Weekend Wrap-Up: Birthday Party Edition!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Lainey's birthday party was this Saturday! She very much wanted a superhero party with a bounce house. The bounce house was a big deal because for the longest time she was terrified of them, so this represented some real progress for my timid baby. I can't believe she is five! It is unbelievable how much she has grown and matured in the past year.

Usually I'm able to do a lot of crafty stuff for Lainey's parties, since they're in the summer and I have more time on my hands. This year it was a struggle because of the Unending Epic Morning Sickness Mess, but we got there eventually! I made Lainey's Wonder Woman outfit entirely from scratch (which was a little different because usually I just upcycle existing stuff as much as possible. It was pretty simple, though, a circle skirt and a tank top, then a bunch of accessories made out of those glitter foam sheets. The boots are really knee-high socks with white washi tape, because cheap!) but Phoebe just wore a costume out of the dress-up trunk. I ordered a cheap black jumpsuit costume from Amazon for Avalon's Black Widow outfit, but it came four sizes too big so I ended up having to cut it down to size and sewing all the seams...it would have been easier to just do it from scratch in the first place!

My biggest frustration was the night before the party, when Aaron insisted that I was too sick to make the birthday cake (pretty heavy-handed for a guy who ignores a raging case of pneumonia for more than two weeks before finally conceding that maaaaayyyyybe his wife is right and he should see a doctor or something, but whatever!) and took Lainey to pick one out from a grocery store bakery. It was no Wonder Woman fondant masterpiece like I had envisioned, but it was actually pretty cool, and I did enjoy the extra rest.

We had the party in a church gym that we use a lot for open gym and basketball practice, mostly because I couldn't think of any other way to make a bounce house in Texas in July be any kind of tolerable, so we just set up different activities around the gym and let the kids run amok. 

They 'diffused' balloon bombs to get the prizes I had stuffed inside...

Showed off their super strength with some enormous paper mache dumbbells that my mom made for the occasion...

And beat a pinata with their bare Hulk hands...

But mostly they just jumped.

UNTIL a giant mutant gorilla (who was totally not suffering from pneumonia at the time) escaped his confines and went on a rampage...

Luckily the superheroes, armed with inflatable Dollar Tree weapons, were able to defeat him and save the day! And you gotta have cake and ice cream and presents after a battle like that.

And then maybe a nice rest.

For real, though, they were completely worn out after all that jumping and fighting and sugar consumption!

(So was I, oh my goodness! It was fun, but I was SO GLAD to lay down and not have to hot glue or spray paint or sew anything!)


Quick Takes

Friday, July 10, 2015

1. These silly things have had another half-week of camp...Adventure Camp! Complete with many wonderful Adventures! But are they satisfied? No. "Can't we do something FUN?" Is their constant refrain.

I'm actually a fan of boredom for kids, and I am not feeling particularly FUN! these days, so we are a bit at odds. You know what makes your brain grow? Figuring out how to entertain yourself. Without any sort of electronic screen thing. You're welcome for the big brains, my loves.

2. That said, I'm fairly certain that I'm going to end up digging in the scary, scary craft closet for a Fun Thing to Do today. Preferably a fun thing that they can do while I lay on the couch. Here's hoping that the craft closet restocked itself in the night. With magical crafts.

3. My one big expenditure of energy yesterday was going with Aaron to a sports equipment resale store in McKinney on a hunt for football gear. Just the two of us! It was basically a date. AND we scored some great deals!

4. Aaron's birthday wasn't as lame as I feared - he agreed to replace his completely trashed phone with a shiny new one as a birthday present (although since he had an upgrade available and I didn't get to wrap it or anything I'm not sure it really counts as a present) and we went to see Jurassic World. Then later we grilled and had a family game night, and I found the energy to bake a cherry pie instead of a birthday cake, since he doesn't really like cake. So it wasn't a totally pathetic birthday.

5. Oh also! Pictures from Light Up Arlington! We did our usual tailgating picnic while waiting for the fireworks to start. That was really fun, even though they mysteriously did not have bounce houses this year. My children were sad for like three whole minutes.

6.  Lainey is maybe kind of getting excited about her upcoming superhero birthday party.  

I have to make her Wonder Woman outfit next week no matter what. I've tried to plan this party so that it needs a minimum of craftiness from me, but you guys, there are SO MANY adorable crafty things you can do for a superhero party. It's really hard to hold myself back.

7. I'm also helping run a cheer camp next week, to try and be ready for the first football games, which are before school starts for us and our awesomely weird Flint schedule. Apparently I am planning on staging a miraculous morning sickness recovery sometime this weekend. That would be nice! Let's go with that!


Making Adjustments

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

This is my new command central for now...

I'm still not thrilled about it, but the truth is that I am somewhat less sick when I just stay in bed. I can keep down just enough food and water to keep the baby growing and my brain sort of functioning. I'll get up every little while and do a thing...maybe two things! But then I'm done. 
And you know what? Bed is not a bad place for making digital photo books, or planning curriculum, or putting together booster club and cheer squad ideas, or obsessively Pinning costume hacks for next year's plays, or plotting out ideas for Lainey's birthday party, or getting lots and lots of reading done, or snuggling with the girls, or listening to their many stories about their days, or letting them eat popcorn and watch movies after bedtime with me, or binge-watching Hart of Dixie (I don't know why, don't judge me) on Netflix, or, you know, growing a person. In fact, bed is a pretty good place for all of those things. 
I'm bored, and I miss doing everything I ordinarily do. But I found a really awesome deal for cheerleading uniforms, Lainey's party should be SO CUTE, I'm already a quarter of the way through my Circe reading, and I think I've figured out how to make homecoming mums. Maybe next I'll find some good field trips for next year and organize all my recipes! 

Thank goodness Aaron gave me my own laptop for Christmas!


The Big News!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Mmmmhhhhmm, that's right...another little Hallford is on the way! 

I'm ten weeks along now. I wasn't necessarily waiting for ten weeks to blog about it because that's what you're supposed to do, more like because typing makes me sick. Other things that make me sick include, but are not limited to:
Eating food
Smelling food
Thinking about eating or smelling food
Saying the word food
Drinking water
Being spoken to
Moving slightly
Being touched
Walking around
Etc., etc.

In other words, I am sick this time! I have had pretty terrible morning sickness with all of my pregnancies, so I thought I knew what to expect, but this is something else altogether. This is a barely-functioning, mostly-bed-ridden, horribly-dehydrated something else and it is kicking my butt. The past three weeks have been the absolute worst, and I would really be okay with it leveling out soon because I need to Do All The Things, okay? I have PLANS. Luckily the girls have had camps that kept them mostly entertained for most of these lame weeks, but still. I am really struggling with this whole lying still and relying on other people thing. I keep being surprised at how much any feeling of self-worth I might have is wrapped up in taking care of things and not asking for help. I'm struggling emotionally almost as much as I am physically, so I keep determining that I don't CARE, I'll just get up and act like my normal self and clean everything anyway. A little nausea is no match for me! Then five minutes later I vomit until I pass out and you do kind of have to admit defeat and lie back down after that, I have discovered. 

It's a season, it will pass, and I guess I'm learning valuable, character-building lessons? Or something? Until then I'm awfully thankful for all of the support I have, and awfully sorry for all of the many, many things I've punked out on lately. And anyway, BABY! YAY!

We've managed to do a few fun things regardless, utilizing small, decently rested and hydrated windows of time. We had our own little car wash...

And a picnic...

And Inside Out...

And a little swimming...

I also got to hit up the epic Half Price Books sale at the Convention Center last weekend with Dr. Flint for some curriculum shopping. Which almost was the death of us both, but we got some great books for the year!

We've had some pretty awesome staff development sessions, too. So it's been good, just a really different, weird pace. Today my head feels a little bit more clear, at least, and I'm trying to gear up for fireworks tomorrow evening. AND Aaron's birthday the day after, which as far as I can tell is going to be even more lame than Father's Day was this year. He won't let me buy him any presents and I don't have the wherewithal to make up for that by cooking all of his favorite things or magically creating a present out of thin air, so that pretty much leaves...nothing. Guess how okay I am with a Nothing Birthday. Zero okays. I can't even say I'm still making his present and it won't be done until the end of January or so, because I totally pulled that for Father's Day.
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