Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Living Small and the Sex Questions, a post about how cosleeping parentst still get it on | indiasroses.com

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.

A week without a theme | indiasroses.comblowing 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.

 

How to Easily Remove Unwanted Clutter from Photographs | indiasroses.com

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.

How to Easily Remove Unwanted Clutter from Photographs | indiasroses.com

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.

A post about finding the best time for yourself as a mother | indiasroses.com

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.

Snail Week

A weeks worth of snail activities for children: indiasroses.com

My two and a half year old daughter is a handful. An adorable, loveable, sweet, curious handful, but a handful none the less. She is very smart and becomes under stimulated incredibly easily. And as everyone with a toddler should know under stimulation breeds misbehavior, tantrums, and a whole lot of unpleasantness all around. So in a hope to improve the general atmosphere of our home I have initiated Theme Weeks!

Each week we pick a theme and base our play and learning around it. This week I chose SNAILS. So instead of seeing my daughter struggle and wondering what activity I could do with her and getting overwhelmed by the mass quantity of possibilities on my Pinterest feed I narrowed it down by choosing one theme. This week whenever I noticed she needed a little something I first thought snails and from my own creativity and a little help from Snail Crafts on pinterest we were set. It was amazing how much easier it was to come up with fun ideas when I’d narrowed it down to one specific topic.

A weeks worth of snail activities for children: indiasroses.com

We started off by collecting three garden snails to be guests in our home for the week, and learned how to keep them moist and happy with a little help from Wikihow: How to Care for Garden Snails.

A weeks worth of snail activities for children: indiasroses.com

After carefully observing them in their new terrarium home we moved on to something we could get a little rougher with… Polymer Clay (we used Sculpey brand clay because it’s incredibly easy to manipulate). We rolled the clay into long snakes and then rolled the snakes into spiral snail shells, formed little snail bodies and added a set of copper wire eye stocks and were set to bake them. We followed the baking instructions from the side of the clay package and a half hour later we had fully cooked, solid and very hot snail toys. We let them cool for 15 minutes and they were ready to go.

A weeks worth of snail activities for children: indiasroses.com

After having a chat about Simple Snail Anatomy (Eye Stalk, Shell, Muscular Foot, Mouth) we got into a discussion about Escargot and she was inspired to do a little imaginative play in her kitchen.

A weeks worth of snail activities for children: indiasroses.com

We also had a snail inspired lunch of peanut butter and jelly rolls, banana slices and carrot slivers served on a bed of fresh baby spinach; it was a big hit, and way easier than you would think. When I was putting it together I was surprised to see that once all the elements were placed together it looked great, so don’t be intimidated and give it a try.

A weeks worth of snail activities for children: indiasroses.com

Having spent some time on snail anatomy I got to thinking about spiral shells and spirals in general so we spend an afternoon with our pens, crayons and paper drawing lots and lots of spirals and talking about how they go around and around and around. We also made spiral shell sun catchers by putting our own spin on this great little tutorial over at Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas about making coffee filter art.

By the end of the week my daughter could identify and draw a spiral tell you the basic anatomy of a snail, and is a much more pleasant, much happier, much less whiny little person who loves snails, and I feel like a great, attentive mother. Wins all around in my book.

Thank you for reading and please feel free to comment and/or ask questions

A Recipes for super easy and delicious Blackberry Cobbler: indiasroses.com

Over the weekend Sweet Pea (my 2 1/2 year old daughter) and I decided to take a break from the hustle and bustle of town life and head for the country. There are a lot of big changes going on in our life (new baby on the way, moving) and we just needed to get away… get away and pick BLACKBERRIES. The blackberry bushes at my parents house are overflowing with juicy, fragrant orbs of deliciousness and we couldn’t wait to get our hands on them, and I was excited to share something that was such a big part of my childhood with my child. (Scroll down for Blackberry Cobbler Recipe)

A Recipes for super easy and delicious Blackberry Cobbler: indiasroses.com

We started by picking lots and lots of blackberries, but for the cobbler we only needed 6 cups. The rest were divided up and frozen so we could resurrect the best and tastiest part of summer later in the year when the winter days and the endless cold seem to drag on and on. (Complete Recipe and Directions Bellow)

A Recipes for super easy and delicious Blackberry Cobbler: indiasroses.com

Then we headed inside poured the blackberries into a pan and collected the rest of our ingredients.

A Recipes for super easy and delicious Blackberry Cobbler: indiasroses.com

We mixed all the dry ingredients and diced up the butter.

A Recipes for super easy and delicious Blackberry Cobbler: indiasroses.com

After that we went to work with a pastry blender until the mixture vaguely resembled pea gravel.

A Recipes for super easy and delicious Blackberry Cobbler: indiasroses.com

Add the milk and stir until all the ingredients are combined.

A Recipes for super easy and delicious Blackberry Cobbler: indiasroses.com

I then spooned the biscuit topping evenly across the top of the berries.

A Recipes for super easy and delicious Blackberry Cobbler: indiasroses.com

Popped the whole pan in the oven and 40 minutes later it was piping hot and ready to eat!

Recipe adapted from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook 13th edition

Blackberry Cobbler

 
Ingredients:
 
1 1/4 cups Flour
1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 tablespoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
6 tablespoons Cold Butter
1/2 cup Raw Sugar
3/4 cups Milk (I used 2%)
6 cups Blackberries
Enough Raw Sugar for Sweetening the Berries
 
(By all means if you prefer white sugar use it instead)
 
Preheat oven to 375° F. Pour Blackberries into 8×8 inch pan and add sugar to taste. I always start with half a cup of sugar and then add more if I think the berries are going to be a little sour (like if a 2 year old helps you pick them and they have visible red spots). Set pan aside and add Flour, Whole Wheat Flour, Baking Powder and Salt to a large bowl. Cut Cold Butter into cubes and add to dry ingredients. Using a pastry blender, Fork or your fingers; work the Butter into the Flour mixture until pieces resemble small pea gravel. Add Milk and stir until combine. Spoon mixture evenly over Blackberries (I used a 3×3 grid pattern). Place pan in oven and bake for 35-45 minutes until the Blackberries are bubbling and the topping is golden brown. Remove from oven and let stand until cool enough it no longer feels like lava (about 15 minutes) and enjoy alone or with vanilla ice cream. It’s also good chilled and at room temperature.
 
A Recipes for super easy and delicious Blackberry Cobbler: indiasroses.com
 

While we were out we also saw this Douglas Squirrel sneaking a treat from the very tip top of an apple tree; it even threw a couple of apples at the dogs that were watching it pensively from bellow.

Please feel free to comment and/or ask questions. Thank you for reading.

 

A tutorial on Faking Double Exposure / indiasroses.com

When I was a kid every now and then when you got a roll of film back from the developer you’d find a special surprise, a hidden treasure among your photographs, the rare (what some would call) mistake of the double exposure. It’s like having two photographs on one picture the second lightly layered across the top of the first caused by some camera malfunction, but to me it seemed like pure magic. I remember the first one I ever saw. I was in the 5th grade and I’d been photographing my barbies in jungle attire (outfits made from grass and leaves) and a toy horse. When I was flipping through the pictures I came across one that was perfect, it was a barbie situated gracefully in a rose bush with a horse head lightly veiled across the frame; it was beautiful. Continue Reading »

Image

It’s been a while since I’ve been here. I check in every so often and stare longingly at the cover page of India’s Roses and wish I never put it down, but that’s just a thing I can’t undo like most things in life that have already been done. So instead I pick myself up, dust the cobwebs from my headline and try again.

So here goes…. Continue Reading »

 

This week I have been trying some yummy recipes that I found on Pinterest. I started with this delicious Pumpkin French Toast Bake from Minimalist Baker. It was perfect for the cool autumn mornings we’ve been having and stored and reheated wonderfully. The only tiny tweak I made to the recipe was to add only 1 tsp of pumpkin pie spice because I’m always afraid of ruining a recipe with to much clove or ginger taste. oh and I only let mine set in the fridge for maybe 30min because I missed the part of the recipe about letting it set overnight, but I love the idea of being able to fix it in the evening and just pop it in the oven for breakfast the next morning.

I’d been craving Chinese and a way to get my Husband to eat more vegetables without needing to dip them in BBQ sauce so when I found this great recipe over at Chef in Training for Crock Pot Beef and Broccoli I was totally stoked. It’s a super savorty recipe and made such a easy diner that I hardly had to think about it after I threw the ingredients in the crock pot. I ended up using beef broth instead of consomme because it’s what I had on hand.

And to finish off the week I made a wonderful spin on traditional lasagna… Mexican Lasagna made from a recipe I found at Sugar & Spice by Celeste. It was SO GOOD and the leftovers made lunch quick and painless for the next few days! Since the produce was good this week at the grocery store I used all fresh ingredients instead of canned substitutes.

 

 

Pumpkin Light

 

Happy Halloween everyone! Have a safe night and watch our for all the spooky, cute, and creepy kids out there! Don’t forget glow sticks and reflectors for your little ones and keep your animals safe so they don’t get startled by all the commotion and costumes!

%d bloggers like this: