Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Letting Go (Rey's Fundraiser Weekend)

The yard sale went REALLY good. We had a $356 Saturday and a $131 Sunday, for a total of $487 Weekend. That is really fairly good. Most of it was de-cluttering my house and just getting rid of stuff.

I had some very difficult moments. I cried (seriously) when Marissa's stroller was loaded into someone's truck. This was a "Mommy" moment. She is grown-up enough to walk everywhere, and those places where she might get tired of walking (you know... D-land, Knott's, etc - like we go there a lot... lol!), we can just rent one at the park of our choice. It wasn't only that... This was a good-bye to a built in shopping cart (where the heck am I supposed to put my packages when Christmas shopping!?!) and an all-around carrier. I used it for many things. My fave? When going to one of the girls' tennis matches, it carried the cooler, chairs, sheets (for the ground) and Marissa's toys (to occupy her attention). *sigh* I guess I'll just have to get used to carrying stuff and making multiple trips to the car. 'Cause you know... I'm too cool (and much too young) to get a "Granny Cart" to put my wares in! But for the most part I cried because I realized. This was a little era of our life... gone... She is no longer a baby, even though I still refer to her as "the baby". *sniff, sniff* It still bothers me...

Have you ever seen the show "Hoarders" on A&E? Me, either. BUT, I have read articles and seen pictures. Those were enough to get me going through my stuff, because, well... I just didn't want to be One. Of. Those. People. You know... the one's who "need" the help. Heck! I can can help myself. But it was REALLY hard. As I was going through craft stuff and fabric (omg! no!), I held up un-started and un-finished projects (some that haven't been touched in over 10 years) and had to head-slap my other self and say, "GET REAL!" While I had the one self saying, "Some day..." the other self was ready to kick her ass. I'll admit, there were some items I picked up, held it up, held it in a different light, a different angle, and still wondered, "WTF did I get THIS for?" or "WHAT was I thinking?" I saw my tastes completely change.

The Stationary Bike? That was another, "Yeah... right..." item. It sits and doesn't get used. Wait. It did get used! We hung so many things on it at different times, it was multi-purposed. But alas, it didn't get used for its original purpose. Besides, we got a Wii... which DOES get used.

Going through my closet was the hardest thing I've ever done. I did it as quickly as possible. I did it quickly so I wouldn't give my one self a chance to grab it back from that discard pile (you know... the one that was growing at an alarming rate) that my other self had put there. Gone are my size 2 and 4's. Gone are those really cool Levi 501, straight legs that are perfectly worn out and faded and ripped at the knee that were so comfortable, they could be just as perfect as the pair of sweats I have on right now... but haven't fit me in 7 or so years... Those... I would like to have kept. And those... are what almost got grabbed back if my one self had bigger balls (or a smaller butt). Gone is stuff that was held on to that "might" come back in style, just like so many other things have from the past. (I so wish I had stashed away all those "Dittos" and awesome clothes from the 70's and 80's. We could've all made a fortune just selling them on e-Bay!) But maybe I would have worn them again... Yeah, right...

As I watched everything go, I realized it all had a story. And believe it or not, I remembered that story. I remembered where everything came from (and sometimes how much it cost-so some of the items still had price tags on them... so what!). And so I weeded out and sold things. Lots. of. Things. $487 worth of Things. All for my darling daughter, Rey. I cried when I let go of a stroller. *sigh* I'll cry again in August, when I watch her go up the escalator to the boarding area. (Thank you 911 for taking the actual departure away from me!) And with mothers everywhere, we'll let them go...

Friday, March 19, 2010

Fundraiser/Yard Sale for Rey's (Renee Person) Educational European Tour

To all of our friends, family and followers...

As you all might know, Rey (Renee Person, attached is a pic of her smiling face!) is now 16. And I am about to cut the apron strings and let her go on an Educational European tour this summer for Honors English. (I know... call me CRAZY!) This tour costs a chunk of mula. She worked hard all summer as a lifeguard and earned some herself, but it wasn't quite enough, so we are having a yard sale this Saturday and Sunday (3/20 and 3/21) from 7am, until the traffic dwindles a lot (when it stops coming).

Up for grabs? A set of bunk beds, a toddler bed (with bedding), a stationary bike, 2 computers (pc's - older models, but great starters or secondary computers, not sure on the specifics[includes pc, monitor, keyboard & mouse]), one computer stand with bookshelf on top and sliding keyboard tray, some kids' toys, little tykes-type basketball hoop, electric smoker, clothes (lots from a woman's closet, teenagers' closet and girls 4T, maybe some men's clothes... we'll see!), toddler jackets, some shoes, books, videos (yes, some people still have vcr's) and various other treasures... I may even have some crafting items. Come enjoy the sun and fun with us, as we sell towards our goal! (If you say you came from this email [or blog post] I just may have a cuppa for you, too!)

I'm still sorting through stuff today, but will have it all out tomorrow. Great! You'll be there? Awesome! The address? In Moreno Valley, CA. If you wanna come, email me for the addy (charligirl88@yahoo.com)

Can't make it, but wanna donate? You can PayPal any amount to Rey via my PayPal. Just use this address (charligirl88@yahoo.com) and mark it as a gift. Any donation is well appreciated. (Even $5 or $2...)

Can't donate? Thank you anyway. We know times are hard, and we appreciate the thought and you just reading this and giving us your blessing. No matter. Thank you for being a friend. Have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Post St. Patty's Day

"There's green pee in the toilet!" Marissa screamed from the bathroom, during her morning "I gotta go" ritual. I ran in...

"Where did it come from?" she asked.

"Probably those little Leprechauns."

"You already told me that Leprechauns aren't real. There's no such thing" (Mind you, she's only 5!)

"OMG! Maybe Mommy is wrong!" I gasped. (Trust me... this was extremely hard for me to say.)

And so that started our fun day. We had been to the library the other day for "Story Time." A cute little story was read to the kids about the mischievous Leprechauns and their fun times going across the country. And so... I thought I'd bring the fun times back to our house. I had the intention of doing silly string on the kids... It didn't happen.

Some really creative and cute moms painted their kids' faces green while they slept, and others gave green Leprechaun kisses on their foreheads. This is from Katie Scott (thanks, Katie!)

"May your pockets be heavy & your hearts be light & good luck follow you all day & night!"

I procrastinated and didn't get to do any of that other fun stuff. I didn't have these wonderful things on hand. But I did have green food coloring, so the little Leprechaun went wee, wee, wee (and didn't flush the toilet)!

All over the blogging world (and Facebook, too), moms made rainbow (or green) pancakes and other fun stuff. My kid (at least the 5-year-old) is REALLY picky and won't eat or drink anything that looks out of the ordinary to her. The older ones just don't really care. They think it's silly and stupid. So...

I made rainbow cupcakes! The HYPY (Helping Your Preschool Youngster) class was having St. Patrick's Day fun yesterday, so I geared up to make these awesome cupcakes from Family Fun Magazine. They were supposed to turn out like this:

Pretty, right?

The Lazy in me looked at the 6 bowls hanging around the table (all empty) versus the one big bowl with the cake batter in it and won out. And so, instead of making a bunch of different colored batters, I made a "swirly" batter and prayed the colors wouldn't blend so much.

I dropped a couple drops of blue and folded. A couple drops of red and folded. A couple of drops of green and folded. A couple drops of yellow and folded. It didn't look like a rainbow... yet. So I "folded" a little more... I got pastel swirls (kinda) and shrugged my shoulders.

Putting them into shamrock paper liners (had to have some festivity, right?), I let them bake into little mounds of flavor. They were smeared with canned vanilla frosting and sprinkled with yellow sugar (to make the "pot o' gold" - my 5-year-old's idea).

My daughter donned a Shamrock hat, insisting this was enough green (she was going to wear a green fairy costume, but claimed it "itched" her). So I quickly put a ribbon-covered barrette in my hair. (I don't own anything in green.) Off we went. And thought there was no humiliation in that.

Once we arrived at the school, Marissa's talk was of toilets and green pee and a Leprechaun that doesn't know how to flush. Some moms were mortified, while others thought it was funny. All I wanted everyone to know was... MY TOILET BOWL WAS CLEAN!!! So, if you don't like it and can't get it, then know it wasn't from being dirty. It was all in a little CLEAN fun, so stuff it.

The cupcakes? They were okay. My older girls were a little disappointed in them... they were hoping for the Family Fun version (see pretty picture above), but had to settle for these:
They might not see the swirls, but I do!

As for dinner, I changed my original plan and opted for rotisseried chicken (made at home), broccoli rice au gratin, and steamed chopped broccoli. So, they didn't get the all-green or Irish-inspired dinner, but they did get some of the elements. And... It was GOOD!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

And More on Scooby-Doo...

Yes... for those of you wondering... We did attempt the "CRAZY"

Although Marissa's Scooby-Doo (and Chuck E. Cheese, too!) party was more than a month ago, I've finally downloaded pics. I know... amazingly, so! These pics were taken by Juan, so give him a little break. He's new with the camera (and it's a new camera, too) and doesn't necessarily take the shots I would (or the angles, either).

First off, the were the cupcakes. I just got SOOOOOO excited when I found these little bone sprinkles on e-Bay and thought I couldn't live without them. So... I got the little plastic rings (also on e-Bay that were the centerpieces of the cupcakes. Unfortunately, i didn't find Scooby-Doo cupcake liners until AFTER the party, but they all turned out okay anyway. The cupcakes themselves were Fun-Fetti, as requested by Miss Marissa.
It's a little bright, but you probably get the picture...

Next up... the party table and cake at Chuck E. Cheese. Call us crazy, but this is where Marissa wanted her party. She is a total Scooby-Doo fanatic, so we tried to make everything else (that wasn't C.E.C.) Scooby for her. Here's Sierra, Marissa, Jake and Fernanda (I think that's the pink jacket) and our host. It was way too chaotic to get all the kids together... the hosts weren't exactly helpful there or "on time".
Here's a better closeup of the cake. It was French Vanilla. A sheetcake was on the bottom, which was airbrushed into rainbow colored (like really, DUD!) and Scooby was decorated with a star tip and Scooby candles (of course!). Marissa loved it all, AND it was gender neutral, so our lone little boy (you go, Jake!) didn't feel all girly.

Marissa got lots and lots of presents, balloons, and collected junk toys (from Chuck E. Cheese - their "prizes" aren't exactly quality material). Although it was pouring rain outside, I believe everyone had a good time. Kids' parties are hectic, no matter where you go or what you do. And this one was no exception. Even with hosts, the parents seem to have to do a lot of work. Oh well, we still had a good time, and I didn't have to clean the house! LOL!

I would like to thank everyone who came. Marissa and all of us appreciate you trecking through the horrible storm, and some of you had to come a long way (60 miles or more!). Thanks for sharing her 5th birthday (the first party we've had for her since her First birthday!) with us.

Whew! Maybe next year... (it sure would've been nice to have at least one of our kids' birthdays fall in a better month than January/February! then we could've done the beach or a park...) Thanks again! And if you have any suggestions for next year (preferably IN-EXPENSIVE), please let me know here.

Scooby-Doo GiveAway! YAY!

Trendy Tykes is an AWESOME blog to follow. We all KNOW Marissa just loves Scooby-Doo. http://tinyurl.com/scoobyx Check out the link... because right now, at Trendy Tykes, they are doing a Scooby-Doo give-away. Who wouldn't wanna win? Woohoo! Good luck!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Daddy No-Discipline

Who knows anymore. So much has happened, so much has changed. Where does one start and how much is too much to know? Yikes!

Let's start with a family of blended ages and discipline. Let me tell you. It. Is. Very. Hard. While my husband (2nd, by the way) is as nice as can be and loves us like no other, his discipline skills are completely lacking and inconsistent. I have two teenage daughters (16 & 17) of my own. He has two kids, boy (21) and girl (18). We then have a 5-year-old daughter... You get the picture. His kids grew up with their mom, and when they visited (over the years it's gotten WAY less...), he was not disciplinary with them. I was, however, as I believe that kids should be treated equally, and they liked me less for it (and asked to just stay out of it). So, needless to say, they have lacked discipline, both in their own home and ours. Thank goodness they are now "grown."

Some people think I'm pretty strict with my kids (nothing like Lynne Curtin on The Original Housewives of Orange County-YES! I do watch that show... DON'T look at me like that!). I believe I'm somewhere in the middle. I want my kids to see the whole picture, not just the "now" portion in front. I do things for a reason, not just because it suits my situation or is convenient for me. (We have missed many movies, because I felt one or more of them didn't deserve to go...) And for that, I am sorry to the child(ren) who has to suffer for one's mistakes. I suffer, too! I deal with the attitudes and crap that the punished and unpunished kid(s) give me. I can do no right, apparently. My kids are often "grounded" due to grades, the room being a mess (and I'm not really picky on that, but when you can't walk through the room without shoveling through... ya gotta get on them), backtalking or just "tone" in general.

Let's talk about "tone." Ummm... I find it utterly amazing they don't think they have an attitude, even when I explain their tones implied one. If you are short with me and speak in staccato sentences (short tones), this is a language of disrespect. I have raised them, put food on the table, fought for them (wherever) whenever need be, and I deserve to be talked to in a courteous manner. Some may tell me my girls are teenagers, and I need to realize that. Uh... HELLO! I do realize that but...

I have a 5-year-old "IN-THE-HOUSE" (palms pumping the air). If you don't know already, 5-year-olds (both genders) are utter parrots-physically, verbally, and emotionally. So, if you have teenagers... the 5-year-old is going to try to pull the same b.s. drama the teenagers do and treat you (me) like crap-o-la on it's worst day (you know, the day it ends up on your shoe?). As a parent that is trying to teach these kids to play nice in a not-so-nice world, I am trying to teach overall... up and beyond... that no matter how old you are... whether you are an adult, a teenager, or a little kid, learning from older siblings, THIS TYPE OF BEHAVIOR IS NOT OKAY!!!

It should not be allowed in schools, either. But... what are they going to do? (At this point, I'm not going to get into what the government has taken away from us in the form of discipline, because... well... that's a whole long 'nother story, and I'd like to climb down from my soap box for a drink of water.)

Anyway, I am not going to change the ways I parent my daughters. This will have to do.

Now... insert Daddy No-Discipline... *sigh* Raising a 5-year-old with 2 totally different disciplinary styles is the. hardest. thing. I've. ever. done. Even with her, he has no discipline, or does when he gets tired of hearing her nonstop questioning, talking, singing, whatever. He tells her to stop. That she talks too much. My heart hurts from hearing this. I get on her for doing "wrong" things. But these are the things little children are supposed to do. This is how they learn. This is how they get things answered. This is how they express themselves. I want all of my children to feel they are free to do these things. There is no "tone" problem, no backtalking, no disrespect (I actually believe there IS respect, as the child has got to respect someone to ask them so many questions and trust in their answers). She is just a chatty little girl, finding her way in the world. And WE are supposed to be the ones to guide her. Yet, when she is doing wrong, and I "punish" her with a time out (trust me... it's NOT very long), he is the first one to say that I'm being overly harsh.

Go figure. But, I've made an executive decision. As long as I am the one raising her (and my other girls, too), and he sleeps during the day and is gone most nights, I will be the one who keeps the rules. My rules. My morals. My demand for respect and my goals to help my children find their ways in the world... no matter how many questions I may have to answer.