Father’s Day, Pan Party 2 and the Bathroom Redeaux!

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I am all over the place today. First off I need to apologize for missing my Thursdays posting. Who cares, you ask? I care! I am the meanest boss ever and I have failed myself. I set up this complicated blog strategy schedule and set a goal for myself to post every Tuesday and Thursday and I missed my Thursday!  Sigh.  Good thing I’m not going to fire myself. I just told myself that I’m not perfect and I can get back on it again next week and in the meantime here’s a bonus super bonanza Friday post! Woo Hoo!

So this Sunday is Father’s Day in case you didn’t know. (Get on that homemade card if you forgot.) In the theme of Father’s Day Payam and I worked really hard on this cool vintage clock radio planter craft for alphamom. It was so fun, probably my favorite craft ever, next to the tiny toolbox and snow globe soaps.

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I have a new hobby now: collecting vintage clock radios. It’s great for my hoarding problem. But I mean, how could I not?!! They are the coolest ever. That red one had my name on it the minute I walked into an antique store and it was staring at me from a way up high dusty shelf. Vintage clocks can set you back a bit. Some on eBay can run from $20-$80. So keep your eyes out at garage sales and estate sales. These babies are hot.

And speaking of hot…

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Pan Party Two happened last night! It’s a THING now you guys! I’m so happy.

It wasn’t hot, it was actually a bit chilly when the sun went down but we had such a nice time. Picnicking at the park during golden hour is something that I am a huge fan of. I will be preaching about it until the cows come home or it turns into a community of hundreds which honestly is my vision. I think it can happen too. I’m passionate about building friendships and getting outside enjoying the weather and each other’s company. That’s what we have to do to fight our addiction to technology. That’s really the happy part of life, right?

We’re only doing it once a month which is good because it takes some effort. Preparing a pan dish, lugging a tin of drinks and ice to the trunk and then the park, remembering table clothes, cups, silverware, paper plates, napkins… you know the drill. It can steal away half your day if you are not careful. Then add kids who want to swim to the mix and you’ll be busy from 2pm to midnight. BUT IT’S SO GOOD for everyone.

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Look at this photo Bug took? Isn’t it pretty? I’ve been pushing Bug to be more artistic in her photos (She is the product of two photographer parents after all) and she usually rolls her eyes at me and takes a picture of her foot or the leather of the car seat all blown up blurry and then types some words on top. But this photo really stopped me in my tracks. I love the angle. I love the colors, I love the lone dad sitting on the lawn chair waiting for his kid to get out of the pool already. This is exactly what I wanted Pan Party to be. Everyone getting outside, away from their devices to see how pretty this time of day really is.

Of course I’m kind of a hypocrite because I’m all about documenting this beauty and sharing it on social media but what can I say? I’m not a purist. I think we can have it all.

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More photos by Bug.

As you can see the beanie baby collectible fluff ball dog showed up. The kids had boba right before the pan party (big mistake) and couldn’t care less about eating. They ran around wild all over the park while we parents sat around stuffing our faces with enchiladas, lasagna, mashed potatoes… (no diets here) and those crack grocery store cookies with the neon frosting on top of them, you know the ones. It was great.

Then the puppy showed up and the kids squealed like Taylor Swift fan girls and went rushing off to fight over who could carry the puppy around for the rest of the night. That poor dog never gets to walk on it’s own. It doesn’t seem to mind though. It doesn’t even look like a dog. I think it’s a long-legged fluffy mouse. Except at one point it was walking on the table and it totally went after our food like a regular dog. Maybe that’s how you tell it’s a dog.

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I’m gonna say Pan Party Two was a big success and all of you who wimped out and didn’t come for whatever reason (I’m looking at you, Maria and One Little Happy) you guys missed out. You better make it to Pan Party Three which is scheduled for July 19th, 2018 at 7pm. Make a note!

In other news, I thought I’d just smash on my Bathroom Redeux post right here at the end of this post. It totally flows. Heh.

I was thinking it’s not really enough substance to be it’s own post. And the pictures are not that great. It’s kind of impossible to get flattering photos of a bathroom that has no natural light and it’s so small you can’t really get a photo of it all at one time. I haven’t splurged on a wide angle lens that will work in such tight quarters yet.

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I really wanted to share with your this small Ikea shelving unit that we installed over the toilet. It is a little tight and I wish it was just a smidge more narrow so it doesn’t hang over the toilet so much but it has seriously changed our lives when it comes to organization.

This is the girls bathroom so imagine bottles of shampoo everywhere, most of them empty and dripping all over because they have this theory that they need to keep their shampoo upside down with the lids not all the way closed. No matter how much I harped on the fact that the lids need to be popped closed until you hear a click they did not hear me. It was gooey sticky drippy mess everywhere all the time. Then add about a zillion bobby pins and rubber bands to the counter area that you see around the sink, smear some toothpaste here and there, add a few hairs and you pretty much get the idea of the bathroom. I had had ENOUGH. Those drawers? Full of girl crap to the point that they can’t even open and close easily. I don’t even want to know what’s in there.

So I got the girls each a caddy and laid down some RULES. Shampoo and conditioner bottles go in the caddy and they must be dry. I got them individual rubber band and bobby pin jars and told them that from now on NOTHING goes on the sink counter except toothbrushes and soap. They each have a cubby and they have to keep it neat because it’s on full view.

GUESS WHAT? It worked. It’s been weeks and the bathroom is tidy and orderly. I am sooo happy.

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It’s almost like a spa in there! The caddies work really well for the girls too because they often have to take turns showering in our bathroom. This way they can carry everything they need in one trip instead of yelling for one of us to bring them things they forgot mid-shower. It’s just an all around win. If you have tween/teen kids or just someone who struggles with keeping things neat, I can’t recommend it enough.

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The kids? They don’t care one way or another.

And with that I am OUT. See you back here again on Tuesday!

Sixth Grade Graduation Feels

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I’ve read a few posts about how silly it is that we make such a big hullabaloo about 6th grade graduation here in the United States.  If I was heading out of town the minute school was over and starting my vacation (or even a week before because let’s face it, the last week of school is pretty much a five week party disguised as free day care) I’d probably agree that it’s a big deal about nothing.  It’s not like they don’t let kids move on to seventh grade. Everybody passes even if you get straight “F’s”. But we didn’t have any big summer plans and I love any excuse to celebrate it so I was into it.

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Bug was not it at all. She didn’t even want us to come. She didn’t wanted any flowers or balloons or any fanfare at all. I tried to interview her on the morning of graduation. I asked her if she had any advice for her younger self and if there was anything she’d miss about elementary school. Her straight-faced answer was pretty much as few words as possible. I’m sure mostly just to spite me. It was pretty much: I don’t care.  I don’t care now, I won’t care then and I have nothing to say to my younger self.

Okay then!

But I ignored her and made a big deal out of it anyway because I knew someday she would care. I invited my parents from out of town and everybody showed up. It was a big deal.

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So no flowers and no balloons, right? How about a puppy? Just kidding. We didn’t get Bug a puppy. My friend Sandra showed up with her puppy (Look at that thing!!! It’s like a beanie baby collectible!) and Bug said,  Is that for me? Did you get me a puppy for graduation? I wish. I think a puppy is all she could get excited about for graduation. Too bad we already have two and we can’t really take on any more.

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Everybody was there. Joon, who is a grade behind Bug, worked the event as staff. I guess that’s what fifth graders do. They help people find their seats, hand out programs and then sit along side in their own section cheering on each graduate as they cross the stage and receive their fake diploma. It was really sweet. Some kids get more cheers than others so you know I was going bananas and making a fool of myself when they called Bug’s name. I love that kid.

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And so does everybody else. She didn’t want her picture taken but we forced her. She did want a picture taken with her teacher which was a huge big honor (pictured in the blue sweater). I really loved her teacher this year.

This was the first time Bug has been in an ESL (English as a Second Language) class. Our school is known for their ESL programs and every student is in mixed languages class at one time or another whether they speak another language besides English or not. Joon has been in ESL classes several times because she speaks Farsi and the school loves to use her as a translator but Bug never experienced that until sixth grade.

Honestly, I was a little worried at first because I thought it might hinder Bug’s learning experience since the teacher had to spend so much extra time on the English-learners but the opposite was true. This class was the BEST thing for Bug. She learned so much compassion for her fellow students and probably got graded harder than ever because she was held to stricter standards. She made friends with people from so many different countries and they formed really strong bonds.

At graduation there were several foreign students who were leaving, either going home to their countries of origin or going to other schools in other districts, and they were crying. They were genuinely sad to leave behind this school that has been their home for years. It made me sad too. I just remember Bug and her group of friends… how they might not speak English fluently but how they held hands and affectionately tapped each other on the head in jest. They are such sweet kids who were so happy to be here. I will miss them. Bug will miss them. I think by the end of the graduation and after the picture taking mobs subsided it started to sink in for her. It’s hard to say goodbye to something was so special. Not to mention the new big world of middle school is scary!

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I think the proudest person there was Toby. It was kind of a big deal for him to take the day off from shooting houses to spend hours at this school that he’s always kind of rolled his eyes at. I was really glad he was there. Bug might have been indifferent at the time but I know she will always treasure the memory.6thGradeGraduation-5

She’s a big kid now. Can you even believe it? I can’t. She’s like a giant now. When I hug her I don’t have to lean over anymore. She sits on my lap when I’m trying to work and takes up so much room I can’t get anything done. Not much different from when she was little but I’m starting to wonder how long this lap-sitting will continue. Of course I keep getting bigger to match so maybe we’ll be okay. Just kidding. I am trying really hard not to get bigger.

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I’m bracing myself for her high school graduation. I can only imagine what kind of feels that will dig up.