Fireworks and Currently

Another nice thing about our deck, is that we’re close enough to watch the city’s fireworks every year… not super close (had to zoom in a bit), but close enough. ;)  They aren’t perfect and most are a tad blurry, but I like how so many of them look like flowers… so….

Fireworks1

Currently:

Reading

Still reading ‘Life After Life’ by Kate Atkinson, but I’ve also added a few other books as well.  Don’t ask me why since I rarely have any time to read.  I’m happy to say that ‘Life After Life’ has gotten more interesting as I’ve gotten further into it.  The concept is unique and it’s also a bit thought-provoking as you watch and wait to see what the main character (Ursula) will change as she is reborn again and again.

 

I’m just about finished listening to ‘Outliers’, so I don’t know that it really counts as reading. I tend to think not, but it’s nice to have something to listen to in the car.  So far it’s been really fascinating and dives into what is behind the success of some of the most successful people in the United States (past and present).  One of the biggest things really just seems to be circumstance. Sure, hard work helps, but if the right circumstances don’t present themselves… too bad?  As much as I wanted to say how ridiculous that was and deny that some people just don’t stand a chance despite their brilliance or otherwise… the more I thought about it, it actually makes sense.  So, take advantage of any opportunities that come your way!

Watching

As far as television series go – nothing new here. I’ll keep you posted if we decide to try anything new.  We’ve watched a few movies, though, including ‘The Lego Movie.’  I think going into this I had pretty high expectations because of all the hype, so maybe that wasn’t fair. I’m going to say it, though… I wasn’t all that impressed. Sure, it had some clever moments and the incredible randomness made sense in the end, but I still really felt kind of “meh” overall.  I also finally watched ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel,’ which I very much enjoyed. A wonderful cast as can always be expected of a Wes Anderson film, and I was not let down.

Eating

Working on cutting back on sugar, salt, breads, etc. I started a program recently designed specifically for moms since it really focuses on your core and regaining that strength by offering exercises that won’t make DR (diastasis rectis) or in my case, my umbilical hernia worse than it is already.  I’ll do a blog post on that later. In the meantime, though, I’ve had a few major cheats, but I’m getting better about paying attention to what I’m eating and really making an effort to add in more good-for-me foods.  I’m not stressing about the slip-ups, though.  Some days I may still have 2 cups of coffee and I might just eat that donut.  ;)  I’m fully aware that it’s up to me if I want to change the way I look, and maybe over the next week or so I’ll make more of an effort.

Loving

Being a mom. I’ll fully admit that some days I can’t wait until everyone is asleep because we’re all cranky and tired or whatever, but most days are fun. Enzo has reached that toddler point where he’s always coming up with something new and can be really imaginative, and I LOVE it!  There are also times where his tantrums are over something so ridiculous that it’s really hard not to laugh and we have to quickly turn around and take a deep breath and not let him see.  Phoebe is also a lot of fun, but has reached that point where she doesn’t want her nose wiped or her face and hands, and there’s a lot of that some days.  Every day they give me some reason to smile, though, and what more can you ask for than that?

Thinking About

My upcoming hernia surgery – woot!?  It’s really not a big deal. Fast recovery, but Enzo will not be happy that I can’t pick him up very often and not at all in the beginning.  Otherwise, I’m also thinking about family coming to visit, and it was the perfect push to get us to rearrange a little downstairs.  Josh and I decided to split up our offices, so mine is now combined with the guest bedroom/Josh’s games.  We thought about trying to combine Josh with the guest room and his games, but since he often works from home, it isn’t a good arrangement for his office to share the guest room. I’m just glad we’re finally getting things really organized. Those two rooms have been the scary zone of the house for about a year now.  That’s kind of sad.

Now, if you want a bunch of firework flowers… Read More. Continue reading

Definitely not crunchy, but chewy.

I’m not talking about peanut butter, but parenting. We don’t really classify ourselves as anything when it comes to parenting, but if we were, I think we’d fall into the “chewy” category since we’re kind of all over the place and really just do what is best for our family.  We had to use formula, we use disposable diapers, sometimes I make baby food, but often we buy organic baby food when we aren’t doing some form of BLW (baby led weaning). We have a couple of strollers, but also baby carriers because I like to wear Phoebe – it’s often easier and she usually enjoys it.  We vaccinate our kids who are in day care full-time, and while they have their own beds, they slept almost exclusively in ours for the first 6 months. So, I thought today we’d talk about bed-sharing and why we like it so much.

Lovey

A lot of parents do a form of co-sleeping with their babies for the first few month, most often in the form of a crib or bassinet in the same room, which is also what we started with in the beginning.  We actually bought a king-size bed when Enzo was small just so that it would be big enough for all 3 of us, which might sound strange to some people, but it has worked really well for us.  I think we started putting Enzo in our bed just because it was so much easier than the bassinet and he slept better.  Neither Josh or I move around a lot when we sleep so we never worried about squashing him by accident.  When he was 6 months old, we decided to move him to his own bed simply because he started moving around a lot and we weren’t sleeping well.  To this day, though, he sometimes ends up in our bed – whether it be due to not feeling well or having a bad dream… or whatever it may be.  The same with Phoebe as well.  For the most part she primarily sleeps in her crib, but on bad nights we just bring her into our room because it’s far less disruptive than having to get up and go check on her multiple times.

SleepyBoys

The thing I love about bed-sharing (even though the kids aren’t there as often anymore) was/is that it’s great bonding time for us. Josh and I work full-time, so it was especially nice to have the kids close when they were babies. We’re also the kind of family that likes to just pile up in bed where it’s nice and comfy and all cuddle and watch a movie.  Even during the week, I’d often much rather just get comfy in bed to watch TV then to go downstairs and sit on the couch. I know some people consider their bedroom (and bed especially) to be their sacred private space, and I totally understand that… for me, that’s just kind of changed, though. I get ready for work in my bathroom, so it’s not uncommon for one or both of the kids to be in our room hanging out while I do that, and I really hope that never changes. I always want our kids to feel welcome to come and talk to us about anything and everything, and while I’m not against closed doors, I want ours to be as open as possible.  We’ll teach the kids to respect our space and each others’ space, but I hope we have a great many more snuggle fests in our big “family” bed for years to come.

Snackininbed

Now, in terms of safety – I really don’t bed-sharing is unsafe. As with anything, it can be done safely or unsafely, it’s just a matter of knowing how to do it the right way.  There are so many resources out there, and I encourage families to do what is right for them.

Friday Funday!

Happy Weekend!

I may be the only one who finds stuff like this interesting, but as a parent, I think this annual report on how kids are doing across the U.S. is really intriguing.

I’ve seen this a few times this week, but an artist recreates his childhood doodles as digital illustrations.

What word describes you today?  I’m wise. ;)

And a great Word Count infographic because I love me some infographics. See the full graphic by clicking below.

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Essential Oils – Brief Intro

Lavender

Over the past few months I’ve been found a new and deep love of essential oils, and while I don’t know what prompted this interest, it’s been fascinating and my long-term goal is to become a certified aromatherapist. I’m sure many of you have seen a lot of links in which essential oils are mentioned whether it be for cleaning recipes or otherwise. Basically, essential oils (for those who don’t know) are highly concentrated essences of a plant. The essence of a plant is its smell, which comes from special little cells and glands within a plant and then is extracted to create the oil. Different plants have different healing properties and while some smell quite pleasant, others may be a tad stinky, depending on your preferences.

Because of this interest, I thought I’d share it, and a few of the common misconceptions out there at the same time.

Essential oils are wonderful and natural, so they are a nice alternative to modern medicine, but not all oils are safe for everyone.  Precaution is most important around young children and even pets. It is not even recommended to use oils on children under 2, and if so, they should be extremely diluted. Oils such as peppermint and eucalyptus are not even recommended under the ages of 5 and 10 because they can cause breathing problems (see link below). Many MLM companies do not give these precautions and even encourage using essential oils neat (undiluted) or by ingesting them. Please do not ingest essential oils unless you have been advised by a certified aromatherapist or physician to do so. Some oils can cause liver damage and other problems over time if ingested regularly. In fact, essential oils are most beneficial when inhaled or diffused – you don’t even need to apply them to the skin for them to work!

The best oils must be the most expensive. Definitely not true, although many MLM companies might have you think so.  Claims that their oils are pure and therapeutic/food-grade are unsubstantiated and there are some wonderful companies out there that sell quality oils at a fraction of the price.

I think everyone should do their own research when it comes to anything regarding your health and wellness, and that goes for remedies of any kind, whether it be holistic or over-the-counter.  While essential oils are natural and can be used in a very safe manner, there is a lot of misinformation out there, and I felt like I should make a PSA for anyone who happens upon my blog.  I plan on always using Essential Oils in a safe manner and plan to get properly educated so I can feel confident that I’m creating safe blends for others to use.  I’ve had a lot of enjoyment creating blends for my own family over the past few months such as a sleep-aid for Josh (which must work because not even the babies fussing have woken him up lately), a tummy lotion for Enzo (over the age of 2, there are a lot of kid friendly essential oils), and even an eczema blend for Phoebe using hydrosols.

Kids and Essential Oil Safety

Another link about Kids and Essential Oil Safety

Therapeutic Grade Oils

Hydrosols 

Update on our furry friends.

Lest anyone should think the fur balls are unwell, they are in fact doing quite fine. We even got them a new cat tree since they spend so much time downstairs and could use some more places to hang out and sharpen their claws on.

CatNap

While these pictures are a few weeks old, we do have some rare moments where they both will hang out upstairs even if the kids are present.  Both of the kids get so excited to see the cats that it’s hard to explain why Ziggy always runs away and why Uzi sometimes will allow affection and sometimes won’t.  Cats are fickle creatures. Since Phoebe is sitting up all the time now, photos like the above will happen less and less.

ZiggyCat

I suppose we just have ot keep luring them into the play room with treats and catnip in order to keep everyone amused. Apparently Enzo’s room still smells like cantip after the last time I put some in there because Uzi randomly went in there the other day and sprawled out on the floor. Enzo, as you can probably guess, is very pleased when that happens.

Uzicat

I’m constantly making the cats older than they actually are, but I think that Uzi is at least 10 years old, which would make Ziggy around 12 years old.  I think.  Somewhere I have paperwork of some kind that will end the mystery, or my sister will be able to tell me the year we got him because she’s much better at remembering things like numbers and I got him right after we moved into our first place together.  Anyhoo… the cats are alive and well, although apparently the average cat only lives to be 12-15 years?? That can’t be right since our last cat lived to be 21 years old.  Okay, so the cats are alive and well and most likely will be for a very long time. Random post complete.