Striving for Some Sanity while Daddy is at Work

Summer Highlights 2015

My it’s been a long time hasn’t it? Blame it on the weather or The Bug or on the lack of wifi in the campground, but it’s been far too long. (Really, just blame me. I’m addicted to reading…no excuses. My fault) I have missed you terribly, my friends 🙂

We’ve had an incredible summer. The Bug is almost two! Twenty-one months and 1 week to be exact. (Yes, I’m the parent who mentions the months. Forgive me.) Can you believe it! I can’t. Where exactly does the time go??

I wanted to share a few highlights with you and touch base.

Summer 2015

1. Pipeline Auntie received her masters degree!

 

Isn’ t she lovely! I couldn’t be more proud

 
2. We took our first family vacation in Ocean City, MD!

 

Relaxing at the hotel

 
 

Boardwalk fun!

 
 

Poolside with my boys ❤

 
3. We took The Bug to his first drive in movie 🙂 I’m so glad drive-ins are still a thing. Did you know there are only approximately 400 drive-in theaters left in the U.S.?

 

Where we (of course) saw The Minion Movie. Minions are our thing now 🙂

 
4. We took The Bug to his first minor league baseball game 🙂 What a blast!

This is Steamer. He’s the mascot fir the Altoona Curves.

Complete with fireworks for the 4th!

5. The rodeo! We were lucky enough to be back home on the right weekend to catch it 🙂 I do love me some rodeo.

 

Pony rides with “Pop”. (Pipeline Grandpa)

 
6. And of course, camping!

cupcake face!

 

home sweet home

 
So, that was our summer in a nutshell. I’ll be revisiting our vacation at some point when I’m not typing on a smart phone 🙂 Also, thank you for your patience, my friends. Thank you for sticking around, for stopping back, and for sharing my family’s journey. I am  greatful for all of you. Now, tell me something about your summer,  hmm??  đŸ™‚

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On Willie Nelson, Traveling, and What I’m Learning Along the Way

“On the road again
Like a band of gypsies we go down the highway
We’re the best of friends
Insisting that the world keep turning our way and our way”  -Mr. Willie Nelson

 

I’m quite sure ‘Ol Willie was singing about a musician’s life on the road but I often find this song in my head as we pack up, hitch up and move on to the next job. We are not on tour but it really isn’t so different.

There’s always a next job. New places, new faces, and a new idea of normalcy around every bend in the road.  I’m learning to be adaptable. My sister likes to call me a professional traveler and I think that sums it up nicely.

My Amazing Sister and The Bug

My Amazing Sister and The Bug

Hardships? Of course there are. Nobody’s life comes with out some tests to their adaptability. I often feel a small wave of sadness wash over me when I know it’s time to go. That’s just my nostalgic nature peeking through. It’s not easy to perform the mad dash that comes with moving on. If we’re being completely honest with each other (honesty is my policy) it stresses me out sometimes. I’m hoping that the stress will fade or maybe I’ll just develop better ways of dealing with it. I’m sure Pipeline Daddy hopes so too 🙂

Of course, it’s worth mentioning the one major road block of my husband’s profession. Some folks just do not like us because of the job. Evidently, we are “gasholes.” Sigh. Just typing that word makes my blood boil. I’m learning to fib when I have to. It’s unfortunate. I’m bursting with pride but I can’t show it to everyone. I’ve even had pediatricians refuse to take The Bug on as a patient because I was honest about his daddy’s job how long we would be in the area.  Lesson learned. I’ll know better next time.

There are, however, amazing perks to being on the road and they outweigh any complaints I might have. Nothing beats having my family whole. I would sign away my sanity in a New York minute if it meant keeping us together. We bought our first camper in early October and I love it! There’s no place like our home on wheels.

The New Camper

The New Camper

We also have the priceless opportunity to meet new people everywhere we go. Amazing, kind people who take the time to befriend us and show us hospitality that I’m incapable of repaying. I’m afraid they may never understand completely how much it means to me. Of course, not everyone I’ve met has been so kind, but when my character judgment fails me at least I know we’ll be moving on soon enough. Lousy friends can be found in all corners of the world. It’s just par for the course I suppose. I keep those who have shown me kindness in my pocket and leave the users and emotional vampires to find their own way.

True Friends Are Priceless

True Friends Are Priceless

The most wonderful result of being on the road is the exceptionally friendly personality The Bug has developed. He’s a little social butterfly. I had so hoped it would have that effect on him. I remember being pregnant (not so long ago, but it seems like a lifetime) and thinking about how the pipeline lifestyle could help him become a well-rounded, adaptable child. So far that plan has been a complete success.

Daddy and The Bug

Daddy and The Bug

So friends, this was a little warm up piece. I wanted to dip my foot back in the blogging water. I tend to read in the winter and write in the summer but I’ve been working on finding a balance. (brace yourselves, I may have to do a few book reviews) With the bug getting a bit older I have high hopes you’ll be hearing from me again very soon.

 

*I must give some thanks here because they are due. To my baby sister for all the help she provides me. She offers her hands when I need to pack, visits to help me with The Bug, and of course  she is the best sister in the universe. Also to my Bestie. (*not pictured, you know who you are) She is an invaluable piece of me that I simply could not live without. It goes far beyond just her care taking duties back at the big house. She is a sounding board for all the things that go on in my head. Without those two very important ladies, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

 

 

In Defense of The Ice Bucket Challange

(*Editors note: Generally friends, I like to refrain from the idea of writing posts on hot button issues, but there is only so much one mommy can take and thusly I must clear my head about this one. My apologies to anyone who might take offence. These are my thoughts and nothing more. Also a quick warning that if ALS and the talk of it is a trigger for sadness for you feel free to navigate away. I have no desire to be the reason you cry today. Just know you are in my heart.)

 

 

I’d like to think that all of us take up a cause at some point in our lives. Personally, I favor public television, the SPCA, and once a year in honor of someone very close to me the American Cancer Society. However, I feel that basic human empathy is more important than any specific cause. What is important is that we are aware of the pain of others even when we are not able to come to their aid.

I’m going to save you a lot of rhetoric here. Thanks to the recent popularity of The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, I hope we are all a little wiser when it comes to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis  and the hardships that the afflicted and their family’s must face. There are times when the word tragedy does not fully encompass the reality of what it must be like to wake up and live in the world and this is one of those times. You may consider yourself to be truly blessed if you have never been personally touched by this disease (though it can be traced genetically in some cases, in about 90% there is no known cause) and if you have, I am not a praying woman but my thoughts are with you.

It’s criticisms are many (which I find absolutely mind-blowing) and range from people dumping ice water on their heads in lieu of actual donations (slactivism)  and being tired of seeing repetitive videos in your Facebook news feed all the way to clean water shortages around the globe. I find it heart breaking that some must search so hard for a reason to not participate in a simple act of caring. Your time could be better spent in many, many ways rather than belittling the efforts of others. Dump a bucket of water on your head today and call the food bank tomorrow they may make use of that can of beans you have pushed around in your cupboard for six months. Yes, it’s cold but it won’t kill you, I promise.

My numbered list of reasons your a bit of an asshat for scorning the Challenge goes some thing like this…

1.) Slactivism in America

Slacktivism (sometimes slactivism or slackervism) is a portmanteau of the words slacker and activism. The word is usually considered a pejorative term that describes “feel-good” measures, in support of an issue or social cause, that have little or no practical effect other than to make the person doing it take satisfaction from the feeling they have contributed. The acts tend to require minimal personal effort from the slacktivist. The underlying assumption being promoted by the term is that these low cost efforts substitute for more substantive actions rather than supplementing them, although this assumption has not been borne out by research. -Wikipeadea

Alright, so we are slackers. It’s a problem. We have been for generations. We don’t give enough, we don’t volunteer enough and sometimes we are guilty of believing that pouring water over our heads might make a difference. The thing to remember here is that every ounce of awareness counts. Every celebrity who shared a video that laid the groundwork for a google search, every group of college students who struck up a late night conversation about ALS, and every full-grown adult who realized in the last few months that Lou Gehrig’s disease has a medical term associated with it counts for something. It’s the power of thought (or prayer if you like) and being aware of the suffering of others is much more commendable than believing it doesn’t pertain to you and is therefore none of your business or not your responsibility. Donate, please donate, but if you can’t take a moment to be grateful for your health and to remember the suffering of others.

2.) “I’m just so tired of seeing all these videos in my news feed”

Shame on you. You know what I’m tired of?? Personal relationship dramas being played out in real time for all the world to see. Buzzfeed quizzes; though I do find it entertaining I really don’t care what kind of pizza you are. Also, the people who give us the dirty details their lives looking for sympathy because they have forgotten how good they really have it. (So and so is feeling lonely 😦 ) What the actual F*#% people? Of all the phenomenon that have occurred via social media I can hardly see where the ice bucket challenge is upsetting your scrolling. Get off the ol’ FB if you don’t like it but don’t show me your true colors by frowning upon something that others have found the time and energy to get behind. So what if it’s attention seeking. ALS gets the attention right along with Joe Shmoe and Suzie Q and that’s a small price to pay.

3.) “But Where are My Donations to The ALS Organization Really Going??? Hmmm?

I’m sure we’ve all seen the articles floating around Facebook to inform us about the salaries of the leadership of the group and how we are paying them. Or that stem cells are used a part of the research and they organization should be shunned for that reason. Oh, and lets not forget that some believe that a strict ketogenic diet and supplementation of coconut oil has shown in some cases to cause improvements in patients. Horse shit (do excuse my language) and screw you worldtruth.tv for you are fear mongers, spreading half-truths on your web page full of advertisements and secret wrinkle remedies that “your doctor wishes you didn’t know about.” We mustn’t forget friends to consider the source. Anyone can write on the internet…in fact i’m doing it right now 😉 Most importantly though lets not change the focus, this is not about where their money goes via pulled tax returns or the question of pro-life vs pro-choice. It’s about a debilitating and fatal disease.

and finally

4.) First World Problems, Wasted Water, and F U Mr. Julian Lennon

Water shortages are a problem. Clean water sources are an issue for many in the world as are sanitation proper housing and world hunger. I have visited third world countries and I can tell you from personal experience that it is worse than you can even begin to imagine as and American or a resident of an economically developed country. I do not in any way wish to detract from the validity of the cause. It’s important to remember (as I stated above) that their problems are the sort that we can’t begin to consider in our daily lives as we watch television and drink bottled water while surfing the net. It is my belief that no one cause is better than another. Everything from disease foundations to environmental and humanitarian issues deserve our attention.

I must take a moment here to point the finger at a man who does believe that he works for the greatest causes while scoffing at The ALS Challenge, a man who I once would have told you I had a great respect for but no longer do…that man is Julian Lennon. I will be heading over to his Facebook page where he makes calculated posts like this one  on his wall directed toward those doing the ice bucket challenge to hit the unlike button. I urge you to do the same.

 

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For shame, Mr. Lennon aren’t you a well-known philanthropist?? When people began commenting on his callousness with hurt feelings he responded to each and every one I read with “did I say anything about the Ice Bucket challenge?” Um, no.  You didn’t have to sir, your point was well understood.

Not long after he followed up with this one.

 

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Really nice Julian…and all my respect goes out the window.

 

In what I see as a belated attempt to salvage his image (as though he was reading my mind) I found this one on his page only an hour ago.

 

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Well played I suppose but the damage has been done. Too little, to late. For a man whose net worth is $40 million dollars to make such passive aggressive posts and then follow it up with plain disregard for a cause is terrible. Again, he’s a well known philanthropist and I am not, but I do have basic human empathy; a trait I am grateful for and evidently he could use a little practice in. You’re a public figure, man…act like one.

***

I would like to take a moment commend everyone who has taken the challenge, all who donated, and all who live each day with this ALS in their world. Anyone who has spent anytime in charitable fund-raising knows that every little bit helps. As of Monday, August 25 the ice bucket challenge has raised $79.7 million dollars. I would also like to propose here that every though, act of sympathy, and kind wish helps as well.

 

 

If I haven’t tugged your heartstrings enough here is a beautiful and touching video about Pete Frates who is credited for getting the ball rolling on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. My heart goes out to him and his family. You can donate directly to them here.

Or of course make your donations at www.alsa.org  with or without a bucket of ice water.

As always friends, thank you for your time and consideration.

 

~Pipeline Mommy

 

 

 

Letting Go of Time

When The Bug is eating (solids) and he’s sitting at the table he often looks straight up above the table to where the clock hangs quietly between the cabinets. Perhaps he finds the second hand interesting, it’s hard to say, but he always stares thoughtfully at it and I have to work to regain his attention. It’s one of the many things that steals his focus from me while we are eating.

Today at lunch time I found myself telling him he doesn’t have to worry time yet. He needn’t fret his handsome little head when it comes to the workings of the clock. At that moment I realized that it must be wonderful to be him in that respect.

I have a confession to make, I struggle with time. I always have. If you asked anyone who knows me they would peg me as chronically late. Yes, it’s a flaw but at least I’m honest about it. Pipeline Mommy time runs about a half hour behind the rest of the world and that was before I had a baby.

Some folks find it terribly annoying. Bosses, coworkers, receptionists in offices in which I have appointments and I whole heartedly apologize for the many inconveniences I have caused…and for how uncomfortable it must be, to be so anal retentive that you are unable to roll with the flow of a slight delay in plans. Relax guys, why are we in such a hurry anyway 🙂

My real point here though is our adult obsession with time. It’s TIME to go back to school. TIME for summer to end. TIME for dinner. TIME for bed. TIME to go to work. But when is it time to stop stressing out about things? (Or perhaps time = stress in a very particular mathematical equation that I never picked up on.)

In that moment this morning I marveled what a lovely spot the bug is in. He has a loose schedule of course, we can’t live without it (or without at least chasing after it) but the clock to him is nothing more than an entertaining piece of decor. I wish it were that simple for mommies.

Mommy must continue to try to be on time for all sorts of things. That fact will never change. But I would like to vow here and now that The Bug will go on as long as possible without having the mundane constraints of time holding him back. I refuse to force him to adhere. Odds are he won’t be good at it anyway 🙂

In closing friends, I want to take a moment to say… If you’re ever running late for something and I’m on the other end; a play date, meeting up for coffee, a holiday dinner, and yes even if I am you’re co-worker and you’re running late as my relief for the one millionth time…relax, I don’t mind and neither does The Bug. We’re used to it and it’s no big deal to us. punctuality is just not something I choose to stress over.  So take a deep breath, close your eyes, and let go of TIME, just for a second. It will feel good I promise.

Pest Control for Long Term Campers

I’ve wanted to write a post about a few of the pest control tricks I have learned camping this summer for weeks now. What’s been holding me back?? Not all of these are the most ecofriendly remedies (some actually are) but I’ve decided I’m not ashamed. Nothing has made me pull back from my hippy ideals harder than being a mom. I’m just not as crunchy as I thought I was, it’s a fact. Not nearly as crunchy as I thought I would be as a mommy BUT we’ll just add that to the long list of things I spent hard time planning only to go a completely different direction. You just don’t know until you’re in it.

What I can say though friends is that these tricks work. So here we have a few handy cards to keep in your pocket just in case you find yourself with any of these problems.

1. ANTS
Insects, camper problem number one. All sorts, not just the little black buggers (that everyone likes to refer to as piss ants) that terrorized our camper for weeks. They’re tiny and fast and they give me the worst case of the heebeegeebees you could imagine. I tried a lot of things. I read somewhere that chalk would do the trick. The ants wouldn’t want to cross it and you could thusly solve the problem by chalking your perimeters. This method did not work for us. I spent two weeks or so trying to keep lines drawn on my counters and molding. I give the chalk method a solid F. Not only for its ineffectiveness but also it impracticality. Perhaps if our camper was parked in the middle of an asphalt parking lot and I was able to draw a huge chalk circle around it with a giant piece of calk…but it’s not and I can’t.

I tried a store-bought ant traps and they’re too smart for that. Also no good, why would they eat poison when there’s a freshly opened jar of baby food right here. Plus I have the added worry about poison in the house with my little boy.

What actually worked you ask?? Ajax cleanser. A thin dusting of it around the blocks and hitch of the camper (and anywhere else those little jerks can climb on) and our problem was solved in a matter of hours. I only have to re-dust when it rains hard. Another tip from one of Daddy’s co-workers. When he told me I put off trying it because all I could think about were little bunnies jumping in tub cleaner but when the ants really took hold I gave it a try, and darn it, it works…possibly for more six-legged irritants than just ants. Bathroom cleanser is my friend. I give this method a glowing 100%

2. HOUSE FLIES
Yuk. Flies are high on my list of creatures that I despise. It’s a short list. I’m pretty creature friendly ( I really do enjoy the vast majority of insect life) but there is something about a winged creature that leaves it’s vomit behind where it lands that I just can not abide.

That thing you see going around about the ziplock bag full of water that you add a few pennies to is surprisingly effective. I beleave it cut the indoor flies in half. Supposedly, the reflections confuse the flies and it makes them avoid the bag (and the door to the camper where the bag is hanging) I have read some studies that say this method is a bogus theory but it only cost me the price of one ziplock plus three cents to  try it.  I’d say give it a shot. Half the flies is still better than all the flies right?

The real trick is pine cleaner. I guess flies don’t like the smell of pine…at least that’s what I’ve read about this method. About twice a week I replace my normal cleaning routine with a pine wipe down and it makes a huge difference! I even wipe down the outside patio furniture with it to keep them away. I give the pine cleaner method two thumbs up.

3. GARDEN BUGS
I don’t even know what soft bodied creature was destroying my plants. The basil, the beans, and my poor morning glories. But the answer, my friends is Dawn (blue) dish soap. I picked up this tip from one of the lovely ladies that has a camp near ours.

A really weak solution (like 8 drops to a spray bottle of water) did the trick. I spray them twice  week or after a big rain and the bug damage has disappeared. BUT, I have seen a bit of controversy on this one. That it can wilt your plants (Please promise me you won’t do it in the direct sun and the heat of the day or even water your plants then for that matter?) and that Dawn is a detergent and not a soap so it relieves your plants of any organic status they may have achieved. However, my hand sprouted morning glories are doing quite nicely and are very grateful regardless of the chemical make up of Dawn 🙂

*Also, marigolds. NOTHING has touched my marigolds or the things that are surrounded by  them. A wiser me might have planted a complete marigold wall around the gardens. I can  still hear my grandmother’s voice twenty some years ago explaining that she always plants a marigold border  around her peonies because the ants like peonies but wont cross the marigolds to get to them. Thanks Grammy!

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4. SCAVENGING PESTS
There is little in the world more disheartening than waking up to a porch covered in garbage. Pipeline mommy has never been a morning person and picking up garbage first thing does not help my mood. We use the mint scented garbage bags. They’re called Mint-X and they’re really easy to spot in the garbage bag aisle with their eye-catching packaging. I bet that alternately here you could use mint essential oil or even bruised mint clippings in your garbage pail. Raccoons (and possibly stray cats) hate the smell of mint it seems. I’d say the bags 98% effective.

 

 
I was hoping for a five but I’ve yet to find a really effective solution to the mosquito issue. I’m one of the lucky 1 in 10 that are more appealing to mosquitos it seems. My personal record is seven bites in fifteen minutes. I’ve tried the natural remedies (citronella oil, dryer sheets, ect)but the only option for mommy is the evil Deet. I simply must use it in one form or another. Regularly. It’s that or West Nile Virus or the latest in mosquito carried illness.  Plus, given the choice between lots of itchy bites (I actually had to take off my engagement ring for a week because it was driving a pair of bites I had on that finger wild) or the ill effects of Deet…I’ll take the bug spray, thanks. As for The Baby Bug, I simply apply Avon skin so soft and cross my fingers that he’s like his daddy in that respect. (Pipeline Daddy has gotten only two bites all summer)

So that’s it! Your list of four effective, Pipeline Mommy approved, pest control tricks. I hope they’re not to harsh for you, friends

The Guest Blog !

Here it is friends! Pipeline Mommy’s guest blog for mommeetmom.com 🙂

 

Feed Your Babies, Loud and Proud

 

Once again HUGE thanks to mommeetmom.com for the opportunity and of course a big thanks to The Bug for making it all possible 🙂

 

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The Big Announcement!

Hooray for Pipeline Mommy!

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I’m so excited to announce that mommeetmom.com will be featuring me as a guest blogger! It’s a piece for World Breastfeeding Week so I expect we’ll see it very soon. Don’t worry, I’ll be linking it all over the place 🙂

What a fabulous opportunity! I can’t thank the ladies over at mommeetmom enough.

Lets talk about mommeetmom for a sec. They’re pretty incredible. Get there and check it out. In a nutshell they offer a safe online place to meet other moms in your area. They call it “mommy dating” I love it! You create an account, entering your zip code and they produces matches for other mom’s in your area with their own unique algorithm. Answer a few simple questions about yourself and your family and they’ll tailor those matches to you even more specifically. It’s also totally safe. it has it’s own online messaging service for communicating so you can get to know the other moms online before you dive in if your feeling shy.

The possibilities are huge here for a women of the pipeline like myself. It means that when we move I can have mommies in our new area right at my finger tips. Mommy and The Bug can have friends to play with wherever we go! Create yourself an account here and read their FAQ here.

So that’s our big news! I’ll be keeping you updated on when we can expect to see the post.

Have a great weekend friends!