Thursday, December 11, 2014

Super Logan!

I was really nervous about throwing Logan's birthday party this year - not because of the party or decorations or anything like that, but because we were inviting so many people into our home, mostly kids, who carry germs like they're going out of style.  :(  And of course, Callum's recent visit to the hospital where his counts dropped so dangerously low, just got me even more nervous about it all.

Yet, at the same time, I really didn't want to cancel Logan's party.  He was VERY excited about it and it would have been awful to cancel *HIS* special day, because of his brother's illness (something we're very sensitive to).

So, I questioned our medical team several weeks ago when I first sent the invites out, I questioned them several times while we were staying at the hospital over Thanksgiving, and then I questioned them both times we visited the clinic for follow ups, prior to the party weekend.  :)  I know they were rolling their eyes at my over protective paranoid craziness but they were really nice about it all.  And every time the answer was the same - make sure you're good with hand washing and hand sanitizer, anyone who's sick isn't allowed in the house, and have fun!!

They've been really good about making sure to emphasize that during maintenance, since they want us to try and encourage as much of a normal 4 year old and 6 (now 7) year old lifestyle, as we can, in our boys.

So, we went ahead with the party.


We were discharged and returned home on Sunday - and Jon was out of town that Monday.  It was cold and rainy all week, and we had a follow up appointment (at the butt crack of dawn) that Wednesday.  Logan's party was Saturday morning.  I basically had the next 5 days to furiously finish all of Logan's party decorations, in between our various regular stuff we do each day and each week! What is all of that regular stuff?  School pick ups, swim lessons, errands at the store for last minute party supplies!, medicine/pharmacy runs, mail/shipping runs, clinic visits (we ended up doing TWO that week), picking up cookies and cake for the party.... the list never ends! :)

And to add a wrench into things, I had to keep my butt home all day on Tuesday, because our Disneyland packet was scheduled to be delivered (it required a signature since they were sending us actual tickets).  Ack!

Amazingly, it wasn't raining on Monday (I think that was the only day it didn't rain actually).  So, I set out to the daunting task of painting - I had a bajillion cardboard boxes I had collected (prior to our admission) and had stacked around the house.  My vision was to change these into brick and question mark boxes and - get this - create a walkway on our porch, as an entrance into the house.

Yeah, that didn't happen.

What I hadn't planned on was how labor and time intensive those damn simple looking boxes really were!  I had to take them apart, lay them flat, paint them, allow them to dry, then put them back together (but simple packaging tape wouldn't work so I had to GLUE them back together), and THEN decorate the outside (either lines and lines of black marker, or white foam cut outs).

I also hadn't planned on basically one day of painting only - given the weather.

And I hadn't realized how much it would kill my back to paint them - after my back was already worn out from 10 days at the hospital.

Nor did I think about WHERE THE HECK WAS I GOING TO PUT THEM to dry....

So yeah, that big entry way project was quickly thrown out the window - and I decided to just do as many as I could squeeze in for the day, before it started raining again, and call it good.

In between the cardboard painting I had also painted some pipes and began working on the piranha plants while the pipes dried (but not really because the air was WET).  I didn't take pics throughout the process (of any of this) but here's the final product - I'm pretty proud of them!  :)

A few days later and it was show time - I spent most of Friday, after we returned from the clinic, cleaning up the house.  The entry had to have a little sign next to the big ass bottle of hand sanitizer - I was hoping this would help remind us all to keep our hands germ free!

I hung all of the stars (another pain in the ass, those things would NOT stay up!)...

Then I laid out most of the table items and figured I'd wait on blowing balloons until Saturday morning.

My little star dishes and fun piranha plants adorned the table :)

Bettina's FABULOUS cookies!  She really went all out!!

Maaaaan, I wish I had done the balloons the night before - because I was spending Saturday morning making the boys cinnamon toast, vacuuming all sight of dog hair, taking a shower so I'd appear somewhat decent and OH YEAH SHIT I better blow up those stupid balloons! (especially since the weather was still threatening to rain, and I wasn't sure we'd get to break the piñata outside after all!)

So, hair still wet from my shower, I'm furiously blowing up these dang things and scribbling on quick Goomba faces.  They actually turned out pretty well and the kids LOVED them (more on that later).


The party itself, amazingly, wasn't that stressful.  To reduce the number of people in the home (both from a germs perspective and also just a plain - we don't have the space - perspective), I suggested to parents in the invite that they could drop their kids off, if they'd like.  Three parents chose to stick around, which was also totally okay, but the majority of the kids were dropped off.  This actually made it MUCH easier to manage.

I could still yell at the kids who were (literally) climbing my bookshelves, or standing on the recliner and rocking it like a bull, or hitting my youngest son with a baseball bat (seriously, that happened too).

But, I didn't have to expend TOO MUCH extra energy visiting and hosting a million other parents.  Jon spent most of the time chatting with the two dads who stuck around and I bounced back and forth between them and the one mom who stuck around (she was VERY helpful since she helped me corral the kids, when they'd start getting out of hand).

The kids had been kicking around and throwing the balloons (which were just piled up in the kitchen area) all throughout the party - so I finally said ok let's play the Stomp the Goomba game.

We brought all of the balloons into the living room and I told the kids to go ahead and pop them!



So, they started stomping and sitting and jumping and punching... and generally being the crazy destructive boys that they are.  Here are a few captures of the madness:

First Ian tried to punch this poor balloon with Callum's Wreck It Ralph hands...

Then he gave up and stood over the balloon.... you know what's next.... 

Amazingly, no one got hurt.  (and he never popped the damn balloon!)  ;-)

A handful of balloons had a little note folded up inside - and whoever got those, won a little prize.  This made the game even MORE enticing to every one as they madly looked for the little folded up pieces of papers, announcing the winners.  :)

(for the record, the game was LOUD AS ALL HELL but the kids loved it)

Once Stomp the Goombas was out of their hair, and I could see a little light poking through the clouds outside, I asked the Dads to get the piñata strung up so the boys could smack it around.  Amazingly, that little mushroom piñata held up through three rounds of ALL kids before it finally gave way!!  It was kinda crazy, but fun, and the kids seemed to have a great time.  :)

Youngest went first - in this case, Trent!

Next up was Mr. Callum! 

Then we let the Birthday Boy go next... 

Eamonn gave several good whacks... 

Haris is deceivingly strong with his small frame!  

Ian was the first to break through a bit (they're all pointing to a candy that fell out) :) 

Then Ewan gave it a shot! 

And Reizhi socked it a few times 

Everyone was cracking up laughing when Aidan just stood there for awhile....  

He was just waiting for the perfect time to smash it ;-)

I had to include this little set of additional piñata busting pics, because every time Callum would go for, or make contact with, the piñata, he would scrunch up his face (and sometimes even look MEAN!).  It was pretty cute and funny :)

Logan had a couple of moments where he did the same thing I noticed!!

It FINALLY broke - and then the frenzy to collect as much candy from the ground as possible took place...

Just like last time, Callum was only interested in collecting the pink Nerds boxes.  :)

As I mentioned before, we were fortunate to have a cake donated to us through the Icing Smiles organization. Wow!!  A kind woman named Maha, of Sweet Treats (a local bakery literally around the corner from us!), put this together!  It really made Logan's special day that much more wonderful and the cake itself was the talk of the party!

Logan actually added the little figures on top - he felt it was "missing" something, so I pulled out his chess set, cleaned some of the figurines, and he put together a little "scene" on top.  He loved that.  :)


Once the party started winding down, we made sure all kids got their goody boxes to take home.

Here's an extra pic of the happiest kid on earth, Mr. Trent, after he opened his goody box and found tattoos to apply on his arms.  :)

The other nice thing about having the kids dropped off, is that they are picked up RIGHT ON TIME! I hadn't really thought about it - but any party we've had before, families will hang out all afternoon and there's no real deadline to scoot out.  And of course we don't actually kick people out, so the party - and the day - just sort of linger on, until there's only a couple of people left.

But, this time around, almost to THE MINUTE, my house was suddenly quiet and kid free (minus my boys, and Trent, of course) at 3pm when the party ended.  WOW!!!

At the Start of the party
After everyone was gone - yes! ;-)

Everyone always says I do too much for the boys' parties and I shouldn't (Jon, especially).  But, I do love all the planning and crafting before hand.  The boys do too!  They love to watch and help and contribute their ideas (usually too wild for anything I can do - man do they have some imaginations!).  

I'm never quite sure if the boys really DO appreciate all that I have done for these parties, but when the first friend arrived, I overheard Logan usher him through the house and point out every little decoration I had made and put together.  You could hear him just chatting away to his friend about "this and that", that his mom made and wasn't it all AWESOME?!?

My heart swelled.  Hearing that exchange made it all worth it.

We love you Loganito - and hope you had a terrific 7th Birthday!!!

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