Thursday, December 8, 2016

Freya is 2!

Where did the time go?
Can't believe this little munchkin is 2 today. My little fiery Freya who loves Frozen, to sing and dance, and can convince anyone to join in on the fun. The world, or at least the toy aisle at Walmart, is her stage. She will sing a Frozen song any chance she can get. She surprises me every day with all the things she does. Today might be her second birthday but she acts like she is 10. She has shown her strong personality since she was 3 months old. This girl walks to the beat of her own drum. As much as she looks up to her sister, she does her own thing. She is my little toughy that can pick herself back up when she falls down, she doesn't take crap from anyone (unfortunately me included), and always willing to try something new. To my tiny little Norse warrior Freya, Happy Birthday!!!♡♡♡

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Been M.I.A. for the Summer.

It's been a difficult summer. I had so many plans and it's already the end of July. My oldest returns to school in a few weeks and we've accomplished nothing on that list. This summer has been full of virus after virus. My oldest actually missed the whole last week of school because of hand, foot, and mouth.

It seems like one by one we get sick. Then once we are all better it takes a week for us to get our house back in order. Then we catch something else all together and the cycle continues. I've tried immune boosting vitamins for all of us but the baby. She is still nursing so she get immune boosts from me. But still we keep getting sick.

It's not just things that are contagious. My husband hurt his neck and was unable to turn his head. He had to turn his whole upper body. Poor guy was like that for a week. He still isn't 100%. I went through a case of fatigue so bad I was just falling asleep randomly. I had to fight to stay awake. That lasted for two weeks. That was at the end of May and first week in June.

My birthday was June 1st. I spent it in the emergency room with sever pain in my abdomin. Apparently I was passing kidney stones. The next few days was completely laid up in pain but when my kidney stones pain past so did my fatigue, go figure.

So really since May we've been dealing with this or that. I haven’t had a moment of free time to write a single blog post. I will get back to writing posts after my house gets cleaned, so never. *wink*

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

It's Free Fun Fridays again!!!

Rather than posting exactly my post from last year with updates, I will spare you the details. However, I will post the 2016 Free Fun Fridays list from the Highland
Street Foundation.

If interested, you can read my post from last year at Battleship Cove

Friday, May 27, 2016

Summer is Coming!!!

We live in New England so while the rest of the country is out of school now, we are still in school and making up snow days. Our school district has the last day of school on June 17th. With tomorrow's temperature reaching 90`f it feels like summer.

It's interesting to hear the difference between parents at the bus stop in regards to the summer break. Some can't wait until they can sleep in and slow down in the morning. Some can't wait for vacations, traveling, vacation homes, and getting things done.

Some dread the summer break. They are usually the ones that would then have to pay for daycare while they work during the day. While some are saving up for a trip to Disney these parents are saving up for camps and daycare so they can continue to work.

We no longer have a community. We no longer have one working parent and one at home. It's rare to see stay at home parents now. So think about all those kids that don't get to wake up when they want, they don't get to run the streets like our generation did. They don't get to eat every meal in the backyard and live in the pool all day.

So, my challenge for those stay at home parents out there is this. Take one of your child's friends who would otherwise go to daycare during the summer for a sleep over during the week. Let them sleep in, serve breakfast outside, spend all day doing fun summer things like running through a sprinkler or have a water gun fight. It's their vacation, help them have a long summer day not just on the weekend. It feels so much better when you know you should be in school but you're free.

We should all be working towards building back a community. Including someone else is a step forward in rebuilding a sense of "us" instead of it always being about "me".

Thursday, May 12, 2016

My PSA for Moms

Apparently moms fall into two different categories, laid-back moms or pinterest queen moms. One thinks it's silly and a waist of time to try to make your kids childhood magical. They don't care for the pinterest queen who find laid-back mom lazy. See pinterest queen goes above and beyond to cut every sandwich into animal shapes and build forts out of pvc and weather proof material they special ordered. This back and forth judgements are found in every mommy bloggers page. It's sad that we judge if not this then helicopter vs free range, breast vs bottle, cloth vs disposable diapers, homeschooling vs public schooling, etc.

I certainly don't do no GMO, organic, foods only but I do try to cut back on sodium, and vegetables with high amounts of pesticides but I don't sweat it. I do watch my kids like a hawk but I make them order their own food (when Freya can talk she will) and have moments that they get the independence they need to be adults someday. I love throwing themed parties but I enjoy it, I don't feel obligated. I use what I have for projects because I'm teaching my kids how to be resourceful and make do with what they have. We reuse things and value what we have rather than always making a fuss about the latest and greatest.

I don't think mom's should be one way or the other but rather we should walk somewhere in the middle. Childhood is fleeting and if we can make it fun then we should but there should be a lesson there one that teaches children how to see things differently and be creative. Guide children don't force them, don't do it all. Hold their hand and show them what they need to do. Those memories will be just as important to you as it is for them. So don't sweat it, magic can happen in the simplest act of giving them your time and attention. Put down the phone, step away from the computer, leave pinterest alone and use your own imagination and just be mom!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Memories Are Funny Like That

I'm writing this post because I'm the type of person that thinks symbolically. I see the patterns within the chaos that is life. My measurement of time is not based on days, weeks, months, years, but rather moments of related coquidences that seem to happen within a single stretch of time.

Today, there has been a theme, all conversations and thoughts have all brought me to the subjects of memories. From conversation at the bus stop to Facebook friends clear across the country, there seems to be that people are reflecting and recalling deeply buried thoughts they had nearly forgotten about. It's interesting how people that have no way of knowing each other are talking about similar things all within the subject of memories. My own thoughts have been triggered to think about memories though out today.

Today started out a difficult day. After a busy week and a even busier weekend I had fallen behind on my house work. My little girl had been restless all night keeping Mommy and Daddy wake all night. I struggled to start my Monday more so than my usual Monday. Once my oldest was off to school I was faced with the daughting task of cleaning a pile of dishes from entering friends last night and with four kids in a small space things  got messy with the toys. I also had a mountain of laundry and a little girl that didn't want to be put down. I could only handle so much screaming! I had to call for reenforcements!

It was Nana to the rescue! She arrived with coffee and donuts! Just what Mommy needed, coffee! The donut actually got the little Miss to sit in her highchair so cleaning could get done. Also, I was out of dishwasher soap so she brought a bottle with her so I wouldn't have to hand wash all those dishes. Hurray!

My mom is great! She can clean anything in no time. What I thought would take hours upon hours to do took 45 minutes. Between scrubbing dishes and folding laundry we talked about so many things, politics, food, my parents remodeling their house. But the topic we discussed the most was memories. Her memories, my memories, things we did together. It's one of my favorite things to do is reminisce with my mom. It keeps those memories fresh and vibrant in my mind.

Strangely, I received a message from my friend that I met at work over a decade ago asking if I remember the name of a co-worker from 10 or 11 years ago. It wasn't someone either of us talked to often so she wasn’t someone I would have remembered anyhow. I remembered her face and some facts about her but her name escaped me. He said this co-worker was in his dream last night and he can't remember her name for the life of him. He had nearly forgotten this girl but deep in his subconscious he remembered her and that is why she could be recalled for his dream. It's strange how we both remembered her likes, what she did after work, the time she colored her hair red, or that she worked specific days during the week yet we couldn't remember her name.

After my mom left, the little one was taking a nap and hubby took the oldest to dance class I opened up the living room window to let in some fresh spring air. It's the day after May day which bring my attention to the changing scenery out my window. The maple tree outside my window has the first signs of leaves poking out of those tiny yellow flowers that broke free of those buds I waited to see all winter. There is change in the air and it smells earthy and rich. The rain water is slowly dripping from the tiny leaves and following down onto the alley way below my apartment window. It brought me back, for that moment to a time when I was seven years old living in the city of Boston in a apartment. It was a flash of a memory, what the view from my living room window was 26 years ago. I remember then watching rain drip off of fresh spring maple leaves falling to the cement parking lot below and smelling that fresh earthy smells of spring showers.

It's funny how your brain can take you back to any given moment triggered by anything really. All these thoughts about memories made me think, how will my children remember their childhood? I think back to moment, like during my oldest daughter's first few years of life. We were so much more spontaneous then. We got do things with little planning and find fun things to do that didn't require much at all. We hiked trails, we drove to historical sites, we would walk the beach. But that changed as our life changed and for a moment I forgot how different and simpler things were then. Now our time is scheduled and limited. My little girl is growing up with a completely different type of parents then her sister did. We can no longer stay out late or do much during the week because of her sister’s school and her father's work schedule. Things are different and I nearly forgot that.

With all this thought surroundings the subject of memories I figured I would write it down. Something is pointing me in the direction of self reflection. Maybe there is a lesson in the past that needs to be revisited now in my life. During such a time of change and growth I would not doubt the universe was trying to get my attention and my brain is seeing something that I have to explore deeper. I hope all of you out there surviving staying at home take a moment to reflect and see the simple beauty in the mysteries of life.

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Amazing Way I Cleaned Grout!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Moving into my apartment I did what I thought was enough to clean the tiled kitchen and bathroom. I used a mop and some floor cleaner thinking it was enough. I figured my floors were clean and there wasn't much for deep ground in dirt, BUT I WAS WRONG!

I decided to try something I read online to clean the grout in the kitchen. After a painting craft I got some paint stuck on the grout that I hoped to loosen with a good cleaner. I used Lysol toilet cleaner just along the grout lines between each tile. I let it sit for a small while and the results were shocking!

This WAS my tiled kitchen and what I thought was dark grout.

I was shocked that just wiping away the cleaner revealed this....

OMG! What a difference!

My first impression was "Wow! the grout looks great!" then I went "Oh, how gross! That's been sitting on my grout all this time! Ewww!" Next thought was, "Better do the bathroom!"

This was the bathroom...

Want to clean your grout like I did, check out my video...

Needless to say, I completely recommend this! However, make sure you do a little bit at a time. Its messy to wipe up and the smell can get overwhelming. My kitchen and bathroom is very small so I was able to do it all at once. Also, there is research that says that these types of cleaning solutions are very harmful so be extremely careful to keep children far away and make sure the area is well ventilated. I also recommend using gloves. I used gloves except during the video because my gloves were blue and it seemed odd. But it is important to remember safety first!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Raising My Daughter Is No Different Than You Raising Your Son!

My oldest daughter in her Easter dress
My oldest daughter at 13 months
I often hear (and heard when my oldest daughter was little), "Well, at least you have it easy, she is a girl." Or "You are going to have so much fun dressing your daughter up and doing her hair." I believed this with my first daughter. My first born, Morrigan, was that stereotypical little girl that loved dolls and tea parties. From the moment she learnt to walk she walked with grace and poise. She twirled in dresses, loved pretty hats, and a simple song would quiet her down in a heart beat. My oldest posed perfectly for photos for as long as can remember. Her hands were always clean and her face was rarely messy as she used to raise her little hands in the air for me to wipe them clean before she even had words to ask. She was that little girl that everyone thinks a little girl should be. I assumed that this was because she was a girl. This timid, shy, quiet, calm, cautious child was the result of the influence of her gender.

How naive I was!

Being a girl doesn't mean my daughters should be any certain way. They don't HAVE to love dresses, or their hair being done. They don't HAVE to pose pretty or keep their face clean. They don't HAVE to sit still and play with dolls. They don't HAVE to be cautious and compliant.None of those things should ever define a girl!

Yet we have certain standards for each gender. Girls should have tea parties with their dolls and boys should race around the house with their super hero action figure screaming wildly. What I have learnt from my youngest daughter is those "standards", those stereotypes are incredibly false! Some boys will rather sit still and play quietly and some girls will make your heart jump into your throat when they jump off the couch because they think they can fly.

My youngest daughter
My youngest daughter, Freya,
Still and quiet
is that kid, that girl that doesn't act "girly". She has always been a bundle of energy. As she gets older this energy increases and I see more of the girl she really is. She is the complete opposite of her sister. Her sister started talking at a very early age and just completely blew me away with how fast she was able to develop an amazing vocabulary. My second daughter just got up and started running at 9 months old. There were not wobbly steps, in a weeks time she was speeding around the living room. She has been climbing all over things since she could crawl. Sitting on her little foam couch she would suddenly throw herself over the back of it. Her face is always messy as she eats like the Beast from Disney's Beauty and the Beast, you know, just drives in face first into a bowl of soup. I don't know whether to hand her a fork or a snorkel. Forget dresses, I can't seem to keep this kid dressed. Its a struggle getting her dressed in the morning then every diaper change turns into an epic battle. At first I was just giving up on getting her pants back on. But then we had developed the "Freya must wear pants" rule after she started taking off her diaper and I had to scrub pee off my rug.

My super hero second born
There is also a difference in the toys she picks. Don't get me wrong, my oldest played with dinosaurs, trains, cars, and action figures. She has many little boy cousins that she grew up closely with so she is no stranger to playing with the boys. But she still always preferred her Princess tea parties and stuff animals.My youngest, however, prefers her cars, her pirate ship riding push toy, and her throwing balls (or anything else she feels like throwing). She races around the living room with her Jake and the Neverland Pirates pirate ship with her stuffed Izzy and Jake's spyglass. She likes pretending to fly like a super hero. I twirl her around in the air with a cape (a towel tucked into her shirt) on her back. She grabs at my legs so I will pick her up and then throws her head back to tell me to spin her around. She loves being tosses and twirled and hung upside while I blow raspberries on her belly.

Laundry wasn't going as planned
Can you find my baby?
You would think having a brand new DSLR camera would mean I would be taking more photos of my youngest than my first. But just as many second children find, the first always gets more photos. I have tried, believe me, but what I get is a big blur. Then came the acting silly instead of smiling. Most of my photos of my youngest is of her sleeping because its the only time she holds still long enough for my shutter to capture the human tornado that is my Freya.

My oldest first words were kitty, girls (her name for the princesses), and baby. My youngest first words are no and stop it! She is just always getting into trouble. My oldest used to climb into her toy box to play. My youngest crawls into her toy box to climb up to the TV in order to smack the screen. She also likes to headbutt the wall when she gets mad. Then there is the attempts of either scaling the baby gate or pushing and pulling until she can pull the gate down as she screams this animal like screech. She is that kid no one wants to babysit, not even my husband is confident enough to be alone with her as she will get herself in trouble at a blink of an eye.

My youngest has shown me that there is no "girl" things or "boy" things. We as a society create the major differences that between genders. I was in a store recently looking in the toy aisle with my girls when we passed a older woman with two boys one I will say was a between one and two years old and the other was about 4 or so. The 4 year old asked for the Frozen play-doh set that was next to us. I heard the woman say that it was a "girly" toy and that he needs to find something in the "boy's aisle" The play-doh was not in the aisle with the Barbies, it was in with all the rest of the play-doh and games. I looked at the set, it had Anna, Olaf, and Sven.They left the aisle and then the boy comes running back. He picks up the Frozen play-doh set and goes running back. Soon the woman returns with the boys and made the 4 year old put it back. She said "I am not buying you a girl's toy, I don't care! Now go pick something out that is a boy's toy. I don't know why you would want a girl's toy." I was shocked that she had such negative things to say, being a woman and all. But this child obviously knew the movie, probably enjoyed it, just because the main characters are girls doesn't mean that a boy can't relate to the story or the characters. I felt for that boy, he really didn't understand what this woman, presumably his grandmother, was saying. He just wanted a play-doh set from the movie Frozen. But again, society creates these separations in genders.

The truth is that children are different, they are as different as every adult. No one can say why a child rather play as a Princess or play as Hulk.Not every child cares whether their hands are clean or dirty. Some children can sit and watch a movie from the moment their eyes can adjust to a TV screen and some gets too anxious sitting still for that long. Some children love reading others rather build a tower of blocks and then smash it down. It all depends on the child. Its not parenting styles, its not gender, its just personality. Children should not be treated differently because of their gender. But I will say that each child needs the room to grow into who they are. You do have to handle each child differently, not all children respond the same way to learning, discipline, encouragement, and attention. Parents need to remember that their children are little people with their own personalities. We should hold our children's hands and tell them we will love them no matter what their choices are. We need to stop deterring children away from things based on gender or because we would rather our children do something else. Letting our children be individuals while guiding them safely through life is what parenting should be about. So whether my youngest plays with Barbies or Spiderman that is completely up to her. I will buy what she wants, I will treat her the way she wants, and I will love the differences in my girls. So I might not be able to do my youngest's hair when ever she grows any, I never liked doing hair anyways!