Killin’ Time with Crafts

Believe it or not, I don’t always have the energy my blossoming daughter demands of me. I’ve taught her well, but damn, sometimes I cringe when I hear the words “Mom, I have a terrific idea for what we can do today!” “Sleep?” I respond. “No silly, Christmas craft time!” Oh…shit…okay.

Such is Monday- I had no dinner prepared, low energy levels and a caffeine headache from my recent obsession with Monster Energy drinks. Suddenly, the thought of preparing an all craft session didn’t seem so bad- sit in a chair, glue shit and smile. I can handle that.

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It’s still early in the month. My Christmas Spirit will ring shortly. Until then, Bahumbug.

 

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Why I Speak to My Daughter Like an Adult

Yes, it’s true. I speak to my innocent and callow-minded four year old as an adult. I rarely sugar coat my word choice, emotions or the truth. I use words like ‘vagina’, ‘penis’ and ‘shit’ without hesitation. “Holy hell!”, “Are you freaking kidding me?” and “Son of a bitch!” are only a few of my commonly used expressional phrases. I also choose to discuss all of the coolest controversial topics with my precious gem, including, but not limited to; religion, the dealth penalty, war, drugs and animal cruelty.

Hate me yet? Because really, you shouldn’t.

Here we are, living in the most modernized, raw and ever-changing generation to date. Public smoking is becoming obsolete. Drugs are among the youth. Sex offenders lurk in our backyards. Teen pregnancy is common. Marriage equality is on the rise. Pollution and animal cruelty are real. We’ve honored a black president. We’ve impeached a white one. The world is real. Emotions are real. Confusion and uncertaininy are real. Mistakes are real. Growth is real. We are real.

With that said, why would we want to portray anything other than the truth to our maturing children? When my dear girl asks me why her best friend has black skin and she has tan- I explain. But I don’t stop there. Oh no. I explain slavery. I explain what it was, why it was thought to be an acceptable act and why it is no longer tolerated. When my dear girls asks if I’m still in love with her father, I don’t just respond “No, honey.” I explain the depth behind it. The change. The growth. The hurt and the happiness. I do my best to relate to her and explain that people grow, they change and I explain the beauty and opportunity that can rise from such a thing. When my dear girl hears of the horrific tragedy about the local girl who was stolen by a sicko kidnapper over the nightly news, I don’t silence her questions (or the television). I use the situation as a grand learning tool and explain the importance of self-defense and caution. After that we practice some serious martial art moves (fingers in the eyeballs, kick to the crotch and a headbutt to the nose). And no, I’m not joking.

After implementing this raw and uncut parenting method for the last four years, I must say- I’m more than pleased with the results. I have a strong, sensible, most creative, unbias, forward-thinking and result-oriented four year old. And yes, I do give a large amount of credit to my parenting style. It’s raw and uncut.

Am I perfect? Hell no. Is my daughter perfect? Hell no. But, what we are is sensible. Honest. Self-aware. Communicative. When she saw a man (in public) grab his girlfriends groin area, my daughter extended her little hand high in the air, in a ‘stop’ motion and screamed, “Hey! That’s her  vagina! You can’t touch that!” Right on! When I’m quiet and reserved with things on my mind, my daughter is the first to say, “What’s on your mind, Mommy? Are you sad? You can talk to me.” When she wakes up in the morning and acts like a grizzly bear, “Stop! TURN OFF THE LIGHTS! Ugh! You’re making me so grumpy right now, Mom!!” I ignore the behavior (as I can relate to being woken up) and allow her to readjust to the early wake time. Within the next hour, Camira hugs up to me and explains, “Sorry I was being a brat this morning. I was just so tired and sometimes I get grumpy in the morning. You understand, Mom?” Of course I do. When we sit for dinner and explain what we’re thankful for, to no surprise she’ll say “I’m thankful for our car. Some people don’t have cars. Remember that lady who had carried her groceries in the snow with her baby? That’s sad. One day I’ll give her a car.” It’s moments like these, moments that her sense of reality, understanding and kindness make me thankful for our unique relationship.

The point I’d like to make here is that I find it to be of the utmost importance to be genuinely honest with our children. Let’s not hide the cruelty of the world, but let’s explain its part and then further explain how we can learn from it, only to help us in finding a greater, more solidified happiness within ourselves. Let’s celebrate the positive traits each individual holds and be aware of the negative. Afterall, it’s that fine mix that creates the spice of life- this beautiful life.

“Instead of complaining that the rose bush is full of thorns, be happy the thorn bush has roses.”

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A Day of Enchanted Moments

Better late than never! Or so they say.

I must admit, this Fall Season has been the best yet! Being newly divorced has been the most liberating experience. It allows for freedom of decision during the holiday seasons, it eleminates resentment that may have occured when the (ex) husband would decline to accompany his family on explorations, it allows for female-only bonding time. It allows my daughter and I to do WHATEVER THE HELL WE WANT! So, with that said… This is what we did on the fine Halloween Day.

We awoke, only to make cupcakes for breakfast.

Trump that, Grandma’s!

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Then, we ate them. For breakfast! ROCK ON.

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This is about the time our sugar-high set in and we hit the road for a travel-sesh.

First stop- The Village of Indian Hill

20141031_105943Indian Hill is a quiet community in the suberbs of Cincinnati. It’s lined with paved sidewalks, parks and million dollar homes. I wish I could post the pictures of the beautiful landscaping and mansions, but I’m not one to invaid on other’s privacy. Instead, I’ll just post photos of their lamas.

My daughter and I drove the windy roads and talked about the changing season, the beauitful colors the autumn air brings and indulged in an indepth discussion on what being ‘wealthy’ really means.

Next stop- a hidden gem. Enchanted Moments.

If you’re a local Cincinnatian like myself, this is must-stop shop! Whether you’re looking for a unique gift, to add to your spice collection, or to explore another realm, this shop will do the trick! I like to consider it an eclectic gem. (Plus side- it’s perfect for a chilly halloween day.)

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Unfortunately, I can’t stress enough that these pictures do the job NO JUSTICE. Anyone can literaly spend hours in this quanit shop. Candles, spices, books, decor, jewelry, healing, readings- they even have a shop cat! Meow.

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You can visit their site here: http://www.enchantedmomentsshop.com

My daughter and I explored the shop for well over an hour, leaving no stone unturned! She loved the candles, the jewelry, the cat, the dresses, the faires… she loved everything! It was the perfect Halloween treat!

And finally, to end a great day- we did the trick-or-treat thing!

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Until next year…

 

A Mother in Progress

Last week I was meal prepping. If you’re familiar, you know it consists of a clear conscious as you are multi-tasking to the umpth degree! Distractions are unwanted and unwelcomed. We are in the zone.

Needless to say, our children still need us, despite what zone we may be in. When my little girl noticed I purchased avocados, she was beyond excited- they’re her favorite!

“Mom, you bought avocados! I want one! Can I have one? Mom. Mom.”

“Sorry. What, honey? An avocado? Yes, in a minute.”

Well, let’s be honest. I truly didn’t have any intention on ignoring my daughter’s request, however, I didn’t truly have any intention on fulfilling it either. I was simply trying to deter the conversation and get back to my meal prepping.

Next thing I know, my daughter is standing on her kitchen stool, holding her kid-friendly knife between her little fingers and she’s slicing through MY avocado. Yes, mine! I bought two. One (large one) for me, one (small) one for her. How dare she cut mine!

“Mira! Stop! Geez. Ahh, honey, you cut the avocado!” I flail my arm in the air and scream in a whiney and frustrated voice.

“Mom, I was just trying to help. You said I could have one, but you’re busy. Look, I cut it myself!”

Now, please note- I had pasta, grain and eggs on the boiler. Fish in the oven. Cat’s meowing. Kid talking. Stomach growling. No wine. I just wasn’t prepared to me on my best behavior. After all, I am a mother in progress.

“Just stop! Go… out of the kitchen, NOW!” Yes. It’s true. I screamed at my daughter because she sliced into MY avocado. My precious, creamy, air-sensitive, avocado will now brown by tomorrow! Ugh! Meal prep RUINED! (said the 12 year old girl inside me)

You know what the worst part of all this is? I never went back and made things right. I never apologized. I never re-hashed the situation and explained how my behavior was based solely on frustration and was not something I should have geared toward her.

You know what’s even worse than that? I never told her that after my stress levels went back to normal, I was pleasantly surprised to see how well she had sliced the avocado. How impressed I was by the perfect precision she made right down the center of it, length wise- just as a mother would do. I never told her I was thankful that she had a streak of independence and realized sometimes if you want something, you have to do it yourself. I never told her that she did the exact thing an independent, well equipped, forward-thinking, four year old should do!

Despite the fact this happened last week, it’s never too late to apologize.

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Love

Oh Shit… Fall-o-ween!

Lastnight my precious daughter reminded me that there are “only 4 day’s left until HALLOWEEEEN !”

Oh shit. The pumpkin. So it was… we carved the pumpkin!

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Then, we made pumpkin seeds. Yumm.

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But that wasn’t all. Being my daughter, she reminded me that every good Halloween Costum deserves a trial run.

So-freakin-be-it.

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Happy Falloween! Everyone be safe out there.

Revamp that Old Jean Jacket!

A stylish jean jacket is a must have for every woman’s closet! If you’re like me though, you may have a few. Some old, some ugly, some that are a little too snug. If that’s the case, stress not my ladies… let’s revamp it!

What you’ll need:

1) Jean Jacket

Perferably this will jacket will fall under the guidelines of old, cheap, too small or too ugly. Mine was free from a friend and as I’ve grown over the years, well… the jacket hasn’t.

2) Gems, Jewels & Lace

The accents you choose to use are endless! I used clear rhinestones and black lace. I was going for something simple and chic. Other options dependant on your taste can include; chains (use an old necklace!), glitter, colored gems, fringe, leather, colored lace. Try to work with old and unused materials around the house- this is called upcycling.

3) Scissors, Seam Cutter and Tweezers

In truth, you can get by with scissors and tweezers. Seam Cutters help in seperating the threads while fraying- but ignore this portion for now. It will add unneeded confusion.

4) Fabric Glue

I love my fabric glue. Talk about simple DIY. *Note, I discourage hot glue-guns as they don’t seem to adhere to the fabric quite as well.

…and that’s all you need to get the ball rolling! Now, let’s get down to business!

Before we start cutting, pulling and glueing- make sure to have your tools organized. A little background music wouldn’t hurt either. And, we’re offfff…

Step 1) Tear it apart.

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Begin by cutting the sleeves off. Make sure to cut one ply of fabric at a time- by cutting the top portion of the sleeve, then wrapping the scissors around and continuring to cut the bottom half- this leaves room for percision and less mistakes.

If you want to cut off that ugly pocket, or that unnessary collar- do it! This is your creation, baby! I opted to cut off those ugly brass-like buttons.

This is what mine looked like post-cutting…

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Step 2) Fray it, Baby!

Maybe you’re not into the used and abused look? Well, I am! Use your scissors and cut a horizontal line through one-ply of the jean fabric in any spot you desire. Follow with a second horizontal cut a few inches below the top line.

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Now, using your tweezers, begin pulling the blue fibers out vertically. FFFFFFFFFFF

*If you’re unfamiliar with how fabric is woven- the fibers are crossed horizontally and vertically. We will cut a horizontal TOP line and a horizontal BOTTOM line. The, we will pull the BLUE threads out vertically. Still confused? Get your hands dirty and start cutting & pulling- it’ll start to make sense.

Step 3) Lace

For this step I used an old dress that was stained and again, too small. Damn my lucious body!

I find it easiest to lay the lace fabric directly on top of the vest area I’d like to cover. Use your scissors to quickly cut the lace fabric to match the vest area in which you will be covering withthe  lace. Cutting too large of a piece is no biggie- we will tweak later!

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Using a plastic knife (or fork in my case), spread the fabric glue over the area in which the lace will cover. Apply lace. Yes, the glue will seep through a little- that’s okay! It dries clear and offers added support.

This is what my post-lace looked like…

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Now, add more lace…

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Step 4) Bedazzle the Hell out of it!

For this portion you can purchase jewels that have prongs in which you punch through the jean fabric and secure on the backside. This is what smart and truly crafty people do. Me, I glue that shit!

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Step 5) Flaunt it! After all, you worked hard for it…

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Tie-Dyed Milk

Stuck inside due to icky weather? Try this cool experiment out! It’s great for all ages and provides a fascinating hands-on experience with minimal clean-up. Score!

Tie-Dyed Milk

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What you’ll need:

1) Milk

2) Food Coloring

3) Dish Soap

4) Plate or Bowl

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Let’s get started…

Step 1) Go ahead and poor the milk into the plate/bowl. (Don’t be scared to let your kids take charge here. You can assist in the pouring, but allowing your child to feel in charge is part of learning! Afterall, no sense in crying over spilled milk.) *Using higher fat content milk will yield best results. *Using a transparent dish will allow you to view experiment from all angles.

Step 2) Add a few drops of your choice food-coloring. We used all four colors! Make sure to place all colors closely together- this will help in creating the desired affect.

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Step 3) Drop the soap (unless you’re reading this from prison!). Sqeeze out one drop of soap and allow it to fall in the center of your color-blob.

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Step 4) Observe.

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Step 5) Don’t be shy… Add some more soap. It will create a more creative design!

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Step 6) Take it in & Talk it out. Ask your child questions- What happened when you added the food coloring to the milk? What happened when you added the soap? What direction did the colors move? Does the movement go on forever? What happens when you add more soap?

See below for the explanation:

Milk is mostly water, but it also contains vitamins, minerals, proteins, and tiny droplets of fat suspended in solution. Fats and proteins are sensitive to changes in the surrounding solution (the milk). The secret of the bursting colors is the chemistry of that tiny drop of soap. Dish soap, because of its bipolar characteristics (nonpolar on one end and polar on the other), weakens the chemical bonds that hold the proteins and fats in solution. The soap’s polar, or hydrophilic (water-loving), end dissolves in water, and its hydrophobic (water-fearing) end attaches to a fat globule in the milk. This is when the fun begins.

The molecules of fat bend, roll, twist, and contort in all directions as the soap molecules race around to join up with the fat molecules. During all of this fat molecule gymnastics, the food coloring molecules are bumped and shoved everywhere, providing an easy way to observe all the invisible activity. As the soap becomes evenly mixed with the milk, the action slows down and eventually stops. (courtesy of Scholastic.com)