"There are some who can live without wild things and some who cannot." (Aldo Leopold) Apparently, I cannot.


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Nearly ONE Year?!

Wow. Did you all think I dropped off the face of the earth? I mean, it has been just about ONE full year since I’ve written anything. Well, fact number 1: I am still around — no face of the earth dropping here. Fact number 2: Raising four wild things is, ummm how do I put this, TIME CONSUMING. I had no idea exactly how crazy life would get around here with the addition of our littlest gal last May. That’s not true, I knew full well how crazy things would get, but what I didn’t realize was that things would be too crazy to write at all. Like ever.

I’m starting to get the itch again, though, so don’t count me out just yet. I’ll catch you up on everything that’s been going on around here (hint: A LOT) in a new post very soon. Stay tuned! 🙂


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Shining a Light on Domestic Violence: In Memory of Chris Keith and Her Son Isaac

Today’s post was written by the lovely Lea Grover (Becoming SuperMommy) in memory of  Chris Keith of Adventures of a Thrifty Mama and her son, Isaac. Chris and Isaac were killed 1 week ago by her husband, who’s abuse she had been trying to escape for the last several years. To honor Chris and Isaac, and to shine an extremely bright light on the horrendous problem that is domestic violence, bloggers from all over are sharing this post today or writing about their own experiences with domestic violence. I urge you to take a few minutes to read this and pass it along in the hopes that it can help even just one person. Thank you so much for your support and for helping us honor Chris and Isaac’s memories. 

Every day in the United States, three women are killed by their husbands or boyfriends.

It seems like an improbable number. Like it could never happen to you, to somebody you know.

But it has.

Christine Keith, aka Adventures of a Thrifty Mama

Last week, the blogging community lost one of its own. Chris Keith blogged about healthy living, organic eating, homeschooling… the same thing that so many mommy bloggers do. And she was good at it. She had to be. Chris was supporting four kids on her own, on a subsistence income after separating from her abusive husband.

But one week ago, her estranged husband went to her house, and killed her. He killed her oldest son, Isaac. And then he killed himself. The three youngest children had gone to their grandparents’ house for the night — fortunately out of harm’s way.

Chris taught Zumba. She gardened. She went on her local news channel to talk about food stamps, and how to eat healthy meals with a minimal budget. She was a good person, and a good mother. And now she’s gone.

Now she’s one of three women who died at the hands of their husbands or boyfriends that day.

There are things you can do to help her and her children. Her church has taken up a memorial fund — you can donate there to help provide for her children — sons aged 4 and 8, and a 6-year-old daughter.

You can send clothes and toys. They have not been allowed back in their home, a crime scene, and it may be a long time before they are. They have nothing but what they took to Grandma’s house the night their mother and brother were taken from them. You can send these gifts here:

Keith Children
Care of Ann Merrifield
1504 Wintercrest
East Lansing, MI 48823

And you can help more than that. You can spread the word that domestic violence, as endemic as it is, should not and must not be tolerated. That there are places those who are suffering can go, that there are resources available to them. That there is help out there.

There’s the National Domestic Violence Hotline, where trained expert advocates are available 24/7 to talk confidentially.

There’s Safe Horizon, which helps connect victims to shelters.

There’s the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, which provides access to information, and opportunities for training and education for those who want to work to end domestic violence, or intervene on behalf of somebody in their life.

Don’t remain silent. Don’t close your eyes to the suffering all around you. Don’t make excuses, or insist it takes two to quarrel. Just listen, offer a hand, and stand strong.

And maybe, if we all shine a light on this issue, into the darkness of abuse, maybe today nobody has to die.


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SUPER DUPER Shiny, Happy, Sparkly, Feel-Good Friday: 11/15/13

Because it’s been a few weeks since I’ve been able to post a Shiny, Happy post, I’ve got a Super Duper post for you today. Enjoy!

Some things that have made me happy over the past few weeks:

Field trip with my girl.

Field trip with my girl.

Merry-go-round fun

Merry-go-round fun

40-foot tube slide

40-foot tube slide

Cow ride

Cow ride

My boys

My boys

Crazy hair day AND Donuts with Dad day!

Crazy hair day AND Donuts with Dad day!

Pumpkin carving fun

Pumpkin carving fun

My viking and rock star

My viking and rock star

The 3 yo decided last minute not to wear his costume, but still a cutie, no?

The 3 yo decided last minute not to wear his costume, but still a cutie, no?

Supporting Movember!

Supporting Movember!

Rocking Sissy's Hello Kitty fedora

Rocking Sissy’s Hello Kitty fedora

Why hello newest Wild Thing!

Why hello newest Wild Thing!

And some things that have made you happy:

Phyllis from justbcauz http://justbcauz.wordpress.com/: Abby (age 9) enjoying the view from the Funhouse; Katie (22 months) enjoying chocolate dipped cheesecake; Jeb (6 months) people watching at the NC State Fair.

Phyllis from justbcauz: Abby (age 9) enjoying the view from the Funhouse; Katie (22 months) enjoying chocolate dipped cheesecake; Jeb (6 months) people watching at the NC State Fair.

Jerica from CO: My little sister enjoying pumpkin fun; my now five year old when she was a year old... found it on my moms computer.

Jerica from CO: My little sister enjoying pumpkin fun; my now five year old when she was a year old… found it on my moms computer.

Kristen from CA: The best happy face I've seen at home this week...squeee!

Kristen from CA: The best happy face I’ve seen at home this week…squeee!

Claire from Sydney, Australia: Sydney spring has sprung.

Claire from Sydney, Australia: Sydney spring has sprung.

Christina from MI: Enjoying some ice cream! Starring Iris, Koalie & Thomas.

Christina from MI: Enjoying some ice cream! Starring Iris, Koalie & Thomas.

Devan from TN: This is what made me happy this week! A change up from my kids. MY BREAST MAN!

Devan from TN: This is what made me happy this week! A change up from my kids. MY BREAST MAN!

Tiffany from AR: Trying on new pajamas and silly faces!

Tiffany from AR: Trying on new pajamas and silly face.

Corinna from Toronto, Ontario: My little princesses; I don't have to listen to adults.

Corinna from Toronto, Ontario: My little princesses; I don’t have to listen to adults.

Melissa from MD: My little daredevil modeling his new bike gear.  Gotta protect the noggin' in the coolest way!

Melissa from MD: My little daredevil modeling his new bike gear. Gotta protect the noggin’ in the coolest way!

Kathy from IL: Fall fun with cousins.

Kathy from IL: Fall fun with cousins.

Julie from MD: Pumpkin patch!

Julie from MD: Pumpkin patch!

Brandy from IN: Eli and Zoe had so much fun rolling around in and throwing leaves. Definitely made standing in the cold worth it! :)

Brandy from IN: Eli and Zoe had so much fun rolling around in and throwing leaves. Definitely made standing in the cold worth it! 🙂

From Chronically Sick Manic Mother http://chronicallysickmanicmother.wordpress.com/: All my loves.

From Chronically Sick Manic Mother: All my loves.

As always, thanks to those who submitted some happiness! Please keep it coming. Until next week…

Fridays on Raising Wild Things are Shiny, Happy, Sparkly, Feel-Good Fridays! Since parenting can sometimes suck the  life out of me, I wanted to do these posts as reminders of the good, the great things that happened during the week amid all the crazy, exhausting, sometimes frustrating, sometimes maddening, sometimes head-exploding moments that seem to linger in my memory and can put me in a mommy funk. What makes you happy? Please share!


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Too Tired to Try Tuesday: Cookie-Cutter Bird Feeders

Today’s craft, which I found from the lovely ladies at eighteen25, is so cute, I cannot wait to try it with my kiddos: Cookie-cutter bird feeders. No wood or sawing or painting or gluing or nailing involved. Just a few materials and a few steps, and then you’ll have such cute bird feeders to hang around!

birdfeeders

Photo courtesy of eighteen25

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Birdseed
  • Water
  • Gelatine mix
  • Twine or string
  • Cookie cutters, molds, or mason jar lids
  • Wax paper

Then, you’ll need to dissolve the gelatine, mix everything up, and then fill your cookie cutters/molds. The feeders will need to set overnight, but then they’ll be ready to hang around. And hopefully you’ll have little visitors checking them out in no time.

To see the complete post with step-by-step instructions and photos from eighteen25, please click here.

As always, if you try it, let us know how it turns out. And send some pics!

I’m no cooking or crafting guru, so I started these Too Tired to Try Tuesday posts to share craft and recipe ideas that I’ve come across and would really like to try but am just too damned tired (that sounds better than lazy, right?) to get around to. In addition to ideas that I find, I am open to submissions from you–either something tried and true or something you want to try but haven’t had the time to. Just send me an email at raisingwildthingsblog@gmail.com with your ideas, and I may share them here. (And by “may” I mean “will definitely”! I just confessed how lazy tired I am, so if you take the time to send me something to share, I’m going to share it!)


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The Orange Rhino Challenge: Update #3

So it’s been a while since my last Orange Rhino update. (Orange Rhio-what? If you’re not familiar, please click here for some background on the challenge and my journey trying to master it.) And I have a huge confession to make! H-U-G-E!

I have been a complete and utter slacker the past month and a half!

And by slacker, I don’t mean that I’ve had to keep starting over at Day 1 because of yelling slip ups. I mean slacker like I haven’t even been working on the challenge. Like AT ALL. And I feel like such a huge failure right now.

With our huge move from CT to VA in June, and then the past few weeks trying to settle in to our new life, I’ve hardly had time to breathe let alone work on my yelling. And it’s not like I haven’t thought about the challenge. Because I have. Every time I yell (and yes, there has been a lot of that lately, I’m sad to admit). But instead of using these times as moments of reflection to step back, take a deep breath, and say, “Ok, let’s start over and work even harder on this,” I’ve been a slacker who instead says, “Man, I should really start back on the challenge; maybe tomorrow.”

But then, you know what? I’ve been leaving it at that. Because not yelling, my friends? It’s hard work. That’s right, I said it. It’s work. And I just haven’t felt like doing more work these days on top of everything else we’ve had going on. I fully admit it. And I’m not proud. I have actually decided to behave in ways that I know make me and my kids feel like crap all because I’ve just been too damn lazy. Lazy!

I AM STRONGER THAN THAT, DAMMIT! AND WE DESERVE BETTER!

don't give up

So, I’m getting my rear back in gear and taking on the challenge again in full force. Now I’m human, so I can’t promise there won’t be any more slip ups and rewinding, but I can promise that I am going to keep working at it. I’ve kicked the slacker out the door and welcomed back my determination and drive. Let’s do this. Again. 🙂

Until the next update . . .

To keep up with my journey, please feel free to check out my Orange Rhino Challenge page. For more information on the challenge, please visit: http://theorangerhino.com. And if you’re on the challenge, too, let me know. We can support each other and hold each other accountable. Go Orange!


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Lazy Sunday: Week in Review 3/31/13

Lazy Sundays

If you’re celebrating today, Happy Easter! And in case you missed anything this week . . .

My Blog Posts

I began the week getting reacquainted with my pregnant self. Well, not reacquainted since although I’m currently not pregnant, I still have some things in common with that person I am when I’m pregnant. Like hairy legs, bleeding gums, and that pregnant glow. Oh, and the fact that I still look pregnant. Jealous much?

I also introduced a new recipe and crafting post, since it seems a lot of blogs do something like this. But because Martha Stewart I am not, and because I’m a little short on time these days, I started Too Tired to Try Tuesdays. Basically, I’m going to look around the interwebs for recipes that look yummy and activities  that look fun to do, and then I’m going to post them for you. You can either look at them and say, “Hey, that looks fun to try, hope someone does,” (like me) or try them yourself. (Or, I guess say, “Bleh, no way.”) But, if you do try them, please let me know how it turns out. And send pics if you’re so inclined. In this inaugural post I shared a post from my friend over at Naps Happen for how to make a PEEP volcano. (If you have tons of PEEPs left over, you might want to give it a try.)

Not all of my posts are necessarily coherent, though, as evidenced by the post where I tried to work out some questions I have about how we teach our kids to be themselves and not worry about what anyone else thinks. This post doesn’t end with a resolution or confession of an “aha” moment, because I’m still working through all of this. As a mamma bear, I only want what’s best for my kids, but it’s so hard putting them out there in the world when not everyone is going to support their decisions. Even at this early age.

And of course, we ended the week with our Shiny, Happy, Sparkly, Feel-Good Friday post. In addition to the glimpses into our week here, I was thrilled to get some pics and stories from some of you sharing your bits of happiness from the week. Please, keep em coming!

My Favorite Kid

This week my favorites said:

  • Sunday: For the double win . . . “Mamma, can I go back to sleep for a little bit?” asked my favorite today . . . a few hours later, talking to the baby . . . “I’m so glad we have you. You’re fun. I’m going to love you forever.” *heart melting*
  • Monday: “Can we have two dance parties today?” asked my favorite today.
  • Tuesday: “Mommy, you have such a sweet face,” said my favorite today.
  • Wednesday: “Can you just keep reading me books?” asked my favorite today.
  • Thursday: “We make a good team, Mamma,” said my favorite today.
  • Friday: “Here is your golden star for being quiet,” said my favorite today.
  • Saturday: “You’re my best mommy in the whole wide world,” said my favorite today.

My Top 5 Facebook Posts

My hubby took the kids to the park for a bit so I could get some cleaning done. A nap counts as cleaning, right?! Like, cleansing the soul? A tired, frazzled, outnumbered soul?

Sitting in the middle of the floor folding laundry while the baby is screaming in his pack n play, the 5 yo is tap dancing right next to me, and the 3 yo is calling me to wipe his butt. Send help.

Not sure which is more comical: the fact that I came back from taking out the trash to find the 3 yo standing naked on the front steps or the fact that I didn’t even bat an eyelash.

I bet I wouldn’t mind if it were Brad Pitt over here trashing the place and being a whiney mcwhiney pants while I’m trying to make dinner.

And this pic:

537217_194224167368424_334574456_n

There you have it. Just another week with the wild things.