Thursday, February 4, 2016

Noah's Bubble Birthday Party

Bubble birthday party
The Muffin Man turned three a few weeks ago, and I'm happy to report that I finally got my sh*t together and threw my kid a birthday party.  Like, an actual party with entertainment and favors and cake.

I felt kind of guilty for not throwing Noah a party last year, especially since he's now old enough that he's spent the last six months begging me to throw a birthday party.  I realize that this is very #firstworldproblems and whatnot, but having a kid who is, essentially, a New Year's baby totally sucks.  By the time Noah's birthday rolls around every January 3rd, I'm completely burned out and the last thing I want to do is fill my home with people and presents.  This year I got smart: I scheduled his party for two weeks after his actual birthday.  This meant that I didn't go crazy trying to put together a party right after the whirlwind of the holidays, and that all of his little friends were able to attend because no one was out of town.  Pretty brilliant, if I do say so myself.

We decided to go with a bubble theme because bubbles are awesome (also, a friend had them at her party and Noah loved them).
Bubble birthday party
Honestly, this is one of the best party entertainment deals in town.  Bubblemania sends one of their "bubbleologists" and they do a bubble show, put all the kids in giant bubbles, and set up bubble pools so that kids can make their own bubble shapes.  
Bubble birthday party

bubble themed birthday party
In order to do the life size bubbles you have to provide a space with at least three walls, so we used our empty garage and it worked out perfectly.  
bubble themed birthday party

bubble themed birthday party

bubble birthday party
 The kids had so much fun, and it appealed to all different ages.  
kids party activities
I set up a craft table with crayons and markers and chalk, so that Noah's friends could "write" messages to him on the long piece of paper.  
bubble birthday party
It also ended up being a great place to sit and eat cake!
bubble birthday party
bubble party banner
I found a great batch of bubble party templates on Etsy, which I used for the banners, favor tags, and cupcake toppers. 
bubble wand party favors
I'm not a fan of party favors, but the giant bubble wands were awesome and the kids loved them.  Plus, they were the same price as the usual party favor crap that just gets thrown away. 
bubble party cake toppers
Noah requested a strawberry cake for both his actual birthday and his party.  Just for the record, this is one of the most complicated cakes I've ever made, but it is SO GOOD.
bubble birthday party I also made chocolate cupcakes because, kids.
kids bubble birthday We had bagels and lox, coffee and mimosas, too.  But Rose was only interested in the dessert table.
fresh strawberry cake
Cake, because you only turn three once (unless you're a child actor and then you just keep turning three until puberty). 
fresh strawberry cake
bubble birthday party
We totally forgot to take a family photo, so this will have to do.  For the record, we were showing him what he looked like inside a bubble.
bubble birthday party
A great time was had by all...especially the parents who enjoyed a few Mimosas.

Thank you to the incredible Amelia Borella, who took all of the amazing photos, which allowed me to enjoy the party!
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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

A Week Without A Mommy

what to do when mommy is sick
Mommy is sick, please go bother your Father.
Last week I was struck down by whatever seasonal plague is making the rounds of Los Angeles.  I'm sure I picked it up from one of the dirty, child-centric places that I'm forced to frequent with my offspring.  I try to wash my hands more often than Howard Hughes on a bad day, but there are only so many times you can be sneezed on by a rheumy child and expect to walk away unscathed.

It's unusual that I'm the first one who catches something - it's usually my kids and then my husband and then, sometimes, me - but I suspect that my super human mom immunity was down what with all the air travel and birthday revelry.  I also admit that I did indulge in a few too many sugary sweets over the Holiday season which inevitably lands me in a sickbed.  The point is that I spent most of last week being completely miserable, coughing up a lung and moaning in my bed when I wasn't paying a negligible amount of attention to my kids.

Coincidentally, both my nanny and the grandparents are gone for two months, which means that in addition to wishing for an early death to put me out of my misery, I also had to take care of my two children.  I'm not proud of it, but I will confess that much of my caregiving consisted of turning on the television and letting my kids watch hours of Elmo while I dozed on the couch.  Hey, a Moms got to do what a Moms got to do.

When I finally emerged from my sickbed, I was greeted with a truly horrifying sight: my home appeared to have been vandalized.  It was only after I noticed that the computers and TV were still in their assigned places that it dawned on me that this is what a week without Mom looks like.

The Dishes.  I would guess that if you took a poll of Mothers, most would tell you that they spend a significant number of hours each day doing dishes.  This is why people pay a lot of money for houses with nice views out of the kitchen window - because that is probably the only vista Mom is ever going to see!  The point is that when Mommy isn't well enough to attend to her daily loading, unloading, and reloading of the dishwasher, things get ugly.  Every glass and plate are dirty.  Half empty coffee mugs clog the kitchen counters growing milk mold.  It's entirely possible that when Mommy emerges from her sickbed that she won't even be able to see the kitchen sink through the pile of dirty dishes.

The Laundry.  Did you know that dirty laundry asexually reproduces at night while Mommies sleep?  When Mom is sick the piles grow so large that they threaten to take over an entire home.  And God forbid your spouse tries to help out with a few loads while you're coughing up a lung - that's how I ended up spending my first day of wellness trolling the interwebs for Unshrinkit in an attempt to save my favorite cashmere sweater.

The Mail.  I'm sure there are spouses who empty an overflowing mail box, I've just never met one.  The pile of mail that I woke up to was large enough to swallow my small child (and there wasn't even a Restoration Hardware catalog in there).

The (lack of) Food.  Children like to eat and they eat a lot (not at one sitting mind you, but over the course of a day), so it can be problematic when one opens the fridge only to find empty milk cartons and a withered scallion.  There's nothing like spending your first day back from the brink of death buying one of everything at Trader Joes, amiright?

The Toys.  I'm not sure I ever realized just how many toys I pick up on a daily (hourly?) basis until last week.  It is entirely thanks to me stowing the various toys in their rightful baskets all the time that we have thus far been able to avoid any Lego or plastic food-related injury.  Even after almost a week of constantly picking up small plastic blocks and wooden vegetables, I'm still finding pieces in every corner of my abode.  In fact, I may never recover from the scary looking Lego creature I discovered in my lingerie drawer yesterday.

I will say this for my week of illness: sure, the clean-up is a nightmare, but I finally have a much better idea of all the things I do around Casa Lane in addition to caring for my children.  In fact, I'm so impressed with all that I accomplish in a day that I'm definitely going to start invoicing my family for my services.  I'll get to work on that right after I finish doing six loads of laundry, three loads of dishes, and open all that mail. 

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