Friday, April 27, 2012

Wife, Mother, Dream Crusher

On the way home from soccer practice last night (approximately 7:33pm), my daughter asks me if I remembered that tomorrow is the try-outs for the school Talent Show.

I closed my eyes and said a silent prayer.

I told her that I had not remembered.  She reminded me that she had showed me the flyer last week and that she wanted to try out with a song or a dance.

"OK.  Which do you want to do?"

"A song.  I want to sing Firework. Or Tick-Tock.  But I like Firework."

"Do you know all the words?"


"Do you have the music to sing to?"

"Um... no.  Maybe I'll do a dance."

"Do you know all the steps to a dance & do you have music to go with it?"

She starts to get exasperated with me.

"No.  I want to sing."

"OK, you want to sing.  Have you been rehearsing?  Do you feel like you know it?"

"Yeah.  Sort of. I think I need to sing it a couple of times."

Enter The Dream Crusher.

"Sort of.  Well, let me give you my opinion.  I think it's great you want to try out for the Talent Show.  You have lots of talent.  But I'm not sure this is the best way to show off your talent.  If you aren't sure about the words, don't have the music, and don't know a dance all the way through, do you really feel good about trying out?  Thinking about this the night before tryouts, when we still have showers and homework and bedtime in a hour doesn't give you much time to practice.  Maybe you should watch the Talent Show this year & see what some of the other kids do.  Then next year we can start preparing early so you are all ready to go."

"No I really want to tryout. I really want to do this.  I told you about it and I really want to do it.  ______ and _____ are trying out and I want to do it too."

"Okay, then what do we need to do to get you ready?"

"Ummmmm.  I don't know."

"How about we look for the music when we get home.  I know you have the song, but it has the words.  You need an instrumental version so you can hear the music and YOU can sing to it."

"Oh, okay."

We proceeded home, where I downloaded an instrumental version and she began rehearsing.  With 30 minutes before bedtime, she begins to get frustrated because the song "wasn't the same".  I walked her through it, and she tried again for a few minutes.  Just before bed, she sits down at the table, looking dejected.  

"Maybe I'll just try it next year."

The triumph of The Dream Crusher is bittersweet.

I could have agreed to the tryout wholeheartedly, trusting that that she was good to go, sitting with her after school, watching her friends and classmates show their talent.  I would have then sat alone while she fumbled and stumbled through the song, getting frustrated, and possibly dissolving into tears.  She would have failed, been embarrassed for a few days, and then gotten over it.  While this would have been a learning experience for her (because I absolutely think we all need to occasionally fail to improve), I felt it was better to encourage her to think through the steps needed to be successful BEFORE the event vs. after.  She has a hard time thinking ahead, and that is a process that is both undervalued and unappreciated today.  We live in a world of instant gratification, and while I appreciate living in the moment, I think that our kids are losing the ability to think critically and plan ahead.  So yes, I may have been (am) the Mean Mommy, but I hope she learned something from this.  And next year, we'll start practicing well before the end of April.  

Was I right?  Wrong?  Should I have let her feel the sting of failure in front of her peers & teachers?

PS: This is my 600th post. Yowza!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

William Morris, Week 10?

Big Sis' room transformation is ON.
These are a few "before" images, taken in the midst of clearing it out. 

All I've done so far is clear it out & patch 65 holes in the walls.  Not a typo.  65.  

As a reminder, this is what we'll be working with: 

I hope to have it all done by Monday, so stay tuned for a big reveal next week!

I am also pumped because once her room is done it means that we will have more rooms DONE than not (5 vs. 4).  Tipping the balance really makes me feel like we're moving forward.  Hopefully the momentum will continue.  

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Saturday Night Fun

Animal stripe nails, courtesy of Mama.  

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Weekly Recap

Last week flew by (probably because I had 2 days of enforced peace at home), and conversely this week felt like a month long.  Ugh.  I am so glad it's Friday!

  • Mother's Day came early!  Well, at least for my car, as she is now decked out with 2 new tires and shiny new rotors.  Lucky car, unlucky bank account. 
  • I am still floating on the success of my DIY blackout curtains, and can't wait to do the same for the small basement window (and of course, actually hem them to make them pretty).   HUGE difference in the basement, and I expect it's going to be much cooler/warmer downstairs, too.
  • I authored my first grant application this week.  Crossing my fingers that we are approved! 
  • Why did I never realize you can buy food items on Amazon?  Is there anything you can't buy on there?  
  • I made this headband last week & am totally impressed with how comfortable it is, and how well it stayed in place even during a workout.  I can't wait to make more, so watch out - I'm on the hunt for more t-shirts!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The William Morris Project: Week Whatever


The family room has been an ongoing saga that may never, ever be done.  Yes, I was making progress by adding the bookcases (still love them) and the Wall of States (makes me smile), but then there was the Dilemma of the Mismatched Drapes.

Exhibit A:

Do ya see what I mean?  

This was a case of Using What I Have. Which is fine. Fine, but not great, or even good.  

Beyond the fact that the curtains don't match, the beige panels are linen and fairly sheer - a big problem as this is covering the glass doors to the outside, which also gets all the sun in the morning.   And I hated the look of the beige/ brown with our beautiful white trim.  I really wanted white panels that I could perhaps even add some color (!) to.  It got to the point where I just pretended like the curtains were white, as if I could alter the color molecules with the strength of my brain wave mojo.  Sad, exhausting, and definitely time to take action.  


First, I swapped the brown panels for white Ikea curtains, but these were temporary and mostly just to get the wrinkles out before they go into Big Sis' room (a project that STILL has a pending start date).  

Next, I racked my brain - and the internet - for the 'right' white panels.  Sure, white panels are easy to find, but upon hearing my plan, Husband requested something that would block out the light so we (he) could watch TV/ movies during the day (a benefit of a work schedule that is all over the place).  Ummmmm, white (my requirement), light blocking (his request) panels?  Good luck with that.  But, I like a challenge, and generally get my way (aka I care waaaaaay more than anyone else in this house & will not be denied) so after searching all the local stores (see: Lowes and Walmart), and scouring the interwebs, I decided that perhaps Blackout LINERS might work.  After 2 months of searching, I was ready to try anything.  Well, anything under $50.  

Here was my first solution:

They seemed like a potentially great option at a reasonable price ($24 for the pair).  
They were also the right length, so I had high hopes.  

Before work today I bought them and then I hung them.

The 54" width was TOTAL width, not PANEL width.  

The 80" length?  Maybe it's just a guess.... or they rounded up?  

After several minutes of silent cursing, I went to work and seethed and stewed and searched the internet again.  I wasn't thrilled with anything I saw, but decided to run with an idea patched together from a few different bloggers.  This is known as DIY.   

On my way home I stopped by Joann and bought 5 yards of Budget Blackout.  I cut that gigantic swath of fabric in half, slapped on some curtain rings, and BAM!


Here's a picture taken from this morning: 

It doesn't block out 100% of the light, and that's fine.  I wasn't trying to recreate the inner chamber of Carlsbad Caverns, just darken it up so we could turn on Netflix at 11am.  

While I still need to hem everything up, I am totally pleased so far.  And the cost?  $18 for the fabric (50% off), $14 for the rings = $32 for a panel pair that is 108" wide and 80" long.  My final plan is to do the same to the smaller window, and eventually add an 18" band at the bottom of each panel with this fabric: 

Crazy, right?  COLOR galore!  I chose this because it's contemporary, inexpensive ($11.75/ yard), and the right width for the panels.  And then I'm going to sew accent pillows in these:  

All fabrics are from Bobbie Lou's Fabric Factory on etsy.  

Can you see it? Can you feel it?  COLOR!  I think these will be great foils for the neutral walls and dark brown sofa. They will also pick up the blues in the Wall of States, and still coordinate with the white trim. 

This post is part of The William Morris Project ala Jules.  She rocks the house.  

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

An Overdue Birthday Interview

How old are you?  Four!

Did you have a good Birthday?  Yes.

What did you do on your birthday? Ummmmm........ nothing.  No, wait, I went to DisneyWorld!

What did you do there?  Buy stuff. 

What kind of stuff?  Like a pirate Mickey doll and pirate cars and that’s it.

What's your favorite thing to eat?: Grilled cheese, mac & cheese, and pineapple. And cake. And cupcakes.

What food don't you like?: Tots with cheese, bugs, green beans and peas.

Who are your friends?  Owen and Ethan and Jon and AJ and Bella.

What kind of stuff do you like to do?  Play with my toys and color pictures.

Do you have a favorite toy?  Yeah.  I’m gonna tell you what it is.  I’m gonna show you.  I’m gonna bring it out here.  Here!  My boat, and my planes, and Megamind.

What’s your favorite part of the day?  Going to preschool and staying home with you. 

What do you like about preschool?  Playing with my friends. 

What else do you want to say now that you are 4?  Yeah.  That I like baby eggs. 

What are baby eggs?  They are bird eggs.

What do you like about them?  ‘Cause they crack.

And I have one more question because you forgot to say what's my favorite show.  Hmm.... I'm thinking... Disney Junior, like I went to Disney World.  And I like Fresh Beat Band.  

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter Week

Resurrection Rolls

Baked eggs

An early morning egg hunt

Easter duds

 Recital pictures

and..... a sick little boy.