Mommy planner

So, I fell into a role with Little Apple Families. My ‘title’ is large group events coordinator. Basically, its event planning for small childrens holiday parties. I will unashamedly admit, I absolutely love doing it. Do I go overboard? Likely. My hubs, mom, boss and fellow leadership team members would probably agree. Do I get credit for being self-aware? Hahaha. As they say, “do what makes you happy.” And it does. I am beyond thankful the team is eager to help. My family also rocks. Dane will occasionally admit he enjoys some of the crafting. My mom loves it no question.

Truly, I think the best part is that it helps E more prepared for everything that happens at these things the day of. Which in turn I feel makes the entire experience go smoother for both of us, sometimes dad too! Not only that but we get to experience each holiday longer, talk about them more, prepare earlier. Now it seems we enjoy the actual day of Halloween, Easter, Christmas, etc. because I was planning, preparing and READY before the last event or holiday was finished.

Loads of work at least in the research and planning department. But little man likes watching me cut, sew, draw, paint, glue, destroy my house clean my house eat sleep repeat. I occasionally let him sew which may be his favorite. 🤷‍♀️. I bet its the machine and I spent so long trying to jeep him away from it.

There are challenges involved with everything that goes into it. I actually like limitations. It requires me to get creative and solve problems. First and would have to be budget. We have a decent budget. However, we have 5 large group events to host throughout the year. Valentines, The local Saint Patricks Day Parade, an Easter egg hunt, Trunk-or-Treat, a Winter Holiday Party and a few potlucks in between. Besides new members who join throughout the year we collect dues at the beginning of the year and our last party is our largest expense. Special guests and venues can be expensive! So we have to mindful of doing things on the cheap all year long.

The next biggest challenge would be durability (not even going to talk about storing this stuff but storage is a factor). I have to make things that will last through 60 some kids. Creating things I have no attachment to but that I think will be enjoyed and are worth the time and effort if it doesn’t survive. I don’t need to be secretly crying on the inside over kids party items. This stuff has to be something I truly mind the destruction of. After the first event I helped organize I learned to anticipate damage.

Speaking of lessons learned, at last years Holiday party I realized I hadn’t planned very well. There was no accounting for the amount of work set up. No plan of attack. No concept of how much time it would take to set up. Lets also acknowledge I was not mindful of how long cleanup would take either. 🙄 We had too many crafts, too many tables, too many chairs out, to then put away. I had activities I made that didn’t get set up because I brought decor that took too long to set up. And all of us had small children in tow.

Valentines went smoother. I was for sure more cognizant of set up time, cleanup time and scaled back on how many crafts. This saved me prep time and I learned to start planning crafting deciding well in advance. Evolution? I’m evolving right? Maybe developing & improving are better words to describe the process.

So here I am about a month out from the Winter Holiday Party. Nearly everything is planned out.

Date ✅ Time ✅ Venue ✅ 🎅🏽 ✅ Activities✅ Crafts nearly decided just need narrowed down and I think we’re on track to have costs at HALF of last years!

I even was a crazy person who went and measured the venue. In my defense, I wanted to see how I could set up activities. Where they should be and how much space I should allot….I want set up to happen quickly. I may have mapped it all out too …as long as my spacing for table and chairs is on target I think It’ll all fit.

Not only do I have set up & tear down goals, I also have goals for how much crap I lug with me.

My goals for this Winter Party are:

    one tote for food supplies

– we provide napkins, plates, cups, silverware

    .
    • One tote/box for decor

&

    activities.
    One tote for crafts

– Which may fit in the same tote as decor and activities!!!!

    One chair
    One tree
    And a few items that cannot be boxed or toted.

I’ll confess I have spent my own money on a few things here and there. I try to only do that for things I think would be fun to have as a family over the years, or for E to take to school parties. So far this year I’ve only spent $27. Hot glue being a big chunk of that. My crafter box is becoming hefty. And I’ve set my sights on a Cricut. Maybe, I’ll sell some of my crafts some day on etsy. I have the perfect focus group to test quality, functionality, and interest level. 🥳

Here are sone photos of past events. Keep in mind not a lot of time can be spent taking pinterest worthy photos. and sometimes photos at all. 🤦🏽‍♀️

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Little man and Monarchs

So far E hasn’t been terribly interested in the monarchs caterpillars or butterflies. He’s looked at them and I think is more entertained at how much I like them! He’s held a caterpillar and poked one 🙄 enough to irritate it but do no damage. They are now beginning to emerge from their chrysalis’. I put one on him today and by far that’s the most Interaction he’s had with them all together. Of course it got loose in The house. I was able to quickly capture him so we could release them in the wild.

I have enjoyed doing this, this summer. I may or may not do it again next year. It will be heavily dependent if we have travel plans or not. And if E has more interest. It really is time intensive. That doesn’t mean I won’t ever do it again just that I don’t see my self committing to the indoor reading EVERY year.

If I don’t bring them inside again next year. I will look into at least netting my milkweed to help boost their survival rate.

Anyways down to the good part pictures!

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Monarch update

I have 6 caterpillars 🐛 currently. My oldest one I think is close to making its chrysalis. I will admit I have had a few casualties. (This is frustrating but I have to remind myself only 10% of eggs in the wild make it. And none of the eggs I left out on their own have made it.)

One I accidentally touched cleaning the cage (when it was newly hatched).

One escapee got smashed when I was looking for him.

One failure to thrive.

One fell into a tiny crack and I fed him for days he wouldn’t come out and I accidentally poked him with a lifeline. This one upset me the most. We were so close to a rescue.

I have definitely learned from my mistakes. And the second batch has faired much better.

Here are some photos.

The last photo is my big guy just a couple days ago. I do fear I may run out of milkweed. The 6 of them ate 3 decent sized leaves yesterday.

*update* 9/1/18

He/she is starting!

And the “littles” started or are about to molt I’m not positive bet they are somewhere between 3rd and 4th instars.

That’s all for now!

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Sad

Valentine’s Day should be happy. Being in the service industry only makes you see how much pressure everyone puts on a silly day.

I honestly could care less about it but want to indulge in the child like wonder of the day for my son. But today has only brought tears.

Tears that my son was left out. That he operates on a different level.l. Tears that I and he are inconveniences to seemingly everyone. Tears of a friendship over. Tears of being the bad guy. Tears of losing it. Tears of over reacting. Tears of not speaking up. Tears of being judged and knowing it. Tears of trying to play nice. Tears of caring for those who only care about themselves.

Tears that My child doesn’t speak. Tears of frustration that he can and has but doesn’t. Tears that I only want good for him.

Today sucks.

Sad