Friday, November 02, 2007
Many Many Happies
I did a fun thing last night. I was in Bountiful helping out my friend for a bit, and both of us realized that we had occupied husbands for the evening so we decided to hang out at Costco. Perhaps this does not sound like a very exciting field trip to you, but we had a great time. The two of us plus our combined six kids made for quite the gaggle, but she has kids a little older whom C totally adores and follows like a puppy. We ate pizza and hotdogs, and then wandered through the toy section. Usually at Costco I feel like I'm on some sort of mission impossible trying to prevent my kids from even seeing the toys. Sometimes I'll drive them through the isles, but I never just hang out there and let them touch everything they want, which is what we did. The hit of the evening was this giant horse - giant like as tall as my five-year old. R about went berserk. Kids could sit on it and it had battery power to move like a horse. It was quite a trick to remove her peaceably from its back, but we managed it with offers of heading to the free chocolate milk samples.
Anyway, on to the "happies." Our first happy this week was to C - happy fifth birthday! When we got home from our trip on Sunday night, he received his first big gift: a leopard gecko. He's wanted a real lizard for a long time and we got one. It's quite young and small, and very wily, making it hard to hold, but we're hoping to help it learn to be calm eventually. Our friends the Grundvigs have a leopard gecko that's about three times as big as ours, and she's totally mellow. Being C's lizard, we gave him the honor of naming him. First he chose "Polka-Dotty-Dot," but happily he moved on to a much better name: "T-Rex." I think it's pretty cute. The name, I mean. Actually, the lizard's cute too.
On Tuesday we had a birthday party for C. I invited nine kids - many of the kids C plays with also have siblings he plays with too, so there were three sets of siblings. It was kind of crowded in our little house, but the party went great. The kids were invited to wear their costumes, and almost all of them did. Pretty cute! Parties are hard, you know? Last year I made some key mistakes. First of all, I went a little crazy on the decorations - I actually paper mache'ed balloons and painted them like dinosaur eggs - stuff like that. Also I had made the party two hours long which is definitely too long for a little kid party. This year I reeled it in on the decorations and only had the kids for 1 1/2 hours. Also my mother-in-law gave me this book she had when her boys were little - Betty Crocker's Parties for Kids book or something like that. It's from 1964, and is totally awesome. There are like 50 pages of games in there, so I prepared the games a little better and we had a good time. It's funny how kids will get so specific about what they're interested in. C really wanted a "kimodo dragon" party, but I talked him into a general "reptile" theme. I made a snake cake - cute and easy, except that I suck at making frosting. Someone please remind me that I need to follow a recipe, okay? What I made ended up looking like melted green marshmallows. Yuck. But the cake was cute and the kids didn't care.
I was fairly exhausted when it was done but felt good about it. Despite being tired, after the guests left I took the kids to Ratatouille -Troy's on such a groove on the house that I wanted to give him more time sans-kids to work on it. Let it be known that R is not yet ready for the theater. She moaned and cried most of the time because she wanted to go. I was able to distract her with lipstick and gum for a while, and then we got some popcorn, and other that that she kind of either ran around or rolled around on the floor. I know, gross. But C was loving it. This was the first theater experience he's had where he didn't sit there with his hands over his ears. It was a really cute show. Luckily we were sitting in two seats right by the exit.
And then there was Halloween. We had had such a big week with the trip and the birthday that I just thought we should hang out quietly in the morning of the big day. I still maintain that this was a good idea, but the kids did go a little nuts. Finally at 4:30 we garbed up. I had been planning on participating in the holiday - I borrowed this big poofy princess dress from my mom, but I just wasn't feeling it. My inner child did not feel "princessy" in any way. So I bagged it. The kids looked great. C had his pterodactyl costume, and luckily we had a kitty costume for R, so even though her witch costume is still in the mail I didn't have to buy yet another costume for her. Our first stop was Morris & Carol's - they always love to see their grandkids in costume. My sister-in-law Kathleen was there with her two boys, and C ran around the street with them trick-or-treating at every house. I'm so glad they got a chance to do this - it seems as if trick-or-treating (man that's a doozy to type) is becoming a thing of the past. Carol likes to keep count of her trick-or-treaters every year, and this year she only got 9. They used to get 60 or something like that. Anyway, it was really cute to see the boys running so excitedly from house to house. It seems like trick-or-treating is a more honest way of getting loads of free candy. Do you know what I mean? At the trunk-or-treat, which we headed to next, you get so much candy so fast, and the traditional method at least has you walking farther than 100 yards. Anyway. I'm glad that C got the chance. R wasn't too interested, she was feeling shy and buried her head in my shoulder. She didn't emerge until the sun was going down, and suddenly her second-wind kicked in and she went nuts. Running, twirling, jumping, hollering... Here's C at the second trunk-or-treat we went to, put on by a student ward at a building in the avenues. They have a pretty elaborate set-up in the parking lot, plus a "carnival" inside. This is the "mummy wrap" station, which C got a major kick out of. Well, that's all I can think of. We pretty much came home and crashed after that. We're still recovering a little bit. What I can't believe is the HAUL of candy we pulled in - now in a GALLON container on top of the fridge. The kids have already kind of forgotten about it, but I sure haven't!