Thursday, September 30, 2010
Below are some of the pictures he has posted on his account - I can't wait to see the final footage!!!
Friday, September 24, 2010
Lollipop tree - each lollipop had a different adverb listed on it
Drinks - kids had their choice of milk OR juice, and water
Sugar Cookies - complete sets of the alphabet in each of the colors of her party - red, blue, and yellow - and two sets of numbers - red and blue (I ran out of dough to make a yellow set...)
Handmade Invitations - made by yours truly
Anna's "yearly banner" that included pictures of her through the years - from newborn up until age six - alternating with the letters of her name
Goody Bags - going with the theme of the party, each child received a bag of school supplies (which was a great deal - all of the school supplies were on clearance when we purchased them.) So each bag included a package of 24-count crayons, a pencil, a wooden ruler, calculator, set of flash cards (thank you Target Dollar Spot), a glue stick, and a pair of scissors.
Drink Cups - included words from the song in Schoolhouse Rock about the benefits of drinking milk (and a super sweet paper straw - love the straw.)
Anna's second birthday banner (just the words spelling out Happy Birthday Anna - with images from Schoolhouse Rock added in)
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
For any and all of you Columbia-area readers - could you please take a moment of your time to complete a short survey?
Because inquiring minds want to know...
Your responses are anonymous - I won't know who said what - just what your thoughts are.
Thanks bunches and bunches!
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
It is so hard to believe you are already six - it seems like a moment ago that I heard your first cries and looked deep into your eyes. Yet - it is hard to recall my life without you in it - it feels as if yo u have always been with me - always been a part of me - that I can't quite remember you not being here. You were (and still are) the blessed answer to our prayers - the joyous ending to a long struggle to start our family. You are the first child - the eldest sibling - the first person to make me a mother.
I am so blessed.
And your reading skills are coming right along. You are reading at a high level for your age - at least your class. You are very ahead of the curve - so much so that your Daddy and I are worried that you might not be challenged enough in school. You breezed right through the list of "High Frequency Words"your teacher sent home at the first of the year. And the 'homework' assignments have not challenged you in the least. Thankfully we'll meet with your teacher soon - to determine the best path to keep you working and not allow you the opportunity to get bored.
You have a lovely demeanor - and funny sense of humor. You help me remember that life is imperfect and messy at times - and to look for the silliness around me. You love to smile and giggle and be silly - all attributes of a fun six year old girl. You still love to play dress up - to play with your Barbies - and with your 'daughter' (a doll you received for Christmas last year from Santa.) You play so well by yourself - are so independent - that you easily lose track of time when you are wrapped up in your pretend world.
You are always thinking - sometimes I think I can actually see your brain working - the wheels spinning in your head. I see you whispering to yourself as you work something out - as you ponder the answers to the questions you ask - compartmentalizing and filing them away.
Monday, September 20, 2010
The cast was amazing - and performed so well - in fact, I'm not sure who enjoyed it more - the kids (many of whom were hearing the fun educational songs for the first time) or the adults who were taking a trip down memory lane.
No matter the person - it seemed all had a lovely time. And here's a sample of some of the festivities - many more photos to follow....
Friday, September 17, 2010
I seriously need to take a picture of my baking DISASTER. But I haven't found the time to do so - and in an effort to keep this record of our life real - I have to post about my day yesterday...
6:00 am - Jack awakes - fussy as all get out. Deonne goes to get him. James follows suit - shortly after I hear 'Mama - Jack has a fever!'
Because Deonne has a big job to get out today (Friday) I'm nominated to stay home with Mr. Fussy.
I sound like a bad mom. I totally would welcome the chance to stay at home with one child - to have some one-on-one time with him - but I have so much going on at work right now - and he was soooooooooo fussy (as in - wanted me to hold him constantly - would scream bloody murder as soon as his feet touched the floor) and thought it was a great game to howl and reach for the phone every time I tried to make or return a call - well, it wasn't a fun day.
I did find one activity, though, that he was very interested in and though he was a 'big boy' by helping.
I figured since I'm home - and clearly not able to work while he was so darn fussy - that I'd get ahead of the game for Anna's party and make the cupcakes.
This year, I decided it would be easier to do individual cupcakes, in those cute little cupcake wrappers all displayed on a tier, than a big giant cake. And I like to bake - I think I'm fairly good at it - so around 50 cupcakes shouldn't be a big deal, right?
So I ordered these cute little individual red polka dotted baking cups (like cupcake wrappers - but you don't put them in a muffin tin - just line them up on a baking tray) thinking they looked so sweet - and the red color matches my 'party palate' of red, blue, and yellow primary colors perfectly.
So Jack and I mixed up the batter, I lined up my 50 baking cups on cookie sheets like little soldiers - and filled them up. 2/3 full - just like every other cupcake liner I've ever made.
Because I didn't see the fine print. The fine print that is listed on the WEBSITE and not the package of cups anywhere. That say to fill them no more than 1/2 way up. That I didn't know existed until I called my friend N who had used the same type of cups for her son's birthday party. (With no troubles I might add.)
Popped my trays in the oven, set the timer, and proceeded to carry Jack around the kitchen for the next 20 minutes (because by this time he'd lost interest and just wanted to be held.)
And then it started. My cute little cups started to rise. And rise. And overflow. And erupt.
I ended up with two half-sheet pans full of baking cups that had essentially become one big cake - separated by the rings of the cups beneath the sheet of cake.
It's a helpless feeling.
Watching all that work bubble and explode in the oven - knowing there's not a darn thing you can do about it.
I tried to scrape them off and separate them - thinking that if I could pick off the crumbs and cover the top in icing - they'd be okay.
It's kind of funny - the actual cake inside is tender and sweet and everything you'd hope a cake would be. The outsides of the cups, however, are covered and caked (no pun intended) with an industrial-like substance that will.not.come.off.
So I'll be making 50 more cupcakes today. In between hauling Jack around on my hip.
Thankfully his weird fever seems to be gone - and he has no other symptoms - so maybe I can entertain him with some toys while I bake.
Except for that fun fact that the carpet guys will be here in about 30 minutes to clean all the carpets (which are in desperate need of attention.) Meaning J and I will be sequestered to the basement while they dry.
Oh, the joys.............
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
I'd seen reference to this little beauty on a number of 'mommy blogs' and how wonderful it was at keeping life organized. I thought, sure, it's just another planner that I'll never fill out and forget to use. What makes this one so great?
Well, in a manner that can be described as pure desperation only - I ordered it. And I'm oh so glad I did.
It is a regular planner - and then some. I guess I'm "old school" in that I like to write things down (reference my OCD tendencies) and make that connection from my brain to my hand to the paper. I like having actual pages to flip rather than electronic screen to scroll through.
And this planner meets all my OCD needs. Each week is broken out over a two page span - and there is a dedicated space for mommy, and three additional kids. That means, I can write down in James' line when he has homework due (like bringing in two leaves and identifying them for tomorrow.)
I can enter when Anna has tap class, ballet class, and when her homework projects are due.
I can fill in the lines with family activities - like church dinners and programming - birthday parties and local festivities.
I can add in work commitments, book club, and church events.
AND - there's even a line at the bottom of each page where you can plan out your weekly dinners - something I regularly do - that I like to make note of - so that when I hit the door with the kids at 5:00 - I know exactly what I'm making for dinner and there's none of the wandering around, rummaging through the freezer and cupboards trying to find something to throw together.
Another great feature? There's an insert in the back where you can record all of your important stuff - and I mean ALL of your important stuff - like insurance information, car information, doctors, specialists, manicurists (yeah, right - as if I had a manicurist!), websites you reference, passwords, anything you might need to have is in ONE PLACE.
It really is that cool.
So any of you mommies out there who are struggling with organization - I highly recommend this little guy.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
I'm so incredibly nostalgic - I miss the sweet smocked dresses, the big hair bows, the little patent leather Mary Jane shoes, the 'scribble-scrabble' art projects she would proudly create ... yet, strangely, incredibly proud. I love her funky style, her 'interesting' hair-do's that she insists on doing herself, and her detailed drawings that she brings to me that I still can't believe are hers.
But my mommy-melt-down is the topic of another post - this one is supposed to be about the plans we're setting in place for her big sixth birthday party!
Because of the ongoing internal family drama (that I still can't disclose yet - so don't ask) - I've hesitated on planning her party. I finally came to the conclusion that my OCD self can't not have plans in place - so I started tossing ideas around last Friday. Yes, you read that right - I started planning a party only a few weeks in advance - certainly not my typical three-month-out sort of planning.
But I digress.
So. Turns out the Children's Theatre is putting on a production of what looks like an awesome show the weekends surrounding her birthday:
And I'm t-total thrilled.
We LOVE the Children's Theater - the productions have always been great - it's close to the house, relatively inexpensive, and the kids adore the performances. They're definitely geared for kids - but have enough humor hidden in them that the adults enjoy the shows as well.
AND - I'm not ashamed to admit - I Heart Schoolhouse Rock. I used to look forward to it on Saturday mornings between cartoons - and fully disclose that Schoolhouse Rock is how I learned the basics - from how a bill becomes a law to the rules of grammar. (Grammar written on this blog notwithstanding.)
So the stars aligned - when I called up to the theatre they had a birthday spot open on the Saturday show I was looking at - and we're all booked.
So Anna will get to see the show with 14 of her closest buddies, will have her name mentioned at some point during the show, will have her own personal meet-and-greet with the cast following the performance (they'll help serenade her with Happy Birthday), and pictures on the stage to wrap everything up.
And for myself? Well, that's the best part. I get to come up with all sorts of creative touches taking ideas from the show - like a lollipop tree labeled as "Lolly, Lolly, Lolly Get Your Adverbs Here" - and each lollipop will have a sticker with a different adverb on it.
And cute cupcake toppers and banners with phrases from the songs.
I'm so excited - I can't wait.Pictures to follow.