Friday, April 20, 2012

She's 2 & I'm Sad About It

If you follow me on Twitter or are friends with me on Facebook, then you are well aware that Autumn turned 2 today.  I'm sorry, but I'm one of those moms who is so in love with my kids that I expect you to be, too.  And you should.  Because they're pretty awesome kids and super cute, too.

Anyway, we celebrated Autumn's birthday the same way we did with Grace when she turned 2 - with a trip to Build-a-Bear and then lunch at Chuck-E-Cheese.  The trip to Build-a-Bear was hysterical - she went crazy and ran from one thing to the next... free from her stroller and with so much stimuli.  It was fun and she now has a bear named Crissy.  We were then off to a heartburn-inducing lunch at Chuck-E-Cheese.  It was fun.  And I'm pretty sure Joel and I had as much fun as Autumn did, because skee ball is awesome.

At the end the day, a dear friend came over and had dinner with us and helped to celebrate Autumn's special day.  While the kids were playing, I confessed to my friend that although we had a lot of fun today, I felt like I was mourning Autumn turning 2.  As a mom, you always want  your kids to grow.  There would be something wrong if  you never wanted your kids to grow in age, knowledge and understanding.  That is your job as a mom - to make sure they get from being a newborn to a thriving adult.

But I'm having a hard time with it.  Something about 2 says that I need to say goodbye to Autumn as a baby.  And I'm not quite ready to do that.  But she is - as evidenced with two new Autumn words today: "mall" and "pizza".  My baby isn't quite a baby anymore.

Happy birthday, my sweet, funny little girl!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Watch Your Own Kids, Pretty Please

Every once in a while, I like to get my soapbox out and stand on it for a bit.  Today is one of those days...

It was a gorgeous day yesterday, so I decided to take the girls to the park after I picked Grace up from school.  We picked up some drinks at Wendy's and were on our way to play until dinnertime.  When I got there, there was only one other child, a 4-year old girl who played while her grandmother sat on a bench with her face buried in a newspaper. 

About 10 minutes after we got there, the grandmother packed up her newspaper, got up from her bench, and walked to her car.  She didn't say ANYTHING to her granddaughter.  She just left.  Her granddaughter ran after her, probably worried that she was going to be left behind.  After a while, the little girl came back to the play area, while her grandmother sat in her car.

Now the parking lot is probably 70-100 yards away from the play area.  Not really all that close.  So for the next 20 minutes, I am left to watch and play with my girls, and now this other kid... It came to a point when I realized that I didn't want to be responsible for someone else's child.  I shouldn't be.  But I was left responsible.  Because obviously a 60+ year old lady can't watch her own granddaughter.

Two things made me upset... 1- I was left to watch a kid who wasn't mine.  Not to mention I didn't know her at all.  2- The grandmother made a choice not to be involved with her granddaugther's play.  Seems awful selfish and unloving to me.

So I left with my girls... with the other little girl trailing behind us to our car.  As I walked by the grandmother, who was now yelling at the little girl to get in the car, I did say something... something to the effect "you can't just leave her like that".  Of course she said she was watching.  Whatever.

We used to go to a park closer to our house.  But I haven't been there in 2 years, because every time I would go, I would end up "watching" every one's children while they sat in a pavilion and hung out with their friends.  Now it's one thing if you have a 8, 9, or 10 year old... but don't leave your toddlers alone.  And don't expect another adult to watch them.

I'm kinda thinking it would be a good, yet passive aggressive idea to get a sweatshirt just for park trips... it could read on the back I'm watching my own kids.  I don't want to watch yours.  Any betther ideas?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Guest Post: Exercise Your Pallet

How “ugly” wood can add beauty to your home...

Stress and depression are common ailments these days. Whether it be you job, money, or even having a loved one in the military, avoiding stress can be a daunting task. Though doctors prescribe pills and therapists prescribe sessions, sometimes those things don’t cut it. Some turn to exercise, vacations, long distance phone calls to family members or their man/woman overseas, but who would have thought DYI projects could help lend a hand?

The truth is, adding a little something of your own to your house, gardening, or writing can help take you mind of things for awhile and reduce stress. The confidence boost that comes of completing a project is what enables this. For this article I have decided to talk about making items out of palette wood. It is something I enjoy and is a free way to make some cool things.

Finding raw materials can often be the most expensive part of a new project. A growing trend among the do-it-yourself crowd has been to salvage and reuse materials that have been discarded after their initial use. One of the most popular items over the last few years has been the wooden shipping pallet.

It is estimated that ¼ of the wood harvested in the United States is used for constructing shipping pallets. Used by companies to package and secure large amounts of items, these wooden pieces are forgotten once the shipments are received and the products stored away. Often they are used only once before being stacked in an ally or shipped off to take up space in a landfill.

The solution to the problem is simple and easy. Recycle the wood from the pallets for projects around the house! The Internet is filled with blueprints and instructions on crafting anything from a birdhouse to a bed platform using the wood from recycled pallets. There are endless examples of end tables, swinging outdoor chairs, coffee tables and computer desks that are easy to make and require nothing but the pallets, some screws or nails and a little bit of paint.

Enterprising green thumbs have found plenty of uses for pallets in their backyards. From using them to build compost bins or hanging gardens, the pallets provide an inexpensive way to build an environmentally-friendly garden. Some ambitious builders have even gone so far as to build cabins and storage sheds using nothing but recycled shipping pallets!

Reusing wooden shipping pallets is a fun, inexpensive way to help the environment and create one-of-a-kind projects that can be used for years to come.

About My Guest Blogger:
My name is Allison and I am a fun-loving, adventurous being. When my job doesn’t have me traveling I normally guest blog, ride my horse, or hang out with friends. I normally write about natural health and healing, but I Love writing about projects and eco friendly DYI projects.

Allison can be reached through her blog, Musings of a Curious Mind