March 24, 2013

Cousin Sleepover!

Over Christmas, I promised H that we would have a cousin sleepover after the holidays.  Can you believe that "after the holidays" turned into late March?  When my Sister-in-law called to see if I could keep the girls overnight, I readily agreed so I could finally make good on my promise!  I did not, however, check with Lucas...or remember that it was the same weekend he was going to the NCAA basketball tournament (otherwise known as March Madness - one of his favorite holidays).  Oh, well.  I was sure I could handle it.
First Night.  Snuggles together on the inflatable bed.  Everyone wanted to sleep on it...although no one wanted to sleep!
When none of the kids wanted to sleep, I told them about all of the fun things we were going to do the next day as part of our "slumber party."  I told them they needed to go to sleep quickly to get their rest and have enough energy for our adventures.  I maybe over-sold it.  The next morning, D woke up at 5 am.  Her eyes popped open, she looked around, and she whispered, "It's time to party!  We have adventures!"  I did everything I could think of to get her back to sleep, but I watched her get wound into a more excited frenzy. She just knew it was going to be an amazing day, and it had to start right away!  She ended up waking up the rest of the kids around 7 saying, "Wake up!  We have to go one adventures!  For our party!  Wake up!"
Since they were all awake earlier than planned, and dressed and fed at lightning speed, we made a blanket tent over the table where they could color and play to kill some time.
I had signed us up to go to story time at our favorite paint-your-own-pottery place.  We've thought for a while that the cousins would enjoy it, but it isn't a convenient location for them.  It finally worked out for us to go together!
They were focused.  Almost completely silent for about 20 minutes.

After painting, we went to a friend's house (she lives nearby and was at the story time with us) to eat lunch.  The story time ends right at lunch time, so it was nice to be able to sit down, and eat our packed lunch, before we made the trip home.
On the way out, we saw an airplane taking off from the airport (the runway is right across the street from their front door).  The kids were excited (even if you can't tell from this picture).
We got home and D went down for a nap (she was exhausted from being up so early), and the older kids separated for some quiet play time apart.  Best thing I did all day.  The time apart seemed to do everyone some good and (I think) made the rest of the day go so smoothly that there were moments when it seemed downright easy!
After quiet time the kids (minus D who was STILL sleeping) helped me make "ice cream" out of frozen bananas.
 They were so excited I was giving them such a special treat...when I knew it was just fruit in a more fun form :)
Ryan and Allie opted for cheerios on top.
Finally, D woke up, and it was time to go to the carnival!  The local school was holding a carnival, and I thought it would be a great way to kill some time (while also maybe qualifying me for coolest aunt ever).  Imagine me...with 4 a school FULL of people!  I gave the kids a pep talk about sticking with me before we went inside.  To their credit, they did great.  We cousin caterpillar'd it most of the time (until they got their balloon creations and didn't have the free hands), and I didn't have much trouble keeping them near me.  I did have my hands literally full most of the time, which is why I didn't get many pictures...
Face painting.  One of the things they were looking forward to the most.
 He wanted a Lightning McQueen lightning bolt on one cheek and a basketball on the other.  He got a tiger paw and what looked like a tiger circle on the other...close...he couldn't see, so he was thrilled!
There were so many great carnival moments.  D winning a 2-liter of pop in the ring toss (which we later donated to the face painters because I could not carry it and hold all of the hands the kids wanted me to hold).  H talking the face painter into painting more and more and more things (and the face painter was just about to let H paint her own face when I intervened...because the other kids were ready to move on!).  And Allie leading the group down long hallways, through lots of people, on to the next exciting thing.  But my favorite was Ryan and the football toss.  I gave the kids their final tickets (expecting them to use them for the moon bounce).  The girls picked the moon bounce, but Ryan was determined to do a football toss that he had his eye on all night (full-size football through relatively small shaped targets that only highschoolers and adults had played whenever we were watching).  Thankfully, they were side-by-side so I could keep an eye on the jumping girls and Ryan.  He walked up and handed his ticket to the man running the booth, stood in the midst of several high school boys, and threw the ball with incredible aim.  They let him have extra turns (partly because they were so impressed, partly because there was no one in line).  He threw the football at least 10 times, and made 3-4 out of every 5.  He walked away from that game so proud.  He had tried something he really wanted to try (even though he was a little nervous), and they told him he was really good!  He knew it!
Just before we left.  Faces painted, balloon creations in hand, and many games played.  They were all still smiling!
 When we got home we had a snack-y dinner picnic style on the living room floor.  I asked each of the kids what their favorite part of the day had been.
H: Getting my face painted.
 Ryan: Playing football and doing really good.
 Allie: Jumping so high in the bounce house.
 D: Games!
They asked me my favorite part and I said, "Being with all of you.  You guys are really cool and a lot of fun.  I really like spending time with you."  And it wasn't just something I was saying because it seemed like the good aunt/mommy thing to say.  I really meant it.  I had a blast with these kids.

Since we had church the next day, I put all of the kids in the bathtub.  They were all a little unsure that they would fit, but they did!  They thought it was so funny for all of them to be in 1 tub.
Rub-a-dub-dub, 4 cousins in a tub.
The second night they were much more exhausted, which made parts of bedtime easier, and parts much more difficult.  By the time they were sleeping I was definitely too tired to clean the disaster we had created. Oh, well, it was fun to see the different parts of our day in each of the messes around the house.

Sadly, we exhausted poor D so much that she had a meltdown during Sunday School and was almost asleep before church started.  So they ended up leaving before the service so she could get some rest.  Up until that moment, the kids were truly perfect.

The best part?  Saturday evening, before bed, I overheard the cousins talking to each other about how they were all "Best Friends."  Then, as we were reading before bed, it warmed my heart to see them snuggle up together and give unprompted hugs and kisses while saying, "I love you SO much!"  I call it a successful time if they aren't sick of each other by the end of the weekend, but seeing how close these cousins are truly warmed my heart!

Hooray for cousin sleepovers!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is way too much fun!! Pictures are so incredible. Love all the hard work they are doing on their Easter Egg. Aunt Kim Rocks or Mommy ;)
Huggies from Nana, see you soon little ones!