A couple of weeks ago, my mom invited me and my sisters to a Christmas Stroll in a town two hours from me, a half-hour from them. I immediately said yes. I’ve always wanted to stop and explore the historic downtown area of the town I have so often driven straight through on the way to my parents’ house. Plus, with Christmas right around the corner, I knew there would be some prime shopping opportunities available to me. I put the date in my planner and forgot about it. Then as the weekend approached, my mom called and left a message telling me the stroll was off.
Posts by Lesley Bolton:
As I write this, in my little house in Indiana, I’m half-waiting for another tornado warning to sound off. Today, we’ve had two warnings so far. Having grown up in Indiana, I’m quite used to such warnings and know what to do. Story, on the other hand, panics a bit. I can’t blame her. She has seen pictures and videos of the destruction tornadoes can cause, and she’s lived through one — though she was only about a year old when it happened and she slept through the whole thing — that caused quite a bit of damage to our house.
Story has always been a social child who tried her best to make her own social calendar, inviting others to our house (once a homeless man) and inviting herself to others’ houses. I have finally succeeded in gaining control of her social calendar, but now we have a new problem: the phone. She has begged for her own phone relentlessly since last year (first grade), when her buddy got his own. Well, that’s not happening for quite some time yet, so she’s done the next best thing: handed out my phone number.
But then she wakes up and starts talking, and I can only see this:Sigh. They do grow up fast.
This year, she wanted a Pokemon party. With a just a little preparation and lots of good friends and family, we had a pretty good time! I had to brush up on my Poke-speak first though, so I rewatched the first episode. If you’re considering a Pokemon-themed party, I suggest you do the same.
This gave me a great idea for the cake — or in this case, cakes. There are seemingly thousands of Pokemon, but one common (and simply designed) object is the Poke Ball. And hey, it’s round! So Poke Ball became the central design. If you watched the episode, you know that a wanna-be Pokemon master starts off her journey by choosing one of three Pokemon: Charmander, Bulbasaur, and Squirtle. So, I made three cakes and cut out the center of each. I stashed a Charmander in one, Bulbasaur in another, and Squirtle in the third, then covered them back up with the cut-out cake. (This was inspired by both the show and Ali’s super fabulous idea of hiding Shopkins in Riley’s birthday cake.) We iced them up to look like Poke Balls, and then Story had to choose one to begin her journey to become a Pokemon master. She dug it out with a spoon. Surprisingly, she chose the cake with Charmander, the one she wanted. Happy birthday to her!
Additional treats were pizza and a fruit tray, each designed to look like a Poke Ball (well, the pizza was only a partial success; I forgot the olives for the black band). Of course, we had red and white balloons, as well. It was a low-key, low-pressure, low-effort party, but I consider it a success!
This past weekend, Story had her first sleepover. I know, crazy, right? She even said, “I am seven years old! How can this be my first sleepover ever?!” To better understand, let me define sleepover: staying the night with a nonrelative and without Mom, with the full intention of doing nothing but having fun. Mind you, Story has plenty of experience sleeping at others’ houses, both with and without me. But this was different. She was going to stay the whole night with Ali, Riley, and Maddie — without me. (Yes, I’m still categorizing this as a sleepover even though Story refers to Riley and Maddie as her stepsisters.)