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Wow.. last week was crazy bananas for me. It’s our 40th anniversary at my work for one of our newspapers and it fell to me to put together the story for the special edition we did. I spent all last week researching past editions (spent six hours at the library going through microfilm one of the days; I looked at over 4,000 slides! and got motion-sick), organizing information and ultimately writing a 3,300 word story plus a few sidebars. A typical story from me is 750-1,000 words, so yeah. A whopper.
My mind was totally consumed with the story and research and finding information I needed that was buried in who-knows what paper.. it was stressful and difficult but really rewarding and interesting as well. It hit the stands this week and I just hope some historian doesn’t come out of the woodwork and berate me for getting some stuff wrong. I mean, I was as factual as I could be with what I had to work with, but you know how those things can go.

Andy made Kyle an awesome (huge-huge) banner!

The whole thing was made harder because I was also trying to plan Kyle’s surprise party but I just didn’t have the brain power to dedicate thoughts to both things. So I seriously had to be all “BRAIN! SHUT IT!” when it came to the party and really focus on the story. Once I put that to bed on Friday afternoon I turned my attention to his party!

It all came together even though I felt overwhelmed and scattered. Saturday night I went to bestie’s house late at night and we made cake pops and drank wine and vodka (erm.. not at the same time?). The cake pops got more and more interesting the more we drank. Dip in four different colors? AWESOME. You can sort of see a progression of their….neatness? as the night went on. They started out all bright and yellow and perfectly dipped in coordinating yellow sprinkles and ended in 4 different mushed-up colors with sprinkles randomly put on them and lots of bare spots.

Totally fun, and needs to happen on a more frequent basis! Maybe sans the cake pops though, because oh-my-tedious. Although I am planning on making some pink ones for Jovi’s party next week.

Sunday my SIL went to the restaurant with me to decorate the banquet room. I ordered a cake with Kyle’s photo on it (of his first birthday.. aww!), got balloons and made a mix playlist from top songs of 1982. I got a taco bar and pitchers of sodas for everyone. He thought we were going out to dinner just the two of us and when we were taken into the restaurant to be seated I veered us off course and into the side door of the banquet room. That’s when he figured out it wasn’t just a sweet little date and that he was about to be yelled at by a bunch of people. He was met with a huge SURPRISE!!!! and.. he was πŸ™‚

surprise, old man!

my love!

I told him to be all Kanye


Aven's dress/smock thingy was mine when I was a baby!

Kyle's parents gave him a stack of photos from his childhood ❀

aunt rachel is like the pied piper for kids.

Andy and I lighting the billion candles on the cake! or 30.

He carried it so I wouldn't light my hair on fire.

It took him 3 tries to get all the candles. Lung capacity already decreasing? I hear that happens with age.

minus one.

I turned on "Mickey" and the kids had a dance party!

I love how she dances


I was happy I pulled it off!! We ate, chatted, opened gifts, gave the kids a dance party and ate cake. It was a great, great night. Aven ate like 4 cake pops and maybe even more that I didn’t notice (there were like 28 people there so it was hard to be all vigilant and cake pop-denying). I had a feeling she was going to feel icky from all the sweet/sugar since she doesn’t get a lot of sweets in normal life. I just had one of those gut feelings about it.

That night when we got home I was exhausted. I got the girls ready for bed and gave Aven some water instead of milk like normal before bedtime. That mommy gut instinct was yelling at me to not give her milk that would curdle in her belly and then smell totally awful WHEN she barfed that night. I was so glad I listened to myself! I was in bed not 10 minutes (and OMG it felt soooooo good to lay down) when we heard her crying. I got up to check on her and yep. Barfing. Barfing up lots of chocolate. I don’t do well with vomit. Blood and guts and broken bones? Bring it. But puke? Can’t.
So I called for Kyle and he stripped her bed and her and took care of that while I threw her in the bath and cleaned her up. I re-dressed her and snuggled her on the couch, not surprised that she puked and hoping that was it. But it wasn’t. She threw up at least 10 more times that night and subsequently I got absolutely no sleep because I was maintaining this state of constant vigilance. Surprisingly I do mostly OK with vomit when it’s directed into a toilet or bowl. But if they’re puking just randomly on themselves or in their bed or on the floor? Yeah no. And if I smell it I go all Stand By Me on everything.
By the early morning hours she really didn’t have anything left in her stomach to throw up and was just dry heaving, the poor girl. I tried giving her some water around 6:30/7 (she asked for some) but she threw it back up not too long after. I tried again around 9 and she was able to keep down about 5 ounces. And then 5 more ounces. She felt a little feverish that afternoon so I gave her some triaminic and she kept it down for about an hour and then threw a little of it up just before she took a three hour nap. I’m like 99% certain it was a virus because sugar wouldn’t make *that* much puking. And no one else reported feeling ill so I don’t think it was food poisoning.
She was acting more herself that night and seemed basically back to normal the next day although she was a little weak and wobbly.

Now that the story is written and Kyle’s party is over, I’m focusing on Jovi’s birthday! She’s going to be four in less than 10 days. FOUR! How did that happen? She’s crossing the line from Toddler to Child, which blows my mind. She’s finally emerging from her terrible (horrible, no good, very bad) threes, which I am totally in favor of. That was a looonnnng year. But have faith ya’ll — there’s a light on the other side! She was super helpful with me with Aven and kept fetching things for me (I was glued to the couch with said Aven on me), comforting Aven and bringing her toys she thought would make her feel better. What a little sweetheart. She was getting super bored by the afternoon and I couldn’t blame her; I was making her stay quiet since Aven was resting/not feeling well, and since Jovi wanted to be with us in the living room we watched cartoons pretty much all day. By noon I’d had it with Nick Jr. and called my mom to see if she’d like to hang out with Jovi for a few hours. I took her up there and dropped her off and I think she was happy to play Hi-Ho Cherry-O and Cooties with a functioning adult. So glad for my family!

snuggling in front of the fire after a bath

For her party I’m doing a Hello Kitty theme(ish) since that’s what she asked for. Although yesterday she changed her mind to Strawberry Shortcake but I already got the stuff for HK, so… no. I found these cute little tiny strawberry plant seed starters in tiiiiiiny clay pots at Target in the dollar section a couple weeks ago. So those are going in the little gift bags along with some other cute things. I think we’ll rent the bowling alley for a couple of hours and then then take the party into their banquet room for pizza and presents and cake. She’ll have her 5 boy cousins there, my bestie’s 2 kids and I told her she can invite a couple of her friends from school if she wants. I think she picked three little friends to invite so we’ll fill out the invitations tonight or tomorrow so she can hand them out next week. Wow… our first official birthday invites!! It’s customary to invite the parents as well, yes? I mean I wouldn’t send my kid alone to a 4 year old’s party but do I have to state that on the invitation, do you think? “Parents welcome to stay!” or some-such? Or is it a “duh” thing?

We also had a party for Daniel last weekend – the day before Kyle’s party – and it was a blast. Kyle wasn’t able to make it because he was working but my brothers and sisters pitched in to help me watch the girls. Andy took Aven up to bowl for her first time ever!

classic Anderson girl smile... (and did I mention this was cosmic bowling?)

sweet, sleepy PJ

Austin, Jovi, Aven and aunt Kendra

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3 Responses to post post post

  1. Kristy says:

    That bowling alley looks like so much fun! And those cake pops look sooo cute!

  2. jenny says:

    Aw it hurts my heart that you guys are so far away! Thanks for this post, its awesome! You are a wicked crazy organized woman and I love youm tell kyle happy belated birthday and jovi too (but don’t make it belated…) Haha!

  3. Kendra says:

    yay!! Such fun photos! I’m glad the one of Kyle being surprised turned out…even if it was the “3-seconds later” surprise look. πŸ™‚ You are quite the party-thrower Jen. Always fun!!! luv ya!

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