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Thrift Store Haul

January 31, 2012 Leave a comment

We took kid 5 to the mall today to walk with his walker. This particular mall doesn’t have much in it, and it’s not the kind of mall where you walk around window shopping, so the corridors are fairly empty.

Two things this mall does have are a used book store and a Salvation Army thrift store. I stopped at both. The book store is just fun to look through and the Salvation Army was because I have gained more weight and my pants don’t fit.

At the book store, I got 2 murder mysteries, 2 quilting magazines, a Scooby Doo movie and 8 children’s books, and hubby got 2 woodworking books, all for $13. One of these was the Disney hardcover version of Prince and the Pauper.

At the Salvation Army, we got 2 pairs of jeans for me for $4 each, a pair for kid 4 for $2, 4 vhs movies for 79 cents each and another (South Pacific) for a quarter. There seems to have been something else too but I forgot what it was.

Then we packed the little ones up in Mike Tyson (our van) and headed over to Goodwill. There, I got a pair of jeans for $3, a pair of dress pants for $2, 2 pieces of fabric to make formal dresses for $2.99 each, 5 sewing patterns for 50 cents each, a bottle of window cleaner and a box of sandwich bags for $1 each, and a yellow dress for kid 4 to wear on Easter for $2.

All of those things are a big score, but it gets better. When I got home, I measured the fabric. One is a purple fabric that would retail at Joann’s for about $6 a yard. Remember, I got the whole piece for $2.99. It turns out that it was 3 3/4 yards so that breaks down to 79 cents a yard. The other fabric was silver taffeta with sparkles on it that normally retails for $7 a yard or so and again, it was $2.99. It was 2 1/2 yards so that’s $1.19 a yard!

Plus, as I’m looking through the patterns, I’m reminded of the best part of buying used patterns for 50 cents. Someone else already did the labor of cutting the pattern out. I absolutely hate doing that and I don’t have to!

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Categories: crafts, Uncategorized

Sweet Sixteen (almost)

January 27, 2012 2 comments

My newest adventure is to plan a Sweet Sixteen party for my firstborn. It’s hard for me to imagine she’s going to be sixteen already. In fact, the first day I sat down and started pinning ideas, I cried most of the day.

The deal we made was that I get full planning privileges over this party, and when she gets married later, I promise not to interfere and will only help when asked. Because I didn’t get a Sweet Sixteen party, I admit I’m living vicariously through her. I wanted a fancy party with me in a pink dress and white gloves, with dancing and walking in on my father’s arm. I didn’t get that, but she will.

I guess the best way to explain it is what I’ve already told others. I’m going to be throwing a Quinceneara for a white kid. I don’t speak much Spanish and while I do have partly Hispanic children, she’s not one of them. But that’s where we’re going with it, except she’ll be sixteen instead of fifteen. I’ve never seen that My Super Sweet Sixteen show, and I know what I can afford to do wouldn’t compare but in our world, it’s kind of like that.

So now that you know where I’m going with it, I can proceed with the details.

After much thinking and measuring and debating, along with a few calls and emails, I managed to find a venue that happens to be like four doors down from my house and she’s only charging me $30 for the use of the restaurant, not including whatever our food comes to. She doesn’t have the ability to cook a seven course meal for forty people but I’m okay with meat and cheese trays. I’ll be watching her specials to see what she comes up with between now and then. For instance, she has a pulled pork dinner that has potatoes and carrots and a roll or something and that’s $6.95. We probably wouldn’t do that one, but a dinner like that, in that price range wouldn’t be bad. Otherwise, like I said, meat and cheese trays and some salads or something would be fine. I guess in that sense, it’s kind of country chic but whatever. Our friends and family are just happy to have a meal that tastes good. They don’t need top dollar meals.

There isn’t an actual parking lot, but it’s a Saturday afternoon when all of the businesses on our street will be closed and people can park down the side street, too. It should be fine. Even though we’re looking at about 40 people for the first party, many of them will be more than one person to a car.

The down side is that the cafe is a tad small so we had to cut the guest list in half. However, since we live right down the street, we can invite her school chums over after the formal party and they can have a dance. She’ll have her closest friends at “the” party but everyone else can come later. It made it easy to cut the list that way. Just have another party!

So that means I’m essentially planning two parties but I’m okay with that. I have more ideas than I can fit in one party anyway and I won’t have another sixteen year old girl for five years after that.

Back to the first party:

This is my cake inspiration. The stripes will be pink and the roses will be fondant. I’m probably only going to do two tiers. The stripes will be on the bottom and the solid white will be the top one, but that second stripe of smaller beads on the second tier won’t be there. I might make a couple of fondant music notes to prop up there. Husband is going to make a cake topper that looks like a music staff with a cleft and the numbers 1 and 6 on it. (If he puts it off too long, I’ll just put fondant roses on top, but the music notes would still give it a bit of personality.)

We’re going to get satin table covers in fuchsia and then cloth napkins in pink. I’d like to have water glasses and carafes on the tables too, but I’m not sure yet. I’ll be folding the napkins into a folder type fold and tucking a poem about growing up in each one. Then each place setting will have a tealight in a little tealight holder (most likely dark pink) that will act as the favor, and then whatever the centerpiece is. I’m leaning toward artificial flowers.

Her dress is still waiting on word from someone else, but I believe I found mine on ebay. It’s a burgundy strapless dress. We’ll see if I win. Hers most likely won’t be pink but it won’t clash either. She’ll need elbow length gloves and shoes still.

I found an adorable idea for a card box that looks like a boombox. I’ll have to figure out how to put that one together later. The placecards will be ovals with a ribbon pulled through the back and trimmed so it looks like a piece of candy. Then I’ll either have the guests sign stones that she’ll keep in a container on her dresser or a mat for a photo. I’m leaning toward the latter.

We’re going to have a sweet sixteen ceremony, as well, at the dinner. She’ll be brought in to Sixteen Candles, and then when we do the candle lighting ceremony, she’ll do the changing of the shoes from flats to heels and then dance to Then They Do by Trace Atkins with Hubby. I intend to have paper napkins near the cake. Those in attendance may want to make sure they have a stack for this. Then they should hand that stack to me as I openly weep and get another one for themselves.

Once that party is over and we’ve cleaned up, we’ll head back home for the dance party. Anyone from the first party will be welcome to come dance around at the second but I imagine those without kids would rather head home. I’ll be using an ipod for the music because it is still my house and a deejay would be a bit much. We’re going to have a candy buffet, pink punch, and cupcakes. The cupcakes will be in zebra print liners and they’ll have bright pink frosting and black bows.

I’m still thinking over the lighting but the dancing will be in what is typically the toy room. I’m thinking about Japanese lanterns and white Christmas lights across the ceiling but I don’t know how that will work so we’ll see. I need to get a curtain for that room, but I need to do that anyway. Between now and then, I’ll have to download enough music to last a couple of hours and make kids her age happy, and I’ll also have to figure out what she’ll wear, since I’m going to assume she won’t want to wear a formal ballgown for that.

I also want to get some chair covers and sashes for my dining room chairs to make them more “themed”. I can probably just make that. I’ll use a coupon for Joann Fabrics and get some muslin and then get the satin for the sashes when it goes on sale.

I think I have pretty much everything planned in my head. Now I just have to start making purchases. Our taxes should be in within a couple of weeks so we’ll start then. I won’t be able to pay for the food right away but I can get everything else and store it on the porch. I’ll probably keep any candles in the closet so they don’t melt but everything else can go out there.

Expect to hear a lot more about this in the coming months, and expect me to be completely lost after September first, because it’s going to be like planning a wedding and then not having anything to plan. Good thing Christmas comes a few months later. I can just dive into that!

Don’t read this if you’re eating.

January 11, 2012 Leave a comment

Kid 5 had therapy today at home, and the therapists were expected around 1:45.

With about 2 minutes to spare, kid 4 took off running through the house to the bathroom door and yelled “Hurry, Mom!” So I did, but I was too late.

As my friend will tell you, never trust a fart. Kid 4 made that mistake.

So instead of taking her pants off carefully and slowly, she got it down to one ankle and started kicking. Poop went everywhere. All the way across the bathroom, on the shower, on the toilet, on her, on my pants, even on my glasses. It looked like I had a pet monkey.

Just as I was drying off my glasses, the doorbell rang. I had to take another five minutes to clean up the bathroom, and kid 5’s therapy had to be done with me in my pajama pants and kid 4 in panties and a shirt, because it was all I had handy.

I survived, and the bathroom  got cleaned whether I wanted it to get cleaned or not. It would’ve been nice not to have to wipe poop off my glasses, but it could always be worse. I could wear contacts.

Categories: funny

Birday birday to you

January 7, 2012 Leave a comment

Yesterday was my birthday. I started out a little annoyed but I tried very hard to stay positive and not declare my day a wash. I was on solo kid duty with the kids until 10:30, which wasn’t ideal for my birthday when I’m convinced I shouldn’t have to do anything but sit here, but reality isn’t like that so it is what it is. I spent the morning thanking everyone that sent me a Facebook birthday wish (over 70 by last night so more than half of my list)

After hubby got up, we ran to the grocery store so I could get brussels sprouts for my traditional birthday dinner. Every year, I have pork chops, potatoes, and brussels sprouts. Then we stopped at the cafe down the street and had all you can eat tacos for lunch. I ate three.

Hubby messed up his shoulder somehow so we couldn’t really do anything else. We came back home and he rested on the couch for a while before work. He left around 3:00 like he usually does and kids started coming in after school. Kid 2 had gotten bullied at school and Kid 1 told me there were kids waiting at the park for him so they could finish the job but when I stomped over there, they took off. I wonder if it was the rage on my face or the phone in my hand that was ready to call the cops on the little jackasses. Either way, problem solved temporarily. We’ll see what happens Monday.

Kid 2 left after that to go stay at a friend’s for the weekend. Someone that lives close to us made the trip to the old pastor’s house, which is about two hours away, and she took kid 2 with her. Not before he cleaned the bathroom upstairs, though. One less thing I had to do.

I made dinner around 5:00, and then caught wind of a deal on Zoya nail polish where I could get two bottles for the cost of shipping. I picked out two and threw in a third that I paid for myself. I’m getting Kym, Charla, and Tanzy. Or at least I think I am. More on that later.

I called my friend for the first time in over 3 years (the last time we actually talked on the phone, versus texts or internet forums, was when kid 4 was born) and told her it was too important not to call about. I scared her at first because she thought it was about her sister that was traveling, and then when I told her about the nail polish code, she got really excited. Anyone else would have been really annoyed by me making it seem like an emergency but she’s my co-addict nail polish junkie and she considered it just as important as I did.

Funny that she thought it was her sister, because probably a half hour later, my doorbell rang, and surprise, it was her sister! She and another friend were on their way to Chicago to go to a concert but they dropped in to say happy birthday and give me birthday gifts. I got some really comfy, soft, warm pajamas that I’d have worn around the clock if I didn’t have to go back to the store earlier today. It’s a blue tank top and I guess you’d call the pants minky, with words all over them about snow and such. Super cute! I also got a framed copy of a photo that our friend took of the I-35 bridge in Minneapolis. The photo was taken at night and (I know nothing about photography so bear with my description) the lights on the cars look like neon because he slowed the speed down. I absolutely love that shot, and they remembered. That meant a lot to me. The I-35 doesn’t have any significance to me personally, but it is the bridge that collapsed a few years ago, if you followed that story. It has been rebuilt and, well, looks really cool at night.

It wasn’t long once they left that kid 1’s best friend came by with her mom to pick up my kid and take her for the night but when she came in, she brought me a cake and she not only made a cake that’s edible (the first of three that she has made that I can say that about) but she used fondant, and she did it perfectly. The cake looks like a little pillow with pink edging, and then she put a cupcake on top of it with a fondant 33. She really did an amazing job, and especially for someone that’s going to be 15 next month.

I ate cake and ice cream for dessert, then got the kids showers (because they ate it too) and put on my pajamas. I decided on a whim to check my bank account, and noticed that vonage charged me over $100, even though they said my account was suspended and they weren’t going to charge me until I gave them new card info. I knew I had to pay it eventually but I was told I had a contract and that I’d have to pay the balance until the end of the contract, so I just let it be disconnected (or so I thought) and was planning to pay it all off when they had a final bill. Nope, didn’t work that way. Not only did they charge once for the back-bill but they charged a second time for this coming month. When I called to cancel because I’m not falling for this again, I was told that I didn’t have a contract after all, that I couldn’t get anything refunded for this month, and that I could pro-rate it if I decided to take a $9.99 a month for life phone bill. I don’t want that. With my phone and internet bundled, I pay $15 a month less for the whole bill than I paid just for internet, and then I’d have to still pay Vonage on top of it, and their customer service is absolutely awful. So… no. I hate being sold to when I’m pissed and trying to cancel something. So then the guy was like “Well I’m just trying to help you.” No, you’re trying to get a commission, fucker. Your company got enough money for something I’d have canceled months ago if I had been told the truth about the contract from the start.

So that put a damper on my night but I tried really hard to get over it. The only thing is that now I don’t know for sure that the nail polish order went through. I never got anything saying it didn’t, and I got an order confirmation email, but there’s only $3 in the account that I use for online stuff now. So I have no idea.

Outside of that and the bullying against my kid earlier in the day, I really did have a great day. I absolutely love my birthday. It’s probably my favorite holiday, and in my mind, it is a holiday.

 

Categories: Special occasions

3+3=6

January 3, 2012 Leave a comment

Made ya look.

Six is my lucky number and I’m turning 33 on the 6th. So 3+3=6 and that means it’s going to be a great year.

I met an old friend for lunch today. We have been in contact for a long time online and I’ve bumped into her in public but that’s about the extent of it for the past 14 years or so. Well I’m going to be in her wedding in August so we met for lunch and then went over to David’s Bridal to get me sized for my dress.

We ate at Panera and then talked and talked and talked. Everything from memories from when we were kids (we go back to the 8th grade) and our respective exes. Her son’s father and my ex-husband were roommates, which is how I met my ex. I think she feels a bit of regret because she kind of hooked us up. It was kind of cute, the way she looked at me after I told her I expected more of her ex too, and she said “Wow, we were really naive.” Yes, but we were so very young. We were teenagers. We had a long way to go before we were mature enough to make life changing decisions but we made them anyway. We both got great kids out of the deal, but yeah, it was kind of dumb of us.

We talked about our kids and our new(er) men and the plans for her wedding and the things I did at mine that might be helpful to her. We talked about people we knew from school and where they ended up. We just talked. It has been a long time since I sat down with a friend like that and just… talked. No kids to chase or interrupt, nobody else there that I had to explain backstory to. And it sort of felt like we picked up where were left off. It helps that we have Facebook because we’re not really that far behind, but it was a nice feeling to just connect.

After we got the dress sized and ordered, I left her and went to my in laws’ where hubby was with the little ones. Kid 4 helped her Nana make chocolate cream pie, and we ate some of that and visited for  a couple of hours. Hubby took his dad to the bank and then when he came back, we went to Applebees. My wonderful friend Cara got us a gift certificate for Christmas so we applied that to birthday dinner. We had an ultimate trio that we shared between us. It was steak quesadilla towers, spinach artichoke dip and chips, and boneless wings. Each of us had a drink. I had a margarita and hubby had an Alabama Slammer. Then I had apple pie for dessert. Neither of us was very hungry since we had eaten earlier so the appetizer hit the spot and by the time I ate the pie, my stomach felt like it would explode.

The service wasn’t that great, but that’s fine. We don’t go in there often enough for it to matter. The nice thing was that after our gift certificate was deducted, we paid $9.26 plus tip.

We stopped at the grocery store to pick up a 12 pack of coke and some plantains, then headed to a bar we go to often and had one more drink. We headed back to the in laws’ to get the kids, and they were both content. Kid 4 told me she didn’t want to go home as soon as I got in the door and she threw a tantrum when we had to leave with her. She was determined not to go home but we bribed her with Horseland and she calmed down.

I had a really great day and if this is any indication of what the rest of the year I turn 33 in will be, I’m excited for it.

Categories: Special occasions