Posted in Adventures of Toddlerhood, Flower photography

Lupine Love

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I am not too sure when I first noticed lupine, probably about 6 or 7 years ago in an old neighborhood. They were always along the side of the road and I loved to look at them. I don’t know what it is about lupines that I like so much. I think that what they lack for I scent (they don’t really have one) they make up for in their tall, spiky, colorful blooms. They come in a variety of vibrant blues, purples, pinks and even white, that I have seen. I think the purple ones are my favorites.

This field of lupines near our apartment caught my eye the other day (when I didn’t have a camera) so yesterday, camera in tow, my youngest and I headed out on a photo venture. We may or may not have trespassed a little bit to take these pics, but no one lives in the house where they are at so, no harm, no foul. 

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Aurora usually goofs off in pics, but she smiled wide when I told her to smile for this one. I love to see her enthusiasm that reflects mine for flowers and plants. We enjoy our nature walks and look for as many photo ops as we can. 

When we returned home to look through our pics, I got to thinking about lupine, if they are edible or not. I’ve always been curious about the seeds, for they remind me of beans. After researching a bit, I found out that lupine is in the legume family. I think now I have found the motivation for my love of these flowers-I want to eat them! I am a big fan of beans, so we will be trying some lupine beans after they seed!

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Bees and butterflies like the lupine as well! Look at the sacs on that busy bee! He was the only willing participant to get his picture taken, which was fine by me, as I was not going to trudge through a possibly tick ridden field just to chase a bee for a pic!

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It’s a rainy day today but I don’t mind. I’m perfectly content to sit at my laptop and write. I’ll be working on the 2nd half of this venture to post for tomorrow, where I’ll attempt to post my first blog video ever! Wish me luck on that and I bid you all a terrific day! If the weather is nice, get out and smell some flowers and hug some trees!

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Posted in Adventures of Toddlerhood

Rainy Day Hair

It’s a rainy morning, and chillier than recently so my 4 year old daughter, Rori and I are finding ways to occupy ourselves. I’m perfectly content to be glued to my tablet and write the gloom away. By gloom, I mean a welcome chance to stay in my jammies and write all day. Rori putters around playing while I write.

Rori walks up to her desk which is next to my table that I work at, and grabs her little pink handled scissors that will barely cut even a sheet of paper. “Please I can cut your hair, Mama?” she sweetly asks.

I pause from my writing to think about that… NO I DON’T ! What parent in their right mind would let their 4 year old cut their hair?! I’m sure there may be a crazy, sleep deprived, unsuspecting parent somewhere out there, but not this crazy Mama! I drink coffee, so even if I am sleep deprived, I’m still aware of my surroundings. I think back to our conversation the night before when she had asked. “No sweetie,” I politely decline, “not now but someday when you have a cosmetology license, I’ll let you cut my hair then!”

I sense her desperation as she frantically looks around, scissors still in hand, contemplating. I get back to writing as I hear Rori shuffling through her toy box. She returns to our office area with one of her Ponies. “Please I can cut my pony’s hair?” she tries again.

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I look at her and say, “Yes that’s fine, it’s yours.” Rori is gleeful as she parks the pony right on the table next to me and busiest herself cutting those beautiful Pony locks. Should I be worried about her enthusiasm to cut something? I wonder to myself, maybe this is what would make her want to learn how to cut hair when she gets older!

I return to my writing and Rori is content to cut hair…every single toy that has hair! My Little Ponies, dolls, none of them are spared. A pile of colorful hair is accumulating on the table, next to the pile of customers that have had their hair cut. This continues for at least a half an hour while I write and observe her and take pictures. I sense a story to blog.

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Once upon a time, I would have fretted about a pile of hair, for the mess factor alone. My only other child to cut hair was my eldest when she was the same age as Rori is now, and it was her own hair and our cat’s whiskers that got a trim. Imagine my surprise that day to notice my cat looked funny but couldn’t quite figure out why!

Sometimes, you need to do some messy haircuts and make a mess on a rainy day. Sure, the messes are not fun to pick up, but there’s always a story to tell with them. Once upon a time, I was a mess fretful Mama, reluctant to let my kid knowingly make a mess. Now, I’m still reluctant, but with the motivation to have material to write about. Messes happen in life, of all different kinds, and our attitude about them is what makes them a mess to begin with. Messes can be picked up after memories are made and stories are written, so treasure those messy moments with your kids, they don’t last long!

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Posted in Adventures of Toddlerhood

Damn Near Pig Roast!

I was going to have a different post ready for today, but a more pressing matter came up yesterday that I thought I should share with the world, especially those who are regularly around children (not just parents) dealing with fire safety.

You may take fire safety for granted that schools teach your children about it. Remember Smokey the Bear and such? In our case, where I am home schooling my youngest during preschool and Kindergarten, I have gone over fire safety. I have taught my daughter to be careful of the stove, what to do in case our smoke detector goes off, and to keep things away from our baseboard heaters.

Our living room has no existing light fixture in it. Up until a few weeks ago, we used the dining room light to light the living room. We didn’t get a lamp at first, for fear of it getting knocked over during playtime and cause a fire. A few weeks ago however, we came across a free lamp on the side of the road and decided to take it home for our living room. It worked and it has gone unscathed from play time…until yesterday.

I was writing in my dining room that serves as my office and my youngest proudly exclaimed that she turned the lamp on by herself. I looked into the living room, as it can be seen from where I was sitting and saw that the light was on, but couldn’t see the lamp from that vantage point. I thought nothing of it and went back to work. 

A few minutes or so later, I smelled something funny burning. I wasn’t cooking anything (not that my cooking ever smells funny like it’s being burned) and the neighbors were not home, so I knew they weren’t cooking anything. I got up to investigate and when I walked into the living room, I found one of my daughter’s stuffed animals sitting on top of the light bulb of the lamp!

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I had never thought to teach about fire safety and light bulbs. I was so concerned about all the other fire safety that when we got the lamp, I never gave it a second thought. Another minute or few and this stuffed piggy probably would have burst into flame, setting off the smoke detector that is right above it. Thankfully, my keen nose averted any inherent danger and avoided a nightmare though my little one was berating herself that it was her faulty. While technically a fire would have been her fault for putting the stuffed piggy on the lamp, I am more at fault for not making sure that she understood about fire safety and light bulbs.

So please, parents, teachers, caregivers, anyone around young children-please make sure to make your little ones aware of the danger of a hot light bulb, especially when it is within reach. If you only have outlet lights that hang from the ceiling, make sure to remind your child about lamps that are not fixtures in the ceiling. It does not take long for a fire to start and spread, causing damage and loss of life. I shudder to think how guilty my little one would have felt, had the outcome been different. For sure, saving us from a fire starting was the one thing I was most grateful yesterday, even if I am still feeling terribly guilty and deficient as a parent.

Posted in Adventures of Toddlerhood, Vegan Blog

Nature PhoChal Day 6: Nature or Nurture

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“Super Heroes to the Smoothie Rescue!”

This is a cup. This is a sippy cup, with a straw, to be precise! “How is this Nature, Jenn?” you ask., “It’s a cup, I see no nature in that plastic cup”, you observe.

So how can this plastic cup be Nature? It’s not a matter of the cup itself being nature, as it is the REASON why I got the cup. As you know by now, Baby Girl and I have been vegan for almost four months now. I always worry about her getting enough fruits and veggies, since she is a clever little one and picks them out of her food sometimes. As a mom, I need to be even more clever to sneak nutrition into my unsuspecting toddler.

Smoothies are an ideal way to make a quick, nutritious and delicious treat that is packed with vitamins. I have been trying to get Baby Girl to drink smoothies for a few months now, and though she sips off of mine and makes a mess, it became frustrating for the both of us. The cups she has have tiny holes, not meant for thick liquids like a smoothie and I have been racking my head as to how to solve this problem.

Yesterday, it hit me: DING DING! Why not get a sippy cup that has a straw in it? When Baby Girl woke from her nap, we headed right out to our local Kinney’s to see what they had to offer. We found this handy Playtex cup, for $5.99 and took it home straight away to try it out.

This cup has a straw in it, that disconnects under the cap to make it easy to clean. The opening had a valve, to make it spill proof (and would have made the smoothie impossible to pass through) so I had to modify it a bit. I bent the valve up (it had like plastic “teeth” that came together to make the valve) and clipped the plastic, making a hole for the smoothie. I made a chocolate banana smoothie for us to test drive the cuppy and: SUCCESS! No mess, and Baby Girl drank that smoothie right up.

This cup gives Baby Girl the freedom to drink her smoothies at will, without the mess, and it gives me a piece of mind that she is getting some nutrition that she needs. This cup is my new super hero! How is this cup nature? This cup is nature, because it help me nurture Baby Girl with nutritious, natural smoothies.

Posted in Adventures of Toddlerhood

Sometimes Life is Coffee

Ahhh the joys of being a parent of a toddler, and all the heart attacks and headaches that come along with it. Toddlers can be quite noisy one minute, and then make you worry the next when they are being quiet and every horrible scenario plays out in your head as to what trouble they are getting into.

I learned a long time ago that quietness usually equates to trouble, and Baby Girl has been no exception. A couple times lately while being busy doing chores, Baby Girl thought she would help me garden my roses. Let’s just say that white is a terrible color for a rug with a toddler around, and dirt does not clean easily. I managed to save my roses from perishing (Baby Girl had practically uprooted them) and now they are thriving.

A couple days ago, I was busying myself with work, while Baby Girl toddled around as she always does. I went to the kitchen to get a drink and noticed a couple piles of “dirt” on the floor in the hallway and in my room. My mind raced as I thought the worst of whichever plant had met its fate with Baby Girl. I looked around and saw no evidence of a plant anywhere. I went out to the living room to do a quick head count of my plants: one, two…ten…ok, they were all there, undisturbed.

Upon further inspection I realized that it was coffee, not dirt on the rug and vacuumed it up, looking for the container and not finding it. Baby Girl had managed to stump me. I went to the fridge, and lo and behold, there was the empty Maxwell House Instant coffee container, right in the door where I had left it. Sneaky little Baby Girl, thinking she was outwitting her caffeine needing Mama. Like I wouldn’t have noticed that all my coffee was gone the next time I went to make a cup?

You see, sometimes Life is not the dirt in the white carpet that it appears to be. Sometimes, Life  is a clever little coffee caper, dumped into little piles on the rug, tricking us into thinking that it’s more of a mess than it really is!

 

Posted in Adventures of Toddlerhood, Photography

Life is Sometimes Glitter

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Ahhh the joy of makeup, how it makes one look and feel prettier! Yesterday, I was in the midst of having a mental meltdown from having to deal with a thorn in my life.

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My neighbor who is also my baby girl’s cousin, was over our place doing her makeup to get ready for work. Naturally, Baby Girl is quite a curious little toddler, and must investigate everything. I don’t wear makeup very often, but I do have some eye glitter that I’m very fond of (partly cuz I lucked out and got it for half price, for 5 little tiny jars of it) and my neighbor was trying some on.

All it takes is one second to turn around and POOF! Glitter everywhere! Though I was in an irritable mood, I found it to be funny, and pretty all the same. I figured, what the hell, a photo op and…at least it’s not poop!

Life is not always roses…sometimes it’s just a bunch of pretty glitter on your carpet!