I’d taken in the morning and it was just to beautiful to leave out.
Thank you so much for reading and please feel free to comment and/or ask questions bellow.
Posted in Being Grateful, Blessings in Disguise, By Myself | Tagged alone, balancing, children, morning, mother, motherhood, myself, parenting, quiet, secluded, solitude, sunrise, sunset | 6 Comments »