paleontology in your pajamas!!

Yes, yes, I know. It’s ridiculous the way I throw a birthday party. It’s ridiculous and perhaps a bit obnoxious, but when you are only 8, it’s also great fun to see your mom take your own wacky idea (paleontology…in our pajamas!) and run with it like there’s no tomorrow.

While I am no scrap-booker (dear Goodness), I do write a blog, so you still get to have to deal with my birthday party wind-downs. Just go grab yourself a beverage and replay the Preakness in the background, because, like the great I’ll Have Another, I’m sure you’ve been here and seen this all before…


Another birthday banner made in the birthday boy’s favorite colors but this one actually lasted the entire party. Thank you, Mother Nature.


invitation with a clearly marked RSVP line and easy to use email address…hmmm.


Yeah, man, you’re in the right place. Hula skirts don’t have much to do with paleontology but, hey, we had one on hand, and it was beggin’ to be used…the scary stuffed green generic dino on top legitimizes it all, don’t you think?


Let’s get it started all up in here. Nothing spells cool–like jurassic-ly cool–than a few hundred semi-permanent tattoos, 2 sponges and 16 eight-year-olds…

…unless it’s your younger brother trying to scare everyone…

Here we have a photo of all the victims…er, willing partakers of the Paleontology Pajama party being guarded by Louie the Dinosaur, a Fernbank Museum of Natural Science souvenir of Jack’s from way back when he was maybe 2 years old…

Two years ago, Jack wanted a Mad Scientist party. The Mad Scientist showed up and promptly sliced her hand open with a butcher knife while she was wrapping up her prep-work for the party. She had to scurry off to the ER, tourniqueted arm held high, while her back-up came 30 minutes later to conduct the party.

Russ realized when the Paleontologist/Fossil Lady showed up at our house that–you guessed it–she was the same woman who had wounded herself at our house two years earlier.

Thank goodness it’s near about impossible to harm yourself with a fossil.


We could not have picked more attentive listeners. Jack’s class is just adorable…






chiseling away at their “fossil muffins”–plaster of paris + sand concoctions stuffed with all sorts of (real!) tiny fossils, shells and shark’s teeth…



Surprise visit from our neighbor across the street; he and Theo are big pals and enjoyed watching the end of the party and running around together (and getting more tattoos than a prisoner with a life sentence). 


Jack mixes the volcano-making concoction…


still mixing…


Great photo, but I promise we’ve made bigger, messier, wilder volcanoes on our own. Oh well, Paleontology Lady gets an A for effort (and an A+ for remaining woundless).


Jack making his wish. I made a wish, too:  that the next 8 years would not go by as quickly as these first 8 years have.

Jack’s classmates are some serious “Happy Birthday” singers. They don’t just add in the cha-cha-cha parts; they’ve added 2 brand new tunes at the end (or maybe I’m just old and out of the loop…anyway, take a listen):


We had a canvas on which all of Jack’s friends could paint a message; it was a huge hit.


the finished product. no idea where we’ll put it, but it is rather fun…


The dreaded goody-bags…

…filled with HFCS-free, dye-free treats (yes, really), dinosaur bubbles, an inspirational magnet and a Paleontology Party Tunes cd. If you overlook the possible copyrighting issue (this cd was created solely for personal use, btw) and the fact that there’s a Def Leppard song included on it, it’s about the best themed party cd we’ve ever made.


Henry was fast friends with Jack’s classmate, Helen, who wants to be a vet when she grows up, too.


It’s a Pujols jersey. Nevermind he’s a great baseball player; in a house full of boys, it’s just fun to say his name.



Typical gift wrapping around here: strong out of the gate (gifts wrapped in Jack’s favorite color) but fizzling at the wire (gifts straight from the UPS truck).



Henry studying some geography. Theo put this puzzle together several times this weekend and every single time, Henry would find it and lie down on it. He learns by osmosis, clearly.

Another birthday come and gone.
Another baseball season come and gone.
Another school year come and (is almost) gone.
And another long, wide-open summer coming our way.

We are ready for it. Hope you are, too.

baseball cards and monk costumes

Why on earth is the end of the school year so chaotic? We have 20 school days left, but you’d never know it based on how fast and furiously we’ve been going at life.

Sweet Thing learned how to ride a big boy bike.


Yes, that’s without training wheels. He was 3 and [1 day shy of] 3/4 years old! I hauled the Schwinn Tiger up from the basement back on March 29th, intending to reattach the training wheels to that puppy, but Theo said he wanted to ride it like it was. The big brothers were still in school, so I said, “let’s give it a whirl,” and–miracle of miracles–he took off like a pro.

You could not have wiped the smile from my face…or from his either.

A sweet lady visiting a neighbor videotaped it on my phone and the whole afternoon was so huge in our world that I wrote a blog entry about it for the Mamas Against Drama site.

worn out bicycle rider

Not one to be outdone athletically, Tucker perfected the art of the headstand later that evening.

Dude held this position for 32 seconds. I timed it.

We took the boys to a Braves game where we sat on the 9th row behind home plate. The boys are utterly stadium-spoiled now.


Chipper hit a homer on the very next pitch. Told you the seats weren’t bad…





The baseball outing led to the rekindling of an obsession for Jackers: baseball cards. I have a shoe box full of them; they were my dad’s (or, more likely, my uncles’) and I eagerly skipped off to fetch them for Jack. What started as a bedtime diversion morphed into an incredible tromp down Memory Lane…



1970 Thurman Munson. Be still my beating heart.

Lately his afternoons and nighttimes are filled with fantasy baseball team creating and baseball card sorting by team, by position, by year, by mascot–birds here, 4-footed creatures there, non-animals over here (looking at you, Phillie Phanatic)–you name it.


I love helping them with the multiple levels of organization because I totally get it. Of course you stack all the catchers together. And then you re-sort them into Leagues. And after that, into teams. And I love this exercise because I did this same exact thing growing up (yes, I really was that cool).

Smell that? Summer’s coming.


Behold: Harry Potter and Phillip Ransford, III (from Wendy Mass’s terrific book The Candymakers), ready to take Dress Like Your Favorite Book Character Day by storm…


Again, it’s pretty scary what Mama can do with a glue gun (and a monk’s costume, which we just happened to have in the closet). Told you I was cool.



Ever really wondered where caterpillars come from? Here is your biology lesson of the week: butterfly mating. Caught on camera.



Um, right. Okey dokey, moving on.

Beethoven ain’t got nothing on this kid:

Tucker waiting to belt out the best Chopsticks you’ve ever heard.

Future Academy Award winner right here:

He is a [neon orange] Lorax, defender of trees, in the 2nd grade production at Trinity School.

Warm weather = water fights.


Twenty days of school left. Ten more days until Mother’s Day (love me some Mother’s Day). Only 2 baseball games left for the 2 older boys until the playoffs start. One day until we take my parents to see The Eagles (Lord, please let them play “Lyin’ Eyes”). And only 16 days until Jackers turns 8. That means 16 more days of being even more nostalgic than I typically am.

May is such a huge month for us. It is our Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. It spins us and pulls us here and there and makes our stomachs drop. And we love every second.

Here’s to every day being May Day!