Chooch’s LOLCat Party Attendees:
- Bill, Jessi and Tammy (all the way from Michigan for the meowtivities!)
- Chris and Monica
- John, Jenn, Abby and Gavin
- Kara, Harland and Theo
- Christy, Claire, Anthony and Julia
- Kristy and Sarah
- Danielle, Cory and Ean
- Lisa and Gigi
- My dad
- My sister Amy, Dick and Brooke
- Kari and Katelyn
- Patty, Tim, Tim’s mom Sue and sister Kaylie
- Angie and Rachel
- Red Sticky Hand
- Missy, Jim, Jemma and James
- Sophia and Olivia
I’m going to try and keep this short and sweet since there are so many pictures, but Chooch’s 8th birthday party went off without a hitch! Well, mostly. It rained the entire time. And I don’t just mean a light drizzle. It poured, and there was the occasional clap of thunder too, which was fantastic. So, OK, I guess that counts as a hitch, whatever a hitch even is. But the kids gave no shits about the spring downpour and ran around like maniacs, getting all disgusting and muddy. Their moms didn’t seem to care, so I decided that I shouldn’t care either. Which is hard for me, relinquishing care.
Decorating was super easy this year because I have finally surrendered to streamers. We just don’t get along, and it’s OK. No one cares about streamers anyway. I would like to add though that Henry had absolutely no hand in decorating because he so conveniently took an entire hour to pick up the cake and grab “odds and ends” at the dollar store. I interpreted this to mean that he parked his Faygo van in an alley somewhere and listened to the Frozen soundtrack.
Thank the lord I had Jessi, Tammy and Bill here to help. They are heaven sent! (Or “Michigan sent.” Whichever.) I can’t believe I just used such a cheesy description, but I am just THAT thankful for their extra helping hands, I guess. Get off my back.
Bill blew up balloons, which Tammy and Jessi hung with great care and precision. They don’t fuck around with balloon-placement.
Tammy and Jessi helped me decorate cat cookies the night before the party. It was actually a lot of fun (there was wine involved)! The cookies didn’t last long though—they were a big hit with the kids and approximately zero were left over! Pretty damn happy about that. Even though Pillsbury actually made them.
Originally, I wanted to make Grumpy Cat donuts using bakery donuts and then decorating them the rest of the way on my own, but it ended up being so humid on Friday night that it was a failed effort from the start. All the icing was dripping down the sides plus Henry bought the wrong kinds of donuts and if we hadn’t had company in the house, I probably would have used one as a boxing glove and sucker punched Henry in the mouth.
So, that’s what’s up with the Grumpy Cat sign up there.
These were my idea! PB&J cat heads in the house! Henry made them though because what do I know about Rice Krispie treats? Not a damn thing. It was so hard not to put them all in my mouth though when I was helping Henry press them into cat heads Saturday morning, because they smelled so goddamn good!!
I just wanted a reason to have a Marcy lookalike saying “Balls!” The kids ate the shit out of this jug like they’ve never seen a damn cheese ball before, and it was nuts. At first, they were using a serving spoon to fill cups with cheesy crack balls, but after awhile, it became a snack-fisting free-for-all. There was a little bit left in the jug by the end of the party, but I made the executive decision to pitch it, because—gross.
Every year, I get all nervous about the kids from Chooch’s school because I suck at talking to parents. But Bill reassured me that I was doing a great job after I talked to Owen’s mom in a (what felt like) effortless fashion because thankfully Chooch had gotten stung by a bee the day before on his way home from school, so I had something to talk about. “Thankfully.” You know what I mean!
Anyway, three cheers for being relatable for once.
And just as people started to arrive, Henry decided that it was time to start grilling, which he impressively dragged out into a three-hour task. HOW CONVENIENT.
I know, Gigi. That’s how I feel when I look at Henry, too
Here is where I was too tired to use the real camera anymore and relied entirely on my phone.
Thank god we had the foresight to buy these stupid cat things and provide crayons and markers because this kept the smaller kids happy and the bigger kids occupied when the rain started to fall too hard.
Meanwhile, Henry was grilling.
I think the children responded well to my sarcasm all afternoon.
My old office-neighbor, Angie. I MISS HER!! :( Also, she just ran the Pittsburgh Marathon, you guys. THE WHOLE THING. She’s a beast.
Where was Henry? Oh, yeah: grilling.
FAMILY! I was so excited to have so much of it there. Here’s Henry’s mom and my cousin Cory. Not shown: Cory’s mom Danielle and brother Ean, my brother Corey, my dad (yay!), my sister Amy and her family. I was bummed that Henry’s sister and her kids couldn’t make it. It was really weird not having them there! But even still, this might have been the most family I’ve had under one roof in more than a decade, I’m not even joking right now. I know Chooch was too busy splashing around in the rain with his posse to care, but someday when he’s older he’ll get to look back on this and see that there are lots of people who love him. And for me, it showed that there is still hope for my side of the family. Maybe we all didn’t get to grow up together, but we’re together now and that’s pretty fucking cool. SORRY TO GET ALL SERIOUS AND HALLMARK CHANNEL. I’ll add more swears to my next blog post.
Chris and Monica sat at the kids table and loved it.
No sign of Henry! Must be grilling! I didn’t realize we even bought that much to grill so if your burger tasted weird, perhaps it was one of the guests who mysteriously didn’t show up.
Or just a squirrel.
Squirrel, why do you have to be so challenging to spell? I want to type “squireel” every single time.
OMG the cake. The goddamn cake. Those kids WOULD NOT STOP TOUCHING IT. And then someone closed the lid because they were tired of the cake collecting fingerprints and no one told that person that the box wasn’t supposed to be closed because the cake would get smashed. OK THAT PERSON WAS ME, GOD! Sorry for ruining the cake! (Also, this is the first time I’m admitting it so now I’m starting the countdown to when Henry finds out.) SORRY SORRY SORRY!!
Anyway, when we decided on the cat theme, I knew right away that we had to get the cheeseburger cake from Bethel Bakery. It’s pretty legendary, but I never had a use for it before. Especially because I’m a vegetarian. (Although I guess we could pretend it was supposed to be a Boca Burger?) My plan was to order the burger cake and then print out the I Can Has Cheezburger cat to stick into the top of the cake, and it seemed to be a pretty big hit, so thank you Bethel Bakery and your novelty cake offerings.
“I always wanted the cheeseburger cake for my birthday!” my brother Corey sighed.
“Aw,” I deadpanned. “I guess your parents didn’t love you enough.”
And then we laughed because it’s true!
So then we all sang Happy Birthday and I had to fight my way to the front like I was at a Jonny Craig show, wtf he’s my kid, MOVE OUT THE WAY! MOM WITH A CAMERA COMING THROUGH! Kids get so clingy and possessive at birthday parties!
Henry was there long enough to light the candles and then disappeared. So everyone was standing there, about to riot because they wanted cake and they wanted it now, but no one was there to cut it! I started to panic and made eye contact with Sharyn’s grandma, who started cracking up.
“Where did he go?!” I cried, and she pointed over to the grill. (AGAIN WITH THE GRILL!) He does this shit to me every year, I fucking swear to god. So I had to do the bottom lip-jut and ask my cousin Danielle to take the cake by the reins, and she did just that! Thank god for Danielle! My mom was such an astute cake cutter, but she never thought to pass those skills on to her dumb daughter, I guess. One time, I had a birthday party for Lisa and was so frustrated when it came to cutting the cake, that I threw down the knife and started plating fistfuls.
Meanwhile, Corey somehow fell into the role of a babysitter while Christy went to pull her car down closer to the pavilion and he was panicking about it because he’s about as fluent in childcare as I am. Then when she came back, one of her kids was sitting at an entirely different table and had a piece of cake. I think Corey should start a nanny service as a real estate side gig!
Kristy’s wrap-job was one of my favorite parts of the day! AND SHE BROUGHT ME A PACK OF PEE WEE’S PLAYHOUSE CARDS. Later the weekend, Henry saw them sitting on the table and asked, “Who got Chooch the Pee Wee—–”
“THOSE ARE MINE!” I snapped before he could finish.
Here’s Bill making sure no sticky red hands try to take off with Chooch’s presents. He had a lot of fun interactions with the under-10 set that day and I think he should dust off the ol’ LiveJournal to tell us all about it. Meanwhile, the gift opening segment of the day was basically the only time Henry stepped in so I could actually talk to my friends for a hot minute. Apparently, Lucy and one of the twins had Chooch flanked and were assisting him, because deciding which present to open next is apparently rocket science.
I wasn’t there when this happened, but Henry supposedly made some comment about how nice it must be to have TWO girlfriends to help when he can’t even get ONE girlfriend to help and then Monica said something that he didn’t hear and I’m willing to bet it was hilarious so Monica, if you’re reading this and you remember this part of Rain Fest 2014, please tell me!
Corey was so excited to tell me that Lisa’s baby threw up on Janna.
“See that wet spot on Janna’s leg? THAT’S WHERE THE PUKE WAS!” and then we just started laughing uncontrollably. I was so excited about it that I high-fived him. This was the highlight of the day for me and I didn’t even get to see it!
One of the girls started crying near the end of the party (not because of me! She was scared because her grandma left) and I honestly was so awkward and uncomfortable about it. Only I’m allowed to cry at parties, you guys, come on now. Unfortunately, “go go, maternal instincts!” is not something that actually works for icy broads like me.
I should have just told her to go sit with Corey.
We only had one game planned, because there’s a playground next to the pavilion and anytime we’ve had parties in the park, the kids seem fine with free-form play. Plus, I don’t know how to do the whole “structure” thing. Can you imagine me being all, “Children! Children, come now! Time for ring around the rosy!” No, you can’t. But then we decided that in lieu of a litter box cake, which is overdone and just disgusting anyway, that we should have a game involving a litter box. So we filled this pan thingie up with sand (Henry bought the wrong kind and it was damp and sooooo gross to touch, which I guess is a good thing in this case) and then numbered a bunch of Tootsie Roll poop.
I spent ALL WEEK painstakingly wrapping dollar prizes with corresponding numbers written inside of cat heads. Just like the rubber duck game that pretty much all carnivals do. PRIZE EVERY TIME. Just not good prizes. But one of the prizes was more annoying than the other prizes.
I almost forgot about the game, so some of the kids had already left by this point (again: structure what now?), but I hurried up and made the rest of them sift around for poop, and then of course they all fought over the prizes they won and some of them kept begging to go again and asking if they could trade. Finally, I was like, “DO WHAT YOU WANT I DON’T CARE OMG” because kids, amirite? I can actually still hear them hounding me. AND WHERE WAS HENRY? Where indeed.
I don’t think Wendy kept her stupid prize. How insulting!
Everyone started heading out around 5. Lisa asked me to throw away a napkin that she had wrapped in plastic. “Be careful, Gigi’s puke is on that,” she warned. As I was walking toward the garbage can, I saw Janna sitting at a picnic table with Henry’s mom and I COULD NOT RESIST, HAD TO DO IT, NEEDED TO OR I MIGHT HAVE DIED.
“Hey Janna,” I said sweetly. “WANT SOME MORE OF THIS!?” and then I pretended to shove the pukey wad of napkin in her face, but it FELL OUT OF THE THING LISA HAD WRAPPED IT IN AND LANDED ON JANNA’S CHEST!
Holy shit, new highlight of the day!
This is what Chooch looked like by the end of the party. So damn disgusting. Aside from Bill throwing one of the guests out, it was a pretty drama-free party! Can I retire now?