Thursday, March 31, 2011

You've got mail!

See the cool new feature I have added there?  -------------->

You can submit your email address and when I publish a new post, you'll get a notice in your inbox that says so!  No wasting time to check and then see I've been lazy and haven't updated the blog.  You can just wait until you get an email and then come on over and read.  And if you haven't "liked" me on facebook what the hell is wrong with you? yet then this is a way to be updated about any new activity on the blog.  Ch-ch-check it out!

*The only thing I've discovered that's a negative about this feature is that if you just read the blog from that email notice, you miss all the fancy background, the pictures or graphics I may add, etc.  If you sign up for this, let it tell you of a new post and then actually come over to the website, mmmmm k?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Deliberately predictable

My life is deliberately predicatable.  It's not that I don't like things to be shaken up once in a while, but with a 2, 4, and 6 year old as well as a husband who works 7 days a week, I need to keep the sanity which means keeping the peace which means keeping the schedule.  Deliberately predictable.

Up at 7:30am, to school at 8:30am, to the gym, home from school at noon, nap at 1:00pm, karate, dinner at 5:30pm, bath at 6:30pm, bed at 7:00pm and 8:00pm respectively.  Every. single. day.  In between all that stuff are the things I can't control and that's when we laugh and cry and get in trouble and get injured and do, well, stuff.  Today I caught a few of those things on film and I thought I'd share.

A day usually isn't completely complete until William is injured by Drew.  You can't see it very well in this picture but his lip is split and swollen.  Drew was swinging an old school bicycle horn around and William was acting like a crazy boy trying to grab it from her and she turned with it and it wacked him in the kisser.


While I was playing nurse, Drew was drawing up an apology letter on the white board in the front livingroom.  She called us all in to have us sit down so she could read it to us.  He said, "I accept your apology."  I was thinking, "Really?  She has jacked you up so many times, I don't think you should."


Today was haircut day and for the first time Drew got her hair washed like a grown up!  She said, "I want to do that everytime we go now!"  Uhhh, that shit ain't free, girlfriend.  We'll see.


Rockin'-my-world tantrum in the driveway.  This was because I unbuckled her seatbelt for her rather than spending 20 minutes standing there while she attempted to do it herself.  She got out of the car and promptly threw herself onto the concrete. 


After karate the kids went right out back to play a game of baseball.  Love it.


Holytantrum hell

You know my happy girl?  The babe who slept so much as a 15 month old that she was the youngest person ever referred to the Kaiser sleep lab because she was seemingly normal in every other way but slept like a mother's dream?  The one smiled so much that Chris thought she was born with only half a brain?  The one who was so easy going and mild mannered and happy that I was almost embarrassed to have it so easy?  Yeah.  I remember her, too.  I'm not quite sure where she lives now, but I'm sure it's not here with us.  The girl who has taken her place keeps me on my toes, teaches me patience, and has kept my sense of humor on the front burner. It's the only way to deal with the dah-rahma that she seems to go through these days.  One minute she's laughing and chasing Drew and William and the next she has dramatically thrown herself to the ground in a brief fit of absolute hysteria.  I know it's normal.  I know she's 2.  I'm not trying to change it, I'm not complaining about it, and I think maybe someday I'll even miss it - these days of unpredictability in my very deliberate, predictable world.  And I'll just continue to keep my camera handy to capture it all.









Tuesday, March 29, 2011

~ What the Hell Wednesday ~



I love how they all handled it and I got to laughing so hard as I watched this clip.  I wish I was facebook friends with these guys, that must have been a fun afternoon of posting.  But don't you just kinda want to ask that guy, "What the hell were you thinking?"

The senses of spring

As I sit on the floor of the front livingroom while the kids play in the front yard I can see them teaching each other karate moves and being kind.  I can feel the warm sun on my feet.  I can hear Lauren's lullaby humming from her monitor.  I can smell my new favorite candle which is lit in the other room.  Hello, my friends.  It officially feels like spring has arrived.




*Tomorrow I will start what my friend Kristen suggested become of Wednesdays.  We'll call it, What the Hell Wednesday.  It may be difficult for me to choose what to post because there are at least 5 times a day that I catch myself thinking, "What the hell...?"  Stay tuned!


ALSO, I hit 60 followers yesterday (welcome, Megan!!).  Love all my readers, especially my followers.  If you're just a lurker, consider following.  I'd love it.



Monday, March 28, 2011

What the hell?

For real... what the hell?

Is this ever ok?  I'm not saying I've never thrown a pop tart at the kids in the car as we race to school but that's in an emergency situation.  This is different.  Isn't it? 


I know these dolls are really popular so clearly I'm one of the minority but I don't really want my girls playing with dolls that look kinda like drunk 20-somethings at a Kid Rock concert.

There is lots to talk about here but what I'm amazed by are the fake teeth. 



Surely you've heard of this by now.  It's Abercrombie&Fitch's new spring KIDS line.  This is the padded triangle bikini that is marketed towards chilren ages 7 to 14. 

Click here to see the story of this atrocious product.

What the hell??  Right??




Sunday, March 27, 2011

Perspective

Today while Chris was working hard in the kitchen making his famous pesto, he asked if I would run to the store to get more garlic and some fresh tomatoes.  I scooped Lauren up, walked passed the older two who were in a TV coma and we got in the car.  Instead of putting her into her own carseat, I put her into William's.  She's never sat in William's carseat before.  This meant that she was on the left side of the car as opposed to the right. 

We drove to our local grocery store, exactly one mile away.  This is not only where we go and shop weekly, it's also on our way to school (2x a day) and it's next to our Starbucks (1x a day) - all to say, she knows this route as well as I do.  Well, you'd have thought she was in a new car going to a new place in a town she's never been before.  She was oohing and aahhing and gasping and pointing and giggling.  At first I didn't understand what was wrong with her and then I realized - she had never seen her world from this side of the car before and it was thrilling for her.

Yet another life lesson this little childofmine has taught me.  Sometimes we just need to see things from a different perspective to really appreciate them.




Friday, March 25, 2011

Phrases from today

Today was a little difficult.  No particular reason, it just was, or seemed to be.  Phrases I said today:

  • I'm sorry, it's me, it's not you.
  • No, I don't know what.  What?
  • Please stop talking.
  • Didn't I just change your sheets for this reason yesterday?
  • If I have to tell you to leave her alone again I'm gonna...
  • I expect you to make better choices than that.
  • Is that a good idea?  Really?
  • What did I say?
  • Oh, I hope that policeman over there doesn't hear you two arguing
  • I'm not kidding. 
  • Does it look like I'm kidding?
  • I'm going to drop you off at the firehouse with daddy.  You can tell him that.

Those are just the ones I can remember saying and those were just from the last 2 hours or so.  These are the days that I'm just happy when they end.  Tomorrow is a new day.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

The secret revealed. For me, anyway.

I've mentioned before how my commitment now is to my health and not to my weight anymore.  I'm working out on average 5 out of 7 days and I commit to sweating and walking at least 3.5 miles at an incline.  That's it, end of story.  The scale hates me, even now.  I am discouraged by the lack of number change on that damn thing but am encouraged that today I fit into pants I haven't worn since, well, I don't know?  Right after William was born and I lost some weight I think.  Anyway, it's been a while and although the number on the pants is still too embarrassing to mention here, it's an accomplishment for me.  Just better food choices, still some old horrible ones, working out as often as possible to balance those out, and no more scale.  Maybe that's the secret.  Finally. Jesus.  I've only been looking for it for the last 15 years.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Neglectful? Bitchy? Judgemental? Yes, yes, and yes.

Today I decided to take Lauren to a place called Super Franks.  It's a place with big leather chairs and they serve Starbucks coffee.  The kids can play on all this awesome stuff and no matter where you are sitting you can see them so there is no need to actually have to do anything except sit and sip coffee and watch your little darling play.  Today, however, I took Lauren there after dropping the big kids off at school because I wanted to play with her.  Poor Lauren, the third child, who does nothing but what I do or what the big kids do.  She so rarely gets to do her own things.  The other two were enrolled in Music Together and tumble tots at this age.  Lauren goes to the gym and to Costco and to karate.  Those are her enrichment activities.  Anyway, I just wanted to play with her today in a new environment so we headed out 45 minutes away in the rain to this fabulous place.

It was crowded with... well, I don't really want to say it 'cause I'm afraid you'll think I'm terribly judgemental and bitchy and honestly, in most situations I'm not but I realized today that in these kinds of situations I totally am.  I don't tolerate (what I consider to be) bullshit very well.  It was crowded with ridiculously competitive stay-at-home moms whose kids had obnoxious names and not an inch to breathe away from their helicopter mommies.

Backing up a bit... 

I talk all day to Lauren.  I am beginning to think that one of the reasons she is a bit speech delayed and isn't speaking back to me in phrases is because she's afraid if she actually does, that I will talk to her even more.  And since she and I spend so much time alone together I am trying to be quiet a little more often and let her discover some things on her own.  This was true even today.  We played together for a little bit and then I sat down and just let her play on her own.  She's very much like Drew in that she'll approach a group of kids and just stand and watch them.  She smiles when they smile, she'll laugh when they laugh, but she doesn't want to get involved, she just observes and is happy to do so.  She fell off a 6 inch high thing and I let her lay there and look at me and figure out what she should do next.  Should she cry or smile back at me and get up?  She figured it out and I never once even almost got up to help her.  She was never injured or scared.  She was fine.  I left her alone and she had a grand time playing for a very long time.  I also figured if she wanted something to drink she'd let me know.  She's two, she lets her needs be known pretty well.

These other moms who were there - good Lord.  It was like a social experiment and I had a front row seat.  Maybe because of my Sociology background I found it uber fascinating but I think really it just came from my judgemental bitchy side.  If I wouldn't have seemed creepy I would have taken pictures of it all. 

Here's an example:

Helicopter mom:  "Are you having fun, honey?"
Obnoxiously named kid:  * * *
HM:  "Are you thirsty, honey?  I have some juice for you!"
ONK:  * * *
HM:  "Do you want me to take your shoes off for you?  Some of the other kids have their shoes off."
ONK: * * *

It went on and on and on and on.  The kid ignored his mom completely and she hovered over him like there were insects around that would have swarmed him otherwise.  All she did was talk to him and question him and offer him things and he never once answered her or paid attention to her. 

Another kid tripped and fell - over his own feet I might add - and the mom bolted out of her chair like it was on fire.  She picked him up and hugged him and swayed with him while the two friends of the mom came over to make sure he wasn't bleeding or hurt.  It was cah-razy.  One mom even went to get an ice pack.  The kid fell to the ground from his own feet, not from a 10 foot ladder.  He wasn't even crying.  The competitive, over-attentive nature of the moms was comical, but at the same time it's a little worrisome.  They are creating kids who are going to be the wussiest kids ever.  And not only that, these kids will expect things to literally but at their heels when they want it.

So, as I sit there seemingly ignoring my child by comparison and thinking these women are comical, sad, and give the rest of us stay-at-home moms a bad name, I realized what a bitch I am.  Not only can I not imagine creating monsters that those kids will more than likely become, but I can't imagine expending that much unneccesary energy on my children.  I suppose when you feel like you have compete and be The Best and The Most Attentive and The Most Concerned it's exhausting.  And even though those women probably thought I was The One Who Neglects Her Children, I can confidently say that I'm not exhausted and my kids will fall and cry while I look on sometimes.  Why?  'Cause I'm a bitch, I guess. 



Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Short and sweet

I stopped blogging everyday and I stopped being a vote whore on Top Mommy Blogs (after being in the top 10 for a few weeks - holla!).  I did add a few new features which helps YOU, my blog readers, to spread the love about my blog or about a particular blog post via facebook if you'd like.  I appreciate it all and just wanted to publish a really quick post to let you know one thing.



If you want to like me, too, it's super easy.
Just click here.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Do you like neat little gifts to give? Here's a good one

Isn't this wonderful??




I just pre-ordered this book (it hasn't been released yet) and you can, too, by clicking here if you'd like.  What a great little gift for a special little one in your life, don't you think?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

It's as easy as choosing sometimes

Today I woke up and thought, "I'm going to just be today."  Obviously there was breakfast to be made, laundry to be done, beds to be made, etc., but I wasn't going to hustle anywhere, put makeup on, or expect anything from anyone.  We had an unusually late night last night so the kids slept about 45 minutes later than they usually do.  That's always a good start to the day.  Chris came home after having been gone for lots of days.  Drew and I played Letter, Letter, Find the Missing Letter (a brilliant game I made up), I built towers with William, I made a peanut butter cake with peanut butter frosting, I cleaned out the toy closet, and now I sit here at 3:36pm IN MY PAJAMAS.  Lauren is napping and Chris took the big kids to the grocery store because tonight he's making firehouse chicken caesar salad for dinner.  After the kids go to bed I'll head to the gym to work off a bite or two of my fabulous dinner.  I kind of think the day could have had a whole different vibe if I hadn't woken up with a mission for the day.  It easily could have been a crappy rainy day, stuck in the house, nothing to do, blah, blah, blah.  It's all about the attitude and I'm so glad today I chose to have a good one.




 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Gym ugly

*I'm tired, sore, and feeling snarky so this post may have an unusual number of bad words in it.  This is not an apology, it's an FYI*

I've been going to the gym now for 44 days.  How do I know it's been 44 days?  Here's how:


I'm keeping track.  I'm not really sure why, but I am.  This hangs on the back wall in my bathroom.  I cross off everyday and I write "gym" if I went to the gym that day.  At a glance I can see how I'm doing.  This is the first time I'm not really tracking my weight, just my activity.  The weight will surely fall into place as my activity level remains high.  I also know that every single time I've gone to the gym I've walked at least 3.5 miles.  I walk at an incline and I walk at a pace of 3.8 mph and I walk 3.5 miles.  I commit to those three things and nothing more at this point.  This body does not and will not run.  I'm not lifting any weights at this point.  I'll start soon probably but for now, this is my schtick.

So.  Today I went to the Dr. for an issue I won't bore you with and I stepped on the scale.  I saw the number and I almost said out loud, "OH, I'm calling BULLSHIT on that one."  No fucking way do I weigh that.  I am not delusional and think that I've lost all 40 pounds that I have to go but seriously.  The number that appeared was ridiculous.  I was pissed.  Like PISSED, for the rest of the afternoon.  How dumb is that?  The number thing is so ridiculous.  It's about health and how you feel and how your clothes fit.  Screw the scale.  Especially that scale at Kaiser.  That scale fucking sucks.

Tonight I went to the gym after the kids went to bed and I got ugly.  Like gym ugly.  You know what I'm talking about?  Hair pulled back and the fly-aways pinned back so I was all face.  I was super sweaty and still pissed at the scale at Kaiser which implied that I wasn't working hard enough at the gym.  I was also watching Biggest Loser which is a huge incentive in itself.  My iPod was set to "power songs" and it played great song after great song.  I walk with the app Nike+GPS and before I knew it Miss Nike was announcing to me that I'd completed 3 miles and I was honestly surprised.  I felt like I could have kept going and going.  Then I looked at the clock and knew that Chris was home and my pajamas were waiting for me.  I finished my 0.5 miles, cooled down for another quarter mile and called it a day.

Discouraged is not something I need to become which is why for the first time I'm letting my clothes and my chart tell me how I'm doing, not my scale.  And especially not that Kaiser scale.  Damn that thing for ruining my afternoon.

Here's to getting gym ugly a little more often.



   

Yellow!

I try to use this blog as a place to vent and gripe and share and I try to stay away from using this a braggy platform but at the same time, it's my blog.  It's my family diary.  So here I go:

They are now yellow belts!






Amazing National Geographic picture


It's hard to read here but the text under the picture reads:

This is a picture taken directly above these camels in the desert at sunset.  It is considered one of the best pictures of the year.  Look closely, the camels are the little white lines in the picture.  The black you see are just their shadows.






Monday, March 14, 2011

Sending God a message

Today we had our routine 6-month dentist appointment for William.  Last time he went he was a freaking superstar.  This time wasn't much different although he was very nervous on the drive there.  He said as we were pulling into the parking lot, "My heart feels a little nuhvous.  It's thumping hard like I've been running." 

In addition to high fives, verbal praises, a goodie bag, and having his picture put on the bulletin board, William got a red balloon as we left the dentist's office.  When we got into the car he said, " I think I want to give this balloon to God."  When we got home he asked Chris to write a note on it telling God that he'd been to the dentist and that he did well.  Chris did and then we went outside for him to send his message up to the heavens.  




That William,  he's a sweet kid.


 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Dining alone, despite the weather

We've had such warmish lovely days the last week or so.  Today is kind of not-so-much.  After feeling like spring is here! it's kind of back to that wintery feeling, even if for just a day.  I like it.  I like the come-home-and-put-your-pajama-bottoms-back-on-and-snuggle-under-a-blanket-while-watching-Funniest-Home-Videos-with-the-kids kinda weather.  I look forward to warm spring days but I really like days like today, too.  I know these are some of the last ones until November.

While the rest of us took to the indoors, Lauren took her afternoon snack of peanut butter, a spoon, and some pretzels to the backyard.  She must like these kinds of days, too.



Pretty soon it'll be nakie girl with popsicle all over her face.  Good thing she likes baths and I love doing laundry.


Have to add this:

My mom (their Nana) is in Florida at the Red Sox Spring Training camp as I type this.  Here are the kids getting in the spirit themselves.  Drew will be attending her first Red Sox game at Fenway in June.  She's already feeling the fevah.






Kinda like a cuppa coffee

Last night I went with one of my best friends to The State Theatre to see a little independent film.  The State Theatre is such a neat place, one of the kinds of places the community should absolutely support and frequent.  They play independent films, old films, live concerts, and film festivals.  It was renovated a few years ago and is very quaint and cozy.  And they serve beer!  and wine!  and coffee!  



We saw the movie Barney's Version, based on the award-winning novel of the same name by Mordecai Richler.  It was warm and funny and random but at the heart of it was a very sweet love story.  The cast consisted of numerous well-known actors and it was overall enjoyable.  If for no other reason, I got to spend kid-free time with one of my girlfriends, enjoy a nice dinner, and an adult movie.  A movie that had no animation or spontaneous singing.  A movie where they said the s-word (gasp!) and the f-word (GASP!) and I was unafraid of any little ears around hearing.  It was lovely, I must say.



The State is playing On the Waterfront in a few weeks, a movie I've never seen.  What a neat place to go to see such a film.  I may try and steal away again to go see it, even if by myself.  And you know I'll be sitting there with the biggest coffee they offer. 

Come to think of it, time away from home, even if just across town by myself, is kind of like a big cuppa coffee.  It's comforting, sometimes refreshing, necessary, and no matter what the price, it's worth it.  Always.  I have never regretted any cuppa coffee I've ever bought and I've never regretted any time away from home I've ever spent. 



By the way, how are we hanging in there with one hour less sleep?  


 



  

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Schtuff

The baby of the family.  I never really understood it... until NOW.  I find myself saying, "Whatever she wants, just give it to her."  "Who is making her cry?  Stop it.  Just leave her alone."  "Drew?  Find out what Lauren wants and just give it to her, I'm tired of listening to her whine."  HOLY HELL.  What am I creating?  A baby, that's what.  A spoiled little girl, I'm afraid.  But for reals.  I'm just tired of listening to it, you know?  After 6 years I've finally been worn down.  I need to put my mommy pants back on and get control back.  I never would have allowed the other two to get what they want just 'cause they made noise about it. 


See how happy I am?  'Cause I get every thing I want!  I just fuss and they give it to me!  Bwahahahaha!



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I lost William at school the other day.  He's not one to wander but that day he did, he wandered down a back hallway in the building where we often will go to roll the ball or practicing skipping when we have a few minutes to kill.  Only I didn't see him go that way and when I peeked down there I didn't see him.  Within minutes there was a teacher, 4 other moms, and me looking for William and running around screaming his name.  I ran into the parking lot and stopped cars asking if they'd seen him.  It was absolutely terrifying and it's just now, 48 hours later, that I've shaken the feeling.  One of the teachers discovered him in the hallway playing and brought him to me and I bust into a puddle of tears and so did he.  He is a sensitive boy and doesn't handle me crying very well plus he felt immediate remorse.  He was just playing, it wasn't intentional.  He was aware of all the other moms standing around and the relief we all felt and... well, it was just awful.  That night when I put him to bed I said, "Do you understand how I felt when I saw Mrs. Eusebio bring you out to me?"  He said, "You were just so happy I wasn't stolen by a stranger that you got on your knees and cried."  That pretty much summed it up.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It's no secret that I'm not an average sized woman (or maybe I am?)  I have struggled and will struggle for the rest of my life I'm afraid.  I lose and gain weight every year.  The difference with my commitment this time is that my goal isn't to get thinner, it's to get healthier.  I've never done anything under that pretense before.  I go to the gym probably 6 days out of 7 and more often than not Lauren comes with me to the daycare there because Chris is either at the firehouse or is teaching.  She's kind of meh about it but it has to be done.  One thing I'm discovering now that I'm 6 weeks into Operation Healthy Self and possible Operation Sleeveless Summer is that something has to give and at this point it's the house.  It's always clean but almost always a mess.  There is a huge difference, you know.  But as I told Chris last night, we both can't look good.  Either it's the house or me.  Which would he prefer?



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Chris is the King of Research.  Those of you who know him know what I mean.  Our friends call us to see what kind of camera we have, what kind of TV we have, what kind of ceiling fans are best.  I'm not kidding.  Chris is like a human Consumer Reports.  When most people get 3 estimates for something, he gets 7.  I'm not kidding.  It drives me apeshit and I'm kind of over it.  We are getting all new replacement windows in the house in a couple weeks after 2 months of researching different kinds, companies, and numerous estimates.  We are now looking at buying a front door and I swear to God, the process is going to kill me.  I actually spoke the words, "Let's just get a ghetto screen and call it a day.  I can't look at doors anymore."  IT'S A DOOOOOOOOR.  Good Lord.  I can't stand it. 

We've consulted the construction company that did some work for us a year ago and we've had the designers draw up a new kitchen for us.  We're nearly ready to give it all the OK and start on a big kitchen remodel but I've actually said I think we should hold off.  I think a kitchen remodel right now will result in one of three things:  1)  Chris will end up on blood pressure medicine.  2)  We'll get divorced.  3)  I'll resign myself from the whole process because I can't stand the intense research for every single thing and I'll end up compromising completely on everything.  None of those options is good so I think we may put it off.  I've been wishing for us to start remodeling this house since we moved in 6 years ago and I can't believe I'm wanting to put it off now that we're finally there but I just can't stand it.  We need to find a happy medium. 

Dear Pretty Door, I'm sorry I didn't fight harder for you but Chris is psycho and I had to just give up.  Love, Ashley


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The kids are taking karate and it's my new passion.  Watching them in karate class is so thrilling for me.  They are focused, strong, capable, and succeeding.  I can't get enough of it. 







Monday, March 7, 2011

Thank goodness for primal instincts

Isn't it amazing the survival traits we have as humans?  The primal instincts we have that help protect us and keep us safe?  Fight or flight is probably the most obvious and the most understood.  The least obvious and by far the least understood is the Tunethemout instinct.  All mothers have it.  You've seen those who are blessed with it.  They are the mothers who are absolutely paying no attention to their child (children) in the store or at the mall as they cry or whine or fight with their siblings.  The mothers continue to shop and read labels and look beyond the kids as if they are not there.  You may look at her and think, "Jesus, pay attention to your child!  Shut them up!  Keep them quiet!  Teach them some manners!"  It's not that she doesn't want to do those things but it's that she doesn't hear the nonsense going on.  For reals.  It's that tunethemout instinct that has kicked in and for her to remain sane and survive the day she has to tune them out.  She has to.  It may be annoying to you, the patron of the store who has to listen to those kids, but just deal with it.  You get to get into your quiet car or go home to your quiet house.  That lady is stuck with those kids.  Not just for the day but forever.  Think about it.  But don't pity her, and don't judge her.  Give her a break.  Chances are she's already had a helluva day.  She doesn't need some stranger giving her the stink eye.  But even if they did, it's likely she'd tune them out, too.





Sunday, March 6, 2011

Our last second birthday

Lauren's 2nd birthday celebration was yesterday and not only were we blessed with amazing weather and good food, we had so many loved ones and friends and happy kids that my backyard became more magical than ever before.  We also had such fantastic entertainment in the band The Afternaps

I won't bore you with a ton of text.  Our day, in pictures (and one video!):


The day before, the beginning of making 72 cupcakes


After making probably 1,000 cupcakes in the last 5 years, I finally discovered the most perfect way to not make a huge mess while filling them.


Sparkly cupcakes


The birthday girl on the morning of her party


The band, The Afternaps, with some of our youngest guests


The hokey pokey - with a beer in hand, no less! 


My girls and me enjoying the concert


The drawing table kept some of the younger ones quite busy


Lauren said, "Screw the coloring table.  I'm using my dress."


Blowing out her candles


Party of 5 after another birthday celebration.  And no, I have no idea what the hell that face is that William is making.

Seriously, a HUGE thanks and lots of love to every single person who came and shared the day with us.  Each of you is what helps make our Party of 5 so strong.  Friendship, support, and love is what it's all about.  And thanks to The Afternaps for making the day unforgettable!!

 

THE AFTERNAPS at the party!



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