Sustainably Single Parenting

Making the most of life's journey alongside my three!!!

Art In The Barn June 14, 2013

Today we had the pleasure of going to Essex, Massachusetts to model some jewelry for Art In The Barn, an annual art exhibition and sale where artists donate 50 percent of their proceeds to a land conservation community called the Greenbelt. The event was held at a beautiful reservation with a marsh and a lot of rocks to climb. The modeling portion was a favor for a photographer friend, but we had so much fun that it didn’t seem like work in the slightest. I got to wear a beautiful earring, part of an artist’s set that cost over six thousand dollars, and a bracelet by the same artist that was priced around $32k. I just about wore the cost of my house today 🙂 It’s probably something I will never have the chance to do again.

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My favorite pieces of art were the head sculpture, the spoon holder with the elephant and the word “Journey”, the sculpture of the cardinal with the flowers, and the painting of the woman vacuuming the flower. Some of the artists were actually present at the reservation, so that made the event even livelier. Being around such beauty and creativity really fed my soul. I have a lot more of the east coast to explore. I really enjoy being in this part of the country, it suits me well.

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A Day for Me May 13, 2013

Mother’s Day was lots of fun this year. My oldest daughter, Amara, had a good understanding of what the day meant (thanks to my teachings and what she learned on the Sprout channel) and went to great lengths to make it special for me. She was very well behaved that day, let me pick all of the games and things we’d do, and even volunteered to get her curls combed out without whining. AMAZING!

Mother's Day Bouquet

Mother’s Day Bouquet

It was a nice day. I did clean the kitchen and bathe the girls and wash a few loads of laundry, but I knew I couldn’t take the day off completely. We’d already planned to go the the Museum of Science in Boston today, so doing a few chores on Mother’s Day was necessary.

It was off and on rainy on Mother’s Day. In the morning, I let the girls jump in puddles before their bath. They had a blast! I didn’t get to go hiking like I’d wanted to, but we went outside awhile to search for inchworms. We found about 30 in as many minutes!

We mostly stayed inside though, eating homemade popcorn, playing board games, dancing to rock and roll and saying “I Love You” a lot. In Boston, my classmates were walking the stage for graduation, but I’d take dancing in the living room with my daughters to La Bamba any day. It was grand 🙂Blog5.1

I tried not to think about him too much. It’s tough, but I did alright. I think it’s harder to push the thoughts away because it’s so close to The Big Incident’s anniversary (and another hearing for his felony charges, and another few hearings for our divorce), but I didn’t let it ruin my celebration.

Mother’s Day isn’t about flowers and candy and gifts from a husband; it’s a day to reflect on how much I love being a mother, a day to do something special with my kids. Mother’s Day recharges my ability to enjoy this craziness for another year.

We had fun at the Museum of Science today too. It had been awhile since our last visit, but we’ll go again soon.

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Fun and a Festival May 6, 2013

My break from classes has been going well thus far 🙂 The girls and I had family pictures taken on Saturday (well…we gave it a go…not quite sure how the pictures will turn out because one of my daughters was tired and cranky and another was being defiant and whiny, but…I had a good time), and on Sunday we attended a Wizard of Oz themed Kids Festival!

Sleeping baby :)

Sleeping baby 🙂

Amara and Terra beneath the balloon arc

Amara and Terra beneath the balloon arc

Terra and Amara riding ponies

Riding ponies

Amara and Terra getting as fire safety lesson from the fire deputy

Getting a fire safety lesson from the fire deputy

Showing off their sand necklaces

Showing off their sand necklaces

Climbing into the bounce house

Climbing into the bounce house

Shooting apples into the trees

Shooting apples into the trees

Aaugh! The Wicked Witch of the East is dead!

Aaugh! The Wicked Witch of the East is dead!

Amara made it through a hole and won a prize!

Amara made it through a hole and won a prize!

Terra made "Emerald City" out of sparkly green play-doh

Terra made “Emerald City” out of sparkly green play-doh

The lion must have been hiding from the Wicked Witch of the West

The lion must have been hiding from the Wicked Witch of the West

After the festival we went to the playground :)

After the festival we went to the playground 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today I got started on my cleaning (I am nowhere near finished), and I began scheduling interviews with babysitters. I think the interviews will go well; I’ve already got a feeling about the one I think will be the one 😉 I still have a ton of things to accomplish, but I’m attempting to just allow myself to take it slow and only do what I’m capable of doing without feeling too stressed and/or overwhelmed. Besides the unshakeable nightmare that I had last night (actually NOT about him this time, about the baby…it was terrible…that’s all I’ll say) things have been quite well. I’m hoping it only gets better throughout the week.

 

Yes, and… April 8, 2013

Things have been going well lately between the girls and I. I’ve continued to make ample time to play with them throughout the day and everyone has been in good spirits. We’ve been making speaking nicely to one another a top priority, and we’re remembering to give apologies when necessary. Though I’ve been busy with my Master’s project proposal (on top of my normal coursework, and my attempts to keep up on the chores) I’ve managed to get the girls outdoors to play for a least 45 minutes each day for the past four days. I’m proud of myself!

The nice weather has been good for all of us and although I’m not cleaning each room of the condo every day and I’m a little behind my homework, I am happier. Today was a difficult day though, we had about five places to get to on our schedule and typically making it to one is a feat. I knew that I’d have to be patient and possibly settle for not getting everything done. But even before we left the house my big girls were bickering as they played. I kept hearing, “Noooooooo!” Then would come an explanation of what the person wanted. Sometimes even before the person was finished explaining I’d hear another, “Nooooo!” and a different explanation would be given by the other sister.

http://improv.com/index.cfmI usually try to only step in if one of the girls is overpowering  the other. I try to make sure they’re using their manners and then stay out of the way, but I was incredibly overwhelmed with their arguing. I introduced them to a method I learned in college, back when I had the pleasure of performing in an Improv troupe. The game is called “Yes, and…” and the basic premise is to agree with and add on to whatever it is that your teammates say or suggest. You cannot say “no” and you are forced to build off of one another’s ideas instead of shooting them down.

We played the game together for a little while because neither of them seemed eager to play without my participation, but after a few strings of silly suggestions they giggled incessantly while awaiting their next turn to add something to our game. The game came in quite handy when we were in the dressing room at Old Navy, and at bedtime my oldest said, “Yes, and is awesome!” with so much enthusiasm I felt like the coolest mom in the world 🙂

So although we trudged through our schedule today, and Nohra nursed constantly (of course, the day I go for groceries is the one day she doesn’t sleep for more than five minutes at a time until after 11pm, and of course I chose to leave the baby carrier at home), I taught my girls a new game that is easy to play without a smartphone or any other device. They only need their willingness to accept another person’s suggestions and their own imaginations. It was wonderful to see them having fun playing such a simple game, and it was such a relief to not hear anyone screaming, “Noooooooo!” Nope. Just the sweet sounds of, “Yes, and…’

Oh! And we made it to every place on our schedule 🙂

 

One of those days January 28, 2013

Everything went right for a change.

The girls and I went to pick up my loan check from my school, then made our way to the bank in the bitter Boston cold to deposit it. We’d taken the commuter rail to get to the city from our town, then walked a total of ten blocks and took two T’s (subways) before we made it to the Boston Children’s Museum.

I could’ve just shuttled them to my school and back, but for all the effort (and expense) it takes traveling to Boston with two small children I figured we may as well make a day of it at one of their favorite places. We’ve been to the Boston Children’s Museum countless times since moving to Massachusetts, but the girls always enjoy themselves there.

We’d decided against the Museum of Science this time because we chose it the last few times and it’s not as easy for me to sit down while the girls explore there. The children’s museum was perfect for such a cold day, energetic children, and a mother waddling around two weeks away from having a baby. I wish we could’ve stayed even longer than we did, but we had to save some energy for the trip home. I’m happy to report there were no tears, feuds, or long periods of fussing. After arriving home we played our routine games of Uno and the girls feel asleep easily.

Two or three weeks from now everything will be different for my family, what with the new baby coming soon. But this was one of those days were everything just falls into place. I’ll take it.

 

 

The perfect blend of discovery and exercise

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They chased one another up and around this structure for ten minutes!

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The girls love the Peep’s World Exhibit and spent a lot of time playing in the water.

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Even though they were surrounded by huge exhibits and amazing things they spent about twenty minutes playing with these semi-soft animals.

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I bought them these awesome new headphones for only $5 at TJ Maxx so that they could listen to music on my phone together. The ear pieces have a super soft center, but they’re not buds, and the band adjusts to fit each ear perfectly. This is the look I got when I tried to take a picture of them enjoying the music (Disney’s Tangled Soundtrack). I didn’t know that I couldn’t take pictures and have them hear the music at the same time. Oops!

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The Museum has a new exhibit sponsored by the Blue Man Group. It’s pretty awesome. It deals with sound and sound waves and teaches children how they can distort sounds and use noises creatively. The girls are hardcore Blue Man Group fans now and request YouTube videos of them constantly.

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“I wish we lived across the street from the Children’s Museum,” Amara told me as we were leaving. So do I.

 

Liebster Blog Award November 23, 2012

Filed under: Mama Moments — Jet @ 10:00 am
Tags: , , , ,

I am so grateful to have been nominated for the Liebster Blog Award by Combat Babe and I accept it graciously!

Maybe I am one of the rare few who cannot muster any sarcasm toward being nominated for a chain-email-esque award, but…it feels good to be awarded something and I need all the good feelings I can get!

 

When you’re nominated you are supposed to answer 11 questions that your nominator chose for you, then you are to nominate 11 other bloggers (who have less than 200 followers), and you are to give them 11 questions to answer as well. The cycle continues.

 

So without further ado, the questions answered:

1. What was your most embarrassing moment as a child?

  • But really there were so many! If I must choose only one I will say the time I was in 7th grade and our school principal was telling my P.E. (gym) class that our teacher wouldn’t be in that day. I loathed my P.E. teacher and said, louder than I’d meant to, “Yes!” What I hadn’t heard from the back of the gymnasium was that my P.E. teacher wouldn’t be in that day because her mother had passed away. Oops. I was considered heartless for a little while.

2. When your bubble’s invaded by an intruder (read: a stranger), how do you react?

  • Depends on the intruder. My daughters? I steal a hug or a kiss. A man? These days I get a little nervous and avoid eye contact. A woman? I smile at her while sizing her up…it’s a habit.

3. If you were a musician, what genre of music would you want to be known for?

  • Classic rock (had that been my era), but these days it’d be indie rock or alternative rock.

4. Would you tell the Goblin King he had no* power over you or would you agree to let him be your slave? (If you haven’t watched The Labyrinth, you should. You may understand the question a little better.)

  • “I can never remember that line.”

5. Which century would you have liked to live in* and why?

  • If I could be born in a different century, but still be the same person? Well then I’d have to choose this one unfortunately. No time-hopping for me. This happens to be the best era for being African-American. For being anybody really; the world is so mellow right now compared to how things used to be.

6. Vampires or Werewolves? Elaborate. (Elaborate — to explain why you’d choose one over the other. It doesn’t matter if they’re real or not using that as an excuse to not answer lacks wit and creativity. You disappoint.)

  • Vampires are incredibly sexy. Kiefer Sutherland in The Lost Boys – is that elaboration enough? I wouldn’t mind being bitten by him 😉

7. If you weren’t/aren’t a parent and there ever is some Apocalypse, would you want to survive it? (Replace apocalypse with epic war, it makes sense. Therefore apocalypse makes sense whether I say ‘some kind’. This may not be true in Writing 101, but again this is my Blog, my rules.)

  • I am a parent, but I’m answering this one anyway. HELL YES I’d want to survive it (granted I still had full function of my brain and extremities and my children all lived through it with me). Why not? I’d have nothing better to do.

8. What is Meatloaf not willing to do for love?

  • That.

9. What does your dream life look like?

  • I’m standing on a balcony, wearing all white. My outfit flows with the wind. I’m looking out at the ocean. I am happy. I have some drink in my hand and it’s afternoon. I am alone, but not lonely. I am confident, and fulfilled.

10. Out of everything that makes you you, what do you think does it the most?

  • My honesty.

11. You have to make up 11 questions for 11 different people, is that hard for you?

  • On three hours of sleep everything is a little difficult. I’ll try to make the most of it though!

 

Now, for my 11 nominations (So sorry if you already have over 200 followers; I have no clue how to check your stats):

1. clementine morrigan

2. clotildajamcracker

3. belly button blues

4. Pyjama School

5. Not Your Victim

6. Grapes, Gripes, & Gratitude

7. Rantings of an Amateur Chef

8. Fighting for Autumn & Ivy

9. iGameMom

10. Deliberate Donkey

11. A New Free Life

 

11 questions to be answered by award recipients (those I’ve nominated):

1. If you’re a parent, what has been your favorite part of the journey? If you’re not yet a parent, what do you think you’ll enjoy the most?

2. Boxers of briefs? (Women, what do you prefer to see men wearing? Or…taking off?)

3. What was the best thing about being a child?

4. Would you consider yourself to be religious? Spiritual? Elaborate.

5. If you hit a parked car do you A) Look around, see no one in the vicinity, then speed away? B) Get out, check for damages, then leave a note? C) Call the police regardless of witnesses or noticeable damage?

6. Blind Faith or Derek and the Dominos?

7. Are you sick of this yet?

8. What is something you used to do/watch that you’d be embarrassed to admit you used to enjoy?

9. What’s your sign? Do you exhibit the characteristics of your sign? (No fair saying that you don’t know your sign’s characteristics, look them up and then answer).

10. Back when you did drugs (don’t lie, you’ve tried them) which was your favorite? Okay, okay…for those of you too shy to admit it, what is your favorite alcoholic beverage?

11. What is more important, your safety or your liberty?

 

That was fun 🙂 Thank you again Combat Babe! Congratulations to everyone who has been awarded the Liebster!

 

Farm Day October 15, 2012

All homework and housework makes Mama a dull lady. The other day I decided to take a break from the broom, and the brooding over assignments undone. I took the girls to a couple of farms in the area. It was a lot more fun than folding laundry!

It was about 30 degrees out, so we got bundled up for our trip!

Farm #1 had this fun golf ball game. Terra was better at it than Amara and I.

Walking along the field towards the pumpkin patch

I love COWS!

The apple orchard was on the other side of Farm #1, so we chose to wait for a hayride.

The girls really enjoyed the hayride…It was a little bumpy for me!

It didn’t take long for Terra to pick her “perfect apple”

It took Amara about thirty minutes to pick her “perfect apple”

I wanted to rest beside them, but we had one more farm to go!

One of the cows at Farm #2 really liked me!

The girls needed to pick unique pumpkins and gourds to take to school. Farm #2 had a beautiful (and feasible) selection.

The girls were thoroughly entertained when the goats started fighting about which of them would get our food.

Farm #2 had an awesome playground. This airplane was a see-saw!

The airplane also rocked from side to side! I totally want one of these 🙂