Thursday, June 30, 2011

DIY Cupcake Tower / Stand

With the girls' birthday coming up, I knew I wanted to do a cupcake stand/tower as the cake. I really like cupcakes since there is no cutting, and I know that I will have enough. Plus, you can get "fancy" with the decorations.

Plus, even with plain cupcakes, the tower makes it look so much more fancy. I am all about fancy lol.

I started googling and found these links, they are all the same concept, but have slightly different instructions. I thought I would just share the links instead of doing my own tutorial lol

Cupcake Tower #1 - Cupcake Tower #2 - Cupcake Tower #3

Basically you use cardboard circles, cover with pretty paper, use ribbon or strips of paper around the circles to make it look like a wide platform. Then you use full cans in between the layers.

I wanted to make one for a BBQ that we had as a practice run. I did it in about an hour, so it is not the best...but overall I think it looked OK. The colors did not photograph well, but I also had bad lighting.

Next time, I will make the bases the same color, and the outer colors different.

But, here is what it looks like uncovered, and then after. Doesn't it look like it is thick platforms, nope, it is thin cardboard with a wide strip of paper.

It was really easy, I used mod podge for the main part, and then hot glue for the outer "ribbon" parts. Took about an hour. I can't wait to make more for the girls' party.

Monday, June 27, 2011

How Much Food Do I Need for a BBQ?

Every year I have a BBQ for my cousins, and every year I never know how much food to buy. It is a pot luck BBQ, so every family brings something like salads, desserts, etc. I do the burgers, sodas, you know the basics.

So, this year, I made a list of what I bought and what we used.

We had 46 people - but there was about 25 missing, so next year I will have to obviously adjust.

46 people - 25 Adults, 13 age 0-7, 1 age 7-12, 7 age 13+

Here is what I used (bought)

36 Hamburgers (bought 72) - bought similar amounts of buns
16 Hotdogs (probably needed 24) - bought similar amounts of buns
3.5 Lbs Chicken
1 Pound of American Cheese (bought 1.5 pounds)
24 Cans of Coke
24 Cans of Diet Coke
24 Cans of Sprite
12 Cans of Orange
24 Bottles of Water (Bought 36)
20 Juice Boxes
24 Beers - it is BYOB, but a bunch of people did not bring, so this was good that we got more
8 8-lb bags of ice
2 tomatos, 1 onion, 1 head of lettuce for "fixens"
1 Small Watermelon
100 Plates
100 "Solo" cups - but since we used cans, we have tons left over
70 Jello Shots :) - note: one box of regular jello made 35 jello shots
3 Large bags of Chips + one onion dip
24 ice pops

People brought different pasta salads, potato salad, fruit trays, veggie trays, pickle trays, bean dish, chips & salsa, desserts, etc

If I was doing all the side dishes, I would not have had as many sides - we had lots left over; but it worked out great - a good variety.

Now, I know what you are thinking - that seems like an awful amount of waste. I mean, we had 36 extra hamburgers. Well, I knew I could return anything that was not opened. We kept one bag (of 18) in the freezer, and one bag in the fridge. We figured that we would take them out as needed. Plus, my sister is hosting a BBQ next weekend and we knew that I could just give her anything that we had left-over. Next BBQ, I will be able to use this list and (hopefully) plan well and not have too much left over.

Plus, we drink soda and bottled water - so that will never go to waste.

So, there you have it - I have now answered the question, "How many hamburgers do I need for a BBQ?"

Friday, June 17, 2011

Yada Yada Yada

I could not think of a catchy title, so yada yada yada it is. For those that don't know, it is kinda like bla bla bla. Used as a placeholder of sorts. We went to the beach and yada yada yada we had a great time.


Anyway, I feel like I am a bad blogger - it has been almost 2 weeks since I wrote a post. And it seems like this is becoming a trend. I guess my life is just pretty boring.

I keep seeing people post on facebook, or a message board, or where ever saying that their kid is saying this or that, and it really makes me realize how LITTLE Cora actually says. We had her evaluated at 15 months old for speech delays. At that time she said nothing - how she didn't qualify is totally beyond me. They told us to have her re-eval at 18 months if there was not a marked improvement.

18 Months came and went, and she is still not talking. Yes, 18 months old was 3 months ago. And, yes - I really need to make the call. But, as each day goes by, I think to myself - this will be the day that she has the word explosion that everyone talks about. Today will be the day that I can understand what she wants. Today will be the day.

But, the day comes and goes. By 21 months, a (AVERAGE) should be starting 2 word sentences. Yeah, right. Not for Cora. I really think Elsie will talk before her. I have been keeping a running list of her "words" on a piece of paper. Let's see - she says ball, dog, mama, dada, baba, more, out, meow, and the sound of a monkey. yup - that is it. Oh, and she kinda says please.

She can sign a few words as well.

But, that is 10 words, if you count the animal sounds. Seriously? Not even close to making sentences.

I guess just accepting that there might be an issue is well, my issue. I am going to call today.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Major Update

We have court today. The whole bio father thing is getting on my nerves. It keeps getting pushed back, postponed, etc.

But, today is the day. He is flying up today and has told my CW, and his attorney, that he will be doing a surrender today. This has been said before though. He was actually suposed to do a surrender back in March at mediation.


This turned out really long. Short Story - Lil J is LEGALLY FREE!!!!!

Long Story:

Sorry I could not update sooner. We had a follow up dr appointment for Elsie, so basically I walked in the door, and had to leave again. Then the doc went over schedule, then we had to dinner, baths, etc, etc.

Bio Dad, was being flown from out of state, and then being taken directly to the court house. This alone was annoying since we can not control the airlines, etc.

We were scheduled for 11am, and the judge knew about the case and knew about the circumstances, etc, etc, and was basically "holding up session" to wait and hear us. His caseload is very light since he is retiring at the end of the month. At this point, he is just wrapping things up.

Anyway, he did not get to the courthouse until almost 11:30. Then he had to meet with his attorney.

We went into the courtroom and he did in fact do the full surrender! I didn't think it would be emotional for me, since he has had no relationship at all. But, it was! the attorney went over all the questions on the surrender forms, making sure he understood everything, and made sure he was there on his free well, bla bla bla. All very legal wording, etc.

But, then the judge asked him very similar questions, but in a converstation tone. The judge asked why he was surrendering. His answer really just broke my heart. He admitted that he was irresponsible in his life, selfish, and immature. He also said he wanted to do what was best for Lil J, that he LOVES that he is with a great family, and that he loves him so much, even though he has never met him.

He also went on and on about how he is not in a position emotionally, mentally, physically to raise a child - let alone as a single father. He wanted Lil J to grow up with people who loved him, and not (someone like him) who essentially didn't care enough to step up to the plate (his word, not mine).

The judge them made it clear that this is not reversible at all, and those words really sunk in for him. I was sitting directly behind him, but I could hear his voice cracking as he spoke. It was very emotional.

When the judge said, "I accept your surrender, and since bio mom has already been terminated, said minor is legally free to be adopted" - I was in tears.

After court, just me and the bio dad went for coffee. We chatted for over 2 hours, just taking. It was weird that it was not weird. He was easy to talk to. We talked about his life (current and past), we talked about his relationship with Lil J's mother, we talked about my family, we talked about Lil J, we talked about everything in between.

The funny, totally non-expected thing that happened today was that I paid his cell phone bill - kinda. When he arrived at court, he told the CW that his phone would be turned off any mintute for non-payment. Having a hard time right now would only barely describe his life right now.

Well, during the time we were in session, he phone was indeed turned off. He was flying back today (in and out same day) - and everyone knows how bad it is not to have a phone, especially when traveling. He flat out asked me if I could pay the bill if he gave me the cash. He gave me the cash and I paid the bill. I can say that this was never in my head as something I would be doing today. It is not like he had my card #, it was done all on the phone, it was only a one time charge, and he did give me the cash. Totally random, I know.

Like I said, we talked about everything. Then he dropped a bombshell on me. He was told about 6 months ago that he has several spots on his lungs, this was in the ER, and he was given the name and number of several specialists. He has done nothing since then, since he has no insurance and has been denied state care. How the hell he was denied, is beyond me. I mean - you have not job, no savings, and have a heath issues.

It was a lot to take in.

After our chat, he hugged. And, again - not weird.

He had to go back to the office to fill out some additional paperwork - his medical info, a letter to Lil J, take a pic for his life book, etc All of these things were requested previously

My CW is coming tomorrow and we will officially start the adoption process. I told my husband that I will buy extra pens just so that we can fill out everything on our end tomorrow night. lol I mean, I know it will still be several months before we finalize. But, might as well do our part as soon as possible.

If you got this far, wow - you were committed lol. Thanks for reading. It is a good day for our family.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Humpty Dumpty

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall....Humpty Dumpty had a great fall :(

We went to a local park to have some family pics taken. We were heading back to where our stroller was and the decided to have a few pics on a small wall that was in front of a small pond. Sound really nice, right.

Yeah, all was well until Elsie lunged forward and fell FACE FIRST on to the ground below. And, by ground, I mean gravel, slate, rocks, etc.

She was screaming!!! Of course there was lots of blood as well. She cut inside of her nose, and blood mixed with snot looks like tons more blood.

In a few minutes she was falling asleep. This made me really nervous. We were not in our local area, so I did not know if there was a hospital near us. Turned out the hospital that I knew of (and never been to) was the closest - at about 25 minutes away.

I sat in the 3rd row behind Elsie and had to wake her up every few minutes. Seriously, I don't think Frank ever drove so fast in his life. We almost pulled over and called 911, but figured we would be at the hospital before help arrived. I did not know if she was just tired, or if she was passing out. So scary!

We got to the hospital and they took us right in. The dr examined her and thought she might have broken her nose. Since it is a head injury, they did a CT Scan. Everything came back clear - nothing wrong except tons of scrapes and bruises.

Frank was so upset - he really thought is was his fault. Accidents happen. And, I am sure it will not the last time we are in the ER. I feel bad that he was so upset.

On the plus side

1) at least it was the last pic and not the first
2) my goodness, Elsie's eyes are so blue
3) I got to see the inside of a local hospital

Here is my pretty girl

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