all kids; IN SCHOOL
me; doing all the things
weather; making me wish I could be outside
Just when you feel like things are starting to roll in the new schedule and it flips the table. Last week was actually really nice, the timing was off, but you can’t have it all.
I have the compulsion that when there is a break that I MUST make it memorable and special. There are just too few opportunities to waste 5 days off on a massive netflix marathon, however, I do have fond memories of just watching TV and movies. This time I let them have some binge netflix and I got all the costumes done. We also went out all over the place and kept busy overall.
On a bigger scale, I feel like I just got this ‘little kid’ thing figured out just in time for them to grow out of it. For the first time I’m going to skip the un-scary Halloween because it is for ages 5 and under and with Zoe on the ‘other’ side of 5 she tips the scale. It is a fun event for little little kids and I’m comfortable there but I need to let it go. Ironically, Fiona didn’t go last year because she was pitching a massive fit. Anyway, letting go of little little kid things opens the door for the next phase. This weekend we went to a fun night time parade where all the floats are lit up and semi-spooky. We brought friends and it was a good time but it was filled with ‘notes for next time’ because we all were clueless as to what to expect. For future reference, and, if you are looking for real mom tips, here are my notes for the Anoka Light up the Night Parade;
- Although people do get there really really early to get spots, we got there an hour early and felt like we were too early. Next year we will aim to arrive at 6:30.
- We stood at basically the middle of the route, not the best plan, all the bands were just finishing a song right before us and in the rest phase as they walked by. Next year we need to shift up or down.
- Bring light up toys! There were endless vendors selling light up doodads that I seriously didn’t want to pay parade prices for AND we already owned 50% of them at home.
- Yes; Costumes on spectators. We didn’t know… but yes, plenty of costumes.
We also went to another event sponsored by Kris Lindahl RealEstate, the Great Pumpkin Give away. The man may have my next real-estate purchase because he is definitely successful. The event itself was crowded and I heard from a mom I know from preschool that this year was incredibly more popular than other years. There were long lines for all the things, but, it was all actually free so hard to complain. Again, notes for next year because while we did have fun, we could totally optimize;
- Get there later. We arrived about 30min from the start and it was packed. I was worried that there would be about 100 pumpkins and we would miss it but there were thousands.
- Dress more warmly than you think. It was a nice fall day at my house, sweater weather, but the event was a giant open field and the wind was cold. I’m glad we had gear in the car but there were whines from the peanut gallery.
- Not a costume event. Nobody laughed or pointed, but, we were in the minority and it made the bouncy houses etc harder.
The take away for me about these events, and the week in general, that I want to highlight for myself is that the kids are OK with a more lax schedule finally. Fiona was unwinding when lunch was 3 hours later than normal but in general we did ok. Kids ate when food was given, and, asked for food when they were hungry and when they had a giant late lunch they were all ok with a really small dinner. They are getting to be like real people! Not infants who need precise feeding schedules or food on demand. I’m always going to carry emergency granola but I don’t actually need to plan around meals and naps anymore.
Yesterday we had our first kid sleepover here that counted. By count I mean it was not for babysitting reason, it was not a family member, and, no additional adults were here. I know it sounds silly to fret over the 1 single extra child when 3 weeks ago we had 7 extra kids in the house, but, this was a school friend. I don’t know the parents and I remembered as we were getting in the car from picking her up to ask about allergies but I suppose we are both just generally laid back parents because she didn’t ask any of the crazy questions I’ve seen listed on “Are they ready for a sleepover, and, are you aware of all the things that can go wrong?” articles (I should probably not read those…) and I didn’t offer any answers in advance.
However, that really was not the point… point was when I posted on facebook that they were all giggles the first replay was “on a Thursday night?”. You know, I had almost no idea what day of the week it was. My days and nights are now just ordered by activities and yesterday was a ‘free evening’ for the kids and I (Lars had guys night out). So yes, once again, I have no idea what day it is.
The sleepover was a big success. We kept it simple with a 5:30 start and her mom collected her about 10am. A little time outside where they did the leaf pile thing (fall bucket list!) and then dinner and a game and stayed up ‘late’ with a movie and the entire bag of cheese doodles (that was only 1/4 full but getting the BAG is a big deal here). I think the friend had a good time too, she was all smiles. They went to sleep no issues and I don’t even think they are too short on sleep today.
Today we filled in the gaps of the day with a few events and right now I have my mothers helper here so I can get some work done. Originally she was supposed to come on Wednsday, day 1 of this break, but we rescheduled for today because I had a feeling I would be in need of the help more today. I had vague hope of getting all sorts of house projects done but instead we did more of the fall fun things.
We did our annual trip to our favorite pumpkin farm, and, as usual, the pictures are locked on my good camera. We rode bikes to the park and had lazy breakfasts and epic games of My Little Pony that cover an acre of space. I enticed them into shopping by promising them halloween shirts and little did I know that they just really don’t sell them in their size. There are a few ‘boy’ ones (and by boy I mean gross) and plenty of adult ones…. Maybe my kids are odd to want halloween shirts because there can’t just be this big a market miss. I ended up buying plain shirts and getting creative with some lace so now we have shirts that should work for a year or two.
This weekend we have a variety of halloween activities on the menu and just one week before the real event. I need to get going on the final touches on costumes~
Ok I must get on to other things while I have someone entertaining the kids.
ps. If you are wondering the scary things I’ve read/been warned by police speakers about sleepovers;
- Older brothers
- Do the parents drink or smoke?
- Are there guns in the house?
- what TV might they watch?
- how much supervision?
These are mostly just questions that you have your level of comfort and you assume the other parents are on the same page, but, you really don’t know what their level is. The older brother thing is the #1, the local police say that 90% of the s@x offenders list is from things that happened between a boy and his younger sisters friends. … For the record, no boys in the house, no smoking, 1 beer max (could drive to the hospital if needed), no guns, TV all Pg or G and medium supervision/I can hear what they are doing if not see.
All the other 3d people get my attention.
The people who expect results from my tapping away at the internet on their behalf but also need a bit more hand-holding to start than expected.
The people I gave birth to who are not in school most of this week due to made up Minnesota holidays that I completely forgot about, but, I have to now parent 300% more during the day this week than anticipated. Bonus; Fiona had all week off.
The people I’m friends with keep putting fun stuff on the calendar that I want to go to.
The person who is my workout companion, who has my back when the instructor asks “do we need a break” and I’m the only one yelling YES – she chimes in, texts me with tempting workouts that are a painfully awesome 60min long.
The newly found hobby of going to all the school meetings takes way more of my time than is strictly necessary but it is so fun to know all the behind the scenes things of our town that I can’t not go when invited.
So all in all I’ve been cramming in all the things I can, plus, making Halloween costumes. I like all this stuff, it just that half of it takes me far far away from my computer and the other half steals all my words so I have none left for here.
Don’t feel bad blog, you are more neat than the house. House is truly suffering from these things, but, with the bonus of some of the things I’m doing create more mess than ever. Costume production is not neat and neither is reorganizing 2 rooms and a closet. Right now I have a tower taller than I am of boxes labeled “0-3, 3-6, 6-9, and 9-12” Yup, a years worth of itty bitty baby girl stuff was stored in the closet that now has Zoe’s things and there isn’t really a good place in the world right now for them so in my room they tower and glower at me day and night. Is anyone having a girl? All my friends are boy producers…
So that is my slice of life. I’m living it, just not overly documenting. I’ll catch up next month when I promise to post every day.
This past weekend we had an important local event that drew friends from all over. The best part about a local event is that we get the opportunity to have houseguests and this time we went one step further and did a dinner party at a local restaurant post event where the kids were all left at my house. All 17 kids….
It started smaller, at first the teen daughter of the family staying with us volunteered to babysit her siblings and my three so we could go out. That grew to include another family with 4 kids and then another and you see where this is going. Fortunately, all the additional kids were 8 or older so not too much of a babysitting issue, and, of the 16 three were ‘responsible teens’ for the supervision side of the equation. They also all know eachother so that helped too.
What also helped was 8 pizzas and 10 packs of ramen. And Netflix and by a turn of fortune, a cool little craft.
The craft is courtesy of Oriental Trading who contacted me two weeks ago to offer me store credit in return for a post (and here is that post!). My love of oriental trading is well documented, just look at my puppy party, but don’t worry – my views are my own and that is what you get here!
When I got my store credit, I felt like a kid in a candy store. Literally… I actually got candy because who can resist eyeball candy? I also got bendy skeletons and both are safely hidden for Halloween night treats for the trick or treat kids. (I’ll let you know who wins this year; candy or toy). I also got what I thought was a single foam Halloween house but in what turns out to be a trend in me not reading the fine print, it was 12 sets of Halloween houses. That was a happy accident for me because of the incoming hoard of children!
So, we left the kids, the pizza, and the house kits and took our 25 person party off to Stella’s on 97. When we got back 3 hours later there was no pizza, no ramen and unfortunately no houses… on the positive all the kids supposed to be asleep were.
This apparent tornado zone was initially blamed on kids just being tired after a long day but then we reviewed the directions and saw that you need glue to make it work. I thought these were sticky pieces like other kits I’ve gotten, but, they do actually say it needs glue (sold separately) however in my excitement I just didn’t read that bit. To their credit, the kids did find glue and had made some progress but the littlest kids (under 5) lost interest.
I’m glad I am able to end this with a positive, the next morning Niamh went directly to the pile of parts and she and her glue and her relative peace of only 6 other kids in the house produced this picture perfect specimen. Zoe finished hers later in the day.
Moral of the story is I was right that my kids would like this craft, it definitely needs some concentration and mastery of glue. It would have been much easier if they were peel n stick but they did manage in the end.
The other goodies I got from Oriental Trading will pop up in posts over the next month including some leggings I got for their costumes from the costume center but I wanted to get this one up in case YOU want to order before Halloween. Put aside about 3 hours to jump down the rabbit hole of great ideas and fun projects, and, read the fine print…
ps. I was very tempted to get this because Zoe has been begging for a dog but I decided it was a tad too morbid for a 6 year old.
pps. Our house party grew and we crushed our sleepover record. We had our 5, another family of 5, 2 more teens, another couple and we had to actually look and make sure anther guy was not crashed under a table because nobody was sure if he left or not.