Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Black Gold

I MADE THIS. Yep, that's right! A full batch of wonderfully rich compost which to some gardeners is like black gold. Think it was hard to do and required lots of effort? NOPE. I got the gist from Young House Love and decided to try it. After about 6-8 months (because I completely forgot about it for a while and it got no attention), it still worked!

Here are the steps (listen carefully, this is rocket science):

1. get a large tub with a lid
2. drill a few holes in the bottom for drainage (I also drilled some in the lid, too, because you know, I had to get good use out of the drill since I had to go all the way into the garage to get it)
3. fill the tub about 1/2 of the way with dirt from your yard - doesn't have to be great dirt (ours in VA is full of clay
4. add a bunch of leaves (dry), shredded newspaper/paper (dry), even dryer lint (dry); then add vegetable/fruit scraps (wet), egg shells (wet), etc. You'll want to layer-dry-wet-dry-wet-dry (get the picture?)
5. cover with lid
6. put in shady location (too much sun makes it too hot and dry)
7. wait and wait for about a zillion days (flip it over a few times every once in a while)
8. open and enjoy some black gold!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

ADHD, Here We Are...

I haven't posted in quite some time. I've been overwhelmed with things since the twins started kindergarten and I've gone back to teaching after the summer. Also, I haven't had that much "news" to report. Except for the big elephant in the room called ADHD... We've known for 3 years now that Drew has been a "highly spirited" child, full of creative ideas and energy to go with it. But then there are times when he is attentive and actively involved in projects like puzzles, Legos, and now K'Nex. He didn't seem to fit in the ADD or ADHD category, at least to me. I've seen both sides of types of the disorder in full scale in my years of teaching. But Drew didn't seem to match these behaviors. Or was it because I'm his mom and not his teacher that I'm skewed?

After many, many different interventions including behavioral modifications at school, sticker charts, Occupational Therapy, teacher conferences, a Child Study meeting, "social group" with the guidance counselor, and observations by social workers, counselors, and special educators, we finally got some clarity.

A co-worker told me about similar challenges she was facing with her son and told me about a study NIH was conducting on ADHD. I called and after about 5 minutes on the phone with the social worker, we were emailed checklists and forms for us and for his teacher to fill out. Long story short, we had his appt. last week and after 6 hours of interviews, testing, a DNA sample and a MRI, he was given the diagnosis of moderate ADHD combined type. Woah, there it was... a ton of bricks in black and white and even explained as, "There is NO doubt in my mind this is not what it is," by the child psychiatrist. We were stuffed into a tiny office where it must have been 100 degrees and I was sweating like crazy. Wait, did I hear that right (because the doctor is British and maybe they call some other milder problem ADHD over there)? Oh yes, we heard it right.

After I took a breath, looked at Darrell (who, by the way, has been diagnosed with ADHD himself through this process), I must say that I was.... RELIEVED. Really? Relieved? Yes, it's true. Relieved. Because now we know where we are headed. Even if it means the daunting decision of what to do next. Medicine or not?

To be continued...

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Crawfish Boil

Even though it is 90 degrees here in Virginia today, our Louisiana friends got together at Amy's for some crawfish! Actually she also had boudin, meat pies, Abita beer, hurricanes, alligator balls, pralines, Hubig's pies, and all kinds of other good fixins. We sure did pass a good time with Cajun music and fun. All that is missing is the big Mosquitos!!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Coffee Filter Wreath

My mantle was looking a little blah and since our living room gets little natural light, also a bit dark. I lightened up the room a lot with my new Benjamin Moore paint last summer, but knew the mirror needed something.

So, I got the idea to make a wreath and knew I had to try the coffee filter wreaths bloggers like The Nester and others have featured. It was pretty easy and was done even while watching tv one night. Total cost was only a few dollars for the 300 or so coffee filters since I already had a wreath (and I even left it wrapped in its plastic since I'm lazy and wanted less mess). I just used my low temperature glue gun, folded each filter in half, then half again to make a sort of cone shape. Then I went to town gluing away. I filled in empty spots and then gave it a quick haircut with scissors when I was done to even things out.

Although Darrell said it reminded him of the paper carnations from the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Metairie, Louisiana, I love it!

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Where have 5 years gone? I can't believe I registered them for kindergarten today!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Happy Easter 2012

We had a nice Easter! Drew was sick most of last week (even for their birthday), but was well enough for church on Sunday and Easter fun at Cox Farms.

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thoughts from Libby...

Best "Libby-ism" of the weekend:

L: "Mama, are pumas stinky?"
Me: {not catching on quite yet} "What do you mean?"
L:  "You know... because of the {whispering} 'poo' in their name."
Me: {trying not to laugh AT her}

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Baby A and Baby B

I just read my {pregnant with twins} friend, Andy's, blog and found out she is having a boy and a girl! In fact, like Libby and Drew- baby A is a girl and baby B is a boy. What exciting news! I came across this photo from Easter Sunday, 2007 as we were leaving the hospital. And trust me- it was NOT staged. But it does reflect their personalities perfectly.

Here's to an amazingly wonderful ride, Andy and Matt! ;)

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25 Things About Me

I bought a few vouchers from either Living Social or Groupon, including one for an acupuncture session and honestly sort of forgot about them. As I searched my inbox for "acupuncture" to find them, this came up... a game from Facebook that I responded to back in 2009. I thought it was an interesting "cliff notes version" of me. You know- in case you wanted to get to know me better! :) Enjoy...

1. My first name is actually Erin. I was called Erin the first year of my life, but supposedly my Aunt came to visit from Wisconsin and called me Katie for a nickname—it stuck. I tried to go back to Erin in the 5th grade, but never answered my teachers when they called on me.

2. I was born on Aug. 2nd and share a bday with one of my very close high school friends, Becky (now known as Rebecca).

3. I am 5 ft. 1 ½ inches tall, but I usually lie and say I’m 5’2” (that ½ inch really makes a difference).

4. My first car was a 1984 blue Oldsmobile Delta 88 (a boat)--It fit all of my girlfriends in it in high school. We used to smoke cigarettes in it and listen to Rob Base’s “It Takes Two”. I now drive a 2007 Honda Odyssey mini van with 2 car seats. UPDATE-- In my "I have a minivan" crisis, I downsized back to a Honda Accord, but that only lasted 1 year. I'm back to a minivan and currently drive a 2007 Toyota Sienna. I continue to live the minivan dream!

5. I only skipped school once in high school-- I went with my friends Becky, Emilie, Sarah, Stephanie, and Casey to Becky’s house to lay out by her pool. We got bored after a few hours and decided to go back to school, which was not a wise idea. I was the only one who got busted. I had detention and was grounded for a month.

6. It rained the night of my high school graduation, so we had it inside the hot and sticky cafeteria. I had only 4 tickets to give for family and friends to attend. I gave 1 to my dad, 1 to my mom, 1 for my grandfather (Popi) and saved 1 for someone who didn’t even show up. I wish I would have given it to my younger brother, Scott--he died 6 months later in a car accident.

7. I hate scary movies and refuse to watch them. I saw "Halloween" on a date with Darrell and had nightmares for weeks. I hated having to watch "Psycho" in Mr. Levy’s Film class in high school.

8. I am the worst night owl- just like my dad. Sometimes I do weird things in my sleep—like bend my knees or kick. I clench my teeth all the time and have 2 crowns and wear a night guard because of it.

9. I have a very valid fear of clowns as I believe they are purely evil beings.

10. I sucked my thumb until I was about 10 years old. I prayed that I could stop and didn’t want to go to slumber parties b/c I was afraid I’d do it in my sleep. I also used to bite my nails really really badly. UPDATE - I bite my nails still (but not as bad)

11. I have horrible time management skills- always late!

12. I had 3 earrings in my left ear (I got the 3rd one at Cheri’s loft one weekend) and 2 in my right while in high school. I still have the holes, but only wear 1 on each ear now.

13. I was a huge REM fan all through college. I met the band backstage in Baton Rouge when my cousin Boog (real name is Eric) got us passes. I was disappointed since they really didn’t have any personality and didn’t remember which album "Finest Worksong" was on (Eponymous). Michael Stipe also said he forgot the lyrics-- TOTAL buzzkill.

14. I sat next to a Chicago Bull (Will Perdue) at a Chicago Cubs game in my 2nd year of college. I didn’t know who he was and shared my peanuts with him. I just knew he was really, really tall.

15. I’ve never been snow skiing or ridden a horse.

16. Yo hablo un poquito de espanol, but wish I were fluent. I know a little sign language, too, and taught my twins some of it. I also use a few signs with students with language delays.

17. The first thing I used to look at before dating a boy was his hands to see how clean they were (it tells me a lot about him). I also looked at the condition of his shoes—I realize now that this was pretty strange.

18. I broke my pinkie once playing football when I was younger and my right foot when I fell down while in Boston with Saleena in the summer of 2005. I tend to fall down and hurt myself (usually just scrape my knees or something) at least once per year. UPDATE: In fact, since I wrote this, I fell again in 2011 and hurt my left foot, but didn't end up breaking anything {phew}.

19. I met Darrell when he moved in next door to me the summer before I graduated from LSU. Funny thing is that my first crush was on my next-door neighbor, Denny, when I was in the 5th grade.

20. In grad school, I worked at the Limited with my friend Sarah. I had the privilege of saying hello to every customer walking in and cleaning dressing rooms. I was also a waitress at Lonestar Steakhouse, Brewbacher’s Grill, and Louisiana Pizza Kitchen. I've always wanted to be a cashier—I love the self-checkouts in grocery stores.

21. I played the piano for a little while when I was young and wish I would’ve stuck with it. I also played clarinet in grade school, but not for long (I was terrible). In college, I took 3 guitar lessons and realized it wasn’t easy! I quit right after.

22. I get carsick when I read in the car or sit backwards on the Metro.

23. I love anything and everything toile.

24. My friend Shannon dreamed I had twins (long before I was even pregnant)--I thought she was crazy. As soon as I found out I was having twins, I just knew they would be boy/girl.

25. I almost became a nurse, but didn’t want to handle needles or give shots. Funny thing is--I went through acupuncture and gave myself shots several times a day for months with 3 rounds of IVF and gestational diabetes.

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