Friday, May 29, 2015

DAY 20: Glimpsing Happiness

The power of an ice cream sandwich
I was listening to the radio in the car yesterday and the hosts were talking about the passing of U2’s tour manager. It was part of the Entertainment Update segment but quickly transitioned into something more. One of the DJs (do we still say disk jockeys? I feel 100 years old saying that, but what else do you call them?) became very serious, talking about how we must cherish the little moments in life.

It stuck with me all day. And the more I thought about it, the more I focused on how I sweat the small stuff. Not even just the small stuff, I sweat all of the stuff, all the time. Then I started to question whether or not I could even recognize the good stuff, these mysterious moments I am supposed to hold on to.

It was a little terrifying, honestly…

Then my 2 year old and I ate some ice cream sandwiches. I watched as he grew an ice cream beard. He laughed at the simple deliciousness that only two chocolate cookies and vanilla goodness can bring. It was quiet, there was no TV, no distractions, it was just the two of us, grinning at each other. And I thought oh wait, this is it, isn’t it? This is the small stuff, a sweet moment I am supposed to be savoring.

And what did I do? I tried to hit pause, I tried to burn this into my memory, but by then he was looking for a napkin and ready to run away to play with toys. And I was left sitting with sticky wrappers, dripping with melancholy. It was right there in front of me and I didn’t grab it, I didn’t “get” it until it was too late.

But maybe that’s just it. Maybe breathing in the moment, recognizing it’s importance and letting it drift slowly away is part of the experience.

I can be hard on myself, we all can be hard on ourselves. We strive to make every day magical for our kids (and ourselves) in big, loud, Pinterest-soaked ways while the little happiness-es are floating by unnoticed and unappreciated. And you know what? I don’t want that. It's about time I got out of my own way.

It's time to open my eyes, open my heart and open myself up to the incredible possibilities, and joy, that surround me. It’s not going to be easy, I am pretty set in my hard-edged, anxiety-thriving ways, but I am going to try because not-trying to see the joy is not an option. Not any more.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Day 19: No Fun in the Funk

Even Connor knows being in a funk is frustrating
Hey there….
I know it’s been a while.

Last week I fell into a funk and I am having a hard time pulling myself out of this slump. I am hoping this entry will help me to do just that—simply by posting this I will regain/reactivate that muscle memory and be able to write again.

I will try to address this more in the coming days, but last week we met with a team of special education specialists to put Liam on an individualized education plan, something we as his parents knew was likely to happen, but sometimes being right isn’t all it’s cracked up to be…. and I really love being right.

But also last week, I had dinner with two longtime friends—there is a beauty in being with those who know your history, even if you haven’t seen then in many years. Oh, and we had a Taco Party—it was so fun and filled with tortilla chips and what’s better than that I ask you? Pretty much nothing.

OK, so more to come about all of this and other exciting happenings in Mumfordia, maybe even tomorrow.

Friday, May 15, 2015

DAY 18: The 3s Are Coming!!

He's cute when he's cute
Connor will be turning three this summer and over the last two weeks he has transformed from the terrible twos into the atrocious threes! I don’t know about you moms out there, but I found 3 to far worse than 2 with my older son.

I distinctly remember standing in the kitchen of our NYC apartment, I was 9 months pregnant, due in just a week with Connor and sobbing. I said to my husband, “it’s not fair to bring this baby into this house with that monster.” Jesse responded with a quip about how there is no turning back now, ha ha. Then I said, then we should find someone to adopt this new baby. I didn’t mean it obviously and only a couple of days later we welcomed Connor into our crazy family.

Like childbirth, I have blocked out most of the threes. It’s like I placed it in a neat package in my brain and burned it. I have no idea what happened at that time, nothing at all, nada. Well that’s not totally true, I have vague memories of fits in the street and him finally using the potty but it’s really blurry, almost like it happened to someone else….

So here we are again, only my little guy is an over achiever—he is starting early. Every day this week (every. single. day.) he has thrown a fit at drop off at school. Screaming—high-pitch, ears-bleeding, screeching—in my face, telling me to get away, then begging me to stay.

Today he laid down in the middle of the hallway so everyone had to walk over him. And you know, you start talking in that crazy Stepford Mommy voice, the calm sing songy one—come on sweetheart, let’s get up, listen to Mommy, I am going to count to 3, now, 1-2…. When really inside you are secretly screaming and dying of mommy-shame because you cannot control this little mad mad as you watch all of the other parents bring in their beautiful, well-behaved kids—none of whom have yogurt dripped down their shirt by the way.

I finally wrestled him into the outdoor play area, where he wails for me through the fence. I walked quickly away without turning back. Pulling on my sunglasses and keeping my head down so no one could see the tears. Not sure where the tears came from, was I frustrated, humiliated? I don’t know, but seeing him reach for me and call my name can be physically painful—my heart aches and my stomach flips. He makes me so crazy and yet, I love him like crazy.

As we enter the threes, I am going to approach it like a sergeant preparing for battle, because that’s exactly what it is. I will fight the good fight, through the potty training, the meltdowns and eternal stickiness until we reach that golden age of four when the clouds part and we see the sun once more.

And maybe, just maybe I will have Jesse pick him up from school today….

Thursday, May 14, 2015

DAY 15: A Letter

Connor as a newborn


Welcome to the world little one! It’s a bright sparkly place, huh? It can get messy at times, but you are going to love every, single second of it.

And now I have a few words of advice for you.

Be kind to your parents, especially your mama, she is probably a little tired right now. I know you don’t want to miss a moment and sometimes sleeping doesn’t sound so fun, but close those eyes and know you are never alone. I bet your mom wishes you would rest so she can too, but here is a little secret, the truth is she doesn’t—she stays awake staring at your beautiful face because even though she wants to sleep, she can’t. And you know why? She’s just like you, she doesn’t want to miss a moment.

Trust that if your parents leave, they will return. Even when Mommy and Daddy go out, they will come back. So no, little one, you don’t need to spit up on you your mama’s beautiful hair right before she heads out, she’ll be thinking of you constantly without such a smelly reminder. Sure there will be days when she’ll shut the door and feel a wave a relief, but never fear because within two steps from the front door, her heart will begin to ache. And just try to stop her from showing off pictures of your handsome-ness to every passerby!

And lastly, and take note little one, this is a biggie. To the world, your parents are simply people spinning round and round each day, but I know they already mean the world to you. So always remember to give them that extra hug and kiss, even when you think you’re too old for such things—you are never to old to love, be loved and show love.

I think that’s it little one. Be kind, trust yourself and your family and keep your heart open—oh and call your Auntie Noël once in a while OK?
You are in my thoughts and my heart,
NCM

DAY 17: Mom

Mom & Liam
This was due to post yesterday, but due to screaming children, I forgot to hit POST, please enjoy.


Today is my mom’s birthday—she probably doesn’t want anyone to know that, so let’s just keep it between us, OK?

Fast talking, feisty and fabulous, she is such a giving, beautiful woman—but get out of her way if there is a sale going on! Gracious and kind, she didn’t think twice about asking us to live with her (a decision she may have made too hastily.) She is also gentle and loving, persistent and patient. And so funny. All in all, the kind of lady you want to have a drink or two with.

And she is the best grandmother ever. When she was trying to decide what Liam would call her, she went back and forth. Something fun like GiGi, not Nana—my mom's mother was Nana and she was one of a kind—or maybe Grandma, but that didn’t seem quite right either. Then she announced one day that she would be GRAMMY! And it was perfect, just the right about of warmth and love. And now to hear my kids call her that, it’s just magical.

But the greatest thing she has taught me is to never stop fighting. She was the ultimate advocate for us when we were growing up and I have seen her stand up for her family time and time again. She never takes no for an answer, there is no “no,” there is only “what else can be done.” That goes for everyone from car salesmen to her own kids. There is no better lesson for me, it got me through school, through working, through mommy-hood and through life.

She is my confidant, my advisor, my best friend… she is my mom.
I love you.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

DAY 16: Stop the World!

Or at least slow it down a little, it’s all going way too fast!

I looked at my boys today and saw how big they are. Like really big.

Liam is tall, lanky even—yes he just turned 6 which I don’t think is old either, but I didn’t know 6 meant a child who is over 4 FT tall! And since his birthday, I have noticed a subtle shift in him where a quiet maturity is fighting it’s way out. Now you are probably thinking that I am getting carried away, and yes I will admit there was a holy meltdown over an orange marker this weekend, BUT his focus is different, so different in fact I would say he actually has some focus! Oh, and he has started calling us Mom and Dad. He never said Mama, it was straight from staring at and me and screaming to Mommy. And now it’s Mom, just Mom.

As for Connor, he is reaching that point where he is starting to say words correctly and it is utterly heart breaking. He recently stopped calling his old brother Iam (pronounced like EE-um) and started saying Liam. And while Liam was over-the-moon excited, I was holding back tears. It’s bad enough he stopped watching Sesame Street and will only play with “big boy” toys. I mean what’s next? Is he going to start saying his name correctly too? Will he call himself “Connor” instead of “Connors” with an “s,” it’s more than I can bear!

So hey world, slow down and let me catch my breath, let me keep my boys as babies just a little while longer because pretty soon they will be too big for me to hold on to.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

DAY 14: Happy Mother's Day

Wishing all of the moms out there a Happy Mother’s Day!

We are so fortunate to live in a world where the role of mother has infinite definitions, they are all different but all positively beautiful.

I will never forgot the first night after Liam was born. Everyone had left, visiting hours over—I laid him next to me, he just stared at me and I had no idea what to do with him. It hit me that I was responsible for him and I was instantly afraid. How was I going to keep this fragile baby alive, let alone raise him? I remember feeling very alone in that moment, and yet looking into those eyes I also knew there was nothing I wouldn’t do for him.

And so began the journey into motherhood. There have been a lot more bumps than I had imagined, but so far I am loving this ride, as wild as it is! And I have learned so much, through their eyes there are limitless possibilities—that’s something I had lost along the way, but so happy to find it once again alongside them.

And watching them become who they are is simply magical. Liam who a little over a year ago couldn’t decide if he was a righty or a lefty, now makes the best art ever (with his left hand!) and Connor’s calm determination is, at times, truly inspiring. We are not perfect, we have some not-the-best moments, but it’s a package deal, right? You have to endure the rain for the flowers to bloom.

As I write this there is a calm here, Connor playing with toys on the floor and Liam drawing next to me and I realize, this is it. This is one of those beautiful moments I didn’t think possible and yet here we are—and it’s just as good as I had hoped it would be that first night in the hospital.

Annnd now Connor is yelling and I have to run!

DAY 13: Road Trip

We traveled to PA today to wish my mother-in-law a happy 70th birthday!

This marks the first road trip we’ve taken since Liam was about 12 months old that I wasn’t white-knuckling it—it was around that time when he first started getting car sick. You never knew when it was going to hit, only that it was inevitable, so I would ride along on pins and needles—and hope.

After a while we got wise to the situation. We would only travel after 8PM when it was dark, I had dramamine in every section of the car and gallon size zip lock bags stashed in my seat and the car seat for well, you can imagine. And even with all that prep and the understanding that sometimes you just have to accept it, I would still be on the edge of my seat, every muscle tensed.

But one of the bonuses of moving has been spending more time in the car, and I am happy to report he seems to have adjusted to the motion—when we were in NYC we barely used the car so when we did, it was like starting from scratch each and every time.

And today we took a four-hour ride without incident—about half way through I allowed myself to relax a little, of course the kids were asleep and I jumped out of my skin with every, single cough but it was totally freeing.

So I think I am try to sit back, relax and enjoy the ride a little bit on the way home—with a box of zip-locks within arms reach at all times.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Day 12: State of Friendship

Robin, Sean and me--long ago
One of the greatest things about moving from NYC back to MA has been spending quality time with some of my best friends. And one of the worst things about moving has been not being able to spend time with some of my best friends.

This week I was able to take my friend Robin, whom I’ve known since I was 2.5 years old out to lunch for her birthday for the first time in like 14 years. It was so fun (and so over due) to dish over heaping plates of Thai food (which I gobbled up every bite!) face-to-face, not over email or even on the phone.

But recently one of my dearest, Aaron opened in a new show on Broadway and while Liam and I were glued to the TV during their Today Show performance, it wasn’t like hugging him at the stage door. I know we will see the show (of course now it has been nominated for a million Tony Awards, so we may not be able to get tickets…) but not being there felt like, well, not being there, you know?

Then today I went for a marathon walk with my Michelle, one of my closest friends since we played Alice and the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, when I was in the 8th grade (see where Liam gets it!) And it was awesome, sure we both had a limited time, but being able to take a walk with my friend was something I used to crave in the city and it was happening today in real time. After that walk, I felt more grounded, more like me.

But I also found out today that one of my closest NYC friends had a baby—I am over the moon excited for her, but so sad that I won’t be able to visit that little boy and his mama in the hospital. I am going to have to wait until I get myself back to NYC to snuggle him and love on my girl Kimmie.

It’s hard to feel the pull of two different places, to feel your heart tugged across state lines. But I also know that I am so so lucky to have such incredible people in my life. And while I wish they didn’t live all over the country (that’s right, I am looking at you NJ, CA and NC too!) I guess that just means that we have some traveling to do… Oh, and our new house has a guest room!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Day 11: Kindness Counts

Someone asked me today how I was, and really meant it—and it gave me pause. It stopped me in my tracks to see the thoughtfulness in her eyes.

When people say, “how are you?” I am so used to blurting out “great, fabulous, wonderful” without giving it a second thought. And believe me there have been days when I have hid behind those words, because aren’t there times when you really want to say awful, cranky, down, bloated, tired, annoyed. But today I stopped and actually thought about it and said, “yeah I feel really good,” but maybe it’s because of the boost I got just because they took the time to actually care about the response and that in turn made me feel good.

It’s so rare that people show kindness to each other. There is beauty in this somewhat simple thought.  Kindness can make all the difference, I think. You can turn around someone’s day with a smile or small acknowledgement and what do you get in return—a shot of pure feeling good-ness. I know people have gone through unimaginable pain and difficulty, but to me that is all the more reason to show a little kindness whenever possible. Even the smallest gesture can have a major impact on another person who may not be having the best day—and who knows your kindness may even make them rethink something negative in their lives.

How you act, and sometimes more importantly, how you react, are the ways we teach our children to act and react. We obviously know this, but have you ever thrown your own temper tantrum then watched your kid mimic it when they are frustrated? Ugh, it’s the worst feeling ever, and you know I am speaking from experience. I try not to beat myself up about it and let these moments serve as a wake up call for the future, but it’s not always that easy, is it? These things take time and effort and when you’re a parent and you are bone tired from, well everything a parent does, these mystical things like “time” and “effort” can seem as rare as spying Bigfoot in the backyard. I get it, I have been there, in fact I might be there right now…

I just have to believe that if I keep it top of mind, if I remember to take a breath (instead of sucking in air to yell) and pause to care that my acts of kindness will make a difference in my boys. There are beautiful glimmers that let me know it works, like today when Liam tried to calm Connor when he was crying by getting his favorite toy or when Connor has seen that I am upset and comes to hold my hand.

It may sound silly or naive but I believe that showing kindness can change the world, but for now I will try to focus on changing my world, easing tension and anxiety one moment at a time. I know I won’t be perfect, maybe not even good at it at all, but I am going to try because my family will be better, happier, for it.

So THANK YOU to the woman who showed me kindness with a simple question and caring smile, you made my day—and I am a better person, and parent, for it.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

DAY 10: Entering Neverland

Monday night was Liam’s show, Peter Pan. He played the ultimate villain, Captain Hook and it was marvelous!

On the ride over, he didn’t want a snack—and he always chows down on the way to music class so it was a bit surprising. Maybe he had the same butterflies I had as we drove to Andover... My stomach was such a flutter, I had the same feeling I used to get when I was about to perform and I had a hunch Liam was feeling the same way. When I asked if he OK, he only nodded and whispered, “yes.”

We walked in and I helped him get into his costume wordlessly. Then I asked if he was ready. He nodded again. I said, “You got this, I am so proud of you. Now go out there and have fun!” He smiled and with a wave of his hook he was off grunting and laughing with his pirate crew as they warmed up for the performance.

As I walked away, I paused to think what it would have been like to be on stage at such a young age. It wasn’t until I was in 8th grade that I sang in front of an audience alone. Wow, I was humbled thinking that these 5 and 6 year old children were about to walk onto a real stage and bring a story to life in front of a real audience. The thought had me clutching my stomach with what I told myself was just excitement…

As we all entered the cool theater, I could hear the shuffling of little feet and a couple backstage giggles. I was suddenly stricken with nervousness. How would he do? What if he forgets the words? What if he can’t control his “unsafe body” and dances like those balloon guys in front of car dealerships? And before I could think one more awful think they were all on stage, each one looking for their families in the dark auditorium. I yelped and he found my eyes instantly, did a mini-wave and smiled—and that was it, he was transformed into the Captain himself. Scowl set, he stayed in character (complete with gravelly voice, obviously!) throughout the show.

When he stepped up to the microphone to sing “Never Smile at a Crocodile” he didn’t miss a beat, he sang loud and proud—and with the slight hint of a vibrato—and I dissolved into tears. My boy who had such a tough adjustment when we moved was strutting his pirate self all over the stage, singing his heart out for all to hear. I thought I would burst at such a gorgeous sight. And again, I credit his teacher at Tiny Tunes for making these magical moments happen, for building his confidence, for helping him plant his feet and for introducing him to the power of live performance.

After the curtain call, I could hear him calling my name from the lobby as I rushed to hug him. “Was I awesome?” he asked and I answered, “Better than awesome!”  Because it was just true, all of this was way better than awesome, it was a little like finding our own Never-Never Land.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

DAY NINE: Power Off

Last night was Liam’s show and it was fantastic! But I think I will wait and post about that tomorrow because look at this kid!

We lost power during his TV time. Right smack dab in the middle of a mystery on Scooby Doo and the boy went bonkers. He gets to watch two shows as part of his calming down time since giving up his nap—and oh you National Grid, you ruined everything!

He dragged me through the house saying “remote, Mommy, remote, Scooby Doo.” I kept saying the power is out buddy there is nothing we can do. But his little two-year old brain just could not compute. He ran to a corner and started sobbing his heart out. The poor child wailed in agony, he cried so hard that he collapsed on the floor ASLEEP.
It was crazy… like really a little crazy.

It is so heartbreaking when their wee dreams get smashed like that—and as a parent you have to look on powerlessly and wait for them to work through it. I mean, if I could have turned the power back on this afternoon you know I would have, I want him to be happy and in that moment, Scooby and the gang was all that mattered.

While Jesse and I laughed at the ridiculousness—and insane cuteness—of our collapsed kid, it was really a little bittersweet, even with all the silliness. This whole being a parent job is going to get harder and harder as time goes on—especially when we have to sit back and watch while they navigate life’s bumps and figure things out on their own.

But I can’t dwell on what future problems we will have when this kid is laying in the middle of the floor, I am too caught up in his sweet snoring face—and trying to stifle fits of laughter.

Monday, May 4, 2015

DAY EIGHT: I {HEART} Teachers

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week!

I have been running around gathering items to say thank you to the teachers at my boys’ schools and while I am sort of going crazy, I couldn’t be happier to do it!

In NY, I lived with a dedicated elementary school teacher who taught in a city school. She left before the sun went up and didn’t get home most nights until 7 or 8PM. She bought her own supplies when her budget didn’t allow it and taught students in a trailer because the school was so overcrowded they didn’t have enough classrooms. I visited her one day, the trailer shook very time the subway went by, but she didn’t even notice, all she saw were those kids and she was determined to help them reach their full potential.

Watching her I learned just how hard teachers work. Sure they get a lot of vacation time, but that’s because they need to refuel and take classes themselves on how to teach our children better. I truly believe it is one of the hardest jobs in this world…

So thank you to the men and women who dedicate themselves to making a difference in our lives, not just our children—because when you inspire our kids, you inspire all of us.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

DAY SEVEN: Party Pooper

This morning it was Connor’s turn to go to a party filled with his friends. And it was my turn to take him!

Working on Saturdays means that I sometimes miss out on fun activities with the boys, like birthday parties. Plus, I was looking forward to meeting some of the parents of the kids in his class (as I was picked to be one of two room mothers, a job I didn’t exactly sign up for.)

As we were leaving, Connor was excited about the party and seeing his friends, but when we got there he didn’t want to leave the car. I coerced him out talking up the party and cake (of course!) then once inside he turned into a wallflower. Pulling his hoodie over his eyes, he refused to take his shoes off and join the kids in the bouncy house. He asked for a snack, which I decided to indulge—even though he had already eaten two breakfasts and it was only 11AM—because I thought maybe he’s hungry and then he will play.

Nope, he stuck to me like glue. The gymnastics instructors had the kids walking around like animals, he laughed and cheered for his friends but still wouldn’t participate. He kept saying he wanted to go home, why wouldn’t I take him home. I didn’t want to give in, I knew if he could just get him in there that he would have a blast.

All of the other adults were trying so sweetly to get him to join in the fun and he just held onto my leg. Then I started saying that if he could just join some of the class, then he could have cake. He simply said, “I don’t want cake.” WHAT?!?!? No cake, I started to feel desperate.

After a full hour of this very un-Connor-like behavior, I caved and said if he didn’t want to do the trampoline and eat cake then we could go, and he beelined for the door. In the lobby, I turned to say goodbye to the birthday girl’s mom when he quietly sneaked out the front door—past four adults who didn’t stop a 2 year old from leaving the building unattended—one of whom casually said oh he’s outside. I was like WHAT?

I thought he was standing right next to me, but nope he was in a parking lot—and that’s when it took a turn for the worse. I grabbed his arm and dragged him back in to get my bag and coat, all the while ranting that he cannot walk away from Mommy, he cannot go out a door and he knows better than to walk in a parking lot without holding hands. He grudgingly took his goodie bag while I apologized and declined our fourth offer of cake.

I left feeling so upset and embarrassed. I don’t know why, but it’s really bothering me that he would rather be home playing alone than with his friends. In truth he had a very weepy morning so I was hoping his excitement about the party would make him happier—no such luck. But don’t worry about him, he is playing sweetly with his toys and enjoying himself…now that he is home.

I have never encountered this with either of my boys—they are always the first ones to jump in. I have seen other parents struggle but somehow their child overcomes it within 10/15 minutes. How do they do that? I clearly need some tutoring on their removing-child-from-leg technique….

Honestly the whole thing left me feeling completely bummed and burnt out. But why? Is it because I feel like he missed out? Is it because I overreacted to him being outside? Is it because I caved in and took him home?
I have no idea.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

DAY SIX: Party On (Part 2)

Liam had his 6th birthday party today and it was awesome!!

We had it at the International Martial Arts Academy in Topsfield—it was one of the best parties we have ever been to, and we’ve seen our share of kid parties.

It was run by the owner and two teachers. The cost of the party included everything—hands-on staff who played tons of games, (and some amazing music!) pizza, the boards they broke (and took home) and even the goodie bags! Yes, you read that correctly, even the goodie bags! All I did was bring the cake, and Liam of course—they even had the candles because the birthday boy’s mom forgot them (yup...) 

Speaking of cake, here is the final product. Jesse worked on the icing and it’s very Ninjago. I have to say I was very obsessed with it last night, and yet this morning it sort of looked like a terrorist to me, but hey the kids loved it—and I made chocolate cupcakes just in case.

But get ready for the best part. There was so clean up. We didn’t kill ourselves to host in a spotless space and the place wasn’t trashed at the end of 90 minutes. We simply thanked everyone for a fabulous party, then left—just like everyone else. We came home and got to hang out and eat left over cake while Liam opened his gifts and Connor tried to play with all of them.

It was perfect. So perfect in fact that I am going to grab another slice of cake—oh wait we are heading to my goddaughter’s birthday party in five minutes. I am so excited because it’s the first time we’ve been able to attend her party ever—we’ve always been in NYC. So hmmm... I guess I will just wait an hour or so to indulge in more cake-goodness. And did I mention that Connor is going to a party tomorrow too.

It’s a party weekend over here, so yes I will have my cake and eat it too—All. Weekend. Long.

Friday, May 1, 2015

DAY FIVE: Party Part One

It’s party prep day here at the Mumfords.

Liam’s birthday party with his friends is tomorrow—yes, his birthday was on April 3rd… Here are the excuses for the terrible mom-ness (trust me, I feel guilty enough as it is.) We had just moved into the new house and we hadn’t gotten the chance to send the invites out yet when an invitation for another child’s party came home in Liam’s school folder—it was scheduled for the same day and same time as Liam’s original party date. Clearly that had to change and the next available day wasn’t for a month, so tomorrow May 2nd, we celebrate.

Now that that’s out of the way, we are busy making a cake and cupcakes. The cake (seen here) will be (I hope) the LEGO Ninjago character Zane, the white ninja, (because white frosting won’t stain their mouths quite like the super bright colors the other characters wear! At least that’s the hope…) And I am already worried that it will end up looking like Pinterest-Fail pic, but as I type it is cooling so there will be no telling until tonight when it gets frosted—think happy thoughts, right? And I maybe purchased have enough supplies to make two more cakes if needed...

Our original plan was cupcakes with cut outs of the Ninjago guys on top using (potentially harmful when used as a weapons, but what-the-hey) toothpicks, but that all changed the other day. His party is being held at the place where he does karate, so while Liam was in class I casually mentioned my (earth shatteringly amazing) cupcake idea to the owner. And instead of high-fiving me for my creativity, he was like “well… you can do cupcakes, but if you do a cake he gets to cut it with a sword.” A SWORD? Much safer than toothpicks—YES, a cake is clearly in order.

So last night I found an Optimus Prime (of Transformers fame for those of you playing at home) cake pan—we bought it a million years ago when a party store near us in Astoria went out of business and we’ve never used it. I held it, turned it upside and there before me was the face of a NINJA!

And now he is out of the oven and only suffered a small blemish, but once there’s icing you shouldn’t see that—note to self: read the directions on the pan before putting the cake in the oven. I can’t wait to see Liam’s face when he gets to see him, so tune in tomorrow party fans to see how our Ninjago cake came out and how Liam did cutting with the sword.

Oh and did I mention these mighty 6 year olds will be breaking boards like true karate masters tomorrow? No? Yeah, it’s going to be epic. Cue the song from Karate Kid!