Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Trying to Keep Faith in People When It Comes to My Children

I was woken up by my tossing and turning 3-year-old around 2:20 am.  I felt his head and his back and he was burning up!  I never should've listened to my husband about leaving the diaper bag with all of the important first aid stuff at home.  I should've listened to my instincts and brought it anyway.  People say, "Oh, you're so paranoid" and no, I'm not.  I prefer to be prepared.

I took Wolfman's covers off and laid there.  He didn't seem distressed, no cries, or whines, no sweats, just tossing.  He's been whining since his birthday, as he caught a stomach bug from my step dad's party.  Then as he was starting to feel better, his sick cousins came over on Christmas and now both of my kids are sick.  I'm getting really tired of people not warning us ahead of time about their sick kids.  Now both of mine are congested and snotty, with loss of appetite and diarrhea, and Wolfman has a fever!

I woke up my husband for support, for help, for something, as I was frantic.  We need to do something to bring his fever down.  And I don't have my thermometer here to check his temperature!  My husband was so non-chalant about it.  Seemed more concerned about his lost sleep than bringing Wolfman's fever down, or just trying something.  All he said was that Wolfman's due for another round of medicine at 4 am and that he'd keep an eye on him.

"Do you understand that he can have a seizure and die if we don't do something more?????"

I'm pissed.  I'm scared.  My mind's jumping around to the worse scenarios.  I hate that I trusted his judgement with not bringing the diaper bag.  Now, do I make a big deal out of this or show a little fake faith?  He turned on a fan, I suggested a cold wash rag.  Nope.  Don't listen to me, I worry too much.  I'm paranoid.  And now I' fretting and awake, worried, feeling that we should be waking up his mom or giving him a bath or something!!!!

But nope.

I pray his judgement is right.  I just really hope this isn't going to end in me kicking myself for not doing something more.

**** 3:41 am, I did give him a cold rag, he handed it back to his dad and said that he was cool and to give it back to me.  Glad to say, mommy over-reacted, as Wolfman is up and sitting on daddy's lap, talking about how everyone is sleeping and that it's "a clock in the morning!"

I should also say that I'm also sick.  I took some Vitamin C and motrin a bit ago, and gargled listerine.  Haven't been sleeping a whole lot lately.  Just ugh.  I'm getting congested and diarrhea-y too.  What a  lovely vacation.

At 4, we're giving him medicine, and are going to try sleeping again.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Thursday, December 24, 2015

A Beautiful Gift

I finally was able to buy the Beautiful Wishes figurine from Willow Tree!  I've been wanting her for a long time.  She's very perfect for any memorial place, in my humble opinion.

"Calla lilies are a symbol of majestic beauty. I chose this flower to represent a pure and simple wish for beauty and peace in our lives…a universal sentiment for so many occasions…birth, marriage, anniversaries, in sympathy and in remembrance. Beautiful wishes are what we send to those we care for and about." ~ Susan Lordi, Willow Tree


Tonight, I have her sitting on my Ancestral shrine, surrounded by lit candles, dried rosemary, and an offering of wine and apple juice.  I had originally intended her for Nathan, but I've decided to purchase another Willow Tree for him, the Angel of Comfort.

Why angels?  Why Willow Tree?  Even though I don't necessary believe in angels, I do love them.  Since I was young, my Christian family usually gifted me with beautiful angels, so they've always held a special place in my heart.  Usually, after the death of a family member, I often would inherit an angel from them.  All of my angels--all gifts--sit on the Ancestral shrine.

Why Willow Tree?  I didn't even know about Willow Tree until my Aunt Gaye passed away.  She collected angels, and in her last years, had picked out certain ones to give to family.  I have two angels from her, a clay one that she felt looked like me and a Spring Angel, whom I sit on the Pets shelf. ....okay, I guess it's not Willow Tree, ha, looks like it, though.  Should've know since she has eyes.  Either way, my aunt gave my step mom many Willow Tree angels to give away (I was supposed to get one, but was gipped unfortunately).

Bitterness aside, my step mom and I made it a tradition to give Willow Tree figures every year for Christmas and special occasions: weddings, births, deaths.  Even though I'm distancing myself from her, I still will continue this tradition in my Aunt's memory.  And because Willow Tree is simple and beautiful.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Partying with the Toy Story Gang...

...was a total success!  There were so many cousins there (and two favor bag left).  Although my mom did go in and redo the bags.  She added way more candy than I wanted, AND got rid of Lycan's special bag.  I was very annoyed by that, but she did a great job decorating everything else and preparing the meat and cheese trays.



Cupcake Cake from Walmart

Favor bags filled with Toy Story stickers, Space Ranger Wrist Band,
Sherrif Badge, and candy. 



 The toy that put my mom in the Grandma Hall of Fame, "Buzz Lightyear!"

We had Yule today, and even after getting an awesome huge Tonka Truck, Wolfman STILL did not put Buzz down.  lol.  That's a super successful gift right there.

Blessed Yule!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Sticker Board

Today's birthday party was awesome, but I don't have any pictures uploaded right now, so I'll talk more later.  But we do have our gifts out around the tree, this Yule Eve, and there's many more gifts than intended, from family.  Even though Wolfman is staying the night at grandma's and Warrior went to bed a long time ago, I'm still going to set out the offerings for Sleipnir, Julbock, and Odin.

December 19, 2015

And for tomorrow, my brother and SIL gifted us with a ham!  Awesome!

Okay, so onto the title of the post.  One of the things that Wolfman got a lot of this year was stickers!  Toy Story and Bubble Guppies, more to add to his Paw Patrol, his Thanksgiving Turkey stickers from Kroger, and the sticker badge that he got from that nice police officer at Aldi's a couple of weeks ago.

I've been putting their stickers up, so our walls and doors and windows don't become adorned with their art.  When I was little, I loved stickers.  I had a big ole dresser mirror that I was allowed to use for my collection, and I used it for years.  LOVED it!  Sad when we got rid of that dresser.  Sooooo, I was thinking of getting the boys one of those triptych styrofoam-enforced cardboard presentation boards for their collections, IF they follow in my steps and do such as thing.  It's a large surface that they'll be able to carry around with them.  Put it on the wall or where ever.  Be a lot easier to move, too.

I think that'll be a good idea, their own traveling sticker board posters.

Yule's tomorrow for us, and I'll also post pictures from the birthday party.  Night night, all!

Finally! Just a Few More Hours...

Tomorrow, the boys are getting their hair cut...not looking forward to that, especially since Warrior SCREAMS bloody murder...jeez, it's like he's gettin a bath or something...  Anything having to get clean, minus a butt change, he does not do.  

Figures, Wolfman LOVES baths, Warriors hates em.  However, neither really care for haircuts.  Oughta be a fun morning.

Anywho, from Cookie Cutters to grandma's, they'll be going to my step dad's family thing, so I can get over to their house and set up for the big Toy Story shindig. 

Come Sunday, we're having Yule...and I still don't have an idea for dinner.  Although for breakfast, I want to try risalamande, which is a "Danish Christmas Rice Pudding With Almonds and Warm Cherry Sauce".  Or raspberry sauce, or no sauce, just cinnamon and yum.  Also known as Yule Porridge.  I figure that we've borrowed other Nordic traditions, both to honor my Scandinavian roots and hubby's spiritual path, might as well try more traditional dishes...and I simply LOVE rice pudding!

However, for dinner?  Latkes...and....no idea.  I know I'd like to have some rosemary deer stew, but no luck with our hunter friends this year.  Maybe a cornish game hen?  Guess we'll see what we have money for, since we still have to buy/bake gifts and are also spending some days in Kentucky after Christmas.   Soooo, we need travel money.  

Dessert?  Yule Log.  Easy.  

Drinks?  Peppermint and Mexican Hot Chocolates. Maybe, although after this last period, I'm kinda all chocolated out.  Didn't think that was possible...

I'll worry about Yule feast sometime tomorrow...  

I'll post pictures soon!

Monday, December 14, 2015

So Much Stuff!

In a week, we'll be celebrating Wolfman's third birthday party.  I'm happy to report that my step dad's moved his family gathering to his martial arts studio, which will give me time to get in there early and set up for the party.

Talking about working out, my mom picked me up and had intended on having me help her wrap gifts (I hate wrapping), but I got her to not postpone us buying Wolfman's birthday decorations, which is a good thing.  We got to Party City and the Toy Story stuff wasn't out, because they were preparing to put something else in it's place.  Like....Toy Story is still pretty big.  There's loads of toys--new toys--in the stores and there's a couple of 45 minute long movies out and yall are only going to have the Toy Story party theme available online?  Seriously?  Stupid.

Luckily, my mom was able to get the store manager to search the back, and she found the party supplies.  WHEW!  I was sooooo worried!  I'm so glad we didn't wait!

I wasn't going to do party favors, but my mom kept pointing them out and finally I agreed.  I went with money bags with stickers, space ranger wrist band, a sheriff's badge, two watermelon airheads (because they looked like money), and a Hersey's Gold chocolate thingy.

And my mom also got me to order a cake instead of make one.  I had my grand plan, but she was thinking less stress, and she was stressing me out with her stressed butt.  I gave in.  She bought it.  Went with another cupcake cake.  Easy.  Just hope that it tastes good.

I did order the space cadet candles today...

But I went back to her house and helped her wrap.  She's awesome at wrapping and decorating and me?  I'd rather just put things in gift bags.  I hate wrapping.  I'm pretty sure that when I pick up our gifts from her house this weekend, they're all going to be rewrapped.  Haha.

But today, the kids got their first Santa experience.  I didn't go, I slept and went through their stuff for donations, but my mom and step dad took the grandkids to his Free Mason Temple for their holiday thing.  The kids had fun.  Apparently Wolfman--who never meets a stranger--walked right up to Santa twice and just talked his ear off.  However, Warrior wasn't as talkative.  I didn't think he'd be.  But the boys got early gifts from Santa today.  Wolfman got his little Toy Story figurines which he freakin adores!  And Warrior got himself three stuffed animals: a Pig, a Elephant, and a Monkey.  All that he gave many kisses and "ugs" and struggled to carry all of them around.  He loves his "anmals".

I'm looking forward to this weekend and the holidays....but not looking forward to all of the stuff.  However, that's one of the reasons why I went through our stuff today, to make room, hopefully.  We've got Wolfman's party on the 19th, I think Yule is on the 21st, then Christmas Eve (which I think I'm working, boo) and Christmas Day, and finally, we're celebrating Wolfman's actually birthday in Kentucky with his great grandma, grandma, uncle, and cousins.  So much stuff!

All of this stuff is making me rethink future holidays.  I want there to be less stuff, at least on our end.

We'll it's 3 am here, so Imma off to bed.  Night Night!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Random Memory Share

Almost three years ago, after I delivered Wolfman, I was in my room staring at a bowl of snacks.  One of the snacks was chocolate Chex mix.  I figured, why not?  I had Wolfman, so there was nothing for me to worry about concerning gestational diabetes.  I ate the bag.  It was a snack bag, small, and it was delicious.

This nurse came in and scolded me for it.  She was rude about it, too.  Then again, it was Mount Carmel West and almost everyone there was mean to me (except the delivery people and a couple nurses aside from the scolder).

Lady, I know you were just doing your job, but I almost bled to death after giving birth to my son.  I think I can have a treat...especially since my diabetes was only gestational!

Random, thought I'd share.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Birthday's, Party's, and Frustration

Wolfman's birthday party is on the 19th, it's coming up quick!  And we're going to be cutting it really close, with waiting until the 18th to buy party supplies.  I'm going to be pissed if we can't find anything Toy Story or Buzz Lightyear.  All because of hubby's brilliant budgetting.  He best pray it all works out to plan, otherwise momma ain't gonna be happy.  Heck, I’m not happy now.

Also cutting it close, is that even though I planned it first, my step dad decided that they're going to host his family's christmas party on the 19th.  Like, for real?  How rude is that?  Yall knew we were planning to have Wolfman's birthday on that day AND at yall's house!  Oh, not to mention that people on my dad's side also planned their party for that same exact day!  So some folks aren't coming.  Do yall not write anything down????   We picked the 19th so people wouldn't forget about his birthday on the 28th.  Turns out some people don't give a crap either way!  I'm getting real tired of extended family this year.

I have to work on that Sunday, so no, I can't freakin move it.  Nope, gotta move the time, which conflicts with my BFF's schedule—my son’s godmother can’t come anymore because she has something for her school to attend (she's a teacher and is typically in charge of school activities) (I'm not mad at her, btw, I understand).  I'm worried that I'm not going to have the time to go in there and get everything set up for Wolfman's party before my guests arrive.  This kind of stuff just annoys me so much.  I feel like I'm being ignored.  

You know, for Wolfman's first birthday, my mom wanted us to move it to January?  January.  Seriously?  I know my son didn't have the best timing with being born, but yall got reminders on your freaking super phones?  Or at the very least some people still know how to use a pencil and a piece a paper, right?  Right it down where you're going to see it!  But, nah, I'm the responsible one, so I have to reschedule everything.  Unfreaking believable.

Our friend's kid was born on Christmas, yet people have time to go to his first birthday!  But people make excuses for Wolfman.  I can't wait until Wolfman's starts making his own friends, because many family are extremely unreliable.  Next year, I’m only inviting key people.  People I know will be there.  And we’ll all have them in this tiny apartment with super limited guest parking, so no one can schedule over our reserved space.  And if they can’t make if because they didn’t give a crap about checking our invite, well, too bad.  I want my son to be first on his birthday for a change in December.  Assholes.

Sorry about that, I’m just very annoyed and hurt.  I’m just tired of people expecting us to change all of our plans around for them, but them not reciporcating.  Ever.  I’m done.  If you get upset because I didn’t invite you, go cry me a river, build a bridge, and get over it.  Because I’m tired of your BS and I’m not apologizing for it.

Movin on. 

Normally, I do party favors because I enjoy it, but no one (with kids) are giving me a straight answer about whether or not they're coming...why waste time and money if they don't care?

I think I'm making his cake this year.  I bought some little Toy Story figurines for it.  Since Buzz is the focus, I'm going to make it in the shape of his ship, with the little figures on and around it.  

Oh, crap, we can't wait until the 18th, because I wanted to special order some spacey candles....well, damn.  

I got a job to help out and it doesn't seem to be helping any.  Except making me exhausted and bitchy.  I hate that.  Shame I was terrified of the pallet jacks at Kroger.  Made good money for the week I was there, almost $500 in four days.  Now I'm working a cleaning job, making just above minimum wage, but at least it has flexible hours and is only 10 minutes from home.  Just sucks because I got this job to help out with bills and savings, and it doesn't seem like I’m doing anything...to the point where we're risking not having anything for Wolfman's party.  I need to bring that up to my husband tomorrow.  I don't like cutting anything close.  I like to have time to get things together.  


Well, yeah, so we're having pizza, spiral pasta salad, ham, cheese, and veggie tray, and probably some popcorn, since it's one of Wolfman's favorite foods.  

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Warrior's Getting Real Tire of Wolfman's Crap

Kids were laying in the floor, sharing a book. Wolfman decided he was done sharing and rolled the book out of Warrior's hands. Instead of crying, Warrior got up and sat on Wolfman's head. 

Kids.

Monday, November 30, 2015

The Stockings Were Hung....

The stockings are hung.  Two are handmade by my husband's family, and two are store bought.  Whether by my hand or anothers, we'll all have handmade stockings.  Even for Sleipnir and the Julbock.

We buy the kids four gifts each: Something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read.  Those four gifts are from us.  They'll also get 1-2 smaller gifts to be from Odin and the Julbock, those will be in their stockings.  At least, that's how it is now, this stuff's expensive now and I really want to instill the importance of giving back to the community, to those less fortunate than us.  This is the Season of Charity, in my opinion.  Plus the grandparents spoil them enough at Christmas.   But I may knock the amount to two gifts, something handmade and something store bought...maybe, but definitely lessening the number of gifts received, though.  Do it while they're young.

Our problem is, that we, the parents, get excited and want to give them the world.  Course until you see that receipt, and realize, well, shit.  Do they really need all of these things?  If we have the money to splurge on our kids, why not give to others?  Other than friends and family?  Give to them, too, but to strangers.

We already give donations to various charities, this year we just started Toys for Tots, Habitats for Humanity, and giving to local food drives.  In the years to come, I want the kids to participate.  To pick out gifts for other kids and families, and to volunteer our time to lend a helping hand.  I might start to involve them next year...  Start em young!  I've been looking at a lot of local charities lately.  Time to do, instead of just plan.

December, I'm going to be making a couple more ornaments and a the offering stocking for Sleipnir and Julbock, to be filled with carrots and hay.  And maybe a magical skeleton key to get in, similar to what I did as ornament gifts for gift last year, when I made Santa's Magic Key, to be hung outside, for those who don't have chimney's.

As for Odin's offerings, since Goat is normally served to the Norse Gods on Yule, I was thinking of Goat Cheese (I <3 that stuff!) or goat's milk, instead of mead or whiskey, which is what I'd normally leave out for Him on Yule.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Mr. "Hungry" Eyes

Wolfman now pretends that he's Mr. Potato Head. He has his pieces: his hat, daddy's shoes. Does Mr. "Hungry" Eyes, which is when he covers his eyes, walks into the wall, and growls. And even says, "Take my arm" and that he has Potato toes.
Far cuter, more imaginative, and way less annoying that the original....which I have hidden on top of the ancestral shrine. Shhhhh!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Let's Yule It Up!

True to family tradition, I've exchanged the fall decorations for the winter ones.  The tree is also up, but no ornaments yet.  I want to see how Warrior does first, but the box is at my feet and it's getting hard to resist.  I love ornaments.  Like most families, putting the tree up was a family event.  Taking out the ornaments, reminiscing, hanging them.  The boys are still a little too young to help, and too short, as I have the tree up on a tall nightstand.

But I made them coloring pages, with trees, too.  Well, I should say Wolfman, since Warrior will just eat the crayons...

Wolfman's all excited about Christmas.  Course, I'm trying to get him to say 'Yule' instead, since it's what we celebrate at home, then do Christmas a couple days later with the grandparents.  "No, mommy, it's Christmas."  He'll get it one day.  This year, we're really going to start introducing Odin, Sleipnir, and the Julbock to him.  He already knows who Santa is.

Instead of saying that Santa's not real, or that he's just a creation of a soda company, we say that he's a Spirit of Charity.  There's many Spirits of Charity this season.  Santa, St. Nick, La Befana, the Julbock, to name a few.  I don't want to say that Santa or St. Nick are based off of Odin, because I feel that it lessens the experience of others who believe in them.  I don't care about origins or truths.  Okay, so what if Santa is inspired by Odin, Santa is still real to someone, child and adult.  Santa is his own entity.  His own Spirit (ha, he's Pop Culture!).  Inspired by Odin, St, Nick, or revamped by Coka Cola.  Many still love and adore him.  He's still a giver of gifts.

This year, we did the Toys for Tots charity, and introduced that concept to Wolfman.  He didn't quite understand, but like Yule, he will.  Start em young.  I'd like for the kids to participate in picking out toys, clothes, and foods for these charities in the coming years.  Give someone else a happy holiday.

So this year, I'm really going to focus on getting more images of Odin, Sleipnir, and the Julbock out and about the house, as well as continuing the tradition of leaving a boot or a stocking out of carrots and hay for Sleipnir and the Julbock, and a shot of mead for Odin, on Yule Eve as our offerings of thanks.

Hopefully I'll be updating the blog in December with some interesting Yule Tide things for families.  I make no promises, though.  :-)

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Turn "We Should" into "I do"

I got tired of people on Facebook complaining about how we shouldn't accept refugees into our country, because of our own homeless problem.  A few people I've asked, "That's fair, I guess.  What are you doing to help the homeless?  If you're doing something, aside from just praying, bravo.  If not, stop complaining.  Stop using the homeless as a reason why we shouldn't help foreigners in need. Stop waiting for someone else to do it.  Get up and give what you can.  There are plenty of places that accept charity all year round for the homeless.  As well as Vets, the sick, the poor, the battered.  Do something instead of just contributing to the drama."

We do our part to help.  My husband participates in Habitats for Humanity.  We give donations several times a year.  If I see a homeless person begging, I try to give them what I can, preferably food and drink.  This year, we're participating in Toys for Tots.  One of the reasons why I'm learning to crochet is so I can donate to charities: hospitals, shelters, and other organizations.  I want to do more.  So I'm working for it.

I'm not saying this to brag, but too often people complain and bitch and don't bother lifting a finger to do.  We're not one of those people.  We know how it feels to have very little.  We're not rich, by any means, nor are we poor, but we still give what we can to help.

If you don't want to help, don't, but don't use those people in need as an excuse to not help others.

So, I did some work and put together a list of charities for my Facebook friends to contribute to if they wished.  Gave them some ideas and asked for information about charities that they give to.  I wanted to know what they cared about and who they try to help.

Here's that list for you.  Most of these organizations are in Ohio.  But all it takes is the right keywords and a browser to find charities in your area.  If some of these are untrustworthy, or just not good at giving what's needed (I know some places are corrupt or they take more for their employees/volunteers than they give), comment on the bad ones, please.

Good luck and happy holidays:

  • Battered Women’s Shelter Donations - https://www.scmcbws.org/donate.asp
  • Central Ohio Homeless Veterans Stand Down - http://www.centralohiostanddown.org/
  • Charity Blossom: Military and Veteran Organizations - http://www.charityblossom.org/directory/OH/Columbus/category/public-societal-benefit-w/military-veterans-organizations-w30/
  • Choices: For Victims of Domestic Violence - http://choicescolumbus.org/blog/get-involved/
  • Clothing Donations - For Vets and Families - http://www.clothingdonations.org/schedule-a-pick-up/?gclid=CjwKEAiA7MWyBRDpi5TFqqmm6hMSJAD6GLeADeMMOYwapRUClvq4mJjfofd2f-l4W0gGQlIXd0GL0BoCksLw_wcB
  • Columbus Coalition for the Homeless - http://www.columbushomeless.org/get_involved.htm
  • Columbus Turkey Trot for Autism - http://www.columbusturkeytrot.com/#!about-the-race/cfvg
  • Crochet for a Cause: Homeless scarves - http://www.suzannebroadhurst.com/2014/01/06/crochet-for-a-cause-simple-scarf-for-a-homeless-one/
  • Donation Drop Off Locations - http://donationdropoff.org/
  • Donationtown: Donation Pick up - http://donationtown.org/ohio-donation-pickup/
  • Faith Mission: Helping the Homeless - https://donate.faithmissionofohio.org/columbus/main.php/micro_sites/showpage?id=8&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=%2Bhomeless+columbus&utm_campaign=paid
  • Feeding America: Food Bank Donations - https://secure.feedingamerica.org/site/Donation2?df_id=21340&21340.donation=form1&s_src=Y15YP1F1X&s_subsrc=c&s_keyword=food%20bank%20donations&gclid=CjwKEAiA7MWyBRDpi5TFqqmm6hMSJAD6GLeArsjSNAhHErcJZEt-uvYZSR8R8Di7WdwRjGPMmT-DARoCzqTw_wcB
  • Food Pantries - http://www.foodpantries.org/ci/oh-columbus
  • Goodwill - http://www.goodwill.org/donate-and-shop/donate-stuff/
  • Habitat for Humanity - http://habitatmidohio.org/
  • Homeless Families Donations - http://www.homelessfamiliesfoundation.com/
  • Jared Box Project: Helping Hospitalized Children - http://www.thejaredbox.com/index.html
  • Kidney Foundation of Ohio - http://www.kfohio.org/
  • Life Care Alliance - http://www.lifecarealliance.org/
  • Marines Toys for Tots - http://columbus-oh.toysfortots.org/local-coordinator-sites/lco-sites/default.aspx
  • Meals on Wheels - https://meals-on-wheels.com/?gclid=CjwKEAiA7MWyBRDpi5TFqqmm6hMSJAD6GLeAKBdn1GUTqZdZ5lgRJXrtETnaGzOYPWrGAEUZIKFkLhoC_Czw_wcB
  • Mercy Housing - https://www.mercyhousing.org/
  • National Coalition for Homeless Vets - http://nchv.org/index.php/help/help-ohio/
  • Nationwide Children’s Hospital Donations - http://www.nationwidechildrens.org/wish-list-for-donations
  • No Kid Hungry - http://actioncenter.nokidhungry.org/?gclid=CjwKEAiA7MWyBRDpi5TFqqmm6hMSJAD6GLeAX-xFXiDOYv1PHZQle8u_3o57rWiUHW8MsbX9e4QMxBoCzKPw_wcB
  • OSU Star House: Helping Homeless Youths - https://starhouse.ehe.osu.edu/get-involved/
  • Pennies of Time: Teaching Kids to Serve (those in need) - http://penniesoftime.com/category/service-projects-for-kids/
  • Project Night Night: For Homeless Children - http://www.projectnightnight.org/
  • Purple Heart Foundation - http://cardonation.purpleheartcars.org/?r=google_adwords&g=brand&phone=877-743-4111&gclid=CjwKEAiA7MWyBRDpi5TFqqmm6hMSJAD6GLeA36WtYCDT3UySwNubmTK18csQKbZQyHNGf7WThiRrAhoCRrHw_wcB
  • Ronald McDonald House - http://www.rmhc-centralohio.org/
  • Salvation Army Donation Pickups - https://satruck.org/Donate/choose
  • Shriners Hospital Donations - https://secure2.convio.net/shfc/site/Donation2;jsessionid=5F4938E9B2257EA706329DB919AB2601.app20103a?df_id=4363&4363.donation=form1&gclid=CjwKEAiA7MWyBRDpi5TFqqmm6hMSJAD6GLeAmVhLK9g37mNcduqDgR8xGesI_FlAs1_8ALw_as2FtxoCHoTw_wcB
  • St. Jude Hospitals - https://www.stjude.org/get-involved/other-ways/st-jude-thanks-and-giving.html?gclid=CjwKEAiA7MWyBRDpi5TFqqmm6hMSJAD6GLeAAiytTkzeHFNnP8kK668MeeXn8_afk1fatPLys0HuHhoCtwLw_wcB&sc_cid=kwp6941&s_kwcid=AL!4519!3!77798522722!b!!g!!charities%20hospital&ef_id=VftFuAAAABIT63u9:20151122210924:s
  • Stitching With Love: Cause Patterns - http://www.mooglyblog.com/free-crochet-for-a-cause-patterns/
  • Veteran’s of Foreign Wars: Ohio Charities - http://www.vfwohiocharities.org/
  • Veteran’s Site: Making Care Packages for Homeless - http://blog.theveteranssite.com/homeless-care-package-tips/
  • Volunteers of America - http://www.voago.org/donate
  • Wounded Warrior Homes - http://woundedwarriorhomes.org/get-involved/
  • Wounded Warrior Project - https://support.woundedwarriorproject.org/Default.aspx?tsid=168&campaignSource=ONLINE&source=BS15140&gclid=CjwKEAiA7MWyBRDpi5TFqqmm6hMSJAD6GLeA-1ZTuD2wFci1rLBLfNNLbNiF8o7o59cYJuUUfAW13BoCLdbw_wcB

(also posted on From the Mud and Book of Hearth & Home)

Friday, November 20, 2015

Skeddi-os!

"Uh-Oh!" Vin.
"Sked-ohs!" Lycan.
"Uh-Oh!" Vin.
"Sked-Ohs!" Lycan.
"Uh-OH!" Vin.
"Skeddi-ohs!" Lycan.
"UH-OH!" Vin shouted.
"Be Quiet!" Lycan.
"UH! OH" Vin shouted again.
"Be quiet." Lycan.
lol, this was the back and forth on our way home from the store this evening. Who needs a radio?

Monday, November 16, 2015

A Dose of Cute

Lycan was annoying his brother by putting a walrus on his butt, as he lay on his belly playing with a truck. I asked, "Lycan, what are you doing?"
"It's a eyeslin!"
"Lycan, your brother's butt is not an island."
"It is an eyeslin!"
"No, his butt is not an island. You're annoyin him now, stop."
"Wally Eyeslin!"

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Treats and Lightyear

Trick or Treat was a blast!  I was super busy yesterday, brewing, baking, and cooking, getting things ready for Samhain and such...and I didn't have time to get my costume together (I just grabbed a broomstick).  Nor did I have time for many pictures....we were kind of rushed.  But Wolfman went as Leonardo, Warrior went as Raph, and hubby went as Casey Jones (TMNT).  We went with my mom, step dad, step brother, and his kids--Cinderella and Snow White.  



Although. if I had the money, I would've made Wolfman a bottle of milk or a milk man (because he milks for sympathy) and Warrior a a Sour Patch Kid.  

Now I have a couple other holidays to plan for, especially Wolfman's birthday.  He's old enough to tell me what he wanted for a theme: "Buzz Lightning!"  Aka, Toy Story.  Good thing I hadn't started buying for the Bubble Guppy party.  Now I have to start over and plan for a Toy Story party.  

Monday, October 26, 2015

New Baby and Staying Connected

A friend of mine recently gave birth and is in the throws of Baby Bootcamp!  She shot me a message,
"Hello, this may sound like an odd question, but how do you find time for children, cooking cleaning and religion? I feel like all I do all day is sleep and feed Charles."
I told her that with each of my boys, I barely remember those first few months!  I know with Wolfman, I slept whenever he did, and sometimes during feedings--just little naps.  Couldn't tell you how often I fell asleep feeding Warrior!

Sleep deprivation, crabbiness, and a few times I plotted my husband death...until I realized that if I did that, I'd be a single mom... (j/k...maybe ;-) ).

"Lol. I just feel stuck I guess. Perhaps overwhelmed. I wanted to do.something with my time off I guess my expectations were way too high."

Baby Bootcamp; no rest, no play, no relaxation for the new parents.  So I gave her some tips, things that I did/do, that might help her connect with her path again and keep some sanity.  

  • I keep my shrines and altars in the room that I spend the most time in, in sight.  That way, whether I'm feeding, changing a butt, or whatever, I can look to it.  Mine provide me with calm, clarity, energy, and encouragement.  A little slice of sanity.  
  • I kept an altar in their room, one to protect them, and two to give us strength, peace, and energy.  Over time, I put it higher and higher, til it sits above their door.  
  • I kept a book and notebook in the bathroom...course when the kids got mobile, well, bathroom privacy became a thing of the past.  
  • She could read while feeding him.
  • My husband was more than happy to let me get away for an hour or so, so I could read, study, practice, and meditate.  
  • Utilize that time you have when the kids finally do have a bed time!
  • House chores and cooking are spiritual for me, sacred--important tasks to provide my self, family, and Deities/Spirits with a clean, safe, and happy home.  I'd light a candle or put on a veil and/or apron as ritual garb, and grab my magikal tools to perform these tasks.  As long as my cleaning potions.  Some home made, some simply charged with intention.  

Although I told her that eventually things will even out, routines will be set, and she'll be used to being drained all of the time.  She'll adapt to life as a parent, and discover what works for her to reconnect to her path.  

What things have you done in order to keep connected to your spiritual path?  Any tips or advice?

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Hecate's Altar

I finally got around to it, taking a picture of the protection altar that hangs above my boy's doorway.

K. Wren 2015

This is for Hecate, Goddess of the Underworld, of Spirits, of Magik, and a Protector of Children.  The two moons are made by me, one's felt, stuffed with charms, with moon oil in a bottle.  The other is wood that I bought from Michaels, and painted and stapled some shimmering blue ribbon from.  The Hecate plaque, I bought from my favorite local Pagan shop--The Magical Druid--and the purple satchel has charms meant to protect my kids from nightmares, negative entities and energies, and any person who might want to harm them.

After my son, Wolfman, was born, I was still reeling from the loss of Nathan...and I had pissed off some Witches in the aftermath.  Two did try to curse me.  One was successful, but I broke and sent it back at the sender.  Even though I wasn't that same person, I worried a lot about my son.  Mundane and magikal threats.  Hecate came to me one night and promised that I would have nothing to worry about.  That She would protect my children.  It made me feel so blessed.  A weight was lifted.  

Last year...or some odd months ago, I can't remember, this has been a long year for me, I bought the plaque for my son's room.  I felt this image was appropriate, since Hecate is a Watcher and a Goddess of the Crossroads....She sees all ways.  I felt it was appropriate to have hanging, to watch all ways, over my children.  

Then after some spirit trouble and a new toddler bed, I added the protection satchel.  

When we moved in, I knew what I want the altar to look like.  Everything up there is directed towards protection.  And in some stories, Hecate is the Triple Goddess.  Even though I don't really think of Her in that aspect, it was a perfect fit.  

And Wolfman knows the altar.  He saw the picture and said, "My room!"  He knows Hecate, too. 

Do you have a deity, a spirit, or any protections over your children or family?  

Thursday, October 15, 2015

My Flame for the Wave of Light


In memory of Nathan Jacen Wren

<3

Ancestor's Heart Oil Blend

Today is the Wave of Light.  I've selected a white candle for Nathan (I wanted blue, but ran out of that color.  I thought about going with red, as it's a traditional color for Samhain, but I wanted to keep it with the color scheme of the ribbon).  I carved his name into it, along with hearts, 'I miss you', a blessings symbol, peace sign, and algiz for protection.

Holding the candle, I looked through Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep's facebook page and looked at the pictures and stories shared.  I charged the candle with those emotions.  Sadness, longing, love, mourning, beauty, and peace.

Then I made the oil that I'm going to dress the candle with in a couple of hours.  I call it Ancestor's Heart.  Made with love, peace, remembrance, gratitude, and protection:
  • Olive Oil - Base oil, Protection
  • Dried Lavender and Oil - Peace, Harmony
  • Rose Oil, Water - Love, Beauty
  • Dried Rosemary - Remembrance

I swirled the oil clockwise, charging it with intention, and now it's sitting in a dark place, on the Ancestral Shrine, as Nathan's candle rests on his blanket.  Give it a few hours, then I'll dress the candle with the oil and light it, adding his flame to the Wave of Light at 7 pm.  

Here's a good article, explaining why some folks choose to share their photos of their babies: 



Thursday, October 8, 2015

Apparently I Got A Little Too Excited for my Toddler

Excitedly, I said, "Lycan! Team Umi Zumi is on!"
"Umi Umi?" He asked looking towards the TV and getting excited.
"Team Umi Zumi! Let's Go!"
"Mommy, calm down. Calm down, Mommy. Sush."
Laughing, "But it's Team Umi Zumi."
"It's okay, mommy. Sush."
This kid. OMG!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

New Baby!

Last night, at 10pm, one of my friends was induced, here's a Birth Candle Spell that I did for her:



  • Pink Candle, carved with two C's, one for momma and one for baby; S for safety, a heart for love, B for blessings, Algiz for protection.  
  • Anointed the candle with a general Enchantment oil (which oddly enough, I didn't record the ingredients...that's not like me...), and charged it with safety and healthy labor and delivery for momma and baby.
  • I made a sigil on a piece of paper, using the words that I charged the candle with.  
  • I placed the candle on the piece of paper, in front of Kuan Yin and Bear.  I lit the candle, asking for the love, compassion, guidance, and healing from Kuan Yin, Bear, Artemis, and the Spirits; to watch over momma, daddy, and baby, and to ensure a quick recovery.  
  • As I gathered offerings for the Beings, I heard Bear say, "Burning Sage".  As I laid the dried white peony petals in front of Kuan Yin, I heard a female voice ask for water, so I grabbed a small glass dish and added some salt to it to purify it.  Then gave fire light to the others.   (oh, before I gave any offerings, I gave them to Hestia first, as She gets the first, as the Matron of the household).  
  • I was filled with pure warmth and positive energies as the candle burned.  
Sometime this morning, I believe, her water was broken (that baby boy did not want to come out!).  Then at 4:58 pm, Charles Sterling Allan was born!  

I'm so happy for my friend.  She has PCOS, has had a miscarrage before, was high risk, never thought she could get pregnant!  She just really deserves this baby.  She's such a wonderful, caring, funny person.  She's going to be a great mom.  I wish them all the best!  <3 <3 <3

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Patio Playtime

Playtime with the kids on the patio:
"Vin...are you actually eating dirt? Stop that!"
"Vin, don't eat the chalk!"
"Lycan! I just lectured your brother about that."
"Lycan, don't draw on your brother!"
"Both of you, stop eating chalk and dirt!"
Definitely a night of baths for these two. But that's why bath time was invented: so your kids could play, get dirty, and eat some dirt. 
It's okay, they make soap and water for that.
Also, if the kids are laughing way more than usual, more than likely, they're doing something bad. It's not only the silence you need to watch for, it's the squeals of joy. The joy of being mischievous.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month


That's what October is...well, one of many causes and awarenesses for this month.  In the link above it talks a little bit about the Wave of Light, taking place on October 15th, at 7 pm (your time zone--it doesn't seem to matter), in which you simply light a candle in memory of the passing of your/someone's baby.

I'll be participating for my little Spirit Boy.

Nathan Jacen
October 2011, First Trimester


All in one month, it seems, I went from being the happiest that I had ever been, to empty and broken. The pregnancy was confirmed in the beginning of the month.  Went in for our first ultrasound and received the bad news.  My personal gynecologist performed another ultrasound just to be sure...on October 31, 2011.  There was no medical reason.  Th OBGYN could only say, "Sometimes...these things happen.  I'm sorry."

The next day, I started the process of natural miscarriage.  I went through months of heavy, gritty bleeding.  It was terrible.  Depression ate me up.  I considered suicide.  My Matron and the Spirits saved my life.  Helped me back from the brink of despair.  

Last October, a friend bought me a pendulum, and I made contact with my Ancestors...and my son.  He was in the loving, caring arms of my Grandmothers and Aunts.  I named him Nathan Jacen Wren.  He liked his name.

Nathan has his place on my Ancestral Shrine, and always will.  I have no pictures, only memories.  I made him a blanket, in the colors of Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness ribbon.  And I included the birthstones of October and the charm of 2011.  

He's still around.  Sometimes he plays with the toys.  A couple of months ago, a toy train moved in front of me.  

Nathan likes to make contact, often touching my hands or arms.  

He's happy on the Other Side.  He's in good care, in the arms of our Ancestors.  

We love you, baby boy.  Not a day goes by that you're not in our hearts or on our minds.  Your brothers will know about you.  You existed.  You are forever a part of this family.  

<3

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For many people, October is a time to remember your ancestors.  Many have a special shrine and have a special ritual on October 31st.  Others visit graves of the deceased, to clean and give gifts.  To honor and celebrate their lives.  

As every October, I do a lot of Ancestral and Spirit Work, seeing as the veil is the thinnest and I, like many, tend to have more spirit activity.  Why waste the opportunity to connect with them?

It's weird to think of my son as an Ancestor...I guess that I don't really know what to make of it.

Here's a link from The Amethyst Network that talks about rituals and gives some ideas on how to honor yours/someone baby, gone too soon.

(also posted on From the Mud)

Friday, October 2, 2015

Sleep Overs (Warning: Sexual Abuse, Child Abuse, and Rape Triggers!!!)

A friend and I are talking about this NO SLEEPOVER controversy (Say NO & Say Yes).  A lot of parents are saying that the world is different now.  It's more dangerous.  It's more likely that your children are going to be raped, molested, and murdered.

No, the world is just as dangerous as ever, only now with the advancement of media, the world seems scarier.  It's still the same.  The same dangers lurk.  No different than when we were kids.  Only now the news has it in our faces, shoving it down our throats.  It's called fear-mongering.  


Don't trust anyone.  Everyone's out to get you and your kids.  Stay indoors.  Be overprotective.  Don't live.  Be a sheep.  Don't think for yourself.  


It's a crowd control mechanism.  


As someone who lived with a paranoid man with mental illnesses, who's also controlling and abusive, I grew up with that mindset:  EVERYONE'S OUT TO GET YOU!  EVERYONE'S A RAPIST!  EVERYONE'S A CHILD MOLESTER!  YOU'RE NOT SAFE!   Yet even my dad, for as fucked in the head as he is, didn't keep us trapped in the house, and didn't forbid us from going to sleep overs.  He could've, hell, he could've kept me lock up like Rapunzel.  And I would've been more damaged than I am.

  • He taught us about the dangers of the world, he didn't go into too much detail, unless he was badmouthing my mom.  (I was forced to watch videos of children being molested and sexually abused, with him saying, "See, that's what your mom did to you.  Don't look away.  Watch it."  If I didn't watch it, I was beaten.)
  • We were given a password that a strange adult had to know.  IF they didn't, you ran away and screamed for help.  You reported it to police.
  • We were taught to not trust everyone we met, not even other kids.  
  • To not follow people into their homes or cars.  
  • The parents had to meet before we could go inside of a friend's house, and they needed the parents' phone numbers.  
  • We always had to check in and stay within earshot.  
  • Inside before the street lights came on.
  • If someone hits you, hit them back.  Defend yourself.  
  • Always stand up for yourself (which is funny because in the home my dad was a monster--you stood up, you got beat.  Doesn't really help to stand up for yourself against others.  One of the reasons why I was bullied for so long.  I was taught one thing, but shown something else).
  • Think critically.  Question.  Don't just take someone's word for it.

Even though he said that everyone was out to get us and rape us, he educated us.  Prepared us.  Did what he could to ensure that we wouldn't become victims (again, a little ironic, give the home life).  We were encouraged to go outside and play with our friends, and were allowed to sleep over at their houses, no matter how many kids there were, or their ages!  We had to be respectful and polite.  Listen to the other parents. But don't go anywhere alone with them.  


If someone touches you inappropriately say something.  Say something to your friends.  Call your parents.  Leave.  Call the police.  Say no.  It's not your fault.  They're the bad ones.  You did nothing wrong.  Do not stay silent.  


One of the major fears concerning sleep overs is sex abuse.  Out of all the times that I've been to sleep overs, I've only been molested twice.  One was by a an older female friend and we were at her house alone (her mom had left us alone) and the other was by a male cousin who was around the same age as me, at his house, with his parents home, in a roomful of other cousins.  With her, I didn't say anything, it was a repressed memory that didn't resurface until a few years ago.  But with him, I shut him down, and told a different cousin who wasn't there, and my parents.  It actually prepared me in a fucked up way, when a boyfriend tried to rape in a couple years later.  I fought him off, but due to the problems with the cousin, I kept it to myself until college, when I used my experiences to help other girls on my dorm floor.


Not all stories or statistics are going to be the same, but they often say that most molestation cases are by family.  Not family friends or friends.  Family.  Shit, some people don't even need to leave their house!  Sometimes the abuse goes on and on for years.  And it takes years and years, if at all, for the victim to talk about it.  


You can't protect your children from everything.  You just can't.  It's not healthy for their development.  As a parent, it's your job to educate them.  Teach them about the world, about the potential dangers.  To keep them aware and cautious.  Teach them safety protocol.  How to defend themselves from threats and dangers.  


The world is not worse than ever.  It's the same and it's a cycle.  The world had dangers when I was a kid, I was informed.  The world still has dangers, my children will be informed (only their home life will be healthy, their self esteem intact...but even this doesn't guarantee a safe childhood).  


Welcome to the real world.  


There are times when I'm a helicopter parent due to the PTSD from the miscarriage and from almost losing Warrior at 6 weeks, but even I know the importance of allowing a child to have a childhood.  I'd never forbid my children sleep overs.  I was allowed to sleep over at cousins houses by age 5, and friends houses by age 8.

I was watching the neighbor kids play in the courtyard yesterday and found myself thinking about me playing at their age. The challenges, the fun, the disappointment, betrayal, gross things that I learned and seen, inappropriate things we saw and did, the adventures, the hurt, and everything. At one point, I'm nervous about it. I won't be there to protect my kids from the hurt and the potential dangers, but I understand that it's not healthy for me to be up their ass. They have to live and experience life for themselves. They have to experience childhood. It's an important part of development. They will learn. The best thing for me is to educate them, so they can handle the dangers and be cautious. It's my job to prepare them for life.



Teach them discipline, manners, and rules. Teach them about the world. Not in graphic detail, and certainly not to scar or scare them, but to keep them informed.
My dad was fucked in the head, but he made sure we weren't fools, pushovers, or potential victims. (Unless he was doing the abusing, of course.)
But even with the education, I know that there's always a chance of something happening. My parents--all of them--did their best to protect and inform me, and yet bad things still happened. I learned. I healed. I'm okay. I don't abuse my children. I don't even spank! I'm determined to raise my children in an healthy, happy, and safe home. To not allow my fears, traumas, and worries affect them. To turn those things into positive lessons, instead.
I'll learn from my parents, the good and the bad, and apply it to this generation. Some things I'll teach my kids, other sins I won't commit....like when my step dad basically told me to stay quiet about what my cousin did to me, and continued to allow my step brother to play with his cousin. I'm never going to betray my children like that. God's forbid, but if they ever experience sexual abuse, I want them to be strong enough to handle it. To not be afraid to come to us. I will help them heal, instead of just sweeping it under the rug and expecting them to just get over it, like I was taught.

As the parent, it's not healthy to see the world like my dad does. Not everyone one is a suspect. Not everyone is out to hurt you and your family. Yes, be cautious, be smart, and know how to defend yourself, but there are more good people than bad. It's not a healthy mindset to have, to be fearful of everything. Remember, your children are watching and learning from you. Do you want them to be just as scared of the world and of other people? I wouldn't. But not my circus, right? I'll just learn from you and how I don't want to be. I'd rather be prepared and informed, yet still able to experience, live, and enjoy life.

We're all different. We're not going to have the same experiences and perspectives. Someone could've lived my life and ended up fearful of the world, too. But I chose not to be. In the end, it's your child, do what you think you feel is right for them. What you do is your own thing. But allowing a child to go to a sleep over is not child endangerment or abuse.

I just realized, it's like driving. Most people wouldn't even think twice before loading their kids into a car. Strapping them into their carseats or seat belts. Making sure that the child safety locks and windows are locked, or that their child knows to not open the door while the car is on, or play with a toy in the rolled down window. You have the precautions. Everyone's informed. You're a safe driver...and at any moment, you/family could be in a minor or a serious car accident....or die.


Say no to sleepovers, but you might want to say no to driving, too, because the risk of something bad happening to your children is higher than if they went over to someone's home for the night. Something to think about.


_________________________________________

This is a good tie-in article too (kinda on and off topic), it talks about helicopter society and the impact it's having on some college students.