Monthly Archives: February 2012

Hold my hand!

A response to these three little words got Mr. D in a world of trouble today.  He finally hit that age of wanting a little independence from his mama.  I am still uncertain about this independence he is pushing for.  I just can’t see him other than being my baby.  I know this is something I need to get over, but they grow up so fast and I just can’t believe that he is four already.  It seems like yesterday we were bringing him home from the hospital.

Well, let me set the stage for this streak of independence.  The battle of wills happened during our outing to the mall. I just needed to do a few errands, exchange some pants for hubby and get a cable for our “wireless” printer.   Now our mall is not one of those huge mega malls.  It’s shaped like a V, with a food court in the center and is only one story.  Do to its smallness and being relatively vacant of shoppers, I have always let Mr. D walk freely next to me.  He may run ahead and run back to me or even lag behind and then catch back up.   It’s just a great opportunity for him to burn off some energy and I feel completely safe with him running about in this fashion.

Like always, I tell him the plan of what we need to do before we even leave the house.  He then asks if he behaves could he get some popcorn at the popcorn store.  I say sure and off we went.

First stop was to return some pants at Macy’s.  I just wanted to do a quick exchange and ten minutes later showing my ID and signing my life away, the task was done.  Mr. D managed to be somewhat patient, it helped that there was a large mirror he could make faces into and round racks he could run around.  He asks me if he had been good and I tell him “keep it up” and we move to our next chore.

The cable for my printer.  I go to the Apple store where I had purchased  both computer and printer.   After much discussion among  a young group of tech nerds, they decide that they do not carry a cable for a wireless printer, due to the fact that it’s wireless.  Duh…..  After a very length conversation about the difficultly of it picking up the signal and my immediate need of printing, hence the purchase of a cable, they refer me to Radio Shack.

At this points, I am losing control of Mr. D, so I feel the need to remind him of that great tasting popcorn for those that are well behaved.  He quickly gets off the floor that he had been crawling around on and hops to attention.  We did a quick stop at the popcorn store and the discussion starts.

Mr. D wants cheese popcorn.  I decline, saying it is to messy and we still have more errands to do.  I give him the option of  kettle corn or none at all.  After much complaining and me starting to walk out of the store he “changed” his mind and he wanted kettle corn.  We bought the snack size and off we went to Radio Shack to look for a cable.

There was an actually line I needed to stand in to get service.  Mr. D was standing next to me happily eating his popcorn.  He then moves off just a few feet to look at some robot spiders.   I was listening to the customers in front of me and I turn to check on Mr. D and he is gone……..

My heart literally stops…. I call his name …. no answer…..I call his name again…..no answer….I run to the door to see if he left the store/or someone took him…..I then hear his giggle…..there he is…… Just tucked behind the corner.  I was so relieved, yet so angry at the same time.

I grabbed his arm and the popcorn and marched back to the line.  He starts to cry that I am hurting him and that I am a mean mama.  He then pulls away from me and sits on the ground.  I ignore his crying, make my purchase, and tell him we are going home….

“Hold my hand”  I tell him.  “No” he  says…….I cant believe he is doing this.  We, of course, are located on the opposite end of the mall than were we entered, so I needed to drag my very unwilling  child through the mall.  Luckily, we did not run into any cops or friends of my mom.

I now have him by the scruff of his jacket, but we made it to the car.  He then asks for his popcorn.  Unbelievable I think! I told him naughty boys need to sit in time outs and they don’t get to eat popcorn.

Mr. D never seemed to turn his day around.  He was difficult during dinner.  Refusing to eat his meal.  Messed around during bath time causing lots of water to spill out.  He ended up going to bed early with no story.

What a day.  I hope he has a better one tomorrow.

Wondering what happened to the popcorn?   I love kettle corn…..it didn’t last very long.

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Mama, I have a runny nose.

I was quietly woken up early Saturday morning with Mr. D whisper-breathing in my ear.

“Mama, I have a runny nose.”

I look through my slitted eyes and see my little guy licking his upper lip, glassy eyed, and rubbing his nose on his sleeve.

“Let’s get you a Kleenex and take care of that nose of yours.”

This is how my day began.  I was surprised to see him in such a state since he showed no signs or symptoms Friday when he went to bed.  But if he had to be sick, this was the perfect day to be sick.  The schedule was clear, no dance classes needed to be driven to, no appointments had to be attended, and no specific work was required of me today.  Only Hubby had to go to a basketball game with some clients and to be helpful he took Ms. A along.

That left the two of us and Nala on our own.  I declared it a day of rest and PJ’s.  We climbed onto the couch (Nala on her bed) with a pile of blankets, a fresh box of Kleenex, the fireplace roaring, and a pile of DVDs to watch.

The day slowly crept by.  I did absolutely nothing except wipe a runny nose and take a dog out when needed.  Hubby came home mid afternoon and look around and said “You look like you have been busy.”

Ha Ha….I look up from my nest in the couch, surrounded by used Kleenex, dishes containing remains of our snacks,  empty juice cups, and still in or  PJ’s.  “Its our day of rest.” I say sweetly to him.

It didn’t take much to convince them ……Hubby and Ms. A changed clothes and joined us on the couch.  We refreshed our snacks and drinks and pick out a new selection of movies and settled in.

After the kids finally went to bed, I looked around at the results of our “day of rest”…..Oh boy, I am so glad we don’t have many “day of rest”, because I would be in a heap of trouble.

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Thank Goodness for Television

My children are my pride and joy. I try to do everything to enable their emotional, physical, and intellectual growth. One of the most repeated compliment I receive from outsiders is how well spoken Ms. A is and what an amazing vocabulary she has. Mr. D also gets praises for his amazing knowledge of animals, dinosaurs, and whatnots. I wish that I could take the credit for these abilities my children seem gifted in, but no I can not. All praise must go to this wonderful box that sits in our family room. One of the most beloved items of our home. The television!

Yes, I allow my children to watch television and a lot of it. When I saw the guidelines for television watching put out by some government agency, I scoffed. They really could not be serious. How would I get anything done around the house, much less take a shower, if I limit them to less than an hour a day. (I really like to take long showers.)

For those moms out there who do not allow their children any television viewing. My hat goes off to you. However, have you seen what’s on television nowadays. There are some really good programs.

In reality, I do limit their viewing time. During the school week Ms. A does not watch any television other than the morning news with me over breakfast. She and I get to discuss the current events and it open topics up that I normal would not think of talking about. She honestly doesn’t have any time with her busy after school schedule and homework responsibilities to watch anything in the evening.

Now the weekend is a different story. I allow her to play approved computer games or her DS for up to an hour each day. She loves to play simulation games on the iPad, but to access that she has to practice on her flash-card app. She is allowed to watch television as long as its certain channels and programs. (Disney, PBS, Discovery, Animal Planet, and things of that sort.). When viewing movies, she can watch anything rated up to PG. If she is home sick from school, I do not allow ANY television watching during the hours she should have been in school. She has not asked to stay home very often. All her television viewing, gaming, and computer stuff is done in the public areas of our home. Much to her chagrin, she will never have a television or computer in her bedroom.

Mr. D is home a lot. This leads to more opportunity for him to watch television. He plays very well by himself and has a super active imagination. I normal always have the television on as background noise while I am doing my household responsibilities. Mr. D usually has something he is playing with, but every once in awhile he’ll look up if there is a catchy tune or and interesting subject matter. We usually have Disney Jr. on in the morning and PBS kids in the afternoon. I find most of the programming on these channels tolerable even for me to watch. It’s amazing at what he recalls from the story lines and then is able to put it in appropriate context when talking to us.

He has started using the iPad also. I found a great app for tracing letters, one for identifying numbers, a dot to dot with numbers and letters, and a simple puzzle app. He is motivated only by the fact that he gets to play with “Talking Tom” (it’s a cat that repeats what you say in a funny voice) after he practices his stuff. The iPad has been a life saver for us when we are waiting places. I was able to download two great series one called “Wild Krats” (two brothers who morph into cartoon guys who rescue creatures) and “Phineus and Ferb” (two cartoon brothers who think up of fun things to do and their crazy big sister who is trying to bust them). It’s so handy to have available when the waiting just gets to be to much or when I need to pay attention to something and not be distracted by him and his behavior.

The weekend schedule with Mr. D is the opposite of Ms. A. He is so busy playing with Hubby, tormenting his big sister and just causing overall four year old craziness, that there is no time for him to watch anything.

I probable still let them watch to much television and use to much electronics than the government recommends. Yet my kids are able to take something useful from these activities.

These skills that were are so proud of may possible derive from all the books we ingest, trips we do, activities we try…..But until they can figure out a way to keep children occupied while mommy tries to take a shower, the television stays on!

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Adoption Update – February

The Rumor Queen from China Adopt Talk has stated China has processed families up to August 21, 2006. That means they have done six days of matching for this month. This consistent progress keeps getting us closer to our date of September 22, 2006. I wished they had done more days, but six days keeps a nice pace for our possible match in November. I am sending prayers out to a mother in China who is currently pregnant or just had a beautiful little girl.  I am counting the days (months, years)  until I finally see her little face.

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Getting back on the Wagon

Catchy title, yes? …. Wonder what I am going to ramble on and on about this time….Sorry to disappoint, but I am “getting back on my wagon of responsibilities.”……Hoping for something juicier to read about, let me tell you I would love too, but I am saving all that stuff for my memoirs.

So I haven’t updated or done any work on my website or my store page www.mylittlegreenthumb.com. It was one of my New Year’s Goals and I had given myself a deadline of MLK day. Well, that has come and past and now we are celebrating President’s Day, so I thought this would be a good time to focus on it. Like a lot of things that I have assigned deadlines for, I see the date go by with no progress done on them. I am not sure what is going on in my head, but something is not right. I normally am so good about deadlines and completing projects. It must be all the pop I am consuming. (That resolution went out the window quite some time ago.)

I wonder if this lack of follow through is a side effect of my mommyhood. Its the only logical explanation for this “so out of character” behavior I am exhibiting. As a mom, I have so many things to keep track of that are no longer really pertaining to me. The whole family’s schedule of events, meetings, activities, assignments, and obligations are all orchestrated by me. I am constantly referring to my color coded schedules to make sure nothing is missed or overlooked. With the kids getting older, more things seem to be piled on. I always felt that it would become easier when they became more independent. I was sadly mistaken. The simple things like getting dressed, eating, bathing, and toileting are easier. They are replaced with driving places, supplying things, and lots of time management. This leads to all my personal responsibilities going on the back burner. Updating the website can be put off. Where as laundry and grocery shopping can not.

Well, I decided to do something about this. Get back on track and get things done. My SIL contacted me after my post on Funerals, Succulents, & Bigfoot and said if I was serious about My Little Green Thumb she would help. She came by on Sunday and we went to work. Oh, did I mention that It just happens that she has experience in the floral industry running a shop, being a designer, and being a rep for a huge distributor. How could I go wrong with this help.

The first thing we did was make up some samples for her to go around to a selective number of shops who might be interested in this style of planters. We talked about the huge new trend in weddings is succulents and that could be a whole new avenue to look at.

Hubby then took the two “distractions” away to visit Oma and we girls fired up the computer and got to work. My site is through Go Daddy. At the time it was a one stop shop and if I had to do it over, I most likely would not have used them. But what is done is done and being the optimist, I signed up for a five year contract.

I literally forgot how to manage and work on the site. There was a lot of F—— around, but I was able to get some basic things done. The first thing was to put prices up and better contact info. I then completely took one page down “Little Thoughtful Gifts” and changed that into a page that focused on custom planters. I got stuck on the uploading of pictures, a few more expletives were said, but I managed to get a few pictures up.

I was able to get the web pages done, but I am not pleased with the picture quality. I need to read up on how to stage my planters and work on lighting them correctly. The shots I’ve taken outside are so much better than the ones indoor, however, that’s not an option with the current weather. I’ll need to mull over how to solve this issue. Possibly fabricate some kind of light box to stage them in.

Overall, the website looks presentable, so I turned my attention to the store. ARGGGG….after figuring out the taxes, shipping charges, getting pictures to products, and setting it up to be user friendly, I thought I was done. Nope….I needed to set up a PayPal account and link it up to my shop. Simple enough, right?…..not so much…..I had to link it to my bank account and get approved.

Where am I standing after spending an entire day on “getting back on the wagon.”

1. I have a presentable website that just needs a little work on photos.
2. I have a store ready to go, just waiting on bank approval from PayPal.
3. I have a new business relationship with my SIL.
4. I have a very neglected family in need of mommy.

Who would have thought that I didn’t even have an email address two years ago and I had no clue about the Internet. Look at me now, I am a huge apple fan with a desktop, iPad, and iPhone and I am even on Facebook. As my dear Shopping Buddy would say “You’ve got your big girl panties on now!”

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Love those plants

My client meeting went well. We discussed ideas for a planter for the funeral and came up with a lovely idea.

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This creation is a combination of a four inch planter stacked within an eight inch planter. I created two of these “double deckers” and put them on the shelf to give them a chance to take root.

I also had the opportunity to do my first donation to a silent auction for the local women’s shelter. I hope this might be another venue to get my name out and make some much needed money for this worthy cause. I priced it at fifty dollars. Let’s hope there are some women in attendance who love succulents and decide to fight over this cute little planter.

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Also during my client meeting I was able to sell some of my adorable globes.

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I got to put my hands back into my dirt barrel today and get my creative juices flowing. I haven’t had the need to create any new planters since my last show and I so much enjoy planting.

I want to thank my client for getting me back into my planting groove and for appreciating the work I do. Who knows, I just might make a success of this buisness yet!

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Funerals, Succulents, & Big Foot

I was given a new business opportunity this week.  A friend, who has her own successful business, presented me with an idea of doing planters for funerals.  It sounds like a great way to expand the marketing reach of my company, but I wonder.  Funerals? Am I up  for this?  Would people really want a succulent planter to remember this somber occasion?  And most importantly would my planters be good enough to honor these people who have passed on?

Let me give you a little background info so that you better understand my thinking.

I come from a very small family.  I have just one older brother.  Both my parents were only children, so I have no aunts, uncles, or cousins.  My parents  immigrated to the United States right before I was born, so I have little contact with any extended family and therefore have not been to those funerals of the older generation. From what I understand in Belgium they don’t really embalm the bodies.  You are laid out on refrigerated beds and flowers and candles with very strong scent are used.  Oma would always comment on how some strong scented flowers reminded her of a funeral.  That’s an association I am glad I don’t have.

When I married Hubby, I was excited to be married into a family that had some limbs to their tree.  Sadly, Hubby has been to several funerals of the older generation.  I did attend the funeral of his grandparents and saw the wonderful floral displays at the funeral home and church.  We even brought home a planter with some palms that currently reside in the sunroom.

Now…….I know that I would rather have a planter versus a bouquet of flowers for any type of occasion.  Flowers only last so long and then they need to be thrown away.  Cut flowers are pricey and a large bouquet can be very expensive.  I know that I could work with the price range, but still…….I am kind of creeped out about the whole thing.

With all my luck this would become successful.  I mean, so succesful that I get some weird nick name and that my work is associated just with death.  I can see me driving around town delivering planters for the dead.  Knowing where all the funeral homes are located and going to the back door like it was nothing.

Not to be harsh, but I was hoping my planters would be gifts used to bring joy and happiness.  Not this….

I am questioning myself.  Is this a good choice  for the company?  It probably is.  It opens the door to a whole new possibility of customers.  Can I emotional handle the sadness that surrounds this occasion?  Probable not.  I’ll have to deliver the planters to the funeral home myself, so there is no detaching myself from the situation.

Oh, did I mention that I am a huge scardy cat.

I have this theory if I plan for all the bad things, they might not happen……like I said its just a theory.  I get thoughts or scary images in my head and there is no sleeping that night.  I would highly recommend not watching the movie “I AM LEGEND”, I didn’t sleep well  for quite some time.  Ugg….I still can see flashes of that movie in my head.

I sleep with the hall light on (ummm..thats in case the kids wake up).  I have the security system always set in case a crazy mad man decides to visit our neighborhood.   I make Hubby sleep on the side of the bed closest to the door. (you know, just in case)  I do believe that there are ghost……What kind……I am not sure, but something is out there, otherwise there wouldn’t be all these stories.  And don’t get me started on Big Foot.

I always talk out bad situations with the kids, so that if they might encounter it, they might remember how to handle it.  When boarding a plane I alway discuss our escape plan with the family (this does freak the kids out a bit)…..

Do I sound like a person who could handle funeral home visits?

I think that I could create something that I would be proud to present to my costumers and they in return would be proud to sign their name to the card.

Yikes…..just thinking about it is causing me stress.

Tonight, I meet up with my first client on this topic.   I have a feeling that bedtime will be late and the lights will be on.  Poor Hubby, what did I get myself into now.

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