30 Minutes of Peace

Mamas, I heard your cry for help. All we need is 30 minutes of peace sometimes, right? I’ve been exploring how to make that happen and I’m happy to share my results here. First off, there’s a treacherous recipe for making your own snow floating around the internet. It’s shaving cream, baking soda, and glitter. Don’t do that. Trust me.  But this one was a hit. Pipe cleaners and a colander. That got me a good 45 minutes, actually.

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And there is one that ALWAYS gets me maximum mom time, but it’s loud. Sometimes it’s worth it.

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That would be the classic vacuum cleaner hose attachment hair salon. Do you have any gems for me?!

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Field Trip Fridays

We just made this thing up. Field trip Fridays. They are more for me than the kids. I don’t particularly enjoy kid fun. It’s not because of my kids, it’s me. I get really anxious doing new things. I’m nervous driving places I’ve never been (what if I get lost? where do i park?!). I’m afraid I’ll lose control of my kids and we’ll have a big public meltdown a mile and a half away from my car. I don’t like sunscreen. I don’t like talking to other mom strangers (I KNOW! I’m anti-social and strange!). We have a good time around the house. Mostly just daily life, but sometimes we mix it up. Only lately I’ve been feeling like all their really fun memories go to someone else. Someone willing to go in public. Mostly grandmas and grandpas and aunts. But I really wanted some of those memories for myself too. Still, I’m chicken. So a few weeks ago I instated Field Trip Fridays. The first time we just went to an ice cream shop around the corner. The next time we went to a park up the road. But today was a landmark. A big event. I took my smalls to the zoo by myself. I know this is absolutely nothing to most of you, but for me it’s monumental. The world is my oyster. I drove in downtown Houston. I didn’t get lost, I didn’t cry. I spent too much money, but that’s just to be expected I suppose. It was no more than I’d spend at Target. I didn’t attempt an all day event. I kept it short and sweet and hit the road at the first “I’m hoooot….”

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The Big Event for this summer is Sea World. I’ve got my heart set on it. But Field Trip Fridays are going to also let me explore my new bit of Texas. I’m going to hike in Lost Maples, splash in the Frio, see the bat caves and pick some peaches. But Sea World is the Big Event. Wish me luck (and let me know if you know anything cool to do). I almost feel like I could do anything. I could go to IKEA y’all! Anything!


How to Be Broke Like a Granny

last week my grandma popped over for a little visit and we got to chatting about being broke. she told me how things used to be done and how she still does alot of those things. here’s the big game changer for me. i tried it this time and it was life-changing granny wisdom. ready?

don’t piss away all your money on payday! hang on to it. act like you’re still broke. when you have a couple grand in the bank account it’s easy to think that there is plenty to goof off with. i will usually go shopping and eat out on payday. not this time. i just got off a broke stretch, so i just kept it going. today i’m halfway through the paycheck and i have way more than i thought i would. but still it’s enough to make me think twice about eating out… also, all that time gave me a chance to mull over whether i really needed what i thought i did. so the rule of thumb is to spend only on necessities during the first half of the pay period. then the second half is for fun stuff once you see (accurately) how much you have left.

make do with what you have. we have guests coming in a few weeks. i always feel a little inadequate with our house situation. i wanted new linens for the bed, an update for the bathroom, and a patio makeover. well, all that’s just not going to happen. instead, i used linens and pillows that we already have and put new combos together for something ‘new’. i bought a piece of art off etsy to bring it all together. $25. done.

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i brought patio furniture from the other house.

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and i used paint from another room to revamp the bathroom. is the bathroom still tiny and funky? yes, it is. is it much better, though? yes, it is.

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spend your time wisely. you know yourself. if you can’t go to the stores without dropping a bunch of $, then don’t go. i can’t go. so what do you do all day? hmmm… what would your granny do? bake bread from scratch. i did this today! it spent 3 hours of my day, made my house smell amazing, solicited praise from everyone in my house, made me giddy, and costs like 30 cents in yeast. 2 loaves, baby. it was crazy awesome. here’s the tutorial i used and it came out perfectly!

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what else do grannies do? sew. sewing can be cheap or expensive. if you’re broke you should maybe think cheap. yo-yo’s are fast and fun and you can tote them all around. you don’t need a machine or batting and all that. or you could embroider some dish towels. or maybe some hoop art. that’s all cheap. or you can get together with friends. my grandma said that her and her girlfriends used to get together to do housework and laundry and stuff. one day at one person’s house, then the next day at someone else’s. that sounds fun, right? or maybe canning. that’s fun with a crowd. anyway, think like a grandma.

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save some for a rainy day. my grandma used to save money for hard times. smart, huh? they always come. also, this goes for food too. this week (while we still had $), i made a bunch of freezer food for next week (when we might not). more on that tomorrow. but we also stocked up on ‘stuff’ this week. diapers, gas, paper towels, laundry detergent. those things really hurt when you have $30 left to your name. so sock away some money, some food, some necessities.

count your blessings. things aren’t perfect and they never will be. so stop chasing it all day! look around. there’s awesomeness all around you.


oktoberfest

oktoberfest is one of the best weekends all year long in fredericksburg. for one thing, the weather is usually perfect. sure enough, this year was fantastic. i got to bust out the sweater and everything. i love seeing everyone decked out in their fall cuteness! we have so many memories of oktoberfest in the burg and it was one of the major highlights of living here. here’s a crazy memory for you…

once upon a time i was 40 weeks pregnant with my first child and living on the gulf coast of texas during hurricane season. a little hurricane called rita was freaking everyone out. she was a little too close to the aftermath of katrina, and everyone wanted to escape to the hill country for safety. we traveled to fredericksburg with ALL of my family. i was due any day and no one wanted to miss the first baby. so my parents, grandparents, sister, niece, nephews, great aunt, mother and father in-law, sister and brother in law (and their newborn and their parents) all settled in to wait for this baby. i had lost amniotic fluid from the stress of the whole thing and i wasn’t going to make it back to houston to my sweet midwives. i was going to deliver with a stranger in a hospital i’d never been in, and 30 people were going to wait until i did.

anyway, then he was born. it was fine. instead of the natural midwife delivery i dreamed of, i freaked out and begged for an epidural and there he was. the funniest thing i remember is how ‘country’ it was. i was waiting for a lactation consultant to come in and teach me the ins and outs of breastfeeding. i asked my nurse about it and she said, “oh, honey, we don’t have any of that! it’s not hard. it’s just like milkin’ a cow”. i said “pretend i’m from houston and i’ve never milked a cow before.”

anyway, oktoberfest… so will is born and i’m released from the hospital into the first perfect day of the season. the first cold front came in and it was lovely. will had jaundice and they recommended lots of sunlight. a festival was just the thing for my 3 day old baby! *head smack*  all i remember is my first attempts at nursing in public. it was not smooth and natural, it just involved alot of awkward moments with my stepdad trying to shield me and help me keep my blanket on. yikes. this year was alot better. the 3 day old baby is now eight and spent his time playing games and bouncing on the bungee cords.

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abby’s favorite thing was getting her face painted by a clown

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i’m pretty sure brandon’s favorite thing was the beer. and the weird german outfits. no, he did not wear one… this year.

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so for my Thankfuls today i think i’ll go with

17. all the good memories from oktoberfest

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and also

18. the blessing that is the stroller nap

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i love my people

i have been showered with love lately, from my sweet friends. i know some have you have been praying for me to stop being so dang lonely (thanks, debbie), and those prayers were answered in the form of visits from my people. so today i’ll be thankful for them.

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11. i am thankful for jenn and maya driving an hour and half to my humble little pasture to hang out. we drank margaritas, ate too much cake, and  had a great time talking all things mommyhood and blogging and all that.

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12. i am thankful for the kids sleeping in so i could clean in peace

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and then later that evening our best friends from houston came to spend a few days.

13. i’m thankful for baby pools

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14. huge smiles that your face can hardly contain

i hope your weekend has one or two of those in there!


birthday month

yikes, birthday month is done. we birthday-ed it up around here. will turned 8 yesterday and abby turned 5. they are 10 days apart, so each year there is a good two weeks of birthday-ing. it’s rather intense. there is lots of packaging and frosting involved! we are grateful for all the birthday wishes and presents and visits and fun stuff. birthdays are officially celebrated.

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and i hope you don’t mind, but i’m starting a little personal project. as i’ve said before, i don’t always stick with projects once i announce them, so maybe the thing is shot anyway, but i’ll give it a go. i’m in this season of transition where i have a whole new horizon spread out before me (good), but i still miss the old stuff sometimes. my old house and friends and income and conveniences. there are days that are very hard. and, of course, there are some days that are so very easy to love this life. i need to focus heavily on the good and give thanks in all circumstances. so i’m starting a new 1,000 gifts list and i’ll post them here. if i do a few a day, then by this time next year i’ll be able to make myself a little book and be able to look back at how far we’ve come. i think it’ll help with the transition. i hope i don’t bore you to death with My Thankfuls!

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1. The way the pasture in front of the house is bathed in warm light in the morning. There is a dewy mist that I can’t quite capture and it’s so pretty.

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2. the little coils on the back of his head. i’ve missed his hair being long and i’m glad it’s growing back out again. hoping he’s outgrowing that whole “peanut butter in the hair” thing.

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3. the rose bush blooming. i thought i killed it. it’s supposedly a gift from lady bird johnson to the old owner of the house. i would feel really bad if it managed to die on my watch, but it’s full of blooms today.


a boy and his dog…boy

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when we moved out here we thought it would certainly be time for a dog. brandon travels and i’m home with the kids alot by myself. i thought a dog would provide some comfort and they’re always a good little alarm system. we decided on a border collie since we intend to have some goats soon and thought it would be fun to have a herding dog.  we scouted out adoption sites….

that process was so annoying!!! y’all, there were seriously home studies involved. the process was so drawn out and slightly ridiculous that yesterday we took the birthday boy to the animal shelter just to see what we could find. and wouldn’t you know it?… we came home $25 later with a border collie. he’s pretty awesome! he’s fantastic with the kids and is a quick learner. he’s taking to training right away and is really eager to please. he’s going to be a great fit!

his name is boy. really. i’m trying to change it to chili, but the kids really want to leave it boy!

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