IttyBitty Blog

The world according to Andrea

salon party

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My little Tessa Darling had her 7th birthday last week.  It’s hard to believe that she’s 7 already!  It seems like only yesterday I was posting all about her 3rd birthday party. 

Tessa wanted to have a salon party this year.  We both decided that we’d go with a zebra pattern and hot pink as our “theme colors”.  Very sassy and cute.  Here’s a picture of the cute invites:

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The girls had a great time getting their hair and nails done.  The cost was $10 per girl.

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After the girls were done being beautified, we went outside to open presents and take some pictures by the tree.  We printed the pictures and are planning to send those with the thank you notes. 

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Each of the girls took home a cupcake (wrapped up to go) and a cosmetic bag with body spray, lip gloss, and nail polish inside.  Unfortunately, I did not get pictures of the bags that I made.  They were made with zebra print and hot pink fabric.  The top closed using tape measure sewn inside the lining.  It created a “magnetic” feel to hold them closed.  They turned out super cute and were really easy and cheap to make.  They cost about $1. 

The breakdown for a salon party for 8 girls:

salon bill:  $80      cupcake materials:  $5      cosmetic bags:  $8     favors (for bags):  $20

Total cost:  $113

This party was a bit more than I usually like to spend on a party.  I could have done the hair and nails myself with the help of some volunteers, but I would have had to go to A LOT more work in that case.  It was much more stress free to have it at an acutal salon and I think it felt a little more “special” that way.  So, I think it was worth the extra money.

Happy Birthday, Tessa Dawg!  Love Love Love that girl!

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Equality

Equality

It has been nearly 12 years since my brother Ken told me that he was gay. I will never forget that moment. I didn’t react as nicely as I would have liked. Although I was not hysterical, I remember uttering something like, “Can’t you just NOT be?” The look of disappointment on his face will never leave my memory. I so regret saying it. I hope that he forgives me.

I quickly came to my senses and have been able to completely and fully accept him just as he is. I’d say “warts” and all, but I just don’t think that homosexuality is considered to be a “wart”.

I remember the first equality sticker that I placed on my caIr. Ken asked me, “why do you have an equality sticker on your car?” Surprised by his question, I answered, “um, because I believe in equality”. He responded with, “Aren’t you afraid that people will think that you are gay?” Nope. I’m not afraid. Who cares? 

I don’t know if Ken thought that his own sexual orientation was “bad” or something to be ashamed of or if he was afraid of hate crimes being committed against him. I hadn’t really thought abou it. I just liked the sticker, mostly.

I remember meeting with some old high school friends one summer.  We were catching up on each other’s lives and someone asked about my brother.  I think that some of them had heard about his “lifestyle” and wanted me to dish.  I plainly told them that he’s doing great, has a great job and a great boyfriend.  She said, “oh, he’s gay?”  One of my other friends commented, “that’s ok, my brother is in prison”. 

I told her that I’m not ashamed of my gay brother, but she should be afraid of hers.  Really?  There is no comparison.  My brother in a long term monogomous relationship is somehow equal to a prison inmate? 

This January, my brother took a big step. A huge step, actually. He asked his boyfriend Scott to marry him.

I never thought this would happen. Not necessarily because of the law or because it wouldn’t be accepted, but because I didn’t think that marriage was that important to him.  I thought that as long as he and Scott knew what they had, that would be enough. 

I was wrong.  It’s not enough.  And why should it be?  Who doesn’t want to have the excitement of a proposal, the announcement to family and friends, the support from them as they publicly take their vows, making promises to one another.  Those are exciting and once-in-a-lifetime things that everyone should get to experience…if they so choose. 

There’s been much talk about the subject of equality in marriage lately. While many states honor same sex civil unions, they still do not recognize “marriage” between same sex couples.  Some might say these are both the same things.  But really, they’re not. 

Marriage means that everyone is excited, happy, and supportive of your decision.  They want to see you take the plunge.  You want to have a spouse that you can offically call a spouse.    It was important to me, why shouldn’t it be for gay individuals? 

I’ve seen posts on facebook about how people that support “traditional marriage” are being called bigots and are now afraid to voice their opinions or beliefs on the subject. I’m sorry, but if your belief is that your “love” is better than someone else’s “love”….it DOES make you a bigot, doesn’t it?

I for one, am excited for my brother. I love him and I love Scott. They are perfect for each other and are truly happy together. I can’t wait to hop on a plane, fly to Boston, and witness them taking their vows. Good for them.

 

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In the mood

In the mood

Most everyone knows that I’ve been taking Zoloft for over three years now. My family and I have enjoyed a much nicer, calmer, stress-free momma because of it. It really helps me to “not care” so much about things.

The bad news is that this wonder drug has also made me “not care” so much about what happens in the bedroom either.

So, I had to laugh out loud when I saw this cartoon. This looks very familiar, only instead of barbed wire, it’s my sleep apnea mask. Poor Joey.

Don’t get me wrong. Joey is my hunk of burning love. It’s just getting the mood is sooooo hard for me sometimes.

It’s kind of like exercise. I never feel like it, but I’m always glad that I did.

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Belle of the Ball

On Friday, I took my little Tessa and my friend Hayley to the annual Best Buddy Ball.  It was for all of the BB chapters all over the state of Utah.  It was held at the Xango Headquarters in Lehi.  The place was pretty posh with some very interesting decor.  I’m not entirely sure what kind of operation they’ve got going on there at Xango, but it was nice of them to host our ball nevertheless. 

As you can see by the following video segment, I was most impressed by the refreshments.  Don’t blink, or you might miss me. 

 
While Hayley and I were snacking in the V.I.P room, (yes, they had a V.I.P room) Tessa was introduced to Miss Utah and Miss Teen Utah.  She thinks they’re pretty awesome and wanted a picture with them.  She was all sorts of star struck. 
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I’m not sure how I feel about my daughter idolizing this one.  If you look closely, you can almost see her hoo-haw!  She also has demon eyes.  Okay, that was because of my awesome photography skills, but I’m still sure that she’s the spawn of satan.  No one is allowed to be this good looking. 

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I think that Miss Teen Utah is sweeter looking.  Hayley pointed out that she’s also a teenager.  True dat.  They were both very kind to my daughter and I guess that’s what matters. 

We had a fun time.  I wish that I didn’t have to adhere to confidentiality so that I could post some pictures of my cute-as-can-be students.  Boy can the kids dance! They had a blast!  Thank goodness for Best Buddies. 

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I’m back!

I'm back!

Okay, it’s been a very long while. I took a bit of a leave of absence.

Did anyone miss me?

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birthday surprises

I took part in planning a trip to Disney Land for my Best Buddies group, as most of you know.  Throughout the planning, I told my kids that we didn’t have enough money to go with them and that “just momma” would go with the buddies.  They were sad.

Secretly, Joey and I were planning to surprise them with the trip, just like the commercials on TV.  We were set to leave on Tessa’s birthday, so it seemed like a great plan. 

We woke the kids up at 4:00 am and told them that mom wanted to see Tessa open her presents before she left for Disney Land.  When Tessa reached into the bag, she pulled out a t-shirt.  Nate read what it said, “It’s my Birthday…”  and then the back, “and I’m going to Disney Land”!  She also pulled out $50 from grandma for spending money.  Nate then started to cry…an ugly cry.  Then, we pulled out his t-shirt and money.  (His birthday is a week later)  We then went straight to the airport and flew to California. 

Needless to say, the kids had a great time.  They were especially cute with my students.  They had a lot of fun “showing” them around and riding rides with them.  I think they were better “peer buddies” than the actual peer beddies.  I think it will be a birthday they’ll always remember. 

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my major award

Each year, a major award is given at Viewmont High School.  The PTSA takes nominations for the “Viking Service Award” to recognize people that have contributed and served the school in various capacities. 

I look forward to this awards night each year because it’s a great opportunity for me to nominate my staff, peer tutors and students to receive an award.  I’m proud to say that my nominations have been chosen every single year…until THIS year!

I nominated several people for the award this year, but much to my dismay, none were chosen.  On the bright side, I was chosen to receive an award this year! 

Two of my students nominated me for my awesome-ness and were able to present me with this major award.  Although it felt strange to receive an award rather than give one, it felt good just the same. 

It’s also fun to go around saying that you’ve won a “major award”.

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Contribution

A majority of this school year has been dedicated to raising money for our Best Buddy trip to Disneyland.  A few of my co-workers and I had tossed around the idea of taking this trip, and low and behold, we made it happen. 

Fundraising.  What a pain in the !@#$#$# it is!    I made a lot of mistakes a long the way, but learned a lot of lessons.  Lesson #1:  Start early.  Lesson #2:  Enlist help from others. 

We started with suckers.  Lots and lots of suckers.  We sold them for $1 each, which was about a 90% profit.  Not bad.  I made nearly 1800 suckers and my students sold them during lunches. 

We moved on to a bake sale.  Not as profitable, but brought us a couple hundred.

We tried Rubios.  Got a wopping $57 from them.  Lame

We held a car wash with Firehouse Car Wash.  We ended up with nearly $500 from that.

Our last attempt was working to sell Mrs. Cavanaughs chocolates.  We were able to sell enough to make nearly $2000. 

With our fundraising and some generous donations, we were able to take our trip.  Every one of our buddies (students with disabilities) had their trip completely paid for.  I was very proud.  The students had a wonderful trip and  it was so much fun.  It was definitely worth all of the time I spent making those damn suckers. 

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It’s a problem…

I have a problem.  I should say, I’ve had a problem my whole life. 

You see, I’m fat. 

I’ve always been fat.  I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t fat.  I was even born fat! (10 pounds 10 1/2 ounces)

Some of my fat can be explained (rationalized) by the fact that I have a thyroid issue and PCOS (polysystic ovarian syndrome).   I could blame it on my three pregnancies (but truth be told, I actually lost weight when pregnant).  I might want to blame my genetic code, or my parents for making me go on weight watchers when I was 10.  I could blame them all.

But, the truth is that I have no one to blame but myself. 

I have an eating disorder, only not the kind that makes you skinny.  The other kind.  I eat too much.  I binge and don’t purge.  I can’t stop myself.

I have done unthinkable things at times.  I once hid a cake in the bathroom.  I’ve eaten food from the top of the garbage can (just like George on Seinfeld).  I have kept secret “stashes” of food. 

I eat when I’m happy, I eat when I’m sad.  I use food to celebrate, I use food to make me feel better.  Oh, and I also use food just to stay awake.   It is a huge problem.  Sometimes I wonder if I’ll really ever be free from it.  It is an addiction of the worst kind. 

I’ve tried many different “diets” over the years.  I’ve lost quite a bit of weight on some of them….but the weight always creeps back on.  I just can’t seem to get this monkey off my back. 

I’ve never really talked about my monkey publicly.  I guess that it’s hard to admit that you have an addiction.  I’m wondering if this might be the key to keeping me accountable for my actions.   I need to go through all 12 steps, I imagine. 

So, step one:  admit you have a problem.  I do.  I really really do.

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I heart to heart

I like Valentines Day.  I don’t care if it’s a Halmark Holiday.  I love to celebrate love. 

I also love to be creative and make homemade Valentines.  That’s right, no store-boughten Valentines for my kids!

Goldfish crackers were on sale, AND I had coupons, which made them very cheap.  I decided to attach a fish valentine to a baggie full for Miles to take to his daycare buddies.

Tessa decided that she wanted to do some little flowers.  We cut hearts from cute paper, punched holes, and inserted a dum dum for the center.  She had fun making them with me, and signed her name on the petals. 

Nathan gave some glow sticks mascarading as arrows through his heart.  The caption read, “You make my heart GLOW”.  He did not enjoy making them, and I had to plead with him to get them finished.  He did them, eventually. 

For the teachers, I bought some heart magnets at the dollar store and packaged them up.   Then, we called them “love magnets”. 

Did I spend way too much time making these Valentines?  Yes.  Were they fabulous?  Yes.  Are you jealous?  Probably.

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