The chronicles of a (usually) happily single woman who accidentally became a mommy - twice.
Here you'll find everything from reviews and criticisms to rhetoric and rants, all with a liberal dose of humor, sarcasm and kindness. Welcome to the ride, and please remember to keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times!
I caused quite a stir today when we ventured into the grocery store. Babywearing is budding in our liberal college town, but the area I live in is still pretty sheltered. You might be able to imagine the looks of awe and admiration when they saw this walk through their local Publix:
Now, I'm not one to draw attention to my accomplishments, particularly when they're things I know other people do every day without blinking, but I've gotta tell ya... I felt like freaking SuperMama. In front is Bug, in a Kiddie Winkles Designs woven wrap, weighing in at a whopping 16 lbs, and in back is Snow White (22 months and about 29 lbs,) in a black Iris organic Ergo.
Also, please disregard that I'm painfully fat. Working on that part. (50 lbs lost since December!)
Sooo, yeah. I just had to share with all of my loyal readers my latest accomplishment: Babywearing two at once. :D
In short, an Iranian nutjob religious leader stated that women dressing provocatively (clevage of all sorts, not just the boob kind,) is THE NUMBER ONE cause of earthquakes, amongst other things. Today, we encourage all you pub-going, loose and forward women, and all the rest of you too, to bust out the boobage in the name of science. Let's see if we can make the earth shake with our collective shimmies.
Hey there, readers. I'm actually doing a no-no and procrastinating... technically, I should be "participating" in class right now, hence my brief connectivity.
I just wanted to let you know that if I reach 50 readers, I will do a five-item giveaway. Yep, one item for every ten readers. As of today, I have 35! And let me tell you... I'm honored by each and every one of you, I value every comment, and I think it's awesome that some of us are so very different and still manage to enjoy each other's blogs. :)
If I gain another 50 after that, I'll do another five-item give away, and so on. :)
Due to my laptop screen finally biting it, I will be on a hiatus until my financial aid funds are released. Unfortunately, as awesome as my iPhone is, posting from it just isn't realistic. I'll be back sometime within the next 40 days! I can, however, still be reached by email if necessary.
I just wanted to make a quick "You're my hero" post for those of you who have more than two little Vagina Pirates.
Meet Snow White:
Snow White is my beautiful, wonderful, AMAZING Niece.
I used to watch Snow White regularly through the week, and then there was the whole end-of-pregnancy disaster, which turned into sick baby disaster, which was then The Great Leg Incident of '10.
Now that I'm walking and almost back to normal again, I'm back to taking care of Snow White during the day, which is AWESOME. I love her to death - as much as my own two - and she and Kinder Major really are like sisters. Right down to the "Mom, she hit me!" part, in fact. =P
Anyways, today was the first day that I really did more than pack the two little ones up, pick up Kinder Major from school and then come back home. We ate lunch (IN the restaurant,) hit up the bank and did a quick grocery shop.
This was significant. VERY significant. I only have one carrier right now (an Ergo,) that Bug goes in. Which means that I actually CARRIED Snow White when she needed it. (She wears footie pajammas almost 24/7 these days, due to a suspected skin condition called Ichthyosis, which causes scaly skin production, severe itching, and in some cases a lack of sweating. She's a very dilligent scratcher, and will scratch herself bloody if allowed. So, to thwart her attempts to skin herself, she wears 100% cotton footies. Which means shoes don't fit well. Which means lots of carrying when we're out in public.) ANYWAYS. Everyone was extremely well behaved, but we all need a nap now that we're home. ;P
My point is that I have a newfound respect for mamas/papas who do this 24/7, every day, in all circumstances, multiple times a day. I'm fairly certain things will get a little less hairy when we get into a groove, but wow. Today was certainly eye opening. ;)
Kudos to you guys! I would totally give you each a cookie if I wasn't about to land face-first on my couch, dead. ;)
I had a COMPLETELY INSANE Thursday. There was no Things-that-are-Awesome Thursday because of that. To make up for it, there will be two next week. For now, though, I give you FlogYoBlog! An excellent networking tool to find more awesome blogs to read, and to make it possible for people to find yours!
So, I think I may have broken Kinder Major's brain today.
See, we're having these disagreements about school. She *LOVES* her pre-school. Loves her teacher, loves her classmates, loves it. DOES NOT love the idea of moving on to Kindergarten, though. Especially since there's zero way that she can stay with her current friends and teacher. Our conversations about it go something like this:
"Mommy, I don't NEED any more school. I know my letters and my numbers and I know how to draw and write and color. I don't NEED anything else."
"No, Kinder Major. You never stop learning in life. That's a beautiful privilege you have available to you, and you're going to make the most of it. Besides, mommy is too unorganized to homeschool you."
"But MOOOOOMMMMMYYYYYYYYY, I DON'T WANNA GO TO KINNERGARDEN!!!!!"
*insert eyeroll and subject change here*
Today, however, it was a bit different. Mainly because she asked me while I was working on some homework, but a smidge of it was just to see what happened.
"Mommy, I don't NEED any more school. I know my letters and my numbers and I know how to draw and write and color. I don't NEED anything else."
"Kinder Major, you WILL be going to Kindergarten. Mommy goes to school. I'm in school right now. As a matter of fact, I should be doing my homework instead of giving in to this potential argument with you."
"But MOOOO--- what? You're not in school, you're at home with me."
"Yes, I'm at home, but my teacher and my classes are all on the internet, so I can be doing school work and learning while I'm at home with you."
"Oh. *peers at laptop screen with great scrutiny and deep thought* Does your teacher let you go outside? Do you have Big Toy day? Do you sing and learn sign and spanish and have snack?"
"No, I don't get to do any of those things."
"Oh. *more deep thought* Could I go to school on the internet?"
"Sure you could. Do you think we should ask about doing that instead of going to Kindergarten?"
"*horrified look* NO MOMMY!!! I'll go to Kinnergarden. I would miss going outside and playing ball and having big toy time and eating snack and making new friends. You don't get to have fun like that and that's unfortunate. *runs off to play outside*"
This, dear readers, is where you see a big, fat, smug grin on AccidentallyMommy's face. At the risk of jinxing it, I do believe I will say with unflagging confidence in regards to the Kindergarten battle: I. Win. :D
Stay tuned, however, for when this inevitably backfires on me. It's parent-hood... this shit always backfires. ;P
I've been covering a lot of heavy stuff lately, it seems. Not to say that any of that is unimportant - I wouldn't have posted about it if it wasn't. However, I do feel that it's time for a much-needed change of mood!
Spring in GreenSwamp, Florida is a BEAUTIFUL sight. There are so many different shades of green that Crayola would pee their pants if they came and hung out for a while. Azalea bushes, Orange trees, Wisteria, Magnolia trees, Plum trees... the list of things blooming with beautiful flowers and scents is endless.
It is also THE time to start your gardens in GreenSwamp.
Here we have Kinder Major showing off her greenhouse and the seedlings we've started for our vegetable garden:
Those seedlings were planted by her in re-constituted growing pellets (the flat, hockey-puck looking discs of soil they sell exactly for that purpose,) and she also helped assemble our mini-green house.
Show right to left are Bell Peppers, Big Boy Tomatoes, and Zucchini and Crookneck Squashes.
Planting seedlings is probably one of THE best activities you can do with a younger child. Their tiny little fingers are perfect for poking seeds down in the soil, and they (as I'm sure you well know,) really love to get their hands dirty.
You also don't need a fancy green house like ours to have seedling success.
There's a couple of different options available to you if you really want to actively ensure a proper sprout and start for your seedlings. You can build your own green house for indoor seedlings, or you can build little individual greenhouse covers for seedlings you start directly in the ground outside.
For an indoor greenhouse, you can do one of two things: You can buy a kit like I did, or you can DIY your own out of upcycled materials.
The kits can be found at any home improvement store and run from $50 and up.
Building your own can be done for under that amount, depending on what you have on hand and what you think you can get from freecycle/yard sales.
Start out with a three (or more) shelf bookcase. I like the ones that have slats with spaces between them for shelves, because they allow the light to filter through to the shelves below, so you only have to use one light. Install a shop light with a full-spectrum grow bulb under the top shelf. (you will only be using the shelves below the grow light.) Using a large piece of plastic sheeting like those used for painter's drop cloths, cover the bookcase on all sides. Depending on how you arrange your plastic sheeting, you may need to cut yourself a flap for access. Make sure to tack the sheeting down, you don't want it falling off the shelf unit.
Ta-da! Easy, cheap greenhouse. There are some excellent tips to be found at Charley's Greenhouse. (I have no affiliation with Charley, I simply stumbled across his site when I was looking for ideas long ago, and have been visiting it faithfully ever since.)
The other option you have available to you is starting your seeds outside, in the ground. To ensure that they have the best chance at germinating, you may want to place individual portable greenhouses around them. This... is ridiculously easy.
Get yourself a two-liter bottle, like the kind Coke or Pepsi come in. Trim off the very bottom. Wash out. Place on top of planted, watered seeds. Push down 1" to secure. Remove cap. Voila! Insta-green house. Removing the cap is important, because you want that area to be able to get air without letting out too much of that valuable condensation or heat.
These tips are guaranteed to help even those with the blackest of thumbs. At the very least, we can lighten your thumbs to a lovely shade of beige. ;)
Okay, so I'm a couple hours late. Sorry 'bout that, ya'll. School has officially started for me, and I'm still working on getting on a schedule. I've also just begun driving again, and really working my way back into normal, functional life.
ANYWAYS. On to what is awesome!
Meet Thurisaz, or Thur for short. He is a One-of-a-kind DemonKidz Creation. Here we see him happily perched atop my book case, guarding some of my most precious possessions. (You can't see them in this shot, but the second shelf of this bookcase contains my rare and antique books.
Thur was ReBorn with love by the AWESOMELY TALENTED Miz Mare over at DemonKidz Dollworks. He started out life as a boring, strangely orange-hued child's doll. Through hours of hand-pigmenting and hand-painting details, sculpting horns and teeth, carving out his beautifully weathered clay accessories and sewing his pagan garb, he was transformed from weird-orange dolly to AWESOME CREEPY YET ALLURINGLY CUTE Norse Demon Kid.
Today is Easter for many people out there. For others, it's the end of Passover. For another demographic, it's just another spring Sunday afternoon.
What is a mother who straddles firmly the fence between catholicism and paganism to do when trying to explain the implications placed on this day?
Well, I'll tell ya what I've come up with. In years past, we've gone to Mass, and then combined that with an egg hunt, baskets filled with the traditionally symbolic items (eggs, grass, rabbits, chicks, etc.) and celebratory foods that nod to traditions spawned generations ago.
Mass is explained this way: In Christianity, it is the belief that the Lord Jesus sacrificed his own life, so that things in the world could change and those who came after him would have it better than he did. While many people take the idea of him rising literally, it is (and has always been) explained more figuratively in our home. He did not rise from the grave like a holy zombie (as much as I love the silly zombie imagery,) rather, his name rose and his reputation became greatly esteemed, while his soul was greatly smiled upon by God for his work done on earth.
The brightly colored eggs, the chocolate eggs, the images of the Easter bunny, baby chicks (Why hello there, Mr. Marshmallow Peep, may I show you the inside of my mouth?) grass in the baskets, even right down to the tradition of what we wear on Easter - all of that is rooted in pagan practices and beliefs, and those traditions are simplified and explained, as well.
We even discuss our Easter dinner. The cultural implications of the ham (first hams from the last season's slaughter would have finally been cured on Easter,) the lamb (that one's pretty obvious,) the roast beef (spring is calving season, which means that one could afford to slaughter a cow for the first of the year's beef needs,) and the fresh, young fowl hold meaning in many different ethnic subgroups. We talk about the bigger picture and the similarities between ALL of these beliefs, not just my two. We speak of how the Hot Cross Bun originated and how well-traveled the idea behind it is.
While she's a bit young yet, I plan on eventually incorporating the specific elements of the overlapping aspects of the Christian, Jewish, and Pagan mythoses, and working that into some traditions of our own. Not sure how or what exactly, but it's something I'm looking forward to.
The end desired result for me is a child that is sensitive to the anthropological and spiritual happenings around her, who is gently taught how to lead a life with an open mind and a receptive heart. Easter is not the only holiday on which to nurture that loving attitude, merely the first one of the year. :)
May all of my readers be blessed today and every day, and may the growing spring bring growing love and contentment. :)
I shared with ya'll the ooey-gooey-birth-picture from Bug's birth, where he's on my chest, but didn't share Kinder Major's. It's a photo of her at the moment she was caught. I didn't share it because honestly, I thought it had been lost to the sands of time. Or a harddrive crash a couple of years ago. Sands of time is more poetic though, so we'll go with that.
I was rummaging through the cavernous depths that is my "sent" folder in gmail, and holy shit, I found it!!!! I could absolutely dance a jig.
Behold a freshly cooked, 10 lb, 21.5" long Kinder Major under the jump! (NSFW)
This week's Thing-that-is-awesome is a location. A beach, actually.
Now, I live in Florida. Dead smack in the middle of Florida, to be exact. I'm surrounded on all sides but one by AMAZING beaches, as well as mediocre ones. Needless to say, it was extremely difficult to pick just one for today's edition.
Ever dedicated to my readers, I sallied forth and weeded through the ones I had been to, compiling a short-list of ones I make an effort to go back to as often as possible. There was one that truly stuck out, though. I often dream about it, and find myself craving it's powdery white sand and warm, gentle waters.
Caspersen Beach is located in Venice, FL just south of the Venice Airport. It is one of the single most awesome beaches in the entire state for shell collecting, and it is the beach best known for finding prehistoric shark's teeth with minimal effort, often finding more than one in a single afternoon. The sand is powdery fine, and the water of the gulf is warm and gentle.
There are no lifeguards on duty and there is no concession stand or playground. There is also no camping on site. It DOES have the following:
177 acres of land
9,150 linear feet of gulf beach frontage
1,100 foot boardwalk
nature trail (.34 mile trail)
Some fun trivia about Caspersen Beach:
Originally deeded to Sarasota County by the Caspersen family in 1968 through a special warranty deed that stipulated the land would revert back to the family in 20 years.
In 1972, a bond referendum was held and passed for the purpose of acquiring Caspersen Beach and South Lido Park.
In 1986, the Board of County Commissioners included the Caspersen Mainland site (64 acres) in a $20 million bond referendum which the voters approved.
A friendly condemnation suit was filed by the Caspersen family requiring the county to prove in Federal Court the need for the land as a public park. The court ruled in the county's favor and established the value of the land.
A Land and Water Conservation Fund grant combined with proceeds from the bond referendum provided the funding to acquire the site at the price established by the court.
You can see freshwater and saltwater marshes, mangrove areas, and tidal flats. Visitors can enjoy a 20 minute walk through Caspersen's nature trail which has been developed through a coastal hammock.The southern two thirds of beachfront has been left in its natural state. A dune restoration system with walkovers has been implemented to preserve the shoreline.
Caspersen is TRULY one of Florida's treasures, and just another reason why I will live out the rest of my days in this beautiful state. There's even been the occasional thought in the back of my brain that a small beachfront home might just be the perfect thing.
Anyways, I'll leave you with one more photo, proof of just how awesome and fun this beach is. If you're ever in Florida, you NEEED to make visiting it part of your itinerary. You won't regret it!
All photographs copyright Jacqueline Monck of MMC Designs. Remember, Hotlinking makes Baby Jesus cry. If you'd like to use an image, please contact Jacqueline at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask nicely. Have a good day! :)