Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Jake Games - or - What Were We Thinking?!

Just a quick post today.  We're in it up to our eyeballs over here at the Bond house.  Jake's birthday is this week and things have gotten...well...let's just say we have a lot to do.

We decided to do something we haven't done since Jake's 1st birthday -- we decided to throw a home party.  Jake wanted a pottery painting party.  You know what I'm talking about?  You go to a studio, paint clay bisque and they glaze & fire it for you.  About a week later, you return to the store to pick up the pot/plate/coffee cup/sad-eyed figurine you thought was going to be so cute and walk out with a hideous piece of OMG-what-was-I-thinking that will take up space you do not have in the back of some cupboard.  Yep, that's what Jake wanted to do for his birthday party this year.  Well, I wasn't totally convinced that this was enough fun for a group of 6 year old boys.  So, I found a pottery place that will let you do the painting at home.  GREAT!!  We can have a home party!  We can throw some raucous fun and games into the mix.  We don't have to worry about breaking anything in the shop.  PERFECT!!

We decided to host the party on a Friday night in lieu of the typical Saturday party.  It's fall sports season and let's face it, nobody needs to squeeze in a birthday party between soccer games.  At least we don't.  So we picked Friday.  Jake made the guest list.  He wanted 20 kids at his party. Sounded like a LOT of kids to me.  But it's a home party, so whatever, right?  It is kind of a weird time for Jake, friend-wise and we were having a tough time drawing a line.  He's got his Infinite Bounds friends, he's got his soccer friends, his baseball friends, his neighborhood friends, and his new Kindergarten friends.  So, we let Jake invite whomever he wanted.  Really, it's a home party, whatever.  The more the merrier...right?

We ended up with 23 on the guest list, which sounded  reasonable - on the big side, but not insane.  Well, then I accidentally invited a few more (long story).  Then invitees decided that the siblings would like to come too.  Actually, I'd already assumed/invited some siblings to join the fun.  However, I also assumed that there would be some kids who couldn't make it.  Well, I assumed incorrectly on that one.  There are still a few outstanding invitations, but the current number of confirmed guests stands at 31.  We've nixed the pottery painting idea because I only bought supplies for 25 kids.  (Hmmm...just what am I going to do with all this unpainted pottery?!)  Instead, we're hosting The Jake Games.  Our guests will be participating in a series of sporting contests in the front yard & driveway.  It's going to be crazy, but it's going to be fun. 

Oh!  And as if planning a party for +30 kids wasn't enough of a challenge already, we decided that Jake's room needed an updated look.  So, on top of working out the logistics of The Jake Games, we're also installing bookshelves, painting & primping Jake's big boy bedroom.  Oh yeah!  It's madness around here!  What were we thinking?!?!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Soccer Delila Style -or- The Deal

Last winter, all Delila could talk about was, "when I have MY t-ball...", and, "when I have MY soccer...".  T-ball went fine, and Lila did quite well.  Soccer...well, it's a bit of a different story.  When we were putting the team together, she was very excited about it, but now that the season's actually begun...well, she's singing a different tune.  In spite of the pink shoe laces...

and the well-coordinated, hoochy practice attire, our sporty little lady has put up all kinds of resistance to actually playing the game.  Practices have been an exercise in public child abuse avoidance for me.  Exasperation doesn't even begin to sum it up.  Game day was not much different.  Her game was at 9:00.  Her insistence that she wasn't playing began around 7:30.  And, for the first time in my parenting experience, I resorted to outright bribery to get her to play.  "Delila, if you stop screaming, put on these clothes, go out an play without tears & tantrums, I will...."  ~sigh~  It doesn't make me proud, but, with a few gentle reminders, our Deal did the trick.

She was all pregame smiles for Daddy...
 ...and tickled pink with the tastefully understated game day hair accessory provided by Ms. Lisa.
In spite of it all, she was still a little trepidatious about going out on the field.  (When I asked her why, she said she was afraid she wouldn't be any good.  Ahhh...our little perfectionist.  Wonder where she gets that from.)

One more reminder of our Deal and she was ready to take the field...
...and ready to score some goals!
Unfortunately for Delila, so was Calder - who's a little bigger, a little faster, and a little more competitive.
Our poor little Ladybug ended the game with a broken heart. (A game which we won 4 - 2, according to Big Brother, Jake)

The tears quickly subsided once the Deal was honored:  a "Hannah M'Tana" CD to call her very own.  It made her very happy, and crowned me "The best Mommy in the whole world"...for about 15 minutes.  Totally worth it! Next week's game's at 10:00.  I'm hoping it'll go a little better.  I'm hoping I wont have to make any more deals and that Delila scores a goal.  Keep your fingers crossed...for both of us.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Left Behind (or Project Princess)

There's a little girl in our house who is a bit confused these days.  You see, for as long as she can remember, she's gone almost everywhere with her brother.  She's gone to school with him, to the kids club at the gym with him, to soccer practice, t-ball practice, birthday parties, etc...all with him.  Sure, every now and then she's gone to the store with 'just Daddy' or 'just Mommy', but for the most part she's spent all her time with her brother.  Well, all that's changed.  Now that Jake's in Kindergarten, Delila is...well...on her own.  She doesn't understand it at all.  Everyday when we drop Jake off at school she asks why we aren't staying.  She goes on and on about kindergarten, and seems to be making a point of learning as many names as she can.  The names of Jake's teachers and classmates, the school songs and motto, she's committing them all to memory.  She'll be well-prepared two years from now when it's her turn.  But in the meantime, I can't help but think she's feeling a little not-so-special these days. 

It's bad enough that Lila's being left out of the whole school thing, but to make matters worse, two weekends ago Jake attended a birthday party to which Delila was not invited.  She was really upset about it.  Fortunately, the next day she received an invitation to a Princess Party from one of her gymnastics friends.  She was quite pleased to learn that Jake was not invited.  She was also pleased with the whole "princess" aspect of the party, and informed me that she would need to wear a princess dress.  Oh! and that she wanted a princess hat to go with it!  You know, the pointy kind!  I told her that I'd be happy to make her a pointy princess hat...and a dress, if she wanted one.  And Project Princess was born.
Delila and I went to the fabric store to pick out "princess fabric".  We came home with a small bag of really lovely and outrageously expensive snippets.  She was so excited about it, what was I supposed to do?  Say "Sorry, Ladybug" and head off to the Disney store?!  No way
Next up was the daunting task of getting our little girl with the kingdom-sized attitude to stand still long enough to get the critical measurements.  Since that wasn't going so well, I decided to make a mock-up out of muslin first. (There was no way I was coughing up more money on this crazy project because of miscalculations.)  Suffice to say, Her Little Royalness did not care for the ugly muslin "not a princess dress" at all!  But...
...once all the nipping and tucking were done and I started putting the real deal dress together, her attitude changed...just a bit...and only for a very little while.  (She really has a thing or two to learn if she's not going to be a 'ready-to-wear' kinda girl.) 
Yes, I had other things to do with my time and certainly more useful things to do with our money, but I'd say it was worth it.  After all, isn't it my job to make my little girl feel like a real-deal  Princess?  I'll admit that at times,  Project Princess left me feeling more minion than mommy, but that smile right there...well that makes me feel just a little like a real-deal Fairy Godmother.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day Hurricanes

It's Labor Day weekend and we've been working hard and playing hard.  I spent an entire day cleaning up the family room/kitchen - trying to get things under control.  Maintaining control of all the stuff that comes along with parenting is what I find to be the most challenging aspect of this job.  I can deal with the sibling spats and long as the house is in order.  I can deal with the rat race of getting kids dressed, fed and out the door to school/practices/ long as the house is in order.  I can even deal with doing 7 loads of laundry every long as the house is in order.   The problem is that as soon as I get one room tidied up...well, two little hurricanes are off in another room somewhere doing this!

I know, I know, at least they're not trying to kill each the moment.  I should consider that a blessing.  But somehow at this moment, I'd rather have a clean house.

Well, I'd love to write more, but it looks like I have a little more cleaning up to do before the weekend's over. you think I could get some Federal Disaster Relief money?