Friday, March 22, 2013

Cute idea for a teacher's birthday

My son's kindergarten teacher has a birthday this weekend, so a few of us moms decided to do something special for her.  Using stolen borrowed ideas from other moms and Pinterest, we came up with a plan of action.
One of the moms had a great idea that she had seen someone else do.  At morning drop-off, we waited for all of the kids, and gave each child a flower.  As each kiddo arrived at the classroom he/she presented the teacher with the flower and a "Happy Birthday!".  Such a cute idea!  She is left with a full bouquet.
When informed of this brilliant plan, I instantly went to Pinterest to find ideas for a cute vase to make.  I loved the pencil vases, so I decided to make one.  It would be mean not to share, so here you go, instructions on making a pencil vase.

First, gather the materials.  I decided to use colored pencils.  I was trying to find a plastic vase to glue them on to, but the vessel needs to be straight up and down for the pencils to line up correctly.  I didn't want to use a tin can, but your certainly could.  Glass was a concern because I thought that if a child had to carry the vase in it might break.  Alas, one of the moms made a deal with another teacher to deliver the vase, so I went ahead with using a wide mouthed mason jar.
Look!  It says right on the box "preferred by teachers" haha
I bought two boxes of pencils to be on the safe side, and I am glad I did, since I needed more than one box.  To begin, I put a rubber band around the jar so that I could plan the color order and know how many pencils I would need:
Next, I removed all of the pencils and laid them out so that I could glue them on in the exact order that I had so painstakingly shoved in the rubber band.
Now it's time to bust out the glue gun.  It is very important that the first pencil is perfectly straight, so I took a ruler and made a line up and down where the first pencil should go.  It seems like it would be time consuming to glue all of these pencils to a mason jar, but it really only took about 15 minutes.
This is what it will look like when you are done gluing all of the pencils on.  The hot glue will hold, but not perfectly, so when I was done I put a rubber band around the whole thing for insurance and then covered it with a cute ribbon for the finished product.
So this morning, about four of us gathered at an ungodly hour so that we could deliver the vase to the teacher that was going to give it to our teacher (does that make sense?) .  One mom bought the flowers, tulips that were beautiful, and we waited at the gate to intercept all of the little ones who are in the class.  This was no easy task.  The gates are open from 7:30 until 7:42, and in the midst of all of the children going in we had to spot each child in the class and give them a flower.  It culminated with the last child, who was late, so the other mom with the flowers had to run along side him explaining and giving him the flower.  It was hilarious, she looked like one of those people giving cups of water to marathon runners.  We all had a good laugh at that one.  I wish we could have been inside the classroom to see if the teacher liked it, as the children were so excited to give her flowers and wish her happy birthday.  One of the moms commented that her daughter didn't want to get out of bed this morning until she told her "It's Ms. O's birthday today!"  Then she jumped out of bed, ready to go! Ahh, kindergartners, they are so eager to please.
In addition to the flowers, we all chipped in and got her a gift card to go along with a hand made card.  One of the moms cut out circles from cardstock and had each child sign his/her name, and then she made a balloon bouquet on a card out of all of the circles-it was so cute!

I hope she liked it, I think the flower idea is just the cutest thing ever.


Monday, March 11, 2013

Disturbing Trend in Mommy Blogs: Trying to make hating your children sound funny.

**Edited to add the link to where you can buy the book.  I was told "thanks for the publicity" by a mean woman, which I think is hilarious, since so few people read my little blog.  Either way, if you do happen to read this please know that I should have linked to it in the first place, and for that I apologize.**

For some reason, I love to rant on Mondays.  I have noticed this pattern, so instead of fighting it I am just going to go with it.  If you do not enjoy reading my rants, that is fine.  By tomorrow I will have a happy post for you and I promise I won't be offended if you skip my posts that are rants.

Lately, I have noticed a disturbing trend in the wonderful world of mommy blogs.  This would be the trend of bashing your family and children and trying to disguise it under the title of being "funny and honest".  For instance, a new book just came out entitled "I Just Want To Pee Alone", a compilation of blogger essays from women who like to complain about their kids.  One of them actually uses the tagline "Making my kids hate me one post at a time".  It seems that many mommy bloggers feel that they have to berate their children, swear, and try to be funny at the expense of their families in order to stay relevant.  And it is sad.  I am not sure when it became cool and popular to gain followers by repeatedly stating how annoying/messy/obnoxious your kids and husband are, but I think it is a sad reflection of mothers in this country.  Although to their credit, most of these bloggers do throw in the occasional heartfelt blog post in order to make themselves feel like a good mom once in a while.

I get it, parenting is hard.  It is often a messy, poopy, vomit filled world where you feel like you will never get a break.  It is often an amusing experiment in ineptitude, be it on your part or the part of your family.  I get it that when we get sick, we still have to do our job.  I know what it feels like to have a child vomit on your lap and still hug him to make him feel better before you can clean yourself up.  I get it.  IT'S CALLED BEING A MOTHER, AND NO, YOU DO NOT GET AN AWARD.  This is your job.  Get it?  I often say that children will suck the life out of you and leave you for dead, but in an oddly fulfilling way.  That is the truth.

Instead of dedicating so much energy to finding the bad things that happened in your day and whining about them in a blog post, look for the happy.  I wonder if these women actually seek out the disasters just so they have something that they consider funny to write about.  After all, if you base your blog on writing about the crazy things that happen in life while raising children with a mean slant, I can only assume that you are actively seeking content. 

My main issue with this is how the children of these women feel.  I know most of them would respond with something along the lines of how much they love their children and that they are great moms who just try to find the humor in everyday life.  We all relate to those sticky situations, so why not write about it?  But there is a fine line between being witty and telling funny stories and being cruel.
How are your children going to feel if they grow up and read non-stop stories of how annoying they are and how tired you are of taking care of them?  How would you feel if your mother had written such things about you?  How does it make your husband feel that you bash him on a public forum?

And lastly, how would you feel if your child passed away and when you looked back at your blog, instead of being a treasured journal of the (sometimes sticky) memories of your children, it was filled with your rants about how annoying they are and what an inconvenience they are to you?  I'm willing to bet you would wish that you had gone back and inserted a few more posts of the fun times.

That's my rant for today, thanks for reading.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Dr. Oz 3 Day Detox Cleanse FAIL

A couple of weeks ago I got a wild hair and started looking up cleanses.  I am not a "cleanse" fan.  There is no way I am going to live on lemon water with cayenne pepper for two weeks.  I just don't think it is healthy to do that to your body.  If you eat clean, and take care of yourself, there is really no need to do crazy stuff like that.  That being said, the Dr. Oz 3 day detox caught my eye.  After all, this is Dr. Oz!  He can't be wrong, and it is only for 3 days.  I wasn't doing it to lose weight, I just wanted a fresh start, something to boost my energy and refresh my system.

First, I took my happy, detoxing to be healthy self to Whole Foods to stock up on the neccessary supplies.  The website provides this handy shopping list for those who want to try the cleanse.
Dr. Oz's 3-Day Detox Cleanse One-Sheet

For the almond butter, which was about $16.00 a jar at Whole paycheck Foods, I instead bought a little sample pack of it for about $2.00.  After all, I only needed 3 tablespoons of it.

The next day, I washed and prepped all of the fruits and veggies.   This was, by far, the most time consuming part, but it made things so much easier the next day.
Note: I do not normally buy organic bananas since it is pointless, but I didn't want to make another stop at a different store

I bought all organic produce since I was doing a cleanse and wanted to put the best products in my smoothies; however, I do want to take a moment to point out that organic does not mean pesticide free. Allow me to step onto my soapbox for a moment: ORGANIC VEGETABLES DO HAVE PESTICIDES ON THEM.  And some of them are dangerous.  People think that organic fruits and veggies are pesticide free, and that is just not true.  While they are organic pesticides, they are still pesticides.
Thank you, stepping off of my soapbox now.
Some of my ingredients, washed and ready to go

So back to the cleanse.  You begin your morning with a cup of green tea with lemon, which is yummy. 
After that, you make a breakfast smoothie that is delicious.  Seriously, I could drink it every day and be happy.  I have diverticulosis, so I can't have seeds, so I strained the raspberry seeds out and took a flax pill instead of using flaxseed.  The only problem I had is that the smoothies are huge.  I was so full I thought I would burst.  The best thing about this cleanse is that you will never feel hungry.

On to the lunch smoothie, which is celery and cucumber based.  And gross.  I don't like cucumbers, and this shake was not flavorful at all.  I was feeling so great after the breakfast one, sailing through my day, I had energy and wanted to yell out "Look at me!  I'm cleansed!!"  No.  I am not cleansed, now I have to suck down 2 cups of cucumber and try not to vomit.

Either way, I got it down and felt great.  I was full, so I skipped the snack drink.  Everything was sailing right along.  "I can do this" I thought.  That is until I went for a golf lesson and it all went to hell in a handbasket.  It was cold at golf, and the last thing you want after spending time outside in the cold is a smoothie for dinner.  I wanted Chicken! And Gravy! And Biscuits!
So that is where the cleanse ended.  I went home and made an actual dinner.

I will tell you this, the cleanse is a great idea.  It is just better suited to summer time, when one might actually look forward to a refreshing smoothie at dinner.  I felt great for the 5 hours I did it, so I think I will indeed give this another shot during the warmer months.  It is worth a try.