edamomie

An Exploration of Parenting by the Vowel

Sky Zoning Out June 22, 2014

Filed under: Activities — edamomie @ 8:31 am
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A: Activities

Hyped-up Sky Zoners

Hyped-up Sky Zoners

It was time to get out of the house… When my son Calvin turned nine recently, it was his first official birthday party that we didn’t host at our home. Months prior to his birthday, he began pushing for a Sky Zone Trampoline Park off-site party with his friends. Everyone was doing it.

 

Calvin is highly persistent and stood over my shoulder one Sunday morning in April as we reviewed the Sky Zone website for party details and costs. There is a fair amount of information there, but you really do need to call to ask specific questions and check date and time availability. Calvin was standing by with my mobile. I made the call, narrowed in on a date (not realizing June 15 was Father’s Day — totally thought it was June 21), length of jump time and put down a deposit. I received a confirmation email, shared it with family and filed it away til early June.

 

Orange Sky Zone Socks

Orange Sky Zone Socks

When early June rolled around, we relied on Evite again. One mom alerted me to the fact that our date selection was also Father’s Day. Not cool on my part! However, Calvin was born on the occasion nine years ago. I polled a few mom’s (and my husband) and they didn’t seem to mind, so we kept the date. At least no other kid birthday parties would coincide with his!

 

The Sky Zone advisor I talked with upon booking recommended 1 hour of jump time. Calvin would not hear of it – – 1.5hrs was the minimum acceptable jump time in his book. So it was: 3:10 check-in, 3:30 jump time, 5:00 pizza time. 5:40 clear out.

 

Lego Pirate BDay Cake

Lego Pirate BDay Cake

With five guest yeses about a week out, I started to think about offering to carpool the boys from Minneapolis (our home) to Plymouth (Sky Zone’s location), a 25 minute drive. All of the parents took me up on that one. It would mean 2:00p.m. arrival at our home and 6:30p.m. pick-up. I quickly realized that Calvin’s easy no-frills party would still be work.

 

I started prepping the day-of the party at 10:00a.m. This included a run to Target, baking and decorating a two-tier cake, cleaning the house and packing up stuff to take to Sky Zone. All by 2:30. We went with a pirate theme, timely because his class had just finished their pirate lessons and party at school.

 

Sky Zone contracts pizza out to Davanni’s. Part of our party plan meant we’d get one cheese and one pepperoni pizza for up to 10 kids for our $200 total amount. To order a sheet cake to be delivered as well, they need seven days notice. I opted to make ours and bring in ice cream too (guidelines state that you may bring in baked goods and pre-packaged ice-cream).

 

Trampoline Dodgeball

Trampoline Dodgeball

The boys start arriving. Wow, they are loud! We have two carloads going up and the discussion is high-pitched and rotating between subjects of swearing, pants and grossness. We check in at Sky Zone where bright orange gripper socks and water during jump time are all inclusive. The party host, Austin, runs all of the waivers through (I emailed requests to parents ahead of time so they could fill out their child’s form online). There is some confusion if the online submission totally covers them, or if kids needed to also print it out and bring it with them. I’m still confused.

 

The boys, stickered with their 2 jump time segments (3:30-4:00 and 4:00-5:00), burst in to the zone. I wondered if 1.5 hours would seem like an eternity. In most people’s opinion, an hour is plenty. Nine-year old boys are not most people. The norm doesn’t apply. They went from trampoline mosh pit to dodgeball and back to sky high jumps.

 

Snarky Pirate

Snarky Pirate

After the boys were jumping for 30 minutes, I decided to brave it and join my daughter, Ava, and her cousin, Ravelle. After all, we did pay for a block of up to 10 jumpers. There were 9 of us. I wasn’t prepared for the high fun-factor and height these trampolines afforded, not to mention the workout and soreness days later even after a 10 and 20 minute segment. Picture Lego man jumping jacks from the LEGO Movie.

 

At promptly 5:00, it was time for the party room. The party host helped with set-up and had our beverages ready and pizzas on the way. Did the boys not expend any energy? They still seemed crazed to me. The girls and I hung tight together in the corner. What happened to the sweet little eight-year-old boys that had manners? Ava informed me that this was a new phase.

 

Super Soaker = Great Gift!

Super Soaker = Great Gift!

Post pizza, there was cake. Roughly, one could discern a pirate Lego theme (I made use of our numerous Lego figurines for this). One small section of the cake had literally fallen off at home, most likely because I baked a 9×13″ pan’s worth of batter in an 8×8″ square pan. I improvised with a pirate puppet to cover the mishap. It still tasted delish.

 

The boys were amped up and it was time for gifts. How can you go wrong with footballs, ropies and squirtguns? After more pants talk and pull-down attempts, we tidied up our party room and checked out at 5:38. They do run a tight ship there. I thought it was the perfect amount of time.

 

Somehow my husband got Ava and Calvin in his car and I had the four boys in mine. That was a long drive home. When I arrived and pulled up behind them, Ava inquired, “Mom, are you okay?” Ahh, she’s so sympathetic! Calvin and friends immediately tore into the gifts, launching the ropie into the tallest tree on the block. Finally, the parents arrived and chorralled their boys into their cars. By 6:45p.m., it was silent. Time to move right into Father’s Day!

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday, Doll February 28, 2012

Filed under: Eats — edamomie @ 9:30 pm
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E: Eats

All About the Frosting

All About the Frosting

It was time to throw a party. Mia, my 8-year old daughter Ava’s American Girl Doll, was turning 4. Ava had been obsessing about this party since Christmas – even more so than her own birthday party, although that wasn’t until June. On ventures to the Mall of America, she’d beg, just one more visit to the the American Girl store?  Mia really needs some new shoes. I pressed her, Really?

 

I decided that there should be no harm in letting her spend her hard-earned money (received by way of birthday and holiday cards, actually) on gifts for a doll. Super practical!  In looking for the larger meaning here, I agreed, Yes, Mia did need some new shoes. She also needs someone to stress about hosting the perfect birthday party – inviting the guests, making the food and drink, decorating and finding activities to keep the guests entertained. Don’t forget the party favors!

 

Perfectly Poised Party Guests

Perfectly Poised Party Guests

She will certainly appreciate my eight-years worth of effort in planning her birthday parties, all hosted at our house, when she’s through with Mia’s party. I got out a box of mish-mashed decor from the years and she set out on the task. She invited one special cousin, Ravelle, and two of her American Girls to join Mia and Ava’s other American Girl doll, Piper. That’s a tally of six. For this party, Ava chose to invite her cousin AND make her help with the cake prep and serving work. …hmmmm, I could take a lesson from this.

 

The two of them made a simple cake Ava picked out from a Hersey’s dessert book she had checked out from the library. Thanks to SaraLee’s pound cake, the cake part was a wrap. It was more about the filling between the 4 layers and the whipped chocolate topping.

 

Patience Pets, You'll Get Yours

Patience Pets, You'll Get Yours

 The girls added ingredients and I supervised the mixing. Then it was time to frost – patience, wrist movement and correct depth of frosting were attempted and averagely executed. Ravelle mentioned her previous sessions with her Grandma, an excellent cake baker and decorator. We all agreed, frosting was a skill to keep trying to perfect.

 

After the frosting, seemingly the glue for the cake layers, was to their liking, their eyes lit up at the prospect of what to do with the mixer beaters and spatulas with all that unused frosting.  Later, with that task licked, they were ready to serve cake to the party guests and guest of honor.  The AG dolls behaved themselves as they silently joined us in the H B D song.  The AG cats and dogs, although panting over the layer cake, also acted appropriately.

 

Mia glowed on her birthday, in her new birthday dress with those shoes her “mom” just had to have for her. I was surprised at how this simple gesture for a doll brought Ava so much pleasure. Reminded me of why I, and all of us parents, go to the trouble. Happy Birthday, Mia!

 

 
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