change isn’t a bad word

IMG_9402.JPG i love butterflies. i’ve always loved eric carle’s story of the hungry caterpillar. it’s one of those important messages given to us early in life.

i ran across this quote earlier this week and it made me stop. as i’m in the midst of some change it made me stop. it made me realize in the midst of all of this haze in my head that in the end, change is imminent. change means you are alive. and change actually makes beautiful things.

today i was sitting listening to the rain, talking to a friend about some things and i thought about this quote. i realized that in the midst of change there are so many gifts to be seen.

like a rainbow through the rain…….. it’s opened my eyes up in a way they haven’t been in a long time.

i’ve met some amazing new people because of change.

i’ve made some interesting realizations about myself because of change.

i’ve come to embrace how much there is to be gained because of change.

i always view change as a loss of some kind. i’m so damn regimented that anything that throws that off, throws me off. but the truth is, i’m learning, sometimes shaking things up, opens your eyes to so much that was right there in front of you but you couldn’t see before.

so right now, today, in THIS MOMENT, i’m feeling the good that is coming from change.

i’m sorry i haven’t been on this blog much. that is something that REALLY needs to change. i love writing. i just haven’t been very motivated or focused lately. more change to come! for now, please bare with me……i will be back more regularly. sig_blue

Posted in new me, things i'm thankful for thursdays | 2 Comments

a DIY project with the kids!!!

so this week we were on lockdown. quarantine. sequestered. and I had to entertain a rambunctious 4-year old little girl who would rather jet set to other parts unknown or go to the mall apparently I learned this week after having to say no to Chicago, Georgia, and a visit to see my mom!

we had all sorts of crafts to do but nothing was really sticking, and then suddenly yesterday morning I must’ve come out of my illness fog and remembered I used to be a preschool teacher and could pull activities out of my butt! (and I was quite proud of this one I might add!)

it was super simple.

all you need for supplies are:

  • – plastic containers, we used empty Danimals bottles (drinkable yogurt)
  • – tissue paper in various colors cut up into small squares (or ripped up into small pieces)
  • – glue with water mixed in for a sticky yet thin texture
  • – a paint brush

 

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First you drink the yummy yogurt! 🙂

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Then you rinse out the container and rip off the label.

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Cut up tissue in a myriad of colors. I went with fucsia, lavender, purple, blue and sparkly gold knowing my audience.

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Grab some white glue and mix it with some water in a small bowl and grab a paint brush and your tissue and you’re ready to go!

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Sorry for no action shots, but you decopauge the tissue onto the plastic container. You can put a thin layer of the glue mixture directly onto the plastic vase and then lay the tissue paper pieces down one by one and as you stick them down you saturate them on top to make them stay. when the whole thing is down it will appear to be covered in the white glue but the glue dries clear and hard. *this vase here was made completely by a 4-year-old with minimal help from me*

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And voila! We let them dry during naptime and then went for a quick walk and cut a few flowers to fill our vases!

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Makes a very cute bud vase if done well could be used for a baby shower or bridal shower. You can add glitter or sparkles on top if you so desire. Your options are endless!!

 

See, I told you it was simple but cute! I’m not a DIYer normally so this is a great, easy, fun project for the you and the kids!!

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Posted in the munchkins, things i love <3 | 2 Comments

please, for your children.

I wrote this post almost 2 years ago………..and tonight I feel the need to share it again. And I will keep sharing it as long as I keep hearing about young children drowning in preventable situations.

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Okay guys, time for to me turn my attention away from me and my life and focus on one of my biggest pet peeves in the universe. WATER SAFETY and CHILDREN.  This is not a joke and not something to EVER be taken lightly.  In my opinion, you can never be too safe with a pool when kids are involved.

As I watched the 10pm news last night I heard of a tragic story of a 3-year-old little girl here in Southern California who drowned this past weekend in a jacuzzi and when found she had been on the bottom of the jacuzzi for at least 15 minutes. FIFTEEN MINUTES.  My first question is, why is a 3-year-old ever unattended for 15 minutes ANYWHERE…….much less near a pool?!?!

This is a tragic, awful, PREVENTABLE, tragedy.

I taught swimming lessons for many years, and life guarded in a day camp setting at a pool as well as for private parties. I have a WSI (water safety instructor) and my lifeguarding license. I cannot stress enough how important water and pool safety is to me.

I’m helping to raise two (soon to be 3) children who are growing up with a gated pool in their yard.  This is topic is close to home and one of the most upsetting things I think parents take too lightly.

Here’s the first thing to do, THROW AWAY ALL WATER WINGS and VESTS.  While when working properly they CAN be helpful, they also have several negative effects.

1.) Often they just fail to work properly. They’re defective. It’s scary, but true.

2.) In the story above the 3-year-old was able to remove the clasp herself and removed the vest all on her own without anyone noticing.

3.) The SCARIEST one for each and every one of you that I urge you to REALLY understand: the water wings, noodles and vests give the children the false sense of confidence that they can swim. Accidents happen when they end up jumping in or going in without one on and no one sees them and they drown. They didn’t know that they didn’t know how to swim. They provide a false sense of security.

The only solution as I see it here is to be vigilant. 

  • Never allow your child in the pool area without you.
  • Never allow them in a pool without you.
  • Refuse to play at any home without a pool fence or gate.
  • And as early as possible TEACH THEM TO SWIM!!!

It’s never too early to teach water safety and what to do if you fall in!

Negligence is the sad reality here too many times each summer and it kills me each time I hear about it. These are preventable deaths.

Do what you can to teach your kids the skills AND to teach them water safety.

  • We’ve taught the kids never to run in a pool area.
  • Never to go into a pool area without an adult.
  • Never go into the pool without an adult.
  • Never jump into the pool without counting “1-2-3” WITH the adult you are jumping to.

……and most importantly we’ve been giving them swimming lessons since the summer that they turned 1.

I know there are times it is so much easier to use these vests, wings and noodles.  I get it!!!  But they are not the solution.

We had a swim party for a 5th birthday party just two weeks ago, we hired a skilled certified lifeguard to be in the pool area the entire length of the party.  AND we told the parents in the invitation kindly that any child that wanted to swim had to have a parent or adult IN the pool with them, if not, there were other water games, a kiddie pool and a water slide for them to enjoy.

Please, please, do whatever you can NOT to become a statistic.  Most water safety accidents ARE preventable. Do your part!

~ traci xo

P.S. Of course water toys are fun and even I love playing with the noodles, but they should only be used by someone who knows how to swim and always while being supervised!!!

  • I’ve heard great things about some of the YMCA programs though I cannot speak to them personally.

  • Call your local ER, ask your pediatrician.  Network.  If you don’t know where to turn reach out, I’ll help you find someone in your town that will help you find the resources you need to teach your kids to swim.

Posted in the munchkins | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

our silent heroes

bigstock_Fire_Department_Emblem_5049554-297x300this might seem like a random post and it kinda is. i’ve always had a huge affinity for the police department and then by no surprise dated a police officer.

i was obsessed with police shows. everything related to law enforcement as far back as i can remember. but i never had exposure to much fire dept related. i’ve always appreciated the job they did, but never did i know what i was going to learn.

Chicago_Firebut in the past few weeks i’ve become OBSESSED with Chicago Fire (and Chicago PD but this post isn’t about that).

i am riveted because i have learned so much about what firemen really deal with on a daily basis that i never thought of before. i’ve never needed their help, THANK GOD, so having never really pondered what goes into the life of a fireman (and EMT) i never pictured what they see on a daily basis.

i never imagined what choices they often have to make in a split second.

i never imagined the emotions involved in their jobs on a daily basis.

i ignorantly only had pictured them putting out fires. that’s about it.

i pictured the pumper and the hook & ladder and that was that.

but through the new show Chicago Fire i have had the opportunity to learn so much more about what a fireman deals with on a daily basis.

the gruesome accident scenes they see. imagesZMVGWW49

the lives they save while putting their own at risk.

the terrifying situations they put themselves into daily in order to do their job.

i don’t know that thank you would ever be enough.

i do know that i will never take for granted the job of a firefighter.

i have a few friends that ARE firefighters and you know who you are, and i dedicate this post to you. for all that you do every day that you go to work. for every day that you leave your families to work with your brothers (& sisters) of your firehouse.

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and thank you Dick Wolf and NBC for opening my eyes to something I’m ashamed to say i wasn’t realistic about for 38 years. the firemen out there are the true heroes of our world. ❤

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random thoughts by traci volume 1

it occurred to me tonight kind of out of the blue that i somehow got stuck on this serious imagine_box_atopic business of the blog.

indicative of my state of mind i’m sure, but not really who i am.

somehow i want to start sharing some of the bizarre shit that happens to me and only me, and i want to share my quirks and some of the things that i like or don’t like or do or don’t do that have people commonly referring to me as an enigma. 😉

for starters, i need to figure out how to get into a better writing place. i want to write all the time, but with my not being a morning person, you wouldn’t get anything upbeat or appealing then, and lately, i find at night i’m just so exhausted that i take my laptop out, i fire up wordpress, and then i sit here watching tv zoning out.

so, i bought one of those iPad cases that has a Bluetooth keyboard, figured i’d try it out. it was a cheap knockoff i got on groupon (my first groupon purchase EVER, yes, shocking to many of you i’m sure.) and hopefully it will help me write when a certain toddler-to-be decides to nap and i have some time to think. (which in reality, should increase my blog posts from 1 per week to maybe 2! LOL)

i can’t really tell you what triggered this next thought. i’m AT home and haven’t been women's restroom signanywhere but work today, so i’m blanking on what i saw or did that prompted what I’ve decided will be my first quirk announcement! LOL.

i don’t use public bathrooms. like ever. i can tell you where they are most places i go because my mom or my best friend seem to need to visit every single one in every single place we go. but i rarely if ever will use a public bathroom. now, if i’m being honest, which why shouldn’t i be, it’s not just public bathrooms, it’s most bathrooms not my own or not ones i use regularly.

like at my parents house or work, i use the same exact bathroom every time i’m there regardless of if that means i have to wait.

i prefer not to use bathrooms that children use. it’s a cleanliness, germy thing.

it’s a claustrophobia issue. it’s a smelly issue. it’s a i have a weak gag reflex and am not great at plugging my nose without actually using my hand issue. i just don’t like them. and luckily for me i don’t have to go too often.

toilet_squarea few exceptions are disneyland, dodger stadium and most starbucks have been ok. but that’s my limit. oh, wait, i’ll use a macy’s or nordstrom’s bathroom too, i just don’t frequent them often.

it’s bizarre and weird and probably something you could go the rest of your lives never knowing, but now you do! i hope you sleep better tonight! ha! 😉

it’s so much my “thing” that most of those closest to me will return to me after a trip to a public restroom and rate it to me quietly as if they know i’m waiting to hear just in case i need to go! recently my SIL did it, and we giggled that she’s joined the crazy train that is my bathroom phobia.

and really, the irony………..i’m the daughter, grand-daughter and great-grand-daughter of a wholesale plumbing supply mini empire. in other words, they sell toilets. Bwaahaahaa!

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unanswered prayers

yesterday i was given THE best gift of my life.

my friend and her husband and baby came to town and i offered to take the 22-month old so they could go out to dinner and then he just stayed the night.

he is just adorable! and the sweetest little guy. it was so weird being with another little person the same age as the baby that i watch all week, that wasn’t him! we had  a great time together. and he is welcome to my house any time he wants! i mean, he slept later than me!! his mom had come from the hotel and we were having coffee and talking for a while before he got up! my kinda guy! 😉

having him here at my apartment was THE BEST gift anyone could have ever given me.

whilst 12-hour days with 3-kids, chasing, carrying, question answering, directing, meal preparing, argument referring, question answering and cuddling are all just in a days work  for me, it’s my job. i leave my house and i step into their house and i’m at work. but having a baby in my own house, on my saturday night was eye-opening.

i wasn’t in work mode. i was at home. and yes, my house is not completely baby friendly and if a baby lived here full-time it would be, but ZOMG you can’t get a god damn thing done!!!

and it REALLY made me realize what i was on the brink of getting myself into last year and was still considering. single motherhood.

it changed my thoughts on EVER trying to do this alone. i will add the caveat knowing what i know about kids, it would be MUCH easier with an older child, but they start out as babies and then become toddlers before they are older children!!

i digress.  imagine_box_a

as i sat here last night in my room, watching the sweet little baby in the pack n play  by the light of my electric baby safe candles, i couldn’t help but think of garth brook’s unanswered prayers.

i want to be a mom more than anything in the world. and i know what it’s like to take care of them and be with them, but to be the sole care-taker of a child under 5 is just exhausting. it’s never-ending. it’s rewarding and fun but it’s nonstop.

today has been an interesting day.

feeling sad. i can’t help but think of the adoption that didn’t happen. but i also can’t help but be relieved because of those 18-hours it made me realize how not ready to have a baby on my own, in this apartment i am.

it made me grateful. so very grateful for that experience and ability to come to this conclusion on my own.

and i know someday we’ll know all the answers, but for now……..it is what it is and maybe, just maybe there’s a good reason some things don’t work out. ❤

“sometimes i thank god for unanswered prayers

remember when you’re talkin’ to the man upstairs

that just because he may not answer, doesn’t mean he don’t care

some of god’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.”

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Posted in life, uncategorized | 1 Comment