Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The End Has Come

I have decided to go ahead and pull the plug on Ol' Olive Juice.

Thank you so very very much indeed for checkin in on us over here...and even reading some words every once in while. It has been a VERY fun ride..and I am so happy that I kept up with it as timely as I did. However...I just do not have the gumption to keep it going. I have decided to start a completely anonymous blog. Sweet freedom here I come :)

Bless you for coming here.

There will be no more updates.

Peace Out

Friday, July 25, 2008

Back Home

Here we are...back from another big adventure out East. Ahhhh...tis good to have a flexible schedule. Grant had an amazing time visiting his Nana, Papa and other various family members. It was all good indeed.

I had to rush home today to look at a house my husband was just thrilled over. It is cute....and across from a park AHHHHHHH. However the rooms are pretty darn small...and I did not fall in love with the place.

Gotta run...but I wanted you to know that I am back. Thanks for your patience. I do have some big news....and blog suicide is the theme.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Beautiful Eggs


I find the homogenous white eggs at the grocery store a bit creepy. Not only are the poor mothers of those eggs Sad, miserable and pumped with antibiotics and hormones..the eggs themselves are less than delicious.


Here are some beautful eggs....each unique in size, shape and color. Some have a little hey sticking to them. Most importantly....their chicken mamas are happy little birds...scouring the yard for insects and having the life a chicken deserves. These eggs are SO delicious too....its like happiness adds flavor. Doesnt hurt that they have no antibiotics or hormones added...so the health of the egg is passed on to my family. AHHHHHH.


I always seek out farm eggs wherever I roam. These gorgeous specimens are delivered weekly at the affordable and luxurious price of get this.....$1.50/dozen!!!!! Could we be any luckier? The nice lady has 20 chickens and just allows us to enjoy her bounty. I encourage you to ask around and find such a chicken lady of your own. You will be SO glad you did.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

How old is too old to breastfeed?

I attended my first ever Le Leche League meeting the other night. Funny how it took 2 years to make it. I questioned my rational for going.....is it even for me at this point in the nursing relationship? However...I am SO glad we attended (Grant and I). I was surprised how many questions I had...about night weaning etc...and how many questions I had input on for others.

The group had varying ages of children....all the way from a tiny 2 week old....to an almost 5 year old...ALL still nursing. So Grant was not the oldest...and that was a great added value for me. I realized that the pressure I have been getting to wean had been weighing on me...and being around other "sustained breastfeeding relationships" was encouraging and intriguing. I checked out two books from their lending library.....one is Nursing Toddlers and the other is How Weaning Happens.

My nursing toddler is begging for attention, so I must go. However.....this topic is on my mind...and I really want to blog about it. I know that the average person is estranged from long term nursing...so there is no doubt a curiosity about it. I myself have hang ups....how old is "too old"? I certainly do not see Grant nursing at.....well I used to think 3 but now I am not so sure. The more I read and research and learn and grow as a mother....the more I question my breastfeeding ethics...my breastfeeding rules and regulations.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Gone Camping

So Saturday morning we serendipitously headed out on a camping expedition 1.5 hours after our weary heads rose from the pillow! How is that for spontaneous?

I must say that we did NOT rough it however. We borrowed my very generous brother in law's adorable little TAP (camper) and rolled on out of town with our king size bed in tow. I failed to get pictures that truly captured the fun of Grant's first camping trip. He did make up a camping song that proved to me without a doubt that he LOVES camping hehe. It went something like this:

la la la, la la la, CAMPING (claps)
la la la, la la la, CAMPING (claps)

It was SOOOO cute. Wish the camcorder would have been going for that one.

We enjoyed a fire (hotttt....moke as Grant noted), a gorgeous view of the lake from our camp site, a suprisingly comfortable outdoor temperature, Grant's first ride on a Sea Doo (jet ski), swimming in the lake, picking up lots of sticks and rocks, a conservation program on animals that come out at night, using flashlights (BIG hit right now!!), cooking on the fire (although it was really just heating up a stromboli sandwich) and lots of socialization. It was a great time.


See the Tab in the background? Thats a sweet little camper I tell you.


Made good friends with kids in the neighborhood "Moke" in his eyes

Thursday, July 10, 2008

White Boys Can Dance

Grant LOVED his first day at dance class. He did a lot of standing around but did participate plenty. His skip was actually the best....and you should see his splendid tippy toes walk (with arms in an arc over the top of his wee little head...so cute). Notice his tap shoes??? Aren't they adorable. Tiny boy shoes are all but impossible to find! Even the studio manager was in awe of these itsy bitsy shoes.

Somehow I had managed to mess up the start date...so we showed up to NO class. Fortunately they were SUPER sweet and invited us to participate in the 3-5 year old class that had just started. I was so relieved...because I had been tempting him all day to dancing with kids..and I hated to lie of such wonderment.


The funniest part was when I saw a little girl whisper repetitively in Grant's ear..."You're a boy....you're a boy". Grant just SMILED the biggest grin. It was hilarious.


Tonight we actually start his real...toddlin twos class. The "mess up" seems to be working to our advantage because tonight he will not have the extreme newness that kids have the first class. It was SO much fun to watch him interact and sometimes follow directions...and most importantly have a GREAT time. Who knows if we will actually sign up for another month...but for now...he is experiencing something new.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Ugliest Birthday Cake Ever


As promised here is the cake I made with love for Grant...and his cousin Kate's birthday this past Monday. It was red velvet with vanilla icing...and get this....Swedish fish for accent. Yes I thought fish would be a theme Grant would enjoy...and my love of the chewy things had nothing to do with it (by the way...Swedish fish with icing is WAY good). If I was an overachiever type...I would have loved to make him a drum cake......but obviously I am NOT.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Child Development Manager

I do not think "stay at home mom" accurately reflects my present situation. We are movers and shakers over here...taking adventures by foot, car, train and wagon. The region is our oyster and we are bound and determined to learn our way through it. Every little detail of the day can be an exciting lesson for a just turned 2 year old!

Changing the bed sheets for example...not only did he help (and take off all the pillow cases) but we talked about the pieces that make up a bed...the bed, pad, sheets and pillows. Then he helped me load them in the washer...and later dryer..and then of course making the bed hours later. The school of life indeed.

I find myself really getting in sync with my son and the rhythm of being a "not employed outside the home" mom...a 'full time care giver"....a "career mama". This lifestyle suits me just fine and I would not trade these moments for a million dollars.....seriously.Things are starting to settle down and I really love where we are right now.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Happy 2nd Birthday Grant!

In Nana's garden.


Can it be that 2 years ago today I was having my first early labor contractions? I was at work and noticed that my lower abdominal "cramps" were happening over and over...maybe I should start noting the times. After lunch I decided to stay home...I was feeling strange and those darn cramps were not going away. By 5PM I wanted to call the midwife and check in. She told me to go to the movies. By 6PM I was in active labor.....translation...IN MADD PAIN. The contractions turned from tolerable to HOLY SHIIIITTTTTTTTTTTTTTT. We still needed to shower and pack...so that took awhile. It was not until 9PM that we stumbled into the birth center. I was 9 cm ! Grant was up high so I had lots of pushing to attend to (which started on the drive :( ). He was born at 10:56PM!!!!!


Will post the birth story as soon as I find it!!! grrrrrr.

Happy birthday dear son Grant Paul!!!!! You rocked my world and turned it upside down! You are gorgeous and smart and sweet and funny....I love your idiosyncrasies and oddness...I even love your rebellious spirit. Thank you for making me into a better person...and a mother. Life will never be the same again. Ok...off to write him a letter. (each year I archive a birthday letter to Grant..and will give them all to him someday...either his 18th...or when he moves out...haven't decided yet.)

Have a great seven seven.

Here is Grant finger painting with flour/water/food coloring paint. I think he would rather use brushes....so guess what he is getting for his birthday? (well besides the balance bike)

Zen moment sitting on basketball (that he can dribble now)
Birthday dinner at Serras (yum) ...first candle of the birthday
Mixing his birthday cake with mom on the kitchen counter (that is his smile for the camera...isnt it hilarious) Oh and the cake turned out hilarious too!!Will post pic tomorrow. It is the UGLIEST cake ever. Hope it tastes better than it looks. Note to self...practice cake decoration.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this picture! Is that not the cutest face? The garden is nice too :)

Contemplation
Putting the birthday wagon from Nana together. So intent!
My cherub (ya right)
All dressed up to attend a wedding...another posing smile ...as you may notice
Thanks for visiting. Peace out


Friday, July 4, 2008

|Happy |My| Favorite| Number |Day

"Raising children is like being pecked to death by chickens"

I read this on the register at a local diner....and it makes me laugh everytime Ithink of it

Monday, June 30, 2008

Checking In to Say Hello

We attended a "Babes in the Woods" program at the local nature center. Grant was so interested and outgoing. He will probably fall in love with all his teachers just as I did...well until 5th grade when I officially started hating them with all the voraciousness of hell spawn (but they deserved it...those wicked #%ckers).





Then we spent the weekend at the lake with relatives. I had many moments of reflection where I had the "AHHHHHH...this is why we moved!!!!" revelation. Grant was holding hands with uncles and playing hard with his cousins. Grant is now being raised with his family surrounding him...and memories and lifelong relationships are being created!!! YAEEE






I call this series of pics....ode to strawberries. Silly and cute! He loves to put them on his finger tips.







Another road trip awaits. I gotta say...not clocking in at a regular job....has its perks!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Bloomin Onion

Just popping in to wish you a freakin fabulous weekend! We will be relaxing and rejuvinating in a no internet type venue.....so....I leave you with this quote from an unknown source (at least to me) that is my mantra as of lately. Hope you find it meaningful.
"Bloom where you are planted"

video

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Strider Bike Review

After debating whether to get Grant the super cool Likeabike or the Chinese made Skuut....we ended up getting a Strider. It is actually Grant's birthday present (July 7th)...but why have it stored away when he can be enjoying it...so he has already been riding walking it around...and loving it.




Pros:
Affordable...$90 instead of the whopping $285+ for the Likeabike Mini
Super small...so even low on the chart one year olds (like Grant) can sit on it comfortably and safely.
The Strider is built for children 1 - 5 years of age - the seat raises with height.
Available at your local homegrown bike shop (at least it was for us) - so no shipping and handling charges
No assembly required...the store did that for us. Whew.
Appears to be very sturdy and should last 5 years.
Grant immediately took to it and has certainly improved his balance and coordination already
Should allow Grant to ride and enjoy a bike at a younger age without the need for training wheels.
It looks cool...and kind of bad ass...which is almost sad for a toddler...yet I find it somewhat appealing...forgive me.
IT IS FUN and he definitely LOVES it. Makes a great birthday present!
CONS:
Made in China
The bottom of the seat post is kind of sharp and we had to modify it so Grant's heel doesn't keep getting scraped!
Could get scary (for Mom) once he becomes comfortable ...and fast. However we intend to use a helmet as soon as he starts truly riding it and hope to instill safe riding practices early on.
It has full range steering whereas the Likeabike and Skuut have limited steering which is certainly a safety feature. However, Grant likes making tight turns and has thus far enjoyed the steering ability.When speed comes in to play, it could be more of a concern. This was one feature of the Strider that I am do not like...at least for the very young.
Summary:
Overall we like the bike (so does that make it a like a bike...or I suppose it is a likethebike). Everyone who sees it comments on how cute and small it is and most of them have never seen anything like it. However, we are in the Midwest so balance bikes are just now becoming all the rage. Grant certainly gives it two thumbs up. When he really starts scooting on it I will take a video for your viewing and reviewing pleasure. Right now he just walks it around, mostly standing up. However he has just started sitting on occasion and does get some true scooting in. If money is no option and or you plan on having a baseball league sized family....go for the Likeabike if at all possible. However, if you are like us and think $100 is more than enough for a bike...Strider certainly gives Skuut a run for it's money and should be considered while shopping around.
Peace out

Monday, June 23, 2008

Goodbye George & Hello Reusable Bags


The comedian George Carlin died yesterday.....whoa is me.



That dude was awesome...peace out George. Thanks for pushing the envelope.

"The wisest man I ever knew taught me something I never forgot.
And although I never forgot it, I never quite memorized it either.
So what I'm left with is the memory of having learned something very wise
that I can't quite remember." -GC

"I'm completely in favor of the separation of Church and State. My idea is that these two institutions screw us up enough on their own, so both of them together is certain death." -GC

Now lets move on to a product review.

You probably know that reusablebags.com is a great place to shop for such things.

This online store is where I purchased these top o' the line bags for my family.

Pros:


Very sturdy


Holds A LOT of stuff...these are the size of a traditional paper bag...but with handles!


Stays open for easy packing and folds up flat...just like paper bags.


Made from 50% recycled content..including plastic bottles


The produce bags are made of organic cotton and are very large


Made using fair wages / fair labor


Washable


Makes a great gift (I gave a set to my parents)


Are handy for carrying anything..not just groceries. I use them for overnight trips, picnics etc.


Helps make a difference in the war against the plague of plastic bags:


"Over a billion single-use plastic bags are given out for free each day. But as the old adage says, nothing comes for free. Here are some facts to illustrate the actual costs paid by our environment and society for the fleeting convenience of unlimited, free, single-use plastic bags. To see the real costs, we must look at the "cradle to grave" multiple impacts and the effects of each phase of a bag's life."

Cons:


You have to remember to bring them into the store with you for them to work :)


They are pricey ($50 plus shipping) - but you are getting a set of 8


They are not as pretty and cool as other brands


They are so big that sometimes they may be filled too heavy for some folks (so they need to remind the bagger to fill them only half way etc)



Overall...I am very happy with this set...

thanks Marissa for the recommendation!








Saturday, June 21, 2008

Summa Summa Summatime

Ahhh...back at home after a week on the road. Just playing catch up now. Boy the freedom of not having an outside of the home job...well ...it rocks. Free as a butterfly... a butterfly with an almost 2 year old that is. So for now..I want to just veg out and share with you pics from our recent adventures.

Within days though...I promise to review 3 V interesting and V intriguing products that we have been using for awhile now....

the Funtainer sippy cup.





Yes I really do look this crazy








Sunday, June 15, 2008

Paula has now left the internet

Yeeeee Hawwwww as Grant would say hehe. We are excited about another road trip! Getting on the choo choo tomorrow morning ....off to see new worlds and meet other cultures. Wont be online for the week....so you take good care of yourself and make sure to come back to visit this weekend.

Miss you

Happy Daddy Day



To celebrate Dad we did what dad does..golf. It was Grant's first golf game. We kept cool by eating watermelon slices and ice cubes. He really enjoyed the first nine....then he and I headed home to let daddy relax and enjoy the last nine. I am just starting to learn the game. It would be a nice thing for us to share together...and driving the cart is so much fun :).

Happy Fathers Day to all the good daddys out there! Keep up the good work.