Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Urban Pirate Adventure

It would be so cool if I came up with the concept of the Urban Pirate!  Alas, it is an actual business based in nearby Baltimore, MD that provides a pirate-y experience to us city dwellers and their pirate loving children.  

My friend Carrie threw the idea out to our preschool crowd and then handed the reigns over to me to make it happen.  We got together a group of 40 people (the boat only holds 49!)  and stormed the Inner Harbor at Fells Point.  We boarded our boat, the Fearless, ready for some swashbuckling fun.

The crew dresses the kids up in vests and sashes, face paints on scars and beards, and gives them all tattoos.  (Bandanas, telescopes, eye patches, swords, hooks and the like are conveniently available for sale preboarding!)

After some words from our captain we learned to walk, talk and dance like a pirate, then set sail on the harbor for an hour.  The kids played games, danced and heard tall tales along the way.

We discovered how Mad Dog Mike had gone crazy and stolen our treasure.  But when he appeared we were ready at the water cannons to battle him for the loot.  

We were, of course, successful, and each pirate trainee got their fair share of the bounty.

Yo, ho, ho, it's a pirate's life for me!  ARGH!!!!

(Wish I would have know about this back when Joseph had a pirate birthday party when he was three.  Might have been a lot easier than doing this and this.  Oh, and this.  Aaaaand this.  Though I did love every little bit about that party and wouldn't trade it for the world!)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Screen on the Green

Ridiculously fun idea:  haul your 50" flat screen TV out into the backyard with a very long extension cord to show a movie at dusk.  Don't forget speakers!

Major props and thanks to our awesome friends and neighbors, Jocelyn, Matt & Zara,  for hosting a Memorial Day weekend kick-off pizza and ice cream party with a private showing of Madagascar.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Spirit Week

Lots of fun, silly stuff at preschool in anticipation of graduation :)

sunglasses day

"crazy look" day

crazy hair day!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Jack's Jurassic Birthday!

I loved, loved, loved Joseph's dinosaur birthday party last year, but his buddy Jack requested the same theme this year and somehow Missy managed to throw an ever better dinosaur party than anyone could have imaged or little boy could have wished for.  

Some elements were the similar to ours, like the invitation, footprints, fossil dig, birthday banner, dino decorations everywhere, and cutout sandwiches, but this party was absolutely kicked up a notch.  The carved T. Rex watermelon - AMAZING!  The ice age frozen dino cubes in the drink buckets - BRILLIANT!

Most incredible and unique was the erupting volcano constructed by Matt.  A little baking soda, vinegar, dish soap, and food coloring.....voila!  Multiple lava flows throughout the party.  The kids were thrilled!  Except Joe Joe, who was hiding inside thinking it would be scary.

The cake was decorated to look just like the invitation.  Absolutely gorgeous!

Yet another amazing party thrown by Missy!  Hard to believe our little Jackie is 5!  It always gets me thinking about Joseph's birthday just two short months away.....

Saturday, May 19, 2012

American You

My best friend's niece, Tasha, has been living near us in DC the past 3 years attending law school at American University's Washington College of Law.  She is like family (even calling me and Brent her "faux uncles"), is an often welcome guest for Sunday suppers, and has been a babysitter extraordinaire for Joe Joe.  So when it came near to her graduation, I wanted to make her a quilt to remember and celebrate her accomplishments.

Her school colors are red, white, and blue (duh, it is American U!), but I heard she liked the combo of navy blue and pink, and no one, no matter how patriotic, really wants to snuggle under something that looks like an American flag.  So I went with pink, peach, coral and just a touch of red, and it's quite a lovely effect.

The design is the popular Bento Box quilt pattern, one I've had my eye on for a while.  It's bold and graphic but kind of has some movement to it as well.  It's quilted in double straight lines through the 4 quadrants of the block, with a single diagonal to emphasize the directionality of the pattern.  Some people scramble all the fabrics up, but I liked the look of the alternating color blocks so kept them together.  But I did mix it up a little in the few blocks on the back.

I love the look of the striped binding, especially against the solid navy backing fabric.  I was totally in a rush to finish this baby and wound up doing machine binding.  It was so easy and came out so well, I may be a convert!

Do I have the best quilt holder in the world?!  You can't even see Brent back there!  But it's not particularly his favorite job, even though it takes all of 5 minutes.

I really think it turned out to be quite a pretty quilt!  Joseph thinks so too.  I told him it was for Tasha, and he said, "No, I want to keep it for myself!"  Hope she likes it just as much.

(For those interested, there are many patterns for Bento Box quilts out there.  I went with the fairly straightforward lesson I found here at Red Pepper quilts.  With proper planning and cutting you can make a set of 2 blocks out of a 5" WOF piece of each a focus and background fabric!)

Keep your eye on the ball

or you might get hit with it.

Coach Ernie tries to keep it fun for the kids!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Clown Face

Oh.  Dear.  Lord.

At "May Fair" last weekend, the annual fundraiser at our local park, they were doing free face painting for the kids.  As a pediatrician who has seen far too many nasty reactions to the stuff, I have successfully avoided it thus far.  But this time Joseph saw it and asked to do it.  Gotta give in some times, I guess.  He wanted the full on orange and black tiger face.  We tried to encourage the much simpler pirate face.  He settled on a clown.

Maybe it's just me, but that's got to be the saddest excuse for a clown face I've ever seen.  Interestingly reminds me of the self portrait he did for the school art show.

But the guy was so proud of what he did he had to take a picture of it.  He needs practice.....

In other May Fair news, they always have pony rides.  JT went on 3 times, and he got the same horse, Cassie, every time.

They had the coolest moon bounce I've yet to see, right up our guy's alley.  We just might be going with a shark/sea creature theme for this year's birthday....

And his bravery continues with wanting to ride the swinging pirate ship.  He has never wanted to go on one of these things before, and he loved it!