Outdoor Challenge: July 8-14

Staturday, July 8

It was a short notice babysitting day, so instead of a big adventure, we played in their backyard. Wallace mostly climbed up the slide and played catch with me. Being able to catch a ball in his hands is a new development! He said that the lady at the church nursery taught him.

Sunday, July 9

A long-time online mom friend and I live about and hour and a half apart and had never met. I had suggested a park that has a wooden train to play on and a real (mini) train to ride on that’s not far from halfway. She had said they have a lot of weekends open and I spur of the moment messaged her today to see if they’d want to meet at the park. It worked out very well! We all got ourselves and the kids ready, brought food, and made it there within 10 minutes of each other. The two 4 year olds took a bit to warm up to each other but by the end they were speaking rhyming jibberish and cracking each other up. Our friends went on the train once and we went on it three times. They both climbed up and slid down the very tall old school slide, which was very nerve racking for us moms on the ground. After they left to get the little one to nap, Wallace and I had our third train ride, ate some more, and then headed to a dock on a little pond to see what we could see. Unfortunately, I didn’t see the wasps until right before they stung my poor baby on the face! After crying, hugs, and ice, we warned some people about them and headed home. Wallace fell asleep within minutes in the car.

Monday, July 10

We went to the farmer’s market for produce and chicken. Wallace played at the children’s museum’s play area. When we were done shopping and playing, we got a fresh juice and sat outside on a bench with it. The car needs the AC fixed, so by the time we got home we were too hot and needed to rest in the AC. I think we did manage a walk to the mailbox at bedtime.

Tuesday, July 11

We went to the pool and Wallace got some good swimming in. It was not too hot out and their were lots of kids in the pool so I didn’t go in. My sunburn is at the peeling stage and doesn’t hurt. I slathered us up with coconut oil before we went out. He also got a little running around outside the library with friends. These’s no shade, but they like running in the grass and around on the sidewalk.
Wednesday, July 12

We managed no outside time, oops. Just to and from car and stores. We had errands to run and a late bedtime putting his new bed together.

Thursday, July 13

It was overcast, humid, and hot. We played outside at babysitting and chatted with neighbors outside twice. One family got a dog last summer and Wallace and Hudson have been strongly attracted to each other since they first met. Now that Hudson is twice Wallace’s weight and a year old, he has calmed down a little and at least doesn’t bowl him over in excitement. He still gets very happy to see Wallace and comes running full force, but he also was amazingly gentle with Wallace when they played tug one day a couple weeks ago. Wallace adores Hudson and is getting more comfortable petting and playing with him instead of just squealing with joy and then balking.

Friday, July 14

There was no official outdoor activity today, but I had a trial day with a new family and Wallace got some outside play time with her 4 year old. (Aside: she’s a fellow SMC, my first purely in person meeting! She’s also got a lot of similar beliefs and practices so we definitely jive.) We are both exhausted from the whirlwind of this week and I’m hoping for a bike ride and some pool time soon.

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When we moved back to my dad’s, a little over two years ago, I got a new crib mattress for Wallace and put it in his awesome crib with the front off and a bed rail. I worked to transition him to sleeping in his own bed in his own room since we had that luxury. It wasn’t until a couple months on trace minerals that he started sleeping most of his night in his room before waking and me bringing him to my bed. But, when we were in the process of downsizing and moving a year ago, I sold the bed and mattress.

When we moved in with my mom, we started sharing a room again and I figured he’d just end up in my bed all night again. Instead, he chose to sleep in a pack n play in the room with me. I padded it with extra blankets and got him a new pillow similar to mine. He is now four and growing like a weed so when I saw a couple toddler beds with mattresses at the thrift store, I decided to go for it. There was a Cars one and a Disney princess one. They are not a style I pictured ever buying but they are sturdy enough. I thought he’d like the Cars one as he’s a fan despite not having seen the movie but he chose Princesses.

Testing out mattresses and choosing a bed.

I managed to disassemble it and fit it in the Grand Am. After a stop at the grocery store, we got it home, up to the third floor, wiped down, and put together. He was so excited about it and relatively helpful. He peeled the stickers off, helped me carry pieces, and even held a side steady while I got the bolts in. Due to all of this, we had a a late bedtime and he tossed around a bit, too excited to sleep. As we got ready for bed, he told me exactly how he’s going to tell Gramma about his new bed when she gets home from her vacation in a few days.

My super helpful, always expressive, turns pink at the slightest increase in temperature four year old.

Practicing co sleeping with three baby dolls.


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Outdoor Challenge: July 1-7

Saturday, July 1

I had a babysitting shift, so Wallace played outside at their house for about an hour. Mostly in the wading pool but also playing with a ball and swinging.

Sunday, July 2

After hours inside doing housework and things, I decided what I needed was a bike ride. We went across the 5 lane road and to the bike path that goes all the way to the big playground in town. We stopped at the sledding hill to run around before continuing on. He played at the playground for a while and then we headed back. Unfortunately, this kid of mine keeps growing and a bolt on the bottom of the bike seat started rubbing on my rear tire. Not good. I tried to mess with it a few times but it kept rubbing. We had to walk the last mile or so home, which he did better with than I’d thought. A neighbor friend was outside and had her husband come take a look and see if he could help me fix the issue. He turned the aforementioned bolt upside down so it was flush underneath where it had been rubbing. Then he was also able to tighten a bolt that had been loose for a while. Yay!

Monday, July 3

A couple weeks ago, we met a family at a party and today we had a playdate. Her youngest daughter likes trains so when I found that out I got excited. Wallace picked out three minis he had doubles of and I happened across too small thomas PJs to hand down. The girls and Wallace played trains and then went outside to run around. Wallace swang for a bit, climbed and slid, and played in sand. They ran around in clover filled grass and eventually ended up back inside to play some more.

Tuesday, July 4

I was planning to get us out for some kind of adventure today but our neighbors sent a text as they headed to the pool, so we joined them. We spent almost three hours at the pool! It was packed due the holiday and Wallace had a lot of fun with all the kids as well as our neighbors. I ended up with sunburn on my upper back/shoulders/neck and the front of my thighs. I never burn, but I also never sit with my back to the sun for three hours. Oops. I have no pictures because I left my phone inside uploading pictures and charging.

Wednesday, July 5

I had to run to Staples to drop off a box for Amazon. Wallace played in his little sandbox on the “deckony” while I was out. That was all the outside time he got because it was hot and my mom and I both had a lot to get done.

Thursday, July 6

It was almost 90 degrees and I still have sunburn so the extent of our outside time was when he ran up and down the ramp outside the library for a few minutes. Totally slacked but it was soooo hot and I had started the day with a migraine.

Friday, July 7

Around  lunchtime, Wallace asked me when the next For Mar class was. It’s on break for the summer and because there are a lot of other programs through the county parks during the summer. So, we got out the catalog of programming and took a look. It turns out we just missed a few neat events and when I suggested one we could go to another day, he agreed but looked a bit sad. I asked if he just wanted to go together and have a hike and explore. He was very excited about that! It took us quite a while to get ready as I had to eat lunch and have been working on transferring things to my new computer. We went for a nice walk towards the suspension bridge, stopped at the pond and saw goldfish, water bugs, a snapping turtle and a smaller turtle, talked about poison ivy, saw wild raspberries, swatted a few  mosquitoes, found a dead mole being devoured by carrion beetles, read all the monarch trail signs we found, saw a snake in a puddle, and pestered a tree frog. Wallace had a late lunch, as he really wanted to eat it at the preserve and not at home, and then we went into the center to tell them about the dead animal very near the trail. I showed them on a map about where it was and a couple people headed out to take care of it. We played around a little inside the center and then decided to head home because Wallace was hungry again. He almost fell asleep on the way home and then we had a torrential rainstorm that knocked over the chairs and came in the sliding doors.

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List Post

I have a lot going on and I know that if I don’t get it out and record it here then I will start balking at blogging at all. So here goes.

  • After 93 1/2 years, 5 with dementia, and 8 days unconscious without food or water, my gramma died. I am not sad about this though of course am mourning her. She was never a big presence in my life due to having moved promptly to Florida after her husband died, which was the year before I was born. I was mostly concerned as to how my mom would handle this. She got the call that she transitioning a day after the two year anniversary of her husband’s death, which was very long and drawn out and painful. My mom went every day to sit with her mom and visit with the other family who made it to say goodbye. I was not able to go as it is a long drive and not something I felt Wallace was ready to participate in. We will go to the memorial in August, which I am sure will be a lot of recounting how hilarious my gramma always ways.
  • My mom left today for a European cruise with her friend. I’m very happy for them that they are going after the last few years they have both been through. Wallace, on the other hand, is missing his gramma quite a lot. He is such a sweet sensitive kid and likes things to be predictable. She also spoils him, ha. She set up a bag of little presents for him to open one each morning. When he takes the last present from the bag then he will know that she will be coming back the next day. Today, he got a little journal and he is dictating to me what to write for him. I had him make her a card, which was stuck closed with a sticker and she was given instructions to not open it until she is on the boat. Wallace is insistent that she will stand at the front of the boat when she opens it and then it will fall out of her hands into the water. Oh, crud.
  • I got a new to me computer for my birthday and I am typing on it now! My previous computer is a PowerbookG4 that I got for my 20th birthday. It is on it’s second hard drive, third battery, and second power cord. It is pre intel processor and is so outdated that most programs will not work on it (no Netflix, no Skype, and it is so slow). So, this is what I asked for, researched, and somehow managed to narrow down with a little help from friends. I am really not good at anything technology and am working on transferring things the hand me down computer I had been working on for the last year and from my ancient Mac. A functioning computer is crucial for my Amazon income and very helpful for everything these days. The hand me down computer could not be unplugged and therefore could only be used at the desk. There’s no way I could head out on the road with it and be able to get online and get work done. One thing I am good at is typing and I am loving the way this keyboard clicks and clacks just right.
  • Wallace got his haircut again! About a week after his last haircut, he started asking me for shorter hair, probably because it was starting to get really hot. I adore the chin length shaggy look he had going on but it was time to cut it again. My mom wanted her hair done before her trip so Aunt Leah (my step sister) said she’d come over last night after work. My mom asked if she would do Wallace’s again and she said yes. I sent her a picture of what Wallace said he liked and she replied that she didn’t think she could do it because she doesn’t have a whole lot of clipper experience (she’s high end salon cut and color type). Wallace started to cry and I had to hold him while my mom sent some texts to beloved Aunt Leah. He really just wanted her to cut his hair as he seriously adores her. He has seen me shave my head so many times that I didn’t think he would be scared of it, which was her concern, so I took him in the bathroom and showed him all the parts of my clippers. I turned it on and touched it to his hand, arm, and forehead and he was totally fine. I told Leah that she can do whatever short style she feels comfortable doing on him. It turned out great, of course, and I am still adjusting to seeing all of his sweet face and the soft hair on the back of his head. I also realized he might actually have my ears, though not nearly as large or sticking out.
  • Nina is doing alright these days, yay! She is on only canned cat food and CBD oil. I find the lowest phosphorus levels in the discounted cases of grain free food and go with that. If I give her raw food, she throws up. If I give her transfer factors, she throws up. She has gained a little weight and even though she hangs out more away from us than she ever has, she is very cuddly and sweet and sometimes even playful. I do not have the spare money to take her to the vet to get her thyroid and kidney levels checked but I am content with how she is fairing, which is a million times better than when she was on the thyroid medication.
  • I have been taking CBD oil for 2 1/2 weeks and it needs its own post but I want to say that it is helping. I have been eating a bit too much sugar and non AIP foods and not getting enough sleep, but before that I was down to one migraine a week. Sometimes I could even just take an extra dose of CBD oil and it would go away. A couple times I have taken naproxen and it worked in conjunction with the CBD oil.


On that note, my goal is to be in bed before 10:30 tonight and I want to read for a bit before bed to relax my eyes and brain. I will try to add pictures to this from my phone tomorrow.

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Cars and Carts

I am working on coming up with things for Wallace to do in the car and at stores (while I source books) that don’t include screens or begging me for snacks. I emailed with Screen Free Parenting and she suggested I make a waiting places bag. These things are set aside for when waiting is necessary like doctor’s appointments, restaurants, and road trips. They also had a good post about long car rides. I started looking up busy bag ideas that could work in a car seat or cart as well as looking around the house for things we already have. These could be put in a ziploc bag, a zipper pencil case ($1 at Walmart and Big Lots!), a hard pencil case, or a shoe box and then stored in the trunk or in a spot inside near the front door. A lot of these things we already have and the homemade ones are easy to assemble.

Pre-Made Ideas

Homemade Ideas

What do your kids play with while waiting or have around that would work for this? I would love to come up with more homemade ideas as they have been fun to put together with Wallace.

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MicroBlog Monday: Series of Events

A few weeks ago, I received an email response to a nanny job I replied to two years ago. It would have been great except the job is in Chicago and I am not. I guess I had never changed my profile on Sitter City to reflect the move back to Michigan (there wasn’t much in this area before so I wrote it off), so once I explained that to the woman, I updated my profile and found two jobs to apply to.

Then I forgot about it.

Meanwhile, I was working on setting up a local parenting resource site and called the WIC peer counseling office to get the class info. I also mentioned that I’d been trying to get a chance to apply to be a peer counselor. She said I’d just missed it and they’d hired two new people!!! But, to keep an eye on the site incase one of them didn’t work out. I started checking the WIC tab on the county job board and one day decided to check the health department tab… and there it was! I filled out my application right away but didn’t have much hope.

Then I put it out of my mind.

Not long after that, I got a response to one of my local emails on Sitter City. She had a list of days she needed and we met right away to suss it out. We talked and the kids played for over 3 hours! So yeh, a good fit. I worked some shifts for her over two weeks and got a voicemail from the health department to schedule an interview! I was not expecting it because I figured they just forgot to take the ad down and it was already filled. The interview was Friday and it went well.

On Saturday, we went to an event at a local library and a mom started talking to Wallace and I about trains and Thomas. This morning, she sent me an email through Sitter City because she was browsing for some childcare and recognized us. What a fluke! If the first woman hadn’t emailed me two years after the fact, then I wouldn’t have gotten the first job and the other mom wouldn’t have found me on there.

Posted in background, Microblog Monday, Parenting, Single Mother by Choice - SMC | 4 Comments

July Outdoor Challenge

Simply put, let’s make a point to get outside with our kids everyday! Screen Free Parenting is doing a challenge and I’m in. Anyone else want to join me? There are a list of ideas but it’s by no means a guideline. I will just start a blog list of what we did outside, updating it as I go. Speaking of, we need to get outside this evening as we haven’t yet today.

Posted in Linked Up, Parenting | 4 Comments