Pretty much from birth, my children have listened to and sang Yellow Submarine by the Beatles. So when I saw this on Pinterest, I knew had to make them. After all, we all live in a yellow submarine...or in Sunshine's case, a purple one!
And for those of you who don't know the song, here it is.
For Monster's birthday, he asked for one thing. He asked that people replace a gift for him with a donation to the Children's Center. Since I know the director of the Center, I had asked her the type of things they could use, need, or want. She gave me a list and I gave it to others. Some people donated items and some money. With the money that was collected, Monster bought items for the kids. Here is what he collected/purchased.
There is still $20 more worth of books to come from Papa's donation. We haven't been able to get to the store yet to purchase them. Monster really wants to get the books because, "I want every child to learn to love to read."
Holiday weekends are always insane around here. Often times, we need at least one more day off to recover from our day off. This weekend was no exception. Memorial Day weekend is always a little bit more crazy around here since Monster's birthday falls right around, or on, it. Our weekend started out with Monster having an ear infection. Five years ago, the same thing happened. Not a great start to the weekend, but Monster is tough and, other than his hearing, was feeling fine by Friday afternoon, sort of. Nothing says, "Happy Birthday", like throwing up your dinner. Monster was not about to let a little puke get in the way of a cake pop though. After tossing his cookies, he showered, brushed his teeth, came back down, and devoured more macaroni and cheese and a cake pop.
Saturday, I spent the day with my mom. After soccer that is. I love starting out my Saturday mornings with Sunshine's soccer. It is so much fun watching her and the other little kids out there. When soccer was over, I headed up to my parents' house to help out my mom for the day. Even though my dad is a huge help, there are just some things that need a little more patience. Like shopping. We spent the majority of the day at Sam's Club, the Hallmark store and Miles Farmer's Market. It was so much fun! I love taking time and shopping with just my mom. Reminds me of when I was young. She was wiped out and I was pumped up by the end. We accomplished a lot. I like that I was able to do something to help her out. Can't wait until we plan our next day out!
Sunday was A Day Out with Thomas. We went last year as well and the kids loved it! This year, we learned from out mistakes last year. We did tattoos very first thing, because that's what the kids were most interested in. Then, we got to the bounce houses before everyone else. From there, we got pictures done before a line formed. Then it was time for our ride! Sunshine said, "Dat was super fun. Can we ride on Thomas again?" After our train ride, we listened to Thomas stories, colored Thomas pictures, and played with Thomas legos. Everything other than the ride is free of charge. I highly recommend it if your child is a Thomas fan!
After Thomas, we went out to lunch at Subway. This is the first time Sunshine has ever eaten there. Apparently, if we need fast food, this is the place to go. Monster and Sunshine both ate more than Husband and I. No kids meals for my kids. They get the 6" subs! During nap time, we decided to move the computer desk. That required cutting all the zip ties that held all the cords together. Monster loved helping. He especially loved that there was a Children's Dictionary that we took off the desk to move it. He's been reading the dictionary on stop since. We had a tiny bit of down time after rearranging furniture before Grandpa came over. The kids love hanging out with Grandpa. We made pizzas for everyone and watched a little Jack Hanna.
Monday was crazy catch up, do nothing, do everything day. Kids slept in, which was awesome. I got on making up some Chore Cards. I saw this on Pinterest and thought it was a great idea. Problem was, I didn't actually LOOK at the pin until I was ready to use it. It was an Etsy pin and the pdf for the cards cost $6! Ridiculous! I knew I could make my own. I did two different cards. Not sure which one I like better, but here they are, for free. Chore card 1...it's bigger than business card size, about 2 business cards put together. Kind of like that about it. Chore card 2...used a free business card template on Google Docs. Like this one because there are more per page. Basically, what the idea is that for each chore, the kids get a hole punch. Once their cards are filled, they get something. In our case, it's 10 cents (my kids are still young enough I can get away with 15 chores for a dime). Then we can go to Ritzman Pharmacy and get a sucker or candy. They still have candy for a penny there!
After making up chore cards and hanging out with the family, marathon laundry started. Kids played outside. Husband cleaned the garage. It actually went very smoothly. Went to Home Depot in there also. After lunch, both kids fell asleep! When everyone got up from naps, we played outside more and did more laundry. Grandpa came over again, too. Kids taught him how to play Mille Bornes. We cooked out....after all, it was Memorial Day! Before dinner, I was testing Monster's hearing, which had been off since the night before we found out he had an ear infection. I happened to ask, "Do you want ice cream?" Well, he heard, and so did Sunshine. Because of this, after dinner, they both expected ice cream. On the spot, I happened to remember seeing a "recipe" for homemade ice cream in a bag, in 5 minutes. Did a quick search for it and found it. Because I'm a crazy coffee drinker, I happened to have half and half, which is the main ingredient. The kids loved it and it was so simple. I found it on the Family Fun website. Here's the "recipe".
1 c. half and half
2 TBS sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Pour ingredients into a pint size (I only had quart) Ziploc bag and seal. In one gallon Ziploc bag, use 1/2 c. Kosher salt and fill half way with ice. Place cream bag into bag with ice. Shake for about 5 minutes, checking to see when cream turns solid.
Note to beginners. The gallon bag will leak from all the shaking. Don't do what I did and shake it over your nice hardwood floors. That gets salt water everywhere. Also, don't set the bag down on your oak kitchen table. Same thing. Next time, I'll either shake over the sink or on the porch, not walking around the house. However, it was a good reason to mop my floors.
After the kids were in bed and Grandpa left to head back to Illinois, Husband and I cleaned the basement. I love cleaning the basement. I just love cleaning. It looks so nice down there now. All that's left to do is vacuum, which I'm headed to do as soon as I finish typing this.
All in all, it was a crazy, busy, fun weekend. Makes me look forward to summer with the kids! Now if we just set up our pool, we'll be set!
It's funny to see how these questions have changed and how they haven't. At age 2, 3 and 4, Monster wanted to be a construction worker when he grew up. At age 5, he wanted to be a scientist. At age 2, 3 and 4, Monster's favorite book was Puppy Parade. At age 5 , it was any non fiction book. At age 2 and 3, his favorite song was Baby Mine. At 4, it was Chain Gang. At 5, it was Life is a Highway. When Monster was 2, he didn't watch TV. At 3, his favorite TV show was Bob the Builder. At 4, it was Word World. At 5, it was Super Why. Until this year, his favorite animal was a penguin. At 5, he added in badger with penguin. All the rest of the questions are pretty consistent since age 3. Mommy was his best friend before his sister was born. I love his consistency with things. He's a kid who knows what he wants/ likes in life and strives to get it.
My Dearest Monster,
I can't believe it has been six years since you came into our lives. You have been my precious baby angel since the moment I met you. You have filled our lives with such joy and pride unlike any we could have ever imagined. You have always been filled with curiosity. You have an inquisitive mind and aren't afraid to seek out the answers. You are a kind and generous person as well. Your concern for others at such a young age is amazing. You have an unconditional love for everyone in your life.
My wish for you is that you stay true to yourself. Continue to seek the answers your desire. Continue to love unconditionally. Keep an open mind and heart, even if it occasionally hurts. Take time to enjoy life instead of always being so serious. You are wise beyond your years, but that takes away from the carefree nature of childhood. Take time to be kid. I have no doubts you will go far in life. Have no regrets and live life to the fullest.
You are loved beyond measure.
* WARNING...If you get offended easily, don't read this. If you aren't open minded enough to respect others' views, don't read this. I will be using the Catholic religion as an example, because it's what I grew up with. In no means is what I'm about to say limited to Catholics. Or Christians. Or any particular religion. *
"Do unto others as you would have done unto you." "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone". See, I learned something in my 12 years of Catholic school. Much to my mother's dismay, I am not religious. "Just have faith", is something she says a lot. "I just wish your faith was stronger," is another quote I hear often. I'm not a good Catholic because I question everything. Catholics are taught not to question, just to accept. I'm guessing that's pretty much the same with all religions, but I don't know. I want to have faith. I want to believe in something. The problem is, organized religion and very "religious" people turn me off from whole thing. It's those "religious" people who think they are holier than thou because they attend church on a regular basis. They have their kids in bible study. They go to bible study, etc. It's those same people who are closed minded, judgmental, hypocrites. It's the people who don't live their lives as good people. I've seen it my entire life. That's the main reason I left the church. I couldn't take the hypocrites any more.
Through my 12 years of Catholic education, there were several things I could never figure out. From what I took out of the stories of the Bible, Jesus treated EVERYONE fairly and with respect. Putting that into modern age, why is it the church takes a negative stand on homosexuality? Would Jesus have cared if someone were gay or straight? I think the bigger question is, are they good people, not what their sexual preference is? Even then, we are taught Jesus forgave the sins of others. So why is it that people aren't forgiving? People are so stuck on "revenge" and "justice". I just never got why we were being taught that Jesus did one thing and we should do another. Be nice to these people, but not these people. And then, when you question something, it's because your faith just isn't strong enough, now do 10 Hail Mary's and 20 Our Father's. Because that fixes everything.
I'm most definitely not perfect, but I don't claim to be. I also don't claim to be a good Christian. Do I have trouble forgiving? Of course, but I try. My mom and I were actually talking about forgiveness and how she's impressed with my ability to forgive all the wrong that has been done to me in the past because she can't forgive those people. Being a parent, I get that now. It's a lot harder to forgive those that hurt your children, but for your children's sakes, it's important to try. Children learn from example. Am I judgmental? I am. However, I try to chalk it up to people can be who they want to be and I'll be who I am. It's not easy to do that though when the people who live behind you have their 4 year olds up until after 10 every night screaming and running around. I judge their parenting, but, I'm not the one who has to deal with those kids. Hell, this post is judgmental. Again, I don't claim to be perfect.
I'm not religious. I do have faith. I think my faith is more is about being a good person and that will make my life richer and I'll be happier. I don't know. I have faith that when other people have strong faith in something, it helps them through. I believe in heaven. I don't believe in hell. I believe in karma. I believe in reincarnation (yet that is something I will not discuss with my children until they have come to make decisions on their own about afterlife). I believe that going to church, temple, etc. does not make you a good person. I believe living your life by treating others how you would like to be treated makes you a good person. I believe things happen for a reason. This is what "religious" people call "God's plan". It's what I call destiny. I believe people can change, but I only give one chance to prove it. I believe that you teach what you believe by example, not by words on a page. I believe you can know the Bible inside and out and claim you are living your life for God and still be a horrible person. I believe you can be an atheist and be a kind, loving person who lives a truly good life. I believe that if you don't practice what you preach, you are a hypocrite.
I know a lot of religious people who are good people. The problem is, I know more who are not. I'm not religious. I try to be a good person. I learn each day from my mistakes and try to make my life better. I try to treat others how I would like to be treated. Am I better than other people? No, but I'm probably happier.
This weekend, we finally got around to refinishing a desk that we had for Monster. One of the local schools had closed and was just giving away all their desks. The desks were old and not in the best condition, but I saw potential....and it was free. We took the desk apart. We scuffed the top with fine sand paper so paint would stick. We used steel wool on the metal bottom part to remove the rust. Then, we painted. We used chalkboard paint for the top of the desk. I was planning on doing this to a table we have when the kids get older, but this worked out even better. The bottom, since it wasn't in the best shape, we used spray paint with primer added and a hammered finished to cover the imperfections of the desk. Only problem we encountered was that we painted it outside and got a lot of dust stuck to the top, so it's very rough and doesn't clean up well. I'm thinking of sanding it a bit and then adding a layer of magnetic paint. Even with a rough top, it turned out pretty nicely.
Because Monster got a "new" desk, Sunshine got the one Husband had built for Monster. I asked her if she liked her new desk and she replied, "Not so much." When I asked her why she told me, "I wish it were pink." That's Sunshine. I guess this weekends projects will include stenciling some pink and purple ballerinas on the white desk.
All good things come to an end, right? So why is it always so shocking when it happens? Because it's a good thing and you don't want it to end. But there's that moment. That moment realize it's truly over. That moment you know you are alone. That moment you can't come back from. That moment your world stops and changes direction. That moment that you know you will never get back what you lost. That moment. That one, single, moment. It's that moment that puts you on your next life course. It's what you decide and how you react in that one, tiny, moment. It's amazing how a split second in time and determine a new life course. Of course there are always way to veer onto another path, but it's in that moment that you choose the first path. It actually doesn't seem fair that everything hinges on a moment. But it does. One, single, tiny solitary moment. And no one can pick which direction to go other than you.
Friends are supposed to be there for you, in good times and bad. That's what the song says, right? Something someone said today got me thinking about that. That is what friends are for. Friends are there for each other. I'm watching a friend's son today. We all went to an outing at someone else's house. The comment was, "Oh, you're watching [child]? That's so nice of you." Huh? Why is that nice of me? She's my friend. She needed help. I was able to. It's just that simple. If I wasn't able to, I wouldn't be doing it. Is that mean of me? Then I stopped and thought about it...people who this person used to be friends with were not something for nothing type of people. They were "I'll do this if you do that" people. I admit, I'm on the edge of being too nice at times, but I don't think there is too nice when it comes to friendship. Friends help each other. Today, a friend baked me rice crispy treats. Why? Because she knew I could use cheering up. Does she expect something in return? Not a thing. I fully believe that I'm a lot happier in life now that I have friends who know what it means to be a true friend. I'm blessed. I know I have friends I can rely on.
I have long hair. I have long hair for a reason. I hate styling it. I had short hair for all of year and it just wasn't for me. Too difficult to take care of. I have coarse, thick, wavy, frizzy hair. I also have zero desire to spend time on it. I'm lucky if I get a moment to wash my hair. If I can't just throw it in a ponytail, I'm done for. Yet for some reason, I keep pinning tons of really cute hair ideas on Pinterest. Why do I do this to myself? I know I'll never actually do them. Yet, I keep pinning thinking, maybe. There's this one site in particular that I love, http://www.lovemaegan.com/. Awesome hair and nail ideas. Her hair is the closest to mine that I can find. Still, I'm way too lazy. For those of you who aren't lazy, check out her site. Here are a couple of my favorites from her site.
I've also found a lot of cool hairstyles from this other site, http://abeautifulmess.typepad.com/my_weblog/ . Here are some of my favorites that I will never do.
So, there you have it. Styles I love that you will never see on my head. Instead, you'll find me in a basic ponytail, usually a low one. And, when I'm not focused, you may also just find a kid clip in my hair that I put there for safe keeping.