Life is sooooooooooooo busy as a working momma of THREE kids... but, life is also full of so many "little" things...you know, those simple pleasures that really bring so much joy... I'm mostly thinking of the dopey things that my kids say and do that make me laugh... but also the little adventures we have or the day trips that we do... you think you will remember them all, but those memories really do fade over time. I am hoping to sit down once a month (ideally, once a week, but being that I hardly manage one decent shower a week, we'll aim for once a month for now! LOL) to detail those quotable quotes or beautiful little actions (or those not so much) as well as our family activities. I hope you enjoy!! :)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Birthday Party - Angry Birds Style, Part II (A Dozen Boys and a Little Rose))

The big day had FINALLY arrived!  I couldn't wait to get the kids off to school to officially begin the big setup which started with cleaning our house.  Once we set the kids off to school, John and I set to work!  Low and behold, we had JUST finished, Katy was down for a nap, and we were foolishly dreaming of  a quiet lunch for two and maybe a quick workout before the big party, when the phone rang.  Caller ID indicated it was my work/ Patrick's school... Which SURELY meant someone had a question for me, right?  Couldn't POSSIBLY mean a sick Patrick, right??! I mean, the kid hadn't missed a day of school since mid-Kindergarten, two YEARS ago, so, what are the odds?!?  Well, apparently, the odds are good! *sigh*. Seriously?  Ms. Pat was calling to let me know that Patrick's blue Go-gurt snack came back up on his way to lunch.  Poor young, sweet, Miss Jaffee,  scarred for life as she experienced her very first student throw-up... We really will live strong in her first year memories! ;). The great question was, was he sick?  Was it a bad yogurt?  Was the excitement of the day just too much?  Do we cancel the party?  I wondered all these things as I set off to pick him up... and I'm sure you're on the edge of your seat as you read this! ;)  He didn't have a fever.  He wasn't pale.  He even got annoyed with me when I told him a nap was in his future... all good signs, no? 

So, I put the feelers out to my SIL and his friends' moms that I know well to get the vibe.  It seemed unanimous: nobody seemed to care.  I would have been fine with it had the shoe been on the other foot, but I know that I am much more nonchalant about things than most parents, and I didn't want to make anyone feel uncomfortable (or for them to think I was NUTS... I mean, I'm perfectly comfortable knowing I am nuts, but would prefer to keep that a secret as long as possible)!  We decided, barring any disasters, a sudden fever spike, or another round of vomit, the show would go on!  And, just sos you know, I did contact all the parents so people could make the decision... all but one came.  The one who didn't wasn't feeling well himself.
Is there something on my nose?!?
"I sitting with the big boys!"

Aidan has a captive audience
Oh, BOY!  Not sure if pure chaos is the way to describe what ensued.  Actually, PURE chaos probably isn't quite right.  It sure SOUNDED like pure chaos, but every time I made the rounds with my camera, it seemed more like ORGANIZED chaos.  The kids were playing, like one big play date.  I was actually kind of surprised.  I almost didn't want to stop them for the pizza since they seemed to be having a great time--mostly familiar faces coming together in a non-structured environment, rather than the confines of school.  But, we did do pizza... playful, boy-eating, pizza... well, with a little Rose mixed in.  Funny, my almost 5 year old nephew, Liam, was nervous about sitting at the big boy table since they were just a bit LOUD, so we gave him Katy's spot at the "kids'" table and promoted Katy to the big boy table.  She sat right down, without even flinching, and was SUPER excited to be one of the boys!! LOL

 The kids settled into the movie, Wreck It, Ralph! (surprisingly, only one had seen it!)  And totally enjoyed their TNT popcorn, bird feed, and pig juice!!  I did have to ban John from going in to check on them after awhile as there really was more food on the floor than in their bellies and he would have been twitching!  I would say they lasted about 45 to an hour watching and then they started leaving the room, a couple at a time, to go off and play.  Next thing you know, there was a movie playing to an empty family room!  It seemed that they'd rather be up and playing than relaxing and enjoying a movie (must be their youth... I know after a LOOOOOOOONG week, a quiet movie at home sounds PERFECT).  Oh, well.  They had a great time.  And, the air hockey table in the basement was put to good use!!

YUM!  Bird Feed!! :)
Let them eat cake!
The only thing that was going to bring the boys up from the basement was the enticement of CAKE!  They eagerly gathered, debating which piece of the cake each would get, and did a great job singing happy birthday to our birthday boy, who was glowing! :) They were quite the captive audience while Patrick opened presents... I could barely get any pictures as it was nearly a mob scene.  After the presents were opened, they just hung out, opening some of the group-games, and playing as parents arrived to pick up their gems.  All-in-all, it was a fun night.  I think the boys had a blast and, what's more, our house wasn't that worse for wear afterwards.  Surprisingly.  I think we would actually do it again! :)  Maybe next time, Rovio will have gotten around to making an Angry Birds blockbuster hit.  It's the least they can do!!
Maddox channels his
inner child! ;)


What's the password?

Owen and Joshua

Team Gamble is all biz!
What is it? What IS it?!
Let me help you, P!
At the end of the day, daddy is still
her favorite guy!

Until next time!
<3 Kimberly, John, Two Boys (a "big" boy and, as Ryan refers to himself, a "medium" boy), and a Little Rose

Monday, March 18, 2013

Birthday Party - Angry Birds Style! - Part I (Setup)

I guess now that I'm in my second year of blogging and it is no longer my New Year's Resolution, I shouldn't PANIC that it's been about six weeks since my last post... Right?  Right?!?  RIGHT??!?  I do have two posts currently floating around in my head, and that's without even thinking, it's just finding the time to get them from my head and onto the blog that's the trouble.  In any event, I am going to go out of chronological order in my postings... so, all of you OCD followers out there (which, is probably about 99.9% of you... funny how I seem to become besties with, heck, even married, type A'ers) will just have to take a deep breath, shake your head, and find that smile in your heart knowing that I just am who I am.  LOL.  I haven't even started and, yet, I digress...

So, just over a month ago, when driving Patrick home from one of his buddy's birthday parties, I figured I'd best determine what his plans were for his own impending birthday since, at that point, it was just 3 weeks away!  I asked him where he wanted to have his party--boy, was I surprised by his answer:  at HOME!  Now, if I think about it, I  shouldn't be TOO surprised.  He is a homebody, after all.  I wasn't quite sure, however, how I was going to break this news to John who, I knew, would be having nightmares each night for the next few weeks in anticipation of a dozen or so kids running amok in his house.  ;)  But, being that Patrick and John, if you think about it, are peas in a pod (besides the OBVIOUS physical resemblance!), John shouldn't be too surprised that Patrick would be happiest at home!  And, if I was really telling the truth (Ha, ha, ha! Now I'll see if John actually READS my blog by embedding this little nugget), I was a bit nervous about how to entertain a bunch of 7 and 8 year olds.  But then, it came to me...ZAAP!  We could do a Friday night pizza and movie night!  Suddenly, an idea was born... I even got John's stamp of approval!

Patrick was THRILLED with the idea and we set to work getting invitations ready.  I had to, of course, incorporate Angry Birds into the invites... I was slightly put-off that Rovio hasn't come up with an Angry Birds MOVIE yet... I mean, really?!  Then, I'd have the PERFECTLY complete theme.  Instead, we had to settle for Wreck-It Ralph! which was a new release and age-appropriate... totally random, yes, but, what are you going to do?  As it turned out, the kids didn't actually sit for the whole thing anyway.  So, we started with a little Angry Birds picture on the front of the invite, but, of course, I couldn't let it die there.  I then decided to use some of the sticker paper we'd gotten for a project somewhere along the way and actually do a WHOLE Angry Bird on the other side.  Then, once the invites were done (special note... last year I'd say we invited almost as many girls as we did boys... this year?  Not a ONE!  Seems like the gender line has been DRAWN... wonder at what age we'll be inviting them back, again... Anyone up for a wager?), I couldn't WAIT to get Patrick to bed so that the REAL planning could begin... ha, ha, ha... well, guess I'm not really kidding... in my defense, however, Patrick LOVES surprises, so that's my excuse.  That's right, that's my excuse... he loves surprises... it's his day... I must surprise him.  To Pinterest?  To Pinterest!

Pig Juice:
Drink at Your own Risk
TNT Box Center Piece I
Of course Pinterest didn't fail.  What I love most is that it simply started the juices flowing and then it all started to come together so seemlessly (well, except for that one link which had Angry Birds "freebies" to print which I SWEAR has killed our computer's productivity... you still reading this honey??!)!  http://pinterest.com/ladylennox10502/patrick/  Not sure if the link will work, but that's the board I pinned to so that I can properly credit everything and not try to pass all of the ideas off as my own.  Well, except for the pig juice.  Pig juice was my own idea.  Yes, you read that right... the pig juice!  Or, the centerpiece TNT boxes (and John said we had no use for all of these Angry Bird plush toys!)...my idea, too... that were actually the four new birds/pigs he was getting that, as luck would have it, were packaged by Amazon in the PERFECT sized boxes... best part?  Patrick didn't even know they were his presents and played with them for DAYS before hand!  

My favorite ideas from Pinterest were the bird feed (come on, what 8 year old boy isn't going to want to eat bird feed??!) and the Poppin' Mad Popcorn bags as they were the PERFECT snacks for the movie (word of warning, more of each probably ended up on the FLOOR than actually in anyone's bellies!).

A Collage of the Boys'
Angry Bird Art Work
      And, I even let the boys help decorate! ;)  Ryan kept insisting on doing the popcorn bags with me and I did let him stick on the label, but he was ITCHING with a marker which, being a bit OCD myself in this kind of situation, had me twitching.  But there is a method to all my madness AND, being that the kids were home for a snow day and I had a doctor appointment for Katy that I wasn't sure how I was going to get through with the boys with me, we dug out the Angry Birds coloring pages!!  I tasked each of my fellows with the job of "helping" me decorate.  I even then remembered this cool poster frame that has been under the same bed in probably all three of our last houses, being moved each time, that FINALLY had just the right use for it (see, John?  This is EXACTLY why we can't throw things away too soon!).

     The goody bags were a conglomeration of Pinterest suggestions.  The cups were at Target (or, if you want to spend more, Party City!).  I filled the bottoms with Easter grass (thanks, Patrick, for a March birthday!) and found a great multi-pack of Angry Bird goodies that mostly filled the cups.  Add in an Angry Bird pencil, stickers, and fruit snack, and we were almost done.  I did add one bit of the homemade goody Pinterest suggestions-- the coveted Golden Egg (yes, just like the Pig Juice, it's not REAL, but FUN, nevertheless, especially if your name is Patrick Lennox!).

     And, of course, there was the cake.  Any of you who know me well, know that one of my FAVORITE things to do is decorate cakes!!  I figured for this venue, I'd do a simple cake and then cupcakes.  I got the cupcake topper from the free download site.  Not sure if it was meant to be mounted on a toothpick, but that was the only way I figured I could use it without interfering with the frosting (umm, the best part of a cupcake... DUH!).  As for the cake, I would have LOVED to have done fondant, BUT it is outrageously expensive (one day when I have free time, I'm going to see if I can hunt down a recipe and attempt to make my own) and I was also looking to be kind of quick, anyway.  So, I googled cake images and had Patrick hunt around the house for all his little birds.  It was a simple frosting job.  Bird and pig placement, however, became much more technical as I (1) had to figure out a way to hold everything down without the structure falling if someone walked by too quickly and (2) had to battle OCD Patrick (OCD mom vs OCD Patrick) in proper figure placement.  Although the cake did begin to sag a bit, which wouldn't have happened with fondant, the cake was a HIT and most of the boys wanted a piece of it rather than a cupcake. :)

     I had a great time pulling this party together!  Of course, by far, the BEST part is that Patrick is SOOOOOO incredibly easy to please and gets so excited by the simple things in life.  Every time I added another element to the planning, his eyes would sparkle and he'd give me THAT grin!  And, when he came home from school (yes, early, because he THREW UP, a story for Part II... decided to break this one into two posts) and saw it all pulled together, he was THRILLED (well, as thrilled as someone who'd just thrown up in front of his classmates could be).  So, we conquered the SETUP of the at-home party... you'll have to stay tuned to see if we survived the execution (interesting word choice, no?)...

Kimberly, John, Two Boys & Our Little Rose