Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tangled Party

BG requested a Tangled party for her 5th birthday. She LOVED the movie and likes to play it often. When I first started thinking about a party, I had no idea what to do. Thanks to the Internet, I "came up" with lots of great ideas! These pictures are in no particular order (and blogger isn't working right to let me rearrange them).

We made these fun Pascal blowers. BG and I cut and glued them all together before the party and let the kids draw on their own eyes and mouths. It didn't take Blanche long to figure out how these worked and she loved them. Find the template here.

This is the cake I made for BG, obviously a tower. I totally cheated and used donuts stacked up on a wooden dowel. I don't have great cake making skills, so I took the easy way out. I didn't even bother to paint/color the roof, just left it a plain ice cream cone.
I did buy some frosting tips figuring once I had the tips, it wouldn't be too hard to decorate. I now have a greater appreciation for cake decorators. Not that I didn't' before, but even with those tips, making it look good takes practise (which I didn't do). I used a leaf tip to make "vines" growing up the tower. They looked more like green blobs. It's a good thing 5 year olds don't care.

One of our party activities was painting the walls. Since Rapunzel is locked in her tower, she takes to painting all the interior walls. I mixed up some washable paint (2 C water, 1/3 C cornstarch, food coloring), taped up butcher paper on the fence and gave the kids paint brushes. They had a great time. I did put aprons on all the kids just in case.
We also made necklaces, complete with a frying pan charm. This activity kept the girls attention the longest. It took some concentration to sting those beads.
We also played pin the frying pan on Flynn Rider. I got the Wanted poster here and the frying pan template here. We colored pictures, opened presents, and ate cupcakes. Again, I'm no cake decorator, but this is what I came up with. I was hoping the purple with yellow piping looked like her dress. I know, I'm pretty awesome to make zigzags on a cupcake and call it a dress. ;)
I made a long yarn braid to decorate the front door, but didn't take a picture. It looked kind of like this. Actually, that site gave me lots of the ideas I used for the party.

The girls had a great time and I survived hosting 6 5 year-olds. After cleaning up this party, we turned right around to start getting ready for the family party the next day.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Working Mom

I'm a working mom. I have been fortunate to cut back my hours since having Blanche to 30 hours per week. I stay home every Wednesday and every other Friday. My job is flexible enough that I can adjust the days I work as needed. On top of the flexibility, the pay isn't bad either.

And yet, I'm not happy. I don't feel challenged in my work and feel like I'm missing out on my kids. I had considered writing a post about this when I ran across a friend who posted on the exact same topic. It made me feel better that I'm not the only working mom who feels this way.

I'm not saying being a stay at home mom is easy. It's not. And there are many days I am grateful for the reprieve that a job allows. But I feel torn. Just this morning, this was the thought process/conversation that was going on inside my head.

"That job at the state looks interesting. It's in an area that I'd like and it would be a step up professionally.
But I'd have to work full time and the state does 4 10s. Can I really get two kids up and out the door by 6:30 am? Plus it would be a longer commute.
I think I could do that.
Who am I kidding? I can barely get out the door by 8am; I am perpetually late.
Maybe I could hire a nanny. If we had a nanny that came to our house, I wouldn't have to worry about waking up the kids at all. I would just have to get myself up, which is a million times more manageable. Plus, I'd be making more so we could afford a nanny.
(Working the hours in my head) That would mean four days a week I would leave before my kids get up and get home just in time for bedtime. The whole point in cutting back my hours was to spend more time at home, with the kids. I'm able to do that now.
Maybe I should just stay at my job long enough for us to get completely out of debt then stay home. I could stay home for a few years, then go back.
How am I going to stay involved while I'm at home. I need to keep my skills up so I can actually get hired when I go back. How long should I stay home? Can we even afford for me to stay home?
I enjoy working. I like feeling like I'm contributing. I like proving that example to my girls, that moms can be productive members of society while still being a mom.
Maybe I should apply for that job at the state."

Round and round it goes. On paper, I have a great job. Pays well, flexible hours, but I'm not fulfilled professionally by it. If I changed jobs, I would have to go back to full time work, or take a pay cut. There just aren't many well paid part time jobs out there. Working full time means less time with the kids. It makes me wonder how many other women are this plight, or if they have figured out something I don't yet see. It wears me out just thinking about it.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summer Sandwich

Last night we had one of my favorite summer sandwiches. It is super yummy and pretty easy.

Egg Salad- you know, hard boiled eggs mixed with mayo and a little mustard
Bacon- because eggs and bacon are great friends
Cucumber slices
Fresh basil leaves

Stack all ingredients on some yummy bread and enjoy. The cucumbers give a nice crunch. The basil gives sweet freshness contrasted with the salty bacon. So yummy! Add a slice of melon and you have the perfect summer meal.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Phase 2: Painting

Today we painted our room. It's Phase 2 of the great bedroom remodel. I painted and painted and painted some more. This is what I spend all day Saturday doing, and most of Friday. Our room went from this...

to this. Oh, and we slept in the bed and I didn't bother to make it since the rest of my room was a disaster.

And no, that's not done. In fact, that's just the primer. But you can see the blue tape. We did two-tone and will be adding chair rail. The top is a stormy blue and the bottom is white. I should have taken pictures, but I was so sick of painting and being in that room that I had to leave and rest my weary claw hand. Then it got dark and that's no good for pictures. So I'll post them soon. But I am so looking forward to a new look in our room.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Busy Busy

June is always a crazy busy month for us. This year has been no exception. Here are a few other things we have been doing over the past few weeks and the reason my blog hasn't been updated.
  1. Swim Lessons for BG
  2. Chasing Blanche around the pool during swim lessons to make sure she doesn't jump in.
  3. Dance lessons for BG.
  4. Planning BG's birthday party.
  5. Attending birthday parties (two so far, another this weekend)
  6. Visiting with a new baby nephew.
  7. Hiking
  8. Planning Father's Day.
  9. Father's Day dinner with JM's side. (Last Sunday)
  10. Father's Day dinner with my side. (Next Sunday)
  11. Prepping our master bedroom for paint and moulding.
  12. Getting a new puppy.
  13. Making Popsicles.
  14. Planting flowers.
  15. Growing a garden.
This is on top of work, housework, laundry, yardwork, summer playing... The list goes on and on. I have been taking pictures of many of these events, I just haven't had the time to sit down and upload them to my computer. Maybe someday soon I will and you can see all the crazy, fun we're having. Until then, happy summer!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Giving up Fear

I'm been thinking a lot lately about why I do and don't do things. Questions like, "why is change so hard for me", "why haven't I gone to graduate school?" and "what should I be doing with my life/family right now?" These are deep questions that have given me much time to ponder on my reasons for the choices I make.

In all my deep pondering (much of which takes place in my car during my commute), I am coming to terms with the fact that I often let fear dictate my decisions, or lack thereof. I'm afraid of a change in our routine so I dismiss a new opportunity. I am unsure of the outcome of a change, so I resist making it. I'm paralyzed by the thought of choosing the "wrong" degree program so I haven't gone back to school. I could go on and on, but the bottom line is that fear is a primary consideration in my decision making.

I'm coming to realize that I've got to let go of fear. Fear is getting in the way of opportunities in my life. Fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear of mistakes. I'm trying to throw caution to the wind and do what I want, because I WANT to do it. If you know me, you know that I am a planner and don't do spontaneous very well, so this is an adjustment. I want to do things because they are right, not because they are comfortable.

Part of this paradigm shift has led us to getting a dog. It is also leading us to step out of our comfort zone on other things. It is helping me re-evaluate the why of my choices. My kids learn by example (whether I like it or not), and I don't want them to learn to simply take the path of least resistance in life. Being uncomfortable is the only way to grow.

Is there fear in your life holding you back? What have you done to conquer it?