Sunday, June 28, 2009

Andrew's Party

Today we celebrated Andrew's birthday. I decided to do it this weekend rather than next Saturday because next weekend is the 4th of July. We never do anything for the 4th and frankly none of our friends really do anything either but I still feel kinda bad planning his birthday on a national holiday. Maybe it is strange of me but it still feels funny. Anyway! Andrew wanted a Bolt themed party and I was baffled on what I could do with the cake. Artistic I am not. He insisted he wanted "laser eyes" on his cake. So this was the best I could come up with. Nothing but some cake gel and Nilla Wafers but Andrew was satisfied.

The pinata only lasted a few minutes. But every kid got one swing. It truly broke with the last kids swing which worked out perfectly.

"Happy Birthday to You!"

I just had to share this one! Never is a little lady happier than when she is sharing someone's treat!

Super cute with the Grandma Meow

Making out like a bandit.

Andrew got a whole bunch of Lego sets and other cool stuff. He is currently building one of the cars. He has really gotten into the Lego thing lately and it is nice to be able to give people the easy hint of Legos. Plus they are relatively cheap. I always feel bad telling people expensive ideas. I hated it when they were into Thomas because NOTHING Thomas is cheap. Anyway, Andrew had a wonderful day and was so thrilled to be celebrating his birthday. Now he just has to wait until Thursday to officially turn 6!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Birthday Party=Pinata!

To Andrew a birthday party is not a birthday party without a pinata. For the past 3 years now we have had one for his birthday. As his party is this Sunday it was time for the pinata to get made. The first year he asked for one Eric and I went the easy route and bought one. All was fine with it except that it was almost impossible for little kids to break. They are made out of cardboard boxes and frankly take a teenager to truly bust them open. Plus they are not cheap! Last year we made our own pinata for his party and it was much easier for the little ones to break unassisted.

This year Andrew wanted a Bolt themed party. And Bolt like the Disney movie, not something you get at the hardware store. We are truly terrible about letting our kids see new release movies so when he saw it on vacation he thought it was new. Unfortunately it wasn't and the stuff for the party was difficult to come by. I found some. Just paid more than I wanted to for it. But you are only 6 once right? And the rest of his party is relatively low key and I make most everything for it myself. Anyway. The pinata is supposed to be a black disc with a green lightening bolt on it. I tried. I don't know that Andrew will be terribly satisfied with it but the darn things only last about 5 minutes before they are busted open. We shall see how he responds in the morning. Last year I made a speed racer helmet and he had some other looking helmet in mind. Too bad buddy. When this mom is working with a balloon and paper mache you get what you get.

I am starting to really wonder how many more years I will be making pinatas though. They take a lot of time and effort for such a short satisfaction time of breaking them. I guess I will make them as long as he keeps asking for them. As long as the rest of the kids don't jump on this pinata bandwagon we will be ok. Otherwise I see a lot of time with tissue paper in my future!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

T-Ball Party

This weekend Andrew had his t-ball party. It has taken me a few days to post this info because I was incredibly annoyed with the whole thing. Hopefully I will manage to relate the event without too much cynicism. After much discussion and confusion it was decided that the party would be at Alfy's in Lake Stevens. No problem. Almost all parties are at Alfy's these days so that was not unusual. We had kicked in our money for the party and the trophy and all was well. A couple of days before the party we got an e-mail telling us that the kids pizza and pop would be included but parents and families had to fend for themselves. Once again, no big deal. So the day rolls around and I call ahead for our pizza. The party was set for 1 and that is WAY late for us to eat lunch so I knew that if I didn't have food to throw at my little ones the second I walked through the door I would have a meltdown on my hands. Plus Alfy's is always busy with birthday parties and such on the weekends.

Off we go to the restaurant. We got to the place and I go to pay for my pizza. As I am paying the team mom walks up to the counter to ORDER. Why was that not done ahead of time? When it comes to little people it is pretty standard. Cheese pizza, pepperoni pizza and maybe Hawaiian. Then, THEN! she tells me that she didn't realize that Alfy's had half price pizza until 2! WHAT??? Who in this area of Washington doesn't realize that? And since they were having half price pizza until 2 they had plenty of money to get pizza for everyone! Thanks a bunch! My pizza was not only already ordered but sitting on the counter waiting for me. So I told her I had called ahead and ordered and not to worry about us. I then asked her what side of the party room we were in so we could go sit down. I then received shocking news. Apparently she didn't reserve the party room and we were just going to sit wherever. Ok what? At some Alfy's that would work. At the one in Lake Stevens..... not so much. The seating is horrible. It is actually getting to be kinda a problem for Eric, the kids and I to get a table that will fit all of us. All the spots are booths and small booths at that. Why would you plan a party for a t-ball team of at least 12 kids (and all their family) in an area where there is barely room for 12 people? I couldn't believe it. We ended up sitting on the other side of the restaurant (all the booths on the side they were sitting were taken). Who doesn't reserve the party room at Alfy's? Seriously!

Anyway, we ate our pizza, Andrew got his trophy and certificate and we went home. That was it. No cake or cupcakes or anything. At least the trophy is cute. That was the one redeeming factor of the whole thing. I ended up taking Zane out to the van after just a little bit because he threw an enormous tantrum in the middle of the party. Not that anyone could really hear him. We were on the other side of the restaurant you know. Hopefully this will be the only time this type of thing happens. I have no desire to be a team mom but man! Was a reservation and some communication that hard?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Princess Lovey

The other day I was playing with Lucy and my old Cabbage Patch Kid doll. I was changing the clothes she was wearing because I had a ton and the outfit that she currently had on needs new velcro in the back and it was annoying me. Anyway, I pulled down the box of doll clothing and let Zane and Lucy pick out a new outfit for Casey Sissy (the doll). They chose this little dress my mom had made with red and blue boats on it. In the box was this additional skirt made out of the same fabric. Zane immediately decided that it was perfect for his lovey. I thought it would be just a phase for a few hours and then he would take it off. Well, it has been about a week now and I see no signs of him wanting lovey to not wear his "princess" (Apparently the skirt is called a princess when you put it on an elephant) In fact, the boys went camping last night with Eric and we didn't let Zane take lovey's princess in case it got dirty. He found it this morning as soon as he got home though and wanted it put back on the silly thing. I think it is kinda cute. Eric..... not so much. You are only little once though right?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Graduation Day 2009

I knew the day would arrive but I didn't realize how quickly it would get here. Andrew graduation ceremony was adorable! He looked so cute in his graduation cap. Some of the stuff wasn't a surprise because I had been in the class when they were practicing but it was super fun to see the kids up on stage singing. I did pretty good through the whole performance with not crying but I got a bit teary when they signed the song "What a Wonderful World" Although that song can do it to me even without my baby up on stage so there you go!

Zane was SUPER excited this morning to go to Andrew's school. He kept asking when Andrew was going to get there. Of course by the time the program started he was asking if it was over yet. Someday he will MAYBE appreciate these milestones.

I made Andrew wear something handsome today. He wanted to wear a tank top but I told him he had to dress up a bit. His whole class looked really good. Aren't they all adorable!

At Andrew's class!

Andrew and his teacher. He is going to miss her a lot! He didn't want to come home from school with us after his graduation reception. They had cake and punch for the kids and parents. It was very cute. Andrew wanted to ride the bus home but I don't think there is any kindergarten bus today. Besides he would have been the only kid left in the class. Crazy boy. Tomorrow he gets his last bus ride of the school year. I am sure he will miss riding it over the summer!

We also got his report card today. He did wonderful just like we knew he would. He is sailing on toward 1st grade! Congratulation Andrew Tyler! You have done an AMAZING job this year!!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Painting Fun!

We are currently painting our house. The majority of the work got done on Tuesday courtesy of a sprayer that we borrowed from a friend. Now we are only left with all the trim work. There is a limited amount that I am able to do. Since we have two stories a lot must be done on a ladder and Eric has forbidden me from climbing on to one. (I periodically have to hand him stuff when he is on the roof but he yells the whole time) So I am doing what I can.

Andrew in particular has been super excited to paint the house. Today I worked on the garage doors which was perfect boy painting. We made the kids paint in their undies because they don't have any clothing that I am excited about them getting paint on. If you think about it it makes sense. Most adult painting clothes are old stuff with holes/rips/stains on them already. You don't go and put your nice clothing on to paint when you know you are potentially going to ruin them. Anyway, that is the story about the underwear. The boys did a great job. Zane lost interest very quickly but Andrew stuck with it until I was done. I am going to have to put on a second coat but all in all it looks pretty good. The frame around the garage will be black. We just haven't gotten there yet. I will for sure post more pictures when we are done.

Halfway done!

My two helpers.

What the black trim looks like.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Big Girl Trike Rider

Lucy has been enviously watching Zane ride the trike around the driveway and desperate for her own turn. It is hard because even though we have a small bike that Zane could ride he wants to stay on the trike. So, until he moves up Lucy is kinda left in the lurch. This afternoon Zane was sleeping on the couch and Lucy woke up from her nap. We went out front and she immediately went for the trike. The first non-negotiable with any bike/trike riding at my house is that you must wear a helmet. Period. I don't care how much you hate it. You will wear it or you will not ride. We have a old Thomas helmet that is too small for Zane now that I tried to get on Lucy. She fought at first but then resigned herself to wearing it. I think seeing the trike in the driveway helped. Plus she sees the brothers with theirs on all the time and it must look normal to her. Anyway, on to the trike!

Her feet are obviously not long enough to reach the peddles but who needs peddles when a brother will push you around the driveway.

Happy Girl on a Trike!

Such a super star big brother!

Now I am just going to have to deal with it when both Zane and Lucy are awake and wanting to ride. Doesn't happen that often but it could be a problem. I need to start prepping Zane now so it is not a shrieking nightmare when it does. Seriously, you can't spring anything on that kid.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Hey Big Spender!

Earlier this week we had to go shopping for some birthday presents for different little guys in the neighborhood. This brought about a tidal wave of desire in Andrew to buy a lego present of his own. Andrew is very good about not wanting to get stuff when we go to the store but after looking at the prices of some of the lego sets I realized that he had enough money to buy a set of his own. Andrew doesn't usually bring his money with him to the store so I promised him that the next time I needed to go to Target that I would take him and he could get something with all his money.

After we counted up the amount he had in his piggy bank (his is an owl, but you get the drift) we discovered that Andrew had exactly $6. Zane this afternoon hearing that his brother got to get into his bank checked his own (a fish) to see what he had. I was really surprised to see that Zane had almost the same amount of money $5.74. That made things much easier. I was really worried that I would have one boy with lots to spend and another one with hardly anything.

The money bags themselves!

I knew that Andrew had his heart set on one of the little lego sets that built into a race car and that he had enough money. Trying to explain sales tax to little kids is a nightmare. They don't get that the price on the shelf is not the price they have to pay. In their minds they should be able to get anything that they have enough money for. Fortunately I remembered how much the racecar was and did a rough calculation on the tax at home. I know I could have been nice and paid any extra myself but I figured that they have to understand sales tax at some point. Anyway, Zane picked out a Lightning McQueen puzzle that he had been eyeing the last time we were at the store. I wish we could have found one with 100 pieces because that is what he is capable of but we had to settle for a 24 piece puzzle. He was happy with his purchase though.

I made the kids do check out on their own. If we are going to teach about money we might as well go the whole distance. I help them individually check out and count out their money. I also look for a checker that seems cheerful because sometimes they are crabby that one family is going through the line 3 times to let everyone do their own money.

When we got home we had to instantly put together both puzzle and car. Andrew managed to do everything on his car by himself. I sat and watched and gave some minor instruction but he followed the directions himself and put it together. I also sat with Zane while he worked on his puzzle. As I suspected it took him less than 5 minutes to put together and he didn't need any help but he was still happy with his purchase and I guess that is what is important.

Not bad for a five year old!

I did want to mention that this is only the second time Andrew has ever gone to the store and gotten to buy something with his own money. We don't give our kids allowances (yet) and they are very good about saving up their coins and other special event money for a big purchase. It will be interesting to see how they view money in the years to come!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Roof Climber

We are currently repainting our house. Since Eric has been home for awhile (ok, longer than awhile) he has been very busy doing all kinds of projects around the house. The most recent is painting this monstrosity of a house. One never realizes how much house one has until they try to paint it! For the past few days Andrew has been Eric's super helper with all tasks. He really loved pressure washing the house and today got a taste of working on the roof. Toward the end of the night Eric had to put paper over one of the windows on a part of the house with a low-ish roof. Andrew had already been up and down several times during the day but this was Zane's first opportunity to set foot on the roof. I think he liked being up high. He sat quietly and sang some songs to himself.

Eric thinks he was super scared he was going to get kicked off because he kept asking if talking and singing were ok. He had gotten the lecture about how he needed to just sit and there is no playing on the roof or he would have to get down. Pretty sure those instructions sunk in :)

Andrew helped Eric finish taping the window and got to even carry stuff up and down the ladder a couple of times to help. He was thinking he was pretty big.

I would have gotten more pictures but my camera battery died. I am sure I will have more pictures though in the next few days. Somehow I think Eric will never be able to be on the roof by himself again!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I Wonder Who Was More Upset?

Went to work in Andrew's kindergarten class today. I can't believe I only have one more week to help and then he will have his graduation ceremony! The year really has flown. Anyway, while I was there I had complete confirmation that I am not crazy when it comes to Andrew's sensitivity. Some kids were playing with the magic screen (the projector machine) by waving their hands under it and watching it on the screen. Apparently this is a no-no in class and by this time they all should know it. Andrew was one of the kids participating in this naughtiness. Well, his teacher reprimanded them all and mentioned that they MAY need some "think time" which is her version of a time-out in class. I think the rest of the kids just agreed to behave and then mellowed out without going to their seats (which was fine, "think time" was just a suggestion) Andrew however went back to his seat with a crumpled face and tried to pull himself together.

I didn't get involved because I didn't see all that had happened and frankly his teacher was not at all cross and even if she was Andrew was doing something that was against the class rules and he knows better. She blazed after Andrew to tell him that he was fine but he shook his head and kept sitting at his seat. I don't think I have ever seen a teacher look so upset. She was about bawling herself. She asked me if that is how he always responds when he does something naughty and I told her no, just when it is someone he adores and doesn't want to disappoint. She said that she never would be able to get after him if that is how he always responded. As she walked back to the group I called after her to see if she was going to be ok. Funny lady, she said no! She said she would think about it all day. She knew that he was sensitive (I have mentioned it over and over) but she never knew how much. Sigh.

One of these days Andrew will toughen up a bit. Although I can't really hate the fact that he is sensitive. It is so nice to be able to gently correct and not feel like I am talking to a brick wall. Now I will just be praying for his 1st grade teacher to be sweet and gentle like he has this year. I don't know what he would do if he had one that was harsh!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Doesn't Want to Be a Baby Anymore

The last few weeks Eric and I have both noticed a change in maturity levels with Andrew. It seems like he grew up about 8 years while his teeth were loose. For instance, Andrew no longer wants to play with Zane and Lucy the same way. He used to like to sit and dig in the sand or go on the slide or even just push Lucy around on a riding toy. Now that is all apparently little kid stuff. He will help them if we ask but he is no longer playing. He is helping. When he goes to bible study with me on Thursdays he helps. He is no longer playing. He is a helper. He also has taken to following Eric around which is desperately sweet. They do big important things like weeding and mowing the lawn. Zane has taken over the role of playing with Lucy and it is absolutely adorable to watch him and her play together. When it comes to someone playing with her at this point she doesn't seem to care which brother it is. Oh, Andrew also mentioned that he no longer wants to wear character underwear. He would like plain. I can't decide if that means colors or just white but since I just bought him character underwear in the next size he will be in them for awhile. No trendy underwear purchases at our house just to suit a mood! My sweet baby is growing up and it is all happening with mixed emotions from this momma. I am loving his new maturity but hating the fact that my baby is disappearing. I swear 2 days ago he was still in diapers.....

Making a Boring Dinner Fun!

My kids adore Aebleskivers for dinner. If you just said "excuse me?" then you obviously have not been introduced to these delightful things commonly known as Pancake Puffs. (at least in my house that is what they are commonly known as) If you are anything like me, you find something easy to make for dinner that preferably does not involve the oven on hot days. Something like pancakes. Tonight that meal was Aebleskivers and egg puffs. I didn't get a picture of the egg puffs but if you can imagine scrambled eggs in a ball form you have just about got it.

These were always a fun treat when I was growing up and my mom kindly got me a pan of my own for mother's day. The first time I made them I made a single batch and they were completely gone. Tonight I made a double batch and 4 eggs worth of the egg puffs and all but one pan full of the puffs were gone. Those will make a fabulous breakfast for the kids tomorrow.

Andrew is by far my huge eater when it comes to these. Tonight I lost count as to how many he ate but I am sure it was close to 10 or12. Plus some egg puffs. To give you an idea of how much batter that is, a quarter of a cup will usually fill 2 wells. So that was about a cup and a half of pancake batter. CRAZY! Oh, and the kids love to eat them with jelly in the middle and powdered sugar on top. Eric tried them with honey tonight and they were quite delish that way too!