Just a first time mom writing about the randomness of life and how being mom is full of laughter, tears, fears and happiness. Living it out one gray hair at a time.

Artistic Eggs

I’ve been looking for a spring/Easter project to do with my daughter. In comes good old Pinterest. I found this…Paint Filled Egg Canvas

Boy, did I pick the wrong craft to do with this maniac child. First let me show you how to do the project (if you would like to attempt this with your children) and then I will show you the aftermath of what happened.

1. Take your canvas and paint the whole thing with white paint. I use gesso acrylique paint because it is thick and absorbs quickly.

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2. Then decide how many colors you want to use on your canvas. We chose 5 different colors. You will be using 1 color per egg.

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3. Next, using a butter knife, lightly hit the top of the egg and create a medium sized hole. Empty all the contents of the egg. Clean the inside with soap and warm water and lightly pat dry.

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4. Fill each egg with the paints you chose.

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5. Now you are going to need tissue paper and a glue stick. Cut small squares, large enough to cover the hole and approximately half of the egg.

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6. Put glue over the tissue and cover the egg with the tissue paper.

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7. Now comes the fun, messy part. Find a good spot for the canvas. This is extremely important! Trust me, you will see later.

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8. Arm your child with a paint filled egg.

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9. Let it go! (No no…stop singing…or I’ll join in. Damn…too late)

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10. You can throw the eggs multiple times onto the canvas. It takes quite a few throws for the eggs to be completely cracked. A little advice, the closer you stand to the canvas the better.

And…TADA…

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You end up with a really cool looking piece of art that you and your child can create together!

Now, going back to the whole…Pick a good spot for your canvas…bit. I placed the canvas on our top lawn against a tree. Paint would end up on the lawn. It was far enough away from the fence, or so I thought until THIS happened…

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TWICE

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My daughter must have forgotten she was making art and not playing baseball. She was literally a foot away from the canvas and it ended up 4 feet away on my fence. Needless to say, I was a little irritated at this. Then she decided to wipe her painted hands onto her pants. So…now she has painting/craft pants and I have a new weekend project, sanding down my fence. Woohoo! 

If You Build It, They Will Come…

I’ve been seeing a ton of DIY fairy gardens lately on Pinterest and other various sites. My four year old saw a picture of one of these and asked…

Mom! Do fairies really come if you build them a house?

Good question child. Of course I know the true answer to this (unless mythical little creatures do exist), but I couldn’t exactly say it to my little girl with her honest eyes full of excitement and wonder. So what did I do? Well, the only LOGICAL thing to do; we built a fairy home! I scrounged around the garage to find bits and pieces of what could make a fairy home for a deserving fairy. If you look around your home too, I’m sure you can find somethings that you could easily use. Here is what I did.

Step 1: Every fairy needs a home to rest their tired wings. At first, I was going to use an old flower pot that I had recently taken the flowers out of. Upon inspecting my pot, however, I deemed the pot in too good of condition to cut a hole in for a fairy. The plastic flower pot was actually in great condition and I really didn’t feel like cutting a “door” in it. So, what did I do? I found this…

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It was an old plastic box that held those large drawing chalks. Big enough for a little fairy and easy enough for me to cut a door into. It just needs a little paint and…

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BOOM!!!!! Fairy house! If you lightly paint it, you can leave some brush strokes that actually give it a wooden type of feel. It doesn’t look so “plastic” afterwards. All that needs to be done is to cut a little door in the middle so your fairy can enter. I suggest you cut the door before you paint. I had to do a lot of touch up when I cut the door out AFTER I painted it. You can also paint fancy designs if you are up to it to give you fairy home more curb appeal.

Step 2: Location location location! Find the perfect spot for you home. You want to make sure that it isn’t easily disturbed. No one likes unexpected surprises in their home or unexpected damage, fairies are the same.

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Step 3: You will need a path. We have sidewalks, fairies have paths. We just so happened to have marbles and colorful stones laying around. These make perfect pathways. If you don’t have any of these around, they are relatively inexpensive if you don’t buy them at specifically designed craft stores. You can also just use pebbles or rocks. They make excellent paths as well.

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Step 4: Start building! Start by placing the home in the perfect location. We put ours set back a little. My daughter also decided that our fairy needed a pool. Fortunately, I was able to find a small container to dig into the dirt and fill with water to accommodate this request.

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Step 5: Building your pathway. My daughter really enjoyed doing this part! She was able to build her path whatever way she wanted.

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Step 6: Every home needs some special touches. We added some “wishing” flowers next to the pool, a pine cone for fairy “rock climbing” and a pretty little flower on top of the house.

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And there you have it! Your very own fairy garden fit for any traveling fairy that wants to rest his or her wings. This is a cheap (in our case, free) project for you and your child to enjoy. It’s fun bonding time and great to let their little creative minds go wild! 

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I would love to see your creations! Feel free to share so others can see what you and your child come up with! Have fun!

Oh California (sigh) – Ketchup With Us #39 – Blog Hop

Oh the 1st, time to play Ketchup with our lovely hosts Mel and Michele. Remember, you can play too. Just go to one of these lovely ladies blogs on the 1st and 15th of every month and link up!

Alright 10 minute brain drain…bring it…

It’s been a long week so far, and it’s only freaking Tuesday (well, only a few hours away from Wednesday). My mom, who is like my best friend, went into back surgery Monday morning. Thankfully all went well and she is resting peacefully at home now. Yes, that is quick to come home from the hospital after back surgery, but she is stubborn and determined. Let’s just say she is 4’11″ and from experience, you don’t mess with the short people. They can be scary. Her bark is MUCH bigger than she is. She’s a tough lady and when she has her mind set on something, that’s it, it’s done. No questions, you just do it. Living only a mere few blocks from her home (my childhood home) I was able to help my dad bring her into the house and visit and take care of her for a while before the hubs got home from work.

Hubs and I are having a difficult time right now financially due to me being off work and now off unemployment because the government has decided to stop federal extensions (that’s a whole other rant I can go off on, but now isn’t the time) and since this is the first time I have EVER been on unemployment, it is very discouraging. In fact, I have developed an ulcer from all of this crap. Seriously, an ulcer. I am only 34 years old! In the back of my mind, I secretly imagine my old work place spontaneous com-busting. (I could think of much worse, especially after being a loyal employee for 9 1/2 years). Grrr….there I go again. All that built up resent and anger. I know it’s not good to hold on to grudges, but man is it hard to get that bitter taste out of your mouth.

Where was I going with all of this….hmmm…oh yeah…what I was trying to go on about is that things may be a little different if I just uprooted out of California. I have lived in the Bay Area my entire life, actually the same town all my life. Traveling to a few places on the west coast, I feel I might fit in nicely in Washington or even some parts of Oregon. (Ashland is absolutely gorgeous.) Don’t get me wrong, California is a great place to live. We get every season, which I can’t say for some other states. We have beaches, mountains, lakes, skiing, redwoods, you name it. But it is so dang expensive to live here. The average cost of a home out here is roughly around $500k. After watching Property Brothers and House Hunters (maybe a little too much) it seems like I could just sell this home, buy a home with that money ANYWHERE else, with no mortgage and the home would be a lot bigger than what we have now. I do love my current home. It was my Nanie’s house and it has so many fond memories in it. Sometimes, however, those memories can get a little overwhelming to me. The constant reminder of someone you loved and cared for so much can be difficult, especially on some rough days.

 

My husband keeps bringing up, “Why don’t we just move?” Yeah, sure, with our current situation, why DON’T we just move. I have one very simple answer to that…My Mom! I love this woman so much. Like I said, she is like my best friend. We go run errands together every weekend and she is so supportive of me. Also, if I wasn’t here, no one else would really care for her. My brother lives in Discovery Bay and we rarely see him or his little family. If I just left, the guilt would eat at me immensely. I can’t just leave this woman. She took care of me for so long, it’s my turn to repay the favor and make sure she is being taken care of. 

So, I guess moving can wait for now. Not saying it will never happen, just hopefully not for a while.

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A Letter to PetSmart – Save the Hamsters (and the other small critters)

After witnessing a near hamster death today at PetSmart, which you can read here, my dear bloggy friend (I hope it’s okay I call her friend, even though I don’t know her personally, but I think we could be friends) Michele at ODNT suggested I post my complaint letter to PetSmart on my blog with the response. She’s had a great response in doing this herself and I do look up to her as an experienced blogger (I’m just a wee newbie), so I am taking her lead and posting my letter here. I did warn PetSmart that I would be posting my letter so that others may be more aware to this type of incident and hopefully keep an eye out for the poor animals sake. Below is what I posted to them.

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My visit today may change my mind about shopping at this location again. Your store is the main pet supply chain I shop at. After the incident that I witnessed today about how your small animals are cared for, I am appalled. My four year old and I came in to get a fish for her tank. We always stop at the hamster and mice cages first because, to be honest, they are adorable. This particular store had just gotten a shipment of new animals in and a store clerk was putting them away in their cages. While she was next to my daughter and I putting a mouse in the adjacent cage to the hamsters, a hamster became stuck between the running wheel and the bar that holds the wheel. Thankfully, my daughter was distracted and didn’t see this horrific event happen. The clerk saw this at the same time I did and she took her time opening the cage to get the poor little thing unhinged. He was very sluggish when she released him and her response to me was, “This happens all the time. They are usually okay, hopefully,” and then she walked away. If this happens “all the time” as she stated, wouldn’t it make sense to change the wheels in the cages to ones they CAN’T get stuck in. There is a plethora of hamster wheels in the store, I’m sure they can sacrifice a few for the greater good of these poor animals lives. How many hamster, or mice, have died because someone didn’t get to them quick enough? This is just inattentive and cruel to these poor animals and there should be a change as to how the animals are cared for. People come to these stores because they love their pets. The pets at the stores should be cared for the same way. I will be posting this letter on my blog so others may look out for the same type of behavior for the sake of these animals. A response and change is appreciated.

 

So let’s see what happens, shall we? Just a friendly reminder to all of you that shop at any of these kinds of establishments. Please be aware of the surroundings. Check out the cages, take a look around. These little guys can’t speak, but we can.

The (Almost) Death of a Hamster

Today I witnessed an ALMOST accidental death of a cute little critter. The hamster.

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Look at that cute little face! Now, I have to say, I am not a huge fan of these kinds of animals. To be completely honest with y’all, their sharp, pointy little teeth scare the bageezers out of me. I’m kinda like that with birds. I can’t stand birds, mostly because of a fear of those pointy little beaks. You’ve seen Hitchcock’s movie, right?

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Yeah, at the zoo I tend to run past the bird exhibits. With the other cute little critters though, I will gawk at them in their little plastic boxes at the pet store, gushing about how cute they are, but I will not pick one up. I’d rather admire from afar, or in this case, from between a piece of plastic or metal caging. 

Today, my 4 year old and I went to PetSmart to get an algae eater for her fish tank. Our first stop is always the critter cages. We were lucky, or as we thought, because they had just gotten a new shipment of little guys and the clerk was putting them in their cages. As we were looking at the hamsters, the clerk was putting a mouse in the adjacent cage. I am so glad that my daughter was preoccupied with the mouse, otherwise she would have seen a hamster get it’s little neck stuck between the running wheel and the bar that holds it. My expression?

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I was trying to not blurt out loud, “Holy crap! Someone save him!” or try to pry open the cage myself. Fear shmear! The little guy was in trouble! I would perform hamster CPR if I needed to! So very thankful that the store clerk saw this at the same moment I did and thankful that my 4 year old was still oblivious to the whole ordeal. As my heart pounds, worrying about this poor little thing and painfully watching him try to get free and then slowly not moving, the store clerk seemed to take her sweet time opening the cage to get him undone. The dialogue running through my head, “Dear God woman! Move with the quickness! Save him! Save him! (or her).” The clerk got the little hamster free and he moved slowly away. Then she says, “That happens a lot. They’re always ok. Hopefully.” Then she walks away.

Excuse me? This happens a lot? This may be a stupid question, but why the heck are those wheels still in their cages? Why not put this in instead?

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No open slots for them to get their cute little necks stuck into. You, as a pet store, have a plethora of animal “toys” to choose from. Do it? If this has happened more than once, and according to the clerk it has, why keep using this?

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Use this…

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Not this…

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I just wonder how many poor little hamsters have lost their lives in this store because someone wasn’t there quick enough to get them free?

I plan on writing or calling PetSmart myself and letting them know what I experienced today in order to save other critters lives. I’m just glad that I didn’t have to explain an accidental death to my child today.  

Can I Be This Lady When I Grow Up?

Have you seen the Nana YouTube Sensation? If not, then boy are you in for a treat!

I couldn’t help but smile, laugh and cry. This woman can move at 88! First, I hope to live to make it to 88. Second, I hope to be this full of life at that age. This woman reminded me A LOT of my own Nana. I’ve written about her before on this blog. She was amazing! I remember her dancing around, somewhat like this lady, when I was  younger. Man do I miss her! 

That’s it. I just wanted to share this with y’all. It brightened my day and brought back some really good memories. Hope it can do the same for you.

Infertility – Second Time Around

I received a phone call today, which I let go to voice mail. It was the Reproductive Center for Kaiser Permanente apologizing for the almost 4 month delay on the referral my doctor had sent them. Listening to the message, my heart just drops. A million questions run frantically through my head. 

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Why do I have to do this again?

Why can’t I just be “normal“?

Do I want to go through all of this again?

Am I strong enough? Physically and mentally?

Am I going through too much stress right now to even consider trying to conceive again?

Can we financially afford another child?

I can’t help but tear up a little bit when I starting thinking of all of this. Going through trials and them not taking is painful. Knowing that you are the one that has the infertility issue makes it all the worse. I always feel like I have let my husband down, even though I know he doesn’t feel this way. And in some sort of odd way, I feel like I have let myself down as well. 

Even though we did conceive about 5 years ago and we became parents to a beautifully amazing daughter, I have this gut feeling that it may be tougher this time. I am in my, I guess, mid 30′s now and I’m sure my egg count is significantly lower because of that. Seriously, just typing this is giving me anxiety. 

I do want another kid (it would be awesome if we were blessed with a boy this time around, even though my daughter prefers a sister) and Em would be such an amazing big sister. She has this certain knack with little kids. They LOVE her! And she adores them! People call her the “Little Mama” because she tries to take care of the younger kids when she is around them. I would like to have another kid before she gets any older, there is already going to be a 6 year difference between the ages.

Cost is another huge factor in all of this. Fertility treatments are expensive! We do have some insurance help this time, but still, money is tight right now and I don’t know if we can really spare the extra $100 per visit. But, again, with that come the “I want to get it done before I’m older” thing.

Too much, just too much!

People often wonder why I share this personal information about myself with strangers. The fact of the matter is that if I’m able to help anyone else that is going through the same thing for the first time or even the 100th by sharing my story, then I am going to. It’s not an easy subject to be open with. It hurts and every time you tell it, it just reopens that wound. But I would rather reopen that wound to give hope to others (since I did end up conceiving) than keep it sealed shut.

Infertility is depressing, scary, difficult and painful, but it’s not the end all of everything. There are always alternatives, whether it be treatment, surrogacy or adoption. Families aren’t unattainable, just sometimes it requires a little more faith, strength and devoted love to get there.


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