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We Voted In The Michigan Primary #FEELTHEBERN

Voted!! #michiganprimary #feelthebern #vote #rockthevote

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Off to vote in #michiganprimary #feelthebern #vote #rockthevote #berniesanders

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We voted!! #rockthevote #vote #feelthebern #michiganprimary

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Why the 40s are the best years of my life

Once upon a time I was an abuse survivor- 

Once upon a time I was an abuser-

Once upon a time I was a selfish cow who believed my own hype-

Once upon a time I was chronically depressed and unhappy-

None of the above is true anymore.

None of the above applies to my current life, nor has it in almost 8 yrs.

Someone once told me that the 40s were the best years of their life- way back when I was still in my early 30s and couldn’t even FATHOM being ‘that old’.

For me it is completely true.

My 30s were pretty decadent. I had a successful career that took me all over the world. I hobnobbed with the rich and famous. I was fit and in shape.

I was miserably unhappy and chronically depressed. My relationships with my family, my loved ones, myself were so unhealthy.

My 40s brought a separation from my long-suffering spouse, 2 small strokes (TIAs), the diagnosis of lupus, many deaths of people close to me, dealing with a (then) bipolar teen son with a substance problem, the diagnosis of bipolar and dementia in my mother- also, a new partner in my life, and a baby girl at 45.

The ‘bad’ things that happened weren’t so bad.

I found out that my chronic fatigue and frequent health problems I’d suffered all my life (and depression) were caused by alarmingly low vitamin D3 levels and an autoimmune disorder.

My sisters, mother, and niece all suffer from the same things. Had I not been diagnosed, neither would they have been.

My TIAs (and frequent miscarriages in the past) were genetic and due to my hypertension and Factor V Leiden which causes ‘thick blood’ and blood clots. I now take blood thinners and blood pressure meds. I was forced to change my diet and go semi (to total, depending on my whim) vegetarian/vegan.

I started juicing, working out, quit smoking after 25 yrs and started vaping.

I had to get tough with my family regarding my son’s (and mother’s) bipolar. It was a rough few years, but now at 22 (knock wood), he is on his way to becoming the person I always knew he could be. My mom’s issues will never be resolved, really. She now has dementia, so it is all downhill from here.

I had to get tough with MYSELF about my own emotional responses and PTSD from a childhood of abuse.

Therapy was a godsend for my family and me. You just take each day as it comes and live in the now.

My new-found healthy living gained me a great partner who is understanding, kind, loving- and quite a bit younger (though his maturity level probably tops mine by a TON). It also (with the help of the said person above) got me pregnant at 45.

I started growing my own heirloom veggies and went from glamma wannabe to hippie earth-mother.

I rarely travel any more and I am ok with this. My life is cozy and happy and I am catching all the bits I missed as a young mother with children.

Being happy- being content and at peace- is it’s own reward.

If someone offered me ‘the old me’ of 13 plus years ago, I’d run away.

Life is meant to be lived with the people closest to your heart.

Anything else is meaningless.

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Toddler Meal Ideas… International, Vegetarian,Carnivore, Exotic- She Eats It All!

People say that my kid eats better than they do and this might be true.

I love to cook and I am not crazy about ‘conventional’ American food at all.

I am attempting to limit our red meat consumption and have been doing a lot of vegan and vegetarian meals lately.

Luckily, my Maisie is not a very picky girl and she has a healthy appetite (and is consistently off the charts for height and a very healthy weight- but not fat- ).

Pasta carbonara! #foodgasm #babyfood #foodie #food #ToddlerMeals #toddlerdinner #toddlerfood #babyfoodie

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She basically eats everything that we eat- which can be vegan, carnivore, or any number of foreign foods, depending on my mood.

Pasta carbonara! #toddlerfood #pastacarbonara #carbonara #toddlerdinner #ToddlerMeals #food #foodie #babyfood #babyfood #foodgasm

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You’ll see a lot of persimmons and mandarin oranges lately on her plate because it is in season and her fave (and I bought a case of persimmons!).
Here are some highlights from her meals on Instagram.

 

 

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the book “Goodnight Moon” makes my 15 month old cry EVERY TIME (VIDEO)

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We bought her the book “Good Night Moon” today. When R read it the first time to her, he discovered that she started bawling during the “good night” parts.

She absolutely fell to pieces! She had him read it to her a few more times and always started crying and getting sad at the same parts!

This was her first time (well, she made him read it 4 or 5x in a row) reading it…

After this vid was made, she ‘read’ it TO us (by turning the pages and saying “good night” to each page)- by the end of the book again she was pouting/sobbing and wiping tears.

This is very unusual. This child LOVES books, but they’ve never made her so emotional.

 

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Some Pictorial Instagram Highlights from Our Month Away From Blog (lots of photos)…

I am seriously lazy right now and supposed to be cleaning the upstairs. I let a lot go to seed when I was recovering from my illness. I dusted and cleaned for about thirty minutes this afternoon- and now I have to try to get the Maisie to go down for her nap.

I’ve gone most vegetarian since my kidney infection- and I’ve upped my water intake. We have cut out red meat almost entirely (the others in my house still eat it).

This was Maisie’s breakfast today- Filipino Adobo Fried Rice, with a fried egg and sriracha

Maisie had photos done with her brothers in early October:

All of my children in one photo #love #kittyleephotography #family

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The look on her face is priceless – with her brothers #missmaisiebabyfashionista #toddlerlife #family #photoshoot #momlife

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She wore lots of cute outfits:

Maisie in the weirwood #weirwood #geek #gameofthrones #garden #cute #cuteness

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We went to visit my late grandparents’ house, it is now a law office:

me, on same staircase, as a baby:

Me at the same age #nostalgia #sweet #family #memories

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We got dressed up for Halloween Trick or Treating:

Something bit me a couple of weeks ago, but I think it's healing up just fine#happyhalloween

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It's healing nicely #happyhalloween

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My little giraffe #happyhalloween

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Rainy day #trickortreat #halloween2015 #happyhalloween #cuteness #cutest_kiddies

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We experienced unseasonably warm “Indian Summer” temps here in Michigan (in November!):

#garden #walk #cute #indiansummer #swmichigan #missmaisiebabyfashionista #toddlerlife

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She went to her first art gallery show with Mommy and Daddy (and brother and Papa):

Taking Maisie to her first art gallery show #momlife #memories

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Maisie at the gallery, listening to the music #toddlerfun #toddlerlife #momlife #memories #firsts

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Not tall enough for the bar #missmaisiebabyfashionista #memories #firsts #momlife #toddlerlife #toddlerfun

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Maisie's daddy

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NOSTALGIC EBAY FIND: Vintage Plastic 1960s-70s Barrettes Old New Stock!

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I was so thrilled to find these on eBay~

My kid’s hair is super fine and none of the newfangled barrette/clips stay in for long.

I have been yearning for the yarn ribbons and plastic barrettes of my childhood- and found these on eBay!

They were new, unused old stock (meaning they were vintage, but never sold).

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Maisie rocking the vintage barrette

These things actually STAY IN HER HAIR! I am so happy!

Now if I could only find some yarn ribbons…

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I love them!

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UPDATE: recovering from my week(s) and how Maisie’s birthday bash went (condensed version)

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in a bday present princess nightie (her bday dress was removed due to cake residue)- playing a guitar art project made by my cousin’s talented daughter. My new fave pic 🙂

Had the HUGE baby Maisie birthday bash this week- over 60 people showed up to celebrate with us and stayed on until the wee hours.

Maisie was a perfect hostess- she was able to hang on til about midnight, without having any meltdowns and playing well with all the children and guests.

We had an adult cake smash fight at one point, when my cousin bet my mother a dollar to put the icing on my face… needless to say, about 6 people ended up with cake on their faces. It was hilarious. We are not a sedate, quiet bunch. My parties tend to be kind of raucous, to say the least…

We had a huge full sheet cake with bavarian cream filling- and I cooked a huge spread: 25 lb plus brisket, Persian food, collard greens, appetizers… and people also brought food and drink. Everything- EVERYTHING- was eaten. The only thing I had left after was bottles of vino, vodka, hard cider, beer, soft drinks, juices. I ended up having to cook again the next day, just so we’d have food in the house while we cleaned up.

It was more a party for adults, really… or one of the type of parties I remember attending as a kid with my folks back in the ‘old days’, with the parents having a good time and the children running about playing. Nothing fancy, just lots of people and lots of good food/drink.

My mother went back to Manila this morning, so it was also a sort of bon voyage for her- as well as my cousins’ 35th wedding anniversary.

I am completely EXHAUSTED now. We’re still cleaning up, even though the party was Saturday. I have to do what I can with my back… which feels much better. I am finally (knock wood) off the narcotic pain pills. The procedure seems to be doing what it was supposed to do.

Maisie now wants to sing “Happy Birthday” CONSTANTLY and clap her hands/say “YAY!” after. Poor thing sounds like a screech owl when she sings, so that’s pleasant… lol.

My house guest went back to Houston and now things are much more quiet. Maisie is a bit clingier now that the house is minus one more person, though. That is to be expected.

I bought a gym membership for the entire family this week, too. Hoping I am cleared to start using it soon. I also bought a Buti Yoga DVD set, which I am hoping to utilize as well. I am itching to work out and finally lose this baby weight.

My child has not been allowing me to do much. Her walking is now in full swing and you CANNOT.TAKE.YOUR.EYES.OFF.HER.FOR.EVEN.A.SECOND. If you turn your back on her, she will be climbing something or off in another room. This kid is FAST and my house is HUGE. I will have to call someone in to carpet the front stairwell soon. I swore I’d never cover the wood, but now I’ve changed my mind since this child is a climbing fiend.

I think I’ve spent the most time in years away from the internet/phone/macbook. She’ll steal my phone, my mouse, try to run off with the laptop- you name it, she’ll do it.

The ironic thing is, my house is actually CLEANER now after the party than it was BEFORE. I have no idea how that happened at all. We’re STILL cleaning up, as I said earlier. Maybe it’s all my time away from the internet- I don’t know. Maybe it was the new Dyson Animal I bought. That thing is Ahhh-MAZING. Dysons (and Shop Vacs) are a MUST if you have 3 Newfoundland dogs, like we do.

We WILL be baby proofing the hell out of this place this week. It needs it. I found her eating half of my brand new sugar scrub lip gloss this morning. The resulting farts and regurgitations were disgusting. I have no idea how she opened it- it was in a flat tin and she’s never seen me use it before. Scared the crap out of me!

One thing is for sure- the minute my head hits the pillow nowadays, all I want to do is SLEEP. That is exactly as it should be. I like the fact that I am busy from the time I wake until the time I go to bed. It feels GOOD (well, sometimes) to move. After spending most of the year moving about gingerly, I like this.

Probably not good for blogging, though.

I have an Ipsy review, 2 Birchbox reviews, a ton of food posts to get up and I have no idea how/when these will happen.

I haven’t even really opened/looked at her gifts. I also have a ton of thank you thingies to send out. They’re still (mostly) piled up on the daybed in my office.

Time for me to sleep now… *yawn*