Monday, June 27, 2016

9 Swimmers, 1 Tiny Little Pool

This past weekend was one of those times when I need a vacation from my weekend.  I knew going into it that it was going to be exhausting, and I also knew I'd be looking forward to Sunday evening, once everything was quiet!

I spent almost every night this week doing at least one errand to prep for Ava's "friends" birthday party...Dollar Tree, Target, Dollar Tree AGAIN.  We also squeezed in a trip to the library, so Ava could collect her first summer reading prize...and stock up on more books!  She's off to a great start!

On Friday night, after my final trip to the Dollar Tree, and then a trip to pick up G, the four of us headed to South St Paul for the Kaposia Days Parade.  The last few years have been a very meh parade...lots of advertising, big gaps in the flow, and just not very good.  This year, they must have gotten the memo, because I thought it was so much better!  All of the SSP kids stuff came first, there were only a few pockets of political stuff, all of the Winter Carnival floats were grouped together, and there was very little advertising. It made sense, and it flowed well!  Plus, we had great weather...sunny, warm, comfortable.  After the parade, we visited for a little bit, and got back home around 10pm to tuck the kids into bed before we crashed, too.
 
Saying HEY to the South Metro Fire Department!


Kicking the crap out of this Sponge Bob toy


The assembled party treat buckets...a fun late Friday night task!


I managed to sleep in (by accident) until almost 8am on Saturday, and then it was a whirlwind of activity for the next few hours...cleaning, laundry, showering, and getting everyone ready to go.  We drove out to Zimmerman (1.5 hours northwest of here) for a family birthday party (Scott's sister's three boys all have summer birthdays)...we got there around noon, had a great lunch visited a little bit, watched a flurry of gift openings, and then hit the road back to the cities.  Once back in town, we had to pick up Ava's birthday cake, some miscellaneous odds and ends at the grocery store, and oh, a new fridge/freezer for the garage. Our upright freezer pooped out on us last week, so we needed to find a quick replacement.  We managed to track down a nice fridge/freezer combo for a good price at a tent sale, and brought it back home to drop off.  At this point, G had been in the truck for way too many hours that day, and was having a meltdown.  But, we weren't done yet!

This was the last of his patience...



During one of our very brief stops at home, we said hi to this little guy in the front yard


We then met our good friends (and their 2 kids) out for dinner, and then all headed back to the house for an evening of chatting, wrangling the older kids to bed by 11 (another late night for them, however, G went to bed before 8pm...lucky guy) and working on party prep for Sunday's fun day.  Our friends were spending the night with us since they live out of town, and we always have so much fun talking and catching up, so we didn't get to bed until after midnight.

And then it was Sunday!  Got up, did more laundry, finished up the last few items for the party.  The weather was great and the kids were in good spirits!  Our very kind neighbors had an unexpected pre-party at their house when they brought out their outside water toys, and Ava, Isabel, Evie, Cece, and G thought they needed to check it out.  They played for about 30 minutes over there, and then we corralled them back to our yard...it was time to start the party!  More friends had shown up, so we had a full house!

Everyone had fun splashing in the pool and kinda playing in the sprinkler...it was hot, and they were nice and cool...and happy!  I did a sunscreen check and then switched gears to a beach ball game (it was an icebreaker for kids since not everyone knew each other.)  And then we moved into the treasure hunt game which was a HUGE success...we filled a wheelbarrow up with sand, and then buried fun trinkets.  I gave each girl a spoon (by the end they were using their hands) and gave them timed sessions where they could dig and find their buried treasures.  They LOVED it! I remember doing a similar game in a big sandbox when I was little, and thought it was the best thing in the world!

The pool got very good use...


The cool sprinkler was only a backdrop, though...


Isabel took a break to hang with her Dad


Silly Evie...but my friend Tiff was an AMAZING help at the party. Couldn't have done it without her or my mom!



We still had control of the party, but not kidding you, every time I went inside, I checked the clock to see how much time was left.  At this point, we had an hour to go, so it was time for cake and ice cream and gifts.  Hooray!  And then they attacked a bowl of blue jello with Swedish fish (was supposed to be decor only, but...well, they demolished it and ate it.)  And then after that, we shooed everyone off of the deck so Scott could hose off the edible party remains before they set into permanent stains.  Yikes!

Love how the cake turned out!




G didn't totally mind being the only boy there...


Time to open the awesome gifts...it was a Shopkins-Barbie-Minecraft kind of birthday!


Finally, it was time for the girls to get changed, and take some pics with props!  They each got to take a party sand bucket with treats, and then we bid them a sweet adieu. 




Heehee - Isabel did a great job getting G to wear these sparkly flowers!


Isabel S. and Ava


Ava and Cece, sharing a lei...


Little Evie! (Our front door is open randomly...weird)


Ava and An


Ava and Riley


Darren was a good sport, too :)


Evie, Ava and Isabel W. - friends forever!


It was the longest two hours ever. But, the kids all had fun, and Ava was happy...and that's what matters.  Grandma Deb then came to pick up Ava (she'll be there until Tuesday night) and then it was just me, Scott and G.  Grandma Karen and Grandpa Doug stayed for a few hard-earned beers, but they are low-stress and not high-strung 8/9 year-old girls.  So, that was fine. :)

We had dinner, did the flurry of Sunday night chores, and then all hit the bed - kinda!  Even thought I was exhausted, I stayed up until 11:30pm, reading and enjoying the silence.  And then had a really hard time falling asleep, and then woke up at 3:30.  I'm going on about 4 hours of sleep after a incredibly busy weekend, so I have a feeling I will be a big pile of mush by tonight.

So much to do, and clearly, not enough time!  Not sure that's the best way to start a Monday, but...whatcha gonna do?!

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