End of Year Madness

The end of the school year was a complete blur. Between Punky’s 5th Grade Graduation, 1st & 3rd Grade Award Ceremonies, Field Days, Water Days, Showcases, Boo’s Birthday, Middle School Orientation, Teacher Gifts, Peer gifts, and oh yeah, work… I’m surprised I’m still standing.

And I LOVE it. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Active Parenting is a fatigue-inducing joy.

I love that I knew all the kids in Mouse’s classroom this year, and liked most of them. And that when I would enter the room, the kids would yell, “Yay, Mouse’s mom is here!” ::grin::

I am one of those moms that wants to hand make everything; gift cards aren’t my thing (not that there is anything wrong with them — I just like to torture myself with involved projects. :p )

This year, I went with the owl theme. Inspired by these adorable gift bags by Lisa Storms, I made them, along with painted popsicle stick bookmarks, royal icing cookies and sewn paper candy pouches.

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Ugh, somehow I managed to not photograph the candy pouches! They were owl shaped, embellished and hand sewn. Adorable. They were inspired by these.

Nuts. I am.

Well, Summer is here and I’ve got activities galore planned to avoid any boredom (I’ll post about that the next time I come up for air…)

A Wee Bit O’ Irish Fun

The Munkees awoke yesterday to a morning of St. Patrick’s Day fun… (mostly attributed to Pinterest — for ideas and inspiration.)

First, Pot O’ Golds. Similar to this but with peanut butter cups and a personalized, hand-drawn/written card attached for each of them. They were disassembled and consumed before I thought to take a picture. 😛

Next, “When I feel lucky…” Leprechaun cards. I made one for each member of the family. All they had to do was draw in his face, attach his whiskers and fill in the blank. Well, and read them aloud as we went around the table. Here’s Mouse’s…

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Next: St. Patrick’s Day BINGO! I found this downloadable and printed the black & white version and hand colored in 4 sets…because I’m insane crafty like that. I purchased a few small gifts, that I wrapped, and a sheet of temporary tattoos as prizes. This was a monster hit! It went over so well that I am going to laminate their sheets and the call pieces to use again next year. This idea will more than likely resurface for a birthday party or two…or three…later this year. (I am insane and a glutton for punishment.)

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While calling out BINGO pieces, I was also rolling out dough, cutting & baking cookies. These were not just any cookies mind you, but Bailey’s Irish Cream Cookies. Oh yes, *THOSE* cookies. Now, considering these are boozy treats, I needed to make an entirely second batch of Sugar Cookies for the munkees (BECAUSE I AM INSANE SUCH A GREAT MOM. Ha.) I did replace their filling with the Mint Layer portion of a brownie recipe I had used previously. DeLish. For serious.

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After all of our home festivities, we headed out to a fundraising event featuring none other than Pipe & Drum.

Romeo & I had a Smithwick’s

The Munkees had custom flavored sodas.

A fantabulous St. Patty’s Day was had by all.

Sláinte!

Faux Makeup

I stumbled across a pin last week that led me to a blog entry on the subject of faux kid makeup. A clever mom made her own with empty cosmetic containers and nail polish.

Genius!

Mouse is obsessed with makeup, and has been from day one. I’ve let her wear lipgloss/lip balm (mostly clear) and that’s about it (other than the occasional eyeshadow or powder around the house).

I’ve had a couple of eyeshadow cases that I’ve been meaning to toss, but now instead have recycled! I grabbed a few of our nail polishes (a metallic purple, an opaque glitter & a hot pink) and got to business!

While she’d much rather have the real deal, I believe she’ll have fun with these!

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Chore Pig

Wednesday evenings are a BIG night in our home: chore delegation.

::Enter Chore Pig::

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We do have *set* chores, but who performs what, may (or may not) change weekly.

Chore pig… He’s cute, he’s lovable, he makes chore picking fun. ::snort:: Well, as fun as it can be I suppose.

Chore pig was the brainchild of Punks—initially intended to be a piggy bank, but somehow, his job changed. Each week, he patiently sits atop the refrigerator waiting for “Tribal Council.” Each week, Punks, Boo & Mouse alternate picking to see what chores are their fate for the week. Each week, all three hope and pray they don’t pick “Kitchen.” Each week, whoever picks “Kitchen” and groans, Romeo and I remind them, “Chore Pig has spoken.”

::laugh::

In a Nutshell

It’s 2012.
And for that, I’m revved for all this New Year has to offer.

2011 was bittersweet: parts were overwhelmingly rough, yet I married the man of my dreams (which, in reality, tipped the scale to favor “sweet” – regardless of how craptastic the rest of the year was).


Super Step-dad, et.al: Romeo rocks. You’d hardly believe that he hated kids just two short years ago! {snort} In all seriousness, you’d never guess that this man had zero interest in living with/dating (let alone marrying) someone with children. Parenthood was NOT part of his plan. But, it’s ridiculous how amazing of a “parent” he is. He loves them, and EVERYONE sees it. He teaches them, and they appreciate it. He also surprises me with things like…playing Barbies with Mouse. Dude…Heart. Melt. I love that Man. On a side note: today marks 5 months of marital bliss for us. {smile}

Chunky Monkey: Yeah, that’s me. White chocolate at that. I cannot recall the last time my skin was this pale. ugh. skeery. While happy as a pig in poo, I’ve also become a beer chugging, bubble sipping, excessive movie-watching, snuggling my husband, recluse. I barely see the sun. I rarely see my friends. Sure, I go to work, but it’s right back home afterward. {sigh} I love it, but my body is suffering the consequences. Romeo and I are on a plan of more activity once again. Walks, runs, family bike rides, camping, socializing and a healthier, more BALANCED diet.

Munkees Bizness: How in God’s green earth do our children grow so fast? I had to buy my eldest a bra this winter. Ack. And her panties? Not the little girlie ones anymore ~ though Victoria’s Secret is a *long* way off (in our home anyway). Justice has a wonderful selection in this arena: The perfect segue into the undergarment world… Boo is still a crazy boy: Busy with Cub Scouts, baseball, Legos and the Wii. typical. Mouse started horseback riding lessons this past week. We are hoping this curbs her desire to OWN one. I asked her instructor to focus on hoof cleaning, body brushing and shit shoveling. {wink} What I love most about her teacher? There’s no hand-holding… “Why aren’t you moving? Give her a kick, let’s go!”


Christmas Toys: A tangerine Mixer and programmable Crock Pot were my two favorite gifts this Holiday Season. Oh, and the half case of bubbles, but I digress. Santa was good to me. Many more meals at home are in our future, along with an increase in my baking proclivities.

Pinterest: Where do I even start? Perhaps a support group. I’ve always had a “Black Book” that I’ve kept over the years that holds magazine clippings, recipes, photos of things I like, love or want to create or own. Now, it’s all in one place: online. I’m addicted. I’m obsessed. So much cool stuff in one spot. LOVE!

That’s it for now. Happy New Year! Wishing you all the Best, the Brightest and a Donkey-Free existence. {wink} xo

Always Gotta Be Complicated

I signed up to participate in the Bake Sale at the Munkees’ school during Conference Night.

I did not decide on what confectioner’s delight I would tackle until the night before.

Did I choose a quick, easy recipe and be done with it, considering, as per usual, I waited until the last minute?

Of course not. Royal Icing Cookies. That’s what I chose. Why? Because I’m nuts. And, I want to stay up past midnight prepping and mixing and then wake up at 5am to start baking…

Did they turn out at all like I had envisioned them?

Of course not. But, they’re a helluva lot cuter than “lazy cookies.”

Now, I need a nap.

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Home Base is a Safe Place

 

What makes a home safe for children?

There are a plethora of items in the retail world that contribute to such a task. Child gates, anti-tip appliance straps, drawer and cabinet locks, electrical outlet caps, etc. are all examples and viable options of such items that a parent may take to ensure their young ones are protected. (The Safest Line is a fabulous resource for Child Safety.) Having a 5, 7 and 9 year-old, a majority of these measures have served their purpose and staying safe has morphed into something more.

Home Base for my sweet Munkees (aka my children) is a Safe Place in that my focus is open communication. It’s at these tender ages that children truly discover their social aptitude. Interpersonal associations are taking shape and peer pressure is rearing its beautiful/ugly head. The discoveries and interactions now, influence those in their future. It’s imperative the relationship I have with my children fosters trust and dependability with the cornerstone of mutual respect (in which all else is built upon). I’ve been where they are; I’ve experienced the growing pains of adolescence. And while they inevitably need to find their own way, being available to extend a spot of guidance or impart a sliver of wisdom, when asked, is my ultimate objective.

Opening the lines of communication, I conduct Family Meetings (typically monthly). A round table meeting at our rectangular dining table. I’m interested in what is happening in their lives. I want to know how they feel about their responsibilities around the house, school, their teachers, peers, football, lacrosse, and whatever else comes up. Where do they see us venturing on our next family vacation or what culinary concoctions are up their sleeves? How they are coping with being the product of divorce and what struggles are they encountering on a daily basis are popular topics as well. I want them to be able to talk about anything, everything and at will. I plan to continue this throughout their minor years.

These meetings, coupled with informal communication, attention and love, are my arsenal to keep my youngsters as safe as possible ~ emotionally and perhaps even physically. As they grow older, encountering new milestones and obstacles, it is my hope that they are properly equipped themselves and know they have a support system in me.

That’s the plan anyway… 😀