Sunday, September 28, 2014

Turning 5 is out of this world!

Yeah, so my little man turned 5, and I'm still trying to figure out how that happened! Not that every birthday isn't special (especially for the little ones), something felt significant about little r turning 5. It's that age where the really start to understand so much of their world, which makes the birthday party even that much more important to them.

When we moved across the ocean, little r had to leave some really great friends behind. It is tough at his age to explain the distance and the reason for moving far away. We were happy that he fell in love with his school here and instantly made some incredible friends. Unlike prior birthday years where the party was more of a huge gathering of all our closest friends (which always included all of little r's as well), this year we kept the party small and very focused on little r. His class at school is small, and he has three close buddies there that are inseparable. He also has a couple other friends from the neighborhood that he has gotten really close to. Five friends when he turns five - sounds like a perfect number for a perfect party.

Little r picked his theme - we went all out on the Star Wars idea. The boy is obsessed with all things Star Wars, so we decided to have a lot of fun with it!

Big R and I made a huge team effort on this party. I did some Pinterest and internet searching for ideas, and he helped me think of ways to make the fun come together. It was actually all super simple, but the boys thought it was fantastic. I love it when fun is easy and stress-free!

We decided to make the theme of the party a "Jedi Training", so I wanted all of the boys to have a Jedi costume and a light saber. Little r also insisted on having a piñata, and of course, an ice cream cake. I went to the hobby store and got enough brown flannel material and rope to make six Jedi costumes. (Believe me, people, these are "simple" costumes because this girl is anything but creative and I have yet to own a sewing machine.) I also found a piñata with a shape that just happened to work perfectly for Big R's storm trooper idea. (We compromised a bit because I couldn't find anything shaped like a ball to make a Death Star.) Added a couple cans of paint to the cart, and made my way home.

Big R made the birthday boy's costume extra cool!

Happy Jedi
The force is strong in this one!

Darth Lando - hahahahaha

the jedi youngling

He was so excited for everyone to show up!

Jedi robes were hung and ready to wear
The awesome Storm Trooper piñata

I remembered that we still had some glass bowls from our wedding (haha, yep), and some decorative sand, so we created some center pieces for the table. Big R and little r had a blast staging those battles! We had hot dogs and mini burgers, and some fun treats, just in case anyone got hungry during the party.

Star Wars Legos came in handy to stage a battle scene in the sand!
I mean, seriously, this is too much fun!
The finished product...
Some of the treats - courtesy of Big R - Yep, he made the storm trooper cookies AND the light saber pretzels 

Little r was so excited when his friends started showing up. We got all our Jedi younglings into their training robes, and handed them a light saber... Oh yeah, the light sabers sound like a frightening idea, right? We saw many tips online to use those pool noodles with duct tape. They were awesome. The boys played their hearts out with them the entire time and no one got hurt. Perfect!

Jedi's in training...

clearly tactical planning going on here...

little r couldn't wait to beat that storm trooper!
The most exciting part of the party was when Darth Vader made an appearance. This was supposed to be Big R (obviously), but he tried the costume on the night before and it was WAY too small. I was very quickly informed that I would become the master sith and try to turn the younglings to the dark side. The boys never saw it coming, and they had a blast ganging up on me.

Darth Vader came to take them all...

....he lost this battle and was thankful the light sabers were made of foam!

Little r informed me that I "didn't need to go too crazy" with the cake. He really just wanted me to use his Star Wars figures and stage a battle on top of it. HA! Love this kid because it really was the easiest cake I have ever made... The cake was a Turkey Hill brand ice cream cake I bought from Kroger (and it was HEAVEN!), and the battle was staged by Big R (as if that needed any announcement).

The party was too much fun all around. I'm so glad little r's friends were able to come, and I hope they enjoyed their Jedi training as much as we had fun pulling all the plans together. The boys got to take home their costumes, light sabers, and candy from the piñata as their party favors. Overall, I would have to say, this was a huge success.

We love you little r. You are such an amazing kid. I hope your birthday party felt as special as you are to us. The big 5, buddy! This is going to be such an awesome year!

Monday, September 15, 2014

My "mom-of-the-year" moment

It's Monday. I should have known better than to think I'd be able to escape the day without some type of unexpected excitement.

This week and last have been slightly crazy, well, on a 4-year old's scale anyway. Soccer started up last week, and swimming is still wrapping up, add that to horseback riding lessons, and the boy has a very full week. He seemed to be handling it all super well until the soccer game on Saturday where he was running aimlessly on the field. This evolved into a major meltdown by early evening, and bedtime was a colossal disaster. Being that his birthday party comes at the pinnacle of this next week, I really wanted to work hard at keeping things chill. Mostly I just want the boy to enjoy his own birthday party. 

Tonight was swimming. Little r would tell you that swimming is his favorite...oh, and soccer is his favorite, too, oh and horses, he loves riding horses... We are taking a break from swimming during soccer season, so today was his last lesson for awhile. He takes lessons at the "Y", so baby c and I swim while little r is in his class. I always like to get there early so that little r can enjoy swimming for awhile. So I got my dinner prepped, double and triple checked that I had everything we needed in each of the bags (I forgot goggles last week, and that was a HUGE disaster), and loaded baby c up into the car. 

Little r was a complete chatterbox when I picked him up today talking about everything they did in school (did I mention how much this kid loves his school?!), so, we took our time getting to the Y knowing we would still have plenty of time left for some fun swimming before lessons started. We walk into the locker room and I pull everything out of the bag.  Do you ever have those moments when all is good in the world and then the air gets sucked clean out of your body? All of it, all of the air, was completely gone. Little r's swim trunks were not there. In the whole scheme of things, this is not the end of the world, but to a 4 year old on his last day of swim lessons when he LOVES swim lessons more than anything EVER (except soccer and horses, of course), this becomes a mom's worst nightmare. We had 20 minutes until lessons started and we live 20 minutes away from the Y. 

So, what did I do? I contemplated apologizing profusely and driving somewhere to buy little r a huge milkshake to earn his forgiveness, but the mom in me had to figure out a way to make this work. Baby c's trunks were obviously too small, and the weather cooled off a ton this weekend, so we literally argued all morning about how he was NOT going to wear shorts today. Instead, we packed back into the car, there were many "this is so stupid" and "I'm such an idiot" comments flying out of my mouth, while little r was trying to wrap his head around his mother's insanity. At one point he said, "you are so goofy, mom, and you're right, this is stupid." Awesome when kids get it right, isn't it?

We went to Walmart. I hate Walmart. Sorry, I said it, but I just really do. But hey, everyone always tells me they have everything you want, anytime you want it, and it was the closest big box store to the Y. We had the talk about not getting distracted in the store, running as fast as we can, and how I was really sorry but he was going to be a little late for his lesson. He was such a trooper. Traffic literally sucked, and the Walmart was PACKED. 

This store probably has everything you could possibly ever need or want for a super cheap price as long as you are buying it in season. Clearly the end of September is NOT when you buy swim trunks because they had but one pair left on the clearance rack and it was a size 8. Yes, we actually contemplated buying the stupid things until little r looked at me and said, "mommy, they are just way too big." I felt deflated, until the woman standing next to me handed me a pair of gym shorts in little r's size. She said that she didn't need them, if I could use them, so we grabbed the shorts and ran. The check out lines were horrible, but we finally got through. The poor little guy was stripping in the car in the parking lot. I started the car as soon as I heard, "mom, I got it, these are going to work!" HA! Pure comedy, right?

We finally get back to the Y, at this point only 10 minutes late. Little r puts his shoes on and he stands up to get out of the car and the shorts fall down. Yes, you read that right, the shorts fell off of his tiny little butt. Seriously?! We finagled my goggles (which I actually remembered this time) around his waist to hold them up, and he was happy as can be. We ran into the pool, and he dove right in without looking back.

I really wanted to get a picture, but I honestly had no idea where my phone even was at this point. Some how, in some way, it worked. Who forgets her son's swim trunks when the whole reason for going to the gym is for him to swim??!! Yes, mom-of-the-year, RIGHT here.  And you know that as soon as the boys were in bed, my wine was poured and I'm already sipping it. Holy cow, this better not be indicative of the way things are going to go this week... 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

When the bug strikes

Bugs can be such pests, especially when you have a little boy with an irrational fear of them. (Oh wow, I just realized I called him a little boy - yikes, where has the time gone?!) I say it's irrational because he has never had a bug hurt or threaten him in his short little life, but you'd think he'd experienced pure torture from these creepy crawly things. I'm convinced if he were actually to come across a tarantula or something truly terrifying, he might just faint!

This irrational fear has been dominating our lives lately. Bugs are quite literally everywhere, so the terror is constantly surrounding him. In the shower, the bathroom, at night in bed... This all coming from a child that not two months ago was wearing a snake around his neck.

So, today when I picked him up from school, I got descriptive details about the "spider" bites that he has on his legs. Where these supposed bites came from is still a mystery, but little r is completely convinced that the bumps on his legs are from a spider nibbling on him. Before heading home, I made a stop at a local vegetable stand. One of our favorite things about Clarksville is that it's like a "big" small town in a way, and we live in a pretty rural part of town near open farm fields. That translates into lots of great produce and local meats, and we are trying to take full advantage of this awesome convenience. But I digress...

Ok, so we stop by the veggie stand that is more like a small outdoor market. It's run by this darling older couple. The old man is my pal. We shoot the breeze about all things important, especially the weather. Little r opted to stay in the car, so he and baby c hung back while I stepped out real quick to pick up some veggies. A couple bucks later, and a bag full of beautiful veggies in hand, and we were set to head home. Or so I thought...

Little r started panicking. He had to pee. Crap. He is only 4, so what's the harm in going roadside, right? But wait! There's a port-o-potty, and I knew it would be clean because these older folks looked like the tidy type. I grabbed baby c, helped little r put his socks and shoes back on (I'm always perplexed why kids take their shoes off in the car), and we pile out of the car to run to the port-o-potty. (Did I mention it was pajama day at school?)

Holy cow, this was easily the cleanest port-o-potty I have ever seen. Seriously. I greatly underestimated these folks - their cleanliness was outstanding! But, remember the bugs? Yes, the bugs. Hard to have an outdoor bathroom without a few bugs. People, these bugs were like ant-size, maybe flea, but definitely miniscule. To little r, this was freaking scary crap! After some encouragement, he finally closes the door and screams, "ok, mommy, I'm peeing now!" Fantastic, little man, do your business. Then all hell breaks loose. He starts freaking out and screaming from the top of his lungs. The door flies open, and he yells, "mommy, look!" He has a hold of his boy parts and he's literally peeing all over the seat, the side of the wall, and all over the floor. I'm sure you remember me saying this port-o-potty was spotless?! This goes down in history as the first, and hopefully only, time I will ever feel the need to "clean" the inside of a port-o-potty (with a toddler in my arms).  Luckily I had something in the car to clean our hands with.  The older woman walked by giggling saying that it sounded like a big mess was happening in there.  Guaranteed my face turned red, and I can honestly say it has been awhile since that has happened. Good grief!

If you are wondering what happened, that makes two of us. He looked down while he was peeing and saw what he claims was a spider bite and he decided the appropriate response was to lose his mind. Seems rational, right? I would absolutely do the same thing in that situation. I also had to hear him explain to me on the entire ride home how it was definitely a spider bite because it looked like the bump on his leg. Ok, little r, I believe you, but tell me again why this warranted you screaming and losing control of your private spray?!

Little r, never a dull moment, sweetheart.  You certainly keep my life full of constant adventure and endless entertainment. I love you, you crazy little man.

Proof the kid isn't what we would call a "scardy-cat"!