Tag Archive | party

11 years a mom

My first daughter is officially 11.  Last year birthday stuff got absolutely lost in the ‘magic’ of moving.  Each had a party, each was celebrated, none got a proper blog post and we never did do our adult friend/family party (people that would be invited to all 3).  This year we are in a much better place to pay proper attention but this time I hesitate to write a full-on letter publically to #1 because other things have changed.

  • She is pretty good about me sharing stuff but she is also shy about somethings so like all internet parents I need to make some boundaries
  • I am a bit more of a public figure, not that school board is the same as president however my name is more out there locally and the kids don’t need the extra microscope on them
  • There was a really scary local thing where a man spotted a kid getting off the bus and decided he would kidnap her.  They had no relation otherwise, he just saw her one day.  He broke into her house a couple weeks later, shot her parents, kidnapped her and there was a multi-week search and most had given up.  She rescued herself in the end, she was locked in a room but figured out when he was gone and got out and made it to a road and got help.  She is ok as can be expected but the safety we all feel is a little less secure.  Not that *not* blogging about my kids could have prevented something like that, however, less info as the world gets smaller is probably better.

On the other side of the coin, this is my record of what we do and how I see the world.  The title reflects that – I have been a mother for 11 years.  It has been a really interesting 11 at that, I’ve learned, made mistakes, apologized to nearly everyone in the world for something I felt I did badly, let go of some notions, adopted others and generally aged a decade in the process.

For this birthday we had the good fortune that it was on a Sunday so I let her sleep in and we did a nice breakfast followed by picking out a bike from the shop (to be delivered next week) and picking up a friend for a rock climbing adventure.  We had a little time at our house while I cooked the pie that needed hours to chill and the girls decided to have some impromptu sewing time.  They made a pretty reasonable elephant pillow with minimal supervision.  11 is really good like that, the basic sewing machine set up and a 2-minute lesson of ‘follow the line and go slow’ and they were good.

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Rock climbing was a blast.  The place is just far enough away that we won’t do it often but it is a great thing to try.  They have harnesses that are super safe for solo climbing and give just enough upwards pressure that I had no problem with the climbs beyond figuring out where to put my hands.  I’m very glad I work out though, however, I wish I had my 6-year-olds weight to strength ratio.  She was like a spider on the wall and even did the free climb.

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free climb area, to practice the extra crazy overhangs

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pink shirt up there is her, note the overhang she got around!

Yesterday I spent from 11:30 on at school or with the birthday girl.  I did lunch with each daughter and then took #1 out for our mother-daughter afternoon.  We got a pedicure and then found pants that fit her.  The day was shorter than other years because I still had to pick up her sisters but we had a nice time.  The day was capped off by her getting a home visit from our SCA queen and she was given an award of arms, normally an adult award but she has earned it over the past few years doing pretty much everything she was allowed to help the group.  It was a pretty special night overall.  Not bad for an 11-year-old.

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Home visit queen

This weekend we will have a friend party and I have no idea how many kids are coming.  A bunch.  20 were invited.  I’ll just make a lot of pizza rolls and stay out of the way.  They are taking on some of the planning so I’ll be hopefully a support system instead of a cruise director.

Otherwise, I did exciting things like meet with our tax guy.  Next for me is party prep and that is mostly cleaning because that is NOT in this particular 11-year-olds wheelhouse…

Puppy Party!

Puppy party is a really common theme according to Pinterest, so many ideas I only took a fraction.

According to my favorite developmental book series, this year’s birthday needs lots of quick activities and plenty of loot for the guests.  Apparently 6 is the most self-centered age after 2 (and before 12) and they are all concerned with fairness and/or getting the most.  I can see that with Zoe in some ways but get 10 6-year-olds together and it’s like getting smacked in the face with 3d models from the book.  The loot aspect (their word) was not hard, we already had planned activity 1-3 to include making/getting something that was theirs.  The ‘doggie bag’ at the end was pretty trivial really.

 

As kids arrive they recommend an independent style art project so as kids arrive they can just join in.

#1 – adopt a puppy – Oriental traders had the best deal so each pup was $1 IMG_8994

#2 – make a collar for the pup – we used pipe cleaners and letter beads.  This one ended up needing a bit of help since the holes were small and some kids are not confident spellers yet but they liked them.  About half the pups were named after the kids, they know how to spell that for sure.  I got WAAAAY too many beads (1pack of 250 and 1 500) but I didn’t want to run out and now I have extra for all my future letter bead needs

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#3 – decorate a dog house – I pre set up these boxes and cut out a half circle so the dogs could peek out.  Some kids really used the markers and stickers, some didn’t, but it filled the time nicely as kids were arriving.

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Niamh played party game director as they played ‘fetch’ where she threw balls and they ran around the yard.  They also played some version of tag…  They got semi-bored of the games in about 10 minutes and so we did the classic pin the tail on the dog

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not that you should have any trouble with this game but things that made it easy for me were;

  • I used leftover double sided tape from another project and left the paper on the ‘outside’ sticky so they could peel away while waiting in line
  • I put the board on the kid easel that way it can be played anywhere, no wall needed

 

We all went in for a snack – I amended my earlier version by using peeps instead of cupcakes because the frosting made a mess last time and the peeps hold the candy in better.  Unsurprisingly a pretty glass full of candy was well received by the group.

 

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added a gummy bear option for our dairy free friends – good trade because they don’t fall out as easily as hard candy!

 

While snack was consumed (and many m&ms spilled on the floor) we opened presents – dull to most involved so we kept it snappy and rolled into another little game “doggie doggie wheres your bone” that they played a round or 3 while I got the cake ready.

Top off the party with cake and pre scooped icecream (best party hack ever!  scoop into cupcake papers and keep in a cupcake tray in the freezer until serving) and fruit.

 

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puppy cake – not pinworth but tasty

 

We had one other activity set up; a photobooth.  Sounds more complicated but it was a tablet on a tripod with a special tablet holder for hands-free use.  I set the tablet to stay on and I activated the voice activation so they could say “smile” and it would take a picture.  I had some props and a backdrop but they moved it a bit to suit themselves.  Given how tech savvy the kids are this was awesome activity.  They took 300 pictures, 8-10 are classically good, and there are a ton that are crazy fun over all for the set up it was a hit.

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This took a whole hour and a half, they were not joking about them running through the activities.  However, our education system has conditioned them all to love “free choice” so I told them all that after one group picture they all had “free choice” and there were cheers.  Soon the squeals of glee threatened to take the house down and my friend and I churned out balloon animals and swords to the point where no kid left the party without a puppy a house a collar 2-3 balloon creations the official ‘doggie bag’ and some with a helium baloon (if they asked).  One of our favorite friends left with 50% less because she would forget her head if it were not attached and I found her sweater under a chair and her puppy in the yard etc.

 

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boxes are ‘cupcake boxes’ from oriental trader 

 

Other than the whole lice thing it was a wonderful party on a great day with minimal fuss.  The only regret is that with this theme Zoe’s extreme desire for a real dog is now cranked up to 110.

Pinterest Truth

status

weather; rained for 24 hours and now we are GREEN and sunny and nice

nap; maybe – resting at least, I could use one because spring = allergies = bad sleep

house; maintaining basic party clean and looking meaningfully at my closet

 

Yesterday I posted this picture.  I got the idea from this

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I got the idea from this pinned post.  Looks easy right?  Totally!  Now look at this picture and see if you notice something about it…

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maybe a little less perfect, little less even, little more cream on the glasses and candy on the tray….

 

Let us start a the beginning so you can benefit from my research

51lhlqat7ll-_sl1498_I ordered these plastic 1 piece champaign glasses and if you look in the questions part on Amazon there was obviously another woman looking at the same pin but she didn’t seem to notice that they are MINI cupcakes.  The glasses themselves look nice but are on the flimsy side.  Let’s just say that we started with 10 and now only have 5 post party.  Maybe if I bought the ones from the pin it would be better?

 

What you need;

10 champaign glasses

1 5lb bag of candy, we used about 2/3

20 mini muffins.  I originally made double so I could pick the nicest looking ones but it is good to have a backup set as you will soon see.

whipped cream for topping.

Assembly is easy – M&M into glass, add cupcake (unfrosted), add frosting to cake in glass to avoid mess on the glass. (ha!)

 

So I’m sure if you give the physics of the situation 3 seconds of thought  you might  note that filling a flute with M&Ms and topping it with a cupcake and a squeeze of cream might lead to tipping over problems.  Boy did it!!!  If you look closely at the picture you see my attempt at anchoring the glasses with bluetack to the tray and that helped… a little…

Walking 2 steps in my kitchen had one pitch over and crash into its neighbor.  Candy all over the tray and floor and 10 kids outside waiting.  I frantically salvaged the candy from the tray and was very glad that I baked 20 mini muffins so I re did the two.  Slowly and carefully I got to the door only to wonder how will I get out this door?  I did my best waitress one hand tray hold and got out only to have the door bump my elbow and about 5 kamikazed to the pavement.  No breakage!  just candy loss so I put it back together (again) and did more cupcakes (again) and I was very glad I didn’t clean up the whipped cream gun so they all still looked good but Lars took over and he traversed the nice flat yard to the waiting kids.

The positive – they all loved them!  Nothing but smiles.

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So I can’t say this is really a pin-fail but while the creation is super simple I advise making them for a dessert buffet and not trying to walk.  Alternative if you have them clustered really tightly maybe they would lean on each other for support?  Can’t say for sure.  However I can’t stress enough how tippy these really are – you have been warned 🙂

Weekend  at pennsic 

If you focus on fun you can find it. 



I’m an aunt!

My sister had a baby boy today and all is happy in the world.

Meanwhile…. in MN… I decided to take on some of her pain and I’ve had whiplash-like neck pain for days and my tooth hurts… fortunately the tooth is the one scheduled to be dealt with on Thursday and I have a husband that has studied some high-end massage technique so hopefully things fall into place asap.

In other news, WordPress will now let me upload!IMG_2342 IMG_2332 IMG_2329 IMG_2324