So, today was my babies first real haircut, and boy is it short. Both my kids look just like their dad and I was so happy to see my baby with curls, something that is definitely a mommy trait. Alas, the curls got to looking like a bouffant, so they had to go. Here are some before, during and after pics.
Finally, good news coming from corporate America. Lance Foods bought Archway Cookies while in bankruptcy and have rehired some of the workers that were let go, right before Christmas. I love to support companies that understand that it pays to be a morally good company. Here's the article: http://edition.cnn.com/2008/US/12/23/cookie.factory.reopens/
Let's all pat ourselves on the back and consider ourselves forgiven. We have elected America's first black president. We have finally proven to the world and ourselves that we are no longer racist, that the black man has all the same opportunities and is as equal as the white man in America. Or have we?? In our quest to show that we are no longer biased toward someone based on the color of their skin or their sex, we have wholeheartedly proven how racist we still our. While watching the news last night, all I heard is that America has finally elected a black president, how this is such a historic event and how proud we should be that we did it. Proud?? Come on. Commentaries before spoke of how Obama is articulate and well educated. Is that just a nice was of saying that he doesn't sound black, that he's not some "homey from the 'hood"? Speaking of the color of his skin as if it is an issue only proves how much of an issue it still is. Wake up America - you're still prejudicial! If race truly did not matter to us we would not have been so excited about electing a black president, we would have been celebrating electing a man who we thought could bring us out of the economical turmoil that America is in. We should be celebrating because we know that this man, Barak Obama, is exactly what America needs right now. Now, I wonder when we'll elect our first Mexican to the White House??...
I was reading an article the other day about why men leave their wives. The main reason that was stated was because they don't feel appreciated. This got me thinking - when was the last time I really and truly made my husband aware of how loved and appreciated he was? He treats this marriage as a partnership. He helps with the cleaning, laundry, the kids - everything, without me having to ask. Since going back to work, it seems that we leave for work in the mornings, come back home around 6pm, fix dinner, put the kids to be, watch some TV, then go to bed ourselves. That's it - very little communication. We are so stressed with thinking about work, bills, the kids, that we have stopped even noticing each other. So, now I'm totally sad, knowing that I have totally withdrawn into a world of monotony, with no time for the person that is going to be there for me as I get old and feeble ( hopefully just old not feeble). If I could say that he was abusive or uncaring or lazy, maybe I could justify it, but it seems that I'm the one that has gotten lazy in our marriage. We've been together for so long and we've put the kids way ahead of each other for too long. So, I am making him number one and letting him know how much he means to me and how much I appreciate all that he does for me because it is important to him and me. And, mostly, because I love him.
Ok, I may be exaggerating just a little bit, but I'm more than a little annoyed today. I was diagnosed with asthma when I was 22 years old and have pretty much just stuck with the normal albuterol inhaler for all my needs since my asthma is basically triggered by allergies or strenuous activity. Well, I was trolling my local news website and found an article about how the inhalers were going green and thought "how cool, let me check that out." So, the article was really positive and everything, explaining that inhalers were going to be CFC-free now and would be using HFA. I had used a few HFA inhalers in the past and currently and like them because of it tasting much much better than normal CFC inhalers,which can be pretty bitter. Well, I decided to find out more info on HFA and was startled by what I had found. Some of the side effects make it dangerous if not deadly (http://copd.about.com/b/2008/07/24/cfc-vs-hfa-inhalers-are-you-ready-for-the-switch.htm). I have had heart palpitations that have lasted for quite some time while using it and just thought it was normal, since I haven't been asthmatic for a long time, I didn't know any better. I also tend to get dizzy and lightheaded and I will normally have to use it several times to get it to work. Others have complained and some of their side effects are just as scary (http://www.consumeraffairs.com/health/hfa_inhalers.html). So, why has the government banned a product that is needed for people with asthma or copd to breathe?? Is this just another way for the drug companies to make more money, since the HFA version cost 3 times as much? The testing done by the FDA (what a joke) was minimal. Is it going to take people dying and ER visits for asthma to increase before the government will bring the old version back? I am all for the environment, but I am more for being able to live a productive life. I can't imagine that the ozone layer, the reason for banning CFC inhalers, will suddenly reappear just because asthmatics start using HFA inhalers. This is just another example of the government sticking their hands into things they shouldn't be and passing regulations unnecessarily.
1. New job - actually seems to be working out quite nicely. No long hours and the people I work with are super nice. 2. Reuniting with old friends - didn't realize how much I missed some of my old school friends, until I heard from them. 3. Both kids loving daycare - didn't think that would happen.
Ugh...I just remembered why I never wanted to get into gardening. I found the ugliest bright green caterpillar with a horn at the tail. I was thinking this is the kind of caterpillar that decimates tomato plants overnight, but after much research, I think this is the caterpillar that turns into a hummingbird moth. It is a very interesting moth so I kinda wouldn't mind seeing it but I don't think I can tolerate having these caterpillars right beside me when I work in my garden. We'll see...
I've been a little lazy about posting lately, just been busy being Mommy, so I though I'd update. Yesterday was my birthday and I got an extra surprise - I got a job!! Not too sure how excited I really am about returning to the workforce, but I'm sure it'll be a good thing. Although, I now know why some people would prefer to stay home and raise the kids, instead of work. Almost half of my paycheck will go to childcare and gas. It almost feels like working for minimum wage. Not that I'm complaining, I'm grateful to have gotten the job, but for some people, it makes returning to work and having someone else raise your kids an easy choice to make or not make. My daughter is thrilled about returning to daycare, which makes the process less guilt inducing. She is always happy when she has the opportunity to play with other kids. Now, if I can just manage to be disciplined enough to put every paycheck toward a bill.
So much has been on TV and in the media about being "green" and "eco-friendly" as if it's some sort of new trend like boy bands or hunter green carpet. While I'm glad to see that people are becoming conscious of their impact on the world, I can see where peoples good intentions are causing more harm than good. I see people on TV removing insulation, just to replace with spray in foam or recycled denim, pulling perfectly good carpet, just to replace with non-formaldehyde or recycled carpet. I thought the point is to not create more waste. I've been living a frugal lifestyle in an attempt to simplify my life and to contribute in my own way to our one income family and have found that the frugal lifestyle lends itself well to sustainable, green living. Using a ceiling fan to help cool the house, buying from local farmers, going to Goodwill or a thrift store instead of the mall, and composting are all part of the frugal lifestyle and are also "eco-friendly" ways to be. The best part of all - saving money in the process. It saddens me to see this movement being commercialized and turned into some trend. So, instead of going out and trading in your 2 year old car for a Prius or going to the mall to buy clothes made of organic cotton from Macy's, try to be honest about being green and looking at ways that you can contribute without adding to waste and the capitalization of being "green"
In an attempt to actual use the coupons I go through the trouble of clipping, I decided to make a coupon organizer to keep them in. I did a lot of searching and reading and found that everyone was recommending making a book using photo pages and baseball card pages. This would be a full size book, maybe in a Trapperkeeper or something like that, that would have places for the coupons and pockets for keeping actual store fliers, etc. Well, I got it together maybe 2 or 3weeks ago and so far it hasn't moved from my livingroom. I take that back, I did take it to a friends house for her to look at. I think that I've decided that people who would go through the trouble of putting one of these together are just people who are coupon crazy anyway or organizing freaks (something I wish I was).
I feel like I've been a little negative lately, so I figured I'd make a list of things to be greatful/thankful for: 1. 2 happy, healthy children and a wonderful husband that I love and adore. 2. A mother that I enjoy spending time with. 3. A home we can afford and are in no danger of losing. 4. Friends that I can honestly call true friends. 5. Access to free therapy, i.e. the internet.
Since I had decided to stay home, I had kept a positive attitude about things and have been feeling generally well about our situation. We've had to be somewhat cautious about our spending, but we were also able to splurge on occasion on a movie or dinner and I haven't had to balance the checkbook. Well, those days have ended as of today. The fuel filter on my Pontiac Montana went out, along with something else. I can't remember what the other thing was because I stopped hearing my mechanic talk after he said it was going to be $850 to fix the van. I guess it's time to write down my budget plan that I've been planning on doing for only the last year or so.
As you can see, I haven't posted any craft projects for recycling your unrecycleable junk. I've just been too busy. I got a season pass to the state parks system for going to the lake and have spent most of my time there. Which also got me thinking - I really need to lose some weight. When DH and I started dating, I weighed 135-140, which being 5'7" was pretty thin. I wore size six bottoms, only because I actually have a booty, and a large top because, unfortunately, I also have lots of...lets say...cleavage. Now, well...my clothing size is much larger (just not ready to go there). So, time to think about the big D - dieting. I don't really feel that I eat a lot and I don't keep lots of snacks in the house, but I don't know if I know how to cook without butter/oil. So, diet starts as of Monday - I gotta have at least one more weekend of eating what I want.
I'm contemplating going back to work. Last time I went back to work, I put work before my family, worked way more hours than I was supposed to, and was very miserable - busy all day long cleaning up everyone else's mess. But, I'm tired of having to balance the checkbook and clipping coupons, not going on vacation, and having debt that I can't pay off. Here's my list of pros/cons: Pros 1. I'll have money: Don't get me wrong, Jay makes good money, but I miss the days of being able to buy whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted. I never balanced the checkbook and we always had money in savings for vacations or whatever. Besides, Isabel starts school next year and I really want to be moved into a different school district before she starts. 2. Isabel will be in daycare/preschool: This is a pro because she loves being around other kids and I just can't find a playgroup/mommy group that I like. 3. I can payoff my medical bills/credit cards: This would be great. If we didn't have the medical bills or credit card (just one thank God), we would actually be pretty well off. 4. It'll build my resume: OK, stupid pro, I know, but hear me out. Last time I went back to work, the question I always got was why was I out of work for so long. I hated having to explain that one.Also, if something should happen to my dear Hubby, I would be able to pick up the slack or take care of my family.
Cons 1. Noah will be in daycare: I hate putting my 6 month old baby in daycare when he is unable to tell me if anything is going on that I should know about. Plus, I'll miss out on some of his milestones. 2. Stress at work: I hated having a boss when I went back to work. I've enjoyed relaxing at home with my kids and not having anyone to tell me what to do. 3. Stress at home: Hubby was not happy when I went to work last time, although he didn't mind the extra money. I was always going in earlier and working later than I was supposed to, and being salaried, didn't get paid extra (hmm, sounds familiar...). 4. Pay sucks: It is so hard to find a job right now that pays enough to cover the added cost of 2 in daycare, extra fuel cost, extra clothing cost. They want a 4 year degree with 5 or more years experience, want you to be bookkeeper, office manager, HR and don't want to pay more than $30 a year.
So, should I just stop being materialistic and be happy being a mom or should I try to contribute to the family to reduce the stress off my husband?? Just don't know...
I'm so excited, my garden is actually looking like a garden as opposed to the muddy pit it was when I first started. My favorites so far are the Black n Blue Salvia and the Cleome. Now, if I can just keep the deer out. The second round of rooting my hydrangeas is working out pretty good and my rosemary and salvia have rooted well and are growing good already. My moonflower bush looks like it'll be ready to bloom any day now - I can't wait. The blooms look like they are going to be huge. Guess it's time to go ahead and lay some mulch down so that it looks a little neater. My compost is turning out really good. Got my catalogs ordered for my organic veggie garden that I'll be starting in the Spring. Planning on tomatoes, potatoes, yellow and red peppers, cucumbers, carrots, and maybe some squash or zucchini. Probably should grow some corn considering the price, but I'm wanting to keep it small. I've also got my peach tree in a pot that I need to decide whether to plant or move to a bigger pot.
I have become seriously addicted to reading blogs, keeping me up for endless hours at night. I started blogging as a way to finally relax and let people know me a little better. Now I feel like changing the world with my thoughts and ideas - silly I know. Seems weird to get excited about my life by reading about others...
So, one of my New Years resolutions was to declutter my life of unnecessary things. I started this by posting lots of stuff on craigslist for sale/free, at freecycle.org, and taking somethings to my local Goodwill. My dilemma - what to do with things that I cannot sale and are too crummy to give away or donate? I hate to add to our landfills, so I've decided to try to figure out ways to reuse/repurpose these items. I'm a crafter so this shouldn't be too hard, right?? So, every week (or as often as possible after all, I am the mother of two kids under the age of 5) I'll be posting different things that I've created with things I couldn't pass along.
Garden is blooming The weather is chill Summers around the corner Oh, what a thrill...
My newly started garden is off to a good start. Had my DH till and add more topsoil to our hard clay yard. Unfortunately, I don't think we added enough organic material. I guess we'll just have to wait and see and hope for the best. I've got lots of stuff planted that likes good drainage - rosemary, anise hyssop, mint, oregano... Can you believe, 95% of what's in the garden was given to me. Gardeners are the best at sharing!!!
For Mother's day, my dear, sweet husband extended our flower garden, at my request. I needed a new hobby and my daughter loves flowers, so it worked out great. Well, the garden ended up being way bigger than I had planned and I had a huge plot with only a couple of plants in it. I threw some seeds out, but being as impatient as I am, I had to get some plants. I didn't want your everyday run of the mill plants that you could get at Walmart or Lowes, so I went on craigslist and started looking for people selling plants. Luckily, I found a wonderful, if not strange, woman that had posted some moonflower bushes for free. I really didn't know what they were, but hey, they were free. So, I went to her house to pick up a couple and ended up with a carload of free plants. She works at a local nursery and had tons of plants that she was moving around. So, I got me some moonflower bush, cuttings of sedum and rosemary, Martha Stewart lily, another type of lily, purple oxalis/wood sorrel, pink flowering shamrock, mint (which I've been told I'll regret planting, but I love to smell it), winter blooming camillia, and some bay laurel, which I wasn't able to root, but I got tons of leaves for soups. After I finally got all of that planted, my mother divided her shasta daisies and irises, so I got that going now. I also met two more women, just from going to yard sales and walking neighborhoods, that gave me some salvia, black n blue and fairy queen, anise hyssop, Turk's cap hibiscus, lemon balm, spearmint, verbena, dragon tongue and quite a few other plants. So, I've got a garden full of one of everything. These all multiply, obviously or they wouldn't have had some to give away, so my garden should fill in nice by the end of summer. It's messy right now, but it'll get there.
I am an excitable person who only understands life lyrically, musically, in whom feelings are much stronger as reason. I am so thirsty for the marvelous that only the marvelous has power over me.
Anything I can not transform into something marvelous, I let go. Reality doesn't impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls.