Disneyland Family 5K -2014

Disneyland Family 5K -2014

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Irony and the 5 year old

Brooklyn gets sarcasm.  We use it enough in our house that she should.  For the most part, she doesn't try to use it on us (knowing she will get in trouble,)  but there have a been a few "duh" moments and eye rolls.  Sarcasm she gets... irony-  now that's a little illusive.

On Tuesday, Brooklyn came in the door from school and immediately went upstairs to change.  I had barely gotten Kensi out of her carrier before Brooklyn came barreling back downstairs in her Cinderella dress and crown, ready to play "school" with her stuffed "friends."  After about ten minutes, when things seemed to be fairly quiet in her playroom, Brooklyn came to me holding a ziplock bag full of dirt, trying to tell me that some of the dirt had "accidentally" spilled on the carpet and that some water had "accidentally" gotten spilled on top, making mud.  I jumped up (with babe in arms) and went into the playroom to see what latest mess had been created.  Sure enough, there on the floor was a pile of wet dirt.  Next to it, a water bottle with the lid off.

After questioning Brooklyn for just a few minutes (her mind moves at the speed of light and no sooner had I gotten the first question out had she already tried to figure out what story to tell that would get her in the least amount of trouble) I determined that the "accident" was really that she hadn't thought her experiment all the way through.  The "accident" was not that dirt got spilled on the carpet - she put it there.  The "accident" was not that water got spilled on top of the dirt - again, all Brooklyn's doing.  No, the "accident" came when Brooklyn realized that she wouldn't be able to clean up the wet dirt and that the wet dirt was making the carpet dirty.  I do give her kudos for at least coming to me and telling me, rather than trying to hide it.

I explained to Brooklyn (once again) that it is never a good idea to bring bags full of dirt into the house.  I reminded her that she has tried to bring dirt home from school before and each time she has had to throw it away.  Then I told her that she had to clean it up and to go and get the vacuum, which she did.

And here, gentle readers, is where the irony gets lost on the 5 year old:

All together now: "Cinder-elly, Cinder-elly, Night and day it's 'Cinder-elly!' Do the washing, and the moppin, they always keep her hoppin."

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Winding Down the School Year

Brooklyn is excited.  We are finalizing plans for our trip to Ohio for Cousin's Week (where Daddy and I will deposit her at Aunt Peggy's house and "get out of Dodge" with Kensi as fast as possible) and our journey through Gettysburg to Washington DC.  All she can talk about is that she wants to pack her swimsuit because she "hopes" that she'll be able to swim each day.  When I picked her up from child care after school yesterday, she showed me an American flag that she had drawn on paper and then ripped out (around the flag.)  She excitedly told me that she was going to make a whole bunch of her paper flags and take them with her to Aunt Peggy's so that all of the kids could have one.  (We'll be there on the Fourth of July, and she is equally excited about celebrating the USA and all things American.)  She is excited about seeing her cousin Stella.  She told us, "I haven't seen her in FOREVER!"  (It was this past January, at RJs wedding.)  She was less excited about seeing her cousin Bobby, but I think that's because she doesn't remember him as well as Stella.  She is excited about the travel plans I am making and things I am talking about with Daddy, even though she won't be there.  She is excited about the possibility of swim lessons (because she will be swimming at Aunt Peggy's house.)  Can you tell there is a theme here?  In this 5 year old's world, at this particular time, everything is revolving around a trip to Aunt Peggy's house.

But first, some work must be done.  Those last few weeks of school have to be slogged through, cubbies cleaned and lunch boxes retired.  She has to finish school.  Only a few more weeks and they seem to be flying by.  It occurred to me just yesterday that there is no school this Friday and that's one less day of school left.  We are finishing the last month of homework and trying to make sure all of her "i"s are dotted and all of her "t"s are crossed.

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week, and boy, do we appreciate our teachers.  Brooklyn was excited about giving her Teacher and the counselors at Child Care their little tokens of appreciation today.  She wanted to help me carry in the bags.  (She even had to make sure as we were walking up the sidewalk to the school, "Mommy, is it Teacher Appreciation Week?")

Somewhere along the way in the last ten months, my little girl has grown up a bit.  I wonder what happened, when I blinked and missed her growing up just a little more.  She's only 5 and in the grand scheme of things, that's young.  There's so much of her life left to go, and yet, at the same time, she's so grown up.  She helps to set the table and clean up after dinner, she helps to take care of her sister (but won't change diapers) and she reads.  Alot.  Don't get me wrong, we still struggle.  Last night, she brought a bag of dirt home from school and then thought it might be a good idea to open that bag on the living room floor and then pour water on it. (Of course, it was all explained to me as an "accident.")  Believe me, we still have the tantrums and the fights, the stomping feet and the crying.  But at the same time, when I tuck her in at night or when I sneak a peek at her sleeping before I go to bed, she looks so big, so tall in her "big girl bed" surrounded by Mr. Bear and Gymbo and all of those friends. 

Sometimes I don't think I'm old enough to have a kindergartener.  Sometimes I don't think I'm responsible enough to have 2 kids and sometimes I still see myself as a kid.  Now I must face the realization that I have a first grader.  Yikes!  As kindergarten fades into the distance, so too will "nap time" and "circle time" and "centers."  In their place will be math and geography and sitting at her own desk all day.  Thank goodness she'll still have recess!

I guess it is one of the blessings (and a curse) of being a parent.  Before kids, my life might have cycled on my birthday or on an anniversary, measuring time by how close I was to that day or how much time had passed since a date.  With school-age kids, time is now measured in school years.  I have a kindergartener for another few weeks.  Then it is summer break and after that, 1st grade.  Summer won't be measured by trips to the pool or plants growing in the backyard - it will be measured by how many weeks of camp are left or how many weeks until school starts.  I no longer age in 12 month cycles, I age in school year cycles, marked by what grade my child is in.  If I was worried about losing my identity when I first had kids, there is no question it is gone once Brooklyn started school.  I am now firmly entrenched in life as "Brooklyn's Mommy"

Then again, she is only 5.  She knows the school year is coming to an end, but for now she's not thinking of how much she has learned this year or who she will have for a teacher in the fall or even what she's doing for summer camp.  For her, it's all about Aunt Peggy's house.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Some craftiness over the past few weeks...

Kensi's Baby Naming was last Saturday.  I wanted to do a few things (including make the cake for the party) and found a few other ideas along the way. 

A few months ago, while having lunch with my Mom in Newport Beach, we stumbled across a cute little bakery that made sugar cookies with pictures on them.  (Their claim to fame was having made the cookies for the President's inauguration party.)  Of course, with that kind of publicity and a Newport Beach address, you can imagine what their prices were like!  After some well-spent time on Google, I found a bakery in Canoga Park that could put pictures on cookies for a much better price.  I finally picked out the photos that I wanted to use and sent them off.  When the cookies arrived, I was trying to figure out a way to display the cookies and make sure that people took them after the party.  This is what I came up with.

 I put sticks on the back of each cookie, and then using my candy molds, made some candy flowers and Stars of David to round out the box.  I used styrofoam and tissue paper to fill up the bottom of the box and keep everything raised up and went from there.  You can't really tell, but I also had white tulle wound around some of the sticks.  The flower cookies are big sister Brooklyn and the squares are Kensi.  More than a few people told me that they would not be able to eat those little faces, and I have yet to try them, so someone who was able to bite into B will have to tell me if the cookies were any good.  :)

For my next project, I borrowed an idea that a friend had posted on her website.  Generally speaking, no decorations are needed for a baby naming party and people were just gathering at Ray and Ronnye's for food and to hang out.  There was no question who was the guest of honor, but I decided to put a few more pictures of her around, in case there was any doubt.  Using Erin's idea, I put a picture of Kensi inside of a jar with some pink tulle and wrapped some ribbon around the jar.  I tried putting a little light in the jar too, but it didn't really work well.  Maybe if the party was at night it would have added something, but since it didn't, I took them out.  Here's how one of the jars turned out.

And then there's the cake.  I decided to do the cake myself, but also didn't really have the time to bake it.  So I ordered the cake plain from the grocery store and took it home to decorate.  I finally got to use my Cricut Cake for the first time (bought it on Black Friday last November) and it worked o.k.  I got mixed reviews from the ladies at the cake store where I bought my supplies, and did have some minor hiccups, but I supposed it worked out.

As you can tell, pink was the color of the day (of course! what else for our princess?)  I think I was cutting the border for the top part of the cake in this one.  The fondant was a bit soft for the cricut.  It worked well for the rest of what I was doing, but I think for the borders and designs I was cutting, I could have used something a little more stiff.  I also found out the hard way that the grocery store put WAY too much frosting on the cakes.  I was able to scrape some off of the bottom layer, but not the top layer, so the fondant slid just a bit overnight.  I also ended up baking another cake to put on top of the 1/2 sheet from the grocery store, so that the proportions of the top tier and bottom tier worked a little better.  The cake tasted good and from what everyone has said, it looked o.k.   I think I need some practice on my Cricut, but otherwise, the day and all of Kensi's decorations turned out very nice.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

In honor of Mother's Day - a little "card" to all of the Moms, Grandmas, Aunts, Nanas and other special and important women in our lives. Hope you have a great day.

Things my Mother Taught Me:

Religion - By saying "You better pray it comes out of the carpet!"

Roots - By saying "Shut that door behind you, you weren't raised in a barn!"

Logic - By saying "Because I said so!"

Foresight - By saying "Wear clean underwear in case you're in an accident."

Stamina - By saying "You'll sit there till all that spinach is gone!"

Anticipation - By saying "Just wait till your father gets home!"

Wisdom - By saying "You'll understand when you get to be my age."

Justice - By saying "One day you'll have kids and they'll turn out just like you."

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Just a Few More Hours in the Day, Please?

There is a part in the movie Miracle on 34th Street (the remake with Elizabeth Perkins and whats-his-name that played an attorney on that show on ABC...anyway...) where Santa Claus (or St. Nicholas) explains how he is able to stop at every house in the world (the ones that celebrate Christmas, anyway) in one night.  He says something about slowing time down so that a minute actually equals an hour and "so on and so forth" which then enables him enough time to travel the world in one night's time (adjusting for time changes and the Greenwich line, of course.)  These days, I wonder more and more about the trick of St. Nick and how I can get some of that extra time.

It seems that there are never enough minutes (let alone hours) in the day.  I wake up each morning already feeling hopelessly behind in all things, with nary a hope of catching up.  Ever.  I have scrapbooking projects and gift ideas, albums from trips and places we've visited, all sitting around my craft room, untouched.  For this month, I have a list of things to finish in the next two weeks, Mother's Day projects, a T-Ball team's banner, something for Kensi's baby naming party and several baby albums.  That doesn't take into consideration the ongoing Project 365 (or Project Life) that requires a picture and a bit of journaling every day.  For the most part, I am keeping up on the journaling and taking photos.  It's actually getting them into the album where I tend to struggle.

I keep tabs on the creator of Project Life through her blog and Facebook.  From time to time, she posts links to other blogs by people who are also working on Project Life and includes photos of what their books look like.  I saw one today where the woman talked about her struggle to stay on top of things and that she was several weeks behind on her book.  Then I looked at the photos.  Not only was she making slight changes to the format of the project, to make it "her own," but she was creating parts of it from scratch!  Yikes!  And I'm having trouble keeping up just using the pieces that the project comes with (and my photos.)  To find time to add to it?  Oy!  And of course, in looking at how others are doing their Projects, it just gives me more ideas that I'd love to try on mine, if I only had the time.

As I leave my bedroom to head downstairs, I pass by a stack of things on the linen closet counter - a skirt that Brooklyn has ripped and wants me to fix, a pink stuffed shark that seems to have developed a hole (maybe he bit himself?) and that Brooklyn wants fixed, the front piece to a drawer in the girls' bathroom that came off and needs to be reattached... and the list goes on.  Walking into Kensi's room, I'm greeted by the stacks of clothes that she has already grown out of that need to be sorted to then be stored.

Some days, it is all I can do to come home and collapse on the couch, making sure to place Kensi on the floor in such a way that she can entertain herself without hurting herself, and making sure that Brooklyn isn't near any matches or open flames, and then I crash.  Yesterday I could barely keep my eyes open for the first 1/2 hour I was home, despite Brooklyn's best efforts to get me up and going.

At some point, I rallied to help B write a note to her teacher for an end-of-the-year gift, and then got dinner going.  After dinner and getting the girls to bed, I drew a tiger on orange felt and finished sewing a piece of the team banner together.  I vaguely remember what it felt like to have long days stretching before me with nothing to do and nowhere to go.  I don't necessarily want those days back - at this point I'd settle for one of those long days without distraction, so I could get all of those nagging little projects done and put away.  But where to start?

In the meantime, I'll keep making my lists and trying to keep myself organized (hahaha).  One of these days I'll actually write those submission letters to the magazines and one day, hopefully soon, I'll get back to the Mr. Bear collection and illustrate Greece and the U.K.  Maybe I'll even get to scrapbook our wedding and honeymoon, the 2004 and 2009 vacations, Brooklyn's first 5 years and both of my pregnancies before Kensi's first birthday. (HA!)  But first, a T-ball banner complete with 15 felt baseballs, a baby boy album, some Mother's Day gifts, some party decorations, and a few more pictures of the day.  And I'll keep trying to track down that extra-large, overly jolly guy in a red suit and see if he's got some extra time to spare.