Sunday, July 31, 2011

I Have NEVER Lost Any of My Kids until Today!

This is a note to share that we are all human and in a blink of an eye, a child CAN disappear that quickly.  In this case it was my 3 year old who was missing in the Discovery Center Museum in Rockford!

You always anticipate how you would feel if your child ever disappeared, but you never really know the feeling of panic and helplessness until it happens. 

Being an overprotective mother of 3, I fear the worst in every situation.  So, when I looked up to find my 2 daughters playing but not my son, I looked to my husband and said, "Where is he?"

We scanned the entire second floor, before I literally ran to tell one of the staff members that my son was missing.  I wanted to make sure that if he was taken by someone that they wouldn't get out of the door.  It was less than a minute that I had turned around to talk to my husband, who was facing his direction, but somehow he slipped out of our sight.

It almost felt like a nightmare.  Everybody watched me as I yelled for my son, and I could just feel myself racing back and forth calling his name.  I am sure I looked like a crazy lady to everyone, including my husband, but that is OUR child who is missing.

Moments later what felt like eternity, the staff member came up the stairs with my teary eyed 3 year old.  I thanked her, and in my sense of relief with my son's continuing embrace, I felt embarrassed. 

I started feeling as if everyone around me was judging me, and I felt a quick vibe of defensiveness.  I was looking for someone else to blame, husband, well...he was there too, wasn't he?

Well, I am not perfect, I never claim to be, but as a mom of 3, I do stand pretty high on my toes.  This isn't going to discourage me from taking my kids places, or encourage me to put a leash on my son, but I will take it as a learning experience and hope my son has learned a little lesson too.

We talked about what happened today, he knows that he cried and told the lady he was looking for his mom.  He also knows that she brought him back to me.  I am very pleased with the Discovery Center Museum in Rockford for their quickness at helping us find our son, I only have to think that we were not their first missing child.

We ended our day with a nice dinner out!  And now all the kids are tucked safely in bed!

Note:  It was important to me to share my experience today, because I don't think many people would have.  I never thought I would lose my child.  Now I know, It can happen to anyone!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Taking time to Reminisce

Not often do I find time to relax.  With 3 kids I am on the go most days, and those days are usually filled with power struggles, fighting and pure exhaustion.  But every so often, I have this fabulous day that allows me time to think about the past.  So I am here to reminisce with you.  Feel free to share your special memories too!

It is funny, the things we may remember from our childhood about how we were raised, games we played, friends we had or nicknames we were given.  But it is important that we do remember them, they are a part of who we were and how we developed into the person we are today.

Being the youngest child of a family of 4, I was lucky enough to have a mom who stayed home for me and my sister, while my dad worked.  I remember most of my life, wanting to be a mom, and now that I am, I sometimes wonder what I was thinking (said with a big smile)!  I guess if she wasn't so good at it, I would have wanted to be something else.

I remember as a kid playing shoe store with her, taking a ruler to measure her foot then going in her closet and picking out the perfect shoes.  I also remember playing store with groceries from our cabinets, and bagging those up as well.  Maybe if I wasn't a mom I would be a grocery clerk or shoe saleswoman?  I used to eat lunch on a TV tray in front of the TV, and when I had cereal she would put my milk in a fancy glass server for cream and let me pour my own milk, and when I was old enough to eat lunch at school my mom always put stickers in my lunchbox. (Yes, I had a real lunchbox with a thermos that I would sometime open to find a hotdog.)

I could go on and on about the things I remember, but what makes me smile is the memories I have. 

For as long as I can remember my Grandparents came over every Saturday at 1 o'clock.  My Grandfather used to call me Jefferson Ice, not sure why!  Perhaps to him Jennifer and Jefferson sounded alike.  My mom, grandma and I would go shopping at Dekoven or K-mart (do you remember the blue light specials? where one of the clerks would manually markdown your items?)  Maybe that is where my need for a sale comes from.  When we would get back we would have dinner.  Then the adults would play canasta, while I sang to the records or 8 track playing.  My mom would make coffee and serve a babka from Gladstone Bakery, homemade cinnamon pound cake or a Swedish flop cake from Dominick's (Most times she served all 3).  I used to get to drink coffee and fill in on the game of cards when someone needed to go to the bathroom.  I felt so important, and I got pretty good at the game too!

Just sharing some of my memories has me thinking of so many more, so perhaps, I will be sharing what I remember about each person in my family once a month here on my blog.  I hope my kids will to have great memories of their childhood too! Although, some members of my family are watching us from above, they have not been forgotten.  I am who I am today because of my family and for that I am grateful!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Family of 5 Weekend!

A Summer Get-a-way is sometimes just what you need to break up the craziness of staying at home with 3 kids. Although our vacation was not all play we did have a lot of fun in Milwaukee, WI.
Our trip was centered around our oldest child of 7 and her love for Irish Dance. A dancer born at the age of 5 to one of the most widely recognized Irish Dance Companies started her journey of competition less than 2 months ago.

Knowing that our daughter would be competing 2 1/2 hours away from home over the course of 2 days, we decided to stay in Milwaukee and enjoy some time together. 

The Milwaukee County Zoo was a must along with 
The Betty Brinn Children's Museum, my new favorite Children's Museum. 

Working as a Mechanic at the Betty Brinn Children's Museum
while the girls filmed a news segment.

Here I am with my son, sorting the mail. 
Yes, my OCD has me sorting it by location.

We enjoyed some indoor swimming at our hotel and went on the Miller Brewery Tour after our daughter's first day of competition.  Since the kids didn't complain about the "beer" tour, they were promised the Jelly Belly Factory on our way home.  We packed a lot of stuff into four days and came home more than exhausted.  But what is most important is the time we spent together.

Back to the competition, our daughter said she had fun.  She danced in two competitions each day, one for her Jig and one for her Reel, two different dances she practices during class and at home.  She loves seeing her friends at these events, especially the older dancers.  Although, she loves the feeling of accomplishment when she receives a medal or ribbon, she didn't place this time.

Photographed with a family friend and Irish dancer.

Her attitude is right on track, when she can shrug her shoulders and say, "Oh well!" to not placing, then go on with her day makes me very proud.  I feel from her first performance at age 5 to her first competition at age 7, she has really grown into an independent young lady.  For my daughter, Irish dancing has really helped to bring out her independence, strength and confidence that will help her though life.

We are all happy to be home or as my 3 year old calls it, "Hotel Home"!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

DIY Vintage Flowers

Vintage Flowers #2 – Original workshop on May 12, 2011
by Jennifer McCarte       
Synthetic Silky fabric
Tea light candle

Additional Supplies:
Needle and thread
Hot glue/glue gun
Buttons, gems or other accessories for center of flower
Clips, pins, headbands or clothing to attach flower

1. Cut 5-7 circle patterns out of card stock.
Make the largest one’s diameter about half an inch larger than you want the diameter of the flower, as the petals will end up shrinking a bit. Create 5-7 of these, making each circle a little smaller. End result has smaller petals in the center and larger ones around the outside.
The 5 cuts into the patterns above are to make the petals,
you may cut as many or as few of these to create your desired look.

2. Trace around the pattern onto the silk fabric (using a pen).

3. Take the scissors and cut out the circle and petals.
Cut just inside the drawn lines to make a circle out of the fabric. Carefully cut only about a third of the way into the circles to create the petals. You can do as many or few petals as you would like.  If you choose you can get a different look by not cutting petals at all.
*You can also cut around the pattern and skip the drawing part. Each flower will be different so cutting perfectly on a line is not necessary.

4. Use the lit candle to melt and crinkle the edges.
Be very careful (the candle flame is very HOT), and it is very easy to get burned. Hold the cut petals about one to two inches above the flame, making sure to keep the circle rotating so that it does not overheat and catch fire. Continue to gently melt the edges of each petal until you have gone all the way around. Do this with each layer.

 Note: The candle gets hotter the longer you burn it.

5. Sew (or glue) the petal layers together.
Using a needle and thread, stack the layers (largest to smallest) on the needle.  Once you have your desired look, pull the needle and thread all the way through.  Sew back and forth a few times then knot. To finish the flower, sew (or glue) the button or bead on top.

To attach the flower to the clip, cut a circle out of felt, just smaller than the flower.  Take your clip and use the hot glue gun to attach your flower to the top.  Once that has dried, place hot glue on the felt circle and slide inside the clip.  Close the clip and let dry. This way, the clip is hidden and the felt helps it stay in place when it is on your clothing or in your hair.
Note:  Open the clip and put a piece of waxed paper inside,
This will prevent the clip from being glued closed!

Just remember: every flower will turn out differently and that is part of the beauty!