Graduation Milestone

This Spring I have both jr. and senior proms and graduations. I love a good party, more so I enjoy planning a good party.  I like exploring neat ideas and mostly I get pleasure when my guests have a great experience.  This party was an outdoor picnic theme. We served pulled pork sandwiches with coleslaw and kettle chips.  I kept everything very simple and the feedback from guest the next day was very positive.

Enjoy the photo party and easy ideas!

 

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The last few parties I have planned or hosted it has been all about the helium balloons.They are a quick, fun and easy way to decorate. For this outdoor party these large number balloons added to the graduation theme.

 

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This simple balloon bouquet was just the right touch.

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Very simple self serve popcorn station.

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Another easy self serve idea.

 

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For special events I like to go one step further with the cake. This is a work of art.

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You can use mason jars for so many things, such a simple and easy idea.

 

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A great way to end a wonderful evening.

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Boy Gotta Kiss the Frogs Too.

I thought it may come at some point, I mean no child is perfect, although I always feel my children are.  I wasn’t sure what form it would come in. The greatest fear was that it would be drugs. I had a plan for that. I would re mortgage my house and get them in the best treatment program ever. I wondered what would happen if that didn’t take and funds ran out. I knew then I would have to let them go and hope they returned alive and not broken beyond repair. That would hurt, it would be devastating.

I thought it may come in the form of just simply moving away to college or a job and that may happen yet. He is young.  I would miss them, it would be difficult.

I thought it would come in the form of a girl. Actually, I was sure it would be a girl. When you are the most important female in their life for the first 18 years and along comes a girl, any girl, there is going to be trouble.

Now, if, she is the perfect girl, that I love and he does too and of course she loves me, then problem diverted. But just like us ladies we are going to kiss a lot of frogs before we find the prince.

The problem is boys are going to kiss the girls and put their moms on the back burner while doing so. And as a Mom you are going to see all the wrong frogs for your son and there is nothing you can do about it. But yet, what you do is get angry with your son.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

You see things they can’t and you try to communicate it to them. You get angry because what feels like all of the sudden their priorities are all messed up. They say things to you that you are sure are the words of the “girlfriend”. It all comes to a head and you realize you have lost, you have lost. You have lost influence over their lives. Okay, maybe, let me try to call it what you are thinking, you have lost control. I can’t just tell him what to do and he will do it. He use to be so compliant. Now, he fights me, it feels like at every turn, every direction. AND NOW he is OLD ENOUGH TO ACTUALLY CALL ME OUT! WTF!

You invest every cell of your being into a child ( your children) and you love them so much. And now you are so angry with their choices and decisions and at the same time you are trying to protect them from making mistakes, emotional ones, educational ones, financial ones. And you are just left feeling hurt as they get in the car that you bought them to spend Father’s Day with another family.

You want to say “I gave up my life for you, I live for you. Every decision I ever made, I thought about your best interest” AND now I am the mean Mom, the not understanding Mom, the Mom who doesn’t get it, the Mom that rides your ass, the Mom who speaks with attitude. “ Do you hear yourself?”, he says to me “This is the reason I don’t want to be here”. <heart stab, stab, stab> My son doesn’t want to be with me. It hurts. It fucking hurts.

16! and ready to drive..Yikes!

For some reason I thought when my kids turned 16 they would just instantly know how to drive a car. I mean I taught them to feed, clothe and wipe their asses I figured I get a break on teaching them how to drive. But no, they don’t know how to drive automatically and you have to teach them.

I don’t remember learning how to drive, I got in the car and drove. I am sure someone taught me something but driving becomes so automatic you just get in the vehicle and drive. For the record, I did take driving lessons, that I had to pay for because my parents wouldn’t and if I didn’t take the lessons my mother wasn’t going to let me drive. AND I WAS GOING TO DRIVE. Driving was the first taste of FREEDOM, FREEDOM.

But I digress. Sitting in the vehicle with your 16 year old and knowing he has the potential to kill you…death by car accident going less than 40km is darn right FRIGING scary.  All these years you though you would be the one to kill them in their teens year, with ya know, the many challenges of raising a teen and then I (we) give them a car to DRIVE! with US in it and WHAT DO YOU MEAN I HAVE TO DO THIS MORE THEN ONCE.

One of our first lessons is me teaching him reaction time. In order for me to feel an ounce of safety I need to know he can SLAM on that break quickly and not hit the gas accidentally. So picture this, Nick driving the Mom van…. and I call out break every so often… “break! …go…..break…..go…break…. go”.  Not bad… let’s take it on the road, well to the end of the cul da sac. He is driving…… GAS!! GAS!!! I shout. WTF MOM??? I mean BREAK! BREAK!. Enough for today.

I don’t know why you think that by gripping the arm rest of the passenger seat that it is going to save you in any way from his ridiculously fast right and left turns but somehow you are willing the car with all your brain power to make the turn, GOD PLEASE MAKE THIS TURN!! With OUT KILLING US OR THE CHILD ON THE BIKE! More importantly the child on the bike.

One day I decided I would give him the blizzard test.  What is this you ask?  No, I wasn’t assumulating a snow storm.   Before switching him to the drivers seat I purchased a blizzard from DQ. I was preparing for a nice relaxing enjoyable ride while enjoying my peanut something or other blizzard. I figured if he passed this test he was ready to graduate from the subdivisions and on to the roads with actual traffic and more then one car every 5-10 minutes.  I don’t even remember eating the darn thing. It was more like shovelling….. of peanuts and ice-cream into in my mouth to prevent me from screaming and crunching those poor little bastard peanuts to fine dust. I just had a thought! A stress ball!!!

He is getting better, especially when I am not in the car. Wonder why this is? Anyways, time to leave this job for the professionals. I could scar him for life and then he would never be able to leave home drive a car.

Younger Self

My oldest son turns 16 years old tomorrow. Milestones, like this one get you thinking about how much time has gone by and of course how quickly times goes by. When Nick was born I fell head over heels in love. Literally! Who knew what joy a little version of yourself, offspring could be. I don’t think my mother loved me like that but who knows. I am glad I loved like that.

Looking through some photos of him as a baby I came across this one.

(no make up, no filters, smiling 🙂 , in love)

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I was a bit sad to see a spark in my eye that I didn’t see in a recent selfie I had taken of myself.

15 years plus a few months later……

(Recent Selfie-no make up Monday, no filters, no smile )

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At first, I felt sad about that missing spark I perceived. Ultimately, I know I am really just being hard on myself. Then, I wondered, what would I tell this younger version of myself today and so I wrote..

You knew the moment you found out you were pregnant what a special love you had and the joy that followed was more than you imagined. While you already knew life wasn’t all rainbows and pink cotton candy. You knew the birth of a child, your child was a new beginning, a new start. An opportunity, to love and experience love, a complete unconditional love. In the moments, right after birth, you knew it wasn’t just about you anymore. Your child first and your were second and that was perfectly okay. Most things you worried about before the birth, were not nearly as important. What a relief that was. A fresh breeze. A state of happiness. Your child’s happiness, well being and upbringing was in the forefront. Your mission was to raise a child that knew he was loved and cared for, no matter what. Something, you didn’t feel you had. Your mission was to raise a child that would have no fear showing affection, crawling into bed with you, never would he be afraid or doubt your love. Your child would have know a loving, kind mother. A mother who’s  eyes brightened when you walked in the room and wouldn’t hesitate to scoop you up in open welcoming arms.

You never knew that a couple years later you would be in the fight of your life. That the shock of such news would shake you to your very core. You didn’t know that your children would be the ones that gave you purpose to rise every morning. You had a mission! Your children needed you.

Shaken to the core you were. You had no idea the long term effects socially, emotionally and physically. But you fought, fought, fought and continue to fight! Fall down seven times, get up eight.

While some of your carefree innocence and spark faded with your fight, your love for your children only grew, your life adventures multiplied, you pushed through fear after fear and you learned to be truly grateful, less self-fish and have compassion and kindness for others. The mission you set for motherhood never faulted, didn’t fail. The gratitude you have for each day with your children  makes your heart overflow. Your relationship with God and faith is solid.

Your spark maybe more cautious and more mature with riding the waves of life but I’m proud of you. Maturity, isn’t all the bad. Don’t ever let anyone take away from you your struggles, your victories, for they know not the shoes you wore. Be grateful for those who shared the road. Continue to be grateful and celebrate all occasions in style.  Continue with your Mom mission you are doing a great job!

 

Hidden Talents….Man, they are hiding really good.

Do you ever wish you could do somethings just a bit better? I understand that none can be really good at everything but just a little better at somethings would be helpful. Are you following me?

Here are some examples….

I wish I was better at make-up application. Okay, I wish I could do it like the pros. Why can’t I get that dewy, I look 10 years younger look?

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I wish I was better at cooking.  I can cook and it taste good but I really don’t like it. Maybe I should rephrase. I wish I enjoyed cooking. I wonder what it is like to actually enjoy the cooking process. How wonderful would it be to get home from work and be excited about cooking a meal? Actually excited about it, instead of dread and hiding from the kitchen.

I wish I could decorate an amazing cupcake. I don’t need to be able to do the whole cake just one little amazing cupcake.

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Fashion. I have in my head what I want to look like I just have no idea how to do it. I mean I really have no idea. Zero, zip, none.

Painting. I envy people that can paint. Not so much draw but dip the brush and go to town on the canvas. People are incredible who have  this talent.

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Sing. I can sing and if I train my voice on a constant basis I can sound pretty good but someone always sound better, has more talent. God I hate those people.

Sewing. Again people that can sew are amazing. Make a quilt or sew a dress and I am in awe. I have made a few things in my day,  curtains and one skirt. I can hem pants, most times.

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Sure  I have talents, well….maybe not, definitely not around the arts. Honestly, what happened? For goodness sakes people put your children in some art classes.

 

First Kiss

girl-flowersSomeone is this household has had his first kiss

with a girl,

 at a dance,

for about 7 seconds,

ON THE LIPS!

And how do I know this you ask? I  grilled him!

Of course in a most loving way. Okay, so he didn’t tell me.  But I do have loving one on one conversations with him ( okay, I grill him)

He told his Dad,

while in the car,

on a long drive to play hockey.

I just learned about it last night (Sunday) and it happened on Thursday.

I kind of suspected something when I asked him how the dance was and he replied “Fantastic!”

Fantastic, this is the first fantastic dance.

Dances have been good

and fun

but never FANTASTIC!.

When I picked him up I caught him leaping,

Yes,  literally leaping around his friends.

It is all coming together now.

BUT who does “she” think she is kissing my son! Yes, that was the first thought that came to my mind.

Her lips on his.

His lips on hers.

Those sweet little lips I kiss thousands of times. Those sweet little kisses have been mine. ( okay, he started refusing my kisses a few years back but still.) My boy, now growing into a young man that will be loved by another woman besides me someday.

Oh, that face, those eyes, those kissable lips.

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one year old

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6-8 months old

Look at the face! Those eyes, cheeks, little kissable lips. Of course I spoiled him (not with things but with lots of love and attention). Maybe I am paying the price for that now but in my defence he has always been an intense child pretty much from birth.

Is he is the sensitive child, the emotional child? I don’t know. I’ve worked with children for over 20 years and can figure out other people’s children pretty quickly but with my child I am completely blind and all my strategies fail me.

“Why am I always the one getting in trouble?”   ( heart stab)

Well, let’s see your raging and screaming your head off and I need to get you out this situation ASAP.

He said this to me. He did this to me.

” You need to go upstairs”

More screaming and raging, refusing to move, refusing to let me calming walk/talk him through the situation

Now my patience is running out. I mean, I can only listen for so long to his rude words and disrespectful tone. So yes, now he is in trouble. Yet, he just doesn’t get this or so it seems but he is a smart kid.

After some calm down in this room. I get him on the coach for a talk and try to calming explain that if I walk into the house and the stove is on fire and the Christmas tree is on fire, I am going to put the Christmas tree out first because that is going to burn the house down and the stove second as the fire is not as large. I told him he is the Christmas tree. Then he starts plugging his ears and steam comes out of mine and off to bed he is sent.

He falls asleep in minutes with his clothes on. So all that because he was exhausted. I know sleep can be a major contributor for him.

Tomorrow is a new day, a fresh start and another chance for me to figure out how to best parent this child who is now 11 years old.

We are on week 3 of no electronics ( computer, video games, iPad). He is driving us crazy with his TV shows and he and his brother have taken to playing mini sticks again, hence the “big meltdown” this evening. I can hardly wait for his Christmas bedroom make over so he will have a new desk, chair and a reading corner. I am thinking I may start allowing some utube videos on the computer starting next week. We will see.

I do know that the excitement of Christmas with the late nights to come are triggers. I will work on my reactions to his behavior during this season. I am sure at times I am reactive ( but boys it is hard not to be after the 10th “frigging” out of his mouth).

That’s the plan: Less reactive, more listening when he is speaking calmly. Hey, I can do this! Maybe my training will finally work on my own kiddo.