Thursday, July 30, 2009

Danger Lurks in Even Mere Seconds

I've always wondered how kids can drown in public pools with lifeguards at watch. I've always wondered how things can happen in seconds.

I witnessed (almost) both this past weekend. And once again, my guardian angel was there with me.

Seena had a b-day party at a friend's pool this past weekend.

The first incident was with another boy we’ll call BoyL. He’s 5 and has taken swimming lessons. He was not in a life vest but was still relying on pool noodles to keep him afloat. His dad was also in the water with him. Thankfully the dad was there because another boy thought it would be fun to hang on the back of BoyL right at the precise moment that he let go of his noodle. As you can imagine BoyL immediately went underwater and could not get back up because of his friend holding on (who was wearing a lifevest). Thank goodness the father was there to see this and immediately swam over to help. Aside from being scared BoyL was fine and well, clung to his dad’s neck for the next hour. I wonder, had the father not been in the water, how long would it have been before someone noticed. BoyL’s mom was watching constantly but from the angle where we were sitting, I don’t know if she would have seen BoyL under his friend. So, so, so scary.

Moving on to Seena’s story. Seena has not taken swim lessons and requires a lifevest. She knows this, well, I thought she did. After an eating break Seena decided she wanted to get back in the pool. I watched her walk over to a friend (who was less than 4 feet across from me to my left) and try to convince her to go in. While this was going on, I looked over to right and began talking to BoyL’s mom. I honestly don’t know how I could have missed it. One second, Seena was to the left of BoyL’s mom and the next she was in the pool without a vest, flaying her arms around and looking at me with a look of sheer terror in her eyes. I will never forget that face. I never saw her get in the water. What made me look was a sudden move another mother made towards to the pool. Or maybe it was a sound she made. I don’t know. I just know I looked towards the pool and there Seena was, in the pool, under the water, without the vest. Her eyes wide with fear. Thank goodness the other mom saw her get in and was already trying to pull her out. I jumped out of my chair and was poolside in a split second pulling my precious girl out of the water.

Seconds. All of this happened within seconds. Not minutes. Seconds.

I’m thankful, again for my guardian angel for watching over us again.

And I’m thankful for the parents that were there at that party. These kids have grown up together through daycare since they were at least 1 years old, these same kids go to the same b-day parties and all of the parents know each other. So, it’s comforting knowing that our kids are being watched by so many parents at all times. Some were lurking around the edges of the pool, others were in the water and the rest were keeping a watch from patio chairs. Regardless of where the parents were, everyone was watching, taking care of each other’s kids. It’s comforting.

This is especially comforting to me because I was a little peeved at two incidences from the weekend prior that was the complete opposite. Parents not watching, not taking responsibility for their own kids and not offering to help knowing that there could have been a potential problem.

Incident 1 happened at McD’s. I took the kids on a Friday evening because it’s family night and they give away a free happy meal. So it was a little crowded. Now, I know my son is probably not the right age to go tromping through the play tunnels at McD’s but the boy is not afraid of anything and had absolutely no problems with climbing up the steps and going down the tunnel slide. And Seena was with him, taking very good care of him I might add. The problem came when two older girls came in to play. All of the other kids knew how to play nice but not these girls. They began to play tag in the tunnels and down the slide. They were playing extremely rough and they were screaming. SCREAMING at the top of their lungs. I’m looking around for their parents to see if they were going to do anything about this but no, they are nowhere to be found. Each time the one particular girl came down the tunnel, barreling over AJ and Seena, I gave her piercing looks. She saw me and she looked at me every time she came down the slide. She knew she was being too rough. I finally couldn’t take it anymore and asked her to play gently because there were smaller and younger children in the tunnel slide. No improvement. I then actually yelled at the kid. I couldn’t take it anymore. Where the hell were the parents?? Oh, they were sitting somewhere else in the restaurant…not in the kid section. They had no idea what these kids were doing. Infuriating.

Incident #2 happened at a park. This particular park is not like the typical neighborhood park. It’s huge and it has TONS of playground equipment and some of them are very large. The floor is not mulched but the rubbery mat stuff. At a typical park I can stand at the bottom of the equipment and circle around it in a few steps to make sure AJ doesn’t decide to go down a pole or jump off a ledge that is way too high for him. This is not the case at this park. The equipment AJ and Seena were playing on was very big and it sprawled over a large area. I tried following them around on the equipment but it was easier to follow AJ around by staying on the ground….until he gets on the ground himself. Since the bugger is only 2 feet tall he can run under all of the steps, platforms and bridges of the equipment. I unfortunately cannot, so I have to find my way around by walking on the outside of everything. And considering how large this play equipment was, that was not easy. Again, let me remind you that my son is NOT afraid of anything and wants to do everything Seena does. After coming down some slides I see them both running off under everything and I try to follow them (quickly) by making my way around everything. By the time I got to them, AJ was climbing a rounded ladder sort of thing where the rungs are way too far apart for him and he’s already almost to the top. I am freaking out because he could easily have fallen through the rungs and gotten hurt. As I approach to get him I see a mom sitting right next to him under the shade of one of the platforms that AJ was trying to get to by climbing this ladder. Now, I know it’s not her responsibility but I have to admit, I was a little shocked to see her completely ignoring the fact that there was a small boy climbing on something that was potentially dangerous. And it’s not like she didn’t see him. He was right there. So not nice.

So, there it is. Danger is lurking around everywhere and can happen in mere seconds. It’s so scary. I know this, I’ve know this but I wish other parents would realize it too. I really do try to do my best but I hope, no I pray, for those seconds that I turn my eyes away or even blink that there is another parent who understands this threat and will be looking when I am not.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Only Girls Can Do The Splits

Just another quick Seena observation to share:

Friday evening as I watched my two bunny rabbits dance to High School Musical 2, Seena began attempting to do the splits. Naturally, AJ tried to copy. Of course neither have the flexibility to actually do the splits but Seena's explanation for AJ not being able to the splits was quite simple:

Boys can't do the splits because they have bones in between their legs.

And she really meant bones, I asked. Twice.

Maybe she heard the boys at school talking about their "balls" and thought that was strange and decided on her own that they meant to say bones. Because who has balls in between their legs, right?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Sassy Seena

My little princess can change from a sweet loving angel to the meanest, sassiest brat in a mere millisecond. It's quite unbelievable. I'm trying to figure out when and why it started but I think I've pinned it down to when I was on bedrest when she was 3 1/2. For a good two months Seena spent many days just laying around watching TV and trying to entertain herself while I sat on the couch with laptop and phone attached to my body at all times. This was also the beginning of our family’s "dark time" and so with the mix of prego hormones and the stress of the restaurant, I was a terrible mess. It was dreadful and I can understand her acting out as a result of it. But the problem is, she never grew out of it. Even after AJ was born and she turned 4, I thought for sure it would be different but no, the attitude and sassiness just got worse...and probably, now that I think of it, because of me. My stress level with dealing with the restaurant, raising an infant, working full time and dealing with a teen, literally put me over the edge. I was constantly in a sour mood, angry all of the time and barking orders at everyone. It was a very ugly side of me and unfortunately Seena saw it and may have acquired it. I have since seen the wrong of my ways and have been doing my best to keep improving. I even tried taking "chill pills" but that lasted for 2-3 days. I just couldn't do it. I think I've come out of my funk slowly but successfully on my own. At the end of 2008 I looked back and realized how fast the year had gone by and I couldn't recall anything significant about it - other than AJ being born. We didn't go anywhere, we didn't visit with friends....nothing. So, I made a vow to not let that happen again. Maybe the boringness of our lives was getting to her....I know it would be for me. So, I changed it up. We're busy now with stuff. Nothing significant but just that we’re constantly moving. And it's helping on some levels but goodness sake, her attitude is beyond anything I would have imagined. Just the other day, I went in to wake her up. I very cheerily said, "Good morning sweetie, time to get up, we have to go to school early today." What I got in return was: "No, I'm tired. Go away. I want to be alone." Now, perhaps I should know better because my girls have acquired daddy genes as oppose to mommy genes, and daddy is a monster in the morning. Plus, this was not the normal routine; normally Seena wakes up on her own. But either way, it was not very nice and quite frankly, that's how she talks to me a lot. Something is always my fault, she yells at me, screams at me, deliberately does the opposite of what I've asked her to do and talks back to me as if she was a teenager. It can be very frustrating.

I've tried to see if it's a jealous thing but she loves her brother. She loves helping him and taking care of him. And I think I do a pretty good job of dividing up my time and attention. She has told me on or two occasions that I do "everything" for AJ and that I'm always with AJ. But both times have been during one of her meltdowns over something that was not possible for the time being so I took it with a grain of salt.

I'm trying to see if it's something I'm doing to trigger it and, yes, I can say that I've probably on a few small occasions been at fault. It's usually over something that I want to go my way but my stubborn sassypants wants her way. Naturally a fight starts. And at that point, I can't back down because I struggle with the "pick your battles" mentality or "if I let her get away with whining and yelling at me this time over this thing she'll keep doing it" mentality. Which is right? G gets on my case about arguing with her and he's right but that's easier said than done. Oh, and if I'm going to be accepting blame on some level, I should confess that I do cut her off quite a bit. I know for a fact that gets her super angry. But she repeats herself and tries to continue the whining request or the explanation over and over again. It's gotten to the point she yells at me to let her finish or to let her talk. I, again, seeing the wrong of my ways by this particular behavior, am making efforts to improve and I explain to her that I will let her talk IF she talks about something else. That never happens and immediately the falling to the ground squirming tantrum begins. Is this still normal for a 5 year old? And apparently family, grandparents and all, are the only ones privileged to witness the sassiness. Seena’s not like this at school.

I don't know. Everyday is a struggle with the attitude but when it's not there, Seena is wonderful. Beyond wonderful. She's thoughtful, caring, imaginative and loving. She gets raving reports from her teachers. So, why me, why just us? Is this just another growing pain parents have to go through?

A dear blogger friend posted about the ugly side of being a mom and it’s so true. I hate the thoughts that go racing through my mind when we’re in the middle of a fight and I hate the words that come out of my mouth when we’re fighting. It’s ugly and I hate it.

But most of all, I hate that I may be the one that caused it all.

I want to fix this, I have to fix this….I just wish I knew how.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Honeymoon is Over

I think my son is over it and I'm heartbroken. No longer am I getting the excited, happy to see mommy run with open arms greeting at daycare and we've stopped cuddling in the morning because he is actually sleeping somewhat in and I'm actually trying to be productive again prior to 7am. I've been replaced by a much funner older sister, a cute cuddly dog and a soft blankie.

My heart is broken because:
- he goes into Seena's room first when he wakes up, whether it's in the middle of the night or in the morning. (I learned this the other morning when Seena walked AJ into my room to inform me that he was up at 4:00am and was in her room).
- he runs away from me
- he cuddles with his dog and blankie
- I no longer get the spoon. Instead - if I'm lucky- I get a weird angled drape over my body, with legs and arms flaying around. I really don't enjoy this too much because I'm usually having to dodge the flaying arms and legs.
- I only get attention if he's hungry or needs something, and it's not always a sweet request. It's usually whining, grunting and/or holding onto both of my legs so that I cannot walk and therefore cannot get what he wants which leads to more whining and grunting.

I knew this day would come but why so soon :(

Mommy in clear denial of cuddle time enjoyment by both parties.

Maybe he's mad because he needs a haircut.....badly.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Still a Bobble Head

My son is still a bobble head (I hope I'm spelling that right). AJ had his 18 month appointment yesterday and his statistics are:

weight - 25 lbs. 11 oz --- 50 percentile
height - 32 7/8 inches --- 75 percentile
Head - 50.5 inches --- 97 percentile

Awesome. And he desperately needs a haircut, so he's looking extra top heavy these days.

As far as development, AJ is doing very well, except for the language. He should be saying 10-20 words but I don't think he is. He definitely has Ball down. In fact any round object is a ball and he loves pointing that out. Other words he says; baba (milk), aba (agua for water), daddeeee and that actually may be it. He does use his sign language skills to tell me he wants more food and he shakes his head for "no" if he's done. But I honestly can't think of any other words he can say that I can decipher as an attempt for a real word. According to Dr. G (real doctor not my G), he should be saying 50 words by the time he's two. I've got some work to do.

He understands everything. I can tell him to get things and he will. He understands cleaning up, go outside, cheez cheez (sleep time), etc. and can point things out on himself or in books, but he's not saying much. Well, that's not true....he talks, a lot, but it's all AJ talk.

AJ is becoming more a boy. Is really starting to get into cars - and making the sounds associated with cars.

He's starting to beat up on his sister. At least once a day he's hitting her with something. Yesterday it was with a naked barbie. I wonder if this is his way of telling me he needs some boy toys :)

AJ still LOVES, LOVES, LOVES, LOVES to dance. The second any musical tune comes on he's up bouncing, stomping his feet and clapping. He loves to mimic my awesome car dance moves too.

My son is also fearless. He's not scared of any playground equipment. Doesn't matter what it is, how high it is or how far apart the "stepping" bars are - he's all over it. Or at least tries to climb, jump, drop, whatever before I can reach him.

As for discipline - the tantrums are starting. He definitely gets angry when things are taken away from him. And he's been introduced to time-out. Dr. G, time-outs are ok. AJ's time outs are usually following food throwing (excessive food throwing) or hitting his sister. The problem is, he thinks it's a game.

And one more thing...AJ loves to help his dad on those rare moments my precious G decides to flash his handy man skills. It usually involves AJ all up in G's grill observing and/or wanting to help with his "tools". My favorite so far was just this past weekend. G decided he wanted to switch his "movie room" with kids playroom. This involved moving a lot of furniture and items. AJ, the tiny tool man that he is, of course wanted to help and tried so hard to push the heaviest piece of furniture in the room. We couldn't let his efforts be wasted so we made sure he was "placed" appropriately so he could help push the furniture around. It was so stinkin' cute!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Home Sweet Home

The paperwork and payment have been received and my house is officially out of foreclosure. Music to my ears...for now. I still have to make two more payments during this "trial period" before my loan gets "officially" modified but either way, my house is out of foreclosure. That is all that matters to me. And good thing, my auction date was Friday, July 17. Of course, I learned of this date by the most embarrassing way possible. I started receiving "advertising mail" from lawyers with the actual clipping from the newspaper of my house, my name, the whole bit. Now, I'm not ashamed that I'm having to go through this; stuff happens in life that you have no control over but it is a little embarrassing to know that there will be people out there reading the paper and will see my name, my auction date but have no idea how I got there.

And it didn't end there.

I had real estate agents come to my door offering their help. I even had someone come to my house offering to buy it. Very unpleasant and unsettling. I'm glad it's over.

I suppose I have my wonderful husband to thank for us still being in our house. If it had been left to me solely, I would have already been moved out, living at my mom's that is already bursting at the seams with my sister's family and other tenants and had the place rented. I had two or three people ready to move in and right at the last minute G refused, refused, refused to let me rent it.

I'm so glad I caved.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Seena's Party a Success

The party was Sunday and it's now Wednesday. It has taken me this long to recoup. Boy, I'm getting old. After many long nights last week and only 5 hours of sleep over Friday and Saturday, I've slept like a LOG, ROCK, what have you for the last two nights. It's been AWESOME! My kids have even slept great too. Yeah! So, now back to the party...

The party was overall a great success. Leading up to the event was stressful. I had to wait until payday to do most of the shopping which then meant I couldn't do too much beforehand, the cake was by far the most stressful, followed closely by the goody bags. Seena was actually a great help. She wanted to be a part of it all and she started to understand what the party was about. She actually put most of the goody bags together, filled up the pinata, helped make the flowers for her cake and while I was stressing over finishing the cake, she kept encouraging me that things were going to be ok. My little 5 year old buttercup was telling me, the grown up, not to worry, the party was going to be great. And it was.

The Cake
Seena and I have known for months what her cake was going to be. She frequently goes through all of my cake decorating yearbooks and "picks" out cakes she wants. The Princess Castle Cake or "Romantic Castle Cake Set" as it's officially called was number 1 on her list. After looking over the picture and reading the instructions, it really didn't look difficult. It was mainly just assembling all of the pieces. The instructions, of course, list all of the Wilton products needed to assemble the cake, but being the frugal person that I am, I convinced myself that some of those things are not needed and I can improvise. I've taken self-taught cake decorating classes, I know how to make Royal Icing, leaves and drop flowers, I can do this. They may not be perfect but they will be good enough. My goal was to have the flowers done on Thursday evening, since I had to make at least 285 flowers I thought this was a good plan. Not so. I didn't attempt to make the flowers until Friday evening and it was a disaster. My "Royal Icing" was runny and my flowers looked like big blobs. I now start to feel the anxiety. One, for timing and two, I was realizing that I was going to have to buy all of the stuff I was trying NOT to buy for the cake.

Saturday morning....I bake the cakes, 2 to be exact. I realize I need another one. So, now I have to go to the grocery store on top of the two craft stores I have to go to to buy the flower making kit and the fondant (making use of 50% of coupons for each store). Oh, I also had to drag my two kids with me because EVERYONE else in my house was still sleeping.

Get home. Bake #3 cake. It deflates - big, huge, whopping hole in the middle. NO!!!! Beg and plead G to go to the store for me to buy cake #4. As I begin to bake this 4th cake - I realized that I forgot to add the eggs to the #3 cake...mystery solved. Phew...I was getting worried that I was losing my touch in my cake baking skills. But, this also made me realize that I needed to slow down. I'm rushing and I'm not thinking.

Get ready to make the flowers - ice cake and I realize I bought WAY too much fondant. So, off to the store I go AGAIN, to buy the correct amount.

I get back home and prepare the fondant to make the flowers. This is the point where I'm starting to get really upset at how much money I've spent on this cake. Even with my 50% off coupons, the overall cost was over $35. I could have bought a cake for this same price. I believe this is also the point Seena started reassuring me that this was going to be a great party. But nonetheless, I can't help feeling guilty at how much money I was spending. Was it really all necessary?

Anyway, Seena helps with the flower making...which actually turned out to be quite easy and kinda of fun. The kit comes with all kinds of flower cutters so I think Seena and I can practice making some other cool flowers another day.

The rest of the cake process...went pretty smoothly. Just took a lot of time. And the top was crooked - so much so that I was afraid the top was going to fall off. But it didn't..phew!

Goody Bags
For the record I just want to say, I hate goody bags. I know kids love them but goodness -- this is a ripoff scam. Who needs and wants all of the crap that gets put in them? It all ends up in the trash anyway. So, my philosophy is simple - goody bags are going to be filled with candy and or edible things. Sorry parents, I know it's sugar but this is a birthday party so suck it up, your kids are gettin' loaded with candy at my house. For documentation sake, and because I'm quite proud of how clever I was in my ideas (and Aunt V) both for "cuteness" and cost effectiveness.

Snow White - Hershey Kiss
Cinderella - Glass slipper filled with blue jelly beans
Ariel - Swedish Fish
Jasmine - Fruit Roll-Up (magic carpet)
Belle - fruit snacks
Sleeping beauty - a marshmallow (her pillow)
A sticker and a coloring book I made from printed pictures off the computer

I even saved on the goody bags by buying clear plastic ones in bulk and decorating them with ribbon. Yeah, for me!

The Course
The obstacle course was a lot of fun. I had intended for all of the kids to go through the course one-by-one but as soon as I finished giving the instructions all 50 million of them went running to the beginning and they all went at the same time.

Ursula - my Ursula didn't quite turn out how I envisioned it either. I should be grateful that I had a very gracious volunteer to be Ursula but I would have hoped there would have been a little bit more effort put in into the whole production. For starters, she was suppose to be sitting indian style on the table with her legs draped over the sides - as if an octopus was sitting on the table. Then I would have hoped she would have gotten "into character" a little and played it up for the kids. No luck there. Instead I got a teen sitting on a table with funky black things in her hands. She was a big help though - I have to give her that.

Nevertheless, the whole obstacle course was very cute. The kids had fun, Seena loved being the princess and the parents seemed to have had a good time. One little boy in particular, concentrated so hard on getting everything done correctly. He even rang the doorbell before entering the playhouse. Sooo stinkin' cute!

After the obstacle course the party went on auto, pinata, cake and open presents. The party lasted exactly two hours and everyone was gone by 1:00pm. We had the outside cleaned up by 2:00 and AJ and I were down for a nap by 3.

It was a great day.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Why Do I Open My Mouth?

I never learn. I do this to myself all of the time and I never learn. Seena's big b-day is in three days. And yes, I still have a ton to do but I'm not stressed about that so much. I'm stressed at the number of people coming.

At the beginning of the week I was worried that we weren't going to have ANY guests because no one was calling to RSVP. I was worried that the cute scrolled up invitations that Seena and I made together were lost amongst the many art projects and school notices the kids get. So, I did what any good mom would do....I started to ask the parents if they received the invitation. As I thought, they had not. I even went as far as inviting another girl who no longer is even in Seena's class but I am friends with the mom and I felt guilty not inviting her. So, what went from not having many at the party to now I have 16 kids coming plus Seena. Oh, and the parents.

And it doesn't end there.

I purposely didn't give an invitation to a little boy in Seena's class because the mom told me they were going to be out of town. This morning as I dropped the kids off, I ran into this mom and to be nice, I asked "oh, so where are you guys vacationing this weekend?" The mom replied, "oh, we're not going now because blah, blah, blah...". This is where I should have stuffed my kids blankies in my mouth and made a B-line for the bathroom. But no, I HAD to open my BIG mouth and say "oh, well, does B want to come to Seena's party then? It's this weekend." WHY! And this particular mom, as well as the other mom that I invited because I felt guilty, has two other siblings that always tag along. So, if they come, as I suspect they will, that's 4 more kids.

Now, I don't need to buy them goody bags but I'm starting to stress over the number of actual invitees. As any mom that has planned a party knows, most party items come in sets of 4, 8, and 12. I've been particularly lucky in finding great priced goody bags in a set of 8. If I have the 16 kids, I am at the perfect number in terms of having complete sets. If I get even one more kid I have to buy entire sets of everything and I will end up having a ton left over. And then there’s the question of “do you make any extras just in case.” Of the list of people we invited there are probably at least 7 who haven’t called at all. So either, they are rude or they didn’t get the invitation. I’m not calling them to find out.

This probably wouldn’t bother me as much if I was financially ok and could deal with buying a little extra just in case. But no, I’m not there, I’m so not there. Seena’s b-day party could not have fallen on a worst week. To regress for one second, ***good news*** we have prequalified for the Obama plan and we have our first “new” trial mortgage payment due this week. Plus I have the bank loan to pay back – which I am now going to refer to as my “second home” mortgage. I think that sounds much better than having to “pay my mom back”. So, in order for us to make both of those payments on time, my b-day budget is very, very tight.

The lesson for me here is, KEEP MY MOUTH SHUT. The more people that come means the more stuff I have to buy.

Oh, but the fun doesn't end there. They are calling for rain on Sunday. All week it's been BEAUTIFUL! But no, this weekend is going be hot, humid and Sunday now has a 50% chance of thunderstorms. Awesome.

To be continued….

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Seena's Birthday Wish List

G finally settled her down and got a full list. These are listed in order.

1. Switch Play (infomercial - ball that flattens into a frisbee?)
2. Rocket Shot (another infomercial - fishing tool)
3. Married Doll
4. Doll with Pink House
5. Polly Pockets
6. Movies, Movies
7. Big Disney Dolls
8. Disney Princess Books
9. Any Princess stuff from Disney Store
10. High School Musical Dolls
11. High School Musical pajamas
12. Disney Princess bathing suit
13. Disney Princess towel
14. KITTEN (written in large letters and all caps)
15. Pool with Polly Pockets
16. Outdoor Pool
17. Crayons
18. Markers
19. Clothes
20. Coloring Book
21. WII

Let me remind you that G helped Seena make this list *ahem #21*.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Invitations Sent

If I could be granted with one skill it would be hands down creativity. It's the one thing that I can feel jealous about. There definitely is creativity in my family, thank goodness, but I possess the least amount of it. I have the desire, strong desire and therefore, I can come up with some decent ideas. My sister is a genius when it comes to coming up with really cool and fun ideas. I ALWAYS bounce off my ideas on her as she usually can give me new and better ones. My brother is the artist. I usually go to him if I need anything drawn or painted.

Anyway, since I refuse to give in to my lack of creativity I still try to plan grandioso theme birthday parties. Like I said, I can come up with a generic idea of what I want but may have trouble coming up with the visionary details. Plus, I have two other things working against me, money and not wanting to be wasteful. Sure, I could throw lavish birthday parties with real characters, rentals, etc. but one, I don't have that kind of money and two, I actually like the challenge of trying to pull off the same type of party without spending a ton of money. The other part is being wasteful...I hate spending money on something I will only use once. So, knowing this, I still put myself through the stress of planning theme home....with little money and little creative skills. Fun!!

This year for Seena's 5 year b-day party I've decided on a "Save the Princess" theme. It will be an obstacle course with 6 challenges, one for each villain of the 6 princess stories. I have to say, I did come up with this on my own and I even got approval from my sis. I'm a bit nervous about pulling it off but I've done a lot of research on other "princess parties" and obstacle courses that I think I've got a good plan in place. Now, I just need to put it all together.

I'm going to document my attempts at pulling this off just in case it doesn't go well. Later when Seena blames me for ruing her "ruining her life" she can look back and see that I really did have good intentions :)

The Plan

The six challenges are:
1. kids must crawl through the "tunnels" of the Cave of Wonders and avoid Jafar
2. Ursula's Cave - kids must crawl under a table covered in balloons (can't take credit for this---this was a Martha Stewart thing.) This is also the one station that is proving to be the most challenging. I want an Ursula sitting on top of the table for the "effect". I was going to try to make it somehow but I may have acquired a "volunteer" to dress up as Ursula. We'll see.
3. Cinderella - kids must find the glass slipper and put it on the princess
4. Snow White - kids must find the poison apple before Snow White does
5. Kids must "rescue" Ms. Potts from Gaston (running across a beam while holding a tray)
6. Knocking off the tip of the spindle before Sleeping Beauty pricks her finger.

While each kid is running through the obstacle course, the other kids will either be decorating foam crowns or cardboard shields (I've been saving cereal boxes). And of course there will be a pinata. The food and the goody bags will be inspired by the 6 princesses too. I'm still working on that.

The invitations were made on the computer using Disney Clipart and I tried to be as creative as I could be using Old English terminology. Seena and I rolled them up like scrolls, tied them up with pink ribbon and labeled them Sir Knight and Princess so and so. They've been delivered.

No turning back now...