My YouTube obsessions

Lately, I have discovered the wonders of YouTube.

I feel like a tween. Or a teen. Sometimes though I want to just chill and veg but don’t have more than 15 minutes. And actually, they also have some pretty cool stuff for the boy too!

What I put on for the boy:

Sesame Street Celebrity Songs – Wyatt loves these. He constantly is signing “music, music, please” to us. I have to admit, I like these too..

Dave and Ava: These are also wonderful! Wyatt, who is working on gaining speech in therapy (and at home of course!) actually has started saying some of these words, along with the songs!

And then what I watch:

Zoella – I’m not into beauty or fashion really, but, for some reason I watch all of Zoella’s videos. I found her at Christmas, and loved her monthly favorites. And those were my gateway Zoella videos.

Clutterbug! I just found her stuff the other day and love it! I am so busy reorganizing and redoing our little house, and I love all her tips. I also discovered that Billy and I are butterflies. We are not messy, we just are trying to use methods that don’t work for us! And that is my story and I am sticking to it, thanks to Clutterbug!

Living Big in a Tiny House: I am fascinated by how creative these tiny houses are! I am in love with this one. So cute and adorable!

Little Book Owl: I watch a few book bloggers on YouTube, but Little Book Owl is my favorite. And if you read my book blog (Quixotic Magpie) she is the reason Billy and I read Nevernight, one of my new favorite books!

I’m open to suggestions too! Anyone have any recommendations? I would love to hear them!


Third Birthday Celebration

My little guy is three. Three! I can scarcely believe how fast these years are going by. It seems like just yesterday he was a tiny peanut in the NICU.

The day Wyatt was born was the coldest day of the year that year. This year, we had a severe winter storm alert the night before. Schools were called off, big snow, ice and just generally crappy conditions were forecast. We were disappointed since Billy had taken the day off of work for us to celebrate as a family. And when we got up, the weather was pretty nasty. But within the hour, it began to warm up, and thaw. And melt. Huge snow clumps were raining from trees and telephone wires and house awnings, like enormous snowflakes. The sky was blue, the air was not blisteringly cold, and there was no bone chilling winds. So, we loaded up with multiple coats and layers to prepare for the day and whatever it might throw at us, and headed out into the blue.

First stop was Tim Hortons. Our guy loves doughnuts, and as a special treat, we had doughnuts for breakfast. Wyatt devoured a doughnut with sprinkles, most of his father’s sour cream glazed, and then followed that up with a few bites of Timbit. Not his normal breakfast obviously, but a special birthday one. I had a giant coffee and my favorite chocolate dip. Billy had the remnants of the doughnuts that Wyatt didn’t eat. I guess I lucked out since Wyatt is not a chocolate fan. šŸ™‚

Once Wyatt finally stopped eating doughnuts, we set our sights north to the Detroit Zoo. We have a membership to the zoo, and we love it. One of the things we love most about it is that with a membership, we never feel pressured to “do” the whole zoo in a day, if we don’t want to. We can show up, walk around for an hour or so, just visit our favorite animals. We do of course visit all the exhibits some days, but most of the time we amble about, taking our time. And we love to go on weird off days, when we have it mostly to ourselves. And Wyatt’s birthday was perfect – almost empty, probably due to the fact that it was midmorning on a Friday, and that the weather had been miserable in the morning. Plus, you know, it is winter. Lol. So, we had the zoo to ourselves.

First stop was the amazing Polk Penguin Center. It is seriously awesome, with a 4-D experience to enter, like you are on a boat headed to the Antarctic, complete with day and night changes, storm simulations, and even a little rain and water spray. Wyatt loved that part, getting wet in the spray. He loves the penguins, probably because he can get face to face with them!Ā  That little trio of Gentoo penguins waddled on over to preen and show off and pose – the volunteer told us that the Gentoo are the friendliest and love to have their photos taken! If you want to see the penguins in action, you can check out their webcam feed.

From the Penguin Center, we headed further in, toward the River Otter habitat, one of our family favorites. This little river otter family is so delightful and entertaining, the way they zoom around, and play. We could stand and watch them for a long time, and we were the only ones there besides the volunteer for a good while. She shared some pretty fun stories, and the exhibit itself is relaxing, made of solid wood like you are in a cabin up north. It was a good moment, watching the otters play, in the brisk air, the scent of pine around us. We were so delighted by them we didn’t take photos!

Next we had planned to go through the Reptile house to warm up, but it was way too humid in there, and after being out in the cold, it was too much of a temperature change so we headed back out. At least the reptiles were comfortable though!

We decided to just walk a little further before leaving – the zoo is pretty huge and we didn’t want Wyatt to get too cold. So our last and final stop were the camels. Usually this family is sleeping or just relaxing all together on the ground, but today they were up and at ’em, super active. There was one right by the wall too, we could hardly believe it! They are pretty cute, especially the babies! Wyatt was entranced. He is usually a ham, posing for the camera (just like the Gentoos!), cheesing it up, but he couldn’t take his eyes off the camels to look at me long enough for a photo!

All in all, it was a fantastic visit, albeit short. Next time we will see more, the Red Pandas, the lions, the wolves, the kangaroos, the polar bears (our Nuka just got a girlfriend!). All favorites of ours. One thing I love about the Detroit Zoo is how many of their animals are rescues. They do such a great job, and while I don’t know the percentage of their animals that they have rescued, I do know that a great deal of them were. It’s definitely worth a visit if you are ever in the area!

We headed back home and had one of Wyatt’s favorite dinners – fish sticks and macaroni. The night sky even showed off for his birthday, with a clear sky and a giant brilliantly bright moon. My boy loves to be outside at night, stargazing, so this was the perfect ending to our day.

He was a happy little boy.


What Wyatt’s Reading


Reading is huge in our house. I grew up with my nose always in a book, and I read whenever possible now, even if all I have time for is an article or two online. My parents were readers, and now, my son loves to look through books and is always asking me to read them to him. We went to the library tonight and brought home a huge haul! He usually picks a few out, and then I pick some out. Do other parents do this? I can’t help it. I used to work in an elementary school library. I have favorites I want to share. Oh, I guess I answered my own question. We all probably have favorites to share!

Here’s what we checked out:

cecil the peteaster micegnomelittle white rabbitlittlest bunnyminerva louisemy gardenpeas

I did most of the picking out today…Wyatt was exploring the library with his dad, socializing and then looking for me in the stacks. I adore Kevin Henkes, so I had to get these two super springy looking books. And Little Green Peas looks adorable. And I needed to get some Easter ones too, right? Then Wyatt’s birthday is this weekend and his party is gnome themed, so let’s read a gnome book. And finally, Cecil. I saw it on the shelf and was intrigued. It does not look like a typical children’s book. So I checked it out. More for me than the boyo. And I read it immediately when we got home, while making dinner. (just spaghetti, but oh so good spaghetti! Ask me about this later)

I freaking loved Cecil, the Pet Glacier. Loved it. I need to own it. It is so wonderful and different and quirky and not typical, and that is exactly why I love it, and why it is so fantastic! I say read it. Go on, get it. So good.

So the spaghetti. Billy and I usually hate spaghetti, but Wyatt loves it, so we eat it. I have not ever made my sauce (I know, eek right?) which might be why we don’t like it? Although neither of us has ever liked it, even as kids when our parents did make their own sauce. So maybe not. Anyway. I bought Newman’s Own Tomato and Basil Bombolina sauce. It smelled amazing when I popped the top, like summer in a jar with all the basil. That alone was awesome. But then Billy did this trick that he learned on Binging with Babish, a youtube show about cooking. When the noodles were done (we used egg noodles, Wyatt’s favorite), we drained them, then added some butter, and mixed it up. Then slowly, Billy folded in the warmed sauce into the noodles. Finally, we topped it all off with freshly grated parmeasan cheese, and seriously, it was the best spaghetti I have ever eaten in my life.Ā  We both went back for seconds, it was so good. Never before have I enjoyed spaghetti. So thank you Babish.

And wouldn’t you know it? Wyatt hated it. šŸ™‚ Ah. Toddlers.


Book Club – January

Bottle of WineBook Club

Last night we had our book club night. It’s a night I wait all month for – sometimes it is honestly my only night out! We were friends before we were a book club, and are more a girls night out than a book club sometimes, but we do usually have a book to discuss, and at least one or two of us read it. When we started book club, we all read the book, but as years have passed and we all started having more babies and jobs started getting more serious, that part of our night has not become as important as just catching up with each other.

I had so much fun last night. Alyssa hosted, and she welcomed us into her super cozy, super beautiful newly redecorated front room. I felt so comfortable, amid the grays and whites and blacks, the oversized furniture, the giant carousel lion. Alyssa always has cool stuff, and I really loved her new decorations. We all settled in amongst the pillows with our glasses of wine, missing our friend Jill, who is a respiratory therapist and extremely busy with work during this year’s flu season. It didn’t take long for us to start chattering away, talking over and around each other, sharing about our lives and catching up, elegantly shoveling crackers and cheese and fruit and hummus into our mouths. There was also soup and chocolate biscuits for dessert, which we devoured as well, like the pack of she-wolves we are.

We also had two reasons to celebrate!! Our friend Kelly had done something very brave, and our friend Chrissy finished her Masters Degree!! We toasted them with some pink bubbly, which seemed perfect for our setting.


Everywhere I looked last night there was a super tiny cutie running around! Alyssa is involved in animal rescue, and currently has a few fosters – two tiny Chihuahuas and a chunky little Siamese kitten. The Chihuahuas are strays she rescued from a shelter after Harvey, when pounds were filling up. They both have heartworm and are being treated, and are the most adorable little things! Dallas is a spitfire, with silky floppy ears, while Zoe is a sweet pea, a little lap dog who loves to wear clothes. If I had room for another pet, I would have stuck one in my coat pocket as I walked out the door, they were so sweet. Although, I think I would have had to fight Kelly for this little one…

IMG_20180201_190933 (1)

Sorry for the terrible photo of this cute girl! She just wouldn’t hold still! Lol. She did spend the rest of the night curled up on Kelly’s lap, like a little cat.

The book we read this month was The Marsh King’s Daughter, which was phenomenal. Set in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, a place many of us in book club are familiar with, and it was the edge of your seat kind of book that I love. I personally could not put it down, and absolutely loved it. It was so good! I definitely recommend it.

February is my month, and I have picked two short books – Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, and also We Should All Be Feminists. I am really looking forward to reading them!


Runny Noses and Roo

Last week passed in a flurry of Kleenex, chicken noodle soup, and Winnie the Pooh movies, with both the boy and me catching a wee bit of a cold. It seems like most of the country is sick with something right now, so I was unsurprised when we got the sniffles. Not happy, but not too surprised either. It made for days of cuddles, hanging out in the bedroom watching movies- lots of enforced down time. It sucked that we were sick, but as I lay there, I thought about how these little moments fly by so fast. In a month or two little man starts preschool, and while he will only be gone two days a week, for just a few hours, I am a mixture of emotions, from nervous to sadness. I have to admit, I got a little teary thinking about it! Listening to this song a million times over the course of the week probably didn’t help either..

I mean seriously Carly Simon. Could you pull the heartstrings any harder?

By Sunday we were well enough to go for a walk with my brother and his family – and the weather was wonderful, warm and sunny. Although waking up to a winter storm warning and blowing gales of snow on Monday was a bit weird. And felt sort of like betrayal after the weather we had experienced over the weekend.

Needless to say, my week was very slow paced. Lots of movies, lots of books and reading, and in between, I did a little online shopping. His doctor in charge of all his therapies and specialist visits wanted us to try leaving off his leg braces for half the day, and to really use them only for when we are specifically working on walking and standing. Wyatt only has shoes that fit over his braces, which are two sizes two big. So for the first time ever I got to buy shoes for Wyatt that fit his actual foot! It was pretty exciting for us, honestly. I ended up getting him Ikiki shoes – they look so cute! And they squeak! They are supposed to come today, and I am really looking forward to Wyatt wearing them. I think he is going to love them!

We also got his little play kitchen, which I am in love with. He loves to play pretend and we set up the cutest little area for him, with a table and chairs and a little kitchen with wooden dishes and pretend food. We have been limiting our outings so I thought it would help with being stuck inside a lot. If you follow me on any other social media, you have already seen this set up a million times, so I apologize for talking about it yet again! My biggest challenge is keeping our cats off of it! I love these stinkers, but wish they would stay off the table. Lol. (That is Miso by the way, our rescued Himalayan. She is a bit squinty, she and one of our other cats got into a “cat fight” over a seat on the chair the other night and she has a teeny scratch. She is ok though. Marlow is Wyatt’s buddy, the all gray cat – also a rescue)

This week and next are busy with appointments and thankfully, fun things too. I have book club tomorrow and Craft Night next week. I am ready to get out of this house for a bit, and relax with friends and a glass or two of wine!


Catching Up

crackercrumblife.comMove along now, holiday season.

Is anyone else trying to catch up from the holidays? I feel like I put everything that I could put on hold during December on that proverbial back burner, and now it’s time to sort through it and get to it! Except I am feeling so crazy overwhelmed by my to-do list, I almost can’t remember what all I need to do.

I’m that person who always want to be super organized, but just isn’t. I know that this is just not who I am, so I roll with it, and plan to be the most organized that I can be, but I will never be that person who has the perfectly sorted rooms with cute and stylish baskets or whatnot, all with labels, that make the room look like it belongs in a decorating magazine. Although, that would be cool. I did however, start a mission last year to minimize our possessions, and I have slowly been going room by room. Very slowly, but it’s getting there. Having less stuff makes it easier to organize – obviously. Lol. And it does feel sort of liberating and cleansing to not be so weighed down by stuff. I could be a hoarder, perhaps, if I allowed it to happen. Now I just throw it in a bag or a box and drive it immediately to the donation center. Done and done.

But back to the now of catching up. I need to work on my business, get started on various projects, schedule appointments, figure out what books I am behind on reading and reviewing for my book review blog (quite a few!), stuff I want to do with this blog, and finish my office, which is currently housing boxes and boxes of books that I need to figure out what to do with, and cat items. The room is literally devoted to books and cats right now, there is no room for me. I need to reclaim some of the space (as we know the cats will not allow me the entire room now, after all this time) – as much as I love my bedroom, it is not the most conducive to working. More to getting really cozy and then maybe napping. Which unfortunately is not super productive.

Thankfully, my Passion Planner arrived. (not a affiliate link at all, I just love mine!) I love everything about it. I have so much I need to keep track of, most especially little man’s appointments! There are so many. He has a neurology appointment coming up, and I thought I had the date memorized, but when I went to write it in my planner, I found that the day was a Sunday, which I knew could not be right! I called, and found I had the right number date, but wrong month! See why I need a calendar? Lol. Lately, I always have three things close to hand – my planner, my notebook, and my pen case.


Anyone else in the throes of catching up from the holidays? What are your tips? How do you keep track of all you need to do with all the your roles in life?



Hello 2018!

May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art --

Happy New Year! I must confess, I am not the biggest fan of New Years. I usually find it is a melancholy day for me, saying goodbye to a year. It just makes me sad. But this year, I feel inspired. I feel inspired by all those quotes that say we have 365 days to make new experiences, 365 new chances. That we have a blank book upon which to write. To live our wild and to voyage our soul.

Neil Gaiman always writes the coolest New Year’s wishes. This is an older one, but it’sĀ  my favorite. I think it sums up perfectly, every year, what I hope for.

I don’t like to think of these as resolutions, but more like changes in my life that I would like. I would like more time with husband, the two of us. We very rarely go out and are usually home hanging with the boyo. Which we love, but we need to make time for us as a couple as well. This is the hardest change to make, as it is dependent on grandmas and their time, and I don’t like to ask too often, although I know they love the kiddo.

I also want to create more this year. I want to write more, go back to the stories I had started and never finished, write the ones in my head. I want to bake more, cook more. Learn how to embroider. My husband got me the coolest embroidery kit for Christmas, designed for beginners. I am so excited to try it out, but I am a total weirdo about Christmas gifts. I like to hoard them all together in one spot, and look at them, like some sort of dragon. So, soon, I will pick it up and work on it.

I want to learn Swedish this year. I have always loved learning new languages – in high school I took four years of Latin and a year of French, and in college I took Russian. I taught myself some Gaelic one year, through internet lessons. I don’t remember much of any of them, but then, I don’t use them either. I probably won’t use Swedish either, but I am currently fascinated by these Nordic countries and their culture and lifestyle, so..Swedish it is. Maybe one day I will move there, and it will be handy to know the language. šŸ™‚

I want to get outside more – I love being outside but we have some barriers to overcome to the outdoors. This year I plan to figure out how to accommodate my son’s needs to get him into nature more – firstly by figuring out how to use a back toddler carrier. Any suggestions? He has cerebral palsy with very limited mobility so he can’t help me, so when it is the two of us, I need to think about how to do it. I would front carry but he is getting so long, and I am so short! Lol.

Finally, I want more plants in my life. I think they just make a house more cozy, more magical. More something. I told my cousin this and she said that in Sims your room score goes up when you add art and plants. Lol. We have lots of art, but I need more plants. I am also currently addicted to throw rugs, which I have scattered all over the place right now. It’s been nice to have islands of warm and soft to retreat to, with our negative cold temps!

What about you? Any hopes and dreams for this year that you are willing to share?