Thursday, May 23, 2013

The good side of rain.

We have been riding our bike to school recently. Or rather, I have been riding the bike and bug sits on the seat on the back. And it is ALL UP HILL on the way to school. It's good for me, right?

The other day it was starting to spit a little on our way to school. Bug first said something along the lines of being disappointed it was raining. But then out of the blue, "But it will be really good for the plants. So that is a good thing." Proud Momma moment right there. Hugely proud moment for this Moma.

You see, I am kind of a Silver Lining kind of person. And the Man is not. Absolutely not. The opposite really. Which is hard to combat when raising a wee one. So I am so glad she whipped out the silver lining on that one, on her own.

And hopefully she will become her own kind of Silver Lining person.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Bed time for bug

This is often what I see as we finish our bedtime routine.

Mission accomplished.

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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Mother's Day ROCKED!

Mother's Day ROCKED this year. It is amazing to watch this little girl of mine grow and develop into an amazing person. Case in point, the painting below.

This is a painting of me. Done by the Bug. Isn't it great? Notice the gold streaks in my hair. And that I am wearing pants, not a skirt like other moms, because I really don't wear skirts. The sun is gorgeous and on the left side, what started out as maybe not exactly what the teacher was looking for, is a beautiful tree with a nest with eggs. Such great creativity.
And I love to see things like this. Even though the reason I am loved may not be the 'Mom of The Year' way of getting ready for school. Oh, in the drawing above, which was a warm up for the painting, I have chicken pox. Blue chicken pox. Awesome.

The Bug's teacher created a beautiful day for us. The kids went into the classroom first and we had to wait out in the hall. They were so excited. Then each one came to get their mom and escort her to her seat at the table. The paintings and other things were waiting for us. Then the kids went to get the punch and cookies and fruit. They felt so grown up taking care of things for us. And they did such a great job.

After breakfast there was a bead station where bracelets and necklaces were made for the moms.

Bug's teacher did such a great job. They had been working on things for a few weeks and the kids weren't supposed to say anything about what was going on. Bug never said a thing. But then again that isn't too surprising. She is so NOT forthcoming about what goes on in school. We have actually developed a game about what she does at school. And it is called Nothing. The answer to every question - what did you do at school? What did you read? What did you have for snack? What did you do on the playground? What songs did you sing? All of it comes up with a big Nothing. Now it is a game, but seriously, she gives up nothing about her day.

I cherish my painting. Not only because my bug did it with love, but because it shows how much she is developing, understanding and noticing the world around her, and because she is creating beauty.

Go Bug, you ROCK.



Friday, May 10, 2013

Spring growth

Look, new growth! Isn't it great?

Doesn't it make you smile?

Don't you just love spring?

What a great testament to the circle of life.

A renewal of sorts.

A welcoming of better things to come.

What other somewhat trite thing can I say about some grass starting to grow? Because I have to tell you that this new growth is most decidedly not making me happy. Scroll down to see where this new growth happens to be doing its new growth-ing.

Yep, inside my compost bin. Dang-it! That means it did not get hot enough to kill the seeds of all the crap we put in there. And let me just say, AGAIN. I made a batch last fall and the same thing happened.

This time I decided to get smarter than the rotting matter and I called in an expert. (My mother.) She came over well equipped with her very high-tech tools and we got to it. We incorporated the stuff from last time. It had decomposed quite nicely, but was still growing things. We also put in newly mowed grass, some green waste from the kitchen and lots of dried leaves. The perfect cocktail. And it did get hot. We got over 130 for maybe 3-4 days. But obviously not long enough, and maybe not hot enough, to kill the seeds.

What is a girl to do? Seriously. I don't want to spread this stuff around as I already have a losing battle with the weeds as it is. I don't need to intentionally add more. ACK.


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Additional use for old medicine bottles

As a follow up to this very important conversation about what to do with old medicine bottles. I give you one more option. Very cool binoculars. Although I think the littles in the world would most appreciate these.

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Sunday, May 5, 2013

What to do with those empty medicine bottles.

 I know this is not critical to most. I realize this may be a minor issue in the big scale of things. But seriously, old medicine bottles are like rabbits in this house and they seem to be multiplying. I really want to recycle them but for some reason I feel like just putting them in the recycle bin is not enough. They need a new life, a new purpose, a rebirth of sorts. So here are some ideas.

I got this from my mom. When she sees my nephew she hands him over one of these babies filled with quarters that he can use for games. Do they even have arcades any more? I know a few pizza places have games and that is usually where he uses them up. I keep one in my car for parking meters and it moves to my purse when I travel. Very handy.

The bug loves glitter. And I have to say I am quite fond of the sparkly stuff as well. This container is a combination of all the different colors we use. It is the extra that gets knocked off when one is glittering. It invariably gets mixed up with other colors in the middle of a project and I don't want to taint the pure glitter color with some funky mixed color by trying to put the extra back, so it all goes into here.
 This is one of those mega bottles and it holds some needles, a spool of thread and my cool cutter that I can take on the plane. I use it for yarn as well and thread. It is a circle with some recesses that have a blade so that you can cut your thread without cutting anything, or anyone, else. I have to get a shot of it to show you. Often I will just use a regular bottle with a bobbin of thread and a needle or two, sans cutter. But it is a handy way to carry these tools. You can throw it in your purse and you know you won't end up with some stray needle or pin poking at you from the depths of your bag.

Sewing Kit
 Throwing out old needles scares the poop out of me. I mean seriously, how are you supposed to package up that vicious little thing so that you don't hurt yourself or someone else. So I don't. I just pop them in here. When it is full the whole thing will go in the trash. Ta da!
Old needles
 This is probably the most common use for old medicine bottles. And old baby food jars as well. And it works well so I am sticking with it. Especially if you have little elements like this for a certain project, or area of your house. You can identify them so much easier in one of these little things.
small screws and nails
 I was working on a large quilt and pre-wound a bunch of bobbins. I needed a place to keep them all together so they wouldn't unwind and this was perfect. I think 6 fit in one of the standard size bottles.
Let's see, what else?

  • Matches to keep waterproof when camping. 
  • Money and a key to take to the beach or some other outing. 
  • Office supplies like paper clips, although why I am not sure. But you could. 
  • I also used this kind of container to hold the watered down glue we used at Easter to make glitter eggs. 

I tried lipstick or chapstick for the beach but they were too long for the bottle. And I really wanted crayons to fit so I could carry them easily for the bug. But again, just a bit too long for the bottles I have. So I'll keep looking and I'll let you know what else I find.

I truly hope you don't have any of these in your house. That would mean you don't need any medications. But if you find that you do have a few lingering, put them to work.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Creating a Compelling Event

More on the topic of motivation.

 Usually if I want to get things done on a big scale I create a Compelling Event. I used to just explain it that I would throw a party but a friend shared the phrase Compelling Event with me and I just love it. So that is my new go-to.  Here are some examples: 

  • When I moved into my old house I told my girlfriend that we would have her birthday party in combination with my house warming party. She loved that idea because she didn't want it all about her. (I just don't get that. Birthdays really are just all about you. As it should be. Celebrate you, girl.) It gave me about two months to repaint most rooms, get everything unpacked and put away and start in on the decorating. I admit that in two rooms I just said the hell with it and they were bleh by party date. But I was really excited about the rest of the house and ready to show it off. Gotta have a deadline. 
  • We were having a few family parties at our house last summer and before each one I renewed my siege on The Hill. (I really have to explain this whole hill thing.) So a week or two before each event quite a lot of work was completed. Anyone else need a deadline to actually get things done?

My current compelling event is that we are having company this weekend. And I am very excited. We love these people. I love these people. This is actually one of the man's friends from college and his wife and daughter. When I met them (before daughter) wifey and I hit it off immediately. I love that. We have our own separate friendship other than just the wives of good friends. And that is awesome. I love her dearly. But to be honest I should be extra motivated to get my house in order for their visit. Wifey is amazing in her energy, motivation, togetherness and admittedly perfectionist tendencies. Her house is always together and usually spotless. Everything has a place and it is in its place, in perfect order. Really.

Let me tell you a story. When we moved into our current house I was 5 months pregnant. We got a lot of help. It was overwhelming. It really was. Wifey and husband came down from LA for the day. Seriously. They drove 2 hours to help us move. I mean really, do you have friends like that. I feel so blessed. Anyway, once everything was unloaded and in the house she looked at me and said, "Can I do your linen closet?" And she was serious. She was in her element and loving it. Every towel and sheet was expertly folded and organized and put in exactly the right spot. It was amazing. And beautiful. Not just for a linen closet, but just plain beautiful. Martha would have wept with envy. And now, not so much. Not even close. Ack. I even have a few blankets (neatly folded) sitting on the floor beside my linen closet because I can't quite fit them in. It is on my list but who knows.

So my current compelling event is their visit this weekend. And it is working. Bathrooms are done. Weird things in the kitchen are done. I have polished the toaster, the trash cans, the microwave and dishwasher, wiped down all the cabinet doors, cleaned the vent hood so far. I don't know why I chose those particular things but I think it helps to make everything look better. I have a theory that if the shiny things are shiny then most everything else is overlooked. So for me that is mirror, sink and faucet in the bathrooms. (And sometimes only the faucet.) And all the random shiny things in the kitchen (See above.) I also have this theory that if your kitchen is really clean than it kind of carries the rest of the house. Because if you think about the reverse, if you have a completely spotless house but a dirty (not just messy) kitchen it still kind of grosses me out.

Now for another perspective, the man is all about floors and specifically vacuuming. If he has vacuumed than to him the house is clean. He does not see the piles of crap on every horizontal service begging to be put away, or the dishes in the sink, or the mess on the stovetop. His shiny thing is a vacuumed floor. 

Now on to tackle the linen closet...

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Where is my motivation?

Oh where, oh where, has my motivation gone? Oh where, oh where can it be? Sing along with me here.

Seriously. I have no motivation. And it is so frustrating. Because I love being motivated. I get in a groove  where I just GET THINGS DONE. And it feels great. But lately: nada, zilch, zippo. And that is not good. Because that leads to all the negative talk and the settling in of the shoulda, woulda, coulda's. Hate those guys. But they are most definitely hanging around. I currently do the bare minimum to keep the house functioning but it really isn't where I want it to be. I think it probably has something to do with being off the medication. Maybe. Or maybe that is just my 'excuse du jour'.

So I have been making lists. I like lists now because this is how I approach them: 'These are things I want to get done.' Not the big bad 'HAVE TO DO' list, the one that makes you feel bad. And not the one that puts you into such negative place that you are paralyzed. But rather the 'I am going to love getting these things finished and I will feel so good crossing it off' kind of list. These are lists I like. I will even put down the last few things I actually did finish so that I can start with a few things crossed off. Nothing like a pat on the back right from the start.

And I leave my little pile of lists on the kitchen table or entry way. This keeps it easily accessible to me for updating and crossing off, reminds me of something else I could get done, and just in case the man feels motivated he can see what needs to be done.

(Aside - is it not amazing the capacity that a man has for NOT seeing things? What is that? Do they really not see, or is it just that they assume someone else will take care of it. I don't get it.)

Ironically the Man is a bit more motivated these days. He is on some new meds that he thinks is helping. And I realize that maybe I shouldn't be spilling the beans about his HIPAA stuff but since he doesn't even read this blog he won't know. Unless one of you go blabbing it. So please don't.

(Another aside - one thing that really does not go over well is when you look at one of your lists and something has been added to it. Not in your hand writing mind you. WTF. I'm just saying.)

Some more things that make my lists work for me:

  • I list small items, not big ones. I've made the mistake in the past of putting Laundry on my list. Well, dang, that never gets all the way done. So now I will say whites through laundry or all blankets and towels through laundry. That is much easier to cross off. 
  • I will some times put very obvious, immediate things (empty dishwasher) as well as more random things (clean grout in guest bath) on the same list. Go for the easy, gotta do them anyway things and cross it off. Then the only things left are the more demanding ones but somehow they are easier because you have all this crossed off stuff to admire. 
  • I create multiple lists for different areas. Right now I have an inside list, an outside list and a kind of errand list. And I am not sure why it is not overwhelming me to have more than one. I guess if it were all on one list it would be way too big. So breaking it down makes it more palatable. And achievable. 
  • I do not live or die by my lists. Really. Don't forget that these are just the things I'd really like to get done.
  • If I lose a list, oh well. 
  • If I get overwhelmed by a list then I make easier things on the next one so that I can get some crossing off going. That is the goal, lots of crossing off. 

Okay, getting back on the blog is now crossed off my list. Atta girl!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Really, we are a making family

The bug has a pretty big assortment of dress up outfits and accessories. As in a lot of stuff.

In the above Before picture we had it all just thrown in a big basket in one of our wagons to handle overflow.

Now at least hanging things can hang and the rest fits in the basket. And the whole thing is on casters!

And here is little one with the Man adding a few hooks for various extras.

Not terribly pretty. But just what we needed and made in less than an hour from things on hand. Yeehaw!

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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Busy backyard

We had a little bit of rain this morning and boy did that make for a busy backyard. So many little birds flying around, singing and chirping and talking and raising a ruckus. It was great to hear. I looked outside and saw all sorts of movement in the garden and realized it was all the little birds feeding. Glasses helped to confirm that theory. And here is some photographic evidence. 

And now that the sun has come out for a little bit, all is quiet again. 

I love how they are all lined up on this one. Although with their backs to the camera. The shot below shows what they were hiding - bright beautiful bellies. And why is it that the boys are so much better looking than the girls.

And in hindsight I am not sure why I am posting these pics for 'all' to see. Yikes do we have some big weeds on THE HILL. Well, at least the little guys like them. One advantage, right? But only in the rain....

Have I told you about THE HILL? This was my nemesis last year. I attacked this hill with all I had for many, many months. I'll need to pull out some old photos to show you where we were, and were we are today. Actually, it looks pretty good, aside from these pictures and these weeds. It is still a work in progress, but it is progressing and what more can you ask for, right? (Note to self: no more pictures of just weeds. It is depressing.)

I hope the rain comes back. I love looking at these guys.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Happy faces this morning

Early this morning we picked up cousin number one and drove the man to the airport. Today is going to be adventure day. I did come somewhat prepared. Each girl has a blank book and we have a pack of crayons. Current activity is watching the ducks, seagulls and small fish along our downtown.

We have made many people smile as they walk along today.

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Location:N Harbor Dr,San Diego,United States

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Long way around to heart achingly pure joy.

I keep having this little sayings and songs go through my head for the last week or so. Mostly in the middle of the night. (More on that later.)

Ding dong the meds are gone, the mental meds are gone. (think Dorothy for the tune on this one)
The meds have left the body. (think Elvis)

I did it. I weaned myself off my anti-depressant medications. And so far so good. Actually really good. I truly believe there can be better living through chemistry. And that is what I needed for a few years. But then I realized I was pretty numb. Which was okay for the bad stuff. But not so great for the good stuff.

I've been seeing and reacting to comments, stories, sayings, lately that talk about having to really live through things. To feel the feelings, all of them. Even when it is hard. That maybe medicating things away won't really fix them. And I have always believed this. But sometimes you do need a break. And I guess my mental break is over. It is now my time.

I was on an antidepressent about 15 years ago or so. For a year. And I called it my mental vacation. Seriously. Not only did all the yicky voices, messages, nagging worries take a break. So did my mental functioning. It was odd but I accepted a much more relaxed processing speed, limited vocabulary, delayed reaction times and other things along those lines. At the time I would have called it reduced band width. Now a days people would recognize it as Mommy Brain. Most of my friends with kids acknowledge Mommy Brain for about the first year or so. I think a lot of that is sleep deprivation combined with this new little being needing so much. You don't have much left over. Same kind of thing for me on the meds. Last time I just knew it was time for my vacation to be over so I stopped taking the meds and all was well. This time, not so much.

I had to step down my dosing for a month and then just I went cold turkey. And it was bad, but only for a few days. Can you say emotional roller coaster? Combined with major dizziness and naseau. And I felt like I had a fever. Now I have to admit I have been fighting the cold of all colds at the same time. Maybe not the best timing, but hey, when is.  But now I am through it. And I feel good. The one odd thing is that I am having trouble sleeping. This could be the steroids for my cold, or the cold meds. Or maybe I just have to get used to this new adventure. I could get to be pretty productive in the middle of the night. Oooh, maybe some hand sewing projects. Yes!

And here is the upside. I am here, in the present. I feel things now. Although admittedly not always good things. But I am feeling.

The other night the hard rain woke up the bug and she wanted to snuggle. I crawled into bed with her and experienced pure joy. Heart achingly pure joy. And that is what makes all this worth it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Lemonade on demand

A few weeks ago we were overwhelmed with citrus from the 'orchard'. I love saying that even though it is just a few trees - lemon, lime, tangerine, two orange, apricot. Pretty cool to have an 'orchard'. But not so cool to have too many lemons to know what to do with them. So we scrounged up a juicer and created about a gallon of lemon juice. All by hand mind you. My hand. And it just so happens that a regular muffin tin is about 1/2 cup. So a few batches in the freezer and now we have fresh from the garden lemon juice at all times.

The lemonade has been going down like it is going out of style. We do two frozen hunks which is about 1 cup of lemon juice. 1 cup of simple syrup. (We make that with 2 cups hot water and 2 cups sugar dissolved in it.) And maybe 3 or 4 cups of water. Turns out pretty good.

Yum Yum

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentines Day

From the San Diego Botanic garden. With a gaggle of girls today. (4 littles and 3 not so littles)

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A fishy Valentine's craft

I am spending the evening creating Valentine's for the Bug's preschool class. All was going swimmingly 😉 until I realized I didn't have the snack size bags, or any good ones actually. So I am trying to work out how to not have the big white stripe with the bag name showing. Aargh.

Yes, in a perfect world I could just run to the store but the man is working tonight and Bug is not cooperative... And I am trying to make do with what we have. It's actually been fun trying to figure it out.

So here is what I came up with.

I think it will work. Even for the discerning 4 year old.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Oh, I forgot to mention that I got the idea from so may different places on line. I tried using some of the free printables out there but they weren't quite right so I made my own. In Word. Not that easy but a fun challenge.

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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Field Trip!

Yep, we had a preschool field trip. We walked down the street from the school to the local fire station. I think I (and some of the other parents) were more excited than the kids. It was a very fun day.

We were very lucky as one of the boys in our class has a dad and an uncle who work at this station. And they were the ones to give us the tour and tell us all about firefighters, 911, safety, tools, and so much more.  I really liked how they did this presentation. They talked about what to do if you need help, who to call, why you should call 911 and for what, and they did it all on their knees or sitting so that they were at the same level as the kids. A small thing but I think it really makes an impact. Then we toured the firehouse and saw where they lived and hung out. Once we got out to where the trucks were they went through a lot of the tools on the truck. Did you know that a fire truck is basically just an enormous tool box? I am quite jealous of all their tools and the cool ways they keep them. Some good organizational tips to be learned there.

One of the key things that they did was talk about all of the gear they need to wear when fighting a fire. So Wes kept talking as he was putting on all of his equipment. He asked if each items was scary before he put it on and got a little sillier with each addition. Once he had everything on he did actually look quite intimidating and his voice was altered because of the mask. So he crawled around with the kids and said this is probably what he would look like if he had to come get them in fire. He wanted to make sure they knew who he was and that it was just gear. They all goofed around a bit before he changed. I truly hope none of these children ever need to be rescued from a fire, but I am so grateful for how this was handled to put them a bit more at ease.

Then the kids got to spray a fire hose! So cool. But the bug was not interested. Oh well. I have done that and those things are really powerful. A fun day had by all.

As an aside, it must be a requirement that firemen are attractive. What is up with that? Oh, right when you come up to the door of the firehouse you see a sign that says the following: Push the button for a Fireman. Wow, if it were only that easy.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

We are a making family

That is what I told a woman in the store we were in this afternoon. She was complimenting Bug on the scarf she was wearing. It was made by one of the cousins, one of our generation cousins. And I realized we really are a making family. On so many levels.

So many different members of our family make things. Really cool things. And not just immediate family, but extended as well.

We just opened an etsy store called MGD Custom. Right now it only has our wood blocks. Those with the Encinitas signs and the custom ones on the Playskool blocks. Soon it will have much, much more. Both from the man and from me. And hopefully one day from the Bug.

But the really cool thing about today is that we saw a fun canopy type thing hanging over a crib/bed in the store. I showed it to bug and she really liked it. So we went home and made something just like it. From what we had around the house. And it was a complete family project.  Okay, so maybe not exactly like it, but close. The one in the store had rainbow silky fabric. Ours is sheer white but we did have this rainbow silk that a friend had given us. Bug remembered it. And we used that to cover up the (totally cool) chandelier attachment hanging from the light.

It is her room and she loves it. And is really proud that we made it. And I think that is the most important part. We really are a making family. Go us.

Oh, Happy New Year! I hope to see you around here more often.