gag-gle noun \ˈga-gəl\ : a group, aggregation, or cluster lacking organization, which is exactly how I feel about my family every day.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Some things that happened

Here are some things that happened. 

Reese got a new shirt for the 4th of July

Liam got a new shirt for the 4th of July

Liam wanted to be photographed in costume

Peach decided to chill on the side table rather than the chair.

I thought it was funny, but Will later confessed to me that he spilled a sweet drink on the table.

The kids played with boxes I was turning into cars for Liam's birthday party.

Liam got an extra set of monster truck tracks at his party, so now we have 4 tracks, enough for the family.

Liam's birthday and party

On his birthday:

We went out to eat at a restaurant with a play place, then came home for gifts and cupcakes.

For the party:

we played trains and watched Thomas the Tank Engine while waiting for guests to arrive
(Liam had just finished a megatantrum and was finally allowed to come down to the party in this picture)

Photo credits go to Uncle Mike, who was nice enough to take over the camera for me.

Then we all colored our own helicopter blades

Then we took those helicopter blades outside and raced helicopter balloons

Then each kid got to pick a car.

And we played go-cart battle, a la Mariocart

The kids each got a balloon tied to his or her ankle. 

And they proceeded to try and pop each other's balloons by stepping on them.

When your balloon got popped, you had to make a pit stop.  

Will and I were the pit crew, and we kept putting on balloons until we were out.

After we were out of balloons, we ended up with a stalemate between three kids, who were chasing each other in circles, so we declared a three-way tie.

Then presents!

There was no rhyme or reason to this.

Mostly the kids jostled to the get close to Liam and sort of hurled presents at him until they all got opened.

And then we ate cake.

Then, not pictured, we played with toys and had some monster truck races with pull-back monster trucks that the kids got to take home with them.  They also got to keep their go-carts.

Birthday Prep

Liam's birthday party was a big stress for me this year.  He wanted a monster truck party.  He settled for a cars and trucks and such party.

We do the every-other-year birthday party thing for our kids, and I've decided that the fancy cakes will be left for the off-years.  Planning and executing a party is enough work.  The cake was simple this year.

However, those grocery store cakes are marginally tasty, expensive, and small.  So, being a cheap mom, I found a suitable alternative.

I purchased a delicious Costco sheet cake, that feeds, like, a thousand people,

I asked for all white so there wouldn't be any color to get in the way of my plans.

And asked for some extra icing on the side (they gave me a small amount for free). I cut out an extra piece of cardboard from the packaging

And took off the decorations on the top.  I put the extra icing from the top of the cake into a bowl.

Then I cut the cake in half

And used the icing I took off to frost the cut sides...

and the extra icing they gave me to re-finish the borders

Then put some color and sprinkles on the top.  The solid blue one was then put in to the freezer for Reese's party next month.

And then I put the Disney Cars monster trucks that Liam wanted for his birthday on top.

Twice the cake of a grocery store for 3/4 the price!

Also, the party itself was fairly inexpensive, but a lot of work.  I asked family and friends to donate diaper boxes and turned them in to cars for the kids.  The fun part was the finishing touches.  Each car had it's own design and name.  Decorating them was the funnest part of the party planning.

I'm actually pretty proud of them:

"Star Shooter"

"King of the Jungle"

"Autobot" (Liam wanted a monster truck, so it has bigger wheels)

"Red Cobra"



"Green Dragon"


"Hot Wheels"


"Sun Blast"

(Sun Blast was originally a poinsettia car, because that's what Reese wanted, but then she saw some of the others that I did and changed her mind.  And I couldn't just keep a flower car, so it got painted over.)