Monday, February 25, 2013

Sometimes Family Parties Are Just More Fun

You might consider this post a part 2 to the birthday one I published earlier this month.  I can see the connection, so we'll go with it.

M had his 7th birthday last month.  While we usually do something small on the actual birth day, we also like to celebrate with friends or family when it's convenient for everyone, ie. on the weekend.  Because parties for 3 kids get expensive quickly, we employ a "one year on, one year off" party strategy.  Last year was the "on" year, so he had his Tron-themed blowout.

This year, we kept it low key with pizza and hot dogs at Grandma's.  With three cousins, 2 brothers, and an aunt who is a giant kid (Tilte, I'm talking about you), he's pretty much guaranteed a good time regardless of whether it's an "on" year or an "off" year.

I've already established in part 1 of this post that I failed to plan properly for his birthday this year.  As a result, I had no gifts for him on his birthday and nothing planned for the weekend gathering at Grandma's.  I felt like a bit of a bad momma for forgetting his presents, so I used the 2 days between his birthday and the weekend to scramble to put together his "family party", as we refer to them in the ol' Number Whisperer household.

It's a good thing I did, because on Friday at child care pick up, the kindly lady who supervises the kids wished me good luck with the "family party".  Apparently M had been telling everyone about his weekend plans.

I had been throwing around the idea of a Minute-to-Win-it Christmas party after spotting a pin on Pinterest, so I did some quick googling, and came up with a birthday party to rival the best of them.

Most of the ideas I stole from this site.

This party ended up being one of the best ones I've had.  There were no over the top themed decorations and there was no huge party budget.  I think I spent about $12 total, because most of the props I was able to find around the house.

Here's a photo parade of all the fun.

Stick a tennis ball in some pantyhose, shove it on your head and do your best to knock down the bottles.
This game only gets funnier the more you play it.
EVERYone wanted in on the action.
The adults had to knock down strategically-placed bottles.
At this point, we couldn't breathe from laughing so much.
And then we moved on to the "eat a cookie off your face" game.
Even the teenagers had fun.
Flick a ping pong ball into the basket across the room.  We used L as a weight.
Well THAT doesn't look incriminating.
Transfer a skittle from the table to a container, using only a straw and your lungs.
Everyone was feeling the love that night.
And it quickly turned into a "who is stronger" contest.
I think she won.
I would be remiss if I did not say something about the disaster that was M's birthday cake.  I've said it before, and I'll say it again.  I'm not a baker.  I'm the equivalent of the angel of death to cakes, cookies, and other sugary treats.  I think this photo of my offering needs no further explanation.

My sister took one look at it and said, "You need to submit that to"  Thanks Tilte.

Friday, February 22, 2013

When Kids Have Questions About Private Parts

I was going through my old emails at work today and came across some fairly entertaining ones I've sent to BH over the years.  Here's one about P, who was 7 at the time.

From: Number Whisperer
Sent: Thursday, April 05, 2007 4:13 PM
To: Better Half

Subject: the birds and the bees

P asked me yesterday why we have privates.  I told him they’re for making babies.  He didn’t understand, duh, so I explained that to make a baby, the half from mommy and the half from daddy has to come from inside their’s not like we can just buy the ingredients and cook up a baby in the kitchen.  And the only way this stuff can combine to make the baby is by using the private parts.

I can’t believe it, but he didn’t even ask HOW.  And I wasn’t going to push it.

I’m sure more questions will follow.

I have a feeling P didn't ask any follow up questions, because he had no idea what I was talking about. Either that or the imagery shocked him speechless.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Trouble With January Birthdays

A few weeks back, M turned seven, and like any other six year old, he had been looking forward to the big day, oh, since about a week after his last birthday.  Completely disregarding the fact that Christmas was only 23 days earlier, he was practically salivating at the thought of what he might receive in gifts.

Have I mentioned that work has been crazy lately?  It has, since October.  And between Christmas and his birthday, I barely had time to breathe, let alone plan a special day for him, which is how January 16th rolled around, and I had yet to purchase a single gift for him.  

His birthday is the 17th.  Totally my fault, I know.  I should've planned better.  So when the night before his birthday appeared (out of nowhere) and BH called from the freeway to see if I had bought anything, I felt a twinge of guilt saying,"oh no!  I didn't yet (yet, ha).  Did you?"

I only asked him in the hopes that he would shoulder some of the guilt with me.  But he and I both know full well that birthday planning is my job.

So the night before M's birthday, 3 weeks after Christmas, BH hit every toy store in the county.  He returned at 9pm with a video game and a hot dog toaster. 

Really?  A hot dog toaster?  And yes, the Christmas decorations are still out.  More about that later.
Turns out the toy inventories had not yet been replenished so soon after Christmas.  I guess I had never noticed before, probably because I had never been in the position to need a bunch gifts on short order.

So it's 9 o'clock, the night before his birthday.  I had to think quick.  How was I going to save this one?

M, who had been counting down to the big day since Thanksgiving, was pumped for his birthday, which would be arriving in less than 12 hours.

Me:  "M, since tomorrow is a school day, you'll only get to open one gift in the morning."
M:  "Ok, Momma.  Can I pick which present to open?"
Me: "No, Daddy and I get to chose for you."
M:  "Ok!"

The next morning, M opened up his hot dog maker and marveled at his new appliance.  It was decided that he would cook dinner for us on his birthday.  Thank goodness, because I  had also forgotten to plan dinner or dessert.

The toaster diversion bought me some time.  I would need a miracle, but I was determined to find him some birthday presents.

Enter  TJ Maxx.

Who would've thought that TJ Maxx, of all places, would have a ton of Star Wars figures and other 7-year-old-boy appropriate toys less than a month after Christmas?  I've been in this store nuuumerous times in the last 6 years, and I've never known them to carry good toys.  But I wasn't going to question it.  I scooped up everything in sight and loaded up the minivan.

So I did it.  Shopped, wrapped, picked up groceries for dinner, baked monkey bread AND put in a full day at the office (or at least that's the story I'm sticking to).

When I picked him up from child care that night, he was so excited to come home and begin celebrating.

As we're walking up the path to the front door, he turns to me and says:
"Momma, you remembered to keep the Christmas decorations for my birthday!  Thank you Momma!"

You're welcome M, you're welcome.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Shooting Hoops

M had his first basketball game last weekend.  He's in the 5-7 boy/girl age group, and not one kid on this team looks like they've ever played basketball before.  

This makes for some good sports-viewing.

I've seen plenty of 1st grader soccer games in my life, and those are's like a swarm of bees traveling around the field, with legs flying left and right.  Basketball is even better. The addition of the ball being bounced and thrown brings an element of slapstick to an already chaotic situation.  

M has been watching his brothers play basketball for the past 3 years, and he was practically giddy at the thought of donning a uniform and "shooting some hoops" (somehow it's adorable when those words come from chubby cheeks).

P is assistant coach to M's team, which makes my heart swell with pride.  He lines them up and starts them with stretching exercises.  For an hour and a half, Coach P is all patience and kindness.  He's on his way to becoming a man, it's happening right before my eyes.

M played all four quarters.  I'd like to say it was because he was such a valuable player, but at this age, if you have two legs, you're as valuable as the next kid.  He did have a few notable moments, however.  In the 2nd quarter, he attempted to pass the ball and succeeded in pegging a teammate in the head.  

At close distance.  

Like, as in, one foot away.  

It was pretty funny, but I couldn't laugh too much, because some people have no sense of humor about those kinds of things.

Here's his other standout moment.  Notice his dribbling skills.  

Even with a dribble to the face, he keeps on going.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Rugers, STDs, and Public Transportation

How was my trip to Georgia, you ask?

It was pretty good.  Memorable, even.  I don't know if it was the Ruger flashed in the minivan or the STD comment made by the innocent boy-genius or the fall I took in the MARTA.  Whatever it was, a good time was had by all.

Notice that death-like grip?  There's a reason for that.
The "business" part of this business trip was nothing to write home (or on a blog) about.  Work is work.

In my usual (as of late) lazy blogger style, I'm going to bullet a few of the more interesting parts of the trip.
  • LAX is a people-watcher's dream come true.  Did you know that there are still women out there with permed mullets?  Poodle in the front, Lhasa Apso in the back
  • For some, 7:30 in the morning is not too early for a mixed drink :(
  • Pitch Perfect is maybe the worst movie I've sat through in 15 years.  Not counting kid's movies, of course...I have no choice but to sit through those
  • There IS such a thing as too much cheesecake
  • Public transportation in Atlanta is scary; don't let anyone convince you otherwise
  • You've got to try the public transportation in Atlanta at least once in your life
  • The World of Coca Cola attraction in Atlanta felt like a huge rip off
  • The CNN tour was fun, mostly because my expectations were low
  • No one was interested in eating a peach while in Georgia, nor were they interested in singing Alan Jackson on the bank of the Chattahoochee.  Heathens.
  • I learned that Twin Peaks and Tilt a Kilt are giving Hooters a run for their money
  • I had a star sighting at ATL airport
No really, I saw the REAL Terrence Howard.  I also saw this sign of him.  Both times, our eyes met.
  • Centennial Park looks a bit like a cemetery
Creepy, right?
  • Worst Coke drink EVER is Beverly from Italy
Trust me.  This stuff is nasty.
  • Buckhead has some nice buildings to photograph

I feel like this post could've been way more exciting, given the stories that have come from this trip.  Unfortunately, work is currently sucking every ounce of creativity out of me, which is odd, considering all I do is crunch numbers for a living.

Perhaps my next post will be more entertaining.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Next Time You're In Atlanta, Try the Sushi

I never would've thought I'd come away from Georgia with a new favorite Sushi place.  But I have.



Ru San's in Buckhead, you make a mean sashimi plate.