Monday, April 20, 2015

Catch up-- including Jack's real birthday

You guys!  In 3 short weeks, classes will be over and I will have a lovely summer break stretching out ahead of me.

In 33 days, the pool opens.

Unfortunately, I have SO MUCH TO DO before summer begins!  So much!  You guys!  I thought this semester JUST STARTED.  But, alas.


So, last Tuesday, we spent a lazy evening at the park while Ben and Harry were at lacrosse practice, and Jack drove what he always refers to as his "9-mile-per-hour scooter" which attracted the attention of the million children who live by the park, so there was a rowdy water gun fight.

 Cooper (wearing PJ's because it was PJ day at preschool) was totally game.
 Like Chris Farley, no?
 Then on Wednesday, I realized I was SO SICK of making pancakes, so I introduced the children to the wonder of French toast, which Beatrix realized is her true love.  Look!  she even stood up to eat it!  That lazy dog doesn't stand for much, you know?
 Dorothy and I made our third from-scratch birthday cake of Jack's birthday season
 I would lie and say SHE wrote on it, but you guys would now the truth.  Too lazy for layers this time around.
 We also made 2 dozen new cupcakes for him to take to school and took the ones leftover from his birthday party (SO MUCH BAKING) to the park to share with friends and smash all over our faces.
 I had wine night on Wednesday night and came home to this lively scene:
 Jack's real birthday! He celebrated with presents, cake for breakfast, treats for his friends at school, and a family dinner at Chuck E. Cheese where he was supremely pissed off when we had everyone pool their tickets and buy prizes together.  So not fair, apparently.

 Then Ben's BFF came to town to help mount Jack's new basketball hoop above the garage, which turned out to be an even bigger project than they anticipated, which is actually great because it means that Eric and his family are coming for a visit to finish the job and hang out with us, so that's an even better outcome.
 Friday was an early dismissal day for the big kids, so I made plans with a friend to have all of our kids eat lunch together at our house while we drank because early dismissal, man.  I thought it would be more fun if Dorothy and Cooper were asleep, so I fed them a super early picnic lunch and tried to get them down before 11:30 when the boys got home, but Dorothy didn't take a nap because that's a thing she is doing these days which is SCARY because I am not ready for the end of her naps.  Sigh.
 But we had fun anyway and the kids ran around like crazy and played water guns and the moms had cocktails and I will never spend early dismissal sober again.
 The excitement was too much for Beatrix, though.
 After Ben got home, we went back to the park where he delighted a neighborhood full of kids by riding Harry's bike.
 By dinner time, Dorothy's lack of nap caught up with her, and she was really sad to hear that the birthday cake was all gone.  It was all gone after she ate 3 pieces for dessert, I might add, lest you feel to sorry for her.
 She CRASHED hard Friday night with her little toes out of the bars.
 Saturday, I had to present a paper at a conference at 11:00 am, and Ben had to load up all the kids and take the to St. Chuck's for his god son's first communion.

Saturday night we met friends for dinner and went to a fundraiser for Cooper's school which was WAY MORE FUN than you might think a nursery school fundraiser will be.
 Cooper's teacher and me-- he could not BELIEVE she was there and took in this picture with incredulity.
 Found a lot of pictures like this on my phone, so obviously it was a good night.

 Before the fun began.  Ben picked out my necklace and dress to match his shirt and bowtie-- good work, huh?

Monday, April 13, 2015


About 2 seconds after I swept up all the birthday party crumbs and published my pics of the big day, Ben and I got dressed in some thrift store finery to go to a house warming party for some friends who just moved a few blocks into a truly awesome house.

We had so much fun!

And were so totally hungover the next day.  Especially Ben, who let me sleep until 9.  He got up when Cooper burst into our room at 6:18 screaming "Mommy!  Daddy!  It's wake up time!"  Ben's the best.

We had a $15 limit-- $25 with shoes, and we both stayed well under.

I paid $11.60 for the shirt, skirt, and platform shoes.  Ben found his sweet Champion track suit on EBay for $13 and scored the sunnies for $1.20.
 There was a shot ski situation at this party.
 Ben was all about it.
 I think I drank my Jello shot before this picture was taken, but I look super confused.
 Oh, Ben.

I love a group of people who really gets into a theme, and there were some awesome outfits at this party.  Our babysitter said she texted her boyfriend to say she hopes she does fun stuff like this when she's old.  Erm.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Happy Birthday, Jack, whose real birthday is actually next week

Jack just this minute-- like, I only just now got done sweeping up cake crumbs and reassembling the living room furniture-- had the funnest, most 1980s birthday party we've ever thrown.

When Ben and I asked him where he wanted his party this year, we were not prepared for his answer of home.  But we gamely hired a magician, took him on a half-assed trip to Party City for a million mismatched party accessories, and made all the food he and his girlfriend (yep) requested.

We sort of assumed the worst, but it turned out to be really fun and not at all stressful, mainly because Ben's parents came in for the day to help wrangle and we did not Pinterest one single thing.

If it were really the 80s, the kids who rode their bikes would not have had helmets and parent escorts, and we would have served Kool-Aid not organic juice with only 5 grams of sugar per serving.  But still, we had pin the tail on the donkey, hot potato, a magician, a pinata, and a silly-looking homemade cake.

I remember awkward parties in the preschool years where parents all stayed around and mingled because we couldn't leave our snowflakes.  but in elementary school?  Parents don't even come to a complete stop before thrusting their kids out of the car and waving through the rolled-up window.  Sigh.

In this picture, Jack is leaning in to kiss his girlfriend:

 Magician's assistant.
 IDK what was happening here.  I was upstairs filling treat bags and changing the kitchen tables from treat bag decorating station to food-ready.
 (He is still wearing this hat. My favorite thing about first graders, I realized today, is their commitment to party hats).
 See what I mean?
 Third graders are big fans, too.
 Jack had SO MUCH FUN.
 Ben and his dad came up with this solution to our muddy back yard and front yard pinata positioning issues.
 Almost a group shot sort of.
 He concentrates SO HARD on his candles.
 And keeps blowing after they're out to make sure he spits all over the cake.  Like you do.
 Here's the random, non-themed assortment of shit he picked out for his friends' favor bags.  And stupid, stupid me put whistles in my kids' bags, too.  The gift that keeps on giving.  Of course my kids need to take home favors from their own party.  I mean, seriously.
 So much pinata candy.  And Ben bought MORE. The kids said it was better than halloween because they didn't have to walk anywhere to get it.  Erm.
 Treat bag decorating-- crayons, markers, colored pencils, and stickers.  No-frills and the kids LOVED it and took their job very seriously.
 Jack chose all his decorations
 And spent a lot of time picking out every. single. baloon.
 Oh look, it's a first grade class in my basement.  They were very good little listeners, even Harry and his friend, who thought-- at ages 8 and 9-- that they might be too mature for the show.
 Dorothy was not so sure.
 So many volunteers.
 He smiled THE WHOE TIME.
 Come to think of it, I take party hats pretty seriously, too.