Stitch Fixed It

stitch fix one My first Stitch Fix came in the mail! I am so excited!!

I’m a Mom right. More than that, also a wife, teacher, business owner, maid, cook, gardener… okay, sorry, I got swept up in the role list game. So we are all busy, I know. But I don’t make clothes shopping (for me) a priority. Never have, probably never will. Somebody mentioned Stitch Fix at a business presentation I was doing, and then I heard about it again online, and then my husband told me I should probably try it out since I kept mentioning it. ūüėČ

When I filled out my style profile I laughed at the questions thinking there was ‘no way’ I would like anything, but it was worth a try. Box came today: LOVED IT! Five items I never would have picked out at the store and absolutely loved. Loved. Love. I bumped up my next box for the next available date to try again. Out of the five items one didn’t fit and one wasn’t my style (high waisted pants? Nah).

Have you heard of this? If not, know you now. It’s worth a risk and I sort of feel like my stylist, ‘Elizabeth’, has known me my whole life already. Try it out… use my link and I get a credit… you can get credits by referring too: https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/3778361stitch fix

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Pinterest Projecting with a Toddler

So what’s¬†the deal with paint? Anybody know? How bad can it really be for you… if, say, you are around the age of 17 months old? And decided it might work really well as lipstick?

Well, welcome to my adventures of the day. Let me start from the beginning.

Pinterest. You’ve heard of it, I’m sure. Great place for inspiration and project list development for my husband’s off time. He just ‘loves’ Pinterest. ūüėČ

Saw this super fun garden art/game idea. Picture a little tree stump with a lacquered ‘table’ top. It has a cute tic-tac-toe board painted on it and fabulous rocks painted like lady bugs, in two different colors to use for the game. Cute, right? Easy, right? Unless you happen to have a 17 month old (*This problem could extend to other age groups as well: so beware).

Step One: rock collecting. Easy to do since we are currently residing in a rock pit on the side of the highway. 8 flat rocks, plus one amazingly purple quartz rock I found (oh, I probably haven’t mentioned this, but I have a rock obsession. Seriously. Rocks in jars from all over. My husband loves it too. Right up there with Pinterest), and some extras for kid painting.

Step Two: picking paint colors. When you have limited choices, it’s easy to be happy with your decision. We had orange, green and pink. Went with green and pink rocks, with orange spots.

Step Three: Get materials set out. Nap time for G (toddler) made this easy. By some miracle it has been sunny for the first time in a week.

Step Four: Quickly get the team assembled. I tried to sneak out without my 3 year old noticing, but he found us outside and joined in the painting. My limited supplies meant I had one paint brush and Q-tips.

Step Five: Paint. It was going well. The paint actually covered the rocks, G and S were both artistically blending their pinks and greens. Then I look over at G. Her lips are a great mix of pink and green, as is her tongue. At this point I’m really glad we went with Q-tips. I also notice her beautiful blonde hair has some cutting edge green streaks. Wooo!

Step Six: Clean up. As we finished up, it started POURING! Not like, ‘oh fun, it’s sprinkling’… I’m talking about pouring. My team ditched me to clean up solo. The clean up continued after getting back into our travel trailer… clothes, hair, face, hands. Whoa.

So I’m sure acrylic paint in low doses is fine. If in future pictures you see a permanent green spot in her hair, we will know I was wrong in my assumptions.

 

To the ‘Hairplane’

The advantages of traveling with small babies: getting to board first. That’s it.

End of the list.

The first time I flew with my baby he was a tiny, sleeping, wrapped up two month old. I have never gotten so many dirty, mean looks in my entire life. Seriously. And I’ve been some places and gotten some looks. I was absolutely shocked and on the verge of tears as I sat there with my silent sleeping baby while people, who have obviously never been parents or children, paraded by. As a new mom, you are clueless. Have no idea what to expect or what to do. Lucky for me, this woman comes flying into my row with the largest smile ever while she quietly disinfects the entire area (including my arm rests and tray). She whispers to me (to not wake up the baby), asking questions about him and me and life as a new mom. I was blessed at that moment by someone with empathy and love to give.I think about her frequently and hope to be able to be so helpful to someone else. I hope she knows what an impact that made for me.

Since then, I’ve added another baby and gotten much more assertive. Much. More. Assertive.

Yes. Me and my children are on your flight. No, You will not be moving my three year old away from me to sit on his own because of the airline’s poor planning when seating people. Yep, I will be bringing my double BOB (love it, by the way… couldn’t live without it at this point in my life), diaper bag, giant purse/computer bag, and son’s backpack full of snacks… plus two special 13888_10152145186152027_6825788236192027475_n‘ankies’ (blankets) and coats. Yes, I will do my best to keep my kid from kicking your seat. No, I can’t help it if my toddler cries as we take off. And if you are in my row, we will probably be getting up to go to the bathroom 17 times (have I mentioned my son’s obsession with public restrooms?).

The great news? They still serve you booze on the plane. Better news? Soon my one year old will be two and we will own a whole row. Containment will be much easier. Definitely will be worth the extra fare.

Moral of the story: BE NICE! You never know who is taking their first scary trip with their new bundle of joy! Or who might be traveling without their bundle for the first time… Having kids invites people to tell you about theirs. Another upside to traveling with them!

Updated List to Advantages:

  • ¬†Boarding the airplane first.
  • Hearing other’s beautiful life stories.
  • ¬†Making memories… and creating a little extra empathy in yourself for when you see a lonely parent trying to keep it together. Consider buying them a good ol’ adult drink.

Driving on Up

We drove up the big ol’ Parks Highway the other day to come visit my hubs. Me, the dog, S and G. Plus our one-million and one things. Dude… you cannot travel light with a three year old and a one year old. My ‘tree car’ (it’s a Sequoia. My hubs called it the tree car on the test drive we took… it’s stuck) was packed to the brim. And it’s not a small car.

This was my first big drive since the car in front of me hit a moose a couple weeks ago. I am a born and raised Alaskan… and have had a lot of moose encounters. We hunt¬†moose, laugh at young bulls fake charging our trees at the cabin, scream with excitement when there’s one in the yard, we¬†ooh and aww over¬†them with their new tiny babies in the Spring,¬†and they are our source of meat to keep our family¬†organically and locally fed (no hormone growths in our meat, except those nature intended!). These are big, strong and capable animals. They have always been one of my favorites.

I know more people who have hit moose¬†than I can count. I’ve come close a couple times. But the other day was my first witness to it.¬†It was in slow motion: the moose¬†sprinting¬†across the highway while I yelled (to myself apparently. It turns out people in other cars can’t quite hear you) ‘Moooossseeee’, the white small SUV in front of me connecting sending that giant animal up 15-20 feet in the air, spinning so her feet were above her head at one point. She flew over the car in the next lane and landed on the edge of the road. At this point I am obviously in tears and hyperventilating. When I finally got it together enough to call 911, the dispatcher¬†asks me to please sit there with my hazards on,¬†so nobody else hits her, while I wait for¬†the¬†police.¬†Watching an animal that is broken, but still alive, try to¬†survive and get off into the woods is heart breaking. And scarring.

That’s what kept running through my mind our whole drive. Don’t worry- we didn’t even see a moose on this drive! Know what we did see- a lot of motorhomes and buses. Tourist season in Alaska is in¬†full swing- and moose season begins in one month.¬†¬†We will be out there looking for Bullwinkles then… but not with my tree car. ūüôā motorhome

A Hiking We Will Go!

My mom and I went hiking with my two kiddos. My mom (we now call her Grandma, or Gammy to tease her) is amazing. Those of us lucky enough to have incredible moms all come to appreciate it more the older we get. She has always made it a point to make memories with us and create traditions (post to come: Xmas in July). The one thing I n20140714_133841ever saw my mom doing was hiking.

She has overcome huge obstacles and worked really hard to get in shape and become healthy. It’s been a transformation. Her secret is simple: counting calories and adding more exercise into her routine. Over the past three years she’s steadily lost 80 pounds or so. I will say we still enjoy our special treats! When she told me she joined the gym recently, I told my hubs we’re going to have to start going just to keep up with her!

Yesterday she invited my kids and I to go hiking with her. It was an incredible¬† blessing and another memory to add to the bank. Watching her and my son stroll up ‘the hugest hill¬†he never even heard of’ brought tears to my eyes. I’m so proud of her and beyond excited to get to go again.

Here’s to Gammy!! YAY!! Hike #1 together is in the20140714_125800 books!

18 Hours

My husband was home today from working out of town. He drove a little over 4 hours home last night, got here around 10. Left around 4 today to go  back. 18 hours home. 18 hours not being a single parent. 18 hours where my son got to laugh, wrestle and play with Dada. 18 hours where my daughter is doted on by two loving parents and my husband gets to see her c20140713_125202ute expressions I live with daily.

I’m on the fence about using the term ‘single parent’. It seems harsh, but real. Not that Vincent (that’s my handsome, loving, hilarious husband) ever stops being¬† a Dad, but he stops being my relief or back up when things get tough at bed time, or during tantrums or eating or cleaning.

Today Vince was supposed to meet us at the grocery store. He took S and I had G (he (s) is three, G is one). He texted me to find out where we were in the store, then again that he would just meet us at home. Evidently he got a taste of S at the grocery store. It makes me feel sort of good that he got to experience what I go through every time. Crying, drama, screaming… about everything! Parenting on your own makes meltdowns like that something you have to just push through. I can’t pack up and leave the store without milk or food for us to eat… and it’s so much work just getting there, to try again is a nightmare. Now when I say I wish I could go to the store by mysel20140713_131143f, he’ll get it a little more.

On the upside we spent some of our 18 hours at our local annual festival! It was awesome! We ate, rode rides, played games, looked at adoptable dogs, rode ponies and bought some goodies.

In all I’m always happy to have a short period of what other people experience daily. Just having another adult with you at the end of the day to vent to, reflect with and cuddle with is pretty awesome. Even if it’s just one day a week. Or 18 hours.

 

 

Alone with two littles on a plane. Part One: The Airport

Sounds like a fun adventure right?

Yes! On the way to your destination, traveling alone is fine… sometimes ever ‘fun’. In my most recent adventure it was awesome as I had my sister in law and her ‘big kids’ along for¬† entertainment, assistance and back up. The flight home… not so much.

It’s me, my double Bob and S and G. (My aunt generously helped us with checking in our luggage- enough for a small country- which we wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise.) We go to ‘have a snack’ in the SeaTac airport (my snack consisted of chips and salsa and very large Bud Light). The whole time my son is glued to the window (literally drool running down it) watching the airplanes except when he’s yelling he has to poop (he doesn’t, he is obsessed with public bathrooms). My daughter is tasting every food item given to her and then throwing it out on the floor behind her. At this point, all you can do is sit back and enjoy your beer. Right?

This is followed by the nightmare of the train at the Seattle Airport. People wheeling in their suitcases and parking themselves right in front of the door. Well… that means double BOB is not getting on. This requires my loud, assertive teacher voice- which clears a path without a problem- but is slightly embarrassing. Don’t worry- we made it.

Up next… the plane.