Monday, August 22, 2011

This was me 26 years ago...

Junior started second grade today (with definite opinions about what he would wear. The days when I could pick out his school clothes are long gone.) This is a wierd mom milestone for me because although I have snapshot memories of kindergarten and first grade, second grade is the first year that I have detailed memories of. It is strange to look at how little I still feel he his and remember how grown up I felt then. It is the first year that I can relate on some level to what is going on in his head because I remember being that age myself. I remember discovering boys and who I had crushes on. I remember thinking the dumbest things were hilarious. I remember having one foot firmly in a world of my imagination and the other in a reality of really wanting to feel grown up. And at the end of the day, it really doesn't feel that far away. I know that in another blink of the eye, Junior will be sending HIS second grader off to school and remembering how he spent the summer before practicing his running ("because this is my year to kiss the girl I like and I have to chase her really fast, mom")and worrying about whether he would like his teacher and the fact that he doesn't know multiplication (despite everyone's reassurances that he doesn't need to go into second grade knowing it.)

I hope he finds good friends. I hope he likes his teacher. I hope that he is challenged and can find satisfaction and confidence in overcoming something hard. I hope that he will be able to grasp on some level what a great kid he is and how valuable to the world. I hope that as this first little bird of mine hops a little further from the nest that he likes what he finds. I hope he has a great year.

***By the way, for the record/sake of posterity, he chose strawberry ice cream (with no chunks) a bacon and egg sandwich, bacon and diet coke for his first day of school/choose anything you want to eat breakfast.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

This explains...

...all the little toe prints I keep having to scrub off of the doorjams all over the house...

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

It's not a party unless I spend three days cooking AND accidentally dye the fence blue...

I have a few recipe websites that I love and a few months ago, I came across these little guys (root beer float cupcakes.) I thought 'those would be fun for Bubba's birthday party.' After too many evenings with my mind wandering rather than focusing on work, the idea snowballed into 'how about I have a party with a soda pop theme where EVERYTHING is made with soda products.' So, that is exactly what I did. It's times like this that I wish I knew how to take extra fancy pictures with my extra fancy camera because I was so happy with how it all turned out. But, I was lucky to get these because Britny remembered to take a few, in between helping me referee a million children and sous cheffing, before the other guests showed up.

For the last three summers, my family has rented one of these jumpers (with water) for a collective summer birthday party. Bek's little N has a birthday near Bubba's and they were going to come out and join us for the party, but were unable to come at the last minute, and they were missed. No one can jump with as much energy as her Cubby and Bek is ten times the cook I am. The company we rented the bounce house from is awesome and they let you keep it for the entire day. My boys and the neighbors were almost worn out by the time the party rolled around.

The Menu: (in case you are curious how many soda based recipes you can use in one meal)

Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork
Root Beer Pulled Chicken
Coca Cola BBQ Wings
Sprite Biscuits
Cherry Coke Jello Salad (thanks to Phread...)
Greek Pasta Salad (normal recipe I'm afraid)
Watermelon/Cucumber Mint Salad (ditto)
Root Beer Float Cupcakes
Coca Cola Cake (which my old roommate used to make all the time! Yum.)
Root Beer Bundt Cake
Orange Crush Cupcakes
Despite how it might sound, the soda factor/taste wasn't all that prevalent in any of these recipes, but they all fit the theme (remember my obsession with themes? Good.)

I made homemade root beer and it turned out surprisingly good (as long as you were expecting the homemade taste and not the super carbonated store taste.) I remembered the root beer of all my childhood ward parties being darker but this is how mine turned out. It tasted right, but looked more like cream soda. The biggest hit was the dry ice. I may get some more soon just to play in it. Junior is also lobbying for that activity.

A few of the guests. We had a great turnout and it was awesome to see some folks we haven't visited with in awhile. Thanks to everyone who made it.

Birdie and the twins taking a break long enough to eat. About the time everyone was settling down to their food, the skies opened up with thunder and lightning and we had to temporarily deflate the bouncy house while 40+ people took refuge inside my little house to wait it out. Fortunately it didn't last long, but it did soak the blue streamers that a friend had decorated the entire fence with. Did you know that wet streamers will bleed dye all over everything and IT DOESN'T WASH OFF!!? Me neither. I was able to return the fence to normal with a bottle of bleach, but that was a lot of fence (even more fun because it blew over to the other side as well. It was a very effective way to get to know my new neighbor, who was very understanding.) **No worries landlord's daughter-in-law!! The fence is no longer blue :-)

Bubba opening his presents and generously letting Sis help. For the record, this picture was taken moments after Sis handed me a cup with about ten potato bugs in it that she had collected. Grandpa W was the most pleased with her :-)

Party Favors: bottles of soda and bottle cap candies.

The rental company wasn't able to get back to us by the end of the evening, so they left it overnight. The kids were up bright and early to get a little more jumping in.

Happy Birthday Bubba!