Might as well have titled this one “The Week of Peter”.
This week was rather insane, like more than usual. Work was busy and evening obligations/To-Dos were stacked 2 to 3 deep every evening. Some things were errands, some classes and meet-ups, and then Thursday we had Peter’s pre-K Graduation ceremony. Songs were sung, diplomas were handed out, lah deeeee dah. We had to sit near the back because I totally underestimated how packed the place would get (seriously, people, there were like 17 kids in the class).
Pete was the 2nd to last kid to get his diploma, he was kinda antsy. But he made it. Afterwards we took lots of photos with buddies and teachers and had some dessert, packed up the rest of his locker, then fled (that poor child is going to be so confused, being raised in a houseful of introverts).
We picked up Linus then headed home for a celebratory dip in the pool before a celebratory dinner out. Pete’s Choice, for the first time this week. He went with Old Chicago, wise choice my son (his other choice was downtown and I was in no mood to brave rush hour just for preschool grad dinner). He had chicken strips and Linus stole pickles and we headed back home that evening nice and full.
Then came Friday, when they both headed to daycare and had cupcakes in honor of Pete’s upcoming birthday on Saturday. My work computer decided to explode (not really, but that sounds more exciting than ‘the fan needs a cleaning so it won’t randomly shut down again), then it decided not to dock on the docking station anymore, and THEN when I attempted to use the charging cord, the grounding prong on the cord snapped off. Awesome, I win! So I headed to an empty office to use a retired coworker’s old computer, which still has Word 2003 on it because apparently she balked at ever updating (???), so that was fun and nice and took me twice as long to get my work done. YAY. To say I was ready for the weekend to start would be an understatement.
ANYWAY. I picked up the boys, we went home and chilled and after the kids went to bed, I prepped the usual Birthday Traditions for the Pete man. Decorated the dining room, got the birthday crown ready, cinnamon rolls a-waiting, finished all the gift wrapping, and finally I be-streamered his doorway. Well, and then I put new polish on my toes. Priorities. Kids come before pedicures but pedicures over bedtime.
Linus slept with us in the Pack n’ Play that night. He also slept like crap, and was up every few hours. Ugh. He was up for good about 6am, so bleary-eyed me let him play with Pete’s streamers and squeal at him until it woke Pete up, so we could get this party started already.
After Pete finally woke up, he ran through those streamers and was officialy Five Years Old. Dude, that’s old. Then we lit up his cinnamon rolls, brewed some damn coffee already, and had a Pete Party.
Pete opened a few gifts from his grandparents (lots of Angry Birds, OMG THE ANGRY BIRDS OBSESSION. I thought we dodged it, but then they came out with that damned go-kart game, and he got hooked. So it was Angry Birds everywhere, and he loved every bit of it). Then he promptly went upstairs and meticulously pulled all the streamers down. He informed me that it was to keep him from accidentally going through them and getting older too early. Smart move. Linus was more than happy to wallow in the aftermath.
After some play time, we had ‘lunch’ (leftover whatevers we dug out of the fridge, which was pretty much 2-3 of our meals this week), and Pete opened his box from Anne. Lots of cars and Lil Bubs!! He insists on reading the book every night and last I checked, his Matchbook Car luggage was parked by his bedside. So that was quite the success as well.
Then those of us that were ‘unclean’ took showers, and we ran out the door to the Madison Children’s Museum for Pete’s official birthday party with all his best buddies (aka: his pre-K class).
Parties here are pretty sweet: a lovely room, real plates and utensils, cake and snacks all picked out via hyperlink earlier in the week. Easy peasy. Instead of gifts we collected money for the renovated polar bear exhibit at the zoo, because I am sorry but we have more than enough kid toy crap in our house. Polar bears need the money much more than we need another Transformer to step on. Also I was told that we would have a personal staff member for the party who would handle all aspects, from informing guests of the day when they arrive and check in to prepping drinks and cutting cake and just keeping things moving in general. Instead: the dude did none of it, none. He stood in the corner of the room and looked cute. And hey, he looked like Lupita Nyong’o’s brother, like right down to the hairstyle and glasses, so he looked plenty adorable. Plus I got the vibe he was way new to the job, so I’ll cut him some slack.
So when it came time to cut cake I was a little lost (I pretty much suck at throwing parties, let me just point that out right now), so Asher’s dad chivalrously stepped up and started scooping the melting ice cream into bowls and Asher’s mom appeared at my right elbow to help hand out cake and someone else walked around with fruit and then Scott and I fumbled through finding and passing out drink options. So it worked out, thank goodness more capable people were in attendance. Somewhere after all that, while I silently congratulated myself for living through it, someone pointed out that Catalina was not in the room and (ohhh, gaaaawd) therefore lost out in the museum somewhere. Eeeeep. She made it and I got her set up at a table and DUDE, but I will forever feel guilty for losing one of the flock. MAN. Sorry, Catalina honey. It is certainly not your fault, I just suck at counting heads.
After cake there was half an hour left at the museum, so the kids took OVER and randomly built a house, and hey I have to say: they are actually pretty good as a team. There was a little overly energetic head-bonking, but everyone had their eye on the goal so no hard feelings. Then they played “severe weather day”, where someone would shout, “OH NO HERE COMES A TORNADO!” and then Pete would shout “EVERYBODY OUTSIDE, QUICK!” and out they would all obediently file out and giggle and scatter to the wind, so to speak. Just a tip, kiddos: don’t listen to the native Kansan about how to handle tornado weather. Best to stay inside and not go outside to check it all out…
Then we went home, and had MOAR CAKE. And some dinner. We were going to grab some Papa Murphy’s like last year, but didn’t really want to COOK anything or fire up that oven, so we hit up Firehouse Subs up the street from our home instead. Pete loves their meatball sub (he pretty much picks out the meatballs and just eats those, but whatever) so it worked out. He got some sparkling grape juice for his special day and yes, again, a cake.
So at the Children’s Museum they have Carl’s Cakes for all birthdays, which is truly some seriously good cake. It was a marbled cake with chocolate ganache filling and vanilla buttercream. There are people in my office who just worship their cakes (fine, not literally, but they do swear by Carl’s). We went with the old faithful Rolling Pin Bake Shop for Pete’s home cake, it was a lemon curd/strawberry concoction also with vanilla buttercream. It was amazing. AMAZING. Put the Carl’s Cake to shame, and that says something.
Peter had to do the robot in the middle of our happy-birthday serenade, because: of course. We had cake and then he opened his gifts from us, and let me point out: he opens his gifts just like his grandpa Peter: methodically, careful not to tear paper, takes off the tape oh-so-carefully. We had to encourage him to just rip-it open already.
Then there was some play time with his new toys, and it started raining so he insisted on tasting the rain on his birthday, and then we all hit the hay.
I mean, I was exhausted. I am never going to be stupid enough to have his b-day party on his actual birthday, ever again. EVAR. So I went to bed at 8:30p, but read the copy of Gone Girl that Anne sent me (yes, I am one of the dozen or so people who has not read it yet), so I really went to bed around midnight. And had Gone Girl inspired dreams where someone is in the house in the middle of the night and hell-bent on stabbing me. Thanks, novel. Thanks a lot. So that makes two nights in a row of crappy sleep, for those taking count.
Pete and Scott got groceries, dropped his Pennies for Polar Bears at the zoo, and Linus and I chilled at home doing laundry and cleaning the house. Linus attempted to crawl, getting up on all fours and all that good stuff. As usual, I told him NO! and NAUGHTY BABY! and all that stuff in an effort to squash his efforts. He ignored me, little brat. Seriously though, I am not ready to keep my floors clean enough for a crawling child.
Sunday evening we drove over to the Dells, to hit up Buffalo Phil’s for Pete’s official birthday dinner. Linus seemed to like the trains as well, so that was a plus it kept him pretty entertained too. And I apologize in advance for the somewhat fuzzy images to follow, as someone with greasy fingers apparently manhandled the camera lens.
The sun was full-on in Linus’ face on the drive home. I put his little wee sunglasses on him, but he pulled them off after about 2 minutes. Then he proceeded to scream, cry, and basically totally freak the eff out for the rest of the 45-minute drive. It was awesome. Poor little baby. He was in the middle of a major hiccup-and-gasping fit when he suddenly passed out. I was pretty sure he had died from sadness. This occurred, of course, 2 exits from home. So when we pulled into the garage he woke up and started screaming again. I am going to just go ahead and say: this kid hates being in the car. This is pretty much his M.O. when we are at the last bit of the drive to daycare everyday, too. So go ahead and be jealous (and pray for us for all future car trips longer than half an hour).
That’s it for this week, dudes (yes: FINALLY). See you on the flip side.