Thanksgiving 2011, Alan put on his brave face and walked up to my grandfather, the one blessing that mattered to me (I knew he had mama’s blessing, as that one would have been pointed out in the beginning if she didn’t approve). I saw him walk out to sit and talk, and when he came in he jokingly, told me no blessing before revealing he had received it. It was no secret after that, we were getting married. Skip forward a few days and there we were, standing face to face reciting vows..
Today is our anniversary, although it feels like we’ve been together forever. I don’t remember a time in my life without him. He’s my rock and my nerd in aluminum foil. I never wanted a prince, i wanted him. For years i didn’t know it, relationships wouldn’t ever work out for one reason or another, and the day he showed up at my house in his Ebony (rip Ebony, you are missed) i knew i’d marry him, he just didn’t know that yet .
So, for our anniversary, i decided to put together a list of things that i love (other than the obvious)
First and foremost… You are the best father and daddy to our children i ever could have asked for. You are father when you need to be, but otherwise you are the most fun loving piggy-back giving daddy in the world.
You pinch my chin, and make my face turn red, still.
You have the worlds bestest man-butt.
My hand fits perfectly in yours.
You tickle me, just to see me smile.
You play with my hair when you can’t sleep, because you know i won’t fully fall asleep while you do it, so you get tired and can fall asleep with me.
You make hilarious imitations of me, often.
You make fart jokes.. Alot and i know it’s just to get a smile
You get the nerdy weird humor behind, “your face… and Your mom”
You know just where to kiss me
Your hands fit perfectly on my hips
You let me sleep on your arm, curled up into you… Even though after 10 minutes your arm is dead
You rub my feet when you know i really need it
You are open to trying new things with me, even when they are crazy
You deal with the disaster our house becomes sometimes, because you know i was spending time with kids instead
You know when i need to “clock out” at the end of the day for some alone time. SO even after a long day at work, you play with Emilee and Elijah so i can be alone for a while.
You are made of baby sleep dust, and can put a baby to sleep faster than anything i’ve ever seen.
You give up xbox, computer and man time, to let Emilee ride on your back, or blow raspberries on Eli’s belly.
You brush my hair after a shower, no matter how “little kiddish” and girly it is, because you know it calms me, and brings me to a very happy, calm place
When you get home from a long day at work, you still let Emilee pounce on you and have a full smile, even all dirty and tired.
You deal with my obnoxious fear of driving, and have helped me almost overcome it completely
And most importantly….
You let me be me.. With all my weird OCDs, crazy habits, and just overall weirdness…
I can’t wait to spend another 100 years with you, this is only the beginning
*Edit: this still works fantastically however i’m not using anymore as I’ve converted to “No-poo” and prefer that as i’m lazy and it requires almost no work on my part. However, i still stand by these being my favorite shampoo and conditioners ever*
Disclaimer: This is what worked for me, and my family in our experiences, as well with a bunch of research put in, i am not an expert so please use ingredients carefully.
1/4 cup distilled water or Herbal Infusion (See below)
1/2 cup liquid castile soap (I use Dr. Bronner’s 5-1 Hemp Tea Tree)
1/4 tsp vitamin E (1 capsule)
5 drops grapefruit seed extract
Essential oil blend for your hair type (See below)
Optional: 1/4 teaspoon Grapeseed oil (don’t use if your hair is oily or fine; it may make your hair greasy)
Additional Ingredients for hair type:
Dry or damaged hair: 1/2 tsp vegetable glycerin and 2 tbsp aloe vera gel
Oily hair: 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Thinning hair: 2 tbsp aloe vera gel
Dandruff: 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Instructions: Mix well in dark glass container, makes 8 oz.
2 tbsp carrier oil (I use 1 1/2 coconut oil and 1/2 tbsp jojoba oil), but you can use any you want, except in my experience avocado oil makes you have a gross waxy residue.)
1/2 tsp vitamin E (2 capsules)
1/2 cup distilled water or Herbal Infusion
Essential oil blend for your hair
5 drops Grapefruit Seed Extract
1: Stir together the oil, warming slowly over a low heat until just a bit warmer than body temp. Remove from heat and pour in the Vitamin E. 2: In a separate pot on the stove or in the microwave, gently warm the water or herbal infusion just until lukewarm. Do NOT skip this step or your conditioner will separate later on. 3: Slowly pour the water/herbal infusion into the oil mixture, stirring constantly with a wire whisk until the mixture is thick and smooth. 4: Stir in the essential oils and the grapefruit seed extract. Pour the natural hair conditioner into a clean, sterilized 8oz (250ml) dark glass or PET plastic bottle and allow it to cool before putting the lid on. 5: Shake the bottle occasionally as the conditioner cools to prevent the ingredients from separating. Store in a cool, dark place.
Blonde Hair Dried Calendula, Chamomile, Lemon Peel
Red Hair Dried Calendula, Hibiscus, Cinnamon Bark
Dark Hair Black Tea, Dried Rosemary, Cloves
Have you noticed how expensive formula, or cows milk is? It’s crazy. So after some friends help and research, i have now perfected my almond milk recipe, so i will happily share it with you Both of my kids drink it, and love it. It also stopped all of Eli’s spitting up issues, and belly issues.
Here ya go!
Ingredients for approximately 1/2 gallon of milk.
2 Cups Almonds
Extra water for soaking (enough to cover almonds and allow 1-2 inches above them)
7 1/2 Cups Water
1/4 cup Honey
Vanilla Extract (or vanilla bean) to taste ( i use a splash? or 1/2 bean)
Cheesecloth, coffee filter, old dishcloth, receiving blanket or scrap fabric
Glass container, with lid.
Soak almonds in water for at least 8 hours in the refrigerator, I normally soak mine for at least 12 hours, or overnight until nap-time. They can soak for up to 48 hours.
Drain water and discard. Rinse almonds in strainer thoroughly.
*My blender will only do 2 pints (1/4 gallon) at a time, so i have to split mine up, if you don’t need to just add it all….*
Add 1/2 of almonds and 3 3/4 cup water to blender. Pulse a few times, then let run for 2 minutes on your highest setting, mine is ice crush, i believe. Let it settle, and then run for another 2 minutes.
This is cheesecloth, which i found to hard to get the almond meal out of.. But gives you an idea.
I use an old receiving blanket, as after trying everything i listed above, it is the easiest and works the best. But trial and error until you find what you like. Place cloth over a bowl/cup/container other than your final one and pour milk into it slowly, letting it strain threw. After you’ve gotten all you can that way, take cloth and squeeze it until the liquid is all out.
You can save the almond meal for something else (will post at the end). Make sure you rinse out blender, then add this milk BACK into the blender (yes, i know this sucks, but do it)
Add 2 tbsp honey (half of the honey i asked for) and a splash of vanilla (you can change this as you make more, to what you want)
Blend until mixed well.
You can either A) Strain again with cloth or B) add straight to glass container (this is what i do)
Repeat steps 4-9 for second half of milk if you couldn’t do it all at once.
Add milk to refridgerator and use like regular milk. It will keep for 3-4 days, but i’ve had it for a week once and it was still good. Smell it, if it stinks or smells foul, toss it.
Notes: It will seperate in fridge, just give a good shake, and it’s all mixed back up
After i’m done, i take the almond meal and toss in oven on 350 degrees until it’s crunchy and you can use it like panko, or bread crumbs. Taste it, i love the stuff on top of a salad!
Yep, that’s right I said it, let the bashing ensue. If you can get passed the fact that yes, at one time we thought spanking was the way to go and since then we’ve opened our eyes to a much calmer, gentle way of life then comment away. I don’t mind disagreement, or intelligent remarks, however the bashing will be deleted, i don’t have time for it, and as i said, this is something that although not how i wish it happened, I’m glad did as we found a whole new way of life.
Now… Let’s jump back a few months, to January, to be exact. Normal day at the Collins’ residence. Emilee was playing, i was deadly pregnant and miserable, and had a very short temper. My husband was dealing with the wicked pregnant lady from the couch. We sat watching Emilee run around and then she did it, she knows that the fire place is not a safe place to play. That it is HOT and that it can hurt her, for this we popped her on the booty if she sat on it, on her hand if she touched it, you get the picture…
Well this day she decided to sit on it, and when Alan told her to get up, she started laughing and stood up on it, then sat, then stood and made a game out of what she was showing she knew not to do. He got up and went to pop her, he was aiming for her diaper and since it had 10 lbs of cushion he pops her a little harder on the diaper than he would on bare skin. Somewhere in this process he bends down she stands up and he catches not her diaper, but her thigh. She immediately cries, but it’s not the cry of “I’m in trouble grr” it’s the cry of OUCH! His eyes are big as golf balls and he looks horrified. “I missed, i got her leg”
She runs at me, arms spread crying and i see her leg, it’s red. We both are almost in tears at feeling so horrible, how is this teaching her anything other than to cause harm when harmed. How is this teaching her to not hit, when she gets popped. It all clicks in my mind in an instant, as i hold my upset little girl with a small red mark on her leg. We feel horrible, and Alan feels even worse, but it clicks, for us both. We don’t want to be those parents. The ones that are scared of a raised hand, the ones that have to use violence to control their children. We want to be those parents that can talk, sit and listen with their children. So we vow from that day forward we won’t spank her, pop her or physically punish her anymore. But what do we do? We have to do something, as she is a reluctant, strong willed child, not bad, or good, not easy or hard, just strong willed. She must stick her hand in the fire to see that it’s hot, so to speak.
We decide on an improvised version of time out. We sit her down in a big chair in our living room, and Alan or I sit with her until she’s calm. We don’t plug her in the corner and walk off, we simply sit down with her, and we sit until she’s calm. We then give big hugs, talk about what happened and kisses and giggles later she’s not doing what she isn’t supposed to. But, that wasn’t the best change.. That happened about a week after we had stopped popping her.
She was a new person, she rarely had a tantrum, which was outrageous, as she was a queen of a tantrum. Her personality calmed, she was easier to get to calm down in a stressful situation, and most of all she was smiley and lovey all over again, as that was slowly disappearing. Her bedtimes become fun, not fights. Dinners became exploring new food and family, instead of fighting to get her to eat and not throw her food, and she was sweet, like a giant teddy bear.
So, yes i wish we didn’t have to learn this way, but I’m glad we learned, as now we have a beautiful, happy and pain-free little girl who will cuddle you to death instead of bite, hit or scream.
Once upon a time, I had a dream. I was going to be a world class nurse, and then become a doctor, after I’d done all the grunt work. I was going to ace high school, and I was going to become valedictorian. I was going to be asked to intern at all the top hospitals and become queen of my profession. I was going to be the one they called a miracle worker. I was going places, and helping people. I would serve time in third world countries, really helping people that needed it. All just because, not for money, or for a good name, but I was going to be known for helping people. Not for being a big shot, not for being the highest paid, but for honestly helping people. That meant doing surgeries for free when no one could afford them…flying across the country to help those that needed it. I was really going to do it. And then life got in the way and I decided I was going to be a nurse. That was just as wonderful, and still reachable, so I set out for that. I was great at all the different skills needed. But, as it goes, life got in the way again, and I was blessed with the true way to help someone. I got pregnant with Emilee, and I knew that I could still be a nurse, or a doctor, but it would take away time from being the one thing deep down I always wanted to be. A mom.
I grew up with a mom that was always there. She kissed every bruise and walked with me through all the mountains and hills I came up against. I knew I wanted to be that mom that was there, even when I didn’t want to be. I’m sure there were times what I was doing was the LAST thing she would ever want for me. The absolute worst idea I’d ever had. Actually, I KNOW there were times. She told me so. But, she also told me that she’d be there. And every time I fell, although she still let me fall, make mistakes, and learn, she never kicked me while I was down, and she always helped me figure out how to get back up. That was who I wanted to be. Being a nurse was a great dream. But being a mom was a better reality. I sat in the hospital with a woman that was a lifesaver, my miracle worker, and although she literally had to smack me to get me to listen, she was there, for all the blood sweat and tears, even when it killed her to see me go through it. She’d been there through it all, and that is what I wanted to be. So, yes I gave up on a dream, but I only gave up on it because it was just that a dream, something I wanted to wake up from, because I knew that my reality could be so much better. And I know most of everyone will say that I “gave” up, hell I said it just a second ago. But really, I just found better goals, better realities. Not only do I get to help people, but I get to be there, until my last day. I get to pick both of my babies up after they’ve fallen. I get to support them, no matter what they do. I can teach, and learn with love and not fear. The same way my mother did.
I was a hard kid to love some days. I was am stubborn. I still have to stick my hand in the fire, sometimes more than once, before I figure something out. I had to know what the consequence is first hand, because if you just tell me, I will do it again, because I want to know. I’m curious by nature, and although that may sound good, they’ve always said curiosity killed the cat. And metaphorically, it would have done the same thing to me without my mom there to be my protector. She never stopped me from doing anything, however, she let me learn I was wrong, she taught me how to problem solve, instead of just running to her to fix things.
She is the reason that I am the mom I am to my babies. She is the reason that when Emilee decides she’s wants to jump on the couch, I make sure she won’t harm herself (There is a difference between hurting and harming) and then I watch her jump on the ottoman, and fall, and hit the ground. I pick her up, calm her down, and then we figure out how to let her jump, without falling. She grins up at me, having her fun jumping holding my hand, or the back of the couch, smiling. I let her learn, she grew in front of my eyes in that moment. I sit her plate in front of her, and she knows what “hot” means. I tell her not to take a bite yet, it’s hot, and she grins, waits for me to turn and she takes a bite. She spits it out quickly and realizes that hurts. I give her a cold drink to cool her tongue, I calm her, and soothe, and then we learn how to blow on our food. Again, I watched her grow, learn and in the end while she’s blowing her food, sometimes all over her chair, she is smiling, knowing she can trust me to let her fall, but to always be there to give her my hand to get back up. I will always help her learn, and grow because that is what my mom did for me, and I’m the woman I am today because of her. I’m not perfect, neither is she, but she showed me that perfection isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, because it’s the imperfect pieces that make up who we are. It’s those pieces that teach up the most, and in the end, it’s those that make us smile. Because you can’t take the money with you, or the knowledge, or the wealth, but you can leave behind the memories, the love, the stories, the morals and values, and most importantly, the trust in knowing that you have taught your children how to teach in this world, love in it, and learn from it without being scared. . . .
After reading and reviewing The Annihilation of Foreverland by Tony Bertauski, I was lucky enough to receive an email with another one of his books called, Claus: Legend of the Fat Man. I put it on my list and decided that I’d read it as soon as i finished my current book. After starting it, I could not put it down. I don’t want to give plot, or story line away, however to sum the story up it is about an adventurous family who decides to go looking for the North Pole. However, along the way they find themselves finding a lot more than just the mystical North Pole. There are beautiful romances, family relationships, conflict, as well as the most amazing setting i have ever ran across in all my years of reading. It takes the story we all know of Santa Claus, and flips it on it’s head. If i were sat down to hear this version of what the North Pole and Santa really were as well as the version we all know from childhood, this is the one as an adult, that i would believe. The character’s background and story are built beautifully, and although throughout the book you are left wondering where something fits in, or how this is relevant, by the time you venture to the last few pages you are thinking to yourself that without that prior knowledge, none of it would be as amazing, or mystical as it really turns out to be. I would suggest this for a fun, although bit scientific read for anyone, of most ages. It does have a bit of violence throughout, but it definitely could be read as a family with older children. I would personally read it to a child that is at least past the years of believing in Santa Claus if your household follows that tradition. But, it is suspenseful, and fun for all ages over about 9-10.
You can find more information for Tony Bertauski’s amazing books here as well as his blog located here
*Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post, however I did receive an electronic copy of the book for review. All opinions are my own. The links provided do also include a small portion of profit if you buy from the direct links. Thank You*
Today I received my SNS, and hospital grade pump thanks to a wonderful woman at my local birthing center. As i’ve explained i lost my supply completely when little man was only 5 1/2 weeks old. I’ve been trying ever since to get it back, but never really knew what i needed to do. I found a group of women, and they suggested
this, with a great success. I only have one problem…
Elijah finds my boob to be evil, horrible thing that is in his way of actually eating. I know if i can get my milk to come in this may become a non issue, but i have to get him to latch before i can get milk. It’s a viscious circle. So let the pumping ensue. It’s not fun, or pretty, and it involves 5 hands, that i don’t have, but i’m trying.
Tonight, we tried something sweet, to see if he would take it that way, and he did for 2 total seconds before realizeing it then became formula and he was ready to beat me over it.
After the crazy insane screaming started, i had to give in and give him his bottle, so he didn’t starve. What to do? I can’t fail, he’s spitting up a crazy amount of formula, no matter what brand/type etc. and goats milk is way to expensive to drink all the time for him.
Suggestions? Grrr..oh yea and tears may have been involved.
Well, I’ve been MIA for a long time, and kinda lost track of writing and things, but i’m back as i feel so much better if i am writing, so i propose a challenge for myself to post at least 3 times a week. I think i can do it…. We will see.. but on to the pictures, i haven’t dumped my phone in i don’t know how long, but this is what we’ve been up to this month
My Babies Shopping, One of the best pictures the hubs has gotten of them ever!
Kisses and Pigtails in the morning
I wish I could sleep like this instead of grocery shopping! Have I mentioned how much this dude loves his moby ?
Me: Emilee say cheese! Emilee: ROAR ROAR cheese *click* ROAR
One of my favorite photos of Alan, Eli and myself, also shows off my family tattoo. The Sun is me, the moon is Alan-the calm of my day, there are also two stars in the middle which are my babies-the dreams and wishes of my life.
6 of the 3 dozen BLUE velvet cupcakes I baked for a sweet little girl named Cheyenne and a bake sale fundraiser. I had to make an extra batch as my husband would divorce me if i didn’t make his favorite cupcakes (although his are normally red, these were blue as it is Cheyenne’s favorite color)
Thinking of what evil is to be had after he gets just a few more minutes of shut eye.
Daddy has a fedora… So of course this meant while Emilee was being so good at Walmart, we happen to run across one for her, and since they are the only ones she allows to wear hats in the family. She had to have one