Lately, I’ve found myself very focused on things that are not blog-fodder. Nothing bad, just not quite bloggable.
There have been a few weeks with no meal plan (gasp!), weeks and weeks without a single stitch knitted (sorry mom!), and I finally sent my friend’s sewing machine back home after its frighteningly expensive repair (sorry Minnie – no quilt for you any time soon!).
I have been…
:::teaching three evenings and one morning every week
:::repeating to my students for several weeks: “Spring is coming.”
:::listening and laughing while my funny toddler talks (and talks and talks)
:::doing better at participating in mom’s club and working hard to appear as friendly as I feel
:::starting to fall out of touch with friends, but also working to reverse that trend!
:::basking, reveling, zooming around the house, etc. in my two mornings per week of free childcare
:::exercising somewhat regularly using streaming videos on Amazon Prime. I started slow (very, very slow) and have come a long way already.
:::reading for fun – some new and some re-reads
Minnie had a lovely, low-key birthday party. Everyone seemed to enjoy it, especially her! Here’s what we did:
- place: the party room at our local pizza place
- emailed evites, resisting the urge to invite everyone
- decorations: 10 helium balloons
- food: pizza and soda
- dessert: 2 homemade birthday cakes
Activities for the Kids: Open-Ended
Our non-adult guests ranged in age from about 7 months to 5 years. Most of the bigger kids were boys who like to run around.
Firstly, I counted eating pizza as an activity. It takes time and energy and creativity!
Beyond that, we made a couple other open-ended activities available.
We invested $2 in regular latex balloons, inflated about 25 of them, and let the kids chase them around, play volleyball, etc. They loved it.
We also got cheap party hats and a few sheets of stickers. The kids and adults enjoyed playing with the stickers. The kids especially enjoyed being goofy with their hats, being rhinoceroses and such.
While there was some additional running around and climbing on tables that weren’t ours, those things were minimal.
Party Favors: Wands and Balloons
As we were winding down, I busted out $2 worth of ready-made cheap magic wands. I told the boys (who were experts at parties and knew what to expect: pizza, cake, and goody bags) that instead of goody bags, we had a magic wand for each of them.
They each picked a color and they were a hit (har har – the bigger kids enjoyed whacking each other with their wands). The kids all liked pretending to change J into various animals – birds were a favorite (with a party hat beak). Sometimes their spells rebounded and they turned into birds too – gotta watch out for that.
We also gave one of our helium balloon decorations to each baby/child.
That was it!
The kids had fun, I wasn’t agonizing over prep or clean-up, the adults could sort of relax, the bill was not high (8 pizzas and 20 fountain sodas), and my house didn’t get destroyed. Yay!
And my sweet little baby is two!
- Minnie just turned two!
- lots of teaching prep for the semester that started this week
- two snow days
- lots of last-minute schedule changes
- not much cooking
- not much cleaning
- not much blogging
- non-functioning dishwasher
- icy roads, so no driving practice
- a costly repair on my borrowed sewing machine, so unsure about the future of Minnie’s quilt
- a new computer desk (whooo!)
- a half-built hutch for said computer desk
- a new giant castle-tent-thing in my living room, much loved by a toddler and two cats
- unwillingness to venture out into my disaster of a living room to unearth the camera to photograph said tent myself 🙂
Have a wonderful weekend!
I need to…
Hm, I wrote out a preliminary to-do list, and it made me cranky. Deleted! There’s lots to do in the house (cooking, cleaning, Christmas, cards, etc.), but it helps me be less cranky to get out of the house, but I need to find time to shower in order to get out of the house, so balance will need to be found there.
I’m also trying not to be cranky that I’m in a cheek-biting cycle.
Really quick, then, a better list. Cool things that Minnie does right now:
- sings Twinkle variations (“Twinkle twinkle little Minnie / Minnie sings a broken muffin”)
- says a very adult “Um!” when she’s about to say something
- shouts “ooOOOooh!” when she finds something she’s looking for
- helps load the dishwasher
- throws out the dryer lint for me when I do laundry
- asks specifically to cuddle with mommy and daddy (and then cuddles!)
Here’s to a not-cranky weekend!
Right now is a stolen moment during second nap-time. First nap-time ended a bit abruptly with circular saw noises from a neighboring condo – yikes. While Minnie sleeps, late-lunch cooks, and before my homework is all done, there’s time for a quick blog post.
Our family of three took an impromptu trip up to visit my folks this past weekend. We decided to take the 5ish hour trip less than 24 hours before we set out! Many thanks to dear husband J for the idea and for doing so much to make it happen. It was a lovely birthday weekend!
I was a little apprehensive about toting so much homework along with me, but I figured it was better to see my family a little bit than not at all. I ended up getting a bit less homework done than I’d planned, but spending lots more quality time with the crew than I’d dared to hope. Minnie loved loved loved being surrounded by her doting family, and I loved being able to do squeak in not just homework, but a bit of crochet and even some snuggle time with J! Other activities included several rounds of Set, consumption of a lot of chocolate frosting with a bit of cake in the middle, all of us sitting around watching Minnie like she was our TV, and accidentally falling asleep at around 8:30 on our last night there. A lovely, refreshing weekend!
And now, the homework beckons.
**Edit: My homework due tonight is now done! I’ve come back and cleaned up the formatting and writing just a bit. Next up: juggle Minnie and tomorrow’s homework!