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Sometimes Success Looks Like Failure

We live in a perfect world. A world that rewards perfect and only perfect.

The world’s filled with beautiful ideas, shared in awe by others while the ‘Pinterest fails’ are shared in mockery and mirth. As adults, we often belittle ourselves and, in some cases, others, when we make mistakes. So often we hear words like, “I could never do that, I’m not a [fill in the blank].” As adults we’ve learned that unless we’re perfect, we shouldn’t even try. We became square pegs in square holes.

Take a moment for that to sink in.

When we limit ourselves to what we’re already good at, we are merely square pegs.

For a long time I was a square peg, unhappily sitting in a square hole. Fear of mistakes crippled me and held me in place. My self worth hinged on being good and right all the time. If you’ve never lived in that kind of world, let me tell you, it’s a miserable place to be! When I saw my children showing signs of living in a perfection based world, I knew something drastic needed to change.

How can we teach our children they can learn anything, be anything, do anything if we constantly send the message that we need to be perfect the first time we try something? How will our children learn that practice makes perfect, if they see us never try anything new? But also, how will they learn that not being perfect is okay, if we never point out our own mistakes?

I made a cake this week. It’s not the first cake I’ve made, but it was the first time I’ve tried this technique. It turned out great! (For a first try). Everyone gushed over it (well except that one person that sneered and said, “it’s okay.” But we won’t talk about him anymore! lol).

As I made the cake, Ella and Agatha gushed over how awesome the cake was and how amazing they thought I was. Nothing feels better than knowing your children admire you!

My cake wasn’t perfect. Not even close! It looked like a zombie garden gnome (a la Harry Potter). Not pretty! The fondant ripped in a few places, and the entire thing looked a little creepy. I’d go so far as to say it’d be worthy of a ‘Pinterest Fail’ post. Except, I’m ridiculously proud of this cake. No. It isn’t perfect, I’m very aware of the differences between mine and the professional’s cake. But I tried.

I tried something new and I think it turned out really good, for someone that doesn’t do this every day, or even every month.

I’m not a cake decorator, a baker, or a chef in anyway (sometimes I despise anything to do with cooking), but it makes my children happy to have fun parties and fun cakes. It makes them feel loved and so I do it. Even though it takes all my will power to place that cake, with all it’s faults, in front of other people, I do it.

Today it’s cakes, a different day it was wire sculptures. Sometimes it’s words. I try. I work. I make mistakes, a lot of mistakes. Sometimes it looks like failure. Sometimes it feels like failure.

I tried something and it didn’t go the way I envisioned. I compare myself to others. I compare myself to the person I wish I was. That person that knows what to say and how to say it. The one that makes gorgeous cakes and throws elaborate parties, while also looking amazing. I see the dissonance between who I am and who I wish to be. Sometimes the distance seems so vast, and then I see how far I’ve come.

It may look like failure to some, but to me, it’s a huge success.

I want my children to see these moments of failure as success too. I pointed out the differences between the way my cake looked and the way I wish it looked. Together we watched the video I used as inspiration. We talked about the differences between what she did and what I did. We took maybe 3 minutes to really pick apart the problems with my cake, then I changed course and talked about how wonderful I thought my cake was. No, it wasn’t perfect, but it was still a great try and I was able to see where my mistakes were, which meant I could learn from it.

Success!

Now that you’ve seen my cake, this is the video I used as inspiration:

 

 

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Big Hero 6 Activities

Big Hero 6 is a huge favourite in our house! Not only is it a great movie, but it also holds special meaning to our family. When I went into the hospital to have my surgery, and stayed overnight, the first time I was away from my babies overnight since they’d been born, we watched this movie ‘together’. I watched it on my iPad in the hospital, they watched it at home. We cried together while we watched. We loved it!

Even without the unique significance for our family, it’s a great movie! It’s one of the only movies our children have actually watched over, and over, and over again!

This time we made donuts to eat while we watched – and for the next three days every time the kiddos went to eat anything they’d loudly proclaim, “I’m stress eating! These are so good!” (Aunt Cass in the movie).

For our other themed activities we talked about the kind of super hero we’d be if we used science. Turns out our children’s idea of Science more closely resembles Fred’s idea of science in the movie. hahahah but they still had some pretty fun ideas. 🙂

Brom’s is the blue squiggly design. He refused to share his superhero’s secrets. He didn’t want me to know too much! lol Cordelia’s picture focused more on the outfit vs what the super hero actually did. But she did share with me that her super hero had a supercharged marshmallow shooter, that shot hot marshmallows at the bad guys, and then the marshmallow froze as soon as it hit the bad guy so they couldn’t eat their way out hahaha (I love it!)

Ella’s creation is pretty epic. There’s a button in the centre of the hero’s chest that allows the hero to open a dimension that allows ghosts to fly freely into our world. There’s mind control, electricity, and a dead head. Watch out for the dead head, it’s still bleeding. 😮

Agatha decided her cat would be super rather than her. By the end her cat could counter every single attack anyone else could think of. We tried tot ell her we were on the same team, but she was having none of it. She won. 😉

Of course, who can watch Big Hero 6 without having bot fights? We had fun building and designing bots with our MOSS robotics set, Then we put it against Sphero and BB-8. Really we knew who’d be the only one to come out in one piece; the robot that only has one piece.  😉 But it was still lots of fun. Check it out:

 

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Snow-free Snowman Activities

The weather around here’s all over the place. One day it’s -30C, the next it’s melting. But melting didn’t improve the quality of our snow, the wind hardened crust got thicker and stronger as it melted, then refroze. There’s till plenty to do outside in our snow, but building snow people isn’t one of those things right now.

Instead we made snow creatures from marshmallows and chocolate chips. This activity was a huge hit! By the end there were plenty of sticky children and huge smiles!

 

But all good things come to an end. The marshmallows and chocolate were eaten, it was time to craft! I whipped up some puff paint. Sounds harder than it is – all you need is 1 part white glue and 1 part shaving foam. I also added some sparkles to help our ‘snow’ look more realistic.

If you’ve never painted with puff paint before, you really should try it!! Our kiddos always love to experiment with it and create texture to their paintings. Though be sure to wash brushes immediately after use lol we forgot one time and all our brushes were stuck together in one big clump that evening when I went to clean up. 😮

 

When Ryan came home we did another snowman activity. This time I made rice crispy treats and each person got to create their own snowperson. The silliness level was unusually high for this activity, which made picture taking difficult – well, that and my hands were covered in sticky marshmallow lol.

The kiddos all had snow much fun! 😀

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Science! Or maybe it's Art?

Nevermind. I think it’s just a mess. Oh wait! That’s how both science and art happen. By taking what you’ve got, combing them, trying different things, seeing what happens.

If you use that definition, Cordelia is an expert at both science, and art.

Almost every day we hear her plead with us, “Please, Mommy, can I have more chemicals?” Followed by a very fast description of what she wants to do, so we get the right chemicals for her. Usually that’s some combination of baking soda and vinegar.

The girls really enjoy watching “Project Mc2” on Netflix, one of the most recent episodes they watched, the characters demonstrated homemade SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESmake-up, including lipstick and nail polish. The show didn’t tell our children how to make their own nail polish, but it did tell them how to make their own lipstick.

This is the results. Colours as bright and bold as the crayons they had laying around the house.

A big part of me was concerned by the idea, but another part of me thought of all the crayons they could have eaten as babies, but didn’t. I think they’ll be okay.

We looked up ideas on how to make your own nail polish at home, with supplies we had. We settled on using glue, water, and colour. Each time the ‘polish’ came out too runny, but the girls had lots of fun experimenting.

 

When they were done, Cordelia entered full blown mad scientist mode. As you can see from the pictures at the op of the page, it was very involved, and very messy!

 

Posted on

Science! Or maybe it’s Art?

Nevermind. I think it’s just a mess. Oh wait! That’s how both science and art happen. By taking what you’ve got, combing them, trying different things, seeing what happens.

If you use that definition, Cordelia is an expert at both science, and art.

Almost every day we hear her plead with us, “Please, Mommy, can I have more chemicals?” Followed by a very fast description of what she wants to do, so we get the right chemicals for her. Usually that’s some combination of baking soda and vinegar.

The girls really enjoy watching “Project Mc2” on Netflix, one of the most recent episodes they watched, the characters demonstrated homemade SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESmake-up, including lipstick and nail polish. The show didn’t tell our children how to make their own nail polish, but it did tell them how to make their own lipstick.

This is the results. Colours as bright and bold as the crayons they had laying around the house.

A big part of me was concerned by the idea, but another part of me thought of all the crayons they could have eaten as babies, but didn’t. I think they’ll be okay.

We looked up ideas on how to make your own nail polish at home, with supplies we had. We settled on using glue, water, and colour. Each time the ‘polish’ came out too runny, but the girls had lots of fun experimenting.

 

When they were done, Cordelia entered full blown mad scientist mode. As you can see from the pictures at the op of the page, it was very involved, and very messy!