Monday, August 31, 2015

Ultimatum

Ever since my first pregnancy in 2008, I've slept with a full-length pregnancy pillow. It is the most comfortable sleeping aid. And now that our two year-old yorkie is fully potty-trained, he's also been sleeping with us. It's a little crowded, especially for the DH upon whose space the pillow and dog encroach upon. So he's given me an ultimatum: the pillow or the dog.

As much as I hate to admit it, I'm leaning toward the pillow. Hey, it's molded to my shape! Another alternative I'm considering is upgrading from a queen to a king so that there's space for everyone and everything. But that will require some convincing. Decisions. Decisions.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Fun With Language Barriers

As my son is studying the solar system this week, it reminded me of a conversation he had with my MIL and me a few months ago.

Stinky:            "Mommy, are you a virgin?"
Me:                 "Pardon me?"
Stinky:            "Are you a virgin?"
Me:                 "Where did you hear that word?"
Stinky:            "From Oma."
Me:                 [blank stare]
Oma:              "You're a virgin."
Me:                 [bigger blank stare while thinking just where the hell is this going]
Oma:              "You know, DH and Blinky are Leos and you're a Virgin."
Me:                  As understanding kicks in, "Do you mean Virgo?"
Oma:             "Yes, Virgo!"

English is not my MIL's first language.

Me:                "Stinky, please don't go to school saying that word. Oma meant Virgo.
                        Yes, my sign is Virgo."
Stinky:           "Well what's a virgin?"
Me:                [face palm]

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Too much HGTV

I very rarely get down time or TV time before the kids go to bed. But when those two come together, I watch HGTV. Stinky has taken a liking to snuggling next to me and watching too. All along, I thought it was because he enjoyed spending time with me, but then I found this in his school folder:


Not exactly how you would expect your second grader to answer a question like this but maybe I have a little architect on my hands.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Another Quote of the Week

http://freethoughtblogs.com/biodork/files/2013/12/shocking.jpg

While blow drying Blinky's hair the other night, she spots some golden strands at the hair line. With all the drama a six year-old girl can muster, she exclaims, "Oh my gosh, I have gray hair! I'm getting old!!"

Monday, August 24, 2015

Quote of the Week

On hearing the DH and I discuss how pleasantly surprised we were that Blinky had an excellent turnout at her 6th birthday party:

Stinky: "The more money you spend on a birthday party, the more kids will come."

#kidwisdom

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Mary Poppins Pool Party Update

A few weeks ago I wrote about Blinky's 6th birthday party request. After what felt like the longest wait, the party was held last Sunday. Although the weather cut short our pool time and relocated the food portion of the party to the indoor batting cage, it was a big success due in large part to the camp's staff leading camp-style games.

While a lot simpler than she first wanted, the cake was beautiful:

 
The spoonfuls of sugar was super sweet, as were the tuppence gift bags:



 
The initial plan was to set up 4 tables poolside. The background was not picture perfect, but the tablescapes were:








 
We had about 25 kids show up which was awesome! Blinky was so delighted and came over to thank us several times for her Mary Poppins Pool Party. That made all the craziness of party planning worth it!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Quote of the Week from Mommy

So I don't normally do this, but inundated with forms last night, I couldn't help myself.


I think that pretty much sums it up. Don't you?

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Baton Rouge and Natchez

This post is about two weeks late, but I wanted to document our last trip of the summer. We were supposed to head northeast to Asheville and visit the Biltmore Estate, but on the last possible weekend we could travel with the kids before the start of school, the DH's job sent him (and therefore us) west to Baton Rouge and Natchez.

Our first stop was at Liberty Lagoon Water Park. What fun! We didn't take many pictures as we spent most of the day in the water but here are some directly from their site:




 
The next day while the DH was at his conference, Grammy, the kids and I spent the entire day at the Louisiana Art and Science Museum. We participated in a hands-on origami demonstration where we made our own sheets of paper and the kids made boxes, cranes, hearts, a chair and a canoe. Here are the items that survived the trip back home:
 
 
For the planetarium show we choose Magic Treehouse Space Mission, which has led to our new favorite book series. (Stinky is currently reading Ghost Town at Sundown.) But nothing could top LASM's Mummy. We were not allowed to photograph this exhibit but here are a few official images I was able to find:
 
http://www.lasm.org/exhibitions/permanent/ancient-egypt

http://www.lasm.org/exhibitions/permanent/ancient-egypt
 
http://theadvocate.com/features/people/8029622-123/thats-our-mummy

http://theadvocate.com/features/people/8029622-123/thats-our-mummy
 
Notice how his brown curly hair is still distinguishable after several thousand years. Incredible!
 
When we visited two years ago, Blinky was afraid to enter the overly-dramatic tomb, but this go round, she found her courage and was pleased she did. "It's not that scary after all." Grammy on the other hand, raced through and although she denies it, I saw her covering her eyes.
 
Afterward we met up with the DH and strolled along the mighty / muddy Mississippi. We saw lots of families playing on the levee, I collected a few pieces of driftwood for an art project and snapped a pic of the old State Capital Building. It is absolutely beautiful.
 
 
The next day we toured Natchez. I've always wanted to visit the city since reading my first Greg Isles book. It was a bit of a drive, but well worth it. On the way, we stumbled across the monstrosity that is Mammy's Cupboard. So of course we had to pull on the side of the road and take a picture. The DH thought I was crazy, but turns out, lots of other cars stopped to do the very same thing!
 
 
A short while later, we were off to learn about the city. Here's what we saw:
 

 
Cheers to this homeowner who refused to let a zoning ordinance dictate what he could display on his house and in his yard.






These are actual slave shackles from the old slave trading post that are now memorialized in Forks of the Road.


 
We must have a thing for gothic cemeteries in the south. At the Natchez City Cemetery, we visited the Turning Angel Statue. She was built to remember five people who were killed in an explosion at the drug company where they worked in 1908, but residents swear if the lighting is just right as you drive at night, her head turns and follows you.

 
This little girl's grave had glass walls and a glass coffin so her mother could visit her during lightning storms so she wouldn't be afraid. Strange. It has since been cemented over but the stairs remain at the top of the grave.

 
Cool tombstones. I imagine a musician is buried here.



William Johnson's diary. He was a free-slave who amassed a small fortune as a barber. He diarized his life in Natchez.

 
Lots of plantation homes! These are but a few we visited.








 
And last but not least, Ms. Nellie's house. Ms. Nellie was an African-American Madam whose black book featured many prominent white men in Natchez. In 1921 no less. She had two rules for johns: don't come to her house after midnight and never come drunk. Sadly, in 1990 she was killed by a young john who broke both rules. The story is far more complex and interesting and you learn more about it here and here.

 
That's it for the next few months as we adjust to Stinky and Blinky being back in school, homework, extracurricular activities and all the craziness that brings. Hope you've enjoyed your summer as much as we have.
 

Monday, August 10, 2015

New Teacher Poem

Friday was "Teacher Assignment Day". That's when we find out who our kids will spend seven hours a day with for the next year. As you might imagine, it's very important to parents that our children be placed with knowledgeable and compassionate individuals, especially for first and second grades.

This year, the DH and I decided not to request specific teachers for Stinky and Blinky (requesting is common practice here). That method has been "hit or miss". Rather, we sat with the VP and spoke candidly with her about what our children need to help them excel and then left the decision up to her. Then we went home and prayed feverishly for God to guide her in the right direction.

Tomorrow is "Meet the Teacher Day". As I don't know or know of either of these women, I don't know what to expect or how to impart what it is my children need from them. So, I wrote them poems.

Stinky's:

Dear Mrs. X,

As I start my second grade year
There are some things that I should share.
Maybe these tips will help you and me
Have the greatest school year in history!

I can be a little a lot restless
And sometimes crave extra attention.
But please be patient with me
Because I really don't want to be sent to detention.

I love learning.
Math is my best subject.
I am helpful too
And I LOVE doing projects.

My Mom doesn't let me eat food with dyes
And I know I'm not supposed to tell lies.
She wants you to call her if ever there's a problem
She wants to work with you and help you solve them.

Mrs. X I'm so excited to spend the next year with you!
And do all the fun things second graders do!

Blinky's:

Dear Ms. X,

As I start my first grade year
There are some things that I should share.
Maybe these tips will help you and me
Have the greatest school year in history!
 
I can be a little a lot restless
But am very independent.
I'm great at being a big helper
And my smile is incandescent!
 
I have a big brother
Who is my favorite person in the whole world.
I am a Kinesthetic learner
And I LOVE dresses that twirl.
 
My Mom doesn't let me eat food with dyes
And I know I'm not supposed to tell lies.
She wants you to call her if ever there's a problem
She wants to work with you and help you solve them.
 
Mrs. X I'm so excited to spend the next year with you!
And do all the fun things first graders do!

At its core the poems are the same asking for a partnership between parent and teacher to help make the upcoming school year the best it can be, but personalized for each child. Hopefully the message will go over as intended and their teachers will respond in kind.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Mary Poppins Pool Party

My daughter turns six in a few weeks and decided she would like a Mary Poppins Pool Party. O.K.

So I started "pinning" a few weeks ago and thus far have decided on a cake design, created the invite, thank you cards, food labels and artwork for the table.

This is the cake we wanted:

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/96/5b/5f/965b5fb3975498b3cdbd44aa35388a50.jpg
 
 But since the baker does not have the dress mold, here is the cake we are getting:

http://milliskitchen.blogspot.com.au/2011/02/mary-poppins-cake.html
 
Added bonus, the cake we ordered is about half the price of the cake we wanted. 
 
The invite was an easy cut and paste. From this:
 
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-7aVW3pv1RUI/T0EdU14orFI/AAAAAAAABbs/8vQqveJ0BMs/s1600/MARY+INVITE+THIS+ONE+!!.gif
 
To this:
 

I actually like my curly font better.
 
The thank you cards and food labels were super easy. I "Googled" a combination of Mary Poppins Birthday and circus birthday (for the red and white stripes), found a few images I liked, copied, added text and printed them on cardstock. If you can picture it, the thank you cards and food labels will fold over, hence the empty space at the top.
 

The double-sided frames came from Party City. I found a few images on Pinterest, printed them on regular white paper and inserted them. One for each of the tables.
 

 
 
Cake and location included, this was a fairly inexpensive party. Because it's not a very popular theme, most of the items I had to make myself. I spent a few scattered hours but am very pleased with the end result. I'm sure my darling little girl will have a thoroughly, enjoyable time.