Listen to this video of me covering "Make You Feel My Love" by Adele in April of 2013 and let me know what you think. I go by Purple Magic when making music.
Nova's hair has been doing this fun mohawk thing lately. It's super cute, but since she likes her hair out of her face and it's getting longer, we decided to grab her some Goody Self Hinge Barrettes from King Soopers yesterday. We also grabbed some mini Goody Snap Clips, since both were part of a BOGO sale. But we haven't tried those yet. Enjoy Nova's cute smile and playful poses in these cute baby photos of her wearing her first baby barrette hairstyle.
It happened to be a free day at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, so we decided to take Aja and Amber there since we had the time. Amber hadn't been there in something like ten years, and it was the first field trip we have been able to take Aja to in awhile. While most of the special exhibits happened to be paid ones on this particular day, we were still able to see all of the free stuff.
To chronicle our time there, Richard took several videos that document most of the major sections that we were able to visit.
This video is actually at the beginning when the guy in the walking dinosaur was out greeting people. It actually freaked out a few little kids, of which there were many on this day.
Next, we visited one of the smaller first-floor exhibits which featured the life cycle of butterflies.
Here, we visited Space Odyssey at the Coors Visitor Center to the Universe. There were many interactive displays here, and we would have liked to spend more time here. However, we were trying to see everything in a limited span of time, so we only spent a few minutes here.
Outside of the Coors Hall of Gems and Minerals, there were a few service puppies on display! One of them looked a lot like our Shih-Tzu Bo-Bo! He/she did have a white patch on his head and is smaller than Bo-Bo, but the coloring was almost the same!
We decided to take the elevator to the third floor and work our way back down to the Gems and Minerals exhibit later. On the third floor, we first visited the Egyptian Mummies exhibit on the third floor, one of the older ones at the museum. Rich got a little carried away with the mummy silliness, but it’s a fun little experience.
The next three videos are from the Wildlife Halls on the third floor. There are more Wildlife Hall exhibits on the second floor, but these three videos covered enough of the experience.
Next was the Prehistoric Journey exhibit. There are two videos there. The first video is the exhibits at the entrance. Some of it was a bit too dark to film which is why the first clip is so short.
The second video features the large dinosaur models built to scale, which are pretty awesome to see.
The North American Indian Cultures exhibit (should be Native American Cultures, honestly) is one that we had missed on a previous trip since it’s located behind the Wildlife Halls on the second floor. It’s pretty cool. Rich learned about the Utes, and he thinks he knows how to say it properly now. Since Lyn and the kids have Native American ancestry (Rich does have a tiny bit, as well), this was a particularly interesting exhibit.
This video of the Navajo Hogan dwelling is a bit dark, but we wanted to share it anyway because it was cool.
The final video is of the Coors Hall of Gems and Minerals, our final stop on our tour around the museum. It’s a pretty short video because it’s both dark and a bit awkward to film in close quarters. So here’s just a glimpse.
We were able to see pretty much everything in the course of about an hour and a half or so. There were a couple of exhibits that we missed, including Expedition Health which actually did not require a ticket although we thought it did. They had people waiting outside because there are certain items that they don’t want brought in there. We’ll have to check this out on a future visit. We could have spent more time in individual exhibits, but we only had a limited amount of time to see everything, as was mentioned earlier. The other exhibits all required tickets, which would have added up quickly.
Here are some of the photos we took as well. Click the photos to see the full view, as well as to enlarge them.
(There's more to the story after the gallery)
All in all, this is one of the best museums to visit on a free day. So if you happen to be in the Denver area for whatever reason, see if they are having an SCFD free day. It’s quite conveniently located and while parking is often full, you can always park nearby at the zoo, which is right next door.
All Images © Lyn Lomasi; All Rights Reserved
All Videos © Richard Rowell; All Rights Reserved
Did you know that if you're a vegan or vegetarian you can still find some great bargain groceries? Recently, Rich and I have gone mostly vegan but since we're also pinching pennies, we often shop at stores like the Dollar Tree for some of our groceries.
While frozen and pre-packaged foods aren't really the healthiest, we do eat them occasionally, especially if they're affordable and we need a bargain. We try to stick to mostly fresh and raw foods. But since we're transitioning our bodies, not being fully raw vegan is where we are in the process. We also occasionally have cheese (with the goal to stop altogether), but have banished milk, honey, eggs, beeswax, and other animal products.
So, on to the point. In a few recent visits to the Dollar Tree, we wanted to see if we could find any foods at all that went along with our diet. Surprisingly, we actually did. We found a ton of various foods that fit the bill. Most of them are actually fairly healthy, other than not being completely raw.
At our local Dollar Tree, we were able to find frozen French fries (okay, pretty normal but it gets better), frozen waffle fries, frozen sweet potato fries, frozen fingerling potatoes (both vegan and gluten free), all natural applesauce, frozen blueberries, frozen pineapple, frozen vegetable blends, frozen fruit blends, breaded zucchini fries, breaded green bean fries, and even vegan spring rolls (no eggs, seriously)!
(More below the gallery)
*Click on images for full view and/or enlarged view
While all of these items can be found at the regular grocer, they aren't always vegan and when they are, many of them definitely cost more than a dollar. Many of these items also stated they were gluten free. Not all were vegan certified. However, in reading the labels, we could tell they were vegan. There were even more items that we didn't grab on this trip because our freezer is full now and some things we already have plenty of (like black Chia seeds, which we use a lot). Next time!
For those on a budget, this is a good way for Dollar Tree to corner a healthier market. Now, if they make it all non-gmo verified, that will be even better! Ah, but speaking of that, we also found a bag of popcorn seeds there that are not only vegan, but non-gmo verified. We ate some while watching Star Wars Episode VII last night. Win!!!!
Now, who's gonna race me to the Dollar Tree for the next bargain?
*This post was not paid for or requested by Dollar Tree and the author is not affiliated with them.
Most of those following our pregnancy journey with Nova Skye have come to know that I’ve been struggling with even mundane tasks most days. A couple weeks ago, I just could not cook dinner and no one else felt like doing it, so we ordered pizza -- and ended up getting it for free. Thank goodness because we honestly couldn’t afford it and should not have been getting it anyhow. But that’s beside the point. We got a bunch of FREE pizza. And let me tell you, it really was a ton of pizza because our home is quite crowded right now.
When the 17 year old ordered the pizza online, it was quite the usual boring process it always is. My card was charged, the email saying it was on the way came, blah blah blah. But when the status said it was delivered and we still had no pizza, I became suspicious.
I called up the local location we ordered the pizza from and they let us know one of the drivers had slipped on some ice and got hurt. I felt so bad for the driver and they apologized and said they’d give us some coupons for free pizza for the inconvenience. I accepted. They were remaking the order so it would be fresh and it would be coming out with a different driver.
Then, again it took too long. We didn’t receive a call, so I had to be the one to call again. They insisted our driver was on the way, but it had been quite a long time, so even though they apologized, I was becoming quite annoyed. It was a school night and it had already been a couple hours past the time we initially ordered. The kids needed to get fed and get to bed. Also, I’m pregnant and I was hungry and emotional and vulnerable.
The driver finally gets to our house shortly after I called, so we’re thinking the ordeal is over. But, not quite. He locks his keys -- and our pizza -- in the running car. I actually felt bad for the driver. However, our family still had the issue of hungry kids on a school night with a hungry hormonal pregnant mama bear. He also explained that his GPS led him to the wrong address initially and that’s why he was a bit late.
I let the driver use our phone to call the pizza joint and let them know his predicament. However, they did nothing to help their driver get back into his car and we hope they didn’t fire him over it. They did promise to send out our order once again with another driver. After I let the driver use my phone to get some help, I called them back to explain it had been 2 ½ hours and we really just needed our food. I was actually quite nice, considering.
However, we did end up getting all of the pizza for free on manager approval. But we still had to wait for them to make our order yet a third time. Thank goodness, it did eventually arrive -- over 3 hours after the initial order. The kids were tired and cranky, Rich was ready for bed, and my pregnant self was ravenous and exhausted. I did still tip the drivers, as it wasn’t their fault. So, I guess it wasn’t completely free. But that was my choice and the pizza part was free. Despite the huge and weird scenario that is likely to never happen again, we ate and enjoyed our very free, very inconvenient pizza.
But hey, it was free! And at that point, it tasted like the best pizza we ever had. We even had leftovers for another night and now have coupons for more free pizza.
I can’t guarantee this exact scenario will ever happen to anyone again. However, should you want free pizza, this is surely the way to get it.
*Note: I’m purposefully not mentioning the pizza company this happened with (and please don’t ask because we won’t answer). This was a very freak and unusual situation that is likely to never happen again and wasn’t necessarily their fault. One driver got injured on some dangerous ice during a snowstorm and the other just had bad luck. We don’t wish them bad business. But there’s no way we could go through that and not write about it. No way!
Our little Nova Skye Rowell is 24 weeks in utero, as of February 13, 2016! Here's the latest on how she's doing, how I'm feeling, what's been going on, and 24 week fetal development.
What's Nova doing in There This Week?
At 24 weeks pregnant, the baby's hearing is more developed. They're said to be able to make out sounds and hear voices now. Little Nova seems to be proving that theory. Whenever daddy Rich talks or I talk, she kicks up a storm. She seems to do it more for him, unless I'm a little louder. That goes along with medical info that says she should be able to hear lower frequency sounds, like that of the male voice, better.
Another cool thing she did is to kick vigorously for hours while I was singing along with music. Anytime I stopped, the kicking stopped and when I started back up again, so did her movements. She also seems to kick up a storm whenever one of my sister's cats lays on my stomach and purrs.
When's the Next Prenatal Visit and What's it About?
Our next appointment is February 16, so it's right around the corner. This is when I get to drink that icky glucose drink for the diabetes test. As with all appointments, we'll also hear Nova's heartbeat and have a routine checkup. We'll also be following up with the doctor regarding the Placenta Previa. It was diagnosed during an ER visit after some troubling symptoms and is something that needs to be monitored regularly.
Therefore, the OB doctor needs to do a follow-up and watch it, as determined is necessary. I assume this means we might get another ultrasound, even though we didn't have that planned until the next visit. The best way to look at the placenta is the same way you look at the baby and that's via ultrasound. Not sure if we'll get a look at the baby if that's what happens, but if we do, Rich and I will post more ultrasound pictures.
UPDATE 2/16/2016: My OB doctor has confirmed that I do not actually have Placenta Previa. I do have a low-lying placenta. However, it's not low enough to be a concern and this is actually normal at 24 weeks. The placenta will rise as the baby gets bigger and I get further along. I was told to rest even more because of the pain and spotting -- and just due to this being a high-risk pregnancy. This news is kind of a pain because I don't really do very much as it is. Rich and I are working together and trying to figure out what else there is left to eliminate from my responsibilities, but it isn't much, at this point. It also doesn't help that I can be a very determined and stubborn person (as can be witnessed in the paragraph below from the original post) and there are no responsibilities left that I feel willing to give up. We'll work it out though.
How's the Momtrepreneur?
Let's just say I'm hanging in there. The pain and fatigue is pretty bad and it’s there all the time. There are no pain free days and there haven't been since the pain started. There are days when it eases slightly and I use those days to get the most done. I do a lot of my work from bed and the kids and Rich help me with what they can help me with. I’m a mom, so I do mom things and sometimes I do them when I shouldn’t. But I do my best to rest and take it easy as much as possible. That’s really all you can ask of someone with 4 kids and one on the way.
Total and complete bed rest is out of the question, unless I’m forced to by the doctors. I joke with Rich that they might have to admit me to the hospital and strap me to the bed to get me to do that -- and even then, I might break free and do mom things. Haha Maybe I’m not that bad. But, there are things parents do that just can’t be replaced with anyone else, no matter how generous others are and no matter how much help you’re offered.
Sometimes kids just need their parents to do certain things. Plain and simple. I’m a mom and will always be a mom. I’m always going to do whatever my kids need me to do. Trust me, I do rest when Nova needs me to. However, the world doesn’t stop just because I’m in pain.
What About the Dadtrepreneur?
Well, you can ask Rich himself for the full scoop. Only he can say how he feels on the inside. But from my perspective, he’s already becoming a great daddy. It would seem he’s been having some sympathy pains and symptoms, which is not surprising, considering how close we are and how involved he is. He’s been super tired because of my difficulties in this pregnancy, but he has never once complained about my symptoms and always helps when he can. I’ve noticed that whenever I feel a certain way, most of the time he says he does too, even if I haven’t said anything about my symptoms. That’s pretty darn cute -- and probably also not fun because how I feel lately isn’t great.
Rich has been very involved in everything, from attending every prenatal (and other) doctor visit, to helping choose clothing and other baby items, and so much more. If baby is in the equation, so is he. I love how his face lights up when he feels Nova kicking or when I say anything related to her. We have long discussions on everything from feeding, to schooling methods, to parenting styles, and more. As an experienced parent of 4 already, even though Nova will be his first, I can easily say with confidence that he’s going to be an awesome dad.
Accomplishments This Past Week
We won a ton of stuff for Nova on Listia, eliminating a good chunk from the Amazon Registry. We also received a couple more registry gifts and bought some much-needed items ourselves from the registry, Target, and thrift stores. You would not believe how much we got for how little we spent. We also got a steal deal on some baby leggings (get 5 for free and pay only shipping with a promo code). If you want my promo code to get some for free, ask soon, as it expires in less than 30 days.
Nova still needs some stuff, but we accomplished so much on that front in this past week alone and we really appreciate anyone helping us during this tough time. It’s been a struggle with me having to leave my job and being unable to do any work that doesn’t involve the computer, due to the pain. Some days I can’t even do that. But, we’re still here and making it happen the best we can because that’s what parents do.
Interesting 24 Week Fetal Development & Pregnancy Info
The 24- week mark is a significant one because it’s this week that the baby is considered to be officially “viable,” meaning that potential survival outside the womb (if born prematurely) is more realistic. It would still require intensive medical care. However, knowing there is a chance is good reassurance for many parents-to-be, especially those at risk for preterm labor. Doctors would still try to halt the delivery process because the baby should remain in the womb longer, if at all possible. The earlier a baby is born, the greater the risk of health issues. Survival rate increases with each extra day the baby is in the womb until term.
By the end of 24 weeks in utero, the baby can weigh around 1.3 pounds and be about 11.8 inches long. That’s almost a foot! The inner ear is also fully developed at this stage and your baby may be able to tell the difference between being upside down and right side up. You may also notice the jerking motions your baby makes when hiccuping and other fetal movements should be strong as well.
Though long, the baby is still skinny at this stage and most of the weight is from the skin and lean muscles. The 6 ounces baby usually gains in this week is attributed to muscle, bone mass, and organs. Baby’s alveoli are forming nicely in the lungs at 24 weeks, so that they can later be inflated when baby needs to breathe outside the womb. Baby’s skin is still “see-through” right now. But, it’s starting to get filled in with fatty cells and will be more like yours later in development.
The eyelids are fully formed but they won’t be able to unseal and open for a few more weeks. Bone marrow is also being made by the red blood cells by 24 weeks. The baby’s tastebuds are also forming at 24 weeks. So, you may be able to notice a reaction in your baby to certain tastes, especially bitter ones.
Muscular coordination in the hands and legs is better developed. Baby may be observed sucking their thumb and may kick and punch more than before. Sweat glands are also forming from 24-25 weeks. Your baby will also have creases appearing on the palms of their hands. The baby’s body also starts filling out and looking more like a newborn.
You may notice stretch marks appearing on the hips, breasts, and abdomen. Cocoa butter or stretch mark creams may provide some relief or fade them. But they may not. A more supportive bra can help prevent (or at least reduce the intensity of) breast-area stretch marks. They may be reddish-brown during pregnancy. After delivery, they usually lighten. Around 90% of women get stretch marks at some point during pregnancy.
You may feel the need to use moisturizing eye drops at this point, as the eyes can be dry, gritty, and more sensitive to light than usual. This is normal during pregnancy and common starting at around 24 weeks.
Remember to eat healthy during pregnancy, as your baby is growing and needs nutrition. Your obstetrician or midwife can discuss healthy options specific to your situation. Everyone is different and will have different needs, based on health, usual dietary habits, medical conditions, supplementary needs, and more.
CHECK BACK NEXT WEEK FOR ANOTHER UPDATE!!!
National Library of Medicine
Picking a name for your baby is an important decision. Choosing between baby names is a meaningful moment in parenting that will remain a treasured memory. It’s something that will represent that baby their whole life. The name-choosing process can bring the first feelings of parenthood to the forefront for expectant parents, especially if it occurs during the first pregnancy. Something about finalizing the name finalizes the fact that a child exists because of you and you will now be a parent. I've had the joy and privilege of experiencing this five times. Here’s how the names were chosen each of my children.
The Naming Process
For each of my subsequent baby girls, I wanted their names to be unique. In fact, their names are so unique that it's possible no one else has them - at least not exactly as they are. I put a ton of time and effort into choosing the names for my girls, composing most of their names myself, including the meanings for each one.
The names needed to include French and/or Native American influences. The first names needed to be very unique and the middle names needed to be simpler, in case the girls wished to use an easier name as they grew older. One has chosen to use her middle name with friends.
I spent entire months of each of the first two pregnancies combining letters to form possible names, keeping note of my favorites, eliminating name after name as time went on to eventually come up with the final choices. Ironically, with my second daughter, after all that work, I changed a couple letters last minute as I was filling out the paperwork for the birth certificate. It just came to me to change it for some reason.
However, with the fifth child (fourth girl), my partner (Richard Rowell) and I varied slightly by choosing something that is an existing name, but is very unique. We wanted a unisex name that still had the French and Native American influence. I narrowed the choices down to a list of several and sent it to him, not telling him which name I had in mind. He actually favored the same name. So, we went with that.
To me, there is no one like any of them and I wanted the kids’ names to reflect that. Names should reflect each person’s individuality, rather than going along with the crowd. They should not be copied, but should instead come from the heart. As the kids have grown older, it’s been fun to watch their personalities develop into exactly what the meanings of their names are. They have made me even more of a believer in baby name choice being such an important decision.
With my son, I had different thoughts. He was originally going to be a junior, simply because he was the only boy and that was special to his father (my partner at the time). But, that didn't happen. On the day of his birth, I all of a sudden got a change of heart in this baby’s name. I said to him, “I want to name him after your father”. He agreed. Two months later, his father passed away very unexpectedly. I now feel like that was not only an instinct of motherhood, but some sort of sign when I got that change of heart on the name.
The Final Names & Their Meanings
KaShayonay Amber [Kuh - Shy - Uh - Nay; Am - Ber] - KaShayonay is my first daughter. Her name means patient, kind, loving, ambitious, beautiful, strong-willed, and stylish. The spelling and pronunciation are influenced by both French and Native American languages. The middle name Amber refers to the gemstone, which is similar to the color her eyes are sometimes (they change colors). I felt it went along with the stylish and beautiful definitions. She does love fashion and is very creative. Interestingly, all of the meanings did end up fitting her personality.
Tiala Chérie [Tee - Ah - Luh; Shay - Ree (Fr.) or Shuh - Ree (En.)] - Tiala is the second born. Her name means cheerful, sweet, helpful, kind, loving, and strong-willed. The spelling/pronunciation of this name has origins in both Native American and French languages. Chérie is French for dear or sweetheart, which goes along with her sweet and helpful aspects.
Ajaléa Naté [Ah - Zhuh - Lay - Uh; Nuh - Tay ] - Ajaléa is the third-born child and third daughter. Her name means strong-willed and stubborn, creative, loving, kind-hearted, and helpful. The spelling and pronunciation is again influenced by Native American and French languages. Her middle name is French-influenced and means creative and strong. She is definitely both. (Hear the Zh sound)
Nathaniel DeWayne - Nathaniel is the fourth-born and goes by Nathan for short and never Nate. Nathaniel means “gift from God”. I’m not religious and this name was simply to carry on his grandfather’s legacy. However, I do feel he is a gift from the universe. Curiously, this is also a French name. DeWayne is his father’s middle name and means “wagon maker,” which goes along with his creative nature.
Nova Skye - Nova is the fifth and is still growing in the womb, as we speak. Her name also has Native American and French roots. In English, Latin, and French, Nova means “new”. In Native American, it means “chasing butterflies”. We also chose it for the starry phenomena known as a supernova. Because of the starry connection, we chose Skye to go along with Nova. The meaning of Skye is obvious. It is a variation of the word sky. We will have to wait and see if her personality matches these definitions in the exact manner those of her siblings have.
Bonus Tips From An Experienced Mom
Is your teen having a hard time taming those frizzies? Need to find time to relate to each other? One way you can work on both issues is to make homemade beauty products together. Your teen will appreciate less frizziness, the lesson learned, and the time spent with you. All you need are a few ingredients you might already have in your kitchen. In my experience, kids of all ages enjoy this project, but the teens have enjoyed it the most. Tame frizzy hair the homemade way with this fun mom and teen moment.
Make it an Event
Don't just mix up the concoctions and leave it at that. Turn it into a whole makeover experience. You and your teen can prepare homemade beauty solutions together. Then, when finished, style each other's hair. Even if your hair is not frizzy, natural treatments for frizzy hair will still work well on other hair types and will likely give it some shine. You can also prepare party food beforehand and turn it into a pajama party. For even more fun, have your tween invite over her fellow frizzy-haired friends.
Make and Use Homemade Natural Shampoo for Frizzy Hair
Egg and honey shampoo helps maintain control and adds extra sheen. For this beauty concoction, you will need one egg yolk, one half-teaspoon of honey, one half-teaspoon of lemon juice, one fourth-teaspoon of almond extract, and one half-teaspoon of vinegar. The vinegar, lemon juice, and egg are all for cleansing and shine. The honey calms the hair and adds even more shine. The almond extract adds shine and scent.
To prepare the mixture, first beat the egg yolk with a fork until there are no more lumps. Next, add the rest of the ingredients and blend with a fork until smooth. To use the shampoo, wet the hair with lukewarm water. Apply the homemade no-frizz shampoo by rubbing it liberally throughout the hair. It may lather a bit, but it's not going to be near as lathery as commercial products. However, it will clean just as well, if not better. Let it sit in the hair for a couple minutes, then rinse thoroughly. Add homemade conditioner, if necessary.
Make and Use Natural Homemade Conditioner to Tame the Frizz
Our favorite homemade no-frizz conditioner uses mayonnaise and one of two fruits. Take a small jar of real mayo and mix in equal parts of either pureed avocado or pureed banana. Both blends contain vitamins that provide more control and shine and less frizziness. Smooth the conditioner over the entire head of hair. Think of it as a facial, but for you and your teen's hair. Leave the solution on the hair for about 15-20 minutes. Then, rinse thoroughly. If you have trouble rinsing, use a small amount of half vinegar and half water to rinse more thoroughly. Brush or comb the hair and style as usual. Air drying is recommended.
Prepare and Use Natural Hair Serum for Frizzy Hair
If your teen's hair needs some extra frizz treatment, you'll also want to use this serum. Mix 15 drops of tea tree oil in an olive oil base. For added scent and shine, you can also add one fourth-teaspoon each of almond extract and peppermint extract. Pour a small amount into the palm, rub together and spread over hair. Comb or brush through and style as usual. Store in a closed bottle in a cool area. This solution can be applied to the hair once or twice each day to control the frizz.
Prepare and Use Natural Homemade Styling Gel to Tame Frizziness
All you need to style frizzy hair is flax seeds and water. Boil one cup of water. Then, slowly add two tablespoons of flax seeds turning the heat down to simmer. Simmer and stir for about ten minutes or until the mixture is gel-like. Use a cheesecloth to strain the gel (without the seeds) into a bottle or other container. If desired, you can also add almond extract for scent and pure aloe gel for extra softness. Leave the choice up to your teen.
More from Lyn:
5 green ways to make homemade hair conditioner
Teaching teens natural hair styling tips
Teaching teens to appreciate their beauty without cosmetics
Getting advice from your mom does not mean that you are a bad parent. It simply means you are willing to admit that you aren't the only one who can solve a parenting issue. Besides, if you turned out to be a fairly decent person, your mom must know a thing or two about motherhood. No one does everything perfect, but most every woman who has embarked on motherhood has a good tip or two share.
The best piece of advice I got from my mom was actually indirect. However, I don't think it was very accidental. While she never outright told me to apply this to raising my own kids, the way she raised my siblings and I led me right into that direction.
As far back as I can remember, my mom always inserted creativity into everything we did. Before I even had kids, I knew I would do the same. That creativity is a big part of what made our childhood so fun. As a matter of fact, it also lends a great deal to my career choice as a published freelance writer and author.
Anyhow, getting to the parenting of my own kids, in some of the first moments with my newborn first daughter, my mind wandered thinking of all the creative adventures I soon would be having with her. The first creative adventure with her came in the form of cleaning up an interesting newborn mess.
However, her first craft project was much more fun than that. I remember the joy on her face as she dipped her tiny hands in finger paint and slopped it all over a big pile of papers in front of her. I had to again use the creativity as I cleaned up the mess afterward, but those creative moments shared with her were worth more than a perfectly clean house would have been.
Sometimes life can take you on a rollercoaster ride you didn't ask to be on. But, whether you know it at the time or not, it all happens for a reason. Life is a rollercoaster, but the ride is worth it. Look at our past two years as an example. They’ve been a dark tunnel of nightmares at times. But there's always been a light at the end, even though I didn't know there would be at the time.
My life partner and co-owner of this very media company (Richard Rowell) was in the middle of the battle of his life (literally) at this time last year. You see, he was fighting cancer - a massive tumor in the form of mediastinal seminoma. We never knew if he'd get through it. It was both uplifting and devastating to watch him fight for his life. I was so afraid I would lose him.
But he did it. As of his last scan, he is still cancer free. And now, we have a miracle of a baby on the way right now. You see, with the form of cancer he had, coupled with the chemotherapy he received, there was minimal chance of us ever being able to conceive.
We did just that and so far, our unborn child is happy and healthy and thriving. We just found out she's a girl and we've named her Nova Skye. Rollercoaster. Down, now up. This is his first and my fifth. We didn't ask for any of what we've been handed and he certainly didn't deserve that fight. But that's what life has handed us and I believe there is a reason.
Perhaps the reason is our unborn child. Perhaps it's something bigger - something us as a family (or that child alone) is meant to do. Who knows? But what I do know is that life is a huge rollercoaster and we have to take it as it comes because there is always a reason for everything in the circle of life.
Aside from Rich's health scare, we've had other bumps, some big and some small. But we've held each other together through the winds and downhill dives. We keep each other climbing and our love has never been an issue, not once.
Very recently, I've had to take more time off from my non-content job than we can afford, due to me having severe pain (the baby is fine and I'm under care of good doctors). But, sometimes we have to listen to our bodies, instead of our wallets. My OB doctor agreed.
We're working together to find more work content-wise in order to make it up and I'm crazy enough to have faith it will will work. It will because it has to and because I'm a stubborn ass and refuse to give up. And obviously, so is Rich. After all, he did kick cancer’s sorry butt.
There's a reason Rich and I met. There's a reason we have this baby, despite all that's going on.
Some people are judging, saying we aren't in the best position for this right now. I honestly don't care what they think. It's irrelevant because it only matters what we think and what we do to get back on top of that hill.
Others are being extremely supportive and I've cried happy tears over some of the things people have done, such as helping with our Amazon baby registry. We created it for ourselves and never expected so much help. But at least a dozen people have purchased one or two things each and a few people are sending used items. Of course we'll have to do the bulk of it ourselves - and rightly so. But it feels good to know there are people who care. Everything helps, especially right now.
As with anything in life, there will be ups and downs and it will be one hell of a ride. But we are up for the challenge. And we deserve that light at the end of this bumpy dark tunnel. And I will make darn well sure we get it, no matter what. Our family of 6 ½ deserves it.
I always loved the one-on-one time spent with each one of my kids as they were babies, crying at one o'clock, then two, then three, then four, and so on. Even so, one of the most accomplished parenthood moments is getting a baby to sleep through the night. My personal method is to establish a routine from the get-go. Here’s how.
In the beginning, I always respond to the baby's every needs because, as a newborn, the baby is crying for a reason. As the baby gets older, I try to minimize response time. It's important always to check because even if baby has eaten and has been changed, there still may be a problem.
Baby could have gas, want the pacifier, or even just have an itch. One of the challenges of parenting (that gets easier over time) is figuring out what that need is. A baby whose needs are met is more likely to get a comfortable sleep.
With my first child, I made the mistake of turning on lights, playing toys with her, and much more. This led to her thinking that night time was play time. I quickly learned that to turn that attitude around, I had to change the night time routine.
One thing I always did from then on with all the children was to keep lights and other distractions to a minimum when tending to baby at night. The point is to make night time sort of boring, while still attending to baby's needs. This lets baby know that nighttime is a time for sleep and there isn't much else going on that is worth staying up for.
Cuddling is, of course, fine. You don’t want to be unloving or cold. You just want to be sure Baby knows it’s time to relax when the lights are out.
The first night that each child slept all the way through was one of those moments in parenting that isn't easily forgotten. Motherhood is awesome, but there are times where it can drain all your energy. Infancy certainly is one of those times, especially before a baby sleeps the whole night through.
The relief from an actual full night of sleep is like bliss to a parent, not only because they can sleep. But, the main benefit is knowing you have taught your baby a valuable and healthy lesson that will be beneficial throughout their life.
*I originally published a version of this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Sometimes kids can teach us good lessons, we don't expect. My kids often teach me things, simply in the way they live. Today was one of those days -- and it was full of silliness (VIDEO proof below).
After a busy, somewhat stressful day, Rich and I decided to take the younger two to the playground for some fun. That's when I realized we hadn't taken enough pictures recently with all the running around.
We snapped the selfie above, which is my current Facebook profile pic, of course. Now, you know that was NOT the only shot. There were goofy faces and pretend mad faces etc until we got the right one. After that, we had fun watching the kids goof off on the playground.
That rest was much needed. We then got some more work done when they took off to the pool with one of their older sisters and played at their friend's house afterward.
Once I went to go get them, with an extra trailing along (one of those friends, of course), Aja (the 11 year old) proceeded to be funny with her swimming goggles. You can see a video of part of that below.
Have you ever noticed how much kids laugh in a single day? When was the last time you did that?
Today's Momtrepreneur Lesson: Put a little bit (or a lot) of silly in every day. You need it. We sure did.
Often, when rainy-day activities come to mind, people think of arts and crafts or board games. We do those things as well, but sometimes we like to be a little bit more creative. Whoever said you had stay inside the house on a rainy-day? Provided there's no thunder and lightning, you can bet it wasn't me. That's for sure.
As long as there is no sign of thunder and lightning, my kids and I will gladly go right in the yard, just like any other time. Of course we wear jackets and whatever other rain gear might be necessary, but running in the rain is a rainy-day activity that the kids and I enjoy as often as possible. Just seeing their cheerful faces enjoying the fun is always a great motherhood moment.
A while back, my kids and I had one of those fun, rainy-day adventures. It was my job to crank up the music and act as DJ, while the kids danced on the patio in the rain. They requested songs and danced away until the rain stopped.
At the time,. my kids ranged in age from preschool to middle school age and they all enjoyed this fun activity. When you add creativity and think outside the box, it's often a big hit with kids. One of the best things about kids is that they are always open to having fun, even on a rainy day.
For me, parenting is all about living in the moment and taking things as they come. These tiny little moments of fun in motherhood mean everything. My mom always taught me to treasure the small stuff. Before you know it, the kids will no longer be kids and motherhood will have taken on a whole new meaning and role.
The back-to-school supplies were ready. They were even inside the backpack arranged perfectly. Outfits were picked out and arranged for the first week back. But that week never happened. My then unborn had other plans for us on what should have been my oldest daughter's venture back inside school doors for another year. But instead that day was a nightmare for her because she didn't get to go.
Rewind to about a week prior. I had explained to my OB doctor that I was very uncomfortable lately. It's no wonder. I was already dilated. But not by much - not enough to consider it labor. But I walked around like that for a week. My due date was fast approaching. But due to my condition, my OB ordered an induction right on the day my oldest was supposed to go back to school. In all honesty, I was hoping the baby would come before that day. But of course, she was a stubborn one.
In our family, we believe that birthing is an event for all to share. So, no way was a sibling going to miss the birth of the baby. Off to the hospital we went. My daughter was quite disappointed that she needed to save the backpack for school. But her eyes lit up as she heard me call her school and tell them she had the best excuse ever for not being there the first day. The school actually gave her a week for leeway.
Because the labor sped up, but then slowed down again, it was a nightmare wait for us all. Even the doctor did not expect it would take so long, especially since I am notorious for speedy deliveries. Once all the waiting was over and the baby was finally there, my daughter's back-to-school nightmare was soon forgotten by her, as well as the rest of us. The so-called nightmare had turned into an almost nine pound pleasant dream.
My daughter returned back to school the following week and never missed a beat. She may have been the new girl after that point. But the new girl was pretty cool because boy did she have a story to tell. In the back to school rush, sometimes things don't go as planned. If this happens to you, use our story to remind you that some nightmares may not really be nightmares at all. They may just be a gigantic dream come true.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
As my family and I sit here planning our next camping trip, all I can do is laugh, remembering our first camping experience years ago. We were so unprepared. What happened is pretty hilarious now, but at the time it wasn't all that funny. You see, we really had no clue what we would need, but we sure thought we did. It's a good thing our accompanying friends had a few things we were lacking. Unfortunately, we did have to leave the campsite for the rest of the items, which would not have been as simple if we hadn't had friends with us or if we had chosen a more remote location.
It's obvious that a tent is needed for camping, unless a cabin or camper is being used. However, what wasn't so obvious to us during our first camping trip was to bring extra stakes and tie downs. Sometimes what comes with the tent just won't cut it, as we found out when one section of our tent sagged no matter what we did. Borrowing a friend's extra stake and tie down solved the problem.
Another item we mistakenly left out was sunscreen. At the time, we were not very good at wearing sunscreen to begin with, so it's no surprise we forgot that, but on a camping trip sunscreen is essential. Being outdoors all day without protection from the sun is not good for the skin at all. I've even heard that putting it in the hair can help prevent sun streaks and split ends. Luckily, our friends had some extra sunscreen we could use.
Thicker, longer socks was something we hadn't considered at all for our camping trip list. This was one of the items we had to leave the camp site for. Since we were camping in an area that could have contained ticks, we really should have had better socks on, as well as packed additional ones. Thankfully we were not too far outside of town, so it was fairly easy to pick up some appropriate socks.
In addition to the items above, there were several more items we forgot during that trip. Because of that experience, we now know exactly what to bring, so I guess it was good for a lesson.
Some of the items on our main camping trip supply list are: tent and extra stakes and tie downs, tarp, hammer, pillow/sleeping bag/extra blanket/air mattress/sheets for each person, air pump, air mattress repair kit, compass and map for each person, folding chair for each person, folding table, fishing poles/bait/line/bucket, lots of water (some for drinking, some for cleaning), cooking source, cookware, utensils, knives, food, fire source, trash bags, plastic tablecloth, dish soap, foil, tissue, paper towels, dishes and silverware, plastic bin for dish-washing, personal care items, clothing for all weather types, fire extinguisher, first aid kit and various other items, depending on the camping trip.
*I originally published a version of this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Oh no! Summer break is fast-approaching and supermom just isn't ready. How can you maintain your sanity while still being everything your kids need this summer? Supermoms may look cool and collected on the outside but on the inside it can be a whole new story. We moms can have so much responsibility and so little time. Do you have your supermom sanity checklist ready for summer break?
Go into summer break with an open mind. It's fine to plan some things. But remember that this is supposed to be fun -- for you as well as the kids. Leave room for those last-minute moments of fun that come along. Schedules can help ensure the kids won't be bored and you don't miss any important business plans. But don't be afraid to stray from the schedule when warranted. Stay sane by remembering that it is OK if things are not perfectly planned out all the time. After all, it's summer time. Let loose a little and be open to changes.
Have plenty for everyone to do ahead of time. Be it scheduled activities or coloring books for road trips, make sure you have something for the kids to do. Otherwise be prepared to have your sanity tested each time someone blurts out "I'm bored" several times each hour. Outdoor and indoor toys and crafts can help busy the kids. For the younger set, bubbles, large beads and laces, blocks, balls, and outdoor push toys are good choices. For older kids, try a soccer ball and goal, skates, and puzzles and games (both board and book). You will likely have much more on your list, but that's a start.
It's OK to mix business with pleasure. If your boss will allow it, try doing some of your work at home to cut back on the hours you'll be in the office. This way, you get more time with the kids, even if some of it will be spent working. Won't this make a supermom even more insane? I personally get a certain peace of mind from being at home with the kids. As a work at home mom, I know how frustrated kids can get when the focus is on work. But each time the kids and I talk, all in all, they would still prefer I work at home. Kids want to play outside? Set yourself up a workspace in the backyard and let them have at it while you get work done. Best of both worlds.
Always have a backup plan. This cannot be stressed enough. You may think you have everything planned out perfectly. But sometimes things don't go the way they are intended. An event may finish up early or get canceled. Transportation plans may fail. Be sure you have an alternative activity for the kids to do in these cases. This includes packing "emergency packs" of toys and books in the vehicle (in case there's a breakdown), knowing alternative recreational options, and keeping a list of local places the kids enjoy.
Relax. No matter what you are doing this summer, remember to take a breather. Nothing can drive a supermom insane more than overworking herself. And trust me, this is something very common in a supermom. What mom doesn't believe she can do it all? But guess what? Doing it all should also involve taking time out to relax. Include the family in part of that. For instance, everyone can do yoga together to wind down at the end of the day. Then mom's personal relaxation time can be a warm bath after the kids are fast asleep.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Today was an adventure in more ways than one. Yeah I know, we're always having some sort of adventure. What can I say? During today's adventure, Rich and I learned that old things are often some of the best things.
We ran lots of errands today. On the way to the area we needed to be in, we took an old road that was all beat up - probably took a good beating from the horrible Massachusetts winter we just got past.
Anyhow, though in need of repair, along that road was some beautiful scenery. Trees, water, a farm, old buildings, you name it. We took the same road on the way back into town. Old things can definitely be the best ones.
But wait, I'm not done yet.
Before we went home, we had to make another pit stop. Because there was one item we still had to get near the house, we decided to stop at the mall and browse while waiting until we were hungry enough to eat. There's a store that's going out of business and I was able to get several -- yes, several -- clothing items from there for TWELVE dollars total!!! Yup, old store closing for the win.
After we ate lunch, we went home and decided to watch some older movies on Netflix. Rich hadn't seen the leprechaun movies. So I suggested those because Netflix has all six. I explained to him that they're the type of "horror" movie you laugh at. Another win. We got some great entertainment during the parts us "old" folks didn't sleep. Ha! We were a bit worn out by errands. We watched three of them so far, only interrupted so he could watch the Red Sox.
While we were watching the leprechauns attack people over gold, a package arrived. We didn't expect it to be here already. I won an old flute on eBay just a couple days ago and it had arrived that quickly. It was very tarnished (I knew it would be and won it for cheap because of it). However, I was able to shine it up pretty well and will be working on it some more. The picture in this post is that exact flute before and after I cleaned it up.
Yup. Old things are often some of the best things. Never pass up what could be a good thing, just because it might be old. You may be very pleasantly surprised.
P.S. This is my "O" post for the A - Z Blogging Challenge.
Hugs feel great. Most people know that. But I've learned firsthand just how important they are in more ways than one. I can't list them all here. But I will discuss a few of the best.
The first time I hugged my firstborn child (and the first time I did the same with each one) right after delivery is something I will never forget. I can still feel it as if it were happening this very moment. That feeling cannot be explained but will never be forgotten. I can be what some might call an over hugger. In fact, friends used to say I was "hiding behind my children" when I hugged them often at social gatherings. Years later, neither I, nor my children are insecure. But we're all quite happy. Hmm.
Have you ever seen just how much a hug means each time a child gets a scrape or cut, no matter how minor (or major)? Have you ever witnessed the power of a hug for an animal living in a pet shelter? How about kids without a home or family? A hug may not change the situation but it can let that person know someone out there cares.
I still remember when my younger sister was in the hospital in a medical coma as a child (she did recover and is fine now). She responded to our hugs every time, be it a slight movement or a hand squeeze. Those hugs were obviously important to her and they helped comfort her loved ones, as well.
The first time I hugged my fiancé will forever be etched in my brain and heart as well. We met online and had set a date to meet in person. The date didn't change but he ended up in the hospital with cancer prior to the date. No way was I going to cancel the meeting. So we first met in the hospital and we both instantly hugged as soon as I walked into the room. You can read the rest of the story on Motivational Friends. But that hug was obviously extremely powerful in many ways. We hug often (many times per day, in fact), even 5 months later and each one feels special.
Whether hugs are daily, for specific reasons, or once in a while, they pack a powerful punch - a very good one. Hugs tell people someone cares. Hugs soothe fears, ease pain and sorrow, increase happiness, and more. There are actually scientific studies on the positive benefits of hugs. Don't believe me? Look it up.
Who have you hugged today? You never know what good you might do for others or for yourself with a simple hug.
P.S. This is my H post for the A to Z Blogging Challenge.
Helping homeless pets may seem hard, especially if you don't have many resources. But we've found many ways to do so easily. Here are five easy ways we help homeless pets -- and you can do it too!
Share Sheltered Pets on Social Media
Animal shelters and other rescue organizations post pictures and information about animals who need to be adopted, fostered, or helped otherwise. Sharing these posts helps spread the word and we do it often. You never know who might see the post and be able to help. Maybe it's you! If not, hit share so it can reach more people.
Use Talents to Raise Money
We're crafting to help homeless pets. Our items are sold on etsy and we always donate a portion of proceeds to various animal shelters. Because we aren't well off financially, this is one way we do what we can to help out. We make jewelry, pet toys, and many other handcrafted items. The more purchases that are made, the more we're able to do for homeless pets.
Reuse Old Clothing To Make and Donate Toys
We don't like to waste anything. Worn out clothing or things that no longer fit aren't trash. They're potential supplies to make pet toys. My kids and I make knotted dog toys from clean, used fabric. Some get donated to pet shelters for the animals to play with, while others get sold in our etsy shop so that we can donate money instead. It started out as something fun to do for our own rescued pets and has gotten much bigger.
Spread Awareness Through Writing
As many of you know, I'm a huge advocate for animals in need and it often shows in my writing. Life Successfully is one of the many sites where I write about pets in need. Others include Pawsitive Parenting, Heart N' Mind Paw Rescue, Denver Pets Examiner, and many more. This helps educate people about animals in need.
Visit Pets in Shelters
My kids and I like to visit and entertain the animals in shelters. Cage life can't be very fun. So we try to give them attention where possible. Many shelters have volunteer programs and/or allow people to exercise the animals and give them attention. You may or may not be able to take them out of the cage. But, love and attention -- knowing someone cares -- is what matters. Believe me, they do know.
P.S. This is my F post for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge!
Everything fun! That seemed to end up being the theme of today, though mostly unplanned. Lots of things got done today and pretty much all of them were fun. As most of you know, I’m a major workaholic.. But I’m also silly and fun most of the time.
Some of you may know that I’m back to Crafting to Help Homeless Pets. I also like to post the leftover things we can’t use for that on Listia. That way, other folks can get some quality beads (and other things) and I can use the credits for supplies. Keeping our bead (and other) supply flowing helps out more homeless pets by allowing us to make and sell more jewelry and other crafts. We don’t profit by much after shipping and donation to the animal shelters. But, we mostly do it for the pets.
Anyhow, it was a productive day in that regard because I made a sale on Etsy yesterday, as well as had a few auctions end in credit bids on Listia. That meant Rich and I had to get those things sent out to the post office. That trip was productive for obvious reasons. We were also able to snag a few needed items from A.C. Moore (a craft store) and Market Basket (a grocery store), as well as fill up the gas tank.
After that, we came home and got lots more done. I was able to make and post a couple more jewelry items on Etsy. I also was able to get some content posted, as was Rich. How is all of this related to fun? Um, you do know me, right? Work is FUN!! Besides, who wouldn’t love a career like this? I get to make crafts, help animals, write, publish, design websites, etc. You see, it’s all creative, just like me. Of course it was fun!
Wait, where does the color come in? I said something about color, didn’t I? Guess what I did...again? Yup, re-dyed my hair purple. Most people hate the process involved with coloring hair. But, not me. I use vegan hair dye, so I don’t have to deal with the icky chemical smell and scalp burns. No thanks! I have fun coloring my hair, from start to finish.
While the hair color was setting, Rich and I were watching the first two Hobbit movies to get us into the mood for the third one, which he just won the UV code for. I was also publishing and writing and editing and other stuff, as usual. Anyway, we had both seen the first two in the series. But we never got around to the third one, which we plan to do tomorrow.
Another fun thing was that Rich got to watch his team (the Boston Red Sox) kick some serious butt in their first game of the season. I’m more of a basketball fan than a baseball fan. But that was a pretty entertaining game.
The eleven year old also texted us some cute videos she made. Speaking of her, I won a good sized book lot for her in an eBay auction a few days ago. So I got to tell her about that, as well as give her funds for more books at the school book fair. Yeah, we’re all book nuts. What can I say? More fun! I also played a funny late April Fool’s joke on the kiddos and texted them all a pic of me in a ponytail at just the right angle, telling them I cut my hair because I was tired of it. They freaked out -- and then laughed hard when I informed them it was a joke.
Now we’re watching Bates Motel, as I continue to write and make more jewelry and Rich gets to play some games on the computer. Not sure how much more I’ll get tonight because I’m such a workaholic. But hey, as you can see, I do know how to have fun, too.
Everything is fun with me - even work. Did you do anything fun recently? Tell me about it.
P.S. This is my E post for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge!
I recently bought a Samsung Galaxy S5 and turned my old Samsung S3 into an amazing tablet for my son. I know what you're thinking. The Samsung Galaxy S3 was not a cheap phone when I bought it. That's the point. I paid good money for my S3. But my current prepaid cell phone carrier isn't supporting it any longer and I'm not willing to switch to a contract carrier. Besides, the S5 is obviously an upgrade that I'm enjoying.
How the Idea Came About
My three girls all have smart phones with the same carrier I do. But my son is the youngest and hasn't yet earned that privilege. All of the cheap tablets and portable game devices we've purchased over time have gotten broken. But the kids have always been good about the phone when they've used it to play games or make calls.
So I had this genius idea to make my son an awesome tablet from my S3, so that he would be able to play the same games with the other kids. That's way better than recycling it and getting back pennies compared to what I paid for it. It still has many miles of use left. Trashing or recycling it would be wasteful right now.
How I Made a Tablet Using the Samsung Galaxy S3
The first thing I did was download the Smart Switch Mobile app, allowing me to transfer the files, texts, call log, etc from the S3 over to my new S5. Then, I restored the S3 to factory condition so that it would be renewed. I then disabled and/or password-protected all factory apps my son wouldn't need or shouldn't have.
Next, I set up his phone and created new Google and Samsung accounts for my son's tablet that do not have credit cards attached. This way, anything he downloads has to be free. I then downloaded Avast mobile and also added a few more parental - type safety measures, so that my son's new tablet would be protected.
Once that maintenance work was done, it was time to download apps my son would find useful. I downloaded a healthy variety of both educational games, as well as other types. Built-in apps already included things like drawing/painting, taking notes, office software, and the like. Because many tablets run on the same Android technology as the Samsung Galaxy S3, it was easy to find plenty of games for kids.
How I Made My Son's "New" Samsung Galaxy S3 Tablet Durable
Any experienced parent knows that devices kids use need to be both safe and durable. As mentioned above, I took care of the safety part. As for durability, I searched Amazon for the sturdiest case I could find that was suitable for kids. The case had to be tough enough to help the tablet withstand occasional dropping. But it also had to be kid-friendly in appearance.
After searching a bit, I came across many different character cases. They were all pretty thick. But I especially liked the dark color combination (less likely to show kid dirt) of the Zooky Black Cow silicone case. The thickness of this case, as well as the amount of protection around the camera, speaker, and microphone were perfect. I also liked that it came with a free screen protection sheet, as the Samsung Galaxy S3 needed a new one. I had since removed the one that I purchased with it, as the person who installed it did it incorrectly and I never got around to replacing it. So this solved that issue.
The Convenience of a Phone-Sized Tablet for Kids
As it turns out, using my old phone as a tablet is actually better than getting my son a regular tablet. My son can easily carry it in his pocket, making it even more portable than a regular tablet. I researched many tablets and the camera in my old Samsung S3 is better than those in tablets within a comfortable price range. It also has a great deal of space, even without an SD card.
Adding an SD card will come later, especially when he starts taking more pictures and video. But even after downloading 40 game apps for him, I hadn't even come close to using up the available internal space. Now my son can play his own games, as well as compete with his sisters in the games they love together.
*These changes and modifications are not necessarily recommended by the manufacturer. The author has made these modifications of her own volition. If you try this, please be responsible and do your own research regarding safety and other matters in relation to this choice. The author is not responsible for any actions that occur as a result of these changes.
The other day, my two teen girls and I were browsing around in a few stores. When we got to the clothing section in the thrift store, a kind helpful employee overheard our conversation about the affordability of this particular store. So we struck up a conversation with her.
About mid-conversation she says "Oh yeah, we have lots of great stuff for girls your age." She then proceeded to talk about fashion and such. Once she finished, I said something like "I'm the mom, by the way." She was in disbelief for a second because she actually believed that I was a teen, like my girls.
She then asks me how old my kids were. She thought my kids were at home and smaller. Well, she was halfway correct. The younger two were at school. I informed her that the 15 and 17 year old were those ages and were in fact my kids.
The conversation continued into more talk like that for a bit.
I’m never sure whether to be flattered or feel immature when people mistake me for a teenager. This isn’t the first time. Most of the time I take it as a compliment. But sometimes I wonder if looking too young may not always be a good thing.
Until the next adventure!
*I originally published this on PersonaPaper (I have since removed it).
Bo-Bo stole my crackers and I liked it! Okay, I know you're thinking "Who the heck is this Bo-Bo and why would you want him to steal your crackers?"
Here's the thing. Bo-Bo is incredibly adorable and I'm incredibly gullible when it comes to things like this. You see, Bo-Bo is my super cute, super persistent, lovable, huggable, one-of-a-kind grand-dog. Can you tell I like him?
Bo-Bo Stole My Crackers and I Liked It!
Yesterday, I was sitting on my bed typing away and eating some wheat crackers and I hear a scratch at the bedroom door. I opened it and in comes my cute furry grandchild. He hops on the bed and sees my box of crackers. Then, he watches me eat some with those begging, droopy, woe is me puppy dog eyes. So, I give him one cracker after he agrees to perform a trick to a command in French ( yes, our dogs know their commands in several languages ).
Well, he somehow managed to entice more of them out of me with a combination of whimpers, the droopy eye thing, and super cute tricks. Gullible. I'm so gullible, I tell ya. Not normally. But it's Bo-Bo!!!
I leave you with the track that inspired my title, but has nothing at all to do with this story because I'm random and silly like that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAp9BKosZXs
Until the next adventure!
*I originally published this on PersonaPaper (I have since removed it).
We all have those little things we love that mean something to us, big or small. One of my favorite things is the sound of rushing water. It just does something to my soul every time I hear it.
Whether it’s coming from a waterfall, a soothing shower, the pouring rain, or a wave crashing over the shore, I love hearing the sound of rushing water. It’s like music to my soul. When my album comes out (yes, I sing), don’t be surprised if one or more songs feature or mention some form of rushing water.
Rushing water can energize me, as well as relax me. From wading among waves, to standing under Niagara Falls, to running in the rain, to picnicking on the shore of a rushing creek, to falling asleep to the sounds of a thunderstorm, water is always present in my life.
Do you love the sounds of rushing water?
*I originally published this elsewhere (no longer published there).
Death is a fact of life. But it really hits hard for kids. Recently, my kids lost a family pet. It was hard but some of the things I did helped them understand and get through it. When a child's pet dies, it's never fun. But you can help the process go more smoothly by taking various actions throughout the process.
Prepare them ahead of time. Ideally, you should discuss the death before it happens. Explain to your child the average time frame his pet should be around. Also, let them know what death is and why it has to happen. In our case, we adopted a hamster when he was already an adult. Hamsters live for an average of 2-3 years. So I prepared the children in advance for this day. We knew Buddy would not be with us very long. But we rescued him anyway so that he would be happy while he was on the Earth.
Break the news gently. Don't just walk up to your child and say their pet has died. If your child is not present when their furry friend passes away, sit her down and have a talk. In Buddy's case, we were all present when he passed away, so we talked about what he meant to us and how happy we made him. Because of Buddy, my kids and I will be rescuing hamsters as often as possible whenever we have room for them. Depending on your faiths and practices, you can go into more detail about what happens to the pet after death. But do it in a gentle way that your child understands.
Have a proper burial and remembrance. A ceremony helps kids finalize the death of a pet. We created a pet cemetery for Buddy in a garden area of the yard, complete with a tombstone. As Buddy was placed each person said what he meant to them. While this may not help your kids get over their pet right away, it does help solidify the fact that the animal is no longer going to be around. That goes a long way in helping kids heal. They need to have an honest and reassuring answer.
Do something in the pet's honor. As mentioned above, we placed Buddy in a garden area of the yard. In the spring, a garden will be planted there. Also, Buddy came to us in a special way. He was abused and neglected in his previous home and was an owner surrender. He was also an adult and blind in one eye. We took Buddy in, as his chances of another doing so were slim with his special needs. It is because of Buddy that we have rescued other hamsters and plan to keep up that effort to help other animals and keep Buddy's legacy alive. Doing a special deed in honor of your child's pet can help alleviate the grief, as it shows how special that pet is to the world.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
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