Tag Archives: Friends

Divide and Conquer

This past weekend Elise and I left the boys to fend for themselves. We packed up a bunch of princess dresses, multiple pairs of pjs, and hit the road.

Christine, Jess and I have been friends since college. We try to get together for a girls’ weekend 2 times a year. Sometimes we get together more than that, and sadly, sometimes less. There have been 3 girls’ weekend crashers in the past. Namely, Elise, Christine’s boy Jaxon and Jess’s boy Cooper. We are all Mamas after all and when a new baby enters our group, said baby is allowed to crash one girls’ weekend after their arrival on earth. This helps ease the guilt of leaving a baby at home and also the rest of us get to snuggle a little one for the weekend without the 18 year commitment of you make it, you raise it.

This weekend was a bit different. This girls’ weekend we decided to invite the kiddos. We decided this will either be our best idea ever or our worst idea ever. I left the boys at home with Tim, because all the kiddos there would be 4 and under, and to them, a weekend home with Dad is more fun than playing with a bunch of babies.

The boys had a blast at home with Tim. They played hours and hours of Minecraft, went to their weekly science class, watched boy movies, played Legos and ate nothing that even resembled a vegetable all weekend. In fact they were still in the same clothes that I sent them to school in on Friday morning before Elise and I hit the road. To say they had a good time is an understatement.

Tim sent me some pics throughout the weekend. Everyone of them made me grin and giggle.

I think the most memorable thing Tim did with the boys was having a slumber party in the basement.

*Correction* I have been informed that it wasn’t a slumber party it was camping in the basement.

What I learned while driving to Grand Forks with just Elise is this, Elise is way more fun to travel with then the boys! Yes we made a few more pit stops at pottys than I would have liked, but time flies when you are singing along to Disney Princess songs. We stopped for a snack at the gas station and she was content with an apple and a little tub of peanut butter and didn’t once ask for any candy.

When we made it to Fargo for potty and lunch break we dashed to the bathroom and then took our time eating a yummy lunch. Then she played in the mall play area to “get her wiggles out.”

One kid is easier than three.

That said, when Elise was eating her yummy lunch or climbing the play equipment she said to me over and over again, “I think the boys would like this! Can we tell the boys about this park? That little kid won’t play with me, the boys like to play with me.”

One kid is easier, but three kids is more fun.

The boys didn’t change clothes all weekend. Elise, on the other hand, had many costume changes. However the majority of the weekend she spent in a princess Aurora dress that Gracie was kind enough to share.

We ventured out of the house as a group only once. We went out to lunch and then went to SantaPalooza where Elise got to write a letter to Santa.

What did she ask for you wonder? Oh this little girl with two big brothers wants only one thing, a pink spider.

Gracie is destined to be Elise’s BFF. Christine got pregnant 4 months before me and about the time she found out she was having a girl, I found out I was pregnanrt. When I found out I was pregnant with a girl it became official. Our baby girls would be besties.

Gracie’s mom Christine is a photographer. Check our her Facebook page her or click on the photos below.  She isn’t like me who carries around a big camera and pretends to know what she is doing. Christine is a legit photographer. While the girls were playing princess, Christine and I quickly moved some furniture, convinced them to let me curl their hair and positioned them in front of a big window with lots of natural light. It goes without saying that Christine and I met while doing theatre in college and staging, costuming and directing is something we don’t get to do often now that we are moms, so when we saw the opportunity to pose our sweet girls, we did!

(Next three photos were taken by Christine)

Also funny to note, Jess was also in our theatre posse in college so when she walked into the room and saw that we had rearranged all her furniture, costumed our kids and placed them in “the good light” she didn’t even bat an eye. It is as if she expected her dining room to be transformed into a photo studio while she was in the other room caring for her son Cooper.

What is really cosmically wonderful about Jess, Christine and I being friends and all now being moms is that not only are Gracie and Elise close in age, but Christine and Jess both have little boys that are just a year apart. The age gap between 20 month old Jaxon and 10 month old Cooper seems big but by next year they will be great buddies.

It was a fun weekend. It wasn’t easy and we were all tired come sunday morning (kids sleeping in new places never makes for a restful night) but being tired is being better than the usual hangover that comes with girls’ weekend so I think this may become a tradition. Not every weekend will we invite the kids (Mamas need a break) but I think at least once a year Elise and I will leave the boys behind to play video games and stew in their own boy filth while we go and play dress up and eat chocolate cake.

a few more blurry phone pics here. 

Missing Family and Friends

Nothing highlights the distance between us and our family and dear friends like the Holiday season.

Don’t get me wrong, just thinking about the stress of having my house clean enough for visitors to just randomly pop over at any time is enough to give me an anxiety attack. I come from a long line of women with very well kept homes. Their homes were not just clean but there were always baked goods in the freezer ready to “nuke in the microwave” if someone dropped in for a visit.  I don’t know how they were able to do it all. I am beginning to think that my commitment to keep up on 3 different Reality TV shows may be the reason behind my house keeping problems.

All that said, the idea of being able to share a story (or gossip!) over a cup of coffee instead of over the phone or via email cancels out enough of the anxiety of keeping a clean house for me to romanticise about living closer to family and friends. I think I would even sacrifice a Reality TV show or two if it meant catching up with family and friends in person!

Living closer to family is not a possibility right now but maybe some day it will be. For now I will keep checking emails, texts and IMs and do my best to keep my phone charged for long phone conversations about nothing.

Virtual hugs to all of you. Love you and miss you.

Michael’s 7th Birthday Party

This is his first ever party where we have invited friends. I know. We are horrible parents for not doing this sooner, but the stressed induced migraine I had the morning of the party is the reason we have been putting this off for so long.

When we first started brainstorming the party, I had this elaborate plan of setting up a summer Olympics like event in the backyard with different challenges like filling buckets with squirt guns, obstacle courses, sandcastle challenges, cannon balls in the swimming pool and water balloon “dodge-ball.”

I loved this idea and think it would be so much fun, but to pull it off would have taken a lot of planning, prep and execution and we still had a contractor in our house and a 5 day trip to Minot planned, so we will have to save that idea for another time. Tim was very happy this idea was put on the back burner. I think he would prefer it to be scraped completely!

We decided a home birthday party was not feasible so we started looking for venues. We ended up choosing Sky Zone. For just under $200 we were able to buy a package for 11 people to jump for 1 hour (any more than an hour and we all would have started dropping like flies) we got two pizzas, soda/juice, MIchael got a t-shirt, we had a private room for 40 minutes and Michael got two free passes to jump for an hour at another time. The best part was that there was no pre or post party clean up. Win win all around.

This party was so easy that I don’t know why I was stressed. The guests had an absolute blast and Michael was having “THE BEST DAY EVER!”

The place was awesome. There were two dodge-ball tramp “courts”, A HUGE area for jumping, a basketball dunking area and then the favorite – the foam pit where kids (and Tim) took turns flipping into a big pit of foam blocks.

 

I also had big plans of taking awesome photos of the party. Ones where Michael was frozen in the air with a big goofy grin on his face or a photo of Elise bouncing high with her hair straight up in the air or a photo of PJ jumping into the pile of foam blocks with his signature swagger.

That didn’t happen. I took about 6 photos with my big camera and decided it wasn’t worth it. I wanted Michael and my memories of this party to be of me jumping with him not just taking photos. I took a lot of phone pics instead. All are out of focus but they capture what was going on; movement and lots of fun doing it.

I made a Skylanders Portal cake and it was a hit. It didn’t taste so good (Tim thought it was fine but there was way too much frosting for my taste) but it looked awesome.

 

Here is Michael putting on his 7 birthday candles.

They ate pizza, cake and then opened presents.

What I was most stressed about was the time that would be spent in this room. It was 40 minutes long and I was worried about the “dead time” after pizza, cake and gifts. The last thing I wanted to deal with was 7 physically exhausted boys that were on a sugar high. Seven is old enough that you can expect good behavior but still young enough that meltdowns can happen pretty easily.

I made a Skylanders Bingo game to kill the time but Sky Zone has this party thing down to a science. Just as we were finishing up gifts and Michael was handing out gift bags parents started to show up. Tim was right. Nothing to be worried about. The bill was paid and we were loaded up in the car 5 minutes after the last kid was picked up. So worth every penny spent on the party. Again – NO CLEAN UP!

I am so happy we went through with the friends party. Michael had so much fun and it was so wonderful to see him playing with his friends. Summer birthdays are tough (I should know!) because families are so busy during the summer it is hard to round up enough friends for a party. This wasn’t a huge birthday party but the kids had so much fun that I don’t think it mattered.

Michael is already planning his party for next year!

Hold the tomatoes and lettuce

Today I said goodbye to a friend. She is moving halfway around the world in just a few weeks. Her husband and Tim work together. We both moved to Minnesota at the same time and we have spent countless hours together. Today we met at the park that is across from the house she recently packed up and sold. The first time we met at that park Patrick was still crawling and she was only dreaming of becoming a mom. She is now a mom and I am a mom of three….

We had a picnic. Elise and Patrick played while my friend and I reminisced. I will miss our play dates.

 

Patrick picked the seasoned, olive oiled tomatoes off his gourmet sandwich. Elise had so much sand falling out of her hair that I think she ate more sand than sandwich. But it doesn’t matter that I threw most of those sandwiches away. That wasn’t what today was about.

I have really got to make some friends with women that don’t work with or have husbands that work with Tim. I have said far to many goodbyes lately. Maybe we should just move back to ND so I can be closer to my BFFs!