Tribute to the Cockroach

Oh dear, disgusting Cockroach,
you have changed my life.
Simply because I found you,
unwelcome and unmoving,
floating in the morning glimmer of my dog’s water bowl.
Now, every time I enter my kitchen
I expect to see your cousins and kin
scattering at the sudden burst of light.
I am forever changed.
Places I once thought “clean enough”
are now scrubbed with a fury.
Crumbs will never linger on my floor again,
dirty dishes will never wait until the morning.
Because of you, disgusting Cockroach,
my life, once lived in blissful security,
is now lived in apprehension of…



Happy Birthday!

a mom blog on tradition

Birthdays growing up were filled with anticipation and excitement, and it’s my desire to achieve the same enthusiasm in my own children. Of course I want them to feel loved, special, and appreciated throughout the year, but it’s nice to have one day that’s focused on demonstrating how happy we are that they were born into our family!
Although presents can certainly be a part of the birthday fun, I’m hesitant to create holidays where the presents override all other aspects. So I’m trying to figure out fun traditions to maintain that will be exciting, but not necessarily costly.
I think it’s fun to have them wake up to something out of the ordinary. For Rae this year it was balloons and streamers in her room and the downstairs decorated with the same. My mom used to have us come downstairs and be welcomed to our breakfast chair with a helium balloon bouquet tied to a bag of our favorite candy. Another idea might be to leave a “trail” of presents as their walking down to the breakfast table.
Another fun idea I’ve heard is to decorate a special plate that is only brought out for birthdays for the birthday boy/girl to eat all their meals on. Or designate a special hat or cape that only the birthday person gets to wear.
Meals can also be a fun part of birthdays…whether it’s inviting family over for dinner or going out to a place of the birthday boy/girl’s choice, letting him/her choose the meals for the day, or baking a special cake.
Parties can of course be an important part of birthdays, but It’s my goal to not have a HUGE party every year for each child. I think it can get a little overwhelming…and expensive, especially when you have multiple children! So I’m going to sort of “pick” years (for example, 1, 2, 4, 7, etc.) that the kids will get a big party with lots of family and friends. Then on the “off” years, we’ll either just have extended family over for cake and ice cream or do something special as a family.
Please share with us! What were some of your special birthday memories?

Autumn Fun!

A blog about family tradition

Here’s my first post in the new category, “Tradition!” Enjoy!…and please leave comments and other ideas!

Autumn is a great time for families. In many states, the weather is milder (not too hot or cold, not as much rain) and harvest-time means pumpkins, apple cider, and corn maizes! Many farms or towns host apple or pumpkin “fests,” which celebrate crafts, autumn, and COMFORT FOOD!
Of course you can always “google” to find things to do in your area, but there are other great sites to check out if you are looking to find a farm or orchard in your area. Pick Your Own lists most U-Pick farms categorized by crop and area, and has other ideas too!
Pumpkin Patches and More lists lots of fun autumn ideas and lists farms organized by state. We generally frequent two or three farms each autumn to pick apples and pumpkins, sample fresh cider, and go for a hay ride!

There are also lots of fun craft ideas for fall. One that’s fun, easy, and good for most age groups is pressing leaves. You start by searching for pretty, fresh autumn leaves (not crispy ones!)…you can go to a park for a “nature walk” or just walk around your neighborhood. Once you’ve got an assortment of leaves, take them home and place them between some newspaper. Place a heavy book on them and leave it for a few days (this will soak up any moisture). Once they’re ready, arrange leaves between two pieces of clear contact paper (I found mine at Staples) and smooth out any bubbles with a spoon. Or, if you don’t have contact paper, you can press them between two sheets of wax paper and iron the top sheet (put a paper bag underneath to protect your ironing board though). Once the paper is cool, you can cut out the leaves and hang them on the fridge, glue them onto cards, punch holes in them and hang them from the ceiling or make garland. You can also put glitter in between the paper for an extra dose of sparkle! 🙂

As for other fall ideas, there’s always raking and jumping in leaves, painting or carving pumpkins, and making applesauce (Rae likes to use the apple peeler/corer/slicer and is pretty good at it too!). If you frequent your local library, it’s always fun to get books out on the changing seasons or autumn. When we were kids, one of the highlights of autumn was a nature walk with our extended family every year. We all bundled up and went for a walk/hike, sang songs (which of course scared all the wildlife away, so I don’t really remember seeing any except a few birds!), and enjoyed both the company and the scenery! Another fun memory was taking a drive with our grandparents to scenic lookouts where we could observe the changing leaves and take pictures.

Autumn can be a great time to build family connections and make memories that last a life-time. Have fun! And let us know what else you and your family like to do!