{7QuickTakes} Weekly mishmash: Vol. 18

Greetings!  Welcome to another edition of Weekly mishmash.  Here’s what’s been going on around here lately:

ONE.

This has been a CRAZY week!  Bellie had the first of her two spring ballet performances on Friday (which followed a week of intense rehearsals).  They are doing Alice in Wonderland, which is really cute!  She gets to be a bunny and then one of the Queen of Hearts’s attendants.  I am constantly amazed by the creativity of her ballet director; the choreography is really neat.  My favorite is the “caterpillar” where they use several dancers outfitted with frilly green umbrellas to give the impression of a many-legged insect.  Fun to see!

TWO.

Junior had a karate tournament on Saturday.  He got two first-place medals and was really proud of himself!  His biggest brag was that he beat a really talented kid from his class who outranks him.  I thought that was pretty exciting!

THREE.

This evening I am being a friend’s daughter’s sponsor at her Confirmation.  I was really honored that she chose me.  I think she views me as something of a mentor, which I find flattering.  It’s kind-of fun because she and I share a passion for writing, French, and Hercule Poirot.  Also her confirmation name is St. Dymphna, who is a personal favorite of mine because of her association with mental health:-)

FOUR

My children somehow got interested in The Great British Baking Show.  I blame friends of ours, since I hate hate hate cooking shows.  Well, and cooking in general.  But the kids decided they would have their own “Cooking Challenge” and Hubby and I were to judge.  Here are the inspired creations:

Voted WINNER for Best Presentation:

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Bellie’s “Ice Cream Delight” with Chocolate morsels, jelly beans, and cherry.

Voted WINNER for Most Intense Flavor and Name:

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Junior with his Pokemon-inspired “The Dark Cake” (we were a little limited to what we had on hand for frosting/cake decorations)

Voted WINNER for Most Creative Recipe Idea:

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Spike’s “Not Yo Mama’s Granola Bars” (made from scratch with his dad’s help and topped with vanilla ice cream and strawberries)

Evvie got an award too (she wasn’t so interested in the whole baking thing), for Best Performance of a Tantrum in the Kitchen.

FIVE.

While the Midwest has been struggling with nasty wintery weather still, that same front came through a couple of weeks ago. We had a tornado warning!  That never happens.  Basically, we just got a lot of damaging hail.  Then the next day or so it got really cold and we got snow.  It took a little while for it to melt again (at least half a day) and the kids got their boots out and snowmobiled around the yard.  Hubby and Spike built a snowman.  But by the next day he had melted and it looked like spring again!  Weather is weird.

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His ‘fro is dead weeds, his eyes and buttons are coal, his lovely smile is a bungee strap, and his nose is a parsnip (we were out of carrots). RIP Curly.

SIX.

I was able to meet the challenge from last year (50 books read in 50 weeks!) and got my sweet Extreme Book Nerd prize: a hoodie sweatshirt!  They just came in last week….it took a looooong time for them to come in at our library.  But I really like it.  I am trying to do the Extreme Book Nerd challenge again this year but it has been hard with how busy I am and all the teacher certification stuff I have to read.  But we shall see.

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SEVEN.

While sprucing up outside, I realized my front door wreath was not very spring-y.  I wanted to do something a little different than just a traditional wreath, so I went on Pinterest and got some ideas.  Ultimately, I really wanted to use an old bike tire and put flowers on it, but wasn’t having luck finding a suitable tire anywhere.  I did, however, find an old horse collar at an antique store and thought that might look interesting.  Added some spring-like floral and ribbon and Voila!   Country front door decor.  I am really pleased with how it turned out! What do you think?

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That’s all for now!  Enjoy your week!

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{7QuickTakes} Weekly mishmash Vol.4

I was a bum last week and didn’t post!  Lots of craziness here (as though that is ever news;-)

Check out the link-up for more good times!

~UN~

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It was really funny, whatever it was…

Made it through yet another kid’s birthday party.  Junior had a great time but these fêtes are so stressful for me to plan and execute.  It has been years since I have thrown birthday parties for my kids so I felt guilty and decided to allow all three of the older ones to have parties to celebrate this year.  (The youngest just turned one and I figured she won’t need/remember a big birthday party so we just did a family thing.)  Anyhow, I have decided on a rule regarding bday parties:  We’ll do them for age 3, 6, and 9 and possibly 13 and 16 if they are so inclined, but that is it.  Unfortunately, my three oldest are each three years apart so most of those milestone bdays will occur all in the same birthday season!  Oh well, it seems worth it simply to not have big birthday bashes every.single. year.

~DEUX~

I am worried I am heading toward shoulder surgery.  I think it is because I am getting old with a little bit of “children have wrecked my body” added in.  When Spike was born, I had a wrist thing going on for over a year.  It was the stinkin’ carseat-lugging.  It finally got better when I wore a wrist brace for most of my waking moments.  But now my shoulder has been out of whack for 9+ months.  I have tried stretching it, icing it, heat-padding it, over-medicating on Advil to no avail.  It has gotten so bad the pain keeps me up most of the night.  (And let me tell you, my 15-month-old finally started sleeping through the night and nothing breaks your bubble of “Yay! Finally a whole-night’s rest!” than being up in pain with “minivan shoulder”.)  Next stop is the chiropractor to see if I can figure this out without resorting to something more invasive.

~TROIS~

Which leads me to….yay I get to bring my kids to the chiropractor appointment on Friday morning.  Hubby usually gets Fridays off, but just after I made the appointment (that has taken me months to get around to making) he informed me he has to go in for a special work meeting this Friday all day.  Because I am really and truly a glutton for punishment, I decided to keep the appointment (hey, my shoulder really hurts), and haul the youngest three with me.  All I have to say is thank goodness for tablets.   I momentarily thought about bringing them to my bi-annual hair cut & color appointment Thursday but my good friend luckily intervened and agreed to watch the kids for me.

~QUATRE~

SAHMs need decent childcare options.  I have the toughest time with this.  I don’t need full-time child-minding, just the occasional couple of hours here and there so I can go to doctors’ appointments, or volunteer, or just have a coffee by myself so I don’t go crazy.  I have no family in the area. (and even if I did it is unlikely they would be able/willing to help in this capacity) Our town does not have good (any?) options for drop-in childcare. I have only one close friend who has not gone back to work (my other good friends are leaving SAHM-ing in droves!) and I hate to impose myself constantly on her.  Hubby does get Fridays off, but what happens when the doctor I need to see doesn’t have office hours on Fridays?  Or Hubby is resistant to “babysitting” the younger ones so I can volunteer once in a while at the older children’s school?  What do I do with them when I give blood, or want to go into a china shop?  The answer is, I either take them along (sorry dental hygienist for the mess my toddler made of your laughing gas canisters) or simply stop volunteering, stop running errands anywhere there are breakable items (so sorry Hobby Lobby! Your displays are so beautiful that my kids need to “see” them with their hands), and put my health needs last (I would love love love to be able to see a therapist at least once a month or so).  Just very frustrated.  I might just have to bite the bullet and put an ad in on Care.com.

~CINQ~

Trying to teach my kids about money.  This is challenging.  The kindergartner is still trying to wrap her head around the fact that 6 cents is different from 6 dollars.  The boys seem to be compulsive spenders, even when I explain to them the value of saving your money for something really special and dividing your funds into Save/Spend/Donate.  I can’t get any of them to voluntarily donate any of their own money.  My money, sure, but with their own cash, definitely not!  I worry I am raising children far too interested in our society’s idea of consumerism.  Parenting is tough.

~SIX~

I did art with Spike and Evvie this week!  Go me!  Normally the thought of doing crafts or art projects with my kids makes me want to claw my eyes out (the mess, the chaos, the children eating non-toxic finger paint!) but I took a deep breath and held it together long enough to let them make a total of 5 masterpieces.

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Look Mom! It’s you after a glass of wine!

 

~SEPT~

Apparently, I have a diabolical plan:  I only make really delectable desserts when I am serving positively disgusting food for dinner.  This is the honest truth.  They found me out.  It’s a vast parental conspiracy.  (Cue evil laugh)  So if you come to our house for dinner and you smell those delicious brownies…beware!  That means we are having liver, potatoes (don’t ask me – my Idaho-born children think potatoes are anathema), and something green for dinner.  No dessert unless you clean your plate.  Mean mom strikes again!

Have a delightful week!