Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Why I Vote the Way I Do

Well, you can tell it’s almost time for the 2012 election-palooza to take off.  As this time draws near, I’m listening to all candidates.  I know that in Oklahoma, this state will go to the republican candidate, so my vote for anything to the contrary will feel like it is useless.  But I’m going to cast it anyway.

As someone who was raised in a conservative, Christian family, the change in my political views from what is common here has been quite drastic.  I believe the largest part of that comes from my passion for children. 

As a teacher, I see children who are innocent victims of their parent’s choices all the time.  Am I a socialist? When it comes to minors, you bet.

For example, to those of you who believe that we should drug test everyone who receives government aid and if they fail, they lose all their money.

Ok – I understand the idea behind this BUT – think about the children of these people.  It’s not the 8 year olds fault that mommy is on meth.  They don’t deserve to suffer even lower living standards and more frequent hunger because their parent is addicted to drugs.

If you’re going to stop giving them aid, then you better remove the child from the home and put them in foster care – which is expensive, needs reform, and could definitely use more funding to its programs – and we all know how people feel about government spending.

The fact is, I believe that all children should be able to see a doctor when they are sick and receive the treatment they need to get better.  I believe all children should be fed, clothed, and educated.  I want all children to feel safe in their homes.  I believe that children need to have their rights protected by adults since they cannot protect their own rights yet.

When I vote on any issue or for any candidate, my thought is generally “what does this mean for our children”.  A vote for education cuts means that the lower income students will receive less additional help to close the education gap and meet their needs.  A vote for offering health care at a reduced rate for children means healthier children who miss less school and become better students.

Do I believe that adults deserve to have some consequences for the choices they have made in their life? Yes. But I think if we took better care of our nation’s children, we’d have much less of a problem with adults who do not know how to take care of themselves or the children they didn’t take care to prevent having and now have no idea how to provide for.

I’m an absolute socialist when it comes to taking care of our society’s children.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Keep Flies Out of Your House

I hate house flies.  They’re disgusting!

My mom however, has the answer.  A neighbor or friend once told her the secret to keeping flies out of your house.

AVON has a product called “Skin So Soft” Bath Oil.  The original oil works wonderfully as an insect repellant for small children (and adults).  It also can be used to block house fly access.

All you have to do is pour some of the oil onto a rag and rub the door frames to your home down with it lamb’s blood style and VOILA!

So far, works pretty darn well!

Earn Some Awesome Adult Points

If you have a child – take them here.

If you have a neice/nephew, take them here.

If you have a kid brother or sister, take them here.

If there is ever a child in your life you want to impress and be “the cool adult” – take them here.

I’m talking of course about the Jasmine Moran Children’s Museum in Seminole, Ok.

Why Seminole? No clue.  But it’s really an amazing facility.  Your 8 dollar admission gets you in and around all the different activities!

My sister-in-law who lives in Prague takes her kiddo here one a week.  It’s about a 2 hour drive from Tulsa, but it’s still worth the drive to at least go check it out.  Little Bird loved it, and so did my 8 and 11 year-old sisters.

Check out our pictures from the day!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Product RAVE!–Green Start Recycled Board Books

As a baby shower gift, I received one of Green Start’s board books.  They are made out of 98% recycled material and are extremely durable.

We now own 3 of the 6 titles – In The Garden, One Tree, and Animals Everywhere

Little Bird loves these books and will point out the “birdahs” and “buneesh” or birds and bunnies on various pages.  She’s learning about different animals and foods and despite her best efforts, has not destroyed them!

There is also a really neat parent page at the back of each book that includes fun facts and activities to do with your child.

For those who want to start their kiddo out thinking about their impact on their world and learning about the natural world around us, these books are AWESOME!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Father’s Day

To my partner in life -

I am so proud of who you are and the father you are to our daughter.

You are a wonderful man and I appreciate you everyday, not just Father’s Day.  But since there is a special day to honor you, we will be having cinnamon rolls for breakfast tomorrow


Your wife

Your daughter loves you too, but she isn’t big enough to say it yet





Sleep Fighters

Pavlov is my hero.

Little Bird “fought sleep”.  She hated missing out on things and didn’t like being by herself.  When she was tired she’d often scream and cry for a good thirty minutes to an hour.  We were baffled.  We couldn’t figure out why she was upset.  There wasn’t anything wrong that we could fix.  It was terribly frustrating and I did a lot of sitting outside her room crying because I couldn’t fix it.

So I went Pavlov on her.

At about six months, Doc and I made a “night night mix” for Little Bird.  EVERY nap time or bed time, this music plays in her room.  It helps her realize that it is time to calm down and go to sleep.  She understands what is going to happen when she hears that music.  You can use it at home, in the car, burn copies for the babysitter – a playlist can travel much easier now-a-days.

Life has changed for our sleep fighter.  Now, she climbs into her own bed, gives kisses, and cuddles with her blanket as she goes to sleep most nights.  The music starts and she sighs, says “night night” and understands what is expected.  When she does cry because she doesn’t want to take a nap, it never lasts longer than 5 minutes.

For those of you with sleep fighters, I recommend trying this out!

Here is our “mix” for Little Bird of sleepy time music that her parents love and don’t mind hearing in the car or over and over again.

  • The Lighthouses Tale – Nickel Creek
  • The Ocean – Mae
  • Question – Rhett Miller
  • Breath – Taylor Swift ft. Colbie Caillat
  • Swing Life Away – Rise Against
  • Times Like These – Jack Johnson
  • Good Life – Francis Dunnery
  • All Kinds of Time – Fountains of Wayne
  • Gravity – Sara Bareilles
  • Honestly – Cary Brothers
  • Sweet Afton – Nickel Creek
  • Out of the Woods – Nickel Creek
  • Clair de Lune – Debussy

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Price of Food is Too Damn High

Ok, cereal, milk, sandwich stuff, and simple dinners for 4 days should not cost $120.  I didn’t buy anything for snacks, no drinks like juice or lemonade, no hot tea, nothing frilly at all.  AND this was at Wal-Mart.

So I’m done complaining about the cost of food and being mystified by the increase in food prices.

I’m going to do two things

A.) Think really really hard about writing my congressman.  Probably tell some people I’m going to.  Maybe even start a draft – won’t be sending it though because I suck on follow through.

B.) Change what I can about my way of buying food to make this less draining.

B is the only choice likely to yield any hope.  I know some people are great at couponing but I feel like I need a stinking couponing tutor to get started.  I also think it might be time to buy big on non-perishables.  Hurray wholesale.

What do you do?  Do you just suck it up and pay the higher prices or are you having to rethink what you’re doing too?

As I come up with a more concrete plan, I’ll share the details.  All I can say right now is that I’m going to the Asian market to get the giant bag of brown rice – cuz it’s awesome for you and stores well.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Oklahoma Thunderstorms

I didn’t sleep last night.

Nature was having a party outside my window in the form of a light display and percussion concert. 

If you’ve never been to Oklahoma, you don’t know what a real thunderstorm is.

If you’re from Oklahoma but don’t live here now, you probably miss the hell out of these.

There is nothing to truly remind you that positively charged ions and negatively charged ions belong together like a midsummer night’s thunderstorm.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Maximizing the Summer

Little Bird and I are having an amazing summer so far!  One of the easiest traps to fall into as a mom is the “easy” thing or the “I’m tired” thing.  You know, where you are so damn tired that letting you kid just play on the floor in a big mess of toys so you can sit down for a while (while your eyes kinda droop), or where you turn on an episode of Sesame Street hoping for a quick break for yourself…and it turns into 4 episodes of Sesame Street because it’s a hell of a lot easier than structuring activities.

So here is the solution I’m running with.

I made a list of every activity Little Bird could do during the day, and put it into a Word Document Template for schedules.

The “Daily Schedule” template worked best for my needs, so I filled it in with things for Little Bird and I to do through out the day.

Check it out! – sorry it’s a scanned version so I know it’s hard to read…



Now there is no way we could actually do all of these things each day.  BUT, this is how I use it.

This morning, we desperately needed to go grocery shopping.  So after breakfast and clean up, Little Bird and I went to the store.  She helps me move everything into and out of the basket as we shop.  Giving her a job keeps her busy and learning.  She even demanded we get some “nanas!!!!” when we were loading our pineapple for our grill out dinner tonight, so bananas it was!

When we got back, Doc and my mom were working on pouring concrete in the backyard to put in posts for our fence.  Little Bird and I watched for a little bit, but once she was bored with it, I brought out sidewalk chalk so we could have some outdoor play and art time.  Not exactly where it falls on the schedule, but oh well!

It was about 11 o’clock when we went in, so we picked up where we “prepare lunch” on the schedule and followed it until nap time.

It’s almost like a more consistent activity wheel.

This afternoon, we’ll go swim, and work on dinner together, then Doc will pick it up from there and follow the schedule to bedtime.

Just one way to push yourself to be a more active and involved parent.  I know it’s hard, and we’re tired – but we can do it!  Load up with tools for yourself and you will find that you can do much more with your child with little drain when you have a plan!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Just Married (again)

Despite the fact that the Gulf Coast is commonly referred to as the “Redneck Riviera”, we had a spectacular trip there with 5 of our friends.  We piled into two cars for the long drive last Saturday and spent a whole week on the beach.

We saw dolphins, fish, flounder, alligators, great herons, sting rays, jellyfish, urchins, you name it!  We snorkeled, kayaked, swam, putt-putted, boogy-boarded, relaxed, and enjoyed the company of a group where there is never a dull moment.

We ate sandwiches, snacks, delicious local bar food, and finished the trip off with a fantastic steak dinner (with my favorite weird waiter ever).

We also renewed our vows.

We wanted to renew our vows to one another in a super small, intimate setting.  It was really more for just us.  So on the last day of our trip, we headed down to the shore at sunset.  With our lovely officient and four witnesses, we enjoyed a candid, personal ceremony – just us – reminding each other what we stand for.

And what better time to renew our sworn devotion to our family as it continues to grow.

We are thrilled to let our friends and family in on our little secret.

We are expecting another little Fowlington in just 26 short weeks.

Little Bird will be a big sister, and we’ll be parents to our two little ones!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Little Bird’s Enchanted Forest

Little Bird is finally going to get a room that is painted!  I love the bird theme of her current room, but I want to make is something with a cleaner look that can grow with her a little better. 

While walking into a boutique in downtown Jenks, I stumbled upon a design feature used in their store that made me stare open-mouthed for 15 minutes while I studied it.  There, above the register, was a large beautifully sanded piece of tree that had been suspended above the ceiling and laced with sporadic leaves and dangling merchandise.  All I could think was “Enchanted Forest”.

And the idea was born!

We will be painting the room a very pale celery green, brighter than a sage, but still very subtle.  The trim will stay white, but we’re going to delve into the “forest” idea.

Using the color palette I love from Little Bird’s Big Girl Quilt, I’m going to put together a room with an enchanted feel.





And this is where the room went!


You can see the tree that I built up around one corner.  There are flowers, butterflies, and birds woven through out the tree.  The pictures throw perspective off because of the dimensions of the room.  The tree looks much bigger in person!  Little Bird already points out birds and flowers and talks about the things in her new tree.

Her room features a mirror to dance in front of, a reading area, some actual art (thanks Uncle Alex and Aunt Katie), decal flower gardens, and will soon feature a stump turned night stand to keep her star projector and favorite bedtime story on.




Well, I haven’t been blogging much at all. 


CRAZY BUSY! But that’s normal….

Incomplete projects – I hate doing ‘in progress’ posts because I generally hit that artist breakdown point of “this-is-going-to-look-stupid-why-did-I-plan-this-my-friends-are-going-to-think-I’m-so-stupid” midway in a project and don’t feel like sharing.

Work.  I thought after the big state tests at school, it would be smooth sailing the rest of the year.  I was totally wrong.  The last few weeks of the year are easily the hardest on me as a teacher.  First, there is coming up with something meaningful to put in all 76 yearbooks.  Then, there is a ton of paperwork.  PLUS, being part of an amazing teacher team, we decided to make the last weeks really count.  They were incredible for us to see how our students have grown, but full of stress and hard work.

Also – some stuff I’m not ready to talk about yet has sort of been eating up my life…and I hate not telling it all when I write.  It feels fake. – so I’m waiting until I’m ready to talk about it to really blog about anything meaningful.

So until then, less meaningful posts will include  -

The random design posts from our home updates that are coming -

Some summer scheduling for me and Little Bird

AND photos/highlights of Doc and I’s 2nd Wedding (next week)! …well, that one will actually kind of be meaningful….