Wednesday, April 30, 2008
"Ecocho is a new search engine trying to make a difference for climate change. For every 1000 searches users make on Ecocho we'll counter balance or "offset" a ton of greenhouse gases. We do this by sponsoring two trees via advertising on the site."
I found Ecocho on Eco Mama...a great blog about what else but greenin' up? I hope you will check her out.
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Is there anything more stressful than selling a house and moving? Holy cats this is agonizing!
House update: the buyer's divorce is official so that part of the drama is taken care of thank goodness. She had the house inspected yesterday and unfortunately there is some dry rot on a few windows and a door jam. SHIT. So today she is coming back to have the inspection interpreted and she can see for herself what they are talking about. After that we will have a better idea of what is needed for the next step (loan appraisal) to happen. A buyer can get out of the contract based on what the inspection finds....so that's nerve racking. Hopefully she will see that it is pretty minor...
or worst case scenario she requires that it be fixed (at our expense ouch). The good news is that all the major house components were flawless and awesome YAE.
So for now we sit and wait and try to plan for the move but the dust has not settled as of yet...so I wait to put in my resignation...even though as the hours pass it becomes more difficult to give a months notice as my boss has requested. I have it written up and I must admit it was hard to write. It is going to be very emotional leaving these people, this job, my home. However...a new phase of life awaits and it promises to be a lovely change. You have to give to get. I cant believe my dream of being a stay at home mom is about to become a reality! How frightening hehehe. Grant is such a high spirited child...yikes! Of course I will still need to bring in some income...but it will be V part time like piano lessons, a few hours at the deli and I want to ask the Montessori school if they want to hire me as the recess lady. That way Grant can socialize, I can make a few dollars and get to know the school better. Fingers crossed on that one!
Happy Hump Day People!
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
My actor extrodinaire:
Happy Hillbilly Clan :)
Unhappy about getting his hair combed
First whirlpool bath...we had so much fun
Playing with Uncle Mark (my brother)
Playground fun with Aunt Kim (my Sister in Law)
Scenic overlook of the Table Rock Damn and Lake Taneycomo:
Party On Dude!
My brother and Dad fishing at Table Rock Lake State Park
His first pull ups!
Friday, April 25, 2008
Exposure to toxic chemicals, which are in everything from hygiene products to food & water to the containers we use, the clothes we wear & toys we play with....is overwhelming to process and understand. Thank GOD this is getting mainstream press nowadays! This last week was the first time in my LIFE that the people I know were TALKING about plastic leaching in baby bottle and sippy cups..and taking it serious! When I shared the info with them...they ignored me...but shit...what Good Morning America says is like God talk or something??? Whatever it takes. But anyhoo I am getting off subject (surprise). ( and btw...Grant still has some plastic sippy cups so I am a hypocrite I admit...but I do have a stainless steel sippy cup on my wish list)
Point being....when it comes to sunscreen...IT ALMOST ALL SUCKS. When you check out the amazing and humbling Skin Deep to compare products...it is VERY clear that one must be V selective when choosing one ...especially for the little people (who are far less mutated and thus somewhat beyond help as we grown ups are).
Here is the the list that the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetic Database put together of the Safest and best working sunscreens. I urge you to check it out and make informed choices about something that seems so simple but of course is not. (cuss here) You can also search for the sunscreens you most likely already have in your possession...and see what the HELL is in it! Please be prepared to be disgusted.
Best advice: use clothing as much as possible to block the suns harmful UVA and UVB rays. Seek out shade and when necessary go ahead and lather on the SAFE and EFFECTIVE sunscreen that you so carefully researched and chose. Good mama :)
Thursday, April 24, 2008
But on a lighter note....Nana and Papa are on their way! I told Grant that when he wakes up from nap they will be waiting for him. He then sang a nana papa song (adorable) but I doubt he understands the details. He will certainly be jumping for joy when he sees them though. And we get almost a full week with them this time!
Our adventure includes traveling down to hee haw country...Branson MO where my bro bro lives. My parents, Grant and myself will stay in a condo (ahhhhhhhhhh...space) but we will get to visit lots. I have not seen my brother in a year...so Im very excited to give the old boy a hug. Then Monday we will head back to Kansas and my folks will stay a few more days before heading back to St Louis.
The house is clean and cut flowers adorn their room. Now I just have to get through the work day :).
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Check here for more on the Asian Art and Elephant Conservation project.
Monday, April 21, 2008
So this morning there is was. My personal email from the Director letting me know the job had been officially opened. My heart sank. Sure I like the sound of advancing my career, of making more money, of the status and networking the job would afford me. HOWEVER....I HAVE A TODDLER. No other time in my life will I HAVE A TODDLER. Grant is our only child and unless divine intervention occurs...he will always be our only child.
I have completely been riding the fence. I was going to apply for the job and then if I did not get it (rare chance) then I would be ecstatic to be a full time mommy and part time dabbler (got to bring in enough $$ to pay for insurance and any expendable cash). Sometimes I got excited about the job...usually when I was checking out the housing market (and wanted a nice big place). Other times, when Grant was being a hellion....I would day dream about the escape that career offers. However, when dealing with my day care provider today, the issue became clearer than ever for me.
Listen to this. Des...my day care provider and friend...is awesome. I love that she encourages the kids to be outside as much as possible and allows them to get messy and experience the world. However...she is a bit irresponsible (remember the somersault gone wrong?) and scattered. Example A - even though her aide's last day was Friday...today she decides to walk the mile to the playground by herself! So that is one adult and 11 kids. Illegal YES. Ridiculous YES. Did I mention she is 7 months prego?
I dropped by the park to visit my son and was stressed out the whole time. The playground is suited for BIG KIDS...yet of course he wants to climb to the tallest point and play. It just makes me a nervous wreck and I set limits. I told her my limits and expect her to abide by them. But tell me...how can 1 women keep her eyes on 11 kids? SHE CANT. ITS IMPOSSIBLE. Its not safe.
So yes I will talk to her about my expectation when I go there later on today. But the bigger point here is that....no matter how good day care is...its not as good as MOM. There is always some concern. If the house sells as the contract lists...then as of June 1 - I am a free woman. No other time in my life will I have this opportunity....to raise my son as I see fit 24 hours a day. I am tired of leaving him with someone else. There is plenty of time for that later on.
Will we be poor? YES! Will I be able to adjust to the demands of staying at home with a toddler? Hopefully! Will we be happy? Hopefully! But overall...at least we get the chance to see...instead of always wishing and wondering...and potentially regretting.
Suppose I just gave someone else a real shot at that big fancy job. Its somebodies lucky day :). Now I gotta break the news the the agency ...and my husband.
Friday, April 18, 2008
Here are the recipes...try them for yourself! I am V satisfied with the all purpose cleaner. We used organic lemongrass essential oil as it has antibacterial and anti viral properties.
suggested uses: hard surfaces like counter tops and kitchen floors, windows and mirrors
2 cups white distilled vinegar
2 cups water
20-30 or more drops of essential oil (optional)
Tip: Warming in microwave until barely hot will boost cleaning power for tough jobs. Only microwave in a glass container.
Creamy Soft Scrub
suggested uses: Use this creamy soft scrub on kitchen counters, stoves, bathroom sinks, etc.
2 cups baking soda
½ cup liquid castile soap*
4 teaspoons vegetable glycerin (acts as a preservative)
5 drops antibacterial essential oil such as lavender, tea tree, rosemary or any scent you prefer (optional)
Mix together and store in a sealed glass jar, shelf life of 2 years.
Tips: For exceptionally tough jobs spray with vinegar first—full strength or diluted, scented—let sit and follow with scrub.
Dry soft scrubs can be made with baking soda or salt (or combination of both) with 10-15 drops essential oil to scent
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white distilled vinegar
20-30 drops lemon essential oil
Shake well before using
(2 teaspoons lemon juice may be substituted for lemon oil but then must be stored in refrigerator)
Dip a clean, dry cloth into the polish and rub wood in the direction of the grain. Use a soft brush to work the polish into corners or tight places.
Tips: To remove water spots rub well with toothpaste. To remove scratches use 1 part lemon juice and 1 part oil, rub with soft cloth.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Sprinkle toilet bowl with baking soda, drizzle with vinegar, let soak for at least 30minutes and scrub with toilet brush.
Put ¼ cup borax in toilet bowl and let sit for at least 30 minutes. Swish with a toilet brush and then scrub. A few drops of pine oil can be added for increased disinfecting. (Note: some people are allergic to pine oil.)
Tip: Let ingredients soak for a while to make for easy scrubbing, especially on persistent stains like toilet bowl rings
½ cup baking soda
½ cup vinegar
Pour baking soda down the drain and follow with vinegar. Cover and let sit for at least 30 minutes. Flush with boiling water.
Tip: Prevent your shower form clogging by using a drain trap to catch hairs.
1 cup soap flakes
1/2 cup washing soda
1/2 cup Borax
Soap flakes can be made by grating your favorite pure vegetable soap with a cheese grater. Mix ingredients together and store in a glass container. Use 1 tablespoon per load (2 for heavily soiled laundry), wash in warm or cold water.
This standard recipe can be adjusted for soft water by using 1 cup soap flakes, 1/4 cup washing soda and 1/2 cup borax. For hard water, use 1 cup soap flakes, 1 cup washing soda, and 1 cup borax.
Note: Borax should not be ingested.
Tips: Add 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar to rinse as a fabric softener. For a whitener, use hydrogen peroxide rather than bleach. Soak your dingy white clothes for 30 minutes in the washer with 1/2 cup 20% peroxide. Launder as usual.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
I would be more excited if a) there was not a divorce contingency on the contract till May 1st...meaning if her divorce does not go through as she expects by then...she will most likely back out at that point and b) if I had not misquoted our payoff amount which now means that we need to figure out a way to make the numbers come out right.
NO we are not making money on our home. YES this sucks. Yes we are the lucky folks who ended up loosing money on the whole "investment". A recession combined with a buyers market, rolling our closing costs into the loan (which inflates the loan obviously) & only living in the house for 2.5 years has us scrambling to just break even! HO HUM. I try not to think about it. Its just disgusting. However we have greatly enjoyed our time in the house and will always remember it fondly. We are NOT jumping into another home purchase however. I am presently lusting to rent...oh the irresponsibility of it!
So although we did sign a contract and it is starting to feel like we are going to indeed move...there is still so much up in the air that it is hard to feel settled. I'm honestly thinking about getting a prescription for something to take the edge off. I hate to go that route...but damn.....I am stressed out here.
The logistics of moving have me wired. When to my notice in at work..to be fair to my fabulous boss and yet not before things are looking solid. How to move, when to move, where to move (well we have the city but I mean actual structure). How to pay for it all.
Then of course there are the emotional elements...saying goodbye to this place I love and the people I adore. Uprooting Grant from his beloved school and friends. Moving is one of the most stressful experience you can have (loosing a child is the first). Finding my way in a new city.
In the middle of all the chaos I am preparing to apply for a job that has not officially been advertised yet but I know is coming. I want it sort of....but not really. I just feel like I have to apply because it fits me and it is actually available. If I don't get it I will be fine with staying at home with Grant!!!!! So you see my dilemma. Poor is fine by me. I remember it well from my twenties.
So as you can see....my life is chaotic right now....and I do not do well in these moments. So send me a prayer or a virtual hug please. I just needed to vent!
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
During our last walk I decided to do one at a time...Happy being the first because she is the eldest and she does not recognize Grant as the Alpha and therefore poses a much greater threat. She also has sever arthritis and even refused to attend the "last walk". Whereas she would not be able to handle life with Sadi....I think Sadi might be OK without Happy. Sadi has always been the "rock head" whereas Happy was eerily human like.
The entire situation is entirely bizarre and morbid. I am still in shock. Yes, I murdered my dog of 14. 5 years. She had been with me since she was a wee 5 weeks old. The runt of the litter, feisty and totally neurotic from day one! I am grieving. She was a good dog and I thanked her till the last second....hell...I am still thanking her. She was by my side my entire adult life. She witnessed it all. My growth, my regression, my mistakes, my successes. And she followed me everywhere.
There is comfort in still having Said here with me. I cant imagine having done both at once...with the way I am feeling.....that would have been a mistake.
Rest in peace sweet Happyloo. Your sprit will be missed. Happy after world to you sweet pup.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Agony is upon me. As the minutes pass I am becoming more and more uncomfortable with putting my dogs to sleep tomorrow.
Yes they are OLD. Yes they are deaf and and semi blind. Yes they have severe arthritis and as the vet say, their bodies are giving out on them. Yes they snap at my son and even tonight Happy was having a stare down contest with him that scared me.
However, they are not sick. They have a good quality of life. They still enjoy food, treats and at least Sadi still likes walks. They are content.
Even though the vet encouraged me to put them down (because of the snapping)....I definitely feel like for me, it would be more for convenience than anything. And this is what is eating away at me. Yes, the fact that they pose a threat to my son is definitely a real problem. I do not think any blood would ever be drawn, but you truly never know with animals. For goodness sakes...they are animals right. And being old and crotchety combined with mild dementia...could very well cause an atypical act....like biting.
Here is Happy - my first born.
I just don't know what will go down tomorrow. In a way I just want to stop THINKING about it and just do it. I have already thought about it long and hard and finally made the appointment. On an optimistic point, if you, given the chance, were allowed the option for a painless death while you were still very old but not miserable yet...would you be cool with it? I'm voting yes. Of course its impossible to figure out how long we have left...so that's the kink. How long do these girls have left feeling pretty good and not being officially sick? Sure Sadi can barely get up the stairs and sure they don't even get up for a crazy human appetizer because it is too much trouble...but still...they are in dogs terms, healthy.
SHIT. This SUCKS. It sucks being me right now. My council keeps telling me...well its your decision...only you can make it. GREAT. Lucky me. I realize that I could very well cancel the appointment in the morning and just go about my business and just wait for the next bite scare or the next health problem to debate and worry and deal with it. But honestly...they are old.....they have daily pain, its bound to come up someday soon...so why not tomorrow?
If I go through with it...I just have to believe that I am giving them an honorable death, a peaceful death, and one that I would prefer for myself if given the option. Go out with dignity...before continence is lost, before cancer sets in, before pain consumes...right before life is not worth living.
I took the day off tomorrow. They will indulge in chicken livers, a hike in the woods and a tranquilizer trip. What happens next is as of this writing a mystery.
I apologize for such a dismal, pathetic post. You my friends are my therapist tonight (whats new).
Sadi..what a GOOD dog she is! So loyal and protective.
Friday, April 11, 2008
Thursday, April 10, 2008
I plan to indulge them over the weekend with excessive attention, pampering and lots of human food! I also want to take them on a hike in the woods...their favorite place. Monday I will have the day off to spend with them and feed them raw liver and stinky things only dogs love. Then at 4:30 we start the process. Thankfully they will have tranquilizers earlier in the day so they will be high as a kite and not have a worry in the world.
These little girls...my Happy and Sadi have been with me since they were just weeks old. Happy coming first and then Sadi being adopted 6 months later. They have traveled the country with me and have been at my side through many moves and changes, and through it all they loved me unconditionally. They were the cutest puppies ever:). They have been to dog parks, rainbow gatherings, communes, dozens of campgrounds, trails, lakes and creeks. Overall they have had excellent lives and I hope they can forgive me for ending their lives a bit premature. I know they could hold on longer, but why make them suffer? Their arthritis is bad, they are deaf and mostly blind, one has a tumor that bleeds and Grant annoys the piss out of them. They both have snapped at him (not that he didn't deserve it) but Happy could very well sneak a good bite in someday...especially with her dementia (oh ya...she barks all day at nothing). Happy is 14.5 and Sadi just turned 14 last week.
For now I will focus on making their last hours the best they have had in years...and leave the grieving for next week. This is a rotten thing to have to decide. We never think about this when we are adopting those adorable puppies now do we?
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Last night during my 15 minutes of TV time I happened to stumble upon this jewel. My hand was paralyzed as I witness the atrocities of a redneck wedding. Call me innocent...but I really had no idea these things happened! I mean I have some serious country roots and relatives...and have indeed been to a barn wedding...but these weddings are truly....well truly...whacked out.
I'm sure it has something to do with me NOT being a redneck...otherwise I would be inspired and excited. However that is not the case and instead I have visions of a bride chasing a greased pig and mudding in her 4 wheel drive and it almost disgusts me. I had no idea how uppity I am! Ok so it doesn't disgust me...but it is slightly disturbing in an intriguing way. Hell..its worth a looksie...a whole new world of redneck I didn't even know existed! In fact..I'm sure I will be back for more. Strange how that works isn't it?
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
However, since that time I have turned about face. Instead of trying to get pregnant (on my own which another post altogether) I am instead relaxed and content with my family of 3. As soon as I stopped wanting...a huge burdon was lifted off my shoulders. It was quite dramatic.
Now we (I) do not have to go through 3 trimesters of varying degrees of discomfort and maternal wondering. We are free from the sleepless newborn phase. We do not have to figure out how to give them both of them enough attention, structure or a college education. My husband and I don't have to go back in time...or regress...we can just focus on the future and move forward with our already 21 month old. This is very much a relief.
So for now....I just enjoy dear Grant to the fullest and am grateful that we were able to bring him into the world to join us in the journey of life. He IS enough (more than enough truly). And we will make sure that he has ample access to lots of little friends wherever we may go so that he is never lonely for peers. And when he asks us why he is an only child we will tell him that
Sunday, April 6, 2008
We visited the Missouri Botanical Gardens which is a comfort zone for me. I have a collection of fond childhood memories here and going back with my Mother and Godmother leaves me with lots of warm fuzzy feelings. This green house is one of my favorites and houses blooming trees. I love this inside outside photo
I was exhausted most of the trip. I decided to just plop down on some lush green grass while at the gardens for some much needed nap time. It was so cool to listen to all the sounds around me while I have dozed.
Mother in law and Godmother chat while Grant takes his mid day nap at the garden.
love this shot
Notice Grant runnin on the left side of the pic. He is a busy fella.
Camelia - not to be confused with Chlamydia
Played hockey with dad at his moms house.
We saw this face more than I care to remember :)
We dined at my favorite restaurants........hallelujah
Then Grant decided to teeter totter standing up...much to the surprise of his father
We celebrated my birthday on and off the whole weekend..complete with 3 birthday sweets including a brownie (pictured), an apple pie and a chocolate cake. It was wonderful hehe.
Sitting on the stoop. This porch has seen way too much of my life! I tell you when I go back home I go WAYYY back. That seems to happen when your parents dont move and its just all right there waiting for you...like a time capsule.
Here is my dad waving from the garage. Isnt that garage a relic? Another place that just brings it all back. I remember falling from those steps and getting a huge cut on my knee..still have the scar...and my dad picked the rocks out with tweezer.