Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Note: I would have had more pictures for this post if my camera would have co-operated...

Lately things have been gong well in the Libby/Ryan household. Not a lot of stress, pretty prosperous (except for our 401ks), lots of laughter, and good friends. Really, it's been like a fucking International coffee commercial. So, we starting thinking of what we could break the calm, and decided on inviting all of of nieces and nephews over for a sleepover. All six of them. Ranging in age from six months to nine years. Yes, we should probably be committed. Surprisingly though it turned out well. And we didn't even need duct tape and tasers.

I think the key to the whole night was planning. Yes, some of my plans fell apart, but just the fact that I had a plan we could deviate from was crucial. Also, I like making plans, so suck it. We were going to make pizza, make cupcakes, paint pumpkins, pull out the couch bed, blow up the air mattress and then all blissfully fall asleep while watching "Meet the Robinsons." Then, we would get up in the morning, Ryan would go get bagels, I would get the kids dressed, and we would all head off to Clint's (9 year old) football game.

The first part of the plan to get tossed was the pumpkin painting. Apparently, everyone knows that you don't paint pumpkins -- you carve them. Unfortunately, pumpkins carved on October 10th end up looking like Larry King by Halloween. For a moment I panicked. I saw 45 to 90 minutes of unoccupied time stretching before us. I was sure someone would end up hurt, or crying, or both. And I was really afraid that p
erson would be me. My mind was a complete blank. I could not think of a single thing to do with kids. I was about to say "scrimshaw" (first thing that came to mind), when Ashlyn piped up with the wonderful idea of playing with clay. They all loved it. And, as we all know, clay can be found at the local supermarket, unlike whalebone.

The next TWO HOURS (an eternity in kid time) were spent busily working with clay at the dining room table. Unicorns were made, and destroyed. Butterflies were created, and then returned to their clay cocoons. Every piece of cooking equipment I have that could be used for the sculpting of clay was gotten out and employed. The garlic press and egg slicer were the biggest hits. While they worked on their masterpieces I whipped up the cupcake batter, adding sprinkles for that "confetti" look that all of the kids insisted they had to have. Personally, I think it makes it look like someone threw up in the cake, and I prefer it if cake doesn't crunch between my teeth, but I knew my audience, and I was playing to them.

Once all the clay had been sculpted, eaten, or ground into the hardwood never to be seen again, it was time for pizza. Kids love making their own pizzas. I don't care if you make them out of cardboard, red paint, and leather scraps, if you let the kids make them, they will always say it is the best pizza they have ever tasted. Actually though, these really weren't bad. Who knew frozen dough and Ragu could be such a taste treat? We did have a bit of a problem when the kids decided to graze on the toppings while I rolled out the dough. I had no idea a package of pepperoni could be devoured so quickly. Ryan was sent to the store for more, so that no one would have to subsist on just cheese. I mean, except me, but I am a really picky eater.

After dinner it was time to decorate the crunchy, yet colorful, cupcakes. The kids piled on enough icing to choke a horse, and then we topped them with "edible" princess and sports decals. At least, I guess they were edible -- in the same way paper is considered edible. I think the clay they all consumed earlier was better for them, and probably better tasting. Still, they looked cool, so no one
was willing to eat a cupcake without one. Of course "eat" was a loosely applied term in this case -- as most of the kids just picked off the decal, licked off the icing, took two bites of the cake, and then threw the rest away.

I was really expectin
g a sugar fueled rampage after the cupcakes, and was preparing to put on my catcher's mask and cardboard body armor when a strange thing happened -- the kids got tired. They all piled onto the sofa bed, got quiet, and curled into each other to watch TV. To tell the truth, I was actually kind of disappointed. But, as Ryan pointed out, I wouldn't poke a sleeping tiger (I mean, not if someone was looking), so the best idea was just to let the kids quiet down. We blew up the air mattress, tucked them all in, and headed to bed.

Sigh. I love those kids. I mean, I love them if I only think about Friday night. On Saturday morning they were a pain in the ass. First of all, I had to get up at 7:30 -- ON A SATURDAY. Then, I had wake them up, get them dressed, and get them to eat. Yeah, it sounds easy, but I think giving a root canal to a hippo would have been easier. Every request was met with disdain and reluctance. Ashlyn didn't like bagels. Clint didn't want to get dressed. Shaylee saw no point in wearing shoes. And Kaedyn wanted a second cup of coffee. I honestly cannot explain exactly how we finally got out the door. I seem to recall stuffing everything that looked kid related into bags, and then stuffing those bags in the back of the car.

It only took a half an hour to put the house back together after we got home from the game. I still find that hard to believe since it looked like a tornado had gone through. Of course, I still keep finding little pieces of clay, and cupcake sprinkles in unlikeliest of places. I mean, which one of them was going through my lingerie drawer? Of course, that could have been Ryan...


calicobebop said...

What a great night! I applaud your courage and tenderness. Not many people would volunteer for that! You're a great Aunt!

Wendy Weiler King said...

Will you please be my aunt?

Emily-Ione said...

Are you mad?

Cate said...

You need to have your head examined.

Amanda said...

By lingerie, do you mean the holey Jockeys, about which you wax lyrical?

Tara said...

You so WOULD poke a sleeping tiger. I was THERE during the incident with the crab. The angry, angry, Mexican one-armed crab.