Tag Archive | kids

Too Many Cakes

It’s been way to long since I have written a post. I have lots of excuses. I’ve been working too hard, I’ve been lazy, I’ve been working on my book. Take one and run with it. But My Blog Buddy at thedomesticfringe.com just keeps going and that’s inspiration for ya. Check her out if you like clothes, jewelry, kids, humor, faith and many other subjects. So here it is 2014 and already May.
more cake
Many of you may be thinking that there is no such thing as too many birthday cakes. Well, sometimes there is. In the last two weeks we have had three birthday cakes, mostly eaten, and have two more on the planning board.
cake
My daughters like to make cakes, so when one person has a birthday there are generally several cakes in the house. April is a busy month though so we have had cakes around until I am sick of seeing them. And that’s a big thing for me. This past weekend, we had my youngest red-head’s birthday. She turned 8, and wanted to copy her sister and have a Harry Potter themed Sleepover. I dutifully printed out Butter-beer labels, collected twigs for a wand making activity and bought crafty things to do, ’cause you don’t ever want to leave a bunch of 8 year old girls get bored, it’s just not a pretty sight. By 5.30 PM on Saturday we were as ready as ever. Snacks were assembled and the cake that my oldest had made was in the fridge (it’s a beach cake). I even curbed my desired to clean and let the major vacuuming go until the next day when I knew we would be wading in tissue paper and crumbs. Four 8-year-olds and two 11-year-olds in one house makes for a lot of noise. Corralling them is not n easy task either, kind of like herding cats. We all checked out the Butter-beer (root bear with labels) the chocolate frogs and Bertie Botts Beans. As for the activities, well the kids took some wooden dowels instead of my carefully collected twigs, and painted them, as well as some white tee shirts which I had gotten for the party.
shirt
Because tee shirts can only take so much glitter and paint they decided to become pixie fairy’s and used up several bottles of glitter. Some is still in my daughter’s hair.
fairy dust
Several hours and two uneaten pizzas later, we had cake, and cupcakes for the ‘eggless’ kids (There were two). After unwrapping presents and making more noise, they finally settled down to watch Frozen as my two friends and I collapsed on the couch. As it turned out only one party guest spent the night, and the morning after was calm and relaxing.
present
Next we will be celebrating my father’s birthday, which was last week. I don’t think there will be as much shrieking at that event. Well, probably not.

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School…Duh Duh Duuuuh…..

It’s that time. How did it get here so quickly?? Summer just started didn’t it? Already I am seeing those ‘first day’ pictures posted by friends on Facebook. We seem to be starting a little later this year so we still have 4 more glorious days of summer vacation left. Not to mention that we plan to squash as much as possible into the remaining September weekends.

My kids are pretty excited. Well, as excited as kids get about school. At least they haven’t attempted to lock themselves in their rooms. I, on the other hand, have been having school dreams. I’ve had at least three in the last week, and I am pretty sure it’s because my oldest is going into MIDDLE SCHOOL. I have to consciously keep my conversation away from school supply lists and school clothes, because the girls just don’t want to hear it.

If my next post includes deep breathing exercises, interspersed with mutterings about 3 ring binders not being big enough, I am sure there will be many parents breathing deeply right along with me.

What has your family been doing, or has already done, to prepare for the influx of papers, emergency contact lists, and lots and lots of uneaten packed lunches?

Locked out….again

The very first post I ever wrote was about me getting locked out of my house. It was a chilly but sunny spring day and due to a door malfunction, (yes it really WAS the door’s fault) I found myself locked out of my house with half of the groceries in the house on the kitchen floor. Over an hour and a soaked pair of pants later (car washing mishap) I was able to get back in the house thanks to a friend with a spare key. That was a good four years ago.

This time, it wasn’t the door’s fault, it was mine, and sort of my daughter’s. It was a simple case of talking to a friend as we left my house, and realizing after the door slammed that my keys were not in my purse. Never walk out distracted. Fortunately, I carry a spare to my car in a hidden place and have a garage door opener. So problem solved right? Wrong! My 6-year-old, always eager to be a help, in that 6-year-old rationale, raced ahead of me into the house. She wanted to be the hero of the hour and find the keys by herself. Thinking quickly, she slammed the door and locked me out so she could look for the keys herself. I pounded on the garage door while my friend pounded on the front door, both of us yelling and hollering to open up. Finally my threat of withholding a favorite cartoon hit home, she opened the door and we found the keys. While this was going on, my older daughter and her friend had wandered down the street, bent on raising money for one of their school clubs. Of course we were late for an appointment because these things don’t happen in the middle of a lazy afternoon. In a move which I thought was cooler than Tom Cruise’s in the MI movies, I grabbed my youngest, tossed her in the car while both of us moms each took a different route around the block to confront our eldest daughters. They simultaneously leaped into our respective cars and away we raced just in time for our appointment.

Frequently I have thought that parts of my life resemble a sitcom. But that day, I was pretty sure it was more like a cross between action and a Mr. Bean episode (without his yellow car).

Tooth Fairy Wisdom

My 6-year-old recently lost her first two teeth. She has become quite an expert on the habits of the Tooth Fairy. I suggested she write a post, but she declined, so I suppose I’ll take a whack at it. I have included a few facts which I have learned.

First, the Tooth Fairy is undoubtedly a lady. I assume the job is just to delicate and requires a steady hand.

Second, I learned that her wings are very fragile and she has issues when it gets too cold. I wonder if there is a strong market for wing warmers? This little factoid I came to suspect after watching the latest Tinkerbell movie. But the experts reinforced my suspicions.

The third and very important thing to know about our favorite tooth hunter; she is so tiny that the heavy fancy bags sometimes used for the teeth are too heavy for her. She is a tiny little glowing fairy and can’t lift those heavy bags. So remember, parents, beware of gimmicks claiming to help the Tooth Fairy find those little teeth. I suggest a very light cotton drawstring, maybe a barbie purse or something similar might be useful.

I also learned that the good fairy must be pretty patient. My daughter, so proud of yanking her second tooth, (she was afraid she would swallow it like the first one) she brought it to school for a day before actually leaving it for the Tooth Fairy. She still made out well. The price for teeth has certainly gone up.

The ‘Like’ Epidemic

You are probably assuming I am talking about Facebook.  That would be incorrect.  I am talking about that one word which most of us probably grew up using.  Like, don’t you remember seventh grade?  When I was 13 it was THE WORD.  Not so much now.  I really had assumed it was sort of dying out.  I had systematically weaned it out of my own system upon graduating high school.  I blissfully forgot about the word, except when talking to my one friend who is worse than an 80’s movie.  I forgot until about a year ago.  Maybe a year and a half.  I noticed my daughter (who just turned ten) using it.  Once in a while.  I thought, ok so I guess the word is used once in a while.  It wasn’t so bad.  Now…I hear at least two ‘Likes’ in every sentence.  She sounds like a Valley girl on pixie sticks.  I know the younger set has their own slang, so why fall back on one which has been overused to the max.  I long to shove cotton in my ears whenever she starts with her ‘likes’.  I’m not really sure if this is still “THE WORD’ across the board.  I don’t really hear her friends using it as much.   I would love to tell her she sounds like a broken record when she gets on a roll, but she wouldn’t know what that was anyway. I can only keep my fingers crossed that she finds a different word to overuse, because this one should have gone out with the 20th century.  Please, please don’t let THE WORD rub off on me.  I, like, couldn’t stand it if it did.

One Decade

Today marks a momentous event.  It’s the day my daughter was born, ten years ago.  Needless to say I am still having difficulty with the fact that she is 10 now.  I realized how much I am having difficulty when she came downstairs Saturday morning before her party with eye shadow and eyeliner on.  AT TEN YEARS OLD. Of course she knows she is not allowed out with make up but that doesn’t stop her from applying shiny layers of garish pink to her lips every night and carefully patting it off on little scraps of paper which she leaves thoughtfully all over her dresser.

Although today is the actual BIG day, and I should probably stock up on hair dye since I’ll be needing that in the next year or nine of tween and teen drama, we did have a small party for her on Saturday.  Having a summer birthday has always been a bit difficult since many of her friends are on vacations or at grandparent’s houses.  Fortunately three of her good friends and a younger sibling (who happens to be a playmate of my youngest) were able to come for a little party.  Since we are all still obsessed with Harry Potter, she wanted another Harry Potter party.

Last year, I was up most of the night before preparing.  I had made signs, bought candy and made chocolate frogs, prepared a sorting hat and game, and even had a little Knockturn Alley with a plastic eyeball and skull candle.  It was a fantastic party with wandmaking and lots of butterbeer (cream soda).

This year I didn’t have the energy and because my daughter was turning 10, I told her she could do most of the prep work.  The party was a smaller one, with a lot less decorating but the energy level was about the same.  That’s always a good sign.  Unfortunately it rained almost the whole day.  Fortunately it stopped a few hours before the end so we all were able to take her aunt’s suggestion of using the pool.  What a wonderful suggestion that was!  I don’t think my ears could take the noise much longer.   In spite of the rain and strange-looking ‘Hogwarts castle’ cake , The girls had a great time and I overheard my daughter telling her dad it was an “Awesome Party”.

The next day we spent recovering at my parents house and celebrating my mother’s birthday (which is also today).  I barely moved from the couch and dozed off several times.  I wondered briefly, if my own mother had felt this way on my tenth birthday.  But then I must have fallen back into a doze.

I think back to when I was ten years old, and it really doesn’t feel that long ago.  But I guess it really was.  My daughter is becoming such a young lady now.  She is her own funny, intelligent and talented person.   It’s a scary ride. I’m not sure that I like it going this fast, but I don’t think I can slow it down.  I only hope that the next ten years don’t go as fast, but I rather think they will.

County Fair!

Despite the triple-digit temperatures which have become so common this year, summer has always been my favorite season.  I actually don’t mind the triple-digits too much either, as long as there is a pool handy.  Even a kiddie pool will make me happy.  In the season of high humidity and temperatures which verge on oven-like, the county fairs come to town.  Last year, the county fair took on a whole new meaning with my daughter involved in 4H and the small animal groups.  We spent a lot of time standing in a blistering hot tent with a bunch of rabbits and guinea pigs.  Not to mention an extremely antsy and bored 5-year old.  It was still fun and we still went on some rides.  This year however, my oldest red-head decided to forgo the fair in favor of a gymnastics class.  So, I took the little one.

Here is my clumsy attempt at a picture of the fair from a distance.  (I’m a writer not a photographer)

As luck would have it, it was a cool cloudy day.  Yesterday was quite literally 100 degrees, and today, a breezy 78 degrees.  I almost wished my oldest had decided to come to the fair, since it was so pleasant outside.  But that passed as soon as I saw my youngest tearing out the door of the car  in her eagerness to get to the fair.  (Besides, I  have seen my girls both doing acrobatics and I know they love it too much to pass up) Only two years ago the fair moved headquarters to a much bigger field with nice barns, stands for the equestrian shows, and lots of room for the rides.

We parked and found our way to the entrance of the fair, the smell of trampled grass strong.  I always loved that smell because it reminded me of when my mother worked craft fairs when I was young.  Since we went early, it wasn’t that crowded yet and soon enough we wandered, tickets in hand, to see what fun cheesy rides they had this year.  There were several.  Some I got to go on, since my daughter doesn’t grow, and come even a two-year old could ride by themselves meaning she could as well.  I must say they were all pretty enjoyable.  We both agreed that the boat was one of our favorites.  It was one of the rides that swings up and then sideways a bunch of times.

After the rides, which were difficult to part with, we wandered over to the animal tents.  I grew up being fortunate enough to go to my county’s fair as a kid.  I remember the dust of the midway, the continuous roar of stock cars over the whole event, and of course the food.  Now I live in a town which is on the edge of a fairly rural part of the state, so there is a big emphasis on farming and agriculture.   Hey, we’re not called the Garden State for nothing.  Besides officially our county fair is called the FARM fair.  So yes, it has tractor pulls, sheep shearing contests, and even corn husking.

After all those rides and animal gawking, what could be better than some ice-cold root beer in an overpriced mug (souvenir of the fair of course) some cheese fries, kettle corn, and a cotton candy bigger than my daughter’s head?  Nothing could be better, except a sausage sandwich.  I’ll have to wait for the boardwalk for that one.

Now we are settled at home and my daughter is snug in her bed.  How she can sleep after inhaling all that sugar I’ll never know. Now we have a whole year to wait for the next fair.  And who knows, maybe she will even be big enough to ride the junior roller coaster.

What are your summer traditions?  Do you have a favorite fair in your town?

By the way, I really hope someone caught my credit to Star Trek up there.