About Me

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I am old soul who covers the grey really well. I love to be active and creative. I am blogging to help keep the memories alive and to keep those special moments around.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Library liberation

I love the library! I have found the best library for our family. I luckily live in larger community and I can visit many different ones too. My favorite one is older. There are study rooms and reading rooms tucked away with leather chairs and a fireplace. They have a separate room for the children's section where there is a puppet stage and many, many puzzles. As I walked the stacks today I realized how great a place it is. And it costs nothing as long as I return things on time!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Pass it on

I spent today going through stuff. We have clothes, boots, books and more stuff. How I do get so much? How do I give so much away? I ended up having 3 piles. 1 pile was for the Salvation Army but the other 2 piles are for friend's kids. This is my favorite part of passing it on.

When I was young I hated hand-me-downs but of course but as an adult I see the value in them. I came from a family of four girls. Luckily I was the second oldest so I did not suffer with really worn clothes but I did get some. My youngest sister had a choice between two sets of clothing since my other sister and I were 19 months apart. We often wore the same size. So why would I want to subject anyone else to hand-me-downs?

My kids grow so fast that often they outgrow the clothes before they have actually been worn. Other times my kid had to have an article of clothing but when it came home it sat in the closet never to be worn. Another major reason for giving clothes away is that some of the clothes they received were so cute that they just had to be passed on. I think each reason is valid in its own way and I want to hand over these great clothes so they can be used enough times.

Sadly, I have a girl and a boy and passing clothes on from one sibling to the other is challenging. I bought many non-gender boots, pj's and sweatshirts. I wish I had two of each so that the smocked baby dress could have been worn again or the adorable overalls my son had at 9 mos. could have been shown off again. I couldn't cross the gender lines though. I had a friend who made her son when he was baby/toddler wear girly pj's because no one would see him. I wonder about him to this day...

I am a huge advocate of recycling. I think this is 1 major way to keep the earth greener. I still get hand-me-overs from sisters still occasionally. I am also not above "borrowing" from my husbands or now my grown daughter's closet. I myself am a huge fan of making the earth green by buying my clothes on sale but that is another story.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Time travel

I just came back from being out of town for a few days BY MYSELF. Well what I mean to say is without my family but with work people. I am first and foremost a mom but it is amazing how quickly one adjusts oneself back to being just responsible for oneself.

The biggest luxury of being responsible for only oneself is time. What does one do with all of that time? There are a few choices; eat, eat, drink, drink, walk for awhile, shop for awhile, eat, eat, drink, sleep and then roll over and sleep some more. I actually had time to blow dry my hair and it looked really good. I was in Texas with the dry heat, I had very little frizz!

I remember when I had my babies & I wondered what I did with all the time before. It seemed back then that there was never enough time in the day! I loved it though. Then as the kids grew, I was not needed 24/7 and I started to get more time to myself. But it wasn't a full day or consistent. It also wasn't lonely because I knew my family was always around.

I know someday soon, sooner than I want, the kids will leave. I will have time again. It will be weird, It will be awkward but it will also be nice. This business trip was just a peek into my future, time travel if you will. I am staring a list in the back of my mind to help fill that time. It will probably look like my business trip; eat, eat, drink, etc!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Mid-summer

I can't believe we are half-way through summer! Today is my favorite type of day too. I love summer mornings with the sun shining down and the promise of a new & perfectly warm day. Mornings seems so much calmer in the summer.

I wait for my kids to roll out of bed. I love to see what my son's hair with look like. He has the best bed-head. I have nowhere to send the kids. I have nowhere to go. I take my time getting ready. I blog. I read. I google silly things. I look at my Facebook account. I check my tomatoes & zucchini growing in the backyard.

I wish I could get lost in summer mornings. I know that sounds like a silly song lyric but it truly is my favorite part of the day and the year. It seems so unfair to have months and mornings like January-March have. I know, I know, nature needs all of the seasons.

My dream is to end up in Barbados or Martinique or somewhere where summer is stretched out through the whole year. I promise I will not get sick of it. For now I will take June, July and August. I will remember them for when January - March comes.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Mi casa es su casa but it is ultimately our casa

I remember setting up the nursery for my first born. It was an interesting time in my household. We had just purchased a small cape cod with an unfinished second 1/2 level. It had so much potential but we had so little time. The kitchen was small but with its Pepto Bismo pink walls, it too needed to be redone. The other problem was where to put the baby?

Yes, we had spent whole weekends at Home Depot. We had the kitchen picked out and it just needed to be done. But where do we put the baby? I had visions of the perfect nursery swimming in my head. This led to many heated discussions between my husband and myself. Which one needed to be done first. O.k. you guessed it, I won!

The nursery was done first on the second story. My dad came down for the weekend and they installed the walls. My sister came and painted kites and suns on the walls. It was a dream. I would spend hours in there before my baby came. I would fold and refold the clothes. I would arrange the baby's things around the room. I would rock in the rocker and gaze at the perfection. And then the baby came.

The nursery was still perfect but now there was a small human occupying the space. This made the nursery perfect in its own way but that small human came with all of her own baggage and stuff. She quickly added her own touches to the room and yes, I do mean spit up. Yet it was just a room. A room that I now walked through to peer into the crib to see a new perfection, my baby.

I often said in the early years and the toddler years that our house was decorated in early Fisher Price. The kids stuff took over whole rooms. We had a modern white chair that we searched days for in the family room next to a child's pink plastic kitchen. This play kitchen had a sink overflowing with not just dishes but dolls, building blocks and anything else my toddlers thought needed to be washed. So this was my new house and it was no longer perfection but my kids were happy and perfect in my eyes.

Fast forward to now and my current house is not close to perfect either. My beautiful nursery was sold with the old house. My kids each have their own room decorated in their own styles. My furniture is older but still usable. My house is perfect in my eyes because it is filled with love and kids. I do however still have an ideal about how it should look. I like clean.

Living with pre-teens makes clean an interesting phenomenon. I want spotless, shiny and organized. My kids want their stuff around them. Who wins? Well that depends on the hour, the day, the minute or the second. This battle heightens in the summer when my kids are around more often and so is their stuff. It creeps out of their rooms and a little bit of it is left in each room by the end of the day.

My daughter's lap top is on one couch and her Ipod is on the other. Her phone is plugged in on the kitchen counter in the area where I cook! There are about 10 other plugs in the house and even 3 more in her room that she could have used! My son's baseball equipment is dropped piece by piece around the house as he works his way to my room to watch t.v. (I do not sleep with a baseball bat for protection) The remnants of his meals are left where they were ingested and most often in my bed too. (This is where t.v. #2 is located) Yes, my day consists of going room to room and tidying up.

Why am I not having them clean? The answer is I do. I have to the realization though that this is not their house in the sense they own it. This is their house in the sense that they live in it. They do not look around and see a house that should be on a magazine cover (not House Beautiful but maybe House Lovable). They see a house that provides big, comfy couches on which to hang out. They see a sunny spot near the back sliding door to practice violin and guitar.

They do not see a mess but rather a convenient place where they left their things. I have not given up on tidiness. I will not give up on clean. I will remind them that their stuff in my house needs to be put away. I will remind them that even though it is my house is our home and to have some pride in it by putting stuff away when it is done. I will continue this back and forth battle because even though that clean, pristine nursery was great to sit in, it was empty. Now I have kids and laughter and noise and love and with that comes mess in our house.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Strawberry Streusel Muffins

I made the best muffins the other day. I bet you can guess from the title that they were strawberry streusel muffins. I threw them in the oven before I walked out the door for class. I asked my daughter to take them out when they were ready. When i got home that night out of the 30 muffins I made only 15 were left. My family ate the rest of the muffins for dinner. Direct quote from my son "We just couldn't stop, they were so good." I then took a bite of one & I agree! I had 1 for a snack, breakfast & lunch the next day. The best thing I love about the muffin recipe & i just found it on Cooks.com. This is my favorite recipe finding web site. I always find awesome ideas and recipes on it. So try these 1 night this week & see how long they last in your home.

Strawberry Streusel Muffins - Cooks.com

Muffins

2 c. flour ( I mix 3/4 parts white & 1/4 part whole wheat flour)
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. fresh strawberries, chopped (about 12 but I added some more)
1/3 c sugar
1/2 c. whipping cream (I use milk)
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/3 c. butter

Streusel topping
1/3 c. flour (only white)
1/4 c. sugar
3 tbsp. butter (melted)
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 c. pecans chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine all muffin ingredients & mix together. In a different bowl, mix together streusel topping. Fill in greased muffin pan with batter. Sprinkle with topping. bake 12-15 minutes or until totthpick comes out clean.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Creative, creatif,, creativo

So here I am in the midst of my life. I had a horrible spring, weather included. I was hoping summer would be cool but not in terms of the weather. I have to admit I feel very creative and crazy this summer. My schedule will be full for the next year as I have decided to finish my minor in Spanish.

I enjoy doing this daily blog too. It is a distraction from the Spanish work. I am amazed at how much I remember in Spanish and also how little I do know in Spanish at the same time. I am also taking a class with college aged kids and it is an interesting dynamic being the oldest BY FAR in the class. In fact, 1 girl said she was born the year I started college back in 1987!

I hope I have the energy to keep it up. I do know that I have good kids,a supportive husband and lots of help from parents and friends. Maybe this crazy Michigan summer which is keeping me out the sun is helping too.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Blog bog

O.k., o.k. nobody reads my blog. I feel like I am in a blog bog. What is the next step? How do I get people out there to read about my so-called life? Do I advertise? Do I create a link? I could put up daily pics of myself to entice you each day. It would be what does this mom look like today? Can you tell if she has showered or not? Plus why the pony tail again? This woman is close to 40, can't she do her hair??

I tried yesterday to add a scroll bar. Let's just say it is a work in progress. Hubby, where are you? I need someone who can do something with a computer other than bang on the keys like me.

So what is it going to take to create an audience? Will they ever comment if they do read it? Should I add pretty photos like I see in Soule Mama's http://www.soulemama.com/blog?
Should I tell you where the freebies are on the net like Motherload-the mom advice does?
http://www.momadvice.com/blog/
Or should I try to convince you to be frugal like the Frugal Upstate Blog?
http://frugalupstate.blogspot.com/
I'll do anything, just visit moi.

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