TWIR: Sunday Was A Bust
TWIR: Tuesday, Subbing & Running

TWIR: Monday, Our Boys Turned Seven


Monday was a crazy day. It was the 7th birthday of our twin boys, Jack (above) and Robby (in heaven). I'd promised Jack that I would bring chocolate cupcakes with no frosting to school, but I didn't have what I needed at home to make them from scratch, nor did I have a mix.

So after putting the kids on the bus and then dawdling for an hour at home, on the computer, then showering and getting dressed and all that fun stuff, I decided I better get off my arse and head to the grocery store! But first, I called Jack's Cub Scout leader to see if I could bring a cake to that night's meeting so we could have a little party there. She said yes! Goody... but that meant more work.

Work I decided not to do. hee. At the grocery store, I ran around as fast as I could, getting a box or two of cake mix for the cuppycakes, a huge ($17!!!!) singing balloon for the boy, plates and napkins for the Tiger cubs, and another $17 for a big sheet cake. I took that to the bakery and had them write "happy 7th birthday, Jack" on it in matching blue colors, knowing full well he wanted a "jet" cake and was going to complain about it. But you know what, sometimes, something's gotta give! And he really didn't seem to care too much about it in the end.

So I ran home and quickly mixed up the cupcakes in my loverly mixer, which took about 1/3 the time it did in my old mixah. And since he wanted NO frosting whatsoever, all they had to do was bake, and I was pretty much DONE. Sweet.

They finished baking, and I probably worked on coupons and stuff in the interim between the timer going off and having to leave for school. In fact, I'm sure I did, because it seems like that's my current obsession and when am I ever going to take the time to knit or crochet again?! Maybe - no, definitely - I'll bring my yarn up with me to Chantilly tomorrow, so I can do that in the car and while we're waiting around for 2030 to play the tag of laser.

Anyway. School. I drove over, checked in, and was immediately swarmed by 18 or 20 hungry first graders, clamoring for a cupcake. Only one or two seemed to care that there was no frosting; the rest were happy just to get CHOCOLATE!!! Jack and a little girl, A, passed them out to each of the classmates, and when they ran out of kids and still had cupcakes left over (and I only brought 24), they gave some kids doubles and a couple to the kids at the next table over. I was so busy chit-chatting with the kids in his class that I didn't really notice they had done this, but I kind of got in trouble by the lunchlady for that, because there weren't enough to share with the whole class. Oops.

Little A, the girl who had helped passed out cuppies, was SO cute. I could have chatted with her all day. She sat right next to Jack, and she kept telling him to eat his chicken, drink his milk, finish his lunch. She must be a big sister, the way she mothered that boy! He didn't seem to mind a bit, though. I think he likes being mommied.


I had my camera there, of course (that's where the top picture came from), so A asked me if she could take a picture of Jack and me together.  It's a horrible angle! My face is definitely NOT that fat. Or chinny. Not anymore. SO don't look at that. And you can totally see all the extra hangy skin on my arms. Ick. Never mind me, just look at my cute kid! Another little girl gave him the Airhead candy that she'd bought outside in the hallway from the SCA fundraiser. 



Then Jack wanted to take a picture of me, so I let him, and this was it. And then everyone wanted to take a picture, and I wanted my camera back, so I had to nip that in the bud right there!


Lunchtime was over before I knew it, so I just had time to grab one last shot of Jack carrying his not-so-empty tray up to the front. I've been letting him, and the girls, buy lunch for the past two weeks. Partly because he LOVES buying lunch, and partly because I've been too lazy to make PB&J sandwiches (I know, how lazy can you BE?), and partly because we've been out of juice boxes. But we have some now, so back to bagging it next week.


Chloë's lunchtime overlaps with Jack's by five minutes, so I popped over to see her, too. She was pretty happy about that, as you can tell. But oh! Those teeth! I seriously can't wait until they're all grown in... I didn't have much time with her before I had to leave and get on with my day. I'd have stopped in to see Sophia too, but she gets SO terribly upset when I leave, and I didn't want to wreck her day.


After that, I ran some errands. My first stop was at Walgreens, where I picked up the kids' Easter baskets, some eggs for filling with all those jellybeans I've gotten, that horrible plastic grass (I know), and a chocolate bunny for each kid. And cellophane wrap for it all. (Which makes me wonder, why is "cello" the instrument pronounced like "chello," but it's not "chellophane"? Make sense, English!) And I got these three cleansers for FREE. Or I will have them for free, after I've mailed in the rebate for them. See, they were each $2.50 on sale, and I had $2.50 total in coupons for them, making them $5, and there's a $5 SC Johnson mail-in-rebate for 3 products. Get it? Good, I thought so. Whee for free stuff!

I stopped 'round the corner at Target after that, to get some more stuff free or cheap. A beach towel for 50¢ (not huge or the best quality, but hey, fiddy cents is fiddy cents, and we only have five towels to speak of - now six), another Johnson's Soap Buddies for FREE with coupon, and another soap deal they wouldn't let me get. Eh, 2 outta 3 ain't bad.

The only reason I'd gone to Target was because it was right around the corner from Party City, where I needed to get more balloons. Every year for Robby's birthday, we get a bunch of baby blue balloons and send them up to heaven. This year, I really wanted to get a lot of people together - although I didn't know whom just yet - so I bought two dozen blue balloons. Twice what I normally get.

Rob came home, after I brought home all the balloons and things, and came up to where I was getting out of the shower and starting to put together the kids' Easter baskets. Not that it was two weeks early or anything. We decided it would be a fun idea to meet the bus with those two-dozen blue balloons and hand one to each kid coming off the bus. They could help us sing to Robby and send the balloons off to heaven!


So that's what we did. Everyone had a blast with it. The kids came running over, begging, "Can I have a balloon? Can I have one? Can I have one?" I kept hollering out, "Don't let them go yet! Don't let them go yet!" while Rob cut them apart from the knotted cluster they'd become. When everyone had their balloons...


...we sang "Happy Birthday" to Robby - although some people said "Jack" and I don't know WHAT some others were saying - and then we let them go! And I have to say, it was pretty damn awesome.

Up, up, and away!! Everyone stayed there and watched them go as long as they could, until they were out of sight. The kids were yelling about seeing one here, seeing one there... it was a lot of fun. Best balloons-to-Robby launch we've had yet.


Of course, not everyone "got" it, and this one little girl didn't want to let hers go. I felt kind of bad, everyone was yelling, "let it go! let it go!" but she kept clinging to it. Finally, she let go and watched it zoom out of sight.


One last look, before they arrived in my little boy's hands. Or the next neighborhood over. Who knows?


After racing home, Jack came into the kitchen to discover his huge, singing balloon. He loved it! Sophia did, too.


She liked it so much, she kept hitting it to make it "sing," and it popped! You would think such a ($17!! I still can't get over that I paid so much for it) balloon would last 'til Kingdom Come, but no.  So I ran back to Farm Fresh to exchange it, and they gave me a new one, no questions asked. I'm in there all the time, though; they know I'm honest and true. This one better last at least until Sophie's birthday next month!


The boy couldn't wait another minute to open presents, so... we did! The first one was this bag from Mom & Dad. He knew what it was... Rob put it in the gift bag, about 10 sizes too big! Thing was bigger than Jack!


He was there when I picked this up at Target - remember those coupons on their website for $5 off a $25 Hot Wheels purchase? - and this one made him forget all about the remote control helicopter he'd been asking for. Since he'd dropped that, I dropped it too, and gave him what he seemed to want. I think he was happy. Can you tell?


For a moment, he forgot about the other presents waiting, and dove right in to take out all the pieces. It's a truck that you can build and take-apart and rebuild and... you get the picture. He liked it.


But just for a moment, and then he remembered there were other packages waiting. This was another one from us, a Hot Wheels monster truck. But you know what? He didn't want it! He seriously didn't want it! I said, "Okay, buddy, then I'll give it to another little boy." He looked at me, shrugged, and said, "Okay." So guess what? I will!


Time for Grandma's present!


Lots and lots of books! I'm still trying to get him to read one to me, but he refuses. I know he can... he just won't. I have yet to find the magic secret that will break through that stubborn refusal and get the boy to READ ME A BOOK!!


After Jack played a while with his truck, the mailman rang the bell and brought another package, this time from Aunt Stacey (my sister). She was SO delighted that her present came in time for his birthday! The first things out of the box were these bubble wands for each of the kids, for a "Spring" gift. Rob took one look at them and joked that they were really for me, but never mind that... ;)


And this, my friends, was a score. It was just a little helicopter, but as you can tell by the loving look on his face, it's exactly what he really wanted. A chopper. He instantly declared it his favorite present, and I didn't mind a bit. As long as he was happy. That's really what it's all about, right?


She sent some Matchbox cars, too, for his little collection. His BIG little collection, I should say. I wonder how many little cars he would have if we ever got them all together. At least a hundred, maybe two...


After dinner and homework, it was time to head to Cub Scouts. All five of us went, for no reason other than it was his birthday. They had their little meeting, and I'm completely blanking on what they did at the moment, and the whole time all the little boys were focusing on the cake in the corner!


I don't know what he's doing here. Counting the candles, to make sure there were seven? No idea. I just remember concentrating on making sure no one got burned!


Everyone sang. We (I) forgot the "real" camera, so Rob had to make due with his phone. Once again, iPhone to the rescue! That thing ROCKS. I love it to death. Get one!


Anyway, Sophia, unbidden, helped blow out the candles. They were "trick" candles, but they didn't re-light. Shoot! I just threw them away, since we had nothing to take home the mess. I cut the cake, and Chloë and Miss Beth helped to pass the pieces around to everyone. I even had a smidgen myself - something I could not do this time last year without keeling over - and I did not die!  Just a little, though. It was good, but not worth getting sick over. A couple people had seconds, and then it was time to clean up and go home. 

So we did. A few balloons, a few presents, some singing and cake later, and though he didn't have the big birthday bash at the go-cart track that we'd planned on, he was still happy and satisfied. And I'd call that a success.

Up next, Tuesday!