Cross-Country Vacation 2016, Part 1

Well, howdy! It’s been a long few months with a lot going on!  Let’s catch up!

This summer, it was our family’s turn to visit extended family out west.  Naturally, we considered the most efficient way to get there, which would be air travel.  Eight-hour flight with cranky kids and strangers and germs (and hopefully not a seat right next to the bathroom) and you’re there!  Um, no, thank you.

Not to mention the prices!! Holy smokes have airline tickets gone up!  We were looking at nearly $2300 in fares for the four of us.  And then we would need to rent a car to accommodate our two car seats and all of our baggage.  And then we would be unable to travel the lengthy distances between friends and family in the huge state of Oregon due to mileage restrictions.

SPOILER ALERT: We ended up spending roughly $2500 total on this trip.  That included exposing our preschool kids to 21 days of travel through 15 states; several national park visits; laying eyes on the actual trail marks of The Oregon Trail; hiking in prairies, rainforests, creeks, and rivers; countless learning opportunities, etc.  This also covered all of our camping supplies (which we didn’t own prior to the trip), and all of our allergy-free (for us), organic food!  It also includes the one hotel stay in Chicago and the two Wendy’s meals we had when we were in a tight spot.

This flying thang just wasn’t cutting the custard — or is it mustard?  Whichever you prefer, I guess.

Too expensive, too restrictive.

I think that I’ve allowed my sense of my adventure to go to all-time lows after having the kids. I’ve just been focused on too many other things (read: the daily grind).

I’ve shared on this blog before that, as a kid, I spent every third or fourth summer traveling across the country in an RV with my siblings — both human and canine — and my parents.  I have such awesome memories of that all-American, low-frills vacation style!

As a kid, Matt, too, spent lots of time camping/traveling with his dad for mountain bike races all along the west coast.  He has some pretty great stories to tell about those days as well.

We want memories like that for/with our kids!

We both decided that 3 and 5 were great ages to get the traveling party started!

Master plan conceived!

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We Are A Homeschooling Family!

So I’m wearing yet another hat around here.  It does take me farther away from sewing, blogging, cleaning (ha!), but it’s awesome and hard and frustrating and tiring and so, so super amazingly cool!

Homeschooling was something that I had always considered in a kind of throw-the-idea-around-here-and-there kind of way.

It kind of went with the progression of our parenting style – breastfeeding, babywearing, cloth diapering, ayurvedic medicine — oh, yeah, what the heck, maybe I’ll homeschool, too!

Whenever I’d mention it, I’d get a sort of common, generic response of how neat of an idea that was, but how few people are “able” to do it — oh, and, my favorite –boy, was I brave!  (I think sometimes it was a compliment, and sometimes it was just a filler when someone didn’t know what to say.  Once or twice it was delivered in a you’re-nuts-to-take-that-on kind of way.)

This general idea of us, as parents, not being “able” to teach our own children was really a soul-searching topic for me.   I made lists of pros and cons, did tons of research, etc.

But, mostly, I listened to my kids.

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Happy Holidays!

Oh, my goodness!  It’s been so long; I wonder if I even remember how to do this blog thang?!

I can’t believe it’s been a year since I first shared some of our family’s holiday traditions.  (You can see the original post from last year right here.)

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Cake Crafting Fall 2015

Hello!   I’m still alive!  Fall has started out rough, and we may still be sniffling and coughing, but we made it through the birthday season.  I want to share what went down!

The kids’ birthdays are a little over a month apart, and I am usually crazy(ier than normal) for weeks before the big party days.

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Marriage Is A Practical Joke! (My Side of the Story)

You know, I haven’t actually been to a wedding as a married person.

Those few weddings I attended when I was young and single were beautiful and romantic and all that jazz.   They really were.  But there was something going on between all of the married guests that I just wasn’t a part of.   It was over my head.

Now that I am an old, married lady myself, I’d like to enlighten those of you who are considering getting in on this wonderful thing called marriage — while there’s still time to get out!

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DIY Avocado-Honey Moisturizing Pre-Poo

Good Rainy Tuesday if you’re in the Northeast this morning!

I’m thinking swimming lessons at the outdoor pool will be a no-go today.

But that’s not what this is really about.  Let me get back on track.

A couple of years ago, when my kids were a year and three years old, I was dealing with lots of stress.  Staying home with two whiny (I mean, wonderful!) toddlers with postpartum anxiety issues left me slightly unstable.

One night, during that difficult time, I went to the bathroom and did a quick turn to view the back of my previously luxurious bottom-of-shoulder-blade length cascading ringlets.  I was mortified.  I hadn’t been taking care of myself, and it showed.   Oh, my stars, did it show!

Now, it’s been years since I adopted the motto “business in the front, party in the back.”  To me, as it pertains to hair, that always meant that if the front of my hair was presentable, I was all good.  I can’t see the back of my head anyway, so why sweat the small stuff.

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Meet Our Peeps!

Hey there!

I want to finally introduce my peeps! We’re still not ready for another dog, and Mr. SewOldSchool and I wanted a pet (or five!) for the kids.   I researched frogs, rats (I’m sorry, I just can’t!), cats (I’m super allergic!), and fish.  None of those options seemed the perfect fit for our family.

After driving around our neighborhood and seeing coops popping up here and there, I researched chickens.  There had to be some kind of draw.

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Dude, That’s Awesome Coleslaw

Good morning!

Yes, I know.  The name of this coleslaw.  I give full credit to Mr. SewOldSchool who believes in the philosophy that if something is named aptly, anyone will be willing to try it — and thus reap the benefits of its culinary splendor.

I’ve had a love affair with coleslaw since the beginning of time.  I remember back in the day when we’d be traveling cross-country in our jalopy Concorde RV with us kids, the ‘rents, and two or three Shih Tzus running loose as we drove down the Interstate.  Good memories!

Inevitably, we’d break down and get to order some take-out while my dad fixed whatever was ailing Ol’ Concordia.  When this would happen, my favorite spot was KFC.  I know, I know.   I didn’t know or care to know much about nutrition as an elementary-aged kid.  I cared about what tasted good.

Little Bro liked the biscuits and the chicken.

I honestly don’t remember what Little Sis preferred.

Me, I was all about the coleslaw.  KFC was putting out some really tasty ‘slaw in the ’80s!

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Ramblings and Recent Projects

Grief is a funny thing.  It’s been a month since we lost Pop, and I’m finally starting to feel my groove coming back.   I expected to cry, to be upset.  And then I expected to kind of ease myself over it in a generally swift fashion.  I figured I’d be back to blogging and sewing, and just back to normal pretty quickly.  I just haven’t been in the mood for all of that.

Still, every night, when I get my dish rag out to clean my kitchen counters, I have the urge to call him and talk while I tidy up.  Routine, routine.  It’s hard to get used to.

But I’m working on new outlets, new routines, new normals; and it really is getting easier.

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My Best Oldie Has Gone Away

You may remember about a month ago I gave myself (and maybe anyone else who read it and is/was going through something similar) a pep talk about navigating through the upcoming death of a loved one.  Well, I, unfortunately, along with my family, am there.   I’m glad it’s something I’ve been prepping for mentally, because it is so hard!

Wednesday, May 20th, was a beautiful sunny day, albeit a bit crisp in the breeze.  I had taken A.W. to visit Pop Tuesday morning, the day before, my usual, after dropping my oldest off to school.  He didn’t look good at all.

I told him I’d really, really like him to come over for Memorial Day.  He gave me a side-eye like I was half-crazy.

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Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Winner!

Thank you to all of you who entered and gave me great suggestions about my daughter’s friends perfect birthday gift!

The winner of the two head scarves featured in the giveaway is “brookechurch.”

Congratulations to Brooke, and thank you again for playing along!

As for the gift, I think I’m going to attempt a simple superhero costume.  I will be sure to post pics when it’s complete.  :O)

C

OMG! It’s Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day Again!

The day I have been waiting for, for months is finally here!  Today marks the start of the Sew Mama Sew Giveaways.   This event is full of handmade goods/gifts made by fellow bloggers and/or crafters.  It’s so much fun to enter to win items that someone poured their heart and imagination into.   I just love it!

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Time Doesn’t Change Everything!

Good Wednesday morning!

I’ve been M.I.A. again – for some very cool reasons.  Mainly, though, this past week I’ve been lucky enough to spend my time nourishing a 20-year-old friendship.  How cool is that?!

Growing up military-style has some perks, and some non-perks.  One perk, moving around and getting to see other parts of the country and meet new people.  A non-perk, moving around and always having to find your place with new people.  Yes, the pros and the cons are so closely related that it’s hard to differentiate sometimes – especially if you’re in your teenage years when it seems like high school could very possibly be the real world.

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The Reason I Choose Not to Fear Death

I had a great childhood.  We traveled and moved a lot as my dad was in the military.  My parents had great senses of humor (which, I think, they gave me) and were young and vibrant.  We all laughed all the time and made fun of each others quirks.  We had dogs, a goat, and even a pig at one time.   My mom rotated three of her signature dishes for dinner every week – chicken and cheese enchiladas, Texas beef skillet, and spaghetti.  Sometimes, we got a piece of chicken breast with a couple sprinkles of salt and pepper on it if she was feeling fearless in the kitchen that night!  (I know you will get a kick out of that description, Moose.  Love ya!)

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Say No, Thank You, to Cavities With Homemade, Two-Ingredient Toothpaste!

The title says it all!  I haven’t used any other toothpaste besides this homemade version I’m sharing with you in over five years.  (That’s around the time Matt and I decided we were ready to start a family.   I wanted to have a clean and healthy body, so the search for all things natural began then and there. That’s why many of the posts I write about have that magic number in the timeline somewhere, in case anybody is wondering what the heck is so magical about “five or so years ago”! Ha, ha!.)

I guess that cavity bit in the title may be an exaggeration, as I did have my first cavity last year.  But I’m an old lady, so it was probably bound to happen at some time or another anyway – regardless of what toothpaste I was using.

I’m telling you, though, even when I go on vacation, I make myself a little bit of this stuff just to get me by.  Fluoride just isn’t my thing, I guess you could say.  I like to keep things simple and as chemical-free as possible.   I also really like being able to replenish supply without running to the store. And you know by now that if there’s a way I can make it, I’m all over that, too!

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