So, I'm actually subjecting myself to what they call a "linky-party". Whatever that is... It started as me, trying to make my sister (over at Symmetry in Motion) feel like she's not a loser, and then it turned into fun. You see, she's hosting this contest called "Symfully Sweet Saturdays" and was afraid that no one would participate. As a general rule, I don't participate in contests because I don't ever win, but being the devoted sister that I am, I couldn't let her down. That's just how I roll...
Take a moment and check the links I supplied. I'll wait...
So, now if you've done the required reading associated with the links above, you should know what this contest is all about. Now, I will give you the assignment: Tootsie Rolls!
I had no idea what to do until I got my latest order from Stampin' Up!. Gosh, I love that company. In that order happened to be THE MOST DARLING Owl Punch. I was inspired.
So, without further ado: My project. I hope that you think that it is as cute as I do...
The Tootsie Pop goodie bag!
And of course, what is a Tootsie Roll challenge without actual Tootsie Rolls??
*For the record, I am aware that the text for the Tootsie Roll Pillow Box should have been white and not black. Unfortunately, the size constraints of the pillow box determined the impossible nature of hand-cutting letters in the correct font. I'm only 27. I don't need arthritis... yet.
Sloan is probably my most interesting boy. He gets along very well with girls, loves to play house, and his favorite color, despite the merciless teasing of his older brother, is pink. I would worry about him and being able to fit in when he starts school, but he also loves to do "boy" things, too.
One of his most interesting attributes is his imagination. I am certain that (along with his good looks...) he got my creative genius. Lucky boy, indeed.
This evening, while putting him to bed, he announces:
"I've lost my sister."
"That's because you don't have a sister."
"Oh, I've got a sister. I just can't find her."
Now, I am a person who believes that children can somehow know things that we don't, so in my excitement I probed further:
"What do you mean?"
"I have a sister, but I can't find her, so I've lost her." Rolling his eyes and holding his hands out in explanation, like this makes it quite plain.
"Sloan, you don't have a sister. Who is Sister?"
Sloan tired of our conversation and was in no mood to give further explanation to his slow mother. Luckily, Josh was enlightened and had just come into the room.
"Sister?" he says, "I know who she is."
"Who is Sister, and how do you know?"
"Deggy told me." (Deggy is Sloan's favorite stuffed bear.) "After he finished his prayer, of course."
Please, allow me to introduce, Sister:
Apparently, my dreams of having a daughter were satisfied with a toy from the dollar section of Michaels. Go me.
Something that you may not know about me: People tell me things. I don't know why, perhaps I am just a good listener, but people confide in me. Generally, it's strangers who have no business assuming that I am a trustworthy person worthy of confiding in.
Yesterday, while sitting down to a nice lunch at CostCo, my listening ear failed me. It could be that I am still getting over an ear infection that I contracted two weeks ago. In fact, we'll place the blame for my predicament there. Aside from that, I must confess that when a stranger is pouring out their secrets to me, I don't always give them my best attention. Especially when I am wrangling three boys and my husband is in the three-hour food court line. In these instances, my mind goes into what I like to call "Auto Response", and I use one of four blanket answers for each thing that they say. We all do it, right? Right?
The situation happened like this: As I was pulling the third of my boys from the cart I heard a woman behind me say, "Wow. Three boys, huh?" (I get this a lot. At least once every time I go to the grocery store. Apparently, we are quite the circus sideshow...)
Me: "Yup. Three boys."
Stranger: "Ever gonna try for a girl?"
(This question is the one that bothers me. Oh, blast. I can try for a girl? Shoot. If I had known, maybe I would have applied myself more...)
Me: "Ah, well, the "trying" hasn't worked so well thus far, so I think I'm just happy with my boys."
Stranger: "Wow. I'm glad that since I could only have one, it's a girl." (Points across the table to her daughter.)
Me: "Well, I'm happy for you."
Stranger: "You see, I am a school teacher and I always thought that I wanted both a boy and a girl, but after teaching boys, I am so glad that I got a girl."
Me: "Yeah, boys are certainly a different breed."
Stranger: "Yeah. I have problems with infertility so I could only do one round of IVF."
(I have nothing else to blame for what next popped out of my mouth but that my irritation with the conversation had activated "Auto Response".)
Me: "Oh, fun!"
The instant it came out, I realized what I had just said and I wanted to reach out into the thin air and grab it back. It was like watching a terrible cartoon. I quickly rambled something about how beautiful her daughter was and hoped that she hadn't noticed the insensitive, yet unintentional, comment. Our conversation didn't last long beyond that point. I tried to snuff it out and turn away with the pretense of digging through my purse and focusing all my attention on putting lipgloss on Mason, lest my mouth get me further into trouble.
Ironically, the subject of a daughter came up later during lunch with Ethan. While eating his pizza, he declared that, "Mom, if you ever do get your own girl, you're gonna have to give itit's own room, 'cause we don't want it to bother us."
Very few actually know what a rockin' mom I really am and since I don't ordinarily like to toot my own "Rockin' Mom" horn, not many ever will. But occasions of extra rockin'-ness such as this warrant vigorous horn-tooting. And so I commence...
Josh recently finished his LAST SUMMER SEMESTER as a Dental Student! Meaning, that we have a whopping 8 months left until I get to see my stud muffin in a cap and gown. We decided to make our last break between summer and fall semesters one that the boys (at least the two older ones...) would remember. (When I say "We" you know I mean "I" as I am the rockin' one here...). The boys had been begging to go camping, probably because Caillou loves to camp. He is the coolest bald kid on PBS, after all.
Being something of an allergy-stricken indoor girl, Josh assumed that I would want no part of that. Or rather, perhaps he hoped... hmm... but rather than let the boys have all the fun, I opted to introduce my boys to the "Sloan" way of camping.
The plan: To drive to Mt. Charleston and find a camp ground for over night. We found one wonderful campsite at "Hill Top" campground (The view was A-mazing!) and set up our tent, "kitchen area" and "explored" in the woods. We took hikes, ate ridiculously unhealthy foods in large amounts, and played Uno until one sore loser put an end to that. By the time the sun was setting, our boys were obviously tired and it was quite plain that they would sleep like champions, even in a tent. Explore the rest of the night with me:
8:31: All three boys, sound asleep in their respective beds. Parents quietly chatting under a beautiful full moon.
8:45: Dad concedes that buying the lantern that Mom suggested would have been nice to play games by. (We didn't build a fire on purpose. I didn't think that it was the safest thing to have a blazing fire and a curious 15-month-old.)
9:00: Equally tired parents decide the wise thing to do would be to brush teeth and turn in.
9:15: Mom discovers that toilets have a curfew as the door to the closest "Vault" toilet is locked.
9:21: Mom explores options of open-range peeing.
9:36: Parents in bed and children still asleep.
9:42: Frantic giggling under the covers as parents learn that at least one of their boys is a "sleep tooter".
10:02: The first squeaks erupt from Child 1's air mattress as he rolls over.
10:03: Child 3, screaming.
10:45: Child 3, asleep, being put back in crib.
10:46: Child 3, screaming.
11:27: Child 3, asleep, being put back in crib.
11:28: Child 3, screaming.
11:45: Child 3, asleep, yet thrashing in Parent's bed.
11:47: Child 3, evicted from parent's bed.
12:01: Soft rustling sounds as Dad takes Child 3 to the van for a drive.
3:00: Dad awakened by Child 3, screaming in car seat.
3:01: Dad learns that he should have moved the lumbar support while sleeping in the car.
3:10: Dad refills Child 3's milk and rocks him to sleep.
3:17: Child 1, jealous and awake in Parent's bed, asking why Dad got to take a hike in the dark.
4:23: Child 3 in parent's bed, cuddling with Mom; Dad sleeping sideways on bottom of air mattress, cuddling Mom's feet.
5:15: Child 1, awake, announcing that "The sun is up! It's day!"
5:16: Child 1, 2, & 3, awake for the day.
5:30: Family walk around the campground.
5:45: Mom discovers that toilets don't so much have curfews as broken doorknobs and with a little ingenuity uses the most disgusting "Flush Toilet" in history.
6:00: Breakfast of Pop Tarts and Apple Juice in the tent. Note to self: Bad idea.
8:00: Family hike up Robber's Roost which would be slept through by Child 3.
11:00: Breaking down camp and heading home for grilled cheese and showers.
Perhaps Mason's just not ready for camping... but I am still pretty rockin'. Basically, the "Sloan" way of anything, rocks. Even when it turns out that bad. You wouldn't believe it, but the boys had a blast and can't wait to do it all over again. Even I'd do it over again... but only with a healthy dose of Dimetapp around 8:29.
Mason after some "exploring". Boys may as well be made of dirt...
*Sadly, this is really the only picture we took. We realized halfway to Mt. Charleston that we forgot the camera to document our rockin'-ness but the boys were too excited to turn around. We decided to rely on our camera phones (picture taken above), not realizing that searching for signal because you're on top of a mountain would result in two dead phones after 1 hour. Live n' learn, I guess...
I guess, as of late, I'm into video posts. So, here is another one. I really like this video that Josh made for me, and I used it for a lesson that I gave at church. The topic was "The Importance of Life and the Sacred Power of Procreation". It was quite a heavy topic for 14 year old girls, though, and so I wanted to do it right. I decided to set the tone with this video to help me teach (and show by personal example) the precious nature of human life and the astounding ability and responsibility for us to be co-creators with God in bringing children into the world.
I wanted to say all of this, and planned on doing so. I had watched the video all week as it took shape but as I was sitting there, watching it in it's entirety with "my girls", I couldn't help myself. I started to bawl like a baby and since I cannot talk at all when I cry, I was basically paralyzed by the emotions that I felt and my lesson suffered for it. I'm sure the girls (and the other leaders in the room...) were thinking something like, "Uh, okay. Why did she show us this video?". I blame Brother Ross who showed us this one in Sunday School the hour before. Though I barely made it through that video without crying (using Wheat Thins from my diaper bag as a distraction...) the pump was already primed, and I knew it was over.
Long story, short: Enjoy the video. I'm going to get myself a tissue.