Lex’s birthday adventure

I’m a little late with this post (by a week or so) but we still had fun and I want to share.

Alan got tickets to see Solo (Star Wars) and we spent a fun day playing laser tag, going to the movies, and eating too many breadsticks at the Olive Garden.  Eve didn’t want to see the movie and I didn’t want to play laser tag, but we both endured and even had a little fun. :)  The boys had a blast!

Laser tag makes me squimmish as a parent and teacher, but we played and I survived. The other three LOVE it.

We ate LOTS of popcorn. :)

Eve managed to stay on this moving wall for the entire three minutes. I couldn’t stay on it at all

We got home exhausted and happy.  In fact, both kids fell asleep in the car on the way home!  They haven’t done that in a long time.

The next day Eve tied all the balloons to the cat. Just because.

Lex got some birthday money and was excited to spend it all on Legos!

How many Legos does one teenager need?!

Not birthday related, but last night Lex ROCKED his spring concert!  He had parents and grandparents and kids and everyone coming up to him after the show to comment on his drumming.  He gets so into it.  So enthusiastic.  I love it!

Lex playing the timpinis.

I’m so proud of this guy.  He is kind and caring and fun and funny and a total rockstar!

Happy 13th Lex!

I can hardly believe it, but my baby boy is a teenager today! At what age does it become believable? At what age do you forget their actual birth day, forget what they are like as tiny babies, forget the sweet baby head and tiny fingers? I hope never! I love the growing boy I have now just as much. He’s kind and funny and smart and silly and still loves his momma! Always happy for a hug and still says “I love you” when we part.

He didn’t want much for his birthday this year. Just the usual books and Legos. I offered him a party or a weekend trip, but he said no thanks. He did take me up on my offer of a piano! :) That’s really a present for all of us though. We ordered it several weeks ago and it’s on back order. I hope it comes soon. I’m excited for that one.

I can’t have a birthday without presents on the table (and he sweetly reminded me of the tradition and asked if he would still get little presents even though the piano was expensive), so I got 13 presents, wrapped them all in the same paper, and numbered them. Just for fun.

We also got 13 balloons, wrote sweet notes on them, and left them in the family room for him to see when he woke up this morning. My original plan was to put them in his room, but reconsidered when I realized the fan would blow them around and it would probably be scary.

He said it was wonderful walking into a room full of compliments. :)

We had breakfast and presents, then it was off to school and work — for them! I got to skip work on this beautiful day and take Arlo for a visit to a dog trainer. It was a very nice experience and a lovely place. More on that later. Now, presents!

Back home I decorated the cake and then we headed out to friend’s house for a visit. Eve and her son are both auditioning for Matilda next month and wanted to rehearse together. Really it was an hour of bouncing on their trampoline and five minutes of rehearsing (while still on the trampoline). Lex and her daughter are chess pals and were happy to fit in a few games. He won one and lost one. He said they’ll have a play-off match at school on Tuesday. :)

By this point it was dinner time and if you know this family at all you know that Lex’s preferred place for birthday dinner (and any dinner) is Panera Bread! Alan met us over there and proceeded to be so silly he had both kids in tears. Dads are good at that. :) Then home for cake and more presents!

Now it’s 9pm and the boys are happily Minecrafting. Eve is in bed waiting for me to turn off her light. I am full of cake and love and peace. Tomorrow we will go see the new Star Wars movie (the boys are excited and the girls are along for the ride) and get dinner at the Olive Garden. Sunday we have an invite to a BBQ, but I’m secretly hoping it rains so I have an excuse to stay home and read the paper and drink tea all day. :)

PS. I measured him on the wall this evening.  62 1/4″.  He still has Eve beat by an inch and I still have them both beat!  For now.

11

Oh, this girl.  I can’t believe she’s eleven years old.  It seems so old, yet, after a day with her and her friend I was reminded over and over that she’s still pretty young. That made my heart happy.

She started her day bright and early with the one thing she wanted more than anything else in the world.

A special owl delivery. This owl is looking a little worse for the wear after a few run-ins with Arlo!

 

It’s her letter from Hogwarts!!!

She was squealing with delight!

Alan is in Florida this weekend so we did a video chat with him for morning presents.  Fortunately Mandy had made plans for the day so they were up early too.  Eve didn’t have to wait THAT long to open her presents!

Eleven years old! Eleven years of loving this perfect child.

Google hanging out with Daddy and Aunt Mandy.

Showing daddy her letter to Hogwarts.

Jasmine meets Leo. Jazzy had no interest whatsoever. LOL!

Eve got Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans and bravely tried the vomit flavor.

It wasn’t very good. In fact, it was hysterically bad!

She had to get up and walk it off! LOL!

A Ravenclaw banner for her room. I hope the Sorting Hat gets the message! (Thanks Rosy!)

Strorks the Rhinoceros from the Just So Stories. (Thanks Grampy Don and Pat!)

I made scones and we had a nice morning.  I measured Eve on the wall on our new measuring stick.  She’s 5’1″ and growing taller every second!  I eventually was able to round them up (they were pretty wound up!) and got them in the car for a day of adventure.  We picked up Eve’s bestie, put on an awesome audio book, and headed to the trampoline park!

These kids keep me laughing!

Jumping, jumping, jumping…

Crashing!

The SkyZone check-in lady offered us the option to “upgrade” to two hours instead of just one, but I think one was plenty.  They all wanted to leave five minutes before our time was even up!  They were exhausted!  I jumped too, but there are no photos of that. :)  Lex spent a lot of time on the dodge ball “court” and loved it!

Everyone was hungry after all that jumping, so we headed to the OG.

A celebratory Shirley Temple for this little curly-q.

Crazy girls

We are a bread and cheese kinda crowd! Sarah threw in a little shrimp, and I had some salad, but really we just went for the bread sticks and alfredo sauce.

They even sang to her! Nothing compares to the birthday song at the Syracuse OG, but this was fun too. :)

Once we had eaten way more than we should have, we headed to the mall!  Or more precisely, Build-A-Bear!

Build-A-Bear is a funny place, but Eve loves it.

Sarah got the Eevee Pokemon and Eve got a cat and named it Sarah. They both got matching Pokemon outfits for their stuffies.

We did a lap around the mall and the kids all griped about the stores.  We passed Victoria’s Secret and PINK and the kids were uncomfortable and made comments about how awkward the stores were.  One even said, “There are children around for goodness sake!”  We passed a few other stores with underwear models and the kids kept commenting on how unnecessary and inappropriate they were.  Good kids!  Then we stopped at a toy store.  On the way out the girls noticed a Motherhood Maternity store nearby and started making the same comments about awkwardness.  I tried to defend that store, saying pregnant women need clothes too.  They didn’t get it.  I asked which was more awkward for them, VS or MM?  They couldn’t decide.  I said, “Maybe they should be closer together because if you start wearing clothes from Victoria’s Secret you’ll probably need the maternity clothes soon after.”  Totally just making a joke. Their reactions were PRICELESS!  Huh? Heads cocked, noses crunched, eyes confused. “Why?” they asked.  I burst out laughing and walked away.  I wish I had a camera for those looks.  I texted Sarah’s mom about it to give her a heads up about possible topics that may come up later, but when we dropped Sarah off it came up within minutes!  Lisa asked how was the mall and the girls immediately started talking about all the inappropriate stores and displays.  LOL!  Still little girls.  Even at Claire’s they commented on the ridiculousness of the little makeup compacts and double mirrors.  “Who needs two mirrors?!” said Eve.  “Who even needs one in their bag?” added Sarah!  :)

We got back in the car for a quiet ride home.  And sweaty.  Turns out I have to get the AC fixed in my car!  It was sunny and in the 50’s today, so the car felt like an oven.  Not complaining though!!

We dropped Sarah off to have dinner with her mom. It’s her mom’s birthday today too. Wasn’t it nice of her to share her daughter with us for the day?!  Then we headed home. The plan was to dye Easter eggs and watch Coco with dinner.  Instead we all checked out into our own things.  (Minecraft, Harry Potter audio book, and Facebook — I’ll let you guess who did what!)

Daddy gave her the moon. More specifically, a 3D printed very detailed replica of the moon. It’s pretty cool.

I love this picture. The shiny above her head is a reflection off the new cats ears she got at Claires.

This one is her favorite. Also a little evil-villany.

Tomorrow is Easter and we have a low-key day planned.  I’m hoping to sleep late and read the Sunday paper.  The kids are hoping to dye Easter eggs, then hide them.  :)  I have little baskets planned for them, but nothing too exciting.  We’ve invited a friend over for dinner, which will probably be pizza.  I should do some homework and lesson planning in there too.  But now, wine and laundry!

Happy Birthday to Miss Eeveecat!  May she forever be wild and free. <3 <3

Bio Fair and Birthdays

Eve had her Bio Fair today.  Each year the fifth graders each choose a person to study.  The project goes almost all year and included writing, research, and art.  Bio Fair is the culmination of this project.  The kids have to dress as their person and “be” their person for the duration of the fair.  Parents and families come, as do all the other students in the building.  This has been going on for many years and all the students look forward to it.

Eve chose to be Emma Watson for her Bio Fair project.  Because Emma Watson is alive today, her “costume” was just regular clothes, but she looked oh so grown-up!

Emma Watson has a big fan club! They had lots of questions for her.

 

I tried to take a selfie with her and I just looked so tired next to her!  I tried three times, then gave up.  My friend took this one.  It’s the best we could do.  :)

Me and Emma :)

This afternoon she decided to come shopping with me while Lex was in karate.  She has been saying all along that the doesn’t want to bring in a birthday treat to school, but in the grocery store today she changed her mind and decided to make “bunny butts” for her treat.  Thanks YouTube!

Really they are Oreos and frosting.

Mini marshmallow tails and feet, pink frosting toes.

We ran out of frosting so she decided to melt chocolate and make some of the bunnies brown. Things got a little messy!

This might be considered a “Pinterest fail” but I’m going to call it a success because she did most of it on her own and she’s thrilled! :)

I did some Googling and it seems “bunny butts” are all the rage this Easter.  There are a wide variety of ways to make them, using cookies, cupcakes, cakes, etc.  Who knew!?

 

Happy (late) Birthday!!

This handsome fellow turned 12 last week (well, four day ago)!  I’m a little busy with life, but we snuck in some birthday celebrations here and there.

Hugs for Doctor Nurse Professor Aunt Rosy!

We celebrated a little early in Franklin with the family.

We love Snap Circuits!!

Fun with the drone.

Look at it go! Lex is a very good drone driver. I am not.

We celebrated a little on the actual day.  In past years I’ve found myself making three cakes/cupcakes: one for a family party, one for a friends party, and one for school.  This year, I made none.  :(

Do pancakes count as cake?!

The pile was a little small and half pajamas, but the big present came later in the day.

An early dinner at Panera Bread before Eve’s concert in the evening. This reminds me of another picture I have of them on Lex’s 4th birthday. They’ve grown a little since then. :)

Finally, FINALLY, the surprise arrived, everyone got home, and we let this extremely patient 12 year old open his fancy new laptop! The better for playing Minecraft on.

The weekend after his birthday Aunt Mandy came to visit and went out for ice cream and mini-golf.  Sadly I left my phone home on accident, so there are no photos.  We all had a great time though!  Then Ziggy’s for dinner and a round of pool.

Sunday evening (yesterday), Alan and I talked the kids into going to a new-ish restaurant.  We promised them dessert and had them bring games.  Lex set up a variety of chess challenges for me, then we had an intense game.  It was great!

<3 <3 <3

I felt a little guilty about this birthday because we didn’t do a party and didn’t do anything big and special.  I offered to take him on a day trip or invite some friends for ice cream and mini-golf, but nothing appealed to him.  The week was full of concerts and plays and meetings and parties he wasn’t invited to, so I feel like he got very little attention, but he said he’s happy and it was a good birthday.  I try to remind myself that in general “very little attention” is what Lex prefers.  :)   I’m glad we were able to go out to dinner Sunday night, just the four of us, and have a good family bonding time.  We get one more year with this preteen before he hits those scary-sounding teenage years.  Let’s make this year last and last!  <3

Twelve is coming way too fast!

This handsome fella is turning twelve tomorrow and I a feeling very guilty about our complete lack of plans. I told him we wouldn’t be doing a big party this year, but I was hoping for a day trip or an activity with a friend, or something! But, alas, life is busy and 12 is coming up fast! He wasn’t very interest in any of my ideas, and tomorrow, his big day, I have a meeting after school, Alan has a meetings, and Eve has a concert. Everyone is busy, but him! We are going to sneak in a dinner at Panera between my meeting and Eve’s concert.

I was looking for presents to wrap yesterday and, though I swear I had a pile for him… umm… I guess I do not. :/ We have little toys that Eve bought and I bought him some PJs the other days, but nothing exciting. Alan decided to order him a big present (laptop! shhhh… don’t tell!). He had it overnighted, but that still leaves me with not much excitement for the big birthday morning. :/

Can we just skip birthday’s this year? He can be eleven for a bit longer. Next year I’ll have more time and brainpower to focus on him. I love him forever though, even if life is busy! I hung his birthday collages just now. He was such an adorable baby, and turning into a super handsome young man. <3

PS. Apparently 12 is the year the gross jokes birthday cards start arriving. He laughed and an unsure sort of way. :)

Busy birthday weekend

We have had a busy birthday weekend celebrating Eve.  Double digits.  End of a decade here.  No more little ones.  *Sniff* and sigh and on we go!

Friday Eve was home with a fever.  She missed out on birthday at school and getting to be Governor of her class (government unit!), but she did get to watch TV and eat ice cream with daddy, so all was well.  Her party was supposed to be Friday night, but we postponed due to her fever and the impending storm.  I couldn’t let the day go by without a candle and song though, so a quick improvise and voila – ice cream sundae with a sparkling candle on top!

A candle in a dish of ice cream is what you get when your birthday party is postponed.

A candle in a dish of ice cream is what you get when your birthday party is postponed.

At bedtime Eve gave me a little gift by asking if I would read to her.  She hasn’t wanted me to read to her at bedtime in ages and I was almost giddy at the invite to snuggle in her bed and read to her.  Of course mid way through I remembered the measure-on-the-wall thing and we all got up (me, Eve, dog, cat) and headed to Lex’s room where both boys joined in the fun.

Saturday morning I gave her the gift of staying home alone while I took Lex to karate.  When we returned I found her in her room with a mirror and all her hair supplies out.  She asked if I would do her hair (yay!) and we had a lovely time talking about jewelry and hair and girly stuff.  She had on a beautiful dress, jewelry, and lip gloss.

She let me do her hair! She ASKED me to do her hair!! <3

She let me do her hair! She ASKED me to do her hair!! <3

She's all ready to party at 11am! Sadly the party didn't start until 5pm and by then she was back in her play clothes.

She’s all ready to party at 11am!

Sadly by 5pm when the party already started she had changed back into regular clothes.  At least she kept the beautiful hair-do!  :)

Pizza and silly friends!

Pizza and silly friends!

We did a sleepover again this year, but with fewer friends and even fewer planned activities!  I told Eve that she’s old enough to entertain her friends now and we didn’t plan and crafts or projects or anything.  Just pizza, ice cream cake, and dancing!

Presents!

Presents!

Just Dance!

Just Dance!

Eve asked me to make an ice cream cake this year.  I used the Stoneware bundt pan, three gallons of ice cream, and lots of guesswork.  I’m pleased to say it came out really great!  I poured hot fudge on the top right at the end, stuck 10 sparkling candles in there and it was perfect!

I'm very proud of my ice cream cake. It was lovely and yummy, and only a little stressful trying to get the candles lit before it melted everywhere!

I’m very proud of my ice cream cake. It was lovely and yummy, and only a little stressful trying to get the candles lit before it melted everywhere!

Three layers of ice cream goodness with mini M+Ms between two layers and crushed cookies between the other two layers.

Three layers of ice cream goodness with mini M+Ms between two layers and crushed cookies between the other two layers.

Only two girls ended up staying over night (because we had changed the date at the last minute), so around 9:30pm, after we watched Moana, half of the party headed home and the other half went to bed… and talked and giggled and carried on until midnight!  I only had to go up a few times though and they fell asleep eventually.  :)

Today was spent in a sugar/tired haze.  Her friends left at 10:30, I had homework to do and school work to do so Eve and I spent a few hours in the library while Lex and Alan spent a few blessed hours in a very quiet house.

Happy Birthday to my baby who is growing up so fast.  I look forward to many, many more years of giggly girl sleepovers, braiding hair, and cuddling with stories.  <3

 

I put up all the pictures from the past few days in a Google Album.  

10!

Happy birthday to this beautiful girl!

10!

Presents

I’ve had all the feels over the past few days. She is so amazing and independent and sweet and wild and moody and snuggly. I feel blessed every day that I have her in my life.

<3

And these two together. Pure love.

I love everything about these two! I hope they always love each other too!

Sadly Eve will be spending her birthday home on the couch. Her fever is down this morning, but still there a bit and she went to bed last night with 100.7 so I don’t think she should be in school. I think her birthday brownies should though! (they are in the freezer until next week instead!) I stayed home with her yesterday and Alan will be with her today. I imagine lots of snuggles on the couch, TV, and maybe even lunch at Panera if she’s up for it. :)

Studying up on being cool. :)

Happy 40th to ME!

We celebrated my big 4-0 this weekend and what a celebration it was! Family from all over the country came to visit (and I can pretend it was all for me!) and Greg rented a big house and we called it the party house and a party magically appeared while I was home with sick kids. Lucky me! :)

This wise wizard turned 40 this weekend.

This wise wizard turned 40 this weekend.

Sisters!

Sisters!

Sisters!

Sisters!

I love these ladies!

I love these ladies!

Yummy!!!!!!!! (good thing there aren't 40 candles on there!)

Yummy!!!!!!!! (good thing there aren’t 40 candles on there!)

Sisters! There was an amazing super moon behind us, but the camera sucks.... or maybe we just shone brighter! :)

Sisters! There was an amazing super moon behind us, but the camera sucks…. or maybe we just shone brighter! :)

This guy threw me an awesome birthday party!! I'm a lucky lady to have him.

<3 This guy threw me an awesome birthday party!! I’m a lucky lady to have him.

The next day we gathered in the beautiful sunshine to say a final farewell to Popcube.

Cousins!

Cousins!

Does it get any better than this smile?!

Does it get any better than this smile?!

Spreading ashes. We had such a beautiful day to say goodbye to Grandpa.

Spreading ashes. We had such a beautiful day to say goodbye to Grandpa.

Afterwards we went to brunch at Mickey’s. We were a pretty big crowd! :)

Sibs. I'm so lucky to have these people in my life. <3

Sibs. I’m so lucky to have these people in my life. <3

This post is not deep, but full of love nonetheless. I have an amazing family and I’m so happy any time we get to spend time together. There are lots more photos here and here.

Goodbye family. I love you all so much!

Goodbye family. I love you all so much!

My kiddos are still sick, so we took the day off for some rest and relaxation. Hopefully tomorrow finds us all well and back to school.

Lex’s 11th Birthday!

Hey all. Lex turned 11 last month. I’m still not loving my blogging setup and, well, I guess I’ve been busy too, so this post is a little delayed. I love the boy all the same though and I’m sure he’s fine with the delay. :)

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Morning presents.

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Happy Birthday!! Eleven years old and handsome as ever! <3

I made brownie bars for school and cake for the party, so I asked Lex if maybe we could skip a cake on his actual birthday. He said sure, then asked for cookies instead. How could I say no?! :)

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Candle in cookies, better than cake!

This year we had a birthday party at the rock climbing place. Lex invited a bunch of boys and it was so much fun!

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Packing up goody “bags” for the rock climbing party.

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It’s party time!!!!

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Happy Birthday Lex!!

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Lex had a great time! We sang and joked about how many candles the cake needed and all his friends were so nice and happy to be there celebrating with him.

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Presents time. (I think Alan just said something funny. Love the look he’s getting.)

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Hey, there were a few Colliers there too! :)

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Alan decided to give it a try too! He’s a natural, of course.

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Everyone was all worn out by the end!

The next day we went for a nice walk to the playground. It’s always great when Rosy is around. She drags us all out for fun and exercise!

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Eve decorated the dog with lovely dandelions.

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Lex has mad ball skills! :)

So there’s Lex’s 11th in summary. I love him more than the world and it’s amazing and overwhelming and just plain perfect that he has become the young man he has. I want to keep him in my arms forever, yet also look forward to what the future has in store. Life is good. Happy Birthday my boy!