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The Importance of Walking in the Wood With Kids

The Importance of Walking in the Wood With Kids

Since being laid off I have been trying to spend time with family and friends. My Dad is nearing retirement and has some free time as well so I have been trying to get the kids out to see him on the family property out […]

Fun Times with Mr. Oscoey

Fun Times with Mr. Oscoey

Mr. Oscoey and I took some time a little bit ago to spend some time together since I have so much more free time now that I have been laid off. We had a great time exploring the Amazon Spheres, Pike Place Market and just […]

Fall 2018 Gardening Update

Fall 2018 Gardening Update

It has been a while since I have posted a gardening update so I thought I would post some pictures I took when I toured the garden recently. My latest gardening post was February 2018 State of the Garden so it has been quite a while since I have posted!  As can be expected the garden is in fall mode and many of our plants are losing leaves and others are dying back for the winter. We had a recent bout of wet weather so while I was touring the garden with my son I was pleasantly surprised to see hundreds of mushrooms along our paths. I have no idea what kind they are and my son and I just looked at them (teaching the little one woods skills early) but I was surprised at how many there were, especially since last year we only had a few.

 

mushrooms
Mushrooms at the top of our side yard path.

We found a large number of these brown mushrooms along our side yard path and going down the hill. I am pretty sure they sprung up from the mulch we spread last spring which is actually pretty cool if you think about it. We are (ahem)  sort of almost done spreading our mulch from the trees we cut down quite some time ago. This fact was not lost on our neighbor who happened to be outside at the same time good naturedly commenting on our lack of finishing the project. I am really tired of tracking in large amounts of dirt and debris which has covered our driveway from the mulch pile but we honestly had no time whatsoever to work on it while both of us were working full time. One of my goals before Thanksgiving is to have this completely taken care of but I also have to do the fall pruning and remove a few large bushes in order for that to happen so I may not get to it until the week of Thanksgiving.

 

brown mushrooms
A close up of some of the brown mushrooms.

It was neat to see the brown mushrooms in varying states of flower. Some of them had just come up and others were on their way out. My son and I spent quite a bit of time looking them over and talking about them. I should probably buy a mycology book so that we can look up the names of them. The kids would love to learn more about the plants we have.

 

gardening
Messy side yard!

I thought I would post an embarrassing picture of my side yard. This area of the yard was pretty much ignored this year, including watering so it needs a ton of work. That is actually a picture of the path that we walk through to get to the back yard. It was not quite completely closed but we did get a little bit wet walking through it. I am torn between cleaning it up and completely turning this area to grass. We have hummingbirds that live in our neighbor’s tree that feast of my flowers in this area nearly year-round so I am super hesitant to pull everything out but the bushes are too big for the space so I may take a few out and move the others over to make room for a fence.

 

Mushrooms
More mushrooms under the deck.

We found some more mushrooms under our deck. They were not so cute looking and pretty slimy but they must be tasty because the squirrels have been eating them left and right. My son and I however worked on looking without touching. I don’t know what kind of mushrooms they are and I want our kids to have a healthy fear of eating wild mushrooms since we have so many out in our woods. We have a strict eat mushrooms only from the store policy in our house!

 

Burning Bush
Smoke Bush.

I believe this is a “Smoke Bush” in our backyard. It was so beautiful this year I had to take a picture of it. We inherited this bush and every other year it looked mostly dead and out of place but this year the colors came through and it is gorgeous!

 

woods
Woods out back.

I took a view from below (as we call it) of the woods in the ravine behind our house. As you can see we have a huge English Ivy problem out behind our house. We have been girdling the trees regularly but some of the trees are too far out where the slope is very steep and we are not able to. The tree on the right is slated to be removed at some point since the Ivy goes up into the lower branches and it makes it unsafe.

 

Stinky Bob
Stinky Bob covering our path.

 

Stinky Bob is a weed we have all over our yard. It is a native species so I let it grow in the back but every spring it takes over most of our available space near the front of our yard. This is the path down to the ravine from behind our house and it is completely covered. Last spring this area was fir needle covered soil.

 

Branch Down!

 

We had our first branch down last week and although it scared me, the branch was not really that big in comparison to others we have had down. Luckily this branch missed the deck railing for it’s initial descent and only rested on it after it fell. This particular branch happened to fall when I had the slider open on a sightly windy day to air out the house. I am so glad nobody was standing there when it fell because it came down really fast and we had been outside on the upper deck a few minutes prior. Most of the large branches that fall end up where this one did because they are from the three trees that are right next to the deck. We are having those removed for safety at some point but my lay off has put all projects on hold for a little bit. I am hoping to take out the trees sometime in the spring.

 

That’s it for our Fall Gardening Update! I have some projects going on in the front yard mostly concerning mulch application and trimming our bushes but even though I have more free time I am still too busy to regularly get out in the garden on nice days.

 

How is your garden going this fall?

 

The Dreaded Lay-off…

The Dreaded Lay-off…

A little bit ago I was laid off from the job I started last spring. It was very sudden and shocking to me but the job was not going that great and if I had not had the most dreadfully awful week I probably would […]

Pumpkin Farms and Pumpkin Carving!

Pumpkin Farms and Pumpkin Carving!

In honor of Halloween I thought I would post some pictures from our pumpkin farm visit and pumpkin carving extravaganza. We have been going to the pumpkin farm with the same group of friends for the last five years and our kids love this tradition! […]

A Not So Brief Hiatus

A Not So Brief Hiatus

About eight months ago I took a break from blogging. There were many reasons, the most pressing being a complete utter lack of time while trying to maintain balance with both Mr. Oscoey and I working full-time with small kids. To say it was difficult to balance everything is an understatement and I am very impressed with everyone who can keep their households running successfully with both parents working full-time! We were only semi-successful at keeping everything running smoothly but lots of corners had to be cut and the blog was one of the activities I had to drop in order to get at least a little bit of sleep every night. I do not function without a full night of sleep so going to bed on time was mandatory!

 

Weedy garden.
Gardening did not happen much this summer.

 

Oscoey was also discovered by some people in my real life through the magic of Instagram suggestions and I squeezed in some time to think about the direction I want to take with the blog and how much I want to reveal about our finances. On one hand I would love to be fully transparent about finances and put it all out there but I know that it would not work for the Oscoey household so I am going to try and reach a healthy medium. I am still not sure about how much we will reveal but look out for more Personal Finance posts in the next few months! I definitely want to follow up on our 2018 Financial Goals and lay out the direction we will head in 2019. Yes, I am already thinking ahead to 2019!

 

Raspberry ;picking
We fit in raspberry picking last minute but did not make jam this year.

 

I hope everyone had a great time this spring, summer and fall! Feel free to follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest! Please look for my post later this week about recently being laid off and in the meantime here are some of Oscoey’s most loved posts!

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Blogiversary!

Happy Blogiversary!

One Year of Blogging Done!   Last weekend was the one year anniversary of Oscoey. I can’t believe how quickly the last year has gone! I have learned a lot about blogging over the past year and gotten to know many fabulous bloggers as well. […]

An Overview of Meal Planning

An Overview of Meal Planning

Meal Planning to Save Time and Money   I have heard of the wonderful idea called meal planning many times over the past few years and every time I read a post about it I love the idea of having all of our meals planned […]

Going back to work after being a Stay at Home Mom

Going back to work after being a Stay at Home Mom

Going Back to Work

 

Three weeks ago on a Monday marked a new day in the Oscoey household. For the first time in over three years I am no longer a stay at home mom. I went back to work and the next few months will be a season of change for us. I looked for six months for a job that is a good fit for me and I am pretty sure I found it! It is all very exciting and new and I am sure the first few weeks will be difficult but in the long run it will be better for our family.  I have not worked full-time since our oldest daughter was in elementary school and even then it was a retail job so I did not have regular hours. This new job will be my first full-time job with regular hours and I am really excited about it!

 

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beach
Oldest and the youngest at the beach.

 

Preparing for going back to work

The last couple of weeks prior to starting work were pretty hectic catching up on last minute tasks that needed to be completed before I no longer had a bunch of time. Laundry, grocery shopping, doctor’s appointments and hiring a nanny topped my list. I would have loved to have the entire house scrubbed from top to bottom but we had a busy weekend before I went back and that just didn’t happen. I settled for reasonably clean and a solid plan in place as to when regular household tasks will be complete.

 

We originally wanted to hire a nanny for morning drop offs but it kept getting delayed and after a couple of weeks of Mr. Oscoey dropping the kids off he didn’t want to give up that special time with the kids so we are going to try and make it work without one. I start before day care opens but hopefully after I have been at work a while I will have some flexibility with my start time. Child care is a major expense for working families and one of the reasons I held out for so long when finding a job is that I wanted to earn enough that we weren’t breaking even with day care costs.

 

Outside play
I am going to miss our lazy afternoons outside.

 

The change from SAHM to Working Mom

 

The hardest part of going back to work has been the mental part. My kids had a super easy adjustment. They love their school and my daughter is always asking to stay later so she can hang out with her friends more and now she is able to do that every day and she loves it. My son loves his class too and is always smiling and laughing when I pick him up. Sometimes he doesn’t want to leave either. Neither kid has a hard time at drop off so we at least do not have that to add to the stress of returning to work but I am still having a bunch of mom guilt about going back which is totally normal. It hit me really hard this week when we all came down with the flu. My husband and daughter had it first and I went to work on Monday and Tuesday not being the one at home with a sick kid all day and even though I knew Mr. Oscoey would be an awesome care taker of her it was still hard. My job the past few years has been to take care of the kids and I was always the one to care for them when they were sick while my husband went off to work. Needless to say Mr. Oscoey did an awesome job and I am really grateful that he was able to stay home with her.

 

dog
George taking care of his girl.

 

Family time is more precious

 

The biggest challenge for me the past week weeks with working has been time.  I have been trying to spend a little bit of time with each kid every day. My daughter gets up with me in the morning and we eat breakfast together before I leave for work. After school I try and get some alone time with my son for a bit before bed time. We have had really busy weekends the past few weeks with a day trip to visit Bellingham, two school auctions, Easter, birthday parties and the usual weekly family activities of dance/gymnastics class. It has been a challenge to fit everything in and I am definitely going to have to scale back my gardening this year but I am more focused on the family when we are all together and as an added bonus since the kids are not home all week making messes the house cleaning has gotten easier. I am looking ahead in our calendar and we have a few full days free on the weekends and I think we should spend some of that time on family day trips to maximize family bonding.

 

Last Wednesday morning walk with my friend.

 

The one thing I have been missing since I went back to work has been the ability to exercise regularly. I worked pretty hard to get back into a great exercise routine the past six or so months and one of the things I had to give up when returning to work was my weekly Stott Pilates sessions. I miss it quite a bit. I am on a waiting list for if a spot opens outside of work hours but I am afraid if I wait too long I will lose all of the progress I worked hard for.  I also miss my semi-regular long walks with a good friend. We have been walking for over a year and I will greatly miss our talks and the opportunity to get some much needed exercise in as well! Now that the weather is starting to get better I am going to try going for shorter walks in the evenings in my neighborhood after the kids go to bed. I am also going to try and locate a Pilates studio near my work so that I can continue my progress. I am pretty exhausted when I get home from work but I sit at a desk all day long so exercising after work is a necessity for long term health.

 

The first few weeks back to work have been a season of change in the Oscoey household. How has going back to work after a period of being home changed your household?

 

February 2018 State of the Garden

February 2018 State of the Garden

February State of the Garden   I thought I would take some time today to show what is happening in the garden before spring officially is here. Spring is coming fast and now is a good time to get the garden ready for planting and […]


All Time Favorites

Uber Frugal Month Challenge Week 1

Uber Frugal Month Challenge Week 1

A few weeks ago I found the Uber Frugal Month Challenge over at the Frugalwoods and I was immediately hooked. What a great way to start out 2018! I signed my husband and I up and we have spent the last week reading through the daily […]

Hilarious Japanese Toilet Candy

Hilarious Japanese Toilet Candy

Have you seen these cool candy toys made in Japan? They have all kids of fun food items to make!   This site participates in affiliate links and receives a small fee for affiliate recommendations at no cost to you. As always we only recommend […]

Easy Dairy-Free Grandma’s Fruit Salad

Easy Dairy-Free Grandma’s Fruit Salad

My grandma made fruit salad for us growing up and it was always my favorite because she put a few marshmallows in there.  My mom was always trying to eat healthy so marshmallows were a rare treat in our house.  I made this yummy salad […]