Saturday, August 20, 2011

Bumblebee's Crafty Birthday Party

Whew. I'm exhausted.  Bumblebee had her birthday party this afternoon. Ten girls showed up to celebrate, so we had a houseful of very energetic girls:
*photo of the girls being goofy:
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I decided that instead of gambling on the weather and scheduling too many outdoor activities, that we'd keep indoors and do crafts instead.  8 year old girls LOVE crafts, y'all.
*Photo of the girls doing crafts:
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We decided to do two crafts.  The first was to make rock buddies.
*photo of supplies:
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We grabbed a bunch of rocks from our weed flower garden outside and washed them.  I made sure to get large and small rocks so that if kids wanted to glue smaller 'heads' onto larger 'bodies' it would work. I painted most of the rocks a variety of colors. Then I set out some glitter, googly eyes, pom poms, markers, and glue, and we were set.  We also had feathers and other stickers from the other project, so those got use very creatively as well.  The finished product:
*photos of the pet rocks:
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These were Bumblebee's rocks.  A ladybug and a bumblebee - appropriate, no?  I hot glued the smaller rock to the larger rock:

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Our second craft was to decorate wooden photo frames.  I took a picture of the girls when they first got there, and printed off eleven copies of the photo. These are the supplies we used:
*photo of the supplies:
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The wooden frames are available at Michael's for $1.00.  We also used foam brushes, acrylic paint, feathers, sequins, markers, stickers, and glue.

The girls painted the frame whatever color they wanted:
*photo of a partygoer painting a frame:
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Then they added whatever embellishments they wanted to the frame.  I set out the frames to dry, and once they were, I added the photos to the frame:
*photo of the frame with the photo in it:
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Super easy, and they get to bring home a fun keepsake of the party.  In addition to their pet rocks and the photo frames, I sent home a fun little project for them to do at home.
*photo of play-doh kit:
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In their goody bags, I put these homemade play-doh kits.  I found the recipe on Pinterest (which is my new addiction). It's super easy, you just put together some salt, flour, and kool-aid mix.  Then you put them in a cute bag, tie them up, and write out the recipe.  All the girls' folks have to do at home is mix the ingredients with a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil, and voila! they have homemade play-doh.

The girls spent at least half of their time making these crafts, and then they roasted some hot dogs (or 'weenies' as Bumblebee likes to call them):
*photo of the girls roasting hot dogs over a fire in the back yard:
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Bumblebee really wanted to have time to watch the movie Soul Surfer, and they gave it a try:
*photo of the girls watching a movie:
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See how calm they are?  Yeah, that lasted maybe five minutes, but there wasn't time to watch the whole movie.  Before long, they were off to eat some of these:
*photo of cupcakes:
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 As they sang Happy Birthday to Bumblebee, she belted out, "And many more...":
*photo of Bumblebee singing:
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Here's to many more fun birthday parties. This one was a success.  As the girls were doing their crafts, one of them said, "best birthday party ever!" and it made me smile.  You can't beat that for praise, can you?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Senior Pictures - sneak peek

I'm taking Hollywood's senior pictures myself instead of hiring a photographer to do it.  Initially I thought that would save me money, but after all of the photography equipment I've purchased over the last year, it hasn't saved me a dime. But that's ok - it's something I enjoy, and Hollywood is genuinely happy that I'm doing it because she likes to help with some of the edits on the pictures.

It's been fun and also challenging.  Two headstrong creative types with ideas on how things should turn out makes for an interesting experience.

Tonight we went down to Downtown Des Moines and got some fabulous shots.  Bumblebee was my assistant and she helped hold the reflector and carried my tripod around. I rewarded her with a happy meal from McD's afterward.

Here's a sneak peek at one of tonight's photos; my favorite of the evening:
*photo closeup of Hollywood standing by a wrought iron gate:
Senior Pictures

It sure doesn't hurt that this kid is so photogenic!  More pictures to come in the weeks ahead.  There are so many to edit and play around with!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Missing the man

The Husband travels a lot for work, especially in the summer. He's an audiovisual technician and installs distance learning classrooms, video conferencing units, etc. The summertime is especially busy for him because he travels to a lot of little schools (usually in Nebraska) and upgrades or installs new systems in their classrooms while school is out for summer break.

This seems to have been an even busier season for him than normal, and he's been gone Monday through Friday for months now. I'm used to it, I really am.  He's been doing this for fifteen years. But sometimes it gets to me.

I think it's particularly bad right now because of my pregnancy hormones. I keep having dreams of him leaving me. I've always had those dreams while pregnant and they can be very unsettling, even when they're not particularly realistic. Like the dream in which he left me to run away with a seventy-year-old motel front desk clerk who he met (and apparently wooed) while working in Nebraska. (Dude, he thinks Martha Stewart is hot, maybe it could happen!) I'm not normally an insecure person when it comes to my marriage, so these subconscious mind screws are not welcomed.

Lately, I feel clingier to The Husband than I usually do and I crave his attention.  When I don't get it, because of work or perhaps something else that he's chosen to do when he's home (I get it; he can't spend ALL of his weekend time with me.  The lawn does need mowed after all, and I'm certainly not going to do it, ha!) I feel pouty and have to resist a tantrum. (And while we're on the subject of tantrums, it should be said that I have had far fewer of them with this pregnancy than while carrying my other kids. Either I've matured enough to recognize irrational behavior, or the physical symptoms of this pregnancy have beaten me into complete exhaustion; rendering me incapable of producing the energy to throw a proper tantrum. I'm not sure why I bring that up, other than to say "Yay me!")

But back to The Husband. I also notice his appearance more than my non pregnant self does. He's an attractive guy (and he knows it) and I've always been appreciative of that. But while pregnant, I don't know, I guess he just seems even more attractive to me.  He's got this ridiculous shirt that I loathe (think Hawaiian style shirt, but with huge ugly fish on it instead of flowers) and the other day he put it on and it didn't look all that bad on him.  And when we went to the amusement park for Bumblebee's birthday on Sunday, he wore this ratty, redneck cut off t-shirt that he'd gotten 16 years or so ago in New Orleans with voodoo icons printed on it. Normally I'd beg him to put on something more respectable.  Sunday I was checking out his arms all day long.  (Dude's got some nice looking guns, even after all these years.)

I wonder what the biological link to these feelings are?  Don't some female animal species completely ignore - or worse - KILL their partners once they've successfully knocked them up?  Maybe with humans (or at least with me - I shouldn't lay claim to what all humans feel during pregnancy) it's so that fathers feel appreciated and don't take off when our hormones take us on a trip down the crazy highway.  Who knows.

When people ask me how I can stand having him gone so much, I sometimes reply with a jokey, "It works for us; we'd kill each other if he was home all the time."  But the truth is that I miss The Husband when he's gone. Not because I have to take the garbage out and climb on stools to change the light bulbs; not because running a house with three busy kids while working full time is difficult; and not so that he can referee the fight over a Nintendo DS charger that broke out between The Boy and Bumblebee. But because he's my guy and he makes me feel safe and happy and I wish that he were here all the time. That would be awesome.

Maybe I should look into a nice little overnight getaway for our anniversary next month.  Or, if that's too much effort, a date night might do.  I'm not picky, as long as it doesn't involve a Quentin Tarantino movie.