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V is For Variety.

It’s the weekend and of course I have a variety of things to catch up on, a laundry list of items if you will that I wanted to do today including laundry.image

The weekend is really the best time for me to write while my younger son Noah naps. Typically this does not allow much time for me. And sometimes if my brain is not sucked dry by nights bedtime I focus some more time to writing. I like to at least write one blog post a week, and two posts are wonderful.

Today, Noah was not feeling well and napped for quite a while, and I was able to keep my older son happy with food since he was “starving” as usual, and a new movieimage />
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So I worked on some future blog posts, and perused some FP posts. And I managed to work in a little time on the first chapter of a novel that I have been writing, rewriting and thinking about for a while now.. But there was the laundry list again.

Somehow I remembered to run the dishwasher, as I always forget, and I cleaned out the bathroom cupboard of baby items we no longer use so that I could squeeze in the super huge packs of paper towels and toilet paper purchased at Sam’s Club.

Then after eating leftover pizza and a cupcake I decided it was time to work out, amongst the dirty cluttered basement. The dusty chandelier hanging in front of my tread climber. It’s not very motivational or inspirational down there, but I decided if I were going to continue to enjoy carbs and sweets from time to time, or daily, then I better get some exercise in to counter act the sugar spreading to existing troubled areas.image

 

After showering from my work out. I woke the sleeping child. Call me crazy, but the boy had been sleeping for 4 hours, which is unheard of here. So naturally I was starting to get worried since he was not feeling well. And the poor boy was so lethargic he just watched me from his crib while I put away clothes and changed my bed sheets “clean sheets day”. I then changed Noah’s clothes only for him to throw up after we got down stairs. After I moved him to a dry location on the couch, and cleaned the infected area he threw up again thus repeating the cycle and a few more loads of laundry.

So instead of the meatloaf that I wanted to make for dinner, I settled for a grilled cheese, and sat with my sick boy while he watched Toy Story until we all nodded off.

Have a great weekend blogging friends.

I remember, my sister Wendy and I were not the closest siblings growing up. The age difference of 7 years was much to blame for that. We had moments of fun playtime together when she was younger. I remember cooking together on the kitchen play set and making playdoe food. She would play Barbie’s with me even after I cut the hair off of one of her favorite Barbie dolls; Brooke Shields. We climbed the apple trees together and ate veggies out of the garden in our outdoor picnics. We were buddies on our vacations. But there came a day when she was older, and playtime with me was not her favorite thing any more. She was a teenager, with teenage girlfriends, and posters of teen heart throbs plastered on her walls; I’m sure Scott Baio was one of them. Makeup, music, Frisco from General Hospital, The Facts of Life TV show and 21 Jump Street were her favorite things, and I was the little sister that just got in the way. Wendy and her girlfriends had a secret language, not for little girls like myself to understand. The gap in our ages brought disconnect to our relationship for a few years until I caught up and matured. But even with the age gap, Wendy always filled the big sister role and protected me when she needed to. She is the one person that truly knows me for me. Today, a week after she celebrated her 41st birthday, I call my big sister my best friend, and I thank God for blessing me with her.

I need Wendy in my life as much as she has needed me, especially through her rough past year. She has uncovered strength that she never knew she had. She has pushed herself to the outer limits and started schooling for a better future for her and her children. She stood tall and faced fear dead in the eyes and made choices for her life, choices she would have never wanted to make, but had to. She is the new face of a strong beautiful woman, and I admire her. She is now rebuilding her life as a single mother, and I know in time she will know the choices she made were right for her and her family. For now I just want her to know how much I love her, and how much she means to me. My sister Wendy is my best friend. Thank you Wendy for all the fun that we have had over the years, for allowing me, your little sister to give you advice and support, and thank you for always supporting me. Today I celebrate you, and I welcome the many new memories and adventures that we will create in the future.

Michigan is experiencing unseasonably warm weather this Spring. Typically in March we still have piles and mounds of dirty snow slowly melting. There is usually frost and snow flurries  still flying. I’m actually afraid to talk about SNOW out loud for fear that we might actually get dumped on with a snowmageden 2012, then reversing spring and spiralling back to hibernation for the next month. Let’s hope the 60-80 degree weather is enough to keep us warm through April, thus avoiding any frost or flurries.

I love spring. I love to see mother nature at work, awakening all that hibernates during winter. Spring makes everything feel fresh and new. Thanks to Kathryn McCullough and her inspiring post, A March Garden: Images of Almost-Spring, filled with bright and beautiful pictures of her yard, I have decided to share my photos of my very early blooming yard.

Spring morning in the back garden. Though this area needs some trimming and clean up the buds on the weeping cherry tree is a delight. 

Introducing the lovely daffodil sisters.

I cannot wait to plant my veggies. I usually plant tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers. There is nothing like your own fresh vegetables.

These are the hens and chicks, gossiping in the corner.

Come and gaze into my globe as I tell you your future.

These hydrangea get huge during summer and they just have the most beautiful pink and purple blooms.

This is Nicks new pick for the garden. An old fire truck planter. Nicholas my older son wants to be a firefighter when he grows up.

The morning sun is rising above my boys covered play area. I think the boys are ready to get back out here and get dirty. They love their summer toys.

Thank you for taking a stroll through my yard. I hope you all can find some beauty in your yard this spring.

Fun Day at The Zoo

Today there was plenty of family Detroit Zoo fun in the sun and tons of animals out enjoying the 80+ degree March weather. The first animals that we encountered were pretty adorable.

Oh wait, those are my animals, I mean children. But in my defense, they are pretty adorable and act like animals most of the time. Nick and Noah had a blast today. Little did they know that they would wake up and be surprised with a “hookey” day from school/daycare. Nick was so excited when we told him we were going to the zoo.

We got ready and packed up to be at the zoo right at 10am when they opened, avoiding the crowds that were sure to fill up by the afternoon. It was a great day for us all to play hookey from school and work.

Our first stop in the zoo was the butterfly house, my favorite spot. The butterfly house is a beautiful humid sunny garden, just perfect for the fluttering colorful butterflies. I could sit

and watch them flutter forever; my kids on the other hand, not so much. Nick with his zoo map was guiding our every step.

The Zoo is a wonderful place for a stroll. There are several gardens and free-standing art pieces to look at throughout the whole zoo.

It is always a joy to see the animals and see your childs face light up in reaction to exotic and even the more common animals.

Needless to say, today was a great day to enjoy the outdoors at the Detroit Zoo with my favorite boys.

Here are some of the other photogenic animals of the zoo today.

I started following a wonderful blog http://deborah-bryan.com/ “The Monster in Your Closet” and as I read Deborah’s post http://deborah-bryan.com/2012/02/18/mommy-guilt-thou-art-mine-nemesis/ about feeling guilty for leaving your children for various reasons, I was reminded of the second and last time that I had to leave my older son for a couple of days and how heartbreaking this can be for a parent as your “mommy guilt” that Deborah explains takes over your every thought.

June 22nd, Not just an ordinary day. No, this day I was induced to have my precious Noah. In fact June was not an ordinary month. Not only were we anxiously awaiting Noah’s arrival, our first son Nicholas was only a couple of days from turning 3 on June 26th. I was prepared to have the boys share a birthday party every year; I was excited for that actually as a cost saver. But I wasn’t prepared to almost miss Nicholas’s 3rd birthday. It’s not like he fully understood his birthday yet, but this is where the mommy guilt creeps in, and squeezes your heart, and whispers stories into your ears about all the things your child is missing, and what if this, and what if that. I felt like he was being cheated out of a million dollars. We had given him an early June birthday party, but plainly we didn’t go all out like we had the prior two years. Mentally and physically I was exhausted at my 9th month of being pregnant, It was summer, I had worked full-time, and I worried that Noah was going to come along early. My mind was there but standing in the distance, out of sight. I am sure at almost 3 years old Nick was fully satisfied with his birthday party, but again that guilt crept in and pulled at my heart-strings.

In walks the preparation guilt. We tried to prepare Nick about our stay at the hospital when his baby brother was to be born. We were very lucky that Grammy Vatral was able to come and stay with Nick during this time. Nick adores his Grammy and this seemed to please him. He seemed to understand as much as his 3-year-old mind could allow for, so we hoped for a smooth transition. When we received the word that I was to be induced, of course my heart and mind were flooded with so many happy and sad thoughts, and of course “guilt” was present, poking her pointy shoes at my eyes; release the floods. We had talked through our every step and routine with Nick that day as much as possible. We were reassuring Nicholas that Grammy was going to take great care of him, and she and him would have so much fun together. And when his baby brother was born daddy would come home to get him so he could meet his baby Noah. This day was a little bit harder for Nick. He was excited, but also showing his separation anxiety. I remember after Eric’s mom arrived we sat on the couch to go over routines and just talk about the baby coming, and in walks Nicholas still looking so much like my little baby, still growing into his little body with his beautiful wide brown eyes, carrying his little Toy Story metal lunchbox filled with a shirt, underwear, and a pair of socks. “I’m ready to go mommy” Nicholas so confidently said.

I had to hold back my tears and remain strong. I just grabbed him and held him tightly. “Oh Nicholas, I love you. But remember, we said you have to stay with Grammy when we go to the hospital.”

He started welling up with tears and stuck out his gorgeous red pouty lips “But I want to come too.”

Telling myself to be strong, how do you not cry when your child is breaking your heart. I reassured him that as soon as Noah was born he could come and see his baby brother and mommy. I just held him and it was time to go. We had to leave for the hospital. I thought quickly about what would make him happy and entertain him so we could slip out of the house. I told him Grammy would be happy to pull out the playdoe and play with him, he shot right up with excitement. He no longer worried about us leaving, or about his packed overnight lunchbox. No, he worried about how quickly Grammy could get the palydoe out of the closet. Who knew playdoe would be our saviour that day. Although I admit I felt replaced when he very quickly changed his mind about needing me so badly. It’s crazy how our “mommy” mind works. Needless to say, I pushed guilt to the sidelines knowing Nicky was temporarily happy with playdoe.

The inducement took longer than we had hoped but Noah finally arrived on June 23rd, just 3 days from his big brothers birthday. I was relieved to finally have Noah, as any mother would know at the end of the pregnancy you just want it over. I was anxious to see my new baby’s little face and his features. The whole 9 months you wonder about this little life growing within you. But at the same time I was filled with sadness to leave Nicholas. Filled with guilt that I wasn’t at the house while he slept, that I wasn’t there when he woke. I didn’t want him to feel replaced by his baby brother. Would he know that he is a sparkle in our eyes just as much as his shiny new brother? I feared how much he might miss us while we were away, and we couldn’t just come home to reassure him. And I think most of all I felt horrible for leaving him when his birthday was only days away. Would I be able to go home before his birthday, so that I could be there when he woke, so that I could give him his birthday hug and kiss?

Knowing that I was doing well after Noah’s birth, I was able to be home on Friday the 25th, just in time to celebrate Nicholas’s Birthday the next day. I can never forget the look on Nicholas’s face when he walked into my hospital room with that very same lunchbox, and his wide brilliant brown eyes. He was hesitant to come near me when he saw me laying in the hospital bed, but I coaxed him over to give me a hug and meet his new brother. I saw Nicholas so differently that day. He no longer looked like my little baby that I left with Grammy the night before. He was a little boy, and I was holding his baby brother.  I couldn’t believe how much I thought he was still a baby before I left, and how much that day I saw him as a little boy, while he told me about his stay with Grammy, and how much he loved his brother. My heart melted to see that he was just as in love with Noah as we were. And I knew at that moment all that worry was for nothing. Nick was fine, he had a blast with Grammy, and he was so happy to have a new brother for his birthday. And guilt, well she had to crawl back to that dark place that she came from, because the happiness in our lives that day was far to great to worry about the what ifs.

Detroit Drive-by Photography

Eric and I were driving down to his moms house tonight to pick up the kids, and I decided to see what kind of photos I could get on my phone while driving down the freeway going through downtown Detroit. Of course Eric was driving while I flashed him..I mean while my phones flash was clickity clacken in his eyes. Thank you Eric for your safe driving with spots in your eyes.

These pictures are clearly not clear, but I thought the blured lights looked cool. So roll up your windows, lock your doors and enjoy your tour of Detroit.

My first picture is Ford Field where our Detroit Lions play Football. ROAR!!!

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Ford Field

This second picture is the “cool old church” (the name I have given it because I’m not sure of it’s name) that is across from Hockey Town Cafe.

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This third picture is the Fox Theater Garage in red lights, and to the right is the Fox Theater sign in blue on the building. Lots of good plays, concerts, and other entertainment has been had there. I wish the Fox would bring back the Radio City Rockettes for Christmas; what an awesome show.

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The fourth picture is the lights at the power polution plants in Delray. Now this area is not so pretty during the day nor is the smell nice. and Eric and I have wondered how people can live in their homes around this area and not form third body parts. But the flashing lights are neat in the photo.

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This fifth photo is the Ambassador Bridge to Canada.

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And the last three photos are the Motor City Casino. They have tons of cool lights. I tried to take a picture of the other building that stands behind this area but the fast drive-by and delay on my camera were not working in my favor. But the lights line the outside of the other building, and they have the lights set in motion and pictures.

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This part of the casino was an original bakery and they actually refaced the building but left part of it’s original brick and name exposed, which I think is pretty awesome.

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I hope you enjoyed my drive-by night tour of Downtown Detroit.

Tackle the Grocery Store

So when is the best time to “tackle” the grocery store on a day filled with crazy football fans? I really should have went out at 7 a.m. when I woke up. Now I am crazy I know, but really don’t you think that would have been a much more pleasant time to shop, well as pleasant as grocery shopping can be.

Now i’m stuck in the in between of when is everybody’s Superbowl parties starting so the non Superbowl goers can safely shop without being tackled or sidelined in an excruciatingly long check out lane?

I hope everyone has a safe and happy Superbowl 2012 experience!

Free Spirit Decorators

So the other day I was strolling through the freshly pressed and stumbled into MotherLovely Blog “Love List” http://motherlovely.com/2012/01/23/love-list.  Shannon has some beautiful ideas and pictures and her “Love List” post was about being thankful for all the wonderful whimsical things you have around your home, so I decided I was going to go home and work from her post to find all the wonderful things I wanted to take a picture of and share with you all, so as I strolled through the rooms in my house this was the whimsy I was met with.

 Check out all of my whimsy. Tell me you are jealous of my colorful decorations so strategically placed. I have to admit I work with two awesome decorators. They don’t charge much except food, drink and an occasional cuddle. Though I should pose a few warnings with this free style decorating.

-The whimsical style of free spirit decorating may cause tripping, stumbling, and foot contusions.

-The decorations may easily be lost under couches and other large furniture.

-The decorations are on rotation and will be moved from room to room.

-You may threaten the decorators with a garbage bag full of their decor and a toss to the curb if they get out of control with decorating.

-The decorators may become crabby if you move or clean up their decorations.

-You should consult a professional before allowing the free spirit decorators to take over your home.

Happy Birthday

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I thought this was funny..I celebrated my 24th birthday 10 years ago. However, tonight on my 34th birthday, Nicholas wanted me to have candles on my cake, so daddy was able to rustle up a 2 and a 4 from Nicks past birthday parties. So I recelebrated my 24th birthday tonight, only I don’t seem to feel that young and I think the cake went right to my hips..dang

Casualty of Play

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We had a casualty tonight. Poor Woody lost his head in a slip and fall. Nicholas is devasted and I’m sure sleep time will be interesting tonight with a headless Woody.  RIP Cowboy.

Fight For Your WRITE!

Fight For Your WRITE!

So I don’t mean fight for your right, as in to party like the Beastie Boys so perfectly sang. No, I mean fight for your “write”. Fight for your time to write, to be creative, and to thrive in your talents. Fight for your freedom of speech, for the things you want to say and share with the world.

Fighting for “my personal time” after working a 40+ hours a week accounting job and coming home to my loving family whom I want to spend the last hours of an evening with, it is a struggle to actually click my fingers along these very keys, shoot who am I kidding, just finding the energy or some quite alone time to even think some days to even pick up my computer to write is a struggle.

But I sit here looking out at the blustery weather today, while my 1.5 year old naps and my 4.5 year old quietly plays in the other room. And why not take this opportune time to write to my heart’s content you say? The damn TV sucked me in. It does it all the time. I decided to catch up on my DVR shows from the week that I have missed and I was sucked in bundled up on the cozy warm couch while I watched the flurries dance around outside my front windows, bleeding with cold air.

I knew this was my opportune prime time to click away, while I had a moment from, mom I’m thirsty, mom can you get me something to eat, mom Noah is climbing the table. The running back and forth from room to room making sure the house was still standing and chasing my very busy toddler around. So I very consciously fought against my lazy will and turned off the TV and grabbed the laptop. And here I sit for a brief moment of personal time as I hear the 4.5 year old fishing for something in the refrigerator. I’m waiting for him to ask for my help…wait here he is… Ok I’m back. It twas…a pudding snack, oh my!

I am happy for the brief 1/2 hour that I was able to type these thoughts out. I have been thinking about my Fight to write for days, and here it is. It’s not the prettiest, but it’s something. I hope you enjoy, and I would love to hear about your fight to write?

Have a blessed weekend!

So this blog post may sound like I am picking on our temporary Accounting Admin. But I assure you, he would drive anyone one of you crazy with his musical butt and repetitive questions. And for purposes of concealing his identity we will call him Trevor in this post in honor of my co-worker who couldn’t remember his name and calls him Trevor.

These are the temporary helpers don’ts, if you want to be considered for the job hire.

1. No matter how musically talented you are, do not pull out your musical butt flute. Seriously, how you can pass gas (loudly) in a room with 3 other people sitting around you in cubicles and not bat an eyelash at your own smelly farts and continue to work with those same people daily, is beyond me. I guess cudos for carrying through the embarrassment?

2. When you claim to have a degree from an Accounting school, please show me that you know something about accounting. And the fact that your over confidence to prove that you knew how to do bank reconciliations while leaving unreconciled items open without question, try again.

3. When you are handed an automatic debit form that defines the debiting vendor as Consumers Energy, and the account name that the vendor is debiting from as XYZ, would you think to look up XYZ as the vendor to pay or Consumers Energy? Hmmm, Trevor chose XYZ - example below:

Account Name: XYZ                        Date:01/05/12

Account#111111111111                  Amount Debited: $50.00

Payment Info: Consumers Energy 12345678 blah blah blah

4. Temp “There is no address on this check for me to mail it?”

Accountant “Here is the address and please write on the envelope Attention to xxxx”

Temp (silent stare before dumb chimes in) “Where do I write the Attention to on the envelope?”

REALLY????

5. When you are asked “do you understand?” don’t say yes, then come ask me to clarify AGAIN five minutes later, then 20 minutes after that or the next day!

6. In conjunction to #5, You are giving us the heebie jeebies from your creepy pacing/swaying at your desk and constant head scratching, probably due to fear of repeating the same damn questions you have asked over and over. Hello McFly…

7. Personal Hygiene. As if the musical butt flute was not enough. Your body odor and styrofoam container lunches sitting on your desk all day, has caused me to buy and strategically place an air freshener posed as a force field to your stench. Also, there is a simple tool we use to clean our mouths it’s called a tooth brush, you should invest in one. and lastly smooth some water and a come over your hair as to not show the pillow indents and smudges around your head.

Oh there are many more “dont’s” that I am sure I locked away to protect my sanity, but I think I will end it here for now. Please feel free to share your stories of office nightmares. This one has been a doozie.

Santa’s footprints are fresh on the carpet. Remnants of cookies, cakes and chocolates linger. Tiny bits of paper and bows are still stuck to boxes, gifts and my carpet. Christmas dinner leftovers are in the icebox. Brand new toys have been cleaned up and re scattered. The house is a wreck from a whirlwind of holiday festivities, but I still have my beautiful tree to look at. The warm glow of the lights in the evening dusk give way to warm thoughts and new memories as I Iook forward to the New Year.

I enjoy my tree till the New Year, after all, it is still the holidays. And then I am happy to take the tree down and move forward into the blustery long winter awaiting the first signs of spring. March waiting…and still into April…waiting. However, there are so many people that I have noticed on Facebook today that were so eager to tear down their decorations. I know some people religiously take the tree down right away after Christmas, but it seems this was all I was hearing about this relaxing, unwinding DAY AFTER Christmas.

Our family has always celebrated into the New Year with our tree up. Has our society become so rushed that we can’t enjoy and relax with our beautiful decor for a few days after Christmas? I always feel so rushed the entire month of December and it saddens me that Christmas passes us so fast. I always feel I missed something, a smile, a laugh, a surprise, or perhaps I just didn’t relax enough to enjoy my family, and when it’s all said and done, at the least I can hope to catch a few more memories at the tree with my boys before I have to take it down. Here I sit this evening by the glow of my Christmas tree, my boys fast asleep, and me and hubby clicking away at our computers sipping some wine, and relaxing.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all!

To add to my original post “Don’t Throw it Away”. We believe our oldest son might become a hoarder one day. Poor kid, he freaks out if we throw anything away. His concern for the strangest of things recently was my husbands old holy socks.

The other day my husband was sorting through the freshly washed whites taking notice of the many socks that have suffered long enough finally giving way to holes. So Eric sorted them in keep and toss piles, though he typically keeps them and reuses them for polishing or what not. Just as Nicholas walked into our conversation of getting rid of the old socks, he looked to us nervously, “Are you throwing them away?” Us, looking at each other, then back to Nicholas, “yes Nick, daddy is getting rid of the bad socks.” The look of fear still in his big brown eyes, “but why are they bad?”  Preparing for a long conversation about holy socks, “they have holes in the toes and heals Nick. Daddy can’t wear them anymore.” He really didn’t say anything past that, surprisingly, but he clearly was concerned that we were cleaning out the old socks. Maybe he thought we were going to throw out some of his favorite character socks. This began the hoarding thoughts. I hope we are not creating a hoarder.

Earlier today we were tidying up the garage and the rest of the yard, getting ready for the, dare I say the “S” word, SNOW! And I came across a very weathered, sad hula hoop. I decided to toss it. Just as I walked this poor sad previous circle of joy to the garbage, who was on my tail? Nicholas. Chasing behind me, “What are you doing with the hula hoop mommy?” Me, trying to keep ahead of him, so I don’t have to look him in his deep brown eyes, “I’m gonna throw it out Nick, its falling apart buddy.” “It’s not falling apart, I want it.” Nick grabs it from my hands. Me taking a deep breath, preparing for the fight, “Look Nick, see its peeling and falling apart.” Nick sputtering and pleading, “but I’m going to play with it, I want to keep it.” Me, giving a little, I will let you play with it right now, but we will throw it out later. I will buy a new one next year.” Thinking that would save me.

Later, when the adults forgot about the hula hoop that’s out of sight out of mind, who reminds us? Nicholas.  Proud of himself he asks his dad, “Did you find the hula hoop?” Daddy says, “No, where did you put it?” Nicholas smiling from ear to ear, “I snuck out front, and put it in the trash.” In our minds, rule #1 outside, Nick is not allowed out front without us, so Daddy looks out front, “well I don’t see it out there, are you sure you didn’t hide it?” Nicholas still smiling from ear to ear, “No, the garbage men must have taken it.” Well, we knew it was somewhere around the house. Tonight, when Eric took out the trash he searched the yard for the missing hula hoop, where was it hiding? In Nicholas’s club house. Daddy left it there for him, to spare the over dramatized reaction of the 4-year-old losing his very weathered beat up hula hoop, as if it were a prized possession. Will Nick’s clubhouse become the hoarding hot spot? Maybe the holy socks will end up there too, or the pillow we threw out from my original post.

To be continued…..

God Given Dream

I am feeling a renewed energy towards my talents that God has blessed me with.

Negative energy was pouring over me tonight. The negative people in my life were affecting my thoughts, and I stopped. I brought God back into my sight. God cleansed me with positivity as I let Him take the reins. He will guide my destination as I put my trust into Him. Nothing nor any person can take from me what God has blessed me with.

God has reassured me a life of happiness if I follow His path. You can not run nor forget your God-given dream. Your talent was placed in you before you were born. God wants us to use our potentials. He has placed something great in each of us.

When an idea, a vision is pouring from your soul do not ignore it. No matter your circumstance, find a way to use your talents, for this was why you were created.

Have a blessed day!

Don’t Throw it Away!

Yesterday was an evening of cleaning the house, basically picking up after the children. We have a 4-year-old, and 1-year-old. Noah my sweet angel 1-year-old son, is the biggest mess maker ever! He constantly carries items from room to room and drops them off as he finds something more interesting to play with, then changes rooms again.

My hubby Eric was doing a thorough cleaning with the vacuum cleaner, lifting couches and moving furniture to see what treasures lied beneath.  Of course we found Noah’s blueberry traveler waffle that ended up under the ottoman from the morning. We thought he ate this much to quickly, but one never knows. Shockingly this treasure was not found by the dog.

Cleaning led to the ottoman next which NOT to our surprise was full of food particles, cereal, cracker crumbs, ect…. A bowl here, toys there, toys with missing pieces. And how many fast food restaurant toys does one child need to play with (embarrassed that I guess we have eaten at these places often enough to collect so many toys).

Eric and I have a system while cleaning like a cleaning sign language. We like to throw away all the little broken toys and the Happy meal toys when the kids aren’t looking, and of course this has to be done in secret stealth mode. Don’t dare let the kids see you take the toy and throw it away. Eric and I give each other the secret glare with a nod showing the toy in our hand then either handing it off or making a dash, bounding and maneuvering around the toy obstacles all the way to the garbage. We secretly have to hide the stolen goods within the trash, as this would be devastating to your 4-year-old to see his broken and or cheap toys on top of the garbage pile. Lucky, I don’t think anything that we have ever trashed was remembered by our little ones, probably because they have WAY to many toys.

So throwing away broken and or cheap toys is one thing, but I was sitting with my Nicholas last night, and hubby brings to me the old beat up fringed decorative pillow from our family room. Hubby plops this pathetic ripped, drooled on pillow in front of me. The poor pillow was so distressed it was losing its fringe. Hubby says, “can we finally get rid of this pillow, it is ripped from end to end”. Nicholas looks to us with panic in his eyes, waiting for my response. I say “Yes just get rid of it, this pillow is old and beyond repair”. Here’s Nicholas, sobbing “NO! Don’t throw it away, I love that pillow, but why are you going to throw it away?” Me, “Nick honey, this is just a pillow, and it is badly ripped, It’s time to let it go.”

I never thought my son would ball over us throwing away a decorative pillow. God forbid one day his pillow pet bites the dust!

I woke on the mossy carpet of the forest floor. My body ached; I had a stabbing pain in my head. I remembered swerving my car to avoid hitting a dark animal in the road. I lost control of the car and slid into the forest, but I wasn’t sure what happened after that; I must have passed out. My body was frozen staring up at the dark canopy that hovered over me. My face tickled with what felt like spider webs, I frantically wiped at my skin removing the substance. I sat up to view my surroundings while gripping the throbbing knot on the back of my head. I looked around for my car thinking I was thrown from it, but the car was not in sight. The forest was alive with rustling foliage, snapping branches, and dark shadows. I had to get myself up and moving despite my body’s argument. The sun was disappearing and the chilly fog was settling in around me.

I gripped some vines to pull my body from the icy ground and stumbled towards the tree in front of me. My skin felt alive with thousands of creepy crawlies. I rubbed my arms to dispose of the chill. I felt sick to my stomach, but I was sure my nerves were like tiny wires on fire under my skin. I headed west towards the light still bursting through the trees. The forest grew dark as I went further away from my bed of moss.

My hands were raw from scraping them across the bark on the trees. I stopped to catch my breath and lean against the massive trunk for support. My shaky fingers pushed my hair out of my eyes. My palms brushed against my face leaving an icy wet feeling slicked over my skin. I looked at my hands that were full of blood. The trees did more damage than I thought. I pulled my shirt over my hands and gripped my bloody palms to the material, clinching tightly.

I had paused long enough when I saw my breath before me. The fog circled me like a ghostly apparition. I was not alone, I knew something was behind me but I didn’t stop to look into the darkness that was closing in on me. I tripped over the fallen debris of the forest. Every time that I fell I could feel the forest floor becoming more alive. The trees were no longer my rest stop. If I didn’t know better I would say the trees formed hands that were grabbing at me, ripping at my skin. The trees roots became thicker and raised above the ground as a stumbled further into the forest finally running into a thousand tiny strings, and falling to my knees.

I kicked my legs pushing myself away from the massive spider web thus backing myself into another web. The forest was dark now illuminated by the moon shining through the icy fog. I wiped at my whole body trying to get the sticky webs off of myself. I felt claustrophobic. My panic envisioned the forest circling me, trapping me amongst the spider webs. I gripped the back of my skull that felt as if it were going to explode. Every inch of my body pulsated and ached. I fell to my knees, tasting blood in my mouth. I wanted to rip my own head off. Every inch of my existence said to run but my body was paralyzed. A large and dark mass creeped toward me. The high-pitched screeching noise clawed at my ear drums. I fell to a fetal position in pain. Glaring red eyes in the dark mass creeped closer. I reached behind my head to the ache. the large lump was now moving. My heart raced and my skin burst at my skull. thousands of tiny black spiders spewed around me, engulfing my body. I was bit over and over completely paralyzing my body. There above me was the beady eyed mammoth mother spider spitting her venom over me. Her little babies wrapped me as tight as a mummy. I could only move my eyes. I could not speak a word, nor move an inch. All that I had left were my thoughts as I was drug into the black nest under the canopy of the forest.

Happy Halloween!

Fall Traditions

Apple of my eye

Do you have any fall traditions that you and your family or friends partake in? Honestly I can’t see how life would be any better without a tradition or two. What fond memories to share for a lifetime and pass on to your future generations.

Ah, the apple of my eye. This was our recent trip to Blake’s Apple Orchard in Armada Michigan. What a beautiful day we had as a family, a little windy but sunny and fun.
When this little guy was one years old in 2008 we started going to the apple orchard in which would become our yearly fall trip as a family to pick apples and pumpkins and of course eat all the warm donuts and cider one could scarf before belly aching. And what about those caramel and candy apples, yum!
Nicholas was too cute at one years old, his first experience at the orchard. We walked down the isles of apple trees. Nick always had two apples, one in each hand the whole time. He would take a bite from the left then the right hand. reminded me of myself when I was younger. This yearly trip was also a family tradition in my family and I remember sampling all the apples as we walked around filling up our bushel baskets. Those were such great memories and when I see my kids repeating the cycle it just brings me back to my childhood. This first year was not only Nicholas’s at the orchard, It was my husband Eric’s as well. I don’t think he was all that interested in going at first, not to mention dragging a one year old out to the unknown world of how will this child behave. But I think this proved to be a wonderful experience had by all. We now have gone every year since then to pick apples and pumpkins, and of course as mentioned eat all the delicious food!

My sweet little apple

My little baby looking like Elmer Fudd in his hat. This year was Noah’s second year at the orchard, but I think we will call it his first. He just turned one and he was able to experience all the glory had by the apple isles by walking around as his big brother did a couple of years ago, what a big boy he thought he was. Noah had so much fun, If I had let him he would have been filthy playing in the dirt where all the apples landed from their fall and the muddy pumpkin patch.  Noah wasn’t two-fisted like brother was that first year, but he certainly enjoyed picking an apple, taking a bite then moving on to another apple, oh and he loved the high grass in the isles, he kept swatting and pulling at the high strands that tickled his chubby hands, silly boy.

My boy's

Here are my boys in the great pumpkin patch with their great pumpkin, I think Charlie Brown would be pleased. I can’t wait till we can dig out those seeds and bake them in butter and salt in the oven, this certainly is a tasty treat and something to look forward to. Do you bake your seeds in a special recipe? We will have to decide what carving to do on this beautiful pumpkin. Nicks suggestion was the Mystery Machine, with Scooby and the gang, sorry my son, I’m not that talented. Last year I did Linus and his great pumpkin from Charlie Brown, and that turned out really cute. I think the year before I did a ghost. I will have to start putting some thought into this pumpkin.

This time of year is so much fun and I hope everyone enjoys their fall weather and has a happy Halloween!

Family Ties

What do you do when your loved one writes you off, and says you are no longer a sibling to them?  It’s truly very sad that a situation would ever go that far due to differences between the two.  I don’t know why I can’t stop thinking Bro’s before Hoes, or perhaps Sistas before Mistas, (laughing) You would never think another person would ever come between your blood, but it happens all the time.

We lived under one roof, laughed, rough housed, ate together, played together, tatled on one another, but no matter what, we stood up for each other. No one was going to talk bad about our family except ourselves and we shouted for a moment then it was over and we moved on. One day we just grew up, graduated, dated, married, had careers, had children, and somewhere in there we lost each other. The get togethers and phone conversations became some holidays and children’s birthday parties with a happy birthday call each year to each other. the people who know you best are your close friends and neighbors, and your family feels like an outsider. Where did our family ties go?

Then one day after years of neglect we actually talk on the phone for the longest time since we can remember, but the words we say are harsh and hurtful. It’s no longer just you and I anymore, it’s our families involved now to. Your not only saying your no longer my sibling and you can’t be in my life anymore,  your also writing off that siblings family as well. What happened to us? When did we become strangers?

You once were my best friend. You once protected me and helped me as I grew. I wish I still knew you. Do me a small favor, just one little thing, and remember how we were and what our family meant. Maybe one day before it’s to late you can see me and I can see you as my family again, and you will know I love you and nothing will part us until we meet again in heaven.

My Head is spinning

Perhaps the caffeine hasn’t kicked in yet, im not sure, but my head is pounding this morning.  I’m wondering what was I thinking when I started this blog yesterday.  I’m excited to write here, don’t get me wrong…But im afraid I wont be able to keep up. 

My head was spinning around the thoughts this morning as I perused other wonderful blogs.  I work full-time as an accounting admin (It’s just for a check). I am a mother of 2 (3.5 years and 7.5 months), I am a wife, and I am trying to write a book and read the Twilight series, amongst all the other daily activities that fills up life. But I also feel if I don’t do this, that I am missing out on something BIG…I feel the time is now, divide and conquer, right?

And so begins a new day!

There Is a Garden For All

With Summer approaching, I have been thinking about what vegetables and herbs I want to plant this year. I have a garden behind the garage that is very suitable for tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers. I have also planted bush beans, squash, lettuce, watermelons, all in the good fun of experimenting with what this space can do. The squash and watermelons require more space than I care to give up in my garden, so I stick to a variety of tomatoes; cherry, roma, heirloom, juliet, and I also use this space for cucumbers and bell peppers.

This year I would like to expand the variety of lettuce and herbs to the garden against our neighbors garage. I have space on either side of the weeping cherry tree. I have tried several annuals and perennial plants in this space over the years and either the plants outgrow the space or I just become unhappy with the look. But this year I am toying with planting herbs, a variety of lettuce, and scallions here with a mix of marigolds for color between the lettuce. I know I will be inviting the bunnies of the neighborhood, but hopefully they will not eat it all and save some for the person who works so hard to keep the garden up.
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I am no garden expert by any means. I can’t tell you about the bugs eating your plants, the disease in your soil, or what zone to plant in. but I can encourage you to try to have fun with planting. I like to experiment and see what works in my spaces; I love having my gardens and flower planters. Through the hard work, sweat and sometimes dirty tears, there is nothing like growing your own fresh produce and enjoying the beauty of a floral space. I have also grown flowers and vegetables from seed with my older son Nicholas. This was fun for him to watch his food grow from a seed to a plant. If you have the time and a warm sunny place this is a fun process. However, if you are looking for quicker progress, then I suggest buying the plant rather than starting from seed. The germination period of a seed may take a while and sometimes can be frustrating when you want to see the “fruits” of your labor.

I very much enjoy having my morning coffee in the summer on the patio as the sun rises and begins to warm the day. Adding a water feature amongst your floral area is also so calming to listen to. We have a fountain that hangs on one of the brick walls of our house. Now I realize that not everyone can have a garden, or perhaps they don’t have time, space, or the patience that goes into keeping up on a garden. But after reading a comment from The Good Greatsby on my Spring Has Sprung in Leaps and Bounds post, Paul wrote: “Spring has finally arrived in Shanghai. I just wish we had a real garden to sit in.” I felt everyone should be able to have a “garden” in some sense. Then I remembered seeing some pictures of unique and creative gardens for any space and I wanted to share the ideas.

I was fascinated by these designs myself. First we have the gutter gardens, which I think is such a great space saver and you won’t have to worry about weeds, how wonderful is that. You can plant flowers or veggies in these gutter gardens. You will need to Drill holes for drainage. Also, I would probably add pebbles or lava rock over the drainage holes so that the dirt didn’t escape or perhaps a layer of weed fabric would do the trick. Add soil and plants, and Hang in desired location. I like the third picture of the hanging layers, I bet this would create a beautiful privacy wall in a small space once all the flowers and veggies filled in. I have heard the gutter garden can be used for many vegetables such as, lettuce, peas, green beans, even herbs. What a treat to be able to go out and pick your lettuce for a fresh salad, or herbs to complement your meals. YUM!

Picture is www.homegue.com

Here is another space saver garden that I was quite tempted to try until I decided to utilize my other garden for lettuce and herbs. A pallet garden, who woulda thunk it? I love this idea. Staple weed fabric to the bottom and sides of the pallet. Fill with soil and plant away! Again, this is great for a variety of lettuce and smaller plants as well as herbs. Watch your pallet garden grow along your patio wall of your apartment. A space saver and a beautiful delight.

Picture is themicrogardener.com

Want the beauty of a garden without having to plant a garden in the ground? Planters are your answer. Who hasn’t utilized a planter before? One flower planter adds beauty to any space, but a grouping of planters in different shapes, colors and sizes allows you to “landscape”. Add texture, color and height with a variety of plants. Do you want tomatoes or cucumbers, but no space for a garden? Find a planter large enough for root growing space. Buy a tomato cage and secure it into the dirt and your tomatoes and cucumber can grow up through the cage for support. Planters are also good for carrots, radishes, bush beans, peppers and even herbs. You can have a garden without all the “work” a garden takes. By using planters there is ease in watering, weeding, pests, and soil bourne diseases.

I just found these other gardens on All Ontario Schools Should Grow Edible Gardens Facebook page. What great ideas for space savers and reuse. The hanging bags can be made from a variety of material, old clothes, pants and shirts lying around, just knot up or sew the loose ends and place your plant inside. The tins can be coffee containers or large canned vegetable containers. Who doesn’t have pop bottles lying around? There are many states that do not require a bottle deposit, so this is a great way to recycle those bottles piling up around the house. The bottles are also a great way to start your plants by seed if you plan to replant them in the ground or other planter container.

All of these ideas can be searched on the web. There are so many websites with do it yourself  instructions, and many more ideas for your “any size” planting space. So get creative no matter how small or large your space is. Challenge yourself to create some kind of garden; your own oasis. I don’t think you need a green thumb just the interest to experiment and the time to create your garden. I certainly do not have the greenest of thumbs. I stumble upon my garden success just as much as a fall face first into failure. But I keep doing it because I enjoy it.

$*WARNING*$ If you are not familiar with gardening, plants can be quite expensive. *Suggestion* Draw up a map of your space and list where you would like to see a plant (annual or perennial) based on size, shade and sunny locations. It is better to have an idea of what you need per your space, as nurseries can be overwhelming with so many options. I suggest buying enough for one or two planters, or one area of your yard to start. Flower Nurseries can be expensive, so do a little shopping around to find the best deals. Make sure you have all your gardening essentials,    shovel, gloves, potting soil, planters, stones for drainage and or coconut liners for hanging baskets, water for you and sunblock.  I wish you all luck with this gardening season.

Happy Easter

I wish you all a happy Easter on this blessed Sunday. I am so thankful for the wonderful family and friends that God has placed in my life. I am blessed that Nick has informed me that Jesus died on the cross and rose on Easter morning, and now he’s in heaven with God. I LOVE that he knows about God and Jesus, thank you Saint Peters School and church.

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We have had so much fun this week planning for the Easter bunny’s visit. On Friday, Nick and I dyed eggs. They turned out so cute and we both had fun decorating them.

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We had a nice Easter dinner with my mom’s side of the family and my Grandmother at her nursing home on Saturday. And the kids had a blast playing together.

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Nick was up early this morning checking out his and Noah’s gifts left by the Easter bunny. Both of the boys had a great morning with their new toys and getting all sugared up on sweet treats.

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We will finish up our day at my in laws house. My mother in law Beverly always makes such wonderful holiday meals. She is planning an Easter egg hunt for the kids, and I know she will just spoil them which makes her so happy. We are so blessed to have such a beautiful family.

Have a happy Easter everyone.
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Hello! Yes it’s me.  I’m over here. Yep that’s right, look at me. READ MY BLOG Damn it! No seriously, trying to captivate an audience is hard work. The blood, sweat and tears are flowing all at once. I’m bleeding out over here. I’m dehydrated. I’m thirsty for some new viewers. Is it just me or has everyone struggled to find their audience. Just click the follow button on my page people, go ahead I will wait, but not to long, because my patience is shot these days. What an awesome feeling when someone “likes” my post, but what an incredible feeling when I get a response to a post. I get so excited to see responses, to know I connected with a fellow blogger. And for someone to click my “follow button”, there are no words, I just beam from ear to ear while falling out of my chair.

Oh 10, what a wonderful whole number. Today I will hold and cuddle the number 10. I, much like Darla at She’s A Maineiac, will create this post to celebrate numbers! Darla just celebrated making her 99th post titled I’m Gonna Party Like It’s One Shy of 100. I however, will celebrate my 10th follower! That’s right folks, pop the cork on the champagne and raise your glass to my 10 viewers. It has been a challenging year to understand Word Press, to devote time to writing posts, and to devote time to read some of my favorite bloggers posts. And it has been most challenging to captivate an audience of 10 people. Cheers to you my 10 followers. Thanks for hanging on to my variety of blog posts.

The bells and whistles are sounding. The lights are flashing. Ding, ding, ding! Kate over at http://messyhandsgoodcooks.wordpress.com/, you are the winner! 1 is the loneliest number, but 10, were in the double digits now baby. I’m movin on up, and I already live on the eastside, and now I need Kate to make me a pie. Thank you Kate for taking my blog to 10 viewers. P.S. Those silly cheesecake cookies look delish.

Cracker Jack

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This is my cat Jack, sitting in a Cracker Jack box. I just thought it was fitting.

The cracker jacks were bought for my son’s daycare to celebrate opening day for the Detroit Tigers.

Happy opening day Detroit Tigers!

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