Sunday, May 31, 2009

Zap Zap

I've produced a long string of fabulous birthday parties for my kids. The fairy party, the mermaid party, the knights and princesses party - all took weeks and weeks of planning. I went all out in designing craft projects and scavenger hunts. I made costumes for all the attendees, created exotic treats, and created favor bags worthy of Academy Award attendees. It's one of the joys of parenting small children.

And in payment, every year after all the guests had gone home Jungle Boy would turn to me and say "Mom, this was the best birthday ever!"

But age 11 is a bit old for cute co-ed themes. All the little knights and princesses are growing up now. This year the birthday party for my twins had to be different. And it had to be simple - for me, since I can't walk well yet.

Enter the great idea. Laser tag. No house to clean before or after.

"How many will be attending?"
"I don't know, maybe 20?"
"OK, that will be $$$."

Ditto the pizza parlor that would deliver to the laser place. Also the ice cream cake company that would deliver the cake. I have an urge to buy stock in each of these companies now. Obviously they do a great business with the laser tag birthday crowd. But it was worth it because I wouldn't have to clean my house.

For a typical birthday, I get 25-30% of people responding that they can't make it. So I always over-invite, you know, to make sure the kids have a nice group of friends there. Guess what? When you host a laser-tag party, everyone can make it. My list of attendees grew and grew. But it was worth it, I think.

The day arrived, the kids went nuts counting down the hours. Those guests who arrived early found themselves in the midst of the lobby arcade (clever how they arrange the traffic flow in those places). So my husband became the guy with all the quarters. I was starting to wonder if it was worth it.

Two sessions of laser tag later, we learned who had been there before (because they had crazy high scores), which girl went renegade on the girl team and shot them all in the back (I see a future in the business world for her), and who seemed to be a better target than a marksman.

Off they went to the party room, hot and sweaty and loving the pizza and ice cream cake. The boys yelled, the girls got silly, the parents all arrived on time and whisked them home.

We came home to my nice clean, unsullied house and I felt a wee bit of a letdown for not having that after-party feel. But it had all been so easy and everyone had a great time.

"Mom," said Jungle Boy, "this was the best party EVER!"

That's all I needed to hear. It was all worth it.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Finished for Friday: Embroidery Week

I'm still having trouble walking down the stairs to the dungeon where my sewing machine lives, so this week was all about embroidery. First the Christmas block for this month:

This is the next block for my "Hocuspocusville" quilt.

And this is a tea towel that will be a gift for someone special.

Lit and Laundry

What have you finished up this week? Join in and let us know what you've checked off your list. Doesn't have to be crafty - that's just me. Feel free to grab a button from my sidebar.

How to Memorize State Capitals

According to Wasabi Girl, there are simple ways to remember all the state capitals. You just have to remember something about the state. Here are some of her examples.

Michigan: Just think of the movie "A Knight's Tale." What are they doing? Lansing of course.

Minnesota: Just think of a mini-soda. Obviously St. Paul. (No, it doesn't make sense to me either, but it does to her).

Pennsylvania: What do you do with a pencil? You stick it in your hair. Harrisburg.

If North Dakota is Bismark, then South Dakota is Pierre, because a boy named Pierce is the meanest boy in class.

North Carolina is Raleigh, because they rally around a lot. I keep trying to fix her pronunciation of this one.

Arizona: Remember Harry Potter. Order of the Phoenix.

I could go on and on, but you get the picture. Most of them don't make any sense to me at all, but they do to her. The funny part is when she and her twin are quizzing each other at the breakfast table and they both use these hints.

I'll always think of Heath Ledger when I think of Michigan now.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

It's nice to be noticed.

I've worked for the schools every year that my children have been enrolled. I just feel it's a responsibility of every parent to contribute to their children's education.

Volunteer work has its own rewards, and it's gratifying to know that I've helped with the education of all of the kids in our community. But it's even nicer when someone else notices.

Last night I was honored with a PTA Honorary Service Award in front of a huge audience at the middle school band concert. It was a complete surprise and very appreciated. Of course, we were packed in there like sardines so when they called my name I didn't even try to limp up to the front. My husband went and collected my bouquet and certificate and pin for me.

The pin is a "California Distinguished Schools" pin. Appropriate because our school just received this distinction, thanks in part to the role my tutoring program plays in assisting at-risk students.

It is nice to be noticed.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A fistful of Orts

I know, I know. The new moon came and I didn't report on my ort collection. I received thousands of emails from distressed readers who were staying up all night hitting the refresh key.

I'm sorry I'm late. Really unpardonable. Here is the monthly ort collection in all its glory.

I'll try harder to stay on top of things next month. In the meantime, check in with YoYo at Dragon My Needle to keep up with all the stitchers participating in the Totally Useless Stitch Along.

And here I thought this was one stitch along I could keep up with. Apparently not.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Makes My Monday: My Robot

Goodbye dirty floors. Goodbye cat hair tumbleweeds. Goodbye pain from standing and vacuuming. I just wish I'd thought to get one of these sooner.

Vacuuming has been a particularly difficult job since my surgery, but it's been even harder to convince the cat to stop shedding and the kids to stop bringing in dirt. Of course, I set myself up for disaster when we installed a skylight that opens over the kitchen and dining room. That thing lets dirt and dust dump into the house from above. But oh do I love that skylight.

I had fun for days telling the kids that a robot was coming in the mail. They apparently pictured something much different. They've named him "Kach" for King of Cat Hair.

Now if I could just teach him not to finish and turn off when he's dead center under our king-sized bed, he'd be perfect.

Clean floors make my Monday. What else makes my Monday? Being proud of my son for going out with the scouts and placing thousands of flags at Golden Gate National Cemetery. Don't forget to fly yours today to honor those who have served.

Makes my Monday is hosted by Cheryl at Twinfatuation.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Finished for Friday: The Big Project

Unfortunately, this project isn't fun or crafty, or visual in any way. I've spent months cleaning up and auditing the PTA financial records for our middle school. This task has been nagging me from the top of the to do list for ages. I've done it piece by piece and finally yesterday the last bit of reconciling was done. What a relief! It felt like a huge weight off my shoulders.

I also got Wasabi Girl into summer camp. The week she wanted was full, with a wait list. I've been checking the website over and over and finally the other day it didn't have "full" written over the week in big red letters. I registered online and paid in full as fast as I could. She got in. Now the website says full again. Hooray!

And for better or worse, I joined Facebook. Drama Girl felt this had to be part of her life and she asked me to be her friend so I could see what she's doing. Fair enough. But oh my! What have I gotten myself into??

Lit and Laundry

What have you accomplished this week? I love to see what you've been up to. Hopefully next week I'll have some more craftiness done. Feel free to grab my button from my sidebar if you'd like!

Update: Mr. Linky is down at the moment, sorry! I'll come visit everyone, and you might want to tell us in the comments if you've got an accomplishment this week.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Beyond the Three R's

In answer to the eternal question "What happened at school today?" I received this link from a fellow parent. This happened at the talent show last week.

All I can say is, I will never be able to look any of these teachers in the eye again without laughing.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Wordful Wednesday: Peace, Hope, Green

Recognize this bag? You can get one from Old Navy. But it wont look exactly like this. Because this one was purchased by Drama Girl, who sat and patiently embroidered all the white outlines with different colors of floss. Even the little detailed continents on the map.

She's awesome, that one.

To see more photo stories, visit Angie at Seven Clown Circus.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Lucky 8

My blog friend Bea of Bea's Blabber has tagged me for an "8 facts" meme. Some of her answers were so good I'm going to borrow them. You'll have to go visit her to see which ones.

8 things I'm looking forward to:

  1. The upcoming end of school means the end of several volunteer jobs that are wearing me out.
  2. When my kids learn to drive and can shuttle themselves from place to place (I know, be careful what you wish for)
  3. My roomba to come in the mail. Why didn't I order one of these sooner?
  4. Being able to walk again
  5. Being able to go up and down stairs again
  6. Getting rid of my cane
  7. Saying goodbye to my physical therapist
  8. Being able to put on socks
8 things I did yesterday:
  1. Watched "Titanic" with the kids while we ate gummy fish and lifesavers (I always try to get an appropriate dinner or snack to go with family movie night).
  2. Started reading a new book
  3. Laundry, lots of it
  4. Worked on a quilt
  5. Embroidered
  6. Congratulated Wasabi Girl on finishing her softball season
  7. Had a heart-to-heart with Drama Girl about the consequences of losing a cell phone
  8. Helped Jungle Boy figure out how to beat the Zelda game on his DS Lite
8 things I wish I could do:
  1. Write better
  2. Upholster furniture
  3. Be in two places at once
  4. Give enough money to our school district to keep it afloat
  5. Stop global warming
  6. End poverty
  7. Finish quilts faster
  8. Keep dirt out of the house
8 shows I watch on television:
  1. Tricky question for me, since we don't watch any t.v.
I'm supposed to tag 8 more people, but I've lost track of who I've tagged already for these things. Volunteers welcome. Let's see if any of your 8's match mine.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Finished for Friday: Sometimes flowers are green

Here is another block for "A Christmas Wish" from Gail Pan. I was halfway through the flowers when I realized I'd misread the instructions decided to use my artistic license and made the flowers green and the leaves white. I might do this block over. Or I might keep it, because 1) who will notice? and 2) it will remind me of how distracted I am all the time right now. Lots of things going on.

These are the last 2 blocks for the Christmas Mystery block of the month from Fat Quarter Shop. Now it's time to put that whole quilt together. I haven't been able to sew much lately though, because it's hard to negotiate the stairs down to the dungeon where my sewing machine lives.

Here is another finished ornament for someone special. I hope everyone wants handmade ornaments this year. My kids think this is so funny because it just says "Merry." "Merry what mom?" I think it speaks for itself. I like simple statements like this.

Lit and Laundry

Now it's your turn! Share what you've checked off your list this week. Doesn't have to be crafty, that's just me. Grab the code for the button from my sidebar if you'd like.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wordful Wednesday: Cut and Color

This is my sister's cat. I have this picture in rotation on my screen saver and it cracks me up every time I see it. For the record, it doesn't harm the cat to dye it.

For more Wordful Wednesday photos, visit Angie at Seven Clown Circus.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Fiddler on the Roof Audition Results

Motel. The tailor. My daughter Drama Girl got cast as Motel the tailor.

Seriously. I had to scan the cast list three times before my eyes focused on it. Motel? That bashful awkward young man??

It's as if the director just wanted to provide me with blog fodder.

Go ahead and laugh. I sure am. Drama Girl was shocked. I had to talk her down. "Not enough boys auditioned for the part. It's a good stretch for an actress. You'll get a solo! It will give you good experience! A lot of kids didn't get cast at all."

I'll get to see her in that beautiful wedding scene where they sing "Sunrise Sunset." Only she'll be the groom. *snicker*

So for those of you keeping score at home, this summer I will be putting makeup on my son for his ballet recital and putting a beard on my daughter for her play. I can't help but harbor the nagging feeling that I missed a chapter in some parenting book somewhere. Are all families as haywire as this?

On second thought, don't answer that.

Mother's day card

Hallmark, you can keep all of your fancy expensive cards. This one will do just fine for me.

This makes my Monday. To see more sources of smiles, visit Cheryl over at Twinfatuation.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Finished for Friday: Broomsticks

Welcome to another Finished for Friday. I hope you can join me and show and tell anything you've accomplished this week. First up, another block for my "Hocuspocusville" quilt.

When I bought this pattern at a quilt show, the woman who sold it to me said that she had embroidered each of the blocks in an evening in order to get the quilt done in time for the show. I'm in awe. Either I am a really slow embroiderer or she was really fast.

Also this week, Drama Girl had a call back for her "Fiddler on the Roof" audition. This time the director had her read for Tzeitel. We'll find out if she's cast next Tuesday. Fingers crossed.

Lit and Laundry

Your turn now. Show us what you've been up to. You can grab the code for this button from my sidebar if you'd like. Thanks for playing along!

My problem in bed

I should be used to it by now. The warm body snuggling next to mine, the demands for attention. But even after 18 years, sometimes I just want to sleep, and even a push from me doesn't drive that affectionate body away for long.

It's nice to fall asleep together, sure, with a bit of cuddling and some stroking. But once I'm asleep, I want to stay asleep thankyouverymuch, and I really get annoyed at the frequent demands for attention.

Isn't it enough that we spend our days together? Isn't it enough that we share our quiet moments after the kids go to bed? Last night it got so bad I had to go sleep on the couch to get away.

I've really spoiled that old cat.

Ever since we had to put her sister to sleep, she's been attached to me like a magnet. We both miss our old gray furry friend I guess. But enough is enough. I'm tired of being walked on all night. Tired of waking up with a purring face two inches from my face.

Tonight I'm going to keep putting her on the floor until she gets the idea. Or I fall asleep. Whichever comes first.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wordful Wednesday: The Dinosaur and her Daughter

My 12 year old daughter is growing up in the age of technology. To her a cell phone is another great toy that has always been around. I'm sure she can't imagine living without one.

I, on the other hand, remember when cell phones were born. I've had Palm phones for a long time and this Treo has been in my purse for a few years now. But before you go laughing at my old phone, know that I was surfing the web on it and answering emails long before i-phones.

What do you think, should I give mine a little bling? (And does anybody else cringe at the fingerprint smears on her phone?)

Wordful Wednesday is hosted by Angie over at Seven Clown Circus. Please visit her for some great photo stories today.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

New Goal

Some people train to run marathons. Some do conditioning for months or years to climb mountains. I have a goal that's just as challenging for me.

I want to put on socks.

It's funny really. I'll have a sock in my hands, and I look at that foot, and the gulf between them is like miles. All the result of the arthroscopic surgery on my hip.

Sometimes I cheat by grabbing a pant leg and pulling hard. I can almost get the foot close enough, but it really hurts. Sometimes I actually stand up and lean forward to put on my socks. I rock back on the heel to slip the toe on, then rock onto the toe to pull it over the heel. Then there's the bed maneuver, where I lay out over my straight leg to put it on. Thank heavens for my long waist.

So what I really want to do, is to put on socks the way you do. By bending my hip at an incredible angle.

I'm training for it. Stretching hard. Pushing myself every day. My physical therapist asks at every session how the socks are going. Then she scolds me if I admit I cheat. It's probably in big red letters in my chart: Patient requires sock therapy.

But my dreams don't end with socks. Once I accomplish this, I'm hoping to achieve my ultimate goal - wearing shoes that tie.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Power Up


related []

LinkWithin Related Stories Widget for Blogs