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Breaking The Ice

There was a lot of melting happening today and with the melting, icicles were falling off the roof. I have to tell you I was a bit afraid one of our Miniature Poodles would be hit or even killed by all this falling ice.

Maine Ice hanging from roof

So I went out and did what any loving dog Mama would do. I went right on out there and started throwing snowballs at them. This, of course, intrigued my 15-year-old son who wanted to know what his crazy Mom was up to. I am sure I looked rather funny out there in my pajamas throwing snowballs at the house. So he did what any good son would do.  He joined in.

Breaking The Ice

I cherish these moments with him. I know they are quickly slipping by. He is a sweet boy, with a laugh and a smile that bring joy into a somber room with ease. He reminds me in many ways of my “Dad”. He goes at life with this curiosity and excitement that makes you want to sit there with him and figure things out too.

So we hit all the dangerous crazy huge icicles. The dogs can now safely wander out and do their business.  I guess that sorta makes us heroes LOL.

 

As a side note, mid afternoon it was hardly cold out hence the t-shirt for in the moment play.

 

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Giving Him My Heart

So I told how myself and hubby met in my post about The Proposal I am sure you wonder what the rest of that looks like and why he now has my heart for always.

2 weeks before we married
Two weeks before we married out in front of Jordan Marsh South Portland, Maine

 

Just Married
Just Married. We were smiling. Young and foolish there was so much hard work in front of us.

 

The First Month

Imagine talking to someone on a phone for two months. While you may “get to know them” what you do not get to know is their everyday habits, mannerisms, issues, shortfalls, what makes them really angry, happy,  or sad. In basic you do not know how to live with this person on a moment to moment basis. The first month was figuring out neither of us know how to cook. That he was a messy person and I suddenly was not. That he had an ex who for years to come would make it her mission to now not only see him miserable but, to try it with me as well. We had very little money, we lived in a room, and walked everywhere. It was a messy struggle and made for very hard lessons.

The First Year

We eventually, within months moved to a large rooming house in Lewiston, Maine. The building owner left my husband and me in charge of running it. The building was in disrepair and condemned. Three floors, twenty-one rooms that needed fixing. Together him, myself and three other people brought it from unlivable to inspected and approved by the city code enforcement. It was a challenge but, it to this day is what I believe it started to pulled us, two strangers, closer. It was here that I helped raise his daughter who was 18 months old almost full time and would continue to do so for the next 13 years. It was here I became pregnant with our first child together. A tiny baby girl. We bought our first car together and ate many meals at Denny’s. It was also here that I made him chase me across the united states when I left him. not once but twice. Look, I didn’t say this was a fairy tale. Things were rocky at the times but, they were also good as well. We would move many times over the course of the next ten years and I left many times over the course of these years.

Welcome our first baby together
I love this photo. The way he was looking at her … the way he looked at all eight of them everytime they were born. He so loves being a father. We were welcoming our first child from our marriage.

 

Newborn
Our sweet newborn Chelsea. All 5 pounds six ounces of her.

 

Children
Just under two years, two children. I won’t lie it was hard. and there would be seven more children almost yearly. It was hard but, I would not change it. They were and will always be blessings.

 

Ten Years

When I turned 26 ten years in and many children later I packed up and left for what I deemed at the time for good. So many children and other stressors put wear on both of us. I loved him but, we were often bitter towards one another. I like to look back at those times and really think about them. They were true learning and growing years. We were both young and foolish. Our priorities were often lost. My answer was too often leave. So we never fully worked through anything.  So after three months, I came back to him with a promise that I have kept for 16 years. No more leaving, we will work on things together as husband and wife through good and bad just as we had vowed to do on the day we married that from this time forward he fully had my heart and wanted his as well.

26 Years

Our Anniversary came and went this year without anything more than us exchanging the words “Happy Anniversary” to each other. The difference these days is that stuff is not needed. We are happy and secure together. There is no card or gift that could express how we feel for each other. We have walked through hell together and came out on the other side holding hands walking side by side; and will continue to do so. We have discovered the secret to marriage. You become a unit. This is not just about what makes me happy or him happy.  It is about what is best for us as a unit. That day 16 years ago is when we truly became married. He still has my heart and I have his. That is the way it was meant to be.
My blog is part of Mama Kat’s Linkup. Come join us!

Mama’s Losin’ It

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5 Habits To A Cleaner Home

I know that maintaining a clean home does not come naturally to everyone. Some people really struggle with the day to day tasks of housekeeping. I realized I have habits that help keep my home fairly clean. I want to share them with you.

Habits to a cleaner home

My personal rule is I do not leave a room without leaving it just a little bit better than I found it. I also try very hard to get my family members to do this. What can I say it is a work in progress for the most part they try. If I walk into the bathroom and there is a towel on the floor I pick it up. If there are glasses on the kitchen table I place them in the sink. I do not complain about who left it I just leave the room better. It helps keep the room cleaned up.

I am a coffee lover. However, I hate dealing with the dishwasher and dishes away so as a personal rule if I am making a pot of coffee I deal with the dishes while it is brewing.  The two now go hand in hand. I also use this time to switch laundry.

Instead of folding everyone’s clothes and putting them away I make piles and deliver them to the person’s room unfolded. They know they are to promptly put them away. It keeps the laundry off my kitchen table in a huge pile which always looks messy.

On really lazy days I set a timer for five minutes and I set forth to do the one thing I am dreading for only that amount of time. Once I start it gets easier to tackle the rest of the cleaning.  Some days I will just clean each room for five minutes. You would be surprised what you can accomplish in a short amount of time

I don’t have more of any one thing than I need. We do not keep Knick knacks laying around. What we do have has very specific places where they belong. Even the toddler knows where her things go and can easily help during clean up time. Reducing clutter leaves less to clean and fuss over.

What are your cleaning habits?

 

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Valentine’s Day Cake Overload and Stuff

It’s Valentine’s day so we had to read a book about it. So Little Miss Toddler and I  dug through her Uncles stash of books and found this. It’s a bit old and worn from years of love but Little Miss Toddler enjoyed it.

Someone secretly loves Arthur but he has no idea who keep sending him little love notes. Can you figure it out?

Arthur's Valentine

Why eat the sandwich when there is cake to be had?  Little Miss Toddler was pretty excited about the cake. Mostly because as you will see it was covered in candy. That was the hubby’s doing. He is big on cakes for every occasion simply because he loves cake.

We had sandwiches and cake

Have you ever cut one of these candy covered cakes? Do you have any idea what might happen? LOL

M&Ms cake Kit-Kat cake

I thought it was just a thin layer of M&Ms. I was wrong. As I cut into this cake the candies started pouring off the cake, onto the counter and down on the floor where Little Miss Toddler was running around eating them as the bounced onto the floor.

Valentines Cake

I am pretty sure there was over a pound of M&M’s on this cake.  All pink, white and red. So pretty <3

Be Mine Cake

Apparently, one cake was not enough for hubby he also purchased a smaller one. Unfortunately, I really do not like cake LOL.  Not really sure what the need for cake two was…maybe because it said Be Mine? Maybe he was worried he would never get another cake LOL. Maybe he felt the need to express himself better with a cake with writing along with a candy avalanche cake? Or perhaps he wanted to eat himself into a cake induced coma? Whatever the reason both cakes were beautiful. It is sweet (literally) of him to think of us.

Love letters

Our whiteboard has been decorated for a while now. Each heart telling a family member why they are loved. <3

Lastly my sweet mushy card from the hubby to me. Of course, Little Miss Toddler insisted she open it for me because mail is her thing. Thankfully she didn’t shred it in her over-zealous opening attempts. She marveled at how pretty it was and then handed it over to me.

 

His card sums it up… Real love. 26 years of working things out,  Forever. I love you hubby. Happy Valentine’s Day.

 

Tell us how you spent your Valentine’s day.

 

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Muffin Tin Crayons – New Life for Old Broken Crayons

Crayons laying around that are broken? Try this quick project with your children and beat the winter boredom blues.

I have to tell you. Little Miss Toddler had the box of 120 Crayons. She liked to dump them and run. I was tired of picking them up and I saw a friend on Facebook doing this project with her kids and thought YES! that will be great!

removing crayon labels

The first thing I did was to soak the crayons in warm water. This way the papers were super easy to remove.  I peeled a few with out the soaking and it was a pain so this made quick of it. Just remember after peeled to dry the crayons off.

Break the crayons up into a muffin tin

I sorted the broken crayons up by color into the muffin tins and filled them with the broken crayons. Easy enough.

Melted crayons

Put the crayons into a 300 degree oven and watch for them to be melted about 5 -15 minutes. Depending on how large the tin you are using is. Mine was a standard tin and it took about 12 minutes. Let them cool  completely. Once they are cool turn the tin upside down and tap the bottom of each round. They should pop right out. If they will not come out freeze for 20 minutes then tap them again they should fall out easily.

Miffin Tin Crayons

We had one minor casualty (One broken coming out) But look how cool it looks inside.

Melted Crayons

Here is a full disk. Little Miss Toddler was impressed with Giga’s magic 😉

Crayon disk

I love the way the colors melted together.

Toddler coloring

Much better. She thinks they are cool and they are much easier to keep contained. They are also a nice chunky size for her small hands.

Have you ever made these? I think they would be neat to make in different shapes for holidays.

 

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Writing Prompts For Mom Bloggers

Writing Prompts for those days I sit here and rack my brain about what to write, Everyday it gets a bit harder. Or I have a great idea and start to write and then just get stuck.  I am hoping as I write more it happens a bit less. One can hope, right?

So tonight I will stretch my mind and put some ideas out there. Because other bloggers prompts have helped me. Maybe I can help a bit too. 🙂

Writing Prompts for Mom Bloggers

  1. Your child’s birth story.
  2. Plan a birthday party.
  3. A list of things you hope to do this year.
  4. 10 ways to save money.
  5. Gardening tips.
  6. Creative ways to calm a fussy baby.
  7. How to get the spark back in your marriage.
  8. You biggest cooking blunder.
  9. A funny story from your childhood.
  10. The moment you knew you were an adult.
  11. Things your mother told you that turned out to be wrong.
  12. Share a recipe you love.
  13. Your top 25 favorite baby names.
  14. Review a product you love.
  15. Reorganize a space in your home and share the process.
  16. Do a craft with your child and share the process.
  17. Do a Vlog.
  18. Tell about how you and your spouse met.
  19. List the a-z’s of you.
  20. Share what is in your purse.
  21. Share 5 of your favorite photos.
  22. Tell other moms how you stop tantrums.
  23. Share your best potty training tips.
  24. Tell why you do or do not cosleep
  25. Share a list of Dollar Tree Products you either love or hate.
  26. Interview a family member.
  27. Tell a story about life from a baby or pets point of view.
  28. Share tips on cleaning your home.
  29. Share the items in your latest shopping trip.
  30. Make a bucket list.
  31. Share funny photos and the story behind them.
  32. Make a list of writing prompts.
  33. Journal the before and after of a hair cut or hair coloring.
  34. Share a journey of weight loss or getting healthier.
  35. Share your thoughts on a news story.
  36. Share your thoughts on a highly debated mom topic
  37. Take a walk and make a photo journal of it.
  38. Tell why you started blogging.
  39. Give new bloggers tips for a successful blog.
  40. Share your daily schedule.
  41. Share a funny story about your child.
  42. Tell why you do or do not share photos of your little ones online.
  43. Share a quote you love and why you love it.
  44. Compose a letter to someone you have lost.
  45. Pen a letter to your child for when they are grown.
  46. Write the rules for dating your son or daughter.
  47. Tell what kind of mother-in-law you think you will be or hope to be.
  48. Write about your favorite vacation.
  49. Tell about strange habits you have.
  50. Write about the hardest part of being a new mom.
  51. Write about the last time you surprised yourself.
  52. Tell about the best gift you were ever given.
  53. Write about a happy moment in your life.
  54. List your favorite books and why you love them.
  55. Make a list of favorite children’s books.
  56. Write about the sort of parent you thought you would be versus the parent you really are.
  57. Tell about the worst parenting advice you were ever given.
  58. Tell about a scary life event.
  59. Write about a moment you will never forget.
  60. Plan an interesting meal.
  61. Come out with your weekly meal plan.
  62. Share the TV shows or movies you love.
  63. Divulge what TV mom you are most like.
  64. Share a day in your life with words and photos.
  65. Tell about your pregnancy cravings.
  66. Share tips on baby care.
  67. Share your cleaning schedule.
  68. Tell why you cloth diaper.
  69. Share how you care for cloth diapers.
  70. Do a review on a brand of disposable diapers.
  71. Do a toy review.
  72. Share a recipe for play dough.
  73. Share a sensory bin you put together.
  74. Tell about your child’s first day of school.
  75. Share your child’s artwork.
  76. Tell why you are a stay at home or working mom.
  77. Share a favorite spot of your home.
  78. Do a home tour.
  79. Tell how you organize your child’s toys.
  80. Share a homemade cleaning product recipe you make.
  81. Reflect on a time you had to apologize to someone.
  82. Write about a disappointment that you were able to make into a positive.
  83. Recount your worst E-bay purchase.
  84. Tell about your biggest pet peeve.
  85. Tell about how you helped someone.

What is your favorite writing prompt?

 

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The Proposal

This post was inspired by Mama Kat’s Writing Workshop.

Rings

I picked prompt  1. Write about your proposal. Were you surprised?

I was a pretty laid back in my younger years getting into trouble was not really my thing. Partying was not my gig nor was stealing, drugs or anything many of the teens around me were doing. Being a  homebody was more my idea of how life was to be spent. My goals were to get married, have children and be a housewife. Yes, there is more to life. Hey, I was young, those were my goals. I owned them, I am living them and most of all I am happy.

Being younger and sitting around the house ultimately leads to boredom.

I mean prince charming husband was not going to show up on his white horse and carry me away. In fact, it was unlikely the drunk down the road would show up in a beat up Chevy to drag me to his crap shack. So I did what any foolish young lady would do with a Rockstar magazine in hand. I called one of those weird personal ad numbers in the back of it.

Look, it was 1990’s we didn’t have the Internet.

We had party land lines and personal ads. From that ad, I got phone call after phone call from every weirdo you could imagine. Some nasty, weird and scary crap. After a month the calls finally stopped. Then the very last phone call. The 70th (Yes I kept track) a voice came over the line. We talked a bit and he said. I am going to marry you. I laughed at him and added him to my weirdo list.

Day after day the weirdo kept calling back.

In fact, I started looking forward to the weirdo’s calls. I slowly moved him to a list of his own. A friend. We talked for a month straight and decided to meet. He came to the city where I lived and we went on a double date with myself, him and my parents. It was the ONLY date I had ever been on. Then he went home still insisting I was “the one”. So two weeks later we drove to his small town and I signed a marriage license making that the second we had met up in person.

For Christmas that year I got my wedding dress.

A pretty peach dress with a white lace overlay. Two days after Christmas he was at my home. He didn’t come on a white horse, he didn’t come with a castle he came with two carefully chosen rings from a pawn shop. He like a gentleman slept on my mother’s sofa. The next day we called the Justice of Peace and stood in front of a small group of people and said our vows together. That was just over 26 years ago. He’s not a prince but he is a man that I am proud to call my husband. Perhaps meeting him was fate but, here is the truth it was in hind site dangerous stupid. I lucked out. It could have turned out very, very bad. I am well aware and certainly do not advocate as a grown woman who is now much brighter than that fast tracking marriage with a stranger.

We had every single odd stacked against our favor and I think after all these years it is safe to say we beat them.  He is not only my husband but, my best friend.

Mama’s Losin’ It

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Cake Mix Cookies Simple and Yummy

I have been having this huge craving today for cookies. Yet my baking supplies are pretty diminished at this point. What I do have is a cake mix.

Cake Mix Cookies

So, I will do what I use to do for my kids when they were little. I will make Cake Mix Cookies!

What you need is pretty simple.
  • A cake mix of any flavor mine happens to be chocolate today
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil

So you preheat that oven to 375 degrees. Then toss all the ingredients in a bowl together and mix.

All mixed? Good! Now drop the cookie dough by the heaping teaspoon full onto a cookie sheet.(Make one inch balls)

Toss them into that preheated oven and bake 7-9 minutes or until the edges start to brown.

Remove the baked cookies from the oven and cool for one minute then move them to a cooling rack to finish cooling.

 

Extras:

Chopped nuts

Chocolate chips

Frosting

Sprinkles

M & Ms

Powdered sugar

The only thing left to do is pour a tall cold glass of milk and eat those freshly baked cookies.

 

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Good Bye Old Bucksport House

  To some people, it was just an old run down house that maybe should have been torn down decades ago.

As the owner did not put much care into it. We were simply renters. However, to us, it was a home. For nine years we built our life there. We raised our eight children there. Fixing things and basically acting as homeowners because the owner didn’t want to put work into it. landlords we encountered as a large family really did not want to rent to us. So we made do.

It was home to us. A week ago it was torn down and it was really time. It still makes me sad, though. We have not lived there for four years but my memories of that home are vivid as if it were yesterday.

Old Bucksport Kitchen

The Kitchen

I made so many loaves of bread in this old kitchen. How many bare muddy feet tracked across the floor. The kids were always bringing me in frogs and toads to see as I washed dishes. I remember the Easter my son was coloring eggs at the table and managed to fall and bang his mouth putting his teeth through his lip. We did our first amount of homeschooling right there at that table. We have cried, laughed, yelled, celebrated and mourned right there. It was home.

The Girls Room

The Girls Room

My oldest had her first broken heart right here in this room. They also chopped the hair off every Barbie her younger sister owned together. They fought, the plotted how to get out of school, they played with our many pets, they laughed.They declared they wanted their own rooms and eventually that happened. Then one day my oldest moved out. She literally grew out and away from this home. She did most of her growing up here. It was home.

Flooded Maine Basement

The Problems

It was a home with problems. The basement would flood in the Spring. You are looking at about 4 feet of water. Where there was flooding; the furnace stopped working. In came the wood stove. A terrible heat source for a 6 bedroom home. The roof in the laundry room leaked and leaked badly. So bad in fact we had to bring the machines into the kitchen. Then septic stopped working. The landlord did fix that thankfully!  The pipes would freeze at least once a week during the winter months. Many rooms were rendered to cold to even use. We were always happy when spring showed up. We endured because it was home.

Boys Room

The Boys Room

We endured because of times like this. We were together and we had a roof over our heads and sadly that is more than a lot of people have or could even dream of.  These boys played games of late night Clue right here on this floor. They wrestled, and romped and raised holy hell. I remember the Day when my littlest son was jumping on the bed and feel into the window thankfully coming out of it with only a scratch.  I remember Christmases when I would sneak around taking pictures of them pretending to sleep. It was home.

The Living Room

It was the room where we all came together to share TV, snacks, and some time on the floor to play. It was home.

So when the community looks at that spot where that old run down eye sore was. Remember. We made our life there. Our memories. To us, it was and always will be home.

Good-bye house and thank you.

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Baby Milestones Multicolored Monthly Numbers Months 1 – 12 Free Printables

There is nothing more wonderful than watching your baby grow and change each month. Each month brings new and exciting milestones for you as a mom. Why not remember them each month with a photo of your sweet baby at each stage. We are happy to offer you  and your baby this wonderful free printable. Congratulations on your new little one. May you both have a wonderful first year together.

To download the whole set of numbers for your free  first twelve months stickers please click the link below. This is a PDF file. These are free for your personal use. Do not distribute as your own. Below is a sample of month one.

Below you may download them for free they are in PDF format. They must be printed letter-sized (8.5″ × 11″) full sheet of sticker , then simply cut them out, and stick them on your infants clothing to celebrate each month with a photo.

Baby Milestone Month to Month Printable.

 

Baby One Month
Sample