Saturday, November 17, 2012

Lego Party

Andrew is 9!  (9...sigh...I can barely even think about it.) 

Since we have two boys with birthdays right near Thanksgiving and Christmas and life gets a little C.R.A.Z.Y. about then, we have made a policy that one boy gets a big party one year and the other boy gets a big party the following year.  In their "off" years, they are allowed to have a small party with just a few friends.

This was Andrew's "small party" year. Upon being given a few options, he chose to invite four friends over to our house for a Lego party. I'll be honest.  This was a Pinterest party from start to finish.  I can take no credit for doing anything original here.  We are deep in birthday/holiday season at our house, and this time of year it is all I can do to read and follow the instructions of someone more creative than I.  That being said, it was a fun party to put together, and the boys seemed to love all the cool games.  So, thanks, random internet people who posted your great Lego party ideas for me to copy!

our resident 9-year-old waiting for his friends to arrive
 first activity:  guess how many Legos are in the jar!  *answer at bottom of post if you'd like to play along!

build your own race car station

 the boys hard at work building and naming their race cars
Josh with "Go Go Scooter" and Seth with "Speed Machine" in round 1
the other Josh with "Sensitive Speedy" and Andrew with "Speedster 592" in the semi-finals

Seth and Josh racing "Speed Machine" and "Sensitive Speedy" for the championship.  "Speed Machine" pulled ahead for the win!

the boys trying to get as many legos as they could onto their plates in one minute using only straws

Lego skee-ball
table centerpieces:  I asked Andrew to make a utensil holder and a vase of flowers out of Legos...

if you look closely you will see what happens when you ask a boy to make a vase of flowers.  he will add a scary Lego biker skeleton to the edge of the vase...which will make his mom smile.
the party table...before there was pizza and cake everywhere!

the Lego cake...all I can say is, I tried.  (and that I am grateful that 9-year-olds are quite easily impressed!)

the boys providing us with a little armpit/kneepit luncheon music.  we had a quartet going at one point.  really.  you didn't think Andrew's party would be free of armpit noises, did you?

Lego candy!  yes, you really can build with it!  (not that ours lasted long enough for much building...)

A very happy birthday to our sweet little Andrew!


Saturday, November 10, 2012

A Lesson in Marine Biology

Adam came home from school with a project assignment:  to make an animal habitat diorama.  He decided to do an ocean habitat. 
Since Poppa and Gangee are here for a visit, I decided to ask Poppa to oversee the making of the diorama.  He agreed, and I am thrilled for several reasons.  First, this will be a great memory for Adam.  Second, Poppa enjoys this kind of thing.  Finally, I am slammed with birthday party and holiday preparations, and it is a relief to hand it off (as much as I usually like a good school project).
Poppa is a natural teacher and has been enthusiastically throwing out interesting ocean facts at Adam as they work.  I am beginning to think he is casting pearls before swine, however, because Gangee just reported to me that she overheard the following:
Poppa:  ...and did you know that an octopus doesn't have a regular nose? It has a beak!
Adam:  I really don't care.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Conversation from the Makeup Counter

In the tradition of mothers and daughters everywhere, Libby and I have a little routine in the mornings:  As I put on my makeup, I also "put makeup" on her.  (Translation: I buff dry makeup-free brushes lightly over her face and tell her she is beautiful.)  I love this time with my girl.

However, I may need a little trip to the Clinique ladies because this morning we had the following discussion as I was brushing on "our" makeup:

Libby (very seriously):  Do I look like a clown?

Me:  What? Why would you look like a clown?

Libby:  Remember, a long time ago, you told me if I wore too much makeup I'd look like a clown?

Me (completely flabbergasted she remembered that from so long ago):  No, honey, you don't look like a clown.
(Then, teasing): Do I look like a clown?

Libby (studying me earnestly in the mirror):  Well, yeah, kinda.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

"C" What We've Been Up To This Fall

This fall has been full of fun happenings!  And they are all brought to you by the letter "C."

"C" is for "Cousins."  At the end of September, we got to keep little Cousin Cate for a long weekend while Aunt Abby and Uncle Adam went to Florida.  It was so fun to have a little one toddling around again.  Libby and the boys adored her, and she seemed to enjoy being one of the "big kids." 
Sweet little happy to be with big cousin Libby!

Just a couple short weeks later, we welcomed a new cousin -- Cousin Claire!  I had the privilege of going down to Augusta to visit Aunt Lindsay and Uncle Kyle and baby Claire for a few days after they came home from the hospital.  Claire might possibly be the sweetest newborn I've ever met.  (Big ups to Steve for holding down the fort here at home while I was gone!)
One of my favorite pictures of Claire all sacked out, sleeping like only a newborn can
"C" is also for "Costumes."  All of us had the opportunity to dress up this fall!  First, Steve and I were invited to a fun 40th birthday party for some friends.  Pete and Amy were both turning 40, and 40 + 40 = 80.  So...we all dressed up as 80's TV characters.  Steve went as Magnum PI, and I went as Blair Warner from "The Facts of Life."  We had such a good time assembling our costumes!  At the party we mingled with characters from "Charlie's Angels," "Dallas," "Miami Vice," and "Cheers," among others.  I was proud to win "Best Female Costume."  I was not quite so proud to realize during the TV trivia games that I have quite an impressive knowledge of 80's TV trivia.  Hmmmm, what did I spend an inordinate part of my childhood doing? 
Magnum PI and Blair Warner
The kids got to give their Halloween costumes a trial run at their school's Boo Bash a few days before Halloween.  Andrew and Adam had some awesome Mario and Luigi hats that our talented neighbor Tonya had made for her son's birthday party last year, so the boys wanted me to make them Mario Bros. costumes for Halloween this year.  That presented somewhat of a problem as I can barely sew a straight line with my machine.  But, thanks to the miracle of Pinterest, I was able to find an unbelievably easy Mario Bros. costume pattern online, and I managed to make overalls.  (This was purely the result of my genetics...I must have a latent sewing gene inherited from my mom and Grandma Polly.  Thank goodness this gene decided to make an appearance just in time for Halloween!  I am hoping it doesn't go dormant again because I am rather enjoying sewing lately!)

The Mario Bros.

I have to admit that after my success with the boys' costumes, I totally phoned in poor Libby's bunny rabbit costume.  Next year there will be some sort of tutu-ish girly-ness involved, I promise.

My sweet little bunny in her sad little costume...
"C" also stands for "Craziness."  Which is what we experienced on Halloween.  Steve and the kids were trick-or-treating while I held down the fort here and passed out candy.  So I didn't get to witness the craziness personally, but here's what I'm told happened:  Libby went up to a house a few blocks away to ring the bell and say "trick or treat."  Inside the house, right by the door, was a (very ill-natured) parrot sitting on a perch.  When Libby put her finger up to the doorbell, the parrot attacked, punching a hole through the screen door with its beak and biting Libby's finger.  Libby screamed (and bled).  A neighbor, who happened to be an ER nurse, came to Libby's aid and took care of her finger.  Steve went up to the parrot house's door and told the man inside that his parrot bit Libby.  Parrot Dad said, "No, it didn't," and turned away to walk up his stairs. (!!!)  ER Nurse, finished with Libby, began yelling at Parrot Dad because she knew the parrot had bitten Libby.  A screaming match between Parrot Dad and ER Nurse ensued.  Steve was like a deer caught in the headlights -- what just happened here?  The upshot here is that Libby's finger is healing fine.  Our pediatrician's office did not think we needed to worry about any strange tropical bird diseases festering in Libby's finger, so that was a relief!  And now we will always have a crazy Halloween story.  In Libby's (oh, so serious) words:  "I put out my hand to ring the doorbell and get candy.  Only I didn't get any candy.  I got bit."

 Finally, "C" is for "Corn Maze." October got a little wild, and we just could not squeeze in a visit to our cool local corn maze/pumpkin patch/kitschy fall farm place before Halloween. (Naturally this was the year I had bought a Living Social deal, so we had to go because we'd already purchased the tickets.) We decided to go today, even though it's November, and we had a terrific time! The weather could not have been lovelier, and the kids were so much fun. Once again...(almost)9, (almost)7, and ages. ever. My heart just swells with loving this season of our lives so much. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.