Beyond Deweyville

Breeding, feeding, writing, reading, crafting, and photographing in Orange County, CA Where it has become a novelty to raise your own kids and mow your own grass (if you can afford some).

Food Fight! July 25, 2008

Filed under: Kid Birthday Parties — mothersandothers @ 11:43 pm

The little man has officially walked into fivedom. Say it ain’t so! We had the greatest party this year. So fun in fact, he told me he wants this SAME party every year, and I just may indulge him.

This is, hands-down, the easiest, funnest, cheapest party we’ve done since adopting a back-to-basics attitude about kid parties. I was going for something every kid wants to do and never gets to do. Shazaam, play with their food, right? Better yet, mash their food into their best buddies.

Food Fight!

Okay I can’t wait any longer, here’s what they looked like when they were done.

Here are the details:

I kept the numbers small for obvious reasons. He invited his three best buddies. It took some convincing on his part that the party would still be fun if they all came with their moms and 3 year-old sisters. I told the moms up front that I was just planning for the boys to go into the Food Fight Room. It turns out the girls were totally out on it anyway. LOL.

For the invites I copied this idea.

It’s a postcard that’s about the size of a 3.5 X 5 card. There was no reason to measure each of them since I did no printing and used no envelope. I found some thick chip board in my craft stuff and cut it down. Wyatt painted a big smeary foodesque picture for me that I then cut up. Next I printed on some mailing labels I already had, sloppily did a red marker border, and wrapped it around the right edge of the invite


Note: This was Grammy’s invite. On the invites to the boys I added,”Please arrive in swim trunks and bring a clean pair of shorts.”

We took a room in our house that has very little furniture in it and pushed it all against one wall. In one of Brian’s past lives he re-textured ceilings, so he had the room completely bagged in about fifteen minutes. That big “W” is my one decoration. I was originally going to have them fling potatoes at it with spoons as a game, but then decided no games were needed.

For the favors we gave “food” splattered lunch sacks to everyone that were filled with his five favorite good-for-you snacks.

The day before the party we placed the bags on the ground in the bagged room, and the kids and I flung

our paintbrushes at them. It was so fun!

Before the fight started I gave them goggles to wear (they also took these home).

I bought the cheapest food I could find at Big Lots and Smart & Final. Here’s what they had in their arsenal:


Mashed Potatoes

Chocolate Pudding


Cooked Carrots and Peas


Canned Whipped Cream

After they were done I went around to the slider and cut a hole in the plastic to let them all out…straight into the shower.

Finally, I made them t-shirts to wear and keep. I got a multi-color pack at K-mart, found some splat images on the internet, added words, printed on transfer paper, and ironed them on. I inadvertently gave some of them that sweet worn look because I ironed them too long. Ha! The front said “You Got Food On Your Face” and the back said “I survived Wyatt’s Food Fight June 2008”

Afterwards they came in for lunch and singing and playing. Instead of the usual “no gifts” policy we’ve switched to the “bring something used from your house” policy because let’s face it, kids like to give and get gifts. As for the clean-up, we just slipped in between the plastic and the wall then pulled it down onto itself, tucked it into a ball and tossed it into the trash. No mess anywhere!

Happy Birthday Baby Boy!

I love you soooooo much!

Okay, and I just had to include this shot of one of the girls because it was too good not to share.


We’re still at it July 22, 2008

Filed under: Are home renovations fun? — mothersandothers @ 10:07 pm

I have strayed from house updates because it’s all we talk about, which makes me loathe to also type about it. But, it was a part of the old blog (I think I took the link out), it’s a HUGE part of my life, so along you come.

Some updates on the money pit.

New color for Wyatt’s room? I’m done with blue even though it was and still is the best blue.

Before Christmas we came back to the fireplace. Brian had boxed over all the black marble months earlier but the hearth remained uncovered while we decided if it should be the travertine that we laid in the entry and hallways.

Um, ah….er, mmm, I don’t know. Okay, yes, let’s go with the travertine. Good thing we bought the whole quarry. Bust out the tile saw baby! I make him wear those ear muff thingys.

Keeping Wyatt busy. Here, break all these up into really little pieces.

Then measure each piece really carefully

Make a mosaic using dad’s tile thin set. That’s non-toxic right?

Yeah for travertine hearths!!

I swear I did not set this up. I almost killed myself running for the camera so I wouldn’t miss it.

So here’s where we’re at currently. We had to stop again to finish canned lights (thank you uncle Glen) and work on the outside before exterior paint in August. Oh yeah, and Bri framed and built me an actual storage unit in our garage to house all my free junk that was getting ruined by all the sawdust. Here is the photo we’re copying though. It’s our friends’ fireplace. He is a woodworker (thank you God!) and she is one of my best friends who I know secretly works for Ballard and just won’t tell me. It’s a bad scan but you get the idea.


Heart & Soul anyone? July 18, 2008

Filed under: General — mothersandothers @ 10:21 pm

Did you all see that they were giving pianos away at Wal-Mart yesterday? Just kidding. But it was Free Piano Day at our house. Bri and I are officially addicted to finding free things. We do our daily check of websites where people just want someone to come get their “junk”. To which I usually reply, “I’m coming, I’m coming!” A piano has been at the top of my list for a while now. Nevermind that none of us actually know how to play. I really just wanted something that a.) the kids and their friends could pound on without me wigging out about it being banged up and b.) that didn’t look completely crappy. The only way for me to accomplish “a” was that it had to be free. We found an awesome one a couple of months ago but were hours too late in snagging it. Then Bri saw this one a couple of days ago and jumped on it just in time. It’s been with only one family since the 1920’s and was living in Corona del Mar. The only catch…it’s 700 lbs of mostly solid brass and wood and this is what you have to navigate to get it out.

and this

and this

Nothing six young firefighters can’t handle right?

I’m told the banter during this would have offended sailors

The neighbors have already been given full permission to let us know if we’re rockin’ out too loud.

When I find a cool e-book on how to play piano I’ll let you know.

Until then, anyone up for a little Heart and Soul?


4th of July July 16, 2008

Filed under: General — mothersandothers @ 11:54 pm

So I have some holiday catching up to do here. I’ll work backwards from the 4th through Wyatt and Amaiah’s birthdays. Hopefully I’ll make before I need to post Brian’s.

The kiddos and I spent the day with friends at the beach. Do I really need to say anymore than that? How blessed are we? It was quite a harrowing journey getting there though. So here’s the cast–me, a cooler FULL of drinks and ice, two kids below hip height, a backpack, a beach bag, and each kid carrying some type of snack. We set out for the beach at 11:00 and while we’re driving I get a call from our friend (who by the way got to the beach at 5:45AM and basically sprinted with a baby in her arms to get a fire pit) saying,”Hey it’s pretty crowded, parking might be tough.” Looking back now, I think what she meant to say was, “Hey, remember giving birth? Finding parking will be harder than that.” As we got closer all movement slowed to a crawl, cones appeared, cops waving their arms appeared, people driving like they’re from Utah appeared. I make a few u-turns, do some deep breathing, and sweetly ask the cop if I may go through to dump off all our stuff, including the kids, thinking that I can walk pretty far if I have to as long as it’s just me. He tells me to shove it and move on. So then I start driving up and down PCH looking (along with 100 other people) for that one golden person pulling away from the curb. No luck. So then I get the bright idea to pull into one of the hotels along PCH, haul the kids inside and offer them cash for parking.

Can I give you $20 to let me park here?


How about if my daughter does a tap dance for you; she’s already wearing her tap shoes. See?


My son can Irish step dance?



Back into the car

Then our informant (my friend Kenz) tells us the word on the street is you can drive to a high school far away, park in their parking lot and take a school bus back to the beach. Some how I find my way to this magical high school where we park and unload it all. Never mind that I have to figure out how to get all this stuff on and off a bus. Some nice man who obviously had a good mama offered to hoist it onto a seat for me. And off we go, until we get to the drop off, which is not even close to where I need to be. We all unload (thanks to that nice man again) and begin hoofin’ it. After about five minutes I seriously consider donating the cooler and it’s contents to the city. We press on and I keep encouraging myself with dramatic thoughts like, “Come on Shal, women in Africa do this all day long just to get drinking water. You can do it in the name of sitting on a beautiful beach for the next twelve hours, can’t you?” And I could of course, and we finally roll into town with blistering palms and sweat dripping everywhere (but at least I wasn’t smelly thanks to the vodka in my pits).

We ended up having an incredible day filled with good fellowship and equally good fireworks. I hope yours was just as lovely, and a million times easier to get to.

Oh Seaweed Man, you were the biggest hit

Nope, no alcohol here horse cops

Nope, no alcohol here horse cops

Thank you neighbor beach-goers for letting us go fly your kites

Thank you neighbor beach-goers for letting us go fly your kites


“Hey, waddya doin’?” July 15, 2008

Filed under: General — mothersandothers @ 11:54 pm

You know how during your day you have certain people that are your go-to people when you need some gripping conversation? Mine are Bri and my dad. Our job descriptions are vastly different; sometimes I dial without remembering just how different. With Bri I get life’s underbelly and tragedy:



“Waddya doin?”

“Just cleaning up some brain matter. What are you doin’?”

“Ew! Just making the kids some…scrambled..eggs..well gotta go!”

With my dad it’s a different story (he’s the crazy guy down below that gives me weird future glimpses of Wyatt). He works in media, which we could argue is also the underbelly and frequently tragic, but the stories he spins usually make me laugh instead of throw up in my mouth. He knows that I find the entertainment facade completely fascinating, and he (unlike me), could not be less impressed by all the hoopla. I think I should have majored in sociology.

So here’s today’s exchange:

“Hey dad, what er ya doin’?”

“Oh, just drove David Archuleta back to his hotel.”

“Oh yeah, who’s that, some new guy at work?”

Note: If you remember, we gave up the el tubo right as the new season of American Idol was starting (more on this later), so I’m completely clueless about who this guy is.

“No, he’s the guy that won American Idol.”

“Oh sweet! Did you talk to him?”

“ know…I was trying to give him advice on handling bad press.”

“Like what?”

“Well, I told him that whenever anyone says anything negative about you, it’s best not to defend it directly, but instead just say something nice about yourself.”

“Hm, good advice.”


“I’m bluetoothin’ it…is that a verb?” July 11, 2008

Filed under: General — mothersandothers @ 3:31 pm

I guess I’m in a video mood this week. You gotta love the California legislature. Is there any doubt who lobbied hard for this law?


Dance Video July 10, 2008

Filed under: Funsicles,General — mothersandothers @ 6:05 pm

This video is so great. If we ever come into a good sum of cash or a willing sponsor, I’ll be off to make “Where the hell did mommy go?”