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.

Guest Post: Boldly Going…(Radio Chick’s Reflections)

Between blogging, freelance and trying to earn a little money to help with finances and chase after an active child…I may have worn myself a little thin lately. I don’t mind at all! I love doing everything I am doing and I feel very fortunate for the opportunities I have been given to be creative and talk with some wonderful people. So, I figured, why not get some guest bloggers to write some posts for me while I give myself time to work on other things.

My good friend Shannon, over at Radio Chick’s Reflections, agreed to do just that! She is a great writer and I hope you all will go visit her personal blog. You can do that by clicking here.

 

Boldly Going…(Radio Chick’s Reflections)

My husband and I are going to do something we haven’t done for a while.  In fact, we’re probably going to have to dust the cobwebs off.

OF OUR PASSPORTS!  What were you thinking??

We’re actually about to go on a vacation for the first time in a long time.  Okay, that’s not entirely true.  We went on a vacation last summer with our two kids – then six and two – and my parents, to Florida, to spend most of the 10 days away at Walt Disney World.  It was a fun trip.  The first one for both of our kids, anywhere farther than a few hours by car.  And I’d do it again in a heartbeat.  The memories we made were precious.  Zoey, who was two at the time, still talks about seeing Buzz Lightyear and Woody, and asks to go again.  However, it wasn’t truly a vacation for me or my husband.  The parents out there reading this will understand what I mean.  You’re constantly on the go with the kids, keeping a close eye on them while at the theme parks, entertaining them in the pool, and lying with them at bedtime for what seems like hours (just like at home!).  I think my husband and I actually got less sleep than we do normally at home, and that’s BAD (it’s tough to get less than 5 hours a night…).

And so though we did “get away”, we didn’t get a chance to relax, which is what I want to do on a vacation.  It’s what we used to do on a vacation, before we had kids.  So, we made a decision a few months ago to go away, just the 2 of us, and do just that.  It’s kind of our 10th anniversary present to each other and ourselves, as well as a 40th birthday present to me.  It took a bit of convincing to have my parents watch both kids overnight for a week – Zoey’s only been overnight to their house once, a few months ago, for one night – but they agreed to it.  For that we are so thankful.

These were my wishes (it is, after all, my 40th birthday, so why shouldn’t it be my wishes we fulfill?!):  go to a place that’s a short plane ride away, that is clean, where there is a beautiful beach, and that is warm.  Honestly, I just wanted to book a spot where I could lie on a beach all day and have drinks brought to me.  Not too much to ask, right?  And as much as I am looking forward to doing NOTHING and having some “me” and “me and hubby” time, I’m starting to feel a little anxious about leaving my children.  As I mentioned, we’ve not been away from Zoey for more than one night, and we’ve not been away from Zander for more than a few days (when he’s gone to Grandma and Grandpa’s for a weekend).  I’ll worry about them.  I know they’re in good hands with my parents, but I’ll still worry about them.  It’s my job.  I can’t NOT do it.

And the way Zoey’s been the last few days has added to my anxiety.  I’ve been busy with work and work obligations, and Zoey’s response has been, “Don’t go Mommy.  Stay five more minutes.  Stay with us.  Don’t go to work.  Okay?”  That’s just because I’ve been out and about for most of the last two days.  I can’t even imagine what she’ll be thinking and feeling after three days…and then four days…and then five days…

But I really feel like my husband and I need this.  We’re sleep deprived, and, as a result, cranky (I’d even add ABNORMALLY before that “cranky”), and that means we’re not performing our best as parents.  I know I am not, for certain.  So, I guess, the kids need this too.  I really hope this vacation allows us to recharge our batteries and come back more patient, better parents for Zander and Zoey.  They deserve that.

New Learning App for Preschoolers and Kindergartners by Kids Academy

Now a days, our kids have lots of fun and interactive ways to learn. If they are anything like my 4 year old, she is constantly wanting to play on our phones, her LeapPad or one of our Android tablets. Recently, we discovered a new app by Kid’s Academy that teaches your child how to write numbers and letters through tracing, rhyming words, songs, puzzles and more, all while making it interactive and fun.

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Kid’s Academy is has free downloads for you and your child to test out and play together. This is limited, however. For letters you are only able to trace up to the letter C and numbers up to the number 3. To take complete advantage of this app, you will need to get the in-app purchase to have full access to letters, numbers, stories, phonics songs and much much more.

It’s hard to keep a 4 year old’s attention and this app by Kid’s Academy seemed to hold it pretty well. She had fun tracing her letters and playing the maze puzzle and I was content knowing that she was playing a game that was not only fun for her, but also educational.

You can download the apps here on iTunes and here on Google Play

Happy learning!

Do You Want to Build a Playhouse?

I bet you are all singing the “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” song now, aren’t you? I am right now in fact, as I type this.

Fairly recently, my dad, mom and I constructed an 8ft. x 8ft. playhouse in my backyard for my four year old daughter. Growing up, my dad built a playhouse for my brother and I in our backyard. I loved that house. It was my own little getaway in a sense. Now that I have a daughter of my own, I wanted her to have that same type of wonderful experience. Luckily, my dad had A LOT of scrap pieces left from a project he had done a while back, so much so, that it pretty much built the entire playhouse! (I got extremely luck! Lumber is far from cheap!)

Not only was I excited to build something that my daughter will use for many years to come, I was also looking forward to learning something new and spending time with my dad. My dad and I haven’t always had the, what most like to think, typical daddy/daughter relationship. We never really talked a whole lot, didn’t spend a lot of time together and I wasn’t a daddy’s girl. Growing up, most of the time, I kind of felt as if I was just in the way. My younger brother and my dad bonded really well and always have tons to talk about. I’ve always been a little jealous of their relationship. So when this opportunity came up to really learn some new skills from my dad and work side-by-side with him, I became really anxious and excited.

My dad isn’t usually a patient man and is definitely not the easiest person to work on projects with. He has a short temper when building, making or fixing anything. This time, however, he was patient with me and took the time to show me how to do stuff, which isn’t the norm for him.

I have to say, I learned A LOT! From framing, to putting up a wall, to roofing, to window installation to flooring. You name it, I can pretty much do it now. It wasn’t an easy task and this thing takes up a majority of my top lawn (plus side, less mowing), but I learned some new skills, (I can work power tools now! Be afraid people.) got to spend some quality time with my dad and have a very excited and happy four year old. I also took pics from beginning to end. Enjoy.

Do you want to build a playhouse?

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Come on let’s go and build.

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It takes a lot of wood and tools

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I’m not sure of the rules

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After this I will be skilled!

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I get to spend time with my daddy

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It’s just me and him

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Building this thing from scraps

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Do you want to build a playhouse?

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Hope it ends up looking like a playhouse

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Done! Now I nap.

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Hmm…not the best ending, but nothing rhymes with “scraps”. AND…you are now singing the song! You’re welcome. :)

 

Ketchup With Us – A Reblog Post

I can’t believe it is already mid-July! Where the heck has this year gone? Seriously! My kid will be starting Transitional Kindergarten in about a month already! Now I’m sad…and going to go cry in my closet. While I have my own pity party…I thought that this time on Ketchup With Us (Remember, you can link up too on the 1st and 15th of every month with Mel and Michele. Just click on their names and link up your post!) I would link up an old post. A lot of times, reading everyone’s blogs, we don’t really know who these people are. We just know what they write. So a little while back I wrote a post explaining a little bit of who I am. The girl behind the blog. 

 

Things aren’t always black and white. There is a lot of gray matter in between; how do you think we get from black TO white. People are good at judging others without really getting any facts and just taking things at face value. Remember that old saying, “you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover”? Well, it’s the truth. We aren’t one dimensional and everyone has stories that make them who they are. I’ve been miss judged, a lot actually. So, I would like to share 5 things about me that you may not know. 

1. I’m actually quite quiet and shy

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You may not be able to tell this in my writing, but when I am face to face with people I’m pretty quiet. I clam up easily. A lot of people I have dealt with in the past take this quietness as a sure sign of bitchiness. Just because someone is quiet doesn’t constitute them as being a b***h. I try to be kind to everyone. I think a lot of my shyness comes from an incident that happened to me in 1st grade. From that point on I stopped raising my hand to answer questions in school and really just became an observer. Yes, I have grown up since then and I am a little more outgoing now than the child I once was, but some things just stick with you. With writing I can express myself easily. It’s natural to me. I like to consider my writing as the more outgoing, extroverted me.  :) 

2. I have a pretty weird sense of humor.

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The one thing my dad and I can bond over is our love for Monty Python and Mel Brooks. We both just get it. My mom and brother on the other hand, not so much. Sometimes, I think, I try to write witty responses on Twitter or other social media sites, but they don’t resonate that way to some individuals. Being “funny” is different to everyone, I’m just that off kind of funny.

3. I believe in Karma.

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Karma is the belief that if you do good, good will come to you. I’ve personally seen this effect and I try to follow this philosophy. If someone is mean or does something horrible to you, you don’t have to stoop to their level to get them back. At some point in time, it all comes back around.

4. I am pretty sensitive when it comes to animals.

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Damn you Sarah McLachlan and your commercials! Those poor doggies and kitties with their sad little eyes. Seriously, if I had the money I would save every single one of those animals. I can’t even go into an animal shelter without feeling guilty, then sad, then crying in the car because I just want to take them all home so they actually have a home and don’t have to live in a cage. I have already warned my husband that if we ever get another cat or a dog it is up to him and my daughter to go to the shelter and pick it out. My own animals are family to me. So technically, I have 3 children…4 if you want to count my husband.  :)

5.  I’m a big dreamer.

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This must be the Pisces in me. I day dream a lot and often my ambitions are much larger than I am. For instance, once upon a time, I wanted to be a movie director. That dream has since disappeared after getting married and starting a family, but way back in my mind, that person still lives. I did write and direct a very independent film. I auditioned some very talented actors, who were kind enough to work for free. Spent a lot of my own money renting out places and equipment. Edited almost the entire thing myself, and then…well…life took over. By the time I got back into the swing of it, being the perfectionist that I am, it no longer held the magic that it once did. I over criticized the shots and it just didn’t feel right to me anymore. Then my Mac decided it no longer wanted to work with me and ate all my footage that was saved on it. I was no longer an Apple person after this. Currently, I am working on other projects that evoke my dreaming and creativity. Nothing makes me more content than writing and being creative. 

So there you have it, me in a nutshell (or blog-shell). We are all complex, made up of many different parts. If you only judge a book by it’s cover, you’ll never discover all the wonderful mysteries and beauty that lie on the pages inside.

Ketchup With Us – #BlogHop – Sign Me Up for Camp Chicken

I’m a few days late, but it’s time to play Ketchup With Us with our wonderful hostesses, Mel and Michele. Remember, you can play too! Just visit these lovely ladies the 1st and 15th of every month. (I made it easy for you, just click on their names above and you’ll be taken right to their blog sites.) Look for the Ketchup With Us blog post and link yours up! You can link up pretty much anything. Couldn’t be easier!

So, I had a few things in my head that I was thinking of writing about. That all changed when I saw the following billboard on the main road in my hometown.

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Hmm…have to say I was a little intrigued. What is this? I’ve never heard of this before. I must look this up! So, after going home, I pulled it up on the laptop and all I can say is that being the TRUE chicken that I am, no way in freakin’ H-E-double hockey sticks am I EVER going to do this. For those of you curious and like to get the crap-o-la scared out of you, here is what it entails. (And this is from the website)

The Great Horror Campout is a 12-hour, overnight, interactive Horror camping adventure. Campers can choose their level of engagement by their choice of activities and tent zone. It can be an extreme horror adventure or a more mild horror adventure. It’s completely up to the camper.

Is there a chicken tent? I believe I belong there. If something came at me in my tent in the middle of the night, even knowing it was all fake, I don’t think I would be coming back to tell ya’ll about it. Here are the levels of intensity they have. (Again, from their website)

For A Lower Octane (Less Extreme) Horror Experience:

Campers can decide how extreme of an experience they get by their choice of activities. Horror movies, roasting marshmallows, campfire sing-a-longs. ghost story telling, arts & crafts are all examples of an agenda for the campers who want a more laid back haunted experience. These campers can also opt for a tent in our “Chicken Zone” where they can hang with friends enjoy refreshments and be free from monsters joining them inside their tent.

Chicken Zone, yep, that one is calling my name. Maybe they should rename it the “Tammie Zone”. Now, what kind of refreshments are we talking about? If there are zombies and men with chainsaws running around this campground, regardless if I am in the “Chicken Zone” or not, I will be needing much more than freshly squeezed lemonade to get me through the night. 

For A High Octane (VERY EXTREME) Horror Experience:

Our High Octane Horror fans will choose a much different level of engagement by booking their tent in any of the other four tent sections which will keep them “FAIR GAME” all night long. No rest for the wicked.
It can get even more interactive for the campers who find themselves up to their eyeballs in the “Hell Hunt” where they will compete for the coveted title of “Hellmaster.” It will take strategy and cerebral game play to find the mandatory SCAG items. Campers will bathe in the “Blood of A Popelick,” bow to “Lords” for a secret word, engage in voodoo rituals and much more. Throughout all of this our Camp Headmaster will continuously throw a wrench into their game with rule changes and spontaneous challenges that will slowly weed out the imposters and eventually expose the true “Hellmasters.”

Becoming the “Hellmaster” does have a nice ring to it and would look pretty awesome on my resume. Why yes (potential job) I did receive Hellmaster. What? What does that mean? Well, it pretty much means not to mess with me and if there is every a zombie apocalypse or the gates of Hell open, I’m the one that will be leading the crusade. Hmm…nope, this is still never happening.

I like the fact that they have a “safe phrase”, (which is I WANT MY MOMMY!) meaning the actors have to back off. I can absolutely guarantee that phrase (among many other more colorful ones) would be blurted out of my mouth within the first few seconds.

So, with all that being said, I’m curious. How many of you lovely people out there would take on this experience?

 

5 Silly Things My Kid Has Said…This Week!

My daughter cracks me up! And to keep up with the Blog Post By Numbers, presented to you by Mel and Michele, I thought I would list 5 things my daughter has said to me this week that made me giggle.

5 Things

1. Mom, can I NOT have the turkey that tastes like cat food?

2. I don’t know what cat food tastes like, but I’m sure it tastes like this turkey.

3. I’m pretty sure if I cut my hair and wore glasses, I would look like Thelma! (she’s been watching too much Scooby Doo)

4. My playhouse MUST have a toilet! You can do that, right? (Sure, let me get right on that for ya.)

5. If I stick my walkie talkie in the fish tank, do you think the fish would talk to me?

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This post was written for Mel @ According to Mags and Michele @ Old Dog New Tits, the Ketchup With Us ladies. Want to join in on the Blog By Numbers Challenge? Just put a Number in the title of your post and link it up to these lovely ladies or tweet them and let them know!

5 Requests From a Child for Her Playhouse

 

Playhouse

This week my dad and I embarked on a BIG father/daughter project. We are building my 4 year old a playhouse!

Playhouse construction

Look at the craftsmanship on that! This coming from a girl who has never really used a power tool correctly. I’m learning a lot from my dad and it’s actually quite a bit of fun. So if anyone wants to go buy me that well deserved tool belt now, I’d be honored!

While talking to my daughter, I asked her what she MUST have in her playhouse. This kid has some really big dreams and here are her top 5!

1. A Nice Couch

couch

This isn’t an unreasonable request. You need to sit down somewhere, right? Let’s just hope we can fit one in the door opening when it gets to that point.

2. A Skylight

My own house doesn’t even have a skylight, but this kid insists on getting one. Two words: Not Happening! She’ll be lucky with my first time construction if the house stands for more than a week. Asking for a skylight is just asking for complications.

3. A Toilet

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Come on, really child, a toilet in your playhouse? Although I can understand her reasoning behind it (we have a bathroom in our house), I’m not running plumbing to a playhouse. I don’t even know how I would accomplish this!

4. A Fireplace

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Well well, little miss fancy pants. Why don’t we just line the walls with gold? I told her that I have never seen a playhouse with a fireplace. Her response, “I can be the first.” Keep on dreaming kid!

5. Cable TV

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My husband and I both laughed when she told us this. Sure, I’ll just call up DirecTV and get another box, run electricity out there for ya and you’ll be all set! I guess I should ask if she wants to upgrade our service to include all the movie channels.

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This post was written for Mel @ According to Mags and Michele @ Old Dog New Tits, the Ketchup With Us ladies. Want to join in on the Blog By Numbers Challenge? Just put a Number in the title of your post and link it up to these lovely ladies or tweet them and let them know!


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