Monday, March 2, 2015

dot face

Nora's life changed forever the day she saw this picture of Dot on Instagram...
Nora just wanted to look at it all the time and attempt to imitate it.  
Here is one of her first attempts...
Then she showed Dot...
Dot thought it was hilarious, but gave her some pointers...
Nora just has to see my phone to start saying "Dot" on repeat. 
If you say, "Nora, what does Dot do?" and you would get one of these...
Then all the cool kids started doing it...
Since Dot gives Nora princess dresses to wear she is just about the coolest and best person around.
It is no wonder she wants to copy everything Dot does.
Gus and Nora sure love when Dot comes over to play.
Gus and Dot are super dramatic together in all their prince and princess playing.
It is pretty hilarious and we need to capture it on film.
Little Nora just tags along.
And last one more "Dot Face" to leave you with...

Monday, February 23, 2015

how jimmy (and zach) won the pinewood derby


 Jimmy has been loving the Cub Scouts this year.   When we originally asked him whether he wanted to do it, he asked us what it was and what they would do.  When we mentioned the Pinewood Derby he was sold.  He was really looking forward to it.... and so was his dad.  Jimmy debated forever about what his design should be.  He and Zach finally came up with how they wanted to cut it and Jimmy got to help with the sawing.
Then Zach put him hard at work sanding it down.
 Then it was time for Dad to get crazy!  He spent numerous hours online researching how to make your car the fastest.  Then it was time to put it all into practice.  Apparently, that involved headlamps and wine...
They carefully polished the axles and waited the back with pennies...
They were both pretty into it, but Dad might have been a bit more.
They carefully examined each one and then purposely made the car only lay on 3 wheels to avoid friction.  The physics teacher in Zach was having so much fun.
After all the physics lessons, Mom supervised the painting process, but Jimmy did it all himself and chose a Phoenix Suns design.  He did this unknowing of the fact that his Uncle Danny once won a Pinewood Derby with his Suns "Thunder Dan" car.
...
 When the big day finally came we didn't know what would happen.  There were lots of good looking cars, excited kids, and over-zealous parents (but my husband most of all).
When the Scout Master first put Jimmy's car on the track he almost sent it back because he thought the wheels were going to fall off.  He asked Zach if it was like that on purpose and, of course, Zach assured him it was. He was pretty surprise to see old "crazy wheels" keep winning.   
 Jimmy did finally lose once, but then came back to win the loser's bracket.
 Then he was put up against the kid who was undefeated.  When he lost the first race it seemed unlikely that he could make a comeback...
 Then my embarrassing husband insisted that the Scout Master switch the lanes.  He said he would move them for each round and Zach is convinced it made a difference.  Whether or not it did, I don't know, but Jimmy won the next two races and came out the champ.
 He was excited but also embarrassed to be too excited so we were lucky to get this picture of him smiling...
 It was all pretty intense and sort of hilarious.  Zach embarrassed me a few times, but he was also pretty cute for being so excited.  I guess he was living out a childhood dream.  
 I am so proud of both my winners...

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

a superhero 7th birthday

Jimmy was begging for a birthday party with friends from school this year, so I decided to let him have his own party (as in not shared with Gus).  He knows this will not be an every year event.   This is partly because I can't handle/afford to do it every year with every kid and also because I think it makes it more special for them when it does happen.  Since we were already doing the Avengers for Halloween we decided Superheroes was going to be the theme this year.
We managed to do the whole party on a very small budget.  I spent a total of $1 on the party games because I managed to borrow or find everything we used (and it was the hit of the party).  We made a photo booth with all recycled/reused materials.  My dad made the Boom, Zap, Pow signs as his gift to Jimmy. I was pretty excited about the vintage comics I found at a local comic store that only cost $1 for a 2-pack.  All the kids got to take one home and my boys were happy to keep all the extra ones.  Jimmy has always been a good helper when it comes to this sort of thing, but this year he was old enough to actually do things without my help. He made invitations for all his friends himself.   He was allowed to have his cousins and second cousins and pick three friends from school.  (I for one think it is crazy when people invite and entire class to a party and don't understand how some people afford it).  I was thankful for 8 boys at this party because everything I bought came in 8-packs. Jimmy also helped me make the party bags, the superhero lollipops, the photo booth buildings, and the cake.  It always becomes more work than I intend, but at least I had a helper who was really excited about it all.
This year his birthday fell on a Saturday so he got the have the party on the real day.  That morning we woke up for family presents.  He got a Future Planet Playmobil that he and his brother were both pretty excited about.
That morning he had a basketball game.  
It was pretty awesome because he made two shots which was his best so far in the season. 
After we got home, he was a diligent worker helping get everything set up.
Then he had to patiently wait until the evening.
When friends finally showed up, we started with a craft.
Inspired by Gus and his "frozen pizza cardboard Captain America shield," all the boys made a shield of their own design.

Then it was time for the big Superhero Games!
The biggest event was the relay race.  Here is how it went...

1. Get a cape on your partner:

2. Throw your  "Iron Man Electricity" into one of the holes:

3. Make your way through Spiderman's tangled webs:

4. Use Captain America's Shield to knock down the buildings:

5. Race down the pathway in your "Batmobil":

6. Smash an ice cream cone with the Hulk's hands:

7. Shoot Loki with a squirt gun:
Jimmy was pretty excited that he and his partner won this event.
Then the boys all just attacked Loki for awhile...
Next we had a good old fashioned Tug-a-War..
After the official matches, even the adults got in on the fun...
Then the boys just kept wanting to have more rematches...
When it came down to the last two teams, the final game was a Wheelbarrow Race...
This team of second cousins came out the victors...
Then it was time for pizza...
And then the superman cake (which was actually brownies because they are just so much better)...
Man, he is getting too big.
Then we all had some fun in the photo booth...
There may have been a few costume changes as well...
So glad he still loves dressing up and being goofy. 
We love you Jimbo!