Tuesday, September 29, 2009
While playing with Myla today - and checking out her toy camera - she proceeded to take it from my hands at one point saying, "Let me take your picture, mama."
Me: "Okay" (smiling)
Camera: "You're a GREAT animal photographer!"
Myla: (looking at the camera after taking my pic) "Oh, you're so cute!"
(Thinking, 'That's not what the camera thinks!')
A few minutes later...
I said to her, "I want to eat those cute little toe-toes!"
Myla: "Nooooo. That's not lunch!"
Me: "I know, but they're so cute and soft, I want to eat them anyway!"
Myla: "No mama. Sandwiches are yummy. My feet are yucky."
(She loves the book Yummy Yucky, by Leslie Patricelli. It's a favorite around here! This is funnier if you've read it.)
A QUOTE: "There's always something to write about. If there's not then you need to live life more aggressively." ~Min Kim, Better Blogging Brainstorming, SXSW 2006
WHIDFML: Drank some mouth-watering, healthy, real-deal tea from Teavana. Mmmmmm.
I'm a green-machine! Since I moved out of the house at age 22, I began making a transition to organic foods and chemical-free products anywhere I could. The more I got into it, and the more I understood & learned, the less I wanted that stuff around me (or in me!) I'm so glad I got into the habit (and got my husband into the habit) - before babies arrived.
Sure, I still have people around me who say things like, "Ah - we've been using/ eating/ doing that for years... and we're still alive..." Sometimes I have to bite my tongue to avoid asking, "And how is your quality of life??" It may not have a pronounced enough effect that you can pinpoint it. And, it may not produce negative side-effects promptly, but over time. I just know our bodies weren't wired to handle it. So I see it as doing my part to do my best to prevent issues from arising later in life. We all want what's best for our babes too - and I've found ways to maintain my green-clean-life on a budget! All can be found at your local Target stores. Continue below...
Products I feel good about using - especially as a mom - and a mom on a budget:
~ Method brand cleaning products (any). My favorite are the cleaning wipes. They are great for bathroom clean-up (especially in-between more thorough cleanings).
*I also really enjoy the sprays. You can use them anywhere - they smell great - and you don't have to worry about setting food on the counter-top after having cleaned it (ironic, eh?) If used in the tub, you don't have to be concerned with taking a long hot soak, or putting your little ones in for a soak. *Great hypoallergenic liquid fabric softener
~ 7th Generation dishwasher detergent - It doesn't leave a residue/ spots, and washes clean... BONUS - I don't feel like re-washing before using/ letting my kids use eating utensils!
~ Arm & Hammer Laundry Detergent - hypoallergenic, plant-based surfactants... the ingredient list is literally 3 items long (and easy to pronounce)! Also - best bang for buck amongst the family of people & earth-friendly detergents.
~ Palmolive Pure & Clean - Palmolive has actually always (as far as I've known, anyway) been free of phosphates. Now, they have boosted it further. Only makes me feel better. Very affordable!
~ Greenworks toilet bowl cleaner - I LOVE the way I can squirt it right up under the rim, and let it sit and soak a bit... before coming back to scrubbing. It's earth-friendly - so you can feel good about flushing!
~ Dawn dish soap - but not for dishes! I like it for A) Pre-treating laundry stains (awesome!) and for B) Washing linoleum & tile floors. (Haven't tried it on the wood floors...)
~ Swiffer!! The sweeper (NOT the wet-mop products.... You aren't even supposed to get that on your skin, so avoid that crap!) The sweeper is amazing - and picks up so well. But I have to say that the PLEDGE brand dry sweeper refills are cheaper, and work just as well. TIP! You can also use (and re-use, and re-use) a MICROFIBER cleaning cloth in place of the dry-sweeps. ALSO fab for washing the floors applied to the swiffer/ pledge with warm water & dish soap! Keep a couple of mf cloths to alternate... You just plunk it into the wash (with no fabric softener), and you don't have to purchase the refills! ** Double-Tip! [I do a load of non-fabric-softener wash - all my cleaning cloths and dish rags together]
~ Pledge brand dusters - (If you don't like to dust with a cloth and a stinky, greasy chemical) these are THE best! (Again, cheaper than Swiffer brand, but work great!)
While we're on the topic of favorite products... here are a few I couldn't live without as a mom:
~ Bouncy seat - portable, vibrating, kept my colic kiddo asleep for more than 10 minutes at a time! Yay. TIP! When babies are small enough to stay in seat (with belt, of course) - you can put them to sleep in the bouncy seat when sick with colds. It keeps the mucus (I know - gross!) from draining into their throats and causing them to cough and wake. It also keeps their plugged noses from plugging up completely - allowing them to keep the nuk in and everything!! Bonus - you can put them next to your bed/ in your room to watch them more closely when ill. If I could have only chosen one furniture item for my baby - it would have been this little chair! It was pure LOVE.
~ Nuk. The amazing pacifier that stays in their mouths! I prefer the silicone ones... seem less 'soft'/ lasted longer. TIP! Re-boil for 3 mins on occasion/ as needed to keep clean.
~ Nuk-holders! Even when the Nuk stays in well, baby will still push it out. We also attached it to them at night (after they were at least 6 months old, and mobile) to keep it from falling out of their reach/ through the crib bars!! What a splendid invention!
~ Portable/ DC baby monitor! I love the fact that you can plug it in when you're inside.... or grab and detach it - and away you go - anywhere you please around the yard/ house. You have battery option, but don't go through them as quickly. The one we like is by Safety 1st - $20 bucks!
TIP! I mentioned in a previous post - but worth mentioning again... Trader Joe's is fantastic for organic and/or all natural, no fillers, no artificials, no preservatives, etc... good-for-you-foods, at very reasonable prices! Better than co-op pricing, and WAY better than your little corners dedicated to health in the big-name-ick-stores.
A QUOTE: "Writing is the only profession where no one considers you ridiculous if you earn no money." ~ Jules Renard
WHIDFML: Listened to my bod, and went to bed early. Also - slept-in when I had the chance! Ahhhh, refreshing.
Monday, September 28, 2009
I love the idea of doing some fun projects with my girls while they are home with me. Art projects, new games, new places to explore, all kinds of interaction! But, realistically, Addie is just too small still. I can already see the chaos unfolding in my mind's eye; Addie grabbing Myla's pink paper (the only remaining pink, surely), tearing it to shreds while knocking over the glitter pack, and dipping her face in glue... Myla crying in despair all the while, looking on hopelessly as Addie proceeds to destroy her (and my) sugar-plum visions of art-project time. Yes, this will have to wait a bit longer. Maybe by next year?? Myla will begin pre-school - but it should be a short day for her. I can still look forward to this with sugar and spice and all that is nice, right? ;)
The thing I have to remember, though, is that while these times will certainly be new and fun (and full of unexpected challenges most definitely) - I can't let myself 'rush' this current time by too quickly (or can I?) They are only going to be babies once, and for a short time. Myla has already moved beyond baby-hood. Addie isn't far behind. But truthfully, I am happy as each new milestone is achieved... as it means we are all continuing to grow and move forward, and learn and be. Can't help but feel that we can all 'be' in greater harmony when we can all interact on somewhat of a similar level ground... without so much teasing , fighting, glitter-flinging, glue-eating, or paper-shredding. *[Pretty sure my imagination's description about how this would go at this stage isn't so far-fetched!]
TIP! Encouraging games like "house"/ "baby" has enabled both girls to pretend & play together - the littlest one mimicking the strategies of the older one... Just be sure to have 2 of everything! (Well, at least 2 dolls.)
A QUOTE: "I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear." ~ Joan didion
WHIDFML: I sat out this weekend and soaked up a few minutes of what remained of some warm, late-summer sun. Vitamin D needed right now! Can't let it slip away - not yet.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
A) Good thing her husband loves her
B) WTF? What is WRONG with that woman??
C) I just don't GET it.
D) Is that her idea of composting?
E) Do squirrels eat banana peels?
F) At least it's biodegradable
G) Can we move? Soon?
H) Ummmmmm, Did you see that? What WAS that?
I) Her kids are making her bananas! ;)
J) Must be a private joke between her and her husband. He's always picking them up.
K) A little bit of everything mentioned above?
You decide on this one. ~ Feel free to leave your comments!
TIP! Banana peels decay quickly and start to stink up the garbage can (and house) fast. I just throw mine around the yard!! They blend in after a couple of days (upon turning brown), and it's super fun teasing my husband. [big grin] (He has no problem leaving mountain dew cans/ bottles or tools lying around... but heaven forbid we "junk up our yard" with a naturally biodegradable food peel.) I can't resist! One time, I draped one on the side-view mirror of his car, and he drove about a block before realizing it! Hahahahahahahahaha! (I am admittedly a little bit crazy.)
A QUOTE: "It's not about the writing. It's about the feelings behind the words." ~Takayuki Ikkaku
WHIDFML: I skipped doing laundry all last week. (Yep - it was still here come this week!)
Friday, September 25, 2009
I step outside of the threshold onto the cement, holding open the door while wildly calling for (and cursing a bit) the dog that just will NOT respond and come into the damn house already... ONLY to find that she sheepishly tip-toes past me - OUT the door frame from inside the house, tail between her legs as though she's done something wrong?
G) Most of the above
H) All of the above
OR - I) A sleep-deprived mother of two toddlers who also have not slept well in 2 weeks, and who continue to melt-down over nothing constantly, battling wills against the parents, won't put on shoes to leave the house as I'm juggling locking windows, doors, *Letting in the Dog*, eating something quick, packing a diaper bag, refilling juice cups, and shuffling everyone out the door to get to the pediatric dentist on time - (In 5 minutes... It's 15 minutes away.)
*[The correct answer is "I".... Oh alright - and "A"... A bit of a trick-question.]
TIP! A run-on-sentence (or 2) is perfectly acceptable, when necessary to get a point across!
A QUOTE: "A great writer reveals the truth even when he or she does not wish to." ~Tom Bissell
WHIDFML: Skipped the major ordeal of cooking a big dinner (though that usually falls to Joel who embraces this skill), and cleaning up afterward (this part falls unto me.) - We winged it with easy stuff... pizza for J and the girls, and gf waffles for me - (so yummy!) Ahhhh. Nice to relax.
I have on a few occasions, reconnected with some past acquaintances with whom I'm now a 'Facebook Friend'. Facebook has been a useful tool in networking my photo-biz, but also a great way to connect with people (and other SAHMs) on a day-to-day basis - both directly and indirectly. It's been surprisingly fun - not at all what I had anticipated - and I mean that in a good way! (Kudos fb!)
Thursday, September 24, 2009
I hesitated - but only momentarily - while I weighed the consequences of this in my mind...
~ 'Tis a healthy request
~ Baby will stop crying and eat
~ It could definitely be worse...
~ Baby becomes constipated when too much cheese is consumed as it is... How about bright and early in the A.M.??
~ This is going to morph into a phase of its own... We'll go for weeks of having cheese for breakfast. (Where is that Miralax?!) *[Disclaimer: I have NO medical background or knowledge... I am merely following our pediatrician's recommendation regarding Miralax usage. Please contact your Doc before employing any medicinal applications - particularly with your children! Special instructions apply - seek them from your Doc.]
~ We may need to consider purchasing stock in cheese............
So. As it stands today, we've been consuming cheese, crackers, and apples (thank God - the fruit helps keep the bowels functioning properly!) for breakfast for about a week and a half thus far. Thankfully, our doc provided us a little insight into gentle bowel stimulation. Again, please check with your own Doc before attempting anything medicinal.
TIP! If they request something healthy - what they hey? It's better than the fight... and better than cookies for breakfast. Phases are supposedly temporary anyway, right? We shall see!
WHIDFML: Bought a new bra (or 3)! Seriously - some places just have the right deals on the least-likely shizz! I found 3 stunning lady-hoisting beauties for less than the price of one Victoria's Secret bra on clearance! They fit better than some of my previous VS boulder-holders, and are really rather decadent-looking too. Okay Okay - hold on, I'm about to share! I found them at (are you sitting down?) Burltington Coat Factory. Yeppers. You read right. They have killer deals on really fun lingerie. So there ya be!
A QUOTE: "If any man wish to write in a clear style, let him be first clear in his thoughts; and if any would write in a noble style, let him first possess a noble soul." ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
I wish to clarify that I am not now, nor have I ever been, an exotic dancer.
I work at Home Depot and I told my daughter how hectic it was last week before the blizzard hit. I told her we sold out every single shovel we had, and then I found one more in the back room, and that several people were fighting over who would get it.
Her picture doesn’t show me dancing around a pole. It’s supposed to depict me selling the last snow shovel we had at Home Depot.
From now on I will remember to check her homework more thoroughly before she turns it in.
My husband and I have been married for over 4 years, and have been together for 14 of those 4 ~ with one major break-up at roughly the half-way point. We’ve worked hard at keeping the lines of communication open wide (yet another cliché – but without honest & meaningful communication, what do you have in any relationship??) I feel much like my 1-1/2 year-old little girl when she tries to say a word (especially when it’s a new word to her) and I happen to understand her! That glee, that excitement, the glow of appreciation in her eyes. I can relate… as when I express something to Joel, and he addresses it as though it’s important (because he realizes now, that it IS to me!) – and seems to comprehend what I’ve just said! (This, after some years of feeling nearly ignored, is truly electrifying!)
We’ve put much effort into determining how we can really connect and team-up, rather than taking out our frustration on one-another, and ultimately pushing each other away. It’s taken years of ups & downs to get there – but I have to say, it continually gets better with each new MILESTONE!
TIP! KEEP DATING. Just because you’re married doesn’t mean you no longer have a need to carve out time for one another. Movie nights at home/ dinner out and a concert/ a walk around a nearby lake/ biking/ fishing/ whatever you both enjoy! Just do it – alone together – regularly. You have to keep adding wood to the fire, or the fire eventually burns out.
Our little girls are another dream-turned-reality. While we adore them more than life & liberty, we also have come to learn that child-rearing isn’t all butterflies & rainbows. I guess I’ve always known that… but I still expected it to be a little bit ‘dreamier’ - if you will, than it seems on most days. The thing is – even the spilled milk, the crying over it, and the near-constant chaos that ensues in our household on a daily basis is worth it. For instance - those moments when they spontaneously hug you and tell you that you are their most favorite mommy ever – you find yourself wondering, “How could I ever become frustrated by this innocent, sweet child??” Then, they turn and bite their sibling, and you remember exactly HOW. It’s a bit of a rollercoaster, but when the ride slows down one day, I’m pretty sure we’ll throw our hands in the air and say – ‘again’! [Only this time – with grandkids – and less screaming!] :)
A QUOTE:"Writing gives you the illusion of control, and then you realize it's just an illusion, that people are going to bring their own stuff into it." ~David Sedaris
WHIDFML: Put a lot of thought onto "paper" (the electronic variety) :)
Why "Drinking out of cups" while also being a bitch? Funny story - one I can't take credit for!
I require BALANCE. [2 kiddos, & 2 hands… zero coincidence!] I’ve worked hard for years at achieving balance, and I continue to work hard at maintaining it. I’ve always loved to write (and talk) – and do so in detail. This is the perfect venue for such ramblings… If it in some way offers a fun reprieve, or helps you too – then bonus! Let’s do this thang!
When things on the home-front develop into chaos - (well, more so than the norm) – I turn inward - - and now -- allow some of that to spill outward - - here! For me personally, this mommy-blogging thing is another one of those little treats I give to myself, to help me be better at ‘doing’ for others… It offers me an outlet. It’s kind of like an interactive diary. I get to reconnect with myself, and potentially offer comfort and ideas to other parents in the process. It enables me to re-evaluate my situation – seeking out the blessings, and giving it a lighter appeal. Happy mommy = happy family!!
TIP! Reflect on one positive thing that impacts your day for the better, every day.
I have thought, on many occasions, about how grateful I am to be a mom during this cyber-age – so that I can keep in better contact with ‘the outside world’ while raising the brood.
A QUOTE: "This is pretty much what journals are all about, at least to me. I knew as I wrote them that even though they provided an excellent place for brain (and heart, and psyche) dump, they were mainly a map of me."
WHIDFML: Picked out a new leather 'chain' ($2 at Michael's), to fix a necklace that I paid $1.50 for at a garage sale. Oh the irony!
Becoming a parent & constantly tending to the needs of others, doesn’t mean we cease to exist as an individual… we’ve merely been transformed. Compare it to the ever-cliché and yet ideally relevant butterfly-from-caterpillar revolution. Giving OF ourselves shouldn’t mean giving UP who we are…
I recall seeing a commercial on television (for a well-known line of inexpensive hair products - you've probably heard of it: Suave ladies - like steppin' out of salons), portraying varied examples of mothers and their young children. The voice-over dictated some statistics. “…x-percentage of new mothers ‘let themselves go’…” I had to LOL! Really? Seriously. Does a new mother have a choice in that matter??? I don’t think that it’s always so much a matter of ‘letting ourselves go’ as much as it is “can I please have a few minutes to urinate, toss my hair into something that looks somewhat intentional, and perhaps scarf down some left-overs from three days ago before you need to eat again, little darling??”
We love our babies. We all have that in common. Truthfully – many of us also share in some means of ‘letting ourselves go’. But, I’m speaking more metaphorically – in ways that far surpass how we physically present ourselves to the world. Ultimately – we need to remember that while our families/ children have now become our top priority, we can’t be any good to anyone else if we aren’t good to ourselves as well.
My blog highlights thoughts such as these, things I’ve learned so far, and will continue to learn. It will relay ideas, tips, exciting events, offering examples of how - through having children of my own - I too in many ways have been ‘re-born’…(or have taught myself how to be!) These are the Mommy Milestones that I experience through sharing my life with children (and a husband, and a dog, and family, and friends, and neighbors, owning a home, and running a business, and, and, and… you get the idea!)
A QUOTE: "Even in Literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often is has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it."
WHIDFML: I've sipped wine to celebrate the embarking upon this new writing-blog-adventure! (While my kids are at Grandma & Grandpa's for the day!)