Friday, August 08, 2014

28 Days and Counting

Twenty eight days from today, school starts. Like my friend Lily, I am counting down the days. We have one more week of pre-school before a break of two weeks. Honestly, I can't foresee Snuggle Bug potty training in that time frame. I may be wrong. He may surprise me. I am not going to hang any great expectations on this, however.

Next week, we have the boys' birthday party on Sunday. I have things situated so that all that we really need to do now is pick up food. I don't know why I am getting this terrible feeling of dread about it all right now. It could be partly due to the fact that I have been struggling with depression for a little while now and it makes everything look significantly more grim than it really is. It could also be the fact that I am just not comfortable with parties.

I think it is partly a function of my social phobia. And I think it is partly a function of the fact that I am an introvert. Beloved is also an introvert. The boys, however, are more of a pair of extroverts then we are. Especially Snuggle Bug, who decided to walk into somebody's house while we were visiting his friends and say hi. At least the boy knocked first and listened when the gal living there said they were busy and he couldn't visit.

It is less then a month away from Beloved and my 10 year wedding anniversary. I feel terrible to say that I have no ideas what to do for him to make the day special. It falls in the middle of the work week. It is also the day that school starts up for Snuggle Bug (who, if I recall it rightly, has a half day that day). We're not exactly flush with cash right now. I don't think we're going to be able to really do anything until the weekend and even then I don't honestly know what we could do.

We might get lucky and someone will be able to watch the boys for us so that we can go out to dinner. It seems, however, that babysitting time is harder to come by right now. My emo-tastic brain tells me that it is because the boys (namely Snuggle Bug) are difficult to manage for a length of time and that people only want to deal with the kids in small doses. I think it is more likely that people are busy and simply don't have the time. And, in all honesty, the boys are a handful.

Depression does funny things to how you perceive things and usually it makes you see the worst about a situation, at best. I've been trying not to let my mental health woes color this blog but that has resulted in my avoiding posting in here. I've decided to throw caution to the wind, to some extent, and let myself post on here even when I am not feeling up to it. Not everyday is happy and perfect and it is better that this blog reflects reality rather then some inflated image.

I started this blog post with the goal of talking about the planning for this birthday party. I'm most of the way there on getting things situated. The theme of the party is superheros. I thought briefly about getting stuff with a superhero theme, like a banner or a table cloth or something. Then I saw the cost of it and concluded that I couldn't pay for something that was 4 times the cost of what I could spend on plain items when the kids weren't really going to get all excited over it. It'd be one thing if we were going with a theme like firefighters, which the boys both get really excited about it.

Superheros are something that the boys sort of like but their cousins would be more inclined to get into the fun on it. If the boys are still hot on the concept of firefighters (see what I did right there?) in a few years, then perhaps we'll do a firefighter themed party for them. If we save our pennies, we could possibly manage to hold the party at the training grounds up the road and have the firefighters show off one of their trucks.

The menu is really simple. We're having hot dogs, two different kinds of salad, chips, pretzels, and soda. For dessert, we're having cupcakes. I was going to have them do all Spiderman, Batman, or Iron Man for the cupcakes but they didn't have enough of those plastic rings to go with it all. As a result, we are going to have half the cupcakes with Batman rings and half the cupcakes with Ninja Turtles rings. Again, I don't think the kids are going to care terribly much.

The boys are getting a few different toys from us. I got them each a Transformer robot that is about 8 in tall with fixed limbs. I also located for them monster truck versions of a garbage truck (for Cuddle Bear) and an ambulance (for Snuggle Bug). I purchased a bike helmet for Snuggle Bug. When I am getting groceries tomorrow, I will be getting a bell for the bike that Cuddle Bear will be getting from his grandparents. I was thinking a bell was a better option then a horn. Cuddle Bear does not like loud noises and bike horns are generally pretty loud.

I am not doing stuff like streamers or fancy tablecloths or anything. I looked at the cost of that stuff and decided that I just couldn't justify it out of the budget. Next year is an 'off' year for birthday parties. If I save things up over next year and the summer after, I should have enough put by for the kids to have a themed birthday party that they'll be more likely to remember. Then, if they're still into firefighters, we can do a firetruck themed cake and stuff. Who knows, maybe I'll be able to swing getting fire helmets for the kids and stuff.

In the meantime, I need to start planning for back to school stuff. The school supply lists arrived in the mail this week. I think we'll be picking up what is needed week after next. Then we can do all of the shopping at once. I know that we'll need to get the boys new shoes, socks, and underwear. I'm pretty sure that Cuddle Bear is going to need some new pants too. The ones he has are starting to get a bit small in the leg. I figure if I buy them a bit long in the leg, I can hem them and let the hems out as he grows.

It looks like Snuggle Bug's backpack from Headstart is still solid enough to stand up to kindergarten. Cuddle Bear's backpack from last year, however, is not so fortunate. This time, we will be getting him a larger backpack. The one he had last year was a touch too small for what he needed. I'm going to have the kids packing lunch as often as we can manage, though we are applying to see if we qualify for reduced lunch again this year. I already have a bag for each of the kids.

While I like the idea of bento boxes, I recognize that I may not have the stamina for whipping up fancy bento lunches on a regular basis. I think, however, with some planning and preparation, I can have some plain bento lunches for them to bring regularly. Speaking of bento boxes, I really hope that Beloved can find his lunch box at work so I can clean it up and stuff. My thought is while I am cooking up dinner in the evening, I will just make their lunches and put them in the fridge.

If I can streamline my work, then maybe, just maybe, I can pack lunches more often then it would be necessary for the kids to buy. And if I do it right, it won't be terribly, terribly expensive either. If you follow my pinterest boards, you may find me posting more things about bento lunches in the not so distant future. Don't be surprised if themes around different foods arise. Cuddle Bear's favorite lunch is pizza sandwiches and Snuggle Bug loves his peanut butter and jelly. Since I haven't gotten a notice home saying that peanut butter anything is not allowed at school, I'm going to assume that it is safe to send him in with those.

I remember seeing something about freezing sandwiches after you made them ahead to make them last longer during the week. Perhaps I will give that a try too. Who knows. I think I've run out of things to say. I guess I'll end this post before I blather on about something that is complete nonsense.

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