I’m not going to try and backtrack over the past 6 months I’ve been absent from this blog. That is life. It has happened before. It will happen again. I wrote about a lot of things over the past 6 months….most were papers for my doctorate program and cover letters to get a new job. Both worthy pursuits, but not much help for this poor little blog! I did pass all my classes and got a new job! So I’ll gladly take a round of applause!
But alas, 2015 is here and maybe I’ll get a few entries recorded so my adult children can be reminded what an awesome mom I was!
Or I can read them and remember how awesome I was when I have a momentary lapse of confidence when my adult kids call me after they leave their therapists office.
Okay back to the blog….
So this past weekend, we hit another milestone in the parenting department. Just in case you think I’m going to say we are all pooping and peeing in the proper place, don’t get ahead of yourself! We are close, but not there yet. Nope, completely different.
We survived our very first sleepover birthday party!
I had this great idea about 3 months ago that I thought would cut the crazy birthday party costs that typically happen with our birthday parties of late. I try to be so frugal but then the credit card bill comes and I have suddenly spent over $200 and can’t remember how. Well, maybe oriental trading or target are the answer. Whatever.
Bree announced in the car one day that she wanted to have a bowling party for her whole class. 30 kids came to her party last year. $$$$$ start running through my brain and I blurt out maybe we could just invite a few of your closest girl friends to go bowling and then they can spend the night. This statement and what this party ended up being could not have been further apart in my vision.
She of course was ecstatic. We made the list of her best friends and made the invitations (I told you I was frugal). I told her 5 friends, then she fought for number 6 and then she made the point that 7 friends plus her would make 8 party guests AND she was turning 8! How could I argue.
bowling pin and a pillow invite
We did most of the planning (I thought) over the holiday break and then with going back to school and work after the break, the party really snuck up on us. I’d get texts every now and then from fellow moms asking me if “I was ready” for this party. I know now there is NO WAY to be ready.
I was searching through Pinterest the weekend before for some ideas and I found this blog that basically said her sleepover with 8 year olds was hell and that her only piece of advice was to just cancel the thing if there was still time. That was a gut check. It made me a little nervous, but of course the things she described would never happen to me. She was a little dramatic, but she nailed some aspects spot on.
Let me just preface the recap by saying, Bree is only drawn to best friends that have strong personalities and that the morning after the sleepover, girls were all crying that the party had to end. They apparently have no long term or short term memory about the drama, the tears and ridiculousness that transpired the night before. They are best friends forever and that is all that matters!
Here’s the recap: We did actually start with bowling and Bree now owns her very own bowling pin which was truthfully probably the whole motivation to have a bowling party in the first place
As with any good bowling party, we had to have a cake that matched. While I offered to make a cake in the shape of a giant “8″ for her birthday, Bree wasn’t having that. It had to be a bowling themed cake eaten at the bowling alley. Alrightly then. After I got done sulking about my “8″ idea being shot down, we ended up having a really good time making the a bowling cake! Bree made all the bowling pins herself from scrapbook paper and Popsicle sticks. Then I remembered how much she liked cakeballs from Starbucks so that became the ball. We used m&ms for the gutters and she fell in love with those candy letters (circa 1950) at the grocery store so those went on as well!
Once at Allen Bowl, the girls bowled pretty well for about 45 minutes and then announced they were starving. It was 4pm. They kept eating the m&ms off the cake so by the time we actually sang happy birthday the cake was a bit of a mess. Glad I had already taken a picture. The one girl that was starving the most then told me she didn’t eat cake. This should have been a sign of things to come. #needy8yearolds
There was cake eating and present upwrapping and then a few more frames of bowling!
The drama started when it was time to leave the bowling alley. We had to bring three cars to get everyone there and the girls that did not ride with Bree on the way there wanted their turn to sit and ride with Bree on the way back. Instant tears and claims of “that’s unfair” were uttered. Bree was speechless. She wanted to sit by everyone too. I eventually just told people where to sit and by the time we were on the road, I had decided we would pull names out of a hat for who would sit by Bree at dinner.
It was a good thing I had come up with that idea bc two girls refused to make their own pizzas (our next activity) because they could not sit next to Bree. Sean had to force them into the kitchen. It never occurred to me that 8 year olds would opt out of mandatory activities.
Luckily we got everyone to the table to eat once the pizzas were cooked and the pizzas seemed to be tasty although one girl said the cheese (mozzarella) tasted funny and she could not eat any of it. Okay, be hungry!
At this point my mom and I were drinking wine and just laughing at the insanity. Thank goodness for Grammy…she was a lifesaver.
Nails were the thing Bree was most looking forward to at her party (besides the bowling pin). Our babysitter had recently given her a huge thing of nail polish and Bree was excited to share with her friends. Only 4 of the girls wanted to participate in nail painting. Who are these girls? But after lots of nail polish remover and requests for patterns on the nails, the 4 were very happy with their beautiful nails.
Ice cream sundaes were requested after nails. This was actually the one activity EVERYONE was excited about. I gave out icecream, put toppings on the table and let them have at it. NOVICE MOVE! They used all the toppings I put out….like whole bags of m&ms and chocolate chips. They ended up creating huge bowls of ice cream soup that no one even ate. At least they were having fun, but all my sweet tooth could see was so much wasted yumminess!
At this point, I was out of patience (I had exceeded my normal amount by quite a bit so I was impressed with myself) so I made Sean organize the Minute to Win it games. These were really fun but ended in disaster because I had only bought 4 prizes and there were six girls. Buck up kids, this isn’t a trophy for everyone house.
The tears kept flowing when I had to reprimand Bree’s bestest friend for being mean to her in her own room. The other girls kept coming up to me to tell me K was crying and it was my fault. I quickly corrected them and said, “No it was K’s fault for being mean.” I’m apparently an 8 year old as well.
Then there were tears about so and so not playing with me and tears about so and so stepping on my sleeping bag and tears about stubbing my toe and tears about needing to go to bed by 8pm (it was 8:45 and a sleepover) and tears because not everyone wanted to play dance party or school or Clue or dolls.
So I threw out the olive branch aka glow sticks and popcorn, begged them to watch Frozen and prayed for time to start fast forwarding. They played, argued, played, argued, cried, played and screamed for the next 3.5 hours. I finally told them the party was over at 12:15am. They begged to whisper. I reminded them they don’t know how to whisper. And by 12:30 they were passed out.
7:15am came early but I had donuts to keep everyone occupied and slowly one by one, the bffs left our house. Each time the door closed, I felt a piece of my soul return. By the time there were only my 3 b’s left, it felt like the most quiet house I had ever experienced. Three kids seemed like a vacation on the beach. It was beautiful. Angels were truly singing.
I laid down in my bed to enjoy the quiet and was about to doze off for a nap, when Bree whispered in my ear, “That was the best party ever Mommy, I want to have a sleepover for every birthday party ever!”