First, a recipe. I can’t take credit for this one but I can promise you that it’s delicious. I made it for myself last week, then used the remainder of the salsa on a hamburger patty the following night because I got home late and missed dinner. I made it again on pork chops for the entire family a couple of nights later, just doubling the salsa recipe. I served it over rice both times I made pork chops and I thought it was amazing.
I haven’t been doing much cooking at night lately because I’ve been leaving it up to my oldest daughter. She mentioned in passing a couple of weeks back that she doesn’t know how to cook. My parenting philosophy has always been that I am training children to be adults, somewhat like a job trainer. I’m teaching them to live without me. It occurred to me that I failed miserably in this case, so I have been teaching her all of those recipes that I would want her to know if I suddenly passed away. I don’t expect that to happen for many years and I hope I’ll be there for her to call on when she has a question, but that’s how I’m going about it. She has a friend that is her age that has no clue how to even boil water because her mother does it for her. I’m sorry, but I think you’re doing your children a great disservice if, by sixteen, they can’t even cook basic foods. You’re not going to live forever. You don’t want your kids living with you forever (or I wouldn’t think you would, anyway). They need to know how to survive. This applies to boys and girls, by the way. Food is a basic need and fast food every night is bad for you. It’s nice to want to do things for your children but you have to let them go off on their own eventually.
Thankfully, my daughter could always boil water. Now she can also cook French toast, spaghetti with homemade sauce, pulled pork, mashed potatoes, and chicken pieces. We’re still working on the rest.
Since I have all of this free time (ha!) on my hands, I’ve been building up my etsy shop. I have enough inventory in there that I can go live and hopefully make a little money before Christmas. Another quilt will be going up some time today. I have a Black Friday sale in the works and I’ll announce that anywhere I can (including here) when I get that together. I also plan to do a giveaway soon to get the word out, and all customers will get a 10% off coupon for their next purchase when they receive their first order. There’s not much I can do other than that, except to watch and wait (and sew). So stop on by and if you find something you like, feel free to buy it. Even if you don’t, remember to support small businesses this holiday season.
I’m really bad about updating this thing, I know. I have plenty I could say but I always feel like I should have some sort of angle, and not just a day log. I have Facebook for short blurbs and after I’ve posted a few of those, I’m out of things to write about in depth. I guess I’ll post a little daylog so I can at least say I updated.
We got our taxes back the other day so we put a down payment down on a 2012 Chevy Cruze. We were going to buy a used car outright so we didn’t have a payment but then you never know what has been done to it beforehand, there’s no warranty, the gas mileage is never as great as it could be, and it’ll probably have to be replaced in a year or two anyway. Better to have a car payment, in our opinion, and have a trustworthy car that’s good on gas that hubby can use for work. The savings in gas over driving our van makes up for at least half the car payment anyway. Plus, I won’t have to car shop with him next year. I love that. You have no idea.
So far, we love the car. It is easy to maneuver, is great on gas, and as long as the older kids are busy, we have plenty of room for the three youngest. Lots of trunk room, considering it’s a compact car, and it’s… well… cute. It came with 3 months of XM radio, which we’re really liking, and 6 months of onstar that I hope we never have to use.
In other somewhat-related news, kid 1 is in drivers’ ed. She passed her permit test and went out driving a few times with the teacher but now she has to go out at home for at least 3 hours or she can’t drive with the teacher again. Hubby does not want an inexperienced driver driving the new car, which I understand, so we took the van tonight. She did really well for an inexperienced driver that’s barely 5 feet tall and is driving a conversion van at night. Her only really big error was mixing up the gas and brake when we backed out of a driveway but there was a reason why I took her through the country. (Well, other than the fact that we live in a town of 500 and there’s not much other than country here.)
Hubby’s birthday is Saturday but he has to work so I made him a cake, complete with marshmallow fondant that I didn’t screw up. There were a couple of small errors but it was nothing like the last time. It’s a red velvet cake with cream cheese filling and frosting (under the fondant) and the fondant is blue with white stars. It looks like it’s meant for Independence Day so I played it off because he thinks that me dressing up like Wonder Woman would be hot, so I told him it was a Wonder Woman cake that I didn’t have gold for. That, and that I always liked Abe Lincoln.
I also had a t-shirt made for him with the two littlest ones inside a tv and a caption that says “Our dad is awesome” and a keychain that says “The OURLASTNAME Family” and has a caricature of each of our faces. I got it all for the cost of shipping through Vistaprint. They always have awesome deals. If you get a chance to get one of their freebies, do it. They’ll constantly be sending you more freebies from there, or at least nearly free offers.
We went to the mall today and I got taken for way too much money for a case for my ipod touch, but I really like the case so I’m going to eat the cost that I didn’t have to spend and be happy about it. We stopped at Bath And Body Works and got some body wash and hand soap for the bathroom since we were running low. We wandered around a bit more, then let the little ones play in the play area for a half hour or so before we left. I had a bad headache and they have this little convenience store in the mall that sells those packets of two advil, tylenol, etc. I got a Scooby Doo sucker for kid 4 and a Penguin sucker for kid 5. When we were leaving, we were in the elevator and some woman was talking to the kids about their suckers. She said she watched Scooby Doo when she was a kid. I cracked a joke in which I said “I still do, but not by choice,” and everyone laughed except her. She said “Oh I have a choice. I sure do have a choice.”
First of all, lady, it was a joke. I am well aware that I can turn the channel. I don’t really even watch it myself because we play it in the van. I’m not in the back. Still, it doesn’t matter. It was a joke.
Second of all, I’d rather pick my battles. I don’t see the point in being a jackass about the tv and not sharing it if your children request watching a show. No, I’m not going to let them take it over, but if it offers me a little quiet time and it makes them happy, big deal. By showing me you’re the big, bad, tough parent that won’t take any shit, you really just look like a jackass.
Third, fuck you. That is all.
So that ruined the good time I had at the mall, even though it shouldn’t have because she was just an idiot.
All wasn’t lost, though, because we went to Goodwill after that and bought a bunch of records for our new record player, and I got some containers to put candy in for kid 1’s candy buffet for her Sweet 16. I only got 2 for now and I will need more but I have lots of time to keep my eyes open for more.
Speaking of that, I got her dress in the mail yesterday and I’m absolutely in love with it. I’ll have to shorten it about 5 inches because she’s so tiny but I expected that. It’s black and strapless with a bright pink sash around the waist. It has straps so she can have spaghetti straps if she prefers but it seems to fit her fine and I don’t think she’ll need them.
I still have a long way to go but that’s why we’re working on it ahead of time.
I’m sure I could come up with other random tidbits but this already got quite long, so I’ll leave it at that. Hopefully I can come up with an angle for a decent blog entry soon!
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!
Kid 5 had a check up with the orthopedic doctor today. He had an x-ray of his hips and it came back pretty close to normal. There’s a little bit if turning on the growth plates but nothing to worry about, especially since we have him in braces and such. We’re to return in a year.
We visited the in laws today. Kid 5 spent a long time with his abuelo. He did really well with being held by him. I was surprised. It probably helped that his grandpa turned on Dora for him, but he sat there and made an old man’s day.
Apparently, sister in law is getting married in January. She is sending out invitations for an engagement party and they’re getting married there. It’s supposed to be a surprise and we’re not supposed to know but mother in law told us anyway to make sure that hubby takes the day off and doesn’t blow off what he thinks is an engagement party. I think a lot of people are going to end up doing that, actually… but whatever.
When we got home, I rearranged the two downstairs “bedrooms” and swapped them out, so the old toy room is now a room with a table in it for sewing. The old guest room that gradually became known as the wii room is now a toy room for the little ones with a ton of space. I was even able to get the parallel bars and table and chair out of my dining room. Oh, and the rocking cow. All of their crap fits into that room comfortably and there’s still room for a bed when we’re ready to separate Kid 4 and Kid 5. We also have a more spacious place to do weekly therapy for Kid 5 so that’s exciting. We’ve been doing it in the dining room and there just hasn’t been any space to work.
We also went to Kid 1’s very first high school choir concert today. I am so proud of her. She looked so pretty in her choir robe that it made this mama melt, and she did a great job singing, as well. The little ones behaved fairly well and Kid 5 didn’t scream through the band part of the performance this time, either. It also made me beam with pride over my husband, the wonderful stepfather that he is, sitting in the front row of the gym, tapping his foot to the music. The ex that chose to abandon his kids and move to Arkansas can go ahead and try to pretend like he’s a dad in conversations with others all he wants, but Kid 1 knows who her dad is, and he isn’t it.
I’m almost done with a quilt for mother in law for Christmas, which I’m going to try to finish tonight, and then I’m going to have a glass of wine and relax with my wonderful husband.