Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Angry Birds and Eating Fried Worms

My baby boy turned 8 on Monday!
Wow, has the time flown by! I can't believe that my little boy, who was 6 weeks early, and only 4 pounds when we left the hospital, is now to my shoulders, and big enough to be out of a booster seat!


This year we had a very difficult time coming up with a Birthday Party idea. Parents who live in cold climates, and have kids with Winter Birthdays understand my dilema.

1) The weather in Maryland is soo unpredictable. For example, it flurried on Saturday morning, and we had 40 mph winds, plus 30 degree temperatures. On Sunday, it was 60 degrees and sunny!

2) When your child wants to invite more then 10 friends and you live in a modest house, that is going through a remodel due to the flooded don't want to have a party at home.

3) 8 years old, well that means that we have had to come up with 7 previous party ideas for places, and it's no fun duplicating a party.

Here's the rundown

Age 1- Pirate party at home (just family and close friends)
Age 2- Bob the Builder Party at a local Kids gym
Age 3- Curious George/Firetruck Party at a local volunteer Fire House (Very cool party)
Age 4- Indoor Treehouse and obstacle course at Athletic Center
Age 5- Indoor Bounce House Party
Age 6- Pirate Party at Indoor Swim Club
Age 7- Ice Skating Party at indoor ice rink

Age 8- ??? What to do??

E loves Angry Birds, so I was trying to come up with a theme related to them. Like what??

Well...there is a local up and coming business close to our home that hosts video game parties.
So, I asked what E thought of that idea..and it was quickly shot down. I was surprised by his reaction, but when he explained that he wanted all of his friends to be together, and not in separate cubbies playing individual games, I understood.

When I went to the video game center, they showed me another option for a party. They have a Private screening room! It's awesome! It's a room with speakers lining all of the walls, and three levels of chairs, all leather, some reclining.  The movie screen is an 133inch HD screen where you can play the movie of your choice.

So, what movie could keep 15 8 year old boys (3 girls) interested in a movie theater that 's not too babyish, but fun? I had no clue!!

So I searched a mom forum, and found out about a movie from 2006 (the kids would have been 2) called HOW TO EAT FRIED WORMS

Angry Birds and FRIED WORMS...OMG, it was meant to be!!!

I repurposed an easle that I recently used at a bridal tea, and made it a Now showing board.
I decorated it with worm balloons that I found at party city, but I didn't get a picture prior to the kids deflating them.

I had all of the parents write down their names and provide cell #'s in case of an emergency,and told them to enjoy the next 2-1/2 hours...we'd see them when they came back!

I gave each of the kids a ticket stub and prior to them going into the theater I drew 5 tickets.
These are the 5 kids that would get to sit in the reclining chairs with E. I didn't want there to be any fighting, so I thought that this was the most fair way to do this.

I also gave each of the kids a glow bracelet and had them put them on. I instructed them that if they needed an adult during the movie, or needed to use the restroom, to raise their hand and someone would help them.
 (This was a pretty genius idea if I must say so!!)

Right before the movie started, I gave the kids a party horn, and told them that whenever they saw a worm or the word worm was shown, to blow their horms!! (This kept the movie interactive!!)

After the movie, we had popcorn, pizza, dirt cake, worm(jello) shots, giant marshmallows, licorice, gummy worms, spiral worm cheese doodles, worms(squirt cheese) on crackers, and a cake made by my neighbor!

Here's a glimpse of some of the party..

Notice that E and his daddy are wearing the same shirt!!

For goodie bags, I made Angry Birds and Pigs, thanks to this link that I found from The Party Animal.

I filled them with spiral straws from the dollar store, Angry Bird Gummie snacks from 5 Below, and a custom made cookie from my local bakery.

It was a fun and different party! And I've received messages form many of the parents about how much their kids liked it!!

Linking to:

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Before- Basement Renovation

It's a little pre-mature to start taking about my basement renovation, but, I'm so excited about the recent progress that I can't wait to share!

Back in August, the East Coast was hit with a hurricane. Her name was IRENE!!
Our area was very lucky, as we had minimal flooding, winds were not as strong as suggested, and overall, mother nature was not as angry with us for this storm as she was for many areas North of Baltimore. Don't let me paint a picture in your mind that we just had a rain storm, we had a hurricane. A hurricane with strong winds, massive downpours, and our streets looked like streams! Tree limbs flew through the sky, trashcans rolled down the side streets, and electrical wires flashed with sparks as they fell on top of trees!

Portions of our neighborhood lost power for 5 days, many trees and power lines toppled over, and many of our neighbors, including us, were faced with sump pump failure due to power loss, or flooding of basements due to our french drains overflowing.

The above pictures were taken 2 days after the storm, as I stood on my fron porch, and looked to the left, then to the right. The electrical line in the second picture was a temporary line that BG & E installed after they hauled away an entire tree that was laying on top of the original line.

We were pretty lucky overall with damage to our property. None of the 3 60 year old trees in our front yard came down. They just lost a few dead branches and lots of leaves. And, our basketball hoop fell over in the driveway, and not on any of our vehicles.

The real problem was our basement!
Our basement was completely finished living space. It consisted of a family room, and a play room/spare bedroom.

Our home is a rancher, that was built in the 1950's. The homes that had a basement had a french drain. The drain is basically a trench that runs the perimiter of the foundation of the house that collects ground water and drains it into the sump pump to be sent back outside. You don't see the drain, as it's behind the walls. Well, our french drain filled, poured into the sump pump, which could not keep up with the massive amounts of water, causing it to not only overflow the sump pump, but to overflow the French drain, which let me remind you, runs the entire perimiter of our basement.


So, this caused the entire basement to flood. some spots were bad, some were really bad, and some were awful! At some points, we had approximately 6 inch deep water.(on top of carpet, and on furniture, and up the walls)

Our insurance company was not able to inspect our home for 1 week, and they allowed us to start the removal/clean up process ourselves. It took 4 adults, and one 7 year old 10 hours to remove all of the saturated carpet, padding, and wet furniture and stuff.

We each had a wet vac and did our best to absorb the water left on the floor once the carpet was removed.

We had to rent industrial fans, and remove the wainscoating from half of the walls, and spray for mold.

Here's some of the wet carpet in the bed of our truck.

We made countless trips to the landfill, and had a dumpster in the driveway for two months!

The progress of the renovation has been extremely slow. We are trying to do as much work as possible that we can do ourselves And, it's been a long process!

The list below is just a small glimpse of what we've been doing since August, in addition to working full time jobs, a part time job, running to and from birthday parties, basketball practice and games, volunteering at school, enjoying three holidays, overcoming food poisioning and the flu, being in a wedding, eating , and sometimes sleeping!!

Completed Projects
1)     Knock down the wall between family room and playroom.(Nice way to get out frustration!
2)     Install a storage closet in playroom New construction!
3)     Install a non-existent powder room in Playroom with above ground plumbing.(yikes) All new construction! (We hired a plumber to install a toilet and a sink with a macerator pump- the plumbing is exposed and above ground, as we did not have a rough in) ***BEST INVESTMENT ON THIS RENOVATION BY FAR!!!***
4)     Build an archway between two rooms. LOVE!
5)     Change lighting going down the steps.
6)     Install and finish drywall on 8 walls. My husband is a saint!
7)     Remove bi-fold door from furnace room. Easy peasy
8)     Replace door into storage room. I’m not happy with the look of this
9)     Install Antique Door on powder room Hung, just needs to be stripped and painted
10) Install Bamboo floors in new powder room. LOVE!
11) Install new electrical outlets, and replace old outlets. Thanks to my brother
12) Install new electrical switches. Thanks to my brother
13) Install bamboo flooring in the new bar area. LOVE!
14) Build custom “built- in wall” for storage, display, and television/media. (IN PROGRESS!!!)
15) Paint the playroom Done!
16) Buy furniture (IN PROGRESS!!)

1)     Build a bar
2)    Install carpet
3)     Paint the family room
4)     Install Brick wall
5)     Install new lighting
6)     Replace old ceiling tiles
7)     Install surround sound system 
8)     Decorate
9)     Enjoy!