Thursday, December 17, 2015

Star Wars!

We have some good friends who are hardcore Star Wars fans and rented out an entire theater for the new film. We were lucky enough to be on the guest list. Sadly, Andy couldn't get back from Chicago in time, so I brought my brother Jesse as my plus-one. Also sad, I apparently can't read things correctly, and we got there an hour after we were supposed to. Luckily we arrived right as the movie started, but I was sad we missed the mingling and prize drawings and all the fun they'd set up before the show.

We had awesome seats, right in the middle, and a big ol' tub of popcorn. Once we were there, we settled in and had a great time.

Since my family didn't grow up on Star Wars and has never been into it, we bought Jesse a t-shirt so he'd fit in:

We left Nicky asleep at Grandma's house, and she did Princess Leia buns for Autumn. Autumn's shirt is her dad's vintage Star Wars shirt, circa 1980-something.

She looked adorable, but she didn't last long. She asked a million questions, said it was too scary, ate half a bucket of popcorn and drank most of the soda, and then she promptly fell asleep for the rest of the movie:

But Calvin LOVED it. We really liked the movie, and it was fun to see so many of our friends after it ended. Next time we'll show up when we're supposed to, but thankfully everything worked out.
We got home at about 2am. Both kids were fast asleep within seconds of their heads hitting their pillows.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Snow Day!

 It's always so magical having the first huge snowfall of the season! The kids are dying to get outside and play in it.

Nicky doesn't remember ever seeing anything like it. He is thrilled! It takes about 40 minutes to dress them all in warm winter gear, and they rush out the door, happy as can be:

They take their new sleds and dive into the powdery soft goodness of the fluffy snow:

They eat snow and pull each other on sleds:

And 15 minutes later, they stand at the bottom of the stairs and sob until I come get them.

To be fair, Calvin and Autumn played for about an hour, but Nicky did about as well as the rest of them did at his age. So he came inside and we packed away all the wet clothes we'd just taken out. Hooray for snow days!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Hoarder

One funny thing about Nicky is that he doesn't like to do things one at a time. He likes collections. Collections of Squinkies. Farm animals. Matchbox cars. Whatever. He puts them in buckets and carries them wherever he goes. He won't let them out of his sight--even at bedtime.

For bed, he takes whatever collection he's into at the time. His kitty and tiger. His bedtime books. And right now he's got a small collection of Christmas ornaments and snow globes sitting on top of his bucket full of farm animals. They must all be strategically placed before he'll go to sleep. Every morning, we have to unload all of it--including his pillow and blanket--right when he gets up.

Also, a few nights ago around 3am he was crying and yelling my name. I went into his room, and he said, "Pillow." He'd never slept with one or asked for one before, so I went and found one. He groggily said, "good boy, Mom," then went immediately back to sleep.

He's a quirky little kid. We love him. 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Wizard Party: Calvin, Age 8

For Calvin's birthday, he wanted a wizard party. We narrowed down the list to 25 kids (ugh), and we had a fantastic time! In planning the party, I learned that most wizard parties are either Wizard of Oz or Harry Potter related, so we had to be creative, but I think everyone had a lot of fun.

Luckily lots of our Halloween decorations could double as wizardy/dungeony stuff, so I just left them up, added a few things, and strung stars to the ceiling:

When the kids came, we introduced them to wizard training school, and they received a hat and wand:

They each received a training manual with several stations to complete.

A Magical Creature Hunt:

 The broom flying course:

Teaching your owl to fly (Throwing stuffed owls through hoops, which kids, including Calvin, surprisingly said was their favorite part.):

Spells and Potions:
They did the blow up a balloon with vinegar and baking soda trick, but we called it swamp water and ground up bones or something clever. Carrie acted as the Snape-like dark wizard and made it awesome.

Adorable wizards wandering the yard:
 I love this one. Bunches of wizards looking fierce.

The highlight of the party was the real-life wizard (magician) who came to perform some spells!
Calvin being the helper.

 Chasing a cloth mouse as all of the kids shrieked and squealed. 

I love this picture. For one trick, the magician was opening a can of soda that had been shaken. Autumn curled against the wall, cringing and shrieking for him not to do it! After the soda exploded, she was the one who laughed the loudest, but the anticipation definitely stressed her out!

 The Magician and his assistant doing their final trick.

Calvin has a cute little friend that couldn't come to the party because he'd broken his leg. Luckily, the sitting portion of the party was perfect because he could be with us. His awesome mom brought him just for the magic show.

 The whole crew.

 The birthday boy. We loved the wizard. He did a fantastic job and was great with the kids. Autumn asked him to come back for her birthday, so he was a hit!

After the magician, we wrapped up the party with treats and presents.

Usually we throw away a ton of food after these things, so this time we kept it simple with unicorn hair, pickled serpents, wizard hats, and dragon lips.
 Nicky carrying a cupcake and Calvin's new wizard staff.

Cake time!
  Tricky sparklers that kept lighting. They were a hit.

 Party favors:

It was a madhouse, but Calvin was sad when it was over, and the other kids seemed to have a great time. I'm so glad that the birthday boy thought it was the perfect party.

After the party, Nicky stole Calvin's gifts (and made them into crowns) until he went down for his long overdue nap.

Calvin played with his gifts and practiced his new magic tricks.

We had a low key afternoon and evening. Calvin received Nintendo Monopoly from his grandparents (he literally jumped and squealed when he opened it, he was so excited), so we kind of played it as a family. By kind of, I mean we all started, but then Andy ended up rolling and moving for me and Autumn while we drifted away.

Nicky and I played while I should have been concentrating on Monopoly:

And then we piled onto the bed, hanging out and talking about our favorite parts of the party:

It started out a busy, stressful, magical day and ended cozy and quiet. The very best kind of day.
Happy birthday, sweet boy. I hope that your 8th year is the best one yet!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Autumn's Interior Design

Autumn spent most of the day quietly in her room. When I went to check on her, I saw this:

Sure, there's a crazy amount of tape on the walls and marker on the sheets, but she was extremely proud of her artwork and the gallery she created, so it's hard to be mad.