Ben’s 8th Birthday Party

This day has been crazy.  I got up, had breakfast with Nick, then picked up my mom and went out to Hawkins to get the kids.  We got the full tour of the house remodel as it stands (bedrooms & bathrooms done, walls up but not sheetrocked for the rest of the house) and got to see Greg driving the tractor.  Sadly we had to leave quickly to get back home in time for Ben’s birthday party.  But wait, there’s more.  My mom told the kids “let’s stop by the bagel place” which I took to mean “let’s pick up bagels.”  Nope, we ended up stopping, eating bagels, visiting with Greg’s friend that we saw there, and then finally going back to my mom’s house.  I left the kids there and went home to clean.  I got it all done, got the cake decorated, got the party supplies out, and then the kids came back home.

 

I bought a cake from the store and added the giant Pokeball by hand, which actually saved me money as I didn’t have to buy all those different colors of frosting and little ball shaped confetti, nor did I have to pay for a custom cake:

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Our kids came back to our house not too long before the party.  While waiting for other kids to arrive, we decorated goodie bags with Pokemon stickers (that we already had and never used!). After all the kids arrived, we had Pokemon Training in the Battle Arena:
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Then we had Pin the Tail on Pikachu, a game thought of by my Benjamin. (And another money saver, as I had all the supplies on hand)
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After that we went fishing for Water Pokemon cards (for their goodie bags; the cards were purchased new for the event, the “fishing poles” were made of kid yard tools, string, and magnets we already had on hand):
Fishing for Water Pokemon

Then we took the kids back inside for a Pokemon Trivia game while other adults hid stuff in the backyard for the scavenger hunt. The kids made up all the trivia questions and I made the screen saver for the blu-ray player. If they paid attention to the screen saver, they got hints about the answers.
Pokemon Trivia Challenge

After trivia we went back outside for another game: Rocket Relay Challenge. The challenge was to get the balloons to hit the target after launching them in the air. We used the “pond” from the water game and put a target in the middle.
Rocket Balloon Relay

Then we played the Pokemon Evolution Game, which involved coccooning your Pokemon completely before they erupted out a newly evolved creature. (I bought toilet paper at the dollar store for this purpose and we didn’t even use it all)
"Your Pokemon needs to evolve.  Help him get into his coccoon!"

"Your Pokemon needs to evolve.  Help him get into his coccoon!"

Then we started the Scavenger Hunt. We hid Pokemon related things around the backyard and had clues to get them to the next place.
Scavenger Hunt for goodie bag items.
At each place they got a piece for their goodie bags, like a “pokeball,” a “pokemon,” some “berries,” and then “training tools.” (Balls, animals, candy, and bubbles all came from the dollar store.)

Bubbles!

After all that we had cake
Cake

and presents
Presents

and played Pokepark (Ben’s present from his grandma) on the Wii until parents came to gather up kids. It was a great party! 🙂

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I write 750 words a morning; sometimes they’re for you.*

I got up this morning, wandered through the house, and thought to myself “How is it that it all gets THIS messy in just one day of me not tidying?”  Nick said that I do more than I think I do or than maybe he thinks I do around the house.  No, the house is never totally clean, but is anyones?  I mean, other than those live-alone (or just couples) neat freaks?    I really don’t think so.

We spent the morning yesterday playing outside before heading over to the DSP for a play date with Greg’s friend B.  DSP has changed themselves up with a lobby over in the front corner near the street while their real lobby is under construction.  They have opened up this room in the middle that I always though was a classroom so that we can all easily move between the rooms and I was so interested in that room.  At one end is a stage, a real stage with doors going out the sides for entries and such.  It had a nifty ceiling and places for projectors and lights.  They’d moved some of their displays in there, things that used to be in the hallway and out here, where you can see them, the kids were delighted with them.  In the hallway, where they were, you kind of just rushed past them on your way somewhere else.  There wasn’t enough light or room to back up and look at them (plus if you were trying to look at them, you were in the way of other people rushing through the hallway).

 

So anyway, we had a play date.  Greg & his friend B. played for a little while before B. had his screaming fit.  He screamed through three play areas before B’s mom dragged him out to the car for a time out.  I don’t think I’d have lasted that long with a kid screaming and pulling on me.  Greg put on a play for me in the theatre area (not the place with the stage, but the little house in the other room) about a mechanic with a dinosaur hat that didn’t fit.  It was pretty funny, especially since he was wearing a painter’s smock with cowgirls riding horses on it.   B’s mom and B. finally came back in once he’d calmed down.  By then Greg and I were in the play car, driving to the “saladbee” place.  We still don’t know what that word was supposed to be.  Greg’s response: “The place!  Where they have the saladbees!”  No idea.  We played in the ambulance for a while after that and then let the kids roam on their own in the big play area together while we talked about Bible studies and different views on various verses.  After that we had some lunch; or rather, the boys had some lunch while B’s mom tried to get B. not to wipe his hands on his clothes and I tried to get Greg to eat some carrots (we both failed in our attempts, sadly).  Then the kids played in the toddler area, jumping in and out of that little room until it was time to go.

Greg and I came home and I attempted to eat lunch, but the tomato soup we had was fancy and weird flavored, so Nick ate it.  We watched most of an episode of Hawaii 50 before he had to go back to work.  By then I was feeling pretty puny, so I sent Greg off to watch a video while I laid down on the couch to rest.  Eventually I took my temperature because I was freezing cold and the thermostat told me that the house was hot and it turned out that I had a fever.  I think it must have just been the arthritis related fever because I am feeling lots less achy and no fever this morning.  I bundled up in a blanket while Greg played outside before we went to get the big kids.

We picked them up, brought them home, and started them practicing their piano music and theory before moving on to David’s piano lesson.  Well, it was supposed to be David’s lesson, but the piano teacher had a mostly verbal lesson to give both kids, so she did a bit of David’s lesson, then called both kids over to tell them the story of how the piano came to be.  David will have a bit of a lesson this afternoon, as will Ben.  I liked how the piano teacher incorporated the Bible into her lesson, telling the kids that in Genesis 4:20, they tell of Jubal and his brother Jabal and how one of them was a master of string and organ.  That really got the kids interested.  🙂  I need to find them a map of Italy today so that they can see where the language of music comes from.  I’m sure there must be one somewhere on the internet that shows where all the major composers came from.

*ok, so this isn’t really 750 words.  It’s not always.  A lot of times it’s more than that, but I am trying for 750 words of something every day, just to keep up the habit of writing, if not always the fiction writing.  Some mornings, like this morning, my brain is a little too scrambled for fiction.  Those mornings are lucky for the blog because then I’ll ramble about daily life instead.  Woo hoo for scrambled brains!

Why does February always suck?

So hey, it’s February, and so therefore we have the Plague.  David has this on again off again stomach virus at least one day every week since the end of January.   Ben & Nick have been coughing, but seem okay for the most part. Greg has been snotty & feverish and coughing for a solid week now.  I got a sinus infection three weeks ago, spent two weeks literally writhing in pain before that started dying off, and am now living in the land of Am I Sick or Not?  (Which means one day of feeling good & productive followed by one day of deathly-sinus-headache followed by one day of chills/fever/but otherwise fine followed by one day of sore throat/sinus pain).  Greg and I have missed all our MOPS stuff & coffee dates & play dates.  It’s making me cranky.

I’ve pretty much watched every movie in the house that is safe to watch in front of Greg and am now starting to watch things like Pretty Woman and wonder why,oh,why anyone thought a movie about a prostitute was acceptable for young people to watch.  As a kid watching it, it was AWESOME, but as a mom watching it, I’m thinking about things like Vivienne getting tetanus from getting scratched on the fence and what kind of horrible germs are in that toilet that she just plunged her hand into and whoa, all the dirt!  Yeah.  I watched Legend & Total Recall last week (after kid hours) and was amazed at all the gore.  My brain, it is exploding.  I shouldn’t be allowed movies in this state.  No, no, no.

In other news, we’ve been on a science kick around the house.  David had to do a research paper & model & report on a natural disaster and he, naturally, chose a meteor shower.  So we did that.  We also made a tsunami, because a meteor strike in water can cause that.  Then we made a tornado in a jar.  One of the other class mom’s is a biologist of some sort & she brought a bunch of chemicals up to school & did a demonstration, so David wanted to know what kind of chemicals he had access to at home, so we tried to figure that out & then figure out what kind of experiments we could do from here without buying anything special.

Ben’s started doing math at school.  He got a 100 on his first paper (BEST IN CLASS, MAMA!!!) and has ever since been making his own math problems to work after school.  He’s also been learning about coins and passed that mania on to Greg, who has been playing pirate or shopkeeper, whichever one takes his fancy as long as he gets to count the money.  Ben’s been trying to teach him that each coin “costs” a different amount, but Greg just counts number of coins.  It’s very funny to watch them argue about it.

I finally got my writing notebook back in the mail, so worked on that a bit yesterday.  Progress notes to be posted at dreamwidth.

Nick is obsessed with the Olympics, which has been fun, I guess.  He’s the kind of person that will watch any event, so if the Olympics is on at any point, he turns the TV on.  I, on the other hand, am mainly just interested in the figure skating (so I went to bed way early last night).

I guess February doesn’t completely suck.  I just wish we all would get better finally.