Neglected Blog

Poor blog….

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.

Good-bye house wife, Hello work from home


Me – a drippy nose cold

Kids – also mild colds

Lars – fine (for now…)

workouts – skipped in favor of work or sleep this week


I’m going to start in an odd spot.  A LONG time ago in one of my MBA classes we had to do presentations and they could be on any topic.  One person told us about a technique of saying out loud what you want in a specific way and, like magic, it will happen.  They said the only thing you will regret about the system is not aiming higher.

Over the years I’ve done this myself, passed it on to others, and even got my kids to do it.  I give it some of the potty training credit for Zoe even.  When I was looking at things in my life over the summer I realized that it was time to ask the universe for more clients.  For the past 2 years I’ve dabbled in social media contracting, doing good work for good people but on a very very part time basis.  I started September with one rock solid and awesome client that amounted to 1h of work a week but I asked the universe for more.

More I now have!  One lady I was talking to really solidified.  Another person I kept crossing signals with now is with me.  Finally, the Lady, who represented 1.5 clients herself put me intouch with a company that hired me on the spot who represents 3x the hours.  I asked the universe for 5 clients and I got it.

I was getting worried that I might have too much time next year with Fiona in full-time school.  I would move from Stay and Home Mom to housewife because there would be no kids for me to mother.  Housewives are obligated to have much cleaner houses than I do and while a clean house is nice I am not sure I will find it as mentally (or financially)  fulfilling  as a paycheck that I earn from my home office working around the things in my world.  We have been very lucky that money has not been an issue, but, we have also been careful and put some things on hold.  I am optimistic that we can look at things again sooner than we thought.


So thank you universe!

In other news I’ve developed a cold so it’s hard to be super happy since I’m doing all the client set up work while creating a mountain of tissues.  It is ok, this weekend is much more mellow than last with just one birthday party and a tentatively planned trip to the pumpkin patch and sewing of Halloween costumes.

16 kids in my house!

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.


watching ramen cook…

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.


please note the glue bottle and stick in the pile

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.img_0476

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.

class snack; monster cups



I’m back to having the teacher that does class snack.  Once a month each child brings the snack for the whole class and all the other days you don’t have to worry about snack.  It is something I looked forward to when Niamh was in her class.

The first month we kinda phoned it in, didn’t really have time for anything involved because it was the second day of school .  This month we had time and there is nothing more inspiring than Halloween on Pinterest.  I think the site was MADE for Halloween.  The only down side to Pinterest is that most of the time it is just an image and there are no instructions.  This particular snack really does not need many instructions but some clarification of what I used might be useful to you



Original pin, but, links to a lost page.  The home site is pretty cool though


Our class is 21 kids and we made 3 extra for the teachers.

We used 9oz cups in ‘crystal clear’ (picture is bigger)

To seal the top we used Press n Seal (picture has fitting lids, no idea where she got those!)

It took 8lb of grape to fill the 24 cups.  Seems excessive but, as you know, grapes bunches always have bad ones.  We picked, inspected, then washed

In many of the pictures it looks like they use two marshmallows, but, we used 1 per cup cut in half and instead of drawing on a pupil on the cup we added a raisin.  The cut marshmallow makes a very natural sticky side so sticking the raisin was easy, and, sticking it to the cup side was easy too.



#3 was fired due to inventory shrink….  otherwise an 8 and 6 year old did 90%


We made the cups by;

  1. putting a bottom layer of grapes in each
  2. adding ‘eyeballs’
  3. filling in the remaining space with grapes
  4. closing up with press-n-seal
  5. drawing on smiles with a sharpie

The other consideration to class snack is how easily the child can manage 20+ snacks to school.  Not that I love driving them daily, but, in cases like this the sky (or my weightlifting ability) is the limit because I don’t have to worry about the bus ride.  So, if you found this through pinterest please please consider transport when creating group snacks!  I used one of our many cardboard boxes because we have an addiction to amazon, and, to Blue Apron so we never without a transport box.


This project is super easy if you have the right things to hand.  My 8 year old did the cutting, 6 year old did the pick/sorting and washing (I supervised).  I cut the press n seal but Niamh sealed them all.  I ended up doing the faces because they had to go to jujitsu but maybe I stalled so I could have that fun for myself….

Halloween is in the house

Yesterday we exploded the Halloween boxes.  I don’t know how many other families had to step over a pile of skulls to get to the breakfast things but I know I did.

Now that the boxes are breached I can get to the art of decorating, but, the real meat of Halloween is the costumes.

Niamh has been pushing to be Tiana from the frog prince and I just didn’t want to get into a. the culture and skin issues because that is just too hot a thing right now

b. that dress is no easy costume, it is a giant awesome dress but not a ton of work

c. the movie is about 10 years old

d. I kinda like them to have a theme if possible and that can’t work with Tiana unless I wanted to make 3 giant crazy princess dresses (and I don’t)


In reflecting on what is fun for us this year Pokemon Go has been the new ‘it’ thing.  It’s a fun little game you don’t have to spend much time on but it does give a good reason for a walk.  I already played ingress so I know the local spots but I am constantly amused by the little beasties.  I can imagine the design team for this just being given a ton of candy and no sleep and told to ‘be creative’.  So, I told Niamh she could be Tiana but I was going to be a Pikachu.  Fiona, who is still in my mind control for some things, wanted to be a Polliwog and Zoe instantly and passionately wanted to be a Dedenne (we don’t even have one of those?  No idea how she knows about it.)  That sold it, Niamh now wanted to be a poki too and she chose a Flarion.

Now to the fun part – costume design and creation.  Given that none of these are human that does make decision 1 an important first step;

  1. make a costume that looks as much like the animal as possible including mask and extra legs like the Lion King or
  2. take the important elements of the character and make an outfit of it.

I like option 2 because I usually end up with elements we can keep using in the year.  The dress from rainbow dash has actually stayed in our winter wardrobe for 2 more kids.



Here are my sketches for the costumes.  I’m thinking tunic style dresses with leggings and each head piece will be a bit different.  They all also have tails… I’ll be working on ways for making that happen without putting a hole in the dress.  For the two with more poof to their charactes I’ll be adding toule skirts, they are so easy to make and are good additions to the dress up bin after.  I ordered leggings and I hope the colors are right because dyeing fabric is not really my favorite thing to do.  We got lucky and found all the right colors and fabrics for the costumes already and once our weekend house guests depart this weekend out comes the sewing machine.

Speaking of house guests…. I have a guest room to reclaim so that is next on the agenda!