Wedding Season is upon us.  I know this because I recently had a friends wedding I was invited to.  I had to miss due to it being halfway across the country, but I still wanted to send some love the couples way.

I don’t have lots of extra cash, so I came up with a cute, budget friendly gift.  Cute enough that I made myself one in the process.

I found the jpeg on pinterest, sent it into a local printing store and framed it up!  I also attached a white board marker to the bottom with Velcro to encouraging leaving love notes.

Here is the one for my house:

My lovebug hasn’t noticed it yet, but someday we can hopefully pass notes back and forth :).

Speaking of weddings, did you know I was a wedding planner for 3 years?  Yup, I can give ya all sorts of tips on weddings.  Also, I have been in quite a few.  The first was when I was the maid of honor for my sister’s when I was 18 (no picture of that, it was before the digital camera era).
The next one was for my friend Kristin:

There I am with blonde hair and a spray tan.

I was a personal attendant for my friend Sarah(no picture, because it was before I has a digital camera…I was way behind on that one).

Then, I got to be the maid of honor again for my lovely friend Court:

Yes, I really am that short.

That same summer, I was in my friend Amy’s wedding (the Amy who delivered my little HJ):

The next wedding I was in was my friend Becky’s:

This was when HJ was six months old and I had to keep breaking away to go pump…I actually pumped in a car on a very busy street in Des Moines, ha.

And finally, last summer I was a personal attendant for Danielle (who was one of the first people I met at college and we bonded instantly):

I think my hair color changed with every picture.

Anyone have creative gifts for weddings?

 

 

Apparently, I forgot to post about Easter.  Whoops. 

HJ and I celebrated with Nana and Papa and my sister and her family.  On Saturday of Easter weekend, we went to a pancake breakfast and had an Easter egg hunt.  The bunny was there…but there are no pictures with the scary, scary bunny.  HJ would not get within 10 feet of him.  But HJ was excited for Easter egg hunts!

 

After the first hunt, my nephew and HJ sat down to compare loot.

Then it was time to go to Nana and Papa’s to color eggs.

 

Then, we relaxed until Easter Sunday.  And the egg races were off again!

Which did lead to some temper tantrums.

Until it was discovered there was food in the eggs!

HJ even gave up picking the food out of the egg, and just shoved it all in his mouth.

Mommy may have told him to chill out on the sweets for a bit, which led to more tantrums…(check out his new pout)

Luckily, cousins make life fun.

And bubble wands can become swords.

HJ loves pretending to fly.  He runs around the house shouting, “I flying really fast!”.  The past few weeks he was even making capes out of anything he could..shirts, coats, robes…we even went on a walk with a bath towel tied around his neck.

I remembered pinning  something on pinterest a while back about easy ways to make capes for kids, I couldn’t find the pin, but vaguely remembered what to do.  While out running errands, I grabbed this cheap $3 red adult t-shirt

 

I cut along the side seam, cut off the sleeve, and left the back and collar on.  Basically, I took off the front and the sleeves, while leaving the part you stick your neck through.  And viola, easy and cheap superhero cape.

I tried to get pictures of the finished product, but it is hard to get a good picture of a 2-year-old running around “flying”.  Here is the photo shoot attempt…

 

 

 

 

HJ loves wearing his superhero cape around, he even likes to show it off by wearing it around the neighborhood.

I came across an article yesterday on The Power of Moms.  It was one of those articles that really struck a chord with me, it was called, Your Children Want YOU!  While reading the article (while on my phone, and my son playing cars at me feet), I realized I need to be more “in the moment” with him.

There are so many times that I am doing things FOR him, but not WITH him.  I might be cleaning up the toys or folding laundry, but realistically, that stuff can wait.  You know what can’t wait?  Playing hide and go seek (and not hiding in the laundry room to fold clothes..yup I have done that).

I might be looking at pinterest to get ideas for him, but he really doesn’t care if I make him a tension rod puppet theater.  And honestly, pinterest sometimes stresses me out.  I find cute things that I want to do RIGHT NOW.  And it stresses me out!  I don’t think crafting is supposed to stress me out.

I want to be able to look back on these days and think that I spent every moment I could with my little boy.  Helping mold him into an amazing little man.

The other night, HJ and I were playing outside.  He was covered in dirt head to toe.  He was wearing a cape, eating jelly beans and riding his bike.  He was yelling at me to run because “I GONNA GET YOU!”.  At that moment I thought I wish I had a video camera, so I could look at this moment whenever I wanted to.

That’s what I want.  More priceless memories.  Memories that don’t involve me stressing about sweeping my floors and wiping down counters or spray painting god knows what.  I need to remember that my son doesn’t care if the house is constantly organized.  I don’t want him to remember that mommy was always to busy to play.

I want him to remember the running, the laughter, the hugs and cuddles.

I do not understand the Child Support system.  I feel as if it is built to help dead beats.

You may remember a few months ago when I excitedly posted that HJ’s father was finally going to have money withheld from his check to pay his support.  I REALLY thought this finally meant I was going to be getting the money.  And the right amount.

I was wrong.

First off, the company had 30 days to comply with the withholding order.  That 30 days made it so I missed out on receiving ANY type of support for the month of February.  Once the 30 days hit, I called the CS office.  They contacted his employer.  The employer said that they would be making payments once a month.  At the end of the month.  So I received nothing for February, and finally received some support at the end of March.  The amount I received was not the full amount, in fact it was only about 60% of the full amount.  This week the CS office decided once again to contact his employer to see what they were doing.  They said that HJ’s dad is not working many hours, so they are only obligated to take 50% of his take home pay.

No one mentioned that he hasn’t been working much because they were on vacation for two weeks.  If I take a vacation, my bills are still due.

The amount was set almost 2 years ago, and there have only been 3 times where I actually received the full amount.

I am not a financial genius, but if I was to not pay my bills, I would get in trouble.  I would lose my house.  I would lose my car.  I wouldn’t be able to survive.

But a dead beat dad can apparently skip out on payments and they just “add it to his tab” like it’s no big deal?  Oh, he only owes you $12,000 in support we all agreed and signed on?  No big deal.

Why does it feel like the system is set up against the people who are actually supporting their children?

I kill plants.  All sorts of them.  I like to think it is because I give them too much love.  Currently, my boss kidnapped the one plant in my office to try to “save” it.  I have gone to floral shops and asked for “plants that are hard to kill”, and then get laughed at when they point out ones that I have in fact already killed.

One time I had a peace lily that actually thrived for over 2 years under my care.  Then my mom was visiting one weekend and said it needed the sun.  She set it outside for the day while we went out shopping.  The temperature with humidity that day was about 100 degrees.  The plant died.  Heat stroke, I guess.

Why am I telling you all this?  Because I like to rant. 

Actually, because I am trying my hand at keeping plants alive again.  I saw a few cute ideas on pinterest (shocker, I know) and combined them to come up with this

 

 

(Excuse the dirty patio) 

This is my herb garden.  Because apparently I am hoping to turn into the type of person that uses fresh herbs.  Keeping plants alive and using herbs…woah.  Makes me sound all adult like.

Naturally, after I put plants outside I get an alert on my phone for a frost warning.  The first time in MONTHS.  And it is supposed to continue through next week.  This meant I had to bundle up the plants last night by covering them up with a sheet.  As of this morning, they are still alive…and they have been in my care for 3 whole days now.

 

The other morning, I was in the shower.  HJ came running in asking me to turn on a movie.  I told him I was busy, but would help him when I was out of the shower.

A few minutes later, I turned off the shower.  Behind the bathroom door, I could hear a TV on.  I open the door and discovered this…

He built a staircase and turned the TV on.  How he did it, I will never know.  My dresser is OLD, like great-great grandma old.  I have to use two hands to open the drawers (maybe I should get new furniture…).  He somehow pulled the bottom drawer completely out.  Then, he opened the next two drawers just a little bit, building himself a staircase and climbing on up to the TV.

While I was picking up that mess, I heard him doing something in the kitchen.  I came out to HJ and the dog shoving a bowl of potato chips in their mouths.  He apparently opened the pantry, climbed up the shelf (I have to hide chips from him, and clearly I need a new spot) and put them in a bowl.

This morning, HJ was playing with a toy that asks questions about animals.  I was listening to him play and giggling.  First I heard it ask, “What animal has a big mane?”.  His response was, “LION! ROAR!”.

The next question was, “What animal has a belly pouch?”.  He must have been thinking, because it asked again, “What animal has a belly pouch?”.

His response?  “MY MOMMY!”