When I grow up…

… I want to be a ____________.

That’s the question that at 35 I’ve only just begun to attempt to figure out.

I finally decided to go to college and at the very least begin getting core classes out of the way while I really made up my mind. I narrowed it down to nursing or nutrition and began school with the expectation of eventually becoming a nurse. I just completed my first semester taking math and English, and I got a 3.5 GPA!

I continued to research my plans throughout this past semester, plot out my courses, and figure out what path I would take. I discovered that as much as some aspects of nursing are interesting to me, some aspects of it are not at all what I want to do day in and day out. Having a family that has been in various aspects of the medical field, I know how it’s one of those jobs that requires a special person with drive and dedication regardless of what is thrown at them. While I may have been 99% dedicated, I knew that the little 1% of uncertainty would have an impact eventually. So I went back to what I had wanted to do from the start – nutrition.

My intention is to do my associate’s degree in such a way that I can go on to obtain my bachelor’s in nutrition and become a registered dietician if I so choose. Currently, my goal is to complete my associate’s degree with some extra courses so I can become a “Dietetic Technician, Registered”. At that point, I can either look for a job in the medical industry or do something home-based. The latter is what I really want to do.

So, while I am in school I am going to slowly work on what my goals will be as I’m sure my education will play a huge role in how I approach nutrition going forward. A number of people who know me well can tell you about my tendency to plan, make lists, and really nail down particulars in an almost scary manner. I really do like lists and planning, so it seems almost natural to me to help others. This is going to be a multi-year process, with graduation being in fall of 2020 or spring of 2021, so I’ll have lots of time to plan!

 

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Adventures in Backpacking (with kids)

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.

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David and the girls hiking in.

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Where did the summer go?! (and a PSA)

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.  🙂

 

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Finding my Groove

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.

 

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Lego Friends aren’t hurting my girls…

I woke up yesterday morning to my daughters playing. It’s pretty typical of a weekend that they are up well before David and I, and likely already gone downstairs and helped themselves to breakfast. I love how capable they are at doing things for themselves now! Sometime around 8am I realized they were “going to the moon” and then Nola launched something down the stairs … The distinct sound of Legos coming apart was the only sound followed by a nonchalant “whoops” and some other very dry comment. Nola’s sense of humor and attitude is quickly developing and she’s already got smartass nailed.

That comment was quickly followed up with a small voice saying “Heeey that was special! Daddy and I made it.” Nola assured Sophia that it could be remade, which sounded exactly like what I had said to my friends son Friday night when he broke a Lego ship. Nola had attempted to help him rebuild then too.

This is Sophia's room - Spongebob is sleeping, Princess Peach is clearly being a stalker, and a Lego Friend is cruising in her custom ride.  Also there's a totally destroyed bookcase in the back, with books that have been consumed with gusto - at 9pm when Sophia *should* be sleeping.  :P

This is Sophia’s room – Spongebob is sleeping, Princess Peach is clearly being a stalker, and a Lego Friend is cruising in her custom ride. Also there’s a totally destroyed bookcase in the back, with books that have been consumed with gusto – at 9pm when Sophia *should* be sleeping. 😛

A few hours later the girls were playing Harry Potter. Sophia was apparently in Hufflepuff. An hour after that Nola informed me she wanted to learn how to sew a waistband into a skirt. And another few hours later involved some Rainbow Loom ties being created. In all there were creations “sewn” from Kleenex, a braided necklace made, books about Titanic and penguins were read, and Rainbow Loom creations came into existence (and rubber bands were scattered around the house, again). You know … A very normal day in a house with two little girls with imaginations that clearly can take them to the moon at 8am.

I’m writing this in part because I want to remember the details, and because it was amusing and I loved it. Also because it made me think. A few weeks ago I read something about how horrid those pink and purple Legos are. How girls 30 years ago didn’t have pink Legos, just the “normal” ones. 30 years ago was the start of my pre-school years, and those toys they speak of were my toys. Now granted there is no way in hell anyone could confuse me for being overly girly, and those who know me well are deeply amused by my having two VERY girly-girls. 10 years ago when I was pregnant with Nola I vowed no pink and no princess.

We see how far I got with that. *sigh*

This is a little snapshot of Nola's room.  Harry Potter, a jewelry box, a tiara, and a microscope.  I didn't stage any of that, it's how she had it on her toy organizer.  If you were to turn around you'd see a super tidy bookcase, a ukelele, and a chess set.  I had to avoid stepping on the ukelele on the floor though.

This is a little snapshot of Nola’s room. Harry Potter, a jewelry box, a tiara, and a microscope. I didn’t stage any of that, it’s how she had it on her toy organizer. If you were to turn around you’d see a super tidy bookcase, a ukelele, and a chess set. I had to avoid stepping on the ukelele on the floor though.

The thing is – my girls don’t like Ninjago (did I spell that right?). They don’t care about Minecraft. Nola would love to have Star Wars Legos (holy crap are those things expensive) and Sophia has a few Spongebob Lego sets. The Lego Friends sets give them Legos in their favorite colors, and they love all the animals that come with them. Except for the first time the sets were put together I don’t think they’ve been in the intended forms. They build homes, cars, towers … All sorts of things. David even discovered a Lego “bed” on Sophia’s dresser a few weeks ago. It was rudimentary, but she proudly put “Tinkie” to bed on it.

There are hours spent with Daddy on the weekend building from time to time, and it’s loved by them all. I usually use the quiet time to take a relaxing bath, or catch up on cleaning, but I love to watch the 3 of them laying on the bedroom floor creating random works of art. The color of the blocks really doesn’t matter in those moments. If it gets my girls, or any girls for that matter, into building and dreaming things up then who cares that they are pink and purple?

My life is filled with pink and purple… And skirts, dresses, hearts, play jewelry, stuffed animals, baby dolls, Barbies, flowers, doing hair, and fending off requests for nail polish and ear piercings. There are also bumps, bruises, scrapes, stitches, fighting, screaming, hitting, kicking, sports, and holes in knees of jeans … And I wouldn’t trade any of it.

Okay, the fighting and hitting each other can go, I’m over that … And the dramas … So over that.

I’ll keep the Lego Friends, and my two little Hermonie Granger’s, because they are smart, funny, creative, and have awesome imaginations that are not impeded by the color of plastic building blocks.

A Geronimo Stilton book, microscope slides, and Nola's wooden chess set.

A Geronimo Stilton book, microscope slides, and Nola’s wooden chess set.

Every morning a few stuffed animals get tucked in when Sophia makes her bed.  Maybe they're nocturnal and they're keeping Sophia up at night... telling her that she must read.  :P

Every morning a few stuffed animals get tucked in when Sophia makes her bed. Maybe they’re nocturnal and they’re keeping Sophia up at night… telling her that she must read. 😛

Yep. I love those girls.

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It’s getting real…

David has officially taken care of the two utilities that we have to have in our names by the end of the week, both of which transfer to us on Friday. Also Friday we will be paying the first month of rent and getting the keys. I will do the walk-through Friday during the day, and David will be getting a rental truck after he gets off work. We plan on loading a few big things like our deep freeze and fridge. It will be 8 degrees overnight, so my fear of things melting is not an issue at all. 😛

Friday will also be our last night in this house as Saturday is the big move day.

Today I purged more things and set more things aside to be donated. I also took down all the stuff that was 3M’d the wall in the living room as well as the top of the bookcase. All that remains on the bookcase are 3 highly breakable items that need a little more protection than a clothes basket.

There is SO MUCH to do still.

The numbers since the last update are still triple digit, which isn’t bad considering I had a pretty full weekend.

Whiteboard count is 250 items.

My goal for tomorrow is to hit the halfway mark for the year…

1,186 items left to go // 828 items purged!!

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Parenting Win

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… 😉

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All is love- even math

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.

Momastery – Share This With All the Schools, Please

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.

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2014 in 2014 Update #3

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…

SpongebobFreakingOut

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.

Numbers…

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!

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I’ll be back soon…

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.

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