They Like Me!

As a new blogger I was thrilled the first time someone clicked on my blog.  Getting my first comment was amazing.  My first follower blew my mind.  Finding out that more than one person has nominated me for a social blogging award… total warm fuzzies.

So for those of you who nominated me, THANK YOU!  Thank you for reading what I have to say.  Thank you for following me.  Thank you for sharing my page.  Thank you for nominating me.

  1. First up is Laura from Jet Set Brunette, she nominated me for a “One Lovely Blog Award.”  I’ve poked my head over to her blog a handful of times and I’m looking forward to hearing about lots of fun adventures (and more pics of the fur babies).
  2. Next is Anna from Apparently Anna.  She also nominated me for a “One Lovely Blog Award.”  She blogs about a little of everything, which is just the way I like it.
  3. Jessica at Send Sunshine nominated me for a “Liebster Award.”  To be honest I hadn’t really stopped by her blog before the nomination, but I’m looking forward to checking it out.  Jessica is an author, and her blog is comprised motivational quotes and positive thoughts.  We all need more or those some days.
  4. Finally there is Jen at Staying Mom.  She is an expat living down in Australia, and while I’ve popped over once or twice I’m really looking forward to getting to know her.
  5. While writing this post I was nominated by Berryduchess at (you guessed it) Berryduchess.  This is another quirky and fun blog I’ve only just begun to discover.  I’m a follower, and you should check her out as well.
One Lovely Blog

Want to see my response? Click the image above.

The One Lovely Blog Award nominations are chosen by fellow bloggers for those newer or up-and-coming bloggers. The goal is to help give recognition and to also help the new blogger reach more viewers. It also recognizes blogs that are considered to be “lovely” by the fellow-blogger who chose them. This award acknowledges bloggers who share their story or thoughts in a beautiful manner to connect with their viewers and followers. In order to “accept” the award the nominated blogger must follow several guidelines.

  • Thank the person who nominated you for the award.
  • Add the One Lovely Blog Award logo to your post and/or blog.
  • Share 7 facts/or things about yourself.
  • Nominate 15 bloggers you admire and inform nominees by commenting on their blog.
Liebster Award

Want to see my response? Click the image above.

The Liebster Award nominations are pretty similar to the One Lovely Blog nominations.  We give his reward to fellow new-ish bloggers (with less than 200 followers) to help them reach more viewers.  In order to “accept” this reward the nominated blogger must follow the guidelines below.

  • Thank the person who nominated you for the award and link back to their blog.
  • Add the Leibster Award logo to your post and/or blog.
  • Share 11 random facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 11 bloggers who you feel deserve this award (and have less than 200 followers).
  • Answer 11 questions posted by the presenter and ask your nominees 11 questions.

I’ve started my responses but there is still more work to be done.  If you want to see what I have written, please click on the images above.  

photo credit: “Trophies” by Brad.K licensed under CC BY 4.0


Always Read Labels

Because we were all running super late getting home from work and forgot to plan for dinner last night, the hubby and I decided it would be a good idea to go out to eat.  What is the healthiest kid friendly option around?  I have no clue, we decided to go eat wings.

So dinner is going great, my husband and I get our wings, the girls get their nuggets and sauce (Honey BBQ yummy) and I start cutting up nuggets for the baby.  While this is going on my eldest drops her nugget in her BBQ.  Normally, my husband and I are not OK with her drowning her food in whatever sauce she is using, but we realize she is three and accidents happen.  My husband helps her fish the piece out with a fork and she takes a giant bite.

This is why it is so important to read labels… that Sweet BBQ sauce my child just took a giant fork full of… yeah not Sweet BBQ.  It was Habanero BBQ Sauce.  Said so right on the container.

Needless to say she freaked the fuck out.

For those of you who aren’t aware of habanero…. it isn’t an instantaneous spice reaction.  It builds in time.  Slowly growing until your mouth feels like the surface of the sun and all the liquids inside you try to escape from you skin, nose, and eyes.

Yeah… that was fun.

While this is going on my youngest is happily munching on her chicken.  Until she spies the container of seasoning that was placed in the danger zone.  If you have kids you know what this “Danger Zone” is if you don’t… it is the area that is within arm’s reach of your child, including an extra six inches in case by some voodoo magic that only babies in toddlers contain they are able to contort their body in a way to make their arms extra long.  I don’t know how it works, but being short that would be a super handy skill.

I look over with just enough time to watch her grab a handful of super salty vinegar seasoning and put it in her mouth.

Now I have two kids freaking the fuck out.

My husband and I look at each other between consoling our children and helping them to guzzle water and milk.  We laugh.  What else can you do really?

In case anyone was wondering we did notify the restaurant of their mistake and they were extremely apologetic and went above and beyond with making amends.  We were understandably upset by this honest mistake, but realize it was an honest mistake.  Our children have no lasting damage.  Probably.

photo credit: “Sauces” by Angelina Earley, “Be My Sweet Honey Love” by Purple Sherbet Photography, and “Hot” by Josh licensed under CC BY 4.0

Hello Bathroom Lady

Ever run into a crazy person in close quarters?  Somewhere you can’t escape even if you wanted to?  This happened to me recently.

I was at an early morning meeting all the way on the other side of town (read – I had to wake up before the ass crack of dawn was even a thing) and had just gone into the restroom to wash my hands after eating some yummy and sticky breakfast treat.  I didn’t want to be there because it was super early in the morning and I knew it was going to be one of those meetings.  The ones that end up a bitch session and zero progress is made on the issue at hand.  Yeah…

Anyway, I go into the bathroom and there is a striking and eccentric looking woman who is fixing herself up in the mirror.  Everything about her screamed over the top… her hair, her clothing, her jewelry, her bags… she drew your attention and really filled the space.  So naturally I opened my mouth and complimented her on one of her rings.

“What’s wrong, honey?”  Was her reply.  I was in a sharing mood and was trying to avoid my meeting anyway, told I her about the meeting that was about to begin and that I hadn’t slept well because of my kids.

“That isn’t it.  There is something else going on in your life that is draining your energy.  You are in a relationship that is causing you stress…”  Ummm….. OK…. Backing away slowly.  I’m stuck in the bathroom with this woman… what do I do?  Do I hide in a stall?  She is probably one of those people who will talk to you when you are peeing… that won’t make this any less awkward.  She is between me and the door, knocking her over and running away isn’t really an option either (especially with my meeting right across the hall).

She keeps talking, telling me she is a life coach, that she has a gift, that something about me made her talk to me.  I start to panic.

“Starting over wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world,” she says “you are a positive person but there is something in your life that is holding you back.  You need to let that go.”

And just like that she is gone.

Since that morning I have been thinking about this interaction, I have been thinking about what she had to say, and I have been thinking about my life.

There is some truth in what she had to say.  There are a lot of forces in my life that are preventing me from being all that I can be, that are keeping me wrapped in negativity.  Bat shit crazy or not, I do think it was something that I needed to hear.  I needed a reminder that I need to learn to let things go.  I needed a reminder that I can’t let external forces bring me down.  I need to stay positive, for myself.

Maybe her gift wasn’t that far off after all.

photo credit: “Women Only” by Dick Vos licensed under CC BY 4.0

A Sickly Child

So my youngest is sick.  Again.

As a mother I worry, I have compassion, I want nothing more than to wrap her in my arms and cuddle her until whatever random virus she has is gone.

As the mother of a child that gets sick a lot, I think I’ve done something wrong.  Am I not keeping our home germ free?  Is there something wrong with our daycare?  Is there something wrong with our child?

As a working mother I feel frustrated.  Why is she sick AGAIN?  Is she really sick enough that she needs to stay home?  If I send her to daycare will I be that mom?  I can’t miss anymore work, I’ve already fallen behind.

All three are a part of me, all three fight for dominance, and no… they can’t just get along.

Finding balance is something all parents struggle with.  Not one of those mothers is completely right, not one of those mothers is completely wrong.  They all have a voice.  A voice that is valid, and a voice that should be listened to.  Mothers of today, parents of today, have to wear many hats.  I’ve only got one head.  Most people I know only have one head.  How is this supposed to work?

I don’t have the answers, and no one else does.  We just do the best we can with what we’ve got.  For now, it is time to put away the computer and cuddle my baby.  I’ll worry about those other mothers later.

photo credit: “Virus” by Laura Billings licensed under CC BY 4.0

A View of My Pantry

Here is another prompt from Writing 101 that I’m putting my own spin on.

As it stands now my pantry is a small closet filled with boxes and bags with lots of bright colors and eye catching designs.  It isn’t particularly well organized, but there is a method to the madness.  Still… it is mostly madness.

The bottom of the pantry is filled with boxes of various kitchen appliances.  There is a food processor or two, a blender, an electric griddle, and other random things.  (No KitchenAid stand mixer though… maybe Christmas)  The things here almost all live in their boxes.  Taken out when there is a need and carefully replaced because they fit just so.  The lowest shelf… snacks.  Bags of dried fruits, trail mix, juice boxes, crackers.  Also some onions.  Because that is logic.

Above that… we have cereal, boxed foods, seasoning packets, canned goods, and spices.  It is the shelf that is most often used and the shelf that is most chaotic.  Digging through the envelopes cans and jars is annoying, and we often can’t find what we need when all is said and done anyway.  Hence the fact that we own at least two jars of dry mustard.  I hate mustard.

There is one shelf where this chaos is starting to change.  A small shelf where there are lots of clear square containers.  A small shelf where these containers are neatly labeled with chalkboard stickers that tell you exactly what ingredient can be found inside.  At first it was only a small part of the shelf… a container for Flour and Sugar… then a few more things like breadcrumbs and cornmeal… slowly expanding until it has filled nearly half of the shelf.  This is the part of the pantry that is for ingredients rather than boxes.  The “Real Food” part of the pantry if you will.

As it stands now this is just a small part of our pantry, but it is slowly expanding.  I don’t know how we are doing it, but this part of the pantry is also the area that is most organized.  Maybe it is the nice, simple, and uniform packaging.  Maybe it is that this area is still relatively small.  Maybe it is because this area is really much simpler to manage.   

Images provided by IDSA

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20 Minutes in my Mind

Today’s assignment in Writing 101 is to do stream of consciousness writing for 20 minutes.  That means I just write for 20 minutes and don’t go back and edit. Except spelling.  Because I’m a terrible speller.

Already I’m out of stuff to talk about.  20 minutes is a long time.  Like a really long time when you don’t know what to do or say. When you actually have stuff you want to do, 20 minutes goes by in a flash.  Funny how your mind does that to you.  Time is constant, but there are definitely times where it does seem to move much faster or slower.  I wonder why that happens?

Normally at this point I would run off and consult with Dr. Google about this, but I’ve got 17 more minutes of writing.  Did I mention that 20 minutes is an eternity?  Yeah… I thought I might have.

Let’s talk about pie.  I don’t really have anything to say about pie… I just like to throw that in there when I run out of stuff to say.  Small talk, filler, random thoughts, it is usually good for a chuckle.  We all do something similar when we want to fill those uncomfortable moments of silence.  For some reason people don’t like being surrounded by other people in silence.  People have to chat, or play on their phones, or read, or do anything that occupies their minds.  Silence is the enemy.  Silence is awkward.

But is it?  Is it really?  Some of the most profound moments in my life occurred in silence.  We were just there together, experiencing a moment.  I mean, there might have been stuff going in the background, but no words were spoken.  Sometimes it is just staring into the eyes of a person you love… the first moment I looked into my daughters’ eyes… silence… perfection.  Laying in the arms of my husband… no words, no expectations, just sharing space… silence… perfection.  There are many moments like this some momentous like the birth of a child, others simple pleasures that we more often than not don’t stop to appreciate.

There is no need for filler, for small talk.  Sometimes we just need to let go of the pressure and learn to just be.

I’ve got only a few minutes of time now… I started this exercise with a scattered brain… no point… bouncing from place to place… delaying real thoughtful reflection with attempts at levity.  I took a few moments to relax, to get over the pressure of having 20 whole minutes to fill.  I was afraid to let go, I was afraid I wouldn’t have anything to say, I was afraid it would be something silly or stupid.  In the end I found a small success, some happy memories, and a feeling of joy.

photo credit: “Time Spiral” by gadl licensed under CC BY 4.0

Blogging 101 and Writing 101

Starting next week I’m going to be taking the Blogging 101 and Writing 101 classes offered through “The Daily Post” on WordPress.  I’m really excited to start these, and think they will really help me get started with blog.  You can expect some fun and exciting changes in the next few weeks.  I might play with the layout again, add some fun new design elements, or change everything and start from scratch.  There will definitely be more posts…. hopefully a lot of new posts.

My favorite part?  Access to a community bloggers who are taking these classes with me.  I’m looking forward to meeting some new people and getting lots of peer reviews to help me.

For now, I’m keeping it short and sweet.

Here... have some sugar.

Here… have some sugar.

photo credit: “Sculpture” by wsilver and “Yummy Gum Drops!” by hmerinomx licensed under CC BY 4.0