Monday, March 19, 2012

My Mom Planned Awesome Birthday Parties And Pininterest Is An Overachiever

Have you heard of Pininterest? Supposedly it's the newest coolest whippest thing out there on the world wide Internet.  And, for all of you who 1) didn't know whippest was the new cool catch phrase and 2) don't know what Pininterest is, it's a website dedicated to really, really, really elaborate children's birthday parties. How do I know this? Well, let's just say, when your friends ask what you are planning for your daughter's birthday party and you say that your plan is to have the children decorate paper grocery bags and then play a rousing game of drop the clothespin in the jar, it doesn't come off as sounding all cool and retro like.

See, awhile ago (meaning two weeks) I realized that not only was Katie turning five, but also that I should probably throw some sort of birthday party for her. (I am nothing if not a stellar mother, obviously.) So, in the hopes of showing off how whippet my Internet skillz have become I logged onto Pininterest.  At least that's what I was calling it until Jon, head in hands, groaned, "Seriously? It's called PinTEREST. How long have you been call-WHY ARE YOU STILL SHAKING YOUR PHONE!?!" Obviously he'd reached his pebibyte* limit.  However, undaunted, with the song from that one Fred Astaire movie flipping off my lips, I left the room,  unearthed my laptop from some elaborate art project of Katie and Ellie's (meaning all the ads from yesterday's newspaper), found the search bar on PinINterest and typed "Birthday Parties For Lazy People" and got zero results.  ZZEEERROOO! I was now officially, utterly, and completely out of ideas.

Then Winifred walked into my life.  (cue hero music) And she brought Belinda with her. (Come on! Sing the hero music with me! "Believe it or not! I'm walking on air! I never thought I could feel so free-e-ee! Flyin' away on a wing and a prayer, who could it be? Believe it or not, it's just Belinda and Winifred!")

OK, fine, technically, they'd been in my life for years considering we all go to the same church, both their sons were born like hours before Katie, and one of them still can't believe that I painted my eyebrows teal in the middle of Target (in my defense they were free samples, Belinda!). But they're still my heroes, because (herorific drum roll please!) they let me join in on their birthday party plans! Yes, me! The mother with absolutely NO birthday ideas!

And, for a while, it was simply wonderful. My birthday party heroes knew how to search for more than just "party planning for lazy people" on PinINterest. They knew about birthday party gift bags.  They knew how to make cakes from scratch. Winifred even had a bounce house.  Seriously. A BOUNCE HOUSE people! There was no way this party wouldn't be EPICALLY AWESOME!!!!!!! (cue embarrassing happy dance here)

Then they told me the theme.

Yeah. You guessed it.

Star Wars.


I realized at that moment I had two choices. 1) I could go back to my "retro" theme of crayon decorated grocery bags and clothes pin entertainment, or 2) I could somehow figure out a way to explain Star Wars to Katie. Considering I'd already told Katie about Winifred's bounce house, and no mother in her right mind promises her child a bounce house and then doesn't deliver, really, my choice was made for me.

Luckily Belinda had a napkin I could borrow. You know, for a visual aide.

The Story of Star Wars
As Told by Martha
Using a Napkin

Once upon a time, way out in space, there were some aliens and other people.  Some of the aliens and people were good.  Like these guys:
The good guys lived on a very cold planet, but they had warm coats and hairy bodies, so, they usually stayed toasty warm. Their job was to ride the ranges in their region, making sure the planet was safe for everyone.  They had a good time and were always the best of friends.  Plus, The Mountie made popcorn for dinner every Wednesday, and they all loved that!

But some of the aliens and people were mean.  Like these guys:
They could have been good guys too, but, this one time, Darth lost his drum sticks and he couldn't find them anywhere so he never played air percussion again and that made him really really sad, and very grumpy. Bubba, on the other hand, just got tired of people misspelling his name. "P-H-a-t people! Not F-a-t!  Gosh!" And that made him grumpy too.  So, when these two grumpy guys heard about how much fun everyone was having at the Wednesday popcorn dinners on the other planet, they got really jealous and decided that they would go there and steal all their popcorn and keep it for themselves.  Of course they brought along their mechanical elephant, Melville, because their good friend Hannibal told them too.
But the attack didn't work out well for Darth and Bubba.  Clothed as they were, in their small capes, it made little difference against the arctic weather conditions they faced. They began to shiver so badly they couldn't even hold their swords properly.  Melville didn't do well on the snow and ice either.  He kept falling down.  But when the good guys saw the distress the poor elephant was in, they held a quick quilting party and made a warm Snuggie for him.  When Darth and Bubba saw how nice The Mountie, Chewbacha and The Eskimo were to Melville, they put down their swords and, using their polite voices, asked if they could come to their popcorn party. They even said, "Please."  Of course the good guys said they had tons of popcorn and would love to share with their new friends. And they all lived happily ever after.
The End

*I found this word on PinINterest.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Brought To You By Definition #2*

As the resident killjoy around our house (read: person who says things like, "Don't put green beans in your ears!" and "It's been four hours, GO TOILET!" or, "Quit throwing rocks at your sister! I don't care if she's biting you! Puncture wounds I can fix, but brains are beyond me!") I use this blog as a place to be kinda stupid.  (OK, a lot stupid.) And I like it.  But, it's March, Katie is coming up on her fifth birthday in a few weeks, and it feels weird.  No, not weird as in clutching my pearls and crying "Oh dearies baby is growing (sniffle) uuuUUUuuuppp!" into my pink fluffy kitten tea cup with matching lacy saucer. That's totally not me. I'm more of a polka dots and butterflies coffee cup swilling type of woman, you know, more piratey like. Arrggg, salty dog and all that.** The weirdness is more of a, "Wow.  Last year when Katie turned four, that was totally crappy.  I mean, really crappy.  But this year? Completely different.  Weird." feeling. And it's making me all maudlin and stuff.  I mean, just there, the only thing my brain did was tell my fingers to type m-a-u-d-l-i-n.  Did you picture a mandolin playing troubadour walking amongst the plum trees outside the castle walls?  Yeah. Me either. See? Maudlin.  

I wrote a little bit about it last year, you know, about the biopsy reports, cystic fibrosis reports, surgery, and a lack of pie to soothe my soul after months of riding that emotional roller coaster stupidly entitled "Your Child Is Sick! MAYBE SHE'LL DIE!". I stuck it all into one tiny post because I don't really do that whole sharing my feelings thing very well. (Although it probably does explain my new found appreciation of butt related humor. And, um, literature.)  But, this year? There's nothing. No colon specialists, no children's hospital waiting rooms, no diagrams of large intestines to explain, no scared almost four year old to buckle into her car seat for yet another hour long drive to the doctor's office. Nothing.  Just swim lessons. School and "take home" days at the coffee shop by the park.  Visits to the library for more Jigsaw Jones books. Songs about the continents.  Tents turned into rocket ships.  The Farmer and the Dell shows staged while she wears "two tutus too". And piles and piles of books to read with Ellie on rainy days.  My Katie.  She's almost five.

* maud-lin: (adj) 2 : weakly and effusively sentimental
**OK, maybe really just the immature coffee cup and caffeine swilling bit.