Friday, July 22, 2016


Hello! It's me! We've had a big week here at Chez Snark.

C went to summer camp! Our local YMCA camp has a beginning day camp that is only 3 days long. I am a HUGE champion for summer camp as a former camper and counselor so I was quite excited when I realized he would be old enough for camp this year. They do have traditional camp for 4-year-olds as well, but I didn't think he was quite ready for that. Three days was perfect.

He was so excited! We got his backpack all packed the night before and he was very much looking forward to using his moose lunchbox he got for Christmas.

Husband was in charge of taking him to the bus. C marched on to the bus like a champ! He was ready.

Husband was slightly more hesitant about his day camp experience. I was half super excited and half "how is my baby big enough for camp?" M was decidedly NOT a fan of her best friend leaving her three days in a row.

His counselors were Peter Pan and Blossom. I don't really understand the whole "fake name" thing. (Cue the "back in my day...") But there you have it. C loved camp. They did it all, just like the big kids. Horses, canoes, archery, swimming, tie dye, s'mores but it was tailored at a speed for littles.

His group walking stolen from the camp Facebook.
Today they had a parent picnic so we could go see him at camp and oh I am so glad we did. It was so nice to watch him getting along, going with the flow and enjoying camp. When we first got there for the picnic they were still making s'mores. He was so excited for that. He had been asking for weeks if they were going to have s'mores at summer camp. He looked like such a big guy. We just sat and observed. It was surreal but so good.
He's the kid in orange. 
He made a friend named Leanna, she was a tad older than him. She marched him over to four square during lunch and he waited his turn in the line. When it was his turn, she went into his square with him and coached him along. And the older boys, who had to have been ten or older were so kind and patient. They gave him two turns just for being small. They encouraged him and gave him high fives after he was out.

He is now sleeping in his tie dyed shirt that he is so proud off, incredibly tan and exhausted from three days of fun.

On Sofia the First, the fictional Buttercups (scout) motto is "Buttercups Buttercups make some room. Buttercups Buttercups watch us bloom." And that is what my guy did. He bloomed. I am so proud of him.

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Weekend!

Thursday night, book club was at my house, but I wasn't the host. We discussed The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebcca Skloot.

The plot is this: Henrietta had cervical cancer in the 1950s. The doctors took some of her tumor and those cells are still alive today. The cells have advanced medical research tenfold. Her surviving family has a really depressing life full of tragedy. 

I kept feeling like I was supposed to be outraged by the circumstances in the book but all the money in the world wouldn't have stopped some of the tragedies that her family survived. Nevertheless, we had a good discussion. 

Friday, because my house was clean anyway, I hosted a playdate. We had our friends from our preschool over. We had seen MC not too long ago, but it had been a while since we'd seen J. And I think it was the last day of school when they were all together. It was precious. They clearly missed each other. Everyone had grown in the past month and it was wonderful to see them all play together. 

In the afternoon I kind of just wanted to read, so I found an activity that would distract the kids. I filled up our sensory table with water beads that I already had hydrated. They were playing with them fine but were making kind of a mess on the porch so I just moved them to the patio. The table is usually our inside table but it wasn't outside super long. 

Saturday was the superhero costume birthday party! C was so excited. We last minute (like Friday night while he was sleeping.) got a Captain America mask at Walgreens to add to the look. C was SO excited to go to the party. It was his first "drop over" (drop off) birthday party and also the first time I let him pick out the present. So he was super excited. 

The party wasn't super long and it was on the other side of town. And just when the birthday boy's mom and another mom were convincing me to just stay and hang out, C asked me if I could please go. He was so polite and so earnest so I did. I went to the grocery store to buy sunbutter and then hit a drive through for a cold beverage. 

Then I went back to the party and sat in the car in their cul-de-sac. 

I drank my pop and read a book on my phone. It was a gorgeous morning and I had my windows open. I wasn't super close but the acoustics must have been pretty good because I heard the "Happy Birthday song" and the opening of presents! "Batman! Legos! A Baseball!" It was too cute. 

I walked in only a minute early and caught the end of the pinata fun. 

It was a highly successful party and apparently the birthday boy did, in fact, enjoy the present that C said he would like so that's great! 

Yesterday afternoon I had my other book club. We read Far From the Maddening Crowd by Thomas Hardy. It is a hard read and the main character Bathsheba just makes one bad decision after another. All to come full circle. Blah. Not my favorite book. 

But there were only two of us and so we had a good conversation. We got to know each other better and had a great time! 

A snazzy weekend was had by all! 

Friday, July 15, 2016

7QT: Another Week

one. Swim lessons ended last night! Everyone passed their level! Well, M, in fact did pass, but you have to be three to move to the next level so, she's got another year of her class to go. So by next summer she will probably be teaching the class since this was her second year and she was slightly underwhelmed. She truly believes she's a big kid.

two. C's teacher remained the dud that I believed her to be from the first class, but even got a little worse if you can imagine. I was really upset about it on Wednesday night, because it really felt like she was picking on C. Another parent commented to me about it as well, so I don't think I am being overly sensitive or protective. I was all set to write an email about her but I googled her last night and she just finished her freshman year of high school. So I still will probably write an email, because I do think it should be brought to the attention of the pool staff that she would be better off with older children, but she probably wasn't as malicious as I felt she was being because she's so young.

three. C is THE MOST excited for our Disney World 2017 trip. He is already asking where his "magic bracelet" is. He has been watching all the rides on YouTube and has been making big plans! It's kind of hilarious. It makes me proud but I keep trying to set his expectations low because the kids will be pretty little still. Right now his biggest "must dos" are: it's a small world and Gran Fiesta Tour.

four. Tuesday night my bestie and I headed out to play Pokemon Go for a couple hours. It was really fun and there were a TON of people out. It has also been a good motivator for C. Swim lessons conveniently had like 3 Pokestops, so we'll see if I keep playing with the save fervor when I have to really seek out more Pokeballs.

five. Prime day was incredibly successful. I got the bluetooth speaker, something for each kid, a Christmas gift for my brother and my one splurge item was these Dry Erase Pockets.

I SURE wish we had these during preschool! We used sheet protectors which were so hard to clean. And at $9 that isn't even a irresponsible splurge in the grand scheme of splurges. And they will for sure be used well!

six. I took a small break between the fifth take and now to pay bills. Riveting. This is what it has boiled down to. I just told you I pay my bills. On one hand, that's a good thing, because clearly that means I am being a productive member of society and not running amok. But on the other hand, that is incredibly boring and not even interesting since most everyone pays bills. 

seven. I am not even going to cop out this last take with something like "Linking up with Kelly" or mumbling about politics or the tragedy in Nice. Because that's all so obvious. Instead I will use this seventh take of mine to lament that I still do not have a school supply list for C. The school has the K-8 list out but not for preschool. So... I wait and twiddle my thumbs I guess. It's not a big deal at all but it would be nice to have to spread out my purchasing instead of one big trip.

Okay people, happy weekend!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Prime Day

Today is Prime Day! The second one.

I know that last year's event got a bad rap but I thought it was pretty good. Amazon is on record saying that Prime Day is different than Black Friday because people aren't shopping for specific things. But I beg to differ. Last year, I basically knocked out my Christmas list in July. It was great. 

So I planned ahead and made a list of things I'd like to get for M's birthday and Christmas for the group. Then last night when the actual Lightning Deals were posted for watching I went through. Not a lot of matches this year. Not a lot of toys in general.

The most apropros cake for me I've ever seen. I would not be sad if I got this for my 30th birthday.

A few things. A bluetooth speaker for Husband. I set an alarm and scooped that up at 3:05 AM. More of my watch list went live at 6:45 and I checked the prices and they weren't deep enough sales for me to bite. And they definitely weren't on my shopping list, just things that interested me if they were going to deeply deeply discount it. 

I have a few other items today to watch. And really it's only five that I am seriously hoping to buy if the price is right. 

So I am more underwhelmed this year than I was last. 

But no worries. At least I have a birthday/Christmas list made right?  

Monday, July 11, 2016

So Far

Well then.

You know how sometimes in the stay-at-home world, you are counting down the seconds until Dad comes home and someone else can change a diaper or make a decision? And then other days you sail on through and you're not quite sure how the day has gone so fast?

We are definitely having the good and fast kind of day.

Last night we had dinner at Husband's aunt and uncle's home. It was very nice. They sent us home with a bunch of blueberries from their little backyard patch. So because I had berries that were about twelve hours off the plant and it was Mom-day anyway...

Blueberry Mom-day muffins it was!

I stepped it up a bit and made actual homemade muffins, not a mix and not using Bisquick. Though I do swear by those Bisquick ones when you need to make muffins fast. 

Then after we ate we went for a walk so I could exercise catch Pokemon. I fully admit to downloading Pokemon Go and I am very much enjoying it. It's all original Pokemon and I just want to be the very best. Like no one ever was. I totally dig that it's all the Pokemon from when I was 12 and none of the bizarre nowadays kind.

After we got back from our quest, we were HOT. It is in the upper 80s with a crazy humid heat index so we decided to run through the sprinkler. My dad got the kids swimsuits with hats and initially I was confused because we had already gotten them suits but oh my genius! 

Two swimsuits each means that we could play sprinkler, get soaking wet and have SO much fun but that we still have dry swimsuits for swimming lessons tonight without me having to stick them in the dryer!! I love it! We played Hokey Pokey sprinkler style and we were totally drenched. (And since I have hair that takes FOREVER to dry, I am still in fact wet.) 

We came inside to make lunch (PBJ, raspberries, peas and milk) and I got the mail with two fun surprises! A really big check from Geico! 

Okay so not a really big check but $5 is $5 right?! And then I got my package from Punch and Judy Pegs. I won the Zelie & Co. Instagram auction. This is a screen shot of the item off of Instagram. 

Miss Clavel and Madeline peg dolls and board book of Madeline. I couldn't NOT have them. I am saving them for M's Christmas in July present. (Which is coming right up if you want to celebrate!!) 

Zelie & Co. have Instagram auctions every Tuesday through Wednesday at 10:00 AM CST. This is my second win and it's fun to get things at a good price and help out Catholic mamas who have homemade things. A lot of times you can get things at an especially good deal with the added bonus of some exhilarating bidding. Check it out if you haven't already. I look at the items weekly but only jump in to bid occasionally.  

All in all... I'm thinking it's been a pretty good day so far. 

Friday, July 8, 2016

7QT: Not Much to Say

one. Hey-O! I love three-day weekends and the short work weeks they bring. TGIF.


Swimming lessons are fun! M is loving her class with her dad. C had a super good day yesterday and I am hoping that trend continues. We've had storms a plenty during the day


This country is scaring me. I have no real words here. I'm just going to pray. 

four. C has been invited to a super hero birthday party and they are supposed to come dressed as their favorite superhero. We aren't a big super hero family and C has approximately, well, slightly more than zero knowledge. He likes the Adam West Batman show, he's seen that like twice. But since the birthday boy loves Batman I didn't want to usurp him. Plus if we are being honest, all the cute Batman shirts are black. C doesn't have any shorts that would match a black shirt, only jeans. And his shoes are Navy Blue.

So... we watched a lot of superhero theme songs on YouTube and he settled on Captain America. Which is great because he will look put together. We are going with a shield shirt over the "Captain America Outfit" kind of shirt.

Hopefully a tee shirt is enough. But since C isn't big on dress-up pretend play this is really the best we were going to get anyway. 

five. I am going to take the kids to the library today. This is the one activity that really really stresses me out. Some of our friends go to the library and get like a massive tote bag of books. Not in our world.

Just so you don't think I am the worst mother in the world, we have a ton of books at our house. Each kid has FULL bookshelf in their room. C even has two. We have a full book shelf in the playroom and we have books in the basement to be brought up into rotation for holidays, season and higher reading levels.

All I am saying is checking out ebooks online was a game changer for me. They return themselves, can't be damaged and don't require leaving the house or shushing anyone.

six. Have you seen that Jon Bon Jovi sang at a wedding? I just feel bad for him. Apparently. the band prepared the song ahead of time knowing he'd be there, then asked him before the ceremony and he said he didn't want to sing. That is when you change the set list then. He did not look happy, and he really only joined in because the singer totally botched the lyrics while standing next to him. (How embarrassing for her.) Plus he had a surgery on his vocal chords and has trouble hitting some of the notes now. I feel bad for him getting forced in like that. And all famous people who get roped into doing something because they're famous.

seven. Have a super weekend! I am linking up with Kelly on this fine day! 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

BLT Dip and Swimming Lessons

Every year there is a Betty Crocker calendar. You have to sign up to get it and one year I missed it. (2012) But with the exception I have managed to snag one. Every month is a different recipe with a tasty picture and they also give you tear out recipe cards for all twelve recipes which is great!

This year the Red, White and Blue poke cake was July's recipe and we had that this past weekend. But also this past weekend we made the August recipe and man, oh man, this is going to be a family favorite of ours for sure.

We made the Layered California BLT Dip. And it was the best thing ever.

Now, I don't love guacamole so we just omitted that, but I can definitely see how that would be good too. Otherwise this was delicious. It was BLT dip so that's pretty much awesome. It was so easy and good, and I would never have thought of it! This would be a great addition to a party or pot luck that is for sure! 

We served it in a hallowed out Hawaiian Sweet bread loaf and used the pieces to dip. We also used Sun Chips. Both options rock. I have never had Food Should Taste Good chips but I am pretty sure you could serve this dip with anything. 

So if you like tomatoes or will soon find yourself in abundance of tomatoes, I recommend this friendly dip. It is a winner!!

Yesterday was the first day of swimming lessons and M's was cancelled because someone had an accident in the main pool and the chemical levels weren't stable yet. But C's lesson is in the baby pool and he had his still. 

His is the little face right in front of the red rainbow piece. Anyway, send all the good thoughts our way because he got a dud teacher. I am sure she's a good swimmer and a lovely person but the 3-4 year old age group is not her forte. 

There are two classes of the same Tot Pole level in the pool at the same time and C kept trying to join the other class because they were doing all the fun games he remembered with a perky, upbeat teacher. I did talk to him afterwards (parents aren't allowed on the pool deck) about staying with his class so hopefully the next 7 classes go a bit better but we will see. I truly couldn't blame him for wanting to switch classes. 

He has a teacher and 2 aides for 8 kids so it shouldn't have been quite the herding cats experience that it was. (That's a pretty darn good ratio. Plus each class has a life guard watching, but their job obviously is not herding children.) I was not the only frustrated mom sitting on the other side of the fence. I also did not have the only wandering kid. 

Ah well, C had a REALLY fun time even though nothing was accomplished so that's what counts. And he didn't cry when it was time to get out so that's major progress from last year! He just loves swimming and being in the water. As far as he was concerned, they could have just had open swim for the 40 minutes and he'd be good. So we'll see how it goes tonight. At least M should get to swim today.