On August 6th all of our collecting (dare I say hoarding) of backpacking gear was finally put to good use and we hiked to Upper Loch Leven Lake in the Tahoe National Forest. For our first loaded outing it was a hell of a hike, and we learned some valuable things.
Awhile ago I swore up and down I would start blogging as soon as summer rolled around. And then summer rolled around… and we went to the water park, the library, and David started scuba diving courses. We spent quite a bit of time up at Tahoe when he did various dives. Then I decided that I too would become scuba certified. So as of this past weekend I am now open water certified with NAUI. David… well he went a little crazy with it all and he’s now a certified rescue diver with NAUI. We have yet to go backpacking, but we have 2 in the works before fall hits (along with more dives, naturally).
The girls are slowly ramping up their homeschooling, and only whining about it roughly half the time. As stated before that slice of hell will be documented more in depth on my homeschooling blog, where I can assure you I will have a colorful metaphor laced vocabulary.
I’m really hoping to be in the swing of things soon though, and hopefully I’ll have pictures of some of our adventures to share!! 😀
As for my PSA…
I was cruising around on Pinterest, as I do often, and came across a recipe I decided to look at. In the comments section someone commented how their food didn’t look the same as the picture. The blogger made a remark about how it took a long time to fashion the food for pictures and that’s why it likely doesn’t look the same. While I am a photographer and I understand the whole concept of food styling I frankly don’t have the time nor the energy to spend forever making my food look picture perfect.
The pictures I post are of the food I am actually about to put into my face. Sometimes the lighting is sketchy, and if I’m really hungry you’re likely to get a picture from my iPhone. What you see is what you get.
The place setting you see is what is at my table that moment. Sometimes I may angle it if it’s totally heinous non-coordinating. Although maybe I shouldn’t since most of the time that is care of my 8 year old setting the table to look beautiful.
I’m all for people who do take their time to be meticulous for their blog, but that’s not my style. If you enjoy that much reality in your face on a food blog, then yay! If not, that’s cool too. 🙂
I realized not too long ago that I actually miss blogging. I miss trying new things, taking pictures, and sharing it with others. Between getting a job, being struck down by my GI disease and having part of my colon removed due to it, getting married, kids, my husband being back in school, and actively losing weight to reverse other things I’ve been diagnosed with in the last 24 months (PCOS and Hashimoto’s) … I have been worn out. I’m trying to get back into making as many things homemade as I can.
We (by we I mostly mean I) decided to homeschool this coming school year, and that slice of irreverent chronicling will take place over at Coffee Until Wine. Please be aware that my use of colorful metaphors there is substantially higher. There are a lot of homeschooling blogs that are very faith based and I am kind of the antithesis of all that. In an effort to keep Gingham Apron a little more friendly, with fewer colorful metaphors, I have created the separate blog for homeschooling. 🙂
Since things will be changing a lot for us with me ceasing to work in order to homeschool I have to hop back on the frugal make-all-the-things-at-home train. I’ve already begun making my own laundry detergent again, and I’m trying a new dishwasher detergent recipe as well. Food wise I have been filling my pails with gamma seal lids full of dried goods, and making more things from scratch – sourdough crackers, sourdough english muffins, sourdough pancakes, bread, yogurt, kombucha, “refried” beans, ricotta .. and pretty much anything else I can do on my own to cut costs.
Between now and summer I want to post once per week. Once traditional school it out I hope to post more often. I just need to find my groove in all this craziness.
We got all the big stuff moved on Saturday and slept here for the first time that night. Sunday was spent in part getting the last of the big stuff upstairs while we still had the appliance dolly. The moving truck was returned around noon. David made another run with the van on Sunday to get the electronics, and I’ve done smaller runs the last 3 days as well. There is perhaps another small-ish van load worth still in the garage, and a few things in our bedroom left to grab and then we are done moving stuff out!
Tomorrow with the help of my parents (again) I will start cleaning the old place. I don’t want to leave the evil bag in the office any reason to charge us. Though due to how much she hates me I’m pretty sure she will anyhow, but I’m going to photograph everything so if she tries to come at me I will be prepared.
David is not loving his longer commute. I on the other hand already feel so much more relaxed at home even with the moving mess still *very* evident pretty much everywhere. The girls are loving their own rooms. I have made dinner every night since Sunday, and I am loving all the extra kitchen space I have. We’ve had to improvise a bit on some things – like not having an actual pantry, and our bedroom being too small for David’s desk. I was hoping for a desk free living room, but that didn’t happen. I’m sure I’ll get over it. He did put my computer on the desk as well, so I get to use the proper computer chair, so really I can’t complain too much. 😛
Once I’ve got all the crazy tamed I’ll post pictures. It may be a few weeks. Girl Scout cookies arrive on Friday, science fair projects are due in just under 2 weeks, we have to officially be out of the old place on the 28th, and the very next day cookie booth sales start for my troop. Somewhere in there I’m going to squeeze in a sunrise shoot with some of the most awesome photographers I’ve had the pleasure of becoming friends with.
Speaking of… please click the picture below to see my photography blog and our most recent Photowalkers adventure. 🙂
In a previous post I mentioned how Nola has been giving me some major proud mommy moments recently. She’s done things like starting to play Imagine by John Lennon on her ukelele, loving music and reading that totally make me feel like we’re not doing nearly as bad at the whole parenting thing as I once thought. Because I’ll be honest, I’ve wondered a time or twenty if we (and by we I mean specifically me) haven’t somehow fucked up our children for life. It would seem that my fears are unfounded. *knock on wood* We’re not into the teen years yet, so I could end up having to eat my words.
That said, it was recently Marten Luther King Jr. Day, and afterwards Nola’s class watched a video about MLK Jr. and what he helped to accomplish. We had just left school and as per usual I asked them both how their day was, and Nola told me about the video and explained some of what she learned from it. My 9 year old 3rd grader was baffled at how people could have been so hateful. She knew that the way people were treated back then was unacceptable. The separate drinking fountains and not being permitted into certain stores, she couldn’t wrap her head around it. She questioned the adults that permitted it to happen, and knew that it was based purely in ignorance.
MY NINE YEAR OLD PEOPLE!!
How does a child have more wisdom than quite a number of adults I’ve met? Perhaps we would be well served by listening to our children when it comes to tolerance and acceptance. While I know there are some children who themselves are perpetuating and fostering hate, because I was bullied by such kids, I think that there are a lot children out there just like my daughter. We just need to sit down, shut up, and let them show us what we’re not seeing.
I don’t know that I was so damned smart at 9. Maybe my parents would say I was, but I don’t remember being so in touch with humanity. Nola has a great head on her shoulders, and a huge heart that I know will lead her to do great things in her life. Yeah, so she isn’t a huge fan of math. She would rather have her headphones on and attempt to knit, crafty kid after my own heart. The last few months have slowly begun to show me what an awesome girl she’s turning out to be, and I couldn’t be more proud.
Now to get the sibling rivalry, selective hearing, and occasional tantrum to come to and end… 😉
There is a blog post going viral right now. It’s been all over my Facebook feed in the last 18 hours. It needs to be read. Go read it… I don’t even care if you come back here, just go read it.
I had read this story last night. I’ve since read it two more times.
Sophia was laying in bed with me this morning and telling me how no on wants to play with her at recess. I asked her if she ever asked anyone to play, and she waffled a bit as to if she did or not. She’s afraid of asking one friend to play because she plays with her brother, and she’s unsure about the brother. I asked about another friend who has recess with her now and she tried to explain why she doesn’t really ask if she can play. She said she’s asked others and been told no. I told her that sometimes others will say no, and that’s okay, but at least she asked.
The thing is that while recess may not seem like a big deal to adults it is a HUGE deal to a 6 year old. It’s something she felt she needed to talk to me about during our special snuggle time in the morning while Nola showers. She’s not typically a shy child, and she seems to do just fine in the classroom both socially and academically.
What is the disconnect at recess?
Is it not as bad as she says?
Does her class aide see this?
Does it need to be addressed?
I had a moment of hesitation in considering having a talk with the aide, but after really letting the message of this viral blog post sink in I will be talking to the aide after school today. Sure, it’s just recess, and sure it could be a 6 year old being a little overdramatic … but it’s impacting her. As adults we so easily shrug things off, and we need to remember what it was like when we were kids, and how the things that seem inconsequential now were devastating as a child.
I sent the blog link to the assistant principal of the school, and hopefully she will share with the teachers. Luckily my girls attend a school that for the most part is very open and diverse, so things like clothes and lunches are not typically made fun of. Not like when Nola was in 1st grade and refused to take her favorite foods or wear her Keen sandals to school because kids ruthlessly made fun of her.
As a person who was bullied as a child I think that teacher is truly helping children in ways that would have helped me immensely. I applaud her, and I hope that anyone who cares about the well being of children will help ensure all educators see this Momastery blog post.
Well, it looks like moving day is getting bumped up. I’m in no way upset by this obviously. David’s brother will be in town and able to help out the day after we get the keys. So that means we officially start the move a week from tomorrow.
This is me right about now…
My purging is starting to kick into over drive now. Yesterday I had a cute 2 digit number on the whiteboard on the fridge. Tonight it’s a 3 digit number. I fully intend on having another 3 digit number day tomorrow too.
Before I get into specific numbers I must say that Nola went through her clothes and her toys and came back with 25 items for me. Since I know 9 year old do not relinquish personal property easily this is a proud mommy moment for me. It’s just one of many she’s been gracing me with lately, which I need to post about soon, because she’s seriously turning into an awesome girl with a damn good head on her shoulders.
Last time I was at 1,869 items left to go.
My white board count from the last few days is 433 items!
I guessed 200 on a large amount of items. I folded down the back seats in my van, and then filled 3/4 of it, though some was not mine, so I didn’t count that. I also likely underestimated when I cleaned out a tote of random bits. So it surely evens out, if I’m not actually shorting myself. There was other stuff, like purging my cookbook shelf, Nola’s self regulated purging, and cleaning my bathroom.
1,436 items left to go // 578 items purged!
Today I am turning in the deposit for a duplex we were approved for!!
So, I will be continuing to purge things and keep track as much as I can as to how many items it is for my 2014 in 2014.
If you don’t hear from me for a couple of weeks that’s what is going on. I need to buckle down because the next 2 weeks or so are going to be crazy, but a totally good crazy! 😀
3 bedrooms … so the girls will have their own rooms finally!
2.5 bathrooms … no more “I have go soooooo bad, can I use your bathroom mommy?!!?!?”
A window in the kitchen!
A kitchen faucet that doesn’t drip non-stop.
A back yard. It’s all dirt, but it’s bigger than our patio.
Oh and a park .2 miles from our front door. The girls are excited to have picnics, ride their scooters, and most importantly ride their bikes.
Ever since the first day of winter break my home has not been able to catch a break. Sophia started off on December 20th with a fever of 103. By the time she felt better Nola was down for the count. They were both doing better just in time for school to start on January 6th, but then shortly after that David got sick and even came home from work early. He spent 2 more days home from work before going back. Shortly after he started feeling better I was knocked down with some level of whatever had been floating around, though I managed to avoid the fever that everyone else had. I just have a bit of a cough and now a possible mild sinus infection.
Because all 4 of us getting taken down in the span of a month isn’t enough Sophia woke up yesterday morning with a croup like cough. *sigh*
If she gets bronchitis again like she did this time last year I’m going to lose my mind.
In other news, the gift of an iPod for both girls has been very well received…
Nola was getting into singing Gift of a Friend yesterday. ❤
My own new favorite song of the moment is actually one I picked up for free on iTunes the other day… MisterWives – Refelections
I’m tempted to spend the $3.99 to get the EP, because I actually really like their sound. — Scratch that, I bought it before I could even hit the publish button. 😉
Not unlike almost every single parent in the country keeping up on household tasks is an exercise in futility. I say almost because some people are either just too damn organized or they have paid help. I’m neither organized nor rich enough to have someone do my dishes, so that task is largely left to me. I am the stay at home parent, so unless I want to figure out how to cover rent with my good looks (lol) then dishes are mine.
I have never made it a secret that I generally loathe cleaning (see the “About” link). So when I really bust my ass cleaning I think I totally deserve a pat on the back. Four people make quite the mess. There’s 3 longer haired girls, 2 Rainbow Looms, 2 children who are bottomless pits and need a drop cloth to eat plus we live in a dusty desert… My floors are disgusting, dishes are always dirty, and my vacuum is sure to get clogged by rubber bands soon.
In an exceedingly rare moment around here I am totally caught up on dishes. I even “Fly Lady’d” my sink last night! I cleaned it out, and then dried it. The faucet leaks so one side is not so dry… But it’s empty!!!!!
And since I am more than willing to abide by the internet rule of “pictures or it didn’t happen”…..