BIRTHDAY PARTY AND THE ENSUING RECOVERY
I think we've finally recovered from the weekend festivities. Birthday parties are something I really look forward to, but am also glad when they are over and I don't have to think about them anymore.
We've been lucky in the past that we've never had a birthday party rained out before (though living in sunny AZ could have helped our "luck"). This year the streak was broken with a complete day of downpour! All in all, it rained almost 7 inches on Saturday! So, what was supposed to be a relaxing day at the park where there would have been lots of room for the kids to run and play turned into a small chaotic festival in our house. Don't get me wrong, we still had a great time, it was just a little cramped and crazy. Thanks everyone for your support!
We started off with Recycle Scategories where everyone had to list an alternative use for some specific recycled items such as a catsup bottle, a toilet paper roll, a plastic bag, etc. Then we did bowling with pins that were made of recycled juice bottles filled with rocks (Eric's been bringing them home from work for the past several weeks). For prizes we gave out those reusable grocery bags you can buy from the supermarket. I had thought of other games, but they were more conducive to the park scene, so we just bagged them.
Eric started the grill during a light rain part of the day only to find out five minutes later that the gas had run out. We resumed our "BBQ" in our already-full kitchen... just in time to beat the heavy downpour of rain that came.
Everyone was so great to bring "recycled" presents as we had requested. Ethan got a lot of fun stuff... everything from a Noah's Ark Little People set, to a bug box, electronic toys to puzzles to a baseball hat, to tractors, blocks and a mini piano. It was fun that everyone wrapped their gifts in recycled stuff too. It's nice to have a change in toy selection, but great too that people didn't spend a lot on the gifts.
Our pride and joy... the cake was eaten next. Eric knows that for the kids birthdays I go a little crazy about making a fun cake. I decided that next to making a cake with a recycle symbol (how boring would that be?), a tractor cake would be sort of along the theme of my party. It was green at least and sort of represents gardening. It was a team effort to make the cake on Friday and Saturday morning, but it turned out pretty great.
Kudos to Eric who even attempted the John Deere symbol in icing on top. I was ready to just forget it, but it turned out amazing!...
Of course it could have looked like a tractor heap and the kids would have still liked it... They sure liked sticking their fingers into the frosting.It tasted as good as it looked too. I did a half and half cream cheese and butter cream frosting... it was very hard to work with, but delicious! Having the party at the park would have also facilitated clean-up, but fortunately for me, my friend Paola stayed behind and helped me clean the kitchen while Eric played with our kids. It's amazing how much easier it is to clean when you are talking with someone and when you don't have kids running around! We finished cleaning, mopping and vacuuming later in the evening and were very proud of ourselves for going to bed with a clean house.
HIS AND HER PROJECTS
So this is the project I've been working on for the past month... a playmat for Ethan's Birthday. I have loved doing it, but am very glad it is done too... This is Eric's project:One night I'm in bed and Eric is downstairs getting some water. I ask him if he's coming and he says that he'll be just a minute because he has a surprise for me. About 45 minutes later (after I've fallen asleep and woken up again) he's still down there, so I go to investigate. It turns out he sort of ran into a small frog (above) when he was going to get water. He decided to catch said frog and it turned into a 2.5 hour surprise chase! The smart frog first hopped under the dishwasher. It was there I found my Honey trying to probe the frog out with a metal hanger. After contemplating removal of the dishwasher, Eric decided it would be better to go look outside for another frog. We turned out the lights in the kitchen and Eric wandered around outside our house for 20-30 minutes trying to find another frog. Coming up empty-handed, he came back into the house where we discovered the frog had emerged from under the dishwasher. Eric tried to catch it again, but this time he hopped under the oven. Brilliantly, while Eric was trying to coax it out from under the oven, I covered up the holes under the dishwasher with hotpads and a towel so he couldn't go under there again (I was really afraid that if he did go under there again, the dishwasher would end up sitting in the middle of our kitchen). The frog finally came out from under the oven (I think being poked by a metal rod had something to do with it) and tried to go under the dishwasher again. He landed in the towel and we finally caught him. So, we were supposed to go to bed at 9:30 and finally got in bed about 11:45. That was a surprise alright! After determining that our frog was a Spotted Chorus Frog and deciding that keeping a wild frog was not the best idea, we kept him until morning until we could show the kids. We then released him into the backyard. What an adventure! I bet he'll think twice before trying to come into our house again... We're still not sure how he got there, which issue is a little disturbing because if a one inch frog can come into our house, I wonder what else might try.
THE OTHER STUFF
Are you still with me? I'm almost done. Just a few quick pictures of Ethan's hobby... pouring water over his head, gasping for breath and then smiling and doing it all over. And, to finish, I've been bested by a novice shopper! We went to the grocery store for some frozen wings (because I wouldn't let Eric buy them at a restaurant). He found some on sale for $6.99 (they were regularly $8.99). They rang up $7.99 and we told the checker that they were listed for $6.99. I ran back and got the tag to show her. The manager walked by, looked at the tag and told the checker that the tag was three months old and just to give us the wings for free! Now, Eric, who has been "scolded" multiple times by me for not finding the cheapest item or for not checking prices as the items are scanned, is holding this one little incident over my head to prove he is the better shopper. Does that seem fair? :)