Monday, November 28, 2011


After a week at home I jump back into the saddle of life and work again. Last week after being pretty ill Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday we had some friends up for the four day weekend. We spent Thursday on the usual traditions; lots of food and Festival or Trees. Friday, we actually went out into the throngs, man was that a bad idea. I ended up coming home from the Black Friday madness and did all my Christmas shopping online.  The girls spent Friday making Christmas ornaments a messy but surprisingly fun activity, this one might be a new tradition. Chicken played outside so hard he slept well for the next two days. There isn't a lot else to say in regards to the holiday, expect that like all other families we have decorated for Christams and started the quick jaunt towards the next holiday break. Hopefully the kids will survive the first day back at school after the break and I will survive the craziness of all the things I need to get done in the next few weeks.

One thing that we put on our priority list this year was family portraits. I have wanted really good professional pictures of the kids for a long time. This year a great friend, Noelle Veldhouse was able to take some amazing family pictures and I love them.

What are you taking the time for this year? What is your to do list looking like these days? I am so glad we added the pictures and think I will make this a more regular activity in the future.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful Traditions

Family traditions are everywhere and are particularly noticeable in the holiday seasons.  When Hubs and I first got married we lived away from both our families and in the hopes of setting up some traditions for our family to be I declared Thanksgiving a no travel holiday.  Anyone was invited, but we were having turkey in whatever town we were living in and were not traveling. 14 years later we still have Thanksgiving in town, and I really enjoy the chance to be home for this of all holidays, and have some set family traditions.

Thanksgiving is one of those unique holidays that is what you make of it, and we have made a good time of it. We have a few set traditions that no matter what we do, and there is one in particular that absolutely adore, Festival of Trees.  The Festival of Trees is a fundraiser for a local hospital and a number of organizations and individuals come together to create amazing trees around different themes. On Thanksgiving the Festival of Trees opens in the afternoon and before gorging on turkey or after, we go wander the holiday joy that this event creates.  The few times we have considered not being in town, I have always wanted to find a way to still go to Festival of Tress, it just starts the holidays off right for me. We tend not to abide by any particular food for Turkey Day or Christmas for that matter.  We have done steak, pizza, Chinese, we are flexible on food as long as there is plenty of it.   New Years generally means a big breakfast and a lot of doing nothing.  I always do a lot of baking and we enjoy sharing all the goodies with our neighbors.  These small things are our traditions, they are the things we remember year to year, but what of new traditions?

Where do you fit new traditions and ideas into your family holiday?  What are the things you remember and always will about your current holiday traditions? and what traditions from the past do you try and find a place for today?

For the past 6 years or so I have been striving to find a place in our traditions for an Advent Calendar, but not the chocolate one of my childhood, one that focuses on kindness to others and family time. There have been a myriad of attempts and non starters.  Thankfully one of the moms I know that is a Scrapbooker is doing a Advent Calendar workshop and I will be making a calendar this year. I am hoping it's small compact size and a list of activities will help.  I am hoping by the 3rd to be happily moving along with a new family Advent Calendar tradition.

TV shows are another big tradition for a lot of families and yet another one that I am often over whelmed by. As kids there were a handful of shows you would generally know when and where they were on and you were good. Now, there are tons of shows and they are on at all times and channels and I have a heck of a time catching up with what is on when. Generally this isn't a big deal as we don't watch TV during the week, but when school is out we are a lot more lax and making sure both kids get to see their favorite holiday show can be tough. Maybe I should just DVR it all?

Have a great turkey day...

Monday, November 21, 2011

Accomplishments and Goals

As parents I think sometimes it is easy to lose yourself in your work and your kids. Somehow you become, Bean's Mom and at work yiu become the position you work. The goal for me is to do quality impacting work as a parent as an employee. Sometimes though I forget that I am also a person and before this job and before these kids, I had interests and pursuits that had little to do with a job or kids. This month I committed to pursuing one of those interests again, writing. I participated in the nanowrimo challenge, the challenge to write 50,000 words, loosely a novel, in a month.

I finished yesterday, quite a few days earlier than the time line of the 30th.

What do you do to pursue your interests that are not tied to your family? Where do yiu find yourself in the madness of day to day life?

Finishing 50,000 words though maybe not a big accomplishment to some, feels pretty good. I have no intention of sharing this first attempt, but I have ideas for a few more that may be become more than an idea some day. The real thing that came out of this is the reminder that I am a person outside of a wife, mom, and worker bee and that there are pursuits I have that are mine alone. There are goals we all have as people and somehow this reminded me that they are just as important and need attention too.

In this time of year when we give to our fellow man, remember to give to yourself also, and feed your dreams, interests and goals. Those are the things that make us better wives, moms, and employees anyways.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Post Angry Bird Wrap Up..What Didn't Work

If you didn't read Mondays post go back and read it, last time was the positive fun time post, this one is the oh god I am never doing this that way again post.

First Pinata chaos, I will never do another pinata in quite that way.

Now that you have seen the video I think you know why I will never go dancing down pinata alley again.

The Sling Shot died early, we put together the sling shot with things lying around the house and it could have really used more love and attention. It did well for about and hour and then just started to get sketchy and was flinging things madly. I would also consider multiple sling shots or some way to distract one set of kids while another set of kids played with the sling shot, there was always a line and a number of kids wandered into the sling shot battle zone to retrieve bean bags while other kids were launching bean bags, not a good combo generally.

Since I am on the things that were good, but I wouldn't go quite the same way, activities.  There defiantly wasn't enough for the kids to do, they sped through two of the activities to get to the sling shot fun, or ignored the other activities completely.  I could have hooked up the crazy seven year old boy contingent present at the party to a tread mill and light the house for the next hour with the amount of energy they had, I just didn't have enough options to get that energy out.

Also on the activities front, stick glue doesn't work as well on sandwich bags as you would think, next time I will eat the mess and use real glue.

Party was a little too long. The party was set for three hours, it should have been two. The boys ran out of things to do and I was happy that as they all headed home there were not more tears.

So I am now finished with all the Angry Bird party craziness and you may now continue all your party planning in peace.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Post Angry Bird Wrap Up..What Worked

With the planning and organizing any party causes afterward a good wrap up is always needed and since I have cute pics and things went well and not so well I will be breaking this up into two posts.

First what worked, these are the things I liked and went well and I would do again.

The food buffet, I set up what I thought was a great good buffet and it was mostly single serving, this worked great for kids running through to get grab and go and then there weren't as many fingers touching lots of food.

For the second time in a row we have done a party out in our garage. This lets the mess and craziness of the party be focused outside of the house, even when the weather isn't ideal.  What I love about using the garage is that the mess is contained and somehow the noise doesn't drown the house.

The decorations and invitations. You have already heard about the invites, but I haven't shared as many decorations. I used paper lanterns from oriental trading company and free templates from online and was able to make some great birds and pigs and they looked great all over the house. I also found some peel and stick Angry Birds and they ended up looking great in the garage and not getting trashed by the kids.

Activities and the dreaded sling shot, there were positive and negatives to both these things, but this post was about the positives. The activities were varied and all the kids had the chance to participate. The sling shot on the positive side gave the boys something to to for a good amount of time before things got out of control.

Lastly, the absolutely best part about these parties and the reason the Hubs puts up with me doing them and I like to do them, seeing our friends. It seems like we are all so busy and so distracted, we dont' have a chance to just be with people and we all got a great chance to get together and enjoy an afternoon together and that was the best.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


I don't know about the rest of you, but this time of year our house in like a sick ward just about every other week.  It seems like someone always has the sniffles, grown ups included. The problem is having a sick kiddo doesn't just mess with their schedule or your schedule it is like a pebble in a stream with far reaching scheduling issues.

Let me explain why one sick kid in my house means no fun for friends, family and anyone else within a circle of us. One kid goes down, one parent stays home, this may mean extra driving duties and chores for other parent and sibling possibly not going to other activities due to scheduling. Loss of work for for parent home with sick kid means their work junk doesn't get done meaning making up missed work, which means rearranging the scheduling again, which means possible loss of family time, more driving cooking, cleaning and other home junk not getting done or being shifted around.  This is when general crankiness breaks out throughout the household. Of course now child one feels better and either parent of child two get ill, rinse wash repeat and now play dates are canceled the lawn isn't getting mowed and generally the break out has occurred. Even with a very thorough Lysol douching of the house, the kids and the pets it usually takes about a month, with a few days between each illness before said cold/malaise has worked it's way through the entire home, only to be repeated again in another month or so.

Admittingly we don't seem to be the healthiest family on the block. Somehow someone in our house is always bringing home something, but it isn't like we are licking dirty Kleenex. We wash our hands when we get home, and don't hug the snotty kids. Of note we all have allergies, various ones and many seasonal, I sometimes think this in general makes our house a bit susceptible in the spring and fall when we seem to battle these things. Really though we just need 4 solid months of NO ONE in the house sick at all and I swear we would be so much better off.

I realize in this vent I am speaking to the choir, most of you are fighting the good fight with illness, but for those that aren't. If you come to work and sneeze on me, I swear I will lick your keyboard with my germy mouth next time I have the flu.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Morning Work Out Rant

I have been trying to get myself together in the mornings and haul my sorry, but to the gym. I am by no means in good shape, chubby, is a great description and I can be downright fowl in the mornings. For those other folks that have to put up with my cranky emotional unstable fat behind in the mornings I have a few hints to help get you through your work out and shower time without bodily harm from me.

1. Don't wear perfume/cologne, it is 5am your natural smell is bad enough, your natural smell paired with some horrid over used flowerly,musky nastiness is only going to make me barf on your treadmill.

2. Don't talk about how 'lite' of a workout day it is and proceed to list 5 things taking multiple hours where only executing one would kill me. Though you are amazing and the work out queen, I am a sweating mess next to you and don't want to hear about how easy this all is for you.

3. If you are a sweater of the type that it flies off your body and you towel it off and then flit it so your sweat gets on me, make sure there is a little space between us. If we end up working out on machines right next to each other, flick your sweat on the guy on the other side of you, not ME.

4. Don't bring you kid to the gym to work out at 5am, they are tired don't stay on any equipment more than five minutes and generally take up space that my crankiness doesn't want to deal with, especially when they yell across the gym to you.

5. Don't look at me in the locker room like I just peed on the floor, I am over weight, have had kids and generally am not in the best body shape right now, and your horrified look is not helping. Give me a break at least I am here trying to get myself in a better place and your look is not helping my morning motivation.

6. Don't use the gym hair dryer to dry any hair unless it is on your head, GROSS.

7. While drying your hair please don't think I need a hot wind bath, is just moves the sweat and wet around.

8. Lets talk nudity, you knew I was going to go there. Please oh god please, don't flaunt in or stand right in front of me while you talk to your friend and I tie my shoes, I don't want to get that close to your personals.

9. After am hour working out and the horrors in the locker, I do not want to pass a sweaty person and even feel their sweat let alone have to touch it, please people we can all walk single file, there is no need to walk three sweaty people across and block the isle for those of us that are not CLEAN.

10. Lastly, to the naked lady in the stream room, PLEASE PLEASE, put a towel under it.

Thank you,
From the chubby lady singing in the corner taking up one piece of equipment for an hour.