Owen’s 9th birthday sleepover!

We decided to do a big summer party again so Owen invited two friends to spend the night.

Katie was thrilled to be able to play Xbox with the boys.


Katie helping get the cake ready. (Owen picked it out at Sam’s Club yesterday.)

Oliver and Brandon

Everything went really well. They were crazy loud at times but they were all really well-behaved and were in bed by 11 and had stopped chatting by 11:30…

Welcome to today’s hell.

A gift to Katie from a well-meaning aunt. While Katie does love puzzles, of course she doesn’t have the attention span for this (hell, I barely do) but she really wants to color it. If it was up to me I’d just throw it in the trash (well I’m not an idiot, I’d give it away). But guess who will end up doing it all?? Her face just about sums it up for me too. 😂


A friend is going to come help Friday.

Someone just spent some birthday money at Toys R Us.

We had promised the kids we’d take them shopping after Christmas to spend some of their birthday money/gift cards. (We’d postponed shopping due to the move and then we just forgot about it but when I took them Christmas shopping for each other they both obviously wanted to shop for themselves.)

I went with Katie and Tom went with Owen. They each had $35 to spend. Katie kept trading items out of the cart as she found stuff she liked better. It took her a bit to understand that she couldn’t just get everything she wanted. I had to guide her a little bit but she did well.

She loves being a mermaid. (This was a last-minute purchase that was her entire budget but she also had an expensive doll she really wanted. So to make my life easier, I let her get both and now she has used up all of her Target gift cards as well!)

I wasn’t thrilled about this huge animal but I was thrilled it wasn’t a 200-piece Shopkins set. She also got a huge 24″ Barbie-type doll so all of her gift cards are now gone (she had Target ones as well but since she went over budget, they’re now mine!).

Owen bought a bunch of random smaller stuff that I’m sure will be played with for a week and then lost. 😂 But he was happy today!

I’ve always thought a train under the tree would be cool.

It only took 44 years, a kid who loves Legos, grandparents who were willing to buy the set and the electronics 💗 and a last-minute extra set of tracks to fit around the tree stand… It ended up needing some parental intervention [to get the power hooked up correctly and the tracks in an approximate circle] but Owen did the bulk of it.


I kicked ass at this game back in the day. 

I was out shopping today and ran across this game.

Holy cow the memories came flooding back!

I kicked ass at it back in the day when my cousins and I each got it for Christmas. (Google tells me it came out in 1982, which is about exactly when I thought it was—I guessed I was around 8 or so.) This is what the box looked like then.

I asked on Facebook if anyone remembered it, and my cousins did—and amazingly, said her kids played the very game a short time ago!! I wish I still had mine, but I wasn’t about to pay $17 for it. :)

Surprise trip to LegoLand Discovery Center!

We didn’t even know this place existed until a few weeks ago, so I found discount tickets and off we went! It wasn’t quite as exciting as I’d hoped it would be (and one of the rides was shut down) but the kids had a really good time so that’s all that matters!