Monday, April 29, 2013

I Can't Stop Myself From Looking Back

We entered another chapter in the Story Of Us.  A lot of which is documented right here in this very blog.

For the second time ever (like in her entire life), I left my child with someone who was not a) related to me or 2) considered closer than family.

Clover started Preschool.

I know in my mind that she should have probably started earlier than she did.  She is super friendly so I knew she wouldn't have any problem making friends.  I knew about all the positive benefits of Preschool.  I just couldn't bring myself to do it.  It was a hurdle that I, myself had to get over.  I couldn't keep her home forever at the expense of my fear.

I know I am very blessed to be able to stay home with her as long as I have.  I am very lucky in the fact that I have family close and close friends that don't mind watching my darling Clover.  These are people I trust and some of them have even been cleared by the DOJ (Department of Justice).  I know that I don't have to worry about her.

Registering her for Kindergarten kind of halted any hesitation of starting her in Preschool.  I knew eventually she was going to have her very own teacher and her very own classroom.  Then I started panicking over her inexperience in a classroom.  She takes dance which she loves but I stay and watch her so she knows that I am always there.  So we went and took the tour.  I asked my question and read my handbook.  Clover went in and sat down in the classroom during our tour and said bye as if she were starting that day.  At that point I knew I waited long enough and she was more than ready.  But was I?

I watched my darling daughter sit down and feel comfortable in the classroom.  She wasn't even registered yet.  There she was interjecting herself into story time.  I told her that we had to leave and she asked "Why?"  I knew in my heart that she was more than ready.  That she would love this and at some point I couldn't let myself stand in the way.  So we registered that day.

Two days later she started.  Hubby and I went to drop her off.  I was very proud of myself.  She hugged me and ran off and that was that.  She didn't need me.  As long as she told me that she loved me and gave me a hug and a kiss she was good.  I on the other hand well, I had to leave my baby, my only baby, with a teacher I didn't know personally.  I almost typed that in all caps because I was yelling it in my head at the time.  

I couldn't stop from looking back.  It was totally one of those "If I knew then, what I know now" kind of moments.  All those times I reassured parents that left their children in my care.  When I started in an infant room at one of our local daycares I was 22.  I thought I knew everything.  I knew these parents where trusting me with their offspring.  I had plenty of moments where I tried to be sympathetic, telling myself that I could understand that.  I understood that it was hard.  But I didn't understand the magnitude of that feeling.

I get it now.

I'm amazed I didn't cry.  Even just a little.  I took all that trust that had been bestowed upon me and payed it forward.

Just to be clear I had already checked the Preschool out.  It is a licensed facility where all of their employees have been fingerprinted and background checked.  So this post isn't about the Preschool itself.  It's more of me getting over myself.    

That first day was a long day for me.  So of course after she got out of class we went and got ice cream!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Why I Dislike Going To The Park

I will admit it.  The park is not my favorite place.  Clover loves it.  It's not that I don't enjoy the great outdoors or anything like that.  It's just that there always seems to be that one kid at the park that wants to annoy (read: terrorize) everyone else.  Now, I don't really believe that there are bad kids.  I believe most kids that are labeled "Bad Kids" exhibit bad behaviors that have yet to be corrected.

Before you roll your eyes, I have worked with kids my entire life.  I started babysitting as early as I could, was a Nanny for a little bit, and worked at couple day care centers as a teacher.  I'm not saying I am an expert by any means.  But being a parent is an entirely different ball park.  When you are a teacher you have a set of rules and a learning environment.  When you are at a public place, it's a free for all.  Like today when another kid pushed my kid.  It took every ounce of mental strength not to go Momma Bear.

I had to turn it into a learning experience.

Clover has been told that if someone hurts her she has permission to defend herself.  We told her that it is more than okay to stick up for herself.  It seems she has a problem with this.  Which baffles me because she is naturally an outgoing and loud kid.  She will stick up for everyone else.  She has told me more than a few times to quite picking on Dada (innocently-I would never).  She sticks up for her friends all the time but when it comes to sticking up for herself she get's really quiet and walks away.  And that's what she did today.  So after she got pushed she just looked at the kid and walked away.  So while she was playing I told her that it was okay to use her words and tell people that it's NOT OKAY to push her.  So she went back down the stairs to the slide and told the kid that it wasn't okay to push her.  And then she walked off and played somewhere else.

I then heard the same little boy tell his friend that they should beat up my daughter.  I gave him the "Disapproving Mom" look and he got the hint.  His mom was conveniently seated under a tree across the entire park.  His friend said they shouldn't beat anyone up which made me feel better.  That and the fact that they were about a year younger and a foot and half shorter than my daughter.  It's not as if I viewed them as a physical threat.  I just found it annoying that this kid was running around pushing and threatening MY KID.

I don't want to be one of those helicopter parents that does everything for their kid.  I know that Clover has to learn how to stick up for herself and that I can't really do anything to stop these experiences.  There always seems to be at least ONE of those kids at the park when we go.  I guess at this stage it's more of a guiding roll, giving her the tools she needs to handle these situations on her own.

It's freakin hard!

I sat down with her when we got home and went over sticking up for herself and brainstormed some things she could say.  I just heard her yelling at her pillow so maybe it's sticking.  It's not like I'm going to avoid going to the park or anything.   I go because my daughter loves it, even if it isn't my favorite place to go.                          


The Way Things Used To Be

I'm trying to be better about using "I" statements instead of assuming that people feel the way that I do and using the word "you".  Looking back I may have commented on a friends blog and re-reading it I noticed that I was referring as myself as "you" instead of "I".  I need to be better about that.  I don't want to unintentionally offend anyone.  

So anyhoo,  I had gotten used to the way things were.  And when something was broken for so long I just took it as a "that is life" situation.  When in fact it shouldn't have been.  It should not have taken as long as it did to fix it.  

So now that it's working again, I want to yell, preach and sing to the masses!


In one load.  I'm drying clothes in one cycle and not three!  My towels don't stink and my massive laundry pile is slowly shrinking!  

Monday, April 22, 2013

I Made This For You!

So I was really excited to hit 10,000 views on my tiny blog and vowed to make something cute.  I tried and my first idea didn't come out as good as I thought it was going to come out in my head.  Then last week I had one of those days where things were not coming out the way I wanted.  So what's a girl to do?  

Just keep crafting!  

So I sat down this weekend and worked on this...    

I think it came out pretty good considering I designed it and made it in Word.  I know it's pretty simple but I spent probably a good two hours just looking for a font!  I've been on a Mary Poppins kick.  Can you tell?  I found the Chalkboard Background at Lil Blue Boo.  I actually have another idea in mind for these backgrounds but that is for later.      

Our plans fell through on Saturday and Hubby was not feeling it that day.  So I had some extra crafting time.  I found a tree and sat down under it and got to work.


My craft pile for the day.  Rectangle Bezels (roughly) 1x2 inches.  Some Modge (mod) Podge like glue and the art I designed.  

All glued in and sealed.

The lot I worked on.  Yes, its a pretty pink princess blankie.

My other necklace I worked on.  

A little note about working out in nature:  It's nature!  It doesn't care that you just glued that while the wind blows dirt all over it or that you are sitting there minding your own business when and ant literally (not like hipsters say it, but for reals) crawls in your pants.  Yes, I had an ant crawl in my pants and bite me on the butt while I was getting my craft on.  I wish I was joking.  It freakin stung!  And so of course I had to tell someone, or multiple someones and they all laughed at me.  So then I got discouraged and moved inside.  

Adding Dimensional Magic.

Cute Penguins!

I then got inspired to make a dangly bit to add to the necklace.  I didn't have anything penguinish so I thought I could make something.  I came up with a paper charm and covered that front and back in Dimensional Magic.  It was pretty hard.  That penguin is only 1/2 an inch big!  They turned out to be a lot like puffy stickers.  I was able to punch a tiny hole in them in the top but they where to big to put on the necklace.

Don't they look like they are about to walk off on stilts?

And then things went south with two of the tape measure necklaces.  Somehow the Dimensional Magic crept under the paper or soaked in or something but there is a large mark on two of the pendents.  I'm not very happy.  This stuff frustrates me to no end.  It's not like you can take it off and start over.  Once one is ruined you are out your time and money.  It's not as easy as they make it look in the videos or at least it hasn't been for me.  

Luckily, I have an extra Supercalifragilisticexpialidious necklace and it's waiting for one lucky winner!

Since this is my first giveaway I will admit that I have no idea what I am doing.  So we are just going to do it the old fashion way.  If you want it, leave a comment.  In a week (4/29/13) we will put the names in a hat and Clover can pick the one lucky winner.  Just to be clear I design this and made it myself to give away on my blog.  There are no third parties involved.  Other than Clover of course :)

So as a Thank You for waiting forever for me to whip something up...

Here is the Measuring Tape Pdf for anyone who wants to whip up one of their own.

And here is the Supercaliforagilisticexpialidocious pdf.

**Tada!  It's the 29th!  Drumroll Please!  Christina!  You won!  Melissa!  You won!  and Nicci (since you posted on FB) You won too!  Okay, so I made extra :)  I will get your necklaces to you soon :)

You Say Potato

So we had baked potatoes for dinner tonight.  Today was such a whirlwind of a day that I needed something easy.  I noticed something...

Hubby eats the middle out of his potato with all the toppings.  He doesn't touch the potato skin.

Clover just wants butter and little bit of salt but only eats the skin.

I like mine loaded with stuff especially green onions.  And I eat the whole potato.

This has nothing to do with anything but I thought it was funny.  Not funny haha haha funny, but interesting funny.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Clean Eating

So I signed up for some meal planning.  Week three is going pretty well.  For me at least.  I like the menu.  It's called the Clean Eating plan.  Basically it's a menu with very little processed food.  Lots of fruits and veggies and some meat.  The only thing I don't like about the service is that it's not customizable.  I don't eat fish so I have skip over those recipes.

I like the change up from the same five things I make.  Hubby and Clover are another story.  They are not a fan of some of the other unique recipes.  I thought the Jimica and Grapefuit salad was pretty tasty.  Clover loved all the ingredients separately and took several bites while adding them to the bowl.  She even helped me mix up the salad.  But when it came time to eat everything together, she was not having it.  Hubby just looked at me.

I would be content with a nice spinach salad with blue cheese, strawberries and pecans.  Yummy!  Clover would eat the spinach and Hubby would ask me where the steak was.  Needless to say we have some kinks to work out.  But, I think it's been a nice change of pace.

My only complaint (it's not really a complaint, more of a gripe) is that healthy food is so much more expensive than junk food.  Fruits and veggies do not last long around here.  Grapes go pretty quick and any form of berries are gone an hour after we bring them home.  I'm glad we are eating better but a box of crackers last longer around here than a basket of blueberries, which my daughter eats fresh or frozen from the bag in the freezer.  We are working on growing some stuff around the house.  The basil plant looks like it has seen better days since Clover walks by and picks off a leaf every now and then just to snack on.  We just planted some tomato and basil seeds.  Who knows maybe in a few weeks we can have a homegrown Caprese Salad.

I have started on some healthier versions of our family classics to work into the plan.  I don't know how much more these two can take.  The looks on their faces when I served couscous last night was warning enough.  

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I Brought In A Ringer

Alternatively called Juju vs. the Dryer Vent #428

I have been a stickler for cleaning out the dryer vent since it caught on fire a few years ago.  I blogged about my love of the dryer here and here (just in case you wanted a recap).  I had it professionally cleaned and that experience went horribly.  They would only clean it from one side which I think made the clog worse.

Since then I have tried with all my might to do it myself.  It seems that I wasn't able to unclog it.  I would try and it would work for a few months but after awhile the dryer would start getting finicky again.  Today I gave up and called in a ringer.

This guy knew what he was doing.  He not only cleaned it out from the bottom but also got on the roof and cleaned it out there too!  He did confirm that there was a clog.

An hour and a half later he had it all cleaned up.

He did have this cool tool I want to look into getting.  It was a brush on a stick that you attach to your power drill.  But then again it didn't cost very much to have someone else deal with it so it might just be worth it to not have to deal with it.

It does feel good to know that it's all cleaned out and I don't have to worry about it.

So in conclusion, Screw you driver vent!  

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Today Just Wasn't My Day Crafty Wise

For every super awesome craft project that I kick out, there are three in the garage that will never see the light of day.

That was my project today.

My sand castle pendent.  

It looked a lot better in my head.

I coated the sand castle I cut out with my cricut in sand from our latest beach trip.  I spent forever waiting for that to dry.  Then I stamped and painted some shrinky dinks for the pail and shovel.

While I was at it I stamped some extra for a bracelet.  They didn't turn out either.  

I think the stamps where already small and then I shrunk the dinks and they were even smaller.

I arranged all the pieces and then tried to seal it up only to end up with E-600 all over my fingers.  All in all after about six hours working on it off and on it was a bust.  The sand stuck to everything inside the pendent and it didn't seal up the way I wanted too.

I guess it's just one of those days.  

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Coffee Got Out

We played with chalk on the driveway the other day.  The next morning we came out and found some tracks on the concrete.

We spent a few minutes looking at them and then Clover told me that Coffee (our imaginary cat) must have gotten out and made the tracks.  She then spent five minutes calling Coffee as loud as she could.  Before the neighbors came outside, wondering why someone was yelling about coffee, she came home.

Clover grabbed her and put her back in the house.

I think every now and then, even an imaginary animal has to get out and stretch their legs.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

So, I Tried Dimensional Magic and...

It wasn't pretty.

I know that all the videos make it look so easy but I actually had a hard time with it.  I'm sure there was some sort of step I was missing.  This was my idea for the giveaway.  I didn't like the way that they turned out.  The spot where the jump right was supposed to go just didn't look right.  So here is what I tried...

It was nice outside so I took my project out into nature.

I started out with some modge podge (Mod Podge) podgeable shapes.  Basically they are clear acrylic blanks that you can build on top of or the bottom of.  The flower ones I layered on top and added stickers then put the dimensional magic on top.  The foot one I put on the bottom and then put dimensional magic on the bottom.     

Oh yeah and we may have had some Caramel DeLites.  

I printed up some grass to use as the base.  I also printed up a picture of my daughters foot from when she first started walking.  I was feeling sentimental.  

First layer is grass.

I used some modge podge (Mod Podge) like glue.  It was their competitor.  I have learned that you have to wait at least twenty minutes for the glue to dry before you do anything with em.  I glued it on then brushed some over the top.  After it dried I took a nail file and filed the edges smooth since I didn't exactly cut the paper to fit.  

The Tricky Part!  

After they were dried and sanded, I added some floral stickers.  Then I layered the Dimensional Magic on top.  I tried to be as careful as possible to apply the magic.  No matter what I tried I kept getting it stuck in the holes.  So then I had a brainstorm moment and jammed some toothpicks in.  That didn't work either because they glued themselves into the pendant.  Getting the toothpicks out the next day was a pain.  I was not happy.  It took me three times just to get the oval one completed.  

This one was applied to the bottom of the pendent.  I like the way this one turned out better.

The finished product.

Although it's cute, it just wasn't what I wanted to send out.

I think they came out alright.  They weren't what I had imagined.  The tops came out a little messy so I wasn't too excited about that.

I've used Dimensional Magic before but it was in bezel pendents so it didn't have anywhere to run.  I've also seen people use clear nail polish.  Which I guess in theory would work as well.  I just received my crafty stuff order so I will be working on something soon.  I have three flower pendents up if anyone wants one just leave me a comment and I will get it to you.  Just keep in mind that they have a few imperfections in them.  

**So about three hours later it dawned on me that I have been calling Mod Podge "Modge Podge" my entire life and had no clue that I was saying it wrong.  Even with the product right there in front of me I was still saying it wrong.  So I went back and edited.  I left the original because I am admitting I am wrong but at the same time accepting that since I have said it that way forever I am probably not going to start saying it correctly any time soon.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

My Daughter's Latest Declarations

This weekend my daughter has been on a roll.

I'm not sure if the first one counts as a declaration or not.  It might just have been something she said that embarrassed us.  We were in a nice restaurant.  It was attached to the hotel but we didn't realize how fancy the place was until we stepped in and asked if we had reservations.  Most of the menu was fish.  Once we sat down Clover asked the waitress

"Why does it smell like cat food in here?"

I just sat there kind of stunned.  On one hand she was right.  But secondly, she probably could have phrased it better.  Ah the honesty of a five year old.  Luckily the waitress had a good sense of humor.  She said it was the funniest thing she had heard all night.

The second declaration came this morning.  While walking to breakfast she declared:

"I am an expert in everything!"

And while she does know how to write her name and recognize the streets to get home, I'm pretty sure she has a few more things to learn before she knows everything.  I envy her confidence.  The way she said it sealed the deal.  She is absolutely positive that she is an expert in everything.  We may need to go over our definitions of "expert" and "everything".    

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Been Working On It

I've been working on something cute for a giveaway.  I'm currently waiting for a craft shipment.  I tried something and that was cute but I wasn't feeling it.  So I got online and did some searching and found some more ideas.  Sorry it's taking me awhile but it will be worth it.  I also came up with and idea for a friends birthday gift that I am REALLY excited about.  So stay tuned.