Rugs and Bulbs

I went to pick up some bulbs (flowers not lights) today at the nursery that I love. I spent a lot of time thinking about what I might like things to look like. I left with 4 bags of hyacinths and daffodils. (And some pansies, er, panolas.) 

When I got to the car, I realized I forgot potting mix. Eh. I decided to go to Lowe's. When I got to Lowe's, I went straight to the garden center, priced the potting mix, and then I don't remember what inspired my trip indoors, but that's where I saw them: all flowering bulbs were 75% off. I went a little crazy. A lot crazy. (Yes, I returned the first four bags of bulbs that I paid full price for.) I will be inventing places to plant bulbs in a few weeks. Here's to a marvelously showy spring at Dot Spot. 

This evening I ordered what will be the third rug for our living room. (YAY for Rugsusa sales!) The first was lovely, an ivory shag rug. When trying to settle on a rug for the girls' room, I knew that I really wanted an identical rug in there, so I just moved it. Being that we live in every square inch of our home, it wasn't the wisest decision for our living room anyway because it gets a lot of traffic. Our current rug is also lovely. It's a low pile, blue-ish/grey and ivory trellis pattern. I love it. 

But then we got a dog. And had a potty training toddler. It's looking a little dingy in places. And while I'm certainly going to work at getting the paw prints up, I know that it will be a constant battle. Our bedroom will be getting a new addition. I ordered a jute rug. Initially, when I went back and forth for months about what rug we should get for the living room, I was looking at jute and sisal. Jake really wanted something soft and cushy, so we got the shag (I love shag rugs). We were afraid we might not like walking on jute, but every review but one says they love the way the rug feels underfoot. I hope we're one of them. I feel like it will be a good compromise, and I can be okay with not having a lighter colored rug during this phase of my life. (I wouldn't call natural jute dark, but it has the workhorse qualities of a brown rug without having to be a brown rug. No offense to brown rug lovers - I have pistachio velvet chairs in my living room - to each his own.)

Since I'm thinking about it - a short to-do list for Dot:
-Quarter round in the kitchen
-storage and curtains in the laundry room
-new fence in backyard (!!!)
-planters for front walk
-DESTROY dallisgrass in front yard in a way that won't lead to soil erosion over winter
-clean and reorganize kitchen cabinets.

What we're eating this week

I posted a picture of my weekly menu and the grocery list that went along with it, and my down-the street-neighbor, Jenn, not so slyly hinted that she'd like to see a blog post about it as her family is now dairy-free and just about meat-free.

Here is that post.

First, one of my all-time favorite recipe websites is Post Punk Kitchen. I love it. It's fun, and I've never made anything I haven't loved. This week, tonight actually, we made Mushroom Hot Pot. It's amazing. It reminds me of fall, just as Isa said it would. Our add-ins were broiled tofu and rice noodles. I've made it before with several of the other add-ins as well. I enjoy making it my own. Click on the picture for the recipe:

Last night we had roasted vegetables and brown rice. One of these days I'll tell you how I cook my rice, but today is not that day. This meal is a staple in our house. My very favorite roasted veggies are cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and mushrooms. The possibilities are limitless!

The last one I'll share tonight is one I haven't tried yet. Up for a story? Okay.

I am still mourning the loss of Matthew Kenney - the restaurant. It was a raw/vegan restaurant in OKC with the most amazing food. It was my favorite. It just up and shut down after three years of feeding folks in OKC raw food. I loved the Warm Kale Salad, and have been looking to recreate that flavor. I did a google search and came across a blog post from a woman who was in Matthew Kenney's raw food chef class, and she happened to share a recipe for the Chipotle Kale Salad she learned to make there. The warm kale salad definitely had chipotle going on. I can't wait to try it.

Also on our menu for this week is jambalaya and pizza. The jambalaya comes from a cookbook by the Mischeff Sisters. My Aunt Vickie, who is Seventh-day Adventist, sent me two of their cookbooks. I enjoy them. The jambalaya is superb, and I'll post the recipe at a later date. Pizza's pizza, yo. I usually go for a thinner crust, but since this summer, I've been making the thickest, most pillow-y amazing crust that my cousin Alissa shared with me. It's like crazy thick. My girls LOVE it. I'll post that too sometime if anyone is interested.

And for anyone who thinks I always eat super healthy food, I'm about to keep it real and tell you that I'm going to go have some Nutter Butters. I love them more than oreos dipped in milk.

Day's End

Tonight I'm feeling especially grateful for how kind and loving and gentle and sweet my darling daughters are.

Some days are hard. Really hard. The kind of days where the best thing would be to just sit and have a good cry, but the tears can't make it past the walls of frustration. Those walls are slowly coming down. I wish the dam would just break, but a little spilling over the top is good enough right now. 

Today was a really good day until late afternoon (and that's including Magnolia's tantrum at the store [very mild to what you're likely thinking when you see "tantrum," but it was a tantrum nonetheless], cleaning "skid marks" off a rug [don't ask], folding and putting away laundry for two hours [my whole "break" while Magnolia was at school] and approximately 3 spills) when I was at the park with Cora and Magnolia. Cora was talking to an older boy (9-ish), and he told her, more than once that he couldn't understand a word she was saying. She didn't phased by it, but I was. The light-hearted way he was telling her was a sort of dismissal of her. It made my heart sad. He later ended up joining in a game of hide-and-go-seek that Cora had started. 

I didn't quite let go of the hurt I felt, and the frustration of knowing there isn't an instantaneous fix for her to always be easily understood just exploded after we got home and Magnolia had an accident right next to me while I was making dinner. It was one of those CAN'T ANYTHING BE EASY moments? "Can't I just make dinner (add any and every activity here) without having to swoop in and fix something?" I felt petty and silly for getting so worked up. I went into super survival mode. I just wanted to sit on the kitchen floor, in the puddle of urine even, and have my cry, but I couldn't. 

I worked really hard at giving myself a pep talk, trying to be rational with my thoughts when my emotions were anything but. It helped. And by some miraculous miracle, Jake was able to come home for a few minutes. We shared a quick dinner, he left. I loved on my girls and put them to bed. 

And now I'm mentally exhausted, but feeling a welcome release. Relief. And gratitude. No matter how the days go, not a single one has passed away without me feeling blessed, in some way, by the work of being a mother.

Dreams About Shoes and Potty Talk

Do you ever dream about shoes? I don't very often, but I have been lately. Just one pair. If I could have any pair of shoes in the whole wide world right now, it would be this one:

Frye - Jillian Chelsea.

The only thing my dream of these shoes hasn't revealed is if I prefer them in Whiskey or Dark Brown. I think they would go with everything all fall and winter. And I think I would love them for years and years and years.

In a dream world, or maybe an ideal one, [are those different?], I would own five pairs of shoes. I know I just freaked some people out. Dream world to many would equal fifty [plus] pairs of shoes. Here's what my shoe rack would hold: A pair for spring/summer, fall/winter, a random pair of flats that I could dress up or down [like my beloved Seychelles], a pair of heels (perhaps 2, maybe I just boosted it to six pairs of shoes, but I could get by with one pair of heels), and my running shoes.

I really like wearing things until I wear them out. I also really like buying things that last a long time, so I try to pick "classics" that I won't get bored with. I'm also really cheap. It's a weird thing. I'm one of the cheapest people I know with the most expensive taste. It's kind of ridiculous. Cheap people don't buy Frye Boots. But people who keep the same pair of shoes for over a decade (I have two pairs that fall into that category, and I'm not that old), shouldn't feel bad about it if they do. (I'm not going to, I'm still recovering from September.)

This has spread to my girls. I've decided that for spring and summer, I'm going to buy them a pair of Saltwater Sandals. That's all. (My favorite are the Sun-San Swimmers because I like the sole best). They're shoes they can wear everywhere. Outside, in the water, to church, no need for more than one pair of shoes for those two seasons. It will make my life (and theirs) way easier. It worked well this year. Until Alice ate one of Magnolia's sandals.

In other news:
Magnolia was accident free at school all week! I went with her to her classroom on Monday as part of a little plan I hatched with her teachers and the director of her school. She only goes to school on Tu, W, Th, so it was just me and her in her classroom. I had her show me some the work she does, but I really wanted to be there to explore the bathroom with her and help her feel more comfortable with that potty.

We were there for less than five minutes when she told me she had to go (I made sure she had a lot to drink for breakfast). We went in, and I had her show me how to do everything. She did it perfectly (minus not sitting back quite far enough). We went back out to the classroom, and I had her show me some more work. She was so excited to show me everything in this new environment (she LOVES school). When I felt like we'd been there long enough, I wanted her to show me the bathroom one more time before we left. When we got in, I asked her to show me how she goes potty at school. She went through all the steps, sat on the potty, and went again! I was so glad she went twice while I was there. She's still a little afraid of the potty, but I hope that's phasing out. She didn't go to the bathroom at all on Tu, W, but she used the potty today. We took her to Orange Leaf yesterday and Green Goodies today. I'm going to have to come up with something besides sweet treats and phase out the rewards too. She's very proud of herself.


Halloween Costumes and Magic Auto Repair

I was excited when I thought the girls had decided what they wanted to be for Halloween when we were in Orange Beach this summer. Magnolia was going to be Alice, our standard poodle, and Cora was going to be a kitty cat. Easy and themed, yes! It stuck for about a month....then it all changed.

Last year Cora was a "flying princess unicorn." I made her costume in the likes of Princess Celestia. She was white, and I made her a rainbow mane. What does she want to be this year? A white pony with rainbow "hair." So basically she wants to be what she was last year minus the horn and wings. I've got that.

Magnolia, however, has been consistently telling people what she would now like to be, and it's so funny and random. What is it, you ask?

A shower.

I think it will be pretty easy. I'm thinking a hoop with a shower curtain hanging from it. I'll put some sort of shoulder straps onto keep it in place, but I don't want it to hang too low - I want the hoop to be about level with her shoulders. I was worried about how she'd move her arms out to trick-or-treat, but I'll just make sure the opening to the shower curtain is in the front. And then I'm going to make some sort of headband with a shower head coming up and over. I think it's going to be awesome.

Last year, I had to work really hard on Cora's costume. Magnolia was an elephant, and I got that costume on sale at Carter's. Easy. This year, Cora is easy and Magnolia's will require the extra work. I hope they can keep on keepin' on in this fashion, unless they decide to both go they easy route (your know, like Alice and a kitty cat). I wouldn't mind that either. I seriously love making their costumes though.

In other news...

I went and switched cars with Jake at work yesterday. I wanted to get the Prius washed, plus I want to see how much money we can save in gas if I drive the Prius for the next few weeks. I drive way more than Jake, so it makes sense. I had a coupon for a carwash, took it there, and decided to call a local body shop to see if they could fix the under-thingy that protects against scrapes. I noticed it was coming detached the other day. They person told me to expect about an hour and for it to cost $85. Eh...

I took it around the block to Magic Auto Repair. This place really is magic. They have the best prices anywhere, and are super kind. One time, many moons ago, our car just completely lost it out of nowhere. We took it to MAR and it was the timing belt. I'd been on the phone with my dad who told me we'd be looking at $500-600 for the timing belt (and he'd been telling me to make sure htey look at everything else before the timing belt because that would set us back quite a bit). He charged us $200. Awesome. I wish there was a super amazing grant they could get to spruce up their shop. It's a father/son team. The dad mostly changes oil, the son takes care of things like timing belts. When we were there for our timing belt, it was pouring down rain for hours and hours. Jake and "the son" talked most of the time, and he is so smart. You wish you could pick him up and put him in a mechanical engineering program. The family is from Persia (they always just say Iran), and "the dad" was always so adamant the first time we were there, "I don't cheat people. I'm Muslim. It's not our way." They've proven that many times to us.

So, I took the Prius to Magic Auto Repair, asked "the son" if he could fix it, and he said yes, he would just need to raise it up a bit so he could see. I asked him how much it would cost and he waived his hand at me, and motioned me around. It took him about 5 minutes. When he was done, he removed the jack and waived goodbye. I got out with all the cash I had in my wallet. $9.15. I actually had a $10, too, but it wasn't mine, it was Magnolia's. I held it up to him, and he said, "No, it's okay."

I told him to please take it. He smiled and grabbed the $5. $5 and 5 minutes vs. an hour and $85. That's better than any groupon I've ever seen. Magic Auto Repair. 23rd and Mckinley. Don't you forget it.


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