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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Men Can Do It Too

For the majority when it comes to one parent being a stay-at-home it's the mother. There are fathers who are stay-at-homes, but for the most part it's moms who stay home with the kids if a family can afford to have one parent stay home. When you're a stay-at-home you're not only in charge of the children for the bulk of the day but you're also in charge of the housework. Whether you get it done or not is a completely different story. Society teaches us that housework is a woman's job and that men don't know anything about cleaning, doing laundry, cooking or going grocery shopping. I am here to stay that men do know how to do these things. Maybe not all men, but the majority of men do know how to use a washing machine and dryer and how to wash dishes and how to cook and how to push a shopping cart through a grocery store and find what they need on the shelves.

Now if you've been reading my blog you know that I am not your average woman. I am not all for "girl power" and I'm not a fan of either sex competing against the other one just to prove that they are the "superior sex". I'm for equality for everyone. There is no "superior" anything when it comes to people. We are all people and we are all unique in our own way.

So, to continue with my original point. I think that all able body people should know how to do these basic things. Having the knowledge to cook or clean or go grocery shopping has nothing to do with if you're a woman or a man. Now whether you do these things or not is, again, a completely different story. I mean if you're an able body person that can function and live on your own and you don't know how to cook or clean or go grocery shopping well then....someone failed you when it came to teaching you about the basics of living on your own. I mean really that's what it comes down to. These are things you should know if you are going to live on your own.

I'm just tired of people thinking that because men are men that they don't know how to, basically, take care of themselves. Society and media teach us that a man needs a woman to take care of him. Because apparently it's a woman's job to be the caretaker. A man could never take care of anything, not even himself. For goodness sake people, men are human beings just like women. They know how to take care of themselves, at least they should know how to. Everyone should know how to take care of themselves.

What it all comes down to it is this, in a relationship you take of each other and you take care of day to day responsibilities together. By saying that men don't know how to cook or clean or go grocery shopping implies that these are not things men could do, that these are things women do. When it comes to taking care of the basic household chores both men and women know how to do them and should. Share responsibility in your relationships.

Blogly Question(s):

Does your husband/boyfriend/partner know how to take care of basic household chores? If so do they do them?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Did I Really Just Do That?

I have these moments almost daily. Moments where I say to myself did I really just do that? or did I really just say that? I am always second guessing myself, basically. Perhaps some of you out there have done the same thing. Maybe not quite as frequently, but perhaps it's happened to you at least once.

I can be socially awkward in large groups, usually at parties. I don't know what it is, but I just get nervous and start talking and I have what I refer to as "word vomit". It's a horrible problem that I have. It's more of a nervous habit that I have due to my anxiety (which is something I will go over at a later date). It really bothers Gabe and I'm sure it bugs other people that have witnessed it, as well. Even as the words are coming out of my mouth I'm thinking to myself what are you doing? what are you saying?  I think I do it to cover up my anxiety and my nervousness. Some people that read this will know what I'm talking about and have probably been present for it. I think it also comes from some weird thing where if I'm at a party I feel like I have to be the center of attention. It's some really bad subconscious thing I have. I know exactly where it comes from, but I'm not about to start pointing fingers.

There are also times when I react without thinking. I'm a constant not-thinking-before-I-do kind of person. I do not know where this comes from. Like the few times in high school when I didn't wear a seat belt in my friends' cars. Or when I smoked a cigarette in my bedroom while my dad was out doing errands. I opened a window and blew all the smoke out of it while I was smoking and I thought the smell would go out with it too, boy was I wrong. It's like something isn't wired in my brain correctly and I just do things without thinking first. There are times when I can hear my dad in my head saying "what where you thinking?" or "what are you thinking?". Sometimes I think I just need Kevin Costner to follow me around and slap me upside the head whenever I do things without thinking.

There are also times when I do day to day things and I'm just not thinking at all. Like starting my friend Chris' car when it was already started. Like I just go into my own world and am not focused on what's going on around me or not focusing on the task at hand. Like a serious space out or just an issue with paying attention some times.

Overall, I think I just second guess myself a lot. There are times after I publish a blog post that I wonder if everything will sound alright in it to someone else reading it. I wonder if I'm going to get people telling me that they don't think it was right of me to write what I did. I know that a big rule in doing blogging is not to worry about what other people with think. It's my opinion and I'm writing it and sharing it with everyone because that's what I want to do. Not everyone is going to agree with things that I have to say and I really need to get over that. Of course then there are times when I publish a blog post and I wonder if the grammar and punctuation is okay. Because I'm sure that's really what people are worried about when they're reading a blog. Well actually, I do know at least two people that are focusing on that when they read anything.

Oh well, so is life. We all make mistakes and we get over them and we learn from them. I'm sure we all have moments where we do or say something without thinking first. I'm not sure if as many people as me go over the incident in their head over and over again. But like I said, that's life.

Blogly Question(s):

Have you ever had a moment in your life where afterwards you asked yourself did I really just do that?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Name Game

I'm sure we all have our reasons behind the choice we make for our children's names. When I was pregnant with Lincoln we decided to be surprised on the sex, so we picked out two girls names and two boys names. Our girls names were Bridget and Kira and our boys names were Lincoln and Adam. We chose our girls names because they were the only two that both Gabe & I could agree on and we liked both names. Gabe had picked the name Lincoln long before we started trying to get pregnant. He heard it on a TV show and liked the short form of it, Link. He told me that if we ever had a son we were naming him Lincoln. I was fine with this, I liked the name as well. I picked out a second boys name because what if we did have a boy, but he didn't look like a Lincoln. So, we both agreed on Adam as a second boys name. When Lincoln was born I immediately started calling him by his name, which Gabe says surprised him a little. But I knew when he was born that Lincoln was his name and it does fit him.

When my mom was pregnant with me, she and my dad picked out quite a few names.They too had decided to be surprised on the sex of both their children. My mom liked the names Leslie and Caitlin for a girl and they both liked Dylan for a boy. But when I was born it was my dad who named me. He declared "it's our little Summer, it's our little Summer" when I was born. I'm not sure how they decided on my brother's name, Griffin. I do, however, know that they were going to give me the full first name of Summer Thyme. But they thought I would get teased too much, so they just gave me Summer as a first name. You know, which I never got teased for (insert sarcasm).

Gabe's mom picked out Gabe's first name and his sister's and their dad picked out their middle names. I really liked that they did this, because both parents got to give their child a name. Gabe's dad, Gabe himself, and Lincoln all have the same middle name. Gabe's dad started the custom of passing down his middle name to his son. Gabe wanted to continue this and we hope that if Lincoln ever has a son he chooses to continue this custom. We like the idea of having a family name in our children's names. If we ever have a girl we will use Gabe's grandmother's middle name for our daughter's middle name. I like this because it's like always having a piece of family with you.

When it comes to name a child I know that it can be a tough decision and some times it takes partners awhile to agree on a name. Sometimes I think that two people don't realize that they are naming a human being. That that is a person that will have to live with that name for the rest of their life. Unless of course they really hate their name and choose to legally change it. But I mean there are so pretty ridiculous names out there and I wonder what people were thinking (or rather not thinking) when they decided to name their child. Now, I just want to say for all of my friends that are reading this I am not talking about any of you. All of my friends that have children I feel that they gave their children names that fit them perfectly. I think we all know the people I'm talking about. Celebrities. There are some famous people that give their children perfectly normal names and then there are those that just go a little too far. I mean with some of these names what do you call the child for short. Or what do other children and parents think when they hear that child's name called out on the playground.

I know we all have our reasons for the names we choose for our children, but these are little people. Some day they will be grown adults and I don't anyone that wants to have to put the name Pilot Inspektor or Audio Science on their job application. Also, think of the comments they'll get from customers if they ever work a retail job. I used to get teased a lot for my name or people didn't believe that my name really is Summer. After a certain point hearing the same jokes about your name just gets annoying. I know that naming a child can be difficult, because not only do we have to think about if the name will fit them or not of it's too popular of a name but we also have to think of the connotations that go with some names. I recently learned that, apparently, I have a stripper name. Now when I think of names of strippers I do not think of Summer. I think of Bambi or Candi or Sauvignon Blanc (thank you Seth McFarlane for this one).

There are so many factors that go into naming a child and whatever name you choose for your child is fine. That's the name you and your partner like and you feel that it fits your child. That's what matters. A name is a very important thing. It's how a person is identified for their entire life. I think that is one big factor that should be considered when naming your child. But also pick something you like and you think will fit your child and their personality and something that you feel good about identifying them. I know that a name is not who some one is, but it is a very important part of who we are.

Blogly Question(s):

Did you and your partner have a hard time agreeing on a name for your child? Did anyone ever give you a hard time about the name you chose?  

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Not All Friends Are Forever

This is something that I'm sure plenty of us have had to learn in life. I know for me, personally, it was a hard thing to come to terms with. I thought that the friends I had in high school I would continue to be friends with forever. I had a couple friends that I had known since elementary and middle school that I was still friends with in high school and so I figured those friendships would definitely last forever. Boy, was I wrong. As we grow up we change and we are not the same people we were in high school. I mean some of us are still like that, but the majority of us grow up and mature and change.

Gabe (on the right) with one of his best friends, Chris, at our wedding. May 2007

When I was 10 I made friends with a girl in my class that was 4 days younger than me. We bonded pretty quickly and remained very close friends up until the past year. She was a great friend growing up. No matter what choices I made in my life she never judged me, she always remained my friend and supported me for the most part. I did the same for her. Her and I would talk on the phone every day and even when we ended up going to different middle schools and high schools we still remained friends. I thought for sure that her and I would be friends forever. But, we grew up and changed and I ended up staying down here in California. We just ended up being so different in our personalities and making different choices for our lives as adults that our friendship just dissolved basically.

Lincoln and Rusty are the best of buddies. April 2010

Lincoln is at the age now where he is making friendship bonds with other children. He has become very close with the two children next door, especially their little girl. He asks to go and play with them every day and is so sad when he can't or when he has to stop playing with them. I am glad that he has other kids to play with. He loves going to play with his friends and is always asking to go play with other kids. I know that some day he will have to realize that not all friendships last forever. Of course, I think guys are a little different when it comes to friendships than girls. Right now, I'm just happy that Lincoln can easily make friends and that he enjoys playing with other kids. I also know that once Lincoln starts school he'll make a lot of new friends and he'll continue to do that throughout his life.

(from left to right) Chris, Gabe, me, Kelly, Tim, and Paul at our wedding. Some of our best friends. May 2007

Friends are great to have. I have some pretty great friends in my life right now and I plan to keep them around for quite awhile. They're supportive and easy to talk to. I think the friendships you have as an adult seem to last longer and be stronger than those you had in high school. I mean some of us are still friends with people from high school and that's great. I have a couple of people I'm still friends with from high school, but I don't think our friendship is as close as it was then. Especially, since I live in a different state. But, I'm still happy that I have those friends in my life as well. I mean when it comes down to it, we choose to keep people in our lives because we want to share our lives with one another and we enjoy each others company and have things in common. I also don't know what I would do without the friends I have made at Mommy Group. It's nice to have friends that are going through similar things in their life that you are. Overall, it's just nice to have good supportive friends and be the same for them.

Blogly Question(s):

Are you still friends with people from your childhood? Do your children have other children that they have become close friends with?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Sleep is for Whimps

Okay, so not really. But, as parents we know that we usually don't get as much sleep as we did before we had children. Especially in the first year of parenthood. When Gabe & I look back to when Lincoln was waking up every 2 hours to be fed and changed we wonder how we did. How did we function the next day with such little sleep? We just cannot remember how we did, but we did and before we knew it Lincoln was sleeping through the night. He went through a short phase after he was a year old where he started waking up once during the night. It's amazing how quickly our bodies can adjust to a difference in our sleep patterns. I know there are some parents out there that wonder what sleep is, they cannot remember what it was like to get a full nights sleep before having children. Don't worry, you'll eventually get to sleep again.

Lincoln sound asleep after an active day. He had told us that he didn't want to take a nap this day and fell asleep about an hour before his bedtime. August 2011.

Then there are those of us that enjoy staying up late after the children have gone to bed. Gabe and I usually stay up until about midnight on most nights. But we have been known to stay up until 3 or 4am and only get a few hours of sleep. That's very rare for us, but it's fun to do every once in awhile. Just to stay up late and watch an R rated movie or a TV show that's not suitable for children. Just to enjoy some adult time and have a conversation without being interrupted by a small child every 5 minutes.

sounds asleep in a pile of pillows. February 2012

I have always enjoyed staying up late. Although, that usually means that I would end up sleeping most of the day when I was younger. I'm also skilled at being able to fall asleep pretty much anywhere and anytime. It is clear that Lincoln has developed this ability from me. We have found him asleep on the floor a few times. He had obviously played himself to sleep and it's pretty cute to find him sound asleep or to watch him fall asleep. Of course, if he takes a nap during the day then it's a bit harder to get him to sleep at night and he ends up staying up a bit later than his regular bed time.

I took this picture yesterday. Lincoln fell asleep after eating half his lunch and while watching a movie.

Ah yes, bedtime for children. We all have our routines and pretty much every child resists bedtime. Our routine consists of brushing Lincoln's teeth, putting him in pajamas, putting him in his bed, and reading him a story. Of course it does not go this smoothly. Nope, every night he tries to hide when we say that it's bedtime and then there is getting him to open his mouth and sit still while we brush his teeth. After his teeth are brushed he runs into the bedroom and says he is going to hide again. Then we get him into pajamas while he wiggles the whole time. Then we put him into bed and I start to read whatever book we're currently reading (right now it's the 2nd Harry Potter). When I first start reading Lincoln insists upon talking to us about other books that we've read and how the sun is taking a nap and that he is going to take a nap. Most nights after his little talks with us he'll fall right to sleep about a page into me reading. But there are nights where I will read about 3 pages or so and he is still awake. So I'll find a good place to stop and tell him that we're stopping there for the night and that if he wants to look at his books there are a couple by his bed. He then asks why I stopped reading the book and I explain to him. Then Gabe and I give him hugs and kisses good night and he usually stays in bed and eventually falls asleep. But he has been known to get up and tell us that he has to go to the bathroom or he wants one of us to come in there and either read one of his picture books to him or just talk to him or he'll want me to sing to him. Overall, our bedtime routine works pretty well.

I took this picture tonight of Lincoln and Gabe brushing each others teeth.

There was a time when we got hardly any sleep and I am thankful that we know get a good amount of sleep. We have learned to function on very little sleep and are glad that we don't have to do that on a regular basis anymore. To those of you out there that still don't get much sleep, don't worry you'll eventually get there. Now, good night and sleep tight.

Blogly Question(s):

How well does your child go to bed? Do they sleep through the night?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

My Brain Is Melting

Seriously, my brain feels like it's melting or has turned into goo or just isn't functioning up to par. I can't think hardly at all. I keep looking at my list of topics to write about and I cannot think of a way to start any of them. All I can think about is how tired I feel and how hard I've been working on this blog and I've also been trying to type a page a day of my novel. Along with the fact that I have a 3-year-old little boy to entertain and a house to maintain.

I'm not even like sleepy, I just feel so tired and I know that I still have so much work ahead of me. I've really been working on blogging as a business. I have not even gotten close to what it should be. The past couple of days I have just been getting it set up so that it is easier for you all to navigate. Plus I spruced it up a bit too. So far I think it looks pretty good. I would like to send a big shout out Thank You to Dan Pearce of Single Dad Laughing . He has a blog called My Big Blog Secrets and so many of his entries on there have helped me out. It's just very mentally tiring trying to figure all this blogging stuff out.

I am barely familiar with HTML, so I've been working on that a little and it sure is tiring trying to wrap my brain around all of that. Plus, I really want to do this professionally and so I've been reading about how to be a successful blogger if you're doing it for a profession/business. Now I've also read that lots of bloggers out there that have been doing this for quite some time are not usually big fans of those of us that want to blog as a business and make money doing it. But hey, blogging is all about the author's opinion on whatever topic(s) they choose to write about. And so the bloggers that do not approve of blogging as a business have the right to have that opinion.

I'm not complaining about all the work that goes in to having a successful blog. I love writing, it's what I've been trying to do for awhile and I feel like I'm actual doing a good job at it. I've thought about blogging for quite awhile, but never really felt like I had the support of my friends and family to do. Then I just figured what they hey, I'm going to do it for me because I enjoy writing so much. I will say that writing a blog post at least once a day hasn't definitely helped me with my fictional novel. I started writing my novel four years ago, I wrote an ending so that I knew where I was going with the story. But for some reason I never knew how to get to the end, not until recently. I will tell you it feels really great to see how I am getting to the light at the end of the tunnel.

Anyways, I would just like to say thank you again to Dan Pearce for posting all the things he has on how to make your blog successful for the audience reading it and how to successful blog as a business. For now I need to take a break and relax with Lincoln.

Blogly Question(s):

Do you ever feel like your brain is not functioning fully after working so hard on a project of sorts?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Adventures in Camping

I know that camping is a fairly common thing for families to do for vacation. Gabe & I both went frequently growing up and we've gone camping together before and since Lincoln was born. When I was little I enjoyed camping, for me it was always an adventure. I remember going on camping trips that seemed to last forever and we would camp at different campgrounds every couple of nights. I always looked forward to making new friends at each campground. I remember going on a really big camping trip when I was maybe four or five years old and my brother was either a few months or a year old. My dad and I would sleep in the tent while my mom and my brother would sleep in the Volkswagen bus that we had. The backseat pulled out flat to sleep on and there was a sink and counter top in it as well. It was a little camping vehicle and it was a lot of fun to travel in.

at the lava fields in Oregon when I was 12. We were on one of our big camping trips.

As I got older camping became not as fun for me. I remember going on a camping trip the summer I turned sixteen. All I wanted to do was spend the majority of the time in my tent. I would sleep in and then I would spend most of the day in my pajamas and just read in my tent or in a chair by the campfire. One morning my parents didn't even bother waking me up and went out to breakfast with my brother in the little town nearby. We spent about 4-5 days camping down the Oregon and California coast. We were supposed to go camping for an entire week, but by what was supposed to be our last night camping we had all had it and decided to sleep in a hotel.

That was the last camping trip I took before I met Gabe. In August of 2005 Gabe & I had been together for almost a year and we went on a camping trip with his sister, Amanda, and her boyfriend (now her husband), Duy, and our friends, Chris & Paul. We went and stayed in Lee Vining on the Nevada side of Yosemite. It was a pretty fun trip until the second to last day when it rained and Gabe, Chris, Paul, and I ended up spending the day in mine and Gabe's tent playing Risk. Gabe & I were supposed to stay one more night but decided to leave that evening and drove about halfway home before pulling into a motel for the night. The following August Gabe took me up to Duck Creek, UT which is where he went camping almost every year growing up. His dad's side of the family has been camping up there for the past 70 years. It's a really great campground and I enjoyed meeting family members of Gabe's for the first time.

at the Lehman Caves in Nevada on our way to Duck Creek. August 2006

Gabe and I didn't go camping again until the summer of 2009 after Lincoln was born. That summer we went on two weekend camping trips. We took the first one in July when Lincoln was 5 weeks old. We went up to Battle Creek right outside of Lassen Volcanic National Park. Our friends, Tim & Stephanie, came along with us. It was a really great trip and I would definitely go back again. At night we would put Lincoln in his bassinet in the front passenger seat and we would fold down the back seat and sleep on top of a memory foam mattress topper in the back of our Chevy Tahoe. Lincoln slept very well and was such a good little traveler for going camping at such a young age. A few weeks later we went camping with Tim & Stephanie and Stephanie's family up in Fort Bragg. It was another weekend trip and our first trip with our new trailer. It was another great trip and Lincoln did very well. The next summer when Lincoln was a year old we tried to go camping up at Salt Point State Park, just the three of us plus Rusty. We went on a big hike down to the water and when we came back we tried to put Lincoln down for a nap, but he just was not having it. He finally fell asleep and slept for about 45 minutes. When it came time to make dinner we realized that we'd left most of our cooking utensils at home. We decided that since Lincoln had had a hard time falling asleep for a nap and since we didn't have many cooking supplies that it would be best if we headed up. We packed up and were ready to head home by about 9pm. About 15 to 20 minutes after we got on the road Lincoln fell asleep and slept the whole way home and all through the night.

Lincoln in the Ergo at Salt Point. August 2010

After that trip we decided that we are done with camping for now. When we were younger it seemed fun to us because we didn't have to pack everything up and get all the food ready and the campfire lit. Now as adults and parents it's just not as fun as we remember. A trailer seems great because then you don't have to set up a tent, but the downside is you end up bringing pretty much your entire house with you. Once Lincoln is old enough we'll take him camping up at Duck Creek and so that he can get the experience of going camping. Camping can be fun, but we have decided that when we go on vacation we want to relax and sleep in a warm room in a nice hotel. We don't want to have to bring all of our food and cooking supplies with us. I think right now Lincoln is just too little for camping and for Gabe & I it's just not as enjoyable as it used to be.

And those have been our adventures in camping. We know we'll go again someday, but for now I think we're going to enjoy staying in hotels.

Blogly Question(s):

Do you enjoy going camping? Have you taken your children? What do they think of it? Do they sleep well on camping trips or hardly at all?

Hormonal Mommy

Warning: This post may be a bit TMI for some of you. I will be discussing my time of the month, woman hormones and some other personal things when it comes to reproduction . If any of this bothers you I suggest you read no further, thank you.

I can't stand my time of the month and I really don't know any women that can stand it. I get overly hormonal and get bad cramps and am just not an enjoyable person to be around. This month was especially hard because my period started last Monday on time and was super light and then a week after it started it decided to starting really flowing. I always have a normal period, 5-7 days and a consistent flow. I usually have one to two bad days of cramps and I'm pretty cranky right before it starts. I get really confused and it bugs me when my period is wonky like it was this month. What bothers me even more are my hormones. Oh yeah and I cry at just about everything during my time of the month.  I just really cannot stand how my emotions are so up and down during my period. Plus, I'm exhausted during my time of the month and so I sleep a lot. It's just not a very happy time for any of us. Just about every month when my period arrives I wish that it wasn't here and I was pregnant. It's really hard for me and I get so emotional.

So, this whole second kid thing (as Gabe and I refer to it when we talk about it) is really hard for me. When Lincoln was 18 months old I heard a study on the radio that said only children are happier than children with siblings. This made me think and I knew that I never wanted to make my child unhappy in any way. I figured that since I wanted no more than a 4 year age difference between two kids Lincoln wouldn't be old enough to tell us how he would really feel about a sibling. I just didn't want him to be unhappy in the future because he had a younger sibling that he didn't like or didn't get along with. If he ever had a sibling I wanted them to get along and be close and enjoy spending time with each other. So, I made the rash decision to let Gabe get a vasectomy. He had wanted to get one because he knew he didn't want anymore children and he didn't want to deal with me while I was pregnant again, he said once was enough (apparently I was really awful while pregnant). In January of 2011 Gabe went and got snipped. At first I was okay with it, but about 4 months later I regretted the decision and I knew that I had made a choice without really thinking it through. I thought that I would be fine with having just one child and I was so excited that we wouldn't have to deal with any sibling rivalries or Lincoln wouldn't have to wait to go to Disneyland because his younger sibling was too little. I was wrong, I think Lincoln would make an excellent big brother and I don't think he would be unhappy because he had a younger sibling.

Gabe and I have talked about this a lot and he has always wanted to adopt. I'm totally open to the idea of adoption and I think it's a great thing to do. The only thing is that it's very expensive and I just don't see it ever happening because it's so expensive and because it usually takes awhile and as much as I feel okay with a 5-6 year age difference between my children I think it would also be a bit harder because they would be at two completely different stages in their development and life. Gabe says we can always do a foster to adopt with a child that's closer in age to Lincoln, but I don't know how I feel about that. It's just a really hard situation for me and I don't bring it up to Gabe anymore because it always ends up in an argument and him thinking that I'm not happy here with just him and Lincoln. Which is totally untrue. I love my family, Lincoln means the world to me. There are just times (always during my hormonal time of the month) when I feel like something is missing from our family.

All of this was a lot worse last year when I was just getting used to only have one child and realizing that maybe I'd made a rash decision. It's only been in the last few months when I've been coming to terms with our decision and realizing that I'm okay with just having one child. Another one would be nice, but I don't need a second child to complete our family. Our family is complete with just the three of us, another one would just be an addition. I think about having a second one whenever my period arrives, especially when it's all wonky like this month. Like I just feel like it should make up it's mind and either come on full force or not come at all. For sure what caused all this was the fact that I thought maybe I was having implantation bleeding this month and so I got a little excited, but then it just went on for a whole week and I was thinking no something else is going on and my body is clearly out of whack or something. I've read so many stories about women whose husbands have gotten a vasectomy and it has reversed on its own usually one to five years after the procedure. I think I just read too many of those and got my hopes up. Like I said, I've been a lot better lately about our decision to not have any more biological children and I'm totally open to looking into adoption and quite possibly going through with it.

I just do not know why women have to get so hormonal every month. I know it drives men crazy, I mean even when we're not having our period we drive them crazy with how we are. Something I've learned being married to Gabe is that women can be extremely irrational a lot of the time. Okay, I'm sorry ladies I do not mean for this to be a slight against us. But come on we can be....well....irrational from time to time, some of us more than others. I'm sure you're wondering how I learned this from being married to Gabe, because he's obviously not a woman and most women would not say this about other women. Well, Gabe is a very straight-forward and honest person. Sometimes I love this about him and other times I wish he was not like this. So, when I'm having a moody day or moment he's the first one to point it out and over the years he has helped me to be aware of when I'm being moody so that I don't take it out on him. I'm glad that he has done this, it has helped a lot with when I'm super moody during my time of the month. I can tell right away when I'm about to be in a bad mood and most likely act irrationally about something. So, I just tell him that I'm sorry if I'm moody but it's just my hormones due to my time of the month. It's helped a lot and I thank Gabe for this.  But have you ever noticed that it's only women that have mood swings once a month? I mean there are men out there that act irrationally, as well, and are jerks and assholes. I mean, how come guys don't get overly hormonal once a month? I think maybe the reason guys don't have to deal with something like a period once a month is because they have to deal with women on their periods once a month.

I know that women have discussed this topic many times over the years. And I really think that the reason men were made to not have periods and not be able to carry a child or give birth to it is because they have to deal with women during all of that. I know that women will argue that having cramps and carrying a child in our womb for nine months and then going through labor is worse. Men will argue that having to deal with that is worse. I am here to say, let's put a stop to this and just say that we each have to go through our own things. Whether that be dealing with cramps, mood swings, pregnancy, and labor or having to deal with a woman going through that. I think the debate of which one is worse should just stop here. Neither one is worse, they just are. It's just things we have to deal with in our life.

Blogly Question(s):

Do you get moody/hormonal during your time of the month? Does your partner have hard time dealing with you during your time of the month?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Is This Real?

Sometimes I wonder if I am really doing this. Am I really blogging? Am I working hard enough at trying to make it successful? In the past couple of days I've thought about just deleting it all because I'm not sure if I'll always have something to write about. But then I tell myself no because I've been putting a lot of effort into promoting this, at least I feel like I've been putting a lot of effort in to it. Lately I've been working on setting up ways so that you, the audience, can better subscribe to this blog (which I would really love if you did, please) and on better ways so that you can share posts, again I'd really love it if you shared my posts with everyone. I'm also working on a way so that you can comment on posts better. It's a lot more work than I thought it would be, but I'm doing it. I'm doing it because I love writing and I feel that writing posts here on this blog about my real life will help me with my fictional piece of writing that I've been working on for 4 years. I'm glad that I started this and I'm pushing myself to write even when I can't think of a topic.

There are times when I open up this page to start a post and I have no idea what to write about. There are times when I wonder if I'm promoting this enough. I'm doing as much as I can and I've been researching a lot too on how to promote better and how to make my blog work and all that. It's a lot more work than I knew it was. But I'm enjoying it, I've really been enjoying writing and sharing it with all of you and I've been enjoying learning about the blogging world. I feel like I haven't even scratched the surface in what I have been learning about all there is to learn about blogging and making it successful and turning it into a business (which is what I'm working towards).

I really hope that all of you out there that are reading this are enjoying it, as well. I would really love to get some feedback and comments so that I can know what all of you think. So, if you would please leave comments here on the blog or on the facebook page or you can follow me on twitter I would really appreciate it. I'm working on making this so that it is easy for you to navigate and easier for you to share and comment and subscribe. I really appreciate all of you that have been reading, but it would be even better if I could get some feedback from all of you.

Thank you so much!!

Blogly Question(s):

Is there anything on here that I could improve that would help you better navigate the page in any way?

Farm Life

We spend a lot of time out at Gabe's parents' farm. They live about 10 minutes away and Gabe is there 5 days a week for his job. Lincoln loves going to the farm. His current favorite thing to do there is to see the little chicks they have. He asks to go and see the baby chicks, it's very cute. He wants us to hold them so he can pet them and he's very gently. We also enjoy going there because they have a pool and that is great for hot days like we have been having. We went over there yesterday and went swimming and did one of my favorite things to do. I love to catch the frogs that live in their old hot tub. There are tons of them in there right now because it gets nice and humid in there with the lid closed and the few inches of water that are in there. Lincoln likes it when I catch the little tree frogs and then he asks to hold them and then we put them in the pond. It's such a wonderful place to have to go for Lincoln and we always have fun when we are there.

one of the frogs we caught right before we put it in the pond. July 2012

 Lincoln's other favorite thing to do at the farm is to go for a ride on his Grandpa's ATV. Either Gabe or Grandpa will take Lincoln out for a ride out in the field on it. He sits in front between their legs and just loves it. Sometimes he'll hold on to the handlebars and help steer, it's pretty cute to watch and I'm glad he loves it so much. Next time we're out there I'll have to take a picture of Gabe & Lincoln going for a ride on it.

Lincoln telling me about the frog we just let go. July 2012

Nearly every day Lincoln asks to go to the farm. He just enjoys running around and exploring. He really likes helping his Grandma with the animal chores. They'll go and see if the chickens have laid any eggs and he'll help feed the ducks and the goose and he'll watch while Grandma feeds the doves and finches. Yesterday he noticed that the water for the doves and the finches was dirty, so he let Grandma know that they needed clean water. I'm glad that he is so compassionate towards animals like that. He knows that they need to be taken care of and it's good that he is aware of things like that. He also likes seeing the cats and petting them and he enjoys playing with their dog.

 I'm glad that Gabe grew up on a farm and that Lincoln can go there and grow up with it nearby. I also enjoy going there for myself. Even though I was raised in the city I think I've always been an outdoorsy girl at heart and that is thanks to my dad. My dad was always taking me and my brother out to do things like ride our bikes or go for hikes or go to the beach and search for things in the tide pools. I think because we grew up in the city my dad wanted to make sure that we were exposed to the kind of life he had growing up. Which was going on adventures in the outdoors and I've always enjoyed that. I'm glad that Lincoln gets to grow up out in the country and have lots of outdoor adventures, as well.

Blogly Question(s):

Do your children enjoy playing outside? What are their favorite things to do outdoors?


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Being Excluded For Who You Are

Tonight I am writing about something that I feel very passionately about. I do not feel it is right to deny someone equal rights, nor do I feel it is right to exclude someone because of who they are. The Boy Scouts of America have recently decided to uphold their rule of not allowing homosexual people to be apart of their troops. I think this is wrong and I will never allow my son to be apart of a group like that. What hurts me even more is a letter to the editor I read in today's paper in which the writer agrees with the Boy Scouts decision and basically said he believes that if you are gay then you're probably a pedophile. Because, according to him, if you have the urge to touch little boys than you must have to be gay first. Just because someone is homosexual does not mean they are a pedophile and it really bothers me that some people think that is true.

I have friends that are homosexual and I commend them for being open and showing the world that they're not afraid to be with the person they love and who makes them happy. Why should we deny someone the right to be with the person or people who they love? Why should we exclude people from events and groups because of who they are in a relationship with? It just doesn't make sense to me. I really do not understand why there are people out there that are so afraid other people because they're different from them. To quote Forrest Gump's mother, "if God had wanted us all to be the same, he would have made us that way."

There are people out there that are so afraid of others because of they're differences. They're so afraid that they turn to their religion and the Bible and say that it's an abomination to live a life that the Bible says is wrong. I'm sorry, but if you were a true Christian then you wouldn't be so hateful. The Bible is a book written by man. God didn't write that, Jesus didn't write it, some guy did. I mean come on, there are so many different versions of the Bible and there are so many different books of faith and so many different religions and belief systems. If you are so afraid of someone because they are different from you, then maybe you should take a good look at yourself and figure out why that difference scares you so much. That's why people act so hateful towards a person that is different from them, because they are afraid of them. They are afraid of what they don't know and don't understand. But how can you be afraid of a skin color or a person's sexual orientation? It just doesn't make sense to me.

I'm sorry if this post has gotten a little heavy. But I just think that with everything that is going on in our world and in our country that we just need to learn to love one another and be kind to each other. There is so much hatred out there and it's just so sad. I have learned not to hate anyone, because hate is just so strong and so negative. There are people out there that bother me and that I don't agree with, but I have been doing my best to just let things be and be tolerant of others. Even if you don't agree with how someone is that doesn't mean you have to hate them or be mean to them. Just leave it be, we are all different in our own way. There are no two people out there that are exactly alike.

I basically wanted to write this post just to say that I am saddened by the decision the Boy Scouts have made. I wish that everyone was more accepting of one another. I just wish that people would get to know someone before judging them because of the way they live their life. There are people in our world who love someone of the same sex, there are people who love more than one man or one woman, there are people who love someone of the opposite sex, there are people who love objects or animals. Who ever someone else loves aren't ruining your life or our world or the sanctity of marriage. Hate and violence are ruining our world and our lives and people that get divorced after only days of being married ruin the sanctity of marriage. I don't think love can or does ruin anything or make anything bad. Love is love, there is no more explanation to it than that and as long as who you love is legal and consenting and they love you back that is all that matters.

So please remember to be kind to one another out there. We don't need any more hate and violence in our world. We need more love and more peace. We need to take care of each other more and have more compassion. Please keep this in mind and have a wonderful day.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Tired Mommy

My husband, Gabe, is tired pretty much every day after work because his job is physically tiring. I am tired most days because I have a 3-year-old who I entertain almost constantly. Today I am especially tired because we have had a very buys week and it's not over yet. It seems that weeks when we have both Storytime and Mommy Group we always seem to be doing something almost every day and it can be exhausting. At least once a week I take Lincoln to the library and once or twice a week we go grocery shopping. We usually go on a walk every evening when Gabe gets home from work and some times we end up going to the local playground. It gets very busy going and doing lots of errands and activities.

Lincoln sound asleep after a long day of playing and a bath. May 2012

Being a parent is very tiring and most parents will tell you this. No matter what age your child is they tend to tire you out. Whether it's when they are a newborn and they're waking up all the time because they're hungry or need a diaper changing or just because they're fussy and need to get that out of their system. As a toddler they tire you out because they are constantly on the go and they need to get all that energy out and they want to explore because now that they can walk it's a whole new world for them. At this preschooler age, that Lincoln is at right now, they want to play a lot since they are developing their imagination and they also enjoy doing lots of activities, at least that's how my child is. I love watching his imagination develop and Gabe & I love playing with him when he's using his imagination.

Lincoln pretending to put gas in his car. May 2012

Being a parent is tiring, but it's also very rewarding. We were all once children that loved to play pretend and use our imaginations and discover and explore our world. I think that when we grow up we lose that and forget about it. So, when we become parents we get to experience that again with our children. We get to pretend with them and experience a piece of their world. Lincoln's favorite thing to do right now is pretend to take our noises and pretend to eat our eyes. I love hearing him giggle when he pretends to eat our eyes and we'll close our eyes and say we can't see anything. He thinks it's so funny. It's just pure joy to play with him and see his smile and hear his laugh.

Lincoln's cute little smile. July 2011

I couldn't ask for anything better than being that little boy's mommy. It may tire us out at times to play with them and take them to do all kinds of activities, but it's worth it to see that smile on their face. Just to see them so happy is worth being tired and exhausted.

Blogly Question(s):

What activities do your children enjoy doing?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Our Favorite Things To Do

Since I'm a stay-at-home mom Lincoln and I spend all of our time together. We have some favorite things we like to do together. Today we're doing two of those things, going to the library and baking. Lincoln loves going to the library. He knows that we have to return the books we have in order to get new books. He loves picking out new books and bringing them home and having me read them to him. He must get his love of books from me, because I loved getting read to at that age just as much as he does. Sometimes he likes to get a book he's borrowed from the library before, he almost always asks to get a Curious George book. Today he has requested a Thomas the Tank Engine book if they have one.

This afternoon we will be baking what Lincoln & I have decided to call Monkey Cupcakes. They're chocolate, peanut butter, banana with a peanut butter buttercream frosting. We made a batch this past Friday and they were delicious, so we're going to make some more. On Friday we will be doing some more cupcake baking. We're going to go to the local strawberry stand and get strawberries and then we're going to make Strawberry Vanilla Cupcakes. I have always enjoyed baking and have been doing it from a very young age. Lincoln enjoys to help me bake, but he's still a little too little so I have to make sure he doesn't spill anything and make more of a mess. I make pizza from scratch and his favorite part is to help put the toppings on and it is a big help when he does that.

Lincoln enjoying being in our backyard. March 2010

One of our other favorite things to do together is go on walks and Gabe enjoys going with us. Lincoln has really gotten into going on big walks, walks that usually take us about an hour to do. It's great that he loves going on walks so much. Most days he either wants to go on a big walk or take a walk down the street to the local playground. He loves going to parks and playing on the play structures. He likes going down the slide and having me catch him at the bottom. He loves to climb the play structure and run around on it. I will say that play structures are a lot more elaborate and look like more fun than when I was a kid. We like doing a lot of outdoor activities. Lincoln has recently gotten into coloring our front walk way with sidewalk chalk. He makes really great pictures of things he sees in our front yard or of us. He is also learning to ride his bike that he got for Christmas. He likes his bike a lot and really wants to ride it, but he hasn't really gotten the hang of pedaling.

Lincoln watering our flowers. May 2012

Another thing that Lincoln loves doing is going to the farm (his grandparents', Gabe's parents) and helping take care of the animals and going swimming. Lately, Lincoln has been requesting to go to the farm almost every day just so he can see the little chicks they have. He asks me if we can go to the farm and see the baby chicks and he always asks so nicely. He also likes helping his grandma feed the ducks & goose and the doves & finches. He likes to see the cats and pet them. He also enjoys having me catch frogs and putting them in either the fish pond in the back or the big pond out front. Lincoln usually asks us if we can go swimming on hot days, but he doesn't like getting all the way in the pool. He likes to watch Gabe and I swim and he'll stand on the top stair. Sometimes he likes us to come over to the stairs so that he can splash us. Other times he'll want us to carry him into the pool an he'll hold on to one of us while we wade around the pool or he'll ride on Gabe's back while Gabe swims across the pool. It's a lot of fun spending a day at the farm.

Lincoln asleep on the back porch after a long day of playing. December 2011

Lincoln and I always do some sort of fun activity every day during the week. If the weather isn't nice enough to go outside we do arts and crafts inside. Lincoln and I like to paint and draw together and he's really gotten into drawing a picture and then asking me to cut it out for him. I love seeing his imagination at work. Now it is time to get ready and have our adventures for the day. Hope you all are having fun adventures, as well.

Blogly Question(s):

What activities do you enjoy doing with your children? Do they have a favorite activity?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Very Big Thank You

Tonight instead of writing a blog post on a specific topic I just want to say thank you. Thank you to everyone that is reading this and has read this, it gives me motivation to write more. I am very appreciative of the feedback I have gotten from my dad, my brother, and my friends. I hope that you all continue to read, as I will be writing much, much more. If there are any topics you would like me to write on comment and let me know, I'm completely open to suggestions. Thank you again, so very much. Continue reading and enjoy!!

Blogly Question(s):

Do you have a topic you would like me to write about? How have you been liking the blog so far?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Forgetful Mommy

Over the weekend we went on a few adventures and I forgot my camera every time. I was so disappointed. I wanted to take pictures of all the fun we had and share it on here. On Friday we went over to Gabe's parents' farm and went swimming. It was so much fun, I caught a frog for Lincoln to look at (I do this every time we go over there) and Lincoln got to see their little chicks they got a couple weeks ago. He is in love with these chicks and he wants to hold them and help feed them every time we go over to the farm. On Saturday we went to Shell Beach out past Bodega Bay. We got Lincoln a kite on the way out to the beach, but there was no wind. So, we just searched for sea creatures in the tide pools. Today it was windy enough and we took Lincoln and his kite out to Field of Dreams and we flew it. I forgot my camera every time we went out and it's all thanks to my mommy brain.

Before I got pregnant with Lincoln I had never heard of pregnancy brain, even during my pregnancy I never heard that term. But I did have pregnancy brain, for sure. When I was about 36 weeks pregnant Gabe & I went out with our friends for our anniversary dinner. I drove to the restaurant and when I got out of the car I walked around to the other side to catch up with Gabe and our friends and I felt like I was forgetting something. I went back to the driver's side of the car and realized I had forgotten to close the door. This is the only distinct moment of pregnancy brain that I really remember.

Now I suffer from Mommy Brain. I am always forgetting at least one thing when we go out and the majority of the time it's my camera. I really need to put a post-it on the front door reminding me to take it every time I go out. I know I am not the only mother who suffers from mommy brain. At mommy group we talk about things we forget and that we often have mommy brain moments. I don't think there is really a cure or a way to remember things better if you have mommy brain, but I think once your child is 18 and out on their own you probably start to recover.

If you have mommy brain moments or feel that you have it all the time, don't worry. Some day you will regain your memory for a few years at least. Then you'll get old and start being forgetful again. It's just a vicious circle with your memory as a parent. You're just so focused on so many other things that you're bound to forget at least one thing. Oh well, so is life.

Blogly Question(s):

Do you suffer from Mommy Brain? How do you cope with it? 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Way You Birth

I've read a lot about different ways to give birth since I gave birth to Lincoln. I also made sure that I was well educated about the choice I made for the way I was going to give birth to Lincoln. I chose to give birth at a freestanding birth center, this means that they are not physically attached to a hospital but they are associated with a hospital in case of an emergency. I also had him delivered with the assistance of certified nurse midwives and I had a water birth. These were my choices and I'm happy that I made these choices. I had an excellent birth and I would do it all over again.

Lately, I've been thinking about one of the many things I got asked during my pregnancy. When I told people where I was giving birth and how I was giving birth the majority of people gave me a strange look. Some of the questions they would ask me seemed like they thought I was giving birth in a barn or something. But the one question that really bugged me was "What if something goes wrong?". Well, these are trained professionals and this is not the first time they've assisted in a birth. Also, there's a hospital 8 minutes away that they are associated with in case of an emergency. What really bothers me about this question is that so many people think that it's common for something to "go wrong" during the labor and delivery of a child.

Our medical system has scared women into not trusting their bodies and thinking that a pregnancy is something you have to get rid of just like an illness that you would go and see your doctor for. Ladies, listen up! Your bodies know how to give birth, women's bodies have been giving birth for over 2000 years. I understand that not every pregnancy is low risk and so if you have an actual high risk pregnancy then going to the hospital is what is best for you. The majority of pregnancies are low risk and you are able to do them naturally and drug-free, you are strong enough as a woman to do this.

My mother gave birth to me in a hospital with the assistance of midwives. She did it naturally and drug-free. When she became pregnant with my brother she decided to do a home birth with the assistance of a midwife. I was there for my brother's birth and I am so happy that I got to see that at the age of 3 1/2 years. I held his hand while my dad cut his umbilical cord. I remember he was crying a lot, because that's what newborns do, and I said "Shh, it's okay baby". This experience in life influenced my decision for the way I chose to give birth.

I was bothered by the questions I got while I was pregnant about the way I was choosing to give birth and I can only imagine the questions women who choose to birth at home with a midwife get. I mean people must really give you strange looks when you tell them that you're birthing at home. And I'm sure you constantly get the "what if something goes wrong?" questions. But I'm sure women who choose to do an unassisted home birth get all kinds of concerned questions.

For all of you out there that are asking these women these questions, please don't. I am sure that these women, just as myself, have educated themselves about their choice in the way they've decided to give birth. I also believe that there is a way higher risk of "something going wrong" at the hospital than there is at a freestanding birth center or at home. Hospitals and doctors, here in America, tend to over use "medical interventions". Pitocin is often used in hospitals, to "speed up" labor, but it also causes your contractions to be much stronger. So then you want to get the epidural, which then slows down your labor and then you're given more pitocin. After these drugs are pumped into your body and your baby you are told your baby is in distress and you need to get a c-section. I understand having to get a c-section for a medical reason, but I really feel that our healthcare system is doing far too many unnecessary c-sections. But doctors are on a schedule and they'd like to get home and have dinner with their family or go to sleep. Other countries do not do this, they primarily use midwives and have home births. It's really sad that women are being scared into not giving birth the way their bodies know how to and were made to. Again, I want you all to know that I am fully aware that not all women can have a natural vaginal birth. I understand that there are women out there that need to get a c-section for health and medical reasons. I'm also not saying it's bad to get a c-section, that is your choice.

Here's the thing, it's your choice how you want to give birth. You have to do what you feel is right for you (I've said this many times here, I know, and I'll probably say it many more times). But make sure that you are educated in the choice you've made and make sure you're fully informed about where you have decided to give birth. Also, if you're asking questions about where and how a woman has chosen to give birth just remember that this is her choice and she is most likely educated about her choice.

Blogly Question(s):

Were you ever asked weird questions about the way you chose to birth? Did you ever get asked a question that really bothered you?  

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Over and Over and Over Again

I know that children learning by repetition. But how many times must we, as parents, read the same book(s)? One of Lincoln's favorites is Elephant Elephant A Book of Opposites, it's a simple read but it's a lot of pages so I usually skip some. For awhile his favorite was Goodnight, Moon which was my favorite when I was little. I have memorized that book without even trying. Lincoln also really enjoys Curious George books and I got him The Complete Adventures of Curious George for Christmas. Now, when I was a kid we had two Curious George books and I remember them being short and simple books. When we got this book and I sat down with Lincoln for the first time to read it I saw that the stories were long. It seems like they're 3-4 stories in one. I guess I'm getting paid back for the long stories I made my parents read. Like Thumbelina, that was one of my favorites but it was a very long book and my parents said they used to skip over parts just to keep it short.


The other thing that happens when I read Lincoln books is I tend to get so relaxed by these children's stories that I end up dozing off. I'll be trying to get Lincoln to relax and, maybe, take a nap and I'm the one that ends up getting relaxed and taking a nap. This doesn't happen often, but it has happened before. I'm sure some of you parents out there have had the same thing happen to you. My dad used to doze off sometimes when he read us our bedtime stories.

Another things kids do is not sit still for their bedtime stories. Lincoln usually does because he knows if he doesn't sit still then he doesn't get a bedtime story at all. My brother and I used to goof off when my dad was reading us a bedtime book and he would always ask if we were going to sit still or if he should just say goodnight to us. We would always say that we would sit still and we would for about five minutes and then we would be back to goofing off and playing around. He would then shut the book and say "okay, goodnight", to which we would always reply "No, Daddy! We'll sit still". I don't remember him ever finishing a chapter book that he started reading to us.  I mean, I still have only gotten maybe two chapters in to the original Princess and The Goblins. I think my dad really wanted to read it to us when we were kids, because his mom read it to him when he was a kid.

an illustration from The Princess and the Goblin

I'm sure many of you parents out there have gone through these same things. One suggestion I have, if you're tired of reading the same books over and over again, is that you maybe make up bedtime/nap time stories. When I was a little older I used to love hearing my dad tell stories about when he was a kid. Gabe's enjoyed the stories that his dad made up to tell him and his sister. Of course, I used to have favorite childhood stories of my dad's. One of my favorites was the story about the car driving off the end of the dock in Indianola, WA (which is where my dad grew up). I just loved the way my dad told the story, it's like I could feel the same excitement and fear that he did that day when he watched this car drive off the end of the dock. Another one of my favorite stories of his was one in which he and his friends found this owl that was sick, let's just put it that way so as not to gross any of you out. So, they found this sick owl and I don't why I liked that story so much. Maybe I felt bad for the owl and I thought every time he told the story that the ending would change and the owl would be okay and it would live.

The Indianola Dock

Anyways, this post is about repetition. I would have my dad tell these childhood stories of his over and over again. I just thought that he had a pretty cool childhood and got to have all these adventures. Some kids look at story book characters as their heroes. When I was a kid my dad was my hero and hearing these same stories over and over again just validated it even more that when my dad was a kid he was a hero and he had many great adventures. Maybe that's why children enjoy hearing certain stories over and over again, because they enjoy hearing the tales of their hero and they hope that some day they can have the same adventures that their heroes do in their stories.

As much as we, as parents, may get tired of reading these stories over and over again we should be happy that our children enjoy being read to. I'm happy that Lincoln has the same love of books that I did as a child and that I still do. I think it's great that he enjoys going to the library so much and getting new books. So, cherish story time with your child no matter if it's the 1st time or the 100th time you've read that story to them. They're having fun just listening to that story and snuggling up with you. 

Blogly Question(s):

Does your child have a favorite story/book? What was your favorite story/book when you were a child?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Pets & Children

As you all may know, we have a dog named Rusty. We adopted him when he was 8 weeks old in September of 2006, a few weeks after Gabe & I moved in together. At that time Gabe also had his dog, Lilly. Rusty is now 6-years-old, which I just can't believe, and Lilly passed away 3 1/2 years ago. Lilly was a wonderful dog and she would have been best buddies with Lincoln, but she was very sick and I was 7 months pregnant and we would not have been able to afford long-term care for her and take care of a new baby. We were heartbroken that we had to say good-bye to her, but we knew it was for the best.

Lilly doing her most favorite thing, going on a car ride. January 2008

Rusty and Lincoln are pretty good buddies. Lincoln loves Rusty so much and once they got themselves into some mischief. Last year after Lincoln's 2nd Birthday we put his birthday cake on top of the oven in it's box. It was just a little sheet cake, but there was about half of it left. Gabe & I were sitting in the office watching a movie and we suddenly smelled the strong odor of cake & frosting. Lincoln had silently pulled the cake off of the stove and placed in on the floor for him and Rusty to feast on. When we entered the kitchen we saw a 2-year-old little boy covered in frosting and a dog with a frosting covered face. It was pretty funny and cute (I wish we had taken a picture).

Rusty has always been good with Lincoln. When Lincoln was an infant and, up until recently, Rusty has always made sure he doesn't sit on, knock over, or trip Lincoln. When Lincoln was a little baby and not mobile Rusty used to lay down on the floor next him. Now that Lincoln is bigger he is able to hold Rusty's leash on walks, but Rusty does not know his own strength and has pulled Lincoln over a couple of times. Of course, this might just be Rusty getting Lincoln back for all the times Lincoln has sat on him, held on to his tail, pinched him and sprayed him with the hose. For the most part they are very sweet with one another and I'm glad that Lincoln gets to grow up with a pet and learn how to be respectful of animals.

Lincoln & Rusty. June 2009

When I was growing up my parents had a cat. Her name was Anuschka and she was this beautiful little brown cat. Because she was small everyone used to ask if she was still a kitten. She loved to play rough with my dad, but she was always very gentle with me and my brother. My dad used to say that she was like Nana from Peter Pan only as a cat. She would sleep at the foot of our beds and when we were sick she would come and curl up with us on the couch. When my brother was a baby he grabbed her tail and she went to walk away and he wouldn't let go. She didn't scratch him at all, she just let out a very loud meow which startled him enough to let go. She was a really great cat and she was the only pet I had until Gabe & I moved in together. She was almost 21-years-old when she passed away.

I think it's great for kids to grow up with pets. I always enjoyed having a cat growing up and I'm glad that Lincoln can grow up with Rusty. I think having pets when you have children helps teach the children respect for animals and how to treat them appropriately. We've taken Lincoln with us when we take Rusty to the dog park and Lincoln is very respectful of the other dogs there. He doesn't chase them and he only pets them if they come up to him first. He's also always been very nice to all the animals at his grandparent's farm. He pets the cats very gently and he loves helping his grandma feed the ducks and goose and check to see if the chickens laid any eggs. I think it's great if a child can learn to be well behaved with animals and understand that they're not toys. I know that sometimes children can get rowdy and excited around animals, but it's good for them to understand that animals are living creatures and they need to be treated nice and gently.

they day we brought Rusty home. September 2006

Blogly Question(s):

Do you have pets and children? How do your children act with animals?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Family Vacations

Every summer since I was 11-years-old we have always gone on a family vacation and it was always a road trip. We had fun for the most part, but there was always at least one melt down from either myself or my brother. It was usually me that had the melt down/tantrum and it was usually about how sick I was of having to be around my family so much and for so long. As much as I got annoyed by having to be with my family 24/7 I still loved going on those family trips. I loved it so much that I wanted to continue that tradition with my family.
The three of us (Lincoln's in the sling) at Lassen Volcanic National Park. July 2009

Gabe & I have always enjoyed going on road trips together and we were excited to take Lincoln on trips once he was born. Before Lincoln was born Gabe and I went to Yosemite, Utah, Las Vegas, Fort Bragg, and Seattle. Since Lincoln was born the three of us have gone to Lassen Volcanic National Park, Fort Bragg, Monterey, and Disneyland. Lincoln has always been a really good traveler and I think his favorite trip, so far, was our trip last year to Monterey and Disneyland. He still asks to go back to Disneyland.
me & Lincoln on the Tea Cups in Disneyland. July 2011

Even though Lincoln is such a great traveler, I know there are children out there that make going on a family trip a bit more difficult than it should be. We all want to have enjoyable moments with our children and when you're planning a family trip all you can think about is how excited they'll be to see where you're taking them. On our way home from Anaheim last year Lincoln did have a melt down for about 20 minutes he cried and fussed. But once he had gotten it out of his system he was fine. That was the only time he got upset on that trip.
Lincoln at the beach in Fort Bragg for my birthday weekend. August 2010

Overall, I think family trips are really great. I don't think it matters if you take a little road trip up the coast or fly across the country or to another country. I just know that I always looked forward to going on our annual family trip and I didn't really care how far or how close it was. I still look forward to going on trips with Gabe & Lincoln and I don't care if it's just a weekend trip to somewhere close or a week long trip to somewhere a bit further. We always seem to find something fun to do and I love seeing the smile on Lincoln's face whenever we take him on a trip. Even if your child does have a melt down while on a family trip, I'm sure that you'll remember all the fun you had and not the melt down. I hope all of you are enjoying this summer so far and are or have taken a fun trip with your family somewhere.

Blogly Question(s):

Did you go on family trips when you were a kid? Where was you favorite place that you went? Will you or do you take your children on family vacations? Do they have a favorite trip so far?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Shopping with Children

I remember going shopping with my parents when I was a kid. Every time they took me and my brother with them to the store we would always ask to get stuff and they would always say no to pretty much everything and tell us that if we kept asking for stuff they weren't going to bring us with them next time. Of course, they would take us with them the next time and, just like clockwork, we would ask for stuff that we knew we weren't going to get. Looking back on it now I am sure it drove my parents completely crazy.

Now that I am a parent I can tell you it can be a little hectic going shopping with a child. I'm sure all of you parents out there know what I mean. For awhile we (and by we, I mean myself since I do the majority of the shopping) were dealing with Lincoln wanting to sit in the bed of the shopping cart and that really doesn't work. I have to put the groceries down there and when he would sit down there he would arrange them and play with them and I don't really want my groceries getting squished and what not. He's been good about sitting up in the seat part of the shopping cart lately. He's not at an age yet where he's asking for everything, but he usually asks to get a bagel or cheetos when we got to the grocery store which is fine with me.

Going grocery shopping right now isn't horrible or anything. When we go Costco shopping Gabe almost always goes with us, so I have an extra set of hands. Going clothes shopping is another thing entirely. Lincoln always wants to wander around whatever clothing store we decide to go to when we have to get new clothes. Usually Gabe goes with us, so again I have that extra set of hands. But I have gone clothing shopping with just Lincoln and I don't what it is about clothing stores that is so fascinating to little children. He just loves to run around and he has gone and hidden in the racks before. Maybe, to children, it's just a big giant closet and all they can see are all the potential hiding spots.

But it's not just the actual shopping at the store that can be hard with a child. There's also the getting ready to go. I swear it takes us forever to get ready to just go to the grocery store. I will say that getting ready and getting loaded up in the car is a lot easier than the unpacking and unloading when we get home. When I do a bigger grocery shopping I always have to figure out how I'm going to get Lincoln and all the groceries into the house in one trip. Even when I don't have Lincoln (the few and rare times that I can actually go grocery shopping alone) I try to figure out how to get all the groceries into the house in one trip.

I don't know what it is about stores that are so fascinating to children. But for some reason they, usually, love going to the store with their parents. They also seem to enjoy getting free from their parents, somehow, in the store and running about. Maybe it's just because it's a different place that they enjoy running about and getting into things. Oh well, just another joy of being a parent.

Blogly Question(s):

Do you children make it difficult for you to go shopping with them?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

How Did You Two Meet?

Today I am writing my 10th Blog Entry. It's a little exciting for me, you know double digits and all. So, I thought I would do a special entry today and tell you all about how Gabe & I met and our first date.

In June of 2004, a week after I graduated high school, my mom and dad moved us all down to San Rafael, CA from Seattle, WA. I was not happy to leave at all, everything and everyone I knew was in Seattle. I was being forced to move to a place where I didn't know anyone and I didn't know where anything was. When I moved down here I had a boyfriend back in Seattle and I was a teenager that thought she knew everything and I thought that boyfriend was "the one". For the first four months that we lived down here all I did for the most part was sleep, eat, go on the computer to chat with my friends online, and call my boyfriend two to three times a day. Two months after my 18th Birthday I broke up with my boyfriend in Seattle. He had told me that he was going to drop out of high school and this did not sit well with me. I decided that I wasn't going to ever be in a romantic relationship with anyone that was a high school drop out.

A week after this break up I was surfing Craigslist for a job and I was perusing the personals. Now, back then the people posting ads were not creepy or just on there for sex like they are now, at least I don't remember reading any super creepy ads or any ads from guys that just wanted to hook-up. I do remember coming across Gabe's ad. He had posted an ad just for fun, because they were studying personal ads in his Human Sexuality class at the JC. His ad said that he was a nice guy, he just wanted to talk and he was 23. I was 18 and so I figured that wasn't a huge age difference. I emailed him my online chat screen name and waited for a response. He didn't send one until after I had gone to bed, so I saw it when I got up in the morning. He had sent me his screen name and I instant messaged him right away.

We hit it off right away and talked for quite awhile. We exchanged pictures, I thought he was very attractive right away and he said he thought I was very attractive, as well. About an hour into our conversation we both said that we wanted to meet the other one in person. So, we set up a date for three days later and we continued to talk and we talked every day online. The night before our date Gabe said that he wanted to talk to me over the phone, I was so nervous. I loved chatting on the phone with my friends that I knew and had met in person, but this was totally different. He gave me his number and I mustered up the courage to call him. His voice sounded as hot as he looked. We chatted for a bit on the phone and said we were both looking forward to meeting in person the next evening.

Now, before I get into our first meeting and date I need to explain somethings about what I wore. After high school, for whatever reason, I became very self conscious about my body. When I look at pictures of myself back then I see that I was thin and gorgeous. I still think I'm pretty, but I'm nowhere near thin. For some reason I always thought I was fat in middle school and high school, but I really wasn't. I had curves and I wasn't comfortable with them. So, I began wearing baggy clothes when we moved down here. In fact, I would borrow my brothers jeans and his hooded sweatshirt and then wear one of my t-shirts underneath. This is what I wore the first time I met Gabe and he still makes fun of me for it to this day.  I didn't realize that it was a date until after I met Gabe, I thought we were just meeting up as friends. I wasn't embarrassed then about what I wore, but looking back on it I wish I had worn something more date appropriate.

Okay, so the day came for Gabe & I to meet in person. I told him to meet me out front of Northgate Mall in San Rafael, by the movie theater. I figured it was a good place to meet someone for the first time since there were lots of people around. Gabe told me that he would be driving a black 1996 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. When he told me this was the kind of car he drove I acted like I knew what it looked like and everything. I know nothing about cars, never have and probably never will. I know that a car needs gas to run and that you have to change the oil and rotate the tires. So, all I was looking for was a black Chevy and Gabe behind the wheel. I got to the mall about five to ten minutes early and he soon showed up and that was a cool car he was driving.

Even though I was 18 my mom still wanted Gabe to come by the house so she could meet him before we went out. So, we went by my house and my mom asked to see Gabe's driver's license. To this day Gabe and I still think this is funny. I know she was just trying to be a responsible parent and make sure that Gabe was who he said he was. But what we find funny is that after she handed Gabe his license back she said to him that now she knew where he lived if anything happened to me. She didn't write down his address or anything, so I wondered how exactly she would remember his address because I didn't even remember Gabe's address until we'd been dating for about a month.

After we left my house I told Gabe that we should go to the Marin Headlands and gave him directions. We chatted on the drive about our lives. When we got to the Headlands we saw that there was a road that went down into the hills so we went on a little adventure and drove down there. We ended up at a beach, Gabe parked the car, and we decided to go for a walk along the shore. As soon as we got down to the water Gabe took my hand and we held hands as we walked along the shore down the beach. We continued to talk with one another and share things about our lives and our likes and dislikes. On our way back to the car we stopped and sat on a log and watched the sunset. It was wonderful to be sitting there, holding hands with Gabe and watching that beautiful sunset. Once the sun had set we headed back to the car and drove back up to the Headlands and parked the car. From where we were you can overlook San Francisco and see all of the city lights and we were fortunate enough to have the surprise of seeing the lunar eclipse while we were there, as well. It was a really wonderful first date and one that neither one of us will ever forget.

Blogly Question(s):

Do you have an interesting story about how you met your spouse/partner?