Monday, November 30, 2015

A Star Wars Birthday For Hunter

We have a 7 year old! I've been calling Hunter a 7 year old for at least a month prior to his birthday, but now it's legit. As of late he's really been into Star Wars, even though he knows nothing about it. All he knows is they fight with light sabers and Darth Vader is pretty cool. 
At his request, despite my disapproval of the color black, I made him a Darth Vader cake. He sat with me on the couch (as he was recovering from an evening of throwing up all over, I was recovering from that) and we scrolled through Pinterest looking at all the different Star Wars and Darth Vader cakes. He chose the simplest design in the worst color to work with. 
I must have rolled out the black fondant ten times, and I may or may not have uttered the words, "You should be very glad that I love you right now or you wouldn't be getting a cake..." The more dye you add to the fondant, the more the fondant begins to breakdown... Why didn't I just use black frosting? Because I didn't want all the kids to have purple mouths... Gah. But Hunter loved his cakes, even with a couple cracks in it. He especially loved that I was able to make Darth Vader hold his birthday candle as a make shift light saber. Mom for the win! 
 He really really really wanted his party at the hotel again and I couldn't say no, even though his party was scheduled to start the same time the Cat/Griz game started... Every stinking year his birthday coincides with that football game weekend... But since he didn't get to celebrate with his kindergarten friends last year, I said what the heck this year. I can't begin to tell you how much fun Charli had with the neighbor twins! To say she loves the water is a bit of an understatement...
 He had a handful of his classmates show up, which was plenty for me! From what I could tell, it looked like everyone had a bunch of fun! I made just enough goodie bags for his guests too. That never happens with me...
Even though he gives Perry and I a run for our money parenting-wise, I love this kid to pieces and can't wait to see what this year brings! Hopefully more snuggles for mom? We're not too old for that yet, right?

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Birch Tree Cake

A couple months ago I was asked to make a cake for a baby shower for a dear friend of mine. The theme was to be "outdoors in Montana."
 Her mom sent me a picture of what she was thinking, and I ran with it.
 The theme that seemed to play out this past week was delay. The entire timeline for this cake was delay after delay, with a few other non-cake related delays mixed in there. Charlotte didn't help much in the delay category either. She's used to playing by herself so while I started on my forest critter for the cake, she had fun with her play-doh and pony. 
 After a couple hours of messing making and remaking animals, I finished my deer and set of bears. 
 Then I left the kitchen to get ready to serve at a catering event for my sister, and noticed Charlotte chewing on something in the hallway. I returned to the kitchen, surveyed the area, and realized she had eaten the mama bears' head...and then some. (Charlotte looks at this headless bear picture and says, "I ate her head!" She's pretty proud...) I had a little pit in my stomach trying to figure out where to squeeze re-building the bears on my timeline... I finished up at the event around 11 and was in bed by 11;30, with my alarm set to wake up fairly early to work on the cake some more.
 3 am rolled around and I couldn't go back to sleep knowing that I had a lot to do, with not a lot of time to do it, so I pulled myself out of bed and stumbled to kitchen in my footie pajamas and got back to work. By 5:30 I had the outside of the cake done and the bears remade, so I went back to bed for a little while. 

Kimberli and I have been going to the Vintage Fair in the spring and fall for the last couple years and this was their first Christmas themed fair. She won "early-bird" tickets and of course picked me to be her guest, and then we invited our mom to join us too. We spent the morning strolling through the market and then chatting over coffee. I felt so much more relaxed knowing the cake was nearly done. I made the moose while the cupcakes were baking, and I love how it turned out!
 The shower was put together so nicely, with stuffed moose and teddy bears around the room to compliment all the wood decor. It was a perfect afternoon!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Nah Nah Nah Nah Batman!! Happy Halloween!

I had been thinking about Halloween since August and had no idea what I wanted the kids to be this year up until about two weeks ago. Last year I themed them Wreck-It Ralph, and the year before when Charlotte was only 5 1/2 months old, we did Peter Pan. The boys wanted to do Ninja Turtles this year, but I wasn't feeling it for Charlotte. Next year we just might all be Ninjas...

Because of JP's color obsession, finding a character who wears green can be quite the challenge. I also went with the Hulk for JP and another superhero for Hunter, but when I remembered Batman's sidekick, Robin, wore green I was sold on having a Batman theme. I did toss around the idea of him being the joker though...I recall Aunt Bobbi being the joker and wearing all green when she was little. Am I right family? I also thought about making their costumes and then quickly gave up on the idea when a pair of green leggings for JP was going to cost $15. For a little bit more, I could have the whole costume, with absolutely no stressing. Sign me up for that! It's also worth noting nearly every time we'd ask Charlotte what she was going to be for Halloween, she'd respond with, "I be Perry Halloween." No dear, you're going to be Catwoman...

Perry and I were at a concert in Bozeman the night before so I had gathered up their costumes for Nanny to send with them to school. She also went to the school Halloween parade with Charlotte dressed up in her Catwoman outfit to get some pictures for me. I thought we'd be back in time, but we spent a good 45 minutes walking downtown in the morning to retrieve the car...
 She must have gotten to the school early enough to sit in the front row. She was able to fine JP in the parade, but he was the only Robin there. Hunter was lost in the Batman's. It probably would have helped if she knew what kind of Batman costume she was looking for, but she stopped into his classroom after the party to take a few pictures of him. 
 Nanny had a problem getting into JP's classroom though because she wasn't on the "approved people" list, and even though the school has called me multiple times, they apparently didn't have my number to call me and ask, so they called Grandma Betty. Weird...? JP's classroom is in a separate building and has a doorbell on it, where as Hunter's is in the main building. But she eventually made it in and he and Charlotte had some snacks together before playing games. 
 I don't understand why JP looks like he hates taking pictures with his friends...
 One of the games they played entailed wrapping their teacher, and another adult in toilet paper to make them look like mummies. I think JP probably enjoyed this too much! 
 Here's the crew before we headed out for Trick-or-Treating. Batman, Robin, and Catwoman. I had to bribe Charlotte to keep her mask on. Our first stop was neighbor Dan's house. You see those white pieces of paper JP is holding? He made pictures to give to them. He loves drawing pictures for people!
We stopped by a couple more house on our lane before heading to Aunt Kim and King Julian's house, I mean, Barney and Betty Rubble's house! Aren't they all so cute! Kudos to Kim for making Julian wear a dress! ;) Next up we stopped at Nanny's house before trick-or-treating around the block. Last year the kids were ready to be done after only going to a couple houses but were ready to go this year! Charlotte was all about it too! I think on our second house someone said, "Happy Halloween," and that's all Charlotte would say after that. It was adorable! 
She did turn down going up to one door because they had big spiders hanging on the porch. "Spiders so scary!" She was so excited to run down the sidewalk to the next house. "Let's go this one! Gonna be fun!"
Even though it was a little rainy, it's safe to say everyone had a lot of fun!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

My First Rock Concert Rocked: Breaking Benjamin

I was browsing through Facebook one evening when I noticed a friend shared an event titled "Breaking Benjamin with Shinedown in Bozeman." I was so excited at first and then I saw the date. October 29th. A Thursday night in a town 3 hours away. It was a school night and the kid's would have Halloween festivities at school the next day. Not going to happen, but I mentioned it to Perry anyways. A week before our anniversary he surprised me with tickets to go see them.

For those who haven't heard of Breaking Benjamin, they are a considered a hard rock band, though I would reclassify their latest album closer to Christian rock than anything else. I've loved them since high school. Perry was surprised by the fact I didn't own any of their cd's, but I still knew most of their songs. I had literally been playing nothing but Breaking Benjamin, with a little Shinedown mixed in for the last month. Charlotte even sings along now and it's adorable. "This is my song! Dance with me!"

After a month of counting down the days, Perry and I finally packed our things and headed to Bozeman Thurday morning. Perry conned my mom into watching all the kids for the night and getting them to school the next day. Life saver! All the kids were so excited to stay with Nanny (probably because she spoils them!) She was surprised I'd even want to go to a concert, since I do dislike loud noise, bu this was my favorite band!

When we arrived in Bozeman, we checked into our hotel and headed downtown to meet up with a friend Perry went to high school with. I don't know if I've meet him before; if I had it was a long time ago. We had a nice dinner with him and his wife at the Copper. Highly recommended if you're in Bozeman!

I was a little lost on Perry's parking plan. He thought we could park near the campus, where the concert was, and walk downtown for dinner and then walk back. We could leave our car there and walk back to the hotel after. There was so much walking involved in his plan that I had to step in an secure another arrangement. Luckily my sister Robin moved to Bozeman for a few months and was able to take us to the concert AND pick us up so we left the car downtown. I can't tell you how much Robin's shuttle services helped us out!
Robin dropped us off and we walked into the fieldhouse just as the first band, Nothing More, started to play their first song. Neither Perry nor I had heard of them so we instead went to grab a drink. I'm sure I would probably like them, but at the concert all I could hear were drums and guitar. The lead singer, who was RIPPED, was rocking out but I could hardly hear him. He was enjoyable to watch though... At the end of their performance they did a really cool instrument solo where they strapped a guitar on a stand and three of them played it at the same time. Later the leader singer came over and used drumsticks on it while the others played. Super cool.
During the stage re-set, Perry went out to grab us a drink. He was gone for all two minutes before I looked to my left and found our neighbors, Dan and Chrysanthie practically standing next me. We knew they were going also but what are the chances we'd actually see them there?! The four of us spent the rest of the concert together-ish.
We were surprised when Breaking Benjamin took the stage next as we all were expecting Shinedown up second. I loved every minute of it! About halfway through the first song, I had a girl next to me elbow her way in front of me to stand. I was not having any of that, so I'll admit I got a little feisty and elbowed and shoved her back and shouted that she was standing on me. She apologized and moved back next to me. Then I felt bad so I moved over so she could stand closer to me to see around the tall guy she was behind. Turns out she was hammered and could hardly stand on her own, and they ended up going elsewhere. Phew...
When Breaking Benjamin was finishing up on stage, they decided they would bring a few people up to help them with their last song. Obvisously I was screaming "ME ME ME ME!!!!" But I was in the middle and they couldn't see me. They brought quite a few people up before they said they were going to pick one more. At that point Perry and Dan hoisted me up onto their shoulders and I was above the crowd screaming and flailing my arms like a crazy person. Seriously. I did that. I could swear to you, up and down, that Benjamin pointed RIGHT AT ME and said, "The girl up on the shoulders!" I jumped off their shoulders and ran like a bat out of hell to the front pushing and shoving people out of my way. When I got to the front some other concert attendee said something to the effect of, "They didn't pick you, you idiot." I looked up to the stage to see the little 9 year old girl being hoisted onto the stage, who ironically was right behind me up on her dad's shoulders. I'm still mad about it...
In the video above, Perry filmed the stage because he thought I was going to be on it. You can hear him ask Dan, "Where is she?" Then you can hear me come back saying I saw someone I knew. 
I was SO disappointed by not getting picked, though I did consider hoping up there anyways. I should have. As I turned to go back to find Perry, I heard someone shouting my name. I turn around to see my best friend's cousin, who is more like a younger brother to her, and I shout, "KADEN!" Turns out Kaden and Tanner look the same. Whatever. I took a picture with Tanner just to prove I saw someone I knew. I made it back to Perry and told him the "danger zone," as he called the front area near the stage, wasn't as dangerous as he made it out to be...
During the next stage re-set, the four of us went back out to grab a drink and made it back in to see Shinedown start up. They were awesome to see in concert too. Because they were last on the roster, they had more special effects than Breaking Benjamin. Fireworks and Fire. It would have been awesome to have those with Breaking Benjamin, but still very cool with Shinedown. I think I screamed and started jumping every time they the lit off a firework. I was jacked. I might have had enough to drink too. It's hard to say.

Robin picked us up across the street and dropped us off downtown, where we met up with Dan and Chrysanthie and again, along with their son Steven. We had to have been there for at least an hour before Steven connected the dots and said, "Wait, they're our neighbors?" Yeah, the coolest neighbors on the block for the last SIX years! I was very grateful that Dan offered to drive us back to the hotel, instead of Perry's plan of walking the 1.8 miles back to the hotel. It was a lengthy walk back in the morning... I had so much fun!! I'm already thinking of who I might want to see next!