Posted in Random Stuff

Am I Being Petty with this Rant?

Hey All!

I have a rainy day rant, but not about the rain.  haha

My kids attend an after school program in our town, and have been attending the same one in this town since my oldest started Kindergarten five years ago. It is only two days a week. Actually, they have kept this same 2-day a week schedule for daycare/preK at a sister facility a couple of towns away since they turned 2.9 years of age, so way before attending elementary school.

Before starting Kindergarten, my oldest daughter was all signed up for this after-school program, ready to attend the main facility. The main facility is less than fifteen minutes from the house. This is where she was supposed to attend, as we walked through the facility at an open house the Summer before starting school, and though it was a bit pricier, we were so happy to see it was a bigger school and had more amenities than the sister location we were accustomed to. But, right before school started, like the day before, we were notified that they out-posted the overflow of some local children to a church location.  This affected my family. The last-minute notice stunk, and I had the slightest concern of her being at an unfamiliar church, as we are Roman Catholic and this was a Lutheran Church, but I got over that fast.  The church location ended up being less than a mile from our home!, and they discounted our monthly fee, as this new location didn’t have as many amenities as the main branch we were promised.  The discount came from them without me saying anything.

Wow, awesome, right? Finally, I get to pay less for something!  😛

Well, like I mentioned, my children have been attending this after-school site now for five years. They know the drill.  They get picked up from school with a bus, which drives by our house (the kids have always loved seeing), and they are dropped off to the site with the staff awaiting their arrival. A tiny blurb about this location. They used space in a local Church.  This church had newly renovated, very large rooms where the staff and children had access to a few bathrooms, a full kitchen, an outside yard and driveway for basketball, and it also had separators for homework space and anything they needed to do.  It wasn’t this gorgeous space, but it was a wonderful space where my kids loved doing crafts and felt at home over the past five years.  It was kept clean, because after school the teachers stayed behind to set it back up for the Church’s use.  The church also rented space in their parking lot to the Merrimack Valley Transit commuters, it was super handy for those needing the bus to travel straight to Boston but also had kids in the after-school program.

Never once did my kids come home with a complaint nor an issue in five years.  They loved their teaching staff and the children at the site were from their school or a few from a neighboring elementary school.  My only issue has been that their main facilitator/teacher, has always changed year to year.  Now turnover is not something they can help in this field, but aside from that complaint I had none.  The best part was, though, they have always had an assistant who was constant, and whom my children adore.  Her connection with my two kids is something special, especially with my oldest daughter.  So what made it great was this assistant, really.  She brightened up the place and made it a joy for my kids.

 

So fast forward to this year enrolling them.

Last year the after-school site had major turn over and with the main branch under a HUGE construction project, no one ever got the enrollment paperwork to me like in years past, and which totally slipped my mind till the school year ended.  When I contacted the main facility to sign up my kids, I happened to talk to the new after school coordinator.  What a nice person.  Thankfully. We talked a lot, and he advised me that the church location would be back in full swing for Fall, and all I needed to do was come up to the main branch to sign the kids up. Which is what I did.  Sent in the paperwork ASAP, only to get a phone call the next week advising that they closed the out-posted church location, as not enough local kids signed up.  They weren’t leaving me hanging, because my kids could attend the main facility.  If my kids were to attend the main branch, which was further away, the monthly price per kid would go up to the normal fee, but they’d be participating in way more.  After little discussion with the Mr., we agreed it was worth it to have them attend the bigger location even though it would hinder our nightly commute some.

Bummer for the wallet, toldya I always pay out for something and never get a break for long. Bummer for the commute too, but this is life.

The girls started school this year, and on day one they attended their first day of after-school on the new bus and a the new location. Me, I was nervous all day. Them?  They were so happy, but so was I in the end.  I saw their new classrooms finished from that walk through years ago when they were just metal studs.  Wow, they were great, large clean, working classrooms separated by grades.  Their teacher’s assistant was there!; who greeted me like family she hadn’t seen in a decade..hugs, kisses, and just overall joy telling me she hung out with my children and how impressed she is with their growth over the Summer.  It was so great.  Then, my oldest daughter’s bff, who didn’t make it to the same fourth grade home room, was there, and the kids met some pretty rad kids from other schools, who happen to be super diverse (I LOVE THIS).

We were given their class schedules this first day, and learned of when they get to swim, and take ‘cooking’ classes.  How they hit the basketball courts and have use of the branch’s facilities, which are all brand spankin’ new!  SO BIG!  And more are on their way, like an outdoor park and more classrooms.

Awesome!  I was so relieved, as I had many concerns with it being new to them and so far away.  I wanted it to be really worth the upgrade in price and location!

Ok, so now.  As I was walking into the main branch two weeks ago, I bumped into a former school mother I sort of knew who had recently been affected by a rezoning of the new elementary schools last year.  We say hello and get to talking about her kids shift to the new school. They are doing well adjusting, which is nice.  Her kids were always nice to mine, and that is a big change.   She looks in a rush and so do I. haha   Out of nowhere she starts in on my kids after-school program.  She says…”I waved to your kids in the program here.  Aren’t you so happy they are up at this branch?”.  I reply with a yes, because they seem happy, and as long as they are I am.  She continues on the conversation with her kids adjusting, and how they compete swim at this location, etc, etc..  She still is saying between breaths she is so busy and must run, but she seems glued to talk, so then she goes to say, “Your kids were at the Lutheran Church location right?  Did you know that I CONSTANTLY complained to the staff about that location?  So much so, that I got them to stop using that facility. My kids didn’t even go there, but I just hated it there. I just couldn’t bare to think that the families there were paying the same rate as the main branch, without a pool and stuff, and it just bothered me, so I kept complaining. And it was so dark.  I just had to speak up.”.

Say what? 

I just commented back in a joking tone that the joke was on her cause we didn’t pay as much, but that not enough kids signed up and now they are up here where they were originally supposed to be.  I explained to her how the program grew bigger than they expected, thus that location was born for our area but how now it’s not needed.   I also made her understand that they adjusted the pricing to be fair, and that the location was a big hit with all the families involved.  Then I went on my merry way to pick up frick and frack.

Then the very next day, I went to pick up my kids.  I, however, wasn’t greeted by my kids favorite assistant as I had been.  I realized I didn’t see her Tuesday either.  Hey! Where is she? I missed seeing her too, as she is truly a ray of sunshine.  I asked where she was, and one person said she was with the coordinator at another location for the day.  Another person replied that they were back at the church, but she spoke so softly I thought I misunderstood.  But thinking of that got me upset, but I got real upset when my kids repeated that she was in fact at the church location to me in the car later.

Did they re-open the site, and not tell me?!  AND TOOK OUR FAVORITE ASSISTANT!!?!

But I held my thoughts, waiting to see the after-school coordinator in person to explain this to me.

Finally this Tuesday night, I arrived to pick up the girls, finding they were changing from swim in the bathrooms, and the coordinator was nearby.  I took the opportunity to approach him about this issue, because it just didn’t make sense to me.  I told him the whole thing; from being told about under enrollment, to the parent boasting to me that she complained, all to hearing of the assistant at another location..a location that was supposed to be closed.  All was said anonymously of course.  I never name names unless it’s important.

Through my whole talk he was giving me facial cues that he was surprised, and it was obvious his first time hearing it.  He assured me that he had never heard of anyone complaining about that out-post location, from no members and definitely no non members, and he was certain that the director would’ve talked to him about it if it was factual. We discussed it, and became suspect that maybe that mother went to sign her kids up at that specific location, going right to that location not the main branch, finding it was shut down for the day or something; Maybe she looked in the windows at it all set back up for the Church to use it. We don’t know, but that sounded good to both of us.  haha

He continued telling me about all the upcoming changes and all that happened over the Summer with enrollment. He assured me that they really didn’t have enough kids enrolled from my kids’ school to justify using the church location when I signed up, but right as September started there was an influx from the new, much larger, elementary school, and they needed to revisit using the location temporarily, but just for that school.  They are using the space till Thanksgiving break, he says, where that assistant will be needed the most, and then they will come back up to the larger branch, when their new space will be available. This site is under a major construction job, as I mentioned, and is always changing and shifting to accommodate folks. So right now, those kids over at the church site do have a classroom at the branch, but it is currently a makeshift weight room till they finish the new workout area.

I am very satisfied with my kids at this main branch location, that isn’t my issue. Though it is farther away, they are participating in a lot of activities they wouldn’t have been able to at the church site..though, another point, they were promised to us when we initially enrolled five years ago.  haha.  BUT, one thing that is an issue is that I am sort of upset that some families are privy to using the closer, church, location and we are not.  I know it’s for a few months, but saving a few hundred bucks on school and gas wouldn’t have been so shabby for us either.

Does this seem fair??   Am I being petty?  I wouldn’t take them out of the large branch to go back to the church location, but it just sucks that I had to shift my whole world around to get my kids up at the bigger location when I didn’t have to till December, and, I am still upset with this school woman, too.  She is going around putting her nose in business that doesn’t pertain to her.  She could potentially be screwing things up for families she doesn’t realize are being affected, or maybe she does.  I haven’t figured her out yet.  It just bothers me to no end that this came out of her mouth to me.

Ok, I feel a bit better with this very wordy rant under my belt, but it is still baffling that the school is being used down the street without being made aware of it, AND, that people have big gossipy mouths with people they hardly know!!  haha ugh, society!

Hope you are all havin’ a Happy Wednesday!!

xoxoxo

Posted in Random Stuff

Yah! It’s Friday!

Hey Everyone!

It’s Friday.  We made it!  And did you know it was Fall?  Just in case you missed all the pumpkin spice drinks and candies everyone has been posting about. It’s depressing isn’t it?  Everything changed in an instant this week, and this girl is not so thrilled.  I need my 75-85 degree temps, warm breezes and cold white wine on the patio.  Now I need to switch over my wardrobe to duster sweaters, jeans, boots and socks.  Oh, wait, scratch that.. I am actually excited for BOOTS AND BOOT SOCKS!  Just not the chilly weather. 😛

So. It’s the birthday eve of my oldest baby girl..last day of single digits!  

Where has the time gone!?

She has been doing a countdown since September started, like this, “Mamma, it’s my last full weekend as a nine-year old.” and “Mamma, this is the last time I am wearing this bathing suit as a nine-year old.”.  She is quite adorbs.  Tomorrow, we are starting with another donut cake, since she liked her baby sister’s so much a few weeks ago. (Ugh I am still full from Sunday!)

Before the donut cake though, my annual bday surprise. I surprise them with a big hoopla of streamers, decorations and balloons at the table for when they wake up.  Since it is her big double-digit debut, I might go crazay by surprising her all over the kitchen, and by making a cascading balloon trap at her bedroom door; so when she wakes up it is like an avalanche of balloons falling on top of her.

She is so sweet, and I can’t wait to make her day tomorrow.

So.

Did I mention I finally saw the scale drop this week?

YES!!!

I worked real hard.  On so much, too.  I changed up workout days and added to my workout routine.  Tried to relieve stress.  Got back into longer cardio and plyo exercises like before, and heavier, more challenging reps in training.  I started feeling my muscles doing work this week, and though it was tough af, I was so excited to feel new parts of my body working hard.  Muscles and Mascara, right?  <–my new motto..now I just need to get the muscles.   😛

Ahh, I am so happy it’s the weekend.  And I can’t wait to celebrate my big girl tomorrow!!

Hope you guys have an amazing weekend!

xoxoxox

Posted in Party Time!

A Circus Birthday!

Circus Birthday!!

Well, after months of planning and crafting, the day has finally come and gone!

As with all the parties I throw these two, I plan them for months, getting every detail right and craft for weeks.  This year was a blast because it was a free spirited theme, though chaotic, too. Which means anything goes as long as there is music, lots of food and treats..so that is where I started brainstorming.

First, I worked on the decor.  I thought about a color scheme and stuck to turquoise, red and white. So the tables were topped with turquoise then draped with red and white table skirts.  Then the entrance mimicked that idea, with white and red stripes and puffy tissue pom poms that I made.  It came together so well, and I got the best compliments on this party, and it really felt so good.  I do put my heart and soul into this event, so it feels great to hear that everyone appreciates it all and enjoys all the details.

My favorite compliment was from my best friend, he said, “I was waiting to see an elephant come down the driveway!”…that’s awesome!  😛

So let me start with the details and finish with the party pics…

The Decor

I started off with a base of stripes with a splash of color all over.  The entrance was my favorite.  I sort of channeled Tim Burton here, or so I think so!  It was colorful and fun.  I love that my kids started CCD this day, so they left with a bare yard to come home to it all decorated.. all I heard was a scream when they saw it.  That felt great.

There were two photo areas, one set up like a photo booth with a big camera and then another against the house for personal pics behind a draped photo.  It was a lot of fun to see everyone get in on the act!

I had circus themed music streaming for a few hours, something that really lent to the theme so much!

 

Popcorn Party Favor

I had a hard time with this part of the party.  For some reason, the party favor makes my brain go into overdrive..I start thinking about sunglasses, candies and so much.  This year I was walking through the Dollar Store and happened upon these cute popcorn containers and I went from there.  These cost me $1.47 each (for 23 kids), which is super super awesome!!

 

 

Crafted Gumball Machine

I made a lot of things for this party.  This was a favorite of mine though.  I found this tin planter and immediately went with a fake gumball machine.  Grabbed a bubble vase and glued it on..voila.  ADORBZ!

 

 

Wine Bottle Ring Toss

Pinterest is great inspiration, and the ring toss game was NO exception.  Except I put my own twist on it with uneven sized bottles of wine not beer (I dont like beer).  Sprayed them a satin blue and boom, super fun crated game.

I fashioned glow in the dark bracelets in to rings to match.

 

Clown inspired tank top for the girls

These tanks were so easy to make, and to remove the pom poms for future use!   I grabbed plain white tanks from Target, then loosely sewed colored pom poms onto them.  Then fashioned the girls in a tutu, colorful suspenders and a mini top hat.  They looked great with a little eye makeup and lipstick…cutest clowns.

 

Blinged out Birthday Candles

Again, pinterest inspired me to make these candles..and I am so glad!  They came out so cute and were a big aw inspired part of the cake!

The Cake

One night my husband and I designed the cake.  We made so many variations, but ended up with a light yellow base, with a giant red elevated ring in the middle with striped red sides and blue bunting.  We made the cake topper, I blinged it out and it made the cutest cake for this day.

 

Clown Lollipop Tree

So, this craft really came out of depths of me.  I had wanted to make a tree lollipop holder for the dessert table, but somehow, all my thoughts were boring me.  So I started going through my cabinets, and I found a 4″ bubble glass vase.  Within seconds, I found myself making a clown themed tree!!  It came out so great for on the whim, and was a big hit!!

 

The Photo Booth

Sometimes I wish I had event planning type money, but I love making do with what I can.  I grabbed red and white plastic tablecloths, hay bales from my local farm, a printer and rummaged through my house to create this vintage inspired photo booth.  This was a big hit, who knew!, and made a perfect backdrop for this party!

All the fun!

The girls had a great time with their family and close friends, which is all I could ask for here.  With all the cotton candy, popcorn, jumping in the jumpy house and running around taking pictures, it was all so much fun!  No one left without a smile!!

 

Some photos courtesy of my sister and friend  :)
Posted in Random Stuff

Ringmaster Valeria

Hey everyone!

The girls are officially in the swing of back to school.  It has been a little hard for ME to adjust  hah.  Since day one we have been involved in getting them back acclimated to a better sleep schedule, homework and school activities. Ooof! Homework!  I don’t even know why this is still a practiced school process anymore.  But it is.

So, with back to school, we are back to school activities.  The latest was our oldest child’s open house Tuesday. This is when you get to see your child’s workspace, all the fun things they started to do for the year, talk about their goals with them and a quick hello with the teacher.  Her teacher seems super nice and down to earth, which is a relief.   Our youngest daughter’s open house will be this next week.

But till then I’m going to be in a whirlwind of running around.  I am in the thick of getting ready for the girls joint birthday party on Sunday, circus theme! You all know me, I go big or I don’t do it at all.  It is going to be so much fun! So far, we have a little over forty people coming and I have planned for a jumpy house, cotton candy and popcorn machines, a retro circus photobooth, BBQ, tons of candy, cake and homemade games, possibly face painting, too.  The girls will be dressed up as cute clowns in tutus with colorful suspenders, all dolled up.  I was thinking of getting dressed up for fun. Planning to be ‘The Ringmaster’; sounds fun doesn’t it?  haha

But, all I have so far is a mini top hat fascinator and well, me  haha.  Oh boy.

I have done a lot of work for this party, a lot of fun crafting things. So I can’t wait for it! I love making this party happen for my kids every year, and with this their last one together, for me, it will be immensely special.  Our oldest turns ten.  My God.  Ten? I still think of her as my five year old!  Time is just flying too fast.

Ten.

Wow.

My oldest daughter is so amazing.  I know every parent says that about their child(ren), but my oldest daughter really is such a wonderful person.  You know that kid that just has their thoughts in order and knows exactly what to say, or how to say it to make you see things differently? Well, that is her.  She makes me proud every day.  Not because she is academically smart or because she is artistically inclined, but because her heart is so big and she loves unconditionally, looking past faults and accepting of how people are. That is the mark of a good person, and it validates all my hard work being her parent.

She is my sunshine. 🙂

So. Now that I am teary eyed, let me get back to this. hah

On top of all this excitement…I am still killing it at the gym about five days a week. It feels so great.  I see a lot of results, muscle formation, whittling waist, but..I just keep hitting this weird wall.  My body is shrinking, but the scale is not going down. I’m stuck where my last loss was, so it’s a little frustrating; but I’m trying not to focus on that and focus on all the positive things happening. It’s hard for me to do this because it can be depressing; I am a scale person no matter how hard I listen to my supporters. I just can’t help but put my ass on that scale!  So not seeing it go down just hurts haha.  Going up would devastate me though, so I have to focus on the positive.  I am feeling strong and happy.  Which is a major win imo.

Well, I need to jump off wordpress now, gotta get to the gym soon!, but will definitely update you guys on this awesome party next week!   Wish me luck putting together a look!  Haha

xoxoxoxo

Posted in Random Stuff

And The World Didn’t Stop

Hey WordPress World!

It’s Friday..FINALLY!   And a three-day holiday weekend to boot! Well, except for me, it’s a FOUR DAY WEEKEND! Wahooo. Taking Tuesday off to have some fun with the Mr..

So, I wanted to talk about something, I am not sure how it will shake out of me just writing about it without thinking it through but I am going with my feeling.

Most of you that follow me, have read about my changes and that I have been on this life changing ‘journey’ for quite a while.  Ever since I changed my exterior in 2009, it really changed me more than I realized it ever would. I realized that all that weight was covering me from a world I wanted to be around.  It’s hard to recap that feeling, but because of that one change, I just felt so free and able for the first time in a long time, that I couldn’t help but update everything about myself..inside and out.

You can say I upgraded to Valeria 2.0.

So lately, my journey is about trying to bring myself back to my inner happy place.  Yes, I am a happy woman, and you all see it I am sure, but, I seemed to have lost my center point where I am just content with me and not giving a rat’s ass about what others think. I am not meaning that I sit there with fears of what people think about me, because I can tell you all that I don’t care if people like me or not, but I carry this weird baggage of always having to be perfect.  Well, put together really.

I don’t like when people see me not put together is what I am saying.  I’m not sure why, but I think I like to know that I also have it together.  hahaha

Today, I did something I had never done before, which leads me to believe I am coming a step closer to this content center.  My husband and I were running late getting the kids off to school.  Staying up late like me does have its downsides too.  So. We still had to shower, and there was like less than ten minutes left to get them into school without being tardy.  So, I did something most people do, but I have never.  I just grabbed my kids, my glasses, keys, and drove them to school.  No washing up.. hair a hot mess in a bun..no makeup on..in my glasses..tank and yoga sweats..and flipflops.  Usually, I have my husband throw on a baseball cap then rush off to get the kids to school, coming back to shower and off to work.  So this was new.

I have NEVER in my life done this.  NEVER.  I have always been so concerned with my appearance, being put together, that I couldn’t ever think I would be able to do this. If I have ever gone out without makeup, it was after I cleansed and moisturized, made sure my hair was straightened, put on large sunglasses and hid from the world.  I know this sounds weird, but, I have always wanted to just be this person.  The person that can just be, wake up and go.  No one would cringe, or say ‘oh my, what happened?’, or that I felt like I would stop the world because I was disheveled.

Strange right? Well, as I was driving to grab a coffee after dropping the girls off, seeing I was without makeup or contacts in the mirror, I gave myself a smile. I didn’t care if anyone saw me or if it would cause the world to stop.  haha  I had to do something and be somewhere.. and I fucking don’t want to care about other people.

I felt free.

Now, I am not thinking I will be all over the place without makeup on or fresh out of bed in my pajamas. I love love love being dolled up.  I am realistically saying that this small thing today defined a moment in myself where I wasn’t preoccupied with putting those concerns ahead of life happening. Today, I wasn’t concerned about who I would see or looking at myself with disgust and that is a big deal in my book.

We all have quirks about ourselves, and well, honestly, mine is and has always been that I never think I am pretty enough without my embellishments.  Whatever this body/face image issue inside myself is about, I am going to crush it and make it go away, because most of what is my unhappiness stems from there.  And I do not like there.

So today, was a big step in the right direction.

This made me real happy. 🙂

xoxoxo