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Friday, December 20, 2013

December Is Smokin’ Hot!!!

Well this has been a most productive and satisfying month for us all! The first week was spent potty training Cindy. We had picked up the pink potty while visiting in Colorado last month and I had set it in the girls’ room to get it outta the way. On the 1st, without telling us, Cindy used it and announced it to MHG and I. We were so excited that I decided to completely skip the pull-ups phase and put her directly into big girl underwear. We used the Gerber “training pants”, although I’m not sure what was so training about them? They were 100% cotton without any waterproofing…the same thing as underwear if you ask me. After exactly 6 days of a few accidents and a few times of hand washing stuff in the tub, she was completely potty trained! It was a friggin’ miracle and an early Christmas present for me! We packed up all of our cloth diapering stuff on the 7th day and stowed it away in the deepest recesses of their underbed storage. I took her to Target to pick out some real panties and she went with a package of Elmo and a package of butterflies & flowers. (I let her decorate her potty with a million stickers to keep her interested in it as well.) By the end of the month, she was using our regular toilet every time, so we got rid of  hers. This household couldn’t be happier! Oh, and we don’t have the faint smell of diapers lingering around here anymore either! Look how happy and proud of herself she is!!!
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MHG has been busy too! She’s been homeschooling up a storm and has plenty to show for it. She tackled a couple of fun science projects this month. She started the month off by putting a damp paper towel into a ziplock bag with 12 beans on it. We hung it up on the dry erase board. The purpose of this experiment was to see why roots grow down (gravity). After they grew down for a while, we threw away the beans that had molded, and took the paper towel out, turned it around and placed it back inside. After a couple weeks, the beans’ roots backtracked and started growing down again. By the end of the month, they were outta control, they grew leaves but we decided not to plant them. It isn’t exactly easy to grow stuff in Arizona…unless it’s a cactus! The project was a lotta fun and we realized that sprouting beans is really easy! If we ever decide to grow beans in the future, it’ll be a cinch! 
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The second project she tackled was growing Brine Shrimp. The purpose of this experiment was to find out if stuff that grows in one type of water (saltwater in this case) can grow in the other type of water (freshwater in this case). She was pretty grossed out by this project…I thought her reaction to it was hilarious!
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Nothing to report here, just a pic to offer you a comparison. This was the second she stirred the eggs into the saltwater.
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It’s kinda hard to see, but the white thingy in the center of this pic is a hatched brine shrimp. 48 Hours after starting the project there were just a couple of these little guys. This is zoomed in pretty far by the way.
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4 Days after doing the project, nearly all of them were hatched. It was pretty neat and crazy at the same time. None of the Brine Shrimp in the freshwater hatched…obviously.
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Now, switching gears, we’ve been having issues for quite some time with our RV “leaking”. This summer in Virginia was pretty rainy and there was always water pooling up under our slide. We assumed it was a poor seal around our slide, so Nic stuffed some pool noodles in around the edges to see if that would help. It didn’t. The day before we left Virginia for Arizona, we were under our bed and noticed it was “flooded”. Not terrible mind you…but enough. We didn’t have time to attend to it though. Fast forward to the here and now and we finally have time to see what’s up. Well, as it turns out, our water pump was cracked and was leaking water slowly out of it. The leaking water was following the floor seams on its way out from under our bed and ran the whole length of the floor under the slide. It never was rain under there. That’s good to know!
We didn’t have an isolation valve on the line before the pump. That would’ve stopped the flow to the water pump, whether it was in use or not. He ran out and bought that, installed it and got rid of our pump. We’ll buy and install a new one when we deem it a necessary purchase. Those things aren’t exactly cheap, and right now we aren’t in need of it.
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Here are the freshwater intake hoses and as you can see, the water pump is now removed. To the left you can see the isolation valve that Nic installed to stop the water from flowing to the pump.
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Goodbye crappy water pump.
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Now we return to our darling little dears. Here they are pictured being goofballs wearing their hoodies on their legs instead of their arms.
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“Hey Mom, fill my water, will ya?”
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I’d say they’re pretty comfortable…wouldn’t you?
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A rare occasion: Cindy let me put her hair in pigtails and she didn’t pick her nail polish off immediately.
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Activities
Living in 232 sq ft can cramp you up sometimes. We spend quite a bit of time outdoors. Far more time is spent outside than before we lived in our RV actually…and we’ve always been outdoors people! We enjoy walking (and the end of the month I took up running), MHG bikes all over the park with me following behind, Ahdoo bought an outdoor light-up bowling game for us (so much fun), Yoga is done mostly outdoors and we’ve yet to actually swim in the pool, but that day is coming…I can assure you of that! When we leave the resort, we head to a park for the girls to play with other kids and mess around on the equipment. We’re still trying to find a good park to hike around and explore, but we prefer one that doesn’t charge a fee.
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The day we basked in the sun while drinking fresh picked, hand squeezed lemonade!
We did outdoor homeschooling! I still can’t believe it’s December…
girls in sun
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…no complaints here!
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December 17th brought us our first Full Moon in Arizona. It was a magickal sight to see, as always.
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Some Vegan and Not-So-Vegan Eats
Fresh picked Grapefruit on the left (I eat that nearly every morning for Breakfast) and freshly picked, hand squeezed lemonade on the right.
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I decided to treat the girls to some M&M pancakes and scrambled eggs w/ cheese one morning. They were stoked.
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Both batches below of cookies are Vegan.
On the left: Oatmeal, Craisin, Carob Chip Cookies         On the right: Chocolate Chip Cookies
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2 Vegan Meals:
Left: Smart Pasta with stir-fried snap peas, carrots, kale, mushrooms, onions, snap peas & seaweed
Right: Brown Rice with stir-fried kale, carrots, mushrooms, avocado, onions, garlic and walnuts
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The yellow stuff below is Nutritional Yeast. It is a fantastic source of B-12 for Vegans.
My salads consist of a majority of the following ingredients: Nutritional Yeast, Olive Oil (as dressing), hot sauce (as dressing), tomatoes, avocados, raisins or craisins, walnuts or almonds, seaweed, onions, cucumbers, kale, spinach, romaine, bok choy, cabbage, daikon, mushrooms, carrots, peas, leeks, olives, sprouts, seeds and any other veggies that spark my interest in the produce department.
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On another occasion, I prepared a “what do we have in the fridge” meal, lol. I cooked rice, and for the meat-eaters, some ground beef with cheese and onions. For myself though, I prepared a veggie stir-fry and piled it on top of some rice and wrapped it up in seaweed. It was divine!
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Naturally, this was the month of Yule and Christmas so food isn’t the only thing that I was busy creating…I took on quite a few crafty projects as well. I always MAKE their presents for Yule. I might make 1 or 2 for Christmas as well, but typically those presents are store-bought.
For MHG, I made a Mouse with her Teddy Bear in a tin (Altoids)…and…
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…a portable Tic-Tac-Toe set.
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For Cindy, I made a portable fabric dollhouse (with a fairy/forest/gnome aesthetic).
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The mushroom lid can be removed from the house to make for easier playing. The girls like to lie it next to the house and it becomes a trampoline for their dolls…occasionally, I will find Cindy using it as a floor cushion to sit on. (rolling eyes)
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The front door wall lifted up…it has vines growing on either side of the door frame, and the back of the house with the windows and more leafy vines growing around them. The door wall lies down flat to be the floor of the inside of the house.
The buttons are used to fasten the loops around it to close it up when it needs to be portable. I picked huge, gawdy buttons so Cindy can get some good fine motor skills practice in. It’s a challenge for her, but she’s getting better at it.
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The inside of the house has pictures of animal friends hanging on the walls and embroidered vines growing around the windows. The door wall is lying down flat, so you can’t see it.
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A look at the hand embroidered detail of the vines around the windows.
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My favorite part was the door I made.
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I also made her a portable alphabet game with carry case…
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…and a tiny frog to go in the dollhouse. He was the same tiny size as MHG’s mouse.
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I put more effort into Cindy’s present because I was hoping that if she had her own dollhouse, she would leave MHG’s alone. This would act as a present to MHG then…she’d get more alone time without her little sister always bugging her. (It didn’t exactly work out that way.)
I also sewed them both some fabric tea bags for tea time play.
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Last but not least, I sewed my family some stockings. Each were made to fit each individual’s likes. For Ahdoo, a Scooby Doo stocking made from Cindy’s first pair of S.D. pj’s. For myself, a boho stocking made from a shirt of mine that I love, yet never wear and my favorite boho dress & leggings of Cindy’s…she JUST grew out of them. For MHG, a Monster High stocking from an old t-shirt of hers that she also just outgrew. My children are growing like weeds! For Cindy, a patchwork stocking of assorted fabrics. I made the pattern myself by tracing my foot (loosely) while where my big bulk slipper. It was a fun process. When I get around to it, I’ll do a blog post on that process, but I’ll put that on my other blog…www.zoethestitchwitch.blogspot.com.
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Nic got a little crafty this month as well. He finally got sick and tired of having to do Yoga just so he could sit at our kitchen table. This prompted him to buy some stuff (I picked our the wheel spindle thingies) to make a single center leg for it.
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In conjunction with these, he also used a couple 1x1’s and some L-brackets. He stained everything with the high gloss ebony stain with polyurethane included and drilled all the holes to screw it all together. Not all the spots took the stain well though, so he went over the whole thing again and when it dried, he sprayed it all with an enamel high gloss clear finishing spray by Krylon. The next day, after everything was completely dry, he brought it in. (This is just a card table by the way.) In order to keep the table in tact, he just folded up the two front legs and screwed the center post into the underside of the table top and through the bottom leg piece right into my pirty floor.
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I LOVE how it turned out and I would definitely say it was a job well done! Now if we could just make the benches look nice… :(
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He put the baseboard trim up along the floor of our slide to give it the finishing touch.
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After the holidays are here and gone and I get my sewing energy back, I’m going to sew a super long “floor curtain” to hide the underside of the slide. It’ll attach to the underside of the slide’s floor and will drape down to the kitchen floor. Our RV originally came with one…but it was this hideously colored plaid number and thusly was ripped off immediately.
Christmas Eve day was spent making paper snowflakes. That’s the only snow we get this Christmas! We also spent pretty much the whole day baking cookies for ourselves and of course for the big man. It was a really warm day for us. We had the windows and front door open all day, we were all running around half-naked…especially Cindy…and later that night we went for a drive to see Christmas lights, just as we do every year.
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After we got home from a delicious dinner at Culver’s (pretty much the only place open on Xmas Eve), we came home and the girls were allowed to open one present each. They chose to open their gifts from their Auntie and Uncle and Cousin M&M’s…
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A bucket of Mr. Potato Head! That’s awesome!
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And for Monster High Girl…
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A Monster High sticker portfolio! O.M.G.! (She was just a little excited about it…can’t ya tell?) ;)
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Thank you Auntie Tiger, Uncle Jedi and M&M’s!!! They LOVED the gifts you sent them! You guys always pick them out the most perfect presents and I’m so glad that you got them things that are portable and thusly, RV friendly!!! You’re the best! Much love to you all!!! (Sorry about Cindy’s messy face…they had a couple cookies before presents, lol!)
After that excitement simmered down, we cuddled in bed and watched the original A Christmas Carol-Scrooge movie. It’s our Christmas Eve ritual. The girls *mostly* watched it in entirety…there was a bit of messing around on their parts, but otherwise they were pretty good, lol! After the movie, they laid out their letters to Santa, his almond milk (our Santa’s Vegan) and cookie and a big fat carrot for his reindeer…
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The next morning…he had come…and boy did the whole RV resort hear about it! Muah-ah-ah-ah!
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If you wanna read about Christmas day in our RV, you’ll have to stay tuned for that post. Sorry. I’ll work on that next. This was such a long post, cuz as I said in the beginning, it was a very productive and satisfying month for us (and we all know I was behind blogging, so I crammed it into one update)!
xmas 2013
We wish you all the best and I hope your holidays were both MERRY AND BRIGHT!!!
Owl Family Signature