Fine feathered friends

Even though I live less than 10 minutes from downtown Seattle, I still have a sweet chunk of nature literally at my doorstep. Seattle is hilly and keeps green belts and green spaces in the hills to keep them intact. My house backs into a designated green space and is partially surrounded by beautiful tall trees. There is a walking trail through the green space and this time of year all the beautiful Fall colors are on display. With all these trees come wildlife. I wake up to the sounds of birds every morning. Many species… Crows, robins, blue jays, woodpeckers are regulars and more than occasionally you get Hawks and Bald Eagles cruising over our green space to look for a tasty bite.

I am a novice ornithologist but I have always loved birds! For some reason I feel connected to them, I often dream in flight and have many close encounters with many species including hawks and bald eagles, which are my favorites! I have a Phoenix (mythologically considered to be “King of the Birds”) tattooed on my arm. Living where I live, birds often hang out on the railing of my deck and always in the surrounding trees.

I watch and listen to the birds all the time and have gotten to know their sounds. You can always tell when there is a predator around. The birds go crazy! The crows and jays start squawking in a super aggressive manner, loud and repetitive. I always know when to run outside and check out what’s going on and I almost always catch hawks and eagles fly right over my house. Over the weekend a big beautiful Red Tailed Hawk landed in my next door neighbor’s tree.  It was a plump hawk, majestically sitting in the tree while 6 or 7 crows incessantly dive bombed him. He never flinched or tried to escape once. He just calmly enjoyed his perch while crows were coming at him from every angle. This went on for several minutes. When he finally did fly away, he didn’t go far. He flew from that branch directly across my bedroom window to a tree to my other neighbor’s yard. He gracefully glided down, wings fully stretched, crows screaming and dive bombing him. He hung out in the next tree, again for several minutes, same scenario. He was completely unfazed by the many calculated attacks the little army would spring on him. When he finally flew away, he did with such nobility and ease, all the while being attacked. My husband and I watched in awe the entire time.

My husband said,” No matter where eagles and hawks go, they are always under attack. Every time they fly, other weaker birds are constantly harassing and attacking them.” We talked about how this was true with humans. When people try to do better or rise above their current situation. There is always some “weaker” version of the species trying to hold that person down.  Ever hear the term Crabs in a bucket ?

There is much to be learned from our animal friends. That day, that hawk reminded me that no matter who tries to attack me or hold me back as I try to do better and be better in this world, to stand majestic, graceful and unfazed. To just keep flying. Fly so high those crows can’t reach you.

Thank you Hawk and Crow for that important reminder.

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Big Girl Bed and other good stuff…..

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Since Osita started preschool it has been leaps and bounds!

This is a girl who is fully self expressed. The good and the bad. Like with any toddler, tantrums are a regular thing. Lately, it seems like we have turned a new leaf. We are having way more good times than not so good times. Her language skills  have jumped up a notch. She is able to identify that she is angry and communicate why. It’s huge!  We also have been working on her breathing through her anger. (As an adult, I struggle with conscience breathing when I am feeling anxious.) Overall, she just seems happier. Playing, pretending, being.

Potty is a regular thing now. Even #2. But no public potties yet though.

Yesterday, we graduated from her crib to a regular bed! What could have just been ‘swap out the beds’ easy project, turned into a ‘pull all the furniture, paint the room, clean the floors, put furniture back and then put the new bed in’ project. It was fun and everything went smooth. Osita was STOKED! I was worried that she would jump out at bedtime but she went down like a total champ. I was so relieved! Today’s nap went smooth too. Success! The pic above was taken before we put the safety railing up, as you can see, she is enjoying this transition just fine.

Tomorrow night, Nina Grande’s high school orchestra is playing with the Seattle Symphony! I told her I have to work but I have arranged to leave early so I can surprise her. 🙂 N.G. plays the viola for her orchestra. She also sings and plays violin and guitar. Quite the talent, that Nina Grande.

Pumpkin Patch Fun Time!

Pumpkin Patch Fun Time!

Every year, I organize a big group of friends to go to the pumpkin patch. Like me, most of my friends are city dwellers, so it’s fun to take a drive to the country, take in the fall colors and pick out some pumpkins. This year we ate fresh roasted corn and fresh apple doughnuts. We enjoyed the animals at the petting zoo, took a hayride and braved the corn maze!

Thanks Bob’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch, we have a blast every year but I think this year was the funnest year yet!

http://www.bobscorn.com/

F*ck it!

This is Nina Osita’s new favorite way to get my attention.

My name is Amelia and I have a potty mouth.

What can I say? I am a daughter of a sailor and I have the mouth to prove it. But as much as I want to claim this particular phrase, “F*ck it” is not a phrase that I say regularly or ever. I am prone to various other forms of the F Bomb, though.

The only time N.O. (S) says this phrase are when people are talking and she wants to be heard. If she doesn’t get the attention that she is seeking she yells “F*CK IT!”

You know how your not supposed to react to those kind of things. Well, at first, it completely took me by surprise. I stopped what I was saying. I wasn’t angry, I was amused but I tried to keep a straight face. “Did you say ‘bucket’?” (She wins.)

The next time she did this, I tried really hard to keep going in my conversation but I was totally distracted and the words wouldn’t come out of my mouth. This went on a couple more times. (She wins again.)

The last few weeks, I have been really good about keeping my conversation moving and ignoring her while drops her F Bombs. The situation had been improving and we had been hearing it less. I thought maybe we had finally won but my husband just informed that she had dropped it around him while I working.

Thrifty Threads

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I have always been a thrift store shopper. Since high school I have loved browsing the racks and finding that one special piece. I love vintage slips and things with history. I love finding high end things for super cheap. I love a great deal and I love to save money. Don’t get me wrong, I also love a good trip to Nordstrom but I always keep my eyes peeled at the thrift stores. I like to go to the nicer neighborhoods and shop for consigned designer jeans and dresses and usually find great stuff! I do the same thing with children’s consignment stores. Kids grow so fast, in my head I just can not justify spending a buttload of money on something that’s going to last 3 months.

Last week, I had consigned some kids clothes to the shop I like to frequent. All of a sudden, it was Fall and S had outgrown most of her clothes. We were not prepared. AND she started preschool, she is outside most of the time. She needed boots and warm stuff, long sleeves, pants. I went back this week and found I had 10 dollars and some change in credit at the shop. I got

1- thick Winter Coat w/ hood

1- rain resistant windbreaker w/ hood

1- hoodie (Crewcuts!)

1 – thick vest (some super cute Japanese brand)

2- long sleeve shirts

3- pants (Gap, Osh kosh w/ the original tag still on it!)

1- pair of winter boots (Land’s End, look never worn!)

The boots and hoodie alone originally retail at around $100.

After my credit, I paid $88 for everything.

🙂

Finally! A day off…. kind of.

There is only one way to describe our life right now. Busy.

In the last month, I started a new part time job. I work 10 hour days and have to bus (and sometimes train) to and from home. I am gone quite a bit now. I don’t mind the commute, I like putting on my headphones and listening to music and watching the scene outside my window. With me gone and J running his business from home, we decided it was time for S to go to preschool a couple days a week so J can have time to focus on work.

We found a lovely little place 5 minutes from our house. It has a small farm with goats, bunnies, and chickens, an organic garden, several playhouses a swing set, a zip line and a giant yert that her teacher uses as her classroom. They also have Spanish immersion which is perfect because my husband speaks fluent Spanish and we have been teaching her as well. Her Spanish comprehension has exceeded mine and I speak a fair amount. They spend most of their time outside exploring and playing, even in cooler weather. S loves it! She didn’t even flinch when we left her but threw a fit when daddy came to pick her up.

We have also hit our stride with potty training!! We even have had a couple of poo poo in the potty’s. YES! The mop has taken it’s rightful place again…. back in the laundry room.

You don’t realize how much time you actually have until you don’t have it anymore. Our weekends are now filled with a list of things to do. Things I used to get done during the week. Even that days that I nanny from home, my downtime is filled with laundry and cleaning. By the weekend, I am exhausted and usually in some sort of physical pain from being on my feet all day but things need to get done. And they have been. (Not my writing) The days have been flying by.

We usually spend Sunday mornings going to one of the lovely farmer’s markets around town but there are things that need to be tended to around the house. The sun is out and it’s perfect weather to winterize the garden. We had quite the rain storms the last week that have caused some damage. Got to get out there cause who knows when the sun will be out again! Ahhh Seattle Life.

Urination Station

6 weeks.

It took 6 weeks (since my last blog post) to get pee pee in the potty.

You know all those “guidelines” you read. Like, for example, these: http://www.babycenter.com/0_successful-potty-training-for-girls_11653.bc , yeah those did not work for us one bit. We’ve been working those tips since June and had a zero success rate. You know what finally worked? Losing our patience with all those above tips and showing her our frustration. J and I, on separate occasions with her, within 24 hours of each other.

“WHY won’t you go pee pee in the potty??!!”

“I know you know what to do, WHYYYYY won’t you go??!!”

She did it but not without a total screaming fit *WHILE* the pee pee was streaming down. That is how opposed to the idea she is. After she had her first potty, we celebrated. There were cheers and a happy dance and candy (which was really just a fruit juice snack). It wasn’t enough to convince her to want to do it again. She did finally go again, screaming and crying the entire time. Each day has been met with improvement. She starting to tell us, even if she is piddling the entire way to the bathroom. Trails of urine everywhere I look. The mop has taken permanent residence upstairs. Thank goodness for hardwood floors!

We had to break all the rules, errr patience to get results but we got results and have steadily got results for the past couple of weeks. I’m not sure if showing her our frustration showed her we meant serious business or what, but I’ll take it!