Newly beaded




I may have convinced My hubby to let me keep the hermit crabs and not donate them to someone…. Only time will tell… 2 1/2 weeks until we move.

Scream free parenting chapter 4

I’ve been a bit behind. I had to return the book to the library and I argued with myself about buying the online kindle version of the book.

Scream Free Parenting By Hal Edward Runkel, LMFT:

“children are not machines or pets and parents are neither their operators or their owners.”

Reflection questions Chapter 4:

1)      What was it like to imagine your and your families future? What was the hardest part? What did you like thinking about the most.

This question I can’t truly answer. I’m so pessimistic and skeptical about life and the future that I fear “thoughtful wishing.” When I think of the future I can only imagine the present or the near future…. Long term escapes me. I worry that I won’t have a close connection with my boys or even my hubby.

2)      When you think about your effect on your child’s future, what is your first feeling: excitement, hope, fear, guilt, dread?

A cross between dread and hope

3)      If you can be honest with yourself, how much do you hope your children fulfill your own ambitions? How well do you know their ambitions?

Honestly, I just want them to have ambition. Sometimes/most of the time I lack ambition and enthusiasm for an endeavor and I hope, yes “ I” hope, they have more ambition and drive than I do. I hope they have dreams and they want and drive to accomplish them no matter what. I’ve always been to insular and self-contained that I’ve hardly ever tried to given up too soon.  Right now my kids want to be super heroes.

4)      How self-directed is each of your children now? What steps have they taken recently toward self direction, and how have you encouraged that growth.

Well my oldest is only 4 and my youngest is only 2 so I will only answer this for the oldest.

My oldest is very self motivated when something interests him. Whether he is interested in dinosaurs, toads, animals or super heroes he immerses himself in them. I help it along by renting movies, buying/renting books,  buying toys, pretend play, wrestling matches and frog hunts.

5)      What does it mean to you to “let go of the final results?” What might that look like in terms of your relationship with your children?

That I can’t beat, yell, or enforce the final result into my children. I must lead by example and if they choose to follow my good examples good but if they choose to follow my bad examples now to hold myself too accountable because it is the choice they made. There are 2 decision makers here. I make decision to do something and they make a decision to do something… “Parents shape their children. Children shape themselves. Both are true”

Relationship-wise, me learning to relax my orders……

Jelly legs

Well, the hermit crab Sunshine had been buried under the substrate for about a week… but I had to isolate her today. I found SunSun [the other big crab] digging a trench right on top of her…I don’t know if he was trying to eat her or not but I decided to isolate her just in case. When I picked her up I noticed her missing leg is now growing back [clear jelly leg until the molt]. So right now she is in the 2 gallon tank and hopefully she’ll molt and can rejoin the others soon.

Big Cat Coffees – Keurig K-Cup Coffees, Teas and Brewers

Big Cat Coffees – Keurig K-Cup Coffees, Teas and Brewers.

Well, I just ordered $85 dollars worth of coffee for my Keurig coffee machine through this website. They have this option where you can make your own custom variety pack, which i think is totally awesome. I admit I went a little bit overboard at 25 flavors [5 k-cups per flavor] [some flavors I duplicated]. so that was around 125 k-cups of coffee which I can usually stretch out into 2 cups….. I think I went slightly crazy.

i’ll update on my order once i receive it.

Here was my order:

Gloria Jean’s – Butter Toffee K-Cups (51)
Gloria Jean’s – Cappuccino K-Cups (52)
Gloria Jean’s – Swiss Chocolate Almond K-Cups (62)
Timothy’s – Caramel Vanilla Nut K-Cups (95)
Timothy’s – Hazelnut Noisette K-Cups (101)
1 $16.95 $16.95
Caribou – Daybreak Morning Blend K-Cups (11)
Caribou – Decaf Caribou Blend K-Cups (15)
Coffee People – Donut Shop Coffee K-Cups (26)
Green Mountain Coffee – Hazelnut K-Cups (130)
Green Mountain Coffee – Fair Trade Island Coconut K-Cups (244)
1 $16.95 $16.95
Yum 3
Coffee People – Donut Shop Coffee K-Cups (26)
Timothy’s – Colombian Excelencia (123)
Green Mountain Coffee – Caramel Vanilla Cream K-Cups (126)
Green Mountain Coffee – Mocha Nut Fudge K-Cups (133)
Timothy’s – Sugar Bush Maple K-Cups (227)
1 $16.95 $16.95
Yum 4
Coffee People – Donut Shop Coffee K-Cups (26)
Coffee People – Donut Shop Decaf K-Cups (29)
Diedrich – Colombia K-Cups (40)
Timothy’s – Parisian Nights Extra Bold K-Cups (110)
Green Mountain Coffee – Decaf Vermont Country Blend K-Cups (147)
1 $16.95 $16.95
Yum 5
Bigelow – Earl Grey Tea K-Cups (170)
Celestial Seasonings – India Spice Chai Tea K-Cups (183)
Wolfgang Puck – Jamaica Me Crazy K-Cups (418)
Wolfgang Puck – Jamaica Me Crazy K-Cups (418)
Wolfgang Puck – Jamaica Me Crazy K-Cups (418)
1 $16.95 $16.95

Shell Change

SID the little hermit crab finally changed his shell! (I know silly thing to be happy about)
Later that day in Hermitville:
Grrrr Sid the hermit crab changed back into his old painted shell…..
….Go backwards 3 steps….
Damn crab….


2 weeks later he finally changed shells again….. damn crab!

Scream-free Parenting, Reflection Part 3

First I just need to sat…. I’ve been a crappy impatient parent today…..

Scream-Free parenting by Runkel, reflections part 3

1) What’s the part of parenting that you find most challenging? Think about the challenges throughout your parenting history and those you fight most difficult right now.

What I find most difficult is parenting when I am tired or stressed, which is often. I just can’t think beyond my reaction. So bed time and morning breakfast time{pre-coffee} are the most difficult. Also when I lose something and I’m on a wild search for it, when I’m lost or when the kids aren’t doing what I asked and are throwing fits.

2) Several people have said this: “I was a much better parent before I had kids.” How is your view of parenting different now than it was before you had kids? How is parenting more challenging? How is it more rewarding?

Oh, I was the never feed McDonalds, make children eat veg and fruit kind of pre-mom. I wouldn’t ever co-sleep as the baby needs its own bed, wean by 6 months from the breast and definitely no pacifier after a yr. Children are innocent and you shouldn’t yell or spank them. I became the let’s go to McDonald’s mom. I gave my kids juice when they refused fruit and veg. I co-slept so I could actually sleep, my oldest had his paci until 2 ½ yrs and I yell and spank and threaten to spank way too often.

It’s so challenging because you can’t rationalize with the little demons. That and my oldest is a mini-me so we both set each other off easy…. I know I know I’m the freaking adult.

Its more rewarding because of the things that come out of their mouths, their smiles and hugs, watching them grow and learn things, seeing them take pride in their accomplishments. It swells my heart

3) Recall an activity where your reactivity actually made things worse. What could you have done differently? What’s a possible different outcome?

My oldest and his potty training. I was so hard on him. I used words like its dirty and nasty to go in your underwear. Gross. Bad Boy…. I shamed him. It took him a long time to potty train. I could have been gentler. I could have been more patient but I was too concerned about what others thought of my unpotty trained son. I was hard on him and I should have not been so aggressive. If I had been gentler maybe it would have clicked a lot soon or at least I wouldn’t be crying at the memory now.

4) How much do you consider yourself a grown up? How has becoming a parent asked you to continue to grow?

I consider myself a lousy grown up. I don’t act mature in my dealings with my children…. But being a parent has caused me to look at my own demons and acknowledge that I need to change and that I am endeavoring to change. I love my family. I need to change.

5) What benefit might it have for your child to see you still striving toward maturity, still seeking your own growth?

Well, considering my oldest is just like me, volatile and temperamental, I think seeing me control myself will definitely influence him. With my youngest, I believe it will lead to a less stressful childhood for him.

Whenever we give in to our anxious reactivity, we help create the very outcome we’re hoping to avoid.

Mama, I want

An aspect of parenthood is self-sacrifice. I give up a lot of my time, my dinner plate and my TV preferences to my sons. I also tend to give up a lot of quality and quantity time with my hubby. However, last night was my hubby’s test of self-sacrifice. Last night, I had a girl’s night out with my mommy friends. We went out for sushi, wine and then to the movie theater to watch “The Hangover part II.” Good movie by the way. I’m a bit traumatized from the viewing but otherwise thoroughly enjoyed it.

My dinner with friends started at around 6:30pm at a Sushi Thai restaurant. Afterwards at around 8:16pm we made our way to the theater for the 8:40 movie. I text my hubby to make sure he’s ok. He calls me back within 5 mins to tell me….. ” The kids are ok, they aren’t hurt, they are fine….. but we are  driving back home now from the medical urgent care…..”

Turns out that at around 6:38pm he was trying to open a package with a switch blade and ended up stabbing his forefinger on his left hand. It wouldn’t stop bleeding so he grabbed both boys, tossed them in the car and went to the urgent care by himself with the kids. When I asked him why didn’t he call me he said “cause I respect girl’s night out and I couldn’t do that to you.'”

oh, my darling husband practically chops his finger off and instead of enlisting my help takes the boys to the urgent care by himself…… his bleeding self….

The boys had fun. They practiced fighting methods, drumming, and other methods of mayhem while in the waiting room and the “service” room. moreover, they were both a sleep when I got home at 12am.

My hubby is great! …. if a little misguided….

The Joys of parenting:

“Mama, I want my penis to go down (get smaller)” says my oldest, {He’s been tugging on it and fiddling with it since he got up 3 hrs ago…. he decided he didn’t want to replace his pants after he got up}

My reply was the obvious “well sweetie, if you stop touching it, it will.”

Ahhh, parenthood!

Natural deodorant as face wash???

Not my words(my words are after)

Ingredients for homemade deodorant:
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup arrow root powder OR corn starch
~5 tablespoons coconut oil
Directions for making homemade deodorant:
1. Combine baking soda and arrow root powder in a bowl and mix with a fork.
2. Start with about 4 tablespoons/one-fourth cup of coconut oil and add the coconut oil to the baking soda mixture, working into a paste.
The deodorant will have somewhat of a play-dough consistency, and will be softer or harder depending on its temperature. You can put the deodorant into a small container with a lid, or into an empty stick deodorant dispenser if you have one. My deodorant hardened somewhat after I put it into a container.

(Her words)

(my words)
I ended up getting really itchy dry armpits from this recipe so I added extra coconut oil, several drops of tea tree and lavender 100% essential oil.
I put it in a porcelain container instead if an old deodorant container. I heard that coconut oil is a good moisturizer fir your face so I’ve actually started using this mixture as a “face wash.” I rinse my face first, then rub a small amount all over my face and rinse with cool water for about a minute then pat dry.
It feels like a light exfoliator and the coconut oil doesn’t leave your face oily.

I’ve also put 2 drops of lavender in my palm and then added water to it and rubbed it all over my face taking care not to get it near my eyes.

I think these things have helped my skin.

Google these oils and their benefits for skin.
Coconut oil
Lavender essential oil
Tea tree essential oil

Hives and not the ones for bees

So my 2 yr old developed hives yesterday. We don’t know what caused them. It could be a number of things. Like: 1) he’s had 4 icees this week and he’s never had them before…[they are a cool down treat for his brother who is in a swim day camp] 2) he didn’t take his 24 hr claratin 2x in a row this week, 30) i gave him a herbal cough and chest congestion medicine that has 100% honey in it 4) I’ve switched laundry soaps to a more natural one and 5) he used an older blanket,m that though clean has seen a lot of usage on our adult bed because the dogs sleep with us….
Either way, hydro-cortisone cream and benedryl got rid of them yesterday so i thought we were in the clear but I noticed them again this evening so I’m wondering what’s causing them….. hmmmm

anyway, my 4 yr old is in a swim day camp for the week. He is having a blast. Actually, after the first day, when I picked him up and asked him how his day went he said ” it was swell!” swell? Swell! WTF! What 4 yr old says swell? Anyways, so i’m glad he is having fun. Unfortunately, after day camp his is so tired he has been a little whining demon brat! Arg! i’ve done real good at control my reactions though so his tantrums haven’t spiraled out of control… thank God!… although we’ve both been close to emotional stressed eruptions… so I guess the scream-free parenting book is working. 😉
On a good note my 4 yr old has fallen asleep 2x this week before 7pm! That is a BLESSING!

All in all this has been a good week.

Scream-Free parenting Reflections chapter 2

Scream Free Parenting By Hal Edward Runkel, LMFT:

Chapter 2 Reflections:

1)      What situation with your child seems to make you most reactive

There are several situations at the moment. When the boys are whining, fighting over toys, potty accidents, doing something I told them not to do… but mostly whining. The whining kills me

2)      What is your typical way of screaming?

I’m embarrassed to admit that  I storm across the room yelling and accusing. I’m loud.

3)      When you lose your temper who are you usually tempted to blame?

See I allow my children and even others to upset me and I may initially say “well if you had/hadn’t  done ________ then I wouldn’t be mad right now” or “great you made me mad” or something stupid like that… but at the end of the storm I blame no one but myself. Many of the principles in this book I already have acknowledged. I know only I can control myself and it is a struggle. I’m a fire cracker and I need to learn to put out my own match.

4)      Has anyone ever tried to make you lose your temper on purpose? How did you respond?

When I’ve argued with my  husband we have both said things to intentionally incite more anger. I usually allow myself to be bathed in the anger and let loose. However, I have at times chosen not to get angry, well explosive… I’ve gotten angry but I don’t explode… which is a big plus.

5)       Recall a time when you well proud of the fact that you remained calm and connected during a heated situation. How did your calm presence affect the outcome?

Sometimes when my 4 yr old gets over tired at night he goes nuclear. A few times I’ve stayed calm and let him storm and then if he starts to calm himself or ask for hugs then I do so and I comfort him until we can get things settled and go to sleep. Unfortunately, when he first starts to explode I usually go off as well. I have to fight with myself to calm down and then help him calm down. If  I remain calm the explosion usually has a shorter duration.


The unfortunate truth is that many of us live our relationships this way. We continually surrender control over our emotional responses to those around us. We need others to accept us or validate us by doing whatever we tell them to do, we make them caretakers of our emotional remote controls…..

…….Taking responsibility for your own actions is a sign of maturity. Owning up to your mistakes without blaming your circumstances, other people or your childhood…….. learning to be under control means taking responsibility for your decisions before during and after you make them.

— To be in charge as a parent means inspiring your children to motivate themselves.

Night weaning…. Again

So my hubby is off work for the summer so we are going to attempt bedtime weaning off of the boobie for my 27 month old..,, again and hopefully by the summer’s end be done with breastfeeding all together. I’m cooked and tired of breastfeeding. I’ve no patience for it anymore. I’ve done it for 8 months with my first plus 27 months with my second.


What I know about hermit crabs

I may be wrong…..

Land hermit crabs are not loners for the most part they prefer companionship. In the wild they can live in colonies. I have 3. They crowd into the same coconut hut.

They use each other to climb out of things.

They need a humid, warm environment. Get a thermometer that tests temp and humidity and put it in the tank.

They are omnivorous … meaning they eat plants and meats… Mine love apples and salmon dry dampened dog food and of course hermit crab store-bought food. don’t give acidic foods or dairy.

They should be given special salt water and fresh [not tap] water to drink.

They need shells to change into as they get bigger and should be given several options to choose from.

Hermit crabs can grow back lost limbs. Before they molt, shed their exoskeleton, they grow jelly legs in the place of the lost limbs.

They bury themselves to molt and should be left alone to molt in peace. This can take a week or so. {I isolated my small one when he molted because I didn’t want him to be eaten by the 2 big ones} The young ones molt more often than the older ones.

They eat their old exoskeleton to regain lost calcium. They also can get calcium from shells and cuttle stones [for birds].

They need to have a humid environment because they breathe through gills and DO NOT USE tap water with them as the chlorine can burn and kill them. Either use spring water or tap water that has been made safe and dechlorinated with fresh water aquarium water conditioner.

Supposedly, the crabs are active at night. I kick mine out of their coconut shell hut once a day or once every other day to make sure they get out an eat.

Crabs need some space and depth to their living environment. I have a 10 gallon aquarium for my 2 big and 1 small hermit crabs. I am currently using a coconut fiber substrate [bedding]. You can buy it as a condensed brick at a pet store in the reptile section, add water, it expands and you break it apart.

Crabs like to dig. Make sure you put enough substrate in there to let them bury themselves. Do not use heavy rocks. I’ve found I prefer the coconut fiber to sand….

I recently found out that they can live 20 or more years if properly taken care of…. I probably should have read about them before purchasing them for my sons.

Oh and painted shells are bad and could be poisonous to them. Only get them natural shells. My little one is still in his painted shell because he refuses to choose a new one.

I just found out that a female hermit crab has spots on either side of her body after her 3rd walking legs. Do not attempt to pull your hermit crab out of the shell to check.

So far this is most or all of what I know. if you actually want more accurate information do what I did and google it.

I’ve a 2 gallon tank and a 10 gallon tank.




Scream-Free parenting, chapter 1 reflections

Okay, so I am reading this parenting book and for the first time in my life I am voluntarily completing the reflection questions…. at least for Chapter 1…. wish me luck and perseverance…..

Scream Free Parenting By Hal Edward Runkel, LMFT:

Reflections: Chapter 1

1)      The opening line of this chapter is “the greatest thing you can do for your kids is learn to focus on yourself.” When you read that line for the first time what was your initial reaction?

My first reaction was huh? You want me to focus on myself? What like I want pistachio ice cream so get my ice cream instead of the kid’s choice?

2)      Is your reaction any different now that you’ve read the chapter?

Yes, I realize you are not talking about focusing on myself with physical materials BUT focusing on my reactions to the stimuli my children provide.

3)      Recall one of the times you have felt your children were out of control. If you had greater control over your own emotions, how could the situation have had a different outcome.

There are some many situations where my behavior has made things worse. In fact, there are some many times I’ve lost it that I can’t name a specific incident. It usually starts off with a whine, and I start off calm but as the whine progresses I quickly degrade. I start snapping, yelling and belittling and throughout this the whine becomes a tantrum and a storm of tears. Both of us end up angry and eventually I’m guilt ridden and depressed.

If I could’ve kept my cool I might have been able to defuse the situation eventually or at least remained level headed enough to walk away. As it is, in the heat of the moment walking away feels like defeat and surrender instead of a chance to cool off. In my mind I can’t accept defeat so the stakes are raised and the war is loud.

4)      In the past what has prevented you from focusing on yourself? Was it fear of being self centered? Fear of finding out things you didn’t want to know about yourself? Fear of blaming yourself for everything and letting others off the  hook?

No, my fear is in losing the battle and conceding defeat. My pride gets in the way. I feel powerless so in my powerlessness I push on…. Volatile and angry and then my guilt continues to push me because since Id already chosen this angry path to give up would be to admit defeat and I cannot admit defeat. My need to control others actions and reactions causes me to not retrain myself. I am the bull in the china shop. I don’t focus on myself because I choose not to focus on myself. I let the ANGER flow and I follow the flow. I hate myself for allowing myself to “go with the flow of anger.”

5)      What to you think are your responsibilities “to” each of your children?

“I am responsible to my child for how I behave, regardless of how he or she behaves.”
Again, the focus is on you because ultimately you are the only one you can control. If you make sure you behave- even when your kids misbehave- then you have a greater chance of positively influencing the situation, any situation.

To my oldest: I am responsible to him by responding to his emotionally sensitive nature patiently. He cannot be thrown into a situation and he has a hard time adapting. I need to show more patience with him and I need to control my yelling and my threats to spank. He needs my attention and me controlling myself for him to learn how to do that for himself. In him I see me and if I can’t control me he will have my same issues.

To my youngest: I am also responsible for controlling my anger and my anxiety and not be short with him because I am frustrated with his brother.