Bookmark Crafts! Part 1

Did someone say bookmarks?
Nobody ever says bookmarks. Sigh. (I hope you had a sight gag in your mind for that, and then me shaking my head sadly.)

But I have 2 days of bookmark crafts. Because they’re easy. And I think they’re fun. My boys did too…. once… before it became a huge thing. They make great gifts for readers. And they’re easy to mail in an envelope to cheer someone up.
1. Stickers and construction paper. Easy. Fancy it up with covering it with clear contact paper or clear packing tape. Punch a hole; add ribbon.
2. Paint samples and stickers. Easy. Fancy it up with covering it with clear contact paper or clear packing tape. Punch a hole; add a ribbon.
3. Paint samples and cool hole punches. That is if you have a cool hole puncher. Why do I own random stuff? Maybe you could make cool designs with a regular hole punch….


4. Card stock/paper and thumbprints. Just random thumbprints. Or make cool pictures out of thumbprints like flowers, birds, or monsters. Fancy it up with clear packing tape or clear contact paper. Punch a hole; add a ribbon.


5. Glue pressed flowers on a card stock. Cover with clear packing tape or clear contact paper.


6. Clear contact paper and confetti or cut pieces of colored tissue paper. To fancy it up, punch a hole, and add a ribbon.


7. Have the child draw a drawing. Take a picture. Adjust the size and print it out. (hell, just have the kid draw on a piece of paper and add a ribbon.)


8. Craft foam and markers.


More to come. Like seriously, I have more of these. At least another day. I’m sure if I went though my notebooks, Pinterest, photos, and old posts, I would have more.

Stay safe. Stay sane.

Not Writing on Vacation

(I apologize. I had writer’s block. I still may, but I’m sitting down to write any ways. Good luck, reader.)

One of the reasons I haven’t written in a while is because we went on vacation.

First I was in a blur of prep. When living in my own house and preparing for travel, I had a staging area that I would drop the things we would need on a trip. I may start two weeks out just dropping a thing or two as I remembered it. Usually it would start a few days before. Oh, we need this. And this. After I put this load in, I’ll get this thing out while I’m thinking about it.

I cannot do that in my parents’ house. Oh, my mother will say I can. But I really can’t. The remarks and sighs and looks, you know. So prep drop happens on paper and then 24 hours before the trip, making me look sloppy, but I am pretty organized, so there is that.

Second, I did download the WordPress App. I figured when we had down time, I would write. After the boys went to bed, I would write. But you know what I learned this trip?

We don’t have to hang out at the hotel. For any reason. No one needs naps. We can leave early for things. And my morning birds can’t rise with the sun if the black out curtains are closed. They still get their 10 hours of sleep. But as soon as 10 hours is up, up they jump. So when they went to bed late, they slept in.

We never had down time in the hotel. If we didn’t have a scheduled activity, we went to the beach or to a park. If a boy was tired, he would sit with me and build sandcastles. Since I’m willing to drive all around an area we’re staying with, they rested in the car.

As for night times, usually I am a stickler for bedtimes. My boys don’t sleep in. Dawn comes, and they’re up with the sun. But when I told them we can stay as late as they could handle it at Disneyland, we stayed until nearly 10, getting back to the hotel a little after 10. Then the most amazing thing happened, they woke 10 hours later. (Well, from 10, they fell asleep in the car, woke at the hotel, and went straight to sleep in their beds.) Each night (except the unexpected last night, different story) they went to bed late (and I felt guilty), but they woke after 10 hours refreshed (and I felt less guilty).

I highly recommend not hanging out in the hotel room. No arguing over the TV. No jumping on beds. No wrestling. No fighting. No craziness. It was glorious. I mean, they still fought, argued, and were crazy, just not in a tiny cramped space.

I enjoyed this so much that when my mom suggested we go on vacation together next year, I’m a little hesitant. They like to return to the hotel an hour or so before dinner to relax and go swimming. And I don’t want to go back to that.

(Look at that. When in writing doubt, start from the beginning…..)

I’m dying, Egypt, dying.

It’s like my favorite line from “Antony and Cleopatra” by William Shakespeare. I don’t know why. Probably because it’s so damn melodramatic. Christ, Antony, die with some dignity, man.

As for me, Friday I had to get a tooth pulled. Kids, this what you get for not going to dentist in years.  How many? That’s between my priest and me. But almost all of those years, I didn’t have dental insurance. Actually everyone was quite surprised how well my teeth held up, but because I didn’t have dental insurance, I was near-obsessive with my teeth cleaning. I got the tooth pulled none-too-soon as it turned out an abscess was forming at the root. No, I didn’t take a picture or bring it home because I would like my kids to get into hard sciences and they’re a little squeamish.

Saturday Tornado E had a swim check for Boy Scouts and a pool party. At the Scout Master’s insistence, I had a burger before rushing Tornado E to his party. Once I dropped him off, I met my family for lunch before rushing to make it to the bank before close. And then I felt a little sick. So I took a nap and woke to feeling more sick and running off to get Tornado E.

By dinner, I was sick. Was it the abscess draining into my stomach? Was it food poisoning? (I’ve had food poisoning a lot; each time makes you more susceptible to it, making me a target long before the rest of the folks.) Was it a bug? (Like my mom argues; why are we having this argument?) It doesn’t matter. The details aren’t pretty. But basically I couldn’t eat anything for well over 36 hours, and I slept nearly all day Sunday. When I wasn’t asleep, I was in a headache haze because now I was in the middle of caffeine withdrawals. Bastards.

The worst part was this was my weekend with my kids!

Oh, I understand the little envy of you parents with full custody or still happily married parents, but when you are forced to be without your kids for any amount of time on a regular basis, well, I want to spend the time I do have them with them. And seeing that during the school year I’m the hard-ass, forcing them to do everything at my house where they will get the help and push they need, I really, really love the summers where I can be the fun parent.

Don’t worry about the kids. They had a great day. They watched a Back to the Future marathon. My mom fried them homemade doughnuts for breakfast. My dad brought them home a pizza. My parents took them swimming. My dad grilled steak. My mom made funnel cakes. (Please keep in mind that I couldn’t eat any of this and my parents were aware of this fact. I am torn how to feel about this.)

Then last night Tornado E started vomiting. While I’m naturally not a very good night parent, after 13 hours of sleep (according to the FitBit), I was able to be up and helpful without any annoyance in my voice. So today Tornado E clung to his existence, not nearly as desperately as I had the day before. In fact, he was able to do his worksheets and antagonize his brothers; while, somewhere in the middle of the day, I shuddered in my caffeine withdrawals as I nursed my bland foods and clear liquids diet.

I miss my caffeine. Look how long of a post I can make over complaining about being sick.

I’m going to go nurse my headache and pray for mercy. Hopefully tomorrow I can happily resume my addiction without praying to the porcielain god. With any luck, I can get my boys back so I can take them to Wonder Woman. (Yeah, we haven’t even been able to go to the movies because this vicious micro-plague.)

I Miss This

The last few weeks I’ve been thinking about how I don’t have a place to write about my kid stories and my mom stories. I’ve been thinking about how much I missed my blog friends. Then the other day I mentioned I once ran a mommy blog for years, and the person asked me about it. After I explained, she said wow, what an amazing experience. And it was.

So I’m going to start blogging again. I can’t promise I can do it regularly. I’m hoping to do write Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays with a weekend post every now and then. You see, now I’m a full time teacher, and this is my first year teaching all Freshman under the new curriculum. Tuesday nights are karate nights… for the boys. Thursday is Cub Scout and Boy Scout nights …  for us all. But Monday is Nerd Night, and Friday is Art Night … both for me. Wednesday is Kung Fu night, but that’s only for Tornado A, and he’s done by 6:30.

This might not even work out, since I now call, email, and write my federal legislators every day. I’m looking forward to the day I can write to my state legislators. I’m working on my poetry, and I’m editing a manuscript. But who isn’t? I’m studying Spanish. Note to self, work on Spanish later. I’m also studying to take the history and government test in the summer because why wouldn’t I want to be qualified to teach more subjects? I don’t plan on giving up journaling again because that’s for me. Please, Lord, someone burn those when I die.

Beyond that, I’m raising three active, smart, funny boys, living with my parents, and fighting depression. Now you know why I keep a journal. Next stop, meditation. When I get the time.

Hopefully, I’ll see you soon.

Summer?

Summer ends this week.

What?

Where did it go?

It was here a minute ago.

I want to go do something A-MAZING with the boys on their last day.

I’m not sure what.

On the other hand, I’ve been scouring YouTube for the perfect scene for the post I’ve been working on. . . for . . . um. . .days.

Also I have no idea what a Gif is. I do. But not really. Magic. And how to make one. Magic and trolls and gnomes.

Back to looking for this perfect video. . . .

Dieting on Facebook

I’ve already had a post on things I don’t like about Facebook.  Talking about dieting is another thing.  I have a few health fanatics among my friends.  Health fanatics is the polite term.  Obsessed with being thin is probably more accurate.  But I hate the diet memes.

If you believe this, then you haven’t lived, and you don’t know how to cook or you’ve never been to a good restaurant.  You live a sad little life.  You’re missing so much!  I can think of amazing clam chowder, brilliant sushi rolls, chocolate shakes that complete one’s soul, fried chicken that built an amusement park, ice cream that haunts dreams, steaks that melted like butter.  I’ll pass on being skinny.

I’m most concern with “blowing hours of hard work in the gym for a few minutes of pleasure in the kitchen.”  Why most it be either or?  Why can’t you have both?  Why not spend a few minutes on pleasure?  Why am I thinking this had some sort of implications about sex?

This is just sick.

Because when you’re with friends, all you care about is how you look.  You should surround yourself with fat chicks.  Then you will always feel pretty.  Or you could have real friends who support and love you, make you laugh, let you be yourself, and make you fight for the fries that moments ago you said you shouldn’t eat but hey! no one steals my fries.

Amen!

Let’s get some ice cream.  I know a great place for milk shakes.

Facebook friends, you’re annoying

I’m a little annoyed with certain people on Facebook right now.  Or I should say I’m annoyed by a certain behavior that a few of my Facebook friends exhibit.  Let’s call it the “Perfect Parent” behavior.

It starts out with those memes.  “Like if your kids are the best kids in the whole world.”  “Like if your kids are your whole world.”  “Like if you love your kids more than anything.”  God.  I’m not a fan of the “like if” craze any ways.  I mean of course I hate cancer, support the troops, hope that kid’s parent stops smoking, hope that kid gets his/her dog/pony/elephant.  And of course, my kids are my favorite kids that I love more than any other kid in the whole world.  Well, except for that little girl in Monster Inc.  I’d take her in a heart beat.  Perhaps over my kids.  Maybe.

One day I’m going to respond to those posts with “Like if your kid’s acting like a brat and you want to lock him outside until he learns some manners but I love him anyways.”  Yeah, that’ll show them.

But those memes aren’t even the worse.  There some really weird ones.  I especially hate “You’ll be his first love, his first kiss, and his first friend.  You are his mommy, and he is your whole world.  He is your little boy.”  First off, I added the comas.  I was going to leave it as it appears all over Facebook and Pinterest, but then I developed a tick.  Second, no.  No, no, no.  There’s something so off and weird and f-ing wrong to say you are your son’s first love and first kiss.  Because when we say “First Love”  and “First Kiss” as in “my first love”  and “my first kiss,” we do not mean our parents, who loved us unconditionally and covered our bodies with kisses and loved us to pieces.  When we say “my first kiss,” we’re talking about that awkward first kiss from someone who likes us and not a family member.  When we say “my first love,” we talk about that first person we fell in romantically in love with, not our family members.

On top of this, the people who do these meme on my Facebo0ok are people I know.  Most of them are crappier parents than I am.  I’m sorry, but you can’t claim “World’s Best Mom” or “I love my kids more than anything else in the world” if you let your ex take them from you and rolled over so that you can live your life without them.  You don’t get to be a crappy parent and act like you were awesome.  (Ok, you can.  But people like me can call you out on that BS.  I’ll be happy to.)

But my favorite annoyance is the friends I know in person that I know about them who write personal things like “I just caught my kids reading and giggling an hour after bed time; how can I punish them when they’re so darn cute.”  Really?  It’s easy.  You do.  It’s a school night; they broke the rules; you handle that.  Also, I wouldn’t say punish as much as discipline them.  Or “My oldest two have reached the age where they don’t fight anymore, and now the second and third are always fighting.”  Unless your eldest has moved out of the house, which is doubtful because he’s seven, this is just a phase.  Which I couldn’t help myself and wrote.  (The “it’s a phase” part because I try not to be a total bitch on Facebook.)  Tomorrow those two are going to have a huge fist-flying fight over a stupid toy that you have double of.  Because they are siblings.  Or my favorite favorite over the last week, “Oh my god, my kid woke my up at 7:30; I don’t know why she’s up so early.”  Don’t even f-ing talk to me.  Don’t.  Until you have a child starts screaming for you at 5:45, don’t even mention an early morning wake up call.

(Not really in the same category but still made me want to type something was a friend complaining about how her 2yr old threw her shoe out the window on the freeway as my friend drove 85 miles an hour.  Questions: Why was your window down while you drove the freeway?  Why were you driving that fast with your window down?  Why were you driving that fast around the town on the freeway?  Did you learn nothing when you got your first speeding ticket on your 16th birthday all those years ago?)

In conclusion, we all know you love your kids, we all know your kids are awesome, and I don’t mind seeing and liking millions of cute pictures and cute little tidbits about your kids.  Just let’s be authentic.  Or at least humorous with our lack of authenticity.  Also, you can’t claim you did an awesome job parenting when your kid is doing time for assault and burglary.