Children Are Like Wet Cement

Do you remember the first quote that really spoke to you? When you read it, you stopped to think and you never forgot?  I guess my first memorized quotes would have been from the bible, like John 3:16. But my first quote that I could recite and remember forever, happened when I was in the 3rd grade. I have an oddly vivid memory of the day I read my first quote.

 We were going to pick up some dressers from my Aunt Anns house. She lived in the apartments behind Mazio’s pizza. I had never been in the apartments or even knew that’s what they were. I just knew we passed by them daily and they looked like one really long house with multiple doors. Small town apartments are often just a single story 4plex. On this day, I was actually going inside one of the apartments. To my surprise, it was small. In my mind the whole building was one house! So for the area behind the door to be only a kitchen, living room and bedroom, I was confused.  We walked through the bedroom door and the dressers were sitting next to each other, in one long line. Each dresser had 6 drawers and the top was some kind of plastic that was a different color. My Aunt and Mom worked to clear the remaining items and remove the drawers for transport. I happened to pick up a calendar from the top and read the quote: 

“Children are like wet cement. Whatever falls on them makes an impression.

—Haim Ginott”

I didn’t know how to say the word “cement,” that C that sounds like an S is quite tricky. Plus, when there is a neighboring town with the same name, but everyone pronounces  it “See – Mint” you get very confused. I also didn’t know what the word impression meant, so I asked my mom to explain.  She said, “Kids are like wet cement, whatever falls on them sticks, it stays with them forever. Even if the thing is gone, there is something left that will always stay” 

I thought about that…what was Cement?

What was something that Sticks? 

What would stay forever?  

Then I thought, I’M a kid…. It’s happening now!  What Is happening NOW that is going to stick with me? 

What stuck with me that day was the quote. The thought, what is happening right now, would be in my memory forever. My 3rd grade mind didn’t really understand the quote, or just how meaningful my time in Oklahoma would be, to the shaping of my life and the decisions I would make.  It was the first time I read something that really made me think. 

I have vivid memories throughout my life on certain odd things, and then occurrences I’ve completely forgotten. I think about this quote so much more lately, since I’m raising 3 kids. I’m shaping their lives and their impression of themselves along with the impression of the world.  I have a child who is in the same grade I was, when I read this quote. When I started to connect dots about people and places in my childhood. 

I think about this today. Children really are like wet cement. That cement is what becomes our foundation, what it used to build the rest of our life. That even if we build strong, elaborate structures, how that cement dried is still there. The time in the elements…the time allowing that cement to harden.  Sometimes as adults we have to take it back down to the foundation, rebuild and correct items. All foundations have impressions, an impression is not inherently wrong or negative. It can be positive, it can make the foundation stronger. In raising my kids, I’ve had to face my own impressions about people, places and things. The ‘why’ on some of my own thinking and actions.  So with that, I will continue to reconcile my own impressions while simultaneously working to not allow a repeat impression on my children.

5:00 AM

{late post}

My mind woke me up at this morning. It’s a double edge sword, since I want to wake up early and ready to tackle the world, but I really want to sleep until my alarm goes off at 6:00 am.  This morning my mind was ready to get the day started.  I had work projects, personal craft projects and a chore list on my mind. Needless to say, after resting for a bit longer, I decided to check my phone, and it read exactly 5:00 am.  So here I am, up and NOT really ready to tackle the day, but going to attempt it. 

I started listening to the Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz yesterday on youtube. I listen to various books on repeat to hear the message differently depending on where I am in my journey. It might be the Strangest Secret by Earl Nightengale or The Success Principles by Jack Cranfield. Or any other personal development audio that sparks my interest.  Yesterday, The Four Agreements made it to my feed. 

The first part of the Four Agreements is to be Impeccable with your word;  it details how words are spells we cast either on us, or onto other people.  Now, I realize this sounds a little hokey reading that, but think about the word “Spelling”. The root word – spell. When looking up the definition there is an occult, meteorology, medicine and wood definition for that one simple word, spell. We almost all agree that words have power, that they can build a person up or tear a person down.  They can be affirming to our life or damaging. So the authors use of “casting spells” and “magic” isn’t too far off  for me to follow along.  I think my take away yesterday, for the short bit I listened to,  is to  get back to basics and say what I mean and mean what I say.  That flows into all aspects of my life, work, personal and family. To use my energy working towards the direction I need to focus, and not everywhere else for everyone else.  I have a tendency to lose my direction easily…. I mean anyone that has had a conversation with me knows I trail off and get lost 🙂  Part of it is my ADHD, and part of it is not being intentional with my words or thoughts. So with that, in the night I thought about some of the things I committed to and have not finished. I need to follow through with what I said I would do. Not just for the recipient but for me; that I know that I’m being impeccable with my word.   

Here is the authors excerpt: 

“Be Impeccable with your word: speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love” 

Here Is a link to the free audio version.  It may not stay long, since it’s a bootleg on youtube. 

Random thoughts on a Wednesday morning. 

Vasectomy

This is your warning to pass on this post if you’re not interested in a medical procedure. You may consider this to be graphic… you may not…. But this is your chance to pass if this is will cause you discomfort.

J actually discussed getting the procedure done last year but with him being a new employee, he didn’t want to ask for light duty or take a day in his first 90 days on the job. With a year under his belt, he felt that now would be a good time. Let’s make the clear distinction he was NOT looking forward to this or even wanting to get this done. He did this for our family and really more specifically, me. He agrees I should not spend my adult life on prescription birth control or have a tubal ligation that is more involved and quite frankly riskier. The date was set for Friday, September 18th @ 3:30. The only date available, which meant that he would be working the very next day. Understandably, J was nervous and not looking forward to this procedure. Then when you hear “painless with no medication needed” you really start to question it. However, the Dr. understands nerves and prescribed valium to be taken an hour prior to the apt. J, took it a step further, by taking 2 valium and a shot of fire ball. 🙂 Aside from taking the medicine the only other pre-op requirement is shaving *close shave* the area, showering and picking up the prescriptions.

I planned to drive him to the appointment and expected to wait in the lobby, so I was equipped with my air pods and a coloring book. By the time we arrive he is starting to feel more relaxed but definitely “feeling hot and hard to breathe”. He is called back, and within 5 mins the nurse asks if I would like to join him in his room. It’s a small room with the typical medical table for exams, a rolling shelf with tools and a bathroom connected for the patient to use.

We sit there, masked up and wait for the Dr. By this time J is starting to feel heavy, like he’s had a couple of drinks. So when the Dr enters the room he is relaxed enough for the procedure but still nervous. There isn’t a pre-op appointment or any conversation prior to this date so this is our first time meeting the Dr. He tries to do a little small talk, make sure this is something J wants to do and that he understands the before, during and after of the procedure. The Dr. then tells him he can lay back on the table- fully clothed-including shoes. I’m allowed to stand next to his head, very much like J did for me while I was in labor. 🙂

The Dr. presses play on his Shins Pandora station and requests J to pull his shorts and underwear down to his knees. Enough time has passed and J is feeling very heavy so I help him get ready. Since the star of the show are the testes, specifically the vas deferens, the penis needs to step aside. This is done by placing a rubber band (very loosely) at the base, the band was attached to medical clamp, it was then placed in the direction of the navel, to keep it to the side. A medical blanket was placed over the abdomen and legs. Leaving only a circle cut out so the Dr has a very focused area and the patient is not feeling completely exposed. I mean he was already feeling exposed… he’s never had to show his business to a stranger and never had to have it touched/operated on. He shows J the medical device that is used to numb the area. It’s does not have any type of needle and emits a liquid that will numb the area. He presses the button so we can see and hear it. He advises the device has pressure that will feel like a rubber band snapping the area. That will be the most discomfort felt during the procedure.

It starts with a cleaning of the area with alcohol and iodine. Next, locating the vas deferens, which is done by feeling the area. Then freezing the area, even with a warning and count down it caused J to wince from the discomfort and perhaps the sound. I was on face patrol and rubbed his hair as this was going on, so I missed the actual incision. I happen to look over and see the vas deferens, outside of the skin. My initial thought was it looked like that white tendon in a chicken breast. The Dr. described it as almost a half cooked noodle. Regardless, it was totally visible and I was little surprised to actually see blood. We’re not talking gushing or anything but it made me realize he’s not getting some kind of laser procedure and that broken skin and internal dissolvable stitches are going to be painful. The Dr. checked in on his discomfort and needed to freeze the area again, since J could feel pinching. He felt relaxed, uncomfortable and unaware of what the Dr. was doing, aside from the fact that a Dr. was in his man business. J didn’t notice smell when the Dr. used a thermal cautery instrument. It was finished off with a gauze and medical tape along with recovery instructions.

The whole procedure took less than 30 mins from the time the Dr. walked in the door until he got off the medical table. We were on our way with our after instructions, an ice pack and a snack for the road. He was feeling pretty tired but did not mention pain at this point. He ended up taking a nap and waking up in pain around 8 pm. He picked up his medicine prior to the appointment which included 800mg ibuprofen, Tylenol with Codeine and the Valium. The Dr. suggested he wait a couple of days before taking the ibuprofen as it can act as blood thinner and he did not want J to end up with a hematoma or other complications. I brought him the the Tylenol and some water. J was in pain and I don’t think he was over reacting. I believe that any type of incision, even a small one, in a very sensitive area is going to be painful. He ended up waking in the night with pain. He took more meds and laid on the couch for a bit. From an outside perspective, I think he’s in pain like I was after an episiotomy. I mean, he was given the exact scripts I was given after delivering the kids. So I think the whole “Painless” is a nice word but not the reality of the situation. I’m grateful that he went through with the procedure and I feel that any man who has this type of procedure should be acknowledged.

A vasectomy is considered elective, it was covered by our insurance but we still had an out of pocket expense. We paid 100.00 deposit when he booked the appointment and paid 485.00 when we arrived yesterday. Here is the site for the Dr. that completed the procedure. He actually has a video of the procedure if you’re really curious. https://gentleproceduresdallas.com

I think that pretty much covers this life event. I made sure that J is comfortable with me sharing this information publicly. He did check-in and share on his social media but this is a public page and contains his personal medical information.

Coloring

 When I woke up this morning I was still fuming with feelings from the day before. I spent a portion of my night conversing and resolving work grievances. Imagining how I would have a Jerry McGuire moment and that I just needed to calm myself down. I mean “it’s just real estate!” Which is true, but it is how I spend my day, how I afford my life and where I have built my skillset.  So when I just couldn’t shake it this morning and It was time to log in to start my day, I opted to color instead. I purchased a coloring books a couple of years ago when it became acceptable for adults to participate. However, its only this year that I’ve actually started to use it. When I feel like I need to calm my mind and just focus on lines or circles, filling in the spaces with the color of my choice.  A quick google search and it returns a handful of benefits of coloring for toddlers. Things like hand strength, fine motor skills and color awareness. I find that coloring as an adult is tapping into my dormant creative side. Picking a color is a form of self expression and staying focused on paper that does not emit blue light is great for my head.  Psychology today makes the distinction that coloring is therapeutic NOT therapy. I will say that taking the time to color a flower this morning helped me keep my mouth shut during my morning meeting. I continued to color while on the call which helped me really listen to the message. To be perfectly transparent, I needed to hear what was said this morning.  

Opting to color this morning was a physical act of prioritizing myself. Even though it looked a lot like work procrastination… So, if you have been feeling some kind of way and thinking of it all at one time or can’t shake your current thoughts. Try coloring. 

I picked up my coloring book from Dollar Tree and my markers (flair pens) from Office Max. 

I think you should give it a try too. Use a pencil or a pen whatever you have on hand. Try dots, shading, coloring heavy handed or hatch marks. I figure anything might be better than nothing. 

Pens and page I started this morning- With a little help from Stell

DIY Produce Bag/ Laundry Bag

Today I needed to wash some of Stella’s bows before I reattach them to an elastic band. I could not find my zipper laundry bag anywhere. I try to keep it hanging by the washing machine to have it handy when I need it, but of course,  I couldn’t find it. I still have my sewing machine out and working on miscellaneous projects so I figured now is the time to whip up a produce bag and test it out as a laundry bag too. I had the produce bags I purchased from Trader Joe’s as a guide on sizing and texture. 

This is the smaller bag, it’s about 12″x 12″

The shirt is lightweight polyester that has a snag in it. Basically, totally ruined and would end up in the trash since it can’t be fixed (That I know of) This type of fabric is very sheer so I feel like it would make a great produce bag as you can see what is inside and doesn’t weigh very much to skew the weight. 

I decided to use the arm for a small laundry bag and the body of the shirt for produce bags.  

Just cut the arm off, keep it inside out so you can sew the bottom. Then sew the top, I just folded it over to create a space for the shoelace I used as the tie. I left a small opening to thread the shoelace. I do not pin my fabric or use a measuring tape. Just eyeball it and sew it slowly. 

I just used white thread since it was still in my machine and it makes it easier to photograph {grin}  Turn your bag right side out and it should be ready. It’s not perfectly even but It will get the job done.

I just tied the ends and placed the whole thing in the wash. It survived a full load, with an agitator. I also made a larger bag from the front of the shirt, I’ll be testing that out as a produce bag. I of course found my other laundry bag when putting away the laundry.

Finished bag is about 6″x 9″

Cricut & Crafting

I’ve been frequenting a craft store since elementary school. My best friend and I would head to MJ Designs to pick up a craft to complete at her house for many a sleep over.  I noticed  Cricut years ago but I had no idea what it was. I thought it was scrapbook stuff and I don’t scrapbook with embellishments so I didn’t look any further.  I also noticed it was excluded from coupons and that was about it.   I used to follow a blog called “Crap I’ve Made” and she had a machine from Silhouette. She made cool personalized pillows and fun decor stuff. That is when I really started to consider purchasing a machine. Then my good friend bought one and made all kinds of cool personalized shirts and gifts. Next my coworker picked up a Cricut maker and shared how much she loved it. Fast forward to 2017,  I’m really interested but totally overwhelmed. 

What exactly is it? 

Well, basically a printer. But instead of printing on paper it can cut out shapes or designs on various materials. I believe it’s official description is a multi-adaptive tool.  For the device to know what to do (engrave, draw, cut, score etc) you need to have the propriety program called Design Space.  There are a handful of machines to choose from and this is where it starts to get confusing. Especially if you don’t have a specific need in mine. 

Where do you buy it?

Craft stores like: Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, Joann Fabrics, walmart, HSN,  Cricut online.  Each store may have a special color of machine or bundle of products but they all offer the Cricut brand items and 3 machines. 

How much is it? 

This depends on the model you purchase. The machine is your first step in spending money on this new venture. (Mats, tools, vinyl, more blades)

I’m going to break down the cost for the various machines as of today, September 12, 2020. 

The Joy-  $170.00 – tiny portable machine that has it’s own line of tools and products. It looks like a machine that you buy after you have an Explorer Air or Maker and want to take a tiny one to a craft show or something. I would not make this my first machine because I really think that once you get started you’re not going to have enough options with just this device. 

Explorer Air – $227.00-this one is going to give you more options. Cutting vinyl to press onto shirts, tumblers, decals, cut paper for cards/ paper crafts, use the pens to write custom messages, use the infusible ink products, cut stickers, and I believe make some faux leather earrings etc  

The Maker – $369.00 this is the machine I purchased. I ultimately decided on this one because it can do it all. I am full of impulsive Aries energy and wanted the ability to start endless projects that I will likely never finish or repeat. I knew I didn’t really want to make single use shirts or tumblers but wanted to have options. It can do everything the explorer air can do plus engrave and cut very thin wood/ metal. It can also cut fabric but I found it to be a bit wasteful with the fabric and take longer than cutting with shears.  

At the end of the day the products all need to be linked to design space and you can create your own products or designs with any of them.  I don’t see myself purchasing additional products and would likely look into 3D printing for my next big machine. There is a new one from Silhouette called the Alta that looks pretty cool. 

I noticed that none of the machines really go on sale. You’ll just find unique bundles or colors at different stores. I ended up buying mine on black Friday after watching the pricing all year.  Design space is free but if you want to use the various fonts and premade designs you’ll need to purchase the Access subscription. I pay monthly <$20.00 but I really need to look into just buying the year.  Well, that’s pretty much Cricut in a nutshell. I personally really like to follow Jennifer Maker on YouTube and her FB group. Sometimes the people get a little worked up over little things but I think that might be due to pent up COVID emotions.  Overall it’s a fun machine to have and a good way to express yourself creatively. Although it can feel a bit overwhelming at first. 

My 10 favorite products from Trader Joe’s

The first time I heard about Trader Joe’s was in 2006. I was looking for wedding food and Trader Joe’s popped up. Being a lifelong Texas resident I had no idea what Trader Joe’s was or where to find one. It’s a CA favorite and at the time not any where in my drivable vicinity. In 2012 a location opened in Plano, Texas and I was curious what all the hub a bub was about. The parking lot crowed and the store completely full I was initially turned OFF by the store. It was small, I didn’t recongize the brands and wasn’t impressed with the 5 dollar sushi I picked up. What changed for me is learning about GMO’s and on a quest to improve my eating habits. Looking for ‘clean’ products and organics I was reintroduced to Trader Joe’s. I loved whole foods but let’s face it, it’s called “Whole Paycheck” for a reason. The place will take your money faster than a slot machine. So I went back to TJ’s… during the week, when it’s far less busy and in the evening when I could take my time. This trip I would be reading labels and taking a good look at all the products. After that trip I was hooked. I picked up the typical go to items like Cookie Butter and Frozen Orange Chicken. I started going to Trader Joe’s every week along with Tom Thumb or Kroger. Let’s face it TJ’s doesn’t have everything a small family needs. *diapers*

Now that I’ve shopped the store for 7 years my must have items have changed. We are a family of 5, 2 of my kids barely eat more than macaroni and the other one will eat anything.

  1. Frozen Garlic Naan– I love this stuff and I haven’t found a dupe for it anywhere. It’s found in the freezer section. It makes the perfect personal pizza or dipping bread. My kids will eat it. It’s a win and it is currently sold out at my store.

2. Japanese Fried Rice– I prefer this over the vegetable fried rice. Do not get intimidated by the words seaweed and tofu. They are finely diced and add a nice flavor to the rice. It already has sesame oil in the mix and the whole thing is vegan. Add some more veggies like broccoli and it’s a winner.

3. Cinnamon Rolls- Another vegan option. The cinnamon rolls are so easy and good. I love that they’re actually rolled and not some cinnamon biscuit *cough pillsbury*. I also really like that the frosting is in a small plastic tube that can be cut and easily drizzled over the top instead of smeared on with a knife.

4. Langostino Shrimp– the best shrimp- it takes like lobster. So good and makes the knock of ceviche dip I make even better! It’s already cooked so it’s a thaw and you’re good to go type of product.

5. Mango & Cream Yogurt (Or Lemon & Cream) – this is a dessert. Seriously, I love this yogurt and prefer it over Noosa… which is also a dessert yogurt in my opinion. The lemon flavor is probably my favorite but I’m not sure if that is a staple product or seasonal.

6. Hold the Cone Ice Cream or Key Lime Pie– We have a big sweet tooth in this family. One of the things I really like about Trader Joe’s is the frozen dessert selection.

7. Quinoa Cowboy Burger- I crisp mine up in the oven. I like it as a veggie burger option or just to cut in strips and add to Stella’s lunch. This has a nice flavor and not a meat substitute which I’m typically turn away from.

8. Jalapeno Artichoke Dip– This dip is so good and I haven’t found a dupe for it anywhere else. It is good hot or cold, with corn dippers or tortilla chips… ya know whatever you want to dip in there. Even bell pepper strips if you want to be healthy like that. I’m usually picking this over the salmon dip or typical spinach artichoke dip.

9. Chocolate Croissants– Another sweet breakfast option. I told you we have a sweet tooth. This one my friend told me about and I didn’t realize how much I would love these. Found in the frozen section. You let them rise overnight and bake them in the morning. They have a dark chocolate center and flaky exterior. So good and I just stumbled upon the Whole Foods version for 7.00… again Whole paycheck.

10. Flowers– Bouquet, small potted plant, Basil, Succulents. whatever. Do yourself a favor and buy yourself or someone you love some flowers from Trader Joe’s. The pricing is the best, they last for a solid week and really bring some positive energy into a space. I typically go for the 5.99 bouquet with a lily that blooms throughout the week.

I really have so many favorite products… i could probably do favorite breads, protein bars, mixed nuts, frozen sweets, frozen prepared meals, etc. I might have to do that another day.

Starting A Blog

Isn’t it a little late to be blogging? I mean the heyday was a solid decade ago. 

So very true, and about a decade ago is when I really started to think maybe I would like to have an online space for my thoughts. I started reading family blogs and that moved to family vlogs but now I really think that sharing every detail of my kids like without their permission, is not in their best interest. I do love to share the various trials and successes with my fellow parents, but I’ll keep that face-to-face communication. Not to say I won’t share parenting or kid related content it’s just not going to be the focus of my blog. I had a blogger (another platform) for a bit, but I did not keep up with it and I think the platform is gone. 


So what is the focus? 

Well, it will be random, just as random as I am. As this life I’ve navigated has been. I’m really trying to organize and store my thoughts online. In a way that I can easily reference or any person needing the information can too. I think that’s mainly why I’m moving away from social media and creating more of my own outpost. I feel that social media (Facebook) is more about conflict seeking than community. I also feel social media is about showing a highlight reel without the grit of reality. I’m not trying to bring doom and gloom. Just more of a this happened on this date____ and here is the outcome at the time. My main topics right now will likely be

  • crafty stuff
  • Trader Joe’s/ Food 
  • Various life events 

Why is Jessie spelled Jese?

If you know me in real life you know I go by Jessie. It’s not my government name but its my nickname. I decided to spell it Jessie when I started going by it full time in the 4th or 5th grade. However, my Mom always spelled it Jese since it is a true variation of my full name (Jesenia). When picking a domain name I figured it would not be likely that someone would be using the spelling Jese. Plus, I like that it is using something my Mom started when I was born.

Will it be interesting? 

Probably not. Is life all that interesting? It’s more understood looking back than looking at. Having my thoughts captured will allow me the ability to reflect. I don’t particularly think I have interesting views on things; however, I have been known to Mcgyver a situation or two. 
Why public? This one is actually a bit scary for me. But, I want the accountability and the welcoming of individuals that may find this information helpful. I have thought about making some private or unlisted content for screened people if it pertains to family related items. I also want to explore the various affiliate link options but I don’t want to be a sales person consumerism. As of today, and the near future any link or product I share is not affiliated or commission based. 


Frequency? I think for this to work, I’m going to need to commit to a least once a week. 

Buying or ordering something I see? Yes! That is also part of my offerings. Share how to do something yourself or I can whip something up for you. Since my desk job is just that, a desk job. I’m really trying to tap into my dormant creative side. Reaching out VIA email will get the ball rolling until I have enough interest to start an ordering option through another site like etsy. 

Thanks for stopping by. If you have any additional questions reach out and I’ll share what I know. 
Jese