Posts tagged Martha Stewart

Smell Ya Later


Team Wonderful held its second annual Smell Ya Later, School! party in Chloë’s honor this June. One of my favorite things about this event is that it is solely a Team Wonderful tradition. It is something that our family (and our family alone) does. It is a nice way to welcome summer and give the kids one last hurrah together before parting ways until the next September. I cannot wait until all three are in school and we have kids from three different age groups running around like crazy.

We decided to do vintage-style postcards as invitations for this party. Normally, Chloë and I make the invitations for parties with supplies from the scrapbooking store, and the invites wind up costing about what Dan and my wedding invitations did on a piece-by-piece basis (I hope he isn’t reading this). They are fun to make, though. Given that I was taking the PCAT the Saturday prior to the party, we opted for something a little less labor intensive:

One of my greatest worries pre-party was the question of keeping track of the kiddies. Chloë is at the age where parents start dropping their kids off at these sorts of functions, happy to be free of them for a couple of hours. We had the party at Highland Park Reserve, aka “Chutes and Ladders” park. The play structure is installed on the side of a hill and the thing is massive. On a nice day, their can be two hundred children and parents milling about. The noise is deafening. It is the perfect place for a kid to get lost.

To combat possible abductions, I devised a somewhat complicated system to periodically corral the party guests. Each child was given a name tag, but we wrote on it what they wished their name was instead of their given name (At that age, I would have killed to be called “Crystal”). I’m pretty certain that I read somewhere that it was dangerous for children to be out in public with accurate name tags. I also retrieved Chloë’s whistle for its hiding spot (What the PTA was thinking when they gave them out at the school carnival, I do not know – aren’t these people parents?). When I blew the whistle, which is rather loud for a fifty-cent piece of plastic, the children were to come down from the play structure so I could count them. It was the best thing that I could come up with.

On one hand, my crazy security system was not needed. The weather was rainy, and some of the guests that RSVP’d did not show. Most of the parents stayed and chatted amongst themselves. My fears were not unfounded, however. A suspicious-looking man who went by “Uncle Charlie” was skulking about the park, handing out candy and talking about giving rides in his van.
Despite the weather, a good time was had by all:

Chloë and Sierra conspire


Val, aka Daphne, getting her play on


Rex-Goliath, damn-near giving mama a heart attack


I was razzed for the suncreen, but in MN, you never know


Morgan and Sydney are chipmunks


Rex-Goliath thinks Jackie is the bee's knees

And thus ends Chloë’s second grade year.

–Mrs. Wonderful

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Dan is Now Officially The Man

Many of you know of my not-so-secret obsession with Martha Stewart. Love her. Love her. She is so organized, always cooks the right thing or has the right craft for the occasion, probably made in her special crafting room, wrapped at her special wrapping station, then scrapbooked about at her special scrapbooking station. Or at least profiled in her magazine. Or possibly made on TV with Jennifer Garner in front of a live studio audience.


Over the years, I have amassed a sizable Martha Stewart Living collection, including somewhere in the neighborhood of ten years’ worth of issues. In addition, I have a few of the special issues of Martha Stewart Kids and Martha Stewart Baby. Of course, I have many years of Martha Stewart Weddings (now useless to me… I’m waiting for some nice person that I know to get engaged so I can pass them on). Lastly, I have every issue ever made of Blueprint, Martha’s attempt to be hip and current – I am so pissed that it never caught on. It was like Martha for my generation. The holiday issue one year had a blond woman in a sparkly dress on the cover, pink Christmas tree in the background, fat pug at her feet. Someday, when I have my own bathroom, I am going to have the thing framed. You just can’t get any more “Leah” than that picture.


I kept my collection, organized by season, in the bottom four cubbies of our IKEA Expedit shelving unit. As a housewife, I needed access to the things. At the beginning of each season, I would page through my issues, getting ideas for recipes and such. It was great fun.

We rearranged the living room this week. Partially due to the embarrassing addition of a very uncouth and much-too-large electronic item, but also partially in preparation for a baby that will be crawling and getting to know the world at the expense of his parents that must clean up the mess. When Rex-Goliath was a little thing, he loved to push over those stacks of magazines. It was great fun. I moved them up a level, but then he started pulling himself up, and the game continued. The Expedit shelf now has toys on the bottom shelf (and a bunch of unsightly wires – must get Martha on this). Why fight nature? Every day, the living room looks like a toy bomb went off. Why not make clean-up easier?


So the vast Martha collection has been relocated to the closet in the kids’ room. This was difficult for me – it is somewhat symbolic of the changing of the guard around here. Dan will be running the house and looking after the kids; I will be learning about integrals and microbes, which may or may not be great fun.

I have to give up some control – this is tough. I have ways that I do things. Systems in place, household routines. Is the world going to come to an end if the laundry isn’t done just the right way? Depends on whose it is – if it is mine or the kids, quite possibly. There are only certain things that get put in the dryer. There are certain ways to hang up wet clothing so that it dries with the fewest wrinkles. I use only the Downy Orchid Allure fabric softener in the Downy ball. I sent Dan to the store last week to buy some “Downy” and he came back with dryer sheets. Dryer sheets. The point of the fabric softener is to keep the things that don’t go in the dryer from being all crispy. He was just proud of himself for remembering to buy the “Orchid Surprise flavor.”


The man wants me to give him the file which contains my grocery list (usually printed and posted on the fridge, highlight things as we run low, list is in order of things as they appear in the supermarket that I prefer to shop at) so he can modify it to suit his shopping habits (purchasing weird food at dirty grocery stores). He buys things that I would not buy, brands that I am unfamiliar with, and does not take into account all of the things that I do when shopping. I tried to explain to Dan my thought process during a shopping trip. We realized that our brains function in completely different ways when pushing a cart under fluorescent lights:

Leah Shopping

Dan Shopping

This will be a great experiment in role reversal. I must remember to teach Dan that when faced with a household dilemma, the first thing to ask himself is, “What would Martha do?” It probably would not involve dryer sheets or Doritos – I can guarantee that.

–Mrs. Wonderful

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