To ParTAY or Not To ParTAY

DSC_0032 (1)We are giving NikkiZ a real birthday party this year. One at a location other than our home where we send out invitations at school and to the soccer team. This is her first real party. We had a gathering of friends and family for her first birthday…but the guests were mostly adults. This is our first birthday part where she invites her friends. And she is SOOOO excited. She can’t stop talking about it and would invite her entire school if we let her.

Some people do parties like this for their kids every year, some never do it. I’m curious to see how you all look at this topic. I never had any sort of party growing up. When I was 13 my friend Mollie and her family threw me a surprise birthday party…which ranks as one of the best nights of my life. That was the only real With Friends birthday party I ever had and I still remember it to this day. Now, I have friends who had parties every year and none of them really stand out in their adult minds. And then there’s MrZ, who had a few, and remembers them each. They may not stand out like mine does in my mind, but they are still vivid in his memory because they were rare and special.

So…my thought is that if we spread them out, maybe have one ever 3-5 years, then they’ll be special enough to be remembered, but not so common they become expected. I think the way I grew up may be a bit extreme and not necessary, but I don’t think I can throw a party every year and expect my child to appreciate it consistently. What do you think? I would love it if I could throw one every year and my child still appreciate it and remember it as they grow up. I just don’t think it’s realistic. But if you had one every year and remember every one? I’d love to hear about it. How did you grow up? How are you raising your kids? What plays a part in your decision? Is it all about the money because these things are EXPENSIVE. I think it takes four years just to save up for one. Even if I wanted to do one every year our budget couldn’t handle it, but for us it’s about more than the money. What is it for you? What do you decide and why?

Prep Time

Today is FINALLY the day. Let’s hope. The day they get cut out of my jaw once and for all. I’ve already discussed with my brother and he agreed that if anything cancels this appointment, he’s going to bring a vice grip and some pliers and take care of it himself. And I am very okay with that. Between the pain that was so bad the other night that I considered breaking my own arm in an attempt to get real pain medication (Hydrocodone evidently doesn’t do much for this type of pain) and the swelling that has me looking like that guy from House last night…I’m beyond ready to get these things OUT ALREADY.

I spent yesterday getting the family ready for me to be out of commission today. I did all the laundry, cleaned bathrooms, baked zucchini bread (I know!), set the DVRs and packed lunches. I made arrangements for soccer games and carpool. I laid out uniforms and warmer clothes for the kids so that MrZ won’t have to dig through the drawers if it’s a little chilly tonight. I put a sign on the door that says, “Don’t Forget Water For Soccer” so to avoid getting in trouble again. As I did this I thought about so many of you who will inevitably mention similar habits. I feel like I know you all well and know you are like me. If you go out of town or are disabled for any way, you do everything you can to make the lives easier of those left in charge. Whether it’s a spouse or a friend or another family member. Heaven forbid we leave them to not only feed the kids but also have to decide WHAT to feed them! We do everything we can to make sure the work we do continues to be done even if we’re not able to do it ourselves. And you know what? That makes us damn awesome.

I think I kinda want a wife.

Mah Boyz
This picture is here for one reason and one reason only: IT’S ADORABLE

The Most Important Thing In The World Right Now: Fall TV

gleeSo, I’ve been watching a lot of TV the last few weeks while new shows premier and I thought I should write an entry about my first impressions so far of this TV season. Because, you know, TV has been my best friend these last few weeks as I’m stuck in bed unable to eat or move without screaming in agony.

Who am I trying to kid? I’d be watching the same amount of TV even if my gums weren’t swollen and full of painful wisdom teeth. I’d just not be able to ask my family to bring me the occasional pudding. Or pain pill. Or beer. Sometimes all of the above.

Here are some of the NEW shows I’ve tried and my thoughts about them so far. I’ll revisit this entry at a later date and let you know if I’m still watching any of these:

Melrose Place
Okay. I will admit I started watching this solely for Max from Greek. I have a giant crush on that character and lucky for me? He’s almost the exact same character on this show. Unfortunately? The show is not really my cup of tea. I’ll record it every week in case I get desperate, but if anything better fills that slot on one of my four tuners? It will be replaced. I will say this though…Ashley Simpson? Is an AWFUL actress. Whereas Katie Cassidy (formerly of Harper’s Island) is FANTASTIC. She’s the only reason I don’t just trash it all together…I love her character and especially her unrequited crush on Not-Max. I think she’s a great actress and when/if this show fails, I hope she finds a new home on my television. I’ve liked her in everything she’s done so far. Especially her stint as Ruby on Supernatural. Love her.

If you follow me on Twitter you know I love this show. Every week it just makes me happy. It is why I watch TV. This week I was in huge pain Wednesday night. Sobbing my eyes out and my face covered in icepacks. But Glee? Made me laugh. I’ll definitely agree it’s not for everyone…especially if you have a low tolerance for random musical numbers in your entertainment. But I love Mr. Shuster with all of my heart and last week’s episode where Kurt came out to his Dad? Fantastic. MrZ and I laughed our asses off at the football play “Ring on It” – just good, cheery TV. And Jane Lynch as the militant cheerleading coach? Priceless.

Vampire Diaries
Of course I’m watching it. How could I not at least try it? And I kinda like it. I wish that Ian Somerhalder’s character was the nice guy because he’s too pretty to hate…but it’s just an entertaining show. Another one that will get booted if too many conflicts arise, but for now? It’s entertaining enough. My only hope is that eventually let Elena in on the Vampire world. The constant “Oh no! Will she find out the truth?” drama will get annoying really quickly. Have you read the books? Did any of the humans know about the vampires in the books?

The Beautiful Life
Yes…I tried it. It had Corbin Bleu, I was too curious to see the Disney Vet on a “grown-up” show to pass it up. Yes…I hated it and the CW made a good move in canceling it already. So. Terribly. Bad.

I love it. Of course…Joel McHale is one of the many celebrities I’m blindly loyal to. I will watch and try my best to ADORE anything and everything he does. (See also: Ellen DeGeneres, Angelina Jolie and Selena Gomez.) Danny Pudi as Abed is actually my favorite character on the show, most consistently making my laugh out loud in both of the episodes I’ve seen. Seeing him ask Jeff for his shirt this week? Perfect. The show makes me laugh out loud and the only other sitcom that’s done that since Friends is How I Met Your Mother, so I’m pleased to add it to my lineup.

NCIS: Los Angeles
I like it just fine. I prefer the NCIS franchise to the CSI franchise because I feel like it doesn’t try so hard to be realistic. I feel like NCIS knows it’s not at all equal to reality and therefore plays around with the humor a bit. The Los Angeles version seems a bit more serious than the original, but it’s still lighthearted enough that I can let myself like the characters and get into the mystery without shaking my head at the ridiculousness of it like I do with CSI. Plus, I love LL Cool J in it. He’s great. And also hot. I’ve heard my critics say that if you like the original, you’ll like the Los Angeles version…and I agree.

The Good Wife
I actually don’t like Julianna Margulies that much. I liked her okay as nurse Hathoway on ER but she always rubs me wrong in interviews. However, I thought the premise of the show was unique and I wanted to give it a try. After the pilot I can definitely say I’m pleased. Her character is one I feel like I can really get behind and I enjoy watching her simply juggle her family life and her career…I feel like that alone is enough to make it a good show and I think the writers know that too. The political drama and marital strife are almost ancillary so far, at least in the pilot. I think as long as they don’t weigh the balance too heavy on that part of the story? I’ll stick with it.

Modern Family
LOVED THIS SHOW. I totally cracked my ass UP at it and hated it when I realized it was only half an hour. I’m thrilled to add this to Community to my sitcom list. I miss watching sitcoms and am happy to add more to my DVR. I didn’t realize the premise that the three families were actually all related until the very end of the pilot but that makes it even better. So cute and so far seems to handle the whole Gay Couple Adopting thing very well. I love the personalities of the two men especially with Cameron being the obvious more flamboyant of the two but Mitchell being the one with The Speech that Cameron was almost rolling his eyes at. Cracked me up!!! And the angels/fairies on the wall above the crib? Priceless. And then Phil as the “Cool” (but totally NOT) Dad? Perfect casting choice. He played that well. I really hope that show does well.

Cougar Town
I watched this only because it was on after Modern Family, but I actually laughed a bit at it. The verdict is still out whether or not I’ll keep watching it…again, it depends on how full my schedule gets, but it’s a cute show. We’ll see in the middle of the season if it is still on my lineup.

Flash Forward
I really got into this pilot. I’m hoping it isn’t like many of these other serial dramas that get you hooked and then you never actually get to solve the mystery because it gets canceled. I’m hoping since they flashed to a point later in the season that we can at least have that mystery solved. It’s an interesting concept and I’m definitely hooked on it after the pilot. My only complaint is that Joseph Fiennes seems a little over-the-top with his expressions. Almost like I sometimes feel like he’s on a skit about a cheesy drama as opposed to on an actual drama. That might get annoying if I don’t get used to it. So far though? I like it.

Okay…I tried to record this by the HD channel froze up that night…so I tried to watch it online and the show kept freezing up 17 minutes in. The first 17 minutes seemed okay…anyone else finish it? Should I try to watch it again online?

Next Up…My Thoughts the Returning shows like House and Bones

Ahhhh…the Joy of Pain

I’ve found a new technique for keeping me on my diet. It’s called Mind-Numbing Pain in the Wisdom Teeth Area. And let me tell you, if yesterday is any indication? It’s a miracle worker. I at two flat bread sandwiches and a spoonful of potato salad and I had to force all of that down. The pain is so great that I was going through phases of crying fits all day. Sometimes the pain would subside for a bit and I’d be able to function: Go grocery shopping, mow the grass, take a bath. But most of the day? Pain like I have never known before. But…silver lining: Diet! So much pain I can’t bear to eat! Yay!

The other silver lining? The tooth pain is so severe that I’m not even thinking about my monthly visitor. Which, if you suffer from endometriosis and have the crippling cramps that come along for the fun of it – you know it’s impossible to forget when it’s that wonderful time of month. But I’m spending so much time thinking about the pain in my jaw that I can’t even think about my uterus! Best. Period. EVER.

So today – I may call the doctor and ask for meds. I’ve done everything from putting heating pads on my face to sleeping on top of ice packs. I’ve taken every over-the-counter pain medication I can find and I’ve down bottles of orajel. I can only achieve numbing the pain to levels where the tears stop…but nothing even remotely close to NORMAL. I’m thinking they need to give me something to hold me over until the postponed procedure date of Tuesday. Otherwise I won’t sleep or eat for the next five days and the next silver lining you’ll hear is, “Yay! I’ve been committed to a mental facility and the drugs they’re giving me help sooth my gum pain!”

The thing is? I hate asking for pain medication. I struggled with it after Wesley was born when they were only giving me prescription strength Ibuprofen. It took MrZ begging for me to finally ask the nurse for something a little stronger. I’m always afraid when I ask that the immediate thought is that I’m lying. So, then I go into Proof Overdrive…where I explain exactly how bad I’m hurting in detail. Which, I’m fairly certain, makes me sound more like an addict if I just left it at, “It’s a 10 on a scale of 1-10.” But – I can’t do this for another four days. I’m yelling at my kids for no reason, I’m slacking on my To Do list and I’m crying…a lot. I’m miserable and bringing everyone around me down with me. So, I’m going to brave a call to the oral surgeon today begging them to call in a prescription to hold me over until Tuesday. And if they don’t give it to me? I’ll seek solace in knowing I’ll at least have dropping a pants size by then.

Kim and Wesley Visit New York

(Yes…AndyZ is Wesley. Most of you already knew that, we’re not totally secretive about names. I’m switching to his real name for this post (mostly) as the people we met in NYC knew him as Wesley, so calling him AndyZ felt weird. And I like to be confusing.)

Let me start by saying this: Sometimes it’s hard to entertain a child in public. I know this is not shocking news, by any means, but I just wanted to put it out there. Restaurants, shopping trips, dinner parties at friend’s houses – these things all have the potential to end in disaster if you have a child in that fateful age bracket that encloses [Old Enough To Move And Destroy] and [Too Young To Understand Orders]. So, take a child in that age bracket, send him along with his Mom out of state for gatherings with other adults and it takes good planning and preparation and probably will STILL end in disaster.

So…now you can see how amazing it is that I can honestly say my overnight trip to New York was excellent. I was bracing myself for the worst case scenario but ended with one of the best trips I could have expected. I was invited by Huggies in association with their product Little Movers diappers and charity auction diapers and it was SO MUCH FUN. It was well organized and there was nothing at all pushy or distasteful. From dinner Friday in a restaurant that allowed us to let our kids practically take over an entire section (they were having a dance party, if you must know. Wesley is quite a dancer) to the hotel with crib already in place – it was a trip geared for the parents but prepared for the kids. Perfect in every way. I don’t get invited to these things often (if ever) but I hear a lot about bad experiences from other bloggers and I just want to say from the approach (the original email mentioned videos I had posted and other indicators they had read several entries from my blog) to the event itself – it was a wonderful experience.

The other bloggers participating were Torrie, Metalia, Bill, Mrs. Priss, and Nikki and as awesome as the bloggers were (GREAT!) their kids were the best part. I’ve never hung out with bloggers AND their kids before and let me tell you…that is the way to go! It’s such a relaxing environment to visit with someone because you can really be yourself when you are in Mom Mode. And also? It helps with your son is charmer. He even flirted with Angie Harmon who is a big supporter of the involved charity KaBOOM which helps build parks and play structures around the country. I think Wesley’s goal was to score a trip home with someone else for a change, and if that person happened to be a celebrity with three daughters? More awesome for him.

All in all? He was more perfect than I would have ever dared hope.

Except, of course, for the excessive pooping. I think he heard we were invited by Huggies and thought he’d honor them by dirtying as many diapers in as magnificent as a fashion as humanly possible. It was either that, or the 94lbs of guacamole he ate at dinner the night before the event.

I didn’t take hardly any pictures and just a few videos. It’s very hard to handle any sort of equipment when you’re chasing around a kid determined to explore every dangerous spot he can find. Some people managed it…Metalia got a great one of me and Wes here. And Torrie took one of Angie Harmon taking a call on Wes’s phone here.

Here are two videos I took. The first features a few other blogger babies in the ball pit at the Huggies play area. Pardon the transition as I actually put him in the ball pit…I’m not a videographer by any means so it may induce sudden onset of motion sickness.

Ball Pit from zoot on Vimeo.

And this one shows the bridge in the same play area that someone LOVED because he kept falling down on it. I have a funnier video of him busting and me laughing my ass off, but – you know – I’m trying to give the illusion of being a responsible parent. So you’ll get this one instead.

Bridge from zoot on Vimeo.

And as usual with videos I shoot…I apologize for the accent.