Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Another year older already.....

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Today my beloved Monster turns four. The transition to big kid is almost complete. Gone are even the slightest physical remnants of toddler hood. No more dimpled fingers, no more chubby cheeks, no more cautious steps or pacifier, His words are becoming more pronounced and soon all those silly words and mispronunciations will be gone. 

It’s been a year of lengthening strides, blossoming independence, and growing pains. Not just for monster butt. Because, as much as my heart soars and swells with each new milestone and victory, it simultaneously shatters into a million tiny pieces. I’m learning that every rite of passage is one step closer to the day I can’t solve his problems with a kiss and a cool band-aid.

Far too soon, I won’t be able to shield him from heartache or tragedy.

Eventually I will have to let go.

And it all just goes by so damn fast.

Time Marches On

I’m having a hard time wrapping my mind around the passage of another year. In many ways, it’s been a complete blur. I wouldn't say I missed it. I just wish I’d paid more attention, slowed down, really listened and enjoyed it. You are the spunkiest little kid I have ever met... not a day goes by when you don't laugh hysterically, filling up the room with joyful noise, and bring happiness to everyone you come across. I find it hard to believe that you've already been through a year of school. You are such a little smarty pants and I love being with you as you discover new things and learn about the world around you. If we're being honest, I could live with fewer meltdowns over silly things, but I know that I'll miss these days when you're older!

I cringe to think of the times I lost my temper with him. Raising my voice & losing my cool over some minor transgression, that looking back now, I can’t even remember. Sometimes I push. Or overreact. Or both.

Thankfully Monster is wise beyond his years. He has a way of steering me back on course with a hug, a giggle, or three simple words spoken with absolute sincerity.

Remarkable Strides

Looking back, from little to big, tangible to intangible, it’s been an extraordinary year.

A is for Amazing

From scribbles and slashes of paint to the most adorable stick people, houses and jellyfish you've ever seen, his artwork is a window into a vivid imagination. If you take the time to talk about what each one means and is. It is more like a story told by the most innocent eyes and heart and just random lines on a paper

His favorite thing to do is practice his writing. Perched on a stool in the kitchen, he asks me to spell a laundry list of words, while he carefully transcribes each one in handwriting that puts the most adoreable smile on his face. 

B is for Best Friend

He has blossomed as a friend this year, he has learned to understand more about his feelings and feelings of others and giving them a hug when they are sad or sharing a very delicious cookie. He has become a great leader, and can be very bossy. 

 But while he can be obnoxiously righteous and downright authoritarian at times, he’s also fiercely protective and amazingly patient.

Monster will go through life with the most incredible ally's and best friend by his sides

C is for Character

It’s not about the ribbons or the records or the stickers. It’s about the character and strength that shine like a beacon, lighting up his determined little face.

D is for Determined 

When you get your mind made up on something you sure do go at it with all the passion you have. One day that will be an amazing quality to have my dear 

E is for Emotional

One thing about you is how in tune you are with your emotions. You are getting good about putting words to them, but you still cry hard, lash out and laugh uncontrollably at times. You are extremely empathetic and kind. 

F is for Friendly 

Not a day goes by that you do not make a new friend you love meeting new people and are so outgoing.

G is for Gentle

Every bug, flower, animal it all gets your most gentle and compassionate touch... Unless its the dogs you seem to be a little rough with them

H is for Happy 

You are always such a happy and energetic kid. I get told all the time how you light up the room. 

I is for Incredible 

You do not know it but you are the most incredible little kid i know. So smart and talented and full of life. Plus you can go to bed late, get up early and still be full of spunk... 

J is for Jovial 

As I said before you are always so happy and joyful 

K is for Kind

To all, Big and small you are beyond your years in kindness and love 

L is for Likable

Still have yet to meet someone who dislikes you. You will go far in life little man

M is for Mischievous 

Yes, that is right. I know about you asking me something and going to daddy when you do not receive the answer your looking for and vise versa. You always have a tell tell sign on your face when you are thinking of doing something your not suppose to... like jumping on the furniture 

N is for Naked

You love to be naked .. lol ..

O is for Optimistic 

You always find the good in everything.

P is for Polite 

You are always using you manors. 

Q is for Quick - Witted 

Extremely clever for a four year old.

R is for Resourceful 

Finding clever ways to get around a difficulty you are having 

S if for Smart

I can not even begin to tell you how incredibly intelligent you are. You figure things out almost as quick as you eat. ( pretty much three bites and your done ) 

T is for Thoughtful 

You always think of how others are feeling and how to make it better. And the pictures you draw or the flowers you pick and the necklaces you make are cherries on top.

U is for Upbeat 

Always so cheerful and full of life

W is for Wacky 

You sure do make up and do some weird things 

Cant think of  for X

Y is for Young

Please stay little as long as you can...  I love you but i want to enjoy your youth

Z is for Zealous 

You are always so enthusastic 

My Wish

When Monster blows out his candles, I’m going to close my eyes and make my own wish.

I’ll wish for the power and strength to ensure his sparkle never diminishes but only grows brighter at 4, 14, 40, and every age between and beyond.

Here is to your birthday little man. you have been such a blessing in my life and i will always cherish you and love you to the moon and back x a million. 


Basically anything with a motor or wheels 
Helping dad work 
Helping mom cook
Going for long walks
Doing crafts
The park
Grandma's suckers
Reading books
Playing job site
 Hot dogs


The dentist 
Any green veggie

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Justify your coffee addiction

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Can you imagine life without coffee? We’d all stumble around like drones for hours every morning, lost without our precious fix. We love coffee for its flavor, its aroma and of course its pick-me-up, but there are more compelling reasons to stay stocked up. These tips will give you surprising and unusual uses for fresh coffee beans or grounds that have gone stale, the pounds of used grounds you toss out every week.

Kill fridge odor

Wouldn’t you rather smell coffee than two-week-old leftovers, half-rotten produce and spoiled milk? If your fridge is a nightmare of foul odors, place a bowl of fresh, unused coffee grounds inside and leave it for a day or two. The coffee will absorb the odors and you’ll crave a cup whenever you open the door. This odor-killing trick works for practically anything else as well – just place the item in a sealed plastic bag along with an open can of coffee grounds and bye-bye stank.

Reduce cellulite

Pricey cellulite creams almost always have one major ingredient in common: caffeine, which supposedly enhances fat metabolism, reducing the appearance of these fatty pockets under the skin. To make your own coffee cellulite treatment at home, mix warm used coffee grounds with coconut oil and rub it onto your skin in circular motions for a few minutes before rinsing.

Erase smells on your hands

Garlic, salmon, cilantro – there are some things that smell delicious when cooking, but aren’t so pleasant hours later when they linger on your hands. Get rid of them by rubbing a handful of used coffee grounds on your hands and rinsing with warm water.

Make rich compost

There’s a reason so many gardeners swear by adding used coffee grounds to compost. The grounds are rich in phosphorous, potassium, magnesium and copper, they release nitrogen into the soil as they degrade and they’re a little bit acidic, which is great for certain soils. If you compost on a large scale, you can get used grounds for free at your local coffee hot spot or Starbucks.

Get shiny hair

Who doesn’t want shiny, healthy-looking hair? Coffee is often recommended as a simple, natural treatment to make hair extra-glossy. Brew up an extra-strong pot, let it cool and apply it to your dry, clean hair. Leave it on for at least twenty minutes, then rinse. Keep it up once a week or so for best results.

Natural dye

The natural pigments in coffee make it a great natural dye for fabric, paper, Easter eggs – even your hair. Brush paper with strong brew and let it dry, or soak fabric items in hot coffee. The results won’t be color-fast, and may bleed out onto other items, so it’s best to use this on items that won’t be washed very often if at all. Using coffee as a hair shine treatment, as previously mentioned, may temporarily lend a rich, dark tint to your hair.

Reduce fireplace mess

Want to clean your fireplace without causing a dust storm? Wait until the embers are cool, sprinkle damp coffee grounds all over the ashes , let them sit for about 15 minutes and then scoop out the whole mess into a metal ash can. The coffee grounds cling to the ashes, so they don’t  spew dust nearly as much as they would otherwise.

Exfoliate skin

The same properties that reportedly enable coffee to reduce the appearance of cellulite can smooth and tighten your skin, and the texture of ground coffee will buff away dead skin cells, too. Make your own coffee-based scrub by combining a tablespoon of coffee grounds with half a tablespoon of olive oil and, optionally, a drop of your favorite essential oil.

Repel ants

Sprinkle dry, used coffee grounds in problem areas where you notice ants in your home or yard and they might just pick up and leave. To tackle huge ant mounds, pour an entire pot of brewed coffee right on the mound.

Fertilize plants

Acid-loving plants will thank you for sprinkling your used coffee grounds around their roots. Azaleas, blueberry shrubs and rhododendrons are just a few of the plants that flourish when treated with coffee thanks to all those nutrients. You can also dilute the leftover coffee in your mug and pour it right into your potted plants (as long as you don’t use cream and sugar, of course!)

Keep cats out of your garden

To you, that little garden in your yard is a beautiful source of fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables, but to seemingly every cat in a five-mile radius, it’s a giant, irresistible litter box. Just use the trick mentioned above, sprinkling used coffee grounds on the soil, and cats will want nothing to do with it.

Scrub all kinds of surfaces

Mildly abrasive and acidic, coffee grounds are great for scrubbing surfaces like countertops, cooking ranges and refrigerators. Use them alone or mix them with a little dish soap.

Auto air freshener

Next time you accidentally spill coffee grounds on the floor, don’t just sweep them up and toss them in the trash. You can use them to make an all-natural DIY air freshener like this one at Instructables

Repel fleas

Rub used, damp coffee grounds through your pet’s fur after bathing to repel fleas without questionable, likely-toxic chemical treatments. If nothing else, it will at least improve that post-bath wet-dog smell that gets all over your furniture.

Pretty vase fillers

Stale or dirty coffee beans are still a thing of beauty. Use them as vase fillers, or in cups or jars full of pens and pencils. Not only are they pretty, they continue to smell good for quite a while, too.

Start vermicomposting

Red wriggler worms, the sort used in vermicomposting systems, love coffee almost as much as we do. It’s not really clear why, but if you want a thriving community of worms to devour all of your kitchen waste (and those nasty little things really are amazingly efficient), be sure to add used coffee grounds to their bedding on a regular basis.

Secret recipe ingredient

Just a little hint of coffee can be the ingredient that becomes your undisclosed “magic touch” in foods like chili, ice cream and chocolate cake. Use a little bit as a marinade for steaks and not only will it make them unbelievably tender, it’ll also provide a hint of deep, smoky flavor.

Touch up furniture scratches

Scratches on wood furniture disappear almost instantly by simply rubbing in a little bit of instant coffee dampened into a paste with hot water. Repeat if necessary until the scratch matches the surrounding wood. 

What are some way you use coffee?