Took the kids to see Alice In Wonderland - it was great! A real heroine movie with a Jabberwocky, what's not to like? (I happily remembered my Dad quoting the Jabberwocky often during my childhood.) Think six impossible things before breakfast! We all agreed that without the costumes and art it wouldn't have thrilled us as much. There are great ideas in there for a birthday party (those ideas are for younger kids, but I'm thinking about R's 16th birthday that is 9 months away! The drinks in little bottles with "Drink Me" tags, little petit fours with "Eat Me" written on them, playing chess and cards, funky tea party with broken and mismatched dishes, and a vial of Jabberwocky blood attached to a silk cord as the party favor. ) and Halloween costumes - not the cheesy, real dressing up!
After all the fantastical things in Alice it seems right to make paper flowers - click all the way through Martha's list, there are roses and peonies and poppies and apple/cherry blossoms. (While we're on the subject, Martha continues to bug me - several of these crafts I saw years ago on other blogs. So that's what crafters get if they're nice enough to offer a free tutorial - poached by Big Sister Martha.) The cherry blossoms remind me of our tree outside. The blossoms go so quickly, making a branch like this would remind me of spring. (I'll leave the birds off, I'd have Alfred Hitchcock type nightmares otherwise).
Rach and I went to a consignment store. I had to explain what a consignment store is to her to get her to go, "It's second-hand clothes, but better than Goodwill. Macy's clothes on a Goodwill budget." It wasn't a teen store, and she's a picky girl, and she still found a shirt and a necklace. I found a dress (I haven't bought a dress in years, they either don't fit, aren't modest, or are matronly), a beautiful green blouse that happens to be silk (silk scares me, I'll ruin it just as sure as I shrunk that cashmere sweater), a necklace, earrings, and another brooch for my purse. Brooches are lovely, especially when they're $5, but I feel weird wearing them on anything but a coat. So I've got two on my purse, a bee and now a butterfly.
Then Rach and I went to a used bookstore that recently opened near the consignment store. It felt like the clouds parting and the sun shined down upon us - hardcover of Eldest, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Cat's Eye, The Bell Jar, and The Friday Night Knitting Club all for $25 bucks! Owning books gives me a special thrill, mine mine mine!
These things a personal trainer learned over 20 years made me think. Funny thing is he went against several things he posted - he's selling things and he has a book and a blog. I guess he didn't see the irony there. Is it also irony that I keep reading how bad sugar is for me and I continue to consume it in vast quantities? What might work better in my body if I could step away from the sugar bowl and soda machine?
Not wanting to end on something as sad as giving up sugar, I'll tell you about lunch. DH and I went to a local farmer's market (the same one I visited with my parents when they visited). It was bustling and loud today, the epitome of Eastern US culture. We decided to eat at the Mediterranean restaurant, I had a chicken swarma wrap and DH had a Gyro - yummy! It was hard to choose where to eat though, there was a southern food booth, a pizza booth, a pretzal booth, many bakeries, several sandwich shops, a salad booth, a seafood booth, a candy booth, a bagel booth, a comfort food booth, and on and on. We could eat there everyday for a month and not tire of it.
(I promised a follow up to yesterday's mystery but today is my son's birthday, so it will be tomorrow.)
My little boy's 8th birthday is today! The years go by so quickly. He is growing into a sweet and vivacious young man. I'm proud of the effort he puts into school. It isn't easy for him but he tries, I wish his teacher would realize that more often.
He is happy 99% of the time. This evening he and I drove to the grocery store to buy his second birthday cake (remember this one?). He begged to have the windows down in the car and I obliged. As we picked up speed he started giggling from the back seat. I looked back and saw the wind whipping his hair back as he laughed, "It tickles!" It was great to see him taking joy from a simple pleasure. I feel like giggling myself after the last few days of 70 degrees!
For his birthday he got the second Metroid video game. I was a little hesitant to get it for him because of the violence. After watching him work towards finishing the first game I felt that he has learned diligence from playing the game. He really had a hard time with the last part of the game, he worked at it for more than a week before conquering it yesterday all on his own. That is a big accomplishment from a boy who can't seem to sit still for 3 minutes.
(By the way, how do you deal with boys' tendencies for violence? In some ways they have to 'toughen up' to survive as a male in this society, but I don't like to subject him to it either. Same dilemma surrounding defending himself, I don't want anyone to mess with him so I'd like him to learn how to protect himself, but at the same time he needs to be nice - the male world is confusing to this girl!)
Happy Birthday to my buddy! It is great to have a boy to raise, to love, and to be loved by him in return. So many great things are in his future. I love who he is- loving life, adventurous, friendly, bubbling over, curious, and smart!
Eighth birthdays are a big deal in our church, read my post today on MW to find out why.
Today was J's Avatar birthday party. He had a wonderful time, tons of fun, a complete success. (His real birthday is next week, I'll do his birthday post then.)
I had different feelings. I was bummed that only two kids came and one of them kept talking about another party that he was leaving our party early to attend ("I better not drink soda, I'll have a lot at the other party", "No cake for me, I'll have some at the other party", "It's Ok that the pizza is late, I'll have some at the other party."). At least one of our other no-shows went to the other party that J wasn't invited to. My happy birthday boy was oblivious (I think). The important thing is that J. had a great time, but I'm left wondering what happened to social graces and manners. I'm no stickler but don't say you're coming to soothe my feelings only to not come. Telling me the truth, that you won't attend, does far less harm (if any) than not showing up. This is one of the reasons siblings are great - J. had a full table at his party because his sisters were excited to be part of the fun.
The kids played asteroids (a game rolling balls on the floor, not arcade), decorated treat bags, hunted for alien creatures in the basement with flashlights, made a space map on scratch art paper, had air blaster rocket wars, birthday cake and alien slime (sprite and sherbet). And eventually, after an hour and 10 minute wait, ate pizza.
None of the boys wanted to decorate the blue masks (Avatar theme). This is a big difference between boy parties and girl parties, they weren't into the crafty activities - it was all about the action. They also had little interest in watching the Space Shuttle liftoff video I checked out from the library. In comparison to Star Trek and Star Wars those old Space Shuttle liftoffs are pretty tame. They're cool to me because they're really real, something that might escape 7 year olds. So maybe I'll have an adult space party for my birthday. (DH, Rach and I watched the Challenger disaster and inquiry from the same NASA DVD set, that was interesting. I freaked Rach because I played the liftoff without telling her what would happen - a good history lesson ;)
After finding nothing in the stores to help me carry off an Avatar theme it was all up to me. We used blue plates, napkins, tablecloth and I made the cake myself. If you ever need to replicate the Avatar font it's 'papyrus'. Just so ya know, because hey, you could need an emergency Avatar poster at any time.
(The color on the cake looks weird, base color is black, lettering light blue - or I should say "was" it's gone!)
Ok, not really. I don't have the heart to lie to you. DH sent me a link to this song and I told him it made me throw up in my mouth a little. It's like Russia's version of Lawrence Welk, except you don't need a translator because he doesn't ever sing a real word. It has to be seen to be believed. (I think that mustard color went extinct on New Years Eve 1980.)
And so I give you, scary Russian man, the new Rick Roll-
Did you notice that I completely skipped Valentines day here on the blog? It is not a huge holiday for me, but because I don't want my family to feel unloved I do heart it up. This year it was especially hard to have 'that lovin feeling' because of the sickness sweeping through the family, the snow and associated cabin fever, and Valentines falling on a Sunday.
We made Valentines for A&J's school classes, but because school was cancelled last week they took them to school today.
A's have a guitar and say, "You Rock". We made little packages of chocolate rocks and wrapped the card around them.
J's were more straight forward, green hearts with blow pops.
With Baby not in school yet and R way too old for that kind of stuff that was the extent of homemade Valentines. Well, DH did print out a Valentine card for me on Sunday, in the midst of all his sickness, it was sweet.
DH and I 'celebrated' Valentines Day yesterday. You could tell it was a super special occasion because for our date we went out to dinner AND a movie. We saw The Blindside', it was great. It tugged at my heartstrings while satisfying DH's football love.
Things have been so out of the ordinary that I almost forgot Faschnacht Day! Now here's a holiday I can really get excited about - donuts for all! Baby and I made the trip to the bakery after we took the kids to school. Hopefully there willl be faschnachts left for everyone else after school.
This weekend was to be the weekend of R's room makeover. We started a little late on Saturday, sleeping in and then choosing the color and picking up the paint. We didn't actually start painting until 2:00. We had to stop painting just a few hours later because it was DH's holiday party for work (yes, they do know the holidays are over).
It was at a local science museum, and because of that it was much more fun than his other holiday work parties. (Last year was gambling, not so fun for us.) A scientist did a presentation with liquid nitrogen, even poured some on the tablecloth, we were oooohhhing and ahhhing like the 4th graders she usually does presentations for. At the end she mixed the liquid nitrogen with milk, sugar and vanilla and made ice cream.
My question was - if liquid nitrogen is so cold (minus 32 degrees) how do you collect or make it? She said that it is all about pressure. Because our air is 79% nitrogen they put air under extreme pressure and the gaseous nitrogen turns into a cold liquid. This happens because liquids take up less space than gases. (Yes, that's my super technical version.) DH told the kids that a good way to find out this principle for yourself is to blow on your hand with your mouth wide open - the air is warm. Now blow on your hand with your lips pursed, a small hole so the air is under pressure as it leaves your mouth - the air is cold. Neat-O!
The next day, Sunday, was craziness of the church kind, with DH taking the 4 kids to our newly assigned congregation by himself. While I went to another congregation to help with a conference. At the conference I began to get a migraine and that migraine has continued through today despite medication.
For some reason when the paint mixing person asked if I wanted the paint with primer I said yes. It seemed like a good idea, we were doing a deep blue and it would cover better. This paint should come with a pass-out index on it. I've painted many times but never have I dealt with fumes so toxic. It's the only thing I can attribute my weekend-long migraine headache to. We were painting again today, after I spent the morning trying to sleep away my pain, when R said, "Mom, I've got to sit down, I'm getting dizzy." That's when we decided the fumes were more horrid than usual, despite the fact that we had windows open and fans blowing (thank goodness it's been near 50 degrees the last few days).
So today we pushed through and completed all of the major painting. I'll be picking up paint tomorrow to paint the trim, but I won't get the primer paint. Yuck.
Isn't this week between Christmas and New Year's like Land of the Lost or something? It's just weird. When I worked as a pay-by-the-hour employee I always had to work, and thought the whole world was pooping on me (ahhh, retail at the holidays). Now that I don't have to work on this week I just don't know what to do with myself. (I know, being a mom is work, but if you don't have to deal with school, it's time off.) What a great opportunity to get things done! But it's vacation, are you kidding me?
I keep staying up later and later, adding another movie each day. Although I sleep through the family showing between 3-5 pm. Today it was the kids playing the demo of Little Big Planet, not a movie. They have watched Night at the Museum several times. Right now they're finishing up Around the World in 80 Days (modern version). The newest Harry Potter flick arrived from Netflix yesterday, how have we let more than 24 hours go by without watching it?!
Baby is getting better and better at her covert food sneaking skills. Just now I caught her with two peppermint Joe-Joes that Jason and Kasey sent. Yes, I took them from her. Such delicacies should not be wasted on a 2 year old. Then she went for the bubbles. Then she went for the chocolate. We have so much junk food lying around it's hard to find hiding places for it. So it lays about. Right in front of my face, where I stuff it in. The kids regularly ask, "Can I have a cookie.. candy.. etc.?" And I have to keep a straight face while trying to swallow a dove caramel chocolate and tell them, "No!" I promise, I'll get a handle on the problem right after New Years.
Yesterday I enlisted the kids' help and took out the mountain of recycling and trash. I mentally nagged my husband - "Why in the world did you have to forget to take it out the week before Christmas!" Then this enlightening bit of info popped into my mind: "He's working late tonight you ungrateful wife!" DH is working 4 days this week because a client is in town. So it's not just punching the clock, it's someone looking over his shoulder for the 10 hour work day. He does get a couple of nice dinners out on the town, but I know we all agree that being at home watching movies in your sloppy clothes is better. Thanks DH.
Yesterday we returned a few things to Target. It was easier than I anticipated. Today A. used her Build a Bear gift card from Grandma and Grandpa P. I bought a few new clothes with my Christmas money from them. Then we went grocery shopping. See, I am doing a few useful things. Baby's diaper is being changed and meals are being made too, dinner anyway. And you know with all that chocolate being consumed I am scared of missing a workout, so that continues like clockwork.
Eventually we'll get back to real life, what a shock it will be. 6 am seminary starts on January 4th. By then I may have changed my sleep schedule enough that I can take the kids to seminary and then go to bed for the night.
Happy Lost Week!