Manic Motherhood at it's FINEST!!

Why "I am NOT a VOLCANO!"

Why "I am NOT a VOLCANO!"
click the volcano for the due explanation
"In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured." — Gordon B. Hinckley
Exaggeration is the spice of life

Book I am Currently Reading: Peter and The Shadow Thief

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Friday's Foto Edit

Photo Art Friday

Head on over to the lovely blog "Our Footprints On the World" to enter YOUR photo into the contest!



Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mama Kat's Writer's Prompt.

I've been on hiatus for awhile, and I thought the writers prompts had changed to random. They're not. So I wrote the wrong story. You can scroll down to read the one I spent all day on- it's very good. As for the REAL available prompt I chose:

What type of flowers would be in a bouquet that best describes you?

Well, if I got out Ophelia's list of flowers and their meanings from what my kids call "back-in-the-day" and figured THAT out, it'd probably be something else. However, just the way I am, I think my wedding bouquet says it all:



My bouquet was all of red and orange sunflowers with tiny steel blue flowers (don't know what they're called) - I definitely think they still describe me.


Of course, we all know how Mama Kat's prompts work. She has this nifty button you click on and it gives you a random prompt. It's a wonderful development. And every Thursday, I gladly participate. Please come over and link yourself up too:

The prompt I was given:
Based on their personalities, what do you think your children will be when they grow up?

Warning: This post might strike you as cynical or cryptic. It's not meant to be. It's just reality.


It has, on many occasions, startled me and tickled me to see the incredible differences in personality my children have produced, despite the fact that they were all born of the same parents and all raised in the same household, with the same environment around them.

Lilly is my first, as you all know. She came to me, wise already, with big brown eyes and fluffy cheeks. She has a brilliant mind. She is also stubborn and brave and has a knack for dancing and acting. Regularly, Lilly tells me that she wants to be a mommy, and that she wants to be on Broadway. Her career ideas have changed constantly through her short life. But I do believe that Lilly will pursue the stage in some way or another- be that high school or, like myself, in the community as an adult. Maybe Broadway. If she wants that passionately enough to try for it, I'll figure out how to get her there.

Mahone was calmer when he was born. For several years, he was my helper, my shadow, a sweet little thing with a ready hug and big fat lips to kiss. The last few years he has become quite intense, loud and rather overbearing with his affection. He can't just hug you, he has to climb you. Mahone is my king of quotes. He has a descriptive mind, and tells elaborate stories as though they are fact without the slightest pause. One might think, listening to him, that he believes the whole thing happened. He is a dynamic, popular soul. He brings people together, and doesn't leave anyone out. I can see him running for student body officer in high school, and spending his years as an editor in the Literary Magazine class the way his father and I did. He is not a performer though, and I don't see him engaging in theatre with his older sister.

Scarlet is my rebel. She lives on the edge, is always doing something that taunts disaster, despite our baby proofed home, and likes to color. On the walls. And her face. With permanent marker. Her favorite hairstyle is what we call a "faux hawk", she loves makeup and jewelry. And at the ripe old age of 3, she has a fairly decent collection of Super Girl comic books. I blush when I brag, because I know I'm bragging, but it has to be said that all my children are smart. They all are ahead of the curve. But Scarlet very well may be my smartest. She reads matter of factly as though there's nothing to do but say the word. This girl, I expect, to shock everyone. And then surprise them because they have judged a book by it's cover. I expect that someday, Scarlet will give me a great deal of trouble. She will pierce her ears, her nose and probably a lip. She will forge my signature and get a tattoo when she is 17 (and really, if it's going to go that way, I'll probably just sign it so that she doesn't have to rebel. My theory of good parenting is to never give them the chance to shock you. Shock them.) She'll be the valedictorian of her graduating class and then major in art.

I don't know enough about Teague yet to describe what I think he will become. I know he's stoic. He loves dogs and pretty girls, and he is his daddy's boy. He would rather play with a spoon and a scrap of fabric than any of the "real" toys that have generously piled up over the course of his siblings' lives. He likes to sing.

All that being said, in complete honesty, I expect that they will grow up, have their problems, have their triumphs. They will do some great things, and some mundane things, and they will get married, have children, and live lives that the majority of the world does.

Henry David Thoreau said, "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them."

My children will grow to be good, productive, contributing members of society. Might they aspire to every potential they have? Will Lilly really be on Broadway and win a Tony award? Maybe. It happens. Will Mahone write a book and travel the world signing his name on the inside cover, appearing as one of the New York Times' best sellers? Maybe. He has the potential. Will Scarlet have a masterpiece featured in some upscale museum someday? It's possible. But the truth of the matter is, likely, they will live their lives in a fairly normal way and not get to do everything they want. A part of them will be living in quiet desperation, and go to their graves with that song still in them.

I don't think this has to be depressing.

Instead of hoping for them to reach their potential, which is incredible greatness, and being disappointed when they don't, and instead of hoping that they are able to find contentment and happiness within the boundaries they place on themselves with job, marriage, children, debt, and so on, my desire is that they develop more than one "song". May my children live a lives FULL of songs, soundtracks that ribbon across their entire existences, that the things that keep them from fulfilling their dreams may also be a song their hearts sing. May they always be restless in their creation. May that be a song. May they always be in love, even if their lover is common or poor, or has a conflicting song in their own heart. And may they consider that a ballad. May they never settle, but never over reach. For over reaching, instead of fine tuning, can break strings, go flat, and become a one hit wonder.


Don't forget to enter my giveaway for a custom pair of fingerless gloves OR a custom pixie hat!

Hurry! It ends Friday at midnight!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Me as Wendy in Peter Pan, the British musical.

Yeah...the pant suit jammies were not exactly flattering. Especially when I wore the sound pack on the side that made me look lumpy...but I had to fly, I climbed all over all kinds of contraptions and danced my tushie off. So a night gown wasn't all that good an idea for me. Funny thing- my "brothers" wore night gowns. But then, I flew 20 feet in the air. They flew about 4 feet in the air.

Essential Life Lessons: Peppermint. (And Giveaway)

Don't forget my great giveaway! You could win a custom pair of upcycled arm warmers/fingerless gloves OR a custom upcycled pixie hat.

Click HERE to enter the contest! You have until Friday at midnight!!!!

Some of my One Of A Kind creations:


One of the things I always dreaded before I became a mom was the seriousness of fevers. I was terrified of dealing with a sick child. The fear that comes along with that, the watching, waiting, the worry. Now that I have a whole lot of experience with that, I STILL fear it. I still worry, I still sit up awake even when my feverish baby is sleeping soundly against my chest.

Medicines like Tylenol and Motrin CAN bring down the fevers, but they don't ease the fear. Because they bring with them their own fear inducing qualities. Overdose. Bad batches. Internal bleeding. Allergies. The list goes on.

I have a really hard time giving any kind of medicine to my kids. There are always too many news stories about babies and parents who meant well.

All of these fears contribute to the big reason my husband and I became Do Terra Essential Oils distributors.

One of my favorite oils that I am so excited to share with you is Peppermint oil.

I think it's very important to share very soon considering sick season is soon upon us, and I have already walked the floors with sick children. I have a pot of gold for you.

The fastest way to safely get rid of fevers, without time limits, without overdoses, without fears and worry, is Peppermint oil.

Peppermint oil can be generously rubbed on the bottom of the feet or at the back of the neck and brings down the fever in minutes. Simple as that. And the smell is soothing and helps the feverish little one sleep soundly.

Do Terra Peppermint Oil is:

*Anti inflammatory


*Anti parasitic

*Anti spasmodic


*Expectorant (clears mucus. The same thing a cough syrup is supposed to do.)



*Relieve stress, including stress induced headaches.

*Resolves digestive problems like diarrhea, nausea, motion sickness and COLIC when diluted with coconut oil (also distributed by Do Terra) and rubbed generously over abdomen.

*Add Peppermint to beverages, cookies, fudge, or any other number of culinary favorites to make them into masterpieces.

*Peppermint can be used as a natural insect repellent, especially when mixed with Eucalyptus oil (Another Do Terra favorite.)

*Cools you off during hot weather when rubbed on the back of the neck.

Price for 15ml bottle:

Retail: 27.33 Wholesale: 20.50

Monday, September 26, 2011

Touchy Topic Tuesday (Repeat, but read it anyway!)

The Name Game

(Starting out with something mild today, folks, to get a feel for everyone's reaction. Remember to discuss in a calm manner, disagreements are always okay and welcome, but name calling, bashing or abrasive comments toward another poster will NOT be tolerated.)

I come from a family full of kids with unusual names. Of course, you all know my name is Brae (Bray), I have a brother, Biege (Beej), a sister, Bergan, and a youngest brother Bozton.

My children don't have any strange names, though i HAVE been told that my girls have old lady names, and, yes, my son's name is less than common.

Anyway, who the heck cares?

Finding a baby name is one of my favorite parts of being pregnant. I am not the biggest fan of pregnancy in the first place. I'm a pretty tiny girl, so as soon as I get past the morning sickness, which plays out for 16 weeks as my worst nightmare, I get uncomfortable. Fast. There's not much room between my ribs and my hips, and a baby fills the space in record time.

Back aches, water retention, constipation, pinched nerves, insomnia, out of control emotions and the list goes on. I am not a fan. I LOVE my sweet babies. Which is why I do it. But I don't like pregnancy.

So, finding out if my baby is a boy or girl, and then spending hours, days and weeks pouring over books, internet sites, and throwing out polls on birth boards searching for a perfect name, arguing with Brandon over weirdness, exactly what is IN the name that can provoke ridicule from other kids, uniqueness, and other factors, is one of the things that gets me through the 9 months of pain and suffering that is pregnancy.

It happened roughly 10-12 weeks, before we were going to have a beautiful new baby boy who would be a perfect little blank slate for me to spend the next 18 years screwing up, and apologizing to, and his name is one Brandon and I have had picked out since we were waiting to find out if Scarlet was a boy or girl.

His name is Teague Liam MacCool.

Since I spent said months pouring over books and internet sites, etc, as was mentioned above, while waiting to find out about my new little one, I had a perfect girls name picked out too.

Last October (2010), I took my youngest two children (as Lilly was in school) to a Halloween party thrown by two of my friends here. In all, there were 5 of us, and 12 children between us. While the children ran amok in their Halloween costumes, and ate pumpkin shaped ham and cheese sandwiches and waaaaaay too much candy, the moms chatted. Eventually, the conversation turned to our children, their names, what they meant and where we got them from.

As I was pregnant, I was asked what we would be naming this new baby, and, of course, I told them. I also mentioned that, if we ever have another girl, her name will be Hazel.

One of the other women turned around, a slight flash of fire in her eyes, and in mock good nature, slapped my shoulder. "But that's OUR name if we have another girl!"

My answer? In jest, I said "Well, I guess it's a race then, huh?"

I unintentionally left her speechless.

Of course, I laughed and shook my head, and told her "Then use it! I didn't make it up. If you want to use it, go for it! And if there are two Hazels in the same class, well, it won't be any different from there being two Ashleys or two Sarahs."

All the other women agreed, we had a laugh, and the conversation turned.

My mother has always had the opinion that one should never reveal a baby name until the baby is in your arms. In fact, I remember always waiting at my grandparents' house just waiting for the phone call to find out the name of my new baby brother or sister. That's right. The baby's name wasn't even a family secret. It was a well guarded secret which she protected with her life.

The theory is, if you tell someone your baby's name, someone who is due before you will inevitably "steal" it. So you keep it a secret so that no one else can have it. Like it's a precious gem. Like it's something no one has ever thought of before in the entire history of the planet.

Daily I saw posts about this on my birth board. "Name stealing." And not just name stealing, but people getting upset about someone using a name that even SOUNDS remotely like the name they have chosen.

For example, I once read a vent about someone who planned on naming her new girl Lulu- a name she says she had picked out as a little girl. Some good friends of the family had a daughter named Leelou, who was somewhere around 9 years old, and threatened removal of friendship if said woman were to keep her child's name.

Once, someone was seen to be venting online about a neighbor who was more of an acquaintance, naming their new dog Lily, which is the name they had chosen for their daughter.

However, when I was pregnant with my second baby, my first son, Mahone, I happened to live in a neighborhood which was full of pregnant women all due very near the same time I was. Out of 9 of them, 6 of them had boys.

And I blabbed Mahone's name all over the place.

Oh, sure, I endured a lot of ridicule. Many people thought it was too strange, too foreign, or came up with all types of things that kids could use to make fun of it. One woman even told me that, in Spanish, it means the word sh*t, which, after only brief research, it was obvious that it does not. (As a matter of fact, it's an Irish word that means 'bear')

I just happen to be of the opposite opinion of my mom. The truth is, I sort of feel that, if my baby's name is out there and everyone knows about it, well, if someone 'steals' it, then everyone else will know that I chose it first. The name is something that was mine to begin with, even if my baby was given it later.

Anyway, in addition to my opinion that everyone should know my baby's name as soon as I do, if only for the fact that they know I'll be using it, I just honestly don't even care if someone uses the name I chose. And personally, I've never been in one place for more than two years since I've been married.

Now, I suppose that if it were one of my siblings or Brandon's siblings who decided to use the name I had planned, then to just go ahead and use the name might not be an option. Could get a little bit weird. But, for the most part, I think that getting upset over someone who works with you or lives near you using the name you have picked out is just petty. It's a name. There's no patent. Just use the name yourself.

So there you have it. Let it be known that if we are given another baby girl, her name will be Hazel. It's not changing. Or, at least, if it DOES change, it'll be because I loved a name I found more than I love Hazel. Not because someone else uses it.


How about you?

Do you think it's a better idea to keep your baby's name a secret? Do you divulge the name? What would you do if someone close to you used the name? Would you change it? Would you confront them? Would you still use that name?

Let us know!


Believe me, you TOTALLY want to head over to my other blog "Vicious (up)Cycle" by clicking the button above. There is a great giveaway going on and you could win a CUSTOM upcycled pixie hat or CUSTOM upcycled fingerless gloves/arm warmers.


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