Tag Archives: warriors party

Lessons Learned from Liveblogging the Slumber Party, Spring Sunday Stats, and More.

The slumber party itself was a learning experience, but it went so smoothly that I think what we learned is that we’d rather have a handful of kids over for 16 hours than a houseful of kids for 2 hours.

Liveblogging it was a learning experience of a different kind. For example, I already knew that the unreliable internet service we get from Comcast makes me crazy, but I hadn’t really considered how much time it causes me to waste until the fourth time I rebooted the cable modem while writing Part 3.

Another lesson learned is that it is better to decide to liveblog something in advance, so you can be sure you know what you’re doing, instead of making a snap decision based on an offhand suggestion. The whole thing started when, as we were cleaning up from dinner, Mrs. Unfocused said, “Hey, you should liveblog this.” It wasn’t really a problem until — again — Part 3, when I realized that I had no idea how to insert pictures into my post using the new WordPress.com interface. The old system was very easy & intuitive; the new one is, to put it mildly, a ginormous pain in the ass. It would have helped to try it out beforehand.

Another lesson: As far as I’m concerned, Unfocused Girl should have all of her birthday parties in June. The problem with February parties is that the kids for some reason refuse to play outside when it’s below zero.

We all spent today exhausted and occasionally cranky, but it was worth it. I had a very nice, if low-key, Father’s Day and received the perfect gift: The Simpsons Movie. I welcome any excuse to let my inner Homer come out to play, so I’m looking forward to watching it soon.

Spring Sunday Stats:

Weather: Thunderstorm in the morning, hot and sunny by 11:45 when I went out for the run. I tried a new sunscreen today, Bullfrog Quik Gel, but still got burned on my face and neck, so that’s out. I used Bullfrog’s spray on my arms instead of the Quik Gel, and that worked better, so I may hang onto that until it runs out.

Miles run: 9.67, in 1:32:33. Let’s face it: I was tired, and it was hot, with the sun right overhead. My butt was kicked before I got to the end of the block. I ran the first half in 43:37, and the second half in 48:56. I didn’t have high expectations, having skipped my long run last week and generally neglected my training all spring. I got out Thursday morning for an early run, though, then I did treadmill intervals at the gym on Friday, so I’m hoping not to completely embarrass myself this coming Saturday at the Classic Catering 4 Miler, one of the Seven Sisters and Four Brothers races in Dewey Beach, Delaware. In addition to the 4 Miler, I registered for the JD Shuckers 5K and the Highway One Group 10K, August 10 and 16, respectively.

I’m also registered for the Third Annual Phedippidations World Wide Half Marathon, which will be held around the world on October 11-12, 2008. I ran the first one in 2006, but had to miss the 2007 race. I may not get to run any “official” half marathon this year, so the Phedip WWHM is even more important. Steve Runner of Phedippidations and the race directors do a great job organizing the race, down to the race bibs and virtual goody bags. They added a 5K last year, and this year they’ve added a 10K, so if you’re looking for a flexible, DIY race that lets you compete with fellow runners all over the world, you should take a look.

Words written of Meet the Larssons: That, unsurprisingly, would be none. Yesterday was a complete washout, of course, and today I spent a fair amount of time on client work. I didn’t expect to accomplish anything on the novel this weekend, and at least I didn’t disappoint myself. I’ll get something done on it tomorrow, though, and then maybe more on the plane on Tuesday.


The Morning After: Liveblogging the Slumber Party, Part 5.

Long night. I checked on the girls at 12:45am — Unfocused Girl was still awake and smiling, though all of the others were asleep (one was snoring at a considerable volume). We talked for a minute; I think she was still wound up from the excitement of the evening.

I’d forgotten how disruptive it is to have Junior sleeping in our room. He laughed in his sleep a few times, and Mrs. Unfocused saw him punching the air. I wonder which superhero he was dreaming about. He fell out of bed twice. The first time, Mrs. Unfocused got him back in and checked on the girls; the second time, at 5:15, I got him settled and checked on the girls myself: Unfocused Girl and one other were awake.

The girls woke up before 7. In the spirit of Father’s Day, Mrs. Unfocused tried to let me sleep in, but accidentally set off the alarm. I got dressed for a run, but got held up trying to help Unfocused Girl register the Webkinz pet one of her friends gave her; it took me 20 minutes to figure out that the Webkinz registration site was blocked by the parental controls on the iMac. By the time I fixed that, it was pouring rain. I may not be all that bright, but I know enough not to run in a thunderstorm, and the lightning strikes were not far away at all.

Webkinz is having trouble with its own servers this morning, so UG couldn’t register Simi (Siamie? it’s pronounced Sy-mee) the cat anyway.

Big breakfast of scrambled eggs (not for Junior, but he slept until 9:30 anyway) and pancakes. The Mrs. made two kinds of pancakes: one small batch with gluten-free flour (with eggs) for the girl with the gluten allergy, and one large batch with regular flour but no eggs for everyone else. I tried one of the gluten-free pancakes; it turns out that the missing gluten makes more of a difference than the missing eggs do, but it was still pretty good.

The girls have packed up, and are in the basement watching Scooby Doo (the original series) waiting to get picked up. We gave out copies of the first Warriors book as party favors so that UG will have some friends to talk to about the series.

I think she had a really good time. Tonight, I’ll blog the aftermath.

Midnight… and the Kitties Are Sleeping… Liveblogging the Slumber Party, Part 4.

Does anyone else remember Letterman’s parody of that song from Cats? No? It was about 20 years ago? No?

It doesn’t matter, because the Kitties are not, in fact, sleeping. I just left the room where they’re all camped, having read them the Exciting Prologue (“No!” said one. “Don’t read the prologue! I hate prologues!”) to Warriors Book 1, Into the Wild. I walked out of the room and closed the door, and immediately heard cats screetching and jumping all over. Not my problem, as long as the door stays closed and no one starts crying to go home.

I can’t believe all the stuff Mrs. Unfocused pulled together for this thing. She’s always in charge of birthday parties, but usually I’m a little more aware of her preparations. Maybe it’s that it gets easier as the kids get older.

This will probably be my last update tonight, unless something really unexpected happens tonight. Tomorrow: the morning after.

Liveblogging the Slumber Party, Part 3.

We just got Junior to bed (11:30pm) on the inflatable in our room, since the girls are taking over the room he shares with Unfocused Girl, which reminded me that I left something out of the last post. Just before we started the movie, Junior ran upstairs to get into pajamas (the girls had changed earlier). Apparently, he decided it would be more efficient to change in the basement; the next thing we knew, he was stark naked on the landing of the basement staircase, putting on a little show for all of the girls. I only understand one of the shouted comments — “Look out! Boy cooties!” — but the hubub died down pretty quickly. One of the girls has a little brother of her own and the other two, who are sisters, have known Junior for years.

Oops. Movie’s over. Gotta run.

Liveblogging the Slumber Party, Part 2.

Oh no! Our backyard has been invaded by nocturnal, pajama-wearing warrior cats!

Hooray! Superman is here to save us!

And now we will have cake! Cake to honor Firestar, the new leader of Thunderclan! (and Unfocused Girl, too!)

Yes, Mrs. Unfocused made that cake herself. No, she doesn’t have a cat mold — it’s essentially hand-carved. Yes, she’s incredibly talented. Yes, all of the kids’ birthday cakes look like this (well, not like this — I should post a picture of the Batman birthday cake she made for Junior in January). The only part not made from scratch is the cake itself, which came from a box mix from Cherrybrook Kitchen, purveyors of fine egg-free, nut-free cake mixes so good, Mrs. Unfocused, Unfocused Girl, and I feel cheated when we have an ordinary cake (not as cheated as Junior feels, since he doesn’t get to have the ordinary cake, but still).

There was also a pinata. The girl who couldn’t stay left at about 9:45, and since 10 the remaining members of the pack — and Junior — have been watching The Cat From Outer Space, a Disney classic from way back in 1977. Ah, blessed movie.

So, any bets on who will be the first to drop?

Post No. 100! Liveblogging the Slumber Party, Part 1.

Tonight is Unfocused Girl’s very-belated-7th-birthday party/first-ever slumber party. The guests (four girls, ages 7, 7, 9, and 10) arrived at 6:30, three of them toting massive suitcases; the fourth, one of the 7 year olds, doesn’t do sleepovers and will be heading home later on.

On arrival, each girl received a small stuffed kitten (thank you, Oriental Trading!) and her own Warrior name. Much squealing ensued. They then ran outside and attacked the playset with gusto. The five girls (four guests plus UG) were Warrior cats in space (with one dissenting vote for being lost at sea); Unfocused Junior started out as Speed Racer but, as predicated, quickly changed into his Superman costume (a blue sweatshirt with a red dishtowel safety-pinned to the back). They’re nice girls — they let Superman save them.

Dinner was burgers and hot dogs outside. The pack moved into the basement (combination rumpus room and home theater — all the toys, the kids’ iMac, and the big TV) for a tea party and general mayhem. The Mrs. just brought down the keepsake box decorating craft (thank you again, Oriental Trading!), so they’re all sitting at the basement bumper pool table spooning colored sand into tiny funnels.

I expect this is going to get more interesting as it gets later. There hasn’t been much sugar yet, and it’s only 8:30 — not terribly late. Even Junior isn’t acting tired yet; it doesn’t hurt that we blew off Tae Kwon Do this morning and let him sleep until 9:45.

Further updates as events warrant. Tune in around 9:30 for cake.

Breaking news: “Mrs. Unfocused, do you have any toothpicks?”

“Sure, here you go.”

“Oh ho ho! Now we can get really funky!”

I know I should go down there. But I’m afraid.