Wordless Wednesday


Making the Best of Things

J is in DC again this week.  It has been a tough time for me.  I guess I haven’t felt completely “right” ever since the Mother’s Day program at my son’s school.  The whole quick march of time, kids growing up, me growing old thing.  Ugh!  It’s overwhelming to think that I pretty much have a first grader and another son who will be entering his last year of preschool. J taking off for a week just compounded my crumminess.  Pile on loneliness and I feel even lower.

On Wednesday Cutie Pie refused to take a nap at his normal nap time.  I figured he could probably hang until bed time but I was wrong.  I found him soundly slumbering in our living room when I emerged from my shower after teaching Zumba.  I had big plans to keep really busy so I would not dwell on the fact that I missed J so much.  I wanted to take the boys for pizza at our favorite little spot on the beach.  When I couldn’t rouse Cutie Pie from his nap, Wildman and I chose to order a pizza instead.

Wildman and I went out front to enjoy the unusually cool temperatures we’ve recently experienced while we waited for the delivery guy to bring dinner.  I used the stop watch app on my iphone to time his bike ride down to the corner and back.  I also timed his sprint from our front yard to our neighbor’s tree and back.  We played a bit of hopscotch on the sidewalk too.  He wanted me to draw the game squares up to number 20.  I told him I’d number squares until my chalk ran out.  I got up to number 14.  He did the rest up to 20.  Cutie Pie continued to saw logs…

Our pizza finally arrived after half an hour or so.  Wildman suggested eating on  his playground clubhouse platform which I thought was a terrific idea.  The cool breeze, setting sun and sweet little boy company made for a perfect dining experience.  Cutie Pie would not budge from his place of rest on the leather chair…

We even brought out some peanuts to put on the fence for the squirrels.

Eventually Cutie Pie woke up, the sun sank low and we retreated indoors for baths, books and bed time.  I admit that I’m still in a kind of funk, an emotional mess, if you will, but those precious moments with Wildman made me realize just how wonderful life is.  The simple pleasures of a shared hopscotch game and a slice of pizza in the spring breeze are what life is all about.

I am blessed.

Super Mario Bros. Birthday Bash

We had an early birthday bash for Wildman at our house on Sunday.  The theme?  SUPER MARIO BROTHERS!  It’s his latest obsession.  I knew nothing of Super Mario Bros. prior to planning this party so I consulted the Internet for some ideas.  Most of my inspiration came from here and here.

The children each got their own Mario or Luigi hat and mustache.  I had some tiaras for the girls to be Princess Peach.

I made felt mushroom head pouches for the children to keep their collected coins in.  There was no sewing involved!  Score!  We played several games for gold coins: a Yoshi egg hunt, zip-lining onto colored squares that had coins taped to the back and the pinata was loaded with them!  The child with the most coins won a Mario t-shirt.  The winner was Wildman’s friend, O, who collected a whopping 35 coins!

One of the Yoshi eggs contained a “w”.  The person who found that lucky egg won a Mario Bros. cartoon DVD.

The children also played ladder ball for a prize of a Christmas book.

I served lots of veggies and dip, that awesome pineapple salsa, queso, pizza, lime sherbet/7-up punch, as well as lots of beer and wine for the adults.  A paper pieced goomba marked the adult drink tub.

In lieu of a sheet cake or layered round cake, I made mushroom head cupcakes.  The white dots are white chocolate discs used for melting and making lollipops.  I made 3 dozen cupcakes for our herd of 20 children.  Half were white cake and half were carrot cake.  All were a hit!

Luckily the weather cooperated and we had gorgeous sunny skies for the party!  It rained at 11 AM and by 2 PM (party time) all the bad weather had moved out.  Whew!  I didn’t know what I was going to do with all of those people if it rained.  All of our games took place in the yard!  I’m so glad it all worked out.

I made each child a Yoshi treat bag to fill up with their choice of candy from a candy buffet that I had set up on our glass dining table.  The kids were over the moon to get to choose their treats.  I had containers of chocolate coins, Mario fruit snacks, rainbow lollipops, rainbow candy canes, Sunkist gummy candies, gumballs, and extra mustaches laid out for them.

I’d definitely call this party a success!  I had fun preparing for it and the kiddos had a blast all afternoon long.  But given how much effort I put into making all of the favors and decorations, I think I’m going to institute the every-other-year birthday plan.  Next year, I think the boys will get to choose a fun family activity for their birthday.  It’s exhausting hosting birthday parties!!!

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