Monday, November 25, 2013

Crossing The Line With Hunting?

Recently, there was an article floating around in the internet space about hunting big game on the Safari. It did disturb me. It bothered me to see a hunter killing a big game for pure thrill, challenge, and to earn a trophy from the kill. The big game; lions, tigers, and elephants often were unable to defend themselves. They were unable to run away. They were unable to be provided with a route of escape. Hunters, or rather I should say poachers, approached them in a very sneaky manner, then took them down in most inhumanely way as possible. Then once the animal perishes, the poachers proudly boasts the kill, and it led to a misconception about general hunting. 

As you can see, hunting is a huge part of Wisconsin culture especially up in the north. My stepdad, Steve, is big into hunting bird game, and deer. My husband's family is very into deer hunting as well. So I've grown up with hunting culture incorporated in my family. I have often enjoyed eating geese jerky, pheasant, and deer meat. 


Recently, there is an open season starting up for deer hunting. People flocks to the open season weekend to start hunting. It appears to me that a lot of hunters have gotten lucky this year! Stu happens to be one of the lucky hunters that got us a doe. 

I asked Stu to please have a picture taken of a deer that he shot. My sister-in-law, Jenni, took this picture, and posted it for rest of us to see. I was excited to see that Stu got us a deer because that meant we were going to be well-stocked in venison meat this winter! I assure you that this doe was killed humanely, and swiftly. She did not feel pain. She won't go to waste. We are thankful for her, and the life she has given up for us. 

It is funny--not in ha ha funny way, but a thoughtful manner--because after the doe was killed, Stu called me, and we had a short talk before he went to register the deer, and for the processing. He said that he felt bad that the doe died, and that it was not all about look at me, I just killed an animal, hear me roar! It is something that we really do value while hunting, and I believe that a lot of hunters do resonate with what I am about to say. 

What I would love for Forrest, or any of our future kids, who may end up being interested in hunting with Stu eventually, to learn that it is critical  to have a good sportsmanship, and to be thankful for the bounty. The animals, that have died, are not to be disrespected, or disregarded. This can be hard concept to grasp in today's age, and time because we have an easy access to food, and things we need at our local food store. 

Hunting is about good sportsmanship. I won't deny that there may be some of thrill involved with strategically setting up location, lurking/baiting game, then securing the animal. Sometimes, you win. Sometimes, you lose. A deer have a route of escape. You don't always get a deer or a bird. It is a part of the thrill because you don't know if you always will get an animal in the end. When you do get an animal, you make sure the animal die swiftly. A lot of hunters, including Stu, wants to kill an animal as humanely as possible. It is not about getting a thrill out of causing an animal to suffer as it dies. Nobody likes to hear, or see an animal to suffer, even as a hunter. The thrill comes from securing a kill. It is why there is some pride in securing a kill, not because of attention that is gained from killing an animal, but to providing for the family to eat, and/or use. 

Hunting brings a person closer to the nature, and you learn to appreciate what the nature has to give to you. If we don't take care of our environment, then we won't be able to have deer, or small game, to hunt for. Matter of fact, many hunters I know are very into conservation, and preserving the environment. To kill some small game is to help to regulate the population. Otherwise, we would see overpopulation of deer, and small game in the nature, which can lead them to starve, or become sick over the winter, or overgrazing or over-consumption of other animals in the food chain. 

Lastly, you bond while you are hunting. Most of the time is spent sitting together or in a close distance, and wait. I can see Forrest, or any future kids we might have, hanging out with his cousins, uncles, and his dad in the woods, and having time of his life. It is better to spend time out in the nature instead of in front of TV. 



It is why, to me, it crosses a line when it comes to hunting big game on the safari. I don't see the interaction between mother nature, and the hunter. The hunter is in the truck, and the driver drives around until the hunter sees an animal then he/she shoots at it from the truck. I don't see a pride in securing a kill when a lion is taken down. I don't understand the purpose of using an arsenal rifle on elephant, then shoot at an elephant multiple times as it goes down. They do feel the pain as they die. The poacher sit back, wait for the animal to suffer as it dies, because a wounded animal is dangerous, and a poacher often don't approach them until poacher knows that the animal is on the verge of death. When an animal is on the verge of death, the hunter kills the animal, as carefully as possible to avoid from ruining the fur (especially mane on the lion, or leather of elephant's skin), and then proudly stand over the body. There is no thankfulness between the animal, and the hunter. 

Then the hunter takes what he/she wants, and leave the carcass behind. In some cases, some will take the carcass with them, and mount the carcass. It costs money, though. It costs money to transport the carcass out of the country, to obtain proper paperwork, to ensure license is up to the date, and to find a butcher to process the meat. After that, it costs money to ship the carcass to other country, where you hail from, and mount it. Where's the space to mount the animal in the first place? And for what purpose? Other than intimidation, and arrogance? 

A friend of mine makes a good point, "If you survived an attack, which you did not instigate; I think you can brag about that as something significant, but taking down a lion with a gun because you want to is not something to be proud of". You know why? The whole act of killing is cowardly. It is sad. I don't see a relationship between Mother Nature, and the hunter in that case at all.

Most hunters I know says that there is a HUGE difference between hunting, and killing. Yes, there is a fine line of crossing from hunting for consumption to just killing for a trophy. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Interpreters Are People Too

Yesterday I had a doctor appointment for my son's 15 months check-up, and saw one of the "regulars" waiting to interpret for us. I was pleased to see John (mind you, the name is false, totally made it up for his privacy). He was one of my favorite interpreters because he was amicable, personable, and very good at his job. We had a small-talk about how some Deaf people treat their interpreters. John had a recent situation that bugged him.

John was interpreting for a group setting for a Deaf client since the client had requested for a qualified male interpreter. During a break, the client, and John had a small talk. The client turned to John, stared at him, and asked him if he was interpreting in the afternoon. John explained that he won't be around in the afternoon due to another appointment. The client signed rather exasperatedly, thank god you won't be interpreting this afternoon.


This had hurt John. The client had specifically requested for a qualified male interpreter. Now, everybody knows that needing male interpreters is quite high, and there is not enough men interested to become interpreters or not enough qualified men to interpret for male clients...especially in the Midwest. 

Now I can vouch for John. He's a pretty good interpreter. I mean, really good at his job. And I am not saying it just because I like him, and he happens to be one of the interpreters I enjoy to work with. 

A few minutes later, other Deaf client joined the conversation, and asked John if he would be around in the afternoon. John turned to other man, who had signed thank god rudely to him, and looked at him while answering other man's question. John said, No, I can't interpret this afternoon because I have other appointment...thank god. The man was offended that John said that, and went on a tirade how John worked for him, should be respectful to him, and should not have said that to a client.

I nodded my head rather sympathetically as I listened to John's story. Of course, John felt bad that he lost his temper, and his professionalism for a minute there. He did notify his boss about the incident, and the boss was cool about it. After John was done venting, I explained to John what he had done was right. 

You see, interpreters are people, too. They are not robots going around, moving their arms, and speaking for us without feelings, thoughts, and reactions to what is going on. Interpreters, especially damn good ones, are hard to find...again especially so in the Midwest. I am fortunately to have high adaptive skills. I am okay with any type of interpreters; new, and inexperienced or regular, and experienced. I am flexible with what kind of signing is used. I am able to work with interpreters I'm not so crazy about if I am in a pinch. I roll with the punches. I know when it is appropriate to speak up, what words to be used, and who to contact if I am not comfortable speaking directly to the interpreter.


Unfortunately, there are some Deaf people that don't quite understand the role of an interpreter, and abuse that. I have met some Deaf people that think that interpreters work for them. In reality, it is not true. We don't pay our interpreters. We don't set their hours. We don't have them at our every beck, and call. Interpreters are there to WORK WITH us. 

Yes, we do have a right to request not to work with a particular interpreter again if the working relationship between us don't work out. We can put in a request for our "regulars" or preference for an interpreter for certain appointments. For example, for my OB-GYN appointment, I always request for a female interpreter, because I don't want a man interpreter for that type of appointment! I would imagine it would be uncomfortable for a male interpreter as well! Even if the first choice doesn't work out, then I usually get a second female choice to interpret for that appointment. 

At the same time, we also need to understand that sometimes it doesn't always work out at last minute, or a particular Deaf client need more experienced interpreter compared to the other Deaf client, or a setting to the appointment doesn't require a highly experienced interpreter because the Deaf client going there is pretty flexible with whoever he/she ends up with. 

Sometimes, it is not the agency's fault, but the place that put in request for an interpreter. For example, a doctor's office rescheduled the appointment at the last minute, and because it is at the last minute, securing an interpreter can be harder. Then the Deaf client ends up with a different interpreter because the first interpreter booked for the previously re-scheduled appointment can't make it due to another appointment that is put down for that day, and time. 

To totally blow up at an interpreter just because of changed circumstance, or for not getting the right interpreter, or because you don't like him/her is not fair especially if you are an adult. Interpreters have many roles to carry out. It is not always easy to interpret while carrying out those roles. Once in while, when I have a regular coming in to interpret for any of my appointment, I can tell when they have had a previous bad appointment, and it does affect their mood even though they remain very professional, and great at working with me. 

In a very rare instance, when I do get a really terrible interpreter that is very unprofessional, I do speak up, and contact the agency because I don't tolerate that bullshit. At the same time, I don't go out of my way to hurt or be rude.  


Sometimes, I believe that some of us have a tendency to forget that interpreters are also people with thoughts, and feelings. Be sure to thank an interpreter next time you see them. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

What We Have Been Up To Lately......

My kid is going through this age where he is starting going through phases that can drive this mama quite crazy. It is a good thing that I have a tons of patience to begin with. Forrest is enthralled with standing so close to TV. I have to often remind him to back up, and sit in his big boy chair rather than standing so close to the TV. I have to do this multiple times during the viewing time. I guess it is good exercise for me to stand up, then sit down, then sit up, then sit down million of time. The second phase that Forrest quite enjoy doing is tossing toys over the baby gate into the kitchen hallway right smack into dog water bowl dish. He can make a mountain of toys within seconds. The minute I clean up the mess, return them to the play area, Forrest gathers the same toys, and toss them over the baby gate. I end up giving up on cleaning after him, and let the toys sit in the hallway until Forrest loses interest, and walks off. Then I clean up. The last, but not the least, Forrest is starting to become more expressive with his frustration. It is really cute. I try not to laugh, and it is just so darn cute. He squeezes his hands, shakes his little body, and goes MMMmmmmmmMMMMM! I swear that Forrest is going on one to thirteen year-old. 

                                 
Toddler years is definitely not for the weak of heart. It is amazing how somebody so little can test your patience, and sanity, I mean that in a good sense of humor.  It is all about a child's development, learning what is okay, and what is not okay, and establishing rules for him/her to follow. Or maybe this is just a test run for when they become teenagers? Either way, your toddler is going to give you run for your money.

I spent a whole afternoon the other day filling out holiday cards to many lucky recipients while watching Polar Express with Forrest. I loved seeing a bunch of addresses on the envelope, and felt pretty lucky to have friends near, and far. It was so much fun to have a preview of what yet was to come, a bunch of Christmas movies, and getting into Christmas mood. I decided to send off the cards after Thanksgiving because I felt that it was a bit too early to be sending them out right now. Thanksgiving holiday needed to celebrated first, methinks. 

That reminds me, I need to buy Polar Express book for Forrest. I have a quite few Christmas books that I want to buy for my little guy. Any recommendations? We currently do have T'was The Night Before Christmas poem, and Santa is Coming to Wisconsin.

I am planning on creating a few new traditions. One is to buy a Christmas book every year for Forrest to put in his stocking. I really want to instill our love of reading to Forrest, and any of our future kids we might have eventually. Hence, it is why I'm asking for book recommendations if you have any to share with me? 

Since we are traveling for Christmas, and most likely won't be having a Christmas at home anytime soon, it can be hard to incorporate certain traditions, that I had growing up, for Forrest to experience. It is why I am going to spread some of those traditions throughout the month of December, and bring some with us as we travel. One of those examples that we will be bringing with us would be a Christmas Eve pajamas box. 

Is there any traditions that you celebrate with your family at home or while traveling? Share if you would like! 



I am still struggling with figuring out why Forrest has such terrible flare up on his face. I am currently withholding humus from Forrest's lunch, in case if the chickpeas (which is also a part of legume family) is the culprit, and I am beginning to think it is not the culprit at all. Matter of fact, the red patches on Forrest's face got worse despite my attempts at managing it with natural Eczema lotion. I prefer not to use stronger medication such as a steroid topical lotion because the patches are so close to Forrest's mouth, and steroid topical lotion can also cause the flare-up to become aggressively worse. 

Poor kid, huh. 

Because of this, I am going reintroduce oatmeal milk back into his diet, and see if the spots fade away. A part of me would rather not to quit completely on cow's milk mainly because I am afraid that if I do this then Forrest will become increasingly intolerant to milk because his body won't be able to build up immunity to accustom itself to cow's milk. I am intolerant to cow's milk including plain ice cream. It is why I love eating at Cold Stone Creamery because they carry custard, and custard has different properties in it; therefore, it is easier on my stomach. I'm going off topic here....anyway, I would like Forrest not to end up like me, and not be able to handle dairy on top of his peanut allergy. That poor kid has a lot against him right now, and my hope is that he will outgrow dairy allergy by the time he turns 3 like many others kids do.

I'm going to make a new batch of Oat Milk today, and hopefully, within a week, I will see a result, and have patches fade away. If not, then I'm going to scream because I have no idea what else could be causing the patches to flare up. 

The other day, I went to the dentist, and it went really well. My teeth was in great shape, and everything looked good. I was really happy about that! On the other hand, my husband was not as lucky. He had a few cavities. Because of that, we decided that we were going to help him eliminate soda from his diet. 

Any tips on how to make soda habit to be broken faster, and easier? What can be substituted in the place of soda? I am really determined to help Stu kick this habit to the corner for once, and all!! I am not of much help for Stu because I don't drink soda. I drink water, juice, tea, and COFFEE, of course. Very rarely, soda. When I do drink soda, I get the worse gut rot EVER, and it is not worth it for me. But for Stu, he LOVES soda. I need to find something that replaces soda, but tastes as equally good without causing problems for his teeth! 

Besides, I want both of us to instill good healthy habits for Forrest to follow, and incorporate into his life as he gets older. Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to completely ban soda from Forrest's life. He will have it. I am not gung-ho about that. At the same time, I don't want soda to be at the dining table for supper every night or as a daily drink. Because of this, Stu really need to be able to kick soda habit to the corner! 

We are still watching Sons of Anarchy. I think we are on season 4. We are kind of slow with SOA because of Stu's schedule, and it is our thing to watch it together. Once we are done with SOA, and waiting for Netflix to add new season, we are going to start Dexter, and I am excited about that!

During Forrest's nap time, I watch an episode or two of Army Wives, and I absolutely love the show. I'm getting to the juicy part of the series, and I love the cast. I've been blazing through the series faster than I did with Buffy. I'm kind of dreading the end of Army Wives, especially in the latter seasons, because I heard some things that are not so great about the show, due to the original cast leaving the show, and it becoming less exciting to watch. But I need to watch, and determine for myself if it's true or not. 

The other day, I made my own mixture of fruit squeezies for Forrest, and saved some for myself as well! The reason why I wanted to make my own mixture was because I used to buy Plum Organics Pouches all of the time for Forrest, and it was getting to to be expensive. It was organic, and top of the line brand name. However, the real reason was because Forrest got food poisoning off Plum organic Pouches. He was really sick from eating them. At first, I had no idea that it was making him sick until I learned...a week later...that the items were spoiled, and recalled by the company. I was very unhappy about that. The thing was, the pouches was in good shape, and it was not swollen or smelled funky. It gave me absolutely no indication that it was spoiled, and I kept giving those to him. 

I felt so terrible when I learned that the items were spoiled, and Forrest was eating them! I called the company to complain. All I got out of the deal was voucher cards to buy more of their items. What? No thank you, my friend! I just wanted a refund, and decided it was not worth the pursue to get money back. I was told that they were going to call me to follow up...never happened. I was pretty jaded. 

Because of that, I thought of this...hey why don't I make my own! So I did.....as it turned out, they tasted amazing! I felt confident about giving them to Forrest because I knew what exactly were going in the mixture. I bought the fruit and vegetable produces! I handpicked them so I knew for fact that they were not spoiled. Besides, it was not a big deal to make the mixtures...it was easy, and fun. It literally only took me less than 15 minutes to make 3 bags of mixture! 

Now, I just need to find reusable pouch and/or disposable pouches to put the mixture in. Then we are set to go!

This experience has really confirmed why I should continue making everything from scratch. Fortunately for me, I love to prep, cook, and share food to be consumed. It is one of the reasons why I feel lucky to be able to stay at home because I have time to do this, and I find that I feel better to know what is being put in our food. Forrest's peanut allergy has concreted my love of making everything from scratch--and it is why it does not feel like it is a HUGE lifestyle change for me to cook, and bake. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

This Is Just Too Much

When I learned that Forrest had a peanut allergy, we made a lifestyle change by giving up peanuts, and it was an adjustment. I had to read labels. When there was no allergen warning on the product, I researched the product online until I was able to detect the allergens found inside the product, and mark it as safe/unsafe for my future knowledge. It was not that difficult to give up on products that had peanuts in them. However, I felt guilty that I was able to enjoy certain candies or cookies whereas Forrest was unable to eat them. I felt like a thief on the sly, eating the forbidden fruit in the other room, or during Forrest's nap time, and after he went to bed. I did not like having to worry about contact rash, and wondering if I was being proactive enough to ensure that there was absolutely no residue left behind to onset an allergic reaction for Forrest. Eventually, I just gave up on doing that altogether. 

Until I found something incredible.

Enjoy Life candy bar caught my eye in the health food section at our local food store. In excitement, I grabbed the Dark Chocolate Enjoy Life Bar. It was free of 8 major allergens as show in the picture down below:


How awesome is that? The best part? It didn't taste like crap. It actually tasted good! I ended up researching Enjoy Life site, and it was a great site. It basically served desserts like cookies, candy bars, baking chocolate, cereals, and seed/fruit mixes. 

I highly recommend this site. It's not only good for food allergies, but for those with Celiac Disease, and living Gluten-free lifestyle. Parents living with food allergies, or parents who have children with food allergies know that those food are typically unsafe food found everywhere else because it contains any of 8 top allergens including Gluten. If you want to eat something guilt-free, then this site is for you! Also, this can be found in your local food store's health/organic food section as well.

You can thank me later.

Aside from this excitement, things are going pretty good in Russ household. I admit that I've been lagging a bit in blogging lately mainly due to holidays coming up. The truth to be told, I don't have much to say these days. I believe in quality instead of quantity, you know?

I am done with holiday shopping for my side of the family. I'd say that 85% of shopping was done through online. Why? I despite shopping between the months of November-December. I don't like Black Friday. I don't like crowds. People that get prissy, loud, bumpy, and rush into getting things off the shelves. I hate long lines at the check-out lines. I don't like traffic. People don't know how to park. They cut each other off. They steal spots from each other. There's too much competition in the parking lot. Throw in milling people, and trying not hit them as you weave around them. Even worse if there is little kids running around amok while their parents are too busy dumping gifts in the back of their fancy SUV's. The energy I pick up from people is overwhelming, and it makes me anxious. It is quite overwhelming for an introvert like me.


Online? Oh, that's easy. I compare prices. I get the best deal as possible. Click, click, and click. Done! I save even more with coupons, and free shipping with the promo codes. The hard part is just having to wait for the items to arrive at my house. I have to resist temptation from kissing my mailman or UPS man every time he brings a box to the front door. I adore snail mail. It is something that is long-forgotten especially with technology advancing like crazy these days. Snail mail? It's something of the past, which makes me one very sad woman, because I absolutely love snail mail. To get packages in the mail, even if it's not for me, is exciting! I love picking out a gift for someone, and ultimately giving it to them. It's more fun to give than to receive, methinks. Anyway, shopping online is much better, in my humble opinion. I'll be more than glad to leave it up determined yet slightly insane shoppers wanting to hit the mall, and stores to get gifts.

I'm debating if I should send out holiday cards this year. Really, I'm terrible. I started writing a holiday letter one year--the same year I got pregnant with Forrest--and had so much grief with it. My printer broke. I had to run to an office max store and shell out so much money for printed letters. Then Layla ate a few letters. *le sigh* Too much hassle, I tell you. Yet at the same time, I loved writing letters, and sharing what was going on in our lives. It was just the "sending off" part that jaded me.

I'm a walking contradiction.

So, I propose an easier solution this year. I'm just going to grab a holiday card, maybe stick a family photo, and viola! I'm done. That way, I get to satisfy my snail mail bug, spread a holiday cheer, and to remind people that they are wonderful. Besides, a lot of people do read my blog, and they are already updated. The holiday letter would be kind of a moot point.

Anyway, it is hard to believe that Thanksgiving is nearly here in a couple weeks. I feel like as I grow older, the faster time seem to fly, and it is a totally paradox because when as a child, I feel that time is going so slow, and life is just dragging on. Then boom, I become a certain age, and life is flying by. I suppose it is why I often pause, and say thanks for what I do have in my life. It helps to stay mindful, and to be appreciative of the moment. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Currently....

LOVING: 



beautiful babies' arrivals in the mommy groups.
first snowfall.
baby snuggles.
christmassy socks.
hot cup of peppermint mocha.
food allergy & intolerance group that my friend, and i created
(https://www.facebook.com/groups/364320680369715/?bookmark_t=group)
christmas shopping online.
knowing that i am nearly done with christmas shopping.
my mom's visit.
donuts maker--i have been making a lot of baked donuts lately!
soldiers that have fought for our country.
traditions to be started this year for the holidays.
gun-metal nail polish. 

READING:


this book that Stu loaned from the school library. 
it is good so far!! I suggest reading Divergent series (sooo good).

WATCHING:


army wives; i'm at the juicy part of the series, and i can't stop watching!!!
sons of anarchy. the plot has definitely changed, and i am curious to find out what happens next. 
once those two are done, i'm getting my butt on to watch
dexter  (by way, he has the same birthday as i do) and ghost whisper.

THINKING:


how much i love christmas shopping.
how much i love wrapping gifts. 
starting up old traditions such as st. nick's, watching christmas movies, picking out a christmas tree, decorating the house, and drinking christmassy coffee flavors. 
thinking about starting up new traditions such as doing elf on the shelf, & christmas pj on christmas eve for forrest. 
making a creamy potato soup from my dad's recipes, yum, 
which is perfect for this chilly snowy day.
baking more donuts just because.
how much i am craving nutella. 
getting lunch ready for forrest. 
did i mention how much i love wrapping gifts? 

LOOKING FORWARD TO:



that very yummy potato soup for supper.
having my teeth cleaned next week 
(i'm one of those weird people that likes the feeling of clean teeth from the dentist appointment).

MAKING ME HAPPY:

my boy, like always.
my husband.
my family.
my friends. 
people thanking the veterans. 
new babies.
the smell of freshly baked donuts.
the smell of just brewed coffee.
snuggling under an electric blanket.
baking.
cooking. 
wrapping christmas gifts.




Wednesday, November 6, 2013

On Eve of the Holidays


This morning, I was watching Sesame Street for millionth time with Forrest. There was a part with a kid, who happened to be blind, chatting with Elmo (Forrest's latest obsession). Elmo said he was sorry that the kid was blind. The kid was nonchalant to Elmo's response, then said that he was truly okay with being blind because he did not know any difference because he had been blind since birth. It came natural to him as much as seeing came natural to Elmo. I liked that response. It was how I felt about my Deafness. Honestly, I never really understood why people felt a need to apologize. They were not the one who caused me to become Deaf. I was not disadvantaged. I adapted to my Deafness pretty well because it was a part of who I was. If I came up to a person, who has a perfect 20/20 vision, and was able to hear well, and apologize for those abilities, then I would imagine the person would brush it off as much as I did when I received that response. Nonetheless, it was still nice to see the kid explaining that being blind was no different from being able to see on Sesame Street. 

It is hard to believe that this year is winding down already. With the holidays coming up soon, this year will be over before we know it! This year, we are celebrating Thanksgiving up at the Farm. Yum Yum, I look forward to all delicious food. Aside from Thanksgiving itself, there is not many traditions that I celebrate during this month other than being thankful, and posting daily on my page via Facebook for things that I am thankful about. 

I am so eager to start incorporating a lot of fun traditions now that Forrest is older. I look forward to peppermint coffee, going to pick out a pine Christmas tree with Forrest, decking out the house, and drinking eggnog soy drinks. Yum. I have been thinking about doing Elf on the Shelf, perhaps not this year since Forrest is still too young to really grasp what it is all about, and it may be good to have it on the hand for next year. I can't wait to start our Advent calendar, that I created last year, and get it started. I need to dig it out of the storage in our basement after Thanksgiving is over. I am so excited to celebrate St. Nick's. I plan on starting it up this year, and it should be fun! The great way to kick-off December is to celebrate Dickens of Christmas. It is a cute tradition that our little town has every year! I am excited for the first snowfall. You see, once that magical excitement of the first snowfall fades away, and the snow turns yellow and gray; it is when I am sick of the snow, and want warm weather back. But for now, I just want snow mainly to see Forrest's reaction to it. Speaking about that, I need to get Forrest a snowsuit. I can't wait to put in DVDs of Rudolph, and all the Christmas movies then play Christmas music. Seriously, Christmas is my second favorite holiday! 

Anyway, I am curious how Forrest will react to all of this. He may be a bit young to fully understand what is going on, yet at the same time, he will be closer to being 1 1/2 years old so perhaps he will grasp some of it. 


I am ready to say good-bye to 2013. It has not been an awesomely great year, but it has not been so bad either. It is just an ordinary year, I suppose. Nothing memorable, I think. The best thing about this year has been watching Forrest grow from a baby to a toddler. That is a neat thing to watch your kid grow.

I have a lot of things to look forward to next year especially in the summer. I'll be standing up in one of my best friend's wedding in June. Stu, and I are already planning a weekend trip out there, and leave Forrest in our family's hands. I'm a bit nervous just thinking about that. You see, I have not had Forrest away from me for longer than a few hours! The idea of him being gone away from us all weekend makes me slightly apprehensive because I want to make sure that he is completely safe, and that whoever has him for the weekend is careful about his peanut allergy. Even if Forrest doesn't have a peanut allergy, I will still probably be nervous about leaving Forrest behind, because I am a first-time mom. At the same time, I am really excited about going out of the town just with Stu. Just two of us! It will be nice to reconnect, and revisit the good ole days of just two of us (it feels like such a distant memory with just two of us) especially on the eve of our third wedding anniversary!

In July, we are heading down to my hometown to watch my brother marry his long-time fiancee. It is surreal because I remember Alex as a little boy, and suddenly, he is getting married. Sometimes, I still see that young boy clamoring to have found dinosaur bones from digging up in our gravel driveway, and running around in the dizzying circles as we play tag. I am truly happy for Alex, and Girl Alex. It will be a beautiful day. I look forward to watching them tie the knot, and dancing the night away. Er, maybe not the whole night away, seeing that I will have almost 2-year old wanting to go to bed when it gets to be too late.



In August, my sister is getting married! It is mind-boggling to have not one sibling, but two siblings to be getting married next year. I am so ecstatic because Lauren is going to marry one of the most awesome guys I have ever known, Joey, and they compliment each other so well. I am a matron of honor, Stu is one of the groomsmen, and Forrest is a ring-bearer! The whole family is involved in Lauren and Joey's wedding. It will be fun, and emotional as well. Oh, how do I love the weddings. My favorite part is the ceremony. It is the best part of the wedding because you get to see the groom's reaction to the bride, that love between the couple, reciting the vows, and the final part that is being announced that they are now married.

After all the excitement with the weddings, Forrest will be two years old, and can you imagine that? My baby is propelling away from being a baby to being a little boy, and I thank gods that I have time to process all this! I may start toilet training Forrest if he exhibits the readiness. I am hoping to have him to be out of cloth diapers by the time he is 2 and half. Hope, and having to to happen is two different things! So we will see how that goes, alright?

While it is fun to look forward to what will happen next year, I need to ground myself, and focus on what is happening in the now. In the now, holidays are about to arrive, and I am excited about all the festiveness about to happen. We have a large turkey in the freezer, and I plan on attempting at baking the turkey this month. It will be nice to have leftovers like turkey sandwiches, to name one, to have for lunch in the course of the month. I am determined to finish Christmas shopping this month because I hate shopping in December. I mean, I hate the crowds, traffic, and the craziness of holiday shopping. I'm off to a great start in completing holiday shopping. Sweet, huh.

I am also teaching Forrest how to use cutlery. Right now, he uses it to play with his food instead of actually using it, and I have faith that he will pick up on what to do with them eventually. I mean, he does have a grasp of how to spoon soup to his mouth. It is a start, isn't it? 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Currently.....

Loving:

netflix show marathons.
air turning chilly.
trees becoming bare with its leaves littered on the ground.
cuddling with my boy, and stu every morning for a half hour in the bed.
reciting my thanks daily for thankfulness month.
sweater hoodies.
thick fuzz socks.
forrest giving the cats a hug.
warm fall, or on eve of winter soups from scratch.


Instagram


Reading:

i am terrible, and has stopped reading storyteller. i need to 
get back into that book because i want to read
time to kill, or  pick up where i left off with in death series by j.d.robbs. 


Watching:

i finally finished buffy the vampire slayer, and decided to 
find a new show to watch.......
i've begun watching army wives, and i am hooked! 
it has similar undertone that desperate housewives had. 


Thinking:

creating a list for christmas to get for forrest.
thanksgiving plans.
how much i miss forrest being little wee baby.
series of appointments to go to this month.
laundry to be completed.
cleaning the house over the course of week.
dickens of christmas event.
christmas shopping to be completed this month
(just because I hate shopping in the month of december).
how much daylight saving standard time sucks since it is messing up with forrest's schedule.
how to keep a cranky boy entertained.
watching the next episode of army wives.
how they want to re-create full house tv show with a new cast
(not sure how tv network will pull this off; who can ever replace the original cast???).



Looking Forward To:

forrest adjusting to dst hopefully sooner instead of later.
pulling out winter gear.
snow.
icicles.
a fresh cut pine tree.
eggnog. 
holiday movies, and music.
thanksgiving.
all yummy food we will be eating.
visiting family, and friends.
christmas shopping, and getting it over with.
christmas cookies.
stu telling me how packers game went because that lucky guy is going to the game tonight to watch them play!!
painting my nails green and gold for packers. 




Making Me Happy:

my boy.
my wonderful husband.
my family.
my friends.
reminding myself to be thankful every morning.
spreading cheers.
drinking coffee with an eggnog latte flavor cream. Yum!
the fresh smell of just washed cloth diapers.
kind strangers.
intellectual discussions.
journaling.
knowing that my friend's mom is doing great in fighting breast cancer.
the smell of winter on the air.