by jcastles | Apr 23, 2014 | Family
So it was time to have the talk with our middle son. My husband had the talk with my stepson when he was 8 and I really felt we waited too long with our middle son (he’ll be 10 in 1 week!). So I found a book at our public library that I thought would be good. Well it wasn’t. It was FANTASTIC!!! It was a real quick read so I knew it wouldn’t be too much or not enough for our son. We had our son read it then we discussed it. We went page by page and asked him questions to see what he knew and answered questions. I was really surprised at some of his guesses. Some were right on and some were well wow….way off.
One thing the book doesn’t discuss is gay relationships. Since we have friends that are gay and we live in a state where you see it a lot we added a little about that in the discussion. We asked if he knew what gay meant and he said yes. We obviously asked him what he thought and he was right. We told him that you can have gay friends and not be gay. We told him that we had gay friends and asked him if that made us gay, he said no. We asked him if they were different than us and he said no. We were very happy with his answers. We told him that there are a lot of people out there that don’t approve of people being gay and you just have to ignore them. We told him that we believe everyone should be able to love whomever they want.
If your looking to discuss sex with your kiddo whether you have a boy or a girl I believe this book is a great place to start. I was really nervous and it went so well having something there in front of the both of you with the terms and pictures you needed to discuss it without looking like a goob. And it’s so much better when you have confidence in front of your child. If gives them the confidence to talk with you and not be nervous.
by jcastles | Apr 18, 2014 | Family, Moving
So it’s been almost a year that I left my home state. I’ve complained about many things…ok, well mostly the lack of good food here in Seattle. So I thought i’d take a moment and talk about the good.
The scenery….OMG the scenery is fantastic. I’ve spent all my life in Texas and all you see is oak trees and dead grass. Here you see super tall evergreen trees, green grass, mountains and snow!!!! Well the snow is a little drive away from home but still….real friggin snow, not ice!!
I’m heading back to Texas in May and there are 3 things we talk about. 1) It’s going to look so dull and flat to us. 2) Where are we going to eat first. 3) Lastly, man is it going to be hot! And we question how much we’ll hate drivers back home because they really suck here. We thought it was bad in Texas….maybe we just miss it a little.
This winter we’ve stayed home more than I would have ever stayed home if we were in Texas. We’re still not totally use to the rain but we’ve got the rain gear we need now so we’re surviving. But overall it doesn’t rain as much as we thought it would. We came here expecting the absolute worst. Just about every week we have a sunny day or 2 and it doesn’t rain all day like we thought it would. Sure it’s cloudy and it rained in the morning and not the afternoon or vice verse. Last week we had a storm come through so we had heavy rain but there were still breaks in the rain throughout the day.
So….so far we’ve been to the Pike Place Market a few times and I love it! Lots of little unique shops to visit, sights to see, and plenty of coffee to drink. We’ve took the ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge Island and that was neat! We’d never been on one before. If you ever have time to go definitely put that on your to do list. The Seattle Aquarium is about as pretty normal as an aquarium gets. We got the membership thinking with the rain coming (cause everyone kept warning us) we thought it’d be a good place to spend weekends when we’re stir crazy. Well……I don’t suggest buying the membership. We’ve been twice and that’s only because we bought the membership. Once you’ve seen it it’s kinda over. I wish we’d have gotten the zoo membership. We’ve been to the Woodland Park Zoo and that was cool!!! There weren’t as many animals as we’re use to in Texas but it’s like hiking in the woods but your in the city. If you go before many dry days (a few weeks of summer under your belt) I’d wear shoes that can accommodate mud. Not all of the path’s are paved like you’d think. We’ve also been to the Pacific Science Center and we can’t wait to go back! I’m hoping to go again this coming weekend. We got the membership and it’s definitely worth it!
Now for the fun near Seattle but not in the dirct city of Seattl. We’ve driven around Mount Rainier and driven through the mountains that lead up to the big white mountain and gosh is that a beautiful drive! I want to go w/out the kids or I suppose when they get older I’d love to go again. They just don’t appreciate it like we do. But seeing the hidden waterfalls, ravine’s, and the neat curvy roads will take your breath away. We love going to Auburn to shop at their SuperMall. When we mention it people look us like we’re insane but when you come from an area that has an abundance of shopping and you find that similar shopping spot in a new area you tend to just go. It feels normal to us. There is even a big super Walmart there….which is rare here! I would have never thought they would be so rare here but they are! We recently went to a snow park. Yup….never heard of those before moving here! You’d think you could just go play in the snow and go home but they have actual parks here. At first I was like really you have to pay?! But when you think of why it makes sense. Number 1 reason is safety! They make sure it’s safe to play there. They set off controlled avalanches and when you hear that it’s like oh….yah, wouldn’t want to be caught in a surprise avalanche if I can help it. Number 2 reason…..heated bathrooms!!!! That’s a big deal when you have to pee man!! I’d never sledded or ski’d in my life….had no idea how that was going to be. OMG OMG OMG that was the most freaking fun I’ve ever had…seriously! I want to go again soon. I might be the only one but I could totally be a professional sledder….is that even real, lol!! Another beautiful place to go is the Tulip Festival that’s held every spring. We went there very soon after arriving here and I hope to go again this year. Although the kids will not give a care in the world about it. One of the best zoo’s I’ve ever been to is in Tacoma. It’s just a short drive but totally worth it. Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is yes a zoo and an aquarium….the aquarium alone is freaking awesome!!! I had so much fun and can’t wait to go there again!!
I’m sure i’m missing something but there are definitely up sides to living here.
by jcastles | Feb 10, 2014 | Family
You know that gut feeling something is wrong but the doctors keep telling you something different yet you just know it’s not right. Well that’s what has happened to us. Our 9 yr old Kennyth has had one heck of a bad month! He started telling us about some stomach pains he was having and just like every normal parent we would ask when was the last time you pooped. He’d tell us last night…or a few days ago. So we’d say well you need to go and voila it seemed to work.
Fast forward a few weeks. At the same time this was going on he was having ear ache after ear ache. So after 2 months of treatment it was time for surgery. A few days before surgery he was in so much pain from his stomach I made a doc appt to make sure he was ok and could go through the ear surgery in a few days. The doc just said yah, he’s constipated and it could be nerves for the upcoming ear surgery. Give him some extra fiber and miralax for few days to get things moving and voila….seemed to work. So we went through all the ear surgery stuff and all of a sudden his stomach was back at it.
Fast forward a few more weeks and that’s where we’re at today. We were talking about how he’s not getting any better at all and we want blood work done to test for diabetes, celiac disease, etc! So the hubbs took him to our local hospital and they pretty much sent them straight to the Seattle Children’s hospital. They start drawing blood, testing his urine, stool, etc. and they rule out a bunch of things so that was good. But they did find out that he’s anemic. Which totally explains his ghostly appearance! They were kind of surprised his doctor didn’t check for that because of how pale and lethargic he was. And they’re thinking he has Crohn’s Disease. More testing over the next few days for that.
So…back to the go with your gut saying. I’ve had this feeling that something was wrong with him for quite some time during this whole thing. But because the docs weren’t worried we chalked his hurting up to him being lazy and not eating right etc. Well at some point you just have to go with your gut. Our insurance only covers emergencies if it’s an emergency. Well our pediatric doctor has local offices all over our area and are open 7 days a week. Therefore making the emergency thing a little hard. So we waited until after hours to go to the ER and i’m so glad we did!!! I wanted them to find something out but didn’t at the same time.
They always say your mommy intuition knows best….I’m glad I eventually listened. I’m just sad I didn’t listen to myself sooner.
by jcastles | Dec 22, 2013 | Crafts, Family, Holiday Crafts
There are several tutorials showing how to make your elf posable. Some require sewing skills. Some require snipping but no sewing. Well my instructions are as simple as can be and require no sewing or snipping of your elf. I have 2 options as well, my version and the hubbs version.
Option 1 (my version)
The simple 5 minute instructions.
You’ll need: wire (got mine at walmart in the DIY section-less than $2). Your elf. Wire cutters.
The simple posing elf is just making his arms and legs posable. Cut pieces of wire to the length of his/her arms/legs. Shove the wire into the seams starting at the toes/fingers. It goes in super easy. Make sure the end of the wire isn’t sticking out by either cutting it shorter or working it into the fabric. Voila your done! Seriously that’s it.
Option 2 (the hubbs version)
This option took about 30 min but it’s TOTALLY worth it!!!
You’ll need: the exact same needs as mentioned above.
The process is totally the same as above however instead of inserting the wire in the seams of the toes/arms it’s a bit different. You’ll need wire the length of the elf’s torso to toes. Start at the butt/leg seam and insert the piece going up the torso of the elf. Then shove the rest of the wire down the elf’s leg. Repeat on the other side and now his torso/legs are posable. For the arms you’ll get a piece of wire the length of fingertip to fingertip going across the neck/upper back area of the elf. From under the elf’s collar shove the wire in to the left or right (whichever way you want to start is fine). Then shove the other piece thru the other side of the elf’s arm/neck area. Now your elf’s arms can pose up and down and all around. Same with the legs and torso!
Enjoy your posable Elf!!
by jcastles | Dec 13, 2013 | Family, Holiday Crafts
This time of year is my absolute favorite time of year. The giving, the lights, the kindness, the joy in children’s eyes, and just being with family make me light up. This year it’s different for us because we can not go home to Texas to be with our family. It saddens us but at the same time it will be nice to stay in our jammies all day if we want to.
Every year we decorate the inside of our house as most do and do a little decorating outside. This year I didn’t want to do much decorating because I really hate taking it down. Plus this year I’m much busier than I was last year with my new Etsy shop and it took forever for us to even put the tree up. But just like a friend of mine told me I would I did do all the decorating that I usually do. And I’m glad I did. It brightens my day to see my tree lit and the lights out on the house.
One of our traditions is of course The Elf on The Shelf. I have a love/hate relationship with that little dude! I love how the kids love Ralphy but I hate figuring out what to do with that little guy every single night! A few other traditions are: we listen to Christmas music the entire month! Watch Elf, Christmas Vacation, and Christmas Story about a 100 times each. And drink as much hot chocolate as we can stand.
Every year we also choose two Angels off the Angel Tree in the mall. This year, in Washington, we couldn’t find an Angel Tree (guess it’s a southern thing). So my husband’s company helped out a foster family and we chose two kiddos. We always get one need and one want off their list. I’ve been doing this since I was little….it’s a tradition I did with my Mom. I hope my boys keep it up when I’m gone.
Now to my entire point of this post. I posted a photo of our growing presents under our Christmas tree on Facebook the other day (it is the above pic). I got a few comments that made me kinda feel bad but when I thought about it I realized I shouldn’t feel bad. Yes our kids have a ton of gifts under the tree. There is a reason to that. We don’t buy our kids gifts, toys, etc unless it’s their birthday or Christmas. They usually only get clothes when needed and at the beginning of school. We help others at Christmas and throughout the year and give w/out expecting anything in return. So now that I think about what we’ve got under our tree I don’t feel bad about it. There have been times where we’ve had just a few gifts under the tree because of hard times…so when we can give we give!
I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!! Smile at someone daily….you just might make their day. 😀
by jcastles | Dec 2, 2013 | Crafts, Family, Holiday Crafts
Well today is Cyber Monday! Go to my Etsy Shop and see what’s happening!! Use coupon code: MESSIMONDAY13 to get 15% off your order!!